Aletho News


Silence of the Grid Experts

By Planning Engineer (Russell Schussler) – Climate Etc. – May 3, 2023

There are many reasons why grid experts within the electric utility industry have not spoken out when unrealistic “green” goals were being developed and promoted over the last 20 years or so. A more open debate during this period might have helped provide a  more realistic foundation for future development. This posting describes some reasons as to why at the corporate level electric utilities did not speak out more in defense of grid reliability. Collectively these factors tended to eliminate grid experts from playing any role in the development of policies impacting the grid.

Speaking Out Risked Negative Consequences

Utilities have many stakeholders with varying degrees of power. Utilities depend on good relations with Public Service Commissions, other regulators, consumers and policy makers. The stereotype of electric utilities as uncaring, selfish, greedy destroyers of the environment tends to make utilities very cautious and careful in critiquing anything perceived as “green”. The media and press attention from any such statements would likely not be favorable.

Utilities need support to acquire right-of-way, for financing, for cost-recovery and to avoid adverse legislation. Poor press and the associated public disapproval loomed as strong disincentives for speaking out.  Furthermore, as will be discussed later, expressing concerns over emerging reliability issues, could be interpreted by some as implying that perhaps you were not as capable as others appear to be.

The Waiting Game: Short-Term versus Long-Term Goals

The short-term consequences of objecting to “green” initiatives impact were swift and near and would be specifically painful to the offending party. The potential benefits of speaking out on reliability would be collective, diffuse and farther into the future.  Who as one of hundreds of utilities would want to be the first to speak out? The near-term burden of “green” goals at very low penetration levels was small enough that it might seem prudent to wait for others to speak up.

It can be observed already how these reasons worked together to stifle dissent. Areas with greatest pressures for green initiatives were held back because speaking out would have more severe consequences for them. Areas with lesser pressures were also less likely to be impacted in the near term, so they were less incentivized to speak out. Many hoped that maybe they could ride this out and learn from the mistakes of others.  Unfortunately, mistakes and problems don’t seem to be slowing things down.

Utilities Are Not Experts, But Rather a Collection of Experts

There is not a common single body of expertise commonly shared by the many experts that make up an electric utility. Rather than are many experts with differing areas of expertise with demands that can place them at conflict with those operating within other areas of expertise. Effectively managing an electric utility is highly dependent upon balancing the input of many competing “experts”. The goals and priorities of large areas such budgeting, rates, maintenance, operating, environmental, planning, construction, compliance, marketing, R&D, legal, strategic planning. as well as sub areas within these, will often be in conflict as to the actions a utility should take.  Leaders have to weigh the inputs from these areas to provide direction and make decisions.

Competing Experts and Goals

Healthy competition is good and necessary. The goals of maintenance are worthwhile, but sometimes in order to best utilize our resources and address other concerns, utilities might need to temporarily depart from what the maintenance experts advocate.  The experts in projects tell us how long it should take to complete a project. But in emergencies, other experts might insist that this project must be completed in a much shorter time frame to allow for an upcoming summer peak. Transmission planning and distribution planning experts within the utility might favor different solutions for correcting an area problem: do you beef up the area distribution or do you add more support from the transmission system? With conflicts of this sort, sometimes you find a compromise, but in others one set of experts must give in.

There are many incentives for increasing wind and solar generation (if it works).  For some areas of expertise, wind and solar integration pose no special problems. Experts and executives from these areas often were wind and solar boosters.  Similarly to academics as described in a previous post, some utility experts argued that (some) problems with wind and solar could be solved, and it was often mistakenly interpreted to mean all problems could be solved.

During my career I would manage several different areas that at times would be in conflict.  I would tell my key people, “You are the experts here. You must be a strong advocate for your area of responsibilities. Sometimes I and others in upper management will have to place other concerns over yours. You will need to be a team player and accept the situation.  That doesn’t mean you should be any less of an advocate for these concerns  in future situations.” Good management balances the inputs of different experts. Utilities found that near term imperatives were in conflict with more distant reliability concerns. Unfortunately, it was almost exclusively the case that emerging reliability concerns were judged as something better addressed later.

Margin, Experts, and Who Are You Going to Believe?

In advocating for their specific areas of concerns, often experts will build in a little margin. I’ll use the example of budgeting here. Although it took me while to get on board, many people are probably familiar with how that process works. Initially when I would hear of dire budget woes, I would heed the call and cut things as close to the bone as I could.  Those of you who are not as naïve as I once was, know that the next step is to squeeze even more out of EVERYONE. At that point it didn’t matter what you had given up in step 1, more was needed and everyone must contribute. My nature was to be a team player and head the original call, but after getting burned a few times, I learned that I must play the margin game.

Competing experts should be “expected” to build in margin within their various areas of expertise. The projects area may pad their schedules with some extra time to give themselves some flexibility. Maintenance might aggressively schedule maintenance and replacement so that they are ok if hard times later put a cut in their resources. Initial designs of projects may be “Cadillac” level to better survive cost pushbacks which might emerge under review.

In the area of grid reliability, the grid depends on margin. It should survive without a hiccup for once every 50-year events, because hundreds or more of those type events can and will happen in the normal operation of a system. Conflations of equipment outages, extreme weather, and other unanticipated events hit the grid many times during a given year.  The consequences can be huge. However, if you push back on reliability for a short time in one area, there’s a good chance you will be fine. Negative consequences will likely be unobservable. But continue to do so and  severe consequences will begin to emerge.

The large chorus of outside “experts” saying that wind and solar can be integrated successfully complicated the situation. Executives with other responsibilities see that government, academics, consultants, consumers, policy makers, and experts within parts of the utility industry are all pushing higher levels of wind and solar. Similarly, the industry sponsored research arms did not help much, but rather pushed new technology as well. Perhaps because they saw a “gold mine” in potential “green research projects”.  This all lead to confusion around grid capabilities.

Lastly, grid experts were disregarded partly due to their great success in the past. The fact that modern power systems have a high degree of margin makes it harder to argue that the system is not sufficiently robust to allow for high penetration levels of wind and solar. The ability of grid engineers to meet emerging challenges to-date have led many to believe they could continue to do so, no matter what might be thrown at them.

Specialization and Silos

In addition to problems of breadth of expertise, problems around specialization also confound attempts at expert consensus. Understanding the full extent of emerging grid reliability problems requires an understanding of generation planning, transmission planning and systems operations. Intermittent, asynchronous wind and solar energy sources impact generation planning, transmission planning and system operators. These three areas have differing expertise and experts within these areas that are not always well informed of the concerns of the others. Generation planners are concerned with providing generation 24 hours a day 367 days a year far into the future. They assume transmission planners will take care of delivery problems. Generation modelling is focused on energy production and they look at megawatt-hours. Transmission Planners are worried about the transmission system during peak times of stress. They make efforts to understand the implications of potential generation, but intermittent sources make that challenging. Their focus is based on demand levels so they look at megawatts. System Operators worry about issues of generation and transmission but they operate day to day and in the near term.  Their focus is on dealing with the system as it is, not determining what it might be or handle scenarios in the far future. Further within these areas, there are specialists who go deep and do not well understand the problems within their own broader area.

Within critical areas around grid reliability, there are various specialist who may not see the big picture. For example, those who model the transmission system who may see problems now, may be optimistic or agnostic as to how future versions of wind and solar may work to better support the system. Those who work more directly with wind and solar and know their inherent capabilities probably don’t fully understand their impact on the transmission system. It takes an understanding of both areas to see the emerging problems that are confronting the system.

Hope and the Benefit of the Doubt

Despite what you may have heard, most engineers want to be environmentally responsible. Instead of being opposed to new technology, most of us have sought to support potential “green” applications that had at least small hopes of promise. I was never aware of anyone stacking the deck against “green” options, but the reverse frequently occurred. It’s evident that conventional generation options are productive many years longer than competing solar or wind options, but most comparative analyses assumed 30 year lives for all alternatives including Green ones. I don’t know of any significant objections to wind and solar leaning on the system a little for support, or raising costs a little. The concerns only came when the impacts are particularly egregious or approaching unsustainability.

The support for “Green” options extended to optimistic assumptions about future development, performance and capabilities of those resources. Often instead of focusing on what might be probable in the future, utilities hoped for what might be possible. Many have hoped that maybe wind and solar coupled with batteries and a lot of technological development will allow asynchronous intermittent wind and solar to replace higher levels of conventional synchronous generation. Such hopes have for many clouded the clear evidence that increasing levels of wind and solar presented reliability threats.

FERC and NERC’s Impacts

In the U.S., the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the reliability oversight organization (NERC) that they empowered, have served to inhibit the industry from voicing reliability concerns. FERC’s open access policy and the resultant standards of conduct in 1996 have segregated the functions of generation planning and transmission planning. FERC’s goal was to prevent generation providers, who owned transmission as well, from having any competitive advantage over other generation providers. Previously, managers and VPs might have responsibility for both groups (as I did at one point), but FERC required that those functions be separated and it was important that information not be shared between them. FERC effectively shut down reliability discussions between in-house generation experts and transmission experts. Coordinating a reliable grid was well served by interplay, dialogue and coordination between those planning and managing generation and transmission. Understanding emerging problems similarly is best served by having experts with a sound grounding in both generation and transmission.

NERC and the regional reliability entities initially were formed and controlled by the utilities to coordinate reliability efforts amongst the participants. In 2006 FERC established NERC as the national reliability organization with enforcement powers. Making NERC the master over utilities versus their servant has had various consequences. Beginning in 2007, NERC and the regional entities could impose large fines for violating NERCs’ reliability criteria. Before that time, utilities would share any problems that they were seeing at reliability meetings, as well as emerging concerns in an open and frank manner. Despite utilities differences in some areas there was a strong joint commitment to reliability and all felt it was best to learn from each other’s mistakes. But when the regulators had the ability to impose fines of a million dollars a day, it no longer made sense to share reliability concerns. Publicly expressing reliability concerns might predispose NERC to lean towards findings of noncompliance should problems emerge.

Perhaps the greatest impact came in the shift of responsibilities. Utilities used to have responsibility for ensuring reliability. They had skin in the game. They had a number of tools including generation and transmission options to better ensure reliability. But regulation by FERC through NERC, took the reliability function away from utilities. Utilities are no longer responsible for ensuring reliability. They are responsible for compliance with reliability standards. That was a profound and consequential change. Utilities are no longer developing reliability experts; they are developing experts in standards compliance. When outages occur, it’s hard to figure out where blame lies now. Will there ever again be grid experts who have skin in the game again?

Summary and Conclusions

There were a lot of utility experts with grid concerns. You might ask, “Why didn’t more people speak up?” But maybe the better question is, “Why would anyone speak up?” A lot of people could have said the type things I started saying about a decade ago, but they had  no incentives to speak out and there were few influential people who cared to listen. In summary:

  • There were few to no near-term incentives for individual utility experts or for utilities corporately to speak up as regard planned threats to reliability
  • There were significant near-term disincentives for speaking up
  • Limited to no platforms for voicing concerns
  • Waiting and hoping for others to speak up seemed a prudent path for many
  • Competing “experts” and diverse areas of specialization confused understandings of risk
  • Past success of grid experts made it harder to take future reliability threats seriously
  • Strong widely present desires support “clean” wind and solar
  • Federal Actions served to quiet dissenting voices and eventual remove dissenting experts

The days of utility-based grid experts who’ve had skin in the game are over. Utility experts are charged with complying with reliability standards rather than maintaining reliability. Where utilities once had a variety of tools at their disposal to better foresee and forestall reliability problems, utilities now follow compliance standards and hope for the best.

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Economics | | Leave a comment

World Economic Forum-Affiliated Pro-Censorship Group Is Hit With House Panel Subpoena

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | May 7, 2023

The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas to executives at a group often affiliated with the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Chair of the committee, Rep. Jim Jordan said the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and the organization that created it, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), might be allowing the violation of US antitrust law.

“To advance our oversight and inform potential legislation related to these collusive practices, the Committee must understand whether, how, and to what extent GARM and WFA facilitate collusion to prevent certain content from benefiting from advertising dollars and to reduce that content’s presence online,” Jordan wrote.

According to the letters, the House Judiciary Committee has attempted to get communications and documents “related to how GARM and WFA act to demonetize and eliminate disfavored content online, in addition to other information” since March.

However, both the WFA and GARM did not provide the documents requested.

The subpoenas addressed to GARM’s co-founder Robert Rakowitz and WFA president Raja Rajamannar, demand communications and documents from January 2019 to date. The organizations have until May 26 to respond.

Read the letter here.

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Canada Liberal’s Assault on Press Freedom: The Plot To Censor ‘Untraceable Sources’

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | May 7, 2023

During the Party National Convention, the Canadian Liberals discussed a proposal for online news publications whose sources cannot be verified to be censored. The proposal was titled “Combatting Disinformation in Canada.”

A section of the proposal read, “BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party of Canada: Request the Government explore options to hold on-line information services accountable for the veracity of material published on their platforms and to limit publication only to material whose sources can be traced.”

We obtained a copy of the proposals for you here.

The relevant section is here:

It also suggested that the government “provide additional public funds to support advertisement-free news and information reporting by Canadian media through an arm’s-length non-partisan mechanism.”

The chair of the internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, Michael Geist, warned that the proposal is an attempt by the government to restrict “freedom of expression.”

“Liberal Party policy proposal calls for online information services ‘to limit publication only to material whose sources can be traced.’ An obvious violation of freedom of expression was voted as one of the top 20 policy resolutions for party discussion,” Geist wrote in a tweet.

In a blog post, he explained that while it is unclear what the Liberal Party means by “online information services,” the resulting “outcome is dangerous no matter the scope.”

“Is this all news outlets with a focus on their online presence? Is it online-only news sources? Is this far broader and designed to encompass Internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok (note the reference to “platforms”) with requirements that they be held accountable for posts without traceable sources,” Geist said.

“The implications of the government engaging in this form of heavy-handed speech regulation are dangerous in all of these circumstances. Sourcing is an important issue in the media and the government cannot claim to support press freedom and simultaneously back policies that intervene in sourcing.”


Canada passes its duplicitous online censorship bill

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

US presidential candidate blames CIA for JFK assassination

RT | May 7, 2023

The CIA was behind the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1963 and likely involved in the murder of US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. alleged during an interview with WABC radio host John Catsimatidis on Sunday.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the CIA was involved in [JFK’s] murder,” Kennedy declared, describing it as “beyond a reasonable doubt at this point.”

“The evidence is overwhelming that the CIA was involved in the murder, and the coverup,” the candidate continued, describing efforts to discredit this theory as a “60-year coverup.” Kennedy cited the book “JFK and the Unspeakable” by James Douglas as the best compilation of evidence on the subject, though dozens if not hundreds of works have been written about the assassination and the CIA’s alleged role.

The official US government explanation, published as the Warren Commission report the following year, holds that US Marine veteran Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting the president while his motorcade was passing through Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Oswald was famously murdered before he could stand trial, though he managed to tell journalists he was “just a patsy” shortly after his arrest. The alleged lone gunman was shot dead by nightclub owner Jack Ruby (real name Jacob Rubinstein) while being transported from Dallas Police Headquarters to the county jail.

Speaking to Catsimatidis, Kennedy added that there was “very convincing but circumstantial” evidence the CIA was involved in the 1968 assassination of his father, Attorney General and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, as well. He described the official story of the assassination, which was pinned on Palestinian horse groomer Sirhan Sirhan, as physically impossible, arguing Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard at the hotel who was concurrently employed by military contractor Lockheed, had actually fired the shots that killed Kennedy.

Four years after JFK’s murder, nearly half of the American public did not believe that Oswald had acted alone. The CIA was concerned enough about this fact that it issued a directive in 1967 on how to discredit the so-called “conspiracy theorists” questioning the conclusions of the Warren Commission. Modern use of the term “conspiracy theorist” as a pejorative is often traced back to this 1967 memo.

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Biden regime & WHO finally realise nobody cares anymore, fold up last vestiges of the Covid circus

Polish health minister denounces Pfizer vax profiteering, amazingly asks if it is “only about money”

eugyppius: a plague chronicle | May 7, 2023

The Biden Administration have announced that their insane vaccine requirements for government employees and international travellers will finally end on 11 May, when the American pandemic state of emergency expires. The WHO have likewise declared that Covid-19 “no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.” Three years and two months after it all started, the last remaining participants in the Covid circus are finally folding up their tables and going home.

It’s worth asking why now, because by any objective measure, there has been no virus activity worthy of the words ‘pandemic’ or ‘emergency’ for a very long time. The answer seems to be the failure of Corona to return in the winter, as long-absent influenza succeeded in suppressing Corona infections (in accordance with my prediction), and the increasing disinterest of the public in obtaining official test results has put all virus statistics in the toilet. They’re ending it now, in other words, not because anything on the ground has changed, but because they no longer have any hope of the scary headlines necessary to keep the machine up and running.

As in the beginning, so in the end: The pandemicists will give you always and forever the maximum virus suppression and the maximum vaccination that is politically possible. Not what is prudent, or what has any hope of achieving anything, or what has evidence in its favour, but simply the maximum that they can give you, for as long as they can give it to you. That is a reason in itself, never to let the pandemicists anywhere near the levers of power ever again.

The pandemic may be over, but there is no stopping the vaccines. Thanks to the incredibly stupid contracts that the EU concluded with Pfizer/BioNTech, we are drowning in them, and some of our less prosperous neighbours to the east have had enough:

With the Covid vaccination campaigns concluded, the European Union is sitting on an enormous vaccine surplus – and hundreds of millions more doses are expected to arrive this year and next… Because they are not needed, EU member states have been trying for months to retroactively adjust the contracts, without much success.

One country has now lost patience in the face of the tough negotiations, and is venting its anger. The Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski on Tuesday sent a letter to the “shareholders of Pfizer” [which] says that the delivery of hundreds of millions of doses planned by Pfizer despite a “stable epidemic situation” is “completely pointless.”

The excess doses can no longer even be given away; there is no government “interested” in Covid vaccines, said the minister …

Niedzielski also breaks prior agreements on the confidentiality of talks between governments, pharmaceutical companies and the mediating EU Commission … [and] reveals what Pfizer is offering the states: They’ll reduce the total quantity of the outstanding orders, in exchange for half the price of each dose that is not produced: “That’s a charge for literally non-existent doses that were never produced and will never be produced and that don’t cost Pfizer a penny.”

No wonder there has been such urgency to keep these negotiations secret.

Niedzielski writes that he is “extremely” sorry, but he is forced to conclude that the company is not prepared to show “a satisfactory level of flexibility and make any realistic proposals.” … The health minister called on Pfizer to “live up to its responsibility towards EU citizens and member states and work in good faith towards a solution that is fair for everyone.” Poland wants to continue to believe that the pharmaceutical industry is not only about money.


Video source

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Video | , , | 1 Comment

An Open Letter to Ella Irwin, Head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety (and Censorship) Department

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory, Inc. | May 7, 2023

The following is an open letter to Ella G. Irwin, Head of Twitter Trust and Safety, and Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, and anyone else at Twitter, Inc. who is responsible for censoring political speech and defaming people with fake “advisory” labels, among other such “visibility-filtering” tactics.

I am publishing it as an open letter, not to bore everyone to death with my personal problems, but because the censorship and defamation I have suffered at the hands of Twitter for at least two years is an example of how the decentralized network of global corporations, Intelligence agencies, governments, non-governmental governing entities, “anti-disinformation” outfits, and other parties that together comprise what Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi have dubbed the “Censorship Industrial Complex” are evolving into an Orwellian Ministry-of-Truth-type apparatus “with the power to control the information environment in ways that determine what people believe to be true and what is false.”

Twitter, Inc. has been censoring my political commentary and maliciously defaming me (i.e., damaging my reputation and income as an author) for approximately two years. Twitter has been doing this by concealing the Tweets of my “Consent Factory” account with fake “age-restricted adult content” labels, deceiving Twitter users into believing I have been tweeting content depicting “adult nudity and sexual behavior,” or “excessively gory content, sexual violence and/or assault, bestiality or necrophilia.” Twitter’s actions have damaged both my book sales and my reputation, globally. Defamation is a tort. I could sue the corporation for damages in several jurisdictions.

I have no interest in doing that, currently. What I do want, however, is a real explanation of why and exactly how Twitter, Inc. censored and defamed me for approximately two years. I want this explanation — a real explanation with documentation, not self-serving corporate-speak — not for personal reasons, primarily, but because I believe people need to be able to understand how powerful corporations like Twitter (and Facebook, and Google, and all the other entities and parties I mentioned above) are “visibility filtering” our collective reality.

The fact that these powerful corporations (and other entities) are doing this, not just on the macro level, but also on the micro level, to writers like me, who, let’s face it, are not exactly world-famous “influencers,” and to “non-public persons” who are basically just using social media to talk to their friends, does not bode well for the future of our societies. This kind of micro-perception-manipulation, this “visibility filtering” of our collective reality, goes way beyond traditional censorship. It is a hallmark of all totalitarian systems, which attempt to control, not only what people say, but what they think, how they think, how they perceive events, and facts, and each other.

Totalitarian systems do not spring into being fully formed. They develop slowly, gradually, unrecognized at first, and then ignored, usually until it is too late. We do not recognize the formation of new totalitarian systems because we are forever looking backwards instead of forwards, preparing for the storm that has passed, expecting history to repeat, rather than rhyme. Blinded by hindsight, we do not recognize the monster that is taking shape right in front of us. We glimpse a claw here, a tooth there, the flash of a pitiless blue eye, but fail to assemble the bits into an image of the beast entire, until it is inexorably upon us.

Anyway, here’s my open letter … one more bit, for the record.

To: Ella G. Irwin, Head of Trust and Safety, Twitter, Inc.
cc: Elon Musk

Dear Ms. Irwin,

This open letter is further to our brief correspondence on May 3, 2023 (on Twitter) regarding Twitter’s censorship and defamation of my @consent_factory Twitter account with fake “age-restricted adult content” labels for approximately two years.

First, thank you for taking action to cease and desist from further censorship and defamation. From what I can tell, it appears that Twitter is removing or has removed the fake, defamatory “adult content” labels from the @consent_factory Twitter account’s Tweets (or at least going back to late 2021). I trust that these fake “age-restricted adult content” labels will be removed from all of the account’s Tweets in due course, and I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. Please accept my apology for claiming that you had lied about taking action on this. I admit, after two years of being censored and defamed, and having my complaints ignored by Twitter, I have become rather skeptical regarding your company’s behavior and statements. That said, it is clear now that you were not lying, and that you have taken action to have the fake, defamatory labels in question removed, and I apologize for publicly claiming otherwise.

Assuming the process is eventually completed and all of the fake, defamatory “adult content” labels that Twitter has been censoring the @consent_factory Twitter account with are in fact removed, I would appreciate substantive answers to the following questions:

(1) Why and exactly how did Twitter start censoring and defaming my Consent Factory account with these fake, defamatory “adult content” labels? When I asked you to explain that in our correspondence, you replied:

Clearly, the account did not “post multiple tweets containing sensitive content (nazi imagery) that resulted in the sensitive content label being applied,” because Twitter has now removed the fake, defamatory “adult content” labels from those Tweets, which contain the same “Nazi imagery” they originally contained. As I am sure you have noted, the so-called “Nazi imagery” contained in those Tweets was simply historical photos of the Nazi Germany era, which were used to illustrate critical points I was making in opposition to totalitarianism, and not at all any type of celebration or approval of totalitarianism or fascism. Any rational adult, seeing those Tweets, could not possibly mistake the anti-fascist/totalitarian intent behind them. Also, the fact that the fake, defamatory “adult content” labels are being removed gradually, in stages, rather than all at once, suggests that the application of the fake labels (or “interstitials”) in question was not the result of a blanket algorithm applied to the account. Additionally, not every Tweet (or every Tweet containing an image) by this account was censored with a fake “interstitial,” which suggests that something other than a blanket algorithm was at work.

In any event, having been censored and defamed for two years by Twitter, Inc., I think I am entitled to an actual explanation of how this started, including documentation of any intra-company discussions or “log” notes in connection with the decision to begin censoring and defaming the account. Your substantive response to this request will demonstrate that the “new” Twitter is, in fact, committed to transparency, and free speech, and not just another element of the “Censorship Industrial Complex,” as Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi dubbed it, before Mr. Musk cut off access to the “Twitter Files.”

(2) What, if any, other restrictions/visibility filtering tactics have been applied to my @consent_factory Twitter account from 2020 to the present? Again, I would appreciate documentation of any such “visibility filtering” or other “restrictions” and/or the removal thereof. Having been censored and maliciously defamed by Twitter for years, I believe I am entitled to know how my “visibility” is being and/or has been “filtered.”

(3) What steps is Twitter, Inc. now taking to cease and desist from the type of malicious defamation the company has been engaging in to suppress political speech and damage the reputation and income of writers, like me, and independent media outlets, like, for example, OffGuardian? Twitter blocks links to all OffGuardian articles with a different fake, defamatory “interstitial” warning.

There is nothing “unsafe” about OffGuardian, or any content published on the website that could possibly “lead to real-world harm.” It is a small, independent news and commentary outlet. Twitter, Inc. is using the fake “interstitial” warning above to discourage users from visiting the site, and thus damaging OffGuardian’s reputation and income. This is just one further example (i.e., in addition to my case). Twitter’s continued use of fake, defamatory, “interstitial” labels to suppress political views is relatively widespread, as far as I can tell. Moreover, recent updates to Twitter’s Platform Use Guidelines make it clear that Twitter intends to continue using these “interstitials,” which is worrying, given the fact that the company has been using them to deceive people, and to suppress political speech, and to damage the reputations and incomes of small businesses and sole proprietors.

That’s it for my questions, for now.

Again, thank you for finally putting an end to the defamation that Twitter, Inc. has been subjecting me to, for the last two years. I must say, it is a bit disappointing that it took a happenstance encounter on Twitter to connect with someone with the power to do that. Frankly, given Mr. Musk’s initial and ongoing publicity campaign to portray himself as a champion of free speech, and a stalwart opponent of censorship, and Twitter under his leadership as the antipode of “old, bad, censorship-happy Twitter,” I had expected that immediate steps would be taken to … you know, stop deceiving people, and maliciously defaming people, and manipulating the “visibility” of political views according to some unarticulated ideological schema, but I guess these things take time.

I look forward to your substantive response to the above questions.

Very truly yours,
C. J. Hopkins

P.S. Should you happen to run into Mr. Musk there at Twitter HQ, you might also want to suggest that he resume providing access to the “Twitter Files” to reporters like Matt and Michael Shellenberger, and Alex Gutentag (if I can put a word in for her). Doing so would demonstrate that the “Twitter Files” thing was not just a limited hangout, and a PR stunt designed to whitewash the company and kill public interest in the nefarious activities of Twitter, Inc., and other powerful global corporations, and their partners at the FBI, DHS, whatever that CIS or CISA acronym stands for, and … well, you know, “other agencies.”

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-Russian space boss questions US Moon landing

RT | May 7, 2023

The former head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, has expressed doubt that the US Apollo 11 mission really landed on the Moon in 1969, saying he has yet to see conclusive proof.

In a post on his Telegram channel on Sunday, Rogozin said he began his personal quest for the truth “about ten years ago” when he was still working in the Russian government, and that he grew skeptical about whether the Americans had actually set foot on the Moon when he compared how exhausted Soviet cosmonauts looked upon returning from their flights, and how seemingly unaffected the Apollo 11 crew was by contrast.

Rogozin said he sent requests for evidence to Roscosmos at the time. All he received in response was a book featuring Soviet Cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov’s account of how he talked to the American astronauts and how they told him they had been on the Moon.

The former official wrote that he continued with his efforts when he was appointed head of Roscosmos in 2018. However, according to Rogozin, no evidence was presented to him. Instead, several unnamed academics angrily criticized him for undermining the “sacred cooperation with NASA,” he claimed.

The former Roscosmos chief also said he had “received an angry phone call from a top-ranking official” who supposedly accused him of complicating international relations.

Rogozin concluded by saying he still cannot believe that the US was able to pull off the feat, but is now unable to, despite the incredible progress in technology since the late 1960s.

What he claims to have found out, however, was that Washington has “its people in [the Russian] establishment.”

Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to the Moon, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin going down in history as the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.

The flight was preceded by the unmanned Soviet Luna 2 program, which blazed the trail for Moon exploration.

Last April, President Vladimir Putin pledged to resume Russia’s lunar program.

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

Scientists Uncover the Role of Undersea Volcanoes in Climate Change – But the Media Don’t Want to Know


The recent doubling of known underwater volcanoes is a very significant geological discovery, but it has been largely ignored in mainstream media. It is the latest example of how the promotion of human-caused climate change has led to the downplaying of any science news that runs the risk of opening discussion about the natural forces surrounding the constantly changing climate. A group of oceanographers led by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego identified in total 19,325 new volcanoes, or seamounts, to add to the existing known total of 24,643.

Erupting volcanoes under the sea produce huge quantities of carbon dioxide and must play a part in pushing warming water and nutrients around the surrounding areas, with possible effects on currents and surrounding marine life. Some scientists believe that they play an important part in ocean mixing and have a role in determining long-term climate. The science writer Jo Nova observes that climate modellers take a different view, since they believe all unexplained warming is due to CO2. With a hint of sarcasm, she added: “The Pacific Ocean cycles are the largest driver of climate on Earth, but we ‘know’ as only high priests can, that volcanoes we’ve never studied definitely had no role in it.”

Almost all mainstream media seem to have ignored the story, bar, so far as I can tell from a Google search, The U.K. Sun and Newsweek in the U.S. Since the story broke, the BBC has led its specialist climate page with a variety of clickbait Net Zero stories, noting a recent ‘record’ single day temperature in Spain, a query as to whether climate change is “killing” Australian wine, the use of kitchen fumes to heat a restaurant, and a suggestion that life in the ocean ’twilight’ zone is at risk due to warming. Keen climate fact-check attackers Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) appear quiet on the matter, as do the Guardian, Washington PostNew York Times and CNN.

Curiously, the BBC’s volcanophobia seems a recent condition. In 2015, it ran a story titled ‘Underwater volcanoes discovered off Australia’. The story said that a grand total of four extinct seamounts had been identified near Sydney. Volcano expert Richard Arculus is reported to have told AFP that, “every time we turn the spotlight on the sea floor we see things that we’ve never seen before”.

Only 20% of the ocean floor has been mapped by sonar, and these latest discoveries arise from improvements in the gravity data from satellite altimetry. These allow scientist to gain much more information about the topography of the sea floor. Scientists speculate that there could be many thousands of seamounts still to be discovered. Jo Nova reports that the second largest volcano in the solar system is not to be found on the Jupiter moon Io, but 1,000 miles east of Japan. It is the size of the British Isles. In January 2022, a massive seamount explosion 40 miles off the Tonga coast sent tsunami waves crashing around the region.

The Scripps scientists stress that “seamounts are valuable characteristics of the ocean floor since they provide insight on many of the Earth’s geological, oceanographical and ecological cycles and processes”. In addition they note that ocean floor levels have an important effect on ocean circulation, with large seafloor features such as ridges and plateaus acting as “barriers” that inhibit deep cold water to mix with the warmer waters of the ocean surface. Recent studies are said to suggest that seamounts can have an influence on ocean circulation, which can help scientists better understand the uptake of heat and carbon dioxide in the ocean. Heat transfers between ocean and atmosphere, and the movements from equatorial regions to the poles, are difficult if not impossible to fully plot, but they play a vital part in regulating short-term weather and longer term climate around the world.

The role of seamounts could cause warming or cooling, we simply don’t know. But only climate models – the ‘high priests’ – have all the answers, and they ignore all the effects of seamounts, particularly the thousands yet to be discovered. The lack of interest in the media about this latest discovery is indicative of how much geology, chemistry, physics and other scientific work is effectively off-limits under the settled climate change guidelines. It is difficult not to conclude that such protection is given, lest the unproven hypothesis of overwhelming human involvement is challenged.

The Daily Sceptic has noted on a number of occasions that over the last seven decades there has been little or no warming in Antarctica. According to a recent paper, sea ice has “modestly expanded” and warming has been “nearly non-existent” over much of the ice sheet. But there has been some warming in one spot, over on the west side of the continent. Carbon dioxide is well mixed in the atmosphere so it is a valid scientific question to ask why it only warms the surface in this one patch? An alternative explanation might note the existence of a chain of volcanoes in the area. In 2017, scientists discovered 91 volcanoes in the West Antarctica Rift System. It brought the number of volcanoes located in the area to 138. The heights ranged from 300 to 12,600 ft, with the tallest as high as Mount Fuji.

The more we learn about the geography of the planet and the science behind the chaotic processes of the oceans and atmosphere, the less we really comprehend how climate evolves. So we rely on the flawed inputs and outputs of basic climate models to convince us we are heading for climate Armageddon, and only a top-down, collectivist Net Zero solution can save us from our folly.

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Meet the British intelligence-linked firm that warped MH17 news coverage


In November of 2022, a final judgment arrived in the trial of alleged perpetrators of the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Russian nationals Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Donbas separatist Leonid Kharchenko, were convicted in absentia for the murder of MH17’s 283 passengers and 15 crew members. They were ruled to have arranged the transfer of the Buk surface-to-air missile system that reportedly struck the plane.

Oleg Pulatov, the only defendant to seek legal representation during the trial, was conversely acquitted on all charges, which prosecutors will not appeal.

The Malaysian airliner had been purportedly shot down by a missile on July 17th 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard.

Heavily dependent on information supplied by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the Western government-funded “open source” investigations organization known as Bellingcat, the guilty verdicts appeared to vindicate an established narrative in which Russia and its Donbas allies were solely culpable.

But as this investigation will reveal, much of the news coverage of MH17 was heavily influenced by a shadowy entity called Pilgrims Group, which is closely tied to British intelligence.

Staffed and led by British Special Forces veterans, Pilgrims Group is a private security company offering elite security services to London’s embassies, diplomats, spies, and business interests abroad, particularly in high-risk environments. It also trains foreign militaries and paramilitary groups, and provides protection to reporters and their employers.

It was in the latter context that Pilgrims Group shaped media coverage – and by extension, official investigations – of MH17. The company had maintained a presence in Kiev since the early days of the US-orchestrated Maidan “revolution” in late 2013, shepherding journalists to and from the scenes of major events in Ukraine. In the process, it maintained control over what the reporters under its watch saw and how they understood the situations they encountered.

As such, Pilgrims Group played a pivotal role in the effort by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and British intelligence to convict Russia and the Donbas separatists for MH17’s downing. The operation began while the plane’s wreckage remained smoldering on the ground of rebel-controlled territory, and ultimately prevented the initiation of any genuinely independent investigations.

Suspiciously quick off the mark

Before Malaysia Airlines publicly announced it had lost contact with MH17, Ukraine’s then-Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashenko had published its flight number, destination, passenger numbers, the manner in which it crashed, the weapon used, and blamed Russia and Donbas separatists for the catastrophe.

From that point on, the SBU began flooding the information space with materials including intercepted audio of the separatists discussing a downed plane, as well as images its agents allegedly found on social media pointing to where the allegedly Russian-sourced Buk missile had been fired. Bellingcat, which serendipitously launched just days before, immediately seized on the deluge of carefully curated information.

With impressive speed, the US and British government-funded media outfit claimed to have precisely mapped out what happened and how. Bellingcat’s findings were accepted without a shred of critical scrutiny by the Western media, lawmakers, pundits, and the MH17 tribunal, which was launched on August 7th 2014.

In the process, any explanations for MH17’s downing that did not reinforce the official narrative either vanished into the ether, or were maligned as conspiracy theory or Russian “disinformation.” One compelling counter-theory for the aerial disaster was that the plane had been used as a shield by Ukrainian fighter jets to deter ground-to-air attacks by the separatists.

There are clear precedents for such provocative tactics. In 2018, for example, the Israeli air force tricked Syrian air defenses into accidentally shooting down a Russian spy plane by using it as cover for its own fighter jets. A leaked JIT document noted Donbas separatists were convinced that authorities in Kiev were keeping eastern Ukraine’s airspace open for precisely this purpose, having conversely closed Crimea’s at the time.

Furthermore, in a video published on June 18th 2014, separatists expressed concern that Kiev was attempting to provoke an in-air incident. Three days before MH17 went down, a Ukrainian military aircraft ferrying military equipment and soldiers to the frontline was shot down over Lugansk. Multiple witnesses have testified to the presence of Ukrainian jets in the sky near MH17, while contemporary local TV reports show a Ukrainian-operated Buk missile in the vicinity.

Yet, the JIT was simply unwilling to consider evidence diverging from the established Western narrative of MH17. And as the trial proceeded, Pulatov’s defense team, independent journalists and researchers attempting to challenge the long-established narrative of Russian culpability were subjected to vicious attacks from Bellingcat’s army of online trolls.

The SBU-directed propaganda blitzkrieg that immediately followed MH17’s downing ensured that the separatists accused of the attack, and the government accused of sponsoring them, were quickly convicted in the court of international opinion. This may explain why media reaction to the November 2022 verdict was so muted. Despite the enormous, enduring global outcry provoked by the MH17 disaster, the verdict hardly registered with mainstream journalists.

Yet many of the journalists that had covered the MH17 from Ukraine had been kept under the careful watch of an organization intimately involved with the same Western governments with a stake in convicting the separatists for the disaster.

British military veterans direct Maidan news coverage

Because Pilgrims Group operates largely in the shadows, references to the company by Western news outlets are extremely rare. However, the firm is well-known to all major media outlets, boasting on its website of “significant experience of helping to facilitate safe and secure news-gathering and film-making.” Pilgrims Group also claims expertise in ensuring that “journalists and production staff can operate safely and securely” in hostile circumstances, such as “underdeveloped countries, failing states and post-disaster environments.”

The British company made headlines for its work in late 2012, after armed militants abducted a six-strong NBC News team led by the network’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, whom the company was guarding. Engel and his team were freed after five days in captivity, when a vehicle in which they were being escorted was stopped at a checkpoint run by violent extremist group Ahrar al-Sham.

This resulted in a shootout, in which two fighters who kidnapped the team were killed by Ahrar al-Sham. Initially, Engel claimed his captors were affiliated with the government of Bashar Assad, while NBC implied Ahrar al-Sham’s rescue was completely serendipitous. Subsequent investigations revealed the abductors were, in fact, affiliated with the CIA-backed Free Syrian Army, and the checkpoints had been deliberately arranged by Pilgrims Group, which praised the terrorist militia’s “brilliant job.”

Decisive interventions by Pilgrims Group elsewhere have received much less attention. On June 3rd 2014, the firm issued a little-noticed press release boasting of its reputation as “the security company of choice” for media organizations operating in Ukraine at every stage of the Maidan “political unrest,” working with “journalist teams throughout the country” during key “disturbances.”

Oddly, despite their coverage of these events presumably being very publicly disseminated across the globe, Pilgrims Group’s clients in Ukraine apparently “preferred not to be named” due to “the sensitive nature of their role.” Nonetheless, the company bragged that its teams were operational in many of the country’s “major population centres,” including Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, “and throughout Crimea.”

“Pilgrims has been able to respond rapidly to broadcasters’ demands by drawing on its extensive networks to mobilise former special services personnel, who were on duty within 12 hours of the clients’ initial requests (and frequently considerably quicker). In addition, the company continues to maintain the highest level of awareness of the unfolding political situation in the Ukraine by maintaining its local contact network [emphasis added], with regular updates of information on the ground.”

Further detail on Pilgrims Group’s activities in Ukraine appears in a leaked June 2016 Foreign Office proposal to train Syrian rebel fighters in Jordan as part of the plan to overthrow the Syrian government. The company was central to the project, running “simultaneous training programmes around the world,” and therefore maintaining a “large and flexible pool” of staff who could be assigned to the mission. MH17 was cited as an example of the speed with which Pilgrims Group could mobilize its operatives.

“As a global risk management company Pilgrims are routinely required to expand their operational footprint and support tasks at short notice,” the proposal bragged. “Pilgrims supported a large number of media organisations operating in Ukraine, which peaked at 27 active security teams on the ground. When the Malaysian Airlines aircraft was shot down over Ukraine…Pilgrims generated seven additional teams within six hours [emphasis added].”

This proposal was submitted to the Foreign Office by Adam Smith International, a British intelligence cutout with an extensive history of scandal, corruption and collaboration with jihadist groups. As The Grayzone has revealed, the company also funded Bellingcat to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in the 2019-20 financial year. Both organizations have refused to reveal the purpose of this sum.

Pilgrims Group has also offered protection to Western journalists in other conflict zones. The LinkedIn profile of senior company staffer and British Army veteran Chris Bradley lists his work providing “security risk management to two award winning news teams in Ukraine (2014) and Syria (2015), including coverage of MH17,” as one of his biggest “achievements” at the firm.

Given the insidious role played by London and its assorted intelligence cutouts in shaping worldwide media coverage of the Syrian civil war, such professional history raises troubling questions about Pilgrims Group’s involvement in influencing news coverage of MH17.

A frontline player in Britain’s global information war

Following the MH17 disaster, Western journalists flocked to the crash site while Ukraine’s State Emergency Service rushed to collect corpses. The collection work was halted after it came under fire from the Ukrainian army, however, and emergency workers left outright after Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) representatives arrived at the crime scene. But reporters under the watchful eye of Pilgrims Group stayed and continued their reporting.

Over subsequent months, as the remaining bodies rotted in the sun, OSCE monitors and pro-Russian rebels frequently left MH17’s wreckage unguarded for extended periods. It was not until November 2014 that the ground was comprehensively cleared. During that time, little would have prevented malicious actors from manipulating, removing or planting incriminating evidence at the site.

In order to operate in Ukraine, Pilgrims Group required the approval of the country’s government, as well as local security and intelligence services. Given the intense fervor with which these same actors sought to cement Kremlin culpability for MH17, Pilgrims Group’s work in managing the protection and travel of Western reporters provided a logical tool to assist this effort, as its operatives were literally able peer over the shoulders of journalists while they worked.

British spies consider MH17 key ‘disinformation’ battleground

Another extremely curious and thus far undisclosed component of the MH17 controversy is the clandestine role played by London’s information warriors in shaping public perceptions of the event. These operations began almost at the precise moment of the crash.

Leaked files related to the activities of Integrity Initiative, a Foreign Office black propaganda unit staffed by British military and intelligence veterans, contain countless references to battling Kremlin “narratives” around MH17. For example, one of its operatives was listed in the documents as a “continuous commentator” in the studio of LBC, one of Britain’s largest radio stations which reaches millions of listeners weekly, on the night of the incident.

In Foreign Office funding submissions in 2018, Integrity Initiative proposed organizing focus groups with select Russian and Russian-speaking audiences, who would be invited to “rebut Western analyses of key media stories (e.g. MH17, Litvinenko, Skripal, doping)” and explain why they supported “counter narratives” about these issues, which pointed away from Moscow.

The results of this effort would be shared with British intelligence agencies and members of the Initiative’s overseas “clusters” – secret networks of spooks, academics, journalists, pundits and politicians – to assist in battling these “narratives” via news outlets and social media. Notably, all Integrity Initiative’s cluster members are formally trained in the art of online trolling.

Integrity Initiative was one of several propaganda enterprises launched by a shadowy Foreign Office unit known as the Counter Disinformation and Media Development (CDMD). The unit is overseen by senior intelligence officer Andy Pryce, who personally “handles” British journalist Paul Mason and likely many other media personalities. Its stated remit is to “weaken the Russian state’s influence” in countries comprising the former Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and Yugoslavia.

The flagship component of this multi-million pound effort is Open Information Partnership (OIP). Though OIP has posed as a grassroots endeavor to battle Kremlin “disinformation,” leaked files related to the project make abundantly clear it is, in fact, a British-sponsored “troll factory.” Through a covertly funded nexus of ‘independent’ NGOs, fact-checkers, news outlets and citizen journalists across Central and Eastern Europe, the initiative deluges the media environment with a ceaseless stream of anti-Russian propaganda.

Among OIP’s founding “partners” was Bellingcat. For the first three years of its existence, Bellingcat trained participating organizations “in open source research and social media investigation,” while “developing a cadre of organizations with a digital forensic skillset.” In the process, it raked in vast sums from the Foreign Office. Its MH17 investigation was explicitly cited as a reference point for this activity in the Partnership’s founding documents.

OIP’s network was also originally intended to include the Berlin-based “non-profit independent newsroom” Correctiv, which published multiple investigations blaming Russia for MH17. While some of this work won awards, a secret Foreign Office-funded appraisal of the outfit acknowledged its reporting on the crash “[lacked] in-depth background research and due diligence.” However, the outlet’s “excellent” public reputation made it “perhaps the most impressive” of all prospective OIP members.

To advance its anti-Russian machinations, CDMD commissioned extensive target audience analyses of the populations of Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine and the West Balkans throughout 2017. British intelligence indicated that it sought insights into citizens of these countries’ “current perception and attitude towards Russia,” especially with respect to the Kremlin’s “handling” of events such as Brexit, the Syrian crisis, and MH17.

At the same time, British cutouts like the Integrity Initiative and Pilgrims’ Group helped manage the Western public’s view of MH17 as part of a wider agenda to cultivate popular resentment of Russia.

Pilgrims’ Group manages media covering Ukraine proxy war

These same entities continue to shape Western perceptions of events in Ukraine to this day. A May 2022 “capability statement” outlining Pilgrims Group’s Eastern European footprint refers to the Russian invasion “[triggering] a rapid scaling up” of its operations in Kiev.

Pilgrims Group has provided “support networks, including logistics and equipment, to media crews covering the conflict,” and embedded “dozens” of “security consultants” in the ranks of “almost all major international news organisations” active in the country.” Strikingly, the statement adds that all Pilgrims Group security teams in Kiev boast Ukrainian “special police or MoD [Ministry of Defence] backgrounds.”

Once again, Pilgrims Group has been effectively placed in charge of where journalists can travel, what they see, and who they interview in a conflict. Yet even as it helps shape public perceptions of a Western proxy war, the company has managed to remain conveniently in the shadows.

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

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Metabolic Duo is Launched!

TheFatEmperor | April 11, 2023

The big day has arrived! After many years planning this, myself and Gabor Erdosi can now deliver the ultimate personal health and productivity platform. No-one will match our combined knowledge and root-causing ability – this will be the one stop shop for a healthier, more vital you. I’ve included some serious wisdom on Insulin Resistance in this short vid – please share to help out the good guys 😃
All details here:

May 7, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment