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January 19, 2020

Jan 19 07:39

Xenobots are here: Tiny bio-robots inside your veins may heal you & will definitely be weaponized by West to take out ‘bad guys’

Peter Andrews is an Irish science journalist and writer, based in London. He has a background in the life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Genetics

Xenobots — tiny, biological robots swarms designed by a computer — are upon us. What does the birth of these strange not-quite-alive creatures mean for robotics — and for us?

Real robots are not two-legged steel boxes with a metallic voice
Mankind has been imagining advanced robot technology for a long time — pop culture is full of Terminators, Cylons, and Droids. But in fact, these humanoid designs show a distinct lack of imagination. Why have we always assumed that robots would be designed to have the same basic form as us: slightly ungainly primates trotting about on two feet, perhaps even toting a gun? The latest models make that particular notion look a bit 1950s

Jan 19 07:35

Uncle Sam Just Used Its Financial Nuclear Weapon Again

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

In August of 1945, the United States became the only country to drop nuclear bombs on an enemy.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were largely destroyed in the blink of an eye. And the Japanese had no choice but to surrender to the Allies, finally ending World War II.

Ever since, world superpowers have been rapidly advancing weapons technology, constantly raising the bar for destructive power.

It won’t surprise you to find out that the most powerful and destructive weapon in the world, though, by far, is claimed by the United States.

The US is still the world’s dominant superpower, still the largest economy in the world. And the US dollar is still the world’s dominant reserve currency.

This means that the VAST MAJORITY of international trade and cross-border financial transactions take place in US dollars.

Jan 19 07:31

Mystery Chinese Virus Has Likely Infected Over 1,700 As It Sweeps Across China And Japan

While there have been more than 60 confirmed cases of a new mystery virus emerging from Wuhan, China, UK experts estimate that closer to 1,700 have been sickened with the SARS-like pneumonia, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, SCMP reports three suspected cases in Shenzhen, Shanghai.

"I am substantially more concerned than I was a week ago," disease specialist Prof Neil Ferguson told the outlet.

The work was conducted by the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, which advises bodies including the UK government and the World Health Organization (WHO). -BBC

The estimate was calculated by the Imperial College of London based on the following assumptions:

Wuhan International Airport has a catchment population of 19 million individuals [1].

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the moment when the scientific community, internationally, needs to bad together to isolate the origin, and a discover a potential cure.

The rapidity with which this bug is spreading, is very much a cause for alarm.

Jan 19 07:27

How The US Wages War To Prop Up The Dollar

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

At Counterpunch, Michael Hudson has penned an important article that outlines the important connections between US foreign policy, oil, and the US dollar.

In short, US foreign policy is geared very much toward controlling oil resources as part of a larger strategy to prop up the US dollar. Hudson writes:

The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control of the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the U.S. dollar. That remains the key to understanding this policy, and why it is in the process of escalating, not dying down.

The actual context for the neocon’s action was the balance of payments, and the role of oil and energy as a long-term lever of American diplomacy.



Taboola
Jan 19 07:24

Internal Boeing Emails Claim 777X Shares MAX Problem

Internal emails from Boeing staff members working on the 737 MAX were made public earlier this month have revealed new safety problems for the company's flagship 777X, a long-range, wide-body, twin-engine passenger jet, currently in development that is expected to replace the aging 777-200LR and 777-300ER fleets, reported The Telegraph.

Already, damning emails released via a U.S. Senate probe describes problems during the MAX development and qualification process. The emails also highlight how Boeing employees were troubled by the 777X – could be vulnerable to technical issues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whichever Boeing executives who signed off on this, should be investigated for promoting criminal negligence, tried by a jury of their peers, and serve some hard time, to demonstrate to the rest of the industry that this kind of behaviour is no longer tolerable, period, end of discussion.

Jan 19 07:21

"We're Ready To Fight": 1000s Expected At Massive Gun-Rights Rally At Virginia Capitol

As various pro-gun rights groups prepare to gather at Virginia's state capitol in Richmond on Monday in what's expected to be one of the largest pro-gun rallies in recent memory, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency, police are busy setting up barricades and temporary holding pens - and one lawmaker has even arranged to spend most of the day in a safe house, according to the Washington Examiner.

The rally is expected to draw tens of thousands, and fears about Charlottesville-style violence are prompting police to scour the web for any signs of a violent plot.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To those intending to go, please; demonstrate peacefully, and have your situational awareness at maximum. You may well need it.

And remember; the guy or gal, advocating actual violence, is most probably a government plant of some kind or another.

Jan 19 07:18

944 Trillion Reasons Why The Fed Is Quietly Bailing Out Hedge Funds

On Friday, Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari, who just two months earlier made a stunning proposal when he said that it was time for the Fed to pick up where the USSR left off and start redistributing wealth (at least Kashkari chose the proper entity: since the Fed has launched central planning across US capital markets, it would also be proper in the banana republic that the US has become, that the same Fed also decides who gets how much and the entire democracy/free enterprise/free market farce be skipped altogether) issued a challenge to "QE conspiracists" which apparently now also includes his FOMC colleague (and former Goldman Sachs co-worker), Robert Kaplan, in which he said "QE conspiracists can say this is all about balance sheet growth. Someone explain how swapping one short term risk free instrument (reserves) for another short term risk free instrument (t-bills) leads to equity repricing. I don’t see it."

Jan 19 07:16

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos.

Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As anyone "cursed" by the US's "alphabet agencies" in having to read this blog, you know that I am no threat; and as a Christian pacifist activist, simply an annoyance, because I advocate for logic-based, fact-based, moral domestic and foreign policies, and never advocate violence.

That having been said, the insidious surveillance which follows most of us these days, is obscene and obsessive, and once there is way too much data, it has a way of becoming so overwhelming, that it becomes... useless.



Emigrate While You Still Can - Finca Bayano In Panama!

Finco Bayano
Jan 19 07:05

FAA warns military training exercise could jam GPS signals in southeast, Caribbean

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A military training exercise scheduled for this weekend could jam GPS signals in the Southeast and Caribbean, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

An FAA advisory warns pilots could experience "unreliable or unavailable GPS signal" during a training exercise scheduled for Jan. 16 through Jan. 24.

The U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group Four will be conducting GPS testing exercises off the coast of Georgia, causing likely disruptions as low as 50 feet above ground level within 207 miles of the test location -- and as high as 40,000 feet within 460 miles.

"The Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation is provided by the Department of Defense (DoD). Routine testing is conducted on the GPS," an FAA representative told Military Times. "The FAA issues advisories to inform operators that they may experience interference with or disruption of their GPS navigation systems in the vicinity of the testing."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder at the timing of this test, and if the timing has any particular significance, over and above "routine testing", and why such testing is happening at so many sites, simultaneously?!?

Jan 19 06:58

Israeli agritech profits from military occupation

Technology developed in the context of the occupation is used by Israel’s seemingly benign precision agriculture industry. This civilian application allows Israeli military companies to promote “a sanitized version of their repressive technologies” as tools to combat climate change and world hunger.

Israeli agritech companies “develop and market smart irrigation systems, crop protection solutions and specialty fertilizers to farmers across the world, raking in billions of dollars in annual sales, while enjoying a positive ‘green’ image,” Who Profits states.

This industry contributes to agriculture in West Bank and Golan settlements, as well as the de-development of the Palestinian economy.

The Jordan Valley, the main agricultural region in the West Bank, is under full Israeli military control.

Jan 19 06:55

Warmonger Cotton Accuses Antiwar Think Tank of Anti-Semitism

Typical of take-no-prisoners warmongers, Cotton savages critics of the pro-war policy that has characterized US foreign policy in the 21st century. No baseless charge is beneath him. He recently attacked the Quincy Institute in the course of remarks about anti-Semitism. (You can see what’s coming.) According to Jewish Insider, Cotton said that anti-Semitism “festers in Washington think tanks like the Quincy Institute, an isolationist blame America first money pit for so-called ‘scholars’ who’ve written that American foreign policy could be fixed if only it were rid of the malign influence of Jewish money.”

This is worse than a series of malicious lies – every word is false. In fact, it’s an attempt to incite hostility toward and even disruption of one of the bright spots on the mostly desolate foreign-policy-analysis landscape.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To conflate logical, fact-based, modest, and at times, well-deserved criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, is the lowest of the low, and Senator Cotton, obviously has zero problem going here.

Jan 19 06:50

Trump tells GOP donors that Soleimani was 'saying bad things' before strike

Soleimani, largely considered to have been the second-most powerful man in Iran behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, oversaw Tehran’s international proxy network of armed forces and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq at the hands of Iran-backed groups.

The Trump administration defended the strike earlier this month, saying the general was in the process of planning an “imminent attack” on U.S. interests.

Trump did not describe such a threat in his remarks to donors, saying only that Soleimani was a "noted terrorist" who "was down on our list" and "was supposed to be in his country" before traveling to Iraq.

Since the strike, the administration has toggled between saying Soleimani posed an imminent threat and pointing to his past malign activities in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have no doubt that Soleimani was a stone-cold killer; but was his assassination the only answer here?!?

Why could he not have been debriefed, humanely, to find out what was next on his "to do list"?!? THAT would have been an intelligent use of power.

The issues with Iran are not over by a long shot, and I have a hard time believing that making him a martyr to his brother and sister countrymen, was the intended consequence, along with Iraq's parliament's having voted to kick the American military out.


Jan 19 06:40

RCFP analysis: Court orders FBI to expunge website records under Privacy Act

In late November, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expunge certain records relating to Eric Garris, an editor of the website Antiwar.com, which describes itself as promoting “non-interventionism” and posts related news and opinions.

The move comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in September that federal law prohibits law enforcement agencies from maintaining records describing First Amendment activity, unless the record “is pertinent to and within the scope of an ongoing law enforcement activity.” The case marked the first time the Ninth Circuit has considered that question.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To our peace-centric brothers and sisters at antiwar.com, bravo, well done!!

Jan 19 06:34

Lebanese president calls on ARMY to intervene as massive protests turn violent in Beirut (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Lebanon’s capital Beirut has been plunged into chaos amid massive protests. Police struggled to contain the angry crowds with tear gas and water cannon, prompting President Michel Aoun to ask the military to intervene.
Aoun has asked the national army to restore peace and order on the streets of Beirut, as the city saw fierce clashes between protesters and security forces. Aoun called on the military to “protect the safety of peaceful protesters and of public and private property.”

Army storming the crowd with their reinforcements. Just more scare tactics. #Beirutpic.twitter.com/6u29chqyWs

— Samah Hadid ???? (@samahhadid) January 18, 2020
Crowds have taken to the streets of Beirut in a massive protest against Lebanon’s soaring debt, which stands at about $87 billion, equal to more than 150 percent of GDP. The public unrest is also fueled by an almost three-months-long power vacuum and by a crippling economic crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how complicit Israel has been, in terms of fomenting these riots in Lebanon; it would love to see its neighbor destabilized, and Hezbollah "neutralized", as it it both a political, and military, movement in Lebanon.

But the following companion articles make me wonder just what Israel's intentions are here, at this point:

IDF begins installing tunnel-detecting sensors along Lebanese border

There is a confirmation of this story in the jerusalem post.com, as follows: IDF laying new infrastructure to detect sounds of Hezbollah digging

The article, of course, goes on to define this work as "defensive in nature"; but the timing of activities like this is rarely... accidental.

Jan 19 06:18

Libyan National Oil Corporation declares ‘state of emergency’ after Haftar’s forces close eastern oil ports

Libya’s national oil company has declared a “state of emergency” after exports of its oil from the ports in the eastern part of the country were blocked by forces loyal to the Libyan National Army's General Khalifa Haftar.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard – a militia that controls major export terminals in eastern Libya – has ordered local subsidiaries of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), who run them, to cease all operations, the firm said in a statement.

The move makes any export of oil from Libya impossible, the company then warned, adding that it would lead to losses in crude oil production amounting to 800,000 barrels per day, as well as daily financial losses estimated at about $55 million.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, this is all about the oil; who controls it, and in what currency Libyan oil is ultimately sold.

The "legacy" of the US/NATO putsch in Libya, resulting in the assassination of Muammar Ghaddafi, seems to have no end, in blood and money, with Haftar's and the UN's forces at each other's throats, complicated by changing allegiances.

Watch for oil to start spiking, as a result of this.

Jan 19 06:10

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) recorded about 690 explosions in Donbas on Friday.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded about 260 explosions, reads the OSCE SMM daily report.

“The majority of ceasefire violations, including the majority of explosions, were recorded in areas north and north-west of Debaltseve (non-government-controlled, 58km north-east of Donetsk) and near the disengagement area close to Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk),” reads the report.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded about 430 explosions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope and pray, that things here are not about to get any more ugly than they already are, but these explosions indicate that they well may, and very quickly.


Jan 19 06:00

Virginia State Senator Warns Gun Owners About Upcoming Rally: ‘We Are Being Set Up’

Republican Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase issued a warning on Friday to the thousands of Second Amendment advocates who are planning to attend an upcoming massive pro-gun rally in Richmond, saying that they are “being set up.”

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) organized the event, which is being held on Monday, and “is traditionally known as ‘Lobby Day’ in Virginia’s capital,” WTOP reported. “Tens of thousands are expected to show up for the event Monday in Richmond. Given the contentious nature of the issue, the prospect of such a large event has raised tensions. Earlier, [Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph] Northam declared a state of emergency. And recent arrests have further raised those tensions.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that this rally might be used to kookify legitimate 2nd Amendment supporters, and I would not be surprised if there was some kind of false flag planned, courtesy of the state of Virginia and/or Federal government.

But is very troubling to me that a couple of sources I normally think are generally legit, are running with this, as though it were a "fait accompli"

I would strongly caution all who are going to this rally to be exceptionally cautious, peaceful, and law-abiding in their gathering.

Remember: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is the living, breathing, Contract with America.

But my gut is saying, please, do not bring the kids; and I do not know where, precisely this is coming from, other than being a Christian pacifist activist, who values human life, and does not like seeing people hurt, ever.

Jan 19 05:29

It Was Rod: DOJ Court Filing Reveals Rosenstein Behind Strzok-Page Text Dumps

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized the release to the media of text messages between 'FBI lovebirds' Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, many of which revealed deep animus towards then-candidate Donald Trump while they were investigating him during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Politico.

In a Friday night court filing submitted shortly before midnight, Rosenstein says he made the decision to protect Strzok and Page from the damaging effects of lawmakers and others releasing the texts for use as political ammunition.

In the messages, Strzok and Page regularly disparaged Trump and appeared to seek to reassure each other he could not be elected. Both called Trump an “idiot” and said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton deserved to win.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised by these revelations.

January 18, 2020

Jan 18 06:31

uqtada Al-Sadr Joins Meeting of Iraqi Popular Forces' Leaders on Expulsion of US Forces

Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in a meeting with leaders of the country's popular forces conferred on ways to end the US occupation of the country.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news website reported on Monday that the meeting was hosted by Secretary General of al-Nujaba Movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi and attended by Head of the Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) Abu Alaa al-Wala'i and a representative of Asa'eb al-Haq resistance group.

The information center of al-Nujaba Movement released images of the meeting which was aimed at coordination to expel the American forces from Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, this is "old news", with a datemark of Monday; but that being said, Muktada al Sadr is one of the most central figures in post-Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and although he has no title or position, his influence was made manifest in the last Iraqi election, where his party gained a plurality by collaborating with other political groups.

And in case you don't remember this (and most people in the US government would like you to forget it), Al Sadr was the guy who insured that the US got out of Iraq (the first time) by the exact time stipulated by the SOFA agreement with Iraq; otherwise, he threatened that any American military personnel would be "fair game" for the Mahdi Army. Aljazeera Profile: the Madhi Army

And while the Mahdi Army ultimately disbanded, how quickly do you think this man could potentially, "get the band back together", as it were?!?

The short answer may well be, "Pretty damned quickly!!"

And a companion piece, also in whatdoesitmean.com, reports the following;
raqi SWAT team stands guard as security forces and others gather next to a U.S.- made F-16 fighter jet during the delivery ceremony at Balad air base US Resumes Military Operations With Iraq After 2-Week Pause - Reports

It has become painfully apparent, that the Iraqi government, after that vote to oust US the US military, over the assassination of Soulemani, no longer represents the will of the Iraqi people.

This could get very ugly very quickly.

Jan 18 06:02

Macron Announces Charles De Gaulle Carrier Will be Sent to Help French Military Ops in Middle East

The statement comes as President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded that the US’ NATO allies do more in terms of their involvement into Middle Eastern affairs. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg agreed with Trump's view after tensions between the US and Iran put the region on the verge of war in January 2020.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the country's Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier strike group will be deployed to the Levant between January and April 2020 in order to aid French military Operation Chammal in the Middle East. The operation was originally launched in 2014 to halt the expansion of Daesh* and to support the Iraqi military in its fight against the group.

Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Greece will also participate in the deployment, escorting the aircraft carrier to its destination.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh, that is guaranteed to ratchet down tensions with Iran, don't you think?!?!?


Jan 18 05:59

Enemy of my enemy is my friend? Greek ‘forces’ ready to deploy to Libya after Turkish troops set out to reinforce Haftar rivals

Just days after Turkey vowed “to teach a lesson” to Libya’s strongman General Haftar, Greece – still at odds with Ankara – told him that it could send in some “forces,” tasked with observing a truce and “removal of mercenaries.”
Nikos Dendias, Greece’s Foreign Minister, had “a long conversation” with General Khalifa Haftar, who paid a low-key visit to Athens ahead of a Libya peace conference in Berlin. “We want a ceasefire, the removal of mercenaries and the cancellation of illegal agreements,” Dendias said without elaborating.

The chief diplomat told Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), that Greece was ready to help “with [deploying] forces” that would monitor the ceasefire with the rival Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

“All of this is a contribution to the future of the Libyan people. We want it to be a modern democratic country,” Dendias proclaimed.

Jan 18 05:57

Assange May Walk Free Thanks To CIA Bumbling: Former NYT General Counsel

Authored by James Goodale, op-ed via TheHill.com

A few days before Christmas, Julian Assange testified to a Spanish court that a Spanish security company, UC Global S.L., acting in coordination with the CIA, illegally recorded all his actions and conversations, including with his lawyers, and streamed them back in real time to the CIA.

He will, at the end of February, make a similar complaint to a British extradition court about the CIA’s alleged misbehavior.

Will such misbehavior, if proven, set Assange free?

The Daniel Ellsberg case may be instructive. You may recall that after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the “Pentagon Papers” case, Ellsberg was indicted under the Espionage Act for leaking Pentagon documents to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Fingers crossed for Assange on this one; and please remember that none of the information provided by wikileaks, was ever proven wrong.

Jan 18 05:54

Top Official Confirms Saudis Paid US $500 Million To Cover Troop Costs

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports that Saudi Arabia has paid the United States an estimated $500 million to assist the cost of US troop deployments in the kingdom, according to one unnamed US defense official:

The payment was made in December last year. President Donald Trump asserted last week in an interview with Fox News that Saudi Arabia had "already deposited $1 billion in the bank."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF the Saudis are committing that kind of money to American troop protection, one has to wonder; to what degree is Prince Bin Salman, one of Trump's BFFs in the Middle East, controlling US foreign policy in the region, and beyond?!?

Jan 18 05:50

US Supreme Court takes up presidential Electoral College dispute

As the 2020 race heats up, the Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a dispute involving the complex United States presidential election system focusing on whether Electoral College electors are free to break their pledges to back the candidate who wins their state's popular vote, an act that could upend an election.

The Supreme Court will take up appeals in two cases - from Washington state and Colorado - involving electors who decided to vote in the Electoral College process for someone other than Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though she won the popular vote in their states.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These cases are why you have not heard any more about completely eliminating the Electoral College completely, and could, potentially, turn the 2020 election on its ear, depending upon whom the Democrats decide that their candidate will be for this election.


Jan 18 05:46

Trump’s Impeachment Team Will Include Ken Starr And Alan Dershowitz

President Donald Trump’s legal team on impeachment will feature several new, high-profile legal minds as the White House prepares for a trial in the Senate next week.

Trump’s team will add Ken Starr, Robert Ray, Alan Dershowitz, to litigate the case with Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, according to sources who spoke with Axios.

Dershowitz, a constitutional scholar, now an emeritus at Harvard Law School, has become a star figure on primetime television, while Starr is best known for his pivotal role investigating former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ray was Starr’s successor at the Office of Independence Counsel under president Clinton.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, President Trump is blissfully unaware of the concept of "irony", or, in the words of Monica Lewinsky, upon hearing the news, is reported to have said: 'Are You F*cking Kidding Me:?' Monica Lewinsky Reacts to Ken Starr Joining Trump's Impeachment Defense Team.

"That's the message Trump wants to send for his impeachment?" asked another critic after president announced legal team for Senate trial.

It has become painfully apparent, that the inmates continue to run the asylum; and there is utterly no place for sanity or reason in the bowels of power in DC.

Jan 18 05:32

MANDATORY VACCINE BILL FAILS AFTER THOUSANDS SHOW UP TO PROTEST IN NEW JERSEY

SOURCE: MATT AGORIST
(Support Free Thought) -

A bill in New Jersey that would’ve stripped parents and children of their right to informed consent by allowing them to object to mandatory vaccinations failed on Monday. Much to the chagrin of the tyrants who claim ownership over the bodies of others, the bill that would have eliminated religious exemptions to mandatory vaccinations failed to pass the New Jersey state legislature.

According to reports, the bill was canceled in the Senate before the vote because lawmakers knew they lacked the passing votes. The proponents of the bill vowed to reintroduce it on Tuesday but this gives opponents a new time frame on the public hearing and voting process.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF you have ever wondered who owns both state, and national politicians, just look at the things you are mandated to do, or not do; and big pharma has state and national politicians by a very sensitive portion of the human anatomy.

Jan 18 05:29

NIMMO: DAVID WURMSER AND TRUMP’S ZIONIST OCCUPIED BRAIN

SOURCE: KURT NIMMO

Trump’s brain is not his own.

It’s antisemitism time. If you criticize Israel and the cadre of chickenhawk neocons steering Donald Trump’s foreign policy, you will be pilloried and exiled to the political wilderness, forever condemned as a white supremacist.

Scratch a little bit beneath the surface and you will discover at the core of this anti-free speech campaign a rabid Zionist, the same Zionist agitators responsible for advocating and organizing the murder of over a million Iraqis.

It’s no longer permissible to criticize Jewish neocons. The very word “neocon” is considered an antisemitic slur because most of these chickenhawk war criminals are Jewish. It is never mentioned in the NYT or WaPo that the second Iraq mass murder campaign was strictly a Zionist (another word that will get you labeled an anti semite) affair designed to benefit Israel at the expense of the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word, please; I would politely suggest, that what may be good for Israel, may well not be at all good for the United States, in terms of international statescraft.

These resource wars, both in the Middle East and Africa, have bankrupted this country to the tune of $23 trillion dollars, that we know about, and have left US standing around the world in absolute tatters.

And let me just reference one thing which, if you only read the presstitute media, you would not know. Who is the real winner of the US war in Iraq?!?

China.

And while some may be losing their lunch on this, let me explain what has happened here.

China-Iraq Relations: Poised for a “Quantum Leap”? The article goes on to state: "The territorial defeat of Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL, or Da’esh) in late 2017 has provided a breathing spell for Iraqi authorities to try to meet the country’s reconstruction needs and tackle longstanding socioeconomic problems. Toward that end, the Government of Iraq (GOI) is planning to expand the oil industry as well as to diversify away from oil in the longer term — and is keen to obtain China’s support for these efforts.

Bill Engdahl, one of my favorite geopolitical contributors to globalresearch.ca, sums this up very elegantly, in article featured on the 15th of this month; Unintended Consequences: Did Trump Just Give the Middle East to China and Russia?

The article goes on to state: "Chinese involvement with Iraqi oil development and other infrastructure projects, though large, was significantly disrupted by the ISIS occupation of some one third of Iraqi territory. In September, 2019 Washington demanded that Iraq pay for completion of key infrastructure projects destroyed by the ISIS war– a war where Washington as well as Ankara, Israel and Saudi Arabia played the key hidden role—by giving the US government 50% of Iraqi oil revenues, an outrageous demand to put it politely.

Iraq China Pivot

Iraq refused. Instead Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi went to Beijing as head of a 55-member delegation to discuss Chinese involvement in the rebuilding of Iraq. This visit did not go unnoticed in Washington. Even before that, Iraqi-China ties were significant. China was Iraq’s number one trading partner and Iraq was China’s third-leading source of oil after Saudi Arabia and Russia. In April 2019 in Baghdad, China’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations Lee Joon said China was ready to contribute to Iraq’s reconstruction.

For Abdul-Mahdi the Beijing trip was a major success; he called it a “quantum jump” in relations. The visit saw the signing of eight wide-ranging memoranda of understanding (MoUs), a framework credit agreement, and the announcement of plans for Iraq to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It included Chinese involvement in rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure as well as developing Iraqi oilfields. For both countries an apparent “win-win” as the Chinese like to say.

It was only a matter of days after the Beijing talks of Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi that nationwide protests against Iraqi government corruption and economic policies broke out, led by opposition cries that Abdul-Mahdi resign. Reuters witnessed snipers carefully fanning the violent protest firing on the protesters giving the impression of government repression much as the CIA did in Maidan in Kiev in February 2014 or in Cairo in 2011.

There is now strong evidence that the China talks and the timing of the spontaneous October 2019 protests against the Abdul-Mahdi government were connected. The Trump Administration is the link."

There you have it, in a neatly tied up ribbon. And even though President Trump has sent 3,000 troops to the Middle East, allegedly, to deal with tensions regarding Iran, US sending 3,000 troops to the Middle East,Iraq's oil (which was the point of the whole exercise in Bush's ginned up war in Iraq), is now lost to the US, potentially forever.

Jan 18 04:50

LAPD OFFICERS FAKED REPORTS, ADDED INNOCENT PEOPLE TO ITS GANG DATABASE

SOURCE: TECH DIRT

The databases are so ridiculously inclusive cops have found themselves listed as gang members. One cop became a "gang member" simply because his family car was spotted on the same street as two motorcyclists wearing supposed gang t-shirts.

Given this history of lousy gang databases run by people who display an almost-sociopathic desire to punish innocent people, it comes as no surprise the database the LAPD uses sucks just as hard.

More than a dozen Los Angeles police officers with the elite Metro Division are being investigated on suspicion of falsifying information they gathered during stops and wrongly portraying people as gang members or associates, according to multiple sources.

The officers, assigned to special patrols in South Los Angeles, are suspected of falsifying field interview cards during stops and inputting incorrect information about those questioned in an effort to boost stop statistics.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gangs, just like the bootleggers during prohibition, are taking advantage of some seriously flawed laws; when you make something illegal, either booze or drugs, you are going to find that having done so, increases the demand for the product; what the US government should (but will never) consider is legalizing small amounts of drugs for personal use, then get people using them into counseling, as Portugal has done, with a really measurable success.

Of course, there is too much profitability for banks, which launder drug money; crooked politicians; and others, like the owners of private prisons, for this to ever happen in this country.


Jan 18 04:42

HOW TRUMP REBELLED AGAINST THE GENERALS

In early 2017, just as Trump was inaugurated, we wrote how of an old power center theory that seemed to explain how Trump won the elections:

Seen from the perspective of power centers Clinton once had all the support she needed. But she then lost a decisive group due to her uncompromising neo-conned foreign policy. Here is an interesting take based on a theory from the 1950s:

[T]he power elite can be best described as a “triangle of power,” linking the corporate, executive government, and military factions: “There is a political economy numerously linked with military order and decision. This triangle of power is now a structural fact, and it is the key to any understanding of the higher circles in America today.”

Jan 18 04:35

HOW AN ISRAELI SPY-LINKED TECH FIRM GAINED ACCESS TO THE US GOV'T'S MOST CLASSIFIED NETWORKS

SOURCE: WHITNEY WEBB VIA MINT PRESS NEWS
If the networks of the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community and a slew of other U.S. federal agencies were running the software of a company with deep ties, not only to foreign companies with a history of espionage against the U.S. but also foreign military intelligence, it would — at the very least — garner substantial media attention. Yet, no media reports to date have noted that such a scenario exists on a massive scale and that the company making such software recently simulated the cancellation of the 2020 election and the declaration of martial law in the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump has bent over backwards to please the Fundies in this country, as well as the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, who he describes as one of his BFFs in the Middle East; one has to wonder, with his sign-off, declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and the developing of a US/Israeli pact which commits the US to defend Israel, no matter if it started the fracas or not Netanyahu/Pompeo Push Forward with Defense Pactjust how much dirt does Mossad have on President Trump?!?

Jan 18 04:25

RUSSIAN MPS CONFIRM MIKHAIL MISHUSTIN AS NEW PRIME MINISTER AFTER CABINET RESIGNATION

Mikhail Mishustin has been ratified as next Prime Minister of Russia by MPs, after the cabinet resigned on Wednesday. Vladimir Putin had earlier proposed Mishustin, formerly head of the Federal Tax Service, as a candidate.

Mishustin has already promised a major cabinet reshuffle, meaning that some fresh faces could emerge as new ministers. The incoming government must hold personal responsibility for the decisions they take to help economy grow, Mishustin told MPs ahead of the confirmation vote.

The first thing to do is to seriously engage in institutional and management reform, and, of course, bring in the most advanced information technologies.

To Mishustin, there are enough resources out there to achieve goals set by the President: "We have a fairly stable [economic] situation ... we do have inflation but I think it will not exceed 4 percent, this is obvious."

Jan 18 04:22

FBI: Saudi government ‘almost certainly’ helps its citizens escape prosecution in US for serious crimes

Updated 4:25 p.m.

The FBI believes the Saudi Arabian government “almost certainly” helps its citizens flee the country after they are accused of serious crimes, “undermining the US judicial process,” according to a newly declassified document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The surreptitious action is done, in part, to spare the wealthy Persian Gulf kingdom embarrassment, the FBI said. Intelligence officials believe the flights from justice will continue without intervention by the American authorities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised by this; laws are skirted, broken, and ignored, when a country produces nearly 15% of the world's oil, and its leadership counts President Clinton as its BFF.

Google reminds us: "Saudi Arabia produces approximately 12 million barrels of oil per day and nearly 15% of world output. The country ranked as the largest oil producer in the decade from 2003 to 2012, after which it fell to second place due to surging oil production in the United States."


January 12, 2020

Jan 12 08:04

CANADIAN POLICE HANDCUFF INDIGENOUS GRANDFATHER AND 12-YEAR-OLD FOR TRYING TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT

SOURCE: CBC.CA
Maxwell Johnson thought his appointment at the Bank of Montreal would be routine.

He's been a customer since 2014 and wanted to open an account for his 12-year-old granddaughter so he could transfer funds to her electronically when she was on the road for basketball games.

But at the Dec. 20 meeting at BMO's Burrard Street location in downtown Vancouver, an employee questioned the identification he and his granddaughter presented.

"She said the numbers didn't match up what she had on her computer," Johnson said from his home in Bella Bella, a Heiltsuk community located on B.C's Central Coast.

Johnson, 56, and his granddaughter were using government-issued Indian Status cards, his birth certificate and her medical card. He said the employee became suspicious and went upstairs with their cards.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable.

That First Peoples in the US and Canada have had a "rough go" with emerging governments of both countries; but THIS, to add insult to injury?!?

Forgive me, Prime Minister Trudeau, but it sounds to me as though the country's national anthem, "Oh, Canada", needs immediately to be changed to "Oh, Can-na-DUH"!!!

Jan 12 07:54

CAN THE COPS SECRETLY RECORD YOUR HOME FOR EIGHT MONTHS WITHOUT A WARRANT?

SOURCE: PRIVACY SOS
Yesterday the First Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to hear oral argument on the constitutionality of the warrantless placement of a secret video camera on top of a utility pole after the ACLU’s 2018 victory in the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. United States. Carpenter represents a growing recognition that we have a right to be free from long-term surveillance that catalogs the whole of our physical movements, even in a public place. Yesterday’s oral argument in United States v. Moore-Bush focused on Carpenter’s impact on a person’s expectation of privacy against the placement of a video camera directed at a home for eight months without any judicial oversight.

Jan 12 07:52

Ukraine Airliner Down: Does Anybody Remember USG Targeting IR655? Sent to the Memory Hole in the exceptional nation.

The shoot-down of a Ukrainian airliner is the latest propaganda ploy by the state to further demonize Iran and prepare for war. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who experience amnesia during such events.

@iheartmindy

"In case you missed it, Iran did shoot down that civilian passenger plane killing all 176 people on board because their backwards country is too GD incompetent to wait for an airspace to be clear of civilian aircraft before launching a missile attack."

I suppose she deserves a pass, being young and more than likely “educated” in a public school and like far too many Americans believes whatever the USG tells her.

Obviously, she is unaware of this, rarely talked about in the exceptional nation:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This article comes from the Washington Post, Dateline: July 4, 1988: NAVY DOWNS AN IRANIAN JETLINER OVER GULF; IRAN SAYS 290 ARE DEAD, US "EXPRESSES REGRET".

The quote marks around the last two words are mine, not those of the Washington Post.

And the timing of crud like this is never accidental; please note the date; July 4th Independence Day.

Jan 12 07:23

TRUMP THREATENED TO CUT OFF BAGHDAD'S ACCESS TO ITS NY FED CASH

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
After rejecting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's request to begin talks on the withdrawal of American troops, there are now more signs of the eroding ties between the two countries.

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to Iraqi officials (yes, Iraq has anonymous sources too), the Trump administration warned Iraq this week that it risks losing access to a critical government bank account if Baghdad kicks out American forces.

We are sure, to Schiff et al., that sounds a lot like 'quid pro quo', but how will they balance the need to hammer the president with their neocon/establishment desire to keep boots on the ground, whatever it takes?

The warning regarding the Iraqi central bank account was conveyed to Iraq’s prime minister in a call on Wednesday, according to an official in his office, that also touched on the overall military, political and financial partnership between the two countries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This miserable military adventurism is about to go "mammary glands vertical" for the US in Iraq, for several reasons:

1. Iraq, China launch 'oil for reconstruction' agreement

2. President Trump has threatened Iraq with never leaving until Iraq pays for its air base there, Trump Says US Will Not Leave Iraq Until Baghdad Pays for American Air Base, Threatens Sanctions

3. Trump threatens Iraq sanctions as Iran ends nuclear commitments

4. And, last, but certainly not least, the following statement on the Soulemani assassination, by the Iranian cleric in Iraq, Muktada Al-Sadr:
The leader of the Sadr movement, Muqtada al-Sadr reacted to the martyrdom of Commander of IRGC Quds Brigade, General Ghasem Soleimani, saying that his militias are ready to defend Iraq.

Now, Iraq's Prime Minister may be attempting to back down, slightly, from his original positions that the US has to leave, and soon:

Despite U.S.-Iraq Feud, Iraqi Prime Minister Privately Mulls Delay of U.S. Troop Departure

The article goes on to state: "But privately, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has been trying to slow-roll the American departure, Iraqi advisors say, fearful not just of Trump’s threatened sanctions, but of the departure of Western investment along with the foreign troops, and a resurgence of the so-called Islamic State without U.S. assets to hunt it.

Mahdi, too, is trying to slow down the car crash, privately weighing options that would see only some U.S. troops withdraw, or extend the drawdown over a long period of time, says an Iraqi official who advises the prime minister. “The Parliament wants to eject coalition troops fighting against (ISIS)…but not specialized people who came to help the Iraqi security apparatus by training them,” the advisor told TIME Monday."

Please note, however, that the last statements are completely unsourced, so this TIMES article may have been pure codswallop, verbally engineered for US consumption, so that most TIMES-reading people would would not think, for a second, that the US has lost the Iraq war to China; and China did not have to fire one shot to have this happen.



Lockerdome
Jan 12 06:32

BODY CAM RELEASED OF COP KILLING 14YO BOY FOR RUNNING AWAY WITH ORANGE-TIPPED TOY GUN

SOURCE: MATT AGORIST
(Support Free Thought) -

Phoenix, AZ — Police in Arizona have just released the full dramatic body camera footage from when an officer shot and killed a 14-year-old boy who had attempted to escape on foot while holding a toy gun with a visibly orange tip. For the first time, we are now seeing the full situation of what happened when Officer Joseph Jaen opened fire on Antonio Arce, killing him.

This week, the Tempe Police Department released the video among a slew of other documents, 911 calls and personnel files on officer Jaen. The files and the video were released only after the family and the media made numerous requests. Still, the department waited almost a full year after Arce’s death to release it.

The files reveal a history of excessive force dating back to 2013. In total, this officer, who shot and killed a child holding a toy gun with an orange tip, had 19 separate incidents — not including the investigation for killing Arce — in his record.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why is it, that this keeps happening with America's youth, and most specifically, to minority kids?!?

And why, after 19 separate incidents of excessive force, did this officer at least not get a psych evaluation, and/or moved to desk job?!?

I have absolutely no idea of how traumatic for any parent, family member, or friend, to have their kids playing outside, never to come home again.

Jan 12 06:17

PROTESTERS DEMAND SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI STEP DOWN, AFTER THE COUNTRY’S MILITARY ADMITTED TO "ACCIDENTALLY" DOWNING A UKRAINIAN PASSENGER JET: SMELLS LIKE WESTERN STATECRAFT IS FULLY IN PLAY HERE:

A group of Iranian protesters demanded Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down on Saturday after Tehran said that its military had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board.

"Commander-in-chief [Khamenei] resign, resign," videos posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people chanting in front of Tehran's Amir Kabir university.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if the US, or israel, possibly has a mole in Iranian chain of command, who gave the go/no go order to shoot down a passenger jet.

The Iranian people are many things, but one of them... is not stupid.

So they do not like it, when the leadership of their government appears to be acting in a stupidly cavalier manner, killing a bunch of innocent civilians.

Prayers for all of the victims' families, and friends, for this horrific loss.

Jan 12 06:10

WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERING DRAMATIC EXPANSION OF TRAVEL BAN

The White House is considering dramatically expanding its much-litigated travel ban to additional countries amid a renewed election-year focus on immigration by President Donald Trump, according to six people familiar with the deliberations.

’s unclear exactly how many countries would be included in the expansion if it proceeds, but two of the people said that seven countries — a majority of them Muslim — would be added to the list. The most recent iteration of the ban includes restrictions on five majority-Muslim nations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What do these countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea. have a a common denominator?!?

Short answer; they are all countries in which the US government has botched regime change horrifically, or would like to regime change; if no American goes to these countries, the US government believes that they will a firmer grip on the narrative; this is wishful thinking on their part, but I would sense that this is the driving force behind the additions to the US travel ban.

January 9, 2020

Jan 09 14:42

Venezuela's Guaido sworn in as parliament speaker after stand-off

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido was sworn in for another term as speaker of parliament on Tuesday after a tense stand-off with the armed forces who initially prevented him from entering Congress.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One sees not a word about this in the presstitute media; I have to wonder why, in light of the fact that this guy was President Trump's choice to lead Venezuela.


Jan 09 14:38

Is US attempting to play an Israeli strategy out against Iran?

By Robert Inlakesh

The United States may have planned the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani as a way of attempting to both keep US President Donald Trump in power by making him appear strong and also driving a wedge between the regional resistance axis, led by Iran.

If the US continually claims that none of its soldiers have been killed or injured and continues to downplay the Iranian response. If Trump then decides not to escalate and also pulls his troops out of Iraq, we will know that this was perhaps their strategy from the beginning. Trump would then appear - due to US media manipulation - as a strong president, to his own people, also being a president who has followed up on his promise to get out of Iraq.

This may be a strategy that is employed, but perhaps this strategy will backfire very badly if they miscalculate in any areas. If the US acts aggressively, it could start a Middle East wide war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question is, how far will the government of Israel allow the US military to de-escalate, before they get the US/Iranian war for which they have been cheerleading for so many years?!?

They are certainly not unfamiliar with false flags, and may have several plans in place to make it impossible for the US government and military not to react.

Jan 09 14:26

Israeli Ground Attack Missiles Will Fill Gap in US Army Chopper Arsenal

Following successful tests, the US Army has decided to use the Israeli Spike missile on its attack helicopters until a domestic replacement can be produced.

The Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missile, made by Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will be temporarily appearing in US rotary wing arsenals, following a recent decision by an Army Requirements Oversight Council.

Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, who heads the Army’s Vertical Lift Modernization team, made the announcement on Wednesday, Defense News reported. Rugen did not say how many Spike NLOS missiles would be procured.

The Army tested the Spike several times last year at its Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona as well as in Israel, Sputnik reported, settling on the weapon due to its range and maneuvering capabilities.

Jan 09 14:22

Top IRGC General: Strikes on US Forces in Iraq Just Beginning of Full-Scale Op Across Region

Iran launched a missile strike on US positions in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of its IRGC General Qasem Soleimani. According to US statements, this attack didn't result in any casualties and only caused minor damage to American bases.

Head of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has stated that the 8 January missile attack on American bases in neighbouring Iraq was only the start of a series of attacks that will take place across the entire region, Tasnim News Agency reported. The general further shared that the country had hundreds of missiles ready for launch, when it carried out strikes and added that Tehran conducted cyberattacks on the same day against American plane and drone navigation systems.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'm hoping and praying, that this is only hyperbole; unfortunately, my gut is telling me otherwise, and big-time.

Jan 09 13:19

IN AN ERA OF BIG TECH CENSORSHIP, BIG PHARMA INTOXICATION, AND BIG GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE, SOLEIMANI’S DEATH IS A “WIN” FOR NO ONE

Mike Adams
January 8th, 2020
Natural News

Soleimani may be dead, but censorship is alive and well in America, and no one in any position of power is fighting against it.

The Pentagon said Soleimani had to be taken out because he was planning “imminent” combat operations against United States persons. Yet Big Tech has already completed its online combat operations against tens of millions of Americans, having successfully banned, demonetized, smeared, slandered and de-platformed nearly every voice that supports the very freedoms America is supposedly fighting for in the Middle East. This abundantly demonstrates the absurdity of any claim that blowing up people in Iraq or Iran somehow makes us “more free” in America. The claim that the Pentagon is “fighting for freedom” is total propaganda.


Jan 09 13:16

Iran-Backed Militia Fires Three Rockets At US Embassy In Baghdad

Summary:

3 Katyusha rockets land in Baghdad's Green Zone which houses government buildings, foreign missions and the US embassy.
The target was US embassy
Sirens go off at embassy
One rocket fell between embassy and a Govt building (Mayadeen)
It was supposed to be a day of de-escalation, so when Reuters, Sky News Arabia, Fox News and other sources reported that "several" Katuysha rockets were fired by the IRGC-backed Kataib Hezbollah and hit the Green Zone in Baghdad and explosions have been heard...

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we know that these militias in Iraq are Iranian backed, because.... the US government, that same US government which 19 years ago, lied this country into a war of aggression against Iraq, told us so?!?

NOT SO FAST, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION!!

I would like some irrefutable proof, please, before I jump on this particular band-wagon, which of course, the Trump Administration is pathologically incapable of providing, right?!?!?

It could just have easily been Mossad, desperately trying to get a further escalation going.

Jan 09 13:09

Iraq Reopens Negotiations For Purchase Of Russian S-300 Air Defense Systems

With Iraq's airspace being frequently violated by American and even Israeli bombing raids against the country's paramilitary units backed by Iran of late, Iraq has for the last several months considered purchasing Russian air defense and missile systems, including both the S-300 and more advanced S-400, however, it has been met with fierce pressure from the US.

And now Russian media is reporting authorities in Baghdad have formally resumed talks to possibly acquire the S-300 systems. Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, Mohammad Reza, has indicated negotiations were renewed following the latest attacks initiated nearly two weeks ago on Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces.

"The issue was supposed to be solved several months ago after attacks on Shiite militia al-?ashd ash-Sha'bi [Popular Mobilization Forces, PMF] bases in Baghdad and other provinces created the need for such air defenses", the lawmaker was quoted in Russia's Sputnik as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And who in their right mind can blame Iraq for wanting the S-300 defensive system?!? It is battle-ready, and it has been shown in Syria to outclass anything the US has in its arsenal right now.

Jan 09 13:05

Glacier Park In Montana Set To Remove "Glaciers Will All Be Gone By 2020" Signs

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Montana’s Glacier National Park is being forced to remove all signs that read “glaciers will all be gone by 2020,” after the doomsday scenario didn’t happen.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One almost has to chuckle at this!!

Jan 09 13:02

The medications that change who we are

“Patient Five” was in his late 50s when a trip to the doctors changed his life.

He had diabetes, and he had signed up for a study to see if taking a “statin” – a kind of cholesterol-lowering drug – might help. So far, so normal.

But soon after he began the treatment, his wife began to notice a sinister transformation. A previously reasonable man, he became explosively angry and – out of nowhere – developed a tendency for road rage. During one memorable episode, he warned his family to keep away, lest he put them in hospital.

Out of fear of what might happen, Patient Five stopped driving. Even as a passenger, his outbursts often forced his wife to abandon their journeys and turn back. Afterwards, she’d leave him alone to watch TV and calm down. She became increasingly fearful for her own safety.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF you have someone you love, in your families and friends' circle, and they have been recommended to take any kind of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors", please caution then to look at the following website: www.ssristories.org.

One of the key problems with these drugs, is that they can cause thoughts leading to self-harm, or harm to others.


Jan 09 12:54

Major U.S. Military Contractors Stand to Reap Huge Windfalls from Escalation of Conflict with IranMeet the CEOs Raking It in from Trump’s Aggression toward Iran

I took a look at how the CEOs at the top five Pentagon contractors were affected by this surge, using the most recent SEC information on their stock holdings.

Northrop Grumman executives saw the biggest increase in the value of their stocks after the U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Suleimani on January 2. Shares in the B-2 bomber maker rose 5.43 percent by the end of trading the following day.

Wesley Bush, who turned Northrop Grumman’s reins over to Kathy Warden last year, held 251,947 shares of company stock in various trusts as of his final SEC Form 4 filing in May 2019. (Companies must submit these reports when top executives and directors buy and sell company stock.) Assuming Bush is still sitting on that stockpile, he saw the value grow by $4.9 million to a total of $94.5 million last Friday.

New Northrop Grumman CEO Warden saw the 92,894 shares she’d accumulated as the firm’s COO expand in value by more than $2.7 million in just one day of post-assassination trading.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Karl Marx was absolutely not smoking opium, when he observed that all wars are economic in their origin.

Can you imagine how much these Merchants of Death will make, if Iran (and Russia) get into a shooting war with US military?!?

The short version is, a bundle!!

Jan 09 12:50

No Shame, No Honor, No Heart

The rationale for Soleimani’s death is based on accusations as the world’s number one terrorist and being responsible for hundreds of American deaths in pursuit of Iranian aggression. Any claim of aggression by middle eastern countries glosses over the fact that they are defending their homelands in opposition to US military invasions. It is the US who are the aggressors by invading a country 6,000 miles away to steal their natural resources and to fight on behalf of creating Israeli hegemony throughout the Middle East.

Does any Middle East country have the right of self defense when a foreign army invades their sovereign soil and what does it say when the world’s leading purveyors of war, death and destruction point the finger to those fighting to defend their homeland? The truth is that every country where the US has initiated conflict is no military threat to the US – until they are invaded as they respond to protect their home turf.

Jan 09 12:46

The Deeper Story Behind the Assassination of Soleimani. Washington Threats to Engage in False flag Sniper Shootings. Iraq Prime Minister

Here is the reconstruction of the story:

[Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq] Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans had learned that Abdul-Mehdi was planning to reveal sensitive secrets in the session and sent Halbousi to prevent this. Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off at the commencement of his speech and then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi together with other members, sat next to Abdul-Mehdi, speaking openly with him but without it being recorded. This is what was discussed in that session that was not broadcast:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi’s speech to parliament:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF what Prime Minister Abdul-Mehdi is saying is true (and I believe it to be), then what the President had done, was an insane, and unhinged, retaliation because of a business deal between China and Iraq to develop its oil, preventing a US-centric company from doing this.

Folks, this is more than a little scary to me, and it should be to you as well.

Jan 09 12:39

Warrior Trump Seeking Peace? Permanent War Remains Official US Policy

Seymour Melman explained that “every major aspect of American life is…shaped by our Permanent War Economy” — peace and stability anathema notions to bipartisan US policymakers.

Militarism, endless wars of aggression, and corporate handouts come at the expense of unmet human needs.

Anti-nuclear activist/physician Helen Caldicott stressed that the US “addiction (to wars) in (the) nuclear age, (could) destroy all life on earth, creating the final epidemic of the human race.”

Trump is captive to dark forces controlling him, a geopolitical know-nothing businessman/TV personality transformed into a warrior president, escalating inherited wars, risking new ones.

Endless wars serve US imperial aims. World peace and stability defeat them — what was likely explained to Trump straightaway after taking office.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lendman has this entirely correctly.


Jan 09 12:36

The State of the Iranian Crisis. Will Trump “Escalate” or “De-escalate”?

Possibly Trump will apply “crippling sanctions” as a cover for withdrawal from most of the Middle East. Iran wants the US out, and Trump’s original intention was to withdraw before Russiagate forced him to stay. Thus, both Trump and Iran have a common interest in US withdrawal. Although the Iranian missiles killed no one, they did demonstrate to Israel that the Iranian missiles have pin point accuracy. As Israel is a small land area, the accuracy of Iranian missiles possibly has changed Israel’s mind about provoking a war. If Israel also stands down, perhaps the crisis is over.

US Regional Presence Makes Middle East Peace and Stability Unattainable
On the other hand, the neoconservatives will be unhappy. They see chaos in Iran as a way of spreading instability into the Russian Federation. The military/security complex will be unhappy as US withdrawal would downsize their profits. US oil interests will be unhappy to lose the Iraqi oil.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here's hoping (and in my case, praying) that Paul Craig Roberts is entirely correct in his assessment; but there is one wild-card still waiting to play its hand; and that wild card will be Israel.

I really have to wonder if Netanyahu didn't put President Trump up to this , and now, to attempt to take pressure off from his corruption accusations, since he won the Israeli Prime Minister spot handily in the last election.

Israeli intelligence makes it their business, to know the most they can about every political and wealthy figure, all over the globe; one has to wonder just what he, and/or Mossad, may have on the President which caused him to act so very irrationally a to assassinate Souleimani?

I don't think is over, by a long shot; but the US and/or Israel are going to have to work fast to get an escalation going before Congress restrains the President's war powers.

Jan 09 12:24

Exclusive: U.N. investigators find Yemen's Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack

Yemen's Houthi group did not launch an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities in September, according to a confidential report by U.N. sanctions monitors seen by Reuters on Wednesday, bolstering a U.S. accusation that Iran was responsible.

The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the Sept. 14 attack on the Saudi Aramco <2222.SE> oil plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, dismissing a quick claim of responsibility by the Iran-allied Houthis. Tehran denied any involvement.

The report by the independent U.N. experts to the Security Council Yemen sanctions committee said, "That despite their claims to the contrary, the Houthi forces did not launch the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais on 14 September 2019."

The findings of the U.N. report come amid escalating tensions in the region after the United States killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad and Tehran retaliated by firing missiles at military facilities housing U.S. troops in Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One definitely has to wonder about the "quid pro quo" from the UN, and the timing of this report.

And trust me, timing of reports like this... is never usually accidental; it is released when it gets released to forward the US government's agenda, period, end of discussion.

Jan 09 12:18

Trump Versus Iran: Power Doesn’t Just Corrupt, It Deludes

What was unremarkable – and unfortunate – in the speech was the obvious assumption underlying it: That the United States enjoys, and SHOULD enjoy, absolute power in international relations.

Trump is hardly unique in publicly stating, or in operating on, that assumption. The claim of such absolute power has been the tacit US doctrine of foreign relations since at least as far back as the end of World War Two.

America emerged from that war as the world’s sole nuclear power and, unlike other combatant countries, with its wealth virtually unscathed and its industrial capacity increased rather than demolished. Its rulers saw themselves as able, and entitled, to dictate terms to almost everyone, on almost everything.

“Power tends to corrupt,” wrote Lord Acton, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And that ... is the problem with all contemporary US foreign policy; it is based on that illusion that this country is the best and brightest, and most powerful, and therefore deserves to be treated royally, by every foreign dignitary who comes to our shores, or with whom we are negotiating.

Take a look at the massive, urban homeless problem; at those people who had decent jobs, which were offshored or outsourced, who are now having to do a huge number of minimum wage jobs just to survive; and take a look at the education of our kids; if this is not, between a curriculum guaranteed to dumb our kids down, never mind the psychotropic drugs with which these kids can be drugged, sometimes without parental decision, a deliberate decision to prevent the kind of critical thinking so necessary for this country to survive, I do not know what is.

And our weaponry?!? Because of how the military industrial complex works, we are way behind Russia and China in the development of weapons, and that... is another problem as well.

I would very much like to see this country behaving in an adult, civilized and diplomatic manner, using hard-won, moral negotiations as their primary tactics in achieving the goals it wants; unfortunately, all the US government has seems to be able to do, to get what they want, is to
destabilize; regime change, if necessary; have American-vetted corporations expropriate that countrys' natural resources, to which they have no moral right; and insure that these resources are only sold... in the American dollar.

Jan 09 12:01

The Donald’s Assassination of General Soleimani – As Stupid as It Gets

During more than a half-century of Washington watching we have seen stupidity rise from one height to yet another. But nothing – just plain nothing – compares to the the blithering stupidity of the Donald’s Iran “policy”, culminating in the mindless assassination of its top military leader and hero of the so-called Islamic Revolution, Major General Qassem Soleimani.

To be sure, we don’t give a flying f*ck about the dead man himself. Like most generals of whatever army (including the US army), he was a cold-blooded, professional killer.

And in this day and age of urban and irregular warfare and drone-based annihilation delivered by remote joystick, generals tend to kill more civilians than combatants. The dead civilian victims in their millions of U.S. generals reaching back to the 1960s surely attest to that.


Jan 09 11:57

GOP Sen. Mike Lee: Trump Officials Told Senators Not to Debate War Authorization

After the Trump Administration’s 75-minute briefing to the US Senate on the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was deeply critical, calling it the worst briefing he’d gotten in his nine years in the Senate.

Saying the administration’s briefers offered little on the legal or practical justification for the attack, Sen. Lee particularly took umbrage at them warning the Senators that they must not debate the War Powers authorization for a war with Iran.

Those giving the briefing objected to the very idea of the Senate discussing the matter publicly, saying it would “embolden Iran.” Sen. Lee noted that this is a power Constitutionally reserved explicitly for the legislature.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To President Trump and his minions; I believe that I remember correctly, that only Congress has the power to declare war.

Any other use of any war authorization of force, is extra-judicial, and therefore illegal, as was the war against Iraq, and the war against Afghanistan.

and there is also a companion piece, in antiwar.com, dated yesterday, with the following headline:

'We Need Everyone in the Streets': More Than 180 Events Planned Across US to Protest Trump's March to War With Iran

I would like to remind our readers, particularly those who are too young to remember it, that the very huge, and peaceful, demonstration in DC ultimately stopped the war against Vietnam.

Jan 09 11:38

Tonight’s Successful Starlink Mission Makes SpaceX the World’s Largest Satellite Operator, Was First U.S. Space Command Launch

I’ve recently come to think that Starlink’s core functionality is closely tied to U.S. intelligence and war fighting capabilities.

In case there was any doubt about this…

With regard to tonight’s successful Starlink launch, SpaceX not only became the world’s largest satellite operator, but the launch was the first to happen under the auspices of the U.S. Space Force:

The launch is the first sponsored under the new U.S. Space Force, which was signed into existence on Dec. 20 by President Donald Trump as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bravo to Spacex for a job well done; I just wish like heck, that the US government was not looking at weaponizing space, which appears to be the design intent of its space program.

Jan 09 11:34

KRIEGER: THE FINAL CHAPTER IN THE DECLINE OF US IMPERIAL DOMINANCE HAS BEGUN

ANOTHER STUPID WAR
All I wanted to do this week was work on part 2 of my localism series, but circumstances quickly got the best of me. The assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani was an event of such historical significance, I feel obligated to detail my thoughts on what it means and how things unfold from here, especially given how much of a role geopolitics and questions of empire have played in my writings.

First off, we need to understand the U.S. is now at war with Iran. It’s an undeclared, insane and unconstitutional war, but it is war nonetheless. There is no world in which one government intentionally assassinates the top general of another government and that not be warfare. You can argue the U.S. and Iran were already engaged in low-level proxy wars, and that’s a fair assessment, but you can’t say we aren’t currently in far more serious a state of war. We are.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The next question is about not if things are about to get ugly; it is a question of when.

And that leads me to politely remind those in the deep recesses of the Bowels of Power in DC; there was an article, in the English language version of Moscow Times last summer, and the headline was;

Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says The article went on to state: “Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow."

I have to shake my head as a lay-person, who is not half-lousy with research, that if I am aware of this promise from Russia to Iran, WHY AREN'T THE FOLKS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, CONGRESS, THE OVAL OFFICE, AND THE PENTAGON AWARE OF THIS ALSO?!?!?

And unfortunately, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government could possibly do, is utterly no guarantee that they won't do it.

War with Russia over Iran?!? You have GOT to be flipping kidding me!!!!!

Jan 09 11:20

AMERICA IS THE 4TH WORST ABUSER OF BIOMETRIC PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE WORLD

SOURCE: MASS PRIVATE I

credit: Comparitech

Does anyone really believe America is still the land of the free?

Since 9/11, DHS, the FBI, the CIA, and countless other alphabet soup agencies have turned the United States into a public surveillance monstrosity.

In 19 years, one terrorist attack has done what no one else could have dreamed of: turn America’s freedoms into a distant memory.

Abusing citizen’s rights and privacy used to be the hallmark of dictatorships and police states like the CCCP or North Korea.

A recent study conducted by Comparitech, rated 50 countries from best to worst at protecting citizen’s biometric data.

The study found that America is one of the world’s worst abusers of citizen’s biometric privacy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised at this.



Pixfuture

January 7, 2020

Jan 07 16:08

Joe Biden says it is impossible to believe Donald Trump's administration's claims about Qassem Soleimani being an imminent threat - but mixes up Iraq and Iran during his speech

Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a foreign policy speech from New York on Tuesday where he laid out why it was impossible to believe the Trump administration's claims that Qassem Soleimani was an imminent threat.

'This is a president with a history of lying about virtually everything,' Biden said, adding that Americans are owed a better explanation to why Trump decided to take out Iran's No. 2 official. 'And facts to back it up.'

Biden also made a mistake during the nearly 20-minute long speech, briefly confusing Iraq and Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That this bumbling, mumbling, stumbling candidate has such high figures in the charts as Democratic contender for the nomination, just boggles the mind, unless these or all push-polls, where the demographics have been skewered to get the desired resultings, or the pollsters have been polling the criminally insane.

Jan 07 16:01

U.S. military believes Iran will attempt to kill one of its commanders in 'tit-for-tat' response to the death of General Soleimani and expects a 'major' attack within two days

U.S. officials are braced for Iran to respond to the killing of its most powerful general, and are preparing for a possible 'tit-for-tat' attempt on the life of an American military commander.

President Donald Trump ordered the Jan. 2 strike against Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, after the death of an American contractor in Iraq.

Now, as the massive demonstrations of Iran's public mourning period for Soleimani come to a close, officials believe the next steps by America' longtime foe will determine the ultimate course of the latest crisis.

While officials say American intelligence isn't clear on whether Iran's latest military moves are designed to bolster Tehran´s defenses or prepare for an offensive strike, the U.S. is continuing to reinforce its own positions in the region, including repositioning some forces.

One official said the U.S. anticipated a 'major' attack of some type within the next day or two.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation; before Congress can try to limit President Trump's war authority, there probably will be some kind of "false flag", most probably conjured up by Mossad, and one of our military leaders will be "sacrificed" as the justification to go to war with Iran.

Am I actually that cynical that I believe something like this might
happen?!? Absoflippinglutely.

Notice the time frame, within the next 48 hours; also notice that whoever made these claims, were utterly not sourced.

Remember that phrase, ""never let a good crisis go to waste." as Winston Churchill once famously said?

We are seeing this being played out, big-time, in this incessant, non-stop demonization of Iran.

Jan 07 15:43

White House accused of cover-up after Saudi crown prince's brother reveals he had Oval Office meeting with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner in wake of death of Qassem Soleimani

President Trump hosted Saudi Arabia's Vice Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman in the Oval Office Monday - and didn't tell the press about it.

A photograph tweeted out by the prince - who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman - shows him sitting alongside Jared Kushner, Robert O'Brien, Trump's national security adviser, and Victoria Coates, O'Brien's deputy.

Trump is seated at the Resolute Desk.

The meeting was not on the president's schedule, nor was the press pool informed that Prince Khalid was at the White House.

The White House Correspondents' Association slammed the White House for keeping it off-the-books.

'It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the president in the Oval Office,' said WHCA President Jonathan Karl in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised at this revelation.

Jan 07 15:37

Soleimani was to deliver Tehran's reply to Saudi de-escalation letter when killed: Iraqi PM

Iraq's Caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has said that Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was set to deliver Tehran's reply to an earlier Saudi message regarding de-escalation talks mediated by Baghdad when he was assassinated.

Abdul-Mahdi made the remarks during an extraordinary parliamentary session in the capital which led to the adoption of a law demanding the withdrawal of US forces from the country on Sunday, the National Iraqi News Agency reported.

The premier said that he was due to meet Soleimani at 8:30 am local time on Friday before the US assassinated the general a few hours earlier.

The revelations come as Baghdad has been mediating talks between Tehran and Riyadh following a recent uptick of tensions the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this report is true, what the US did, in the extrajudicial assassination of Soleimani, was to potentially push Iran past the point of no return here; that was the design objective.


Jan 07 15:33

Why I don’t trust Trump, Pompeo on Iran

By Ron Paul

US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us the US had to assassinate Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani last week because he was planning “imminent attacks” on US citizens. I don’t believe them.

Why not? Because Trump and the neocons – like Pompeo – have been lying about Iran for the past three years in an effort to whip up enough support for a US attack. From the phony justification to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, to blaming Yemen on Iran, to blaming Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the US Administration has fed us a steady stream of lies for three years because they are obsessed with Iran.

And before Trump’s obsession with attacking Iran, the past four US Administrations lied ceaselessly to bring about wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, and the list goes on.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ron Paul, is absolutely the poster person for common sense here.

Jan 07 15:28

Evidence? What evidence? Pompeo shows no proof of ‘imminent’ Soleimani attacks

The US says that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was plotting “imminent and sinister” attacks against its diplomats and military personnel. But when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pressed for evidence of this, he gave none.
Soleimani, commander of the Iranian military’s Quds Force, was assassinated in a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday. Before the strike, President Donald Trump implicated Iran in a fatal rocket attack on an American base in Iraq in December, and in the storming of the American embassy in Baghdad by protesters last week. Afterwards, he said that Soleimani was killed to prevent “imminent and sinister” attacks against American officials and troops in the Middle East.

With Washington and Tehran throwing escalatory threats at each other following the strike, Pompeo spoke to reporters on Tuesday. Asked for evidence of the threat posed by Soleimani, the US secretary of state provided little in the way of information

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Could it be possible that Secretary of State Pompeo could not provide tangible, irrefutable evidence because, possibly, there was none to provide?!?

Please remember; we were lied to about Iraq having alleged "weapons of mass destruction", as the premise for the invasion of that country, and its occupation which continues into the present day.

Jan 07 15:22

Hong Kong Officials Suspect Pneumonia Outbreak in China Could Be SARS-Like Disease

Hong Kong medical experts believe that the viral pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan may be a result of a new kind of coronavirus, similar to that which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory illness that killed hundreds in 2003.

Wuhan’s health commission has confirmed that seven of the 59 patients are very ill, but none of them have died. All 59 patients have been quarantined. The commission has also said that it has traced around 163 people who had close contact with the patients and will continue tracing other contacts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would love to see the world's greatest virologists working together to find both a cause, and a cure; humanity is never in its better light, than when it is working together to achieve a common goal.

Jan 07 15:19

US Doesn't Want to Start a War With Iran But is 'Prepared to Finish One' - Pentagon Chief Esper

"We are not looking to start a war with Iran but we are prepared to finish one,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper tells @camanpour. “...What we would like to see is the situation de-escalated and for Tehran to sit down with us and begin a discussion about a better way ahead.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sec Def Esper, if you wanted to de-escalate, should you perhaps have thought about not assassinating one of Iran's most respected military leaders, whether he was revered, or hated?!?

You knew this was an escalation; President Trump wanted it; and now the US government and military are going to have to deal with an Iran with which Russia has excellent relations, both politically, and militarily.

Was this your ultimate plan, sir; to have the US fighting a coalition of Iranian and Russian military, so that Israel doesn't have to get its hands dirty, having off-sourced the war to the US President and military?

Because if it was, it appears that the brakes have come smartly off the wheels of sanity regarding this coming confrontation, and I will be very surprised if we survive the week, and absolutely nothing has happened, in terms of some kind of Iranian retaliation.



Xmas w/o borders
Jan 07 15:07

Video: As Iran Tensions Rise, US Air Force Conducts ‘Completely Coincidental’ Mass F-35 Drill

On Monday, Utah’s Hill Air Force Base put on a powerful show of force, practicing a maneuver known as an “elephant walk,” in which they launched more than 50 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in just minutes. However, the US Air Force swears it has nothing to do with simmering tensions with Iran.

Two fighter wings at Hill Air Force Base practiced a rapid deployment method called an “elephant walk,” quickly launching 52 F-35 Lightning II stealth aircraft with just seconds between each takeoff.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sure; right; nothing to see here, Iranian government; just move along, please!!

Jan 07 15:04

UN Informs Iran Mission that US Will Not Issue Visa to Zarif to Join Security Council Meeting

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations informed Iran that the United States will not grant a visa to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to participate in the UN Security Council meeting later this week, Alireza Miryousefi of the Iranian mission to the United Nations said on Tuesday.

"Last night, we were informed by the United Nations that based on the information it received from the United States, Foreign Minister Zarif’s visa to address the Security Council will not be issued, but we have not received any communication about it from the US mission," Miryousefi said.

Iran submitted an application for a US visa on December 10, a day after Zarif received an invitation to attend the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, Miryousefi noted.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would comply with the UN-US host country agreement in Zarif’s case.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Is the US government so terrified of how their narrative about how the Soulemaini assassination is already unraveling at the seams, at warp speed, that they will not allow this man to attend this meeting, to which he had been invited by the UN Security Council?!?

Talk about being terrified of not being able to control the narrative, that the US government pulls these kinds of shenanigans!!

Jan 07 14:57

Stocks Sink As Global Times Suggests China In No Hurry To Sign Trade Deal

Global Times English edition reportedly quotes China shouldn't be in a hurry to sign the Phase One Agreement.

A Chinese delegation will likely travel to Washington next week to sign the agreement, experts said. However, specific dates for the delegation's departure and the signing ceremony are unclear.

As of press time, Chinese officials have not publicly announced details regarding the trip and the signature of the phase one agreement. US officials have been releasing differing information concerning the deal.

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet on December 31 that he will sign the phase one deal at the White House on January 15, and that high-level representatives from China will be present. Chinese officials have not publicly confirmed the US president's announcement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oops there.....

Jan 07 14:55

Flub Or Felony: 17 FISA Errors Submitted Four Times?

Authored by Lorraine Silvetz via LibertyNation.com,

The inspector general’s findings seem to confirm what many have suspected all along: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) request made during the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation doesn’t pass the sniff test.

In total, there were 17 errors submitted four times. The level of incompetence required to make these errors in four separate court submissions is nigh inconceivable, leaving two questions that must be answered: Was this flub – or felony? And if the latter, how far does the corruption extend?

Frank Watt, a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a 22-year veteran of the FBI, believes that these errors would have been career-ending felonies in any other situation. He explained in an article for American Thinker:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given the number of foul-ups, bleeps and blunders included, how in heaven's name could it have been anything else?!?

Jan 07 14:33

Power Plants Shut Down As Earthquakes Pummel Puerto Rico; At Least 1 Killed

Puerto Rico just can't catch a break.

After a series of earthquakes have rattled the island over the past two weeks, a series of even more powerful quakes and aftershocks have followed on Tuesday. The spate of quakes included a magnitude 6.4 quake which occurred at 8:24 UTC (4:24 am local time), according to the US Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center measured the earthquake at magnitude 6.6.

The damage from that quake, the largest in a string of earthquakes that have hit the US territory since late last year, has left one dead, eight wounded and prompted power plants in the US commonwealth to be taken offline.

For some, the destruction probably dredged up memories of Hurricane Maria, which left the island in shambles in 2017, and caused hundreds of deaths.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mike and I lived through the Northridge Quake in 94, and it was pretty darned terrifying, even through the building infrastructure pretty much held together; but there was an apartment just a block or so away from us, which pancaked into its own foundation outline.

Prayers for the people of Puerto Rico, as well as whatever practical aid can be brought about by churches, and other NGOs.

Jan 07 14:25

Iran Evaluating 13 Retaliation Scenarios To Inflict "Historic Nightmare" On US

"Even if the weakest of these scenarios gain a consensus, its implementation can be a historic nightmare for the Americans."

Breaking a 5-day silence over its response for the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani, on Tuesday Iran said it was assessing 13 scenarios to inflict a "historic nightmare" on the US. "Even if the weakest of these scenarios gain a consensus, its implementation can be a historic nightmare for the Americans," Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran's national security council, was cited by Fars news agency, adding that, "For now, for intelligence reasons, we cannot provide more information to the media."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oil and defense stocks will probably be spiking, very shortly.

Jan 07 14:21

McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up

"McConnell likely has the votes to force the issue without cooperation from Democrats."

Most Senate Republicans have lined up behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan for a lightning-fast, witness-free impeachment trial which will end with the acquittal of President Trump - much to the chagrin of Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer of New York.

McConnell has guaranteed that Senate Democrats won't have the 67 votes required to convict Trump and remove him from office. Meanwhile, he can simply point to Clinton's impeachment as precedent on witness testimony, as it would allow Trump's lawyers and White House impeachment managers to make their arguments and answer questions from Senators before administration figures such as Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have a chance to speak.

There have been no discussions between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who can go pound sand as talks seem unlikely.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was nothing but "GOTCHA! politics, writ large."

Jan 07 14:18

Iranian MPs Pass Bill Labeling All US Military Personnel "Terrorist Entities"

Lawmakers of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on Tuesday have labeled the Pentagon and its affiliates as terrorist entities under a new law, according to Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Iran’s new legislation was overwhelmingly approved by 223 lawmakers, according to IRNA. The law comes in response to the US' assassination of top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani last Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is about to get nasty, and very quickly.

Jan 07 14:16

And Again: The Fed Monetizes $4.1 Billion In Debt Sold Just Days Earlier

Over the past week, when looking at the details of the Fed's ongoing QE4, we showed out (here and here) that the New York Fed was now actively purchasing T-Bills that had been issued just days earlier by the US Treasury. As a reminder, the Fed is prohibited from directly purchasing Treasurys at auction, as that is considered "monetization" and directly funding the US deficit, not to mention is tantamount to "Helicopter Money" and is frowned upon by Congress and established economists. However, insert a brief, 3-days interval between issuance and purchase... and suddenly nobody minds. As we summarized:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a little more than scary, looking at the volumes of money getting thrown around like this.

Jan 07 14:13

"We're Going To War, Bro": Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest 'Fast Deployment' In A Decade

“We’re going to war, bro” — declared a young US soldier from the US Army's celebrated 82nd Airborne Division. He gave reporters a confident two thumbs up as his unit moved out on its largest “fast deployment” in a decade at a moment Iran has promised to inflict a "historic nightmare" on the US in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

Reuters provided a detailed account of the uneasy yet somewhat jovial calm before the storm atmosphere that prevailed on the airport tarmac at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as 600 soldiers and many hundreds more support crew flew out.

While Kuwait is expected to be the first stop for most of the some 3,500 total paratroopers ordered to the region, the final destination is classified, and the Army is concerned over information leaks. For this reason the US Army confiscated the cell phones and any personal communication devices of those deploying on the transport planes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of all the possible ways with which to break the US/Iranian impasse, there may have been a more volatile, and risk-laden response than what appears will be happening very soon, but I am having a hard time imagining just how.

and where, please, is the absolute, incontrovertible proof that an Iranian agent actually killed that American contractor?!? From what I have seen so far, there doesn't appear to be any factual basis; the timing is simply "convenient" to explain away the American extrajudicial assassination of Soulemani.

Jan 07 13:05

Trey Yingst: 'Shocking lack of understanding' from defense secretary on what's happening in Iraq

Jan. 07, 2020 - 2:04 - Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst reports from Baghdad after Defense Secretary Mark Esper's remarks on the U.S. presence in Iraq after the death of Gen. Soleimani.

Jan 07 11:41

Putin makes surprise visit to Syria, discusses security situation with Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria, holding talks with his counterpart, Bashar Assad, at the Russian military command center.

Putin “rode through the streets of Damascus” on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city’s airport, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

Jan 07 11:37

Mike Pompeo threatens to assassinate more Iranian leaders if they retaliate against US

Iran has already complained that the US breached international laws with the targeted killing of General Soleimani. The US Secretary of State said any US military strikes inside Iran would be legal.

Jan 07 10:36

Internet Disruption: Different Terms for Different Tactics

By Advox

As the internet progressively becomes an intrinsic part of our daily lives — from communicating with friends and applying for social services, to studying and working — staying connected is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In this context, internet shutdowns have evolved into a human rights issue with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives. Apart from the documented negative economic impacts, intentional internet shutdowns can be weaponized to silence dissent and stunt protest movements. However, internet shutdowns are on the rise with 196 intentional internet disruptions recorded in 2018 alone. In 2019, Global Voices covered internet shutdowns in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Ecuador to name a few...

Jan 07 10:35

Trump Administration Blocks Iran’s Top Diplomat From Addressing the U.N. Security Council

The Trump administration is barring Iran’s top diplomat from entering the United States this week to address the United Nations Security Council about the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military official in Baghdad, violating the terms of a 1947 headquarters agreement requiring Washington to permit foreign officials into the country to conduct U.N. business, according to three diplomatic sources.

Jan 07 10:32

VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.

Jan 07 10:29

Will the US deploy negative interest-rates?

Jan 07 10:25

The US unwittingly helped create Qassem Soleimani. Then they killed him.

While senior Iranian military leadership advocated a massive punitive expedition into western Afghanistan, Soleimani advised a more constrained response, with his Quds Force providing training and material support to the Northern Alliance, an umbrella group of forces opposed to the Taliban. Soleimani personally directed this effort, transforming the Northern Alliance into an effective fighting force.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the US used the Northern Alliance to establish a foothold in Afghanistan and eventually drive the Taliban from power. Soleimani played a major role behind the scenes helping make the US-Northern Alliance partnership viable, including providing operational and intelligence support.

Jan 07 10:20

Chevron pulls American oil workers from Iraq

America's second largest oil company has evacuated all of its American oil workers from Iraq following last week's U.S. airstrike in Baghdad.

Jan 07 10:18

Big Tech strikes again: All criticism of transgenderism will now be treated as “malware,” equivalent to malicious code

Just in time for the 2020 presidential election, a pair of college professors from the United Kingdom has unveiled a new technology for blocking “hate speech” online that involves algorithmically flagging politically incorrect language in the same way that anti-virus software identifies “malware.”

According to researcher Stephanie Ullmann and professor Marcus Tomalin, both from the University of Cambridge, this newfangled “Hate O’Meter,” as they’re calling it, will flag all potentially “controversial” content – at least as they personally define it as such – and place it into a “quarantine.” Users will then have the option to view the content with a simple click, or leave it in the digital “trash,” never to be seen again.

Jan 07 10:14

America is keen to protect ISIS so they killed Qasem Soleimani: Syrian Ambassador

New Delhi, Jan 04 (ANI): Speaking on US strike on Iran where Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani was killed, Ambassador of Syria to India, Daniel Chuburu said, “This process will make danger escalation in the region. It proves that how America is keen to protect terrorism in the ground because America killed the leader who was against the terror groups. The leader Qasem Soleimani was the leader of military group and defeated ISIS in the ground of Iraq and Syria. ISIS is created by CIA, which is Central Intelligence Agency of America. Because America is keen to protect ISIS so, they killed Mr. Qasem Soleimani.”

Jan 07 09:54

Killing Iran’s Qassim Soleimani: Rule of law or rule of the jungle?

James Dorsey warns that adopting the principle of might is right and abandoning international law “risks creating a global jungle in which wars, political violence, marginalisation of ethnic and religious groups, and destabilising mass migration contribute to rule of the jungle rather than rule of law”.>>

Jan 07 09:50

A man-made catastrophe? More than 180 Australians have been arrested accused of DELIBERATELY lighting bush-fires since the start of the horror season that's left 25 dead

On the New South Wales south coast, where at least nine people have died since the fire season picked up in October, 29 blazes have been deliberately lit.

So far 24 people across the state have been charged with starting blazes in the bush, while a further 159 have been charged or cautioned over less serious fire offences.

The claims of arson have already become a political battleground, with some politicians and commentators seizing on them to argue that the impact of climate change has been overstated.

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