Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 22 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters


'Brutal aggression': Venezuela halts talks with opposition after envoy extradited to US

Saab wall art
© Ariana Cubillos/AP
Colombian businessman and Venezuelan special envoy Alex Saab, has been put on a plane to the US to face money laundering charges.
Venezuela's government is halting negotiations with its opponents in retaliation for the extradition to the US of a close ally of president Nicolás Maduro, who prosecutors believe could be the most significant witness ever about corruption in the South American country.

Jorge Rodríguez, who has been heading the government's delegation, said his team wouldn't travel to Mexico City for the next scheduled round of negotiations.

The announcement capped a tumultuous day that saw Colombian-born businessman Alex Saab placed on a US-bound plane in Cape Verde after a 16-month fight by Maduro and his allies, including Russia, who consider Saab a Venezuelan diplomat.

The Venezuelan government in September named Saab - who was arrested in June 2020 when his plane stopped in Cape Verde to refuel - as a member of its negotiating team in talks with the opposition in Mexico, where the two sides are looking to solve their political crisis.

Rodriguez, reading from a statement, called the decision to suspend negotiations
"an expression of our deepest protest against the brutal aggression against the person and the investiture of our delegate Alex Saab Moran".
The leadership of Venezuela's opposition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Comment: "That the U.S. can engineer the arrest of a diplomat - someone who has immunity by international law even in the time of war - is a dangerous precedent. That the arrest was extraterritorial is worse, especially because Saab is an ambassador to the African Union."

See also:


Pentagon offers unspecified 'condolence payments' for 7 Afghan children & aid worker murdered in botched drone strike

Drone strike site
© Global Look Press/Xinhua/Saifurahman Safi
Site of a US drone strike killing 10 civilians including 7 children
Kabul, Afghanistan • September 18, 2021
The US military is offering "condolence payments" to a family in Afghanistan after a badly planned drone strike killed 10 civilians, including seven children, in the country's capital in August, though did not provide any numbers.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby revealed the offer on Friday, stating that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a "commitment" to the Akhmadi family for compensation following the August 29 drone strike, "including offering ex gratia condolence payments" and State Department assistance in relocating family members to the United States.

The offer was raised during a virtual meeting between Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl and Dr. Steven Kwon, who employed one of the Akhmadis killed in the strike at his US-based aid organization, Nutrition & Education International, long active in Afghanistan. Kirby went on:
"Kahl noted that the strike was a tragic mistake and that Mr. Zemari Akhmadi and others who were killed were innocent victims who bore no blame and were not affiliated with ISIS-K or threats to US forces."

Comment: The Biden administration's handling of this massacre was appalling and the compensation for these victims, including thousands of similar situations going back to Obama's reign of terror, is a travesty of the highest order, shameful beyond words.

See also:

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: ‌Zero Carbon - Zero Covid: The Reckless and Extremist Ideologies at the Heart of Government

zero covid carbon
© Sott.net
Before 'Zero Covid' surfaced as the apparent goal of governments in the 'War Against The Virus', 'Zero Carbon' had become their goal in the 'War Against Climate Change'. What is up with this strange 'zeroing in' on the primary carbon source for life on Earth, and an ubiquitous and statistically benign coronavirus? How and why did governments decide that completely eradicating man-made CO2 would 'make the world a better place'?

Likewise with SARS-CoV-2, a virus that has likely by now infected and interacted with a majority of people on the planet, can we not adapt to live with it rather than upend our economies to 'eradicate it? Why such 'final solutions' to relatively minor factors in a complex ecosystem?

In this NewsReal, Joe and Niall discuss the extreme ideas eating away at the social fabric of global society.

** Podcast begins at 02:27 **

Running Time: 01:40:04

Download: MP3 — 68.7 MB


The Idiot Box: How TV Hypnotizes You

Idiot Box
© Corbett Report
You can tell a lot about an item by the nicknames we give it. So what do our nicknames for the television tell us about that device?

"The idiot box."

"The boob tube."

"The tell-lie-vision."

It doesn't take a super sleuth to puzzle this one out. From the very inception of commercial television in the 1950s — when the phrase "boob tube" was first coined to lament the dumbing-down effect that the device was presumed to be having on the populace — to the zenith of the TV's cultural hegemony in the late 20th century, fears about the television's ability to create zombified couch potatoes out of its passive audience have been ever-present.

It's no coincidence that the 2006 comedy (or should that be docudrama?), Idiocracy, introduces its viewers to the eponymous future idiocracy — in which the intelligence of the population has declined to shockingly low levels — by showing a junk food-ingesting "lawyer" in the midst of enjoying the hit television show of the year 2505, Ow! My Balls! It's also no coincidence that the same movie sees protagonist Private Joe Bauers formulating a plan for heading off the development of this idiocracy by encouraging people to read books rather than watch TV.

We all know the trope: television makes you dumb, lazy and passive, and (by implication) it renders you susceptible to the lies and manipulations of those who create the TV programming. But is it true?

As it turns out, not only are concerns about the content and the presentation of TV programming well-founded, but there is an even darker side to the device than is commonly realized. There is ample research to suggest that the TV is actually designed to send you into a trance-like state that lowers your cognitive defences against the lies the TV networks (and their corporate owners) are attempting to push on their docile audience.

In order to understand this neglected part of the television story, we first have to reconsider the advent of commercial radio in the 1920s and the civilization-altering effects it wrought on the world in the 1930s.

Light Saber

China's successful hypersonic missile test in August takes US by surprise

china missile
© Zhang Haichao
China surprised U.S. officials by testing a new hypersonic missile in August that went around the globe before it made its way toward the intended target, a new report says.

China had made "astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than U.S. officials realized," two people told the Financial Times Saturday, with another source adding he or she was unsure how China was able to accomplish it.

The country has tested 79 missiles so far, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. Five people with knowledge of the launch told the outlet that the missile flew in low orbit before going down toward its target, which it missed by 24 miles.

Comment: Commentary from Twitter about the missile test:

Putin jokes about the state of US tech with a journalist saying that no, Russian's are not developing Mach 3 technology, because they're already at Mach 20:

See also: And check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Why You Should Question Media Reports About China 'Causing Covid' And 'Invading Taiwan'


Biden says number of unvaccinated Americans 'unacceptably high' insists mandate 'working'

© Flickr-LBJ Library/Public Domain
US President Joe Biden
President Biden on Thursday said the number of unvaccinated Americans still remains "unacceptably high," but insisted that his administration's vaccine requirements for the federal workforce and private employers are "working" to ensure more individuals receive shots to protect against COVID-19.

During remarks from the White House Thursday, the president touted his administration's "progress" in the "fight against the virus."
"We're making progress nationally. Daily cases are down 47%, hospitalizations are down 38% over the past six weeks. Over the past two weeks, most of the country has improved as well. Case rates are declining in 39 states and hospital rates declining in 38 states."
The president, though, said there "is still an unacceptably high number of unvaccinated people."

"Now's not the time to let up. We have a lot more to do," the president said, adding that the U.S. is "in a very critical period as we work to turn the corner on COVID-19."

Comment: As the worm turns...Pushback from the commentators highlight Biden's 'bait and switch' covid policy.

Comment: Such a deal! Coercion, mandates, punishment, ridicule, censorship.


'Democracy is being tested': Polish PM hits out at Brussels, claiming it infringes on rights of member states

PM and flags
© KPRM/Reuters/Kacper Pempel/KJN
Poland PM Mateusz Morawiecki • Flags EU and Poland
Poland's prime minister has lashed out with accusations that EU institutions impede on the rights of its member nations following a ruling by the country's Constitutional Tribunal that Warsaw's laws reign supreme over Brussels'.

Speaking to the Polish parliament on Thursday, Mateusz Morawiecki proclaimed"
"We are at a crucial moment, you could say at a crossroads in the EU's history. Democracy is being tested - how far will European nations retreat before this usurpation by some EU institutions."
Morawiecki's accusations come as he is due to appear before the European Parliament next week to defend Poland's case after a landmark court verdict found Warsaw's constitution took primacy over EU laws.

The inquiry, which had been requested by Morawiecki to determine whether Brussels could stop the country from reorganizing its judiciary, concluded last week that some areas of EU Treaty articles are incompatible with Warsaw's laws and subordinate to Poland's constitution.

The ruling found that the country not only has the right to check the constitutionality of EU laws, but also rulings made by its Court of Justice.

Comment: Shackles come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Walk away or find the one you least hate.

See also:

Star of David

Russia says Israel used 2 civilian airliners as cover to carry out Syria strike

Russian Tu-22M3 bomber
© AP/Russia Defense Ministry
Russian Tu-22M3 bomber
A Russian general on Thursday said that Syrian air defenses did not engage Israeli jets that reportedly carried out a strike in central Syria because there were two civilian airliners in the air at the time.

A Britain-based war monitor said the alleged Israeli airstrike in central Syria killed nine pro-government fighters, four of them Syrians and five of undetermined nationality.

Syrian Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit told the Sputnik news site that the strike was carried out by four Israeli F-16 jets:
"The Syrian military leadership decided not to use air defense systems since at the time of the Israeli aviation attack, two civilian passenger aircraft were in the zone of destruction of the anti-aircraft systems."
Russia has repeatedly accused Israel of using civilian aircraft as a "shield" against Syrian air defenses, amid lingering anger over a case in 2018, when the Syrian military shot down a Russian spy plane while responding to an Israeli strike over Syrian airspace.

Comment: Israel appropriates whatever it needs:

See also:
'Treacherous': Israeli air force used Syrian civilian airliners as cover for Christmas Day attack on Damascus

People 2

School group that urged Attorney General's anti-parent initiative has ties to Democrats, Unions

Garland and deps
© Alex Wong/Getty Images
AG Merrick Garland and deputies at a Justice Department press conference
The National School Boards Association, which urged the Biden administration to use federal law enforcement to investigate parents who speak out on local education matters as potential domestic terrorists, has political ties to the Democratic Party and labor unions. The national association represents members of locally elected school boards, which usually are officially nonpartisan, and is a federation of state school board associations.

Although most funding for the National School Boards Association comes from state school boards, the National Education Association — the nation's largest teachers union and a major donor to Democrat candidates — contributed in the past two years.

The teachers union contributed $68,000 to the national association in 2020 and $50,000 in 2019, according to union reports to the Labor Department. Each contribution is a relatively tiny portion of the association's annual $19.2 million in revenue and $17.2 million in expenses.

Leaders of the National School Boards Association, established in 1949, also have worked for and contributed to Democrat politicians.


Slovenia's presidency has been a disaster for the EU, shining a light on the 'West v the rest' cultural divide like never before

© AFP/Stephanie Lecocq
Slovenia's PM Janez Jansa
Western European countries are counting the days until Janez Janša's reign as Council of EU president comes to an end. His time in the role has perfectly illustrated the massive differences that exist between the member states.

Since June, Slovenia has held the six-month presidency of the Council of the EU, which is fitting - or one could say ironic - because it coincides with the 30-year anniversary of the country's independence.

The rotating nature of the presidency is meant to project a sense of unity and altruism; a statement that the European Union is a shared venture between willing and cooperating member states who hold the same values.

However, Slovenia's presidency has done no such thing. Indeed, all it has achieved until now is to shine a light on the differences that exist between Eastern and Western Europe. Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Janša has been a constant thorn in the side of the EU recently, and one suspects that Brussels cannot wait until his six-month term comes to an end on December 31.

The Slovenian presidency was not greeted with much enthusiasm in Brussels in the first place, as Janša was viewed as too authoritarian and populist, which is something the EU despises most of all.