With permission from
By CHRIS ERNESTO
April 18, 2017
US president Donald Trump sounded sincere when he described how he felt after seeing pictures of “beautiful little babies” allegedly killed by a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on April 4.
“These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” said Trump, and hours later, the US launched nearly 60 tomahawk missiles in response to the allegations.
But what about the beautiful little babies killed by US bombs since Trump became president? Is Trump not concerned about those children because they were killed by his missiles, and not Assad’s chemical weapons?
Here are a few of the instances:
— An eight-year-old girl was killed during a US raid in Yemen in January. The girl, Nora al-Awlaki, was a US citizen and the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born Muslim who was killed by the Obama administration in 2011 for his purported ties to al-Qaeda. In 2015, Nora’s older brother, 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, was killed by a US airstrike in Yemen. Nora al-Awlaki was shot in the neck by members of US SEAL Team 6 as they raided houses of suspected al-Qaeda members. Several Yemeni women were also killed in the raid.
— At least 18 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in February by US airstrikes aimed at the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations. “How could women and children be Taliban?” asked a resident of Sangin, who said 11 people were killed in his brother’s house in an airstrike.
— More than 200 civilians, including 34 women and 32 children were killed in US airstrikes around Raqqa, Syria since March, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In one incident, at least 33 civilians were killed when a US airstrike hit a school that was used as a shelter by Syrian families who were fleeing ISIS in Raqqa.
— US airstrikes in Mosul, Iraq killed up to 240 civilians, including scores of children last month when US forces dropped bombs on civilian homes in response to a handful of ISIS fighters who were using the local residents’ roofs. Munatha Jasim, who lost her four-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son, and seven other relatives when her home was destroyed, said a sniper had set up across the street from her house. “Just because one ISIS [fighter] was on our house, the [US] aircraft bombed us.” Another resident, Ali Abdulghani told the New York Times, “not all of the houses had [ISIS] on the roof … why, just because of one [ISIS], kill everyone?”
More and more people are asking for proof that Assad gassed his own people
The fact that Trump’s bombs are killing innocent people in four countries is bad enough, but his most recent rationale for bombing Syria is based on unproven claims that the Syrian government used sarin against civilians.
The only ‘evidence’ presented to the public thus far by the White House is an unclassified report in which “open-source material” and “pro-opposition social media reporting” are part of a package of information that led the Trump administration to believe with a “very high degree of confidence” that the Syrian regime carried out the sarin attacks.
So, “open-source material” and “pro-opposition social media reporting” count as intelligence? And a “very high degree of confidence” is the bar set by Trump to determine whether or not to bomb another country?
As astonishing as that seems, it hasn’t stopped the media from believing the unproven narrative, as FAIR pointed out last week: of the top 100 US newspapers, only 1 paper, the Houston Chronicle, said the attack shouldn’t have happened.
But a growing number of journalists including Stephen Cohen, Robert Parry, Gareth Porter, Justin Raimondo, Rick Sterling and former members of congress Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich have been expressing serious doubts about the White House claims. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is demanding evidence that Assad was responsible for the attack (Gabbard was skewered by establishment Democrats for her remarks – Howard Dean said Gabbard is a “disgrace” and that she should “not be in congress.”)
Even conservative columnist Ann Coulter is questioning Assad’s culpability and the ensuing US military response:
“Assad is one of the least bad leaders in the entire Middle East. He’s not a murderous thug like Saddam, has no rape rooms, isn’t into jihad, protects Christians, and is fighting ISIS. He provided us with intelligence on al-Qaida after 9/11. He does not have crazy Islamic police slapping women around or throwing gays off buildings. (That would be our beloved ally, Saudi Arabia.)
“Now we hear [Trump] saw the sad picture, which, let’s be honest, is probably faked. It makes no sense that Assad would do this … this is the rise of the military industrial complex, the neocons, permanent war.”
Additionally, Theodore A. Postol, a former scientific adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations, and an MIT professor of Science, Technology and National Security, said that the National Security Council generated a “fraudulent intelligence report” as part of “a dedicated attempt to manufacture a false claim that the intelligence actually supported the president’s decision to attack Syria.”
And Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer and Director of the Council for the National Interest, said that military and intelligence personnel intimately familiar with the Syrian chemical gas intelligence believe Trump’s claims are a “sham.” Giraldi said his intelligence sources are “astonished” by the establishment’s narrative, and that they are considering going public due to their concerns of an escalation of violence in Syria.
If this is true, it would be nice for those people to seek ways to disseminate their information as soon as possible. The longer the “Assad gassed his own people” claims stick around, the more likely people will be to accept Syrian regime change as palatable. This concept was studied by researchers from the University of Michigan who say there is a phenomenon known as “backfire” where misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts – and often become even more attached to their beliefs.
With the viral circulation of the term “fake news,” media outlets have been cracking down on their content and fact-checking like never before to make sure their reports are as accurate as possible, but there’s one thing that can’t be taken out of the equations: bias. Each outlet, however neutral they claim to be, has a certain readership that demands that they report on certain topics and angle them to fit their shared opinions, so while articles may be rooted in facts there is still a lot of information that is left out to keep the article relevant to readers.
Even the outlets with the best intentions have something different to say about the same event that another outlet is reporting on, and the only thing that readers can do is take each article with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, even if the majority of readers attempt to not react dramatically to an issue, those that can’t contain themselves then spew misinformation based on what they read from a biased news source and further add their opinions into the equation.
Keeping all of this in mind, Dustin Rogers, a comic artist from Columbus, Ohio, cleverly portrayed this media conundrum in one full strip to point out the basics of why media outlets and people are not trustworthy. View the strip below.
Facebook’s war against common sense continues.
Facebook has been
spamming alerting users about how to spot fake news or ‘false news’ as they call it. It’s an insult to most people’s intelligence, but for the sake up absolute clarity, I thought I’d go through each ‘helpful’ tip one step at a time.
Here they are along with my own advice on what it means.
1. Be sceptical of headlines:
False news stories often have catch headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headlines sound unbelievable they probably are.
Yes some headlines are very misleading.
The above headline is from a fake story. Russia and Iran have said quite the opposite. The fake story was exposed in an exclusive report in The Duran. So yes, be careful of false and misleading headlines.
2. Look closely at the URL:
A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sound of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news stories by making small changes the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.
If you go to http://www.cnn.com, you may think that you are entering a news website but you are actually entering a site dedicated to pro-Clinton family propaganda where the truth is as expendable as a young intern.
Also beware of http://www.clintonfoundation.com
It may look like a harmless lobbying website, but unless you’re as rich as the King of Saudi Arabia, but prepared to be in heavy debt.
3. Investigate the source:
Ensure that the story is written by a source you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organisation, check their ‘About’ section to learn more.
It is always important to check the agenda of your source, even if the agenda isn’t well hidden.
Although a favourite among smug liberals, the British Broadcasting Corporation is a state-owned entity of the British state, paid for through a compulsory regressive tax.
The ‘news’ on the BBC aims to push the globalist agenda of the very boring, arrogant and dangerous British elite.
4. Watch for unusual formatting:
Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
Not just layouts. Here’s another classic from the BBC when they interviewed the wrong man.
5. Consider the photos:
False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photos may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
Here are some images of men pretending to handle sarin gas. If this was real sarin gas, these men would all be dead.
Of course it’s the White Helmets, a group of frauds working with al-Qaeda to spread fake news.
With acting this bad, I cannot understand why they won the Oscar.
6. Inspect the dates:
False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.
Look closely at the dates of these Donald Trump Tweets in this article and decide if The Donald was faking it then or now?
7. Check the evidence:
Check the author’s sources to confirm they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate it is a false news story.
If the sources relied on cite the follow: The Turkish government, the US government, the Saudi government, the Qatari government, the Israeli government, the EU, the Ukrainian government or the UK government….it’s probably false information.
8. Look at other reports:
If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple outlooks you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
Or it could be that mainstream media if not reporting it. Never check a story against the following sources:
New York Times, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Washington Post.
9. Is the story a joke?
Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humour or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may just be for fun.
See section 8
10. Some stories are intentionally false:
Think critically about the stories you read and only share news you know to be credible.
AKA, don’t rely on Facebook to tell you the truth, USE YOUR BRAIN!
The Fact Check tag “identifies articles that include information fact checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations.” Each Fact Check snippet “will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check on that particular claim.”
The rating system will rank stories from “true” to “false” but will also denote stories it finds “partly true” and “partly false.” Searches will also have the option, via hyperlink in the snippet, to review the fact-checkers’ content on the same subject.
This, of course, begs the question: Who are the fact-checkers?
Anyone can volunteer to be one, says Google, cautioning that “Only publishers that are algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information will qualify for inclusion.”
Currently, the growing list of 115 organizations includes the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, CBS, and The New York Times, to name a few.
So now, not only will the corporate media be able to deem which content is acceptable and which isn’t, it’ll also be able — again, the link will be right there in the snippet — to guide readers toward their own view on the matter.
Fact Check: A rating system for the corporate media and by the media corporations.
Incidentally, there’s already a mechanism in place for calling out bullshit. It’s called the independent media.
Vancouver launches micro version of TED where speakers only have 15 seconds to speak [SATIRE]
By: Ethan Huff
To the average person, what’s presented as “news” on television, the radio, and even on the internet from “trusted” sources has to be either mostly or entirely true, especially when the majority of reporting sources are in agreement with one another about a particular topic. But what consumers of this information fail to realize is that much of what the public is told about the world, particularly from mainstream sources, is little more than crafty propaganda that’s been carefully packaged and delivered to appear authoritative.
The way in which all those ever-popular TED Talks are presented, for instance, reveal a clever sleight of hand that flies over the head of most people because it looks so nice and digests so easily. A dimly-lit auditorium, a slide show beaming from an Apple-made laptop, a well-dressed presenter pacing back and forth across a stage with hands interlocked or fingers touching – these are some of the subtle cues by which so-called “thought leaders” manufacture consent and unanimity of thought.
In a recent experiment, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News) put together a TED Talk Parody entitled “This is That,” revealing how easy it is for audiences to be wowed by what often amounts to little more than nonsense. Each facet of the “big idea” public relations propaganda campaign is carefully constructed so as to lead everyone in the audience, and watching online, to come to the same conclusion about something, regardless of whether or not it holds any merit or truth.
The entire TED Talk format, it turns out, is scripted from A to Z. From the look of the presenters to how they present their information, and even they way they talk – the pauses, the inflections, the tone – are carefully manufactured so as to maximize the suspense, drama, and emotion felt by the listening and viewing audience. See for yourself how the agenda works by watching the 4:15-minute clip on YouTube.
It almost feels silly the way CBC News put the whole thing together, though it’s meant to prove a point: You can’t believe everything you see – or believe everything you read – because oftentimes it’s a product of media magic. You have to remember that propagandists have been perfecting their methods for years, and they aren’t planning to stop anytime soon.
Similar methods of brainwashing and persuasion are evident in the way the mainstream media, and even some “alternative” media, present so-called “news.” What appears to be live interviews, for instance, are often scripted conversations that censor out certain information while highlighting other information, again for the purpose of altering the minds of viewers to perceive something in a certain way.
Check out what happened to Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange when he participated in a “live interview” with Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. Rudkowski touched on the growing presence of independent journalists who were taking advantage of groundbreaking platforms like Ustream (a live-streaming predecessor to today’s more popular services such as Periscope), crediting their popularity to the mainstream media’s abuse of the truth.
Some of the issues Rudkowski addressed – banker bailouts and encroaching globalism among them – were apparently too truthful, and he was thus asked to re-shoot the “live interview” leaving these things out. Rudkowski slightly tweaked his verbiage, and it was then accepted, something he now seems to regret. But he still holds true to his convictions, and has opened up about the situation in a recent video that he posted to YouTube, which you can watch here.
With permission from
Paul Craig Roberts
April 8, 2017
The US government continues to lie about everything, not just Russia, Syria, Iran, and China. The US government is incapable of telling the truth about something as straightforward as employment. According to the government, March produced only 98,000 new payroll jobs, an insufficient amount to reduce unemployment, but the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.5 percent.
How did that happen? Not because the unemployed found jobs. The unemployment rate fell because the government did not count as unemployed large numbers of unemployed people who did not look for a job during the four week period prior to the survey. The US has a low unemployment rate, because the government does not count the unemployed.
The government knows the reported unemployment rate is wrong, because other data are inconsistent with the low rate. For example, the labor force participation rate consistent with a 4.5% unemployment rate is 67%, whereas the current participation rate is a low 63%, which implies a much higher rate of unemployment than 4.5%.
The 4.5% reported unemployment rate is also inconsistent with the Conference Board help wanted data, which has been in a downward trend since 2010 and shows a March 2017 year over year decline of 17%.
I don’t see the financial press investigating the inconsistencies among the data, asking the government questions, and providing the public with explanations. John Williams at shadowstats.com does, but the economics profession shows no observable interest.
Just as the government doesn’t measure unemployment, it doesn’t measure inflation. The government has created the myth of a growing real GDP since a recovery was declared in June 2009. However, when the implicit price deflator is adjusted for the government’s understatement of inflation, as John Williams does, real GDP growth has been flat since June 2009.
The government uses fake facts in order to create a fake picture of the economy so that the stock market’s rise is perceived to be real and not the result of Federal Reserve manipulation and corporations using their profits and borrowing money in order to buy back their own stocks. The buy-backs drive up the stock prices and executive “performance bonuses.” Stock prices are higher than can be explained by profits and real retail sales. Indeed, stock prices are so high that one would think there would be massive business investment, but there is very little.
One would think that someone in the financial press would be interested in the many inconsistencies in reported data, just as one would think that reporters would be more interested in the inconsistencies in the government’s stories about Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Russia, China, 9/11, Snowden, Julian Assange, and reformist Latin American heads of state, who Washington always finds reasons to overthrow. But reporters aren’t interested and neither are their editors.
The facts are inconsistent with the propaganda, so the facts are ignored. In the place of facts, we have fake facts that sustain the propaganda. By controlling explanations, the government maintains The Matrix that serves the One Percent and war and is driving the world to destruction.