Monday, April 30, 2018

FDA finds weedkiller in array of foods, internal emails show

ORIGINAL LINK

The FDA has been testing food samples for traces of glyphosate for two years, but the agency has not yet released any official results

Continue reading...

via IFTTT

Friday, April 27, 2018

Jill Stein Breaks ‘Russiagate’ Silence, Gives Documents to Senate Committee

ORIGINAL LINK

Jill Stein, the 2016 Green presidential candidate, remains one of the targets of the “Russia-gate” investigation. On Thursday, Stein broke her silence on the matter and announced that she has completed the handover of emails and other documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which requested information pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stein reiterated her strong support for legitimate inquiry into corruption, quid pro quo deals, money laundering, obstruction of justice and other illegal activity in the 2016 election. She cautioned, however, against overreach and misuse of Russiagate to promote warmongering, censorship, and suppression of opposition to the political establishment. To that effect, she warned, Russiagate is both a symptom and further cause of our current state of rampant militarism that is harming American democracy.

Stein cited the explosive conditions in Syria to illustrate the danger of Russiagate warmongering. She emphasized that United States-Russia dialogue is critical now, as it was during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, with diplomacy being the only effective pathway to solving the expanding crises of war, nuclear confrontation and climate catastrophe.

Stein observed that concerns about election interference—whether by foreign governments, criminal networks, domestic partisans, voter suppression schemes or other sources—are not diminishing as the 2018 midterms approach. The Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal adds to growing concerns. As a result, she called for a nonpartisan Emergency Commission for Election Protection & Voting Justice to ensure the right of every American to “a vote we can trust—that is accurate, secure and just.”

Stein herself is overseeing the only known post-election investigation of potential voting machine hacking in 2016.

While providing documents responsive to the committee’s requests, Stein objected to requests for constitutionally protected materials, including the improper request by the bipartisan committee for internal policy deliberations of her campaign, the flagship for an opposition political party. She declined to provide this material, noting the request intrudes into the First Amendment rights of political and associational freedom that are vital to political liberty for all Americans. Such Constitutional threats add to the dangerous current climate in which progressive political opposition, social movements, and the anti-war community are being targeted with censorship, surveillance and political intimidation.

In a longer statement, Stein addressed her proposals to protect elections, civil liberties and democracy without resorting to warmongering, censorship or repression. Read Stein’s complete statement below:

We are facing a precarious historic moment. Democracy is threatened by interference in our elections, and by interference in our civil liberties. Likewise we are endangered by warmongering, rampant militarism, nuclear confrontation and accelerating climate change. To solve any of these interlinked problems, we need a functioning democracy and a voting system we can have confidence in.

As first steps to restore trust in that system, we are calling for a nonpartisan Emergency Commission for Election Protection & Voting Justice, as well as international negotiations for an election non-interference treaty. These should be stepping stones toward broader international dialogue to address other urgent looming threats that endanger not only our democracy, but our very survival.

Handing Over Materials to Senate Committee

Today, cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, our campaign has completed the handover of materials in response to the Committee’s request. The information provided includes documents regarding my 2015 visit to Russia to speak at RT’s 10th anniversary conference on media and international relations, an extension of my trip to the UN climate conference in Paris, where I also spoke with international leaders and activists. The materials include records of the campaign’s payment for my trip to Russia as well as longstanding Green Party policy objectives of promoting dialogue and diplomacy as essential alternatives to war, nuclear confrontation and climate catastrophe.

Interference in Our—or Any Country’s Elections–Is a Blow Against Democracy.

We take very seriously the issue of interference in our elections, as demonstrated by our continuing efforts to conduct the first and, according to public information, the only 2016 post-election examination of vulnerable U.S. voting machines, a critical cross check on election security that should be routine.

Interference in our—or any country’s—elections is a strike against democracy—whether the intruder is a foreign government, criminal network or domestic actor.

While Pursuing Concerns About Foreign Interference, We Should Not Ignore Domestic Interference in Plain Sight

Concerns about foreign interference should not distract us from interference in plain sight originating from within our own borders. That includes the actions of the Democratic National Committee, which biased its party’s own primaries, effectively disenfranchising millions of Bernie Sanders’ voters; corporate media that gave Donald Trump billions in extra free airtime because he was “damn good” for network profits, in the words of CBS’ CEO; or voter suppression schemes like voter ID laws, Interstate Crosscheck and felon disenfranchisement that systematically deny millions of Americans their constitutional right to vote.

New Election Threats Posed by Big Data/Microtargeting/Psyops Tower Over Primitive Russian Social Media Strategies

Recent revelations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal underscore the expanding scope of election interference. The scandal represents a disturbing convergence of a massive data privacy violation with a “military-style,” “full-scale propaganda machine,” as described by whistleblower Christopher Wiley.

The cutting-edge tactics of the Cambridge Analytica scandal make alleged Russian social media meddling look primitive and insignificant by comparison. Cambridge Analytica is accused of using without permission the private information of up to 87 million people, assembling thousands of data points on individuals to craft micro-targeted messages in a campaign of mass manipulation with the scale and sophistication of military-style psyops. The actions of the Russian Internet Research Agency, on the other hand, appear to be the opposite of sophisticated and strategic. The lack of targeting, timing and relevance of the vast majority of their Facebook ads underscores the doubts expressed by investigative reporters who’ve suggested the Internet Research Agency may in fact be a “click-bait” factory intended to generate advertising revenue, and not an election meddling operation. The insignificant numbers of the Internet Research Agency’s social media posts—compared to the vastness of the social media universe—further diminishes the claim that it had significant impact on the election outcome. Facebook posts from the Internet Research Agency amounted to a mere 0.0004 percent of total Facebook content; Russian-associated tweets accounted for 0.02 percent of election-related tweets, and Russian-linked YouTube videos had hit totals only in the hundreds, hardly the stuff of viral transmission.

While the full extent of the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal is as yet unknown, the huge quantities of data harnessed for state-of-the-art microtargeting and manipulative messaging suggest that it is the Cambridge Analytica-type threats that truly endanger our elections and demand protections to safeguard our democracy.

We Call for Emergency Commission to Advance Many Urgently Needed Solutions

Cambridge Analytica is not alone in using this new, malignant form of election interference that combines big data, micro-targeting, and psyops. It adds yet another danger to the existing threats to secure and just elections. To restore confidence in our elections, each type of interference can and must be remedied, but time is short before the 2018 elections. Therefore, we are calling for a nonpartisan, Emergency Commission on Election Protection & Voting Justice to oversee urgently needed immediate as well as longer-term solutions to ensure a secure and just vote.

We must end voter suppression schemes and ensure the constitutional right to vote. Prior to the 2018 election, we need a rapid transition to paper ballots, especially in the 12 states that still use the most vulnerable electronic machines lacking any paper record whatsoever; cybersecurity best practices, universal rigorous post-election audits, and routine post-election recounts as warranted. Congress has provided substantial funding for cybersecurity in the March 2018 Congressional budget. The funding should prioritize paper ballots, and be expedited to ensure reforms are in place by the 2018 midterms.

To begin addressing the abuses of big data, micro-targeting and military-style psyops, privacy protections must be created for personal data and internet/social media communications. In the rush to guard against propaganda and “fake news,” however, we must ensure that the rights of free speech and political opposition—increasingly stifled in current social media and conventional press—are restored and protected.

We must also take on the fundamental corruption of our elections that has been so normalized that it’s rarely even discussed: the stranglehold of big money over the entire process. We can break this stranglehold by establishing public financing for political campaigns and free air time for ballot-qualified candidates, which would greatly diminish the cost of political campaigns. We can expand voter choice and end fear-based elections through Ranked Choice Voting, which liberates voters to vote for what they want, instead of against what they dislike. And we can ensure voters are informed about the greater range of choices that they are clamoring for—by creating a new presidential debate commission not controlled by the two establishment parties. For further details see www.votingjustice.us .

We Must Also End U.S. Interference in Other Countries’ Elections

To effectively deal with foreign election interference, we must address the fact that the U.S. is not only a victim of election interference, but a leading perpetrator of it as well, whether through nonviolent or violent means. Given our track record, it is simply unrealistic and unethical to expect other countries to respect the sovereignty of foreign elections unless we commit to doing so as well. Effectively ending election interference requires international diplomacy and treaties. The Emergency Commission would provide consistent long-term public education, advocacy and watch-dogging that will be required to overcome resistance to the reforms required to achieve truly fair elections.

We Support Corruption Probe but Decry Misuse of “Russiagate” for Warmongering, Censorship, Political Repression

We support the investigation of potential concrete crimes related to corruption, quid pro quo deals, money laundering, financial conflicts of interest, and obstruction of justice. Such investigations should not be tainted by misuse of “Russiagate” in broader political discourse for the purpose of promoting censorship, warmongering and politically motivated efforts to intimidate and silence political opposition to the bipartisan political establishment.

The letter we are releasing today from our lead attorney, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, to the Senate Intelligence Committee details how their bipartisan investigation into our campaign—the flagship of an independent opposition political party—intrudes into First Amendment rights protecting freedom of speech and political liberty for all Americans. While we provided documents responsive to the Committee’s requests, we declined to provide Constitutionally protected materials, including the internal policy deliberations of our campaign, the flagship for an opposition political party. This request intrudes into the First Amendment rights of political and associational freedom that are critical to political liberty for all Americans.

Such Constitutional threats add to the dangerous current climate in which progressive political opposition, social movements, and the anti-war community are being targeted with censorship, surveillance and political intimidation. This includes recent censoring of social media and the internet, blacklisting progressive and anti-war media, restricting the right to protest, expanding surveillance, and disparaging social movements like Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock water protectors, anti-pipeline activists, and the gun control movement as “tools” of “Russian interference.”

“Russiagate” is also being used to argue for aggressive foreign policies, disparage peace advocates and justify massive military expenditures. This is all the more alarming in the setting of the resurgent cold war, accelerating nuclear arms race, and 17 years of unbridled U.S. militarism that has proven disastrous abroad and devastating to human needs at home.

Emergency Commission and Treaty Can Restore Confidence in our Elections & Act As Stepping Stone to International Dialogue for Peace, Nuclear Weapons Ban & Climate Action.

In short, we are endangered by interference in our elections, interference in our civil liberties, by unbridled militarism and needless warmongering. On all these counts, we must defend our imperiled future and the democracy it depends on.

A military-industrial-surveillance complex is now deeply entrenched within the bipartisan political establishment and much of the corporate media. This dangerous juggernaut must not be allowed to twist legitimate concerns about election interference into support for political repression, censorship and warmongering. Instead, we can begin restoring confidence in our democracy right now with a nonpartisan Emergency Commission for Election Protection & Voting Justice and international negotiations for an election non-interference treaty. These should be stepping stones toward broader international dialogue for nuclear disarmament as called for in the recent U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons, for major reductions in military budgets, and for steeply accelerated climate action. These actions would go a long way to actually begin reducing dire threats that endanger not only our democracy, but civilization as we know it. Time is short. We must not be diverted from this task.

Read the letter from Stein’s attorney, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, to the Senate Committee below.

Stein Attorney Letter to Senate Committee by Eric Ortiz on Scribd

Truthdig?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Truthdig?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Truthdig?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 Truthdig?i=tFPxM0rr7sE:MxUJ3E6GJq0:V_sGL Truthdig?i=tFPxM0rr7sE:MxUJ3E6GJq0:wF9xT
Truthdig?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Truthdig?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 Truthdig?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Truthdig?i=tFPxM0rr7sE:MxUJ3E6GJq0:V_sGL Truthdig?i=tFPxM0rr7sE:MxUJ3E6GJq0:wF9xT


via IFTTT

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

ORIGINAL LINK

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

Fukushima’s Cesium-137 Release Tops Chernobyl’s

The Korea Atomic Energy Research (KAER) Institute outside of Seoul reported in July 2014 that Fukushima-Daiichi’s three reactor meltdowns may have emitted two to four times as much cesium-137 as the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl.[4]

To determine its estimate of the cesium-137 that was released into the environment from Fukushima, the Cesium-137 release fraction (4% to the atmosphere, 16% to the ocean) was multiplied by the cesium-137 inventory in the uranium fuel inside the three melted reactors (760 to 820 quadrillion Becquerel, or Bq), with these results:

Ocean release of cesium-137 from Fukushima (the worst ever recorded): 121.6 to 131.2 quadrillion Becquerel (16% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq). Atmospheric release of Cesium-137 from Fukushima: 30.4 to 32.8 quadrillion Becquerel (4% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq).

Total release of Cesium-137 to the environment from Fukushima: 152 to 164 quadrillion Becquerel. Total release of Cesium-137 into the environment from Chernobyl: between 70 and 110 quadrillion Bq.

The Fukushima-Daiichi reactors’ estimated inventory of 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq (petabecquerels) of Cesium-137 used by the KAER Institute is significantly lower than the US Department of Energy’s estimate of 1,300 quadrillion Bq. It is possible the Korean institute’s estimates of radioactive releases are low.

In Chernobyl, 30 years after its explosions and fire, what the Wall St. Journal last year called “the $2.45 billion shelter implementation plan” was finally completed in November 2016. A huge metal cover was moved into place over the wreckage of the reactor and its crumbling, hastily erected cement tomb. The giant new cover is 350 feet high, and engineers say it should last 100 years — far short of the 250,000-year radiation hazard underneath.

The first cover was going to work for a century too, but by 1996 was riddled with cracks and in danger of collapsing. Designers went to work then engineering a cover-for-the-cover, and after 20 years of work, the smoking radioactive waste monstrosity of Chernobyl has a new “tin chapeau.” But with extreme weather, tornadoes, earth tremors, corrosion and radiation-induced embrittlement it could need replacing about 2,500 times.

John Laforge’s field guide to the new generation of nuclear weapons is featured in the March/April 2018 issue of CounterPunch magazine.

Notes.

[1]Duluth News-Tribune & Herald, “Slight rise in radioactivity found again in state milk,” May 22, 1986; St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, “Radiation kills Chernobyl firemen,” May 17, 1986; Minneapolis StarTribune, “Low radiation dose found in area milk,” May 17, 1986.

[2]Ian Fairlie, “TORCH-2016: An independent scientific evaluation of the health-related effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” March 2016 (https://www.global2000.at/sites/global/files/GLOBAL_TORCH%202016_rz_WEB_KORR.pdf).

[3]James K. Asselstine, Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Testimony in Nuclear Reactor Safety: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, May 22 and July 16, 1986, Serial No. 99-177, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1987.

[4] Progress in Nuclear Energy, Vol. 74, July 2014, pp. 61-70; ENENews.org, Oct. 20, 2014.



via IFTTT

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The DNC’S Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks Poses a Serious Threat to Press Freedom

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/20/the-dncs-lawsuit-against-wikileaks-poses-a-serious-threat-to-press-freedom/

Jeff Sessions' Latest Lame Excuse for Blocking Medical Marijuana Research

ORIGINAL LINK

Yesterday U.S. senators asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explain why the Justice Department continues to block research into the medical uses of cannabis. More specifically, Wednesday's hearing marks the second time in the last year that senators have confronted Sessions about his reported refusal to license new producers of cannabis for research.

Scientists who want to study marijuana in the United States currently have to obtain it from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which relies on a single contractor at the University of Mississippi and has long been faulted for mediocre quality and a meager selection. Just as he did in October 2017, when Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) first pressed him in public about the issue, Sessions claimed to be working toward approving new applicants while offering a flimsy reason why his office has done nothing in more than a year. This time Sessions claimed approving new cannabis manufacturers could violate the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. From Tom Angell at Marijuana Moment:

"We are moving forward and we will add fairly soon, I believe, the paperwork and reviews will be completed and we will add additional suppliers of marijuana under the controlled circumstances," [Sessions] said during an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee.

In his answers, Sessions indicated that he thought opening up research could put the U.S. at risk of violating international drug treaties.

The "treaty requires certain controls in that process," he said, adding that in his view, the "previous proposal violated that treaty."

This is hogwash. When the Drug Enforcement Administration announced in 2016 that it planned to approve new producers of research cannabis, the agency said it was doing so "within the framework of the Controlled Substances Act and U.S. treaty obligations." That treaty is the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which requires that cannabis production facilities be licensed, regulated, and secured, and that signatories "prevent the accumulation, in the possession of drug manufacturers, of quantities of drugs in excess of those required for the normal conduct of business, having regard to the prevailing market conditions."

Does Sessions not trust the DEA to approve only legitimate applicants operating secure facilities? Something tells me this isn't really about treaty compliance. I suspect that if no one were asking him questions, if he had not received letters from more than two dozen members of Congress demanding an explanation, Sessions would never lift the hold he has put on applications from would-be growers.

The latest such letter came from Sens. Hatch and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and it highlights the root of the problem: The Justice Department should not be in the business of policing medical research or the development of medical products. From the letter:

As of August 11, 2016, 354 individuals and institutions were approved by the DEA to conduct expansive research on marijuana and its related components. Those researchers needed access to a federally compliant expanded product line—they needed to study different types of marijuana and across various delivery mechanisms. Accordingly, a diverse, DEA-vetted market of suppliers of research-grade marijuana would be critical. Since the DEA's Federal Register Notice on August 12, 2016, at least 25 manufacturers have formally applied to produce federally-approved research-grade marijuana.

I've spoken to half a dozen of those applicants, and none of them has heard from the DEA in almost a year. This obstruction is outrageous. There are dozens of recreational marijuana products available to tens of millions of Americans that researchers can't legally study in human subjects because they weren't grown at the University of Mississippi.

As a result, we risk surrendering the biggest clinical discoveries to scientists in other countries, where growing cannabis is not treated like necromancy. Israel is decades ahead of us on this front. And as Mark Kleiman notes today (and Jacob Sullum explored in an incredible recent feature), now is the perfect time to be studying whether cannabis can substitute for prescription drugs in the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. But it's difficult to conduct those trials with a single supplier whose product is half a century behind the most advanced commercial production science.



via IFTTT

America’s Silent $6,000,000,000,000 Crisis With No Solution In Sight

ORIGINAL LINK


via IFTTT

The DNC’S Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks Poses a Serious Threat to Press Freedom

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/20/the-dncs-lawsuit-against-wikileaks-poses-a-serious-threat-to-press-freedom/

JFK Assassination: The Tell-Tale Brain Keeps on Telling — What Is It Saying?

https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/04/25/jfk-assassination-the-tell-tale-brain/

JFK Assassination: The Tell-Tale Brain Keeps on Telling — What Is It Saying?

https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/04/25/jfk-assassination-the-tell-tale-brain/

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Media outraged over Pruitt's plans for EPA transparency

ORIGINAL LINK
EPA Director Scott Pruitt

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, proposed a transparency rule Tuesday that would ban from agency use any studies that bar public access to the underlying data.

The proposal, subject to a 30-day comment period, promptly sent establishment media and the left into a tirade.

The Washington Post complained his proposal to use only studies that can be fully accessed by the public would “block the agency from relying on long-standing, landmark studies linking air pollution and pesticide exposure to harmful health effects.”

Forbes started with the headline “EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: Delete Decades of Science In the Name of ‘Transparency'” and went on from there.

The story quoted Andrew Rosenberg of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS saying: “With false claims about transparency, the political appointees at the EPA are drastically restricting the ability of the agency to rely on science. They are ordering EPA employees to put on blinders and only see the science that they want them to see.

“They are sacrificing the health of Americans in favor of special interests, a disturbing pattern for this administration,” he continued, “It’s no coincidence that the same people calling for this change have been funded by the petrochemical and tobacco industries for years. Priott has turned his back on the American people to stick his snout deep in the trough of corruption.”

The rule proposed by Pruitt would simply set new standards for any scientific studies used for writing regulations and rules. It would allow the EPA to consider studies “for which the underlying data are made available publicly.”

The Heartland Institute, which promotes transparency in government, said the rule would require the “underlying data of scientific studies used to make federal environment and energy policy be open to public inspection and possible criticism.”

“Another week at the EPA, another victory for transparency by Scott Pruitt. For decades, the EPA has improperly claimed massive power to regulate nearly every aspect of our economy and lives. It is long overdue that the EPA should make such data and collection methods available for public review and analysis,” said Tim Huelskamp, the president of the institute.

Huelskamp represented Kansas’ first congressional district from 2011 to 2017.

The EPA in recent years has been aggressive in expanding its power, even changing rules and regulations to claim authority over mud puddles in farm fields across America. The Obama administration tried to use the agency to make it too expensive for coal power plants to operate and much more.

Freedom-oriented organizations who have been critical of Obama’s EPA are pleased that some of its aggressive tactics are being walked back.

Environmental activists, on the other hand, are enraged.

Reported Forbes: “Nearly 1,000 scientists signed and sent a letter to Scott Pruitt urging him not to move forward … they wrote, ‘There are ways to improve transparency in the decisionmaking process, but restricting the use of science would improve neither transparency nor the quality of EPA decisionmaking.'”

The report didn’t address the fact that any study scientists want the government to use could be opened to the public.

They claimed Pruitt’s move would “negatively impact EPA public protections that reduce levels of leads, harmful chemicals, and fine particle pollution.”

The Forbes report charged: “Ever wonder if that GMO vegetable in the grocery store is safe to eat, whether your city’s water contains poisonous lead like in Flint, Michigan, or if that nearby nuclear power plant is safe to live by? All of these health risks are regulated by the EPA, much of which relies on underlying students containing personal information.

“After throwing out any science that contains personal information, what is left to keep Scott Pruitt from allowing industries to deregulate their commitment to operate under safe practices?”

Forbes explained the data in some studies must remain secret because they were done with a promise to the participants to that effect.

Opponents of the new rule argue any “qualified scientist” can access the data, implying that the public has no need to see the foundation for EPA decisions.

Pruitt, in his announcement, said it was “a banner day.”

“The science that we use is going to be transparent. It’s going to be reproducible,” he said.

Liberals charged that Pruitt already has barred scientists who are getting paid by the EPA from serving on EPA advisory committees but is “still allowing those funded by industry.”

Former EPA administrator Gina Mc Carthy, who now is at the Center for Climate, Health and Global Environment at Harvard, said the best studies “follow individuals over time,” but nobody will participate if their “private information” is revealed.

Steve Milloy, a member of the Trump EPA transition team, said: “During the Obama administration, the EPA wantonly destroyed 94 percent of the market value of the coal industry, killed thousands of coal mining jobs and wreaked havoc on coal mining families and communities, all based on data the EPA and its taxpayer-funded university researchers have been hiding from the public and Congress for more than 20 years.”

Joseph Bast, senior fellow at Heartland, said Pruitt’s announcement “marks the beginning of the end of one of the biggest scandals in the history of public health research and of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

“Badly flawed research on the human health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) conducted during the 1980s and 1990s was used to justify regulations forcing thousands of corporations and hundreds of coal-powered electricity generation plants to close,” he said.

“Subsequent research shows ambient levels of PM2.5 have little or no adverse effects on human health, yet the regulations remain in place, like zombies, killing jobs and endangering public health and well-being by unnecessarily raising the cost of energy and causing unemployment. The Obama administration exploited this corrupt science to wage its war on fossil fuels, a war now thankfully being brought to an end by President Trump.”

Bast said that demanding “the end of reliance on secret science may be the most consequential decision made by EPA since the election of Donald Trump.”

The Heartland’s science director, Jay Lehr, said, “It is amazing that the public ever allowed a government agency supported by their taxes to hide the information used to restrict their lives through regulation. It is only surprising that the leftist EPA and our court system allowed this to take place for so long. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is finally reining in the out of control regulatory process.”

Bette Grande, the Institute’s energy policy research fellow, said the end of “secret science” at EPA “is very big news and you know it’s an important step by the volume and hysteria of Administrator Pruitt’s critics.”

“The critics of this move understand that the Endangerment Finding and other over-reaching regulations are based on black box ‘secret science’ that cannot stand up to prudent review,” she said.

“Requiring all underlying data to be made public before a study can be used to set policy is just common sense. My junior high algebra teacher made me show my work to get credit for a test answer. If it’s good enough for junior high, we should hold EPA to at least that level of transparency.”

WND-Donation



via IFTTT

Finland Abandons Universal Basic Income Experiment After Two Years

ORIGINAL LINK

"I felt a great disturbance in the farce, as if millions of socialist voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something rational has happened."

With high-profile champions such as Richard Branson, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, backing the idea of governments giving non-working people money (from working people) to do nothing - what could go wrong?

Well, two years after enthusiastically beginning its experiment with a universal basic income - in which people are paid an unconditional salary by the state instead of benefits - Finland is abandoning the project as government enthusiasm wanes and additional funding requests are rejected.

As a reminder, The Telegraph explains Universal basic income is a form of cash payment given to individuals, without means testing or work requirements. In some models this is at a rate sufficient to cover all living expenses.

Proponents argue that:

  • The lack of expensive means-testing leads to a higher proportion of the budget going to recipients. This would be more efficient

  • The transparency of universal payments would drastically reduce the need to detect benefits fraud

  • One scheme could replace the current complex arrangement of government benefits, rebates and tax rebates

  • Work will always benefit recipients of this welfare, rather than the ‘benefits trap’ that leaves part-time workers

Critics argue that:

  • Universal income may be inflationary and, in attempting to move all individuals out of poverty, it may simply raise the level of the poverty line

  • It may reduce the incentive to work and studies have found some evidence to support this.

  • A reduction in taxable income would reduce the government’s ability to cover other expenses, such as healthcare

Universal income as a policy dates from at least Thomas Paine’s 1795 Agrarian Justice. It is currently more closely aligned with left-wing politics, where it would be funded through income from nationalised assets.

Several countries have experimented with a universal basic income, including Finland, Canada, Kenya and the Netherlands.
And now Finland has killed the plan...  (via The Guardian)

Since January 2017, a random sample of 2,000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 have been paid a monthly €560 (£475) , with no requirement to seek or accept employment. Any recipients who took a job continued to receive the same amount.

Furthermore, the government has also imposed stricter benefits plans, introducing legislation making some benefits for unemployed people contingent on taking training or working at least 18 hours in three months.

“The government is making changes taking the system away from basic income,” Kela’s Miska Simanainen told the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Of course, the liberal socialist gliterrati are up in arms over Finland's decision.

Olli Kangas, an expert involved in the trial, told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE:

“Two years is too short a period to be able to draw extensive conclusions from such a big experiment. We should have had extra time and more money to achieve reliable results.”

However, as we previously noted, as automation and AI destroy millions of middle-income jobs, permanently forcing (primarily male) workers from the workforce, Americans are beginning to reconsider their attitudes toward a radical policy tool that's popular among some segments of the left: Universal Basic Income.

According to CNBC, a recent poll conducted by Northeastern University and Gallup found that 48% of Americans support the measure. In an association that's hardly a coincidence, the poll also showed that three-quarters of Americans believe machines will take away more jobs than they'll generate...

Unsurprisingly 65% of Democrats want to see a universal basic income and 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 do. In comparison, just 28% of Republicans support UBI.

While proposals for universal basic income programs vary, the most common one is a system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment. That system is being tested in Canada as well as Stockton, California, which recently emerged from bankruptcy but remains mired in poverty.

Perhaps Finland's failure will wake some of the free shit army up that it can't end well.



via IFTTT

Ten Irrefutable, Devastating 9/11 Facts

ORIGINAL LINK

Ten Irrefutable, Devastating 9/11 Facts

https://www.globalresearch.ca/ten-irrefutable-devastating-911-facts/5637525

The post Ten Irrefutable, Devastating 9/11 Facts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.



via IFTTT

By US Standards, America Should’ve Been Bombed for What Happened in Texas, 25 Years Ago Today

ORIGINAL LINK

fbi-waco-696x366.jpg

(TFTP) When reports claimed that a chemical attack killed 70 civilians in Syria earlier this month, the Trump administration was quick to place the blame on the Syrian government—despite having no evidence—and they claimed that the horror of such an atrocity deserved retaliation in the form of targeted airstrikes.

While the United States military maintained that the 120 missiles launched in the attack destroyed a facility that was used to produce chemical weapons, witnesses on the ground in Douma, Syria, claimed that the airstrikes actually destroyed a cancer research facility.

U.S. intelligence officials have since admitted that the attack was carried out despite the fact that the United States had no proof that the Syrian government had carried out a sarin gas attack. Instead, the U.S. acted before an investigation could be conducted, and as is usually the case with reported gas attacks in Syria, proof has yet to be found to show that President Bashar al-Assad was responsible.

If the idea that a government would use chemicals to kill dozens of its own citizens is so abhorrent that the U.S. would risk World War 3 to take a stand against it, then it must mean that the U.S. would never do the same thing to its own citizens, for fear that it could be subjected to a similar response from another country—right?

However, on April 19, 1993, there was a government that used chemical weapons on its own people, and nearly 80 men, women, and children died as a result. But the attack was not carried out by the Syrian government and it did not happen in the Middle East. It took place in Waco, Texas, and it was perpetrated by the United States government.

It all started as the government began looking for ways to obtain a warrant to search the 77-acre plot occupied by a group called the Branch Davidians when they heard rumors that the mysterious cult was stockpiling weapons and modifying them with illegal parts in preparation for the end of the world.

Branch Davidian leader David Koresh was accused of having multiple underage wives, sexually abusing the young daughters of his members, and ultimately holding cult members against their will. But an investigation conducted by Child Protective Services in 1992 concluded that no one was being held against their will and there were no signs of child abuse.

The case against the Branch Davidians continued to grow, and as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) looked for more evidence against them, Koresh was also accused of running a meth lab on the property. Although no evidence of this was ever found, it served as a legal pretext for ATF agents to receive military training, in order to initiate a raid on the property.

ATF agents attempted to serve a search warrant at the property on Feb. 28, 1993, and they were met with gunfire from the Branch Davidians. They returned fire, and four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed as a result. After the shootout, the FBI joined in and the agencies launched a standoff for the next 51 days.

During the siege, federal agents cut off water and electricity to the compound, and in their attempt to get Koresh to surrender, the Houston Chronicle reported that the agents tortured the remaining members by using tanks to crush vehicles in front of the compound, playing loud music and flooding the area with bright lights at night to increase pressure on the Davidians.” 

Despite weeks of efforts to get the Davidians to surrender, the government learned that the group was, indeed, prepared for the apocalypse. The Clinton Administration decided that the siege was taking too long, and Attorney General Janet Reno authorized the use of CS gas, even though it was known that the Davidians did not have gas masks for the two dozen children who were still inside the compound.

Early on the morning of April 19, federal agents brought in heavy equipment to break down the walls of the building and they spent hours filling it with a dangerous mix of CS gas and methyl chloride that has been shown to be potentially flammable.

When the compound engulfed in flames, killing 76 men, women and children, who were trapped inside, the government insisted that the fire was set by the Branch Davidians as a way to commit suicide. However, in 1999, the FBI admitted its agents had fired pyrotechnic tear gas grenades at the Davidian compound, which could have sparked a fire.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, researchers investigating the incident “concluded federal agents were observed shooting from the compound’s grounds into the building already set ablaze by fire. While the official government narrative is those individuals committed suicide, the researchers were able to demonstrate they were likely killed by automatic weapons fired by federal agents, possibly killed as they were attempting to flee their burning compound.”

Following the massacre, there are also a number of glaring problems associated with attempts to investigate the events surrounding it. According to reports, the corpses of the victims liquefied weeks after they were autopsied, and the door to Mount Carmel, which Davidians believed would show that the ATF fired first, went missing.

The Waco Siege is just one example of the overwhelming hypocrisy exerted by the U.S. government regarding the use of chemical weapons on civilians.

As The Hill noted, the horrific massacre occurred three months after the U.S. signed a treaty promising not to use chemical weapons on enemy soldiers, which just happened to leave a loophole that would let the U.S. torture its own citizens:

“Shortly before the Waco showdown, U.S. government officials signed an international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty pledging never to use nerve agents, mustard gas, and other compounds, including tear gas against enemy soldiers. But the treaty contained a loophole permitting governments to gas their own people. On April 19, 1993, the FBI pumped CS gas and methyl chloride, a potentially lethal, flammable combination, into the Davidians’ residence for six hours, disregarding explicit warnings that CS gas should not be used indoors.”


Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Steemit | Patreon

 



via IFTTT

Sunday, April 22, 2018

No Official Intel Used To Launch Russia Probe According To Controversial DOJ Document: Nunes

ORIGINAL LINK

After waiting eight months for the DOJ to turn over the "electronic communication" (EC) - the document which the FBI used to launch the original counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Fox News that upon review - the EC reveals that no intelligence was used to launch the probe

Nunes also touched on the fact that Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal pushed anti-Trump memos to the Obama State Department, written by Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer and passed to Jonathan Winer, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation. We know that Sidney Blumenthal and others were pushing information into the State Department. So we’re trying to piece all that together and that’s why we continue to look at the State Department,” Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

,@DevinNunes: "We do know that longtime associates of @HillaryClinton, including Sidney Blumenthal and another person named, I think, Cody Shearer, were actively giving information to the @StateDept that was somehow making its way to the @FBI." #SundayFutures @MariaBartiromo pic.twitter.com/nUw5gIHCB7

— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 22, 2018

Nunes noted that no intelligence was shared with the U.S. from any of the members of the "Five Eyes" agreement - that being Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

We are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens, and it’s worked well,” he said. “And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government. And that’s why we had to see that original communication.”

This is relevant because the FBI says that the Trump investigation was kicked off after Australian diplomat Alexander Downer told the FBI that Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted in a London pub that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reported last December that "Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role."

This was clearly not true according to the EC, which states that no intelligence passed through Five Eyes official channels.

Many have also raised questions over the fact that Alexander Downer, the source of the intelligence which launched the Trump investigation (and not through official channels) is absolutely a friend of the Clintons

According to information provided by Australian policeman-turned investigative journalist, Michael Smith - the Clinton Foundation received some $88 million from Australian taxpayers between 2006 and 2014, reaching its peak in 2012-2013 - which was coincidentally (we're sure) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's last year in office. Smith names several key figures in his complaints of malfeasance, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Alexander Downer

The materials Smith gave to the FBI concern the MOU between the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI) and the Australian government. 

Smith claims the foundation received a “$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception” as a result of actions by Bill Clinton and Downer, who was then Australia’s minister of foreign affairs. 

Also included in the Smith materials are evidence he believes shows “corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates.”-Lifezette

And during the various Russia probes, Congressional investigators weren't told about Downer's connection to the Clinton Foundation.  

"Republicans say they are concerned the new information means nearly all of the early evidence the FBI used to justify its election-year probe of Trump came from sources supportive of the Clintons, including the controversial Steele dossier," reports The Hill

“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.

State Department in the Crosshairs

Nunes then told Fox's Maria Bartiromo that the House Intel Committee is now honing in on the State Department due to signs of "major irregularitiesin how the alleged Papadopoulos comments reached U.S. intelligence agencies. 

“We know a little bit about that because of what some of the State Department officials themselves have said about that,” Nunes said, adding that “We have to make sure that our agencies talk and they work out problems. We have to make sure that they don’t spy on either Americans citizens or that we’re not spying on British citizens.”

Still, Nunes doesn’t know whether former secretary of state, and then-Democratic challenger to Trump in the election, was pulling the strings of the investigation launched against her political opponent. However, he said it is known that two long-time Clinton associates – including Sidney Blumenthal – were “actively” giving information to the State Department, which “was somehow making its way to the FBI.” -Fox Business

Meanwhile, as we reported in February, a former official in President Obama's State Department has confirmed a claim by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that former British spy Christopher Steele and Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal gave him intelligence reports claiming that President Trump had been compromised by the Russians.

Jonathan Winer, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, confirmed the Judiciary Committee's claims in an op-ed for the Washington Post titled "Devin Nunes is investigating me: Here's the Truth." 

"While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature," writes Winer.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the “dossier.”Steele’s sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

Winer's op-ed corroborates the series of events outlined in a criminal referral for Steele issued by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which asks the DOJ to investigate Steele for allegedly lying to the FBI about his contacts with the media. 

Winer then gave Steele various anti-Trump memos from Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal, which originated with Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer. Winer claims he didn't think Steele would share the Clinton-sourced information with anyone else in the government.

But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections,” Winer writes. 

Comey Memos

Nunes then said that the release of the Comey memos was significant in that they would seem to exonerate President Trump of collusion. 

The mainstream media and the dems have been running around talking about collusion, collusion, collusion. when they realized there was no collusion, they moved on to obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice. 

"Once you read all of the Comey memos, it becomes Exhibit A in the defense that there was no obstruction of justice."

The Chairman also noted that the Comey memos reveal Trump actually wanted his campaign investigated, telling Bartiromo "when you have the President of the US saying "Look, investigate all of my people. If anyone in my campaign was colluding with the Russians, I wanna know and they need to be brought to justice," Adding "Something of that nature is in the Comey memos."

Nunes also pointed out that Comey and Andrew McCabe are probably both in quite a bit of trouble: 

Nunes: When you match up Mr. Comey's memos with what's in his book, with the interviews that he's giving I think he's got a lot of problems coming in the future as it relates to what the IG is looking at into his behavior during the Clinton email investigation.

Bartiromo: What kind of problems? We know that the IG has recommended criminal charges against his former deputy Andrew McCabe.

Nunes: "His lawyer has said no, Mr. Comey is lying - is essentially what Mr. McCabe is saying, that Comey did give him the right to go to the press... Clearly the IG believed Mr. Comey that he did not give Mr. McCabe the ability to go to the press.

Nunes then went into Comey's conduct - positing that the former FBI Director "laundered" classified memos to a friend, who leaked them to the New York Times - and that others may have received them as well.

The memos that he wrote - the seven memos that he wrote on President Trump, noting that Comey hadn't written memos on anyone else - four of them were classified. He decided to then launder them to a friend, who leaked them to the New York Times. If those memos contained classified information, he purposely did that, he purposely leaked them to get a Special Counsel started after he was fired. He leaked pieces of these, so we need to figure out exactly what is it he leaked. Who did he give these memos to? Was it just the friend that leaked them to the New York Times, or were there others? I believe there were others, I believe these Comey memos were actually given to several people - that contained classified information. The irony is - the very thing that Mr. Comey cleared Mrs. Clinton of

All of that said - whether or not the noose is actually tightening around anyone's neck is up to the DOJ, as they can simply ignore the various criminal referrals made against McCabe and others. What can't be denied, at this point, is that both the Mueller investigation and the original counterintelligence investigation launched against Donald Trump and his campaign - and the complicit narrative-shaping performed by the MSM - appear to have been a highly coordinated effort to prevent Hillary Clinton from losing the White House.

Trump advisors Joe diGenova and Alan Dershowitz discussed just Hannity Saturday - with Dershowitz somehow coming to the conclusion that the entirety of the ongoing against Trump are nothing more than coincidence.



via IFTTT

Bad Bankers Drive Out Good Bankers: Wells Fargo, Wall Street, And Gresham’s Law

Greshams-law-wells-fargo-bad-bankers | DollarCollapse.com: "Bad Bankers Drive Out Good Bankers: Wells Fargo, Wall Street, And Gresham’s Law"



'via Blog this'

IRD: "The System Will Have To Collapse"

ORIGINAL LINK

Via InvestmentResearchDynamics.com,

The public pension fund system is approaching apocalypse.  Earlier this week teachers who are part of the Colorado public pension system (PERA) staged a walk-out protest over proposed changes to the plan, including raising the percentage contribution to the fund by current payees and raising the retirement age.   PERA backed off but ignoring the obvious problem will not make it go away.

Every public pension fund in the country is catastrophically underfunded, especially if strict mark-to-market of the illiquid assets were applied. Illinois has been playing funding games for a few years to keep its pension fund solvent.  In Kentucky, where the public pension fund is on the verge of collapse, teachers are demanding a State bailout.

If the stock market were sustain a extended decline of more than 10% – “extended” meaning several months in which the stock market falls more than 10% – every public pension in the U.S. would collapse.  This is based on an in-depth study conducted by a good friend of mine who works at a public pension fund.  He has access to better data than “outsiders” and I know his work to be meticulous.   Please note that the three big market declines since August 2015 were stopped at a 10% draw-down followed by big moves higher.  The current draw-down was stopped at 10% but subsequent outcome is to be determined. My friend and I are not the only ones who understand this:

The next phase of public pension reform will likely be touched off by a stock market decline  that creates the real possibility of at least one state fund running out of cash within a couple of years. – Bloomberg

I know a teacher in Denver who left her job that was connected to PERA in order to take a lump-sum payout rather than risk waiting until she retired to bankrupt pension plan. She took a job in the Denver school system, which is not part of the PERA system. She’s actually thinking about teaching in Central America, where there’s high demand for English-speaking teachers and the pay relative to the cost-of-living is much higher:

Teaching sucks right now.  Teachers are underpaid for the work we’re doing.  After all of these years, I’m making about $60,000. That’s BS! I have a masters. Truthfully, the classroom is burning me out right now. The f#cked up world is spilling into kids’ lives. They’re largely defiant and off-track. I don’t have the energy to try to streamline whole classrooms.”   

In reference to the pension system: “When the mother f#cking-f#ck is any of this going to be corrected?!?! I am beyond mad.  Ecuador has become an option, because this country is beyond f#cked up.”

Unfortunately, I was compelled to answer with the truth – a truth she already knows: 

It won’t be corrected. The system will have to collapse and then who knows what will happen. Criminals run everything now and the people who are supposed to enforce Rule of Law are well paid to look the other way. This has been building for at least 2 decades. It doesn’t help when the President is caught shoving a cigar up a staff interns vagina and then a joke is made of it in Congress. “Is oral sex, sex?” Answer: “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is,’ is.”

Now the corruption and fraud is out in the open and there’s nothing that can be done about it. The system will have collapse – its the final solution.



via IFTTT

Beware Of White Helmets Bearing News

ORIGINAL LINK

Authored by Ann Wright via ConsortiumNews.com,

The celebrated White Helmets of Oscar fame appeared to have made their own feature film in Duma on the night of the alleged chemical attack...

At the center of the controversy over an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Duma on April 7 are the White Helmets, a self-described rescue operation about whom an Oscar-winning documentary was made.

Reporter and author Max Blumenthal has tracked the role of the White Helmets in the Syrian conflict. He reported that the White Helmets were created in Turkey by James Le Mesurier, a former British MI5 agent. The group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office and $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as millions from the Kingdom of Qatar, which has backed a variety of extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda. 

Blumenthal writes, “When Defense Secretary James Mattis cited ‘social media’ in place of scientific evidence of a chemical attack in Duma, he was referring to video shot by members of the White Helmets. Similarly, when State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert sought to explain why the US bombed Syria before inspectors from the OPCW could produce a report from the ground, she claimed, ‘We have our own intelligence.’ With little else to offer, she was likely referring to social media material published by members of the White Helmets.

The reference to social media as evidence in the most serious decision a leader can make—to engage in an act of war—is part of a disturbing trend. Then Secretary of State John Kerry pointed to “social media” as evidence of the Syrian government’s guilt in a 2013 chemical attack in the same Damascus suburb. But as Robert Parry, the late founder and editor of this site, pointed out in numerous reports, Syrian government guilt was far from a sure thing.

Rather than wait for the arrival of a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to assess whether chemicals had even used in this latest incident, Trump gave the order to bomb.

Gas!    

The possible role of the White Helmets in the latest alleged chemical attack was first revealed by veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk, writing for The Independent. In “The Search for Truth in the Rubble of Douma-And One Doctor’s Doubts Over the Chemical Attacks,”  Fisk reported that he tracked down 58-year-old Syrian doctor Assim Rahaibani.

A White Helmet (Photo: whitehelmets.org)l

The doctor told Fisk that he learned from fellow physicians who were on duty at the clinic the night of the attack. Rahaibani said patients were brought in by “jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam [the Army of Islam]” in Duma and that the patients appeared to be “overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.”

Rahaibani told Fisk, “I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Duma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss.”

Rahaibani continued:

“Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet,’ shouted ‘Gas!’, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Fisk writes that, There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had ‘never believed in’ gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. These particular jihadis survived under a blizzard of shellfire by living in other’s people’s homes and in vast, wide tunnels with underground roads carved through the living rock by prisoners with pick-axes on three levels beneath the town. I walked through three of them yesterday, vast corridors of living rock which still contained Russian – yes, Russian – rockets and burned-out cars.”

Significantly, Fisk reported that locals told him that White Helmets left with jihadists bused out of Duma in a deal made with the Syrian government and Russia, which provided security for the transfer.  

Other Reports

Other reporters have corroborated what Fisk found. Reporter Pearson Sharp of One America News, a conservative Christian TV network and supporter of President Trump, interviewed doctors and witnesses at the clinic. They also said there was no chemical attack and that strangers came into the clinic and shouted “Gas!” and filmed the reaction.

RT’s Arabic service also tracked down an 11-year old boy filmed in the “attack,” and found him in completely good health and able to answer questions of the RT reporter. He told her he was with his mother when they were urged to enter the clinic. “We were outside,” the boy said, and they told all of us to go into the hospital. I was immediately taken upstairs, and they started pouring water on me.”

*  *  *

Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She was also a US diplomat and was in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the US government in March 2003 in opposition to the lies the Bush administration was stating as the rationale for the invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq.  She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”



via IFTTT

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ex Chief Adviser For The UN’s Child Labour Program Arrested For Pedophilia

ORIGINAL LINK

support-independent-media-banner-2.jpg?r

There’s been a massive amount of disclosure with regards to elite pedophile rings for decades, but more attention was brought to it last year, with some weird and bizarre leaked emails from long time politician, John Podesta, it’s how the whole “Pizzagate” debacle began. Not only that, last year an NBC news report claimed that Hillary […]

The post Ex Chief Adviser For The UN’s Child Labour Program Arrested For Pedophilia appeared first on The Last American Vagabond.



via IFTTT

Child ‘Victim’ of Alleged Syrian Gas Attack Speaks Out, Says He Was Given Food to Make the Video

ORIGINAL LINK

syria-victim-speaks-out-696x366.jpg

Incredible and bombshell testimony from a young boy who appeared on film during the alleged "chemical attack" in Syria this month, claims there was no attack and he went through the process of getting hosed off just to get free food.



via IFTTT

CIA Ops Finally Revealed: What the US Ambassador in Benghazi was Really Doing

https://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-ops-finally-revealed-what-the-us-ambassador-in-benghazi-was-really-doing/5483957/amp

Conservative Street Artist Sabo Banned from Twitter Permanently

https://pjmedia.com/trending/conservative-street-artist-sabo-banned-twitter-permanently/

Public Radio’s McCarthyite Smear Of Black Activists Shows Danger Of Russia Panic

ORIGINAL LINK

1googlenotice.png

For over a year, outlets from FAIR (8/24/16) to TruthDig (1/7/17) to The Nation(8/7/17) to The Intercept (2/12/18) have been warning about the pitfalls of nonstop Russia Is Everywhere and Out to Get Us coverage. The Russians are “stoking discord” and “sowing unrest” and infiltrating online and real-life spaces with memes and rallies and disinformation, corporate media tell us. Did you share Russian disinfo? Twitter and Facebook will let you know. Did you buy into Russian “fake news”? CNN wants to find out. Russia is everywhere, and it’s important the media not only report this fact, but do so over and over and over again, until one is looking for the Russian menace in every interaction.

via IFTTT

Thursday, April 19, 2018

STUNNING coincidence? Chlorine containers from Germany and smoke bombs from Salisbury (Skripal poisoning) found in Syria

ORIGINAL LINK

The more this story goes on, the more the wheels fall off the wagon of the initial allegations” says independent journalist Martin Summers as Russia reveals to Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) they gave proof ‘Novichok’ was patented in US in 2015.



via IFTTT

The hypocrisy behind Pulitzer Prizes

ORIGINAL LINK

custom1240247697308pulitzer.jpg

The late Alex Cockburn called its awards "the Pulitzer farce...reminding the world that...the nation is well served by its premier east coast newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post." Both broadsheets long ago abandoned legitimate journalism, functioning as press agents for wealth, power and privilege - notably when America goes to war and in their run-up, along with malicious Russia bashing. The Times and WaPo both won Pulitzers for their coverage of (nonexistent) Russian US presidential election meddling, whether Trump's team colluded with Moscow during the campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice. America's two leading broadsheets were again honored for flagrant disinformation, Big Lies and fake news - manipulating public opinion and manufacturing consent for what demands denunciation.

via IFTTT

Leaked Memo Reveals Military Anthrax Vaccine Responsible for Injuries – VA Claims “Fake News”

Leaked Memo Reveals Military Anthrax Vaccine Responsible for Injuries – VA Claims “Fake News”:



'via Blog this'

The Skripals Have Survived but They Are Not Safe: The Novichok Fraud Should Bring Down the UK Government

ORIGINAL LINK

Interviewer: “If it is proven that the British allegations about Russia poisoning the Skripals are not true, should the Prime Minister resign? 

Craig Murray: Certainly. And Boris Johnson should resign, the whole Cabinet should resign, and we



via IFTTT

The Victims in Syria, Gaza and Yemen. U.S. “Outrage” versus U.S. “Crimes against Humanity”

ORIGINAL LINK

In their book Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky distinguished between two kinds of victims:  the worthy victims and the unworthy victims.  The “worthy victims” are the victims (real and alleged) of leaders on the U.S. enemies list,



via IFTTT

Monday, April 16, 2018

Here’s What We Learned From Thousands Of Secret NYPD Disciplinary Files

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kendalltaggart/nypd-police-misconduct-database-explainer

RIA Novosti: Russia won without firing a single shot

ORIGINAL LINK

Syria is still largely at the center of the geopolitical news focus. As in all military conflicts, the powers involved are each involved in their own version of “we won.” In an analysis piece written by Victor Marakhovsky of RIA Novosti, the stance is that Russia won this event without so much as firing a shot. He then goes on to detail why he says what he says.

The newspiece is a translation and reinterpretation of the original piece which can be found here. We have tried to preserve the meaning of the original piece while framing it well in the English language. The Duran wishes to express its grateful acknowlegement to Victor Marakhovsky and RIA Novosti for its original report.

by Victor Marakhovsky, political scientist, about the US strategy in Syria

The formal results of a decisive attack by Western countries on Syria were summed up. Russia made a motion, proposing that the UN Security Council condemn the attack. Three permanent members of the Security Council  who all participated in the attack were against this motion, so the resolution was not adopted.

In terms of raw facts concerning the attack, the figures are generally established:

  • 103 rockets were launched. This is confirmed to be true.
  • US President D. Trump promised that the missiles would be “new and clever”, but most of the incoming missiles turned out to be the rather elderly “Tomahawks”. While on approach to all three strategically important facilities, they were shot down by the rather elderly Syrian air defense systems that had been developed in the Soviet Union specifically for the purpose of fighting the Tomahawks.
  • The British released eight Scalp (Storm Shadow) rockets, but, as proudly noted in the BBC, “each was five meters in length.” In addition they are newer, developed only twenty years ago.
  • The history with the French remains unclear: according to the leadership of France, they also released eight Storm Shadow missiles from their fighter planes and three from their ships.
  • However, the Russian military cynically point out that there were no French “Rafale” aircraft spotted in the skies. So it is possible that these allies of the United States received credit for participation only to maintain the spirit of unity of these three countries.

As to the damage, most of the missiles that actually reached their targets successfully fell on unused buildings in the provinces of Damascus and Homs. Otherwise, despite the surprise of the attack and the fact (heavily stressed by US officials) that “Russia was not even warned:”

  • not a single civilian perished.
  • not a single soldier of the Syrian Arab Army was killed.
  • not a single aircraft or helicopter was destroyed.
  • there was not a single accidental flight into the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense systems.
  • not a single used airfield used by the Syrian armed forces.
  • seventy-one out of one hundred and three missiles are lost.

The actual effect of the action was actually less than that of the attack on the Shayrat airbase a year ago, when 59 Tomahawks managed to at least a) spoil several aircraft, b) damage the taxiways, taking the airfield out of action for several hours and c) kill several Syrians .

This is where the list of raw facts comes to an end, because a group of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria only a few hours after the raid. The OPCW’s task is to establish whether anything happened at all in the incident that the United States responded to with such ferocity. The OPCW is also to establish what exactly happened in the city of Douma.

Therefore, the main battle unfolded after the strike – and, as expected in our strange era, it happened in the media space. Batalya began to question the question of how to understand what had happened.

US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French president Emmanuel Macron insist that the missile strike was a muscular and justified retaliatory blow. They also insist that their goals were achieved and that the ability of the “monster” Assad to succeed in producing chemical weapons to poison his people has been dramatically reduced. And they say that if he tries again – then the same crushing penalty will happen again, despite all the objections of Russia, because the time for negotiations has passed.

However, the press of Western countries is not so certain about the veracity of these claims, nor is it certain about the justification for the attack. As an example, the Huffington Post,bitterly states:

  • Trump’s declared goals were to stop the “murderous behavior of Assad and show his own strength to Assad’s patrons – Russia and Iran, but neither of these goals were achieved.
  • All the more or less significant military and administrative goals were at the time of the attack under the Russian “umbrella”, which Trump was afraid to touch.
  • As a result, Assad “will not stop the offensive,” and Russia “is not challenged.”

In an editorial comment by Reuters “Commentary: In Syria strike, the real danger is Russia“, it is reported that:

  • Assad “already almost won in the six-year war” and does not intend to stop;
  • Moscow, warning in advance that “in the event of creating a threat to life, Russian servicemen will be bewildered not only by missiles, but also by their carriers,” turned the action of unlimited justice into something purposeless. The author notes that this is because neither Russia nor the US is interested in a real battle with one another in Syria. Moreover: they are not even interested in showing each other the capabilities of each side’s newest missiles and anti-missile systems. After all, why feed such information to the enemy? In this very cautious manner the same heavily armed soldiers of the 20th century’s Cold War fought – over the deserts and mountains of an ancient country.
  • There is no success demonstrated in this tactic. To make matters worse: it has now been made clear that the United States can bring a lot of mighty naval hardware – even an aircraft carrier with all their terrible weaponry to bear on Syria… and then expend a lot of old missiles. But the final analysis shows that this attack was not so much a demonstration of force as it was a demonstration of the impossibility of showing strength.

And Russia, as usual, has just shown its mastery on how to achieve the maximum goals by limited forces.

That is, Russia, even without having fired a single volley from its S-400 and SA-22 Greyhounds, effectively established a framework in which the West did not dare to test.

Note that this is not all reported by some “Russian state propaganda trying to preserve the face of the Kremlin.” All these claims were posed by the British and American mainstream media news outlets.

However, other, also elements of the mainstream media in the same countries also commonly regale triumph and express the version of the story put forth by the Trump – May – Macron triad. “A bloody tyrant received a lesson, if necessary, we can repeat”, and so on.

… All this confirms the sad perspective we (RIA Novosti, in the Russian language) expressed on the eve of the attack:

“In fact, the only explanation for what is happening is some damnable universal hype, from which the elite of the West can not escape. Furthermore. It seems that no real results of the alleged punishment are needed by anyone. It seems that the Western leaders themselves would be satisfied with the perspective of a crushing blow in a virtual shootout, because this gives them the opportunity to convince their audience that the enemy has suffered heavy losses.”

As a result, we see a schizophrenic picture. Based on the viral videos, which have no independent verification, real airplanes  took to the air and real rockets were fired. Various estimates place the cost of the attack at between US $70 and $150 million dollars.

However, this supposed mega-strike in the real world did not hurt anyone. Moreover, in fact, it appears to have been necessary only to ensure that in a virtual world (where media and government hype, tweets and media exchange their interpretations), someone convinced their audience that there was a good reason for taking this action.

It is gratifying that the leadership of the United States and its subordinate powers are still separating their inner media views from the harsh reality. And the “celebration of Russia’s disobedience to the world order” is held in specially designated places for this purpose.

The final fact, though is this:

The next generation of Western leaders can no longer distinguish between where PR ends and a real war begins. And this makes our real world is all the less safe and increasingly alarming.

The post RIA Novosti: Russia won without firing a single shot appeared first on The Duran.



via IFTTT