Saturday, December 2, 2017

Note: This is not associated with First Look's site Entitled "The Intercept"

First Look purchased the url, "The Intercept" in January, 2014. "The Intercept" (aptly named) originally consisted of the posts below with many reposts of articles and blogposts collected to share. They consist of stories that we thought were the most important and verifiable news/opinions at the time.

 There are also a number of original posts covering various topics we happened to be knee-deep in exploring. This collection was a hobby/habit of sharing what I learned and presenting in a news hub style format while I was confined to a hospital bed for a couple years (in and out). Consider this blog like a "Wayback Machine" that preserves the more controversial articles (many long gone from their original sites) and compiles them in a way that serves as a snapshot of what was happening at the time.

 I learned a lot during this time and I hope there are some useful references for others.

 Apologies in advance for any media that is missing due to its dependence on other sites.  This included many youtubes and blip.tv vids.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New CIA Director John Brennan Cheers Torture






Sandy Hook shooting - MSNBC reports that AR-15 rifle was left in the car


Editor's Note: Straight up reporting before it was necessary to blame the shooting on an AR-15.




PLA officials say troops are to prepare for war amid territorial disputes with Japan


'Hard and rigorous' training planned amid territorial tension with Japan, officials declare, but observers rubbish 'loud propaganda'

South China Morning Post
Choi Chi-yuk

The PLA aims to beef up its troops' combat readiness and prepare for actual war situations through exercises this year, according to the latest annual training directive, amid escalating tensions between China and Japan over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

"In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People's Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war … to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis," according to yesterday's People's Liberation Army Daily, which referred to a training blueprint issued by the PLA's Department of the General Staff for the entire force.

The directive came in stark contrast to that of its predecessor. In last year's directive, more emphasis was placed on joint military trainings and co-ordination among different PLA services.

This year's statement stresses the urgency of real combat abilities in all military training by repeating the phrase "fighting wars", or dazhang, as many as 10 times in the article, which was no more than 1,000 words. The phrase did not appear in last year's directive.

The changes could be a result of the rising tensions in waters between China and Japan, while they might also indicate that there is a different focus for the PLA, since the Central Military Commission's chairman Hu Jintao was succeeded by Xi Jinping , the new PLA commander-in-chief since November.

Separately, state broadcast media reported in the past week that the PLA's naval air force kicked off the open-sea training portion of its annual exercise programme. No details were given on the specific dates or duration.

The General Staff department's training directive came a day after Japan's Self-Defence Forces conducted a massive military exercise on training grounds in Narashino, on the outskirts of Tokyo, on Sunday, in which 20 aircraft, 300 personnel and 33 vehicles participated.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera issued a statement after the drill insisting that Chinese ships had trespassed in "Japanese waters" near the Senkaku Islands, which are known in China as the Diaoyus, and that the security surrounding Japan was therefore being tightened.

The disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea has been claimed by both China and Japan since the early 1970s.

Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review, said, "The PLA is making its propaganda voice louder this year, aside from shifting their target to Japan instead of the Philippines last year," adding the statement was more or less the same as last year's.

The Age of the Siege: Nazi Military Tactics Revisited


NATO Strategies, Economic Sanctions and the "Responsibility to Protect"

Global Research

Felicity Arbuthnot

NATOBLOOD“Disengage, avoid, and withhold support from whatever abuses, degrades and humiliates humanity.” (Alice Walker, b:1944.).

[former Danish PM and Secretary General of NATO] Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Du har blod på dine hænder” ( “You have blood on your hands”), Danish protester, 2003.

The siege of Leningrad is still considered the most lethal siege in world history, a shocking “racially motivated starvation policy”, described as: “an integral part of Nazi policy in the Soviet Union during World War 11.”

The 872 day siege began on 8th September 1941 and was finally broken on 27th January 1944. It is described  as: “one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history and overwhelmingly the most costly in casualties.” Some historians cite it as a genocide. Due to record keeping complexities the exact number of deaths resultant from the blockade’s deprivations are uncertain, figures range from 632,000 to 1.5 million.

Sieges now extend to entire countries, they have become the torture before the destruction. And they are not counted in long days, but in long years. Iran thirty three years, Iraq thirteen-plus years. Ironically the disparity in the deaths in Iraq resultant from that siege, mirror near exactly what was considered a “genocide” in Leningrad.

Syria has been subject to EU “restrictions” since 2011, ever more strangulating, with near every kind of financial transaction made impossible by May 2011- when “restrictions” were also placed on President Assad himself, all senior government officials, senior security and armed forces Heads. The list of that denied is dizzying (i.) By February 2012, assets of individuals were frozen, as those of the Central Bank of Syria.

Cargo flights by Syrian carriers to the EU were also barred, as was trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds – anything which might translate in to hard cash, without which neither individuals or countries can purchase the most basic essentials.
By July 2012 Syrian Arab Airlines and even Syria’s Cotton Marketing Organisation had joined the EU’s victims.

America of course, had been way ahead of the game, with the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Act (ii) signed in to law on 12th December 2003, the year of Iraq’s comprehensive US-led destruction. Thus the mighty USA’s personal siege on under twenty one million people, is now entering its tenth year.

By last August, as with Iraq before it, the inability to trade meant that, as ever, the now Nobel Peace Prize winning EU and the policies of the Nobel Peace Prize winning US President, were targeting Syria’s most vulnerable.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Professor James F. Tracy on KPFA

KPFA

"Sandy Hook: Unanswered Questions" with Professor James F. Tracy. Discrepancies in media coverage; coroner's press conference; political fallout.


Guns and Butter - January 9, 2013 at 1:00pm

Click to listen (or download)



Professor's Questions About Sandy Hook Shooting Recall Columbine Massacre

Editor's Note:

“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”
Anderson Cooper jumps on this portion of the sentence:

“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—"
 
 before the following qualifying prep:

"
at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”

This is intended to milk a reaction of outrage from his audience. 

Mr. Cooper doesn't quite know who he's messing with.  Personally, I would not want to go toe-to-toe with Professor James Tracy.  I've read his past work and he is one of the sharper knives in the drawer.  Anderson had to use a deceptive excerpt out of context in order for people to buy his fake righteous indignation.


The Daily Bell



Believe it or not, there are actually people out there who are convinced that last month's horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut was staged. Anderson Cooper opened his show tonight taking on these conspiracy theorists. He said that ordinarily, he wouldn't give much thought to insane conspiracies, but one of the people pushing them is a Florida professor who raises doubts as to whether the shooting "ever took place" in the way that the media described, and the whole thing was just a huge conspiracy to get the country behind gun control. And as if that wasn't unbelievable enough, he also suspects that some of the parents of the children were really actors. – Mediaite.com

Dominant Social Theme: Sandy Hook conspiracy theories are appalling and outrageous.

Free-Market Analysis: A recent CNN/Anderson Cooper "Keeping Them Honest" segment focused on a media professor, James Tracy, who has publicly claimed that the Sandy Hook shootings "may not have happened at all, at least ... the way they have been described."
An article by the Sun Sentinel describes the Tracy controversy as follows:

FAU prof stirs controversy by disputing Newtown massacre ... A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last month's Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen as reported — or may not have happened at all.

Moreover, James Tracy asserts in radio interviews and on his memoryholeblog.com, that trained "crisis actors" may have been employed by the Obama administration in an effort to shape public opinion in favor of the event's true purpose: gun control.

... In one of his blog posts, "The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information," Tracy cites several sources for his skepticism, including lack of surveillance video or still images from the scene, the halting performance of the medical examiner at a news conference, timeline confusion, and how the accused shooter was able to fire so many shots in just minutes ...

Tracy said also has doubts about the official version of the Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9-11 terror attacks and the Aurora, Colo., theater murders.
"I describe myself as a scholar and public intellectual," he said, "interested in going more deeply into controversial public events. Although some may see [my theories] as beyond the pale, I am doing what we should be doing as academics."

Cooper is at his silky best in this segment, blasting away at the professor's theories and even implying that he ought to be fired for voicing such an opinion.

4 Years Ago Could You've Imagined We'd Let Banks Off Laundering Money For Terrorists & Drug Cartels?






Saturday, January 12, 2013

From Kindergarten to University: Homeland Security Culture in America


Global Research
Sancho Jones

academicIn early March of 2009, The Department of Homeland Security, held it’s annual National Fusion Center Conference [1]. The conference highlighted the necessity for Fusion Centers to achieve Baseline Capabilities in the sharing of information and intelligence with the federal government and each other.

At the end of the same month the DHS gave a press release [2] to announce their selection of Purdue, and Rutgers Universities to co-lead the newest Center of Excellence (COE).

Centers of Excellence were created through the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the first centers began operation in 2004. With the addition of the newest one above, there are a total of 12 Centers across the country. The total number of these centers is skewed; as each center is in collaboration with multiple universities; as well as being partners with local, state, federal, and international entities. These COE’s also work with national laboratories, and corporate partners such as the RAND corporation to offer viable real world applications. In the end, there aren’t 12 centers, but a web of several hundred, and possibly thousands of centers.

The official list[3] of 12 centers are overseen by the Orwellian “Office of University Programs” [4]. The “Strategic Objectives” of this office are quoted as follows:
  •  Foster a homeland security culture within the academic community through research and educational programs.
  •  Strengthen U.S. scientific leadership in homeland security research.
  •  Generate and disseminate knowledge and technical advances to advance the homeland security mission.
  •  Integrate homeland security activities across agencies engaged in relevant academic research.
  •  Create and leverage intellectual capital and nurture a homeland security science and engineering workforce.
Notice, their admitted overall goal is not only to ‘disseminate knowledge’ and technical advances for the homeland security ‘mission’, but also to create a Homeland Security Culture within the educational system; [5], 6].

Each COE website[3] has an education link; not all sites have their educational portion up for viewing. The ones who do have the educational curricula visible, show programs offered for K-12 and college curricula, into graduate school education. From Purdue University’s COE website [7],
“This program is designed to support undergraduate and graduate students in developing the skills to become preeminent scientists in the homeland security specific and technical community.”
The Orwellian Office of University Programs, is not only creating “Obama’s Youth”, but also creating  “scientists” who are studied in Department of Homeland Security disciplines!

Two Centers of Excellence stood out from the rest. The first, is Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism [8], or START which is based at the University of Maryland.

Amongst other activities, they do as the name suggests; they create studies. Hidden amongst the Islamic Jihad studies[9] were the reports of the real terrorists; you, and I!

Two reports stuck out more than the rest. The first was a study conducted from 2007 to 2008, and finished with the creation of the U.S. Extremist Criminal Terror database[10]. The study, and now database focus on far-right extremists; the data base of U.S. Extremist Crime, comprises 1990 to 2005.

The other study of interest was,Homegrown Radicalization and the Role of Social Networks and Social Inclusiveness in the United States”[11]. There is no finished report of this study. The last update was, July 31, 2008. It seems this study is the one requested through The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 1955/S. 1959)[12] “The act would establish a national commission and a university-based “Center for Excellence” to study and propose legislation to prevent the threat of “radicalization” of Americans.” Interestingly enough, just a few months after the final START study update on July 31, 2008, the DHS released, The “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”[13]. This Lexicon was a “newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warns against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.”[14] All this came from the START Center of Excellence!

Friday, January 11, 2013

U.S. Lags Peers in Life Expectancy


Wall Street Journal
Louise Radnofsky

Americans die younger and have more illnesses and accidents on average than people in other high-income countries—even wealthier, insured, college-educated Americans, a report said Wednesday.

The study by the federally sponsored National Research Council and Institute of Medicine found the U.S. near the bottom of 17 affluent countries for life expectancy, with high rates of obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and arthritis, as well as infant mortality, injuries, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug deaths and sexually transmitted diseases.

"The [U.S.] health disadvantage is pervasive—it affects all age groups up to age 75 and is observed for multiple diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors, and injuries," said the report's authors, who are public-health and medicine academics recruited by the government panels.

The shorter life expectancy for Americans largely was attributed to high mortality for men under age 50, from car crashes, accidents and violence. But the report also said U.S. women's gains in life expectancy had been lagging behind other well-off countries.

The authors offered a range of possible explanations for Americans' worse health and mortality, including social inequality. They also described criticisms including limited availability of contraception for teenagers, community designs that discourage physical activity such as walking, air pollution and access to firearms, as well as individual behaviors such as high calorie consumption.
The U.S. health-care system wasn't spared criticism, with authors describing it as fragmented, lacking sufficient primary-care physicians and posing financial barriers to millions of Americans who lack insurance or are unable to afford out-of-pocket medical costs.

But the chairman of the panel of authors, Steven Woolf, a professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the report showed that health outcomes were determined "by much more than health care."

"Our health as Americans is only partly aided by having a very good health-care system," he said. "Much of our health disadvantage comes from factors outside of the clinical system and outside of what doctors and hospitals can do."

The Obama administration has aimed to improve Americans' health by expanding insurance coverage through the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while Republicans have pushed for giving the private sector a greater role in managing health care through changes to such programs as Medicare.

Public health has received relatively little attention from lawmakers, despite campaigns by high-profile figures such as first lady Michelle Obama on childhood obesity and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on smoking, gun control and the sale of high-calorie beverages.

"The political environment on health is so wrapped up right now around implementation of health reform that we need to have the space to have this larger conversation and for people to understand that having health insurance is necessary but not sufficient to close this gap," said Jeff Levi, head of the Trust for America's Health, a public health advocacy group. He wasn't involved in the study.

The new report noted that average life expectancy for American men, at 75.6 years, was the lowest among the 17 countries and almost four years shorter than for Switzerland, the best-performing nation.

American women's average life expectancy, 80.8 years, was second-lowest among the countries and five years shorter than Japan's, which had the highest expectancy.
The report's authors were particularly critical of the availability of guns, writing: "One behavior that probably explains the excess lethality of violence and unintentional injuries in the United States is the widespread possession of firearms and the common practice of storing them [often unlocked] at home."

The authors noted that Americans who lived past age 75 had higher survival rates compared with similar countries, and Americans overall had better rates of surviving cancer and strokes. They also said the U.S. better controls high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking rates and use of alcohol than many other nations.

The report didn't directly consider U.S. health in the context of spending on care, but noted that America's low outcomes were striking given that U.S. per capita health spending exceeds that of other countries.