Book reviews

This post comprises reviews books that add substantially to the understanding of our world, economics, politics, history and geopolitics, and what may happen in the future.  Scroll down to read all reviews.

They’re Conning You! 

Who are ‘they’? And what are ‘they’ planning? This is the REAL story of our past, present and possibly future.

They’re Conning You! By Peter Senior, Senior Consulting

They’re Conning You! is only available on Amazon Kindle because it includes hundreds of vital Internet links that would be far too tiresome to type in from a paper book.

They’re Conning You! presents information that is likely to cause ‘cognitive dissonance’ as it examines in depth a wide range of evidence that demonstrates much of what thought we knew is, in fact, wrong. The subjects discussed cover a wide spectrum from aliens and UFOs to asking where the technologies used to construct ancient structures come from, whether ancient civilisations waged nuclear wars against each other, to financial treason.

‘Consciousness’ is examined, as is what are we made of and how did this come about? Could it be that aliens modified our DNA, which may have come from the outer Cosmos anyway?

We are accustomed to overt and covert PC education, indoctrination and media ‘fake news,’ but do we realise how this is turning us into zombies? Servants of the State? Many scientific bodies, government departments and corporations often distort and lie about what is assumed to be ‘science.’ Even nastier things are being exposed such as paedophilia and Satanism.

Some ‘deep state’ government departments with-hold information that would enable free energy and the consequent massive improvement to most peoples’ lives and countries’ economies in order to protect their secrets as well as the massive oil and associated industries valued at $500 trillion.

There is compelling evidence that US President John F Kennedy was assassinated by covert government people because he planned to share US’ knowledge of aliens and UFOs with Russian President Khrushchev, as well as expose massive corruption.

The book presents frightening information about the two events that changed our world most in the last 55 years: JFK’s assassination and ‘911’, the demolition of the Twin Towers and Tower 7 on 11 September 2001 by covert government-controlled actions.

The subject of who ‘they’ are is discussed in depth, in particular with regard to plans for a New World Order (NWO), and who is orchestrating this.

The US is mimicking the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, whilst Europe is gradually transitioning into a bureaucratic dictatorship. The world’s financial systems are being manipulated for the benefit of their controllers, all underpinned by the ‘deep state’ which has been shown to have syphoned off at least $21 trillion through covert Pentagon misappropriations. Globalisation has expanded trade around the world, but it is now being manipulated by global corporations.

Compelling evidence demonstrates the US and other ‘deep state’ governments have secret space programs that have grown since the first UFO sightings and capture during and shortly after WWII. Imagine what 70 years of ‘reverse engineering’ from captured UFOs would yield, together with alien contact?

Several potential future scenarios are presented with assessments of each. Readers are invited to decide which seems more likely based on what they now know after reading this book and, hopefully, carrying out much more in-depth research.

A review of They’re conning you! by highly-regarded executive journalist Julian Tomlinson, based on 24 years’ experience, notes:
‘This book will appeal to the firm believers in so-called “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy facts”, as well as those with a curiosity and even the firm non-believers. The author combines painstaking research from innumerable sources and combines bland shreds of information into a compelling narrative. Readers will feel they are sitting there actually talking to the author as he manages to convey a sense of wonder, concern and excitement in every sentence, effortlessly flicking between known pre-history, the Roman period and modern times in a manner that’s easy to follow.
If you are in the “conspiracy camp” this book expertly summarises everything you do know and want to know into one, easy-to-read volume. If you are not in the camp, you’ll at least gain an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of “conspiracies” and why they exist. You may even start to believe. Well worth a look.’

They’re conning you! is available from Amazon Kindle: www.amazon.com – search for: they’re conning you

or: https://www.amazon.com.au/Theyre-conning-they-what-planning-ebook/dp/B078SL9CQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1515216498&sr=1-1&keywords=they%27re+conning+you

Seven further reviews by Indie Book Reviewers are highly complimentary, and recommend the book should be read by everyone:

  1. This is a powerful, very well-written and highly informative book! I have read several books on different types of hidden ‘truths’ and conspiracy theories… what is really going on in our world and what the future might hold, and sometimes I get the sense that most are just recycling old information or things we’ve all already heard before. For this book it seems like I read a lot of new ideas presented in a way that makes a great deal of sense, even if might be perceived as somewhat “controversial”. The content was mostly new to me and laid out in a coherent way that is easy to follow, but is meticulously researched and supported with solid evidence. Peter Senior uses facts and present-day conditions as well as real-life examples to share his perspectives and ideas, Fast paced, informative, and easy to read, I recommend this book, “They’re Conning You!” to everyone who wants to know what is really going on, from aliens to secret societies, shadow governments and 9/11 and so much more.  (5 stars) John Goldman– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  2. Peter Senior has a great ability to take complex ideas, concepts and put them in the simplest terms for all to understand easily. He covers many different points of society – past, present and future—and holds nothing back in the way of exposing information that many people might not be aware of. The media and governments do a great job of distorting reality and manipulating truths so that the average person has no idea what is really happening. Mr. Senior has compiled so much interesting research and documentation on a variety of hot-button topics and gives straightforward, convincing arguments that demand to be heard and studied further. Nicely crafted and I liked how it was formatted/broken down into individual chapters that focused on different elements. Made for easier reading and retention. Near flawless editing (formatting is a little wonky at times) and I walked away feeling like I really learned something from reading this book and am inspired to do more reading and research on my own. (4 stars) Leo Gregory– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  3. Funny how few books there actually seem to be on so many of these topics… and this is such important information! I am still in college and it’s just not normally the type of book that I gravitate to for ‘fun’, but I thought there might be something useful I could learn anyways and I was so right! It is eye-opening and very compelling – it is clear that the author knows what he’s writing about and has done in-depth research (and has detailed and comprehensive appendices at the end to prove it). Provocative and bold, this book is not just for academics or scientists or political gurus, but for anyone who wants to know what is REALLY going on ‘behind the scenes’ and how different it is from what “they” are telling you. Everything from the JFK assassination to Twin Towers to Extra-Terrestrials, Antarctica and “Deep State” governments… Peter Senior has created an impressively comprehensive body of research and theories that can definitely get people’s attention, whether you are a ‘skeptic’ or a ‘believer’. I could definitely see the truths behind much of what he was saying. The main concern I had was that while he presented lots of great information and shocking revelations, I was left with the feeling of like “okay, now what am I supposed to do with this info?” So in that regard it is a little frustrating, but I guess it is better to know than to not know. I like that it challenged the traditional narrative and put things into new perspective. (4 stars) James Masters– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  4. I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading “They’re Conning You” by Peter Senior, as I’m not normally one to read about things like this. But surprisingly enough I found the straight-forward and engaging narrative style to be quite fascinating and down-to-earth. I liked how Mr. Senior uses his vast and well-researched knowledge ‘story-style’ to make his points and relate his ideas in ways that we all can fully and easily grasp. Each chapter/section/topic gives valuable information, examples and supporting links or sources for further research/reading. The whole thing just flowed so well and I hope people pay attention to as it is clear that the author knows what he is talking about, and that he is an excellent writer. I have found that many times reading philosophy/political or ‘conspiracy’ theory books can either be too ‘highbrow’ and esoteric, or they just don’t present the material in a way that I feel I can relate to (or its condescending), but this definitely was not the case here at all. My only very small complaint was that I wish there were more in-text citations for sources (footnotes or direct links), because while the author does provide a very thorough appendices/references at the end, there were a few times I would’ve preferred to see the sources cited in text. A very minor thing, though. Recommended read. (4 stars) Cale Owens– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  5. I think a lot of these types of books get a bad rap sometimes, as a lot of times they are all theory and ‘talking in circles’ but don’t really bring anything ‘new’ to the table or make the information credible and or relevant. But I have to say in this case I feel like the author did a solid job of getting his message out and doing so in a very digestible manner. I was unaware of so many things discussed in this book, and I consider myself to be fairly well educated and worldly. I’m not exactly sure who the right target audience for this would be, as it almost seems something almost anyone could (and should!) read. I admit I am not all that sure what to do with this information, but if nothing else I enjoyed learning more about certain things I was unaware of before, and I have ALWAYS had an interest in knowing more truths with aliens/ET and their contributions to our planet and advancing civilizations. The pacing is pretty even and overall it is an impressive effort by Mr. Senior and worth serious thought and discussion. (4 stars) Carla Biggins– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  6. In “They’re Conning You…” Peter Senior lays out his ideas is a way that encourages the reader to think ‘outside the box’ and question the ‘reality’ that is often presented to the masses. Whether you believe in conspiracy theories or facts or not, there is enough detailed examination of ‘controversial’ subjects here to entice the pickiest of readers. His narrative is easy to follow, even if some of the concepts were admittedly a little ‘out there’ at times. I still feel like I gleaned some valuable information – actually a lot that I didn’t know before. While not exactly a ‘mainstream’ sort of book, in a way that is exactly what makes it so good –This book is intelligent and thought-provoking – opens your eyes and provides a necessary paradigm shift. Some parts pull the rug out from under you – others will pull the wool from your eyes and expose truths, sometimes uncomfortable, that we all need to at least hear about, even if you chose not to believe it.  At least you can decide for yourself when given the bigger picture. I liked how many outside sources he references, so many links, videos, articles and books… I will definitely be reading more! Recommend. (4 stars) Cody Brighton – Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
  7. Warning – when starting “They’re Conning You…” make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off with an intriguing beginning pulling us into this provocative world and ideas, and just keeps going with one interesting topic after the next. I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author Peter Senior managed to create where it felt intimate, like a friend is telling me this really cool, strange story that I didn’t want to stop listening to. Loved the energetic tone and the fact that he has his opinions, but the book doesn’t feel overly ‘biased’ or judgmental… This went much deeper than that, and I was truly impressed with the author’s literary and research skills. I actually feel like I learned a lot, all while being ‘entertained’. I’ve always had a fascination with many of these subjects (esp. aliens and secret societies), but they are usually presented in such an eye-rolling, unbelievable way It was great to read something so intelligently constructed with impressive research and complex connections that all come full circle. Suitable for mature teens on up. (5 stars) Essie Harmon—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

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The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy – Updated version 

Note: this review is  copied from the Amazon/Kindle website.

Now in a new edition updated through the unprecedented 2016 presidential election, this provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state” that influences and often opposes official U.S. policies. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott begins by tracing America’s increasing militarization, restrictions on constitutional rights, and income disparity since World War II. With the start of the Cold War, he argues, the U.S. government changed immensely in both function and scope, from protecting and nurturing a relatively isolated country to assuming ever-greater responsibility for controlling world politics in the name of freedom and democracy. This has resulted in both secretive new institutions and a slow but radical change in the American state itself. He argues that central to this historic reversal were seismic national events, ranging from the assassination of President Kennedy to 9/11.
Scott marshals compelling evidence that the deep state is now partly institutionalized in non-accountable intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, but it also extends its reach to private corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC, to which 70 percent of intelligence budgets are outsourced. Behind these public and private institutions is the influence of Wall Street bankers and lawyers, allied with international oil companies beyond the reach of domestic law. Undoubtedly the political consensus about America’s global role has evolved, but if we want to restore the country’s traditional constitutional framework, it is important to see the role of particular cabals—such as the Project for the New American Century—and how they have repeatedly used the secret powers and network of Continuity of Government (COG) planning to implement change. Yet the author sees the deep state polarized between an establishment and a counter-establishment in a chaotic situation that may actually prove more hopeful for U.S. democracy.

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Everything You Need to Know,  by David Icke, 14 February 2018

See full review at: David Icke’s Everything You Need To Know But Have Never Been Told

David’s latest book is reviewed in a recent post by Freedom Article, as follows: ‘This book sprinkled throughout with David’s humor, e.g. when discussing transhumanism poster boy Ray Kurzweil of Google, David remarks “I wouldn’t trust him to tell me the date in a calendar factory” or when discussing the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist (eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ), David remarks that mainstream religion is “Satanism lite.”

Here are 2 key quotes from the book:

“If you want to control the dream you must control the perceptions of the dreamer and that’s the global conspiracy to enslave humanity in a single sentence.”

David uses the same quote from Einstein twice in the book, since it’s so important:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can’t help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

Therein lies the grand solution. The solution to all these problems, to the entire New World Order, comes down to some very simple principles. Remember who you are. Identify with the depth of your spirit, not the shallowness of your form. Life is a mirror: whatever you put out, you receive. Change your perception and your change everything. The universe matches your vibration with an experience or situation, so if you change your vibration, you change your experience, and your entire life. If enough of us do it, we change the entire world.

Everything You Need To Know But Have Never Been Told is the kind of book that can change your life. Get a copy, read it, let it inspire you with knowledge and courage, and let the astonishing amount of dot-connecting sink in and give you a perceptual reboot.’

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JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters

 JFK and the Unspeakable. Why He Died and Why It Matters  Book review by Edward Curtin, 31 October 2017

Despite a treasure-trove of new information having emerged over the last forty-six years, there are many people who still think who killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and why are unanswerable questions. There are others who cling to the Lee Harvey Oswald “lone-nut” explanation proffered by the Warren Commission. Both groups agree, however, that whatever the truth, it has no contemporary relevance but is old-hat, history, stuff for conspiracy-obsessed people with nothing better to do. The general thinking is that the assassination occurred almost a half-century ago, so let’s move on.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as James Douglass shows in his extraordinary book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (Simon & Schuster, 2008). It is clearly one of the best books ever written on the Kennedy assassination and deserves a vast readership. It is bound to roil the waters of complacency that have submerged the truth of this key event in modern American history.

It’s not often that the intersection of history and contemporary events pose such a startling and chilling lesson as does the contemplation of the murder of JFK on November 22, 1963 juxtaposed with the situations faced by President Obama today. So far, at least, Obama’s behaviour has mirrored Johnson’s, not Kennedy’s, as he has escalated the war in Afghanistan by 34,000. One can’t but help think that the thought of JFK’s fate might not be far from his mind as he contemplates his next move in Afghanistan.

Douglass presents a very compelling argument that Kennedy was killed by “unspeakable” (the Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s term) forces within the U.S. national security state because of his conversion from a cold warrior into a man of peace. He argues, using a wealth of newly uncovered information, that JFK had become a major threat to the burgeoning military-industrial complex and had to be eliminated through a conspiracy planned by the CIA – “the CIA’s fingerprints are all over the crime and the events leading up to it” – not by a crazed individual, the Mafia, or disgruntled anti-Castro Cubans, though some of these may have been used in the execution of the plot.

Why and by whom? These are the key questions. If it can be shown that Kennedy did, in fact, turn emphatically away from war as a solution to political conflict; did, in fact, as he was being urged by his military and intelligence advisers to up the ante and use violence, rejected such advice and turned toward peaceful solutions, then, a motive for his elimination is established. If, furthermore, it can be clearly shown that Oswald was a dupe in a deadly game and that forces within the military/intelligence apparatus were involved with him from start to finish, then the crime is solved, not by fingering an individual who may have given the order for the murder or pulled the trigger, but by showing that the coordination of the assassination had to involve U.S. intelligence agencies, most notably the CIA. Douglass does both, providing highly detailed and intricately linked evidence based on his own research and a vast array of the best scholarship.

We are then faced with the contemporary relevance, and since we know that every president since JFK has refused to confront the growth of the national security state and its call for violence, one can logically assume a message was sent and heeded. In this regard, it is not incidental that former twenty-seven year CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, in a recent interview, warned of the “two CIAs,” one the analytic arm providing straight scoop to presidents, the other the covert action arm which operates according to its own rules. “Let me leave you with this thought,” he told his interviewer, “and that is that I think Panetta (current CIA Director), and to a degree Obama, are afraid – I never thought I’d hear myself saying this – I think they are afraid of the CIA.” He then recommended Douglass’ book, “It’s very well-researched and his conclusion is very alarming.” [1]

Let’s look at the history marshaled by Douglass to support his thesis.

First, Kennedy, who took office in January 1961 as somewhat of a Cold Warrior, was quickly set up by the CIA to take the blame for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. The CIA and generals wanted to oust Castro, and in pursuit of that goal, trained a force of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. Kennedy refused to go along and the invasion was roundly defeated. The CIA, military, and Cuban exiles bitterly blamed Kennedy. But it was all a sham.

Though Douglass doesn’t mention it, and few Americans know it, classified documents uncovered in 2000 revealed that the CIA had discovered that the Soviets had learned of the date of the invasion more than a week in advance, had informed Castro, but – and here is a startling fact that should make people’s hair stand on end – never told the President. [2] The CIA knew the invasion was doomed before the fact but went ahead with it anyway. Why? So they could and did afterwards blame JFK for the failure.

This treachery set the stage for events to come. For his part, sensing but not knowing the full extent of the set-up, Kennedy fired CIA Director Allen Dulles (as in a bad joke, later to be named to the Warren Commission) and his assistant General Charles Cabell (whose brother Earle Cabell, to make a bad joke absurd, was the mayor of Dallas on the day Kennedy was killed) and said he wanted “to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” Not the sentiments to endear him to a secretive government within a government whose power was growing exponentially.

The stage was now set for events to follow as JFK, in opposition to nearly all his advisers, consistently opposed the use of force in U.S. foreign policy.

In 1961, despite the Joint Chief’s demand to put troops into Laos, Kennedy bluntly insisted otherwise as he ordered Averell Harriman, his representative at the Geneva Conference, “Did you understand? I want a negotiated settlement in Laos. I don’t want to put troops in.”

Also in 1961, he refused to concede to the insistence of his top generals to give them permission to use nuclear weapons in Berlin and Southeast Asia. Walking out of a meeting with top military advisors, Kennedy threw his hands in the air and said, “These people are crazy.”

He refused to bomb and invade Cuba as the military wished during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Afterwards he told his friend John Kenneth Galbraith that “I never had the slightest intention of doing so.”

Then in June 1963 he gave an incredible speech at American University in which he called for the total abolishment of nuclear weapons, the end of the Cold War and the “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war,” and movement toward “general and complete disarmament.”

A few months later he signed a Limited Test Ban Treaty with Nikita Khrushchev.

In October 1963 he signed National Security Action Memorandum 263 calling for the withdrawal of 1,000 U. S. military troops from Vietnam by the end of the year and a total withdrawal by the end of 1965.[3]

All this he did while secretly engaging in negotiations with Khrushchev via the KGB , Norman Cousins, and Pope John XXIII , and with Castro through various intermediaries, one of whom was French Journalist Jean Daniel. In an interview with Daniel on October 24, 1963 Kennedy said, “I approved the proclamation Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will go even further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we will have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.” Such sentiments were anathema, shall we say treasonous, to the CIA and top generals.

These clear refusals to go to war and his decision to engage in private, back-channel communications with Cold War enemies marked Kennedy as an enemy of the national security state. They were on a collision course. As Douglass and others have pointed out, every move Kennedy made was anti-war. This, Douglass argues, was because JFK, a war hero, had been deeply affected by the horror of war and was severely shaken by how close the world had come to destruction during the Cuban missile crisis. Throughout his life he had been touched by death and had come to appreciate the fragility of life. Once in the Presidency, Kennedy underwent a deep metanoia, a spiritual transformation, from Cold Warrior to peace maker. He came to see the generals who advised him as devoid of the tragic sense of life and as hell-bent on war. And he was well aware that his growing resistance to war had put him on a dangerous collision course with those generals and the CIA. On numerous occasions he spoke of the possibility of a military coup d’etat against him. On the night before his trip to Dallas, he told his wife, “But, Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it.” And we know that nobody did try to stop it because they had planned it.

But who killed him?

Douglass presents a formidable amount of evidence, some old and some new, against the CIA and covert action agencies within the national security state, and does so in such a logical and persuasive way that any fair-minded reader cannot help but be taken aback; stunned, really. And he links this evidence directly to JFK’s actions on behalf of peace.

He knows, however, that to truly convince he must break a “conspiracy of silence that would envelop our government, our media, our academic institutions, and virtually our entire society from November 22, 1963, to the present.” This “unspeakable,” this hypnotic “collective denial of the obvious,” is sustained by a mass-media whose repeated message is that the truth about such significant events is beyond our grasp, that we will have to drink the waters of uncertainty forever. As for those who don’t, they are relegated to the status of conspiracy nuts.

Fear and uncertainty block a true appraisal of the assassination – that plus the thought that it no longer matters.

It matters. For we know that no president since JFK has dared to buck the military-intelligence-industrial complex. We know a Pax Americana has spread its tentacles across the globe with U.S. military in over 130 countries on 750 plus bases. We know that the amount of blood and money spent on wars and war preparations has risen astronomically.

There is a great deal we know and even more that we don’t want to know, or at the very least, investigate.

If Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to the intelligence community, the FBI and the CIA, then we can logically conclude that he was not “a lone-nut” assassin. Douglass marshals a wealth of evidence to show how from the very start Oswald was moved around the globe like a pawn in a game, and when the game was done, the pawn was eliminated in the Dallas police headquarters. As he begins to trace Oswald’s path, Douglass asks this question: “Why was Lee Harvey Oswald so tolerated and supported by the government he betrayed?” After serving as a U.S. Marine at the CIA’s U-2 spy plane operating base in Japan with a Crypto clearance (higher than top secret but a fact suppressed by the Warren Commission), Oswald left the Marines and defected to the Soviet Union. After denouncing the U.S., working at a Soviet factory in Minsk , and taking a Russian wife – during which time Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union – he returned to the U.S. with a loan from the American Embassy in Moscow, only to be met at the dock in Hoboken, New Jersey by a man, Spas T. Raikin, a prominent anti-communist with extensive intelligence connections, recommended by the State Department. He passed through immigration with no trouble, was not prosecuted, moved to Fort Worth, Texas where , at the suggestion of the Dallas CIA Domestic Contacts Service chief, he was met and befriended by George de Mohrenschildt, an anti-communist Russian, who was a CIA asset. De Mohrenschildt got him a job four days later at a graphic arts company that worked on maps for the U.S. Army Map Service related to U-2 spy missions over Cuba. Oswald was then shepherded around the Dallas area by de Mohrenschildt who, in 1977, on the day he revealed he had contacted Oswald for the CIA and was to meet with the House Select Committee on Assasinations’ Gaeton Fonzi, allegedly committed suicide. Oswald then moved to New Orleans in April 1963 where got a job at the Reilly Coffee Company owned by CIA-affiliated William Reilly. The Reilly Coffee Company was located in close vicinity to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and Office of Naval Intelligence offices and a stone’s throw from the office of Guy Bannister, a former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Bureau, who worked as a covert action coordinator for the intelligence services, supplying and training anti-Castro paramilitaries meant to ensnare Kennedy. Oswald then went to work with Bannister and the CIA paramilitaries.

During this time up until the assassination Oswald engaged in all sorts of contradictory activities, one day portraying himself as pro-Castro, the next day as anti-Castro, many of these theatrical performances being directed from Bannister’s office. It was as though Oswald, on the orders of his puppet masters, was enacting multiple and antithetical roles in order to confound anyone intent on deciphering the purposes behind his actions and to set him up as a future “assassin.” Douglass persuasively argues that Oswald “seems to have been working with both the CIA and FBI,” as a provocateur for the former and an informant for the latter. Jim and Elsie Wilcott, who worked at the CIA Tokyo Station from 1960-64, in a 1978 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, said, “It was common knowledge in the Tokyo CIA station that Oswald worked for the agency.”

When Oswald moved to New Orleans in April 1963, de Mohrenschildt exited the picture, having asked the CIA for and been indirectly given a $285,000 contract to do a geological survey for Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier, which he never did , but for which he was paid. Ruth and Michael Paine then entered the picture on cue. Douglass illuminatingly traces in their intelligence connections. Ruth later was the Warren Commission’s chief witness. She had been introduced to Oswald by de Mohrenschildt. In September 1963 Ruth Paine drove from her sister’s house in Virginia to New Orleans to pick up Marina Oswald and bring her to her house in Dallas to live with her. Thirty years after the assassination a document was declassified showing Paine’s sister Sylvia worked for the CIA. Her father traveled throughout Latin America on an Agency for International Development (notorious for CIA front activities) contract and filed reports that went to the CIA. Her husband Michael’s step-father, Arthur Young, was the inventor of the Bell helicopter and Michael’s job there gave him a security clearance. Her mother was related to the Forbes family of Boston and her lifelong friend, Mary Bancroft, worked as a WW II spy with Allen Dulles and was his mistress. Afterwards, Dulles questioned the Paines in front of the Warren Commission, studiously avoiding any revealing questions. Back in Dallas, Ruth Paine conveniently got Oswald a job in the Texas Book Depository where he began work on October 16, 1963.

From late September until November 22, various Oswalds are later reported to have simultaneously been seen from Dallas to Mexico City. Two Oswalds were arrested in the Texas Theatre, the real one taken out the front door and an impostor out the back. As Douglas says, “There were more Oswalds providing evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald than the Warren Report could use or even explain.” Even J. Edgar Hoover knew that Oswald impostors were used, as he told LBJ concerning Oswald’s alleged visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. He later called this CIA ploy, “the false story re Oswald’s trip to Mexico…their ( CIA’s) double-dealing,” something that he couldn’t forget. It was apparent that a very intricate and deadly game was being played out at high levels in the shadows.

We know Oswald was blamed for the President’s murder. But if one fairly follows the trail of the crime it becomes blatantly obvious that government forces were at work. Douglass adds layer upon layer of evidence to show how this had to be so. Oswald, the mafia, anti-Castro Cubans could not have withdrawn most of the security that day. The Sheriff Bill Decker withdrew all police protection. The Secret Service withdrew the police motorcycle escorts from beside the president’s car where they had been the day before in Houston; took agents off the back of the car where they were normally stationed to obstruct gunfire. They approved the fateful, dogleg turn (on a dry run on November 18) where the car came, almost to a halt, a clear security violation. The House Select Committee on Assasinations concluded this, not some conspiracy nut.

Who could have squelched the testimony of all the doctors and medical personnel who claimed the president had been shot from the front in his neck and head, testimony contradicting the official story? Who could have prosecuted and imprisoned Abraham Bolden, the first African-American Secret Service agent personally brought on to the White House detail by JFK, who warned that he feared the president was going to be assassinated? (Douglass interviewed Bolden seven times and his evidence on the aborted plot to kill JFK in Chicago on November 2 – a story little known but extraordinary in its implications – is riveting.) The list of all the people who turned up dead, the evidence and events manipulated, the inquiry squelched, distorted, and twisted in an ex post facto cover-up – clearly point to forces within the government, not rogue actors without institutional support.

The evidence for a conspiracy organized at the deepest levels of the intelligence apparatus is overwhelming. James Douglass presents it in such depth and so logically that only one hardened to the truth would not be deeply moved and affected by his book.

He says it best: “The extent to which our national security state was systematically marshaled for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains incomprehensible to us. When we live in a system, we absorb and think in a system. We lack the independence needed to judge the system around us. Yet the evidence we have seen points toward our national security state, the systemic bubble in which we all live, as the source of Kennedy’s murder and immediate cover-up.”

Speaking to his friends Dave Powers and Ken O’Donnell about those who planned the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, JFK said, “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong.”

Let’s hope for another president like that, but one that meets a different end.

[1] http://consortiumnews.com/print’2009/091309a.html [This link appears to be too old to still work. Unlike the print age, the digital age loses references, another way that memory and history are stolen.]

[2] Vernon Loeb, “Soviets Knew Date of Cuba Attack,” Washington Post, April 29, 2000

[3] See James K. Galbraith, “Exit Strategy,” Boston Review, October/November 2003

Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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The Cosmic War, by Dr Joseph P Farrell

A review from Amazon of this extraordinary and compelling  ‘must read’ book, The Cosmic War: Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics, and Ancient Texts: A Study in Non-Catastrophist Interpretations of Ancient Legends, Author Dr Joseph P Farrell.

Farrell’s foray into ancient antiquity is scholarly in it’s precision and thought-provoking in its ramifications.  Oxford educated researcher Dr. Joseph P. Farrell unleashes a reverberating hypothesis regarding ancient history whose echoes will be forever heard.

Cosmic War is an extremely intriguing incursion into the possibility of a very ancient war in high antiquity. Dr. Farrell’s hypotheses of an Ancient Interplanetary War is argued in an in-depth, precise and reasonable approach. The extensive evidence Farrell collates and synthesizes will leave the reader aghast with the possibilities.

Intriguingly, many ancient cultures stated that the ‘Wars of the Gods’ were quite real. Predictably, even though there’s extensive evidence for advanced physics, advanced weapons, ancient [millions and BILLIONS of year old artifacts found by reputable sources], the establishment has painted all over ancient history with myth.

Regarding this very issue, Jim Marrs in his book Our Occulted History, sets his cross hairs on this very issue: “The term mythology stems from the Greek word mythos, simply meaning words or stories reflecting the basic values and attitudes of people. In past ages, when the vast majority of humans were illiterate, easily understood parables were used to educate people about history, science, and technology. During the Dark Ages, when most of people were taught that the Earth was flat, the word mythology was changed by the Roman Church to mean imaginative and fanciful tales veering far from truthfulness. This small change in semantics has caused untold damage in current perceptions.”

Ironically enough, there is starting to be more and more evidence of ‘myths’ now turning out to be fact. As Chris Hardy Ph.D remarks in her poignant book DNA Of The Gods: “…let’s remember that, before the discoveries of loads of ancient tablets written in the pictographic Sumerian language (Late Uruk period, fourth millennium BCE), the kingdom of Sumer was believed to be a myth. We had already discovered Akkad and deciphered Akkadian, and still archaeologists wouldn’t give credence to the numerous carved references, within historical dated records, to a line of kings whose title was “King of Sumer and Akkad”.

Or how about the “myth” of Troy: “This myth collapsed in 1865 with archeologist Frank Calvet’s discovery of the historic ruins of not only one city of Troy but nine layers of it! The city, whose siege is recounted in Homer’s Iliad, is only Troy VII, the seventh level underground, dating to the thirteenth century BCE.”

The gatekeepers, for many reasons, want to keep established history in a nice little box. Fortunately, as anyone who has extensively research these topics know, there’s more than ample evidence that shows that at minimum history isn’t what we have been told.

In any case, Cosmic War covers wide ranging but pertinent topics such as Van Flandern’s exploded planet hypothesis, an analysis of plasma in relation to weapons that employ scalar physics, petroglyphs which show plasma instability glyphs that were recorded by ancient cultures, remnants of giants in ancient history, optical phase conjugation, the story of the ‘gods’ as related through ancient texts, pulsars, generational charts of the ‘gods’, the scarring of The Valles Mariners being possibly from a weapon, Iapetus and its hexagonal craters, and a LOT more.

The ramifications of this book abound, and filter in all aspects of our lives. Dr. Farrell gives compelling reasons [coupled with countless others in his other trenchant books] as to why we need to give history, particularly ancient history, a very long and thorough look.

In its totality, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is scholarly in precision, and thought-provoking in its ramifications. This book is a must read for anyone interested in ancient history, ancient civilizations, and any of the topics there-in. There is more than enough information to make the reader curious about our past in more ways than they can really imagine.

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David Icke’s “Phantom Self”: A Book Review from Freedom Articles

david-ickes-phantom-self-a-book-review-from-freedom-articles

Phantom Self, the latest book of researcher David Icke, takes conspiracy research to a new depth with the idea of a primal virus that has hacked Life itself.

(Editor’s note: this book is amongst the most fascinating, timely and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.  I strongly recommend setting aside all prejudice and past learning – what we were taught, and so believed – then reading it with an open mind. And then thinking deeply.)

Phantom Self is the latest book of famous researcher and free-thinker David Icke. Just as in his previous book The Perception Deception, David takes his research to a new level of depth with a comprehensive display of dot-connecting that will leave many in awe of his knowledge – but more importantly awaken people to the real dire straits humanity is in. Like many of his books, it ends with a positive message and the ultimate solution to all of humanity’s problems; however, most of the book is devoted to exposing the current reality of planet Earth, often in horrifying detail. This is an essential part of David’s message, for without the true knowledge of what is really going on – and the capacity to feel the horror of it – we will not muster the courage and motivation to change it. Part of the reason humanity is so stuck deep in the conspiracy is that it is engaged in massive collective denial, which it prevents it from acting decisively to quash and transform the evil (or unconsciousness as I prefer to call it). A hallmark of Phantom Self is that it takes a step further down the rabbit hole – past the reptilians and Archons – and looks at the controlling force behind them, which David says resembles some kind of computer virus that has hacked life itself.

The full review can be seen at david-ickes-phantom-self-a-book-review-from-freedom-articles

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1984 – Nineteen Eighty Four

George Orwell’s classic 1950 novel is very worthwhile reading (again for most people).  It is frightening to review how much of what Orwell wrote is happening today, albeit is somewhat different guise.  Recall Orwell was a member of the Fabian Society, where he learnt of their plans before resigning.  He used novels as a practical was to publicise the plans he learn about from other Fabian members.  The Amazon website – – explains much about the book, and presents several perceptive reviews – this is one of the 4,613:

George Orwell’s classic was incredibly visionary. It is hardly fathomable that this book was written in 1948. Things that we take for granted today – cameras everywhere we go, phones being tapped, bodies being scanned for weapons remotely – all of these things were described in graphic detail in Orwell’s book.
Now that we have the Internet and people spying on other people w/ webcams and people purposely setting up their own webcams to let others “anonymously” watch them, you can see how this culture can develop into the Orwellian future described in “1984.”
If you’ve heard such phrases as “Big Brother,” “Newspeak,” and “thought crime” and wondered where these phrases came from, they came from this incredible, vivid and disturbing book.
Winston Smith, the main character of the book is a vibrant, thinking man hiding within the plain mindless behavior he has to go through each day to not be considered a thought criminal. Everything is politically correct, children defy their parents (and are encouraged by the government to do so) and everyone pays constant allegiance to “Big Brother” – the government that watches everyone and knows what everyone is doing at all times – watching you shower, watching you having sex, watching you eat, watching you go to the bathroom and ultimately watching you die.
This is a must-read for everyone.

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Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.

Editor’s note: this book should be considered essential reading by anyone who has an interest in Islam as well as everyone who is or may be effected by Muslims (that means just about everyone!).  The book is very comprehensive and, unlike most other books on the subject, provides not only a wide-ranging background and analyses based on her own experience, but some thought-provoking solutions.  After scanning numerous reviews of this excellent book, the following written by ‘Helpful Advice’ on Amazon is more or less  what I would have written.

After ‘Infidel’ and ‘Nomad’ worldwide known, equally hated and adored Ayaan Hirsi Ali is back on literary (and considering the topic inevitably political) scene with her new and probably the most controversial book so far she wrote – ‘Heretic’.

A book that will certainly be subject of numerous texts, quoted or despised, she raised the question of some key Islam teachings incompatibility with the values of modern or free society for which the majority (or at least we think so maybe) people in the world stands for.

It seemed that comparing to some other major religions, Islam somehow proved immune to changes in the new world we are living, characterized by enormous speed of information exchange and the development of human rights. There were some attempts such as Arab Spring that tried to challenge traditional thinking, ingrained prejudices or facts about the Muslim world. But with the simultaneous proliferation of Islamic fundamentalism and even its acceptance in certain circles of the population in the West, according to the author it seems that it is time for some radical actions that must be implemented by the very Muslims, not someone else from outside.

So, what Ali proposes needs to happen for Muslims to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have already been proposed, some of them deployed, though it seems that all these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.

Therefore she calls for a Muslim Reformation—a revision of Islamic teachings, alignment of modern society with traditional religion doctrine, that seems difficult, but not unfeasible due to the rejection of extremist behavior among the majority of Muslims around the world.

She reminds that such reformation has been called for since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate, but instead of general phrases and generalized objectives she precisely pointed out five key precepts that have made Islam resistant to historical change and adaptation. And only when the harmfulness of these ideas will be recognized and as result they will be rejected, a true Muslim Reformation would be possible.

Although to comment each of them would require writing essays, I’ll just list all five of them:
• Removing of Muhammad’s semi-divine status, putting him into the history context as important figure that united the Arabs in a pre-modern time that cannot be copied in the 21st century. And consequently also recognizing the fact that Quran is the book made by human hands.
• Emphasizing that life is more important than something that comes after it will reduce the appeal of martyrdom.
• Appreciation of modern laws that need to be put in front of Shariah legislation that is violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
• The abolition of the individual’s right and so called religious police to enforce the law, something for Muslim community is unfortunately particularly known
• And most important, Islam must become a religion of peace removing the imperative to wage holy wars against infidels

Once again this author must be admitted undeniable courage to tackle the dangerous subjects in a world where because of the drawn cartoons you can easily lose a life. Her theses are clear, her objectives are fully explained, her mission to change the Islamic world from the inside continues, causing the happiness and satisfaction of all civilized Muslims worldwide.

Therefore high recommendations for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, this brave author who after fighting for the rights of women engages into even greater battle with the hope that one day we will be able to say that books like these changed the world. For the better.

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The Death of Money

The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System.  8 April 2014.  By James Rickards.

James Rickards, author of the other best seller, Currency Wars, has gone even further in The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, in telling it like it is (and will be, so prepare yourself!). Jim’s all-facts, straightforward approach is peppered with just enough analogy and anecdotal wit to make sophisticated economic/mathematical/political concepts understandable to the (educated) layperson. His clarification techniques serve the book well by making sure the content never gets watered down or condescending. For anyone interested in knowing what is going on behind the scenes, how the dollar is being systematically devalued by The Fed (and why), what a rigged sham our banking system is, and how things are likely to play out in the very near future, read The Death of Money!

American Betrayal

The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character by Diana West (May 28, 2013).  Diana West’s newest book “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on our Nations Character” is a highly researched, blockbuster of a story taking 356 pages to tell with 29 pages of notes.  Whilst not directly about ‘management’, this book is packed with information that any successful manager should understand, in particular regarding communications (propaganda?)  and planning.  It’s the most thought-provoking, worrying, disillusioning book I’ve ever read.  I’ve attached a couple of reviews of the book from Amazon.com. American Betrayal, Diana West, May 2013. Reviews  that give you a glimpse of what it’s about.  John, of John’s Newsletter fame, noted: ‘American Betrayal explains what many already know about the creation of the soviet monster by the FDR administration, stacked with communist spies and the author of the cold war from as early as 1942.  How FDR’s lackeys could give the USSR the atomic bomb via Lend Lease is fascinating and unfortunately true.  It is clear that powerhouse though she may be, America has been ungovernable since the outset…Just too big, too complex and too full of leaks and confused ideologies.  America is now, as a reaction, on the road to becoming a police state.  Folk who have read the book  called “The Open Society and Its Enemies” by Karl Popper will understand how the USA came to this pretty pickle and the realities behind this scandalous state of affairs.  Horrific though her anecdotes are, I have seen independent corroboration elsewhere of Diana’s central themes and accept them as factual – when asserted as such.  This book is too disturbing for general consumption.’

From Third World to First

The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew  (Oct 3, 2000).  Note:  although older, it is useful to read this book before the Grand Master’s Insights book, below. Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee Kwan Yew had a clear vision, set himself clear goals…. Above all, what led to his success is his execution skills…. Although Singapore is a free market economy, its philosophy concerning workers and employees are caring and genuine, unlike in the United States….His views regarding leadership and a wide range of management issues are profound….. Read this book to be inspired.

Lee Kuan Yew

The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World by Graham Allison et al., 1 Feb. 2013.  Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee excels in pithy evaluations of regional and national strengths and weaknesses. At his best, the man is a cross between Confucius and Machiavelli. (Washington Times)……..”I found myself engrossed this week by the calm, incisive wisdom of one of the few living statesmen in the world who can actually be called visionary. The wisdom is in a book, “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World,” a gathering of Mr. Lee’s interviews, speeches and writings…He is now 89, a great friend of America, and his comments on the U.S. are pertinent to many of the debates in which we’re enmeshed.” — Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal.

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When philosophy goes begging in society

When philosophy goes begging in society  By Jon Rappoport, nomorefakenews.com, 19 April 2019

“So Jones, according to you, society should be all about Love.  (laughter in the classroom)  No, this is important.  In fact, looking at some of your gruff mugs, my dear students, I’d say some of you could use a good dose of Love.  All right, Jones, how is this spread of Love accomplished?  In schools, you say?  So, what is taught in the classes?  No, not generally taught.  Spell it out.  Your job is to figure out exactly how you teach Love.  Since it’s the most important thing to you, you need to find out how you impart it.  You can’t just say leave it to the experts.  That would be like me saying what I want the most for the world is to turn into a Utopia, and we’ll do that through universal education centers, where people in charge who know how to accomplish this goal practice their skills.  I do nothing.  I just watch Utopia happen.  —-No, you need to become a teacher of what you think is most important.  What do you teach in order to impart Love?  How do you do it?  You program it into people?  Is that what you’re advocating?  What about the students who don’t want to be programmed? Is something wrong with them?  Is freedom important?…Start talking, Jones, I’m listening…”

In 1960, I graduated from college with a BA in philosophy.  One of the most glaring deficiencies was a lack of exploration of ethical values.

The famed dormitory “bull sessions” among students rarely, if ever, took place.  In the classroom, there was never a wide-ranging discussion of students’ own values.

Creating a civilization in which ethics take centre stage is, at best, a difficult proposition.  If education doesn’t include a probing search for answers on this subject; if instead, it’s assumed that every person has his own relative point of view, then of course you end up with mobocracy and quite heavy propaganda.  Ultimately, elites take charge of the propaganda.

A version of the Socratic Method should infiltrate college classrooms to the core.  What are your most important beliefs?  How would you implement these beliefs in society, if you could?  What would that look like?  What would be the implications of a society governed by your beliefs?  Spell them out.  What would constitute the unforeseen results?  How would you deal with these results?

These and other questions draw out the students.  They begin to reflect.  They learn how to think about their own ethical values.  They encounter other sets of values.  They respond to these differing pictures of reality.  They come up against the question of individual freedom and what it means in practice.  They compare what they believe with other basic beliefs—for example, the American Constitution’s.  Or Plato’s Republic.  Or Marx’s Communist Manifesto.  Or the students who sits two chairs away.

A real teacher knows how to initiate and preside over such discussions.  These classes become interesting, exciting, vital, energizing.

In a modern “democracy,” where this sort of education never occurs at a deep level, propaganda eventually becomes all inclusive, and one side seeks to shut down the other—which is what we are seeing now.

The process of education itself is devalued because it isn’t impacting the student at his centre.  It’s superficial to the extreme, and it rarely brings about vital personal change.  Instead, at best, the student is viewed as a robot who needs to ingest information.  I’m not downplaying the role of information; I’m saying it needs to be supplemented by an ongoing process of reflection on, consideration of, and extensive dialogue about, personal values.

Schools that feature true values-education need to be created from scratch.  Obviously, this is no easy job.  It might be the hardest job in a society that has already sunk into half-light indifference on multiple fronts.  However, I can tell you from experience that there are many families who want what I’m suggesting for their children; they just don’t know where to go.  They don’t want their children to take on a set of values by belonging to some group who will, supposedly, protect them and give them legitimacy.  They want their children to be able to stand on their own two legs and live according to their best ideas.

This is what a so-called “liberal education” is really all about.

“All right, Smith, you keep referring to Justice as a core value.  You’ve read at least part of Plato’s Republic.  You know he believed that Justice, as well as many other core concepts, already existed on a higher level of reality.  What do you think of that?  Give us 800 written words on the subject.  I don’t want vague generalities.  And give us your own experience.  What is Justice to you?  How did you decide what it is?  Did you discover it?  Did you invent it?  Do we all need to have the same notion of Justice?  If so, what would society then look like?  How would it function?  Who would run things?  Would a few people be born with a higher understanding of Justice?  We’ll have a full discussion of your ideas.  But we need to know what those ideas are, specifically…Maybe it’s time to remind you that I want at least some of you, when you graduate, to go out into the world with the solid ambition of bringing your best values into wider existence, for real, in this thing called Life.  We’re not only doing academics here.  We’re doing preparation.  I refuse to allow the preparation to be flimsy and separate from you.  It has to reflect deep parts of you.  You’re not going to forget what you did here the minute you walk out the classroom door for the last time…”

In society, there are those who consider ethics a sport, a game to be taken lightly.  There are those who have no ethical values at all, beyond their personal ambitions. There are those who buy the values of their elders, without thought, and thereby close the book on the whole subject.  Worst of all, there are individuals who have a massive commitment to impose their values on everyone else but have never truly reflected on the negative implications of a civilization which accepts their version of life.  They seek power, and they take it, no matter the consequences.

One of the great roles of education—and philosophy in particular—is to bring true personal engagement into the field of ethics.  This would be accomplished despite widespread resistance and apathy, and despite a feeling that nothing can be changed.

Resistance is always present.  It is no reason to abandon the work.

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The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange

The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange  By Caitlin Johnstone, American Herald Tribune, 17 April 2019

Isn’t it interesting how an Ecuadorian “asylum conditions” technicality, a UK bail technicality, and a US whistleblowing technicality all just so happened to converge in a way that just so happens to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for telling the truth?

Following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, top UK officials all began simultaneously piping the following exact phrase into public consciousness: “No one is above the law.”

“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law,” Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament after Assange’s arrest.

“Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law,” tweeted Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“Nearly 7 years after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation and @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law,” tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Over and over again that phrase showed up to be unquestioningly re-bleated by the human livestock known as the British press in all their reporting on the Assange case: No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. Something tells me they really want people to know that, with regard to Julian Assange, no one is above the law.

But what is “the law” in this particular case? What they are constantly referring to as “the law” with regard to Assange is in fact nothing more than a combination of ridiculous bureaucratic technicalities which can be (and have been) interpreted very differently, but are now instead being interpreted in a way which just so happens to lead to a truth-telling journalist being locked in a cage, awaiting extradition to the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning.

Now, the US is a Free Democracy™. When you are a Free Democracy™, you can’t just go around imprisoning journalists willy nilly simply for telling the truth about your government. That’s something other countries do, bad countries, the kind of country the US routinely invades in order to help spread Freedom and Democracy™. The US would never do that. But it would diddle a bunch of narratives in such a way that just so happens to achieve exactly the same result.

Ecuador: We need to surrender a journalist for telling the truth… I mean asylum conditions violation.
UK: We need to arrest a journalist for telling the truth… I mean bail violation.
US: We need to extradite a journalist for telling the truth… I mean cyber crime conspiracy.

As we discussed yesterday, the Trump administration’s extradition request is accompanied by criminal charges which are based on the same information which the Obama administration declined to charge Assange for, a point which has been discussed in more detail in a new article by The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee. The Obama administration looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no way to charge Assange with anything without endangering press freedoms, then the Trump administration looked at literally the exact same evidence and said screw press freedoms, we’re going after him. They wanted to punish Assange and show the world what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, so they changed the narrative to make it happen.

But they couldn’t extradite Assange from the UK if the British government didn’t legally have Assange in custody.

To get around this problem, the UK, which is functionally just a province within the US-centralized empire, used a bail technicality to justify his arrest. After the Swedish government decided to drop its sexual assault investigation without issuing any charges, Assange’s legal team attempted last year to get a British arrest warrant dropped for a bail violation which went into effect when the WikiLeaks founder took political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. The judge in that case, Emma Arbuthnot, just happens to be married to former Tory junior Defence Minister and government whip James Arbuthnot, who served as director of Security Intelligence Consultancy SC Strategy Ltd with a former head of MI6. Lady Arbuthnot denied Assange’s request with extreme vitriol, despite his argument that British law does have provisions which allow for the time he’d already served under functional house arrest to count toward far more time than would be served for violating bail. The British government kept police stationed outside the embassy at taxpayers’ expense with orders to arrest Assange on sight.

But they couldn’t arrest Assange as long as he had legal political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

To get around that problem, Ecuador’s new president Lenin Moreno found himself being courted by the US government, meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and reportedly discussing Assange after US Democratic senators petitioned Pence to push for Moreno to revoke political asylum. The New York Times reported last year that in 2017 Paul Manafort met with Moreno and offered to broker a deal where Ecuador could receive debt relief aid in exchange for handing Assange over, and just last month Ecuador ended up receiving a 4.2 billion dollar loan from the Washington-based IMF. And then, lo and behold, we just so happen to see Ecuador justifying the revocation of political asylum under the absurd claim that Assange had violated conditions that were only recently invented, using narratives that were based on wild distortions and outright lies.

In this way a kind of narrative funnel was created, funneling Assange from the embassy to British police on the imaginary narrative that Assange had violated asylum conditions and that he needs to serve time for a bail violation, which in turn allows for Assange to be funneled from the UK into the US on the imaginary narrative that he broke some kind of law by trying to help Chelsea Manning cover her tracks and avoid detection, which is all made possible by the fact that the government of Australia another province in the US-centralized empire) has refused to provide any protection for its citizen. And the end result just so happens to look the same as what you see when a journalist tries to expose malfeasance in an overtly totalitarian government.

This is called Nice Guy Fascism. With a little narrative manipulation you get to act just like a brutal totalitarian regime and then say it’s not because you’re a brutal totalitarian regime, it’s because you’re deeply deeply concerned about the adherence to a specific interpretation of the bureaucratic technicalities of bail protocol. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law.

They keep saying “No one is above the law,” but what they really mean is “No one is safe from the law.” Our rulers are using Assange to show that they can get anyone who tells the truth about them, even if there are laws and policies in place which ostensibly prohibit that.

Manipulators love the rule of law, because they are able to twist it toward their infernal ends. It’s always possible to squint at laws in such a way that it allows them to be interpreted to the benefit of the powerful, which is why lawyers are often horrible human beings. All the most horrific things that have been done throughout the history of civilization have been carried out not by criminals but by law-abiding citizens, because they were perfectly legal under the ruling governments of that time. Genocide, slavery, torture, the use of the atomic bomb: all perfectly legal and state-sanctioned in their time.

They want you looking at “the rule of law”. They want you fixated on it. But really “the rule of law” is nothing other than a series of mental narratives which are treated as reality by existing power structures. Assange is a prisoner by narrative, because he punched holes in the authorized narratives of the powerful. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

Note from Editor:  Other related links include:

https://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/julian-assange-wins-eu-journalism-award/news-story/f1bea94a9b040db4f7caa08897f7f6c3

https://www.rt.com/news/456740-wikileaks-biggest-ever-leaks/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email

https://ahtribune.com/world/wikileaks/3062-extradite-assange.html

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-16/unsealed-affidavit-comically-tries-put-wikileaks-cahoots-taliban-bin-laden

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/04/16/after-7-years-of-deceptions-about-assange-the-us-readies-for-its-first-media-rendition/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-15/chris-hedges-martyrdom-julian-assange

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-15/notre-dame-burns-european-churches-are-vandalized-defecated-torched-every-day

https://ahtribune.com/world/wikileaks/3061-delegitimising-journalism.html

Video summary (lighthearted…) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1efOs0BsE0g

https://russia-insider.com/en/assanges-arrest-was-act-revenge-us-government/ri26782?ct=t(Russia_Insider_Daily_Headlines11_21_2014)&mc_cid=f287f1445e&mc_eid=f25e00fdf5

https://www.rt.com/news/456596-assange-media-character-assassination/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email – RT

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/04/15/the-fake-charge-against-julian-assange-proves-that-the-us-government-has-no-integrity/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_fake_charge_against_julian_assange_proves_that_the_us_government_has_no_integrity&utm_term=2019-04-15 – Paul Craig Roberts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWxGWOzKzHI – former MI5 agent

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-13/john-pilger-assange-arrest-warning-history

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-13/ecuador-hacked-after-julian-assange-arrest

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-13/7-years-lies-about-assange-wont-stop-now

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-13/obvious-dirty-dealings-behind-julian-assanges-arrest

https://russia-insider.com/en/10-reasons-julian-assange-should-walk-free/ri26774?ct=t(Russia_Insider_Daily_Headlines11_21_2014)&mc_cid=f287f1445e&mc_eid=f25e00fdf5

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-11/dojs-entire-case-against-assange-hinges-one-critical-piece-evidence

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/acrobatic-assange-likely-to-make-the-us-jump-through-a-few-hoops/news-story/181f178e777ee18345b603a98a84cffb

https://ahtribune.com/world/wikileaks/3059-julian-assange-revealing-the-evil-soul-of-us-imperialism.html on how journalism works as mouthpieces of the CIA and government

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-15/assange-arrest-attack-journalism-liberty-self-government-civilization-itself

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Assange Arrest: Ecuador and UK, Bullied by US, Throw WikiLeaks Founder to the Dogs

Assange Arrest, Ecuador and UK, Bullied by US, Throw WikiLeaks Founder to the Dogs By Makia Freeman, ToolsForFreedom.com 13 April 2019

Ecuador & the UK have bowed to their US master and facilitated the Assange arrest. Get the background on why the WikiLeaks publisher has been grabbed.

In a disgraceful and disturbing blow to freedom of the press, Australian WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange has been ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. British police arrested him yesterday (Thursday April 11th, 2019) and took him into custody where he awaits UK charges of skipping bail. However, the Assange arrest is far bigger than skipping bail (although he could get up to 1 year in prison for it). Ecuador and the UK are acting at the behest of the US, who is manipulating and ordering its lackeys to facilitate the extradition of Assange to the US, where he will face more serious charges of conspiracy to hack into a US military/governmental database and obtain info without a proper security clearance and “need to know.”

Assange Arrest: A Very Brief Background

To look at this Assange arrest from a broader perspective, here’s what you need to know. The United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary and a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free, including very recently. The truth is that the US has been pressuring Ecuador for a while to hand over Assange. Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa would never have done so, but the new corrupt Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno cut a deal with the devil to get Ecuador at least $4.2 billion in loans (from the IMF) in exchange for renouncing Assange’s Ecuadorian citizenship and kicking him out of their UK Embassy. As MintPressNews notes:

 “Less than two weeks ago, on February 21, Ecuador signed a deal securing the controversial IMF loan for a total of $4.2 billion, in addition to another $6 billion from other U.S.-dominated financial institutions like the World Bank, for a total of $10.2 billion. If WikiLeaks’ early January warning is to be believed, it can be assumed that deal was secured by Ecuador offering the U.S. assurances that it would soon “hand over” Assange.”

Classified Information is Still Public

Classified information is not the same thing as “private.” Classified information is classified by the executive branch of the USG (United State Government). The info is still “public.” Someone who gains access to classified public info and publishes it is not the same as a hacker who gains digital access to someone’s computer and personal passwords, files, emails, etc. The public has a right to know. The public has a right to know if the USG is murdering innocent Iraqi civilians and lying about it, as this famous 2010 video obtained by Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and published Assange shows. Manning was the whistleblower, not Assange, and anyway, whistleblowing is supposed to be a protected act.

As his lawyer states, Assange has been arrested, in short, for telling the truth.

“In an upside-down world, fake news circulates freely and those who reveal the truth are persecuted and imprisoned.”

– Christina Kirchner, former Argentinian President

USG Indictment Trying to Criminalize Aspects and the Very Nature of Journalism

What is truly chilling about this effort by the USG to get Assange is that they are trying to claim a legal precedent which would criminalize journalists from trying to obtain classified information. The exact indictment is here. They are trying to make Assange more than just a publisher. The Watergate journalists who obtained and published classified information were hailed as heroes. The US Bill of Rights’ 1st amendment specifically names the press – journalists, reporters, publishers, etc. – as a protected class: “no law shall be made that abridges or restricts freedom of the press.” It is the nature of the profession of the press to actively pursue information to publish. The wording of this indictment may set a precedent that could make it illegal to:

– hide journalistic sources:

– encourage sources to hack into systems or steal information that you as a journalist want to publish; and

– transmit classified documents via encrypted channels and cloud-like systems.

What Assange is Really Guilty Of

WikiLeaks receive leaks and publish them. Numerous newspapers do this. The big difference is the pristine record of WikiLeaks. They have an incredible 100% reliability track record in stark comparison with the fake news MSM which has been caught lying over and over again. Are we about to witness a man getting punished by telling (and proving to) the whole word uncomfortable truths, such as that the US military kills innocent Iraqis and that the CIA conducts massive spying and assassinations around the world? This is a clear case of shooting the messenger.

Assange is Not American and Neither is WikiLeaks

Another important point here. Julian Assange is not American and Wikileaks is a foreign-based news organization. How can the US possible have legal jurisdiction over someone who is not in the USA, is not a US citizen or resident, and whose organization is not based in the US? Are we about to witness a precedent where the tyrannical USG can control its vassal states to the point where it can manipulate or order them to assist in the criminalization of publication and free speech?

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The US Empire: rise, fall, and now what?

The US was the dominant world power, but has been failing, compounded by desperate plans for hegemony and appalling errors and lies over a long period. Will President Trump overpower the Deep State and restore the US in a unipolar world, perhaps in conjunction with President Putin and Chairman Xi?

Scroll down to read the most recent articles.  Links to previous articles  follow.

The US Empire is Very Much Over – The Saker Interviews Orlov

The US Empire is Very Much Over – The Saker Interviews Orlov  The Saker Interviews Dmitry Orlov, 19 April 2019

“I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case”

If I had to characterize the current international situation using only one word, the word “chaos” would be a pretty decent choice (albeit not the only one).  Chaos in the Ukraine, chaos in Venezuela, chaos everywhere the Empire is involved in any capacity and, of course, chaos inside the USA.  But you wouldn’t know that listening to the talking heads and other “experts” who serve roughly the same function for the Empire as the orchestra did on the Titanic: to distract from the developing disaster(s) for a long as possible.

I decided to turn to the undisputed expert on social and political collapse, Dmitry Orlov whom I have always admired for his very logical, non-ideological, comparative analyses of the collapse of the USSR and the USA.  The fact that his detractors have to resort to crude and, frankly, stupid ad hominems further convinces me that Dmitry’s views need to be widely shared.  Dmitry very kindly agreed to reply to my questions in some detail, for which I am most grateful.  I hope that you will find this interview as interesting as I did.

The Saker
——-

The Saker: How would you assess the current situation in the Ukraine in terms of social, economic and political collapse?

Dmitry Orlov: The Ukraine has never been viable as an independent, sovereign state and so its ongoing disintegration is to be expected. The applicability of the concept of collapse is predicated on the existence of an intact, stand-alone entity capable of collapse, and with the Ukraine this is definitely not the case. Never in its history has it been able to stand alone as a stable, self-sufficient, sovereign entity. As soon as it gained independence, it just fell over. Just as the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), it had reached its peak of economic and social development just as the USSR was about to collapse, and it has been degenerating and losing population ever since. Thus, the right model for discussing it is not one of sudden collapse but of steady degeneration and decay.

The Ukraine’s territory was stuck together by the Bolsheviks—first by Lenin, then by Stalin, then by Khrushchev. It was Lenin who lumped in its eastern regions (Donetsk and Lugansk specifically) who previously were part of Russia proper. Stalin then added eastern lands, which were at various times Polish, Austro-Hungarian or Romanian. Finally, Khrushchev tossed in Russian Crimea in a move that was unconstitutional at the time, since no public referendum had been held in Crimea to decide this question as was required by the Soviet constitution.

Prior to this Bolshevik effort, “Ukraina” was not used as a proper political or geographic designation. The territory was considered part of Russia, distinguished from the rest by a prefix “Malo-” (small) and called “Malorossiya. The word “ukraina” is simply an archaic form of the Russian word “okraina” (outskirts, border land). This is why the definite article “the” is required: the Ukraine is literally “the outskirts of Russia.” The Soviets endowed this border land with a make-believe identity and forced many of its inhabitants to officially declare their ethnicity as “Ukrainian” in a successful bid to gain an additional seat a the UN.

This political concoction was supposedly held together by a Ukrainian ethnic identity, which is itself a concoction. The Ukrainian language is some combination of southern Russian village dialects with a bit of Polish thrown in as flavoring. It has a lilt to it that Russians find enchanting, making it well suited for folk songs. But it never had much practical merit, and the working language of the Ukrainians was always Russian. Even today Ukrainian nationalists switch to Russian if the subject matter is demanding enough. Religiously, most of the population has been for many centuries and still is Russian Orthodox.

In my conversations about the Ukraine with many Ukrainians over the years I discovered a shocking truth: unlike the Russians, the Ukrainians seem to have exactly zero ethnic solidarity. What binds them together is their commonality of historical experience as part of the Russian Empire, then the USSR, but this historical legacy is being actively erased.

After the Soviet collapse and Ukrainian independence there followed a campaign to de-Sovietize and de-Russianize the Ukraine, deprecating this common historical legacy and replacing it with a synthetic Ukrainian identity based on a falsified history that is alien to most of the population. This fake history lionizes Nazi collaborators and attempts to rub out entirely all memory of the Ukraine’s once very active role in the larger Russian world.

Thus we have a mostly Russian-speaking, historically mostly Russian territory where most of the people speak either Russian (some of them with an accent) or a sort of Ukrainian patois called Surzhik, which is Ukrainian-sounding but with mostly Russian words (the overlap between the two languages is so great that it is difficult to draw the line between them). Supposedly proper Ukrainian is spoken in the west of the country, which had never been part of the Russian Empire, but it’s a dialect that is mostly unintelligible in the rest of the country.

In spite of this confused linguistic situation, Ukrainian was imposed as the language of instruction throughout the country. Lack of textbooks in Ukrainian and lack of teachers qualified to teach in Ukrainian caused the quality of public education to plummet, giving rise to several generations of Ukrainians who don’t really know Ukrainian, have had little formal instruction in Russian, and speak a sort of informal half-language. More recently, laws have been passed that severely restrict the use of Russian.

For example, people who have never spoken a word of Ukrainian are now forced to use it in order to shop or to obtain government services.

The artificial, synthetic Ukrainian identity is too thin to give the country a sense of self or a sense of direction. It is a purely negative identity: Ukraine is that which is not Russia. The resulting hole in public consciousness was plugged by making a cargo cult of European integration: it was announced that the Ukraine was leaving the Russian world behind and joining the European Union and NATO. Most recently the intent to join the EU and NATO was written directly into the Ukrainian constitution. In the meantime, it has become abundantly clear that neither EU nor NATO membership is the least bit likely, or necessary: the EU got everything it wanted from the Ukraine by forcing it to sign the Association Agreement while giving nothing of value in return; and Ukrainian territory already serves as a playground for NATO training exercises.

Thus, with regard to social collapse, there really isn’t much to discuss, because the term “Ukrainian society” has very little basis in reality. If we drop the conceit that the Ukraine is a country that can be viable if separated from Russia, what can we say about its chances as part of a Greater Russia?

Here I have to digress to explain the difference between a proper empire and the USSR. A proper empire functions as a wealth pump that sucks wealth out of its imperial possessions, be they overseas, as in the case of the British Empire, or part of the periphery, as in the case of the Russian Empire. The latter inherited the traditions of the Mongol Empire that predated it. The Mongol term “tamga” was often used to indicate the annual tribute to be collected from newly conquered tribes as the Russian Empire expanded east. (Many of these tribes were previously Mongol subjects who understood the meaning of the term.)

Here is the key point: the USSR was not a normal empire at all. Instead of functioning as a wealth pump that pumped wealth from the periphery to the imperial center, it functioned as a revolutionary incubator, exploiting the resources of the core (Russia) and exporting them to the periphery to build socialism, with the further goal of fomenting global communist revolution. The various ethnic groups that were grossly overrepresented among the Bolsheviks were all from the periphery—the Jewish Pale, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Baltics—and they thought nothing of sacrificing Mother Russia on the altar of world revolution.

Their revolutionary zeal was hindered by its utter lack of practical merit. As this came to be recognized, Leon Trotsky—the great exponent of world revolution—was first exiled, then assassinated. Later, when it became clear that without appealing to Russian patriotic sentiments the task of prevailing against Nazi Germany was unlikely to succeed, Stalin brought back the Russian Orthodox Church and made other efforts toward the restoration of Russian ethnic identity that were previously decried as retrograde and chauvinistic.

There were significant setbacks to this process as well: in the 1940s a group of communist leaders from Leningrad attempted to promote Russian interests through regional cooperation. They were purged and suffered political repression in what became known as the “Leningrad affair.”

Luckily, the idea of Russia as a disposable staging ground for world communist revolution was never fully implemented. However, the tendency to exploit Russia for the benefit of its Soviet periphery remained intact. The USSR’s most significant leaders—Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev—were not Russian; Stalin was a Georgian while the latter two were Ukrainian. All the other Soviet republics had their own communist party organizations that developed cadres to send to Moscow, while Russia itself lacked such an organization. The inevitable result was that most of the other Soviet republics were able to suck resources out of Russia, making them far more prosperous than Russia itself.

Thus, the image of the USSR as a typical empire is simply wrong. The right mental image of the USSR is that of a prostrate, emaciated sow (Russia) being suckled by 14 fat, greedy piglets (the other Soviet Socialist Republics). For all his numerous failings, Boris Yeltsin did one thing right: he dismantled the USSR (although the way he went about it was beyond incompetent and verged on treason).

If you are in need of an explanation for why Russia is now resurgent, increasingly prosperous and able to invest vast sums in hypersonic weapons systems and in modernized infrastructure for its people, this is it: the 14 piglets had been sent off to root for themselves. This bit of perspective, by the way, puts paid to the rank idiocy of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard”: his theory that Russia wants to be an empire but cannot do so without the Ukraine shatters on contact with the realization that Russia hasn’t been an empire for over a century now and has no need or desire to become one again.

In any case, these days empires are a bit retro, you know, and not at all useful except as a way for silly Americans to finish bankrupting themselves. Russia needs reliable trading partners who can pay their own way, not ungrateful dependents clamoring for handouts. Just bringing Crimea up to Russia’s contemporary standards after 30 years of Ukrainian neglect has turned out to be a monumental task; as far as doing that for the rest of the Ukraine—forget it!

So, armed with this perspective, what can we say about the Ukraine from the contemporary Russian perspective?

First and foremost, it is a freak show, as attested by the content of Russian talk shows on which Ukrainian experts appear as clownish, indestructible cartoon characters: whenever their risible arguments on behalf of the Ukraine blow up in their faces, for a moment they stand there charred and furious, then brush themselves off and appear in the next segment fresh as daisies. This freak show has certain didactic merit: it helps the Russian body politic develop powerful antibodies against Western hypocrisy, because it was Western meddling that has made contemporary Ukraine into the horrible mess it is. But this was, in a sense, inevitable: deprived of the Soviet teat, the Ukraine has been attempting to suckle up to the US and EU for 30 years now and, failing that, has been carving up and roasting its own loins.

Second, the Ukraine is a rich source of immigrants, having lost around a third of its population since independence. Much of its population qualifies as Russian: linguistically, culturally and religiously they are perfectly compatible with the Russian population. Ukrainians are already the third most populous ethnic group within Russia (after Russians and Tatars) and Russia has been able to absorb the Ukrainians that have been fleeing to Russia in recent years. As the Ukraine’s population dwindles, a natural sorting-out is taking place. Those who are most compatible with the Russian world tend to move to Russia while the rest go to Poland and other EU countries.

Lastly, there is a significant amount of fatigue in Russia with the Ukrainian subject. It is currently a major topic of discussion because of the farcical presidential elections currently taking place there, but more and more one hears the question: “Must we continue talking about this?” There just isn’t anything positive to say about the Ukraine, and people tend to just shake their heads and switch to another channel. Thus, the final element of the Russian perspective on the Ukraine is that it’s painful to look at and they would rather go look at something else.

However, this is not to be. For ample historical reasons, Russia remains the Ukraine’s largest trade partner. Russian and Ukrainian economies were conceived of as a unit, based on the same set of plans, standards and regulations. In spite of concerted politically motivated efforts by Ukrainian leaders to sever these links, many of them have stubbornly remained in place, for lack of alternatives. Meanwhile, the Ukraine makes very little that the European Union or the rest of the world would want, and very little of it complies with EU’s voluminous standards and regulations. Specifically, the EU has no use at all for Ukrainian manufactured goods, and primarily sees the Ukraine as a source of cheap raw materials and labor.

It is Russia that supplies the nuclear fuel for the Ukraine’s aging nuclear power plants which provide well over half of all the electricity there, while Russian coal (anthracite, specifically) supplies much of the rest. But, for political reasons, Ukrainian officials are loath to admit the fact that the umbilical cord that connects the Ukraine to Russia cannot be severed. For example, they do not buy Russian natural gas directly but through intermediaries in the EU and at a mark-up (part of which they pocket). On paper, the Ukraine imports gas from the EU; physically, the methane molecules piped in from Russia never leave Ukrainian territory; they are simply diverted for local use.

By the time the USSR collapsed, the Ukraine was its most highly developed and possibly its richest part, and some people expected that, having thrown off the Soviet yoke, its future would be too bright to look at without goggles. It had abundant natural resources (fertile land, coal) and an educated labor force. It manufactured numerous high-tech products such as jet aircraft, marine diesels, helicopter engines, rocket engines and much else that was the best in the world. Instead, what has occurred is several decades of thievery, stagnation and decay.

By now the Ukraine has lost most of its industry and the Soviet-era infrastructure has decayed to the point where much of it is worn out and on the verge of collapse. Industry has shut down and the specialists it once employed have either retired or have gone off to work in Russia, in the EU or in the US. (Some Ukrainian rocket scientists have apparently gone off to work in North Korea, and this explains the DPRK’s recent stunning successes in rocketry as well as its unlikely, exotic choice of rocket fuel: unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine.)

The Saker: What about the Donbas republics? How would you compare the situation in Novorussia with what is taking place in the Ukraine?

Dmitry Orlov: The term “Novorossiya” (New Russia) goes back several centuries, to the time Catherine the Great expanded the Russian Empire to include Crimea and other southern possessions. What Lenin reassigned to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic were Russian lands, Donetsk and Lugansk regions among them.

There are several other Ukrainian regions that are almost entirely Russian—Kharkov and Odessa specifically—but Donetsk and Lugansk are not Ukrainian in the least. This is why, after the government overthrow of 2014, when it became clear that the intentions of the Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev were to oppress the Russian part of the population, these two regions decided to strike out on their own. The Ukrainian nationalists reacted by launching a civil war, which started exactly five years ago, and which they have lost. To save face, they have declared their defeat the result of a “Russian invasion” but have been unable to present any evidence of it. Had the Russians invaded, the result would have been a replay of Russia’s action in Georgia in August of 2008, which lasted about a week.

The Ukrainians are continuing to lob missiles into the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk, causing sporadic civilian casualties. Once in a while they stage minor skirmishes, suffer casualties and pull back. But mostly their “Anti-Terrorist Operation,” which is what they are calling this civil war, has turned into a propaganda initiative, with the mythical “Russian invaders” invoked at every turn to explain their otherwise inexplicable string of defeats.

After some amount of effort by NATO instructors to train the Ukrainians, the instructors gave up. The Ukrainians simply laughed in their faces because it was clear to them that the instructors did not know how to fight at all. It was then decided that the “road map” for Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO should be set aside because the Ukrainians are just too crazy for sedate and sedentary NATO. The trainers were then replaced with CIA types who simply collected intelligence on how to fight a high-intensity ground war without air support—something that no NATO force would ever consider doing. Under such conditions NATO forces would automatically retreat or, failing that, surrender.

Meanwhile, the two eastern regions, which are highly developed economically and have a lot of industry, have been integrating ever more closely into the Russian economy. Their universities and institutes are now fully accredited within the Russian system of higher education, their currency is the ruble, and although in terms of international recognition they remain part of the Ukraine, it is very important to note that the Ukraine does not treat them as such.

The Ukrainian government does not treat the citizens of Donetsk and Lugansk as its citizens: it does not pay their pensions, it does not recognize their right to vote and it does not provide them with passports. It lays claim to the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk but not to the people who reside there. Now, genocide and ethnic cleansing are generally frowned upon by the international community, but an exception is being made in this case because of Russophobia: the Russian people living in Donetsk and Lugansk have been labeled as “pro-Russian” and are therefore legitimate targets.

Russia has been resisting calls to grant official recognition to these two People’s Republics or to provide overt military support (weapons and volunteers do filter through from the Russian side without any hindrance, although the flow of volunteers has been slowing down of late). From a purely cynical perspective, this little war is useful for Russia. If in the future the Ukraine fails completely and fractures into pieces, as appears likely, and if some of these pieces (which might theoretically include not just Donetsk and Lugansk regions but also Kharkov, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk) clamor to join Russia, then Russia would face a serious problem.

You see, over the past 30 years most Ukrainians have been content to sit around drinking beer and watching television as their country got looted. They saw no problem with going out to demonstrate and protest provided they were paid to do it. They voted the way they were paid to vote. They didn’t take an issue with Ukrainian industry shutting down as long as they could work abroad and send money back. They aren’t enraged or even embarrassed by the fact that their country is pretty much run from the US embassy in Kiev. About the only ones with any passion among them are the Nazis who march around with torches and sport Nazi insignia. In short, these aren’t the sort of people that any self-respecting country would want to have anything to do with, never mind absorb them into its population en masse, because the effect would be to demoralize its entire population.

But the people of Donetsk and Lugansk are not like that at all. These coal miners, factory workers and cab drivers have been spending days and nights in the trenches for years now, holding back one of Europe’s larger militaries, and fighting for every square meter of their soil. If the Ukraine is ever to be reborn as something that Russia would find acceptable, it is these people who can provide the starter culture. They have to win, and they have to win without any help from the Russian military, which can squash the Ukrainian military like a bug, but what would be the point of doing that? Thus, Russia provides humanitarian aid, business opportunities, some weapons and some volunteers, and bides its time, because creating a viable new Ukraine out of a defunct one is a process that will take considerable time.

The Saker: What is your take on the first round of Presidential elections in the Ukraine?

Dmitry Orlov: The first round of the elections was an outright fraud. The object of the exercise was to somehow allow president Poroshenko to make it into the second round. This was done by falsifying as many votes as was necessary. In a significant number of precincts the turnout was exactly 100% instead of the usual 60% or so and counted votes from people who had moved, died or emigrated. All of these fake votes went to Poroshenko, allowing him to slither through to the second round.

Now the fight is between Poroshenko and a comedian named Vladimir Zelensky. The only difference between Poroshenko and Zelensky, or any of the other 30+ people who appeared on the ballot, is that Poroshenko has already stolen his billions while his contestants have not had a chance to do so yet, the only reason to run for president, or any elected office, in the Ukraine, being to put oneself in a position to do some major thieving.

Thus, there is an objective reason to prefer Zelensky over Poroshenko, which is that Poroshenko is a major thief while Zelensky isn’t one yet, but it must be understood that this difference will begin to equalize the moment after Zelensky’s inauguration. In fact, the elites in Kiev are currently all aquiver over their ingenious plan to sell off all of Ukraine’s land to foreign investors (no doubt pocketing a hefty “fee”).

The platforms of all the 30+ candidates were identical, but this makes no difference in a country that has surrendered its sovereignty. In terms of foreign relations and strategic considerations, the Ukraine is run from the US embassy in Kiev. In terms of its internal functioning, the main prerogative of everyone in power, the president included, is thievery. Their idea is to get their cut and flee the country before the whole thing blows up.

It remains to be seen whether the second round of elections will also be an outright fraud and what happens as a result. There are many alternatives, but none of them resemble any sort of exercise in democracy. To be sure, what is meant by “democracy” in this case is simply the ability to execute orders issued from Washington; inability to do so would make Ukraine an “authoritarian regime” or a “dictatorship” and subject to “regime change.” But short of that, nothing matters.

The machinations of Ukraine’s “democrats” are about as interesting to me as the sex lives of sewer rats, but for the sake of completeness, let me flowchart it out for you. Poroshenko got into second round by outright fraud, because the loss of this election would, within the Ukrainian political food chain, instantly convert him from predator to prey. However, he was none too subtle about it, there is ample proof of his cheating, and the contender he squeezed out—Yulia Timoshenko—could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Another option would be for Poroshenko to cheat his way past the second round (in an even more heavy-handed manner, since this time he is behind by over 30%), in which case Zelensky could theoretically contest the result in court in win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat. Are you excited yet?

None of this matters, because we don’t know which of the two is the US State Department’s pick. Depending on which one it is, and regardless of the results of any elections or lawsuits, a giant foot will come out of the sky and stomp on the head of the other one. Of course, it will all be made to look highly democratic for the sake of appearances. The leadership of the EU will oblige with some golf claps while choking back vomit and the world will move on.

The Saker: Where is, in your opinion, the Ukraine heading?  What is your best “guesstimate” of what will happen in the short-to-medium term future?

Dmitry Orlov: I believe that we will be subjected to more of the same, although some things can’t go on forever, and therefore won’t. Most worryingly, the Soviet-era nuclear power plants that currently provide most of the electricity in the Ukraine are nearing the end of their service life and there is no money to replace them. Therefore, we should expect most of the country to go dark over time. Likewise, the natural gas pipeline that currently supplies Russian gas to both the Ukraine and much of the EU is worn out and ready to be decommissioned, while new pipelines being laid across the Baltic and the Black Sea are about to replace it. After that point the Ukraine will lose access to Russian natural gas as well.

If the Ukrainians continue to surrender unconditionally while placating themselves with pipe dreams of EU/NATO membership, the country will depopulate, the land will be sold off to Western agribusiness, and it will become a sort of agricultural no man’s land guarded by NATO troops.

But that sort of smooth transition may be hard for the EU and the Americans to orchestrate. The Ukraine is rather highly militarized, is awash with weapons, full of people who have been circulated through the frontlines in Donbas and know how to fight, and they may decide to put up a fight at some point. It must be remembered that the Ukrainians, in spite of the decay of the last 30 years, still have something of the Russian fighting spirit in them, and will fight like Russians—until victory or until death. NATO’s gender-ambivalent military technicians would not want to get in their way at all.

Also the dream of a depopulated Ukraine to be turned into a playground for Western agribusiness may be hindered somewhat by the fact that the Russians take a very dim view of Western GMOs and wouldn’t like to see GMO-contaminated pollen blowing across their border from the West. They would no doubt find some least-effort way to make the attempt at Western agribusiness in the Ukraine unprofitable. Orchestrating a smallish but highly publicized radiation leak from one of the ancient Ukrainian nuke plants would probably work. Rather weirdly, Westerners think nothing of poisoning themselves with glyphosphate but are deathly afraid of even a little bit of ionizing radiation.

The Saker: What about the EU and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe? Where is the EU heading in your opinion?

Dmitry Orlov: The EU has a number of major problems. It isn’t fiscally or monetarily healthy. As a whole, or as its constituent nations, it is no longer capable of the exercise of its full sovereignty, having surrendered it to the US. But the US is no longer able to maintain control, because it is internally conflicted to the point of becoming incoherent in its pronouncements.

Overall, the structure looks like a matryoshka doll. You have the US, as a sort of cracked outer shell. Inside of it is NATO, which is an occupying force across most of Europe right up to the Russian border. It would be useless against Russia, but it can pose a credible threat of violence against the occupied populations. Inside of NATO is the EU—a political talking shop plus a sprawling bureaucracy that spews forth reams upon reams of rules and regulations.

Since none of this military/political superstructure is actually structural without the key ingredient of US hegemony, we shouldn’t expect it to perform particularly well. It will continue as a talking shop while various national governments attempt to reclaim their sovereignty. British referendum voters have certainly tried to prod their government in that direction, and in response their government has been experimenting with various methods of rolling over and playing dead, but a different government might actually try to execute the will of the people. On the other hand, the governments of Hungary and Italy have made some headway in the direction of reasserting their sovereignty, with public support.

But nothing has really happened yet. Once the political elite of any nation has been thoroughly emasculated by the surrender of its national sovereignty, it takes a while for it to grow back its chest hair and to start posing a credible threat to transnational interests. Even in Russia it took close to a decade to thwart the political power and influence of the oligarchy. We can see that the empire is weakening and that some countries are starting to balk at being vassals, but nothing definitive has happened yet.

What may speed things up is that Europe, along with the US, appear to be heading into a recession/depression. One effect of that will be that all the East European guest workers working in the west will be forced to head back home. Another will be that EU’s subsidies to its recent eastern acquisitions—Poland and the Baltics especially—are likely to be reduced substantially or to go away altogether. The influx of returning economic migrants combined with the lack of financial support are likely to spell the demise of certain national elites which have been feasting on Western largesse in return for a bit of Russophobia.

We can imagine that this swirling tide of humanity, ejected from Western Europe, will head east, slosh against the Great Wall of Russia, and flood back into the west, but now armed with Ukrainian weapons and knowhow and entertaining thoughts of plunder rather than employment. There they will fight it out with newcomers from Middle East and Africa while the natives take to their beds, hope for the best and think good thoughts about gender neutrality and other such worthy causes.

These old European nations are all aging out, not just in terms of demographics but in terms of the maximum age allotted by nature to any given ethnos. Ethnoi (plural of “ethnos”) generally only last about a thousand years, and at the end of their lifecycle they tend to exhibit certain telltale trends: they stop breeding well and they become sexually depraved and generally decadent in their tastes. These trends are on full display already. Here’s a particularly absurd example: French birth certificates no longer contain entries for father and mother but for parent1 and parent2. Perhaps the invading barbarians will see this and die laughing; but what if they don’t?

No longer able to put up much of a fight, such depleted ethnoi tend to be easily overrun by barbarians, at which point they beg for mercy. In turn, based on the example of the late Roman Empire as well as similar ones from Chinese and Persian history, granting them mercy is one of the worst mistakes a barbarian can make: the result is a bunch of sexually depraved and generally decadent barbarians… to be easily overrun and slaughtered by the next bunch of barbarians to happen along.

What will spark the next round of Western European ethnogenesis is impossible to predict, but we can be sure that at some point a mutant strain of zealots will arrive on the scene, with a dampened instinct for self-preservation but an unslakable thirst for mayhem, glory and death, and then it will be off to the races again.

The Saker: What will happen once Nord Stream II is finished? Where is Europe heading next, especially in its relationship with the USA and Russia?

Dmitry Orlov: The new pipelines under the Baltic and the Black Sea will be completed, along with the second LNG installation at Sabetta, and Russia will go on supplying natural gas to Europe and Asia. I suspect that the fracking extravaganza in the US is entering its end game and that the dream of large-scale LNG exports to Europe will never materialize.

The nations of Europe will gradually realize that its relationship with Russia is mostly beneficial while its relationship with the US is mostly harmful, and will make certain adjustments. The Ukraine, its natural gas pipeline system decrepit and beyond repair, will continue to import natural gas from Europe, only now the methane molecules will actually flow to it from the west rather from the east.

The Saker: How do you see the political climate in Russia? I hear very often that while Putin personally and the Kremlin’s foreign policy enjoy a great deal of support, the pension reform really hurt Putin and that there is now an internal “patriotic opposition” (as opposed to paid and purchased for by the CIA & Co,. which is becoming more vocal. Is that true?

It is true that there isn’t much debate within Russia about foreign policy. Putin’s popularity has waned somewhat, although he is still far more popular than any national leader in the West. The pension reform did hurt him somewhat, but he recovered by pushing through a raft of measures designed to ease the transition. In particular, all the benefits currently enjoyed by retirees, such as reduced public transit fees and reduced property taxes, will be extended to those nearing retirement age.

It is becoming clear that Putin, although he is still very active in both domestic and international politics, is coasting toward retirement. His major thrust in domestic politics seems to be in maintaining very strict discipline within the government in pushing through his list of priorities. How he intends to effect the transition to the post-Putin era remains a mystery, but what recently took place in Kazakhstan may offer some clues. If so, we should expect a strong emphasis on continuity, with Putin maintaining some measure of control over national politics as a senior statesman.

But by far the most significant change in Russian politics is that a new generation of regional leaders has been put into place. A great many governorships have been granted to ambitious young managers with potential for national office. They are of a new breed of thoroughly professional career politicians with up-to-date managerial skills. Meanwhile, a thorough cleaning out of the ranks has taken place, with some high-ranking officials doing jail time for corruption. What’s particularly notable is that some of these new regional leaders are now as popular or more popular than Putin. The curse of gerontocracy, which doomed the Soviet experiment, and which now afflicts the establishment in the US, no longer threatens Russia.

The Saker: You recently wrote an article titled “Is the USS Ship of Fools Taking on Water?” in which you discuss the high level of stupidity in modern US politics?  I have a simple question for you: do you think the Empire can survive Trump and, if so, for how long?

Dmitry Orlov: I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case. Some event will come along which will leave the power center utterly humiliated and unable to countenance this humiliation and make adjustments. Things will go downhill from there as everyone in government in media does their best to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. My hope is that the US military personnel currently scattered throughout the planet will not be simply abandoned once the money runs out, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that is what happens.

The Saker: Lastly, a similar but fundamentally different question: can the USA (as opposed to the Empire) survive Trump and, if so, how? Will there be a civil war? A military coup? Insurrection? Strikes? A US version of the Yellow Vests?

Dmitry Orlov: The USA, as some set of institutions that serves the interests of some dwindling number of people, is likely to continue functioning for quite some time. The question is: who is going to be included and who isn’t? There is little doubt that retirees, as a category, have nothing to look forward to from the USA: their retirements, whether public or private, have already been spent. There is little doubt that young people, who have already been bled dry by poor job prospects and ridiculous student loans, have nothing to look forward to either.

But, as I’ve said before, the USA isn’t so much a country as a country club. Membership has its privileges, and members don’t care at all what life is like for those who are in the country but aren’t members of the club. The recent initiatives to let everyone in and to let non-citizens vote amply demonstrates that US citizenship, by itself, counts for absolutely nothing. The only birthright of a US citizen is to live as a bum on the street, surrounded by other bums, many of them foreigners from what Trump has termed “shithole countries.”

It will be interesting to see how public and government workers, as a group, react to the realization that the retirements they have been promised no longer exist; perhaps that will tip the entire system into a defunct state. And once the fracking bubble is over and another third of the population finds that it can no longer afford to drive, that might force through some sort of reset as well. But then the entire system of militarized police is designed to crush any sort of rebellion, and most people know that. Given the choice between certain death and just sitting on the sidewalk doing drugs, most people will choose the latter.

And so, Trump or no Trump, we are going to have more of the same: shiny young IT specialists skipping and whistling on the way to work past piles of human near-corpses and their excrement; Botoxed housewives shopping for fake organic produce while hungry people in the back of the store are digging around in dumpsters; concerned citizens demanding that migrants be allowed in, then calling the cops as soon as these migrants set up tents on their front lawn or ring their doorbell and ask to use the bathroom; well-to-do older couples dreaming of bugging out to some tropical gringo compound in a mangrove swamp where they would be chopped up with machetes and fed to the fish; and all of them believing that things are great because the stock market is doing so well.

At this rate, when the end of the USA finally arrives, most of the people won’t be in a position to notice while the rest won’t be capable of absorbing that sort of upsetting information and will choose to ignore it. Everybody wants to know how the story ends, but that sort of information probably isn’t good for anyone’s sanity. The mental climate in the US is already sick enough; why should we want to make it even sicker?

The Saker: Dmitry, thank you so much for your time and for a most interesting interview!

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The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times

The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times  By Edward Curtin, Global Research, 5 April 2019

The Killing of the Kennedys and Today’s New Cold War

A Quasi-Review of A Lie Too Big To Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Lisa Pease

“‘We’re all puppets,’ the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment.” – Lisa Pease, quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan

When Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, the American public fell into an hypnotic trance in which they have remained ever since. The overwhelming majority accepted what was presented by government authorities as an open and shut case that a young Palestinian American, Sirhan Sirhan, had murdered RFK because of his support for Israel, a false accusation whose ramifications echo down the years. That this was patently untrue and was contradicted by overwhelming evidence made no difference.

Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy, yet he remains in jail to this very day.  Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was 14 years old at the time of his father’s death, has visited Sirhan in prison, claims he is innocent, and believes there was another gunman.  Paul Schrade, an aide to the senator and the first person shot that night, also says Sirhan didn’t do it. Both have plenty of evidence.  And they are not alone.

There is a vast body of documented evidence to prove this, an indisputably logical case marshalled by serious writers and researchers. Lisa Pease is the latest.  It is a reason why a group of 60 prominent Americans has recently called for a reopening of, not just this case, but those of JFK, MLK, and Malcom X.  The blood of these men cries out for the revelation of the truth that the United States national security state and its media accomplices have fought so mightily to keep hidden for so many years.

That they have worked so hard at this reveals how dangerous the truth about these assassinations still is to this secret government that wages propaganda war against the American people and real wars around the world.  It is a government of Democrats, Republicans, and their intelligence allies working together today to confuse the American people and provoke Russia in a most dangerous game that could lead to nuclear war, a possibility that so frightened JFK and RFK after the Cuban Missile Crisis that they devoted themselves to ending the Cold War, reconciling with the Soviet Union, abolishing nuclear weapons, reining in of the power of the CIA, and withdrawing from Vietnam.  That is why they were killed.

The web of deceit surrounding the now officially debunked Democratic led Russia-gate propaganda operation that has strengthened Trump to double-down on his anti-Russia operations (a Democratic goal) is an example of the perfidious and sophisticated mutuality of this game of mass mind-control.

The killing of the Kennedys and today’s new Cold War and war against terror are two ends of a linked intelligence operation.

Moreover, more than any other assassination of the 1960s, it is the killing of Bobby Kennedy that has remained shrouded in the most ignorance.

It is one of the greatest propaganda success stories of American history.

In her exhaustive new examination of the case, A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease puts it succinctly at the conclusion of her unravelling of the official lies that have mesmerized the public:

The assassination of the top four leaders of the political left in the five year period – President John Kennedy in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 – represented nothing less than a slow-motion coup on the political scene.

If anyone wishes to understand what has happened to the United States since this coup, and thus to its countless victims at home and throughout the world, one must understand these assassinations and how the alleged assassins were manipulated by the coup organizers and how the public was hoodwinked in a mind-control operation on a vast scale.  It is not ancient history, for the forces that killed these leaders rule the U.S. today, and their ruthlessness has subsequently informed the actions of almost all political leaders in the years since.  A bullet to the head when you seriously talk about peace and justice is a not so gentle reminder to toe the line or else.

“But the way the CIA took over America in the 1960s is the story of our time,” writes Pease, “and too few recognize this.  We can’t fix a problem we can’t even acknowledge exists.”

Nothing could be truer.

Lisa Pease has long recognized the problem, and for the past twenty-five years, she has devoted herself to shedding light on the CIA’s culpability, particularly in the Robert Kennedy case. Few people possess the grit and grace to spend so much of their lives walking this path of truth. The extent of her research is dazzling, so dazzling in its voluminous detail that a reviewer can only touch on it here and there. She has written a book that is daunting in its comprehensiveness.  It demands focused attention and perseverance, for it runs to over 500 pages with more than 800 footnotes. This book will remain a touchstone for future research on the RFK assassination, whether one agrees or disagrees with all of her detailed findings and speculations.  For this book is so vast and meticulous in its examination of all aspects of the case that one can surely find areas that one might question or disagree with.

Nevertheless, Pease fundamentally proves that Sirhan did not shoot RFK and that there was a conspiracy organized and carried out by shadowy intelligence forces that did so. These same forces worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, federal, state, and judicial elements to make sure Sirhan was quickly accused of being the lone assassin and dispatched to prison after a show trial.  And the mass media carried out its assigned role of affirming the government’s case to shield the real killers and to make sure the cover-up was successful.

The Blatant Conspiracy behind Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s Assassination

No doubt others will investigate this case further. Yet I think no more research is really needed, for as with these other assassinations, additional analyses will only result in pseudo-debates about minutiae. Such debates will only serve to prolong the hallucinatory grip the perpetrators of these crimes have on a day of reckoning, suggesting as they would that we do not really know what happened.   This is an old tactic meant to delay forevermore such a day of reckoning.

The facts are clear for all to see if they have the will to truth. All that is now needed is a public tribunal, which is planned for later this year, in which the fundamental, clear-cut facts of these cases are presented to the American public.  In the case of Robert Kennedy’s assassination as with the others, a little knowledge goes a long way, and only those who are closed to basic logic and evidence will refuse to see that government forces conspired to kill these men and did so because all were seeking peace and justice that was then, and is now, a threat to the war-making forces of wealth and power that control the American government.

Pease writes:

Anyone who has looked closely and honestly at the evidence has realized that more than one person was involved in Robert Kennedy’s death.  So why can’t reporters see this?  Why can’t the media explain this?  Because the media and the government are two sides of the same coin, and those who challenge the government’s version of history, as numerous reporters have found out, all too often lose status and sometimes whole careers.  Kristina Borjesson published an anthology of such stories in her book Into the Buzzsaw, in which journalists describe how they lost their careers when eachof them expressed a truth that the government did not want exposed.

Lisa Pease discloses such truths.  I am reporting on her work.  Therefore, the mainstream media, except for an extraordinary reporter or two, such as Tom Jackman of The WashingtonPost, will likely ignore both of us, but the publication where you are reading this is on the side of truth, and in the disclosure of truth lies our hope.

Since more than one person was involved in the killing of RFK, there was – ipso facto – a conspiracy.  This is not theory but fact.  The fact of a conspiracy.  For more than fifty years, mainstream reporters have been cowed by this word “conspiracy,” thanks to the CIA.  Many others have been intelligence assets posing as journalists, regurgitating the lies. This is a fact.

The official story is that after giving his victory speech for winning the 1968 Democratic California Primary, Kennedy, as he was walking through a crowded hotel pantry, was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, who was standing to his left between 3-6 feet away.  Sirhan’s revolver held eight bullets, and as he was shooting, he was tackled by a group of large men who subdued him.  All witnesses place Sirhan in front of Kennedy and all claim he was firing a gun.

Fact: As the autopsy definitively showed, RFK was shot from the rear at point blank range, three bullets entering his body, with the fatal headshot coming upward at a 45-degree angle from 1-3 inches behind his right ear. Not one bullet from Sirhan’s gun hit the Senator.  In addition, an audio recording shows that many more bullets than the eight in Sirhan’s gun were fired in the hotel pantry that night. It was impossible for Sirhan to have killed RFK.

Let me repeat: More than one gunman, contrary to the government’s claims, equals a conspiracy.  So why lie about that?

What is amazing is that the obvious conclusion to such simple syllogistic logic (Sirhan in front, bullets in the back, therefore…) that a child could understand has been dismissed by the authorities for fifty-one years.  The fact that the government authorities – the LAPD, the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney, federal and state government officials, the FBI, the CIA – have from the start so assiduously done all in their power to pin the blame on “a lone assassin,” Sirhan, proves they are part of a coordinated cover-up, which in turn suggests their involvement in the crime.

The fact that Robert Kennedy was shot from the back and not the front where Sirhan was standing immediately brings to mind the Zapruder film that shows that JFK was killed from the front right and not from the 6th floor rear where Oswald was allegedly shooting from.  That unexpected film evidence was hidden from the public for many years, but when it was finally seen, the case for a government conspiracy was solidified.

While no such video evidence has surfaced in the RFK case, the LAPD made sure that no photographic evidence contradicting the official lies would be seen.  As Lisa Pease writes:

Less than two months after the assassination, the LAPD took the extraordinary step of burning some 2,400 photos from the case in Los Angeles County General’s medical waste incinerator.  Why destroy thousands of photos in an incinerator if there was nothing to hide?  The LAPD kept hundreds of innocuous crowd scene photos that showed no girl in a polka dot dress or no suspicious activities or individuals.  Why were those photos preserved?  Perhaps because those photos had nothing in them that warranted their destruction.

While “perhaps” is a mild word, the cover-up of “the girl in the polka dot dress” needs no perhaps.  Dozens of people reported seeing a suspicious, curvaceous girl in a white dress with black polka dots with Sirhan in the pantry and other places. She was seen with various other men as well. The evidence for her involvement in the assassination is overwhelming, and yet the LAPD did all in its power to deny this by browbeating witnesses and by allowing her to escape.

Sandra Serrano, a Kennedy campaign worker and a courageous witness, was bullied by the CIA-connected police interrogator Sergeant Enrique “Hank” Hernandez.  She had been sitting outside on a metal fire escape getting some air when the polka dot dress girl, accompanied by a man, ran out and down the stairs, shouting, “We’ve shot him, we’ve shot him.”  When Serrano asked whom did they shoot, the girl replied, “We’ve shot Senator Kennedy.” Then she and her companion, both of whom Serrano had earlier seen ascending the stairs with Sirhan, disappeared into the night. A little over an hour after the shooting Serrano was interviewed on live television by NBC’s Sander Vanocur where she recounted this. And there were others who saw and heard this girl say the same thing as she and her companion fled the crime scene. Nevertheless, the LAPD, led by Lieutenant Manuel Pena, also CIA affiliated, who was brought out of retirement to run the investigation dubbed “Special Unit Senator,” worked with Hernandez and others to dismiss the girl as of no consequence.

Lisa Pease covers all this and much more.  She shows how Sirhan was obviously hypnotized, how the trial was a farce, how the police destroyed evidence from the door frames in the pantry that proved more than the eight bullets in Sirhan’s gun were fired, how Officer DeWayne Wolfer manipulated the ballistic evidence, etc. Through years of digging into court records, archives, transcripts, the public library, and doing countless interviews, she proves without a doubt that Sirhan did not kill Kennedy and that the assassination and the cover-up were part of a very sophisticated intelligence operation involving many parts and players.  She shows how no matter what route Kennedy took in the hotel that night, the killers had all exits covered and that he would not be allowed to leave alive.

While some of her more speculative points – e.g. that Robert Maheu (Howard Hughes/CIA) was “the most credible high-level suspect for the planner of Robert Kennedy’s assassination,” that Kennedy was shot twice in the head from behind, etc. are open to debate, they do not detract from her fundamentally powerful case that RFK, like his brother John, was assassinated by a CIA-run operation intended to silence their voices of courageous resistance to an expanding secret government dedicated to war, murder, and human exploitation.  The U.S. government of today.

When Bobby Kennedy was entering the kitchen pantry, he was escorted by a security guard named Thane Eugene Cesar, a man long suspected of being the assassin.  Cesar was carrying a gun that he drew but denied firing, despite witnesses’ claims to the contrary. Conveniently, the police never examined the gun.  He has long been suspected of being CIA affiliated, and now Pease says she has found evidence to confirm that.  She writes, “It’s hard to overstate the significance of finding a current or future CIA contract agent holding Kennedy’s right arm at the moment of the shooting.”

Yes, it is.  As she rightly claims, the CIA takeover of America in the 1960s is the story of our time.  And our time is now.  None of this is ancient history.  That is so crucial to grasp.  For those who think that learning the truth about the 1960s assassinations is an exercise in futility reserved for those who are living in the past, they need to think again.  Our descent into endless war and massive media propaganda to support it is part of a long-term project that began with the elimination of JFK, Malcom X, MLK, and Robert Kennedy.  They were killed for reasons, and those reasons still exist, even if they don’t physically, but only in spirit.  Their killers roam the land because they have become far more deeply part of the institutional structure of government and the media.

Pease says:

It was horrible that Robert Kennedy was taken from us far too soon.  It is horrible that one man has borne the guilt for an operation he neither planned nor willingly participated in.  It’s horrible the conspiracy was so obvious that bullets had to be lost and switched to hide it.  And it’s horrible that the mainstream media has never dared to tell the people of this country that the government lied to us about what they really found when they looked into this case.  Until the media can deal with the truth of the Robert Kennedy assassination, and until the people can be made aware of the CIA’s role in slanting the truth on topics of great importance, America’s very survival is in jeopardy….We’ve come perilously close to losing democracy itself because of fake, CIA-sponsored stories about our history.  Should America ever become a dictatorship, the epitaph of our democracy must include the role the mainstream media, by bowing to the National Security state, played in killing it.

By writing A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease has done her valiant part in refuting the lie that is now failing.  Now it is up to all of us to spread the word of truth by focusing on the fundamental facts so we can finally take back our country from the CIA.

Then we can say with RFK and his favorite poet Aeschylus:

And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until  in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

*

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Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Edward Curtin, Global Research, 2019

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With Mueller Done, WSJ Urges “Probe The Real Scandal”

With Mueller Done, WSJ Urges Probe The Real Scandal  From ZeroHedge, 26 March 2017

Just hours after reports that Rep. Devin Nunes will refer criminal charges against Clinton operatives & high-level FBI & DOJ officials for perpetuating the Russiagate hoax for over three years, The Wall Street Journal’s outspoken voice of reason, Kimberley Strassel, stresses that Americans deserve a full accounting of the missteps of Comey and the FBI.

Attorney General William Barr has reported to Congress that special counsel Robert Mueller has cleared President Trump and his campaign team of claims of conspiring with Russia during the 2016 election. This is more than an exoneration. It’s a searing indictment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as a reminder of the need to know the story behind the bureau’s corrosive investigation.

Mr. Mueller’s report likely doesn’t put it that way, but it’s the logical conclusion of his no-collusion finding. The FBI unleashed its powers on a candidate for the office of the U.S. presidency, an astonishing first. It did so on the incredible grounds that the campaign had conspired to aid a foreign government. And it used the most aggressive tools in its arsenal—surveillance of U.S. citizens, secret subpoenas of phone records and documents, even human informants.

The wreckage is everywhere. The nation has been engulfed in conspiracy theories for years. A presidency was hemmed in by the threat of a special counsel. Citizens have gone to jail not for conspiracy, but for after-the-fact interactions with Mr. Mueller’s team. Dozens more have spent enormous amounts of money and time defending their reputations.

None of this should ever have happened absent highly compelling evidence—from the start—of wrongdoing. Yet from what we know, the FBI operated on the basis of an overheard conversation of third-tier campaign aide George Papadopoulos, as well as a wild “dossier” financed by the rival presidential campaign. Mr. Mueller’s no-collusion finding amounts to a judgment that there never was any evidence. The Papadopoulos claim was thin, the dossier a fabrication.

Which is all the more reason Americans now deserve a full accounting of the missteps of former FBI Director James Comey and his team—in part so that this never happens again.

That includes the following:

What “evidence” did the FBI have in totality?

What efforts did the bureau take to verify it?

Did it corroborate anything before launching its probe?

What role did political players play?

How aware was the FBI that it was being gulled into a dirty-trick operation, and if so, how did it justify proceeding?

How intrusive were the FBI methods?

And who was harmed?

If Mr. Mueller has done his job properly, his report will address some of this.His team would have had to look into the sources of the allegations as part of determining the documents’ (lack of) veracity. A Mueller report that doesn’t mention the dossier and its political provenance, or questionable news stories used to justify surveillance warrants, for instance, is a report that is playing politics.

The fuller accounting will come only through total disclosure of FBI and Justice Department probe documents. Mr. Trump promised that disclosure in September but has yet to follow through.

Strassel concludes that “transparency is now a necessity. “

The Mueller report is only half the story. With the special-counsel probe at an end, it’s time to go back the beginning – to the documents that explain its origin. Only then will Americans have the full story of the Russia-collusion narrative.

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‘PC’, Orwellian censorship, official lies, media lies and the perils of modern ‘democracy’

Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.

Conspiracy theories are just lies spread by attention seekers

Conspiracy theories are just lies spread by attention seekers  By Karen Brooks, Courier-Mail, 4 April 2019

Editor’s note: This article propagates the view that everyone should just believe the ‘official’ version of events without question – clearly, she supports the 1984 Ministry of Truth approach. In-depth search and analysis of most significant ‘conspiracy theories’ invariably results in the conclusion that the ‘conspiracy theory’ is either factual or at least reveals dubious aspects.  

When secret footage from an Al Jazeera investigation exposed Pauline Hanson and her colleagues discussing the 1996 Port Arthur massacre as if it was a conspiracy, and referencing 9/11 as well, disbelief and outrage ensued.

While much has been said about the Al Jazeera sting and Hanson has roundly condemned it describing it as a “hit job” and that the comments as shown were “taken completely out of context”, the sad truth is that the viewing and dismissing of major traumatic events as part of some worldwide or government conspiracy is an all too frequent occurrence.

What is it about these shocking incidents — where the facts are boldly manifest — that nevertheless provokes conspiracy-type responses?

According to political scientist, Professor Emeritus, Michael Barkun, a conspiracy theory is an “intellectual construct”, a “template imposed upon the world to give the appearance of order to events”.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with staffer James Ashby was filmed insinuating the Port Arthur massacre was part of a conspiracy. Picture: Al Jazeera

It also has a strong emotional component.

Whether it’s Elvis, the moon landing, vaccinations, Holocaust deniers, 9/11 being an “inside” job, the Christchurch murders being staged and now Port Arthur (I never knew doubt was cast upon that atrocity), there are people who, despite all the evidence and the trauma of survivors, loved ones and communities, prefer to accept an influential agency or shady, powerful figures are responsible, and we’re all being duped.

While no one is accusing Hanson and her cohorts of denying the Holocaust, there’s something so wilfully ignorant about those who would scorn mass murder and even genocide as conspiracy theories. Not only were these all highly politicised moments — watersheds in the countries in which they occurred — but they rippled outwards to impact the global community.

To declare these tragedies as “fake” is not only cruel and, frankly, defies all proof to the contrary (including eyewitness accounts and confessions of the perpetrators), but shines a light on the kind of people who would put their desires/beliefs and racist ideologies above anyone else’s pain and suffering.

Perceiving the majority as vapid sheep, conspiracy theorists not only confirm their “special” status by searching out material that appears to support their ideas (confirmation bias), but any attempt to debunk their notions, even solid evidence and facts, simply shores them up.

It would be easy to dismiss conspiracy theorists as those who wear tin hats and swallow red pills while whispering in the shadows of the internet. Or, more generously, as trying to impose order upon apparent chaos. But their efforts to undermine official accounts and recruit others to their way of thinking is growing.

Not only are they using Instagram to encourage young followers to “drink their Kool-Aid”, but they have visible mouthpieces in the form of extreme Right-wingers such as Alex Jones, Lauren Southern and Candace Owens to bolster their views.

Conspiracy theorists believe the moon landings were staged by NASA.

In these spaces, anti-sentiments about Jews, Muslims, feminists, vaccinations, climate-change and government not only thrive, but are presented as legitimate. It’s the trolls new lair. What’s also problematic is that, as Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Mark van Vugt identify in their study on conspiracy theories, “belief in one conspiracy theory is an excellent predictor of belief in different unrelated conspiracies”.

This can lead, as psychologists Daniel Jolley and Professor Karen Douglas noted in The Conversation, not only to prejudice (against minority groups) but “can make people less inclined to vote, reduce their carbon footprint and have children vaccinated. (Conspiracy theories) … can also make people more likely to engage in everyday criminal behaviour”.

While there are many attempts to understand, explain and even excuse conspiracy theorists, I’m tired of conceding to this kind of nonsensicality in the face of hard, bloody and gut-wrenching facts.

Denying the Holocaust, Port Arthur, 9/11, or Christchurch happened or that they’re part of a government or some mysterious agency’s scheme, is to trample on the dignity and graves of the victims and the suffering of those left behind. It’s also to forget the meaningful legacies and incredible positives that have arisen as a consequence of acknowledging the truth of such terror and bloodshed.

In the end, conspiracy theories are all about those who peddle them. It’s about feeding their desire for attention, paranoia, financial gain and delusions of grandeur, and always at the expense of those who lived the brutal reality.

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How Millions Were Duped By Russiagate: The “Illusory Truth” Effect

How Millions Were Duped By Russiagate, The Illusory Truth EffectBy Caitlin Johnstone, Medium.com, Zerohedge, 27 March 2019

 “Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy”, read the front page headline of Sunday’s New York Times. Bit by bit, mainstream American consciousness is slowly coming to terms with the death of the thrilling conspiracy theory that the highest levels of the US government had been infiltrated by the Kremlin,and with the stark reality that the mass media and the Democratic Party spent the last two and-a-half years monopolizing public attention with a narrative which never had any underlying truth to it.

There are still holdouts, of course. Many people invested a tremendous amount of hope, credibility, and egoic currency in the belief that Robert Mueller was going to arrest high-ranking Trump administration officials and members of Trump’s own family, leading seedy characters to “flip” on the president in their own self-interest and thereby providing evidence that will lead to impeachment. Some insist that Attorney General William Barr is holding back key elements of the Mueller report, a claim which is premised on the absurd belief that Mueller would allow Barr to lie about the results of the investigation without speaking up publicly. Others are still holding out hope that other investigations by other legal authorities will turn up some Russian shenanigans that Mueller could not, ignoring Mueller’s sweeping subpoena powers and unrivaled investigative authority. But they’re coming around.

The question still remains, though: what the hell happened? How did a fact-free conspiracy theory come to gain so much traction among mainstream Americans? How were millions of people persuaded to invest hope in a narrative that anyone objectively analyzing the facts knew to be completely false?

The answer is that they were told that the Russiagate narrative was legitimate over and over again by politicians and mass media pundits, and, because of a peculiar phenomenon in the nature of human cognition, this repetition made it seem true.

The rather uncreatively-named illusory truth effect describes the way people are more likely to believe something is true after hearing it said many times. This is due to the fact that the familiar feeling we experience when hearing something we’ve heard before feels very similar to our experience of knowing that something is true. When we hear a familiar idea, its familiarity provides us with something called cognitive ease, which is the relaxed, unlabored state we experience when our minds aren’t working hard at something. We also experience cognitive ease when we are presented with a statement that we know to be true.

We have a tendency to select for cognitive ease, which is why confirmation bias is a thing; believing ideas which don’t cause cognitive strain or dissonance gives us more cognitive ease than doing otherwise. Our evolutionary ancestors adapted to seek out cognitive ease so that they could put their attention into making quick decisions essential for survival, rather than painstakingly mulling over whether everything we believe is as true as we think it is. This was great for not getting eaten by saber-toothed tigers in prehistoric times, but it’s not very helpful when navigating the twists and turns of a cognitively complex modern world. It’s also not helpful when you’re trying to cultivate truthful beliefs while surrounded by screens that are repeating the same bogus talking points over and over again.

I’m dealing with a perfect example of the perils of cognitive ease right now. Writing this essay has required me to move outside my familiar comfort zone of political commentary and read a bunch of studies and essays, think hard about new ideas, and then figure out how to convey them as clearly and concisely as possible without boring my audience. This movement away from cognitive ease has resulted in my checking Twitter a lot more often than I usually do, and seeking so much distraction that this essay will probably end up getting published about twelve hours later than I had intended. Having to read a bunch of scholars explaining the precise reasons why I’m acting like such an airhead hasn’t exactly helped my sense of cognitive ease any, either.

If you want to understand how the mass media duped millions into believing the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government, research the illusory truth effect, the phenomenon which causes people to mistake repeated assertions for truth. https://exploringyourmind.com/illusion-of-truth/ …

Science has been aware of the illusory truth effect since 1977, when a study found that subjects were more likely to evaluate a statement as true when it’s been repeatedly presented to them over the course of a couple of weeks, even if they didn’t consciously remember having encountered that statement before. These findings have been replicated in numerous studies since, and new research in recent years has shown that the phenomenon is even more drastic than initially believed. A 2015 paper titled “Knowledge Does Not Protect Against Illusory Truth” found that the illusory truth effect is so strong that sheer repetition can change the answers that test subjects give, even when they had been in possession of knowledge contradicting that answer beforehand. This study was done to test the assumption which had gone unchallenged up until then that the illusory truth effect only comes into play when there is no stored knowledge of the subject at hand.

“Surprisingly, repetition increased statements’ perceived truth, regardless of whether stored knowledge could have been used to detect a contradiction,” the paper reads.

“Reading a statement like ‘A sari is the name of the short pleated skirt worn by Scots’ increased participants’ later belief that it was true, even if they could correctly answer the question ‘What is the name of the short pleated skirt worn by Scots?’”

Stored knowledge tells pretty much everybody that the “short, pleated skirt worn by Scots” is a kilt, not a sari, but simply repeating the contrary statement can convince them otherwise.

This explains why we all know people who are extraordinarily intelligent, but still bought into the Russiagate narrative just as much as our less mentally apt friends and acquaintances. Their intelligence didn’t save them from this debunked conspiracy theory, it just made them more clever in finding ways of defending it. This is because the illusory truth effect largely bypasses the intellect, and even one’s own stored knowledge, because of the way we all reflexively select for cognitive ease.

Another study titled “Incrimination through innuendo: Can media questions become public answers?” found that subjects can be manipulated into believing an allegation simply by exposure to innuendo or incriminating questions in news media headlines. Questions like, for example, “What If Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987?”, printed by New York Magazinein July of last year.

You can understand, then, how a populace who is consuming repetitive assertions, innuendo, and incriminating questions on a daily basis through the screens that they look at many times a day could be manipulated into believing that Robert Mueller would one day reveal evidence which will lead to the destruction of the Trump administration. The repetition leads to belief, the belief leads to trust, and before you know it people who are scared of the president are reading the Palmer Report every day and parking themselves in front of Rachel Maddow every night and letting everything they say slide right past their skepticism filters, marinating comfortably in a sedative of cognitive ease.

And that repetition has been no accident. CNN producer John Bonifield was caught on video nearly two years ago admitting that CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker was personally instructing his staff to stay focused on Russia even in the midst of far more important breaking news stories.

“My boss, I shouldn’t say this, my boss yesterday we were having a discussion about this dental shoot and he goes and he was just like I want you to know what we are up against here,” Bonifield told an undercover associate of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.

“And he goes, just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with it, let’s get back to Russia.

(And before you get on me about O’Keefe’s shady record, CNN said in a statement that the video was legitimate and disputed none of its content, saying only that it stands by Bonifield and that “Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it.”)

Zucker, for his part, told the New York Times in an article published yesterday that he was “entirely comfortable” with CNN’s role in promoting the Russiagate conspiracy theory the way that it did.

“We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did,” Zucker said.

“A sitting president’s own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That’s not enormous because the media says so. That’s enormous because it’s unprecedented.”

“We are not investigators”? What the fuck kind of dumbass shit is that? So it’s not your job to investigate whether what you’re reporting is true or false? It’s not your job to investigate whether the anonymous sources you’re basing your reports on might be lying or not? It’s not your job to investigate whether or not you’d be committing journalistic malpractice with the multiple completely bullshit stories your outlet has been humiliated by in the last two years? It’s not your job to weigh the consequences of deliberately monopolizing public attention on a narrative which consists of nothing but confident-sounding assertions and innuendo?

“We are not investigators.” So? You’re not dentists or firefighters either, what’s your point? That has nothing to do with the mountains of journalistic malpractice you’ve been perpetrating by advancing this conspiracy theory, nor with the inexcusable brutalization you’ve been inflicting upon the American psyche with your deliberate nonstop repetition of bogus assertions, innuendo, and incriminating questions.

The science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century. If you think about how many advances have been made in other military fields over the last hundred years, that gives you a clear example of how sophisticated an understanding the social engineers must now have of the methods of mass manipulation of human psychology. We may be absolutely certain that there are people who’ve been working to drive the public narratives about western rivals like Russia, and that they are doing so with a far greater understanding of the concepts we’ve touched on in this essay than we have at our disposal.

The manipulators understand our psyches better than we understand them ourselves, and they’re getting more clever, not less. The only thing we can do to keep our heads while immersed in a society that is saturated with propaganda is be as relentlessly honest as possible, with ourselves and with the world. We’ll never be able to out-manipulate the master manipulators, but we can be real with ourselves about whether or not we’re selecting for cognitive ease rather than thinking rigorously and clearly. We can be truthful with our friends, family, coworkers and social media followers wherever untruth seems to be taking hold. We can do our very best to shine the light of truth on the puppeteers wherever we spot them and ruin the whole goddamn show for everyone.

It may not seem like a lot, but truth is the one thing they can’t manipulate, whether it’s truth about them, truth about the world, or truthfulness with yourself. The lying manipulators got us into this mess, so only truth can get us out.

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Communications breakdown

Communications breakdown  By Paul Craig Roberts, 20 March 2019

Writing for Americans, unless for their entertainment, is a challenging undertaking.  One reason is that many, especially of the younger generations, no longer have a concept of objective truth.

For them “truth” is simply a bias reflecting one’s race, gender, upbringing or predisposition.  Emotion overwhelms fact. Biases are not considered to be equal.  Some are worthy and some or not.  The biases of white people are defined as “hate speech,” “white supremacy,” and “hate crimes.”  Today America has many self-hating whites, especially in the media and Democratic Party.

Another reason is that many Americans confuse an explanation with a justification.  An explanation of an event is seen as a justification of the event.  For example, if one provides an explanation of slavery the assumption is that the writer approves of slavery.  A defence of a disapproved category is taken as a demonstration of your own unworthiness. For example, if you defend white people from the propagandistic accusations levelled at them by Identity Politics, you are a “white supremist.”

Yet another reason is that some races and genders have succeeded in defining any criticism of themselves as an expression of bias. For example, criticism of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians or of the Israel Lobby’s power makes one an “anti-semite.” Similarly, if you criticize a black person, you are a racist and your argument is dismissed as an expression of your bias.  If you criticize a woman, you are a misogynist, and your criticism of a woman proves it.

If you express scepticism of false flag events, you are dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist.”

Another reason is that American patriots regard criticism of US policies, especially wars, as anti-American and as taking the side of the enemy against one’s own country.  To prevent a recurrence of the Vietnam war protests, when Washington invaded Afghanistan and Iraq the Bush regime came up with the slogan, “Support the Troops.”  If you criticized the wars, you weren’t supporting the troops and were aligning yourself with the enemy: “You are with us or against us.”  When President Trump met with President Putin, CIA director John Brennan accused Trump of treason. When US Representative Tulsi Gabbard met with Assad of Syria, she was accused of supporting dictatorship. (If her critics had accused her of meeting with Assad because she was a bimbo who didn’t know any better, her critics would have been dismissed as misogynists.)

In a world such as this, honest ordinary language is risky as many are not attending to the cogency of the analysis but looking for indications of racism and sexism.  Exposure of government deceptions gets one branded “anti-American” with the result that people cling more tightly to the lie that deceives them.

It has always been the case that readers look for writers who reinforce their beliefs by telling them what they want to hear.  The king kills the messenger who brings unwanted news. Consequently, there are few messengers.  The result is a dysfunctional democracy in which the agendas of those who control explanations dominate.

For the most part, readers of this website are different. They are a self-selected group who are motivated to escape being controlled by official explanations. To their purpose I lend my knowledge and experience.  The website has a devoted readership as your response to my March quarterly appeal testifies.

A few of you are impatient for solutions, but there can be no solutions until there is recognition of the problems.  Moreover, every solution can be interpreted as favouring some interest group with its advocate being dismissed as a servant of the favoured group.  For example, President Reagan’s solution to stagflation was accused of being a scheme for the rich.  The people have to find solutions, but first they must be informed.  As this article makes clear, that is a difficult enough undertaking.

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Globalism, a world in chains

Globalism, a world in chains  By Phil Mullan, Spiked Online, 16 March 2019

Globalists’ greatest fear is not the state – it’s the people.

 This is the first essay in a two-part series by Phil Mullan exploring the political and economic creed of globalism. The second part, on the genesis and politics of neoliberalism, will be published next week.

We have entered another unstable era for the world order. Some anticipate a ‘Thucydides moment’, a reference to his history of the Peloponnesian War 2,500 years ago, in which he wrote: ‘What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta.’ Today we could be on the same path as the old and new powers clash. A rising China is fuelling anxieties in declining America and Europe. Meanwhile, escalating strains within the ‘old’ Western world are also adding to the disruptive mix.

The rational approach to a changing world would be for free and independent nations to work out collectively a new order appropriate for our era. However, the dominant globalist perspective has instead been to insist on adherence to the existing ‘rules-based international order’ as established after the Second World War. But perpetuating the current international legal arrangements risks hastening an exploding pressure cooker.

When old powers rely on preserving the existing rules, it is just as dangerous, if not more so, for the world than the actions of others who evade or seek to rewrite those rules. This is why contemporary globalists are as much a threat to world peace as those they condemn as old-fashioned economic nationalists. When incumbents use their privileged positions to try to preserve the status quo at the expense of frustrating their challengers, this makes for a potentially explosive international environment.

This unwise stance appears so popular among elites because it reflects their deep attachment to the status quo. Political elites no longer promote alternative visions for the future. This doesn’t only represent a loss of imagination – it also reveals an unfortunate loss of belief in the capacity of people, and their free democratic nations, to act responsibly. Having given up on political deliberation, rule-following has become a substitute for prudence and for new thinking.

This is far removed from Immanuel Kant’s outline of the path to world order in his influential essay on perpetual peace. Writing at the end of the 18th century, Kant explained that he rejected relying on international law, on the grounds that law was an apologia for power. Instead, he argued that the cause of world peace could only be based securely on freedom and reason. Kant was confident that humanity not only possessed reason but also that we would ultimately be guided by it.

Today’s globalists have lost faith in reason guiding people’s actions. Their disregard for democracy was revealed starkly in 2016, when they openly showed their contempt for the British people who voted to leave the European Union and for the American people who elected Donald Trump. The globalist indifference to respecting democratic decision-making rests on their disavowal of the efficacy of human agency.

This also informs the fatalism behind the modern perspective on globalisation. It is said that we inhabit a world determined by global market forces over which we can have little influence. This is to see globalisation as an objective force that appears almost impervious to human will and action, and it informs the most critical and far-reaching of the globalist tenets: that national policymaking has become much less effective, verging on being redundant. Instead, we are increasingly at the whim of impersonal, autonomous global forces.

Globalism’s fatalism is self-reproducing. It apparently determines that democracy is unable to operate, thereby determining that people have no way of exercising control over globalisation

Take, for instance, this 2007 statement from Alan Greenspan, the then recently retired chairman of the US Federal Reserve, who was asked by a Swiss newspaper who the next president of the United States might be. ‘We are fortunate’, he replied, ‘that, thanks to globalisation, policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces… it hardly makes any difference who will be the next president. The world is governed by market forces.’ (1)

This sums up the most important political corollary of the belief in ascendant globalisation: that the theory and practice of national sovereignty and the nation state is undermined by a world in the process of rapid change. But without the nation state, we have no working vehicle for popular sovereignty. Globalism’s fatalism becomes self-reproducing. Globalisation is thought to determine that democracy is unable to operate, thereby determining that people have no way of exercising control over the unfolding of globalisation.

A globalist like Greenspan belittling democracy is not incidental. An antipathy to politics, and especially to mass politics, has been an ever-present feature since globalism’s intellectual origins in the 1920s and 1930s. It is poignant that this historical period up to the present itself offers many illustrations that globalisation is not a natural process. Today’s interconnected world has been shaped over those decades, especially since the Second World War, by an alliance of politicians, other elites and experts, including the likes of Greenspan himself. Globalisation cannot legitimately be presented as a self-driven phenomenon divorced from politics.

The rule of rules

Globalisation, in short, refers to the belief that the world – economically, politically and ecologically – is shrinking fast in its social and physical dimensions. But what do we mean by ‘globalism’ and ‘globalists’? Who are they?

Some describe globalists as the ‘Davos crowd’, the people who gather in Switzerland every January at the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. Many fly in by private jet or helicopter to signify they are the crème de la crème of the global elite. But the globalists are much broader than Davos attendees.

They include those who lead large corporations and run international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the EU. But, tellingly, they also include most of the people running the West’s national official organisations and state institutions. Prominent over the past couple of decades, and even more so since the financial crisis, are the leaders of the supposedly ‘independent’ central banks – it is telling that Greenspan, who believes the world is governed by impersonal market forces, thought it worth more than two decades of his life to lead the US one.

Globalism, in turn, describes the dominant perspective of the postwar Western political and business establishment. We have already touched on its attachment to rules. In fact, the defining globalist ethos can be summed up as a ‘devotion to a world of rules’. Many globalists illustrate their ‘liberal’ credentials much more through their affinity to rules than through actively pursuing liberty and freedom.

John Ikenberry, a globalist political scientist and apologist for US domination, summed this up with his claim that Americans are less interested in ruling the world than in ‘creating a world of rules’ (2). Similarly, in his acclaimed review of the financial crisis, historian Adam Tooze wrote that the crisis had exposed globalisation as resting upon rules. In querying the conventional view of globalisation as a ‘quasi-natural process’, Tooze pointed to the deeper convention of a rules-based regime. Globalisation is really ‘an institution, an artefact of deliberate political and legal construction’ (3).

Of course, devotion to rules does not mean globalist politicians always adhere to them. Globalist governments, especially in powerful countries, have been known to break them with relative equanimity when their national circumstances require it. The US, for instance, regularly violated the rules that it claimed to uphold, as it conducted unauthorised military interventions and covert operations overseas.

And the European Commission treats larger states that break its budget rules much more leniently than other smaller ones. For example, Germany and France, among many other EU countries, have frequently broken the EU’s stability and growth pact rule to limit public deficits to three per cent of GDP without being meaningfully sanctioned.

While formally governing by rules has been the globalist norm since the Second World War, it did not start then. The interwar desire by Britain, France, Germany and other developed countries to return to the prewar gold standard expressed the desire by politicians to be able to follow rules. Although rejoining the gold standard subsequently became regarded as a big mistake, in tune with Keynes’ famous critique, in the immediate postwar years returning was a mostly uncontentious goal. By the end of 1925, 35 currencies worldwide were either officially convertible into gold or had been stabilised for at least a year. The return to the gold standard was seen as pursuing a rule that, in effect, had only been ‘suspended’ because of the emergency contingent circumstances of war.

Re-adoption of the standard was thought to impose some necessary political ‘discipline’ through binding fiscal and monetary policy actions. In this spirit, Montagu Norman, the governor of the Bank of England, saw the return to gold as ‘knaveproof’. A common adherence to the gold standard by developed countries created a de facto international rule.

It is pertinent for an appreciation of the significance of rules today that the essence of the gold-standard rule was a domestic commitment mechanism. Alignment limited discretionary state policies at home. It tied the hands of government, thereby shielding the political class from democratic pressures to abandon ‘hard-money’ deflationary policies. In fact, the breakdown of the gold standard in 1914 has been partly attributed to the rise of democracy, because it was the newly enfranchised masses who suffered the most from the domestic austerity measures taken to maintain adherence to the rule.

In retrospect, it was easier to see that the overvalued return to the gold-standard rule caused much economic and social damage during the interwar period in Britain and elsewhere. And a stubborn adherence to following rules ultimately contributed to the tensions that resulted in the resumption of global conflict in 1939. Nevertheless, this lesson was not learned. In the aftermath of the Second World War bloodbath, efforts were redoubled to try to govern through an organised regime. Now we turn to assess an increasingly forthright feature of the globalist school: its promotion of the rule of law.

The malleable ‘rule of law’

Globalists often define liberalism as supporting the ‘rule of law’. However, the meaning of this term is probably ‘less clear today than ever before’ (4). Moreover, a leader of the critical-legal-studies movement has suggested that, through elevating procedural justice, appealing to the ‘rule of law’ enables the powerful to ‘manipulate its forms to their own advantage’ (5). We should be aware of this suppleness when we hear the term ‘rule of law’ used so often in globalist statements. It is therefore important to assess the phrase within the context in which it is used.

Historically, there is no doubt that the rule of law was a crucial element in the spread of liberty and freedom. This juridical view of freedom was well captured by the eminent interwar Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis. He observed that ‘the history of liberty is to a large extent the history of procedural observances’.

The key feature of the traditional ‘rule of law’ principle was that everyone is equal before the law. Officials as well as ordinary citizens should be subject to its dictates. Nobody – even the richest business person or top politician – should be ‘above the law’. In this application, the rule of law provides a vital guard against the arbitrary exercise of power. In the past it has certainly helped to promote a healthy scepticism towards the rulers by those ruled.

The idea of the rule of law originated in Ancient Athens. Nomos (the primacy of law) took over from physis (nature) as a better way of ordering society. Under Athenian democracy, every citizen, regardless of wealth and power, was equal under the law. Representing the poor of their time, Athenian sailors in the agora argued for the law to protect the masses against the whims of the wealthy and powerful.

With the spread of mass suffrage in the 20th century, the idea of putting constraints on what the rulers could do has turned into putting constraints on what governments accountable to the people could do

The concept of the rule of law was also adopted during the Roman Republic. In the early years of the republic, only the elite of Rome knew what the laws were, which obviously favored the aristocracy. In 450 BC, after about 50 years of the republic, this particular flaw was rectified. Roman laws were written down for the first time as the ‘Twelve Tables’, so that everyone could know the law. Making the laws public gave parity to everyone, enabling the law to treat all people equally.

The rule of law principle was reintroduced in modern times through Britain’s Glorious Revolution of 1688. This removed the ‘divine’ rights of kings and the political privileges of the aristocrats. Instead, political power could only be exercised according to procedures and constraints prescribed by publicly known laws. This rule of law positively required all persons, including governmental officials, to obey the laws and to be held accountable through the courts if they did not. Moreover, the laws could be changed only through constitutional procedures and could not be nullified or overridden by individual fiat.

This approach still provides an important protection against oligarchy and despotism, and allows for the defence of minority rights. However, that liberal essence of the rule of law has been increasingly eroded over the past century, and especially since the 1970s. Instead the ‘rule of law’ and the judicial system have been turned into a vehicle for some very illiberal and undemocratic actions in flouting the wishes of the people.

No doubt many globalists will disagree with this view. However, it is probably less controversial when seen in the context of the colonies or neo-colonies. John Sydenham Furnivall was a British colonial administrator in Burma for 30 years, until the early 1930s, when he left to become a scholar critical of Western imperial policies. Dubbed as a ‘reluctant imperialist’, he challenged the then conventional view that economic development was the precondition for self-government and democracy in colonised territories. He argued the reverse: begin with autonomy, and social and economic development would follow.

Reflecting his pro-democratic perspective, Furnivall argued that the ‘rule of law’ imposed by Western powers on their colonies was mostly designed simply to promote commerce (6). He explained how this version of the ‘rule of law’, far from empowering and uniting people, merely expanded commerce at the expense of the social and political integrity of colonial society. In the aftermath of the Second World War, when genuine Third World autonomy was clearly absent, Furnivall’s claim was hard to dispute.

So the appeal to the ‘rule of law’ should not be regarded as a universal good. It needs to be assessed within its specific social and political circumstances. Consider one definition of liberalism suggested by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama. He said liberalism means having ‘generally accepted rules that put clear limits on the way that the [nation] state can exercise power’ (7). This does not sound objectionable.

However, the emphasis on ‘clear limits’ contains the potential for counterposing the ‘rule of law’ to rule by popular democratic will. Which is what happened with the spread of mass suffrage in the 20th century, when the idea of putting constraints and limits on what the rulers could do has turned into putting constraints and limits on what governments accountable to the people could do. The meaning of the rule of law has shifted, giving it precedence over rule by law – lawmaking that is politically accountable to ordinary people.

In the 1930s, US President Franklin D Roosevelt came up against this potential judicial block to liberal democracy. He and his Democratic Party had been elected in 1932 with a mandate to implement measures to combat the effects of the Great Depression. The Supreme Court, however, ruled against some of the New Deal measures as being ‘unconstitutional’, and only narrowly endorsed others by a five-to-four split decision.

After being re-elected in 1936 with an even larger majority, Roosevelt charged the Supreme Court as having been ‘acting not as a judicial body, but as a policymaking one’. His proposed remedy of replacing Supreme Court justices could not get legislative approval – another part of the American ‘checks and balances’ – but through his electoral mandate he was seen to have won on the principle. The Supreme Court felt compelled to back down and approve his earlier New Deal policies.

The responsibility of governments to act on their electoral mandates is devalued by insisting on their overriding responsibility to the rule of law

Roosevelt’s clash with the courts in the 1930s anticipated the anti-democratic tendencies in the post-1945 evolution of the rule of law. By appealing to the sanctity of the ‘rule of law’, juridified institutions can see themselves as justified in overruling the wishes of the people expressed through popular votes and elections. The responsibility of governments to act on their electoral mandates is devalued by insisting on their overriding responsibility to the rule of law.

Look at this typical formulation from the then United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, who, earlier this millenium, defended ‘a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human-rights norms and standards’. Again, on the surface, this does not sound overtly undemocratic.

The institutions of government should be bound by the rule of law. Governments should not be free to flout laws that apply to others. But another essential democratic principle is that governments should be accountable to their electorate. The laws to be followed should be those that the people agree with. If enough do not vote for them or subsequently disagree with them, they can replace the government and change the laws at the next election.

This relationship is at best blurred, or even subverted, when non-elected UN officials assert that the law they want to be followed by governments has to be in accord with certain ‘international’ standards. When those often vague and imprecise international ‘norms and standards’ are given an effective veto over domestic legislation, people’s decision-making capacities are being overridden in principle, even if not always in practice.

Moreover, this perspective on the rule of law, where government actions need to meet certain internationally set criteria, has already legitimated international intervention in the affairs of sovereign states. Many nations have been invaded because of claims they were in breach of the law, including in recent times Somalia, Serbia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. As the historian Mark Mazower observed, the appeal to law has become a ‘vocabulary of permissions, a means of asserting power and control that normalises the debatable and justifies the exception’ (8).

The increasing use of the rule of law to validate the erosion of national sovereignty is part of the broader reimagining of the postwar international order, insofar as postwar international institutions are increasingly attributed authority over national governments. Their elevation above popular sovereignty endows them with a hallowed and almost enchanted power.

Public responses from many globalists to Trump’s well-known disregard and hostility to these organisations have made such opinions more explicit. A collection of international-relations scholars argued for preserving the existing international order against some of Trump’s anti-globalist outbursts in a statement published in the New York Times (27 July 2018). They claimed that the UN, NATO, the WTO, the EU and other postwar institutions have provided ‘economic stability’ and ‘international security’, and had brought about ‘unprecedented levels of prosperity’ and the ‘longest period in modern history without war between major powers’. Giving so much clout to international institutions turns a wish into a false reality.

We can never know if ‘peace’, in the sense of avoiding war between the major nations since 1945, would have happened without these institutions because there is only one history. However, these institutions ultimately only express the forces and pressures of the nations that make them up. In themselves, the institutions cannot do anything when powerful member states ignore them. The League of Nations, for instance, ‘failed’ to prevent the Second World War, not because of some institutional defect, but because capitalist nations were on a collision course moulded by the economic and geopolitical conflicts of the time. The League of Nations was powerless to prevent these.

Another international-relations expert, Stephen Walt from Harvard, not only declined to sign that New York Times statement, he also challenged its assumptions. He explained that these institutions were set up in a different era from the present. Most, he suggested, were no longer appropriate for today’s world. Walt cautioned that nostalgia for a past that never existed would not help to address contemporary issues. The ‘so-called liberal order’ was not quite the nirvana that people now imagine it was.

Walt showed this was never a fully global order. There was also an ‘awful lot of illiberal behaviour’ going on, even by countries and leaders who constantly proclaimed ‘liberal values’. The US, he reminded his colleagues, has propped up plenty of authoritarian illiberal rulers throughout the Cold War (and has continued to do so since). A more recent disdain for international rules came when the US led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 without UN approval.

White House administrations have not hesitated to break the rules of the liberal order in order to follow their national interests. This is what happened when the US unilaterally dismantled the Bretton Woods currency exchange system in 1971, because it could no longer follow the rules it had earlier approved. Domestic interests simply assumed greater importance for the US than continuing its core commitment to the international monetary system.

Walt went on to point out that some of the institutions being defended today are actually a source of the trouble we face. He gave the example of NATO. Established in a different era to coordinate Western military power during the Cold War, Walt said that, since the end of the Cold War, NATO has turned into a disruptive force. Its pursuit of an ‘open-ended and ill-conceived eastward expansion’ has rekindled international tensions, not assuaged them.

Endowing these institutions with a supreme power is not only misleading – it is also corrosive to democracy. Promoting unelected international institutional authority undermines accountable national authority. Citizens’ diminished role in decision-making is reinforced when we are told that international organisations are the real peacemakers and the true engineers of prosperity. The supposed omnipotence of these bodies gives them an almost holy status. This is why just criticising them can appear sacrilegious to some globalists.

Anti-nation state, but not anti-statist

Globalism is often perceived as a natural corollary to a more globalised economy. It seems likely that the growing interdependence of national economies since the late 19th century was a necessary basis for the emergence of globalism. But it was not a sufficient one. How did its ideas become so powerful?

Returning to Greenspan’s statement from 2007, three points are pertinent. First, it captures the fatalist ethos of globalism: ‘It hardly makes any difference who will be the next president. The world is governed by market forces.’ The implication is that since nation states do not control anything, there is little we can do to influence things by voting. It is the market that determines our circumstances.

Second, the statement is especially significant because of who made it. Until his retirement a few months earlier, Greenspan had been regularly feted as ‘the most powerful man in the world’. He was speaking before the financial crisis hit, when his reputation, and that of central bankers generally, became somewhat tarnished. We have the irony of the former leader of the world’s most powerful central bank highlighting powerlessness in the face of globalisation. That counter-position, between the establishment’s levers of real power and the claim of impotence, is not an incidental paradox of globalism: it is intrinsic to it.

And third, Greenspan’s Central European heritage is not unimportant to the history of globalism, even if, in his case, he is a second-generation exponent.

Greenspan was born in New York in the 1920s, living first in its Washington Heights district. This was known at the time as ‘Frankfurt on the Hudson’, because of its large number of Jewish immigrants from Germany. His parents were actually of Central European descent: his father Romanian, his mother Hungarian. Greenspan’s lineage is relevant because of the important influence of classic neoliberalism on the development of globalist thinking.

Two narratives about globalism can be read into Greenspan’s statement. The standard and most popular narrative is of globalism as the twin of ‘neoliberalism’, expressing the ‘market fundamentalist’ view that state intervention is bad for the economy. The government interferes too much with the self-regulating power of free markets and therefore undermines prosperity. This perspective explains why Greenspan regarded it as ‘fortunate’ that globalisation was rendering national government redundant. We call this the ‘anti-state’ narrative.

What globalists are really hostile to is not the state, but politics

An alternative narrative is actually much more germane: a ‘beyond politics’ narrative – specifically a ‘beyond mass politics’ narrative. Greenspan’s statement incorporates the conventional presumption that the West has reached the ‘end of politics’. This presumes that politics has lost its efficacy in the face of global forces. As a result, making policies, especially economic policies, is now pretty irrelevant if not detrimental, because everything is driven and determined by the impersonal force of globalisation.

The American historian Quinn Slobodian explained this ‘beyond politics’ narrative in his excellent book, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (2018). Slobodian nicely characterised globalism as the belief that ‘politics had moved to the passive tense’. The only actor remaining was the ‘global economy’. This second narrative highlights the centrality and dominance of the contemporary denial of human agency.

The standard anti-state narrative is actually misleading. Globalists are not really against the state. Globalists, within their various national and international institutions, do not go to work in the morning to put their feet up all day and do nothing in their supposed aversion to state activity. What they are really hostile to is not the state, but politics.

Globalists worry about unruly, disruptive and possibly irrational politicians who engage in activities that break from their liberal model. This also means they are suspicious of democracy itself, because they assume the masses are not all as rational and clear-sighted as they are. Instead, ordinary people are susceptible to being swayed, misled or duped into electing ‘unruly, disruptive and possibly irrational politicians’.

Even the openly self-declared neoliberals among the globalists are not against state activism as such. Certainly, they will often denounce planning and the state control of business. But underlying this, they are even more concerned about what they see as the destabilisingimpact of politics. In particular, they criticise what they call ‘discretionary politics’. These are political policies they think interfere with the free operation of spontaneous market forces. Nevertheless, they are quite open to the state that helps fulfill their ideal of a free-from-politics market order.

For instance, Lionel Robbins, one of Britain’s leading neoliberal economists of the 20th century, sympathised with the emphasis on the classical liberal conception of national order based on a strong and energetic state. Increasingly, from the 1930s, he suggested the same principle of a strong, energetic state should also apply on an international scale, in some form of federal authority.

Similarly, the ardent neoliberal Friedrich Hayek, in his 1979 book Law, Legislation and Liberty, explicitly rejected the mischaracterisation that he was an advocate of a ‘minimal state’. He argued that it was ‘unquestionable that in an advanced society government ought to use its power of raising funds by taxation to provide a number of services which for various reasons cannot be provided, or cannot be provided adequately, by the market’. This is hardly a manifesto for small-state globalism.

Coincidentally, Hayek published this denial of being an anti-state purist around the same time that a new British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was telling her cabinet colleagues that Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom should be compulsory reading. Despite her free-market reputation, given the expansion, rather than contraction, of the state during her premiership, the obituary for Thatcher in The Economist (8 April 2013) was appropriate. This mouthpiece of free-market globalism claimed that the essence of Thatcherism was ‘a strong state’ alongside her commitment to a ‘free economy’.

In a Chilean newspaper interview given during General Pinochet’s continuing military dictatorship, Hayek reinforced his perspective:

‘When a government is in a situation of rupture, and there are no recognised rules, rules have to be created in order to say what can be done and what cannot. In such circumstances it is practically inevitable for someone to have almost absolute powers… It may seem a contradiction that it is I of all people who am saying this, I who plead for limiting government’s powers in people’s lives and maintain that many of our problems are due, precisely, to too much government.

‘However, when I refer to this dictatorial power, I am talking of a transitional period, solely. As a means of establishing a stable democracy and liberty, clean of impurities. This is the only way I can justify it – and recommend it.’ (9)

Temporary or not, Hayek is explicit in supporting a strong, even authoritarian state, to set the rules. Neoliberalism’s most famous figure, therefore, was no ‘minimal statist’.

When globalists allude to being anti-state they are really expressing their opposition to the nation state, rather than state intervention per se. Moreover, when they are critical of the nation state, they are not even really against the ‘nation’ as an existing political entity. Rather, they are mostly against the idea of political nationhood and of nationalism.

Most globalists within today’s Western elites feel politically and culturally estranged from their own national institutions. This can make them inconsistent in pursuit of national interests, even doubtful about them. Elites find it easier to get things done through international networks because they are already increasingly detached from the lives and outlooks of the ordinary citizens at home.

Above all, globalists are united by a yearning for a world insulated from popular democracy and accountability

Politicised nations are suspect to them because of their intrinsic association with the ordinary people of that nation. Their underlying concern is how common people, many of whom do not share their advanced thinking, can influence what the state does through the democratic process. And since democracy only exists in the national form, this concern underpins their belittling of the ‘nation state’.

It is therefore a misleading caricature to claim that globalists seek a ‘borderless’ world, or a ‘zero-state’ society. A few do, but what really unites them is a yearning for a world insulated from popular democracy and accountability. States remain important but they are thought to operate best through the actions delegated to expert bureaucrats and regulators, not accountable legislators and politicians.

This is what drives the constitutionalist and legalist impulse within globalism – it seeks to constrain national economic policymaking by rules-based disciplines. The legal regulation of commerce is removed from domestic democratic controls in favour of following rules that limit legislative autonomy. Legalism is a way for politicians to try to absolve themselves of responsibility when things go wrong: ‘We were only following the rules.’

Following rules is a way to avoid having to exercise judgement. In this manner, rules complement the depoliticising implications of globalisation theories. If global forces denude the nation state, adherence to the rules provides a modest fig leaf for practical governing.

In a special report on the changing role of the state in 1997, the World Bank summed up mainstream thinking when it called for both domestic and international restraints on governments (10). The report asserted that it is now ‘generally accepted’ that some areas of public decision-making require ‘insulation from political pressure’. It wasn’t clear by whom this was ‘generally accepted’. No doubt among globalists, rather than among the people who are being insulated against.

In this spirit, the World Bank suggested countries strengthen ‘formal instruments of restraint’ through an effective separation of powers and ‘judicial independence’ (11). It spelt out that in the ‘technical and often sensitive area of economic management’, some protection of decision-making from the pressure of political lobbies was ‘desirable’ (12).

This proposal for shielding economic policymaking from democratic influences expressed not the ‘retreat of the state’, but the aspiration for a more ‘effective’ state through a ‘redefinition of global governance’. For the World Bank ‘reinvigorating public institutions’ means designing effective rules and restraints to check ‘arbitrary’ state actions (13).

‘Reinvigorating’ sounds a positive notion, but it implies restraining the public’s control. The World Bank didn’t hold back from this interpretation in practice. In the early 1980s, it applauded the Pinochet military regime in Chile for its regulatory reforms of the telecommunications industry.

Globalism, then, as an outlook, is informed not by borderlessness, or even anti-statism. Rather, at its rule-bound heart is an aversion to democracy and the national form in which it is exercised.

Phil Mullan’s latest book, Creative Destruction: How to Start an Economic Renaissance, is published by Policy Press.

Phil will be discussing ‘What is neoliberalism?’ at the Leeds Salon on 23 May. Book your tickets here.

(1) Quoted in Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, by Wolfgang Streeck, Verso, 2014, p213

(2) ‘Illusions of Empire: Defining the New American Order’, by John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2004

(3) Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze, Allen Lane, 2018, p575

(4) ‘“The Rule of Law” as a Concept in Constitutional Discourse’, by Richard Fallon, Columbia Law Review, Vol 97, 1997, p97

(5) ‘The Rule of Law: An Unqualified Human Good?’, by Morton Horwitz, Yale Law Journal, vol 86, 1977, pp561, 566

(6) Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India, by John Furnivall, Cambridge University Press, 1948

(7) ‘On Why Liberal Democracy Is In Trouble’, by Francis Fukuyama, National Public Radio, Morning Edition, 4 April 2017

(8) Governing the World: The History of an Idea, Mark Mazower, Penguin, 2013, p 404

(9) ‘Friedrich Hayek: An interview’, El Mercurio, 12 April 1981

(10) World Development Report 1997: The State in a Changing World, World Bank, 1997

(11) Ibid, pp109, 117

(12) Ibid, pp8, 116-17

(13) Ibid, p3

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Posted in Better Government | Comments Off on ‘PC’, Orwellian censorship, official lies, media lies and the perils of modern ‘democracy’

Which ‘New World Order’?

Who is planning a ‘New World Order’ (NWO),  in what form, and what progress so far?  The obvious focus is the rapid advance of ‘globalism’, but there are other more sinister possibilities.

Scan down to read the latest articles.  Links to more articles are at the end of this post.

The Great Fraud of National Zionism

The Great Fraud of National Zionism  By The Saker, 27 March 2019

The Defining Event for the US

There is no doubt that the 9/11 false flag (now even admitted (by direct implication) by NIST!) was a watershed, a seminal event in our history. While millions (or even billions) watched in horror as the twin towers burned, a small group of Mossad agents stood nearby and danced in overwhelming joy. Why exactly were these Israelis dancing? Surely there was more than just Schadenfreude in this spontaneous expression of euphoria? Considering that these three dancing Israelis were just the tip of a much bigger iceberg, we can rest assured that there were many more folks dancing in joy that day, especially in Israel.

Why were these Mossad agents so blissful? The answer is obvious: 9/11 put the following notions front and center of the concerns of most people in the US:

  • We are under attack and in grave, imminent, danger
  • Islam wants to destroy our way of life
  • Those who did 9/11 also want to destroy Israel
  • We need to ask the Israelis to share their “expertise” in dealing with Islamic terrorism
  • Draconian laws and new police powers need to be passed to protect us from mass murder
  • If you are not with us, then you are with the terrorists

Almost a decade before 9/11, in 1992, Francis Fukuyama had explained to us that history itself was coming to an end while Samuel P. Huntington explained to us in 1996 that we were witnessing a “clash of civilizations.” This kind of “scholarly” research created the perfect political background to an already rather disquieting perception of the upcoming Year 2000. In 2001, when all hell broke loose, the general public was already well prepared for it (just like the AngloZionist elites who had already prepared the huge “Patriot Act” long before the Twin Towers came down).

9/11 was as much the culmination of a significant preparatory effort as it was the trigger for a decade or more of wars.

Still, all this immense effort into shaping the West’s perceptions was not good enough to hammer the sufficiently hysterical mindset into most people, in spite of the best efforts of the legacy Ziomedia to explain to us that Bin Laden decided that “we” were next in line for some kind of horrible (possibly nuclear) terrorist attack. Inside the US the constant fear-mongering of the legacy Ziomedia did induce the suitable hysterical panic, while in the rest of the world things were not going quite as well. Especially not in Europe (which was vitally needed as a fig-leaf to pretend like the GWOT was not a US-Israeli thingie, but that there was a large “coalition of the willing” formed of the best and brightest countries out there). Something else, bigger and better, was needed and, sure enough, it was found: a mass exodus of poorly educated immigrants, the vast majority of them from Muslim countries.

While the (totally fictional and therefore totally unsuccessful) GWOT was petering out, the AngloZionists directed their stare at Libya and its leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi had warned that unless Europe was willing to pay Libya to contain the many millions of African refugees, a major catastrophe would happen. He explained that

Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in“, “we don’t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans” and “we don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.

The AngloZionists heard his message loud and clear and proceeded to immediately (and illegally!) overthrow and brutally murder Gaddafi (it is still unclear how many Israelis were dancing the day Col. Gaddafi was murdered). Almost exactly a decade after 9/11 the Zionists finally had their “catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor,” but this time the victim was the entire European continent.

The defining event for Europe

The effect of what can only be called an “invasion” of immigrants was huge, to say the least. Even before this latest invasion began, Europe had already suffered many negative consequences from previous waves of emigres (Romanians, Gypsies, Albanians, Tunisians, Moroccans, Algerians, sub-Saharan Africans, Turks, Tamils, Kurds, Latin-Americans (during the US-sponsored terror years in Latin America), etc. and even before them there were the Spanish, Portuguese and Italians (who, at least, all superbly adapted to their new place of residence). But that new wave was much bigger and much more dangerous than any previous one. A huge, massive, immigration crisis resulted in most European countries.

Can you guess what the Europeans felt? They felt that:

  • We are under attack and in grave, imminent, danger
  • Islam wants to destroy our way of life
  • Those who did Charlie Hebdo and all the other terrorist attacks in Europe also want to destroy Israel
  • We need to ask the Israelis to share their “expertise” in dealing with Islamic terrorism
  • Draconian laws and new police powers need to be passed to protect us from mass murder
  • If you are not with us, then you are with the terrorists

Sounds familiar?

If it does, it is because it is.

In terms of methods and means, 9/11 and the invasion of Europe by hordes of immigrants could not be more different. But in terms of results, they achieved very similar outcomes.

Russians and Muslims, which do you fear most?

The election of Trump was something so totally unexpected by the AngloZionists (and for Trump himself too!) that it caught everybody completely off-guard. In their typically infinite arrogance, the Neocons were darn sure that Hillary would win and they would be left in total control of the US, but the American people decided to show them a big, collective, middle finger and vote for the “unthinkable” and “impossible” candidate. And since the Neocons could hardly blame Trump’s victory on Bin Laden or al-Qaeda, they quickly came up with the “Russian interference” canard which had the added beneficial side-effect that it could justify spending even more money on war against a very real and powerful Russia than on war against a rather nebulous “al-Qaeda”.

The fact that Russia has no reason to attack anybody, least of all the US made no difference here. All that was needed to “prove” (under the “highly likely” “Skripal standard of evidence”) that the Russians are a terrible threat was to come up with the absolutely ridiculous Skripal false flags combined with a few imaginary chemical attacks by “animal Assad.” And, of course, when the US suffered it’s latest military debacle in Syria, the Neocons could also blame it all on Russia. As they say, “one hand washes the other.” Initially, the Russian bogeyman looked even sexier than the Islamist one, but then with Putin and Russia steadfastly refusing to take any of the many baits tossed at them, the “Islamic” threat became sexier again. After all, Russians are (mostly) White and (mostly) Christian, so they are not that scary. But Muslims?!

Ask a typical westerner what he knows about Islam and you will be treated to a long list of evils, some based in reality, others entirely imaginary. Besides, the Muslim world is so big and so diverse, that it is effortless to find horrible things about it, even real ones! The lie here is primarily one of omission. Specifically, two things are never said:

  1. That Takfirism is a minority strain of Islam and long before killing all the “infidels” and “Christians” the Takfiris first want to kill any and all Muslims (the vast majority) who dare to disagree with their interpretation of Islam.
  2. That all the Takfiri terrorist groups are federated, organized, financed, trained and even protected by the AngloZionist Empire (as seen many recent times in Syria when the US protected, transported, treated, resupplied, and even coordinated the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria). That was also true for Chechnia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

This last point is so important that I will repeat it again: to the degree that there is an “Islamic threat” to the West, it is a “threat” fully and totally created and controlled by the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire. You want proof? There are many, but my favorite one is the passports which are found next to the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers or the passport left in the car right before the Charlie Hebdo attack. How nice it is of the “Islamic terrorists” to make darn sure that they are quickly and “convincingly” identified! There is also the “minor” fact that all those “Islamic terrorists” apparently have ties with western security services (heck, some even traveled to Israel!). As for the lifestyle of these “Islamic terrorists”, in each case they are anything but Islamic (which the legacy Ziomedia and various Zionist “experts” always explain as part of a “deceptive tactic” not to be noticed in spite of the fact that every one of those so-called “Islamic terrorist” was, of course, not only “noticed” but even actively “developed” by western security services!).

The real nature of the threat faced by mankind is rather well illustrated by this image which I found somewhere on the Internet. Not convinced? Try this thought experiment. For a few minutes, simply assume that Wahhabism=Imperialism=Zionism and then see if the world we live in makes sense to you. Next, assume that Wahhabism is sui generis, that imperialism is something the pesky Russians are guilty of, and that Zionism is absolutely wonderful. Now see if the world we live in makes sense to you.

Unless you are severely challenged, the correct model is rather obvious, I think.

Of course, like all slogans or conceptual shortcuts, Wahhabism=Imperialism=Zionism grossly simplifies a much more complex reality and takes a few intellectual “shortcuts”. But at its core, it is a crude but fundamentally correct interpretation of the world we live in. The only thing I would add to that list would be an “=terrorism” at the end.

So what about Russia in all this?

Russia is self-evidently the only country on the planet which can turn all of the US into radioactive ashes in just a few hours. But there is much more to Putin’s Russia than just military power. For one thing, what Russia can do to the US, the US can do to Russia. So there is an ugly, but so far stable, balance of terror between the two countries. In economic terms, Russia’s economy (soon to be roughly about the size of Germany’s) is dwarfed by the vast Chinese economy and Russia is not, therefore, a credible economic competitor. Politically, things are a bit more complicated: Russia is popular with many nations worldwide, but a majority of governments will bow to the World Hegemon every time Uncle Shmuel slams his fist on the table, right? Well, not really. The case of the US aggression against Venezuela is compelling as the US failed to get any legitimate regional or global organizations to back the attempt at overthrowing the Venezuelan government. True, this is primarily due to the genuinely fantastic incompetence of the Neocons who in their crazed zeal found nobody better to pick than Elliott Abrams to lead the attack against Venezuela (does that stupid choice also remind you of the time when the Neocons suggested Henry Kissinger as the head of the 9/11 Commission? The Neocons really don’t realize how offensive and even ridiculous they appear in the eyes of the rest of mankind…). Still, it is rather clear that under the Presidency of Donald Trump the US influence and power in the world have declined truly dramatically – so much for making anything at all “great again”. Well, except Trump’s ego, of course, which was already huge even before the election). Now let’s add it all up.

In military terms, while Russia has a much superior conventional capability, in terms of nuclear forces the US and Russia keep each other in check by both having the capability of vaporizing the other side even after riding out a first strike (hence the redundancy of nuclear weapons systems). Here we have a draw.

In economic terms, the US economy dwarfs Russia’s. Advantage US.

In political terms, Trump ain’t too popular (or credible), but neither is Putin (although he, at least, is taken seriously). Another draw, but with another advantage for the US.

So what’s the big deal with Russia? Surely, nobody in the White House seriously believes that the Russians hacked the DNC, that they stole the elections, that they poisoned Skripal or that they plan to invade the Baltics and Poland. That kind of nonsense is just the vulgar “political prolefeed” for those who still pay attention to the legacy Ziomedia.

No, the real threat posed by Russia is a civilizational one.

Putin’s Russia as a civilizational threat

I need to clarify why I speak of “Putin’s Russia.” The reason for that choice of words is that modern Russia is not the Russia of the 1990s or even the Soviet Union. And neither is modern Russia the same Russia as before 1917. Next, I want to stress that Putin’s Russia is a project, a moving target, a partially realized potential – but not yet a stable, finished “product” (in the past I wrote about these issues, here, here and here). Still, we can see a number of very interesting phenomena taking place in Russia.

First, the overwhelming majority of the Russian people reject the Western-style “democracy” and its so-called “values.” After almost two decades of gross violation of every single norm, the West pretended for centuries to stand for the credibility and reputation of itself as a source of moral or political inspiration, and now it has become roadkill. Mind you – the Russians very much want real people power, real “democracy” if you will, just not of the western model. They want their own, uniquely Russian democracy.

Second, Russia is openly and systematically denouncing the absolute hypocrisy of the AngloZionist Empire. The historical speeches of Putin in Munich or at the UN come to mind.

Third, Russia is at least partially a Muslim country too! She does not have a Muslim majority, and Islamic customs and traditions are mostly kept only by a minority of Muslims (just like Christian traditions are held by a majority of nominally “Orthodox” Christians). The point here is this: for Russians, Muslims are not some type of “scary aliens” who will invade your village and destroy your way of life. Historically, Russia has had terrible relations (including 12 wars) with Turkey, and rather bumpy relations with other Muslim countries (I think of Iran here). But Russians have also lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors for centuries, and they are acutely aware of that. Which means that Russians have a much broader spectrum of experiences with Muslims and Islam, some good, some bad and some absolutely horrible. But what Russians know and which makes them so dramatically different from most people in the West is that peaceful cohabitation with traditional Islam is very much possible. It all depends on the specific type of Muslim you are dealing with.

Finally, while Christianity is still struggling in Russia, there is no doubt that most Russians prefer the traditional values found in Christianity to the kind of “everything goes” or, even more so, the “everything has its price” which forms the “spiritual” core of the West’s post-Christian materialistic society. This is why most Russians are clearly “gender-differentiated” – men look and act like men, women look and act like women, and the various LGBTTQQIAAP (add more letters if you are so inclined, that will be more “inclusive”) are told to hold their “pride parades” elsewhere.

These are some (there are many more!) reasons why Russia should not be considered part of Europe, at least not in a civilizational sense of the word. Of course, Russia is partially European geographically, and most Russians look “White” (albeit that whiteness hides a huge genetic diversity). Some particularly ignorant observers believe that Russia is European because Russia is Christian. This completely overlooks the “minor” detail that Latin (and later Reformed) Christianity had lost all connections with the rest of the Christian world during much of the Middle-Ages while the Christian Roman civilization continued to exist far away from barbaric Europe, first in Byzantium and later in Russia and other Orthodox countries.

Besides, the modern West is not Christian at all, not Latin and not Reformed, it is post-Christian and, I would argue, anti-Christian. Thus, even if Russia was a paragon of traditional, Patristic, Christianity – this would in no way affect the dynamics in the West, neither with the various Christian denominations (which, by Patristic standards cannot even be called “Christian” any more) nor with the overwhelming majority of atheist/agnostic materialists who have lost even a vague sense of right/wrong or even true/false.

There are, of course, millions of Russians who lost their original Russian cultural and spiritual roots. A person like that is called a “??????” (vy-rooss) in Russian. Thankfully, many (most?) of them have emigrated (to the West, of course) and they are therefore not very influential nowadays. But we often see their hostile comments under pro-Russian or pro-Putin articles. Many of these folks made good careers in the 1990s and are angry at Putin for terminating that bonanza. Others hate Putin because they were found useless and ditched as soon as the Eltsin gang lost power.

True, the Russian elites (as opposed to the common people) have been profoundly westernized for the last 300+ years. With Putin in power this has dramatically changed. There is still a powerful 5th column in Russia, but the keys to real power are held by Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignist supporters in the armed forces, the security services and, most importantly, in the general public. And so far, they are holding firm, and while there are regular ups and downs, all in all, Russia is doing amazingly well and is headed in the right direction. I would even argue that theirs is the only viable direction!

So why do the western elites hate (and fear) Russia so badly? Let’s look into what kind of values the West truly stands for today.

21st-century western values are not your grandfather values for sure!

Here we need to come back to 9/11 and the invasion of Europe by an immense flow of refugees. These are just two instances in which the people in the West felt directly attacked and whether 9/11 was a false flag or not, or whether the Empire triggered the refugee crisis by militarily attacking the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (that was the official name of Libya) is irrelevant.

What matters is that the people in the West felt attacked by a vicious and most dangerous enemy: Islam.

There were other, no less significant “attacks” on the very core of Western identity. For example, I don’t believe that the term “cultural Marxism” makes any sense at all, but it does describe a real phenomenon. Ditto for the profusion of pushy and even aggressive “minorities” of all kinds who demanded not only equal rights but even special privileges. In the legacy Ziomedia, we saw an apparently never-ending hunting season against Whites, against men, against heterosexuals, against Anglos, and against Christians.

Needless to say, the attack on White Anglo-Saxon Christian heterosexual males was (and still is) relentless. A majority of people in the West were told that they are guilty of this or that historical injustice or crime, that their traditions and beliefs were evil and that they out to be ashamed of their identity on all levels. Of course, there have been many horrible and outright disgusting chapters in the history of the western civilization, but unless you believe in collective and/or inherited guilt, that hardly justifies the kind of hatred and contempt which the (pseudo-) “liberal” elites constantly express against anything traditional.

If the election of Trump was a huge slap in the face of the Neocons, the reaction of the Neocons to this event was a massive slap in the face of the American people. What began with Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” soon turned into a long list of ridiculous accusations (including, my personal favorites: Ron Paul is a “Putin’s best friend,” Rand Paul a “Russian stooge” and Tulsi Gabbard a “Putin puppet“).

Frankly, this kind of constant bashing of everything traditional is nothing else but a type of mental rape of the western cultural identity. A reaction to this kind of onslaught was inevitable. The only question was which form it would take.

Understanding National Zionism – a primer

It took the form of what the French philosopher Alain Soral called “National Zionism.” Here is how Soral explains this ideology:

There is a huge surge of what is called national-Zionism, that is, to bring nationalists to Zionism. For me, this is a fundamental contradiction in this amalgam of Muslims equal to Daesh, basically in France in Muslim equal to scum equal to Daesh equal to Palestinians and therefore the good Frenchman if he wants to get out of the shit in which these people have put him, must support Israel and not take offense and accept the disproportionate power that the Jewish community embodied by the CRIF has over France and that is the supreme scam. This is politically unacceptable, morally unacceptable, strategically stupid. This is what I call national-Zionism and this is the fundamental struggle today. We must refuse this scam, refuse the nationalism in Kippa. And that’s not for that, all of a sudden, we would become pro-Muslim to come back to your question.

We must treat the issue of the world seriously, that is to say that immigration is very, very problematic today and the Muslim issue is a follow-up to the immigration issue. (…) They do absolutely nothing against immigration. This is a certainty, so if we want to be against the Islamization of France, we must take the problem at the right end, that is, resolve the migration issue. To resolve the migration issue, we must regain political power over those who have the power and who have brought us to this point today and who have fought with all their strength, with all their strength, against our borders, against identity.

I would remind you that the last cover of Elisabeth Lévy’s magazine, Causeur, the title, is “anti-French ideology” which would also be favourable to Islam or Muslims. I would remind you that this is the opposite of the title of Bernard Henri Lévy’s book. So we have a Lévy that responds to a Lévy whose book was “The French ideology” which was at the time to say that French was intrinsically fascist and anti-Semitic.

So in 20 years, we have gone from the problem being Catholic French, French and today, no, finally the problem is Muslim immigrants. But those who declared war on the native French in the 70s and 80s are the same today who tell us, let us be friends to fire those who were put in your face and educated against you. Because that’s what national-Zionism is all about, making friends with the people who are the cause of all our problems and who for 2500 years have been systematic and fierce anti-nationalists except for their own nation called Israel. So that’s clear.

Another French author, Youssef Hindi, explained the role of the US in this new ideological paradigm:

We see the return of the idea of “nation.” The EU is in a state of crisis. A part of the American Establishment, particularly Donald Trump, is trying to implement the implosion of the European Union. We are witnessing a resurgence of nationalism: like in the US, Russia, GB and also in Italy. It is falling apart on all sides. Thus, the strategy is as follows: to always stay a step ahead, assert control over this new European patriotism and nationalism. Therefore, from the Right Jews elites’ perspective, it is absolutely essential to retain control over this European patriotism and nationalism by amalgamating it with the state of Israel.

I never believed that the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire were very intelligent, that is a Hollywood myth, but they indeed are clever, and when they realized that a nationalistic blowback was inevitable, they decided to simply take control of it. This is the brilliant simplicity of the logic of National Zionism. It goes something like this:

I, we, my family and my country are all under attack by rabid religious fanatics who will never cease until they kill all those who don’t agree with them and destroy our way of life. In this struggle for our very survival, we need to turn to those who fought that enemy for decades and who have developed the most sophisticated anti-terrorist methods and means: the Israelis.

Furthermore, Israel is like a small island of European democracy in an ocean of violent and chaotic brutality. Heck, Israel is part of Europe, really, it even participates in the Eurovision! Unlike us, the Israelis are proud, and they don’t hesitate to defend their culture, religion, and values, why don’t we do the same? They even have the right to bear arms! Jews are White, like us, and we share a common Judeo-Christian heritage which places a duty upon us all to support Israel, especially against the Iranian Mollahs who have publicly sworn to kill all Jews and wipe Israel off the map. Last but not least, Islam is a threat to our civilization and Muslim immigrants must be either re-educated to fit into our society or sent back home. Those who disagree with any of the above are either anti-Semites, Putin agents, Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists, terrorist sympathizers or terrorists themselves.

Let’s take a few well-known US public figures associated with conservatism or the Alt-Right: Alex Jones, Paul James Watson, Jordan Peterson, Steve Bannon or even Donald Trump himself. Have you ever heard these “defenders” of western tradition or “Christian values” have anything critical to say about Israel, Israeli policies or Zionism? The exact same phenomenon can be observed in France where putatively “conservative,” and “patriotic” folks such as Eric Zemmour or Marine Le Pen are using the frustration of the French people with the regime in power to channel that frustration into a hatred of Islam and everything Muslim. These folks are also the promoters of what has become known as “Christian Zionism” which worships everything Jewish and/or Israeli and which believes that Christians and Jews have “almost” the same religion. Let’s take Steve Bannon as an example.

Here is an article entitled “Steve Bannon drafting curriculum for right-wing Catholic institute in Italy” which sure makes Bannon look like some kind of very conservative and traditionalist Christian. The same article also mentions Cardinal Raymond Burke, as “a leading Vatican conservative”. According to Cardinal Burke, this institute’s missions is “to promote a number of projects that should make a decisive contribution to the defense of what used to be called Christendom”. This “right-wing Catholic institute” is run by a Christian Zionist, Benjamin Harnwellwho declared that the younger generation across the Western world was on a “long slide” into darkness. His Institute is working to resist by “trying to prop up one of the major pillars of Western civilization – what used to be called ‘Christendom’ – and that’s the recognition that man is made in the image and likeness of God.” So far, this also looks very nice.

The problem is that Bannon, Burke, and Harnwell have all sold out to Israeli interests and the ideology which they are promoting is not traditional Christianity at all, but this nonsensical and amorphous idea of “Judeo-Christianity.” This is why the Latin website “Media Catholiques Infos” correctly concludes by saying “Such a high place of Christianity deserves better than to serve as a springboard for National Zionism under the guise of an “academy for the defense of the Judaeo-Christian West.”

The sad truth is that these pretend-traditionalists have all been co-opted by the Israel lobby and that they are being used to brainwash the folks in the West to see Islam as a foe when, in reality, the real foe of the West is Zionism as Zionism is the force which is responsible for both 9/11 and the massive flow of immigrants into Europe. As for the Papacy, it has been in bed with Talmudic and Kabbalistic rabbis for many centuries (just read Michael Hoffman’s superb book, the 700 pages long “The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome”) and not just since Vatican II (as some Latins naively believe!). It is therefore not surprising that Bannon says about “Catholic” universities that they are “the foundational institutions of the Judeo-Christian West.”

France does not have the equivalent of a Steve Bannon. But it does have a functional equivalent in the person of Renaud Camus whose very politically-correct biography you can read on Wikipedia. Even a cursory read-through that entry will immediately reveal the profoundly Zionist worldview of Camus which can be further established, if needed, by reading about Camus’ “Great Replacement” theory; you might also want to compare this to the “Eurabia” theory of the Israeli author Bat Ye’or (aka Gisele Littman).

All this paranoid and racist nonsense can be summed up in a short sentence: led by Zionists the White Christian West will rise again!

If it weren’t so ugly and tragic, it would actually be funny (especially to see the Latins and the Talmudists in bed with each other after centuries of mutual hatred). But in reality, there is nothing funny about the colonization of the western minds by the Zionist parasite. It might even end up with a nuclear war.

The US Alt-Right and the French National Front as the useful idiots of AIPAC and CRIF

I am personally convinced that the entire Alt-Right movement has been created by the US deep state and that it is still run by it. The purpose of the Alt-Right and the National Front is to offer a nationalistic and pseudo-Christian alternative to any kind of real traditionalism or any kind of real Christianity. On the rank and file level you will find a lot of anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist and even anti-Jewish sentiments amongst Alt-Righters and National Fronters, but on the leadership level, it is wall to wall Zionist. To get a feel for this Zionist (pseudo-)patriotism just take a look at these propaganda images:

A sample of Zio-patriotic propaganda

By taking control of the key nationalist movements in the West the Zionists have given themselves a “dream opposition”: that is an opposition which they fully control; which they can poke a little from time to time when there is the need for some kind of anti-Semitic incident; but which they can also mobilize against anybody daring to oppose Israel or Zionism.

In this context Russia becomes the ultimate threat for very good reasons:

First, Russia is completely rejecting the unipolar world model and, together with China, Russia wants a multi-polar world in which relations between states are ruled by international law.

Second, Russia cannot be militarily threatened and neither can China, by the way. The RAND Corporation finally admitted that much.

Third, thanks to the various sanctions against Russia, Russia is gradually withdrawing from the AngloZionist controlled markets. You could say that the main effect of all the sanctions has been to make Russia stronger, more independent and closer to the goal of full sovereignty.

Fourth, Russia is not only openly rejecting the AngloZionist civilizational model, but she also denounces its absolute hypocrisy. In particular, the Russian people are rejecting the West’s materialism, in particular in its turbo-capitalist variant. While not officially endorsing socialism as such, Russia does declare herself a “social state.”

Fifth, Russia is taking the polar opposite approach to Islam, to what we see in the West. Unlike the Empire, Russia is serious about killing as many Takfiris as possible no matter where they are. But, unlike the Empire again, Russia sees traditional Islam as a vital ally against the Takfiri rot and Russians don’t think of Muslims as “aliens” at all.

Last but not least, Putin’s Russia has made patriotism (i.e., love for one’s country) a central element of the social and political culture while categorically rejecting any form of nationalism or, even more so, racism. “White Pride” is about as popular in Russia as “Gay Pride” would be.

You could say that the gradually emerging new Russian ideology is the polar opposite of National Zionism. No wonder the Neocons hate Russia so much!

Conclusion: National Zionism is a gigantic fraud

There is no other way of putting this: National Zionism is a gigantic fraud. It is also the rising political ideology of the West, and that presents a major risk for our entire planet. I often hear naive folks saying “what is your problem with Zionism?! all it wants is a safe homeland for Jews too! What is wrong with that?!“.

I addressed this issue in some detail here, so I will simply say here that Zionism, whether of the national or the anti-national type, separates mankind into two qualitatively different categories: Jews and non-Jews (ironically, it shares this fundamental belief with National-Socialism. It’s just that the hierarchical scale is reversed, that’s all).

Next, it assumes that all non-Jews are at the very least potential“anti-Semites” and thus Jews need to do two things to remain safe. First, create a Jewish homeland and, second, secure enough Jewish power in literally all the countries on the planet to be ready should the goyim (literally “nations” but in the Talmudic context it carries exactly the same meaning as the German Untermensch: subhuman) come down with unpredictable (by definition) and unexplainable (by definition) cases of “anti-Semitism”. In contrast, Jewish lives and, especially, Jewish blood acquire a profound soteriological meaning: Jewish life is infinitely precious because 1) Jews will “repair” the world (tikkun olam) and 2) because the Moshiachwill be born from a Jew and become a world leader accepted by all nations.

A (somewhat secularized) variation of this philosophy is that all Jews form a “collective Moshiach” and that all the “nations” will accept their power and rule with gratitude as this will usher the final and everlasting era of milk and honey. Finally, Talmudic/Pharisaic “Judaism” teaches that Jews “represent” mankind before God and God before mankind (yeah, modesty if not their forte). Next time you hear some Israeli politician going bonkers about spilled “Jewish blood” just remember this info, and it will all make sense. Ditto for when some other (or even the same) Israeli politician demands some gruesome revenge, terrible retribution or promises to kill some huge number of enemies. This kind of “Purim talk” only makes sense once you realize how deep and fundamental Talmudic/Zionist racism really is.

So what constitutes “enough power”? Simple: once the people of a country lose control of their government and the sovereignty of their country is gone, then the Zionists will feel they are safe. This theory is 1) racist 2) paranoid 3) sociopathic and, frankly, just plain silly. But this is what the Talmudic worldview produces in a secularized society. A critical assumption of this worldview is that any form of nationalism or even patriotism is dangerous (by definition) unless it is Jewish or Israeli, at which point it is laudable and benevolent (again, by definition). Thus, besides being many other things, Zionism is also a theory of power based on a zero-sum game. Of course “zero-sum” might sound benign until you remember that it implies a total struggle to the end, a total, absolute defeat of the other, a destruction of all your enemies. Not something helpful in a multi-polar world with lots of nuclear weapons.

National Zionism is a fraud and an extremely toxic and dangerous one. Any supposed patriot or nationalist who fails to recognize that, is at best poorly informed and, at worst, a useful idiot for the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire.

The Yellow Vests in France got it. Occupy Wall Street, or the Tea Party did not. I suspect that many Trump voters also got it, but they were betrayed by Mr. MAGA. Will Rand and/or Ron Paul recognize this danger? What about Tulsi Gabbard? Frankly, I don’t know. But if they don’t, other Americans eventually and inevitably will.

We might even see a US version of Yellow Vests one day, who knows?

PS: for the latest National-Zionist induced stupidity, see here: https://www.rt.com/news/454428-us-israel-golan-recognize/

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Globalists Want Venezuela As The Next Jewel In Their Crown

Globalists Want Venezuela As The Next Jewel In Their CrownBy Richard Enos, Collective Evolution, 31 January 2019

 The Facts:

Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled national assembly, recently declared himself president of Venezuela, as part of a globalist-backed coup in attempt to overthrow recently inaugurated president Nicolas Maduro.

  • Reflect On:

What are the ways in which we are continuing to condone these geopolitical activities? Are we having trouble separating Western propaganda from our basic human values?

The attempted coup taking place in Venezuela right now is very instructive for those seeking to better understand the current geopolitical power struggle, as it is one of the most transparent illustrations of the well-worn tactics employed by the forces behind Western hegemony.

Ideologies such as ‘socialism,’ ‘economic growth’ and ‘democracy’ continue to be bandied about in mainstream discourse with the highest degree of distortion. This is often intentional in order to justify political and military action that simply enriches the global elite at the expense of humanity at large. The problem is that much of the general public in the West continue to support these tactics by failing to see the thinly-veiled hypocrisy inherent in them.

What Is Happening In Venezuela

Venezuela under Hugo Chavez (1999-2012) was a thorn in the side of Western globalists, as Chavez became one of the greatest and most vocal critics of Western exploitation of his time. He named Nicolas Maduro as his successor in 2012. Maduro has been in power ever since, winning elections in 2013 and 2018.

While Maduro amassed over two-thirds (67.8%) of the popular vote in 2018, his inauguration a few weeks ago was soon followed by statements from the European Union and others that they did not accept Maduro as the legitimate president based on election ‘irregularities.’

In a move that seems impossible to justify on constitutional grounds,  Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled national assembly, recently declared himself president of Venezuela, despite the fact that he did not even run in the presidential election. His actions are described in this Guardian article:

The young politician stood before thousands of protesters in Caracas and swore himself in as interim president – a move that was immediately greeted by the US and Canadian governments. Guaidó first signalled that he was willing to mount a serious challenge to the country’s president in early January when Nicolás Maduro began his second term of office following elections last summer that were widely denounced as fraudulent.

The inauguration was met with a chorus of international disapproval, and Guaidó, just six days into his post, told the world he was ready to assume the presidency until free and fair elections could be held – provided he had the vital support of the military.

Battle Lines Drawn

The parameters of this battle are easily delineated. Those nations under the control of globalists–and we must include the United States in this until proven otherwise–are offering their support to Guaidó. This is simply because support for Guaidó is support for the Globalist agenda, which in this case is bringing Venezuela’s vast resources, including the largest proven oil reserves in the world, under the control of Globalist oligarchs.

The statement of support for Guaidó on the part of the European Union that the voice of the people ‘cannot be ignored’ is particularly hypocritical. If the EU really believed this, why are they offering no support to the majority in France who passionately want Emmanuel Macron removed from power? Simply because this unelected, bureaucratic body advances their Globalist agenda over the welfare of the people every time. Emmanuel Macron is a Globalist, so they will defend his constitutional right to stay in power with extreme prejudice. Nicolás Maduro is not a Globalist, so they will have absolutely no consideration for his constitutional right to stay in power.

Meanwhile, it is those few nations who have resisted globalism that unsurprisingly support the autonomy of Venezuela and hence the constitutional right of Maduro to retain power:

MPs in Russia, a major Venezuelan ally, criticised US moves against Maduro. “The United States is trying to carry out an operation to organise the next ‘colour revolution’ in Venezuela,” Andrei Klimov, the deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the upper house of parliament, said, using a term for the popular uprisings that unseated leaders in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Another committee member, Vladimir Dzhabrailov, said: “I do not think that we can recognise this – it is, in essence, a coup.”

Turkey and Cuba and Bolivia’s Evo Morales have also offered their support for Maduro. (source)

Anyone who has heard Russian President Vladimir Putin speak about geopolitics is familiar with his opposition to globalism in favor of a ‘multipolar’ global power structure, in which autonomous nations have their say and international matters are dealt with through consensus and agreements. I am not suggesting that Putin or Russia are without fault. What should be clear, though, is why nations in favor of (or at least under the control of) Western hegemony make a habit of demonizing Putin and Russia’s activities in the world. It is because Russia currently stands as the biggest obstacle to the Globalists’ dream of a one-world government.

Nicolás Maduro Is No Saint

Supporting Nicolás Maduro’s constitutional right to serve out his term is not necessarily an endorsement of the man himself, his failed policies, or his allegedly unlawful suppression of dissent. But like Hugo Chavez before him, who espoused a form of socialism in an attempt to address the ills of poverty and economic disparity in his country, we could at least hold out hope that he is a leader with some regard for the welfare of his people.

Perhaps the same could be said about Juan Guaidó. But I want to be clear, this is not a question of which of these two men cares more about their people. This is a question of which one was elected into power, and which one is favored by the globalists. The main push behind this Western-backed attempted coup is the exploitation of a nation, which includes the enslavement of its people.

Yes, Venezuela is currently suffering economic hardship right now, and some blame has to be put on the government. But we should not forget the impact of sanctions from the Western world, who do everything in their power to bring about economic hardship to countries that are not aligned with imperialistic policies. The Globalists don’t want to support oil-rich nations benefiting economically from the oil industry unless they get the lion’s share. Sanctions are usually coupled with the CIA’s clandestine ‘opposition-building’ that they have been perfecting since the Iranian coup-d’état of 1953. This involves organizing and funding supposedly ‘grass-roots’ opposition to stir up the perception that the majority of the country are seeking regime change. This is all done in order to create the desired conditions to allow them to ‘save the day’ with the installation of a hand-picked puppet who is willing to go along with globalist exploitation.

Whether or not the coup attempt is successful here is partly contingent on which leader has the support of the military. But, believe it or not, each of us in the Western world has an impact on this as well.

How We Continue To Enable Western Imperialism

By and large, the Western public continues to turn a blind eye to the attempts on the part of Western powers to use strong-arm tactics to ‘persuade’ countries like Venezuela to fall in line with the way the globalists want their country to operate. Why? Because many of us still believe that our political and economic systems are the best and are more than willing to disregard the notion that other nations are sovereign if we can be convinced that forcing other nations to do things the way we do them will ultimately benefit us.

Ending this kind of behaviour is not founded in defeating the globalists, but rather in gaining enough awareness as a collective to reject the pro-Western propaganda we are being fed. This falls in line with the message of John Perkins, author of the classic ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.’ Aside from providing detailed evidence and insight into Western imperialism from his first-hand involvement in it, he takes great pains to explain why it continues to be condoned as a political and economic strategy:

“It is driven not by a small band of men but by a concept that has become accepted as gospel: the idea that all economic growth benefits humankind and that the greater the growth, the more widespread the benefits. This belief also has a corollary: that those people who excel at stoking the fires of economic growth should be exalted and rewarded, while those born at the fringes are available for exploitation.”

The Takeaway

Our Western Powers, as invincible as they may seem, can only continue to perpetrate economic and political intimidation of sovereign nations as long as the majority of people in the West either approve of it or turn a blind eye to it. If indeed we want to create a world in which there is fairness, respect, freedom, and many of the other things that we value, then we have to look upon world events with a discerning mind, seeing through the propaganda enough to become fully aware of when the basic human values that we espouse are not being maintained.

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The Corrupted United Nations

The Corrupted United Nations  By Maurice Newman, 26 October 2018

If the leaders of some nation states were citizens living in a civilised society, they would be in jail for perpetrating, or being accessories to, murder, torture, theft and corruption.

Yet they and their chosen representatives shamelessly take their place in the hallowed chamber of the UN General Assembly as arbiters of how the rest of the world should behave.

Take the Human Rights Council, which counts among its members the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Joseph Kabila’s unconstitutional rule features massacres and gender-based violence among a long list of atrocities; and Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro strangles political opposition by carrying out hundreds of arbitrary killings under the guise of fighting crime.

There’s The Philippines, whose President Rodrigo Duterte condones policies that result in extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers; and Cuba, where President ­Miguel Diaz-Canel, in true Castro style, allows beatings, public shaming and termination of employment to quell political ­opposition. China’s President-for-life Xi Jinping oversees the holding of about a million Muslim ­Uighurs, including women and children, in re-education camps.

Yet this year Australia celebrated its membership of the UNHRC, while the US commendably withdrew, saying the council “has provided cover, not condemnation, for the world’s most inhumane regimes”.

Australia is also a member of the Economic and Social Council which, “to find effective approaches to ending poverty”, believes “those experiencing it must have a seat at the table’’. And so they do. The leaders of Algeria, Chad, El Salvador, South Africa, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela, to name a few, all believe in wealth redistribution. They practise authoritarian central planning and asset confiscation.

Not too many champions of competition and market economics there. Australia acts as a good global citizen, lending support for “collective action” that rewards bad behaviour.

Unsurprisingly, the UN’s Ecosoc readily accepts that “climate change and environmental crises are the result of vastly unequal levels of development in the last few centuries. The countries which are now rich became so by ignoring the consequences for the environment which now threaten the entire planet.” Ecosec reminds us of Agenda 21, put to the UN’s 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, which recognises that the burden of climate change (whatever that may be) “falls most heavily on poor countries”.

Masterminded by Canadian socialist/Marxist and multimillionaire Maurice Strong and held under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Rio summit was the largest political gathering in history. Strong believed the UN should become a world government with “environmentalism” the key driver. He believed: “The concept of national sovereignty … will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental co-operation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful.”

Journalist and long-time UN expert Claudia Rosett observes Strong understood how the “UN’s bureaucratic culture of secrecy, its diplomatic immunities, and its global reach, lends itself to manipulation by a small circle of those who best know its back corridors”.

Strong exploited this culture to ensure climate change became so embedded in global politics that few Western politicians would have the courage to challenge it, no matter how exaggerated its claims, or the financial cost. And so it has proved. His successor and fellow Marxist, Christiana Figueres, led the Paris climate conference that captured Australia.

Enter US President Donald J. Trump. In his second address to the UN General Assembly in September, Trump said: “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism.”

He said the UN Human Rights Council had become a “grave embarrassment” and that countries admitted to the WTO “violate every single principle on which the organisation is based”. He said: “We will not allow our workers to be victimised, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred.” He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, calling it a “massive redistribution of United States’ wealth to other countries”.

In the 26 years since the Rio summit, no world leader has posed such a comprehensive threat to UN hegemony. Not only does Trump reflect disillusionment with globalism at home, he also taps into growing disenchantment with supranational governments in many places around the world, particularly in Europe.

Brexit was the first example. Italy’s defiance in the face of Europe’s rejection of its draft budget is the latest. While acknowledging Italy violates EU rules, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio says: “This is the first Italian budget that the EU doesn’t like. I am not surprised. This is the first Italian budget that was written in Rome and not in Brussels.” A recent poll in Poland found a third of the country now backs an EU exit.

It is clear serious cracks in the relationship between the people and governing bodies like the UN and the EU are emerging. People may not fully understand the way remote, supranational governments work, but they can recognise authority which is harmful and lacking in integrity.

Australians are at that point, sick of being lectured to by UN “special rapporteurs”. They are crying out for leaders to stare down faceless bureaucrats in ­Geneva. They are angry at meaningless gestures and slavish obedience to pointless emissions targets that are crippling our industry and causing personal hardships.

The latest Australian Institute of Company Directors survey confirms the desperation corporate leaders feel over the government’s inept response to climate change, the No 1 issue they want addressed.

The UN and agencies like the IMF have been exposed as hypocritical emperors without clothes. If this is a preview of world government, we face a grim future.

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British ‘democracy’ in action

What will Brexit mean, both short and long-term?  Could it lead to more countries’ rank and file voters deciding to take back control from the elitists who denigrate the hoi polloi?  Or will the elitist establishment continue trampling on democracy?

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Forget ‘Project Fear’, This Is What A “Hard Brexit” Could Mean For The UK

Forget Project Fear, This Is What A Hard Brexit Could Mean For The UK  By Patrick Barron, via The Mises Institute, Zerohedge, 22 March 2019

When Britons voted on June 23, 2016 on whether or not to leave the EU there was no discussion of a “hard or soft Brexit”. These terms were invented after Brexit passed by a surprisingly large margin and the mostly anti-Brexit Tory Party government, especially its leadership, decided that it needed to negotiate the terms of leaving. Brexit supporters regard such terms as betraying the 2016 Brexit referendum itself. These 17.4 million Britons undoubtedly believed that Brexit would mean exactly that: Britain would no longer be governed by any EU laws, regulations, etc. Nevertheless, all that the world has heard since that day in June 2016 is a debate over the terms of leaving, with any so-called terms being labeled as a “soft Brexit” and leaving without any agreement as a “hard Brexit”.

In a “hard Brexit,” Britain just leaves and all EU regulations, etc. are null and void. It’s pretty clear cut. A “soft Brexit” can mean almost anything that is not a “hard Brexit”; i.e., Britain would agree to continue some or all of the manufacturing regulations, tariffs, and intergovernmental agreements — such as ceding jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice — that apply to EU countries. The list is almost endless and the time frame very nebulous, a perfect playground for those who wish to have a Brexit In Name Only. If there is to be Brexit of any sort, however, Parliament must act. Experts in British constitutional law claim that only Parliament can actually take Britain out of the EU and only Parliament can decide under what terms, if any, it will do so. Of course, one of the terms of separation could be that there are no terms of separation — thus, a “hard Brexit.”

The Effect on Imports

The current government has been exploring the possibility of dropping all import tariffs to zero except on “sensitive industries”. This would be very good for consumers, because the EU imposes tariffs on almost all imports from nations not in the EU itself. Most notably in its attempt to insulate inefficient European farms from worldwide competition, the EU imposes onerous tariffs on non-EU agricultural products via the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Eliminating these and many other tariffs would significantly lower the cost of living for the British people. The success of Brexit may depend entirely on whether Britain does in fact eliminate tariffs on most goods. It is a golden opportunity. The EU itself is very export oriented, so it is unlikely that it would impose any restrictions on member countries selling goods to Britain. So far so good!

The Effect on British Exports

Exports are another matter entirely. No longer in the tariff free customs union, it is assumed that the EU would impose tariffs on British products as it does on any other non-EU country, raising their cost to EU buyers, which one must assume would result in fewer British sales. The real harm would not fall on British exporters but on Britain’s EU customers, who now are forcibly prohibited from buying British goods at the previously advantageous price. On the other hand since it no longer must meet onerous EU manufacturing regulations, British industry might enjoy lower manufacturing costs which would enable it to sell more to non-EU countries. Although it might take time for Britain to develop new markets for its goods, some countries, led by the U.S. itself, have stated that they are ready to sign free trade agreements with Britain as soon as it leaves the EU.

The Effect on the City of London

The City of London is a massive global hub. Its banking and insurance companies are dominant in the EU and likely to remain so for reasons of depth of market knowledge and a high reputation for honesty and fair dealing. Although some companies have moved some operations to Frankfurt, it is unclear if these moves are significant in number and may be simply part of normal market flux. The same fears about the fate of the City were raised when Britain secured an opt-out from the 1992 Maastricht Treaty which formally created the euro. Unless the EU imposes some special tax or regulation prohibiting EU members from utilizing London firms, it is unlikely that the City will be much affected by a “hard Brexit”.

The Effect on Controlling borders

Uncontrolled illegal Immigration into the EU became a key issue for passing the Brexit referendum. There had been much concern for decades over loss of British sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and the economic cost of belonging to a closed customs union with high tariffs and onerous regulations, but the movement to leave came to a head over border controls or lack thereof. One of the four pillars of the EU is freedom of movement of people within the EU. (The other three were freedom of movement for goods, services, and capital.) Illegal immigration came to a head following the crisis of refugees from the Arab world. Once inside the EU, these refugees could migrate anywhere within the bloc, including Britain, raising the cost of providing social services and disrupting settled life. Britain was not the only EU country that opposed this unforeseen migration. In fact immigration control may yet break apart the EU, as the elite in Brussels insist that every EU country not only accept a dictated number of refugees but also that every country then allow refugees to migrate freely within the EU. A “hard Brexit” would remove the requirement that Britain accept more refugees than it believes it can assimilate. Uncontrolled border crossings would end as modest checkpoints are reinstated.

A separate border issue pertains to the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland over goods. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and there has been much concern over continuing the free flow of goods into and out of the Republic of Ireland. This seems to be much ado about little. Most probably goods to and from the Republic of Ireland would be subject to random checks with very little hindrance on trade. The EU has lobbied for an “Irish backstop”, whereby Northern Ireland would remain in the EU for some period of time. Naturally this has incensed loyal British subjects, especially in Northern Ireland, and has almost no chance of being part of a “soft Brexit” deal.

A Positive Conclusion

In conclusion the effect of a “hard Brexit” on Britain itself should be overwhelmingly positive, especially if Britain does in fact remove all tariffs and conclude free trade pacts with the rest of the world fairly quickly. Naturally my advice to Britain is to unilaterally remove all tariffs on all goods, including “sensitive industries.” Free trade deals then become irrelevant. Britain could lead the way in showing the world the benefits of unilateral free trade, just as it did in the nineteenth century with the abolition of the Corn Laws. Perhaps this outcome is what the EU fears the most, because it would call into question the benefit of belonging to a closed customs union and would spell the end of the EU itself.

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The fight for Brexit is only just beginning

The fight for Brexit is only just beginning  By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online, 16 March 2019

Brexiteers, buckle in – our battle to defend democratic rights is about to heat up.

To see how serious the political elite’s war on Brexit has become, consider this: Tony Blair has been having secret talks with French president Emmanuel Macron on how to prevent Brexit from becoming a reality. Apparently, Blair has told Macron to ‘stand [his] ground’ against any kind of so-called Hard Brexit and to use his clout, and the EU’s clout, to pressure Britain to stay in the Customs Union and maybe even to hold a second referendum. To put this in plain, blunt English: a former British prime minister is conspiring with a foreign power to try to subvert the will of the British people.

In normal times, this would be a scandal of epic, epoch-defining proportions. There might have been riots, certainly protests. Blair would have been publicly shamed, possibly exiled. His name would live in infamy. But we don’t live in normal times. We live in an era in which most of the political class has ditched even the pretence of feeling a strong attachment to democracy. An era in reactionary anti-democratic sentiment is more casually expressed than at any other time in living memory. An era in which the chattering classes nonchalantly call for the overthrow of the largest vote in British history (the vote for Brexit), in which parliamentarians explicitly pit themselves against the people’s will, and in which anyone who so much as raises a peep about any aspect of this polite tyranny will be slammed as a hard-right menace to public life.

And so there is no widespread outrage over the fact that a former British PM is meeting with a tinpot Jupiterian who has subjected his own people to months of extreme violence. No frontpage denunciations of this Brit who has sided with the most violently repressive leader in Europe to try to ensure that the largest number of voters in British history don’t get what they want. Indeed, I bet that if anyone were to suggest that Blair is a traitor, they would be railed against. And yet, look up the word traitor in the dictionary. ‘A person who stops being loyal to their own country.’ What more apt description is there of a powerful Briton who is working with a foreign power to thwart the British people’s political desires? ‘How DARE you call us traitors?!’ – Remainer elitists do protest too much.

The Blair / Macron love-in is in some ways a better snapshot of where Britain is at right now than what will happen in parliament this week. For it reveals a bigger, more important truth than the parliamentary tussles over customs unions and delays to Article 50 do. It confirms that the crisis facing Britain right now is not a technical one of how to leave the EU and whether leaving the EU will cause economic difficulty. Rather, it is a crisis of democracy. It is a situation in which the very democratic premise upon which modern Britain has been built – at least since 1928, when all adults, including women under 30, got the right to vote – is being called into question. The scrapping over ‘how’ we Brexit disguises the far more profound question that has been thrown up by the British masses’ disobedient vote to Leave in June 2016. Which is this – do the people rule or do they not?

Of course, MPs should vote down May’s proposed deal. The supposedly Brexiteer Tories and the ostensibly Brexiteer right-wing press who have fallen into line behind May’s deal in recent weeks are behaving terribly. They know, in their heart of hearts, that May’s deal is ‘BRINO’ – Brexit In Name Only. In fact, her deal, as it stands, would be worse than the status quo. In potentially keeping us entangled in EU arrangements, while restricting our ability unilaterally to leave these arrangements, it would do the opposite of the thing that 17.4million of us voted for – it would reduce Britain to vassal-like status, where what the people demanded in the referendum was that we ‘take back control’. Control over our trade, our borders, our laws, our destiny. May is offering us non-control. She deserves humiliation in the Commons today.

The problem for us Brexiteers, however – and for anybody who believes in democracy, Brexiteer or Remainer – is that most of the parliamentarians lined up against May’s deal are not driven by an urge to protect the democratic will to take back control. On the contrary, their motivation is to find other, potentially more successful ways to suffocate Brexit. Some want to extend the Article 50 process, creating the conditions for the constant delay of the democratic will. Others want to force us to vote again. Including the Labour Party, in a spectacular betrayal of both its 2017 General Election manifesto and its traditional working-class voters, who tend to back Brexit. Blair is only doing in a more direct way what the rest of the establishment hope to achieve by other means. They are dedicated, most of them, to killing Brexit, whether by working with foreign powers to weaken it, or by demoralising the electorate by making us vote again, or by extending the process so that compromise inexorably overtakes democratic urgency.

We’ve been putting up with anti-democracy for nearly three years now. Ever since the 17.4million voted for Brexit, there has been a reactionary elitist pushback against the ‘low-information’ electorate, against the ideal of national independence, and against the hard-won value of democracy itself. Maybe it is a mistake, elitists have wondered out loud, to solicit plebs’ opinions on national, constitutional matters. How much longer should we put up with this? Why should we accept being spectators to the political class’s slow-motion betrayal of our democratic aspirations? Enough is enough, no? May’s deal should be voted down today. But that will be but a tiny blow in the broader battle to defend the vote for Brexit and the very idea that voting is important. Democrats should buckle up – the ideals of June 2016 remain under grave threat from reactionaries and traitors, and we will have to argue, march and fight in their defence.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

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Blackmail, Balderdash, & The Brexit That Wasn’t

Blackmail, Balderdash, & The Brexit That Wasn’t  By Tom Luongo, Zerohedge, 14 March 2019

After a lot of drama, British Prime Minister Theresa May came back from Brussels with a breakthrough on Brexit.

Only it wasn’t.

While the changes to the protocol that governs the implementation of the Irish Backstop are an improvement they are far fro enough to allay the rightful fears of Brexiteers and the Northern Irish.

From the beginning of this process, the EU has been in blackmail mode. They’ve made it clear that they would not negotiate in good faith or even at all. That much has been clear.

The biggest question has been whether May herself was working in the British people’s best interest or was she simply a stalking horse for further EU integration of the entire continent of Europe.

Never forget that the EU has imperial ambitions. Those that have been its architects saw it as regaining the mantle of the center of the world as the U.S. bankrupts itself maintaining an empire around the world, fighting against the rise of Russia and China.

It sits in the weeds, making byzantine bureaucratic law and building both a fiscal and political union through these under-handed back doors.

And the people of Europe have woken up to it. The Brits voted to leave the EU because of this. Euroskeptic parties are rising across Europe. The latest rebuke of the EU came in Austria’s Salzburg, a traditional center-left stronghold just voted for a Lega-style nationalist/populist majority.

Now people like Theresa May, who never supported Brexit, are using this negotiating period to hand to the EU everything it wants in the Withdrawal Agreement to blackmail the British people to accept an even worse arrangement than had they not voted to leave in the first place.

This point cannot be understated.

Because it is the model for how the EU will fight the rising opposition to its rule.

The withdrawal agreement was crafted by Germany and not negotiated by Jean-Claude Juncker and Michael Barnier to punish the U.K. for standing up to the inevitability of the EU.

It is a message and a warning to Italy, Hungary and Poland.

It was designed to cause irreparable damage to the U.K. with the long-term effects of destroying the majority political parties and fanning separatist instincts in Wales and Scotland.

And no one is more to blame for this mess than the members of Parliament who continue to virtue signal about the horrors of a no-deal which the British people have become less and less scared of every day. Poll after poll shows overwhelming rejection of May’s Merkel’s deal as well as growing support for a No-Deal Brexit.

And if the members of parliament who continue to go through the pantomime of an existential crisis would leave it aside and simply say that’s it, no deal it is, that would end the uncertainty and the worry that is now the dominant narrative in the press.

Businesses are relocating, shipments are stopping, etc. All because of Brexit, they argue. No, all because of MP’s who refuse to embrace the situation as it stands and face the reality that sovereignty is more important than a quarter or two of tightened belts and some annoying paperwork.

Moreover, the biggest fear now is the one which is that Britain ends up better off if they not only threw off the shackles of the EU but also its own corrupt and, frankly, traitorous leadership.

Theresa May’s performance in parliament before the latest vote was almost convincing. But, as always, when someone is giving you an ultimatum, my way or the highway, it’s masking an alternative choice.

The Dublin Unionist Party and the European Research Group within the Tories understand this. I suspect in his heart of hearts Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

And the reason for this is May was always on their side. It’s not a negotiation when there’s only one side represented. This is why Juncker et.al. refused to negotiate in any meaningful way.

They didn’t have to.

And that is simply blackmail.

What is obvious watching British parliamentarians at this late stage is that a majority of them are unwilling to face reality that the EU is not in their best interest. Because any organization that would blackmail rather than negotiate is not an organization anyone decent person would want to be a member of.

Fears over a No-Deal Brexit are overblown. If these same MP’s that are so worried about the uncertainty created by the Brexit process would simply end that uncertainty by backing No-Deal then certainty would return.

It might not be the certainty that is the easiest to swallow for both sides but it will be certainty.

Mr. Juncker made it clear there is nothing better forthcoming. That’s an insult and it should be treated as such by Parliament.

But it won’t be as MP’s roll over, show Juncker their bellies and hand-wring about how unfair it all is again later this week.

They cannot see the bigger picture that it is the EU that has the weak hand, not them. They are too blinded by ideology and fear to see that.

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More articles concerning British ‘democracy’

Posted in Brexit: a world-changing event? | Comments Off on British ‘democracy’ in action

Government betrayals, cover-ups and false flags

This  post describes government ‘false flags’, cover-ups and ‘conspiracy theories’ that, on closer examination of available evidence, are more likely conspiracy realities.

BBC Producer Admits The “Gas Attack” Footage From Syria “Was Staged”

BBC Producer Admits The “Gas Attack” Footage From Syria “Was Staged”  By Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution, 20 February 2019

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:

Riam Dalati, who is a well known BBC Syria producer recently put out a tweet stating that the supposed gas attacks in Douma were “staged.”

  • Reflect On:

How many whistleblowers, documentation and examples do we need to see the truth here? How many examples of mainstream media completely making up stories and aiding the global elite (their owners) will we believe? Why do we continue to watch?

“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee, but rather because we as citizens, we as users of these services, help each other. We talk and we share and we point out what is fake. We point out what is true. The answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.” –Edward Snowden (source)

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It’s truly amazing what’s happening in regards to information today. It’s being heavily censored. News browser extension NewsGuard is one of the latest examples, which promises to help readers pick out fake news. However, NewsGuard is funded and run by individuals tied to the CFR, Atlantic Council, and prominent elite figures who own mainstream media. You can read more about that here.

There is a war on information right now, especially any information that threatens the elitists’ and globalists’ agendas or corporate profits. It’s not morally right to have government authorities step in and determine for the population what is real and what is fake, and what to censor and what not to censor. Our free speech is being shut down, and this is evident by Facebook’s recent deletion and mass censorship of multiple alternative media outlets acting as a new ‘ministry of truth.’ It’s truly Orwellian-like.

Truth, however, cannot be stopped, and it’s mainstream media that’s recently been outed as promoting the most ‘fake news,’ which is evident by the multiple award-winning mainstream media journalists who’ve ‘blown the whistle,’ so to speak, about mainstream media and how they are paid by corporations, governments and intelligence agencies to spread and alter the news they share. There are also some very telling documents that go into detail regarding mainstream media’s relationship with multiple governments, and how it’s used to alter the perception of the masses and keep a tight grip on the information that’s disseminated through academia and journalism. I provide many examples within this article if you’re interested, which includes access to those documents. The article is about William Arkin, a well-known military and war reporter who is best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010, who just went public outing NBC/MSNBC as completely government run agencies.

But let’s get to this latest example regarding Syria.

It comes from Riam Dalati, who is a well known BBC Syria producer that’s been reporting from that region for a long time. He shocked his nearly 20,000 twitterfollowers a few days ago, as well as other mainstream media journalists from major outlets like the BBC, when he concluded after a “six month investigation” that he “can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.”

As his twitter states, he is also a close colleague of the well-known BBC Middle East Correspondent, Quentin Sommerville.

The thread went on to include these words:

Truth is James Harkin got the basics right in terms of Douma’s “propaganda” value. The ATTACK DID HAPPEN, Sarin wasn’t used, but we’ll have to wait for OPCW to prove Chlorine or otherwise. However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.

Furthermore, the BBC producer continued:

I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist. They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation. In fact, one of the 3 or 4 people filming the scene was Dr. Abu Bakr Hanan, a “brute and shifty” doctor affiliated with Jaysh Al-Islam. The narrative was that “there weren’t enough drs” but here is one filming and not taking part of the rescue efforts. Will keep the rest for later.

James Harkin is a journalist who has written for multiple mainstream outlets like the Guardian, and has also published books detailing information about ‘the war on terror’ and terrorist groups in the Middle East. Jaysh al-Islam is a rebel group that operates in the region that, like terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, have connections to Saudi Arabia and the United States with regards to weaponry and funding.

This tweet was picked up by multiple media outlets, and a quick google search will yield those results.

Dalati made these statements in response to a lengthy and well publicized investigative report by Harkin in The Intercept. Harkin examined the scenes and physical environment of the alleged Douma attack and interviewed eyewitnesses on site. His report paints a picture of propaganda and deeply compromised rebel sources such as Saudi-backed Jaish al Islam, which had control of Douma amidst a Syrian government onslaught to retake the town.

Below is one of many pictures of children who have possibly been painted and staged for the purposes of such deception. Ask yourself: If this is not true, and the information we’re being fed is false, what does this mean for our world? Our reality? Who our leaders are? Who the media is? It may be a bit of a challenging thought to go down this path, but it’s important. And we explain why in our CE protocol you can check out here.

This story compliments a lot of other statements and investigations. An interesting report by Robert Fisk, a multi-award winning Middle East correspondent of The Independent and a journalist who has risked his life to visit the Syria clinic after the supposed attack, suggests that he has “serious doubts” about the situation.

He met with Dr. Assim Rahaibani, a doctor in the area, and shared his experience:

“The 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.”

“He refers twice to the jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam (the Army of Islam) in Douma as “terrorists” – the regime’s word for their enemies, and a term used by many people across Syria. Am I hearing this right? Which version of events are we to believe?”

He goes on to explain,

“Readers should be aware that this is not the only story in Douma. There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups.”

Russian news outlets have jumped on this story.  Vladimir Putin flat out said that:

“We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack.”

This was before the attack in Douma as well, so he did indeed call it correct.

Putin has long called out the “imaginary” and “mythical” threats used by the elite to force their agenda onto mainstream perception.

However, this type of sentiment is often criticized. As mainstream media was blaming Syrian President Assad for the attack (allegedly attacking his own people), it’s understandable that the minds of the masses would instantaneously follow, as mainstream media has the ability to completely convince its viewers that something is true when it’s really not. It’s complete manipulation of perception.

It’s far from ‘Russian propaganda,’ as the western military alliance has a long history of ‘faking’ attacks in order to justify the infiltration of other countries for ulterior motives.

This is Nothing New

For example, the CIA actually began meddling in Syrian politics as far back as 1949, only a year after the agencies existence was publicly disclosed. Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Kuwaiti, hesitated to approve the Trans Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. As a result, the CIA engineered a coup, replacing al-Kuwaiti with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, 14 weeks into his regime. This was outlined in detail by Tim Weinter, a CIA historian in his book Legacy of Ashes.

It’s no surprise now that Dick Cheney, James Woolsely, Rupert Murdoch, and more are currently drilling in Syria for oil with “Genie Energy.”

Below is a great, well known quote from Smedley D. Butler, the highest ranking (at the time) Marine General, which provides insight into how history hasn’t changed, and that this has been the way of the elite for a very long time:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Titled “Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change,” this document was written in July of 1986 by the Foreign Subversion and Instability Center, part of the CIA’s Mission Center for Global Issues. It states its mission was to analyze “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.”

Mass propaganda is used to make the citizenry believe the government is fighting for the good of humanity and for peace, but the truth is that they are fighting for lies and for a globalization agenda that uses false-flag terrorism to justify attacks on foreign nations.

Many American patriots have admitted this. Former Four Star General, Wesley Clark, who was the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe of NATO from 1997-2000, is one of many examples. Clark said in an interview with Democracy Now that the U.S. had plans to invade countries in the Middle East, including Syria, for no justified reason at all.  He offered the sentiments of some within the American military that they have a “good military” and that they can “take down governments.”  He spoke of a memo that described how the U.S. had “plans to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off, Iran.” (source)

When it comes to Syrian attacks, the issue received even more attention when Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters stopped a live concern to explain the false-flag chemical attacks in Syria with the aid of the White Helmets.

I recently published an article about the White Helmets (you can read it below), which includes more information that went completely unreported by western mainstream media outlets.

UN Panel Discusses ‘White Helmets’ Criminal Activities, Organ Theft & False Flag Terrorism

“I think we have to understand how this happened. This happened because of us. These 600,000 [dead] are not just incidental. We started a war to overthrow a regime. It was covert. It was Timber Sycamore. People can look it up. The CIA operation together with Saudi Arabia still shrouded in secrecy, which is part of the problem in our country. A major war effort shrouded in secrecy, never debated by Congress, never explained to the American people, signed by President Obama – never explained. And this created chaos, and so just throwing more missiles in right now is not a response.” – Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Colubmia University (source)

Everything in this article may be deemed as ‘fake news,’ and deleted and censored. How wrong is that?

The Takeaway

Often when I write about such topics, I always include the following quotation by Dr. Michel Chossudovsky, an award-winning author, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, and the founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization:

“The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf.” (source)

His outlet has also previously been put on a list of ‘fake news’ sites, but I’m hoping you can see through this trend now and recognize just how disturbing information censorship has become.

At the end of the day, the veil with regards to major global events is lifting. Reality is not always as it’s presented, and the chemical gas attacks in Syria, 9/11, and several other examples make this quite clear. Humanity has woken up, as these narratives previously weren’t even on most people’s radars. But times have changed, and our perceptions with regards to global events have shifted drastically. Just a decade ago, we were the minority. But now, it seems, we are in the majority. All one has to do is turn off their TV and think and conduct research for themselves. Those who do this often come to the same conclusion: We have been ‘bamboozled,’ and our own minds have been used to justify inhumane actions and prolong wars and states of conflict that benefit only a select few.

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Evidence about alien reproduction vehicles

Evidence about alien reproduction vehicles  By Arjun Walia, Guest author for Humansarefree.com, 11 October 2017

It’s hard to know where to begin when writing on a subject that seems to top the Google search engine charts year after year. It’s no secret that the world is fascinated with the idea that intelligent extraterrestrial life did, and currently could be, visiting our planet, and regularly.

The unfortunate part about the phenomenon is that the world rarely sees evidence for it presented in a credible way. Nearly all mainstream media outlets, news anchors, and journalists do more harm than good, discrediting a topic that has plenty of proof behind it. Either it’s not discussed at all, or it’s done through ridicule.

Yet the very first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flat out told the New York Times in 1960 that, “behind the scenes, high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs, but through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.”

I’m led to wonder whether the connections we’ve written about in the past between the CIA and the media included official disinformation campaigns pertaining to the UFO/extraterrestrial subject, and if so, whether that’s still happening today.
You can explore these connections, and a few of the actual documents straight from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in the articles linked below:

Today, there are hundreds of people and documents that have shown, beyond a doubt, that UFOs exist, and that some of them could be extraterrestrial, and others, our own advanced technology.

The documents show objects traveling at unattainable speeds, and performing maneuvers that no known aircraft can perform. Here is a great example, out of thousands, detailing one such encounter.

Here’s one regarding an encounter over Antarctic military bases describing red, yellow, and green “flying saucers” that were spotted hovering for more than two hours.

As far as people, we have high ranking military personnel, politicians, astronauts, and academics from different fields flat out telling us that we are not alone, and that this is known at the highest levels of government, or those who puppet the government.

Whether it be a former Chairman of the Royal Navy telling us that “there is a serious possibility that we are being visited, and have been visited by people from outer space,” a former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee telling us that “I do know that whatever the Air Force has on the subject is going to remain highly classified,” or an Apollo 14 astronaut saying that “there have been crashed craft, and bodies recovered,” we have no shortage of high ranking insiders attesting to the reality of this phenomenon.

For decades, as General Carlos Cavero told the world in 1979, “everything” has been “in a process of investigation both in the United States and in Spain, as well as the rest of the world.” On a global scale, “the nations of the world are currently working together in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon” and there is “an international exchange of data.”

This is why so many academics, like Harvard professor and Pulitzer prize winner John E. Mack, believe that “it’s both literally, physically happening to a degree; and it’s also some kind of psychological, spiritual experience occurring and originating perhaps in another dimension.”

Perhaps his most astonishing investigation came from more than 60 schoolchildren in the town of Ruwa, Zimbabwe. You can read more about that here.

Former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer also went on record stating that “visitors from other planets” came here decades ago.

This all raises so many questions in so many branches of human knowledge. Take physics, for example. Jack Kasher, Ph.D, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Nebraska, points out that “there is another way, whether it’s wormholes or warping space, there’s got to be a way to generate energy so that you can pull it out of the vacuum, and the fact that they’re here shows us that they found a way.”

So, as you can see, if you’re a believer in the extraterrestrial hypothesis for a possible explanation for the already verified UFO phenomenon, you’re not alone, and you are in good company.

“Intelligent beings from other star systems have been and are visiting our planet Earth. They are variously referred to as Visitors, Others, Star People, ETs, etc. . . . They are visiting Earth NOW; this is not a matter of conjecture or wistful thinking.” – Theodore C. Loder III, Phd, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire

Extraterrestrial Reproduction Vehicles

Well-known aerospace journalist James Goodall, an accomplished speaker who specialized in the history, development, and operations of the world’s only Mach 3 capable, manned air breathing aircraft, who also wrote for for publications such as Jane’s Defense Weekly, Aviation Week & Space Technology, and Intervavia, interviewed many people from the classified black budget world. He did all of this while being the Associate Curator at the Pacific Aviation Museum.

According to him, and the people he has spoken to, “we have things out there that are literally out of this world, better than Star Trek or what you see in the movies.”

He also claims to have known Ben Rich — the second director of Lockheed Skunkworks — very well. In a video interview, Goodall stated that he spoke to Rich approximately 10 days before he died:

“About ten days before he died, I was speaking to Ben on the telephone at USC medical center in LA. And he said, ‘Jim, we have things out in the desert that are fifty years beyond what you can comprehend. They have about forty five hundred people at Lockheed Skunkworks. What have they been doing for the last twenty years? They’re building something.”

Another source for Ben Richs’ comments come from Jan Harzan, a senior executive with IBM, along with Tom Keller, an aerospace engineer who has worked as a computer systems analyst for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They discuss a talk Ben gave some time ago.

On March 23, 1993, at a UCLA School of Engineering talk where he was presenting a general history of Sunk Works, he said:

“We now know how to travel to the stars. There is an error in the equations, and we have figured it out, and now know how to travel to the stars and it won’t take a lifetime to do it. It is time to end all the secrecy on this, as it no longer poses a national security threat, and make the technology available for use in the private sector. There are many in the intelligence community who would like to see this stay in the black and not see the light of day. We now have the technology to take ET home.”

There are multiple sources for statements coming from Ben Rich, but I’ll stop there. Below is a video  of Jan telling the story.
This brings us to the next point, the alien reproduction vehicle. This concept was introduced by Mark McCandlish, an internationally-recognized artist who has specialized in aviation and conceptual art within the defense and aerospace industries for three decades. His father was a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, which is where he developed his love for the subject.

He has gone on record stating his belief that carefully protected technology has been co-opted by an as-yet-unknown group, and the sequestration of this technology has provided this organization a great deal of leverage in global politics, finance, and international conflicts over the past five decades.

Below is a clip from 2001, where hundreds of former military personnel gathered at the National Press Club to share their experiences and information. In the clip below, he speaks of the alien reproduction vehicle and how he came across it, and also mentions his interest in UFOs due to a sighting over a nuclear weapons storage facility.

Related articles on that topic:

Here is a more recent talk by McCandlish at a conference discussing the secret space program, where he goes into more detail regarding the feasibility of interstellar travel.

Before we get to the vehicle you see in the picture above, it’s important to note that there is evidence showing this type of exotic technology that dates back prior to the Second World War.

A classic example would be the CIA keeping tabs on developments in Germany, as explained by this document, which looked into “a German newspaper” that “recently published an interview with George Klein, famous engineer and aircraft expert, describing the experimental construction of ‘flying saucers’ carried out by him from 1941 to 1945.”

Here is an authentic image/story of a large UFO hovering over L.A., which was witnessed by 1 million people. Dubbed the “Battle of Los Angeles,” it was an event that showed us how the U.S. military was learning to lie about UFOs five years prior to the Roswell Incident.

Here’s another document that goes on to mention an experiment described by Klein:
The “flying saucer” reached an altitude of 12,400 meters within 3 minutes and a speed of 2,200 kilometers per hour. Klein emphasized that in accordance with German plans, the speed of these “saucers” would reach 4,000 kilometers per hour.

One difficulty, according to Klein, was the problem of obtaining the materials to be used for the construction of the “saucers,” but even this had been solved by German engineers toward the end of 1945, and construction on the objects was scheduled to begin, Klein added.

You can read more about that here and here.

Below is a clip from Dr. Steven Greer’s film Unacknowledged, now available on Netflix. He is the one who brought fourth 400 hundred verified, high ranking former military witnesses, some of whom testified at the National Press Club along with McCandlish, as you saw in the video above.

Since then, multiple efforts have sprung forth, one being the Citizens Hearing On Disclosure that took place a couple of years ago.

It was also held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and saw a number of professors, historians, scientists, and high ranking political and military personnel gathered to elaborate on the ongoing reality of the UFO phenomenon to several former Congresspeople.

Dr. Greer also released a previous film, titled Sirius, where he revealed having had high level meetings within the Pentagon regarding the UFO/extraterrestrial topic. This was verified by Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo 14 astronaut who accompanied Greer on his meetings.

The “Sneak Peak.”

The Secret Space Program

Although there are still many people who would dismiss you for even considering there’s any truth to a secret space program that has reversed engineered extraterrestrial technology, it comes from a place of innocent ignorance on their part.

It’s easy to condemn something without ever really looking into it, and this is a result of a small group of people and the corporations they run controlling all major media networks, painting whatever picture they’d like us to perceive about our world, and using it to their advantage.

Just to reiterate that you are in the presence of good company, I thought I’d use yet another example. According to Herman Oberth, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, “Flying saucers are real and… they are space ships from another solar system.

I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our Earth for centuries.” (Oberth, Hermann: “Flying Saucers Come from a Distant World,” The American Weekly, October 24, 1954)  (source 1)(source 2)

Here’s another great clip, taken from the Thrive documentary, of a former NASA astronaut and Princeton physics professor. I’ve been using it for years, so my apologies if you’ve come across it already.

UFO don’t necessarily equate to extraterrestrial, but in some cases, they might.

The programs doing this exotic work exist and are known as Special Access Programs (SAP). From these we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’

A 1997 U.S. Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.”

I just wanted to provide a little bit of background information about the “secret space” program and what could be going on in it. For a deeper look into the subject, below is a great lecture given by researcher Richard Dolan.

By Arjun Walia, Guest author

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71 False Flag events that were admitted by authorities

71 False Flag events that were admitted by the authorities  By Washington’s Blog, 31 July 2017

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror

In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found:

“Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….”

And see this, this and this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked several attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. The staged attacks included:

  • The German radio station Sender Gleiwitz [details below]
  • The strategic railway at POSunka Pass (Jab?onków Incident), located on the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia
  • The German customs station at Hochlinden (today part of Rybnik-Stodo?y)
  • The forest service station in Pitschen (Byczyna)
  • The communications station at Neubersteich (“Nieborowitzer Hammer” before 12 February 1936, now Kuznia Nieborowska)
  • The railroad station in Alt-Eiche (Smolniki), Rosenberg in Westpreußen district
  • A woman and her companion in Katowice

The details of the Gleiwitz radio station incident include:

On the night of 31 August 1939, a small group of German operatives dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content of the message). The Germans’ goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs.

To make the attack seem more convincing, the Germans used human corpses to pass them off as Polish attackers. They murdered Franciszek Honiok, a 43-year-old unmarried German Silesian Catholic farmer known for sympathizing with the Poles. He had been arrested the previous day by the Gestapo. He was dressed to look like a saboteur, then killed by lethal injection, given gunshot wounds, and left dead at the scene so that he appeared to have been killed while attacking the station. His corpse was subsequently presented to the police and press as proof of the attack.

(3) The minutes of the high command of the Italian government – subsequently approved by Mussolini himself – admitted that violence on the Greek-Albanian border was carried out by Italians and falsely blamed on the Greeks, as an excuse for Italy’s 1940 invasion of Greece.

(4) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.
(5) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(6) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachevall admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(7) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews who were Holocaust survivors attempting to flee to safety in Palestine right after World War II, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, this and this).

(8) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

The U.S. Army does not believe this is an isolated incident. For example, the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies said of Mossad (Israel’s intelligence service):

“Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

(9) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950?s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(10) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

The Economist notes:

Starting in the 1950s Turkey’s deep state sponsored killings, engineered riots, colluded with drug traffickers, staged “false flag” attacks and organised massacres of trade unionists. Thousands died in the chaos it fomented.

(11) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(12) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s through the 1980s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.

As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated:

“You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” … so that “a state of emergency could be declared, so people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred).

And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

The CIA also stressed to the head of the Italian program that Italy needed to use the program to control internal uprisings.

False flag attacks carried out pursuant to this program include – by way of example only:

(13) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]”.

A U.S. Navy HSS-1 Seabat helicopter hovers over Soviet submarine B-59, forced to the surface by U.S. Naval forces in the Caribbean near Cuba (October 28–29, 1962) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(14) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(15) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news reportthe official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(16) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(17) The U.S. Department of Defense also suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States:

“The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained:

“In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.”

In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:

The Agency maintains liaison in varying degrees with foreign police/security organizations through its field stations ….

[CIA provides training sessions as follows:]

  1. Providing trainees with basic knowledge in the uses of commercial and military demolitions and incendiariesas they may be applied in terrorism and industrial sabotage operations.
  2. Introducing the trainees to commercially available materials and home laboratory techniques, likely to he used in the manufacture of explosives and incendiaries by terrorists or saboteurs.
  3. Familiarizing the trainees with the concept of target analysis and operational planningthat a saboteur or terrorist must employ.
  4. Introducing the trainees to booby trapping devices and techniques givingpractical experiencewith both manufactured and improvised devices through actual fabrication.

***

The program provides the trainees with ample opportunity to develop basic familiarity and use proficiently through handling, preparing and applying the various explosive charges, incendiary agents, terrorist devices and sabotage techniques.

(21) The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(22) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist transmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(23) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(24) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).

(25) In 1993, a bomb in Northern Ireland killed 9 civilians. Official documents from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (i.e. the British government) show that the mastermind of the bombing was a British agent, and that the bombing was designed to inflame sectarian tensions. And see this and this.

(26) The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces – updated in 2004 – recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars“. And see this.

(27) Similarly, a CIA “psychological operations” manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a “martyr” for the cause. The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government. The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other news coverage that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:

At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.

(28) A Rwandan government inquiry admitted that the 1994 shootdown and murder of the Rwandan president, who was from the Hutu tribe – a murder blamed by the Hutus on the rival Tutsi tribe, and which led to the massacre of more than 800,000 Tutsis by Hutus – was committed by Hutu soldiers and falsely blamed on the Tutsi. [GR Editor: This government report is contested. The alleged role of foreign powers in the shoot down is not acknowledged]

(29) An Indonesian government fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked”.

(30) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).

(31) As reported by the New York TimesBBC and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that in 2001, the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”. They lured foreign migrants into the country, executed them in a staged gun battle, and then claimed they were a unit backed by Al Qaeda intent on attacking Western embassies”. Specifically, Macedonian authorities had lured the immigrants into the country, and then – after killing them – posed the victims with planted evidence – “bags of uniforms and semiautomatic weapons at their side” – to show Western diplomats.

(32) At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying “iron bars inside the police station”. Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(33) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war.

Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction.

Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).

(Additionally, the same judge who has shielded the Saudis for any liability for funding 9/11 has awarded a default judgment against Iran for $10.5 billion for carrying out 9/11 … even though no one seriously believes that Iran had any part in 9/11.)

(34) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country. And see this.

(35) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(36) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(37) Police outside of a 2003 European Union summit in Greece were filmed planting Molotov cocktails on a peaceful protester.

(38) In 2003, the U.S. Secretary of Defense admitted that interrogators were authorized to use the following method: “False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him.” While not a traditional false flag attack, this deception could lead to former detainees – many of whom were tortured – attacking the country falsely blamed for the interrogation and torture.

(39) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(40) Similarly, in 2005, Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School – a renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of ‘netwar’ – called for western intelligence services to create new “pseudo gang” terrorist groups, as a way of undermining “real” terror networks. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Arquilla’s ‘pseudo-gang’ strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon:

“Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists

The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls ‘action teams’ in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. ‘Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?’ the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. ‘We founded them and we financed them,’ he said. ‘The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.’ A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon’s commando capabilities, said, ‘We’re going to be riding with the bad boys.’”

(41) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(42) In 2005, British soldiers dressed as Arabs were caught by Iraqi police after a shootout against the police. The soldiers apparently possessed explosives, and were accused of attempting to set off bombs. While none of the soldiers admitted that they were carrying out attacks, British soldiers and a column of British tanks stormed the jail they were held in, broke down a wall of the jail, and busted them out. The extreme measures used to free the soldiers – rather than have them face questions and potentially stand trial – could be considered an admission.

(43) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(44) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).

(45) A 2008 US Army special operations field manual recommends that the U.S. military use surrogate non-state groups such as “paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political ‘undesirables.’” The manual specifically acknowledged that U.S. special operations can involve both counterterrorism and “Terrorism” (as well as “transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.”)

 

(46) The former Italian Prime Minister, President, and head of Secret Services (Francesco Cossigaadvised the 2008 minister in charge of the police, on how to deal with protests from teachers and students:

He should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior … infiltrate the movement with agents provocateurs inclined to do anything …. And after that, with the strength of the gained population consent, … beat them for blood and beat for blood also those teachers that incite them. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly, of course, but the girl teachers yes.

(47) An undercover officer admitted that he infiltrated environmental, leftwing and anti-fascist groups in 22 countries. Germany’s federal police chief admitted that – while the undercover officer worked for the German police – he acted illegally during a G8 protest in Germany in 2007 and committed arson by setting fire during a subsequent demonstration in Berlin. The undercover officer spent many years living with violent “Black Bloc” anarchists.

(48) Denver police admitted that uniformed officers deployed in 2008 to an area where alleged “anarchists” had planned to wreak havoc outside the Democratic National Convention ended up getting into a melee with two undercover policemen. The uniformed officers didn’t know the undercover officers were cops.

(49) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(50) The oversight agency for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted that – at the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010 – undercover police officers were arrested with a group of protesters. Videos and photos (see this and this, for example) show that violent protesters wore very similar boots and other gear as the police, and carried police batons. The Globe and Mail reports that the undercover officers planned the targets for violent attack, and the police failed to stop the attacks.

(51) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(52) Austin police admit that 3 officers infiltrated the Occupy protests in that city. Prosecutors admit that one of the undercover officers purchased and constructed illegal “lock boxes” which ended up getting many protesters arrested.

(53) In 2011, a Colombian colonel admitted that he and his soldiers had lured 57 innocent civilians and killed them – after dressing many of them in uniforms – as part of a scheme to claim that Columbia was eradicating left-wing terrorists. And see this.

(54) Rioters who discredited the peaceful protests against the swearing in of the Mexican president in 2012 admitted that they were paid 300 pesos each to destroy everything in their path. According to Wikipedia, photos also show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence.

(55) On November 20, 2014, Mexican agent provocateurs were transported by army vehicles to participate in the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping protests, as was shown by videos and pictures distributed via social networks.

(56) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(57) Two members of the Turkish parliament, high-level American sources and others admitted that the Turkish government – a NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and falsely blamed them on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(58) The former Director of the NSA and other American government officials admit said that the U.S. is a huge supporter of terrorism. Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets. The U.S. and its allies have been supporting Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups for many decades, and providing them arms, money and logistical support in Libya, Syria, Mali, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries. U.S. allies are also directly responsible for creating and supplying ISIS.

It’s gotten so ridiculous that a U.S. Senator has introduced a “Stop Arming Terrorists Act”, and U.S. Congresswoman – who introduced a similar bill in the House – says:

“For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

(59) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.

(60) Speaking of snipers, in a secret recording, Venezuelan generals admit that they will deploy snipers to shoot protesters, but keep the marksmen well-hidden from demonstrator and the reporters covering the events so others would be blamed for the deaths.

(61) Burmese government officials admitted that Burma (renamed Myanmar) used false flag attacks against Muslim and Buddhist groups within the country to stir up hatred between the two groups, to prevent democracy from spreading.

(62) Israeli police were again filmed in 2015 dressing up as Arabs and throwing stones, then turning over Palestinian protesters to Israeli soldiers.

(63) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

(64) The CIA has admitted that it uses viruses and malware from Russia and other countries to carry out cyberattacks and blame other countries.

(65) U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants.

(66) German prosecutors admit that a German soldier disguised himself as a Syrian refugee and planned to shoot people so that the attack would be blamed on asylum seekers.

(67) Police frame innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:

In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.

Newsweek reported in 1999:

Perez, himself a former [Los Angeles Police Department] cop, was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from police evidence lockers. After pleading guilty in September, he bargained for a lighter sentence by telling an appalling story of attempted murder and a “throwdown”–police slang for a weapon planted by cops to make a shooting legally justifiable. Perez said he and his partner, Officer Nino Durden, shot an unarmed 18th Street Gang member named Javier Ovando, then planted a semiautomatic rifle on the unconscious suspect and claimed that Ovando had tried to shoot themduring a stakeout.

Wikipedia notes:

As part of his plea bargain, Pérez implicated scores of officers from the Rampart Division’s anti-gang unit, describing routinely beating gang members, planting evidence on suspects, falsifying reports and covering up unprovoked shootings.

(As a side note – and while not technically false flag attacks – police have been busted framing innocent people in many other ways, as well.)

(68) A former U.S. intelligence officer recently alleged:

Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.

(69) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags.

(70) The Director of Analytics at the interagency Global Engagement Center housed at the U.S. Department of State, also an adjunct professor at George Mason University, where he teaches the graduate course National Security Challenges in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology, a former branch chief in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and an intelligence advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security (J.D. Maddox) notes:

Provocation is one of the most basic, but confounding, aspects of warfare. Despite its sometimes obvious use, it has succeeded consistently against audiences around the world, for millennia, to compel war. A well-constructed provocation narrative mutes even the most vocal opposition.

***

The culmination of a strategic provocation operation invariably reflects a narrative of victimhood: we are the victims of the enemy’s unforgivable atrocities.

***

In the case of strategic provocation the deaths of an aggressor’s own personnel are a core tactic of the provocation.

***

The persistent use of strategic provocation over centuries – and its apparent importance to war planners – begs the question of its likely use by the US and other states in the near term.

(71) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the “benefits” of of false flags to justify their political agenda:

Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

Postscript 1:  It is not just “modern” nations which have launched false flag attacks. For example, a Native American from one tribe (Pomunkey) murdered a white Englishwoman living in Virginia in 1697 and then falsely blamed it on second tribe (Piscataway). But he later admitted in court that he was not really Piscataway, and that he had been paid by a provocateur from a third tribe (Iroquois) to kill the woman as a way to start a war between the English and the Piscataway, thus protecting the profitable Iroquois monopoly in trade with the English.

Postscript 2:  On multiple occasions, atrocities or warmongering are falsely blamed on the enemy as a justification for war … when no such event ever occurred. This is more like a “fake flag” than a “false flag”, as no actual terrorism occurred.

For example:

  • The NSA admitsthat it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
  • One of the central lies used to justify the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq after Iraq invaded Kuwait was the false statementby a young Kuwaiti girl that Iraqis murdered Kuwaiti babies in hospitals. Her statement was arranged by a Congressman who knew that she was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S. – who was desperately trying to lobby the U.S. to enter the war – but the Congressman hid that fact from the public and from Congress
  • Another central lie used to justify the Gulf War was the statement that a quarter of a million Iraqi troops were massed on the border with Saudi Arabia(see also this article)
  • Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reportedthat the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 … and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq. And see this and this
  • Time magazine points outthat the claim by President Bush that Iraq was attempting to buy “yellow cake” Uranium from Niger:

had been checked out — and debunked — by U.S. intelligence a year before the President repeated it.

  • Everyone knewthat Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. More
  • The entire torture program was geared towards obtaining false confessionslinking Iraq and 9/11
  • CIA agents and documents admitthat the agency gave Iran plans for building nuclear weapons … so it could frame Iran for trying to build the bomb
  • The “humanitarian” wars in Syria, Libya and Yugoslavia were all justified by highly exaggerated reportsthat the leaders of those countries were committing atrocities against their people. And see this

Afterword: The corporate media will likely never report on false flags … as it is ALWAYS pro-war.

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Cairns Port Development

Cairns Port development sabotaged by politics 

This post presents a chronology of issues and events relating to Cairns Port development, including East Trinity. Scroll down for more background and sections 1 – 7.

Less for more: Dredging price tag rattles proponents

The Cairns Post, 30 January 2019

TRINITY Inlet dredging advocates have questioned how Cairns Shipping Development costs have blown out by $7.6?million despite the project being scaled back.

Cairns Port Development president Ron Crew was baffled by the $127.6 million price tag issued since Building Queensland completed its detailed business case.

He said the estimated volume of marine sediment for relocation as now 740,000 cubic metres to be dumped at the Northern Sands quarry and 50,000 cubic metres at the end of Tingira St in Portsmith, despite approvals being in place for up to 1 million cubic metres.

“The question is: If the volume of relocated marine sediment is the lesser amount of 790,000 cubic metres, what amount may the cost estimate reduce by?” Mr Crew asked.

“We would expect the overall cost may only reduce marginally as the majority of cost is the bund walls, pumps, piping and dredging, that are fixed costs.

“We consider this to be a very expensive project in comparison to alternative locations that may have been used.

“We would hope Northern Sands site can take the full 1 million cubic metres, as the council approval has made provision for the larger amount.”

Mr Crew ships entering the port would be limited to 300m in length, ruling out the 320m Voyager class which would be the dominant cruise ship in Australian waters by 2026.

“The project is delayed, is very expensive and is insufficient”, he said.

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Cairns Shipping Development Project update

Cairns Post,  8 August 2018

THE dredging of Trinity Inlet is shaping up to be a multimillion-dollar windfall for former Cairns pub baron Tom Hedley.

The former high profile developer is the owner of Northern Sands, the Holloways Beach quarry where 1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil is proposed to be dumped, as part of the Cairns Shipping Development Project.

Development applications for earthworks associated with the $120 million project — to widen and deepen the city’s shipping channel to accommodate larger cruise ships — were lodged last week with Cairns Regional Council.

The plans detail the first phase of the project, involving the construction of the “Northern Sands Dredge Material Placement Area” on land within the Barron Delta, containing Mr Hedley’s sand quarry, waste disposal and processing facility.

New bunds would be built at the quarry, which would be used alongside the placement of soft clay dredge material from Trinity Inlet.

The dredge spoil is to be delivered from the inlet into the area as a slurry through a 7.5km pipeline.

Ports North’s revised environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project shows site acquisition for the land placement of the dredge spoil will cost $10.8 million.

Compensation costs to other land holders may also be part of the site acquisition costs.

Mr Hedley declined to comment yesterday, citing a confidentiality agreement with the port authority.

==========================

Ports North net profit of $16.1 million for 2017/18 financial year

Cairns Post, 2 October 2018

Editor’s note: Approval has still not been received for several aspects of the dredging project.

THRIVING  trade and steady tourism have doubled Ports North’s net profit over 12 months, prompting calls for Trinity Inlet dredging to be listed as a priority project.

The corporation recorded a $16.1 million net profit at June 30, compared with $8.8 million last year.

Ports North chairman Russell Beer said the corporation had been actively targeting trade “rather than just waiting for it to come in”.

“We’re seeing a lot more commercial activity through the port, more than we’ve probably seen for about 60 or 70 years,” Mr Beer said.

Cargo for the Mt Emerald Wind Farm and Rio Tinto’s Amrun (Weipa) mine projects has increased Ports North’s trade revenue, resulting in a $3.5 million boost in the underlying operating result.

The port also secured the contract as the supply port for cargo for the new $75 million green energy power plant at the Arriga sugar mill.

“Because we’ve demonstrated the capacity to deal in those large infrastructure components people are now looking at our port in a different light,” Mr Beer said. “We’ve got people chasing us now.”

An increase in super yacht and cruise visits also helped. Mr Beer said the loss of the Pacific Eden’s home port in Cairns shouldn’t adversely affect next year’s figures.

“The cruise ship isn’t one of the key drivers to our profitability,” Mr Beer said.

Cairns Port Development president Ron Crew said it was important to upgrade facilities to keep it financially healthy.

“We have Northern Australia’s most used port … and we seem to get left behind all the time,” he said, adding that the dredging needed to be a priority project.

Ports North has been allowed to retain this year’s dividends – normally paid to the State Government – as partial contribution to dredging costs.

Following approval of the environmental impact statement, Ports North is working to obtain all relevant approvals to move the dredging project to the construction phase.

Mr Beer said work could start after the wet season.

“A couple of years ago there were less than 20 vessels coming in; now we have more than 60, so the trajectory is in the right direction,” he said.

“We expect by the middle of the 2020 decade we’ll be seeing up to 150 cruise ships visiting here a year.”

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Letter published in the Cairns Post, 15 September 2018

The recently released Queensland Ports Association report, Sediments and Dredging at GBR Ports report, June 2018, provides the figures for Cairns port on page 5.

Cairns port-related re-suspension of sediment is 1% of the total natural load; that is, tidal, wind and waves, and in any case is far from the reef.

The ‘Save the Reef’ activists greatly exaggerate the re-suspension loads, and so the supposed related costs.

These and similar furphys led to government policy such as the Reef 2050 Plan that initially caused our port development project to triple in cost based on several invalid assumptions, then get downsized and now delayed as well as banning future expansion.

The opportunities lost to our local economy are already valued in the 100’s of millions of dollars.

===================

Letter published in the Cairns Post, 12 September 2018

Advance Cairns received special mention in the Queensland parliament Hansard records on the 10th of November 2015. Then the Minister for State Development stated that Advance Cairns supported a downscaled Cairns port that effectively condemned it to a backwater small scale port.

Today we still bear the brunt of the failure of Advance Cairns to support our port even though we have the largest population in Northern Australia with the largest marine servicing sector, reef tourism and fishing fleet based at the port. Industries in Cairns are lamenting the stagnation of port modernisation progress, yet Advance Cairns hosted the Prime Minister last week who appears unaware of the Commonwealth Governments draconian Reef 2050 plan imposed regulations with no solutions on offer. Moving marine mud to create a deep shipping channel within the harbour operating limits does not harm the reef.

Advance Cairns is not advancing Cairns port. Advance Cairns appears beholden to the interests of a few including the Queensland government-owned Ports North, a major sponsor of Advanced Cairns. The question remains, when is Advance Cairns going to do as their name suggests?

===================

Letter published in the Cairns Post, 8 August 2018

Questions over spoil site

Re: Hedley’s $10.8m spoils (CP,8/8), taxpayers would like Ports North to answer the following questions:

  1. What would be the alternative costs to place the bulk of the dredging spoil on the state-owned East Trinity site? The existing bund walls on this site would need minor upgrades, the site is closer to the planned dredging and the spoil would fix the serious and costly acid sulphate soil problems caused by the State ignoring CSIRO advice.
  2. Would the East Trinity site involve less overall environmental issues?
  3. If the spoil is pumped to Hadley’s quarry, could the raised area be suitable to convert later to industrial land?

The East Trinity site was evaluated in Ports North’s 2015 draft EIS report for the dredging project.

A submission to the Coordinator General noted serious flaws in the report’s assumptions.

======================

Cairns Post readers back dredging for bigger cruise ships

Cairns Post readers back dredging for bigger cruise ships  By Chris Calcino, The Cairns Post, 19 July 2018

Hedley to reap $10.8M spoils from Cairns Shipping Development Project

By Daniel Bateman, The Cairns Post, 8 August 2018

https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/hedley-to-reap-108m-spoils-from-cairns-shipping-development-project/news-story/bacf11a14ac83db4e96b28cc7d3b8875

THE dredging of Trinity Inlet is shaping up to be a multimillion-dollar windfall for former Cairns pub baron Tom Hedley.

The former high-profile developer is the owner of Northern Sands, the Holloways Beach quarry where 1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil is proposed to be dumped, as part of the Cairns Shipping Development Project.

Development applications for earthworks associated with the $120 million project — to widen and deepen the city’s shipping channel to accommodate larger cruise ships — were lodged last week with Cairns Regional Council.

The plans detail the first phase of the project, involving the construction of the “Northern Sands Dredge Material Placement Area” on land within the Barron Delta, containing Mr Hedley’s sand quarry, waste disposal and processing facility.

New bunds would be built at the quarry, which would be used alongside the placement of soft clay dredge material from Trinity Inlet.

The dredge spoil is to be delivered from the inlet into the area as a slurry through a 7.5km pipeline.

Ports North’s revised environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project shows site acquisition for the land placement of the dredge spoil will cost $10.8 million.

Compensation costs to other land holders may also be part of the site acquisition costs.

Mr Hedley declined to comment yesterday, citing a confidentiality agreement with the port authority.

==============================

Cairns Post, survey results, 19 July 2018

IF POLITICIANS are waiting for a mandate to ramp up dredging in Trinity Inlet, they have it now.

Four years. Three polls. No change in opinion.

The Cairns Post’s recent Your Say on the Far North Reader Survey asked if the current dredging program should be expanded to allow bigger ships full of tourists to dock.

An overwhelming 80 per cent of respondents backed the idea, in almost perfect synchrony with previous independent appraisals.

Compass Research conducted a random survey ahead of the 2016 local government elections and discovered 82.5 per cent of residents supported deepening the shipping channel.

A couple of years earlier, another Compass survey commissioned by Ports North found 78 per cent of people supported dredging.

The key difference this time is that dredging has been approved – subject to a protracted business case from Building Queensland – but not to a satisfactory degree for Far Northerners.

Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning believed politics, not economic and environmental realities, had triggered the current scaled-down 1 million cubic metre dredging plan.

The 2014 study for the Newman government’s since-abandoned 4.4 million cubic metre proposal found dredge spoil could be placed at a depth of 28.7m with basically no dispersal – even in cyclonic conditions.

“Dredge material deposited at that level does not move,” Cr Manning said.

“Here’s a case where the doctor says this is the diagnosis but we’re not going to treat you accordingly.”

Cairns Shipping Development Inc spokeswoman Emma Thirkell hoped Building Queensland was taking so long on the business case because it had realised the current proposal to cap cruise ships at 300m in length would be a wasted opportunity.

“I hope they might be allowing a redesign of the channel so they can get the Voyager class in,” she said.

“They’re up to 320m long.

“To tack on a bit more doesn’t have to be expensive.

“We would still work on getting the Reef 2050 Plan amended because of what that does to investor confidence.

“But at least it becomes less urgent.”

Proponents for a return to the original, quadrupled-in-scale project say the Federal Government is not free of blame, with its Reef 2050 plan banning placing capital dredge spoils at sea.

“It has to be amended,” Ms Thirkell said.

“It’s due for revision in 2019, and we will be advocating on behalf of the city to get it changed – you just can’t put this economic cap on the city.”

=======================

Freight boss calls for Admiralty Island port expansion for Cairns

Freight boss calls for Admiralty Island port expansion for Cairns  By Chris Calcino, The Cairns Post, 16 July 2018

https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/freight-boss-calls-for-admiralty-island-port-expansion-for-cairns/news-story/48ffa6ddc6c546822bce9c5c414e7dde

THE boss of Australia’s biggest privately-owned shipping company says Cairns has three options – expand the port, cap the population or let future generations starve.

Sea Swift CEO Fred White has outlined a proposal to transform Admiralty Island into Northern Australia’s premier logistics hub, complete with road and rail access and a fuel tank farm removed from the mainland.

The idea has been bandied about for decades, only now undergoing a resurgence amid Trinity Inlet dredging’s awaited start and predictions of the region’s population doubling to 500,000 by 2050.

Mr White dared politicians to stake a claim for the future or watch jobs float away to centres willing to dream big.

“The hub incorporates a railhead, major road access realignment, laydown areas, and to remove the current constraints limiting existing port operations,” he said.

“Importantly, this concept provides certainty and optimism for current and prospective operators and users and will encourage private sector investment.

Sea Swift CEO Fred White has outlined a proposal to turn Admiralty Island into a new port precinct for Cairns called the Northern Australian Logistics Hub. PICTURE: CAIRNS POST

“There are too many constraints in the current port land use configurations, which impact on efficiencies and increased costs.”

Port land is facing death by a thousand cuts, with concepts like the State Government’s global tourism hub casino-resort expected to remove another valuable bank of potential growth land.

Even the approval for Hemingways Brewery to take over Wharf One raised questions over the State Government’s long-term vision for the port.

Mr White said the lack of an overarching strategic plan to 2050 meant piecemeal developments such as Mourilyan Harbour upgrades or shoe-horning cramped infrastructure into the existing Cairns port would occur sporadically.

Even then, the available land may have a rapidly approaching shelf life.

Cairns only imports fertiliser and fuel by ship, but the scenario will be very different once this century is half exhausted.

Mr White said containerised imports would be necessary once the population reached a critical mass unable to be served solely by road.

Royal Australian Navy, Boarding Party personnel demonstrate a search on a simulated suspect vessel during the Live Exercise demonstration at the Proliferation Security Initiative, Exercise Pacific Protector, 17 held at HMAS Cairns on September 9.

Like Sea Swift, he said major freight firms like Toll and Linfox would want to invest in a state-of-the-art logistics hub on Admiralty Island.

“We’re not quite there yet, but that population is coming and it’s coming at a rate of knots,” he said.

“That’s why we need to start thinking about this and planning for it.”

Sea Swift faces a battle getting the proposal considered by government, with major environmental and cultural concerns about developing the island, particularly considering the volume of dredge spoil necessary to reclaim the land.

Mr White said he was ready for that conversation, noting Portsmith was swampland until dredge spoil made it usable.

“You move it once and it’s future-proofed,” he said.

“It allows foreshore development, but more importantly it allows a working port future.

“We need to reinvest in Cairns and start treating this issue seriously as one of strategic importance to keep our operators here and to attract new ones.”

Enterprise North president Kevin Byrne. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

Byrne backs Sea Swift proposal

ENTERPRISE North has taken aboard Sea Swift’s proposed Northern Australia Logistics Hub as one of its key infrastructure policies.

The fledgling regional advocacy group’s president Kevin Byrne said the time was right to get Ports North, Cairns Regional Council and the State and Federal governments to the table.

He said the concept needed to be integrated into the council’s strategic plan, as well as “agile thinking and innovative funding” from all levels of government.

“Marine-based activities will play a decisive role in our future economic fortunes, providing for employment and domestic and international trading opportunities,” he said.

“We have oodles of land, deep water off Admiralty Island, and we are at the end of the northern rail line and the Pacific Highway.

“These are important strategic advantages and we need to capitalise on them.”

The possibility of moving HMAS Cairns was discussed but not deemed make-or-break, given existing operators’ shift would open up new Defence land in Portsmith.

Representatives from all three tiers of government have received informal presentations on the proposal, along with several marine operators who have showed varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Mr Byrne said the next steps were to work through the details and arrive at a general agreement about progressing the various and staged components of the plan.

“We have the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility here available to support these sorts of projects provided that there is the agreement between Federal and State governments,” he said.

“We create an additional industrial land bank, we relocate the fuel tanks farm to a new and more appropriate location on Admiralty Island, and free up and value-add land within the city in close proximity to the CBD.

“We can look at the growth of HMAS Cairns through a new set of eyes and provide some real impetus behind the mooted Cairns Marine Maintenance Precinct.

“What a wonderful opportunity now to do this.”

Cairns MP Michael Healy is not yet convinced Admiralty Island is the right solution. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.

Questions over the need

THE only way Cairns MP Michael Healy sees the Admiralty Island pitch gaining traction is if Defence opts to shift HMAS Cairns across the inlet.

“If the Federal Government wanted to build a Defence facility at Admiralty Island, then the Federal Government would have the legal right to do so,” he said.

That foray could set the ball rolling for further development, but Mr Healy (above) was not ready to back the proposal without proper scrutiny.

“I think it’s fabulous that we’ve got a significant marine operator in our area that thinks they should be expanding to other areas,” Mr Healy said.

“The authority that is charged with the ongoing development and future needs of our port is Ports North.

“Ports North is made up of a board of selected individuals, the majority of them have been influential locals.

“I would see it as their responsibility to project growth in that area and where we need to be by 2030 and 2050.”

Mayor Bob Manning says working port land should be sacrosanct. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

Inevitability slowly marches forward

MAYOR Bob Manning hoped developing the untouched island between Cairns and East Trinity will not be necessary, but said it may be inevitable if the working port keeps losing space to expand.

“When the City Port masterplan was passed by the Cabinet, it defined the boundary between the City Port and the working port,” he said.

“There was never to be any stepping over the line into the working port.

“You don’t build an airport

and then use it as a parking lot.”

Cr Manning (left) said Cairns’s shipping potential was going backwards, despite multimillion-dollar promises of investment from governments.

“The port has probably the highest density of people of any part of the city,” he said.

“It (Ports North) is there to protect, preserve and provide for the future port needs of Cairns.

“It’s not there to shut these businesses out.

“That should be sacrosanct.”

Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch and Minister for Defence Marise Payne visits HMAS Cairns to speak about expansion plans to the Navy base. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Defending the port’s future

SHIFTING HMAS Cairns off the mainland has Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch’s wholehearted support – and he says the scheme is nothing new to Ports North.

“The Port Authority has already done a concept plan, and the base fits perfectly over there,” he said.

“The fact is, Defence has already committed close to $750 million for upgrades over the next 10 years.

“I’ve already raised it as a prospect the Defence Department needs to look at.”

Mr Entsch (left) said a letter of support from the State Government would help shore up the proposal’s legitimacy in the Federal Government’s eyes.

“We could start looking at some sort of land exchange,”

he said.

“They might be a bit nervous, but the State Government really needs to be on board with this, otherwise we’ll be going nowhere.”

The last of the Mt Emerald wind farm blades arrived at the Port of Cairns on December 19, 2017, in a shipment delivered from Houston in the United States. CREDIT: PORTS NORTH

Masterplan under review

PORTS North is due to create a new development masterplan over the coming 12 months.

“Since 2006, trade demand has been consistent with the masterplan, and the existing infrastructure does not constrain any of the port operations,” a spokeswoman said.

“As part of normal practice Ports North will be undertaking a review of the existing masterplan and developing a new masterplan for the future commencing during this financial year.”

The work will include “significant stakeholder and port user consultation”.

Norship Marine operating with all cylinders firing in February 2016 with maintenance, refits and restoration underway two Armidale Class patrol boats, one Cape Class patrol boat, one Pacific patrol boat, one Freemantle Class patrol boat, two Bay Class patrol boats and 30 commercial vessels (not all pictured). PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Comment: Time to knuckle down

THE term lingchi refers to the ancient Chinese “lingering death” torture and execution process, whereby tiny portions of a person’s body are gradually sliced away until the sweet release of death finally arrives.

Port land in Cairns is slowly but surely going the same way as those poor tormented souls – a finger lopped here for an admittedly lovely brewery, a big toe there for a “global tourism hub” casino.

We can survive on what we’ve got now, but eventually a critical mass will be reached where we need major port growth to allow imports as well as exports, just to keep us fed, clothed and employed.

Cairns has the biggest locally-based commercial marine fleet in the state with 1600 vessels – more than Brisbane’s 1200 and way above the 600 on Townsville’s books.

According to the 2016 census, it boasts the greatest employment in marine activities in Northern Australia, and the region’s population is also the fastest growing in the North.

Unless we take off the blinkers and look far ahead to 2050 and beyond, places like Darwin will catch us with our dacks down.

Turning Admiralty Island into a logistics hub may or may not be the answer, but it is at the very least a strong prospect that will become inevitable if this death by a thousand cuts is allowed to continue.

The benefits are obvious, but the cultural and environmental concerns cannot be ignored and will be a bloody minefield to negotiate.

Leases on the fuel farms in Portsmith start expiring from 2024, and the Federal Government is talking about spending $750 million over a decade on the marine industry with little detail on where it will go.

It’s time to start the discussion.

Chris Calcino
chris.calcino@news.com.au

===========================

Cairns Post article, 14 June 2018

FUNDING for the dredging of Trinity Inlet is not expected to start flowing at least until next financial year.

The Palaszczuk Government has been criticised for not including any new funding for the Cairns Shipping Development Project in the 2018-19 State Budget.

The only mention the project receives in budget papers is a commitment to “progress approvals” for the widening and deepening of the city’s main shipping channel.

A spokesman for Transport Minister Mark Bailey said $60 million towards the project was already committed in the 2017-18 budget, subject to the business case stacking up and all relevant environmental approvals being obtained.

“That commitment, of course, remains,” he said.

“As identified in Budget Paper 2, the Port of Cairns is continuing to progress regulatory approvals.

“The Port is currently awaiting Federal approval of their EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), and the business case for the project is being finalised.

“The State’s funding will flow, and will be reflected in future budget documents, once all relevant approvals have been obtained.”

The initial project involved the removal of 4.1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from Trinity Inlet, to allow larger cruise ships to berth at the port.

The project’s scope was reduced last year to allow 1 million cubic metres of spoil to be dredged, for better environmental and economic outcomes.

Cairns Port Development president Ron Crew, whose group has been fighting to have the channel dredged since the early 2010s, said it sounded like the project had stalled.

“I’m really disappointed in it not getting the green light,” he said.

“I am aware that Townsville Port has received about $1.6 billion, where we were promised $120 million.

“It’s almost laughable that we get left out of it.

“I just can’t believe that we’re not getting the money, and getting it in a hurry.”

————————————

Letter to the Cairns Post Editor following the Coordinator General’s evaluation report, 24 March 2018:

The Coordinator General’s evaluation report on the environmental impact statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project is now available.

Two requirements stated in the project’s Environmental Impact Study report Terms of Reference were to provide ‘descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal,’ and ‘sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.’

The Coordinator General’s report covers a massive range of environmental considerations, but is silent on these two points.

Options for placement of spoil at East Trinity in the 2015 draft EIS had major errors noted in submissions to the CG. East Trinity is not even mentioned in the CG report.

The 2012 Ports North proposal included 10.5 million cubic metres of spoil; the 2015 plan had 4.3 million and the current proposal is ‘less than 1 million’.

Until Ports North presents a full benefit-cost assessment that demonstrates the current plan is the best option, no one, including the CG, should accept the present plan is optimal for the Cairns Region. It doesn’t even pass the ‘pub test’.

=================

Letter published in Cairns Post, 25 July 2017

The Cairns Post article ‘Port must dig deeper’ (24/7) notes Federal Minister Matt Canavan ‘has promised to take up the fight for a more extensive plan…’.

After 5 years and over $8m preparing reports, the revised EIS report is at best a temporary fix; only a quarter of the dredging previously proposed.  But current legislation would prevent any further ‘capital’ dredging projects for two decades.

It is vital that the current proposal be extended to be just the first phase of a longer-term project.

The current proposal to pump all spoil into sand pits by the Barron River is preferred to the alternative location at East Trinity.  However, the report’s reasoning comprises mostly subjective assessments and a few unconvincing quantitative comparisons.

The next immediate step should be preparation of a detailed cost/benefit plan for a long-term phased dredging plan that includes credible comparisons with an alternative to place immediate and future spoil at East Trinity.

=======================

Calls for Cairns Port dredge spoil to go to East Trinity

Calls for Cairns Port dredge spoil to go to East Trinity, 24 July 2017

DREDGING  supporters have dusted off calls for East Trinity to be transformed into a new residential suburb built atop huge amounts of spoil scooped from the bed of Trinity Inlet.

Members of the Cairns Port Development group took ­Senator Matt Canavan and the Cairns Post on a helicopter tour of the city to point out ­potential sites where dredge spoil could be dumped.

Well-known authority on the issue Norm Whitney ­rejected the notion East Trinity was an environmentally ­important natural wetland, pointing to a photos from 1988 showing it was covered by cane farms, grazing land and a healthy melaleuca forest.

Hundreds of those trees now stand dead and leafless in artificial stagnant ponds.

“Compare that to the present environmental mess we overlooked where the now ­former high-and-dry farming land is overgrown with secondary growth vegetation and weeds and is a habitat for feral pigs and other vermin,” Mr Whitney said.

A CSIRO study found the lower sections of East Trinity were 1.4m lower than the original land level.

The group appealed to Mr Canavan to use his political ­influence to have Cairns classed as a priority port and the original 4.4 million cubic-metre capital dredging plan to be reinstated rather than the current scaled-back version.

A dead melaleuca forest now sits in stagnant water at East Trinity.

“The port has to be determined to be a strategic port and the dredging be able to continue as necessary,” Mr Whitney said.

“The present dredging program must only be classified as Stage 1 of the total project.”

Maintenance dredging is ­already undertaken annually but Down Under Cruise and Dive managing director Peppi Iovanella said it barely touched the surface.

He pointed out yachts and small boats actually avoiding the path set by floating leads directing users to the supposedly safest channel to the port, despite maintenance dredging being carried out just last week.

“It’s a joke. It’s not really dredging and it’s not safe. It’s not even maintenance dredging. It’s negligible,” he said.

“Forget the cruise ships, even the local operation is a problem. I don’t totally blame Ports North. All their money goes down to Brisbane.”

The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre and Ports North could not be reached for comment.

PLEDGE TO ACT

FEDERAL Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan has pledged to take up the fight for a more comprehensive dredging scheme and further development of Port of Cairns.

“The port development is crucial to the future of the Cairns economy, especially to ensure it builds a diverse and resilient economy,” he said.

“I will take up the issues raised by Cairns Port Development with the Queensland Government and Ports North.”

=====================

Cairns Post, 16 February 2017

Dredge delays veiled in secrecy

Note: click on the thumb print if article does not show.

A letter published in the Cairns Post, 17 February, from this website’s editor summed up the reaction from all but the more extreme green/left community: ‘The continuing delays to deepening Trinity Inlet are a disgrace (‘Dredge delays veiled in secrecy’, 16/2) – what you would expect in a third-world dictatorship.   I recall a meeting with Mayor Bob Manning nearly two years ago to discuss the port deepening and major associated benefits.   I was dismayed at Bob’s explanations, and said so.  Having led or advised on many far larger projects overseas, I know how projects can be completed rapidly, particularly when the benefit-cost calculations are very positive, as is the case with the port deepening.  Now I realise that the main driver of FNQ infrastructure projects is politics, and offer my apologies to you, Bob, for my naivety.   The latest explanation from Ports North for not completing a comprehensive project plan after some five years, and spending over $8 million dollars of our money, is pathetic and appears to assume we locals are idiots.’

22 June 2016. Excellent news that Cairns Port development seems to be back on track.  The Cairns Post, 22 June, reported ‘PORTS North will zero in on two possible locations to dump one million cubic metres of dredge spoil from Trinity Inlet.  The Cairns Post yesterday revealed dredging of the Cairns shipping channel would be fast-tracked to allow cruise ships up to 300-metres long to dock at the city’s port.  City leaders welcomed the revival of the project, which would have a total cost of about $120 million.  Ports North chairman Russell Beer said the organisation would work hard over the next 12 months to complete a rigorous environmental impact statement and “turn that into an approval”.’ Some background:  After Ports North presented a practical plan in 2012, something happened causing their plans to veer off course.  Was this applying fashionable ‘green’ ideology?  Over $5 million dollars spent on consultants produced a draft EIS, checked by the Coordinator General and passed to Treasurer Pitt who pronounced the port development far too expensive at $365 million.  This draft EIS was shown to have major flaws.  Now different consultants indicate dredging only 1 million cubic metres of spoil – 23% of the previous 4.4 million – will enable larger cruise ships up to 90,000 tonnes and full fuel and sugar cargo ships to navigate the harbour.  The proposal includes innovative ideas such as pumping the spoil to an underwater location in a sand pit, so no expensive treatment will be needed.  Also, an East Trinity site is favoured – presumably to cover the small highly polluted area, as recommended by CSIRO in 1999.  Hopefully the new plan, costed at $120 million, will now be expedited.  It seems fair for the cost of this essential infrastructure be shared equally by the Federal and Queensland State governments.

8 June, the Cairns Post included an impressive 20-page supplement that presented a wide range of articles explaining the issues and benefits available from widening and deepening the Trinity Inlet.  The lead-article was an open letter to the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Queensland Premier asking for their support to expedite the port development project.  The supplement is complimentary to the March 1 report to the Premier Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers.

1 June 2016: Advance Cairns, the peak independent non-government Advocacy and Economic Development Organisation for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), advised on its new website: RECOMMENDATION – Prioritise Cairns port infrastructure as a strategic investment in the regional economy enabling long-term sustained growth for tourism, Navy, port and service industries.  Commit to this $1B industry by supporting the EIS process and implementing the CSDP’ (Cairns Shipping Development Project). The announcement continued: Project Timelines – The final cost will be assessed as part of the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with expenditure in 2017-20. EIS commenced and extended until June 2017′.   This very welcome announcement appears to override Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce previous submission to the Coordinator General which concluded ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure’.  http://www.advancecairns.com/project/shipping-development/ and Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.

The Cairns Post editorial, 17 May, noted the state government’s record of blatantly ignoring the results of it’s own consultation.  ‘First there was the public hearing regarding dredging the Trinity Inlet…Business people presented a great case to have Cairns included as a “port of significance” that would allow large-scale dredging…They were so successful that the people  hearing the arguments recommended the Government include Cairns on that list. ‘  The result?  The Labor State Government kowtowed to the Greens and ignored the recommendation of it’s own committee.  So much for democracy!  (Click on editorial graphic to expand).

CP Editorial, 170516

The following article in the Cairns Post, 6 May, written by Queensland State Treasurer’s about Cairns Port deepening, comprised a mix of facts and misleading information (click on graphic to expand).  A letter published on 7 May explains some of the more egregious points: State Treasurer Curtis Pitt writes ‘Still room to move in the inlet’ (6/05).    The most worrying aspect is that readers may think this is a reasonable assessment.  Just a few of the shortfalls are noted below.  Pitt states the Ports North proposal included ‘land-based options around $365m’.  He formed this view based on the DRAFT EIS, ignoring the correct process to await public submissions, one of which explained the costs were grossly exaggerated, ignored optimum technology solutions, and should cost less than $250m.  Pitt explains simulations have enabled a few of the large cruise ships to berth at the CBD cruise terminal. He does not mention that the majority will still have to anchor off Yorkeys Knob.  Pitt wrote ‘we’ve seen a good environmental and economic outcome..’, but does not mention the many cargo ships that arrive and depart half full because the channel is too shallow, resulting in far higher costs.  Pitt notes Ports North ‘will also be allowed to remove … up to 150,000 cubic metres in any four-year period.’ That rate would take 120 years to deepen and widen the channel as proposed.’

Cairns Post Curtis Pitt opinion piece 8 May

Cairns Post’s InvestCairns magazine, April 2016, Loss of Cruise Control, include several quotes from ‘renowned economist Bill Cummings’ such as “While small to medium-sized cruise ships can be home-ported in Cairns, the city will only fully realise its potential to become a cruise shipping h um if deepening and channel widening takes place – something that will also result in efficiencies for Cairns as a cargo and naval port.”

Invest Cairns magazine 200416

A letter from Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Chief of Staff, John Humphreys (Qld Treasurer reply 120416), 12 April included: ‘Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North) requested an extension to the EIS deadline to allow it further time to review target vessel sizes and channel improvements options, include the latest survey and field information on revised channel designs, undertake simulations to verify the size of cruise ships and access of reduced  upgrade channel and a tidal window analysis. This request was approved by the Coordinator-General in December 2015 and the project lapse date has been extended to 30 June 2017.’ 

A letter published in the Cairns Post, 5 April, summed up the current impasse: ‘I refer to the Cairns Post story “Make Aquis Happen – Stop mucking around’ (26/03). A Cairns business leader is warning Queensland Government to stop playing politics with … Aquis”.  Then on page 23 “Cairns a jobless hotspot – Cairns was still 2.1% above the state average.” (7/3)  I also recall the article “HMAS Cairns major expansion to make it key northern defence base.  The confidential documents, obtained by The Cairns Post, reveal a new role for the city that includes dredging the inlet and expanding the base to accommodate 3000 personnel in an estimated $2 billion boon to the local economy.”  Since then, it has been a deafening silence.  Also, a recent report sent to the Premier and ministers explained how the reasons given for delaying Cairns Port development have been overcome.  The report (see www.better-management.org) recommended the State government should expedite completion of a “shovel-ready” project plan.  The total inaction suggests the rumours after the State election that the Greens did a deal with Labor to prevent large-scale projects in Cairns were true.   Sorry Cairns, you’ve been dudded by your Governments.’  Note: The report can be downloaded from Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers.  The report includes: ‘An independent group of specialists should be contracted as soon as possible to deliver a ‘shovel-ready’ plan to complete the port development, including a full benefit-cost analysis. Suggested terms of reference for this assignment are at Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.

 An article in the Cairns Post, 7 March, noted: ‘TOP-level documents reveal plans to triple the size of HMAS Cairns as northern Australia’s key strategic naval base. The confidential documents, obtained by The Cairns Post, reveal a new role for the city that includes dredging the inlet and expanding the base to accommodate 3000 personnel in an estimated $2 billion boon to the local economy.’  See http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/hmas-cairns-major-expansion-to-make-it-key-northern-defence-base/news-story/975d9b137efb74d8479f7588ef4f2a27 . Also John MacKenzie discussed the issue with former head of the Australian Army Lieutenant General John Grey: http://www.4ca.com.au/mornings/50986-will-the-feds-force-the-dredging-project-to-happen.

CPDI presentation to Coordinator General – Cairns Port Development Inc. made a presentation to the  Queensland State Coordinator General from a high-level suite near the Trinity Inlet on 8 December 2015.  The venue allowed the presenters to point out the CoG the major developments in Cairns that had been achieved over half a century using spoil dredged from the inlet.  The presentation described the many issues relating to the proposed port development proposal, including several errors in the Ports North draft EIS such as the exaggerated costs.  The major benefits the Cairns Region would gain following the proposed development were explained, together with tables showing the calculations.  The Power Point presentation can be downloaded from: CPD Inc. Presentation to the Coordinator General, update.

The Cairns Post Editorial, 22 January, heading Public input just ignored, compared the  Labor State Government’s parliamentary hearing concerning the reduced nightclub opening hours with the previous hearings regarding the Cairns port “priority port” status.  In both instances, it is clear the supposed ‘consultation’ was a sham.  Even when the government’s own priority port committee recommended, without dissent, that Cairns should have priority port status, the Labor masters in Brisbane ignored their committee’s recommendation; an expensive con more worthy of a communist state.    The Editorial concludes: ‘To invite guidance from the public is fair and right, to then ignore it is the height of hubris and conceit – something the Queensland electorate has shown contempt for.’  The complete editorial below makes compelling reading:

1-CP Editorial 220116,2

A letter from Peter Campion, Tolga, in The Cairns Post, 2 January, summarises the current deplorable status: ‘Doctor Fanny Douvere, the marine program coordinator at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, does not expect the Abbot Point port expansion to hurt the Great Barrier Reef.  Yet here in Cairns, the State Labor Government, using dodgy legislation and its fully-owned company Ports North, is continuing to delay the much-needed improvement of our port.  Our local “environmental experts” at CAFNEC help the ALP’s anti-Cairns cause by spreading blatant falsehoods about our port, including that dredging it will kill the Reef.  Science has proven our anti-port minority wrong at every step and now even UNESCO agrees dredging is not a problem.  For Far North Queensland to be truly sustainable, we need our port to be fully functional.  It’s now clear that to return our port to full efficiency we need to expose CAFNEC’s propaganda and to dump the ALP at the next election.’  Note: responding to a letter criticising this letter (09/01), Campion replied (CP letter 07/01): ‘(The writer) has  been conned by CAFNEC and the anti-Cairns ALP and seems unaware of local history’, followed by supporting evidence. 

The Cairns Post Editorial, 1 January 2016: Tourism the way ahead…..With such a bright outlook for a tourism-related economic boost, it is timely for our city leaders to consider adopting a stronger stance on dredging Trinity inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock. As the Australian dollar stays relatively low, more and more foreigners will add Australia to their travel lists, and the Far North and Great Barrier Reef are highly likely to be on the itinerary. In light of UNESCO’s tacit approval of recently announced wholesale dredging of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, surely that opens the door for the same in Cairns.  Dredging opponents and federal and state government have used UNESCO’s threat to downgrade the Reef’s status as a reason to ban large-scale dredging in the inlet.  But the world environmental watch dog barely gave a whimper after the Abbot Point dredging plan was revealed.  As the inlet’s Environmental Impact process drags on, Abbot Point has now made itself a compelling precedent….

An ABC Rural article noted Dr Fanny Douvere, marine program coordinator at the World Heritage Centre and involved in the recent UNESCO decision not to list the reef as ‘in danger’, said: ‘Port expansion is not an issue if it is managed well’.  http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-24/unesco-not-worried-by-reef-ports/7052924?WT.mc_id=newsmail. This article gives the lie to many related statements from Federal and State Governments and other ‘green’ organisations.

An article was published in  the Cairns Post business section, 23 November:  ‘Benefits of dredging impossible to ignore’:

Cairns Post article, 23,12,15,

The article above followed the Cairns Post article by Nick Dalton, 19/12/15: Call to get big ships into port, reproduced below with additional comments in Italics:

Treasurer and acting State Development Minister Curtis Pitt has instructed Ports North to focus on ways to increase the size of ships entering the city’s port.

  The Government has granted the authority an 18-month extension to an environmental impact statement. The final Terms of Reference for the Cairns Shipping Development Project were released by the Coordinator General in September 2012. Ports North announced they had commissioned consultants ARUP to complete the EIS in April 2013. Ports North stated the draft EIS report would be provided in May 2014, then a delay to September 2014. Ports North said changed conditions required further work and had delayed the report. In fact, the Terms of Reference had not changed, and the ‘changed conditions’, ie government ruling against dumping dredge spoil at sea, required far less work rather than more as the TOR always required assessment of options to place dredging spoil on land. The draft EIS was finally released in April 2015.   Rather than waiting for submissions and a final EIS (a key requirement of the CoG’s assessment process), Mr Pitt announced ‘on the basis of the draft EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging’ – he later explained the $365m cost calculated in the draft EIS was unacceptably high. A submission to the CoG demonstrated the draft EIS had grossly exaggerated the project costs (Submission to Coordinator General.)

  While full-scale dredging has been ruled out, Mr Pitt said dredging the mouth or approach channel to the Trinity Inlet shipping waterway and the swing basin was expected to be included in the EIS.   Rather than ‘expected’, the EIS TOR required this inclusion.

  Wholesale dredging has been ruled out on the grounds of cost (estimated at $100m) and a ban on dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Marine Park. The terms ‘full-scale’ and ‘wholesale’ dredging have not been defined, so are meaningless. Again, the draft EIS described options for on-land placement of spoil, albeit at a grossly exaggerated cost.

  The dredging was to allow larger ships, particularly cruise liners, to navigate the channel.

  The Government wants the port to look at dredging parts of the channel and the swing basin so bigger ships can enter and turn around. This is precisely what the draft EIS was directed to do.

  The Cairns Shipping Development Project is able to proceed under the transitional arrangements as part of the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 passed in the November 12 Parliament sitting. So the Sustainably Port Development Act 2015 was a complete red herring as far as Cairns Port is concerned – a massive distraction from the main event.

  “The scope of the project includes capital dredging of the swing basins and Trinity Inlet and deepening of the approach channel to the port”, Mr Pitt said. Mr Pitt said previously the Reef 2050 report, on which the agreement signed by Federal Minister Greg Hunt with UNESCO is based, precludes ‘capital dredging’ in Cairns Port, which Mr Pitt said the Cairns Shipping Development Project would require. In fact, the Reef 2050 report states ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.(Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) The Cairns Shipping Development project requires ‘maintenance dredging, defined as ‘to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility’.

  Mr Pitt said the Coordinator-General had allowed Ports North until June 30 2017 to re-submit an EIS for the project. Ports North contracted their consultants in April 2013 to produce a draft EIS report that covers everything Mr Pitt says he wants. The draft EIS did not adequately cover two key requirements of the TOR: ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’. AndThe indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’ Competent specialists could complete these two requirements in a few months if they were directed to do so. An extension of 18 months, when there has already been a delay of more than 12 months, is completely unnecessary, and can only be deliberate procrastination.

  “Granting this extension gives Ports North more time to develop a project that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the expansion of Cairns Port”, he said. Nothing additional to the requirements of the original EIS TOR has been requested. It must therefore be concluded that Mr Pitt’s announcements can only be a deliberate means of delaying the port deepening and subsequent benefits to the Cairns Region even longer.

   “We can strike a balance that protects the environment and supports economic development, jobs and future trade growth.” This is exactly what the CoG’s TOR for the EIS required.

   Perhaps, as The Cairns Post Editorial, 3 September, noted: ‘The decision by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham to consign Cairns’ port to second-tier status should [has] cause[d] outrage throughout the Far North.’

   The editorial Cairns Post editorial, EIS backflip a big query, 220815 explains the main problem: ‘If the revised EIS suddenly comes back with a favourable opinion of increased dredging, surely this raises suggestions the government is advising its consultants what outcome they should find rather than merely letting the science do the talking.’  Not only the ‘science’, but assessing and describing in more detail the major benefits the Cairns Region will gain after the port deepening has been completed (See Cummings Economics submission Cummings Economics submission).

 It is highly unlikely that the Government will direct Ports North to produce a full plan for deepening the port that would be necessary for logical related decisions to be made, and so most unlikely Ports North will direct their consultants to produce such a plan. This plan should be produced by a new group of independent consultants as soon as possible, including a full benefit-cost analysis based on best-practice methods. Terms of Reference for such an assignment have been drafted: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115

==========================

A summary of the Cairns Port deepening saga

  • Cairns Region will gain major benefits from port deepening, estimated at $5 billion over 25 years, including business growth and many job opportunities.  See Cummings Economics submission.
  • Australia’s long-established defence programs need Cairns Port naval base as a fully-operational strategic port for regional and coastal operations.
  • Spoil from major dredging programs will not be discharged offshore in future, irrespective of scientific reports.  Why? Because government agreements and public perceptions and reactions preclude this.

…… HERE’S HOW

  • Dredging spoil has been put on land to develop Cairns city and its economy for many decades, and can be again – e.g. Portsmith.
  • But Ports North’s draft EIS exaggerated the cost of putting spoil on land. See Submission to Coordinator General.
  • So a new report is needed ASAP to present the most cost-effective plan and quantify the resulting benefits.
  • Government dredging decisions, including those following negotiations with UNESCO, have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.Reef 2050 plan excerpts.
  • Port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed.

…… AND IF PORT DEEPENING IS NOT EXPEDITED?

    • The whole Cairns Region will suffer major economic, business and job losses, and Australia will not have a strategic port’ in the far north.
    • The miniscule coven of green/Labor extremists will have won their covert battle to impose their anti-growth ideology on the Cairns Region.
    • The State Labor Government can expect to lose the four local seats at the next election if the LNP demonstrate credible support for expediting port deepening.
  • Cairns Region Councillors that don’t support expediting port deepening can expect to be replaced at the election next year by Councillors that do.

SO WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NOW? ‘PLAN B’?

    • Qld State Treasurer Curtis Pitt was reported in the Cairns Post on 15 May saying.  “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent, can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal.’
    • Dr Anthony Lynham, Qld Minister for State Development said on 11 November  ‘The (Ports North draft) EIS proposal is respected by the government as being in place before this (the Port Sustainability Bill)….The Bill has nothing to do with the EIS….The Coordinator General (who controls the EIS process) is independent but has to abide by the government policy but on decisions such as extending EISs, he is independent…..I can’t tell him what to do….Maintenance dredging is for maintaining the existing channel.  It is not for widening channels….Unfortunately the strategic designation (instead of the Bill’s category of Priority Port) doesn’t come under UNESCO or the Bill.  That would be quite difficult to throw in another category now after all the negotiation with UNESCO.’ 
    • BUT…recall the Reef 2050 report, which formed the basis for Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s negotiations with UNESCO states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’  The Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015, Schedule 1 subsequently modified the Reef 2050 definition to: ‘Capital dredging – (a)  means dredging or enlarging a channel, basin, port, berth or other similar thing; or’……. (b) does not include dredging to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility.
    • Surely ‘effective ongoing operation of a port facility’ includes the ability for large cruise, cargo and naval ships to use the port?
    • The Ports North proposal was submitted well before the Bill, and the EIS deadline has been extended to the end of March 2016.  Minister Lynham said it is up to the CoG as to whether this deadline is extended, noting the only time an extension was not granted after a reasonable request was when the EIS was not completed after 7 years and the company had ‘folded’.
    • The State Government has given Ports North another $350,000 (on top of the previous $5.1m) for its consultants to review the draft EIS – presumably expecting different conclusions.
    • The latest technologies and methodologies should underpin the modified draft EIS, and result in different conclusions, including far lower costs (see Submission to Coordinator General).
  • The modified draft EIS could satisfy all requirements: lower cost dredging of the existing channel and all spoil put on land rather than at sea (thus complying with the Reef 2050 report, although possibly a problem with the Bill’s modified definition); meeting environmental requirements; complying with Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s agreement with UNESCO to not de-list the reef; meeting Australia’s naval strategic requirements; and last but not least, enabling the Cairns Region to benefit from the major economic benefits when the next stage of port deepening is completed.

How to ensure Ports North’s modified draft EIS results in expediting the requisite port deepening ASAP?

    • In a nutshell, the Coordinator General needs to ensure Ports North interpret the EIS Terms of Reference (TOR) correctly so the modified draft EIS provide:  ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’; and ‘The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’  (See Cairns Shipping Development EIS TOR Nov 2012.)
  • These points were not covered adequately in the current draft EIS.  The approach suggested in the following document would  ensure the modified draft EIS provides all the information necessary for the relevant authorities to decide to expedite the port deepening: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115

======================

Recent progress and events

The Cairns Post, 18 November article noted: SUPPORTERS of dredging Trinity Inlet will meet the state’s Co-ordinator General and lobby Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure deepening and widening activities suffer no further setbacks.  Dredging restrictions are in place after the state’s Sustainable Ports Development Bill passed with bipartisan support on Friday…. The State Opposition has defended its stance in voting against exempting Cairns and Mourilyan from restrictions.  “The two major parties’ collusion has put the Port of Cairns back 50 years.” …. Cairns Port Development Inc. spokeswoman, Emma Thirkell, said members would lobby federal politicians to place greater weight on scientific evidence supporting dredging, its lack of impact on the Reef and the positives for business that dredging offered.  “Agreement is in place for us to meet the Co-ordinator General and we hope to update Cairns Regional Councillors on the present situation and the possible repercussions of this bill,” she said.   See full article at: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-port-development-inc-takes-trinity-inlet-dredging-proposal-to-federal-politicians/story-fnjpusyw-1227612935494

Cairns Post articles, 4 and 5 November, spell out the State Government’s latest restriction on dredging limits for Cairns Port.  At 150,000 cubic metres in 4 years, this would mean completing the 4.5 million cubic metres proposed to deepen the channel in 120 years.  Weirdly, Advance Cairns CEO is quoted saying this: “provides for the ability for the port to grow as our city grows”.  This is in line with the Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce submission to the Coordinator General regarding the Ports North draft EIS, which states: ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure to support the growth of the regional economy.’  Over 120 years?  Listen to John MacKenzie discussing this conundrum with Peter Senior on 4CA radio talkback.  Several other callers raised similar points with John, including a member of Cairns Chamber complaining that members had not been consulted, and she totally disagreed with the stance, as presented in today’s update ‘A workable solution for Cairns.  We have some very exciting news to share with you…’:

 28 October, 4CA Talkback: Federal Senator Warren Entsch discussed with Peter Senior the overall port deepening issue; in particular the point noted above that the proposed port deepening is defined as ‘maintenance dredging’ in the authoritative Reef 2050 report, as such is allowed and should go ahead – if only the local State Members would support what is clearly in the best interests of the Cairns Region.  This is essential listening:

22 October.  Senators Ian Macdonald and Bob Katter talked with John Mackenzie on 4CA Talkback about deepening Cairns Port to enable large naval, cruise and cargo ships to use the port and facilities.  Both Senators noted deepening is essential, should be expedited, and will bring major benefits to FNQ.  Naval access is also an essential Australian defence requirement.  Senator Macdonald said: “The Qld Government really has to ignore the minority greens groups who will make up any story to stop any sort of development in Cairns or anywhere else and get some sensible advice…”. Everyone should listen carefully to these comments:

A letter from Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, 16 October 2015 stated: ‘The government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan… However, any future development must be consistent with the government’s commitment to protect the GBRWHA and its ban on sea based disposal of port related capital dredge material.’  See Minister Lynham letter 161015.   As noted above, the Reef 2050 report states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas(see Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) Given that the proposed port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; and IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed, it seems the Minister is approving port deepening as further maintenance dredging, particularly if the dredging spoil is disposed of on land.

6 October, the second cruise ship anchored at Yorkeys Knob in so many weeks is unable to get passengers ashore for trips – passengers express great disappointment; Cairns reputation sullied; tour companies lose big $$$$$.

1 October, new Chairman of Ports North announced by State Labor Government Minister.  Cairns Post article heading ‘Chairman confident of port progress’ only aligns with recent State actions if ‘progress’ means towards boutique port status. Noted on Facebook: Yes, another Labor stooge. If Labor wasn’t sure he’d follow their directives, he wouldn’t have been appointed. The sorry fact is, Government funds many activities in Cairns, and directs these operations through their well-paid bureaucrats that also mostly lean to the green/Left. What an unholy alliance! Labor’s recent decisions prove they intend financing Townsville expansion and downgrading Cairns Port to boutique status, irrespective of contrary evidence. If Cairns Port deepening supporters continue to play by the Brisbane-controlled Labor rules, we’ll lose – for sure. Go figure…

18 September: the Ports Sustainability Bill has been postponed.

The Cairns Port Development Inc. petition signature sheets were handed to the Queensland Parliament at 7.28 AM on 15 September.  The 4,099 written signatures plus the 2,017 online signatures totalled  6,116 – one of the largest petitions ever from the Cairns region.

As a reminder, the petition reads:  TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.    Queensland citizens draw to the attention of the House the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 does not include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as priority ports. If capital dredging is discontinued, new larger passenger, naval and cargo ships will not be able to enter the ports. The estimated earnings foregone may be more than $5Bn over the next 25 years, compounding the record high youth unemployment rates.  Your petitioners request the House to amend the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 to include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as ‘priority ports’ allowing the ports to carry out vital capital works dredging NOW and always. We also request that an independent project be commissioned to assess and recommend the lowest cost environmentally acceptable dredging solution. Revitalize our economy, restore confidence and save many businesses from the brink of bankruptcy.

Six months out from the local government election, Cairns lawyer Jim Brooks on Friday announced the arrival of his Connect Cairns team in front of supporters, including Cairns MP Rob Pyne.  Brooks, Pyne and CAFNEC are joining forces to oppose deepening the Port and stymie the huge economic benefits the Cairns region would gain.

The Cairns Post 3  Sept. noted: ‘Minister shuns committee report into developing Port of Cairns’ and ‘A WIDE-reaching inquiry by a Queensland parliamentary committee has found that excluding the Port of Cairns as a priority port would have a “detrimental impact” on the growth of the region and have negative impacts on employment and tourism, and on business.  ‘However ‘Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, who dismissed the committee’s findings just hours after they were released.  “I appreciate the committee’s consideration of the Bill and their report will be considered in full and in detail,” he said in a statement.  “However, the Government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan.’              http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/minister-shuns-committee-report-into-developing-port-of-cairns/story-fnjpusdv-1227509909212

The Cairns Post Editorial, 3 September, noted: ‘The decision by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham to consign Cairns’ port to second-tier status should cause outrage throughout the Far North….The good doctor rejected this (Committee Report unanimous) recommendation and bowed to the threats of a foreign environmental body (UNESCO) over the pleas of Cairns’ top business groups’ (http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/opinion/second-tier-status-for-cairns-port-is-a-disgrace/story-fnjpuwl3-1227509793053).

An allied issue is flagged in the Cairns Post editorial, 27 August, ‘THE State Government must act immediately or we can all watch the Aquis ship and its bounty sail out of the (undredged) Trinity Inlet….the stench of bureaucracy-induced failure… If the Fungs walk away from Cairns, heads should roll in the halls of state parliament.’ CP Editorial re Aquis 270815.

The Cairns Port Development Inc. advertisement appeared in the Cairns Post again on Thursday 27 August  DON’T SINK OUR PORT petition advertisement.

The Cairns Post article, 22 August, ‘New look at dredging – Ports North told to come up with revised proposal’ can be read at: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-port-dredging-plan-back-on-the-cards-in-state-government-rethink/story-fnjpusyw-1227493667126.  The editorial Cairns Post editorial, EIS backflip a big query, 220815 explains the main problem: ‘If the revised EIS suddenly comes back with a favourable opinion of increased dredging, surely this raises suggestions the government is advising its consultants what outcome they should find rather than merely letting the science do the talking.’  Until a new independent assignment is completed (see below) the project will be stalled, along with realising the $25 billion of benefits forecast over 25 years.

Terms of reference for a new assignment to produce a Cairns Port Deepening Plan respond to Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s requests to:  ‘recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal’; and put another option ‘on the table.’   This plan would provide essential information to enable State and local governments, Cairns business leaders and the Cairns community to understand fully and make informed decisions on deepening and widening the Trinity Inlet and basin.  Terms of reference for this assignment have been prepared: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.  Any related decisions made before this or a similar project is completed, including public disclosure, are likely based on conjecture and/or ideology.

Cairns Post 4 August, article by State Treasurer Curtis Pitt: ‘Where we differ from the previous government is that its proposal for capital dredging in Trinity Inlet never stacked up on any measure and couldn’t proceed – the volume of dredge spoil and costs over $360 million were uneconomic….The EIS is a live process and will be used as a vehicle to put in an overarching plan for expansion works.’  The $360M has been shown to be very and deliberately exaggerated, and surely ‘expansion works’ does not suggest the proposed vital major port deepening project?

Cairns Post, 1 August: ‘Independent Member for Cook Billy Gordon and Katter’s Australian Party MPs Shane Knuth and Rob Katter have revealed to The Cairns Post they would move an amendment to the Government’s Bill that would designate Cairns and Mourilyan ports as “priority ports”.‘  The newspaper’s very supportive editorial includes: ‘The fact that the government even wants to limit coastal development in Queensland at all should be fought tooth and nail’. (Click on article to enlarge). http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/queensland-mps-unite-against-bill-which-could-sink-cairns-port/story-fnjpusyw-1227465438442

Cairns Post Editorial 010815

The  Ports Bill Committee public hearing at Cairns, 29 July, was a great success for supporters of dredging the Trinity Inlet and basin as far as conveying our message to the Committee and emphasising the width and depth of Cairns’ public support.  But will it be effective?  The Cairns Post front page heading DON’T SINK OUR PORT, editorial, cartoon and double-page spread describe overwhelming support, demanding major changes to the Ports Bill, and action from Federal and State Governments to expedite the dredging.  Failure will lead to Cairns’ economy slowly sinking.  http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/state-government-urged-to-rethink-ports-bill-for-far-north/story-fnjpusdv-1227462332057 .  The numerous calls to John MacKenzie’s 4CA Talkback were equally supportive.

Cairns Post poll, 24 July: ‘Do you support increased dredging of Trinity Inlet’.  Result in Monday 27th edition: YES 73%.

Friends of the Port of Cairns is now Cairns Port Development Inc. (Incorporation #IA55117).  A media release CPD media release 280715 includes a summary of Cummings Economics’ presentation, on behalf of CPD, to the public hearing of the Ports Bill Committee in Cairns 29 JulyThe presentation is at CPD Presentation to Ports Bill Committee, 290715.

Friends of the Port of Cairns submission to the Qld Coordinator General responded to the Ports North draft Environment Impact Report (EIS): Submission to Coordinator General The submission summary concludes:We request the Coordinator General recommend to the Government that a more comprehensive study be undertaken of placement options in consultation with the Cairns community with a view to developing a lower cost and environmentally acceptable solution to enable the project to proceed as soon as possible.’

Cummings Economics submission to the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 on behalf of the Friends of the Port of Cairns supports the continuing development of the Port of Cairns. Details of the many major benefits that will result from dredging the Trinity Inlet are presented.  http://www.cummings.net.au/pdf/reports/J2865_IPNRC_SustainablePortsDevelopmentBill2015.pdf 

Cummings Economics submission to the Qld Coordinator General, Cummings Economics submission, presents a compelling case for the dredging.  Conservative calculations of the benefits to Cairns total $1.35 billion NPV – $5 bn in cash terms over 25 years, or at least $200 million each year.  Who is stalling these benefits?

Adam Gowlett, Branch President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia talked with John MacKenzie on 4CA radio talkback, 21st August, explaining how the Qld State Labor Government is short-changing Cairns in favour of the South East, and Townsville in particular where $65m has just been allocated to dredge and expand their port plus more major expenditure: .

Friends of the Port of Cairns Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/PortofCairns

Local developer Ken Frost’s submission presents an exciting approach for Cairns long-term needs –  EIS submission KF

A brief submission from Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce equivocates, noting Ports North will need to be able to continue to undertake incremental development projects…’ : Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.

The current status of the East Trinity property is described in an article in The Cairns Post, 20 June: East Trinity, not a wetland, just a mess, CP article 200615

East Trinity for future urban growth and more vital benefits for Cairns were described in an article in the Cairns Post, 6 June (click on picture below to expand). 

Dredging Tinity to build a new city

Radio 4CA July 23, 2015. John MacKenzie speaks with Peter Senior from Cairns Port Development Inc. and Tim Nicholls MP for Clayfield and shadow minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Small Business and Trade 23rd July 2015 about progressing the dredging of Cairns Harbour.

Talkback host John MacKenzie discussed Friends of the Port of Cairns’ submission with Peter Senior on 3 June:

Ports North $5 million draft EIS can be downloaded in sections from: .  Click here to see the draft EIS Executive Summary.

East Trinity’s history is described in this article, from page 25:   A Sustainable East Trinity

================================

More post contents

    1. Update
    1. Another option: a phased approach
    1. Articles and letters in the Cairns Post
    1. John MacKenzie’s radio talkback show
    1. TV News
    1. Background and history
  1. Other related documents

Introduction

An aerial photograph of East Trinity, Trinity Inlet and the Cairns CBD in 1942 is shown below, with points of interest flagged (click on graphic to expand).  Note the area some ‘greens’ insist should be ‘restored’ to wetlands never was wetlands – it was saltpan, grassland and woodland.

1942 aerial photo of Cairns

…. and this is a recent photo of the Southern end of the East Trinity property.  Note the dead Melaleuca trees as a result of flooding by sea water – which CSIRO strongly recommended against.

East Trinity now, dead maleleucas

The next 7 sections explain the convoluted steps that resulted in the current dismaying situation.

1. Update

For the latest in the long-running saga concerning dredging the Trinity Inlet at Cairns and reclamation at East Trinity, check the Facebook site, Friends of the Port of Cairns – https://www.facebook.com/PortofCairns. 

The Facebook site includes a petition you may want to send to the Coordinator General:  http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-port-of-cairns.html – it only takes a couple of minutes to read, then send if you agree.  As at 4 June, 1,298 have ‘liked’ the site, and 170 almost-all local people have sent the petition.

Check this Post for more background information and proposals.

———————————————-.

The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement report was released on Saturday 18 April.  State Government  Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the DRAFT EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging.   Listening to callers on radio talkback shows, the overwhelming overall reaction is extreme dismay. 

Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne added to the dismay, as described in the Cairns Post Editorial, 25 April (see full text in Section 3):  Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician…  Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy… He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly…”.

Cairns Post article, 27 April (full text is in section 3) included: Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider the economic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion.  CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14.  Ms Abel said.  “… Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.” 

Cairns Post, 30 April, article (see details in section 3): BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet.

This post suggests a practical and cost-effective way to avoid dumping the dredging spoil at sea as well as reclaiming the degraded State-owned area at East Trinity.  Many related issues are discussed, media coverage is presented and relevant background is explained.

The report, Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214, presents a proposal to dredge Cairns Trinity Inlet channel; and reclaim the State-owned degraded East Trinity property; and gain major short and long-term benefits for Cairns community and businesses……AT NO NET COST to taxpayers.  Imagine a residential suburb at East Trinity:

 ET with suburb, small

2. Another option: a phased approach

Note: This section has not been updated since the draft EIS was released.  Some of the assumptions and figures used in the draft EIS are in serious doubt, as are some of the conclusions.  It is expected that further checking by different specialist engineers will identify substantially different conclusions that may be more in line with the proposal outlined in the Phase 1 proposal described below. 

Another variation on Phase 1 (call it Phase 1b) could be, if both the State and Federal Governments are persuaded to allow capital dredge to be placed offshore (currently very unlikely), then the State could sell their 944 ha property at East Trinity to pay all dredging costs, with the proviso that the developer must resolve the current pollution problems on parts of this property.

Responding to comments by the previous State Member for Parliament, Gavin King, that East Trinity could not be developed for many years until the dredged spoil has settled, an alternative option is now presented.

Pending release of the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) report, it was stated that ‘500 hectares’ of East Trinity land will be required to place the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil.  Given the fact that the State-owned property at East Trinity is 943.6 ha, the residual 443.6 ha of property could be available for development immediately, noting 168 ha of this part is raised, affording grand views across the inlet to the CBD and hills beyond.

The original report has been updated to include a Phase 1 where half of the residual 443.6 ha is sold to one or more developers for a nominal sum, on the condition that the developer(s) pay all the costs of dredging, spoil treatment and associated costs, which the original report estimated at $125m.  However, as it is understood the Ports North EIS estimates these costs as between $200m and $250m, a midway figure of $225m is assumed.   The changes to the original report are shown in red.  An alternative with the same effect would be for the state to sell the land outright and use the proceeds to pay for the dredging and spoil treatment.  Phase 1 is estimated to produce a profit of $7m, although more land could be available which could enable the level of profit to be increased.  The updated report can be downloaded from Dredging and East Trinity opportunities, phased, 230115.

Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

The Federal Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, released on 21 March 2015, includes the intention to: ‘mandate the beneficial reuse of port-related capital dredge spoil, such as land reclamation in port development areas, or disposal on land where it is environmentally safe to do so; [and] to establish a maintenance dredging framework which identifies future dredging requirements, ascertains appropriate environmental windows to avoid coral spawning and protect seagrass, and examines opportunities for beneficial reuse of dredge material or on-land disposal where it is environmentally safe to do so.’  Unfortunately the report becomes suspect when it introduces climate change alarmist ‘PC’ phrases such as ‘ocean acidification’, which are not included in the ‘glossary of commonly used terms’ and is an oxymoron anyway – all oceans are alkaline (PH about 8.1); it is physical impossibility for oceans to become acid, i.e. less than neutrality, about PH 7.  Recent government dredging decisions have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’  Port deepening: is NOT a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed.  See Reef 2050 plan excerpts.

During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report.    Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has applauded the government’s move to ban the dumping of any capital dredge spoil in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters, but says it shouldn’t be news to Ports North in regards to their Port of Cairns dredge proposal.

Warren Entsch: “dredging critical for growth”

An article in Dredging News Online, 20 March, noted: ‘Entsch says land-based disposal  “dredging critical for growth”.  “I congratulate Environment Minister Greg Hunt for this decision, it’s something that I’ve been arguing for forever – even in regards to maintenance dredging going into the waters,” Mr Entsch said.  “I’ve always said that we have an obvious opportunity on East Trinity, it’s the perfect site for disposing of the dredge spoil.  “It provides us with an opportunity to bring the next stage of the development of Cairns closer to the CBD by developing a site that is only five minutes across the water.”  Mr Entsch said he couldn’t see why the option hasn’t already been factored in by Ports North.  “Greg Hunt has indicated for a long time that his preferred option for disposal is on land, and I have certainly conveyed this message to Ports North with every meeting I have had with them. So I don’t see any reasons why there would be delays as they have already considered a number of land-based options.”  Mr Entsch said it was critical that the dredging of Trinity Inlet take place. “Just look at the expansion of the cruise ship industry, which has been phenomenal. One of the large cruise companies is looking at Cairns as a home base, but that may never happen without dredging.  “While undoubtedly a land-based option will be more expensive, what needs to be factored in is the environmental benefits of taking the pressure off hill slopes as our city grows, and the economic benefits of reducing ribbon development as we head south past Gordonvale.  “Originally the plan was for 25,000 people at East Trinity, this can be expanded further to the adjoining land west of the Yarrabah road, allowing a significant increase in our population base. It also gives us a genuine second access to Cairns and would significantly improve connectivity between the Yarrabah community and the city.”  Mr Entsch said he understood that it would be several years before any dredge spoil at the site would have settled enough to be developed. “However there’s an opportunity to develop the adjoining areas in the meantime, and encourage private investment,” he said. “The end result is that it would significantly expand capacity close to our CBD and contain the city to a much smaller footprint.  “There’s been more than enough time for EIS to be assessed. I’d urge the new Queensland government to release it as soon as possible, so that the Cairns community can talk about the options.”

Achieving a failed promise at no cost to the taxpayer

One would imagine that achieving a failed promise made by the previous LNP Government at no cost to the taxpayer would be viewed very favourably by the new State Treasurer, Curtis Pitt (who has inherited a very serious budget deficit) as well as the new MP for Cairns, Rob Pyne.  Regrettably, complications arising from current charges relating to the State Government member for Cook, Billy Gordon, may delay the long-awaited release of the EIS report for public viewing.

Why the delay?

Consider the statement by The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Ex Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government  on John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23rd January, a week before the State election:

…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done.  Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen….. (details and context below).

Note: the Liberal National Party (LNP) was swept from power in a rout at the Queensland State election on 31 January 2015, to be replaced by Labor (ALP)  in a coalition with an  independent member and Katter party members.  To date, in addressing the dredging EIS, the four local Cairns region Labor candidates said only that they will await the EIS release before making any related decisions.   It may be relevant that the Labor Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, is the local Mulgrave  member and won his seat comfortably.  So, back to all in limbo, but with different people in charge!  It may also be relevant that the previous Cairns Member, Gavin King, who consistently spoke in almost sycophantic support of Ports North’s plans, lost his seat in a landslide.

Surely the general public has a right to know exactly what these ‘roadblocks’ noted by David Crisafulli are; not just hinting at dark secrets that sound more like a conspiracy.   Hopefully all will be revealed shortly by the new Labor Government and its four local members.

Who gains by delaying the EIS?

    • It would probably be quicker and easier for Ports North to dump the dredged spoil in the proposed extended area at the end of the Trinity Inlet Channel (if some-one else pays).  However, this is at odds with the Labor State Government’s view as well as Federal Government and the previous LNP State Government views and directives.
    • Both the Cairns Regional Council and all those involved in the sudden recent announcement of the  major residential development at Mount Peter would likely be very averse to competition from another residential development a few kilometres away at East Trinity.
  • Last year (2014) the CRC Mayor, Bob Manning, expressed his belief that the spoil should be placed at sea, and that the State-owned land at East Trinity should not be involved in the dredging project at this time.

There is a general rule that invariably assists resolution that first came to prominence in All the President’s Men (1976), Deep Throat: ‘Just follow the money trail.’  The three points above give rise to further questions:

    • Who are the ‘road-blockers’ that David Crisafulli (see above) refers to?
    • Exactly what ‘roadblocks’ would detractors be likely to put up?
    • Are there significant connections between the un-named ‘road-blockers’?
    • How much would genuine competition from an additional residential development  improve related outcomes for future residents?
    • What will a Labor Queensland State Government do, given that three local members are now Labor (the fourth, Billy Gordon is now independent but likely to align with Labor), including the likely Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, who has the residual of the previous Labor Government’s massive budget deficit to tackle?  Note: It is the Coordinator General’s role to assess the EIS, but it seems likely that the outcome will now be influenced by Labor’s plans and may be less influenced by current ‘road-blocks’ (see John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23 January, below). 
  • Will new Cairns State Member, Rob Pyne, be able to fulfil his intention to expedite release of the EIS (see article in Cairns Post, 3 January, below)?

 “It’s just unaffordable …”

Gavin King, previous Member of Parliament for the Queensland state seat of Cairns, commented on the TV7 news on 15 August: “It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term.  Unless either the private sector or the Feds come across with some dollars.” 

Both proposals (see links above  to download the reports)  respond to Gavin King’s comment:  The private sector could  ‘come across’ with all the costs for the dredging by buying the dredging spoil, a valuable resource, as part of the overall development of East Trinity.  Unless there are material errors in the reports assessments, they both demonstrate the dredging:

    • Could be ‘affordable’;
    • Could be achieved at no net cost to taxpayers;
    • Could avoiding widespread concerns about dumping huge amounts of spoil near the Great  Barrier Reef; and
  • Would make a major contribution to Cairn’s economy including allowing large cruise and other ships to enter Cairns port.

3. Articles and letters in the Cairns Post

15 May

TWO senior State Government ministers are not ruling out developing the Port of Cairns, including dredging.  Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt and State Development Minister Anthony Lynham are calling on Ports North to re-examine their Environmental Impact Statement on dredging Trinity Inlet shipping channel.  Dredging has been ruled out on economic and environmental grounds by the government, with sea dredge spoil dumping estimated to cost $100 million and land based $365 million.  “What we’ve said is that this EIS doesn’t rule out future port development, what it does is say the options that are on the table … are not viable options,” Mr Pitt said.  “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal.  CONDITIONS: State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said any dredging of Trinity Inlet would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost.  “It could mean that they need to change focus from being on large cruise shipping to ensure they can look at a suite of works that may need to happen in terms of future port expansion.”  He said that might include expanding the Reef Fleet terminal, a barge ramp or a wharf expansion.  Dr Lyneham said any dredging would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost.  The Cairns Regional Council has called on the government to defer a final decision on channel dredging and to re-examine the proposal.  Ports North declined to comment.  Royal Caribbean International commercial director Sean Treacy, who was in Cairns yesterday preparing for the visit of the giant Legend of the Seas cruise ship next month, would not be drawn on the dredging issue.  He said the company would continue to work with governments and ports on the best way for their ships to visit.  Mr Treacy said the practise of using tender boats to transport passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob was common for the company throughout the world.

14 May

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: Mr Hitchcock’s letter, 9-5, stated ‘Peter Senior’s opinion piece (2-5) is very misleading’.  This letter responds to some points in his letter.  Far from being misleading, I have provided credible evidence for every point I made in my opinion piece.  Warren Entsch, in his article also on 9-5, congratulated me for my ‘very considered contribution’.

Mr Hitchcock is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.  For instance, a 1942 photo on Warren Entsch’s office wall shows the East Trinity site, far from being ‘largely rehabilitated wetlands’, was mainly salt-pans and grasslands, similar to Portsmith. 

Mr Hitchcock had attended last December’s meeting of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade, he would have heard the overwhelming support for the dredging and East Trinity reclamation – except, of course, from the CAFNEC attendee.

If Mr Hitchcock and his colleagues had not strong-armed Peter Beattie’s government into cancelling the approval for the proposed world-class Royal Reef Resort at East Trinity, which included resolving all pollution problems, then Beattie’s Government would not have had to pay $10m of tax-payers money to NatWest Bank, plus the continuing maintenance costs.

6 May

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: ‘For the Queensland Government and Ports North not to reconsider immediately their policy decision not to dredge Trinity Inlet and allow continuing expansion of the Port and the economic development of our City defies all logic.  Overwhelming evidence in the draft EIS giving scientific advice that an alternative off shore dump site is suitable and would not be damaging to the Great Barrier Reef and the environment.  Alternatively the EIS preferred site for on shore disposal area, a section of the 10 sq km East Trinity freehold property owned by the State Government, must be given greater consideration.  This is more important following the reported statements from the highly qualified Engineer and Consultant, Peter Senior published on Saturday last where he detailed the potential revenue to the State from development of that property could cover the entire cost of the dredging operation and secure a future suburban growth area for the City only one km from the CBD.’

2 May

An article in the Cairns Post was heavily edited from the submitted copy.   The article below shows words as-published in black, with the words edited out in red:

The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement draft report (EIS) was released on Saturday 18 April.

  State Government Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the draft EIS, the state government had decided against approving the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging.

  The overwhelming reaction of numerous callers on Cairns’ radio talkback was extreme dismay and disillusionment.

  Most Cairns people are now thoroughly confused.   Little wonder as there are so many conflicting views and reports.

  This article presents a summary of the main factors relating to the proposed dredging and draft EIS, then proposes a way forward.

  The economic analysis presented in the draft EIS report indicates the dredging project has a very strong benefit-cost ratio, with additional income benefits to Cairns over 25 years estimated in present values, with future benefits discounted at 7% per annum, totalling $1.3 Billion.

  The $4.2m draft EIS is just that: a ‘draft’.  Proper process requires a draft EIS to be published, inviting submissions to the Coordinator General’s office for consideration, then a final EIS.  The Coordinator General then is required by law to send[s] a recommendation to the government.  No final EIS exists, so presumably the Government has not received the recommendation.  What then is the government’s decision based on?  Many articles in main stream media focus on alarmist reports and views.  For example, TV7 local news often shows a video with brown water around a dredge.

  This video, provided and paid for by ‘green’ organisations, clearly suggests pollution.

  The major objectors to the proposed dredging comprise four broad groupings:

  • People who believe the scaremongering, many of whom genuinely care about the environment, some with almost religious fervour;
  • A few shrill extreme environmentalists who are anti-development (recall their attempts to prevent Skyrail);
  • Unelected organisations with other agendas such as the UN, WWF and Greenpeace (UNFCCC’s Christiana Figueres said: “We are setting ourselves the task.. to change the [world’s] economic development model”);
  • Several government departments such as GBRMPA (GBRMPA’s alarmist GBR 2014 report largely blamed climate change for their dire forecasts concerning the Great Barrier Reef,  mentioning ‘climate change’ 365 times).

  The draft EIS estimates off-shore sea disposal would cost about $100m.  [Some] Reports based on scientific evidence conclude disposal near shore would not be harmful or environmentally damaging.

  The EIS Terms of Reference includes: ‘Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.’  And ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.’

  The report selects the 964.3 ha state-owned East Trinity site as the preferred option for land-based spoil disposal.  Most of that area was in continual agricultural production since the first survey in 1894.

  CSR purchased the property in 1971 and expanded it by constructing a bund wall, then re-contouring the area into productive cane fields. [But when] Cane production [became] was uneconomical, so the land was sold to developers.

  The report notes ‘In the early 1990s a proposal to develop a satellite city on the site attracted community attention, but failed to gain approval. In 2000, the Queensland Government purchased the site.’  More accurately, the Royal Reef Resort proposal for this site was approved in 1995.

  But the Labor State government succumbed to persuasion from green pressure-groups and overrode the approval.

  The developer went into receivership.  National Westminster Bank commenced legal action against the State, resulting in a $10m out-of-court settlement.

  The draft EIS assesses placing spoil on 518 ha of low land at East Trinity.

  This area is highly degraded, costing about $500,000 for annual maintenance that has failed to fix the degradation.

  CSIRO advice to cover this area with spoil was ignored.  The report’s benefit-cost of developing this 518 ha concludes development would be uneconomical.

  The whole site comprises 518 ha plus partly-raised 428 ha.  The latter could be developed immediately, but the report ignores this option.

  Applying figures from the report to developing the 428 ha area indicates sufficient profit to pay for all the dredging and treatment costs, leaving the 518 ha to be developed later.  The report also ignores related benefits such as providing work for Yarrabah people, and funding potential tourist trails on adjacent wetlands.

  It seems the State and Federal governments is unlikely to be convinced that evidence-based science concludes responsible near-shore dumping of spoil would not be detrimental to the reef – political factors appear to outweigh evidence.

  Cairns now urgently needs a credible and visionary leader to assemble a well-respected team to develop as soon as possible a new proposal to achieve the many benefits to Cairns that will accrue when the dredging is completed.

  Optimising port operations and tourist potential is critical to Cairns’ future.  Surely an option that meets environmental standards and is self-funding, or requires minor taxpayer funding, would be acclaimed by our state government?

30 April

Crawford backs dredging on Trinity Inlet. BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet. He says the widening and deepening of the channel to accommodate larger cruise ships may not happen in the short term, but needs to happen eventually – as long as the Queensland Government has the money to fund it. “I would like to see it happen. What’s restricting us at the moment is certainly the finances for it,’’ he said. The Palaszczuk Government dumped the Cairns Shipping Development Project about two weeks ago, saying there was no economic or environmental case for it. The draft environmental impact statement for the project stated the minimum cost would be $100 million, but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. It would cost an estimated $365 million for land-based disposal options. The LNP had committed $40 million for the project. Mr Crawford believed the dredging of the port could still go ahead, if more research was done on the income generation associated with the cruise industry. “The projection for cruising in Cairns is certainly good, pushing out into 2025, that sort of thing,’’ he said. “We don’t have to do this thing this year, and we certainly don’t have to do this sort of thing next year. “This is not a situation right now where if we don’t dredge the inlet right now, we’re going to miss the boat totally on these sorts of things. “We’ve got a window, so in time, hopefully we can get what we need. At the moment, the restriction is money.” He said he had faith the Labor Cabinet had made the right decision to knock back the proposal. “Coming into the campaign with this government, there was a lot of election commitments given by all sides and a lot of discussion with all groups about financial management and debt reduction and all things like that,’’ he said. “Now we’ve got a Treasurer who’s working on that and obviously trying to make sound financial decisions. “Throwing $365 million at dredging the inlet tomorrow probably wouldn’t be one of his best financial decisions. So I trust him in that, but I do want to see this done at some point in the future, when it’s right.” Treasurer and Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt said since the EIS was announced, he’d made it clear alternative proposals for port expansion and other initiatives to support the cruise ship industry in Cairns may be considered. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates invited Mr Crawford to contact the centre to be told about the potential environmental impact of the dredging.

 27  April

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning responds to Rob Pyne’s dredging Facebook rant. Share.  FIGHTING WORDS: Cairns mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda.  CAIRNS mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released draft EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda.  Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”.  He later stood by the comments and said health and education services should take priority.  But Mr Manning took a swipe back, warning such statements could be unpopular with the electorate.  “When you get involved in any form of political life people will judge you,” he said.  “The saying is the public always gets it right and in three years they will make their decision.”  Mr Manning has already called for the $40 million slated for the project to remain in Cairns.  But Mr Pyne said yesterday he was unaware the money was even available.  “Is there $40 million? If there is of course I want it spent in Cairns,” he said.  “But if there is $40 million I want it spent on a special school, I want it spent on a unit for brain injuries.”  Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”. The public have been given until June 1 to respond to the EIS and Mr Manning said it was vital people were aware of its conclusions.  He said he would never support anything that put the Great Barrier Reef or rainforest in jeopardy and believed the study affirmed neither were in trouble.  Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider the economic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion.  CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14.  “Here is an industry that wants to bring tourists and their spending to Far North Queensland in large numbers,” Ms Abel said.  “Having recently returned from our key international trade event, Cruise Shipping Miami, the message is very clear that Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.”

25 April

Rob Pyne’s rant against business is unfounded.  Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician.  CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician.  The ALP member has been elected to represent everyone in the community – to single out a sector that employs tens of thousands of workers is foolish, if not naive and inflammatory. Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy as well as lucrative taxes and other government fees this administration desperately needs. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Advance Cairns have called for the original $40 million promised for the work to be quarantined and even be used for a smaller dredging project.  But Mr Pyne wants none of that.  He prefers the money to be spent on health, something that is needed, but an area that does not create as many new jobs or generate money.  He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly. It does not stack up and it will not happen”.  He then goes on to say that he is only interested in improved health, education, training, disability, community and sporting opportunities for the “ordinary people” of Cairns.  Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, but Cairns MP Rob Pyne believes it will only suit “the big end of town”. Mr Pyne singles out “Tories” (conservatives) and says he will only deal with health board chairman and conservative Bob Norman.  The post also contains a photo of a man lighting a cigar with an American banknote.  Mr Pyne’s criticism is sure to alienate a large section of the community and appears to show he is not concerned about business, the sector which employs the most people in his electorate and produces the billions of dollars needed to keep the economy humming.  It’s no secret that the city’s economy continues to struggle and still needs a major project such as Aquis or the Aspial towers to start as soon as possible.  Fortunately his colleague, Mulgrave MP and State Treasurer Curtis Pitt, has a far better grasp of what makes this city tick and will achieve a lot more than Mr Pyne’s list of priorities.  At least our business leaders have shown the sense not to react to his surge of illogical rage.

20 April

LNP spent $4.2 million on failed Cairns Trinity Inlet dredge study. DREDGE DIFFICULTY: A huge amount of money was spent on finding out dredging Trinity Inlet is not feasible. TAXPAYERS forked out $4.2 million for a study which strongly found against the dredging of Trinity Inlet. [Editor’s note: these first two paragraphs are totally incorrect.] The State Opposition’s infrastructure spokesman Tim Nicholls yesterday revealed how much the Newman government contributed to the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which was knocked back by Labor on Friday. The long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the widening and deepening of the city’s shipping channel was released on Friday, showing there was no environmental nor economic case for the project. The 3000-page report stated the minimum cost of the project would be $100 million – but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. Both parties have committed to preventing dredge spoil from being dumping within Great Barrier Reef waters. The LNP promised $40 million towards the project in 2012 as an election commitment. In a statement yesterday, Mr Nicholls said it was disappointing the Palaszczuk Government was “pandering to the Greens” with no thought or plan on how it would open up tourism or boost the economy and jobs in the Far North. “The money spent on this project is an investment in the future of Cairns and unfortunately the Treasurer has dismissed this project too quickly without looking at all the options or considering funding partnerships with the private sector,’’ he said. The former Queensland treasurer said with the ever-increasing size of new cruise ships, it was essential the port was positioned to respond. “Dredging Trinity Inlet would have provided access for larger cruise ships, boosting economic and tourism benefits for the region,’’ he said. “It is now on Labor to detail what their plan is to bolster and support industry, tourism and create jobs in Cairns.” He said the report was not released before the election as the Co-ordinator-General had to take into account the changing Federal Government position on dredge spoil dumping. His spokeswoman did not respond when asked if the LNP would still push for the dredging of Trinity Inlet. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project was never necessary, never environmentally responsible, and did not represent a good use of taxpayers’ money. “The fact is that there is no need to expand the port for larger cruise ships, which continue to visit Cairns transporting passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob,’’ he said. “We have welcomed the State and Federal governments’ commitment to put a stop to new dredge spoil dumping offshore in the Great Barrier Reef marine park. “This ban should be extended to all World Heritage areas to address dumping elsewhere in Queensland.” He said while the Government had ruled out funding the project and released the EIS for legal reasons, it was still important for people to have their say on the project.

JCU Trinity Inlet dredge report tells of damage. RULED OUT: Increased dredging of Trinity Inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock in Cairns has been quashed by a number of sources. An independent study into the economic benefits of cruise shipping has revealed the industry would be of little-to-no benefit in Cairns. The findings have been released after an unrelated State Government review rejected a plan to grant extra dredging permits for Trinity Inlet to allow “mega” cruise liners to dock in Cairns. James Cook University’s report into the economic opportunities and risk of cruise tourism in Cairns, which will be released today, concludes that even if every person onboard a major cruise liner made a day trip to the reef or Kuranda, the net benefit for local companies would be negligible. The $10,000 study was commissioned by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). “The price of a shore excursion purchased onboard is typically marked up between 70 per cent to 200 per cent, with less than half that amount paid to excursion operators,” the report states. “The swift arrival and departure of high volumes of cruise passengers can put pressure on local tourism capacities, degrade the natural resources upon which they depend, and lower the overall level of tourist satisfaction.” The report states the average spend of an international cruise passenger in Cairns is about $200 a day, 66 per cent higher than domestic tourists. It comes just days after the Palaszczuk government released a 3000-page scientific report showing that dredging the inlet would do untold environmental damage. AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Felicity Wishart said the report showed dredging was not necessary for the Cairns tourism economy to access the benefits of the cruise industry. “Dredging … could result in serious damage to the environment – which is the reason people want to come here in the first place,’’ she said. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews, who read the government’s EIS yesterday, said there was no consideration of the impact of ships not being able to offload passengers at the current facilities at Yorkeys Knob due to bad weather. “The researcher has not spoken to any of the cruise lines,’’ he said. “Their information is taken from annual reports, they acknowledge that some of their data cannot be verified.” Ports North chairman Brett Moller said dredging could only proceed if it was fully funded by government and “the Queensland Government has indicated that it will not be funding the project.” Cairns Chamber of Commerce CEO Deb Hancock still backed expansion of Trinity Inlet to attract larger vessels. “While the Government’s decision is not to proceed with the port expansion project, the allocated funds should be used to develop portside or other infrastructure for our future economic development.”

18  April

Trinity Inlet dredging canned after Environmental Impact Statement raises issues.  CAIRNS’ potential as a mega-cruise ship and navy hub is sunk after the State Government used environmental and financial factors to stop the required dredging of Trinity Inlet.  The move is sure to anger business leaders hoping for more cruise passengers in Cairns. Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. “The $40 million the Newman Government committed to the project in 2012 was politically cynical and misleading because it was never enough to make the project viable,” he said. “The proposal, which includes dumping dredge spoil at sea, would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options about $365 million.” Releasing the document is a legislative requirement but the Newman administration refused to make it public prior to the January election. LACKING BENEFIT: Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement into dredging Trinity Inlet, which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. Mr Pitt said he wanted Queenslanders to have an accurate understanding of the economic costs and environmental impacts of dredging. “This EIS highlights the Newman government’s reckless disregard for the one of Queensland’s most valuable assets, the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “It was never fully funded and anyone who looks at the proposal and its environmental and economic impacts can see why the government is not proceeding with it. “The Palaszczuk Government opposes the recommended option in the draft EIS to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.” Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles accused the LNP of having “complete disdain for Queensland’s environment” and putting election pledges ahead of sound economic policy. “We’re not going to waste $40 million subsidising a dredging project which has now been exposed as environmentally and economically unsustainable,” he said. “The money the LNP wanted to waste on this unviable project would be far better spent on frontline services or job-generating projects, including initiatives in Far North Queensland.” HOPES DASHED: Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE Source: News Corp Australia. The Great Barrier Reef supports about 70,000 full time jobs and contributes $5.7 billion a year to the Australian economy. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said on that basis alone the dredging proposal had no merit. “When people look at the EIS they will see why the only option is to discontinue the project,” he said. “That’s why the government, in line with its election commitment, has decided to withdraw the money allocated by the Newman government. “The Great Barrier Reef needs to be protected not only as a unique natural wonder, but also because of its economic importance.” Copies of the EIS will be available at the Cairns City Library from April 20 to June 1. Electronic copies can be ordered by phoning 4052 3888. To lodge a submission on the draft plan, click here.

23 March

A Letter to the Editor in the Cairns Post 20 March: The article ‘Port EIS release delayed – Labor tardiness questioned’ (18-03) is very worrying.    The Cairns Post is to be congratulated for requesting a copy of the draft EIS under the Right to Information laws, subsequently denied by the Coordinator General.  The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose this multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded EIS.    Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne notes this denial is “undemocratic”.  The delay and denial are also disgraceful and completely unacceptable.    It appears that a tiff between Ports North and the Coordinator General has somehow managed to delay progressing this project and the major economic benefits it will bring to Cairns.    The question must be asked: who is running our government?  A few unelected bureaucrats, or our elected representatives?  Hopefully this denial will be a catalyst to force immediate progress of this vital project.

 20 March

An article in the Cairns Post 20 March: Cairns Post article 200315

19 March

An article in the Cairns Post 19 March: A REPORT into the potential dredging of Cairns Port is expected to be publicly released “within weeks”. Cairns MP Rob Pyne has spoken with Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham about the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which has been locked away by the government since late last year. The Minister’s department blocked the release of the taxpayer-funded document after it was requested under Right To Information laws by the Cairns Post. Mr Pyne said Dr Lynham gave him an undertaking the 3000-page report would be released publicly after an upcoming Cabinet meeting. He could not say, however, how soon that would be, instead saying he would be “disappointed” if it was any longer than the next two months. “All I can say is it’ll be tabled over coming weeks and discussed by Cabinet, and then made public,’’ he said. Mr Pyne had previously questioned the department’s transparency but said the latest development had restored his faith in the Labor ­Government. He said the Far Northern community needed the report to inform the debate about whether Trinity Inlet should be widened and deepened to attract larger cruise ships to the region. “We need to look at the report and look at whether it actually stacks up,’’ he said. “I think the report will tell us if such expenditure would be supported or such an investment would stack up, in terms of benefits to the Cairns ­community. “It will, very importantly, look at any environmental costs as well.” Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator-General and the Federal Government’s Department of Environment late last year. The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre director Angelika Ziehrl welcomed the EIS finally being made public. “CAFNEC is looking forward to this finally being released so the public and CAFNEC can comb through it,’’ she said. Green groups have raised concerns the large quantity of sediment generated by dredging could impact the marine environment.

18 March

Two Cairns Post articles, 18 March: Cairns MP Rob Pyne questions government decision to block port study from public release.  THE transparency of the Queensland Government has been questioned by one of its own Labor MPs after it blocked the release of the ­report into the proposed dredging of Cairns Port. The Department of State Development has denied The Cairns Post’s request under Right to Information laws for a copy of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project.  The long-awaited report was due to be released for public comment late last year but is still under consideration by the Co-ordinator General.  The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose the taxpayer-funded EIS, which the Co-ordinator General needs to be satisfied adequately covers the terms of reference.  “The information was ­received in circumstances which would make it unacceptable conduct for the ­receiver to disclose the information in a way the giver has not authorised,’’ a departmental officer wrote.  Once the Co-ordinator ­approves the EIS, it will be ­released for public and state government advisory agency consultation for six weeks.  The Newman Government committed to fully funding the EIS as part of its $40 million investment in the project.  Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne said for the department to deny the document’s release under RTI was “undemocratic.”  “These things need to be transparent and the document should be released for people to talk about,’’ he said.  Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said it was in the ­region’s best interests to see the report, to have a way forward for the dredging project.  The Office of the Co-ordinator General did not respond to questions about when the report would be released.

Future in the balance.  Far Northern leaders are adamant the region’s economic future hinges on a plan to develop the Cairns Port.  The Cairns shipping Development Project promises to inject $634  million of 25 years into the local economy and create more jobs by dredging the Trinity Inlet to accommodate large cruise ships.  But complete bans on sea dumping proposed by the state and federal government could jeopardize the project.  Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said a land site must be found for dredge spoil, no matter what the cost.  Cairns Mayor Bob Manning was confident port development and a healthy reef could co-exist. “It’s inevitable that our region is going to grow and it’s inevitable the port will need to grow”, he said.

11 March

Cairns Post article, 11 March: ‘New bid to release Inlet EIS.  The time for talking about releasing the Trinity Inlet Environmental Impact Study into dredging is over, according to Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews.  And Cairns MP Rob Pyne agrees.  Both have been in discussions for release of the document which is stuck in the Coordinator General’s office.  “As an organisation we have been calling on government to release the EIS and get on with it,” Mr Matthews said.  “We asked for that in our early engagement with government and in my first meeting with Rob, so we expect that will be forthcoming.”  Mr Pyne has been applying what political pressure he can and insists he won’t be stone-walled.  “I wrote, emailed and phoned requesting its release last month and I’ll do that again today,” Mr Pyne said.  “Some people have foregone conclusions about what they want to see happen in the inlet, but I want the EIS released so those people who are thoughtful can read it and base their opinions on something that has rigorous content.”  Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator General and the Federal Government’s Department of environment in November last year.  The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election.  The new Labour Government is yet to make a move on the document.’

9 March

A letter in the Cairns Post on 9 March noted: ‘Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has stated that strategic assets will be retained, but ‘assets such as unused land and vacant buildings will go under the hammer.’  Perhaps Ms Trad includes the 946.3 ha (that’s nearly 10 square kilometres) State-owned unused land at East Trinity?  The proceeds from this sale could well pay all the costs of dredging the Trinity Inlet Channel as well as providing land to place the dredging spoil.  It appears that only about 500 ha will be required for the spoil, so there is ample land left to sell to developers to pay for the dredging.  Perhaps this is what Jackie Trad is flagging?’

 27 February

Cairns Post article, 27 February:  Still no word on Cairns port Environmental Impact Statement. The release of a long-awaited study into the dredging of Cairns’ port has been further stalled by the new Queensland Government. It’s now been five months since the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cairns Shipping Development Project was last expected to be made public. The state’s Co-ordinator General has now delayed the report’s release, citing the Palaszczuk Government’s policy on dredging within the Great Barrier Reef marine park needs to be taken into account. Prior to the state election, the ALP committed to preventing dredge spoil associated with the project being dumped within the marine park. A Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman said the 3000-page document would not be released at this stage. “The implications of the new State Government’s policy statements and position on the project need to be taken into account,’’ he said. “In particular, the Co-ordinator General is seeking the advice of the proponent on how it intends to meet the government’s commitment of no sea-disposal.” Cairns MP Rob Pyne, who previously vowed to make the report public, said he would continue to push for the study’s release. “As we speak I’ve emailed the minister requesting its release and awaiting reply,’’ he said. “How can you have an intelligent public discussion if this information isn’t made public?” Widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet will allow the city to accommodate larger cruise vessels in its main channel. Ports North has proposed to remove 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land. One of the sites under consideration for dumping the sediment is inside the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Steven Miles, said the Co-ordinator General was assessing if the EIS was “adequate and suitable” for public release. “The Government was elected on a platform of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, which I know is important to many Cairns residents and the Cairns economy,’’ he said. “Consequently, the Government will not support any proposal that involves the dumping of dredge spoil offshore. “I would expect that the Ports North EIS has included a land-based disposal option (Editor’s note: assessment of land-based options is a requirement of the EIS Terms of Reference – see below). “When the EIS is released for public comment my department will assess the project and provide advice to the Co-ordinator-General.” Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project should be shelved.

3 February

An article in the Cairns Post, 3 February:  CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne has vowed to publicly release a study into the dredging of Trinity Inlet – as long as he has the power to.  The former Cairns Regional councillor has cemented Labor’s commitment to preventing 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the Cairns Shipping Development project from being disposed within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  Mr Pyne also said if his party formed government he would endeavour to publicly release the long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement – which despite being completed late last year, has yet to see the light of day.  “If I have the power to make it public, I will make it public,’’ he said.  “The public paid for (the report).”  He said his opinion of the project, to widen and deepen the city’s main shipping channel, was that it still “needed to stack up”.  Ports North has proposed to remove dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land.  Sites under consideration for dumping of the material include East Trinity, Admiralty Island, on cane land in southern Cairns near the inlet, along the Esplanade and near the Cairns Airport.  Five offshore sites were also under consideration, including areas within the marine park.  Queensland’s former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney late last week blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing the project’s EIS, which was initially expected to happen in September.  In a brief statement yesterday, Ports North chairman Brett Moller said the authority had submitted the draft EIS to the Queensland Co-ordinator General last year.

30 January 2015

An article in the Cairns Post, 28 January:  ‘DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney has blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing a study into the potential dredging of Trinity Inlet.  The Environmental Impact Statement, which will determine whether the deepening and widening of Cairns’ port should proceed, has still not been made public by the government.  The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September after being submitted to the Co-ordinator General.  Mr Seeney, who visited the Tableland yesterday on the election trail, told The Cairns Post he did not know when the EIS would be released.  The Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning said Ports North had not yet addressed Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s new regulations to ban dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.  “The Federal Minister took a decision in relation to offshore disposal,’’ he said.  “So we had to go back to the proponents and say, well the Federal Minister has said this is the situation and you have to address that situation in your application.”  He said the EIS did not need to be rewritten, only one particular section of the report.  “That section of the EIS that deals with the disposal of the material now needs to look at other disposal options, be it further out to sea or on land or whatever,’’ he said.  He could not say when the report would be completed or released.  Ports North refused to answer questions yesterday about whether it had resubmitted its EIS, and what – if anything – it needed to change in the report to address the Federal Government’s new regulations.’

28 January 2015

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor, 28 January, noted: ‘Dear Editor, ‘Resort project promised all help Newman can give’ (24-01).  Good one, Premier!  Most Cairns people are very frustrated about yet another delay of the dredging EIS.  The LNP will lose many votes if they tell us nothing before the election except that we’ll just have keep waiting.  Most Cairns people support ruling out dumping spoil at sea.  In any case there is a much better alternative: pump the spoil on to the lower 500 ha of the State-owned property at East Trinity, and sell some of the residual 446 ha to pay for the dredging and treatment costs.   This will also enable fixing the pollution there, as recommended by the CSIRO.’ 

‘How about two more promises, Premier?  Commit to supporting pumping the dredging spoil on to the State-owned property at East Trinity if the final EIS recommends this, and repeat your previous promise to fund up to $90 million dollars if necessary.’

12 January 2015

An article in the Cairns Post, 12 January, noted: Business leaders blast delay in vital dredging report.  A DECISION to delay the release of the long awaited Environmental Impact Statement for the dredging of Trinity Inlet to widen and deepen the shipping channel has been savaged by two leading business groups in Cairns. Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce have blasted the State ­Government for holding back its release until after the ­January 31 election. Originally it was earmarked for a September release last year but has been dogged by hold-ups. Dredging of the channel was an LNP election promise in 2012 with $40 million pledged towards the cost. At issue is whether to dump the spoil at sea, which is cheaper, or on land. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Co-ordinator General was currently considering the Trinity Inlet EIS. “As the Co-ordinator General adheres to caretaker conventions, the EIS will not be released during the election campaign,” he said. Advance Cairns chief executive Mark Matthews said the delay was frustrating. “While we appreciate the assessment process and the conventions of a caretaker government, it is disappointing to see that the only key election promise for Cairns made by the government prior to the previous election has yet to be fulfilled,” he said. “We have no entertainment precinct, no shipping development. Is the government serious about growth and prosperity in the north? “And if so, then let’s see a clear commitment and action to deliver major infrastructure projects for our region.” Chamber chief executive Deb Hancock said the decision was “very disappointing”. “It’s very convenient to hide behind the conventions of a caretaker government,” she said. Ms Hancock said the ­government would have known when the election was to be called and “made a conscious decision not to release the information”. “It was an election promise (in 2012) and they have failed the community,” she said. “We would like to hear how the LNP government will continue economic growth, particularly in the shipping area.” She said the LNP had three years to honour the promise, which included a $40 million funding commitment. “They have taken no action with regard to implementation and even to make a decision,” Ms Hancock said. Tourism Tropical North Queensland declined to ­comment.’

6 January 2015

Another article in the Cairns Post, 6 January, noted: ‘THE Queensland Government has been urged to release a study into the potential dredging of Cairns Port before the State election is called (Editor’s note: the election was called for 31st January later that same morning), or shelve the project completely.  The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September (Editor’s note: the first release date promised was May 2014, then September, then ‘the end of the 2014’ – after missing all 3 promises, no date has been announced since). In a statement yesterday, however, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the report was still being assessed by the Co-ordinator General. “The EIS process is rigorous, thorough and undertaken without political interference,’’ he said. Before the 2012 election, the Newman Government committed to dredging Trinity Inlet so larger cruise liners could enter and dock at the Port of Cairns. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said the LNP had yet to honour its commitment. “I think it’s beyond the time,” he said. “If it can’t go, it can’t happen, then let’s say it can’t happen and let’s get on with it. “The dragging on of this whole process causes a lot of confusion.” ‘

6 November 2014

Another article in the Cairns Post (6-11-14) was very supportive of expediting dredging the Trinity Inlet.  The article covering the visiting National Geographic MV Orion, with about 100 passengers disembarking, noted: ‘One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies is willing to bring more of its fleet to Cairns if the city’s shipping channel development goes ahead. ….. Australian business development director, Jeremy Lindblad, said if Trinity Inlet could be widened and deepened the company would look at bringing more of its vessels to Cairns.’

11 November 2014

Another article in the Cairns Post (11-11-14) reported: ‘Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler vows to stop dredge spoil dumping on Great Barrier Reef off Cairns.  FEDERAL Labor has committed to preventing dredge spoil from entering Great Barrier Reef waters if the Cairns ­Shipping Development project goes ahead.  The ALP announced yesterday, if re-elected, it would impose a ban on capital dredge spoil being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.  The Federal Opposition’s environment spokesman Mark Butler, in Cairns yesterday with his Queensland counterpart Jackie Trad, said 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet could only be dumped onshore.’

15  November 2014

More from the Cairns Post, 15  November: Secrecy shrouds Cairns Inlet dredge report  release.  …. Despite the office of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt being uncertain about whether dredge material from the channel expansion was included in a proposed ban, Mr Entsch said there was clarity on the policy. “We can be absolutely definitive that there is a new position on dredge spoil disposal,” Mr Entsch said. “Any new proposals will be subject to this and the Federal Government is currently setting out the legal frameworks and legislative instruments to accompany it. “We can be crystal clear on this….In addition, I’ve spoken to Minister Hunt about it many times and he is well aware that I am vehemently opposed to water-based disposal – it will happen over my dead body.” ’

 23 April 2014

Another Cairns Post article, 23 April, spelt out The Federal Government’s thinking, preceding Labor environment spokesman, Mark Butler’s, similar announcement above:  ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead.    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships.    “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said.  He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah.  Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this,  I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.” 

Cairns Post G20 magazine, September 2014

The Cairns Post G20 magazine, WORLD OF INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES, reproduced the double-page photo with the superimposed new residential area at East Trinity, as above, on pages 52-53 in an article describing a future vision of Cairns:

Cairns Post G20 magazine     Cairns Post, Cairns G20 magazine

An inside source revealed that the authors of this article were ‘strongly ticked off’ for including this photograph, and were directed to remove this and associated photos from the newspaper’s library.  The source did not know who made the initial complaint, or why Cairns Post reacted this way, but it is interesting to speculate when considering the ‘road-blocks’ noted above.

4. John MacKenzie’s radio talkback show

4 May

A 22-minute interview with Peter Senior can be listened to at Note: if necessary, copy the address and paste into your internet link box.

20 April

John MacKenzie kicked off over two hours of non-stop discussion on the State Government’s decision to turn down the dredging proposal with an interview with Cairns Regional Council Mayer Bob Manning.  Bob explained at length how this was a shocking and altogether wrong decision for many reasons.  Bob noted that all ‘the science’ showed there would be no problems if the proposed dredging spoil was placed in the proposed area at the North East end of the Trinity Inlet.  A later caller added that internationally-recognised reef experts, Dr Walter Starck and Professor Bob Carter, endorsed this view, noting all the inner areas between the land and reef already have some one metre of spoil at the bottom of the shallow sea from centuries of sediment drained for the land.   Other callers noted: the $365m cost stated in the draft EIS was excessively high, and ignored the potential for selling some or all of the excess State-owned land at East Trinity to pay for the dredging and treatment costs.  Several references were made to the two proposals linked at the start of this post.  Every caller presented additional information in dismay, and in some instances, disgust, that the State Government had made this decision before even waiting for submissions on the DRAFT EIS report.  The overall view was that Cairns leaders and the general public must make their views known to the State Representatives to dissuade them from this fundamentally wrong decision.  The following day’s show continued the theme for nearly two hours as well.

20 March

During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report.

23 January 2015

The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government said:  ‘…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done.  Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen…..  My role in the next Government will be work with blokes like Trout, like King, like Kempton to strike a balance for our part of the world.’

Would David, had he still been Minister, have succeeded in changing Gavin King’s views,  as quoted below?  And how will the new Cairns Member, Rob Pyne address these points now Gavin King is no longer in a position to ‘road-block’?

  • ‘It would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed’ – thousands of other reclamations started development within a few years, including Portsmith and Trinity Park.
  • ‘It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term…’ – Gavin continues to ignore the potential for revenue gains from development.
  • ‘A bridge would be required’ – not necessary, noting it is faster to drive from East Trinity to the CBD in rush-hour than from Palm Cover.
  • ‘The change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea caused Ports North to carry out considerably more assessments which had caused the delay’ – Not so; the final Terms of Reference were released in November 2013 requiring all land-based options to be fully assessed.  This was 4 months before Ports North let the EIS contract to ARUP.
  • Portsmith reclamation: ‘That was a century ago’ Portsmith reclamation was completed in the late 70s; many of the current buildings were completed in the 80s.

20 January 2015

A conversation between Queensland State Minister for the Environment,  Andrew Powell, and Michael Trout, Member for Barron River and Peter Senior covered the following points:

  1. Peter asked why Gavin King had said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed, then noting there was ample land currently available for development that would not be required for spoil placement, further noting such development could pay for all the costs of dredging and spoil treatment.  Andrew said they were aware of such options but it was necessary to wait for the EIS report.
  2. Peter asked why the EIS report was delayed so much past it’s original promise of May 2014, given the Terms of Reference had not changed since the original TOR published in November 2013, requiring full evaluation of all land-based options.  Responses from Andrew and Michael did not really address the question, noting again the need to await the Coordinator General’s completion of the EIS assessment.

15 January 2015

A conversation between Gavin King and Peter Senior covered the following points:

  1. Gavin said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed.  Peter noted that ‘only’ about 500 ha of the 946.3 ha of State-owned land at East Trinity was apparently required to place the spoil.  So the other 446.3 ha could potentially be available for development immediately, including the 168 ha of raised land at the North East end.
  2. Gavin said a bridge would be required.  Peter noted this was costed by GHD in the late 90s at $400m, so about $800m could be realistic now.  But a bridge is not needed, noting it takes longer to drive from Palm Cove to the CBD in the rush hour now than it takes to drive in from East Trinity.  A small, regular fast passenger ferry from East Trinity across the 1 Km of water to the Pier marina would probably attract considerable numbers of residents for work and pleasure.
  3. Gavin twice said that the change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea had caused Ports North to carry out considerable more assessments which had caused the delay.  Peter pointed out that the project Terms of Reference had not changed after the November 2013 update that was the basis for the ARUP contract.  Full assessment of all potential land options were a requirement of the original terms of reference, so nothing has changed.
  4. Gavin said Peter should talk with Ports North, as he had previously offered to arrange.  At that point, John MacKenzie terminated the discussion due to shortage of time.  Peter had been about to tell Gavin that Norm Whitney and he had three long meetings: first on 18/o4/13 with the Mayor and executives from Ports North; then 3/9/13 with Ports North executives plus ARUP consultants; then a month later with the ARUP environmental consultant at East Trinity; then 3/6/14 Peter met with the Mayor to discuss progress – we agreed, politely, to disagree on most points.   Ports North clearly indicated at the three meetings they considered on-land disposal would be a far more costly option with no benefit.
  5. An earlier conversation on this talkback show between Gavin and ‘Bill’ concerned the issue of Portsmith having been successfully reclaimed.  Gavin said this was ‘a century ago’.  In fact filling at Portsmith was mainly carried out during 1960’s and completed in late 1970’s.  Buildings at Portsmith, especially around Aumuller street and Redden Street, were constructed mainly during 1980’s.

5. TV7 News

During an interview on the TV7 Bold Report on 16  November, the Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party stated: ‘I have been involved in some detailed discussions about the Great Barrier Reef and Australia is committing to world best practise in the conservation and preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, and last week we ann0unced there would be no dumping of capital dredge waste in the marine park’.  How much clearer can the Federal Government be?

6. Background and history

The report at  Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214 presents details and several photographs that tell the story of East  Trinity.  Then you will be able to compare this proposal with the Ports North EIS report when it is released by the Coordinator General. 

Ports North originally stated the EIS report would be presented to the Coordinator General last May, some 8 months ago.  Release to the general public would be authorised by the Coordinator General at a later date, expected to be announced in the Cairns Post.  Further information is noted below in.

Terms of Reference for the EIS

The Coordinator General’s Terms of Reference for the EIS report include the requirement for Ports North to present:

  •  An outline of the alternative options considered and reasons for selecting the proposed development option.
  • Detail the criteria used to determine the alternatives and provide sufficient detail to convey why certain options or courses of action are preferred and why others are rejected.
  • Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.
  • Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.
  • The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.

The EIS should therefore include full responses to the five points above with regard to the East Trinity option without the need for further extensive investigation. 

Ports North initially stated the report would be delivered in May 2014.  Later the delivery date was stated as September 2014.  In an article in the Cairns Post, 9 August 2014, Brett Moller, chairman of Ports North, wrote: ‘After 18 months of studies, the project EIS is due for submission to government later this year’.  A later statement from Ports North noted an ‘October’ completion.  On  6 November Chairman Moller told John MacKenzie on his radio show the report would completed ‘by the end of this year’.  The report will be available for public release when the Coordinator-General’s office authorise this.

Options East Trinity

Other approaches could be suited to the East Trinity property such as a large marina, residential and commercial properties, and a large resort with a golf course, as was proposed then approved by Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie’s government in 1995 (this proposal is described at the end of this post).  Imagine the now-familar depiction of the amazing Aquis resort superimposed on the graphic below:

East Trinity with marina 290714, cropped

The issues were captured brilliantly in a cartoon in the Cairns Post, 16 August 2014:

Cairns Post cartoon, 160814

Cruise ships

Cairns is a small idyllic city on the North-East coast of tropical Queensland.  The Great Barrier Reef, rain forest and glorious tropical weather are just three features that attract visitors from across Australia and the rest of the world.

Many cruise ships visit Cairns, docking at the cruise terminal adjacent to the central area with its many restaurants, entertainment facilities and the lagoon by the marina.  Larger cruise ships have to anchor a few kilometres North of Cairns off Yorkeys Knob.  Passengers come ashore in tenders.  A Channel 7 TV News item on 28 November 2012 interviewed several passengers who were dismayed at the long boat trip to get ashore, then the lack of welcome, unlike other ports they visited that have music, gifts of flowers and shelter.  Queensland State MP, Gavin King, suggested putting up a welcome sign. It was dismaying to hear a cruise director from the Celebrity Solstice, visiting Yorkeys Knob on 4 December 2012, tell me: ‘It’s like a dead city; no welcome, no taxis for my passengers…’. 

Almost 2 years later, on 19 November 2014, the Cairns Post announced the ‘Yorkeys Knob’s newly upgraded $2.2m cruise liner facilities will host its first cruise this morning.  Passengers from luxury P&O vessel Pacific Dawn are expected to arrive ashore at Half Moon Bay Marina from 9.30 this morning.  A two-year joint venture between Ports North, Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the State Government, the upgraded facilities include a reconfigured car park with a large covered area, an improved jetty, resurfacing and lengthening of the boat ramp and a new floating walkway.’  A temporary shade tent was again erected on the nearly-sealed area for waiting passengers.

Proposal to dredge the channel

Ports North propose to dredge the Trinity Inlet channel to provide sufficient depth of water for all except the largest mega-cruise ships to navigate the channel and dock at the central cruise terminal – clearly a major advantage for cruise passengers, and certain to attract more cruise ships.  This dredging project has many implications and potential major benefits in addition to attracting more cruise ships.  The downside is that Ports North plan to dump the massive amount of spoil – 5+ million cubic metres initially plus ongoing maintenance – from the dredging in an extended area near the Great Barrier Reef (click on diagram of Cazalys Stadium for clearer definition). 

It is important to note that, whilst most local public opinion is against dumping this spoil at sea, and State and Federal legislation currently prevents ‘capital’ dredging spoil being dumped at sea, many credible technical explanations and assessments have demonstrated that such dumping at sea would not harm the reef providing it is done in a controlled manner.  Much of the negativity about dumping dredging spoil at sea has been stirred up by both extreme environmentalists and organisations, including some government departments, that have been seduced by bodies such a the UN that promote very dubious and ideological aims.  The key factors are explained well in an article by Professor Bob Carter, The Australian, 29-12-14: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/great-barrier-reef-a-shore-thing-muddied-by-misconceptions/story-e6frg6zo-1227168703706

What 5+ million cubic metres looks like

5m M3

Submissions

The Queensland Coordinator-General issued draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the dredging project assessment; submissions were invited so anyone could comment on the draft TOR.  The deadline was 29 October 2012. One submission presented can be viewed at Submission for Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Terms of Reference, Peter Senior, 291012. This submission canvasses the key issues and presents several suggestions, in particular noting that dredging spoil could be used as a valuable resource for several land-based projects such as bulk-fill to assist fixing the environmental disaster at East Trinity.

Revised Terms of Reference

It was very gratifying that the Coordinator-General’s  considerably revised Terms of Reference document included a well-balanced approach that requires rigorous assessment of a range of land-based solutions for the use of Trinity Inlet dredging spoil.

On 25 September 2012, the Queensland Government declared the project as a “significant project for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required”, following the submission of an Initial Advice Statement.  The Queensland Coordinator-General is managing the State’s assessment process and Terms of Reference (TOR) for the project are available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/cairns-shipping-development-project.

Ports North provided a submission to the Federal Government to determine if the project is a controlled action, which means it has to be assessed for environmental impacts under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  The project was declared a “controlled action” on 5 October 2012 and will therefore require the preparation of an EIS that addresses Federal Government guidelines.  Information on the Federal EIS process and guidelines can be found on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website www.environment.gov.au

The Cairns Regional Council’s 12th December 2012 meeting considered the Great Barrier Reef Ports Strategy, a succinct and relevant paper which includes requests for submissions by 14th December:

http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/66639/12dec12_ordinary_cl1.pdf

‘Deputation’ to the Cairns Regional Council

A ‘Deputation’ to the Cairns Regional Council was planned to be presented to the full Council on 27 February 2013.  This was cancelled hours before the scheduled start time because several people felt strongly that the presentation would be counter-productive at that time.  Here is the Power Point presentation that was planned for the deputation: Trinity Inlet dredging proposal (2.8 MB).

Ports North announced on 22 April 2013: The Cairns Shipping Development Project took another step forward today announcing Arup in partnership with BMT WBM as the Lead Consultants who will work with Ports North to deliver a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet the requirements of both the State and Commonwealth Governments.’  As at 3 September 2013 the consultants were making good progress towards completion of the draft EIS report.

Many Cairns local business people and community members look forward with great interest to reading what the report has to say, and what the Queensland Co-ordinator General’s departmental response is, regarding the EIS terms of reference points (as listed above).

Meeting the consultants

A meeting with Ports North and their consultants on 3 September 2013 demonstrated  the consultants were on track to prepare a draft EIS report for Ports North to make available for public consultation starting in May 2014.  At this meeting, the following points were re-iterated:

It is likely the lowest direct cost of the total dredging project will be to dump the spoil in an extended area by the current dumping area.  This solution also appears to fulfil the Ports North objectives.  A primary concern remains that there may be major benefits for the Cairns community, economy and environment through managing this massive amount of dredging spoil as a valuable resource that could contribute towards several important on-land projects – ‘may be’ because no significant investigation or cost-benefit studies have ever been undertaken in the past to address this issue.  

Also the EIS appears to extend well outside the formal role and objectives of Ports North, and moves towards a much wider mandate.  To this extent Ports North is in a difficult position in determining just how far they are required to go outside the Port’s mandate to fulfil the EIS. Recalling that the most obvious location to place the dredging spoils is over the environmentally-devastated East Trinity area, two close neighbours of that area, Brigadier Mansford and Norm Whitney, noted that, under the management of QASSIT (Queensland Acid Sulphate Soil Investigation Team) and other government bodies, this area has become a major health and environmental hazard. For instance, destruction of an entire new forest of melaleucas – a 2013 photo:

 East Trinity ruined, 2013 

Yet landowners face stiff penalties for such vandalism. A range of signs, community concern, media articles and reports such as the SKM’s ‘Improved Dredge Material Management for the Great Barrier Reef Region’ suggest dumping dredging spoil at sea off the Queensland coast has a very limited life. 

The 1988 aerial photo

The 1988 aerial photo below shows a light-brown area, lower-left where the developers purchased dredging spoil from the harbour board to test the effect of placing spoil on the land.  It is recorded that the trial was successful.  It is instructive to compare this area now with satellite photos on Google Earth

East Tinity property 1988 prior to purchase by State

LNP’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue

The Liberal National Party’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue, has an article (pages 24 – 27) in Issue 6 describing the history of the East Trinity property: LNP Dialogue magazine, A Sustainable East Trinity, that concludes: ‘Wise decision-makers, unafraid of disinformation from a very small but vocal minority, need to act now. The environmental catastrophe at East Trinity can be resolved and the property made available for the City’s future growth. The land, and potentially another four square kilometres, could become an urban residential development area very close to the CBD, as advocated by town planners. A bonus would be that valuable agricultural land presently earmarked for residential development would remain productive, extending the viability of the sugar industry and the associated jobs.  Surely that is a win-win for the environment as well as most Cairns stakeholders.’

The fundamental issue is this: is it better for the Cairns community to place this massive amount of spoil in an extended area close to the Great Barrier Reef, with possible attendant dangers, or to manage  this spoil as a potentially valuable resource that may enable the large East Trinity area – only 2 kilometres from Cairns’ CBD – to be reclaimed and become part of Cairns future development.  The EIS report is required to address this issue.

Earlier letters to the Cairns Post

A letter published in the Cairns Post on 17 February 2014 posed the question: ‘The dredged material need not be an off-shore disposal problem.  Instead this valuable resource could enable creation of  more land of a similar size to Portsmith only 2 kilometres from the CBD.  Our city’s forefathers chose to create Portsmith using dredging spoil from Trinity Inlet. Will our current city leaders be as wise?’

Another letter in the Cairns Post on March 11 2014, written by Brigadier Mansford addressed the issue of short-term expediency over long-term planning and benefits: ‘If the impending report on dredging Cairns Port advises that dumping at sea is safe, then do it as an interim measure.  However, given the long-term needs for continued expansion of port facilities it would be stupid to consider it a permanant solution.  The region’s future should not be determined by controversial and questionable treatment costs.  Government must pursue and determine innovative and economical methods to use the spoil on degraded land and convert it into assets that will contain future infrastructure, abundant green open space and environmental corridors on the very perimeter of the CBD that any city would envy.  The past history of reclaiming many areas of degraded land in Cairns should be part of the research to determine fact from fiction.  We need to be more positive.  It’s time to roll up our sleeves and find ways to do what we can and must do, as opposed to assuming it’s all too difficult.’

Meeting the consultants, 31 October 2013

Stepping back a few months, a meeting on 31 October 2013 with one of the consultants at a property adjacent to the Queensland State-owned East Trinity area in question demonstrated at that stage the consultants had minimal knowledge of the current and past status and events that lead up to the state of this ‘disaster area’.  Several previous reports about the area were passed on to the consultant, together with detailed explanations of related past events.

CAFNEC public meeting

The Cairns Post published an article on 5 April 2014 noting the draft EIS report is now expected in September rather than May.   (Click on graphic below to enlarge).  Much of the article describes the  views of the local miniscule extreme environmental group, CAFNEC, who organised an event on Sunday 6 April protesting dumping dredging spoil ‘near out reef’ (as several banners read)  Other banners and  T-Shirts had messages including:

    • Don’t stop our fishing
    • Our reef is already sick
    • i-care about our environment – www/acfonline/org.au
    • Save the Turtles
    • Save the Great Barrier Reef
    • Dump on Abbott, not our reef
    • Big Coal is killing Nemo
    • Sea Shepherd Australia
    • Fish are my friends

CAFNEC’s views for many years have been consistently against any development (recall they were strongly against the superb and world-acclaimed Skyrail project).  Their argument against dumping spoil at sea is quite widely supported by Cairns’ locals.  Their other argument concerns the dredging spoil ‘…so the obvious solution of using it as fill for building really isn’t an option in this case because of the nature of the sediment’.  They fail to point out that the real issue is the cost of treating and compaction, which of course CAFNEC do not address, nor how this spoil from the same area was successfully used over many decades to cover then develop much of Portsmith.  Note too there have been major advances in spoil management technology and equipment for preloading and compacting since Portsmith was created, including for the forthcoming Abbotts Point project. Perhaps CAFNEC’s ‘obvious solution’ is indeed both practical, economic and would provide a range of  major benefits for most Cairns residents and businesses.  Ports North chairman Brett Moller sensibly noted: ‘Ports North are not prejudging the outcome of the EIS in relation to the relocation of dredge material ….‘. That was, of course, before the 11 month delay – and counting…..

  More research CP 050414

4,000 ha is available…

A potentially overriding aspect of the issue of where to place the dredging spoil was summarized in a letter published in the Cairns Post on 12 April 2014: ‘Several recent letters and articles raise concerns about future housing and rental affordability if the huge Aquis development goes ahead.  For instance ‘Affordability key to fate of Aquis’ (10-04).  Perhaps it’s time to dust off proposals from the 1990s to develop housing on land at East Trinity?  There are over 4,000 hectares of land largely wasted at East Trinity that could become available for residential development.  This land could provide housing for at least 60,000 people, would avoid using other valuable agricultural land further South and fulfils modern town planners’ recommendations for urban development to be close to the CBD.  This option to accommodate Cairn’s certain population growth appears to have much merit.  Perhaps Cairns Regional Council have this on their drawing boards as one of several options for assessment?’

Ruling on land-based disposal

A further update of the Federal Government’s thinking was spelt out in a Cairns Post article, 23 April 2014:  ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead.    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships.    “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said.  He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah.  Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this,  I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.” 

The deadline for the project’s environmental impact statement was extended to September to allow for further water-quality studies.  Earlier this month, hundreds of residents rallied in Cairns to protest port developments near the Great Barrier Roof, including the Trinity Inlet proposal. 

Legal personality for the reef

The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland is campaigning to grant the reef a legal personality so it can be defended in court.  It was prompted by a Great Barrier Roof Marine Park Authority decision to allow three million cubic metres of dredging spoil to be dumped in the marine park as part of the Abbot Point coal port expansion, north of Bowen.  An online petition for a referendum to award the reef legal rights has attracted more than 600 signatures.  Mr Hunt yesterday dismissed the campaign: “The reef already has a legal personality, the GBRMPA is there to represent the reef, it defines the area of the reef, it does a tremendous job.  “The GBRMPA is an independent executive agency, it is one of the world’s leading marine park agencies, if not the world’s leading marine park agency,” he said.’

These views were reinforced in a Cairns Post article, Committee fears for Reef, 24 July 2014: ‘Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, however, said both he and Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s preferred disposal site was on-land. “Greg Hunt had already made it publicly clear that he wants the dredging on land,” he said. “I have made is very publicly clear that I want it on land, at East Trinity. It won’t be a blow-in from Tasmania who will influence a decision to have it there.” He said depositing the dredge spoil at East Trinity would also provide land for the city’s future population growth.’

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7. Other related documents

Plan for the Royal Reef resort

The plan that was prevented when Peter Beattie’s Labor government withdrew its approval to appease environmental activists, resulting in Cairns losing what would have been a fine development, and paying the National Westminster bank what is rumoured to have been many millions of dollars to avoid being sued.  The Royal Reef AIS and EIS reports (respectively 1992 and 1995), two exceptionally comprehensive 40 mm thick reports produced by a team of specialists led by Brannock Humphreys, Town Planning Consultants, describe the proposal in detail.  Section 10.0 CONCLUSIONS notes: ‘There will be no  major detrimental impacts to the environment as a result of the  proposed development which has been modified to be generally in accordance with the Trinity Inlet Management Plan.’  A selection of diagrams from the report are below: a hotel and beach, a plan of the whole resort and a location plan.

Royal Reef hotel and beach

Royal Reef layout

Royal Reef site boundary 2

Government documents relating to the project are available at: http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/cairns-shipping-development-project.html

A vision for Cairns

It seems The Cairns Post is the only ‘leader’ pushing a vision for Cairns on a range of issues including many articles describing the manifest benefits that would result from dredging the Trinity Inlet.  One example was published in the Cairns Post in May 2012:  Cairns Post front page 08-05-12  Cairns Post follow-on 08-05-12.  Hopefully Cairns’ civic leaders will take up the challenge soon.

Labor Premier Beattie turns a blind eye

It also seems no-one showed former Labor Premier Peter Beattie all the evidence that had been provided to his departments, or informed the Cairns City/Regional Council on related matters.  A letter from Peter Beattie dated 4 February 1999 included: “In relation to the acid sulphate and sewerage issues you raise, this Government has seen no evidence which would indicate there is an acid sulphate problem at East Trinity, while matters pertaining to solid waste disposal are primarily the responsibility of the Cairns City Council and, as such, should be raised directly with this authority.”

 

A history of East Trinity:  History of East Trinity, letter, 180607

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Posted in Cairns Port Development | Comments Off on Cairns Port Development

Environmentalism: too many gravy trains, lies and dangerous hidden agendas

The modern environmental, or ‘green’, movement has shifted from overt care for the environment towards activist and economic damage, self-serving agendas and covert promotion of more sinister agendas, often supported, even driven, by politicians.  But opposition grows by the day as evidence and  common sense start to prevail.   

Scroll down to read the most recent articles; links to previous articles follow.

Coral can take the heat, unlike experts crying wolf

Coral can take the heat, unlike experts crying wolf  By (Professor) Peter Ridd, The Australian, 26 December 2018

Editor’s note: Peter Ridd was sacked by James Cook University for questioning other scientists’ dubious reports, as noted below. A related court case is pending.  JCU also removed world-renowned Professor Bob Carter (1942-2016) for similar reasons.

Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected, because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures.

It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking.

To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks careless, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

The very rapid adaptation of corals to high temperatures is a well-known phenomenon; besides, if you heat corals in a given year, they tend to be less susceptible in the future to overheating. This is why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or because of human influence.

Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature, by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants, called zooxanthellae, give the coral energy from the sun through photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. When the water gets hot, these little plants effectively become poisonous to the coral and the coral throws them out, which turns the coral white — that is, it bleaches.

But most of the time, the coral will recover from the bleaching. And here’s the trick: the corals take in new zooxanthellae, that floats around in the water quite naturally, and can select different species that are better suited to hot weather.

Most other organisms have to change their genetic make-up to deal with temperature changes — something that can take many generations. But corals can do it in a few weeks by just changing the plants that live in them.

They have learned a thing or two in a couple of hundred million years of evolution.

The problem here is that the world has been completely misled about the effects of bleaching by scientists who rarely mention the spectacular regrowth that occurs. For example, the 2016 bleaching event supposedly killed 93 per cent, or half, or 30 per cent of the reef, depending on which headline and scientist you want to believe.

However, the scientists looked only at coral in very shallow water — less than 2m below the surface — which is only a small fraction of all the coral, but by far the most susceptible to getting hot in the tropical sun.

A recent study found that deep-water coral (down to more than 40m) underwent far less bleaching, as one would expect. I estimate that less than 8 per cent of the Barrier Reef coral died. That might still sound like a lot, but considering that there was a 250 per cent increase in coral between 2011 and 2016 for the entire southern zone, an 8 per cent decrease is nothing to worry about. Coral recovers fast.

But this is just the tip of the exaggeration iceberg. Some very eminent scientists claim that bleaching never happened before the 1980s and is entirely a man-made phenomenon. This was always a ridiculous proposition.

A recent study of 400-year-old corals has found that bleaching has always occurred and is no more common now than in the past. Scientists have also claimed that there has been a 15 per cent reduction in the growth rate of corals. However, some colleagues and I demonstrated that there were ­serious errors in their work and that, if anything, there has been a slight increase in the coral growth rate over the past 100 years.

This is what one would expect in a gently warming climate. Corals grow up to twice as fast in the hotter water of Papua New Guinea and the northern Barrier Reef than in the southern reef. I could quote many more examples.

This unreliability of the science is now a widely accepted scandal in many other areas of study and it has a name: the replication crisis. When checks are made to replicate or confirm scientific results, it is regularly found that about half have flaws. This is an incredible and scandalous situation, a view shared by the editors of eminent journals and many science institutions. A great deal of effort is going into fixing this problem, especially in the biomedical sciences, where it was first recognised.

But not for Barrier Reef science. The science institutions deny there is a problem and fail to correct erroneous work. When Piers Larcombe and I submitted an article to a scientific journal suggesting we needed a little additional checking of Great Barrier Reef science, the response from many very eminent scientists was that there was no need. Everything was fine. I am not sure if this is blind optimism or wilful negligence, but why would anybody object to a little more checking? It would cost only a few million dollars — just a tiny fraction of what governments will be spending on the reef.

But the truth will out eventually. The scare stories about the Barrier Reef started in the 1960s, when scientists first started work on it. They have been crying wolf ever since. But the data keeps coming in and, yes, sometimes a great deal of coral dies in a spectacular manner, with accompanying media fanfare. It is like a bushfire on land — it looks terrible at first, but it quietly and rapidly grows back, ready for the scientists to peddle their story all over again.

Peter Ridd was, until fired this year, a physicist at James Cook University’s marine geophysical laboratory.

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An ideological mess of monumental proportions

An ideological mess of monumental proportionsBy Maurice Newman, The Australian, 6 July 2018

Australia’s emissions reduction policies are in response to what has always been an ideologically charged, fashionable flight of fancy, writes Maurice Newman.

Once upon a time, politics was referred to as the art of the possible. It was less about what was right or best than what could be achieved politically.

Today, the political class has refined that dark art and, like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, has decided that “imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality”.

It removes the constraints of inconvenient truths and unpalatable facts. For the doubters, “experts” can always be enlisted to validate even the wildest fantasies.

Take the government’s latest national energy guarantee contrivance. Even though it requires significantly more wind farms than now and a much increased demand for gas (despite the constraints on its extraction), some pundits say it will allow Australians to have their cake and eat it, too. It will allow us to meet emissions reduction commitments, to deliver reliable electricity supplies and make energy use more affordable. Imagine that. South Australia tried something similar and ended up with the highest retail electricity prices in the world.

Yet, notwithstanding the vagaries of ageing coal-fired generators, the addition of the expensive Snowy Hydro 2.0 and an increased reliance on intermittent sources, we are assured that this time it’s different.

Australia’s emissions reduction policies are in response to what has always been an ideologically charged, fashionable flight of fancy: the imagined danger that industrial “greenhouse” gas emissions lead to catastrophic global warming. Somehow, across time, this became politically accepted “settled science”.

It spawned an industry of crony capitalists and other taxpayer-dependent rent-seekers. But it didn’t stop Mother Nature, independent scientists and scandal exposing the hollowness of the narrative. Rather than withdraw from economically crippling and socially impoverishing emission abatement schemes, the political class just doubles down.

Rational thinkers may ponder what it will take for policymakers to recognise reality. It clearly takes more than the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s 40-year satellite data, which to date has recorded no increase in Australia’s atmospheric temperature.

Likewise, NASA’s recently released global data, which recorded average temperatures for the two years to February this year, shows the biggest two-year drop in the past century. That cooling brought the worst British winter in 42 years, and the related deaths of 48,000, mainly elderly, Britons.

Perhaps this and last year’s Greenland melt season, which was the lowest since 1996, are just aberrations. But then what about the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest of the Antarctic ice shelves, which, contrary to scientific predictions, continues to expand? If sea levels are rising dangerously, why are 80 per cent of reef islands in the South Pacific and Indian oceans stable or growing? And why do the longest continuous Australasian records at Fremantle and Auckland reflect a tendency towards a general slowing in the rise of mean sea level? Perhaps the fact polar bears were listed as endangered in 2008 but have increased in number by more than 30 per cent since 2005 can pass without comment today. But there was a time when this was promoted as emblematic of global warming.

Albert Einstein told us: “Knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world.” Well, we know a lot more than we did 40 years ago.

Climate change advocates may say individual data points are simply isolated weather events, but collectively the evidence is mounting and no longer should be denied. Yet it is. The political class remains unfazed and seems determined to ensure that whatever the latest science may prove, ideology, not economics, will prevail.

It is no mean feat to take a country from being among the cheapest energy markets to one of the most expensive. Confirming the collapse of the low-cost market-based system, in nine years retail prices in the National Elec­tricity Market are up 80 per cent to 90 per cent and wholesale prices have risen 120 per cent since 2015.

The economic cost of emissions abatement policies can be observed in increasing layoffs, relocations and industry closures. The cumulative effect has yet to be felt, but it will be significant and deep, consistent with experience overseas, where higher energy ­prices have led to many more job losses in the broader economy than have been created in the renewables space.

So where to from here? With the range of renewable energy subsidies paid for by consumers, and state, territory and federal taxpayers running at more than $4 billion a year and likely to remain in force to at least 2030, the outlook is bleak.

With financial inducements and priority to the grid, intermittent energy progressively will crowd out fossil fuel generators. In such distorted markets, new investment in reliable coal-fired power will be uneconomic. Subsidies to would-be clean-coal investors will distort the market further.

Perhaps after 27 years of uninterrupted growth, policymakers are as dismissive of the laws of economics as they are of inconvenient scientific evidence. Going from a virtual debt-free position 10 years ago to a half-trillion dollars and counting is alarming enough. But when the debt is hypothecated to unrealistic expectations of an endless demand for Australian exports, the risks magnify.

Add to this the Bank of International Settlements’ recent observation of record household debt, static real wages, rapid rises in non-discretionary household expenditure and potential interest rate hikes and Australian families have rarely been more exposed to an economic downturn than now.

There is no quick fix. Australia’s manufacturing base has been hollowed out and the mortgage belt is running on empty. This is an ideological mess of monumental proportions and the likelihood of returning the electricity market to some form of normality may well be beyond the political courage of today’s politicians.

Still, as Ayn Rand reminds us, “We can ignore reality but we cannot ignore the consequences of ­ignoring reality.”

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New Zealand is killing its economy by green zealotry

New Zealand is killing its economy by green zealotry  By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR Weekly, 27 June 2018

There are just over 20 days left to send the Government a message that you are not prepared to accept the economic consequences of their Zero Carbon Bill.

The consultation documents accompanying the Bill show the policies come at a very high economic cost to all New Zealanders. Their modelling forecasts that by 2050, the economy would be at least a quarter smaller, that the burden will fall disproportionately on lower income households, and that the output of emissions-intensive industries such as sheep, beef, and dairy farming, will be halved.

With that economic prospect ahead it’s no wonder Winston Peters tried to distance himself from the future when he announced his choice of the new Government: “We in New Zealand First believe that an economic correction, or a slowdown, is looming…”

While he said he was foreshadowing the downturn so as not to get blamed when it arrives, the reality is that he is very much to blame. Winston Peters is only political leader in our country’s history to have allowed the radical agenda of the Greens to become law. All other political leaders, who have been in a position to choose a coalition, have elected to leave the extremist Greens out of any Ministerial line up. Winston Peters, however, ignored the risk when he crowned Labour and opened the door to the radical Greens.

The reality is that the ideologically driven Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who is on a moral crusade to save the planet, is blind to the economic harm his policies will inevitably cause.

At no time during the election campaign did Labour or the Greens attempt to outline the full details of the wealth cost of their Carbon Zero policy. Even now, when the policy implications are being disclosed and the costs are becoming clear, they are continuing to down-play the cost and claim benefits when there are none.

No party has the right to introduce policies to destroy a country’s economic future without clearly spelling out their intentions during an election campaign.

Since Labour and the Greens did not do that, their Zero Carbon Bill should be rejected in the strongest possible way.

James Shaw announced the consultation on his Bill using his typical weasel words.

In spite of there being no real-life evidence that dangerous man-made global warming exists, James Shaw continues to attribute all manner of natural events to global warming: “But the frequency and the severity of storms, coastal and river flooding, droughts and wildfires is increasing, and will continue to increase as long as we and the rest of the world keep putting greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere… Sea level rise alone puts at risk, five airports, 46 kilometres of railway, 1,100 kilometres of road and nearly 70,000 buildings, with a replacement cost of $19 billion.”

His exaggerated claims have no basis in fact, and are no better than the sensationalist predictions from United Nations’ climate models that have proven to be grossly inaccurate for over twenty years – models used by former US Vice President Al Gore and the UN Environmental Programme to claim that sea level rise would engulf cities around the world and create 50 million climate refugees by 2010!

James Shaw is not only dishonest with his fear-mongering predictions of gloom, he is also dishonest about the economic benefits of de-carbonisation, which he claims will provide “an extraordinary opportunity to upgrade our economy, not just to be ‘clean and green’, but also more productive and better paid”.

But rather than quantifying the benefits, he refers to “the costs if we do nothing”. The truth is there is no rational argument in support of his policy position. It’s a policy built on fear.

James Shaw’s ‘clean’ and ‘green’ economy doesn’t exist – it’s a false prophecy. Wind and solar power, which he heralds as the clean green saviours of the future, depend on mining and smelting. A 3 metre wind turbine contains over 300 tonnes of steel, 5 tonnes of copper, 1200 tonnes of concrete, 3 tonnes of aluminium and 2 tonnes of rare earths – where mining one tonne of rare earths produces 200 cubic metres of acid waste water. Solar panels contain arsenic, aluminium, boron, cadmium, copper, gallium, indium, molybdenum, phosphorous, selenium, silica, silver, steel, tellurium, and titanium.

California’s obsession with sustainable energy has led to escalating power prices and massive power cuts, while Spain’s love affair with renewable energy has also ended badly, failing to provide affordable power or security of supply, despite decades of government subsidies.

James Shaw wants 95 percent of cars and 50 percent of trucks electrified by 2050, but has yet to provide any details – including how New Zealand is expected to generate sufficient clean green energy to power all of the batteries. Will he force people to comply with his world view by raising the carbon levy on each litre of petrol from the present 4.7 cents to over 55 cents – as predicted by the Productivity Commission – or will he do it by increasing the annual registration levies on petrol and diesel vehicles.

To see the folly of ‘clean green’ policies, one needs look no further than the government’s disgraceful decision to ban future oil and gas exploration. With domestic supplies of natural gas dwindling, and without the ability to discover new reserves – New Zealand’s importation of natural gas from distant overseas markets will eventually lead to an overall increase in emissions.

Labour exposed its reckless approach to governance when it dictated that the industry would close – without any prior warning, any costings, or any consultation – just so the Prime Minister could look decisive on the world stage. It remains one of the key reasons why Kiwi businesses cannot trust this government and why business confidence is declining.

So why would James Shaw, Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters impose ideological policies onto New Zealand that have failed overseas? Why would they put our future at risk for a theory – for that’s all man-made global warming is?

To reiterate, there remains no real-life evidence that dangerous man-made global warming exists. The weather events that James Shaw likes to highlight as being proof of runaway climate change are not outside the bounds of natural variability.

During the Medieval Warm Period, the earth was far warmer than it is today, and during the Little Ice Age, far cooler. Carbon dioxide levels have been far higher than now, and far lower. Species continue to evolve as they always have, with some dying out and others adapting and flourishing. Storms have been fiercer and more frequent than the present, as have floods and every other adverse weather event. The climate is chaotic, but no more, nor less, than it’s ever been.

Furthermore, while carbon is classed as “pollution” by some, it remains essential for life on earth. Although the actual level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is miniscule, it plays an essential role in the food chain. All plants and animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, but through photosynthesis in the presence of green chlorophyll and water, plants are able to capture the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide and store them as food, releasing oxygen in the process.

Yet Green socialists, intent on destroying economic growth and prosperity, have convinced politicians around the world that carbon dioxide is their enemy.

There is no doubt that at some stage in the future, sanity will again prevail and the current climate extremism will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

But in the meantime, how do we stop the politicians from destroying our economy and undermining our living standards?

One practical step is to encourage everyone who shares these concerns to express their views through the Zero Carbon Bill consultation. It’s open until 5pm on the 19th of July, and feedback can be provided through the website questionnaire HERE – or by directly emailing the Climate Change Team at ZCB@mfe.govt.nz.

The Zero Carbon Bill will create a vast bureaucracy: A Climate Change Commission, ‘emissions budgets’, climate change adaptation plans, and emissions targets.

The Bill presents three options for emissions targets for 2050. The first would regulate only carbon dioxide, the second carbon dioxide and methane, and the third carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and any other gases they can find.

The second and third options are designed to target farmers, as environmental extremists want to see stock numbers reduced and farming limited as an economic activity.

While most methane in New Zealand is produced by ruminants digesting food, it is not the problem the activists are making it out to be. Soil scientist, Dr Doug Edmeades, explains:

“Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere. It hangs around for about 10 years before it is converted to CO2. For every unit of carbon the animal emits as CH4 it must ingest the same amount of carbon from its plant-based feed source, which, comes initially from the CO2 in the atmosphere. The animal is both the source of the carbon in methane and it is also the sink for the equivalent amount of carbon in CO2. In this sense the carbon-methane cycle – methane-to-CO2-to-forage-plants-to-animals-to-methane – is a closed cycle. The animal is CH4-carbon neutral.”

Dr Edmeades is right – and his finding illustrates only too clearly why climate science, like all science, is never ‘settled’, with new discoveries continually improving our knowledge and understanding.

Since livestock are carbon neutral, methane from agriculture should not be included in emissions targets. Without methane, New Zealand would have one of the smallest greenhouse gas emissions profiles in the developed world.

In fact, no gases should be included in emissions targets, because just like the Emissions Trading Scheme, James Shaw’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill will create a costly nightmare of red tape and bureaucracy that will waste time and money, drag down the economy, and destroy businesses and jobs – all for no benefit.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell, who shares his analysis of the economic modelling that has been carried out on the Zero Carbon Bill. He also expresses astonishment at what is actually being proposed:

“I guess these targets are advocated by zealots, but even the zealots surely recognise that what New Zealand does is not going to change the climate, and that many countries already richer and more productive than we are are proposing adjustments that are materially less costly or demanding than what the New Zealand government is proposing here. I am not suggesting we can or should do nothing – there is some minimum effort probably required to ward off the threat of trade sanctions – but surely on any reasonable cost-benefit assessment of the interests of New Zealanders, we would be confronting these costs – the wilfully given up opportunities for our kids and grandchildren – and pulling back?

“I would be surprised if ever before in history a democratic government has consulted on proposals to reduce the material wellbeing of its own people by up to 25 per cent. Wars, of course, come at a very considerable cost – and sometimes are worth fighting – but again, I doubt any democracy (or perhaps even any tyranny) ever entered a war thinking that as a result of doing so they would be so much poorer 30 years on. It is simply a breathtaking proposition – the more so in a country that at the moment struggles to achieve any material productivity growth at all.”

So, what should we, the people, do?

We need to push-back against the Bill and James Shaw’s moral crusade. Anyone who cares about New Zealand and our economic future should say no to emissions target. Doing nothing is not an option.

Regrettably, instead of taking a lead and standing up against the extremist madness of the Greens and this Bill, National’s new leader Simon Bridges has decided to support it. And without a Donald Trump – who had the courage to reject climate scaremongering and threats and put the wellbeing of his country and its people first – it’s up to us! Don’t forget, submissions close July 19.

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Posted in Environmental battles | Comments Off on Environmentalism: too many gravy trains, lies and dangerous hidden agendas

Banksters, other financial criminals and the greedies

Key parts of the world’s financial affairs have been hi-jacked by self-serving financial organisations, bureaucracies, country leaders and individuals.   The outlook is dire.

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Former Lehman Brothers chief economist warns ‘risk incentives’ could cause new crisis

Former Lehman Brothers chief economist warns ‘risk incentives’ could cause new crisis  By Adam Creighton, The Australian, 22 October 2018

The former chief economist of failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers has warned that conditions for a financial crisis are “serious and intensifying”, scolding regulators for leaving the financial system vulnerable to “doom loops” more than a decade after the GFC began.

In a private note to clients titled “the next global crisis”, John Llewellyn, chief economist at Lehman until the bank collapsed a decade ago, told investors the combination of irrational exuberance, greed, explosive debt and ultra-low interest rates were creating an economic tinderbox.

“While greed cannot be eradicated, it can be discouraged. Few financiers have been fined, and almost no one has been jailed; incentives remain unduly skewed towards risk-taking,” he said, in a note based on comments made at a closed OECD forum in September, which included former ECB governor Jean Claude Trichet.

“It has become common place to say that considerable progress has been made in financial regulation (globally),” Dr Llewellyn said.

Dr Llewellyn, now a consultant, said banks could lend to sovereign governments without maintaining any equity — in effect a zero per cent risk weight. “Banks still have too much latitude to use internal models to set their own risk-asset provisioning,” he says.

Risk weights, based on the perceived level of risk set by regulators, permit banks to ignore shares of their assets when calculating their minimum equity requirements. In 2016 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority increased the average risk weight for residential mortgages from 16 per cent to 25 per cent, which allows each dollar of equity to support $50 of lending.

“White-collar crime is generally treated far more leniently than its blue-collar counterpart,” he said.

Dr. John Llewellyn, managing director and former chief economist for Lehman Brothers. Picture: Bloomberg News.

The comments come at a delicate time for financial services after a damning report by the royal commission into the integrity of the financial service sector and the quality of its regulation.

Speaking at a parliamentary inquiry last week, officials at ASIC, which has come under heavy criticism for lack of vigilance in enforcing the law, said the corporate regulator would toughen its stance.

But ASIC chairman James Shipton also cast doubt over the government’s “industry funding model” for the watchdog, telling parliament he faced a cash shortfall to fund the expected 50 criminal and civil prosecutions to be launched against rogue executives and corporations over the next two years.

In numerous speeches since taking over as ASIC chairman in February, Mr Shipton has stressed the need to improve ethics and integrity in financial services to mitigate misconduct.

Lehman Brothers collapsed in October 2008, ushering in months of near unprecedented global financial turmoil, which prompted regulators to redraft prudential regulations.

Finalised last year, the revamped Basel bank regulations capped bank leverage at about 33 times their shareholders’ funds, and curbed banks’ ability to set their own equity requirements.

Since 2007 the major banks’ capital ratios — equity as a share of their total assets — has increased from 4.4 per cent to about 5.7 per cent.

Mr Llewellyn said economists were under “considerable pressure” to play down concerns. “Investment bank economists and most analysts have an employer … with a vested interest in the status quo: few are genuinely independent, and those who are generally have only limited access to the media,” he added.

Higher capital ratios reduce “return on equity” and curb the implicit subsidy from government to financial institutions. “Honest analysts are therefore hesitant to shout when they see crisis as imminent,” he said.

Ratings agencies were “less dysfunctional”, Dr Llewellyn said.

“But still no fundamental change has taken place in the incentives facing them — it is still the ‘ratee’ who pays,” he said.

Ratings giant S&P puts the major Australian banks in the bottom half of its global rankings for “risk adjusted capital”, noting they experienced among the “steepest declines” globally in 2017.

“Following unwarranted fiscal stimulus, the equity market is near an all-time high, and valuations are stretched,” Dr Llewellyn said.

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Ten signs we’re heading for economic Armageddon

Ten signs we’re heading for economic Armageddon  By Liam Dann, Herald News Business Editor, 11 February 2018

This week’s global share market bloodbath was “a small tremor before the big earthquake” as the world moves “ever closer to economic Armageddon”, a former Australian government economist has warned.

John Adams, a former Coalition policy adviser who last year identified seven signs that the global economy was heading for a crash — later warning the window for action had closed — believes the US$4 trillion wipe-out was just the opening act of his apocalyptic prophecy playing out.

“When the economic earthquake hits, don’t be surprised to see soaring interest rates, massive falls in asset prices [like] shares, real estate and bonds, higher unemployment and widespread bankruptcies,” he said.

Adding to previously identified economic indicators such as household debt and record low-interest rates, Mr Adams has expanded his list of warning signs to 10, including rising inflation — fear of which had a hand in the latest sell-off.

“Against a whole range of economic and financial metrics, the Australian and international bubble which I warned about in 2017 has continued to grow larger over the past 12 months,” he said.

“Australian household debt has never been higher — now at nearly 200 per cent as a proportion of disposable income — household savings have slumped, the US share market is now in a bigger bubble than 1929, risky derivatives are now being sold in significant quantities and global debt is $US80 trillion more than it was in 2008.”

Adams said those born after 1973 — people under the age of 44 — had never experienced a major economic downturn as a working adult and hence needed to ensure they didn’t succumb to “normalcy bias”.

“Australians should be concerned about what lies ahead for themselves and the country as a whole,” he said, predicting a collapse likely to be more severe than the 1991 recession and which may potentially rival both the 1890 and 1929 depressions.

Those concerned can take some precautions for hard economic times, he added, by reducing their personal spending, increasing savings and having more cash on hand, paying down debt, reducing their exposure to risky or overvalued assets and managing the risk of rising prices, including interest rate payments.

“We all must assume personal responsibility and take pre-emptive action to ensure that we are able to ride out harsher economic times that are coming to our shores.”

SIGN 1: RECORD HOUSEHOLD DEBT

“According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian household debt as a proportion of disposable income continues to soar and reached an all-time high in September 2017 of 199.7 per cent as the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently included debt from self-managed superfunds into this statistic,” Adams said.

This has parallels in the local market, where New Zealand national debt topped half a trillion dollars at the end of last year, up 7.3 percent from a 12 months earlier.

The Reserve Bank figures (for the year to April 30) show household debt has topped $250b, driven by rising property prices and an increase in consumer borrowing.

That’s an increase of more than 60 per cent in 10 years.

SIGN 2: DECLINING HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS

“Coinciding with the rise in household debt, Australian household savings have fallen to their lowest level since the 2008 GFC,” Adams said.

“According to the ABS, the Household Saving Ratio (seasonally adjusted) has fallen from a high of 10.1 per cent in the December quarter of 2008 to 3.0 per cent and 3.2 per cent in the June and September quarters of 2017 respectively.”

Comparatively, New Zealanders have fared better in this regard with improved savings helping to offset total volume of debt.

However, the risks remain high.

For New Zealand households, the ratio of debt to income has now reached a record – 168 per cent, well above the pre-financial crisis peak of 159 per cent.

SIGN 3: CONTINUED RECORD LOW INTEREST RATES

“Despite foreign central banks raising interest rates, the RBA has continued to keep the official cash rate at 1.5 per cent,” Adams said.

“However, in December 2012 former RBA Governor Glenn Stevens warned that interest rates kept too low for too long would prove macroprudential controls ineffective in controlling systemic financial risk as people would be driven to over borrow given the cheap rates.”

Last week, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) held the official cash rate steady at 1.75 per cent, saying monetary policy will “remain accommodative for a considerable period”.

However, following the market uncertainty over the last seven days, acting Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer warned that there could be more volatility to come.

SIGN 4: GROWING HOUSING BUBBLE

“Concentration of credit in the Australian housing market continued to grow by 7.23 per cent from June 2016 to June 2017. As of June 2017, Credit to Housing as a proportion of Australian Gross Domestic Product reached a 26-year high of 95.33 per cent compared to 21.07 per cent in June 1991,” Adams said.

“Over the same period, credit which has been directed at the business sector or to other personal expenses have remained relatively steady as a proportion of GDP.”

New Zealand has benefitted from a cooling housing market (particularly in Auckland), which saw the rate of credit growth ease last year.

In terms of housing credit growth, things “have definitely improved”, Spencer told the Herald last year.

 

SIGN 5: CONTINUED INCREASE IN GLOBAL DEBT

“Global debt continues to grow, driven especially by rapid growth of debt in emerging economies,” Adams said.

“According to the Institute for International Finance’s January 2018 Global Debt Monitor Report, global debt reached a record high of $US233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 or 318 per cent of global GDP, representing growth in global debt of 8 per cent through the first three quarters of 2017.

“Global debt is now $US80 trillion higher than the end of 2007 with current interest rates substantially lower relative to the pre-GFC period.”

SIGN 6: MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ASSET BUBBLES KEEP GROWING

“The past 12 months has seen significant growth in major asset class values (particularly shares) across the world which has been fuelled by the significant increase in global debt,” Adams pointed out.

“For example, according to the PE Shiller Index, the US share market (as measured by the price of a company’s share relative to average earnings over the past 10 years for US companies in the S&P 500) is now at its second highest valuation level in history at 32.62, with the highest being the 1999 dotcom bubble.”

According to the PE Shiller Index, Adams said, the bubble in US share market is now bigger than the peak reached in September 1929 which was 32.54.

SIGN 7: INCREASING INFLATION

“In late 2017, inflation started to emerge in developed economies, beating the targets set by national governments and central banks,” Adams said.

“This emerging inflation was driven in part from rising global oil prices which increased by 51 per cent, along with increases in other commodities, over the past seven months.”

This has had a significant impact on a number of developed economies int he world.

“In 2017, the US Producer Price Index hit an annual rate of 3.1 per cent (a six-year high) and the US Consumer Price Index grew by an annual rate of 2.1 per cent whereas in the UK, inflation reached an annual rate of 3.1 per cent. In both the US and UK cases, inflation as measured by the CPI is above the stated 2 per cent target of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.”

The impact stretches well beyond the US and the UK, Adams warned.

“Other developed countries such as Canada and Japan also saw a notable pick-up in inflation during 2017. Higher rates of inflation will put pressure on the value of bonds and currencies, placing countries that do not deal with inflation through higher interest rates at a competitive disadvantage as investors make lower returns.”

 

SIGN 8: TIGHTENING MONETARY POLICY AND RISING GLOBAL INTEREST RATES

“Many foreign governments in the past year have been tightening monetary policy (either through reducing or ending quantitative easing or through ‘quantitative tightening’) as well as raising interest rates,” Adams said.

“During late 2016 and all of 2017, interest rates were raised in both developed economies such as the US (four times, or 1 per cent), Canada (three times, or 0.75 per cent), or the UK (one time or 0.25 per cent) as well as smaller and emerging economies such as the Czech Republic, Mexico, Malaysia and Romania.”

Adams added that interest rates are expected to continue to rise in 2018 as global economic growth and inflation continue to rise.

“Higher interest rates will make the ability to service global debt increasingly more difficult.”

SIGN 9: INVERTED AND FLATTENING YIELD CURVES

“The US Government bond yield curve has continued to significantly flatten over 2017. In early 2018, the difference between the two-year and the 10-year bond yield reached approximately 0.5 per cent, which is the smallest difference since 2007.

“The Chinese bond yield curve (i.e. the difference in interest rates between the five-year and the 10-year bond) briefly inverted twice in 2017 and is now approximately less than 0.1 per cent.

“Inverted yield curves (i.e. where long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the same credit quality) are known as a market predictor of a coming market crash or broader economic recession.”

SIGN 10: RETURN OF RISKY DERIVATIVES

“According to the Bank for International Settlements, the value of the over-the-counter derivatives market (notional amounts outstanding) remained high between June 2016 and June 2017 to stand at $US542 trillion,” Adams said.

“Many of these derivatives contracts (which are agreements that allow for the possibility to purchase or sell some other type of financial instrument or non-financial asset) are concentrated on the balance sheets of leading global financial and banking institutions, are bought and sold privately, involve significant complexity and carry significant counter-party risk that many institutions and government regulators struggle to understand.”

Adams’ concern is supported by research out of a major bank.

“In November 2017, a research report from Citibank reported that ‘Synthetic Collateral Debt Obligations’, which were one of the main financial instruments responsible for the 2008 GFC, were now back and are being sold to investors in significant quantities and is expected to top $US100 billion by the end of 2017, up from $US20 billion in 2015.”

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The Greatest Bubble Ever: Why You Better Believe It – Part 1 & 2

The Greatest Bubble Ever, Why You Better Believe It – Part 1 and 2  By  David Stockman via Contra Corner blog, ZeroHedge, 31 December 2017

Read Part 1 here…

During the 40 months after Alan Greenspan’s infamous “irrational exuberance” speech in December 1996, the NASDAQ 100 index rose from 830 to 4585 or by 450%. But the perma-bulls said not to worry: This time is different—-it’s a new age of technology miracles that will change the laws of finance.

It wasn’t. The market cracked in April 2000 and did not stop plunging until the NASDAQ 100 index hit 815 in early October 2002. During those a heart-stopping 30 months of free-fall, all the gains of the tech boom were wiped out in an 84% collapse of the index. Overall, the market value of household equities sank from $10.0 trillion to $4.8 trillion—-a wipeout from which millions of baby boom households have never recovered.

Likewise, the second Greenspan housing and credit boom generated a similar round trip of bubble inflation and collapse. During the 57 months after the October 2002 bottom, the Russell 2000 (RUT) climbed the proverbial wall-of-worry—-rising from 340 to 850 or by 2.5X.

And this time was also held to be different because, purportedly, the art of central banking had been perfected in what Bernanke was pleased to call the “Great Moderation”. Taking the cue, Wall Street dubbed it the Goldilocks Economy—-meaning a macroeconomic environment so stable, productive and balanced that it would never again be vulnerable to a recessionary contraction and the resulting plunge in corporate profits and stock prices.

Wrong again!

During the 20 months from the July 2007 peak to the March 2009 bottom, the RUT gave it all back. And we mean every bit of it—-as the index bottomed 60% lower at 340. This time the value of household equities plunged by $6 trillion, and still millions more baby-boomers were carried out of the casino on their shields never to return.

Now has come the greatest central bank fueled bubble ever. During nine years of radical monetary experimentation under ZIRP and QE, the value of equities owned by US households exploded still higher—-this time by $12.5 trillion. Yet this eruption, like the prior two, was not a reflection of main street growth and prosperity, but Wall Street speculation fostered by massive central bank liquidity and price-keeping operations.

Nevertheless, this time is, actually, very different. This time the central banks are out of dry powder and belatedly recognize that they have stranded themselves on or near the zero bound where they are saddled with massively bloated balance sheets.

So an epochal pivot has begun—-led by the Fed’s committment to shrink its balance sheet at a $600 billion annual rate beginning next October. This pivot to QT (quantitative tightening) is something new under the sun and was necessitated by the radical money printing spree of the past three decades.

What this momentous pivot really means, of course, is ill understood in the day-trading and robo-machine driven casinos at today’s nosebleed valuations. Yet what is coming down the pike is nothing less than a drastic, permanent downward reset of financial asset prices that will rattle the rafters in the casino.

This time is also very different because there will be no instant financial market reflation by the central banks. And that means, in turn, that there will be no fourth great bubble, either. Here’s why.

PART 2

As we explained in Part 1, the most dangerous place on the planet financially is now the Wall Street casino. In the months ahead, it will become ground zero of the greatest monetary/fiscal collision in recorded history.

For the first time ever both the Fed and the US treasury will be dumping massive amounts of public debt on the bond market—upwards of $1.8 trillionbetween them in FY 2019 alone—and at a time which is exceedingly late in the business cycle. That double whammy of government debt supply will generate a thundering “yield shock” which, in turn, will pull the props out from under equity and other risk asset markets—-all of which have “priced-in” ultra low debt costs as far as the eye can see.

The anomalous and implicitly lethal character of this prospective clash can not be stressed enough. Ordinarily, soaring fiscal deficits occur early in the cycle. That is, during the plunge unto recession, when revenue collections drop and outlays for unemployment benefits and other welfare benefits spike; and also during the first 15-30 months of recovery, when Keynesian economists and spendthrift politicians join hands to goose the recovery—-not understanding that capitalist markets have their own regenerative powers once the excesses of bad credit, malinvestment and over-investment in inventory and labor which triggered the recession have been purged.

By contrast, the Federal deficit is now soaring at the tail end (month #102) of an aging business expansion. And the cause is not the exogenous effects of so-called automatic fiscal stabilizers associated with a macroeconomic downturn, but deliberate Washington policy decisions made by the Trumpian GOP.

During FY 2019, for example, these discretionary plunges into deficit finance include slashing revenue by $280 billion, while pumping up an already bloated baseline spending level of $4.375 trillion by another $200 billion for defense, disasters, border control, ObamaCare bailouts and domestic pork barrel of every shape and form.

These 11th hour fiscal maneuvers, in fact, are so asinine that the numbers have to be literally seen to be believed. To wit, an already weak-growth crippled revenue baseline will be cut to just $3.4 trillion, while the GOP spenders goose outlays toward the $4.6 trillion mark.

That’s right. Nine years into a business cycle expansion, the King of Debt and his unhinged GOP majority on Capitol Hill have already decided upon (an nearly implemented) the fiscal measures that will result in borrowing 26 cents on every dollar of FY 2019 spending. JM Keynes himself would be grinning with self-satisfaction.

Moreover, this foolhardy attempt to re-prime-the-pump nearly a decade after the Great Recession officially ended means that monetary policy is on its back foot like never before.

What we mean is that both Bernanke and Yellen were scared to death of the tidal waves of speculation that their money printing policies of QE and ZIRP had fostered in the financial markets. So once the heat of crisis had clearly passed and the market had recovered its pre-crisis highs in early 2013, they nevertheless deferred, dithered and procrastinated endlessly on normalization of interest rates and the Fed’s elephantine balance sheet.

So what we have now is a central bank desperately trying to recapture lost time via its “automatic pilot” commitment to systematic and sustained balance sheet shrinkage at fixed monthly dollar amounts. This unprecedented “quantitative tightening” or QT campaign has already commenced at $1o billion of bond sales per month (euphemistically described as “portfolio run-off” by the Eccles Building) during the current quarter and will escalate automatically until it reaches $50 billion per month ($600 billion annualized) next October .

Needless to say, that’s the very opposite of the “accommodative” Fed posture and substantial debt monetization which ordinarily accompanies an early-cycle ballooning of Uncle Sam’s borrowing requirements. And the present motivation of our Keynesian monetary central planners is even more at variance with the normal cycle.

To wit, they plan to stick with QT come hell or high water because they are in the monetary equivalent of a musket reloading mode. Failing to understand that the main street economy essentially recovered on its own after the 2008-2009 purge of the Greenspanian excesses (and that’s its capacity to rebound remains undiminished), the Fed is desperate to clear balance sheet headroom and regain interest rate cutting leverage so that it will have the wherewithal to “stimulate” the US economy out of the next recession.

Needless to say, this kind of paint-by-the-numbers Keynesianism is walking the whole system right into a perfect storm. When the GOP-Trumpian borrowing bomb hits the bond market next October we will  already be in month #111 of the current expansion cycle and as the borrowing after-burners kick-in during the course of the year, FY 2019 will close out in month #123.

Here’s the thing. The US economy has never been there before. Never in the recorded history of the republic has a business expansion lasted 123 months. During the post-1950 period shown below, the average expansion has been only 61 months and the two longest ones have their own disabilities.

The 105 month expansion during the 1960s was fueled by LBJ’s misbegotten “guns and butter” policies and ended in the dismal stagflation of the 1970s. And the 119 month expansion of the 1990s reflected the Greenspan fostered household borrowing binge and tech bubbles that fed straight into the crises of 2008-2009.

Yet the Trumpian-GOP has not only presumed to pump-up the fiscal deficit to 6.2% of GDP just as the US economy enters the terra incognito range of the business cycle (FY 2019); it has actually declared its virtual abolition. Ironically, in fact, on December 31, 2025 nearly all of the individual income cuts expire—-meaning that in FY 2026 huge tax increases  will smack the household sector at a $200 billion run-rate!

But not to worry. The GOP’s present-day fiscal geniuses insist that the current business expansion, which will then be 207 months old, will end up no worse for the wear. The public debt will then total $33 trillion or 130% of GDP—even as the US economy gets monkey-hammered by huge tax increase.

Alas, no harm, no foul. The business expansion is presumed to crank forward through FY 2027 or month #219.

Needless to say, the whole thing degenerates into a sheer fiscal and economic fairy-tale when you examine the data and projections. But that hasn’t deterred the GOP’s fiscal dreamers.

Not only have they implicitly embraced an out-of-this-word 219 month business cycle expansion, but they have also insisted it will unfold at an average nominal GDP growth rate that has not been remotely evident at any time during the 21st century.

As shown in the chart below, the 10-year CBO forecast of nominal GDP (yellow line) is already quite optimistic relative to where GDP would print under the actual growth rate of the last ten-years (blue line). In fact, the CBO forecast generates $16 trillion of extra GDP and nearly $3 trillion more Federal revenue than would a replay of the last 10-years—and notwithstanding the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus during that period.

Still, the GOP/Trump forecast (grey line) assumes a full percentage point of higher GDP growth on top of CBO and no intervening recession and resulting GDP relapse.

Accordingly, the GOP assumes $30 trillion of extra GDP over the coming decade or nearly 23% more than would be generated by the actual growth rate (blue line) of the last decade; and consequently, $6 trillion of extra revenue.

That’s right. An already geriatric business cycle is going t0 rear-up on its hind legs and take off into a new phase of growth in the face of an epochal pivot of monetary policy to QT and a public debt burden relative to GDP that is approaching a Greek-style end game.

(Note: Figures in the box are inverted. First line should be 2006-2012 redux and third line should be Trump forecast.)

Stated differently, fiscal policy has descended into the hands of political mad-men at the very time that monetary policy is inexorably slouching toward normalization. Under those circumstances there is simply no way of avoiding the “yield shock” postulated above, and the cascading “reset” of financial asset prices that it will trigger across the length and breadth of the financial system.

As usual, however, the homegamers are the last to get the word. The unaccountable final spasm of the stock market in 2017 will undoubtedly come to be seen as the last call of the sheep to the slaughter. And owing to the speculative mania that has been fostered by the Fed and its fellow-traveling central banks, it now appears that the homegamers are all-in for the third time since 1987.

Indeed, Schwab’s retail clients have never, ever had lower cash allocations than at the present time—not even during the run-up to the dotcom bust or the great financial crisis.

But this time these predominately baby-boom investors are out of time and on the cusp of retirement—if not already living on one of the Donald’s golf resorts. When the crash comes they will have no opportunity to recover—-nor will Washington have the wherewithal to stimulate another phony  facsimile of the same.

The GOP-Trumpian gang has already blown their wad on fiscal policy and the Fed is stranded high and dry still close the zero-bound and still saddled with an elephantine balance sheet.

That is, what is fundamentally different about the greatest financial bubble yet is that there is no possibility of a quick policy-induced reflation after the coming crash. This time the cycle will be L-shaped—– with financial asset prices languishing on the post-crash bottom for years to come.

And that is a truly combustible condition. That is, 65% of the retirement population already lives essentially hand-to-month on social security, Medicare and other government welfare benefits (food stamps and SSI, principally). But after the third financial bubble of this century crashes, tens of millions more will be driven close to that condition as their 401Ks again evaporate.

That’s why the fiscal game being played by the Donald and his GOP confederates is so profoundly destructive. Now is the last time to address the entitlement monster, but they have decided to throw fiscal caution to the winds and borrow upwards of $1.6 trillion (with interest) to enable US corporations to fund a new round of stock buybacks, dividend increases and feckless, unproductive M&A deals.

 

Then again, what the GOP has not forgotten is the care and feeding of its donor class. That mission is being accomplished handsomely as it fills up the deep end of the Swamp with pointless, massive defense spending increases and satisfies K-Street with a grotesquely irresponsible tax bill that was surely of the lobbies, by the PACs and for the money.

At the end of the day, however, the laws of free markets and sound finance will out. The coming crash of the greatest bubble ever will prove that in spades.

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Posted in World finance: when will the bubble burst? | Comments Off on Banksters, other financial criminals and the greedies

The Rise and Fall of the EU

European countries ruled the world for centuries.  Since WWII the fall from grace has accelerated.  Now it remains to be seen how Britain’s EU exit, and mass immigration, pan out.

Note: more articles are available at the end of this post

Who’s destroying England and Western Europe?

 

Who’s destroying England and Western Europe  By Jon Rappoport, July 10, 2018

 

As the “British Exit (Brexit)” stalls in the UK, Italy picks up the torch of resistance…

~~

June 4, 2017

“Here’s a great idea, boys.  Gather around.  We’re going to build, on top of every national government on the European continent, another government, bigger, more bloated, more corrupt, more powerful.  Who’ll notice?  Who’ll care?”

“Terrific.  Love it.  But ultimately we’ll need to destroy all those separate countries and rule the whole continent as one entity.  We can do that, yes.  We’ll open all borders and let in a massive flow of immigrants and erase national identities.  Terror attacks will multiply.  We’ll put a lid on talking about immigrants as the cause of the terror.  Call it hate speech.  We’ll train the population of Europe to accept terrorism as part of the glorious future.  It makes no logical sense, but so what?  No top-down ideology ever made sense.  We’ll preach unlimited tolerance and love.  We’ll be a de facto Church of sorts.  We’ll hypnotize the whole continent…” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

As I was writing this article, multiple terror attacks were launched in London.  To say the human destruction “once again raised the question of immigration” would be a vast understatement.

In the run-up to the Brexit vote in 2016, immigration came to the fore as the key issue.  But of course, the European Union has a policy of opening borders of all member countries.

The EU wants one continent, no separate countries—and the way to achieve that is by creating a massive flood of migrants.  Destroy traditions and cultures that define countries.  In the process, accept terrorism as “inevitable.”  Don’t talk or write about the actual effects of immigration.  That would be “hate speech.”  Keep eyes and mouth shut, and march straight ahead into a future of one European continent ruled from above by the EU.

Ever since the UK vote to leave the unelected, terminally corrupt, and rotting edifice known as the European Union, stall tactics and threats have been launched at Brits.

First it was, “It’s going to take a long time to untangle the UK from the EU, it’s very complicated.”  Actually, that tactic was predated by Prince Obama traveling to England to warn the population they’d stand at the back of the line in forming separate trade deals with the US, if they left the EU.  It’s called interfering in the political affairs of another nation.  Now it’s the EU and Queen Merkel beating the UK to the punch by plotting trade deals with India and China, in order to leave the British out in the cold.

But the basic question is, Is Britain a nation?  Does it exist?  It’s a question citizens are supposed to answer.  Not Merkel, Obama, or the EU.

This issue, in case it’s unclear, is all about Globalism.  According to that totalitarian political philosophy, of which the EU is a standard bearer, there are no nations.  There are only mega-corporations and banks.

As the recently departed guru of the Rockefeller Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wrote in 1969, “[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”

This is not only a political and economic statement, it’s a prescriptive piece of psychological advice: Stop thinking of yourself as a citizen of a country; you’re a global citizen; you exist and function at the pleasure of a new collaborative international order.

And the new order will triumph.  Bow your heads and accept it.

Unless people get up on their hind legs and say no, which is what happened in the 2016 Brexit vote.

Defection.  Decentralization.  Independence.

Hideous words to the ears of Globalists.

Their basic strategy, since the end of World War 2, has been to spin a highly complex network of political and economic relationships, from one end of the world to the other—a labyrinth—from which escape is seen as virtually impossible.

Trade deals like NAFTA, CAFTA, and GATT are only part of this system.  The EU itself keeps churning out thousands of rules, regulations, and laws.

Build the maze; put national governments and populations in the maze.

Then more or less claim the planet would collapse without the maze.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker just issued a “maze statement” to President Trump after Trump rejected the Globalist Paris Climate (non-) Treaty: “Europe’s duty is to say: it’s not like that.  The Americans can’t just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr. Trump believes that [he can] because he doesn’t know the details…We tried to explain that to Mr. Trump in Taormina in clear German sentences.  It seems that our attempt failed, but the law is the law, and it must be obeyed. Not everything which is law and not everything in international agreements is fake news, and we have to comply with it.”

Supremely arrogant, Juncker was winging it and writing his own script, because, in fact, the US didn’t sign on to a treaty in Paris.  Obama tried to unilaterally bind the US to the climate pact, when a two-third’s vote by the US Senate is actually required for such international agreements.  And no Senate vote was taken.

But this is the EU’s preemptive attitude toward defection, decentralization, and independence.

In the case of Brexit, climate change wasn’t the issue.  Immigration was.  The EU tried its best to chastise England for daring to insist unlimited numbers of migrants might be too many.  “You’re in the maze, stay in the maze.”

And there is another vector of attack being launched at England: reminders the nation is evil for its colonial practices, which can never, ever be erased.  But the covert leaders in that propaganda effort, the EU and its Globalist bosses, feel entitled in their own attempt to colonize the whole planet.  “Your colonizing was bad, ours is good.”

With an annual budget in the vicinity of $100 billion, the EU is intractably corrupt and incompetent.  It’s estimated that $5 billion a year is stolen from that budget.  As for the other $95 billion, what is it for?  Nations can govern themselves.  The EU could disappear tomorrow and no one would catch a cold.  The entire bloated structure, employing between 30 and 50 thousand people (depending on how far the count is extended) is a vast boondoggle.

It’s astonishing that anyone in the UK would feel a sense of loyalty to the EU.

There is nothing strange about Brexit at all.  It’s a natural reaction: One day, a house pet goes outside and wanders off into the woods and never comes back.  Who is really surprised?

The “system” called the EU insists that terrorism is somehow a price the British people must pay for entering “a better future for all.”  Don’t ask what that future looks like.  Don’t think about it.  The UK doesn’t have the right to set its own immigration policy.

The chaos and destruction that result from open borders are simply an “adjustment period,” after which things will settle down.  A new and better England and Europe will emerge.  Diversity will triumph.  How?  Don’t worry about that, be happy.

You see, diversity is a high-minded principle, and by definition it implies a more humane society.  Therefore, there is no counter-evidence.  Facts are unimportant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest London attacks are a message to the British people: You may have exited from the EU, but the EU policy on immigration still stands.

No it doesn’t.  Britain is free to set its own policy.

To do so, politically correct speech will have to be jettisoned.  Facts will have to be widely expressed.  Lies will have to be widely exposed.

The EU will need to be named as a driving force in immigration, and the results of migration will need to be laid at its door.

The EU sees immigrant terrorism as its ticket to greater control over Europe.

The London attacks are a challenge thrown in Britain’s face.  Bow down and accept; or rebel.

Leaving the EU means LEAVING the EU.

How many times must British citizens witness these attacks and watch police come in after the fact?  How long before leaving means LEAVING?

How long before the British people realize that the flood of migrants is not simply “a refugee crisis” created by the US and its allies, whose imperialist policies of Empire and wars in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, initiate “blowback?”

How long before they see numbers of these “refugees” are just military-age young men who arrive with destruction on their minds?

How long before they see England is riddled with EU agents who are “forwarding a humane immigration policy,” come hell or high water?

One continent, under no liberty and no justice, with suffering and slavery for all.

How long before they leave THAT?

 

 

Use this link to order Jon’s Matrix Collections.

 

 

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

 

 

You can find this article and more at NoMoreFakeNews.

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This Is the New Italy

This Is the New Italy  By Attilio Moro, Strategic Culture Foundation, 1 June 2018

Sesto San Giovanni, a town on the outskirts of Milan, used to be one of the industrial capitals of Italy.

With around 200,000 inhabitants (45,000 blue collar workers, and a robust middle class), it was the headquarters of some of the most dynamic Italian companies, including Magneti Marelli, Falck, Breda and many more.

Today Sesto is an industrial desert – the factories are gone, the professional middle class has fled, many stores have shut down, and the city is trying to reinvent itself as a medical research center.

Twenty-three kilometers (14 miles) to the north of Sesto, the town of Meda was the seat of various symbols of Italian excellence: Salotti Cassina and Poltrona Frau, both of which exported high-quality furniture all over the world and employed tens of thousands of workers and designers. They fed a number of small family-based companies providing parts and highly qualified seasonal labour. Today both companies are gone.

Montezemolo: Public enemy

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, a former chairman of Ferrari, Fiat and Alitalia, and now a public enemy because of his dismissal of the “Made in Italy” label, acquired both companies and moved them to Turkey, choosing profit over quality—and Italian jobs. Montezemolo, of aristocratic background, is a champion of Italian neoliberalism, having founded the influential “free market” think tank Italia Futura (Future Italy) in 2009.

Another victim is the town of Sora, with a population of 25,000, 80 km. (50 miles) east of Rome. Until recently Sora was an affluent commercial city, with medium-sized paper factories and hundreds of shops. Today, all of the factories are gone and 50 percent of shops have closed.

All over Italy, the neoliberal policies that led to the economic crisis and resulting social decadence have accelerated in the wake of the financial collapse of 2007.

Once The Stalingrad of Italy

Sesto San Giovanni used to be known as ‘the Italian Stalingrad’, due to the strength of its working class and the Communist Party receiving over 50 percent of the vote. Now the strongest party in town is the Lega (The League), a right wing, xenophobic party. This has been accompanied by a demographic shift, as Sesto has lost almost one third of its population, but acquired tens of thousands of immigrants, which today constitute almost 20 percent of its population.

The Italian Communist Party, once the strongest in the capitalist world, has in the meantime disappeared, together with the working class. There is also the destitution of a dwindling middle class accompanying the breakdown of the social fabric with rampant corruption. All the traditional political parties have been wiped away.

Sesto San Giovanni: Once the Italian Stalingrad

They have been replaced by the so-called ‘populists’: TheLega and the 5 Star Movement, undisputed winners of the latest elections in March, who are now in the process of trying to form a new government. The Lega expresses the frustrations of the north of Italy that is still productive (fashion, services and some high quality products), and demands lower taxes, as Italian taxes are among the highest in Europe. They also want a parallel national currency, a reduction in circulation of the Euro (which slows down exports, especially to Germany) and limits to immigration.

The 5 Star Movement, which is partly considered to be the heir of the former Communist Party but with a different social base consisting of an undifferentiated lower class replacing the disappearing working class. It advocates a moralization of the political parties and a universal basic income of 750 euros per month ($875) for the poorest to reduce the effects of the social disaster which took place in the south of the country in the last 10 years: 20 percent unemployment, affecting 40 percent of young people, making the mafia and organized crime the biggest ‘employers’ in the most critical southern regions.

This is the new Italy. The old one, the Italy of Fiat, Cassina, small family-run businesses, the Italy of the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party and vibrant working-class culture is no more.

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Open letter to EU boss Jean-Clause Juncker: yes, break up America!

 

Open letter to EU boss Jean-Clause Juncker, yes, break up America  By Jon Rappoport, 25 May 2018

“There is a line that governments cross. When they reach a certain size, and when they are exerting enough control, they turn around and tell their citizens, ‘We love you and we care about you and we help you. In return, all we ask is that you do whatever we tell you to do, no matter what the consequences are. That’s fair, isn’t it?'” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

 

Here is a piece I wrote in March of 2017. It was prompted by an outburst from European Union (EU) boss, Jean-Claude Juncker. “The Junk Man” is quite a piece of work. To put it nicely and politely, he’s an unelected gas bag:

The Express (March 30, 2017): “European Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker this afternoon issued a jaw-dropping threat to the United States, saying he could campaign to break up the country in revenge for Donald Trump’s supportive comments about Brexit.”

“In an extraordinary speech the EU Commission president said he would push for Ohio and Texas to split from the rest of America if the Republican president does not change his tune and become more supportive of the EU.”

Dear Jean-Claude,   You unfathomable twit, we love you! Come to America soon and help a few of our states secede from the US.   Our country is far too big. The federal government is a titanic engorged bureaucracy. The idea of a limited Republic is dead. The people are too distant from their ruling government—exactly the situation in which the people of Europe find themselves, with their unelected swollen overseers—of which you are the present leader.

You and your cronies and minions make the laws, and there is no recourse.   You’re a useless barnacle on the European continent. So come here and help Texas and Ohio secede. It’ll be a party. You might learn something.

I would suggest you begin with California. The state government presently has $440 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities stretching into the future. Perhaps you could help California cancel the unsolvable problem. “We’re free! We don’t owe anybody anything! It was all an illusion.”

Perhaps you could convince the new nation of California to take in 30 or 40 million more immigrants. “New citizens are good for the economy.” You know, use the same tactics you’re using in Europe. Prosecute anyone who speaks out against immigration. People need repressive fascism. It’s good for them.

I suggest New York City and Chicago should become countries. Why not? They’re big enough. Let them rise and fall on their own. That would be a sight to see. Chicago is the major trafficking hub for Sinaloa Cartel drugs. Chicago could come right out in the open and announce itself as Heroin Cocaine Central. “These are our products! This is what we sell! This is how we thrive!” New York is the world center for News. “Buy our fake stories! They’re limitless!”

Here’s another strategy you could promote. Link all 300 US sanctuary cities and colleges together as one nation. “We want to be the home for EVERYBODY from EVERYWHERE.” I think some kind of theocracy would work for this emerging nation. A Pope who favors infinite kindness. Citizens would be income-taxed at a rate of 80% to fund the grand altruistic program. Hollywood celebs would be appointed cardinals and bishops.

But here is a dire prediction. Somewhere along the line, as you carry out your plan for secessions, a US state that becomes a nation is going to pop up with a truly dangerous idea: SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

O the horror. That state is going to turn down all outside funding. It’s going to institute a robust free market, in which anyone can sell any non-harmful product or service, absent red tape. For example—a hundred different forms of natural-health treatments. On the other hand, a company that pollutes the landscape with poisonous chemicals and doesn’t immediately fix the problem will see its executives sent to prison for long terms. The people of this state will do their best to produce what they need from inside their own borders. Speaking of which, the state will do its best to keep out people who refuse to subscribe to hard work, earning their own way, and free speech. No political correctness. No triggering. No safe spaces. No need for them.

This could be your Waterloo, Jean-Claude. Suddenly, that state (a new nation) would be setting a shining example for other emerging nations to follow.

People would wake up to the life they’ve always wanted.   Wouldn’t it be interesting to watch you try to put that genie back in the bottle? You, the great defender of top-down arbitrary rule by Globalists. You, the entitled buffoon, who wants One Europe. You, the arrogant parasite on your throne.

Come to the US, Jean-Claude. We need many new Republics springing up across the land. Help us.   Liberate the buried spirit of America.   Perhaps you’ll feel your blood moving through your calcified veins again.

Well, perhaps not. You’re dedicated to the Big Bloat. In your gluttonous mind, the citizenry is suffering from a deficiency of bureaucracy, and you’re the prescribing doctor.

The EU employs 46,000 people. My God, that’s not nearly enough, even though each member nation already has its own federal government. Here’s an idea. Automatically make every migrant who comes to Europe an EU employee. What would they do? Promote and facilitate more immigration! Perfect!

Anyway, we’re waiting for you to come to America and help states secede from the Union. I’m ready to provide you with talking points. But first, I suggest you read an old dusty document called the US Constitution. You’ll find a trove of ideas there for newly minted nations like California and Texas.

If you really want to push a subversive destructive agenda in the US, and raise the ire of our federal government, wave the Constitution around and start citing sections of its corrosive doctrines. You’ll cause a great deal of trouble, I guarantee it.

You’ll probably land in jail. But we’ll back you. We’ll make you a hero.

FREE JUNCKER! FREE JUNCKER!

You’ll love it.

And when they shut down your budding Twitter account and You Tube Channel, we’ll take to the streets!

Come on, Junk Man, America is waiting.

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The dogma of sustainability and renewables is ruining the power system

‘Sustainability’ is a modern buzz-word, a fashion, a vital tool for preservation and all-to-often a cover for dangerous covert agendas, not the least being the danger of related policies returning electrical power delivery to third-world status.

Check at the end for links to previous articles

The energy hex Australia places on itself is madness

The energy hex Australia places on itself is madness Chris Kenny, The Australian, 23 June 2018

 

If our worst enemies abroad were given one evil wish to destroy our economy they probably would look to curse perhaps our greatest natural advantage: access to almost unlimited cheap energy.

Yet, as if to prove that fact is stranger than even this madcap fiction, this is a hex we are visiting upon ourselves.

If a prosperous nation decided to burden its people with expensive and unreliable power, imposing hardships including job losses, costs on struggling families, reduced profits and missed investment opportunities, to create a more benign environment for all the people of the world, it would be truly altruistic. But if it were inflicting pain on its citizens and handicapping future generations for no discernible benefit, then it would be an act of sheer madness.

Yet here we are. We are in a self-imposed energy crisis. No one disputes the urgency — Coalition and Labor politicians, state and federal, agree prices are too high; they are spending on diesel generators, large-scale batteries and stored hydro to find a way through; companies are having power cut or being paid to reduce demand; consumers and industries fear dire consequences; regulators sound alarms about lack of supply; and policymakers float a raft of possible solutions.

Yet it is all our doing. By mandating renewable energy targets, committing to global carbon dioxide emissions-reduction goals, subsidising wind and solar generation including by domestic consumers, toying with emissions trading schemes and imposing (for a time) a carbon tax, we have up-ended our electricity market, forced out some of the cheapest and most reliable generation and made our power more expensive and less reliable. The lion’s share of investment across a decade — upwards of $30 billion — has gone into the sure bet of subsidised renewable energy that has a guaranteed market but that cannot be relied on to meet peak energy output at any given time. Billions more have been spent on government payments and grants. All this money is recouped in the end from consumers, who are paying enormous sums to go backwards.

Since 1999, average spot prices per megawatt hour have leapt from $50 to $110 in South Australia and from less than $25 in NSW and Victoria to $80 and $95 respectively. Electricity costs for manufacturers have increased 79 per cent since 2010 and in that period there have been net job losses of about 140,000 in the sector. Price rises have squeezed family budgets, created hardship for pensioners and forced companies to cut jobs or shut down.

South Australia was plunged into darkness for hours and the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that without remedial action, even in NSW where cheap and reliable coal-fired power has been abundant, there will be supply vulnerability in the coming years that could lead to 200,000 homes going without power during peak summer demand. The closure of NSW’s Liddell coal-fired power station in a few years will make the situation worse.

This month AEMO warned again that the “unprecedented transformation” of our electricity system means Australia “does not have the energy reserves it once had to lean on” when we need it. This is deplorable.

We are the world’s largest coal exporter. We will soon be the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. We are the third largest exporter of uranium.

Australia powers the economic and manufacturing powerhouses of northeast Asia, and other parts of the world, with cost-effective and reliable energy supplies. But we decline to do the same for ­ourselves.

We may as well feed the people of the world with our wheat and sheep exports while our own people go hungry. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Politicians from both major parties and the Greens pretend — surely they are feigning because they must know the facts — that this is our contribution to global efforts to combat global warming. This is fraudulent.

We need to do what the climate activists constantly implore of us: back the science. All the facts tell us that, scientifically, Australia’s climate action is doing nothing to improve the global environment. We are putting ourselves through extended economic pain, with deep social consequences, for nothing more than climate gestures. This is the hard edge of gesture politics: national virtue-signalling, with the poorest citizens and jobless paying the highest price.

Don’t take my word for it; listen to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, who the government tasked with revising policy. He confirmed before a Senate estimates committee hearing a year ago that Australia’s carbon emissions amounted to 1.3 per cent of the global total (that proportion is shrinking as world emissions grow). Finkel was asked what difference it would make to climate change if all of our nation’s emissions were cut — pretend 25 million of us left Australia idle — so that world emissions dropped by 1.3 per cent. “Virtually nothing,” was his reply.

But wait. Our contribution is much less significant even than “virtually nothing” because we will not eliminate all our emissions. We aim to reduce them by 26 per cent — so our best impact may be a quarter of virtually nothing. Wait again; we become even more irrelevant. Global emissions are on the rise. Led by China (growing by up to 4 per cent so far this year) world CO2 emissions are increasing at close to 2 per cent. So, more science, more facts. China’s annual emissions are about 30 times higher than ours and in any given year the increase alone in China’s emissions can be more than double what we plan to cut by 2030. While global emissions rise our piddling cuts do zip. We are emitting into the wind. Our price rises, blackouts, job losses, investment droughts, subsidies and energy system dilemmas are all for nothing.

Anyone with a pulse must understand this. Why they persist with proposing or backing costly climate policies is the question. They want to display their commitment to the cause. They want to associate themselves with protecting the planet. It is earth motherhood, dictated by political fashion and a reluctance to go against the zeitgeist. What a sad indictment on our political/media class — indulging its progressive credentials for social and diplomatic acceptance at the expense of struggling families, jobless blue-collar workers and our economic competitiveness.

The Coalition is starting to tear itself apart again; led by Tony Abbott, those who understand mainstream concerns are rising up against those stuck in commercial, media and political orthodoxy. Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg’s national energy guarantee is a retrofit mechanism to encourage some investment in dispatchable electricity.

As they negotiate for a bipartisan position they could be left with a stark choice: satisfy Labor and its premiers or placate the Coalition partyroom. It may be impossible to do both — the partyroom may at least demand a plan to extend the life of Liddell — and another political short-circuit may be in the offing.

The national energy system is so badly distorted by a decade of renewable subsidies and the threat of future carbon prices that there is no easy solution. All sides of the debate propose expensive government interventions. Investors in anything but renewables are wary.

If we had done nothing on climate action we might have had plentiful and cheap coal and gas power on the back of private investment. But we killed that goose. There is bound to be a reckoning; eventually we will reclaim the energy advantage we export to other nations. And if we ever need a zero-emissions future, we will embrace the silver bullet of nuclear energy. The only question is whether it takes us three years or three decades to come to our senses — and how many political careers will be hoist with this petard in the interim.

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Australia’s power policies are killing its economy

Australia’s power policies are killing its economy  By Ian Plimer, The Australian 23 October, 2017

You couldn’t make it up if you tried. Australia is a huge exporter of energy as coal, LNG and uranium, yet it has unreliable and ­expensive electricity. South Australia has achieved a first for ­Australia: it has the most expensive electricity in the world. A short time ago it had cheap coal-fired power.

Australia remains the only G20 country with no nuclear power yet has 30 per cent of the planet’s in-ground uranium, mainly in South Australia. Vic­toria has banned drilling for ­onshore gas in its two gas-rich ­basins yet suffers a gas shortage.

Australia’s energy crisis is based on a flawed fundamental. Global human emissions are only 3 per cent of total annual emissions. It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. If it were shown, it would also have to be shown that the 97 per cent of emissions from natural processes such as ocean degassing, volcanoes, natural chemical reactions and exhalation don’t drive global warming.

In the geological past, Earth’s atmosphere had hundreds of times the CO2 content of the modern atmosphere yet there were no carbon dioxide-driven catastrophes. The past shows that climate change is normal, that warmer times and more atmospheric carbon dioxide have driven biodiversity and that cold times kill.

Ice core drilling shows that 800 years after natural warming, the atmosphere increases in carbon dioxide. The zenith of the Little Ice Age was 300 years ago and since then we have slightly warmed and cooled during a long-term warming trend. Instrumental temperature measurements over the past 150 years show no correlation between human emissions of CO2 and ­temperature. On all timescales it can be shown that there is no correlation between CO2 emissions and global warming. Without correlation, there can be no causation.

The worldwide temperature record has been changed. Cooling trends have been “homogenised” to warming trends. In the corporate world, if a loss is “homo­genised” to a profit, it is fraud. Why is climate science different?

No genuine environmentalist could honestly support subsidised wind turbines that despoil the scenery, slice and dice birds and bats, damage human health and spread toxins. This is not environmentalism. It is power over people by unelected activists, often ­funded from outside Australia.

Unless the laws of physics are changed, solar power cannot be made more efficient. Solar facilities result in the clearing and environmental degradation of huge acreages and depositing of toxins.

Construction and maintenance of wind and solar facilities ­release far more carbon dioxide than they are meant to save over their working lives and they need to be sup­ported 24/7 by coal-fired generators. The Spaniards invented a way of producing solar power at night without changing the laws of physics. Diesel generators with floodlights illuminated solar ­panels. Subsidies were so generous that profits could still be made at night. No wonder Spain went broke.

Australia’s CO2 emissions are only 1.3 per cent of global human emissions, which are 3 per cent of the total global emissions. To reduce Australian emissions will have absolutely no effect on the planet’s temperature. The only effect will be a rapid reduction in jobs as electricity prices skyrocket.

Those who signed the Paris ­Accord actually believed they can twiddle the planetary dials to minimise warming to less than 2 Celsius yet seemed blissfully ­unaware that whatever humans do, they cannot change Earth’s orbit and radiation released from the sun that drive climate. Australia’s signed a suicide note yet didn’t seem to notice that China, India, Indonesia and the US did not commit to reducing their large carbon dioxide emissions.

The grasslands, crops, forests and territorial waters of Australia absorb more carbon dioxide than Australia emits. Australia should demand the Paris Accord shell out some of the billions sloshing around in the climate business.

The subsidies for wind and solar power and the must-take mandate have attracted all sorts of dodgy enterprises, lickspittles and carpetbaggers to the renewable energy honey pot. The National Energy Market was the nail in the coffin and, after 40 years of falling electricity costs and a reliable grid, Australia now has energy poverty and destruction of businesses. Electricity is not a luxury; it is a necessity for any civilised society.

The solution requires political courage. Cancel the renewable energy target, large-scale RET, ­renewable energy certificates, clean energy target and any funding that subsidises renewable ­energy. Cancel funding for climate research institutes, climate conferences, carbon capture schemes and jaunts for signing suicide notes.

If any energy company provides electricity to the grid, decree that it must have 90 per cent availability 24/7 and get rid of the must-take mandate. Cancel the charitable status of feral activist groups like Greenpeace. Change the Corporations Law such that green activists, environmentalists, unionists and lobbyists abide by the same conditions of probity as company directors.

Because investment confidence in energy in Australia has been destroyed, governments must build modern coal-fired and nuclear power stations. Australia needs a nuclear industry that could start by using modular reactors for isolated mines and towns before growing a vertically integrated nuclear industry.

Only elections can change the madness but no major political party has nation-building leaders and a coherent policy to cut electricity costs and ­increase reliability. Politicians fiddle around the edges. As soon as the words emissions, climate change and Paris are used, you know you are being conned and that the world’s biggest scam will continue.

 Australia’s energy policy is based on the fallacious assumption that human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. This underpins the Finkel and Australian Competition and Consumer Com­­mis­sion reports, the Paris ­Accord and political quick-fix ­solutions. Renewable energy has become ruinable energy, thanks to green ideology.

 I fear there will be years of ­increasing pain before there is enough political courage to bring Australia to what it had in the past: cheap, reliable employment-generating electricity.

Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer’s Climate Delusion and The Great Electricity Rip-off (Connor Court) has just been published.

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Australia’s electricity is far too expensive and unreliable

Australia’s electricity is far too expensive and unreliable  By Nick Cater, The Australian, 6 June 2017

There’s an app for everything these days, even one that tracks in real time the startling cost of Australia’s ­ludicrous energy policy.

We are indebted to PocketNEM for informing us that the spot price of electricity on the National Energy Market shot above $150 a megawatt hour in the eastern states late on Sunday afternoon, hitting $365 in the windmill-powered dystopia known as South Australia. During a largely overcast and windless winter weekend, SA and Victoria sucked up megawatt after megawatt of coal-generated electricity from NSW and Queensland, stretching the interconnectors to their limits.

To whom will the cost of these expensive buy-ins be charged? To the customer of course — you, me and the business we rely on to provide jobs, goods and services.

When the dust settles, the 33,000 gigawatt-hour renewable energy target will prove to be the costliest legacy of the Rudd and Gillard governments. Sure, there are plenty of other multi-billion-dollar blunders to choose from — the cost blowout to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, for example — policies that, like the RET, were implemented with noble intent but vacant attention to detail.

Yet on the scale of bureaucratically orchestrated disasters they are dwarfed by the RET, a Soviet-scale exercise in market intervention that is unravelling before our eyes, presenting Malcolm Turnbull’s government with a diabolical policy challenge that cannot be deferred.

How quickly the world has changed. Barely nine months before Turnbull became Prime Minister the Australian Energy Market Commission, which is supposed to know about these things, predicted that scrapping the carbon tax, falling electricity demand and increased capacity would cause retail electricity prices to fall.

The AEMC’s latest forecast presents a very different picture. Household electricity bills will rise acutely, particularly in South Australia and Victoria. The closure of SA’s brown-coal-fired Northern power station 13 months ago, followed by the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station this year, means that for the first time in at least a half-century there is a shortage of active generation ­capacity.

Last December, the AEMC calculated that the closures would increase the cost of wholesale energy by 55 per cent in Victoria and Tasmania and 41 per cent in SA by the next federal election.

The Turnbull government will get only one shot at fixing this mess before rising power prices start to bite, and it will steady its aim this Friday with the release of Alan Finkel’s review of the National Electricity Market.

It is a chance to rescue energy policy from the sectional interests that want the renewable energy gravy train to keep running, and to frame it to serve the national ­interest. The ideologues, aided and abetted by the self-interested renewable energy lobby, will try to make this a debate about “sustainability” in the hope of deflecting attention from our demonstrably unsustainable energy policy. We must ignore their soft-headed nonsense and focus on securing what we really need: a reliable supply of affordable energy within our carbon emission targets.

The review is unlikely to recommend, nor is the government willing to countenance, the abolition of the RET, attractive as that may seem to energy market ­rationalists.

It should, however, help us recognise that putting most of the burden on the electricity grid to deliver Australia’s promised carbon emissions reduction was a ghastly mistake. It has neither assisted the reduction of carbon emissions nor encouraged the development of new technology.

Even Ross Garnaut, the Rudd government’s professor of choice, called for it to be phased out. The RET “does not necessarily encourage the lowest cost means of reducing emissions”, he wrote in 2011, “nor does it encourage innovation: it favours the lowest cost established technologies that are eligible within the scheme”,

In fact, it can cost up to $100 a tonne to abate carbon emissions through large-scale wind and solar, and up to double that amount using small-scale domestic solar panels.

Meanwhile another arm of government, the Emissions Reduction Fund, can do the same job for less than $12 a tonne. Allowing thermal generators to offset emissions by purchasing credits from the ERF instead of renewable energy certificates at eight or nine times the price may give them a fighting chance.

The review also presents the opportunity to end the sacred treatment of wind and solar and to share subsidies, if subsidies there must be, with low-emission thermal energy production such as gas and clean coal. It would not fix the gas shortage but at least it would give the owners of mothballed gas plants a little more confidence of a return on investment.

If common sense is allowed to intrude, we will no longer pay subsidies of about $85 a megawatt hour for the fitful supply of unstable energy using subprime technology of windmills.

Renewable energy suppliers have little incentive to improve the reliability of their product since it is the public, not they, who are forced to pick up the bill for buying in thermal power at the spot price when the blades stop tuning.

The energy market as currently constructed is a classic example of moral hazard where one party decides how much risk to take, while another bears the cost when things go wrong. If renewable energy companies were made to shoulder all, or at least part, of the cost of their failure to provide electricity at 50 hertz for 24 hours a day, they might invest more in the development of storage.

What could go wrong? After all, Alan Kohler assured us in his column in The Weekend Australian that wind and solar are at the point of becoming cheaper than coal and gas, and batteries are just around the corner. We are about to see a flood of renewable investment that will spell the end of coal.

A clear-headed readjustment of the RET will allow us to test that somewhat brave assumption. Oh, and help us keep the lights on.

Nick Cater is executive director of Menzies Research Centre.

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How to indoctrinate the ‘sheeples’

Most people refuse to believe shocking news, even in the face of clear evidence.  Francis Shure explains why.

“My government couldn’t possibly do that – no way!”

Frances’ focus is on the Twin Towers tragedy on 9 September 2001 (911), and the disbelief most people display when presented with the awful evidence that the ‘official’ version is riddled with anomalies.

However, in varying degrees the rationale explained by Frances can be applied to explain people’s reactions to many things they do not want to hear, for any number of reasons.  You may or may not be interested in the facts – highly disturbing as they are – about the horrendous 911 events.  But you certainly will benefit from a better understanding of why people may reject your clear and lucid explanations.

Francis Shure adds several relevant points starting at the 42 minute mark in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddz2mw2vaEg

The first article is presented below; there are links to all 21 parts at the end of this post, the latest is a ‘must-read’: Part 21: The Role of the Media: Act I – Whatever Happened to Investigative Journalists?  Frances poses the critical question: ‘What is wrong with the Western media? Why have they not jumped at the opportunity to cover the scoop of the century — the wealth of crystal-clear evidence that proves the government has been lying about the attacks of September 11, 2001, for the past sixteen years?’ Frances then presents a comprehensive answer – which is very disillusioning. Read the full article at:

A parallel approach is labelled ‘social engineering’ that has been described for over half a century including books such as Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders.  This video provides a more up-to-date explanation: http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2016/03/elites-use-social-engineering-tactics-and-food-war-in-grocery-stores-to-destroy-us-social-engineers-more-dangerous-than-terrorist-cells-picture-video-3313552.html

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Why people reject bad news

Title: Why Do Good People Become Silent – or Worse – About 9/11?

Part 1: Preface and Introduction

© by Frances T. Shure, 2013

Editor’s Note:  Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” The resulting essay, to be presented here as a series, is comprised of a synthesis of reports on academic research as well as clinical observations.

Ms. Shure’s analysis begins with recognition of the observation made by the psychology professionals interviewed in the documentary “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who cite our human tendencies toward denial in order to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. Indeed, resistance to information that substantially challenges our worldview is the rule rather than the exception, Ms. Shure explains.  This is so because fear is the emotion that underlies most of the negative reactions toward 9/11 skeptics’ information. Ms. Shure addresses the many types of fear that are involved, and how they tie into the “sacred myth” of American exceptionalism.

Through the lenses of anthropology and social psychology, Ms. Shure focuses on diffusion of innovations; obeying and believing authority; doublethink; cognitive dissonance; conformity; groupthink; terror management theory; systems justification theory; signal detection theory; and prior knowledge of state crimes against democracy and deep politics. Through the lens of clinical psychology, Ms. Shure explores viewpoints described in the sections on learned helplessness; the abuse syndrome; dissociation; and excessive identification with the United States government. Two sections on brain research provide astonishing insights into our human nature.

Finally, the sections entitled “American Exceptionalism,” “Governmental Manipulation and the ‘Big Lie,’” and Those Who Lack Conscience and Empathy” contain valuable information from an amalgam of the disciplines of history, social psychology, clinical psychology, and brain research.  The final sections address how we can communicate about 9/11 evidence more effectively, and our human need for awareness and healing.  Ms. Shure concludes by quoting poet Langston Hughes in an inspiring epilogue, which asks: “Is America Possible?”

This month’s installment begins with Ms. Shure’s Preface and Introduction. Succeeding segments will continue the journey that explores contributions of Western psychology in answering the pressing question, “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—about 9/11?”

Preface

The following essay is not meant to persuade anyone of the theory that elements within our government were responsible for the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. Rather, this paper is addressed primarily to the 45% of Americans1—and those people in other parts of the world—who already believe a new investigation is needed, as well as those who simply have had their doubts about the official account of 9/11 but have not explored the issue further.  This paper is also addressed to psychology professionals and social scientists who may wish to consider the question in the title in greater depth.

Furthermore, this essay should be helpful to anyone who encounters resistance to any paradigm-shifting idea about which he or she may be communicating, since the same dynamics and research would apply in all such cases.

This work was not crafted entirely alone. I am grateful to the Writing Team of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth who suggested I write an article in the first place—thus the seed was planted. Once the seed began germinating, it was nurtured by substantial suggestions from Marti Hopper, Ph.D., Sheila Fabricant Linn, M.Div., Dennis Linn, M.Div., Daniel K. Sage, Ph.D., Dorothy Lorig, M.A., Earl Staelin, J.D., Joseph Lam, Gregg Roberts, John Freedom, C.E.H.P., Danielle Duperret, Ph.D., Paul Rea, Ph.D., Tim Gale, Sonia Skakich-Scrima, M.A., and by the care taken by proofreaders Nancy Hall and Dennis McMahon. I am profoundly indebted and grateful for their enthusiastic help.

In addition, this work could not have been written without contributions from the people named and quoted in the document. I have drawn from wherever I found research, credible observations, or inspiration that seemed to apply. I hope others will become inspired to add to this synthesis of research and observation to further help answer the question, “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?”

Introduction

“If what you are saying is true, I don’t want to know!” exclaimed a young male visitor at our 9/11 Truth booth at the Denver People’s Fair. He was referring to the evidence of controlled demolition of the three World Trade Center (WTC) skyscrapers on September 11, 2001.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because if what you are saying is true, I would become very negative. Psychologically, I would go downhill.”

With gratitude, I responded “Thank you!”

Surprised, he asked, “Why are you thanking me?”

“Because it’s rare to hear such raw truth. Thank you for being so honest.”

Softened by our exchange, the young man chatted with me a while longer before taking his leave. I have never forgotten him; he has likely never forgotten me. We both felt it. Paradoxically, deep truth had been shared.

Forceful resistance from our listeners

We who work to educate the public about 9/11, and about false flag operations,2 are puzzled by the often forceful resistance from our listeners. Yet, many of us in the 9/11 Truth Movement also once vigorously resisted this challenging evidence. We have our own stories to document this. What drives those negative reactions?

Before continuing, I would like to clarify that people who continue to resist the evidence that indicates 9/11 was a false flag operation are no more mentally healthy or unhealthy than those of us who question the official account. Both groups consist of folks who span the mental health spectrum.

No need to pathologize

So, there is no need to pathologize those who currently do not see what is now so clear to us, just as those of us in the 9/11 Truth Movement should not be dismissed and maligned as “conspiracy theorists”—the latter being an obvious defense and a not so obvious offense.3

The psychology professionals interviewed in the documentary 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth clearly speak about our human tendencies toward denial in order to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. They speak compassionately about all of us. There is no sophisticated name-calling (diagnosing) as can sometimes be popular among the members of this profession. This is indeed refreshing.

In this spirit, and in the spirit of beginning a conversation—for we humans are complicated creatures—I will share my thinking as to why some of us defend ourselves from information that is troubling.

Vigorous resistance to paradigm shifts

History tells us that to determine reality, even scientists, whom we stereotypically view as objectively and open-mindedly looking at data, rather than at belief, often vigorously resist paradigm shifts. Gregor Mendel’s experiments and resulting theory of genetic inheritance, for example, was resisted by scientists from the time of its announcement in 1865, and was only rediscovered in 1900 by three other European scientists. Resistance to information that substantially challenges our worldview, we find, is the rule rather than the exception.4 Fortunately, change does occur, consensus reality does shift, sometimes rapidly, sometimes excruciatingly slowly.

To reiterate what I said in the film 9/11: Experts Speak Out, fear is the emotion that underlies most of the negative reactions toward 9/11 skeptics’ information: fear of receiving information that will turn our world upside down, fear of being overwhelmed by our own emotions, fear of psychological deterioration, fear our life will have to change, fear we’ll discover that the world is not a safe place, fear that our reputation will be tarnished or that we’ll lose our jobs, fear of being shunned or banished by friends and family, and fear of looking like a fool because we bought the official account so thoroughly.

This last reason may be true especially for intellectuals who often identify strongly with their intellect. None of us, however, like to feel bamboozled, as this often threatens our very identity and brings us very close to feeling betrayed.  Carl Sagan noted:

Carl Sagan

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.5

 Social psychologist and scholar Laurie Manwell tells us that one of her professors said that he could sum up human behavior with this statement: “People liked to be liked, they like to be right, and they like to be free—in that order.” Thus, most people will give up their need to be right or free if their need to be liked is threatened.6 Why is this?

The fear of banishment is surely among the greatest fears we humans harbor, albeit often unconsciously.  We are social creatures. We need others in order to survive, and we need to have a sense of belonging. To have some sense of wholeness and well-being, we need to feel connected to others, to love and to be loved. This is the reason that ridicule and shaming are such potent strategies used—consciously or unconsciously—to censor those with views that diverge from a culture’s sacred mythology.

A “sacred myth”

A “sacred myth” is a special story, found in every culture, whether true, untrue, or partially true, that tells us who we are and why we are doing what we are doing.8

What is our American sacred myth? It goes something like this:

We are a truly exceptional nation with exceptional forefathers. We rebelled against tyranny and established a democratic republic, a model that the world has largely accepted and imitated. Our country is the purveyor of democracy and freedom around the world and our interventions in other countries are benevolent actions. On September 11, 2001, we were caught off-guard when al Qaeda terrorists in a sneak attack, similar to that at Pearl Harbor, succeeded in flying commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the most significant wound to our homeland to date. However, true to the American spirit, we immediately rose to the challenge to militarily smite the world of terrorists who hate us because of our freedoms. This is why we have an unending Global War on Terror.
 

Fear of severe repercussions

If we can set aside this belief in our sacred myth, look at the evidence, and recognize that 9/11 was a false flag operation, then we may also fear severe repercussions from corrupt authorities if we should speak out. As one person told me, “I appreciate everything you all are doing with this 9/11 issue, but I hope you understand, I have children; I can’t get involved with this.”

Fear is an integral part of the human condition; and yet, if we are committed to psycho-spiritual growth, we do not let fear dictate what we do—or do not do. We can be aware of the fear while not letting it rule our lives.

False flag?

Most of us were traumatized9 by watching the horrifying destruction of the Twin Towers, knowing there were thousands of our fellow humans beings killed in that moment. Some of us were again deeply shaken when we discovered evidence indicating that 9/11 might be a false flag operation.

Why do some of us embrace the evidence and its implications and get active, while others feel powerless in the face of this evidence or react with apathy? And why do others get defensive and stay defensive—sometimes vehemently? Why, indeed, upon hearing the evidence that contradicts the official account of 9/11, do good people become silent, or worse?

Intellectually contorted measures

What is the difference? How, for example, can some people watch World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC7)10 implode and collapse into its own footprint and not see what is right in front of them—even when they know about its free fall acceleration and the other characteristics of controlled demolition?  These people may feel compelled to intensify their resistance with intellectually contorted measures to convince themselves and others that this was not controlled demolition. Others will content themselves with shaming anyone who wants to investigate the 9/11 evidence that contradicts the official sacred myth.

There is a worldview that is being seriously challenged. What is it? In essence, it was described well by words from a journalist whom I met at a street action: “I am aware that our government does bad things, but not this! Not those towers! They would not be that evil.”

Government is supposed to protect us

So we assume our government—which is supposed to protect us but sometimes does bad things—would never commit acts this heinous. A man said to me during a public presentation, “I find your statement that our government orchestrated 9/11 very disturbing and offensive.”  “I believe I said the evidence trail leads to elements within our government, not the government,” I replied.  He retorted, with great seriousness, “It makes no difference. There is no way you can state this that is going to make me feel any better!”

Many of us unconsciously relate to our governmental leaders as parental figures on whom we project our (often unmet) needs for a protective parent. We even agree culturally to the term “our founding fathers.”

Disciplines that belong to our Western culture

The disciplines of Western psychology and anthropology have much to offer toward understanding human behavior, but we must remember that these disciplines, as impressive as they are, are ultimately disciplines that belong to our Western culture only.  In the East and in some tribal societies, for example, people may use the philosophy of the transmigration of souls to explain human behavior; and the Sufis, the mystical branch of Islam, use the nine personality types of the Enneagram to explain our disparate human propensities.

Remember the proverbial five blind men, each touching one part of an elephant? Each man draws a conclusion as to what the object is, depending on which part he is touching. The result?  Five partial and laughably inaccurate descriptions of reality.

The more lenses we look through, therefore, the greater is our capacity to see a clearer—a more dimensional—picture of our human tendencies. Nonetheless, within the overlapping viewpoints of the rich disciplines of Western psychology, anthropology, brain research, and history, we can find several lenses that shed much light on the conundrum of why information that contradicts our worldview is so difficult for us to receive.

The next sections

Through the lenses of anthropology and social psychology we will find helpful information in the sections below entitled Diffusion of Innovations; Obeying and Believing Authority; Doublethink; Cognitive Dissonance; Conformity; Groupthink; Terror Management Theory; Systems Justification Theory; Signal Detection Theory; and Prior Knowledge of State Crimes Against Democracy and Deep Politics.

Through the lens of clinical psychology we will explore viewpoints described in the sections on Learned Helplessness; The Abuse Syndrome; Dissociation; and Excessive Identification with the U.S.A.

The two sections on Brain Research provide us with astonishing insights into our human nature.  Finally, the sections entitled American Exceptionalism; Governmental Manipulation and the Big Lie; and Those Who Lack Conscience and Empathy, contain valuable information from an amalgam of the disciplines of history, social psychology, clinical psychology, and brain research.

Let me emphasize that this paper will be a synthesis of reports on academic research as well as clinical observations. None of the sections will fall neatly into one category or another, but they will overlap each other, as any rich and complicated subject will tend to do.

Let’s begin our journey with an anthropological study…

Note: scroll to the end for links  to the next sections………

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1 “Zogby Poll Finds Over 70 Million Voting Age Americans Support New 9/11 Investigation,” http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20060522022041421; and “Less Than Half of Americans Satisfied with 9/11 Investigations,” http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Less_than_half_of_Americans_satisfied_0523.html.

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag_operation. 3 Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press, 2013). DeHaven-Smith analyzes the history of the development of the derogatory nature of the term “conspiracy theory,” tracing it to a CIA propaganda campaign to discredit doubters of the Warren Commission’s report. In this light, the use of this pejorative term can also rightly be seen as an offensive tactic to shame, and thus censor, those who question official governmental accounts.

4 Earl Staelin, J.D., “Resistance to Scientific Innovation: Its Causes and How to Overcome It,” a paper delivered at the Intercept 2001 Conference, July 6–9, 2001, Laughlin, Nevada, sponsored by the Kronia Group. A further insight from Earl Staelin is that most of us also experience psychological inertia when presented with a new theory that we firmly believe is not true, and we must be convinced that it is worth our time to be open to the new theory.
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
See also http://www.scribd.com/doc/13481854/Resistance-by-Scientists-to-Scientific-Discovery-Barber-1961.

5 Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Random House Publishing Group, 1996).

6 From Laurie Manwell’s presentation at the Toronto Hearings, Ryerson University, 2011:   This is personal observation and interpretation, but is supported by human historical accounts. See that even sages of long ago were warned to heed their words in the second paragraph of this article: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0003_0_01976.html; also see .

8 David Ray Griffin, Ph.D., “9/11: The Myth and the Reality,” http://www.amazon.com/9-11-The-Myth-Reality/dp/B000O0YV7O and .

9 In this context “trauma” is defined as extreme upset or having one’s internal resources overwhelmed, at least temporarily.

10 “Solving the Mystery of WTC7,” (with Ed Asner):  .

Links to published parts:

Nov. 2013: Part 1 – Preface and Introduction: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/821-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911-.html

Dec. 2013: Part 2 – Diffusion of Innovations: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/827-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911.html

January, 2014: Part 3 – Obeying and Believing Authority: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/841-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911.html

February, 2014: Part 4 – Doublethink: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/856-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911.html

March, 2014: Part 5 – Denial and Cognitive Dissonance: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/865-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911-part-5-denial-and-cognitive-dissonance.html

 April, 2014: Part 6 – Conformity: