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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
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Obnoxious, Arrogant, Imperial America in Syria

us troops syria
© AP Photo/ Hammurabi's Justice News
Leveraging core competencies, one jihadist at a time: US troops somewhere in northeastern Syria, July 2017.
When the US govt./deep state first decided that 'regime change' was necessary in Syria (circa 2006) - primarily as a way to hem in Iran - it decided (along with its Gulf allies and Israel) to use a proxy force of tens of thousands of jihadist mercenaries along with Kurdish factions to do the fighting with US-supplied weapons and training. The goal was to destroy the Syrian military, overthrow the democratically-elected Assad government and install a vassal administration. Cover for this imperial conquest was provided by initiating a 'color revolution' in 2011 that had little support among the Syrian people - Western media propaganda notwithstanding - and from there launch their proxy war.

By the summer of 2015 the project was close to achieving its aims; the Syrian Arab Army was severely pressed and on the brink of defeat. But in late September 2015, the Russian military intervened in the conflict and, over the last two years, routed Western-backed proxy forces and turned the tide decisively in favor of the Syria Arab Army, securing the Assad government in the process. One would have thought that having had its plans thwarted in Syria, the USA would bow out gracefully, but we're talking about the 'exceptional nation' here, which neither knows nor recognizes defeat.

Cookies

Bullshit For Breakfast: Kellogg's Processed Breakfast Cereal Health Claims Are Reasonably Unbelievable

Special K advertisement

I feed my unborn baby heat-treated extruded grain slurry with added low quality folic acid because advertising.
Sometimes you just have to marvel at the lies we're surrounded by. The number of untruths proffered by advertising is so blatant that it's rather astounding that it isn't illegal. Well, technically it is illegal, but it seems advertisers are well aware of ways around the rules, or simply break them until they're called out.

In a previous piece, I detailed a lawsuit filed against Coca-Cola by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) for claims the company had made for their product "Vitaminwater," a sugary soft drink masquerading as a health beverage. In the legal proceedings, Coke's lawyers argued that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage." Essentially, Coca-Cola's stance is that if you're stupid enough to believe them, that's too bad for you, and that it is within their rights to lie, exaggerate or otherwise skew the truth about their product in advertising it to the public because there's no risk of anyone reasonably believing it.

Since the writing of that piece, the suit has been resolved. From CSPI:
The agreement approved yesterday by Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York bars Coca-Cola from making those health claims in connection with Vitaminwater, as well as such statements as "vitamins + water = what's in your hand," "vitamins + water = all you need," and "this combination of zinc and fortifying vitamins can... keep you healthy as a horse." The company will also prominently add the words "with sweeteners" on two places on the label where the brand's name appears.
How about 'vitamins + water + sugar + hype = soda - bubbles'? Can they put that on the bottle? That seems reasonable.

Road Cone

California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?

oprah mudflow

Oprah Winfrey surveys the damage from the mudflow on her property in Montecito, southern California
13 years to the day since the La Conchita landslide killed 10 people following a deluge, the same stretch of southern California between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles was hit with another deluge that produced instant and devastating mudflows. With the area torched by the Thomas Wildfire the preceding month, the heavy rain that fell on 9-10 January produced instant run-off from higher ground that washed away everything in its path, all the way down to the ocean.

As more dead bodies are found in the disaster zone, local authorities have gradually increased the death toll - which currently stands at 20 - while they report that another 8 people remain missing. The surge also injured about 200 people and destroyed or damaged about 500 homes in Montecito, Santa Barbara County - located just a few kilometers from La Conchita - and washed out a 30-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway.

From above, the debris flow appears to have converted the wealthy neighborhood - which is home to mega-stars like Oprah and Ellen - into a brown swamp.


Pills

Statin Drugs - The Real Reason Official Guidelines Still Demonize Fats Despite the Evidence?

lardo di colonnata

Lardo di Colonnata - A lard specialty from Tuscany, real Mediterranean food!
Nina Teicholz, investigative journalist and author of the International bestseller The Big Fat Surprise, wrote an article for the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) in September 2015, which makes the case for the inadequacy of the scientific advice that underpins the Dietary Guidelines (Teicholz, 2015). The title of the article was "The scientific report guiding the U.S. dietary guidelines: is it scientific?" Ian Leslie writing for The Guardian reports that the response of the nutrition establishment was ferocious: 173 scientists - some of whom were on the advisory panel, and many of whose work had been critiqued in Teicholz's book - signed a letter to the BMJ, demanding it retract the piece (Leslie, 2016). Prominent cardiovascular and nutrition scientists from 19 countries called for the retraction. However, to this day, the article remains published. The BMJ has officially announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation after stating that two independent experts conducted formal post-publication reviews of the article and found no grounds for retraction (Sboros, 2016).

Yet, behind every mainstream medical practice, strict questionable guidelines are still followed faithfully every day. Doctors are still following cholesterol targets that are often unattainable without cholesterol lowering drugs, but many do try to achieve their targets with extremely low fat diets recommended irresponsibly in dietary guidelines.

Unfortunately the rest of the world has followed suit on these dietary changes. Traditional high fat foods have been given up for the low fat scam. Promoters of the highly touted Mediterranean diet, with its olive oil and 'low animal fat', fail to mention the fact that there are still fat loaded recipes that were passed from generation to generation among the Mediterranean people. Lardo di Colonnata with its cured strips of fatback and herbs and spices; Greek barbecue which often involves an entire lamb roasted on a spit; or the kokoretsi which is made from the internal organs of the lamb - liver, spleen, heart, glands - threaded onto skewers along with the fatty membrane from the lamb intestines, all of these are foods of the long-lived Mediterranean people. Yet the 'American style Mediterranean Diet' selectively picks foods from the diet of the Mediterranean people to give the picture they desire. Ironically, many of the Mediterranean people have adopted this Americanized version of the 'Mediterranean Diet'.

Dollars

Why is The Trump Administration Selling Weapons to Ukraine?

Javelin antitank missile
© Getty
The Trump administration approved the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
Last month, the Trump administration approved the largest US sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine since 2014 by approving a commercial license authorizing the export of sniper systems to Ukraine for $41.5 million. A few days later, the antitank Javelin missiles that the Ukranian government requested were added to the sale - the total package is now valued at $47 million. Although the US State Department announced the measure as providing Ukraine with "enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity", Russia has rightly suggested it will exacerbate the conflict. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that the US has become an accomplice in the war and that the sale makes it impossible for Russia to remain "indifferent".

Writer Daniel Larison calls Trump "a fool" for arming Ukraine, as Russia will respond more aggressively and will always outmatch whatever support the US gives, because it has far more at stake. The situation will lead to a "fruitless and unnecessary competition with another major power" - a power that Trump promised barely a month earlier to seek a good relationship with. Likewise, Professor Stephen Cohen is right when he says it doesn't make any geopolitical or strategic sense.

Alarm Clock

Even Ethnic Male Feminists Aren't Safe From #MeToo

Aziz Ansari
© Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Apparently not "woke" enough, Feminism eats another ally. When will they learn?
Apparently the intersectional victim hierarchy has finally been made clear. Women are at the top, even above ethnic minority males when it comes to #MeToo. At least that seems to be the lesson from the latest #MeToo allegations, this time against minority comedian and 'woke' male feminist Aziz Ansari.

SOTT Logo Radio

The Truth Perspective: Left by the Wayside on a Right-hand Turn: What Happened to SOTT.net?

trump maga
The polarizing effect Trump has had on people - both in the US and globally - is a phenomenon to behold. On what seems to be a weekly basis, Trump does or says something that triggers twitter-storms and media hysteria, prompting another round of indignant outrage and renewing each time calls for his impeachment on the grounds that he is "unfit to be president of the USA."

But we're not going to talk about that orange "stable genius" today, at least not principally.

Whether or not one supports Trump is largely irrelevant. His main function seems to be as a catalyst for the revealing of a whole host of hot-topic and divisive issues in American and Western society that have been festering in the background for many years. Poverty, class, gender, identity, immigration, democracy, human rights, the wage gap, racism, sexism, the patriarchy, evil corporations... our language is steeped in abstract terms that are open to interpretation and, most importantly, form the basis of overlapping ideologies rallying around injustice.

And nobody likes injustice, right?

Join us on The Truth Perspective this Sunday, 14 January 2018, from 12 - 1:30pm EST / 5 - 6:30pm UTC / 6 - 7:30pm CET for a reality-check on where 'the war against injustice' has taken society, and where it could yet go.

Running Time: 01:51:36

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Eiffel Tower

France gives kiss of death to free speech

Emmanual Macron
© Reuters Christian Hartmann/File Photo
This year French President Emmanuel Macron has declared he will crack down on "fake news" with new laws banning publication of "offending" information.

The question is: who decides what "fake news" is? It is the French government. That means any article or viewpoint published across various media platforms is liable to be deleted - if French authorities judge the content to be "fake".

It's not hard to imagine how these new laws will be used to target Russian news media in particular. Macron has already made tendentious claims that Russian media outlets, Sputnik and RT, interfered in the French presidential elections last year by allegedly spreading "fake news" about his campaign.

Comment: Macron is only attempting to complete an agenda that has been at work in France for years.


Cult

The Solution to DACA is the Trébuchet Express

man in catapult

You get the idea...
Who could hate the Dreamers? With a name like that, you have to root for them. Therein lies the power of the left, freezing something and labeling it. Making it unassailable by semantic fiat. Like pro-choice, or income inequality, the name itself gives the veneer of moral force.

The White House recently released a statement from the Trump Administration:
President Donald J. Trump is grateful to Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte, Chairman [Mike] McCaul, Congressman [Raul] Labrador, and Congresswoman [Martha] McSally for introducing immigration legislation that would accomplish the President's core priorities for the American people. The President looks forward to advancing legislation that secures the border, ends chain migration, cancels the visa lottery, and addresses the status of the DACA population in a responsible fashion.
How very obscure. Because Trump campaigned, at least implicitly, on the promise of ejecting all illegal immigrants and other undesirables from American society.

Video

'Ukraine on Fire': How US, Not Russia, Destroyed Ukraine - Oliver Stone Documentary Finally Available (VIDEO)

Ukraine on Fire
Oliver Stone's seminal documentary Ukraine on Fire has finally been made available to watch in the West.

Ukraine, the 'borderlands' between Russia and 'civilized' Europe is on fire. For centuries, it has been at the center of a tug-of-war between powers seeking to control its rich lands and Russia's access to the Mediterranean.

The Maidan Massacre in early 2014 triggered a bloody uprising that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, spurred Crimeans to secede and join Russia, and sparked a civil war in Eastern Ukraine.

Russia was portrayed by Western media as the perpetrator, and has been sanctioned and widely condemned as such. But was Russia responsible for what happened?

Comment: See also: