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Venezuela Brings Regional Elections Forward to October

teleSUR | August 12, 2017

Venezuela’s newly-elected National Constituent Assembly, ANC, has brought forward the regional elections by two months.

The polls, which had been scheduled to take place on December 10, will now be held in October following unanimous approval by the ANC.

The second vice president of the body, Isaias Rodriguez, said the process for the election of governors and state governors, will take place “within the framework of the electoral program already announced by the electoral power.”

ANC Constituent Tania Diaz explained that bringing the regional elections forward is a mandate of the people and added, “The recent elections to choose the members of the ANC represents a popular victory and a defeat of the violent actions promoted in the last four months by the right, which has triggered more than 100 fatalities.”

Another member of the ANC, Melvin Maldonado recalled that in 18 years of the Bolivarian Revolution, there have been 21 elections, which “shows the strength of our National Electoral Council, and it also shows the democratic nature and electoral power in our country.”

The president of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, Tibisay Lucena, said the submission of nominations for the regional elections will start on Sunday August 13 and close the following day.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Dr. Judith Curry Explains The Reality Of Bad Climate Science And Bad Politics

Oppenheimer Ranch Project | August 9, 2017

Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research. She is a member of the National Research Council’s Climate Research Committee. As of 2017, she has retired from academia.Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), as well as over 140 scientific papers. Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992.

Regarding climate change, she thinks that the IPCC reports typically neglect what she calls the “Uncertainty Monster” in projecting future climate trends, which she calls a “wicked problem.” Curry also hosts a popular science blog in which she writes on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.

Judith Curry has argued that climatologists should be more accommodating of those skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change. Curry has stated she is troubled by what she calls the “tribal nature” of parts of the climate-science community, and what she sees as stonewalling over the release of data and its analysis for independent review. In February 2010 Curry published an essay called “On the Credibility of Climate Change, Towards Rebuilding Trust” on Watts Up With That? and other blogs. Writing in The New York Times, Andrew Revkin calls the essay a message to young scientists who may have been disheartened by the November 2009 climate change controversy known as “Climategate”. In September 2010, she created Climate Etc., a blog related to climate change and hosted by Curry. She wrote that “Climate Etc. provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.”[8] She wrote: “I have a total of 12,000 citations of my publications (since my first publication in 1983). Climate Etc. gets on average about 12,000 ‘hits’ per day, and 300-400 comments.” She gets ” zero academic credit or incentives for my blogging and tweeting,” but hopes that ” social media and the associated skill set [will become] better recognized within the academic system.” Curry testified before the US House Subcommittee on Environment in 2013, remarking on the many large uncertainties in forecasting future climate. In October 2014, Curry wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal where she argued that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario, which is far later than the IPCC prediction of a 2-degrees-Celsius warming before 2040.

https://judithcurry.com/

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

Mozilla Joins George Soros’s Efforts In Launching A Strike Against “Fake News”

By Aaron Kesel | Blacklisted News | August 11, 2017

Mozilla, the non-profit organization which runs the Firefox internet browser, said Wednesday it was launching an effort against “fake news,” as fact-checking software backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and George Soros got its first run-out in public to shape our Orwellian nightmare of future truth arbiters.

Mozilla said it was “investing in people, programs and projects” in a new initiative to “disrupt misinformation online” calling for a “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative,” or MITI for short, Business Insider reported.

They further stated the “internet’s ability to power democratic society suffers greatly” because of fabricated stories, such as the “Pope endorsing Donald Trump for the U.S. presidency” or a “dead FBI agent killed in a mysterious fire with information on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton” – just two examples of stories that turned out to be bogus.

Mozilla’s innovations director, Katharina Borchert, told AFP that the organization was working on tools for Firefox and better online education with media groups, universities, and tech activists.

The “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative” comes just as an automated real-time fact-checking engine dubbed the “bullshit detector” was demonstrated in London.

The group that created the fact-checking engine, Full Fact foundation, is backed by Omidyar and our favorite billionaire tycoon Soros.

The organization stated its software is “capable” of spotting lies in real-time and was used to fact-check a live debate at the House of Commons. How that objective was achieved isn’t clear since it’s likely automated A.I., but algorithms are not 100% accurate.

“As the proponents of propaganda and misinformation become more sophisticated in their use of technology, it is important that fact checkers do not fall behind in our fight against it,” Full Fact said.

“This is an important investment in the future of fact-checking,” Stephen King, of the Omidyar Network, told The Guardian.

“You only have to look at the number of initiatives that have risen up to address this challenge, either by tech companies or other organizations to see how worrying this phenomenon is to so many,” Borchert added.

I worry more about those who want to act as fact checkers, blatantly ignoring propaganda and fake news by the MSM while targeting alternative media and dictating what is and isn’t important for public consumption.

“Whether it’s become a big enough priority is perhaps a better question,” Borchert said, arguing that it was time for rival news organizations to “rally around” each other to confront the spread of fake news.

Then you have Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, planning to launch a crowd-funded news service called Wikitribune to help combat fake news.

So you have all these people, some of whom have even once advocated for a free and open Internet, now advocating for controlling the flow of information under the moniker of “fake news.”

How about all the fake news spread by the CIA and intelligence services called planted propaganda usually for pushing war? Especially as a new report questions the veracity of claims made by a shady firm Cloudstrike that “Russia hacked the election” – how about that fake news?

Putting the future of what we believe in anyone’s hands, let alone artificial intelligence, seems reckless; but a system backed by Soros and Omidyar seems like a dangerously stupid idea that can only lead to a path paved toward Orwellian censorship the likes of which even George Orwell couldn’t have imagined.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post and is Director of Content for Coinivore. Follow Aaron at Twitter and Steemit.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Leave a comment

Mainstream media assaults on freedom of speech are revealing

By Shane Quinn | The Duran | August 12, 2017

The New York Times unveiled a new slogan earlier this year titled, “The truth is more important now than ever.” It has acquired a seemingly noble motto but a perhaps contentious one if we examine the Times’ recent history. Two international law specialists, Howard Friel and Richard Falk, published a book after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq called The Record of the Paper, which naturally has scarcely been reviewed.

Friel and Falk focused on the Times because of the newspaper’s importance. The authors point out that in 70 Times editorials on Iraq – from September 11, 2001 to March 20, 2003 – the words “international law” and “UN Charter” were never mentioned. The “truth” did not seem terribly “important” as the Times stood idly by in the destruction of Iraq.

Such was the barrage of propaganda directed at the American public that 69% believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the September 11 attacks. That’s quite an achievement in manipulation. The poll results must have been news to the Iraqi dictator himself, a forgotten one-time American ally.

Why Hussein would take it upon himself to orchestrate a surprise attack on the United States, of all nations, is anyone’s guess. Perhaps if he had a death wish but as later events proved he was not the suicidal type.

The Times was not alone in its position in selling the Iraq war to the American people, as television networks from Fox News to CBS to CNN were overwhelmingly pro-war. Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch – who strongly backed the illegal conflict – placed a permanent US flag in the corner of the screen. Fox employees were compelled to describe the invasion as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis later being killed.

The pattern continues into other illegitimate interventions as the liberal Guardian newspaper championed the demolition of Libya in 2011, with editorials imploring, “The quicker Muammar Gaddafi falls, the better.” The Guardian encouraged NATO “to tip the military balance further against Gaddafi”, while later that year summarising that “it has turned out, so far, reasonably well” – by that point thousands had been killed.

In 2015 Ian Birrell, then deputy editor of the Independent, still assured his readers, “I would argue that Britain and France were right to step in [in Libya]. The failures came later on.” Apparently it was fine for two old imperial powers to “step in” to shatter a sovereign nation, then afterwards absolve the invaders of blame with “the failures” only coming “later on”.

It’s a rare thing to hear any prominent voice question the balance of Western mainstream coverage. The same voices can be heard piping up when alternative news sources take a different line not so palatable to their tastes.

Nick Cohen, writing in the Guardian, accused the network Russia Today (RT) of being a “propaganda channel” and that Russia was “prostituting journalism”. In the following sentence, Cohen describes the BBC and New York Times as being “reputable news organisations”.

Cohen firmly supported the Iraq war, writing at the time that “the Left betrays the Iraqi people by opposing war”, and “an American invasion offers the possibility of salvation”. He was deemed not to be “prostituting journalism” in backing this violation of international law, nor when later supporting other interventions in Libya and Syria.

The BBC’s reputation, which Cohen previously claimed to be “reputable”, was dealt a blow when it was revealed by Cardiff University that the network “displayed the most ‘pro-war’ agenda of any broadcaster” with its coverage on the Iraq invasion.

Steven Erlanger of the New York Times described RT as “an agent of Kremlin policy” used to “undermine Western democracies” and to “destabilise the West” – failing to back up the claims with any evidence. To gain perspective on these attacks, it may be worth pointing out a key excerpt from the First Amendment of the US Constitution: “Congress shall make no law… abridging [curtailing] the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The law does not exist in Western democracies but attempts at limiting freedom of expression, and attacks on media outlets, by institutions of power persist. It has reached a point whereby the French President, days after assuming office, can publicly attack legitimate news sources of “behaving like deceitful propaganda”.

Perhaps the hidden concern about RT is its continued increase in both popularity and scope – with the channel enjoying a total weekly viewership of 70 million people. RT is available to viewers in Western heartlands such as Britain and the US, with eight million Americans watching the station each week. It’s quite an achievement that a channel with the word “Russia” in it can attract viewers in their millions, despite the anti-Russian sentiment espoused by the powers-that-be.

It’s revealing that elite figures like Hillary Clinton have lamented in the past, “We are in an information war and we are losing that war.” For the first time in history, people have broad access to alternative news angles – points of view that perhaps they find of a more balanced nature. There is no longer an unchallenged monopoly on the public mind.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Balfour’s Shameful Legacy: UK Government must say sorry and protect Christian Churches in Palestine

To: Rt Hon David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland

Dear Mr Mundell,

It was a pleasure meeting you at the Dumfries Agricultural Show. If you recall, we talked briefly about Mrs May’s perverse plan to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration “with pride” and invite Israel’s PM Netanyahu to the jollifications.

The infamous Declaration was a pledge contrived by Zionists inside and outside the British Government. It was in effect a ‘promissory note’ to the Zionist movement for their help in bringing the US into WW1; and it was made with utter disregard to the consequences for the majority Arab population in Palestine. Worse, it amounted to a betrayal of our Arab allies, cutting across an earlier promise for their help against the Turks. There was strong opposition in Parliament even from Lord Montague, the only Jew in the Cabinet. Lord Sydenham remarked:

What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.

Well, we know now. And it’s high time the wound was healed.

The Declaration by Balfour, a Zionist convert, needs to be read in parallel with The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, a joint statement by the heads of Palestinian Christian churches which rejects Christian Zionist doctrine as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States [they could have added the UK] that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine…. We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war.

Justice groups are urging the British Government to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in November by saying sorry instead of toasting the blunder in champagne. Mrs May could do some real good here. She could, at a stroke, help quell the destructive turmoil in the Middle East and begin repairing Britain’s tattered image. She could even open new trade routes into Islamic markets, vitally important as we leave the EU. By apologising on our behalf for 100 years of agony inflicted on lovely people in a lovely part of the world Mrs May could take a giant step for mankind on the world stage.

But no, she’s pressing ahead with the revelry. And her principal guest, the ruthless Israeli prime minister, is on many a wanted list for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He’s also under investigation in his own country for corruption. This is not just poor judgment on Mrs May’s part but insanely provocative when a UN report recently branded Israel an apartheid regime. It’s even more regrettable considering the desperate cry for help a few weeks ago  from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine in an open letter to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement, signed by over 30 organisations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. You can read this disturbing document here.

They issued a similar cry for help 10 years ago but the tyranny of the occupying forces has gone from very bad to much worse. Their latest message is frighteningly stark:

Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land.

“The name of the game: Erasing Palestine” (Miko Peled)

I was encouraged to hear you say that you visited Occupied Palestine independently rather than accept the usual propaganda tour organised by Conservative Friends of Israel and the Israeli government. Nevertheless, claims by the CFoI that 80 percent of Conservative MPs and MEPs are signed up members is alarming and puts us almost on a par with US Congress which is controlled by the Israel lobby through AIPAC. It is ludicrous that a foreign military power which has no respect for international law and rejects weapons conventions and safeguards can exert such influence on foreign policy in the US and UK. Pandering to Israel has been immensely costly in blood and treasure and damaging to our reputation.

Everyone outside the Westminster bubble knows perfectly well that there can be no peace in the Holy Land without justice. Everyone knows that international law and countless UN resolutions still wait to be enforced. Everyone knows that Israel won’t comply unless sanctions are imposed. Everyone knows that the siege on Gaza won’t be lifted until warships are sent.

Miko Peled, son of an Israeli general, former Israeli soldier and now a leading voice in the struggle for Palestinian freedom, tells us that “by 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible [and] the Israeli government knew for certain that a Palestinian state could not be established in the West Bank”. What’s more, everyone now knows that the US is not an honest broker and peace won’t come from sham ‘negotiations’ between the weak and the all-powerful. Everyone knows who is the real threat to peace in the Middle East. And everyone knows that Her Majesty’s Government’s hand-wringing  and empty words serve no purpose except to prolong the daily misery and buy time for Israel to complete its criminal scheme to make the occupation permanent.

Mrs May praises Israel for being “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance”, when it is obviously neither. She says our two countries share “common values” when we obviously don’t; and given the Israeli regime’s incessant crimes against humanity and cruelty to the indigenous people it terrorises such a remark is insulting to anyone who lives by Christian values. She even claims that Israel is a country where people of all religions “are free and equal in the eyes of the law” and “Israel guarantees the rights of people of all religions, races and sexualities, and it wants to enable everyone to flourish”. This is arrant nonsense. The lady needs to tone down her misguided adoration of the rogue regime.

She also needs to call off attempts to criminalise the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign calling it wrong and warning that her government will “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”.  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights bestows on everyone “the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

As the Secretary of State for Scotland, the senior Central Government figure hereabouts and a member of the Cabinet, you have the ear of the PM on heavyweight matters of state — such as this. I hope you’ll allow me, please, to pursue the  through your goodself (keeping my MP Alister Jack informed).  I do not wish to receive the usual proforma reply from the Foreign Office about the UK’s adherence to the 2-state solution — a futile position, as anyone paying attention to the situation has known for years. What I do hope for is reasons why HMG is still exporting weaponry to Israel when it is used against the Palestinians to maintain the illegal occupation, why no move is made to break the 10-year blockade of Gaza which has brought nearly 2 million citizens to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, why HMG keeps rewarding Israel for its other never-ending crimes, its contempt for international law, its disregard for the provisions of the UN Charter, and its continued breaches of the EU-Israel Agreement. And why Mrs May seeks to appeal against the recent court decision defending our right to boycott Israel. Does she not realise that HMG’s inaction leaves civil society no choice but to resort to BDS?

In particular I’d like to know, please, Mrs May’s reaction to the desperate plea from the Christian churches in the Holy Land, and I hope you’ll bring to her notice that letter to the WCC if she hasn’t already seen it. She wears her Christianity on her sleeve, is seen regularly attending church etc, but her faith credentials will be in question if she ignores the contents of the letter.

Whether the questions raised here are tiresomely ducked as usual or given the consideration they deserve, the story will find wide circulation. This request is therefore sent as an open letter.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Crying Wolf on Iran’s ‘Radical Empire’

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | August 10, 2017

At 94, Kissinger is living proof that bad spirit doesn’t mellow with age, yet still finds a market. Speaking at a forum alongside others with similarly dubious credentials in June – the “Margaret Thatcher Conference on Security 2017”, Dr Kissinger talked of his admiration for the “Iron Maiden”, and of how they shared a similar vision of a world controlled by London and Washington; an Atlanticist NATO vision.

Unlike Thatcher, Kissinger’s appraisal of “Putin’s Russia” reflected a certain sympathy for Russia’s position, and evident approval of Russia as a “vital element of European security”, but his view is hopelessly myopic:

“Is the wisest course to pressure Russia, and if necessary to punish it, until it accepts Western views of its internal and global order? Or is scope left for a political process that overcomes, or at least mitigates, the mutual alienation in pursuit of an agreed concept of world order?

Is the Russian border to be treated as a permanent zone of confrontation, or can it be shaped into a zone of potential cooperation, and what are the criteria for such a process? These are the questions of European order that need systematic consideration. Either concept requires a defence capability which removes temptation for Russian military pressure.”

I guess he means a THAAD capability… and the “agreed concept of World Order” means Russia should submit to the US world order. The deployment of the US missile defence system in Poland and Romania has already destroyed the possibility of any such agreement with Russia, just as the current deployment in South Korea has pre-empted any honest agreement with China over North Korea.

It was however Kissinger’s presentation of the crisis over Syria and Iraq which is of most interest. In common with much of the US establishment as well as that of Israel and Saudi Arabia, Kissinger sees Iran’s hands all over the region, while being blind to those of the US and its allies. Iraq has not been destroyed as a result of America’s “intervention”, motivated by a ruthless quest for oil and strategic control; by removing Saddam Hussein, America inadvertently facilitated Iranian influence on Baghdad, which is now a puppet of Tehran.

Even the “rise of ISIS” can be blamed on Iran, as a reaction to the alleged sectarian policies of the Baghdad government, in the same way that President Assad has been blamed for “allowing” IS to take over part of Syria. It’s necessary to point out that both assertions are egregious lies.

Into this fog of misinformation coming from the heart of Imperial power in London however, Kissinger inadvertently shone some light, exposing the workings of the “North Atlantic” deep state.

In a remark that might have been dismissed as the musings of a senescent Iranophobe still hoping to outlive the Islamic Republic, Kissinger claimed that the destruction of ISIS could lead to “the emergence of a radical Iranian empire” – stretching from Tehran to Beirut. He framed it like this:

“The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers—including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states—agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran? The answer is elusive because Russia and the Nato countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire.”

Leaving aside some details, such as his failure to mention that the “territory” to be “inherited” already belongs to Syria, so the answer to his disingenuous question is anything but “elusive”, we might notice that this is hardly a new idea. Not only has the threat of an “Iranian empire” been the excuse for Israeli belligerence and unprovoked aggression in Lebanon and Syria for decades, but there is convincing evidence that the creation of the “Islamic State” and the covert support for Da’esh/IS forces was a conspiracy specifically aimed at Iran.

The DIA document from 2012 that described this conspiracy, whose veracity was confirmed by former DIA chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been quoted so often that it hardly needs repeating:

 “8.C. If the situation unravels (following the movement of AQI into Syria) there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Deir al Zour), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian Regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”

Some useful extra analysis on this conspiracy – and what else could we call it? – is provided by Nafeez Ahmed here, and of course by Flynn himself in his August 2015 interview with Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera.

Well now the situation IS “unravelling” for the US and its co-conspirators, as the forces that came in the Da’esh Trojan Horse are nearly routed and Syria’s Russian and Iranian allies decide how to deal with their increasingly desperate back-up crew. With Syrian forces advancing on Deir al Zour from the North and West, and Iraqi forces closing in from the East, the years of planning and billions invested in the American project to cut off Iran look set to be wasted.

Crying wolf on Tehran’s “radical empire” just isn’t going to work again!

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments