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TBR News June 8, 2018

Jun 08 2018

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. June 8, 2018: “Zero Hedge is a very eccentric Austrian economics-based finance blog run by a pseudonymous founder who posts articles under the name “Tyler Durden,” after the character from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.

“Tyler” claims to be a “believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo.” While this is not an entirely unreasonable statement of the problem, his solution actually mirrors the antagonist in Fight Club: Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back “real” free market capitalism.

The site posts nearly indecipherable, and generally bizarre, analyses of multiple and seemingly unrelated subjects that are intended  to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse “any day now.” “ Tyler” seems to repeat The Economic Collapse Blog’s idea of posting blog articles many times a day and encouraging people to post it as far and wide as humanly possible. “Tyler” moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes filled with generally contradicting jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean. The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given “Tyler’s” psychotic habit of deenying each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2014 rally in the equities market.

The only writer conclusively identified is one Dan Ivandjiiski, a Bulgarian former medical student, who conducts public interviews on behalf of Zero Hedge. This hysterical blog came online several days after he lost his job at Wexford Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund (run by a former Goldman trader). And Ivandjiiski chose his pen name from a nihilistic psychotic delusion.

Zero Hedge is not quite the NaturalNews of economics, but not for want of trying.”

The Table of Contents

  • Sheldon Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump’s Middle East policy
  • Activists disrupt Israeli ambassador in Chicago
  • Heiko Maas, Emmanuel Macron lash out at Donald Trump ahead of G7 summit
  • Republicans in tight House races feel heat from Mexican tariffs
  • Trump must answer for the deaths of thousands in Puerto Rico
  • Infinite War: The Gravy Train Rolls On
  • Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real
  • How To Almost Completely Erase Your Digital Footprint
  • Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams
  • Blessed Prozac Moments! A view of Planet X from a reader

 

Sheldon Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump’s Middle East policy

The Las Vegas billionaire gave Republicans $82m for the 2016 elections and his views, notably staunch support for Netanyahu’s Israel, are now the official US line

June 8, 2018

by Chris McGreal in Washington

The Guardian

In 2015, the billionaire casino owner and Republican party funder Sheldon Adelson spent days in a Las Vegas courtroom watching his reputation torn apart and wondering if his gambling empire was facing ruin.

An official from Nevada’s gaming control board sat at the back of the court listening to mounting evidence that Adelson bribed Chinese officials and worked with organised crime at his casinos in Macau – allegations that could have seen the magnate’s Las Vegas casinos stripped of their licenses.

The case, a civil suit by a former manager of the Macau gaming operations who said he was fired for curbing corrupt practices, was another blow in a bad run for Adelson.

He had thrown $150m into a futile effort to unseat the “socialist” and “anti-Israel” Barack Obama in the 2012 election. His credibility as a political player was not enhanced by his backing of Newt Gingrich for president.

But three years on from the court case, Adelson’s influence has never been greater.

The imprint of the 84-year-old’s political passions is seen in an array of Donald Trump’s more controversial decisions, including violating the Iran nuclear deal, moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and appointing the ultra-hawkish John Bolton as national security adviser.

“Adelson’s established himself as an influential figure in American politics with the amount of money that he has contributed,” said Logan Bayroff of the liberal pro-Israel group, J Street. “There’s no doubt that he has very strong, very far-right dangerous positions and that – at very least – those positions are really being heard and thought about at the highest levels of government.”

As the 2015 court hearing unfolded, the billionaire swallowed his considerable pride and paid millions of dollars to settle the lawsuit, heading off the danger of the graft allegations being tested at a full trial.

The casinos stayed in business and continued to contribute to a vast wealth that made Adelson the 14th richest person in America last year with a net worth of $35bn, according to Forbes.

Adelson has put some of that money toward pushing an array of political interests ranging from protecting his business from online gambling to opposition to marijuana legalisation.

But nothing aligns more closely with his world view than the intertwining of the Republican party and Israel.

Adelson’s considerable support for Republicans is in no small part motivated by what he regards as their more reliable support for the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu, which appear intent on preventing the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Adelson gave $82m toward Trump’s and other Republican campaigns during the 2016 election cycle – more than three times the next largest individual donor, according to Open Secrets.

That commitment bought him an attentive hearing from the new administration as he pushed for the appointment of Bolton as national security adviser knowing that he would be an important ally in getting the White House to kill the Iran nuclear deal. The New York Times reported that Adelson is a member of a “shadow National Security Council” advising Bolton.

The day after Trump announced that the US was pulling out of the Iran agreement, Adelson was reported to have held a private meeting at the White House with the president, Bolton and Vice-President Mike Pence.

The casino magnate also pushed hard to see the US embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – an action previous presidents had shied away from because of the diplomatic ramifications.

Adelson was so enthusiastic about the move that he offered to pay for some of the costs and provided a jet to fly Guatemala’s official delegation to Israel for the ceremony. (The Central American country has also announced plans to follow Trump and move its own embassy.)

Daniel Levy, a former member of Israeli negotiating teams with the Palestinians and policy adviser to the then Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, said that Adelson’s money had helped resurface neoconservative policies which had been discredited after the US invasion of Iraq.

“Adelson is a linchpin in bringing together the radical extremists on the Israeli right and this group of hardliners on Israel and neoconservatives,” said Levy, who is now president of the US-based Middle East Project.

The billionaire is also deeply committed to protecting Israel within the US.

He paid for a new headquarters for the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group in Washington (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), spent $100m to fund “birthright” trips for young Jewish Americans to Israel, and funds a group opposing criticism of the Jewish state at US universities.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently revealed that Adelson funded an investigation by an Israeli firm with ties to the country’s police and military into the American activist Linda Sarsour, a co-chair of the Women’s March movement who campaigns for Palestinian rights and supports a boycott of the Jewish state.

Adelson also funds Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his World Values Network which published a full-page personal attack in the New York Times on the actor Natalie Portman for refusing an award from Israel because of its government’s policies.

For his part, the casino magnate does not take criticism well.

In 2015 he secretly bought the Las Vegas newspaper, the Review-Journal, which had led the way in critical coverage of the billionaire’s business dealings. Several reporters subsequently left the paper complaining of editorial interference and curbs on reporting of the gambling industry.

Right now, Adelson is concentrated on ensuring the Republicans remain in control of Congress, and is pouring $30m into funding the GOP’s midterm elections campaign.

Adelson is no less active in Israel where he owns the country’s largest newspaper, a publication so closely linked with Netanyahu’s administration it has been dubbed the “Bibipaper” after the prime minister’s nickname.

Personal relations with Netanyahu have soured but Adelson remains committed to the prime minister’s broader “Greater Israel” political agenda and to strengthening ties between the Republicans’ evangelical base and Israel.

It’s not always a welcome involvement by a man who is not an Israeli citizen – not least because Adelson’s vision for the Jewish state does not represent how many of its people see their country.

In 2014, he told a conference during a discussion about the implications for democracy of perpetual occupation or annexation of parts of the West Bank without giving Palestinians the right to vote in Israeli elections: “Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state. So what?”

 

Activists disrupt Israeli ambassador in Chicago

June 6, 2018

by Tamara Nassar

electronic intifada

Activists disrupted a speech by Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer in Chicago on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile outside the synagogue where he was speaking, dozens more, among them many Palestinian and Jewish activists, protested Israel’s recent massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Several people were barred entry to the venue apparently because they were of Arab ancestry.

Dermer’s visit to Chicago was part of what organizers called “a damage control PR tour” to several Midwestern cities in the wake of growing outrage over Israel’s killing of more than 120 Palestinians and the injuring of thousands more since the beginning of the Great March of Return rallies on 30 March.

“We stand here today to challenge the Israeli ambassador’s attempts to rally Americans to give blind support to the Israeli army,” Jennifer Bing, of the American Friends Service Committee, said at the protest. “The same army that shoots and kills Palestinians in Gaza and continues an immoral and unjust blockade.”

Bing’s group, along with the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace called for the protest.

There was a heavy police presence in and around the Anshe Emet Synagogue on Chicago’s North Side as activists chanted and listened to speeches demanding an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza and killings of Palestinians.

Several counter-protesters holding anti-Palestinian signs and an Israeli flag stood across the street from the rally.

Arabs denied entry

The Dermer speech was advertised as “free and open to the community,” but required advanced registration. However, registration did not guarantee entry.

“There were five Palestinians and Arabs who registered to be inside [but] all five of them were kept out of the event by the security,” Hatem Abudayyeh of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine said at the protest. “We had a number of people organized to go, and the only five that got kicked out were the Arabs with Arab surnames.”

One attendee who asked not to be named told The Electronic Intifada he was turned away after security guards identified his face from a list of names and pictures of those presumably banned from entering the venue.

“I got through security, they checked my ID. I thought I got in,” Lara Haddadin, who was also turned away, told The Electronic Intifada. Security guards then stopped Haddadin, told her she was on “a list” and ordered her to “leave the property immediately,” she said.

Disruptions

Participants who got in disrupted the event multiple times, chanting “Free Palestine” and “End the siege on Gaza now.”

All were removed, some grabbed and manhandled by security guards.

Following one disruption, Dermer said that “You couldn’t yell out what those two women yelled out in Ramallah” – an attempt to portray Israel as tolerant in contrast to a supposedly more repressive Palestinian Authority.

He did not mention Israel’s crackdown on protesters all over the West Bank – where Ramallah is located – and in Israel, including harsh repression after the US embassy move to Jerusalem.

And unsurprisingly Dermer made no mention of how Israel shot dead unarmed civilians in Gaza for protesting for their fundamental rights.

More protesters than attendees

Jessica Kursman, who took part in the disruptions, told The Electronic Intifada, “there were around 10 security guards pacing the entire time and we had IDs checked three times.”

Kursman said that what she found “most insidious is the entire hasbara rhetoric [and] Israeli propaganda of a vulnerable state.” Hasbara is the Hebrew term frequently translated as propaganda.

Dermer’s comments “were standard Israeli talking points,” Eli Massey, who filmed the disruptions, told The Electronic Intifada.

The ambassador told Jews in the audience that “whether you like it or not, you are potential citizens of Israel” – an acknowledgment of Israel’s racist practice of granting Jews from anywhere in the world instant citizenship while shooting dead indigenous Palestinians who attempt to return to lands from which they were expelled.

Dermer himself is a Florida native who renounced his US citizenship in order to become Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Organizers noted that there were significantly more protesters than people attending the event.

After several disruptions, Massey said, Dermer “joked about hoping there was enough of an audience left for a minyan” – the minimum number of worshippers required to hold a Jewish prayer service.

Earlier, Dermer was at Wrigley Field where he threw out the first pitch in a Chicago Cubs baseball game – part of Israel’s strategy of using sports and cultural events to seek popular appeal.

That strategy suffered a spectacular setback this week when Argentina pulled out of a high-profile exhibition football match with Israel that had been scheduled for Saturday.

Both Dermer and Israel’s consul-general Aviv Ezra wore Cubs jerseys with the numbers 70 and 48 printed on the back – marking 70 years since Israel’s founding, which came about through the 1948 Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians.

 

Heiko Maas, Emmanuel Macron lash out at Donald Trump ahead of G7 summit

Top German and French politicians took a harsh line against the US president for tariffs and withdrawals from international accords. Europe united is the only answer to America first, German Foreign Minister Maas said.

June 8, 2018

by Elizabeth Schumacher

DW

Nothing US President Donald Trump is doing will “make the world better, safer, or more peaceful,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.

Up until now, the German government has largely adopted a policy of quiet disapproval in Trump’s direction, but Maas broke the silence ahead of the G7 summit in Canada, which begins Friday.

“We cannot look away,” said Maas. “He knows that what he is doing is of direct detriment to Europe.”

The top German diplomat specifically referenced Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accords, and the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum as unfathomable measures to take against his nation’s closest allies.

In the interview, Maas offered insight into Berlin’s strategy to deal with its changing relationship with Washington: “The only answer to ‘America First,’ is ‘Europe United.'”

However, Maas also warned that Europe should not adopt an adversarial attitude towards the United States as a whole.

“What Donald Trump is doing isn’t exactly celebrated across the US,” he said. “We have to remain in contact with civil society.”

Maas also highlighted the need for European nations to seek other allies as their relationship with Washington deteriorates, particularly with natios that “wish to hold to the multilateral world order.”

These sentiments were echoed by his boss, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked on Wednesday how she would deal with Trump in Canada.

“It doesn’t make sense to arbitrarily patch up our differences,” she said.

Macron: Europe will not be intimidated

The German government was not the only ally to lash out at the US president before the Canada meeting. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has tried to be friendly with Trump in the past, has recently shifted to a tougher line against the White House. Signaling that his allies would not be intimated, Macron made it clear that the other six countries at G7 meeting would gladly sign deal without Trump.

“The American President may not mind being isolated,” Macron wrote on Twitter, “but neither do we mind signing a 6 nation agreement if need be.”

Trump, for his part, has argued that the EU countries and Canada have imposed tariffs on US goods for years to the detriment of US farmers and factories, though he did not mention any specific regulations.

The G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada, is set to take place over Friday and Saturday. Issues such as gender equality and climate change will be major topics of discussion, particularly in light of the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement.

 

Republicans in tight House races feel heat from Mexican tariffs

June 6, 2018

by Jason Lange and Anthony Esposito

Reuters

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican tariffs are roiling U.S. congressional campaigns in states where U.S. exporters could take a hit and President Donald Trump’s Republicans face tough races in November congressional elections.

Mexico announced the levies this week in retaliation to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on metal imports from Mexico and other countries. They fall on only about $3 billion in U.S. exports, but were crafted to have a “very specific” focus on vulnerable Republicans, said one senior Mexican official who asked not to be named.

“We wanted to ensure that the issue is a top priority for key decision makers at the highest level,” said another Mexican official who requested anonymity.

The tariffs could hit American apple growers in Washington state, cheesemakers in California and pork producers in Iowa, Virginia and Colorado.

Apples are grown in Washington’s 8th congressional district, where U.S. Representative Dave Reichert, a Republican, is retiring. Mexico slapped a 20 percent tax on fresh U.S. apples, and Democratic candidate Kim Schrier hammered her Republican opponent, saying the local economy will suffer.

Apples are one of 71 U.S. products targeted by Mexico, which is also in talks with the United States and Canada to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Last year, Washington state exported $126 million in fresh apples to Mexico, paying zero tariffs thanks to the NAFTA agreement.

“I hold Republican opponent Dino Rossi accountable for President Trump’s dangerous policies,” said Schrier. However, Rossi, the Republican frontrunner since Reichert announced his retirement, has distanced himself from Trump’s trade policies. His campaign manager, Andrew Bell, said: “Dino supports removing trade barriers that tax Washington farmers, consumers and businesses.”

Roughly three dozen House races are widely seen as competitive this year. Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to take control of the House.

Mexico’s tariffs also target several types of pork products. Pork, one of America’s top exports to Mexico, is a major export from Iowa and Colorado, where Republicans face tough races.

In Iowa, pigs outnumber people seven to one. Democrat Abby Finkenauer, seen standing a good chance of winning the 1st congressional district from Republican control, said Trump was starting a trade war that would hurt the state.

Colorado sent Mexico more than $120 million in fresh or frozen bone-in pork shoulders last year.

“Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs will hurt Coloradans, and the blame here lies squarely with President Trump and the Congressional Republicans who enable his destructive policies,” said Jason Crow, a Democratic candidate for the state’s 6th congressional district.

Crow said the district’s Republican incumbent, Mike Coffman, shares blame in triggering Mexican tariffs. Coffman’s campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, disputed the charge, saying that Coffman opposed Trump’s actions to raise tariffs on Mexico and other countries.

Mexico’s tariffs also target grated or powdered cheese, which could take a bite of the significant dairy economy in California’s 10th congressional district where Republican Jeff Denham is seen facing a tight race.

California sent Mexico $77 million in grated or powdered cheese last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. About 10 percent of the state’s milk output comes from Stanislaus County, which is in the 10th congressional district, according to data from the California Department of Agriculture.

Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington and Anthony Esposito in Mexico City; Editing by David Gregorio

 

Trump must answer for the deaths of thousands in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria killed more Americans than the 9/11 terrorist attacks but Trump claims that the Federal Emergency Management Agenecy did ‘a fantastic job’

June 8, 2018

by Richard Wolfe

The Guardian

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. At the start of this year’s hurricane season, it’s already clear that the Trump administration has gone mad.

This is a collective sickness that extends far beyond the very stable genius at the top of the executive branch. And it matters far more than whether Trump himself cares about the lives of American citizens, or can be bothered to tweet about them.

For this is a group of so-called leaders who ran the most powerful government in the world while at least 1,400 – and more likely as many as 5,000 – of their own citizens died on their watch.

You wouldn’t know it by listening to them talk at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) headquarters this week. Donald Trump told Brock Long, Fema’s administrator, that he had done an awesome job presiding over a post-hurricane recovery that was so incompetent that several thousand Americans died from a lack of medicine, food, water and power.

“We really appreciate the job you’ve done,” Trump said in front of the TV cameras. “It’s been amazing, and you really have kept quite busy, I would say, unfortunately. We had no choice. We were hit hard. But you’ve done a fantastic job.”

A fantastic job of watching thousands of Americans die. Not in the high winds and floods, but in the disastrous aftermath, when Fema and the federal government were the most powerful people in Puerto Rico. A heckuva job, as George W Bush would say.

This isn’t just Trump ignoring reality. It’s his whole administration, refusing to look at their catastrophic failures and refusing to learn from them.

“We are marshaling every available resource to ensure maximum preparation for rapid response. That’s what we had last year,” Trump claimed.

Seriously? There’s nobody in the disaster response business, and nobody in Puerto Rico, who thinks there was maximum preparation for, or rapid response after, Hurricane Maria.

“Disaster response and recovery is best achieved when it’s federally supported, state-managed and locally executed,” Trump said, reading someone else’s words. “You agree with that, I think, Brock, right? This is really the great model that we’ve built, and there’s no better model anywhere in the world.”

Trump and his Fema leadership are deluding themselves if they really believe a great model is one that leaves thousands of Americans dead.

They are also engaged in an epic case of passing the buck by claiming that it’s really up to the state and local leaders to get stuff done when an economy is wiped out by a Category Four hurricane that destroys the entire power grid and communications network.

This is Fema’s official position about Puerto Rico: they are just playing a supporting role. But what if there’s nobody effective to support, which was also true in New Orleans? What if Americans are dying and the only people who can step in are the feds?

Don’t expect any insight from Mike Pence, who was himself a governor until 18 months ago. The vice-president is now a mini-me who bizarrely thinks he needs to copy the weird tics of his boss, like abruptly making a water bottle disappear from view in the Fema meeting. For this alone he has become the butt of a nation’s jokes, including on the normally respectful sets of local TV news in the heartland.

If only water bottles were really a joke in Puerto Rico, where Americans were drinking rainwater after the hurricane.

“Karen and I saw firsthand the extraordinary, at times sacrificial, efforts made by public servants here at Fema and all of the broad range of agencies that addressed those 4.7 million Americans that ended up requesting assistance,” Pence said.

You know what’s really sacrificial? The suffering of the Americans in Puerto Rico.

Of course, even all this empty talk of sacrifice was abruptly set aside when the cameras left the room. According to a leaked audio recording, Trump couldn’t keep his attention on hurricane season, preferring to brag about his own negotiating skills and the election results in California.

Heckuva job, Trumpie.

None of this federal insanity absolves the island’s government, or its mayors, from their responsibility for the preventable deaths after Maria. There’s been no accounting for what happened inside the island’s government. Instead, until last week, the administration of Governor Ricky Rosselló clung on to the ludicrous notion that the death toll was just 64.

Presumably anything higher would have prompted some awkward questions, like: how the hell did that happen and what did you do to save lives?

The death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is now at least as great as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, according to the island’s health department. But researchers from Harvard estimate the number is more than three times that disaster, making it a greater loss of life than the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

After both events, the total amount of investigation, oversight, academic study, journalistic output and political debate was overwhelming. The 2001 terrorist attacks changed our worldview forever and transformed George W Bush’s reputation. Of course, that reputation changed once again after Katrina, when his presidency was all but finished: if he couldn’t save an American city after a hurricane, how could he hope to deal with the rest of the world?

But after Hurricane Maria, there’s been nothing remotely comparable. The news media abandoned the island after a few days, when the Las Vegas massacre took place, and barely returned. Even though the real disaster in Puerto Rico took place over the many weeks that followed the hurricane.

When the Harvard study emerged last week, it was quickly buried under the mountain of coverage about Roseanne’s tweets. Because what could be more important than a prime-time sitcom?

This distraction lets those responsible off the hook. Without media scrutiny, there is nobody to ask the questions that remain unanswered: why did so many people die unnecessarily in Puerto Rico, and what has changed to prevent more deaths next time?

Congress certainly isn’t asking those questions. Republicans on the House oversight committee refuse to subpoena Fema to understand how so many huge contracts failed. Long has only testified once before Congress about the response to Maria. It’s hard to fathom how Republicans who were so fascinated by Benghazi can barely muster any interest about Puerto Rico.

Of all the scandals that threaten the future of the Trump administration, if not the freedom of some of its officials, there is none greater than the loss of thousands of American lives in Puerto Rico. Not Russia, and not corruption.

Even more important than the election of 2016 is the government of 2017. It’s time we reclaimed our sanity. It’s time we focused on saving American lives, and honoring those who died so needlessly just six months ago.

Infinite War: The Gravy Train Rolls On

June 7, 2018

by Andrew J. Bacevich

TomDispatch

“The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example.

You may not have noticed. There’s no reason why you should have, fixated as we all are on the daily torrent of presidential tweets and the flood of mindless rejoinders they elicit. But let me note for the record that the centenary of the conflict once known as The Great War is well underway and before the present year ends will have concluded.

Indeed, a hundred years ago this month, the 1918 German Spring Offensive — codenamed Operation Michael — was sputtering to an unsuccessful conclusion. A last desperate German gamble, aimed at shattering Allied defenses and gaining a decisive victory, had fallen short. In early August of that year, with large numbers of our own doughboys now on the front lines, a massive Allied counteroffensive was to commence, continuing until the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, when an armistice finally took effect and the guns fell silent.

In the years that followed, Americans demoted The Great War. It became World War I, vaguely related to but overshadowed by the debacle next in line, known as World War II. Today, the average citizen knows little about that earlier conflict other than that it preceded and somehow paved the way for an even more brutal bloodletting. Also, on both occasions, the bad guys spoke German.

So, among Americans, the war of 1914-1918 became a neglected stepsister of sorts, perhaps in part because the United States only got around to suiting up for that conflict about halfway through the fourth quarter. With the war of 1939-1945 having been sacralized as the moment when the Greatest Generation saved humankind, the war-formerly-known-as-The-Great-War collects dust in the bottom drawer of American collective consciousness.

From time to time, some politician or newspaper columnist will resurrect the file labeled “August 1914,” the grim opening weeks of that war, and sound off about the dangers of sleepwalking into a devastating conflict that nobody wants or understands. Indeed, with Washington today having become a carnival of buncombe so sublimely preposterous that even that great journalistic iconoclast H.L. Mencken might have been struck dumb, ours is perhaps an apt moment for just such a reminder.

Yet a different aspect of World War I may possess even greater relevance to the American present. I’m thinking of its duration: the longer it lasted, the less sense it made. But on it went, impervious to human control like the sequence of Biblical plagues that God had inflicted on the ancient Egyptians.

So the relevant question for our present American moment is this: once it becomes apparent that a war is a mistake, why would those in power insist on its perpetuation, regardless of costs and consequences? In short, when getting in turns out to have been a bad idea, why is getting out so difficult, even (or especially) for powerful nations that presumably should be capable of exercising choice on such matters? Or more bluntly, how did the people in charge during The Great War get away with inflicting such extraordinary damage on the nations and peoples for which they were responsible?

For those countries that endured World War I from start to finish — especially Great Britain, France, and Germany — specific circumstances provided their leaders with an excuse for suppressing second thoughts about the cataclysm they had touched off.

Among them were:

* mostly compliant civilian populations deeply loyal to some version of King and Country, further kept in line by unremitting propaganda that minimized dissent;

* draconian discipline — deserters and malingerers faced firing squads — that maintained order in the ranks (most of the time) despite the unprecedented scope of the slaughter;

* the comprehensive industrialization of war, which ensured a seemingly endless supply of the weaponry, munitions, and other equipment necessary for outfitting mass conscript armies and replenishing losses as they occurred.

Economists would no doubt add sunk costs to the mix. With so much treasure already squandered and so many lives already lost, the urge to press on a bit longer in hopes of salvaging at least some meager benefit in return for what (and who) had been done in was difficult to resist.

Even so, none of these, nor any combination of them, can adequately explain why, in the midst of an unspeakable orgy of self-destruction, with staggering losses and nations in ruin, not one monarch or president or premier had the wit or gumption to declare: Enough! Stop this madness!

Instead, the politicians sat on their hands while actual authority devolved onto the likes of British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, French Marshals Ferdinand Foch and Philippe Petain, and German commanders Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. In other words, to solve a conundrum they themselves had created, the politicians of the warring states all deferred to their warrior chieftains. For their part, the opposing warriors jointly subscribed to a perverted inversion of strategy best summarized by Ludendorff as “punch a hole [in the front] and let the rest follow.” And so the conflict dragged on and on.

The Forfeiture of Policy

Put simply, in Europe, a hundred years ago, war had become politically purposeless. Yet the leaders of the world’s principal powers — including, by 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson — could conceive of no alternative but to try harder, even as the seat of Western civilization became a charnel house.

Only one leader bucked the trend: Vladimir Lenin. In March 1918, soon after seizing power in Russia, Lenin took that country out of the war. In doing so, he reasserted the primacy of politics and restored the possibility of strategy. Lenin had his priorities straight. Nothing in his estimation took precedence over ensuring the survival of the Bolshevik Revolution. Liquidating the war against Germany therefore became an imperative.

Allow me to suggest that the United States should consider taking a page out of Lenin’s playbook. Granted, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, such a suggestion might have smacked of treason. Today, however, in the midst of our never-ending efforts to expunge terrorism, we might look to Lenin for guidance on how to get our priorities straight.

As was the case with Great Britain, France, and Germany a century ago, the United States now finds itself mired in a senseless war. Back then, political leaders in London, Paris, and Berlin had abrogated control of basic policy to warrior chieftains. Today, ostensibly responsible political leaders in Washington have done likewise. Some of those latter-day American warrior chieftains who gather in the White House or testify on Capitol Hill may wear suits rather than uniforms, but all remain enamored with the twenty-first-century equivalent of Ludendorff’s notorious dictum.

Of course, our post-9/11 military enterprise — the undertaking once known as the Global War on Terrorism — differs from The Great War in myriad ways. The ongoing hostilities in which U.S. forces are involved in various parts of the Islamic world do not qualify, even metaphorically, as “great.” Nor will there be anything great about an armed conflict with Iran, should members of the current administration get their apparent wish to provoke one.

Today, Washington need not even bother to propagandize the public into supporting its war. By and large, members of the public are indifferent to its very existence. And given our reliance on a professional military, shooting citizen-soldiers who want to opt out of the fight is no longer required.

There are also obvious differences in scale, particularly when it comes to the total number of casualties involved. Cumulative deaths from the various U.S. interventions, large and small, undertaken since 9/11, number in the hundreds of thousands. The precise tally of those lost during the European debacle of 1914-1918 will never be known, but the total probably surpassed 13 million.

Even so, similarities between the Great War as it unspooled and our own not-in-the-least-great war(s) deserve consideration. Today, as then, strategy — that is, the principled use of power to achieve the larger interests of the state — has ceased to exist. Indeed, war has become an excuse for ignoring the absence of strategy.

For years now, U.S. military officers and at least some national security aficionados have referred to ongoing military hostilities as “the Long War.” To describe our conglomeration of spreading conflicts as “long” obviates any need to suggest when or under what circumstances (if any) they might actually end. It’s like the meteorologist forecasting a “long winter” or the betrothed telling his or her beloved that theirs will be a “long engagement.” The implicit vagueness is not especially encouraging.

Some high-ranking officers of late have offered a more forthright explanation of what “long” may really mean. In the Washington Post, the journalist Greg Jaffe recently reported that “winning for much of the U.S. military’s top brass has come to be synonymous with staying put.” Winning, according to Air Force General Mike Holmes, is simply “not losing. It’s staying in the game.”

Not so long ago, America’s armed forces adhered to a concept called victory, which implied conclusive, expeditious, and economical mission accomplished. No more. Victory, it turns out, is too tough to achieve, too restrictive, or, in the words of Army Lieutenant General Michael Lundy, “too absolute.” The United States military now grades itself instead on a curve. As Lundy puts it, “winning is more of a continuum,” an approach that allows you to claim mission accomplishment without, you know, actually accomplishing anything.

It’s like soccer for six-year-olds. Everyone tries hard so everyone gets a trophy. Regardless of outcomes, no one goes home feeling bad. In the U.S. military’s case, every general gets a medal (or, more likely, a chest full of them).

“These days,” in the Pentagon, Jaffe writes, “senior officers talk about ‘infinite war.’”

I would like to believe that Jaffe is pulling our leg. But given that he’s a conscientious reporter with excellent sources, I fear he knows what he’s talking about. If he’s right, as far as the top brass are concerned, the Long War has now officially gone beyond long. It has been deemed endless and is accepted as such by those who preside over its conduct.

Strategic Abomination

In truth, infinite war is a strategic abomination, an admission of professional military bankruptcy. Erster General-Quartiermeister Ludendorff might have endorsed the term, but Ludendorff was a military fanatic.

Check that. Infinite war is a strategic abomination except for arms merchants, so-called defense contractors, and the “emergency men” (and women) devoted to climbing the greasy pole of what we choose to call the national security establishment. In other words, candor obliges us to acknowledge that, in some quarters, infinite war is a pure positive, carrying with it a promise of yet more profits, promotions, and opportunities to come. War keeps the gravy train rolling. And, of course, that’s part of the problem.

Who should we hold accountable for this abomination? Not the generals, in my view. If they come across as a dutiful yet unimaginative lot, remember that a lifetime of military service rarely nurtures imagination or creativity. And let us at least credit our generals with this: in their efforts to liberate or democratize or pacify or dominate the Greater Middle East they have tried every military tactic and technique imaginable. Short of nuclear annihilation, they’ve played just about every card in the Pentagon’s deck — without coming up with a winning hand. So they come and go at regular intervals, each new commander promising success and departing after a couple years to make way for someone else to give it a try.

It tells us something about our prevailing standards of generalship that, by resurrecting an old idea — counterinsurgency — and applying it with temporary success to one particular theater of war, General David Petraeus acquired a reputation as a military genius. If Petraeus is a military genius, so, too, is General George McClellan. After he won the Battle of Rich Mountain in 1861, newspapers dubbed McClellan “the Napoleon of the Present War.” But the action at Rich Mountain decided nothing and McClellan didn’t win the Civil War any more than Petraeus won the Iraq War.

No, it’s not the generals who have let us down, but the politicians to whom they supposedly report and from whom they nominally take their orders. Of course, under the heading of politician, we quickly come to our current commander-in-chief. Yet it would be manifestly unfair to blame President Trump for the mess he inherited, even if he is presently engaged in making matters worse.

The failure is a collective one, to which several presidents and both political parties have contributed over the years. Although the carnage may not be as horrific today as it was on the European battlefields on the Western and Eastern Fronts, members of our political class are failing us as strikingly and repeatedly as the political leaders of Great Britain, France, and Germany failed their peoples back then. They have abdicated responsibility for policy to our own homegrown equivalents of Haig, Foch, Petain, Hindenburg, and Ludendorff. Their failure is unforgivable.

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate.

Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity. No doubt Saudi and Israeli leaders will cheer, Europeans who remember their Great War will scratch their heads in wonder, and the Chinese will laugh themselves silly. Meanwhile, issues of genuinely strategic importance — climate change offers one obvious example — will continue to be treated like an afterthought. As for the gravy train, it will roll on.

 

Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real

Using a sound wave to cause neurological damage would be hard to do

June 1, 2018

by Tina Hesman Saey

Science News

An account of another alleged “sonic attack” has surfaced, this time from a U.S. government employee in China. The employee reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” according to a U.S. Embassy health alert. The episode mirrors reports from American diplomats in Cuba in late 2016, and fuels the debate among scientists about what, if anything, is actually happening.

Last year, 24 of the diplomats who reported sonic attacks in Cuba were tested to gauge whether lasting harm had occurred. In March, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia reported in JAMA that the people had balance and thinking problems, sleep disturbances and headaches, and that some had widespread injury to brain networks.

But some scientists and engineers have been questioning whether such attacks are possible, and if the diplomats’ symptoms could have been caused by a sonic attack.

The attacks were supposedly committed with sounds outside the range of human hearing. But generating enough acoustical energy to cause hearing loss and brain damage from those types of sound waves would be no easy feat, says Andrew Oxenham, a hearing researcher at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The intensity of very low frequency infrasound or very high frequency ultrasound drops rapidly over distance, so attackers would need enormous loud speakers to have enough intensity to do neurological harm.

“Even to get across the street and into a building, you’d have to have a loud speaker the size of a building,” Oxenham says.

It might be possible to focus ultrasound into a tight beam to stage a high-intensity ultrasound attack. But even with such a beam it would be difficult to make a device small enough to be used as a handheld weapon, says Tyrone Porter, a biomedical engineer at Boston University. And that device would be more likely to lead to disorientation than brain damage, he says.

Very little data exist on whether and how ultrasound in the air affects human health. One of the few people to tackle the question is Timothy Leighton, a professor of ultrasonics and underwater acoustics at the University of Southampton in England. He has investigated previous claims of people who complained that they had been victims of sonic attacks.

Some reported incidents were false alarms. But in other cases, Leighton recorded evidence of ultrasound in air at railway stations, museums and swimming pools where people had reported attacks, although the exposure was shown to be accidental, not an attack. He doesn’t know for sure how ultrasound causes symptoms such as the headaches and nausea described by the diplomats. But he suspects subaudible noise makes people anxious, which leads to the reported symptoms. The U.S. government employees in Cuba and China may be experiencing similar anxiety if exposed to ultrasound, he says.

Detected damage?

Leighton and other scientists have questioned whether the JAMA paper actually measured harm caused by a sonic attack. One symptom investigated in the study, white matter changes in the brain, made headlines. White matter is composed of axons, the long extensions of nerve cells that connect different parts of the brain.

“As a result, people got the impression this was some sort of ultrasonic death rifle,” Leighton says. But only three people in the study had white matter abnormalities, and the researchers couldn’t attribute those changes to a sonic attack. They may just have been physical differences that those people’s brains had all along.

What’s more, in the JAMA study, scores that classified diplomats as having a deficit in brain function fall into humans’ normal variation, says Sergio Della Sala, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Edinburgh.

The University of Pennsylvania researchers gave diplomats a failing grade on the brain tests if their score on at least one test was below the 40th percentile (meaning that 40 percent of people who take the tests have scores that fall at the low end of the scale), an impairment threshold that Della Sala argues is too high. That’s because, statistically speaking, people would get failing marks on at least one of these tests 40 percent of the time, even without an attack.

Only six of the 24 diplomats took all 37 tests, for 222 tests total. At the 40th percentile cutoff, 89 of the 222 tests would be false positives. That means a test-taker would flunk, but the result would be mistakenly chalked up to a sonic attack when it was really just a natural variation in the way people’s brains work.

In an experiment, Della Sala and University of Edinburgh colleague Robert McIntosh substituted random numbers for diplomats’ test scores and ran a simulation of possible outcomes, using the standards from the JAMA study. The result? “Everybody tested would result affected, everybody. To make sure, we repeated the simulation 1,000 times,” Della Sala wrote in an email.

He doesn’t dispute that some of the diplomats may have experienced symptoms from the incident. But the JAMA paper’s methods would make it impossible for anyone to test normal, he says. “The tests as they have been used and presented are spurious,” he wrote. (Della Sala, along with Roberto Cubelli of the University of Trento in Italy, also published a scathing review of the JAMA study in Cortex on April 5.)

One of the JAMA paper’s coauthors, Douglas Smith, says he and his colleagues have more data than were included in the study. “We note that interpretation of neuropsychological test results is somewhat more nuanced than a simple counting of scores that are lower than a conventional percentile cutoff point,” Smith wrote in an email. Instead, the researchers considered how much each person’s performance on a particular test differed from what is normal for the individual. In some cases, test scores in one aspect of brain function fell far below that person’s normal — down to the bottom 10 percent of the person’s average brain function. That low level of function counts as impairment, says Smith, who directs the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school.

The researchers are currently trying to determine if the people felled by the attacks have changes in the structure of their brains that could account for the symptoms, Smith says.

Reverse engineering a ‘sonic weapon’

The sonic attacks may not have been attacks at all, but eavesdropping gone awry, says Kevin Fu, an electrical engineer and computer scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Fu, who studies how malicious sounds might be used to attack computers, has some of the only experimental evidence to suggest what might have happened in Cuba.

Fu’s attention was drawn to the attacks when the Associated Press released an audio clip of the sound some diplomats in Cuba heard during the incidents. He and colleagues Chen Yan and Wenyuan Xu, both of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, tried to re-create the sound and surmised that an ultrasonic listening device could have developed interference that caused it to produce the unusual noise. “This seems like bad engineering rather than a deliberate attack,” Fu says.

Fu and colleagues described their experiment in a technical paper published online March 1. The researchers did not test whether such a device could have produced health and hearing problems for the diplomats.

For now, what actually happened in Cuba and China to produce the diplomats’ symptoms remains a mystery. And it’s possible we may never know. After all, Fu says, it’s unlikely that if foreign governments did have sonic weapons that they’d allow U.S. scientists to run experiments with the devices.

 

 

 

How To Almost Completely Erase Your Digital Footprint

June 7, 2018

IWB

Although it’s almost impossible to completely wipe out your entire digital footprint as if you’ve never had access to the internet, but you can get close. If you’d like to make an attempt to completely remove yourself from the internet, we’ve got a few tips and tricks that could help you along the way.

To go the full off-the-grid route, “it’s cash, barters,” Bradley Shear, a lawyer specializing in social media told The Washington Post. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”  Which leads us to the first item to consider.

The first thing you want to do is the hardest for some, but its the most obvious. You need to quit appearing online.  Stop posting on Facebook or Twitter and no longer use search engines.  All of those will track your location and Internet usage leaving behind your digital footprint. Of course, just not using the internet isn’t quite enough if you’d like yourself completely gone in full-off-the-grid fashion.

The next step would be deleting your online accounts. Every single one of them. Having a social media account is, more or less, ensuring your active participation in letting the Internet learn more about you. Facebook, in particular, knows a lot about you and is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the Web, even when you’re not actively using it. If you need help deleting your accounts, consider JustDelete.Me, which provides tips and links to remove accounts.  But you can’t just remove your accounts and expect that it’s done and over with. You will also need to remove any and all information and content that is posted about you by others.  This can get a little trickier, but you could consider trying Abine’s DeleteMe, which for a fee can assist in removing your personal contact information and your photos and will provide you with a regular report and updates.

Next, you want to search for yourself on the Internet.  This will help you discover if there are any old accounts (does anyone even remember MySpace?) that you may have forgotten you had just lingering around. If you happen to come across an account you cannot delete, just start falsifying the information.  Change the name on the account to whatever you want it to be, that’s different than yours, obviously. Change the city and state and leave the gender “unselected” if possible.  The less information you put in, the less you have to falsify.

You are also going to want to unsubscribe from all of those mailing lists you’ve accidentally signed up for during your Internet travels. That’s usually pretty easy to do.  Go into your junk folder and open up the advertisements.  Scroll to the bottom of the email and click the tiny word “unsubscribe.”  When it directs you to, make sure you choose to no longer receive ANY email that you’d consider “junk.”  Afterall, that’s why it was in that folder, to begin with anyway, right?

If you still need the Internet for work, you may have to stop here.  Having removed social media and cleaning up your email will go a long way in minimizing your online trail.  But for those who wish to continue on and “go dark,” your next step would be deleting search engine results. Google has a URL removal tool that could help. The next step would be contacting webmasters of websites you have no control over.  Be kind, and let them know you’d like your information and comments removed.  Be prepared to be told by some that all public information should remain public, in which case, you may be out of luck.  You’ll also need patience.  Not every single webmaster will get back to you in a timely manner.

Once you’ve completed everything listed above, you should consider removing your information from data clearinghouses.  Many companies track your online behavior and sell that data to others.  Intelius, Spokeo, and People Finders are a few examples of such data clearinghouses. In order to remove your information from these, however, will take up a lot of your time.  You’ll need to make a lot of phone calls and fill out tons of paperwork.  A paid service called DeleteMe could be considered if you’ve got some extra cash laying around.  For all others, you will need time and patience and determination to get through this step.

Once you feel you’ve gotten yourself removed from data clearinghouses, you should contact the phone company and be sure to make your phone number unlisted.

The last step would be to delete your email. “Every time you access it, they have your IP address,” Shear said.  This is last simply because, during the completion of the previous steps, an email address is likely going to be required at some point.

If you’ve decided you cannot completely “go dark” as far an internet use is concerned, consider protecting your data and information by using an encrypted email service such as ProtonMail. And if you want your activity not to be tracked across the Web, you would have to essentially use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the Internet unless you exclusively access the Internet from public machines (such as those at a public library). For searching online, you can use sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of Google or Yahoo, or any other search engine that tracks you. Also, consider Signal, a text and phone-call encryption app that comes with a recommendation from Edward Snowden himself.

Although it seems it may be futile to attempt to “go dark,” you just might be successful. Best of luck to those who have the desire to disappear from the Internet, because you’ll need it, and all the patience you can muster.

 

Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams

June 8, 2018

Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s right-wing government plans to shut seven mosques and could expel dozens of imams in what it said was “just the beginning” of a push against radical Islam and foreign funding of religious groups that Turkey condemned as racist.

The coalition government, an alliance of conservatives and the far right, came to power soon after Europe’s migration crisis on promises to prevent another influx and restrict benefits for new immigrants and refugees.

The moves follow a “law on Islam”, passed in 2015, which banned foreign funding of religious groups and created a duty for Muslim organizations to have “a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society”.

“Political Islam’s parallel societies and radicalizing tendencies have no place in our country,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who, in a previous job as minister in charge of integration, steered the Islam bill into law.

Standing next to him and two other cabinet members on Friday, far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache told a news conference: “This is just the beginning.”

Austria, a country of 8.8 million people, has roughly 600,000 Muslim inhabitants, most of whom are Turkish or have families of Turkish origin.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the new policy was part of an “Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave” in Austria.

“The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence,” Ibrahim Kalin tweeted.

The ministers at the news conference said up to 60 imams belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria (ATIB), a Muslim group close to the Turkish government, could be expelled from the country or have visas denied on the grounds of receiving foreign funding.

A government handout put the number at 40, of whom 11 were under review and two had already received a negative ruling.

ATIB spokesman Yasar Ersoy acknowledged that its imams were paid by Diyanet, the Turkish state religious authority, but it was trying to change that.

“We are currently working on having imams be paid from funds within the country,” he told ORF radio.

One organization that runs a mosque in Vienna and is influenced by the “Grey Wolves”, a Turkish nationalist youth group, will be shut down for operating illegally, as will an Arab Muslim group that runs at least six mosques, the government said in a statement.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Additional reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

 

Blessed Prozac Moments!

A view of Planet X from a reader

The truth must be made known about Planet X! The reason for not announcing it is due to religious beliefs it would cause the world to go into physiological panic. It was discovered by NASA probes Pioneer 10 and 11 and was announce on the Paul Harvey news cast as a possible 10th planet but when our government realized the implications of an incoming body which has its unique elliptical orbit around two suns.  It has turned into a national security issue, our government knows and is afraid of panic.  The whole story of planet X (Nibiru) one of many names for Planet X comes from ancient clay tablets 4000 BC describing a tenth planet and its life on it. They were called The Anunnaki which means in Summerian language they who came from heaven to Earth.  They taught us math, building techniques, farming and etc.  The Summerian land is where IRAQ is now.  The word NIBIRU means planet of crossing.  It has a history or else I would take this as all BS.  These Anunnaki were giants they were 8 to 10 feet tall.  They used the inhabitants to dig for gold they needed for there atmosphere.  I believe in UFOs and the possibility that these aliens was the cause of all religions. This is what our government is afraid of us finding out the real truth.

I have been studying Planet Xes history on xfacts.com and zetatalk.com for four years now.  Planet X orbits two suns about every 3657 years and is in our solar system now it is four times the size of Earth and it’s mass = 23 Earths. Planet X has many names from most countries, the most common name is Nemesis. This is what’s causing the Earth changes and disasters were seeing today. Our planet weighs nothing in space any magnetic disturbance will have disastrous affects on weather and tectonic plates and volcanoes. Planet X caused the Great Flood there was a pole shift that melted the poles. They said that this coming pole shift will be worst the Earth’s outer crust not the oceans will rotate 90 degrees because the Earth will line up with Nemesis as it crosses our skies. The Bible calls Planet X (Wormwood). The Incas called Planet X (Hercolubus), The Babylonians called Planet X (Marduk), the ancient Hindu astronomers named Planet X Treta Yuga and the destruction it causes Kali Yuga. So it has a history which makes it real.  Almost every time it comes into our solar system it affects the surface of every planet it crosses. It’s coming in from our blind side (sun side). There seems to be a Government cover-up on this subject matter. WHY? Do they fear panic? We must warn people for survival reasons

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