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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Et tu Poland? Putin excluded from Holocaust commemoration

© Unknown

Two Soviet soldiers escort prisoners on the day of their liberation, January 27, 1945. Auschwitz, Poland

Glancing at the headlines one might believe Russian President Vladimir Putin had inappropriately decided not to attend Holocaust commemorations in Poland.

In one breathtaking display of misinformation, Reuters would report in its article Putin will not attend Holocaust commemorations in Poland that,

In reality, The Russian leader was never invited by Poland, the nation hosting the commemorations.

The geopolitical thrust and accompanying misinformation is designed to reinforce the perception that Russia is now a hegemonic threat, on par with Nazi Germany during World War II. Reality could not contradict this contrived narrative more.

On June 22, 1941, Operation Barbarossa was launched. Three massive German armies moved at lightning speed into the Soviet Union as part of a long anticipated Nazi attempt to conquer Russia. The invasion would quickly overwhelm unprepared Russian forces bringing German armies up to the gates of several major Russian cities, Moscow included.

Along their way, Nazi forces would carry out mass arrests and executions of Eastern European Jews, Slavs, and Russians. The Russian people and their allies fought bitterly at the cost of millions of lives to first slow then stop the invasion, then turn it back before finally reaching the gates of Berlin themselves.

Europe's Jews, imprisoned and mass murdered by the millions, owe their eventual liberation to the heroic sacrifices of the Russian people who fought the majority of the war in Europe against Germany, years before American boots landed on the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

Thus, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a representative of the nation and the peoples who formed the vanguard against the Nazi scourge and ended the threat of fascism in Europe. While American soldiers were shocked to find Hitler's death camps upon the conclusion of the war, the Russian people had been living the nightmare of Germany's systematic regional genocide for years, firsthand. Putin's exclusion from Holocaust commemorations is more than mere politics, it is a warning sign that an old enemy once again stirs in its dark lair.

Upon the conclusion of World War II, the Americans along with their newly formed NATO alliance, quickly made use of Nazis who surrendered to them rather than face "justice" at the hands of the Soviets for their serial crimes against humanity. The Americans integrated them into some more noble causes such as space exploration, but also among darker networks including intelligence, propaganda and even domestic terror networks (later to be known notoriously as Operation Gladio).

Former Nazis and their ideological allies in Soviet territory like the Ukraine, were continuously backed by NATO at the end of the World War to resist Soviet rule. These networks have survived, continuously, and manifest themselves even today in the form of the current regime in Kiev, which violently overthrew the elected government of Ukraine between late 2013 and early 2014.

Fully backed by NATO, these successors of Nazi collaborators who literally served Adolf Hitler's catastrophically tragic bid at global domination and assisted in the genocide that accompanied that bid, are carrying out similar dark deeds in eastern Ukraine, albeit on a smaller but no less tragic scale. In true form reflecting the obscenely dishonest narratives woven by Nazi propagandists like Joseph Goebbels, the Western world has sidestepped these historic and current realities and instead insist Russia, not literal fascists carrying Nazi flags, represent the resurgence of a fascist threat in Europe today.

President Putin's exclusion from Holocaust commemorations is a direct part of forming and reinforcing this narrative. No greater insult could be given to the victims, survivors and heroes who suffered and eventually overcame the Nazi scourge than to twist and intentionally distort history, propping up the successors of villains and condemning those representing the millions of Russian lives lost to confront such villains and a people who are once again ready to confront them again.

Europe once again approaches precariously the precipice of self-inflicted tragedy. Fascism both old and new is festering and spreading in all directions as European leaders and the special interests that direct them seek a familiar ploy used when all else fails to unite and regiment their peoples. Once again Russia seems to be standing alone in the face of this growing menace along their border, and once again the Russian people are quietly preparing to make sacrifices befitting the heroic deeds of their fore-bearers.

Must it come to this? What if people saw and pointed to the gross hypocrisy and betrayal of Poland and the forces of fascism once again festering within that dealt the nation such a tragic blow during the last World War? What if people realized, regardless of their feelings toward Russia, that the path they are on leads only to self-ruination? Could Europeans as a whole realize there is a middle path between the extremes being presented before them? The coming weeks and months will yield these answers. For those who have keenly kept one eye on history, and one on current events today, they must try to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, remembering the lessons World War II has taught them, even if such lessons seem to be lost on everyone else.

New Eastern Outlook".

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Poroshenko says 9,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, high-tech invisibility cloaks prevent detection

 Petro Poroshenko


So much crazy talk, it makes him sweat

Nearly 10,000 Russian troops are in Ukraine according to Ukraine's president, and yet there hasn't been a single reliable independent confirmation of this incredible claim

Ukrainian chocolate sultan Petro Poroshenko told the World Economic Forum this afternoon that there are currently 9,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, according to a breaking news report from Reuters.

Speaking in Switzerland, Poroshenko added that the sneaky Russian invaders were backed by a range of heavy weapons including tanks and artillery systems. Poroshenko provided no evidence to back up his claims: no photographs, satellite images, radio interceptions or even twitter messages.

"If this is not aggression, what is aggression?" Poroshenko asked the Forum attendees.

A baseless lie designed to garner sympathy with the international community? Or maybe Russia stole Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, stretched it out 10 km, and is marching an entire army under its invisible magic? Both hypotheses seem plausible.


Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Fish oil sold in New Zealand is actually more like snake oil

Omega 3

© Danielle Smith

Fishy: A University of Auckland study has found the bulk of fish oil pills sold in NZ are misleading consumers. The take home? Just eat fish.

The bulk of fish oil supplements sold in New Zealand and Australia are misleading consumers with false claims, a study has found.

A University of Auckland study found the bulk of supplements sold in the two countries were almost a third lower in omega-3 fatty acids than their labels claimed.

Only three of the 32 fish oil supplements analysed by the scientists contained the concentrations of fatty acids listed on the label.

The rest had on average 68 per cent of the claimed content.

The University of Auckland's Professor Wayne Cutfield said the research team found the price of each supplement made no difference to the quality of the product.

"You might think that a more expensive fish oil is less likely to be degraded," he said.

"That is not the case, there is no relationship with price."

Although the researchers did not publish the brand names of the fish oil supplements that were analysed, Cutfield said almost half were encapsulated, labelled and marketed from Australia.

Most fish oil products are sourced from deep sea fish from the west coast of South America.

The researchers found the majority of the supplements tested were considerably oxidised - the oils were on the way to becoming rancid.

The active ingredients in omega-3 were fragile and prone to oxidisation, which could occur on the long trip from South America, Cutfield said.

"Exposure to light, air and increasing temperatures above freezing, increases the likelihood that they will degrade and become oxidised," he said.

The effects on humans of long-term exposure to oxidised oils had not been studied, he told AAP.

Fish oils are among the most popular dietary supplements in the world, linked to helping prevent everything from cardiovascular disease to mental illness.

It has been suggested oxidised fish oil might promote the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries and thus achieve the opposite of what the consumer expected.

Cutfield advised consumers to protect their fish oil by storing it sealed in the fridge and out of direct light.

Those who want to ensure good levels of omega-3 should simply eat fish, he said.


The body representing the natural product industry is surprised by the latest study into fish oils sold in New Zealand, because it says most natural products made here are rigorously checked and audited.

That said, there is no current manufacturing standard in New Zealand that binds them to such checks. And the sooner that's addressed, the more confident consumers can be, says Natural Products NZ (NPNZ).

Executive director Alison Quesnel says the latest findings highlight the need for regulating the manufacturing and selling of natural supplements in New Zealand. The long-awaited Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill will strengthen regulation around ingredient and benefit claims and the sort of product information provided.

Quesnel insists though that most New Zealand manufacturers already adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that are audited by the Therapeutic Goods Agency in Australia and the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand.

The TGA regulates any product that is sold in Australia, which applies to a host of New Zealand-made natural products exported across the Tasman.

"So those factories, in order to send products to Australia, have to have an Australian audit but they also have an MPI audit," says Quesnel.

She says most other New Zealand manufacturers are voluntarily adhering to manufacturing audits, even if they're not required to.

"The Bill coming in will raise the bar because it will provide definite manufacturing standards and provide consumers with greater comfort and certainty," says Quesnel. "We are 100 per cent behind a Bill that will standardise things."

Quesnel is surprised by the findings as the "benefits of fish oil are renowned". But the group cannot comment on the results until it has more information and seen the testing methods.


Meanwhile, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Medsafe (a business unit of Ministry of Health) are investigating the findings.

A spokesman said MPI and Medsafe had received a copy of the report released by the Liggins Institute.

Both agencies were following up with the institute to get more information on data used in the study.

"MPI is working closely with Medsafe on the requirements of the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 and how they apply to these products," the spokesman said.

Omega 3 fatty acids were part of a balanced diet and were good for heart health, and foods such as fish were an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Russia Iran military cooperation: May resolve S300 missile delivery issue

Iran_Russia deals0

© Ruptly video

Moscow and Tehran have signed military cooperation deal that implies wider collaboration in personnel training and counter-terrorism activities. It may also resolve the situation concerning the delivery of Russian S300 missiles, Iranian media reported.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, signed the document during a visit by Russia's top brass to Iran's capital on Tuesday.

Under the new agreement, the broadened cooperation will include military personnel training exchanges, increased counter-terrorism cooperation and enhanced capabilities for both countries' Navies to use each other's ports more frequently.

Iran_Russia deals

© twitter

According to the Iranian news agency FARS, the two sides have also resolved problems concerning the delivery of Russia's S300 missile defense systems to Iran. However, Moscow is yet to make an official comment regarding the defense system.

The $800 million contract to deliver S300 air defense missile systems to Iran was cancelled in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to fall in line with UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program. In turn, Tehran has filed a currently pending $4 billion lawsuit against Russia to Geneva's arbitration court.

[embedded content]

"The two countries have decided to settle the S300 issue," Iran's Defense Ministry said, as cited by the Interfax news agency. No further details have been provided.

The possible renewal of talks concerning missile sales has been confirmed by a former head of the Defense Ministry department of international cooperation, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

"A step has been taken in the direction of economic and military technologies cooperation, at least such defensive systems as the S300 and S400 we would probably be delivering," Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, who is also the president of the International Center for Geopolitical Analysis, said, which was reported by RIA. Sanctions from the West have brought the two countries' positions on defense cooperation closer, Ivashov added.

S-300 surface-to-air missile system

© RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov

A visitor stands near an S-300 surface-to-air missile system as preparations are underway for the Engineering Technologies 2014 international forum in Zhukovsky near Moscow.

The new agreement is aimed at creating a "long-term and multifaceted" military relationship with Iran, Russia's Defense Minister Shoigu said, stressing that "a theoretical basis for cooperation in the military field has been created."

The Iranian side believe, "durable impacts on regional peace and security" can be provided by the deal, FARS reported. "As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints towards political, regional and global issues," Dehghan said, as cited by AP.

For Iran, the deal to boost military cooperation could also mean support in opposing American ambitions in the Middle East, with the two countries to "jointly contribute to the strengthening of international security and regional stability."

"Iran and Russia are able to confront the expansionist intervention and greed of the United States through cooperation, synergy and activating strategic potential capacities," Iran's Defense Minister said, which was reported by AP.

Moscow has maintained close ties with Tehran for years, particularly in the field of nuclear power. The first Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr became operational, with control of the station having been handed over to Iranian specialists in September 2013. Last autumn, a deal to build more reactors in Iran was signed.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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A billionaire lectures serfs in Davos - Claims "America's lifestyle expectations are far too high"

Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon

If you listened closely this morning, you could hear humanity vomit as JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, began to speak at Davos.In what amounted to some of the most egotistical and delusional statements heard at a conference filled with egotistical and delusional participants, Mr. Dimon didn't disappoint. Here are a couple highlights courtesy of Twitter:


- Tim Backshall (@credittrader) January 21, 2015

Jamie Dimon: Family first, country second, and JP Morgan- it's the best I can do for this world. @jpmorgan $JPM

- Julia Boorstin (@JBoorstin) January 21, 2015

Such shameless insincerity would even make his Best Banker Buddy (BBB) Barry Obama blush. I don't know about you, but I'm eagerly awaiting Mr. Dimon's 2028 Presidential run with Chelsea Clinton as running mate.

But I digress. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it has. Enter billionaire Jeff Greene, who's comments at Davos make Sam Zell look enlightened.

From :

Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.

"America's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence," Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We need to reinvent our whole system of life."

Wait a minute, "we" need to reinvent our whole system of life? I'm curious, Mr. Greene, how specifically will YOU be adjusting your lifestyle expectations? I didn't think so. Kindly shut the fuck up.

Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he's planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called "Closing the Gap." The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.

Apologies, it appears when it comes to Jeff Greene, he is adjusting his expectations in the opposite direction, upward. Jewish Business News reports that:

Billionaire Jeff Greene really does believe that he can get $195 million for his California estate, which just so happens to be the most expensive listing for a residential property in American history.

The 59 year old made his money by betting against the subprime mortgage market that burst in 2008. But many observers think that the $195 million price tag on the Beverly Hills property is just a type of marketing gimmick and that Greene does not honestly expect to get that much money for it.

Greene dispelled these rumors in an interview with the "When you consider the value of the land and the quality of the construction. $195 million is really quite reasonable," he said.

Now back to the article:

The billionaire said he's planning on having dinner tonight with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and will attend several private meals and parties throughout the week.

It's not surprise that such a disingenuous guy would find the time to have dinner with Tony Blair, a celebrated crony capitalist and war criminal. Here are a few Tony Blair lowlights I have showcased previously:

Picture of the Day - A Very Creepy Season's Greetings from Tony Blair

Tony Blair Gets Paid (Again) - Secret $61,000 per Month Contract with Saudis Revealed

Letter Reveals Tony Blair Advised Kazakhstan's President on How to Spin Massacre of Innocent, Unarmed Protesters

Apparently, some lifestyle expectations are more equal than others.

Have a Nice Day:

In Liberty,

Michael Krieger

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Mysterious goo coats hundreds of California seabirds


© Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

A bufflehead duck is seen covered in a mysterious substance at the International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay center.

Hundreds of birds in the East Bay area of Northern California have been found covered in a mysterious goo that causes hypothermia.

About 100 seabirds had died at the International Bird Rescue's San Francisco Bay center, where rescue workers were cleaning dozens a day.

"The good news is that we have modified our wash protocol and it appears to be working on healthier birds," said International Bird Rescue's interim director, Barbara Callahan, in a statement. "However, some of the birds that have recently arrived are in much poorer condition, likely because they've had this substance on their feathers for several days now."

After an oil spill, birds are typically washed using just soap and water, but it's not working in this case, the reported. Volunteers are now using a mixture that includes a chemical agent, baking soda and vinegar -- and then washing the birds with soap and water.

A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the that the substance does not appear to be petroleum based and does not seem to be a hazard to humans.

"It's some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before," said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It's a real mystery."


Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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1,700 Private Jets Descend on Davos Economic Forum

Look to the skies this week in Switzerland and you'll see the heavens are cluttered with private jets.

Billionaires and world leaders from across the globe are flying en masse to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland -- and they insist on traveling in style.

Roughly 1,700 private flights are expected over the course of the week, which is twice as many as normal, according to WINGX Advance, a tracking firm. Traffic is expected to rise 5% compared to last year's event.

Private jet companies have warned clients to plan ahead, as securing spots for landing, take-off and parking can become a logistical nightmare.

"Because last year was so busy, private jet customers know ... that they have to book in advance," said Adam Twidell, CEO of the online jet booking company, PrivateFly. His firm helped clients secure about 20 flights for the event, which starts Wednesday.

swiss airport

These Swiss airports see the most private jet traffic during the World Economic Forum, according to WINGX Advance.

The epochal consequences of Woodrow Wilson's war

© flickr

Patriotic postcard from World War I.

Committee for the Republic

Washington DC January 20, 2015

My humble thesis tonight is that the entire 20th Century was a giant mistake.

And that you can put the blame for this monumental error squarely on Thomas Woodrow Wilson - a megalomaniacal madman who was the very worst President in American history........well, except for the last two.

His unforgiveable error was to put the United States into the Great War for utterly no good reason of national interest. The European war posed not an iota of threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE, or Worcester MA or Sacramento CA. In that respect, Wilson's putative defense of "freedom of the seas" and the rights of neutrals was an empty shibboleth; his call to make the world safe for democracy, a preposterous pipe dream.

Actually, his thinly veiled reason for plunging the US into the cauldron of the Great War was to obtain a seat at the peace conference table - so that he could remake the world in response to god's calling.

But this was a world about which he was blatantly ignorant; a task for which he was temperamentally unsuited; and an utter chimera based on 14 points that were so abstractly devoid of substance as to constitute mental play dough.

© wikipedia.org

"Col." Edward House

Or, as his alter-ego and sycophant, Colonel House, put it: Intervention positioned Wilson to play "The noblest part that has ever come to the son of man". America thus plunged into Europe's carnage, and forevermore shed its century-long Republican tradition of anti-militarism and non-intervention in the quarrels of the Old World.

Needless to say, there was absolutely nothing noble that came of Wilson's intervention. It led to a peace of vengeful victors, triumphant nationalists and avaricious imperialists - when the war would have otherwise ended in a bedraggled peace of mutually exhausted bankrupts and discredited war parties on both sides.

By so altering the course of history, Wilson's war bankrupted Europe and midwifed 20th century totalitarianism in Russia and Germany.

These developments, in turn, eventually led to the Great Depression, the Welfare State and Keynesian economics, World War II, the holocaust, the Cold War, the permanent Warfare State and its military-industrial complex.

They also spawned Nixon's 1971 destruction of sound money, Reagan's failure to tame Big Government and Greenspan's destructive cult of monetary central planning.

So, too, flowed the Bush's wars of intervention and occupation, their fatal blow to the failed states in the lands of Islam foolishly created by the imperialist map-makers at Versailles and the resulting endless waves of blowback and terrorism now afflicting the world.

And not the least of the ills begotten in Wilson's war is the modern rogue regime of central bank money printing, and the Bernanke-Yellen plague of bubble economics which never stops showering the 1% with the monumental windfalls from central bank enabled speculation.

Consider the building blocks of that lamentable edifice.

First, had the war ended in 1917 by a mutual withdrawal from the utterly stalemated trenches of the Western Front, as it was destined to, there would have been no disastrous summer offensive by the Kerensky government, or subsequent massive mutiny in Petrograd that enabled Lenin's flukish seizure of power in November. That is, the 20th century would not have been saddled with a Stalinist nightmare or with a Soviet state that poisoned the peace of nations for 75 years, while the nuclear sword of Damocles hung over the planet.

Likewise, there would have been no abomination known as the Versailles peace treaty; no "stab in the back" legends owing to the Weimar government's forced signing of the "war guilt" clause; no continuance of England's brutal post-armistice blockade that delivered Germany's women and children into starvation and death and left a demobilized 3-million man army destitute, bitter and on a permanent political rampage of vengeance.

So too, there would have been no acquiescence in the dismemberment of Germany and the spreading of its parts and pieces to Poland, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Austria and Italy - with the consequent revanchist agitation that nourished the Nazi's with patriotic public support in the rump of the fatherland.

Nor would there have materialized the French occupation of the Ruhr and the war reparations crisis that led to the destruction of the German middle class in the 1923 hyperinflation; and, finally, the history books would have never recorded the Hitlerian ascent to power and all the evils that flowed thereupon.

In short, on the approximate 100th anniversary of Sarajevo, the world has been turned upside down.

The war of victors made possible by Woodrow Wilson destroyed the liberal international economic order - that is, honest money, relatively free trade, rising international capital flows and rapidly growing global economic integration - which had blossomed during the 40-year span between 1870 and 1914.

That golden age had brought rising living standards, stable prices, massive capital investment, prolific technological progress and pacific relations among the major nations - a condition that was never equaled, either before or since.

Now, owing to Wilson's fetid patrimony, we have the opposite: A world of the Warfare State, the Welfare State, Central Bank omnipotence and a crushing burden of private and public debts. That is, a thoroughgoing statist regime that is fundamentally inimical to capitalist prosperity, free market governance of economic life and the flourishing of private liberty and constitutional safeguards against the encroachments of the state.

So Wilson has a lot to answer for - and my allotted 30 minutes can hardly accommodate the full extent of the indictment. But let me try to summarize his own "war guilt" in eight major propositions - a couple of which my give rise to a disagreement or two.

Proposition #1: Starting with the generic context - the Great War was about nothing worth dying for and engaged no recognizable principle of human betterment. There were many blackish hats, but no white ones.

Instead, it was an avoidable calamity issuing from a cacophony of political incompetence, cowardice, avarice and tomfoolery.

Blame the bombastic and impetuous Kaiser Wilhelm for setting the stage with his foolish dismissal of Bismarck in 1890, failure to renew the Russian reinsurance treaty shortly thereafter and his quixotic build-up of the German Navy after the turn of the century.

Blame the French for lashing themselves to a war declaration that could be triggered by the intrigues of a decadent court in St. Petersburg where the Czar still claimed divine rights and the Czarina ruled behind the scenes on the hideous advice of Rasputin.

Likewise, censure Russia's foreign minister Sazonov for his delusions of greater Slavic grandeur that had encouraged Serbia's provocations after Sarajevo; and castigate the doddering emperor Franz Joseph for hanging onto power into his 67th year on the throne and thereby leaving his crumbling empire vulnerable to the suicidal impulses of General Conrad's war party.

So too, indict the duplicitous German Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, for allowing the Austrians to believe that the Kaiser endorsed their declaration of war on Serbia; and pillory Winston Churchill and London's war party for failing to recognize that the Schlieffen Plan's invasion through Belgium was no threat to England, but a unavoidable German defense against a two-front war.

But after all that - most especially don't talk about the defense of democracy, the vindication of liberalism or the thwarting of Prussian autocracy and militarism.

The British War party led by the likes of Churchill and Kitchener was all about the glory of empire, not the vindication of democracy; France's principal war aim was the revanchist drive to recover Alsace-Lorrain - mainly a German speaking territory for 600 years until it was conquered by Louis XIV.

In any event, German autocracy was already on its last leg as betokened by the arrival of universal social insurance and the election of a socialist-liberal majority in the Reichstag on the eve of the war; and the Austro-Hungarian, Balkan and Ottoman goulash of nationalities, respectively, would have erupted in interminable regional conflicts, regardless of who won the Great War.

In short, nothing of principle or higher morality was at stake in the outcome.

Proposition # 2: The war posed no national security threat whatsoever to the US. Presumably, of course, the danger was not the Entente powers - but Germany and its allies.

But how so? After the Schlieffen Plan offensive failed on September 11, 1914, the German Army became incarcerated in a bloody, bankrupting, two-front land war that ensured its inexorable demise. Likewise, after the battle of Jutland in May 1916, the great German surface fleet was bottled up in its homeports - an inert flotilla of steel that posed no threat to the American coast 4,000 miles away.

As for the rest of the central powers, the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires already had an appointment with the dustbin of history. Need we even bother with the fourth member - that is, Bulgaria?

Proposition #3: Wilson's pretexts for war on Germany - submarine warfare and the Zimmerman telegram - are not half what they are cracked-up to be by Warfare State historians.

As to the so-called freedom of the seas and neutral shipping rights, the story is blatantly simple. In November 1914, England declared the North Sea to be a "war zone"; threatened neutral shipping with deadly sea mines; declared that anything which could conceivably be of use to the German army - directly or indirectly - to be contraband that would be seized or destroyed; and announced that the resulting blockade of German ports was designed to starve it into submission.

A few months later, Germany announced its submarine warfare policy designed to the stem the flow of food, raw materials and armaments to England in retaliation. It was the desperate antidote of a land power to England's crushing sea-borne blockade.

Accordingly, there existed a state of total warfare in the northern European waters - and the traditional "rights" of neutrals were irrelevant and disregarded by both sides. In arming merchantmen and stowing munitions on passenger liners, England was hypocritical and utterly cavalier about the resulting mortal danger to innocent civilians - as exemplified by the 4.3 million rifle cartridges and hundreds of tons of other munitions carried in the hull of the Lusitania.

Likewise, German resort to so-called "unrestricted submarine warfare" in February 1917 was brutal and stupid, but came in response to massive domestic political pressure during what was known as the "turnip winter" in Germany. By then, the country was starving from the English blockade - literally.

Before he resigned on principle in June 1915, Secretary William Jennings Bryan got it right. Had he been less diplomatic he would have said never should American boys be crucified on the cross of Cunard liner state room so that a few thousand wealthy plutocrat could exercise a putative "right" to wallow in luxury while knowingly cruising into in harm's way.

As to the Zimmerman telegram, it was never delivered to Mexico, but was sent from Berlin as an internal diplomatic communique to the German ambassador in Washington, who had labored mightily to keep his country out of war with the US, and was intercepted by British intelligence, which sat on it for more than a month waiting for an opportune moment to incite America into war hysteria.

In fact, this so-called bombshell was actually just an internal foreign ministry rumination about a possible plan to approach the Mexican president regarding an alliance in the event that the US first went to war with Germany.

Why is this surprising or a casus belli? Did not the entente bribe Italy into the war with promises of large chunks of Austria? Did not the hapless Rumanians finally join the entente when they were promised Transylvania? Did not the Greeks bargain endlessly over the Turkish territories they were to be awarded for joining the allies? Did not Lawrence of Arabia bribe the Sherif of Mecca with the promise of vast Arabian lands to be extracted from the Turks?

Why, then, would the German's - if at war with the USA - not promise the return of Texas?

Proposition #4: Europe had expected a short war, and actually got one when the Schlieffen plan offensive bogged down 30 miles outside of Paris on the Marne River in mid-September 1914. Within three months, the Western Front had formed and coagulated into blood and mud - a ghastly 400 mile corridor of senseless carnage, unspeakable slaughter and incessant military stupidity that stretched from the Flanders coast across Belgium and northern France to the Swiss frontier.

The next four years witnessed an undulating line of trenches, barbed wire entanglements, tunnels, artillery emplacements and shell-pocked scorched earth that rarely moved more than a few miles in either direction, and which ultimately claimed more than 4 million casualties on the Allied side and 3.5 million on the German side.

If there was any doubt that Wilson's catastrophic intervention converted a war of attrition, stalemate and eventual mutual exhaustion into Pyrrhic victory for the allies, it was memorialized in four developments during 1916.

In the first, the Germans wagered everything on a massive offensive designed to overrun the fortresses of Verdun - the historic defensive battlements on France's northeast border that had stood since Roman times, and which had been massively reinforced after the France's humiliating defeat in Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

But notwithstanding the mobilization of 100 divisions, the greatest artillery bombardment campaign every recorded until then, and repeated infantry offensives from February through November that resulted in upwards of 400,000 German casualties, the Verdun offensive failed.

The second event was its mirror image - the massive British and French offensive known as the battle of the Somme, which commenced with equally destructive artillery barrages on July 1, 1916 and then for three month sent waves of infantry into the maws of German machine guns and artillery. It too ended in colossal failure, but only after more than 600,000 English and French casualties including a quarter million dead.

In between these bloodbaths, the stalemate was reinforced by the naval showdown at Jutland that cost the British far more sunken ships and drowned sailors than the Germans, but also caused the Germans to retire their surface fleet to port and never again challenge the Royal Navy in open water combat.

Finally, by year-end 1916 the German generals who had destroyed the Russian armies in the East with only a tiny one-ninth fraction of the German army - Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff - were given command of the Western Front. Presently, they radically changed Germany's war strategy by recognizing that the growing allied superiority in manpower, owing to the British homeland draft of 1916 and mobilization of forces from throughout the empire, made a German offensive breakthrough will nigh impossible.

The result was the Hindenburg Line - a military marvel based on a checkerboard array of hardened pillbox machine gunners and maneuver forces rather than mass infantry on the front lines, and an intricate labyrinth of highly engineered tunnels, deep earth shelters, rail connections, heavy artillery and flexible reserves in the rear. It was also augmented by the transfer of Germany's eastern armies to the western front - giving it 200 divisions and 4 million men on the Hindenburg Line.

This precluded any hope of Entente victory. By 1917 there were not enough able-bodied draft age men left in France and England to overcome the Hindenburg Line, which, in turn, was designed to bleed white the entente armies led by butchers like Generals Haig and Joffre until their governments sued for peace.

Thus, with the Russian army's disintegration in the east and the stalemate frozen indefinitely in the west by early 1917, it was only a matter of months before mutinies among the French lines, demoralization in London, mass starvation and privation in Germany and bankruptcy all around would have led to a peace of exhaustion and a European-wide political revolt against the war makers.

Wilson's intervention thus did not remake the world. But it did radically re-channel the contours of 20th century history. And, as they say, not in a good way.

Proposition #5: Wilson's epochal error not only produced the abomination of Versailles and all its progeny, but also the transformation of the Federal Reserve from a passive "banker's bank" to an interventionist central bank knee-deep in Wall Street, government finance and macroeconomic management.

This, too, was a crucial historical hinge point because Carter Glass' 1913 act forbid the new Reserve banks to even own government bonds; empowered them only to passively discount for cash good commercial credits and receivables brought to the rediscount window by member banks; and contemplated no open market interventions in debt markets or any remit with respect to GDP growth, jobs, inflation, housing or all the rest of modern day monetary central planning targets.

In fact, Carter Glass' "banker's bank" didn't care whether the growth rate was positive 4%, negative 4% or anything in-between; its modest job was to channel liquidity into the banking system in response to the ebb and flow of commerce and production.

Jobs, growth and prosperity were to remain the unplanned outcome of millions of producers, consumers, investors, savers, entrepreneurs and speculators operating on the free market, not the business of the state.

But Wilson's war took the national debt from about $1 billion or $11 per capita - a level which had been maintained since the Battle of Gettysburg - to $27 billion, including upwards of $10 billion re-loaned to the allies to enable them to continue the war. There is not a chance that this massive eruption of Federal borrowing could have been financed out of domestic savings in the private market.

So the Fed charter was changed owing to the exigencies of war to permit it to own government debt and to discount private loans collateralized by Treasury paper.

In due course, the famous and massive Liberty Bond drives became a glorified Ponzi scheme. Patriotic Americans borrowed money from their banks and pledged their war bonds; the banks borrowed money from the Fed, and re-pledged their customer's collateral. The Reserve banks, in turn, created the billions they loaned to the commercial banks out of thin air, thereby pegging interest rates low for the duration of the war.

When Wilson was done saving the world, America had an interventionist central bank schooled in the art of interest rate pegging and rampant expansion of fiat credit not anchored in the real bills of commerce and trade; and its incipient Warfare and Welfare states had an agency of public debt monetization that could permit massive government spending without the inconvenience of high taxes on the people or the crowding out of business investment by high interest rates on the private market for savings.

Proposition # 6: By prolonging the war and massively increasing the level of debt and money printing on all sides, Wilson's folly prevented a proper post-war resumption of the classical gold standard at the pre-war parities.

This failure of resumption, in turn, paved the way for the breakdown of monetary order and world trade in 1931 - a break which turned a standard post-war economic cleansing into the Great Depression, and a decade of protectionism, beggar-thy-neighbor currency manipulation and ultimately rearmament and statist dirigisme.

In essence, the English and French governments had raised billions from their citizens on the solemn promise that it would be repaid at the pre-war parities; that the war bonds were money good in gold.

But the combatant governments had printed too much fiat currency and inflation during the war, and through domestic regimentation, heavy taxation and unfathomable combat destruction of economic life in northern France had drastically impaired their private economies.

Accordingly, under Churchill's foolish leadership England re-pegged to gold at the old parity in 1925, but had no political will or capacity to reduce bloated war-time wages, costs and prices in a commensurate manner, or to live with the austerity and shrunken living standards that honest liquidation of its war debts required.

At the same time, France ended up betraying its war time lenders, and re-pegged the Franc two years later at a drastically depreciated level. This resulted in a spurt of beggar-thy-neighbor prosperity and the accumulation of pound sterling claims that would eventually blow-up the London money market and the sterling based "gold exchange standard" that the Bank of England and British Treasury had peddled as a poor man's way back on gold.

Yet under this "gold lite" contraption, France, Holland, Sweden and other surplus countries accumulated huge amounts of sterling liabilities in lieu of settling their accounts in bullion - that is, they loaned billions to the British. They did this on the promise and the confidence that the pound sterling would remain at $4.87 per dollar come hell or high water - just as it had for 200 years of peacetime before.

But British politicians betrayed their promises and their central bank creditors September 1931 by suspending redemption and floating the pound - shattering the parity and causing the decade-long struggle for resumption of an honest gold standard to fail. Depressionary contraction of world trade, capital flows and capitalist enterprise inherently followed.

Proposition # 7: By turning America overnight into the granary, arsenal and banker of the Entente, the US economy was distorted, bloated and deformed into a giant, but unstable and unsustainable global exporter and creditor.

During the war years, for example, US exports increased by 4X and GDP soared from $40 billion to $90 billion. Incomes and land prices soared in the farm belt, and steel, chemical, machinery, munitions and ship construction boomed like never before - in substantial part because Uncle Sam essentially provided vendor finance to the bankrupt allies in desperate need of both military and civilian goods.

Under classic rules, there should have been a nasty correction after the war - as the world got back to honest money and sound finance. But it didn't happen because the newly unleashed Fed fueled an incredible boom on Wall Street and a massive junk bond market in foreign loans.

In today economic scale, the latter amounted to upwards of $2 trillion and, in effect, kept the war boom in exports and capital spending going right up until 1929. Accordingly, the great collapse of 1929-1932 was not a mysterious failure of capitalism; it was the delayed liquidation of Wilson's war boom.

After the crash, exports and capital spending plunged by 80% when the foreign junk bond binge ended in the face of massive defaults abroad; and that, in turn, led to a traumatic liquidation of industrial inventories and a collapse of credit fueled purchases of consumer durables like refrigerators and autos. The latter, for example, dropped from 5 million to 1.5 million units per year after 1929.

Proposition # 8: In short, the Great Depression was a unique historical event owing to the vast financial deformations of the Great War - deformations which were drastically exaggerated by its prolongation from Wilson's intervention and the massive credit expansion unleashed by the Fed and Bank of England during and after the war.

Stated differently, the trauma of the 1930s was not the result of the inherent flaws or purported cyclical instabilities of free market capitalism; it was, instead, the delayed legacy of the financial carnage of the Great War and the failed 1920s efforts to restore the liberal order of sound money, open trade and unimpeded money and capital flows.

But this trauma was thoroughly misunderstood, and therefore did give rise to the curse of Keynesian economics and did unleash the politicians to meddle in virtually every aspect of economic life, culminating in the statist and crony capitalist dystopia that has emerged in this century.

Needless to say, that is Thomas Woodrow Wilson's worst sin of all.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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'Expert' explains fireball spotted near Houston, Texas

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WEBSTER, Texas - A strange fireball spotted flying slowly over the Houston area raised a lot of questions after images and videos started popping up on social media. They were posted by a Webster man named Jordan Sterling. Sterling is used to the view from his balcony but he rarely see's anything but signs and wires. "I'm always looking in the sky to try to catch something out of the ordinary," Sterling explained. Early Sunday evening that changed. "I look up in the sky and just right there in the sky," Sterling says pointing to the horizon, "is a huge fireball with a giant fire tail on it just streaking across the sky!" He grabbed his camera then rolled for three minutes as the object crawled across the horizon. "At first I thought it was a meteor but it was moving way too slow. Meteors usually go a lot faster."

KHOU 11 News was curious about the fireball too so asked Patricia Reiff, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University. "What we are seeing is a fireball or a bolide," Reiff explained. A type of meteor. "Usually they don't linger quite so long, so this is exceptional because of how long it stayed in the air!" Reiff says that when a meteor nearly misses the earth and skims the atmosphere as it comes around the world, it slows the speed down significantly. A slow moving meteor can make one full swing around the world before crashing or disintegrating.

The fireball Sterling captures is similar to the one that fell on Russia in 2013. "A really dangerous meteor happens very seldom," explained Reiff. "Even the one in Russia last year nobody was hurt by the meteor, what hurt people was the breaking glass caused by the sonic boom."

Thousands of meteors fall to earth every day. Most are the size of a grain of sugar, dozens the size of a coffee cup but the one that Sterling saw was the approximate size of a microwave. Only one that size falls a day around the entire world. The chances of someone ever seeing one are slim. "I was freaking out!" said Sterling. "Definitely I didn't know what it could've been. I thought it was going to crash somewhere and cause some serious damage! Never seen anything like that before. Ever."

And chances are he never will again.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Charlie Hebdo's Zionist agenda and its anti-Gentile allies

In the wake of the terrorist attack against the French satirical newspaper «Charlie Hebdo», it has become apparent that the magazine's editorial chiefs killed in the attack on its headquarters in Paris and groups such as FEMEN and Pussy Riot are all connected in a campaign to disparage Islam and Christianity. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu used the occasion of the memorial service in Paris attended by a number of world leaders to admonish France's parliament for having recently recognized the independence of Palestine and urge France's large Jewish population to emigrate to Israel.

It was also reported that French President François Hollande specifically did not invite Netanyahu to Paris but that the Israeli Prime Minister appeared nevertheless just so he could insult his French hosts and politicize the memorial service for the 17 victims for his own selfish political purposes. Netanyahu's antics in Paris were followed by a visit to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls by members of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, which represents 50 national Jewish groups in the United States, to urge France to withdrawal its recognition of Palestine in the wake of the attacks on the «Charlie Hebdo» offices and the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket in Paris.

The entire «Charlie Hebdo» affair has laid bare the inner workings of a newspaper that began as a left-wing counter-culture mocker of the establishment in the aftermath of the Paris Spring uprising of 1968. «Charlie» is a reference to French President Charles De Gaulle who was forced out of office as a result of the Paris student riots of 1968.

The assassination by two Franco-Algerian brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, of «Charlie Hebdo» chief editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as «Charb» to his readers, and three of his top cartoonists, was no surprise to Henri Roussel, the magazine's founder and original editor whose pen name is Delfeil de Ton. In an interview with «,» Roussel said he warned Charb against provoking Muslims with repeated cartoons, some gratuitously sexual, of the Prophet Mohammed. Roussel said that one of the slain cartoonists feared that the cartoons would come back to «haunt» the newspaper, which suffered an arson attack in 2011. The attack came after the magazine published a Mohammed cartoon on its front cover. Roussel said of the 2011 cartoon: «He [Charb] shouldn't have done it, but Charb did it again a year later, in September 2012.»

Roussel also accused Charbonnier's predecessor, Philippe Val, of turning «Charlie Hebdo» into a Zionist and Islamophobic publication. Roussel cited Val's firing in 2009 of longtime «Charlie Hebdo» cartoonist Maurice Sine for drawing a cartoon lampooning Jean Sarkozy's marriage to the heiress of a Jewish electronics store chain and his subsequent conversion to Judaism. The cartoon suggested that the son of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy married the heiress of the Darty store chain in order to further his political career. The cartoon bore the notation: «The lad will go far.» Val considered the cartoon to be «anti-Semitic.» Sine told Val that he would «rather cut off [his own] balls» than accede to Val's demand for an apology to Jewish groups that were offended by the cartoon. Sine began his own publication «Sine Hebdo» with the money he was awarded by a French court for wrongful dismissal by «Charlie Hebdo.» «Hebdo» is the French word for «weekly.»

«Charlie Hebdo's» new editor, Gérard Biard, told NBC News that «Charlie Hebdo» was an «atheist» publication and that religion should stay out of politics. However, based on the revelations of Roussel and Sine, it appears that «Charlie Hebdo» is far from atheist but a periodical that defames Islam and Christianity while avoiding any real criticism of Judaism. This modus operandi is mirrored by the feminist pressure groups Pussy Riot and FEMEN, the latter largely underwritten before its move from Kiev to Paris by Jed Sunden, the wealthy American Zionist and former publisher of the «.» While both groups have committed heinous acts at Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic cathedrals and Islamic mosques they have never conducted protests at misogynistic Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic synagogues. FEMEN and Pussy Riot have never criticized Israel even though domestic Israeli feminist groups have condemned Judaism's misogynistic practices at Jerusalem's Western Wall among other locations.

Bare-breasted FEMEN activists have tried to steal the baby Jesus figurine from a Christmas nativity scene at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, urinated on the altar of La Madeleine Catholic church in Paris, masturbated with crucifixes on St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, physically assaulted the Roman Catholic archbishops of Brussels and Madrid, vandalized property inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and sawed down a Christian cross in a park in Kiev. FEMEN also staged a topless protest at a mosque in Stockholm. Pussy Riot conducted an obscene prayer ceremony at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Amina Sboui, a Tunisian feminist, quit FEMEN after suggesting the group is financed by Israel. Sara Winter, the Brazilian organizer of FEMEN, later charged that the group was largely corrupt. Through his byzantine network of non-profit organizations and non-governmental fronts, George Soros's financial largesse eventually ends up in Pussy Riot's coffers.

Muslims protesters in the main Muslim city of Marawi in the Philippines obviously saw a connection between «Charlie Hebdo» and Israeli interests when they burned posters of «Charlie Hebdo's» front page bearing a photograph of Netanyahu and the headline of «Zionist Conspiracy.» The first issue of «Charlie Hebdo» after the massacre at its headquarters bore a cartoon of Mohammed with the comment «Je suis Charlie» («I am Charlie») and that «all is forgiven» («Tout est pardonne») .

The aftermath of the «Charlie Hebdo» attack also resulted in another professional casualty within the ranks of the corporate news media, the ever-diminishing ranks that are not beholden to Israeli propaganda and diktats from the Israel Lobby.

A Twitter message from CNN's longtime international correspondent Jim Clancy about «Charlie Hebdo» depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a manner that was meant to mock those Muslims who distort his teachings resulted in an exchange of tweets between the veteran newscaster and an operative of the neo-conservative and pro-Israeli Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). When Clancy suggested that the operative was a «hasbara» troll, that is, an online Israeli propagandist, the CNN reporter became the subject of a character assassination campaign by the same Israel Lobby career-destroying buzz saw that claimed the careers of CNN's Octavia Nasr and Rick Sanchez and almost capsized that of CNN's Middle East correspondent Ben Wedeman. All three journalists were attacked for their critical views of Israel's policies. The same attack mechanism was used against the doyenne of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, who was fired by Hearst Newspapers for her views on illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. She subsequently lost her senior position in the White House Press Briefing Room.

There is little doubt that what Messrs. Roussel and Sine have called the Zionist editors of «Charlie Hebdo» and the tramps, trollops, and whores of FEMEN and Pussy Riot are working hand-in-glove to attack and mock two of three Abrahamic tradition religions: Christianity and Islam. Meanwhile, the third, Judaism, hides its «anti-Gentilism» behind such facades as «Charlie Hebdo» and FEMEN and other groups while proclaiming the importance of free speech.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Terrorism is simply inevitable payback, we're seeing it all wrong

john sawers

The only way to stop terror is to watch everyone all the time. So says MI6 stooge John Sawers.

In this globalised world, if we launch weapons of great destructive power into communities abroad, incinerating and shredding women and children, we cannot avoid the fact that those who identify with those communities - ethnically, culturally and religiously - will take revenge on people here. If we are lucky it will be revenge on combatants. If we are unlucky it will be on our innocents. But either way, the truth is this. We caused it.

We caused it by our invasions, occupations and bombings of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, none of which had ever attacked the UK. We caused it by all the dead women and children that British bombs, missiles or bullets killed accidentally. We caused it by the terrible deaths of the people we killed deliberately, who were only defending their country from foreign invaders, just as most of us would do. We caused it by the detainees killed or tortured. As a country, the United Kingdom caused it.

This is not the 19th century. Imperialist aggression now brings a danger of retaliation from empathetic communities embedded in western societies. This is so obvious as not to need stating. The danger of terrorism from Islamic sources would be much reduced if we just minded our own business on the international scene.

All that is very obvious. It does not, however, seem to have occurred to John Sawers, immediate past head of MI6, who has no sensible thoughts at all of the of terrorism. The right wing like to think that anyone opposed to the West is, by definition, spontaneously evil. If only they could look in the mirror sometimes and ask why people hate us, that would be a major psychological breakthrough. I have known John Sawers a great many years, and he is somebody who looks in the mirror very often. Sadly, not for that purpose.

At least he has the intellectual honesty to admit an open advocacy of the extreme big brother society. Abandoning the notion of smart intelligence, he has come out with a justification of the mass surveillance society which Snowden revealed. We cannot prevent terrorism without spying on innocent people, he declares.

In a sense, that is a truism. I have very often argued that it is impossible to prevent all evil and daft to try. You have a far, far higher chance of being murdered by a member of your own family than you have by a terrorist. Over the last 10 years terrorists have been responsible for almost exactly 1% of all murders in the UK. Let me type that again. In the last ten years terrorists have been responsible for almost exactly 1% of all murders in the UK. And about 0.007% of woundings. It remains true that the most likely person to kill you is in your own family. It is worth remembering that the number of people who died in the atrocity was the same number murdered in France on average every week.

Now assuming the aim is to prevent murder rather than make propaganda, let us concentrate for a moment on - don't worry, you will never in your life be asked to do this again, unless by me - let us concentrate on the 99% of murders which are not by terrorists. To take the John Sawers system, if we had permanent CCTV monitoring of every kitchen in the UK, we could probably prevent quite a few of those murders and a vast amount of non-fatal violence. It would take an enormous police and security service, of course, but we are getting there anyway. Sawers' point is completely correct in logic - you cannot prevent all murders without massive surveillance of the innocent. It would have been even more correct if you just stopped the sentence at you cannot prevent all murders. Precisely the same is true of the tiny risk to individuals that is murder by terrorism.

The surest way to reduce the terrorist threat in the UK is to stop bombing or invading other countries. That simple fact needs to be screamed from the rooftops. The next thing you can do is solid old fashioned evidence-based police and intelligence work. The least effective thing you can do is simply trawl the email and online chat of millions of people. That clogs up the intelligence system with a vast mound of undigestable information, and results in the conviction of fantasists and boastful men who, while unpleasant, are guilty of nothing but thought crime. It is exactly the same result as if you tackled murder by arresting everyone who in an email or chat wished harm to their husband or wife. It is wrong to express that, but the percentage who would have really gone on to murder would be vanishingly small.

The great worry is the presumption which is sneaking in to the mainstream media narrative that it is the responsibility of the state to prevent all crime before it happens. It is not, and that is not an achievable goal. The restrictions on liberty it would entail would do more damage to society than crime itself, which mankind has managed to live with since civilisation began. The entire debate around terrorism needs to be recalibrated. The answer is not the ultimate Big Brother surveillance state. The answer is to stop our hideous violence towards communities abroad.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Pesticide drift: USDA says "Yes" to Dicamba -tolerant crops

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the sale and planting of Monsanto's genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. This approval follows that of 2,4-D tolerant soybeans and corn, billed as the next generation of herbicide-tolerant crops to tackle glyphosate (Roundup)-resistant weeds. Dicamba-tolerant soy and cotton are simply the latest example of USDA's allegiance to the biotechnology industry and dependence upon chemical solutions. This continues the disturbing trend of more herbicide-tolerant crop approvals taking place under President Obama's watch.

Once again, the USDA has neglected to look at the full range of impacts associated with these GMO herbicide-tolerant crops. Instead the agency has opted for a short-term solution to superweeds that have become resistant to herbicides because of previous approvals of GMOs, thereby perpetuating and escalating chemical use.

The USDA's Environmental Impact Statement predicted that dicamba use will increase 88-fold and 14-fold for soybeans and cotton, respectively, compared to current levels. Dicamba-tolerant crops will allow for wider windows of spraying throughout the season at unprecedented levels. Now that dicamba will be used in larger quantities, Monsanto has petitioned the EPA to increase the tolerance level of dicamba on cottonseed 150-fold. Higher levels of dicamba in the environment and our food pose unacceptable risks to human health and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The USDA has ignored pleas from organic farmers and other specialty crop growers asking the agency not to approve these crops that will increase applications of this incredibly drift-prone herbicide. Farmers of nearby non-tolerant crops will pay the price for USDA's short-term weed management fix in the form of diminished or completely destroyed harvests caused by dicamba drift.

There are currently at least 70 million acres in the United States afflicted with Roundup-resistant weeds. It is only a matter of time before those weeds become resistant not just to Roundup, but to a mix of other herbicides, as their associated herbicide-tolerant crops are being planted and sprayed with chemical cocktails. Instead of taking action to address the long-term superweed problem in agriculture, the USDA has chosen the status quo.

Unfortunately, the collateral damage of today's USDA decision will be felt by organic and specialty crop farmers across the United States who have no defense against the use of this errant herbicide.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Rickards and Powell: Lid on the gold price is for China

In May 2006 the economist R. Peter W. Millar of Value-Trac Research in Scotland published a study, "The Relevance and Importance of Gold in the World Monetary System," arguing that central banks would need to revalue gold upward by from seven to 20 times "to raise the monetary value of the world monetary base and hence reduce the burden of debt" and avert a deflationary depression. GATA published that study here:


In May 2012 the U.S. economists and fund managers Paul Brodsky and Lee Quaintance postulated that central banks were suppressing the gold price while surreptitiously redistributing the world's gold among themselves in preparation for a resetting of the world financial system and a substantial upward revaluation of the monetary metal.

Brodsky and Quaintance wrote:

"The key to a successful transition is a credible monetary reset. Gold is the default collateral for money because it has a long and established precedent in this role.

"All that would be needed would be a fairly equitable distribution of gold among global monetary authorities (taking place now?), and an agreed-upon exchange rate vis-a-vis baseless paper. It would have to be an exchange rate at which central banks could successfully monetize assets by tendering for physical gold with newly manufactured paper money, an exchange rate high enough to attract enough gold to cover unreserved credit held in the banking system. It's a high figure.

"The relative cost of holding physical gold today is minimal (above-ground bullion or in-ground bullion through mining shares), against the negative real returns offered by the preponderance of financial assets in float.

"We suggest that one keep identities straight; invest with central banks, not against them; and consider as a gift the hollow rhetoric of the establishment that may temporarily suppress gold's paper price. They are working for physical gold holders, not against them."

GATA published the Brodsky-Quaintance study here:


In November 2013 your secretary/treasurer speculated that China and the United States were probably working together to control the gold price so China could gradually hedge its insane U.S. dollar surplus against the dollar's inevitable devaluation, and that China was almost certainly complicit in the gold price smash of April 2013:


Now investment banker and geopolitical strategist James G. Rickards, writing for the Daily Reckoning, comes to a similar conclusion as he promotes his new financial letter, "Strategic Intelligence."

Rickards writes:

"If you took the lid off and ended the gold price manipulation and let gold find its level, China would be left in the dust. It wouldn't have enough gold relative to the other countries, and because their economy is growing faster and because the price of gold would be skyrocketing, they could never acquire it fast enough. They could never catch up. All the other countries would be on the bus. The Chinese would be off the bus. ...

"So the global effort is to keep the lid on the price through manipulation, which is very obvious. I tell people, if I were running the manipulation, I'd be embarrassed because it's so obvious at this point.

"So the price is being suppressed until China gets the gold they need. Once China gets the right amount of gold, then you can take the cap off. It doesn't matter where gold is because all the countries will be in the same boat. But right now they're not, so China has this catch-up."

Rickards' commentary is headlined "Gold Price Manipulation Is Now a Global Effort" and it's posted at the Daily Reckoning here:


Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Men and women process emotions differently

© MCN, University of Basel

Red and yellow indicates the more active areas of the brain when images are rated as highly stimulating. Green indicates the areas that specifically become more active in women.

Women rate emotional images as more emotionally stimulating than men do and are more likely to remember them. However, there are no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal as far as neutral images are concerned. These were the findings of a large-scale study by a research team at the University of Basel that focused on determining the gender-dependent relationship between emotions, memory performance and brain activity. The results will be published in the latest issue of the

It is known that women often consider emotional events to be more emotionally stimulating than men do. Earlier studies have shown that emotions influence our memory: the more emotional a situation is, the more likely we are to remember it. This raises the question as to whether women often outperform men in memory tests because of the way they process emotions. A research team from the University of Basel's "Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences" Transfaculty Research Platform attempted to find out.

With the help of 3,398 test subjects from four sub-trials, the researchers were able to demonstrate that females rated emotional image content -- especially negative content -- as more emotionally stimulating than their male counterparts did. In the case of neutral images, however, there were no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal. In a subsequent memory test, female participants could freely recall significantly more images than the male participants. Surprisingly though, women had a particular advantage over men when recalling positive images. "This would suggest that gender-dependent differences in emotional processing and memory are due to different mechanisms," says study leader Dr Annette Milnik.

Increased brain activity

Using fMRI data from 696 test subjects, the researchers were also able to show that stronger appraisal of negative emotional image content by the female participants is linked to increased brain activity in motoric regions. "This result would support the common belief that women are more emotionally expressive than men," explained Dr Klara Spalek, lead author of the study.

The findings also help to provide a better understanding of gender-specific differences in information processing. This knowledge is important, because many neuropsychiatric illnesses also exhibit gender-related differences. The study is part of a research project led by professors Dominique de Quervain and Andreas Papassotiropoulos at the University of Basel, which aims to increase the understanding of neuronal and molecular mechanisms of human memory and thereby facilitate the development of new treatments.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universität Basel .

Journal Reference:

  1. Klara Spalek, Matthias Fastenrath, Sandra Ackermann, Bianca Auschra, Xdavid Coynel, Julia Frey, Leo Gschwind, Francina Hartmann, Nadine Van Der Maarel, Andreas Papassotiropoulos, Dominique De Quervain and Annette Milnik. Sex-Dependent Dissociation between Emotional Appraisal and Memory: A Large-Scale Behavioral and fMRI Study. , January 2015 DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.2384-14.2015

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Gilad Atzmon: A personal note on Jewish statistics

The British political establishment is in a state of panic. A poll revealed last week that "a quarter of Jews in Britain have considered leaving the country in the last two years and well over half (58%) feel they have no long term future in Europe." This could be a potential disaster for British political parties. Eighty per cent of the Tories are members of the pro Israeli lobby, The Conservative Friends Of Israel (CFI), and a similar percentage of Labour and Libdem MPs have vowed their allegiance to Israel through their respective Jewish Lobby groups. The Jews are clearly a vital source of funding for British politicians. In fact, it has become hard to imagine what British politics would look like without Jewish Lobby's money. Though the vast majority of British MPs are friends of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it has not been established how many of our MPs are friendly with Manchester and Hartlepool.

Apparently a recent poll found that anti-Semitic beliefs are widely prevalent among the British public with 45 percent of Britons agreeing with at least one of these 'anti-Semitic' sentiments: a quarter of Britons believed "Jews chase money more than other British people," one in six agreed that "Jews think they are better than other people" and "Jews have too much power in the media."

However, if Jewish leaders want to focus on statistics, they surely know how to scientifically verify whether there is an element of truth in these bizarre baseless arguments that apparently 45% of Brits hold about their Jewish citizens. It would be simple to determine whether, in fact, Jews are over represented in the financial sector or in the media or politics. If Jewish leaders are concerned about the safety of their community members, it would be a good idea to examine these questions closely and think about how to address the issue. Clearly, labeling 45% of the Brits as 'anti Semites' is not going to make Jews feel safer in Britain.

I have lived in London, one of the most diverse cities on this planet, for about 20 years. I am surrounded by people from all over the world. Some communities occasionally prefer to voluntarily segregate themselves. Many communities are subject to harsh and manifested hatred but, somehow, it is always the Jewish community that measures statistically how unlovable the Jews are. Not the Portuguese, not the Afghans, not the Albans, not the Iranians or the Colombians. It is the Jewish leaders who choose once a month to shove in our faces the 'numbers' that reveal that anti Semitism is on the rise. I believe that this happens for a reason.

Jews are obsessed with measuring their unpopularity because Jews are involved collectively, and sometimes against the will of many individuals, with some very unpopular acts. The crimes committed repeatedly by the Jewish State are a problem for the Jews. The overwhelmingly forceful Jewish lobby in Britain and America is a problem that reflects badly on Jews. Even the Epstein/Dershowitz/Prince Andrew's minor sex scandal makes Jews feel uncomfortable because Alan Dershowitz has been the prime Zionist mouthpiece for the last four decades in the USA.

I was born in Israel in the 1960's, I am a product of a patriotic Israeli education and I am confused by all of it. In Israel in the 1970's we were taught that Jews being despised and hated by their neighbours wasn't something to brag about. Jews being hated filled us with shame. We believed that Jews could be reformed and become subject of admiration. We didn't need Home Secretary Theresa May to vow to fight our haters. We believed that we could earn genuine respect through our own merits.

It took me thirty years to understand that this adventure in reform wasn't simple at all. Israel and Zionism failed to rescue the Jew or Jewishness; quite the opposite. It took me a long time to grasp that I couldn't become a better person unless I dropped the Jew in me and started a lifetime journey to Goy-zone. I mention my own choice because I realised that there was no collective answer to the Jewish Question. If Jews want to save their souls and their ethics, if they want to look in the mirror with pride, they must leave the collective and find their own personal way toward liberation.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Annual address and press conference: Russian Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov


© Sputnik/ Evgeny Biatov

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to our annual meeting on Russia's diplomatic performance.

The situation last year was more complicated than previously, as new dangerous seats of tensions complemented several smouldering chronic conflicts. Especially alarming was the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, where extremist and terrorist threats were growing and spreading to other regions and to which Russia consistently tried to attract the attention of its partners. The risk that religious and societal divides will grow has not diminished. The global economic situation is far from clear.

We believe that the developments of the past few years show convincingly that global security issues can only be resolved through concerted efforts. But cooperative actions by the international community are hindered by a number of negative trends. The most important of them are fundamental differences between the objective process of the decentralisation of power in the world and the development of a more democratic polycentric world order on the one hand, and persistent attempts by the "historical" West to preserve global leadership at all costs and to enforce its approaches and values, including through the use of force on the other participants of international relations, on the other hand. The situation in Ukraine is a perfect reflection of this policy.

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I won't speak in detail about our views of what happened in this neighbouring fraternal state, because you know them very well. I will only say that Russia has been firmly advocating a comprehensive and exclusively peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. The Minsk agreements, which were achieved in part thanks to the proactive stance of President Vladimir Putin, offer practical grounds for settlement. The current urgent need is to start an inclusive dialogue in Ukraine to discuss in detail and coordinate the constitutional system of Ukraine as a stable and safe country for all Ukrainian citizens without exception. We are pleased that our Western partners are coming to see, as far as I can tell, that this scenario has no alternative. I hope that our future contacts at different levels and in various formats will promote movement towards this goal.

Only the people of Ukraine without any foreign interference must determine their future. Direct contact between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics are of fundamental importance in this context and taking into account the acute crisis in southeast Ukraine. All other formats involving external players, including the Normandy and many other formats, as well as the OSCE activities, must be aimed at assisting a direct and sustainable dialogue on issues that need to be resolved to settle the crisis. For its part, Russia will continue to assist the creation of favourable conditions to settle Ukraine's formidable problems in this spirit.

Our Western partners have said repeatedly that they need to continue to contain Russia. US President Barack Obama said as much in his state of the nation address yesterday. But these attempts will fail. Despite this policy of our Western partners, President Vladimir Putin clearly said in his address to the Federal Assembly that Russia would never enter the path of self-isolation, suspicion and the search for enemies. We are pursuing an active foreign policy and are consistently upholding our national interests. However, we are not set on confrontation but are willing to make reasonable compromises based on a balance of interests. We have been trying to influence the international situation in order to improve it and to strengthen security, and we have been advocating a peaceful and future-oriented agenda. We firmly believe that only collective efforts will produce answers to the threats and challenges facing all of mankind. But while doing this we should rely on international law and the central coordinating role of the UN.

Last year, Russia worked actively in different formats, including the G20, BRICS and the SCO, which will hold their summits this year in the Russian city of Ufa. We will use the opportunities offered by Russia's presidency to give a fresh impetus to these formats. The focus in BRICS will be on coordinating crucial economic documents such as a strategy for economic partnership and a roadmap for institutional cooperation. There are plans to sign an agreement on cultural ties and to open new cooperation tracks. We will also inaugurate a virtual secretariat for BRICS.

The signing of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which became effective on 1 January 2015, was a major step towards closer integration in the post-Soviet space. Armenia became a full member of the EAEU on 2 January. Kyrgyzstan will complete the accession process in the near future. The interest of many of our partners in this process is truly indicative. We welcome the intention of many countries to cooperate with the EAEU. A score of countries have expressed a desire to start consultations on the possibility of signing a free trade agreement with the union.

Last year, Russia as the CSTO president focused on strengthening the efficiency and the quality of response mechanisms and the peacekeeping potential of the organisation.

As for Russia's relations with Europe, Brussels has adopted a stance regarding the Ukrainian crisis that has resulted in a substantial decline in relations with the EU, as a number of challenging political and economic issues emerged on our agenda. We believe in systematic efforts to overcome these issues based on equality and mutual respect. We remain committed to the idea of progressively advancing, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union. We have been calling on our partners for several years now to begin work on promoting the "integration of integrations initiative," by which we mean taking consecutive steps to establish a single economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific based on the principles of indivisible security and broad cooperation. We submitted this proposal to the OSCE as part of its second basket and did not see any opposition. I hope that we will be able to begin working along these lines. It is our belief that agreeing on such strategic objectives will ensure the harmonious development of all countries within Greater Europe, regardless of whether they participate in various integration organisations or not. The first step in this direction would be to launch talks on the creation of a free-trade zone between the EAEU and the EU. President Vladimir Putin put forward an initiative to this effect in January 2014 during the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels, and this proposal remains relevant.

On the American "frontline," relations between Moscow and Washington have come under serious strain. The US administration has withdrawn from bilateral dialogue on most issues. We call on our US partners to resume constructive relations both on bilateral, as well as global issues, where our countries bear special responsibility. Equal footing and taking into account each other's interests are prerequisites for making such a dialogue possible.

Following in the US' footsteps, a confrontational stance has prevailed within NATO. The Alliance has taken an absolutely political decision to suspend cooperation on military and civil projects, and almost all projects have been frozen. This was not our choice. We do not want and won't allow a new cold war to unfold. Our Western partners should understand that in today's world it is impossible to ensure security by taking unilateral actions and pressuring partners, which undermines joint efforts.

We are continuing efforts to further promote Russia's integration with the Asia-Pacific region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated on numerous occasions that Russia views relations with the APR as a strategic priority in the 21st century, which is important, among other things, for developing regions in Russia's Far East. At the same time, we have always stressed and still reiterate that these efforts are not meant to be an alternative to relations with Europe and the West in general, but to go hand in hand with stepping up ties with our European partners, if they are willing to engage in such relations, naturally.

Russia's relations with China have also been expanding consistently. During the visit by President Vladimir Putin to China in May last year, some 50 agreements were signed, and you have received extensive information on all of them. Russia's partnership with China has become a major factor in international relations for ensuring global and regional stability and security.

Russia has also stepped up strategic partnerships with India, Vietnam and other APR countries, expanded Russia's involvement in the APR's multilateral mechanisms. We continued to promote relations with the Latin American and African countries, emerging regional integration bodies and regional organisations.

Russia was proactive in facilitating a settlement in various conflicts. Syria's demilitarization has been successfully completed with active input from Russia - there was actually a Russia-US initiative to this effect, which proves that guided by basic interests, not opportunistic considerations, it is / and find ways to ensure productive joint efforts. We undertook consistent efforts to bring about political settlement of the Syrian crisis by creating conditions for facilitating direct dialogue between representatives of the Syrian government and all major opposition groups.

The Islamic State has been the biggest threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Russia views counterterrorist efforts as one of its priorities, and we proposed to have the UN Security Council conduct a comprehensive analysis of the threats the MENA region is facing. No one opposed this proposal. We will continue to implement this crucial initiative.

Russia's efforts within the P5+1 contributed to certain advances in the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program issue. Although certain difficulties have yet to be addressed, the work goes on and we have every reason to expect these efforts to yield results.

Protecting the rights and interests of our compatriots living abroad, as well as expanding international humanitarian and cultural ties remain among Russia's priorities. We were proactive in assisting Russian businesses operating on foreign markets, attracting new exporters of goods and services, and bringing Russian products to new markets. We also paid special attention to media efforts by developing contacts with media outlets and foreign publics to shed light on Russia's foreign policy.

All in all, we did our outmost to facilitate Russia's comprehensive development and make Russian citizens more prosperous - these are priority objectives according to Presidential Executive order No. 605 dated 7 May 2012 On Measures to Implement Russia's Foreign Policy and Russia's Foreign Policy Concept. Under these instruments, the Ministry of Foreign affairs is required to create the most favourable environment for facilitating all-round development of the country, making its population more prosperous and secure at the international level.

With this, I would like to complete my opening remarks. I'm ready to take questions.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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