Rest in peace to Art Bell, the man who made the paranormal normal

By Drew Millard

Source: The Outline

It does not seem like hyperbole to say that Art Bell was an American institution. As the host of the late-night radio show Coast to Coast A.M., he brought together millions of loners, insomniacs, and weirdos for a nightly deep dive into the fringe. He conducted interviews with self-professed experts in aliens and the Illuminati, time travelers and madmen. Every Halloween, he’d rename his show Ghost to Ghost A.M. and have listeners call in to tell “real” ghost stories. Broadcasting mostly from his compound in the High Desert of Nevada, Bell approached in the battiest conspiracy theories with an open mind and steady demeanor, good-naturedly probing his guests with his signature mix of bemusement and credulity.

Coast to Coast debuted in the late 1980s, just as talk radio began to take hold of the A.M. dial. But where Bell’s daytime counterparts stirred working-class conservative rage, Coast to Coast and its sister show Dreamland were genuine countercultural texts, explorations into the bizarre humans who share this planet with us.
If Art Bell was going to die at all, it’s only appropriate that he made his ascent to the afterlife on Friday the 13th.

Whitley Strieber, who took over Dreamland from Bell in 1999, posted the following message on the show’s website:

At 10:30 on the morning of Friday, May 13, Art Bell died. He passed away peacefully in his sleep, and there is at this time no known cause of death. The family had hoped to delay an announcement of his death, but the story was released by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office against their wishes.

Art was beloved of many millions of listeners and fans. He revolutionized late night radio with his famed show, Coast to Coast AM, which remains a popular feature on stations around the country, hosted by George Noory. He was also a dear friend of mine. We were born just three days apart in 1945 and over our 30 years of friendship we shared many wonderful hours together on the air and as friends in our private lives.

[The Dreamland] website will publish a more complete obituary shortly, but as the news has unexpectedly been released, I wanted to make this announcement at once, reminding his fans that his family has received a profound shock and is in need of privacy at this time.

The Outline reached out to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to verify Strieber’s claim that they had announced Bell’s death against the wishes of his family. Speaking over the phone, a representative of the Nye County Sheriff explained that it’s standard policy to issue releases whenever notable events occur in the county (watch their video announcing Bell’s death here). The representative added that they were unaware of any requests from Bell’s family to withhold the news of his death.

 

Related Article:

Art Bell Dead at Age 72—Days After Supporting a Friend’s Plan to Drive Into Area 51

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Posted in Conspiracy, culture, media, news, society | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Saturday Matinee: Soaked in Bleach

You Decide: “Soaked in Bleach” expounds on the events leading up to Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994

By Bryan Thomas

Source: Night Flight

In 2015, Benjamin Statler produced, wrote and directed Soaked in Bleach, a docu-drama that expounds on the events leading up to the death of Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain as seen through the eyes of a private investigator, Tom Grant.

The former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. detective turned private investigator — who had an exemplary resume and a spotless reputation — had initially been hired by Courtney Love on Easter Sunday 1994 to track down Cobain, who had gone missing after checking himself out of a drug rehab facility.

Soaked in Bleach focuses mainly on Grant’s investigation between April 1st and April 8th, with a particular focus on what may have happened on April 5, 1994.

At the time, the official Seattle Police Department incident report stated that “Kurt Cobain was found with a shotgun across his body, had a visible head wound and there was a suicide note discovered nearby.”

The coroner’s report later estimated that Nirvana’s 27-year-old musician and lead singer’s body had been lying in the “greenhouse,” a mussy little room over the garage at Cobain and Love’s Seattle home, for three days.

It was later determined by local Seattle police detectives that Cobain had committed suicide by a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound, but right from the beginning there were major doubts as to whether this ruling was correct.

This was due in no small part to Grant, who carried on his own investigation, eventually coming to the conclusion that Cobain had been murdered, and his death had been made to look like a suicide.

Grant — who never met Cobain when he was alive — came to realize that Cobain wasn’t the hopeless basketcase his wife had made him out to be, and he could find no one, no family member nor any of Cobain’s close friends, who believed he was suicidal.

In 2014, the Seattle Police Department released a number of photographs from the crime scene, and in 2016 previously-undeveloped film was also shared with the public for the first time.

The docu-drama unfolds like a narrative crime thriller, interwoven with cinematic re-enactments, interviews with key experts and witnesses — including Norm Stamper, ex-chief of the Seattle Police Department; Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist and former president of the American Academy of Forensic Science; and, Ryan Ainger, Nirvana’s first manager — and the examination of official artifacts from the case, which are analyzed in the minutest details, including crime scene photos, autopsy reports and someone’s “cheat sheet,” which showed they were trying to mimic Cobain’s actual handwriting for the fraudulent suicide note.

Soaked in Bleach‘s dramatic re-enactments feature actor Daniel Roebuck as Grant.

Night Flight fans may recognize Roebuck from his role of “Samson,” the teenage killer in River’s Edge, or from his stint as “Dr. Arzt” from TV’s LOST,” or from his literally dozens of other roles on episodic TV show and feature films, including lots of horror films.

Tyler Bryan plays Kurt Cobain, and Sarah Scott is the chainsmoking Courtney Love, who can be seen wearing a babydoll nightie and knee-high stockings, rolling around on her bed while answering Grant’s questions.

Grant’s visible unease around Love — who married Kurt Cobain in 1992 — is palpable.

The June 2015 release of Soaked in Bleach was apparently timed to counter a competing documentary, Brett Morgen‘s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a film — released theatrically at the beginning of the same year — that many considered to be crass and exploitative.

Statler’s docudrama was considered so controversial, though, that Courtney Love’s legal team tried to stop the film’s release by issuing a cease-and-desist warning letters to movie theaters all over the country who were advertising their forthcoming screenings of Soaked In Bleach, under the pretense that his film was “defamatory.”

One of the more chilling and memorable moments in the docu-drama itself comes during an interview with Stamper, who says:

“We should have, in fact, taken steps to study patterns involved in the behavior of key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead. If, in fact, Kurt Cobain was murdered, as opposed to having committed suicide, and it was possible to learn that, shame on us for not doing that. That was, in fact, our responsibility. It’s about right and wrong. It’s about honor. It’s about ethics. If we didn’t get it right the first time, we damn better get it right the second time, and I would tell you now, if I were the Chief of Police, I would re-open this investigation.”

The film’s title comes from lyrics to Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” a track from their Nevermind album, released as a single:

That line “Come dowsed in mud, soaked in bleach” was reportedly taken from a campaign in Seattle that encouraged heroin users to soak their needles in bleach after injecting to reduce the risk of spreading HIV (the actual phrase used was “If dowsed in mud, soak in bleach”).

“Soaked in bleach” — in the context of criminal acts — also refers to the destruction of DNA evidence by using bleach.

Watch the full film here.

Posted in Art, Conspiracy, culture, Film, media, Saturday Matinee, Video | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why the West cannot stomach Russians

By Andre Vltchek

Source: New Eastern Outlook

When it comes to Russia or the Soviet Union, reports and historical accounts do get blurry; in the West they do, and consequently in all of its ‘client states’.

Fairy tales get intermingled with reality, while fabrications are masterfully injected into the subconsciousness of billions of people worldwide. Russia is an enormous country, in fact, the largest country on Earth in terms of territory. It is scarcely inhabited. It is deep, and as a classic once wrote: “It is impossible to understand Russia with one’s brain. One could only believe in it.”

The Western mind generally doesn’t like things unknown, spiritual and complex. Since the ‘old days’, especially since the crusades and monstrous colonialist expeditions to all corners of the world, the Westerners were told fables about their own “noble deeds” performed in the plundered lands. Everything had to be clear and simple: “Virtuous Europeans were civilizing savages and spreading Christianity, therefore, in fact, saving those dark poor primitive souls.”

Of course, tens of millions were dying in the process, while further tens of millions were shackled and brought to the “New Worlds” as slaves. Gold, silver, and other loot, as well as slave labor had been (and still are) paying for all those European palaces, railroads, universities and theatres, but that did not matter, as the bloodshed was most of the time something abstract and far away from those over-sensitive eyes of the Western public.

Westerners like simplicity, particularly when it comes to moral definitions of “good and evil”. It matters nothing if the truth gets systematically ‘massaged’, or even if the reality is fully fabricated. What matters is that there is no deep guilt and no soul-searching. Western rulers and their opinion makers know their people – their ‘subjects’ – perfectly well, and most of the time, they give them what they are asking for. The rulers and the reigned are generally living in symbiosis. They keep bitching about each other, but mostly they have similar goals: to live well, to live extremely well, as long as the others are forced to pay for it; with their riches, with their labor and often with their blood.

Culturally, most of the citizens of Europe and North America hate to pay the bill for their high life; they even detest to admit that their life is extremely ‘high’. They like to feel like victims. They like to feel that they are ‘used’. They like to imagine that they are sacrificing themselves for the rest of the world.

And, above all, they hate real victims: those they have been murdering, raping, plundering and insulting, for decades and centuries.

Recent ‘refugee crises’ showed the spite Europeans feel for their prey. People who made them rich and who lost everything in the process are humiliated, despised and insulted. Be they Afghans or Africans, the Middle Easterners or South Asians. Or Russians, although Russians are falling to its own, unique category.

*****

Many Russians look white. Most of them eat with knife and fork, they drink alcohol, excel at Western classical music, poetry, literature, science and philosophy.

To Western eyes they look ‘normal’, but actually, they are not.

Russians always want ‘something else’; they refuse to play by Western rules.

They are stubbornly demanding to remain different, and to be left alone.

When confronted, when attacked, they fight.

They rarely strike first, almost never invade.

But when threatened, when assaulted, they fight with tremendous determination and force, and they never lose. Villages and cities get converted into invader’s graves. Millions die while defending their Motherland, but the country survives. And it happens again and again and again, as the Western hordes have been, for centuries, assaulting and burning Russian lands, never learning the lesson and never giving up on their sinister dream of conquering and controlling that proud and determined colossus.

In the West, they don’t like those who defend themselves, who fight against them, and especially those who win.

*****

It gets much worse than that.

Russia has this terrible habit… not only does it defend itself and its people, but it also fights for the others, protecting colonized and pillaged nations, as well as those that are unjustly assaulted.

It saved the world from Nazism. It did it at a horrific price of 25 million men, women and children, but it did it; courageously, proudly and altruistically. The West never forgave the Soviet Union for this epic victory either, because all that is unselfish and self-sacrificing, is always in direct conflict with its own principles, and therefore ‘extremely dangerous’.

The Russian people had risen; had fought and won in the 1917 Revolution; an event which terrified the West more than anything else in history, as it had attempted to create a fully egalitarian, classless and racially color-blind society. It also gave birth to Internationalism, an occurrence that I recently described in my book The Great October Socialist Revolution: Impact on the World and the Birth of Internationalism.

Soviet Internationalism, right after the victory in WWII, helped greatly, directly and indirectly, dozens of countries on all continents, to stand up and to confront the European colonialism and the North American imperialism. The West, and especially Europe, never forgave the Soviet people in general and Russians in particular, for helping to liberate its slaves.

That is when the greatest wave of propaganda in human history really began to roll. From London to New York, from Paris to Toronto, an elaborate web of anti-Soviet and covertly anti-Russian hysteria was unleashed with monstrously destructive force. Tens of thousands of ‘journalists’, intelligence officers, psychologists, historians, as well as academics, were employed. Nothing Soviet, nothing Russian (except those glorified and often ‘manufactured’ Russian dissidents) was spared.

The excesses of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the pre-WWII era were systematically fabricated, exaggerated, and then engraved into the Western history textbooks and mass media narrative. In those tales, there was nothing about the vicious invasions and attacks coming from the West, aimed at destroying the young Bolshevik state. Naturally, there was no space for mentioning the British, French, U.S., Czech, Polish, Japanese, German and others’ monstrous cruelties.

Soviet and Russian views were hardly ever allowed to penetrate the monolithic and one-sided Western propaganda narrative.

Like obedient sheep, the Western public accepted the disinformation it was fed with. Eventually, many people living in the Western colonies and ‘client states’, did the same. A great number of colonized people were taught how to blame themselves for their misery.

The most absurd but somehow logical occurrence then took place: many men, women and even children living in the USSR, succumbed to Western propaganda. Instead of trying to reform their imperfect but still greatly progressive country, they gave up, became cynical, aggressively ‘disillusioned’, corrupt and naively but staunchly pro-Western.

*****

It was the first and most likely the last time in the history, Russia got defeated by the West. It happened through deceit, through shameless lies, through Western propaganda.

What followed could be easily described as genocide.

The Soviet Union was first lulled into Afghanistan, then it was mortally injured by the war there, by an arms race with the United States, and by the final stage of propaganda that was literally flowing like lava from various hostile Western state-sponsored radio stations. Of course, local ‘dissidents’ also played an important role.

Under Gorbachev, a ‘useful idiot’ of the West, things got extremely bizarre. I don’t believe that he was paid to ruin his own country, but he did almost everything to run it into the ground; precisely what Washington wanted him to do. Then, in front of the entire world, a mighty and proud Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics suddenly shook in agony, then uttered a loud cry, and collapsed; died painfully but swiftly.

A new turbo-capitalist, bandit, pro-oligarch and confusedly pro-Western Russia was born. Russia which was governed by an alcoholic Boris Yeltsin; a man loved and supported by Washington, London and other Western centers of power.

It was a totally unnatural, sick Russia – cynical and compassionless, built with someone else’s ideas – Russia of Radio Liberty and Voice of America, of the BBC, of black marketers, of oligarchs and multi-national corporations.

Is the West now daring to say that Russians are ‘interfering’ in something in Washington? Are they out of their minds?

Washington and other Western capitals did not only ‘interfere’, they openly broke the Soviet Union into pieces and then they began kicking Russia which was at that point half-alive. Is it all forgotten, or is Western public again fully ‘unaware’ of what took place during those dark days?

The West kept spitting at the impoverished and injured country, refused to honor international agreements and treaties. It offered no help. Multi-nationals were unleashed, and began ‘privatizing’ Russian state companies, basically stealing what was built by the sweat and blood of Soviet workers, during long decades.

Interference? Let me repeat: it was direct intervention, invasion, a grab of resources, shameless theft! I want to read and write about it, but we don’t hear much about it, anymore, do we?

Now we are told that Russia is paranoid, that its President is paranoid! With straight face, the West is lying; pretending that it has not been trying to murder Russia.

Those years… Those pro-Western years when Russia became a semi-client state of the West, or call it a semi-colony! There was no mercy, no compassion coming from abroad. Many of those idiots – kitchen intellectuals from Moscow and provinces – suddenly woke up but it was too late. Many of them had suddenly nothing to eat. They got what they were told to ask for: their Western ‘freedom and democracy’, and Western-style capitalism or in summary: total collapse.

I remember well how it was ‘then’. I began returning to Russia, horrified, working in Moscow, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Leningrad. Academics from Akadem Gorodok outside Novosibirsk were selling their libraries in the bitter cold, in dark metro underpasses of Novosibirsk… Runs on the banks… Old retired people dying from hunger and cold behind massive doors of concrete blocks… unpaid salaries and starving miners, teachers…

Russia under the deadly embrace of the West, for the first and hopefully last time! Russia whose life expectancy suddenly dropped to African Sub-Saharan levels. Russia humiliated, wild, in terrible pain.

*****

But that nightmare did not last long.

And what happened – those short but horrible years under both Gorbachev and Yeltsin, but above all under the Western diktat – will never be forgotten, not forgiven.

Russians know perfectly well what they do not want, anymore!

Russia stood up again. Huge, indignant and determined to live its own life, its own way. From an impoverished, humiliated and robbed nation, subservient to the West, the country evolved and within a few years, the free and independent Russia once again joined ranks of the most developed and powerful countries on Earth.

And as before Gorbachev, Russia is once again able to help those nations which are under unjust and vicious attacks of the Western empire.

A man who is leading this renaissance, President Vladimir Putin, is tough, but Russia is under great threat and so is the world – this is no time for weaklings.

President Putin is not perfect (who is, really?), but he is a true patriot, and I dare say, an internationalist.

Now the West, once again, hates both Russia and its leader. No wonder; undefeated, strong and free Russia is the worst imaginable foe of Washington and its lieutenants.

That’s how the West feels, not Russia. Despite all that was done to it, despite tens of millions of lost and ruined lives, Russia has always been ready to compromise, even to forgive, if not forget.

*****

There is something deeply pathological in the psyche of the West. It cannot accept anything less than full and unconditional submission. It has to control, to be in charge, and on top of everything; it has to feel exceptional. Even when it murders and ruins the entire Planet, it insists on feeling superior to the rest of the world.

This faith in exceptionalism is the true Western religion, much more than even Christianity, which for decades has not really played any important role there. Exceptionalism is fanatical, it is fundamentalist and unquestionable.

It also insists that its narrative is the only one available anywhere in the World. That the West is seen as a moral leader, as a beacon of progress, as the only competent judge and guru.

Lies are piling on top of lies. As in all religions, the more absurd the pseudo-reality is, the more brutal and extreme are the methods used to uphold it. The more laughable the fabrications are, the more powerful the techniques used to suppress the truth are.

Today, hundreds of thousands of ‘academics’, teachers, journalists, artists, psychologists and other highly paid professionals, in all parts of the world, are employed by the Empire, for two goals only – to glorify the Western narrative and to discredit all that is standing in its way; daring to challenge it.

Russia is the most hated adversary of the West, with China, Russia’s close ally being near second.

The propaganda war unleashed by the West is so insane, so intense, that even some of the European and North American citizens are beginning to question tales coming from Washington, London and elsewhere.

Wherever one turns, there is a tremendous medley of lies, of semi-lies, half-truths; a complex and unnavigable swamp of conspiracy theories. Russia is being attacked for interfering in U.S. domestic affairs, for defending Syria, for standing by defenseless and intimidated nations, for having its own powerful media, for doping its athletes, for still being Communist, for not being socialist anymore; in brief: for everything imaginable and unimaginable.

Criticism of the country is so thorough and ludicrous, that one begins to ask very legitimate questions: “what about the past? What about the Western narrative regarding the Soviet past, particularly the post-Revolutionary period, and the period between two world wars?”

The more I analyze this present-day Western anti-Russian and anti-Chinese propaganda, the more determined I am to study and write about the Western narrative regarding Soviet history. I’m definitely planning to investigate these matters in the future, together with my friends – Russian and Ukrainian historians.

*****

In the eyes of the West, Russians are ‘traitors’.

Instead of joining the looters, they have been standing by the ‘wretched of the world’, in the past, as well as now. They refused to sell their Motherland, and to enslave their own people. Their government is doing all it can to make Russia self-sufficient, fully independent, prosperous, proud and free.

Remember that ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and many other terms, mean totally different things in distinctive parts of the world. What is happening in the West could never be described as ‘freedom’ in Russia or in China, and vice versa.

Frustrated, collapsing, atomized and egotistic societies of Europe and North America do not inspire even their own people anymore. They are escaping by millions annually, to Asia, Latin America, and even to Africa. Escaping from emptiness, meaninglessness and emotional cold. But it is not Russia’s or China’s business to tell them how to live or not to live!

In the meantime, great cultures like Russia and China do not need, and do not want, to be told by the Westerners, what freedom is, and what democracy is.

They do not attack the West, and expect the same in return.

It is truly embarrassing that the countries responsible for hundreds of genocides, for hundreds of millions of murdered people on all continents, still dare to lecture others.

Many victims are too scared to speak.

Russia is not.

It is composed, gracious, but fully determined to defend itself if necessary; itself as well as many other human beings living on this beautiful but deeply scarred Planet.

Russian culture is enormous: from poetry and literature, to music, ballet, philosophy… Russian hearts are soft, they easily melt when approached with love and kindness. But when millions of lives of innocent people are threatened, both the hearts and muscles of Russians quickly turn to stone and steel. During such moments, when only victory could save the world, Russian fists are hard, and the same is true about the Russian armor.

There is no match to Russian courage in the sadistic but cowardly West.

Irreversibly, both hope and future are moving towards the east.

And that is why Russia is desperately hated by the West.

Posted in culture, Deep State, Economics, elites, Empire, Geopolitics, History, imperialism, Neocons, society, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

State of Failure

By James Howard Kunstler

Source: Kunstler.com

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, the old saying goes. So, tread carefully through the minefields of propaganda laid for the credulous in such low organs as The New York Times. There are excellent reasons to suppose that the American Deep State wishes strenuously to keep meddling all around the Middle East. The record so far shows that the blunt instruments of US strategic policy produce a consistent result: failed states.

Syria was well on its way to that sorry condition — prompted by an inflow of Jihadi maniacs fleeing our previous nation un-building experiment in Iraq — when the Russians stepped in with an arrantly contrary idea: to support the Syrian government. Of course, the Russians had ulterior motives: a naval base on the Mediterranean, expanded influence in the region, and a Gazprom concession to develop and manage large natural gas fields near the Syrian city of Homs, for export to Europe. The latter would have competed with America’s client state, Qatar, a leading gas exporter to Europe.

But the US objected to supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad, as it had previously with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, as well as Russia’s presence there in the first place. So, the US cultivated anti-government forces in the Syrian civil war, a hodgepodge of Islamic psychopaths variously known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Ansar al-Din, Jaysh al-Sunna, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and what-have-you.

As it happened, US policy in Syria after 2013 became an exercise in waffling. It was clear that our support for the forces of Jihad against Assad was turning major Syrian cities into rubble-fields, with masses of civilians caught in the middle and ground up like so much dog food. President Barack Obama famously drew a line-in-the-sand on the use of chemical weapons. It was well-known that the Syrian army had stockpiles of chemical poisons. But the US also knew that our Jihadi consorts had plenty of their own. Incidents of chemical atrocities were carried out by… somebody… it was never altogether clear or proven… and Mr. Obama’s line-in-the-sand disappeared under dust-storms of equivocation.

Finally, a joint mission of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was called in to supervise the destruction of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons, and certified it as accomplished in late 2014. Yet, poison gas incidents continued — most notoriously in 2017 when President Donald Trump responded to one with a sortie of cruise missiles against a vacant Syrian government airfield. And now another incident in the Damascus suburb of Douma has provoked Mr. Trump to tweetstormed threats of retaliatory violence, just days after he proposed a swift withdrawal from that vexing corner of the world.

Surely by now the American public has developed some immunity to claims of nefarious doings in foreign lands (“weapons of mass destruction,” and all). The operative sentence in that New York Times report is “…Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.” Yeah, well, how clear is it that the toxic gas was contained in the bombs, or rather that the bombs dropped by the Syrian military blew up a chemical weapon depot controlled by anti-government Jihadis? Does that hodgepodge of maniacs show any respect for the UN, or the Geneva Convention, or any other agency of international law? As in many previous such incidents, we don’t know who was responsible — though there is plenty of reason to believe that parties within the US establishment are against Mr. Trump’s idea of getting the hell out of that place, and might cook up a convenient reason to prevent it.

Lastly, how is it in Bashar al-Assad’s interests to provoke a fresh international uproar against him and his regime? I’d say it is not the least in his interest, since he is on the verge of putting an end to the awful conflict. He may not be a model of rectitude by Western standards, but he’s not a mental defective. And he has very able Russian support advising him in what has been so far a long and difficult effort to prevent his state from failing — or being failed for him.

Posted in black ops, culture, Deep State, Empire, False Flag, Geopolitics, History, imperialism, media, Militarization, news, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet

By Ellen Brown

Source: Truthdig

Two new studies from Europe show that the number of birds in agricultural areas of France has crashed by a third in just 15 years, with some species being almost eradicated. The collapse in the bird population mirrors the discovery last October that more than three quarters of all flying insects in Germany have vanished in just three decades. Insects are the staple food source of birds, the pollinators of fruits and the aerators of the soil.

The chief suspect in this mass extinction is the aggressive use of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly imidacloprid and clothianidin, both made by the Germany-based chemical giant Bayer. These pesticides, along with toxic glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup, have delivered a one-two punch to monarch butterflies, honeybees and birds. But rather than banning these toxic chemicals, on March 21 the EU approved the $66 billion merger of Bayer and Monsanto, the U.S. agribusiness giant that produces Roundup and the genetically modified (GMO) seeds that have reduced seed diversity globally. The merger will make the Bayer-Monsanto conglomerate the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, giving it enormous power to control farm practices, putting private profits over the public interest.

As Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren noted in a speech in December at the Open Markets Institute, massive companies are merging into market-dominating entities that invest a share of their profits in lobbying and financing political campaigns, shaping the political system to their own ends. She called on the Trump administration to veto the Bayer-Monsanto merger, which is still under antitrust scrutiny and has yet to be approved in the U.S.

A 2016 survey of Trump’s voter base found that more than half disapproved of the Monsanto-Bayer merger, fearing it would result in higher food prices and higher costs for farmers. Before 1990, there were 600 or more small, independent seed businesses globally, many of them family-owned. By 2009, only about 100 survived, and seed prices had more than doubled. But reining in these powerful conglomerates is more than just a question of economics. It may be a question of the survival of life on this planet.

While Bayer’s neonicotinoid pesticides wipe out insects and birds, Monsanto’s glyphosate has been linked to more than 40 human diseases, including cancer. Its seeds have been genetically modified to survive this toxic herbicide, but the plants absorb it into their tissues. In the humans who eat the plants, glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, damages DNA and is a driver of cancerous mutations. Researchers summarizing a 2014 study of glyphosates in the Journal of Organic Systems linked them to the huge increase in chronic diseases in the United States, with the percentage of GMO corn and soy planted in the U.S. showing highly significant correlations with hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, lipoprotein metabolism disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, end stage renal disease, acute kidney failure, cancers of the thyroid, liver, bladder, pancreas, kidney and myeloid leukaemia. But regulators have turned a blind eye, captured by corporate lobbyists and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control them protecting the health of the people.

The Trump administration has already approved a merger between former rivals Dow and DuPont, and has signed off on the takeover of Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta by ChemChina. If Monsanto-Bayer gets approved as well, just three corporations will dominate the majority of the world’s seed and pesticide markets, giving them enormous power to continue poisoning the planet at the expense of its inhabitants.

The Shady History of Bayer and the Petrochemical Cartel

To understand the magnitude of this threat, it is necessary to delve into some history. This is not the first time Monsanto and Bayer have joined forces. In both world wars, they made explosives and poisonous gases using shared technologies that they sold to both sides. After World War II, they united as MOBAY (MonsantoBayer) and supplied the ingredients for Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.

In fact, corporate mergers and cartels have played a central role in Bayer’s history. In 1904, it joined with German giants BASF and AGFA to form the first chemical cartel. After World War I, Germany’s entire chemical industry merged to become I.G. Farben. By the beginning of World War II, I.G. Farben was the largest industrial corporation in Europe, the largest chemical company in the world, and part of the most gigantic and powerful cartel in all history.

A cartel is a grouping of companies bound by agreements designed to restrict competition and keep prices high. The dark history of the I.G. Farben cartel was detailed in a 1974 book titled “World Without Cancer,” by G. Edward Griffin, who also wrote the best-selling “Creature from Jekyll Island,” on the shady history of the Federal Reserve. Griffin quoted from a book titled “Treason’s Peace,” by Howard Ambruster, an American chemical engineer who had studied the close relations between the German chemical trust and certain American corporations. Ambruster warned:

Farben is no mere industrial enterprise conducted by Germans for the extraction of profits at home and abroad. Rather, it is and must be recognized as a cabalistic organization which, through foreign subsidiaries and secret tie-ups, operates a far-flung and highly efficient espionage machine—the ultimate purpose being world conquest … and a world superstate directed by Farben.

The I.G. Farben cartel arose out of the international oil industry. Coal tar or crude oil is the source material for most commercial chemical products, including those used in drugs and explosives. I.G. Farben established cartel agreements with hundreds of American companies. They had little choice but to capitulate after the Rockefeller empire, represented by Standard Oil of New Jersey, did so, because they could not hope to compete with the Rockefeller-I.G. combination.

The Rockefeller group’s greatest influence was exerted through international finance and investment banking, putting them in control of a wide spectrum of industry. Their influence was particularly heavy in pharmaceuticals. The directors of the American I.G. Chemical Company included Paul Warburg, brother of a director of the parent company in Germany and a chief architect of the Federal Reserve system.

The I.G. Farben cartel was technically disbanded at the Nuremberg trials following World War II, but in fact it merely split into three new companies—Bayer, Hoescht and BASF—which remain pharmaceutical giants today. To conceal its checkered history, Bayer orchestrated a merger with Monsanto in 1954, giving rise to the MOBAY Corp. In 1964, the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against MOBAY and insisted that it be broken up, but the companies continued to work together unofficially.

In “Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” (2007), William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became U.S. strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger, who was secretary of state in the 1970s. Along with oil geopolitics, these policies were to be the new “solution” to the threats to U.S. global power and continued U.S. access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. “Control oil and you control nations,” Kissinger notoriously declared. “Control food and you control the people.”

Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity and establishing proprietary control with GMO seeds distributed by only a few transnational corporations, led by Monsanto; and by a massive, taxpayer-subsidized propaganda campaign in support of GMO seeds and neurotoxic pesticides. A de facto cartel of giant chemical, drug, oil, banking and insurance companies connected by interlocking directorates reaps the profits at both ends, by waging a very lucrative pharmaceutical assault on the diseases created by their toxic agricultural chemicals.

Going Organic: The Russian Approach

In the end, the Green Revolution engineered by Kissinger to control markets and ensure U.S. economic dominance may be our nemesis. While the U.S. struggles to maintain its hegemony by economic coercion and military force, Russia is winning the battle for the health of the people and the environment. Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned GMOs and has set out to make Russia the world’s leading supplier of organic food.

Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40 percent of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments), predominantly organically. Dacha gardens produced more than 80 percent of the country’s fruit and berries, more than 66 percent of the vegetables, almost 80 percent of the potatoes and nearly 50 percent of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. Russian author Vladimir Megre comments:

Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world—and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year—so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens—and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.

In the U.S., only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. Most farmland is soaked in pesticides and herbicides. But the need for these toxic chemicals is a myth. In an October 2017 article in The Guardian, columnist George Monbiot cited studies showing that reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides actually increases production, because the pesticides harm or kill the pollinators on which crops depend. Rather than an international trade agreement that would enable giant transnational corporations to dictate to governments, he argues that we need a global treaty to regulate pesticides and require environmental impact assessments for farming. He writes:

Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed. … The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to hold the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living world is more important than returns to their shareholders?

President Trump has boasted of winning awards for environmental protection. If he is sincere about championing the environment, he needs to block the merger of Bayer and Monsanto, two agribusiness giants bent on destroying the ecosystem for private profit.

 

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including “Web of Debt” and “The Public Bank Solution.”

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Two for Tuesday

Teenage Fanclub

De La Soul

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Mass Deception and the Prelude to World War

By Colin Todhunter

Source: Defend Democracy Press

In Libya, NATO bombed a path to Tripoli to help its proxy forces on the ground oust Gaddafi. Tens of thousands lost their lives and that country’s social fabric and infrastructure now lies in ruins. Gaddafi was murdered and his plans to assert African independence and undermine Western (not least French) hegemony on that continent have been rendered obsolete.

In Syria, the US, Turkey, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been helping to arm militants. The Daily Telegraph’s March 2013 article “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’” reported that 3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia had been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels. The New York Times March 2013 article “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With CIA Aid” stated that Arab governments and Turkey had sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters. This aid included more than 160 military cargo flights.

Sold under the notion of a spontaneous democratic uprising against a tyrannical political leader, Syria is little more than an illegal war for capital, empire and energy. The West and its allies have been instrumental in organising the war as elaborated by Tim Anderson in his book ‘The Dirty War on Syria’.

Over the last 15 years or so, politicians and the media have been manipulating popular sentiment to get an increasingly war-fatigued Western public to support ongoing wars under the notion of protecting civilians or a bogus ‘war on terror’. They spin a yarn about securing women’s rights or a war on terror in Afghanistan, removing despots from power in Iraq, Libya or Syria or protecting human life, while then going on to attack or help destabilise countries, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.

Emotive language designed to instill fear about potential terror attacks in Europe or myths about humanitarianism intervention are used as a pretext to wage imperialist wars in mineral-rich countries and geostrategically important regions.

Part of the battle for the public’s hearts and minds is to keep people confused. They must be convinced to regard these wars and conflicts as a disconnected array of events and not as the planned machinations of empire. The ongoing disinformation narrative about Russian aggression is part of the strategy. Ultimately, Russia (and China) is the real and increasingly imminent target: Moscow has stood in the way of the West’s plans in Syria and both Russia and China are undermining the role of the dollar in international trade, a lynchpin of US power.

The countries of the West are effectively heading for war with Russia but relatively few among the public seem to know or even care. Many are oblivious to the slaughter that has already been inflicted on populations with the help of their taxes and governments in far-away lands. With the reckless neoconservative warmonger John Bolton now part of the Trump administration, it seems we could be hurtling towards major war much faster than previously thought.

Most of the public remains blissfully ignorant of the psy-ops being directed at them through the corporate media. Given recent events in the UK and the ramping up of anti-Russia rhetoric, if ordinary members of the public think that Theresa May or Boris Johnson ultimately have their best interests at heart, they should think again. The major transnational corporations based on Wall Street and in the City of London are the ones setting Anglo-US policy agendas often via the Brookings Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, Chatham House, etc.

The owners of these companies, the capitalist class, have off-shored millions of jobs as well as their personal and company tax liabilities to boost their profits and have bankrupted economies. We see the results in terms of austerity, unemployment, powerlessness, privatization, deregulation, banker control of economies, corporate control of food and seeds, the stripping away of civil liberties, increased mass surveillance and wars to grab mineral resources and ensure US dollar hegemony. These are the interests the politicians serve.

It’s the ability to maximise profit by shifting capital around the world that matters to this class, whether on the back of distorted free trade agreements, which open the gates for plunder, or through coercion and militarism, which merely tear them down.

Whether it is the structural violence of neoliberal economic policies or actual military violence, the welfare of ordinary folk around the world does not enter the equation. In an imposed oil-thirsty, war-driven system of globalised capitalism and over-consumption that is wholly unnecessary and is stripping the planet bare, the bottom line is that ordinary folk – whether workers in the West, farmers in India or civilians displaced en masse in war zones like Syria – must be bent according to the will of Western capital.

We should not be fooled by made-for-media outpourings of morality about good and evil that are designed to create fear, outrage and support for more militarism and resource-grab wars. The shaping of public opinion is a multi-million-dollar industry.

Take for instance the mass harvesting of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica to shape the outcomes of the US election and the Brexit campaign. According to journalist Liam O’Hare, its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) has conducted ‘behavioural change’ programmes in over 60 countries and its clients have included the British Military of Defence, the US State Department and NATO. According to O’Hare, the use of the media to fool the public is one of SCL’s key selling points.

Among its activities in Europe have been campaigns targeting Russia. The company has “sweeping links” with Anglo-American political and military interests. In the UK, the interests of the governing Conservative Party and military-intelligence players are brought together via SCL: board members include “an array of Lords, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors.”

O’Hare says it is clear is that all SCL’s activities have been inextricably linked to its Cambridge Analytica arm. He states:

“International deception and meddling is the name of the game for SCL. We finally have the most concrete evidence yet of shadowy actors using dirty tricks in order to rig elections. But these operators aren’t operating from Moscow… they are British, Eton educated, headquartered in the City of London and have close ties to Her Majesty’s government”

So, what are we to make of the current anti-Russia propaganda we witness regarding the nerve agent incident in Salisbury and the failure of the British government to provide evidence to demonstrate Russian culpability? The relentless accusations by Theresa May and Boris Johnson that have been parroted across the corporate media in the West indicate that the manipulation of public perception is everything and facts count for little. It is alarming given what is at stake – the escalation of conflict between the West and a major nuclear power.

Welcome to the world of mass deception à la Edward Bernays and Josef Goebbels.

US social commentator Walter Lippmann once said that ‘responsible men’ make decisions and have to be protected from the ‘bewildered herd’ – the public. He added that the public should be subdued, obedient and distracted from what is really happening. Screaming patriotic slogans and fearing for their lives, they should be admiring with awe leaders who save them from destruction.

Although the West’s political leaders are manipulating, subduing and distracting the public in true Lippmannesque style, they aren’t ‘saving’ anyone from anything: their reckless actions towards Russia could lead towards a war that could wipe out all life on the planet.

 

* Colin Todhunter is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.

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Coincidence? Every Time the US Threatens to Pull Out of Syria, Assad Uses Chemical Weapons

For the second time in a year, immediately after the US says they are going to pull out of Syria, Assad conveniently gasses his own people to make sure that won’t happen.

By Matt Agorist

Source: Free Thought Project

Late Saturday night, the mainstream media began spreading the news of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria. It was reported that the tragic attack has claimed the lives of some 70 innocent civilians. Immediately after the unconfirmed reports, President Donald Trump began threatening Russia, Iran and “Animal Assad,” and blamed them for the attack.

The report of the alleged attack is unconfirmed and reported only by the known ISIS sympathizers, the White Helmets.

There has been no independent verification of the chemical attack and it is only being reported by a group who was caught multiple times staging fake attacks.

“Seventy people suffocated to death and hundreds are still suffocating,” said Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets. This was their second tweet as the first one—now deleted—which claimed 150 people were killed, was apparently too big of an exaggeration to be believable.

Indeed, less than a month ago, the Russian military predicted this exact scenario. As CNBC reported last month, the threat, by Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov, was widely reported by Russia media sites such as state news agency RIA and Tass. It said Gerasimov said Russia had “reliable information” about militants preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians.

In spite of the fact that Syria and Russia are decrying the allegations as false, referring to them as a “fabrication,” the US has begun the pretext to provoking more war in Syria and potentially Russia and Iran.

The US state department said Russia – with its “unwavering support” for Syria’s government – “ultimately bears responsibility” for the alleged attacks.

There has been zero investigation, and the US government is already pointing fingers and implicating a world power in a massive war crime. Irresponsible indeed.

However, it was entirely predictable as these alleged gas attacks all follow a similar scheme.

For those who don’t remember, below is a timeline showing how conveniently timed this gas attacks are for the military-industrial complex.

On March 30, 2017, Reuters reported that Syria was no longer a US priority and that the government is no longer focused on “getting Assad out.” Conveniently, only 5 days after trying to de-escalate the situation, an alleged gas attack takes place to which Trump responds with 59 Tomahawk missiles.

Three days after the missile attack, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, issued a statement that regime change in Syria is inevitable.

As TFTP reported at the time, a leading weapons academic, and one of the foremost experts in the field, came forward in a series of reports noting his opposition to the official story in regards to the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria. According to the expert, that Syrian gas attack was staged.

Fast forward to March 29, 2018 and Trump put many people to ease when he said that the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon,” just hours after the Pentagon highlighted the need for US troops to remain in the country for the immediate future. “We’re knocking the hell out of ISIS. We’ll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now,” Trump told supporters at an Ohio event on infrastructure, as CNN reported.

Days later, on April 7, 2018, the White Helmets report that Assad gassed his own people — again — and no one, other than the people known for staging videos, is the source.

On April 8, 2018, Trump then blames Russia, Iran, and Syria and issues “Big price to pay” threats to all of them.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price……to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!” wrote Trump.

No one here is claiming that Assad is some hero, but for him to make this move—knowing the end result—is entirely preposterous and would not happen.

This alleged chemical attack is in spite of the Syrian regime successfully defeating ISIS in over 90 percent of the county. Just as Assad hears that Trump is considering pulling out of the country—which would have been a massive win for the Syrian regime—he gases his own people ensuring the exact opposite of this would happen. Sure thing.

But, we are supposed to believe this. According to the official narrative, every time Syria is on the verge of a military victory in their own country, Assad then randomly gases his own people to thwart this victory and gives the US a reason to invade and turn what’s left of Syrian infrastructure into rubble.

And, the American mainstream is eating it up and ramming it down the throats of US citizens who couldn’t point to Syria on a map, yet demand we spend billions bombing brown people in a country that has never done a single thing to them.

As Finian Cunningham notes, “this weekend’s alleged chemical-weapon attack on civilians in Syria has all the hallmarks of a false-flag propaganda stunt. Only people who have had their critical senses numbed by saturated Western media distortion could possibly believe otherwise.”

Indeed, if you are one of these people who believes this most preposterous story, please consider turning off your television and opening a book instead. Being uninformed is far better than being misinformed.

 

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