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TBR News November 14, 2019

Nov 14 2019

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. November 14, 2019:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
Commentary for November 14: “I can see the impeachment business going on and on but I can also see that the Democrats have some things up their collective sleeves and the TV drama might well prove to be very interesting to watch. Trump has gone out of his way to personally insult members of the House and to the point where dramatic pay-back is not out of the question. He who goes softly goes safely and he goes safely goes far. This obviously does not apply to King Donald, does it?”

The Table of Contents
• Devin Nunes is bravely defending Trump. That’s bad news for the president
• Trump Directed Diplomat to Ask Ukraine to Probe Biden in Overheard Cellphone Call
• Jury begins considering verdict in trial of Trump adviser Roger Stone
• Official German report concerning Donald Trump’s criminal actions
• Defeat in Georgia
• Anti-vaccine movement: the epidemic of stupid
• The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
• Encyclopedia of American Loons

Devin Nunes is bravely defending Trump. That’s bad news for the president
The ex-dairy farmer isn’t exactly the cream of the cream: his bizarre claims on the president’s behalf have backfired
November 14, 2019
by Richard Wolffe
The Guardian
If you were on trial on national television, facing the possible loss of your job and the probable loss of what remains of your reputation, you might not place your fate in the hands of Devin Nunes.
Nunes is a one-time dairy farmer who now milks the bursting udders of an entire herd of conspiracy-minded cows.
Mad cow disease had the rare power to leap across species through an unusually mysterious vector known as a prion. Mad Devin disease appears similarly devastating to the human brain through an unusually mysterious vector known as Vladimir Putin.
The California congressman – who somehow qualified as the most senior Republican on the House intelligence committee – opened his defense of Donald Trump with a long moo about Moscow and the Democrats’ interest in the Mueller investigation.
“After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24, in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian,” Nunes explained, “on July 25 they turned on a dime and now claim the real malfeasance is Republicans’ dealings with Ukraine.”
This was a curious turn, even for the nonsensical Nunes. In the court of American public opinion (where we’re told this impeachment thing will really play out), the concept of innocent Russian handshaking is not entirely obvious.
It also seemed like a rookie mistake to suggest that the impeachment of the president was an indictment of all Republican dealings with the former Soviet Union.
“In the blink of an eye, we’re asked to simply forget about Democrats on this committee falsely claiming they had ‘more than circumstantial evidence’ of collusion between President Trump and the Russians,” Nunes said, reviving the Democrats’ case against Donald Trump in ways that didn’t seem entirely helpful to Donald Trump.
Among the things Nunes wanted us never to forget was “them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials” and something about “fabrications of Trump-Russia collusion from the Steele dossier”.
Thanks to Nunes, these nude Trump pictures are now seared into our collective minds.
Lest we forget, when Nunes was actually running the intelligence committee, he used its resources to turn on the US’s intelligence community for having the temerity to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Less the cream of the cream, Nunes is more like the curd of the absurd. This sadly is the bovine bedlam we’re all committed to for the next 12 months of American politics.
It’s a place where the best defense of Trump exhorting a foreign leader is that he was somehow rooting out corruption; where he was supposedly investigating foreign interference in the 2016 election when he was bribing a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election; where the FBI and CIA have undermined themselves; and where the Democrats have been colluding with the Russians.
Nunes led the herd in arguing that this is a victimless crime – the Ukraine president got his stupid missiles anyhow. In fact Nunes was really arguing that impeachment is the criminal victimization of a poor helpless crusader for truth, justice and good government, who happens to live in the people’s house on Pennsylvania Avenue.
By some miracle of telekinesis, Nunes’s brain created a White House video featuring our humble hero, who insisted that his own impeachment wasn’t all it seemed on live television.
“What’s going on now is the single greatest scam in the history of American politics,” said the real estate guy who is something of an expert in scams.
Trump placed impeachment at the heart of the mother of all big government conspiracies involving Democrats taking away everyone’s guns, healthcare, votes, freedom and judges. The Democrats currently control the House of Representatives, which is an awesome branch of government, but not quite that awesome.
“It’s all very simple,” said our very simple president. “They’re trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you.”
This may come as news for anyone who is not circling the barnyard. Trump was apparently fighting for regular Americans when he was extorting the Ukraine president to smear Joe Biden.
Trump and Nunes are obviously hoping that voters cannot see through the fog on this farm. These hearings are so darn complicated and foreign, maybe Americans will never remember whether four legs are good or bad.
This is the latest in a long line of so-called defense strategies that have run the gamut from unlikely to unbelievable. First came the wild fabrications: Trump’s phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy was supposedly perfect, and the whistleblower doesn’t exist. Then came the wild conspiracies: the Democrats were themselves fabricating evidence in secret hearings that somehow included Republicans. We spent an epoch or two debating Latin tit-for-tats. Now we have arrived at the stage of debate that involves hurling turds at a wall in the hope of finding something adhesive.
As with most TV shows, the impeachment hearings are less about substance and more about style. The Democrats carefully cast as their first witnesses a pair of diplomats who seemed to have stepped out of a kinder, gentler era of American values.
William Taylor, the US ambassador to Ukraine, is a Vietnam veteran who previously served in the same position under President George W Bush. Taylor looks like he was chiseled whole out of granite, and he tolerated no end of Republican stupidities with a stony certitude. It was frustratingly hard for Trump’s allies to chip away at his central revelation that Trump himself was personally interested only in the Bidens, not Ukraine.
George Kent, a bow-tied foreign service official in charge of the entire European and Eurasian region, was so steadfastly committed to old-fashioned American democracy that he was happy to express his unease with Hunter Biden’s business interests in Ukraine. Sadly for Trump, these good government types take a seriously dim view of a president corruptly using American military aid to manipulate American elections.
The first day of the public impeachment hearings was not a fair fight. Against these die-hard diplomats, the GOP relied on Jim Jordan, who just can’t seem to shake off the stench of sex abuse at Ohio State University, where he used to coach wrestling.
Then there was the flustered questioning from John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who was briefly Trump’s nominee for director of national intelligence – until he was overwhelmed by his own problematic relationship with the truth on his personal resume.
“Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” Ratcliffe barked at the two unimpeachable witnesses. “Shout it out – anyone?”
As Taylor tried to explain that it’s for congressmen to answer, Ratcliffe withdrew his own question.
“This is your job,” said Taylor, speaking on behalf of us all. If only Republican members of Congress understood the strange foreign language these career diplomats speak.

Trump Directed Diplomat to Ask Ukraine to Probe Biden in Overheard Cellphone Call
November 13, 2019
by Robert Mackey
The Intercept
In a jaw-dropping operational security lapse, President Donald Trump discussed his demand for Ukraine to open investigations of Joe Biden and other Democrats in a cellphone conversation with an American diplomat who was in a restaurant in Ukraine at the time, the House impeachment inquiry was told on Wednesday.
During that call with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Trump spoke so loudly about “the investigations” that someone in the restaurant who was not on the phone could hear his words, according to Bill Taylor, the senior American diplomat in Ukraine.
It is highly likely that others were listening too. Russia’s intelligence services have previously demonstrated the capability to intercept the phone calls of American diplomats in Ukraine and make recordings that can be used to compromise or embarrass those officials.
Taylor described the incident in his opening statement at the public impeachment hearing, explaining that a member of his staff who had accompanied Sondland to a meeting with a senior Ukrainian official and then the restaurant in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, was the one who overheard Trump.
According to Taylor’s sworn statement, “in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations.’ Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.”
That cellphone call took place on July 26, one day after Trump had pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to do him the “favor” of boosting right-wing conspiracy theories about Biden and other Democrats by opening criminal investigations on them.
At the time, Sondland was leading the secret effort directed by the president’s personal layer, Rudy Giuliani, to get Zelensky to announce investigations of both Burisma — a Ukrainian gas company that once employed Biden’s son Hunter — and supposed meddling in the 2016 election by Ukrainian officials to undermine Trump.
After the call, Taylor said, “The member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought of Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”
Sondland told Ukrainian television that day that he “had a great lunch with my team, but before that I had a wonderful, hour-long meeting with President Zelensky — that followed on the heels of his telephone call yesterday with President Trump.”
After the hearing, the embassy staff member who overheard the call was identified by NBC News as David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Earlier on Wednesday, Holmes was summoned by the House impeachment inquiry to give non-public testimony — a deposition now scheduled for Friday. That means Sondland will not know what Holmes said about the call when he testifies in public next week.
Taylor said that he and Kurt Volker, who was the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine at the time, were not present at the restaurant because they were visiting the front line between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists. Sondland and Taylor have testified that Trump withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine’s military to extort a promise from Zelesnky to go on CNN and announce the investigations of his political rivals.
“Sondland calling Trump on a cellphone from Kyiv is extraordinary for all sorts of reasons,” Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, observed on Twitter. “Normally EU Ambos don’t call presidents. They never do so to discuss Ukraine policy. Doing so on a cellphone from Kyiv means whole world was listening in.”
Trump’s appalling operational security is notable because, during the 2016 presidential campaign, he frequently accused Hillary Clinton of having committed a crime and compromised national security by using a private email account as secretary of state. Since taking office, however, Trump has reportedly continued to make calls on his iPhones, even after warnings from American intelligence officials that Russian and Chinese spies are regularly eavesdropping on his calls.
Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 5:53 p.m. ET
This article was updated to reflect new reporting that identified the American diplomat who overheard President Trump ask Gordon Sondland if Ukraine was willing to pursue “the investigations” he had demanded.

Jury begins considering verdict in trial of Trump adviser Roger Stone
November 14, 2019
by Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal jury in the criminal trial of U.S. President Donald Trump’s adviser Roger Stone began deliberations on Thursday into whether he lied to Congress about his efforts to learn more about when WikiLeaks would publish damaging emails about 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The 12-member jury, consisting of nine women and three men, represents a diverse cross-section of people, including an IRS civil tax attorney, an employee with AARP, and a former congressional candidate.
Stone, 67, has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in testimony during the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Witness tampering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The other counts carry a maximum sentence of five years each. If Stone is convicted, under U.S. sentencing guidelines he would likely face much less jail time as a first-time non-violent offender.
Prosecutors accused Stone of telling lawmakers five different lies related to the WikiLeaks website and its founder Julian Assange. WikiLeaks released a series of damaging emails about Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival in the presidential election, that U.S. intelligence officials and Special Counsel Robert Mueller later concluded had been stolen by Russian hackers.
Some of those lies relate to the existence of certain texts or emails, while others pertain to Stone’s conversations with Trump campaign officials and a supposed “intermediary” with WikiLeaks in early August 2016 whom Stone identified to lawmakers as being comedian Randy Credico.
The government and Stone’s attorneys offered closing arguments on Wednesday, with the government telling the jury Stone lied to Congress in order to protect Trump’s image.
Stone’s lawyers counter that such a motive makes no sense, because by the time Stone testified to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017, Trump was already president.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Official German report concerning Donald Trump’s criminal actions

Any competent trial lawyer will explain that there are two types of evidence: direct and circumstantial. And he will also explain that of the two, circumstantial is by far the strongest and most convincing.
There is a growing and very strong belief, not only in official Washington’s investigative agencies and in foreign capitals as well that American President Donald Trump is a bought and paid for asset of Vladimir Putin, the Russian SVR,and a powerful Russian-based drug cartel.
That Trump has been transparently corrupt for many years is not a state secret and would hardly be a revelation to Russia.
Their intelligence system is probably the world’s most efficient and the Russians are well-known to exploit character weaknesses in potential targets.
Herewith is an overview of Donald Trump and his background taken and translated from an August, 2019 German intelligence report. This came, with copies of official stamps and all, from a very reliable German newspaper official.

S T R E N G G E H E I M

Hintergrundbericht über den amerikanischen Präsidenten Donald T R U M P

– NICHT STEMPELN –
– NICHT UNTERZEICHNEN –
– NICHT BESCHRIFTEN –
– NICHT MARKIEREN –

(Translation from the German)

• Trump is not an honest man by any stretch of imagination. He has a long record of bankruptcies, business failures, very dubious business practices and extraordinarily negative behavior to staff and other employees. To catalogue the full sweep of a flood of patently dishonest business allegations against Donald Trump would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial, the blatently criminal with the truly scandalous.
• Certainly, the psychological personal profile of Donald Trump could hardly be better tailored to being easily turned by a hostile intelligence agency.
• The concept of Trump taking bribes from the Russians (or the PRC) is completely understandable if one applies the concept of Occam’s Razor to the tumult and disruption he is deliberately causing both domestically and in foreign areas.
• Russian intelligence agencies are known to have highly compromising and often bizarre sexual material on him going back more than 30 years and they have used Trump and his elaborate network of business entites as a funnel for laundering dirty money from the Russian mafia and from post-Soviet oligarchs. The Russians are well-known to have more than enough compromising material on Trump to bend him to their will.
• Trump has constantly been engaged in bribings and manipulations and does this through second parties such as Cohen his former lawyer or Manafort, his recently convicted campaign manager during the election.
• ,Following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed very large sums of operating capital from Russian sources. He also obtained large loans from the Deutsche Bank (over 640 million dollars)
• Other big banks, domestic and foreign, have long refused to lend to him, coining the term “the Donald risk” to refer to his repeated bankruptcies and failures to repay loans. However, Deutsche Bank, whose real-estate division continued to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars to finance his projects, seemed to have a greater risk appetite. There is a solid connection and on-going business between this bank and two Russian-based banks.
• 1,300 Trump condominiums have been sold to Russian-connected buyers. Even a cheap Trump condo costs over a million dollars, so there over 1,300 condos that meet all the criteria for what is normally called money laundering. Russian intelligence is using Trump real estate to launder money
• Also, it is certain that Trump has been working closely with known Russian drug dealers, helping them to find headquarters in his various real estate holdings and laundering their drug profits for them in exchange for a percentage.
• In 2008 his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.
• Trump and his entourage have made a significant number of trips to Russia in the past (a list of these along with Russian personages he was in contact with can easily be found on Google), seeking financing and permission to build luxury hotels in that country
• ,Russian intelligence owns Wikileaks entirely and released the damning, and authentic, ‘Podesta papers’ concurrent with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in coordinated agreement with the Trump people. This did serious damage to her campaign and was a major contributory factor to her narrow defeat and Trump’s election to the presidency.
• ,Trump’s actions, as President, are deliberate efforts to alienate both the putative allies of the US such as Germany, France, and Canada and, to a lesser degree, Mexico. Also, the tariffs suggested by Trump against China would result in retaliation by that country and many retail outlets in the United States would be forced to close because they would be unable to purchase Chinese-made goods, the bulk of their stock.
• Trump has deliberately launched pointless, and destructive, attacks against Mexican and Muslim immigrants, as well as Canadian, Chinese and German imports. All this has done is to create a highly negative image of his persona primarily and secondarily, the global image of the United States. This is only to the benefit of Putin’s Russia, not the United States.
• Trump’s tariffs, and threats of tariffs, have engendered counter-tariffs that will, when implemented, create serious economic problems for American businessmen and, eventually, the American public.
• Trump’s politically foolish but calculated support of the Israeli far right has done, and is doing, serious damage to the US image in the Middle East. It should be noted that Russian influence in the Shiite areas of the Middle East, is growing. Also note that Iran, and parts of Iraq, both Shiite, have extensive oil reserves and that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni state, once America’s primary source of badly-need oil, is running dry. Further, his aggressive support of Israel is resulting in increasing antisemitism in the United States.
• The Middle East areas where Russia now has growing influence, have oil and if Russia sets itself up as major oil merchandising source, this will give them tremendous economic leverage vis a vis the United States which is the world’s largest consumer of oil and its by-products.
• By alienating America’s allies and disrupting that country’s social structure, Trump benefits only Russia and its interests.
• ,When he is caught at this, and it is common knowledge that the FBI was deeply interested in his Russian connections long before he ran for President, either the American public will have to deal with another Dallas or Trump will suffer a fatal heart attack. Vice-President Pence, a Christian fanatic, would then have to be told to mind his manners or suffer similar terminal problems.
• ,Trump is very well aware of the ongoing and growing official investigation into his denied but completely genuine Russian connections and is certainly also well aware of what they can find, and probably have already uncovered, so he initially fired the head of the FBI and even now, according to a very reliable source, is determined to replace the FBI with the cooperative CIA (their former head, Pompeo, is now Secretary of State) as the sole foreign and domestic intelligence agency. He, and his Russian intelligence handlers, want to nip any FBI revelations in the bud so that Trump can continue on his course of castrating the United States as a global power to the benefit of Putin’s Russia.
• ,There was a full page ad that he took out in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in 1988, putting forth foreign policy points that could have been dictated by Vladimir Putin. It was an assault against NATO, and the European Union, both anathema to Russia
• In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies in France and Germany began picking up solid evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic States shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.
• ,During the Soviet era, Russian intelligence cast a wide net to gain leverage over influential figures abroad. (The practice continues to this day.) The Russians would lure or entrap not only prominent politicians and cultural leaders, but also people whom they saw as having the potential for gaining prominence in the future. In 1986, Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin met Trump in New York, flattered him with praise for his building exploits, and invited him to discuss a building in Moscow. Trump visited Moscow in July 1987. He stayed at the National Hotel, in the Lenin Suite, which certainly was known to be bugged
• Throughout his career, Trump has always felt comfortable operating at or beyond the ethical boundaries that constrain typical businesses. In the 1980s, he worked with La Cosa Nostra, which controlled the New York cement trade, and later employed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom have links to the Russian Mafia. Trump habitually refused to pay his counter parties, and if the people he burned (or any journalists) got in his way, he bullied them with threats. He also used LLCs which he created for the purpose of swindling firm who, for example, laid new carpet in one of his hotels. The vendor billed the LLC which promptly went bankrupt. This has been a favorite gambit of Trump.
• Trump continually acts like a man with a great deal to hide: declining to testify to anything under oath, dangling Presidential pardons to keep potential witnesses and former employees from incriminating him, publicly chastising his attorney general for not quashing the whole Russian investigation, and endorsing Russia’s claims that it had nothing to do with the election. (“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” he tweeted last month, contradicting the conclusion of every U.S. intelligence and counter-intelligence agency.) Trump’s behavior toward Russia looks exactly like that of an accessory after the fact.
• ,When, and not if, it becomes public knowledge that the President of the US is an agent of a foreign power, it would be the worst scandal in American history, far surpassing Tea Pot Dome or Watergate.
• In conclusion, it is clearly obvious that President Trump was jobbed into his office with the full cooperation of Russian intelligence and that he is currently engaged in efforts to carry out their political global programs which, if allowed to continue, will wreak economic and political havoc on the American government, business community and public.
• ,And consider that the United States has been harassing Vladimir Putin’s Russia economically and causing considerable problems for that country. Mr. Putin’s reactive countermeasures aganst the United States are certainly in response to these actions and in the long view, far more effective than sanctions and hysterical threats.

Defeat in Georgia
November 14, 2019
by Gregory Douglas
Georgia, firmly in the pocket of the United States, would have never launched a massive artillery and armor attack against South Ossetia without active United States complicity and assistance . The Israelis were also deeply involved in this, one of their IDF intelligence units conducting aerial observations over suspected areas of possible Russian retaliatory buildups on their side of the boarder by using their own drone spy planes and passing any information gained from these flights not to the Georgians but to their friends, the Americans.
In Georgia at the time of the attack, there were over two thousand troops engaged in intensive training of the Georgian army and added to this number there were approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Vicenza, Italy-based Southern European Task Force (Airborne) and the Kaiserslautern-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command, along with Marine reservists with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines out of Ohio, and the state of Georgia’s Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry. This was under the command of the U.S. Special Operations Command, a division of EUCOM. And this controlled GSSOP (Georgia Sustainment and Stability Operations Program), which has trained over 5,000 Georgian troops, some for eventual service in Iraq. As a condition for Georgian service in Iraq, there were promises of getting Georgia NATO membership in year. 2009.
The U.S. trainers, usually a team of 70 Americans taking a 600 man Georgian infantry battalion through a 17 week training program, concentrate on combat subjects. Other training programs instructed support and staff troops.
The decision to invade South Ossetia did not originate in Tiblisi but in Washington. Bush agreed that if Georgia could be pushed into attacking an area known to be of especial interest to Moscow, a probably Russian reaction could be blown up in the American press out of all proportion to its actuality and this could quickly have been used by a faltering McCain’s presidential campaign. As McCain was well-known to be very pro-Israel, Tel Aviv also supported a Georgian offensive and did everything it could to promote it, realizing that in the chaos following, they could launch their sneak attacks on Iran.
Artillery specialists from the 48th Infantry Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry were heavily involved in the Georgian artillery buildup and at least four of the casualties of the Russian counter-attack were black American soldiers.
The Israelis, who had close ties with Georgia and whose Defense Minister was an Israeli citizen, as usual played both sides, contacted the Russians and tipped them off about the pending attack in return for what they hoped would be Russian aid in an Israeli attack on Iran. The Russians generally detest and certainly distrust Jews, having had decades of very painful experience with them under Stalin so they took the Israeli information and put it to good use and, of course, had no intention of becoming involved in any anti-Iranian activity.
This entire third grade farce exploded in Washington’s face, the U.S. military fled the country, leaving the trusting Georgians to be dealt with massive Russian armor attacks, the Israelis ran away almost as fast but left their drones and much valuable spy equipment behind as they hastened back to the security of Israel. The betrayed and tricked Georgians were left behind as were the tons of American taxpayer-funded equipment.

Anti-vaccine movement: the epidemic of stupid
April 15, 2019
by Blean Tsige
Digget Magazine
Social networking platforms have contributed to a specific form of the epidemic of stupid: the anti-vaccine movement. These networking platforms are revolutionary inventions, creating a community beyond our traditional borders, that allows information to be passed along, with many people listening, engaging, and building relationships. The essence of serviceability provided by these platforms is abused and used to spread misleading information about vaccines. Anti-vaccine movements are not new, but due to social networking platforms this information can be spread on a larger scale. In turn, this contributes to the comeback of outdated diseases like measles in Europe and the USA.
The anti-vaccine movement and the comeback of a ‘Dark Ages disease’
Measles has made a comeback, not only in the USA but also in Europe. Some experts blame this on widespread misinformation about vaccinations. These misleading sources are spread via social media platforms, but also via product platforms like Bol.com whose algorithms seem to promote anti-vaccination books.
Anti-vaccine advocates attempt, for example, to convince people that vaccines against measles can cause autism. Following this claim, many parents have made the decision to not vaccinate their child in fear of the child developing autism. This conspiracy theory, therefor, can have serious and devastating effects.
n 2019, there have been 372 outbreaks of measles in 2018 and already 206 cases since 28th February 2019 in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Europe, too, the amount of measles cases has tripled, according to a news report of Science on 12th February 2019. That translates as 83,000 reported cases of measles by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe.
The rather bizarre but also strangely ironic note in this, is that both reports have found one common leading issue that contributes to this problem: measles has made a comeback because of anti-vaccine sentiments. This means that there are an increasing amount of parents who judge that it is best to not vaccinate their child because there is a ‘unknown percentage’ of risk for a child to develop autism due to this vaccine. Instead of vaccinating a child these parents would rather let the child suffer from – and possibly die from – measles. What is more, measles is a highly contagious, infectious disease. Merely being in a room that somebody who has measles has left hours before, could already result in an infection.
The other thing that seems to be contagious is the misleading information spread by anti-vaccine movements. This has caused such an immense problem that the WHO has called the anti-vaccine movement a major threat to public health. They have labeled this epidemic ‘vaccine hesitance’. As the cause is complex, the WHO argues that the problem cannot be entirely blamed on anti-vaccine movements alone. Nevertheless, particularly Western countries increase in measles cases had been used as proof and warning that this might be due to the spread of misleading information.
In another report, Katrina Kretsinger, a lead measles expert, has said that ‘the root cause of the measles outbreaks […] is a failure to adequately vaccinate’. This would explain the 30% increase in the spread of measles around the globe.
What is really the difference?
Most news reports see that the increase of measles cases is due to the fact that anti-vaccine movements have spread misleading information on social media platforms, which makes concerned parents to adopt the drastic measure of not vaccinating their child. According to the New York Times ‘flu vaccination rates and infant immunization levels have largely remained stable in recent years’. However, the link that was used by the New York Times to prove that vaccines remain stable is from 2017, whereas the aforementioned increase of measles cases happened in 2018 and 2019.
The New York Times claims that the anti-vaccine movement has been around since the 18th century, hence, ‘fears and resistance to vaccination are not new’.
The report acknowledges the link between anti-vaxxers and the increase in measles cases, but does not address to what extent social networking platforms have contributed to this influential relationship, even though many others have found compelling evidence of a connection between the two phenomena.
That is to say, the outbreak of measles in recent cases has been blamed upon anti-vaxxers being able to spread misleading information on social networking platforms. Therefore, what follows offers a discussion on how social networking platforms influence and contribute to the measles epidemic.
Social networking platforms in connection to anti-vaxxers
None other than the ‘preciously-alluring’ platform kings of the internet – Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Amazon – play the leading roles in this epidemic. However, instead of blaming these platforms themselves, we need to consider the usage of them. The internet is a great space for movements such as for the anti-vaxxers. This is due to the fact that the internet offers a space in which anyone can spread any type of information. This offers members of anti-vaccine movements to read and spread misleading information that is not scientifically supported.
If one types ‘vaccine’ into the Facebook search engine, the first results that show up are anti-vaccination content.
Pages such as ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccination’ have 129K likes. According to the WELT, clicking ‘like’ on any of these pages, will immediately redirect you to many other pages that promote anti-vaccination. Particularly in the USA this has inspired discussions that force Facebook to take preventive measures against this dynamic.
At the end of February, Facebook first agreed ‘to get tougher on anti-vaxxers’, without stating exactly what actions this would entail. On March 7th, Facebook announced that it ‘will no longer allow advertisements that include misinformation about vaccines as part of an effort to reduce the spread of ‘vaccine hoaxes’ on the platform’.
YouTube, too, took action against channels that promoted anti-vaccination videos. According to BuzzFeed News, YouTube’s ‘Up next’ algorithm recommended users anti-vaccination videos after watching a pro-vaccine video. They had tested the website by searching for ‘immunization’ without any previous recorded personal data or watch history. The first video offered for this search was from the pro-vaccination channel Rehealthify. The following suggested video, however, was an anti-vaccination clip titled ‘Mom Researches Vaccines, Discovers Vaccination Horrors and Goes Vaccine Free’. This clip came from a channel owned by Larry Cook, who is the owner of the popular anti-vaccination website ‘StopMandatoryVaccination.com’, which had already been scrutinized by Facebook.
BuzzFeed News elaborated on the fact that YouTube is not only affected by conspiracies theory of anti-vaxxers but also by the ‘steady stream of videos of crying parents who genuinely believe vaccines harmed their children that keeps the movement boosted’. It was still unclear at that moment how YouTube would take measures against this, but as of now, YouTube had promised to demonetize channels promoting anti-vaccines.
Another platform that was involved in this turmoil is Pinterest. Their search engine had also recommended many anti-vaccine facts. The platform was forced to block vaccination searches that had contradicting medical guidelines and images that cautioned against vaccinations. Similar decisions were made at Amazon. At the beginning of March, California Congressman Adam Schiff was wrote a personal letter to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos regarding the anti-Vaccine information accessible on their website. Shiff was concerned about the ‘surfacing and recommending products and content that discourage parents from vaccinating their children’, describing it as a ‘direct threat to public health’. He added that this spread was causing a ‘reversing progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.’ Amazon then removed anti-vaccination documentaries from their search results for Prime videos, stated Buzzfeed News.
In 2018, 35 deaths caused by measles have been reported in the EU countries that had previously eradicated or interrupted the endemic of the transmissions of measles. As of yet, in 2019, the highest numbers of outbreak cases had been documented in Romania, Italy, Poland, and France. The European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) states that there have been 881 cases reported around 19 countries, but 10 of these did not report any outbreaks. For example, Germany ‘did not report measles data for 2019’, states ECDC, even though there had been 546 reported cases between December 2017 and November 2018.
The WELT found examples of links on German Facebook pages that resemble the American cases: promoting ‘anti-vaccine propaganda’ instead of providing scientifically supported evidence. The newspaper also carried out a similar test to that of BuzzFeed News, by typing ‘Impfen’ (‘vaccinate’) into the search engine and found hits relating to the same anti-vaccine nonsense as in the American case. Included in the first five results were the pages ‘Impfen Pro &Contra’ [Vaccinate Pros&Cons], ‘Maßvoll Impfen’ [moderate Vaccination] and ‘Nicht impfen- was dann’ [No vaccination – what now]. The WELT applied same test to YouTube and found a less concerning outcome. Nevertheless, in the top ten results there where two anti-vaccine Titles; ‘Wir impfen nicht’ [We do not vaccinate] and ‘Impfen macht erst krank’ [Vaccines above all triggers sickness].
The growing concern on the measles outbreaks corroborates with the spread of radical anti-vaccine information on different internet platforms. It would be expected that this would induce a political intervention in Europe to stop the misconception, as has happened in the US.
What can we do for today and tomorrow?
The Washington Post has suggested that the contemporary anti-vaccine movement should be labeled as ‘the modern anti-vaxxer movement,’ because it is gaining momentum even though there is no evidence that proves that vaccines can cause autism at all. There is a need to take immediate action. This was brought to the attention of the Senate through a hearing on ‘Vaccines Save Lives: What is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks’, in which an 18-year-old boy called Ethan Lindenberger demanded for attention.
Lindenberger had received vaccinations even though his mother, who is a firm believer in the anti-vaccination movement, had forbidden him to do so. He is set to testify in front of the Senate committee. He urges to ‘combat preventable-disease outbreaks, information […]’, and says that the leading source of this issue is social media, claiming that his mother ‘would turn to anti-vaccine groups online and on social media, looking for her evidence in defense […]’.
This is just one case out of many more. In another case, an unvaccinated boy was infected with tetanus and it cost his parents $800,000 to save his life. Even after this procedure his parents refused their son to be vaccinated, because of their fears fueled by anti-vaccine information. This CDC report was published and aimed at a corroborated ‘growing anti-vaccination movement bolstered by the spread of misleading content social media platforms’, claims BuzzFeed News.
Nonetheless, children are usually forced to listen to their parents because their parents possess full legal custody over their children. Which makes sense: a parent should have full responsibility for their underaged children. But what happens if this legally responsible parent believes in anti-vaccine information that has no base in scientific evidence and causes their child or others to receive measles as a result of not vaccinated their child? When can we say that ‘enough is enough’? How many kids have to suffer, before somebody steps in? Or will we forever have to encounter the new Joshua Nerius – the 30-year-old son of anti-vaxxers diagnosed with measles?
The solution: vaccinate
It is undeniable that this situation needs to receive special attention. It has impacted society on a global level, because people travel more frequently than ever before. Therefore, it becomes more likely that unvaccinated individuals come into contact with people in environments were vaccinations are not as affordable as e.g. in most Western countries. Let us not take advantage of our privilege and realize that we do not need to be looking for a new answer, for we have already got one.
On social media, the same places that allow anti-vaxxers to spread their misinformation have also become the places where the movement is challenged by pro-vaxxers. The pro-vaxxers use the internet to spread ‘images from the darkly humorous to the occasionally brutal as well as the informational’, that are targeted at anti-vaccine audiences. These pro-vaxxers felt the need to step in, because ‘social media companies have been slow to act’. The members of the pro-vaccine movement prefer to stay anonymous because they have been harassed multiple times by anti-vaxxers. One of the pro-vaxxers remarks that their mission is to ensure that ‘people to find the very idea of being or becoming anti-vax laughable’ and to create the feeling ‘that no reasonable person would ever want to be perceived as being [one of them]’.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
November 14, 2019
by Dr. Peter Janney
On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.
Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.
Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.
After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.
The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.
When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..
A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.
The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.
Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”
Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.
Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 43
Date: Friday, October 25, 1996
Commenced: 3:45 PM CST
Concluded: 4:15 PM CST

GD: Good afternoon, Robert. Everything going well for you? How was your doctor’s appointment?
RTC: Well, no results but I am resigned to being old, Gregory. When you get to my age, you’ll count the day as wonderful if you can open your eyes in the morning. How is it with you?
GD: It goes. Moving to Illinois was not the best of ideas but my son left me little choice. It was move or else.
RTC: Or else what?
GD: He would leave and I would be stuck with a huge rent for a big house with a swimming pool that he insisted we have but he only used once. I used it all the time but I had to clean it and with all the trees and the occasional drowned squirrel, it was a wonderful addition that I would never want again unless I was rich enough to afford a weekly pool service. Of course the scumbag neighbors wanted their filthy kids to use it but I said that was not possible. I told them my insurance forbade it but actually, who wants an army of screaming little assholes using the pool as their private toilet?
RTC: Sounds like you put your Scrooge hat on this morning.
GD: Actually, I like kids. If you barbecue the small ones, they go well with a pitcher of Jack Daniels.
RTC: For God’s sake, don’t ever say that around a Jew or you’ll go stone deaf from the screaming.
GD: Oh, I know you’re right about that one. It’s a little like saying that you’re looking for a chink in someone’s armor and Asian-Americans start shouting. And never call a spade, a spade.
RTC: Yes. We live in an artificial society, Gregory. Our primitive selves still heft the vanished club with which to smite other cave-dwellers.
GD: In the Mueller book, I made reference to the fact that we now have nice-nice titles for people. I said we call janitors ‘sanitary engineers’ and that Mongoloids are now called ‘differently abled.’ And some reader wrote a nasty letter to my publisher about this which he forwarded for my comment. She said she was horrified and repulsed by the use of the Mongoloid idiot implication. Her little Timmy was the sweetest child on earth and I ought to be thrashed for calling him this terrible, forbidden name.
RTC: Did you reply?
GD: Oh yes. I wrote to her that having read her letter with sorrow because she was stuck with a retard, I suggested, very pointedly, that she ought to put some chlorine in her gene pool.
RTC: (Laughter) Gregory, you didn’t.
GD: Why not? Hell, the Greeks knew something about genes and they left their retards out on the mountainside to either die slowly or more quickly when the animals got them. Keeps the race clean if you follow me. Now, we let the innates breed and they are filling what passes for civilization with all kinds of lopsided mongrels. Malthus doesn’t mention eugenics but I feel that the herd should be thinned and the best breeding stock put in a separate pen to avoid two legged goats or chickens covered with fur.
RTC: You sound like a Nazi. As I recall, we had that Dr. Mengele on the payroll. Down in South America where we wanted him to do work on breeding superior people.
GD: Jesus H. Christ, Robert, talk about infuriating the Jews. If they ever found out about that delightful fact, all their newspapers, magazines and television stations would do terrible damage to the CIA. My grandfather was a Nazi but I am not.
RTC: Over there?
GD: No, here. A member of the AO in good standing.
RTC: Pardon?
GD: The Auslands Organization. Party members residing outside Germany. He was a banker with close connections to the Schreoder people in Cologne. Party member since 1923.
RTC: Well, the CIA is now full of Jews so if they find that out, they will do more than keep your books out of the bookstores.
GD: I suppose if I turned my back on them, I might have some trouble. They don’t like confrontation and love to work in the dark or through surrogates. They hate the Mueller books, not because Mueller was anti-Semitic but because he is presented as a human being. To professional Jews, all Germans are evil. Little children of eight were trained to visit the concentration camp in their neighborhood and toss screaming Jewish babies into the giant bonfires that burned day and night.
RTC: Now I know you’re joking.
GD: Of course but that sort of silly crap is very close to what they do.
RTC: Of course it’s to make money and gain moral superiority. ‘Oh Mr. Salesman, my whole family died in the gas chambers. Terrible. Can you give a poor survivor 50% off on that couch?’
GD: Robert, that’s very unkind. True but unkind.
RTC: I remember when they attacked the Liberty and were killing Americans. Deliberate of course and the Navy sent aircraft to wipe them out. Johnson found out about this and stopped the flight. Why? He didn’t want to offend Israel.
GD: What about dead Americans?
RTC: Pales into insignificance when balanced against the vital needs of precious Israel. At the time, they were murdering captured Etyptian soldiers and they didn’t want us listening in so the tried to sink the ship.
GD: And Pollard…
RTC: Oh my, yes and even now they want us to liberate him. They made him an honorary member of the Knesset and put big bucks away for him in a private account. And this for an American who was stealing important secrets and giving them to what was supposed to be an ally.
GD: Did you ever read the Bunche report?
RTC: Ralph Bunche. The UN man?
GD: Yes. After the Jews murdered Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross and one of their royal family, solely because he refused to allow them to butcher Arab farmers, they killed him and Bunche, who was on Cypress dealing with refugees, was given his job. The UN prepared a chronology of violence in Palestine from ’44 until ’48…day by day. A wonderful chronicle of arson, murder, kidnapping, poisoning and God alone knows what atrocities. Blowing up hotels full of people and so on. I got a copy from an Army friend and if you like, I can send you a photo copy.
RTC: That I would like to see although there’s nothing I can do about it now.
GD: And when you were in the CIA?
RTC: I never liked dealing with those people. Jim Angleton loved them and kissed their asses but I never trusted any of them.
GD: Especially our allies?
RTC: Oh no, they are not our allies. If it weren’t for the fact that Jews have lots of money and own almost all the newspapers and TV stations, we wouldn’t be so eager to kiss their hairy asses, believe me.
GD: Well, the wheel turns, Robert, and one day there will be a reckoning of sorts. I don’t forsee enormous gas chambers being built in Detroit but the public can get very unpleasant when it gets angry.
RTC: But without the papers and TV and with political correctness in full swing, I can’t see mobs in the street burning down kosher meat stores.
GD: Who knows the way the wheel turns?
RTC: But don’t put any of this into future books, Gregory. Not a good idea. You will be accused of masterminding the assassination of Lincoln.
GD: Well, they may have the newspapers but there are other avenues. I remember once when I was giving a lecture, some old bitch came up to me afterwards and began telling me how her whole family had been turned into lampshades and soap at Auschwutz. She dared me to respond but I did.
RTC: And? God help us all, what did you say?
GD: Why, I said my uncle had died at Auischwitz during the war. She blinked and asked me if he were a Jew.
GD: I told her no, he was not. I said he got drunk on the Fuehrer’s birthday, fell out of a guard tower and broke his neck.
RTC: My God, you have balls, Gregory. What did she do?
GD: I think she swallowed her false teeth. However, everyone around us started laughing so not everyone was mad at me. She waddled off before I could tell her about the new German pizza oven that seated four.
RTC: Gregory, do let us change the subject. Suppose some Jewish FBI agents were listening to this?
GD: I would offer a special bargain on hand soap. I could set up a booth at a fair with hand soap in piles and a sign saying ‘Find a Relative!’ over it. Probably not a good idea. They would ask me for a 50% discount. Oh, by the way, to change the subject…
RTC: Thank God…
GD: Yes. Did you know that the British Prince Consort, Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a German, not a Greek. He also had been a uniformed member of several Nazi organizations before he joined the Royal Navy. His brother had been a member of the SS and his sister had been a German nurse so they never got invited to the royal wedding. His uncle was Prince Phillip of Hesse who lived in Italy where he married their Crown Princess. He was Hitler’s art dealer in Italy. Phillip is related to the last Empress of Russia, the German Kaiser and others. His uncle was a general in the SA. I have a snapshot of him in his Hitler Youth uniform, dagger and all, with a friend of mine when both were at a Hitler Youth rally. I would imagine the IRA would love to buy that one.
RTC: I had heard something about this. Phil is a nasty piece of arrogant work. Anthony Blunt…
GD: I know all about his going to Germany and hiding references to Phillp’s Nazi past. That’s why he never got arrested when he was exposed as a Russian spy.
RTC: You do get around, Gregory.
GD: If we got together, I could tell you lots of interesting facts, Robert. Well, enough evil for the moment. My dog is making go outside noises so I had best leave you. I will call you later, OK?
RTC: Salud.

(Concluded at 4:15 Pm CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

Encyclopedia of American Loons
E. Norbert Smith
A.k.a. Doc Gator

E. Norbert Smith is a near-infamous mainstay of creationist organizations and fundie anti-science efforts. The reason is, of course, that Smith is one of those rare specimens among creationists who does indeed possess a Ph.D. in Zoology, from Texas Tech University. Smith is a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s idiotic petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism (his dissent being not even remotely scientific, of course), as well as the CMI list of scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation. He seems to be currently affiliated with the website Creation.com (previously with godofcreation.com), and was formerly on the board of directors for the Creation Research Society. He has also taught courses for various fundie extremist mockeries of educational institutions, including a “graduate course” for the Institute for Creation Research as well as an online course in Creation for Liberty University.
Now, Smith might, in fact, have written some real research articles back in the 70s and 80s. For the last 30 years or so, however, he has focused on writing articles for the Journal of Creation, children’s books (of course: this was never about science, truth or evidence, but cult recruitment) – including a number of books about Al-the-gator under the pseudonym Doc Gator – and various anti-science books with titles like Evolution Has Failed and Battleground University. In the latter his main complaint seems to be that universities teach critical thinking to students, something that often gets in the way of accepting his denialist talking points on pure faith. Smith does not appear to have any current academic affiliation, however, and is surely not a working scientist by any stretch of the imagination.
And if you ever wondered whether his creationist research had any scientific merit, you can read about his pitiful forays into creation hydrology here. The measures taken to avoid actually testing the core hypothesis are rather striking.
Diagnosis: A mainstay of creation science, which stands to science like pretend gold stands to gold. We cannot let real scientific testing or evidence get in the way of good dogma, can we?

David Perlmutter

David Perlmutter is a Florida-based celebrity doctor (neurologist) and author in the tradition of celebrity quacks and frauds like Dr. Oz (indeed, Perlmutter serves as medical advisor for The Dr. Oz Show), and is partially responsible for currently popular and myth-based gluten nonsense fads and for the pseudoscientific basis for popular paleo-diet advice. In particular, Perlmutter advocates a functional and holistic approach to treating brain disorders, and the false main claim of his 2013 pseudoscientific magnum opus Grain Brain is that gluten causes various neurological conditions. The book successful enough for Perlmutter to produce several equally shoddy sequels. He has also contributed to the Huffington Post,The Daily Beast, and Mind Body Green. Perlmutter used to be president of the Perlmutter Health Center until it was sold in 2015, and has also, tellingly, received numerous awards from various quack organization, such as the 2002 Linus Pauling Award of the Institute for Functional Medicine and a 2006 National Nutritional Foods Association thing, as well as a 2015 “Communications and Media Award” from the American College of Nutrition. He also made it onto this list.
It is no exaggeration to call Grain Brain enormously influential; it topped bestselling lists for an unnervingly long period of time (there is a decent explanation for its success here) and really made its author something of a star in the altmed pseudoscience community. In the book (good reviews here and here), Perlmutter ostensibly revealed “the surprising truth” that gluten is a “silent germ” responsible for declining brain health. This is demonstrably complete and utter bullshit. Even pseudoscience advocate David Katz called it a “silly book” that exhibits “the raw power of pop culture repetition, not the staying power of truth.” There is a decent, though sympathetic, summary of Perlmutter’s claims (and the rather serious problems with them) here, and a short summary here.
Meanwhile, real scientists, such as microbiome expert Jonathan Eisen, were not impressed with Perlmutter’s 2015 sequel Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – for Life: “To think we can magically heal diseases by changing to a gluten-free diet and taking some probiotics is idiotic … It resembles more the presentation of a snake-oil salesman than that of a person interested in actually figuring out how to help people.” The book was the result of his 90-minute TV special, Perlmutter’s “BRAINCHANGE”, which was aired on over 110 PBS affiliates and has continued to air on a regular basis since then. The book promises to help readers harness “the power of gut microbes to heal and protect your brain – for life,” and offers ostensibly groundbreaking preventative measures and treatments for allergies, autism, Alzheimer’s, ALS, dementia, Parkinson’s, and cancer. The claim, though false, is actually not particularly new; Perlmutter has for decades offered readers “miraculous” treatments that can prevent and remedy all sorts of medical problems, and claimed that the various supplements and “detoxification” regimens he sells on his website are crucial to optimizing brain health. Needless to say, the data do not bear his claims out (there is for instance a fact check of some of his claims here). But then, Perlmutter is not really a scientist – he had a couple of solid publications (unrelated to his current efforts) four decades ago; the more recent stuff are either case reports or published in scam or bottom-feeding journals like the Journal of Applied Nutrition (listed here). He’s got anecdotes, though. His anecdotes do sound miraculous, we’ll give him that. Miraculous-sounding anecdotes is not exactly a credibility boost. It is worth pointing out that the anecdotes in his 2000 book BrainRecovery sounded equally miraculous (and exhibited a similar complete lack of actual evidence to back them up), only this time around cholesterol and saturated fat were culprits, things he recommends in his later work – in the previous work, nonsense like hyperbaric oxygen chambers (he even ran his own “Perlmutter hyperbaric oxygen center”) and special, proprietary supplements were the order of the day (the FDA was not impressed), including glutathione: it’s effectiveness in Parkinson’s patients, he claims, “is nothing short of miraculous”. His stock of anecdotes is at least remarkably flexible.
Glutathione, by the way, is demonstrably useless (Perlmutter displayed a momentary lapse of judgment and actually contributed to real research showing that it is useless; he seems to have learned), a conclusion Perlmutter conspicuously aggressively neglected to mention in subsequent recommendations for it. Criticism of his recommendations were (and are) predictably dismissed as Big Pharma trolling.Meanwhile, Perlmutter was himself shilling for Protandim, testifying to its undeniable efficacy for treating and preventing many brain orders; the producer, LifeVantage, eventually revealed that it was a scam and wasn’t, as claimed, developed by a biochemist but cooked up by a business executive. So it goes.
Beyond conspiracies, Perlmutter is also fond of another familiar, general response to his critics: “Each progressive spirit,” he tweets, “is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.” He is, in other words, just like Galileo; indeed, Perlmutter explicitly pulls the Galileo comparison, failing to notice the rather crucial bit of asymmetry that Galileo wasn’t opposed by the contemporaneous scientific community.
And of course, as his empire grows, so does the amount of bullshit. Perlmutter has pushed everything from “empowering coconut oil” to demographically tailored supplement blends (such as a $90 “Scholar’s Advantage Pack” for “young adults seeking to optimize cognitive function,” and a $160 “Senior Empowerment Pack”), his own organic foaming hand soap, as well as a $8,500 brain detoxification at a retreat he runs, which includes shamanic healing ceremonies. Recently, Perlmutter has been a devoted champion of the toxins scare.
To top it all, Perlmutter has also made appeals to the antivaxx community. In particular, he has advocated the “alternative vaccine schedule” nonsense (i.e. advising parents to ask their pediatricians about scheduling childhood vaccinations separately), which would put children and communities at greater risk of contracting preventable diseases. Of course, Perlmutter is advocating this against better judgment, but it resonates with his target audience, and Perlmutter is a disgusting excuse for a human being who apparently wouldn’t think twice about a few hundred dead kids a year if it pads his wallet.
A remorseless snake oil pusher, and one of the most dangerous and vilest of those in the US today.

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