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With signs of increasingly extreme weather patterns all around us, this week on Behind the Headlines, we delved into the pro- and anti-global warming debate to look at what's really going on. Forget about the seas gradually rising by the year 2100, we're headed for an ice age a lot sooner than that.

We also discussed the growing refugee crisis Europe, the latest nonsense in 'the global war on terror', and deciphered the latest anti-Russian propaganda coming from Washington.

Running Time: 01:36:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript:

Joe: Hi and welcome to Behind the Headlines on the Sott Radio Network. This is your one stop shop for everything that has been happening in front of and behind the headlines and all the news that's fit to print, well most of it.

Pierre: And that's not.

Joe: Exactly. So what has been going on this week since we last spoke to our beloved listeners, etc.?

Niall: What's been going on? Well it's damn cold out there. That's all I know. I'm shivering right now.

Pierre: It's cold and here in southern France where there is quite unusual for wintertime, especially when you keep in mind what Al Gore and his photos were claiming a few years ago, remember the scaremongering? That our poor kids will never see snow except on postcards because of the global warming, would prevent any snowfall. Not later than yesterday, French authorities asked skiers, people who were at ski resorts on Saturday, to leave at once, the Pyrenees ski resorts because of the huge snowfalls. Here we're talking about two-to-three metres, about ten feet, of accumulated snowfall over about three days. So the authorities could see that people who were in those ski resorts would not be able to leave because of so much snow on the roads. So that's it for the myth of the disappearing snow spread by the global warmests.

Joe: Yeah. Global warming's an interesting proposition. It's kind of funny in that on this planet things always seem to be divided; not always, but a lot of major topics are always yes or no, for and against. It seems to polarize an awful lot, across the spectrum of disciplines or of topics or themes on this planet, on the politics, religion. There's more or less two dominant religions, there's global warmists and anti-global warmists. Why can't we all just get along and agree on something? Is it not possible for human beings to agree on something? I mean as a general rule, it seems not to be, collectively, they can't agree. As if reality isn't the same for everybody.

Niall: Well we live a world where duality is the chief feature.

Joe: Like what?

Niall: The duality of everything; plus/minus, positive/negative, yes/no, on/off.

Joe: Yeah, but is that a function of humans? Is that an objective reality or is that a function of human beings actually projecting that in terms of theories or creating their theories based on something that's inherent in human beings.

Pierre: And even if there's cold and warm, there is lukewarm, there is less warm and less cold and changing.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Pierre: I think there are several factors that could explain this very dualistic approach. First that's a trait of schizoid psychopathic thinking, this black and white thinking. Also it's one of the main tools of the divide and conquer approach developed by our elites. And sure when you keep emphasizing this duality between Muslims and Christians, black and white, woman and man, etc. etc., you divide and conquer because I think the elites realize that one of the main threats is people who unite together, like we see in Greece, in Spain and other places. And the last point is that when you propose and promote such dualistic and simplistic ideas, you prevent the masses from thinking, from going deeper, beyond this apparent simplistic analysis.

Joe: I don't have a problem with simplicity because in a certain sense what Niall said is true. Obviously black and white does exist, hot and cold, happy and sad, all that kind of stuff. What my problem is, is that people disagree all the time. They look at something and one person says "black" and another person says "white". There's nothing wrong with the duality. Okay, there's more, there's shades of grey. But let's just say it was just all black and white, everything is one thing or the other. Why don't people agree on it? Global warming for example. Why is the world polarized to whatever extent between "global warming is real" and "no it's not, it's false". There is an objective reality somewhere. Apparently it eludes human beings. And yet we're all the same species.

Pierre: Well I suppose it's not in the elites' interests to recognize the truth because the truth is incongruent.

Niall: Hang on, hang on a second here. You keep talking about the elites. The only reason the elitey stuff can take hold is because we're all thinking like that, the human species as a whole, no?

Pierre: That's true. Yeah, there's a collective responsibility but I think the elites can be considered a source of this dissention in the population and lies ultimately and the media that serve the interests of the elite spread armour in people's minds, those untrue visions of the world and the responsibility lies in the fact that the people embrace those lies.

Joe: So when you talk about the elites you're talking about a power rather than the established authorities of the day who have the power to disseminate information and to therefore say what is, say if something is black or white or hot or cold, global warming or global cooling. So left to their own devices, ordinary human beings would probably all agree on something eventually. There'd be some judicious study of a particular topic and they'd say "No, that's actually black. Yeah we all agree. Apparently everybody all agrees to that black" or "it's all cold". But that's not what happens so it must be as Pierre is positing, then that somewhere along the lines, the people who have the power to shape opinions, to disseminate information disseminate lies basically. They say that something is the opposite of what it actually is and they do that for a vested interest, for their own personal interests or for some agenda.

Pierre: It's an interesting example, to illustrate this conscious dissemination of lies because concerning global warming, while the mass media controlled by the elite was spreading the manmade global warming frenzy, at the same time you had some CIA, FBI people, so the Bilderberg discussions that were...

Joe: The elite.

Pierre: dealing with global cooling. So why the elites were preparing for global cooling, they could see as a true perspective, they were spreading the opposite, a lie. So while they were buying wood burning stoves, they were pushing the masses to buy air conditioners. And the guy gets even more screwed when the global cooling will hit.

Joe: Just one more thing. I was going to say therefore some dodgy deductive reasoning here, would lead us to believe that objective reality, things as they are, would tend to be anathema to the idea of an elite in society. Is that true? An elite as we have today, because what I'm saying is the elite seem to be pushing the opposite of what's true and that seems to serve their agenda and I suppose their agenda is to maintain themselves in positions of power. Therefore to maintain the current hierarchy on the planet that we have today, they have to present black as white because if they just told the truth basically about everything, they wouldn't be able to maintain their positions of power.

Pierre: Exactly. The elites stay in power despite huge injustice, unfairness, inequalities, etc. etc. etc. That is a totally unacceptable situation for the masses. So how can they keep the masses voting for the status quo? By spreading the lies and twisting things and describing a grey world where there is not so much inequality and where things are getting better and progress and technology and more happiness and the fight against racism and more tolerance; all what we keep hearing every day because fundamentally the regime instituted by the elites is not acceptable as it is for the masses.

Joe: So injustice is kind of rooted in the lie; social injustice or negative conditioning on this planet for people are rooted usually within lies.

Pierre: Yeah and actually it leads me to a question I've been pondering for a while about suffering or lies, thinking about this human/cosmic connection and how in times of oppression, what in this kind of oppression leads to hypothesize cosmic reactions. Is it suffering or is it lies? But when you think about it, it goes hand in hand. Those oligarchic regimes spread suffering because of the inequality, because of violence, etc., etc., and in order to stay in power despite all the suffering they induce, they have to spread lies. They have to manipulate the minds of people. So the suffering of masses, the manipulation of masses, go together.

Joe: Were you going to say something Niall?

Niall: I just wanted to comment on how remarkably prescient the model they call it, of this manmade global warming, it's kind of a structure because on the one hand it's something that takes place in science. On the other hand it's political, Al Gore and his road show. On the other hand it's big business, robber taxes big time. There's an incredible element of prescience, i.e., being able to foresee this scenario. I'm not actually giving them that kind of credit, but at some level it did take place because 30 years ago the ball gets rolling on this and we're now in a situation where "You see?! We told you!" Because when grandma somebody wakes up in a remote southern island near Libya and she's got two metres of snow outside her door, she's probably going to "Maybe they were right actually. Before I would have just dismissed it but clearly something is happening." And people are caught in the conflict of seeing something going on before their eyes and the only available explanation is the one that's been laid 30 years before. They get a lot of air time, so you can see why people would believe the lie. I think it's understandable.

Joe: The whole global warming versus global cooling thing is a little more complex and complicated and you can see how it will allow for some genuine confusion even amongst the people who are studying the data, let's say because it's not just a matter of the planet's either getting warmer or it's getting colder.

Niall: What they say now is that the warming is a result of these cold waves.

Joe: Right.

Niall: They see no inconsistency.

Joe: Exactly, yes. But what's really going on, the position of has been that it's not so much about global cooling as a trend towards cooling necessarily, but rather that mini ice ages, little ice ages such as the Maunder Minimum that a 100 years ago, can come on and we essentially can have, at least in the northern hemisphere, some form of an ice age or a drastic cooling, but that preceding that you can have spikes in heating in different areas and cooling, but also one of the most evident aspects of that is climate chaos, not just black and white warming or cooling, but chaos, as in climate systems and weather patterns just go kaflooey.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: And you have all sorts of things. You can have four seasons in one day basically. And in that moment they can still say "Well that's global warming that's causing that". And we would posit that no, it's not just global warming, it's not even manmade global warming, which doesn't really factor into it it's something else that's much broader, and that this period of chaos is caused by these other factors and that once this period of chaos has run its course, that a very likely result is glacial rebound in the northern hemisphere; so it's a lot more complicated.

Pierre: Yeah, you're right emphasize these details. To talk about what IPCC is focusing its analysis on, average global ground surface temperatures around the planet. To make the matter even less black and white, I allude to a previous topic, there is still the documented exceptional global warming over the last half of the 20th century, roughly; 1915 until 1998. It's documented, it's well accepted by global warmists and global coolists. But where the vision diverges is after 1998 and even according to the data revealed by the IPCC, there has been, since 1998 a global cooling over the planet, ground surface temperatures. And today to develop on what Joe was mentioning previously, global warming can be the trigger for a drastic global cooling because in sudden global cooling history shows that most ice ages set very quickly, much quicker than we thought, over a course of three months now, according to some scientists, and were preceded by global warming.

Here there are many factors at work and we won't describe all of them but one of the factors that is easy to understand is that during global warming you have a lot of evaporation, salt water from the oceans evaporates, snow melts, lakes, rivers, etc., you have a lot of humidity in the air, in the atmosphere. And when it cools down even just a little bit, all this water in the atmosphere starts to precipitate and it can precipitate in the form of rain and it may turn into ice when it reaches the ground, or it may precipitate in the form of snow, like we saw in the Pyrenees and Libya and the Mediterranean basin. Now when this ice increases dramatically, the reflection rate of the planet earth - that means that the sun's rays that before were reaching the forest, the land and being absorbed by the planet - are now massively reflected by the snow and ice coverage. It's called an Albedo effect because it triggers a downward spiral of more reflection, less heat absorbed, more cooling, more condensation, even more snow and more ice, even more reflection, less heat absorbed, etc. etc.

Niall: Okay, that's still a hypothetical scenario. You've just described a model of what may come. I'm interested more in what's actually happening. This storm that hit the northeast US last week, it didn't bring as much snow as they thought but...

Joe: Almost three feet. Not New York, but...

Niall: Was that exceptional or not?

Joe: No. I think the totals are exceptional. There were a few places that had never had that much snow in a single day, so in that sense it was exceptional in areas. But it's also exceptional because it's only four or five weeks since the last one. Maybe it's longer than that, but late last year the previous storm had brought a major snowfall up to seven feet in some areas.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So I think to have those kind of recurring patterns over a short period of time in the winter, that's not usual.

Niall: And then it melted rapidly. Now this narrative you're positing Pierre is that you have a very wide area of coverage but for a long period of time and this has an Albedo effect. In terms of historical references we can relate to, the little ice age would be a good one. There was a general period of chaotic weather and yes, prolonged, deep winters. A couple of times there was basically no summer, or at least it was described that way. So we have reference to an extreme change but not so extreme as the extent of a deep, glacial ice age.

Pierre: Yeah. Going back to snowfall, actually snowfall per se is not a sign of global cooling. It's not the proof of global cooling. Snowfall is the proof of increased chaotic weather. Snowfall, like precipitation in general, is a result of cold air and warm air meeting each other. If you have a very homogenous weather area where the humidity is mediated by a straight and strong jet stream, you have arctic air, cold and dry up there over the poles, you have this moist, warm air over temperate regions that do not meet. They are separated by the jet stream and you don't have much precipitations. When the jet stream becomes chaotic, meandering, then you keep having those moist, warm and dry, cold regions meeting and leading to front and front and fronts and those fronts are what triggers those massive precipitations, snow or rain. You can have snow with a temperature of zero degrees Celsius, which is 40 Fahrenheit, which is not extremely cold for New York in winter.

Niall: Yeah. Something that's increasing big time and you're going to like this, Mr. Electric Universe. I've been collecting videos of tornadoes and waterspouts, especially late in the month. This landed around this cold snap in the eastern Med and in the US and there are tornadoes touching down. It's snowing, there's a blizzard and there's a tornado going on and then there's a flash of light, I guess a lightning bolt.

Joe: Not a snownado!

Niall: A snownado. It's awesome to behold. And the ISS, the guys up there in the space station put together some kind of composite video of some images as they passed over a storm. It think it was in December. I think they were saying "Hang on. We've never seen it quite like this before." It was the eye of the storm, maybe a cyclone over the Pacific and it was just constant flash after flash, like strong lightning strikes in the centre of the storm. Somebody came up with some explanation for it, but by the sounds of it that was previously unseen, unobserved.

Pierre: I think I remember seeing pictures of tornadoes, hurricanes where the vortices are accompanied by thunder and lightning. This being said, you're right, just to remind our listeners, mainstream science claims that the main and actually the only driver for tornadoes in the UK is the heat coming from the ground or from the ocean's floor for hurricanes. And there are several examples, they mention some and there is a very unusual one where you have a hurricane forming over the ocean east of Newfoundland in Canada at 50, 55 degrees north. At the time this hurricane formed and developed the water was about seven degrees Celsius, which is maybe 48 degrees Fahrenheit. And so according to classical theory this hurricane was totally impossible. There was not enough energy, not enough heat in the water to feed this massive hurricane.

Niall: To come back to this, you're either pro or your anti. You're a warmist or you're a coolist, or you see it from one perspective or the other. In itself, at least the way we're discussing it, it's far too simple. Is it cooling or is it warming? Yes. There are historical cycles where the ultimate shift that takes place is one of a much colder climate, ice age takes hold, increases precipitation, Albedo effect, so what you've described. But it's this implicity of what leads the academic papers by the time it passes through science writers and gets into the media, the take home message is far too simple. "It's warming" or "it's cooling". "Well which is it? I give up. I'm not interested." it's obviously far more complex than that.

[Recording: Yeah science!! (Laughter)]

Niall: Yeah, science.

Joe: Yeah, everybody loves science.

Pierre: You know, even just this word "ice age" is depicted as exceptional where these warm periods are the norm. But when you look at recordings over hundreds of thousands of years, the default weather setting for planet earth is what we call ice age. Warm periods like 20th century, or the second half of the 20th century is called Maunder Maximum. It is an exceptional period of warmth that lasted 50 years and usually those periods of warmth last from a few decades to a few centuries and are separated by normal, default cold periods that last for centuries, the Maunder Minimum, about five centuries. And interestingly, you see a very strong correlation between civilization development, and we're talking back to Egypt or Babylonians up to now, when the weather is nice, which is exceptional and doesn't last long, civilization blooms, which is a metaphor, civilization blooms like the flowers and everything in spring, summer, and during the default mode, what we call ice age, a civilization either collapses or regresses.

Niall: Yeah, it's the extremes, like you can get in the summer. You can get ice and Greenland melting at an extraordinary rate in the headlines, like "Oh my god, it's happening!" But they kind of then don't do the same "Oh my god, what's this!?" when the ice rebounds the next year in the winter. The middle ground that's missing is the shifting between extremes, the thing you need to understand, and that the chaos that's going on out there in the environment is part and parcel of the chaos that's going on in human society.

Pierre: Yeah, this ice melting at the extraordinary rate, and Iceland's a good example because it's due to the same factor that explains what happens in the US with the polar vortices phenomena, basically your jet stream that usually is below Greenland, so Greenland is covered by Arctic dry cold air. But when the jet stream starts meandering actually, Greenland ends up being south of the jet stream and being exposed to a temperate climate, like say in France or over there in the US. Hence the high variability of contrasts from one day to another sometimes.

Niall: New York to London flights last week apparently broke the record for the shortest time it's taken to fly, the regular voyage because its speed was taken up to something like 700 or 800 miles per hour because it caught this jet stream that's barrelling straight through the UK right now. Well not at the moment. It's stopped I think. But it brought a series of storms to the UK. That's the pattern we saw last year, wasn't it? Storm after storm in the UK, kind of a straight line.

Joe: Exactly, yeah. But they all coincided with the winter storms on the east coast of the US. We've seen this for the past few years where the east coast of the US gets pummelled with repeated snow storms and at the same time that that's happening, those storms seem to spawn or be associated with a set of systems that move across the Atlantic and, as we were saying, last year brought not snow but high winds and flooding and a lot of rain to the UK. This year it seems to be more of an association in kind type of thing of snow that the UK has been getting for the past week will continue for several more days, overlapping with the storm in the US. And there's other storms on the way for the east coast of the US now as well. So there doesn't seem to be any let up in that. It's going to be very interesting to see how it goes over the next month or two, in terms of just how long the winter lasts and how bad it is. I have a feeling that spring might take a while.

Pierre: Be late.

Joe: Yeah, might take a while getting here.

Niall: A snownado touched down in London last week during a blizzard, destroyed a house in London a few days ago. The Middle East is covered in snow. When I say covered, well they're getting a serious amount of snow around the Levant/eastern Mediterranean, but it's gone down as far as Dubai and central Saudi Arabia. But actually I look back...

Joe: But that's because of...

Niall: ...the past five winters it's happened.

Joe: Exactly. Yeah.

Pierre: And here, massive snow in the Levant, or in the Middle East is indicative of chaotic weather. You have a front, so you have masses of air at a very different temperature which is also suggestive of unusually low temperatures because snow, like precipitation in general, happens with the warm front. So if you have massive snow fall in the Middle East, it means that the warm front was at zero degrees or lower for snow to occur. That's the warm front. So it means before that you had the cold mass of air that was probably negative and doesn't happen very frequently in these regions.

Niall: Yeah. Well spare a thought for the 700,000 people in the Middle East, more I think, who live in tents because of non-stop wars; Palestinians, Syrians, all strewn across Jordan, Lebanon.

Joe: Just on that plane thing, it probably wasn't the jet stream because the plane was flying higher. The plane was flying from the UK to the US, right?

Niall: No.

Joe: Oh, the opposite way. You'd think that would happen more often, because the jet stream barrels along there at that high rate of speed pretty much all the time. It's up to 200 miles an hour or more and it's continually there. But maybe...

Niall: The pressure dropped.

Joe: Maybe it dropped down.

Niall: The pressure drops and those winds are traveling at that kind of speed at a lower altitude, then...

Joe: Well actually like Pierre was saying, if the jet stream meanders down and it's maybe on a long stretch as opposed to a loop or if it just happened to catch the flight path of...

Pierre: Yeah, it goes together. Actually when it meanders, it means it's weak, it's zig-zagging and the speed would be about 70 to 90 miles per hour. But when it's strong, it doesn't meander anymore, it's very straight. It's like a river, it has a lot of currents, the river doesn't meander, it goes straight. And the jet stream in this case can reach about 200 miles per hour, it's straight, from New York to London, almost. So that's ideal for maximizing speed of the jetliners that is flying at the height of the jet stream.

Joe: So the fact that it's in the news recently as something unusual, and it's not going to happen to every single plane, with many that fly from the US to Europe or the UK. So either it was lower and not meandering or...

Pierre: Lower not necessarily because the jet stream usually is around this altitude, 30,000 feet or 10 kilometres. However it suggests a powerful jet stream, straight and fast, which suggests in turn an unusual electric activity. If our hypotheses are correct one of the main drivers of the jet stream is electric activity, or solar activity.

Niall: Let's spell this out for people. They're hearing through mainstream science and just whatever filters down into scientific writing in the media, they're all looking through the telescope the wrong bloody way. Because they're thinking that weather systems are the result of ground conditions and then those weather conditions in turn affect and regulate which direction and which speed and how it meanders; the jet stream. So they go from the ground up. But going back, it may be that it comes from outside in. The cosmic environment affects.

Pierre: Yeah exactly. Actually it's an inversion of the causality relationship. They do the same with the CO2 temperature duo. They say yeah, an increase in CO2 leads to a higher temperature and actually when you look at records of the past few million years, indeed there's a positive correlation between CO2 levels and temperature, i.e., when CO2 levels rise, temperature rises, but a slight time offset. And when you look carefully at the curves you can see that actually first temperature moves and then CO2 moves, which suggests that the driver that causes these temperature variations and as a consequence CO2 goes up or down, it makes sense because when temperature rises, the ocean temperature rises too, which leads to a CO2 release from the ocean, which is the main reservoir of CO2 on planet earth.

Niall: See, so it's not people.

Recording: We got that right!

Pierre: People and CO2, there's almost no correlation. Manmade CO2 is about three percent of total CO2. Most of CO2 is produced by volcanic eruptions, big, big contributors. Human beings or cow farts, all that is a total myth; Nothing. It's negligible.

Niall: Well, how are the natives doing on the planet?

Joe: What natives?

Niall: The little people.

Joe: The little people.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Well, people are complaining, more and more. Thousands of people took to the streets in a march for homes in London today I think. They've got people giving speeches at the city hall in London and they are flying banners reading "People Before Profit" and "Build Council Homes" and "Take the Wealth of the One Percent".

Pierre: (laughing)

Niall: Don't laugh.

Joe: It is just ordinary...

Niall: What's wrong with that? That's a good cause.

Joe: Take the wealth of the one percent.

Recording: Whoa! Dude!

Joe: Whoa dude is right. Those people are angry and they're out to get the one percent.

Niall: But their mayor isn't paying any attention, is he?

Joe: He's part of the one percent.

Niall: Boris Johnson this week described Islamists as "wankers". He said that they're all watching kiddie porn and they're a bunch of wankers. Something that reminds people where the real issue is.

Joe: Thanks for the informed opinion there!

Recording: "You're despicable"

Pierre: I was laughing about this banner "Take the Wealth of the One Percent" because actually there's a direct link here because when you look at the real estate, it's very interesting in the sense that over the last month there's been a total of direct correlation. There's some regions that see prices stable or even dropping while other areas, mostly wealthy areas, some districts in Paris, London and cities of Mayfair, Chelsea, New York, Manhattan, Long Island, the prices over there are booming and that's fascinating I find because it's almost direct evidence that all the money available is in the pockets of the one percent and they invest that in the districts. That's where they buy houses and the prices keep going up because they keep buying, buying.

Niall: They're partying like it 1999.

Pierre: Oh yeah, big time. And it's correlated because when you drive prices up and you have those bubbles the local and speculative bubbles, it has an interest on rent, it affects the rest of the real estate market. So the protesters are right maybe more than you think.

Joe: Go ahead.

Pierre: Yeah, and the crisis in the UK is a bit like what went on and what is still going on to some extent in the US. In the UK you have the 40,000 homes that were repossessed over the last 12 months, September 2013 to September 2014. You have more than 244,000 people on the council home waiting list. So basically while a lot is done for the rich one percent, the poor people try to get food stamps, they don't get houses and they barely survive.

Niall: Well the Tory government has told them all to get jobs.

Pierre: Oh yeah.

Niall: But that is literally not only their public statement, it's basically what their policy amounts to. "Just get a job".

Joe: Even if there are none.

Niall: "You useless wanker".

Pierre: This is the irony again. This one percent, how do they find the money to buy those luxury mansions in Mayfair? The profit. One of the ways they make profit is by minimizing costs in corporations.

Niall: Firing people.

Pierre: Firing people, reducing their wages and de-localizing production in China or other low-cost nations. So when this guy tells the poor masses to get a job, those ones who are complaining about real estate, actually they cannot get jobs because of the very same one percent who fired them in order to make more profit, in order to buy those houses in the fancy districts. There's a double screw up.

Niall: It's like a self-contained ecosystem.

Joe: They've protested in Hong Kong again but no violence. The Irish people are continuing to protest about water and I'm kind of laughing a little bit here because there's an ongoing protest in Ireland about being charged for water bills basically, that they already pay through their taxes, but the Irish government sold off to the water companies/water treatment process to a private company that now wants to make some money off it, so they're levying charges for the amount of water that people use and there were protests going on since last year over that and they're still protesting again today. Thousands have taken to the streets protesting water charges. And it's just funny because Ireland is known as one of the most waterlogged places on the planet. And it actually officially does rain at least 50 percent of the days of the year there, maybe a little bit more. So the idea that people there will be charged for water is maybe a bit harder to take than if you were living in the desert or something. And last year as well there was some politician in the Irish parliament who was complaining about these people protesting about water and they should just suck it up. He actually said officially on camera that it doesn't just fall out of the sky, water. (Laughter)

So those are protests going on and there haven't been many protests in the US really since last year and the whole Ferguson stuff, but at least in New York, the authorities seem to be taking a lesson from it because just in the past few days, there's been a discussion on/off, yes or no/maybe about a New York police department anti-terrorism unit would handle large scale demonstrations in future. Yes, you heard that right, an anti-terrorism unit that has been established and works anti-terrorism and is trained for anti-terrorism, would handle largely demonstrations.

Pierre: So demonstrators are equated to terrorists?

Niall: That, or there is a shortage of terrorists.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And they need to do something.

Pierre: There's a shortage. It's a crisis! There's not enough terrorists (laughing).

Niall: Well it's all about numbers. The numbers game.

Joe: Well this was the New York City department of commissioners said that 350 member anti-terrorism unit would help handle future large scale demonstrations but now the police department is saying that, "No, we need them for terrorism-related duties and another different outfit will handle large scale demonstrations." But I think the point is that they're looking to assign a specific department or group or section of the police to handle large scale demonstrations. Traditionally it would just be the average New York police officer would handle demonstrations.

Pierre: And do you think this special section would be tougher or softer?

Joe: Well what do you think?

Pierre: Tougher.

Joe: I'm assuming they'd be trained in how to handle large numbers of people who might get violent, that have police department medics as well there just in case for the obvious outcome of that kind of handling of a demonstration.

Niall: I want to dig up the German government solution this week. You know they've had big protests there against Muslims by the far right. I'm not sure we can call them that anymore because it's been more mainstream, so right groups like this Higida Association. Anyway, anti-Islam protests in Germany has been attracting quite a lot of people. But the German government didn't directly say that they were trying to appease these protestors, but one of the main things they're protesting about is the fact that there are so many asylum-seekers in Germany, most of them from the Middle East which of course is torn to bits by countries like Germany. So they decided to house all these asylum-seekers in one city, the city of Augsburg. And they've come up with the great idea of having refugees who arrive from the Middle East in a former branch of the Nazi's Dachau concentration camp. "Antje Seubert, a representative of the Green Party celebrated no doubt over champagne the decision and called it a victory over fascism."

Joe: Victory over fascism to house immigrants.

Niall: Yes. I'm reading the AP report there.

Joe: To house immigrants in a section of the former Dachau concentration camp?

Niall: Yes.

Joe: But how is that a victory over fascism or over...

Pierre: They re-enact a Nazi act and they call it a victory over fascism.

Joe: Yeah, that's progressive...

Recording: Inconceivable!!

Joe: It's absolutely inconceivable.

Niall: So vote Green at the next election.

Joe: That was a Green politician who said that. Yeah, well they've all lost the plot obviously.

Pierre: And knowing that one of the main lines of the Green Party was this anti-racism ideal.

Joe: But speaking of the militarization of society or of security in the free world here in the west, there's a story that a new British army elite unit is to hone its social media and psychological warfare skills. "The British military is going to form a new specialist force in non-lethal forms of psychological warfare using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to tackle the asymmetric battlefield of the 21st century. So 2,000 people made up of regular troops from all three services" - that's the air, land and sea - "as well as reservists and civilians, will attempt to draw the best talent from the regulars and reserves and also allow civilians with specialist skills to operate alongside a military kind of person". Maybe I'll apply! I've got some good Facebook skills.

Niall: "Their mission is to shape behaviour through the use of dynamic narratives." Bullshit in other words! (laughter)

Joe: Shape behaviour through the use of dynamic narratives?

Pierre: That's sheep behaviour. Baaa.

Joe: That's amazing. I thought it was very funny the way they described it though. They made a point of describing it as "non-lethal forms of psychological warfare using social media such as Twitter". So they're saying "Don't worry...

Pierre: We won't kill you.

Joe: ...we're not going to kill you with our uber special Facebook and Twitter skills. You may be shocked and awed, but you won't die as a result of our" - what was the word?

Niall: "Our dynamic narratives."

Joe: Dynamic narratives. But what if someone actually dies from being subjected to one of those dynamic narratives. Then it becomes lethal. You can really see the government. One of your soldiers killed on Facebook.

Recording: How classically clever!

Joe: It's literally character assassination that's going on there. So better watch out people! The British army are getting on to Facebook to take care of the bad guys so don't get caught up in the fray is all I would say. Just watch out. If you see a disturbance on Facebook or Twitter, just back away slowly and follow instructions.

Pierre: But I'm wondering to what extent this information isn't information in the sense that I suppose - didn't England pursue psy-ops for decades on the social media? So the ways of making it official now, do you really think it's a new thing for them? Why do they make it official now?

Joe: I think they're probably making it official for propaganda purposes, but also they want to assign some official money to it, to have some real state financing for it and probably the climate is right for them to do that and to get away with it basically; to have it sanctioned and people agree that it's a good idea and throw money at it and it can be all above board and they can have more people involved in it. They don't have to do it so covertly.

Pierre: It's maybe a message to the masses as well.

Joe: Well now we have propaganda, yeah?

Pierre: Military operators on Facebook, on social medias, so you better beware of what you write and what you think.

Joe: Yeah. Dynamic narratives. I'm just laughing. "The brigade will also specialize in reconstruction and development and humanitarian assistance in the battle to win hearts and minds."

Pierre: Yeah, humanitarian assistance.

Niall: Humanitarian assistance on Facebook!?

Pierre: Yeah. I guess the way I decipher these lies and manipulations is they will spin what they do in Libya or in Syria and call it "We're not funding" - and maybe the word should not be mentioned - the word "fund" "rebels, pro-democracy rebels because we care about the Libyan civilian population. We want them to know what freedom means. We want them to be happy. That's our main concern."

Niall: As Libya goes to hell in a hand basket, literally. Major attacks there this week.

Pierre: Well, it's in the process of dynamic liberation.

Niall: Yeah, it's dynamic liberation of - dynamic narratives. Oh god, this reminds me of something else. Victoria Nuland this week was giving a talk somewhere and she's asked the question in conference about RT and does she see it as an enemy or something. And she's like "No, no, no, no." She was bigging up the US media, I guess western media in general and she said something; I wish I had a quote to hand, it was something like "The market for truth is not the sole domain of RT" or something. She's implying that we have many truths from these outlets.

Joe: Yeah, but they don't. That's the problem.

Niall: How did this thing go wrong?

Joe: They're fighting a losing battle because all you have to do is compare Fox News or MSNBC or any other news outlet, Washington Times, Washington Post, all the online versions of newspapers and various popular talks shows and stuff, that in the US together would be comparable to what RT does, its print media or web-based media, chat shows or discussion shows, etc., You would have to include Fox News, New York Times, all that kind of stuff, and also things like Bill O'Reilly and John Hannity and stuff, you look at all those together and they just produce nothing but rhetoric, black and white thinking, simplistic, narrow-minded, extremely US-centric analysis of every situation. And it's very short on actual details, on nuance. It's not very interesting. It appeals to people who are just vanilla everything, "keep it simple stupid" type thing. But for people who...

Recording: You're goddamn right!

Joe: It gives them nothing. And RT and other outlets like that give more in-depth and more details and make it more interesting because reality is much more interesting than what's presented by US media. And it's boring when it's presented by the US media. It's annoying to people who prefer their truth more truthful, more objective. So you go and look for things like RT. And that's why people that demographically want things a bit more nuanced essentially and more in-depth the US has nothing to present. Even scholarly, more highbrow outlets like New York Times or the Washington Time or the Washington Post, they just use fancier words to say the same thing. They give very short on details, very simplistic black and white analysis of the situation. So they don't have anything to compare with RT. That's why they're so scared of RT. It gives more truthiness to the situation and they can't compete.

Pierre: And there may be another reason why mainstream media spreads this simplistic, black and white vision of the world. It reminds me of Gustave Le Bon's The Crowd. In this book he describes how to have an impact on individuals. You have to deliver a very simple message, pictures, symbols, because then you claim to resonate with the emotional centre, you have an impact you imprint, you can be more prone to manipulate. You shunt the thinking centre. And Russia and a few other media take the other route. They appeal to the reason, to the thinking, of the individual. So it's two very different approaches, not only concerning the content, but concern which part of the individuals they address.

Joe: And it's a dividing line, to separate people out. And ultimately more people immerse themselves in those two different viewpoints or absorb information from those two different parties. They start to form different realities essentially. Their perspective on what's going on in the world becomes further and further apart.

Niall: It becomes so divergent, it's a chasm.

Joe: And the problem is for a lot of Americans, they've been fed on that kind of a diet of simplistic, black and white analysis of any situation for a long time. So they have an appetite for it. That's the only thing they can really digest because they've been conditioned to only digest that. They only have the enzymes that will digest simplistic black and white news. It's kind of interesting. I'm not talking about just now, it's been going on a long time. I was just watching a video earlier on today where the former chief of staff Colin Powell was talking about Colin Powell's speech to the UN to justify the invasion of Iraq and he just made the comment that it had an effect. It didn't really have much effect on most people in Europe and in other parts of the world. But they realized that afterwards. When he thought it was a really shitty presentation, was very badly done. He was surprised a few days later to see that it did have a positive effect on a lot of Americans. But then he added that the reason maybe it did was because at that time, after 9/11 in particular, a lot of Americans who were hearing things about Iraq and Gaddafi and Iran and to the average American they were all the one person. They had no conception of who those people were. They were all the same. It was basically "The Middle East", just "everyone over there" basically. They could hear different names and different names of countries and leaders of countries, but it makes no difference whatsoever. It's like just one bogeyman. That's an example of how they had already, by 9/11, had been conditioned to want things or set things that were very simplistic in their narrative.

Pierre: They were primed. They were conditioned as you said, by years of previous propaganda.

Joe: Yeah.

Pierre: Another dividing factor between these two media approaches, is also the tone, the way the information is delivered. The content is different, as we said, there is nuanced, in-depth analysis versus simplistic slogans and also the emotional content, the tone leads to hysterization, I think appeals particularly to what Altemeyer described as authoritarian followers. A very good example is Adolph Hitler, how more by the tone, the emotional content than by the words I think, although I don't understand German much, he was able to get an emotional creep from the listeners and bring them into a very specific emotional state made of hysteria or high suggestibility, of identification, of shutting off any critical thinking.

Joe: Yeah, I think people today in many countries are primed in the same way.

Niall: Absolutely.

Joe: The same thing could happen again very easily.

Niall: It's international. Speaking of dynamic narratives, the ISIS people beheaded this Japanese Kenji Goto, just there today.

Joe: Yesterday.

Niall: God in heaven! Whatever about the actual reality of how it's actually playing out on the ground, what happened to this person, horrific no doubt, the media theme it's like here it goes again, just press play. Just upload this into Japan.

Joe: Yeah. And it worked because now Japan are going to join the fight against ISIS. Really? Is it that easy? That was one Japanese civilian. And because it was done publicly on TV and it comes on the heels of a series of these public beheadings, that's enough for Japan to join a war? One civilian? It doesn't matter that he was filmed and put on TV. It makes no difference really, ultimately. It's almost like they're just waiting for an excuse. The Japanese said "Well listen, we can't really join ISIS without some good reason, i.e., something to galvanize our population and get them a bit worked up. So let's kill one civilian." But really in the context of the massive death of human beings over the past number of years, in the Middle East in particular, one Japanese person - and not to be disrespectful - but it's not significant enough to get them into war unless the war is a pre-planned desire to be involved in that war. But Japan, of all places. It's almost as far from the Middle East as you can get.

Pierre: Like Pearl Harbour, like the Bay of Tonkin, like Reichstag, you really know their plan to some extent, but they need to some extent, at least the imprimatur of the people. So they have to prime and manipulate the people into accepting what is not acceptable. And this applies to decapitation, it applied to this Japanese individual and before to other westerners, hitting the stress again, the shift between the power of symbols, emotions, of hypermilitization and the shutoff of any objective thinking versus the other approach because those thousands of Palestinians dying, millions of Iraqis, it didn't affect westerners because the treatment of the information was totally different.

Niall: I saw a Japanese news footage, well anyone could have sent it, I think it was RT. They were filming a scene on a busy street in Tokyo and it shows the news as breaking or the news is playing that day about this guy's beheading. And they showed the horrific scene on massive TV screens on the streets, public TV screens and then there's a close up of two young guys walking by. There's this horrific play going on in the background on this huge TV screen and the two guys are laughing. One of them was sharing his phone. They were probably talking about sports or girls or something. And they're just laughing and they just casually, are completely oblivious. And yet of course they're not. They're aware this is going on, but this is playing into something subconscious, but they go on about their lives. It doesn't matter that they get riled up and hysterical. That's not the point. It comes on the back of all this other programming. So they can just glaze over. They don't need to sit and digest and actually think about it. That's not expected of them at all. You see what I'm getting at? It's weird. That scene just struck me as so freaky because you would think you would stop and go "God! That's awful!" But most of them don't even get to that point. And it all takes place in the concept of terror, the horror. "We're taking care of you."

Joe: It's kind of like trying to refine down an insult to the public body of a population. 9/11 was a very real and dramatic insult the world inflicted on the American people, a slap in the face for the American people or that's the way it's felt. You could see how you would have a groundswell of support for some kind of retaliation for this. But it's been refined down now to just one person from a single country and because of social media and international communications, you can make an entire population aware that this one national, and it's been talked about for a few weeks in advance, that he's Japanese and these bogeymen or these bad guys are going to kill this Japanese person because well they supposedly hate Japanese people and everybody's worked up into a state of "will he be freed, won't he be freed" and then "Oh he was killed". And there's a strong emotional aspect to it of identification with this person, me and they insulted Japan and they insulted the honour of the Japanese, type thing. And it's all just played up for them because in reality it's just one Japanese guy who was in a war zone and got killed. Explain it as it is in reality and it's totally insignificant in the context of thousands of people who have been killed. The fact that the Japanese, as I said, was in a war zone and he got killed. "Oh, it should have been a footnote. Japanese citizen died as a result of ongoing conflict in the Middle East."

Niall: But it became the chief drama.

Joe: But how did they then launch a war? It became a drama but it's used in that way and used to launch a war, something that should be a footnote in a newspaper and understandable in the context and not really meaningful to the Japanese people suddenly becomes the justification for the Japanese government to send its only aircraft carrier into battle. The whole thing is just bizarre.

Pierre: And what you mention is important. I think these weeks of agony amongst the public viewers, the public body, because when you look at it, this story has all the ingredients of a very good tragedy. You have the suspense, the build-up, the media will show pictures of the target, they will show pictures of the family, they will describe his life, how his life is similar to our lives, how innocent he is, how cruel the killers are. And there is this build up, suspense and drama until the conclusion, which is a dramatic, fully militarized. It's a perfect tragedy as you can find on the theater scene.

Joe: Well it also makes me wonder about something that has been consistent throughout the whole war on terror which is the rather feckless and self-defeating strategy used or implemented by these jihadist groups. You'd think that they would have learned by now that when you behead on camera and make a big scene of it in public and tell everybody that you're going to do this, that it simply provokes the ire of the country in question from where the person hales and the military retaliation against you. But it seems that this IS group's strategy is to provoke as many major nations of the world to send their armies to bomb the crap out of them. That's their battle strategy. That's how they're going to win, by getting as many militaries of major industrial countries in the world to come and bomb them.

Pierre: But if mainstream media has this point, which is a very valid point, they will deflect it or rationalize it and even take it to their advantage by saying "Yeah, but it's one more proof of what we say", barbaric, brainless murderers.

Joe: But I can go with that, but I would assume though expecting that the existence of a group like IS would be short-lived. And when you've got America, Britain, France, most of NATO and now Japan and Canada, etc. all with their sights trained on this group of what some people say is just maybe 10,000 armed fighters, it's got to be over pretty soon. Apparently at the same time the generals in the US are saying that these guys are going to be a threat for the perceived future, forever.

Niall: It's the beauty of dynamic narratives, emphasis on the key word "dynamic", is that ISIS can be shuffled away and this week you can have al-Qaeda and Yemen claim responsibility for the attacks in Paris and furthermore identify no longer the US as big Satan, now France is their primary target. So it's morphed, just pick your narrative, shake this one. As part of the statement, the Islamic State, the IS people, said they're setting up an English language group of fighters whose aim is to bring the terrorist organization spies to the west. They're planning this part of the battle strategy. Thankfully the US government has already warned us about it. They now want to launch a massive wave of terrorist attacks in English speaking countries.

Joe: That's America, Australia and the UK.

Niall: Yeah. And Canada presumably.

Joe: And Canada. Yeah, this al-Qaeda in Yemen...

Niall: It's liquid war.

Joe: in Yemen that took responsibility for the Paris attack has said that France has replaced the US as enemy number one because of the way they're treating Muslims. That's what they said.

Pierre: Fortunately there is a balance...

Niall: Yes because they've named France as the primary impetus behind the war on Islam.

Pierre: There is some balancing forces and Israel, Israeli leans towards French Jew individuals and has set an agency to help Jewish people who want to feel safe in France because of terrorism, to make their what they call Aliyah and join Israel, the safe place to fight terrorism and those major threats that looms over our heads. So fortunately there's some balancing power against terrorism. And the name of the program is called France First.

Niall: It's called?

Pierre: France First.

Niall: France First.

Pierre: And the major contributors to Aliyah, in the war in 2014 was France. So it's working and people are finding a safe haven.

Niall: At least some people will be. They'll be safe.

Pierre: Yeah.

Niall: Good. I want to bring up something that is bizarre but it's going to raise a few eyebrows. I'm going to read an article I found from 2009, British Independent. The article beings, "Imagine this scenario: a network of violent radicals is picking off the world's leaders one by one. They have killed the American President, the Russian head of state, the French President, the Austrian head of state and the Spanish Prime Minister. Bomb attacks are ripping through the world's richest cities. Explosions devastate Wall Street, the London underground, a theatre in Barcelona, cafes in Paris, parades in Moscow. The police profile of a typical bomber warrants "He walks to his death with courage and no regrets." There's widespread panic in government-launched programs of torture and deportation targeted at immigrant communities yet still the radicals watch defiantly across the world, killing as they go. They have only one end, they say, one science-destruction. It sounds like a feverish novel about how al-Qaeda set 30 years from now but it has already happened. This is a story from our past. In the late 19th and 20th centuries anarchist bombers did all this. They were prepared to die for their beliefs. They lived in the same places as today's Islamists which is White Chapel, Brooklyn, the Bronx and they struck the same targets of White Chapel and Londonderry. They struck the same targets like lower Manhattan on a clear September morning."

Joe: Yeah, but they didn't kill an American President.

Niall: Yes they did because Garvey - is that his name?

Joe: This is in the late...

Niall: Garfield.

Joe: In the late 18th and 19th century, is that it? Or late 19th and 20th century?

Niall: Late 19th and 20th. Over a period of 20 years there was the war on terror. It wasn't called the war on terror, but it was a distinct period leading up to the First World War in which violent radicals, extreme lefties, anarchists, detonated a bomb outside the Wall Street exchange.

Joe: Yeah. Some of them were more anarchists and stuff but it was all founded in a movement for workers; rights and against conditions in factories at that time, in the late 19th century when industrialization had really taken hold and people were being massed into factories under horrible working conditions. That was all very much associated with strikes.

Niall: I know. I'm sure the ideology was beautiful in places. My point is the actual result, make note of the fact that this all just disappeared more or less overnight. There was a certain window in which all these things happened and then it stopped. My point is that there's a historical relationship here where the results are essentially the same mass ideology behind it. And then it's dropped. I'm giving it away there, but I'm assuming that it's ultimately controlled by other forces to say that it's dropped. But it just stops and World War I happened. And there's been no more anarchal terrorist groups assassinating one leader after another, blowing up cafes in Paris and dropping bombs on Wall Street. There was a very discrete period in which the apparently coordinated way global terrorists and radical extremism was taking place. We've been here before folks, not that long ago.

Joe: Yeah, in terms of the concept maybe, but on a much smaller scale.

Niall: Smaller scale! They actually killed world leaders.

Joe: I know, but that is a smaller scale in terms of the war on terror today and the scope of it and what's being done in the name of it.

Niall: Well this is all a prelude to the Great War.

Joe: Yeah, it led up to that, but it wasn't the cause of it. You know what I'm saying?

Niall: Sure.

Joe: The analogy fits, but with limitations.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: But we don't want to go into conspiracy theories because that's...

Niall: I'm just noting the historical pattern.

Joe: Yeah.

Pierre: It's a no-no.

Joe: There's one conspiracy theory, I don't know if people would call it a conspiracy theory. It's just very recent history. Last year in Ukraine a lot of people suggested that the coup or the regime change, whatever you want to call it, the overthrow of the Yanukovych government in February last year, it's coming up on the anniversary, wasn't really people power. That it was effected by the west. There's a story just out today, from a couple of days ago, that Obama in an interview, openly admitted brokering transitioning power in Ukraine. He told CNN's Zacharaia that "Washington had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine following on the heels of the deadly protests in Maidan and Yanukovych then fleeing". This is what Obama said, that Washington's idea of governments or the agents had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.

The strange thing is, there had been a deal reached with European foreign ministers Yanukovych and the opposition leaders in Ukraine right at the same time as the sniper shootings were going on in central Kiev, near the Maidan. There was a deal there that at least in theory, met all of the demands of the protestors. Yanukovych effectively was resigning but was going to stay on until there would be early elections that year; they would revert to the 2004 Constitution, basically limiting his powers. So effectively he was just going to be a nominal head of state for a few more months and then he was gone. There was general elections and that is exactly what the protestors wanted and that deal was brokered with the Polish, French and another European foreign minister, along with Yanukovych and the opposition leaders like Yatsenyuk and Klitschko and Turkey Nose. That's not his real name but it's close enough.

So the strange is that what happened to that deal? Well what happened to that deal that should have gone through was that suddenly someone, in a concerted way, started shooting protestors and policemen. Snipers, just off Maidan started this campaign over a couple of days where they shot 100 people, shooting policemen and protestors and there's evidence from (I think) the Estonian foreign minister speaking to Catherine Ashton of the EU, in a taped telephone call, where he tells her that see has seen evidence or talked to someone in Ukraine, one of the surgeons or doctors in Ukraine who said that the bodies of these people who were shot, were all shot with the same calibre weapon essentially. Effectively, it looked very much like people who were shooting people on the Maidan, i.e., policemen and protestors, were the same people as opposed to two separate groups of people, one attacking the policemen and one attacking the protestors. It was one group of people attacking both of them.

And all of these deaths, these sniper shootings resulted in the ditching of that agreement that I just spoke about. And then the deal that Washington had brokered, the deal that I'm speaking of, because it was thrown out, so the deal that they brokered to transition power in Ukraine seems to have been some covert or unknown hidden deal that wasn't publicized, that used the shootings as justification for the speed with which former President Yanukovych was ousted. He didn't get a say in it. It was basically made pretty clear to him that he had to get the hell out of Ukraine. He would have been strung up or something. And then you had these right-wing kind of Nazi elements who were inducted into the transitional government, which wasn't really a transitional government because when they had elections later last year, the same people more or less stayed in power as were put into power, apparently the stewardship of Washington. And of course we have previous to that the Nuland/Pyatt call where she says "Fuck the EU". That's not the important point of what she said. The important point was that she "picked" Yanukovych as the Prime Minister and he became the Prime Minister.

So it's all very suspicious, to be honest. You've got to look at that with suspicion, particularly now with the admission from Obama that they brokered a deal. When you look at the details, it must have been some other deal that was much more like an external coup effectively because what the protestors in Maidan supposedly wanted was a democratic change in government. If it had to come to it, they might have had to have a violent coup, but apparently that's not what they wanted. They were in the streets protesting for a change of government and they got a change of government. But then that was changed in favour of this Washington deal that Obama said Washington brokered, which was much more like a coup because Yanukovych had to flee. There was no transition, no hand-over of power. This guy had to leave the country under fear of death. That's as close as you can get to him being shot and that's why he left, because he would have been shot. To me it looks like Obama is admitting that Washington was involved in a violent coup in Ukraine last year. He doesn't say it, but if you look at the details that's what it comes out as.

Niall: But the deal he was brokering was the one that they were going to sign on the 20th and then it never came to be because of what happened the next day.

Joe: But that's not what he thinks.

Niall: No.

Joe: The thing is, on the 19th, 20th of February there was a deal that had been in the process, brokered by European foreign ministers, France, Poland and someone else, with the opposition leaders and with Yanukovych. They all sat down and signed it together. And the deal was that Yanukovych would stay in power, that they'd revert to the 2004 Constitution, Yanukovych would call early elections and he wouldn't stand again as President, basically him saying "bye-bye" in a few months and gone, peacefully and democractically. But that was subverted and thrown out and tossed in the trash because of these shootings that happened right at the time of or just after they were signing it. And then a different transition of power came into effect, which was under the conditions of violence, murder and death by these snipers, who were shooting at both sides. And that was the actual transition to power. So the deal with the EU foreign ministers and Yanukovych and the opposition didn't happen. What happened was something else that wasn't really publicized but it seems to be that Obama is now saying that Washington brokered that deal.

Niall: Right.

Joe: Which ultimately caused transition of power which involved Yanukovych being forced to flee and, per Nuland's call, a government by Washington, by the state department was put into power. So you had no democracy, no democratic choice there. You had an unelected group of people put into power.

Niall: But Obama can plausibly claim that "Well I didn't see that coming. I helped broker this other deal that never came to be."

Joe: No, he didn't. That's the thing, he didn't. And there's no question. He can't claim that because that deal was brokered between European foreign ministers. That was an EU/Yanukovych...

Niall: Oh, he's talking about something else.

Joe: He's talking about Washington brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine following the protests on Maidan and Yanukovych then fleeing.

Niall: Okay.

Pierre: Because the official deal, you're saying, one brokered between three EU nations and Ukraine...

Joe: Yanukovych, yeah.

Pierre: ...but Washington was not involved.

Joe: No.

Pierre: So the one Obama is referring to is obviously another one. And the other one is the one that was implemented.

Joe: The one that was implemented was Yanukovych being forced to flee on pain of death and an unelected government...

Pierre: Coup.

Joe: ...being put into power. From February until later in 2014, those people making decisions, including the decision to wage war in eastern Ukraine, were not elected. The deal with the EU and Yanukovych that was subverted because of the sniper fire, was a deal that would have been democratic at least because it would have maintained the current government, maintained the then-government, maintained the President-then Yanukovych, until elections could be held.

Pierre: So while Ukrainian authority and European authority agreed on the rather soft and democratic transition, in the background Washington and some elements in Ukraine probably...

Joe: Had other plans, a violent coup.

Pierre: ...prepared to get a softer transition.

Joe: That's a reasonable conclusion from it. That's the data that is available.

Pierre: I understand the reasoning.

Niall: The dynamic narrative in Ukraine took a bit of a hit this week when the Ukrainian chief of staff went on record as saying there were no Russian troops.

Pierre: It's a very dynamic narrative, it's variable geometry.

Niall: He made a back track.

Pierre: Changing weeks after weeks.

Niall: He made a back track and said that there may be some in the second echelon. I don't know what that means.

Pierre: What is the second echelon?

Niall: Clearly somebody told him he's an idiot. Apparently he then had to go back on TV, on Poroshenko's own TV station which he owns and make a...

Pierre: Apology?

Niall: Make a qualifying statement. "We didn't see any. Doesn't mean there's none."

Pierre: Yeah, it must have been difficult because from what you say it was a pretty clear statement "There is no Russian troops on Ukrainian ground".

Joe: You need Donald Rumsfeld in here to qualify that with "there are unknown knowns...
Rumsfeld: There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."

Reporter: Excuse me, but is this an unknown unknown?

Rumsfeld: I'm not...

Reporter: There are several unknown and I'm just wondering if...

Rumsfeld: I'm not going to say which it is.
Joe: Because I don't know. It's an unknown.

Pierre: But he knows that he doesn't know.

Joe: That's very important. That's US foreign policy right there. That's their summation of it.

Niall: Poroshenko's promised for Ukraine to be entirely energy independent within two years.

Joe: Promises, promises.

Niall: Not six days after he said that Chevron has decided to pull out of both Poland and Ukrainian prospective gas, shale, fracking projects because the prospect looked a bit bleak. Ya think!?

Joe: There's the master of understatement right there. Yeah, speaking of Ukraine, they're waging their anti-terrorist operations again, or they've reignited it on full speed ahead of bombing and shelling of various different places in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to subdue I suppose, to force the Ukrainian people to submit to central rule from Kiev, when that's apparently what most of them want. And they're willing to carry on. It sounds a bit optimistic, but the Ukrainian government is reintroducing a draft or the re-surge of a draft, basically where they hope to, in the course of this year, recruit 100,000 soldiers.

Niall: Poland might be too.

Joe: Might be introducing the draft?

Niall: "Poland to launch a civilian military training. They're calling up 40,000 reserves this year to take part in exercises." Actually ironically, it's an old Soviet program where they offer training to regular civilians and keep a kind of reserve-reserve force.

Joe: Well that's one thing, to call up your reserves, but what Ukraine is doing is just dragging people off the streets with no military experience whatsoever, putting a gun in their hands, sending them down to the cauldron.

Pierre: Sixteen years old. As young as 16 years old. Cannon fodder.

Joe: Apparently a lot of people of military age in Ukraine are just leaving and who could blame them with that kind of an ultimatum?
Gold? Russia has increased its gold purchases by 122 percent.

Pierre: Yeah.

Joe: It's bought a record amount of gold in the first 11 months of 2014.

Recording: Excellent!

Joe: Russia's gold purchases accounted for one-third of the world's total according to research.

Pierre: And the rest is China. And actually it got even better in 2015 because the purchase rate constituted an increase in central China (audio dropped)

Tim: Hi guys. It looked like they dropped their connection again. So in the meantime we'll play a little clip here. We will let Samwise Gamgee tell us what we're all doing.

I do understand. I know now. Hope in those stories. Had lots of chances at turning back only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding onto something.

Joe: We're back. Sorry we got cut off there folks. I don't know Sam. There's some Lord of the Rings there to keep you entertained. Very good. So physical gold. Someone in the chat room was asking. Yes, that's physical gold. It is hard, hard cash. (Laughter) Literally hard cash. Hard gold is hard cash. So maybe the Russians have a good idea. Buy some gold. Maybe everybody should buy some gold.

Pierre: Yeah. They've been buying about 30 tons a week in 2014. So more than double compared to 2013, one-third of the world's production, the rest being bought by China. Actually the total China plus Russia exceeds the total world production. And it gets even better in 2015 where China jumped from 50 tons a week in 2014 to 70 tons a week in 2015. So it keeps increasing. And what is interesting is that the repatriation process is accelerating, especially from the US and UK to the Netherlands and Germany. So these repatriation processes that are spread over years, every month the Netherlands and Germany are getting about five-to-ten tons. I don't know if you remember in a previous show I mentioned this major commodity trader, number five in the world, who closed its physical gold offices because it was "unable to find a reliable source of reliable gold". And commentators expressed at the time, were puzzled by this commentary, what they're hearing about all these tungsten-coated bars and gold that would not be owned by the one who's selling and some national reserves being sold without the owning nations being informed about it.

And actually Germany during this repatriation process mentioned a very similar remark, saying that they are double-checking and they conducted a thorough examination of the gold bars coming from the US, suggesting again, that they have strong suspicions of some gold-coated tungsten bars circulating on the gold world market.

Joe: Yeah, watch out when you're buying gold. Make sure it's the real thing. The best way to determine that is to just bite it.

Niall: Yeah, because it could be a chocolate bar with gold wrapping.

Recording: I'd buy that for a dollar!

Joe: Yeah, I'd buy that for a dollar. It's a pity gold wasn't being sold for a dollar. Anyway, we're going to leave it there for this week folks. Thanks to all of our listeners and to our chatters. We will be back next week with another show, some witty repartee and lots of useful information. So until then, bye-bye from all of us.

Pierre: Have a nice week.

Niall: Bye-bye. See you next week.