Saturday, September 2, 2017

Red Cross Admits It Doesn't Know How Hurricane Harvey Donation Money Is Spent


Authored by Carey Wedler via,

Though the Red Cross has a historical reputation for providing relief to victims of natural disasters and other emergencies, the organization’s practices have tarnished its name over the last few years.

Amid the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the Red Cross reportedly accepted nearly $500 million in relief money but built only six homes with the funds even though they claimed they had provided homes to 130,000 people. These failures prompted some Haitians to advise the world against donating funds to the Red Cross.

The organization was accused of diverting resources and supplies to bolster its public image during Hurricane Sandy. As an investigation by NPR and ProPublica found:

The Red Cross national headquarters in Washington ‘diverted assets for public relations purposes.’  


A former Red Cross official managing the Sandy effort says 40 percent of available trucks were assigned to serve as backdrops for news conferences.

The outlets reported that [d]istribution of relief was ‘politically driven instead of [Red Cross] planned,’” noting many organizational failures.

Further, a report released last year by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley found that 25% of funds donated to aid in relief for victims of the earthquake was actually spent on internal costs. That amounted to roughly $124 million.

Now, amid the hurricane in Texas, the Red Cross is admitting it currently doesn’t know how the funds it’s receiving are being spent.


NPR’s Morning Edition interviewed Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman to ask how the funds will be distributed.  Kieserman said that as of Wednesday morning, “had spent $50 million on Harvey relief, mainly on 232 shelters for 66,000 people.”

Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief? NPR’s Ailsa Chang asked him.

But he responded without actually providing an answer to her question:

Yeah, I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.”

She pressed him about the Red Cross’ previous failures and misallocation of resources. According to NPR’s transcript:

Is that still happening? Such a substantial percentage of donations going to internal administrative costs, rather than to relief?


“Kieserman: It’s not something I would have any visibility on. I can talk about what it costs to deliver certain relief services.


“Chang: Yeah.


“Kieserman: But the way the internal revenue stream works, uhh …


“Chang: You don’t know what portion of that amount.


“Kieserman: Not really.


“Chang: You don’t know what portion of that total amount is for relief.


“Kieserman: No, I really don’t. I wish I could answer your question, but it’s not something I have visibility on in the role that I play in this organization.

The executive ultimately claimed that “The folks I work for are very, very attentive to cost effectiveness and cost efficiencies in making sure that as much as every dollar that we spend on an operation is client-facing.”

Slate reporter Jonathan Katz also reported the organization declined to disclose how much money they had spent or raised so far. Katz ultimately urged readers not to contribute to the Red Cross.

The Red Cross continues to face criticism and urgings for individuals who want to help to take their donations elsewhere. The Independent reports that over the weekend, Dan Gillmor, author and professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, advised against donating to the Red Cross. Many other social media users have expressed similar sentiments.

Despite the Red Cross’ failings, however, there are still many organizations doing important work.

The group A Just Harvey Recovery lists a number of local efforts accepting contributions. The Cajun Navy, a volunteer effort that previously rescued victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Louisiana floods last year, has also been working round the clock in Texas and is accepting donationsThere are many organizations and shelters working locally to provide relief and essential services. If you would like to contribute or volunteer, you can find some of them herehere and here.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Here’s What’s Happening BEHIND CLOSED DOORS As Hurricane Harvey Dissipates… [VIDEO] | YOUR PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY

Here’s What’s Happening BEHIND CLOSED DOORS As Hurricane Harvey Dissipates… [VIDEO] | YOUR PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY: "And if that wasn’t bad enough, Congress also passed another draconian law that Trump quietly signed into office, and that is House Joint Resolution 76 at the 115th Congress… This became law as of Tue., Aug. 22nd, 2017, and this resolution allows for the warrantless searches of homes, where only 1% opposed. "

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Author: U.S. only 1 step from bondage, tyranny



When Charles Sasser was 12, his father sent him down to the county barn to stand in line for what he called “gimpy groceries” – government surplus commodities such as beans, cheese and powdered milk.

It was an exceedingly difficult year on the family farm; otherwise, the elder Sasser’s pride and dignity would have prevented him from accepting charity. He was too proud to ask for government handouts, which was why he sent Charles in his place.

As young Charles stood in line with the other poor farmers at the county barn, one of the government workers handing out free food pushed him for some reason. Charles, who was a scrappy little kid, readied for a fight.

But the government worker only sneered, “Boy, if the government feeds you, it’ll do what it damn well pleases.”

That was the best lesson Charles Sasser ever learned. He came to realize anyone who depends on government is ultimately a slave to government. He never accepted any government handouts after that.

Now, after nearly 40 years as a journalist and historian, Sasser recognizes the familiar cycle that many countries throughout history have gone through: from bondage to spiritual faith to great courage to liberty to abundance to complacency to apathy to dependency to bondage once again.

Charles Sasser’s “Crushing the Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing” is available now at the WND Superstore!

“If we look around right now, we look at our society, we’re back on the dependency stage,” Sasser said in an interview with “The Hagmann Report.” “The next step is back to bondage, and you can see with the chaos that’s occurring right now in our society that we’re only one step away from tyranny.”

Sasser, author of the brand-new book “Crushing the Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing,” fears it may be too late to revive the United States.

“When we have 47 percent of our people dependent in one form or another upon government largesse, then we have reached that dependency stage,” he said. “You give people something, they don’t want [anyone] to take it away.”

In fact, ancient Rome had a massive welfare state, with more than 300,000 Romans on the rolls at various times. It was one of the factors that eventually collapsed that great empire.

Another contributing factor to Rome’s collapse, according to some historians, was mass perversion among the population. When Sasser worked as an undercover journalist among the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, he witnessed a mixture of perversion and glorification of government dependency.

“On this one table they were rolling marijuana cigarettes and passing them out,” Sasser recalled. “The first night I’m there there was a rape, an assault, some guy urinating on a police car. I mean, it went on and on and on.”

Everywhere he went, he saw signs and heard cries for free things – free education, free health care, free public transportation and the like. When Sasser would ask someone who was going to pay for all the freebies, he would invariably reply either “the rich” or “the government.”

“We have President Barack Obama who comes out and commends these people as the future,” Sasser recalled. “These are the future of the nation, they tell us. If they are the future, this is a scary future. And I believe it may be our future.”

Sasser has taught at junior colleges for almost 40 years, and he has lately noticed the proliferation of “safe spaces” and students who get offended by almost everything.

“They’re incapable of coping with reality,” he said. “They’re incapable of being independent. I’m firmly convinced of that now. It’s a mob mentality, a collective mentality, a collective mentality that unless it’s crushed, it will crush the rest of the nation.”

To avoid the same fate as Rome, the U.S. needs to return to a spirit of individualism and start demanding that people be independent, according to Sasser. But the federal government is doing the opposite. Sasser revealed he once lived with a family of black sharecroppers in Mississippi. One day, the family patriarch remarked that things were changing and blacks were being told to blame “whitey” for the poor condition of their race.

This was during the period immediately after passage of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” welfare legislation in the mid-1960s. Prior to that, Sasser pointed out, there was very little difference between white culture and black culture in terms of the unemployment rate, crime rate, fatherless rate and out-of-wedlock birth rate. But then came the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the War on Poverty, and things changed.

“You know what happened to the black culture?” Sasser asked. “They became dependent on government. First of all, we said, ‘Well, you really don’t need a father because you’ve got welfare. Fathers are irrelevant anymore, and you can eat, you don’t have to work because you’re poor, and primarily a lot of it is because you don’t work that you’ve become poor.’

“Don’t call me racist; I grew up in poverty and I know how to work. So we had that, they became dependent. Next thing you know, we had the black population put back on the plantation in the ghettoes. We put them back because government promised to take care of them from cradle to grave.”

The same thing has happened to Native Americans, Sasser said. He witnessed it firsthand because he is one-quarter Creek and once lived on an Indian reservation. He saw sky-high rates of alcoholism, suicide and unemployment among his fellow Indians.

“We’ve destroyed those people,” Sasser lamented. “What people fail to understand is skin color has nothing to do with any of this. What it is is we’ve taken groups and split them into groups and made some of them dependent on government and turned them against everyone else.”

And government dependency paves the way for a complete government takeover, he noted. While communism is more likely to take hold in a nation such as in pre-industrial Russia, a post-industrial nation such as the present-day United States is more vulnerable to fascism, a system in which private ownership is conditioned on submission to the state.

If fascism comes to America, it will not come from white supremacists, according to Sasser. Rather, it will come from radical left-wing groups such as the Antifa, which have the power of the media, wealthy financiers and many politicians behind them.

“I had the privilege of living through some of the best days in America, and now I’m unfortunate enough to live through the final, last days of America,” Sasser said in conclusion.

“We will see the last days unless we can crush this whole idea of the collective. We are not collective; we are individuals. People can’t seem to understand anymore that we are individuals, that we were the first nation in the world that declared that we were free and independent by virtue of God, and that built our entire nation on the idea of individual freedom.”

Charles Sasser’s “Crushing the Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing” is available now at the WND Superstore!


Liberal Media Continues To Turn Against 'AntiFa': "This Is Food For The Adversary"


Yesterday, the Washington Post surprised readers by turning against black-clad “Antifa” protesters who violently assaulted no fewer than five conservative demonstrators at a rally in Berkeley, Calif. on Sunday. Previously, the US capital’s paper of record and its mainstream media cohorts had focused their scorn on violence committed by conservative protesters, particularly in the aftermath of the tragic car-attack in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

But as it turns out, WaPo was ahead of the curve. Because today, both the Los Angeles Times AND The Atlantic published similarly scathing attacks on the black-clad demonstrators, portraying members of Antifa as brutal thugs who routinely gang up on overmatched supporters of President Donald Trump at events like Sunday’s anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley. Violent confrontations instigated by AntiFa have also occurred at rallies and events stretching from Portland, Ore. to Washington D.C. However, before this week, accounts like these were mostly confined to “conservative” media like the Daily Caller and Washington Times.

The LATimes' report focuses on how Antifa has alienated other leftist groups, who object to its violent tactics. One of the individuals quoted in the story, Todd Gitlin, founder of Students for a Democratic Society, one of the original anti-Vietnam War groups, blamed Antifa for sullying the left’s reputation and accused them of being “food for the adversary.”

…first, the headline…

…now, the story...

“But as the protest got underway, some of those in masks would resort to mob violence, attacking a small showing of supporters of President Trump and others they accused, sometimes inaccurately, of being white supremacists or Nazis.


The graphic videos of those attacks have spurred soul-searching within the leftist activist movement in the Bay Area and beyond. Emotions remain raw in the wake of this month’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which left one woman dead and dozens injured.”




‘This is food for the adversary,’ said sociologist Todd Gitlin, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, which organized the first national protests against the Vietnam War. He pointed out that violent acts committed by a few will almost always hijack the narrative of the entire protest, and that it is happening now should be no surprise.”

The Atlantic continued with a more comprehensive accounting of Antifa’s sins, beginning with the protester who famously punched Richard Spencer in the face on inauguration day…

“In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.”


...responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.




Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.




Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

Antifa has until now effectively enjoyed immunity from criticism in the mainstream press.

But the first inklings of a sea-change in public opinion emerged over the weekend, when one local reporter shared his story about being harassed and attacked by members of Antifa at Sunday’s rally. His remarks appear to have struck a chord...

KTVU anchor Frank Somerville, a well-known Bay Area TV personality, took to Facebook this weekend to share what happened to him when he took a day trip to Berkeley on Sunday. Somerville – hardly a conservative – explained how the Antifa protesters threatened to destroy his phone and needlessly demeaned and attacked him for the simple act of trying to document a rally taking place on public property.

In response, Somerville declared that he “experienced hate first hand today... It came from these people dressed in all black at a protest in Berkeley.”

“Ironically they were all chanting about NO hate.


Some had shields and gloves. Some had helmets. Some had gas masks.”

Anyone who’s been paying attention has been presented with many examples of Antifa’s violent thuggery. Now, it’s almost encouraging to hear that the MSM at least has enough sense not to fall on its sword protecting a bunch of violent, embittered hoodlums.

Like they say, three’s a trend…


The Anti-Empire Report #150


I’m back

It has recently been reported that Senator John McCain has an aggressive brain tumor. Not long ago I would have thought: “Good. It’ll be great to be rid of that neanderthal reactionary bastard!”

Not now. My kidneys are gone and I’m on (rather unpleasant) dialysis for the rest of my life. My separated-from German wife is in Germany and can’t fly because of the danger of blood clots forming and lodging in her lungs or heart. I’m an avid reader of medical news and almost every day I get choked-up and depressed by the never-ending heart-breaking stories of incurable pain and suffering of the old and the young.

So I wish the senator a good recovery, if that’s possible. Probably no more possible than his politics recovering. He just condemned all the neo-Nazi actions in Charlottesville, this man who went out of his way to pose for friendly photos with neo-Nazis in Ukraine and jihadists in Syria.

So far the dialysis does not seem to have helped, at least not with my two main symptoms: deep-seated sleepiness at home, resulting in repeated naps, making my writing difficult; and getting out-of-breath and having to stop and rest after a very short and slow walk outdoors. I’m curious about whether any of my readers knows of anyone with a medical problem that was clearly relieved by dialysis. It may be my advanced age of 84 that blocks any improvement. But, supposedly, the dialysis keeps me alive in the absence of functioning kidneys. Incidentally, nine of my readers and friends have offered me a kidney for transplant, but I can’t find a hospital willing to perform it; again it’s my age, though I’m very willing.

At least I still have my eyesight and my hearing. My mind is okay. I have all my limbs and am not paralyzed. And I’m not in pain. Much to be thankful for.

It’s also very nice to have gone past the hangups my condition thrust upon me and to be back writing my report for the first time in five months. During the recent American presidential campaign I wrote that if I were forced to vote and also forced to choose between Clinton and Trump I’d vote for the Donald. (As it turned out I voted for the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein.) I stated two reasons why I’d choose Trump over Clinton: presumably, a lesser chance of nuclear war with Russia and a lesser chance of the American government closing down the Russian TV station, Russia Today (RT), broadcasting in the US. There was at the time, and now again, growing Congressional pressure to do just that and I’m very reliant on the station. Because of such matters I was willing to overlook Trump’s many and obvious character defects, which I summed up with the endearing word of my people back in Brooklyn –- “shmuck”. But by now the man’s shmuckiness has been writ so large that little hope for him can be maintained.

What is keeping Donald Trump from drowning in the very cesspool of his own shmuckiness is a gentleman named Kim Jong-un. Who would have believed that a single historical period could produce two such giant shmucks, men who tower over their pathetic contemporaries? There’s only one explanation for this remarkable phenomenon. Of course. It’s Russia. Moscow is using the two men to make America look foolish. And Russia, it may soon be revealed, gave North Korea its nuclear weapons. Did you think that such an impoverished, downtrodden society could produce such scientific marvels on its own?

Is there any act too dastardly for Vladimir Putin?

We don’t know yet whether Trump’s son, daughter or son-in-law made any deals with Kim Jong-un. Stay tuned to Fox News and CNN.

Those stations, amongst others, put out a lot of fake news, but when it comes to news of North Korea nothing compares to the fake news of 1950. Did you know there’s no convincing evidence that North Korea did what they’re most famous for –- the June 25, 1950 invasion of South Korea, which led to the everlasting division of the Korean peninsula into two countries? And there were no United Nations forces that observed this invasion, as we’ve been taught. In any event, the two sides had been clashing across the dividing line for several years. What happened on that fateful day in June could thus be regarded as no more than the escalation of an ongoing civil war. Read my chapter on Korea in Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II for the full details of these and other myths.

The response to terrorism

I still get emails criticizing me for the stand I took against Islamic terrorists earlier this year. Almost every one feels obliged to remind me that the terrorists are acting in revenge for decades of US/Western bombing of Muslim populations and assorted other atrocities. And I then have to inform each one of them that they’ve chosen the wrong person for such a lecture. I, it happens, wrote the fucking book on the subject!

In the first edition of my book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, published in 2001, before September 11, the first chapter was “Why do terrorists keep picking on The United States?” It includes a long list of hostile US military and political actions against the Islamic world during the previous 20 years.

So I can well see why radical Muslims would harbor a deep-seated desire for revenge against The United States and its allies who often contributed to the hostile actions. My problem is that the Islamic terrorist actions are seldom aimed at those responsible for this awful history –- the executive and military branches of the Western nations, but are more and more targeted against innocent civilians, which at times includes other Muslims, probably even, on occasion, some who sympathize with the radical Islamic cause. These random terrorist acts are thus not defendable or understandable from any revenge point of view. What did the poor people of Barcelona have to do with Western imperialism?

Civilians are of course much easier to target, but that’s clearly no excuse. As I’ve pointed out in the past, we should consider this: From the 1950s to the 1980s the United States carried out all kinds of very harmful policies against Latin America, including numerous bombings, without the natives ever resorting to the uncivilized, barbaric kind of retaliation as employed by ISIS. Latin American leftists generally took their revenge out upon concrete representatives of the American empire: diplomatic, military and corporate targets – not markets, theatres, nightclubs, hospitals, schools, restaurants or churches.

The terrorists’ choice of targets is bad enough, but their methods are even worse. Who could have imagined 20 years ago that an organization would exist in this world that would widely publicize detailed instructions on how to choose a truck to drive down a busy thoroughfare and directly into crowds of people? What species of human being is this?

What is needed is a worldwide media campaign to make fun of the very idea that such men, along with suicide bombers, will be rewarded by Allah in an afterlife; even the idea of an afterlife can of course be derided; yes, even the idea of Allah, by that or any other name, can be derided; at least the idea of such a cruel God. Appealing to jihadists on simply moral grounds would be even more useless than appealing to Pentagon officials or Donald Trump on moral grounds. The jihadists have to be deeply ridiculed; the small amount of human empathy and decency still remaining in their heart of hearts has to be reached through embarrassing them before their friends and family. Femmes fatales can be used against young Islamic men, most of whom, I’d venture to say, have sizable sexual hangups. Bombing them only increases their numbers.

Some thoughts on the question that will not go away: Capitalism vs. socialism

“The whole art of Conservative politics in the 20th century is being deployed to enable wealth to persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power.” –– Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), Labour Party (UK) minister

The fact that Donald J. Trump is a champion –- indeed, a model, or as he might say, a huge model –- of capitalism should be enough to make people turn away from the system, but the debate between capitalism and socialism continues without pause in the Trump era as it has since the 19th century. The wealth gap, affordable housing, free education, public transportation, a sustainable environment, and health care are some of the perennial points of argument we’re all familiar with.

So many empty houses … so many homeless people –- Is this the way a market economy is supposed to work?

Twice in recent times the federal government in Washington has undertaken major studies of many thousands of federal jobs to determine whether they could be done more efficiently by private contractors. On one occasion the federal employees won more than 80% of the time; on the other occasion 91%. Both studies took place under the George W. Bush administration, which was hoping for different results. 1 The American people have to be reminded of what they once knew but seem to have forgotten: that they don’t want BIG government, or SMALL government; they don’t want MORE government, or LESS government; they want government ON THEIR SIDE.

As to corporations, we have to ask: Do the members of a family relate to each other on the basis of self-interest and greed?

Speaking in very broad terms … slavery gave way to feudalism … feudalism gave way to capitalism … capitalism is not a timelessly valid institution but was created to satisfy certain needs of the time … capitalism has outlived its usefulness and must now give way to socialism … the ultimate incompatibility between capitalist profit motive and human environmental survival demands nothing less.

The system corrupts every important aspect of our lives, including the one which takes up the most of our time -– our work, even for corporation executives, who demand huge salaries and benefits to justify their working at jobs that otherwise are not particularly satisfying. Several years ago, the Financial Times of London reported on Wall Street’s opposition to salary limits:

Senior bankers were quick to warn the plans would cause a brain drain from the profession as top executives seek more rewarding jobs out of the public eye. Unlike other careers where job satisfaction and other considerations play a part, finance tends to attract people whose main motivation is money. … ‘The cap is a lousy idea,’ complained one top Wall Street executive. ‘If there is no monetary upside, who would want to do these jobs?’ 2

As for those below the executive class … When they work, it’s too often just any job they can find, rather than one designed to realize innermost spiritual or artistic needs. Their innermost needs are rent, food, clothes, and electricity.

For those concerned about the extent of freedom under socialism the jury is still out because the United States and other capitalist powers have subverted, destabilized, invaded, and/or overthrown every halfway serious attempt at socialism in the world. Not one socialist-oriented government, from Cuba and Vietnam in the 1960s, to Nicaragua and Chile in the 1970s, to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in the 1990s, to Haiti and Venezuela in the 2000s has been allowed to rise or fall based on its own merits or lack of same, or allowed to relax its guard against the ever-threatening imperialists.

The demise of the Soviet Union (even with all its shortcomings) has turned out to be the greatest setback to the fight against the capitalist behemoth, and we have not yet recovered.

How could the current distribution of property and wealth reasonably be expected to emerge from any sort of truly democratic process? And if this is the way regulated capitalism works, what would life under unregulated capitalism be like? We’ve long known the answer to that question. Theodore Roosevelt (president of the United States 1901-09) said in a speech in 1912: “The limitation of governmental powers, of governmental action, means the enslavement of the people by the great corporations who can only be held in check through the extension of governmental power.”

And what do the corporate elite want? In a word: “everything” … from our schools to our social security, from our health care to outer space, from our media to our sports.

“We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.” – William James (1842-1910)

A few years ago, when George W. Bush came out as a painter, he said that he had told his art teacher that “there’s a Rembrandt trapped inside this body”. 3 Ah, so Georgie is more than just a painter. He’s an artiste.
And we all know that artistes are very special people.
They’re never to be confused with mass murderers, war criminals, merciless torturers or inveterate liars.
Neither are they ever to be accused of dullness of wit or incoherence of thought or speech.

Artistes are not the only special people.
Devout people are also special: Josef Stalin studied for the priesthood.
Osama bin Laden prayed five times a day.

And animal lovers: Herman Goering, while his Luftwaffe rained death upon Europe, kept a sign in his office that read: “He who tortures animals wounds the feelings of the German people.”
Adolf Hitler was also an animal lover and had long periods of being a vegetarian and anti-smoking.
Charles Manson was a staunch anti-vivisectionist.

And cultured people: This fact Elie Wiesel called the greatest discovery of the war: that Adolf Eichmann was cultured, read deeply, played the violin.
Mussolini also played the violin.
Some Nazi concentration camp commanders listened to Mozart to drown out the cries of the inmates.
Former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic, convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, was a psychiatrist, specializing in depression; a practitioner of alternative medicine; published a book of poetry and books for children.

Members of ISIS and Al Qaeda and other suicide bombers are genuinely and sincerely convinced that they are doing the right thing, for which they will be honored and rewarded in an afterlife. That doesn’t make them less evil; in fact it makes them more terrifying, since they force us to face the scary reality of a world in which sincerity and morality do not necessarily have anything to do with each other.

Dick Gregory, 1932-2017

“Mayor Daley and other government officials during the riots of the ’60s showed their preference for property over humanity by ordering the police to shoot all looters to kill. They never said shoot murderers to kill or shoot dope pushers to kill.”

“When the white Christian missionaries went to Africa, the white folks had the bibles and the natives had the land. When the missionaries pulled out, they had the land and the natives had the bibles.”

“The way Americans seem to think today, about the only way to end hunger in America would be for Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird to go on national TV and say we are falling behind the Russians in feeding folks.”

“What we’re doing in Vietnam is using the black man to kill the yellow man so the white man can keep the land he took from the red man.”


  1. Washington Post, June 8, 2005 and March 23, 2006
  2. Financial Times (London) February 5, 2009
  3. Washington Post, November 21, 2013


Stop Fetishizing These War Victims And The Piece Of Cloth They’re Draped In

“Then you go on leave, and realize that Ayn Rand has no idea what the fuck she’s talking about. You realize that Fox News and Limbaugh and John McCain don’t respect you or your buddies. They don’t give a fuck if you get a parade or a box when you get home, you’re nothing to them but a prop.
Then you get out, and you hate the news. You hate the apathy, and you hate the murder being carried out in your name. You grew up wanting so bad to be Luke Skywalker, but you realize that you were basically a Stormtrooper, a faceless, nameless rifleman, carrying a spear for empire, and you start to accept the startlingly obvious truth that these are people like you.”
~ Daniel Crimmins, U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division

Colin Kaepernick has been in the news again, and as usual I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about flags and soldiers from Americans who still manage to find some way to hate him for taking a knee during the national anthem. I guess the idea is that Kaepernick’s act of protesting the treatment of black Americans was somehow disrespectful to the flag, and by extension (via some mental contortions and leaps in logic that I simply cannot fathom) disrespectful to US military personnel as well.

This practice of invoking fallen soldiers in order to win debates about toxic US policies is obscene, illogical, and pernicious, and it needs to stop. Colin Kaepernick is not automatically wrong because the US government routinely sends its teenagers overseas to die for American oil interests. The fact that soldiers fight and die in military operations has no bearing whatsoever on Kaepernick’s attempts to draw attention to specific US domestic issues.

These foam-brained non-arguments point to a much broader phenomenon in US political discourse in which the uniquely American way that military personnel are fetishized prevents people from speaking plainly about the reality of what the US war machine is actually doing. Anyone who wants to bring any criticism of US foreign policy anywhere remotely close to mainstream discourse must first do a whole ridiculous song and dance about how they’re so grateful to the brave men and women in the armed services for their heroic sacrifices who fought and died for our freedom.

In reality, of course, none of the men and women in the United States armed forces are fighting and dying for freedom, they’re fighting to make billionaires richer and shore up strategic geopolitical assets for the US empire. They’re not making “sacrifices”, because that word implies that you’re taking a loss for a greater good. And they are not heroes — they are victims of an exploitative and amoral war machine which has never, ever cared about them.

Every mature person knows this on some level, but we’re not permitted to say so in polite company. And our good intentions are used against us, to shame critics of US military aggression into silence in essentially the same way supporters of Colin Kaepernick are shamed into silence. We know that the thousands of soldiers who have died in America’s recent military invasions left behind families, friends and loved ones, and so many of us have entered into this silent agreement not to speak the truth that they died for nothing but the mundane greed and power hunger of a few oligarchs because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. But in our silence we permit the war machine to keep advancing the lie that America uses its military to defend freedom, justice and democracy, which in turn allows it to throw the lives of other people’s sons and daughters into its gears as its depraved bloodbaths march on.

We need to be able to say this, and to say it unequivocally. It’s impossible to fight the war machine from one side of our mouths while adorning it with lies about heroism and freedom from the other. If people can’t oppose the US war machine effectively it will keep creating more grieving families as it continues to hurl their loved ones into its insatiable furnace. A widespread counter-narrative against the grain of the fictions that Americans have been telling themselves about what their military is and does is absolutely necessary for an anti-war movement to gain any headway.

My Dark, Secret Fantasy: A Robust Anti-War Movement In America

The US war machine is lying about Afghanistan, just like it lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident to manufacture support for the useless and devastating Vietnam war, the false Nayirah testimony which was used to manufacture support for the Gulf War, the amazing network of lies spun about Saddam Hussein and the mass media propaganda campaign which caused seventy percent of Americans to believe he was responsible for the September 11 attacks, the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya and the unconscionable Bana Alabed psy-op in Syria. If the US military was really being used for beneficent purposes, the proponents of its actions wouldn’t be lying to us constantly.

In 1935 two-time Medal of Honor recipient General Smedley D. Butler wrote a book titled War is a Racket, describing how business interests had already become inextricably intertwined with military interests. In 1961 President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address to the nation of the looming danger of the military-industrial complex. This is all above ground and has been for many decades. Anyone who isn’t bound and determined to avoid looking at the truth of what is happening here can see this for themselves. Scratch the surface of any act of military interventionism in recent history and you find an unbelievable web of lies leading invariably to a staggering amount of money.

Trump's Afghanistan Surge Could Mean Big Money For Defense Contractor Tied To James Mattis

 — @mtracey

Generally speaking, Americans are wonderful people and its military is full of individuals who joined with good intentions. Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with patriotism or flag-waving, and celebrating one’s nation can be a positive thing. But both of these things are being used to inflict a profound evil upon this earth. The good intentions of US military personnel have been used to facilitate the slaughter of a million Iraqis and two million Vietnamese civilians. Patriotism and flag-waving has been used to manufacture support for evil acts of military aggression for profit and power. We need to stop facilitating this deceit.

There are no war heroes. There are only war victims. War is never a good thing, and should only ever be used in great reluctance to defend a nation’s own land. This simply does not happen in America anymore. War is sought out as a Plan A against sovereign nations on the other side of the planet, and then excuses are concocted to justify it.

The men and women who unknowingly die facilitating those evil agendas are not heroes, they are victims. When someone is a hero you celebrate them and encourage others to do as they did. When someone is a victim you mourn losing them and work toward making sure that such senseless tragedy never happens again to anyone else. This is why the US war machine works so hard painting its victims as heroes.

Did you know that it wasn’t customary for NFL players to stand for the national anthem until 2009? Until then players generally stayed in the locker room instead of standing on the field during that time. Colin Kaepernick wouldn’t have been able to hold his absurdly controversial demonstration at any time except in the NFL’s very most recent history.

Do you know what changed in the NFL’s very most recent history? The Department of Defense and the National Guard began pouring millions of dollars into the NFL for on-field displays of patriotism. It was a recruiting campaign. In order to implant the seeds of the patriotism it has been using to manufacture support for its depraved bloodbaths around the world into the minds of young football fans, the US military instituted the very practice that Kaepernick used for his protest. People are literally invoking the images of dead soldiers to condemn a protest performed on a foundation built by the institution which creates dead soldiers.

Stop idolizing that piece of cloth. Stop fetishizing the victims of the US war machine. Evil is being wrought, innocent blood is being spilled, and we need every voice crying out against it. Don’t be silenced from doing so by blind, vapid patriotism and lies.

— — —

I’m a 100 percent reader-funded journalist so if you enjoyed this, please consider helping me out by sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or throwing some money into my hat on Patreon.



When Government Can’t Take 'Not Guilty' For an Answer


"The federal government is all about keeping the status quo," attorney Jess Marchese tells me. "They're not going to cede power."

I had asked Marchese, who represents Eric Parker in legal proceedings resulting from the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff over control of western lands, why he thought the federal government was taking yet another crack at his client who, along with codefendant O. Scott Drexler, will face the third trial in a row on a diminishing set of charges. The Las Vegas lawyer's take was that this had become a matter of pride for both the federal government and for Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre after juries repeatedly frustrated federal prosecutors.

A mistrial was declared in April by U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro after two of the six defendants in that trial were convicted on lesser charges, while jurors voted 10-2 in favor of acquitting two and split on the others, according to news reports. Just last week, jurors returned not a single "guilty" verdict in the retrial of the four remaining defendants. Found "not guilty" on all charges, Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma and Steven Stewart of Idaho were released after the federal government failed twice in its efforts to send them to prison. That left two defendants in limbo after the charges against them resulted in hung juries. Again.

With regard to Parker and Drexler, "how close was the jury to reaching verdicts on the unresolved charges?" I asked Marchese.

"There was one holdout," he told me, obviously frustrated. That is, the jury voted 11-1 to acquit across the board. That one holdout allows the federal government to muster the resources of the federal government to try yet again in hopes that a third set of jurors will finally believe the government and convict Parker and Drexler of assaulting a federal officer and carrying a firearm in the commission of a crime and (in the case of Parker) two additional counts of using a firearm to threaten a federal officer.

The pending third trial is scheduled for September, though an appeal by Marchese may delay matters (and will likely nudge the pending trial of Cliven, Ammon, and Ryan Bundy even further into the future). That penciled-in date is remarkable when you consider that federal juries are traditionally almost rubber stamps for prosecutors.

"The rate of conviction remained over 90 percent, as it has since Fiscal Year 2001," the United States Attorneys' Statistical Report boasted in 2012. A year later, the report noted that conviction rates had crept over 92 percent since 2010.

So it has to be frustrating both institutionally, for the federal government, and on an individual level for prosecutors to be turned away, again and again, by jurors unimpressed by the government's case, or sympathetic to defendants.

Jurors did much the same in a related case last year when they acquitted Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and five codefendants of charges resulting from the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. That unexpected verdict was attributed by some to jury nullification and by many others to juror reaction to overreaching federal prosecution.

"It should be known that all 12 jurors felt that this verdict was a statement regarding the various failures of the prosecution to prove 'conspiracy' in the count itself—and not any form of affirmation of the defense's various beliefs, actions or aspirations," one of the actual jurors told The Oregonian.

Ironically, the Malheur takeover started as a protest against an earlier exercise in prosecutorial excess in another case involving dispute over control of western lands.

Overreaching by the government may have played a similar role in the latest trial. Judge Navarro threw Parker off the stand—ironically, right after he mentioned the First Amendment—cutting short his testimony in his own defense and even striking it from the record. Even before that point, the judge "barred the defense from referencing constitutional rights to freely assemble and to bear arms. She also prohibited mention of alleged misconduct or excessive force by law enforcement," reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to Marchese, who spoke to jurors after the trial, Judge Navarro's heavy-handed courtroom management played a major role in the jury's refusal to bring a single "guilty" verdict. Defending the status quo, refusing to cede power, the feds pushed too hard and had their anticipated victory stripped from them by offended representatives of the people in the courtroom.

And as with federal conduct of these trials overall, so it is with the behavior of Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre.

"He's taking it personally," Marchese says of his federal counterpart's performance in the courtroom. "He started name-calling against my client in court."

"There's nothing more dangerous than a coward with a weapon," Myhre said of Parker in an argument that drew gasps in the courtroom and that may have helped to convince 11 members of the jury to favor acquittal. (The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.)

In fact, it's hard to escape the conclusion that these trials have become extended grudge matches by the federal government and its employees against people challenging their authority in general, and westerners pushing back over control of public lands in particular. Independent of these armed protests, Utah and other states are increasingly pushing Washington, D.C. to surrender control over the vast reaches of land that are often arbitrarily managed and regulated to the detriment of local residents. "The armed occupation of federal buildings is inexcusable, but so are federal land-management abuses and prosecutorial overreach, the Wall Street Journal editorialized last year.

That has federal employees' panties in a bunch.

"Parts of the Sagebrush West are beginning to resemble Eastern Ukraine," complained Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, in a press release regarding the Bundy ranch conflict.

Well, that's… ridiculous.

But if you're accustomed to always getting your way, and you suddenly discover that you're resented and resisted by many of the people around you, even a little pushback can drive you into a panic.

Marchese tells me that, if this was a civil trial and Myhre faced the prospect of paying defendants' legal fees after yet another loss, he might act more reasonably. But I don't know. Grudge matches are, by definition, unreasonable. And no matter what the ultimate cost, the feds can't seem to bring themselves to take "not guilty" for an answer.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sixteen More Convincing Reasons to Question 9/11


9-11-Never-ForgetIt has been 16 years since the crimes of September 11th, 2001. In that time, facts have been revealed that led more than a third of Americans to believe that the U.S government was involved in the attacks. This blog noted 14 such incredible facts on the 14th anniversary of the crimes. Here are 16 more.


  1. In the nine years before 9/11, the FBI failed miserably at preventing terrorism. There are many examples of how FBI leadership under director Louis Freeh facilitated and covered-up acts of terrorism during this time. After 9/11, the FBI took extraordinary measures to hide evidence related to the attacks.
  2. CIA director George Tenet led an agency that also failed in its duties related to counterterrorism and those failures appear to have been intentional. Like Freeh, Tenet had developed secret paths of communication with Saudi authorities. The facts suggest that Tenet facilitated the crimes of 9/11.
  3. The FBI and CIA have made a mockery of the U.S. justice system as it relates to 9/11. While these agencies are suspected of involvement, they have charged others with the crimes using secret evidence in a secret military trial. The accused have been held in seclusion for nearly 15 years while FBI and CIA agents attempt to insert themselves as defense team members, ensuring total control of the narrative.
CIA officers responsible for identifying deception in others fail to notice that the characteristics of deception are amply demonstrated when government representatives respond to questions about 9/11. There have been four, distinctly different, official accounts given for how the North American air defense system failed to intercept any of the hijacked planes. The last account says that dozens of military officers spent years lying to Congress, the 9/11 Commission, and everyone else, in ways that made the military look bad. Few observers considered the simpler explanation—that the 9/11 Commission lied to divert attention from many difficult questions. Parts of the official account of 9/11 are based on the highly improbable flight path of a military cargo plane called Gofer 06. The crew of this plane witnessed the crashes of two of the four planes that day despite those crashes occurring 127 miles and less than 30 minutes apart. There are dozens of unanswered questions about the events at the Pentagon and the plane that reportedly crashed there. The 19 young men accused within 72-hours of the attacks were known to enjoy strip bars, alcohol, drugs, and other things that are clearly non-Muslim activities. Moreover, these suspects were not capable of accomplishing most of what was needed to pull off the crimes. Mohamed Atta, the man called the “9/11 ringleader,” had a lot in common with Lee Harvey Oswald—the man accused of killing President Kennedy. Both Atta and Oswald were suspected of using illicit drugs, seemed to be protected by authorities, and were associated with CIA-linked entities. The New York Times led the propaganda behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and it also led the propaganda behind the cover-up of the 9/11 crimes. It did so by ignoring many of the most relevant facts, by promoting false official accounts, and by belittling those who questioned the 9/11 events. On the day of the attacks, firefighters, journalists, survivors, and eyewitnesses testified to secondary explosions in the World Trade Center buildings. Videos of these testimonies were held secret for years by the government agency NIST and released only via FOIA request after public interest died down. Scientists have explained that the towers came down due to explosions and that the NIST investigation was fraudulent. Among the evidence ignored by the mainstream media are many facts indicating the presence of thermite at the World Trade Center. Thermite is a chemical mixture that can be used to melt and cut structural steel. Instead of addressing this evidence, supporters of the official account have engaged in deception and distraction in order to obfuscate the facts. Despite recent, worldwide protests against the abuse of science, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience continues to be ignored by many scientists. That is the 7-year sequence of contradictory explanations provided by U.S. government investigators for the destruction of the WTC buildings. Links between 9/11 and the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City lead to questions about the company that controlled security for many of the facilities impacted on 9/11, including the WTC complex. For instance, that WTC security company shared the same OKC airport office later occupied by the flight trainer for Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged “20th” Media and certain government representatives have hinted at Saudi Arabian ties to the 9/11 crimes. However, those hints always omit the most interesting links between the 9/11 attacks and Saudi Arabia—links that implicate powerful people in the United States. When the long-awaited 28 pages missing from the Congressional Joint Inquiry Report into 9/11 were finally released, those pages reinforced concerns that deep state players were involved in the attacks. Such players include Wirt D. Walker, the CEO of the WTC security company, who is clearly associated with top-secret operations.

As the crimes of 9/11 continue to go unsolved and largely unquestioned, Americans should be aware that another 9/11 could happen at any time. If that happens, everyone should realize that ongoing failure to question obvious deception in terrorism could take society to places where freedom to question is no longer an option.

Kevin Ryan blogs at Dig Within.

Sixteen More Convincing Reasons to Question 9/11 was originally published on Washington's Blog


6 ways this Ivy League university is acting like a PR firm for junk food, GMOs and pesticides


Earns Monsanto

FILE - This Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, file photo, shows the Monsanto logo at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, Monsanto reports financial earnings. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File) (Credit: AP)


If a scientist has a relationship with a large company, how can the public fully trust the statements they are making about that company’s products? When these relationships aren’t made public, things get even murkier.

But that’s exactly what’s happening in the U.S. food industry, where large corporations enlist university academics to provide their imprimatur on a host of consumer products — some of which may actually be unhealthy and even unsafe.

Like so much else, it comes down to money: Big agriculture and food companies like Monsanto and Coca-Cola are able to procure influence among academics by providing research funding — and sometimes even research topics. The danger is that the resulting “research” could amount to little more than corporate-funded marketing that, to the unwitting public, has the stamp of approval from a prestigious university.

In particular, relationships between food companies and academia has caused professors to take sides on controversial issues, swaying the “science” on issues that matter to Big Food and Ag — like junk food, GMOs and pesticides — issues that also have the potential to have a profound, and possibly negative impact on human health.

Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy at the school of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, said monetary relationships between academics and food corporations, like sugary beverage and junk food companies, are destructive to both the credibility of science and public health.

“I would go as far as to say that it is immoral,” said Schmidt, whose research focuses on addiction, poverty, obesity-related metabolic disease. “We’re talking people getting sick. And the idea that scientists are allowing themselves to be purchased by corporations . . . is a big problem.”

One repeat offender is Cornell University, several of whose professors have been lured into the propaganda machines of Big Ag and Big Food. One professor, Brian Wansink, the director of the university’s Food and Brand Lab, is facing allegations of self-plagiarism and possible data misrepresentation in multiple papers and studies. The Journal of Sensory Studies even retracted one of Wansink’s studies because it contained a “major overlap” with another study he published.

Cornell is a prestigious Ivy League school. So when their professors support junk food, pesticides and GMOs, it can have a damaging and potentially lasting impact worldwide.

Here are six ways Cornell has become a PR agency for Big Food and Big Ag.

1. Cornell professor Tony Shelton followed a Monsanto executive’s suggestion to write a pro-GMO paper.

Anthony Shelton, professor in the Department of Etymology at Cornell, co-wrote a paper published on a pro-GMO site, the Genetic Literacy Project, about the sustainability benefits of herbicide and insect tolerant plants as a part of a special report titled “Beyond the Science.”

It was later revealed through emails obtained through FOIA requests by U.S. Right To Know, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in the food system, that Eric Sachs, a Monsanto Outreach Lead, had contacted eight academics, including Shelton, to author the papers in this pro-GMO series. Though the professors weren’t paid to write these papers, the email provided the researchers specific topics with suggested backgrounds to keep in mind while authoring their work.

The email stated that the paper topics were chosen based upon their impact on consumer acceptance and public policy—and that the goal was to increase the public’s understanding of the benefits of GMO crops.

In the paper, Shelton and his co-author David Shaw, the vice president for Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State University, write that “GM crop technology provides farmers with advanced integrated pest management (IPM) tools to ensure a productive and safe crop.”

However, Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at the Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy nonprofit, said that because the U.S. does not require safety assessments of foods before they go on the market, there’s simply no way to say all GMOs are safe. He said that companies can participate in a voluntary safety consultation with the FDA, but no conclusions are made.

“The FDA will often say we have no questions, but we remind the company that it is up to them to determine safety,” he said. “That is not a conclusion of the FDA of saying these things are safe.”

2. The Cornell Alliance for Science is a PR front for the agrichemical industry.

According to its website, the Cornell Alliance for Science is a nonprofit that aims to restore science within decision making. The nonprofit was launched in 2014 with the intention to “depolarize the GMO debate,” as stated by its director Sarah Evanega Davidson. Davidson failed to respond to comment for this article.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds CAS, is pro-GMO and Gates himself has even bought millions of dollars worth of shares in Monsanto stock.

Despite this, Davidson wrote in a blog post that CAS has no relationship with the industry. The Alliance often paints a one-sided story of GMOs, speaking only about positive aspects, ignoring issues such as GMOs have increased herbicide use, especially of glyphosate, an herbicide declared “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization. (Other scientists are debating this declaration.)

In response to U.S. Right to Know’s obtaining of emails between academics and Monsanto through FOIA requests, the CAS called on the public to “stand with science” to protect scientific freedom. The CAS asked the public to sign a letterthat referred to the request for these emails as “anti-science bullying.”

The CAS features a variety of pro-GMO speakers including many journalists, like Tamar Haspel, a columnist for The Washington Post who often writes pro-gmo columns, and who admitted being paid by the industry she reports on. This activity is called “buckraking,” which TruthWiki defines as “the practice of accepting large sums of money for speaking to special interest or business groups, especially when viewed as compromising the objectivity of journalists.”

CAS also offers fellowships for journalists to promote what they euphemistically call “contextualized reporting” on biotechnology and other food security issues.

Paul Thacker, an environmental journalist who reports on GMO-related issues, said he does not understand why any journalist would want to associate with the Alliance.

“What I find most troubling about the Alliance for Science is that they pushing to rebrand FOIA as some sort of bullying technique,” Thacker said. “Why any journalist would want to speak in front of such an organization is beyond my comprehension.”

Jonathan Latham, co-founder of the Bioscience Resource Project, a group that studies the safety of genetic engineering, said Cornell is allowing the industry to advertise in a space that appears to be independent, but in reality is not.

“So, what Cornell University is basically doing is hosting an institution that can do PR for the biotech industry,” Latham said.

3. Cornell professor David Just testified that he worries GMO labels will falsely alarm and mislead consumers.

There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety, according to a report signed by over 300 independent researchers written to challenge reports of this said consensus. While the report does not say that GMOs have been proven to be unsafe, it was made clear that the science has not yet been settled.

Yet in 2015, at a senate hearing on whether or not states can mandate labeling on GMO products, applied economics professor David R. Just said the GMO labels could. “mislead consumers into being afraid of something we know to be safe.”

Just said in a later conversation that he’s not opposed to all GMO labeling, but thinks it could be misleading especially because not all production processes are required to be listed. Just also said he believes it’s not important whether or not a food contains a GMO, but why the GMO is present.

Rob Lustig, professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California at San Francisco, said that because the science on GMOs is still unsettled, it would be important to for scientists to know what products contained GMOs if problems arise in the future.

“I’m for labeling because labeling will be able to provide us the information to populate the database if it turns out there is a problem, but that’s not what the food industry wants clearly because they don’t want to find a problem.”

4. Cornell professors Brian Wansink and David Just also oppose bans on large-size sodas.

Wansink, the professor facing allegations of academic misconduct, and Just, have also spoken against bans on larger sized sodas.

The two professors wrote an article in response to a proposed ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces in New York City. The article stated bans on large sized sodas are ineffective because consumers who want larger sized sodas will always find a way to get them. The article also suggests that bans like these would disproportionately affect the less affluent.

However, alternative research suggests that large-sized soda bans would actually be effective in targeting people who are overweight and not the poor. A study headed by Columbia health policy and management professor Y. Claire Yang tracked data from over 19,000 people across the U.S. and found that the soda ban would affect the same percentage of people across all income levels.

In an interview, Just said he felt at the time people were overstating the possible impact of a soda ban, and said while it likely could reduce obesity for small, specific numbers of people, it would not have a dramatic impact of reducing obesity. He said because of this, especially in areas where the ban faced pushback, it would be harder to implement a more effective bill in the future.

In 2013, the soda ban was rejected by New York State’s highest court.

5. Cornell received $4.8 million to support a GMO eggplant.

In 2016, the U.S. Agency for International Development, a government agency aimed to end global poverty, gave Cornell University almost a $5 million grant to incorporate BT Brinjal, a GMO eggplant, in Bangladesh. This implementation project is run by Shelton.

This grant was aimed to improve food security in Bangladesh by reducing yield losses, and therefore improve livelihoods by providing a stable income for farmers.

However, the grant was given to Cornell despite reports by Bangladeshi development policy research group UBINIG of major BT Brinjal crop failures in years prior. The press release Cornell University put out about the grant stated that the crop had actually increased yields, and reduced pesticides and pest infestation.

UBINIG reported officials from the Bangladeshi Department of Agriculture primarily took care of the crops during their short lives. They also reportedheavy use of pesticides, even banned pesticides, on the failing crop, despite claims that the crops would require none at all. Seventy-four percent of the farmers that grew BT Brinjal in this trial said they would never grow it again. UBINIG has also reported recent failures with the crop.

Hansen, who has been to Bangladesh and worked with UBINIG, said Cornell officials are spreading propaganda about the success of BT Brinjal.

6. Three Cornell academics write for the agrichemical industry PR site GMO Answers.

Peter Davies, professor emeritus at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Xiaohua Yang, postdoctoral associate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Shelton all write for GMO Answers. On the site, users ask questions about GMOs and hundreds of experts, including academics and officials for corporate agriculture companies, answer.

The website is funded by the Council for Biotechnology Information, whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences and BASF.

The website is run by U.S. Public Relations company Ketchum, the same company that represented the Honduran government amid a potential human rights crisis and which also represented Russia. There are also allegations that Ketchum committed espionage acts against non-profits like Greenpeace.

The website provides a one-sided view of GMOs, including saying GMOs caused a decrease in pesticides, when alternative studies say pesticide use has increased.

Davies said he has never been paid to answer questions on the website, and that his answers are put directly on the website unedited.

“So from that point of view, they do not influence what I say, and they do not censor what I say,” Davies said. “I write what I know and understand from the science.”

Yang declined to comment on the record for this article.

It is not made clear who owns or funds the website aside from its About Page, which discloses the seven agribusinesses that provide funding.

Schmidt said this lack of transparency is a problem.

“Think of the average person. Do they even know who Monsanto is and why they would care about GMOs,” Schmidt said. “Is it fair for members of the general public to be accessing information, not realizing that behind that information is a vested interest?”

Assault on academic freedom

T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus at Cornell who formerly taught a course on plant-based eating at the university (which was abruptly canceled without his knowledge), said he is disappointed with the industry taking over academic interests at the college.

“Cornell is my home. I love the university. But in reality, what they’ve done is abhorrent, it’s disgusting, and I’d like to label this an assault on academic freedom. That’s really what it comes to.”


Abby Martin retweeted: @JulianAssange They are completely destroying Ron Paul Liberty Report - for clearly political reasons. NOTHING we do violates their terms of service, but:

3f51729a61d186c70a609e92118e75a4_normal. Daniel McAdams
Abby Martin retweeted:
@JulianAssange They are completely destroying Ron Paul Liberty Report - for clearly political reasons. NOTHING we do violates their terms of service, but:



Pundits And Politicians Are Tacitly Admitting That They Lied About Russia


It has been nearly three weeks since The Nation pushed an explosive memo from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity into mainstream consciousness with an article detailing the evidence that the DNC leaks last year could not have been the result of a Russian hack. By continuing to ignore it, the US intelligence community and all the pundits and politicians who have advanced the Russian hacking narrative are tacitly admitting that they lied.

Day 18: I'm sharing this article every day until it gets a response from the US intelligence community. #HackingHoax

 — @caitoz

The report is unequivocal. Not only could Russian hackers not have obtained the DNC emails in the way they are alleged to have obtained them, but metadata was in fact manipulated to implicate Russia in the leak. Since publication of the viral Nation article, even more evidence has come to light showing that a hack is far more improbable even than originally suspected. This means that there is currently more publicly-available evidence indicating that Russia did not hack the DNC than there is that it did.

These earth-shattering revelations have gone all but ignored by the mainstream media, which had until the report surfaced been pummelling the American psyche with relentless fearmongering about the Great Russian Menace. The unquestioned narrative that Russia attacked American democracy in what many establishment politicians have horrifyingly labeled an “act of war” quickly transformed into ridiculous unsubstantiated claims about the Kremlin having taken over the highest levels of the US government and McCarthyite witch hunts against anyone who questioned these baseless assertions. This fact-free hysteria was used to manufacture support for new cold war escalations which remain in place to this day, threatening the existence of all life on earth.

Far from addressing the massive, gaping plot holes that have suddenly emerged in its frenzied narrative, the mass media has all but ghosted from the scene. Russia gets an occasional mention now and again, but the fever-pitch shrieking panic has unquestionably been dialed down by several orders of magnitude.

This is unacceptable. You don’t get to lie to the American people for nine months, terrify them with fact-free ghost stories that their nation has been taken over by a hostile foreign body, use their terror to manufacture support for a new cold war, and then change the subject to Nazis and Joe Arpaio as soon as evidence emerges that you’ve been reporting blatant falsehoods. That is not a thing. You need to either thoroughly refute every single argument against the narrative you’ve been spinning or admit publicly that you’ve been catastrophically wrong. You need to either (A) prove that you have not knowingly and/or unknowingly deceived the world, or (B) do everything you can to fix the damage that you have done.

Until the US intelligence community, the mainstream media, and the politicians who’ve been advancing this Russian hacking narrative do one of these two things, their silence on the matter should be interpreted as a tacit admission that they’ve been lying to us this entire time. After Iraq there was already no reason to give these institutions the benefit of the doubt, and since the VIPS report there is every reason in the world to believe that they’ve been lying to advance domestic and foreign agendas. They either refute the VIPS report in its entirety, or we must treat their refusal to do so as a tacit admission of nothing less than a crime against humanity.

Nothing else should be accepted or respected. Until they show up for this debate the only correct response to every intelligence report on anything whatsoever is “Yeah but you guys lied to us about Russia and started a new cold war, so fuck off.” Until they show up for this debate the only correct response to every Washington politician whenever they open their mouths is “Yeah but you guys lied to us about Russia and started a new cold war, so fuck off.” Until they show up for this debate the only correct response to every narrative promulgated by the corporate media is “Yeah but you guys lied to us about Russia and started a new cold war, so fuck off.”

Do not forget. Do not forgive. Keep driving this through until the blade comes out the other side. Their silence is inexcusable. Do not allow these liars to shift gears. They show up for this debate or we keep shoving this in their faces until their whole machine falls to pieces.

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