William Blum on The Islamist State

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.

You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria? Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS? Are these countries, or the Western powers, more concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?

You can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. You can’t even believe that they are moderate. They have their hands in everything, and everyone has their hands in them.

Iran, Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or its precursors for years, but the United States refuses to join forces with any of these entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington impose sanctions on any country for supporting ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its alleged role in Ukraine.

The groundwork for this awful mess of political and religious horrors sweeping through the Middle East was laid – laid deeply – by the United States during 35 years (1979-2014) of overthrowing the secular governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. (Adding to the mess in the same period we should not forget the US endlessly bombing Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.) You cannot destroy modern, relatively developed and educated societies, ripping apart the social, political, economic and legal fabric, torturing thousands, killing millions, and expect civilization and human decency to survive.

Particularly crucial in this groundwork was the US decision to essentially throw 400,000 Iraqis with military training, including a full officer corps, out onto the streets of its cities, jobless. It was a formula for creating an insurgency. Humiliated and embittered, some of those men would later join various resistance groups operating against the American military occupation. It’s safe to say that the majority of armored vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and explosives taking lives every minute in the Middle East are stamped “Made in USA”.

And all of Washington’s horses, all of Washington’s men, cannot put this world back together again. The world now knows these places as “failed states”.

Meanwhile, the United States bombs Syria daily, ostensibly because the US is at war with ISIS, but at the same time seriously damaging the oil capacity of the country (a third of the Syrian government’s budget), the government’s military capabilities, its infrastructure, even its granaries, taking countless innocent lives, destroying ancient sites; all making the recovery of an Assad-led Syria, or any Syria, highly unlikely. Washington is undoubtedly looking for ways to devastate Iran as well under the cover of fighting ISIS.

Nothing good can be said about this whole beastly situation. All the options are awful. All the participants, on all sides, are very suspect, if not criminally insane. It may be the end of the world. To which I say … Good riddance. Nice try, humans; in fact, GREAT TRY … but good riddance. ISIS … Ebola … Climate Change … nuclear radiation … The Empire … Which one will do us in first? … Have a nice day.

Is the world actually so much more evil and scary today than it was in the 1950s of my upbringing, for which I grow more nostalgic with each new horror? Or is it that the horrors of today are so much better reported, as we swim in a sea of news and videos?

After seeing several ISIS videos on the Internet, filled with the most disgusting scenes, particularly against women, my thought is this: Give them their own country; everyone who’s in that place now who wants to leave, will be helped to do so; everyone from all over the world who wants to go there will be helped to get there. Once they’re there, they can all do whatever they want, but they can’t leave without going through a rigorous interview at a neighboring border to ascertain whether they’ve recovered their attachment to humanity. However, since very few women, presumably, would go there, the country would not last very long.

The Berlin Wall – Another Cold War Myth

November 9 will mark the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. The extravagant hoopla began months ago in Berlin. In the United States we can expect all the Cold War clichés about The Free World vs. Communist Tyranny to be trotted out and the simple tale of how the wall came to be will be repeated: In 1961, the East Berlin communists built a wall to keep their oppressed citizens from escaping to West Berlin and freedom. Why? Because commies don’t like people to be free, to learn the “truth”. What other reason could there have been?

First of all, before the wall went up in 1961 thousands of East Germans had been commuting to the West for jobs each day and then returning to the East in the evening; many others went back and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they were clearly not being held in the East against their will. Why then was the wall built? There were two major reasons:

1) The West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East German professionals and skilled workers, who had been educated at the expense of the Communist government. This eventually led to a serious labor and production crisis in the East. As one indication of this, the New York Times reported in 1963: “West Berlin suffered economically from the wall by the loss of about 60,000 skilled workmen who had commuted daily from their homes in East Berlin to their places of work in West Berlin.”

It should be noted that in 1999, USA Today reported: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled [1989], East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.” Earlier polls would likely have shown even more than 51% expressing such a sentiment, for in the ten years many of those who remembered life in East Germany with some fondness had passed away; although even 10 years later, in 2009, the Washington Post could report: “Westerners [in Berlin] say they are fed up with the tendency of their eastern counterparts to wax nostalgic about communist times.”

It was in the post-unification period that a new Russian and eastern Europe proverb was born: “Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth.”

It should be further noted that the division of Germany into two states in 1949 – setting the stage for 40 years of Cold War hostility – was an American decision, not a Soviet one.

2) During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country’s economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.

It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War International History Project Working Papers (#58, p.9) states: “The open border in Berlin exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive espionage and subversion and, as the two documents in the appendices show, its closure gave the Communist state greater security.”

Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with the Soviets’ erstwhile allies in the West and with the United Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided names and addresses. Their complaints fell on deaf ears. Inevitably, the East Germans began to tighten up entry into the country from the West, leading eventually to the infamous wall. However, even after the wall was built there was regular, albeit limited, legal emigration from east to west. In 1984, for example, East Germany allowed 40,000 people to leave. In 1985, East German newspapers claimed that more than 20,000 former citizens who had settled in the West wanted to return home after becoming disillusioned with the capitalist system. The West German government said that 14,300 East Germans had gone back over the previous 10 years.

Let’s also not forget that while East Germany completely denazified, in West Germany for more than a decade after the war, the highest government positions in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches contained numerous former and “former” Nazis.

Finally, it must be remembered, that Eastern Europe became communist because Hitler, with the approval of the West, used it as a highway to reach the Soviet Union to wipe out Bolshevism forever, and that the Russians in World War I and II, lost about 40 million people because the West had used this highway to invade Russia. It should not be surprising that after World War II the Soviet Union was determined to close down the highway.

For an additional and very interesting view of the Berlin Wall anniversary, see the article “Humpty Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall” by Victor Grossman. Grossman (née Steve Wechsler) fled the US Army in Germany under pressure from McCarthy-era threats and became a journalist and author during his years in the (East) German Democratic Republic. He still lives in Berlin and mails out his “Berlin Bulletin” on German developments on an irregular basis. You can subscribe to it at wechsler_grossman@yahoo.de. His autobiography: “Crossing the River: a Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East Germany” was published by University of Massachusetts Press. He claims to be the only person in the world with diplomas from both Harvard University and Karl Marx University in Leipzig.

Al Franken, the liberal’s darling

I receive a continuous stream of emails from “progressive” organizations asking me to vote for Senator Franken or contribute to his re-election campaign this November, and I don’t even live in Minnesota. Even if I could vote for him, I wouldn’t. No one who was a supporter of the war in Iraq will get my vote unless they unequivocally renounce that support. And I don’t mean renounce it like Hillary Clinton’s nonsense about not having known enough.

Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comedian, would like you to believe that he’s been against the war in Iraq since it began. But he went to Iraq at least four times to entertain the troops. Does that make sense? Why does the military bring entertainers to soldiers? To lift the soldiers’ spirits of course. And why does the military want to lift the soldiers’ spirits? Because a happier soldier does his job better. And what is the soldier’s job? All the charming war crimes and human-rights violations that I and others have documented in great detail for many years. Doesn’t Franken know what American soldiers do for a living?

A year after the US invasion in 2003, Franken criticized the Bush administration because they “failed to send enough troops to do the job right.” What “job” did the man think the troops were sent to do that had not been performed to his standards because of lack of manpower? Did he want them to be more efficient at killing Iraqis who resisted the occupation? The volunteer American troops in Iraq did not even have the defense of having been drafted against their wishes.

Franken has been lifting soldiers’ spirits for a long time. In 2009 he was honored by the United Service Organization (USO) for his ten years of entertaining troops abroad. That includes Kosovo in 1999, as imperialist an occupation as you’ll want to see. He called his USO experience “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” Franken has also spoken at West Point (2005), encouraging the next generation of imperialist warriors. Is this a man to challenge the militarization of America at home and abroad? No more so than Barack Obama.

Tom Hayden wrote this about Franken in 2005 when Franken had a regular program on the Air America radio network: “Is anyone else disappointed with Al Franken’s daily defense of the continued war in Iraq? Not Bush’s version of the war, because that would undermine Air America’s laudable purpose of rallying an anti-Bush audience. But, well, Kerry’s version of the war, one that can be better managed and won, somehow with better body armor and fewer torture cells.”

While in Iraq to entertain the troops, Franken declared that the Bush administration “blew the diplomacy so we didn’t have a real coalition,” then failed to send enough troops to do the job right. “Out of sheer hubris, they have put the lives of these guys in jeopardy.”

Franken was implying that if the United States had been more successful in bribing and threatening other countries to lend their name to the coalition fighting the war in Iraq the United States would have had a better chance of WINNING the war.

Is this the sentiment of someone opposed to the war? Or in support of it? It is the mind of an American liberal in all its beautiful mushiness.

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From William Blum’s web site at http://williamblum.org/aer/read/133

Paranoia Has Undermined US Democracy

While far from a dictatorship, the United States has employed a number of paranoid tactics that delegitimize its democracy. This phenomenon is on display in the fictional TV series “Homeland,” which depicts hysterical CIA agents in a hysterical country. 

The Dichotomy of Mainstream Media vs. the Alternative Media

What is truth? Not a simple question. Is it as you feel it to be? (Subjective truth). Is it based on what you perceive to be facts, uninfluenced by your feelings? (Objective truth). Is it only what your five senses confirm to be real? (Empirical truth). Even within these three very basic concepts of truth, there rests a plethora of subtleties upon the definition of truth – correspondence, coherence, constructivist, consensus, and many more. It is within these subtleties we find a foundational dichotomy between the ‘truth’ of MSM and the ‘truth’ of the alternative press (Alt. P).

Within the varying theories on truth, the MSM (as the faces, voices and words of the global elite cartel) embrace two of the weakest theories, the first being consensus theory. Consensus theory holds that truth is whatever is agreed upon, or in some versions, might come to be agreed upon, by some specified group. Such a group might include all human beings, or a subset thereof consisting of more than one person. 1. A prime example of this is found in a statement by Joseph Goebbels; chillingly insightful, coming from a Nazi.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.

Another truth subset found in the MSM, acting as an extension of globalist shapers over the centuries, is constructivist truth theory. Social constructivism holds that truth is constructed by social processes, is historically and culturally specific, and that it is in part shaped through the power struggles within a community. Constructivism views all of our knowledge as “constructed,” because it does not reflect any external “transcendent” realities (as a pure correspondence theory might hold). Rather, perceptions of truth are viewed as contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. 2. This theory is evidenced most notably in school books from K – PhD., and can best be expressed in the saying “History is written by the victors”. This is why we were taught Columbus discovered America, and not the Vikings, hundreds of years prior; reams of historical data notwithstanding. Social constructivist truth reigns supreme in history and social science departments of most major universities, stamping out clones to perpetuate the dissemination of falsities to coming generations of scholars and students, and so on and so on.

Discovery and The History Channel are two of the worst television perpetrators of this truth theory. Over generations, we accept certain things as ‘true’, simply because we have heard it our entire lives from various sources – but who actually says anything happened a particular way? 

We watch a Network show, (fictionally) called “Bin Laden – the Life and Times”. It would consists of the constructivist theory of truth, as it embraces previously published documents and testimony, vetted, in support of the constructivist lie being built, (they are a brick in this wall). The more firmly the lie takes root in our collective psyche, the greater chance becomes that this original lie will become a consensus truth. It is in this fashion we accept so much.

The alternative press, however, embraces distinctly different truth theorems. The primary theory employed by the alternative press, by necessity, is empirical truth. If MSM is Goliath, the Alt. P. is David. Being the underdog in this dichotomy, it is incumbent upon the Alt. P. to provide this form of proof, as what is being posited on Alt. P sites (the key word here being ‘alternative’ [to the accepted, or prevalent norm]) is in direct contravention to the consensus theory of truth, which reigns supreme in North America at this moment in time.

To use the phrase again, “History is written by the victors”, with MSM representing the victors (at this point in time); if we hold a pair of sevens in black jack, then they are sitting on a pair of kings. The MSM has the power system in place to foist blatant falsehoods on the public, beating it into our heads 24/7 via CNN, FOX, etc. The Alt. P. has the Internet, which is a mighty, mighty tool. One can paint with a broad swath in stating that television is the realm of deception and the Internet is the realm of truth. (The brush is very wide). It is therefore unremarkable to understand that, for the most part, almost every single television network and channel can ultimately be traced through corporate threads to be in the holding and control of only five global media conglomerates. 5. It is chilling to realize that ultimately, (very simplistically stated) five corporate chairmen decide what the world will see, hear about and read about. Anything different from this consensus truth construct is relegated to the ‘alternative’ media.

The Internet, while still being a creature of the US military*, has morphed beyond their control, having grown into a truth spewing beast they can no longer contain, short of complete destruction of same. This is not out of the realm of reason. When one considers, as did Goebbels, that “…a lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie”. If the Internet is the primary means of disseminating the truth, it is by proximity a mortal enemy of the globalists, as they are the primary espouser of lies. And of course, one realizes when one says ‘globalists’ one is also saying ‘military’.

* There is strong support in both camps that the military either did or did not create the Internet. Whether Berners-Lee or Arpanet genius sparked the concept of the Internet, it stands to logic (for funding reasons, for the enormous scope of authoritative geographical cooperation required of such an infrastructure, and the simple fact such a marvelous capacity for both weapons evolution and social programming and monitoring capabilities could breathe life), that government involvement is almost unavoidably certain.

At the end of the day, if one wants a person to believe a newly presented truth, in their heart, one must offer that person empirical truth – sensory evidence . . . video, pictures, credible testimonials, contravening documentation from the very parties being sought to divorce them from. Nothing else will work. Anything less is a seed planted in rocky soil. Doubt flourishes for lack of evidence. This conception of empirical truth (physical evidence) was, after all, a cornerstone in a U.S. Court of Law criminal trial, though for a different America than we know today.

The Alt. P. also embraces the correspondence theory of truth; not as demanding as empirical truth, but a younger sibling to be sure. The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. The theory is opposed to the coherence theory of truth (a mainstay of MSM…news programs especially so), which holds that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined by its relations to other statements rather than its relation to the world. 3. 

Mass spectrometer readings of melted beams of the twin towers indicating the presence of thermite, with said publishing by reputable, credible, non-government scientists 4., that do so at peril, is empirical evidence. Science is a cornerstone of empirical evidence. One must logically acknowledge forthcoming scientists stand to gain nothing beyond complacency of soul, and stand to lose much in social and professional standing. One cans aught but conclude there is but one goal in their presentation of facts contrary to the consensus theory of truth espoused by the MSM, and that is to make known the truth of empirical, irrefutable truth. One may find the reports themselves suspect, (as ultimately, anyone can, at any time, suspect the truth of anything), but one cannot deny the career jeopardy these scientists place themselves in, and (will hopefully) examine the scientists premise for action.

Ayn Rand, vilified and praised with equal fervor, wrote, “Check your premises”. Good advice, in relation to this topic. We must examine the agendas of the parties as relates to the content of the news or media content promulgated.

MSM, through the tentacle that is Hollywood, promotes the consensual truth that Satanism is vogue 6., that casual sex is mentally healthy, that men are bumbling fools while women are empowered; stronger mentally, morally and logically. In the entertainment industry, Satanism is epidemic. To be rattled by oodles of empirical evidence go here. 

A recent single episode of Two and Half Men included references and jokes alluding to threesomes, incestuous threesomes, drug use, alcohol abuse and very casual sexual trysts. (I had better hopes for you, Ashton). Ah, just another evening on prime time network family entertainment. No cultural manipulation going on here! No Sir!

Remember please that the primary target audience for the pervasive Luciferian references 10. is young children, and the younger the better. It’s called indoctrination. One must understand, and realize for and when your children do not, a simple truism, phrased here in the form of a question.

“If we embrace the concept of empirical evidence; what we see and here, in other words, then is it not highly probable; inevitable, even, that if an impressionable child (impressionability being the yeast of formative mental and emotional growth in every human child ever born) is inundated daily with satanic images and physical manifestations (in the form of concerts, music awards, etc.) of devil worship, vulgar displays of wanton promiscuity, 8., satanic symbols and mentally divergent themes and song lyrics, that they will embrace, to greater and lesser degrees, the essence of that evil agenda?”

It is not the symbols themselves, but the moral decay which the performances and symbols endorse and promote. This is the danger. 

The premise, or foundational reason for this Hollywood agenda is to erode the family unit. They have done a marvelous job of it. The US is a world leader in divorce rates. A destroyed family (and does a divorce do nothing else if not destroy the family?) acerbates the division of the family unit, and with the loss of the family unit, a populace is that much easier to control, lacking the strength of conviction that only a nuclear family unit can inspire the average Joe to heroic acts of defense. The broken man, bitter woman, disenfranchised and neglected child . . . what will they fight for at risk of life? Beyond the animal defense instinct that kicks in for everyone faced with immediate death, most rudderless citizens will sweep to the oars of a globalists controlled current.

The tame elder brother to Hollywood’s insidious evil, but a brother nonetheless, is network news, and their lesser viewed cousins found in cable news. One can logically concede that the ‘big five’ media heads are safely in the realm of the globalist elite; each being a Minister of Propaganda rendering a Goebbels to the skill level of a small market slickster. If one here can concede there is a globalists cabal with a specific agenda of global domination, then one must also agree there are those standing in opposition to such designs. You probably agree, shills withstanding. To accomplish the foul deeds required to see global domination realized, a few eggs must be cracked. 

A summation of agreement in a room of global elites, “These actions must be covered up, lest the masses realize what we are up to!” Enter the ‘big five’, in unison; “No problem. We’ll have Miley strip to near nude and crotch hump a dude on national television….Syria? Where’s that?” Problem solved…for now. 

On a scale of 1-100, Google tracks the search interest of certain terms. After Miley Cyrus’ performance, her Google rating went from 67 to 100 in less than 24 hours, while “Syria” went from 4 to 3 during the same period. Rerunning the numbers Thursday, CP found Cyrus’ Monday rating 100, with Syria down at 2. On Tuesday, Miley went down to 63, but Syria remained less than one tenth of that, at 6. 9.

That is a reason, a premise for her needlessly crude performance. Remember, the globalists’ machine is vast and all-encompassing; meshing governments, MSM, weapons, energy and food…essentially every aspect of our existence. 

Hence, the alternative press employs analysis and construction of the truth, based on empirical evidence, because there is no other form of truth as powerful. This is why the truth movement is growing daily and the globalists employed inferior forms of constructive and consensus truth are crumbling in the face of empirical truth, and that is why we will triumph when all is said and done. And that’s the truth!

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth#Consensus_theory
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivist_epistemology
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfifCSEGGfM
  5. http://world-information.org/wio/infostructure/100437611795/100438659010
  6. http://www.henrymakow.com A PILE of empirical evidence, as well as opinon.
  7. http://vigilantcitizen.com/category/pics-of-the-month/
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZrHTUD7AVM
  9. http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-media-ignore-syria-crisis-possible-wwiii-to-cover-miley-cyrus-vma-controversy-analysis-finds-103306/ Yes, it’s the Christian Post! Who do you think is going to post this information, TMZ?
  10. http://vigilantcitizen.com/category/moviesandtv/

Cell Phones Increase Cancer Risk

While the independent research on the effects of microwave radiation emitted by wifi, cell phones and other mobile devices is clear and more than sufficient to prove that exposure at low levels causes DNA damage that can lead to cancer, the wireless industry has paid for studies designed to sow confusion and make people feel comfortable about the risks from microwave radiation.

Even though the World Health Organization classifies microwave radiation as carcinogenic, national health agencies have not taken measures to protect the public nor has the public shown much interest in the risks to their health. The massive lobbying and advertising by the wireless industry holds sway over public opinion and govt. regulation.

A new study published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling may provide health advocates with more ammunition in the case against microwave radiation.

The study looked for cancer clues in the saliva of cell phone users. Since the cell phone is placed close to the salivary gland when in use, researchers hypothesized that salivary content could reveal whether there was a connection to developing cancer. Comparing heavy mobile phone users to non-users, they found that the saliva of heavy users showed indications of higher oxidative stress — a process that damages all aspects of a human cell, including DNA — through the development of toxic peroxide and free radicals. More importantly, it is considered a major risk factor for cancer.

For the study, the researchers examined the saliva content of 20 heavy-user patients, defined as speaking on their phones for a minimum of eight hours a month. Most participants speak much more, Dr. Hamzany says, as much as 30 to 40 hours a month. Their salivary content was compared to that of a control group, which consisted of deaf patients who either do not use a cell phone, or use the device exclusively for sending text messages and other non-verbal functions.
Compared to the control group, the heavy cell phone users had a significant increase in all salivary oxidative stress measurements studied.

This suggests that there is considerable oxidative stress on the tissue and glands which are close to the cell phone when in use. The damage caused by oxidative stress is linked to cellular and genetic mutations which cause the development of tumors.  However, it can take more than 10 years before the damage results in tumors or other symptoms of illness that a person would notice.

 

Mira Nair Boycotts Israel film festival

Internationally-acclaimed director of Salaam Bombay! and Monsoon Wedding, Mira Nair, has refused an invitation to take her latest film to Israel due to Israel’s continued crimes against the Palestinians.

In a series of tweets, Nair made the following statement:

I was just invited to Israel as a guest of honor at the Haifa International Film Festival with “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone. I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over. I will go to Israel, soon. I stand with the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

The Black Underbelly of Windows 8.1 Blue

As Windows 8.1 Milestone Preview testers push and prod their way into the dark corners of Windows 8.1 “Blue,” they’re finding a bunch of things that go bump in the night. From new and likely unwelcome features, to nudges into the Microsoft data tracking sphere, to entire lopped-off pieces of Windows 8, it looks like Microsoft is changing Windows to further its own agenda.

I’m not talking about the well-documented gotchas with the Win 8.1 Preview — Microsoft makes no bones about the fact you won’t be able to upgrade directly from the Preview to the final, shipping version of Windows 8.1, for example, and it warns repeatedly that you can’t uninstall the Milestone Preview. I’m also not talking about typical beta blues — clicking on a Metro app button and getting dumped back on the Metro Start screen kind of comes with the beta-testing ride. Nor am I talking about the updates to the Preview that have already shipped: I count 10 installed on my 64-bit test machine through Windows Update (not bad for a beta that’s only been out for a couple of weeks).

The changes I’m seeing are more … inscrutable. Some people think they’re sinister. Few of them have even a wisp of documentation. We potential Windows 8.1 customers are left trying to figure out what Microsoft intends to do and how the changes will affect the way we work.

Microsoft Accounts bare its fangs
With Windows 8, you’re encouraged to set up every new Windows user with a Microsoft Account— which is to say, it’s easy to set up a new user by employing an email address that’s been registered with Microsoft. It’s possible to create a new Win8 user without providing a Microsoft Account, but you need to click a few rather obscure links in the setup routine to get around the restriction.

On the other hand, it’s very difficult to install Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview without using a Microsoft Account. While there are some clever workarounds to bypass the forced Microsoft Account login, you have to be quite persistent to get the Preview installed without linking your installation — your computer’s unique ID — to your Microsoft Account.

Microsoft says that the Microsoft Account requirement will be lifted for the final release:

Warning

In order to use Windows 8.1 Preview you must sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account. The option to create a local account will be made available at the final release of Windows 8.1.

But there are no details about how the requirement will be lifted or whether the same hoops that worked with Windows 8 will work with the final version of Windows 8.1

Microsoft can track your local searches
If you use Microsoft Bing or Google search — or almost any other search engine — you already know that Microsoft and/or Google can and do keep track of your searches. That’s why a casual Web search for “flugelhorn” will result in you seeing targeted ads for flugelhorns on almost every site you visit for the following month.

But running a search on your computer for “flugelhorn” through the Windows 8 Search charm doesn’t increase your chances of seeing online ads for flugelhorns — I think. Although I can’t find a suitable legalistic disclaimer anywhere, Microsoft doesn’t appear to be scraping, storing, and regurgitating local computer search strings to, uh, enhance your shopping experience.

That’s changing by default in Windows 8.1. The new Win8.1 Smart Search — invoked by default through the Windows 8.1 Search charm — not only searches your computer for the string you specify. It also, all by itself, gathers up the terms and runs them through a Bing search. Making this cool new feature all the more lovable, Microsoft has officially announced that advertisers will be able to dish up advertising to your computer, based on the searches you perform on your computer.

Bing Ads will be an integral part of the new Windows 8.1 Smart Search experience. Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo, and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries. In addition, Bing Ads will include Web previews of websites and the latest features like site links, location, and call extensions, making it easier for consumers to complete tasks and for advertisers to drive qualified leads.

Unless you make Smart Search dumb, you not only hand Microsoft a complete history of all of your local computer search terms, you open your machine up to even more lovely ads, doled out on the Search results pane. If you search for “flugelhorn” on your local computer — not on the Web, mind you, but on your own computer — the results that Windows 8.1 shows you will include advertisements for flugelhorns on eBay and Amazon (no, I’m not joking — try it), local flugelhorn manufacturers, flugelhorn party consultants, and no doubt some day flugelhorn addiction services.

You can turn Smart Search off by bringing up the Settings charm, clicking or tapping Change PC Settings, then choosing Search and Apps, and moving the Use Bing to Search Online slider off.

The Windows Experience Index bites the dust — or does it?
If you look for the Windows Experience Index in the Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview, you won’t find it. While nobody ever took WEI too seriously — it’s a bit preposterous to think that you can distill a PC’s performance down to a single number — I’ve long used WEIs to quickly compare computers while I’m out shopping. They’re also useful to double-check on new drivers, to see if they’ve boosted or strangled processing speeds.

Nobody knows for sure — and Microsoft hasn’t commented at all — but it appears the WEI is dead. Nazmus Khandaker on the McAkins Online blog puts it this way:

Microsoft removed the Experience Index from Windows RT but kept it on the original release of Windows 8 in October 2012. However with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has decided to kill off the Experience Index completely. I have tested this on several PCs (touch and nontouch). Before upgrading my PCs, I was able to view the Experience Index on Windows 8.0. After upgrading to Windows 8.1, they were no longer present.

One possible reason for its sudden disappearance: The lofty and expensive Microsoft Surface Pro gets a 5.6 on the WEI scale. That would’ve been a good score three or four years ago on a middle-of-the-road PC. I have an old single-core i3 machine with a Windows 8 WEI of 7.0.

The Metro Photos app loses its connections
The Windows 8.1 Metro Photos app that’s circulating at the moment is a mess. While it sports a few new features — crop, rotate, auto slideshows, red-eye removal, all the features you would’ve expected from a photo app 10 years ago — the current app can’t even access photos stored on a network share or on SkyDrive. Clearly, it was rushed out the door.

The reason for the trampled release appears to be Microsoft’s canning of its Facebook and Flickr links.

Windows 8 had automatic connections to your local pictures library, network shares, SkyDrive, Facebook, and Flickr; Win8 combines photos from all of those sources and offers them up with one, unified view. The Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview can only get at local pictures. It uses the cumbersome-but-finger-friendly “file picker” metaphor for selecting files and folders. Barb Bowman, community moderator for Microsoft’s Answers forum and a Microsoft MVP, took Microsoft to task:

Photos App in 8.1 loses most of its best features, e.g., Facebook/Flickr support, network/homegroup support. I’ve just installed the 8.1 Preview on a desktop. The Photos App has changed:

1. No longer includes the ability to show images from Facebook, Flickr, SkyDrive

2. No longer allows images from other computers or the network

Microsoft hasn’t responded officially to the burgeoning complaints, although a person who identified herself as Microsoft employee CarmenZ posted this in response:

In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook. We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos on Facebook.  We welcome Flickr to do the same. In addition, the People app still offers the ability to socially engage with your friends and even your own photos.

Undeterred, Bowman fired back:

This morning I was sending a tweet in a Windows 8[.1] App and when I used the image button, the Photos App opened (and not Windows Explorer, which is what happens on RTM W8) and was able to attach a file from a networked computer. This is more evidence that the Photos App is part of the OS and not an app … Since the navigation is there, as evidenced by my experience, the question remains as to why there is no support for network folders in the Photos app itself. Microsoft has responded on the Facebook issue on the original thread, but has pointedly not answered the other questions.

If I were to speculate, I’d say that Microsoft ripped out the Facebook and Flickr parts of Metro Photos and, in a hurry, took out SkyDrive and network folder support. It’s inconceivable to me that Microsoft would release a Metro Photos app without copious connections to SkyDrive — if only to sell more SkyDrive space.

About the same time this observation hit the fan, Microsoft announced, quite unexpectedly, that Facebook would finally build a Metro Facebook app.

I think we’re seeing a quid pro quo in action — Facebook finally agrees to join the Windows Store and, in exchange, Microsoft agrees to drop Facebook integration from Metro Photos. If true, might other Microsoft Metro apps follow suit? And where’s the Metro Flickr app?

Times really have changed if Facebook can arm-wrestle Microsoft into submission.

(Thanks for the heads-up, AR.)

This story, “A look at the black underbelly of Windows 8.1 ‘Blue’,” was originally published atInfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

US Tries to Ban Press TV in Afghanistan

Press TV has learned that the US Consulate in Herat, situated more than 800 kilometers (miles) west of Kabul, has asked the cable television provider in the city to immediately remove Press TV from its platform.

A senior official from the diplomatic mission has even met the managing director of the cable TV provider in Herat, and offered him three times more than the amount of the money paid by Press TV.

He then asked the Afghan agency to pull the plug on the Iranian English-language news network, and replace it with Western media outlets CNN and BBC.

This is the first time that US officials are asking Afghan cable television providers to cease operations of Press TV since the international news network went on air in Afghanistan four years ago.

On June 19, Intelsat announced that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels including Press TV. The decision has been made under the pretext of the company’s abiding by illegal sanctions against the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

Intelsat noted that it has been ordered by the US government to avoid extending IRIB’s license, noting that it will stop providing services as of July 1.

Press TV has learned that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – an agency of the US Treasury Department headed by an Ashkenazi Jew called Adam Szubin – is behind the pressure on Intelsat.

Press TV and other Iranian channels have come under an unprecedented wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012.

They have been taken off the air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

European companies say they are abiding by anti-Iran sanctions. However, EU foreign policy chief’s spokesman, Michael Mann, has told Press TV that sanctions do not apply to media.

In the meantime, the French-Israeli CEO of Europe’s satellite giant, Eutelsat, has written letters to several satellite companies, asking them to stop cooperating with Iranian channels.

The Israeli lobby in the United States has also publicly supported European attempts to shut down Press TV.

Media activists call the attacks on Iranian channels a campaign against free speech launched by the same European governments that preach freedom of expression.

Overcome Diabetes With These Powerful Therapeutic Herbs

If you or someone you know suffers from either diabetes or pre-diabetes, it  might come as a surprise to learn that a life of endless insulin shots and blood  glucose drugs is not your only treatment option. If you are serious about truly  overcoming your diabetic condition, there are actually a number of all-natural  herbal remedies available that possess proven curative benefits. Here are some  of your best options:
1) Ginseng. Known for its ability to help  modulate blood sugar levels, ginseng, and American ginseng in particular, is a  powerful weapon in the fight against diabetes. A 2000 study out of the  University of Toronto, for instance, found that a single three-gram dose  of ginseng extract helps significantly reduce the blood sugar spike that  typically occurs following a high-carbohydrate meal. Specifically for diabetics,  taking ginseng either with or before a meal can help produce such results  quickly and safely.
A follow-up study conducted in 2001 found that doses  of ginseng even as low as one gram were still enough to provide virtually the  same therapeutic benefits. Based on the results of the two studies, researchers  recommended that diabetic patients take a minimum one-gram dose of ginseng 40  minutes prior to mealtime to normalize their blood sugar levels naturally. When  combined with a healthy, low-carbohydrate and low-sugar diet, ginseng can even  help some diabetics fully recover from their condition.
2) Holy basil  leaf. Also known as tulsi, holy  basil leaf has long been used throughout South Asia as a folk medicine.  Today, it has been shown to be a powerful regulator of both blood sugar and  blood lipid levels, and ultimately as an effective treatment for diabetes.  According to a placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Clinical  Pharmacy and Therapeutics, holy basil leaf taken in moderate amounts can  bring about a roughly 20 percent decrease in blood sugar levels.
According to Mother Earth Living, the traditional  way to administer holy basil is in the form of steeped tea. If you have a tea  ball or your own teabags, simply add one teaspoon of the dried leaves to one cup  of water, and drink three cups of the brew daily. You can also purchase holy  basil leaf in capsule or gelcap form as a dietary supplement if this is more  convenient.
3) Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a much more medicinal spice  than most people probably think it is, particularly as a treatment for erratic  blood pressure levels and diabetes. Like ginseng, cinnamon helps to modulate  blood sugar levels  throughout the day, particularly in between meals when blood sugar levels tend  to spike and drop, which is common for diabetics. As it turns out, cinnamon  taken in therapeutic doses helps to lower fasting blood glucose levels and boost  insulin response, effectively correcting the very symptoms associated with  diabetes.
“Not only does cinnamon activate essential enzymes in the body,  thus stimulating the receptors in the cells so they will respond more  efficiently to insulin, but it also inhibits the enzymes responsible for  deactivating … causing insulin resistance,” explains David W. Tanton in the  book Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and Stimulants: Dangerous Drugs on  Trial.
4) Bitter melon. Another traditional folk remedy,  bitter melon, or Momordica charantia, has long been utilized by ancient  cultures as a treatment for diabetes and blood  sugar issues. The cucumber-like fruit contains several powerful compounds  that exhibit anti-diabetic activities, including charantin, a hypoglycemic agent  that has actually been shown to be more effective, and far safer, than the  diabetes drug tolbutamide (Tol-Tab).
“Momordica also contains an  insulin-like polypeptide, polypeptide-P, which lowers blood sugar levels when  injected subcutaneously into type 1 diabetic patients,” explains the site  Holistic Online about bitter melon. “The oral administration of 50-60 ml  (milliliters) of the juice has shown good results in clinical  trials.”
5) Garlic and onions. Interestingly enough, garlic and  onions are both powerful blood sugar-lowering foods as well. These two common  foods contain disease-fighting, sulfur-containing nutrients such as allyl propyl  disulphide (APDS) and diallyl disulphide oxide (allicin) that help lower blood  glucose levels and increase the amount of free insulin in the body.
Both  intravenously and orally, onion extract has been shown scientifically not only  to improve the metabolism of carbohydrates in the liver, but also to correct the  improper release and use of insulin in the liver and elsewhere throughout the  body. Similarly, garlic, which is also a member of the onion family, helps to  normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce blood glucose levels  without causing harmful side effects.
“OPE (onion peel extract) might  improve glucose response and insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes  by alleviating metabolic dysregulation of free fatty acids, suppressing  oxidative stress, up-regulating glucose uptake at peripheral tissues, and/or  down-regulating inflammatory gene expression in liver,” concluded a 2011 study  on onions published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.

Why You Need To Know About The Coalition For Mercury-Free Drugs

Though they continually try to deny that the mercury and mercury-based  components added to many medicines and vaccines are toxic to humans, mainstream  medical authorities are having a much more difficult time these days defending  their distorted position against sound science. One of the groups responsible  for bringing this continually emerging science to light and pushing for real  change is the non-profit advocacy group Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs,  also known as CoMeD.
Over the years, we have covered a number of stories  here at NaturalNews that address the dangers of mercury which, contrary  to popular belief, is still added to multi-dose vial influenza shots and various  other vaccines commonly administered to young children. All this time, CoMeD has been  on the front lines trying to raise awareness about the presence of mercury in  vaccines, as well as urging lawmakers and other appropriate authorities to  protect our children by taking action against the continued use of mercury in  modern medicine.
“We recognize that organic mercury-based compounds are a  proven neurotoxic risk to susceptible men, women, and children at levels below 1  part per billion (1 part in 1,000,000,000),” explains CoMeD on its website about  the group’s core values. “We seek a world in which no mercury-based ingredient  is knowingly added to any medicine, and the ingredients used in medicines have  the lowest levels of mercury that the best  practical technologies afford.”
Back in 1999, the U.S. Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recognizing the inherent neurotoxic  effects of mercury exposure, actually made recommendations that the adjuvant  preservative known as Thimerosal, which is about 50 percent mercury, be  completely removed from vaccines. But the agency’s public petition fell on deaf  ears, as today the neurotoxin continues to be added to vaccines.
“We  have scientific studies clearly demonstrating that mercury causes neurological  damage, and we have a cost-effective alternative that has already been used to  replace Thimerosal as the preservative in vaccines,” explains Dr. Paul G. King,  Ph.D., a science adviser to CoMeD.

CoMeD working to ban mercury globally

CoMeD is also involved with  efforts at the global level to ban mercury from all vaccines and medicines  worldwide, a topic of discussion at the upcoming Intergovernmental  Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on  mercury (INC5), which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from January  13-18, 2013. If such efforts are a success, U.N. member nations would be  restricted from further using mercury in medicine and vaccines.
“No  vaccine should be used as a delivery system for an undisclosed poison, for this  is a denial of the right of informed consent and of the medical directive to do  no harm,” explained Rev. Lisa K. Sykes, President of CoMeD, to members at INC4  back on June 29, 2012. Rev. Sykes’ son Wesley became permanently disabled when  she received a mercury-containing vaccine while still 28 weeks pregnant with him.

Multitasking Humpback Whales Sing in Feeding Grounds

Humpback whales may multitask by singing breeding songs and eating at the same time. (NMFS 0000808-1735, Ari Friedlaender)Humpback whales may multitask by singing breeding songs and eating at the same time. (NMFS 0000808-1735, Ari Friedlaender)

Singing while eating isn’t recommended for humans, but humpback whales have been recorded doing so in a new study.

The reason whales sing is a mystery to scientists, but we do know that they sing most often during the breeding season. However, they also sing at other times, and U.S. scientists recently recorded 10 humpback whales singing breeding songs while foraging.

The researchers tracked the whales with harmless suction cup tags. All 10 of the whales sang while they ate, but two of them sang the long and complex songs that are usually only heard in mating season.

“We were surprised to find such structured song in the Antarctic feeding ground,” said study lead author Alison Stimpert at the Naval Postgraduate School in a press release.

Whales usually have separate times and places for different activities. They breed and sing songs at their breeding grounds, and then they migrate to their foraging grounds to eat.

In this study, however, the whales sang in the foraging grounds. They even sang during periods of diving over 100 meters deep.

 

Audio of humpback whale song

“The tag data are also exciting because this is the first time that we can see that the singers aren’t sitting off by themselves like they do on the breeding grounds—they’re right in the midst of the feeding action, choosing to sing instead,” said Stimpert.

“These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

“This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.”