Saturday, December 14, 2019

BoJo's People: Emulation Being the Greater Part of Plagiarism

Man Steals Speech from Alleged Political Enemy

by Rob Slane - The Blogmire

December 15, 2019

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

I was most amused to listen to Boris Johnson’s victory speech on Friday morning. I listened as he talked about a new dawn; about being humbled that people who had never voted for his party had put their trust in him; about getting support from all parts of the country; about the heavy responsibility this has brought; about not letting people down; about the need for change and the need to deliver change; about having been given a historic mandate; about uniting the country.

And I wondered why I had this tremendous sense of deja vu.

Getting Them By Their Shorts: How Jeffrey Epstein's Spycraft Worked & Works

Former Spy Details Israel’s Main Motive Behind Epstein’s Sexual Blackmail Operation

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News

December 13, 2019

MintPress speaks with Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli spy who worked closely with Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, as part of their work with Israeli military intelligence and had frequent encounters with Jeffrey Epstein.

A graphic shows Ari Ben-Menashe, left, and Jeffery Epstein. 
Credit | Claudio Cabrera

In recent weeks, renewed attention has been brought to the allegations that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking and sexual blackmail operation was run on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Those claims revolve around statements made by a former Israeli military intelligence official turned public relations consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, whose allegations regarding the Epstein scandal were reported by MintPress this past October.

Tracking "Foreign" Interference in UK Election

Someone Interfered In The UK Election, And It Wasn’t Russia

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

December 13, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen I have here at my fingertips indisputable proof that egregious election meddling took place in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Before you get all excited, no, it wasn’t the Russians. It wasn’t the Chinese, the Iranians, Cobra Command or the Legion of Doom. I’m not going to get any Rachel Maddow-sized paychecks for revealing this evidence to you, nor am I going to draw in millions of credulous viewers waiting with bated breath for a bombshell revelation of an international conspiracy that will invalidate the results of the election.

In fact, hardly anyone will even care.

The Turn-Around Kid: Buttigieg and the Lairds of Privatization

Buttigieg and McKinsey 

by Joyce Nelson - CounterPunch

December 13, 2019

Major questions have been raised about presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s work for global consulting firm McKinsey, with even the New York Times editorial board demanding that he release the information. After Buttigieg issued a sparse and vague overview on December 7, questions remain unanswered about his work for McKinsey from 2007 to 2010.

My recent book Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism has a major focus on McKinsey, which has long been one of the lead corporate players engaged in privatizing the world. Published in November 2016, the book sheds light on many of McKinsey’s activities, including during the time Buttigieg was employed there.

It appears that Mayor Pete did indeed “drink the McKinsey Kool-Aid” on at least one issue – health care.

Killing Nord Stream 2: US Santions Steam Blowing Off Germany

US to impose sanctions on companies involved in European Nord Stream 2 pipeline

by Peter Schwarz - WSWS

13 December 2019

The US House of Representatives adopted sanctions by a large majority on Wednesday against firms involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The firms and their managers are threatened with the withdrawal of their visas and the freezing of their wealth in the United States.

The Solitaire, laying pipe as part of the Nord Stream gas pipeline
project in the Gulf of Finland [Photo:]

Nord Stream 2 connects Russia directly with Germany across the Baltic Sea. From there, the gas is distributed by land to other European countries. The pipeline runs parallel to Nord Stream 1, which has been in operation since 2011, doubling its capacity from 55 billion to 110 billion cubic metres. Germany currently uses almost 90 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

The Turkish Stream pipeline, which runs from southern Russia across the Black Sea to Turkey, is also impacted by the sanctions. However, the laying of that pipeline, against which the sanctions are directed, has already been completed.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Trident's Fury: Turkey's Gambit for Dominion of the Sea Bottom


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

December 13, 2019


In the great game of who will sell gas to Europe, and in the American game of stopping Russia from doing so, Turkey has now declared its stake in the outcome by erecting a paper barrier across the Mediterranean Sea from the Turkish coast to the Libyan coast, and preparing to move armed forces into position to enforce it. This is both a bluff and a dare. 

Moscow - The paper was signed in Istanbul on November 27 between the Turkish Government and the Government of National Accord (GNA), one of the sides in the Libyan civil war. Read their memorandum of understanding and the new Turkish map of the Mediterranean here.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan followed this week with two extras. On Monday he said: “Greek Cypriots, Egypt, Greece, and Israel cannot establish a natural gas transmission line without Turkey’s consent.” Then on Tuesday: “If Libya were to make a request, we would send a sufficient number of troops. After the signing of the security agreement, there is no hurdle.”

Never mind that at the moment the GNA is losing the Libyan war. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Failure to Print: Afghan Papers Reveal What Media Always Knew, But Wouldn't Say

‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent Newsmedia

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

December 11, 2019

Embedded journalists and news organizations that hire retired generals for commentary don't give the true picture 

When in October 2015 a US flying gunship spent an hour bombing, cannoning and raking with a firestorm of machine gun bullets a well-marked Doctors-Without-Borders hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan filled with patients, family members, doctors and nurses, killing many, it should have been enough to force an end to America’s criminal war on that country. Instead the war and the killing, mostly of civilians, goes on…and on.

In 1966, during the early years of the America’s war against Vietnam, Congress passed and President Johnson signed into law a Freedom of Information Act. The FOIA wasn’t all that great at the time, though. Indeed, it took the courageous act of two men, Daniel Ellsberg and his co-conspirator, Anthony Russo, to risk years in jail to steal and then copy thousands of pages of a secret US government study of the history of that war, known as the Pentagon Papers, in 1969, and to then, at great personal risk, to get them, in 1971, printed in the New York Times.

Three years later, in the midst of the Watergate scandal and Nixon impeachment, FOIA was improved and expanded. Suddenly ordinary Americans were for the first time able to file a FOIA request with a government agency like the FBI and other federal agencies and receive documents (censored of course, but still useful) like a dossier of spying on themselves (as I did), or a copy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s latest plan for implementing martial law in the event of a “national emergency” (as I also did).

Will Football Survive Trump?

The Six Ways Football Groomed Us for President Trump: Still Going to Watch the Super Bowl?

by Robert Lipsyte - TomDispatch

December 12, 2019

Because everything is so Trumpian these days, there’s less air or space for the only other mass entertainment that promotes tribalism and toxic masculinity while keeping violence in vogue: football.

In the age of The Donald, it’s hard to remember that football was once the nation’s greatest television reality show. Because real people actually got really hurt in real time, you could be sure it wasn’t fake news.

Now, football is just another runner-up to President Trump, whose policies actually get people killed. And yet football is still here, in plain sight, waiting to resume its cultural dominance once Trump is gone.

To avoid any further erosion of its base, it is cosmetically modifying itself at every level with “reforms” focused on the image of increased safety. From small rural high schools to the Fifth Avenue offices of the National Football League (NFL), plans are being generated to protect America’s most popular and prosperous sport from the two things that could destroy it -- the players’ mortal fear of having their brains scrambled and the fans’ moral fear of awakening to their complicity in such a process. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft December 12, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

December 12, 2019

Exactly one month ago the overwhelmingly popular president of Bolivia was overthrown in a coup d'Etat. Since then, the far-right usurpers have moved quickly to undo all progressive legislation and reforms favouring the poor Evo Morales has enacted over the last 14 years.

As well as terrorizing the population, the regime recognized by Canada and other rule of law paragons has shot down citizens in the streets, killing at least thirty people, while injuring as many as a thousand, and has summarily arrested and detained an unknown number of government supporters and suspected supporters.

The coupsters have also announced wholesale cuts to social programs, and most pointedly, say they will strip the indigenous majority of hard won rights.

Listen. Hear.

Andre Vltchek is an itinerant journalist, filmmaker, philosopher, and playwright. He has covered wars and conflicts around the World, going to the places and talking to the people most directly effected by state violence.

Vltchek is also a prolific author whose latest books include: 'China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives'. 'Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism', 'The Great October Socialist Revolution', 'Fighting Against Western Imperialism', and, with Noam Chomsky, 'On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare'. Andre is in South America now, recording the resurgent tide of unrest there.

Andre Vltchek in the first half.

And; emboldened perhaps by his successful defiance of NATO and America regarding Russian armaments purchases, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now claiming a swath of the Mediterranean seabed as his own. The Turkish government announced a deal signed with dubious claimants to authority in Libya that would, in Erdogan's eyes at least, grant Turkey fishing and seabottom mining and mineral rights others are sure to contest.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. He's also one of the most widely read Russian specialists in the business world for his news-breaking stories on Russian base and precious metals, diamonds, mining, shipping, insurance, food trade, and business policy.

Helmer's book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright) and his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’. His latest article at Dances with Bears is, 'THE SULTAN’S NEW POWER GRAB IS THE MEDITERRANEAN TO THE LIBYAN SHORE – WHAT ROLE FOR THE RUSSIAN S-400?'.

John Helmer and the New Ottoman Empire taking to the seabed in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Andre Vltchek and Indigenous Bolivia Ready to Go to War Against Fascism.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Turkey Signs Seabed Deal with Rebel Libyans: Plan to Bisect Eastern Mediterranean


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


“We told you so”. In another case of the Russian General Staff telling the Kremlin that arming the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan puts strategic Russian interests at risk, Turkey has signed a plan to extend its control of the seabed southward across the Mediterranean to the Libyan coastline.

Moscow - The Turkish counterparty, the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj, is also being supplied with Turkish arms, vehicles, drones, and ordnance. Notwithstanding, the GNA doesn’t control much of the shore and even less of the hinterland of Libya. Against the GNA, the Russian military, the Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin are backing the rival Libyan faction, the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar. This isn’t new. Right now, Haftar controls much more of Libya, including coastline, than al-Sarraj.

The new Russian problem is that Turkish deployment of the S-400 missile system may be used to enforce the new Turkish territorial claim.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Winning the War One Dead or Detained Journalist at a Time

Money, Power and Turf: Winning the Middle East Media War at Any Cost

by Ramzy Baroud -

December 9, 2019

It is hardly surprising to see Middle Eastern countries at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index, as the worst violators of freedom of the press. But equally alarming is the complete polarization of public opinion as a result of self-serving media and, bankrolled by rich Arab countries, whose only goal is to serve their specific, often sinister, agendas.

One does not need to highlight of how state-controlled media in the Middle East lacks the minimal required degree of partiality, let alone integrity. Only a deluded person would argue that governments that kill, torture and imprison journalists, intellectuals and social media activists have an iota of respect for the freedom of the press and expression - in fact, of any kind of freedom at all.

Indigenous Bolivia Ready For War

Indigenous Bolivia Ready to Go to War Against Fascism

by Andre Vltchek - 21st Century Wire

December 9, 2019

Bolivia, December 2019, three weeks after the fascist coup. It is devilishly cold. My comrade’s car is carefully navigating through the deep mud tracks. Enormous snow-covered mountain peaks are clearly visible in the distance.

The indigenous people of Altiplano (Photo: Andre Vltchek 2019©) 

The Bolivian Altiplano; beloved, yet always somehow hostile, silent, impenetrable.

So many times, in the past I came close to death here. In Peru as well as in Bolivia. More often in Peru.

Now, what I do is totally mad. Being a supporter of President Evo Morales from the beginning until this very moment, I am not supposed to be here; in Bolivia, in the Altiplano. But I am, because these mud huts on the left and right, are so familiar and so dear to me.

My comrade is a Bolivian farmer, an indigenous man. His hands are red, rough. He usually does not talk much, but after the coup, he cannot stop speaking. This is his country; the country that he loves and which has been stolen from him, from his wife and from his children.

We can both get screwed here, but if we do, that’s life; we know the risk and we are happy to take it.

Carlos (not his real name), my driver and a friend, explained:

“I called them, the elders, and they said it is OK that you come. I sent them your essays. You know, people here now read, even in the deep villages. After 14 years of Evo’s government, the entire country is covered by the mobile phone network. They read your stuff translated into Spanish. They liked what they read. They agreed to give you a statement. But they said, ‘if he is not really a Russian-Chinese left-wing writer, but instead some Camacho crony, we will break his head with a stone.’”

For complete article, please see original at 21st Century Wire here.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Finding Skripal: Or Where Britain Learned to Hide Embarrassing Loose Ends


by John Helmer - Dancing with Bears

December 8, 2019

English plane spotters and bird watchers have discovered the location of the Skripals in Gloucestershire. An hour and a half’s drive north of their well-known home in Salisbury, Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been hidden inside an airbase operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) for long-range B-52 and B-2 bombers armed with nuclear weapons targeted on Russia.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in the Salisbury city centre at about 4:15 on Sunday afternoon, March 4, 2018. They were then taken by separate ambulances to the Salisbury District Hospital. What happened to them next remains a state secret. Follow the latest report here.

Mega-Loss: Surviving Climate Battle

Savoring What Remains: Taking in a Climate-Changed World

by Dahr Jamail - TomDispatch

December 8, 2019

Recently, I was in Homer, Alaska, to talk about my book The End of Ice. Seconds after I had thanked those who brought me to the small University of Alaska campus there, overwhelmed with some mix of sadness, love, and grief about my adopted state -- and the planet generally -- I wept.

I tried to speak but could only apologize and take a few moments to collect myself. It's challenging for me, even now, to explain the wash of emotions and thoughts that suddenly swept over me as I stood at that podium on a warm, windy, rainy night on the southern Kenai Peninsula among a group ready to learn more about what was happening to our beloved Earth.

"Sorry for that," I finally said after a few more breaths, as my voice cracked with emotion, "but I know you’ll understand."

"You live in this state and you know as well as I do that once Alaska gets in your blood, it stays there. And I love this place with all my heart." 

Most of the listeners in that room were already nodding and at least one person had begun to cry.