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American Bases Overrun in Vietnam

Tales of the American Empire | March 18, 2021

Soon after American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, a strategy debate began. One faction wanted American combat forces to only protect large cities and dispatch units to rural areas only when enemy forces converged to battle local forces. American aid would focus on improving the economic infrastructure and local militia forces. Another faction favored securing all of southern Vietnam with hundreds of American bases. This “search and destroy” strategy was selected because most American Generals favored offensive operations. Yet each base required clean water, electricity, security, and frequent resupply, which required guarding bridges, road mine clearing, weekly convoys and helicopter runs. This was expensive, required much manpower, left forces dispersed, provided ample targets for the enemy, and alienated the population with frequent combat operations that caused much death and destruction. Small bases with artillery covered their area and supported adjacent bases to rain heavy firepower upon the enemy within minutes. These firebases were effective and hundreds of attacks were repelled. However, bases were vulnerable to surprise attacks so constant patrolling was required around each base. This allowed enemy forces inflict casualties with mines and ambushes. In several cases, the enemy quickly amassed forces who overran American bases.

______________________________

“Marine Alternative to Search and Destroy”; Connatix; HistoryNet; https://www.historynet.com/marine-alt…

“Lost Battles of the Vietnam War”; Carlton Meyer; G2mil; 2013; https://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

Related Tale: “The Illusion of South Vietnam”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B9BM…

Related Tale: “Ten Battles Americans Lost in Vietnam”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g75i4…

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

Twenty Five Years Of Settled Science

By Tony Heller | Real Climate Science | March 17, 2021

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

― Mark Twain

Twenty five years ago, experts blamed a huge snowstorm in New York on global warming.

TimesMachine: January 14, 1996 – NYTimes.com

In 2000, experts said snow was a thing of  the past.

“According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.”

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past – Environment – The Independent

In 2003 experts said skiing was doomed because global warming was going to make it too hot to snow.

Reading Eagle – Google News Archive Search

On the rocks: the grim forecast for winter sports as global warming increases | World news | The Guardian

This story was repeated in 2012.  Skiing was doomed because of global warming.

Climate Change Threatens Ski Industry’s Livelihood – The New York Times

And now experts say record cold and snow is caused by global warming, and they predicted it all along.

Record Northeast snow totals could be connected to climate change – The Washington Post

But the reality is that September-March snowfall has been increasing for 50 years, and climate academics and journalists are science fiction writers with no connection to reality.

Rutgers University Climate Lab :: Global Snow Lab

This is what I saw when I stepped outside this morning.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

UK Foreign Office contractor sought to recruit comedians & YouTubers for secret Baltic psyops campaign

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | March 21, 2021

In recent weeks, RT has run a series of articles based on leaks by hacktivist collective Anonymous, exposing UK government information warfare efforts targeted at Russia. The British mainstream media has ignored the story.

An earlier report revealed how UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) contractor Albany Associates proposed to infiltrate civil society at every level in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for London’s benefit.

The Baltic states, all members of NATO, are considered strategically vital by London and Washington. They are also home to a sizable Russian-speaking population, a legacy of the countries once being constituent states of the Soviet Union.

Albany was just one of several firms potentially running FCDO-funded psyops in the region. Zinc Network, which has conducted a variety of clandestine operations for the UK government at home and abroad, is another.

In response to an FCDO tender, according to the leaks, the company submitted extensive proposals, pledging to “build a vibrant and innovative independent media sector” in the Baltic states, “which aligns credible brands, online communities of interest, and quality content to service highly specific audience segments.” Among other eyebrow-raising covert strategies, the company offered to disseminate anti-Russian propaganda via the recruitment and promotion of stand-up comedians.

Profiles of individuals involved in the proposed campaign indicate Urve Eslas was intended to sit on its advisory board. She is currently adviser to Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonian president from 2006-2016, who is himself no stranger to Western information operations. From 1988-1993, he ran the Estonia desk of Radio Free Europe, the US-state run propaganda network. Thereafter, he became the Estonian ambassador to the US.

An accompanying CV notes Eslas manages the domestic and foreign communications of the former leader, including his “information exchanges with the media, the public and other stakeholders.”

It’s unknown if this position would have implications for Zinc’s Baltic project, or vice versa, although her Twitter bio notes she also serves as a “Network Manager” at Open Information Partnership, yet another FCDO-funded information warfare effort targeted at Russia led by the contractor, which seeks to influence the outcome of elections “in countries of particular interest to the FCDO.”

‘Capitalise on community ties’

For the endeavor, Zinc claims in the leaked pitch that it conducted extensive analysis of Russian-speakers in the Baltics, in the process identifying two distinct groups therein – “settlers” and “hunter-gatherers.”

The former, representing around 30 percent of the Russophone population, “tend to be monolingual, typically older generations who live in tightly-knit, trusting communities with a shared culture, history and identity.”

The company saw an opportunity to “capitalise” on the “close-knit community ties” of these “settlers,” by “tapping into the high levels of trust they have in locally-shared content, by building the capacity of hyper-local outlets to produce news content they trust and that resonates,” and in the process “harness their social networks.”

“The key to unlocking this target audience is to build hyper-local brands which can tap into this communities’ strong social relationships and online sharing behaviours in order ‘de-couple’ where they get entertainment content from and where they get trusted news,” Zinc stated in the leaked pitch.

Accordingly, the firm proposed to identify “three hyper-local radio, social and digital outlets” in each Baltic country, then offer the entities intensive training, tech support, financial support, and “ongoing mentoring.”

“Target media could include local community pages on social media platforms popular among older demographics such as vk.com [Russia’s Facebook alternative] and ok.ru [similar to Friends Reunited], local news websites, and digital and analogue FM radio stations,” Zinc stated. “We will work with them to pool resources and content, helping them create digital strategies which can leverage the sharing habits and online networks of our settler audiences.”

Representing over 70 percent of the target audience, “hunter-gatherers” were said to be multilingual, “typically younger individuals more integrated into wider society.” Residing in Baltic state capitals, consuming news and entertainment “in multiple languages via multiple digital channels”, using “on-demand services” and social media, “or even individual journalists or influencers as a way of recommending content in order to navigate media.”

Spotting talent, cultivating agents

In order to manipulate this audience, Zinc pledged to “build the reach and influence of exciting Russian-speaking journalists and media personalities, including emigre and exile journalists from Russia who have followings amongst different sections of the Russophone community.”

After all, “audiences have strong brand allegiances to individuals,” meaning young Russophones were more likely to trust and absorb Whitehall-approved anti-Moscow key messaging emanating from the mouths of social media personalities, rather than traditional news outlets.

As such, a “minimum” of 15 journalists – six in Estonia and Latvia, three in Lithuania – would be identified for recruitment, and offered “personal brand strategy informed by individual target audience analysis,” help with “growth strategies for their chosen social media platform,” including blogs, Facebook and Twitter, and “digital marketing and campaign training.”

Articles ostensibly written by these individuals would be inserted on “international and regional quality news sites,” and “regular slots with media outlets supported via our other activities,” including state broadcasters and private sector platforms, would also be provided.

Securing those slots would likely be easy, given Zinc also pledged to provide comprehensive covert support to state broadcasters in the Baltic region.

Ironically, the company noted it was presently “hard” for such stations to reach Russophone audiences, given the widespread perception they are transmitting “propaganda”. An example of this shortfall offered was the Russian-language channel of Estonia’s ETV+ having a mere 1.1% viewership reach among the country’s Russian-speakers – a grand total of approximately 4,000 people.

“In order to grow this audience, we need to equip [state broadcasters] to thrive… by connecting them with the platforms, brands and influencers this audience already follows,” Zinc pledged.

This wide-ranging activity would see the company help the stations “work with influencers and independent production companies to develop in-house content labs to generate ‘social-first’ content,” in respect of local business, travel, sports, music, social affairs, and female-orientated programming.

“We will work with commissioners to identify young Russian speaking talent in the online influencer, stand-up comedy and social commentary spaces,” the contractor also wrote. “They will be supported to develop three content ideas and pilots each, which will then go live on the [broadcaster’s] social channels and on-demand services to test audience responses and viability.”

Successful programming produced by the connivance would then be broadcast, alongside “other content produced by FCO funded projects,” via on-demand services with “significant following amongst Russian speakers.” Two such platforms identified by Zinc were Megogo and Helio iTV – presumably, their viewers comprised a large number of “hunter-gatherers.”

‘Intense and tailored’

It’s not clear if Zinc’s proposal was taken up by the FCDO, but other files related to its pitch make amply clear the company has long been engaged in information warfare efforts targeted at Russia, at London’s direction.

In 2017 for instance, the company developed and managed the FCDO-funded Baltic Media Accelerator, in order to “equip smaller media outlets across the Baltics with the skills and tools to increase demand for locally resonant Russian-language content.” Under its auspices, Estonia’s Radio 4, Latvia’s HelloSolyanka and Lithuania’s Nanook received four months of “intense and tailored” training and support from Zinc.

“As a result, HelloSolyanka increased their monthly revenue by 202 percent by implementing a business plan for a new online and offline media product,” Zinc bragged. “Nanook received grants from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture as well as Oregon University for their innovative model to reach local minorities with storytelling, and Radio 4 successfully pitched their new business and radio format KISA FM to err.ee.”

Similarly, it’s clear Zinc manages a vast clandestine nexus of online “influencers” in Russia and its near-abroad. These individuals are “identified and recruited” by the company on the basis of their “authenticity and standing with the groups we seek to impact,” and helped to craft “bespoke content to deliver messages that are both resonant and credible with specific audiences.”

An accompanying case study states that in Russia and Central Asia, Zinc supported 50 social media influencers “to challenge disinformation,” and established and trained “a network of investigative journalists in Russia working on corruption and governance issues.”

In Estonia and Latvia, Zinc also enlisted 12 Russian-speaking social media influencers, and helped them create and disseminate 28 pieces of video content, which “attracted an overwhelmingly positive response and achieved over 3.4 million views.” This subterfuge was said to represent “a successful strategic intervention.”

Moreover, from 2016-2018, the contractor conducted another FCDO operation targeting Russophone communities in the Baltics, among other things launching multi-platform social media brand ZAG, to distribute content produced by local online influencers to Russian-speaking communities.

ZAG’s social media accounts have mostly been deleted since, although Zinc alleges its YouTube channel at one point boasted over 17,000 subscribers, its 36 videos garnering around two million views.

Zinc’s own website reveals the company produced five TV series in the Baltics – “two of which are now in their second series, including the region’s first Russian-language children’s show.”

It’s unclear to which particular programming this passage refers, and indeed quite how many people watched the shows in question, although it’s certain that viewers – many of whom were very young indeed – had not the slightest clue as to Zinc’s ultimate goals in producing the content.

Similarly, one can only guess at the identities of the large number of Russian-speaking YouTubers, Instagram personalities, anti-corruption campaigners, and citizen journalists, in receipt of financing and orders from London.

It stands to reason, though, that at least some of the ‘grassroots’ figures who routinely crop up as local ‘experts’ in mainstream media reporting on the region will be effective agents of the British state, following a script prepared by Whitehall.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Deception | | 4 Comments

Israel seizes Palestinian foreign minister’s travel permit after visit to International Criminal Court over war crimes probe

RT | March 21, 2021

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, who was returning to the West Bank from a meeting at the International Criminal Court (ICC), was held up at a border crossing and got his VIP travel permit revoked by Israel.

Senior Palestinian official, Ahmed al-Deek, said that agents of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service have questioned al-Maliki for around 30 minutes at the Allenby crossing from Jordan into the West Bank on Sunday. Members of the FM’s entourage were questioned for around an hour, he added.

Al-Maliki’s special travel permit has been revoked and he left the border crossing without it. The VIP pass allows top Palestinian officials to move freely through the Israeli-operated checkpoints. It was unclear if the FM will be getting the papers back, al-Deek added.

An Israeli official has confirmed the development to the Times of Israel, but declined to name the reason for the cancellation of the minister’s pass. However, al-Deek insisted that the move by the Israeli authorities was retaliation for Maliki’s visit to the ICC in The Hague earlier this week.

“Israel is unable to solve cases through the law, but instead resorts to a policy of intimidation, sanctions and threats,” he told Palestinian WAFA news agency.

Al-Maliki, who was on European tour, met with ICC lead prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on Thursday. Earlier this month, Bensouda announced a probe into war crimes carried out in the Palestinian Territories since June 13, 2014.

According to al-Maliki’s office, he spoke to the prosecutor about “the importance of expediting investigations into the crimes committed in the territory of the State of Palestine, in a manner that ensures justice for the victims and their families among the Palestinian people.”

On Friday, Israeli and Palestinian administrations both received notifications from the ICC of the opening of a war crimes probe against them.

While welcomed by the Palestinians, the investigation has angered the Israeli authorities, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labeling it “the epitome of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy.”

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

UN Food Summit Boycotted Over Gates Influence

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | March 19, 2021

Hundreds of farmers and human rights groups are boycotting the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit because they believe it favors agribusiness interests, elite foundations and the exploitation of African food systems.

The Summit claims it is convening to “launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food,”2 but critics say it is biased toward industrial, corporate farming while leaving out those in regenerative agriculture and the knowledge of indigenous people.3

The controversy began right from the start, when U.N. secretary general António Guterres appointed Agnes Kalibata as the event’s head. Kalibata is the former Rwandan agriculture minister who is now the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.4

AGRA is essentially a Gates Foundation subsidiary, and while some of its projects appear to be beneficial, most of its goals are centered on promoting biotechnology and chemical fertilizers.

Corporate Interests Dominating Food Summit

After Kalibata was appointed special envoy to the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit in December 2019, 176 civil society organizations and farmer groups from 83 countries urged Guterres to withdraw the appointment due to Kalibata’s clear conflicts of interest with corporate interests.

A second statement, signed by more than 500 academics and organizations, also opposed Kalibata’s appointment to, and her organization of, the Summit.5 AGRA is known to promote the interests of agribusiness, leading civil society organizations to argue that Kalibata’s appointment was a clear conflict of interest.

“This concern over Kalibata’s nomination has been largely borne-out by Kalibata’s top-down approach to organizing the Summit and her exclusion of those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition in the planning process,” according to an August 2020 report by AGRA Watch.6

A dozen individuals representing development banks, academic institutions and the private sector came forward in support of Kalibata, but “11 had past or current connections to the Gates Foundation,” AGRA Watch reported, adding:7

“These findings illustrate the influence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on global food and agricultural policy. AGRA Watch has continually documented the role of the BMGF in influencing agricultural development, which has grown immensely in recent years.

That Gates Foundation seeks to exercise influence not only through its funding of projects and shaping of expertise, but also in funding the governance platforms that determine food and agricultural policy. This role of the BMGF in driving policy decisions based on its proprietary and technological model of agricultural development is often overlooked.”

Precision Agriculture, Genetic Engineering Take Center Stage

Concerns that the Summit was dominated by corporate industry heightened when its concept paper included precision agriculture, data collection and genetic engineering as pillars for addressing food security while leaving out regenerative agriculture.

As reported by The Guardian, Michael Fakhri, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, wrote to Kalibata stating that the Summit was focused on “science and technology, money and markets” while leaving fundamental questions about inequality, accountability and governance unaddressed:8

“It [appears] heavily skewed in favor of one type of approach to food systems, namely market-based solutions … it leaves out experimental/traditional knowledge that has the acute effect of excluding indigenous peoples and their knowledge. The business sector has been part of the problem of food systems and has not been held accountable.”

The 300 million-member Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism announced plans to boycott the Summit and set up a meeting of their own, while others, including Sofía Monsalve Suárez, head of nutrition rights group Fian International, questioned the Summit’s legitimacy:9

“We cannot jump on a train that is heading in the wrong direction … We sent a letter last year to the secretary general about our concerns. It was not answered. We sent another last month, which has also not been answered. The summit appears extremely biased in favor of the same actors who have been responsible for the food crisis.”

Other nutrition experts also expressed the need for the Summit to be more inclusive of initiatives such as agro-ecology and food sovereignty.

Food Group Calls On UN To Sever Ties With WEF

A group of 148 organizations from 28 countries also called on the U.N. to revoke their 2019 strategic partnership formed with the World Economic Forum (WEF). WEF’s involvement with the Summit has been called a form of “corporate hijacking” that would infringe on people’s rights to food and food production. According to the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty:10

“The WEF will exploit the Summit to streamline neoliberal globalization, which it has espoused for the past 50 years. It is the perfect venue to push for the role of ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies’ to transform food systems, which the WEF has been championing since 2017.

A corporate-led FSS [Food Systems Summit] would be a great advantage to the political elites and corporate billionaires, enabling them to pose hypocritically as responsible entities that promote healthier diets and climate action.

… The sidelined and marginalized sectors in society — the poor farmers, workers, Indigenous Peoples, herders, pastoralists, fisherfolks, urban poor, women, Dalits, and youth — should replace these corporate moguls in shaping the Summit’s proceedings and reforms.”

Beyond the Summit, WEF’s takeover of the U.N. has been denounced by more than 400 civil society organizations and 40 international networks, which claim it will only accelerate the move toward a privatized, undemocratic global takeover. Monsalve Suárez stated:11

“Corporations in the global industrial food chain alone destroy 75 billion tons of topsoil annually and are responsible for the annual loss of 7.5 million hectares of forest. This destruction, along with other factors, leaves 3.9 billion underfed or malnourished people. The WEF represents the interests of those who destroy the environment and abuse our human rights. It cannot be considered a strategic partner in solving the world’s crises.”

Africa’s Traditional Food Systems Under Attack

Planning documents for the Summit also reveal plans for a “radical transformation shift” in Africa, away from traditional farming practices and toward industrial farming — even describing the potential as the “new oil.”12 The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), which released the documents, said the plans recycle the “same false solutions … with the same narrow benefits accruing to a limited number of actors.”13

For instance, one section of the documents is titled “the promise of digital and biotechnologies and the transformation of food systems,” and describes “the significant potential for capturing large economic, social and environmental payoffs from the use of biotechnology products … In West Africa, for instance, farmers can benefit significantly from the adoption of Bt cotton.”14

Technology and development take center stage, along with “strengthening the use of big data” for decisions on things like fertilizer use, genetically engineered crops and “accessing markets.” As noted by U.S. Right to Know:15

“This agenda aligns perfectly with the plans of the agrichemical industry, the Gates Foundation and its main agricultural development program, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which encourages African countries to pass business-friendly policies and scale up markets for patented seeds, fossil-fuel based fertilizers and other industrial inputs they say are necessary to boost food production.”

“The main problem with AGRA,” Global Justice Now explains, “is that it is laying the groundwork for the deeper penetration of African agriculture by agribusiness corporations,” and:

“The BMGF, through AGRA, is one of the world’s largest promoters of chemical fertiliser. Some grants given by the BMGF to AGRA have been specifically intended to ‘help AGRA build the fertiliser supply chain’ in Africa. One of the largest of AGRA’s own grants, worth $25 million, was to help establish the African Fertiliser Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) in 2012 whose very goal is to ‘at least double total fertiliser use’ in Africa.”16

Bill Gates Is The Biggest Owner Of US Farmland

The BMGF’s involvement in the Summit is also self-serving, as Bill Gates owns more farmland in the U.S. than any other private farmer, having purchased a total of 242,000 acres — much of it considered some of the richest soil in the U.S. — at a frenzied pace over the past few years.17

Gates, however, isn’t interested in regenerative agriculture but instead is furthering an agricultural agenda that supports agrochemicals, patented seeds, fake meat and corporate control — interests that undermine regenerative, sustainable, small-scale farming. One of the key players in this agenda is the widespread adoption of synthetic meat.

Gates has made it clear that he believes switching to synthetic beef is the solution to reducing methane emissions that come from animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).18

The strong recommendation to replace beef with fake meat is made in Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need,” which was released in February 2021.19 In an interview with MIT Technology Review, he goes so far as to say that people’s behaviors should be changed to learn to like fake meat and, if that doesn’t work, regulations could do the trick.20

What many aren’t aware of, however, is that Gates is either personally invested in, or invested in via Breakthrough Energy Ventures, fake meat companies like Beyond MeatsImpossible Foods, Memphis Meats and other companies he actively promotes.21

When asked whether he thinks plant-based and lab-grown meats could “be the full solution to the protein problem globally,” he says that, in middle- to above-income countries, yes, and that people can “get used to it.”22

Small Farmers, Regenerative Agriculture Are The Answer

The U.N. Food Summit is poised to bow down to corporate ideology instead of embracing the small farmers and regenerative practices that have true potential to feed the world and heal the planet. If you’re new to this discussion, you can find the top six reasons to support regenerative agriculture here. As Timothy Wise, senior adviser at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, told The Guardian :23

“A growing number of farmers, scientists and development experts now advocate a shift from high-input chemical-intensive agriculture to low-input ecological farming. They are supported by an array of new research documenting both the risks of continuing to follow our current practices and the potential benefits of a transition to more sustainable farming.”

Sources and References

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Environmentalism | , , | 2 Comments

Father of trans teen kept in jail after speaking to press about resisting hormone injections for his child

RT | March 21, 2021

A Canadian man, involved in a legal battle over his right to object to hormone treatment for his teenage trans child, has reportedly been jailed and denied bail for violating a gag order banning him from discussing the story.

Robert Hoogland was denied bail by the Vancouver Supreme Court on Friday and will remain in the North Fraser remand prison, according to news website the Post Millennial. He was arrested this week for contempt of court, due to his continued violation of an order restricting his speech regarding his transgender child. Hoogland fought a lengthy battle, defending his right to have a say in whether life-changing hormone therapy may be offered to a minor without parental consent.

The signature case in Canada’s British Columbia (BC) started several years ago. At the age of 12, ‘Maxine’ (not the child’s real name), who was assigned female gender at birth, struggled to find her place in life, including her gender identity. Her school counselor suggested she may be transgender, referring her to a doctor and telling the school to treat her like a boy.

By the age of 14 the teen was identifying as a male trapped in a female body and was eager to start hormone therapy. The mother was supportive of the decision, but Hoogland – who was separated from the rest of the family but shared custody over the child – felt things were rushed. He said he would be OK with a transition if his child were older and more prepared to make an informed decision about a life-altering procedure. The consent form he refused to sign said hormones could result in various health complications, including elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, and even infertility.

This happened in 2018 and led to a series of court proceedings to decide whether Maxine could be the ultimate arbiter on the matter. That was the position of the gender clinic at BC Children’s Hospital, based on the Infants Act. The law says a “mature minor” may give consent to receiving healthcare.

Critics believe the law allows ideologically driven trans activists to lean on confused children and convince them into making a transition that would not necessarily be beneficial to them, while barring their legal guardians from having a say on the issue.

In Hoogland’s case, Canadian courts repeatedly sided with the hospital and allowed hormone therapy to proceed. Moreover, the father was significantly restricted in how he could speak about the case. He was ordered to always use Maxine’s chosen name, gender, and pronouns, and was banned from trying to convince his child to stop the therapy. A judge even stated that his interviews with the media, in which Hoogland referred to Maxine as his daughter and said things like “her DNA will not change through all these experiments that they do,” may be considered “family violence.”

A 2020 review of the conflict at the BC Court of Appeal opined against such framing, acknowledging there was no evidence that Hoogland (who is called ‘CD’ in court papers and ‘Clark’ in some earlier media reports) was intentionally abusive, and saying the conflict was about “a complex family relationship stemming from a profound disagreement about important issues of parental roles and medical treatment.” His plea to block the transition, however, was rejected.

The April 2019 gag order, which barred Hoogland from sharing information about Maxine’s “sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status or therapies” with the general public, also remained in place. The dad, who believes his family’s story should be properly discussed, disobeyed, and in early March an arrest warrant was issued against him at the request of the BC Attorney General. He surrendered to the authorities on March 16.

The denial of bail puts Hoogland between a rock and a hard place. One of the things he was reportedly admonished for by the judge was failing to take down a crowdfunding page, on which he explains his situation – in apparent breach of the gag order – and asks for donations to cover legal fees. He had been instructed to comply by April 12, when proceedings on his contempt of court case are scheduled to begin, but says he cannot do it from jail.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 1 Comment

The Great Reset is Here: Follow the Money

By F.William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 19.03.2021

The top-down reorganization of the world economy by a cabal of technocratic corporativists, led by the group around the Davos World Economic Forum– the so-called Great Reset or UN Agenda 2030– is no future proposal. It is well into actualization as the world remains in insane lockdown for a virus. The hottest investment area since onset of the coronavirus global lockdowns is something called ESG investing. This highly subjective and very controlled game is dramatically shifting global capital flows into a select group of “approved” corporate stocks and bonds. Notably it advances the dystopian UN Agenda 2030 or the WEF Great Reset agenda. The development is one of the most dangerous and least understood shifts in at least the past century.

The UN “sustainable economy” agenda is being realized quietly by the very same global banks which have created the financial crises in 2008. This time they are preparing the Klaus Schwab WEF Great Reset by steering hundreds of billions and soon trillions in investment to their hand-picked “woke” companies, and away from the “not woke” such as oil and gas companies or coal.

What the bankers and giant investment funds like BlackRock have done is to create a new investment infrastructure that picks “winners” or “losers” for investment according to how serious that company is about ESG—Environment, Social values and Governance. For example a company gets positive ratings for the seriousness of its hiring gender diverse management and employees, or takes measures to eliminate their carbon “footprint” by making their energy sources green or sustainable to use the UN term. How corporations contribute to a global sustainable governance is the most vague of the ESG, and could include anything from corporate donations to Black Lives Matter to supporting UN agencies such as WHO.

The crucial central goal of ESG strategists is to create a shift to inefficient and costly alternative energy, the Zero Carbon promised utopia. It is being driven by the world’s major financial institutions and central banks. They have created a dazzling array of organizations to drive their green investing agenda.

In 2013, well before the coronavirus, the major Wall Street bank, Morgan Stanley, created its own Institute for Sustainable Investing. This was soon expanded in 2015 when Morgan Stanley joined the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF). On its website they state,

“PCAF is based upon the Paris Climate Agreement’s position that the global community should strive to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and that society should decarbonize and reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

By 2020 the PCAF had more than 100 banks and financial institutions including ABN Amro, Nat West, Lloyds Bank, Barcylays, Bank of America, Citi Group, CIBC, Danske Bank and othersSeveral of the PCAF member banks have been indicted in money laundering cases. Now they sense a new role as virtue-models to change the world economy, if we are to believe the rhetoric. Notably, former Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney is an “Observer” or consultant to the PCAF.

In August 2020 the PCAF published a draft standard outlining a proposed approach for global carbon accounting. This means the bankers are creating their own accounting rules for how to rate or value a company’s carbon footprint or green profile.

The Central Role of Mark Carney

Mark Carney is at the center of reorganizing world finance to back the UN 2030 green agenda behind the WEF Davos Great Reset, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees. He also is Adviser to the UN Secretary General as United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action. He has described the PCAF plan as follows:

To achieve net zero we need a whole economy transition – every company, every bank, every insurer and investor will have to adjust their business models, develop credible plans for the transition and implement them. For financial firms, that means reviewing more than the emissions generated by their own business activity. They must measure and report the emissions generated by the companies they invest in and lend to. PCAF’s work to standardise the approach to measuring financed emissions is an important step to ensuring that every financial decision takes climate change into account.”

As Governor of the Bank of England Carney played a key role getting world central banks behind the Green Agenda of the UN 2030 scheme. The major central banks of the world, through their umbrella Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basle, created a key part of the growing global infrastructure that is steering investment flows to “sustainable” companies and away from those like oil and gas companies it deems “unsustainable.” When then-Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was head of the BIS’ Financial Stability Board (FSB) he established something called Task-force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) in 2015.

The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, it included in addition to BlackRock, JP MorganChase; Barclays Bank; HSBC; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC.

Anne Finucane, the Vice Chair of the Bank of America, a member of both the PCAF and the TCFD, noted, “we are committed to ensuring that climate-related risks and opportunities are properly managed within our business and that we are working with governments and markets to accelerate the changes required… climate change presents risks to the business community, and it is important for companies to articulate how these risks are being managed.”

The Bank of America vice chair describes how they assess risks in its real estate loan portfolio by assessing, “… acute physical risk analysis on a sample portfolio of Bank of America residential mortgages across the US. Each property was given a score based on the level of risk associated with 12 potential hazards: tornado, earthquake, tropical cyclone, hailstorm, wildfire, river flood, flash flood, coastal flood, lightning, tsunami, volcano, and winter storm.” As well, the banks’ investment “risk” in oil and gas as well as other industrial sectors is reviewed using the criteria of Carney’s TCFD. All risks are defined as related to CO2, despite the fact there is no conclusive scientific proof that manmade CO2 emission is about to destroy our planet by global warming. Rather evidence of solar activity suggests we are entering an unstable cooling period, Grand Solar Minimum. That’s of no concern to the financial interests who stand to reap trillions in the coming decade.

Another key part of the financial preparation for the Great Reset, the fundamental transformation from a high-energy intensity economy to a low and economically inefficient one, is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). SASB says it “provides a clear set of standards for reporting sustainability information across a wide range of issues… “ This sounds reassuring until we look at who makes up the members of the SASB that will give the Climate-friendly Imprimatur. Members include, in addition to the world’s largest fund manager, BlackRock (more than $7 trillion under management), also Vanguard Funds, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, State Street Global, Carlyle Group, Rockefeller Capital Management, and numerous major banks such as Bank of America and UBS. Many of these are responsible for the 2008 global financial collapse. What is this framework group doing? According to their website, “Since 2011, we have been working towards an ambitious goal of developing and maintaining sustainability accounting standards for 77 industries.”

Where this is all going is to create a web of globally-based financial entities who control combined wealth including insurance and pension funds into what they claim to be worth $100 trillion. They are setting the rules and will define a company or even a country by the degree of carbon emission they create. If you are clean and green, you potentially get investment. If you are deemed a carbon polluter as the oil, gas and coal industries are deemed today, the global capital flows will disinvest or avoid funding you. 

Hydrocarbons Under Attack

The immediate target of this financial cartel is the backbone of the world economy, the oil, coal and natural gas sector. Oil industry analysts predict that over the next five years or less investment flows into the world’s largest energy sector will fall dramatically. “Given how central the energy transition will be to every company’s growth prospects, we are asking companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy,” BlackRock’s chairman and CEO Larry Fink wrote in his 2021 letter to CEOs. Blackrock is the world’s largest investment group with over $7 trillion to invest. Another BlackRock officer told a recent energy conference, “where BlackRock goes, others will follow.”

To continue to attract capital, portfolios have to be built around core advantaged assets – low-cost, long-life, low carbon-intensive barrels,” said Andrew Latham, Vice President, Global Exploration at WoodMac, an energy consultancy.

The Biden Administration is already making good on his pledge to phase out oil and gas by banning new leases in Federal lands and offshore and the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The oil and gas sector and its derivatives such as petrochemicals are at the heart of the world economy. The 50 largest oil and gas companies in the world, including both state-owned and publicly traded companies, recorded revenues of about $5.4 trillion in 2015.

As a new Biden Administration pushes their ideological opposition to so-called fossil fuels, the world will see a precipitous decline in oil and gas investment. The role of the Davos globalists and the ESG financial players are out to guarantee that. And the losers will be us. Energy prices will skyrocket as they did during the recent Texas blizzards. The cost of electricity in industrial countries will become prohibitive for manufacturing industry. But rest well. This is all part of the ongoing Great Reset and its new doctrine of ESG investing.

In 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, “… one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore…” The WEF Great Reset is not simply a big idea of Klaus Schwab reflecting on the economic devastation of the coronavirus. It has been long planned by the money masters.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

How the US Marines secretly advised on the hit movie Avatar, despite later framing it as being anti-war

By Tom Secker | RT | March 21, 2021

New documents show the makers of the film – the highest-grossing in history and now re-released – secretly liaised on its plot and dialogue with the Corps. The subsequent attack on it was all about military control over Hollywood.

The 3-D sci-fi epic Avatar was recently re-released in China, and revenues from the People’s Republic have seen the movie overtake Avengers: Endgame and reclaim its position as the highest-grossing film of all time.

This tidbit about box office statistics has resulted in a flurry of news coverage, but hidden behind the endless reports from journalists with dollar signs in their eyes is a tale of covert military propaganda, and how the DOD pressures filmmakers to produce more pro-war content.

Flashback: When the Marine Corps slated Avatar

Shortly after its original release in 2009, Avatar met with a wave of criticism, despite its enormous popularity with moviegoers. A Vatican newspaper commented that the picture “gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature,” while a review on Vatican Radio said it “cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.”

American conservatives accused Avatar of being anti-American and anti-capitalist, while liberals skewered the film for its supposed racism, for the storyline of blue-skinned natives being saved by a noble white man – Jake, a paralysed former Marine.

Likewise, the semi-official Marine Corps Times reported how “Avatar has been the target of anger and backlash from some who see it as an affront to the Marine Corps and a negative allegory for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

They also published a letter from the then-director of Marine Corps public affairs, Bryan Salas, which said that Avatar “Takes sophomoric shots at our military culture and uses the lore of the Marine Corps and over-the-top stereotyping of Marine warriors to set the context for the screenplay.”

James Cameron apologises to the military for the movie

Salas’ public criticisms were widely reported and led James Cameron – the producer of Avatar – to reach out to the public affairs chief to discuss his concerns. Cameron then gave an extended interview to Marine Corps Times where he effectively apologised for the movie, and denied that it was anti-military.

Cameron told the Times, “I am also concerned that some people are simplistically saying that Avatar is ‘anti-military’. The highly sympathetic main character of the film, through whom the audience experiences almost every moment of the story, is a former Marine. His courage in the face of overwhelming odds makes him a hero of mythic proportions by the end of the story.”

He continued, “While the enemy force in the film are mercenary troops, who are clearly stated to be acting as corporate security contractors, it is not a goal of the film to criticize legitimate military forces, especially the courageous men and women who defend this country.”

The producer, who worked closely with the Marine Corps on his action blockbuster True Lies, went on to explain that his youngest brother John David Cameron joined the Marines in 1985 and fought in Operation Desert Storm. Cameron added, “After that conflict, Dave has worked for me, along with several of his fellow Marines, until the present. And I still have several former Marines working directly for me who have become like family.”

Cameron explained that his brother worked on Avatar as a technical advisor to Sam Worthington, who plays Jake in the film. He concluded, “So even though the US Marines are not mentioned specifically in dialogue, I felt it was important to make this association as a tribute to the calibre of people created by the Marine Corps’ training, spirit and values.”

Documents reveal the truth about the military and Avatar

Years later, in response to Freedom of Information requests, the Marine Corps released nearly 1,700 pages of activities reports from the Corps’ entertainment media liaison office. The documents tell a radically different story to the media storm that followed the release of Avatar, and reveal a close relationship between the Corps and Cameron during the film’s development.

A report from April 2009 lists Avatar as a supported project, and details how Hollywood liaison officers “Met with director/writer James Cameron on 28 March for a sci-fi feature that finds a Marine paraplegic war veteran on another planet. In the project, the main character encounters a humanoid race with their own language and culture, which later comes to odds with humans.”

The reports goes on to say they offered “support for verbiage in the script dialogue” and that they “expected to meet with Mr. Cameron again to continue with script changes.” Another document from two weeks later records how they met with the producer on set to continue providing support.

Exactly what script changes were made as a result of these meetings is not recorded in the documents, but a draft script treatment by Cameron offers a glimpse into what disappeared.

In the draft version, Jake was paralysed when he “fell out a window, drunk, at a base party.” This detail went missing from the final film, replaced by Jake getting wounded in combat, and dialogue such as “I became a Marine for the hardship. To be hammered on the anvil of life. I told myself I can pass any test a man can pass.”

In December 2009, officers from the Marine Corps media liaison office attended the Avatar premiere, and later reports noted how the film had passed the $1 billion mark at the box office. The liaison office got back in touch with Cameron to arrange screenings on CENTCOM military bases, as well to have the actors and producers take part in a “Navy Entertainment Program visit to 11th MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] and other units in the AOR.”

The updates on Avatar continued for months after the Salas letter and Cameron’s interview responding to it. Emphasising how the military actually saw the film as a propaganda success, an Army report from 2011 refers to a military panel at Comic Con featuring entertainment liaison officers. It lists several officials who appeared on the panel along with some of the projects they worked on – including Avatar.

How the Pentagon gets Hollywood to make more pro-war movies

In light of these documents, we need to take a more nuanced view of the military’s relationship with Avatar, and the public criticisms made by Salas. It was around this time that the DOD embarked on a more proactive approach in Hollywood, seeking greater influence in Tinseltown. The DOD-Hollywood chief at the time, Phil Strub, began giving more public interviews, liaison officers started having meetings with studio heads to discuss projects before they had even asked for support, and all the different military branches stepped up their outreach efforts.

By publicly criticising an apparently left-wing, anti-military film, Salas’ letter played into the narrative that Hollywood is full of peaceniks who hate the military, and thus pressured filmmakers to make more pro-military, pro-war films.

This same narrative, that Hollywood makes too many anti-military films, was repeated by several participants at an online conference hosted by the US Naval Institute last October. The conference featured several current and former military-Hollywood officials as well as retired military officers who work as technical advisors to the entertainment industry, and was likely a part of the same efforts to increase the Pentagon’s influence on the movie business.

However, there is no evidence to support the narrative that Hollywood is anti-military – seven of the top ten highest-grossing film franchises of all time have benefited from DOD and other government support, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, James Bond and The Fast and the Furious. Other major franchises supported by the Pentagon and/or CIA include Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean and Mission: Impossible.

Indeed, the only $200 million dollar tentpole movie that deviates from the norm and could possibly be seen as anti-military or anti-war is Avatar, and it was publicly criticised by the Marine Corps even though they had a hand in rewriting the script. Thus, the Avatar episode only serves to highlight how the Pentagon won’t tolerate major movies having even a marginally anti-military vibe, and are seeking full-spectrum dominance of Hollywood.

Tom Secker, a British-based investigative journalist, author and podcaster. You can follow his work via his Spy Culture site and his podcast ClandesTime.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment