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The Ugly Truth About Millennials

The 9-Point Guide To Deciphering Political Propaganda

Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy. TED Talks

Here’s The Full List Of Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

The Ugly Truth About Millennials

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Today I asked my followers how would they describe Millennials and this is what I got:

“lazy”, “thin-skinned”, “spoiled”, “selfish”, “undisciplined”, “self-absorbed”, ”fragile”, “oblivious”, etc.

…and I can agree on this. This generation is really what you call it. But there was one description that is the most accurate.

Raised by neglectful, over-compensating for inadequacy, self-serving parents.”

You’re in charge. You insisted your children and grandchildren have to get higher education instead of taking a blue-collar job or just entering the workforce after school like your generation did. Most of you pay for that (often unnecessary) higher education. You are overprotective and prevent your children from playing outside and making mistakes you had a chance to make to gain that thick skin. You don’t let your 12-year-old kid stay at home alone because they are too young. And who is wrong when your child has a conflict at school? I bet you always blame the other side, not your “special snowflake”. And how you get surprised that the whole generation gets offended by facing the truth: they are not special. It must hurt, right?

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They have never been taught how to debate and formulate an argument, as another followernoticed. Now you may start shouting about terrible school education, but it’s the family which is to blame.

Millennials are the product of your parenting. You spoiled your child and now you’re asking why they are demanding everything for doing nothing. See the correlation here?

And if you’re reading this and you’re not a parent yet, please, do some research on raising a responsible person and let your child make mistakes, it will help them in the future. I bet you don’t want your child to be triggered by “manspreading”. Do yourself a favor, raise your child right.

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BONUS for Millennials:

1) You shouldn’t be offended if it was not intended to offend you.

 

2) Being offended is a choice you make. Nobody is responsible for that choice but you.

 

3) Even if it was intended, functioning adults understand that they must move on and not cry over a rude comment on the Internet

 

4) You should stop whining on the Internet. It’s too annoying.

Authored by Jenna Abrams,

The Narrator @ August 15, 2016

The 9-Point Guide To Deciphering Political Propaganda

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Given we are eyeballs-deep in the US presidential election cycle, now seems a particularly appropriate time to share some observations on the topic of political propaganda.

As a naturally curious fellow, some years ago – during the Clinton vs. Bush Senior contest – I became interested in the language and techniques used in political campaigning. So much so that I dedicated my daily study period to the topic for the better part of a week.

Since it will be impossible to escape the rhetorical onslaught for the next few months, I thought I might be able to shed some light on what goes on in the battle for your subconscious.

As these insights come from the well-worn pages of playbooks of every politician around the world, I think they are pretty much timeless and cross all borders.

At the core of what I learned in my studies is that the stock and trade of the propagandist revolves around trying to simplify issues, no matter how complex, into easily understood concepts that tap into the existing attitudes and emotions of the target audience.

As an aside, since this topic touches on politics, I may inadvertently gore your ox. For the record, I view most politicians and political parties with disdain, though my disdain is particularly elevated for politicians espousing policies that interfere with my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

With that brief introduction, here are just some of the techniques you can watch for as the election season gains steam.

1. Use stereotypes.

This technique has probably been in active use since humans lived in caves. Successfully drape the opponent in the cloak of a stereotype that triggers a negative image, and you’ve done a good day’s work as a propagandist.

Depending on which side of the political spectrum you swing to, you might trot out old favorites such as “rich fat cat,” or “friend of Wall Street,” or “big-government socialist,” or any one of many handy sterotypes. These stereotypes allow you to instantly tap into powerful underlying prejudices and emotions.

And, for the record, it is a well-documented fact that when we humans are emotionally worked up, we become much more Susceptible to follow-on political messaging.

2. Name substitution.

The propagandist will try to label the opponent with an unflattering, and memorable, term. If that is successful, the label will involuntarily come to mind at the sight of the opponent. Donald Trump is the reigning champion of this technique, using name substitution like a two-by-four against his opponents.

Every time Elizabeth Warren’s name comes up, my mind automatically substitutes her name with Pocahontas and I have to smile. On the other side of the contest, the Hillary camp has been trying to stick Trump with the “bully” label. I expect to see a lot more of that.

3. Selection.

Out of a mass of complex facts, the propagandist selects only those that are suitable for his or her purpose. You wouldn’t expect Trump to mention his past bankruptcies, or Hillary her long list of crimes.

There is, actually, an instance where Trump might want to mention his bankruptcies. Folks in the influence business—including trial lawyers—use a technique called “inoculation” where, knowing your opponent is going to come after you on a point, you bring it up first and therefore diffuse it.

“My opponent, Crooked Hillary, is probably going to mention the fact that I have had some businesses go bankrupt many years ago. She’s right.

“When you’re involved in the rough and tumble world of business, sometimes things just aren’t going to work out, and so you have to do what you have to do to protect your employees and buy some time to pay your debts.

But here’s the important thing to remember. I’ve run businesses—big businesses—ever since I was 19 years old. And Crooked Hillary? She’s a lawyer and never ran a single business. Not once. And that’s the problem with American politics… too many lawyers and not enough business folks!”

4. Downright lying.

The “big lie” has always been an important part of propaganda.

Remember the woman who came forward to tell Congress about Iraqi soldiers raping and hacking their way through a maternity ward in Kuwait as part of the campaign to get the US to invade? The politicians got emotionally involved in the story and so, per my earlier comments, were made more susceptible to the idea of invading Iraq.

Turned out the woman was the daughter of a high-ranking Kuwaiti official who had been enlisted by a PR firm, and her story was completely fabricated.

Not so long ago, Bloomberg ginned up a story claiming Trump had invited thug and convicted rapist Mike Tyson to address the Republican convention.

Baseless nonsense dreamed up by soulless PR cretins, and nothing more.

5. Repetition.

If you repeat a statement often enough, it will become ingrained in the minds of your target audience.

For example, the myth propagated by the Democrats that the rich need to pay their “fair share” despite the fact that the top 10% of income earners pay 70% of all federal income taxes.

On the flip side, the Republications constantly repeat the mantra that Democrats are all in favor of “big government” despite the reality that the size of the government has continued to grow in size under Republican and Democrat administrations alike.

6. Assertion.

The clever propagandist rarely engages in a substantive debate over the issues, but instead favors bold assertions to support his thesis. This is logical because the essence of propaganda is to present only one side of the picture and deliberately obfuscate or bury facts to the contrary.

We are told Donald Trump is a bigot, but for the life of me, I can’t find any examples. Unless you think his call for enforcing immigration laws bigoted.

We are told that police target black men for summary execution, a meme that has contributed mightily to the recent outbreak of violence against the police. In time, that will also result in the police keeping their hands in their pockets and avoiding neighborhoods where they aren’t wanted. At which point the real mayhem will begin.

It doesn’t matter that the assertion is not factually true, what does matter is that it fits the narrative that the majority of the white population, especially fat cats like Donald Trump, are racists.

As to the truth, here is a very worthwhile article that looks past the meme and to the statistical facts.

7. Identify an enemy that taps into deeply held prejudices.

It is particularly helpful to the politicians not to just be “for” something, but to be against some real or imagined enemy who is supposedly frustrating the will of his audience. This serves to deflect any opposing views while strengthening “in group” feelings. Some of the campaigners for Brexit used the influx of illegal immigrants very effectively in this regard. As has Donald Trump.

8. Appeal to authority.

The authority may be religious or some respected political figure. In the case of the Democrats, you’ll increasingly see references to Bill Clinton, who is apparently remembered fondly by some. By trotting out Bill, Hillary hopes the voters will overlook her many faults.

Knowing this is coming, the Republicans have done a pretty spiffy job of tarnishing Bill Clinton’s reputation—which wasn’t real hard—with exposés on the Clinton Foundation and his proclivity for women other than his wife. (For the record, I almost made a snarky comment, but refrained.)

9. Peer pressure.

One of the most powerful influence techniques is summed up in the phrase, “Everyone else is doing it.” Being a herd animal, it is very hard for us as individuals to go against the crowd. In the Brexit campaign, the media tried to paint the “Leave” folks as malcontents on the fringe.

In the US, to self-identify as a Trump supporter is—if you believe the Democrats and the media they control (which is, like, all the media)—you are some sort of gun-hoarding racist nutjob.

In what might be viewed as either good news or bad, the most fundamental limitation of propaganda is that almost everyone develops a more or less rigid set of beliefs and attitudes early in life and, except in trivial matters, clings to those beliefs.

Thus, the real task of the propagandist is to tap into those attitudes and attempt, often with deliberate lies, to demonstrate that the propaganda accurately reflects the established views of the audience.

Here is an example. On first hearing that Trump proposed to build a wall across the border with Mexico, my reaction was incredulous and very negative. What a dumbass idea.

However, when I heard Trump describe his wall, stressing that the wall would have a “big door, a very, very big door” for people that fulfilled the legal requirements for immigration to pass through, my opposition was muted.

I still don’t think it’s a practical idea, or even a good idea, but by his clever rhetoric—mentally painting the picture of a big door where people who followed the rules could enter—Trump was able to get me to view the idea of the wall in a different light. To wit, he’s not anti-immigration. Just anti-illegal immigration.

Some Concluding Observations

I doubt Trump will win the election. Not only does he have the entire liberal establishment lined up against him, but the propagandists have had great success in turning the larger ethnic communities against him.

And in what may be a first, even the leadership of his own political party continues to go to great lengths to discredit him.

This is not to say that Hillary and the Democrats will be able to credibly marshall an effective propaganda attack on Trump that will sway his constituents.

For starters, that constituency views “Hillary” not just as a political opponent, but an icon for everything that is wrong with the political class. They are not budging even one iota come election day.

Which makes this a battle for the so-called independents. And that’s where the propagandists will be aiming the big guns.

The Democrats tried to turn women against Trump by painting him as a misogynist. However, a master of the game, Trump countered by pushing forward the women the media had pointed to as “proof” of his misogyny who, in no uncertain terms, stated that the reporter had made up the whole story.

So, what scab can the propagandists (successfully) pick to ensure Trump doesn’t attract the independents who are uneasy about the direction America has taken? Well, for sure, Hillary can’t claim he’s corrupt or a crook, you know, because of the whole rocks-and-glass-houses thing.

So, I expect she’ll play the usual “fat cat” card and double down with the bully thing. That way when he berates her on the national stage, especially in the upcoming debates, she’ll do the equivalent of an “I told you so! Look at how he treats poor me.”

I think Trump is probably smart enough to figure all this out and be prepared.

Regardless, at the end of the day it’s going to boil down to demographics. Who has the bulk of the voting public in their camp?

If Trump is on the right side of the demographics, the side that fondly remembers the idea of America and wants to preserve it, versus those who embrace the brave new world of political correctness, multiculturalism, and populist economics, he’s got a chance.

If not, he will be toast and those of you who make America your home will have to accept that the country is going to continue slipping down the slippery slope. And not just under Madam President, but under whichever politically correct construct gets elected after her eight-year term ends.

Who knows, maybe by then the president will be introduced to audiences as “Ze President”?

So, any hints from the demographic data on who might win?

A useful gauge of what to expect from the 2016 race is to look back at the 2012 presidential election.

In 2012, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by the comfortable margin of 332 to 206 electoral votes (to win the presidency, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes). In the popular vote, Obama beat Romney by a difference of about five million votes.

Historically, women make up 53% of presidential voters and men make up 47%. In the 2016 election, it is likely that the gender makeup will stay constant, which will favor Hillary Clinton. According to the Gallup Poll, 70% of women have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. That kind of gender gap could deliver the White House to Clinton.

On the other end of the scale, Donald Trump has the support of white men who distrust Clinton.

Trump may like to think he can up his chances in the presidential stakes by appealing to discontented white voters who will constitute an estimated 71% of the voting population in the 2016 elections. But the last presidential election results show otherwise. Even though the Republicans won white votes by huge margins in 2012, Mitt Romney still lost.

What carried Barack Obama into the White House were minority votes. He won 93% of African-American voters, 71% of Latino voters, and 73% of Asian voters.

The minority electorate carries even greater weight in 2016—with 38% of Americans constituting minorities, as opposed to 28% in 2012.

Furthermore, almost two million more Latino voters are expected to turn up for the 2016 elections than in 2012.

Therefore, Trump will need minority votes if he is to have a chance of winning the White House. An impossibility if one accepts the premise put forward by some political analysts that 84% of nonwhite voters won’t vote for him.

Based on the demographics, I’m prepared to bet that it’s unlikely that Donald Trump can win the popular vote for the United States presidency in 2016.

Then again, everyone thought Brexit would fail, so there’s that.

I will close by saying that there are a couple of scenarios that could change the tide.

  • One is that Trump absolutely dominates in the upcoming presidential debates.
  • The other is that Hillary gets indicted.

Regardless, I’ll be watching the election results as they come in from a comfortable seat in the Bad Brothers Wine Experience. Which, given the prospects for a Clinton presidency, seems a fine place to be.

Submitted by David Galland via GarrentGalland.com

The Narrator @ July 23, 2016

Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy. TED Talks

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The Narrator @ June 12, 2016

Here’s The Full List Of Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

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In its article titled, How Corporate America Bought Hillary Clinton for $21M, The New York Postdetails the companies and organizations that paid Hillary in speaking fees from 2013-2015.

The total comes to $21.7 million, which is a remarkable sum for one of the least charismatic and unimaginative orators the world has ever known.

The New York Post reports:

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So are you ready?

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Submitted by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The Narrator @ May 24, 2016

CIVILIZATION EBBS AND FLOWS: YOU REMAIN

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When I was planning my three Matrix collections, I made this note:

“Civilizations ebb and flow, rise and fall, but the individual remains. He needs, under any and all circumstances, to keep two capacities intact: 1) reasoning, logic, analysis; and 2) imagination. These are the well springs. No matter what situation he finds himself in, he will need these. He should not only preserve these two faculties, but also expand and deepen them. Nothing that could be happening around him is an excuse to desert these cores.”

What is happening around us now, in these times, certainly provides major distractions and diversions. It’s easy to go off on tangents and engineer reasons why we can’t achieve goals and embody our dreams. But that doesn’t help us. It doesn’t serve our interests.

After 30 years of working as a reporter, author, and researcher, I’ve come to understand that an imagined vision of what a person truly wants is his North Star. Working at higher and higher levels to fulfill that vision and make it into fact in the world eventually produces unexpected rewards. And also spills over into benefits for others.

The phrase “truly wants” is a key. When you reach down to that level of desire and see it, you find both peace and energy.

You find leverage. Now circumstances tend to adjust to you, rather than you adjusting to them.

It is as if the status quo has been waiting for a change, a transformation, and it moves toward you for assistance.

At the root of ancient alchemy was the notion that nature, in all its manifestations, was engaged in conflict, and a “quintessence” was needed to work a higher resolution. That quintessence is born out of imagination, the envisioning of new possibilities.

However, if individuals are deploying imagination to achieve what are, in fact, their minor desires and lesser wants, then the status quo remains and is built wider and wider.

As an analogy, think of extending a string of negative numbers, while hoping that somehow they’ll add up to a positive number.

The status quo is surreal. I mean that quite literally. It is constructed to look quite normal. But of course, it isn’t. It’s full of lies and half-truths and obfuscations and planned deceptions—all laid on in a “normal” way.

The status quo is a circular affair. It is presented as “the way things are,” but underneath it is the assumption that millions and millions of people are needed to give their consent to it. Needed? Yes. Otherwise, it will collapse. Well, how can the status quo represent the way things are, if they aren’t that way unless huge numbers of people support it and uphold it?

That’s a monumental gimmick. “I’m here, of course I’m here, but I need you to believe I’m here.” Why? If you’re here, what difference does it make what I believe?

Withdrawing your support from the status quo is one thing, but building and inventing a new reality to take its place is quite another.

The individual can make a contribution, an astonishing contribution, when his ability to reason and deploy logic, and his ability to access his own imagination are present at the forefront of his life.

Education of the young could, if there were the will for it, develop the two cores. It could, at the earliest age possible, teach logic and analysis of information, and it could provide numerous exercises to expand imagination. These things are possible. There isn’t any trick to it.

Generations of children, growing up in this kind of atmosphere, would shift their focus. They would eagerly seek out ways to empower their own minds and imaginations. They would be far less likely to fall into holes of apathy and passivity. They wouldn’t need escapes and endless distractions.

But again, no matter what education looks like, no matter what new lows society’s institutions descend into, you remain. Free, and able to choose. Able to decide. Your mind and your imagination are yours.

As I’ve written before, we are the artists of reality, each one of us. This is a spiritual path. It isn’t just a short narrow road.

It’s the great adventure.

by Jon Rappoport

The Narrator @ April 27, 2016

“This Is Catastrophic” – Thousands Of Gallons Of Deadly Radioactive Waste Leak At Nuclear Storage Site

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The ongoing radioactive leak problems at the Hanford Site, a nuclear storage tank in Washington State, are nothing new.

We first wrote about the ongoing radioative leakage at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, created as part of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb, in 2013.

 

As a reminder, during the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Alas, the site has been leaking ever since, as many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate and Hanford’s operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the neighboring Columbia River.

 

Hanford’s weapons production reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, but the decades of manufacturing left behind 53 million US gallons of high-level radioactive waste, an additional 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste, 200 square miles of contaminated groundwater beneath the site and occasional discoveries of undocumented contaminations.

 

The Hanford site represents two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste by volume. Today, Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States and is the focus of the nation’s largest environmental cleanup. The government spends $2 billion each year on Hanford cleanup — one-third of its entire budget for nuclear cleanup nationally. The cleanup is expected to last decades.

However, as Krugman would say, the government was not spending nearly enough, and after a major documented leak in 2013, over the weekend, thousands of gallons of radioactive waste are estimated to have leaked from the Site once again, triggering an alarm and causing one former worker to label it as “catastrophic.”

As AP reported, the expanded leak was first detected after an alarm went off at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Sunday, and on Monday workers were preparing to pump the waste out of the troubled area. They were also trying to determine why the leak became worse.

It’s unclear exactly how much waste spilled out, but estimates place the amount at somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 gallons, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The problem occurred at the double-wall storage tank AY-102, which has the capacity to hold one million gallons of the deadly waste, and which has been leaking since 2011. At the time, the leak was “extremely small”, and the waste would dry up almost right after spilling out between the inner and outer walls, leaving a salt-like substance behind.

However, over time the small leak got bigger.

In March, the US Department of Energy began pumping what was left in the storage tank, which originally held some 800,000 gallons of waste. However, after leak detector alarms sounded early Sunday morning, crews at Hanford lowered a camera into the two-foot-wide space between the tank’s inner and outer walls. They discovered 8.4 inches of radioactive and chemically toxic waste has seeped into the annulus.


 

Pumping work on the tank has been halted as officials reevaluate the situation and figure out how to get to the leaked radioactive waste. It’s possible that the leak was made worse when the pumping began, but that has not been confirmed.

 

Taking a page right out of the TEPCO playbook, the U.S. Department of Energy released a statement Monday calling the leak an “anticipated” outcome of an ongoing effort to empty the tank in question. The Washington state Department of Ecology said, “There is no indication of waste leaking into the environment or risk to the public at this time.”

But one former tank farm worker said the leak should be considered a major problem.

This is catastrophic. This is probably the biggest event to ever happen in tank farm history. The double shell tanks were supposed to be the saviors of all saviors (to hold waste safely from people and the environment),” said former Hanford worker Mike Geffre.

He should know: Geffre is the worker who first discovered that the tank, known as AY-102, was failing in 2011. In a 2013 series, “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets,” the KING 5 Investigators exposed that the government contractor in charge of the tanks, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), ignored Geffre’s findings for nearly a year. The company finally admitted the problem in 2012.

Another problem: tank AY-102 is just one of 28 double-shell tanks at Hanford (there are 177 underground tanks total) holding nuclear byproducts from nearly four decades of plutonium production on the Hanford Nuclear Site, located near Richland. Initially the plutonium was used to fuel the bombed dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II.

The new leak poses problems on several fronts. The outer shell of AY-102 does not have the exhaust or filtration system needed to keep the dangerous gases created by the waste in check. Workers have been ordered to wear full respiratory safety gear in the area, but the risk remains. And unlike Fukushima where cleanup crews are aware of the danger, in Hanford virtually nobody is aware of the dangers of the radioactive seepage.

 

“The hazards to workers just went up by a factor of 10,” said Geffre.

The breakdown calls into question the viability of three other double-shell tanks at Hanford that have the exact design of AY-102. It is not clear how many of them may have comparable “extremely small” leaks which have gotten bigger, and even if there was it is likely that the DOD would not reveal them.

“The primary tanks weren’t designed to stage waste like this for so many years,” said a current worker. “There’s always the question, ‘Are the outer shells compromised’”?

Oh, and let’s not forget that the accumulation of waste in the outer shell also means “the deadliest substance on earth is that much closer to the ground surrounding the tank. And currently there is no viable plan in place to take care of it.

Or, as Ben Bernanke would say, the Plutonium is contained.

“It makes me sad that they didn’t believe me that there was a problem in 2011,” said Geffre. “I wish they would have listened to me and reacted faster. Maybe none of this would be happening now. It’s an example of a culture at Hanford of ‘We don’t have problems here. We’re doing just fine.’ Which is a total lie,” said Geffre.

Dear Mike, if you think that is bad, you should see what they say about the “markets”…

* * *

Full clip from King5 after the jump

The Narrator @ April 19, 2016

Why The Media Lies So Much

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I recently read an article on rt.com written by Cynthia McKinney, the first black woman elected to the Georgia Legislature. The title of the article was “Why Does The U.S Media Lie So Much?” I’ll continue after a brief aside to talk about rt.com (which stands for Russia today).

 Rt.com is a news outlet sponsored by the Russian government, much like British Broadcasting Corporation of Britain, CBC of Canada and ABC of Australia. A few months ago, I was in a discussion group and I mentioned rt.com, which I visit daily, and a young man (30-ish) interrupted me to inform me that rt.com was nothing but Russian propaganda.

I immediately thought of the quote attributed to everyone from Shakespeare to Mark Twain to Winston Churchill, “Never do battle of wits with an unarmed man.” Contributors to rt include economists Paul Craig Roberts, Richard Wolff, Michael Hudson, Noam Chomsky, Lee Camp, Gerald Celente, Max Keiser, Larry King, Thom Hartmann and other Americans. Also George Galloway, former member of parliament in Britain. Why would any of these people want to be part of Russian propaganda?

Anyway, back to McKinney’s article. Why does the U.S media lie so much? The simple answer is — and the courts have ruled — that they can and it’s legal. They claim that it is part of free speech and that the responsibility is on the public to be informed as to whether the information is true or not. Thomas Jefferson said basically the same thing.

Therein lies the problem.

The American public has been lulled into watching the evening news and thinking they are being informed. They aren’t. They’re being manipulated. If you question the reports you are given the handy label conspiracy theorist and dismissed. A study showed that Fox News told the truth 17 percent of the time. Critics have even divided the remaining 83 percent into partially true, mostly false and ‘pants on fire’.

Not only does the media lie, so does the government.

I have friends who are always posting pro-Democratic and Obama memes on Facebook. They don’t seem to realize that Democrats initiated our involvement in the three worst wars of the 20th century.

Bill Clinton did away with the Glass-Steagall Act that, since the 1930s, kept the banks from gambling with depositors’ money. Hence, the crash of ‘08 and the robbery that continues. Clinton also pushed for and succeeded in passing NAFTA, the most disastrous “Free Trade Agreement” ever (only to be outdone by TPP, which is NAFTA on steroids, which Obama is pushing).

The news nightly blabbers about the “recovery.” There is no recovery, folks. We are falling further and further behind every day. The economic reports are laughable. Retail sales were up in January; unemployment has decreased under Obama.

Yeah, right, retail sales are so good that Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, and unemployment is down? Oh really, what kind of jobs? Any $22-an-hour jobs with benefits? No! Mostly part-time, low-skill jobs at minimum wage with no benefits, no security. This is not a stable or sustainable economy.

The most laughable meme is that oil prices under Obama are drastically lower than under Bush. The president has no control over oil prices. If the president had that power, don’t you think that Jimmy Carter would have lowered the price back in the early ‘70s, when gas prices caused gas lines like soup lines in the ‘30s? Who falls for this nonsense? The current low price is because the Saudis lowered their price to hurt Iran, Russia and Venezuela, but mostly Iran. Three nations the U.S. hates because they won’t grovel and go along with our desire for complete world domination, as wouldn’t Iraq, Libya or Syria.

I hate to say this, but America has become the playground bully. If you don’t go along with our idea of world order or can’t be bribed or coerced into joining our — what Gerald Celente calls — coalition of the killing, you will have economic sanctions imposed on you, and if that doesn’t work, we will simply destroy you.

Today, America is an empire and the power elite love it. Any remotely close examination of empires shows two major things:

 One: They all die, usually from internal collapse.

Two: The average person was destitute.

A view of the Russian Empire in 1913, and the following few years, graphically shows what empire collapse can look like.

At the end of World War II, it was obvious that the British Empire was collapsing. They had the choice: Do away with democracy or the empire. I think they made the smart decision. Will we?

Now that you’re all cheered up, I’ll let you think about that for a bit.

Submitted by Fred Elliott via Salina.com,

 

The Narrator @ April 18, 2016

White house confirms : President will block any bill to investigate Saudi involvement in 9/11 attacks

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This weekend’s biggest, and most shocking story, was the report that in response to a proposed Congressional Bill that would allow a probe into the Saudi role behind the Sept 11 terrorist attack, Saudi Arabia had threatened the US with dumping its roughly $750 billion in Treasury holdings.

What was curious about the story is that while Saudi Arabia implicitly admitted it had a role in the September 11, the Obama administration was actively doing everything in its power to prevent the Bill from passing, and thus to keep the truth under wraps, leading many to wonder if Obama was more concerned about his own people or a handful of uber-wealthy Saudi princes.

Moments ago White House spokesman Josh Earnest chimed in, and validated all of those fears.

  • EARNEST: BILL WOULD OPEN U.S. TO GLOBAL LEGAL VULNERABILITIES
  • WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT IS CONFIDENT THAT SAUDIS RECOGNIZE THE SHARED INTEREST WITH THE U.S. IN PROTECTING STABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM
  • EARNEST: DON’T KNOW IF BILL WILL BE TOPIC ON OBAMA SAUDI VISIT

And the punchline:

  • EARNEST COMMENTS ON BILL TO ALLOW LAWSUITS BY SEPT. 11 FAMILIES
  • EARNEST SAYS BILL TO ALLOW LAWSUITS AGAINST SAUDI CONCERNING
  • EARNEST: OBAMA WOULDN’T SIGN SUE-SAUDI BILL AS DRAFTED

In short: whether due to the Saudi threat, or just because of its default position on the matter, Obama will block the Bill and no further probes into Saudi involvement in the Sept 11 tragedy will be allowed.

And with that any concerns about whether the US president represents not only the interests of the Sept 11 victims and their families, but all all American people, and is intent on discovering who the real culprit behind the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil, as opposed to the interests of few Saudi billionaires and would much rather have the truth remain suppressed in 28 top secret pages and certainly in the public domain, were just answered.

The Narrator @ April 18, 2016

Saudi King & Princes Blackmail U.S. Government: Will they get away with mass murder on U.S Soil?

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Saudi Arabia, owned by the Saud family, are telling the U.S. Government, they’ll wreck the U.S. economy, if a bill in the U.S. Congress that would remove the unique and exclusive immunity the royal owners of that country enjoy in the United States, against their being prosecuted for their having financed the 9/11 attacks, passes in Congress, and becomes U.S. law.

As has been well documented even in sworn U.S. court testimony, and as even the pro-Saudi former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged privately, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” She didn’t name any of those “donors” names, but the former bagman for Osama bin Laden, who had personally collected all of the million-dollar+ donations (all in cash) to Al Qaeda, did, and he named all of the senior Saud princes and their major business-associates; and, he said, “without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.” So, both before 9/11, and (according to Hillary Clinton) since, those were the people who were paying virtually all of the salaries of the 19 hijackers — even of the four who weren’t Saudi citizens. Here’s that part of the bagman’s testimony about how crucial those donations were:

Q: To clarify, you’re saying that the al-Qaeda members received salaries?

A: They do, absolutely.

So: being a jihadist isn’t merely a calling; it’s also a job, as is the case for the average mercenary (for whom it doesn’t also have to be a calling). The payoff for that job, during the jihadist’s life, is the pay. The bagman explained that the Saud family’s royals pay well for this service to their fundamentalist-Sunni faith. Another lifetime-payoff to the jihadists is that, in their fundamentalist-Sunni culture, the killing of ‘infidels’ is a holy duty, and they die as martyrs. Thus, the jihadist’s payoff in the (mythological) afterlife is plenty of virgins to deflower etc. But, the payers (the people who organize it, and who make it all possible) are the Saud family princes, and their business associates — and, in the case of the other jihadist organizations, is also those other Arabic royal families (the owners of Qater, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman). However, 9/11 was virtually entirely a Saudi affair, according to Al Qaeda’s bagman (who ought to know).

The report of the threat by the Saud family comes in veiled form in an April 15th news-story in The New York Times, headlined, “Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill.” It says that the Saud family’s Foreign Minister is “telling [U.S.] lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in [U.S.] treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.” The NYT says that this threat is nothing to take seriously, “But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.” While the carrying-out of this threat would be extremely damaging to the Saud family, the NYT ignores the size of the threat to the Sauds if their 9/11 immunity were removed — which could be far bigger. Consequently, this matter is actually quite a bit more than just “another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.”

Russian Television is more direct here: “Saudi Arabia appears to be blackmailing the US, saying it would sell off American assets worth a 12-digit figure sum in dollars if Congress passes a bill allowing the Saudi Government to be held responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” (The Saudi Government is owned by the Saud family; so, even that statement is actually a veiled way of referring to the possibility that members of the royal Saud family — the individuals name by the bagman — could be held responsible for 9/11.)

Even immediately in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, there had been some mentions in the U.S. press of the U.S. Government making special allowances for Saud Prince Bandar al-Saud, a close friend of the Bush family (and he was also one of the Saudi Princes mentioned specifically by the bagman), to fly out of the country to avoid being sought by prosecutors. Furthermore, Newsweek’s investigative journalist, Michael Isikoff, headlined on 12 January 2001, “The Saudi Money Trail”, and he reported statements from royal Sauds, that they didn’t really mean for their donations to be going to such a thing as this. (Perhaps those individuals didn’t, but Bandar almost certainly did, because he was the Saud Ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11.) However, now that the U.S. Government is relying heavily upon Saudi money to pay for the U.S. weapons and to help to organize the operation to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria and to replace him with a fundamentalist-Sunni leader, there is renewed political pressure in the United States (from the victim-families, if no one else), for the arch-criminals behind the 9/11 attacks to be brought to American justice. After fifteen years, this process might finally start. That would be a drastic change.

Clearly, the threat from the Sauds is real, and the royal response to this bill in the U.S. Congress reflects a very great fear the owners of Saudi Arabia have, regarding the possible removal of their U.S. immunity, after 15 years.

Prosecution of those people will become gradually impossible as they die off. But a lot more time will be needed in order for all of the major funders of that attack to die natural deaths and thus become immune for a natural reason — the immunity of the grave. The U.S. Government has protected them for 15 years; but, perhaps, not forever.

To say that this threat from the Sauds is just “another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States” seems like saying that a neighbor’s threat to bomb your house would constitute just “another sign of escalating tensions” between you and your neighbor. The passing-into-law of this bill in Congress would actually constitute a change from the U.S. Government being a friend and partner of the Sauds, to becoming their enemy.

Obviously, there is little likelihood of that happening; and, on April 20th and 21st, U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Saudi King Salman al-Saud. Without a doubt, this topic will be on the agenda, if it won’t constitute the agenda (which is allegedly to improve U.S. relations “with Arab leaders of Persian Gulf nations” — not specifically with Saudi King Salman and with his son Prince Salman).

If President Obama represents the American public, then the Sauds will have real reason to fear: the U.S. President will not seek to block passage of that bill in Congress. However, if the U.S. President represents instead the Saud family, then a deal will be reached. Whether or not the U.S. Congress will go along with it, might be another matter, but it would be highly likely, considering that the present situation has already been going on for fifteen years, and that the high-priority U.S. Government foreign-policy objective, of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad, is also at stake here, and is also strongly shared not only by the Sauds but by the members of the U.S. Congress. Furthermore, the impunity of the Saud family is taken simply as a given in Washington. And, the U.S. Government’s siding with the Sauds in their war against Shia Muslims (not only against one Shiite: Assad) goes back at least as far as 1979. (Indeed, the CIA drew up the plan in 1957 to overthrow Syria’s Ba’athist Government, but it stood unused until President Obama came into office.)

Furthermore, the U.S. Government is far more aggressive to overthrow Russia-friendly national leaders, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych, than it is to stop the spread of fundamentalist Sunni groups, such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc.; and, a strong voice for U.S. foreign policy, the Polish Government, even said, on April 15th, that as AFP headlined that day, “Russia ‘more dangerous than Islamic State’, warns Poland foreign minister”; and Russia itself is, along with Shiite Iran, the top competitor against the fundamentalist Sunni Arab royal families in global oil-and-gas export markets. So, clearly, the U.S. Government is tightly bound to the Saud family. Terrorism in Europe and America is only a secondary foreign-policy concern to America’s leaders; and the Saud family are crucial allies with the U.S. Government in regards to what are, jointly, the top concerns of both Governments.

Consequently, there is widespread expectation that some sort of deal will be reached between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Saudi leaders, King and Prince Salman, and that the Republican-led Congress will rubber-stamp it, rather than pass the proposed bill to strip the Saud family’s immunity.

Submitted by Eric Zuesse, author of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The Narrator @ April 17, 2016

A Drone Flies Through A Rotting, Abandoned $17.5 Million Vancouver Mansion; This Is What It Saw

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Over the past several months we have repeatedly noted a recurring peculiarity of the Vancouver housing bubble: there are numerous multi-million dollar mansions, which rot, abandoned, their owners having long ago disappeared.

Two months ago, we first postulated the hypothetical timeline that starts with the purchase of a Vancouver mansion

  • Chinese investors smuggled out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows.
  • They make “all cash” purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in perso, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco.
  • The house becomes a new “Swiss bank account”, providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow.
  • Then the owners disappear, never to be heard from or seen again.

Then we showed a dramatic example of the last step just yesterday in our post laying out the “Curious Story Of The Chinese Tycoon Found “Chopped Up Into 100 Pieces” In A Vancouver Mansion.”

But while the mysterious past of Vancouver’s abandoned mansions may be increasingly more transparent, their “present” is just is perplexing: after all, they are still the legal possession of someone – even if that someone is a dismembered Chinese tycoon long dead – and as such they may remain a neighborhood blight for a long time.

Another mystery: what is contained inside?

For at least one answer to that question, we go to Corbie Fieldwalker, a 40 year old Vancouver resident who last July stumbled upon a house left to rot in Point Grey, a neighborhood that’s home to some of North America’s priciest real estate and coveted for its ocean, mountain and city views.

Quoted by the National Post, Fieldwaker, said that “we started thinking about the last few years of media coverage surrounding real estate, community and Vancouver’s rapidly changing identity, and how these properties could be used to frame those issue in an emotionally engaging way that may be lacking in the current conversation.”

The solution was obvious. Make films.

And so for the past nine months, Fieldwalker has been entering abandoned multimillion-dollar properties equipped with a DSLR camera and drone, shooting them from every angle he can before they’re gone forever.

So far, he’s filmed five properties in Point Grey and a few in the south Cambie area. Many of them sit behind blue fences, the telltale sign a backhoe is on its way.

Fieldwalker said accessing the properties is simple: “We just go up to them and shoot.”

In the following film posted to Fieldwalker’s Vimeo page, the viewer is brought inside a 3,430 square-foot Point Grey teardown on Drummond Drive, which last year sold for $17.5 million.

The property’s overgrown lawn, mossy shingles, smashed windows and missing doors suggest it’s been many years since anyone called it home. It’s owner, mostly likely another Chinese tycoon, is long gone.

Inside, the camera pans and dollies slowly over peeling paint, crumbling gypsum and broken glass, up a staircase and down hallways that show no signs of life, save for some graffiti. It would be the perfect set for a horror or post-apocalyptic film.

Fieldwalker said he understands he’s trespassing and takes responsibility for it, but believes that because the properties are on unceded Coast Salish territory, they can’t truly be owned. Many have sat vacant for five or more years as investment properties. “I’ve had no friction so far,” he said.

Fieldwalker said the films began as a personal project, but he now hopes they might facilitate discussion about architecture, history and how the city is valuated. “There needs to be sort of a change in the value of the community,” he said, although it is unclear if the community can stand any further valuation upward.

“Right now, it’s about making money – and I understand, because houses are going for a million dollars over offer, and I don’t really blame these people – but it’s destroying the fabric of the city really quickly, I think.”

He doesn’t expect his films to change the views of Vancouver residents and the government, but hopes they might preserve memories of the neighbourhoods where they grew up.

“It’s more about an archival record that can be referenced as we develop our understanding and appreciation for this stuff” he said.

He will be busy for a while: as the National Post reports, according to city records there were 974 housing-permit demolitions citywide in 2015. 917 were torn down in 2014, 859 in 2013 and 1,008 in 2012.

The fate of the $17.5 million house which Fieldwalker has decided to showcase is not clear at this moment, but at least viewers can now see the inside of one of Vancouver’s most expensive, and abandoned, mansions, through the perspective of a drone.

The Narrator @ April 16, 2016