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Cancel Culture Hits Medical Journals

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | January 27, 2020

Much scientific research is now conducted by tribes. Some tribes think certain foods are good for us. Eggs, fat, coffee, dairy, whatever. Other tribes insist their own research shows the opposite.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has just published a shocking account of how the ‘eat red meat sparingly’ tribe tried to make research by a rival tribe disappear.

Last fall, a collection of systematic reviews were published by a prominent journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine (see here, here, here, here, and here). Online publication happened on October 1st, prior to the material appearing in the printed journal in mid-November.

After carefully reviewing scientific evidence concerning meat consumption, the PhDs and medical doctors involved formulated a clinical guideline, aka a nutritional recommendation, which was published at the same time. This was intended to help practicing doctors provide appropriate advice to their patients.

The short version is that most of these researchers (11 votes to 3), believe no reliable evidence justifies telling adults to eat less red meat and less processed meat. As this commentary explains, nutritional research is typically “shaky.” Studies that identify a link between meat consumption and a particular disease usually show tiny increases in risk.

The Annals had taken into account the feedback of peer reviewers both pro and con, and had made its call. To quote editor-in-chief Christine Laine, “the public should know we don’t have great information on diet.”

The JAMA article tells us that, as the Annals was preparing to publish this material online, the anti-meat tribe began mobilizing. An estimated 2,000 vitriolic e-mails flooded into Laine’s inbox during a half-hour period.

Members of an organization called the True Health Initiative contacted her at least twice. They complained about the wording of a press release the journal was circulating about the upcoming research. They also urged her to “preemptively retract publication of these papers” for “the sake of public understanding and public health” (read their letter here).

How did these people react when their outrageous attempts to suppress scientific results failed? Did they start behaving like grownups? Hardly. Instead, they complained to an agency of the US government, the Federal Trade Commission. You can read about that here in their own words.

The anti-meat tribe thinks a government body tasked with ensuring marketplace competition and fair business practices should be second-guessing medical journals. Arguing that the journal’s press release amounted to misleading advertising, their petition asked the Trade Commission to:

permanently prohibit [the Annals of Internal Medicine] from disseminating, or causing the dissemination of the advertisement at issue and require [the journal] to issue a public retraction and corrective statement regarding the advertisement. [bold added]

When that went nowhere, did these people finally start behaving in a civilized manner? I’m afraid not. Their next stop was the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. You know, the prosecutors and detectives tasked with keeping citizens safe from criminals. (The Annals offices are in Philadelphia.)

In their own press release, the anti-meat tribe said the Annals should be investigated for “potential reckless endangerment.” The journal, they insisted, had distributed “dangerous and misleading information.”

The entity that turned first to the Trade Commission and then to the criminal justice system calls itself the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. It’s unofficial motto is: if you can’t persuade people to do what you want, find a third party who’ll compel them to do so. Just kidding. It actually sees itself as leading a “revolution” – based on the idea that plant-based diets “can prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.”

This is a lobby group, an activist organization. According to its own website, only 12,000 of its 175,000 members (7%) are actually physicians.

Welcome to the polarized world of medical publishing. This is how the scientific community now behaves.

To be continued…

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 9 Comments

Attenborough’s Arctic Betrayal

GWPF | January 27, 2020

A new video documenting Sir David Attenborough’s inaccurate claims about climate change and Arctic wildlife blames his apocalyptic language and misleading narrative for the dramatic rise in eco anxiety among young people.

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

America’s most widely consumed oil causes genetic changes in the brain

Soybean oil linked to metabolic and neurological changes in mice

By Jules Bernstein | UC Riverside News | January 17, 2020

New UC Riverside research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression.

Used for fast food frying, added to packaged foods, and fed to livestock, soybean oil is by far the most widely produced and consumed edible oil in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In all likelihood, it is not healthy for humans.

It certainly is not good for mice. The new study, published this month in the journal Endocrinology, compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

The same UCR research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

However, in the study released this month, researchers did not find any difference between the modified and unmodified soybean oil’s effects on the brain. Specifically, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.

“The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, a UCR associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study.

The team determined a number of genes in mice fed soybean oil were not functioning correctly. One such gene produces the “love” hormone, oxytocin. In soybean oil-fed mice, levels of oxytocin in the hypothalamus went down.

The research team discovered roughly 100 other genes also affected by the soybean oil diet. They believe this discovery could have ramifications not just for energy metabolism, but also for proper brain function and diseases such as autism or Parkinson’s disease. However, it is important to note there is no proof the oil causes these diseases.

Additionally, the team notes the findings only apply to soybean oil — not to other soy products or to other vegetable oils.

“Do not throw out your tofu, soymilk, edamame, or soy sauce,” said Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology. “Many soy products only contain small amounts of the oil, and large amounts of healthful compounds such as essential fatty acids and proteins.”

A caveat for readers concerned about their most recent meal is that this study was conducted on mice, and mouse studies do not always translate to the same results in humans.

Also, this study utilized male mice. Because oxytocin is so important for maternal health and promotes mother-child bonding, similar studies need to be performed using female mice.

One additional note on this study — the research team has not yet isolated which chemicals in the oil are responsible for the changes they found in the hypothalamus. But they have ruled out two candidates. It is not linoleic acid, since the modified oil also produced genetic disruptions; nor is it stigmasterol, a cholesterol-like chemical found naturally in soybean oil.

Identifying the compounds responsible for the negative effects is an important area for the team’s future research.

“This could help design healthier dietary oils in the future,” said Poonamjot Deol, an assistant project scientist in Sladek’s laboratory and first author on the study.

“The dogma is that saturated fat is bad and unsaturated fat is good. Soybean oil is a polyunsaturated fat, but the idea that it’s good for you is just not proven,” Sladek said.

Indeed, coconut oil, which contains saturated fats, produced very few changes in the hypothalamic genes.

“If there’s one message I want people to take away, it’s this: reduce consumption of soybean oil,” Deol said about the most recent study.

January 26, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 5 Comments

The Thunberg fallacies

By David Wojick | CFACT | January 25, 2020

Ever since she splashed into view I have wondered about Greta Thunberg’s reasoning. Her quoted statements, blasting the world for not doing the impossible, have given no clue where she is coming from.

Now, thanks to some detailed published statements of hers, from the World Economic Forum in Davos, I have my answer. It turns out she is hotly embracing not one, but two, howling fallacies. No wonder she sounds nuts.

To begin with, she cites the IPCC report on climate change from 2018, which claims we have only a few years left to act if there’s a 67% chance of keeping the global temperature rise from now to below 0.5 degrees C. (She, like everyone else, talks about a rise of 1.5 degrees, but the IPCC says that 1.0 degrees has already happened, which she knows.) If she said a half a degree people might laugh.

She says this is “not an opinion”, that it is THE science. Which is the first fallacy. What the IPCC writes is of course just an opinion and a highly contested one at that. It is nothing but model-based speculation, which is contradicted by real evidence.

But hey, lots of alarmists buy the IPCC stuff and they are not yelling that our planetary house is on fire. Getting to that point is Thunberg’s second, and far bigger, fallacy. She has decided that another half degree of global warming is the threshold to catastrophe.

Mind you she gives no actual reasons here. It appears to be a pure leap of faith. She mentions in passing some apparently dreadful things like tipping points and unknown feedbacks, but nothing specific. The IPCC certainly does not suggest any such hidden cataclysmic triggers.

She even says, “Either we prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees (Celsius), or we don’t. Either we avoid chain reaction of unravelling ecosystems, or we don’t.” It sounds like one follows from the other but it doesn’t.

This is the first I have heard of a chain reaction of unraveling ecosystems, especially one triggered by tiny warming (just half of what we supposedly have already seen.) I am sure the IPCC has never mentioned this demon or we would all have heard of it.

So there it is. She starts with the questionable IPCC and then simply leaps into the abyss but she calls it, “THE science”. There is no science here. In fact, there is no reasoning that I can see. In logic this is called argument by assertion.

The IPCC report merely addressed the relatively mundane question “What is the difference between 1.5 degrees of total warming (0.5 to come) and 2.0 degrees?” This question arises because the Paris Accord includes both targets. It says we want to hit 2.0 but get below it toward 1.5 if possible. In no case is 1.5 a target.

Given that 2.0 is the basic target, it is perfectly clear that 1.5 is not the threshold to catastrophe. In fact the report says that while holding to 1.5 is better, the difference is small. This is why the UN has not proposed dropping the 2.0 degree target. All of which contradicts Greta Thunberg’s claims. The report she cites simply does not support her outlandish position. No wonder the CLINTEL people say there is NO emergency.

To recap, there are two fallacies in her reasoning. Let’s call them the IPCC fallacy and the Thunberg fallacy. The IPCC fallacy is thinking that humans control global temperature. The Thunberg fallacy is thinking that a mere half degree of future warming is the threshold to catastrophe, to the point of threatening human existence. Unfortunately her followers have embraced her delusion.

The IPCC fallacy is well established and widespread, including among many scientists. It is the basis for the Paris Accord. It is moderate in its way. The Thunberg fallacy is new and nuts. In fact it is tearing the alarmist community apart, which is fine by me. Although like all forms of madness, the Thunberg fallacy bears watching, lest it get out if control.

Greta Thunberg and her followers are calling for rapidly rebuilding the global energy system, while also completely restructuring the world’s economic, social and political systems. All this turmoil in the name of limiting future global warming to one half a degree. It does not get any crazier than that.

January 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Trying to memory-hole ‘climate hysteria’ will only create more climate change skeptics

1984 was not an instruction manual

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 25, 2020

Germany’s literary establishment has declared a moratorium on the phrase “climate hysteria.” No wonder “climate denial” is epidemic – there’s no better way to convince people something’s not real than making belief mandatory.

An annual ritual by German linguists and journalists to exile a term from the language subjected the term “klimahysterie” (“climate hysteria”) to the linguistic equivalent of burning at the stake earlier this month, naming it the “un-word of the year” because it “defames climate protection efforts and the climate protection movement, and discredits important discussions about climate protection.”

One might think that painting the climate debate in black and white – evil “climate deniers” versus saintly Greta Thunberg and her Extinction Rebellion carbon cult – would be more discrediting to the climate protection movement than begging for some realism from a narrative that is rapidly taking on religious trappings. Implying the keening end-of-timers gluing themselves to trains at rush hour are just as rooted in clear-eyed science as legitimate climatologists is frankly insulting to the latter, and implying both are too sacred to be described with a term like “hysteria” harms the environmental cause far more than any slick oil industry PR.

By trying to shame the concept of “climate hysteria” out of existence, the establishment is simply drawing more attention to it. Smearing those who are merely pointing out an unscientific tendency in a supposedly scientific movement only encourages more people – including those who were on the fence about the climate issue before – to question the entire narrative. With Thunberg herself at Davos for a second year in a row, testily reminding the international ruling class that “our house is still on fire,” it’s impossible not to notice that there’s a bit of irrationality in the air. While she herself once said “listen to the science,” a multi-billion-dollar hysteria-driven vaporware economy has arisen at the same time, proclaiming “listen to Greta.” Carbon offset firms, green branding agencies, “sustainability consultants,” the notorious ‘green social network’ We Don’t Have Time that shot Thunberg herself to stardom – none of these would exist without “climate hysteria,” as they provide no value to a society not in its grip. An official diktat declaring it doesn’t exist merely adds weight to all criticisms of the climate change movement, whether or not they have merit.

There’s no faster way to convince someone a narrative is false than to make belief in it mandatory. And carbon-centric anthropogenic climate change is quickly taking on this level of gravitas – Soros-funded nonprofit Avaaz has declared war on so-called “climate denial,” releasing a report accusing YouTube of “driving its users to climate misinformation” that attempts to shame advertisers into pulling their money from the platform until it starts de-platforming (or at least hiding videos from) those pesky “deniers.”

The use of the word “denier” is deliberately meant to elicit an emotional response. Many of the wrongthink-perpetrators Avaaz takes issue with don’t deny the climate is changing, and some would agree that human activity plays a role in this change.

However, the slightest difference of opinion is framed as heretical, and the perpetrator placed in the “climate denier” camp. Such a divisive approach naturally makes people more curious about those who have been smeared as “deniers.” If the narrative managers are trying to shame us for questioning the wisdom of prosecuting meat-eaters for “ecocide,” or stamping global corporations like Bayer-Monsanto as “net zero” carbon emitters as a reward for their voracious appetite for carbon offsets, the reasoning goes, what else are they lying to us about?

Independent-minded individuals wonder why so much energy is being spent to discredit people who find fault with the prevailing climate change orthodoxy. Most wrong ideas are merely ignored – no one wastes time campaigning against flat-earth videos, for example – so surely, they reason, “climate deniers” must be a threat to the status quo. From the crumbling Douma gas attack narrative, still defended in the mainstream media – to Russiagate, to ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ flimsy establishment narratives have been shored up by demonizing their opponents (as “Assad apologists,” “useful idiots,” and “Saddam apologists,” respectively) because the narrative managers know they cannot win an argument with their critics. If climate change proponents are making a conscious decision to throw their lot in with these epistemologically bankrupt charlatans, they shouldn’t be surprised when “climate change denial” becomes epidemic.

In case there was any doubt that the climate narrative is being imposed from above, “climate hysteria” wasn’t even the most popular choice to be given the ‘un-wording’ treatment for 2019. “Old white men,” “flight shame,” and, yes, “climate deniers” all got more votes – the ritual is open to public comment in the spirit of democracy – but all three were mysteriously disqualified by the five-person linguistic-journalistic panel for violating the selection criteria. Receiving almost twice as many votes as “climate hysteria” was “environmental pig”, the newly minted pejorative at the center of a controversy over a “green” children’s song last month – but that, too, was disqualified. Democracy, it seems, has its limits.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

Also on rt.com:

‘My grandma is old environmental pig’: German broadcaster in hot water over brazen children’s song

Bayer-Monsanto’s secret weapon: Ex-Green lobbyist to tell the world its cancer-linked weedkiller will save the climate

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Soros pumps $1bn into ‘global education network’ to fight ‘climate change & dictators’ like Trump, Xi & Modi

anti-Soros poster in Hungary © Global Look / Martin Fejer
RT | January 24, 2020

Billionaire George Soros has unveiled a new ambitious project: creating a global university network that would save the world from climate change and rescue democracy itself from ‘dictators’ like US President Donald Trump.

The 89-year-old grey eminence of liberal globalism announced “the most important project of my life” on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Describing the current state of the world as dire, with the strongest powers “in the hands of would-be or actual dictators,” Soros said he would put forth $1 billion towards the creation of the Open Society University Network, revolving around his own Central European University (CEU).

The announcement came as part of Soros’s meandering speech to the gathering of global elites, which painted a dire picture of the world in the hands of “would-be or actual dictators” – he singled out by name Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi – and paragons of “open society” such as the European Union defeated by the UK decision to vote in a pro-Brexit government.

Soros described Trump as a “con man and the ultimate narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him,” accusing the US leader of wanting to “impose his alternative reality not only on his followers but on reality itself.” Just moments later, however, he praised Trump’s hard-line China policy and lamented that it does not go far enough.

The Hungarian-born billionaire held up climate change as a possible rallying cry of the “open society” adherents. He also praised the student-led protests in Hong Kong, holding them up as an example of what young people around the world can do when properly motivated.

This was the lead-in to his university project reveal, through which Soros hopes to unite all “academically excellent but politically endangered scholars” across the globe, whatever that means.

Continuing his crusade against social media, which he also launched in Davos two years ago, Soros slammed Facebook as having “a kind of informal mutual assistance operation” with Trump.

“Facebook will work together to re-elect Trump, and Trump will work to protect Facebook so that this situation cannot be changed and it makes me very concerned about the outcome for 2020,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

“This is just plain wrong,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said when asked about Soros’s comments, for which the ‘Open Society’ magnate did not offer any evidence. Soros has previously funded Facebook’s third-party “fact checker” programs officially designed to “defend democracy.”

While claiming to champion democracy and “open society,” Soros has used massive amounts of money to influence national and local politics in the US, giving $5 million so far to the Democrats’ 2020 efforts to unseat Trump but also bankrolling local prosecutors with radical agendas.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Hotter than the hottest thing ever

Climate Discussion Nexus | January 22, 2020

So 2019 was hotter than anything ever was hot, except 2016 which was itself the hottest thing ever. We’re all going to die! Unless we don’t because it wasn’t. As Anthony Watts observes, if you measure from the depths of the natural Little Ice Age you get an upward line. But if you take a longer perspective you get ups and downs, within which our era is not remarkable. Even worse, as Watts also shows on a graph, the most credible numbers from the United States, which has the best temperature measurements in the world, show 2019 as cooler than 2005… and 2006… and 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. But hey, who’s counting?

Alarmists frequently assert that they rely on science whereas “deniers” rely on oil money and slippery rhetoric. But in addition to the contradictions between reasonably complete American temperature records (that, among other things, show the number of really hot days falling over the past century) and very patchy records from most of the rest of the planet, Watts raises some very basic statistical issues that the Armageddon types do not seem eager to discuss.

For instance, Watts’ Jan. 15 post objects to suspect statistical selectivity in the findings. Particularly glaring is an inconsistent baseline for comparisons because NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) clings to the coolest available period (1951-80, though without wishing to discuss why there was a cooling from around 1920 even as the atmospheric CO2 that supposedly drives temperature increased) whereas the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), equally alarmist in its views, uses 1981-2000.

His Jan. 17 post makes another point that deserves far more attention than it usually gets. He takes aim at “a press release session that featured NOAA and NASA GISS talking about how their climate data says that the world in 2019 was the second warmest ever, and the decade of 2010-2019 was the hottest ever (by a few hundredths of a degree).” But as every competent statistician knows, results can never be more accurate than inputs. And since nobody claims to be measuring temperature in hundredths of a degree outside a laboratory, there must be a lot of people within NOAA and NASA writhing in shame at this claim.

It gets worse. As we were told in high school math, and some of us even listened, if you measure two things to one decimal place and multiply them correctly, you may very well get a number with two decimal places. Thus 0.5 times 0.5 is 0.25. And that second decimal place yields an apparent increase in precision. But it’s worse than apparent, it’s deceptive, unless you know the two factors are exactly right. If I give you exactly half of a buck and a half, that is, exactly 0.5 times 1.5 dollars, I give you exactly 75 cents. But if the two factors are just estimates, if I try to split the leftover doughnut and a half from the meeting evenly between us, giving you about .5 times roughly 1.5, it is fatuous to say you got exactly .75 of a doughnut which beats the measly .73 you had last week.

The right procedure in such cases is not to keep two decimal places or even one. It is to round it to a whole number to accommodate the growing uncertainty as you combine uncertainties. “I got most of a stale doughnut again” is the best way to characterize what happened.

Such spurious precision is a chronic feature of climate science as of a great many things in the modern world. Thus David Middleton mocks a publication called The Anthropocene for asserting that death will get worse due to climate change including “an additional 1,603 deaths from injuries each year in the United States”; as Middleton rightly asks, “Are they sure it’s not 1,602 or 1,604?” And since the actual piece said “Global warming of 1.5 °C could result in an additional 1,603 deaths from injuries each year in the United States, an international team of researchers reported yesterday in the journal Nature Medicine” there’s an Ossa of estimated temperature rise beneath a Pelion of “could result” medical modeling that ought to have shamed the authors into saying “about 1,500”.

When it comes to global temperature, no sane person would ever claim to have measured the temperature anywhere outside a laboratory within a few hundreds of a degree. So there is no possible way that we know the temperature of the entire Earth, most of which has no temperature stations at all, to within even a few tenths of a degree let alone a few hundredths.

Putting all this legerdemain together, if that press release that galloped around the world while the statistics were pulling on their boots was not a lie then, to borrow a phrase from Damon Runyon’s Guys and Dolls, it will do until a lie comes along.

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Soros-linked political pressure group Avaaz joins forces with MSM to purge climate skeptics from YouTube

Extinction Rebellion Climate Change Action In London © Getty Images / Mike Kemp
By Sophia Narwitz | RT | January 17, 2020

Independent mainstream media outlets are engaging in a politically-motivated campaign to force YouTube to demonetize and hide any video that denies [catastrophic, man-made] climate change.

Published on Avaaz’s website, the left-leaning non-profit group released a report on January 16 that claims YouTube is profiting by broadcasting misinformation to millions of people by giving climate denial videos too much prominence. The report is an undisguised intimidation campaign, as not only does it list major advertizers who are running ads on videos that question the legitimacy of the threat climate change poses for humanity, but it explicitly calls for them to put pressure on the platform as a means of putting an end to the so-called disinformation.

Despite the findings being published just yesterday, many mainstream sites had lengthy articles posted not long after that, which featured quotes from those who worked on the report. Timings which suggest select websites were given early access, making it clear what agenda is being pushed, more so as they all tout the same talking points. Vice, Time, Gizmodo, The Verge, and countless other news entities want YouTube to punish creators who don’t toe the “correct” ideological line. The objective is to demonetize, and thus censor, such individuals as they’ll be less inclined to work on content that they won’t be able to profit from.

Nell Greenburg, a campaign director at Avaaz, claims the report isn’t about removing content, but that contradicts the report’s own messaging. There is a clear attempt to have content hidden as the report calls into question the promotion of such videos in the “up next” box on the site. It’s semantics at this point, but hiding videos would hurt creators and dissuade them from even trying to share their thoughts. It is an indirect way of removing ‘wrongthink.’

YouTube has already called into question the methodology of the report, but, given the media and powerful activist groups are targeting advertisers such as Nintendo, Red Bull, Uber, and Warner Bros, it’s a safe assumption the platform giant will give into their demands if their bottom line ever becomes affected. We are less than one year removed from Vox Media’s war on Google and its subsequent “adpocalypse,” after all.

Samsung has already contacted the company to “resolve the current issue and prevent future repetition,” so a second adpocalypse is probably likely. Though, this time, the scale could change as residing in the crosshairs isn’t just independent creators, but Fox News and other right-leaning media, given that they, too, have content on YouTube that questions the validity of a [catastrophic, man-made] changing climate.

That the MSM agrees with this says a whole lot, since many websites are in no position to push a platform into limiting content they deem as false, especially when considering the one-sided nature of their many blunders. If 2019 was any indication, they’re not exactly on top of stuff. From the reaction to the Covington school kids, to the countless Trump and Russia stories that went nowhere and fizzled, the most blatant purveyors of literal fake news are the mainstream media.

As for George Soros’ connection with Avaaz, while it claims to be predominantly member-funded now, its seed money was reportedly allocated by the billionaire’s opaque network of groups, and various prominent figures from his Open Society Foundation, such as former Democratic congressman Tom Periello, have been among its leadership. Leaked documents from 2010 detail that promoting climate change campaigns was always designated as a primary function of Avaaz.

This situation ultimately raises questions into why anyone, or anything, should have the power to dictate what others can create. Regardless of one’s personal views on the matter, there’s no denying that bold claims have been made about the climate that later were disproved. Little is, as yet, set in stone, and content that lands on any one side of the debate should be free to exist. If a creator is making videos people are watching, their hard work shouldn’t be thrown in the bin simply because an activist group with ties to one of the world’s richest people and his proxies says so. It is not the role of billionaires and their pet projects to play babysitter.

Sophia Narwitz is a writer and journalist from the US. Outside of her work on RT, she is a primary writer for Colin Moriarty’s Side Quest content, and she manages her own YouTube channel.

January 18, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Fishy Findings: 100% Replication Failure

Eight fish studies were double-checked. Not one was accurate.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | January 13, 2020

Science proves… Science says… Research shows…

Every week, the above phrases are employed by TV personalities, newspaper journalists, coworkers, friends, and family. When these phrases are uttered, certain ideas get elevated above the fray, enthroned on a pedestal.

Science has spoken. Who are you to be arguing with SCIENCE?

The problem, of course, is that scientific research is conducted by human beings. Who not only make mistakes, but are susceptible to peer pressure, group think, intellectual fads, and noble cause corruption.

The fallibility of ‘science’ is splendidly illustrated by a paper published last week in Nature. It concludes that not one, not two, but eight previously published studies about how climate change affects the behaviour of coral reef fish are unsound.

When a second team of researchers conducted the same experiments, the results were startlingly different. Here’s a quote from the abstract in Nature:

we comprehensively and transparently show that… ocean acidification levels have negligible effects on important behaviours of coral reef fishes… we additionally show that … [results] that have been reported in several previous studies are highly improbable. [bold added]

Extending back to 2010, many of these studies were highly publicized at the time they appeared. Physicist Peter Ridd points out they were all produced by Australia’s James Cook University. Ridd, remember, was fired by James Cook after raising concerns about research quality.

Responsibility appears to lie squarely with ecologist Philip Mundy, who investigates “the effects of climate change on reef fish populations” via “a range of laboratory and field-based experiments.” Thanks to Mundy’s team, a good chunk of what the world thinks it knows about coral reef fish and climate change has now been shown to be dead wrong.

Zero out of eight. How many other James Cook research papers should we be taking seriously?

To be continued…

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 2 Comments

Hide The Decline: A Climategate Backgrounder

CDN • December 4, 2019

Dr. John Robson looks back on the 10th anniversary of the exposure of the scandalous “Climategate” decision to delete awkward data that contradicted the idea that settled science said we face a man-made global warming crisis.

TRANSCRIPT

Narrator

20 years ago, in April 1998, a paper appeared in the prestigious journal Nature that would go on to be one of the most contentious and influential climate science papers of all time.

Its lead author was Michael E. Mann, at the time a young researcher just starting his career. From the initials of Mann and his coauthors the paper came to be called MBH98, but to many people it’s best known for introducing the famous “hockey stick” graph.

Based on a statistical analysis of tree rings and other natural formations, it purported to show the average annual temperature of the Northern Hemisphere back to AD1400 as basically flatlining (the handle) for hundreds of years until it suddenly shot upward (the blade) in the 20th century.

A year later the same authors published an extended version going back to AD1000. Both versions presented the same stunning picture: the world’s climate had apparently followed a steady, gentle cooling trend for 900 years, then in the 20th century a violent warming trend began, unlike anything in the past millennium. The authors fingered rising CO2 emissions as the culprit.

Within two years the hockey stick rocketed to international fame, after becoming the centrepiece of the 2001 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it appeared six times, always in full colour, and was heavily promoted at an international press conference by IPCC Chairman Sir John Houghton.

Governments around the world began using the hockey stick, with the full authority of the IPCC behind it, to promote the global warming alarm.

John Robson

I’m John Robson, and this is a Climate Discussion Nexus backgrounder on Hiding the Decline.

There was always something dubious about this chart. And not just the way it erased the well-known Medieval Warm Period. It’s also that the Mann series switched from tree rings to temperature readings at the precise point the line changed direction dramatically. Which would normally get scientists excited about possible weaknesses in the methodology, particularly the discrepancy between the data sets, rather than pretending there was nothing to worry about. And finally it was very strange, at least from a scientific perspective, that this one paper got so much publicity because back in 1998 Mann and his colleagues were not the only ones studying ancient tree ring data and other researchers did not find what they did.

Narrator

Just two months after MBH98 appeared, Nature published another climate reconstruction, this time by the late British scientist Keith Briffa and 4 coauthors.

Like Mann’s study, it used tree ring records from all over the Northern Hemisphere to estimate temperatures back to the year 1400. But unlike Mann’s paper, the result looked nothing like a hockey stick. It showed a lot of variability over time, and record warmth in the 1930s, but no special warming pattern since then.

In fact, it showed cooling up to 1993, with temperatures ending below the average of the past six centuries.

John Robson

The climate science community was confronted with two studies at the same time, both using similar methods to study the same thing, and coming up with very different answers. Normally that kind of result means the science is not settled, the data may not be reliable, and the uncertainties need to be explained.

In this case, apparently, it meant instead that a body needed to be buried for political reasons. The story of the disappearance of the Briffa data is one of the darkest episodes in modern science.

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Narrator

It’s long been known that the Earth’s climate is naturally variable. The study of ancient climate conditions is called paleoclimatology. In the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, back in 1990, they summarized the conventional view among paleoclimate experts that at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, the climate warmed for about 4,000 years, reached a state much warmer than the present and stayed there for several millennia, then began cycling between cooling and warming.

The Roman era and the Medieval era were both relatively warm compared to the present, and the Little Ice Age, which ended in the early 1800s, was relatively cold. And now we are in another warm phase of the cycle, though according to the conventional view as of 1990, it’s nothing special compared to previous eras.

The 1990 IPCC diagram of the familiar cycle matches other records, such as this long term temperature reconstruction from ice cores taken out of the Greenland ice cap.

Similar evidence for past warming episodes comes from the Riviere Boniface region in the Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec. In 1997, scientists from Laval University in Quebec published evidence of the remains of a black spruce forest preserved in peat in the arctic tundra. The trees grew over an interval spanning 1000 BC to almost 1600 AD.

John Robson

How could there be a forest in the Arctic? Simple. It used to be warmer there than it is to this day. Periods of rapid forest growth there happened during the Roman and Medieval warm periods. But a major fire in the late 1500s wiped out the trees, and it’s been too cold for them to grow back ever since. In fact, it’s been considerably too cold. The authors point out that the forest remains they studied are 130 km north of the present tree line. For a forest to have grown so far north a thousand years ago means it had to have been much warmer there for a long time compared to what we’re now experiencing.

The problem for alarmists is that the existence of the Medieval Warm Period made it hard to claim that recent climate warming is anything unusual. So it had to go. Which made the Mann hockey stick very attractive to the IPCC.

Narrator

MBH98’s headline conclusion was that today’s warming was unlike anything the Earth had seen in a thousand years. But, the critics would say, that’s based on studying tree rings. Maybe the warming happened, and the tree rings simply don’t show it. Which is where Briffa’s data was critical.

The 20th century is the one interval where we have both thermometer data and tree ring records, and we can see that the trees don’t show any warming. So, if they fail to respond to 20th century warming, how do we know that they don’t also miss it in earlier centuries?

A third paper published in 1998 emphasized these challenges. The lead author was UK scientist Phil Jones, and his list of coauthors included Keith Briffa and two others. They said that, of the various ancient climate records available, tree rings were probably the best, but they can be very unreliable.

Their own result fell between Mann’s and Briffa’s, with a clear Little Ice Age and a modern interval about as warm as the Medieval period. But since it was based on a very small data set they cautioned against reading too much into it.

John Robson

Mann’s paper, by contrast, swept aside the uncertainties. He and his coauthors claimed “moderately high levels of confidence” that the 1990s were the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the millennium – of the last 1,000 years. And that brought the IPCC calling.

Narrator

In 1999 the IPCC was starting work on its Third Assessment Report. Out of all the people doing tree ring temperature analysis, they picked Michael Mann to write the summary.

John Robson

Jones and Briffa were invited to serve as contributors, but under IPCC rules, it’s the Lead Authors who decide what goes in. By appointing Mann, the IPCC was signalling what message they were looking for. And soon they would be even more explicit about what they were after.

Narrator

On September 1st 1999 the IPCC convened a meeting of the authors in Arusha, Tanzania, where they spent three days discussing what the first draft of the report should include. Ten years later a large library of emails among Jones, Briffa, Mann and other climate scientists would be leaked onto the internet, which is how we came to possess the inside details of what happened next.

On September 22nd 1999, three weeks after the Arusha meeting, IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Chris Folland sent around a note stating

A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [Briffa’s] somewhat contradicts the [Mann] multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly.

So he asked that Mann’s curve be given priority.

John Robson

Now hold on a moment. It’s 1999, almost two years before the report was due to be released and before the expert review process had even started. Yet the IPCC leadership had already decided on the “message” they wanted in the Summary for Policymakers, and they didn’t want it “diluted” even though they knew the available data was contradictory and inconclusive?

Clearly the IPCC didn’t see their job as surveying the science and writing a summary that reflected the full range of data and of opinions. Instead they decided ahead of time on a compelling message, that man-made climate change was a pressing crisis, and then they looked for the science to support it.

Narrator

Mann proposed doing what Folland wanted by circulating a diagram showing only his hockey stick and the Jones diagram, while leaving out Briffa’s altogether. Jones objected, and Briffa likewise was furious. He wrote to the author team:

I know Mike thinks his series is the ‘best’ and he might be right – but he may also be too dismissive of other data and possibly over confident in his… After all, the early (pre-instrumental) data are much less reliable as indicators of global temperature than is apparent in modern calibrations.”

John Robson

But Briffa also understood the problem: The data didn’t support the story the IPCC wanted to tell.

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.

He then acknowledged what was really at stake: They were being asked to override their scientific judgment in service of the IPCC’s political agenda.

I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene.

Mann then offered to put the Briffa data back in. But, he warned, they didn’t understand why the data sets differed, and climate skeptics might use this to cast doubt on their work and undermine the peoples’ faith:

So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case… We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics would have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates.

The real problem wasn’t that skeptics would cast doubt on their message, it was that the contradictions in the data would cast doubt on their message.

The end result, many months later, was that Mann’s hockey stick graph appeared alone in the Summary for Policymakers, backed by this Figure in the main report.

Narrator

The black line is Mann’s curve, the pink one is Jones’, and the green one peeking from behind was Briffa’s modified data, attributed to a later paper published in 2000. The red line leading upwards at the end was from modern thermometer data. The diagram suggested, amazingly, that all the data were in perfect agreement.

John Robson

Where did the discrepancy go?

Narrator

For the next five years, nobody asked that question. Then in 2005, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, a semi-retired mining consultant who had taken an interest in paleoclimate studies, got curious about it and looked up the Briffa paper. Right away, he noticed something odd.

The green curve was supposedly the one Briffa submitted to the IPCC. But it goes up to 1994 in the journal article, whereas the IPCC version stopped at 1960.

John Robson

They had deleted the final 33 years of data—the declining portion.

Narrator

McIntyre hunted through some online data archives and found the full Briffa series, then drew what the IPCC diagram would have looked like if they had used all the data.

John Robson

What a difference. By deleting the last part of the blue line, they concealed the contradictions among the data sets, and the questions it raised about the validity of the methods.

Steve McIntyre

The reason why Briffa’s data was a problem for them was that his temperature reconstruction from tree rings went sharply down in the last half of the 20th century when temperatures were going up. So the question for any rational observer was, if tree ring data went down while temperatures went up, what makes you think that these are a good measurement, or a good proxy, for temperatures? And if they went down when it was warm in the 20th century, how do we know they didn’t do that in the past? These are questions that every scientist would ask if they were presented with this data, and by concealing the data, they stopped people from asking that question.

John Robson

McIntyre’s discovery didn’t attract much immediate attention, but when the Climategate emails came out, he began digging into the issue further. One of the most notorious emails was from Phil Jones dated just two months after the Arusha meeting, on November 16, 1999, when he was preparing a similar diagram that would go on the cover of a major report from the World Meteorological Organization. Writing to Mann and his MBH98 coauthors, Jones said:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Jones was referring to this chart, which, like the IPCC diagram, made it look like all the data sets agreed and showed unprecedented recent warming. It achieved this effect by deleting the Briffa data after 1960, splicing in thermometer data to each series up to the year 2000, then smoothing over the splice, as Jones said, to hide the decline. That’s quite the trick.

Steve McIntyre

To give you an idea of how big a story it was, the Climategate emails were released at approximately the same time as Tiger Woods’ implosion. And there were more, there were 22 million hits for Climategate and there were 21 million hits for Tiger Woods. It was a huge social media story, but it was barely covered in the national media.

Narrator

In the aftermath of Climategate a number of inquiries were convened by the UK government into the conduct of Jones, Briffa and their British colleagues.

John Robson

But, as would be expected in bureaucratic circles, the reports mostly served to whitewash the revelations, to protect the reputations of the universities involved, and of course to protect the notion that there was a proven man-made global warming crisis.

Narrator

The main investigative team was headed by Muir Russell, and it conceded that a minor wrist slap was in order for this incident.

“In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the [IPCC Report], the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together.”

Steve McIntyre

The operative word is there were “sort of” inquiries. None of the inquiries, however, squarely addressed or even addressed at all, the idea of senior IPCC scientists directing junior scientists to not, quote, “dilute the message”, or what the junior scientists had done to not, quote, “dilute the message.” The message they were trying to put out was that the change in climate was alarming, and so any data that they had that showed that it wasn’t alarming, they didn’t want to show. It would dilute the message.

Narrator

The IPCC has never owned up to what happened, or issued a correction. In fact the fraudulent diagram is still on their website.

John Robson

By hiding the decline, they misled world leaders and citizens on an issue that they themselves judged to be critically important. They falsified data to conceal their own uncertainty and the potential unreliability of the methods they were using. And that is not how science is done.

It’s been 20 years now since this body was buried. But it still stinks. So, next time you see an apparently tidy and compelling message from the IPCC, judge its credibility accordingly.

Thanks for watching. To support the Climate Discussion Nexus, subscribe to our YouTube channel and our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and go to our Patreon page and make a pledge.

For the Climate Discussion Nexus, I’m John Robson.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Where’s Justin again

Climate Discussion Nexus | January 8, 2020

There are many reasons to think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should not have gone to Costa Rica for a leisurely two-week Christmas break. Is there nowhere suitable in Canada? Might not some international crisis require his attention? But from the point of view of this newsletter the big question is the hypocrisy concerning his carbon footprint. At least the annoying Greta Thunberg takes sailboats, albeit with people flying hither and yon to make it happen. Trudeau traveled by private jet, or possibly two as on his election campaign, while even British PM Boris Johnson flew commercial to St. Lucia. Evidently the rest of us can eat cake.

While the details of the PM’s vacations are not made public for obvious security reasons (though he seems to have been sighted in Santa Teresa, a “quintessential surf town”) odds are he’s at a fancy resort and possibly, as in the Bahamas trip, there will be jet skis for his security detail and other carbon-unfriendly features like, well, his security detail, who probably didn’t paddle-board down to join him.

If it were an isolated incident it might be considered an isolated incident. But how about the fact that Canada sent 156 people to the latest UN climate-fest in Madrid? (After sending 283 to Paris in 2015.) It’s not to get things done. Everybody knows that, as Richard Nixon said, the real work at international conferences is done ahead of time to avoid embarrassing failure. And in this era of the Interwebs and cheap long-distance phone calls, whatever must be done last-minute can be done by 100 people in their offices back home as easily, or indeed more easily, than in hotel rooms.

As for what sort of hotels they were staying in, well, as with the PM in Costa Rica, not the kind you and I stay in. Because this conference was a junket. And a hypocritical one even by the standards of junkets. According to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, the emissions for 156 flights to Madrid and back would be about 165 tonnes, more than 40 average Canadian households emit in a year. And for what?

How can you ask? Among those in attendance was Senator Rosa Galvez, “Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas and Vice President (North America) of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change” who explained that “This was the first year that ParlAmericas’ International Secretariat has participated in the annual UN climate change conference as an official observer organization. Through the participation of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas at COP 25, we were able to engage on the most pressing issue humanity faces today.” And no amount is too high for an observer you never heard of with a 19-word title in an outfit you never heard of to engage.

Certainly Sen. Galvez couldn’t be asked to engage on climate from dreary old Ottawa. Just as obviously Elizabeth May had to crisscross the country during the election, attending events in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Saanich in the space of a single 24-hour period because otherwise her party might only have won a handful of seats. Whereas for you to heat your house or drive to work is a reckless extravagance.

In exposing the hypocrisy of delegates in Madrid munching away at Burger King, on real meat, while claiming the rest of us needed to stop eating it, Craig Rucker of CFACT also noted that those in attendance included Harrison Ford, who “bragged not long ago that he’s ‘so passionate about flying’ that he would often hop in one of his planes and ‘fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.’” Ford now claims to have given up meat. But not his private planes, of which he owns roughly 10.

The smell of cake is unmistakable, as with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and now-vegan Al Gore, both of whom frequently use private planes of which Gates owns at least one. Their work is so important that they just have to do stuff you mustn’t. “I am investing in climate change very broadly and substantial amounts of money,” says Gates, while one of Gore’s people charged with fending off pesky proles intones that “He recognizes how important these everyday choices are, while spending most of his time working to catalyze a global effort to change laws and policies.” Now go away, and no questions about his energy-gobbling mansion complete with heated outdoor pool.

January 10, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act: Why Washington Is Both Corrupt and Ignorant

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | January 2, 2020

The creatures that lurk through the corridors of power in Washington DC have refined corruption to the point where almost anything goes and almost no one is ever held accountable. Traditionally, Congressmen reward their various constituencies by inserting riders into larger pieces of legislation that grant money, exemptions or favors to certain groups or individuals. It is sometimes referred to as “pork.” The recent bloated omnibus spending bills totaling $1.4 trillion, which passed through Congress and were signed off on by President Donald Trump, were for the shameless denizens of Capitol Hill a gold mine. The process was so corrupt that even some Senators like Ted Cruz joked that “Christmas came early in Washington. While you were with your family, while you were shopping for Christmas, the lobbyists were spending and spending. I present to you, the massive omnibus bill that Congress is voting on.”

And no one is more corrupt in Congress than some of those at the top of the food chain, where the Speaker and the Minority leader in the House and the Majority and Minority leaders in the Senate have the final say on what gets cut and what remains. The lugubrious Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is one of the most adept at milking the system to buy his continued reelection in a state where he is actually not very popular, with an approval rating of only 37%. Within the current spending bill he has managed to include more than $1 billion worth of federal spending and tax breaks for some choice constituencies among the Kentucky voters. A tax break for the state’s whisky distillers alone came to a projected $426 million for 2020 and there were also breaks for the state’s thoroughbred horse industry as well as hundreds of millions of dollars more for new federal construction.

One can only wish that politicians would actually commit themselves to doing good for the American people, but the sad reality is that they spend so much time raising and distributing money that they only respond to constituents with the deepest pockets or those who make the most noise. Rarely does anyone actually read the bills that are being voted on. Part of the omnibus spending bills was the $738 billion dollar defense policy component, and, as in the case of the larger amounts intended to keep the federal government funded, the devil is frequently found in the details.

One part of the defense spending is called the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act,” which is intended to punish Syria and its President Bashar al-Assad with sanctions for alleged crimes committed during the country’s eight year civil war. The Caesar Act is named after a Syrian military photographer who reportedly took and then smuggled tens of thousands of photographs out of the country that provided evidence for claims that war crimes had been carried out by the Syrian government. “Caesar” eventually wound up in Washington where he briefed sympathetic lawmakers on the regime’s alleged crimes.

The Caesar Act will impose new sanctions on Syrian leaders and also on companies, states and even individuals that support the Assad government militarily, financially or technically. It will include placing new sanctions on Russia and Iran. Enab Baladi, a website run by opponents of the al-Assad government praised the move, writing that “[The bill] imposes sanctions on military contractors and mercenaries who are fighting for the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, or any of the parties against which sanctions have been previously imposed.” It also observes that the act would be a “deterrent” for anyone seeking to work with or help the al-Assad regime. The US, for its part, has pledged to support international prosecution of criminals in the Syrian government.

The use of sanctions is reminiscent of recent US action directed against Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the White House have been boasting of how Iran’s economy is being destroyed through economic warfare and it is clear that the intention is to do the same to Syria. The United States has been destabilizing Syria since the passage of the Syria Accountability Act in 2004. It imposed sanctions on the country even before the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, and they were regularly expanded by the Obama administration prior to the 2016 election.

Treasury Department sanctions have frozen assets of the Syrian government and also of hundreds of companies and individuals. They also ban most interactions with Syria by any US person, which means that anyone traveling to Syria and returning to report favorably on the al-Assad government can be plausibly prosecuted for providing a service to the regime.

To be sure no one is completely blameless amidst the turmoil that has engulfed Syria since 2011. Respectable organizations including Human Rights Watch have been able to identify some of the victims in the Caesar photos and have verified tales of torture and abuse, though it must be observed that fake photos and false testimony are easy to obtain.

But the Syrian regime response to the uprising against its authority is only part of the story, as the violence was fomented largely by Saudi Arabia, and Gulf States and the United States. And by far the worst atrocities against civilians have been committed by the groups actively or tacitly supported by the US, Turkey, the Gulf States and the Saudis, many of which have cooperated openly with the genuine terrorist groups that have been operating in Syria.

There also has to be some question raised about the general credibility of attacks directed against the al-Assad government. It has recently been revealed that both the United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the US media were pressured to cover-up the fact that Syria did not use chemical weapons against its own civilians in terrorist infested areas. A Newsweek reporter even resigned when he wrote a story seeking to expose the scandal. The magazine had refused to print the piece.

The US sponsored Syrian National Council has been most active in spreading reports about regime activity, much of which has been proven to be little more than propaganda. Caesar’s trip to Washington in 2015 to show his photos was, in fact, sponsored by the SNC and there is a whole series of fabrications spread by a number of groups supported by those who desire regime change in Damascus.

Consider for a moment the Oscar Award winning White Helmets, “the story of real-life heroes and impossible hope.” The group, which cooperates with the terrorist groups operating in its area, travels to bombing sites with its film crews trailing behind it. Once at the sites, with no independent observers, they are able to arrange or even stage what is filmed to conform to their selected narrative. Exploiting their access to the western media, the White Helmets thereby de facto became a major source of “eyewitness” news regarding what was then going on in those many parts of Syria where European and American journalists were quite rightly afraid to go, all part of a broader largely successful “rebel” effort to manufacture fake news that depicts the Damascus government as engaging in war crimes directed against civilians

The mainstream media is a major part of the problem as it generally only reports stories, like the White Helmets, that denigrate the Syrian government and its allies. Watching the recent BBC reporting of the Syrian Army’s push into Idlib province one learns that “Russian backed Syrian groups are attacking Idlib and creating a humanitarian crisis with 230,000 civilians fleeing the fighting.” The only problem with the coverage is that it does not really make clear that Idlib is terrorist occupied territory. Nor does it say where the civilians are fleeing to – nearly all have headed for the safety of Syrian government held areas.

And particularly for those strivers in Congress who are out hustling for money rather than finding out what is really going on in the world, it might be wise to recollect how gullible the Solons on the Potomac have been in the past. Going back to Ahmed Chalabi, who more than any single individual led the US government to believe that the invasion of Iraq would be a cakewalk, there has been a series of disastrous policy choices made after swallowing whole cloth lies and fabrications made by interested parties. Chalabi provided false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties of the Iraqi government to al-Qaeda. It turned out that he was working for several of the sides in the conflict that ensued, including the Iranian government.

And then there is the Magnitsky Act, sponsored by Russia-phobic Zionist Senator Ben Cardin and signed by President Barack Obama in 2012, which continues to be expanded and exploited by virtue of 2016’s Global Magnitsky Act to intervene in countries that are alleged to be human rights violators. In its original iteration, the Magnitsky Act, sanctioned individual Kremlin officials for their treatment of alleged whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, arrested and imprisoned in Russia. Billionaire Bill Browder has sold a contrived narrative which basically says that he and his “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky uncovered massive tax fraud and, when they attempted to report it, were punished by a corrupt police force and magistracy, which had actually stolen the money. Magnitsky was arrested and died in prison, allegedly murdered by the police to silence him.

Browder and his apologists portray him as an honest and honorable Western businessman attempting to operate in a corrupt Russian business world. Nevertheless, the loans-for-shares scheme that made him his initial fortune has been correctly characterized as the epitome of corruption by all parties involved, an arrangement whereby foreign investors worked with local oligarchs to strip the former Soviet economy of its assets paying pennies on each dollar of value. Along the way, Browder was reportedly involved in money laundering, making false representations on official documents and bribery.

Browder, who renounced his US citizenship in 1997 reportedly to avoid taxes, has been a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill where he tells congressional committees all about the corrupt and evil President Vladimir Putin. He is also a darling of the completely corrupted mainstream press because he is saying what they want to hear.

So, is the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act just another bit of nonsense, like Chalabi and Magnitsky? Probably, and all it will do is punish the Syrian people by trying to wreck the country’s economy while also limiting the ability of Americans to go independently to the region and see for themselves what is actually going on. It will prolong the pain being experienced by all involved while the legitimate government in Damascus seeks to restore its pre-war borders. It is, unfortunately, a prime example of the United States government in action.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment