Saturday, February 17, 2018

Future Genomics: Don't Edit A Rough Copy When You Can Print A Fresh New One


technologyreview  |  It took Boeke and his team eight years before they were able to publish their first fully artificial yeast chromosome. The project has since accelerated. Last March, the next five synthetic yeast chromosomes were described in a suite of papers in Science, and Boeke says that all 16 chromosomes are now at least 80 percent done. These efforts represent the largest amount of genetic material ever synthesized and then joined together.

It helps that the yeast genome has proved remarkably resilient to the team’s visions and revisions. “Probably the biggest headline here is that you can torture the genome in a multitude of different ways, and the yeast just laughs,” says Boeke.

Boeke and his colleagues aren’t simply replacing the natural yeast genome with a synthetic one (“Just making a copy of it would be a stunt,” says Church). Throughout the organism’s DNA they have also placed molecular openings, like the invisible breaks in a magician’s steel rings. These let them reshuffle the yeast chromosomes “like a deck of cards,” as Cai puts it. The system is known as SCRaMbLE, for “synthetic chromosome recombination and modification by LoxP-mediated evolution.”

The result is high-speed, human-driven evolution: millions of new yeast strains with different properties can be tested in the lab for fitness and function in applications like, eventually, medicine and industry. Mitchell predicts that in time, Sc2.0 will displace all the ordinary yeast in scientific labs.

The ultimate legacy of Boeke’s project could be decided by what genome gets synthesized next. The GP-write group originally imagined that making a synthetic human genome would have the appeal of a “grand challenge.” Some bioethicists disagreed and sharply criticized the plan. Boeke emphasizes that the group will “not do a project aimed at making a human with a synthetic genome.” That means no designer people.

Ethical considerations aside, synthesizing a full human genome—which is over 250 times larger than the yeast genome—is impractical with current methods. The effort to advance the technology also lacks funding. Boeke’s yeast work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and by academic institutions, including partners in China, but the larger GP-write initiative has not attracted major support, other than a $250,000 initial donation from the computer design company Autodesk. Compare that with the Human Genome Project, which enjoyed more than $3 billion in US funding.

Watch The Edge Video, It's About The "Church Approach" To Global Warming



edge  |  I would say that there are two things I’m obsessing about recently. One is global warming and the other is augmentation. Global warming is something that strikes me as an interesting social phenomenon and scientific challenge. From the social side, you’ve got denialism, which, to me, is more important. You have denialism on a bunch of fronts. You've got denial of the Holocaust and evolution, but those aren’t things that necessarily in and of themselves impact our lives. It’s very heartrending and callous that anyone would deny the Holocaust, but as long as they don’t add to that a lot of other racism, nobody’s going to get hurt by it.

I imagine that we could probably populate my company enEvolv, which has evolution in the title, mostly with creationists and they would still get the products out. You just follow a recipe. Even though you’re doing evolution, you don’t need to believe it. Maybe it would help if the very top scientists believed in neo-Darwinism or something. Those are curious things that people fight about and have deep feelings about, but they don’t affect day-to-day life.

Global warming is something that could be catastrophic. You could argue that it’s in the same category because you can’t prove that my life today is worse because of global warming, but it’s something where it could be exponential. The odds are against it, but we don’t even know how to calculate the odds. It’s not like we’re playing blackjack or something like that. There’s more carbon in the Arctic tundra than in the entire atmosphere plus all the rain forests put together. And that carbon, unlike the rain forest where you have to burn the rain forest to release it, goes into the atmosphere as soon as you get melting. It’s already many gigatons per year going up. That’s something that could spiral out of control.

Even for the ultra concerned citizens, almost all the suggestions are not about how to prevent an exponential release, but how to slow down the inevitable. It's like the extinction problem: If you don’t have a way of reversing it, then you’re fighting a losing battle. That’s not psychologically a good thing, it’s hard to get enthusiastic funding for it, and you will ultimately fail. Whether it’s solar panels, or not using your SUVs as much, or not buying SUVs, or having smaller houses—all of these things are slowing down the inevitable. It’s hard to get excited about that.

The other thing that is problematic socially is the whole idea that it’s an "inconvenient truth." To some extent Gore’s phrase is brilliant, but it’s also counterproductive because the people for whom it is inconvenient don’t want to believe it’s inconvenient. People don’t want to give up their SUVs and their steak meals. It would be better to talk about a convenient solution, whether or not that’s the real solution or the best solution, just talk about it so you get acceptance first. You need acceptance before you can get to the best solution.

The other part that makes acceptance difficult is blame. People will say, "It’s not my fault," and that gets confused for "it’s not anybody’s fault." You could make an argument that it’s not your fault because you weren’t around during the Industrial Revolution. You didn’t personally do that much; you’re just one seven billionth of the problem at most. You could make an argument that you’re not personally to blame, but then expanding that to no human being has had anything to do with it is where things go off the tracks. The thing that got us into the position of denial was the blame game. 

You want everybody to be inconvenienced because it’s their fault. That’s two strikes against you.
I don't know if you’ve read The Righteous Mind, but Jon Haidt makes the point that even people who consider themselves very rational are not using a rational argument when making decisions. They’re making decisions and then using the rational argument to rationalize. A lot of what he says sounds obvious once you restate it, but I found the way he says it and backs it up with social science research very illuminating, if not compelling.

The elephant, as he refers to it, the thing that’s making your decisions in your life, is deciding that this person is telling you that you’re responsible for something you don’t feel responsible for. It's telling you that you have to sacrifice many things that you don’t want to sacrifice. From your viewpoint, that person is inconvenient, incorrect, and you’re going to ignore them. The more they insult you and your way of life, the less you’re going to listen to them, and then you’re going to make a bunch of rationalizations about that. This is why we have problems. 

Digital Biological Conversion


news.com.au  |   THE human race has come a very long way in a short amount of time, but what is coming around the corner will change everything we thought we knew about mankind. 

Modern medicine and rapidly advancing technology have seen us greatly evolve from the early days of hunter-gatherers, and now the same factors are working toward seeing the introduction of “superhumans” into our society.

At the core of the development is designer bodies using DNA manipulation and human/AI hybrids, both of which were highlighted during the World Government Summit in Dubai.

CHANGING YOUR DNA
Imagine being able to choose if your unborn child will be male or female, their height, weight and even athletic prowess.

Now imagine hacking our memories or making our bodies able to thrive in extreme environments in which survival was previously impossible.

These are both quickly becoming a reality, according to founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, Juan Enriquez.

Allowing humans to become masters of their DNA is something can be achieved using a gene editing technique known as CRISPR — a simple yet powerful tool used to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.

“These instruments, like CRISPR, are allowing us to, in real-time, edit life on a grand scale,” he said, according to Futurism. “We are rewriting the sentences of life to our purposes.”

Mr Enriquez said these techniques will soon see us living in a world of “unrandom selection”.
“Instead of letting nature select what lives here, I’m going to select what lives here,” he said. “Science used to be about discovery, now it is about creation.”

The academic said more than being able to create athletes from birth, the technology would greatly increase the amount of lives that could be saved on a daily basis.

“You can make the world’s flu vaccine in a week instead of a year. And by the way, this is no longer theoretical,” Mr Enriquez said.

With the likes of Elon Musk and NASA working toward getting humans to colonise Mars, he said gene editing will play a vital role in this.  Fist tap Big Don.



Friday, February 16, 2018

Like His Fake Terrorist Plots - Mueller Serves Tepid Skimmed Piss As FBI Hot Tea


WaPo |  The Justice Department’s special counsel announced the indictment Friday of a notorious Russian troll farm — charging 13 individuals with an audacious scheme to criminally interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, was named in the indictment as the hub of a massive effort to trick Americans into following Russian-fed propaganda — a stunning accusation of criminal conspiracy reaching halfway around the world.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the indictment is “a reminder that people are not always who they appear on the Internet. The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote social discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to to succeed.”

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is leading the probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election, did not attend the press briefing about the indictment, but the 37 pages of charges laid out an ambitious effort in late 2016 to push U.S. voters toward then-candidate Donald Trump and away from Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors said the group kept a list of real Americans who their employees had contacted using false personas and had asked to assist the effort. The list, which numbered over 100 people by late August 2016, included the U.S. citizen's contact information, a summary of each person's political views and the activities the Russians had asked them to undertake.

FBI Was Too Busy Policing Politics To "Protect and Serve" Citizens...,


WaPo |  FBI officials declined to say what precise searches were used to try to identify the owner of the account or to possibly link it with other social media profiles. Cruz had two Instagram accounts that also contain his name: cruz_nikolas and nikolascruzmakarov.

A law enforcement official said the FBI will review the steps it took in responding to the tip to determine whether anything could have been done differently or if practices should be changed for the future.

A search of the public records database Nexis for people with the name “Nikolas Cruz” returns 22 results, three of which use different spellings. It was not immediately clear if the FBI attempted to contact any of those people.

Without more to go on, officials felt there wasn’t enough legal justification to issue a subpoena to YouTube for the underlying information about the “nikolas cruz” who had threatened a school shooting, a law enforcement official said.

Google, which owns YouTube, has a policy of not turning over user information to the government without a subpoena, search warrant or other court order forcing it to do so. Google representatives did not return messages seeking comment.

Limited resources
Hosko, the former FBI assistant director, said the FBI gets more than 100 threat reports each day, in addition to other reports of mental health and other issues. That leaves supervisors in the difficult position of deciding how many resources should be devoted to each case and for how long. Even in terrorism cases, Hosko said, the bureau sometimes has to leave suspects unmonitored because the FBI lacks personnel to follow each of them all the time.

“The FBI has terrorism subjects that they’re looking at — they’re not all under 24-7 surveillance, and if they prioritize that wrong, yes, something bad can happen,” Hosko said. “These are the hard resource-allocation decisions you’re making if you don’t have unlimited resources.”

Hosko said in most cases of possible threats, an early question supervisors ask is, “At the end of the day, would we even have a federal crime if we proved a person sent this or posted this?” And in Cruz’s case — where the comment is a not a specific threat — the answer was probably no, he said.
Bennight said that after agents interviewed him about the comment in September, he didn’t hear anything more from the FBI — until Wednesday. Agents called him to say that there had been an incident and that they wanted to follow up on his earlier complaint.

Bennight said he did not know how it was connected to the shooting in Florida until agents informed him that the comment he’d flagged had been posted under a username matching the name of suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Sen. Chuck Grassley Tells AG Sessions Act Like A Man!


Bloomberg |  Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions criticized his criminal justice overhaul a day before a committee vote.

Sessions wrote a letter charging that the legislation -- approved Thursday by the Judiciary Committee on a 16 to 5 vote -- could let the “very worst criminals” and gang members out of prison early. Grassley accused the attorney general of being ungrateful, saying that he had supported Sessions when President Donald Trump wanted to fire him and protected him from repeated Democratic demands for public hearings on Sessions’s contacts with Russians in 2016.

“I think it’s legitimate to be incensed and I resent it, because of what I’ve done for him. He had a tough nomination, a tough hearing in my committee,” Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said in an interview Wednesday in his Capitol Hill office.

"They wanted to call him back every other day for additional hearings about his Russian connection, and I shut them off of that until we had the normal oversight hearing in October I believe it was, see? And the president was going to fire him, and I backed him, you know? So why wouldn’t I be irritated?"

Grassley’s remarks came after repeated accusations by Trump and some of his allies of anti-Trump political bias at the Justice Department. The president was angry when Sessions last year recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. That helped lead to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Grassley said that when Sessions’s job was in trouble, he told reporters he didn’t have time to hold a hearing for a new nominee for attorney general. Grassley also rejected calls by Democrats to bring Sessions before the committee to face questions about his failure to disclose his contacts with Russians, including then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in response to questions at his confirmation hearing. Democrats on the committee had to wait until the regular committee oversight hearing with the attorney general to confront him publicly.

Taking his grievance over the letter to Twitter on Wednesday, Grassley said Sessions was acting like he was still a senator instead of a member of the executive branch with the responsibility of implementing the laws, not making them.

Who's Snitching Who's Asking Kwestins In The DOJ?


theconservativetreehouse |  So to summarize so far: during January all the DOJ documents arrived, the HPSCI (Nunes) memo was written, released, declassified and released to the public on February 2nd, 2018 but no witnesses testified.  [Nunes Memo – Link]
So the question becomes:

How does the exact testimony (including quotes) of Bruce Ohr, and Bill Priestap become part of the Nunes Memo if neither Bruce Ohr or Bill Priestap was ever interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee?

Who is doing the interrogations of Bill Priestap and Bruce Ohr?

It’s not the HPSCI.  It’s not the House Judiciary Committee and it’s not the Senate (Chuck Grassley).  [Remember Grassley is relying on responsive FD-302’s provided by the FBI.]

See where this is going?  DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has interviewed these witnesses and extracted testimony.  Can you see now why Nunes was in ‘no hurry’ to interview the FIVE? (Strzok, Page, Ohr, Baker and Priestap).

Let me remind everyone that each of the aforementioned names is still within the system.  Unlike Mike Kortan, David Laufman, Sally Yates, James Rybicki or Andrew McCabe, none of the five (Strzok, Page, Ohr, Baker, Priestap) have been removed.  Peter Strzok is in FBI HR; Lisa Page is doing something; Bruce Ohr and James Baker are holding down chairs somewhere; and Bill Priestap is still Asst. FBI Director in charge of counterintelligence.

It doesn’t go unnoticed the media are transparently not following up on Peter, Lisa, Bruce Jim or Bill.  No satellite trucks in front of their houses etc.; no pounding on their doors for comment etc.  Nothing.

Further, ask yourself why Inspector General Michael Horowitz (or someone thereabouts) began to advance upon the entire ‘Trump operation’ with releases of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page text messages?  Why them? Surely, other collaborative communication was also captured, yet we only heard of Page and Strzok.  Why?

Hiding Payments Under The Table At The Highest Levels Of Federal Law Enforcement


dailycaller |  The DOJ says, “Financial disclosure reports are used to identify potential or actual conflicts of interest. If the person charged with reviewing an employee’s report finds a conflict, he should impose a remedy immediately.”
  • Justice Department official Bruce Ohr did not disclose Fusion GPS was paying his wife
  • Ohr was demoted from his post after the information emerged
  • Willfully falsifying government ethics documents can result in jail time
Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, did not disclose that Fusion GPS, which performed that research at the Democratic National Committee’s behest, was paying his wife, and did not obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors at the Justice Department, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The omission may explain why Ohr was demoted from his post as associate deputy attorney general after the relationship between Fusion GPS and his wife emerged and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson acknowledged meeting with Ohr. Willfully falsifying government ethics forms can carry a penalty of jail time, if convicted.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) hired Fusion GPS to gather and disseminate damning info about Trump, and they in turn paid Nellie Ohr, a former CIA employee with expertise in Russia, for an unknown role related to the “dossier.” Bruce Ohr then brought the information to the FBI, kicking off a probe and a media firestorm.

The DOJ used it to obtain a warrant to wiretap a Trump adviser, but didn’t disclose to the judge that the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign had funded the research and that Ohr had a financial relationship with the firm that performed it — which could be, it turns out, because Ohr doesn’t appear to have told his supervisors. Some have suggested that the financial payments motivated Bruce Ohr to actively push the case.

For 2014 and 2015, Bruce Ohr disclosed on ethics forms that his wife was an “independent contractor” earning consulting fees. In 2016, she added a new employer who paid her a “salary,” but listed it vaguely as “cyberthreat analyst,” and did not say the name of the company.

The instructions require officials to “Provide the name of your spouse’s employer. In addition, if your spouse’s employer is a privately held business, provide the employer’s line of business.” As examples, it gives “Xylophone Technologies Corporation” and “DSLK Financial Techniques, Inc. (financial services).” The dollar amount does not need to be disclosed. “Report each source, whether a natural person or an organization or entity, that provided your spouse more than $1,000 of earned income during the reporting period,” they say.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Democrats Got Nothing More Pro-Black Than Trump's Gutting The Replacement Negroe Program


alternet |  The black community is one of the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting blocks. Using survey data collected from some 400 black interviewees, political scientist Theodore Johnson created a number of hypothetical political situations to assess black voting patterns. Party was an overwhelming factor in their political decision-making; faced with Republican and Democratic contenders with identical policy positions in identical social climates, the black respondents resoundingly chose the Democrat.

Unfortunately, their loyalty has not always been repaid with proportionate policy responsiveness, most disappointingly from Democrats. Political scientist Nick Stephanopoulos conducted a study to determine the extent of group political power on effecting policy outcomes at the state and federal levels. Unsurprisingly, black voters had less power than whites: Unanimous support among whites for a federal policy corresponded to a 60 percent chance of adoption, while unanimous support among black Americans for such a policy corresponded to a 10 percent chance of adoption. Somewhat correspondingly then, Stephanopoulos found that the less support a policy had among black Americans, the higher its likelihood of enactment. A policy with no black support had a 40 percent chance of enactment compared to the aforementioned 10 percent for a policy with unanimous support.

Analysis from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies corroborated Stephanopoulos’ 2015 findings. With data collected between 1972 and 2010, researchers found that black voters were “policy winners” 31.9 percent of the time, while white voters were “winners” 37.6 percent of the time. Less power means less policy.

Political scientist Paul Frymer first articulated the underpinnings of these studies in his 1999 book, Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America. He observed that politicians focus their appeals and energy toward white swing voters at the expense of black voters, thereby rendering them politically paralyzed. The result of the need to entice white voters is that explicit arguments for racial reconciliation during presidential campaigns have been waning since the 1970s, lest they turn white voters off.

In light of this history, it’s difficult to know exactly to what extent the party will advocate for black voters. However, there are encouraging signs to be found. In 2016, the Democratic Party platform pledged “to make it clear that black lives matter.” The party promised to commit itself to addressing issues that more explicitly affect the black community, including the racial wealth gap, and that implicitly affect them, like attempts to cut funding from SNAP and Medicaid. They actionized those promises in December 2017: Not a single Democrat in the House or the Senate voted for the Republican tax plan, a massive payout to the top one percent that will widen the racial wealth gap.

Progressives in the Democratic Party have every reason to buck their history of neglect, having seen what black voters can do electorally. In spite of a history of electoral disenfranchisement, electoral neglect, gerrymandering, and voting purges, black voters have potential to flip elections when they turn out at a time when Democrats desperately need them to. Furthermore, the party itself has explicitly acknowledged that it needs to do better. Mirroring Chairman Perez, Virgie Rollins, chair of the DNC’s Black Caucus, insisted that the party apparatus is well aware of this: “We learned valuable lessons last month and last night; when we invest in our communities, we win. The DNC knows black voters are a force to be reckoned with at the ballot box.”

The midterm elections are nine months from now. Progressives in the Democratic Party must actively compete for black votes, running not only on an anti-Trump platform, but on one that offers tangible protections from Republican assaults and tangible solutions to the challenges the black community faces. Not only is advocating for black Americans the right thing for the Democratic Party to do morally, but it also makes sense politically. Loyalty from the black community cannot be taken for granted, especially at a moment when the stakes of doing the opposite are so high.

Cleaver Capes Up For Replacement Negroes, But AWOL For Constituents...,


kansascity |  Crying out, “This is right! We are right!” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver promised Sunday to seek special legislative relief for Lawrence chemist Syed Ahmed Jamal, while pledging to continue fighting for an immigration reform bill.

Jamal’s recent arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement sparked the “Free Syed” rally in Kansas City where Cleaver spoke. The event drew more than 100 people seeking aid for Jamal’s family and other families threatened by deportation. The story of Jamal’s arrest last month has drawn national attention in recent days.

“We are people of compassion,” Cleaver told the crowd at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 4501 Walnut St. “This is about human beings.”

Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, met with Jamal Saturday at the Texas detention center where he is being held. Cleaver carried with him a drawing of a dragon by Jamal’s 7-year-old son, Fareed, with the message, “I miss my dad.”

Jamal’s family joined the Sunday rally and Fareed brought the picture, telling The Star “I drew a dragon because I thought it would make my dad happy.”

And he was happy, Cleaver assured the child. “Some people, when they are happy, they cry,” Cleaver said, speaking of Jamal’s tears during their meeting in Texas. “He was happy.”

Cleaver announced he plans to advance special legislation early this week that would apply specifically to Jamal, seeking to release him from custody and secure his legal status. 

Immigration officials arrested Jamal, a 55-year-old chemistry instructor from Bangladesh, on Jan. 24 while he was taking his daughter to school. Jamal has lived in the U.S. for 30 years but his visa status has become invalid, according his family’s attorney.

Cleaver and others speaking at the rally pledged to work for legislative relief for thousands of families and individuals whose lives are in turmoil as they fear arrests and deportation because of their uncertain status under U.S. immigration laws.

The crowd heard a plea from a 32-year-old Kansas City woman named Yasmin whose husband —and the father of their four sons — has been taken into custody by ICE.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article199581879.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article199581879.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Keep Effing Around And SmugglyPuff Will Take It To The Streets!!!


consortiumnews |  Considering all of the threats to democracy posed by unconstitutional overreach, unfair elections, corruption, and voter suppression – not to mention environmental challenges, economic inequality, an out-of-control U.S. foreign policy, numerous foreign conflicts that the U.S. is engaged in, and the ever-present threat of nuclear war – it is telling that the liberal establishment is mobilizing on this particular issue.

Social psychologists have long talked about how emotional manipulation can work effectively to snooker a large percentage of the population, to get them, at least temporarily, to believe the exact opposite of the facts. These techniques are known in the intelligence community as “perception management,” and have been refined since the 1980s “to keep the American people compliant and confused,” as the late Robert Parry has reported. We saw this in action last decade, when after months of disinformation, about 70% of Americans came to falsely believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 when the truth was the opposite – Saddam was actually an enemy of the Al Qaeda perpetrators.

Such emotional manipulation is the likely explanation for the fact that so many people are now gearing up to defend someone like Mueller, while largely ignoring other important topics of far greater consequence. With no demonstrations being organized to stop a possible war with North Korea – or an escalation in Syria – hundreds of thousands of Americans are apparently all too eager to go to the mat in defense of an investigation into the president’s possible “collusion” with Russia in its alleged meddling in election 2016.

Setting aside for the moment the merits of the Russiagate narrative, who really is this Robert Mueller that amnesiac liberals clamor to hold up as the champion of the people and defender of democracy? Co-author Coleen Rowley, who as an FBI whistleblower exposed numerous internal problems at the FBI in the early 2000s, didn’t have to be privy to his inner circle to recall just a few of his actions after 9/11 that so shocked the public conscience as to repeatedly generate moral disapproval even on the part of mainstream media. Rowley was only able to scratch the surface in listing some of the more widely reported wrongdoing that should still shock liberal consciences.

Although Mueller and his “joined at the hip” cohort James Comey are now hailed for their impeccable character by much of Washington, the truth is, as top law enforcement officials of the George W. Bush administration (Mueller as FBI Director and Comey as Deputy Attorney General), both presided over post-9/11 cover-ups and secret abuses of the Constitution, enabled Bush-Cheney fabrications used to launch wrongful wars, and exhibited stunning levels of incompetence.

How Do You Swallow The Sayso Of Malignant Deceivers?


caitlinjohnstone |  The dynamics of the establishment Syria narrative are hilarious if you take a step back and think about them. I mean, the western empire is now openly admitting to having funded actual, literal terrorist groups in that country, and yet they’re still cranking out propaganda pieces about what is happening there and sincerely expecting us to believe them. It’s adorable, really; like a little kid covered in chocolate telling his mom he doesn’t know what happened to all the cake frosting.

Or least it would be adorable if it weren’t directly facilitating the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people.

I recently had a pleasant and professional exchange with the Atlantic Council’s neoconservative propagandist Eliot Higgins, in which he referred to independent investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley as “bonkers” and myself as “crazy”, and I called him a despicable bloodsucking ghoul. I am not especially fond of Mr. Higgins.

You see this theme repeated again and again and again in Higgins’ work; the US-centralized power establishment which facilitated terrorist factions in Syria is the infallible heroic Good Guy on the scene, and anyone who doesn’t agree is a mentally deranged lunatic.

This is also the model for the greater imperialist propaganda construct, not just with regard to Syria but with Russia, North Korea, Iran, and any other insolent government which refuses to bow to American supremacist agendas. It works like this: first, the oligarch-owned establishment media, which itself is chock full of Council on Foreign Relations members, uses other warmongering think tanks and its own massive funding to force deep state psyops like Russiagate and “Saddam has WMDs” into becoming the mainstream narrative. Second, they use the mainstream, widely-accepted status of this manufactured narrative to paint anyone who questions it as a mentally defective tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CIA Needn't Subvert Mainstream Media News Any Longer...,


realclearinvestigations |  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump -- including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it.

In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election "to help Trump’s chances of victory.”

Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document (excerpt here), even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Last week, Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance “abuses” by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying “intelligence" supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies — a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications.

Nunes plans to soon release a separate report detailing the Obama State Department’s role in creating and disseminating the dossier -- which has emerged as the foundation of the Obama administration's Russia “collusion” investigation. Among other things, the report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, sources say.

“Those are the first two phases” of Nunes' multipart inquiry, a senior investigator said. “In phase three, the involvement of the intelligence community will come into sharper focus.”

The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as President Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta, along with the former president’s intelligence czar, James Clapper, and national security adviser, Susan Rice, and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, among other intelligence officials.


“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful.  Fist tap Ken.

Ideally, Everyone Involved Would Be Granted..., ROTFLMBAO!!!!



theconservativetreehouse |  Senator Grassley is not asking questions he doesn’t already know the answers to.

Grassley and Nunes are now beginning to draw the upper part of the administration into the matrices of the conspiracy.  Secretary of State John Kerry; CIA Director John Brennan; ODNI James Clapper; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; AAG Sally Yates; DAAG John P Carlin (DOJ-NSD), DAAG Mary McCord (DOJ-NSD); Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe and FBI Director James Comey are inherently wound-up in the larger plan.

Chairman Grassley is simply expanding the net.

All narrative collapses eventually lead to President Obama’s involvement.

Monday, February 12, 2018

No Bucks, No Buck Rogers...,


tothestarsacademy |  The New York Times has published a stunning exposé titled “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program.” In it, former Pentagon military intelligence official LUIS ELIZONDO confirmed the existence of a hidden government program (the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) that investigated the existence of U.F.O’s, a department he ran under a veil of secrecy since 2009.

The Times story featured an excerpt from Elizondo’s resignation letter in which he expressed his frustration with the limitations placed on the program, telling higher-ups “there remains a vital need to ascertain capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.”

Elizondo left his Pentagon post to join To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a consortium of scientists, aerospace engineers and creatives founded by company President and CEO Tom DeLonge, VP of Science and Technology Dr. Hal Puthoff (also quoted in the Times story) and = VP of Operations Jim Semivan. The principals include Aerospace Division Director Steve Justice and National Security Affairs Advisor Chris Mellon. The company launched this past October with a mission to explore exotic science and technologies to rapidly transition innovative ideas into world-changing products and services.

"I am first and foremost a soldier,” says Elizondo, who now serves as Director of Global Security & Special Programs for To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science. “I was honored to serve at the DOD and took my mission of exploring unexplained aerial phenomena quite seriously.  In the end, however, I couldn’t carry out that mission, because the Department — which was understandably overstretched — couldn’t give it the resources that the mounting evidence deserved.  So, under very good terms, I left to find an environment where investigating these phenomena is priority number one. I’m thrilled to say I found that environment at the To The Stars Academy, an amazing team of top-flight scientists  from the defense, industry and intelligence communities alongside passionate creatives to help tell the story.  We look forward to working closely with the US government to produce the best possible results for America and the world."

Today Elizondo and the TTS Academy launched a “Community of Interest” website to serve as a central database and communal hub – clickHERE. The website will be home to video footage, documents and other materials that can be studied and explored for transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering through a unique collaboration among scientists, academics, industry partners, government and the public at large.

Its content at launch includes two of the first official U.S. government videos of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) referenced in the Times article, which have recently gone through the U.S. government’s official declassification review process to be approved for public release. Alongside each video is technical analysis from Elizondo and TTS Academy’s Aerospace Division Director (and former Program Director for Advanced Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works) Steve Justice. Click HERE.

Footage in the videos was captured by advanced sensor tracking technology in separate U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets. In the 34-second “Gimbal” (the name likely a reference to the UAP’s free-tilting movement), astonished pilots can be heard talking excitedly about an oval-shaped craft spotted at an altitude close to 25,000 feet.  The object has no distinguishable flight surfaces or exhaust plume, and its flight seems to defy the known laws of physics.  In the under-1:30 video “FLIR1” (reference to footage captured by the F/A-18’s Forward Looking Infrared System), an unknown object is seen at appx. 24,000 feet.  The footage, which has no sound, shows the object hovering with no exhaust plume, displaying extreme maneuverability and sudden acceleration that cannot be achieved by any known aircraft. These are two of several official videos obtained by TTS Academy that serve as credible proof of the physics of advanced flight.

Visitors to TTS Academy’s Community of Interest website are encouraged to sign up for email to receive updates when additional intelligence is added.

Rethinking Valodya...,


thesaker |  I have recently had the pleasure of watching a short presentation by Professor Stephen F. Cohen entitled “Rethinking Putin” which he delivered on the annual Nation cruise on December 2, 2017 (see here for the original Nation Article and original YouTube video). In his short presentation, Professor Cohen does a superb job explaining what Putin is *not* and that includes: (but, please do watch the original video before proceeding).
  1. He is not the man who de-democratized Russia (Elstin and the White House did)
  2. He is not the leader who created corruption and kleptocracy in Russia (Elstin and the White House did)
  3. He is not a criminal leader who ordered the murder of opponents or journalists (no evidence)
  4. He did not order the hacking of the DNC servers (no evidence)
  5. He was not anti-US or anti-West from the get-go (Putin changed over time)
  6. He is not a neo-Soviet leader (he is very critical of Lenin and Stalin)
  7. He is not an aggressive foreign policy leader (he has been a reactive leader)
  8. He is not somehow defined by his years at the KGB.
Professor Cohen ended his talk by suggesting a few things which might form a part of a future honest biography:
  1. As a young and inexperienced leader placed at the helm of a collapsing state:
  2. He rebuilt, stabilized and modernized Russia in a way to prevent future collapses
  3. He had to restore the “vertical” of power: “managed democracy” (i.e. restored order)
  4. He needed a consensual history patching up Czarist, Soviet and post-Soviet eras without imposing one, single, version of history
  5. He needed Western support to modernize the Russian economy
  6. He wanted Russia to be a great power, but not a super-power
  7. He never favored iron-curtain isolationism; he is an internationalist (more European than 90% of Russians, at least in the beginning).
The key thesis is this: Putin began as a pro-Western, European leader and with time he realigned himself with a much more traditional, Russian worldview. He is more in line with Russian voters today.

Professor Cohen concluded by addressing two topics which, I presume, his audience cared deeply about: he said that, contrary to Western propaganda, the so-called ‘anti-gay’ laws in Russia are no different from the laws of 13 US states. Secondly, that “by any reckoning, be it flourishing inside Russia or relations with Israel, by general consent of all, nobody denies this, Jews under Putin in Russia are better off than they had ever been in Russian history. Ever. They have more freedom, less official anti-Semitism, more protection, more official admiration for Israel, more interaction, more freedom to go back and forth”.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

CIA Roaches Scurrying Before That Bright Light Hits Them Too!!!



NYTimes |  After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was “a big deal — you know what it is, and you shouldn’t be asking about it.” He then hung up.

Mr. Shearer’s efforts grew out of work he first began during the 2016 campaign, when he compiled a pair of reports that, like the dossier, also included talk of a video and Russian payoffs to Trump associates. It is not clear what, if anything, Mr. Shearer has been able to purchase.