Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Deadly Truth About the Great Boom and This “Recovery” « The Burning Platform

The Deadly Truth About the Great Boom and This “Recovery” « The Burning Platform: "But financial engineering does not result in real growth.

And speculation does not expand the money supply.

It is only a sign of decreasing money velocity, and a bubble that will only burst – like in 1929, 2000, and now again!

It’s a mirage.

It isn’t real.

And it isn’t sustainable.

Despite such endless financial engineering, sales for the S&P 500 have been declining for the last three quarters. And profits have declined for the first time since the 2009 expansion.

I’d be surprised if both didn’t continue down in the 4th quarter.

This will end badly… which is the only way bubbles end."

'via Blog this'

IMF Head Warns Of Slow Growth And Economic “Shocks” In 2016

One figure highlights the further growth of economic parasitism since the 2008 crisis: global debt has increased by 40 percent to $200 trillion, almost three times the size of the world economy.

To pay for this exercise in recklessness and greed, the working class all over the world has been hammered with austerity programs, mass layoffs and cuts in wages, pensions and health benefits. This has only deepened the stagnation and decline in the real economy. But these attacks will continue and intensify in 2016 and beyond, in tandem with the deepening of the crisis of the capitalist system.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Watch politicians snap when alternative media journalist asks them one short question

The Daily Coin
mccainby John Vibes via, Intellihub Jan Helfeld is a political journalist who has been traveling around and asking politicians some of the same awkward questions that work to expose the illegitimacy of their authority. His questions were extremely simple and many times ridiculed as “stupid” by the politicians that he interviewed, because he was attempting to establish moral principles using the Socratic method. One of the best and most crucial questions that Helfeld has asked...


What the News Isn’t Saying About Vaccine-Autism Studies

A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, “once again,” disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.

What you didn’t learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.

Police to Pursue Online Trolls and Receive Hidden Browser History from Internet Providers

Activist Post


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Heartfelt rationality


The side effects of good intentions and tolerance can be more suffering. We must let our hearts set our goals, but use the mind to pursue them. Our former Editor-in-Chief reflects on rationality and the fallout of a TV-series.

The alternative industry: it doesn’t work and why it does

My last major project before leaving Oslo for openDemocracy was a six-part edutainment/documentary series on the ‘alternative industry’, its science and irrationality. It was produced by Teddy TV and broadcast on NRK1 (Norway’s  equivalent of BBC1, ie the country’s main television channel). We cheekily named ourselves Folkeopplysningen, “The Public Enlightenment”.

The various branches of the alternative industry make a lot of claims, and a lot of money off these claims. We looked into homeopathy, healing, detox, acupuncture and strange panacea machines supposedly utilizing bio-resonance or quantum mechanics. (Astrologists, psychics and mediums got a showing too, but let’s leave them alone to lick their wounds for now.)

We decided it was time for some critical scrutiny of this business, and based on reception and ratings, we are not alone in thinking this.

Public Enlightenment. (c) NRK/Teddy TV

With a physicist, a psychologist and researchers, we asked three main questions: Are the claims made by the various alternative offerings possible from a scientific point of view? What does the available research say? Why is it so popular?

And yes, we found it is pretty much all hokum. Anyone spending a good amount of time honestly and objectively surveying the available scientific material will agree. The UK Parliament Science and Technology Committee did so on homeopathy.

Dear Jeremy Hunt, Beckhams, Orlando Bloom, Thorbjørn Jagland, Jennifer Aniston, Prince Charles and King Harald of Norway: there’s nothing in those pills besides the sugar and the faith.  

Only acupuncture has some credible documentation to show for itself. But it’s rather thinner than its standing suggests. Here too the placebo effect is due most of the credit, most of the time likely all of it.  

Yet, it works - raking in money, but more importantly: producing many genuinely satisfied patients.

While some of the popularity can be explained by our brain’s tendency to look for patterns where they don’t exist, ignore regression toward the mean, emphasise anecdote over data, justify its own choices and confirm the beliefs we already hold, many patients do feel better in a very real way.

This has been proven to stem from the bouquet of psychological and biochemical mechanisms that we lump together as the placebo effect. The placebo effect has clear limitations (rather than cure, it mostly alters our experience of symptoms), but we should all be happy that it exists. It means that visiting a homeopath can make people feel better. This does not mean that homeopathy works. But it does mean they feel better - and that is a good thing.

For many, what is needed to improve their well-being and outlook is attention and care. For someone to see them, touch them, discuss their life situation, unhurried and with empathy, to tell them that it’s all going to improve from now on, and that they’ve got a plan – this is what makes the difference. Some get this experience from their doctor, but many do not. Many people get nothing like this assurance from anywhere in their societies. In this regard, alternative therapists can perform an important service for people.

Let’s talk
But the alternative industry is more than this, and much of it is problematic. So, as well as to educate and entertain, we set out in the hope of sparking debate on questions such as the following:

  • -       Why is alternative medicine so popular?
  • -       Is it right that a large and diverse sector dealing with health is almost completely unregulated?
  • -       Can society harness the placebo effect as a harmless way of improving well-being in the population, taking some pressure off the health system?
  • -       Can medical doctors learn from the way alternative therapists interact with their patients?
  • -       Should we demand proof from those who sell a service or product claiming it cures disease or improves health, or let the market offer the widest possible array of choice?
  • -       If we let the market decide – should the public health service pay for any such services without evidence of effect other than placebo?
  • -       Should we accept that some, based on mythological expertise or conspiracy theories, discourage the use of proven, life-saving methods such as vaccination and chemotherapy?
  • -       What can be done with those few who contact people on their death bed with expensive miracle cures, making the dying spend their last time on earth, and often money they don’t have, chasing false hopes, instead of spending it in the mutual comfort with their loved ones?

Reasoned debates on these issues with those in the alternative industry was perhaps too much to hope for. But at the very least we expected the more responsible parts of the industry to demand a clean-up of the murkiest.

In one of the programmes we sent a perfectly healthy, young woman to three different alternative practitioners. They gave her a variety of different, very serious diagnoses for which they offered expensive treatments.

Physicist and host Andreas Wahl with Grete Strøm, healthy undercover reporter with a long list of serious diagnosis. (c) NRK/Teddy TV

One identified fungi growing in her blood due to excessive consumption of carbohydrates, another found a throat problem and several allergies (but OK’d smoking), while the third claimed she was poisoned by the vaccines she was given as a child, had narrow veins and that despite feeling fine now, could expect to succomb to powerful headaches imminently.

And while most practitioners are nice people with some ethical standards, we found that implying that one could cure anything from cancer to dyslexia wasn’t all that uncommon.

Into the trenches!
The alternative minded did not like what they saw in our series. They took to their keyboards. It is clear who the enemy is. Not those preying on the dying. Not obvious charlatans who give random diagnoses, or those who cause preventable deaths by convincing their patients to forego vaccines or chemo. No, the enemy is those who dare to question their faith on TV. Oh, and Big Pharma. But in all likelihood, these were one and the same.

The alternative practitioners appeared to loathe breaking rank and criticizing each other, except in the most careful and general terms. Wouldn’t the  mainstream ones benefit from distancing themselves from the wingnuts? Maybe there is too much overlap? Could this explain their unwillingness to offend the “most alternative” ones in their ranks?

There also seems to be a siege mentality. Us against the world. Combined with a culture for “my truth is as valid as your truth”, where extreme relativism functions to make questioning even the weirdest of beliefs taboo. The outcome: little willingness to question even the strangest of bedfellows.

Our programmes were quite assertive, more so than unconfrontational Scandinavians are used to. Unlike many previous ‘balanced’ looks at alternative medicine, we researched in depth and actually concluded where there was enough evidence available to conclude.

This, to our minds, is what journalists do. Approaching an issue with an open mind does not mean refusing to draw conclusions when there is every basis to do so. (Clare Sambrook calls it “Investigative Comment”.)

But to the practitioners, used to being interviewed as “alternative experts” alongside actual doctors, with their perspectives presented as equally valid, our conclusions came as a shock.

Instead of a fruitful debate, trenches were soon filled with unrepentant and offended alternativists raging on one side, and pretty smug skeptics snidely sniping from the other.

We’ve sometimes wondered if our critics have seen the same programmes as the ones we have made. We have never questioned the motives of the therapists, called for a ban, uttered a rude word, derided the placebo effect or claimed they were all of the same cloth. Nor did we edit anyone for the purpose of ridicule. Viewers were indeed afforded a few laughs, but some of these theories and practices can easily have that effect when explained in all seriousness.

Soon enough we were dismissed as hateful, propagandistic, dishonest, falsifiers, ignorant, closed-minded, fanatics, arrogant, satirical, populists, speculative, unethical, lying, proselytizing, pathetic, angry atheists, ridiculing and factually wrong. That’s what politely pointing to the prevailing scientific consensus gets you from the “open minded”.

The allegations of wrongdoing weren’t specified concretely of course. They remain as general and un-sourced as the assertion that “the good science says it works.”

Thankfully we’re a thick-skinned bunch and appreciate the extra publicity. Last Monday 621,000 people, more than a third of the Norwegian TV audience, watched the program, and its hashtag, #Folkeopplysningen, crowds the nation’s twitter streams.

The party line
While we expected a bucket of bile from believers, we had imagined that the official organisations would voice their disagreement in reasoned ways, and with some adherence to reality.

This hope was dashed. NHL, Norway’s largest organisation for homeopaths, attempted to sabotage the programme even before the first day of shooting. Early on in the project we contacted them and openly described our intentions. Perhaps naïvely, we believe in playing fair. It was all smiles at the meeting, but soon thereafter all homeopaths, as well as the other organisations for alternative therapies, received a letter from them – a “Warning”, no less – imploring everyone not to talk to us, as we might “be detrimental to all of the alternative industry”, and encouraging them to report back to them should they hear from us.

NHL also asserted that the series was instigated by the small organisation Norwegian Skeptics (which they amusingly branded “unscientific”), an untrue allegation they have refused to retract. Other alternative organisations have since actively propagated this idea in the social media, spinning a conspiracy theory involving the inevitable payments from Big Pharma. This fits perfectly into the underdog narrative so popular in the alternative sphere. The reality was and is a smallish, independent production company looking into a large industry. And I’m still waiting for my Big Pharma check.

The Norwegian Acupuncture Association’s broadside against the programme came last week, signed by their leader. In it she repeatedly misquoted the programme, scornfully dismissed the “science” (sic) presented, unashamedly citing as proof of effect a study that in fact concluded the opposite, giving misleading statistics on the popularity of acupuncture, and presenting as her trump card the fact that doctors and nurses are legally permitted to use acupuncture: therefore it must work.

She contended, “the most important thing is freedom of choice and the ability to individually find out what works best.”


Bloodletting was a successful and widely used medical treatment for centuries. Its effectiveness was a given. When statistics entered the scene, it was discovered to have been mass murderer all along. Many of those killed by the practice certainly believed it the right thing for them; after all that’s what their trusted doctor said, and their neighbour did eventually rally after one such treatment. Today’s alternative medicine isn’t nearly as dangerous of course; most of it is just ineffective, plus placebo, which is why it’s still around.

The author of the critique is a nice person. But to paraphrase Upton Sinclair: it is difficult to get someone to understand something, when their salary depends upon their not understanding it.

Those who call themselves a healer or psychic are in essence saying, “I have magical abilities”. Fair enough. If they charge money for these magical services, we might suggest testing it on TV, but hey, what’s the world without some wizardry?

It’s different for those who clad themselves in the garbs of science. If you want to give your treatment an air of authority by using scientific terminology and insisting on being backed up by evidence and trials, you have to play by the rules of science, and accept criticism if you disregard those rules.

Testing the placebo effect with ice water. (c) NRK/Teddy TV

Being human
As well as investigating the validity of certain commercial offerings, we wanted to highlight our inherent irrationality. Not theirs – ours. Perhaps our first mission sabotaged the second somewhat, because some have asked why we label the users of these treatments stupid. That was far from our intention.

Those who believe in alternative medicine aren’t stupid. They’re human. We are human.

Every bias and fallacy we discussed can apply across the board. People with no belief in alternative medicine can make utterly irrational choices in other areas. The placebo effect exists in evidence-based medicine too. All of us experience cognitive dissonance and illusory correlations on a regular basis. Much advertising and rhetoric is geared towards exploiting these quirks of the mind.

Our programme’s psychologist, who is extremely well read on (ir)rationality, recently caught himself googling the brand name of a car he was inclined to buy, plus the phrase “best in test”. He found exactly what he wanted to find; a prime example of confirmation bias.

With lack of quality-controlled information, inherent trust in our fellow beings and a brain prone to biases and logical fallacies, the popularity of alternative medicine isn’t very surprising. We’ve tried to assist the information part, while highlighting the fact that our brains play tricks on us all. 

Science = tools
Scientists are fallible humans too, which is why they use the scientific method, developed in large part to cancel out the effects of the mechanisms that make us so prone to drawing wrong conclusions.

Modern, evidence-based medicine is a young discipline, but its impact have been massive. Most of us would not exist without it. In developed countries, we now expect to live into our eighties, a century ago you would have been lucky to reach fifty.

It is imperfect of course, and so is the pharmaceutical industry, with extremely serious flaws that urgently needs to be addressed. But its underlying principles are sound. A casual stroll in a cemetery, noting the lifespan improvement in recent times, confirms that.

 “There is so much we don't understand yet”, we’ve been told repeatedly. And while that’s quite correct, unfortunately it’s often paired with an unwillingness to learn about what we in fact do know, and why it seems to be incompatible with their pet theory.

“Science can't be used for everything,” they say. And indeed, science is a terrible method for creating works of art, lovemaking, comforting the grieving, comedy or finding out the meaning of life.

But it’s a fantastic one for going to the moon, creating the technology you read this on – and concluding which medical treatments work and which not. Ancient Chinese wisdom, spirituality, good intentions and even empathy are all rubbish at those.

And make no mistake: despite loud claims, had healing or homeopathy had real effects other than placebo, these would be easy to measure. The trials have been done. They don’t.

Using the imperfections of evidence-based medicine, or the fact that treatments with effects may also have side effects, as a fig leaf to cover up the truth about alternative treatments is a cheap trick.

In fact, randomized controlled trials are so good at finding answers to certain types of questions (if something quantifiable works and how well, but not how), they should be applied more often to areas other than medicine. In a recent UK Cabinet Office white paper, Ben Goldacre and David Torgerson make a good case for using RCTs to test the effectiveness of certain kinds of policies, making for better results and less waste.

Science - bad a jokes, good at space travel and medicine. (c) NRK/Teddy TV

Cake, and the eating of it
Saying “we should do more research into alternative medicine” is at best a crowd pleaser, after all who can be against more research? But this ignores the fact that resources are limited. When there is reason to believe an alternative treatment has real and useful effects, trials are naturally warranted. Unfortunately, there is much to suggest most or all of the good bits of alternative medicine have already been adopted and enhanced by actual medicine by now. Willow bark was an effective alternative treatment, which is why it is no more – today we know it as aspirin.

We must spend our efforts on what is most likely to benefit humanity. Instead of trying to prove or disprove faith-based theories, we should focus on reasonable goals, such as cancer research, combating the diseases that ravage the developing world, or investigating the promising potential of drugs that have been off-limits to scientists for far too long, due to the taboo of the irrational “war on drugs”.

Hearts and minds
We’re emotional beings, but when we are to make decisions on our health and safety, we need facts. When we’re trying to solve the climate crisis, counter xenophobes wielding pseudo-demographics, or decide whether we should get vaccinated - we need solid data, not wishful thinking.

We must dismiss gut feeling and taboos and embrace honest, open, fact-based debate, so that we can use our resources for research in ways that give the most benefit to the most people.

Each of us possesses an exquisite brain. But it is capable of deeply irrational judgements. Despite it being fantastically adaptable, evolution prepared it for a very different life than the one we’re living; anecdote used to be key to survival on the savannah, data is a new concept.

The vast majority of alternative practitioners aren’t frauds, they’re believers, motivated by the desire to help others. There is no nobler motive. But without the tools developed to circumvent the biases and fallacies that are hardcoded into our brain, helping is a lot harder than it seems.

Isn’t acknowledging our human shortcomings and taking steps to reveal them the most open of all approaches?

We must set our goals with our hearts, but use our minds to figure out how to reach them.

'Read On' Sidebox: 

The programmes (at - in Norwegian  - available untill November 6)

Ben Goldacre's Bad Science (blog)

Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, fast and slow (book)

Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst's Trick or Treatment? (book)

Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational (book)

Warning letter from NHL (in Norwegian)

Critique from acupuncturists (in Norwegian)

Folkeopplysningen on Facebook (in Norwegian)

Psychologist Jan-Ole Hesselberg's Tankesmed (blog, in Norwegian)

Imagining conspiracies

Country or region: 


Bombshell: Obama’s policy in Syria is to DIRECTLY support the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda


Alex Thomas | President Obama’s active support for terror groups in Syria led to creation of ISIS

The post Bombshell: Obama’s policy in Syria is to DIRECTLY support the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda appeared first on Intellihub.


Iran denies it fired rockets near US aircraft carrier in Gulf, reports 'psychological warfare'

RT - Daily news
Preview Tehran has officially denied that its Revolutionary Guards’ patrol vessel launched rockets in imminent proximity to the USS Harry S. Truman and its convoy entering the Persian Gulf, calling the allegation an act of “psychological warfare.”
Read Full Article at


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Police Violence Kills More U.S. Citizens Than Flu And Pneumonia Combined, Report Reveals


Police Violence A Public Health Threat More Serious Than Flu, Report Reveals

According to a new report, police violence kills more U.S. citizens, annually, than the flu and pneumonia combined. So why aren't law-enforcement-related deaths being counted, tracked, and reported, like any other form of mortality affecting the public health?

A highly concerning new report published in the journal PLoS titled "Police Killings and Police Deaths Are Public Health Data and Can Be Counted," reveals that police killings in 122 major U.S. cities were responsible for more citizen deaths in 2015 than influenza and pneumonia deaths put together.

read more


Buying Power: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions

NYT > Home Page
The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income.


Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars Of Exposure To Derivatives

The Most Important News
Did you know that there are 5 “too big to fail” banks in the United States that each have exposure to derivatives contracts that is in excess of 30 trillion dollars? Overall, the biggest U.S. banks collectively have more than 247 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives contracts. That is...


Glenn Greenwald Confronts American “Liberals” Trying to Destroy Free Speech

The NYT article notes that “in response to the Islamic State’s success in grooming jihadists over the Internet, some legal scholars are asking whether it is time to reconsider” the long-standing “constitutional line” that “freedom of speech may not be curbed unless it poses a ‘clear and present danger’ — an actual, imminent threat, not the mere advocacy of harmful acts or ideas.”

The NYT cites two recent articles, one in Bloomberg by long-time Obama adviser Cass Sunstein and the other in Slate by Law Professor Eric Posner, that suggested limitations on the First Amendment in order to fight ISIS. It describes growing calls to ban the YouTube lectures and sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American cleric whom the U.S. assassinated by drone in 2011 (and then, two weeks later, killed his 16-year-old American son). It also notes that the desire to restrict the internet as a means of fighting ISIS has seeped into the leadership of both parties: Donald Trump said the “internet should be closed up” to ISIS, while “Hillary Clinton said the government should work with host companies to shut jihadist websites and chat rooms,” a plan that would be unconstitutional “if the government exerted pressure on private firms to cooperate in censorship.”

January 1, 2016: The New Bank Bail-In System Goes Into Effect In Europe

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

If you have a bank account anywhere in Europe, you need to read this article. On January 1st, 2016, a new bail-in system will go into effect for all European banks. This new system is based on the Cyprus bank bail-ins that we witnessed a few years [...]


Factory Farm "Cannibalism" and Rising Antibiotic Use Pose Serious Threats to Human Health

There's no sugar-coating it. We're at a critical junction, and we have to get serious about this issue. Tens of millions of people are likely going to die in the coming decades as a result of widespread antibiotic abuses. The presence of mcr-1 may further speed up the prevalence of bacteria impervious to every single antibiotic currently available. There are no quick and easy answers here.

The impending superbug crisis needs to be addressed from a number of different angles, but eliminating antibiotics for growth promotion and prophylactic purposes in livestock and fish production is perhaps the most pressing priority. As a consumer, you can add pressure on the industry and hasten this change by demanding antibiotic-free meats and animal products, no matter where you shop and eat.

Federal judge: Drinking tea, shopping at a gardening store is probable cause for a SWAT raid on your home

And, of course, we can’t have the media looking into critical public safety initiatives like “Operation Constant Gardener.” If such scrutiny revealed that cops consider merely shopping at a garden supply store to be suspicious behavior, that drug testing field kits are more about circumventing the Fourth Amendment than accurate results or that a sheriff’s boast of having shut down a drug operation run by an “average family” in a “good neighborhood” was actually a terrifying raid in which SWAT cops held two kids at gunpoint because their mother enjoyed drinking tea … well, some people might begin to question the wisdom of the drug war.

Monday, December 28, 2015

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, an excerpt

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, an excerpt: ""What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it."

'via Blog this'

The Dirty War On Syria: Chemical Fabrications, The East Ghouta Incident

By Professor Tim Anderson, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney Department of Political Economy.  (Originally published at Global Research.)

The dirty war on Syria has involved repeated scandals, often fabricated against the Syrian Government to help create pretexts for deeper intervention. Perhaps the most notorious was the East Ghouta incident of August 2013, where pictures of dead or drugged children were uploaded from an Islamist-held agricultural area east of Damascus, with the claim that the Syrian Government had used chemical weapons to murder hundreds of innocents. The incident generated such attention that direct US intervention was only averted by a Russian diplomatic initiative. The Syrian Government agreed to eliminate its entire stockpile of chemical weapons (Smith-Spark and Cohen 2013), maintaining that it had never used them in the recent conflict

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Government concerned that homeschool parents are "radicalizing" their children

Signs of the Times
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has recently voiced concerns that children are not receiving the proper brand of brainwashing and indoctrination from the government. Morgan called for a review of homeschooling and suggested that thousands of children are being "radicalized" by their parents. "There has always been the freedom in this country for people to educate their children at home. Many people do it very well, but we need to know where the children are and to be certain that they are safe. For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child's mind with poison. We just don't know. We don't have reliable figures,"a Department of Education spokesman said The Department said that they were also concerned about what was being taught in private Muslim schools, and that they were intending to crack down on those as well. "We have provided Ofsted with extra inspectors to eradicate extremism in education. We are working with them to address their concerns about home education being exploited, while safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children," the spokesperson said. The government in any country is not concerned with the health and well-being of children, and they do not spend billions on education for the good of the children or the parents. They invest so much in schools, and care so much about them, because they want to be able to train children to be obedient citizens and indoctrinate them into the system of control that they are living under. In most schools, whether they are in Europe, America or North Korea, students are presented with a skewed, biased and nationalistic view of history. Generally, the historical curriculum in government school is skewed to portray the establishment in a positive light. History lessons make warmongers look like martyrs because the warmongers have control over the formation of these lessons.


Marine Arrested For Spreading 9/11 Truth On Facebook

An Exclusive You Have To See: The Last Frontier of Free Press Is Here! No More Censorship, Unlike YouTube and Others! Ex-Marine Brandon Raub was incarcerated and forced to undergo a psychological evaluation after he posted comments on social media which criticised the American government. “This case was about more than one Marine’s right to not be targeted for speaking out against the government,” said John W.