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Mon, 02 Aug 2021
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Puppet Masters


The Roadmap to Totalitarianism

Berlin Protesters and Police
© Off-Guardian
People can tell themselves that they didn't see where things have been heading for the last 17 months, but they did. They saw all the signs along the way. The signs were all written in big, bold letters, some of them in scary-looking Germanic script.


I'm not going to show you all those signs out again. People like me have been pointing them out, and reading them out loud, for 17 months now. Anyone who knows anything about the history of totalitarianism, how it incrementally transforms society into a monstrous mirror image of itself, has known since the beginning what the "New Normal" is, and we have been shouting from the rooftops about it.

We have watched as the New Normal transformed our societies into paranoid, pathologized, authoritarian dystopias where people now have to show their "papers" to see a movie or get a cup of coffee and publicly display their ideological conformity to enter a supermarket and buy their groceries.

We have watched as the New Normal transformed the majority of the masses into hate-drunk, hysterical mobs that are openly persecuting "the Unvaccinated," the official "Untermenschen" of the New Normal ideology.

We have watched as the New Normal has done precisely what every totalitarian movement in history has done before it, right by the numbers. We pointed all this out, each step of the way. I'm not going to reiterate all that again.

I am, however, going to document where we are at the moment, and how we got here ... for the record, so that the people who will tell you later that they "had no clue where the trains were going" will understand why we no longer trust them, and why we regard them as cowards and collaborators, or worse.

Star of David

Will Israel stop playing and breaking its teeth in the 'Axis of Resistance' playground?

Mercer Street ship
© Press TV
Drone target
A Romanian Captain and a British security officer were killed by a suicide drone attack on the M/T Mercer Street oil tanker - a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned ship that is part of the Zodiac Group of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer- sailing from Tanzania towards the United Arab Emirates. The first attack on the tanker caused only material damage but was followed by a second attack where the command and control tower was hit to cause human casualties. Al-Alam TV said the attack responded to an Israeli attack on al-Dab'aa airport in Syria where Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah were killed and wounded. Therefore, the Israeli attack represents a change of the Rule of Engagement (ROE), violating the limit of acceptance in the ongoing conflict and pushing Iran to start a "campaign between wars," expected to increase in intensity in the future. What is shocking to Israel is that, for the first time, Iran showed how linked all theaters are and how an Israeli hit is met with an unexpected response in the Oman Sea.

Israel had carried out over a thousand strikes against targets in Syria during the decade of war against the Syrian army and targets belonging to the "Axis of the Resistance." However, Israel's only objective result was to enlarge the influence of the "Axis of the Resistance" in the Levant - that won the destructive war and defeated the Takfiri groups (ISIS and al-Qaeda) and the different Syrian groups supported by [Persian] Gulf and western countries. The "Axis of the Resistance" enlarged and consolidated its influence on Iraq and Yemen, forming a robust front against Israel and its allies.


NYT lies about Trump again with claim he pushed DOJ to declare election 'corrupt'

© Unknown
US Capitol • Former President Donald Trump
On Friday, The New York Times claimed it had obtained the handwritten notes from a post-election meeting between then-President Donald Trump and acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. Those notes, according to the Times, reveal that when Donoghue "warned that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election," Trump "replied that he did not expect that." "'Just say that the election was corrupt + leave he rest to me' and to congressional allies," the Times reported Donoghue's handwritten notes as stating.

However, a review of the notes from that December 27, 2020 meeting, provided by the Biden administration to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and posted on the latter's webpage, expose the Times as once again a purveyor of fake news.

While the Times claimed the above exchange occurred during a phone call in which Trump "pressed" Rosen and Donoghue "on voter fraud claims that the department had disproved," the "just say that the election was corrupt" comment came in an entirely different portion of the discussion, the handwritten notes establish.

Green Light

UN greenlights big tech mega-database to censor Americans deemed 'extremists'

Hand Keypad
© Pexels/Soumil Kumar
A Big Tech-led group is using its influence and power to broaden its shared censorship database to curb "extremist content" and collect video and images deemed white supremacist, according to Reuters. The expansion comes after the group "took on renewed urgency" after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which Democrats and tech giants continue to use as an excuse to justify suppression.

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube, tech oligarchs trigger-happy to deplatform political dissidents, founded the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in 2017 in what they labeled "a new collective effort to prevent the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online."

Initially, the organization claimed to focus its efforts on rounding up content from terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State and the Taliban as designated by the United Nations, but now the monopolies running GIFCT are using their oligarch power to crack down on dissidents of their elitist agenda.

Just five years after its founding, GIFCT is expanding its database to include "white supremacist" content as determined by the United Nation's Tech Against Terrorism project and intelligence groups such as Five Eyes. According to Reuters, the database will include "attacker manifestos — often shared by sympathizers after white supremacist violence" as well as links and material from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and other "neo-Nazi" groups that are identified and then censored or removed by social media platforms.

Comment: Tyranny and extremism - two sides of the same coin.


Russia closes Syrian skies for Israel

Light in sky
© unknown
Lighting up the sky
For a long time, Russia and Israel avoided clashes in Syria, where their interests overlap. After Moscow introduced its forces into Syrian territory in 2015, it took into account Israeli interests related to the security of the Jewish state. Israel appreciated Russia's position and tried to make the best of the situation by avoiding clashes of Russian-Israeli interests in Syria. Moreover, Israel used Russia's military intervention in Syria to reach military and political understanding with Moscow, knowing full well that Russia will play an influential role in the region only if it can find a balance between the interests of its allies on the one hand and Israel as a regional power on the other.

However, it is no secret that Israel has recently gone too far in pursuing its interests in Syria, which has led the Russian side to regard Tel Aviv's behavior there as irresponsible. Let's recall the beginning of the year when the Israeli side launched several missile strikes against Syria, including against an Iranian military facility near a Russian military outpost, causing some damage to Russia. At the same time, the coordination introduced earlier between Israeli and Russian forces did not work efficiently: Tel Aviv informed Moscow of the strike only minutes before it struck, which prevented Moscow from withdrawing its forces from the area, thus endangering them.

Light Sabers

Danish military analyst warns Europe at risk of new wave of refugees over civil war in Afghanistan

Afghan women
© AP Photo / Mariam Zuhaib
Afghan women walk on the road during the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, May 13, 2021
According to David Vestenskov, the withdrawal of Western forces and the advance of the Taliban leaves the country with bleak prospects that include a fundamentalist Islamist regime or a complete chaos and a civil war in the already war-torn country.

The Taliban's advances in Afghanistan after the West's withdrawal is currently sending thousands of Afghans fleeing westward, David Vestenskov, a Defence Academy chief consultant who has been monitoring the situation in Afghanistan for ten years, told Danish Radio.

"Afghans are fleeing because the system that has been built over the past 20 years is being phased out," he ventured. "The West chose to withdraw without any political agreements or prospects for political agreements. That leaves a security vacuum," he said, predicting that will be exploited not only by the Taliban, but by numerous ethnic groups.


The Trap is Set - The Hour is Late - Let us Prepare for Battle

spider web
We are now a year-and-a-half into what may well be the most insidious agenda ever in human history. It is no exaggeration to say that through mass psychological terror waged upon whole populations, millions of people have agreed to things being done to them, on the basis that they were for their good, but which were a trap from which — barring the grace of God — escape is nigh on impossible.

Let's rid ourselves of the idea that any of what has happened over the last 18 months has been about a public health issue. Had Governments and media not constantly told you that there was a deadly pandemic around, you'd never have noticed. In 1967/8, when a virus with a similar Infection Fatality Rate hit the world, people knew there was a bad flu about, but that was that. Yet through the absurd idea that our virus has some magical properties which means it can be transmitted by those who have no symptoms, a level of fear and hysteria was created that was inversely proportional to the actual threat from a virus with a 99.98% survival rate.

But what about the deaths? The first thing to say is that all-cause mortality in most countries was not out of the ordinary last year. In England, age standardised, all-cause mortality factoring in population growth was about the same as 2008. As for the deaths from/with Covid-19, not only was the way these were counted utterly misleading, something far more sinister occurred. Effective treatments, which could have prevented up to 85% of deaths, were deliberately suppressed and censored, whilst medicines such as Midazolam and Remdesivir, which can cause respiratory problems, were given to people with the Covid-pneumonia respiratory illness. Suppression of treatments and allocation of entirely the wrong medication are why the official Covid death numbers are so high.

Russian Flag

Beloved of 'Russia-watchers', the now discredited book 'Putin's People' exposes everything wrong with Western reporting on Moscow

Putin's People
© Sputnik; Amazon
Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia; (inset) "Putin's People" by Catherine Belton.
Having pored over former Financial Times reporter Catherine Belton's book, 'Putin's People', it's hard to be surprised it is now causing her legal problems. More surprising is that it was published like this in the first place.

Despite being picked up by a major American publishing house, the Rupert Murdoch-owned HarperCollins, Belton displayed a profound lack of journalistic judgement in how she conducted the research behind her explosive claims. And that's coming back to bite her.

In one lawsuit brought by Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven, the Russian founders of one of Moscow's largest financial institutions, Alfa Bank, a settlement was reached last week. HarperCollins agreed to amend and edit parts of the book asserting that the pair of businessmen essentially had sponsorship from the KGB when they embarked on their entrepreneurial careers. According to the agreement, the publishers admitted the claims made in the book were unsubstantiated.

Another case, brought by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is ongoing. It challenges assertions that he bought Chelsea Football Club in the UK at the behest of none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

In the purported expose, Sergei Pugachev, the named source for this claim, said that, "Putin personally told me of his plan to acquire the Chelsea Football Club in order to increase his influence and raise Russia's profile, not only with the elite but with ordinary British people." Belton buttressed this claim with an unnamed source she referred to as "a Russian tycoon and a former Abramovich associate" who told her that "Putin had directed Abramovich to buy the club."

Bizarro Earth

Israel to take offensive action against Iran with blessing of US & UK following drone attack on tanker, despite no proof Iran was responsible

Zodiac Maritime tanker
© Johan Victor/Handout via REUTERS
The Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned Liberian-flagged tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime that was attacked off Oman coast as seen in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2016 in this picture obtained from ship tracker website, MarineTraffic.com. Picture taken January 2, 2016.
Two crew members of an oil tanker managed by a prominent Israeli businessman's company were killed off Oman in what appears to be a drone attack, the vessel's London-based operator and the US military said Friday, with Israel blaming Iran.

Tehran is "sowing violence and destruction", an Israeli official said.

The Islamic Republic "is not only Israel's problem, but it is the world's problem. Its behaviour threatens the freedom of navigation and global commerce", the official added.

Comment: There's absolutely no reason to believe that statement; lest we forget that it's the US & its allies that have enforced starvation sanctions on Iran.

Comment: Al Jazeera reports that Iran rejects the baseless claims by Israel, the US, and the UK, that it was behind the attack:
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned the allegations during a virtual news conference on Sunday, saying this was not the first time Israel has made such claims.

"Wherever this regime has gone, it has brought with itself insecurity, terror and violence. Those responsible [for this attack] are the ones that allowed the Israeli regime to set foot in this region," he said.

"Whoever sows wind will reap a storm," Khatibzadeh said, adding that Iran will defend its national security wherever necessary.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, have alleged Iran was behind the hit but have yet to provide evidence.

"I just heard that Iran, in a cowardly manner, is trying to shirk responsibility for the event. They are denying this. I determine, with absolute certainty: Iran carried out the attack against the ship," Bennett said at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, as posted on the Israeli PM's Twitter account.

And the PM of an apartheid state thinks we should just trust him?

"The intelligence evidence for this exists and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake. In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way."

US State Secretary Anthony Blinken said on Sunday he was "confident" Iran conducted the attack using armed drones.

"There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behaviour," he said in a statement, adding that the US is consulting with governments in and beyond the region on an "appropriate response".

In a statement published on Sunday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was "highly likely" Iran attacked the tanker in international waters with one or more drones.

"We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted and a clear violation of international law by Iran," he said. "Iran must stop such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law."

Foes Iran and Israel have frequently accused each other over the years of attacks on interests, vessels and nuclear facilities. But their years-long enmity has intensified in recent months as world powers try to salvage Iran's 2015 nuclear deal which, if successful, would lift harsh US sanctions on Iran.

Herein we find another clue: blaming Iran for this attack will further any attempt to sabotage the nuclear deal and thus sanctions on Iran can continue.

The incident involving the Mercer Street took place days before Ebrahim Raisi is due to be inaugurated as Iran's eighth president on Thursday. The hardline judge has promised to work to restore the accord, unilaterally abandoned by the US in 2018, but the fate of the deal is still unclear as several key issues remain unsolved.

A seventh and potentially final round of talks in Austria's capital, Vienna, is expected to commence soon after Raisi assumes office.

Observers expect Iran and the US to be at odds over which sanctions should be lifted and how, and how Tehran needs to scale back its nuclear programme that has significantly expanded after the US abandonment of the nuclear deal.
Sputnik reports that, despite the absence of any verifiable evidence, and without consulting the international community, the US and UK have agreed that Israel should take (yet more) action against Iran:
According to the report, Israeli officials are currently discussing how and when to respond, with possibilities arising that an Iranian port or a military ship could be targeted.

Israel also plans to share additional intelligence with other countries in the region to "bring condemnation" on Iran. It is noted, however, that Tel Aviv believes the deaths of the two sailors in the attack were not intentional.

According to the State Secretary, Iran allegedly used "one-way explosive UAVs" in the attack.
Images of the damaged tanker have emerged:
Photos from the Mercer Street oil tanker that was attacked off the coast of Oman earlier in the week have emerged online, showing what is described as damage done on the ship's bridge.
The pictures were shared by a reporter for Israeli Channel 10, who echoed claims that Iran was behind the attack, asserting that the explosion that killed a British security guard and a Romanian crew member was made by an Iranian Shahed drone.
See also:

Wine n Glass

DC Democratic mayor caught partying without face mask after enacting new mask mandate

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.
© Getty Images
Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.
When Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) of Washington, D.C., announced this week she was enacting a face mask mandate in the nation's capital, questions immediately arose over why the mandate would not take effect until days later.

After all, if COVID-19 transmission is serious enough to warrant another face mask mandate, should it not take effect immediately?

That question may have found its answer Friday night.

What is the background?

Bowser announced Thursday that people in the nation's capital, regardless of vaccination status, would be required to wear face masks indoors beginning 5 a.m. Saturday.

"We will continue to do what is necessary to keep D.C. safe," Bowser said. She did not explain why the mandate would take effect two days after her announcement.

What may explain the gap?

Photos surfaced on Saturday purportedly showing Bowser celebrating her birthday, which is Aug. 2. The photos show attendees, including the mayor and comedian Dave Chappelle, not wearing face masks.

Comment: She just can't stop. This photo was taken Saturday, the day the mask mandate went into effect:

Obama doesn't seem to believe his own rhetoric either: