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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Pirates in the sand: The Islamic State's paramilitary, America's 21st century terror privateers?

Convoy of paid for thugs

© Unknown

What is ISIS? If you believe government and corporate media propaganda, then you probably still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement - with no connection to foreign agencies like the CIA, Britain's MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan's ISI.

You would be partly correct, in that there is a grassroots element to ISIS, one which coalesces around vulnerable poor, economically and politically disaffected, young Sunni Muslims - all needed to refill the lower foot soldiers ranks of their fighting force, and yes, some members of ISIS have an ideological belief system, even though it's not a very pleasant one. Theirs is a highly distorted, violent version of Islam, and a 360º theater of terror.

According the latest UN report, foreign jihadists are heading into Iraq and Syria on "an unprecedented scale", with bulk of the Syrian rebellion being 15,000 'Islamist' foreign fighters. Hardly an Arab Spring. The middle and upper ranks of ISIS include thousands of seasoned mercenary Islamic fighters from countries far and wide including, but not limited to, escaped terrorist convicts, and former detainees released from Guantanamo Bay.

The other mythology that's been

Caliphate – with global ambitions

© Unknown

erected around ISIS, is the idea that they are an "Islamic State" and economically self-sufficient, fledgling - with global ambitions. How western leaders and their media minions can refer to an terrorist-organized crime confab as a "state" defies belief and, in a funny way, actually dignifies and lends an air of political legitimacy - which this 'brand' .

No, they're not a state, and cannot actual govern territory in any real sense. Still, you can't stop America's reactionary millionaire pundit class (FOX's Sean Hannity, Megan Kelly et all, and Michael Savage, Glenn Beck) in the US from talking up ad nauseum the threat of an ISIS Islamic Caliphate taking over the western civilization and implementing Sharia Law. That's a free hint, and nice little take-away for producers at CNN, FOX News, BBC and the rest - all of whom are supplying ISIS will countless millions in free PR by keeping those camp terrorist propaganda YouTube videos on heavy rotation.

The substance and timing of that series of poorly produced 'beheading videos' (in which no one was actually beheaded on camera) is also suspect. Our mainstream media are only feeding the monster.


© Unknown

Left: ISIS FOR HIRE: Mercenaries, and ISIS actors are always masked, coming from the most unusual places (South London?).

On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing new. They're being paid for, and directed at the highest levels by powers outside of Iraq and Syria. So it's no surprise that the US, UK, Saudi, Qatar and Turkey all share the exact same objective as ISIS - the destabilization of secular nation states in the Middle East and the removal of Bashar al Assad in Syria. With the same objectives and agenda, the Western Coalition and ISIS work together like a well-oiled machine. Think of them as McCain's Private Army (see video, below).

For either financial or political reasons, Empires have always used external militarized cells and mercenaries to commit unsavoury acts under a flag different than the monarchy, nation state,or private corporation who was directing them behind the scenes.

In 1979, US agencies, together with Pakistani intelligence, formed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Years later, this fighting force, led by CIA asset Osama bin Laden (code named 'Tim Osman'), was rebranded into 'al Qaeda'. Like ISIS, the Mujahideen were also .

In the 1980′s, the Nicaraguan Death Squads

John Negroponte

© Unknown

and CIA-backed 'Contra' rebels, were under the financial and political control of Washington DC and death-squad specialist John Negroponte (photo, left). Through cocaine and narcotics trafficking, these paramilitary gangs were also able to fund their conquest to destabilize and terrorize Nicaraguans. So, it was no surprise when Negroponte showed up as US Ambassador in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, that Islamic death squads began to appear in Iraq featuring some of the most brutal sectarian violence to date.

Negroponte's understudy during this period was US operative Robert Stephen Ford. After completing his study in Iraq, Ford was then moved in 2010 to become US Ambassador to Syria. Soon after Ford's arrival, western-backed Flash Mobs and targeted violence against Syrian police and military - erupted in parts of Syria.

It wasn't long before the Assad government realized why Ford was installed when he was, and promptly forced him out of Damascus in 2011. Not surprisingly, critics believe that it was US operative Robert Ford who laid the groundwork for the emergence of ISIS in Syria.

© Unknown

Ruthless and unconventional "asymmetric" enemies are nothing new to the United States. Historically, the Privateer, or Barbary "Corsair", was a private person or ship authorized by a government to attack foreign vessels or governments, often covertly. During the 17th, 18th and 19th

centuries, Ottoman Corsairs operated along the North African coast, and attacked Colonial American ships for decades.


Later, many of these Barbary Pirates (Image above) fell under the control of Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III. Privateering was also a way of mobilizing a small army without sacrificing real troops or spending state funds to do it. Privateers would generate income and operating capital through black market smuggling, pillaging and plundering treasure booty along the way. They also captured and impressed people into slavery along the way - just like ISIS today.

ALL YOU NEED IS A FLAG: ISIS sans navy. Notice the similarity.


© Unknown

It could be said that the ladder day role is being shared by the US-UK-Franco (NATO) Axis and their GCC Gulf allies - the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain - all sponsors of the terrorist confab currently laying siege to two of the Middle East's only secular governments - Syria and Iraq. Each of these monarchies have their own designs on the important strategic and resource rich compartments in Syria and Iraq. It's been said how the former Emir of Qatar was looking forward to seeing his son Tamim as head of a new . Gas-rich Qatar has been a primary backer of the Syrian rebels since the armed civil war began in 2011, hoping to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime.

In addition, Qatar is also supporting Afghanistan's theocratic Taliban militants - by giving them increased political clout and a plush office in Doha next door to US Central Command (US CENTCOM) in the same capital city. Small world.

In the end, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham), or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), . Anyone could be ISIS, and ISIS could anyone - all you need is a black flag.

In 2014, maybe all we need is a gentle word from the , or the King, to call off the ISIS pirates. If only it were that simple.

These pirates are really 21st century 'Privateers'...

Majority of Scots would now vote 'yes' to independence - poll

Scotland _ yes

© Reuters / Russell Cheyne

Just six weeks after the referendum in which Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 percent, a new YouGov poll for the has found that 52 percent now back a split from the union, as Labour sees its support in Scotland gradually diminish.

The YouGov poll put support for the union at 48 percent. The figures will give more momentum to the pro-independence Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which wants to see another referendum as soon as possible.

Another vote on whether Scotland should remain in the 300-year-old union with England may be triggered in 2017 if the UK votes to leave the EU. The Scottish are much more pro-European than the English, and want to stay in the European Union.

While Scots believe the results of the last referendum have left the country divided, a separate poll for STV found that two-thirds of Scots want another referendum within a decade.

The results of the YouGov poll came out after the Scottish Labour Party suffered a bad week. Johann Lamont, the leader of Scottish Labour, resigned amidst a barrage of criticism of the party's central London HQ and that the Scottish division of the party was merely a "branch office" of London.

The poll showed that just 22 percent of Scots believe the Labour Party represents their interests and a further 65 percent do not believe it does a good job of representing them.

The figures also show that Scots believe Lamont did the right thing by resigning, with 58 percent backing her decision to quit. A quarter of respondents said that Scottish Labour has no freedom to carry out policies different to the Labour Party as a whole.

Jim Murphy, who is tipped as the favorite to take over the helm of the party in Scotland, is expected to say as part of his leadership campaign that the Labour Party currently has no vision for Scotland.

"If Labour wants to win we must first change ourselves. The Scottish people want change - they couldn't be clearer. They also want better and many want Labour to be part of that improvement. But when they look at us they think we've not listened. It sure looks like that from where they sit so who can blame them?" Murphy told supporters in Edinburgh.

The United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. England is home to about 85 percent of the population, but Scotland - with a small population of just under five million - is richer in natural resources and has about one-third of the UK's land mass.

The BBC: Washington's ministry of propaganda, UK branch

"Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I'm out of there"

These are the words of the former economics editor of the BBC's Newsnight show, Paul Mason, relating to the BBC's coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. The London broadcaster's biased reporting on Scottish independence is not an isolated incident however, as the BBC has been blatantly warping, misrepresenting and omitting pertinent facts and narratives on numerous issues, from its coverage on Israel to its distortion on Ukraine.

The broadcaster has been widely criticised by many in Scotland and around the world for their "propaganda" campaign in the run up to the referendum in September, leading thousands of people to take to the streets in protest over the lack of journalistic integrity at the BBC. A major episode of this was when the BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, censored Alex Salmond's lengthy response to a question regarding the rumours that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) would move its headquarters to London if Scotland voted for independence. Despite Salmond's comprehensive response to the question which gave the BBC seven minutes of video footage to edit for their report, Robinson decided to deceive the public and falsely claim he "didn't answer" the question. This was part of a wider "propaganda" campaign of injecting fear and uncertainty into the idea of Scotland being an independent nation.

The BBC's coverage of Scottish independence is just a microcosm of how the organisation operates with regards to many issues around the world, yet many people still give BBC news unmerited credence. This is not to say that there is not some good people within the BBC, however the broadcaster has repeatedly demonstrated that it serves as a propaganda organ of the Anglo-American establishment.

Pro-Israel Biased

Demonstrators marched outside the BBC's London headquarters in July of this year in protest over the broadcaster's pro-Israel bias, condemning their news reports on Tel Aviv's latest onslaught on Gaza as being The protest stemmed from a 45,000-strong petition which stated: "We would like to remind the BBC that Gaza is under Israeli occupation and siege.... and that Israel is bombing a refugee population". It was signed by such distinguished individuals as philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky, and veteran journalist, author and filmmaker John Pilger.

In a 2012 article titled: 'As Gaza is savaged again, understanding the BBC's historic role is vital', Pilger illustrates how the BBC's reporting can often give an inverted and distorted picture of the situation in Gaza to its viewers:

"This is notably true in the Middle East where the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable "conflict" between equals. Standing in the rubble from an Israeli attack, one BBC journalist went further and referred to "Gaza's strong culture of martyrdom". So great is this distortion that young viewers of BBC News have told Glasgow University researchers they are left with the impression that Palestinians are the illegal colonisers of their own country. The current BBC "coverage" of Gaza's genocidal misery reinforces this.... Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist and censor by omission - more often than not in tune with its right-wing enemies - is on no public agenda and it ought to be."

The host of the financial show the 'Keiser Report' and former stock broker, Max Keiser, has also been a vocal critic of the BBC and their biased nature towards Israel. In an interview in August of this year, Keiser reveals that he was prohibited from mentioning " " when he hosted a show on BBC World News:

"When we were doing a show for BBC World News called 'The Oracle' with Max Keiser a couple of years ago, we only got one editorial direction, and that is we could not mention Israel in any context."

Keiser then quit his BBC show due to the editorial policy of the broadcaster, tweeting:

"As I've stated many time before, I quit my BBC show because of their standing edict that I could not mention Israel in any context."

How can a news organisation which claims to be an objective outlet and a beacon of a free press, issue decrees that inhibit journalists from reporting on certain topics?

Distorting the Truth in Ukraine

The BBC's coverage of Ukraine has once again been deplorable and has warped the truth of the situation in the country. Even reading through the BBC's news website today, I was again struck by the misrepresentation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine, as they described the people of Lugansk and Donetsk holding an election to determine their future after an illegal Western coup in Kiev, as a 'rebel vote' in an article titled: Russia to recognise rebel vote in Donetsk and Luhansk. Marginalising the people of Eastern Ukraine by describing them as "rebels" is appalling. Ukrainians in the East of the country have every right to hold elections to determine their future as many do not feel the Western puppet regime in Kiev represents them or their interests.

The London broadcaster's coverage of the Crimean vote in March has also been widely condemned, as the organisation attempted to brand the referendum as illegal and peddle the lie that the majority of the people did not vote to rejoin Russia, despite the evidence suggesting otherwise. Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, economist and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, Paul Craig Roberts, wrote in his response to these distorted reports by the London broadcaster:

"The BBC has totally discredited itself as a news organization and revealed itself as an organ of Washington's Ministry of Propaganda. The BBC has made itself totally unreliable. No informed person will ever again believe a BBC report..... The BBC might as well be abolished." (c) PCR 2014

Using an Iraqi Photo for a Syrian Massacre

"Somebody is using my images as propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre", was the horrified response of the Getty Images photographer Marco Di Lauro when he saw a 2003 photo he took in Iraq published on the BBC website in 2012, claiming it was the scene of a 2012 massacre in the Syrian City of Houla. The BBC did put a disclaimer underneath the photo stating the image "cannot be independently verified", but it raised seriously questions as to whether this was a deliberate attempt to sell a war in Syria, as it was such a fine - yet tragic of course - photo to mobilise public opinion for another imperial war in the Middle East. At the very least it reveals the ineptitude of many employees at the BBC. Why would anyone believe a news organisation that employs thousands of people but can't find a confirmed photo from the same incident, the same year or even the same country for such a massive international news story such as the one in 2012?

The BBC incessantly peddles Anglo-American propaganda under the auspices of objective and impartial reporting, distorting the truth of numerous conflicts and world news stories for the benefit of the Western elite. Independent media is the only antidote to this monolithic propaganda network, and boycotting the broadcaster is the only way to be free from BBC bias.

The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".

First appeared:http://ift.tt/1rPFRaf

Comment: The , the , the BBC - these are among many powerful media organs on the planet that exist to shape and tragically distort our views of reality. Make no mistake, this is an information war of the first order.

If analysis such as the one above has induced your blood to boil with what would certainly be righteous indignation, some therapeutic value may be found in reading the lyrics and singing along with the following music video. It is also constructive, of course, to share news that has touched you in some way.

[embedded content]

Paranoia is in bloom,

The PR transmissions will resume

They'll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down

And hope that we will never see the truth around

(so come on)

Another promise, another seed

Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed

And all the green belts wrapped around our minds

And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

(so come on)

They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious

(so come on)

Interchanging mind control

Come, let the revolution take its toll

If you could flick the switch and open your third eye

You'd see that we should never be afraid to die

(so come on)

Rise up and take the power back

It's time the fat cats had a heart attack

You know that their time's coming to an end

We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

(so come on)

They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious

(so come on)

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey

They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious

(so come on)

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Disproportionate punishment! Israeli ministers pass bill jailing stone throwers for 20 years

Palestinian protester

© Reuters / Abed Omar Qusini

A Palestinian protester uses a sling to throw stones towards Israeli border policemen during clashes following a protest against the near-by Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus

Government ministers in Israel have voted to increase penalties ten-fold on people convicted of throwing stones at vehicles from two to 20 years, in a move designed to deal with a wave of violence that has hit some of Jerusalem's Arab districts.

If Israeli courts can prove that someone threw a stone with the intent of causing serious bodily harm, they may be able to impose a jail sentence of 20 years.

The law would also allow the conviction of people who hurl rocks at police cars or police officers with the aim of hindering them from carrying out their duty.

If intent to cause harm can't be proven, then the amendments still allow for a hefty 10-year sentence if the safety of a person or a vehicle is endangered. At the moment, such crimes have a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

Although the changes have been given the green light by the Israeli cabinet, they must still be approved by the Knesset and the ministerial Committee for Legislation.

The proposed legislation change stems from the recommendation of a committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit, which was tasked with dealing with the deteriorating security situation in East Jerusalem.

There has been a sharp increase in violence in many Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem in recent weeks. On Sunday, there were two incidents in East Jerusalem involving rock throwing. In one incident, in Talpiot, two juveniles were arrested. A bus was targeted in a separate incident on Suleiman Street.

A small improvised bomb was hurled at police officers in the Shuafat area of East Jerusalem on Saturday. In the Old City and Wadi Joz, fireworks were launched at policemen and a 13-year-old Palestinian was arrested after attacking a Jewish man near Damascus Gate.

"Israel is operating aggressively against terrorists, against stone throwers, against hurlers of firebombs and firecrackers. We will legislate more aggressive legislation to this regard, in order to return quiet and security to every part of Jerusalem," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as quoted by .

A new policy that has been in place since July and applies to minors as well as adults means that Palestinians are being held in custody from the time they are arrested until the end of proceedings.

There were also minor clashes in the West Bank after Friday's prayers. However, the West Bank would not be subject to the new legislation, as it is effectively ruled by the Israeli military.

Scientist warns Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate


© http://ift.tt/12tNiKZ

It was called the Amazon Rain Forest.

The Amazon rain forest has degraded to the point where it is losing its ability to benignly regulate weather systems, according to a stark new warning from one of Brazil's leading scientists.

The Amazon works as a giant pump, channeling moisture inland via aerial rivers and rainclouds that form over the forest more dramatically than over the sea, the author says. It also provides a buffer against extreme weather events, such as tornados and hurricanes.

In the past 20 years, the author notes that the Amazon has lost 763,000 sq km, an area the size of two Germanys. In addition another 1.2m sq km has been estimated as degraded by cutting below the canopy and fire.

As a result, the report notes, the deterioration of the rainforest - through logging, fires and land clearance - has resulted in a decrease in forest transpiration and a lengthening of dry seasons. This might be one of the factors of the severe drought affecting south-east Brazil. São Paulo - the biggest city in South America - is facing its worst water shortages in almost a century. October, which is usually the start of the rainy season, was drier than at any time since 1930, leaving the volume of the Cantareira reservoir system down to 5% of capacity.

Amazon RF

© http://ift.tt/1ufuVK3

Amazon Rain Forest as it should be.

In a new report, Antonio Nobre, researcher in the government's space institute, Earth System Science Centre, says the logging and burning of the world's greatest forest might be connected to worsening droughts - such as the one currently plaguing São Paulo - and is likely to lead eventually to more extreme weather events.

The study, which is a summary drawing from more than 200 existing papers on Amazonian climate and forest science, is intended as a wake-up call.

"I realised the problem is much more serious than we realised, even in academia and the reason is that science has become so fragmented. Atmospheric scientists don't look at forests as much as they should and vice versa," said Nobre, who wrote the report for a lay audience. "It's not written in academic language. I don't need to preach to the converted. Our community is already very alarmed at what is going on."

A draft seen by the warns that the "vegetation-climate equilibrium is teetering on the brink of the abyss." If it tips, the Amazon will start to become a much drier savanna, with calamitous consequences.

"Studies more than 20 years ago predicted what is happening with lowering rainfall. Amazon deforestation is altering climate. It is no longer about models. It is about observation," said Nobre. "The connection with the event in São Paulo is important because finally people are paying attention."

Nobre calls for a "war effort" to reverse the damage and secure the global climate and security of future generations. This would involve a ramped-up effort to immediately halt existing deforestation and a major new project to replant trees.

Whether the government listens, however, is another matter. Forest clearance has accelerated under Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, after efforts to protect the Amazon were weakened. Last month, satellite data indicated a 190% surge in deforestation in August and September. The influence of the "ruralista" agribusiness lobby in Congress has also grown in recent years, making it harder for the authorities to push through new legislation to demarcate reserves.

"They have taken good action in the past," says Nobre. ""I hope they will listen now".

Comment: The Amazon does not belong to any nation or corporation. It belongs to the ecosystem that regulates the climate for the entire human race. As Earth endures the ongoing deformation of nature by mankind (through illimitable selfish acts, both big and small), there is obviously little cognizance that the trajectories of these separate acts are collective, are connected and progress to cataclysmic breakdowns of ecological systems and patterns. Mankind, in its greed and short-sightedness, ignores the signs, misses the connections and fails its stewardship. It is oblivious to the danger inherent in sawing off the proverbial limbs that nurture and support its life, resulting, perhaps without recourse, in near or full demise.

As long as there are mindless consumers, there will be unconscionable corporations that prey upon the bounty of this planet and self-serving pathocrats whose blind-eye policies perpetuate the rape and plunder of earth's treasures for the benefit of the "privileged" few at the expense of all life.

In the mirror of radically changing or failing natural processes, what will truncate these pathologically destructive belief systems and jolt human miopia long enough for a realignment of priorities in order to save itself, a species hellbent on self-extinction. Is there a will and a way? Is there time?

Hacking democracy: North Carolina voters report voting machines switching their votes to GOP candidate


© Shutterstock

Voter in front of voting machine at polling station

A voter in Guilfrord County, attempting to take advantage of early voting in North Carolina, told the News-Record that the voting machine he used repeatedly switched his vote for a Democrat to a vote for her Republican opponent.

Percy Bostick, 69, of Greensboro said he tried casting a vote for Democrat Kay Hagan - who is locked in a tight battle with her GOP opponent - however the machine, located in the Old Guilford County Courthouse - assigned his vote to Republican Thom Tillis.

"I called one of the poll workers over," Bostick explained. "She said do it again. And again, I touched the screen at the proper place for Kay Hagan, and it again reported it for Thom Tillis."

According to Bostick, the machine finally recorded his vote for Hagan on the fourth attempt.

A poll worker then stepped in and cancelled Bostick's ballot altogether and directed him to another machine which registered his vote correctly. The problematic machine was taken out of service.

On Wednesday a voter using a machine at the Craft Recreation Center in Greensboro experienced the same problem with their vote going to Tillis.

According to Guilford County elections director, Charlie Collicut, his office has received 14 reports of voting problems since early voting started Oct. 23, including seven from people who grew concerned after they got home.

Collicut urged voters to check their vote against the paper roll next to the screen to ensure that the machine properly registered their selections. He also advised voters to report any problems to poll workers immediately.

The Hagan/Tills race is expected to be one of the most costly races for a Senate seat ever, with campaign spending expected to exceed $100 million .

The Caliph fit to join OPEC

Islamic State leader Caliph Ibrahim - aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - never ceases to amaze us - and most of all his powerful petrodollar-stuffed backers. The Caliph is for all practical purposes now an oil major worth of membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). His /mercenary goons - in theory - have for some time been extracting, refining, shipping and/or smuggling and clinching juicy deals involving vast quantities of oil, reaping profits of roughly US$2 million a day.

The Caliph's oil prices are to die (be beheaded?) for; after all, he's implementing the same low-price strategy concocted by the people he wants to dethrone in Mecca, the House of Saud. The caliphate's GDP across "Syraq" has only one way to go: up.

And oh, the irony. Top customers for The Caliph's cheap oil happen to be "Sultan" Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Earthly paradise, aka Turkey - a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally - and that King "Playstation" Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein's domain impersonating a country, aka Jordan.

Meanwhile, the awesome, immensely sophisticated military apparatus/intel agency acronym fest deployed by "free" US/NATO somehow is simply unable to register/intercept this racket.

Not surprising, when they somehow had not previously registered/intercepted The Caliph's goons taking over large swaths of "Syraq" this summer with their cross-desert version of rolling thunder - that gleaming white Toyota promo ad.

As for the Empire of Chaos "solution" to intercept The Caliph's oil profits, the only decision so far has been to bomb oil pipelines that belong to the Syrian Arab Republic, that is, ultimately, the Syrian people.

Never underestimate the capacity of US President Barack Obama's "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" foreign policy doctrine to soar towards unreachable stupidity heights.

Yo sheikh, talk to the hand

Then there's that fateful Secretary of State John Kerry/House of Saud hand-kissing fest that took place in Riyadh last month.

In this masterful piece, William Engdahl goes no-holds-barred on the supposed Saudi-US cheap oil/bomb Bashar al-Assad/undermine Russia deal. Yet there may not have been a direct deal; more like Washington and Riyadh working in tandem towards common objectives: regime change in Syria in the long term, and undermining both Iran and Russia in the short term.

As for that crucial Pipelineistan gambit central to the Syrian riddle - a gas pipeline running from Qatar to regime-changed Syria, instead of Iran-Iraq-Syria - that's not exactly a Saudi, but a rival Qatari priority.

What Kerry did give was the Master's Voice seal of approval to the Saudi strategy of low oil prices, thinking short-term about US oil consumers at the pump, and medium-term on putting pressure on the revenues of both Iran and Russia. Yet he obviously played down the blow to the US shale gas industry.

The Saudis, for their part, have other key considerations, not least how to recover their market share across Asia - where their biggest customers are located. They are losing market share because of discounted crude sold by both Iran and Iraq. Thus, both must be "punished", on top of the House of Saud's pathological aversion to all things Shi'ite.

As for the big picture in Syria, Obama's capo for dealing with The Caliph, General John Allen, laid down the law to Saudi newspaper . He said, "[T]here is not going to be a military solution here [in Syria]". And he also said, "The intent is not to create a field force to liberate Damascus."

Short translation: those old goons of the previously "winning against Assad" Free Syrian Army (FSA) are now six feet under. And the new FSA goons to be trained in - of all places - Saudi Arabia are not exactly being regarded as holy saviors. For all practical purposes, the medium-term scenario spells out more US bombing (of infrastructure belonging to the Syrian nation); no regime change in Damascus; and The Caliph steadily consolidating his wins.

And finally, the Hollywood factor

Imagine if shabby "historical" al-Qaeda had these ultra-slick PR skills. Bearded has-beens with old Kalashnikovs in Afghan caves is so passe. The Caliph not only smuggles tens of thousands of barrels of oil a day undetected, but he also deploys a British hostage turned foreign correspondent (and who may have converted to the Salafi version of Islam) reporting from a hollowed out Kobani about to be totally captured by a bunch of takfiris and mercenaries (they certainly are not mujahideen).

One's gotta marvel at the production values. The Caliph's special report opens with drone footage of Kobani. Is it an American drone? Was it captured in Iraq? Is it an Israeli drone? Turkish? Brit? The "mujahideen" certainly are not on Lockheed Martin's speed dial - yet.

Meanwhile, on the ground, only now has Ankara allowed roughly 200 peshmergas from Iraqi Kurdistan - whose slippery leaders do business with Turkey - to cross the border to, in theory, help Kobani. No soldiers, weapons or supplies are allowed for the Kurdish PKK/PYD forces which have been actually defending Kobani all along. Sultan Erdogan's endless procrastination will be judged by any independent investigation as the key element in allowing the possible fall of Kobani.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu once again has laid down the "conditions" for his country to help with the - so far spectacularly innocuous - US campaign against The Caliph; the possible liberators of Kobani must only be Iraqi peshmergas, and remaining FSA goons, not "terrorists" (as in PKK/PYD).

In the end, Kobani - precisely on the border between southeast Anatolia and northern Syria - is highly strategic. The situation on the ground is dire. There may be a little over 1,000 residents left, barricaded in their houses. Protecting them, a little over 2,000 Syrian Kurd fighters, including the female Ishtar brigade. Only 200 peshmergas coming from Iraqi Kurdistan are not going to make a huge difference against a few thousand heavily weaponized caliph goons deploying as many as 20 tanks. It does not look good, even though, unlike in the Caliph-approved Brit hostage report, the fake "mujahideen" are not in total control.

The Caliph, anyway, is bound to remain on a roll. Absolutely none of the above would be remotely possible without US/Western overt/covert complicity, proving once and for all that The Caliph is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving in the eternal GWOT (Global War On Terra). How come the Dick Cheney regime never thought about that?

Woman sues LAPD for kidnapping and sexually assaulting her


© Counter Current News

When Kim Nguyen called a cab after a few drinks, she thought she was on the right side of the law. But in spite of her best efforts, the 27-year-old pharmacist explains she was thrown from a police cruiser after Los Angeles police officers kidnapped and sexually assaulted her while she was waiting for that cab.

Part of the assault on Nguyen was captured on camera, as the young woman was filmed tumbling from a moving LAPD cruiser after being handcuffed and kidnapped while waiting for the cab she called.

Nguyen was just trying to get home in the early morning hours of March 17, 2013, but that's not where her story ends. More on the latest developments in a minute. First, let's make sure you understand just how serious her allegations against the LAPD are. Let's start by taking a look at the video below:

Back in 2013, Nguyen explains that officers confronted her along with two male friends outside of a downtown Los Angeles restaurant at 2 am.

The group had been drinking and they knew they shouldn't drive home. They were trying to do the right thing, making sure not to drink and drive.

But while waiting for the cab, officers told the men to leave them with Nguyen or they would be arrested. Once the men left, the rogue cops kidnapped Nguyen and assaulted her.

In the deposition taped last month it is alleged that the officer in the back of the cruiser with Nguyen had grabbed her left inner thigh. She resisted, but he forced her legs apart.

Then the officer grabbed her chest, and when she tried to push away, he grabbed her by the ear. In the struggle to get him off over her, she explains that officer negligence led to her being ejected from the vehicle at high speeds.

As a result of this, Nguyen spent two weeks in the hospital. Injuries sustained included having to have her jaw wired shut. She also lost all of her teeth from the impact on the street which was caught on video, after she was ejected from the cruiser.

Now, Nguyen has filed a lawsuit against the LAPD, alleging that officers failed to secure her with a seatbelt or lock her door properly. This, her attorney says, is what led to her being ejected from the car.

Nguyen's attorney, Arnoldo Casillas was able to obtain surveillance footage of the incident. The video of the incident clearly shows Nguyen sprawled on the ground with her dress removed from the waist down.

[embedded content]

The video (above) shows the patrol car speeding through a green light. "The video shows that the statement that the police officers gave the paramedics is an unabashed, unequivocal lie," Casillas said during the press conference.

The LAPD say that they are "investigating," but that investigation has never concluded. Still, the department says they "will ensure that Ms. Nguyen is made aware of the outcome of the investigation related to this incident," whenever they finally conclude it.

In spite of all the evidence, there has been relatively little coverage of this lawsuit in the mainstream media.

Help us get the word out about this important issue. The more we remain quiet about these rogue cops, the more they will continue to take advantage of people like Nguyen!

IPCC focus on stopping global warming and extreme weather is 'unscientific and immoral'

"IPCC Chairman Dr. Rajendra Pachauri was right to advocate "a global agreement to finally reverse course on climate change" when he spoke to delegates tasked with approving the IPCC Synthesis Report, released on Sunday," said Tom Harris, executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). "The new direction governments should follow must be one in which the known needs of people suffering today are given priority over problems that might someday be faced by those yet to be born."

"Yet, exactly the opposite is happening," continued Harris. "Of the roughly one billion U.S. dollars spent every day across the world on climate finance, only 6% of it is devoted to helping people adapt to climate change in the present. The rest is wasted trying to stop improbable future climatic events. That is immoral."

ICSC chief science advisor, Professor Bob Carter, former Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia and author of explained, "Science has yet to provide unambiguous evidence that problematic, or even measurable, human-caused global warming is occurring. The hypothesis of dangerous man-made climate change is based solely on computerized models that have repeatedly failed in practice in the real world."

New Zealand-based Terry Dunleavy, ICSC founding chairman and strategic advisor remarked, "U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon often makes unjustified statements about climate change and extreme weather. However, in their still unanswered November 29, 2012 open letter to the Secretary General, 134 scientists from across the world asserted, 'The U.K. Met Office recently released data showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 [now 18] years. During this period...carbon dioxide concentrations rose by nearly 9%...The NOAA "State of the Climate in 2008" report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators' own criterion."

"Although today's climate and extreme weather are well within the bounds of natural variability and the intensity and magnitude of extreme events is not increasing, there is, most definitely, a climate problem," said Carter. "Natural climate change brings with it very real human and environmental costs. Therefore, we must carefully prepare for and adapt to climate hazards as and when they happen. Spending billions of dollars on expensive and ineffectual carbon dioxide controls in a futile attempt to stop natural climate change impoverishes societies and reduces our capacity to address these and other real world problems."

"The heavily referenced reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change demonstrate that, scientifically speaking, the global warming scare is over," concluded Harris. "It is time to defund the IPCC and dedicate our resources to helping solve today's genuine humanitarian problems."

ICSC also focuses on publicizing the repercussions of misguided plans to "solve the climate crisis". This includes, but is not limited to, "carbon" sequestration as well as the dangerous impacts of attempts to replace conventional energy supplies with wind turbines, solar power, most biofuels and other ineffective and expensive energy sources.

For more information about this announcement or ICSC in general, visit here

Hysterical America: Alabama school system paid former FBI agent $157,000 to spy on black students

spying through blinds

© Shutterstock

Middle aged man peeping through window blinds

Huntsville City Schools (HCS) paid a former Federal Bureau of Investigations agent $157,000 to direct security last year, but critics contend that the system he implemented is designed to monitor the social media activity of black students, according to AL.com.

Chris McRae, the agent in question, was brought in to oversee the Students Against Fear (SAFe) program, which works by allowing students and teachers to provide anonymous tips to security personnel, who then scour social media sites like Facebook to determine the credibility of the threat.

Over 600 Huntsville City School students had their social media presence monitored last year. Of the students expelled last year for reasons related to social media, 86 percent were African-American. The school system as a whole is 40 percent black - but 78 percent of all students expelled are black.

Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison said that the policy "is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues."

Last month, Superintendent Casey Wardynski told AL.com that "our SAFe program is really about bringing information together. Often we'll find on Facebook things going on right now, kids are posting from inside school or on Twitter. Here's a kid with a pistol on Facebook. These are his buddies, each with a gun. We're instantly interested in that."

"This isn't like folks are going out looking at everybody's Facebook and working our way back to, 'Should we be interested in them?'" he insisted. "It is, 'We're interested in this guy, what's he up to? Is he in school today? Let's look at his social media.' All you do is go to Facebook and YouTube and type in their name. If you find out they are doing something in real time or those other people look like they're doing nefarious things, they can be a threat."

McRae and the others involved in running the SAFe program do not work directly for the school system - instead, they are employed by T&W Operations. According to paperwork provided by the system, "McRae provides security training, along with reviewing security features at Huntsville facilities both existing and those under construction. He recommends enhancements and improvements and works with HCS security staff on tips that are referred to the District office."

However, after news of SAFe's relation to T&W Operations, many critics of the city noticed that their groups were being monitored by it. Jeannee Gannuch, co-founder of the South Huntsville Civic Association, which is often critical of the city, discovered that T&W Operations was following her group on Facebook.

"My tax dollars are paying for a hired hand to watch a political organization? That doesn't seem right," she told AL.com.

George Orwell is rolling over - Metropolitan Police uses secret surveillance technology to follow suspects (and innocent folks)...

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky

Metropolitan Police uses secret surveillance technology to follow suspects and gather data from their mobile phones, reports. The gathering is done to all active mobiles within a certain range - including those belonging to innocent people.

The technology, called an IMSI catcher, also allows for phone calls to be intercepted and listened to. Text messages and emails can also be collected and read. Additionally, it can block phone signals in a specific area.

But it's not just the suspect's phone which is taken under control by the technology; all active mobile phones in the area are. Sources in the Metropolitan Police told that the data of innocent people may also be stored in archives.

the source said.

The Metropolitan Police are not the only organization which uses the technology. reports that the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other larger police forces also do so. These units do not need judicial or governmental permission, as an officer of high rank can authorize it for preventing or detecting serious crime.

Journalists and several organizations have already expressed their concern.

Privacy International advocacy officer Matthew Rice said.

Neither Scotland Yard nor NCA confirmed nor denied the use of the technology, the report says.

The IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher is a fake mobile tower which acts between the target mobile phone and the service provider's real towers. The IMSI catcher logs the IMSI numbers of all the mobile stations in the area, as they attempt to attach to the IMSI catcher. After that, the operator can get all necessary data.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that British secret services have been illegally intercepting millions of communications.

Canada: New Brunswick snowstorm leaves 7,600 without power

NB Snowstorm

© Viktor Pivovarov / Canadian Press

A snow plow operator clears a street in Moncton, New Brunswick

New Brunswick was blasted with the region's first snowstorm of the year on Sunday, causing power outages and prompting officials to urge people to stay off roads.

Environment Canada said a low pressure system was intensifying as it tracked across the Maritimes Sunday. The national weather forecaster had issued snowfall warning for central and northwestern parts of New Brunswick.

Meteorologist Barrie MacKinnon said the snowfall was intensifying throughout the day and would persist until Sunday evening, with as much as 30 centimetres expected in some areas.

"It's certainly the first (snowstorm) and a big one for them," said MacKinnon from Halifax on Sunday. "But tonight we're expecting things to taper off and by tomorrow we'll just be seeing some flurries."

New Brunswick Power said roughly 7,600 customers were without power at one point in Fredericton, Woodstock, St. Stephen, Bouctouche, Miramichi and Sussex.

The New Brunswick government was warning residents to watch for flooding and to postpone non-essential travel.

The low pressure system also prompted wind warnings in southwestern Nova Scotia and in Prince Edward Island, where winds were expected to gust up to 90 kilometres an hour.

Environment Canada said higher than normal water levels and pounding surf were expected on Sunday evening and throughout Monday along the northern coast of P.E.I.

Already an early U.S. winter? A foot of snow in Maine, record unprecedented early-season snow in South Carolina

Up to a foot of snow has fallen in Maine from a storm system that earlier brought an unprecedented early-season snow to parts of South Carolina on the first day of November.

Bangor, Maine, reported 12 inches of snow as of 2:50 p.m. EST Sunday. Scroll down for more on the snow forecast for New England.

Snow was observed Saturday as far south and east as Charleston, South Carolina, the earliest flakes on record in the city. This occurred less than three days after a string of four straight days in the mid-upper 80s. Places like Folly Beach and downtown Charleston picked up a trace of snowfall.

Even more stunning were the snowfall amounts in the South Carolina Midlands. Up to 4.5 inches of snow fell in Red Bank, just west of Columbia. Red Bank is only about 350 feet above sea level.

A couple of inches of snow coated grassy areas and some roads near Greenville and Pelion, South Carolina. Power lines were downed in Greenville, Greenwood, and Lexington Counties due to the combination of strong winds and wet snow accumulations.

Even more stunning were the snowfall amounts in the South Carolina Midlands. Up to 4.5 inches of snow fell in Red Bank, just west of Columbia. Red Bank is only about 350 feet above sea level.

A couple of inches of snow coated grassy areas and some roads near Greenville and Pelion, South Carolina. Power lines were downed in Greenville, Greenwood, and Lexington Counties due to the combination of strong winds and wet snow accumulations.

Farther northwest in the southern Appalachian Mountains, up to six inches of snow fell around Asheville, North Carolina while 2.5 inches were measured in Boone, North Carolina. Seven inches fell near Marshall, North Carolina (elevation 2280 feet). Up to 3 inches blanketed Bluefield, West Virginia.

Mt. LeConte, Tennessee (elevation 6400 feet) measured 22 inches of snow, with waist-deep drifts. Numerous roads were shut down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including U.S. 441. Trees were "cracking and popping" due to the weight of almost 13 inches of snow near Hartford, Tennessee (elevation 3400 feet).

Up to 2 inches of snow were observed on Burnt Mountain northwest of Dawsonville, Georgia, and flurries fell in parts of the Atlanta metro area.

Midwest Sees Snow, High Waves

Heavy snow fell in parts of the Upper Midwest late Thursday into Friday. Ten inches of snow fell in Presque Isle, Wisconsin and near Three Lakes, Michigan. Wind gusts up to 69 mph were clocked in Gary, Indiana Friday, and Chicago saw its first measurable Halloween snow on record early Friday, though only one-tenth of an inch piled up at O'Hare International Airport.

Waves on southern Lower Michigan and southern Lake Huron reached heights similar to those measured during Superstorm Sandy.

Records Re-Written: Snow Shatters Southern Records

In most locations, this was not the earliest measurable (at least 0.1 inches) snow on record. Except for the Palmetto State, that is.

Prior to this weekend, the previous earliest measurable snow on record in Greenville, South Carolina was on Nov. 11, 1987 and 1968. This event shattered the previous earliest trace of snow in South Carolina's capital city of Columbia, set over a hundred years ago (Nov. 9, 1913).

According to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia, this would be the earliest measurable snow on record in Blairsville, Georgia, if accumulations occured there. In both Cleveland and Helen, Georgia, the standing record for earliest measurable snow was on Nov. 12, 1968. Official data from co-operative observers have not yet been released, but up to half an inch of snow was reported in the Blairsville area.

In Boone, North Carolina (elevation about 3,300 feet), the average first measurable snow falls around the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 26). In Asheville, North Carolina (elevation about 2,100 feet), that average first measurable date is Christmas Day. The record earliest measurable snow in Asheville, however, was Oct. 1, 1952.

New England Snow Continues

Winter storm warnings, watches and winter weather advisories continue for northern New England as the season's first snow targets them Sunday.

Snow, heavy, in parts of northern New England, accompanied by strong winds, will taper off late Sunday night. Some wet snow may also fall in parts of southern New England, primarily in eastern Massachusetts. The wind will be very strong as well. As of Sunday morning, there have already been several reports of 40+mph wind gusts and reports of trees/powerlines down in eastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island.

In northern Maine, interestingly, this first measurable snow would be just a tad late. Caribou sees its first measurable snow by Oct. 23, in an average season.

Heavy snow and high winds continue Monday in parts of Atlantic Canada, from New Brunswick to Labrador.

Snowfall Accumulation Forecast

At right is our latest 48-hour snowfall forecast. Additional accumulations will mainly be limited to Maine, where totals will exceed 12 inches in a few spots.

Even without any snow, it will be chilly and raw, with highs in much of the Great Lakes and Northeast holding in the 40s, or even 30s in some spots.

High strangeness is in the air: German minister's plane disappears from radar 'for hours', causes stir

© AFP Photo / Aris Messinis

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steimeier

Frank-Walter Steinmeier's plane, the German foreign affairs minister, reportedly disappeared for several hours from radar screens on Saturday as he was travelling in Asia, sending diplomats and government officials scrambling in alarm.

The minister was on his way from Seoul, South Korea, to Jakarta, Indonesia, when the incident happened, die Bild-Zeitung reported.

The airbus A 340, "Theodor Heuss", took off from Seoul at 3pm on Saturday and was due to land in Jakarta, the next stop in his Asian trip, after seven hours. Steinmeier was accompanied by actress Natalia Wörner, who was preparing for her role in the German TV series, "The Diplomat".

The weather was fine until Borneo Island, where the airbus met a storm front and the pilot reportedly decided to change course.

Air traffic control in Jakarta was apparently ignorant of this maneuver and informed the German embassy the airbus was on its way back to Berlin. Their radar couldn't locate the plane.

The German embassy tried to contact government offices in Berlin, but no one was able to give any answer about the minister's current whereabouts. Contact with the airbus was also impossible due to the thunderstorm.

Only 40 minutes before the plane landed in Jakarta, the airbus reappeared on radar and the Indonesians informed the German embassy.

It's still not clear why Indonesian air traffic control thought Steinmeier was going to Berlin.

This isn't the first time Steinmeier has had travel problems recently. In August, he had to use Lubomir Zaoralek's plane, his Czech opposite number. In March and April, he also had to revise his schedule because of technical problems with transport.

Fast food marketing strategies continue to target children

© eleanortate.com

A newly published research study examining only marketing directed at children on the interior and exterior of fast food restaurants has found that black, as well as middle-income communities and rural areas, are disproportionately exposed to such marketing tactics.

Authored by Arizona State University researcher Punam Ohri-Vachaspati and her colleagues, the study is the first to examine the use of child-directed marketing on the interior and exterior of fast food restaurants and its relationship to demographics. It adds to a substantial body of literature on the effects of various marketing efforts on fast food consumption and their relationship to health outcomes in children.

In the United States, fast food is the second largest source of total energy in the diets of children and adolescents. It provides 13 percent of total calories consumed by 2- to 18-year-olds. Every day, almost a third of children aged 2 to 11 years and more than 40 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds consume food and drinks from fast food restaurants.

"Fast food companies in the U.S. spend nearly a quarter of their marketing budgets targeting youth aged 2 to 17 years," said Ohri-Vachaspati.

"In 2009, fast food restaurants spent more than $700 million to market their products to children and adolescents; nearly half of the amount went toward premiums such as kids' meal toys."

The study considered a total of 6,716 fast food restaurants - chain and independently owned - between 2010 and 2012. The businesses were selected from a national sample of 434 communities where public middle and high school students reside. Community-specific data were obtained at the block group level and included information regarding median household income, ethnicity and degree of urbanization.

Elements of child-directed marketing were broken down into discrete measures. Marketing tactics on the interior included indoor play area and display of kids' meal toys. Child-directed marketing measures on the exterior of the restaurants visible from the parking lot or street included advertisements with cartoon characters; advertisements with movie, TV or sports figures; and advertisements for kids' meal toys among others.

The researchers found that while most fast food restaurants sampled were located in non-Hispanic and majority white neighborhoods, those situated in middle-income neighborhoods, rural communities and majority black neighborhoods had higher odds of using child-directed marketing tactics.

Overall, one-fifth of restaurants sampled used one or more strategies targeting children. The indoor display of kids' meal toys was most popular, followed by exterior ads with cartoon characters, as well as ads with kids' meal toys. Chain restaurants had nine times greater odds of having a kids' meal toy display on the inside; restaurants in majority black neighborhoods had almost twice the odds of having such displays compared to those in white neighborhoods.

"Marketing food to children is of great concern not only because it affects their current consumption patterns, but also because it may affect their taste and preferences," said Ohri-Vachaspati, who studies the role that food marketing plays in driving behaviors and assesses the impact of food environments and policies in schools and in community settings.

"We know that consumption of fast food in children may lead to obesity or poorer health, and that low income and minority children eat fast food more often."

According to Ohri-Vachaspati, while several major U.S. food and beverage companies and fast food restaurants have created the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and taken other steps to encourage marketing of healthier food and beverage choices to children, there's room for improvement.

"Despite the self-regulatory efforts, a stronger push for providing and marketing only healthy foods to children is needed, especially in disadvantaged populations," she said. "We know that fast food is convenient and inexpensive and is often used by parents to provide quick meals to their children. We want to make it easier for parents and children, especially those at greater risk for poor diet and health, to make healthier choices by marketing only healthy food options that meet dietary guidelines to children. "

"Another goal of the study is to track patterns. As marketing strategies targeting children in media are restricted as part of self-regulation, an increase in such efforts may or may not occur at restaurants. We'd like to present evidence to inform future industry and public policy initiatives."

The study has been authored by Punam Ohri-Vachaspati from Arizona State University; Zeynep Isgor, Leah Rimkus, Lisa M. Powell, and Frank J. Chaloupka from the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Dianne C. Barker from Barker Bi-Coastal Health Consultants, Inc. in Calabasas, California.

The analytic sample used in the study is part of the Community Obesity Measures Project of

The Nobel Peace prize deception


© The Sea Gypsy Philosopher

Every October I foolishly get my hopes up as the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize approaches. My dream is that the committee will finally proclaim that the greatest obstacle to world peace is American Imperialism.

And then they will elaborate on this by insisting that only when the U.S. Empire has vanished, can global harmony and justice prevail. Therefore, they award the prize to some courageous writer or film-maker or activist who has been battling this death-spewing Leviathan.

But once more they have refused to notice the 800 pound War Lord in the middle of the room. They have again chosen the "path most taken - the spineless one," and bestowed the award on some noble but uncontroversial candidates. By misdirecting our attention away from the indisputably evil scourge that is U.S. foreign policy, they have once again blockaded the road to actual Peace on Earth.

But perhaps I should question why I even expect those at the Nobel to be noble. After all, they somehow forget to bestow the prize on the greatest peacemaker and liberator of the 20th Century - Mahatma Gandhi. And then they intensified the shame of such an oversight, by bequeathing the award to one of the most genocidal monsters of the same century - Henry Kissinger.

He received the prize even though he master-minded the secret and massive bombing assault on the innocent peasants of Laos and Cambodia. He was also instrumental in enabling the murderous regimes in East Timor and Chile. In all of these atrocities, he denied his involvement until the evidence finally drowned his lies in truth.

Then they award the 2009 prize to newly-elected Barack Obama, who had done exactly ZERO to move the world toward peace. Certainly he had excelled at delivering altruistic platitudes fed to him via his teleprompter. But his actions desecrate his words. Here are some bullet points that come to mind without even having to do any deep research:

· Obama vowed during his campaign to close down Guantanamo on the first day he was in office. He has now been enthroned for over 2,000 days, and this mockery of justice and due process remains open.

· El Presidente has overseen the "Pivot to Asia" thereby ratcheting up tensions in the Pacific, and further lining the already diamond-studded pockets of the Military Industrial Cyst.

· He has continued to encircle Russia with NATO bases in direct violation of agreements reached with them after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

· President Obama has one-upped his recent Oval Office predecessors by secretly overthrowing the democratically elected government of the Ukraine. (Although it is not a secret to those who get their information from the alternative media.) He has installed a puppet regime there to do the West's bidding. This particular strategic blunder is extraordinary because of the sheer lack of prior research about which group of "freedom fighters" they were backing this time. The U.S. has a long history of supporting vicious, genocidal dictators. Indeed, the operative phrase has long seemed to be, "Yes, he is a ruthless tyrant - but he is OUR ruthless tyrant." Well, in this obscene instance they have managed to either knowingly or unknowingly find themselves a band of swastika wearing neo-Nazis to "spread democracy."

· His Administration continues to destabilize any government whose resources or strategic position could be valuable to American Global Capitalists. Libya and Syria and Egypt being recent examples of this divide and conquer tactic.

· He did nothing to end or lessen the latest Israeli butchery in Gaza. And he looks the other way when the Zionists grab more of the West Bank.

· Instead of denouncing the planet-wide electronic surveillance carried out by the NSA on both enemies and allies, the President is an apologist for such despicable conduct. If it serves the bankers or corporations or the military, it is okay with him. · He has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any president in the last ... well, actually ... more than all the previous presidents combined.

· He has established an imperial beachhead in Africa by instituting AfriCom. So who knows how many poor African countries our Special Forces are now clandestinely destabilizing under the cloak and dagger banner of JSOC? Check out Jeremy Scahill's brilliant reporting on this topic.

· And saving the best for last, he has become PRESIDENT GOD. Every Tuesday he pontificates on whom should be "neutralized" by drone strikes based on intelligence from agencies who are wrong so frequently that their efforts would be considered comedic if they weren't so tragic. And since His Omnipotence is protecting "national security," what does it matter if the collateral damage splatters women and children all over the roadside?

So, let me see - that's TEN bullet points that instantly sprang to mind without even having to do a google search. Just one of these should immediately disqualify a person for consideration by the selectors in Norway. (Yes, not Sweden. For some mysterious reason the Nobel will mandates that a committee of parliamentarians in Norway choose the Peace Prize winner.)

How these judges continually ignore the most significant impediment to world peace just astonishes me. Are they really a panel of Norwegians - or a clan of super-patriotic Nebraskans? Assuming that they are not malevolent but simply misguided, let me remind them of why U.S. foreign policy is justifiably scorned by most of the planet.

· The U.S. now has over 800 military bases blanketing almost the entire planet. These forces are not stationed there to protect the population. Their role is to enforce the will of the American multi-national corporations who bleed the cheap resources or slave labor from these nations. These installations also siphon enormous wealth to the Military-Industrial Cyst.

· The U.S. continues to spy on ... well, essentially everyone that their advanced technology allows them to spy on. Their excuse is that they are protecting us from terrorism, but it is common world-wide knowledge that the CIA and the Pentagon fund, arm, train and unleash large numbers of terrorists. The only difference is that these groups are designated by the captive mainstream media as "freedom fighters."

· Since World War II the United States has attempted to overthrow 50 governments - and most of these had been democratically elected. · One of the main operating principles of modern U.S. foreign policy is the Wolfowitz Doctrine. This decree calls for the use of whatever tactics are necessary to keep another nation (think China and Russia) from becoming strong enough to threaten America's dominance of the world.

· Since WWII the U.S. has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries.

· Unsatisfied with just ruling the planet, American political and military elites have now adopted a policy of "full spectrum dominance." This means that they also want to dominate outer space and cyberspace as theatres of war.

· Since the Second World War, U.S. military and intelligence operatives have attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders (some of them multiple times - such as Fidel Castro.) And they have attempted to suppress populist or nationalist movements in 20 countries.

And so, for you selectors in Norway, struggling to regain some relevancy for your Peace Prize, hopefully this will clarify for you what an 800 pound War Lord standing in the middle of Planet Earth's living room looks like. And now to assist you even further in regaining some respect for your extremely tarnished award, let me suggest some very worthy candidates. If I had the financial ability to designate a Sea Gypsy Philosopher Peace Prize, these would be some of the individuals on my short list. I would be delighted if the Nobel Committee would research some of these gallant Warriors of the Pen, who have dedicated their lives to unmasking the true, evil face of U.S. foreign policy. Here they are:

· Daniel Ellsberg ... This whistleblower, who released the Pentagon Papers, had a profound influence on winding down the senseless and obscene Vietnam War. He even suffered prison time as a result of this courageous act of conscience. He has continued ever since to battle the American War Machine. Here is one of his insightful quotes about Vietnam: "It wasn't that we were ON the wrong side, we WERE the wrong side!"

· Oliver Stone ... When this man crafts a brilliant anti-war movie such as Platoon, he knows of what he speaks. As an idealistic but foolish young man he went off to Vietnam to help protect democracy and got a profound lesson about the true nature of war and in particular of its senseless lunacy. He was wounded both physically and emotionally. But he has converted those scars into a body of cinematic art that reveals more about the true nature of power than probably any other director. And he continues to use his art to bring more light into a world deliberately cloaked in darkness and doubt. His TV show brilliantly exposes the vast and profound difference between what leaders tell us they are doing and what they are actually perpetrating - and I use the word "perp" deliberately.

· Cindy Sheehan ... When she lost her son in the Iraq War 2, she had the courage to ask the question which so many other parents of dead soldiers only voiced to themselves - "What did he die for?" Since his death, she has devoted her life to anti-war activism using a variety of approaches from running for office to her most daring campaign during which she pitched her tent and lived in protest near President Bush's Texas vacation compound, which became known as Camp Casey in honor of her dead son. She has been arrested time and time again as she continues to throw herself on the gears of the American War Machine.

· John Pilger ... This Australian, who has spent much of his life revealing the filthy underbelly of Empire and Globalization, is an investigative journalist and brilliant documentary film-maker. In his very first film he shocked the world by revealing that U.S. troops in Vietnam had so deeply lost their belief in the war, that many of them were turning mutinous. That was the first expose' in a lifetime of fine work unveiling the true motives of those in power as they plunder the planet.

· William Blum ... This tireless campaigner, who looks like everyone's harmless uncle from Syracuse, has actually been a valiant super-hero when it comes to shining light on the dark secrets of U.S. overseas malignancy. His books document with incredible thoroughness the atrocities that those behind the American Throne have been visiting on the world. But besides being encyclopedic, they are also riveting reading. Such scholarship combined with literary flair is a rare combination.

There are many other peace campaigners who I deeply admire and who deserve consideration from the judges in Oslo. I will be glad to steer them towards these individuals, and in this regard my email address is right here at my blog. Naturally, I realize that they will never contact me, and in fact, they will probably never even see this essay.

But unlike the fool's valor of Don Quixote who flailed away with his fractured lance at imaginary demons that were actually just windmills, our adversaries are very real and deserve the scorn of all persons of good will. I refer to them in my work as The Malignant Overlords. These people, who are so pathologically addicted to domination that they want to rule the world, must be stymied and defeated. And awarding a prestigious Peace Prize to heroes who actually crusade for Peace, will certainly help in this often hopeless but eternally noble quest.

The seasonal flu lie: PR stunt to sell more vaccinations

It is said that the seasonal flu kills between 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide, a number that to some reading might sound incredibly high.[1] Perhaps this is why the flu vaccine is so heavily offered? The key question that is creating a great amount of controversy is whether or not the numbers we read about the amount of flu deaths are actually accurate?

When winter time rolls around we start hearing the term "flu season." As a result, we are offered the flu vaccine as a means to protect ourselves from the flu. I was just reading a public health flyer the other day that stated the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to take the vaccine. It seemed odd that the whole public health flyer seemed focused on making sure people knew the flu vaccine was a must have. I could understand that, if the death stats were actually accurate.

What Are The Stats Based On?

The World Health Organization is the source of the death count annually that is seen above. The CDC states that about 36,000 people in the US die each year from the flu. Although to some these sources seem credible, where they are getting their information from could be much more of a PR move than a legitimate stat.[2]

According to the National Vital Statistics System in the U.S., annual flu deaths in 2010 were only 500 for the year. Ulcers, pregnancy, childbirth and hernias were all around double or more compared to the flu. This of course didn't even compare to things like heart disease or cancer which ranged somewhere in the 500,000 range. The story is the same in Canada.

Interestingly, the CDC released a data paper in 2010 that shows how they categorize flu deaths. The stat is grouped with Pneumonia deaths. If one were to look, it states that 50,097 deaths were attributed to flu and pneumonia, but when that number is broken down, pneumonia is responsible for 49,597 and the flu only 500. [3] The CDC itself acknowledges and admits that there is only a slim relationship, stating "only a small proportion of deaths... only 8.5 per cent of all pneumonia and influenza deaths [are] influenza-related."

In Canada the numbers are approximately the same, reported deaths of the flu have never surpassed 350 during a flu season. Some years were as little as 150 or so. Furthermore, hospitalizations from the flu never surpassed 7000 for the entire country in some of the worst recorded years. [4]

The interesting thing about the WHO is that in their estimations they show no measure of how they arrived at their numbers. This is why controversy is so heavy when it comes to actual flu numbers. This is perhaps also why many point to the numbers as a PR stunt to sell more vaccinations.

Multiple Sources Agree

To take it even further, the American Journal of Public Health and the feel the number of 500 deaths in the US could even be too high. They state that only about 15-20 per cent of people who come down with flu-like symptoms actually have the influenza virus. It is believed that the other 80-85 per cent actually caught rhinovirus or other germs that are indistinguishable from the true flu without laboratory tests, which are rarely done.

"U.S. data on influenza deaths are a mess," states a 2005 article in the entitled "Are U.S. flu death figures more PR than science?" The article points to the fact that the claimed 36,000 yearly flu-death figure commonly claimed is overstated and incorrect. This makes calling pneumonia/influenza as the 7th leading cause of death incorrect as well.

Is The Vaccine Even Effective?

The former Chief Vaccine Office at the FDA, Dr. Anthony Morris states: "there is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza."

Of course this statement has been attacked by many "science" blogs stating he isn't an expert on the flu and that his opinion shouldn't be trusted. A classic move by opposers where an attack is set out on statements made using emotional arguments attempting to make others feel unintelligent for questioning something. Yet the opposers often provide no evidence to state the research or opinion is incorrect. This is perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of parts of the scientific community. To think of how many things are ignored or shot down out of arrogance and fear of overturning old ideas is astonishing.

The prestigious Cochrane Library released a review in 2009 stating "There is not enough evidence to decide whether routine vaccination to prevent influenza in healthy adults effective." [5]

Given the ineffectiveness of the vaccine and the potential side effects that go along with the vaccine, why put yourself at risk? The influenza does not appear to show any moderate risk of hospitalization or death and avoiding the flu can be done very easily with natural means.

Perhaps it's finally time to end the hype and stop supporting the vaccine all together?

Sadly the CDC has created a mass market for the flu vaccine and enlisted doctors and the media to fear many into taking it. Since very few have questioned the efficacy of such a vaccine, the hysteria continues blindly.

Here's an interesting look at the financial side of the flu vaccination.



2. jamanetwork.com

3. cdc.gov

4. phac-aspc.gc.ca

5.thecochranelibrary.com [PDF]

Paedophile Ring whistleblower Melanie Shaw sentenced without evidence

A jury delivered a shock guilty verdict on paedophile ring whistleblower, Melanie Shaw, yesterday, accused of starting a shed fire and throwing paint on a neighbour's home in Nottingham, England.

Observers watched with incredulity as Judge Michael Pert QC announced the news, resulting in a conviction of arson - reckless as to whether life was endangered, on February 1, and damaging property on June 26. Sentencing will take place in six weeks following a psychiatric report.

An absence of substantive evidence, coupled with irregularities in the conduct of the trial, has reinforced public opinion that Beechwood Children's Home survivor, Melanie Shaw, is the victim of a carefully orchestrated establishment set-up intended to silence her and protect a high-ranking paedophile ring involved in crimes against children and child abuse - some of whom are said to have been murdered, committed suicide or disappeared without trace.

An orchestrated set-up

The prosecution argued that Melanie had set fire to a shed in revenge for a grudge against a neighbour who had alerted social services resulting in her child being taken away. But, strangely, no records were produced by the court to confirm there was any fire at the Sherwood address on February 1st.

Nottingham Police initially maintained that the fire took place on April 4th, a date which subsequently showed no official records of a fire. The police allegation of Melanie's involvement in an arson attack on this date was effectively used to imprison her for three months in HMP Peterborough, one of the most brutal prisons in the country, where she was maltreated to the degree that she could barely walk on leaving.

The lay advocate and McKenzie Friend, acting on behalf of Melanie, told Neon nettle: "There's been no evidence from the Fire Brigade about the fire. The evidence is just not there. There's nothing that proves beyond reasonable doubt that it was Melanie who set that fire."

Convicted without evidence

A handwriting expert was unable to confirm that that the graffiti on the side of the neighbour's house was Melanie's handwriting.

A bag holding the tins of paint had ten fingerprints on it. One, without paint, was claimed to be Melanie's, while the remainder in paint, have not been forensically examined, according to the lay advocate, who took notes throughout the three-day trial.

Internet TV broadcaster and journalist at the UK Column, Brian Gerrish, who was present on the first day, also told Neon Nettle: "When the paint was thrown, the owner of the house told Melanie that he'd installed CCTV. Melanie said: 'So since you told me, why would I then go and be recorded on CCTV throwing paint?' But mysteriously, the day that the paint was thrown, the CCTV wasn't working."

The lay advocate, who has been a regular visitor to the prison and spent 24 hours a day with Melanie over the fourteen day bail period, said: "The street that Melanie lives on had been blighted by crimes which were never investigated. I just think Melanie is being targeted to be kept captive, and by keeping her captive their main aim is to keep under wraps everything she knows."

"My feeling is that they will go to absolutely any cost to keep her quiet."

The Judge fell asleep several times during the proceedings, noted by observers as a sign that his mind had been made up from the start. Two jurors were seen asleep during yesterday's hearing.

The lay advocate added: "This case has been totally led, and the jury has been totally influenced by the judge. He's directed them. He actually gave them a sheet of paper with directions on how they need to go forward. It's all very odd."

"Operation Daybreak is a conspiracy theory" - Judge

Judge Michael Pert QC

Several observers reported hearing the judge refer to the police investigation into Beechwood as a "conspiracy theory," just before the jury was about to retire, despite at least ten individuals having been arrested and compensation awarded to a number of victims.

Further questions around the Judge have come to the fore since it was discovered that he was involved in a controversial decision to overturn a conviction on an HIV positive predatory paedophile.

Gerrish, who got to know Melanie before her arrest on July 10th, said: "As far as we are concerned, we think we're very close to the total breakdown of law and order, because the police are obviously totally corrupt, but it extends to courts aswell."

"My opinion is that Melanie is a truthful witness and I'm absolutely going to stand by the position that this woman has been silenced for one reason - to cover up the widespread abuse of children in Nottingham."

A psychiatric report produced in the court said Melanie had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. To the many supporters who have been writing to her in prison, this will be hard to swallow.

"I think the prison is totally responsible for her current mental health," added the lay advocate. "It's been clear to me during the time I've been with her, that they've been gradually destabilising her. There's been a massive impact with them messing about with her medication, not giving her full prescription medication as and when she'd ordinarily have it. That adds all sorts of consequences to a person's functioning and mental health. I think that her treatment within that institution is totally responsible for her current state of mind. They've gradually broken her down. I think they've been part of a plan to do that."

Fellow Beechwood survivor, actress Samantha Morton.

Actress Samantha Morton to meet Melanie Shaw

The vast swathe of public support rooting for Melanie Shaw's release, now stronger than ever, has reached into the glittering circles of showbiz, and the orbit of fellow Beechwood survivor, actress Samantha Morton.

Morton has already been in contact with Melanie, said the advocate, and asked to see her in prison. "I don't know how they are going to meet, to be honest. I know that Samantha Morton is doing another film, and she said Nottinghamshire police have been giving her a horrific time. They've been interviewing her again. She said the way they treat you is quite horrific."

Another Beechwood survivor who stepped forward, the brother of one of Melanie's friends, tried to commit suicide several times, because each time he went to the police and gave a statement they insisted he goes for a three-month psychiatric assessment. The psychiatric assessments took him to the brink of suicide each time.

It's happening to others, says the advocate, "each time anybody tries to come forward, and put in the public domain exactly what did happen to them as abused children, they are closed down. They didn't have a voice when they were a child, and now as adults, they're trying to raise awareness about it, and they are stopped."