Mainstream Media War On Truthful Reporting

I learned today that Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth.  W

The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions – A Documentary

April 21, 2018

Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’.
George Orwell, Looking back on the Spanish War, Chapter 4

Last week saw an extreme intensifying of the warmongers’ campaign against individuals who publicly hold and defend a different view than the powers-that-be want to promote. The campaign has a longer history but recently turned personal. It now endangers the life and livelihood of real people.

In fall 2016 a smear campaign was launched against 200 websites which did not confirm to NATO propaganda. Prominent sites like Naked Capitalism were among them as well as this site:

This website, MoonofAlabama.org, is now listed as “Russian propaganda outlet” by some neoconned, NATO aligned, anonymous “Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service”  prominently promoted by today’s Washington Post. The minions running that censorship list also watch over our “Russian propaganda” Twitter account @MoonofA.

While the ProPornOT campaign was against websites the next and larger attack was a general defaming of specific content.

The neoconservative Alliance For Securing Democracy declared that any doubt of the veracity of U.S. propaganda stories discussed on Twitter was part of a “Russian influence campaign”. Their ‘dashboard‘ shows the most prominent hashtags and themes tweeted and retweeted by some 600 hand-selected but undisclosed accounts. (I have reason to believe that @MoonofA is among them.) The dashboard gave rise to an endless line of main-stream stories faking concern over alleged “Russian influence”. The New York Times published several such stories including this recent one:


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Russia did not respond militarily to the Friday strike, but American officials noted a sharp spike in Russian online activity around the time it was launched.

A snapshot on Friday night recorded a 2,000 percent increase in Russian troll activity overall, according to Tyler Q. Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. One known Russian bot, #SyriaStrikes, had a 4,443 percent increase in activity while another, #Damsucs, saw a 2,800 percent jump, Mr. Houlton said.

A person on Twitter, or a bot, is tagged by a chosen name led with an @-sign. Anything led with a #-sign is a ‘hashtag’, a categorizing attribute of a place, text or tweet. Hashtags have nothing to do with any “troll activity”. The use of the attribute or hashtag #syriastrike increased dramatically when a U.S. strike on Syria happened. Duh. A lot of people remarked on the strikes and used the hashtag #syriastrike to categorize their remarks. It made it easier for others to find information about the incident.

The hashtag #Damsucs does not exit. How could it have a 2,800% increase?  It is obviously a mistyping of #Damascus or someone may have used as a joke. In June 2013 an Associated Press story famously carried the dateline “Damsucs”. The city was then under artillery attack from various Takfiri groups. The author likely felt that the situation sucked.

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The Veggie Burger that Satisfies Like Beef?

This is very interesting, perhaps an important breakthrough.  I maintain some skepticism, though, since it is made with a genetically engineered ingredient, and since I know little about chemistry and “heme” is categorically unfamiliar to me.  Google’s dictionary says heme is:  “an iron-containing compound of the porphyrin class that forms the nonprotein part of hemoglobin and some other biological molecules”.

Wat

Impossible Burger draws environmentalists’ ire

Credit: Impossible Foods

Biochemist Patrick O. Brown, founder of Impossible Foods Inc., invented a “magic ingredient” that solves what he calls the planet’s biggest environmental problem: beef.

The ingredient, made from soybean roots and genetically engineered yeast, goes into vegetarian Impossible Burgers, which are available in a growing number of restaurants—even fast-food stalwart White Castle.

It contains heme (pronounced HEEM), a key part of red meat and a source of iron, which humans can’t live without. Think of Brown’s discovery as plant-based blood. Brown, 63, says it makes the Impossible Burger sizzle, smell and taste like real red meat.

The resemblance to beef is the Impossible Burger’s claim to fame. It may also be its bane. Even though Impossible Foods is compliant with all regulations, the company is having the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review the product’s safety in the interest of transparency. So far, the FDA says the company hasn’t met the mark. The FDA said the plant-based heme is so new there needed to be more evidence before it will give its blessing. Impossible Foods says it tried again and is waiting for the FDA’s response.

Great potential

“This is a product that has great potential for society,” said Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director for the Environmental Defense Fund. “We have to get the science right.”

The heme molecule is also involved in another controversy. Studies have shown that steak lovers are at risk of colon cancer while chicken breast junkies aren’t. Heme makes red meat red, so some researchers think it could be a culprit, said Robert Turesky, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

That kind of talk irritates Brown. In a long career, he’s revealed truths about the AIDS virus, made the study of genomes easier and worked to tear down the paywall that separates research from the public. Stanford University gave him a lab to investigate whatever he wanted. But he quit that job, the “best in the world,” he called it, to start Impossible Foods in 2011. He’s certain his company got the science right.

On a recent afternoon at the company’s Redwood City, California, offices, Brown walked into a conference room wearing purple socks, a black hoodie and a red T-shirt displaying the chemical structure of heme. On the table, he plopped down a thick stack of loose papers—

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What Toxic Preconditions for Financial Crisis?

 

Now Even a Fed Dove Homes in on the “Everything Bubble”

By Wolf RichterApril 20, 2018

Bonds, junk bonds, spreads, commercial real estate, leveraged loans, over-leveraged companies… all get named as risks to the banks. This is why tightening will continue.

“If we have learned anything from the past, it is that we must be especially vigilant about the health of our financial system in good times, when potential vulnerabilities may be building,” explained Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard in a speech in Washington, D.C., this morning.

This was a reference to a time-honored banker adage, now mostly forgotten after nearly nine years of easy money: Bad deals are made in good times.

Brainard fills one of the seven slots on the Board of Governors. Two slots are filled by Chairman Jerome Powell and by Randal Quarles. Four slots remain vacant, waiting for Trump appointees to wend their way. She is a strong “dove” in the world of central banks, and she just pointed at why the Fed is tightening – and will continue to tighten: the Everything Bubble.

After rattling off a litany of indicators showing why and how the economy’s “cyclical conditions have been strengthening,” she added this gem, there being nothing like Fed-speak to make your day: “Currently, inflation appears to be well-anchored to the upside around our 2 percent target.”

“Well-anchored to the upside” of the Fed’s target – and then she moved on to the “signs of financial imbalances.”

“Financial imbalances,” in Fed speak, are asset bubbles, a phenomenon when prices are out of whack with economic reality. In a credit-based economy,

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David Stockman, former Director Office of Management and Budget, on Middle East and Russian History & Most Recent Syrian “Gas Attack”

America First—R.I.P.

April 16, 2018

When the Cold War officially ended in 1991, Washington could have pivoted back to the pre-1914 status quo ante. That is, to a national security policy of America First because there was literally no significant military threat left on the planet.

Post-Soviet Russia was an economic basket case that couldn’t even meet its military payroll and was melting down and selling the Red Army’s tanks and artillery for scrap. China was just emerging from the Great Helmsman’s economic, political and cultural depredations and had embraced Deng Xiaoping proclamation that “to get rich is glorious”.

The implications of the Red Army’s fiscal demise and China’s electing the path of export mercantilism and Red Capitalism were profound.

Russia couldn’t invade the American homeland in a million years and China chose the route of flooding America with shoes, sheets, shirts, toys and electronics. So doing, it made the rule of the communist elites in Beijing dependent upon keeping the custom of 4,000 Wal-Marts in America, not bombing them out of existence.

In a word, god’s original gift to America—the great moats of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans—had again become the essence of its national security.

After 1991, therefore, there was no nation on the planet that had the remotest capability to mount a conventional military assault on the U.S. homeland; or that would not have bankrupted itself attempting to create the requisite air and sea-based power projection capabilities—a resource drain that would be vastly larger than even the $700 billion the US currently spends on its global armada.

Indeed, in the post-cold war world the only thing the US needed was a modest conventional capacity to defend the shorelines and airspace against any possible rogue assault and a reliable nuclear deterrent against any state foolish enough to attempt nuclear blackmail.

Needless to say, those capacities had already been bought and paid for during the cold war. The triad of  minutemen ICBMs, Trident SLBMs (submarines launched nuclear missiles) and long-range stealth bombers cost only a few ten billions annually for operations and maintenance and were more than adequate for the task of deterrence.

Likewise, conventional defense of the U.S. shoreline and airspace against rogues would not require a fraction of today’s 1.3 million active uniformed force—to say nothing of the 800,000 additional reserves and national guard forces and  the 765,000 DOD civilians on top of that. Rather than funding 2.9 million personnel, the whole job of national security under a homeland-based America First concept could be done with less than 500,000 military and civilian payrollers.

In fact, much of the 475,000 US army could be eliminated and most of the Navy’s carrier strike groups and power projection capabilities could be mothballed. So, too, the air force’s homeland defense missions could be accomplished for well less than $50 billion per annum compared to the current $145 billion.

Overall, the constant dollar defense budget (2017$) was $610 billion in 1989 when the cold war ended and the Soviet Union disappeared from the face of the earth. Had Washington pivoted to an America First national security policy at the time, defense spending could have been downsized to perhaps $250 billion per year.

Instead, the Imperial City went in an opposite direction and ended up embracing a de facto policy of Empire First. The latter will cost $700 billion during the current year and is heading for $900 billion annually a few years down the road.

In a word, Empire First easily consumes one-half trillion dollars more in annual budgetary resources than would America First. And that giant barrel of weapons contracts, consulting and support jobs, lobbying booty and Congressional pork explains everything you need to know about why the Swamp is so deep and intractable.

Obviously, it’s also why Imperial Washington has appointed itself global policeman. Functioning as the gendarme of the planet is the only possible justification for the extra $500 billion per year cost of Empire First.

For example, why does the US still deploy 90,000 US forces and their dependents in Japan and Okinawa and 30,000 in South Korea?

These two counties have a combined GDP of $7 trillion—or 235X more than North Korea and they are light-years ahead of the latter in technology and military capability. Also, they don’t go around the world engaging in regime change, thereby spooking fear on the north side of the DMZ.

Accordingly, Japan and South Korea could more than provide for their own national security in a manner they see fit without any help whatsoever from Imperial Washington. That’s especially the case because North Korea would seek a rapprochement and economic help, and their relationship with China is based on business, not military confrontation.

Indeed, sixty-five years after the unnecessary war in Korea ended, there is only one reason why the Kim family is still in power in Pyongyang and why the Fat Boy now noisily brandishes his incipient nuclear weapons and missiles. To wit, it’s because the Empire still occupies the Korean peninsula and surrounds its waters with more lethal firepower than was brought to bear against the industrial might of Nazi Germany during the whole of WWII.

And speaking of Germany, why is it that its modest $60 billion defense budget amounts to only 1.5% of GDP if Russia—-with a defense budget of $46 billion—is some kind of expansionist military threat?

The Germans clearly don’t believe it and see Russia as a vital market for exports and as a source of supply for natural gas, other natural resources and food stuffs. Besides, with a GDP of $4 trillion or nearly 3X Russia’s $1.6 trillion GDP, Germany could more than handle its own defenses if Russia should ever become foolish enough to threaten it.

From there you get to the even more preposterous case for the Empire’s NATO outposts in eastern Europe. The history books are absolutely clear that in 1989 George H. W. Bush promised Gorbachev that NATO would not be expanded by a “single inch” in return for his acquiescence to German unification.

At the time, NATO had 16 member nations bound by the Article 5 obligation of mutual defense, but when the Soviet Union and the Red Army perished, there was nothing left to defend against. NATO should have declared “mission accomplished” and dissolved itself.

Instead,

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Douma Patients Suffered from Hypoxia (Oxygen Starvation)

First Western Journalist In Syrian Hospital Which Treated “Chemical Weapons” Victims Explains What REALLY Happened

By WashingtonsBlogApril 16, 2018

Forget what the Syrian government or the Ruskies say.

The first Western journalist has interviewed doctors at the hospital in Douma, Syria which supposedly treated chemical weapons victims and is announcing what really happened.

In the following 1-minute clip, award-winning journalist Robert Fisk – writer for Britain’s Independent for almost 30 years – explains that the video of victims struggling to breathe are real, but that they have nothing to do with a chemical weapons attack:

Here’s a transcript:

I’ve just been in the town of Douma. I found the clinic where the film of the children frothing at the mouth and having water thrown at them was made.

And I spoke to the hospital doctor, who actually spoke very good English. And he told me that the video is real. But they’re not suffering from gas poisoning.

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It’s Official: Medical Cures Withheld for Profit

Goldman Sachs: Curing Patients’ Illnesses Is Bad for Business

April 13, 2018

In a recent report for its biotech clients, investment bank Goldman Sachs frowned on a new type of genome therapy that could permanently cure disease.

As CNBC originally reported, Goldman Sachs published a report on April 10 called “The Genome Revolution,” which evaluated the question, “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Analyst Salveen Richter explained that new forms of long-term cures involving gene therapy may be good for humanity, but bad for capitalism.

“The potential to deliver “one shot cures” is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically engineered cell therapy, and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies,” Richter wrote. “While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”

In the report, Goldman Sachs pointed to pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, which makes Harvoni — a hepatitis C treatment. Harvoni has been proven to

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Military Analyst Assesses NATO Options in Syria

AngloZionist options (intermediate report) UPDATED

The Saker

An AngloZionist attack on Syria appears to be inevitable and imminent.  There is always a chance of a major pushback from some putative mentally sane, realistic and patriotic generals in the Pentagon, but I am not holding my breath (I asked two of my best informed friends about that, they both told me to forget about it).  Counting on those who have made a life obeying orders to suddenly refuse one, and wreck their career in the process, is naive.  Besides, most of what we now have at the Pentagon are not Admiral Fallon types, but rather the same “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” type à la Petraeus.  They might not push for a confrontation with Russia, but they will do what they are told to.  The commander of CENTCOM recently said just that (“we will do what we are told“).

However, what kind of attack options the US Neocons and their Israeli pals will chose is probably what is being debated right now.  Here are the basic options

1) A repeat of last year’s attack on the Syrian Air Force base in Shayrat.  That would be by far the best option and that would allow the Neocons a face-saving, even if entirely symbolic, “look how tough we are” option.  They might as well strike the same T4 base the Israelis did a few days ago, just with more missiles.  And, just to make this look all very “democratic” they might ask the French, Brits or Israelis to participate in that attack.

2) It is too late, militarily speaking, to try to reverse the situation on the ground, but hitting more Syrian Air Force bases, communication nodes, air defenses, etc. is definitely an option.  Following such an attack, the US allies on the ground (the “good” and the “bad” terrorists) would go on the offensive and the Syrians and their allies would struggle to “plug the holes” thus created.  That would not fundamentally change the outcome, but would prolong the chaos and associated bloodbath.

3) Attack the Iranians.  This is a grand favorite with the Israelis and the Neocons, but it is also a much riskier option because if the attack is successful, the

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