Oh, the naivety of children…
What is mechanical is dependent on external circumstances and plays out a script. This is why mass social movements are almost always contrived or the result of co-opted grassroots movements.
Stupid Brits. Tell us who is the aggressor Britain? Who is threatening you? Wouldn’t that money better spent on poverty or education programs? There is no threat of war in Europe expect in the minds of those who profit from horror and despair.
Five vehicles in total were loaded onto trains, sent through, and then returned to the UK overnight on Wednesday.
Five different types of vehicle were sent in order to ensure that a range of armor could be transported.
A Warrior armored fighting vehicle, a recovery variant of the Warrior, a Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT), a recovery Challenger, and a reconnaissance vehicle were loaded onto a train at the military’s railhead in Wiltshire for the test journey.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) tweeted a picture of a Challenger being strapped down at around midnight on Wednesday.
It is expected that rail will be the primary means that UK armor will be relocated to Germany in the event of NATO’s rapid reaction force being deployed for combat.
Logistics may not be the only issue facing NATO’s UK component if it comes to a war in Europe.
In November, it was reported that glitches with the advanced weaponry on the UK’s forthcoming Ajax tanks could leave the £3.5 billion (US$4.28 billion) project badly delayed, as questions are raised over the utility of the lightly-armored vehicles against Russian artillery.
A former senior defense official told the Times that Ajax “is fine if you are operating against incompetent enemies, but if you are up against a peer enemy this thing is useless, it’s a death trap.”
Britain signed a deal with US arms giant General Dynamics for nearly 600 Ajax mini-tanks in 2014 with the first deliveries expected in 2017 and the full order in the UK by 2024.
Despite great effort recently put into bolstering the credibility of the “American intelligence community” in the wake of their assessment regarding alleged “Russian hacking,” it should be remembered that this same “community” intentionally and maliciously fabricated a myriad of lies surrounding so-called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which led to a destructive war that claimed upward to a million lives – including over 4,000 US troops.
A community responsible for verified, self-serving lies, has no credibility. Nor do the media organizations that repeated those lies without questioning the very flawed factual and logical fundamentals underpinning them.
More recently, the evidence presented by this community and their partners across the Western media regarding alleged “Russian hacking” of the 2016 US elections is so weak, the logical fallacy of appealing to authority is essential to selling it to the global public.
What Do They Even Mean by “Russian Hacking?”
The sinister tone of “Russian hacking” suggests that Moscow somehow subverted the 2016 US elections through the use of information technology. Headlines across the Western media like CNN’s, “US accuses Russia of trying to interfere with 2016 election,” would help fan the flames of hysteria, claiming:
The Obama administration said Friday it was “confident” that Russia was behind recent hackings of emails about upcoming US elections in an attempt to interfere with the process.
The announcement marks the first time the US administration has officially accused Russia of hacking into US political systems. Earlier in the week, the two countries broke off formal talks about a ceasefire in Syria.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement.
Claims of Russia “hacking into US political systems” invokes images of hackers based in the Kremlin using sophisticated cyber weapons to crack into voting machines, polling stations, and databases to skew election results. In reality, nothing of the sort happened – based not on Russian statements – but on the “American intelligence community’s” own official reports on the incident.
The Actual Evidence – According to the US Government Itself
In actuality, the “hacking” involved e-mails that were leaked to the public – genuine e-mails that had circulated throughout the Democratic National Committee (DNC), including those between US presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta.
The e-mails were then handed over to Wikileaks before being released to the public.
No polling stations were “hacked,” no databases compromised, and no influence exercised over US elections beyond whatever influence the truth about DNC internal communications had on the American public.
The nature of e-mail leaks involve a technique known as “spear phishing.” It is a technique in which a hacker targets specific individuals with e-mails posing as an official organization or company, requesting the targeted individual to fill in their user name and password.
“Spear phishing” is perhaps the most elementary tactic imaginable, and is more closely related to social engineering and confidence gaming (conning) than actual computer “hacking.”
The US government’s own “Joint Analysis Report” (PDF) – based on “analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)” – would reveal precisely this. In a wordy summary, the report admits (emphasis added):
In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing. This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members. The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.
In other, simpler words, targeted individuals were approached via e-mail, were asked for their user names and passwords, and voluntarily handed them over. The Joint Analysis Report attempts to use sophisticated technical jargon in hopes that causal readers believe the operation required equally sophisticated skills to perpetrate. However, the attacks could not have been any more elementary.
IT experts – from Wikileaks’ Julian Assange to show host Vin Armani – have explained in depth just how elementary the e-mail hacks were, with the consensus being that a teenager with no resources beyond an Internet connection, basic knowledge of IT, and a desire to crack the DNC’s e-mails could have carried out the attacks.
Other US government reports, including one linked to by the New York Times titled, “Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” (PDF), seem to admit as much, focusing not on the technical details of the actual e-mail “hacks,” but rather linking the operation to Russia based solely on allegations of how Russia would have benefited from compromising DNC e-mails.
If Russia is Sophisticated Enough to “Hack” US Election, They’re Sophisticated Enough to Know it Makes no Difference
Had the elementary e-mail “hacks” required state sponsored resources, would Russia have been willing to accept the political, economic, and military risks associated with sponsoring such an operation? The answer is likely no.
In reality, regardless of who sits in the White House, US foreign policy is primarily dictated by unelected corporate-financier special interests. This explains why the US has exhibited treachery and subversive tendencies toward Russia for decades – transcending US presidencies, and even entire eras of US politics. Banks, energy firms, and defense contractors have seen Russia as a competitor since World War II – a competitor to undermine, overrun, buy-off, or otherwise isolate and eliminate.
Skewing elections in favor of president-elect Donald Trump over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have made little to no difference at all in this decades-long struggle between East and West.
Understanding this, however, does much in explaining why the US is exploiting the DNC’s compromised e-mails to blame Russia. It provides yet another opportunity to further justify attempts to encircle, contain, and ultimately overthrow the political, financial, military, and industrial order in Russia – eliminating a significant obstacle to Wall Street and Washington’s ambitions toward global hegemony.
Without being able to cite “election hacking” and other alleged threats Moscow poses to the West, the immense expenditure on military expansion – particularly by the US in Eastern Europe – would be inexcusable.
This morbid Conservative has a slight chance of becoming Canada’s premier in the next election. He has just announced he is running for the leadership of the Cons. Let’s share his views and ideology so we are not left aghast when the time comes.
Oh Kevin, why don’t you move to the USA if you like it so much? Canada could do without the likes of you. Pathetic little selfish turd.
We need to know about this doofus because the Conservatives always make a comeback, and this buffoon has a chance to become our next leader. Suffering succotash!
Where does our (maybe) next PM stand on family values, national pride and the greater good? Read on.
By David Beers
Jan 18, 2017
The world really could use another rich reality TV celeb as chief of state, so Kevin O’Leary is stepping up. Today the Shark Tank star officially sets his sights on becoming Canada’s prime minister once he has led the Conservatives back to majority rule in 2019. Should that day come, expect these guiding principles for an O’Leary government, given what the relentlessly self-promoting if not all he’s cracked up to be investor has stated publicly already.
Dump your fiancé, chase wealth and lots of girlfriends. That’s what O’Leary advised when asked if being a “prosperous entrepreneur” makes it difficult to be attentive in a relationship and do a fair share of parenting. According to Press Progress, O’Leary answered by telling a story about a business student whose fiancé told him:
“I can’t stay with you anymore, you have no time for me, you’re all consumed — school all day, business all night.”
“If you don’t start spending time with me,” the fiancé said, “it’s over between us.”
“What do I do Kevin?” the student asked.
O’Leary: “Which one is easier to replace: the business or your girlfriend? … The answer is this, he is very happy, he has many girlfriends because he’s very wealthy now.”
With permission from
Jan 19, 2017
The Central Intelligence Agency has published nearly 13 million pages of declassified files online, documents which previously were physically accessible only from four computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.
The record include info on Nazi war crimes, the Cuban Missile Crisis, UFO sightings, human telepathy (“Project Stargate”) and much more. The release has been a long time coming: Bill Clinton first ordered all documents at least 25 years old with “historical value” to be declassified in 1995. The agency complied, however anyone who wanted access had to trek all the way to the US National Archives in Washington DC to get a peak.
In 2014, a nonprofit journalism organization called MuckRock filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit pressing the CIA to post all of its documents online, but the agency said it would take up to six years to scan everything according to engadget. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one, to apply pressure to the CIA. “By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online,” Best wrote in a blog post.
“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography,” said Joseph Lambert, the CIA’s information management director in a press release. The agency was aiming to publish the documents by the end of 2017, but finished the work ahead of schedule.
“We’ve been working on this for a very long time and this is one of the things I wanted to make sure got done before I left. Now you can access it from the comfort of your own home,” said outgoing CIA director of information Lambert. The agency continues to review documents for declassification, so the treasure trove has not been unearthed in full, and there’s definitely more to follow.
* * *
The online records, shed light on the agency’s activities throughout the Vietnam, Korean and Cold War conflicts; they also includes documents relating to UFO sightings and psychic experiments from the Stargate program, which has long been of interest to conspiracy theorists. The archives also cover events from the 1940s the 1990s (each year, a new batch are declassified) and include details about the flight of war criminals from Nazi Germany, the quarter-mile Berlin tunnel built to tap Soviet telephone lines, internal intelligence bulletins and memos from former CIA directors, UFO reports and more.
The released trove also includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.
Among the more unusual records are documents from the Stargate Project, which dealt with psychic powers and extrasensory perception. Those include records of testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973, when he was already a well-established performer.
Memos detail how Mr Geller was able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with varying – but sometimes precise – accuracy, leading the researchers to write that he “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner” the BBC reported.
One set of documents details results of psychic tests on Uri Geller, where he attempted
to copy drawings made by researchers from within a sealed room.
One of the tests involved drawings. A word was selected at random from a dictionary. The first word selected was “fuse”. A firecracker was then drawn by someone outside the locked room. The picture was then taped to the wall outside Geller’s cell and he was told via intercom the drawing was finished. The CIA documents say: “His almost immediate response was that he saw a ‘cylinder with noise coming out of it’. “His drawing to correspond with it was a drum, along with a number of cylindrical-looking objects.”
The second word chosen was “bunch” and a scientist drew a bunch of grapes. The document states: “Geller’s immediate response was that he saw ‘drops of water coming out of the picture’. “He then talked about ‘purple circles’. “Finally, he said that he was quite sure that he had the picture. His drawing was indeed a bunch of grapes.”
The researchers concluded Uri “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner”.
* * *
Other unusual records include a collection of reports on flying saucers, and the recipes for invisible ink.
“None of this is cherry-picked,” said CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak, cited by CNN. “It’s the full history. It’s good and bads.”
Nothing in the archive is newly declassified. Although the documents are declassified, redactions do exist throughout the millions of pages. The redactions, which Horniak describes as light, were done to protect sources and methods that could potentially harm national security, she explained.
The archive is massive, and new developments on the CIA’s activities throughout its storied history are likely to come out as the millions of pages are reviewed.
So is the online database likely to reveal anything particularly juicy? It is not likely, especially since the documents have likely been extensively scrubbed in advance even though CIA Director of Information Management Joseph Lambert said the agency did one last check through the collection before releasing it, and did not reclassify any more documents.
However, the documents will surely provide hours of inquiry for historians, war buffs, UFO enthusiasts and others. The archives cover events from the 1940s the 1990s. It can be accessed as the following link.
With permission from
Jan 19, 2017
The French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has reiterated her support for Russia’s claim on Crimea in a newspaper interview in which she made another decisive tilt towards Moscow.
With three months before France goes to the polls, the Front National leader said she recognised Crimea as being part of Russia and if elected, she would push for a dropping of sanctions against Russia which France had backed simply because it was following German orders.
She told the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, that the referendum in the peninsula in 2014 to become part of Russia showed the “agreement of the people to join Russia”.
“Ukraine’s ownership of Crimea was just an administrative issue from Soviet times, the peninsula was never Ukrainian,” she said.
“I regret that the referendum, organised as a demonstration of the will of the people of the peninsula, was not recognised by the international community and the UN.”
Le Pen had made the comments about Crimea on French television earlier in January after which the Ukrainian security service SBU proposed banning her from entering the country for five years.
She described sanctions against Russia as “senseless” and “a pretty stupid method of diplomacy” and that “all countries should show respect for each other, to negotiate on equal terms and to accept a compromise solution acceptable to all”.
“We don’t have to have a situation whereby the major powers impose their policies on other states, behaving like stubborn children,” she told the paper.
“Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV. He’s already the star of his own political reality show.”
With permission from
“There are two ways by which the spirit of a culture may be shriveled. In the first—the Orwellian—culture becomes a prison. In the second—the Huxleyan—culture becomes a burlesque. No one needs to be reminded that our world is now marred by many prison-cultures…. it makes little difference if our wardens are inspired by right- or left-wing ideologies. The gates of the prison are equally impenetrable, surveillance equally rigorous, icon-worship pervasive…. Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
— Neil Postman
Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV.
He’s already the star of his own political reality show.
Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats with a newly awakened conscience for immigrants and the poor, power-hungry Republicans eager to take advantage of their return to power, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.
After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or Keeping Up with the Kardashians when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?
Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.
Much like the fabricated universe in Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show, in which a man’s life is the basis for an elaborately staged television show aimed at selling products and procuring ratings, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
Indeed, Donald Trump may be the smartest move yet by the powers-that-be to keep the citizenry divided and at each other’s throats, because as long as we’re busy fighting each other, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny in any form.
This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today.
It allows us to be distracted, entertained, occasionally a little bit outraged but overall largely uninvolved, content to remain in the viewer’s seat.
The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold.
Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder.
We don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).
For instance, before we could get too worked up over government surveillance, the programmers changed the channels on us and switched us over to breaking news about militarized police. Before our outrage could be transformed into action over police misconduct, they changed the channel once again to reports of ISIS beheadings and terrorist shootings. Before we had a chance to challenge what was staged or real, the programming switched to the 2016 presidential election.
“Living is easy with eyes closed,” says Lennon, and that’s exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut.
As long as we’re viewers, we’ll never be doers.
Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.
“We the people” are watching a lot of TV.
On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we’re watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio.
This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it’s fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.
Those who watch reality shows tend to view what they see as the “norm.” Thus, those who watch shows characterized by lying, aggression and meanness not only come to see such behavior as acceptable and entertaining but also mimic the medium.
This holds true whether the reality programming is about the antics of celebrities in the White House, in the board room, or in the bedroom.
It’s a phenomenon called “humilitainment.”
A term coined by media scholars Brad Waite and Sara Booker, “humilitainment” refers to the tendency for viewers to take pleasure in someone else’s humiliation, suffering and pain.
“Humilitainment” largely explains not only why American TV watchers are so fixated on reality TV programming but how American citizens, largely insulated from what is really happening in the world around them by layers of technology, entertainment, and other distractions, are being programmed to accept the brutality, surveillance and dehumanizing treatment of the American police state as things happening to other people.
The ramifications for the future of civic engagement, political discourse and self-government are incredibly depressing and demoralizing.
This not only explains how a candidate like Donald Trump with a reputation for being rude, egotistical and narcissistic could get elected, but it also says a lot about how a politician like Barack Obama—whose tenure in the White House was characterized by drone killings, a weakening of the Constitution at the expense of Americans’ civil liberties, and an expansion of the police state—could be hailed as “one of the greatest presidents of all times.”
This is what happens when an entire nation—bombarded by reality TV programming, government propaganda and entertainment news—becomes systematically desensitized and acclimated to the trappings of a government that operates by fiat and speaks in a language of force.
Ultimately, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the reality shows, the entertainment news, the surveillance society, the militarized police, and the political spectacles have one common objective: to keep us divided, distracted, imprisoned, and incapable of taking an active role in the business of self-government.
If “we the people” feel powerless and apathetic, it is only because we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that the duties of citizenship begin and end at the ballot box.
Marching and protests have certainly been used with great success by past movements to foment real change, but if those marches and protests are merely outpourings of discontent because a particular politician won or lost with no solid plan of action or follow-through, then what’s the point?
Martin Luther King Jr. understood that politics could never be the answer to what ailed the country. That’s why he spearheaded a movement of mass-action strategy that employed boycotts, sit-ins and marches. Yet King didn’t march against a particular politician or merely to express discontent. He marched against injustice, government corruption, war, and inequality, and he leveraged discontent with the status quo into an activist movement that transformed the face of America.
When all is said and done, it won’t matter who you voted for in the presidential election. What will matter is where you stand in the face of the injustices that continue to ravage our nation: the endless wars, the police shootings, the overcriminalization, the corruption, the graft, the roadside strip searches, the private prisons, the surveillance state, etc.
Will you tune out the reality TV show and join with your fellow citizens to push back against the real menace of the police state, or will you merely sit back and lose yourself in the political programming aimed at keeping you imprisoned in the police state?
As the number of deaths from illicit drug overdoses spike again, B.C. health officials discuss the ‘unprecedented’ measures they’re taking to fight the fentanyl crisis that has no end in sight.
By Lisa Johnson
Jan 18, 2017
llicit drug overdoses claimed the lives of 914 people in B.C. in 2016, the BC Coroners Service revealed Wednesday, making it the deadliest overdose year on record and representing an increase of nearly 80 per cent from the year before.
December saw another spike in deaths with 142 recorded, up from the previous monthly high of 128 recorded in November of 2016.
Fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more potent than heroin, has been a “game changer” for drug overdose deaths in B.C., said Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe.
“This is an illicit drug dependency crisis and it is not likely to be resolved anytime soon,” she said.
B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake announced more money for treatment beds and said the federal government needs to step up.
“The federal government should declare a federal public health emergency,” said Lake.
“We haven’t seen the response that I think this type of epidemic requires on a national scale.”
Every part of the province is affected, but Vancouver continues to be the epicentre of the crisis, said Lapointe. Fifty-one people died of illicit drug overdoses in Vancouver alone in December.
Four out of five of the overdose deaths were men and more than half were between the ages of 30 and 49.
Unlike previous months, the BC Coroners Service was unable to say how many of the deaths in December involved fentanyl, because with such a high number of cases the analyses are not yet complete and won’t be until March.
B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake said the province was allocating more than $16 million in new money to tackle the crisis, including an additional 40 adult intensive residential treatment beds and 20 for youth.
The province is also funding 50 new intensive outpatient treatment spaces, as well as covering the cost of treatment therapies, such as methadone and Suboxone, for people with low incomes.
The B.C. government has been criticized for not doing enough in the face of the fentanyl crisis, leaving people with addictions and their families without treatment options.
Lake said the province is doing what it can and is discussing the crisis with health officials daily and weekly.
“We’re taking unprecedented action, said Lake.
“We want to be able to provide treatment as quickly as possible, but … we don’t have the resources to provide treatment on demand for all conditions.”
Lake also discussed the need to explore new treatment options for people with addiction, including the possibility of prescription heroin.
He and Lapointe agree the death toll would be higher without the response of front line workers, including paramedics and others.
“The work going on at the front lines has been incredibly important in saving hundreds and hundreds of lives in our province,” said Lake.
Last fall, after the number of illicit deaths dipped in August and September, Lake said he was hopeful the public health emergency was ending.
“We thought we turned a corner, we really did. And then with the November numbers, it’s a whole different chapter in this crisis.”
One hypothesis for the sudden and staggering increase in November and December is the emergence of an even more potent opioid than fentanyl — carfentanil.
However, the coroners service’s new equipment to test for carfentanil is not yet operational and won’t be until March, said Lapointe.
This month, none of the health officials voiced any hope that the end of the crisis is in sight.
“This is a long-term strategy,” said Lapointe.