Saturday, January 26, 2019

YouTube Tweaks Recommendations Algorithm To Block Videos By Flat Earthers, 9/11 Truthers


YouTube has already employed a number of strategies to suppress content its owners have branded "conspiratorial", "hateful" or otherwise contrary to the company's Silicon Valley value system - including demonetizing videos and deplatforming controversial content creators like InfoWars. Yet, criticisms about YouTube being a breeding ground for these non-mainstream, Overton-window-expanding ideas have persisted. Now, the company is trying something that could potentially harm the company's treasured view-hours metric: Tweaking its algorithm to stop users from being ushered into conspiratorial "rabbit holes" on everything from flat earthers, to the 9/11 truther movement, to purveyors of miracle cures.

Flat Earth

According to the Daily Beast, the streaming video website is tweaking its recommendations algorithm to overlook content that "comes close" to violating - but doesn't explicitly violate - YouTube's "community guidelines." The company estimates that this will impact less than 1% of all videos posted on the site.

To be clear, these videos will still appear on YouTube, and they can still be displayed in search results. The only thing that will change, according to the company, is their placement in the recommendations bar or queue.

This could be a huge blow to Flat Earthers and others, who count YouTube as their biggest recruitment tool. But then again, that's the whole point: YouTube said the policy does an adequate job of balancing free speech with the public interest.

Currently, conspiracy theories like Flat Earth count YouTube as one of their largest recruitment tools. At the second annual Flat Earth International Conference in November, most participants told The Daily Beast they’d converted to Flat Earth belief after watching YouTube videos on the topic. Some said they’d started watching videos on conspiracies like 9/11, and eventually saw Flat Earth videos recommended in their YouTube feeds; others said they went looking for Flat Earth videos, and were recommended a stream of new Flat Earth videos.

Guillaume Chaslot, a former YouTube employee who worked on the site’s recommendation algorithm in 2010 previously told The Daily Beast that the algorithm can push people down conspiratorial rabbit holes.

"I realized really fast that YouTube’s recommendation was putting people into filter bubbles," Chaslot said last year. "There was no way out. If a person was into Flat Earth conspiracies, it was bad for watch-time to recommend anti-Flat Earth videos, so it won’t even recommend them.”YouTube has also faced criticism for the prevalence of far-right videos in its recommendations. A BuzzFeed investigation on Thursday found that, over the course of nine recommendations, YouTube took a viewer from a non-partisan clip about Congress to an anti-immigrant video uploaded by a hate group. (When The Daily Beast tried a similar experiment in a cookie-free Incognito browser last month, it took four clicks to travel from a recommended video on YouTube’s homepage to a video on the far-right “red pill” theory.)

However, there's at least one group that disagrees: The Flat Earth Society.

The Flat Earth Society condemned YouTube's decision. "While it's unfortunate that this will no doubt affect some of the most prominent Flat Earth content creators, the Flat Earth Society has been prepared for years. Any social network can pull the rug from under your feet if it decides that your content is no longer welcome - which is why we've never relied on these businesses too much," the group told The Daily Beast. "Who knows - perhaps it's time to start looking into a video sharing service of our own."

But don't worry: We're sure YouTube's latest crackdown won't arbitrarily and unintentionally punish conservative voices and other content creators falsely labeled as "nazis" and "conspiracy theorists".


"Dangerous Ideas" Loom As Once Democratically Chosen, There's No Reversing Socialism


Authored by Richard Ebeling via The American Institute for Economic Research,

The philosopher George Santayana is credited with the phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Never was that truer than today in the face of the reborn belief in some notion of a “democratic” socialism and its companying idea of government-directed planning and redistribution. It’s as if the entire experience of the 20th century has been erased from the memory of humankind.

Almost every conceivable form of “socialism” was tried over the last 100 years. There has been Marxian socialism in the form of Soviet-style fully nationalized economies with strict and comprehensive five-year government central planning. There was national socialism in the Germany of the 1930s and 1940s, with private enterprise placed under total government control with Nazi four-year central planning. There was Mussolini’s Italian fascism, under which private businesses and workers were forced into cartels and trade unions with government oversight and command of prices, wages, production, work conditions, and trade. (See Günter Reimann, The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism [1939], and Walter Eucken, “On the Theory of the Centrally Administered Economy: An Analysis of the German Experiment” [1948].)

There was British “democratic” socialism under the post–World War II Labor-party government, with nationalized industries, socialized health care, and central planning. There was a French version under the name of “indicative” planning, under which the government manipulated prices and production incentives to direct capital and labor where the central planners thought they should go. (See John Jewkes, Ordeal by Planning [1948], Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Problems of Socialist England [1949], and Vera Lutz, Central Planning for the Market Economy: An Analysis of the French Theory and Experience [1969].)

There have been government planning through regulations and redistributions of wealth through fiscal policy. This regulatory-redistributive model of government oversight and directing of social and economic outcomes grew out of the discovered and admitted inescapable limits and shortcomings of more-direct government planning and control of economic affairs.

Costs and Consequences of Socialism-in-Practice

The human cost experienced from the extreme forms of socialism-in-practice goes beyond most of our imaginations. Tens of millions of people — ordinary, unarmed, and innocent men, women, and children — were starved, tortured, shot, or worked to death in slave-labor camps in the name of building that bright and beautiful paradise on earth that the communists, fascists, and Nazis all promised would belong to those they had designated the righteous and justly deserving social class, national group, or racial tribe. (See my article “The Cost of Socialism in Power.”)

British democratic socialism foundered on the discovery that even in a democracy, government socialist planning entails imposing commands on everyone that succeed in only making life stagnant, dull, and poor for most in society. Indeed, this is how we have ended up with highly regulated economies combined with often-extensive networks of income redistribution and social safety nets.

Centralized planning did not work and usurped a high degree of everyday decision-making from the citizenry in virtually every corner of the society. So, there was a step back: regulated businesses still possessing degrees of discretion over the direction of much of their enterprises in the pursuit of profits, and market-earned incomes that were then modified through the tax code to transfer sums of money and various goods and services into the directions those in political power considered superior to those generated by a more free market. (See my articles “Barack Obama and the Meaning of Socialism” and “Obama’s ‘Middle Way’ Between Capitalism and Socialism Means Less Liberty.”)

Memories Lost and Socialist Dreams Reawakened

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the admitted failure of government central planning and its accompanying brutality around the world threw socialism into disrepute and seemingly out of the arena of public policy debate. This has been reversed following the financial crisis of 2008-9 and its aftermath, with it being classified and condemned as a new demonstration of the failure of capitalism. In its wake, socialist ideas have been gaining a new rebirth among academics and the media pundits.

Not that all the socialist sympathizers had really disappeared after the end of Soviet socialism. They had simply and mostly silently sulked in the corners of higher education and various other intellectual circles, not knowing how to fully get away from the embarrassment of socialism’s disastrous history during the 20th century. The last 10 years have slowly been giving them a new lease on life.

This has been made easier with the passage of time and with a new and younger generation that has no living memory and less of an interest in understanding what socialism-in-practice really led to, in spite of all the promises and rhetoric with which it covered itself during its heyday of coming to power in various places around the world. (See my article “Disaster in Red: The Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Socialist Revolution.”)

Bernie Sanders’ campaign in the Democratic party’s primaries in 2016 demonstrated the renewed attractiveness of the “democratic”-socialist idea. Millions were attracted to his promise of a beautiful social and economic future, if only government took a far greater directing and redistributing hand in everything in American society. (See my articles “‘Democratic Socialism’ Means a Loss of Liberty” and “‘Liberal Socialism’ Another False Utopia.”)

A Green New Deal Means Central Planning

Now additional voices for a new socialism are on the public scene, such as the recently elected Democratic-party representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Even before being sworn in to the House of Representatives in early January 2019, she and others presented a proposal for a special and select congressional committee for the preparing and implementing of a Green New Deal.

Make no mistake, this is a plan for the introduction of comprehensive government planning over every facet of American social and economic life. Arguing that the world is facing an environmental Armageddon due to global warming, the time for doing nothing or relying upon carbon taxes to reduce use of fossil fuels or business regulations to influence how private enterprises produce  goods and services, they say, is behind us.

Action must be taken now to change how and what Americans produce and consume over the next decade. There must be developed “a detailed, national, industrial, economic mobilization plan.” It must be “driven” by the federal government in “partnership” with business, labor, “stakeholder” groups, indigenous peoples, and communities all across the land, for a radical and rapid transition to a fully carbon-free environment.

A Carbon-Free Road to Social Justice

This must be done in conjunction with commitments and goals for “social, economic, racial, regional, and gender-based justice and equality.” Labor unions must have a prominent place, with the ability to direct wages and employment conditions for workplace justice in the pursuit of a post-carbon economy. The federal government should take equity positions — that is, total or partial direct ownership — in businesses, industries, and sectors of the economy as a means to hit the target of radical environmental change.

The goal is to have a “100 percent” fossil fuel–free economy within 10 years. All businesses and residential structures will have to be dramatically made over to environmentally friendly renewable sources of energy. Where and what is produced will have to be commanded by the federal government for both industry and agriculture.

At the same time, this grand and comprehensive central planning of American society to save the planet can also serve as “an historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic opportunity available to everyone participating in the transformation” of the country.

This will include more government-sponsored and government-provided education and skills training that will include “job guarantee programs to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one.” Government plans and programs will be especially targeted to help end “deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth”; and “without limitation” there will be those redistributions and government investments needed to lift up “marginalized” groups in various parts of the country.

How will all of these activities be successfully funded? This proposed Green New Deal agenda would have its costs covered not only by the usual federal and other taxes, with emphasis on the need to especially tax “the rich.” No, the proposal calls for using “a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, [and] public venture funds” to ensure that the profitable returns expected from the central plan’s implementation come back to the Treasury for selected future tax cuts and for even more government investments in the future.

The New Socialists Want to Be the Central Planners

The congressional committee that is proposed to develop and submit the detailed and concrete elements of the Green New Deal plan would also have the authority to direct and oversee its implementation. In other words, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her collaborators sitting on such an approved congressional committee want to have control over what would be an American version of the Soviet Union’s GOSPLAN — that is, a government agency responsible for the total central planning of the United States.

Central planners are always grandiose in their visions and impatient in getting to work to remake society in their own image. Our new American socialists are no different in this than their ideological collectivist cousins were in other parts of the world over the last century.

The actions and investments of individuals and private enterprises are too small and unorganized. Redesigning all of America in such a short time to save the planet and finally establish “social justice” in all its aspects requires, they assert, “massive” levels and speeds of investment, along with a government-size time horizon of decades that encompasses the entire society without exception.

Only government, guided by those who know and understand what has to be done, and when and where, can handle such a vast undertaking, they insist. The task our new socialists have appointed for themselves is the relocating of industries, reshaping of agriculture, transforming of how work is done with what types of energy sources, and reorganizing of social life according to a vision of social, racial, and gender “justice.”

It all conjures up images of those Soviet five-year central plans with industrial centers created in the middle of desolate nowheres, and huge canals connecting mighty rivers, and all built with the hands of “class-enemy” slave laborers — or the giant Nazi construction projects of autobahns crisscrossing Germany and larger-than-life sports stadiums to sit tens of thousands of cheering followers of “the leaders” who were building a new world based on racial identity politics, not much different from the premises of our new tribe-based American socialists and progressives. (See my article “An ‘Identity Politics’ Victory Would Mean the End to Liberty.”)

The Hubris of Our Would-Be Central Planners

The hubris just oozes from every presumption according to which these American central planners just know what needs to be done and why everyone else must cheerfully, enthusiastically follow the commands of our would-be national-socialist führers. The plan for this Green New Deal shows its totalitarian premise in each of its proposed elements. No corner of the economy would be exempt from the green planners’ control. Every human association and status in society would be subject to modification as determined by the social-justice warriors in power.

The transformation of America must be done within 10 years if the planet is to be saved from irreparable environmental damage, they assert. The planners are confident that in 2020, the Democratic party will not only retain its control over the House of Representatives, but also capture the Senate as well as the White House. Then it will be “all power to the democratic socialists.” The plan will be ready for immediate implementation. They are in a hurry, and there is no time to waste.

Once Democratically Chosen, No Reversing Socialism

But what happens to democracy after that? What if “the people” have second thoughts in election years 2022 or 2024 or 2026 or 2028? What if other voices challenge the premises and the policies of the Green New Dealers? If planetary existence and social justice for all time are at stake, can our democratic socialists allow the fickle and wrong-headed voting decisions of some of the people to alter the collectivist course that has been taken?

Surely, it would be irrational to permit the central plan to be dismantled, to backslide into chaotic and petty profit-motivated self-interest, to undo all that the revolution had been attempting to achieve. The socially just people’s will could not be allowed to be reversed because of some people’s misinformed and misguided voting whims under the influence of sinister interests swaying them against their true and real interests.

Oh, we have heard all this before, and no doubt, if they were to come to power, we would hear it all once more. But, but … it can’t happen here! Think again. The logic of central planning undermines the institutions and the spirit of liberty. By concentrating power and decision-making in the hands of those in government, socialist central planning first weakens and then eliminates autonomous centers of choice and association.

Property Rights and Personal Choice

One of the most essential aspects of private property rights is that it creates potential centers of control and discretion outside of the clutches of those in political authority. Private property in functioning free markets enables sources of employment and income independent of the government. The individual does not have to worry about loss of a government job, or his government-supplied income and benefits, or his chances for personal betterment due to any disagreement with or peaceful opposition to the policies and practices of the state.

Competitive, free markets provide avenues for a plethora of ways for multitudes of people to simultaneously follow diverse ends with alternative means considered better than those selected by others in society. Mistakes and second thoughts concerning what goals and purposes to pursue and how best to do so may be modified in many different ways by different people at different times, without needing to persuade or gain the electoral agreement of enough others through a voting process. (See my article “Political Planning vs. Personal Planning by Everyone.”)

Central Planning Means Centralized Decision-Making

But this is exactly what our new American socialists are impatient with and want to do away with. There needs to be one master hierarchy of values, with one centrally guiding and implemented master plan to bring it to fruition, with all in the society accepting and making their own personal wishes and desires subordinate to it.

What they really want is a version of “democratic centralism” — that is, an inner circle of people ideologically motivated by the same general collectivist purposes and ideals who bargain over and divide the social spoils for the identity-politics-based factions and interest groups that they, respectively, represent, with no interference from the ignorant “reactionary” and supposedly race- and gender-bigoted individuals and groups who don’t understand the nature of a real “people’s democracy.”

The role of these uninformed masses, who must be constantly subject to government “re-education,” is to produce the wealth and output that the Green New Deal planners need to pursue their power-lusting dreams. And don’t worry, if they cannot plunder enough wealth through taxation to cover the costs of their social-engineering schemes, they say they will turn to the Federal Reserve to create all the paper money they will need to pay for all that they want to do. Welcome to the possibility of a Venezuela-style hyperinflation on the back of a stagnant economy built on the political insanity of those who claim to know how everyone should live under the central planners’ agenda for a new, carbon-free world.

These are dangerous ideas that threaten anew the foundations and functioning of what remains of personal freedom and free enterprise in the United States. The Green New Dealers’ self-righteous fanaticism and ideological enthusiasm for a collectivist America should not be underestimated. Understanding their misguided political assumptions and the damaging economic consequences that would follow from their coming to power is essential if a “green” road to serfdom is to be avoided.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Jim Kunstler: "Sometimes, Nations Just Lose Their Shit"


Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

In The Deep Mid-Winter

Ill winds sweep across the fruited plain in the cruel heart of winter. America can resolve nothing. The state-of-the-union is a kind of hysterical nausea, and the nation hunkers into its crib of toxic diverse identities waiting for history to bitch-slap it back on its feet. History’s big sister, Reality, stands by, witnessing all. Spring… is… coming….

Things break up in spring. Nature unlocks what was frozen. The bodies emerge from the melting ice and ripen. The air is electric and thunderbolts frighten the gathering mobs in the public square, the Walmart parking lot, with rumors of war. The earth shakes and monuments fall. That’s how it’s shaping up for 2019.

Sometimes nations just lose their shit.

The complex collapse of American life proceeds as the public and its leaders fail to comprehend the forces in play. What the Federal Reserve actually accomplished with its ten years of extend-and-pretend policy was not an economic “recovery,” but a degenerative disease of the social contract. If you look more closely, you can sense what will be unleashed when the ground thaws.

There will be a reckoning in the financial markets. Something ominous is rumbling over in bonds. No more high-yield for you! Among the victims of a credit freeze in “junk” (high-risk) lending: the shale oil industry. Watch it start to roll over this spring as money becomes unavailable for the exorbitant operations that comprise fracking. The swift collapse of the shale oil industry will shock the country, but it is really just the downside of its improbably rapid and acrobatic rise since 2005 on the false premise that profits don’t matter in a business venture. Only the fall will be even sharper than the rise: a few measly years. And, of course, the bond market represents the supreme untruth of the age: that debts can be racked up forever and never paid back.

Mr. Trump will be left holding a bag so large that observers may mistake him for a Bizarro Santa Claus. But the baggage within will not consist of sugarplums. It is actually stuffed with bankruptcy filings and pink slips. A year from now, there may be no such thing as a hedge fund left on the planet Earth. Or a job opening, unless you’re really good at weeding or picking fruit. Mr. Trump will attempt a rescue, but so did Herbert Hoover, who had a good three years to try this-and-that while the Depression stole over the land like a deadly fungus. The difference, of course, is that Mr. Hoover was acknowledged as a most brilliant mind of his era, and yet Reality had her wicked way with him, anyway.

The Democratic Party should have been tossed into the rubber room two years ago, but it’s still out there shrieking in its straight-jacket of bad faith. Kamala, Liz, and Kirsten will mud-wrestle for dominance, but so far, the only cards they can show are the race-and-gender jokers in the deck. Meanwhile, the government shutdown standoff may not be the “winner” move that Nancy Pelosi thought it would be. Why do you suppose she thought that the voters would only blame the Golden Golem of Greatness? She could be gone as Speaker when we’re back in shirtsleeve weather.

Also in the background: the likely shocking reversal of the long, dreary, RussiaGate affair as about twenty-odd former officials of the FBI, Department of Justice, CIA, State Department, and other dark corners of the Deep State answer charges of sedition in federal court. Many of them are connected, one way or another, to Hillary Clinton, who may be targeted herself. Robert Mueller is also liable to smacked with a malicious prosecution charge in the matter of General Michael Flynn when he withdraws his guilty plea in March. A significant moment will be when Dean Baquet is fired as editor of The New York Times, after years of running the “newspaper of record” as an exercise in nonstop PMS.

Financial crack-up and RussiaGate reversal will leave both major parties gasping in the mud as the tide goes out. And just in time for the Yellow Vest movement to cross the ocean and bring out the street mobs to slug it out on the National Mall in lovely weather. Finally, a protest you can believe in! By June, it will be clear that the old order is being swept away. The fight over the new order struggling to be born will be even harsher and deadlier. But we may not be as confused about what’s at stake.


YouTube Moves to Make Conspiracy Videos Harder to Find


Whether it is a video claiming the earth is flat or the moon landing was faked, conspiracy theories are not hard to find on Google’s YouTube. But in a significant policy change, YouTube said on Friday that it planned to stop recommending them.

After years of criticism that YouTube leads viewers to videos that spread misinformation, the company said it was changing what videos it recommends to users. In a blog post, YouTube said it would no longer suggest videos with “borderline content” or those that “misinform users in a harmful way” even if the footage does not violate its community guidelines.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Shocking Anatomy of an Internet Witch Hunt - The Organic Prepper

WHITE HELMETS: Organ Traffickers, Child Kidnappers,Thieves, Terrorists, Propagandists..or “Saints”?


Vanessa Beeley

The White Helmets, “volunteers” who reportedly “rescue Syrians from rubble.” Never in history has such a group been so feted by the elite, or received so many awards from institutions acting as extensions of US and UK hegemony.

A recent panel at the UN Security Council in New York revealed the shocking evidence of White Helmet involvement in organ trafficking in Syria. The lucrative trade of human body parts, bones, blood and organs is one of the most protected and hidden harvests of war.

The potential of White Helmet involvement in these nefarious activities raises questions that must be answered. Why were the shocking revelations met by a wall of silence from corporate media present at the panel in New York?

Not one media outlet pursued the subject, preferring to divert onto more comfortable issues that did not challenge the iconization of the White Helmets that has been the default position for virtually all state-aligned media since the establishment of the group in 2013 in Jordan and Turkey.

© Screenshot from the presentation of Maxim Grigoriev

Above is one of the slides from the presentation of Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, given to the panel and audience at the UNSC in New York, December 2018.

In July 2017, I had interviewed residents of the East Aleppo districts that had been under occupation of the various extremist armed groups and the White Helmets. Salaheddin Azazi was a resident of the Jib Al Qubbeh area (also mentioned in Grigoriev’s presentation).

Azazi went through the details of the November 2016 Nusra Front attack on civilians trying to flee via the Syrian and Russian-established humanitarian corridors which had been spun by the White Helmets into a “regime” bombing raid that resulted in a civilian massacre. It was a complete misrepresentation of reality which was seized upon by corporate media with no fact checking. My full report on that incident and the White Helmet involvement in the massacre and subsequent theft of civilian belongings from the dead and dying is here.

“The bodies of the dead and dying were left unattended for ten hours in the street after the Nusra Front rocket attack that killed 15 civilians. The White Helmets did not help them, they stole their belongings,” Salaheddin Azazi, resident of Jib Al Qubbeh and eyewitness to events on 30.11.2016, said.

Discussing the November 2016 events in Jib Al Qubbeh with residents Salaheddin Azazi and Ammar Al Bakr, July 2017 © Vanessa Beeley

Azazi and another resident, Ammar Al Bakr (on the right, in above photo) described how the White Helmets were the “runners” for the organ traffickers.

“The White Helmet drivers would take the injured or dead bodies to the Turkish border. Many of the injured had light wounds, nothing that needed hospitalization but the bodies would come back without organs,” said Ammar Al Bakr.

“The bodies, dead and alive, would be inspected in the towns on the borders with Turkey before being taken by Turkish vehicles to the hospitals but if the injured civilian was a child or young and strong they would be taken directly to the hospital in Turkey because their organs had greater value,” Azazi told me.

According to both of these witnesses, the bodies were worth $2000 dead and $3000 if alive and this market was dominated by the White Helmet operatives who profited from cross-border organ trafficking.

Other civilians I met in July/August 2017 confirmed the threat of organ theft which hung over them during the almost five-year occupation of East Aleppo districts by the armed groups and their White Helmet auxiliaries. Families spoke to me of hiding their children if they were lightly injured to prevent the risk of them being abducted and taken to one of three hospitals – Omar Abdulaziz, Al Quds and Zarzour – that allegedly specialized in organ theft in East Aleppo, all of which had been taken over by militant gangs early on in the conflict. I was told that “foreign doctors” were operating in these three hospitals and were in charge of organ extraction. In post-liberation Eastern Ghouta, similar stories abounded.

In January 2019, I visited survivors from the Jaysh Al Islam controlled Tawbah Prison in Douma, Eastern Ghouta (known as Repentance Prison). I met with former prisoners in Adra Al Balad who spoke of the torture and violent abuse they had received after being kidnapped from Adra Al Ummaliya in 2013 by Jaysh Al Islam and Nusra Front. Familiar descriptions of the White Helmets were forthcoming:

“Regarding the White Helmets, they are terrorists and Takfiris […] they have nothing to do with Humanity […] when they used to see an injured civilian, they used to finish them off. If you come to “rescue” a man would you slaughter them? The White Helmets and the terrorists are one and the same, they are hand in hand,” said Hassan Al Mahmoud Al Othman, one of the survivors I spoke to about their experiences as captives of Jaysh Al Islam and Nusra Front during the six years that Eastern Ghouta was occupied.

The evidence against the White Helmets is mounting on a daily basis and will only increase as Idlib is liberated or a political resolution is achieved in the last Syrian province effectively controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS) a rebrand of Al Qaeda.

Despite this, Western corporate media and NATO-aligned think tanks, policy influencers and NGOs are stubbornly sticking to the “volunteer hero” script. The Observer recently collaborated with Reader’s Digest to produce a slick homage to the White Helmets “rescued” from Syria by Israel in July 2018, entitled‘The inside story of Canada’s dramatic rescue of the White Helmets out of Syria.’ It depicts the volunteer “bankers and barbers” as heroes and downtrodden saints fleeing for their lives. A far cry from the image portrayed of organ thieves, child abductors and bone peddlers by the Syrian people who lived under the White Helmet regime of sectarian violence and exploitative abuse.

The White Helmet involvement in the “red market” (a term used to describe the multi-billion-dollar trade in human body parts, tissue and organs) should come as no surprise. James Le Mesurier, the former private security and “democratization” expert who founded the White Helmets in Turkey and Jordan was also present in Pristina, Kosovo in 1999 when he worked under the direction of the notorious Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) and former French foreign minister.

Kouchner’s tenure in Kosovo was plagued by controversy and accusations of involvement in human and organ trafficking masterminded by the Albanian mafia gangs within the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Carla Del Ponte, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, detailed these crimes in her book The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals, which was published in 2008 just after Kosovo declared its independence.

In 2010, an interim report by the Council of Europe vindicated Del Ponte’s claims, which had garnered skepticism and criticism from the NATO-aligned media and spokespeople. Del Ponte persistentlycomplained, at the time, that UN authorities in Kosovo were systematically blocking her investigations into crimes committed by the Kosovo Albanians in the KLA and the rebranded Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC).

James Le Mesurier was responsible for the rebranding of the KLA, linked to Al Qaeda at that stage alongside the Albanian warlords, and their transformation into the Kosovo Protection Corps while they were being accused of running cross-border organ trafficking operations.

A blueprint that Le Mesurier seems to be reproducing with the White Helmets in Syria while attempting to maintain an untarnished White Helmet image, at least in the aligned media and PR circles. In reality, there is an entire billionaire-supported industry of NGOs and influential global transformation institutions protecting the White Helmets’ image.

A network of global carpetbaggers enabling the criminal obfuscation of White Helmet crimes against Humanity and denial of justice to the Syrian people whose accusations against the pseudo humanitarian group are systematically silenced and marginalized by the White Helmet acolytes.

The White Helmets have received an unprecedented number of awards and peace prizes, including the Right LivelihoodAward 2016 (RLA), the Atlantic Council Freedom Award 2016, Tipperary PeacePrize 2017, Hollywood Oscar 2017 (one win, one nomination in 2018) and they have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for three years running.

According to the RLA website, they “honour and support courageous people and organisations that have found practical solutions to the root causes of global problems”. There is nothing honourable or courageous about the White Helmet crimes against the Syrian people.

The White Helmets have enabled and participated in organ trafficking, one of the deepest root causes of our global problems but the RLA has made no move to retract their award from this group of criminals, thieves and terrorists. They have ignored petitions and statements from groups of peace activists and academics. Instead, in 2018, they published a counter petition signed by 29 former RLA Laureates callingupon all parties to “stop targeting the White Helmets […] in Syria”.

While blaming Russia for the smear campaign against the White Helmets, the petition informs us that “(White Helmet) work is guided by the inherent dignity of human life.” The RLA claims that the evidence against the White Helmets is “unsubstantiated and does not stand up to scrutiny”. One cannot help but wonder; when did they scrutinize the evidence or listen to the huge number of Syrian civilian testimonies that detail the crimes committed by the White Helmets that are most definitely not guided by the inherent dignity of human life?

What all these US Coalition-aligned organizations fail to understand is that Russian media and UN missions do indeed give a voice to the Syrians who are ignored by media in the West. Russia is not the originator of the claims against the White Helmets.

While these organizations, claiming to support peace in Syria and an end to hostility, continue protecting the White Helmets who are responsible for so much of the misery endured by the Syrian people, they forfeit any credibility and become nothing more than a corrupt extension of US supremacism in the region.

Child exploitation, abuse, human trafficking and organ trafficking – which often goes hand in hand with the former – should never be tacitly condoned or covered up and must always be investigated or we have fallen into a moral vacuum from which there is no escape.

I invite all Western media outlets and “peace” promoting institutions to retract their White Helmet accolades and laurels, and to “scrutinize” the evidence before they too are implicated in one of the most heinous crimes ever committed against victims of war.

VIDEO: All slides from Maxim Grigoriev’s presentation at the UN Security Council in December 2018. WATCH:


The following are all the slides from Maxim Grigoriev’s presentation at the UN Security Council in December 2018. 

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist, peace activist, photographer and associate editor at 21st Century Wire. Vanessa was a finalist for one of the most prestigious journalism awards – the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism – whose winners have included the likes of Robert Parry in 2017, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, Nick Davies and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism team. Please support her work at her Patreon account. 


SYRIA EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Beeley Meets the White Helmets and Armed Group Leader in Dara’a Al Balad

White Helmets Centre in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta Next Door to Terrorist Bomb Factory
“Humanitarians” and the ‘Moderate’ Bomb Factory in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta.

BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters 

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

CNN Fabricate News About the White Helmets
A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files




Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Remote Control of the Brain and Human Nervous System

Global Research, January 23, 2019



The USA and the European Union invest since the beginning of the millenium billions of dollars and euros into brain research. As a result of this research perfect maps of the brain were developed, including the areas of the brain that control the activity of different body organs or parts where higher brain activities, such as speech and thoughts, are taking place. The brain activities corresponding to different actions in those areas were also deciphered.

Thanks to the knowledge of specific locations of different centers in the brain and frequencies of the neuronal activity in them, teams of physicians are now capable of helping many people who were in the past, for different reasons, unable to participate in a normal life. There exist prostheses, which are controlled directly from the brain centers that normally control the movement of the limbs (see this) and enable people, who lost them, to use the prosthesis in a way similar to the way normal people use their limbs. Higher brain activities were produced as well. In 2006 scientists placed into the brain of a completely paralyzed man an implant, which transferred the activity of his brain into different devices and enabled him to open his e-mail, control his TV set and control his robotic arm. Other paralyzed people were able to search the Internet, play computer games and drive their electrical wheelchairs (see this).

Thanks to extensive brain research, computers were taught to understand the neuronal activity so much so that they are now capable of using the activity of our brain to reproduce our perceptions. Canadian scientists demonstrated an experiment, where the computer could interpret the electroencephalographical recordings from the brain to produce the painting of a face that the subject of experiment was perceiving (see this).

In the opposite way the data, processed by the computer in the way that will make them intelligible for the nervous system, can be transmitted into the brain and produce there a new reality. When an implant is placed in the brain and connected to a camera, placed on spectacles, for people whose photoreceptors in their retina stopped working, the sight is at least partially restored. In this case the camera on the spectacles is transmitting into the implant light frequencies and the implant re-transmits them in frequencies which “understand” the neurons processing the visual perceptions (see this).

In California scientists developed a device, which can register the brain waves and, using analysis, find among them consonants and vowels and in this way transform our thoughts to words. A paralyzed man could use this device to write without using a keyboard. Presently the accuracy of the device reaches 90%.  Scientists believe that within five years they will manage to develop a smartphone, to which their device could be connected (see this).

Just like in the case of visual perception it is possible, when knowing the algorithms of brain processing of words, to generate algorithms of different words in the computer and transmit them into the brain in ultrasound frequencies and in this way produce in the human brain particular “thoughts”.

Everybody will easily fall victim to the proposal that, instead of typing or searching with the use of mouse, his computer or cell phone could react directly to his brain’s activity and take down his thoughts directly to the documents or carry out operations that has just occurred to him.

As a matter of fact Apple and Samsung companies have already developed prototypes of necessary electroencephalographical equipment, which can be placed on top of a head and transmit electromagnetic waves produced by the brain into the prototypes of new smart phones. The smart phones should analyze those waves, find out what are the intentions of their owners and carry them out. Apple and Samsung companies expect that the direct connection with brains will gradually replace computer keyboards, touch screens, mouse and voice orders (see this). When the system is complete, it will be feasible for hackers, government agencies and foreign government’s agencies to implant thoughts and emotions in people’s minds and “hearts“, when they will be connected to internet or cell phone systems.

In 2013 scientists in the USA could infer from the brain activity the political views of people and distinguish democrats from republicans and in 2016 scientists used transcranial magnetic stimulation to make subjects of experiment more positive towards criticism to their country, than the participants whose brains were unaffected (see this).

Last year historian Juval Noah Harari was invited to deliver a speech at the World economic Forum in Davos. The editor of the British daily Financial Times stressed, when introducing him, that it is not usual to invite a historian to speak to most important world economists and politicians. Juval Noah Harari warned in his speech against the rise of new totality, based on the access to human brain. He said:

“Once we have algorithms that can understand you better than you understand yourself, they could predict my desires, manipulate my feelings and even make decisions on my behalf. And if we are not careful the outcome can be the rise of digital dictatorships. In the 21st century we may be enslaved under digital dictatorships”

In a similar way the Stanford University researcher in neurology and Dolby Labs’ chief scientist Poppy Crum warned at the conference in Las Vegas:

“Your devices will know more about you than you will. I believe we need to think about how [this data] could be used“.

In April 2017 neuroethicist at the University of Basel Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno, a human rights lawyer at the University of Zurich, writing in the journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy, published the article “Toward new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology“ where they called for the creation of legislation which would protect human right to freedom and other human rights from the abuse of technologies opening access to the human brain. In the article they wrote that “the mind is a kind of last refuge of personal freedom and self-determination” and “at present, no specific legal or technical safeguard protects brain data from being subject to the same data-mining and privacy intruding measures as other types of information“. Among the world media only the British newspaper The Guardian wrote about their proposal (see this). This fact suggests that in the actual democratic world there exists no political will to forbid remote control of human thoughts and feelings, no matter that such perspective breaks elementary principles of democracy.

In 2016 and 2017 10 European organizations tried to convince the European Parliament and the European Commission to enact the legislation that would ban the remote control of activity of the human nervous system, since pulsed microwaves could be used to manipulate the human nervous system at a distance at present time already (see this). Then in 2017, 19 world organizations addressed the G20 meeting with the same proposal. They received no positive response to their effort.

To achieve the ban of the use of remote mind control technologies it is necessary to work out an international agreement. In the past century the USA and Russia built systems (HAARP and Sura), capable to produce, by manipulation of the ionosphere, extra long electromagnetic waves in frequencies corresponding to frequencies of the activity of the human nervous system and in this way to control the brain activity of populations of vast areas of this planet (See this, “Psychoelectronic Threat to Democracy“). At the beginning of this year China announced the building of a similar, more advanced, system. The Chinese daily The South China Morning Post admitted in its article that the system could be used to control the activity of the human nervous system.

The politicians should, instead of classifying those weapons of mass destruction, make effort to create more democratic system of international politics to replace the current system of struggle for military power. Only in this way conditions could be provided for the ban of use of   If this does not happen, in a few years there will be no chance to preserve democracy.


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Mojmir Babacek is the founder of the International Movement for the Ban of the Manipulation of the Human Nervous System by Technical Means,  He is the author of numerous articles on the issue of mind manipulation. 

Featured image is from TruePublica

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Mojmir Babacek, Global Research, 2019


EXCLUSIVE: How Liberal Media 'Operates as Propaganda System for State Power' - Sputnik International

China Starts "Debt Shaming": New App Warns Users If They Are Walking Near Someone In Debt


Authorities in the northern Chinese province of Hebei have rolled out an app over WeChat which can tell people if they're walking near someone in debt, according to China Daily

The program, aptly named "map of deadbeat debtors," flashes a warning if someone in debt is within a 500-meter radius - showing their exact location according to a screenshot of the app. 

Whether the app reveals the debtors' names or photos is unknown, nor does China Daily mention how much money is owed or to whom - but according to paper the app allows people to "whistle-blow on debtors capable of paying their debts."

"It's a part of our measures to enforce our rulings and create a socially credible environment," said a spokesman for the Higher People's Court of Hebei - which is behind the app. 

The "map of deadbeat debtors" is yet the latest in China's push towards a shame-based "social credit score" system which has already been deployed in several parts of the country. According to a November report, Beijing has an ambitious plan to control China's citizens through a system of social scoring that punishes behavior it does not approve. 

Some critics warn the new system is fraught with risks and could reduce humans to little more than a report card, said Bloomberg

Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, rolled out its social credit system earlier this year, rewarding "pro-social behaviors" such as blood donations, healthy lifestyles, and volunteer work while punishing those who violate traffic laws, smoke and drink, and speak poorly about government. 

By mid-Q2, China had blocked more than 11 million flights and 4 million high-speed train trips for people who had poor social credit scores, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

According to the Beijing plan, different agencies will link databases to get a more detailed picture of every resident’s interactions across a multitude of financial and social platforms

In March, we reported that China had rolled out an advanced facial recognition system over 16 provinces, cities and autonomous regions ominously called "SkyNet" for the "security and protection" of the country, reports Workers' Daily. 

"The system is able to identify 40 facial features, regardless of angles and lighting, at an accuracy rate of 99.8 percent," reported the People's Daily. "It can also scan faces and compare them with its database of criminal suspects at large at a speed of 3 billion times a second, indicating that all Chinese people can be compared in the system within only one second."

Between debt-shaming and skynet, China's future is looking more and more dystopian as time goes on. 


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Homeschooling Produces Better-Educated, More-Tolerant Kids. Politicians Hate That -

Opioids More Likely To Kill Americans Than Car Crashes


The National Safety Council has reported that Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than car crashes for the first time.

As Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, the overall rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. increased by 9.6 percent between 2016 and 2017 with the death rate from fentanyl skyrocketing 45 percent. The U.S. had experienced a shocking 70,000 overdose deaths by late 2018 and unsurprisngly, the National Safety Council says that there is an increased risk of dying due to the crisis.

As of 2017, someone living in the U.S: had a 1 in 96 chance of dying from a drug overdose while the probability of dying in a car crash was 1 in 103. The most likely cause of death is still heart disease with lifetime odds of 1 in 6 while overdoses comes fifth overall.

Infographic: Opioids More Likely To Kill Americans Than Car Crashes | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

After a spate of mass shootings, the chances of dying due to gun assault stands at 1 in 285, greater than perishing in a motorcycle accident, drowning or choking to death. Dying in a railway accident remains highly unlikely with the chances of that happening 1 in 243,765. Dying from a lightning strike is actually more likely at 1 in 218,106.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King: The U.S. is “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today”


The Washington Post claimed that some of his assertions were "sheer inventions of unsupported fantasy"; that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country and to his people."

The post Martin Luther King: The U.S. is “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today” appeared first on Global Research.