Archive for the ‘Rex Dexter’ Category

https://desultoryheroics.com/2019/06/11/democracy-vs-the-putin-nazis/
Posted By Luther Blissett By CJ Hopkins: Consent Factory 6/11/19

As predicted, the global capitalist ruling classes have been using every weapon in their arsenal to marginalize, stigmatize, delegitimize, and otherwise eliminate any and all forms of dissent from neoliberal ideology, and in particular from their new official narrative … “Democracy versus The Putin-Nazis.” 

Back in January 2018, I wrote this piece about The War on Dissent, which, in case you haven’t noticed, is going gangbusters. 

For over two years, the corporate media have been pounding out an endless series of variations on this major theme, namely, that “democracy is under attack” by a conspiracy of Russians and neo-Nazis that magically materialized out of the ether during the Summer of 2016. 

The intelligence agencies, political elites, academia, celebrities, social media personalities, and other organs of the culture industry have been systematically reifying this official narrative through constant repetition. 

The Western masses have been inundated with innumerable articles, editorials, television news and talk show segments, books, social media posts, and various other forms of messaging whipping up hysteria over “Russians” and “fascists.” 

At this point, it is no longer just propaganda. 

It has become the new “truth.” It has become “reality.” 

Becoming “reality” is, of course, the ultimate goal of every ideology. An ideology is just a system of ideas, and is thus fair game for critique and dissent. “Reality” is not fair game for dissent. 

It is not up for debate or challenge, not by “serious,” “legitimate” people. “Reality” is simply “the way it is.” 

It is axiomatic. 
It is apothegmatic. 
It’s not a belief or an interpretation. 
It is not subject to change or revision. 
It is the immortal, immutable Word of God … or whatever deity or deity-like concept the ruling classes and the masses they rule accept as the Final Arbiter of Truth. 

In our case, this would be Science, or Reason, rather than some supernatural being, but in terms of ideology there isn’t much difference. 

Every system of belief, regardless of its nature, ultimately depends on political power and power relations to enforce its beliefs, which is to say, to make them “real.” 

OK, whenever I write about “reality” and “truth,” I get a few rather angry responses from folks who appear to think I’m denying the existence of objective reality. 

I’m not … for example, this chair I’m sitting on is absolutely part of objective reality, a physical object that actually exists. 

The screen you’re probably reading these words on is also part of objective reality. 

I am not saying there is no reality. 

What I’m saying is, “reality” is a concept, a concept invented and developed by people … a concept that serves a variety of purposes, some philosophical, some political. 

It’s the political purposes I’m interested in. 

Think of “reality” as an ideological tool … a tool in the hands of those with the power to designate what is “real” and what isn’t. 

Doctors, teachers, politicians, police, scientists, priests, pundits, experts, parents — these are the enforcers of “reality.” 

The powerless do not get to decide what is “real.” 

Ask someone suffering from schizophrenia. 
Or … I’m sorry, is it bipolar disorder? 
Or oppositional defiant disorder? 

I can’t keep all these new disorders psychiatrists keep “discovering” straight. 

Or ask a Palestinian living in Gaza. 
Or the mother of a Black kid the cops shot for no reason. 
Ask Julian Assange. 
Ask the families of all those “enemy combatants” Obama droned. 
Ask the “conspiracy theorists” on Twitter digitally screaming at anyone who will listen about what is and isn’t “the truth.” 

Each of them will give you their version of “reality,” and you and I may agree with some of them, and some of their beliefs may be supported with facts, but that will not make what they believe “reality.” 

Power is what makes “reality” “reality.” 
Not facts. 
Not evidence. 
Not knowledge. 
Power. 

Those in power, or aligned with those in power, or parroting the narratives of those in power, understand this (whether consciously or not). 

Those without power mostly do not, and thus we continue to “speak truth to power,” as if those in power gave a shit. 

They don’t. 

The powerful are not arguing with us. 

They are not attempting to win a debate about what is and isn’t “true,” or what did or didn’t “really” happen. 

They are declaring what did or didn’t happen. 

They are telling us what is and is not “reality,” and demonstrating what happens to those who disagree. 

The “Democracy versus The Putin-Nazis” narrative is our new “reality,” whether we like it or not. 

It does not matter one iota that there is zero evidence to support this narrative, other than the claims of intelligence agencies, politicians, the corporate media, and other servants of the ruling classes. 

The Russians are “attacking democracy” because the ruling classes tell us they are. 

“Fascism is on the march again” because the ruling classes say it is. 

Anyone who disagrees is a “Putin-sympathizer,” a “Putin-apologist,” or “linked to Russia,” or “favored by Russia,” or an “anti-Semite,” or a “fascist apologist.” 

Question the official narrative about the Gratuitously Baby Gassing Monster of Syria and you’re an Assad apologist, a Russian bot network, or a plagiarizing Red-Brown infiltrator. 

Criticize the corporate media for disseminating cheap McCarthyite smears, and you’re a Tulsi-stanning Hindu Nazi-apologist. 

God help you if you should appear on FOX, in which case you are a Nazi-legitimizer! 

A cursory check of the Internet today revealed that “far-right Facebook groups are spreading hate to millions in Europe” by means of some sort of hypnogenic content that just looking at it turns you into a Nazi. 

Our democracy-loving friends at The Atlantic Council are disappointed by Trump’s refusal to sign the “Christchurch Call,” a multilateral statement encouraging corporations to censor the Internet … and fascism is fashionable in Italy again!” 

This post-Orwellian, neo-McCarthyite mass hysteria is not going to stop … not until the global capitalist ruling classes have suppressed the current “populist” insurgency and restored “normality” throughout the Western world. 

Until then, it’s going to be pretty much non-stop “Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis.” 

So, unless you’re enjoying our new “reality,” or are willing to conform to it for some other reason, prepare to be smeared as “a Russia-loving, Putin-apologizing conspiracy theorist,” or a “fascism-enabling, Trump-loving Nazi,” or some other type of insidiously Slavic, white supremacist, mass-murder enthusiast. 

Things are only going to get uglier as the American election season ramps up. 

I mean, come on … you don’t really believe that the global capitalist ruling classes are going to let Trump serve a second term, do you?

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Oscar Platt – Tue, Feb 26, 2019 https://russia-insider.com/en/putin-explains-detail-why-his-mach-20-missiles-change-world-balance-power/ri26377

Russia’s new Avangard (Fr. “Avant-garde”) missile system is a technological wonder. Scientists and engineers managed to overcome a number of technological hurdles, like how to keep a vehicle from disintegrating while traveling at mach-20, with temperatures reaching 3000 degrees Celsius. 

In light of the US’ withdrawal from the INF treaty, this is a big development.

It is also alarming, because Sunday evening Dmitry Kiselyov, TV personality and Kremlin confidant, listed Russian targets inside the US, including the Pentagon and Camp David, Maryland.


Transcript 1:https://youtu.be/NvXiO_iItGg

But our American friends invented the anti-ballistic missile defence system to safeguard against these ballistic missiles.

Therefore, we had to provide an adequate, asymmetrical but serious response. What kind of a response is this?

The Avangard system is our response.

A winged glider vehicle moves at Mach 20-plus inside dense atmospheric layers; it was difficult to imagine this in the past.

In terms of our defense capability, this amounts to the same landmark achievement as the launch of the first space satellite.

This is because that launch implied ballistic missiles, and we are now talking about a new strategic weapons system that moves along a flat trajectory inside dense atmospheric layers.

This is another delivery vehicle?

Yes, of course, this amounts to another delivery vehicle. But this is an absolute breakthrough in terms of modern technologies and materials.

This winged glider vehicle’s nose section heats up to almost 3,000 degrees Celsius. Can you imagine this? What does 3,000 degrees feel like?

The Sun’s surface heats up to 6,000 degrees, and here we are talking about 3,000 degrees.

I have already mentioned the chocolate-coated ice cream effect, when the vehicle flies along and melts away as it goes.

It is coated with a plasma layer, and its sides heat up to 1,900–2,000 degrees. At the same time, the vehicle is controlled accordingly.

You know, when I attended the latest tests and when I watched them, the operator said “Acknowledge message” which means that the vehicle had hit the bull’s eye, the target.

The Russian science, engineering school and defense sector have scored an amazing success. Indeed, this is absolutely tremendous.

Therefore, a comparison with the first near-Earth satellite is quite adequate and appropriate.

Komsomolskaya Pravda Editor in Chief Vladimir Sungorkin: Mr President, you have compared the Avangard system with the first near-Earth satellite today.

Does this not seem to be an overstatement because the first satellite is a far cry from the Avangard system?

What happened? Why did you use such a powerful comparison?

President Vladimir Putin: I see, thank you for your question.

As you can see, I have made a reservation.

This system absolutely compares with the first near-Earth satellite in terms of maintaining our security.

I will explain.

The launch of the first space satellite implied, in terms of ensuring security, that the Soviet Union had received systems, or ballistic missiles, for delivering nuclear warheads to the territory of the potential enemy.

In effect, that launch ushered in an entire missile programme.

Of course, that programme had been developing before that event, but, in effect, it began with that launch.

This implies ballistic missiles.

Transcript 2: https://youtu.be/nT9hYgO9X1s

Now, let’s discuss the military part of the address. Experts are commenting on the most advanced weapons which the president spoke about yesterday, such as Zircon the hypersonic missile.

Elizaveta Khramtsova has the details of its combat specifications.

It’s like a knife through butter. That’s how experts describe the capacities of the new Russian hypersonic system Zircon. It’ll outperform any anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system of a potential adversary. The high-precision cruise missile Zircon will have a range of over 600 miles. Its hypersonic speed of Mach 9 is also impressive. The Zircon will pose a treat not only to the intermediate-range missiles deployed in Europe; it’ll help destroy the key elements of the control system of their decision-making units which are located outside of the European continent.

Vsevolod Khmyrov, Rear Admiral (Retired): “Given the fact that the missile systems belong to the Americans, it’s clear that they’ll be controlled from the decision-making units located in the territory of the American continent.”

This type of weapons plays a special role, given the situation with the INF Treaty, which Washington decided to ruin. If the treaty is terminated, the American partners will be able to deploy shock troops onto the European continent. In the framework of the American anti-missile defense system, Aegis Ashore systems with MK 41 systems have already been deployed in Romania. The same systems will be in Poland soon. Not only defense missiles but also strike Tomahawks with a range of 1,500 miles can be launched from them.

The experts stress that the Zircon can destroy the Pentagon’s illusion that in the case of an escalation, American servicemen will be safe. Anti-missile defense systems won’t help the opponent.

Vsevolod Khmyrov: “If a vehicle carrying Zircon missiles is 300 miles away from the coastline, it’ll take the missiles five minutes to reach the targets in the coastal zone at a distance under 300 miles. What can be done during this period of time? At best, one can detect the missiles flying to the target but not intercept them. A hypersonic system as such as the Zircon practically pierces any anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense system. There’s no defense against it.”

The number of Zircons which can be put in service leaves no doubt that decision-making units will be destroyed. According to experts, there can be 2-3 surface ships and submarines carrying Zircons which are on combat duty in the Western Atlantic Ocean or the Eastern Pacific Ocean on each direction. Each vessel can carry about 40 missiles.

Vladimir Putin mentioned the projects to create a promising novelty in his previous address to the Federal Assembly. The president stressed that today, the work on the hypersonic missile Zircon is successfully progressing according to schedule. The new missile is supposed to be launched from sea-based carriers, follow-on surface ships, and submarines. Some of them either have already been made or being made to carry the high-precision missile system Kalibr. This means that the development of the new type of weapons won’t affect the budget.

The sea-based system Poseidon also undermines all of the Pentagon’s efforts to create a naval anti-missile defense system. The president also mentioned this system in his address. The system is automated and compact. The unmanned underwater apparatuses of Poseidon are extremely hard to detect and harder to intercept. Vladimir Putin noted that the first nuclear submarine carrying the Poseidon unmanned vehicle will be launched this spring.

Blog Copy: https://randrewohge.wordpress.com/?p=3626

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/04/google-ongoing-project-dragonfly/
Ryan Gallagher 3/4/19 [Op-Ed By R Andrew Ohge: https://randrewohge.wordpress.com/?p=3621

GOOGLE EMPLOYEES HAVE carried out their own investigation into the company’s plan to launch a censored search engine for China and say they are concerned that development of the project remains ongoing, The Intercept can reveal.

Late last year, bosses moved engineers away from working on the controversial project, known as Dragonfly, and said that there were no current plans to launch it. However, a group of employees at the company was unsatisfied with the lack of information from leadership on the issue — and took matters into their own hands.

The group has identified ongoing work on a batch of code that is associated with the China search engine, according to three Google sources.

The development has stoked anger inside Google offices, where many of the company’s 88,000 workforce previously protested against plans to launch the search engine, which was designed to censor broad categories of information associated with human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.

Google Dragonfly
Read Our Complete Coverage: https://theintercept.com/collections/google-dragonfly-china/

Google Dragonfly

In December, The Intercept reported that an internal dispute and political pressure on Google had stopped development of Dragonfly.

Google bosses had originally planned to launch it between January and April of this year.

But they changed course after the outcry over the plan and indicated to employees who were working on the project that it was being shelved.

Google’s Caesar Sengupta, an executive with a leadership role on Dragonfly, told engineers and others who were working on the censored search engine in mid-December that they would be allocated new projects funded by different “cost centers” of the company’s budget.

In a message marked “confidential – do not forward,” which has been newly obtained by The Intercept, Sengupta told the Dragonfly workers:

Over the past few quarters, we have tackled different aspects of what search would look like in China.

While we’ve made progress in our understanding of the market and user needs, many unknowns remain and currently we have no plans to launch.

Back in July we said at our all hands that we did not feel we could make much progress right now.

Since then, many people have effectively rolled off the project while others have been working on adjacent areas such as improving our Chinese language capabilities that also benefit users globally.

Thank you for all of your hard work here.

As we finalize business planning for 2019, our priority is for you to be productive and have clear objectives, so we have started to align cost centers to better reflect what people are actually working on.

Thanks again — and your leads will follow up with you on next steps.

Sources with knowledge of Dragonfly said staff who were working on the project were not told to immediately cease their efforts.

Rather, they were instructed to finish up the jobs they were doing and then they would be allocated new work on other teams.

Some of those who were working on Dragonfly were moved into different areas, focusing on projects related to Google’s search services in India, Indonesia, Russia, the Middle East, and Brazil.

“I just don’t know where the leadership is coming from anymore.”

But Google executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai, refused both publicly and privately to completely rule out launching the censored search engine in the future.

This led a group of concerned employees — who were themselves not directly involved with Dragonfly — to closely monitor the company’s internal systems for information about the project and circulate their findings on an internal messaging list.

The employees have been keeping tabs on repositories of code that are stored on Google’s computers, which they say is linked to Dragonfly.

The code was created for two smartphone search apps — named Maotai and Longfei — that Google planned to roll out in China for users of Android and iOS mobile devices.

The employees identified about 500 changes to the code in December, and more than 400 changes to the code between January and February of this year, which they believe indicates continued development of aspects of Dragonfly. (Since August 2017, the number of code changes has varied between about 150 to 500 each month, one source said.)

The employees say there are still some 100 workers allocated to the “cost center” associated with Dragonfly, meaning that the company is maintaining a budget for potential ongoing work on the plan.

Google sources with knowledge of Dragonfly said that the code changes could possibly be attributed to employees who have continued this year to wrap up aspects of the work they were doing to develop the Chinese search platform.

“I still believe the project is dead, but we’re still waiting for a declaration from Google that censorship is unacceptable and that they will not collaborate with governments in the oppression of their people,” said one source familiar with Dragonfly.

The lack of clarity from management has resulted in Google losing skilled engineers and developers.

In recent months, several Google employees have resigned in part due to Dragonfly and leadership’s handling of the project.

The Intercept knows of six staff at the company, including two in senior positions, who have quit since December, and three others who are planning to follow them out the door.

Colin McMillen, who worked as a software engineer at Google for nine years, quit the company in early February.

He told The Intercept that he had been concerned about Dragonfly and other “ethically dubious” decisions, such as Google’s multimillion-dollar severance packages for executives accused of sexual harassment.

“I think they are going to try it again in a year or two.”

Prior to leaving the company, McMillen said he and his colleagues had “strong indications that something is still happening” with Google search in China.

But they were left confused about the status of the China plan because upper management would not discuss it.

“I just don’t know where the leadership is coming from anymore,” he said. “They have really closed down communication and become significantly less transparent.”

In 2006, Google launched a censored search engine in China, but stopped operating the service in the country in 2010, taking a clear anti-censorship position.

At the time, Google co-founder Sergey Brin declared that he wanted to show that the company was “opposing censorship and speaking out for the freedom of political dissent.”

Pichai, Google’s CEO since 2015, has taken a different position.

He has a strong desire to launch search again in China — viewing the censorship as a worthwhile trade-off to gain access to the country’s more than 800 million internet users — and he may now be waiting for the controversy around Dragonfly to die down before quietly resurrecting the plan.

“Right now it feels unlaunchable, but I don’t think they are canceling outright,” McMillen said. “I think they are putting it on the back burner and are going to try it again in a year or two with a different code name or approach.”

Anna Bacciarelli, a technology researcher at Amnesty International, called on Google “to publicly confirm that it has dropped Dragonfly for good, not just ‘for now.’”

Bacciarelli told The Intercept that Amnesty’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo had visited Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California last week to reiterate concerns over Dragonfly and “the apparent disregard for transparency and accountability around the project.”

If Google is still developing the censored search engine, Bacciarelli said, “it’s not only failing on its human rights responsibilities but ignoring the hundreds of Google employees, more than 70 human rights organizations, and hundreds of thousands of campaign supporters around the world who have all called on the company to respect human rights and drop Dragonfly.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

Ric/Rex Suggests: A Chinese Google With Its Growing Business Base PLUS A Heady Wireless Market IS TOO Big For Google To Walk Away From.

With the censorship and tracking tech wanted by the Chinese, having Google Plus remain operating-ESPECIALLY with its former “Freedom of Speech”, Artistic expression, and broad global reach would be an anathema to the Chinese government, and a definite deal breaker…a deal worth ongoing BILLIONS.

Even with the “safeguards” built in required by the Chinese for “Dragonfly”, the remaining operation of G+ would be a customer service nightmare for the CHINESE, and those billions of Yuan are just TOO ATTRACTIVE.

SOOO…Google Plus users, if you’re wondering what made Google shut down the most effective global community ever imagined, NONE of the explanations offered comes through very clear, as it’s too hard to make out through the “googling mumbles” caused by the presence of a giant dragonfly appendage in the mouths of the Google boardroom sellouts and traitors to the cause of Free Speech.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-people-save-planet/5670336  
By Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null 
Global Research 2/4/19
Theme: Environment 

The recent release of the proposed Green New Deal is a template, an outline identifying some of the most crucial issues facing the nation regarding climate change and a wish list of measures to address those issues. 

It contains a variety of inspired agenda items, many of which have been voiced by the Green Party and environmental fringe groups in Washington for over a decade. According to the Deal’s Fact Sheet, 92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans support the Deal. 

Almost every Democrat throwing their hat into the 2020 presidential race backs it. 

And the Deal has gained wide approval in the climatology and atmospheric science communities; among hundreds of conservation, environmental, renewable energy, and social activist organizations; and within the younger generation. 

It has been a long time coming, and the question is whether it is too late. 

It is optimistic to think that we can reverse accelerating global warming trends and mitigate their impact by keeping the planet below the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 1.5 degree C warming mark for the next 12 years, and it is even more optimistic to think that Congress will be able to enact legislation like this without prioritizing the interests of the multinational corporations and lobbies that contribute to their re-election campaigns over the people who elected them. 

It took no time for the Deal’s co-authors, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Democrat Senator Ed Markey, to be broadsided with disparaging criticisms by corporate leaders and political opponents, including old rank-and-file Democrats. 

The critics include the President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, fossil fuel backer Terry O’Sullivan, who labeled the report a “fantasy manifesto” that will create “divisions and inequality.” 

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg called it “pie in the sky.” 

And Pelosi and her multi-million dollar corporate colleagues are simply clueless about the “Green Dream or whatever they call it,” as Pelosi dismissed it. 


It took no time for the Deal’s co-authors, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Democrat Senator Ed Markey, to be broadsided with disparaging criticisms by corporate leaders and political opponents, including old rank-and-file Democrats. 

But there are plenty of legitimate criticisms too, and progressives would be wise not to let their desire to see pro-environmental legislation enacted at last blind them to the very real problems with Ocasio-Cortez and a legislative blueprint that could very easily become as much of a giveaway to multinational corporations as the Affordable Care Act was to insurance companies. 

The Green New Deal largely relies for precedent upon the idealism behind great accomplishments in the US’ history when the nation succeeded in mobilizing to tackle difficult challenges that critics argued could never be accomplished. 

Examples include FDR’s transformation of the private auto and manufacturing industries to meet military needs during World War 2, Eisenhower’s interstate highway system, and the achievement of JFK’s promise to reach the moon before the end of the 1960s. 

Although Washington remains strait-jacked by the interests of the finance and energy lobbies, at the local level, constructive change is happening. 

Over one hundred cities across the country have issued statements pledging to transition to 100 percent renewable energy.1

Unfortunately, their dateline targets are far off track, and the best case, Hawaii, is looking at reaching 100 percent clean energy efficiency in another 26 years. 

Farmers are forgoing energy-intensive chemical agriculture and transitioning to organic.

And the public is becoming increasingly more aware and educated about their energy usage and slowly changing its consumption habits. 

Nevertheless, compared to other developed nations, the US lags far behind in reaching realistic targets to address the IPCC’s 1.5 degree prediction, which is overly conservative. 

Absent the IPCC’s statistical limitations, the actual time frame, according to most independent climate scientists, is more dire. We may have only 7 years to get off fossil fuels. 

However, reaching the Deal’s goal is potentially doable if the country’s industries and finance giants get behind it. 

Sweden already gets over half of its energy from renewables. In 2015, Denmark’s wind farm industry reached 140 percent of energy demands. 

In 2016 Portugal reached a milestone by operating for four days without any fossil fuels.2 

Due to its favorable clean energy geothermal resources, Iceland generates the most clean energy per capita in the world; almost 90 percent of its total energy needs are satisfied by non-fossil fuel sources. 

Costa Rica has managed to run for over two months on 100 percent renewables. 

In 10 years, Uruguay’s unique public and private sector partnerships now supply 95 percent of its national energy needs with renewables.3 

Many other nations are also making aggressive efforts to power themselves exclusively with clean energy. 

And where does the US stand? 

According to the US Energy Information Administration, for 2017, non-fossil fuel sources only accounted for a dismal 20 percent of energy consumption. 

And still 34 percent of fuel for our electric power sector relies on coal!4

While getting off fossil fuel dependency is absolutely critical, the US’s electricity production only accounts for 28 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHEs). 

While switching to renewable energy for electrical power needs is very likely achievable, the obstacles to reach the IPCC target are enormous. 

In our estimation, several stumbling blocks may make it impossible for the US to eliminate fossil fuels during the next dozen years. 

Aside from opposition within with the Democratic Party by corporatists such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer, the cost to overhaul all industry, manufacturing and current and new technological developments would be astronomical. 

A Republican-aligned think tank, the American Action Forum, recently published a report estimating the Green New Deal would cost between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over ten years, though the lion’s share of that sum relates to the Deal’s provision of jobs and healthcare for all, rather than its environmental measures. 

Eliminating carbon emissions from the power and transportation sector, the group said, would “only” cost between $8.3 and $12.3 trillion over a decade. The national debt is already almost $22 trillion and growing. 

Since Trump took office, the debt has increased $2 trillion, and there is no indication it will shrink. 

Increasingly extreme weather and its aftereffects will only further raise the debt. 

A closer examination of these numbers is required. 

The “official” price tag of the “War on Terror,” which has laid waste to the Middle East over the last 20 years, creating an endless supply of future enemies by slaughtering entire villages full of civilians via depersonalized drone warfare, recently climbed north of $6 trillion,5 and an investigation last year turned up an eye-popping $21 trillion in fraudulent budgeting by the Pentagon and the Department of Housing and Urban Development6.

Thousands of whistleblowers are swept under the rug by the Defense Department’s Inspector General every year in their efforts to call attention to waste and fraud within the wealthiest military in the world. 

The first-ever attempt to audit the Pentagon, performed last year, was an embarrassing failure, revealing $6.5 trillion had simply vanished.7 

The US spends nearly $1 trillion a year on “defense”8– and while no one would suggest dismantling the American military, there are thousands of bases sprinkled around the world in countries the US does not belong, with undeclared conflicts raging in 134 countries.9 Surely some of this largesse could be repurposed to save the planet. 

There is always money in the budget for war, which currently eats up more than half of every dollar spent by the US government, despite the fact that the US is not facing any credible military threats from state actors. 

Despite the evidence-free charges it meddled in the 2016 election, Russia does not pose a threat to the US – indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent speech expressed frustration that Russia was “banging on a locked door” regarding friendship between the two nations, rendered all but impossible with every round of draconian sanctions imposed as a form of legislative virtue-signaling by congressmen eager to demonstrate their allegiance in Cold War Part 2.10

Even China prefers to flex its muscles economically, rather than militarily, spending trillions to build its Belt and Road throughout the developing world and amassing allies by funding large infrastructure projects – where the US has historically bullied poorer nations into submissions through military force. 

The Green New Deal would merely take roughly the yearly expenditure on the War on Terror and use it for constructive, rather than destructive, purposes. 

Troops returning from costly and destructive foreign wars could even be put to work planting trees or building infrastructure, much as environmental projects are undertaken in less wealthy nations. 

Because that scary $12.3 trillion figure is the cost if the Green New Deal were undertaken in the typical American fashion of rolling out grand legislation. 

If environmental reforms were enacted the way other countries work, the figure would shrink dramatically. 

Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez is open about her wish to work with “business interests” to get the job done, just as Barack Obama was willing to work with the insurance companies to pass the Affordable Care Act, resulting in a ruinously expensive and flawed plan that forced Americans to buy health insurance they could not afford while subsidizing a tiny sliver of the population. 

Healthcare costs did not go down – they skyrocketed – and healthcare quality certainly did not improve. 

Involving corporations with their profit-above-all value system guarantees the Green New Deal will enrich wealthy conglomerates like Bechtel and Halliburton. 

These will receive the big contracts for building renewable infrastructure, repurposing existing infrastructure, etc. but will contract the work out to other, smaller companies while keeping most of the money as profit. 

The smaller companies will then outsource the jobs (constructing solar panels in the desert, say, or planting a hardy forest on now-barren disused farmland) to poorly-paid local firms, while keeping most of the remaining money as profit. 

The poorly-paid local firms will then do the jobs with the cheapest materials and shoddiest standards in the hope of retaining whatever funds are left for their CEOs and investors. 

This is the American way, and it is why any grand infrastructure or rebuilding project costs so much. 

If enacted along the lines of past grand projects like the Affordable Care Act, the Green New Deal will essentially be a giveaway to the big corporations Ocasio-Cortez claims to oppose, with her champagne socialism, neoliberal economics degree, and unhealthy affection for the trappings of wealth and power. 

It is no secret that the very real climate catastrophe we all face has been weaponized by multinational interests interested in pushing global governance measures as the only “solution” to the climate change problem. 

Too often, this has made those rightly suspicious of the motives of government and the ruling class also doubt the existence of climate change, in a form of guilt by association. 

But taking action on a grand scale need not be ruinously expensive or involve an authoritarian clampdown on the rights of the individual. 

China assigned 60,000 soldiers to plant enough trees to cover an area the size of Ireland last year11 with an aim toward eventually upping their forest coverage from 21 percent to 26 percent by 2035. 

Even Bangladesh – one of the poorest countries in the world – began planting one million trees in 2017 after rural deforestation had so denuded the countryside that farmers were dying from lightning strikes at high rates, copying a similar program in Thailand.12

India set a world record – twice! – using millions of volunteers to plant trees in order to bring its forests in line with the commitments it made under the Paris Agreement. 

With modern technology like “seed bombing,” a single airplane or drone can plant 900,000 trees in a day, dropping seeds encased in ready-to-grow soil bundles. 

This technology is already used in Africa, and it has advanced significantly beyond simply dropping seeds indiscriminately – modern seed bombing drones are equipped with imaging capability to ensure the seeds go where they are most likely to thrive. 

None of this requires outsourcing, subcontracting, slicing and dicing profit margins, or any of the typically American approaches to the problem, and it will save billions. 

Relying on the government to do the right thing almost invariably leaves one disappointed. 

If it was not Ocasio-Cortez pushing cooperation with the business community as an integral part of the Deal, it would be another congressperson. 

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and the US Chamber of Commerce – the “business lobby” – is so massive it’s difficult for lawmakers to see outside its edges. 

Add in the size of the “energy lobby” and it’s easy to see how lawmakers find it difficult to conceive of taking large-scale action in a way that does not primarily benefit large corporations. 

The voice of the people has not been heard in Washington in decades, and it’s doubtful it would be recognized if it was heard. 

Sweden Aims To Become The World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation

Moreover, although the US is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (15 percent of global total emissions), China far surpasses us at 30 percent. 

Together with the European Union (10 percent) and India (6 percent), these four regions account for over half of all GHEs. 

The bottom 100 countries combined only contribute to 3.5 percent. 

Launching a universal, global environmental Marshall Plan may well be beyond humanity’s means. If we consider that China is currently constructing a single sprawling megapolis that will cover over 83,000 square miles — larger than Great Britain or New England — it is impossible to imagine how such a humongous urban operation could not be unsustainable and fossil-fuel dependent. 

The booming city of Jing-Jin-Ji will be the heaviest concentration of human beings on the planet, housing upwards of 130 million people, or the equivalent of the combined populations of the world’s four largest cities: Tokyo, New Delhi, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. 

And all of these residents will want the conveniences of a modern, western lifestyle: more cars, more meat on their tables and more energy-consuming luxuries. 

Surprisingly, surveys seem to indicate that the Chinese are better-educated about climate change than the average American. 

After last year’s record-breaking heatwaves, droughts, deadly flash floods and a category 5 typhoon, 94 percent of Chinese polled said they believe climate change is happening now and 66 percent believe it is anthropocentric.  

Seventy-three percent are willing to pay extra for climate-friendly products. 

Yet similar to average Americans, the Chinese are not changing their consumption habits to adapt to the new climate reality. 

Likewise, similar to the US, the Chinese government is eager to press forward with unsustainable growth projects that will increase rather than decrease emissions.13 

Among the other stumbling blocks the Green New Deal faces is that Washington has unfortunately almost reached its goal of being totally energy independent. 

While we produce the most energy in the world, we also consume the most per capita. 

The US has also risen to the third largest fossil fuel exporter, after Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

Together, these three nations account for 38 percent of the world’s total oil.14 

At the same time the US still needs to import petroleum, predominantly for our auto and transportation demands. 

Although the US now produces about 11 million barrels per day, it consumes almost 20 million barrels daily.15 

For natural gas production, the US is king, and is expected to reach over 90 billion cubic feet per day of production, according to the EIA.16 Trump’s abhorrent policies have revitalized the coal industry and escalated production. 

Worse, the oil and coal industries are the recipients of monstrous corporate welfare to the tune of $20 billion in annual government subsidies.17 

Jeremy Brecher properly notes that “global warming has rightly been called history’s greatest market failure. 

Correcting it cannot be left to the market.”18

Unlike the faux urgency for building a silly wall on the border, climate change is THE national emergency. 

It is a planetary emergency.

Therefore, when thousands of large and small coal-gas-oil related companies reap enormous windfalls, employ almost 1.1 million workers — compared to under 374,000 working full- or part-time in solar and 102,000 at wind firms — there is zero incentive for any of these major greenhouse gas emitters to leap off the gravy train and shift to cleaner, renewable forms of energy.19 

A second major obstacle to the Green New Deal is that all of our leading institutions, politicians, legislative policymakers and opinion leaders, think tanks and foundations, and the mainstream media that is controlled by these institutions, are not going to truthfully challenge the paradigm of free-market capitalism and the myth that constant economic growth and expansion will better society. 

This means we only have more toxic pollution, urban sprawl, destruction of the environment and habitats, and depletion of natural resources to look forward to, and with it, warmer seasons and more extreme weather events such as superstorms, droughts, wildfires, and floods. 

This may be the 3,000-pound gorilla in the room. 

We are caught in the perpetual cycle of earning more in order to buy more and accumulate more debt. 

The transition of weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels to increase investment in renewables and the new technologies necessary to meet the IPCC benchmark means a trade-off for a much slower or no-growth economy in order to reach a more sustainable and livable future. 

It may require up to $10 trillion to re-engineer entire industries and infrastructures in order to reach anything close to zero emissions. 

Yet with America’s new wealthy class of 11 million millionaires governing private industries, investments and policy-making to keep the capitalist engine churning, enactment of the kind of green agenda proposed and demanded today is unlikely. 

Again, there is no incentive for the ruling elite to cut back on consumption. 

The legions of lobbyists in Washington will make every effort to scuttle the Green New Deal and ensure it is dead on arrival. 

The ruling class has no allegiance to nationality. 

It is the most unpatriotic class in the nation.

When the stresses of climate change get tough or their personal security and assets are threatened, the ruling class have the means to pick up and move elsewhere. 

Furthermore, the ruling class and the conservative populace — even those educated enough to agree on anthropocentric climate change – lean heavily upon Libertarian values, which means smaller government and more freedom for the free market. 

Looking at the Green New Deal from any angle, it is clear this plan will require handing over enormous power to Washington. 

Trust in all branches of government has already eroded to a level where even true progressives doubt anything good can come out of the duopoly in Washington. 

Therefore, a sizable percentage of the public will be deeply suspicious of the government’s will and competence in executing any legislation that emerges from the Deal’s current outline. 

The free-market economy is polluting everything, creating seas of plastic, landfills of toxic junk, and stores of computers and electronic equipment. Forests and ecosystems are being leveled to expand growth. 

There is little to no time to dramatically change our steel, auto, and high tech industries. 

And private industries and the population’s collective consumption behaviors will not change overnight. 

While we commend the Green New Deal’s authors and the progressive caucus that backs it, we encourage the public not to become passive with high expectations that Washington is willing or capable of solving the climate crisis. 

There are no saviors. 

Blind faith should not be directed towards the compliance of Washington, nor to new technologies developed to pull us through. 

We live in remarkably tense times; but drastic times require drastic measures. In fact, the Deal may not be radical enough. 

Gutting our military expenditure — the largest fossil fuel consumer as well as the top recipient of our tax dollars — and the Washington Consensus’ cowboy adventurism to instigate regime changes as the world burns is absent from its wish list. 

Are there any solutions that are doable without the body politic of government standing in the way? 

Reducing GHEs can no longer be regarded as solely a challenge for government and private industry. It is a responsibility of every individual. 

First, the public must become deeply and consciously aware of the climate problem and how our lives and culture contribute to global warming. 

We must also become deeply and consciously aware of how our lives will change as the world deteriorates. 

Our education system has been a complete failure in teaching people about the basic science of climate change and the immediate and long-term impacts of global warming. 

Nothing we can do will efficaciously change the melting of the Arctic ice, the warming oceans and environmental dead zones, multi-gigaton methane burps from the thawing permafrost, the decimation of insect populations that will contribute to national food crises, rising coastal waters and the next season of record-setting wildfires in the Western states.

The next category 5 super-hurricane could be the final straw for many Floridians and residents living along the Gulf. Industrial over-consumption is depleting our aquifers. 

There are in fact hundreds of canaries in the coal mine, not just one. 

Second, every person and family can begin to gradually transition to eating a plant-based diet. 

This does not need to be an abrupt change. 

We can start by going meatless for a single day every week and then increase the days. 

The agriculture industry generates anywhere between 10 and 40 percent of GHEs, primarily methane and nitrous oxide, depending upon which metrics are being used in the equations. 

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that livestock production accounts for about 14.5 percent of all human-caused emissions.20 In the US, 42 percent of agricultural emissions come from the raising of livestock, and globally it accounts for approximately 16 percent of all human-induced GHEs.21 

When storage, transportation and distribution of meat and produce are added, the CO2 footprint rises substantially. Imagine the footprint of a single bushel of tomatoes traveling from a California farm to a Maine supermarket. 

If a sufficient number of people also purchase more locally-grown food, this too would have an impact. 

These are two efforts — a meatless diet and buying locally — that every American can adopt in order to be part of the solution rather than the problem. 

Third, our consumption behaviors are traveling on a high speed rail off a cliff. We have the will to make conscientious choices about our buying habits. 

There is only one solution to this and that is to downsize, purchase only what is essential for our needs and find other ways to increase the quality of our lives. 

Before making a purchase, consider the item’s carbon footprint before it reaches your hands. 

As the world gets warmer and the economic and social stresses of life increase, inevitably a time will arrive when people will be forced to downsize. It will no longer be a matter of choice. 

Finally, if it is within your financial means, find ways to increase your reliance on renewable clean energy sources. 

If you can install solar panels to get off the grid and become energy self-sufficient, it will pay off in the long term. 

Although there remains considerable debate on whether or not our global civilization has reached a “peak oil” moment, oil prices will unquestionably increase steadily in the future. 

What the nation can do collectively is adequately if vaguely summarized in the Green New Deal.

During a press conference following the report’s release, Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez were clear that the plan at this time does not include any “individual prescriptions” for the issues outlined. 

The details and following legislation will be developed following Congressional vote and approval and the creation of a Congressional committee to develop the solutions. 

However, the Deal is clearly defined as a “national, industrial, economic mobilization plan.” 

It will take years for the US to become “greenhouse gas emission neutral.” 

The report notes that it will require “massive investment” to reduce existing and future greenhouse gases. 

It acknowledges it is crucial to develop and install “a national, energy-efficient smart grid,” upgrade our entire infrastructure, residential and industrial base for “state-of-the-art energy efficiency,” and eliminate GHE from the agricultural industry. 

The report also includes the need for expanding education and training for such a nationwide mobilization effort. 

The report also finally acknowledges that America’s energy grid is a disaster. 

The majority of people and even most politicians are unaware our energy and power infrastructures are sorely inefficient. 

In an analysis conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to evaluate US energy consumption, 59.1 percent of electricity generation was “rejected energy” — energy lost due to inefficiencies in power plants, engines, buildings, etc.22 

Almost all of this “rejected energy” is generated from coal, natural gas and petroleum. 

In the Livermore report, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal barely contributed to any infrastructural energy loss.23 

And yet Washington, and the Trump administration in particular, find it economically feasible to subsidize these fossil fuel industries for their ineptitude, negligence towards energy efficiency and exorbitant waste. 

Even Ocasio-Cortez seems to believe progress can be achieved by working with these monuments to inefficiency. 

This is naïve at best, and disingenuous at worst. 

In a true capitalist system – such as our president pays lip service to at every opportunity – the best performers come out on top. 

Why, then, does the government continually prop up failed systems, from energy to banking? This money would be better invested in funding sustainable alternatives. 

A simple fact that opponents of the Deal in private industry, Wall Street and climate change deniers fail to understand as a rule is that the enormous costs for implementing a New Deal are already here. 

And they have been increasing annually due to rising frequency and damages from extreme weather events due to humanity’s messing with the atmosphere and environment. 

NASA conservatively reported $91 billion lost in damages due to climate change episodes in 2018 alone.24 And the federal government’s most recent National Climate Assessment warns we will rapidly reach $500 billion per year in economic losses due to sea level rise and worsening weather, droughts, storms, floods and fires.25 

Next, it is sheer negligence that the federal and state governments have failed to upgrade our public transportation system. 

The US falls far behind even banana republics in its inefficient rail system compared to high speed 200-plus mph rails in China, France, Japan and elsewhere. 

Creating a new high-speed rail system across America may be too optimistic at this time; nevertheless, upgrading our trains between major urban hubs is perfectly doable immediately. 

This would mean high-speed rails between Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Houston, and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas for starters. 

High speed trains between these city hubs would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and could even be faster than airlines after considering time spent at airports. 

It could also be accomplished at the state level through public-private partnerships. 

In addition, a tax incentive could be added for those who use public transportation. 

Finally, the nation needs to act immediately upon a national reforestation program and roll back the Trump’s regressive orders to further devastate public land and ecosystems to increase corporate profits. 

Forests and trees are recognized as perhaps the most important natural resource to offset carbon emissions. 

China and India are making huge advances in reforesting their nations. 

China has reserved an area four times the size of the United Kingdom for reforestation. 

There are few areas on the planet with large swathes of forest canopies. 

Most are located in northern Canada, the Latin American countries in the Amazon basin, Scandinavia and Russia. 

Therefore, we would recommend a national conservation corps to start an aggressive reforestation campaign. 

If India can hold the world record in planting 66 million trees within a 12 hour period in 2017, and a single 53-year-old New Delhi resident can plant 1,100,000 trees in a single year, the US could reforest ourselves easily in a short period of time. 

For all the Deal’s good points, it will go nowhere if the legislation that results is larded with giveaways to the same industries and corporations that led us to environmental and economic ruin in the first place. 

Ocasio-Cortez’s desire to liaise with these actors may be born out of a genuine desire for cooperation, but it is more likely her Democratic Socialism is being used as a more palatable face for the same rapacious neoliberalism that has created all the problems the Deal purports to solve. 

While we wait for government to get its act together and legislate its way out of this mess, we would be wise to begin solving as many problems as we can ourselves even as we hold our government representatives’ feet to the fire. 

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries. 

Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on alternative and nutritional health and a multi-award-winning documentary film director, including Poverty Inc and Deadly Deception. 

Notes

1 Steinbrecher, Stephanie. “100 US Cities are Committed to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Energy.” Sierra Club. 5 Dec 2018. https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2018/12/100-us-cities-are-committed-100-percent-clean-renewable-energy

2 Osborne, Samuel. “Sweden phases out fossil fuels in attempt to run completely off renewable energy.” Independent. 24 May 2016. 

3 “12 Countries Leading the Way in Renewable Energy.” Click Energy. 10 Aug 2017. https://www.clickenergy.com.au/news-blog/12-countries-leading-the-way-in-renewable-energy/

4 US Energy Information Administration. “Where Greenhouse Gases Come From.” Energy and the Environment Explained. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=environment_where_ghg_come_from Retrieved 27 Feb 2019. 

5 Watson Institute of International & Public Affairs. “Costs of War.” Brown University. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar Retrieved 27 Feb 2019. 

6 Skidmore, Mark and Andy Henion. “MSU scholars find $21 trillion in unauthorized government spending; defense department to conduct first-ever audit.” MSUToday. 11 Dec 2017. https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/msu-scholars-find-21-trillion-in-unauthorized-government-spending-defense-department-to-conduct/

7 Syrmopoulos, Jay. Audit: Pentagon Cannot Account for $6.5 Trillion Dollars in Taxpayer Money.” MintPress. 8 Aug 2016. https://www.mintpressnews.com/audit-pentagon-cannot-account-6-5-trillion-dollars-taxpayer-money/219246/

8 Cordesman, Anthony. “US Military Spending: The Cost of Wars.” Center for Strategic & International Studies. 10 Jul 2017. https://www.csis.org/analysis/us-military-spending-cost-wars

9 Turse, Nick. “America’s Secret War in 134 Countries.” The Nation. 16 Jan 2014. https://www.thenation.com/article/americas-secret-war-134-countries/

10 “Putin: Russia is not an enemy of US, but it will not be banging on a locked door.” FARS News Agency. 21 Feb 2019. https://www.msn.com/en-ae/news/other/putin-russia-is-not-an-enemy-of-us-but-it-will-not-be-banging-on-a-locked-door/ar-BBTTCfE

11 Osborne, Samuel. “China reassigns 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in bid to fight pollution.”Independent. 13 Feb 2018. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-tree-plant-soldiers-reassign-climate-change-global-warming-deforestation-a8208836.html

12 “Bangladesh plants 1 million trees to cut lightning toll.” Straits Times. 24 Jan 2017. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/bangladesh-plants-1-million-trees-to-cut-lightning-toll

13 Jing, Lin. “Does the Chinese public care about climate change?” China Dialogue. 21 Sep 2018. https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/10831-Does-the-Chinese-public-care-about-climate-change–

14 Wilson, Robert. “Which Countries Produce the Most Fossil Fuels?” The Energy Collective Group. 31 Jul 2014. https://www.energycentral.com/c/ec/which-countries-produce-most-fossil-fuels

15 Gaffen, David and Ayenat Mersie. “US crude oil output hits 11 million barrels per day for first time ever.” Reuters. 18 Jul 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil-eia/us-crude-oil-output-hits-11-million-barrels-per-day-for-first-time-ever-idUSKBN1K81XT and US Energy Information Administration. “How much oil is consumed in the United States?” Frequently Asked Questions. 3 Oct 2018. https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=33&t=6

16 US Energy Information Administration. “Short Term Energy Outlook.” Analysis & Projections. 12 Feb 2019. https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/natgas.php

17 Roberts, David. “Friendly policies keep US oil and coal afloat far more than we thought.” Vox. 26 Jul 2018. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/10/6/16428458/us-energy-coal-oil-subsidies

18 Brecher, Jeremy. “The Green New Deal can work – here’s how.” AlterNet. 25 Feb 2019. https://www.alternet.org/2019/02/the-green-new-deal-can-work-heres-how/

19 2017 US Energy and Employment Report. Energy.gov. January 2017. https://www.energy.gov/downloads/2017-us-energy-and-employment-report

20 Gustin, Georgina. “Factory Farms Put Climate at Risk, Experts Say in Urging Health Officials to Speak Out.” Inside Climate News. 23 May 2017. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22052017/factory-farms-cafos-threaten-climate-change-world-heath-organization

21 Friedman, Lisa et.al. “The Meat Question, by the Numbers.” New York Times. 25 Jan 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/climate/cows-global-warming.html

22 Fares, Robert. “Is the US Energy Independent?” Scientific American. 31 Oct 2016. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/is-the-u-s-energy-independent/

23 ibid. 

24 Zorn, Justin Talbot et.al. “A Green New Deal is fiscally responsible. Climate inaction is not.” Guardian. 25 Feb 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/25/green-new-aoc-deal-fiscally-responsible-climate-inaction

25 Irfan, Umair. “3 big takeaways from the major new US climate report.” Vox. 24 Nov 2018. https://www.vox.com/2018/11/24/18109883/climate-report-2018-national-assessment

BRICS bank issues 3 billion-worth of yuan-denominated bonds in China

https://www.rt.com/business/452897-brics-bank-bonds-china/ Reuters / Petar Kujundzic Via RT 3/3/19

The Shanghai-based BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) which provides funding for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies has issued yuan-denominated bonds, according to China Knowledge Press.

The bonds were issued in two tranches with maturities of three years and five years and coupon rates of between 2.9 percent to 3.5 percent, and 3.2 percent to 3.8 percent respectively.

The bank said it aims to continue issuing financial products denominated in the local currencies of its member nations – China, Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa.

In September, the NDB approved three infrastructure and sustainable development projects in India and Russia with loans aggregating US$825 million.

The NDB was established in 2014 and formally opened for business a year later.

The bank’s capital is up to $100 billion and it says all members of the United Nations can join it.

However, BRICS nations can never have less than 55 percent of the voting power.

via The most perilous time in world history got worse

The Most Perilous Time In World History Just Got WORSE! Posted By Luther Blissett: By Stephen Lendman: Intrepid Report 03/19/18: https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/03/19/the-most-perilous-time-in-world-history-got-worse/ Or: https://randrewohge.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/the-most-perilous-time-in-world-history-just-got-worse/

Events ongoing should terrify everyone—things likely heading for greater war than already.

Most Americans, Brits, and others in NATO countries are unaware of the danger posed by hardline Western extremists in charge of policy-making—notably in Washington, London and Israel, the Jewish state an alliance Mediterranean Dialogue member.

Businessman Trump was co-opted to be a warrior president—neocon generals in charge of geopolitical policies, their agenda hardened by Mike Pompeo replacing Rex Tillerson at State, along with torturer-in-chief Gina Haspel appointed new CIA director.

An unholy alliance of US extremist policymakers allied with like-minded ones in partner countries risks war winds reaching gale force, a terrifying prospect if confrontation with Russia, Iran or North Korea occurs—the possibility increased by recent events.

Earlier this week, US Defense Secretary Mattis and UN envoy Haley threatened Russia and Damascus.

Russia vowed to retaliate against US attacks on Syrian forces in East Ghouta or elsewhere endangering its personnel in the country.

Anti-Russia hysteria in Britain over the Sergey Skripal poisoning affair, most certainly Moscow had nothing to do with, soured bilateral relations more than already.

In response to British PM Theresa May demanding swift Russian answers to questions posed about the incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman (speaking for her government) replied sharply saying, “One does not give 24 hours notice to a nuclear power,” adding the “Skripal poisoning was not an incident but a colossal international provocation,” adding not a “single international legal mechanism [exists] to probe the Skripal case.”

Russia’s embassy in London said “Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring.”

“Britain must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention which stipulates joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready.”

“Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia.”

“Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.”

“Not only is Russia groundlessly and provocatively accused of the Salisbury incident, but apparently, plans are being developed in the UK to strike Russia with cyber weapons.”

“Judging by the statements of the prime minister, such a decision can be taken at tomorrow’s meeting of the National Security Council.”

Given the gravity of the situation, the above comments by Russian diplomats were uncharacteristically strong.

Sergey Lavrov warned Washington that “[i]f a new [US] strike . . . takes place [against Syrian forces], the consequences will be very serious,” adding, “I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this.”

What’s coming remains to be seen. Hostile rhetoric from US and UK officials, along with hawkish extremists Pompeo in charge at State and Haspel appointed new CIA chief likely signal more war, not less.

What’s ongoing assures no possibility of improving dismal bilateral relations with Russia, China, Iran and other sovereign independent countries.

Talks with North Korea could either be scuttled or confrontational if they take place.

Given very disturbing ongoing events, the perilous state of world conditions reached a new low.

Be scared about what may follow—be very scared!

via Shocking victory for proponents of alternative medicine

Shocking Victory For Proponents Of Alternative Medicine
By Jon Rappoport 03/08/18: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/shocking-victory-for-proponents-of-alternative-medicine/ https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3581

Breaking: In Australia, an effort to label all alternative (traditional, complementary) medicine products as “based on pseudoscience” has failed.

Traditional remedies (much older than mainstream medicines) are defended as appropriate, and can include health claims.

The Crazz Files, a major defender of health freedom in Australia, reports: “In a major win, the Federal Government has ignored the Australian Greens and anti-complementary medicine activists like Doctor Ken Harvey…and passed a reform package that protects traditional medicine.”

“The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill, which passed Parliament on February 15, supports positive claims for complementary medicines based on traditional evidence, and abolishes the current complaints system.”

“Greens voters were shocked to learn Greens Leader and General Practitioner, Senator Dr Richard Di Natale was aligned with skeptics, whose platform is: ‘There is no alternative to [modern] Medicine’.”

“One of his [Dr. Di Natale’s] ‘concerns’ was that people were being ‘misled’ by traditional claims about the effectiveness of complementary medicine.

He, and the skeptics, wanted labels on complementary and traditional medicines to state: ’this traditional indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and there is no scientific evidence that this product is effective’.”

“The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told Di Natale: ‘I think it is offensive and disrespectful to those who practice traditional medicine’.”

“’For some, particularly those using Chinese medicine, the history of practicing in that traditional medicine paradigm goes back thousands of years.

It’s been extensively refined, practiced and documented and in many cases incorporated into mainstream medicine.

So, a statement required by the Australian Government that the indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and that there is no scientific evidence will be seen as arrogant and insensitive to those practicing and using traditional Chinese medicines,’ Senator McKenzie said.”

Boom.

All right.

Now I want to treat readers to a brief analysis of “modern medicine,” the so-called scientific system that is the “only valid system.”

It is the system employed in Australia, America, and virtually all countries in the world.

People who watch the news or read mainstream news have the impression that “scientific” medical research is remarkably valid and always progressing.

Doctors and medical bureaucrats line up to confirm and ceaselessly push this view.

But they are concealing a dark truth.

Let’s go to the record.

Here are two editors of two of the most prestigious and respected medical journals in the world.

During their long careers, they have read and scrutinized more studies than any doctor, researcher, bureaucrat, or so-called medical blogger.

And this is what they have written:

ONE: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.

I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” (Dr. Marcia Angell, NY Review of Books, January 15, 2009, “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption)

TWO: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.

Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness…

“The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.

Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data.

Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too.

We aid and abet the worst behaviours.

Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals.

Our love of ‘significance’ pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale…Journals are not the only miscreants.

Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent…” (Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief, The Lancet, in The Lancet, 11 April, 2015, Vol 385, “Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma?”)

There are many ominous implications in these two statements.

I will point out one.

Incompetent, error-filled, and fraudulent studies of medical drugs—for example, published reports on clinical trials of those drugs—would lead one to expect chaos in the field of medical treatment.

And by chaos, I mean: the drugs cause widespread death and severe injury.

Again, if a person obtains his news from mainstream sources, he will say: “But I see no evidence of such a vast scandal.”

That is a conspiracy of silence.

Because this widespread death and grievous harm HAS been reported.

Where?

In open-source medical literature.

For example:

On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America.

Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

The Starfield study, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), came to the following conclusion, among others:

Every year in the US, correctly prescribed, FDA approved medical drugs kill 106,000 people.

Thus, every decade, these drugs kill more than a MILLION people.

On the heels of Starfield’s astonishing findings, media reporting was rather perfunctory, and it soon dwindled.

No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing “Medicalgate” investigation.

Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action.

All in all, those parties who could have taken effective steps to correct this ongoing tragedy preferred to ignore it.

On December 6-7, 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield by email.

Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Q: What has been the level and tenor of the response to your findings, since 2000?

A: The American public appears to have been hoodwinked into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.

Q: In the medical research community, have your medically-caused mortality statistics been debated, or have these figures been accepted, albeit with some degree of shame?

A: The findings have been accepted by those who study them. There has been only one detractor, a former medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention for claiming that the US health system is the best there is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his constituency).

Q: Have health agencies of the federal government consulted with you on ways to mitigate the [devastating] effects of the US medical system?

A: NO.

Q: Are you aware of any systematic efforts, since your 2000 JAMA study was published, to remedy the main categories of medically caused deaths in the US?

A: No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated.

Q: Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it?

A: It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that ‘it would not be interesting to readers’!

—end of interview excerpt—

Physicians are trained to pay exclusive homage to peer-reviewed published drug studies.

These doctors unfailingly ignore the fact that, if medical drugs are killing a million Americans per decade, the studies on which those drugs are based must be fraudulent.

In other words, the medical literature is suspect, unreliable, and impenetrable.

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE TWO ESTEEMED MEDICAL EDITORS I QUOTED ABOVE—MARCIA ANGELL AND RICHARD HORTON—ARE SAYING.

If you know a doctor who enjoys sitting up on his high horse dispensing the final word on modern medicine, you might give him the quotes from Dr. Angell and Dr. Horton, instruct him to read them, and suggest he get in touch with Angell and Horton, in order to discover what has happened to his profession.

As in: DISASTER.