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Apr 21

Today’s News 21st April 2017

  • 10 Selfless Acts Amid Terrible Tragedies That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

    Authored by Joshua Krause via ReadyNutrition.com,

    Preppers aren’t exactly known for having much faith in humanity. If they did, they probably wouldn’t become preppers in the first place. They know how people behave when the chips are down. They know how quickly civilized people can turn into vicious animals when they haven’t eaten for a few days. So they stock up on the weapons they think will protect them from these animals, and the food they need to keep themselves from turning into animals themselves.

    Of course, they’re not crazy for trying to be prepared. We turn on the news or check our social media feeds every night, and what do we see? A cavalcade of horror. Terrorist attacks, mob violence, selfishness, ignorance, and flippant threats of war. What would really be crazy, is to see all of that on a daily basis and not want to be prepared.

    However, there’s a flip-side to these behaviors that everyone, prepper or not, needs to understand. On the one hand; yes, we’re an incredibly violent and cruel species that is capable of mind-boggling horrors when we’re trying to survive. Hell, some of the things we do when we aren’t desperate are still nightmare inducing. But what most people forget is that in our darkest moments, we’re capable of immeasurable acts of compassion and altruism.

    That’s the unique duality of our species; and it’s a duality that totally separates us from every other creature on this planet. When we’re bad, we’re worse than any animal. That’s why we prep. But at our best, people are capable of awe-inspiring acts of kindness. Your average individual human is capable of more mercy and selflessness than the members of most entire species put together.

    10 Acts of Human Kindness to Restore Your Faith in Humanity

    And in case you’ve forgotten that fact, I have a few reminders for you. Below are ten examples of people who were utterly selfless in the midst of terrible tragedies and disasters.

    Ken Bellau

    Image courtesy of People.com

    Hurricane Katrina still haunts the people of New Orleans. To this day much of the city is still in ruins, and by most estimates, between 1,200 and 1,800 people died after the levees broke. However, the death toll might have been significantly higher if not for the efforts of one man.

    Ken Bellau is a 10th generation New Orleans resident who took it upon himself to rescue his stranded neighbors. He arrived in the city from an overseas trip just after the storm hit. After commandeering an abandoned fishing boat, he spent three weeks searching for people and pets, and giving them rides to higher ground. For much of this ordeal Ken was working alone. Aside from the typical hazards that you’d expect someone to deal with in these circumstances, he faced threats from criminals who wanted to take his boat, and dodged bullets from suspicious residents who thought he was a looter.

    Eventually Ken made contact with the National Guard. Between his boat and his knowledge of the area, he proved to be a valuable asset for the Guards’ relief effort, and went on numerous rescue missions with them. It’s estimated that his efforts helped save at least 400 people.

    Reverend Bennie Newton

    Over the past couple of years there have been many notable riots in the United States, but they all pale in comparison to the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. It’s estimated that between April and May of 1992, 55 people were killed in these riots, and over 2,000 were injured. It was so bad that order wasn’t restored until the Marines and the National Guard showed up.

    Amid that chaos, was a young Guatemalan immigrant and self-employed construction worker by the name of Fidel Lopez. On April 29th, he was pulled out of his truck by several rioters, who proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life. Once unconscious, the thugs attempted to slice off one of his ears, spray painted his torso and genitals black, and doused him in gasoline.

    What happened next was unexpected to say the least. A priest by the name of Reverend Newton arrived on the scene after hearing about some of the violence being carried out in the area. He waded through the violent mob and shielded Lopez. Clad in a priest’s garb and carrying a bible in one hand, he shouted to the crowd “kill him, and you’ll have to kill me, too!” Surprisingly, the mob backed off. The reverend carried Lopez to his truck, and drove him to the hospital.

    The Canadian Town of Gander

    9/11 is a moment in history that every American vividly remembers. We remember the planes exploding, the desperate office workers plunging to their deaths, the towers falling, and the dust caked pedestrians fleeing for their lives. Unfortunately, what we don’t remember is the boundless hospitality of one small Canadian town in Newfoundland.

    After the attack, all civilian air traffic over the United States and Canada was ordered to be grounded. 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from around the world were forced to land at the airport outside of Gander, a town of 10,000 people. Obviously, a town of that size didn’t have nearly enough hotel rooms to house all of those people.

    So the people of Gander and other nearby towns simply opened their doors to these complete strangers and housed them. The locals ignored the advice of the police, who feared that some of the stranded passengers could be terrorists. Nearly every church, school, and restaurant pitched in by housing or feeding them, often free of charge. Local bus drivers ended a strike to help drive these strangers around, and pharmacies in the town provided medication, also free of charge. This went on for four days until the airspace was reopened, and everyone went home with fond memories of Canadian hospitality.

    Liviu Librescu

    Liviu Librescu was a 76-year-old Romanian-American scientist, aeronautical engineer, and professor at Virginia Tech, and he was no stranger to the horrors that his fellow humans were capable of. That’s because he was a Jew who had survived the Holocaust as a child. In his final moments, he came face to face with evil one last time, and didn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself for the lives of everyone around him.

    On April 16th, 2007, a student of Virginia Tech by the name of Seung-Hui Cho entered the campus with two pistols and opened fire, eventually killing 33 people. When he arrived at Librescu’s classroom, the professor and two other students named Zach Petkewicz and Derek O’Dell, blocked the doors so that the gunman couldn’t get in. This gave all but one of his students enough time to flee the classroom through a nearby window, before Cho shot and killed them.

    Hugh Thompson

    The Vietnam War is widely considered to be the darkest chapter in American military history, and by far its darkest moment was the My Lai massacre. On March 16th, 1968, US soldiers with the 23rd Infantry Division, 11th brigade, massacred between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam. If you can believe it, the massacre could have been far worse if it wasn’t halted by one man.

    Hugh Thompson was an Army helicopter pilot who realized what was happening early on in the massacre, after a seeing several dead civilians from the air during a reconnaissance mission. He landed his helicopter twice to investigate the dead, before realizing that it was American soldiers who were responsible for the killings. After failing to talk sense into a commander who had ordered the massacre, he spent the rest of the day directing and evacuating civilians away from the carnage, and at one point even threatened to open fire on US soldiers who were about to kill several civilians. After evacuating a wounded child, he reported the incident to his superiors, who ordered troops on the ground to stop the killings.

    For his efforts, Thompson was shunned by his peers in the military for many years. In 1969 he was called to testify in Congress about the incident, and was chastised by Congressmen with the House Armed Services Committee, who felt that he should have been court martialed for threatening to open fire on American troops. It wouldn’t be until 30 years later that he was awarded a medal for his part in ending the massacre.

    Father Thomas Byles

    The sinking of the Titanic is a testament to that fact that in previous generations, altruism was a far more common trait. As the ship went down, hundreds of men insisted on staying aboard, and letting as many women and children as possible get on the few remaining life boats. It would be difficult to single out any of the heroic souls that went down with that ship.

    But if you had to, a good choice would be Father Thomas Byles. The Catholic priest was on his way to New York to preside over his brother’s wedding when the Titanic struck an iceberg. As the crowds of desperate passengers swelled toward the lifeboats, he refused several invitations to leave the ship. Instead he helped other passengers find lifeboats, and stayed on board with a hundred trapped individuals. He prayed with them, heard their confessions, and gave them their last rites until the ship finally sank. His body was never recovered. Byles has since been recommended for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

    The Choctaw Nation

    The Cork Statue that pays tribute to the Choctaw Tribe’s generosity during the Irish Famine.

    The Irish famine was one of the most devastating disasters of the 19th century. Within seven years, a million people starved to death and another million emigrated. Millions more would flee the country in the decades that followed. To give you an idea of how devastating it was, the population of Ireland still hasn’t recovered from the famine.

    Amid this tragedy, countless organizations in the United States collected donations and sent them to Ireland to help alleviate the crisis. But perhaps none were as impressive as the $170 that was raised by members of the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans, and sent to a famine relief organization. That may not sound like much, but adjusted for inflation it amounts to thousands of dollars.

    Still, why was their donation so impressive? At the time, the Choctaw tribe were living in a reservation in Oklahoma. 16 years earlier in 1830, they had been forced from their homes and sent on the trail of tears. Half of the 21,000 Choctaws who embarked on the journey died. It’s safe to say that by 1847 they probably weren’t in much better shape financially speaking, and yet they still felt compelled to raise what little funds they had for the relief effort. That’s because they felt an affinity for the Irish, who like the Choctaw, had also enduring starvation, as well as cultural suppression by their government. The Choctaw relief effort has since been commemorated on multiple occasions in Ireland.

    The Institute of Plant Industry

    Image source https://cdn.rbth.com

    Don’t let the innocuous title fool you. If nothing you read before was able to restore your faith in humanity, this story will.

    The Institute of Plant Industry was a Soviet research center, and was once the largest seed bank on Earth. It was home to nearly 400,000 seeds and other plant samples that had been painstakingly collected from around the world. The mission of the institute, was to develop new plant strains that would alleviate hunger worldwide.

    Unfortunately, the institute was located in the city of Leningrad during World War Two. In case you’re not familiar with what occurred there, what happened to Leningrad during the war was downright apocalyptic. For nearly two and half years the city was blockaded by a German siege, which led to the deaths of 1.5 million civilians and soldiers. The siege of Leningrad has been called the most destructive event to ever occur in a modern city, and the most deadly siege in human history. The city became a hell on earth, where starvation and predatory cannibalism were rampant.

    So what do you think a dozen scientists holed up in that research center would do? I can tell you what normal, sane people would do. They’d probably give up their scientific mission, and begin consuming the treasure trove of edible seeds that were stored there. Certainly there were enough seeds to keep them fed for at least a few months, if not the entire duration of the siege.

    Instead, the scientists refused to eat their samples. They guarded the seeds throughout the siege and kept their seed bank a secret, knowing what would happen if any of the starving residents of the city found out about the institute. They watched over the seed bank in shifts, usually two or more at a time to ensure that no scientist was left alone with the seeds, and secretly smuggled samples out of the city. It’s believed that none of the samples were tampered with by the scientists. In the end, nine of the them starved to death while surrounded by perfectly edible food, in an effort to alleviate world hunger for future generations.

    Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo

    Image courtesy of rt.com

    These days, when most people hear about the Fukushima disaster, they tend to think about the TEPCO nuclear power plant that was destroyed by the tsunami. To this day the news still periodically reports on the situation at the power plant. However, most people outside of Japan have forgotten about the impressive heroics that were displayed by ordinary Japanese citizens before the plant melted down.

    Of those heroes were Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo, two city workers who stuck to their posts as the tsunami approached. They were working in a multi-story disaster preparedness building, and were responsible for warning civilians and directing them to higher ground through a public broadcasting system. They knew that the tsunami was going to be taller than the office they resided in, on the second floor of the building. But as it neared they stayed on that floor rather than fleeing to the roof, so that they could give one last announcement to the city.

    Unfortunately that final message kept them from reaching higher ground in time. The tsunami washed out the second floor of the building, killing them both. Their bodies have never been found.

    Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld

    After being inundated with movies, documentaries, and video games about World War Two for generations, Americans have developed a very black and white view of the soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany. We tend to think that everyone who fought for Germany was a goose stepping monster, and forget that their military was staffed by millions of ordinary people who were either brainwashed or coerced into fighting. We forget that so many of them were just regular human beings, not caricatures.

    One of those soldiers was 23-year-old Lt. Friedrich Lengfeld, a Wehrmacht company commander who took part in one of those most heartbreaking acts of altruism during the war. Lengfeld was responsible for defending a heavily fortified position during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. In early November of 1944, his unit had suffered heavy casualties while fighting multiple American attacks. His company was depleted, and suffering from both the elements and malnutrition.

    On November 10th, the Americans attacked and retreated once again, but this time they accidentally left someone behind. One of their soldiers was injured after straying into a nearby minefield. As he cried out for help, Lengfeld ordered his troops not to open fire on any Americans who came back to retrieve their comrade. Hours passed with no relief in sight. He couldn’t take the weakening cries of help any longer, so Lengfeld decided to conduct his own rescue mission with the help of several medics.

    He walked through the minefield on what he thought was a safe path, but accidentally triggered an anti-personal mine that ripped through his legs. He later died at a first aid station. The fate and identity of the American soldier has never been uncovered. However, the sacrifice and humanity of Lengfeld was honored with a memorial constructed in the Hürtgen Forest by American veterans in 1994.

    A Civilization Worth Saving

    Frankly, it’s a shame that the ugliness of our species receives so much more attention than our acts of mercy, compassion, and sacrifice. It’s easy for people to assume that when disaster strikes, society will immediately turn into a free for all, where everyone acts in their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else. The truth of the matter, is that for every selfish person in the world who will murder and steal to get by for another day, there is always someone else who won’t hesitate to sacrifice everything for a complete stranger. It’s important to remember that, and there’s a very good reason why.

    You know this civilization that we (justifiably) fear may collapse one day? If not for our inherent altruism we wouldn’t have a civilization worth worrying about to begin with. It’s our desire for everyone to succeed and prosper that binds society, and keeps it from sinking into the depths of chaos. So the next time you think the world is turning upside down and evil is running rampant, try to remember these selfless people I just described. And more importantly, try to be more like them. It’s the only thing standing between our most virtuous acts, and our most wicked impulses.

  • In Which States Do Most Millennials Live With Their Parents?

    Just a few short decades ago America’s youth was highly encouraged by eager parents to become self-sufficient by the ripe old age of 18.  Today, the mere suggestion of such a thing could land unsuspecting parents in prison for ‘triggering’ their offspring with malicious ‘hate speech.’

    And, as a new study from the Census Bureau points out today, the changing dynamics are readily apparent in the latest household survey data which shows that more millennials are living at home with mom today than any other living arrangement.  Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • More young people today live in their parents’ home than in any other arrangement: 1 in 3 young people, or about 24 million 18- to 34-year-olds, lived in their parents’ home in 2015.
    • In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six.
    • Most of today’s Americans believe that educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half of Americans believe that marrying and having children are not very important in order to become an adult.
    • Young people are delaying marriage, but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 people married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married.
    • More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of men, aged 25 to 34, had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men. (Incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars.)
    • Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women aged 25 to 34.
    • Of young people living in their parents’ home, 1 in 4 are idle, that is they neither go to school nor work. This figure represents about 2.2 million 25- to 34-year-olds.

    Millennials

     

    To our complete ‘shock’, parents living in liberal states like NJ, CT, NY and CA were most likely to provide ‘safe spaces’ for their unemployed millennials to play video games.  In fact, 7 out of the top 10 states where the most millennials live at home were liberal…and 11 out of the top 15.

    Millennials

     

    And while the number of millennials living at home with mom continues to surge, 1 out of 4 of them are neither enrolled in school or working.

    It is easy to think of young people living in their parents’ home as a homogeneous group, as though they were all unemployed and dependent on their parents’ support. At 24.2 million people, the population of 18- to 34-year-olds living at home is a large and diverse group. Most of them-about 81 percent—are either working or going to school. This should not be surprising because most people aged 18 to 24 are living in their parents’ home, attending classes or working part-time. On the other hand, we might be surprised if their older peers do not contribute to the family budget because they have had more time to finish school and find a stable job. Yet, of the 8.4 million 25- to 34-year-olds living at home, about 1 in 4 are idle, meaning they are not in school and do not work.

     

    Who are these young adults who are not in the labor force or going to school? They tend to be older millennials who are White or Black and have only a high school education, compared with their peers who are working or going to school while living at home. But they may not be idle for want of effort. They are more likely to have a child, so they may be caring for family, and over one-quarter have a disability of some kind (Table 6). That so many are disabled suggests that they have limitations in their ability to attend classes, study, find work, or keep a regular job. Recent stories on boomerang children returning home focus on economic downturns, unforgiving job markets, and high rents.30 Though often overlooked in these stories, young people’s health may play an important role in their decision to live with parents.

    Millennials

     

    A bright future awaits, America.

  • The Reason Behind The Sales-Surge For Nuclear-Proof Bunkers

    Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

    On April 15th, Zero Hedge bannered «Doomsday Bunker Sales Soar After Trump's Military Strikes», but this growth in the market for nuclear-proof bunkers is hardly new; it started during the Obama Administration, in Obama’s second term, specifically after the Russia-friendly government of Ukraine, next-door to Russia, got taken over in 2014 by a rabidly anti-Russian government that’s backed by the U.S. government.

    This boom in nuclear-bunker sales is only increasing now, as the new U.S. President, Donald Trump, tries to out-do his predecessor in demonstrating his hostility toward the other nuclear superpower, Russia, and displaying his determination to overthrow the leader of any nation (such as Syria and Iran) that is at all friendly toward Russia. For earlier examples of feature-articles on this booming market for homes that allegedly would enable buyers to survive the first blast effects, and the most immediate nuclear contaminations, of a Third World War, see here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here

    This surging demand for nuclear bunkers started right after the U.S. government arranged a coup in Ukraine that replaced the existing Moscow-friendly democratically elected President by installing a rabidly anti-Russian Prime Minister and national-security appointees from Ukraine’s two nazi Parties, the Right Sector Party, and the former Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine (which the CIA renamed «Svoboda» meaning «Freedom» so as to enable it to be acceptable to the American public). Then, the intensifying U.S. effort to replace the secular pro-Russian Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by a sectarian jihadist government that would be dependent upon the Saudi-Qatari-UAE-Turkish-U.S. alliance, has only intensified further the demand for these types of «second homes». 

    Whereas all of the purchasers of these bunkers are being kept secret, the U.S. federal government provides, free-of-charge, to top officials, nuclear bunkers, so as to allow the then-dictatorship (continuation of America’s current dictatorship) to function, in order, supposedly, to serve their country, which they’d already have destroyed (along with destroying the rest of the world) by their determination to conquer Russia. No one knows what the reality would actually be in such a post-WW-III world, except that there would be no functioning electrical grid, nights would be totally dark for anyone whose sole reliance is on the grid, and all rivers and other water-sources would be intensely radioactive from the fallout, so that groundwater soon would also be unusable — and, of course, the air itself would also be toxic; so, lifespans would be enormously shortened, and excruciating, not to say extremely depressing.

    No one has published a computer-model of a U.S.-Russia nuclear war, because doing that would be unacceptable to the «military-industrial complex» including the U.S. government, but in 2014 a «limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan» was computer-modeled and projected to produce global ozone-depletion and «the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years», which «could trigger a global nuclear famine». But such a war would be only 50 bombs instead of the 10,000+ that would be used in a WW III scenario; and, so, everyone who is paying money in order to survive WW III is simply wasting money.

    But, somehow, there are people who either want a Russia-U.S. war, or else whose preparations for it are directed at surviving in such a world, instead of at ending the current grip on political power in the United States, on the part of the people who are working to bring about this type of (end to the) world. At least the owners of the major U.S. armaments-firms, such as Raytheon Corporation, would have an explosive financial boost during the build-up toward that war, but buying bunkers in order to survive it, would seem to be a dubious follow-up to such an investment-plan. On the other hand, it might appeal to some thrill-seekers who don’t even feel the need for a good computer-simulation of a post-WW-III world; maybe they’ve got money to burn and a craving to experience ‘the ultimate thrill’, and don’t want unpleasant knowledge to spoil the thrill.

    After President Trump threw out his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and replaced him with the rabidly anti-Russian H.R. McMaster, and then lobbed 59 cruise missiles against the Syrian government (which is protected by the Russian government), the cacophony of press that had been calling for President Trump to be impeached and replaced by his rabidly anti-Russian Vice President Mike Pence, considerably quieted down; and, so, the Obama-Trump market for nuclear bunkers seems now to be established on very sound foundations, for the foreseeable immediate future. And, if anyone in the U.S. federal government has been planning to prepare the U.S. for a post-WW-III world, that has not been publicly announced, and no newsmedia have even been inquiring about it — so, nothing can yet be said about it.

    The general message, thus far, is that, after World War III, everyone will be on his or her own, but that the dictators will (supposedly) be in a far better position than will anyone outside that ruling group. However, if the survivors end up merely envying the dead, it will be no laughing matter, regardless of how silly those nuclear bunkers are. It would be nothing funny at all.

    On April 17th, Scott Humor, the Research Director at the geostrategic site «The Saker,» headlined «Trump has lost control over the Pentagon», and he listed (and linked-to) the following signs that Trump is following through with his promise to allow the Pentagon to control U.S. international relations:

    March 14ththe US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12  gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada.

    April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan

    On April 7th the Pentagon US bombed Syria’s main command center in fight against terrorists

    April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border

    April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit’s Air Mobility Command.

    April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO

    April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance’s increased deployment in Eastern Europe

    On April 13th, the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)

    April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zor killing hundreds of people

    April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea

    April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe

    April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan. The US branded it a «unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region».

    April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively

    On April 16ththe US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s.

    Mr. Humor drew attention to an article that had been published in «The Daily Beast» a year ago, on 8 April 2016, «CALL OF DUTY: The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President. Gen. James Mattis doesn’t necessarily want to be president—but that’s not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there». Though none of the alleged «billionaires» were named there, one prominent voice backing Mattis for the Presidency, in that article, was Bill Kristol, the Rupert Murdoch agent who co-founded the Project for a New American Century, which was the first influential group pushing the «regime-change in Iraq» idea during the late 1990s, and which also advocated for the foreign policies that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump, have since been pursuing, each in his own way. It seems that whomever those «billionaires» were, they’ve now gotten their wish, with a figurehead Donald Trump as President, and James Mattis actually running foreign policy. Humor also noted that Mattis wants to boost the budget of the Pentagon by far more than the 9% that Trump has proposed. Perhaps Trump knew that even to get a 9% Pentagon increase passed this year would be almost impossible to achieve. First, the unleashed Pentagon needs to place the military into an ‘emergency’ situation, so as to persuade the public to clamor for a major invasion. That ‘emergency’ might be the immediate goal, toward which the March-April timeline of events that Humor documented is aiming.

    As regards the military comparisons of the personnel and equipment on both sides of a U.S.-Russia war, the key consideration would actually be not the 7,000 nuclear warheads that Russia has versus the 6,800 nuclear warheads that the U.S. has, but the chief motivation on each of the respective sides: conquest on the part of the U.S. aristocracy, defense on the part of the Russian aristocracy. (Obviously, the U.S. having continued its NATO military alliance after the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact military alliance ended in 1991, indicates America’s aggressive intent against Russia. That became a hyper-aggressive intent when NATO absorbed Russia’s former Warsaw Pact allies. NATO even brought in some parts of the former USSR itself, when in 2004, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, entered NATO, and in 2014 U.S. President Obama tried to get Ukraine into NATO, and these five countries hadn’t even been Warsaw Pacters, but had instead been parts of the USSR itself. It was as if Russia had grabbed not only America’s allies, but some states in the U.S. itself. This constituted extreme aggression, and shows the U.S. aristocracy’s obsessive intent for global empire — to include Russia.) 

    Any limited war between the two powers would become a nuclear war once the side that’s losing this limited war becomes faced with the choice of either surrendering that limited territory (now likely Syria) or else going nuclear. On Russia’s side, allowing such military conquest of an ally would be unacceptable; the war would then expand with the U.S. and its allies invading Russian territory for Russia’s continuing refusal to accept the U.S.-Saudi and other allies’ grabbing of Syria (on ‘humanitarian grounds’, of course — as if, for example, the Sauds aren’t far more brutal than Assad). After the traditional-forces’ invasion of Russia, Russia’s yielding its sovereignty over its own land has never been part of Russia’s culture: If Russia were to be invaded by allies of the U.S., then launching all of Russia’s nuclear weapons against the U.S. and America’s invasion-allies, would be a reasonably expected result. Here’s how it would develop: On America’s side, which (very unlike Russia) has no record of any foreign invasion against its own mainland (other than the Sauds’ own 9/11 ‘false flag’ attacks), the likely response in the event of Russia’s crushing its invaders would be for the U.S. President to seek to negotiate a face-saving end to that limited war, just as the American President Richard Nixon did regarding America’s invasion and occupation of Vietnam.

    However, a reasonable question can be raised as to whether, in such a situation, Russia would accept anything less than America’s total surrender, much as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in WW II was determined to accept nothing less than Germany’s total surrender, at the end of that war. If Trump wants to play Hitler, then Putin (acting in accord with Russian tradition) would probably play both FDR and Stalin, even if it meant the end of the world. For Russia to be conquered, especially by such intense evil as those invaders would be representing, would probably be viewed by Russians as being even worse than ending everything, and this would probably be Putin’s view as well. If America did not simply capitulate, Putin would probably nuclear-blitz-attack the U.S. and its allies, rather than give Trump (or Pence) the opportunity to blitz-attack Russia and to sacrifice all of the U.S. side’s invading troops in Russia so as to ‘win’ the overall war and finally conquer Russia. It would be like WW II, except with nuclear weapons — and thus an entirely different type of historical outcome after the war. 

    Consequently, either the U.S. will cease its designs on Russia, or there will be WW III. Russia’s sovereignty will never be yielded, especially not to the thuggish gang who have come to rule the U.S. (both as «Republicans» and as «Democrats»). The bipartisan neoconservative dream of America’s aristocrats (world-conquest) will never be achieved. Russia will never accept it. If America’s rulers continue to press it, the result will be even worse than when the Nazis tried. It’s just an ugly pipe-dream, but any attempt to make it real would be even uglier. And nobody who buys a ‘nuclear-proof bunker’ will get what he or she thinks is being bought — safety in such a world as that. It won’t exist.

  • "We're At The Mercy Of The Algos"; More News Sites Say Facebook's 'Fake News' Filter Is Killing Traffic

    Yesterday we highlighted an article written by the Chicago Tribune’s Deputy Editor for Digital News, Kurt Gessler, which provided a fairly compelling set of facts to suggest that Facebook’s ‘fake news’ filter was suppressing the distribution of articles from media sources which undoubtedly consider themselves “legitimate new outlets” (with the definition of ‘legitimate’ left solely to the discretion of Facebook execs, of course).

    As it turns out, the Chicago Tribune was not alone as Gessler’s article prompted a whole host of digital publishers to come forward with similar stories of traffic destruction.  Per Digiday:

    Facebook’s news feed algorithm changes have been part of publishing reality for many years. But to Matt Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe, “last month was probably the worst we’ve had in reach in about a year. The fact everyone else is seeing it is a little bit troubling.”

     

    Aysha Khan said Facebook reach has also been sliding at the Religion News Service, where she’s social media editor.

     

    “Reach spiked in the summer, and we started hitting 15, 25K reach on bigger posts that were polarizing,” Khan said. “It wasn’t just political posts, but any kind of interviews. Anything that had potential to get a big reaction got a big reaction. But then we noticed that kind of stopped, and by January, it was just gone. Now we’re worse off than we were to start with.”

     

    The change has happened even as RNS has been doing more video, including live video, and photos, things that Facebook has encouraged. Khan said RNS is still trying, though, with plans for more regularly scheduled live video and videos generally.

    Meanwhile, Vocativ…

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    and Chicago Magazine also corroborated the Tribune’s data.

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    “In my mind, we’re kind of at the mercy of the algorithm,” Khan said. “But there’s a lot of stories that are getting underwhelming responses that readers can’t even see.

    Of course, we would argue that any business model which relies on Facebook for distribution is fundamentally flawed.  That said, we have to admit that the irony of Facebook’s ‘fake news’ crusade ensnaring some of the nation’s most recognizable, elitist mainstream media outlets is, to the say the least, humorous. 

    * * *

    For those who missed our original post on the topic, see below:

    Back in December we wrote about the efforts of Facebook to combat the spread of “fake news” over social media with the introduction of a filter intended to flag ‘fake’ content so that users wouldn’t haven’t to go through the hassle of critically analyzing information on their own.  As we noted at the time, it was a genius plan, except for one small issue:  who determines what is considered “fake news” and how exactly do they draw those conclusions?  From our prior post (see “Facebook Launches Campaign To Combat “Fake News”“):

    The first problem, however, immediately emerges because as NBC notes, “legitimate news outlets won’t be able to be flagged”, which then begs the question who or what is considered “legitimate news outlets”, does it include the likes of NYTs and the WaPos, which during the runup to the election declared on a daily basis, that Trump has no chance of winning, which have since posted defamatory stories about so-called “Russian propaganda news sites”, admitting subsequently that their source data was incorrect, and which many consider to be the source of “fake news”.

     

    Also, just who makes the determination what is considered “legitimate news outlets.”

    Now, it seems as though the first confirmed victim of Facebook’s ‘fake news’ crusade may be none other than the Chicago Tribune, a newspaper that undoubtedly considers itself a “legitimate news outlet.”

    The discovery was highlighted in an article written by the Chicago Tribune’s own Deputy Editor for Digital News, Kurt Gessler, who noted that a curious thing happened back in December when Facebook first changed up its algorithms to target fake news, namely their traffic crashed.  Per the chart below, the typical Tribune post went from attracting the interest of 30-35k people down to 15-20k people in a matter of months.

     

    Meanwhile, the number of Tribune articles shared over Facebook that reached less than 10,000 viewers (i.e. the “duds”) skyrocketed while the number of highly successful articles, those reaching 50,000+ people, simultaneously plunged.

     

    So, either the Chicago Tribune suddenly started producing a lot of garbage that no one wanted to read, which just happened to coincide with the implementation of Facebook’s new “fake news” algo, or the media outlet was pumping out content that Facebook suddenly figured to fit the definition of ‘fake’.

    Certainly, the issue couldn’t be attributed to a loss of followers….

    …or less content creation.

     

    Perhaps Facebook’s algos are better at identifying “fake news” than we thought.

  • Paul Tudor Jones Has A Message For Janet Yellen: "Be Terrified"

    Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones has a message for Janet Yellen and investors: Be very afraid.

    Echoing a number of recent high profile managers' warnings…

    Guggenheim Partner’s Scott Minerd said he expected a "significant correction" this summer or early fall,  citing as potential triggers President Donald Trump’s struggle to enact policies, including a tax overhaul, as well as geopolitical risks.

     

    Philip Yang, a macro manager who has run Willowbridge Associates since 1988, sees a stock plunge of between 20 and 40 percent, according to people familiar with his thinking, citing events like a severe slowdown in China or a greater-than-expected rise in inflation that could lead to bigger rate hikes.

     

    Seth Klarman, who runs the $30 billion Baupost Group, told investors in a letter last week that corporate insiders have been heavy sellers of their company shares. To him, that’s “a sign that those who know their companies the best believe valuations have become full or excessive."

     

    Larry Fink, whose BlackRock Inc. oversees $5.4 trillion mostly betting on rising markets, acknowledged this week that stocks could fall between 5 and 10 percent if corporate earnings disappoint.

     

    Another multi-billion-dollar hedge fund manager, who asked not to be named, said that rising interest rates in the U.S. mean fewer companies will be able to borrow money to pay dividends and buy back shares. About 30 percent of the jump in the S&P 500 between the third quarter of 2009 and the end of last year was fueled by buybacks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The manager says he has been shorting the market, expecting as much as a 10 percent correction in U.S. equities this year.

     

    Even billionaire Leon Cooperman — long a stock bull — wrote to investors in his Omega Advisors that he thinks U.S. shares might stand still until August or September, in part because of flagging confidence in the so-called Trump reflation trade.

    Their views aren’t widespread. They’ve seen the carnage suffered by a few money managers who have been waving caution flags for awhile now, as the eight-year equity rally marched on.

    But, the nervousness feels a bit more urgent now, as Bloomberg reports,  legendary macro trader Paul Tudor Jones, who runs the $10 billion Tudor Investment hedge fund, says that years of low interest rates have bloated stock valuations to a level not seen since 2000, right before the Nasdaq tumbled 75 percent over two-plus years.

    That measure — the value of the S&P relative to the size of the economy should be “terrifying” to a central banker, Jones said earlier this month at a closed-door Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, according to people who heard him.

     

    In fact Total US Market Capitalization-to-GDP is struggling to bust above its 2007 highs…

    While the billionaire didn’t say when a market turn might come, or what the magnitude of the fall might be, he did pinpoint a likely culprit.

    Just as portfolio insurance caused the 1987 rout, he says, the new danger zone is the half-trillion dollars in risk parity funds. These funds aim to systematically spread risk equally across different asset classes by putting more money in lower volatility securities and less in those whose prices move more dramatically. Because risk-parity funds have been scooping up equities of late as volatility hit historic lows, some market participants, Jones included, believe they’ll be forced to dump them quickly in a stock tumble, exacerbating any decline.

    “Risk parity,” Jones told the Goldman audience, “will be the hammer on the downside.”

    Indeed, with all that low-vol leveraged, it wouldn't be the first time…

     

  • Police Officer, Kalashinikov-Yielding Shooter Killed In Paris "Terrorist" Attack; ISIS Claims Responsibility

    Summary:

    • One police officer has been killed in a shooting on the Champs Elysees in Paris
    • The shooting suspect, who was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, has been shot dea
    • An arrest warrant has been issued for the second suspect who arrived from Belgium by train
    • One shooter has been identified as 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi (aka Abu Yusuf al-Baljik) who was living in a suburb east of Paris
    • ISIS has claimed the attack and has identified the attacker as Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki
    • A ‘War weapon’ was used in attack
    • Central Paris remains on in lockdown
    • Attack comes three days before presidential election

    * * *

    Update 14 The Associated Press reports that French police have surrounded and searched the family home of Karim Cheurfi (aka Abu Yusuf al-Baljik), a 39-year-old with a police record, in relation to today’s attack.  Cheurfi’s home is located in the town of Chelles.

    Ch

     

    Karim Cheurfi, now known as Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki, was convicted of shooting at police officers in 2001, L’Express reports. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, but that term was reduced to 15 years in 2005, the newspaper reports.

    According to a 2001 report from Le Parisien, Cheurfi, then 23, stole a gun from a police officer and shot him three times, in the lung, leg and foot. He also fired at other officers.

    * * *

    Update 13: French BFM TV reports that the attacker had boasted of wanting to kill police on the Telegram messaging service.

    Meanwhile, Francois Fillon has called for this Sunday’s presidential election first round to be suspended following the Paris attack. 

    * * *

    Update 12: Through its news agency Amaq, ISIS has claimed the attack on French police in #Paris France, and has identified the attacker as Belgian Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki

    * * *

    Update 11: A witness quoted by the Telegraph said he saw the gunman fire six times and then hide behind a truck. “He fired at the police and then he crouched behind the lorry. Then he got up and ran and was shot by the police.”

    Forensics officers in white boiler suits with hoods were deployed on the Champs-Elysées.

    Meanwhile, President Hollande said: “We are convinced the motive is likely to be terrorism.” Both Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon have cancelled campaign trips tomorrow.

    * * *

    Update 10: According to a French government spokesman the Paris assailant used a “war weapon” to fire on officers, previously identified as a Kalashnikov rifle.

    Cyril, 40, a witness, said: “I was on the corner beside Marks and Spencer and Zara, waiting in my car for a friend, 10 or 15 metres from a police van. I saw a man all in black approaching the van as if he was asking for information, and he took out a Kalashnikov and fired, with his right hand.”

    He added: “I started my car and pushed three or four other cars so I could do a U-turn. I’m totally certain he meant to kill the police. He was wearing a big black quileted coat and had hidden the gun under it.”

    Update 9: The French police have issued an arrest warrant for a second suspect in Paris shooting who arrived from Belgium by train, Reuters reports.

    * * *

    Update 8: In conflicting reports, the French Interior Ministry now says that no other terror events occured, adds that a second policeman was not killed and that the gundman has not been “precisely identified”. Additionally, police have reportedly stated that the dead attacker appeared to be alone.

    * * *

    Update 7: A police helicopter is said to be patrolling the area of the shooting. A police source said it was equipped with a huge searchlight to help track down any attackers that might be on the run.

    * * *

    Update 6: A bomb disposal team is checking the attacker’s vehicle according to the French Interior Ministry. Meanwhile, security forces are searching the home of the dead gunman in the east of Paris.

    * * *

    Update 5: French anti-terrorist prosecutors have opened an investigation, confirming that the motive is believed to have been terrorism, and the attacker was known to the intelligence services, security sources said. They added that he had been flagged as a serious threat to national security.

    Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the second policeman injured in shooting has died of his wounds, police sources told Reuters.

    President Hollande has called an emergency security meeting. Bernard Cazeneuve, the prime minister, has joined President Hollande at the Elysée Palace for the meeting.

    * * *

    Update 4: French BFM TV reports that at least one assailant was known to French authorities.

    * * *

    Update 3: BREAKING – Shots fired at new location near Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris: police source. Meanwhile, FranceTV Info reports that there were several assailants in the original shooting, some of whom were still at large.

    * * *

    Update 2:  An Interior Ministry spokesman says on BFM TV that officers were deliberately targeted in Paris shooting.

    * * *

    Update: A robbery apparently took place at same time as shooting

    Pierre-Henry Brandet, the interior ministry spokesman, said one police officer was killed and two seriously wounded. “The attacker was shot dead by police and the area remains cordoned off,” Mr Brandet said.

    A car stopped near a police van before the attack and was found abandoned. It was suspected that the gunman used it to reach the scene of the attack.

    Mr Brandet said a robbery may have been carried out at the same time as the attack. It was unclear if the two were linked.

     

    * * *

    With just days until the first round of the French presidential election, one policeman was killed and another wounded in a shooting incident on the historic Champs-Elysees in Paris.

    The shootout took place around 21:00 (local time) near the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station in the 8th district of the French capital, in front of a Marks and Spencer store, French RTL TV and BFM TV reported.

    The who fired on police on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France’s presidential election has been killed, the source said. A police source also said there had been two assailants, and a witness told Reuters that one man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a Kalashinkov machine gun.

    Police state there were at least two people involved in the shooting, one of them has been killed. One of the suspects got out of a car and began shooting “with a Kalashnikov”, hitting a policeman, an eyewitness has told Reuters.

    The officer killed was apparently in a car stopped at a red light.

    Yvan Assioma of the police union Alliance said:

    The exact circumstances are still unclear but I can confirm the tragic death of one of our colleagues. Our thoughts are very much with the family. One or several attackers have been shot dead by the police. Some officers were hit but the bullets were stopped by their bulletproof vests, but two were hit.

    French police say shooting in the Champs-Elysees area of Paris in which one police officer has been killed was probably “a terrorist act”

    French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire nears a Marks and Spencers store.

    The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory.

    France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

    As Reuters adds, earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.

    A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.

     

    Live Feeds:

     

      * * *

    The French police have told the local population to avoid the area of the Champs Elysees which is on lock down, while social media add that riot police has been dispatched.

    According to subsequent news reports the shooter, who was allegedly armed with a Kalashnikov, has been killed.

    Police said that the shooting was probably a “terrorist act”

  • Ex-DEA Spokeswoman: 'Marijuana Is Safe', Kept Illegal Because It's A 'Cash Cow'

    Authored by Alex Thomas via TheAntiMedia.org,

    Before the heroin epidemic became a nationwide problem, claiming thousands of lives; Plano, Texas, was already entrenched. And like many of the places caught in the crosshairs of the continuing heroin crisis, Plano is the last place that one would expect to be swept into the opioid tidal wave.

    Anti-Media recently interviewed Texas-native Belita Nelson, who has had an interesting few decades.

    For six years she termed herself the “chief propagandist” — or spokeswoman — for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Before that, as a Plano mother and teacher, Belita noticed what was happening in her community. She described Plano as an area rivaling Newtown, Connecticut, or Cape Cod — tight-knit regions where tragedy strikes hard and deep.

    She explained that [Plano] has the best school districts in the state of Texas…it’s a gated community. And in 1998, for heroin to be that prevalent in the community was stunning. Stunning. We got all the media attention because we were this upscale Texas neighborhood that nobody thought would be inundated with heroin.”

     

    Nelson decided to take action, saying, I decided I’d had it. I was going to organize my community and fight this thing at the grassroots level. But we were never grassroots because the first thing I did was go on the Oprah show for the DEA.”

    Belita stresses that she was never officially employed by the DEA but traveled for six years as a sort of unofficial spokeswoman for the agency.  The group recruited her because their goals aligned, and in many ways, she was perfect for the role. She was a mother who had witnessed the toll of heroin first-hand. She was passionate and knew what she was talking about. Belita spoke to schools and parent groups and appeared on television networks.

    With the help of a former Dallas Cowboy, she founded the Starfish Foundation to tackle heroin addiction. That organization ran until 2004 when one of the employees pocketed the donation money and left the foundation scrambling in the dark.

    In our interview, Belita was hesitant to speak too openly but mentioned that when she first went to work with the DEA (she was contacted and became familiar with agency’s goals), she was told “‘Marijuana is safe, we know it’s safe, but it’s our cash cow and we will never, ever, give it up.’ When the DEA seizes a car or makes a drug bust, it’s likely they’ll find wads of money. They turn in the pot (or other drugs) — and keep the cash. Civil asset forfeiture law essentially gives the police and feds free reign, and they have confiscated billions of dollars from Americans, a majority of whom have not been charged with a crime.

    Belita, like many people, posits that the DEA is not willing to give up the long disproven idea that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” Unlike heroin, most people are open to trying marijuana. At high school or college parties, it’s much more likely that a joint is being passed around than a needle. While a joint conjures up images of Bob Weir or SOJA on stage, a needle brings to mind a lifeless Philip Seymour Hoffman or Basquiat.

    Belita cut ties with the DEA in 2004 after becoming frustrated with the system and the government’s need to keep marijuana criminalized, despite knowledge that the drug was safe.

    While at the Starfish Foundation, Belita heard time and time again the tale of pot-smoking teenagers who were pushed into heroin simply because marijuana carries harsh penalties. And it’s a story that’s been told repeatedly. Today Belita works for the Gridiron Cannabis Foundation,  a nonprofit dedicated to fighting CTE, concussions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, neuropathy, dementia, chronic in?ammation, Leukemia, and brain and other cancers. But the group’s pockets that only stretch so far.

    In contrast, her opposition — and the opposition of anyone fighting the heroin epidemic and hoping to legalize marijuana — are big pharma companies.

    Recently, we’ve seen pharma companies hit the grassroots to secure influence. Anti-Media and a number of other news outlets recently reported on an opioid company pumping half a million dollars into Arizona anti-marijuana groups in an effort to keep the plant illegal. These sorts of campaigns do not serve the dead in Plano and the hundreds of thousands around the nation suffering from opioid addiction. Rather, they benefit CEOs and pharmaceutical groups who have invested millions in developing drugs that minimize pain. Unfortunately, they come with a dangerously high likelihood of addiction.

    Big pharma corporations see dollar signs in every painkiller that moves across a counter, but some of which could easily be replaced by marijuana, which is increasingly proven to help decrease pain. So the American consumer, from Plano, Texas, to Portland, Maine, is faced with the dilemma — is it better to be a living Bob Weir or a dead Basquiat?

  • Unnamed Sources Tell CNN Fake News: U.S. Officials Preparing Charges Against Julian Assange

    I’m going out on a limb here and calling this one ‘fake news’ on behalf of CNN, Washpo and the other shills who are trying every trick in the bag to avenge the loss of Hillary Clinton and the hacking of John Podesta’s email box. This is all about vengeance. Nothing would delight Pizza Podesta more than visiting Assange inside of a maximum protected prison.

    The article that I am about to reference by CNN Fake News, oddly leaves out the President as part of the American government. It’s as if he wasn’t even a factor in all this Wikileaks business. By the way, Trump is on record saying he ‘loved’ Wikileaks and used them as a news source, continuously throughout the campaign.
     

     

     
    But according to unnamed sources, deep inside of the government, CNN says the United States are preparing charges against the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.

    The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
     
    Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.
     
    During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.

    The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
     
    Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seeking to avoid an arrest warrant on rape charges in Sweden. In recent months, US officials had focused on the possibility that a new government in Ecuador would expel Assange and he could be arrested. But the left-leaning presidential candidate who won the recent election in the South American nation has promised to continue to harbor Assange.
    Last week in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, CIA Director Mike Pompeo went further than any US government official in describing a role by WikiLeaks that went beyond First Amendment activity.

     
    CNN cited comments made by the new CIA boss, Mike Pompeo, last week, who said “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
     
    It’s obvious to anyone with a brain, the deep state, DNC and the CIA loathe Assange and would like nothing more than to see him rot in an American cell. Assange is no different from any reporter at any of our fantastic media organizations — relying upon sources to publish information. If we are going to toss Assange into a prison cell for publishing leaked documents, then what should we do with all of the journalists at the NY Times, Washpo and CNN —  who do that every single day of their miserable lives?
     
    Here’s CNN peddling the false narrative that Russia was working in concert with Wikileaks, an assertion that has never been proven. In fact, the only attempt the government has made to date to tie Russian hacking to our elections turned out to be a comical farce, widely mocked and jeered as non-credible.
     

    US intelligence agencies have also determined that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish emails aimed at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as part of a broader operation to meddle in the US 2016 presidential election. Hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and officials in the Clinton campaign and used intermediaries to pass along the documents to WikiLeaks, according to a public assessment by US intelligence agencies.

     
    CNN then pivoted to today’s presser with Attorney General, Jeff Sessions — providing the smoking gun evidence they needed to confirm that the government was, in fact, going to file charges against Assange.

    “We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.

     
    Notice how he never actually mentioned Assange or Wikileaks? Here’s the clip. You be the judge.
     

     
    CNN then tried to get confirmation from Assange’s attorney —  but got nothing instead.

    “We’ve had no communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have brought any charges against Mr. Assange,” said Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack. “They’ve been unwilling to have any discussion at all, despite our repeated requests, that they let us know what Mr. Assange’s status is in any pending investigations. There’s no reason why Wikileaks should be treated differently from any other publisher.”
     
    Pollack said WikiLeaks is just like the Washington Post and the New York Times, which routinely publish stories based on classified information. WikiLeaks, he says, publishes information that is in “the public’s interest to know not just about the United States but other governments around the world.”

    This sums up how I feel about the matter.
     

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    Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

     

  • A New "Anomaly" Emerges In Chinese Markets

    The Shanghai Composite Index, notorious for its wild swings over the past two years, has gone 85 trading days without a loss of more than 1% on a closing basis, the longest stretch since the market’s infancy in 1992.

     

    The last 4 days have highlighted the unusual effect in Chinese stocks.. each time the Shanghai Composite dropped over 1% (red dotted line) it was miraculously lifted to ensure it closed with a loss less than 1%…

     

    As Bloomberg reports, authorities favor a steady stock market because it helps companies fund investment and repay debt by issuing new shares, which could help boost economic growth, according to Yin Ming, a vice president at Baptized Capital in Shanghai.

    “The national team is behind it,” Yin said. “State funds will likely continue to be a market stabilizer.”

    For some investors, it’s a sign that state-directed funds are putting a floor under daily market swings – a development that presents short-term buying opportunities when the Shanghai Composite dips more than 1%  during intraday trading – but when this happens in the US its completely normal and defended as animal spirits that mean "stocks just want to go higher."

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