Boston’s mainstream media has delivered its verdict on the allegations against marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: he’s so guilty, there’s no need to used the word alleged anymore.
If there were any doubt that Boston’s media had a bias in the case, several of the city’s media pundits and one of its journalism professors have decisively put that question to rest. The panelists on WGBH’s “Beat the Press” were shameless in discarding any pretense of unbiased, neutral reporting.
The use of the word, “alleged” to identify a suspect who has not been convicted is a long-established practice of media ethics. It’s a standard which acknowledges that only properly-held trial can assign guilt. Yet using “alleged” or “accused” for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is unnecessary,” according to the pundits on “Beat the Press”
“In the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, I wouldn’t have a big problem if somebody simply described him as ‘The Boston Bomber’ because, the evidence is overwhelming to the point (that) there is virtually no other side to this,” said Northeastern journalism Professor Dan Kennedy.
The Boston Globe’s Dante Ramos went one step further, arguing that the use of “alleged” or “allegedly” is just lip service in this case. The words are “the tribute that we pay to the idea of innocent until proven guilty. There’s no way of putting these facts together in a way that he’s not one of the perpetrators.”
But, given the high number of sealed motions, the dubious hospital bed confession, the restrictions placed on the defendant and his attorneys that have left him incommunicado, is Tsarnaev’s guilt is a foregone conclusion?
On U.S. policy toward terrorists in Syria dubbed ISIS, President Obama is being handed rare American support for a military attack against the terrorists, according to a new poll.
In its latest survey, YouGov.com finds that the nation has done a 180 in just a year, and now supports military action by nearly four to one.
Some 63 percent of Americans back a Pentagon strike against the terrorists to 16 percent who don’t. A year ago, those numbers were reversed when Americans were asked about striking Syrian troops commanded by President Bashar Assad, with 60 percent opposing military action and 20 percent supporting it.
The flip-flop comes as television news is filled with stories of horrific murders of those captured by ISIS, and reports of American airstrikes against the militants.
It also comes as Obama fights with his national security team and Hill Democrats calling for action. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, today backed military action while on “Meet the Press.”
The YouGov poll revealed a rare change of heart for Americans, many war-weary with the U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What’s more, the support for military action was spread among political opposites. Some 60 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans support military action against the terrorists.
Said the poll analysis:
The latest research from YouGov shows that attitudes towards the use of military force in Syria have changed significantly over the past year. In September 2013, when a deal to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons was agreed, 62% of Americans opposed the use of military force while only 20% supported it. Today when asked whether they support the use of military force against ISIS militants in Syria, the situation is reversed. 63% of Americans now support the use of military force in Syria, compared to only 16% who oppose it…
Support for military action has increased significantly despite the fact that expectations of deeper US involvement remain the same. In research conducted at the beginning of September 2013 when the US was considering launching air strikes against Syria, 45% of Americans said that strikes would be the first step towards having US troops in Syria. 31% expected any potential campaign to be limited to air strikes. Today Americans still tend to expect any air strikes in Syria to lead to a US military presence, with 40% saying it would be a first step and 31% saying that action would be limited to air strikes.
In observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, TRNN shares a speech he gave in Detroit on February 15, 1964, one week before he was killed – February 22, 2015
In the early morning of February 14, 1965, Malcolm X’s home was firebombed and the house was destroyed. One week later he was assassinated. This was the last public speech Malcolm X gave before his murder.
The FBI visits Malcolm X in 1964. Malcolm knew that they were coming so he hid a tape recorder under his couch. The agents identify themselves as Beckwith and Fulton from the New York office of the FBI.
FBI Agent: Well, what we are interested in, basically, are the people who belong. The names of the members.
On February 23, Al Jazeera headlined “The Spy Cables: A Glimpse into the world of espionage.”
Saying “(s)ecret documents, leaked from numerous intelligence agencies, offer rare insights into the interactions between spies.”
Hold the cheers. Al Jazeera is owned, operated and controlled by Qatar’s government. Its agenda is closely tied to Washington and other Western governments.
Doha hosts America’s forward CENTCOM (US Central Command) headquarters. It’s based at Al Udeid Air Base. It’s home for 5,000 US forces.
It’s a hub for US Afghanistan and Iraq operations. Qatar was instrumental in Obama’s Libya war.
Its special forces armed and trained extremist Islamist militants. It’s allied with Obama’s war on Syria.
The State Department’s annual human rights report said Qatar:
denies its citizens the right to change governmental authority peacefully; constitutional law mandates hereditary male al-Thani family rule.
prohibits fundamental civil liberties;
abuses noncitizen workers;
forbids organized political parties;
denies speech, press and assembly freedoms;
prohibits due process and judicial fairness for anyone facing charges under the Protection of Society and Combating Terrorism Law;
restricts religious practices and movement;
traffics in domestic workers and various other labor sectors; and
discriminates against women legally, institutionally and cultureally.
Don’t expect revelations like Edward Snowden’s. It remains to be seen what Al Jazeera intends to publish.
It’ll be up to others to judge its reliability. Most important is what it intends to keep suppressed.
Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit collaborated with London’s Guardian – an establishment broadsheet. It published Snowden’s revelations.
According to Al Jazeera, it intends “a selection of ‘top-secret’ documents, and exploring stories within them.”
They’re from Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s MI6, Russia’s FSB, Australia’s ASIO and South Africa’s SSA.
No direct mention of the CIA, NSA, FBI or other US spy agencies.
Al Jazeera claims a “digital leak” source. It’ll begin selective publishing “(o)ver the coming days.” Documents it obtained cover the period 2006 – 2014.
They include SSA “detailed briefings and internal analyses.”
Revealing South Africa’s “secret correspondence with the US intelligence agency, the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s operatives, as well as dozens of other services from Asia to the Middle East and Africa.”
Information obtained comes from human intelligence (HUMINT). Al Jazeera calls it “humdrum, day-in-the-office level” espionage.
Offering a “glimpse into the daily working lives of people whose jobs are kept secret from the public.”
Expect no blockbuster revelations. Al Jazeera calling it “important to achieve greater transparency in the field of intelligence” may be more hype than fulfillment.
Snowden connected important dots for millions. Don’t expect Al Jazeera to match him.
Israel may be concerned. On February 23, Haaretz headlined “Massive leak said to reveal Mossad’s ‘true’ assessment on Iran nuclear program.”
If so, it’ll show a peaceful one with no military component. Annual US intelligence assessments say so.
New Snowden leaks reveal US, Israeli and UK spy agencies cooperated in surveilling Iranian officials.
Documents indicate “(t)he respective NSA-ISNU and GCHQ bilateral relationships had gotten to the point that each participant recognized the need for the trilateral engagement to advance this specific topic.”
“The trilateral relationship is limited to the topic of (word redated) and will serve as a proof of concept of this kind of engagement.”
GCHQ “long advocated that it work with NSA and ISNU in a trilateral arrangement to prosecute the Iranian target.”
NSA’s signals intelligence chief “opposed…such a blanket arrangement, and this specific trilateral should not be interpreted as a broad change of approach.”
“In other areas, NSA and CCHQ have agreed to continue to share information gleaned from the respective bilateral relationships with ISNU.”
Documents revealed show US/UK intelligence successes against Iran.
Saying “NSA has successfully worked multiple high-priority surges with GCHQ (during) the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran…”
“Iran’s discovery of computer network exploitation tools on their networks in 2012 and 2013; and support to policymakers during the multiple rounds of P5 plus 1 negotiation on Iran’s nuclear program.”
NSA’s so-called emergency plan in case of crisis conditions with Iran is coordinated with other US spy agencies and Pentagon officials.
Separately, Israeli media report another fake Hamas terror cell uncovered. This one in Hebron.
This type revelation ahead of Israel’s mid-March elections isn’t surprising. Polls show Netanyahu in a close race to remain prime minister.
Shin Bet said it arrested 11 Hamas members plotting terror attacks. It claimed weapons and explosives were seized.
A Shin Bet statement said:
“The activities of this cell reflects the real threat from Hamas activities in Hebron and especially from operatives that have been arrested in the past and then returned to the terror pool.”
Hamas consistently denies fabricated Israeli terror plot claims. Days earlier, Israel said active West Bank IS terror cells operate.
PA security forces spokesman Adnan Dameiri denied it, saying:
“We are obviously adamant not to have ISIS or umbrellas for them in Palestine.”
“Those who have been trying to create the ISIS phenomenon are Israel and Hamas given that the Muslim Brotherhood movement is the incubator which created al-Qaida, ISIS, the Nusra Front and other Jihadist and Takfiri organizations.”
“The Israeli occupation is interested in creating chaos in Palestine…to tell the world that Palestinians do not deserve to have a state.”
Israeli anti-Hamas propaganda remains intense. Egypt spreads similar Big Lies.
On Saturday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abut Zuhri blasted Egyptian “incitement and deception” against Palestinians in Gaza.
He denounced what he called “Zionist-like” rumors and misinformation sowing discord cooperatively with Israel.
Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced “attempts to accuse (Gazans) of (involvement in) ongoing events in Egypt.”
Hamas is Palestine’s democratically elected government. It threatens no one.
Israel, Washington, Egypt and likeminded rogue allies outrageously call it a terrorist organization.
Don’t expect Al Jazeera’s Spy Cables to expose Israeli high crimes. Expect they’ll steer well clear of anything too controversial.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Al Jazeera Spy Cables Reveal Netanyahu Lies about Iran’s Nuclear Program
by Stephen Lendman
Netanyahu is an embarrassment to legitimate governance. He’s unfit to serve. Why Israelis put up with him they’ll have to explain.
On March 17, they’ll have a chance to replace him. He’s in a close race he could lose. Letting him remain prime minister means retaining a war criminal/crook/serial liar.
On the one hand, he’s silent on Israel’s menacing stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
He won’t say it’s official state policy to use them if threatened. Or that Israel uses banned weapons in all its wars.
On the other, he repeatedly lies about a nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons program. In September 2012, he made a fool of himself before a world audience.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, his cartoon bomb went viral. It bombed. He looked more cartoonish than his prop.
At the time, the New Yorker said “the ridiculous deserves ridicule.”
The Wall Street Journal compared his stunt to Nikita Krushchev’s shoe-banging incident.
Netanyahu’s “red line” bluster wore thin long ago. It’s hard recalling how many times he lied about Iran being within months of producing a nuclear bomb.
Yet no evidence from the world’s most sophisticated intelligence agencies suggests it. None exists.
Not from the CIA, NSA. other US spy agencies or Israel’s Mossad. Sputnik News was blunt headlining “Netanyahu Lied to UN about Iranian Nuclear Program, Mossad Files Show.”
He deliberately “misled the United Nations about Iran’s nuclear program.” Showing nothing he says has credibility.
In September 2012, he lied saying “(b)y next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move(d_ on to the final stage.”
“From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.”
US intelligence consistently finds no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Leaked Mossad cables show Netanyahu lied. On February 23, an Al Jazeera’s Spy Cables report headlined “Mossad contradicted Netanyahu on Iran nuclear programme.”
Showing “Iran was not producing nuclear weapons, after PM sounded alarm at UN in 2012.”
“Less than a month after” his Big Lie, Mossad said Tehran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce (nuclear) weapons.”
According to Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, Mossad’s top secret cable “laid out a ‘bottom line’ assessment of Iran’s nuclear work.”
It showed Netanyahu lied about “Tehran racing towards acquisition of a nuclear bomb.”
No evidence suggests efforts being made to develop and produce nuclear weapons.
Iranian scientists are “working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors.”
“Even though Iran has accumulated enough 5 percent enriched uranium for several bombs, and has enriched some of it to 20 percent, it does not appear to be ready to enrich it to higher levels.”
‘It is allocating some of it to produce nuclear fuel for the TRR (Tehran Research Reactor), and the amount of 20 percent enriched uranium is therefore not increasing.”
On March 3, Netanyahu will address a joint congressional session two weeks before Israeli elections.
He wants ongoing P5+1 talks sabotaged. He wants no agreement reached. He’ll repeat his Big Lie about a nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons program.
He seeks congressional support against rapprochement with Iran. He rejects compromise. He wants hardline US policies remaining unchanged.
“Media reports and public comments by senior current and former officials have frequently indicated dissent from within Israel’s security services over Netanyahu’s alarmist messaging on Iran,” said Al Jazeera.
However, the (leaked) document (it got) makes clear that the Mossad’s formal assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity and intentions differs from the scenario outlined by the prime minister at the UN” – and numerous other times.
The cable was sent to South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) shortly after Netanyahu’s September 2012 address.
In March 2012, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned against overstating an Iranian threat – heading Israel toward possible war with Tehran.
At the time, he called attacking Iran a “stupid idea (before) exploring all other approaches” to resolve differences between both countries.
In October 2012, Mossad estimated Iran had 100 kilograms of uranium enriched to a 20% level.
In 2013, its stockpile increased. Then was “neutralise(d)” or “destroyed” following P5+1 talks.
Netanyahu/Mossad discord remains. Israel’s spy agency warned US officials against imposing new sanctions.
Saying doing so would sabotage ongoing talks. Iran and P5+1 countries currently seek a permanent deal framework by end of March.
Followed by a full technical agreement by end of June. Much work remains, said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after weekend talks with John Kerry in Geneva.
On Monday, he said “(w)e have made progress on some topics to some extent, but there is still a long way to pave before reaching a final deal.”
No agreement is possible unless both sides agree on all issues, he explained.
“…(T)he negotiations will continue, and we have decided to continue our talks on the sidelines of the upcoming meeting of the Human Rights Council next week,” he said.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said Tehran will stop negotiating if world powers (namely Washington) apply unacceptable pressure.
“We will continue the negotiations as long as there is a language of respect,” he said.
“(B)ut we will surely leave the table if the (bullying) approach is extended to the negotiating table.”
His comments followed John Kerry saying Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is in fact peaceful.”
“Both the US and other P5+1 (countries) have experienced that political and media pressures will never make the Islamic Republic of Iran change it methods, demands and stances in the negotiations,” Araqchi stressed.
“Summing up the discussions, we cannot claim that progress has been made…We still have differences, but the negotiating sides are seriously and resolutely following up the negotiations to reach a solution although they have not achieved comprehensive solutions over key issues.”
Talks continue next Monday in Geneva. Whether agreement is possible remains to be seen.
Given decades of US hostility, it takes a great leap of faith to believe normalizing relations with Iran will occur any time soon.
Not as long as enormous Israeli Lobby pressure keeps Congress from accepting it.
It hasn’t been an enjoyable winter for much of the United States. Record snowfall has blanketed cities like Boston, while below-freezing temperatures and relentless wind chills have sent shivers all the way from Chicago to Atlanta.
At times like these, some people start wondering whether humans can combat the cold in ways other than by wearing layers and cranking up the heat. What if, one daydreams, we could break apart the clouds that produce rain and snow and wintry mixes? What if we could control the weather for once?
It’s possible—sort of. The process of weather modification comes up in conversation again and again, often in debate (over who—governments or private companies—should do the modifying, what the health effects might be, etc.). Usually, it comes up simply when we’re in need of better weather.
Like on wedding days, for example. The U.K.-based luxury company Oliver’s Travels has announced a weather-modification service that would burst clouds and guarantee clear skies by using cloud seeding, a process that encourages precipitation, before their clients’ big days. The company only requires three weeks to study and alter the weather at the wedding site—and $150,000 in payment.
The announcement baffled Bruce Boe, the vice president of meteorology at Weather Modification, Inc., a North Dakota-based company that researches and carries out cloud seeding for farms in need of rainfall. I reached out to Boe, who has studied storms and flown aircrafts since 1974, to find out whether cloud seeding could in fact create sunny skies—and by extension, reverse winter freezes in the future.
Looking over the Oliver’s Travels package, Boe told me it’s impossible to guarantee perfect weather. “We don’t believe there’s a way to reliably prevent precipitation,” he said. “We’re a little surprised someone else thinks they can.”
There are too many obstacles to controlling the weather, he explained. Only some clouds allow for successful seeding, and weather patterns have remained difficult to predict, even with the help of our best forecasting instruments. The scale of the Earth’s atmosphere is far too great to tamper with—at least for now. (Oliver’s Travels didn’t respond to an interview request, but the company says in a blog post that “new technology and research have produced reliable results that make cloud seeding a dependable activity.”)
Most important, cloud seeding can only produce so many forms of precipitation: Glaciogenic seeding creates ice by using a nucleating agent (silver iodide, which attracts water) to accelerate a cloud’s development. Hydroscopic seeding involves jumpstarting droplet formation and making droplets bigger, leading to rainfall.
“Think of it as applied cloud physics,” Boe said. “It’s not really modifying the weather, but modifying the precipitation processes in clouds.”
In fact, even the scientists who invented cloud seeding quickly realized total weather modification would be too far-fetched a goal. In 1946, the General Electric chemist Vincent Schaefer experimented with creating precipitation, using dry ice to form crystals. He then worked with Bernard Vonnegut—yes, Kurt’s brother—to develop silver iodide, that compound that increased the size of water droplets and induced rain and snow indoors. They were excited enough at the start: In a 1993 interview with the American Meteorological Society, Schaefer recalled how he felt during his successful dry ice experiment:
It was a very warm, humid day and I was using my chamber very actively… I decided to cool it down by putting some dry ice in it. And the instant the dry ice got into the supercooled cloud, everything was ice crystals. So I could see I had the answer. It was a serendipitous event… I knew I had something pretty important.
I demonstrated this at a number of scientific meetings, and everybody got quite excited about it. Harry Wexler [the then-chief scientist for the U.S. Weather Bureau] came up to me, and said, ‘You know, about 10 years ago I was calibrating thermometers in a cold chamber using dry ice, and I wasn’t smart enough to realize I had something important.’ Because he had everything I had, but he just didn’t observe.
As research moved forward, however, Schaefer and Vonnegut saw weather modification become less about modifying weather and more about enhancing it. “At first, they thought, ‘Ah, we’re going to be able to control the weather,'” Boe said. “We’ve learned since then that, well, it’s not as possible as we thought.”
Even so, because of its science-fiction-like possibilities (controlling the weather is a superpower, after all), weather modification has always led to aspirational inventions and promises of clear skies. Boe cited hail cannons, which claim to stop hailstorms by generating shockwaves. They’ve been used often throughout Europe since the early 20th century, but have no evidence of actually suppressing hail.
That’s not to say the decades since Schaefer and Vonnegut’s dry-ice experiments have been for naught. Though complete weather modification may never be possible, Boe explained the technology involved has leapt forward. In 1978, for example, he navigated planes through clouds without GPS and used carbon-dioxide pistols to catch cloud droplets on glass slides. He had to later bring those slides to a lab, where he could examine them under microscopes.
Today, he uses optical array probes, diodes, and lasers that show in real time the size, shape, and number of particles in a cloud while he flies. And before taking off, he can simulate the cloud seeding to select the right clouds. It’s not only more efficient, but more accurate as well. Which, as Boe put it, helps him and his team understand weather patterns and cloud science first, before they can tackle the possibilities of complete weather modification.
“We’re pushing ahead on all these fronts, and it’s an exciting time to be in the field,” he said. “I’m just still waiting for the day when we quit calling it ‘weather modification,’ and start calling it what it is: cloud modification.”
In the segment, a nervous Lesley Stahl smashed into safety cones on a driving course after two men using a laptop computer remotely commandeered her brakes. Former video game developer Dan Kaufman, who’s now working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, set up the demonstration.
In trying to figure out what kinds of attacks enemies might be plotting on American soil, government agencies are learning the same techniques. To wrest the controls from Stahl, a hacker dialed in through the vehicle’s OnStar system to first busy up the computer, then planted code that allowed it to reprogram the control systems. Kaufman stood by giving driving orders to the hackers.
The demonstration underscored what Clarke, counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said after Hastings’ crash. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard,” he said. “So if there were a cyber attack on the car—and I’m not saying there was—I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.” Clarke added that the LAPD was unlikely to have the tools necessary to detect such an attack, particularly after a fire.
No Crowbar Needed, Just an iPad
One thing is clear: Drivers are at risk.
In a stinging report released this week, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey slammed car companies for their failure to protect car owners from hackers and intrusive data collectors who might seize control of increasingly computerized vehicles. “Automakers haven’t done their part to protect us from cyber-attacks or privacy invasions,” he said.
Much of the report focuses on how car computers can be used to collect driving history, from where a car is parked to where it traveled. But it also reveals hackers’ ability to remotely turn, stop and accelerate cars. Markey’s report notes that car companies can now disable vehicles if owners fall behind on their payments. Burglars can exploit the same vulnerabilities.
WHY? Cui Bono?
Hastings’ work as a thorn in the side of government and the 33-year-old journalist’s death in an unusual crash in June 2013 immediately triggered speculation. A witness reported seeing Hastings’ new silver Mercedes C250 coupe speeding down a Hollywood street before dawn when it bounced, slammed into a tree and burst into flames.
Shortly before Hastings’ death, he sent what was described as a “panicky” email to friends expressing concern that associates were being interviewed by “the Feds.” He also wrote that he was onto a big story and needed to “get off the radar for a bit.” His 2010 story for Rolling Stone in which Stanley McChrystal skewered the White House and its strategy in Afghanistan led to the general’s resignation.
The Los Angeles Police Department concluded that the crash was an accident and did not involve foul play. The coroner’s report also declared Hastings’ death, ascribed to “massive blunt force trauma,” as accidental, and revealed that there were trace amounts of marijuana and amphetamine in his system, though neither was considered a factor in the crash. The report noted that Hastings’ family had been trying to convince him to go into detox.
Just an Accident?
Hastings’ widow, who hired a private investigator to examine all the evidence, at least publicly labeled the crash an accident. “You know, my gut here, was that it was just a really tragic accident,” Elise Jordan said in an interview two months after Hastings’ death.
“I’m definitely suspicious about the crash,” Montana state Rep. Daniel Zolnikov told WhoWhatWhy. The Republican legislator has introduced a bill, which he says was inspired in part by Hastings’ work, to bar state government agencies from accessing servers to get reporters’ notes.
Like Markey, Zolnikov is also concerned about risks posed by increasingly high-tech cars, which he described as “computers without protections.”
If that’s the case, then the information superhighway and highways have merged dangerously.
Then follow the mainstream media, which do not follow either the money or the weapons.
The last 2 minutes get to the point: a retired NATO commander speaks out. But to appreciate this, view the first 19 minutes. (TIP OF THE ICEBERG!!)
Over a million people have seen this video. You should, too.
After you see the video, you still may not believe it. “It just can’t be true!” At that point, click the link to Seymour Hirsch’s article. Hirsch is arguably the most distinguished American journalist-investigator in the field of foreign policy. He is relentless. He has the goods on Benghazi — what was really going on, by way of Turkey. He followed the weapons. Please forward this to “friendlies.”
in light of the recent (and growing) ISIS activity in Libya. Get ready to see more action in Libya…
Did you know Libya and Egypt are not allowed to defend themselves against ISIS? A UN arms embargo imposed during the Ghadaffi and Mubarak coups does not allow them to do that (makes me wonder why those two guys were suddenly taken out at the same time… to eventually bring ISIS to North Africa?). Yesterday, The Qataris recalled the ambassador from Egypt, protesting the recent air strikes on their ISIS puppets in Eastern Libya. Egypt ‘violated the UN arms embargo’ by striking ISIS. And Qatar was very, very upset about it… hmm.
Also, Egypt and Libya asked the UN to lift the embargo so they can defend themselves against ISIS, even using an ‘international coalition’ and the Brits (members of the UN security council) said no…. wow. On one side, they are arming ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but then they tie up Egypt and Libya’s hands so ISIS can grow in North Africa… yet another red flag indicating that this whole ISIS thing is a NATO/UN operation.
By the way, the ISIS bombing today in East Libya was retaliation (probably ordered by Qatar and/or NATO as a black op). They probably killed the Egyptian intelligence assets on the ground that provided the location of the ISIS targets to the fighter jets. This is a total betrayal by NATO!! The reason for this is because they want the ISIS presence to grow in Libya so they can scare the shit out of the EU. Watch for CNN reports that say ‘ISIS within miles from Europe.’
The next incremental step is a beefing up of NATO in the Mediterranean Sea (just like Denmark and Sweden are doing in the north). Italy may be lured into Libya (they always wanted to do that since the times of Mussolini, but the Libyans have always kicked their ass). I’ve been monitoring the Italian newspapers and they are ready to go and invade Libya. Everything is in place. Watch for a false flag attack in Italy, possibly a big city where there’s a high concentration of Muslim population. ISIS said they were going to ‘take Rome’ during the alleged 40-men-beheading video.
Also, France may tighten its grip on Algeria later on but I think that will come later… right now, the globalists are getting ready to hit Libya the same way they are hitting Iraq right now.
Instead of renouncing its odious debt and walking away, Athens agreed to pay bankers first, maintain austerity, and let long-suffering Greeks continue taking the hindmost.
SYRIZA campaign pledges proved hollow. Pleasing Brussels and Washington matter more.
After weeks of negotiations, Greece got what the Wall Street Journal called “a tenuous agreement for a four-month extension of its bailout Friday removing immediate concerns over a potential exit from Europe’s currency union but setting the stage for more tense negotiations over the country’s financial future.”
A Troika statement said:
“Greek authorities commit to refrain from any rollback of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions.”
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Athens “unequivocal(l)y commit(ted) to honor (its) financial obligations.”
Rolling over Friday shows what’s likely coming. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble suggested it saying “(n)ow we hope that trust can grow again.”
Markets signaled approval. The Stoxx Europe 600 reached its highest level since November 2007. Even the weak euro gained against the dollar and yen.
US equities rose. The Russell 2000 small company index hit record highs.
Candidate Alexis Tsipras pledged relief from Troika-imposed harshness. Prime Minister Tsipras proved he’s no different from other Greek politicians
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis tried putting a brave face on capitulation saying “(o)ur pre-electoral program was about four years. This deal is about four months.”
Left unexplained are likely worse Greek financial conditions months ahead than now.
Its debt is too onerous to repay. It won’t get easier ahead. Under Friday’s agreement, Greece must indicate more budget cuts and austerity by Monday.
Its plan must be acceptable to Troika officials. Popular needs don’t matter.
Once agreement is reached, Athens will get another 7.2 billion euros making its debt burden more onerous than already.
It’s unclear when funds will be released. On the one hand, both sides must reach agreement by April. On the other, Greece may be broke by March.
ECB officials said they’re willing to resume normal lending to Greek banks for their day-to-day operations. Weeks could pass before funds arrive with no guarantee how much or for how long.
An unnamed ECB official said normal lending won’t start until “there is a great likelihood of a positive conclusion of the programme.”
In other words, until unconditional surrender is abslutely clear. On Friday, Athens agreed to “refrain from any rollback (or) unilateral changes” of existing policies.
Greece’s debt level remains unchanged. Tsipras promised to cut it while campaigning.
Athens can opt out of some austerity measures as long as it substitutes others having just as much financial and economic impact.
Varoufakis was less than candid saying “(a)s of today, we’re beginning to be co-authors of our destiny, co-authors of the reforms that we want to implement.”
If he meant it, they’d be implemented already. Athens would forget about Troika help.
Plenty without austerity strings is available from Russia, China, and perhaps other BRICS countries.
The Financial Times hailed the “11th-hour deal…” Saying it ended “weeks of uncertainty that threatened to spark a Greek bank run and bankrupt the country.”
Troika policies bankrupted Greece. It’s a zombie country waiting for its obituary to be written.
It can rise from the ashes through responsible policies not taken. Long-suffering Greeks face continued impoverishment, unemployment and human misery as far as the eye can see.
Friday’s deal commits Athens to observe earlier agreed on bailout terms. What SYRIZA campaigning rejected.
No strict compliance, no payout, said Germany’s Schauble. According to the FT:
“The decision to request an extension of the current programme is a significant U-turn for Alexis Tsipras…”
While campaigning, he promised to kill existing bailout terms. He showed SYRIZA promises were empty.
According to Schauble, Athens “will have a difficult time to explain the deal to (its) voters.”
Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith said “(t)here is no way of putting a pretty face on” Friday’s agreement. “It represents a huge climbdown for Syriza.”
“Despite loud promises,” it capitulated to existing bailout terms. Even SYRIZA supporters know far it fell from grace.
It showed “a propensity to over-promise and under-deliver,” said Smith. It faces an enormous challenge ahead to salvage anything out a rotten deal agreed to.
Open Europe economist Raoul Ruparel said Greece “folded this hand but the game of poker continues.”
Its government is “now short stack and living hand to hand (day to day).”
“It continues to be in a very tough position, and how the evaporation of the vision which SYRIZA sold at the election will go down at home is a crucial and potentially explosive unknown.”
Eurogroup finance ministers expressed appreciation to Greek governments over the past few years for addressing banker priorities ahead of popular ones.
They welcomed SYRIZA officials agreeing to continue along the same path as its predecessors – to honor their financial obligations to foreign creditors above all else.
To assure Western monied interests matter most of all no matter how much pain and suffering ordinary Greeks endure.
Capitulation best explains Friday’s agreement. James Petras wrote a masterful account of how Greece got into its present day mess.
He explained he was former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou’s advisor from 1981 – 1984. Like Tsipras, he rose to power on promises of radical change.
“He…ended up capitulating to Brussels and NATO and embracing the oligarchs and kleptocrats in the name of ‘pragmatic compromises,’ ” said Petras.
It remains to be seen how Greeks react when they realize they again were had.
Petras hopes Tsipras will change tactics and avoid another Greek tragedy. It’s hard imagining a major turnaround after such a disgraceful climbdown.
The best time to strike a good deal is straightaway. The worst time is after surrendering too much hoping later to recoup.
Breakthroughs in gene therapy mean a single shot could cure you … permanently … but for a price.
February 19, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LocalOrg) – Gene therapy involves identifying and replacing faulty or missing genes, or engineering augmentations for existing genes to permanently cure a wide number of conditions and illnesses ranging from cancer and diabetes, to regenerative processes like rebuilding hearts or storing sight and hearing.
A breakthrough clinical trial in 2012 saw several patients stricken with incurable leukemia put into permanent remission using gene therapy. The actual process of creating re-engineered cells taken from a patient and reintroducing them costs approximately $15,000, and such procedures are still in the experimental phase. While this cost does not include the required intensive care required to bring a patient from the brink of death back into full health, it is likely the costs in the near future will be drastically lower than current and far less effective cancer treatments are today.
The transformative power of this new technology spells the end of big pharmaceutical monopolies who wallow in billions in profits year to year, enabling them to continue dominating modern medical practice through the skewing of regulatory bodies, the stacking of academic studies, and even the expansive, global bribery of doctors and other medical practitioners to push big pharma’s products.
As gene therapy enters into mainstream medicine, big pharma has attempted to control it. In order to continue reaping the unwarranted profits, influence, and power big pharma has accumulated over the decades, they plan to compensate for the drastic drop in prices and the fact that many conditions will now be permanently curable, cutting patients off from a lifetime of dependency on big pharma’s cocktails.
Essentially, they have announced that patients will be placed essentially into lifetime debt in exchange for single treatments that will cure them – cures that will be priced at around $1 million.
Drugmakers contend that a one-time cure, even at a price of more than $1 million, would save money over the long term. But there are concerns that health insurers will balk at covering that kind of upfront cost.
The therapies do not cost $1 million, keeping big pharma a monopoly does. Reuters also includes in their article insurers demanding exorbitantly priced medications be discounted, and under pressure, big pharma was able to cut prices by as much as 50% and still stay in business.
The Solution – Decentralize Healthcare
Gene therapies are a focus of a much larger, emerging field of applied science called “synthetic biology.” Synthetic biology is the use of synthesized DNA rather than the mere cutting and pasting of it to engineer biological solutions much more precisely. There is also a dimension of greater standardization, which is being done by organizations and institutions driven by an ethos of open source information, software, and hardware.
While many institutions and corporations are involved in synthetic biology, it is not as inaccessible as biotech has thus far been. In fact, universities, high schools, and independent local “do-it-yourself” labs are engaged in practicing and contributing to the field of synthetic biology.
For those that believe big pharma is a problem, the solution is not merely vocally opposing their business models and practices, but also directly challenging them and undermining them by contributing to and building up an open synthetic biology movement.
For readers, their first step should be looking up more information online – Wikipedia is a good starting point. For those lucky enough to live near a DIYbio lab, they should stop by and see about participating in their next workshop. Universities are also involved in public outreach and may have workshops or classes available.
For those who feel they are unable to directly contribute, simply helping to raise awareness is the next best thing. The more people that understand this new emerging technology, the more voices there will be calling for it to be driven in the right direction for the right reasons.
Gene therapy and other breakthroughs driven by a greater understanding of our genome belong to everyone. That big pharma stands now before humanity, dangling life and death over our heads for an arbitrary $1 million like a cartoon-style villain, shows that we have terribly misplaced our trust and this responsibility in their hands. It is time to take it back, and do with it what should have been done long ago – use it to save lives and improve humanity, not merely feed off of it.
The BATFE is now about to prohibit ammunition for AR-15 rifles.
The fact that a new gun ban is being threatened is really the secondary story. The real story is that a government organization has the power to simply end practical gun ownership (by eliminating the ammunition) in this nation. The Second Amendment prohibits Congress from infringing on the right to bear arms, but the BATFE thinks they have the authority to do it!
In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.