He made me laugh…
BTW: Don’t try this, scammers are getting way too savvy.
He made me laugh…
BTW: Don’t try this, scammers are getting way too savvy.
If it does, our world will look very different.
May 12, 2017
On May 8, the science journal Nature Medicine published an article with a surprising finding: regular low doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in mature and old mice (12 to 18 months old) restored their cognitive skills to those of a two-month-old mouse.
THC, of course, is the active component of marijuana, so this study seemed counterintuitive. Scientists are pretty confident that THC messes up the human adolescent brain. Why would it rejuvenate the aging brain?
I’ll admit I’m baffled by the authors’ explanation — something to do with THC’s effect on “CB1 receptor expression.” But let’s take their word for it, and also assume that chronic low doses of THC would have the same impact on old humans. What would the consequences be?
First of all, it would save us all a fortune. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC), 25,000 new cases of dementia are diagnosed in this country every year. An estimated 16,000 Canadians under age 65 are living with dementia; in total, the current number is 564,000 — and by 2031, 937,000 of us will be living with it. The society estimates that we are spending $15 billion yearly to care for persons with dementia. By the 2040s, the cost will rise to $153 billion.
The numbers are proportionately larger in the U.S., according to alzheimers.net: $236 billion just in 2016, to care for 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, Americans will likely be spending $700 billion looking after 16 million cases — and that’s not counting the billions being spent to find and produce a cure.
The burden on the caregivers
Those numbers don’t include the free labour of family caregivers, who must contend with the stress of watching their loved ones fade away. According to alzheimers.net, caregivers themselves were reporting almost $10 billion in extra health care costs in 2014.
So a cure for dementia would free not only tax dollars but caregivers (who are mostly women). This prospect alone should support a flood of new research money from governments and pharmaceutical companies alike. Even if THC turns out to be only partially effective, it will still lighten a terrible burden. And if it doesn’t work at all with humans, researchers will keep looking for something that does.
But ending dementia would also mean starting a whole new kind of society.
First of all, imagine 25,000 aging Canadians not getting dementia every year. Imagine many of Canada’s half-million current dementia patients recovering from the condition. They might be physically frail, and some disease would eventually kill them. But in the meantime, they’d be quite capable of looking after themselves and their property.
All pics added by Tales
With permission from
In George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel, 1984, information that no longer is consistent with Big Brother’s explanations is chucked down the Memory Hole. In the real American dystopia in which we currently live, the information is never reported at all.
On April 26—16 days ago—Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznihir, Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces, stated at the Moscow International Security Conference that the Operations Command of the Russian General Staff has concluded that Washington is preparing a nuclear first strike on Russia.
The Times-Gazett in Ashland, Ohio, was the only US print media that a Google search could turn up that reported this most alarming of all announcements. A Google search turned up no reports on US TV, and none on Canadian, Australian, European, or any other media except RT and Internet sites.
I have been unable to find any report that any US Senator or Representative or any European, Canadian, or Australian politician has raised a voice of concern.
No one in Washington got on the telephone to tell Putin that this was all a mistake, that the US was not preparing a nuclear first strike on Russia, or ask Putin how this serious situation could be defused.
Americans do not even know about it, except for my readers.
I would have expected at least that the CIA would have planted the story in the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR that General Poznihir was expressing his personal opinion, nothing to be taken seriously. But apparently Americans and their European vassals are not to even know that such an accussation was made.
As I reported some time ago and more recently in my column about North Korea, the Chinese leadership has also concluded that the US intends a nuclear first strike against China.
Alone either Russia or China can destroy the US. If they act together, the destruction of the US would be redundant. What is the intelligence, if any, and morality, clearly none, of the US leadership that recklessly and irresponsibly invites Russia and China to preempt Washington’s attack on them with an attack on the US?
Surely not even insouciant Americans are so stupid as to think that Russia and China will just sit there and wait for Washington’s nuclear attack.
I lived through every stage of the Cold War. I participated in it. Never in my life have I experienced the situation where two nuclear powers were convinced that the third was going to surprise them with a nuclear attack.
I supported Trump because he, unlike Hillary, said he would normalize relations with Russia. Instead he has raised the tensions between the nuclear powers. Nothing is more irresponsible or dangerous.
We currently are in the most dangerous situation of my lifetime, and there is ZERO AWARENESS AND NO DISCUSSION!
How can this be? Putin has been issuing warnings for years. He has told the Western presstitute media on more than one occasion that they, in their dishonesty, are pushing the world to nuclear war. Putin has said over and over, “I issue warnings and no one hears.” “How do I get through to you?”
Maybe the morons will hear when mushroom clouds appear over Washington and New York, and Europe ceases to exist, as it will if Europe continues the confrontation with Russia as is required from Washington’s well-paid vassals.
Within the last several years I reported the Chinese government’s reaction to US war plans for a nuclear strike on China. The Chinese showed how their submarines would destroy the West Coast of the US and their ICBMs would finish off the rest of the country.
I reported all of this, and it produced no response. The Memory Hole wasn’t needed, as neither Washington nor the presstitutes nor the Internet noticed. This is insouciance to the thousandth degree.
In America and its subservient, crawling on their knees vassal states, the information never gets reported, so it never has to be put down the Memory Hole.
If you convince someone that you are going to kill them, they are going to kill you first. A government, such as what exists in Washington, that convinces powerful countries that they are targeted, is a government that has no respect whatsoever for the lives of its own people or the peoples of the world or for any life on planet Earth.
Such a government as Washington is evil beyond all measure, as are the media whores and European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassal states that serve Washington at the expense of their own citizens.
Despite all their efforts to believe otherwise, the Russian and Chinese leaderships have finally arrived, belatedly, at the realization that Washington is evil to the core and is the agent of Satan.
For Russia and China, the Satanic Evil that rules in the West has reduced the choice for Russia and China to them or us.
“We are a part of Creation; thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.” (source)
What does this have to do with Native North Americans and supposed extraterrestrials? I will explain. Many are coming forward to share their stories that have been passed down generations, and one of them is Zuni Elder Clifford Mahooty, a retired civil/environmental engineer (BSCE-NMSU-1969). He has worked on many programs within environmental justice for Indian tribes, and tribal housing projects in the USPHS as a commissioned officer in water, waste water, and EPA enforcement in environmental compliance. Mahooty is active in the Zuni orders of the Kachina, Galaxy Medicine Society, and Sun Clan leadership, and is a wisdom keeper of Zuni history.
According to Mahooty, our relationship to the “star people” is spiritual, and directly connected with the caretaking of our planet:
In the future, there will be things that will be happening that will be directly related with the Sky People. I did not make this up, I did not read a science fiction book, this is just based upon ancestral knowledge which is — you can spend a whole, maybe 20 to 30 years and listen to it and not really understand it, but the reason I think that I understand it is because of many things that are happening right now.
And, no profits to for the Royal Parasites!
What part of these words from their book don’t these fake prophets understand?
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24
What will Planet Earth be like when it becomes devoid of marine, land, and avian wildlife after even more die-offs?
Has anyone taken note of the numerous wildlife die-offs that have been reported over the past few years? If you think that may be an “off-the-wall” exaggeration question or statement, well, there’s an online website that painstakingly chronicles what’s been going on, which I’d like to introduce to you.
It’s the End Times Prophecy – Earth’s Final Warning, which very concernedly has prepared lists chronicling the following:
Additionally, there have been 970 million butterflies – the exquisite Monarchs, in particular – that have been killed since 1990, apparently from pesticides and herbicides. Are GMO farming practices to blame?
What’s causing this: “The Ocean is Dying”?
We need to become better stewards of flora, fauna, and soil, I truly believe, and not poison everything with chemicals.
What will Planet Earth be like when it becomes devoid of marine, land, and avian wildlife? Think about that, especially as you begin the new gardening season for 2016 and any temptations to use toxic chemicals for gardening, pest control, or whatever.
If you want a nutrient-rich vegetable garden, you need healthy soil to grow nutritious crops. The more worms in your garden, the healthier the soil is , I feel. For many years, I used to purchase Lady Bugs and Praying Mantises at garden centers, and then let them loose in a few areas of my garden.
I always included plants that would attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Here’s a resource of plants to grow that invite those lovely visitors to your garden. These plants attract beautiful song birds, especially Gold Finches! They love to feast on Echinacea flower heads.
Do we really need all those lawn chemicals, chemical fertilizers and plant enhancements?
How about pest control chemicals? What about buzzing, stinging insects and the numerous pesticides to deal with them?
To help readers get out from under toxic garden chemicals, I’ve prepared a beginner’s list to point you in a more Earth-friendly direction, which I hope can start you on the path to chemical-free gardening. Mother Earth will appreciate that, and so will your pets and kiddies, too.
Here’s a resource for dealing with ant infestations. “13 natural remedies for ant invasion”
Got termites? No problem! See “How to Kill Termites Naturally: 7 Effective Methods”
To deal with buzzing, stinging insects like mosquitoes, here are several resources:
5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants
6 Kinds of Natural Mosquito Repellents
Stopping Stink Bugs
Homemade Organic Pesticide for Fruit Trees
10 Organic Homemade Pesticides
This list provides organic-approved pesticides
This is an interesting site http://www.organicpowerproducts.com/organicpestcontrol/?gclid=CMbw7LSI08wCFQ9ZhgodjMAKJA that may provide something a little different.
6 Homemade herbicides: Kill the weeds without killing the earth
Organic Weed Killer Recipe
Dealing with Rabbits, Squirrels, and Deer in Flower Beds and Gardens
Personally, I’m exasperated with all of the above, who play havoc with my front and back patio gardens. What really works at keeping them out of the garden are two things: Dried Blood Meal and Dried Bone Meal.
I sprinkle both around the perimeter of the flower beds and then sprinkle a little in the center.
However, after a few days of rain, I need to reapply the blood meal, which keeps the deer off my hostas. I even sprinkle a little blood meal into the large patio planters and pots filled with plants. That keeps the squirrels from tearing plants out of their pots. Plus, both act as organic plant supplements too.
Want to become a beekeeper, even in the city? Here’s how to go about it. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a hotel restaurant has rooftop gardens, which include beehives  too!
We and the planet can’t afford to lose our food crop pollinators: the bees, butterflies, and bird populations, or other wildlife. Nothing pleases me more than to sit on my back patio and see the deer on the back common or either the red or gray fox saunter by. Wildlife is a gift from above, so is the Earth below our feet.
One of the great saints of Christianity, St. Francis of Assisi, composed an exquisite canticle to Nature—The Canticle of the Sun,  in which he refers to the varied features of Nature, e.g., sun, moon, stars, wind, air, etc., as his sisters and brothers. What a lovely way of thinking about Nature, especially when Nature is being assaulted on all sides by technology and chemicals.
Oh! to see a crystal clear blue sky again!
Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)
Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich coming in Summer 2016
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in Washington this week to discuss serious global issues with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson. Instead of asking the pair about the Syrian conflict or the danger of nuclear war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula, all the assembled US media was clamoring to know about were the diplomats’ views on James Comey, the sacked FBI chief.
Lavrov couldn’t contain his contempt for such boorish behavior. He shrugged his shoulders and feigned surprise by saying: “You’re kidding me. You’re kidding me.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin was interrupted from partaking in an ice hockey game in Sochi by an American reporter who also pressed him for his view on Comey’s firing. Putin replied: “Your question is funny to me.” And he went on to say that the matter has nothing to do with Russia, being internal political business for President Trump and his law enforcement agency.
If the Russian leaders can be accused of anything is that they are being too polite in the face of such nonsense.If someone insists on asking you a stupid question, loaded with prejudice and paranoia, then it is best to simply ignore rather than dignify the nonsense with a considered answer.
For over six months now, since Donald Trump was elected US president on November 8, the US media and much of the other Western media too, have been dominated by claims that Russia “hacked American democracy” to get Trump into the White House.
Not one shred of evidence has been presented to support these lurid claims, which have mutated to also include allegations of Russia hacking into the French and other European elections. It’s all based on speculation, usually by politicians, think-tanks and unscrupulous journalists linked to unelected state intelligence agencies.
This is a relapse of Cold War-style Russophobia, but one which has become totally divorced from any reality. At least in the old Cold War days, Western states could create a semblance of there being a Soviet enemy. It was still overblown propaganda back then, but there was the appearance of ideological enmity between West and East.Today, it is objectively hard to plausibly portray Russia as an enemy state with malicious designs of conquest over the West. That disconnect, however, has not stopped the Western mainstream media churning out propaganda articles warning of the imminent Russian invasion of Europe or subversion of Western democracy.
The trouble is that there is such a credibility deficit to such claims; because they are based on nothing, except Russophobia and a desire by powerful Western state factions to fuel global conflict and massive military expenditure. In short, deep state militarism, propping up bankrupt Western capitalism.There is also a deep inherent problem in Western societies of traditional politics having completely lost legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary citizens. Decades of failed capitalist economics and burgeoning social inequality have fomented widespread disillusionment and contempt for the political establishments. The latter has run out of any solutions to address today’s urgent social needs of decent work, public services and welfare.
So much so that when elections don’t go the way that the powers-that-be want, then there is a tendency to find a scapegoat to explain the breakdown in political order. Russia and its alleged hacking into electoral process is the handy scapegoat for the US and its European allies to blame for what is inherent decay in their own systems.The election of business tycoon Donald Trump defied the political-media establishment in the US. And so his surprise victory has to be “explained” by a nefarious foreign plot allegedly carried out by the Kremlin. A more realistic, accurate assessment is that Trump won simply because millions of ordinary Americans have come to despise the fat-cat politicians who sit on Capitol Hill doing the bidding for corporate lobby groups. But that explanation cannot be admitted by the decadent establishment.
The self-serving paranoia of Russophobia put out by the Washington establishment just keeps digging a deeper hole for itself.
Trump fired FBI chief James Comey this week because the top law enforcement officer was riding a gravy train that is supposedly investigating alleged collusion between Trump’s election team and Russia. There is no evidence for these claims, therefore the probe should be shut down as an obscene waste of taxpayer money. Yet, Comey’s gravy train was set to keep on rolling, on and on.Comey wouldn’t look into investigating Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton for provable violations of government secrecy rules when she was formerly the Secretary of State. But the FBI man wanted to keep stoking the smoke over outlandish claims that Trump is a “Russian agent.”
The whole charade is a ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer money, and Trump is right to call a halt to it by sacking Comey.
Rather than coming to their senses, however, the US media and large sections of the political establishment are doubling down on their paranoia.
Trump is accused of closing down Comey in a cover-up of the “truth” about his alleged Russia links. Comparisons are being made to the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon in 1974. Top US media outlets like the New York Times are openly calling Trump a “liar.”
But what “truth” are they talking about? The allegations of collusion with Russia and the latter hacking US democracy are all based on hearsay, conjecture and prejudice. The only reason why this absurd story has kept on running is because of deep-seated Cold War-style paranoia and Russophobia among the American political elite.Trump’s reception of Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov at the White House the day after he terminated Comey was more fodder for the unhinged American media and political class.
Lavrov was right to treat the stupid US media questions about his view on Comey with the contempt that they deserve. Trump was right, too, to exclude the same media posse from the Oval Office where he greeted Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
If US media are not capable of holding intelligent questions about real-world pressing matters then they should be shown the door. And if they persist in indulging in paranoid fantasies, then the only suitable reality-check is to hit them with a dose of mockery.
Genuine questions deserve a genuine response. Ridiculous questions that are persistently asked to further a spurious political agenda should be spurned.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.
May 11, 2017
Over five centuries after the Age of Discovery, we all know a long historical cycle is ending. The Decline of the West is shorthand for a tangle of immense complexity – directly proportional to the ascent of the century of Eurasia integration, driven by China’s New Silk Roads.Every time I dig deeper into the Decline of the West, I have to go back to the roots. And that means – echoes of Stendhal, Keats, Nietzsche — a Journey to Italy. I had recently engaged in an extended dialogue with Machiavelli in Florence. This time, the French presidential election was looming – widely billed as the “civilized” West facing a crucial crossroads.
I set out after reading Decadence, by the explosive philosopher and founder of the Popular University of Caen, Michel Onfray. His thesis is devastating; Judeo-Christian civilization, thus the West, was built on a fiction, “that of a Jesus never having an existence other than allegorical, metaphorical, symbolic and mythological.” Over a thousand years of art history had conferred him “the body of a white man, with blond hair and a thin beard’ (where better to examine it than through Renaissance art?) And “nothing that constitutes this emblematic portrait, finds justification in a single verse of the New Testament.”
Thus, Onfray writes, “our whole civilization is based on the attempt to give a body to this being that had only a conceptual existence.” Jesus of Nazareth, “who did not exist historically,” becomes the “Christ Pantocrator” (meaning, in Greek, “ruler of all”), “crystallizing under his name almost two thousand years of a Western history saturated by him.”
St. Paul laughed out of the agora
So here was the road map for the journey: Christianity as the official history of the West – in an almost perpetual clash with ancient Greek philosophy. And then once more to retrace the steps of how humanism – and the Enlightenment – briefly lifted the human spirit until the slaughterhouse of the 20th century led the way to the current, end of ideology, Age of Anger.
I started in Turin over dinner with the great Gianni Vattimo, one of the last, towering European intellectuals. Frail but still sharp, Vattimo is like a living embodiment of a dying world. I paid my ritual homage to Nietzsche (“there are no facts, only interpretations”), a fierce admirer of the pre-Socratics, at the house where he wrote Ecce Homo before succumbing to folly. In Milan, I saw the Silk Road in reverse at Porta Nuova as the city increasingly reinforces its myriad links with China.As I moved south towards Florence, I could not stop thinking – in a Nietzschean mode – about St. Paul, among his countless pilgrimages to Ephesus, Antioch, Corinth, Pergamon, Tyr, meeting Pythagoreans, Platonics, Epicureans, Stoics, Cynics in agoras where they taught their art de vivre according to reason, always mingling with the local merchants, weavers, fishermen.
Paul hated philosophers. The New Testament refers to Paul at the agora in Athens, which once harbored the prized dialogues between Socrates and Plato, Plato and Aristotle, and many a Neoplatonist debate. Paul was horrified by this city full of “idols.” He was preaching the “resurrection of the flesh,” the abolition of paganism and a multiplicity of tolerant gods, replaced by a one and only, intolerant God. Talk about delirium; that could not but send partisans of Zeno or Epicurus into roars of laughter.
Then there was Helen, mother of emperor Constantine, turning the Cross into a major political business. Helen invented not only the pilgrimage to the Holy Land but also the Crusades – that extended historical instance of Christian jihad.Constantine, a cynical, opportunist strategist, understood that to halt the political fragmentation of the Roman Empire and domesticate popular anger the best way was to adopt a minor, quirky Jewish sect whereby the poor must remain poor (it’s God’s will) and power exists because God conferred it to those who possess it (parallels to American exceptionalism, anyone?)
When, in May 22, 337 Constantine converts himself to Christianity, he converts the whole empire; he kills Rome as the center of the world (we should not forget that Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire, was a devout disciple of pagan Apollo); he creates Judeo-Christian civilization; and he opens the way to what will become the West.
Onfray synthesizes it; Rome lived for 11 centuries. But then “the She-wolf was eaten by the Lamb”; that was “the inaugural feast of our Judeo-Christian civilization.”
Epicurus does Tuscany
Cynics – and Epicureans — privilege other modes of feasting. By then I had reached Tuscany, armed with a pocket edition of the Letters of Epicurus. Ahead was the sublime countryside in Val d’Orcia, worthy of a Renaissance masterpiece; Bacchus springing up from the perfect bottle of Brunello at the fortress in Montalcino; the simple magic of water and flour savored in a pici from Siena.And as a sideshow, in a revised pagan Rome register, I was catching up with remembrances of La Dolce Vita. How Luchino Visconti ruled Cineccitta. How Antonioni pictured the eclipse of sentiment by transposing his life with Monica Vitti to the screen. How Fellini was arrested by the NYPD in the black Cadillac of his producer Dino de Laurentiis just to be honored by the cops as a living God.
Epicurus teaches in his Letters a radical antinomy to Christianity. All that exists is nothing but atoms that fall on the void (so no more resurrection of the flesh); serenity is obtained by the knowledge of atomist physics (thus no government of men under the fear of God); and most subversively, pleasure is the origin of good, residing in the satisfaction of natural and necessary desires (thus no Christian asceticism, penitence, original sin — and interminable expiation of the sin).
No wonder, for centuries, Christianity had to suffocate this hedonist, sensualist philosophy. Three Epicurus letters survived the Christian Inquisitor because they were included in a 3rd-century volume by philosophy historian Diogenes Laertius. And then Epicureanism reappeared in the 7415 verses of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. What an extraordinary historical twist; the Christian destruction of the work by Epicurus the Greek was to a great extent saved by an immense poem written by Lucretius the Roman.De Rerum Natura was discovered by Poggio Bracciolini in January 1417 in a German monastery. The first edition is published in Brescia in 1473. Enthusiastic readers include Erasmus, Montaigne, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Pascal, Galileo, Newton. Europe really comes alive when humanism oversteps Christianity.
Poggio Bracciolini traveled all over Europe as much as Petrarca, who had searched for Greek and Roman manuscripts since the 1330s. When Poggio rediscovers Lucretius, he builds intellectual Europe; the vision of the world that puts man at the center where, after a millennium, Christianity had installed the Christ. Rhetoric, history, poetry, philosophy, letters, architecture, all those disciplines that have shone before Christ – and then nourished those ghastly Christian auto-da-fés – are finally set free.
Nowhere better than Florence to retrace the steps of humanists who created Europe without Christianity. Take Niccolo Niccoli; when he dies in 1437, he had amassed 800 manuscripts, the most spectacular collection in Florence. And he single-handedly invents the modern concept of the public library, where you can borrow any book you want.
Onfray frames it beautifully: ““Constantine and his followers made ancient thought leave through the door, Petrarca, Niccoli and Poggio made it re-enter by the window.”
Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight
And nowhere better than in Tuscany may we revive how Christian mythology was sold to the masses — in contrast with eulogies of Greek paganism. The aesthetic perfection of Donatello’s spectacularly insolent, adolescent David, Botticelli’s Neoplatonist Spring, or Giambologna’s Mercury shines as much as Leonardo’s Annunciation and most of all the unfinished Adoration of the Magi, meticulously restored with state of the art technology.
And then we are knocked out by a breathless Franciscan masterpiece; the Legend of the True Cross by Piero Della Francesca at the St. Francis Basilica in Arezzo.
St. Francis absolutely venerated the symbol of the Passion. The whole saga is pictured in a sort of Renaissance cinemascope 4K series of frescoes – also meticulously restored. Piero based them on legends related to the wood of the cross where Christ was crucified, included in the Apocryphal Gospels originated in Asia and known as the Golden Legend.
The symbolism is unmistakable; God always intervenes; He is the guarantor of redemption; and in the end, the forces of Evil will be defeated.
No wonder the Golden Legend enjoyed an immense success during the Crusades; one of the chapters, the profanation of the Holy Land by infidels, was used as effective propaganda for military conquest.
But Piero, with his unmatched formal rigor, transcends it, turns it into an epic, a “less is more” modernist aesthetic orgasm even as the message remains a myth; Piero’s Annunciation – arguably the highlight of the fresco cycle — symbolizes a rite of passage for man; condemned by the original sin, from Adam to Christ, he finally enters the age of Christianity, where faith in salvation, possible by the sacrifice of the Redemptor, signals hope.
Yet way over a century before Piero, the Ambrogio Lorenzetti cycle of frescoes painted between 1338 and 1339 at the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena was hinting at something way more revolutionary; the triumph of sensible, human – not divine — politics.
This meticulous intervention of man building an ethic-aesthetic conception of civil society still blows our minds away. In his Allegory of Good Government, Lorenzetti depicted nothing less than the effects of good government in a sort of utopia of reality; a solar, serene, laborious medieval city in a symbiotic relationship with a productive countryside. Something that the West has lost – perhaps forever.
Throughout history, the West was enshrined as a fable; imagined to death; celebrated as the fountain of civilization; deeply religious, sentimental, paragon of secularism, imperial, colonial, political. It’s easy to forget that for those Christians “discovering” the new world, the West was not the antithesis of the East but a Divine successor. Now the pendulum swings back.On the way back to Paris, through Epicurean Bologna – home of the definitive tortellini – I had time to revive a last modernist yell, via a bilingual pocket edition of Pound’s Pisan Cantos, a sort of pre-requiem for the Decline of the West. As a lone ant from a broken ant-hill/ from the wreckage of Europe, ego scriptor.
Pull down thy vanity, repeated as an incantation in canto LXXXI, reads like a poignant message to two millennia of Christianity. And then, riding on the TGV, I saw the new French pharaoh, Ramses Macron, studiously and cinematically walking towards his pyramid at the Louvre to celebrate yet one more Western triumph towards a Brave New Neoliberal World.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.
May 12, 2017
Earlier this week, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will take an active part in the international One Belt, One Road forum which will be held in Beijing on May 14-15.For his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to pay an official visit to Russia in early July, according to media reports.
Speaking to Sputnik, Sergey Sanakoyev, head of the Russian-Chinese analytical center, specifically pointed to an “unprecedented level” of relations between Beijing and Moscow which he said is confirmed by regular meetings of the two countries’ Presidents.
Mentioning an upcoming visit by the Chinese President to Russia, Sanakoev said that traditionally, similar visits come amid large-scale bilateral interaction on an intergovernmental basis.
“Russia and China have the most extensive mechanism of intergovernmental contacts. The two have five intergovernmental commissions: on trade and economic cooperation, energy, social issues, as well as investment and regional cooperation,” Sanakoyev said.
He added that bilateral collaboration is actively developing in a wide array of sectors.”In April, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 15 percent, according to statistical data. We have diversified energy trade routes and we are also expanding ties in non-energy sectors, such as aviation, space, communications and construction,” Sanakoyev added.
“Moscow and Beijing clinched a huge range of contracts that cannot be described in a few words. Relations between the two countries can be called a mature strategic partnership. Taking into account the existing tension in the world, this partnership is starting to look like an alliance,” he concluded.
Putin and Xi’s relationship seems strong. In November 2016, they held a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru’s capital Lima, during which they discussed the development of bilateral ties.
“Bilateral cooperation between Russia and China is developing very successfully at the moment and both sides are very pleased. It will be equally auspicious in the future as well,” Zhong said.
He added that the two countries have a variety of tools at their disposal, which have played in important role in developing bilateral ties.
Trade between Russia and China grew 2.2 percent in 2016 and came to $69.525 billion, according to the most recent data from China’s General Administration of Customs. Russian-Chinese trade revived last year after a decline in 2015.The two countries have been working on improving transport and postal service links as well as looking into ways of integrating various regional economic initiatives.
In June, the sides agreed to start formal talks on coupling the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s pan-Eurasian One Belt, One Road initiative.
With permission from
May 12, 2017
Freedom of speech, just like the freedom of the media are among the fundamental values that are to be promoted and defended by any state that deems itself democratic. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
However, in spite of this declaration and a set of common believes about the way journalists are to be treated, they are still being prosecuted in a great many of countries which prevents them from performing their professional duties to the best of their capabilities. What is curious is that the freedom of speech has come under assault in the United States today. However, any reports about such instances are being suppressed, while Washington keeps actively promoting the so-called “America-style freedom of speech.”
In a bid to advertise the alleged respect that the White House towards journalists and their freedoms, on the eve of the National Day of Prayer, Donal Trump with a group of Catholic cardinals in order to publicly sign an executive order that would allegedly strengthen the protection of freedom of speech and religious freedom in the United Stats. Upon signing this decree, Trump announced that his administration has just made a historical steps in a bid to defend religious freedom in the United States. The US President would boldly announce that:
We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore, and we will never, ever stand for religious discrimination
Trump had previously promised to ‘totally destroy’ the Johnson’s amendment prohibiting members of religious groups from campaigning for election candidates, although he has no authority to bring down the amendment altogether. Its curious that the amendment was introduced in 1954 by Lindon Johnson, who a senator at the time who would later become the president of the country. In particular, this amendment puts a limit to the freedom of speech of pastors, in fact, threatening churches and non-profit organizations with a loss of tax-free status in the event of their rooting for a political candidate.
It is very symbolic that Trump signed the above decree on the day when the whole world celebrated World Press Freedom Day, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of press freedom and remind governments around the world of their obligation to respect and uphold the rights that journalists must universally enjoy.
However, numerous facts show violations of the most basic principles of the freedom of speech in the United States. In spite of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, that guarantees protection of the freedom of speech in the United States, Donald Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway has recently penned a new term in the dictionary used by the Tramp administration – “alternative facts”. This happened after the 45th US president came into a confrontation with a number of American media people, in particular those who represent The New York Times, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Washington Post, Politico, by accusing them of publishing “fake news”. Trump would go as far as to describe them as the enemies of the American people. In his public appearances, Trump has repeatedly tried to prevent some reporters from attending press briefings in the White House.
Foreign media sources, those that are linked with Russia, have fallen victims of the recent Russophobic campaign launched by the White House, with certain political figures accusing RT and Sputnik of pretty much anything and demanding the US Senate for revoking their licenses.
In order to strengthen control over the way that facts are being presented to the general public, President Trump is planning to expand the stuff that is managing his own accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as it been reported last February by the CNN. And the new US National Security Minister, John Kelly, in February suggested introducing additional measures to determine the reliability of travelers entering the US, requesting visa applicants to hand over the passwords to their social network accounts.
As it’s been noted by Julian Assange, the creator and editor-in-chief of the notorious WikiLeaks portal, Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. Assange would note that Pompeo liked WikiLeaks when he perceived it was publishing material revealing the shortcomings of his political rivals. The “Pompeo doctrine” articulated in his speech ensnares all serious news and investigative human rights organizations, from ProPublica to Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch.
The “accountability of the media” in the United States has also been evidenced by the fact that the US State Department has a special program that is designed to train Middle Eastern journalists and establishing control over all sorts of media sources across the world. In order to affect public opinion through various publication the US government has even allocated 1.5 million dollars in the year 2017 alone. In the list of the countries that are to be targeted one can find Ukraine, China and Syria.
So is there any freedom of speech left in the US for journalists to enjoy does anybody really wants the American-style Freedom of Speech?
Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
“…Researchers at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in India examined 287 HPV-positive women. The experts noted that women who were givencurcumin-based treatments had HPV clearance rates between 81 percent and 87 percent.”
With permission from
by: Russel Davis
May 11, 2017
According to a team of researchers from the Pasteur Institute in France, the turmeric compound not only inhibited the growth of zika and chikungunya viruses, but also halted the ability of these harmful viruses to infect otherwise healthy cells. The research team also noted a dose-dependent effect in inhibiting these viruses. Curcumin was found to affect the virus’ ability to bind with other cells.
Another study published in the journal Gut showed that curcumin hindered the hepatitis C virus from entering the human liver cells. According to the researchers, this effect proved especially beneficial — as exposure to the HCV virus caused severe liver disease and was known to affect more than 160 million people around the world. “Curcumin treatment had no effect on HCV RNA replication or viral assembly/release. However, co-incubation of HCV with curcumin potently inhibited entry of all major HCV genotypes. Similar antiviral activities were also exerted by other curcumin derivatives but not by tetrahydrocurcumin, suggesting the importance of α,β-unsaturated ketone groups for the antiviral activity. Expression levels of known HCV receptors were unaltered, while pretreating the virus with the compound reduced viral infectivity without viral lysis. Membrane fluidity experiments indicated that curcumin affected the fluidity of the HCV envelope resulting in impairment of viral binding and fusion. Curcumin has also been found to inhibit cell-to-cell transmission and to be effective in combination with other antiviral agents,” the researchers concluded.
Curcumin was also known to suppress the influenza-A virus in a number of studies. Researchers at the Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Public Health at the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan found that the turmeric compound interfered with the virus’ haemagglutination activity by blocking its ability to bind with red blood cells in patients. Another study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases showed that the turmeric compound decreased viral replication by more than 90 percent in cultured cells infected with influenza-A. The compound was also found to inhibit the virus from infecting other cells. In addition, a study published in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry revealed that curcumin prompted hemeoxygenase-1 gene stimulation in the hippocampus of the brain. In turn, this activation triggered the production of bilirubin, a potent antioxidant essential for the immune system’s health. (Related: Take better care of your health by reading Prevention.news).
The turmeric compound was shown to suppress herpes virus. According to researchers at the Michigan State University, curcumin inhibited the virus from spreading by affecting its early gene expression. “Curcumin is a potent compound with various biological properties. We have shown that curcumin significantly affects HSV-1 IE gene expression which thereby diminishes the ability of the virus to launch the lytic infectious cycle,” the researchers wrote. Another study by McMaster University researchers revealed that the turmeric compound stopped both simplex-1 and herpes simplex-2 viruses from spreading by preventing the replication of the viruses in infected T-cells.
“The science literature clearly shows that turmeric is a goldmine of powerful medicinal compounds with extraordinary benefits for human health,” remarked Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, author of Food Forensics and lab science director of an internationally recognized food science laboratory. “If turmeric had been invented by a pharmaceutical company, it would be hailed as the greatest breakthrough in medical history,” Adams says.
A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention also found that curcumin was able to clear human papillomavirus in women. As part of the study, researchers at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in India examined 287 HPV-positive women. The experts noted that women who were givencurcumin-based treatments had HPV clearance rates between 81 percent and 87 percent.
The latest release consists of five documents detailing the two frameworks. ‘AfterMidnight’ allows operators to load and execute malware on a target machine, according to a statement from WikiLeaks.
The malware, disguised as a self-persisting dynamic-link library (DLL), unique to Microsoft, executes ‘Gremlins’ – small payloads which run hidden on the machine subverting the functionality of software as well as surveying the target and exfiltration of data. A payload named ‘AlphaGremlin’ allows operators to schedule customs tasks to be executed on the machine.
Once installed ‘AfterMidnight’ uses a HTTPS listening port to check for any scheduled events. Local storage related to ‘AfterMidnight’ is encrypted with a key not stored on the target machine, according to a user guide provided in the leak.
According to the leak, ‘Assassin’ is a similar type of malware to ‘AfterMidnight’. The tool’s user guide describes it as “an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system.”
The tool purportedly allows operators to perform specific tasks on an infected computer, periodically sending intercepted information to listening posts. It is made up of four subsystems: ‘Implant’, ‘Builder’, ‘Command and Control’, and ‘Listening Post’.
The ‘Implant’ provides the core logic and functionality of the tool on a target computer. The way it’s set up determines much of how the tool will behave on the target computer.
The ‘Builder’ arranges the Implant and ‘Deployment Executables’ before deployment, while the ‘Command and Control’ subsystem acts as an interface between the operator and the ‘Listening Post.’
The ‘Listening Post’ allows the ‘Implant’ to communicate with the subsystem through a web server.
A fascinating new book seriously tackles the question of extraterrestrial life from the perspective of leading astronomers, astrophysicists, geneticists, and neuroscientists.
Theoretical physics may be difficult and complicated, “but it does have sex appeal.” So says quantum physicist Jim Al-Khalili. “It’s easy to find an audience for popular science or for a TV documentary about the Big Bang or about black holes,” he recently told me. Al-Khalili’s work in the field has led to the fascinating new book Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life, which explores what he believes is the likely possibility of alien life.
The Iraqi-born, UK-based Al-Khalili’s intro opens with an anecdote: The Nobel Prize–winning physicist Enrico Fermi is jokingly discussing flying saucers with some colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory when he poses a simple question: “Where is everybody?” His point, Al-Khalili writes, is that the universe is so massive and contains so many planets, that it makes little sense for Earth to be the only place where life blossomed, unless our planet is “astonishingly and unjustifiably special.”
Aliens, out this week from Picador, proceeds in the way that one imagines that Fermi’s conversation at Los Alamos might have: serious scientists, in occasionally cheeky dialogue with one another, acknowledging that the question they’re pursuing—Is anybody out there?—has long been pursued by kookier personalities, conspiracy theorists obsessed with Area 51, and alien abductions. Instead, Al-Khalili’s book offers research-driven essays by prominent astronomers, astrophysicists, geneticists, and neuroscientists, and their pieces offer a wide range of ways to think about the question of extraterrestrial life. Several astrobiologists consider what life requires and which planets and moons might have the right mix: neuroscientist Anil Seth considers the “alien” intelligence of the octopus here on Earth; cosmologist Martin Rees speculates on the possibility of humans merging with machine intelligence and setting out to explore the universe as a new cyborg species.
But for the most part, these experts are weighing in on one fundamental question: Is life special, a unique and almost impossible trick that happened here on Earth? Or is it easy, almost inevitable, a spark that just arises where the conditions are right? It’s an age-old question, that, as Al-Khalili explains, we may finally have the technology to answer.
VICE: What drew you to the questions that the book addresses? Are you someone who has had a lifelong interest in the idea of aliens?
Jim Al-Khalili: It’s not so much aliens, but more to do with the question of what is special about life. Probably all scientists find that topic fascinating. There are certain questions in science that we don’t have answers to, which we say, those are the big questions: What was there before the universe, before the Big Bang? How did life begin on Earth? How did chemistry turn into biology? What is the nature of consciousness? These are the questions that transcend disciplines. If you get a chemist, a physicist, a biologist, a computer scientist—all of them are going to be fascinated by this.
When I was young, I suppose I was interested in aliens like anyone else. I’m a sci-fi fan. But, for me, the question was really what is so special about life—how did it start on Earth and whether it is unique to Earth.
The book is serious, but the interest in extraterrestrial life has a reputation for being pretty quirky.
Someone once told me that half the internet is devoted to conspiracy theories to do with alien abductions and UFOs. Half is probably too much, but there’s so much out there, from X-Files to science fiction in movies, that it is surprising to think that scientists would treat the question of extraterrestrial life seriously at all. And that’s what made this so refreshing. The book is highlighting the fact that there are lots of questions that are of interest to scientists that you can actually treat seriously. If you really want to know the possibility of whether there are little green men out there, here are the serious scientific takes on it, from all angles. So, it’s meant to be of interest to the wider lay audience but dealt with in a grown-up way.
You mention that there has been a shift within the scientific community toward taking this seriously and away from the era of imagining little green men. Do you have thoughts on when and how that changed?
This shift has come about because of advances in astronomy and space exploration in the last decade or two. We have started to send probes to Mars, to the moons of the gas giants Saturn and Jupiter, and we are seriously starting to be able to study the places where there potentially could be life in our solar system. And at the same time, in the past decade, we have discovered planets around stars outside our solar system, exoplanets. Astronomy has been advancing so quickly that what was unthinkable a decade ago is now reality. We can now not only pinpoint which stars have planets going around them, but we can look at those planets and even tell whether they have an atmosphere. Just from the light passing through the atmosphere from the star that they are going around, we can study that light and that can tell us the chemical composition of the atmosphere—and that can tell us what elements, what molecules, what compounds are in that atmosphere, and would they be there naturally or would there have to be life present to have made them. So, these advances in astronomy and space exploration suddenly mean that we can actually address this question. It’s got to the point now where I’m quite optimistic that in my lifetime, it’s likely that we will discover life elsewhere.
Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that. Now, all these things are coming together. One of the contributors in the book, [professor of evolutionary biochemistry] Nick Lane, talks about the building blocks of life. What do you need? Is there anything magical? You get molecules getting more and more complicated, and then eventually you get something that can make copies of itself, and that’s the first precursor of life. Well, until recently we thought there was a missing step—”and then some magic happens”—and then you get biology from chemistry! But there seems to be no magical steps necessary. I now reckon that the consensus among most scientists is that it would be quite surprising if we don’t find life elsewhere, probably within our lifetime. It might not be interesting life—it won’t be men in flying saucers—it will be some form of microbial life. But, hey, for scientists that will be enough.
“Astronomy has been advancing so quickly that what was unthinkable a decade ago is now reality. It’s got to the point now where I’m quite optimistic that in my lifetime, it’s likely that we will discover life elsewhere.”
So on the big question in the book, which is something like “is life on Earth special and unique or is it common?”—and there are great arguments posed for each side—where do you fall on that spectrum personally?
There’s a wide spectrum of opinion among informed scientists. So the fact that I sit somewhere in the middle is because I’ve been influenced by both sides. My kind of naïve view is that we only know of life happening somewhere: on Earth. We are beginning to see that the conditions on Earth are not unique. Forgive the metaphor, but a lot of stars have to have aligned for that—we have to be the right distance from the sun, we have to have an atmosphere, we have to have a moon that gives us tides, we have to have a big planet like Jupiter that is sucking up the debris so it doesn’t bombard us. But there are so many other star systems; there are so many other exoplanets, just in our galaxy alone, that there must be millions, billions of other Earths that have the conditions necessary for life. So in that sense we know we are not unique.
But that doesn’t mean that we know how life got started, just because those conditions exist. We know that life began on Earth very soon after Earth cooled down enough for life to possibly exist, almost 4 billion years ago. Now, over 4 billion years ago, the Earth was just a ball of fire. It wasn’t conducive to anything. So, as soon as the conditions were right for life, life got started. But it didn’t develop into complex life until much, much later. So I’m of the view that life as a simple single cellular form may well be not that difficult. It may be almost ubiquitous in the universe. But multicellular life, life that could then evolve into complex organisms, some of which could develop consciousness and intelligence and civilizations—that actually may be the harder step. How hard it is, we don’t know yet.
We’re starting with the assumption with the idea that the laws of physics and the forces of nature are the same throughout the universe. We know of four of these forces. Two of them are active inside of atoms, the nuclear forces. And the only other ones are gravity and the electromagnetic force. Gravity is limited technologically, but the electromagnetic force is versatile: Light is the electromagnetic force, and radio waves are the electromagnetic force. So it’s a means of sending information from one place to the other. So we’re assuming that whatever form life takes elsewhere, even if its not carbon based—it could be something really beyond our imagination—we still think they will make use of electromagnetic forces. It is a potentially universal way of communicating.
So if we are announcing our existence to the rest of the universe, then it may be that life elsewhere that is doing the same thing. Which is why the whole SETI program is about listening out into the universe to hear some electromagnetic signal that we don’t think could have just happened naturally. Of course, we’ve only been announcing our existence to the world for about 100 years or so, when we first developed radio. So our electromagnetic signals have only extended out to a radius of 100 light years. And actually there aren’t that many star systems within 100 light years. The universe is vast—there’s billions of stars in our own galaxy—but there are only a handful within that range. Of course, an alien civilization may have been announcing their existence to the universe millions of years ago, for all we know, so those signals, if we do receive those signals, they may have traveled across vast distances—it won’t mean that we can then say, “Hi, we’re here,” and then make contact with them. But just the knowledge that there is life out there somewhere would be profound.
Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life is available in bookstores and online from Picador.
In this video, Melissa Dykes of TruthstreamMedia.com shows how the mainstream corporate news media hypnotizes their audiences and how certain “trigger words” are used to turn people into unthinking zombies so they can be easily controlled.
The following video is from January 2017
The focus of a meeting between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday was the de-escalation of the Syrian conflict.
Despite the positive overtones, the American media preferred to take a different angle focusing on the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections and the firing of the FBI chief James Comey.
RT: Sergey Lavrov says President Trump wants productive relations with Moscow after the previous administration soured them. Can they be improved considering the storm over the alleged ties between the Trump team and Russia?
Ron Paul: Absolutely. And I think that has been. What is going on right now is an improvement. I think what is going on in Syria with these de-escalation zones; I think that is good. They are talking to each other. I just don’t understand why sometimes there is an impression that we shouldn’t be having diplomatic conversations … All the tough rhetoric doesn’t do any good. Trump’s statement to me sounded pretty good. I think the whole thing about the elections, putting that aside would be a wise thing because the evidence is not there for any intrusion in our election by the Russians. I think this is good progress, and there will be plenty individuals in this country who complain about it because it just seems like they are very content to keep the aggravation going. Right now, the relationship from my viewpoint has greatly improved. I think that is good.
RT: During the media conference, some journalists again raised the question of possible Russian involvement in US politics. How is it possible for such a great nation to think this way?
RP: If it is a fact, we should hear about it, but we haven’t. And those individuals who are trying to stir up trouble like that, they haven’t come up with any facts. Nobody wants anybody’s elections interfered with. But the facts aren’t there, so why dwell on that? Why use that as an excuse to prevent something that we think is positive and that is better relations with Russia. I think what is happening with this conversation is very beneficial.
Unfortunately, Trump’s opponents have been able to frame the issue in Washington and also we have a compliant media that is playing into the hands of his opposition. He has made a good point that the [allegations of Russian interference] does look like fiction. I am certainly prepared to believe that Russia had some interference in the election. But can we see a single fact? We haven’t seen a single fact of it. The media reports it as if it is true. Trump has a very difficult row to hoe if he wants to improve relations with Russia; he is going to have to take a stand and refute some of these things a lot more vociferously than he has. – Daniel McAdams, executive director at Ron Paul Institute
RT: According to Lavrov, Trump also expressed his support for creating safe zones in Syria. Will this pave the way for co-operation between the two coalitions?
RP: With Assad and Russia working together and getting more security for the country, at the same time the US is now talking with Russia. I think this is good. But just the acceptance of the idea that we should be talking and practicing diplomacy rather than threats and intimidation. There are obviously a lot of problems that we have to work out, but I think in the last week and the last couple of days very positive things have been happening.
Elements of our media have made a big deal about contacts Sergei Kislyak [the Russian ambassador to the US] had with various members of Trump’s transition – and I may add, other politicians, both Democrat and Republican, after all, that is his job as an ambassador to our country to interact with elements of our government… Over here in the US, we talk about the need for fair and balanced coverage. When the reality is in the mainstream press, it is all hard-left, Democrat-favoring Republican-conservative bashing press. – Charles Ortel, political commentator, private investor, writer
RT: The meeting came after the firing of the FBI director James Comey. What do you make of the timing?
RP: I don’t think that firing had anything to do with the so-called investigation. I think it has to do with the credibility of Comey as such, where he was involved too politically in the issues. First, it looked like he was supporting Hillary, then the next time he was supporting Trump, and he should not have been out in front on either one of those issues; that should have been done more privately on these charges made that were unconfirmed. I think this represents poor judgment on Comey’s part and certainly, the president had the authority to fire him. It will be politicized now, and the question will be whether there will be a special prosecutor, but if there are no problems, then a special prosecutor in my estimation is unnecessary.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Poverty is having “devastating” impact on British children’s health, a damning report says.
Four million children — or three in 10 — across Britain are living in poverty, with the figure set to rise by a further million in the next ten years, a new report shows.
The shocking statistics were released on Thursday in a report by the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).
The report, based on a survey with 250 pediatricians across Britain, noted that poverty is having a “devastating” impact on the health of British children.
The document, citing doctors, warned that poor parents are diluting milk, skimping on food and raising their children in damp houses.
More than three in five doctors said food insecurity and people’s inability to buy enough food affecting the health of children.
“I see patients with poor nutritional state from poverty or low income, with growth below [what is] expected,” said one pediatrician while another added, “Parents dilute down milk as they can’t afford formula milk.”
“We see parents in A&E who are limiting their eating to care for their children. Children are worried, scared and upset,” one doctor noted.
Doctors stated that many parents deprive themselves of food, while some others cannot afford clothes, toothbrushes or toothpaste.
“Cold, damp, overcrowded housing exacerbate respiratory illness and other conditions,” one doctor said.
Doctors said poverty is also impacting children’s mental health, with “worry, stress and anxiety” taking a “little part of their childhood” away.
“A part of their day they will spend worrying instead of playing or learning,” they added.
According to reports, between 4,000,000 and 13,000,000 people in the UK are living below the poverty line.
And, the UK government is planning to cut welfare benefits and implement tax reform, which is likely to push more children into “absolute poverty” over the next five years, according to a British think tank.
The proportion of children living in poverty is likely to rise to around 30 percent by 2022, a 3 percent rise from 2015, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) released in March.
The IFS projects that the number of children in poverty will rise by 900,000 to 5.1 million by 2022.
May 9, 2017
The New York Times, as Robert Parry has pointed out, «Cheers the Rise of Censorship», but only of censorship of any allegations that expose the fraudulence of the NYT’s allegations. The Washington Post, Google, the TV networks, and practically all of the famous providers of ‘news’, have joined forces in order to block from the internet any statements that contradict, or especially any evidence that disproves, what they collectively define to be ’true’; and, while they do this, they add a lie, that their sole aim in doing this rigging of web-search results is to prevent ‘misinformation’ from polluting your mind. They use as an excuse the existence of some flagrantly fabricated reports on obscure websites, but if the mainstream press can ban reports such as those, then they can also ban real news reports, which expose the mainstream’s own lies. In other words: they are implementing their collective power to block you from being able to know that they’re systematically lying. Will the public trust them with this power?
Parry says that if this effort by them is allowed to proceed, then we shall be fully in the Brave New World, of 1984 — and, of course, he is correct in that, which means that everyone should unsubscribe and not pay a cent to all of the ’news’ media that are trying to block the public from having access to evidence and allegations that contradict what these bullies in the ‘news’ media pump as being their mutually-agreed-upon ‘truth’.
Is this a religion that they’re proselytizing, or is it the press in a democracy? Is what these people are trying to impose, upon the public, in accord with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Consider the Amendment carefully:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
There is no «free exercise» at all, if this religion — this faith in the infallibility of some allegedly inerrant scripture (in this case: whatever these ’news’media are saying) — is being imposed. Is the First Amendment intended to protect the right of the owners of the press, these people who own the media; or is it instead intended to protect the right of the public to have access to all sides of every public issue so that they will be able to vote in elections in an honestly informed way, which may have some falsehoods in it (because perfection does not exist in any societal enterprise), but which has been selected by each voter instead of imposed upon the voter (canonized as ‘holy scripture’, even if not overtly alleged to be such)? And, is this «the press» intended to be some portion of the press, that is somehow rightfully empowered to crush all the rest? Is what America’s mainstream ‘news’media are trying to do here, not only a flagrant violation of their most solemn responsibility to the public whom they are supposed to be serving, but also a form of real treachery against the nation itself?
What happens if a portion of the press bullies the rest of the press and blocks their ability to report ‘inconvenient truths’? (This is what’s now being put into place, by the effort to prevent discordant allegations and evidence from being carried on the internet.) If Congress were to pass a law to prohibit that bullying, would doing this support the aim and spirit of the First Amendment, or instead violate it? You decide — and then, once you decide, maybe contact your Senators and Representative to outlaw any such bullying. How many politicians would allege that the First Amendment protects the right of some media-owners to block news-reports from other media-owners? It wouldn’t fly.
The passion that the owners of the regular ‘news’ media (who prohibited the publication of the evidence that George W. Bush was lying about ‘WMD in Iraq’ in order to invade) have to deceive the public, is getting out of control, now. Their arrogance is running away with them. Why? Could it possibly be because more and more Americans are coming to distrust the American press? Are the presslords becoming desperate now?
They want you not to know that they are lying when they allege that clear and convincing evidence has been presented that Bashar al-Assad perpetrated a sarin gas attack on April 4th — and not to know that President Trump was lying when he bombed Syria saying that clear evidence had been presented to him showing this to have been proven.
They want you not to know that they lied when saying that Assad was behind the 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack which was Obama’s «red line» to invade Syria, and which was actually perpetrated by the ‘rebels’ (Al Qaeda allies in Syria) whom Obama was backing to overthrow Assad.
They want you not to know that in February 2014 the Obama regime perpetrated a coup that overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine and replaced his government by a racist-fascist, rabidly Russian-hating, regime, right on Russia’s borders, to place U.S. missiles there against Russia.
They want you not to know that Obama’s sanctions against Russia for accepting Crimea back into Russia, of which Crimea had been for hundreds of years a part until the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred it to Ukraine in 1954, are punishing Russia when the actual villain in the entire affair was Obama himself.
They want to force you to believe what they publish to be reality, and that what you are reading here and in the linked-to sources here, is merely ‘fake news’. If it is news of any type, it is real history, because those media-bullies didn’t report it when it was news. Instead, they hid it from you. Now, after-the-fact, it has become history, but when it was news, it was being hidden from you, and they would have called it ‘fake news’ if they had mentioned it at all.
Do you trust those ‘news’ media? If so, why? And what will be the end-result of their success in what they are doing, if not World War III and nuclear annihilation?
Some of them (such as «Democracy Now!») pretend to be ‘progressive’, even while pumping lies for the aristocracy. Their audience are deceived into thinking that the main source of funding for such sites is these poor idealists themselves, so they donate, not imagining that billionaires are actually the main funding-source behind such ‘news’ sites.
The aristocrats who got Hitler into power were no more obsessed to control the world than are America’s aristocracy today; and, this time, the results could be even worse.
This is deadly serious. But to America’s aristocrats, it’s only a game that they are dead-set on ‘winning’.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Google has threatened at least one of my publishers, which depressed him, but he ultimately decided that truth is more important than ‘success’.
Vietnam, according to a recent GeekTime article, is the latest nation to begin encouraging local alternatives to the search engine and social media network in order to rebalance the monopoly over information both tech giants enjoy in the Southeast Asian country today.
Google and Facebook: More than Search Engines and Social Media
The two tech giants and others like them may have appeared at their inceptions to political, business, and military leaders around the world as merely opportunistic corporations seeking profits and expansion.
However, Google and Facebook, among others, have become clearly much more than that.
Both have verifiably worked with the US State Department in pursuit of geopolitical objectives around the world, from the collapse of the Libyan government to attempts at regime change in Syria, and using social media and information technology around the world to manipulate public perception and achieve sociopolitical goals on behalf of Wall Street and Washington for years.
The use of social media to control a targeted nation’s information space, and use it as a means of carrying out sociopolitical subversion and even regime change reached its pinnacle in 2011 during the US-engineered “Arab Spring.”
Portrayed at first as spontaneous demonstrations organized organically over Facebook and other social media platforms, it is now revealed in articles like the New York Times’, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” that the US government had trained activists years ahead of the protests, with Google and Facebook participating directly in making preparations.
Opposition fronts funded and supported by the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries Freedom House, International Republican Institute (IRI), and National Democratic Institute (NDI) were invited to several summits where executives and technical support teams from Google and Facebook provided them with the game plans they would execute in 2011 in coordination with US and European media who also attended the summits.
The end result was the virtual weaponization of social media, serving as cover for what was a long-planned, regional series of coups including heavily armed militants who eventually overthrew the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, with Syria now locked in 6 years of war as a result.
It was during Syria’s ongoing conflict that Google would find itself involved again. The Guardian in a 2012 article titled, “Syria: is it possible to rename streets on Google Maps?,” would report:
In their struggle to free Syria from the clutches of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government activists have embarked on a project to wipe him off the map. Literally. On Google Maps, major Damascus thoroughfares named after the Assad family have appeared renamed after heroes of the uprising. The Arab Spring has form in this regard. When anti-Gadaffi rebels tore into Tripoli last August, the name of the city’s main square on the mapping service changed overnight – from “Green Square”, the name given to it by the erstwhile dictator, to “Martyr’s Square”, its former title.
The internet giant’s mapping service has a history of weighing in on political disputes.
Google’s monopoly in nations without local alternatives ensures that public perception is lopsidedly influenced by these deceptive methods.
An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails have reportedly revealed.
By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.
Clearly, more is going on at Google than Internet searches.
Nations would be equally irresponsible to allow a foreign corporation to exercise control over their respective information space – especially in light of verified, documented abuses – as they would by allowing foreign corporations to exercise control over other essential aspects of national infrastructure.
Vietnam Taking Control of its Information Space
The GeekTime article, shared by the US State Department’s NDI on Twitter titled, “Is Vietnamese campaign to build a Facebook alternative fighting fake news, or fostering censorship?,” claims (emphasis added):
During a parliamentary committee meeting earlier this month, Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Information and Communications in Vietnam, said that the government is encouraging Vietnamese tech companies to build local replacements for platforms such as Facebook and Google (which are the most popular in their categories in Vietnam).
The article also reported:
It is part of a wider campaign to “strengthen cyber security” and the integrity of the country’s information. “The plan is to try and address the problem of how ‘fake pages’ with anti-government content grew uncontrollably on Facebook,” said Tuan. “Going further, we need social networks provided by local businesses that can replace and compete with Facebook in Vietnam.”
NDI’s mention of the article is meant to imply that the Vietnamese government stands to profit from the localization of search engines and social media – and it does. However, the localization of Vietnam’s information space is no different than the localization of Vietnam’s defense industry, energy and water infrastructure, schools, and healthcare institutions. They are the Vietnamese people’s to control, not Washington, Wall Street, or Silicon Valley’s.
Whether the Vietnamese government abuses that localization or not is the business of the Vietnamese people. The actual concern NDI has is that once the localization of information technology is complete in Vietnam, forever will these effective vectors of sociopolitical subversion be closed to the corporate-financier special interests driving US foreign policy and the work of fronts like NDI.
May 10, 2017
During a Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Petr Iliichev called out Brussels for not holding Kiev accountable for its violations of the Minsk agreements.
Iliichev criticized Europe’s “political expediency” which has allowed far-right and neo-Nazi movements to spread in the Baltic States and Ukraine.
Russia’s UN representative ended his remark with a grave warning: Europe is playing with fire — and needs to learn from the past before it’s too late:
The Minsk agreement is the uncontested basis for settling the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine.
Efforts need to focus on fulfilling the political aspects of the agreements: granting the Donbas a special status, amnesty to its residents, cultivation of parties and humanitarian demining. All this is impossible without the development of direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. Starting the implementation of political aspects can only be implemented by Kiev, and they continue to block this process.
For the time being, Brussels continues to have a contradictory logic on the anti-Russian sanctions, which only contributes to the formation of a sense of impunity and irresponsibility in Ukraine.
Let’s take another example. It is during these days, when the world celebrates the next anniversary of the end of the Second World War, that we would like to recall the principled refusal of the EU to support the draft resolutions of the UN General Assembly on combating the heroism of Nazism, which are being introduced by Russia. It is impossible to ignore the acuteness of the problem of neo-Nazism in countries which Brussels is patronizing, including in the Baltic States and Ukraine. Moreover, it is inadmissible to play with this fire for the sake of political expediency. Europe should have learned this lesson.
Of course, there’s a very good reason why this statement went unreported: In the western media, Ukraine is a unicorn sanctuary that is heroically defending Europe from Putin’s dreams of world domination.
Windsor police have arrested six suspects in connection to a forcible confinement case where a woman was allegedly held in a Windsor apartment and tortured for four days.
By Dan Taekema, Colin Côté-Paulette
May 11, 2017
Bridgette Obirek calls it the work of the devil.
She was visiting a friend at an apartment building on University Avenue just before midnight on May 5 when a man she hadn’t seen for years came down and invited her to come up and hang out for a while.
When the door to the apartment opened, what she saw stopped her in her tracks.
“I walked in … and here’s this woman sitting on a chair facing her back towards me,” she recalled. “I looked at her and the first thing I thought was ‘Oh my gosh, there’s blood all over the place’ “
Obirek said she found herself in a nightmare. Several people were spread around the room, including a young woman sitting in front of the girl on the chair with a weapon — either an ice-pick or knife — pointed at her chest.
“I had my bike helmet in one hand, my cellphone in the other and my mother’s little Yorkie in a dog purse. I said ‘hon just grab everything you can right now’ and I stayed blocking her with my arms out.” – Bridgett Obirek
The girl in the chair turned around and started to cry as soon as she saw Obirek.
“Her face was mangled, two huge black eyes, her whole face was swollen, her lip was split open, she had marks everywhere,” she explained, including a “huge” gash on the back of her neck.
“She had puncture marks all over her body,” Obirek added. “I noticed a huge pile of her beautiful long hair on the floor in her blood.”
The people in the room told her not to worry, the deep red stains were “just Tabasco sauce” and they were taking care of the girl who was “in trouble.”
Obirek said she imagined the girl in the chair as her daughter and almost blacked out. Then she went into fight or flight mode.
“I had my bike helmet in one hand, my cellphone in the other and my mother’s little Yorkie in a dog purse,” she said. “I said ‘hon, just grab everything you can right now’ and I stayed blocking her with my arms out.”
One of the men in the room didn’t want them to leave. “She’s seen too much,” Obirek recalled him saying, but when she pulled out her cell phone and pretended to call her boyfriend and boxer brother-in-law — lying that they where waiting outside — he backed off.
Obirek told the girl to run and followed after her as she slammed the elevator button to take them away from the room where she had been tortured for four days. One of the men chased after them, but Obirek said she fended him off by swinging her helmet.
Throughout the following week, Windsor police continued to arrest suspects. In the end, six people, three men and three women all in their 20s were taken into custody.
Christopher Lucier, 24, and Marcus Scott, 21, faces charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and uttering death threats.
Samantha Watson, Nicole May, and Jessica Millar, all 21, face the same charges, while Cody Carrington, 28, is charged with assault, assault with a weapon and breach of probation.
“To me it was something the devil would do. God put me there for a reason so I’m going to run my big mouth.” – Bridgett Obirek
May and Watson also face charges for possession of a controlled substance.
“Charges of this nature with this many people involved is extremely rare,” said Sgt. Steve Betteridge, who added the investigation is still underway, but police believe they have arrested everyone involved.
“I think the police have done a fantastic job of getting to the bottom of this incident,” he said. “Now we have to let the judicial process take its course.”
Obirek said she still can’t figure out why that man invited her up to the apartment, knowing she would see what was happening there.
Since she started talking about what she witnessed in the apartment that night, Obirek said she’s received threatening phone calls and keeps having nightmares.
Still, she said it’s the brutality of the act that makes her brave enough to speak out, and she refuses to let the devil do his work in silence.
“To me it was something the devil would do,” she said. “God put me there for a reason so I’m going to run my big mouth.”