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Aftermath of Missiles

When we last left, it was two weeks ago now and Mr. Trump had just ordered late night missile strikes that helps avert WWIII. Yes, the minor scope of the attack was a blessing to all oxygen-breathing lifeforms on Earth. Trump’s lack of interest in getting into nation building won the day, and the media went nuts all weekend.

Then, last Monday came. and the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) got closer and closer to Douma. Even with the West and the UN blocking them at every turn, the OPCW crew arrived and took samples. Nothing has been determined yet, but I haven’t heard a peep about Syria this whole week. Its not surprising, as a war was pushed on the American people with zero evidence and it was completely rejected. Only MSNBC could get part of their audience to sign on. And if FOX News isn’t involved in the war effort, what chance does it have?

The media moved the narrative back to porn-stars and crooked lawyers. Mr. Trump also helped shift the narrative, by having Pompeo make a trip to North Korea and drop a real bombshell on the world: North and South Korea are looking at peace. And even more, the North Koreans are discussing giving up their nuclear program.

In this episode, I talk about the aftermath of the Syria strikes, the incredible events in Korea and of course the never-ending tit-for-tat between Russia and the American Deep State.

The links below contain an amazing reporting job by Moon of Alabama on the media war on honest reporting on Syria.

Content

The episode link can be found here. The full episode archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

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Remembering Robert Parry

I became aware of Robert Parry’s work through listening to Scott Horton. Since that first interview I have been a continuous reader of his. The work he did at Consortium News from 1995 on was my introduction to his work. I’m still getting through his old stuff, finding articles written by him on old news topics I didn’t even know he wrote about. He really was a true journalist. As Seymour Hersh is quoted saying about Parry:

“He was widely seen over the next years as a critic of the mainstream media in America. That was not so. He was a critic of lousy reporting, be it in Pravda or The New York Times. He wanted every journalist, everywhere, to do the research and the interviewing that it takes to get beyond the accepted headline.”

If you’re not familiar with Robert Parry, he was one of the first to break the Iran-Contra scandal, battling the same forces as Gary Webb. He helped expose the Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare manual given by the CIA to the Contras in Nicaragua. His work breaking down the link between the cocaine trade and the CIA helped earn him the George Polk Award among others.

I personally think of Robert Parry for his refusal to let political views get in his way of the truth. Facts were all that mattered with him. Much like Glenn Greenwald, Parry saw no difference between a corrupt Republican or Democrat. If you are knee-deep in fighting the “Russiagate” bullshit, dive into Robert Parry’s archive work at Consortium News. He really was a beast.

I just wanted to say a word on his passing. His work has given me many enjoyable sleepless nights.

Below I have included some write-ups from others who have kind words for Mr. Parry:

His son also provides an amazing article on his father and the future on Consortium News.

EDIT: I’ve added a link over to Muckrock.com which has provided the CIA’s collection of Robert Parry’s work.

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The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: #ReleaseTheMemo

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I was going to put out an episode on the Turks invading Kurdish-Syria, but it was requested that I read the super secret FISA memo all the Trump people are going crazy about. So I went over the guy with the all the documents, Alex Jones, and grabbed the full 99 page report for which the Nunes’ memo was based on.

I took the report in blocks of 10 pages. You have to understand that the report is written by the FISA Court. A kangaroo court used to justify terrible violations of the Constitution. And this report is no exception.

The report lays out the systematic way the agencies such as the FBI, CIA and the NCTC uses data collected by the NSA under Section 702 of the Patriot Act. The review explains the past procedures in “targeting” and “minimization” for each of the above agencies, and amendments to these procedures which in most cases allows more loopholes and justification for violations of the 4th Amendment. Included throughout the document is the FISA Court stating that these procedures (even when they do not stop illegal activities by all agencies) are in line with the 4th Amendment.

The review takes place in late October of 2016. The government has been stalling the FISA court for months, requesting extension after extension which the Court approves. It is laid out that because of compliance issues at some of the agencies (FBI for example) and the government wanted to get it’s ducks in a row before going in front of FISA. Which to me is weird to read, since there is a very small chance of the FISA Court really condemning anything the intelligence community does. It was created to justify crimes carried out by the CIA and other agencies. Staying within the context of the document was a challenge.

The web of data collection goes like this. The NSA creates “targeting” procedures for its analysts. They must follow rules like not using a US Citizen as the target of a search. Or after a phone number is discovered to be that of an American, that number can not be used as a target.

From there each agency has it’s own “minimization” procedures. Which from the best I can understand is how they sort, classify and disseminate the information. The NSA does minimization prior to making the info available to other law information agencies. The report outlines how FISA agrees to more and more agencies having access to more “raw” data.

Terms like “upstream” collection are used to explain how the NSA tracks targets’ electronic communication has it happens. The texts and emails are pulled by the NSA as they are sent out. In real time. This type of collection is not provided directly to agencies like the FBI, CIA or the NCTC.

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is not a law enforcement agency. However, this report shows the FISA court opening up the regulations on what the NCTC can review from the NSA collection database. The NCTC can now look through FBI collections of “evidence of a crime” material even though it is not doing law enforcement. The language used included saying the NCTC “may retain and disseminate” for it’s “crime reporting obligations”. This data contains material on US citizens and this is the part Rand Paul is so upset about.

This report contains the discussion about using information collected on US Persons without a warrant through the NSA as a legal way to build a domestic crime case. They use the example of emails containing discussed child abuse being forwarded on to a local domestic violence agency to rationalize this violation.

The breadcrumbs are there to be followed. The loopholes were in place and evidence is there that targeting of US persons like Trump & Flynn was common practice during the Obama administration. Included in the new procedures for all agencies, is the ability for “litigation hold”. This is the smoking gun for the Trump people. The ability for the NCTC, FBI or CIA to hold material it should have otherwise destructed for a longer length of time for present and future “litigation purposes”. Information collected on US citizens without a warrant, held for future prosecution. I think that’s blackmail and a violation of the 4th.

It is a dense read, and I go into more detail on the recording, but the Trump crowd playing this up is really not too smart. The report continues through early 2017, indicating the same procedures contained, now with the blessing of FISA oversight. We’ll see if any of Rand Paul’s and William Binney warnings are heard by the president.

Content

The episode can be found here and on ITunes. The full archive can be found on Podomatic.

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Imperial Dilemma

Korea

I like the way Justin Raimondo puts it in the title of his latest piece, “Peace breaking out”. The current state of affairs in Korea is really quite amazing. We have the totalitarian dictator from the north, and the liberal republican type from the south, drawing tensions down at a very quick pace, and the world liberal order is worried it might be losing its influence. Even going as far as talking about preemptive war if those damn Koreas keep getting along.

The mainstream line on the situation is that the north is simply buying time to test more nukes, that they don’t have their hearts in it. Who cares about the motivation? With the Olympics coming up, both governments agreed to march under an united flag. The announcement of a joint Women’s ice hockey team also peaks my interest. There have been agreements on reestablishing a hotline between the two leaders, along with talks about a family reunion program being created.

All of this is bad for the neoconservatives, John Bolton nationalists, or the Hillary Clinton liberal internationalists. The racism of low expectations must continue to be the curtain covering the imperial nature of our role in that region of the world. The South Koreas need to need the United States. The arguments from pundits on mainstream TV describe this reopening of dialog as “driving a wedge” between the South and its imperial masters. Americans don’t know that South Koreans sometime protest the presence of US troops there.

If Trump could stay somewhat true to his campaign talk about “America First”, maybe he can see the savings that could be had by using this opportunity to take a back seat for awhile. The South has asked the US to halt military drills until the Olympics are over. Trump should agree to that publicly, see what happens.

Iran

Iran has been in the cross-hairs of the United States in someway in another for almost as long as North Korea has. After the protests last week, every hawk in Washington wanted Trump to use the opportunity to push Iran. The bet was on Trump ripping up the Nuclear Deal. Turns out they were wrong. Trump will be keeping the deal, mostly on the request of European allies. In this case, Trump’s lack of “nationalism” actually helps the American people.

At the same time, the false allegations against Iran for violations of the Nuclear Deal continue. The ability of the US to push this narrative in the face of all evidence shows the disconnect between reality and the American media consumer. Iran has threatened to leave the IAEA, a move that North Korea took on its way to a true “rogue” nuclear power.

Nick Turse & Special Operations

It might be the simple way he attacks the story, but Nick Turse is one of my favorite reports. His continued coverage of AFRICOM and overall US Special Operations policy in the world never has holes. Taking his sources directly from Freedom of Information Act results, it’s the raw stuff. He has a new article out about the coming year in Special Operations.

Trump all but promised to expand the Special Operations budget when he took office. Removing restrictions on what the military can do, and allowing lower level officers to make larger decisions, we should know where this is going. Every type of “Expendables” fantasy would be funded with little oversight. The numbers in 2017 are shocking. Operations took place in a record 149 nations in 2017, 33 of those countries were in Africa. That number is also up. I’ve written about the expansion of the drone program into Africa.

The bulk of the troops are still found in the Middle East, but the percentage is down to 54%. NATO’s war games in Eastern Europe have the European number up 10% from last year. If Trump’s eyes ever turn to Ukraine, it could go either way. If McCain is in his ear, we could have real bad news. However, I personal lean the other way on this, which is way I think the topic is left out of Trump’s view.

MSNBC: What’s Yemen?

Whenever I have a chance to embarrass MSNBC I’m going to take it. FAIR has analyzed their coverage from 2017, and focused on two very special subjects; Russia & Yemen. Now for Russia they were really looking at stupid “Trump Loves Putin” drama, and boy did they find some. There was nearly no coverage of Yemen in the 2nd half of 2017, with it only being noted once the whole year. When it was mentioned, what was left out is the story. No talk of cholera, US targeting and refueling help, the blockade on aid, civilian bombings, or the arms deals Obama made with the Saudis to fund this “war”.

In compassion, Trump & Russia was mentioned 5000% more.

Huge Rise in Civilian Deaths

survey was done by “Action of Armed Violence” looking at the civilian deaths of conflicts in the Middle East during the last year. The deaths have doubled. Doubled. Air campaigns by the US & Russia have accounted for 15 thousand deaths from airstrikes, a rise of 42%. With the warfare being focused in urban areas condensed with a large population, operations in places like Mosul & Raqqa showed shocking numbers.

Russian Base in Syria Attacked with Al Qeada’s Air Force

A Russian base in Syria was attacked in the middle of the night by 13 armed drones. The attack came from the US backed rebel forces in the country, making one wonder how out of control our policy in that country has become. Are we really training terrorists in Jordan, arming them with drones, and letting them go attack Russian bases in the middle of the night? If this isn’t our policy, our policy got us here.

Content

The episode can be found here and the full archive can be found on Podomatic or Itunes. The Youtube is below.

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: The U.S.S. Liberty Gets a Win & Other News

In this week’s episode, I discuss a little-known story of murder on the high seas, the next stage in the Syrian conflictIsraeli continuing to go rougeMyanmar becomes the next geopolitical hot-spot, and how I believe the EU is going to break up.

Episode link here.

Full podcast archives can be found here. The podcast can also be downloaded from ITunes on any of the podcast apps you use.

I also want to take a minute to link to a few longer stories I think are worth your time:

Three Years After the War: Gaza Youth Speak Out – by Ramzy Baroud – Ramzy Baroud is editor of the Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is My Father was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press).

The USS Liberty Wins One! – by Philip Giraldi

Syria: Deir Ezzor Siege by Daesh Finally Broken by Syrian Army & Russian Airforce – by Sarah Abed/@sarahabed

I also want to point my listeners on Steemit over to VetsConnect by @stay-in-the-gray. It is an attempt to create a community/pipeline within Steemit for combat veterans to support their fellow vets.

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The Overblown Reaction to the Boston Free Speech Rally

On this past Saturday, tens of thousands of people marched in Boston against “hate and bigotry”. Their plan was to march to Boston Commons and surround the “Free Speech Rally” which the media told them was going to be crawling with Nazis.

The original invite list did contain some speakers who could be considered “white nationalists”, Augustus Invictus for example. I believe Gavin McInnes’s “Proud Boys” and Cassandra Fairbanks were also supposed to show up and didn’t. If anything, these two could be considered “alt-right” for their denouncements of the Cultural Marxism takeover of US society, their views on Arab culture and their hate for establishment Republicans. But to use the word “Nazi” is just lazy.

The event coordinator told local news that “white nationalists” and “Nazis” were attempting to take over the rally, and that he denounced them wholly. After the event on Saturday, he put out a statement admitting that the event “fell apart” after the reaction to Charlottesville and the ridiculously inaccurate media coverage.

This is what I wanted to touch on.

On Saturday I spend most of the afternoon in my apartment, getting weekend stuff done. I decided to put on a Youtube live stream of the event, and I selected the CNN stream. The coverage was nauseating. The channel kept showing the huge crowd of counter-protesters marching to the Commons, selling this idea that they were on their way to another street fight. It was almost like the corporate media channel wanted violence to erupt for a ratings bump.

I would switch over to independent streams on the ground, watching these cameras walk through the crowd. Hearing people talk, it was as if this was a sport for them. They “couldn’t wait” to see some Nazis. I had a few laughs at their expense. The idea that 10-15 thousand people wasted their Saturday standing in a park waiting to virtue signal to their neighbors that they didn’t stand with Nazis….very satisfying.

As the day went on, things starting coming into view. Pictures of the “Nazis” began popping up on social media:

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What a group of savages!

The faces of the people in the crowd surrounding the Commons began to change, from that of smugness to that of confusion. “Where are all the bad people?”. “I was told is would be fun!”. “How is anyone gonna know I’m a moral person if the bad people don’t show up?”.

This continued until everyone’s favorite terrorist group, Anitfa, showed up. They were greeted with cheers from the more ignorant parts of the crowd. Then they began their antics. Videos started coming out of bystanders getting punched in the head, a woman had her American flag stolen from her, reports from the cops of urine being thrown.

The faces of the morality warriors started to change again. “Why am I here?”. “I didn’t sign up for punching people..”. “Maybe I’m on the side of violent asshats…”

Turning on the TV after the event and finding cable news almost disappointed in the lack of right-wing violence and Nazis flags was great to see. The backpedaling of the race warriors & virtue signaling Twitter celebs was also satisfying.

The readers of the country won out this weekend! The Left embarrassed themselves in Boston on Saturday. The media was exposed for what they are. All the people who hitched their wagons to Antifa look like morons this morning.

I will leave you with this screen grab from the Antifa of Boston’s Twitter page:

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Episode: The Empire Marches On

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As America fell into a state of hysteria the last week over the events in Charlottesville, the US imperial machine marched on. I get back to my roots in this episode. I speak briefly about the ouster of Steve Bannon and how that effects policy on Afghanistan. I hit on the literal fist fight at the top of world between India & China, Korean deescalation, the Saudi Crown Prince and I even give some reading recommendations.

NATO expansion continues in Europe, as the US Navy has decided to build bases in Ukraine and Moldova, showing America’s arrogance.

This week’s topics include:

Today’s episode.

The full archive of the show can be found here.

Steemit Is My Sanctuary from the Madness of Social Media

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I have been unhealthy in my passion for politics, history and geopolitical news since I read “Revolution: A Manifesto” by Ron Paul in 2007. My interest in history went back long before that, but I entered into the political realm with that election cycle. I took in any knowledge I could, trying to build a wealth of understanding of who the players were, how it worked, and what the correct view of it all was. I fell in love in libertarianism by reading Paul, Schiff, Woods and Murphy. Eventually moving on to the Jedi masters, Mises and Rothbard.

With the election of Barack Obama, I saw this has an opportunity to follow closely the first elected president in my post-college life. I would point out his errors, things I disagree with, actions he took that fell outside his promised goals. This was the way political involvement works right? When you pass your knowledge onto others and maybe fill them in on news they were unaware of, they say “thank you” and expand their own base of knowledge.

I was young and naive.

As time went on, I learned the truth. Politics is a sport of teams. It’s dominated by the emotional masses, feeding into the lies of their team leaders. Acknowledging their leaders are liars, but that they’re THEIR liars.

Moving into Obama’s second term, after watching him ignore the promises he made to his base, I was still confused why so many otherwise rational humans I knew could still support him. Not over another politician, but that they supported him at all. I never understood that from the beginning of my time in the arena. I had made a deal with Ron Paul from the moment I read his first book. “You turn your back on these principles, we’re done”. I think most of his supporters made this same deal, which was why he had a movement in the first place. I couldn’t understand why others never made the same deal with their political leaders.

As Obama moved on to drone killings of Americans, the NDAA, arresting whistle blowers, lying about Obamacare, feeding the racial divide, I still had some hope people would come around. I mean, you had the Occupy Movement. But that was quickly discovered to be a useless movement, as they forget to direct their anger at the Federal Reserve, instead asking the governmental banking structure of help.

With 2016 coming into view, I jumped behind Rand Paul. I immediately started to see the writing on the wall though. The intellectualism behind his father’s movement wasn’t there. Compromises of principle were already being made, playing into the game of politics became the strategy of his campaign.

Around this time the social media platform for political news and thought exploded. Youtube shows spanning the political spectrum sprung up with popularity, and everyone moved to their selective corners. Teams were molded, dogmatic loyalty became the politics of the day. Discussion and disagreement turned into emotional pleas and screaming.

The media had fed the left a steady diet of “Anti-Obama = Racist”, and they believed it. So when the right and actual progressives on the left dared to put up candidates of their own, they were shocked that racists still had a platform.

These “racists” began playing their game, getting behind their own liar and created their own buzzwords, pushing intellectual thought and debate to the internet. Making it almost impossible to reel the masses back in, the small minority of still rational actors found each other on the edges of social media and hung on tight.

This is where we are today. Where everyone is a “Nazi”, everyone is a “Communist”.

Pointing out nuance, or more importantly, pointing out hypocrisy is completed ignored. Only in this culture can John McCain get praise for “denouncing Nazis”, while supporting Nazis in Ukraine. When presented with this fact, no rebuttal is heard.

The list of people considered “alt-right” today is breathtaking:

  • Joe Rogan
  • Dave Rubin
  • Tim Pool
  • Glenn Greenwald

Anyone who wants to discuss the dogma of the left is on the right. This parroted in the media, in entertainment, by the establishment political structure. Members of the left and the right that wish to have discussion find themselves on the same side now. Fighting to get their message out.

I have recently been beaten down by this force of anti-intellectualism on social media. It’s nothing new for me, but my last straw has been reached. I can no longer post a thought or an article without a shallow comment from someone, repeating some half-truth mixed with a hint of moral superiority.

I have no issue with moral superiority, if you actual have consistent moral values. But getting high-fives for virtue signalling something as elementary as “racism is bad” while never looking inward to all the immorality you support is tiresome to combat.

So to sum up, THANK YOU STEEMIT for a platform of rational human beings with the mental capacity and intrigue to allow polite discussion.

Man Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Oklahoma Bank, Had Considered Federal Reserve Building

“This arrest is the culmination of a long-term domestic terrorism investigation involving an undercover operation, during which Varnell had been monitored closely for months as the alleged bomb plot developed,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. “The device was actually inert, and the public was not in danger.

Prosecutors said that during the investigation an undercover agent had posed as a co-conspirator and agreed to help Varnell build what he believed was a 1,000-pound (454 kg) explosive.”

Just like they do with “Muslim terrorists”. Help create the threat, then pretend to be the heroes. Easy way to create fear of a certain group or ideology with the public.

“The Terror Factory” by Trevor Aaronson is a great book chronicling the FBI’s sting (entrapment) program since 9/11, justifying their “terror war” budget.

Original source.

Google Firing: The Reaction is the Story

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As I write this, I’m listening to an interview being carried out by Jordan Peterson with James Damore, the recent Google employee who was fired after posting a 10 page internal memo at Google, stating is issues with the “echo chamber” of ideology at company.

Why Damore was fired is interesting. It wasn’t fired for posting an internal memo criticizing the business practices of the company he works for, which I would actually see as a firing offense and wouldn’t have much problem with it. He was fired for “promoting gender stereotypes”.

This is where it gets frustrating for me. So really, Google just fired a guy for “social brownie points”. I say that simply because the memo isn’t that radical. I’m not an expert on psychology or gender, but Dr. Peterson is. When you’re listening to a Jedi Master of these subjects go through the full memo and point out that the SCIENCE Damore uses to make his points is sound as fuck, the normal reaction for any person using logic and trying to come to a rational conclusion leans towards the view that Google overrated.

This has not been the case for most of the people or media outlets I’ve read discussing the subject. They are all quick to denounce Damore, calling him a “bigot”, “misogynist”, and of course, “racist”. He is simply a white male with “conservative” views. He should be silenced and cast out. Why? Because his memo hurt feelings. It hurt feelings of individuals who do not wish to discuss an issue, or even research it. They refuse to acknowledge another side of an argument, denying facts and truth along the way.

The problem with this is they are winning. The silence majority is speaking out more, but this minority of ultra-PC progressives are winning. They are in high positions in media, business, government and culture. This trickles down to the everyday American, who just wants to “fit in” and be invited to the next bar crawl. They don’t want to be the annoying loser that wants to have real dialog about a subject. Usually a subject brought up at the bar by someone else, who makes a quick comment that is greeted with nods from everyone around them. Again, fitting in is important. I don’t dispute that. But who are you fitting in with? Where is it appropriate to think for yourself? I personally think that is all the time, but groupthink and acceptance are powerful drugs.

As this story unfolds, we see that the author actually had more support for opening up this discussion than was originally reported. Of course this is the case. The speed at which he was denounced is also not a shock.

I don’t see myself as a very conservative person. I just happen to also not be surface oriented person either. In terms of these political/social issues, I continually find myself on the opposite side of thing than most of the people in my life. Maybe not even on the other side of the debate, but distanced from them in the way I react. The blind emotion and shunning of any viewpoint outside the dogma is scary to see. As someone who fears groupthink because of my libertarian principles in general, reactions to stories like this continue to baffle me.

EDIT: I’d also like to add the denial of science here, and the hypocrisy of the same group who screams at anyone that doesn’t believe that Climate Change is “settled science”. Seems like a new thing in 2017, selective use of science as a basis of your argument….