Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Repeating Churchill’s Bungles: Will US Drive Turkey into Joining the Shanghai Pact?

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by Eric Zuesse, Strategic Culture:

In 1917, the professional head of the British Army, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson in 1917 explained why the Allies were losing World War I because they kept pouring out lives, weapons and resources on capturing tiny unimportant locations on the Western Front while Imperial Germany conquered Eastern and Southern Europe, invading and occupying one major country after another:

“We take Bullecourt, they take Rumania; We take Messines, they take Russia; We don’t take Passchendaele, they take Italy,” Wilson told Winston Churchill.

Today, Washington is moving heaven and earth to integrate such major world powers as Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia into NATO to join those vital pillars of world security Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And at the same time, it is obsessed with imposing ruinous sanctions on Turkey.

Dems: ‘The Only Thing More Precious Than A Newborn Baby Is The Right To Kill It’

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from The Banblon Bee:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Amid deliberations on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which was somehow seen as controversial, Democrat leaders reaffirmed their belief that newborn babies are precious gifts, nearly as precious as the right to kill them.

“Don’t get us wrong, we believe newborn babies are very precious,” said Senator Kamala Harris. “We just don’t believe they’re quite as precious as your constitutional right to snuff out their innocent little lives.”

Negative Interest Rates Aren’t Going Away

by Virginia Fidler, Gold Telegraph:

Are you used to receiving interest on the money you place with a bank? That was the norm before the financial crisis of 2008. That’s when central banks began experimenting with negative interest rates, a situation where the depositor pays for the privilege of keeping money in the bank. The intent was to allow banks to lend more money and thus stimulate the economy.

The central bank of Sweden was the first bank to drop its interest rates to minus .25 percent in 2009. This rate has not been raised since December of 2019 when the Sveriges Riksbank raised its interest rate by .25 percent and settling at zero percent.

Iranian General Wants to ‘Slap West in Face’ With Proof of US-Daesh Cooperation

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from Sputnik News:

Major General Qassem Soleimani, senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, has provided the country’s Foreign Ministry with documents proving US collaboration with Daesh beyond a shadow of a doubt, Iranian media has reported.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, special advisor on international affairs to Iran’s speaker of parliament, said he had a meeting with Soleimani and received the evidence while he was working at the foreign ministry.

“He gave me documents and told me to slap them in the face of the West and the UN,” Amir-Abdollahian said, according to Press TV.

Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, an Iranian special forces unit which has been battling Daesh in Syria, even asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to “put the documents on the table and tell the Americans ‘this is what you are up to’,” Amir-Abdollahian added.

Soleimani’s documents “contained precise information on the geographical position, time and exact details” of US collusion with the terrorists, the official stressed.

For instance, Amir-Abdollahian recalled that while Mosul, Iraq was still under Daesh occupation, “an American A330 [transport plane] landed in Mosul Airport; American generals got off the plane and military equipment was unloaded. At the airport’s VIP lounge, the American generals talked with Daesh leaders in Mosul for three hours and 23 minutes and then boarded the plane and returned. What did they bring Daesh? Weapons and equipment it needed and that they had already agreed on.”

 Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, 
Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, 

The official also confirmed earlier reports of US helicopters being used to deliver military equipment to senior Daesh commanders, and evacuating captured leaders. “Later, we found out that the Americans had taken some of those evacuated to northern Afghanistan, some to Libya and others to southern Yemen,” he said.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

James Damore: “This Is Why I Was Fired By Google”

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from ZeroHedge:

Fired Google engineer Jame Damore has penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal explaining how his good-faith effort to discuss differences between men and women in tech couldn’t be tolerated in the company’s “ideological echo chamber,” adding that self-segregation with similar-minded people has grown in recent decades as we spend more time in digital worlds “personalized to fit our views.”

I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.”My firing neatly confirms that point.

How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?

We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.

Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity,almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”

Echo chambers maintain themselves by creating a shared spirit and keeping discussion confined within certain limits. As Noam Chomsky once observed, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent and opposition. Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform.

In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment.

When I first circulated the document about a month ago to our diversity groups and individuals at Google, there was no outcry or charge of misogyny. I engaged in reasoned discussion with some of my peers on these issues, but mostly I was ignored.

Everything changed when the document went viral within the company and the wider tech world. Those most zealously committed to the diversity creed—that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and all people are inherently the same—could not let this public offense go unpunished. They sent angry emails to Google’s human-resources department and everyone up my management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement.

Upper management tried to placate this surge of outrage by shaming me and misrepresenting my document, but they couldn’t really do otherwise: The mob would have set upon anyone who openly agreed with me or even tolerated my views. When the whole episode finally became a giant media controversy, thanks to external leaks, Google had to solve the problem caused by my supposedly sexist, anti-diversity manifesto, and the whole company came under heated and sometimes threatening scrutiny.

It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion. If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

A Category 6 Storm? If The Scale Went That High, Hurricane Dorian Would Be One

by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:

Hurricane Dorian is already setting all sorts of records, and it hasn’t even reached the United States yet.  As I write this article, this “lawnmower from the sky” is ripping through the Bahamas with immense fury.  The east coast could potentially be the next target, and widespread evacuations have already been ordered all along the Florida coastline, and that even includes President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.  For many years, there has been a tremendous amount of debate in the scientific community about whether we should add a new category to the Saffir Simpson scale because of how powerful hurricanes are becoming.  Many meteorologists have advocated adding a “Category 6” or even a “Category 7” to the scale, and without a doubt the power of Hurricane Dorian will almost certainly renew that debate.  And as you will see below, if the scale had already been expanded, Hurricane Dorian would likely be considered to be a “Category 6” storm right now.

Hollyweirdo Alec Baldwin says Russians killed Jeffrey Epstein

from Fellowship Of The Minds:

Last Friday morning, we were told that just a day after the unsealing of documents revealing the names of prominent Demonrat politicians, convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had committed suicide-by-hanging in his prison cell in Manhattan Correctional Center.

Last night, from the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation account he runs with his wife, Trump-hater actor Alec Baldwin, 61, tweeted that “The Russians killed Epstein. They’re in charge of everything now.”

De-Briefing Academics: Unpaid Intelligence Informants

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by Prof. James Petras, Global Research:

Introduction

Over the past half-century, I have been engaged in research, lectured and worked with social movements and leftist governments in Latin America. I interviewed US officials and think tanks in Washington and New York. I have written scores of books, hundreds of professional articles and presented numerous papers at professional meetings.

In the course, of my activity I have discovered that many academics are frequently engage in what government officials dub ‘de-briefing’! Academics meet and discuss their field-work, data collection, research finding, observations and personal contacts over lunch at the Embassy with US government officials or in Washington with State Department officials.