Following the brutal gunning down of journalists and illustrators at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris last week, there has been an outpouring of support across the West in support of the victims and the magazine they worked for. As the French government clamps down on any and all commentary that questions the official narrative, your hosts discuss this latest international incident in the 'global war on terror', and its implications for free speech in 'the West'.

Running Time: 01:49:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Joe: Hi and welcome to Behind the Headlines on the SOTT Radio Network. I'm Joe Quinn and my co-hosts this week are Niall Bradley and Pierre Lescaudron.

Pierre: Hello.

Niall: Hello everyone.

Joe: This week we will be talking about not a lot - because we're not allowed to talk about anything. Well, that's not quite true. There's some things we're not allowed to talk about out of concern for ourselves really and our operation. As most people know, there have been moves to effectively criminalize certain types of speech, hate speech, in France, after the Paris shootings a couple of weeks ago. Of course it seems that hate speech is defined in a very broad way. So we have to be careful in that kind of situation where the definition isn't very specific. You can get in trouble without knowing that you're going to get in trouble.

Pierre: You're right, and the problem I think is the unclear definition. Hate speech was already deemed illegal, like criticizing or disagreeing with the official version of the holocaust. The new law specifically targets apology for terrorism and here the understanding of these terms is very broad, as illustrated by the recent case of Dieudonné who was detained for a few days because according to authorities he 'defended terrorism', he 'supported terrorism'. All that because of a Facebook message where he wrote...

Niall: You're not allowed to say what he actually wrote.

Pierre: I think it's...

Niall: No. (laughter)

Pierre: You poison me with such state of paranoia.

Niall: I'm not. Be a little safe.

Pierre: Policemen are knocking on the door.

Niall: Well the censor's listening to us.

Pierre: Yeah. So the fact is Dieudonné published a Facebook post where the title was "I am Charlie Coulibaly". Coulibaly from the name of the alleged terrorist who killed four Jewish customers in a kosher supermarket, Amedy Coulibaly. And he comments in the title saying "I am public enemy number one in France for one year like Amedy Coulibaly. Also I support Charlie. I am Charlie and therefore I'm Charlie and I'm Amedy Coulibaly, the enemy. Therefore I am Charlie Coulibaly." And because of that heroism...

Niall: Obviously what he actually said was, as Pierre explains it, it had several meanings going on behind it; the most important one drawing attention to the real plight of free speech, not just in France, but in the west in general. I'm sure the authorities are well aware of that, but as we know, there's been a long background and battle to shut him up. This latest incident is really just convenient. It was a good time to take this particular thing he said and use it as an example to others. Obviously he's a very high profile figure in France so there's a case of making an example to anyone else with Dieudonné.

There's also a functional need for it, insofar as he is a popular person. But the move here and elsewhere in Europe as we saw this week, it's gone beyond just one-on-one battles with people who have a high profile public personality, because there have been numerous arrests and numerous convictions already in France of people who were overhead muttering things; in some cases when they were drunk, like young French guys of Arab descent coming out of nightclubs, making silly comments really, and of course they didn't mean whatever was expressed. But that was taken as an objectionable offence and reported to the authorities. They haven't just been arrested, they've been arrested and sent down to prison already.

So on the basis of these kinds of actions that are going on, it's probably wise for us just to...

Pierre: It's dumb I suppose because our main function is to spread knowledge with a radio show based on information - and the same with our website, if you want to be bold, to continue activity, we have to be wise enough to moderate our talk concerning some specific sensitive topics for a while. And we have to go beyond this sometimes narcissistic hero programs, where in times of crisis you have to speak loudly to everybody and show your anger. That can be dangerous because it could be that, today, if we talk loudly we will not be allowed to talk tomorrow. So it's a trade-off, like in chess, it's not always pushing forward. Sometimes you push back, sometimes you don't move; it doesn't mean you've stopped playing; ot doesn't mean you're not in the game, but it means you have to be strategic and you try to make the right move at the right time. And sometimes it's painful. And right now I don't know what we're going to talk about, maybe finance, the economy, storms or floods in Lithuania. We don't care about that much. All of our brains, our hearts, are involved and focused on what happens in France. The most frustrating thing is that we cannot reasonably talk about it, well, not much.

Joe: I think we can talk about it. I don't think we should go too far when there's plenty of things we can say, I think, without infringing on the established laws and new laws. You have to take care in these times and be realistic. I'm not sure it's necessarily narcissistic to want to do that, that it's just a bit naïve, it's nothing intentional. There's plenty of good people who want to shout out against it but they do it in a way that doesn't present a danger. Some people may do it for narcissistic reasons but a lot of people do that for genuine reasons; to be prepared against what they believe to be wrong or believe to be right but in certain situations it's not prudent to do that. And you have to navigate. That's what we're saying, be careful, and effectively you can mention it in a different way. The law is quite specific in that sense. I don't think you'd be penalized for talking around a topic, I think it comes down to saying something very clearly and specifically that in a court of law could be related to as clear evidence. But there's obviously other ways to talk about the particular topic in general terms without infringing on any of the state laws.

Pierre: You're right, laws. I suppose we can report documented facts that are mainstream, where there is some consensus that indeed it happened, like this French politician, Caroline Fourest, reporting about a discussion with one of the female employees of Charlie Hebdo and, allegedly, according to Fourest, this employee told her that the terrorist had those very nice blue eyes. That's a fact, it's documented, it's on video. It's Fouresta, the politican who said it, who can report it. And after it's up to us to connect the dots. What is tricky would be to connect the dots too much or draw conclusions or go too much beyond established facts.

Joe: Yeah, I'm not really interested in talking about it again anyway, although we did do a show on this. Even then, I'm not that interested in talking too specifically about what happened in Paris and the details of it. There's a fallout around it that many people are talking about and it's to do with the whole free speech in France coming in for criticism of the French government. It's essentially being called hypocritical, in terms of clamping down on the free speech of some people, of certain groups, and not doing so with other groups. They don't effectively apply these laws across the board to everybody. When that kind of thing happens it's pretty obvious.

That's part of the dominant discourse in the mainstream media and European journalists, etc; the newspapers talking about the hypocritical bent that they've taken where there's plenty of people today, and I'm sure there's plenty of comments being heard by different people in France today, about Muslims, that theoretically could amount to hate speech. And nothing's being done about it because it's seen in France, at the minute, that Muslims, whether people say it specifically or not, there's a general sense that Muslims are to some extent collectively responsible for the Paris attacks. And therefore if there's a backlash against them well then it's justified. So you're not going to take anybody to prison for being angry at what Muslims did.

It's such a generalization. It's so non-specific that it doesn't satisfy anybody, I think. I think there's a lot of people out there who want, and would like to go into the specifics of it, and try and understand what actually happened. There's a lot of people just uneasy or unhappy with the broad: "Terrorists just attacked us and they're evil so we should all feel bad about the Paris attacks and just get on with our lives". But any normal, rational person, I suppose with a bit of intelligence, would want to try and understand. When something traumatic happens to people - for example when someone dies, a lot of people strive and put a lot of effort into and show that they want to try and understand why it happened. If someone dies in an untimely way, there's a kind of common meme there or a general understanding with most people, that people want to understand why it has happened. I think that applies to any traumatic event. Normal human beings have a need to understand the reasons for it so that they can then heal from it.

But that's not what we're being given as part of the dominant discourse in France or around the world. When they talk about the Paris attacks, it's just a very broad, generalized explanation that doesn't go into the details and doesn't leave people with a satisfactory explanation. There's a lot of people in the mainstream that have been talking about blowback and stuff. Whether the attacks in Paris were involved, in some way, it's generally understood that Muslim terrorism is, in part - at least the terrorists, after they've committed terrorist attacks, they usually talk about "We did this for y'all" or other things; "Israel is doing the same to Palestinians" or "for what the Americans did in Iraq" or whatever western country they attack, they blame that country for carrying out some kind of aggression against Muslim people. That's what they say. So it seems bizarre that that wouldn't be talked about more because it's even reported in the media and well known by I think everybody. That idea, at least, is well understood, that there is, supposedly, at least according to the terrorists, a reason for what they did. But that reason is rarely, if ever, really explored even to the point of trying to understand if there's any validity to it. If it's a valid argument then they could make it all the time. But you never see any in-depth discussion of that, which I think a lot of people understand as well. People realize that happens but they don't make too much noise about it.

Pierre: Even children understand that. You had a few days ago a speech of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French minister for education, in front of the chamber of deputies, Assemblée Nationale. She was reporting about the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo event in French incidents. And she qualified those incidents saying that "Yeah, many kids emphasize the double standard. They were wondering why there is so much freedom of speech for Charlie Hebdo and why there is less freedom of speech for some other touchy topics". The truth comes out of her children's mouths. And actually, all that occurs in a more global context, where this minister of education implemented a plan, a post-Charlie Hebdo plan, listing several measures to guide the thinking of French children and their way of understanding and analyzing this event.
So it's a very thin line. I don't know to what extent the role of the public education is to provide an official, almost complulsory, interpretation of such events.

Joe: Yeah. There is a reality to it all that isn't discussed, like we're saying. And it's a publicly available reality or truth that makes much more sense. And people just have to do their own research. I'm not talking here about internet research necessarily but even in books. If you look at the history of the 20th century, the actions of the west towards the Middle East and the rest of the world and what happens when, let's say, an empire or a powerful western government goes invading around the world, the reaction of all these people. And maybe what the empire or the government does to try and prevent any resistance to its imperial expansion.

There's a whole process that's involved there that I actually wrote about in a recent article on concerning the British intelligence services in Northern Ireland and the way that they seek to deal with and the policies that they've developed to deal with dissident groups. And this applies to any country; it's a template that they use in any country. Effectively when they want to control a country where there is resistance to their presence or influence from the local people. And the local people form themselves into some kind of resistance group. Uusually, intelligence agencies of the invading or occupying country, , will infiltrate that group and effectively gain control of it. And their goal is to gain control of it and subvert it in a way that it can't be effective. As I wrote in the article, you're talking about state resources here. Usually they're quite successful at that and eventually they find themselves in a position where they're actually in control of the resistance group itself; they can make it do whatever they want.

One thing is battling the resistance group or the resistance in the country you're invading but another thing is justifying your continued presence in that country to the people back home. So in that case an enemy is very useful, or the appearance of an enemy in that country against which you must fight in that country, therefore you must stay in the country. So once they gain control of these resistance groups, they then figure quite naturally that it's very useful to continue to have this group as a terrorist group - or whatever they want to call it, whatever pejorative term they want to use - to have it as a threat to the west, "That's why we need to be there" type of thing. It's fairly obvious from a psychopathic kind of view, where you don't care about anything but winning the war or achieving your objectives. It's a fairly obvious process and plan to follow.
But it does explain a lot about what's going on in the world today vis-à-vis the west and Muslim terrorism. So it's pretty easy to figure out.

Pierre: You're right. And beyond the modern Ireland example, you have the fire in the Reichstag in 1933. It was initially attributed to a communist activist in order to demonize the communist minority and to legitimize its deportation or segregation by Nazi Germany. Or you have 2001, a more interesting current event which lead to the drastic reduction of civil liberties in the US, and conducting several punishment wars in the Middle East. In both cases, later on evidence emerged that these terrorist operations had not been conducted by the culprits that had been defined by official history. But it was too late.

Joe: Yeah.

Pierre: Because the official history is to be accepted only during this narrow window of opportunity during which people, hystericized, are highly suggestible and likely to accept the unacceptable.

Joe: Yeah. Moves can be made. A political agenda can be fulfilled in that window of opportunity where people are in a traumatized state or believing the narrative of it. Like I said, there are plenty of other examples. The British had occupations as part of an empire around the world. Another one was Kenya , just after the Second World War, in the 1950s. There was a revolt in the early 1950s by the local Kenyan people; the British called them the Mau Mau, protesting against fairly brutal tactics and conditions imposed on them by the British colonists.

So this Kenyan revolt of the Mau Maus began and the British responded to it by, like I wrote in the article, they'd capture some of the resistance members and under threat, under pain of death or torture, turn them into agents to work within the group to subvert it. But they also have their own agents. In fact in Kenya they went to the extent of having British soldiers or intelligence operatives paint their faces and their bodies up in black boot polish and go out at night, appearing like Kenyan rebels, to terrorize white colonial settler houses. So the goal there is to demonize the resistance movement, to make it appear that they're carrying out groups of vicious attacks against white settlers, to get the support of people back home, to continue a punitive operation, let's say, against them.

So it's happened repeatedly over the past few hundred years and probably all through history. And that's the policy they follow and it seems to come naturally to them. They come across this problem and they come up with this obvious solution to it immediately.

Pierre: Yeah.

Joe: And it's very convincing because it's based on a lie. It's based on deception. And like you said Pierre, the point is to create - with control of the media they can project it very well and catapult the propaganda very well for people back home and create this reality which, ultimately, justifies their continued imperial expansion and control over various countries and their resources, etc. And there's not much more to it.

Pierre: You're right. It's so simple but it's happening. And from what you say, the saying "the ones who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" takes on a new dimension. It's been used and re-used so often and it's still working. I think the biggest is what we mentioned previously, the emotional state. When you look at this operation, objectively the operation is traumatizing but the way it's overplayed and over-dramatized by media multiplies by 10 or 100, the emotional impact on observers, us the people. And to some extent it freezes our critical reasoning. In a normal state all the inconsistencies we would easily see in a normal state, become invisible because we are blinded by emotions. It's this simple and it's tragic.

Joe: Yeah, it's very tragic and it's a vulnerability I think of human beings, it's part of human nature, that they are quite vulnerable and quite impressionable, amazingly impressionable in fact. And here we're talking about repeated propaganda and actual events being presented to people, like shootings or traumatic bombings etc., that people don't doubt and believe to be real, even though they may be manipulated in some way. An example would be NATO's stay-behind networks, Gladio, in the '70s and '80s in Europe, where groups controlled or directed by NATO who were stay-behind networks that were designed to be activated, supposedly in the event of a Russian takeover of western Europe during the Cold War. But what they actually did in practice was really more about keeping western Europe in the American or US sphere of influence and therefore enforce the governments and the direction that governments were taking, economic polices, obviously.

But in Italy, these groups under the command of NATO, carried out bombings that killed dozens, in one case over 80 people, at a bus station in Italy. And it was made to look like it was the work of a group aligned with the communist or leftist government that was moving away from the west and towards the Soviet Union. So this is the kind of tactic they use. But in those situations it's hard for people to dismiss it because they've seen it, everybody was there, they know a bomb went off and the question is: who did it. And if they're given evidence that it was this group, they're not going to question it so much.

But there's a story just from this week. I saw it on RT but it was conducted by a group in the US, where they were able to convince volunteers in three hours that they had committed a crime that they had not committed. They got some background information on them from their families so they could use those pieces of information to prime the person and to give validity to this story, that this person was telling them true things about their past that they knew were true. They were then able to insert in other elements that led to a pseudo-situation where they had committed a crime. In three hours of this kind of conditioning, these people then went out and very convincingly told a third party about the crime that they had committed and all the details. And it had never happened.

Pierre: You know it reminds me of this story that they depicted on the DVD that is available on the internet titled Evidence of Revision where you have this witness who right after the shooting of Robert Kennedy saw a woman in a polkadot dress repeating "He killed him? he killed him?" And then there is the transcript of the interview of this witness by a police officer. And this is the mind job this police officer does on the witness. A witness should be respected. She's not a culprit, she's not even a suspect. And this guy over the course of one hour maybe, he managed to flip totally the mind of this poor girl from "I did see this woman in the polkadot dress and she was repeating 'He killed him'" to - poor woman, overrun by fear, by pressure, by doubt, manipulation - she ended up saying "I'm not sure I saw it. I'm not sure anymore what I saw, what I heard." And she vanished.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Yeah, in this climate, this effect we're talking about works on most people, but on other people something else happens. They recognize that it's a safe climate for them to come out. And so you get people like this Fox News presenter Judge Jeanine Pirro, giving a ten minute rant the other week, talking to the audience: "You're in danger. I'm in danger. We are at war and this is not going to stop. After this week's brutal terrorist attacks in France, hopefully everyone now gets it." She goes on to say that, "We need to arm Muslims to the teeth so that they take out the Islamic fanatics and then we simply look the other way." It's just a completely hate-filled rant.

Joe: An ignorant maroon.

Pierre: You know rants are not so stupid because note the first words "We are in danger". When you look at this operation, they have a strong symbolic dimension, a meaning that people can refer to. It's sad but it is true; you have millions of people dying in Iraq; it doesn't affect us much. World Trade Centre, Charlie Hebdo, is a thing that people know, people identify with. It's part of their identity that is threatened. Therefore these highly symbolic events are not only the death of people but it's only a direct threat to our very own feeling of security, which is the most important thing for individuals, a feeling of security. And as she said, "we are in danger".

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: She's getting well paid by the CIA I'm sure.

Niall: One of the more "rational" explanations people are being offered for why this happened, if they are allowed to extend their world view and put some context into what's going on, it's the reassuring words from the right, especially in Europe at the moment but it's common everywhere, where they say "Yes, there's a problem." And the French and British rightist parties will say "Yes, we should not be over there in their countries blowing them up". They'll qualify that by saying "The main problem is that we've too many Muslims here in Europe". And this has been a kind of brewing narrative since 9/11 and it's gotten to the point now where it's been taken as fact. The fact is we're talking about a tiny percentage of the populations in Europe but they are getting the platform to make it sound like Europe is not only overrun with Muslims but they're about to take over and institute Sharia law across Europe. Their favourite line at the moment "There are Sharia law ruled no-go zones."

Pierre: Yeah.

Niall: In European cities.

Joe: Fox News has actually backtracked on that and apologized to their viewers that it was completely wrong. And it was this woman again, Judge Jeanine Pirro, as part of her interview where she was talking about "We have to bomb them and bomb them and bomb them again and then bomb them a little bit more and some more bombs". And then she had some guy on who was basically saying that a city in the UK, Birmingham, was effectively a completely controlled Muslim city which was effectively a no-go area for anybody who wasn't Muslim. It was like something out of The Onion...

Exactly. It's inconceivable but that's what's happening. It's hard to know what to do with that kind of stuff because it's on Fox News and they don't present themselves as satire but it absolutely could have been on The Onion or any other satire website like Lampoon, just making fun of a kind of a generalized...

Niall: But it goes beyond Fox News now.

Pierre: Oh yeah.

Niall: This is part of the constant narrative from these parties which now have up to 30 or more percent of the electorate from the UK. Just "too many Muslims. Kick them out!" That's the message.

Joe: Of course, but what I'm saying is that Fox News coming out and saying unequivocally that Birmingham, a city of I think over a million people, was fully Muslim, that there were no non-Muslims in it and that white Christians in the UK could not go there, is a step beyond. It's a big step beyond. It's ridiculous. And they presented it as fact. They had this guy on, a talking head who was telling people that this was the truth. And for me that's just amazing but I'm not surprised in America because there's so much absolute bullshit on the TV in America that I'm not surprised that it went there although at the same time I am surprised that they actually stated it so unequivocally on, supposedly, a major factual news organization program.

Pierre: There are several lies in this no-go zone fantasy. I lived in Marseilles, the city in France with the highest percentage of Muslim population. I lived in Marseilles for 11 years and I went in the so-called no-go zone. French media reports the same lies actually. They develop the same lies. First there's a fundamental paradox. You have these Caucasian journalists who say "Yes, I went there. These are no-go zones." How can you go there if it's a no-go zone for Caucasians? Besides, elites in France, in UK and other countries, you have very poor suburbs (audio blank) ostracized victims of racism or segregation where the public sphere has stopped investing in - roads are not repaired. You don't have any public institutions, hospitals or decent schools. Despite those very unfair and very difficult living conditions, most of these immigrant populations do not turn to violence and that's very telling actually, almost surprising. And I think that's one part of the plan of the elites that failed because they didn't manage to turn the Muslim population, despite all those efforts and those provocations, violent.

Joe: Yeah, there's a real problem in the media. It's not strange I suppose given the decades-long process of ponerization of the population which effectively strips people of any kind of empathy or considerations for the feelings of other people. But there's a real problem in the media in that they simply don't do that; they don't try and turn the whole situation around just for a moment and walk a little while in the shoes of, for example, the Muslims. When we say "Muslims" here, we're not talking about all Muslims in the world, because there's 1.5 billion of them in the world. The vast majority of them aren't in the Middle East.

But even just take the Muslims in the Middle East and just switch it around and imagine that Middle Eastern countries, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. and North Africa let's say, the Maghreb which is officially all the Middle East. Imagine all those countries were at the top in this world and that, for a period of the last 50 or more years, those countries had been in some reality invading western European countries and even America, and colonizing them in one way or another either directly or economically, colonization or occupation. Imagine they killed a few million Christiansin western Europe and America, and that Christians in western Europe were disenfranchised; there were tin pot dictators set up and Christians in western Europe had a very low standard of living comparatively and generally speaking, were being demonized by these Muslim leaders as barbarians after being attacked and occupied and killed, then they're called a bunch of backward atavistic animals and your religion is being repeated denigrated etc. How would you feel? That's not to say that anybody would start carrying out terror attacks or anything like that but simply, how would you feel? Do you see that situation, when you apply it to yourself, as an unjust situation? I think anybody would.

But again, like I'm saying, in the media that's never done. It's never turned around and no one is encouraged to imagine what it would be like if the same thing that has been going on for the past few decades in the Middle East, had been going on in Europe, and the people of Europe had been subjected to the same thing the people in the Middle East have been subjected to. You're never encouraged to do that. If everybody were to do that, including politicians - but that's imposing a utopian - at this point utopian - a normal world, a normal human reaction to a situation is at this point apparently idealistic, airy-fairy pie in the in sky reality which is bizarre and kind of suggests that we're living in a fairly dark time.

Pierre: What is even more unfair about complaining about too many Muslims in our countries is that when you look at why this minority reached the UK or France, it is that at the end of WWII, let's take the example of France; the country was in ruins, destroyed by bombing in the war and it had to be rebuilt. And these are the French authorities and the French companies who imported this foreign labour force from North Africa to rebuild the country and did the very tasks and work that most white Frenchies did not want to do. So all this Muslim population was imported to serve the interests of France, were to some extent exploited because the wages were very low and the work was really crappy. And now we complain about too many Muslims in our country? It's blaming the victim here. They did not choose that.

Joe: Like we were talking about before, this narrative, as Niall was talking about, the dominant discourse of: 'Muslims are going to take over western Europe and impose Sharia law and smoking hookahs and wearing nightgowns during the day time', horror or horrors. It's been going on for a long time and it's obviously nonsense but it's hyped up into a possible reality because of these kind of terror attacks, but also has to be placed in the context of decades of western imperial aggression against Middle Eastern countries.

So if you take away what the west has done to the Middle East, if you take away that history, there would be no reason for anyone to even suggest that Muslims were a problem because they wouldn't be a problem. You would have nothing to back up your argument that Muslims are a problem because there would be no animosity, there would be no supposed, even semblance of a clash of civilizations because there would be no clash. So the clash is the problem. Who's causing the clash?

When people talk about a clash of civilizations, where did the clash come from? Despite what they say, people don't just clash because they have different beliefs. Generally speaking normal people are interested in other cultures as normal human beings and as long as no one is trying to steal from me or steal my women, take my jobs, whatever, then people don't have a problem. People generally don't do that. There's an overriding tendency in normal human beings towards cooperation and, in terms of business, towards trade, all that kind of stuff. So clash just doesn't happen as a fundamental aspect of two people having different religious beliefs or thinking differently about something. If I like red and you like blue, we're going to have a clash of civilizations here. That's ridiculous. It goes against everything that's understood and known about normal human behaviour.

So the point is, if you're talking about a clash of civilizations, someone caused that clash. So you look at the context: How did it arrive? What's clashing here? Who are the clashers? It's not the ordinary people in the streets.

Niall: I would just like to say that I love Big Brother.

Joe: Go ahead.

Niall: Big Brother last week...

Joe: The tv show?

Niall: No! Big Brother. You know, the NSA. Last week the NSA predicted a wave of terror attacks in Europe and they got it right. That's amazing! Wow! How did they know? Terrorist scares in Belgium, Italy, Germany, UK and Ireland. Yay! I'm not sure how that happened but apparently there was a terrorist scare, a bomb scare in Ireland as well. They also want the Irish for their freedoms and cows and...
(recordeing): Goowaaah!

Joe: They hate us because of our...

Niall: Taters.

Joe: Our tatoes.

Niall: Yeah, the Belgian incident I'll just describe briefly. Two people were killed actually. The cops there said that they managed to stop an impending assault on themselves, on cops. They found Kalashnikovs, explosives and police uniforms during raids near the border with Germany. They believed that the extremist intends to carry out an attack disguised as police officers. So not only should you be afraid of the terrorists, you should also be afraid of the police officers because you never know when they're also the terrorists.
(movie Sixth Sense playback): "I see dead people."

Joe: I see dead people too.

Niall: Luckily though our leaders are sorting this problem out. They've come up with a solution. They've decided to send boots on the ground into Syria and to increase the war there. In fact we're now I believe on Iraq War No. 4 or 5. I can't remember. So yes, the US is sending a thousand troops to train - i'll read the AP wire here - "The Pentagon is sending a thousand troops to train ISIS terrorists - I mean moderate jihadists - no, sorry, hang on - non-evil Muslims - no, that's not it! Shit. The good guys". Yay. France is joining in. They're going to send western Europe's only aircraft carrier to help to keep the natives down. So it's not looking good for Syria. But that's good for us because it means we're going to have less terrorists in Europe, right?

Pierre: Yeah, you point the finger at something important here. Can you please explain to me because I have difficulty to understand. This judge lady from Fox News, she says we have to wage war against Muslims in Middle Eastern countries and the way of doing it is by funding rebels.

Niall: Yeah, you see this is where her staged rant was not just a spittle-fuelled, like an off-the-cuff of the moment "Oh me, I'm angry and I'm going to get righteous". That's how she pretended to be, but she inserted the US strategy into it by saying "We've got to give them as many weapons as possible".

Pierre: So they train those jihadists, rebels in the Middle East. Those very same jihadists come back to Europe...

Niall: No, you're missing - let me clarify something for you Pierre. These are the good guys. You see? There's good guys and there's bad guys and the bad guys want to kill us for our freedoms. The good guys want to kill the leaders we don't like in the Middle East.

Pierre: And how do you make sure that the good guys don't become the bad guys?

Niall: Oh, we're working out the details later.

Pierre: Later.

Niall: Yeah.

Pierre: When it's not too late, hopefully

Niall: Oh, it's all good. You've got it. We've got this. Go ahead, watch TV. Just look away now. I thought it was hilarious actually. In the Ukraine; eastern Ukraine has exploded again. People there are saying the fighting's as fierce as it has been since the summer so the ceasefire is definitely off. But what sparked it this week was an incident where a bus was blown up, somewhere in the border zone between eastern Ukraine and the rest of it. So Kiev immediately said "Oh! It was the rebels. They blew up this bus. It was civilians." And then they organized protests in Kiev under the banner of "Je suis Volnovakha". I guess this is the place where this bus was blown up. "The Ukrainian government is equating the Charlie massacre in Paris with the killings of 13 people riding a bus which happened at a checkpoint near the down of Volnovakha in eastern Ukraine last Tuesday." Kiev of course blamed the rebel forces and then came up with this slogan "Je suis Volnovakha" and they had MPs holding a banner and basically the fallout of that is Poroshenko makes a statement saying "Ukraine has demonstrated that it is a peaceful European nation. This night (last Tuesday) our cyborgs are demonstrating bravery, patriotism and heroism at the Donetsk airport, showing how Ukraine is to be defended." That's what happened, they lost Donetsk airport after several months' struggle last week. And this is a massive counter-offensive to try and get it back. I'm not kidding, by the way. He did say "This night our cyborgs", which is apparently the government pet name for the right sector Kiev forces. Isn't that cute? Cyborg.

Pierre: How can you explain that Poroshenko in the very same sentence states that his country, Ukraine, is a peaceful nation, and a few words later describes how its soldiers can fight and be peaceful at the same time?

Niall: Basically, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are very, very new to this game of taking liberal, highfaluting words and using them as a cover ideology for being the most brutal, rapacious psychopaths you can possibly imagine. They're just crap at it. And so the two tend to slip between the lines with these guys a lot. It's like Yatsenyuk the week before in Berlin - oh my god - he makes a speech in front of German press and he says, "When you stand up against Russia and never ease the sanctions. Ukraine is part of Europe. And that Putin, he keeps trying to rewrite history. We should never again let Russia invade Germany as it did in 1945." And there was just like silence in the room (laughter) because of course the established history, understood by Germans as well, is that yes, from the Nazi point of view Russia invaded Germany.

Pierre: So he was being honest maybe.

Niall: Yeah. They see it as a bad thing. You've got to understand his people, the western Ukrainians, lost in the war and this is their revenge.

Pierre: For a neo-Nazi, the invasion or the liberation of Germany by Russian troops was a tragedy.

Niall: It was a tragedy. Because they didn't get to express their true nature, which is to be destructive, hateful, rapacious people. And now they're like "This is awesome because in this climate we can be free again." That's why they attack ethnic Russians in the east with such relish. They love it.

Pierre: Talking about Ukraine, there was this news that re-emerged in the media concerning Gazprom, the Russian gas supplier.

Niall: Oh, this is glorious. This is Putin's latest countermove. It's not getting much attention.

Pierre: Okay, so what happened? This article is pretty old. It's an article from 2012 maybe, published first by the Daily Mail.

Joe: Which article?

Pierre: The article is Daily Mail about Gazprom, the Russian gas supplier that would cut the supply to Ukraine.

Niall: No, no, no.

Joe: That's been going around. I don't know how many people have come across it, hopefully not many, but it's a bogus article. It's from 2009. It was the first kind of crisis with the Russian gas transiting through Ukraine. And there were problems back then. It's a long time ago, politically speaking. At that point Russia, just for a short period of time, cut off their gas supply to Ukraine and thereby cut it off to Europe, but it only lasted for a short period of time. But for some reason, some irresponsible person on the web, I think it was the guy ZeroHedge...

Pierre: Yes.

Joe: ...who owns the website ZeroHedge, put it out there as "Oh it's started. Blah, blah, blah. Russia has cut off gas supplies to Europe." And it's not what actually happened.

Niall: But there was a misunderstanding.

Pierre: But there may be some truth to it because Gazprom did not cut, per se.

Niall: No, no, no. It's much smarter than that. Hear me out. Hear me out.

Pierre: But the pipeline.

Joe: Hang on a minute. The distinction needs to be made. This article that we're talking about, that people have been reading...

Niall: No, no. This isn't the article I'm talking about.

Joe: That's the one he's talking about. The one that Pierre's talking about, Pierre said to me "The article from the Daily Mail that says Russia had shut off gas to western Europe and it's doing the rounds in the west." Not true. It's a 2009 article, a totally different story and Russia has not decided to cut off gas supplies to Europe in the middle of winter, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" which is what this guy said. He gave a link directly to the Daily Mail article, from 2009, that said "This has happened." Yeah, it happened five years ago. So carry on.

Niall: Two days ago Agence France-Presse: "Gazprom warns EU to link to Turkey pipeline or lose Russian gas." You're right, this is different. This isn't Russia going "Fine then, we're going to cut the gas" but it's going to have the same...

Pierre: Effect.

Niall: ...effect if it's seen through, or short of that you can see it putting the pressure on the European Union.

Pierre: Yeah, and shunting Ukraine as well.

Niall: Hold on, let me explain what it is first. So in December, the Russians made that astonishing move where they said "Right, screw the South Stream pipeline. It's going through Turkey."

Pierre: What was the South Stream?

Niall: South Stream was to be an additional pipeline that's on top of the North Stream that largely goes through Germany, through the Baltic Sea, and the existing transit that goes to Ukraine and then through Ukraine to eastern European countries. What they're saying now is that once the Turkish stream is built and set up and ready to go, they're going to direct existing gas supplies, some 63 billion cubic metres per day that currently go through Ukraine, they're going to switch down to the new Turkish one.

Pierre: So they're going to close, effectively...

Niall: Yeah.

Pierre: ...the supply of gas that goes to and through Ukraine.

Niall: Right.

Pierre: Because they're tired of siphoning by Ukrainian individuals.

Niall: Yeah.

Pierre: And because it's a big source of profit for Ukraine.

Joe: Okay, just to point out that this isn't even anywhere close to what this guy was saying, "16 percent of Europe's gas comes through Ukraine".

Niall: Okay, and in two years' time...

Joe: So that's 16 percent. And the planned South Stream that was totally separate and was meant to come through Bulgaria, what they've done now is they've cut that off. They've said "Okay, it's not going through Bulgaria because EU bureaucrats are screwing us around and acting like assholes here and we're not going to" - because they had already started different sections of the pipeline. The South Stream pipeline had been built in eastern European countries or had begun to be built. Russia screwed over those countries because the EU was screwing Russia over but said "Okay, forget about South Stream. The gas now is going through a new pipeline through Turkey and you will all have to figure out how you're going to get it from Turkey, possibly at the Turkish/Greek border. You'll have to build a new pipeline and reroute all of your plans. That's where it's coming in now. And we will allocate - as in we'll transfer what would have come through Ukraine - because we're stopping gas coming through Ukraine, and it was going to go through South Stream, so now we'll have North Stream which goes into Germany and South Stream which will go through Turkey and be available at the border in Greece."

Pierre: Yeah, and frankly it's fair. Russia could say, when you see the dirty tricks used by the western empire, Russia could say "Okay, no more gas for Europe". That would be a big problem. But they don't say that. They'll just provide gas to the border of Europe and then Europe can manage it's own internal logistics, to define its own pipeline, to pay the Italian, French...

Joe: It's a difficult game to play obviously, because it's not a one-sided thing. Russia can't just say "Okay, no more gas for Europe". We've been hearing this a lot over the past few years. Russia has the...

Niall: This is even smarter. This is way smarter.

Joe: Russia has this threat where they can simply cut off gas to Europe and say "Now what are you going to do?" But you know what? Russia needs the sale of gas.

Pierre: Ah yes.

Joe: It has an economy that's in the process of growing. It can't just suddenly turn off gas to its customers.

Pierre: You're right. You're right.

Joe: From its own point of view.

Pierre: That's not impossible, but there's a cost. It will be a major problem for all Europe. It will be a major problem for Russia that is currently hit by low oil prices; attack on the ruble...

Joe: So for all intents and purposes...

Pierre: Declining growth.

Joe: It's impossible for them to do that. But they're trying to manoeuvre in a way...

Pierre: And political price as well.

Joe: Yeah, they're trying to manoeuvre in such a way where they maximize pressure on Europe, maximize cost to Europe and minimize cost to Russia where they still get the deal.

Niall: You know that they're doing it at Europe's weakest point, Greece.

Pierre: Yeah, because Greece is threatening...

Joe: Greece has threatened to leave.

Pierre: ... to exit Europe. Because next Sunday, the 25th of January, there will be elections, and the current favourite, number one according to surveys...

Niall: Alexis Tsipras.

Pierre: Tsipras, which is what they call euphemistically a 'Euro-septic'.

Niall: It looks like he's going to win, not an outright majority but a majority. They are anti-austerity and the mandate is to leave the Euro, or as one European central banker said this week, he said "For Greece to leave the Eurozone would be an extremely dangerous move for Greece and for the rest of Europe as well." Well, why is that so bad? Because it's not just a matter of losing the Euro. It's also basically leaving the European Union and we should not be sending such signals." So they are adamant it's not going to happen.

Pierre: And because if you read between the lines, first, it's threatening recent retaliations. If you leave you're going to have to pay the price and it's going to be a high price. But Greece has lost so much at the hands of international banksters that there's not much to lose anymore. And the second implicit message is if we open the door to Greece that's the end of Europe because other countries will apply this precedent and many countries are getting ripe and realizing that Europe has more costs than benefits.

Joe: Yeah. The Russian here are capitalizing on the weaknesses of Europe and the weaknesses of Europe are entirely the fault of the European elite who have run Europe into the ground over the past several years. The Russians are aware of this and it's a very good strategic move, as Niall's been saying. They're playing a strategy here where they're attacking the weak spot but in a smart way, not in any kind of overt attack. They're not invading Greece but they're using economics to go for Greece because Greece has, for quite a few years now, been making sounds or noises about possibly leaving the European Union. Because they've had such a horrible experience as part of the European Union.

And of course along with that, just north of Greece, you have Bulgaria, who is very pissed off about the fact that Bulgaria is the one that's been screwed over effectively by the EU, because of its ridiculous strictures and demands that it was making on Russia as part of the South Stream. And then Russia cancelled South Stream and put it through Turkey. Bulgaria lost out because they were going to get like $500 million or something. Maybe it wasn't that much but it was a large amount of money per year in transit fees. They had calculated that into their budgets and all that kind of stuff. Now Bulgaria doesn't get that, Bulgaria's not happy with the EU. Bulgaria is right on Greece's northern border. North of Bulgaria you have Romania, which is a recently acquired EU vassal state which may be thinking twice about it as well if these things go down.
And then right next to that you've got Moldova and then Ukraine. Moldova has a fracture point as well because of the separatists in Transnistria. So there's that whole region west of the Black Sea of those EU countries that are all potential pressure points.

Niall: The neocons are right. Russia is rebuilding what it lost, but it's doing it fairly.

Joe: It's doing it fairly.

Pierre: And another factor to take into account is that those countries that are close to Russia because of this proximity, have a substantial share of their foreign trade with Russia. So these other countries that are the most impacted by the sanctions and this idea by NATO against Russia and for which those countries are paying. And it's poor countries.

Joe: And the Russians have actually commented on the possibility that Greece would lose the EU, that they would immediately offer Greece the opportunity to join the Eurasian union.

Niall: Did they say that specifically?

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: But they also said "Anyone who's no longer in the EU won't have sanctions, Russia's sanctions, the agricultural sanctions, would no longer of course apply to them." Ha ha.

Pierre: And that by applying whether he stops the blockade, he stops at the Bosphorus, and what is on the other side of the Bosphorus Strait? Greeceland.

Niall: Greeceland.

Joe: And if something like this were to happen or if the EU and the US are afraid that something like this were to happen, i.e., eastern European countries would effectively fall away from the EU and side with Russia, if that ever happens and the day that that happens, you'll be able to look back and see clearly the reason it happened was corruption of European and US leaders.

Pierre: Yeah, it would be a nice twist in the story because the way Greece was destroyed by the international banking system was tragic and very unfair. And as a collateral victim of this potential switch by Greece with the euro currency, one more nail in the euro currency coffin and you have this news in the media recently where the Swiss Franc increased by thirty percent over forty minutes because the Swiss financial authority, central bank, announced that they would stop pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. What does it mean? It means that they will let the percentage rate fluctuate and, like before since they were not printing like crazy like the US, and to some extent Europe, they kept buying dollars in euros and selling Swiss francs to keep a low exchange rate for the Swiss francs. And they cannot do that anymore. Actually the quantitative easing, the crazy printing initiated by the Fed is contaminating all the nations. If you want to have a fair exchange rate for your exports, you have to de facto devaluate your currency, i.e., print like crazy.

Joe: And you know if they see this happening, the only way they'll be able to try to keep it from happening, which is doomed to failure as well, is to get in there and destabilize. Any government that shows any inclination of going eastwards instead of westwards, it'll be a target for destabilization. That's all they know how to do and that just creates a worse situation.

Pierre: Terrorism.

Niall: This Syriza party in Greece has to have a serious plan. One of the first would be making sure they have control of the military security forces who will have long since been riddled with the right-thinking people, Washington agents. So it's a long road ahead for anyone, but at least it's always good to see these...

Pierre: Plus rigging the elections so that many opportunities to change the fate of Greece in favour of the western empire. You can rig the election, you can toss in a few terrorist events. You can orchestrate a coup, a military coup. Or maybe you can subvert the newly elected leader who finally wants to remove Greece from the EU because of bribes, because of threats. So there's still many things that can happen.
Jason (cartoon): You're darn tootin'!

Niall: You were talking about currencies there. You mentioned QE which is basically the central bank printing money to save its life in the US. Now that current round of it is ending in the US, but the European Central Bank announced it's going to start.

Pierre: Yeah.

Niall: Which was supposedly rule number one in Fight Club, no one talks about Fight club. Well rule of the ECB was "you do not print money". And rule number two was "you do not print money". They have just started or they're going to probably start.

Pierre: That's one major crack in the big European consensus.

Niall: The whole project, yeah.

Pierre: Because Germany, first of all a political factor, and, in particular, very strong inflation in the '30s, remember; those German citizens carrying wheelbarrows of notes to buy bread and those 10 billion Deutschemark notes. They had been tramatized by that. The memory is still fresh enough so they don't want to fall into hyperinflation again. So they're totally against this quantitative easing, printing money inflationary mony creation. Why other countries advocate money creation under the false pretence that this way you inject money into the economy, in the companies, give them more consumption, more production, growth rate, higher wages, everybody's happy. But the truth is that'sfalacious, it is a lie. It is orthogonal to truth.

And the truth is that this massive money printing doesn't end up in your pockets and mine. It ends up in the pockets of bankers and the proof is that when you look at inflation in the US, if all this money, those billions and billions of freshly created currency ended up in our pockets, the pockets of citizens, there would be more consumption, more demand and the price will increase, for bread and cars, etc. etc., what we buy. It does not, which strongly suggests that this money went in the pockets of bankers that's used to speculate and the proof is that the markets, where bankers traditionally speculate, i.e., commodities and stocks and to some extent real estate, have been borrowing like crazy. So this quantitative easing is terrible for Europe if we follow the fate of the US. It's terrible economically. It's also terrible politically because it's creates a major wedge between Germany and France, the couple around which all European dynamics aggregated over the past decades.

And you can see the results already because the collapse in the value of the euro currency just like the dollar is unrelated to the Swiss franc. It's mainly due to the potential Greek events and to the coming quantitative easing orchestrated by the European Central Bank.

Joe: I just had a crazy thought. A lot of people say "Where does all that money go?" And there's a lot of it. There was $800 billion or something like that in total, almost a trillion dollars. Where did that money go? I'm wondering if that banking scandal was twofold; obviously it allowed banks to repossess people's properties and it generally impoverished people. But maybe it took a lot of money out of circulation, as a way to kind of guard against some kind of a tipping point, where you would fall into hyperinflation in the US and western Europe or something. You take a bunch of money that you previously injected into the system, fake money effectively, but take it back out, to stabilize the system a little bit. I don't know if that's true or not. Is there someone with hundreds of billions of dollars in their bank account as a result of the banking crisis? I haven't seen any banks...

Niall: Well Bernanke was asked and he said it went to central banks in Europe.

Joe: And then got injected back into the economy.

Pierre: No, no.

Joe: Well where did it go?

Pierre: That's where the twist is - in speculation as I described...

Joe: Then they end up with it.

Pierre: What?

Joe: Somebody ends up with it. Or it just disappears.

Pierre: Yes.

Joe: Like it's funny money so it just evaporates.

Pierre: It's virtual money, first. And it can become tangible with the acquisition of commodities. For example, you can buy big land. You can buy mining companies, mining sites. So it's a way to tangiblize the virtual money. It is also used massively in speculative markets. Just to give you an idea and it sheds light on where the money went. Today the derivative market is ten times the world GDP. Today you have a bank like JPMorgan that holds, in what they call assets, one trillion dollars. The US GDP is eight thousand billion.

Joe: The GDP is $8 trillion.

Pierre: Eight trillion. So one-eighth. Yeah, eight thousand billion, $8 trillion. So one single bank. And this quantitative easing in Europe, let's not be mistaken is not for citizens, it's to save European banks. That quantitative easing in the US...

Joe: Let's call it what it is, injecting of money, printing money.

Pierre: Yeah. To simplify let's say it's creating money that you lend at zero percent or give to financial institutions, the central banks and subsequently private banks. The problem really, as you rightly emphasised, that quantitative easing was brought to a halt in the US, which is true. And you might see the results of this help in the sudden drop in some markets, S&P 500 experienced one of these major drops in history, some drops in several sectors of commodity markets. And to make things worse, I think some financial institutions experienced major loss in the gold market and the failed attack against the ruble. When you attack the ruble, through what we described previously, making short sales, where effectively you sell rubles before buying them, you make a lot of money. The ruble goes down as you planned because you sell at 60 and you buy at 40 so you make 20 profit. But the program, the ruble didn't go down as expected so all those making short sales led to massive financial losses. And to make things worse, usually those financial instruments have some integrated leverage so it means when you put one on the table, you can win 100, 1,000 or you can lose 100 or 1,000.

Gold, as we have described previously, there is very strong tensions on the gold market for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is a reference for international currency or it has been for centuries. It was put in place during the Bretonwood meetings by the dollar. And the way the US economy has been surviving is through the compulsory purchase of dollars by other countries. Today in the world, if you want to buy oil, you have to pay with dollars, generating an artificial and unjustified demand for dollars. Today when China sends goods to the US or other countries, in exchange they get dollar, accumulating huge foreign reserves of dollar currency. All these artificial forced demands on dollars maintains this illusory high-value level for the dollar. It shouldn't be the case because of the massive creation of dollar money.

People will not fight for long for dollars because what is coming - actually when you think about it, it's that the solvent countries that hold massive resources in dollar, that have paid for the lifestyle, for the expenses for the economy of the USA. Because their reserves in US dollars keep eroding due to the massive creation by the Fed of newly printed US notes and on the gold market. So the illusion of the strongest dollar is the lie, the US economy and, more than that, the whole world economy is based. If you remove this illusion of the strong US international currency, everything collapses. And the main competition for the US dollar and international currency is gold. So you have to suppress the price of gold. How do you do that? First you sell, sell, sell but at one point you have no more physical gold to sell. And I suspect that the US reserves are not 8,000 tonnes like they claim, it's much less than that.

I suspect one of the reasons why many countries like Venezuela, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium are asking for the repatriation of their physical gold from London and Washington, is because they know that soon there will not be any physical gold available. And today you have Russia and China, purchasing at the rate of 80 tonnes of physical gold a week. That's 10,000 tonnes of gold a year while the world production is 2,500 tonnes. Russia and China together are buying four times the world production. And you can even see right now the big gold operators like Comex or Shanghai Exchange platform, they see their gold reserves disappearing. They have no more reserves. They are not holding any more physical gold.

So what is dangerous for financial institutions? Once they were done with all their physical gold, they had sold everything they had, they used virtual gold, naked short sells, like they did for the ruble, selling virtual gold before buying it. When it goes down it gets interesting. They make profit. But when it goes up like it's been doing over the last few days, at an increase of 15% of the value of gold, the price of gold, they lose a lot. And if you want to keep suppressing the price of gold, not only do you have to naked short sell virtual gold, but you have to keep increasing the amounts to counteract the increasing real demand in physical growth, mostly generated for China and Russia.

So right now, the financial house of cards is on the table, the question in the media financial sphere is not 'is it going to collapse?'; it's: which is the first domino that's going to drop. And there are so many that are oscillating. The US currency, the euro currency, the configuration of the euro, the tension of the gold market, the over-valued stock market, the very unstable commodity market and the derivative market. All that.

Niall: The oil market.

Pierre: The oil market as well, you're right.

Niall: That thing's something bonkers.

Pierre: All that is so intricately related, if one folds, everything goes down.

Niall: How is the ruble doing?

Pierre: The ruble is trading around 65 rubles for one US dollar.

Niall: It's stabilized.

Pierre: Yeah, it kind of stabilized and now things are getting much better because, in 2015, the repayment of loans in dollars by Russian operators is much lower, it dropped from $60 billion to $20 billion. If you are a Russian businessman, you have to repay less US denominated loans so you don't have to sell your rubles and buy dollars to repay your loans, therefore you weaken the ruble currency less.

Niall: George Soros made a hush-hush visit to Kiev last week and he also published another one of his insider articles in the New York Review of Books. I'm not going to read the whole thing but he says "It's essential that by April 2015 Ukraine should be engaged in a radical reform program for a realistic chance of succeeding." By that he means IMF-imposed mass structural adjustment. "Otherwise, there's nothing here with economic consequences. Otherwise Putin could convincingly argue that Russia's problems are due to the hostility of the western powers. Even if he fell from power [that's Putin] an even more hard-line nationalist would probably succeed him." The guys nuts, but he gives away what's going on. The attack on Russia is to force Putin out of power. What's going on in Ukraine is done with a view to forcing Putin out of power.

Pierre: Yeah, it's a way he's probably...

Niall: And they have a timeline, like "right now please", April.

Pierre: Yeah. And he probably has some investment perspectives in Ukraine because when he says "Ukraine has to comply with IMF regulations" it is a doublespeak which actually means Ukraine has to get all its public resources looted; ports, highways, mining industry. And he probably has an eye on some juicy investments there.

Niall: Yep. Breaking news, it was breaking a couple of hours ago anyway. "Shots fired outside Vice President Biden's Delaware Residence." Hope he's okay.

Joe: He isn't there.

Niall: He isn't there?

Joe: No and it was several hundred yards from his house so nobody really knows what's going on.

Niall: There was an article this week in the Guardian of London, those hipster liberals. It was about declinism. I said "What's declinism?" So they explained what declinism is. They asked: is the world really going to hell in a hand basket? And of course they pulled in two psychologists to convince the reader that declinism is a kind of a new psychological state of mind where people are under the false impression that the world is coming apart at the seams. Of course it's not. This is the new psychiatric...

Joe: Disorder.

Niall: Disorder. "Do you think the world's coming apart at the seams?"

Joe: "You're a declinist."

Niall: "You're a declinist and you suffer an affliction."

Joe: As long as you're not a 'hiding the declinist'. (chuckles)

Pierre: The objective state of the world has declined. Being a declinist is just being a realist and well, you don't have to check more, the signs are all over the place. About these financials, there are two other breaking news items that we didn't cover in our latest shows concerning the financial sphere, that a) the United States financial authorities decided to suspend the price quotation of gold and precious metals if there is more than ten percent variation.

Niall: More than what?

Pierre: Ten percent variation.

Niall: Variation.

Pierre: So if the price of gold is $1,000, it surges up to $1,100, they suspend and they go back to the quotation of the day before. So what does it mean? There's an exegesis of those financial rules. It means that probably some financial institutions see what is coming, which is actually not really a sharp increase in gold's value but it's more like a sharp drop in currency values, hence the increase in gold valueto keep maintaining that we live in a strong currency system, they legally decide by more than ten percent a day. And roughly at the same time, on the 22nd of December, a new law was passed. A law that was passed a few years ago was "improved" and now officially all the money in chequing accounts and savings accounts held by US banks is, as stated by law, property of the bank. If the bank collapses, it is entitled to seize all your deposits. It also applies to money we all have in the safe because banks are now allowed to open your vault and get your money in order to compensate for its loss and liability.

Niall: Yeah, the message there is "If we're going down, we're taking you with us".

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the latest spectacular cosmic display. It's up on the SOTT page; a massive fireball disintegrating over far eastern Russia yesterday. You'll note actually that it was more or less reported/confirmed to be a meteor fireball. So there was no trying to cover it up. Remarkably similar to what happened at the end of last month in Brazil which they tried to spin as "Oh, that's just a satellite" or "it's a piece of space junk coming down". It looks exactly the same. Humongous objects pummelling the planet these days. I collected at least six local news reports in the last week from all over the US about these loud booms; either solitary boom or series of booms that can happen at the same time, or consequetively or they can happen in the same area over a number of days.

People are freaking out as to what they are, rightfully so. I think a number of them would be overhead meteor explosions, but not all of them. Clearly when you have the same area having a boom or two on successive days, only some of which are picked up by seismometers, 1-point-something, two, maybe three. There was a three-point-something in Connecticut a few days ago. I think that's indicating something else. They're calling them earthquakes but they're not. They're very brief. They rattle a house maybe just for a couple of seconds. People describing feeling the resonance in themselves. But they're brief. They're not really earthquakes. They're more I think like another expression of the phenomenon that was global a couple of years ago, those strange sky trumpet sounds. It sort of seems to be coming from the ground, sort of from the sky, but no one could ever...

Joe: But these are boom aren't they?

Niall: They're booms. They're more pronounced. They're not just groaning sounds, but I think it's a similar expression in that it's coming from within the earth and reverberating in the atmosphere. It's always difficult to source whether it came from above or from below.

Joe: Those kinds of things have been in the news literally for the past several years, so it's obviously hard to tell what people are hearing. And there's obviously overhead meteorite explosions which I believe are blamed on sonic booms but obviously aren't. But then there's also booms that are known to happen as part of earthquake activity, not necessarily happening in conjunction with an earthquake, but that there are really some noises like that, that can be created by a small shift in places in the crust. I think it's all kind of understood as to what it actually is even if people don't understand there is an explanation for it, even though they allow for overhead detonation in particular.

Niall: Yeah, I hear you, but I don't think they're always shifts, like a direct one-to-one. So say there's a shift in the plate right under your feet in your local area and therefore there's a boom. What I'm getting is that they might be electrophonic in nature. Yes there's some vibration deep in the earth but it's not so much the actual plates shifted right under that county or anything.

Joe: Well they don't know, right?

Niall: No.

Joe: That's the thing. They don't know and I think the main thing would be that there's an audible boom, either in the atmosphere or around them that shakes houses. People feel like something exploded, there's a shock wave, type thing.

Pierre: And it comes together. You're talking on one side, you can call it waves or sound waves; explosion of the fireball can trigger an acoustic boom. An earthquake can trigger some vibrations, tremors, okay? This being said, those two phenomena, earthquakes and fireballs, because of the electrical energy release, they induce in the earth's crust or in the atmosphere, can trigger what we can simplify as a disturbance in the surrounding magnetic field. The earth's atmospheric magnetic field or the crust's magnetic field. Those disturbances can trigger some very low frequency waves that are not audible. But then when it reaches regions surrounding the observer, these non-audible waves can be transduced by spectacles, by a rock, by something even in the environment, into audible sounds.

Joe: Yeah, a Canadian scientist, a geologist or something, a couple of years ago was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian news basically, because there were sounds being heard in Canada and he gave that explanation about it kind of being picked by even your glasses.

Pierre: Yeah. Spectacles are more efficient at transducing those waves, but even your skull can. Hence, the disorientation of people and say "It came from I don't know where". Of course, because it's in your brain.

Joe: Exactly. So what might happen with the situations of people hearing a boom that they think is a loud all-around kind of sky boom type thing, could in fact be very localized to their face. And no one else would hear it.

Niall: Yeah.

Pierre: And that's related and originating from what originated the sonic boom as well, these fireballs that were seen, the interesting thing is the timing because fireballs, because of the speed of sound, once you see, then two minutes later you hear the sonic boom. But in some reports actually witnesses mention that while they saw the fireball fragmenting, exploding, they also heard the boom, which suggests strongly that transmission was...

Joe: Lightning.

Pierre: Or lightning, which is one of the specific features of those ultra low frequency waves.

Niall: Yeah. Some of these news reports I've watched are hilarious because a lot of locals have something to say. "Yeah, yeah, I heard it. It shook my house and woke me out of bed." And then others are like "What? I didn't hear nuttin'." And they're in the same town, it may be a large area.

Pierre: But they don't have the same transducer environment. They might not have spectacles. They don't have the same skull, you can call "properties", or I could say properties. They're not surrounded by transducing objects and maybe that's why. It was very puzzling for scientists for many years. You had a group of witnesses. Some heard it and the one next to him didn't hear it.

Niall: Well, have we got any other news this week?

Joe: Not really. There's several different things I suppose could be brought up from a news item point of view. There's lots of horrible stories obviously. The planet is going down the tubes apparently, despite what the Guardian is saying about declinism, that it's effectively a trick of the mind. On the declinism thing, apparently 71% of respondents said they thought the world was getting worse. But scientists are here to tell you that it's just a trick of your mind. Pay no attention to objective reality. It's getting better. Well, maybe it's not getting better but it's certainly not getting worse. That's just negative thinking.

So with cops, there's been continued police brutality in the US. That just seems to be a mainstay. You don't even have to mention it at this point. Almost every week there's something and when you see things happening that regularly, or things being publicized that regularly, either on YouTube or on media sites, you can imagine how many go unreported.

Pierre: Yeah, but the at the same time it is very bad for society because creates this negative sentiment in the population and, like apologies for terrorism, it should be illegal. The criminals should be put in jail with terrorism apologists. And the world would be much better.

Joe: Yeah, for bringing everybody down.

Pierre: It takes a toll on our psyches.

Joe: There's a story this week about many police officers using mug shots of black men, some of them teenagers, for target practice. People still think that there's no endemic racism problem within US police forces. Clearly there is. Let's just get over that debate right now and just admit the truth even if you're not going to do anything about it, just admit it.

Pierre: But there's an improvement.

Joe: At least they're not shooting real people.

Pierre: Exactly.

Joe: The target practice is so they can identify their targets.

Pierre: The 'real culprits'.

Joe: Exactly. There's another story, probably a lot of people saw it, a Taiwan guy died after playing online games for three days straight. That's happened on several occasions over the past number of years. That's how they're keeping people under control in Taiwan. They just let them play first person shooter games for days on end until they fall off their chair dead. They're no problem anymore.

Pierre: As stated by the Guardian, the world is wonderful that you have individuals who in order to escape, play online video games for three days in a row until they die.

Joe: Yeah, because the world is such an exciting place.

Niall: But Pierre, he died a free man. He was liberated.

Joe: No, apparently the story said that he was beaten in the game he was playing. That's even worse.

Niall: Ah, you win some, you lose some.

Joe: We'd have lots of things to say if we weren't controlled by free speech laws in France. No, maybe we wouldn't really to be honest. We can say what we want because what we say doesn't really infringe any laws anywhere really because we don't want to give the impression that something we would say would be illegal or that we have a legal thoughts because we don't know when thought crime's going to come up.

Pierre: We have good thoughts!

Joe: We have to give the authority the heads-up here that we're possible thought crime culprits. So, no we don't think bad thought. We think good thoughts all the time. We are not the declinists. What's the opposite of declinist?

Niall: An optimist.

Pierre: A clinist?

Joe: A clinist. Yeah, we're clinists. (laughter) Things can only get better. It just depends on your interpretation of what getting better is I suppose.

Niall: A case of the what?

Joe: I don't know what that is, but apparently somebody's got a case of the Munders. (laughter) So as we said, fireball, east Russia. They found a mystery mile-wide ring in Antarctica, maybe a crater. They think it's a crater from a house-sized meteorite, seven-to-ten metres wide. But it's a two kilometre radius ring in Antarctica. So it seems to be, in that case anyway, the impact radius - as in destruction - from that meteorite, even though there's nothing to destroy except ice, but if it fell in a populated area, I think it's about 200 times - just in that example, obviously there's no rule for this, but in terms of the size of the meteorite, seven-to-ten metres, so ten metres, to create a 2,000 metre wave of destruction, or crater effectively. So we can use that as a yardstick. Whenever you see any meteorites that might be threatening to hit the earth, just imagine if they say it's a 50-metre-wide meteorite, then multiply that by 200 and that's your radius of destruction if it happened to hit in your area.

Pierre: Ten kilometres.

Joe: Yeah, six miles radius for a 50 metre chunk of rock, which isn't very big. It's a big old stone like.

Pierre: That's a rule of thumb.

Joe: That's a rule of thumb. Obviously there's a lot of different...

Pierre: Yeah, depending on materials, the angle, the speed.

Joe: The speed of it, all that kind of stuff. But just an example. There were several fireballs - these are the kind of things that we suppose we shouldn't really have to mention to people because they're happening all the time and you can read them on - Romania, California, loud booms across the USA, Brazils' fireballs.

Pierre: There's an interesting thing about fireballs. I mentioned that we seem to have gone through the first cluster over the past few years. In July and August 2014 the phenomenon seemed to have receded with a far lower occurrence of fireballs. And since October it's picking up again. So a possible hypothesis is that we are entering a second cluster and, to be a declinist, we can only hope that the second cluster is bigger than the first one.

Joe: Yeah, record snowfall, two metres in western Norway. There's been record snowfalls in a few other places.

Pierre: Greece.

Joe: A couple of weeks ago in the Greek islands. But also further east, in other parts of eastern Europe. On the whole several metres of snow in strange places like the Greek islands - NASA recently admitted that they were only 38 percent sure that 2014 was the warmest on record, because at the end of last year there was a lot of noise and stuff being made in the media about 2014 being the warmest year on record. Ignore that snow. 2014 was really warm. Ignore the fact that you remember the year being really cold.

Niall: Did you read how they came to that?

Joe: It was actually really warm. Yeah.

Niall: They took sea temperatures and projected them onto the land and said "There you go".

Joe: Yeah, but that's what they've been doing for a long time, the whole thing's a farce. When they came up with the 'hide the decline' business from a few years ago, the Climategate situation, their readings of global temperatures over the past x number of years were based on only a few...

Pierre: Selected measurements...

Joe: Measurement devices or whatever in particular areas. So they were just generalizing the data. They were projecting the data from a few small areas that actually tended to be warmer because, for example, one of them was in an urban area where it's warmer because you've got the buildings' heat, cars, all that kind of stuff. And then they project that onto the world without doing the proper research. It's just basically really, really shoddy research. And you know NASA isn't forced to do shoddy research unless it chooses to. So this is kind of evidence of deliberate fixing of the data to present an image of climate change, the world's warming and we have to do something about it. They came out last year and said 2014 was a new record for global temperatures, for global warming. And it made headlines around the world. They didn't mention it the time; for some reason they went and said it now. They're very precise in their retraction on their admission of guilt which is to say "We're 38 percent sure this is true." Thirty-eight percent, not 37 percent, "We're 38 percent sure", but still that's less than 50 percent, which means you're not really sure that this is the case. So tell us, how did this get to be presented in headlines around the world as a fact at the end of last year or the start of this year?

Pierre: Because the harm was done and now they can retract because they've programmed the minds a bit further into the anthropogenic global warming. And here is why basing the alleged global warming on sea temperature is a big lie. Most fault lines, say for example the shape of the ring of fire, are undersea, underwater. Fault lines are where you have most volcanic and earthquake activities and 2014 has been the highest year in recent history as far as these activities are concerned. So it's not surprising that you might have a little increase in global sea temperature because of those earthquakes and volcanic activities. However at the same time, you might have a decrease in overall global atmospheric temperatures. Again, a lot of lies, a lot of manipulation. Anthropogenic global warming never existed and global warming ceased about 20 years ago. Since then we're experiencing a global cooling.

Joe: Absolutely. And you can see it all around you.

Niall: That volcano in Iceland, Bardarbunga, that erupted in September is basically continuously erupting.

Joe: That's where what-do-you-call-him's going for his party. Berlusconi.

Niall: Going to Bardarbunga. (laughter)

Joe: Having his bunga-bunga parties there.

Niall: They say it's developing into the largest lava field and the photos of it are wow! It's bigger than Manhattan, than the planet has seen for 200 years. I say they're just pulling that out of their backsides. They basically have never seen such a thing and there's no history before it. And I'm sure there's lava field on geological timescales, but 200 years, who knows?

Pierre: And did you see this article mentioning that the cause of increased earthquake and volcanic activity might be the reduction in the spinning frequency of planet earth.

Niall: Yes, but they took the surprise element out of that by saying that they noticed that increases in volcanic activity are correlated with the speed of rotation of the planet.

Pierre: That's not bad.

Niall: That's not bad.

Pierre: I think we're the first ones to have hypothesized a correlation between the spinning speed of the planet and the earthquakes and other crustal disruptions.

Joe: It kind of makes sense though, doesn't it? Take a spinning orb and slow it down and if it's got anything that's not to the surface, anything that's moveable on the surface, it's going to have an effect on it and particularly if there's liquid either on or underneath the surface and you slow it down, even marginally, it's going to have an effect.

Pierre: Yeah.

Joe: It's a big planet with a lot of liquid inside just waiting to hop out.

Pierre: And the cherry on the pie is a good analogy, because inside you have liquid, magma, and on top you have solid, like the continental plates. But they do not lessen density. So when it is slowed down, one slows faster than the other one - they don't slow down at the same speed - it induces friction between the crust, the liquid, and friction, you need to imagine how this friction can be the main cause for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Joe: You could probably model this by making a cake, make a gluten-free cake and spinning it with...

Niall: Chocolate.

Joe: Well, some kind of liquidy kind of a cake and putting it on a spindle, spinning it fast and see what happens. I think we should pursue that experiment.

Niall: Yes.

Joe: For scientific reasons of course. That's a good idea. Anyway, I think we'll leave it there for this week folks. We're getting close to the top of the hour.

Niall: Let them eat cake! (chuckles)

Joe: Let them eat cake. Thanks to our listeners and to our chatters and we will be back next week with another show on a topic that - you'll just have to wait and find out what it is. It'll be what's going on, on this planet, and what everybody should do about it, if anything, other than watch it. So until then, thanks for listening.

Niall: Okay, see you next week. Bye-bye.

Pierre: Bye-bye.