Who’s Pravda now?

Compare NBC’s expurgated, baldly war-like version of its Putin interview with the unedited  transcript released by the Kremlin:
NBC’s version (“Confronting Putin”):

Kremlin transcript:
Aside from helping Putin sail to victory in Russia’s upcoming election, all NBC did here was reconfirm that “our free press” is nothing but a mammoth PA system for the US war machine.

NBC’s Clueless Boost for Putin

As I watched NBC’s special, “Confronting Putin,” Friday evening, I asked myself — naively — what possessed President Putin to subject himself again to what NBC calls a Megan Kelly “grilling,” replete with supercilious questions and less-than-polite interruptions, just nine months after his first such “grilling.” It then hit me that “grilling” is in the eye of the beholder.

Reviewing the original Russian tape of the interviews, it became clear that the tête-à-tête showed a Putin looking patiently but supremely presidential to Russian viewers who could see the whole interviews, not just the selective selected excerpts aired by NBC and “interpreted” by Russophobe-de-jour Richard Haas. (A close adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Haas was among those who told him it was a swell idea to invade Iraq. When the anticipated “cakewalk” turned rather bloody, with no WMD to be found, Haas quit in July 2003 and became President of the Council on Foreign Relations where he is now well into his 15th year.)

Back to the Kelly-Putin pas de deux: At the March 1 interview the Russian President came out swinging. When Kelly asked the first time whether there is “a new arms race right now” after Putin’s announcement of Russia’s new strategic weapons, Putin reminded her that it was the U.S. that withdrew in 2002 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. He added that he had repeatedly warned the Bush/Cheney administration that Russia would be forced to respond to the dangerous upset of the strategic equilibrium.

For some reason best known to Kelly and NBC, Kelly tried repeatedly to make the case that the U.S. decision to scrap the ABM treaty was a result of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when, she said, “the United States was reassessing its security posture.”

“Complete nonsense,” was Putin’s reply (“polniy chush” in Russian — chush ringing with onomatopoeia and a polite rendering of “B.S.”). Putin explained that “9/11 and the missile defense system are completely unrelated,” adding that even “housewives” are able to understand that. He found occasion to use “polniy chush” (or simply “chush) several times during the interview.



Why Big Pharma runs all those commercials

Not to sell its products, but to own the press.


The deeper reason for drug ads on television

Television viewers are inundated with drug ads from Big Pharma. It’s a flood.

Have you ever heard of these drugs? OtezlaXeljanzNamzaricKeytrudaBreoCosentyz? Not likely. If you have, do you know what conditions they treat? Highly unlikely. But there they are, splashed in commercials.

Why? Who is going to remember to ask their doctor whether these and other obscure meds are right for them?

What’s going on here?


If Pharma can pay enough TOTAL money for ads, for ALL drugs, and dominate the allotted TV time for commercials, it can control the news—and that is exactly what it wants to do.

Pharmaceutical scandals are everywhere. Reporting on them, wall to wall, isn’t good for the drug business. However, as an industry ponying up billions of dollars for TV ads, Pharma can limit exposure and negative publicity. It can (and does) say to television networks: If you give us a hard time on the news, we’ll take our ad money and go somewhere else. Boom. End of problem.


How the Syrian people hate Assad

This is what he gets for gassing them repeatedly, and jailing them en masse, and blasting them with "barrel bombs," etc.

Small wonder he's surrounded with such heavily armed security.


The 'brutal dictator' Dr Bashar al Assad meets the Syrian people.

Posted by Taimoor Ul Haq on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The ‘brutal dictator’ Dr Bashar al Assad meets the Syrian people.

…When was the last time a British PM walked freely amongst their people like this??

…where are the teams of secret service agents & police, protecting the leader of the country??

…why do the Syrian people embrace & cheer for a man who is supposedly terrorizing everyone in a bloody civil war??

Remove your conscious awareness about what’s unfolding in Syria away from the manipulative hands of western mainstream media. We are living under the actual dictatorship ruled by tyranny. Look at how the UK government protect themselves with big iron gates, armed & undercover police, roadblocks, and convoys, borders are filled with full body scanners & facial recognition cameras everywhere you go. The oppression in endless. Syria was & is a peaceful nation, they are having to defend themselves from outside forces, and are doing a fantastic job. Long live Bashar Assad & the Syrian Arab Army, your people love you for what you have done, and the bravery & courage you have shown throughout.

“Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/ The wretched refused of your teeming shores…

And I will lock their asses up,

And throw away the key." 


Is it still worth trying to come to America as an asylum seeker? I don’t think so

I am a refugee living in the United States and I know what it means to escape death. Still, I warn others not to come – they won’t be safe or welcome here

Don’t come here. If you are afraid for your life and you have no place to go, don’t pick this country. It is not safe for you here any more.

If you try to cross our borders, people in military uniform called border patrol agents, will arrest you, throw you in a freezing cage and subject you to all kinds of abuses. These agents who don’t speak your language will sit you down and interrogate you. It won’t matter if you didn’t understand their questions, they will write whatever they want in dozens of forms, make you sign them, and use them against you later as they try to deport you.


Goebbels would have loved the propaganda casting Putin as a Nazi

These headlines from yesterday (below) are classic strokes of propaganda.

Did Putin really say that? No. Read any of those articles.

And is Putin anti-semitic? No. (Check out, for example, "Putin's Jews," from Moment Magazine, a Jewish journal with no ax to grind, at http://www.momentmag.com/putins-jews/.)

This is yet another sly association of "Putin" with "fascism"—the US propaganda strategy for getting liberals in the mood for World War III, now that Russia is no longer communist.

Surely Dr. Goebbels would approve, as both a propaganda master and a Russophobic zealot.
In any case, the “journalists” now pumping out this warlike jive—and everyone who’s brainlessly  repeating it—are playing with fire.

Putin Says Jews Might Be to Blame for 2016 Election Hacking

Putin: Maybe it Was the Jews Who Meddled in U.S. Presidential Election

Putin “couldn’t care less” if Russians interfered in U.S. elections, suggests it could have been “Jews”

Putin Criticized for Remarks Insinuating Jews and Other Minority Groups Could Be Behind U.S. Election Interference

About that (fantasy of) “job growth” in the USA

1) Some great news from the New York Times:

U.S. Added 313,000 Jobs in February. Here’s What That Means.

2) A useful caveat from Planet Earth:
More Non-existent Job Growth Reported


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 313,000 jobs in the 28 days of February, causing a big jump in the Dow Jones average. Where does BLS find these jobs?

The BLS finds 61,000 in construction, which, if correct, suggests in view of falling new and existing home sales, that those building at this stage are going to experience financial difficulties.

Manufacturing conjured up 31,000, but in high tech areas such as computer and electronic products only 1,100 jobs were created. Communications equipment actually lost 100 jobs and electronic instruments lost 800 jobs.

50,300 jobs were created in retail trade, allegedly. This is inconsistent with store closings and what seem to be round-the-clock sales at online retailers. Is February the month people purchase cars, garden supplies, and clothing? The BLS seems to think so.

According to the BLS, 50,000 jobs were creatped in professional and business services, of which about three-fifths were in administrative and waste services, almost all of which were in temporary help services. In other words, we are not talking about employment for architects and engineers.

Waitresses and bartenders did not supply the usual out-sized number of new jobs, adding only 11,500 new jobs.

Local government added 31,000 jobs, almost all of which were in education.

As my long-term readers know, my analyses of the monthly payroll jobs reports are a tradition on this site. I am doing less of them, as I am sure it bores you to hear again the same conclusion that we are being lied to about job creation. The jobs, of course, are not the higher paid jobs we were promised by globalists in exchange for moving offshore American industrial and manufacturing jobs. That promise was never anything more than a lie, even though it was the repeated assurance from Ivy League economists and Washington policymakers. The lie protected itself by wrapping itself in the holy grail of “free trade.” Any economist or financial media presstitute who dared to point out that jobs offshoring is the antithesis of free trade was kaput. The economists were well paid for serving the jobs offshoring corporations.

As I explained yesterday, the economic information we are fed is false. It is intended to give us a non-existent, fake reality picture of the economy. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/03/08/make-believe-america/ 

For almost a decade the economic policy of the US, Europe, UK, Canada, Japan has been directed to the support of the financial speculation that caused the 2008 worldwide economic crisis. Nothing has been done for the populations of the countries who experienced the crisis. Indeed, many of these populations, such as the Greeks, have had their living standards forced down in order to protect the big banks. This proves beyond all doubt that in the “Great Western Democracies,” economic policy only serves the hyper-rich and the hyper-powerful. Citizens simply do not count. They are as nothing.

To give you a break from my analysis, I offer you below the analysis of my sometime coauthor Dave Kranzler, an experienced Wall Street participant who went good:

313k Jobs Added? Nice Try But It’s Fake News

by Dave Kranzler

March 9, 2018: The census bureau does the data-gathering and the Bureau of Labor Statistics feeds the questionable data sample through its statistical sausage grinder and spits out some type of grotesque scatological substance.  You know an economic report is pure absurdity when the report exceeds Wall Street’s rose-colored estimate by 53%.  That has to be, by far, an all-time record-high “beat.”

If you sift through some of the foul-smelling data, it turns out 365k of the alleged jobs were part-time, which means the labor market lost 52k full-time jobs.  But alas, I loathe paying any credence to complete fiction by dissecting the “let’s pretend” report.

The numbers make no sense.  Why?  Because the alleged data does not fit the reality of the real economy.  Retail sales, auto sales, home sales and restaurant sales have been declining for the past couple of months.  So who would be doing the hiring?  Someone pointed out that Coinbase has hired 500 people.  But the retail industry has been laying off thousands this year. Given the latest industrial production and auto sales numbers, I highly doubt factories are doing anything with their workforce except reducing it.


A shot of truth on Russia’s military readiness (and US self-delusion)

For those Americans not mesmerized by US propaganda—and who would like to wake the others up—this piece is an absolute MUST-READ-AND-SHARE.



Newly Revealed Russian Weapons Systems: Political Implications

For those interested in the military implications of the recent revelations by Vladimir Putin about new Russian weapon systems I would recommend the excellent article entitled “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems” by Andrei Martyanov who offers a superb analysis of what these new weapons mean for the US and, especially, the US Navy. What I want to do here is something a little different and look at some of the more political consequences of these latest revelations.

The first two of the five stages of grief: denial and anger


DowDuPont (remember them?), and other top US polluters listed here

Toxic Profit: Meet the Top Super Polluters in the US

DowDuPont tops the list of the biggest air and water polluters in the country, according to PERI’s new Toxic 100 index. Researcher Michael Ash breaks down the report.


Michael Ash is professor of economics and public policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He co-directs the Corporate Toxics Information Project of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), which publishes the Toxic 100 index identifying top US polluters. Ash served as staff labor economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1995-1996 and as Princeton Project 55 Fellow for the Trenton Office of Policy Studies (NJ) in 1991-1992. His work on the Toxic 100 Indexes can be found at Toxic100.org


SHARMINI PERIES: It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The annual Toxic 100 reports produced by Professor Michael Ash and Professor Jim Boyce at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are an assessment of which corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our environment. Last week, we interviewed Michael Ash about the Greenhouse 100 Index, and we thought we’d have him back today to discuss the other indexes outlining who are the biggest air and water polluters in the country as well as the combined indexes that they have produced. Michael Ash is professors of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Good to have you back, Michael.

MICHAEL ASH: Thanks, Sharmini, for having me on.

SHARMINI PERIES: Michael, as I said, last week we talked about the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the US who surprisingly turned out to be electric companies who burn fossil fuel. Today, let’s talk about your other indexes starting with the Toxic Air Polluters Index.

MICHAEL ASH: So, the Toxic Air Polluters Index, unlike the Greenhouse Gas Index, is looking at industrial releases of very toxic material. Obviously, greenhouse gases pose a global threat. The toxics that we track through this index are more focused on local pollutants, pollutants that have their maximum impact 2, 3, 5, 15 miles from the facility where they’re released. They’re really high toxicity local pollutants. They do a lot of potential local damage around the facility as these facilities produce for largely national markets.

SHARMINI PERIES: Michael, let’s take one of these groups like Zachry Group or even DowDuPont and break down the kind of toxins they release and the potential impacts it has our health.

MICHAEL ASH: Sure. Let’s talk about DowDuPont because it’s probably better known to many of your listeners. So, DowDuPont, if you take a look at the top of their list of facilities, and again, for those of you visiting that website, which I do recommend, you can click right on the words DowDuPont and you’ll get a map of their facilities, literally a map. You can see where the facilities are located and then also you get a map of the types of chemicals that the facilities are emitting. So, the top chemical for DowDuPont is released in Louisiana at their…plant, a DowDuPont facility in LaPlace, Louisiana. Chloroprene, which is involved in the production of neoprene, is one of the top chemicals that’s released at that facility.

SHARMINI PERIES: Okay. Now, the other issue you index is really the water pollutants in our water supply. Tell us about how you went about collecting that information and then what are the most alarming things about our water supply that we should know.

MICHAEL ASH: Topping the water supply list, DowDuPont is actually the number one company on the Toxic 100 Water Polluters Index. Anyone who visits the websitetoxic100.org can choose to look at air polluters, water polluters, or greenhouse gas polluters, or we now have a new list that combines all three. It’s possible to track which companies appear on all three lists. DowDuPont is at the top of the water polluter list. They are then followed by a large number of electrical producers. Production of electricity and particularly the burning of fossil fuels like coal is very likely to top highly toxic pollution lists, both because there’s a lot of chemical produced and because fairly toxic chemicals come out of the burning of coal. So, around the top of the water polluter list with DowDuPont is American Electric Power, Honeywell International Southern Company, AES Corporation. These are, again, large either chemical or electrical producing companies. I think, again, it’s very important to visit the lists to get a full picture of which chemicals are being produced and how many people are impacted.

SHARMINI PERIES: Speaking of people, Michael, of course this begs the question, who’s living in these toxic facility areas and the impact it has on people’s health and well being?

MICHAEL ASH: Thanks, it’s a great question. One of the most important parts of our list, particularly something that we research very heavily at Political Economy Research Institute here at University of Massachusetts is the sharing, shall we say, the sharing of this burden that these companies release very toxic chemicals into the environment. That’s what economists call an externalization of their costs. They don’t have to pay for releasing those chemicals. That’s like getting a piece of the production process for free. Companies have to pay the workers who work, they have to pay the suppliers who bring the inputs, they have to pay the trucks that take the products away, but they don’t need to pay for releasing the toxic byproducts of their production into the environment. They’re externalizing this.

So, we might want to ask, why don’t they have to pay? One reason that companies may not have to pay is because they select vulnerable populations or they impact vulnerable populations who are downwind, effectively, from their facilities. So, our methodology makes it possible to take a look at what fraction of the burden from these facilities, what fraction of the total population health risk from these facilities falls on poor people, people living below the federal poverty line, and falls on minorities, people of color who in this country in the United States are disproportionately likely to be the recipients of environmental injustice.

So, our list, and again, I encourage your visitors to take a look at toxic100.org, makes it possible to look at what fraction of the burden of these releases of industrial toxic releases fall upon poor people and people of color. It’s interesting, people of color and minorities make up about 39% of the US population. 8 of the top 10 companies on the list have substantially more than 39% of their impact falling on minorities. If the output was fairly shared across vulnerable and less vulnerable communities, you’d expect minorities to make up about 39% of the burden. As I said, for 8 of the 10 top companies on the list, minorities make up more like 50% to 70% of the burden. Just to pick a company, number six, TMS International Corporation, has 72% of its burden falls on minority populations. Outside the top 10 at number 11, ExxonMobil has nearly 70% of its burden falling on minority populations. That means that the faculties that these plants have located, and in particular the plumes from these facilities, are disproportionately likely to affect these vulnerable communities.

SHARMINI PERIES: So, in this case, how can these indexes be used to facilitate how communities cope with it and how we should help address this problem?

MICHAEL ASH: That’s a great question. By the way, I should mention that all of the data that we present is based on data collection by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The US Environmental Protection Agency has a right to know commitment that is enshrined in law so that people in the United States have the right to know what toxics they’re being exposed to. We’re trying to help users of these data convert the right to know into actually exercising a right to clean air and clean water, something that’s enshrined in many state constitutions. We picture many users.

One possible user are actually regulators themselves. In many cases, the state Environmental Protection Agencies don’t know what are the top important facilities in their states to focus on. The data that we present can actually be a tool for regulators to identify areas of concern, industries of concern, companies of concern, faculties of concern. It can be helpful, again, because we report on a company basis. It could be helpful to group facilities and to the companies that own them…So, you might start to see patterns of companies that produce a lot of toxics, release a lot of toxics and disproportionately expose vulnerable populations. We picture regulators actually as one of the potential users, it’s interesting to think about these data leaving EPA, and thank goodness we have EPA to produce these data, and then returning to EPA to give guidance on where to enforce.

We also picture socially responsible investors. There may be many investors who’d like to make sure that the funds that they’re providing to companies are going to produce salutary effect. They’re going to produce the types of goods and services that provide health and well being for large swaths of the population. So, these investors may be concerned about pollution coming from the facilities from the companies in which they invest. We very much want investors to be aware of the potential chronic human health impact of the companies in which they’re considering investment. And that concern is all the greater, of course, when you think about vulnerable communities who are downwind. In addition to regulators, we think about socially responsible investors as a user of these data.

And we also think about citizens and activists. Communities may well know about the facilities that they’re downwind from. They may have been active for years working on those facilities. Our analysis of the data makes it possible for communities to form common cause with each other. Because we group up to the level of the parent entity or the corporation, communities can figure out that they’re not the only ones who are downwind from this company and its many facilities. It makes it possible for communities to find each other and make a common cause, again, to identify patterns that there may be companies that have a widespread record of producing and releasing a lot of toxics, and in particular finding those toxics finding their way into vulnerable populations. So, we think about that tripartite set of potential users of the Toxic 100 data, again, regulators, investors, and community activists, and other stakeholders.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Michael, now looking at all of your indexes from air, greenhouse gas to water and these toxic elements combined in your Environmental Justice Report Card, it shows that a company’s pollution burden on minority and low income communities is disproportion across the country, but also specific to certain companies. So, who are they?

MICHAEL ASH: The companies that are high on all of the lists, and again, this is the first time we’ve offered a combined list that let people take a look at the toxic air dimension, at the toxic water dimension and at the greenhouse gas dimension at the same time. So, if you take a look at the top of those lists, you’ll see there are a set of companies that appear high on all three lists. DowDuPont is a large toxic air releaser, large toxic water releaser and a large greenhouse gas releaser. Berkshire Hathaway is similarly high on all three lists. ExxonMobil is high on all three lists. Koch Industries is high on all three lists. So, again, I think it’s helpful to your viewers if they go and visit the data at toxic100.org and they can take a look at whether high toxic releasers are also high greenhouse gas releasers, are also companies that have a particularly high share of their burden falling on minority communities or on low income communities.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Michael. I thank you again for joining us and continuing this conversation with us.

MICHAEL ASH: Thanks so much, Sharmini. It was a pleasure to discuss it with you.

SHARMINI PERIES: It’s an important report, and we urge everyone to go and have a look and as Michael said, to click on the information so it exposes which communities are most affected in order to determine how your environment might be affected by pollutants in the air, or water, or the combined toxins that Michael talks about. I thank you so much for joining us here on The Real News Network.

Israel’s occupation (of the Internet)


The next time someone screams about how We the People were so fatally divided and misled by "Russia's disinformation effort" via social media (that phrase comes from the New York Times, of course), compare that juvenile scenario—13 Russians posting now and then, and clumsily, on Facebook—with the relentless, all-pervasive, awesomely sophisticated propaganda juggernaut maintained, at vast expense, by Israel to black out all unflattering news, smear dissidents as "anti-semites," and otherwise keep all online discussion Israel-friendly. 

Thus Israel spends many millions (if not billions) as a leading cyber-super-power—in tandem with the USA, which leads the world in cyber-warfare (just as it does in every other form of weaponry). (While China will no doubt eventually catch up with "us" at such covert activity, Russia isn't even in the picture, even though the US is now threatening to annihilate them over it.) 


How Israel and its partisans work to censor the Internet 

Numerous well funded, organized projects by and for Israel work to flood social media with pro-Israel propaganda, while blocking facts Israel dislikes. The projects utilize Israeli soldiers, students, American teens and others, and range from infiltrating Wikipedia to influencing YouTube. Some operate out of Jewish Community Centers in the U.S.

By Alison Weir


Recently, YouTube suddenly shut down the If Americans Knew YouTube channel. This contained 70 videos providing facts-based information about Israel-Palestine.

People going to the channel saw a message telling them that the site had been terminated for “violating YouTube guidelines”—implying to the public that we were guilty of wrongdoing. And ensuring they didn’t learn about the information we were trying to disseminate.

When we tried to access our channel, we found a message saying our account had been “permanently disabled.” We had received no warning and got no explanation.

After five days, we received a generic message saying YouTube had reviewed our content and determined it didn’t violate any guidelines. Our channel became live once more.

So why was it shut down in the first place? What happened and why?

As it turns out, Israel and Israeli institutions employ armies of Internet warriors—from Israeli soldiers to students—to spread propaganda online and try to get content banned that Israel doesn’t want seen.

Perhaps like our videos of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.


Meanwhile, there’s this ocean, and our children’s food….

From Douglas Yates:
It’s rare to see media notice anniversaries of highly consequential events. For greater discernment, observe where media attention is focused while 'Rome burns.' 

[The piece below, from the Vancouver Sun, came out in March, 2014—MCM] 

On a daily basis, the Fukushima nuke complex continues to leak 300-400 tons of highly contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. Aerosol dispersion moves additional radiation into the global air mass. 

The leakage is absorbed by lifeforms and is cumulative. In Japan’s contaminated zones, the flowers of cedar trees contain cesium levels that exceed 250,000 bq/kg. Every spring pollen grains re-contaminate ‘cleaned’ land. 

It’s a page out of Sisyphus’ punishment routine. Wait, there’s more: 

By 2048, according to rates of bio-accumulation, radiation in the tissue of PNW killer whales is expected to exceed the Canadian guideline [1,000 bq/kg] for consumption of sea food. Japan’s food safety laws forbid sale if radioactive cesium exceeds 100 becquerels per kilogram for regular food items such as meat, vegetables, and fish; 50 becquerels for milk and infant food; and 10 becquerels for drinking water. 

What’s the intervention level for food in America? It’s 1,200 bq/kg. 

When thinking about bio-accumulation, think grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Your choice.
From March, 2014:

Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns



Fukushima: Living with a Disaster

[This was produced by Greenpeace in 2016]
Read the comments; watch the vids in the sidebar.