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bilderberg_2016By Aaron Dykes


This 2016 Bilderberg Meeting will be characterized by its focus on the growing underclass of “precariats” with insecure jobs and no future in an age of A.I.


While Bilderberg handles the propaganda coup to stop Brexit from succeeding and while they discuss the ways they have of dealing with Donald Trump, there will be a topic with far greater significance for your future…


More than ever, the effect of technology is being felt, and is ready to shake the foundations that our society is built upon. That means jobs with no security, few benefits and an economy with an uncertain future.


(Please see the notes under the list and topics for further information.)



This was just released via BilderbergMeetings.org for June 7, 2016:


2016 Bilderberg Meeting – 64th Annual


9 – 12 June 2016 in Dresden, Germany


Topics



Current events
China
Europe: migration, growth, reform, vision, unity
Middle East
Russia
US political landscape, economy: growth, debt, reform
Cyber security
Geo-politics of energy and commodity prices
Precariat and middle class
Technological innovation

Participants


Final list of Participants


CHAIRMAN
Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman and CEO, AXA Group








Aboutaleb, Ahmed (NLD), Mayor, City of Rotterdam
Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
Agius, Marcus (GBR), Chairman, PA Consulting Group
Ahrenkiel, Thomas (DNK), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence
Albuquerque, Maria Luís (PRT), Former Minister of Finance; MP, Social Democratic Party
Alierta, César (ESP), Executive Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
Altman, Roger C. (USA), Executive Chairman, Evercore
Altman, Sam (USA), President, Y Combinator
Andersson, Magdalena (SWE), Minister of Finance
Applebaum, Anne (USA), Columnist Washington Post; Director of the Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute
Apunen, Matti (FIN), Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
Aydin-Düzgit, Senem (TUR), Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair, Istanbul Bilgi University
Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), CEO, Artemis
Barroso, José M. Durão (PRT), Former President of the European Commission
Baverez, Nicolas (FRA), Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Bengio, Yoshua (CAN), Professor in Computer Science and Operations Research, University of Montreal
Benko, René (AUT), Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, SIGNA Holding GmbH
Bernabè, Franco (ITA), Chairman, CartaSi S.p.A.
Beurden, Ben van (NLD), CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Blanchard, Olivier (FRA), Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute
Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Executive Chairman, Banco Santander
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard (NOR), President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
Breedlove, Philip M. (INT), Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Brende, Børge (NOR), Minister of Foreign Affairs
Burns, William J. (USA), President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Cebrián, Juan Luis (ESP), Executive Chairman, PRISA and El País
Charpentier, Emmanuelle (FRA), Director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
Coeuré, Benoît (INT), Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
Costamagna, Claudio (ITA), Chairman, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A.
Cote, David M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Honeywell
Cryan, John (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
Dassù, Marta (ITA), Senior Director, European Affairs, Aspen Institute
Dijksma, Sharon (NLD), Minister for the Environment
Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), CEO, Axel Springer SE
Dudley, Robert (GBR), Group Chief Executive, BP plc
Dyvig, Christian (DNK), Chairman, Kompan
Ebeling, Thomas (DEU), CEO, ProSiebenSat.1
Elkann, John (ITA), Chairman and CEO, EXOR; Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Enders, Thomas (DEU), CEO, Airbus Group
Engel, Richard (USA), Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News
Fabius, Laurent (FRA), President, Constitutional Council
Federspiel, Ulrik (DNK), Group Executive, Haldor Topsøe A/S
Ferguson, Jr., Roger W. (USA), President and CEO, TIAA
Ferguson, Niall (USA), Professor of History, Harvard University
Flint, Douglas J. (GBR), Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
Garicano, Luis (ESP), Professor of Economics, LSE; Senior Advisor to Ciudadanos
Georgieva, Kristalina (INT), Vice President, European Commission
Gernelle, Etienne (FRA), Editorial Director, Le Point
Gomes da Silva, Carlos (PRT), Vice Chairman and CEO, Galp Energia
Goodman, Helen (GBR), MP, Labour PartyGoulard, Sylvie (INT), Member of the European Parliament
Graham, Lindsey (USA), Senator
Grillo, Ulrich (DEU), Chairman, Grillo-Werke AG; President, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie
Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV
Hadfield, Chris (CAN), Colonel, Astronaut
Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor of Economics, Leiden University
Harding, Dido (GBR), CEO, TalkTalk Telecom Group plc
Hassabis, Demis (GBR), Co-Founder and CEO, DeepMind
Hobson, Mellody (USA), President, Ariel Investment, LLC


         

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Hoffman, Reid (USA), Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
Höttges, Timotheus (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG
Jacobs, Kenneth M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Lazard
Jäkel, Julia (DEU), CEO, Gruner + Jahr
Johnson, James A. (USA), Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
Jonsson, Conni (SWE), Founder and Chairman, EQT
Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. (USA), Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
Kaeser, Joe (DEU), President and CEO, Siemens AG
Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies
Kengeter, Carsten (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Börse AG
Kerr, John (GBR), Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power
Kherbache, Yasmine (BEL), MP, Flemish Parliament
Kissinger, Henry A. (USA), Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Kleinfeld, Klaus (USA), Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Kudelski, André (CHE), Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
Lagarde, Christine (INT), Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Levin, Richard (USA), CEO, Coursera
Leyen, Ursula von der (DEU), Minister of Defence
Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairman, KBC Group
Logothetis, George (GRC), Chairman and CEO, Libra Group
Maizière, Thomas de (DEU), Minister of the Interior, Federal Ministry of the Interior
Makan, Divesh (USA), CEO, ICONIQ Capital
Malcomson, Scott (USA), Author; President, Monere Ltd.
Markwalder, Christa (CHE), President of the National Council and the Federal Assembly
McArdle, Megan (USA), Columnist, Bloomberg View
Michel, Charles (BEL), Prime Minister
Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP
Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Mitsotakis, Kyriakos (GRC), President, New Democracy Party
Morneau, Bill (CAN), Minister of Finance
Mundie, Craig J. (USA), Principal, Mundie & Associates
Murray, Charles A. (USA), W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Netherlands, H.M. the King of the (NLD)
Noonan, Michael (IRL), Minister for Finance
Noonan, Peggy (USA), Author, Columnist, The Wall Street Journal
O’Leary, Michael (IRL), CEO, Ryanair Plc
Ollongren, Kajsa (NLD), Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam
Osborne, George (GBR), First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer
Özel, Soli (TUR), Professor, Kadir Has UniversityPapalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), CEO, Titan Cement Co.
Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute
Philippe, Edouard (FRA), Mayor of Le Havre
Pind, Søren (DNK), Minister of Justice
Ratti, Carlo (ITA), Director, MIT Senseable City Lab
Reisman, Heather M. (CAN), Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
Rubin, Robert E. (USA), Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister
Sawers, John (GBR), Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners
Schäuble, Wolfgang (DEU), Minister of Finance
Schieder, Andreas (AUT), Chairman, Social Democratic Group
Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.
Scholten, Rudolf (AUT), CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
Schwab, Klaus (INT), Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Simsek, Mehmet (TUR), Deputy Prime Minister
Sinn, Hans-Werner (DEU), Professor for Economics and Public Finance, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Skogen Lund, Kristin (NOR), Director General, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
Standing, Guy (GBR), Co-President, BIEN; Research Professor, University of London
Thiel, Peter A. (USA), President, Thiel Capital
Tillich, Stanislaw (DEU), Minister-President of Saxony
Vetterli, Martin (CHE), President, NSF
Wahlroos, Björn (FIN), Chairman, Sampo Group, Nordea Bank, UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Wallenberg, Jacob (SWE), Chairman, Investor AB
Weder di Mauro, Beatrice (CHE), Professor of Economics, University of Mainz
Wolf, Martin H. (GBR), Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times


——


What will be most important at the 2016 discussion?


There are gigantic moves underway with regard to the price of oil and the end of the petrodollar era. The geopolitical effects are not only being played out in conflict regions like Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine, but in the headlines (as seen in the public passing of the blame between Saudi Arabia and U.S. over 9/11) and in economic sabotage seen most blatantly with Venezuela, but happening all across the globe.


The Brexit referendum would be a particularly large blow to the European Union’s credibility and image, and the Bilderberg crowd – who gave birth to the EU – have reputations and egos invested deeply in the superstate project.


But in the long-term, it is the drastic changes in the economic landscape that will cause the most instability, outrage and upheaval.


It is largely centered around the rapid pace of technological growth and the online world, and the grave implications it has for employment and living standards.


Just check out the topics Bilderberg is focusing on – United States “economy: growth, debt, reform” as well as discussion on the impact of “technological innovation” and migration to economic and social factors. Looming largest of all is the ominous topic  “precariat and middle class.


What the hell is the precariat? And why is this term important for Bilderberg or the middle class?


In the age where even the Davos elite are preoccupied with the wealth gap and the power of the 1% over the ‘revolutionary’ masses… the term “precariat” is a modern spin on the proletariat of the next era… getting by from gig-to-gig an in an economy with no clear future and uncertain job security.



Precariat via Wikipedia:


In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare. Unlike the proletariat class of industrial workers in the 20th century who lacked their own means of production and hence sold their labour to live, members of the Precariat are only partially involved in labour and must undertake extensive “unremunerated activities that are essential if they are to retain access to jobs and to decent earnings”. Specifically, it is the condition of lack of job security, including intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence.[1] The emergence of this class has been ascribed to the entrenchment of neoliberal capitalism.


Like the sardonic question posed by Bilderberg in 2014 – Does Privacy Exist? – the precariat is meant to poke at all the American Dream leftovers who will find themselves without direction, meaningful employment or much other hope for the coming decades of innovation under robotics and automation.



The topic is one that has been probed by Guy Standing, who is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London and has promoted the idea of basic income as a global right.


Northeastern University reported on Professor Standing’s new agenda:



Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, and A Precariat Charter, spoke about his new work to an overflow group of students and faculty in the Raytheon Amphitheater on February 22nd, 2016.


Standing defines the precariat as an emerging class of people facing lives of economic insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives. As such, they develop emotions of anomie, anxiety, alienation, and anger. The precariat is a “dangerous class” because it is internally divided, including college graduates without career prospects, adjuncts and other involuntary part-time workers, migrants and other vulnerable groups that tend to be vilified, as well as what Standing called “atavists” and “nostalgics”. Lacking agency, its members may be susceptible to the calls of political extremism.



What will happen to people when millions can no longer find work? Who will support their cost of living and what will justify their place in society?


How will a dead broke government pay for all its dependents in the larger collectivist society? Global government shall apparently aim to provide…


In considering these questions, please also note the presence of David M. Cote, the Chairman and CEO of Honeywell (a major defense contractor) who has not previous shown up on any Bilderberg attendee rosters.


He is almost certainly in Dresden to give a special presentation on: US political landscape, economy: growth, debt, reform.


How will financial futures be dealt with in the face of bankrupt and bloated obligations for benefits? How can governments pay for all those people to retire, have health care and live decent lives?


David M. Cote is there to give an answer bankers can believe in.


David M. Cote is an expert on financial “risk” who is known for losing $2 billion in derivatives while at JP Morgan Chase, who served on the NY Federal Reserve board and who was appointed by President Obama to a key committee on debt wherein Cote has recommended cutting social benefits in order to reduce the budget deficit.


According to the Union Leader:



In 2010, President Barack Obama named Cote to serve on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, more commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission.


Cote said he [….] discuss[ed] reigning in federal entitlement programs as part of an overall effort to curb budget deficits and reduce the federal debt.


….


“By and large, a majority of politicians understand the problem,” he said. “It’s a lack of political will out of fear their decision will be used against them.”


….


Cote is a co-founder of Fix the Debt, a group of executives and former legislators who campaign for deficit reduction and tax reform. In a 2013 interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Cote […] framed the options for deficit reduction in terms of either increases in taxes or a reduction in social security benefits, saying, “If you have people saying, ‘Don’t raise my taxes, but don’t cut my benefits,’ it makes it really difficult to get anything done.”



The rapidly aging baby boomers have created a giant problem for taxes and debt. But there are even more important factors on the horizon.


While dealing with these issues is clearly important, and the prospect of cutting benefits might even sit well with many conservatives, keep in mind that Bilderberg is operating in the shadows, and creating a solution for the elite.


These insider titans stand to prosper through the management of pension funds and their investment in derivatives and other vehicles, through increased profits in health care and through the management of a society that has become entirely dependent upon social welfare and benefits just to get by.


In the wake of continuing technological revolution, human labor has officially been discounted, rendered obsolete and has become secondary in usefulness only. The effects of that truth are about to widely felt.


The bureaucrats know it. The banksters know it. The executives know it. The Silicon Valley elite know it.


And here they are, gathered round the table to discuss how to handle the public relations problem of a society about to tear into pieces, or become completely under the thumb. What happens then?


#Bilderbergwherethejobsat



7142

   

      

economic collapse 1By Sofia Adamson


It doesn’t matter how you slice it, living in the United States is getting increasingly challenging due to the deteriorating economy and increasing social unrest. Since 2000, the average sales price of a new home has increased by 32%, now exceeding $270,000. The average monthly cost for a moderate meal plan of grocery shopping in the United States for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) has increased over 28% over the last 10 years, from $824.90 in March 2006 to $1059.30 in March 2016.


According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, U.S. firms announced 65,141 job cuts during April, which represented a massive 35 percent increase over the previous month.  And so far this year overall, job cut announcements are running 24 percent higher than for the exact same period in 2015.



The poverty level is unquestionably rising in America, with over 46 million people now in poverty as reported by the US Census Bureau; that is up 25% from the number of people in poverty in 2007. Many expect the economy to worsen, if not completely collapse, as the cost of living rises while job availability continues to decline.


What are some simple things you can do to avoid becoming one of the many Americans who are working longer and harder but becoming less economically secure? And how can you protect yourself and your family from feeling the effects of the worsening economy?


Here are three simple ideas you can act on starting today, that will likely bring you more independence and peace of mind in the long-run.


1. Have a Backup Plan for Food and Water








What would you do if your local supermarkets shut their doors or the delivery trucks stopped coming? Food is one of those essentials that we often take for granted, but, food costs and the likelihood of social unrest are rising, investing in long-term storable food makes sense. Less than a century ago, nearly everyone know how to grow food and raise at least some type of farm animals. But today, many people don’t even know how to cook a healthy meal, much less actually grow food.


Because getting a garden going might take you a season or two, a good first step is to stock up on some long-term storable food and other supplies such, as warm clothing, alternate cooking methods, hygiene products and basic medications. This way you’ll be prepared at a basic level should deliveries to your local stores be disrupted, if your economic situation has you struggling to keep up with prices, or if people around you start to panic.


With at least 72-hours of emergency food in place (although month of food for each person is more ideal), get a few good resource books and start gardening. Even if that means using an innovative approach such as vertical gardening to grow food in limited space. Just check out Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space and Apartment Gardening: Plants, Projects, and Recipes for Growing Food in Your Urban Home.


If you’re already got a good handle on keeping a garden, start a neighborhood garden, so you can help your community, learn new skills from others, and make some friends along the way. During any crisis, knowing people in your community that you can depend on will help not only you to survive but also to thrive.


         

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If you don’t have a stockpile of some emergency food or a garden in place, you likely have no backup plan for your water supply. Ideally, in an emergency situation, especially one such as an economic collapse that might last over a longer period of time, having an alternate source of clean drinking water would be ideal. But, frankly, the majority of us don’t have access to a well or clean water spring. Storing water and using various water purifying supplies, such as germicidal tablets, are a good way to prepare for those times when basic services such as electricity and water are shut off due to shortages.


2. Reduce Your Debt and Expenses


It is difficult to image that eight out of ten Americans are in debt, with average US household debt at over $130,000. If you’re debt free, pat yourself on the back and skip to the next paragraph. But if you are in debt, like most Americans, consider that getting out of debt can be one of the most liberating and fulfilling experiences of modern life.


The first step to reducing debt is cutting out unnecessary expenses, which frees up some of your income so you can pay off any lingering credit card balances (or pay larger sums above your minimum payments), and pay off smaller loans such as your car loan. Take other simple steps like stopping use of your credit cards, which means you only use the cash you have on hand. A financial crisis doesn’t necessarily mean complete societal chaos, but you are more likely to lose your job, and your living costs, such as groceries, utilities and gasoline, might increase significantly. Last thing you’ll want is the stress of repaying your debts during such times.


READ: 3 Means of Waging Personal Financial Revolution Against the Banksters


Reducing expenses is another important step that will help you in a deteriorating economy. You may have lots of expendable income today, but learning how to be smart about your spending will prepare you for possible duress during a personal or larger financial crisis. Reducing expenses doesn’t necessarily mean you stop traveling or going out to eat, but there are ways you can start spending less. Take for example websites such as ChameleonJohn.com, which compiles coupon codes and promotional discounts offered by many common online retailers.


Perhaps most of us are no longer clipping coupons out of newspapers, but coupons are still very much a great way to reduce your expenses. You can also buy discounted gift cards, buy used versus new, use the library, and join various neighborhood cooperatives that share tools and gardening supplies (as well as ideas!). Finally, you can do certain things for yourself, like change your car’s oil and wash your own car. This may mean learning some new life skills… which brings us to the next section.


3. Learn Some Life Skills


Let’s not pretend. Most of us don’t know the first thing about survivalism. But you don’t need to be a remarkable wilderness survival guru to know how to take care of yourself should you face some economic hardship. And in the short term, you can start reducing your expenses by not always relying on paying others to take care of simple tasks around the home. If you find yourself without work, you can also start bartering or offering some type of service to your neighbors.


So get some books, find some websites, and start building up your skill-set. Here are some resources to get you started:



The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Life-saving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation
The Organic Canner
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource
Car Maintenance Hacks: Easy Tips and Tricks Anyone Can Master that will Save You Money
The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget
The Handyman’s Guide: Essential Woodworking Tools and Techniques
Family Handyman 101 Saturday Morning Projects: Organize – Decorate – Rejuvenate No Project over 4 hours!

Everyday Carry Gear – 11 Items You Should Always Have on You (Ad)


Sources:


*https://www.census.gov/const/uspriceann.pdf
*http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-next-employment-crisis-is-here-job-cuts-at-u-s-companies-jump-35-percent-in-april
*http://www.worldhunger.org/hunger-in-america-2015-united-states-hunger-and-poverty-facts/
*https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/


Read more articles from Sofia Adamson.


Sofia Adamson is a contributing writer for Waking Times with a keen appreciation for matters of science and the spirit.


Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.


This article (3 Ways to Survive in a Declining Economy and Uncertain Times) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commonslicense with attribution to Sofia Adamson and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info.


Affiliate Disclosure: WakingTimes.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


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7143

   

      

maryland_pesticide_banBy Brandon Turbeville


Beginning on January 1 2018, legislation banning consumer use of neonicotinoid pesticides will take effect. Allegedly prompted by concerns that neonicotinoid pesticides are responsible for the increase in deaths for butterflies, bees and birds, SB 198/HB 211 was provided as a partial solution.


Under the bill, anyone who violates the ban, will be subject to a $250 civil penalty but the violation will not be considered a misdemeanor. The ban will apply to both the sale and use of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, nithiazine, clothianidin, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam and any other chemical that has been designated to be a neonicotinoid by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.



Banned for the Consumer…not Industry


Interestingly enough, however, while the bill focuses on consumer use of these pesticides, it includes exemptions for farmers, veterinarians and “certified applicators.”








While exemptions for veterinarians (and pet care products – fleas, ticks, heart worms, lice, bedbugs, ant bait etc.) are understandable, it is remarkable that the most aggressive users of the chemical are also given an exemption. If neonicotinoids are indeed responsible for killing bees and other important wildlife, then why are specific and small uses of the pesticide banned for individual consumers but are allowed on an industrial scale?


The danger that neonicotinoids present to the environment as well as animal and human health are widely known, but a ban on neonicotinoids for the benefit of the bees that only might effect an incredibly minute percentage of the use of that pesticide, seems largely pointless.


At the same time, an immediate ban on neonicotinoids has real effects for both farmers and consumers, thus, a shift must begin to take place using whatever available means to producers, consumers and government. New, effective and safe pesticides must be developed immediately so that pestilence does not overtake American agriculture, and so that American agriculture does not overtake the natural environment.


Natural and Non-Toxic Products. Up to 50% Off – Every Day (Ad)


This article (What They Didn’t Tell You About the Maryland Bee-Killing Pesticide Ban) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville and Natural Blaze.com.


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense SolutionsandDispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


   

7144

   

      

refrigerator_no_electricityBy Vic Bishop


Many of the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs and inventors never fit the typical mold and have made their marks on the world after abandoning standard education. From India, Mansukhbhai R. Prajapati is one such person, and even though he never finished high school, he has built a very successful and forward-thinking company that provides needed jobs in his community manufacturing products that are changing the world for the better.


Mansukhbhai R. Prajapati grew up more interested in sports and fun than in learning, but after working in the clay industry for some time as a potter he started his own company and first revolutionized the way clay roof tiles were made.



During his childhood, he saw earthen pans/hot plates being manufactured manually on the potters wheel. Using this, one person can only make about 100 units per day. He had seen roof tiles being manufactured in large quantity on hand press, which made him think why cannot earthen pans be made the same way?



In 1988, he left his job and took a loan from a money lender to start his own earthen plate manufacturing factory. He purchased a small piece of land for the factory, dyes and presses, soil mixing machine, electric potters wheel and other scrap objects. Then he modified the roof tile making hand press and developed a hand press machine having capacity to produce 700 earthen pans per day. [Source]



Mitti-Cool-2While very successful with this idea, his ingenuity led him to develop a line of products that is even more revolutionary than his industrial tile maker. Mitti Cool, as his company is called, produces an entire line of kitchen products made from clay.


He has developed an entire range of earthen products for daily use in the kitchen. These products include water filters, refrigerators, hot plates, a cooker and other such items of daily use. [Source]



The refrigerator he designed uses the science of water evaporation to keep food cold in a small earthen fridge that uses no electricity and is already being sold in several countries.


Mitti-Cool-1Some are calling it a revolution. Check out this newscast about his designs:



His idea is taking off globally, and Mitti Cool is receiving much international attention, so much so, that Mansukhbhai has even met with important public figures and he has been featured in televised talks to explain his green products that are changing the lives of many poor people.


A refrigerator made by his company costs Rs. 3,000/- and can be afforded by poor people. It is based on the simple scientific principle that evaporation results into cooling. His refrigerator has channels where water can be filled up and allowed to vaporise, leaving behind a cool space which keeps fruits and vegetables fresh. [Source]


Take at look at a presentation of his ideas in a presentation entitled, ‘Making the World Look Cool.’



Never buy another battery again (Ad)


At a time when the world needs new, inventive ways of conserving energy while providing modern lifestyles to the many people want them, many innovative individuals have come up with ways to achieve this. Mitti Cool makes an entire line of green, clay housewares, and companies such as Bakey’s have developed things like edible cutlery that cut down on waste while providing affordable meals to people.


Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.


Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.


This article (High School Dropout Designs a Refrigerator that Cools With No Electricity) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info. 


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7145
Huffington Post General Discussion / Logic and Illogic in Education
« on: June 07, 2016, 03:59:13 PM »

   

      

trivium-headerBy Jon Rappoport


In two of my collections, The Matrix Revealed and Power Outside The Matrix, I include training in the art of logic and critical analysis.


The basic fact is: students in schools are rarely taught how to follow a line of reasoning from beginning to end. Nor do they practice analyzing half-formed, specious reasoning.


Who teaches young students, these days, how to distinguish between a polemic and a formal argument?


Teachers spend little or no time discussing hidden premises or assumptions, which color subsequent arguments.


Increasingly, people are “learning” from watching videos. Some videos are well done; many others intentionally omit vital data and make inferences based on “shocking images.”



A focused study of logic can illuminate a range of subjects and disciplines. It can suddenly bring perspective to fields of inquiry that were formerly mysterious and impenetrable.


Logic is the parent of knowledge. It contains the principles and methods common to all investigation.


Being able to spot and understand logical flaws and fallacies embedded in an article, essay, book immediately lifts the intelligence level.








Logic isn’t a prison; one isn’t forced to obey its rules. But the ability to deploy it, versus not understanding what it is, is like the difference between randomly hammering at a keyboard and typing coherent paragraphs. It’s the difference between, “I agree with what he’s writing,” and “I know exactly how he’s making his argument.”


In the West, the tradition of logic was codified by Aristotle. Before him, Plato, in the Socratic Dialogues, employed it to confound Socrates’ opponents.


Reading the Dialogues today, one can see, transparently, where Plato’s Socrates made questionable assumptions, which he then successfully foisted on those opponents. It’s quite instructive to go back and chart Socrates’ clever steps. You see logic and illogic at work.


High schools today don’t teach logic for two reasons. The teachers don’t understand the subject, and logic as a separate discipline has been deleted because students, armed with it, would become authentically independent. The goal of education rejects independent minds, despite assurances to the contrary.


Logic and critical analysis should be taught in phases, with each phase encompassing more complex passages of text offered for scrutiny.


Eventually, students would delve into thorny circumstantial arguments, which make up a great deal of modern investigation and research, and which need to be assessed on the basis of degrees of probable validity and truth.


It’s like a climbing a mountain. The lower paths are relatively easy, if the map is clear. At higher elevation, more elements come into play, and a greater degree of skill and experience is required.


My college logic teacher introduced his subject to the class this way: Once you’ve finished this semester, you’ll know when you know, and you’ll know when you don’t know.


The second part of his statement has great value. It enables real research beyond egotistical concerns, beyond self-serving presumptions, beyond secretly assuming what you’re pretending to prove.


We certainly don’t live in an age of reason; far from it. Therefore, the greater need to learn logic. Among other benefits, it centers the thinking process.


In a landscape of controversy, babble, bluster, public relations, covert propaganda, and outright lying, one has a dependable compass.


For instance, understanding the scientific method (hypothesis-prediction-verification) would go a long way toward untangling some of the outrageous claims of science, and separating them from the political agendas they serve.


Beginning in ancient Greece, coming up through the Middle Ages, and into the 19th century, logic was one aspect of education called the Trivium (“the three”): in sequence, a student learned grammar, then logic, then rhetoric.


Except in scattered places, where people have consciously instituted a revival of the Trivium, that integrated method of teaching is gone now.


Instead, in primary and middle schools, we have superficial coasting through many academic subjects, minus the necessary exercises and drills to ensure that students grasp material. In other words, we have imposed ADHD.


Logic isn’t the end-all and be-all of life. It doesn’t define what life is. It’s a tool. You either have it or you don’t. You can use it or you can’t. When you can, you have more power, and whole new vistas, previously unseen, open up to you.


Logic is a tool in your box. When you need to go in and remove it and use it, is it dull or is it sharp?


Finally, studying logic gives a student an appreciation of consequences. For example, a politician announces a high-flying generalization, as a plank of his platform. Two things ought to follow. The student does his best to translate that generality into specific terms which actually mean something. Then he traces what would happen if the plank were, in fact, put into effect; what would the consequences specifically entail? There are always consequences—it’s just that most people never see them or think about them, because they haven’t the foggiest idea about how to flesh them out and map their implications.


Logic: one of the great contributions to civilization, left to die on the vine.


It needs to be resurrected, in full flower.


Image Credit


The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.


   

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anakonda16By Dierdre Fulton


Drawing Russian rebuke, NATO members and partners on Monday launched what is being called the largest war game in decades—a 10-day exercise involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, none more committed than the United States.


The exercise, dubbed “Anakonda-16,” is taking place in Poland ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Warsaw that will likely approve more troops to be stationed in eastern Europe. The United States is providing around 14,000 troops for the exercise, more than any other participating nation.


According to Stars and Stripes:


Thousands of troops have arrived in Poland to begin the 10-day series of engagements, including air-ground assaults and electronic warfare scenarios. Airborne units, infantrymen, medics, military police and aviation units will operate jointly throughout the exercise, which culminates in a massive live-fire event led by the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.



A separate international naval exercise, Baltops-16, also involving NATO forces, began Monday in Finland, which is not a member of the global alliance.








The activity comes, as journalist Lucian Kim noted in an analysis published by Reuters, “just weeks after the United States inaugurated the first of two controversial missile-defense installations in Eastern Europe. Next year, the Pentagon plans to quadruple military spending in Europe to $3.4 billion and begin rotating an armored brigade through Eastern Europe—in addition to extra NATO forces to be deployed to Poland and the Baltics.”


Indeed, in mid-May Moscow called the U.S.’s newly activated missile defense site in Romania a “direct threat” to security and part of “the start of a new arms race.” Earlier this year, it was revealed that the U.S. was ramping up the deployment of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe.


And last month, work began on a separate missile interception base at Redzikowo, a village in northern Poland—”turning the country,” analyst Gilbert Doctorow wrote on Friday, “into a U.S. bastion and potential launch platform against Russia in possible violation of existing agreements governing intermediate-range nuclear weapons.”


On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the uptick in activity near Russia’s borders.


“We do not hide that we have a negative attitude toward the NATO line of moving its military infrastructure to our borders, drawing other countries into military unit activities,” he said. “This will activate the Russian sovereign right to provide its own safety with methods that are adequate for today’s risks.”


Meanwhile, speaking of the Polish war games as well as the ongoing “SaberStrike” operation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told journalists that the exercises “carry a serious destabilizing component” and that their “main goal is to continue the aggravation of tensions.”


At RT, author and journalist Robert Bridge offered a tongue-in-cheek thought experiment highlighting the ratcheting tensions:



For those who still aren’t convinced that Russia has some serious grounds for concern as the US-led war machine grinds ever closer, let’s put the situation into its proper perspective. Let’s imagine that the geopolitical chessboard were suddenly flipped and it is Russia that is now busy hatching a 28-member military alliance near America’s border, for example, in Latin America (and after Moscow had pledged not to increase the membership of the military bloc following the collapse of the Soviet Union).


But why stop there? Let’s roll the dice and see what Washington’s reaction would be if Russia had just dispatched three TU-160 Blackjack bombers to South America to participate in war games with the likes of Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil, for example, just weeks after Moscow dropped a missile defense system – which could go offensive with the flick of a switch – in, say, Colombia. Yikes! I dare say there’s not a straitjacket in the world that could restrain the writhing neocon convulsions that would break out across the Beltway.



A report issued last summer said ever-growing war games conducted by Russian and NATO forces feed a “climate of mistrust.”


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Dierdre Fulton writes for CommonDreams.org, where this article first appeared.


   

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global-recessionBy Michael Snyder


What you are about to see is major confirmation that a new economic downturn has already begun.  Last Friday, the government released the worst jobs report in six years, and that has a lot of people really freaked out.  But when you really start digging into those numbers, you quickly find that things are even worse than most analysts are suggesting.  In particular, the number of temporary jobs in the United States has started to decline significantly after peaking last December.  Why this is so important is because the number of temporary jobs started to decline precipitously right before the last two recessions as well.


You see, when economic conditions start to change, temporary workers are often affected before anyone else is.  Temporary workers are easier to hire than other types of workers, and they are also easier to fire.



In this chart, you can see that the number of temporary workers peaked and started to decline rapidly before we even got to the recession of 2001.  And you will notice that the number of temporary workers also peaked and started to decline rapidly before we even got to the recession of 2008.  This shows why the temporary workforce is considered to be a “leading indicator” for the U.S. economy as a whole.  When the number of temporary workers peaks and then starts to fall steadily, that is a major red flag.  And that is why it is so incredibly alarming that the number of temporary workers peaked in December 2015 and has fallen quite a bit since then…


Temporary-Help-Services-460x306In May, the U.S. economy lost another 21,000 temporary jobs, and overall we have lost almost 64,000 since December.


If a new economic downturn had already started, this is precisely what we would expect to see.  The following is some commentary from Wolf Richter…


Staffing agencies are cutting back because companies no longer need that many workers. Total business sales in the US have been declining since mid-2014. Productivity has been crummy and getting worse. Earnings are down for the fourth quarter in a row. Companies see that demand for their products is faltering, so the expense-cutting has started. The first to go are the hapless temporary workers.


Another indicator which is pointing to big trouble for American workers is the Fed Labor Market Conditions Index.  Just check out this chart from Zero Hedge, which shows that this index has now been falling on a month over month basis for five months in a row.  Not since the last recession have we seen that happen…


Fed-Labor-Market-Conditions-MoM-460x239Of course I have been warning about this new economic downturn since the middle of last year.  U.S. factory orders have now been falling for 18 months in a row, job cut announcements at major companies are running 24 percent higher up to this point in 2016 than they were during the same time period in 2015, and just recently Microsoft said that they were going to be cutting 1,850 jobs as the market for smartphones continues to slow down.








As I have been warning for months, the exact same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the last major economic crisis are playing out once again right in front of our eyes.


Perhaps you have blind faith in Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and our other “leaders,” and perhaps you are convinced that everything will turn out okay somehow, but there are others that are doing what they can to get prepared in advance.


It may surprise you to learn that George Soros is one of them.


According to recent media reports, George Soros has been selling off investments like crazy and has poured tremendous amounts of money into gold and gold stocks…



Maybe the best argument in favor of gold is that American legendary investor and billionaire George Soros has recently sold 37% of his stock and bought a lot more gold and gold stocks.


“George Soros, who once called gold ‘the ultimate bubble,’ has resumed buying the precious metal after a three-year hiatus. On Monday, the billionaire investor disclosed that in the first quarter he bought 1.05 million shares in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s biggest gold exchanged-traded fund, valued at about $123.5 million,” Fortune and Reuters reported Tuesday.



George Soros didn’t make his fortune by being a dummy.


         

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Obviously he can see that something big is coming, and so he is making the moves that he feels are appropriate.


If you are waiting for some type of big announcement from the government that a recession has started, you are likely going to be waiting for quite a while.


How it usually works is that we are not told that we are in a recession until one has already been happening for an extended period of time.


For instance, back in mid-2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke insisted that the U.S. economy was not heading into a recession even though we found out later that we were already in one at the moment Bernanke made that now infamous statement.


On my website, I have been documenting all of the red flags that are screaming that a new recession is here for months.


You can be like Ben Bernanke in 2008 and stick your head in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening, or you can honestly assess the situation at hand and adjust your strategies accordingly like George Soros is doing.


Of course I am not a fan of George Soros at all.  The shady things that he has done to promote the radical left around the globe are well documented.  But they don’t call people like him “the smart money” for no reason.


Down in Venezuela, the economic collapse has already gotten so bad that people are hunting dogs and cats for food.  For most of the rest of the world, things are not nearly that bad, and they won’t be that bad for a while yet.  But without a doubt, the global economy is moving in a very negative direction, and the pace of change is accelerating.


Those that are wise have already been getting prepared, and those that are convinced that everything is going to be just fine somehow have not been getting prepared.


In the end, most people end up believing exactly what they want to believe, and we are not too far away from the time when those choices are going to have very severe consequences.


Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


   

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02022015_common-core-tracking_AD-2By Melissa Dykes


Parents across the country are revolting against an obviously agenda-driven brainwashing system that is our nation’s modern public schools, while the system is doing everything it can to force compliance.


Parents who opted their kids out of Florida’s standardized state tests at the end of the year as an act of civil disobedience are now being told their children, despite some having straight A’s, are going to be held back a grade as punishment … once again proving that America’s public school system is not about educating smart future leaders of tomorrow, but dumbing kids down and forcing them to obey and conform.


Common-Core-Subtraction-450x600Welcome to Common Core math. Any questions?



Via The Orlando Sentinel:



The parents, part of the “opt out” movement opposed to high-stakes testing, are furious.


They are convinced school districts are not following state law and are instead retaliating against families who refused to take part in the Florida Standards Assessments. They did so as an act of civil disobedience to protest what they view as the state’s over-reliance on an unproven standardized test.


“There’s no reason for a third grader with straight As to be retained,” said parent Rhonda Nickerson, whose 9-year-old daughter may be barred from fourth grade at a Seminole County elementary school. “What are they going to do with her in third grade again?”



Rhonda’s daughter’s report card shows straight A’s but also reads “Student Retained in Grade 3.” Makes sense right? What is the goal of school again? Sounds like she’s being set up to get in trouble out of boredom for a year, then be labeled in her permanent file as one of those smart troublemaker throwaway kids for the rest of her public education career.


“It’s force by the government as government grows incredibly large and far more dangerous,” the Independent Sentinel reports.


Florida is not the only state penalizing kids for not taking unproven standardized government tests.


WND reports that at least a dozen students in Greenville, South Carolina were officially disciplined for “refusal to obey” because they would not take the new standardized ACT test.



Parents told the newspaper their kids were pressured by school officials – in front of their classmates – to take the tests. When they refused, they were removed from class and taken to another room, where the principal again pressured them.


Ultimately, they were accused in an official discipline referral of “refusal to obey,” the parents told the newspaper.









Refusal to obey. Wow. Is the ACT even required unless a student is going to go to college? The school must be getting some kind of kickback.


The biggest argument against what many parents see as the excessive standardized testing that has been put in place nationally ever since No Child Left Behind began is that these tests are high-stakes for the children and the teachers and, ultimately, unproven.


Simply put, these tests are not “evidence-based.” Neither is Common Core.


The whole thing is a giant social engineering experiment which treats American students like lab rats. As previously reported, some kids have gotten so stressed out over these high-stakes, mind-melting tests that they literally wet themselves and throw up while having to take them.


Independent journalist Dave Hodges summed Common Core up nicely:


Common Core is a simply a regurgitation of Bloom’s Taxonomy combined with some very clever propaganda interwoven into the fabric of every course which embraces social justice, collectivism, the eventual deindustrialization of America through the acceptance of climate change theories, and the resulting carbon taxes and cap and trade policies which will follow.


For the people at the top who put such a system in place, it is working to create generation after generation of just the kind of gullible, obedient citizens an authoritarian system wants to control.


Just look around. Our public education system is producing a nation of politically correct whiners who shrink from critical thought, trusting everything their government and mainstream media tells them, and crying for microaggression-free safe spaces at the slightest hint that someone disagrees with their politically correct position on anything.


The public education system in this country is doing exactly what it is meant to do… adjust children to accept a maladjusted society, no questions asked.


As professor Patrick Deneen wrote,



We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”



Our education system produces solipsistic, self-contained selves whose only public commitment is an absence of commitment to a public, a common culture, a shared history. They are perfectly hollowed vessels, receptive and obedient, without any real obligations or devotions.


They won’t fight against anyone, because that’s not seemly, but they won’t fight for anyone or anything either…





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1984-thumbnail-manualBy Claire Bernish


In the true Orwellian fashion now typifying 2016, a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress — its lack of fanfare appropriate given the bill’s equally subtle language. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight, however, the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information.


Introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu, H.R. 5181 seeks a “whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions” to counter “foreign disinformation and manipulation,” which they believe threaten the world’s “security and stability.”


“As Russia continues to spew its disinformation and false narratives, they undermine the United States and its interests in places like Ukraine, while also breeding further instability in these countries,” Kinzinger explained in a statement. “The United States has a role in countering these destabilizing acts of propaganda, which is why I’m proud to introduce [the aforementioned bill]. This important legislation develops a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter disinformation campaigns through interagency cooperation and on-the-ground partnerships with outside organizations that have experience in countering foreign propaganda.”



Make no mistake — this legislation isn’t proposing some team of noble fact-finders, chiseling away to free the truth from the façades of various foreign governmental narratives for the betterment of American and allied populations. If passed, this legislation will allow cumbrously pro-‘American’ propaganda to infiltrate cable, online, and mainstream news organizations wherever the government deems necessary.


“From Ukraine to the South China Sea, foreign disinformation campaigns do more than spread anti-Western sentiments — they manipulate public perception to change the facts on the ground, subvert democracy and undermine U.S. interests,” Lieu explained. “In short, they make the world less safe.”








H.R. 5181 tasks the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.


Listed among nine core duties of this propaganda response squad, according to the bill’s text, emphasis added, will be “Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, and the use of covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations and governments in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation” — ostensibly in foreign lands.


Also called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 (S. 2692), when introduced in March by Sen. Rob Portman, the legislation represents a dramatic return to Cold War-era government propaganda battles.


“These countries spend vast sums of money on advanced broadcast and digital media capabilities, targeted campaigns, funding of foreign political movements, and other efforts to influence key audiences and populations,” Portman explained, adding that while the U.S. spends a relatively small amount on its Voice of America, the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT.


“Surprisingly,” Portman continued, “there is currently no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”


Though putatively aimed to counter purported disinformation abroad, text of the bill hints the effort would operate on some level within the U.S., as well — or at least cracks the door to widening that scope and focus in the future.


“Whether it’s counter-propaganda, whether it’s counter-extremism, we just really have to come to terms with the fact the United States government is not always the most credible voice in these debates,” said Kristin Lord, CEO of IREX, a non-profit organization promoting ‘global change,’ at a meeting of the Atlantic Council in March. “So we have to invest in the people who are making the credible arguments.”


This article (Propaganda Bill in Congress Could Give America Its Very Own Ministry Of Truth) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.


   

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Syria PeaceBy Derrick Broze


The ongoing civil war in Syria has contributed to a mass exodus of people leaving their homes in pursuit of safety and a new beginning. The migration of millions of individuals and families has sparked controversy across Europe and the United States as the world grapples with how to balance welcoming in refugees while also protecting their own citizens. The Syrian refugees have been shown hospitality from some and faced outrage and fear from others who worry that a clash of cultures is too great to successfully integrate.


Lost in the headlines of proposals to completely ban Muslims or Arabs altogether, there are individuals and families who truly seek nothing but a life free of violence, war, and pain. While the Internet is filled with theorists who suspect that refugees are nothing more than terrorists in hiding, there are millions of human beings who wish for an opportunity to be treated as equals. To be certain, there have been reports of clashes with the residents of various nations who are accepting refugees. But is this the fault of the refugees, the residents, or simply ignorance on both parts?



To get to the bottom of this, one must begin to look at the situation without prejudice and recognize that all humans are individuals with their own unique perspectives and ideas. While some refugees may have their own vision of transforming their host nation, there are others who want to learn and grow in their new home. By the same token, for every accepting and loving citizen of a host nation there are also ignorant bigots who reject foreigners automatically.








Since 2011, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have risked their lives to make it to the shores of Greece. While many of these people have been resettled thousands more remain stranded in legal limbo. They are caught between Europeans who welcome them with open arms and increasingly “far-right” political groups who seek to ban refugees and their religious beliefs.


In an attempt to shine a light on the human side of the refugee crisis, a new documentary will follow the journey of one man from Syria to the Idomeni refugee camp in Greece. In April, filmmaker Jeremy Martin spent a week at Idomeni with refugees gathering video content, making contacts, and researching the migration crisis. While at Idomeni, Martin met Adbullah, a refugee from Deir ez-Zor, Syria, a city destroyed by Syrian, Russian, and NATO bombs and now controlled by ISIS. Abdullah and his friends share their stories of reaching Europe and ask whether taking the journey and risking their lives was a worthy endeavor.


https://youtu.be/9qr6Wp0zP18


“In the film we find out from refugees who they think is to blame for their crisis, where they place hope, and what options they have ahead of them,” Martin told Activist Post. “We look at why they left home, what they’ve encountered along the way, and how ending up in Greece has changed their lives. We try to understand how it feels to live every day from one to the next in complete uncertainty about the future as we perceive the refugee crisis Through Abdullah’s Eyes.


Jeremy Martin is planning to return to Greece to continue documenting the refugees’ journey as they seek asylum abroad. When asked how his film will handle the negativity and bigotry faced by some of the refugees, Martin said his film “aims to color the word refugee with the personalities of refugees that remind you that we’re so much more alike than we imagined, but because of the politics, whatever they may be, they equate to time lost in limbo as resources grow thin, tempers rise, and Europe’s far right keeps gaining momentum.”


https://youtu.be/RkSy03DVbh8


It’s easy for armchair activists and Internet commentators to judge others and make assumptions about individuals based on their religion, the color of their skin, or their country of origin, but at the end of the day we are all individuals. Lovers of liberty, human rights advocates, and refugees can all learn to approach each other with kindness, grace, and compassion. Until we are capable of learning to judge every individual by their character and their actions we will be easily divided and manipulated.


For more information on “Through Abdullah’s Eyes” please see this interview with Jeremy Martin. If you are interested in supporting the film please contribute to Jeremy’s crowdfunding campaign.


Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.


Derrick is available for interviews.


This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

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unemploymentBy Clint Siegner


Friday’s employment report featured the headline unemployment rate falling from 5.0% to 4.7% – which is a huge move lower. About the only encouraging aspect of the report is that markets largely ignored the fantasy headline for a change and focused on the ugly details. Nearly everyone acknowledged the report as bad news and markets reacted accordingly.


But not all. Janet Yellen and her crew at the Fed must see through the phony statistics because they are so reluctant to tighten monetary policy. Publicly, however, they talk about job growth and the wonders their stimulus policies have worked.


President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also talk triumphantly about putting people back to work. Obama has been parading around the country talking about the fabulous economic recovery he has led. Hillary takes credit for a recovery as well, but promises she can do even better.



They prefer people focus on the headline number and not ask too many questions. After all, their people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics have been hard at work “seasonally adjusting,” modifying the formulas, and otherwise massaging the data. They are painting such a lovely picture for voters to enjoy.


The “unemployment rate” has fallen to levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. It’s like magic. And just about as real as when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.


The contradiction in their data just keeps getting bigger. The phony “unemployment” rate and the percentage of the population with a job, which readers get by digging into the report details, BOTH keep falling.


And the explanations are getting pretty outlandish. We’re told people are “voluntarily” leaving the workforce in droves. Prosperity is so high lots of folks are retiring early, switching to part time work, or living on a single income so one parent can stay home with the kids. Riiiiight!!








If people have stopped buying it, will officials and their friends in the financial press stop waging their disinformation campaign? One would think the loss of credibility and embarrassment might limit the amount of nonsense they publish each month.

At least, as said, the people didn’t buy Friday’s headline for once. If we are going to have free markets and find solutions, Americans will have to grapple with reality. James Quinn, of the Burning Platform, does a great job of looking past the headline and pulling some interesting facts out of the employment data:



Since 2007 the workforce has grown by 21 million people, while the number of employed has grown by only 5 million.
The labor participation rate has plunged from 66.0% to 62.6%, the lowest since the 1970s.
The number of Americans who have left the workforce, allegedly because their lives are so fulfilled, is 16 million. Meanwhile, enrollment for the food stamps and Social Security Disability programs is through the roof.
The number of people over the age of 65 who are still working keeps growing as older workers try to avoid starvation and homelessness.
Of the 5 million jobs added since 2007, only 2 million of them were full-time.
Obama’s success in destroying the mining industry is borne out in the 207,000 jobs destroyed in the last two years.
The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 (prime working years) not working is at an all-time high.
Real median household income (using the official CPI, which is also highly manipulated for PR purposes) is still 1.3% LOWER today than it was in 2007. Wages continue to stagnate in the 2.3% growth range, while actual inflation for real people in the real world exceeds 5%.

That is the reality when it comes to jobs in the U.S. Keep questioning the official propaganda.


Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.


   

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mindcontrol2By James Holbrooks


“So we spend a twelfth of our life dreaming. And most of it is forgotten. What if we could peek inside our brain and see our dreams? Maybe even … shape them.”


This is how a professor of neuroscience and business at Northwestern University opened his TED talk back in February. His presentation, posted by TED in March, is titled “Moran Cerf: This scientist can hack your dreams.”


“I am a neuroscientist,” Dr. Cerf continues, “and I study how thinking works inside the brain.”


By the time he was 24, Moran Cerf had received a B.S. in Physics and an M.A. in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Caltech by age 31, in 2009.



The following year, Cerf and a team of scientists published a landmark study demonstrating that it’s possible for human beings to control their own temporal lobe neuron activity.


But due to the nature of the research and some confusion over the study’s accompanying short film, many were immediately asking if Cerf and his team could record dreams.


“Just to be clear,” explains Cerf in his TED talk. “My work had nothing to do with recording people’s dreams.”








But when the BBC pressed the issue back in 2010, and asked if dream recording is possible, Cerf says he answered: “Well in theory it’s possible.”


The media ran with the story, and suddenly Cerf and his team were supposed to be able to record the dreams of human beings.


The barrage lasted a short while until, as Cerf puts it at TED, “Prince William proposed to his girlfriend, which was much more important. And I got to go back to my work.”


But the idea had taken root in the scientific community, and soon Cerf was being asked to comment on breakthroughs in the area of dream recording. This prompted the scientist to take a harder look at the field he’d — seemingly inadvertently — sparked to life.


“But I study the brain in a very non-traditional way,” Cerf says at the talk. “Partially inspired by my background. Before I became a neuroscientist, I was a computer hacker. I used to break into banks and government institutes, to test their security.”


For the remainder of the presentation, Cerf explains how he uses techniques he learned as a hacker to “eavesdrop on the brains of patients while they’re awake and behaving.”


To do this, Cerf partnered with neurosurgeons from around the globe, seeking out patients undergoing a specific type of brain surgery. He needed subjects whose craniums would be open, whose brains would be exposed and hooked up to electrodes, but who also would be conscious and communicative.


But somewhere along the way, as Cerf talks of his team’s accomplishments — some of which are quite astounding, such as getting someone to dream a sequence just as it had been shown to them in waking life — the work starts to sound less and less like research, and more and more like brain manipulation.


This assessment would seem to be backed up by Cerf, himself.


The last segment of his TED lecture ties directly back to his opening statement. After explaining how the team successfully taught a computer to reasonably translate someone’s dreams into a linear sequence, Cerf tells the audience: “So this gets us now thinking about the ability to maybe also … change things when you’re asleep.”


If something inside goes a little tight when you hear someone talk about tinkering with people’s dreams, you’re not alone. And if you instantly want to know a little more about what that someone is all about, you’re not alone on that, either.


And for Moran Cerf, at least part of what he’s all about is C-lab.


BEYOND THE CLASSROOM


“Curiosity. Creativity. Consulting detectives. Cognition. Complexity. Consciousness. Cyber-security. Cinema. Consumer behavior. Computation. Contact.”


That’s the slogan atop the homepage of Cerf’s private consulting and research firm, C-lab.


Some of the ongoing research projects at C-lab include “Affecting choices in dreams during sleep.” This one falls more in line with what Cerf presented at TED, as the study asks: “Mostly — can we affect people’s sleep — making them remember things better during sleep, or even injecting content into their dreams and memories.”


Injecting content.


Another project, called “Emotion regulation in humans,” seeks to “test the ability of human subjects to control their emotions.” To do so, researchers “use electrodes embedded deep inside the emotions centers of humans undergoing neurosurgery and test their ability to control their emotions by looking deep inside their feeling brain.”


On the surface, it isn’t difficult to see how that type of data could prove beneficial. But given the greater context — and considering who’s running the show at C-lab — a pause may be in order.


In a gushing piece by Haaretz back in January of 2012, Cerf painted a pretty clear picture of where he’d like to see his research go. From the closing paragraph of that article:


You asked what motivates me. If this research succeeds, and eventually, one day, we can develop a happiness pill, or at least explain it better, or we could tell someone: You’ll never be truly happy because it appears that you can only reach level 8 and not 9 on the happiness scale. If I had that, I’d feel like I could retire.


Shades of classic dystopian fiction there.


But one project above all at C-lab — at least, of those made public — really seems to cut to the heart of all this type of research. Titled “Voluntary choices and free will,” the study uses “electrodes embedded in the brain of patients undergoing neurosurgery to test their choices and predict their decisions prior to their conscious experience of the decision.”


Which is a little frightening in its ambiguity. In any case, this is the type of research that led to Moran Cerf’s TED talk.


But as the neuroscientist puts it at TED, “We’re not there … yet.” And while he hasn’t yet brought his vision of a population sustained by happy pills into reality, it’s fairly clear what he wants to do with the science and technology at his disposal in the meantime.


Rent it out.


BRAIN DATA FOR SALE


In January, Fortune published a commentary piece by Cerf titled “Why You’ve Already Made Up Your Mind About Donald Trump.” In it, Cerf goes about explaining how neuroscience proves that people don’t really change their minds about political candidates once the decision’s been made.


But what’s hinted at earlier in the piece — marketing — is revealed by the final paragraphs to be the article’s real objective.


Remarking on using neuroscience as a method of marketing research, Cerf says that:


Admittedly, gathering and analyzing brain activity, as we have in other research using movie trailers and commercials, is expensive and requires neuroscience expertise. However, it’s easy to see why brain data might be especially insightful, compared to polling people’s subjective opinions. Brain data could show those moments and messages when people are most engaged. That, in turn, could inform candidates, marketers, or others trying to influence voters or other consumers how to best present information and positions for the most impact and engagement.


The final paragraph reads like a PR piece for neuromarketing, with Cerf asserting that:


For any ‘campaign,’ political or commercial, in which the stakes are high and the investment is large (for example on an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl, where every extra second increases the price by millions of dollars), brain data could prove far more insightful than traditional polling.


Fortunately for Cerf, an entire subdivision of C-lab stands ready to help guide interested parties through the efficiencies of the burgeoning field of neuromarketing.


And as Cerf readily admits in his Fortune article, “gathering and analyzing brain activity…is expensive.” Indeed. So one could be forgiven for being curious as to who funds Cerf’s operation.


As it happens, one of C-lab’s six sponsors is DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — whose history of experimental research and assistance on top secret military projects has been well-documented.


This connection actually makes sense, considering the nebulous nature of C-lab’s recruitment page.


“Whether you are an experienced neuroscientist,” the text reads, “an engineering undergraduate, or a programmer with no academic background, we believe that anyone can be trained to work with us, and as such seek people from (a) variety of different backgrounds who are willing to take on the problems we are targeting.”


The problems we are targeting.


Then, a few lines down:


We always welcome people with (a) background in programming, neuroscience, neurosurgery and design to work on our ongoing project.


It’s just a little creepy.


Minimally, we can say that the scientist is at least tangentially connected to the military-industrial complex.


A MAN UNKNOWN


There are simply things about Moran Cerf that seem off. Even his white hat hacker persona is suspect. In the presentation, Cerf says “I used to break into banks and government institutes, to test their security” and leaves it as that. No further explanation.


At best, the viewer is left to assume Cerf was a tech-savvy individual who put his services to work for private security firms. At worse, we’re left to picture him as a former black hatter who got popped then rolled over for the feds — a character heavily romanticized in modern pop culture.


But the truth is far more interesting.


Back in 2012, a YouTube clip made the rounds of Cerf talking about the origins of his career as a hacker. From that video:


So, ten years ago, I used to break into banks to make a living. I used to steal anything between $1,000 to $10,000 a week … and I was a part of a team of three people. We were hackers. We had a little office downtown in Tel Aviv in Israel. And we would break into banks, and steal their money, then cash it, and go back to the owners of the bank and go ‘Look, we stole your money. Why don’t you secure your bank better, give us a little bit of that, and let us secure your bank.


Which is pretty much the definition of extortion.


Cerf wasn’t an activist, fighting for a cause, trying to make a point. That would be understandable, perhaps even commendable. But he was in it for the money. Some might argue that he was simply a thief, trying to get paid by demonstrating what a great thief he was.


AT A GLANCE


Moran Cerf is a highly skilled individual. That much is clear.


In fact, that’s the scariest thing about him. The fact that, under the right conditions, he could probably accomplish his vision of the future. He obviously has the intelligence and the technical ability.


He’s got connections — even if only minor — to powerful government entities like DARPA, so it’s doubtful red tape would be an issue. Those same governmental overseers would keep the tap on as long as he showed them the results they wanted.


And he seems — at least, to this observer — to be a man with whom morality is an afterthought. It’s all about pushing the science forward, seeing what can be accomplished. Human cost or potential societal consequences don’t seem to factor much.


In addition to the above things, he’s also a man of dubious criminal history who has no qualms about selling his skills and research methods to the same corporate and political interests who bombard us with commercials and campaign ads daily.


And yes, there could be good things along the way if Cerf’s research were allowed to progress unchecked.


“Imagine giving Einstein, Shakespeare, or Picasso access to the dreams they forgot in the morning,” Cerf says to the audience at one point.


Absolutely. Giving people access to their dream world could unlock human creative potential on a scale we can’t even fathom. And I hope those types of aspirations are ones keeping people like Moran Cerf awake at night.


But these are new frontiers of science and the boundary lines haven’t been drawn. Who knows where these paths could lead us — for good or for bad — in the coming years. So we should at least take notice of those who are on the cutting edge of such things.


And above all else, we, here in the now, should never be fooled into thinking that simply because a name and an idea are plopped onto a stage at a popular venue like TED, that the message should be absorbed without scrutiny.


Always question. Always think.



Image Credit: TruthstreamMedia.com


This article (This Scientist’s Ability to Hack Your Dreams May Be the Stuff of Nightmares) is an opinion editorial (OP-ED). The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Underground Reporter. This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to James Holbrooks and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/rachel CALAMUSA


   

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Biometric-Security-Systems-shutterstock_118793329By Michael Boldin


The FBI Biometric database being developed right now will not only contain fingerprints – it will also store millions of facial recognition photographs, voice recognition data, iris scans and even DNA profiles.





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3-valkyrieroboBy Nicholas West


The evolution of humanoid robots and artificial intelligence continues to indicate a future where humans will increasingly work with – or be replaced by – their technological avatars.


One such robot that represents grand promises for making a giant leap with humans is NASA’s Valkyrie humanoid robot which continues to receive upgrades that its creators expect to take it to Mars as soon as the 2030s.


The Valkyrie concept was first unveiled to the public in December, 2013, as seen in the first video below. At the time it was being presented to participate in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, where it did not fare well at all versus its competition – it scored zero points – being bested by that year’s winner SCHAFT, developed by Google.




Nevertheless, it has been billed as one of the most expensive humanoid robots ever created, employing more than 50 people at NASA, working two shifts for a total of 22 hours per day.








Subsequent versions eventually delivered it into the hands of several universities, including Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, then on to Northeastern in the United States where it will now spend time with developers there as part of NASA’s newest program to utilize university research to propel Valkyrie in DARPA’s competition.


While the robot still stands at 6’2 and weighs north of 250 pounds, it does appear to be more streamlined. It is now being touted as “one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world.” You can see its progression throughout the video documentation from Edinburgh here, as well as in the latest video posted below where it is presented to an audience at Northeastern University.



Whether or not Valkyrie will fulfill its grand mission to explore deep space and help prepare Mars for human astronaut arrival – and, presumably, future colonization remains to be seen.


Do you think this is money well spent? Or is space exploration best pursued outside of government control, if at all? Please leave your thoughts below.


Image Credit: Northeastern University


Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. This article can be freely republished with author attribution and source link.


   

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russiaamericaBy Ulson Gunnar


US sanctions aren’t just hurting everyone including the US, they are accomplishing nothing. The US State Department’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) notified readers of a diplomacy campaign by the United States aimed at “urging” Europe to maintain sanctions against Russia. While the US claims the necessity of these sanctions are self-evident and beneficial to the US and Europe, such campaigns would not be needed if that were truly the case.


12antonov-master1050Image: Ukraine’s own industries have been the first to collapse, not Russia’s, amid US-led sanctions on Moscow.



The article titled, “U.S. Sends Envoy To Urge Europe To Maintain Russian Sanctions,” states:


The United States is dispatching an envoy to Paris and Berlin on June 7 and 8 to try to convince European allies “of the importance of maintaining sanctions pressure on Russia,” the U.S. Treasury said on June 3.








The sanctions, RFE/RL claims, are a result of Russia’s involvement in neighboring Ukraine’s downward spiral, which ironically enough, began not with Russian involvement but with that of America. Between 2013-2014 the United States, with its own senators traveling to Ukraine and taking the stage at US-backed protests in Kiev, quite literally propelled a violent Neo-Nazi putsch into power.


Since then, Ukraine has unraveled. Rather than taking responsibility for yet another failed US intervention, US policymakers have instead decided to shift the blame on Moscow. The ability to hold up US-EU sanctions against Russia as a means of legitimizing this shift of responsibility is key to the continued underpinning of Western support for the current regime in Kiev, and Washington’s continued belligerence toward Moscow.


US Sanctions are a Geopolitical Wrecking Ball


Like a geopolitical wrecking ball, US intervention in Ukraine first destabilized and destroyed Ukraine’s economy, before brushing into Russia and now with sanctions ongoing ever since, the effects have swung back to hit Europe and even the United States itself.


Ukraine since Soviet days has enjoyed several notable accomplishments in the field of heavy industry. The legendary Anatov aircraft company is headquartered in Ukraine and produces some of the largest heavy lift aircraft in the world.


The New York Times in 2014 would report in its article, “Aviation Giant Is Nearly Grounded in Ukraine,” that:



The crisis with Russia that erupted in February terminated Antonov’s most promising, albeit already troubled, joint venture: a short-takeoff, heavy-lift plane that the Russian military had sought for years.


Antonov was not alone. With the rupture, Ukraine, among the world’s top 10 arms exporters, lost the market that spurred the development of its military industry.


Economic and military experts said Antonov’s troubles epitomized the twin problems plaguing state-run companies in Ukraine, particularly the military sector, as it tries to slip Russia’s gravitational pull and hitch its fortunes to Europe.



Though the New York Times attempts to place the blame squarely on Russia, the reality is that Ukraine has an inescapable historical, cultural, technological and socioeconomic relationship with neighboring Russia, a relationship being artificially severed by a likewise artificial regime in Kiev.


Oplot_M tanksImage: The first and perhaps last Ukrainian-made tanks to arrive in Thailand as Bangkok shifts to Chinese alternatives amid Kiev’s faltering leadership.


The primary problem facing this US-European prodded shift is that the defense industry Ukraine was a part of, represented and benefited from mirroring that of the US and Europe. Attempting to integrate itself with the US and Europe is unlikely, and instead what will follow is the liquidation of Ukraine’s economic strength.


The New York Times notes that Ukraine also was a prolific weapons developer and manufacturer, among the top 10 in the world. Nations around the world sought Ukrainian systems, including armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks because of comparable characteristics to Russian and Chinese systems.


Again, however, these systems depended on the many ties that still exist between Ukraine and Russia, not to mention socioeconomic and political stability within Ukraine that now no longer exists. Having severed these ties for political rather than pragmatic reasons, Ukraine has crippled itself yet again. The most poignant example of this was the failure to deliver T-84 Oplot main battle tanks to the Southeast Asian nation of Thailand.


The order was placed before the 2013-2014 putsch in Kiev, along with the acquisition of Ukrainian BTR-3 armored personnel carriers. However, delays in deliver due to instability after 2013-2014 have caused the Thai government to shift to China’s VT-4 main battle tank instead.


It should be remembered that large acquisitions of weapon systems like aircraft and ground vehicles often create an entire ecosystem of spare parts, replacements, training, and even closer military cooperation. Ukraine has not only lost out on potentially lucrative weapon deals, but all the additional benefits included with them.


There was also Ukraine’s space industry whose biggest partner was Russia. With the partnership ended by Kiev and the ability of space agencies elsewhere around the world unable to fill the void because of the long-term nature of most space programs, Kiev’s decision has all but laid this industry to rest.


Bloomberg in its article, “Putin Is Knocking Ukraine’s Space Industry Out of Orbit,” implies that Russia has crippled Ukraine’s space industry. However, throughout the article, Bloomberg admits that Ukraine’s space program was mutually beneficial to both Kiev and Moscow, with its “knocking out” benefiting neither nation. The article admits:


The rest of Ukraine’s space industry hasn’t been so fortunate. Russia was its biggest customer, and sales have cratered. That’s partly Ukraine’s doing: In June, President Petro Poroshenko halted all military sales to Russia, including some dual-use missile and rocket technologies made by Ukrainian companies.


Bloomberg also admits:


By 2013, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister told the website Space News, the country was making about $600 million a year from commercial space ventures. But Russia still accounted for about 80 percent of sales at Yuzhmash, Vladimir Tkachenko, the company’s assistant general manager, told the BBC earlier this month.


What is clear is that the US-European installed regime in Kiev has intentionally destroyed several prominent industrial centers of Ukraine’s economy, setting back, not benefiting Russia who had maintained strong ties with and depended on Ukrainian industry. What is also clear is that Ukraine and Russia weren’t the only interdependencies disrupted by Ukraine’s unraveling or the US-led sanctions leveled against Russia in its wake.


         

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The Wrecking Ball Swings Back


Historically Western Europe and Russia have maintained close economic ties both because of proximity and out of necessity. Interdependencies exist here not only in terms of aerospace technology, with Russia sending the entirety of all American and European astronauts into orbit aboard its Soyuz launch system, but also in terms of trade, defense and energy.


2015-08-06t062228z1lynxnpeb750b4rtroptp3russia-france-mistralImage: Failing to deliver on tanks is one thing, failing to deliver entire ships is another. France has also paid a steep political and economic price for adhering to US sanctions against Moscow.


US-led sanctions and geopolitical maneuvers by Washington to breakup EU-Russian cooperation have been costly. Pipeline deals have been repeatedly disrupted, delayed or cancelled. A lucrative French-Russian deal involving the sale of Mistral Class ships to Moscow has cost the French government hundreds of millions of dollars.


Perhaps the most ironic structure to be threatened as this wrecking ball swings back West, is the US dependence on Russian RD-180 rocket engines used to launch, among other things, US Department of Defense satellites into orbit.


1135059Image: Russian-made RD-180 rockets are used by America’s United Launch Alliance to put US payloads into space, but are now in jeopardy of being lost and flight schedules disrupted because of US sanctions.


Even in the US, special interests are not united behind the notion of continued economic pressure on Russia. While those pushing for the continued sanctions against Russia claim the United States can find replacements, so far those replacements look particularly bleak, if not comical.


RFE/RL would report in its article, “Ukraine Proposes Working With U.S. To Replace Russian Rockets,” that:



Ukraine has proposed that Kyiv and the United States jointly develop and produce a rocket engine to replace Russian rocket engines currently used to launch U.S. military satellites.


The head of Ukraine’s Space Agency, Lyubomyr Sabadosh, said on May 31 that he proposed the plan to replace Russian RD-180 rocket engines, which the U.S. Congress has ordered to be phased out by 2019, on a visit to the United States last month.



However, for Ukraine, who is busy liquidating some of its most important heavy industrial assets on behalf of Washington and Brussels, the prospect of it replacing rocket engines even American industry would be hard-pressed to develop on its own is unlikely.


US-Russian cooperation in space between not only NASA and Roscosmos, but also between American and Russian private industry in regards to the RD-180 rocket engines has been an enduring example of post-Cold War progress. It is ironic that the United States claims, by endangering this achievement, it is some how protecting international order, peace and stability.


In the end, it seems that those in the United States lobbying heavily to keep sanctions in place have more than just Moscow to worry about. They have a growing chorus of leaders in industry who may silently seek domination over Russian industry in the long-term, but failing that, needs cooperation with Russian industry in the short-term. It is clear that those behind the sanctions are unable to deliver on either.


Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


   

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