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Why are Americans Flocking to Fight for Israel?

Disinformation - 6 hours 46 min ago

Abby Martin breaks down recent developments in Gaza, including the targeted shooting of Al Jazeera’s office in the violence stricken Gaza Strip. She also comments on the mysterious case of two Americans who have died during Operation Protective Edge while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, highlighting how their case as foreign nationals fighting for Israel is not unique considering at least 5,500 “lone” soldiers serve in the IDF.

LIKE Breaking the Set @ http://fb.me/JournalistAbbyMartin
FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin

The post Why are Americans Flocking to Fight for Israel? appeared first on disinformation.

The Boom Festival: Awakening to Our Psychedelic Futures

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 16:00

Via David Nickles of The Nexian (The DMT-Nexus’ E-zine).

David Nickles will be giving a talk entitled “Turn On, Tune In, Rise Up: DMT, Globalization, and Radical Psychedelic Engagement” in Liminal Village at Boom 2014.

BOOM Festival

Boom is a shining example of the thriving psychedelic resurgence. The very notion of coming together in an autonomous space specifically designed to facilitate transformative experiences reflects a contemporary psychedelic ethos that is spreading worldwide and taking shape in exciting ways. A rich modern history—as well as deep ties to prehistoric practices—has brought this unprecedented resurgence to its thrilling present position, and the potential futures on the horizon are the stuff of dreams.

Humans have been surrounded by psychoactive plants and have explored altered states of consciousness since the dawn of history. The rediscovery and popularization of some of these plants, alongside modern synthesized compounds, played a significant role, both as cause and effect, in the social turmoil of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with governments, militaries, and countercultural psychonauts exploring the depth and breadth of psychedelic experiences. Though numerous people presented the synthesis of LSD as the “spiritual antidote” to the atomic bomb—because both were invented in the same year—their claims mask the sinister manners in which government agencies utilized LSD for their own ends and ignore the fact that LSD failed to bring about the change some of its most fervent proponents promised. Still, social and scientific psychedelic experimentation soared to new heights, and as a consequence, world governments used prohibition and criminalization to stifle psychedelic exploration.

Read More at The Nexian

The post The Boom Festival: Awakening to Our Psychedelic Futures appeared first on disinformation.

Greenhouse: Browser App Shows Who’s Funding Politicians

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 14:11

Example

I’ve already downloaded it myself.

via Alternet:

While it’s easy and almost safe to assume that most of today’s politicians take large donations from dubious corporate interests—given the fact that we live in an oligarchy and all—inquiring minds still want to keep track of who’s taking money from big oil, big pharma, big defense contractors, you name it.

Seattle teenager Nick Rubin recently made keeping track of the money trail a whole lot easier with his creation  Greenhouse, a browser plug-in that operates under the motto “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” (Get it? Green House?) His website describes Greenhouse like this: “A free browser extension for Chrome Firefox, and Safari that exposes the role money plays in Congress. Displays on any web page detailed campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including total amount received and breakdown by industry and by size of donation. Puts vital data where it’s most relevant so you can discover the real impact of money on our political system.”

Said to be surprisingly easy to use, the app shines a light on dark money, and helps you deepen your understanding of why your representatives vote the way they do.

Read the rest of Alternet’s write-up here.

Download Greenhouse.

NOTE: The app doesn’t appear to be capable with Internet Explorer (but if you’re using IE, why are you using IE?).

I can attest that the extension is user friendly. There’s really no effort required on your part – download the app and then hover your mouse over the politician’s name. Here, let’s try it out:

Nancy Pelosi
John Boehner
Mitch McConnell
Al Franken
Harry Reid

The post Greenhouse: Browser App Shows Who’s Funding Politicians appeared first on disinformation.

The Comforts of Blame

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 14:00

Attribution: Kremlin.ru

Sure, Putin is a bad guy, but is he the head of the Illuminati, responsible for all the problems in the world – is any one person even capable of such?

Binoy Kampmark writes at CounterPunch:

Investigations tend to be called upon to do just that. Causes are identified; actors are located.  The investigation being demanded by all countries that lost citizens on Malaysian flight MH17 in Ukraine was a perfectly logical, and legal demand.  The language of pre-emption, however, was never far away, begging the question on whether an investigation was even needed.

From the start, the rhetoric surrounding the shooting down of MH17 has been scripted as a matter of moral urgency and outrage.  Culprits have been sought with zeal, and the language of a crime site used to explain the radius within which the remains of the aircraft fell.  Someone pulled the trigger, as much as that can be said.

The extent of that responsibility is being pushed. One person stood out for various pro-Ukrainian circles, and some of political lobbies in Europe and the US: Vladimir Putin, President and supreme bug-bear of Russia.  Papers such as The Week go so far as to ask whether the Dutch will “go after Putin for a war crime” (Jul 18).

It is necessary to visit the clumsy steps taken from the moment the aircraft was shot down, to the political statements being made in western circles over who was supposedly behind the event.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, wasting little time to ponder, told Parliament that this resembled a “crime” more than an accident. The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, expanded on the notion, suggesting that this attack had been against the law of nations, pointing to a rather large Russian hand in it.

US Envoy to the United Nations, Samantha Power, similarly identified the chain of supply, showing the line of reasoning at work:  the SA-11 surface-to-air missile system could not be Ukrainian (despite press reports in late June that separatists had captured a Ukrainian Buk system); it had to have come from Russian sources, ergo, it follows that the Vladimir Putin is dictating the course of action in Ukraine.  “Because of the technical complexity of the SA-11, it is unlikely the separatists could effectively operate the system without assistance from knowledgeable personnel.”  Her displays at the UN proved almost melodramatic relative to President Obama’s more tepid response.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican senator from New Hampshire, felt it screamingly obvious.  “Russia has her fingerprints all over it either way.” Her suggested formula in response: a total ostracising of the country, complete with “Iranian-type” sanctions.  “I think that this is a crime.  This is beyond a crime, this is an act of terrorism.”

Such logic is tempting, but terribly faulty. For Power, the whirlwind in Donetsk, and the secessionist drive renting Ukraine is a Moscow-centred plot to prevent the embrace of democracy from taking hold.  The heavily armed drunks milling about the crash site are mere proxies of the Kremlin’s dark strategy.  “The context of yesterday’s horror is clear: separatist forces backed by the Russian government continue to destabilise Ukraine and undermine the efforts of Ukraine’s elected leaders to build democratic Ukraine that is stable, unified, secure and able to determine its own future.”

No mention is made about the historical progress to that event, or even to Western interference in what ultimately led to the overthrow of a legitimately elected Ukrainian leadership.  That past is truly a distant country.

Read more here.

The post The Comforts of Blame appeared first on disinformation.

Rula Jebreal Criticizes MSNBC’s Gaza Coverage…on MSNBC

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 13:00

A bit of background info: Jebreal is married to the son of Goldman Sachs mogul Arthur Altschul.

Initial criticism with Ronan Farrow:

Follow up with Chris Hayes, after Jebreal’s future appearances on MSNBC had been cancelled:

The post Rula Jebreal Criticizes MSNBC’s Gaza Coverage…on MSNBC appeared first on disinformation.

Epigenetic Tie to Neuropsychiatric Disorders Found

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:47

2D structure of neurotransmitter dopamine. Created with BKChem and Extensible SVG Optimiser

Could this discovery lead to the end of “treating” mental illness through the endless prescribing of psychiatric drugs?

Via ScienceDaily:

Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to UC Irvine scientists.

This epigenetic alteration of gene activity in brain cells that receive this neurotransmitter showed for the first time that dopamine deficiencies can affect a variety of behavioral and physiological functions regulated in the prefrontal cortex.

The study, led by Emiliana Borrelli, a UCI professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“Our work presents new leads to understanding neuropsychiatric disorders,” Borrelli said. “Genes previously linked to schizophrenia seem to be dependent on the controlled release of dopamine at specific locations in the brain. Interestingly, this study shows that altered dopamine levels can modify gene activity through epigenetic mechanisms despite the absence of genetic mutations of the DNA.”

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that acts within certain brain circuitries to help manage functions ranging from movement to emotion. Changes in the dopaminergic system are correlated with cognitive, motor, hormonal and emotional impairment. Excesses in dopamine signaling, for example, have been identified as a trigger for neuropsychiatric disorder symptoms.

Borrelli and her team wanted to understand what would happen if dopamine signaling was hindered. To do this, they used mice that lacked dopamine receptors in midbrain neurons, which radically affected regulated dopamine synthesis and release.

The researchers discovered that this receptor mutation profoundly altered gene expression in neurons receiving dopamine at distal sites in the brain, specifically in the prefrontal cortex. Borrelli said they observed a remarkable decrease in expression levels of some 2,000 genes in this area, coupled with a widespread increase in modifications of basic DNA proteins called histones — particularly those associated with reduced gene activity.

Borrelli further noted that the dopamine receptor-induced reprogramming led to psychotic-like behaviors in the mutant mice and that prolonged treatment with a dopamine activator restored regular signaling, pointing to one possible therapeutic approach.

The researchers are continuing their work to gain more insights into the genes altered by this dysfunctional dopamine signaling.

The post Epigenetic Tie to Neuropsychiatric Disorders Found appeared first on disinformation.

A Modest Urn for Modest People

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:00

Who doesn’t love a good Big Lebowski reference?

via Oh Gizmo!:

These Modest Urns by Archie McPhee are a novelty or joke at best. I think. They’re McPhee’s “most modestly priced receptacle” which can hold up to 62.8 cubic inches of ashes or whatever else you want to put into it. I say “ashes” because they’re being marketed as uber-affordable urns for your ashes, your pet’s ashes, or for whoever else’s ashes. For all intents and purposes, it should be able to get the job done.

They even have a modestly priced receptacle for pets.

The post A Modest Urn for Modest People appeared first on disinformation.

Lilith Returns: Party At The World’s End

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 09:00

“We are on the side of man, of life and of the individual. Therefore we are against religion, morality and government. Therefore our name is Lucifer.

We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. Therefore our name is Babalon.

Sometimes we move openly, sometimes in silence and in secret. Night and day are one to us, calm and storm, seasons and the cycles of man, all these things are one, for we are at the roots. Supplicant we stand before the Powers of Life and Death, and are heard of these powers and avail. Our way is the secret way, the unknown direction. Ours is the way of the serpent in the underbrush, our knowledge is in the eyes of goats and of women.” -Jack Parsons

Ten years in the making, “Party At The World’s End,” is a counter-cultural urban fantasy is coming in September from Disinfo alum James Curcio.

A few goodies are being offered in the meantime:

 eBook pre-orders are just $4 until the release date. (Post-release price will be $5.)

The post Lilith Returns: Party At The World’s End appeared first on disinformation.

The Newseum Publishes the Front Pages of Newspapers From Over 800 Countries Daily

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 08:00

The Newseum is based in Washington DC and publishes the front page of newspapers from over 800 countries daily.

via Newseum.org:

Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised.

From their About Us page:

Newseum Blends High-Tech With Historical
One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum Institute serves as a forum for First Amendment study, exploration and education. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum.

The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment.

The post The Newseum Publishes the Front Pages of Newspapers From Over 800 Countries Daily appeared first on disinformation.

Suicide Bombers Over Gaza In A World Coming Apart

Disinformation - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00

For years, the term “suicide bombers” has been synonymous with terrorist attacks, especially in Israel. The idea of a martyr willing to give his life for a cause while taking out an “enemy” became a feature of modern conflict especially with resistance movements confronting modern armies.

Oddly enough, the phrase, seems to have blown back today into Israel itself, as its military engages in a much deadlier “suicide mission,” acting like Ahab in Melville’s Moby Dick determined to slay the monster whale while killing themselves.

First, there are the costs to Israel’s economy: With major airlines canceling flights, there goes the summer tourist season.

Next, Deutsche Welte reports,

“The conflict has so far cost Israel’s defense budget more than a billion shekels, some 200 million euros. Eitan Avriel of the business magazine “The Marker” suspects that the army will reclaim this money from the government. more than a billion shekels, some 200 million euros.

“The government has already allocated 400 million shekels to support the communities living along the border with the Gaza Strip,” says Eitan. However, the greatest loss is the decline in the gross national product, he stressed, pointing out that consumption has virtually halved.”

Needless to say, these costs are hardly as dire as the ones being suffered by the people of Gaza, an overcrowded city that is being destroyed with a growing loss of life. Israel’s casualties are also on the rise.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports:

“The defense establishment has already presented a request for a supplemental allocation of a billion shekels to this year’s defense budget, as a result of the conflict. In addition, it is estimated that the economy has sustained another 1.2 billion shekels in economic damage in the form of losses suffered by businesses, lost workdays and direct physical damage sustained in Israel as a result of the hostilities.”

Third, Israel’s supporters seem more fanatic and irrational than ever, oblivious to the human costs of its “operation’ and eager to blame the victims of their bombers as “human shields” or legitimate targets. They are also worried about an Iraq replay: an invasion that looked like an easy victory at the start of the “operation” beginning, as it drags on, to look very different, according to the Israeli writer Gilad Altzom:

“In spite of clear Israeli technological superiority and firepower, the Palestinian militants are winning the battle on the ground and they have even managed to move the battle to Israeli territory. In addition, the barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv doesn’t seem to stop.

IDF’s defeat in Gaza leaves the Jewish State with no hope. The moral is simple. If you insist on living on someone else’s land, military might is an essential ingredient to discourage the dispossessed from acting to reclaim their rights. The level of IDF casualties and the number of bodies of Israeli elite soldiers returning home in coffins send a clear message to both Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli military superiority belongs to the past. There is no future for the Jews-only-State in Palestine; they may have to try somewhere else.”

Commenting on this notion of an Israaeli defeat, Marc Ellis writes:

“ … this analysis rests on the assumption that Israel goes to war to win – as in defeat the enemy once and for all. This assumption is false. No Israeli military analyst thinks Israel will win the Gaza war in the traditional sense of that term. Rather Israel goes to war to buy time, to further de-develop Palestinian society and to go about its business elsewhere, say in the West Bank.”

That sounds convincing, except every war produces unanticipated impacts and consequences. Remember how our “victory” over Russia In Afghanistan by the arming the Mujahadin resulted in war lords destroying the country with 50,000 dead and led to the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

This madness of this suicidal war is playing itself out on every TV screen (except those in Britain and the US that sanitize it). Before it’s over, it will surely further harm Israel’s standing in the world as well as the image of its patron, the United States.

While Washington is busy lecturing Russia on a loss of human life in that plane crash (whose cause has yet to be determined by any impartial body) they are enabling the deadly Israeli bombardment targeting civilians, and now, after so much damage has been done, claim to want to stop it.

In Geneva, the UN has reopened the question of war crimes that never seem to be prosecuted when it comes to Israel, of course, to give the appearance of neutrality Hamas is also criticized as if the massive violence of the invader and the pathetic response of the victim can be equated.

World Crunch reports:

“UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay opened the meeting (of the UN Human Rights Commission, charging that Israel may be committing war crimes in Gaza, where its punitive house demolitions and killing of children raise the “strong possibility” that it is violating international law, according to AFP. “ Predictably, and for good PR, she also condemned Hamas for its “indiscriminate attacks.”

As the war wars on, few in the media bother to ask what else may be at stake. Nafeez Ahmad explains in the Guardian: “Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel’s increasing domestic energy woes.

Mark Turner, founder of the Research Journalism Initiative, reported that the siege of Gaza and ensuing military pressure was designed to “eliminate” Hamas as “a viable political entity in Gaza” to generate a “political climate” conducive to a gas deal. “

Now, Gaza, has something more in common than bloodletting with the Ukraine: gas. As Europe is prodded by the US into backing harsh new sanctions on Russia, Germany is already threatened with a potential loss of 25,000 jobs.

Quiet as its kept—and it is being kept quiet—Wall Street is furious over the new BRICS bank initiative to challenge American dominance of the global economy. Could that be related to Obama’s is furiously trying to punish Putin? We may never know since no one in the media seems to be investigating.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph is reporting: “The Dollar’s 70 year old dominance is coming to an end.”

“To understand politics and power it pays to follow the money. And for the past 70 years, the dollar has ruled the roost. This won’t change anytime soon. Something just took place, though, which illustrates that dollar reserve currency status won’t last forever and could be seriously diluted. Last week, seven decades on from Bretton Woods, the governments of Brazil, Russia, India and China led a conference in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza to mark the establishment of a new development bank that, whatever diplomatic niceties are put on it, is intent on competing with the IMF and World Bank.

America’s GDP, incidentally, was $16.8 trillion on World Bank numbers, and China’s was $16.2 trillion – within a whisker of knocking the US off its perch. The balance of global economic power is on a knife-edge. Tomorrow is almost today.”

So now, let’s add economic suicide to the list of what we have to worry about. Which suicide hotline should we call?

News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs daily at NewsDissector.net and edits Mediachannel.org. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org.

The post Suicide Bombers Over Gaza In A World Coming Apart appeared first on disinformation.

Free Markets and Capitalism Are Not the Same Thing

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:00

Photograph shows stock brokers working at the New York Stock Exchange. 1963

Roderick Long writes about the problems with conflating the two at Bleeding Heart Libertarians:

Left-libertarians differ from the (current) libertarian mainstream both in terms of what outcomes they regard as desirable, and in terms of what outcomes they think a freed market is likely to produce.

With regard to the latter issue, left-libertarians regard the current domination of the economic landscape by large hierarchical firms as the product not of free competition but of government intervention – including not only direct subsidies, grants of monopoly privilege, and barriers to entry, but also a regulatory framework that enables firms to socialise the scale costs associated with growth and the informational costs associated with hierarchy, while pocketing the benefits – and leaving employees and consumers with a straitened range of options. In the absence of government intervention, we maintain, firms could be expected to be smaller, flatter, and more numerous, with greater worker empowerment.

Thus we tend to wince when libertarians (or many of them, to varying degrees) rush to the defense of elite corporations and prevailing business models and practices as though these were free-market phenomena. First, we think this is factually inaccurate; and second, we think it’s strategically suicidal. Ordinary people generally know firsthand the petty tyranny and bureaucratic incompetence that all too often characterise the world of business; libertarians who try to glamourise that world as an arena of economic rationality and managerial heroism risk coming across as clueless at best, and shills for the ruling class at worse.

This is also why we tend to be less than enthusiastic about the word “capitalism” as the term for free-market society; as Friedrich Hayek notes, the term is “misleading,” since it “suggests a system which mainly benefits the capitalists,” whereas a genuine free market is “a system which imposes upon enterprise a discipline under which the managers chafe and which each endeavours to escape.” (Law, Legislation, and Liberty, vol.1, p. 62.)

But it is not only mainstream libertarians (and of course, to a far greater extent, conservatives) that tend to conflate the results of crony corporatism with those of free markets; such conflationism is all too common on the traditional left as well. The difference is that the evaluations are reversed; where the right-wing version of conflationism treats the virtues of free markets as reason to defend the fruits of corporatism , the left-wing version of conflationism treats the objectionable fruits of corporatism as reason to condemn free markets.

Central to both forms of conflationism is the myth that big business and big government are fundamentally at odds. As is often the case, the myth sustains itself by containing a kernel of truth; while big business and big government are partners, each serving to prop up the other, each side would like to be the dominant partner (as with church and state in the Middle Ages, or Dooku and Palpatine in the Star Wars prequels), so much – though not, I think, most – of the conflict between them is genuine. But we should not allow these squabbles between different wings of the ruling class, essentially over how to divide up the loot, to obscure the far greater extent to which the political elite and the corporate elite work together. Conservative politicians, largely agents of the corporate wing, wrap their policies in anti-big-government rhetoric, while liberal politicians, largely agents of the political wing, wrap their policies in anti-big-business rhetoric; the differences in policy often involve nudging the balance of power slightly in one direction or the other (will healthcare be mainly controlled by government directly, or instead by the private beneficiaries of government-granted privilege like insurance companies and the AMA?), but both wings systematically benefit from most of the policies propounded by each side. FDR’s presidency, for example, with its cartelising policies, gave a massive boost to corporate power, while the three chief indices of state power – taxes, spending, and debt – all skyrocketed under Reagan’s presidency.

But conflationism isn’t just a mistake about the prevailing system; it’s also a means by which that system perpetuates itself. People who are attracted to the idea of free markets are hoodwinked by conflationism into supporting big business, and thus becoming foot soldiers of the corporate wing of the ruling class; people who are repelled by the reality of corporatism on the ground are hoodwinked into supporting big government, and thus becoming foot soldiers of the political wing of the ruling class. Thus, thanks to the pincer-movement of right-conflationism and left-conflationism, those who seek to oppose the prevailing system end up in the ranks of its supporters – and the possibility of a radical challenge to the system as a whole is rendered effectively invisible. This is how conflationism functions.

Read more here.

The post Free Markets and Capitalism Are Not the Same Thing appeared first on disinformation.

The Unbelievable Life and Death of Michael C. Ruppert

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:00

Michael C. Ruppert receives the full posthumous biography treatment at The Verge, where Matt Stroud writes “After decades of struggle, the notorious doomsayer finally found fame and recognition. Then he shot himself.”:

By the second Sunday of April this year, Michael C. Ruppert was broke. The 63-year-old cop-turned-writer and firebrand gained fame by starring in Collapse, a 2009 documentary in which he predicts society’s destruction. Publicity from the film was great — he went on a countrywide promotional tour — but compensation had fizzled out. By April, he was receiving just a couple hundred dollars per month in royalties to supplement his meager Social Security checks.

In an effort to simplify his life, Ruppert had gradually sold, tossed out, or given away nearly all of his possessions, which included an arsenal of guns, countless books, and government documents. All that remained was a collection of sentimental knickknacks, along with clothes appropriate for a man in his 60s: button-up shirts, dark-colored slacks, a few flannels, a couple of L.L. Bean jackets, and a gray cowboy hat. Everything he owned fit into his burgundy 2000 Lincoln Continental.

For the last eight years, Ruppert had largely lived off the goodwill of friends and followers. When he made public requests for money — either through his weekly podcast, “The Lifeboat Hour,” or in posts to more than 5,000 Facebook followers — he received checks in the mail. When he needed a place to stay, people opened their homes. And it’s no surprise why: to subscribers of his elaborate theories — that the CIA trafficked drugs; that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks; or that the human race will face extinction by 2030 — Ruppert was a soldier who fought under the banner of truth. In exchange for exposing dark secrets, he was persecuted by authorities and shadowy organizations: he’d received death threats — both explicit and covert, he said — because he knew too much.

So when he made a plea for a place to stay early this year, a follower and friend named Jack Martin in Calistoga, California, offered up a modest trailer. That’s where, on the evening of April 13th, Ruppert committed suicide with a gunshot to the head. According to Ruppert’s friends, his suicide at first seemed sudden and unexpected — a brash decision during a dark moment. But looking back over his life and final days, Ruppert’s suicide resembles a grand finale — the end of a trail he’d been following for decades.

An only child, Ruppert’s family had close ties to the military and federal government. His father was a US Air Force pilot during the Second World War and later worked for Martin Marietta — which became Lockheed-Martin — “as a liaison between the CIA, the US Air Force, and Martin for booster programs,” Ruppert wrote in a 2010 online autobiography.

Ruppert interviewed to be a CIA operative during his senior year at UCLA in 1973, he wrote, but turned down the subsequent offer. He became a cop with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and handled narcotics cases in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The hours were long, and the job eventually got to him. He would later write that his work with the LAPD saddled him with “combat fatigue.”

It was during his tenure at the LAPD that Ruppert met a woman named Nordica Theodora “Teddy” D’Orsay. Ruppert later wrote that their 15-month relationship “determined the course of my life….”

Teddy wasn’t a cop, but she and Ruppert met at a Marina del Rey cop bar in 1975. The two became infatuated with one another, and quickly moved in together. Early in their relationship, however, Ruppert became suspicious of Teddy. For a civilian, she was, he thought, a little too knowledgeable about guns and stakeouts and the day-to-day work of officers on a beat. She dropped names of LAPD cops as well as crime bosses and undercover agents…

[continues at The Verge]

The post The Unbelievable Life and Death of Michael C. Ruppert appeared first on disinformation.

Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:30

Our contributor Kowality Jesus (we don’t know his or her real name, s/he’s truly independent of disinformation) stirred up not a little controversy with the post Fukushima’s Real Threat: Undue Fear. As a counterweight, consider this Counterpunch post by Nukewatch’s John LaForge to be a rebuttal:

There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”

IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2. Its accompanying press release summed up its findings this way: “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases are expected due to exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident.” The word “discernable” is a crucial disclaimer here.

Cancer, and the inexorable increase in cancer cases in Japan and around the world, is mostly caused by toxic pollution, including radiation exposure according to the National Cancer Institute.[1] But distinguishing a particular cancer case as having been caused by Fukushima rather than by other toxins, or combination of them, may be impossible – leading to UNSCEAR’s deceptive summation. As the IPPNW report says, “A cancer does not carry a label of origin…”

UNSCEAR’s use of the phrase “are expected” is also heavily nuanced. The increase in childhood leukemia cases near Germany’s operating nuclear reactors, compared to elsewhere, was not “expected,” but was proved in 1997. The findings, along with Chernobyl’s lingering consequences, led to the country’s federally mandated reactor phase-out. The plummeting of official childhood mortality rates around five US nuclear reactors after they were shut down was also “unexpected,” but shown by Joe Mangano and the Project on Radiation and Human Health…

[continues at Counterpunch]

The post Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse appeared first on disinformation.

What kind of metal is this? Why, I believe it’s Thelemite!

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 14:30

Disinfonauts,

I am pleased as punch to see that my favorite band, He Is Legend, are due to release their 4th full length album “Heavy Fruit” on August 19th.  Their style of rock weighs heavy with whiskey, cigarettes, and magick overtones.  Over the course of their career, their sound has progressed with a kind of southern fried metal that satisfies on a visceral level while conveying well articulated lyrics.  Many themes in the new record revolve around the witchery of them womenfolk in all of their good and malevolent ways.  Schulyar Croom’s voice is like gilded razor wire as he swaggers through track after track.  I hope you enjoy their new work as much as I do and pick up a copy of their album, come August 19th.

 

The post What kind of metal is this? Why, I believe it’s Thelemite! appeared first on disinformation.

[Poll] Favorite Logical Fallacy?

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 13:11
Last Week’s Poll

Well, it’s that time of week again! Last week’s poll was a HUGE success, so thanks to everyone who voted. Climate Change seems to be the issue Disinfo readers are most concerned about, with Corporate Corruption coming close behind in 2nd place. This basically means ALL of you should check out Greedy Lying Bastards as it covers the interplay between corporate/political corruption and climate change.

I was actually surprised to see Gay Rights and Gun Rights so low, but am even more surprised at how many voted for the Disappearance of Bees (those of you who voted for that, should definitely check out Vanishing of the Bees and Bee People, by the way).

What current issue is the most important?

  • Climate Change (16%, 106 Votes)
  • Corporate Corruption (15%, 96 Votes)
  • Military-industrial Complex (11%, 69 Votes)
  • NSA/Government Surveillance (9%, 60 Votes)
  • Disappearance of Bees (9%, 57 Votes)
  • Economy (in general) (8%, 49 Votes)
  • Other (6%, 42 Votes)
  • Education (6%, 39 Votes)
  • Torture and Government Conspiracy (6%, 37 Votes)
  • Overuse of chemicals and plastics (5%, 32 Votes)
  • Immigration (4%, 23 Votes)
  • Gun rights (2%, 14 Votes) 
  • Gay rights (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Religion (1%, 13 Votes)  

Total Voters: 650

This Week’s Poll

So, for this week’s poll, I decided to choose logical fallacies as the subject. They’ve always fascinated me. On the right hand column of the website, you can choose your favorite logical fallacy (“favorite” is flexible here, it can be your most hated, the most overused, whatever). 

Here’s a run down of each fallacy that I’ve listed, obviously I couldn’t list EVERY logical fallacy possible, so we’ll have to make due with the ones I’ve chosen. All examples and definitions are taken directly from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted (you can navigate to the Wiki page by clicking on the name of the fallacy).

Ad Hominem 

An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.

Appeal to Ignorance

It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa).

Post Hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: “after this, therefore because of this”) is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) that states “Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.” It is often shortened to simply post hoc.

The following is a simple example:

The rooster crows immediately before sunrise, therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise.

Slippery Slope

In logic and critical thinking, a slippery slope is a logical device, but it is usually known under its fallacious form, in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the inevitability of the event in question.

Genetic Fallacy

The genetic fallacy, also known as fallacy of originsfallacy of virtue, is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. 

Begging the Question

Begging the question means “assuming the conclusion (of an argument)”, a type of circular reasoning. This is an informal fallacy where the conclusion that one is attempting to prove is included in the initial premises of an argument, often in an indirect way that conceals this fact.

A False Dilemma

false dilemma (also called black-and-white thinkingbifurcationdenying a conjunct, the either-or fallacyfalse dichotomyfallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The opposite of this fallacy is argument to moderation.

Ad Populum

In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people“) is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe so, it is so.”

Appeal to Emotion

Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument. The appeal to emotion fallacy uses emotions as the basis of an argument’s position without factual evidence that logically supports the major ideas endorsed by the elicitor of the argument.

Appeal to Probability

An appeal to probability (or appeal to possibility) is the logical fallacy of taking something for granted because it would probably be the case (or might possibly be the case). Inductive arguments lack deductive validity and must therefore be asserted or denied in the premises.

Appeal to Hypocrisy

Tu quoque or the appeal to hypocrisy is a logical fallacy that intends to discredit the opponent’s position by asserting the opponent’s failure to act consistently in accordance with that position. It attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. This attempts to dismiss opponent’s position based on criticism of the opponent’s inconsistency and not the position presented.

Fallacy of Composition

The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part). For example: “This fragment of metal cannot be fractured with a hammer, therefore the machine of which it is a part cannot be fractured with a hammer.” This is clearly fallacious, because many machines can be broken apart, without any of those parts being able to be fractured.

Straw Man Fallacy

straw man, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument. To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument.

Special Pleading

Special pleading (also known as stacking the deckignoring the counterevidenceslanting, and one-sided assessment) is a form of spurious argument where a position in a dispute introduces favourable details or excludes unfavourable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations. Essentially, this involves someone attempting to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception.

Argument to Moderation

Argument to moderation (also known as [argument from] middle groundfalse compromisegray fallacy and the golden mean fallacy) is an informal fallacy which asserts that the truth can be found as a compromise between two opposite positions. This fallacy’s opposite is the false dilemma.

Appeal to Authority

Argument from authority (Latinargumentum ab auctoritate), also authoritative argument and appeal to authority, is a common form of argument which leads to a logical fallacy when misused.

In informal reasoning, the appeal to authority is a form of argument attempting to establish a statistical syllogism. The appeal to authority relies on an argument of the form:

A is an authority on a particular topic
A says something about that topic
A is probably correct

Appeal to Nature Not to be confused with naturalistic fallacy.

An appeal to nature is an argument or rhetorical tactic in which it is proposed that “a thing is good because it is ‘natural’, or bad because it is ‘unnatural’”.

Burden of Proof

The philosophical burden of proof or onus (probandi) is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

The Texas sharpshooter fallacy is an informal fallacy which is committed when differences in data are ignored, but similarities are stressed.

No True Scotsman

No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim (“no Scotsman would do such a thing”), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”), creating an implied tautology. It can also be used to create unnecessary requirements by adding “true” or “real” to the subject.

The post [Poll] Favorite Logical Fallacy? appeared first on disinformation.

Berlin is Inspiring the Next Revolution: Luke Rudkowski’s speech

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:30

In this video Luke Rudkowski delivers a speech to over 5,000 Germans that come out every Monday to rally. The main focus of this new, growing and expanding movement in Germany is to end the Fed, highlight main stream media propaganda and put an end to foreign wars of aggression. The actions in Berlin have sparked solidarity actions in Santa Monica CA, Vancouver Canada and NYC.

Special Thanks to Richardo from WRC Berlin for the camera work, contact him if you want to organize in Berlin https://www.facebook.com/ricardo.hapke

Via We Are Change

The post Berlin is Inspiring the Next Revolution: Luke Rudkowski’s speech appeared first on disinformation.

Study Concludes Beef Is a Bigger Environmental Threat than Cars

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:01

USCA Choice standing rib roast (2 bone) by Michael C. Berch, aka MCB.

Deforestation: It’s what’s for dinner!

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Eating meat is turning up the heat.

That’s the message from a team of international researchers whose just published study shows that the raising of livestock and consumption of meat—especially beef—is becoming an increasingly aggressive driver of planetary global warming and climate change.

Published this week in the journal Climatic Change and posted in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research reveals the alarming increase in global consumption of meat from raised livestock and discovered that beef cattle in particular are releasing more methane and nitrous oxide, both potent greenhouse gases, than previously thought.

Carbon dioxide is the most-prevalent gas when it comes to climate change. It is released by vehicles, industry, and forest removal and comprises the greatest portion of greenhouse gas totals. But methane and nitrous oxide are also greenhouse gasses and account for approximately 28 percent of global warming activity.

As Damian Carrington reports for the Guardian:

The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.

Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. Furthermore, the huge amounts of grain and water needed to raise cattle is a concern to experts worried about feeding an extra 2 billion people by 2050. But previous calls for people to eat less meat in order to help the environment, or preserve grain stocks, have been highly controversial.

According to one of the lead researchers, in order to mitigate the threat posed by this rise in meat consumption, world governments should end the pattern of subsidizing the mass production of beef.

Read more here.

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in this topic, check out True Mind’s documentary “Planeat.”

The post Study Concludes Beef Is a Bigger Environmental Threat than Cars appeared first on disinformation.

Is Bigfoot Psychic?

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 09:55

Frame 352 from the Patterson-Gimlin film, alleged by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin to show a Bigfoot, and by some others to show a man in a gorilla suit. View it here.

A small faction of the Bigfoot believers community thinks that the mysterious Sasquatch beast is an inter-dimensional psychic.

via ScienceBlogs:

With the appearance of a shaky 24 feet of filmstrip in 1967, Bigfoot stepped into the limelight, out from centuries of Native American myth, unsubstantiated yarns, and mysterious footprints. Ever since this footage — the so-called “Patterson-Gimlin Film” — the Bigfoot has fiercely entertained, spooked, and howled through popular consciousness, becoming as potent an icon of the region as the spotted owl — or grunge music, for that matter.

There are those, however, who take the beast very seriously. They claim that until the Patterson-Gimlin film is satisfactorily debunked, or the hundreds of other sightings they have under their belts reasonably explained, then they’re going to keep conducting the earnest field work that is the backbone of organizations such as the BFRO (Bigfoot Research Organization). To these people, the mainstream conception of the Sasquatch as being folklore or farce is a source of great and indignant offense, and it is their modus operandi to prove all the rest of us wrong with diligent scientific research of their golden calf of a cryptid, the Bigfoot.

To those who believe in him, the Bigfoot is a completely real, albeit elusive creature of unknown survival economy, native to the woods of Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Western Canada. He is six and a half to eight feet tall, covered in reddish-brown or black hair, with large, human-like feet and a significantly foul odor.

But this is not the beast I am interested in.

No, there exists a stranger, even more profoundly conspiracist conception of the Bigfoot: the psychic Sasquatch, a paranormal, inter-dimensional creature. As you might imagine, this causes a huge rift within the already fractured Bigfoot (BF) community. Those who support the thesis of a paranormal Bigfoot are profoundly marginalized, barred from discourse, and generally scorned in much the same way that the non-Bigfoot community — i.e. the scientific mainstream, popular consciousness, you know, normal people — scoffs at the very existence of a hairy woodland ape.

You can read the rest of Claire L. Evans’ article here. I suggest you do, if you’re at all interested in the subject.

Jack “Kewaunee” Lapseritis is something of an expert on the “psychic Sasquatch.” He is the author of The Sasquatch People and Their Interdimensional Connection and The Psychic Sasquatch and Their UFO Connection.

According to the “About the Author” section of the Amazon page for The Sasquatch People and Their Interdimensional Connection:

Kewaunee Lapseritis is a social scientist who earned his Masters Degree in Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanistic Psychology (Minors in Anthropology and Biology) from North Adams College, N. Adams, Massachusetts, where he spent time teaching anthropology in the early 1970s. He earned a degree in Conservation from the University of New Hampshire-Durham. Kewaunee is a Holistic Health Consultant, as well as a Master Herbalist and Wellness Educator with 37 years of training and service in this field. Among many other resources for training, Kewaunee studied Herbalogy/Botany with the Ojibwa traditional shaman, Keewaydinoquay, PhD in Ethno-Botany. He is also a Master Dowser and a Sasquatch and ET contactee. Kewaunee is a world-traveled/trained herbalist who twice healed himself of cancer by natural herbal remedies and formulas. He has lectured at colleges and universities, including the Medical College of Wisconsin, been a presenter at dozens of conferences and has appeared on over 430 radio and TV programs including the Discovery Channel, been featured in numerous national and international media, and was consulted for the Sasquatch film “Letters From The Big Man.” His two published books are “The Sasquatch People and Their Interdimensional Connection” (2011), and “The Psychic Sasquatch and Their UFO Connection” (1998), and has 55 years of research and personal experience with the Sasquatch People. He is a world authority on the subject.

Kewaunee runs the page sasquatchpeople.com and describes his newest book, The Sasquatch People and Their Interdimensional Connection as:

Kewaunee’s new book is the ultimate book on the Sasquatch phenomenon. Because the Sasquatch are genuinely people—not animals—Kewaunee is a crypto-anthropologist, not a crypto-zoologist. He elaborates on why they are humanoid beings and their purpose here, based on 32 years of interacting with the giants (and ETs) (out of the 55 years researching them). Kewaunee draws information from 187 witnesses who also experienced telepathic communication. Quantum physics describes the reality of mental telepathy, invisibility, inter-dimensionalism, and other PSI phenomena, and is actually juxtaposed with psychic Sasquatch and ET behavior.

Kewaunee has been successful in his research because of his benign, spiritual, field methodology (no guns or cameras)—not unlike Dr. Jane Goodall’s approach with chimpanzees, except the Sasquatch are highly evolved nature people. They are terrestrial extraterrestrials, living inside giants’ bodies. In his book, the forest giants reveal a salient message to humanity—that the planet is dying at the hands of exploitative man and in 2012 there will be a huge shift in human consciousness that most earthlings are ill prepared to face. The Sasquatch people, who are the ultimate environmentalists, want to share their ancient wisdom with the human, but few are listening.

I also found a podcast where Kewaunee talks about this book–skip to about 3:00 to start hearing the conversation.

The post Is Bigfoot Psychic? appeared first on disinformation.

Government Agents ‘Directly Involved’ in Most High-Profile US Terror Plots

Disinformation - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 09:00

We’re shocked, just plain shocked, that the FBI and other US law enforcement agencies “targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism ‘sting operations’ based on religious and ethnic identity,” per Human Rights Watch. From The Guardian:

Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the “direct involvement” of government agents or informants, a new report says.

Some of the controversial “sting” operations “were proposed or led by informants”, bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist.

The lengthy report, released on Monday by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system’s ability to respect civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. It portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots.

“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report alleges.

Out of the 494 cases related to terrorism the US has tried since 9/11, the plurality of convictions – 18% overall – are not for thwarted plots but for “material support” charges, a broad category expanded further by the 2001 Patriot Act that permits prosecutors to pursue charges with tenuous connections to a terrorist act or group.

In one such incident, the initial basis for a material-support case alleging a man provided “military gear” to al-Qaida turned out to be waterproof socks in his luggage.

Several cases featured years-long solitary confinement for accused terrorists before their trials. Some defendants displayed signs of mental incapacity. Jurors for the 2007 plot to attack the Fort Dix army base, itself influenced by government informants, were anonymous, limiting defense counsel’s ability to screen out bias.

Human Rights Watch’s findings call into question the post-9/11 shift taken by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies toward stopping terrorist plots before they occur. While the vast majority of counterterrorism tactics involved are legally authorized, particularly after Congress and successive administrations relaxed restrictions on law enforcement and intelligence agencies for counterterrorism, they suggest that the government’s zeal to protect Americans has in some cases morphed into manufacturing threats.

The report focuses primarily on 27 cases and accordingly stops short of drawing systemic conclusions. It also finds several trials and convictions for “deliberate attempts at terrorism or terrorism financing” that it does not challenge…

[continues at The Guardian]

The post Government Agents ‘Directly Involved’ in Most High-Profile US Terror Plots appeared first on disinformation.

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