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Sep 11

Today’s News 11th September 2017

  • Israeli Jets Rattle Lebanon And Raise Tensions With Syria

    In what Lebanese media reported as a deeply provocative act, an Israeli jet did a high speed and low altitude flyover of the city of Saida in the country's South on Sunday. Lebanese citizens and security sources also reported sonic booms which broke windows and shook buildings. Lebanese social media mentioned possible injuries due to falling glass and regional outlets showed images of damaged buildings and momentary panic in the area under the fly-by. The region has been the site of major military incursions by Israel over the past years, especially during the last major Israeli bombing of the country in 2006.

    An Associated Press reporter witnessed multiple Israeli jets while locals captured photographs of planes at higher altitudes just prior to the low fly-by. The AP's account is as follows:

    An Associated Press reporter in Sidon heard two sonic booms and saw four jets flying overhead at various altitudes on Sunday. Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported one sonic boom caused by a low-flying Israeli jet. 

     

    …Lebanon's Foreign Ministry said Saturday it was filing a complaint against Israel at the U.N. Security Council for violating its national airspace to strike targets inside Syria. 

    Video footage purporting to show the flyover circulated widely, and was even picked up by some international media outlets, but was later proven to be fake


    Social media image purporting to show Israeli jets not long before the low flyby occurs. Image source: Wael Al Hussaini/Twitter

    Last week Israel attacked a Syrian military base just across Lebanon's border, which was carried out by jets flying over Lebanese airspace. As we previously reported the flagrant act of aggression was likely designed to provoke a response as Israeli leadership is concerned that Assad has not only survived but appears to be winning the war in Syria. Lebanon barely has an air force and further lacks adequate or high tech missile defense systems. 

    According to regional media, "Lebanese security officials told a Hezbollah-affiliated radio station the Israeli sorties were part of a large-scale training exercise the IDF is currently holding in northern Israel meant to prepare for a future war with the Shiite terror organization." Middle East historian As'ad AbuKhalil noted after the incident that the Lebanese government recorded over 7000 Israeli violations of Lebanese Airspace in the first decade of the 2000's alone.

    It is likely that Sunday's stunt was also meant to send a direct message to Syria: Israel has this summer consistently declared a "red line" warning of repercussions should Iranian and Hezbollah troops not leave Syria.

  • Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis: George Soros, Oil, & Lessons For India

    Authored by Shelley Kasli via GGINews.com,

    "When George Soros comes to this or that country… he looks for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to 'warm them up'," Egorchenkov explained…

     The ongoing crisis in Myanmar including tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities and the military crackdown by Myanmar Army and police seems to be a multidimensional crisis with major geopolitical players involved according to a report by Sputnik International.

    As per the report Dmitry Mosyakov, director of the Centre for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RT that the conflict “was apparently fanned by external global players” and “has at least three dimensions”.

    First, this is a game against China, as China has very large investments in Arakan [Rakhine],” Mosyakov told RT.

     

    “Second, it is aimed at fuelling Muslim extremism in Southeast Asia….

     

    Third, it’s the attempt to sow discord within ASEAN [between Myanmar and Muslim-dominated Indonesia and Malaysia].”

    The conflict is mostly concentrated in the country’s northwestern region in the Rakhine State which consists of vast reserves of hydrocarbons located offshore. This vast reserve of hydrocarbon is the major reason why external players are using the conflict to undermine Southeast Asian stability, according to Mosyakov.

    “There’s a huge gas field named Than Shwe after the general who had long ruled Burma,” Mosyakov said.

    In 2004 this massive Rakhine energy reserves were discovered and by 2013 China had connected Myanmar’s port of Kyaukphyu with the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province with oil and natural gas pipelines. Through this oil pipeline China can bypass the world’s most congested shipping choke points – the Malacca Straits, while through the gas pipeline hydrocarbons from Myanmar’s offshore fields are transported to China.

    The development of the Sino-Myanmar energy project coincided with the intensification of the Rohingya conflict in 2011-2012 when 120,000 asylum seekers left the country escaping the bloodshed.

    Dmitry Egorchenkov, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia doesn’t believe that this is a coincidence. Although there are certain internal causes behind the Rohingya crisis, Dmitry believes that the crisis might be fueled by external players, most notably, George Soros.

    By destabilizing Myanmar they could directly target China’s energy projects.

    George Soros funded Burma Task Force has been actively operating in Myanmar since 2013 although Soros interference in Myanmar’s domestic affairs goes deeper than that.

    In 2003, George Soros joined a US Task Force group aimed at increasing “US cooperation with other countries to bring about a long overdue political, economic and social transformation in Burma [Myanmar].”

    A document published by the Council of Foreign Relation’s (CFR) in 2003 entitled “Burma: Time For Change,” states that “democracy… cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community” and calls for an establishment of a group to implement the project.

    “When George Soros comes to this or that country… he looks for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to ‘warm them up,'” Egorchenkov explained, speaking with RT.

    According to Mosyakov, it is a globalist management policy to sow discord in nations by fuelling regional conflicts which allows them to exert pressure on those nations and ultimately gain control over their sovereignty. A recent example is the Ukrainian Crisis and the Greek Crisis before that. When the flames are out and the country ravaged with the crisis, it is time for the vultures to descend.

    “BUY WHEN THERE IS BLOOD ON THE STREETS, EVEN IF THE BLOOD IS YOUR OWN”

     

    – THESE ARE THE WORDS OF NATHAN MAYER ROTHSCHILD OF THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, ONE OF THE FAMILY BLOODLINES THAT CONTROLLED THE EAST INDIA COMPANIES.

    What one should understand is that a crisis just doesn’t take a toll on the infrastructure and human lives but it also ruptures the economy and puts the country in huge debt. And it is through this debt that the global players dictate their terms to sovereign nations for decades or even centuries if there is no course correction. That is the reason why both Ukraine and Greece appointed Rothschild as their debt adviser to assist with their growing debt crisis.

    Lesson for India

     

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    Even India is hunting for a solution to its Bad-Debt Crisis (read the corporate loans that state-owned banks wrote off, which were taken by arousing nationalistic sentiments in the media) which is a Rs 1.14 lakh crore (this is a conservative figure) scam as we explained in our special Demonetization issue War on Cash. However, a solution has already been prescribed by the deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India, Viral Acharya. His solution is to simple sell-off state owned units to foreign players bankrupted in the 2008 crisis. You can read all about it here – PARA – A New Central Bank For Strategic Sale Of India.

    These Money Masters doesn’t lose anything in case the situation escalates and war erupts between China and Myanmar, infact they have everything to gain from it; just like they had everything to gain from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Educated folks call it Balance of Power. It is through this same strategy of Balance of Power that even the India-China conflict is being orchestrated. But we don’t have to rely on war to be in debt, our policy makers are already doing a good job at it. We are already in the midst of a major crisis, be it agriculture, economy, civil society and press or defense and security. This is the direction our policy makers have set for us, and it leads directly to destruction, unless we do a major course correction.

    Could such a crisis be orchestrated in India?

    This is the hypothetical question we raised after Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was allowed to flee India to take refuge in London. This was not the first time a person fleeing local law in foreign countries had taken shelter in London. Since decades, high-profile foreign offenders with considerable wealth have found refuge and a safe place to park their assets and enjoy a peaceful life in Britain.

    Similar is the case of Russia. Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union large-scale privatization of state-owned assets was implemented. From Glasnost and Perestroika (liberalization and privatization or globalization) – the tools created by the East India Company for enslavement of their colonies (known at the time as Free Trade) emerged the Oligarchs – who amassed vast wealth by acquiring state assets very cheaply (or for free) during the privatization process.

    After coming to power Vladimir Putin set about on a massive purging of these oligarchs from Russia, the power struggle that continues to this day. The most famous case is that of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2003, Khodorkovsky was believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia (with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion) who accumulated considerable wealth through obtaining control of a series of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s. Khodorkovsky was later backed up by Henry Kissinger, George Soros and Rothschilds as a candidate to run for a Presidential election against Putin as well as for an attempted revolution.

    UK has been traditionally the largest sanctuary to not just money launderers and fraudsters but foreign terrorists and extremists as well. Everybody, who is somebody in the world of terrorism, has found a rear base in the UK.

    There are as many as 131 pending pleas for extradition of wanted criminals from Britain by India alone.

    Below are just some of the cases of individuals wanted in India and living in Britain:

    1. Vijay Mallya (financial offences)
    2. Lalit Modi (financial offences)
    3. Ravi Shankaran (accused in the Indian Navy war room leak case)
    4. Tiger Hanif (wanted in connection with two bomb attacks in Gujarat in 1993)
    5. Nadeem Saifi (music director accused and acquitted in the Gulshan Kumar murder)
    6. Raymond Varley (accused in child abuse cases in Goa)
    7. Lord Sudhir Choudhrie (one of India’s most notorious arms-dealers and Italian consortium’s middleman in Finmeccanica helicopter scandal)
    8. Several individuals related to the Khalistan movement
    9. Several individuals related to the LTTE
    10. Several individuals related to ISIS

    Even MQM leader Altaf Hussein resides in London, under the protection of the British government, which has refused Pakistani government requests for his extradition to face trial for murder.

    Last year, Khodorkovsky said Open Russia (a George Soros funded organisation) would provide logistical backing to 230 candidates running from various opposition parties or on independent tickets in September from the headquarters of his Open Russia foundation in London. With rise of Indian Oligarchs increasingly finding asylum in Britain, is it a far-fetched scenario for India as well when these Indian Oligarchs would be used for inciting revolution in India or even orchestrating elections – that is in case India goes for course correction?

    Even so, there is a way to avert such a scenario as well as the impending crisis.

    After Putin kicked them out of Russia the same Oligarchs setup shop in India under the same tried and tested ideology of enslavement – Glasnost and Perestroika (called in India as Liberalization and Privatization) during the 90s.

    It is this group of Oligarchs or Robber Barons (as they are known in the United States of America) that is still operational in India.

    What our intelligence agencies should be doing instead of spying on opposition political parties and depending on foreign agencies for information and direction is to track this shadow network and dismantle its grip on India as was done in America (the process that still continues to this day).

     

  • North Korean Defector Claims Kim Jong-Un's Days Are Numbered

    Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

    CNN allegedly found a North Korean defector through University researchers working in conjunction with the South Korean government.

    The news outlet interviewed the alleged defector, who claims Kim Jong-Un’s days as “supreme leader” are numbered.

    CNN says that the defector had worked among the elites in Pyongyang. In order to protect the man’s anonymity, the descriptions and his name were omitted from the interview.

    He is said to fear being hunted down by North Korea and his family harmed should his identity be known. He is by far, however, the most recent defector CNN has ever interviewed; he’s only been free from North Korea for one year. But, he had a few predictions about the North’s borderline psychopathic dictator…

    In 2011, Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, died. Kim Jong Un took over and “tried his best,” says the defector. He gave gifts, and in a public appearance, allowed his voice to be broadcast on North Korean state run television. The perception among the people was that life was about to improve inside North Korea. “It was a false image,” he says.

     

    In December 2013, the regime announced the second most powerful man in North Korea, Jang Song Thaek, was being expelled from the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. Jang was accused of a litany of crimes, from obstructing the nation’s economic affairs to anti-party acts. The allegations stunned for several reasons, primarily for who the regime fingered — Jang is Kim’s uncle.

     

    “Kim Jong Un revealed his true side,” says the defector. Jang’s arrest was broadcast on state television, followed by a statement calling him “despicable human scum, worse than a dog.” State media then announced he was executed.

    The defector that CNN interviewed expressed confidence in his opinion that the elites’ loyalty to Kim Jong-Un has deteriorated and will continue to do so. He says that conviction is how he was able to leave his family behind because he believes he will reunite with them one day.

    I can tell you for sure, the North Korean regime will collapse within 10 years,” he says without hesitation.

     

    “Kim Jong Un is mistaken that he can control his people and maintain his regime by executing his enemies. There’s fear among high officials that at any time, they can be targets. The general public will continue to lose their trust in him as a leader by witnessing him being willing to kill his own uncle.”

    Yet Kim Jong-Un has all the power in North Korea.  

    Meaning those who lose trust in the “supreme leader” may face their ultimate and untimely demise. It’s no secret why this defector is keeping his identity well hidden.

  • Visualizing The Future Of Food

    The urban population is exploding around the globe, and, as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains below, yesterday’s food systems will soon be sub-optimal for many of the megacities swelling with tens of millions of people.

    Further, issues like wasted food, poor working conditions, polluted ecosystems, mistreated animals, and greenhouse gases are just some of the concerns that people have about our current supply chains.

    Today’s infographic from Futurism shows how food systems are evolving – and that the future of food depends on technologies that enable us to get more food out of fewer resources.

    Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

    THE NEXT GEN OF FOOD SYSTEMS

    Here are four technologies that may have a profound effect on how we eat in the future:

    1. Automated Vertical Farms

    It’s already clear that vertical farming is incredibly effective. By stacking farms on top of another and using automation, vertical farms can produce 100x more effectively per acre than conventional agricultural techniques.

    They grow crops at twice the speed as usual, while using 40% less power, having 80% less food waste, and using 99% less water than outdoor fields. However, the problem for vertical farms is still cost – and it is not clear when they will be viable on a commercial basis.

    2. Aquaponics

    Another technology that has promise for the future of food is a unique combination of fish farming (aquaculture) with hydroponics.

    In short, fish convert their food into nutrients that plants can absorb, while the plants clean the water for the fish. Compared to conventional farming, this technology uses about half of the water, while increasing the yield of the crops grown. As a bonus, it also can raise a significant amount of fish.

    3. In Vitro Meats

    Meat is costly and extremely resource intensive to produce. As just one example, to produce one pound of beef, it takes 1,847 gallons of water.

    In vitro meats are one way to solve this. These self-replicating muscle tissue cultures are grown and fed nutrients in a broth, and bypass the need for having living animals altogether. Interestingly enough, market demand seems to be there: one recent study found that 70.6% of consumers are interested in trying lab grown beef.

    4. Artificial Animal Products

    One other route to get artificial meat is to use machine learning to grasp the complex chemistry and textures behind these products, and to find ways to replicate them. This has already been done for mayonnaise – and it’s in the works for eggs, milk, and cheese as well.

    TASTING THE FUTURE OF FOOD

    As these new technologies scale and hit markets, the future of food could change drastically. Many products will flop, but others will take a firm hold in our supply chains and become culturally acceptable and commercially viable. Certainly, food will be grown locally in massive skyscrapers, and there will be decent alternatives to be found for both meat or animal products in the market.

    With the global population rising by more than a million people each week, finding and testing new solutions around food will be essential to make the most out of limited resources.

  • "Dear President Trump: America Is In For A Rude Awakening In January"

    Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com,

    Dear President Trump,

    Over the last couple of years I’ve been all over TV… from Fox News to CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg. I’ve been telling our fellow Americans that the financial global elite was planning to issue their own globalist currency called special drawing rights, or SDRs.

    And that those elites would use this new currency to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

    I’ve even written about this extensively in my best-selling booksThe Road to Ruin and The New Case for Gold.

    I’m sure some people in the mainstream media thought I was out of line — but the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both confirmed this plan to replace the U.S. dollar is real. I’ve made this warning many times, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. That’s why I’m writing directly to you.

    Here’s the proof that the U.S. dollar is under attack, right in front of our eyes:

    The UN said we need “a new global reserve system… that no longer relies on the United States dollar as the single major reserve currency.”

     

    And the IMF admitted they want to make “the special drawing right (SDR) the principal reserve asset in the [International Monetary System].”

    More recently, the IMF advanced their plan by helping private institutions, such as the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank, issue bonds in SDRs.

    Although our mainstream media ignored this major event, the UK media reported:

    SDR Special Drawing Rights

    This is all happening. And on January 1st, 2018, this trend to replace the U.S. dollar will accelerate. That’s when the global elite will implement a major change to the plumbing of our financial system.

    It’s a brand-new worldwide banking system called Distributed Ledger Technology. And it will have a huge impact on seniors who are now preparing for retirement.

    When this system goes live, many nations will be able to dump the U.S. dollar for SDRs.

    For now, the U.S. dollar is still the world’s reserve currency. Other nations have to hold and use the U.S. dollar for international trade, instead of their own currencies.

    This creates a virtually unlimited demand for U.S. dollars, which allows us to print trillions of dollars each year to pay for wars, debt and anything we want. It keeps our country operating.

    Now, we can see that the global elites are working to unseat the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

    Here are the three key pieces of information that prove this will happen.

    Fact #1 — The IMF issues a globalist currency called special drawing rights, or SDRs.

    Fact #2 — The IMF has confirmed they want to replace the U.S. dollar with SDRs.

    Fact #3 — The IMF has confirmed Distributed Ledgers can be used for “currency substitution”… and they’ve even set up a special task force to speed up implementation.

    The IMF is using this technology to create an SDR payment system, because that’s the currency they issue.

    IMF Lagarde Special Drawing Rights

    As you know, Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, is the woman in the middle.

    When asked about the task force, she said:

    As I see it, all this amounts to a brave new world for the financial sector.”

    Yes, a brave new world where the dollar is no longer the world reserve currency.

    Barbara C. Matthews, a former US Treasury Department attaché to the European Union, has reached the same conclusion.

    She said the link between the globalists’ currency and Distributed Ledgers “is impossible to avoid.”

    And that “the IMF seems to be exploring the possibility of permitting a broader use of [their globalist currency] beyond internal transactions among member central banks.”

    Make no mistake, if the IMF is planning to use Distributed Ledgers to replace the U.S. dollar with SDRs. And just to be clear, when SDRs take over, the American people will be left with devalued dollars.

    Once other nations start accumulating the globalist currency through Distributed Ledgers, they will no longer need to hold dollars. Once Distributed Ledgers go live, other nations will no longer need to buy Treasury bonds.

    And that means our government — your government — will no longer be able to finance its normal operations, including welfare programs like Social Security. For those who have their retirement account parked in stocks, they could watch it evaporate in a matter of days. The weakest companies in the stock market could collapse once this plan goes live.

    Just look what happened the last time we had a big change in our global financial system. In 1971, Nixon announced the U.S. would no longer officially trade dollars for gold. That created a lot of uncertainties, turning that decade into a nightmare for stock investors.

    Take a look… the Dow Jones, an index of “stable” blue chip stocks (the kind most retirees like to hold), was cut in half. Stock investors bailed out of the market and, for the most part, didn’t come back for a decade.

    Dow Jones Historical Chart

    I expect something similar once Distributed Ledgers go live.

    The transition from a U.S. dollar system to a new system dominated by SDRs will be messy. Stocks will collapse… and will stay down. There will be no recovery this time, because the U.S. government won’t be able to come to the rescue like they did in 2008.

    You won’t even have funding for normal operations, let alone enough funds to save stock investors.

    I know that governments have been patiently watching Distributed Ledger (often referred to as blockchain) technology develop and grow outside their control for the past eight years. Libertarian supporters of Distributed Ledgers celebrate this lack of government control.

    Yet, their celebration is premature, and their belief in the sustainability of powerful systems outside government control is naïve. Governments don’t like competition especially when it comes to money.

    You probably know that you, or any government, cannot stop Distributed Ledger technology — in fact you probably don’t want to. Governments and monetary elites want to control it using powers of regulation, taxation, and investigation.

    An elite U.S. legal institution called the Uniform Law Commission, which proposes model laws intended for adoption in all fifty states, has released its latest proposal called the “Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.”

    This new law will not only provide a regulatory scheme for state regulators, but will also be a platform for litigation by private plaintiffs and class action lawyers seeking recourse against real or imagined abuses by digital coin exchanges and facilities.

    We know the U.S. government will want to use this technology for its benefit. One step toward government control just occurred a few weeks ago.

    On August 1, 2017, the SEC announced “Guidance on Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings,” the first step toward requiring fundraising through Distributed Ledger, or blockchain-based tokens to register with the government.

    But consider the following additional developments:

    • On August 1, 2017, the World Economic Forum, host body to the Davos conference of global super-elites, published a paper entitled “Four reasons to question the hype around blockchain.”
    • On August 7, 2017, China announced they will begin using Distributed Ledger technology to collect taxes and issue “electronic invoices” to citizens there.

    Perhaps most portentously, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has weighed in.

    In a special report dated June 2017, the IMF had this to say about Distributed Ledgers: The IMF favors control by a “pre-selected group of participants” or “one organization,” rather than allowing “anyone” to participate.

    This paper should be viewed as the first step in the IMF’s plan to migrate its existing form of world money, the SDR, onto a DLT platform controlled by the IMF.

    They’re telling you exactly what their plan is. It would be foolish to ignore them, or assume the U.S. dollar will remain the global reserve currency much longer once this plan is implemented, as early as January 1, 2018.

    You know the global elites’ aren’t your biggest fan. You know the U.S. dollar has been under attack.

    This is the global financial elites’ plan to remove the U.S. dollar from its position of power and to attack your administration all at once.

    Who do you think American’s will blame when the stock market crashes, or Social Security runs out? We can hear the talking heads already.

    Best,

    Rickards Signature

     

     

     

     

     

  • These Are America's Fattest States

    According to a new report, one third of U.S. adults are obese along with one in six children.

    The research was conducted by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and, as Statista's Nial McCarthy explains, it found that the adult obesity rate exceeded 35 percent in five states, 30 percent in 25 states and 25 percent in 46 states.

    In 2016, West Virginia had the highest rate of obesity at 37.7 percent, followed closely by Mississippi with 37.3 percent. Alabama and Arkansas jointly round off the top three with 35.7 percent each.

    Infographic: America's Fattest States | Statista

    You will find more statistics at Statista

    Back in 2000, no U.S. state had an obesity rate higher than 25 percent.

    As bad as the obesity epidemic is, the report also found that rates are starting to stabilize and actually decline in some places. Colorado, Minnesota, Washington and West Virginia all saw their obesity rates climb while Kansas saw a decrease.

    The situation remained stable everywhere else.

    Progress in halting the spread of expanding waistlines can be attributed to state policies improving access to healthy food and increasing physical activity.

    The report notes that early childhood education has proven particularly effective at preventing obesity in early life, instead of having to reverse the problem in later years.

     

  • Welcome To 1984: Big Brother Google Now Watching Your Every Political Move

    Authored by Robert Bridge via RT.com,

    Google has taken the unprecedented step of burying material, mostly from websites on the political right, that it has deemed to be inappropriate. The problem, however, is that the world's largest search engine is a left-leaning company with an ax to grind.

    Let's face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn't last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren't talking about your average car company here.

    The first sign Google would eventually become more of a political liability than a public utility was revealed in 2005 when CEO Eric Schmidt (who is now executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc, Google's parent company) sat down with interviewer Charlie Rose, who asked Schmidt to explain "where the future of search is going."

    Schmidt's response should have triggered alarm bells across the free world.

    "Well, when you use Google, do you get more than one answer," Schmidt asked rhetorically, before answering deceptively.

     

    "Of course you do. Well, that's a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once… and we should never be wrong."

    Really?

    Think about that for a moment. Schmidt believes, counter-intuitively, that getting multiple possible choices for any one Google query is not the desirable prospect it should be (aren't consumers always in search of more variety?), but rather a "bug" that should be duly squashed underfoot. Silly mortal, you should not expect more than one answer for every question because the almighty Google, our modern-day Oz, "should never be wrong!" This is the epitome of corporate hubris. And it doesn't require much imagination to see that such a master plan will only lead to a colossal whitewashing of the historic record.

    For example, if a Google user performs a search request for – oh, I don't know – 'what caused the Iraq War 2003,' he or she would be given, according to Schmidt's algorithmic wet dream, exactly one canned answer. Any guesses on what that answer would be? I think it's safe to say the only acceptable answer would be the state-sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, an oft-repeated claim we now know to be patently false. The list of other such complicated events that also demand more than one answer – from the Kennedy assassination to the Gulf of Tonkin incident – could be continued for many pages.

    Schmidt's grandiose vision, where there is just "one answer to every question," sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals – as well as entire historical events – can be 'disappeared' down the memory hole without a trace. Though we've not quite reached that bad land yet, we're plodding along in that direction.

    That much became disturbingly clear ever since Donald Trump routed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This surprise event became the bugle call for Google to wage war on 'fake news' outlets, predominantly on the political right.

    'Like being gay in the 1950s'

    Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year's presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. This news came courtesy of a leaked email from John Podesta, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, who wrote:

    "I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, he's ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn't pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn't seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going…"

    via GIPHY

    The implications of the CEO of the world's most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred.

    Before continuing our trip down memory lane, let's fast forward a moment for a reality check. Google's romance with the US political left is not a matter of conjecture. In fact, it has just become the subject of a released internal memo penned by one James Damore, a former Google engineer. In the 10-point memo, Damore discussed at length the extreme liberal atmosphere that pervades Google, saying that being a conservative in the Silicon Valley sweat shop was like "being gay in the 1950s."

    "We have… this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves. Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of the closet as a conservative."

    Beyond the quirky, laid back image of a Google campus, where 'Googlers' enjoy free food and foot massages, lies a "monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves," says Damore, who was very cynically fired from Google for daring to express a personal opinion. That is strange.

    Although Google loudly trumpets its multicultural diversity in terms of its hiring policy, it clearly has a problem dealing with a diversity of opinion. That attitude does not seem to bode well for a search engine company that must remain impartial on all matters – political or otherwise.

    Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump's "biggest enemy."

    Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republican front runner. At one point when Google users typed in a query for 'presidential candidates,' they got thousands of results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Missing in action from the search results, however, was, yes, Donald Trump.

    When NBC4 reached out to Google about the issue, a spokesperson said a "technical bug" was what caused Trump to disappear into the internet ether. Now, where have we heard the word "bug" before? It is worth wondering if this is what Eric Schmidt had in mind when he expressed his vision of a "one answer" Google search future?

    In any case, this brings to the surface another disturbing question that is directly linked to the 'fake news' accusations, which in turn is fueling Google's crackdown on the free flow of news from the political right today.

    In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, poll after poll predicted a Clinton landslide victory. Of course, nothing of the sort materialized, as even traditional Democratic strongholds, like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan pulled the lever for Trump. As the Economist reported: "On the eve of America’s presidential election, national surveys gave Hillary Clinton a lead of around four percentage points, which betting markets and statistical models translated into a probability of victory ranging from 70 percent to 99 percent."

    The fact that Trump – in direct contradiction to what the polls had been long predicting – ended up winning by such a huge margin, there is a temptation to say the polls themselves were 'fake news,' designed to convince the US voter that a Clinton landslide victory was forthcoming. This could have been a ploy by the pollsters, many of whom are affiliated with left-leaning news corporations, by the way, for keeping opposition voters at home in the belief their vote wouldn't matter. In fact, statisticians were warning of a "systemic mainstream misinformation" in poll data favoring Clinton in the days and weeks before Election day. Yet the Leftist brigade, in cahoots with the Googlers, were busy nurturing their own fervent conspiracy theory that 'fake news' – with some help from the Russians, of course – was the reason for Hillary Clinton's devastating defeat.

    Who will guard us against the Google guardians?

    Just one month after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, purportedly on the back of 'fake news,' Google quietly launched Project Owl, the goal of which was to devise a method to "demote misleading, false and offensive articles online," according to a Bloomberg report. The majority of the crackdown will be carried out by machines. Now here is where we enter the rat's nest. After all, what one news organization, or alternative news site, might consider legitimate news and information, another news group, possibly from the mainstream media, would dismiss as a conspiracy theory. And vice versa.

    In other words, what we have here is a battle for the misty mountain top of information, and Google appears to be paving the way for its preferred candidate, which is naturally the mainstream media. In other words, Google has a dog in this fight, but it shouldn't. Here is how they have succeeded in pushing for their crackdown on news and information.

     

    The mainstream media almost immediately began peddling the fake news story as to why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. In fact, it even started before Clinton lost the election after Trump jokingly told a rally: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The Democrats, of course, found no humor in the remark. Indeed, they began pushing the fake news story, with help from the likes of Amazon-owned Washington Post, that it was Russians who hacked the DNC email system and passed along the information to WikiLeaks, who then dumped it at the most inopportune time for the Democrats.

    With this masterly sleight of hand, did you notice what happened? We are no longer talking about the whereabouts of Clinton's estimated 33,000 deleted emails, nor are we discussing how the DNC worked behind the scenes to derail Bernie Sanders' chances at being a presidential candidate. Far worse, we are not considering the tragic fate of a young man named Seth Rich, the now-deceased DNC staffer who was gunned down in Washington, DC on July 10, 2016. Some news sites say Rich was preparing to testify against the DNC for "voter fraud," while others say that was contrived nonsense.

    According to the mainstream media, in this case, Newsweek, only batshit crazy far-right conspiracy sites could ever believe Seth Rich leaked the Clinton emails.

    "In the months since his murder, Rich has become an obsession of the far right, an unwilling martyr to a discredited cause," Newsweek commented. "On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily, it is all but an article of faith that Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably, by Clinton operatives. If that were to be true—and it very clearly isn’t—the faithful believe it would invalidate any accusations that Donald J. Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in tilting the election toward him."

    Blame Russia

    The reality is, we'll probably never know what happened to Mr. Rich, but what we do know is that Russia has become the convenient fall guy for Clinton's emails getting hacked and dumped in the public arena. We also know Google is taking advantage of this conspiracy theory (to this day not a thread of proof has been offered to prove Russia had anything to do with the release of the emails) to severely hinder the work of news sites – most of which sit on the right of the political spectrum.

    Last November, just two weeks after Trump's victory, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, addressed the question of 'fake news' in a BBC interview, and whether it could have swayed the vote in Trump's favor.

    "You know, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue [in elections]. From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here. So, I don't think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely," he said.

    Did you catch that? Following the tiresome rigmarole, the Google CEO said he doesn't think "we should debate it as much as we work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources…"

    That is a truly incredible comment, buried at the sea floor of the BBC article. How can the head of the largest search engine believe a democracy needn't debate how Google determines what information, and by whom, is allowed into the public realm, thus literally shaping our entire worldview? To ask the question is to answer it…

    "Just in the last two days we announced we will remove advertising from anything we identify as fake news," Pichai said.

    And how will Google decide who the Internet baddies are? It will rely on "more than 15 additional expert NGOs and institutions through our Trusted Flagger program, including the Anti-Defamation League, the No Hate Speech Movement, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue," to determine what should be flagged and what should not.

    Feeling better yet? This brings to mind the quaint Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? especially since these groups also have their own heavy political axes to grind.

    Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichai and his increasingly Orwellian company already stand accused of censorship, following the outrageous decision to bar former Congressman Ron Paul and his online news program, Liberty Report, from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which Paul recently posted.

    Dr. Ron Paul would never be confused as a dangerous, far-right loony. Paul is a 12-term ex-congressman and three-time presidential candidate. However, he is popular among his supporters for views that often contradict those of Washington’s political establishment, especially on issues of war and peace. Now if squeaky clean Ron Paul can't get a fair hearing before the Google/YouTube tribunal, what are chances for average commentators?

    “We have no violence, no foul language, no political extremism, no hate or intolerance,” Daniel McAdams, co-producer of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT America. “Our program is simply a news analysis discussion from a libertarian and antiwar perspective.”

     

    McAdams added that the YouTube demonetization “creates enormous financial burdens for the program.”

    Many other commentators have also been affected by the advert ban, including left-wing online blogger Tim Black and right-wing commentator Paul Joseph Watson. Their videos have registered millions of views.

    “Demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary – from the left or the right,” Black told the Boston Globe’s Hiawatha Bray.

     

    “It’s not about specific videos… It’s about pushing out the diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.”

    In light of this inquisition against free speech and free thought, it is no surprise that more voices are calling for Google, and other massive online media, like Facebook and Amazon, to become nationalized for the public good.

    "If we don’t take over today’s platform monopolies, we risk letting them own and control the basic infrastructure of 21st-century society,"  wrote Nick Srnicek, a lecturer in the digital economy at King’s College London.

    It's time for Google to take a stroll beyond its isolated Silicon Valley campus and realize there is a whole world of varying political opinion out there that demands a voice. Otherwise, it may find itself on the wrong side of history and time, a notoriously uninviting place known as 1984.

  • Bill Maher: Federal Aid For Climate-Change-Denying, Republican-Voting Texas And Florida "Seems Unfair"

    In the opening monologue of his talk show, Real Time Host Bill Maher suggested that disaster victims in Florida and Texas somehow don’t deserve the $15 billion in federal aid money being allocated for the cleanup efforts after Hurricane Harvey – and now Hurricane Irma – devastated their states and forced millions from their homes.

    Maher’s remarks are the latest in a wave of shockingly callous comments from liberals, including a Florida professor who was fired for suggesting that residents of southwest Texas deserved to suffer Hurricane Harvey's devastation. Even some media organizations published controversial comics characterizing storm victims as immoral foolish racists who deserve whatever horrible occurances befall them.

    Maher suggested – incorrectly – that red states somehow pay less in federal income taxes, and therefore shouldn’t be “bailed out” by the feds when natural disasters occur. Of course, this ignores the billions of dollars in federal income taxes that Texans pay to the Federal government every year.

    He also added that, because the state’s political leaders don’t believe in man-made climate change, their residents should be forced to confront what Maher judged to be a symptom of rising global temperatures. We didn’t realize Maher was so well-versed in meteorology.

    “These places that got flooded, like Texas, okay, they have a low tax base,’ Maher said on his show "Real Time" on Friday. "So, the federal government bails them out. Their governors, their legislators they don’t believe in climate science.”

    Of course, it’s only fair that liberal states continue to receive federal disaster aid. After all, residents of wealthy liberal states – “responsible people” in Maher’s words – pay more in taxes and virtuously recognize the dangers of man-made climate change.

    He griped that “it’s unfair” that conservatives, who try to cut government spending at every turn, would come running to the Feds for help when they’re in trouble.

    "It seems like the responsible folks in this country, the people who pay a little more taxes and the people who believe in climate change are bailing out the people who hate government, except when they need government when they’re in trouble," he continued. "That seems a little unfair.”

     

    “Suddenly, socialism is not such a bad idea when you’re standing in toxic floodwater.”

    Maher’s divisive – not to mention shockingly cruel – jokes are yet another symptom of the bitter divisiveness that casts a pall over modern America. As we reported yesterday, a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News confirmed what many Americans have suspected for a long time: The US was a country rife with political, economic and cultural divisions long before President Trump rode down that escalator at Trump Tower in June 2015.

    Though judging by what passes for humor on liberal-leaning talk shows, these divisions are only growing wider.
     

  • "Bannon Declares War On The GOP": Key Highlights From His 60 Minutes Interview

    Steve Bannon appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night in his first-ever TV interview. The full interview, which Charlie Rose defined as the one in which “Bannon declared war on the GOP“, can be watched, with a full transcript, below (link):

    Here is Charlie Rose’s introduction:

    Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, during his brief tenure in the West Wing and his few months as CEO of President Trump’s campaign, earned many nicknames among his admirers and his ever-expanding list of enemies. He was the “great manipulator,” “Trump’s Svengali,” “the Grim Reaper,” “Propagandist-in-chief.”

     

    He describes himself as a “streetfighter.” And he proved it in this, his first-ever television interview.  Bannon is back running Breitbart News — the website where the alt-right and conspiracy theories meet conventional conservatives. The streetfighter, shiv-in-hand came ready to brawl, and not with liberals or Democrats.

    … but with the “Republican establishment.” For those pressed on time, courtesy of Axios, here are Bannon’s most notable quotes, starting with his war with the GOP: “The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

    • On ‘the establishment’: “In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. I mean, we totally embraced the establishment … Because ya had to staff a government.”
    • On his relationship with the president: “I think I’m a street fighter. And by the way, I think that’s why Donald Trump and I get along so well. Donald Trump’s a fighter. Great counter puncher. Great counter puncher. He’s a fighter. I’m going to be his wing man outside for the entire time, to protect [Trump]” and “to make sure his enemies know that there’s no free shot on goal.”
    • On Trump’s Charlottesville remarks: “I was the only guy that came out and tried to defend him.”
    • On the “Swamp”: “The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.” 
    • On Gary Cohn’s critical interview with the Financial Times: “If you don’t like what [Trump’s] doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.”
    • On Republican criticism of Trump’s national security strategy: “That’s the geniuses of the Bush administration. I hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt … They’re idiots, and they’ve gotten us in this situation, and they question a good man like Donald Trump,” Bannon said, naming Condoleezza Rice, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell.
    • On Economic Nationalism: “”Economic nationalism is what this country was built on. The American system. Right? We go back to that. We look after our own.”” 
    • On the Russia investigation: “It’s a total and complete farce. Russian collusion is a farce.”
    • On Trump’s tweets: “He knows he’s speaking directly to the people who put him in office when he uses Twitter … [General Kelly’s] not going to be able to control it either because it’s Donald Trump.”
    • On campaign discussions following the Access Hollywood tape’s release: “Trump went around the room and asked people the percentages he thought of still winning and what the recommendation. And Reince started off and Reince said, ‘You have two choices. You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.’ … And I told him as he went around, I was the last guy to speak, and I said, ‘It’s 100%. You have 100% probability of winning.'”
    • On the Catholic Church: “Because unable to really to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”

    The full interview can be found here.

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