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Mon, 29 Aug 2016
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Behind the Headlines: Kill Chain: America's drone warfare - Mindless mayhem or 'strategy of terror'?

A century of secret programs, technological breakthroughs and rule by a military-industrial complex has all come to this: drone warfare, which today is the US' principal way of waging war.

How is it that the Pentagon's hi-tech 'precision' weaponry can ratchet up such staggering levels of 'collateral damage'? Why is it that the 'war on terror' is producing opposite results to its ostensible aim of 'eradicating terror'? The more the US military throws its weight around, the more terror, violent death, and destabilization results. Is that the REAL point?

This week on 'Behind the Headlines', we're discussing Kill Chain: Drones and the Rise of High-Tech Assassins, a book by journalist and writer Andrew Cockburn. We'll be looking at the way the US does war, exposing the thoroughly inept management of a system that is, at its core, rather more like a cornered beast than an all-powerful global Leviathan.

Running Time: 01:59:29

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The Health & Wellness Show: Connecting the Happy Dots

Today on the Health and Wellness Show we connected some happy dots, for a change!

Silliness is all around us - some truly entertaining stories came out in the news these past few weeks. In addition, we discussed the meaning behind different types of dreams, various emotional healing practices, everyday life improvement remedies, the benefits of positive social networks and the importance of silence. Looking forward to some good news, laughs and a bit of happiness in this crazy chaotic world? Tune in - as always Zoya's Pet health segment and a delicious recipe to conclude.

Running Time: 01:48:40

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Music

Western war on Russia: European Broadcasting Union rigs 'Eurovision 2016' to prevent Russian favorite from winning

Just when you thought the Euro-liberals' 'Eurovision Song Contest' couldn't get any worse...

Jamala, 'winner' of the 2016 Eurovision song Contest
When strangers are coming,
They come to your house,
They kill you all
and say,
We're not guilty
not guilty.

Where is your mind?
Humanity cries.
You think you are gods.
But everyone dies.
Don't swallow my soul.
Our souls

~ 1944, the 'winning' entry in Eurovision 2016, by 'Ukrainian' singer Jamala
No, the above lyrics do not refer to US-supported Kiev forces waging war on southeast Ukrainians; they are meant to refer to Russian forces 'invading' Ukraine in 1944 and in 2014. In what can only be described as a blatant propaganda blitz against Russia, this year's Eurovision winner - in defiance of an anticipated Russian victory - was the Ukrainian entry. 'Eurovision' was aired to Americans for the first time this year. Just in time, then, for them to receive precisely the impression of Europe that Washington wants them to receive: that it is pro-US and anti-Russian.

In a move worthy of a Hunger Games 'gamemaker', the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which runs Eurovision, stated two days prior to the event that Russia winning the event (its entry was the bookies' red-hot favorite to win) would be "disastrous" for the event, and strongly hinted that it was prepared to rig the voting to prevent such an outcome:
A Eurovision source told the Mirror: "The feeling is that the European Broadcasting Union know how unpopular a Russia win would be and will do everything possible to help the other favourites to victory."
Unpopular to who, exactly? The live audience? The TV voters watching at home? Or the US Empire and its corporate minions in the EU?

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Behind the Headlines: The Empire Strikes Back: BRICS under attack with coup in Brazil

Image
© Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff look on before a meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, May 19, 2015
Democratically-elected Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has been suspended pending impeachment, replaced with a corrupt, right-wing, unpopular U.S. spy. Modi's India seems to be aligning more with the U.S. in confrontation with China. South Africa is suffering at the hands of U.S. intrigue. In short, it appears as if the U.S. Empire is launching a multi-front war on Russia and China by 'converting' its BRICS allies to the dark side.

This comes as the U.S. 'policy' in Syria is coming apart at the seams. Their 'friend and ally' Turkey has been exposed as arguably the biggest supporter of ISIS/Daesh in Syria. The U.S. is feebly trying to maintain that the terrorist groups it supports are 'moderates'. But unwilling to admit defeat, the U.S. seems keen on taking the world down with it in perhaps the biggest case of suicidal hubris the world has ever known.

Behind the Headlines is brought to you by the SOTT Radio Network and SOTT, your one-stop source for independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.

Running Time: 01:42:46

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Cow Skull

Isn't nature awesome? Humans flip out over lion eating unborn buffalo - no wonder they're clueless about Syria

© Can't Believe Eyes / YouTube
A lion carries of the unborn calf of a recently killed buffalo to be eaten. This is nature. And if you refuse to see it, how can you hope to see what's really going on in countries like Syria and Iraq?
Are humans schizophrenic? This is a serious question. In general terms, a schizophrenic is defined as someone who engages in abnormal social behavior and fails to understand reality. You could argue that those two criteria are more or less the same, or at least that one leads to the other. If you fail to grasp reality, you can't have normal social interactions, and if your interactions with others are faulty, there's something you're missing when it comes to understanding the reality around you.

But 'failure to understand reality', now that one really describes the average human being (and in particular some of the above average ones). Granted, there are degrees of such faulty comprehension, and true schizophrenics are obviously on the extreme end of the spectrum, but it's all the same condition. So it's not surprising that a more rational and objective analysis of schizophrenia defines it as social illness rather than strictly genetic or physical, i.e. it is the result of the toxic influence of our wonderful, modern social mores and 'norms' on a person's mind, body and soul. Schizophrenics may be extreme cases, but we're all affected.

Is there any essential difference between a schizophrenic who believes something because voices told them to, and an entire nation of people believing that the US invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy because their government told them to? In both cases, the person/people are being manipulated by a bogus, manipulative authority. The only important distinction I can think of is that in the first case a single person's life is negatively affected, in the second, millions of lives are not only negatively affected, but destroyed.

So I'd argue that everyone is 'schizophrenic' to one degree or another, and anyone who disagrees should go see a shrink. But a specific example of people's maladaptation to truth or reality was brought to my attention when reading a story on RT.com about a wonderful recent event at Kruger national park: a lion ate a buffalo. Not impressed? Well the 'highlight' of this event for observers (and half the internet) is the fact that the lion tore open the (female) buffalo's stomach and pulled out its unborn fetus and carried it off to a few other lions who all ate it.
As it burrows its head in the bloody cavities of the dead animal it can be seen pulling out a fleshy object.

'What is it?' the man watching wonders, 'It looks like a bit of stomach.'

Then suddenly, as the big cat makes off with its find, the woman gasps in shock, 'It's a baby!' she cries.

'That was pregnant, it got the baby out,' she says in disgust, 'Oh my goodness, gross.'

USA

US proxy terror armies re-branded as 'moderates': All part of Plan B in Syria

© Reuters
One of a kind: Jaish al-Islam, FSA and al-Nusra terrorists routinely support one another.
Al-Nusra and the so called "moderate" rebel opposition in Syria have no intention of calling off their alliance with which they intend to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. In the same vein, the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who sponsor these "moderates", have no intention of ending their alliance, which has the same objective. Russian intervention has turned the tide and ensured there will be no regime change. The US has responded with Plan B, ominously presented as a plan to "counter Russia" and which may lead to the partition of Syria.

Sputnik News reported that on Wednesday, 5 May, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's representative to the United Nations, told the UN Security Council that "Western-backed opposition forces in Syria have not broken off ties to the al-Nusra Front group despite their promises to do so."

Al-Nusra was a leading member of a coalition of Islamist groups called Ansar al Sharia, formed in 2015 for the purpose of capturing government-held regions of Aleppo. This followed its membership in the formation of Jaish al-Fatah ("Army of Conquest") in the Idlib province earlier in the year. Besides Al-Nusra, these alliances include hard-line Islamist groups such as Ahrar ash-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa, Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Din, Jaysh al-Sunna, Ajnad al-Sham, and Faylaq al-Sham. Jaish al-Fatah has fought together in Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Idlib Governorates. Through this alliance Al-Nusra has gained easy access to weapons such as the US anti-tank TOW missile. On 6 May Jaish Al-Fatah launched an offensive in south west Aleppo by a suicide bomb attack in the town of Khan Tuman.

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The Health & Wellness Show: The Death of Intimacy: Porn and the Ponerization of Sex

© yourbrainonporn.com
On this week's episode of the Health and Wellness Show we discussed the rise of pornography that has hijacked the sexuality of our entire culture. What are the psychological, physical and emotional effects of pornography on the personal and societal levels? How does it impact intimacy and relationships with others? How is porn tied to the objectification of women, pedophilia and sex trafficking? The porn problem is epidemic and often hides in plain sight. Our society is saturated in it through advertising, popular music, fashion and social media. Prior to the collapse of great civilizations there was a marked increase in hedonism and debauchery. If history repeats, does this mean our current civilization is on the road to ruin?

Whether you use pornography or not, it affects us all. Listen in for an in-depth discussion of this important topic. And to lighten the mood afterwards, stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment on proper nutrition for your cat or dog.

Running Time: 01:45:20

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Books

No, not all 'opinions' are equal: an opinion piece on opinions

"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief."

¬ Frantz Fanon
Mr. Fanon couldn't have been more correct, because I can't go a day without seeing someone on the internet rationalizing, ignoring, and denying something that doesn't fit into their core beliefs. I constantly see people outright dismissing any information contrary to their political views and world-views with comebacks like 'well, that's just your opinion and this is my opinion' - as if opinions have any relationship to facts. Often, such pearls of wisdom come from people I know don't actually read anything substantial - like, a non-fiction book. You know, those stacks of paper with words on them, bound between two covers?

Few things annoy me more than hearing someone say 'well, that's just your opinion.' These are the people who obviously think their opinion is as valid as anyone else's, and this is simply not true - in my opinion (pun intended). Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, just as anyone is entitled to respond to your opinion with factual data and information that refutes it. So let's get it straight: not all opinions are equal. In fact, not all 'opinions' are actually opinions. Whoever told you that nonsense did not understand the meaning of education. It is the labor of collecting and evaluating facts, data, and information that validates an opinion, giving some opinions more weight than others, or even making opinions not opinions at all, but hard facts.
"The earth revolves around the sun."

"Oh, that's just your opinion!"
To say 'all opinions are equal' is an insult to every learned person in history, who had to be wrong so many times before ever getting close to being right.

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SOTT Earth Changes Summary - April 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

© Sott.net
Devastating earthquakes, flash-floods occurring with increasing regularity in most every region of Earth, Spring snowfalls, hailstones the size of baseballs, tornadoes in the Middle East, wildfires raging in northern latitudes, meteors exploding in the atmosphere, and residential/industrial buildings exploding all over the place...

The Powers That Be tell us that that is all due to 'man-made global warming', and that the environmental chaos can be arrested or mitigated by implementing their judicious solutions.

But is that the real story here? How can paying carbon taxes or 'going green', for example, stop the cosmos from sending increasing numbers of meteor fireballs our way?

In the space of 24 hours last month, two major earthquakes on either side of the Pacific Ring of Fire killed several hundred people. The quake in Ecuador was followed by extreme rainfall, while the quake in southern Japan was followed by hundreds of tremors - and foam; lots of bizarre, white foam of unknown origin.

Here is just a selection of 'the signs' in April 2016, signs that the planet/cosmos/Living System is gearing up for a major 'reset'...


USA

Bin Laden alive and well in the heads of US warmongers and gullible people everywhere

Image
Where would we be without Bin Laden? Or rather, where would the US Empire's rationale to justify wars of aggression be without Bin Laden?

Wherever he is right now, the lanky Saudi playboy cum jihadi has every right to feel proud of the role he was co-opted to play by the pioneers of the phony war on terror. After all, he and he alone 'did' 9/11. The scramble to 'get him' for 'doing 9/11' allowed for a US military take over of Afghanistan and, with a few blatant lies repeated ad nauseam by the Western press, Iraq was overrun too. That's a lot of return on the energy invested in turning the son of a Saudi millionaire into the bete noire of the freedom-loving peoples of the world.

Once Afghanistan and Iraq were 'done' however, Osama was retreated to his mysteriously inaccessible-to-all-but-Allah mountain cave, and 'al-Qaeda' took over for the next few years of securing freedom and democracy for the Middle East, which took the unusual form of destroying as much of it as possible.

By the time 2011 rolled around, US and NATO warmongers were getting a bit peckish again, and Syria and Libya were lined up for obliteration. But al-Qaeda had become a bit 'old' and no one had seen Osama for years, except in the form of grainy videos of some guy who looked a bit like him. So from the rubble of Iraq, "ISIS" was launched onto the geopolitical scene to replace 'al-qaeda' who the USA government was now actively funding and arming in Syria and Libya.

But to facilitate his definitive exit from the stage, bin Laden was to take one last hit for the Secret Team as the victim of the 'heroic Navy Seal raid' on his 'compound' in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a popular retirement and holiday retreat for Pakistani military and civilian intelligence. This was a bizarre choice of hiding place for the world's (then) most wanted man, especially since it was located just a few kms away from the Pakistani equivalent of West Point and the CIA had an office there. Then again, very little ever makes sense in the phony war on terror that is used as a cover for imperial wars of aggression.