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Fake news, soft-coups, and the truth behind Urine-gate.

The unbearable triteness of the deep state.

Four days before the October general election of 1924, the British conservative newspaper The Daily Mail published a document purporting to be a directive from the Communist International in Moscow, addressed to the Communist Party of Great Britain, calling for closer relations between the two countries. The letter was signed by Grigory Zinoviev, head of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, and Arthur MacManus, a British representative of the Executive Committee of the British Communist Party. The letter in part read:

“A settlement of relations between the two countries will assist in the revolutionising of the international and British proletariat not less than a successful rising in any of the working districts of England, as the establishment of close contact between the British and Russian proletariat, the exchange of delegations and workers, etc. will make it possible for us to extend and develop the propaganda of ideas of Leninism in England and the Colonies”

The publication of Moscow’s letter to the reds led to the downfall of Britain’s minority Labour government, and the dampening of Anglo-Soviet relations at a time when the Soviet Union had begun opening up to the capitalist world. A 1968 book by three British researchers argues Britain pushed Russia into isolation “largely because the two middle-class parties suddenly perceived that their short-term electoral advantage was best served by a violent anti-Bolshevik campaign.”

By November British intelligence (MI5) had declared the letter a forgery.

Tragedy and farce

With less than a week remaining before the 45th POTUS’ inauguration, history seems to be taking the piss. On Monday both the president and president-elect were briefed by the intelligence community on the existence of “highly compromising” material on Trump, allegedly obtained by Russian spy agencies. The supposed kompromat file relates to Trump’s sexual conduct, and follows allegations in the conservative press that Trump has been cultivated by Russian intelligence agencies – presumably the same agencies responsible for hacking the election.

While allegations within the dossier remain unsubstantiated, or in some cases have been proven plainly false – meetings which never took place, hotel stays which never occurred – this hasn’t deterred news outlets like CNN and Newsweek from going full steam ahead with the character assassination. During Wednesday’s press conference Trump asserted his populism by refusing to answer a question from CNN’s Jake Tapper, shutting the reporter down with “your organisation is terrible”, and “you are fake news”.

The current mass media obsession with Russia comes at a critical time. Last week one of the largest shipments of American military hardware since the fall of the Soviet Union arrived at the German port of Bremerhaven, set for deployment across seven countries including Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania, and Germany, as part of what Washington calls “defence against Russian aggression.” As well as 4000 additional US troops to bolster NATO’s ground forces, the shipment comprises 2800 pieces of military hardware including US Abrams tanks, Paladin artillery, and Bradley fighting vehicles. This escalation, coming mere days before Trump’s inauguration, should raise a few eyebrows, if not neck hairs.

The US has been at war for 224 of its 241 years. It has 800 odd military bases in 153 countries and Special Forces active in 132. But let’s not call it a rogue state, lest the cognitive dissonance sends our brains into meltdown. Suffice it to say, Russia is so determined to invade Europe it recently slashed 30% from its defence budget.

The Chessboard  

The political and economic reasons for wars are seldom discussed in history books or the mainstream media. To guarantee public support, wars must be pitched as just and moral and above all one-off humanitarian interventions, never as the inevitable consequence of deliberate and continuous foreign policy. To understand the real causes of conflicts , one needs to take a more realistic approach. As historian Michael Parenti argues, the ultimate aim of modern U.S. imperialism (aka foreign policy) is to make the world safe for multinational corporations. Therefore, when discussing imperialism, the prime unit of analysis should be the economic class rather than the nation-state.

The underlying reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was to put down an attempted coup by the Euro against the dollar. In eliminating Saddam, putting sanctions on Iran, and removing the insubordinate Hugo Chavez, a clear a message was sent to oil producers not to mess with the petrodollar. Today the Chinese Renminbi poses a comparable threat.

The underlying reason for the coup against Trump appears to be a struggle within the capitalist establishment itself; a confrontation between Wall Street – proudly sponsored by Boeing, Raytheon Lockheed-Martin, Big Pharma, and the taxpayer – and the oil industry, represented by the world’s 4th biggest stakeholder, of which Trump’s new secretary of State is a former CEO.

Trump’s openness to friendlier relations with Russia actually makes a lot of geo-political sense. The sanctions put on Russia following the annexation of Crimea, combined with attempts to restrict Chinese navigation in the South China Sea have made China a ready market for Russian oil, and become a catalyst for a stronger relations between the two countries. To make matters worse, with Saudi Arabia losing its position as China’s number one oil supplier, US treasuries are becoming as unpopular as unbleached toilet paper.

Since OPEC agreed to cut production a surge in oil prices has added 12% and 15% to Gazprom and Lukoil stock prices. Exxon want in on this deal. By pulling NATO out of Ukraine and calling off the dogs in Syria, Trump is throwing Putin a bone. The long game is to keep control of the oil market and isolate China.

Out of the frying pan.

The US political establishment is at a critical crossroads. While drilling in the arctic may not be every environmentalist’s cup of tea, it must be weighed against the threat of direct confrontation with a nuclear armed superpower, and ongoing bloodletting in the Middle East. Loyalty to the War Party runs deep, and they aren’t going down without a fight. To this end we’ve seen a disinformation campaign twice as audacious and every bit as false as Saddam’s WMD being prosecuted by Killary, McNasty, and O’Bomber, with the full cooperation of the intelligence community.

If Trump survives his first 100 days without impeachment (or worse), there could be reason for cautious optimism. “No more blood for oil” has always been at the top of my list of global priorities, followed closely by “Just say no to thermonuclear extinction”, and “How do we save the planet from the fossil fuel industry?”. Perhaps I have my priorities wrong, I don’t know, I’m still trying to deal with the brain melt.

337 comments

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  1. Phil

    So much food for thought in such a short article.

  2. Kaye Lee

    ” Killary, McNasty, O’Bomber and Co’s commitment to the War Party runs deep, and they aren’t going down without a fight. To this end we’ve seen a disinformation campaign twice as audacious and every bit as false as Saddam’s WMD prosecuted by the intelligence community.”

    Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya?
    Hillary is running a pedophile ring from a pizza shop?
    An F.B.I. agent connected to Hillary Clinton’s email disclosures murdered his wife and shot himself?
    Obama and Hillary Clinton both promised amnesty to undocumented immigrants who vote on the Democratic ticket?

    I have zero optimism about a Trump presidency. The man is a dangerous fool.

    “It’s telling, I’m afraid, that Donald Trump treats Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/14/donald-trump-john-lewis-mlk-day-civil-rights

  3. Roswell

    Sean, are you sure it was the intelligence community who were convinced that Saddam had WMDs? I vaguely remember Colin Powell admitting it was a lie from the Bush administration.

  4. Roswell

    You may have mentioned it in the article, I’m not sure, but I won’t be reading it. I’ve only read Kaye’s comment and quickly glanced over it to see where she got ‘Killary’ from. I was disappointed to see that it was a quote from your article. Poor form, in my opinion.

  5. Miriam English

    Isn’t it interesting that Trump seems to be angry at everybody except Putin? But, no. Putin doesn’t have any dark connections with him. He’s nice to Putin because he wants peace, which is why he makes crazily inflammatory tweets at China every several days. If you think Trump will increase world safety you’re in for a big surprise.

  6. kate ahearne

    Very sorry to see this kind of article on AIMN. Is there any hope that it could be deleted?

  7. Roswell

    Me too, kate. (Yes, I did start to read it but at about the half way point it degenerated into mere ‘fake news’). Sad to see such a talented writer as Sean resorting to stuff like this.

  8. kate ahearne

    The problem is that just one article like this can undermine a whole lot of excellent work by some of the sanest people writing political commentary anywhere in Australia.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “Suffice it to say, Russia is so determined to invade Europe it just slashed 30% from its defence budget.”

    That was purely a result of lower oil prices. Defence spending this year will still be 3.3% of GDP.

    “The draft budget envisages a spending cut not only on defence. Practically all budgeted items will be cut back, but it is in defence that the cut is the biggest.

    “The only exception is a sharp rise in the 2017 spending on social policy, which has to do with the presidential election cycle. Before elections, butter is far more important than guns,” Kalachev pointed out.”

    February 2012…

    “MOSCOW—With less than two weeks until elections, Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin pledged to spend 23 trillion rubles ($770 billion) on strengthening the country’s army over the next 10 years, the Kremlin’s biggest military spending spree since the Cold War.”

    I agree that Sean is a talented writer and I agree with some of what he says but I do not think he is objective. He gives a very one-sided view coloured by his seeming hatred for Obama and Clinton.

  10. Roswell

    kate, I’d hardly say it undermines the site, not in my opinion anyway. I just think it undermines Sean.

  11. Keitha Granville

    Even though I am perplexed at the author’s optimisim in Trump, I guess the publication of this shows that AIMN doesn’t censor or proscribe the views of its contributors.

    That said, it might be helpful in demonstrating the thoughts of those who must have voted for Trump. Is it OK to be friends with Putin ? Maybe. Does that make him a good guy ? Probably not.

  12. kate ahearne

    I wish I could agree with you, Roswell. But I suspect that what happens in circumstances like this is the old ‘black spot on a white page’ effect – you don’t see the white page, which is 99% of what you’re actually looking at. You see the black spot. And, Keitha. AIM is under no obligation to allow its contributors to say whatever they like in whatever way they like to say it. As a reader, I have always understood it to be an independent media outlet with a particular agenda, one aspect of which, as I have understood it, is to publish quality commentary that is sensible and factually-based. I suspect that this piece has snuck through.

  13. Nikki Schwartz

    Sean, congrats on being one of the better writers on AIMN. Maybe the only one that actually writes truth, and not the regurtitated mainstream bulldust that is the standard fare here. Often it must be easier for people to continue to be fooled, than to admit they have been fooled.

  14. Robert G. Shaw

    Sean,
    where do you want to start with this?

  15. The AIM Network

    I suspect that this piece has snuck through.

    kate, all the authors on The AIMN ‘self publish’.

  16. kate ahearne

    So, no oversight?

  17. Miriam English

    Sean, in your final paragraph you said, “No more blood for oil” has always been at the top of my list of global priorities, followed closely by “Just say no to thermonuclear extinction”, and “How do we save the planet from the fossil fuel industry?”

    I think most people here would strongly agree with those desires, but I think many must be wondering just how a USA president who wants to be able to use nuclear bombs and appoints climate-change-denying past CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson, racist white supremacist Jeff Sessions, and a crazy conspiracy-believing war-hawk Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis to his cabinet will help.

    Trump has just worsened the potential for more oil wars, the chance of nuclear immolation, and further rise in power of the fossil fuel industry, while increasing racial conflict at home (which should prove a nice distraction from any new wars).

  18. Kaye Lee

    kate,

    There is oversight for any potential legal problems but not editorial influence for those of us who self-publish. There are many potential articles submitted to the editors which do not get published, sometimes because they are just abusive.

  19. The AIM Network

    kate, it simply means that Sean Stinson can nominate his own topics (within reason, of course), as can any of the 20 or so writers at The AIMN.

  20. kate ahearne

    Thanks AIMN, Thanks Kaye. So, no quality control? It’s not actually the topic that’s the problem here. The problem for me is the unsubstantiated nastiness of ‘Killary, McNasty, and O’Bomber’, and the fake news that the the author is indulging in while complaining about fake news. I don’t have a problem with bias per se, but I do have a problem when it blinds us to the facts or leads us to abuse the facts, and when it leads to this kind of dangerous rubbish. Maybe it’s time to revisit the issue of oversight. I really hate to see this kind of writing anywhere, especially here.

  21. James O'Neill

    Sean, i suspect that many of the comments on your article are from people who were gravely disappointed that HRC was not elected. They are blind to her many faults of which being a pathological liar and warmonger are only two of the better known ones.
    There are a number of tragedies in this farce being played out now. One is that out of 300+million people, the voters were left with the Hobson’s choice of Trump or Clinton. The second tragedy is that what is happening in the US right now is the antithesis of democracy. As a number of very good commentators including Tyler Durden and Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, there is in fact a soft coup underway. Trump is openly threatened by Senator Schumer. The so-called intelligence agencies are in open revolt against the elected president which comes pretty close to a definition of treason.
    What I would have liked to see in your article (perhaps in a follow up) is an examination of what Australia’s blind obedience to the US will entail under Trump. Tillerson’s comments during his confirmation hearing have some frightening implications, of which only Paul Keating appears to have made public comment on.

  22. Kaye Lee

    kate,

    I agree the name-calling was childish and detracted greatly from the article. I also can see absolutely no reason for optimism about Trump. He is patently not up to the job and has surrounded himself by the absolute worst examples of everything Sean seems to rail against – yet he welcomes the Trump presidency. It makes no sense to me.

  23. Mercurial

    “The US political establishment is at a critical crossroads. While drilling in the arctic may not be every environmentalist’s cup of tea, it must be weighed against the threat of direct confrontation with a nuclear armed superpower, and ongoing bloodletting in the Middle East.”

    How do these two events ‘weigh up’ against each other? Why is drilling in the arctic necessary (or even unnecessary) to deal with a direct confrontation with Russia?

  24. Kaye Lee

    Very good question which I hope Sean will address.

  25. kate ahearne

    Thanks for your feedback, Kaye. I’m glad to hear that some articles are, in fact, not being accepted for publication. As you and other commentators here have pointed out, the name-calling, the failure to substantiate ‘facts’, the clearly inaccurate claims, and the incredibly sloppy ‘argument’ in this article are simply not OK. This piece is simply not up to the usual very high standards of AIMN.

  26. Roswell

    kate, it’s no point dwelling on this article – which we both don’t like. I see there has been 3 articles published since this one, and I have enjoyed reading all of them. Have you read them?

  27. kate ahearne

    Thanks, Roswell. Yes, I’m working through them now, in-between pegging out the washing, stirring the soup, watering the plants… I AM dwelling here, though, because I think there are some very important issues arising from this article, and that those issues need to be raised, examined and discussed.

  28. Roswell

    Damn. Now I feel like some soup. It’s your fault. ?

  29. kate ahearne

    Slerp de Chook and Everything Vegetable. I’ll save you some.

  30. Kaye Lee

    James O’Neill,

    “Sean, i suspect that many of the comments on your article are from people who were gravely disappointed that HRC was not elected. They are blind to her many faults ”

    That is a quantum leap unjustified by any comment I have seen. In other words, you made that up to fit your narrative.

    ” As a number of very good commentators including Tyler Durden and Glenn Greenwald have pointed out”

    Which Tyler Durden are you talking about.

    “Just who is Tyler Durden, anyway?

    The answer, it turns out, is three people. Following an acrimonious departure this month, in which two-thirds of the trio traded allegations of hypocrisy and mental instability, Lokey, 32, decided to unmask himself and his fellow Durdens.

    Lokey said the other two men are Daniel Ivandjiiski, 37, the Bulgarian-born former analyst long reputed to be behind the site, and Tim Backshall, 45, a well-known credit derivatives strategist. (Bloomberg LP competes with Zero Hedge in providing financial news and information.)

    In a telephone interview, Ivandjiiski confirmed that the men had been the only Tyler Durdens on the payroll since Lokey came aboard last year, but he criticized his former colleague’s decision to come forward.

    Ivandjiiski worked for a hedge fund before being barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2008 for insider trading. He didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing, the agency said. Backshall is a familiar face on financial news networks who has been quoted by media outlets, including Bloomberg. His involvement with Zero Hedge, along with that of Lokey, hasn’t been widely known.

    Despite holding itself out as a town crier for market angst, transcripts from Zero Hedge internal chat sessions provided by Lokey reveal a focus on Web traffic by the Durdens. Headlines are debated and a relentless publishing schedule maintained to keep readers sated. Lokey said the emphasis on profit—and what he considered political bias at the site—motivated him to quit.

    He pointed to the wealth of the Durdens as a factor. Ivandjiiski has a multimillion-dollar mansion in Mahwah, N.J., and Backshall lives in a plush San Francisco suburb—not exactly reflections of Pitt’s anticapitalist icon. “What you are reading at Zero Hedge is nonsense. And you shouldn’t support it,” Lokey wrote in an e-mail. “Two guys who live a lifestyle you only dream of are pretending to speak for you.”

    Lokey adds: “Durden lives in a castle. If you’ve seen Fight Club, you know how ironic that is.”

    A former “director of contributor success” at website Seeking Alpha, Lokey said he joined Zero Hedge for $6,000 a month and received an annual bonus of $50,000, earning more than $100,000 last year. ”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-29/unmasking-the-men-behind-zero-hedge-wall-street-s-renegade-blog

  31. James O'Neill

    As is often the case with your posts Kaye, you go completely off the point with a lengthy irrelevancy. You did the same with your post at 8.23,m raising red herrings that had nothing to do with the article. Kate Ahearne at 8.25 wants censorship, and at 10.47 ventures a claim about the “unsubstantiated nastiness of Hillary, McNasty and O’Bomber.” Exactly what parallel universe does she occupy?
    The same applies to my citing Tyler Durden in the excellent Zero hedge website. How is it possibly relevant that that is a nom de plume covering three writers, or that one or more of them is wealthy? Isn’t the substance of what is said more important? The fact is that a number of writers, including Greenwald whom you ignore, Washington’s Blog (a diverse range of authors) Craig Murray and many others have comprehensively demolished the so-called intelligence report as a load of BS.
    As I pointed out in my earlier post, which again you completely ignored, this raises a number of serious questions. Your prolific response rate to other’s posts would be better spent actually addressing the issues.

  32. Miriam English

    James O’Neill, Kaye’s comment was exactly on point. You described “Tyler Durden” as a very good commentator. It just isn’t so. The zerohedge site publishes badly slanted misinformation. Kaye pointed out why those operating under the Tyler Durden nome de plume can’t be relied upon. Sorry you missed that.

  33. Kaye Lee

    “the excellent Zero hedge website”…..

    Lokey, who said he wrote much of the site’s political content, claimed there was pressure to frame issues in a way he felt was disingenuous. “I tried to inject as much truth as I could into my posts, but there’s no room for it. “Russia=good. Obama=idiot. Bashar al-Assad=benevolent leader. John Kerry= dunce. Vladimir Putin=greatest leader in the history of statecraft,” Lokey wrote, describing his take on the website’s politics.

    “I can’t be a 24-hour cheerleader for Hezbollah, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump anymore. It’ s wrong. Period. I know it gets you views now, but it will kill your brand over the long run,” Lokey texted Ivandjiiski. “This isn’t a revolution. It’s a joke.”

  34. Kaye Lee

    As for Craig Murray, he works for Wikileaks whose independence has been questioned considering their close ties to Russia Today. He says he was given the leaked emails by an intermediary. So if A gives them to B and B gives them to C, C can deny getting them from A.

    Sean says allegations in the Trump dossier have been “proven plainly false – meetings which never took place, hotel stays which never occurred”.

    James said “a number of writers, including Greenwald whom you ignore, Washington’s Blog (a diverse range of authors) Craig Murray and many others have comprehensively demolished the so-called intelligence report as a load of BS.”

    Can you provide a link for that please.

  35. Jexpat

    Roswell:

    Regarding Colin Powell, you might want to review this bit from the Institute for Public Accuracy:

    Colin Powell’s Infamous U.N. Speech, 10 Years Later: Deceiving Public, Ignoring Whistleblowers Led to War

    Here’s an excerpt: ““When Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003, countless journalists in the United States extolled him for a masterful performance — making the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The fact that the speech later became notorious should not obscure how easily truth becomes irrelevant in the process of going to war. …”

  36. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    Regarding John Lewis, I’m not sure what he or anyone else expected Trump to say in response to his statement. Here is their “exchange.”

    “Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he does not believe Donald Trump is a “legitimate president,” citing Russian interference in last year’s election.

    Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, “it’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

    When pressed to explain why, he cited allegations of Russian hacks during the campaign that led to the release of internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign co-chairman, John Podesta. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis told NBC News.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/john-lewis-trump-won-t-be-legitimate-president-n706676

    Trumps (predictable) response:

    “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

    Lewis, as some might recall, is a longtime Clinton layalist -who, earlier last year, gratuitously attacked Bernie Sanders, implying rather rudely that Sanders hadn’t done anything the Civil Rights movement. In fact, Sanders did long yards in the civl rights movement, participated in freedom rides organised by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and was at the March on Washington, where Lewis was a speaker. Meanwhile, during this very period, Hillary Clinton was “a Goldwater girl” -Goldwater being the far right Republican candidate in 1964 who inspired the famous Daisy Ad

    Anticipating this sort of attack, the Sanders campaign circulated a photo of young Bernie speaking before a civil rights protest in 1962.

    Immediately Clinton surrogates at the Washinton Post began circulating a lie passed on throughout the media, that it wasn’t Bernie in the photo at all, but some other dude. Unfortunately for the Clinton surrogates, the actual photographer was still alive- and confirmed that it was indeed Bernie Sanders.

    As to the Lewis/Trump echange, people can judge for themselves, but what I see is a Congressperson attacking a president-elects legitimacy- and continuing to spout McCarthyite memes, and Trump being his usual a$$hole self, telling the congressperson to shut up and deal with his own district. Not exactly something worthy of the sort of ‘hair on fire’ outrage being shouted out.

    Frankly, there are far bigger fish to fry, and this is yet another instance where people are being distracted from doing so.

  37. David Bruce

    Seems from the comments, we have a majority of HRC supporters at AIMN? Here is something Anna Von Reitz published recently in Stop Being Stupid part 5 Divide and Conquer.

    … the actual leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties are one in the same, it’s all the same demented nest of spiders pulling nearly all the strings in every government and creating every conflict and every evil that we have.

    The Queen jerks Obama’s string and he barks at Putin; Evelyn de Rothschild jerks a string that jerks a string, and Putin bares his teeth at Obama; Netanyahu feels a sudden strong jerk on his tether and we have a crisis in the Persian Gulf and one of the Rockefellers crawls back under his rock….

    And though there are some recognizable players the vast majority remain “private”—–just quiet, average, criminally insane people, living in mansions all over the world, literally feeding on the misery and death and destruction they cause…

    Either way with Trump or HRC, USA Inc is screwed. My observations about Trump are:
    1. He knows how to hate and “get even”
    2. He knows how to negotiate
    3. He knows how to use “power”

    These characteristics maybe essential for the role of POTUS.

    I also expect Obama to continue dividing the US population with his new organization.

    PS. I do love your PC pic of a Golden Shower!

  38. Kaye Lee

    There has not been one word said that indicates support for Clinton and I find it quite off-putting that that is what Trump supporters ALWAYS do like it came from some sort of handbook – if anyone criticises Trump. talk about Clinton.

    Jexpat, yes I had read the exchange. Trump’s response was shameful and once again shows he is not fit for the job.

  39. nurses1968

    David Bruce
    I don’t fancy Hillary much,Trump less as they are both dangerous in their own ways but I can see where you are coming from regadring “Hillary fans”
    Look back just at graphics, since the last US election and check out the Trump illustrations, then Sean has the hide to write :Killary” and the clique queue up to chew him out

  40. silkworm

    A search on Zero Hedge for “global warming” and “climate change” reveals many postings from the Durdens which are solidly climate change denialist. Anything they have to say about oil exploration will be highly suspect. However, I think Trump and Putin have a mutual interest in opening up the Arctic waters for oil exploration, an opening up itself caused by global warming. Opening up these vast deposits of oil will accelerate global warming.

  41. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    Would your opinion change if Sanders (or Clinton) was the president elect, and a Trump or Cruz supporting congressperson asserted that they were “not legitimate” and essentially “installed by a foreign power?”

    And Sanders or Clinton had similalry slapped them down?

    (Setting aside for the moment that there’s a certain ‘karma’ or ‘just dessert’ going on, given Trump’s own birtherism).

  42. Michael Taylor

    Seems from the comments, we have a majority of HRC supporters at AIMN?

    I can assure you that’s not the case. In a poll on this site about six months ago – before the Primaries had concluded – readers were asked who they’d vote for: Trump, Clinton, Sanders or Cruz. Of the 700 respondents, about 87% chose Sanders. People were ‘blocked’ from voting twice.

  43. Kaye Lee

    For gods sake nurses stop with your ridiculous “clique” paranoia. There is no clique. Did it ever occur to you that people find the name-calling inappropriate all on their own? I don’t control people’s opinions and they don’t control mine and I am tired of your continual assertions to the contrary.

    Jexpat, I am less interested in what was said than the response and I am certain no other candidate would have responded so crassly.

  44. silkworm

    “Killary” is a right-wing meme that has spread through the Trump conspiracy crowd, which asserts that Hillary has killed 36 or so people throughout her career, including journalist Danny Casolaro, Admiral Jeremy Boorda and Vince Foster.

    Casolaro had been working on a project he called “The Octopus.” Casolaro had started his investigation over the Justice Department’s theft of a software package called PROMIS from a company called Inslaw.

    PROMIS stood for “Prosecutors Management Information System” and it was a law enforcement database system that included a feature unique for the time. This was a module that could be programmed to automatically access other databases, in order to present to the user a single picture of financial transactions or suspects from multiple sources. This made it a powerful spying tool, and the US modified their version to include a back door, then made gifts of the software to other governments.

    All this was happening at the same time as the CIA’s clandestine gun and drug running operation to supply the Nicaraguan Contras with untraceable weapons. A totally illegal operation (which violated the Boland Amendment and the Logan act) the US end of the smuggling pipeline was located in Mena, Arkansas under the protection of then-governor Bill Clinton. The arming of the Contras was funded by smuggling vast quantities of cocaine into the US (a violation of drug laws) and then laundered through various banks, land flips, and a state agency, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, created by Webster Hubbell and signed into law by Bill Clinton.

    The shoot down of one of the CIA planes by Nicaragua and the capture of CIA asset Eugene Hasenfus blew the cover off of the operation and it became known as the Iran-Contra affair. During the Congressional hearings into the scandal, attention was focused on the gun-running, and all mention of the CIA’s cocaine flowing into the US was kept from the public eye by the Committee chairman, Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye (a fixture in Hawaii going back to the CIA’s smuggling of heroin from Vietnam back to the US).

    Casolaro apparently stumbled over the existence of a vast network of government operatives and politicians all linked together by the vast wealth acquired from the selling of CIA cocaine in the US and was working on a book exposing the government-sanctioned drug running when he was found in a bathtub in a hotel room, his wrists both deeply slashed in a manner that the pathologist declared did not appear to have been done by Danny himself.

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#ixzz4VnvIPQ5D

  45. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee wrote: ” I am less interested in what was said than the response and I am certain no other candidate would have responded so crassly.”

    We can probably agree that it’s a good thing that Trump lacks Paul Keating’s vocabulary and wit.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Trump is lacking in every aspect of what it takes to be POTUS in my opinion.

    silkworm, Casolaro died in 1991. Why on earth would the conspiracy theorists think the wife of the governor of Arkansas would be responsible?

  47. kate ahearne

    Well, this has all been very interesting so far. Like Kaye, I don’t much like being accused of belonging to a clique on the basis that I think differently from the person who is accusing me of belonging to a clique. When argument in the Socratic) sense descends to the levels that some people have descended to here, it becomes merely argument in the shouting, name-calling sense, and achieves nothing in the cause of sanity and the pursuit of truth. And I don’t much like being accused of holding and expressing particular views for no other reason than that I wanted Hillary to win. I’m a grown-up person with grown-up views of my very own. I develop and hold and sometimes alter or abandon those views in light of facts, and no amount of name-calling or denigration by any other means is going to convince me of anything other than the paucity of actual facts and/or cogent reasoning on the part of the name-caller/belittler.

  48. Matters Not

    While I don’t always agree with Sean, I find he always develops and argues a consistent line. He certainly makes me ‘think’ and reconsider.

    That his contributions be censored is, of course, completely unthinkable – a view I hope would be widely shared on this site.

  49. Matters Not

    I too would like to see more links provided by all authors and contributors. Yet I know, that most people don’t click on same. A great pity because most here don’t have access to primary sources,

    An example:

    The Queen jerks Obama’s string and he barks at Putin; Evelyn de Rothschild jerks a string that jerks a string, and Putin bares his teeth at Obama; Netanyahu feels a sudden strong jerk on his tether and we have a crisis in the Persian Gulf and one of the Rockefellers crawls back under his rock….

    I would love to see the source for that nonsense.

  50. kate ahearne

    Matters Not, I did not suggest that this article should have been censored, but that it should not have been published here at all. No ‘of course’ about it.

  51. Matters Not

    kate ahearne – perhaps I should have put censored in inverted commas. That you didn’t want it published at all is ‘censorship’ writ large – in my view.

    But I have no control over the meaning you give to the ‘term’ and that’s the ‘truth’.

  52. Roswell

    Nobody enjoys Sean’s articles more than me. I just didn’t enjoy this one. Should I want him to stop posting articles here because of one article? Absolutely not.

    Sean writes brilliantly, but there are some things we don’t agree on. Who knows, I could be the first one to sing his praises after his next article.

  53. Deanna Jones

    I enjoy Sean’s contributions. Concealed histories, alternative histories, these are the things we should be paying attention to. That trump, or anyone, is unfit to be POTUS, is of less concern to me, than the fact that POTUS exists at all.

  54. Kaye Lee

    One thing I think is very important is that articles on the AIMN should be able to withstand fact checking.

    Sean has a habit of saying things like “The anniversary of the tragic events of September 11 2001, the single greatest act of terror ever carried out by a government against its own people, should give us pause”

    That makes me very uncomfortable.

    There has also been a distinct bent to his writing of late.

    Accusing your enemy of that which you are guilty – The CIA and the “fake news” conspiracy.
    Exhuming McCarthy: Putin accused of stealing US election for Trump.
    Trumpism: a kinder, gentler fascism.
    Dr. Strangehair or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Donald.
    Donald J. Trump: Unlikely hero of the working class.
    The changing of the guard – An optimist’s guide to the New World Order.
    Trump: Dangerous demagogue or Democrat shill?

  55. Roswell

    If Sean thinks that 9/11 was “the single greatest act of terror ever carried out by a government against its own people” then I’d suggest that he doesn’t know much about modern history. Has he ever heard of a bloke called Stalin? Or Pol Pot? Or Idi Amin?

    Conservative guesses put the number of Russians killed ‘by’ Stalin during his reign of terror at 20 million. Twenty million of his own people.

    How’s that for starters, Sean?

  56. James O'Neill

    Kaye at 1.20pm. Murray’s site is http://www.craigmurray.org.uk. Glen Greenwald’s site is http://www.theintercept.com. Re you comment at 6.20pm what makes you uncomfortable? Is it the hyperbole about 9,11 being the greatest act of terror etc in which case I agree. There are clearly a lot of worse cases. Or is it that 9,11 was an act of terror against its own people? No serious researcher believes the official fairy tale about 19 Muslim hijackers.

  57. Kaye Lee

    What makes me uncomfortable is the certainty with which people who have absolutely no access to the evidence make definitive statements of “fact”, usually accompanied by some derision of anyone who questions why the US would kill thousands of their own citizens and cost the economy a trillion dollars, the unlikelihood of the hundreds/thousands of people who would have had to be complicit keeping quiet, the willingness to sacrifice most of your emergency first responders, and most of all to my mind….the US would not willingly show such vulnerability on home soil. They did not need that sort of excuse to go after bin Ladin, who repeatedly claimed credit (was he lying), or anyone else as we already know – there are far better/easier ways to justify intervention.

    Rather than me having to go to those sites, could you please link to an article disproving the info in the Trump dossier.

  58. kate ahearne

    James, ‘No serious researcher believes the official fairy tale about 19 Muslim hijackers.’ Are YOU serious? Go, Kaye! All that stuff makes me uncomfortable, too, for all the same reasons.

  59. Matters Not

    James O’Neill

    No serious researcher believes the official fairy tale about 19 Muslim hijackers.

    James – what explanation do you offer – ranging from ‘it didn’t happen’ (all done with photo shopping) or it was done by the CIA or whoever?

    Over to you. And as for the ‘serious’ researchers, do you have any credible links?

    This ‘conspiracy’ theory is getting completely out of hand.

  60. James O'Neill

    There is a wealth of analysis that debunks the official explanation, and i am not referring to the ‘space beams’ ‘photoshopping’ etc etc which is in the loony tunes category. I am surprised that you are unaware of any of it. You might start with the several excellent books by David Ray Griffin. My own defining issue are the basic laws of physics. As clever as these alleged 19 Muslim hijackers were supposed to be, they couldn’t defeat the laws of physics.
    So if the official story is a myth there has to be an alternative explanation.
    When the CIA began producing fake videos of bin Laden after he had died from natural causes, that simply reinforced the scepticism.
    When one finds out that the 9/11 Commission report was written in draft form even before that fake investigation began, the scepticism deepens.
    A very good website to keep up to date is debunking 9/11 debunking. When you have actually acquainted yourself with actual facts, do return to the topic.

  61. Kaye Lee

    ” I am surprised that you are unaware of any of it.”

    Oh spare me your condescension. Did it ever occur to you that I don’t believe the conspiracy version because I have looked at the available evidence, but beyond that, thought about the bigger picture? It makes no sense.

    I have read the debunking and the debunking of the debunking and the debunking to the nth degree. It is all done by people who do not have access to the evidence, just like you. I am aware of the cult following of 9/11 truthers and the industry they have created. It is an endless circle of people’s opinions.

    Laws of physics? Really? There is a certain Malcolm Roberts flavour to that statement.

    “When you have actually acquainted yourself with actual facts, do return to the topic.”

    You just made my point. Your version is “fact” because of “physics”. Righto then. Silly me. All’s explained. It MUST have been the CIA or the Israeli special forces – because of physics.

  62. LOVO

    James…it’s thems chemtrails I tells ya….I mean look how your thinking mate…it would seem that they have ‘got’ to you….? …..ya poor bugger.
    I would suggest mate that you go to the following link….it’s your only hope…
    https://draxe.com/colloidal-silver-benefits/
    All the best…and get well soon ? ..and sayhello to elvis

  63. Annie B

    Sean Stinson has set out in this article, exactly his aim ( his normal course in most of his articles I believe ) – to bring out the divisions that are clearly noted here by many commenters. He fires contentious stuff – and we pick up on it. That is actually good writing ( if you think about it ) ….

    I don’t always agree with what he says, but then I don’t have to – like most all here. I must say however, partly in his defense ( although perhaps he might have have been more prudent to leave it aside ) that the ‘name-calling’ ( Killary, McNasty and O’Bomber – if that is what most are referring to here ) comes strictly from the delightful ( ???? NOT ) social media. Forget them for the moment … and forget everything you might ever read on Zero-Hedge …. it is a confrontational rag, and needs looking into its’ dark backgrounds. Likes nothing better than to confuse issues … and NO – I am not going to post a link to prove it.

    “The so-called intelligence agencies are in open revolt against the elected president which comes pretty close to a definition of treason. “ ( James O’Neill – 11.09 am ). Have to agree with this – and they are openly revolting ( and revolting ) … because they are not sure just how much influence they will be able to have over the incoming PotUS – in the future. Unlike in the past where they have dictated almost every damned thing to the figurehead leader of the U.S. of A. ….They probably see themselves on some sort of slippery slope. … that a type like Trump will not necessarily be their mouthpiece. !!

    I have had to laugh at the “Russia hacked … etc” BS that has ‘gone viral’ across all forms of media in recent weeks. The more the CIA and others of note (?) in the U.S. claim this ‘hacking’ to be fact, the more they point to their own gross inabilities in terms of cyber-technology – and anything IT. … IF the U.S. were as super good as they claim to be, in monitoring so much technologically, in being able to intercept so much – how can they explain the ‘hacking’ of information by the Russians, or by anyone for that matter ? …. The U.S. techie geeks have stuck themselves between a rock and a hard place on that one. !!

    I am neither for or against Trump – anymore than I was for or against Clinton. I was however, all FOR Bernie Sanders, who had the right ideas – across the board. But he was considered dangerous by those who truly pull all the strings. He might have brought some sense, equanimity and equality to the now failing country known as America.

    It worries me ( has done for years ) … that if we continue to hitch our wagon to the foundering horses of the U.S. military-minded state – what that will mean for Australia. … I think it’s time we stopped backing the wrong horse.

  64. James O'Neill

    If you are so unaware of how the laws of physics apply to the 9/11 story then there is absolutely no basis upon which to have an intelligent discussion.

  65. wam

    jamesie,
    black and white is collingwood and even they realise there are colours to opinions joffa’s jacket for one. kaye, like all here, is right and wrong and all the colours inbetween to picture her black and white shows a lack of understanding.
    I do not know anyone for hrc but plenty for trump. Most were for bernie and against the ravages of trump.

  66. Matters Not

    James O’Neill, thanks for your ‘response’ and ‘advice’. As for:

    My own defining issue are the basic laws of physics. As clever as these alleged 19 Muslim hijackers were supposed to be, they couldn’t defeat the laws of physics.

    While not being an expert on ‘physics’, I do understand that when a rather large object, moving at considerable speed, collides with a stationary object, both will be ‘impacted’ – change ‘shape’ and the like. In most cases, when planes hit buildings that changed shape tends to be at the extreme end of the scale. The Muslim hijackers didn’t defeat the laws of physics – rather they demonstrated exactly that, somewhat dramatically. Indeed I have video evidence. I watched what happened then (in real time) and I’ve watched it since.

    But you do go on:

    So if the official story is a myth there has to be an alternative explanation

    So IF the official story is a myth and the hard evidence can be found where? One hell of an IF is it not? James you are prone to make intellectual leaps without building any foundations.

    As for ‘facts’ they are a dime a dozen – almost an infinite number in any discussion – the serious intellectual task becomes the selection of ‘relevant’ facts (always difficult) and then the ‘best’ meaning to give to same. It’s why historians never write The History but only A History.

    When you have considered those ‘insights’, we may consider how best to advance your education somewhere down the track. And I suspect it will be a very long journey.

  67. Steven Forsyth

    Kaye

    Everyone should ignore Glenn Greenwald. He is known liar. Ask Sam Harris. He tried to defame him with awful, immoral lies.
    I thought a good person like you would have known this fact.

  68. kate ahearne

    ‘He fires contentious stuff – and we pick up on it. That is actually good writing ( if you think about it ) ….’ No, Annie, that is not good writing, and never has been – and this was never a well-written piece. Nor is your comment. Good writing is considered, grounded in fact, and never resorts to nastiness, to belittling other opinions simply because they differ from the writer’s own opinions. We desperately need to address these issues about fact and truth with clear heads, research, and honest, hard-working minds.
    And ‘ ( if you think about it)’? Yes, that’s what we need to do – We need to think about it. Your comment is replete with unfounded, undigested impressions. You’re not going to present your evidence? Why? Can’t you be bothered? Can’t find it? There isn’t any? We don’t have time for this. The planet is dying, and the wolf is at the door.

  69. Matters Not

    As for more serious matters. KL you say:

    has also been a distinct bent to his writing of late

    Indeed there has. But the ‘reason’ or ‘explanation’ may lie in his felt frustration that his valuable ‘insights’ (my view) have been too easily glossed over, not seriously discussed and in some cases dismissed out of hand. I’ve been there and experienced that, albeit in a completely different context.

    Sean has ‘opened my eyes’ as it were to other explanations re the nonsense of what is going on in the Middle East and I thank him for that. Now more confused than ever. Thanks Sean.

    Always proceed on the assumption that: While doubt is not a pleasant state of mind – certainty is a ridiculous one.

    Sean adds doubt.

  70. kate ahearne

    James, which are the laws of physics to which you refer? And please don’t assume that a person called Kate couldn’t possibly understand. Just hit us with the facts. I’m guessing that you’re a Professor of Physics, right? Or just a gifted amateur, like me?
    Wam, where did Kaye go wrong? I must’ve missed that bit.
    Matters Not, thanks for that pretty big IF. It’s a classic. And what you said after that makes excellent sense, too, but in that context your most recent comment makes no sense at all.
    Steven, Glen Greenwald? Everybody knows? What? Please explain. I’ve been back over the comments, but I’ve missed the bit where Kaye quotes this Glen. (It’s been a busy day.) Could you give me a time signature so I can explore?

  71. Matters Not

    kate ahearne re:

    your most recent comment makes no sense at all.

    I don’t apologise. Because I have absolutely no control over the meaning(s) you ‘get’ (or don’t) or ‘give’ (or don’t) to my comments. It’s all down to you. Is it not?

    That’s my ‘meta’ explanation.

  72. harshmind

    Sean certainly did not write brilliantly this time and I have to say his self-description as a sloppy social analyst is not contradicted in the article above.

    What does Sean say?

    The UK Daily Mail used disinformation in 1924. This was confirmed in November. In 1924, 1968 or 2016? It makes a difference.

    Trump’s character is being assassinated. He certainly needs no outside help to prove he’s an imbecile with self-destructive tendencies.

    Putin is being threatened. Encouraged by Brexit he is actively trying to destabilise Europe to the west in order to regain influence in the Baltic.

    The coup against Trump? It hasn’t happened yet but if it does it’s likely to be bloody. But Big Oil the saviour vs. Wall St and the intelligence community as the demons? Seriously?

    The War Party? It’s easy to demonise the US but to lay blame on the Clintons, Obama (and whoever McNasty is) seems obtuse when the Reagan and Bush clan’s history is taken into account.

    Stick to the album Sean.

  73. kate ahearne

    Matters Not, You can’t control me, that’s true, but you can try, and you just did try. And I’m only one person, not most people. But to the meat of what you’re saying – please take responsibility for what you say, and how you say it. This is what ‘good’ writers do. They don’t blame the reader. They know there are nut-jobs around and others who will never, ever get it. But they do the work at their own end – they don’t expect the reader to understand – understanding is what they expect of themselves, and expecting in this way, they hope to convince the reader with facts and sweet reason.. As you know, when we comment here or anywhere else, we are writers. So when we do this work, let’s be thorough and genuine. I’m saying this to myself as much a I’m saying it to you.

  74. Annie B

    kate ahearne …. you seem to have a wee bee in your bonnet here, buzzing endlessly …

    “No, Annie, that is not good writing, and never has been – and this was never a well-written piece. Nor is your comment. Good writing is considered, grounded in fact, and never resorts to nastiness, to belittling other opinions simply because they differ from the writer’s own opinions. “

    I don’t give a damn if you don’t like my comment, but I do object to being called out on issues I did not touch on – at no time was my comment ‘nasty’ and I did not belittle other opinions …. or differ from the writers’ own opinions ( which writer is it you refer to ? Sean, me or others ? ) –

    That is a damned sight more than I can say for some on here – you included.

    Which brings me to your delightful little rejoinder ” Your comment is replete with unfounded, undigested impressions. You’re not going to present your evidence? Why? Can’t you be bothered? Can’t find it? There isn’t any? We don’t have time for this. The planet is dying, and the wolf is at the door. ”

    The collective ‘we’ ( don’t have time for this ) – to whom are you referring – the world in general ? … the posters here who agree with you ? … others ? …. and no I am not going to present my ‘evidence’ but not because there is none. … Several here have asked for ‘credible links’ on many items… It would take considerable time that I don’t have – I have made the choice ( hope you know what ‘choice’ means ) … of not googling and rummaging around to find out why zero-hedge.com does NOT have a good reputation. … Do your own research. As for ‘my’ comment replete with unfounded, undigested impressions ?? … I had a good giggle at your attempt at being confrontational there.

    ” We desperately need to address these issues about fact and truth with clear heads, research, and honest, hard-working minds. “ ,,,,,

    THAT most certainly we do, and we should try and stick to facts if possible – the whole bloody lot of us.

    This btw – is the end of my discourse with you – on any matter whatsoever.

  75. kate ahearne

    – Annie, I didn’t call you out on anything you didn’t say. When/if you go back and look for it, you’ll find that it isn’t there.
    You say, ‘… Several here have asked for ‘credible links’ on many items… It would take considerable time that I don’t have – I have made the choice ( hope you know what ‘choice’ means ) … of not googling and rummaging around to find out why zero-hedge.com does NOT have a good reputation. … Do your own research’.
    – That’s what I do, Annie – I do my own research. I’m sorry that you just don’t have time to verify your sources – if only for your own satisfaction, You must be very, very busy indeed.
    – You might be confusing me with someone else, though – I have had nothing to say about Zero-hedge – never heard of them before today, I’ll be following up on them though, although I am very busy… You might be thinking of Kaye Lee, but I wouldn’t go there if I were you – she is religious about her references,

  76. harshmind

    Hmm, perhaps you have the buzzing, Annie Bee. No discourse with Kate Ahearne on any matter whatsoever? Neither for nor against Trump, despite being a Sanders afficionado? As Manoel used to say: Que?

  77. Annie B

    harshmind

    Don’t understand what you don’t understand about my comments – Trump AND Clinton. You forgot to mention Clinton. Perhaps I should have put it in somewhat plainer comment – neither of them impressed me at all … wouldn’t have voted for either had I been a Yank. But I would have voted – somehow for someone.

    Not an aficionado of Sanders either – I just liked the man and his concepts. Read heaps about him and his ideals but could not be truly called ‘an aficionado’ ??

    So back atcha …. as Manuel used to say : “Que ?”

  78. harshmind

    Annie B! I thought I did understand your comments: “I was however, all FOR Bernie Sanders, who had the right ideas – across the board”… copied from one of your above posts.

    To Kate “This btw – is the end of my discourse with you – on any matter whatsoever.” Brutal.

    I also mentioned Clinton earlier as being unfairly singled out in the article – for being involved in some War Party. Trump has a scarily inarticulate instability that Clinton does not. I used to think George W was as low as it could get. Trump plumbs such new depths it forces us to look into the past to find anything comparable and the comparison is very ugly indeed.

    Many of us are truly alarmed. The article which prompted this discussion is dangerously close to an apology for totalitarians. But perhaps Stinson is a neo-Marxist who sees the coming ugliness as a necessary precursor to the eventual triumph of reason. Or maybe he just revels in seeing conspiracies. Either way, the arguments were shoddy and not up to the rigorous standards we expect from some of the more prolific authors who make this site worth a daily visit.

  79. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    “Always proceed on the assumption that: While doubt is not a pleasant state of mind – certainty is a ridiculous one.

    Sean adds doubt.”

    Oh no he doesn’t. Sean is absolutely certain about what he says – any other opinion/information is wrong – and that is my problem.

    I sometimes watch RT and find it very interesting but I am always mindful that it is a state-owned media outlet. I know I am hearing a very one-sided view. I am also concerned that Wikileaks may be being used strategically. I have many doubts. Sean seems to have none.

  80. Miriam English

    I see I’m not the only one adopting vampire’s hours in order to avoid the worst of the daytime heat. 🙂

  81. Robert G. Shaw

    Kaye L,
    May I correct your (surprising) error of 8.46 last night?
    You ask, ‘…could you please link to an article disproving the info in the Trump dossier’.

    There is absolutely no obligation on the part of the accused, in this case Trump, or those who, like myself, doubt the veracity of the dossier and its claims, to do anything at all. The onus of (legal and ethical) responsibility lies with the accusers – in this case Buzzfeed and every one of its supporters, no matter how qualified their support – to produce evidence for their claims and make the case beyond reasonable doubt.
    This is a foundational aspect of our rights as citizens.

    So far the accusers have produced no evidence to dispel ‘reasonable doubt’.
    Until that time arrives, should it arrive, this is an act of slur fueled by the language of post-truth.

  82. Kaye Lee

    Robert,

    May I correct your (unsurprising) error of 6:14

    “Sean says allegations in the Trump dossier have been “proven plainly false – meetings which never took place, hotel stays which never occurred”.

    James said “a number of writers, including Greenwald whom you ignore, Washington’s Blog (a diverse range of authors) Craig Murray and many others have comprehensively demolished the so-called intelligence report as a load of BS.”

    I am not asking anyone to prove or disprove anything at all. I am asking for a link to confirm those statements saying the dossier has been proven false. I assume they didn’t just make that up?

  83. Miriam English

    Kaye, I never understood how some people can adopt such certainty without actual facts to back up their position. I have numerous friends who utterly believe all kinds of silly stuff — chemtrails, crop circles, UFO abductions, 9/11 conspiracy, anti-vaccine, ley-lines, bowen massage, ghosts, gods, climate change denial. The more whacked out, the more attractive these beliefs are to them.They do so in utter certainty without a shred of evidence. When I tactfully say there is no supporting evidence they point to other people believing the same lunacy, as if that was evidence! It is weird. Even if you show them evidence that utterly destroys their belief it doesn’t shift them.

    I have one friend who fervently believes crop circles are made by visiting aliens. When I showed him that the guys who created all the original crop circles have come forward, admitting they did it as a lark, his reply was that some are fake, but the others are real. [sigh]

    And then there is the motivation. You nicely showed how counterproductive it would be for the government of USA to stage the 9/11 attacks. The motivation doesn’t make any sense at all.

    I asked my friend why a race that travelled tens or hundreds of light years to get here would choose enigmatic symbols in crops to “communicate” with us, when they could land and say hello (but preferably not in USA, where almost everybody owns a gun).

    I patiently explained to another friend who believes in chemtrails, that when kerosene and oxygen burn they produce water vapor and when you’re high up the air many places are cold so you get the misting effect of your breath on a cold day as the water vapor condenses out of the air as water droplets. He was unconvinced. When I asked what possible reason they could have for these chemtrails, the usual paranoid ideas of poisoning, sterilisation, and diseases were advanced, but when I asked why they would do this to the air that rich people breathe too, he had no answer.

    As you showed, motive seems to always be the weak point of many of these nutty beliefs.

  84. Kaye Lee

    This article shared by Keith on another thread makes for interesting reading regarding Western Europe’s take on all this. It suggests that Russia may be regretting their part in getting Trump elected.

    “About that time, “buyer’s remorse” had set in at the Kremlin, according to a report obtained by Western counterintelligence. Russia came to see Trump as too unpredictable and feared that, should he win, the Kremlin would not be able to rely on him or even anticipate his actions.

    Some Western European intelligence officials instead believe the Kremlin’s efforts were motivated not to support Trump, but to hurt Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. The hacking campaign, according to this analysis, was designed to split the Democratic Party so that as president, Clinton would have to spend enormous amounts of time dealing with domestic discord driven by Republicans and progressives tricked into believing that the Democratic National Committee had rigged her nomination. For example, as part of the campaign, Russian hackers obtained emails from the DNC that were then sliced into small bits and put out on the internet through participants in the propaganda effort. In many of these instances, the real documents were misrepresented. For example, WikiLeaks released a number of May 2016 emails on the eve of the Democratic convention that made it appear as if the DNC was solely pulling for Clinton; in many online postings, the date was removed so readers would have no idea unless they searched for the original document that was written at a time when Sanders could not possibly have won the nomination.”

    http://europe.newsweek.com/trump-putin-russia-interfered-presidential-election-541302?rm=eu

    I think the whole world is saying holy fluck, what have we done.

  85. Robert G. Shaw

    To Kaye, yes I see. My apologies.
    It wasn’t obvious to me because you didn’t connect your question specifically to Sean’s claim. It seemed to me that you were speaking to James’ claims; the entire content of your first paragraph is speaking to James’ topic.

  86. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “rod of god” is another that you might not have heard of.

  87. Kaye Lee

    Robert,

    I refer you to my comment at 1:20 pm. It was an ongoing conversation.

  88. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you’re right. I hadn’t heard of that. I do know of kinetic weapons, such as rocks, being used in science fiction stories, but wasn’t aware of the proposal by that reckless twit Jerry Pournelle that the USA actually build them as satellite-launched telephone pole-sized tungsten rods. (Even though he’s an excellent engineer and science fiction writer, Jerry Pournelle is assuredly a war-loving twit.)

    Thank you for the pointer.

  89. James O'Neill

    To Kaye, Miriam, Robert and others who do not hide their opinions behind some nom de plume. This has been an interesting discussion as much for what it reveals about the writers as any information actually given. I will make my reply generic, so it can be taken as they like by those who read it.
    There is for example, an extraordinary willingness to accept what is often the first version of an event, particularly if it accords with one’s own views. It is known as confirmation bias, readily found in a lot of the earlier comments. It manifests itself, among other examples, in the reaction to Trump’s election. The most visceral responses come from those who clearly wanted Clinton to win. Yet they never examine her manifest flaws, all well documented, often out of her own mouth. She is a pathological liar and a warmonger. Her election would almost certainly have brought a war with Russia to the forefront. In my view that makes her certifiably crazy as well. That doesn’t mean I endorse Trump. The real problem as I pointed out long ago in this discussion is that the electorate were confronted with a choice between two evils. That is not good for a democratic system.
    We know from the Wikileaks documents that Clinton and the Democrats did the dirty on Sanders. Interesting, and illustrative is it not, that the focus has been on the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and almost never on the content of the leaked documents.
    Another illustration has been the response to my example of 9/11. Another clear case of confirmation bias, with one common thread being an unwillingness to accept that governments kill large numbers of people on false flag pretexts to achieve wider goals. I cited the laws of physics as one irrefutable illustration of why the official story must be wrong. As nobody who responded seems able to grasp that simple point let me give just one example (there are many). Buildings cannot fall at free fall speed, which WTC 1, 2 and 7 did at least part of the time unless the obstacles to their fall are removed. Lead NIST investigator admitted as much but of course he could not follow through on the logic of that admission. It is known as the law of the conservation of momentum. For the technically minded the other examples include the energy deficit, the pyroclastic clouds, the molten rubble etc etc.
    Ask yourself why, except on the day of 9/11 itself, American tv stations have never shown the collapse of Building 7 again? Because, as Walter Cronkite said at the time: gee, it looks just like those controlled demolitions we have seen so often before.”
    Another non-physics example is Barbara Olsen and the 9/11 Commission report. Those who have read the report will know that the detailed descriptions given of the alleged hijackers comes from the lengthy phone call Barbara Olsen (a passenger on the plane that allegedly crashed into the Pentagon) to her husband, who just happened to be Bush’s Solicitor General.
    At the trial of the alleged “19th hijacker” Zacharias Moussaui, the FBI gave detailed evidence of the phone calls allegedly made from the four aircraft. Of Mrs Olsen the FBI testified, she “made two attempted phone calls. Each lasted zero seconds.”
    I cite these examples as illustrative of an approach to a given issue. What does the evidence say? The fact that this is almost invariably met by people citing moon beams, Martians or whatever simply illustrates either an inability to cope with unpleasant facts, or more likely trolls who infest the internet hoping that ridicule will divert people away from an examination of the facts.
    To revert to one of your points Kaye. There is zero evidence that the Russians hacked the American election. If they did, then it was a spectacular failure because Clinton polled nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Her problem (one of many) was that her vote was heaviest in too few states. But isn’t it rich irony beyond belief that the Americans should accuse someone of interference in other’s elections? Read William Blum’s books for the details.
    The election of Trump should not be met with a WTF have we done, but taken as an opportunity to actually formulate an independent Australian foreign policy. The early signs are not promising.

  90. Miriam English

    BBC Washington Correspondent Paul Wood on the BBC radio show “The World at One” reported that former British spy, Christopher Steele, was not the only source claiming to have knowledge that Russia is in possession of sex tapes that could embarrass Trump. There’s apparently more than one tape, not just video, but audio as well, on more than one date, in more than one place, in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    Given Trump’s predilection for imposing himself on women and his statement that Russian women are loose it seems to me a virtual certainty that such tapes would exist. I doubt the KGB or FSB would be so inept as to let such an opportunity for kompromat slip by.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/KyFTRVvhM5M

  91. Kaye Lee

    Sigh…

    “Buildings cannot fall at free fall speed, ”

    In every photo and every video, you can see columns far outpacing the collapse of the building. Not only are the columns falling faster than the building but they are also falling faster than the debris cloud which is ALSO falling faster than the building. This proves the buildings fell well below free fall speed.

    “the pyroclastic clouds”

    One of the more absurd arguments is the idea that there was a “Pyroclastic flow” during the collapse. This is easily debunked. You will note not one person was poached at ground zero. Pyroclastic flows are a minimum of 100C, or 212F.

    The gas is usually at a temperature of 100-800 degrees Celsius. The flows normally hug the ground and travel downhill under gravity, their speed depending upon the gradient of the slope and the size of the flow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroclastic_flow

    Not ONE person, even the ones trapped INSIDE the towers, complained of dusty air burning their skin. Trees were left green next to the towers. Paper floated around ground zero without being burned.

    http://www.debunking911.com/freefall.htm

    I could go on but I can’t be stuffed.

  92. Miriam English

    James, James, James. [shakes head] I’ll begin by saying I agree with your final comment. As for the rest… dearie me. It would take too long and I have too many things to do today, but I will mention that the law of conservation of momentum describes inertia, not what you seem to think it does. It in fact describes why the building did fall the way it did.

    Confirmation bias hasn’t anything to do with taking on the first encountered view. It is entirely about seeking out and accepting only conclusions that you already believe, regardless of the actual evidence available. Unfortunately the 9/11 conspiracy people form a self-reinforcing echo chamber that effectively seals them off from any genuine data and instead amplifies hare-brained ideas and falsehoods propagated again and again by its main promoters.

    In the past when rulers have turned against their own people there have been clear motives for it. There is no believable motive or gain for the USA to destroy two of its shining icons (the twin towers) and some 3,000 of its own elite. Remember these are the idiots who used a student’s thesis as the basis for their Weapons of Mass Destruction nonsense for invading Iraq. You really expect such a government of halfwits could devise a complicated plan that involved hijacking planes, wiring up the twin dowers for demolition, and keeping the secret from leaking out?

    It just amazes me how 9/11 conspiracy theorists think. They say that the planes were hijacked, but then they say the hijackings were faked, but then they say they were real, but something else. The Airforce was in on it, the CIA was in on it, the government was in on it, but this bumblefooted bunch was able to keep a lid on these American patriots murdering 3,000 of their own. Too silly.

    As for all the other ridiculous conspiratorial stuff, I’m sorry. I just don’t have the time or energy… not that it would have any effect anyway. It’s been more than 15 years with countless debunkings, yet you still believe this ridiculous stuff. My arguments certainly won’t make any headway.

    James, you’re a nice enough guy, but golly, you believe some silly stuff.

  93. Annie B

    harshmind ( ref. your comment posted at 2.38 am – the 16th ).

    It’s amazing how the written word can be quite misleading at times. You mentioned my comment ” I was all FOR Bernie Sanders ” and I had indeed read much about him … but this did not make me an aficionado by any means – the word means ‘expert or authority’ and about Sanders, I am not either of those. However, it also means a ‘fan’ … so maybe to a degree as an Aussie, I was a fan of his – very loosely speaking.

    I was not impressed with Trump OR Clinton. …. That is what I was saying, and nothing about whether you had mentioned Clinton anywhere else – ref. your comment “I also mentioned Clinton earlier as being unfairly singled out in the article – for being involved in some War Party.”

    See what I mean – how the written word can be misleading. … Perhaps I should have made it clearer ? – that it was I who was not impressed with Clinton, and that it had nothing to do with anything you had said or not said, previously.

    Ref. my comment / your reply re : Kate Ahearne … that was not brutal. … It was a way of ending before it began, what could and most likely would have come up in the future, on this article, directed at me. … Ms Ahearne is argumentative – as has been shown by her posts – and she has every right to be argumentative, but she also can be somewhat cutting. … It was my call and my right – to shut down any abusive comments aimed at me. There had already been a somewhat scathing observation about my writing. That does not worry me – but ongoing – it would. … I have been badly abused on this site before – and it wasn’t pretty. Unfortunately I continued that conversation in kind … so, having been burned that way, it is my right to cut it off, before it starts or continues.

    As for the Trump dossier – and the leaked emails etc., being blamed on Russia … let me be very clear. The following links I read with detachment. I do not support or deny them. I sit on the fence – by choice. They are the words of two men unknown to me – and to most here. But for the hell of it – here are two links :

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-dossier-explainer-details ( by a “Luke Harding” ) … and –

    https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/craig-murray-russia-played-no-role-at-all-in-the-email-leaks-interviewed-by-david-swanson/ ( largely by Craig Murray – with links to further info ! ).

    Trust this post explains a few things more clearly.

    p.s. – Now, as the day approaches, I am indeed wary of Trump – but I believe him to be a publicity junkie who will not be able to do the job at all, and will most likely be seen ‘out of office’ by some means or other – perhaps impeachment ? Which will leave a hole to be filled by Pence which is another very very dubious consideration. … Probable danger whichever way one looks at it all.

  94. Nikki Schwartz

    Kaye..

    enter “pyroclastic flows 9/11” into google image search, and tell us all you do not believe they certainly do resemble a volcanic pyroclastic flow.

    As for your debunking of free fall speed, NIST themselves begrudginly admit, ( begrudginly because they at least understand the implications ) that building 7 fell at freefall acceleration for ~2.5 seconds.

    In order for that to occur, ALL structural support, ie; steel beams, throughout the entire building, over several floors, must have been removed instantaneously and simultaneously. Office fires can not do that, if they could, you wouldnt need a team of experts to bring down a building, all you’d need was a box of matches. There has been an independent open enquiry into why Building 7 came down the way it did. It has been determined that the official explanation, that is, asymetrical damage and fires of office combustables, could not have been the cause. There has never been an official explanation that can survive the slightest scrutiny. Not only that, there has never been a steel framed building collapse due to fire before or after 9/11, but we are expected to believe that 3 did on that one day.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/fire-did-not-cause-collapse-of-third-wtc-building-on-911/5545272

    James O’Neill, thankyou for your efforts, though they are obviously wasted on some here.

  95. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee January 16, 2017 at 5:40 am re Sean adds doubt .

    I was referring to myself – my doubts. Not Sean’s.

  96. paulwalter

    Sorry Kaye Lee. Where does Stinson say O bomber is a Muslim born in Kenya? Trump said it but Sean Stinson is dealing with other stuff that deserves attention, not diversion. I can get his point, once again, why not you?

    Almost forgot about this sort of stuff since the last Stinson, the ironic thing I ve just a read a comment about the issue from a friend, that I had missed, and now find myself back here just in time to see a rehash up.

  97. Matters Not

    Nikki Schwartz, presumably you’re not a structural engineer with access to all the raw data and able to manipulate same with expertise, so your source for ‘evidence’ is away from you. And it has some problems. Global Research – give me a break.

    And let’s be thankful that some of such ‘efforts’ are indeed wasted here.

    Have a nice day.

  98. Nikki Schwartz

    Matters Not,
    one doesnt need to be a structural engineer to understand the problems in the official account of 9/11, just a basic understanding of the laws of gravity, primary school stuff even you should be capable of comprehending.

    As for globalresearch, what part of the article I linked to was wrong? I’ll donate $500 to this website if you can show me one thing.

  99. nurses1968

    My understanding is most people are calling for a truly independent investigation into the events of 911
    My interest is raised after watching numerous documentaries,but moreso by the call by a couple of thousand Architects and Engineers to reopen the investigation
    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    ARCHITECT & ENGINEER SIGNATORIES TO DATE: 2,767

  100. harshmind

    To Annie B, I hope you did not take my comments as abuse, they were not intended that way. I used the term aficionado to mean fan. You do use an adversarial tone, though.

    As for all this laws of physics stuff. What possible reason would there be to blow up the supports of the buildings if you had just been successful in getting some dupe to fly a plane load of passengers into them? The outrage having already taken place, there is no advantage in clinically dropping the buildings.

    I had actually tuned in that night to watch a Lleyton Hewitt interview and was dumbfounded to be watching a building on fire and a second about to be struck, igniting the entire floor plan of several floors. It doesn’t require contortions of logic to believe that at a certain temperature the metal loses its strength. As long as this is fairly evenly distributed across the building, the first support to give way will immediately take its neighbours over their compressive limits. No need for obsessive mental gymnastics to invoke a conspiracy.

    After this one it will be good to get back to some well written and reasoned articles.

  101. Nikki Schwartz

    harshmind, you say at a certain temperature, metal loses its strength. Im sure no one can argue that broad statement, but what kind of temperatures would be required for the site of the 9/11 destruction, often referred to as ground zero, to have pools of molten metal beneath it for approx 100 days? Can your mental gymnastics explain how the jet fuel, ( burnt up in the initial seconds ) or other office combustibles, do that? or indeed, fuse metal with concrete, as per the official 9/11 exhibit known as the “meteorite” – or explain how jet fuel could melt steel beams, as seen in many official photographs?

    There is no official explanation for this, and in the abscence of such, it is only reasonable that people ask questions.

    The people asking, include highly credible, qualified experts from many disciplines from all over the world.

    http://www.911summary.com/

    These people include some of the 9/11 commissioners themselves, who say they were lied to, and warned “not to cross the line.” If they don’t believe the official account, why should anyone?

  102. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee writes: “While the claims in the document are unverified – and most likely unverifiable – one thing we do know is that Trump did visit Moscow in November 2013, to oversee the Miss Universe pageant.”

    Then cites the twitter account as ‘proof’ -furthering the innuendo in the ‘unverified claims’

    This sort of thing (along other bits that have been posted) is quintesseitial McCarthyism- no different whatseoever in kind from the red-baiting of the 1940’s-50’s. The only difference here being the motivation for the decrials.

    Steven Forsyth is a bit thicker, making a straight up (and bogus) assertion about Glenwald (a writer, research and attorney known to be meticulous with evidence and proof) -with no back-up at all, apparently based on something Greenwald may have mentioned about Sam Harris (the ‘new atheist’ who thoroughly embarrassed himself in an attempt at a denunciation of Noam Chomsky.

  103. harshmind

    Good grief, it’s not hard. Explosion fuses metal and concrete. Jet fuel sets building on fire. Fire is sustained for some time above the temperature at which steel melts. Heat reaches steel, building eventually collapses. Molten metal is buried by a thick layer of insulating dust. Stays molten for a long time. To give you the benefit of the doubt this assumes all you say is correct. You’re welcome.

  104. Matters Not

    Nikki Schwartz, just to save time. Put your complete ‘thesis’ on the table. You know, the what, when, how and most importantly – the who and the why. Primary school stuff and all that.

    And please no links to ‘polls’ on the issue. Here’s a clue – polls on such matters are akin to asking ‘who believes in God’?

    BTW, MT don’t get your hopes up, the promised $500 isn’t coming your way because ‘Nothing’ will convince Nikki. She believes.

  105. Annie B

    harshmind

    Absolutely, at no point did I think your comments were abusive …. far from it. No problems at all.

    And yes, I can be adversarial – as many others can be here. … I usually am, when I feel the need to be so, to defend my comments or myself. … I think many here do that.

    I have often tried to take a middle ground – put forward a few pointers for both sides – or have tried to point up something or other an article writer has said – that others don’t mention. … I usually leave it at that.

    For the most part those posts are ignored, but that is not a problem for me. Like all others, I come here, make a few observations, and eventually leave. … I do find however, some of the ‘diversions’ that occur from an article, interesting to say the least, and not always productive.

    The current trend is a verbal punch-up over 9/11, physics, an adroit right hand turn into conspiracy theories, and more – to do with America and its’ known ( or unknown ) nasties. I have re-read Sean Stinsons’ article, and he doesn’t mention 9/11 …. ??

    But then when has any conversation between a number of people, ever followed the original opening statements by one – along the exact same path. Doesn’t happen. All kinds of stuff is thrown into the ring for discussion, along the line.

    Sean Stinson opens cans of worms – there is no doubt about that. Whether we / I agree with him or not, is neither here nor there. It is the result of his writings that is shown – by the number of people who join in to dispute, criticise, agree with, try to prove, invent, persuade – that is his main objective.

    Well, at least that’s my take on the situation.

  106. Nikki Schwartz

    @ matters not

    “Nikki Schwartz, just to save time. Put your complete ‘thesis’ on the table. You know, the what, when, how and most importantly – the who and the why”

    I was not there, how on earth would you expect me to know that? and why should i engage in theorising about a conspiray when all Ive said is many people- the world majority, ( if you disagree with that, I guess youll have to show me the results of a poll ) agree with experts who disagree based on examination of the governments own evidence that contradicts the official account.

    if you have problems with my money, my offer is open to anyone, who offer something a little bit more than the rantings of someones unqualified , deliberately ignorant opinion that matters not.

    please understand if I dont engage with you further.

  107. Nikki Schwartz

    harshmind..\\”To give you the benefit of the doubt this assumes all you say is correct.”

    I at least provide links to back up what I say, and theres $500 if you can show me Im wrong..

    that said, you offer nothing but your opinion.

    The fact is, if you acknowledge molten metal, you have to provide a source for the heat required. It is common knowledge, jet furl, and office combustibles, are not sufficient.

    I will accept your” your welcome” once you provide something of substance that makes me thankful.

  108. Kaye Lee

    “what part of the article I linked to was wrong”

    You didn’t link to an article. Nevertheless…..

    the building collapse progressed from the penthouse out as columns were weakened by the fires. The slow sinking of the penthouses, indicating the internal collapse of the building behind the visible north wall, took 8.2 seconds according to a NIST preliminary report. Seismograph trace of the collapse of WTC 7 indicates that parts of the building were hitting the ground for 18 seconds. This means the collapse took at least 18 seconds, of which only the last approximately 15 seconds are visible in videos: 8 seconds for the penthouses and 7 seconds for the north wall to come down.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kSq663m0G8

    http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm

  109. harshmind

    I did not acknowledge molten metal, I just said it would not be hard to explain using simple logic. To make such a thing of it, it’s like you already have a conclusion and now have to go into contortions finding “evidence” to support that conclusion. No need for conspiracies or weird assertions like the “world majority agree…” in my opinion.

  110. Kaye Lee

    Jexpat,

    Can we leave off with the Mcarthyism bullshit. That sort of paranoic accusation really pisses me off. Trump was in Moscow at the time of the alleged incident. That is a provable fact. Within itself that means nothing other than the claims he wasn’t there are incorrect.

  111. paulwalter

    In the end, the Democrats failed to hold power for reasons alluded to here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/16/how-barack-obama-paved-way-donald-trump-racism#comment-91247869

    The article is careful to mention the sort of odds Obama was up against with the US hard right, but in the end claims he failed on key issues, starting with his handling of the Meltdown (for a more detailed read, Joseph Stiglitz and “Freefall”), also he failed on civil liberties, not vetoing the ghastly National Security arrangements of 2012.

    As Younge says in his Guardian article, the people who didnt turn out this time were those folk who had put great store in having neoliberalism reined in by the Democrats and yet Hillary Clinton appeared to be advocating yet more as to its consolidation…at least Trump never denied he was a a fascist, but the Democrats tried to pretend they were different without being that much different.

    Its not a lot different to the case with Gillard and Abbott, after Labor failed to take on the big end and also the terrorism/security memes that justified hard conservative policies and risked Abbott instead- much to their own cost as it turns out.

  112. Matters Not

    Nikki Schwartz

    how on earth would you expect me to know that?

    Reading conspiracy theories perhaps? They seem to both effect and affect your ‘beliefs’ – do they not.

    Ive said is many people- the world majority … guess youll have to show me the results of a poll

    Really the results of a poll ? Yep, there’s nothing like a ‘poll driven’ argument, commissioned and paid for by those who believe. As a matter of interest, do you ever critically evaluate and check the veracity of your sources? If not, then why not?

    Nikki, are you aware that LBJ organised the assignation of JFK? If not, then here’s a few links that will convince you.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/jackie-kennedy-blamed-lyndon-b-johnson-for-jfk-murder-127220093-237788131

    http://jfktruth.org/johnson/index.htm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322981/Former-Nixon-aide-claims-evidence-Lyndon-B-Johnson-arranged-John-F-Kennedys-assassination-new-book.html

    And there’s many more. False news ain’t anything new, Indeed it has along history.

  113. Kaye Lee

    I really don’t think it matters what people who have no expertise or access to the evidence think Nikki. Would you take a poll of laymen with no test results to verify a doctor’s diagnosis?

    You do understand that there are people who have made an industry out of this particular conspiracy theory, just like the climate change deniers.

    Asking you to consider the motive is a reasonable request. It makes no sense for it to be an inside job. None at all. Zero. And it is impossible to believe that hundreds/thousands of people would have been complicit in planting bombs etc. and covering it up. It just isn’t feasible.

  114. Sean Stinson

    I have deliberately refrained from adding to the comments so far, mostly since the nature of some of the commentary has been quite personal, and dare I say it, nasty. I find this disappointing, given the amount of research and analysis that goes into these posts.

    I would however like to address a few apparent misapprehensions.

    I am not an alt-righter.

    I argue always from a critical left position. My politics are anti-capitalist and above all anti imperialist, which no doubt comes out in my regular attacks on the American political establishment.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist.

    Questioning the government-spun narrative does not a conspiracy make. The Orwellian war on scepticism has taken a turn for the worse lately, with whistleblowers and independent journalists alike being labelled as “fake news”. Ironically, it is those pushing this line who are usually the ones disseminating the fake news.

    I am not a Post-Marxist (whatever that means.)

    I think you may have me confused with Slavoj Zizek. Marx used dialectical materialism to analyze history. According to his theory, revolution is the inevitable consequence of class antagonisms. In this sense, Marxism is purely descriptive. The idea of promoting a conservative agenda in order to accelerate the collapse of capitalism, or to shake the left from its slumber, is not consistent with Marxism, nor with my personal politics.

    I have tried to present an analysis of the current debacle over the US election, the hysterical red baiting, and the broader geopolitical interests at play, of which, I would suggest, Big Oil is the main protagonist. If there appear to be large intuitive leaps in my argument, it is probably stuff I have covered in recent articles which I did not feel bears repeating ad nauseum, for example the fact that the Obama administration has been a continuation of the Bush administration while doubling down on the worst aspects of Bush’s foreign policy; that the US has been a virtual one party state at least since Carter laid the groundwork for Reaganomics, and that Trump and his backers do not represent the interests of the deep state – hence his “draining the swamp” rhetoric (even if he intends to fill it with equally odious creatures.)

    Alas rather than addressing my thesis, it seems people are more interested in hurling insults and repeating tiresome arguments about 911. In all honestly, it makes me question why I bother contributing to this site at all.

    To the few who have responded with positive comments and/or constructive criticism, I’d like to say thanks. To the rest, well done, you really know how to make a guy feel appreciated.

    I’m still happy to answer any genuine questions around the arguments set out in the article, but this will not include pedantry over facts and sources, he said/she said arguments over Julian Assange’s personal life, or what Glenn Greenwald said or didn’t say about Sam Harris.

    So by all means let’s continue the debate, or move on.

  115. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    I seem to remember the last time this subject came up you stuck to a similar line to “made an industry out of this particular conspiracy theory”
    Then, your assertion was they write books and go in paid speaking tours
    What us so wrong with that? Didn’t Einstein, Tesla,Darwin etc all do the same? What about the two and a half thousand Architects and Engineers? all in it for the speaking engagements?
    With 911 at the very least, why aren’t people jumping up and down in regard to building codes and practices in the USA as never before in the world has a steel frame skyscraper been brought down by fire and there we had 2 in an hour

  116. Kaye Lee

    Sean,

    Can you answer Mercurial’s question.

    “The US political establishment is at a critical crossroads. While drilling in the arctic may not be every environmentalist’s cup of tea, it must be weighed against the threat of direct confrontation with a nuclear armed superpower, and ongoing bloodletting in the Middle East.”

    How do these two events ‘weigh up’ against each other? Why is drilling in the arctic necessary (or even unnecessary) to deal with a direct confrontation with Russia?

  117. Matters Not

    as never before in the world has a steel frame skyscraper been brought down by fire and there we had 2 in an hour

    Great point nurses1968. Perhaps? Now if you could point to other examples where rather large planes, less than one hour after take-off and therefore with large fuel loads, crashed into rather tall buildings, side by side, so we could compare the implied (different) outcomes, then your case is well and truly made.

    I await your links, Take all the time you need. Perhaps Google will help?

  118. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    I would be be among the happiest of all to see the McCarthyism go away.

    It’s not helping anyone (well, it might be helping click seekers) but other than that, it’s a genie best put back into the bottle. If that’s possible in the current media and psychosocial environment.

    ps: that I don’t engage with some of the other matters offered up for discussion here (or on other similar threads) shouldn’t be interpreted as assent.

  119. Sean Stinson

    @KL

    Sure.

    As others have noted in the comments above, this was a choice between two evils. It is not that drilling in the arctic is “necessary” to avoid confrontation, its simply that Trump and his backers – he did not get there by himself – are more interested in arctic oil than in selling weapons.

    As the big players go, the oil industry is, by my crude reckoning, about 4 times larger than the military industrial complex. Of course it is a complex relationship and they all feed off each other, Wall Street and Big Pharma being the other major players, but Trump’s appointment of Tillerson bells the cat as to who his backers are and what his agenda will be.

    Simply put, Trump has argued all through his campaign that the US has become “bogged down” in Syria, and are losing money. Recall his comments on Iraq? “We should have just taken the oil.”

    The broader project of US foreign policy has always been to prevent Eurasian integration. Trump’s ‘job’ is to try to pear Russia away from China, which means rapprochement with Russia. One possible positive outcome of this is a cooling off of tensions in Ukraine and Syria.

    Of course this is not good news as far as global warming goes, but neither was the Paris agreement.

  120. Kaye Lee

    Do you seriously believe that Trump has any plan at all because his words give no indication of anything coherent. I think you are giving him far too much credit. I don’t think he has a clue what he is doing let alone a strategy.

    “Donald Trump would deploy up to 30,000 American soldiers in the Middle East to defeat the Islamic State, he said at Thursday night’s debate.”

    I think the Paris agreement was at least a start and I’m not sure that it can be compared to drilling for oil in the Arctic which Trump will have a hard time trying to allow according to this article.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/can-trump-reverse-obamas-arctic-drilling-ban/511376/

  121. Sean Stinson

    Trump may be a lousy public speaker, but the idea that he got to be POTUS without a serious plan and powerful interests behind him is unrealistic. He is a front man. Reagan comes to mind, but then again so does every other actor who’s held the position since… i don’t know… Eisenhower.

    That he wants to send in ground troops to Syria is the first good sign. It means he actually wants to route ISIS, which can’t be done from the air.

  122. Sean Stinson

    KL

    Do you think Reagan had any idea what he was doing?

  123. Jexpat

    Sean:

    You do realise (or not?) that Trump’s administration will largely be driven by the Republican Congress -including the subclinical psychopath who’s the Speaker of the US House of Representative- which in American parlance is the leader of the parliamentary body (not just a gavel holder) and Mitch McConnell -is also the leader and agenda setter in the US Senate- with the numbers?

    And that similar- if not worse sorts who control a record number of US state legislatures and governorships have equally sociopathic agendas– which they’ew chomping at the bit to implement?

    Do you even know who and what these sorts are- what their record is -or that what they do will be (as it has been) coming here?

  124. Miriam English

    Sean in one respect you have a point that the ugly motives are out in the open with Trump instead of being hidden from view behind a more pleasant smile. Unfortunately that doesn’t necessarily make the world safer. Trump has a nasty temper, has repeatedly asked why he can’t use nuclear weapons, and is happy to dismantle any efforts to control the fossil fuel industry.

    I agree with Kaye, that Trump almost certainly has no plan beyond using the office to make himself famous and rich. Even Russia seems to be worrying now that he’s too much of a loose cannon. The Republicans often seem to have the look you see on people riding a roller coaster, hanging on with white knuckles. I think they’re scared shitless, but know they’re stuck with it. Dog knows what the idiot is going to do next.

    As for those insisting that the 9/11 buildings were brought down with controlled demolition charges, don’t believe what people say, just look at the videos. Demolition charges make a building fall down from the bottom. The twin towers fell down from the top, as you’d expect with jet fuel forced by winds at that height to temperatures of a 1,000 degrees weakening the floors after burning for nearly an hour in one building, and 1.6 hours in the other. (Remember that blacksmiths can quickly melt steel using just wood or coal and a bellows to force air in.)

  125. Sean Stinson

    Jexpat

    Yes, and it does not bode well.

    I have only argued that there may be reason for cautious, guarded optimism with respect to foreign policy. As for US internal affairs, it is all going to hell in a handbasket, and has been for some time. Obama was in a similar position of power in ’08 in ’09 and did absolutely nothing except to support a paltry 70c minimum wage increase. Like i said, the US has been a one party state for many years.

  126. Sean Stinson

    Miriam English:

    “Trump almost certainly has no plan beyond using the office to make himself famous and rich”

    You still don’t get it, do you?

    This is not about Trump. Trump is a puppet, like every PUTUS before him for the last 40 years. Arguably Bush Sr was a part of the deep state and probably held the reins during his own (and much of Reagan’s) administration. The rest do exactly as they’re told, and nobody danced for the puppet masters better than Obama.

    Obama entered office with a personal net worth of $1.5m. He will leave office with $12.5m

    Gee. How did that happen?

    Trump is an actor. Literally as well as figuratively. Who knows how much he’ll make. Who cares. This is not the point.

  127. Roswell

    Or who knows how much he will lose?

  128. Miriam English

    Sean, I agree that the forces “behind the throne” handled Bush Jr and Reagan easily, and it was a big surprise to me just how effectively they neutered Obama, but It will be interesting (and scary either way) to see how they manage with Trump. I almost hope the bastards control him.

    To be fair to Obama he did defy those trying to box him in. He pulled USA out of Afghanistan and introduced affordable health care. He was also deeply disappointing on a number of fronts too, one of the worst in my opinion was the drone assassinations. Unfortunately it’s clear that Trump and the Republicans will do everything they can to reverse the small gains made under Obama and accelerate all the evils of the conservative billionaires and multinational corporations.

    The only good thing I can see to come out of this is that it might wake up people in USA as to how dangerous the right wing agenda is. Progressives already appear to outnumber conservatives there, but conservatives have managed to distort the mechanics of votes so badly that progressives need much, much more than just a majority. The whole system there is so propagandised and shifted to the right that even if the progressives do win next time they still have a long way to go before their country is sane. We have a similar problem here.

  129. Sean Stinson

    Miriam

    and with that we are (finally) back on the same page…

    Trump gave his first presser since the election on Monday. In the first 20 minutes of that speech $25bn was wiped off Big Pharma stocks.

    Obama’s biggest disappointment was arguably bailing out the banks which causes the financial meltdown at the expense of the taxpayer. Second biggest was Obamacare – taxpayer handouts to the pharmaceutical companies. Trump is in favour of single payer healthcare, he just wants to negotiate a better deal. Whether he can do it or not is anyone’s guess at this stage. Meanwhile 12 democrats including would-be president Cory Brooker just voted WITH senate republicans to block the import of cheaper drugs from Canada. 🙁

  130. Jexpat

    Sean:

    In our neck of the woods, I’m considerably less guarded about the direction of foreign policy, although I do see some opportunity to- how to say, put a bit of distance (Canadian style) between ourselves and America’s pattern of misdaventures around the world.

    The inclination among many seasoned observers and analysts is to see the ramping up of ‘tough talk’ as posturing- and testing of a new administration. though it bears mentioning that Exxon/Mobil’s CEO (soon to be the US Secretary of State) Tillerson likely sees a resource grab at play.

    Such situations have historically led to escalations of seemingly trivial and benign conflicts- and the proliferation of ‘fake news’ -which now goes hand in hand with the usual dishonesty spread by ‘coventional warmongering media’ like the Washington Post and NY Times, et al..has limitied the prospect for, to put it into the vernacular: chilling everyone the fvck out.

  131. Sean Stinson

    Sensible discussion at last.

    Yes I see it as likely posturing, like Israel’s bombing of the Mezzeh air base near Damascus this week. Its traditional for Israel to bomb Gaza during “Lame duck” season, to test the incoming administration’s resolve. Just a variation on a theme, and hopefully the goings on in Europe are more of the same, but these but these things can quickly get out of hand, especially with the tabloids screaming that Russia is preparing to invade Europe. (nonsense of course.)

    One thing which makes me very uncomfortable tho is Australia’s role in the so-called pivot to Asia. As well as threatening 60% of our export market, it puts us on the front line of any major confrontation. China has limited naval power is is not really able to project power… yet.

  132. Kaye Lee

    “That he wants to send in ground troops to Syria is the first good sign. ”

    You can’t be serious? That statement seems to go against everything you have ever said. It would be a disaster.

    You say Trump is a puppet. According to his sons, this whole thing was a brand recognition exercise which ended up going too far. I am sure they will be lining up to take advantage of his political naivety and greed but I am not as certain that his candidacy was deliberately backed by vested interests (other than his own) initially.

    “While allegations within the dossier remain unsubstantiated, or in some cases have been proven plainly false ”

    Have they been proven false? I am certainly not saying I accept the content of the dossier. I am interested in evidence which disproves it. Trump tweeting from Moscow stuff like “The women are unbelievable ” doesn’t auger well. Aside from being typical Trump, it shows he was using his Android phone which may well have been compromised.

    Can you be certain that Russia has had nothing to do with hacking emails and feeding information to Wikileaks?

    What do you think of Trump’s desire (shared with Abbott) to move the embassy to Jerusalem?

    Are you certain that the people of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have nothing to fear from Russia because, after the annexation of Crimea and Russian aggression in the Ukraine, they think they do. The percentage of ethnic Russians in Latvia is the same as that found in Crimea.

  133. Michael Taylor

    That he wants to send in ground troops to Syria is the first good sign. It means he actually wants to route ISIS, which can’t be done from the air.

    Sean, I hardly think that’ll work. Many argue that sending ground troops into Iraq was what helped create ISIS in the first place.

  134. Harquebus

    Disaster is inevitable no matter who leads nor what current plans if any they implement.
    Governments and corporations are using politics, economics and sociology to overcome, not solve, what is basically a maths and physics problem. Too many people and not enough resources.
    Cheers.

  135. Kate Ahearne

    This has been a most extraordinary thread of comments, and from my point of view, an alarming one.
    Just a few points, though. Miriam, good for you: ‘Remember that blacksmiths can quickly melt steel using just wood or coal and a bellows to force air in.’ Of course they do. Anybody can melt steel in their shed with a welding kit.’
    Sean, ‘I’m still happy to answer any genuine questions around the arguments set out in the article, but this will not include pedantry over facts and sources ’ PEDANTRY OVER FACTS AND SOURCES? Give me strength! Of course we need to be ‘pedantic’ over facts and sources – just one example. If governments had been pedantic over facts and sources, there would have been no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and no excuse for marching into Iraq, and all the grief and the bloodshed that has followed might not have followed. If we are not ‘pedantic’ over facts and sources, anybody can claim anything and, unfortunately, a lot of people will believe it. AND THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT IS HAPPENING. (I wouldn’t use the word ‘pedantic’ myself, though. It’s a loaded word in this context – a ‘put-down word.)
    ‘Obama entered office with a personal net worth of $1.5m. He will leave office with $12.5m.’ A case in point. You know this for a fact because…
    ‘That he (Trump) wants to send in ground troops to Syria is the first good sign.’ Do the Syrian people need any more combatants? A genuine peace-keeping force might do some good.
    Kaye, thank you.

  136. Sean Stinson

    Jesus Christ on a pushike KL

    What part of PUTIN IS NOT ABOUT TO INVADE EUROPE don’t you get?

    You have been brainwashed, along with the other mass media consuming junkies, into thinking of Russia as a resource hungry imperialist rogue state which which wants to rule the world. Sorry, that would be the US. Don’t judge others by your own standards.

    So far as geopolitics goes, Putin is the adult in the room.

    Michael

    I’m pretty sure, make that certain, if Drumpf was going to send troops into Syria, it would not be a repeat of 2003. It would be done in cooperation with the Syrian government and Russia – tho how he would work with Hezbollah remains to be seen.

    You are right tho, the invasion and destabilisation of Iraq created the conditions for ISIS, which he has also said repeatedly.

  137. Sean Stinson

    Please go back to the top of the page, and read the first three paragraphs.

    Then read this, just published on the intercept.

    “Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/16/jeremy-corbyn-accused-of-being-russian-collaborator-for-questioning-nato-troop-build-up-on-border/

    Are you seeing a pattern yet?

    and before anyone calls me on it, no, I do not support Corbyn’s claim that “Russia has engaged in serious human rights abuses both domestically and in Syria”.

  138. kate ahearne

    Sean: ‘I’m pretty sure, make that certain, if Drumpf was going to send troops into Syria, it would not be a repeat of 2003. It would be done in cooperation with the Syrian government and Russia.’ Would that be the ‘government’ of the dictator, Bashar al Assad?

  139. Sean Stinson

    No Kate Ahearn, that would be the legitimate government of the sovereign state of Syria as recognised by the United Nations, and its democratically appointed leader, Bashar al Assad.

    Enough with the effing warmongering rhetoric of the mainstream press already!

    I’m starting to see why you were so offended by my article.

  140. Kaye Lee

    Sean, you yelling at me that I fail to understand and have been brainwashed etc was a complete avoidance of the question I asked and an hysterical overreaction which presumes to not only tell me what I should think, but what I already do think. You are absolutely incorrect in your presumptions and please stop using them to avoid discussion of a reasonable question about the Baltic states. At no stage did I mention invading Europe. Was that a response you had prepared earlier and were hoping to be able to use? I note it is the topic of many RT articles.

    I read the article and no, I don’t see a pattern? What pattern am I supposed to be seeing?

  141. kate ahearne

    I tried to leave this comment a little earlier, but it seems to have disappeared, so in case it re-appears as if by magic, I apologise for the repetition.
    Sean: ‘I’m still happy to answer any genuine questions around the arguments set out in the article, but this will not include pedantry over facts and sources…’ PEDANTRY OVER FACTS AND SOURCES? Give me strength. I wouldn’t use the word, ‘pedantry’ myself, though. Being honest, accountable, transparent and thorough is not pedantry. If you’re not prepared to stand by your claims with sources and verifiable facts, why? If governments had bothered to examine sources and facts, there would have been no such excuse as Weapons of Mass Destruction and there might not have been the actual mass destruction and the human misery that ensued.
    Miriam: ‘Remember that blacksmiths can quickly melt steel using just wood or coal and a bellows to force air in.’ Yep. Anyone can melt steel in their shed with a basic welding kit.
    Kaye Lee: Thank you.

  142. Michael Taylor

    Sean, you may have mis-read what Kaye said, or joining dots that are too far apart to be joined in the first place. I can’t see where Kaye has said that Russia wants to invade Europe, and from what I know of Kaye it’s not a notion she would even entertain.

    Now moving on to the Wikileaks scandal, it appears that people are also joining the wrong dots. The intelligence agencies maintain that Russia tried to fiddle with the election, and Assange repeats the claim that the email leaks were not given to him by the Russian government. Everybody assumes that the two are connect. It looks like they are not.

    I heard an interview last week with the head of one of the intelligence agencies. He confirmed that someone in Russia tried to hack the election and … that this had nothing to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The two are not related.

  143. kate ahearne

    Sean: You really are sloppy with the facts, my name is Ahearne, not Ahearn. And as to the legitimacy of the Assad regime – the UN also recognised the Soviet Union and Gaddafi’s Libya.

  144. Michael Taylor

    Kate, that comment got caught up in the spam folder, for which I apologise. I’ll fix it up now.

  145. Kaye Lee

    ” mass media consuming junkies”

    Give me a break Sean. I spend most of my time fact-checking everything I read which is why sources are important to me. I read the articles you link to. I do my own research which entails me reading all versions. I read what they are saying at RT. I also go to globalresearch and zerohedge and many other sites. You dismiss the White Helmets as a propaganda machine because of the people who fund them. I am sure they do, to a degree, engage in propaganda – they also appear to save people. What really gets me is that you don’t seem to think that Russia engages in propaganda. The fact that RT is state-owned seems to cause you no pause. Your certainty really troubles me. I always have doubts – you have none. Which of us is brainwashed?

  146. Michael Taylor

    I do not support Corbyn’s claim that “Russia has engaged in serious human rights abuses both domestically and in Syria”.

    That’s a big call, Sean. Many would also claim that neither does Australia. The facts say otherwise.

  147. Sean Stinson

    @ Kate

    Because the Soviet Union and Gaddafi’s Libya were also sovereign states!!!

    I have stated clearly for the record that I argue from a critical left position.

    Do we have to go back to first principles and establish what constitutes ‘left’ as opposed to ‘right’?

    You are sounding more and more like an anti-communist troll with each comment.

  148. kate ahearne

    Sean, ‘sovereign’ is not the same as ‘legitimate’. But just so’s we’re clear, how do you define ‘sovereign state’?

  149. Kaye Lee

    I have had the HRW convo with Sean before Michael. He dismisses them as apologists for US government policy and propagandists funded by George Soros.

  150. kate ahearne

    Sean: ‘You are sounding more and more like an anti-communist troll with each comment.’ More name-calling, Sean? Powerful stuff!

  151. Kaye Lee

    Michael, Assange saying he didn’t get the leaks from the Russian government means nothing for mine. Murray says he was given them by an intermediary. That doesn’t in any way preclude Russian involvement – it just allows deniability.

    I heard one analysis that suggested that the aim of the leaks about Sanders was to destabilise and undermine Clinton’s expected presidency (they were after Sanders had no chance) – it worked too well and now they are saying WTF have we done.

  152. James O'Neill

    Thank you Sean for your evidence based approach. It makes a welcome change from the unbelievable BS in many of the comments, ranging from sanctimonious irrelevancies about Syria’s legitimate government, through magic kerosene based fires that reach 1000C (even NIST only said the maximum was around 450C) and onto ill-informed comments about what Russia did or might do. Keep going man.

  153. Michael Taylor

    … and onto ill-informed comments about what Russia did or might do.

    Does that include my link to Russia’s human rights abuses?

  154. Michael Taylor

    I have had the HRW convo with Sean before Michael. He dismisses them as apologists for US government policy and propagandists funded by George Soros.

    What then would Sean say about American human rights violations from the same site?

    https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/united-states

    Or Australia’s

    https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/australia

    Sean, would you like to respond?

    And please don’t think that I’m picking on Russia. I am not. I’m appalled at human rights violations by any country.

  155. James O'Neill

    Michael, you can get sanctimonious about Russia until the cows come home. How many links do you want to human rights abuses by the US? Read William Blum for an account of the 70 or so countries that the US has invaded, bombed, overthrown the governments of etc since 1945 alone, or even better, look at their record post the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and ask yourself: who is the aggressor here?

  156. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee

    “Assange saying he didn’t get the leaks from the Russian government means nothing for mine”
    “I heard one analysis that suggested that the aim of the leaks about Sanders was to destabilise and undermine Clinton’s expected presidency”
    You are always onto Sean about “evidence based”
    “means nothing for mine”” so you don’t bother with fact just go with how you feel?
    Links to yours for the above quotes please

  157. Sean Stinson

    I’d simply say that each claim has to be examined on its own merits. The nature of propaganda is to blue the lines between truth and lies. A smattering of truth is always needed to give credibility.

    I get most of my information from sources on the ground, friends I have met through facebook, independent sources and investigative journalists whose integrity I trust – Seymour Hersh, John Pilger and the like. That are so often huge discrepancies between these sources and the claims of organisations such as such as HRW leads me to suspect the latter are most likely propaganda organs, or have at least been compromised.

    I’d also add that I cannot recall having this conversation with KL. I think that might have been Mark, but I could be wrong.

  158. Sean Stinson

    “the UN also recognised the Soviet Union and Gaddafi’s Libya.”

    They also recognised Bush’s USA, Blair’s UK, and Howard’s Australia

  159. kate ahearne

    James: ‘sanctimonious irrelevancies about Syria’s legitimate government’. Sanctimonious? Why would you want to belittle a person who disagrees with you? Why not present a reasoned and reasonable argument – based, of course, on facts? And by the way, Sean was the one who brought the ‘irrelevancy’ of Syria into the conversation, not me. But while we’re on the subject, was the government of the USSR also ‘legitimate’? Gaddafi’s Libya?

  160. kate ahearne

    Sean, I really would appreciate it if you would answer the question I quite clearly and quite pointedly asked you. To refresh your mind – “‘Sean, ‘sovereign’ is not the same as ‘legitimate’. But just so’s we’re clear, how do you define ‘sovereign state’?” And yes, the UN did recognise all those states, for different reasons. I recognise both apples and oranges, for instance, as fruits – but you’d think I’d lost my marbles if I tried to insist that you could make an apple pie using oranges. In other words, these fruits have vastly differing properties and characteristics, as did Gaddafi’s Libya and Howard’s Australia.

  161. Michael Taylor

    James, it disappoints me that even after my comment at 11:29 you still wish to make assumptions about me. I fear it would be a waste of time to again state my position. The truth, apparently, is not as strong as someone’s assumptions.

  162. Kaye Lee

    Sean, it may have been with Mark on another of your articles.

    I was thinking about your comment re who will win – oil or armaments. I have an uneasy feeling that all the players you mentioned will be working out how to continue on their merry way and I don’t see the Trump administration as any impediment to them.

  163. Sean Stinson

    @KA

    A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralised government that has sovereignty over a geographic area.

    Yes, I’d agree Gaddafi’s Libya had very different properties to Howard’s Australia.

    Here’s a list of commonly asserted facts –

    • There were no electricity bills; electricity was free … for all its citizens.
    • There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya were state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
    • If a Libyan was unable to find employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
    • Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they would receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms.
    • Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country. (The project took 40 years to complete at a cost of billions. In 2011 NATO destroyed it with depleted uranium.)
    • A home was considered a human right in Libya.
    • All newlyweds in Libya would receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
    • Libya had a sovereign wealth fund. A portion of Libyan oil sales is or was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
    • A mother who gives birth to a child would receive US $5,000.
    • The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter.
    • For $ 0.15, a Libyan local could purchase 40 loaves of bread.
    • Education and medical treatments were all free in Libya. Libya boasted one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people had access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
    • If Libyans could find the education or medical facilities they needed in Libya, the government would fund them to go abroad for it and provide US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
    • 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
    • Libya had no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.

  164. Miriam English

    James O’Neill,
    “magic kerosene based fires that reach 1000C (even NIST only said the maximum was around 450C)”
    You are quoting conspiracy theorists’ untruths instead of looking at what NIST themselves actually said:

    “Based on its comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large number of jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers. Both photographic and video evidence—as well as accounts from the New York City Police Department aviation unit during a half-hour period prior to collapse—support this sequence for each tower.”
    https://www.nist.gov/el/faqs-nist-wtc-towers-investigation

  165. Sean Stinson

    @KL 11.59AM

    Not a comment – the entire thesis of my article. But you are welcome to disagree.

  166. kate ahearne

    Thanks for all that ‘information’, Sean. Before I address these ‘facts’, might I ask for your reference or references please? I may be able to help you a little on the matter of Libya.

  167. Miriam English

    Sean, your list about Libya mortifies me. Can you give references to this? I’m horrified that I may have swallowed a lot of propaganda smearing Libya without even suspecting it. I’m further horrified that if your list is correct the West is responsible for destroying the closest thing any state has come to utopia. F*ck. 🙁

  168. James O'Neill

    Kate @ 10.47 and 10.56: International law has certain guidelines for determining whether a government is internationally recognised or not. It has very little to do with how “good” or “bad” its particular leader might be. If one wrote off countries because of the quality of their leadership there would be precious few left.

    Michael @10.50 I make no assumptions about anyone or anything. I try to respond to comments on their factual merits or otherwise. If I have misunderstood you, I apologise.

    Miriam @ 11.21 You persist in misquoting the NIST report and you also ignore the plethora of scientific studies that have debunked the “weakened by plane/raging fire” explanation for the destruction of WTC1 & 2. It is difficult to ignore the conclusion that you are either wilfully ignorant or deliberately spreading disinformation. WTC was neither hit by a plane, nor did it have raging fires. Contrary to the BS spread earlier, I forget by whom, as to actual collapse times, WTC7 came down in less than 7 seconds. Again, the scientific evidence, not the half baked theories of you and others like you, that is literally impossible unless explosives are used.

    The video evidence also shows the explosives used in WTC1 & 2, quite apart from the other scientific evidence. By the way, how were interviews conducted with people in the building, by esp, or other supernatural means. As I understand it, everyone who was in the buildings when they came down, perished, for very obvious reasons. That included the firemen who radioed that there were just “a few small fires” that they had under control, seconds before they, like the building, were turned to dust. While on the subject of dust, how do you explain the pulverisation of concrete into fine powder when the only energy source available was gravitation? Ditto the steel beams ejected hundreds of feet; and ditto the molten steel that burned for weeks after the collapse.

    As for the truly crazy metaphor of backyard blacksmiths, that literally leaves one speechless for its fundamental stupidity.

  169. Sean Stinson

    I know Miriam. Read it and weep.

    For those wondering, I got this off the CNN website.

    Ive heard these, and similar claims made numerous times over the years, and from numerous sources.

    I have not yet seen any of them disproven.

    Note however that I did give the qualification that it was a list of “commonly asserted facts”

    Gaddafi’s Great Manmade River was a thing that happened – of this I am certain.

  170. Kaye Lee

    Welcome to disagree about what?

  171. Sean Stinson

    The thesis of my article KL. I am not here to argue about 911.

  172. Miriam English

    Sean… hmmm… looking further into Libya, it wasn’t all peaches and cream, “Trade unions were incorporated into the ASU and strikes outlawed. The press, already subject to censorship, was officially conscripted in 1972 as an agent of the revolution. Italians and what remained of the Jewish community were expelled from the country and their property confiscated in October 1970.” I have a lot more to read, but it seems it had its share of problems. Outlawing strikes doesn’t sound very worker-oriented, censoring the press and turning it into propaganda isn’t a great idea either, and using racism to steal from people and exile them is not very enlightened. Nevertheless, in other ways it seems a pretty admirable nation project. Much more to read.

    James, really???? How is my quoting directly from the NIST site misquoting them? I notice you don’t back up any of your utterly preposterous claims with actual evidence.

    As it happens I was working at home programming with a TV window open in the corner of my screen, which is not something I normally do, but they broke into the normal show for breaking news and live video of the WTC incident. After that I watched, mesmerised over the couple of hours for the entire event to unfold. I saw the whole damn thing as well as videos afterward (nobody on Earth could avoid those) so don’t tell me stupid shit like “WTC was neither hit by a plane, nor did it have raging fires” and “the video evidence also shows the explosives used in WTC1 & 2”. For dog’s sake man, just have a look at the videos and see for yourself. Don’t close your eyes and just believe the conspiracy theorists.

  173. kate ahearne

    Sean, I’m glad to see that you are using the phrase, ‘asserted facts’ with regard to your list of the Gaddafi regime’s ‘achievements’ in the Social People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
    Let me just make a few brief points, although I could go on and on and debunk every one of these ‘asserted facts, because I have lived in Libya. In the early ‘80s I spent 2 years teaching at the University in Benghazi. In 2009 I worked for 6 months in the Police Academy in Tripoli.
    Let’s just start with the loaf of bread. Libyan bread was typically a small loaf that we would call a bread roll. Yes, they were cheap because fruit and vegetables were expensive and very hard to find, particulary in the 1980s. I don’t remember how much one of these loaves would have cost in 1982, but in 2009 you would pay about 15 cents for one, not for 40! I remember sitting on my balcony in Benghazi in the early ‘80s watching for people coming back from the empty, Soviet-built ‘kit’ supermarkets. Every couple of months you might see people coming home with eggs – not meat or vegetables, but eggs. When this happened, I would throw the baby in the pusher and head off, hoping to get there before the eggs ran out. A couple of times, a shipload of cheese came in – there was a stampede! Every couple of months you could buy meat. They wouldn’t ask what kind of meat you wanted, just how much, and if you could assure them that you had a family to feed, you could buy a kilo lump of something that could have been beef or lamb or camel. Who knew? When we came back to Australia, we heard about the kangaroo meat scandal – kangaroo stamped with a blue dye, that had been exported to Libya. Yep, that’s why the meat we were able to buy on very rare occasions was decorated with blue dye.
    Those farms? On one occasion in 2009 we went on an expedition outside Benghazi to see these farms. This was the only opportunity we had to explore the countryside because the secret police would not permit it. The reason we were able to get away with it on this occasion was because we were in an armoured car owned by the Libyan army and driven by an American-born ‘adviser’ we had met. Yes, there were parcels of land, miles and miles of them, each with it’s identical green tractor and identical green water carrier, and NO farming going on anywhere – just Soviet-supplied green equipment rusting in dust-bowl yards.
    Education? Yes, there certainly were students, and there were degrees, but the degrees being issued from the University of Benghazi when I was there were absolutely useless! Students who had no English or at best very poor English were being taught Medicine and Engineering from English-language textbooks.
    Health care? Just don’t get sick was the best advice.
    But worst of all was the fear that people lived with every day of their lives. If you ‘went along to get along’, you’d probably be OK – alive, at least. But if you were suspicious in any real or imagined way, you would probably disappear. Either that, or you’d be thrown into prison without trial. Then there were the public executions. The secret police were everywhere. In the last couple of months I was in Benghazi, I was followed everywhere I went – nothing subtle about it. My family and I got safely away by bribing a Libyan official.

  174. Roswell

    “I got this off the CNN website”.

    Wasn’t it a reporter from CNN who Trump refused a question from during his press conference the other day? “You are fake news”, he said when refusing to take a question.

  175. Sean Stinson

    Afr from perfect Miriam, but basically a socialist, nationalist state. The kind US imperialism does not allow.

  176. Roswell

    Of course it was. It’s in your article – in the paragraph where you bagged CNN.

  177. Sean Stinson

    Roswell. I could have picked any number of sources. I chose CNN because it is notionally conservative. In much the same way that I admire this quote from Richard Nixon. “There can be no social justice until there is economic justice.”

    You are being a f*cking pedant. Stop it.

  178. Roswell

    Sean, it appears to me that you only believe what you want to believe, yet are critical of others doing the same . . . if they have different beliefs.

  179. paulwalter

    Sean Stinson. ,you have batted them down, explaining you view soundly enough. They have tested you out, but to my mind you are well in front.

  180. Roswell

    That, Paul, is a very subjective view.

  181. Michael Taylor

    Paul, how have I been batted down?

  182. Miriam English

    Hmmm… worsening…
    Beginning in 1977, “revolutionary committees” were organized and assigned the task of “absolute revolutionary supervision of people’s power”; that is, they were to guide the people’s committees, “raise the general level of political consciousness and devotion to revolutionary ideals”. In reality, the revolutionary committees were used to survey the population and repress any political opposition to Gaddafi’s autocratic rule. Reportedly 10% to 20% of Libyans worked in surveillance for these committees, a proportion of informants on par with Ba’athist Iraq or North Korea.
    More reading to do…

    Kate, that fits well with what you said too. Thanks for adding your info. In looking on the net I keep encountering Sean’s list over and over again repeated, but not questioned, by many people… reminiscent of urban legends. Pity. I really wanted such a utopia to have been possible.

  183. Jexpat

    Michael Taylor wrote: “I heard an interview last week with the head of one of the intelligence agencies. He confirmed that someone in Russia tried to hack the election and … that this had nothing to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The two are not related.”

    This ‘hack the election’ assertion (innuendo) has been making the rounds for months. I’ve yet to see a suitable explanation of what ‘hack the election’ means- or what the specific allegations are (much less any evidence beyond ‘so and so says’).

  184. James O'Neill

    Miriam English @ 1.19 “don’t tell me stupid shit like “WTC was neither hit by a plane, nor did it have raging fires” I was referring to WTC7 as you well know. If there is any “stupid shit” around it is coming from you in bucketloads. As for backing my claims with evidence, I have referred to, inter alia, the books of David Griffin and the website debunking 9/11 debunking. As you seem impervious to actual evidence I am probablyly wasting my time doing even that.

  185. jimhaz

    I never agree with what Sean says, with good reason. That said, I am completely aware that I am too biased towards the West and that I perhaps need to meet closer to the middle, particularly now that the US is headed by a person of the same egotism as Putin.

    “In his speech to the Federation Council on 25 April 2005, President Vladimir Putin (2005) claimed that “the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century”. Two years later, in his address to the Munich Conference on Security Policy he described the unipolar world that developed after the Cold War with the US as the only superpower as “unacceptable” (Putin, 2007)”

    Putin just wants to be regarded as the leader of a superpower. He seems to want to reinstate the old USSR, so I see a justification for NATO to increase military activity in those ex-USSR areas. I doubt it would be good for the world for Putin to be allowed any leeway in bringing those satelites back in to sate Putins edifice complex.

    In terms of US failures, such as Sth America, as far I can see it was destiny that they regressed once the US left, due to the historical nature of non-democratic politics or non-income distributing cartels in those countries. Lol, now that the US is a country that is run by “non-income distributing cartels” and has a uncompromising ego-idiot leader, perhaps it is primed for interference. Maybe the rest of the world will gang up on the US.

  186. Sean Stinson

    Roswell

    When those beliefs consist of “Stalin murdered 20 million of his own people”, “Assad uses chemical weapons”, and “Putin murders his political opponents”, damn straight I am critical.

  187. James O'Neill

    @Jimhaz 2.24 If you look at what happened to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union it was a major disaster for the Russian people. The Yeltsin years were an unmitigated disaster as the country was plundered by western corporations and its own corrupt oligarchs. Industrial production plummeted; life expectancy fell; and there were other disasters. You need to look at the whole context of Putin’s remarks and not take bits for your own ideological purposes.

    As for your claim he wants to be regarded as the leader of a superpower and reinstate the old USSR, this is an entirely fact free assertion. Reading the western msm has clearly addled your brain. As for Putin’s statement that having the US as the world’s sole superpower is “unacceptable”, what is the rational basis for disagreeing with that? The world will be a safer place with countervailing powers that will give us a chance at avoiding a repeat of the US waging war on multiple countries since 1991 (and before). Obama has the dubious distinction of being the first American president to be waging war (currently 8 countries) for every day of his presidency. Can you say the same of Putin and Xi with a straight face?

  188. harshmind

    There have been so many comments on Sean Stinson’s article I have had to go back to read what he actually said. Very little as it turns out. It’s no revelation that the use of disinformation has a long history. The use of an example from 1924 doesn’t really add to that, except to prepare us for further accusations against the West. While Putin may understandably feel threatened by events since the break-up of the USSR, it takes very uncritical thinking to ignore the nationalistic, bordering on fascist, nature of his impulses. Demonising the US and its opaque network of power (Russia doesn’t have one?) does nothing to detract from this view and nothing to shed a kind light on Trump either. And I really wanted to know the truth about Urine-gate because it matches the character Trump exhibited all last year, but sadly it’s just tossed into the fake news folder without much scrutiny.

  189. Sean Stinson

    “Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.”

    – Vladimir Putin

  190. Miriam English

    Uh oh, really not looking good. Here is an annotation to Sean’s list from back in 2014.

    Below, Nizar Mhani (Niz Ben-Essa) of the Free Generation Movement responds to common misconceptions relating to the Gaddafi regime (the bolded inaccurate statements are being circulated via email forward). Follow FGMovement on Facebook, and FGMovement on Twitter.

    There are no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
    Categorically untrue. Despite poor electricity infrastructure and poor coverage of electricity lines, even in the Capital, Libyan home owners pay monthly/quarterly (area dependant) electricity bills based on meter readings. Electricity is cut off in instances of unpaid bills. Reconnection upon payment is not instant. The electric infrastructure is weak and some areas of Libya do not have electricity available at all.

    There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
    Categorically untrue. Banks all over Libya have been giving out loans for years and years. There is a percentage rate charge on all loans, which is comparable to an interest rate, but in the spirit of ‘islamic ethics’ it is not called interest, it is called an ‘Administrative Expense’ – Masareef Edareeya.

    A House is considered a human right in Libya — Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi¹s father has died while he, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.
    Gaddafi abused this human right as much as he did other basic rights. It is well known in Libya that political opponents and successful business men/women had their homes confiscated and handed over to regime members, usually rewards for Free Officers –Dubat A7rar. Many farms and homes and businesses were confiscated during three infamous phases of Libyas dictatorial history:

    – 1969 – The dreaded Green Revolution. Free Officers were rewarded land, homes, and farms that sometimes belonged to other people and the original owners were not compensated or asked if this was ok.

    – Late 70’s – The introduction of the law Albayt le Sakinehee – The Home Belongs to its Dwellers. As this law was passed overnight, thousands of homeowners instantly lost their homes, as tenants (those renting the homes) claimed ownership on account of being the ‘dwellers’. The law applied to homes, farms, shops, etc.

    – 90’s – The introduction of Purification Committees (Lejnat al Tatheer). This committee ran by the widely know slogan, ‘Min ayna laka hada?’ – “From where did you obtain this?”, a form of ultra-socialism where people’s possessions, including homes and businesses, were confiscated if seen to be ‘surplus to requirement’ or contributing to a ‘monopoly’.

    Regarding Gaddafis ‘vow’: While Gaddafi waited for ‘everyone in Libya’ to be housed, he himself lived in a sprawling 6km square compound in the centre of the capital which was home to state of the art security and an underground network of rooms and ultramodern bunkers. He also had a vast and well known farm on Airport Road in Tripoli. This, just in the capital.

    All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
    This is a well known rumour and a common joke in Libya. Whilst it may have been passed as official legislation, I know of not a single family who has been given this grant. The backbreaking bureaucracy associated with such grants and loans make them more or less impossible to obtain.

    Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.
    Education and Health Care – Free does not mean adequate. It is well known that Libya’s standard of health care is nothing short of appalling. It is widely known that the majority of Libyans seeking medical care leave for neighbouring countries for treatment. Our Education system is no better. It is outdated, teachers are underpaid and under-trained and libraries are largely non-existent. The syllabus was constantly being revised and reviewed under direct instruction from the former regime e.g. banning English, changing Quranic verses, etc.
    It is commonly said that Libyans would be happy to forfeit their ‘free health care’ and pay for a National Health Service if it was up to the required standard.

    Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and Livestock to kick- start their farms all for free.
    This has never happened, in addition to this many farms and homes have been confiscated by the government to build railroads, The Great Man Made River and civil roads.
    The owners of the land were only compensated if there was a covered structure on the land as the Gaddafi regime legally owned any land and the people were only allowed to build on it. When there was compensation offered it was nowhere near the actual value of the property and many waited years to receive anything if at all. This system was also rife with corruption many residents told they had to pay a bribe to receive what little they were given.

    If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it not only free but they get $2, 300/month accommodation and car allowance.
    Categorically untrue. If this was the case, the former regime would have been in receipt of 6 million application forms – one for every man, women and child who ‘cannot find education or medical facilities they need’. This grant does not exist for the mainstream public. There is anectdotal evidence of some medical grants being given but again, the system was corrupt and opaque.

    In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government pays 50% of the price. u200eThe price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
    There is no truth to the former Gaddafi regime paying 50% of the value of a new car.

    Whilst the price of fuel is indeed cheap, the quality of roads, the accuracy and availability of road signs, the presence of road traffic police, and all other transport infrastructure is of abysmal standard.
    The absence of an integrated and functional public transport system means that people are reliant on their cars for all movement and might end up paying more on fuel than our neighbours around the Mediterranean basin.

    Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion now frozen globally.
    Whilst our sovereign wealth is undeniable, none of it was spent on the people of Libya nor the infrastructure of the country. Basic amenities, services, and state infrastructure are either absent or of appalling standard.
    The availability of money is not tantamount to wealth or prosperity. The Arabs have a saying about Libya – “A rich nation of poor inhabitants.”

    If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
    Categorically untrue. Even basic wages are sometimes unpaid for months, for those lucky enough to be employed. Welfare for the unemployed is non-existent.

    A portion of Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
    No basis to this claim as no such case can be found.

    A mother who gave birth to a child receive US $5,000
    Categorically untrue. There is a Child Benefit welfare payment in Libya – it is roughly 15-20 Libyan Dinars a month per child. No Libyan citizen was given foreign currency as compensation.

    40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
    Bread was subsidized by the state. Whilst the price varies (marginally) from shop to shop, bread usually costs ¼ dinars for 10 baguettes (small) or roughly 500grams per dinar.

    25% of Libyans have a university degree
    The absence of a comprehensive selection process and a corrupt entry protocol means that universities in Libya are grossly over populated and over subscribed, despite limited facilities. This results in an over inflated number of graduates, but not necessarily an adequate level of employability. There are thousands of students studying foundation year medicine in Tripoli alone.

    Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available.
    The Jury is still out on this. The project has indeed supplied water to many towns and cities around Libya, but the cost is thought to be as stratastrophic as the time it took to complete this. Further, decades of an absence of appropriate licensing, monitoring and control has meant that wells were dug for every home, putting immense pressure on Libya’s natural and naturally replenishable water sources. This resulted in the increase of salinity in local water reserves, which lead to the need for an expansive project such as the Man Made River.

  191. Roswell

    Sean, in my job I had to be pedant.

  192. harshmind

    Sean, Putin is a horse and he has a mouth?

    “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” Donald Trump.

  193. Roswell

    Miriam, it looks like Sean was right in his post: CNN is unreliable. You just reaffirmed it for him.

  194. Miriam English

    I’ve also found another annotation to the list which is more generous, saying that petrol is really cheap there, and so are cars, but as only recent models are imported new model cars are everywhere. Also that the availability of water was intended to work and attempted to do a good job, and though some of it has become fouled with salt water, much of Libya has excellent fresh artesian water. But on the whole the other annotator says pretty-much the same as Nizar Mhani above, that corruption is rife, exemplified by Gaddafi himself when he was alive and that the people were basically completely screwed over.

    A real pity. The ideal was great. If Gaddafi had followed through the way Castro did it could have been a shining example for the world. Conversely, if Castro had access to the wealth Gaddafi did I can only imagine what he could have achieved… although perhaps he would have been corrupted by the money too. 🙁

  195. Sean Stinson

    although perhaps he would have been corrupted by the money too. ?

    can’t let it go, can you.

  196. Nikki Schwartz

    @ Miriam English,
    “Uh oh, really not looking good.”

    Libya, you mean? If you do a google image search for “Libya before and after”, I think we can all agree on that, and we have Killary to thank for it.

    by the way using quotes from NIST to prove the official account of 9/11 is like using the bible to prove gods existence..
    both sources are unscientific and rely on blind faith in fanciful tales..

    Please let me know if you can find an error in this article

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-are-nists-911-wtc-reports-false-and-unscientific/5399091

  197. Sean Stinson

    Miriam

    I would just like to point out that your thorough debunking of my points comes courtesy of the Free Generation Movement, yet another, dare I say it, Soros funded NGO “made up of independent activists working towards the development and progression of Libya and Libyan society”, as their self description would have it.

    And that brings up back yet again to another he said-she said mud slinging shit fight aka information war.

    I just cannot go another round I’m sorry.

    I encourage you to research this further, as will I.

  198. Roswell

    Ahead of links to web sites that we are all going to doubt the validity of, I prefer to go with Kate’s first-hand experience. I have no reason to doubt her.

  199. jimhaz

    @James O’Neill

    [Jimhaz 2.24 If you look at what happened to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union it was a major disaster for the Russian people. The Yeltsin years were an unmitigated disaster as the country was plundered by western corporations and its own corrupt oligarchs. Industrial production plummeted; life expectancy fell; and there were other disasters. You need to look at the whole context of Putin’s remarks and not take bits for your own ideological purposes]

    So should you.

    “the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century”

    Geopolitical is not domestic.

    Nor do I recall reading about Western plundering after the breakup – but I’m not going to be bothered looking.

    Many of the domestic problems were destiny – things that happen for a limited time (or a long time depending on management) after a major restructure occurs.

    [As for your claim he wants to be regarded as the leader of a superpower and reinstate the old USSR, this is an entirely fact free assertion. Reading the western msm has clearly addled your brain]

    Yes, fact free – but we are all humans thus infer from circumstantial evidence. As far as I am concerned there is enough of that with Crimea and Georgia.

    I probably exaggerated, he doesn’t want a full scale return as that would involve too high a cost in subsidies as before the breakup – but he does want them loyal to Russia.

    [As for Putin’s statement that having the US as the world’s sole superpower is “unacceptable”, what is the rational basis for disagreeing with that?]

    What is Putins justification for not finding it acceptable?

    [The world will be a safer place with countervailing powers that will give us a chance at avoiding a repeat of the US waging war on multiple countries since 1991 (and before)]

    I fully disagree. Global warming will mean that 1 superpower only would be best. Not that we will have that with the rise of China and the debt of the US.

    [Obama has the dubious distinction of being the first American president to be waging war (currently 8 countries) for every day of his presidency. Can you say the same of Putin and Xi with a straight face?]

    Sure I can when comparing the US and Russia. Not China though. Obama was just coping with legacies he had been given – and I see no reason to apply blame to him personally.

    The Arab Spring really started with Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan (not that anything complex has a singular definable start).

    Not that I care much who is at fault as I see what happens as being destiny – practically bound to occur at some point and only the timeframe affected by external inferences using them as pawns. Only small countries that act truly cooperatively and primarily democratically have a chance of success – it is partly why Dubai is doing so well so far.

    There is some element of warmongering for arms manufacturing profit, but that applies equally to both sides. Note though that if the US had no arms sales, then Russia or Europe would be doing the lot.

    It a great mess but again that is too be expected as the vast majority of individuals are totally subservient to the demands of their egos, thus not actually rational. Geopolitics is a just a representation of this.

  200. Miriam English

    James, here is a quote of what you said:

    Miriam @ 11.21 You persist in misquoting the NIST report and you also ignore the plethora of scientific studies that have debunked the “weakened by plane/raging fire” explanation for the destruction of WTC1 & 2. It is difficult to ignore the conclusion that you are either wilfully ignorant or deliberately spreading disinformation. WTC was neither hit by a plane, nor did it have raging fires. Contrary to the BS spread earlier, I forget by whom, as to actual collapse times, WTC7 came down in less than 7 seconds.

    Note that you specified WTC1 & 2, then referred generally to WTC, then in the next sentence you refer to WTC7. It is impossible to conclude from reading the above that the middle sentence (WTC) referred to WTC7. Perhaps you really did mean WTC7 and accidentally omitted it, in which case I’m sorry for my harsh words, but you can see why I thought you meant what you actually said.

    I don’t think referring to conspiracy theorists who merely pass around misinformation can be considered evidence. I mean actual proper evidence, not just this guy said this. For example, the fact that looking at the videos shows the buildings fell the wrong way for controlled demolition — demolitions fall from the bottom, the WTC buildings (except for WTC7) fell from the top. WTC7 was set on fire by flying debris from the others. In videotapes you can see the building developing a severe lean for a while before it collapsed and hear people warning others that it looks like it’s going to collapse. When it eventually does, after burning for about 6 hours you can see it cave in from the inside where all the fires are, which is exactly what you’d expect. One of the companies that was a tenant there stored lots of oil and other chemicals there and there were numerous reports of that being on fire.

    As Kaye said, you also have to look at motive. The largest tenant of the 47-story building was the bank Salomon Smith Barney, but there were also offices of the CIA, the Department of Defence, utility company ConEd, and the Internal Revenue Service. It strains credibility to think that the CIA and Department of Defense would be interested in blowing up their offices… for no obvious gain… when the building was already ablaze inside.

  201. Nikki Schwartz

    For gawds sake Miriam, and anybody else welded to the official impossible account, there is an open scientific study conducted by experts, where everyone is welcome to contribute, even you, that so far, says the official account of the collapse of building 7 due to fires, is not possible.

    “WTC 7 Evaluation is a two-year study by Dr. J Leroy Hulsey, Chair of UAF’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and two Ph.D. research assistants. It is being crowd-funded through the nonprofit organization Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.”

    “WTC 7 Evaluation is a completely open and transparent investigation into the cause of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse. Every aspect of the scientific process will be posted here and on the university’s website so that the public can follow its progress.”

    It is actually really nice to finally have a proper investigation, even if it is 15 years too late.

    Make sure you let them know where they are wrong, in your expert opinion, that is was office combustibles that brought down Building 7 at free fall acceleration.

    http://www.wtc7evaluation.org/

    Please keep us informed, I look forward to reading their response to your debunking.

  202. kate ahearne

    Thanks Roswell. I could go on and on, but it seems that nothing I could say would make an iota of difference. I did, just out of interest, google ‘Libya before and after’, as suggested by Nikki. Some of those photos that are supposed to be of Tripoli before the fall of the Gaddafi regime don’t resemble any city-scape I saw. And where are the photos of the rubble lying about all over the place? And where are the open drains? Where are the beaten-up vehicles? There certainly was improvement between 1982 and 2009 in many areas of the city, and there was more freedom for visitors to enter the country, and for Libyans to travel, especially to study. The old souk that had been closed in the early years of the regime had been allowed to open again. But it was too little and it took too long. Meanwhile, people were not free. All positions of any power were occupied by friends of the regime, with the result that administration throughout the country was an utter shambles – the police college where I worked was a classic example of unqualified people making ridiculous decisions. And all that money Libya is supposed to have had? Maybe it did, but it wasn’t in the hands of the people – the vast majority of whom were very poor. But most important of all is the fact that the people were ruled by fear, by a person who had seized power unlawfully and knew no boundaries. I could tell so many stories. No wonder the regime was eventually overthrown. What happened afterwards, and what has happened since does not make Gaddafi a nice person, or any kind of benign figure. He was a bully and a murderer, and nothing anybody else might have done wrong will ever take that away.

  203. paulwalter

    Michael Taylor, for my answer, refer to the Stinson post re Stalin, Assad etc post 2 27.

    Stinson could have additionally asked about the death toll in the mid east over the last forty years as the West pursued its dreams of a geo-strategic oil empire.

    I don’t believe myself or Stinson love Russia, but we do seek a realist analysis free of sentimentalist illusion. The mid east is about resource/proxy wars, not poor little virtuous us under attack from a hegemonic Russian beast we few still stand against.

  204. Michael Taylor

    Paul, that still doesn’t answer how I was batted down.

  205. Robert G. Shaw

    @ Sean, goddamn man!
    You’re attitude is a near insurmountable block on dialogue. You posit limits on others that you freely, unashamedly, waltz through.
    There is no dialogue with you – you are a caricature of those you despise and decry. You simply cannot see it because you emabrace the paradox, the ambivalence, of the ideologue.
    And that’s a great shame.
    So many conversations, so many rebuttals, so many points of direct contradiction, I don’t really know where to start.
    So I won’t.
    Remember, polemics is good except when it’s hypocrisy.

    To Kate A. – thank you for your personal account.
    Worth the price of admission alone.

    A most revelatory thread.

  206. Roswell

    paulwalter, I was questioning Sean’s statement that 9/11 was the greatest act of terrorism by a government against its own people, so I gave a few examples to show otherwise. I too ask, how was I batted down?

  207. Nikki Schwartz

    kate ahearne

    “I did, just out of interest, google ‘Libya before and after’, as suggested by Nikki. ”

    and by those pictures did your own eyes tell you things are better or worse now?

    “We came, we saw, he died.” she cackled.. imagine if Killary was the president elect, and then a mob of paid mercenaries invaded and shoved a knife up her cloaca.. and then laughed about it, and the person in charge then ran to be elected as leader of that country..

    What a bloody joke.. ‘cept not really funny

  208. paulwalter

    You guys to need to see the issue of Russian action/response in the context of global economic structure,and unfolding history. Moralistic ” old” essentialism about Russia as some sort of monster, alive through the last century does not help when the way the west has conducted politics over that century is not considered also.

    As I’ve said before, if there is an emerging threat from Russia or China, that goes back to the misuse of the Western economy by the Plutarchy and it is the mentality IN THE WEST that needs examining, not lazy blame Russia/Muslims/whatever stuff.

    Less othering; more thinking…

  209. James O'Neill

    Thank you for that Nikki. I am afraid that you may be wasting your breath. There are some whose ignorance is invincible. The highly selective responses to many points made in the foregoing discussion make that very clear.

  210. Roswell

    “Imagine if Killary was the president elect”.

    I imagine my opinion would be the same as it is now. I can’t speak for others, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought the same as me.

  211. harshmind

    The sub-threads here have been interesting but also quite tedious. Libya: I too worked in Libya, from 1977 to 1980, and I agree with Kate Ahearne that conditions were far from perfect, chaotic even, but largesse was made possible by the income stream from oil at the time. And, yes, it was more stable than now, but at the cost of intellectual freedom. The locals just had to know who held the purse strings to reap the rewards. On the WTC conspiracy: I see assertions that no planes crashed into the twin towers. This means that the image I saw when tuning in that very night to watch Lleyton Hewitt, who had just won the US Open tennis, were digitally manipulated and fed to the news services. More than that, shaped charges were planted about the base of the building to bring it down. More than that, molten metal was found a long time after the event. More than that, a crowd-funded scientific study is finding it would be impossible for fire to have brought the buildings down. So, we have a rather simple explanation that a combination of jet fuel and combustibles weakened the structure to the extent it collapsed vs. an impossibly elaborate scenario in which hundreds of agents must have been involved to deliberately sabotage several structures for political gain and broadcast fake imagery to contradict this. Actually, logic dictates there was no further political gain to be had by dropping the buildings once they had been impacted by aircraft loaded with Jet A1, but I forgot, the planes didn’t happen. Conspiracies may occur and probably do. But the greater the number of participants, the greater the chance of being found out. It is inconceivable that the conspiracy advanced as truth has not resulted in one agent examining their conscience over the thousands of deaths and confessed. You really do have to have made up your mind beforehand to believe this “truther” nonsense.

  212. Roswell

    paulwalter, don’t worry, I have my issues with America as well. America also has a lot to answer for, most of which has been mentioned here by others. You would not have seen me disagreeing with it.

  213. Matters Not

    harshmind wrote:

    You really do have to have made up your mind beforehand to believe this “truther” nonsense.

    Can only agree. If you have the ‘theory’, then the ‘facts’ will follow.

  214. Roswell

    James, your own ignorance is showing.

  215. Nikki Schwartz

    “I imagine my opinion would be the same as it is now. I can’t speak for others, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought the same as me.”

    yes Roswell, there is a lot of groupthink, aka hivemind going on here.. or as James would call it, invincible ignorance.

    Being batted down with a hefty lump of 4X2, or batted down with facts, science, physics and an endless list of irrefutable proofs has the same effect on the lot of you.. you simply get back up again, only to mutter the very same inanities that batted you down in the first place.

    Some would describe what you do here as a circle jerk, but I’m too polite.

  216. paulwalter

    Roswell, I think the thread is interesting because it is exploring (possible) unexpected change only perceived or at least sensed as to its possible nature.

    It was inconceivable a decade ago that the USA would not remain the dominant hegemonic superpower and this thread and its side-discussions are querying the likelihood of qualitative and quantative change within a previously nation based rather than oligarchist Aristotelian global order not previously seen as subject to such a species of change.

    Can the Chinese rulership or/ and Putin and his friends muster the resources needed to actually challenge US dominance, given what appears to be a decline in the rationality in which the US conducts its internal and external affairs?

    How close are the US’s opponents in robbing it of its vaunted tech edge and are significant power formations in the US now aligned with the likes of Putin, a crafty oligarch, to the extent that this makes the concept of a viable USA itself questionable. Where does the hierarchy of finacialised capitalism fit it?

  217. Nikki Schwartz

    “James, your own ignorance is showing.”

    I have never seen a better example of an unqualified opinion being used as some sort of valid argument to anything.
    The truth is out there Roswell, Fair Dinkum!

  218. harshmind

    Nikki, I shall change my moniker to hivemind. I like the constant recourse to the words physics and science you have, reminds me of Malcolm Roberts’ use of the word empiricism. As for being too polite, you just weren’t.

  219. Roswell

    I hate to be rude, Nikki, but you’re an imbecile.

    If you had a half a brain – and I’m convinced you fall short of that – you’d be able to ascertain what I was talking about.

    By responding to your pathetic comment I’m even doubting my own intelligence.

  220. kate ahearne

    Nikki: and by those pictures did your own eyes tell you things are better or worse now?

    Nikki: ‘By those pictures’ I can’t tell much. There was plenty of rubble beforehand, and no doubt there’s a lot more now. Let’s hope the Libyan people can overcome these new problems and build an open, free and equal society out of that rubble. ‘By those pictures’, I cannot tell whether people are more free or less free, or what their future might be – the revolution is not over by any means. My heart goes out to those ordinary people whose lives I was privileged to share. I think we need to look a lot further than those pictures to get to the truth of things.
    Paul: ‘ Less othering; more thinking…’ Yes, indeedy. It’s quite uncanny how relevant that remark is. I couldn’t have put it better.
    James: ‘There are some whose ignorance is invincible.’ Yes, indeedy.
    Nikki: ‘Being batted down with a hefty lump of 4X2, or batted down with facts, science, physics and an endless list of irrefutable proofs has the same effect on the lot of you. you simply get back up again, only to mutter the very same inanities that batted you down in the first place.’ And yes, indeedy to that, too.

  221. Kaye Lee

    “When those beliefs consist of “Stalin murdered 20 million of his own people”, “Assad uses chemical weapons”, and “Putin murders his political opponents”, damn straight I am critical.”

    Are you suggesting that millions didn’t die under Stalin’s rule? How can you be so certain that Assad didn’t use chemical weapons – witnesses say otherwise. And who do you think poisoned Litvinenko – plutonium is not your everyday poison. what about Boris Nemtsov who had said he feared Mr Putin would have him killed because of his opposition to the war in Ukraine – hours after appealing for support for a march in Moscow against the war in Ukraine he was shot. What about the assassination of journalist Anna Politkovskaya?

    I find it hard to understand why James and Sean keep saying we have been brainwashed by the western press. Could you possibly tell me the infallible sources that you are getting your information from and why you are so certain of ‘facts’ that seem very dubious to me.

  222. Miriam English

    Nikki, interesting you would say that. I see people here carefully considering information, researching to find references, then changing their view according to the information available… unless they are caught up inside conspiracy theories, and then they stick to them like superglue regardless of available information. It’s a pity that those caught up in conspiracy theories so quickly descend to insults when they feel their worldview threatened with data.

  223. Kaye Lee

    “Dr. J Leroy Hulsey,” released his conclusions before they did their investigation at some truther symposium. Please excuse me if I find that an unusual way to do a ‘scientific’ study.

  224. Matters Not

    Being batted down with a hefty lump of 4X2, or batted down with facts, science, physics and an endless list of irrefutable proofs

    Being a little late to this debate and even though I’ve read all of the recent comments I am yet to see this ‘irrefutable’ evidence or indeed any evidence of intellectual rout.

    And don’t refer me to David Ray Griffin because I have had my fill of reading about his so called ‘demonic values’ and his religious explanations. I don’t have the ‘belief’ and his explanations don’t ring true.

  225. Deanna Jones

    Sean, I hope you’re not disheartened. Your posts cause a stir because they are bloody good. I don’t recall seeing so many calls for references or ‘proof’ in relation to the posts of other contributors here. I hope you continue to contribute. If not, do you publish anywhere else?

  226. kate ahearne

    Kaye, at last I’ve found a remark of yours that I can quibble with. Hooray! ‘“Dr. J Leroy Hulsey,” released his conclusions before they did their investigation at some truther symposium. Please excuse me if I find that an unusual way to do a ‘scientific’ study.’. Au contraire, it’s a great way to conduct a ‘scientific’ study, but it’s a terrible way to conduct a scientific discovery. Sorry, couldn’t help myself – desperate for light relief that doesn’t come from belittling other people.

  227. kate ahearne

    Deanna, ‘ I don’t recall seeing so many calls for references or ‘proof’ in relation to the posts of other contributors here.’ I wonder why that could possibly be? Because he’s such a good writer? Or because … ?

  228. Miriam English

    It’s a pity that those caught up in conspiracy theories so quickly descend to insults when they feel their worldview threatened with data.

    Oh dear. I was wrong to say that. I was being a perfect example of someone not trying hard enough to understand the other person.

    Instead, I think the real reason for their anger is frustration.

    But is the frustration caused by their opponent or does the difficulty lie with themselves?

    Some will be willing to examine their own thought processes. (Have I been careful to avoid mistakes? Have I explained it properly? Do I have the relevant data? Do I really understand what my opponent is saying?).

    Some won’t examine their own position and will automatically see their opponent as wrong.

    Some won’t even care about right or wrong but simply see it as a battle to be won regardless. (How dare they cast doubt upon me!)

  229. Kaye Lee

    Hulsey is funded by ‘Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’. Hulsey said he was connected with the group through a friend. He refuses to read the official report which I find very strange. Usually researchers would look for flaws in the official report but not this guy – he wants to make up his own.

    “Hulsey said he intends to have some key research results available by this coming September 11th, and will give public presentations, including in Alaska.”

    How serendipitous to have results to release on the anniversary. Would that all research fell so easily into line. Lo and behold, he was able to announce at the truther symposium in NY that ….drum roll please…..the guys who were funding him were right! WT7 couldn’t have collapsed due to fires and he will spend the next two years trying to prove it.

    Gee that science stuff is cool. It’s all about physics and youse guys are just too dumb to get it.

    (Rolls eyes)

  230. hivemind

    Those were funny, Miriam. I’ve seen Mitchell on Would I Lie to You, I think it was, but never on this show

  231. kate ahearne

    Kaye, we’ve been looking at some of the same information. Just as an aside, in the spirit of ‘just in time’ or ‘appropriate timing’, or ‘timing for the occasion’, Julian Assange stepped up to the plate, didn’t he? Some will say he saved the day, but I’m wondering whether his exquisitely-timed revelations interfered with the US elections. We’re no strangers to this kind of ‘timely revelation’ in Australia – Children Overboard.

  232. Kaye Lee

    BTW I am still waiting for the proof that some allegations in the Trump dossier “have been proven plainly false”as you stated in your article. I really would like to see that. It’s pretty important if true.

    kate, my uninformed suspicion is that wikileaks is being assiduosly used – whether wittingly or not is another matter. Assange has very close ties to RT. Snowden fled to Russia. It raises questions.

  233. Matters Not

    He is from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Perhaps a great opportunity to raise their profile? And the researchers are using finite element modeling to evaluate the possible causes of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse.

    Yep the possible causes of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse . No mention of the causes of collapse of the first two buildings which is accepted – one would assume, Planes and all that – just the possible causes of the third. Sounds like a great ‘theoretical’ exercise. The students could learn much.

    But one wonders what theoretical ‘forces’ will be under consideration? Will David Ray Griffin be an advisor? If so, will it be as a ‘technical’ advisor or confined to his area of expertise – theology? Will ‘demonic values’ get a run? if not then why not?
    So many possibilities.

  234. kate ahearne

    My favourite writer on AIMN, or anywhere else on the internet in the last couple of years is Kaye Lee. She treats her reader with respect, like an equal – always provides her references. She bases her work on facts, and her reasoning from the facts always proceeds in logical ways. She is passionate, but I’ve never seen her passion warp her judgments. Her passion is her engine, but it does not lead her blindly, as passion so often does. She is not looking at situations through the prism of pre-conceptions – the wrong end of the telescope. She looks with fresh eyes. I’ve seen her apologise, admit the odd mistake. If anyone is going to resort to belittling the opposition, she’ll be the last.. She doesn’t call people names – not only, I suspect, because it is a despicable thing to do, but because her mind is always on the issues, and how to think sensibly about them. She deals with nonsense and flak as though it were genuine, until it just can’t be dealt with that way anymore. I love your work, Kaye. As a used-to-be journalist, I salute you!
    I really think it’s time for AMN to refuse publication to Sean Stinson. He’s abusing the privilege.

  235. Kaye Lee

    You embarrass me kate. I am just a middle-aged woman in jammies who really hates being lied to. I hate it when my government does it. I hate it when the US government does it. And I really dislike being constantly told I am a brainwashed MSM junkie. Show me your proof and I will be grateful. Make definitive unsubstantiated claims and expect to be questioned. I certainly don’t know the answers. Why should I believe you do without proof?

    Thanks for the personal insights into Lybia from kate and harshmind. It is an important contribution as is the opposing view shared by Miriam.

  236. silkworm

    Miriam, where did you get that rubbish on Libya? Wikipedia? It reads like propaganda.

  237. Matters Not

    I really think it’s time for AMN to refuse publication to Sean Stinson

    Strongly disagree! Not into censorship. He adds much to debate. And provides valuable ‘insights’.

    As I asserted above.

  238. Harquebus

    I find Sean’s articles interesting, informative and I happen to agree with a lot of what he says.
    To his detractors I say, look at what has been said in MSM over the past couple of decades and then look at how it actually has panned out. Who do you trust?

  239. Miriam English

    Kate, I couldn’t have desribed Kaye better. I seek out her AIMN articles.

    I don’t agree 100% with your assessment of Sean though. Much of what he says seems flawed to me. He is far too quick to dismiss anything that comes out of the West and way too gullible about Russia, and he does tend to speak down to his readers, but I have to say he has made me rethink my position on a few occasions and I’m grateful for that. I like having my understanding of things altered.

    I do wish he would follow evidence the way Kaye does, though. Kaye changes my understanding of dozens of things every time she writes.

  240. kate ahearne

    Matters Not: Sean Stinson has added nothing to this debate – he has caused it, and if this is indicative of the way he usually behaves, and the way his supporters usually behave in print, he adds nothing to any debate except obfuscation and sloppy work.. I repeat, Sean Stinson’s ‘work’ is not in the spirit of AIMN, as I understand it. There are many, many other outlets for him to grace with his presence. P.S., I notice that you are using a pseudonym.

  241. Kaye Lee

    I am not a detractor. I think Sean;s articles start genuine discussions but I am disappointed that he does not back up his assertions with sources and seems totally closed to any questioning. That sort of certainty is dangerous IMO.

  242. Harquebus

    kate ahearne
    Some advice given to my class by an I.T. lecturer.
    “Never use your real name on the internet and never ever use a credit card.”
    Individual contributors do not have the luxury of a corporation to back them. Anonymity on the internet is the smart thing to do.

  243. Matters Not

    kate ahearne

    PS I notice that you are using a pseudonym.

    Really? Are you sure? And how do I know you don’t? How do I know that Kaye Lee doesn’t? But more importantly, and much more importantly – what difference does it make? Surely we are here to discuss ideas ? You know like ‘censorship’ which you advocate, seemingly, on an going basis. For me, a name Matters Not.

    As for:

    has added nothing to this debate – he has caused it

    Exactly. The irony abounds. Talk about ‘sloppy thinking’.

  244. kate ahearne

    You’re a whole lot more generous than I am Kaye. In the next few days, as time permits, I’ll try to trawl back through previous articles by Sean, if I can bring myself to throw any more hours of my life down the toilet – at my age, that’s a big consideration. This article, though, and the barrage from his followers, is enough on its own to begin me and finish me with Sean. I can forgive one dodgy article, or even two or three – as a former journalist, I know how easy that can be. But this effort has been way beyond dodgy, as have been the responses from Sean and his supporters. If this is allowed to continue, AIMN will be the loser.
    And Matters Not – it does matter, a lot, I am not proposing censorship, I’m proposing a gentle and very polite rejection letter. Not up to scratch. Not appropriate for our publication – that sort of thing.

  245. harshmind

    Agree with Kate Ahearne’s assessment of Kay Lee. She writes well, her logic is impeccable and she provides references. I also enjoy John Lord and John Kelly for slightly different reasons. Rossleigh for different reasons again. As for banning Sean, I think that would be a mistake. As can be seen here, he generates plenty of reaction. I’d just like him to bring his articles (and I’m only going by this one) down from “learned pontification from on high” to “friends, this is what I think and here is the evidence to support it”. My quotation marks.

  246. kate ahearne

    Matters Not and Harguebus. Yep, I’m quite sure you’re using a pseudonym, both of you. You can check ME out because my name is my name, but YOU can say whatever you like with abandon, because you can hide behind an assumed name, In my experience, it makes all the difference. Your IT lecturer was spot on about credit cads, and he/she was spot on, too, about using a pseudonym if you wish to behave without restraint on the internet.

  247. Miriam English

    silkworm, the two short, paragraph quotes came from a very long and detailed Wikipedia article on the history of Libya under Gaddafi. I don’t think it’s propaganda because it doesn’t attempt to demonise him, neither does it gloss over his failings. It gives quite a human portrait.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Libya_under_Muammar_Gaddafi

    Something isn’t propaganda simply because you don’t like what it says.

    The annotation of the list of utopian claims about Libya didn’t come from Wikipedia. Since it was backed up by what other people who’d been to Libya said I tend to accept it as probably accurate.
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2587289

  248. Kaye Lee

    wikipedia articles are referenced if you want to check any of the claims silkworm.

    A question I have often posed to Sean…..Do you think the press in Russia, Syria and Iran have more freedom than the press in Europe, the UK, the US and here? Do you think one side could be taking advantage of the fact that criticism of them is not allowed? Can you show me an article on RT that is in any way critical of Putin?

  249. Matters Not

    You can check ME out because my name is my name

    Why would I bother? Keep your private life to yourself? Surely we come here to discuss ideas – not biography.

    In my experience, it makes all the difference

    And we should therefore generalise from your ‘experience’?

    More ‘sloppy thinking’?

    KA, I’ve been around this blog and antecedents for some time. That I chose not to reveal my identity then or now was a great decision. Never a regret. As I say it’s not who you are, or what you’ve done that counts here but what you bring to the table in the present.

    The advocacy of censorship seems to be your current contribution.

  250. Miriam English

    Kate, regarding pseudonyms, I don’t like to use them myself as I think giving my actual name lets people see my biases (or lack of) by finding my website and seeing what I’m really about (plus I’m too unimaginative to think one up). On the other hand we have at least one public servant here who would risk losing their job for some of the stuff said, so I can understand wanting to use a pseudonym in that case. Some other people use pseudonyms playfully.

  251. Harquebus

    kate ahearne
    I despise most journalists and as former, you share a portion of responsibility for the current state of our world. It also explains your conditioning.
    Cheers.

  252. kate ahearne

    Miriam, Gaddafi was a ruthless dictator. Let’s not make any mistake about that. I worry when you say ‘humanise’, not because he wasn’t a human being as well as everything else he was, In fact, that’s the scariest thing about someone like him – he shows us what we are all capable of being, given the circumstances. When i came back from Libya in 1982, I wrote an article for The Age that was illustrated with photos taken by my then-husband. (He had been arrested for taking the photos, and somehow or other talked his way out of the police station WITH the roll of film intact – He could talk the hind-leg off a table, that one.) In that article, I pointed out that not every single thing Gaddafi had done was horrible, and I gave a few examples, although there weren’t all that many examples to give. The article was taken up by the leading papers in all states, such was the interest in Gaddafi, and so began my career as a journalist.

    I’m telling you this story because my impression at that time, and since, has been that people really wanted to see signs of Gaddafi as a human being rather than as a monster. It’s always puzzled me, because I knew he really was mostly monster, and that his efforts at ‘human’ were mostly for show. I knew it, because I had seen it. In the interest of fairness and truth, I had mentioned some of the ‘good’ things he had done, or at least, efforts he had made – in particular, the fact that there were nearly as many young women in the University as there were young men, (In those days, young women wore no head-covering – that was reserved for the married women, who wore a white sheet wrapped around their bodies, and held across one eye by a hand, or held in place by the teeth, When I returned to Libya in 2009, the sheet had almost disappeared, but all the women, married or not, were wearing head scarves at the very least, And the numbers of women students had fallen right away.)

    Anyhow, what I’m really asking you to consider is this: You say, ‘silkworm, the two short, paragraph quotes came from a very long and detailed Wikipedia article on the history of Libya under Gaddafi. I don’t think it’s propaganda because it doesn’t attempt to demonise him, neither does it gloss over his failings.’ This is no good reason to be thinking it’s not propaganda, though, is it? I’m living proof of that. I didn’t try to demonise Gaddafi, I just tried to tell it honestly, how I had experienced it – the bad and the good, mostly bad, though, People made of it whatever was going to fit into their agenda, You live and learn.

    When Gaddafi was killed, I was absolutely dumbfounded at some of the responses from the media. In Tasmania, our morning ABC person was shocked and horrified at the manner of Gaddafi’s death. I wasn’t, though. I called up the station to speak on talkback. As soon as the presenter understood that I had lived in Libya and that I was questioning his use of the term, ‘war crime’, he cut me off. You can’t oppress a society for 40 years, murder, execute and ‘disappear’ anyone who disagrees with you and expect not to die violently in a ditch, I’m not condoning murder, but I can well understand the anger and the grief that lay behind that event. War crime? No.

  253. kate ahearne

    Miriam, I do get what you say about pseudonyms. There are very good reasons why some people need to use them. But there are no very good reasons for using a pseudonym to hide behind so that you can indulge in destructive, dishonest and cowardly behaviour.

  254. Miriam English

    Harquebus, that was a particularly stupid thing to say. You should know better. You have no idea what she wrote about. It could have been women’s emancipation, or even gardening for all you know.

  255. kate ahearne

    Miriam, yes. I think Sean might have some friends who are not helping him at all. With friends like these, he doesn’t need enemies.

  256. Roswell

    Harquebus, that was utterly stupid. Pathetic.

  257. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    Judging by kate’s comments here, I stand by my criticism.

  258. Harquebus

    Roswell
    You are the representative of the utterly stupid and pathetic. I have yet to read anything of value emanating your keyboard and the only thing that you are any good at is dishing out slurs.
    Goodonya.

  259. Miriam English

    Kate, thanks for the window into that place and time. (Incidentally do you have your writings on your website? I’d love to read more. Do you have a website?)

    When I said humanise I didn’t mean it in the sense of being sympathetic. The article is very careful to keep a neutral tone, as Wikipedia tends to do when describing controversial topics. I meant humanise in that it didn’t cast him as some one-dimensional cartoon character for propaganda purposes as silkworm seemed to be suggesting.

    It’s pretty clear Gaddafi had laudable ideals in the beginning, but became progressively more obsessed, corrupt, and paranoid. Considering the enemies he was creating in his own country and in neighboring Chad, and also USA’s record for foreign-soil assassinations, he had good reasons for paranoia.

  260. kate ahearne

    Harquebus, I have a particular memory from about 60 years ago when i was a little girl. It might interest you. I remember sitting under the monster plum tree in the back yard of the convent where I grew up, and I remember noticing someone behaving in a way that upset me. In that moment I understood that the job of my life would be to leave the world better than I had found it. As the years went by, I began to realise that circumstances would not allow for such a fanciful idea about my job in life. So,nowadays, I understand that I can’t possibly expect to leave the world in a better state than I found it. What I CAN still hope for, though, and what I can still expect of myself is to leave the world in a better state than it would have been in if I had not been in it.

  261. Miriam English

    Harquebus, when you made the comment you had no idea what she wrote. You were guessing and condemning her on your guess. I would expect better from you.

    Later she explained a little of what she wrote about and you thought it was close to your preconceptions so you felt vindicated in your prejudice. It doesn’t change that it was still mere prejudice, and that you still have no real idea of what she wrote, and you won’t until you read it.

    That you stand by that prejudice disappoints me. I honestly thought you were smarter than that.

  262. kate ahearne

    Miriam, yes I did run a blog for a while, but the earlier article, the one that made a journalist out of me is lost in the mists of history, now – I don’t believe the online archives of any of the newspapers where it appeared go back that far, and I no longer have any of my work from that decade. I didn’t last long as a journalist – 8 or 9 years before life intervened. If you would like to message me on Facebook, I will be happy to see if I can direct you to the blogsite I ran coming up to the Tony Abbott election and for some time after- I think I remember that there is a considered article in there somewhere about Libya, but I’ll need to find out whether that website is still viable. Thank you for your kindness and for your sensible spirit of enquiry.

  263. Annie B

    Agree with Harshmind … “banning Sean would be a mistake” …. and it would be. He does indeed generate plenty of reaction, which ( as I have said elsewhere here ) I believe is his main objective. He writes in confrontational terms – and with weighty impact. … and there is nothing wrong with that. Most commenters here, do the exact same thing, especially when replying to someone they vehemently disagree with. … And at times that has become quite nasty – which is not helpful.

    Trawling back through 251 comments ( as I write ) … is not on. So from memory only, I have to ask a slightly ‘off track’ question. … The word ‘propaganda’ has been used quite a few times in these comments. Would like to ask what people really think, or believe, propaganda is ? It is used by so many countries, in so many ways. I would think from just sitting here, daily on the Internet, social media and rummaging around on the WWW, that the greatest propagandists EVER, is the U.S. of A. Closely followed by probably Russia ( when it gets the chance ) – don’t know the next perpetrators on the list, of this dishonorable rhetoric.

    Propaganda really should be taken with a huge grain of salt. It is evident daily on our TV screens. e.g. …. let’s look at a Travelogue for Melbourne ( bringing it to my own home base ) … which will show the absolute beauty that this city provides. What they don’t show is the homeless and their pitiful possessions ( called ‘clutter’ ), currently being transported to God knows where – ( only to return to the walls of the Flinders Street Station – along Flinders Street ) … by the Victorian Government. Yes, I know these would be paid for travelogue advertisements, all whipped up to show the best side ( and why not ! ) – but isn’t that what propaganda is ? Propaganda : ” information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view. “ …. And who promotes so much propaganda, from so many sources, but the good ole MSM itself.

    It spruiks daily, does a lot of editing of comment, on subjects it wants viewed with its’ own biases – or that dictated by government powers. They do after all throw blankets over the dissemination of information, when they believe it is needed. So – THERE is a form of censorship – to begin with. All leading to forms of propaganda. Every time Turnbull publicly opens his mouth, he spews forth biased information, i.e. propaganda. Do we believe him ? ……. most here I think, would say NO.

    As for the diversion about WTC 7 … ( and I am not a conspiracy theorist, although have been tempted on a couple of occasions ?? ) …. it is a legitimate question to pose as to what DID bring down that building. If one were in a court of law, and an expert witness were asked the question by a barrister ” but IS it possible ? ” … where there is any room for a smidgin of doubt, that witness if honest under oath, would have to reply “Yes” … ( it is possible ) that the WTC 7 building was brought down by forethought by some other means ( by unscrupulous organisations who housed sensitive information in that building perhaps ?) ….

    I ( and others here ) have absolutely NO idea what caused that building to fall the way it did … but it is not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that it fell because of intervention by the agencies with the most to lose. I do think it is possible, they would rather destroy their precious ‘top secret’ files, than have them fall into the wrong hands, while mayhem ensued round about on that fateful day. … But I don’t know – and I don’t believe anyone else does either. Without categorical evidence, there is always room for reasonable doubt.

    It serves absolutely no purpose arguing about it. … It may, or may not have been – calculated.

    As Harquebus. said ” Who do you trust ?” I think that query can be applied to most all we read and hear about, in these dangerous days.

  264. Harquebus

    kate ahearne
    If you don’t mind, what are your views on population and economic growth? I ask this in relation to your wanting to “leave the world in a better state”.

    Miriam English
    I expressed an honest opinion which, your overactive imagination has once again distorted.

    Cheers.

  265. kate ahearne

    Harquebus, if you would care to respond to the remarks I addressed in particular to you, I would address that response, yes.

  266. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I needed no imagination; you stated it clearly. It was a dishonest opinion — prejudice.
    Pre-judging her responsible for something when you had no idea of what she wrote.

  267. Annie B

    ref. my latest previous post here – – –

    ooops … forgot to put in the forward slash / … to bring my comment back to non-italic after the words ” point of view “.

    Ah well, I presume it is still ok ?? 😉

  268. Roswell

    Annie, I was able to fix it.

  269. Roswell

    Harquebus, if I just dish out slurs, then you just dish out insults.

    And I see you’ve attempted to introduce your boring population growth crap again. We’re all sick of it.

    I stand by my slur.

  270. Matters Not

    Before I depart to the land of nod, could I say, I won’t add to the KL hagiographies above – mainly because I’ve done that over the many years in so many different ways.

    (Re ‘hagiography’- see the link below. She likes links to check out)

    And besides – this mere ‘slip of a girl’ (why she hasn’t even admitted to 60 years) therefore has so much more ‘growing up’ to do.

    As for the ‘slip of a girl’ reference. Again see link below.

    https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=9tx9WIDLMM7u8wfTroXwBg#q=hagiography

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/a-slip-of-a-boy-girl

    PS, I like to give the ‘young’ all sorts of ‘useless’ advice. The good thing is that they always ignore it.

  271. Kaye Lee

    “It is not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that it fell because of intervention by the agencies with the most to lose. I do think it is possible, they would rather destroy their precious ‘top secret’ files, than have them fall into the wrong hands, while mayhem ensued round about on that fateful day. ”

    So let me get this straight. You think they had explosives planted in the building just waiting for a disaster to happen? Or do you think they raced in there after the planes hit and planted enough explosives to bring down a 47 storey building? Do you have any idea how long that would take? And how come no-one heard the explosion?

    Sorry Annie, that makes absolutely no sense.

  272. Kaye Lee

    MN, I will admit to 60 late this year. And as my husband will tell you, hagiography would be completely inappropriate for this very naughty girl.

  273. kate ahearne

    I think we’re all getting tired. Jammies on.

  274. LOVO

    James ONiell….crikey mate….you sure are into ‘it’…..’that..’ nobody can.. ‘deny’…..thank f*ck we have people like you around, James, ahead of the curve-ers, as it were, are hard to come by…people on the cusp, as it were.
    You are most certainly…’nobody’s fool’….people that comment here sure can learn a lot from you….thanx ☺

  275. Miriam English

    🙂 I’ve been in jammies all day, except for a brief period when a friend visited and I pretended to be respectable by dressing in normal clothes. I’ve been chasing cows, hammering nails, moving boxes, disassembling computers, and nattering away here in my nightie. It’s nice living out in the countryside.

    I’m off to bed before I fall off my perch.

  276. Miriam English

    LOVO 😀 heheheh stirrer

  277. Roswell

    Goodnight, kate. I’ve enjoyed your contribution.

  278. LOVO

    Just trying to find the ‘funny’, Miriam….just tryin’ to find the funny…*sigh*….no really ?

  279. Kaye Lee

    I too should go to bed so I will leave a list of the unanswered questions I have.

    Where is the proof that the Trump dossier was false?
    Do you think the press in Russia, Syria and Iran have more freedom than the press in Europe, the UK, the US and here?
    Do you think one side could be taking advantage of the fact that criticism of them is not allowed?
    Can you show me an article on RT that is in any way critical of Putin?

    Bonsoir mes amis. Dormez bien.

  280. Jexpat

    While we’ve heard lot of McCarthy style insinuation, innuendo and finger pointing, we still haven’t had anyone step up to the plate and offer a suitable explanation of what ‘hack the election’ actually means.

    Since that seems to be the base assumption that some several here- and most of the media are starting from it might be… nice to have a workable definition.

  281. Annie B

    Thank you so much Roswell for fixing the mess I made on my post !! …. very much appreciated. 🙂

  282. Kaye Lee

    “hack the election” is a silly phrase because no-one has suggested there was any interference in the vote counting. But it would take an enormous amount of blinkering to deny that Russia was involved in the misinformation campaign and the leaking fed to compliant stooges.

    And if I hear the McCarthy accusation one more time I will scream. Just stop it. It’s ridiculous.

  283. Annie B

    Kaye ….

    I think you misunderstood my post – or perhaps I didn’t write it clearly enough – or both ;).

    The main thrust of my ” “It is not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that it fell because of intervention etc ….” comment was, ( considering the ongoing investigation into it ?? ) … that nobody knows exactly what happened. But one day we just might. The NIST have already issued details debunking the theories.

    In a court of law, where there is no specific evidence of a mis-deed or crime, and expert witnesses are called upon to give ‘expert opinions’ ( e.g a doctor ? ) … they are often led by a clever barrister to admit that something that at first appeared to be utterly impossible, is indeed possible. That was just an example, Kaye.

    You are right – the way it has been interpreted does not make any sense at all. … and it would take weeks of positioning explosives to ready for a proper demolition. Not to mention the analysis needed before the contractors even think of explosives.

    There could be many reasons the building fell the way it did. One of those might be that it was in fact ready for demolition anyway ( although I have never heard of anything like that ) … but therein lies ‘it is possible’.

    There are still lingering doubts, possibly because ( just my opinion ) there were two low level buildings between WTC1 / WTC2 and WTC7, both of which remained standing, but were severely damaged. Buildings on either side of WTC7 were not badly impacted ( one being the U.S. Postal Office, the other is Verizon ). From what I have heard, this is partly the reason it is still being questioned, by high level structural engineers.

    And N O ,…. I am not theorising based on conspiracy. I have not done a lot of research on 9/11 mainly because the sites listed are jam packed WITH conspiracy theories. Don’t wish to be confused by all that tripe.

    Trust this makes things a little clearer !

  284. Harquebus

    kate ahearne
    I see no comment that requires a specific response. My question is merely to ascertain your understanding of our current situation. So far, you have shown none but, don’t worry, you are not alone.
    http://theaimn.com/depopulate-or-perish/

    Roswell
    Your ignorance has been confirmed many times by yourself and no further clarification is needed. My making you ill is nothing compared to what is coming. Good luck.

    Cheers.

  285. Rossleigh

    Gee Harquebus, it must be comforting to be never wrong on anything and to be so wise, so all knowing, so INFORMED.
    And not only that to know what to believe and what to disbelieve and who is worthy of your contempt. Everyone who has children and doesn’t rely on the words of bullion traders, it seems.

  286. Harquebus

    Rossleigh
    Not never, more often than not. I stand by record. My friends and family who have endured years of my warnings are now taking me seriously because, I have been consistently accurate whereas the talking heads that we see on TV have consistently got it wrong and continue to do so.
    I comment with confidence because of my track record. As time progresses, you and others will change your attitudes just as those who are close to me have changed theirs.

    Ignorance is bliss until it’s not.

    Cheers.

  287. kate ahearne

    Rossligh, Well said.
    Harquebus, Bye-bye from me.

  288. Harquebus

    kate ahearne
    Good luck to yours from me.
    Cheers.

  289. Rossleigh

    Speaking of accurate, did anyone notice I picked Greg Hunt as Health Minister in my piece this morning…

  290. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus,

    You spent years telling us that peak oil would happen in 2015. Instead they have had to limit production because of the glut. Accurate? Not so much.

  291. Michael Taylor

    In 1999 we had a speaker visit our department who chillingly warned us that peak oil would happen in 2010. What’s the new date?

  292. Rossleigh

    I think peak Oil was when they released “Beds Are Burning”; it was all downhill after that!

  293. Michael Taylor

    Wrong song, Rossleigh. There was one in the 60s: “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire.

  294. Sean Stinson

    Roswell: “You may have mentioned it in the article, I’m not sure, but I won’t be reading it.”

    Robert Shaw: “So many conversations, so many rebuttals, so many points of direct contradiction, I don’t really know where to start. So I won’t.”

    Jimhaz: “I never agree with what Sean says, with good reason.”

    Nikki is right. This is a circle jerk.

    Bye.

  295. Kaye Lee

    “I’m still happy to answer any genuine questions around the arguments set out in the article,”

    I note you completely ignored my questions again Sean.

    Where is the proof that the Trump dossier was false?
    Do you think the press in Russia, Syria and Iran have more freedom than the press in Europe, the UK, the US and here?
    Do you think one side could be taking advantage of the fact that criticism of them is not allowed?
    Can you show me an article on RT that is in any way critical of Putin?

  296. Roswell

    Sean, I really am turned off when people stoop to using childish names like ‘Killary’. I am equally appalled with ‘Juliar’ or ‘Turdball’. Sorry, but it was hard to take the article seriously because of it. It’s just me, and I understand that you don’t write for just me, but I chose not to read it. Others might be fine with such terms, but I’m not.

  297. Kaye Lee

    I don’t get why criticism of Trump is automatically taken as endorsement for Clinton. I don’t get why questioning Russia’s use of misinformation is taken as approval of America’s interventionism. Things are not as black and white as Sean makes out.

  298. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I have been consistently accurate.

    Huh? I must have blinked and missed the end of civilisation.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Just too easy.

    H, people have for centuries been predicting the mounting problems we’re facing, even optimists like me have been able to see the problems. The trouble is you don’t just stop at the problems. You throw in your lot with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and similar loons and predict the end of civilisation. You are right about the problems, you just ignore all the positive things that are working to fix those problems.

    Will the positive developments win out over the negative ones? Or will the negative ones overwhelm the positive? Nobody really knows. I think the positive will prevail, though at great cost to our world, but I’m aware that it’s too early to call. There are far too many unforseens. (When we develop AIs that will radically alter all calculations. We could move housing and even cities underground and re-wild the surface. We could cure aging and be immortal like medusae already are. We could develop cheap, low energy desalination like marine life already use. We could develop low energy ways to pull CO2 out of the air for building things, like plants already do. A very contagious disease could pop up out of nowhere that has a symptom-free incubation period of a year and 100% mortality. A variant of the toxoplasma parasite could mess with people’s brains to make them homicidally angry, like the fast zombies of “World War Z”. Mining the asteroids could solve all Earth’s resource needs. A very dark carbonaceous asteroid could evade the near Earth asteroid survey and strike Earth without warning, wiping out most life.)

    You don’t know what will happen. In less than a single person’s lifetime computers have utterly changed civilisation. In a single person’s lifetime we went from no person flying ever, to it becoming routine. In half a person’s lifetime from wondering what the surface of other worlds were like, to people walking on the moon, plucky little robots exploring Mars’ surface, another robot landing on Saturn’s moon Titan (and sending tantalising pictures back), and other robots visiting almost all the solar system’s planets. In just a person’s lifetime we went from philosophical musings on what life is, to actually creating it from scratch. In a very short time we have created infinite-sized virtual worlds inside finite-sized computers, building things on an atomic scale, being able to carry thousands of books on a chip the size of my thumbnail, tap electricity directly from sunlight, building the biggest encyclopedia in history (without monetary reward), and cutting disease and absolute poverty drastically.

    My friend, you are wrong… not for thinking the fall of civilisation might occur, but for your evangelical certainty of it.

  299. Roswell

    Kaye, it comes up with monotonous regularity, the assumption that if you don’t like Trump it shows beyond doubt that you like Clinton. Then the craps starts.

  300. kate ahearne

    Kaye, I think of this ‘if not A, must be B’ sort of thing as either/or thinking, and it’s a logical fallacy that pops up all over the place. It seems to be rarely challenged, so thanks.
    Miriam, Yes. Beautifully said.
    Roswell, ‘It’s just me’. And me.

  301. Annie B

    Miriam …. Excellent post – well said.

    Thank you sincerely, for reminding us that tomorrow is a complete unknown. We can presume, argue, speculate, hypothesise forever – but it will not give definitive 100% answers – until we get there, and then the next tomorrow presents itself.

    Doomsday believers are a dime a dozen. Have a scrounge around on Facebook some time ( I would suggest 20 minutes max. – can do ones’ head in ) …. and see all the negatives / end of world / ‘new ‘ news about new diseases, about dozens of political figures, about world economy, the looming threat of WW3 all of which is mostly negative and frankly I think – from some, is aimed to deliberately disquiet the soul of readers. What ‘fun’ they get out of that is beyond me. Many are expert trolls, but the majority are not. And all in the name of ‘advise that must be dispensed for the good and safety of the readers ‘. ?? Yeah, right. !!

    ” I think the positive will prevail, though at great cost to our world, but I’m aware that it’s too early to call. ” … I agree with that, because if nothing else is almost ( ALMOST that is ) certain, is that the first and foremost consideration is survival, for a huge % of humanity. It is still considered our most powerful of all drives and instincts. … until we do what we all ultimately do – that is meet inevitable death. We are intrinsically woven into life and death – they are two parts of the whole. This is not gloom – it is truth and reality. But until that time, we all seek to survive as best we can. Some do survival far more easily than others.

    I will now step off my soap box, and hand it back to the ‘arguments’ here.

  302. Harquebus

    The reason that I can continue doomsaying is that, maths and physics are on my side.
    For those that haven’t seen it, again will put this up. I can be reasonably sure that those who “try” to discredit me have not seen it and every time they “try”, are only confirming to me their lack of understanding of exponential growth and the role that fossil fuels which, can not be replaced, have in sustaining our unsustainable complex industrial society and I am not a fossil fuel advocate.

    Can an old physicist teach a maths teacher anything?
    Dr Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VpyoAXpA8

    Kaye Lee
    Peak oil was in 2005. I have never claimed 2015.

    Unconventional oil, refinery gains and condensates are used to fudge production figures. If it ain’t sold on the oil market then, it ain’t oil even though it is counted as such.

    We have been living peak oil for a decade. What do you think of it so far. Do you think that the $230trillion global debt that the peak oil phenomenon has created can be repaid. Not a chance. See my link below. When the credit cards stop working, everything stops. If you are not prepared for it, too bad.

    The “supply glut” is not a glut. It is a small surplus enable by huge amounts of debt which, will never be repaid. Our economy can not afford high oil prices which, has already been demonstrated and the producers can not make a profit without them.

    “most people still don’t have any idea what peak oil means, much less that its consequences are unfolding around us right now.”
    “maybe no politician can get elected by promising that the economy will continue to contract and energy supplies become ever scarcer.”
    “The fact is that because oil production cannot be increased, economic growth is now over.”
    “From now on, geology and physics call the shots.”
    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/the-peak-oil-election.html

    And.

    peakoil.com

    Where is the proof that the Trump dossier is true?

    Miriram English
    Coming. Then it will be one huge joke, yeah? Why are you preparing then?
    Previous centuries did not have 7 billion people to care for and nor did they exploit and the finite and destroy repelenishable resources on the scale that is being done today just to feed an unsustainable economic growth engine.

    Cheers.

  303. Kaye Lee

    I made no claim that the dossier was true but Sean said in his article that some allegations “have been proven plainly false”. I was working on the assumption that he didn’t make that up but repeated requests for clarification have been ignored.

    As for your peak oil stuff (what a fool I was to press THAT button) I can link to countless articles that disagree with your assessment. I find it yet another pointless conversation where you just ring your doomsayer bell and offer NO suggestions. A warning bell that brings no help is just a very annoying noise.

  304. Roswell

    I was about to make a comment but I changed my mind. Nobody knows where it might lead to.

    Oh, wait, we’re all doomed.

  305. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I’m amazed that you never seem to hear what others say. You are so entranced by doom. As I’ve said before you appear to be in love with the idea. You deny it, but the evidence is clear in the way you speak.

    I watched the video you linked to ages ago. As I’ve said before, it is a very good demonstration of why humans are so very bad at understanding exponential change. But the thing is, human population is NOT growing exponentially. The rate of population growth has been slowing since the early 60s. As more and more people are lifted out of deep poverty (more than a billion in the past 20 years) the rate will slow even faster. As wars and violence continue to decline the rate will further slow. We are expected to hit replacement birthrate in the very near future. I’ve forgotten exactly when, but am reluctant to look it up because I’ve told you all this before, but your amnesia kicks in and you go back to your beloved doom, doom, doom chant.

    To say you have maths and physics on your side requires you to ignore such an incredible amount it just blows my mind.

    Here’s a video for you, which it appears you didn’t follow up last time I suggested it to you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBT5EQt348

  306. LOVO

    Its… the Rothschild’s. .I tells ya. ..its the One World Govt conspirators. ..I tells ya. . the Club of Rome…the World Bank…the IMF…the U.N…the C.I.A….I.P.A. ..the list is endless…..one wonders if’n they filmed the 9/11 fake in the same studio that they filmed the moon landing fake….it’s the aliens. ..it’s..it’s..it’s. ..perfect knowledge and I’m the beholder….dinkom…ya just gots ta believe..but most of all ITS a Conspiracy.. as only the special know. Thankfully we have such guardians…the unfooled…and unfoolable (is that a word )..
    …and we wonder ‘how’ Abbott and Hanson get a run 🙄

  307. harshmind

    First of all a question. Has Sean’s Urine-gate post resulted in a greater number of responses than is usual for an AIMN article? My impression, as a getting-on-for-regular visitor (I like to read what sane people think of current events), is that it has.

    Secondly, another question. Has it been a deliberate piss-take? (Sorry, just had to use that). Sean’s rather wounded first response to all the comments that had built up suggests he put this forward as a serious piece, so plaudits to Sean for flagging something people care enough about to get fired up over.

    Thirdly, I have seen a few commenters who invoke the laws of maths and physics to “prove” they can’t be wrong. For some in this thread it’s 9/11 being an “inside” job, for others it’s the impossible burden of human numbers our planet has to bear. Malthus pointed out the latter possibility more than 200 years ago, Harquebus and others, so it’s not news. You need to come up with solutions if you want to stay relevant, innovative ways to improve food production without continued destruction of the ecosystem, or some form of sponsored euthanasia where volunteers accept a swift, painless, even euphoric termination (a bit like winning Lotto) in exchange for some guarantee their progeny will flourish.

    Fourthly, the reason I visit the AIMN site fairly often is because most of the writing is infused with a sense of community. This means it credits the reader as equally serious and informed, argues a position, provides supporting evidence or references as necessary and, most importantly, fosters a belief that we can paddle upstream WITH the weaker or more damaged members of our society without chucking them overboard.

    We’re all in it together and that, it seems to me, is the raison d’etre of AIMN and partly what ensures its survival.

    A couple more thoughts: – grow a few herbs or veggies on your balcony in your yard or paddock, so you are less reliant on the big businesses Turnbull wants you to pay tax for – find a senior nearby who has been abandoned by economic circumstances and befriend them.

    You never know, it might save you from thinking about Trump.

  308. Michael Taylor

    harshmind, I can only fully answer your first question. We have had a post that ended up with over 600 comments, a piece by Victoria Rollison about Tony Abbott’s daughter and the $60,000 scholarship.

    I can half answer your second question. No, it’s not a piss-take in my opinion. These are Sean’s views, and he is welcome to share them here. True, his posts are different from what we regularly post here, but it’s good to have a bit of diversity.

    That, I’m afraid, is where I run out of answers.

  309. Kaye Lee

    harshmind, I feel likewise about the AIMN with the sense of community and I have heard many people say, and I agree, that they learn as much, if not more, from the comments and ensuing discussion as they do from the article.

    This is what Question Time should be like – a search for the truth. Sean’s articles always attract a lot of comments but there is a seeming inevitability that Godwin would be proud of that we will end up discussing 9/11 (or worse still, Port Arthur).

    I think Sean writes well about important topics but I dislike his didactic dismissal of points raised. This is not the place to expect affirmation without backing up your case. Sean does back up what he says to a point – I wish he would either go further or, just maybe, concede there may be some validity in other opinions. Some doubt wouldn’t go astray.

  310. Michael Taylor

    Kaye Lee is much better at providing answers than I am. She articulates wisely.

  311. harshmind

    Michael, it is the wisdom of the jammies, by which I mean the time to sit and think about current core issues, research them and give us a view. I’m in awe of what she achieves and always keen to see what she comes up with next.

  312. Kaye Lee

    Oh hush you two. Time I put these jammies to use. Goodnight.

  313. Harquebus

    If I am wrong in my assessment of our current situation then, my “doomsaying” isn’t really hurting anyone but, if I am right and I also can point to many articles and reports in support of then, a lot of you are going be in it real deep.
    As I said, my family and friends, those who know me best, are taking my advice and will be in a much better position than most of you when the proverbial which, has already hit the fan, starts to splatter.

    Miriam English
    I watched the video the first time you posted it. It is rubbish.
    Population growth may be slowing but, it is not decreasing.

    Peak oil mates, peak oil.
    Cheers.

  314. Miriam English

    Harquebus, of course the doomsaying is hurting things.

    Two people, one has her mates cheering her on. “You can get there.” “You’re almost there.” “You’re doing it.”

    The other has her mates saying, “Geez, you’ll never do it.” “Stupid, why don’t you give up.” “You’re too fat.” “You’ll never make it.”

    Which one is most likely to finish? Which is most likely to give up in frustration?

    It is possible to see the problems and work towards solutions without calling doom. I’m an optimist, yet I well understand the problems. In fact, due to my wider scientific background than yours, I’ll bet I have a much better understanding of how incredibly dangerous the problems facing us are. They are much worse than the ones you go on about. Now how do you suppose I avoid giving up in despair?

    The biggest problem with your doomsaying and what really gets up everybody’s noses is that you never offer solutions. They are there, you just don’t want them.

    You obviously didn’t watch the video except cursorily. Judging by your response you probably skipped through, or were doing something else and only gave a tiny bit of your attention to it. It does NOT say population is decreasing. It says that growth is slowing.

    I don’t know why I bother.

  315. Kaye Lee

    “my family and friends, those who know me best, are taking my advice ”

    As the only advice you have ever offered is that we all stop breeding then you won’t have family for too much longer. Enjoy them rather than worrying them sick.

  316. Roswell

    Harquebus, to add to what Miriam said ..,

    Yes, we all know that the planet’s resources will eventually be depleted. We all know that the planet will eventually burst at the seams with spiralling population. We all know that climate change will have punishing affects.

    We are concerned about all of them. We are not ignoring the message. We are just ignoring you. You are boring us to tears.

    Yes, you’ll come back at me (or us) that I’m the devil incarnate because I have failed to bend down and kiss your feet and confess that “only the great Harquebus can save us. All hail Harquebus”.

    Sorry, but I have a life. Sorry, but from this moment on I’m ignoring you. So should everybody else. You’ve had your say.

    I’ll repeat: we’re not ignoring the problems. We do what we can in our owns lives to make things better. Saying them a thousand times on this site does nothing for me.

  317. Harquebus

    There is no discussion let alone any beginning of doing what is required so, collapse it is. The renewable energy scam and that MMT bullshit ain’t gonna do it either. I didn’t create this situation and I don’t want it but, it’s here so get over it.
    You can either listen to me or ignore me. I really don’t give a shit anymore. Your lives are in your hands.

    I will keep up my quest. The more survivors the better.

    Kaye Lee
    Secure some water, grow some veggies, raise some chickens and get a horse. Even this is no guarantee.

    Cheers.

  318. Kaye Lee

    Ah yes – the every man for himself strategy.

    Personally I would prefer the teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, research scientists, engineers, child and aged care workers, and the myriad of diversity that makes a functioning society keep doing what they are doing and rely on those whose expertise is sustainable food production or water management to look for the best way forward.

    No man is an island.

    PS over 5 million people live in Sydney and your advice is get a horse?

  319. harshmind

    One has to assume, Harquebus, that your advice to those who know you best goes beyond dire warnings about limited resources and over-population. It would be interesting to know what is being achieved by your immediate circle. Are you head of some survivalist cooperative? Are there plans to harness renewable energy, or do you just take turns pedalling the generator?

  320. jimhaz

    This little kids story reminds me of the GW and over-population issue.

    The Ant Which Was Mightier Than the Elephant

    There lived an elephant in a forest. It was big and powerful. The elephant was so strong that it could fell the trees. It could also kill lions, tigers and other wild animals. In course of time, due to its big size and great strength, its pride grew bigger and bigger.

    One day, the elephant met an ant. Looking at the ant, the elephant laughed, “What a puny creature you are! You look so weak and tiny! I pity you. Look at me. I am the mightiest animal in the forest. I can do anything in this world.”

    The ant listened to the elephant and smiled, without saying a word.

    Very soon, dark clouds gathered in the sky. It began to drizzle. The elephant and the ant moved into a nearby cave to take shelter there.
    The elephant, looking at the tiny ant, laughed again and said, “Look at my size. I can crush you under my foot. You won’t even know how to save yourself.”

    Feeling proud of its size and strength, the elephant started dancing in the cave. Due to the thumping of its heavy feet, a big stone lying atop the cave fell in front of the cave, covering its mouth fully.

    The elephant walked proudly towards the stone and tried to move it but could not. It tried with all its might, but all in vain. The elephant could not come out of the cave.

    However, the ant, due to its tiny size, easily came out of the cave through a small opening. Now it was the ant’s turn to speak?”Look, you elephant! What I could do, you can’t! On account of your mighty size, you will have to remain in this cave for the rest of your life. What you considered to be your strength has proved to be your greatest problem.

    The elephant remained locked up inside the cave and died a painful death.

  321. Roswell

    Kaye, we are to assume that the only form of transport Harquebus uses is a horse. If it is not, I sense a wee bit of hypocrisy.

  322. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz,

    Or the elephant and the ant could have worked together using their unique skills to help each other rather than taunting each other from opposing camps.

  323. jimhaz

    Even though I wont research Sean’s articles I would prefer that he didn’t give up writing here. The reason I wont research is that I have friend who comes up with similar theories re the validity of Putin’s actions – but whenever I looked at the websites they are all untrustworthy. It would just take too many hours to investigate – and in any case it falls outside of the “only worry about things you can control” domain.

    Something that stays in my mind about US geopolitical plays is what occurred in the media 15 or more years after the Vietnam war. Loads and loads of people directly involved in senior positions came out and told the truth. There was lots of lots of manipulation of facts presented to the public.

  324. Miriam English

    Or the ant summoned her (all worker ants are female) hundred thousand colony mates and excavated the earth in front of the boulder so the elephant was able to push it away.

    From then on they were friends. The elephant helped the ants when she could and the ants did likewise, both benefiting from the friendship.

    🙂

  325. Miriam English

    😀 Harquebus, “the renewable energy scam and MMT bullshit”. heheheh

    You saw one very old study that says solar panels require more energy to make than they produce. You include all kinds of unnecessary extraneous things in that calculation, and believe the rantings of fossil-fuel funded “studies” that say similar things about other renewable energy sources. This fits nicely with your message of doom so you accept it.

    You ignore efficiency of manufacturing and efficiency in electricity generation both of which have been improving greatly, and you ignore the trend to more efficient use of electricity. You have to ignore these things because they conflict with the doom message.

    You also ignore the fact that population growth is slowing and will in the near future stop growing entirely. At that point it will almost certainly decline as all countries will already have below-replacement reproduction at that time.

    That’s not to say we don’t face enormous challenges. One of the worst is the mainstream media who try to make people feel powerless (you do this too). Another is global warming. 2016 was the warmest year on record… again. Before that, 2015 was. Before that 2014 was. There are plenty of problems to solve, but the key word is “solve”. Growing veges and having a horse and a gun doesn’t solve anything. You might think it is a cool lifestyle, but it ain’t; you probably won’t last a decade on your own. Humans are too weak. We survive best inside a civilisation. And I’m pretty sure we can save this one. I, and many others are going to give it our best shot. If we don’t succeed we can at least say we tried. You will have given up… which is your prerogative, of course.

  326. Annie B

    The arquebus (/ˈɑːrkᵻbʌs/ ark-ə-bus or /ˈɑːrkwᵻbʌs/ ar-kwə-bus) (sometimes spelled harquebus, harkbus or hackbut; Italian Archibugio, Dutch haakbus, meaning “hook gun”, or “hook tube”) is an early muzzle-loaded firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. >>> It is a forerunner of the rifle and other longarm firearms. ( Wikepedia ).

    The 15th to 17th centuries ( & before and beyond ) were rife with superstitions, witch burnings, and barbaric deeds. The arquebus was a firearm – but can hold no candle to its’ offspring in today’s world. Assault rifles, and modifications of guns of all descriptions etc. First made in China (?) and spread across Europe was the arquebus – aka harquebus.

    ” On the other hand, an arquebus was vulnerable to heavy fog and rain, since the user needed to keep his slow match lit. This is a problem with all matchlocks, as the article on matchlocks indicates. There was also a danger that the sparks from one person’s arquebus could set fire to the powder supply of the person next to him. Unlike a longbowman, an arquebusier was generally helpless after his shot was fired and his weapon was heavier to carry, so it was not surprising that the bow was considered a superior weapon for many years. ” ( from a blog ) : http://firearmshistory.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/matchlock-technology-arquebus.html …. if anyone is interested !!

    Not pretty …… from those centuries’ dire deeds, an invention to maim at least, if not kill. …. Somewhat dark gloom and doom stuff.

    Way off topic – but …. !!

    Just sayin’ …….

  327. Annie B

    Can anyone imagine us ALL using horses these days.

    The methane gas would largely add to the current bad emissions. Admittedly, ( from research ) a horses’ carbon footprint is less than that of a car, as horses are not ruminants, farting loads of methane like sheep and cattle do. But then at most only two can ride a horse, safely, and with consideration to the horse. And where would we park them ? … might make a few more jobs for feeders, cleaners and sweepers, not to mention a cottage industry producing excellent fertiliser, for vegies.

    Of course, there are always bicycles !!! One per person. !! … and the elderly could be accommodated in the only vehicles permitted on the roads. Holland does the bicycle bit, big time. Other countries have followed suit.

    Come to think of it, that ain’t such a bad idea. Might impact a bit on desired work starting times, but think of the exercise one would get – going to and from work. All win / win. 🙂 … 😉

  328. paulwalter

    Good parable, jimhaz.

  329. Michael Taylor

    UFOs you say? Roswell will be interested in that. ?

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