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Fake report on ‘Russian soldier deaths’ in Ukraine sets media on fire

RT | August 27, 2015

A Forbes report on alleged Russian army casualties in Ukraine citing a dodgy Russian website has sparked a media and Twitter storm. Some said Russia had “finally slipped” with the leak on its troops in Ukraine; others were baffled by the “fake publication.”

A Forbes contributor, Paul Roderick Gregory, published an article on Wednesday citing a Russian web source called Delovaya Zhizn (translated as Business Life ), which was said to reveal “official figures on the number of Russian soldiers killed or made invalids in eastern Ukraine.”

The report, dated March 2015 and entitled “Increases in Pay for Military in 2015,” was altered, with the relevant information being removed, after the Forbes publication came out. However, the original copy was webcached by Google.

The cache shows that the website, which has articles on Russian finance, markets and leisure, claimed that the Russian government had paid monetary compensation to Russian soldiers who “took part in military actions in Eastern Ukraine.”

Without citing a source, the article claimed that as of February 1, more than 2,000 families of soldiers killed in Ukraine had received compensation of 3 million rubles (about $50,000) and those crippled during military action – a half million rubles (about $25,000). It added that another 3,200 soldiers wounded in battle had received compensation of 1,800 rubles for every day they were in the conflict zone.

The Forbes contributor accused “Russian censors” for “quickly removing the offending material.”

The Forbes report was picked up by Western media and independent journalists. The International Business Times reported that the Russian article had “accidentally published the leaked figures.”

An article by The Independent on Wednesday called Delovaya Zhizn a “respected news site in Russia,” and cited the head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, James Nixey, who said that the report is a “nail in the coffin” in proving Russia is engaged in military action.

Another media outlet piling on was was Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which claimed it had received a response from some Anatoly Kravchenko from Delovaya Zhizn, who said the website had “received the casualty figures from relatives of dead servicemen as well as ‘insider information’ from the Russian Defense Ministry.” However, they added that the website’s representative had “declined to identify any specific sources.”

Western officials, including two former US ambassadors to Russia and to Ukraine and the US ambassador to OSCE, also retweeted the report.

The publication sparked a Twitter storm with some western journalists, researchers, analysts and think-tanks giving their full trust to the source.

However, at a certain point the media storm came to a halt.  Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky concluded that the initial Delovaya Zhizn report was fake, questioning the URL, Bs-life.ru, and exposing a grammatical error (“v Ukraine” instead of “na Ukraine”).

AP journalist Nataliya Vasilyeva pointed out the ease of spreading fake information on the web.

“The ease of spreading rumors in the digital world is astonishing,” she wrote.

“Two days of Western officials retweeting a Forbes report quoting a Ukrainian web-site quoting a non-existent Russia news web-site re Ukraine,” she added.

“The main problem here is, of course, where was the Forbes online editor when the story was published, why nobody bothered to check sources?”

Indeed, the Russian State media watchdog, Roscomnadzor, has four registered media sources of that name on its website.  All of them are listed as print publications – newspapers or magazines. Electronic media is not mentioned.

The Delovaya Zhizn (bs-life.ru) website, however, does not contain any reference to a print edition or mail subscription. Moreover, it does not detail its staff, its owner or founder, or any relevant contact information except for an online reply form.

RT attempted to contact the publication by phone numbers collected through open sources on the web, but received no answer by phone – or via the online form.

This is not the sole example of unverified information related to the Ukrainian conflict appearing on the web. However, few such “leaks” make it to big media.

In one of the instances, US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was caught posting unverified images on his Twitter feed in September 2014. The photos, which he said showed US-Kiev military exercises in Ukraine, had already been published in July 2014 and in October 2013.

In another case in April, Pyatt claimed that Russia’s military was continuing to expand its presence in eastern Ukraine. As proof, he posted a picture of a Buk-M2 missile defense system that he said was stationed in Ukraine. However, it turned out to be a two-year-old photo from an air show near Moscow.

READ MORE:

Back to old tactics: US envoy tweets ‘Russian BUKs in Ukraine’ with pic of Moscow show

US envoy to Ukraine caught posting fake images on Twitter

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

The conceits of consensus

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | August 27, 2015

Critiques, the 3%, and is 47 the new 97?

For background, see my previous post The 97% feud.

Cook et al. critiques

At the heart of the consensus controversy is the paper by Cook et al. (2013), which inferred a 97% consensus by classifying abstracts from published papers.The study was based on a search of broad academic literature using casual English terms like “global warming”, which missed many climate science papers but included lots of non-climate-science papers that mentioned climate change – social science papers, surveys of the general public, surveys of cooking stove use, the economics of a carbon tax, and scientific papers from non-climate science fields that studied impacts and mitigation.

The Cook et al. paper has been refuted in the published literature in an article by Richard Tol:  Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the literature: A re-analysis (behind paywall).  Summary points from the abstract:

A trend in composition is mistaken for a trend in endorsement. Reported results are inconsistent and biased. The sample is not representative and contains many irrelevant papers. Overall, data quality is low. Cook׳s validation test shows that the data are invalid. Data disclosure is incomplete so that key results cannot be reproduced or tested.

Social psychologist Jose Duarte has a series of blog posts that document the ludicrousness of the selection and categorization of papers by Cook et al., including citation of specific articles that they categorized as supporting the climate change consensus:

From this analysis, Duarte concludes: ignore climate consensus studies based on random people rating journal article abstracts.  I find it difficult to disagree with him on this.

The 3%

So, does all this leave you wondering what the 3% of papers not included in the consensus had to say?  Well, wonder no more. There is a new paper out, published by Cook and colleagues:

Learning from mistakes

Rasmus Benestad, Dana Nuccitelli, Stephan Lewandowski, Katherine Hayhoe, Hans Olav Hygen, Rob van Dorland, John Cook

Abstract.  Among papers stating a position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), 97 % endorse AGW. What is happening with the 2 % of papers that reject AGW? We examine a selection of papers rejecting AGW. An analytical tool has been developed to replicate and test the results and methods used in these studies; our replication reveals a number of methodological flaws, and a pattern of common mistakes emerges that is not visible when looking at single isolated cases. Thus, real-life scientific disputes in some cases can be resolved, and we can learn from mistakes. A common denominator seems to be missing contextual information or ignoring information that does not fit the conclusions, be it other relevant work or related geophysical data. In many cases, shortcomings are due to insufficient model evaluation, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather are an artifact of a particular experimental setup. Other typical weaknesses include false dichotomies, inappropriate statistical methods, or basing conclusions on misconceived or incomplete physics. We also argue that science is never settled and that both mainstream and contrarian papers must be subject to sustained scrutiny. The merit of replication is highlighted and we discuss how the quality of the scientific literature may benefit from replication.

Published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology [link to full paper].

A look at the Supplementary Material shows that they considered credible skeptical papers (38 in total) – by Humlum, Scafetta, Solheim and others.

The gist of their analysis is that the authors were ‘outsiders’, not fully steeped in consensus lore and not referencing their preferred papers.

RealClimate has an entertaining post on the paper, Let’s learn from mistakes, where we learn that this paper was rejected by five journals before being published by Theoretical and Applied Climatology. I guess the real lesson from this paper is that you can get any kind of twaddle published, if you keep trying and submit it to different journals.

A consensus on what, exactly?

The consensus inferred from the Cook et al. analysis is a vague one indeed; exactly what are these scientists agreeing on? The ‘97% of the world’s climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change’ is a fairly meaningless statement unless the relative amount (%) of human caused climate change is specified. Roy Spencer’s 2013 Senate testimony included the following statement:

“It should also be noted that the fact that I believe at least some of recent warming is human-caused places me in the 97% of researchers recently claimed to support the global warming consensus (actually, it’s 97% of the published papers, Cook et al., 2013). The 97% statement is therefore rather innocuous, since it probably includes all of the global warming “skeptics” I know of who are actively working in the field. Skeptics generally are skeptical of the view that recent warming is all human-caused, and/or that it is of a sufficient magnitude to warrant immediate action given the cost of energy policies to the poor. They do not claim humans have no impact on climate whatsoever.

The only credible way to ascertain whether scientists support the consensus on climate change is through surveys of climate scientists. This point is eloquently made in another post by Joe Duarte: The climate science consensus is 78-84%. Now I don’t agree with Duarte’s conclusion on that, but he makes some very salient points:

Tips for being a good science consumer and science writer. When you see an estimate of the climate science consensus:

  • Make sure it’s a direct survey of climate scientists. Climate scientists have full speech faculties and reading comprehension. Anyone wishing to know their views can fruitfully ask them. Also, be alert to the inclusion of people outside of climate science.
  • Make sure that the researchers are actual, qualified professionals. You would think you could take this for granted in a study published in a peer-reviewed journal, but sadly this is simply not the case when it comes to climate consensus research. They’ll publish anything with high estimates.
  • Be wary of researchers who are political activists. Their conflicts of interest will be at least as strong as that of an oil company that had produced a consensus study – moral and ideological identity is incredibly powerful, and is often a larger concern than money.
  • In general, do not trust methods that rest on intermediaries or interpreters, like people reviewing the climate science literature. Thus far, such work has been dominated by untrained amateurs motivated by political agendas.
  • Be mindful of the exact questions asked. The wording of a survey is everything.
  • Be cautious about papers published in climate science journals, or really in any journal that is not a survey research journal. Our experience with the ERL fraud illustrated that climate science journals may not be able to properly review consensus studies, since the methods (surveys or subjective coding of text) are outside their domains of expertise. The risk of junk science is even greater if the journal is run by political interests and is motivated to publish inflated estimates. For example, I would advise strong skepticism of anything published by Environmental Research Letters on the consensus – they’re run by political people like Kammen.

Is 47 the new 97?

The key question is to what extent climate scientists agree with key consensus statement of the IPCC:

“It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. ”

Several surveys of climate scientists have addressed using survey questions that more or less address the issue of whether humans are the dominant cause of recent warming (discussed in the previous post by Duarte and summarized in my post The 97% feud).

The survey that I like the best is:

Verheggan et al. (2014) Scientists view about attribution of climate change. Environmental Science & Technology [link]

Recently, a more detailed report on the survey was made available [link]. Fabius Maximus has a fascinating post New study undercuts key IPCC finding (the text below draws liberally from this post). This survey examines agreement with the keynote statement of the IPCC AR5:

“It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. ”

The survey examines both facets of the attribution statement – how much warming is caused by humans, and what is the confidence in that assessment.

In response to the question: What fraction of global warming since the mid 20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations? A total of 1,222 of 1,868 (64% of respondents) agreed with AR5 that the answer was over 50%. Excluding the 164 (8.8%) “I don’t know” respondents, yields 72% agree with the IPCC.

 

Slide1

The second question is: “What confidence level would you ascribe to your estimate that the anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming is more than 50%?” Of the 1,222 respondents who said that the anthropogenic contribution was over 50%, 797 (65%) said it was 95%+ certain (which the IPCC defines as “virtually certain” or “extremely likely”).

Slide2The 797 respondents who are highly confident that more than 50% of the warming is human caused) are 43% of all 1,868 respondents (47% excluding the “don’t know” group). Hence this survey finds that slightly less than half of climate scientists surveyed agree with the AR5 keynote statement in terms of confidence in the attribution statement.

 Who’s opinion ‘counts’?

Surveys of actual climate scientists is a much better way to elicit the actual opinions of scientist on this issue. But surveys raise the issue as to exactly who are the experts on the issue of attribution of climate change? The Verheggan et al. study was criticized in a published comment by Duarte, in terms of the basis for selecting participants to respond to the survey:

“There is a deeper problem. Inclusion of mitigation and impacts papers – even from physical sciences or engineering – creates a structural bias that will inflate estimates of consensus, because these categories have no symmetric disconfirming counterparts. These researchers have simply imported a consensus in global warming. They then proceed to their area of expertise. [These papers] do not carry any data or epistemic information about climate change or its causes, and the authors are unlikely to be experts on the subject, since it is not their field.

Increased public interest in any topic will reliably draw scholars from various fields. However, their endorsement (or rejection) of human-caused warming does not represent knowledge or independent assessments. Their votes are not quanta of consnsensus, but simply artifacts of career choices, and the changing political climate. Their inclusion will artificially inflate sample sizes, and will likely bias the results.”

Roy Spencer also addresses this issue in his Senate testimony (cited above):

“(R)elatively few researchers in the world – probably not much more than a dozen – have researched how sensitive today’s climate system is based upon actual measurements. This is why popular surveys of climate scientists and their beliefs regarding global warming have little meaning: very few of them have actually worked on the details involved in determining exactly how much warming might result from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.”

The number of real experts on the detection and attribution of climate change is small, only a fraction of the respondents to these surveys. I raised this same issue in the pre-Climate Etc. days in response to the Anderegg et al. paper, in a comment at Collide-a-Scape (referenced by Columbia Journalism Review ):

The scientific litmus test for the paper is the AR4 statement: “anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for “most” of the “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature over the second half of the 20th century”.

The climate experts with credibility in evaluating this statement are those scientists that are active in the area of detection and attribution. “Climate” scientists whose research areas is ecosystems, carbon cycle, economics, etc speak with no more authority on this subject than say Freeman Dyson.

I define the 20th century detection and attribution field to include those that create datasets, climate dynamicists that interpret the variability, radiative forcing, climate modeling, sensitivity analysis, feedback analysis. With this definition, 75% of the names on the list disappear. If you further eliminate people that create datasets but don’t interpret the datasets, you have less than 20% of the original list.

Apart from Anderegg’s classification of the likes of Freeman Dyson as not a ‘climate expert’ (since he didn’t have 20 peer reviewed publications that they classed as ‘climate papers’), they also did not include solar – climate experts such as Syun Akasofu (since apparently Akasofu’s solar papers do not count as ‘climate’).

But perhaps the most important point is that of the scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus, a disproportionately large number of these skeptical scientists are experts on climate change detection/attribution. Think Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc. etc.

Bottom line: inflating the numbers of ‘climate scientists’ in such surveys attempts to hide that there is a serious scientific debate about the detection and attribution of recent warming, and that scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus conclusion are disproportionately expert in the area of climate change detection and attribution.

Conceits of consensus

And finally, a fascinating article The conceits of ‘consensus’ in Halakhic rhetoric.  Read the whole thing, it is superb.  A few choice excerpts:

The distinguishing characteristic of these appeals to consensus is that the legitimacy or rejection of an opinion is not determined by intrinsic, objective, qualifiable criteria or its merits, but by its adoption by certain people. The primary premise of such arguments is that unanimity or a plurality of agreement among a given collective is halakhically binding on the Jewish population  and cannot be further contested or subject to review.

Just as the appeal to consensus stresses people over logic, subsequent debate will also focus on the merits of individuals and their worthiness to be included or excluded from the conversation. This situation runs the risk of the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy whereby one excludes a contradictory opinion on the grounds that no one who could possibly hold such an opinion is worth consideration.

Debates over inclusion and exclusion for consensus are susceptible to social manipulations as well. Since these determinations imply a hierarchy or rank of some sort, attempts which disturb an existing order may be met with various forms of bullying or intimidation – either in terms of giving too much credit to one opinion or individual or not enough deference to another. Thus any consensus reached on this basis would not be not based out of genuine agreement, but fear of reprisals. The consensus of the collective may be similarly manipulated through implicit or overt marketing as a way to artificially besmirch or enhance someone’s reputation.

The next premise to consider is the correlation between consensus and correctness such that if most (or all) people believe something to be true, then by the value of its widespread acceptance and popularity, it must be correct. This is a well known logical fallacy known as argumentum ad populum, sometimes called the ‘bandwagon fallacy’. This should be familiar to anyone who has ever been admonished, “if all your friends would jump off a bridge would you follow?” It should also be obvious that at face value that Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, ought to reject this idea as a matter of principle.

Appeals to consensus are common and relatively simply to assert, but those who rely on consensus rarely if ever acknowledge, address, or defend, the assumptions inherent with the invoking of consensus as a source – if not the determinant – of practical Jewish law. As I will demonstrate, appeals to consensus are laden with problematic logical and halakhic assumptions such that while “consensus” may constitute one factor in determining a specific psak, it is not nearly the definitive halakhic criterion its proponents would like to believe.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Bahrain: Crushing Dissent

Ongoing suppression of activists and political opposition in Bahrain

Tensions remain at all time high, with political leaders and activists behind bars, the situation in Bahrain shows no sign of abating.

Reports of ill treatment and police brutality continue to emerge from Jau, the country’s main prison, as the authorities crack down on detainees.

The recent sentencing of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman has created a further political deadlock sparking mass protests across the country.

As demonstrations sweep across the country, and Western leaders continue their silence in this episode of Infocus we investigate how the authorities are continuing to suppress dissenting voices in the country.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Climatologist Dr. Tim Ball On 97% Consensus: “Completely False And Was Deliberately Manufactured”!

By P Gosselin | No Tricks Zone | August 24, 2015

Canadian climate scientist Dr. Tim Ball recently published a new book on climate science: The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science. What follows later (below) is a short interview with Dr. Ball.

“Government propaganda” … “corrupt science”

In the book Ball writes that the failed predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), coupled with failed alarmist stories such as the complete loss of Arctic sea ice by 2013, are making the public increasingly skeptical of government propaganda about global warming. People were already skeptical because they knew weather forecasts, especially beyond forty-eight hours, were invariably wrong, and so today more people understand there is no substance to global warming claims and that it is based on corrupt science. Now they are asking: Who perpetrated the deception and could a small group of people deceive the world?

In his book The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science Dr. Ball explains who did it and why.

Ball was among the earlier dissidents and as a result he became the target of media articles and false information promoted by a scurrilous website funded by a chairman of a large environmental foundation. He was a real threat because they couldn’t say he wasn’t qualified.

Dr. Ball has been the subject of three lawsuits from a lawyer operating in British Columbia. For the first one, he decided to avoid the expense of a challenge and so he withdrew what he had written. Then, within nine days, he received two more from the same lawyer suing for defamation because of harsh criticism he made of a climate scientist. At that point, he and his family decided they had to fight back.

As Ball carries on his legal battle he maintains that climate deception continues and that the public is paying a high price for completely unnecessary energy and economic policies based on the pseudoscience of the IPCC. Not to mention the social devastation of communities devastated by job losses.

“Their last effective chance”

Dr. Balls says the rhetoric and stream of misinformation increases as the perpetrators, now including the Pope, build up to their last effective chance to influence an increasingly skeptical world. When the Global Warming theme failed, they tried Climate Change. The Climate Change theme has failed, so now they are trying Climate Disruption as defined by President Obama’s science Czar, John Holdren—all to justify expensive government programs. The impetus for a global carbon tax and global governance represent the central theme of a climate conference scheduled for Paris in December 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP21.

INTERVIEW

What follows are some questions that Dr. Ball kindly answered:

By what scientific reason do you think CO2’s role is far less?

Water vapor is 95% of the total greenhouse gases by volume, while CO2 is approximately 4%. The human portion is only 3.4% of the total CO2. They try to claim CO2 is more effective, but it’s a false claim called “climate sensitivity”. The number the IPCC use for sensitivity has constantly declined and will reach zero.

What factor has been the most responsible for the warming over the past 25 years?

The same factor as it has always been, changes in the sun. The IPCC dismiss the sun because they only look at variation in radiative output, but that is only one of three ways the Sun affects global climate.

What do you think the global temperature will do over the next few decades?

Decline. The major short-term control of global temperature is variation in the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field. As it varies it determines the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the Earth. The cosmic radiation creates clouds in the lower atmosphere and it, like a shutter in the greenhouse it determines the sunlight reaching the surface and therefore the temperature.

What do you think of the claimed “97% consensus”?

It is completely false and was deliberately manufactured by John Cook at the University of Queensland. There are more detailed analyses of the corruption but this is the best layman’s account. www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how honest have the major climate institutes been with the public?

-10. If they knew what was wrong it is deliberate and criminal. If they didn’t know they are grossly incompetent. 

Other comments by Dr. Ball:

The biggest problem for the public is they can’t believe that an apparent majority of scientists seem to support the IPCC science. The simple answer is, very few are familiar with the science. They, like most of the public, assume other scientists would not distort, manipulate, or do anything other than proper science. When scientists find out, they are shocked, as exemplified in German meteorologist Klaus-Eckert Puls’s comment:

“Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data—first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it.”

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

No Longer a Conspiracy Theory, First State Legalizes Weaponized Drones for Cops

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | August 26, 2015

North Dakota — Nothing says “police state” quite like unmanned aerial vehicles patrolling the sky ready to deploy 80,000 volts to the nearest protester or dose entire crowds with chemical weapons.

The idea of weaponized drones has long been a dystopian, yet fictional idea. However, thanks to House Bill 1328, in North Dakota, this police state hell from above is now a horrid reality.

Thanks to a police union lobbyist, the idea of police using drones for “less than lethal” weapons is now written into North Dakota law.

According to the Daily Beast,

The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Rep. Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.

Then Bruce Burkett of North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

The term “less than lethal” is thrown around to make tasers, which have been responsible for hundreds of deaths since 2001, seem like they are okay to be deployed on infants.

The reality is that “less than lethal” weapons are only slightly less lethal than the real thing. Now that these weapons will be put on drones, entire new safety concerns arise, such as accuracy and the simple issue of a drone falling into a crowd.

After being duped by the police lobby into passing a bill allowing cops to equip drones with weapons, Rep Becker is worried. He spoke up about police deploying these weapons when they aren’t near the intended target.

“When you’re not on the ground, and you’re making decisions, you’re sort of separate,” Becker said. “Depersonalized.”

One need only look at the Middle East and the thousands of innocent women and children who’ve been slaughtered by US drones to imagine the grim reality of such legislation.

Law enforcement and their union lobbyists are assuring lawmakers that drones would only be used in non-criminal situations, like a missing person case or for photographing crime scenes. This begs the question of why they would need such ominous legislation if they say they’ll never use it?

According to Keith Lund of the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Corporation, laws like this one are to combat restrictions in drone development to create jobs.

North Dakota has been hit hard by the oil bust, and more drones equal more jobs.

“It’s really all about the commercial development, which is where all of this is heading,” Lund replied. “If [a law] is somehow limiting commercial, law enforcement development… that is a negative in terms of companies looking and investing in opportunities in the state of North Dakota,” Lund said, according to the Daily Beast.

It’s not only weapons attached to drones that are raising issues in the state either. Police and their lobbyists are putting up a big fight to allow the use of drones for spying without a warrant.

“Requiring a search warrant for surveillance is ‘restricting development?’” asked Rep. Gary Paur, a Republican, at a hearing.

It seems that corporate and state collusion, at the expense of the people’s liberties, doesn’t even have to happen behind closed doors anymore.

Get ready, because if we know anything about the military-industrial complex, it’s that it spreads like a virus. It is only a matter of time before other slimeball politicians sell out civil liberties to prop up “Big Drone.”

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Stunning poll results showing Ukrainians’ dissatisfied with government, economy and war

New Cold War | August 26, 2015

The International Republican Institute in the United States has published results of polling of attitudes of Ukrainians on the key issues facing the country. The polling was conducted in the latter two weeks of July 2015 by Rating Group Ukraine on behalf of the IRI.

IRI poll 4The poll provides more evidence of deepgoing and growing political dissatisfaction and alienation in Ukraine. Absolute or relative majorities of Ukrainians now express unfavorable views of all major government leaders and politicians from major parties in Ukraine.

The people of the rebel region of Donbas are not included in the poll, which means that the levels of dissatisfaction of Ukrainian residents are even higher than what is reported by the IRI.

The poll results are unlikely to be reported in Western mainstream media, even though the poll is commissioned and published by a right-wing U.S. institute. That’s because the results fly in the face of the “news” and editorial opinions peddled by Western media. It proves that media is lying to its readers and grossly misleading them when it inaccurately presents the war in eastern Ukraine as a virtuous war against an aggressive Russia that is supported by the majority of the Ukrainian people.

Media also chooses to be silent about the profound economic crisis that is wracking Ukraine as a result of the Kyiv regime’s turn to austerity association with the European Union, and about the massive human rights violations accompanying the civil war of the Kyiv regime against the people in the eastern and southern regions of the country. The IRI poll shows extremely high levels of dissatisfaction with the economic crisis and the war.

The poll will also be ignored by the Russophobes in the governments and mainstream political parties in the NATO member countries who decry “Russian aggression” and “Russian imperialism” in Ukraine, and by the many pseudo-lefts in the international arena who are acting as echo chambers of that messaging.

Similarly stunning results of polling of the Crimean people in late 2014 and early 2015 were ignored by the same constellation of forces. That polling showed extraordinarily high levels of satisfaction with the democratic decision of Crimeans in March 2014 to secede from Ukraine. The polls contradict the ongoing stories of Russian “annexation” of Crimea.

The 71-page report International Republican Institute polling report can be read here. Enclosed below are 11 selected charts from the poll:

IRI poll 4

iri 7

IRI poll 5

iri 8

iri 9

iri 10

IRI poll 6

IRI poll 1 Aug 2015

IRI poll 2

IRI poll 3

iri 11

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

US Committed to Playing Active Role in Transnistria Dispute Negotiations

Sputnik — 26.08.2015

Washington is committed to be fully engaged in the talks aimed at settling the Transnistria conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated in a statement on Wednesday.

“You may be sure that America will remain unwavering in its support for Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to play an active role in the 5+2 negotiations aimed at peacefully resolving the Transnistria dispute,” Kerry said.

Kerry issued his statement on the occasion of Moldova’s National Day. The secretary stressed the US support for Moldova government’s efforts to undertake reforms.

Transnistria, a region with a predominantly Russian and Ukrainian population broke away from the Soviet republic of Moldova in 1990, fearing its government could seek reintegration with neighboring Romania. The initiative triggered Moldova’s offensive on the region in 1992, after which it lost control over the Dniester River’s left bank.

The region is now striving for international recognition, while Moldova offers Transnistria autonomy within a unitary state.

The 5+2 format negotiators include Russia, Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine, the OSCE and observers from the European Union and the United States.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment