In the Windmills of SKIDOO (1968)
It's worth noting how genuinely revolutionary, relative to today's inclement times, it is that Groucho Marx and Otto Preminger did LSD as preparation for making the movie. The former, as we've learned, did it expressly so he could be sure he wasn't leading the kids down a wrong path, as the movie was considered an advocation of LSD use (which may have something to do with its being so hard to see until lately); Preminger took it because he was originally scheduled to direct an anti-LSD movie and decided contempt prior to investigation was wrong! That a 78 year-old man like Groucho and a 63 year-old man like Otto would decide to take LSD before either advocating or condemning it marks how superior they are to the 'just say no' fearmongers of today (and the 80s) who wouldn't dare touch any of that stuff. Has lack of investigation prior to contempt EVER stopped our lawmakers and neo-conservative knee-jerk hysterics? Some I know even prefer to die of malnutrition rather than to try weed for the first time even if told it will help relieve post-chemo nausea. It affirms my theory that everyone who thinks drugs should be illegal have never tried any, or--more likely--have probably been offered any and are nursing a sour grapes grudge.  As Preminger might say, People.... zey used to be so awesome.
12 hours ago
Skidoo (1968): Paul Krassner and Groucho Marx on LSD
One of the characters in Skidoo was a Mafia chieftain named God. Screenwriter Bill Cannon had suggested Groucho Marx for the part ... who was concerned about the script of Skidoo because it pretty much advocated LSD which he had never tried, but he was curious. Moreover, he felt a certain responsibility to his young audience not to steer them wrong, so could I possibly get him some pure stuff and would I care to accompany him on a trip. I did not play hard to get. We arranged to ingest those little white tablets one afternoon at the home of an actress in Beverly Hills.
12 hours ago
Acid Test : the Curiosity of Otto Preminger's Skidoo - Museum of the Moving Image
One of the film's three pièces de résistance is Tony's lavishly and garishly illustrated acid trip, modeled after Preminger's own, after accidentally ingesting LSD by licking an envelope flap in Fred's stationery, which forces him to confront his sexual paranoia about Flo and Darlene and then destroys his willingness to kill anyone, including "Blue Chips." The other two specialty sequences are the subsequent "Garbage Can Ballet"—an LSD vision of two tower guards played by Fred Clark and Harry Nilsson, the latter of whom wrote the film's songs, occurring while Fred and Tony are preparing to escape from prison in a homemade balloon—and the final credits, introduced offscreen by Preminger himself, which are sung in their entirety and may qualify as the film's only unqualified comic success. But in fact, the whole film moves onto a higher level of expressiveness and giddy continuity once Tony takes acid and, in order to effect his and Fred's prison escape, the entire prison population gets its food spiked with more LSD.
12 hours ago
Chinese scientists turn copper into ‘gold’ | South China Morning Post
Professor Sun Jian and colleagues at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Liaoning, shot a copper target with a jet of hot, electrically charged argon gas. The fast-moving ionised particles blasted copper atoms off the target. The atoms cooled down and condensed on the surface of a collecting device, producing a thin layer of sand. Each grain of the sand had a diameter of only a few nanometres, or a thousandth of the size of a bacterium. The researchers put the material in a reaction chamber and used it as a catalyst to turn coal to alcohol, a sophisticated and difficult chemical process that only precious metals can handle efficiently. “The copper nano particles achieved catalytic performance extremely similar to that of gold or silver,” Sun and collaborators said in a statement posted on the academy’s website on Saturday.
13 hours ago
My Acid Trip with Groucho - Paul Krassner
I got a call from Groucho Marx. He was going to be in an Otto Preminger film called Skidoo, and it was pretty much advocating LSD, and he had never tried it but was not only curious but also felt a responsibility to his audience not to steer them wrong so could I get him some pure stuff and would I care to accompany him on the trip? I did not play hard to get.

After a while, he started chuckling to himself. I hesitated to interrupt his revelry. Finally he spoke: "I'm really getting quite a kick out of this notion of playing God like a dirty old man in Skidoo. You wanna know why? Do you realize that irreverence and reverence are the same thing?" "Always?" "If they're not, then it's a misuse of your power to make people laugh"
14 hours ago
DNA scientist James Watson stripped of honors over views on race | The Guardian
A New York laboratory has cut its ties with James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA, over “reprehensible” comments in which he said race and intelligence are connected.
yesterday
The Strange Dancing Plague of 1518: When Hundreds of People in France Could Not Stop Dancing for Months | Open Culture
One day she began dancing in the street. People came out of their houses and gawked, laughed, and clapped. Then she didn’t stop. She “continued to dance, without resting, morning, afternoon, and night for six whole days.” Then her neighbors joined in. Within a month, 400 people were “dancing relentlessly without music or song.” We might expect that town leaders in this late-Medieval period would have declared it a mass possession event and commenced with exorcisms or witch burnings. Instead, it was said to be a natural phenomenon. Drawing on humoral theory, “local physicians blamed it on ‘hot blood,’” History.com’s Evan Andrews writes. They “suggested the afflicted simply gyrate the fever away. A stage was constructed and professional dancers were brought in. The town even hired a band to provide backing music.” Soon, however, bloody and exhausted, people began dying from strokes and heart attacks. The dancing went on for months.
yesterday
The Mysterious Frank Taylor Report: The 9/11 Document that Launched US-NATO’s "War on Terrorism" in the Middle East - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
The conclusion is inescapable – this dispatch IS the Frank Taylor report. It is the manuscript that served not only as the basis for Frank Taylor’s presentation, but also for the briefings given by US ambassadors to the various national governments. Identical presentations were given in all 18 capitals on 3 October, four days before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan

Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO, wrote a draft resolution invoking Article 5 in the Washington treaty – the famous ‘musketeer clause’ – as a consequence of the terror attacks. The decision to do so had to be unanimously approved by the governments in all 19 NATO countries. This general agreement was obtained at 9.20 pm and Lord Robertson could read out the endorsements at a packed press conference:[6]
yesterday
"The Criminals Who Run The Deep State Will Be Exposed": Kim Dotcom Teases "Next Round Of Leaks" | Zero Hedge
And while he's has made headlines for years, in February Dotcom boldly stated that the DNC "hack" which kicked off the Russian election interference narrative was bogus, tweeting: "Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why."  Dotcom says he offered to produce evidence to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, twice, and they never even replied to him. 
yesterday
Navy hires firm that rebuilt the World Trade Center to expand the Gitmo war court complex | Miami Herald
The Pentagon has awarded a nearly $19 million contract to expand Guantánamo's war court complex with Top Secret office space for lawyers defending the accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The builder? A subsidiary of the construction giant that helped rebuild the World Trade Center.
yesterday
Alleged Sept. 11 plotters get choice: Go to court or meet with Red Cross | Miami Herald
“The ICRC has no intention to deprive detainees of any legal process and we strive to offer a maximum of flexibility when visiting detainees,” said Red Cross spokeswoman Anna Nelson. She added the “timing and modalities” of visits are part of the “bilateral and confidential dialogue” between the ICRC and the Department of Defense. Red Cross delegates routinely bring the captives word from family at the meetings. The conflict became evident after an anonymous Army captain who serves as a lawyer at Guantánamo secret Camp 7 prison announced in court that one of the alleged Sept. 11 plotters, Mustafa al Hawsawi, 47, refused to sign a waiver declaring he was voluntarily missing Wednesday’s court session — something he routinely does. Hawsawi, it turned out, had a scheduled 11 a.m. meeting with Red Cross delegates — who also can protest prison conditions to the Pentagon — and the Army lawyer told him to choose between the two.
yesterday
Gdansk Mayor Dies After Poland's First Political Assassination Since The End Of Communism | Zero Hedge
Adamowicz was a powerful liberal voice in a country that has been governed by the rightwing Law and Justice party since 2015. He is best known in Poland and internationally as a staunch supporter of LGBT rights and the rights of migrants and refugees during a period of rising anti-migrant sentiment. This is the first assassination of a high-ranking Polish politician, while in office, since communism ended in 1989.
yesterday
The US Wants to Bring Back the Shah of Iran
President Harry Truman was adamantly against colonialism and sided with Iran, which infuriated the British. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953, he sided with the British. Eisenhower and Churchill plotted a coup d’état to overthrow Mossadegh. The frightened Shah, who was in on the plot, fled from Iran before the coup attempt just in case anything went wrong. The first attempt did fail. A second daring CIA-led coup succeeded and the US reinstalled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, with dictatorial power. By its intervention, the US broke the British Empire’s monopoly on Iran’s oil. That was part of the US’s calculous. After the coup, US oil companies got 40% of Iran’s oil industry, 14% went to Royal Dutch-Shell, 6 % went to the French Petroleum Company, and the British oil company kept 40%. In addition, Iran got its 50/50 share of the net profits that it wanted in the first place. The US immediately sent financial aid to prop up the Shah, and to bolster Iran’s weakened economy from the British blockade.
yesterday
P&G Challenges Men to Shave Their Toxic Masculinity in Gillette Ad - WSJ
“It’s a risky move,” said Dean Crutchfield, CEO of branding firm Crutchfield + Partners. On one hand, it “creates a credible, believable, and upfront conversation that takes brutal honesty and tough decisions,” he said. Gillette needs to appeal to millennials who care about what companies stand for, he said. “There’s a demand for this, for purpose, for brands to be tackling tough issues in the moment.” But the ad could backfire and alienate Gillette’s base, Mr. Crutchfield cautioned. “Does the customer want to be told they’re a naughty boy? Are you asking too much of your consumer to be having this conversation with them?”
yesterday
Cybersecurity: When Hackers Went to the Hill — Revisiting the L0pht Hearings of 1998 | National Security Archive
More than 20 years ago, in May 1998, seven hackers from the Boston-based “hacker think tank” L0pht Heavy Industries, appeared alongside Dr. Peter Neumann, a private sector expert on computer security, before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs for one of the first-ever[1] Congressional hearings focusing specifically on cybersecurity. The hearing covered a wide array of topics, addressing the breadth of challenges posed by cybersecurity rather than providing a detailed look at any single problem. The Committee held two more hearings in a series on cybersecurity in 1998, looking at information security in the Department of Defense, and electronic warfare and cybersecurity within the Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs, respectively.
yesterday
Barack Obama's 'disappearance' is a myth
From his sprawling DC office not far from the White House, where he oversees a full-time staff of 20, Obama has held regular meetings with Democratic lawmakers, as well as DNC chief Tom Perez, whom he personally helped install to run the Democratic Party. Obama has also met with his attorney general, Eric Holder, to craft a strategy to redraw congressional district maps in Democrats’ favor, according to Politico. Holder now runs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which Obama helped his old friend launch.
yesterday
Transcripts of Lisa Page’s Closed-Door Testimonies
Page noted that she only traveled abroad once while she worked for McCabe, in December 2016, on official business in London. Strzok traveled with her, as did three other unnamed individuals. One individual that Page specified as not being part of the trip was Bill Priestap, the FBI’s head of counterintelligence. Page was prohibited by FBI counsel for detailing the purpose of her visit. Prior to her work for McCabe, Page worked within the DOJ—where Bruce Ohr was her direct supervisor for five to six years. Page also met Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr’s wife, at a summer barbeque that Ohr held for the office in 2011.
yesterday
PG&E Sparked at Least 1,500 California Fires. Now the Utility Faces Collapse. - WSJ
PG&E Corp. equipment started more than one fire a day in California on average in recent years as a historic drought turned the region into a tinderbox. The utility’s unsuccessful efforts to prevent such blazes have put it in a state of crisis.
yesterday
Transatlantic Telegraph Cable – 1858 - MagLab
Many years passed by before another cable stretched across the Atlantic. When it was finally in place in 1866, it formed a permanent link between America and England. Over the line, politicians, businessmen and others who could afford the initially expensive service could send short messages in a matter of seconds. Much of the credit for the eventual success of the great project was owed to design improvements made by William Thomson, who subsequently became better known as Lord Kelvin. The British government gave Thomson his title in honor of his contributions to the transatlantic telegraph cable.
2 days ago
Top British Officer: Russia May Be Able To Cut Undersea Cables : The Two-Way : NPR
"Therefore we must continue to develop our maritime forces with our allies, with whom we are working very closely, to match and understand Russian fleet modernization," which he said included "new ships and submarines" and efforts "to perfect both unconventional capabilities and information warfare." According to a recent report by the think tank Policy Exchange, such deep-sea cables "carry 97 per cent of global communications and $10 [trillion] in daily financial transactions," The Financial Times reports. The report says Russian submarines have begun "aggressively operating" near Atlantic cables, according to the Times.
2 days ago
The CTO – a brief history | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) traces its origins to the creation of the Pacific Cable Board in 1901.  In 1896, The Pacific Cable Committee had been formed to consider how the last element of a global electrical telegraph network connecting all parts of what was then the British Empire could be completed across the Pacific.  By 1872, messages had been able to be sent from London to Adelaide or Sydney, and Australia had been linked to New Zealand by cable in 1876, but there was no connection across the Pacific to the west coast of Canada.  Following the Committee’s deliberations, a Pacific Cable Board was created in 1901 consisting of eight members (three from Britain, two from Canada, two from Australia and one from New Zealand), and work commenced on laying the cable in 1902.
2 days ago
'The Undersea Network': Book Excerpt
As a result, the reliability of undersea cables has been deemed “absolutely essential” for the functioning of governments and the enforcement of national security. Militaries use the cables to manage long-range weapons tests and remote battlefield operations. Undersea networks also make possible new distributions of transnational media that depend on high-capacity digital exchange, from the collaborations of production companies in the United States and New Zealand on the 2009 film Avatar to the global coordination of World of Warcraft players. At the same time, cable infrastructure enables modes of resistance that challenge dominant media formations. Messages produced by the Arab Spring and Occupy movements traveled between countries on undersea cables. If the world’s 223 international undersea cable systems were to suddenly disappear, only a minuscule amount of this traffic would be backed up by satellite, and the Internet would effectively be split between continents.
2 days ago
Submarine Cables: The Handbook of Law and Policy - Centre for International Law
Submarine fiber optic cables are critical communications infrastructure for states around the world. They are laid on the seabed, are often no bigger than a garden hose, and transmit immense amounts of data across oceans. These cables are the backbone of the internet and phone services and underpin core state interests, such as the finance sector, shipping, commerce and banking industries. Without the capacity to transmit and receive data via submarine cables, the economic security of states would be severely compromised. Despite the fact that 95 per cent of all data and telecommunications between states are transmitted via submarine cables, there is little understanding of how these cables operate. As a result some states have developed policies and laws that undermine the integrity of international telecommunications systems. Submarine Cables: The Handbook of Law and Policy provides a one-stop shop of essential information relating to the international governance of submarine cables. The handbook is a unique collaboration between international lawyers and experts from the submarine cable industry. It provides a practical insight into the law and policy issues that affect the protection of submarine cables, as well as the laying, maintenance and operation of such cables. In addition, the law and policy issues in relation to other special purpose cables, such as power cables, marine scientific research cables, military cables, and offshore energy cables, are also addressed.

More information
2 days ago
All under Heaven, China’s challenge to the Westphalian system - Asia Times
Tingyang’s sharpest deconstruction of the Western system is when he shows how the theory of progress, as we know it, clings to the narrative logic of Christianity; then “that becomes a modern superstition. The mélange is neither scientific or theological – it’s an ideological superstition.” From the point of view of Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions, Tingyang shows that since Christianity won over pagan Greek civilization, the West has been driven by a logic of combat. The world appears as a bellicose entity, with groups or tribes opposing one another. The (Western) “mission of conquering the world destroyed the a priori integrity of the concept of ‘world’. The world lost its sacred character to become a battlefield devoted to the universal accomplishment of Christianity. The word became an object.”
2 days ago
Iceland makes it illegal to pay men more than women | London Evening Standard
The new legislation was supported by Iceland's centre-right coalition government, as well as the opposition - nearly 50 per cent of the lawmakers in parliament are women.
2 days ago
Man accused of shooting down UN chief: ‘Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to…’ | The Guardian
Pierre Coppens, who got to know Van Risseghem four years later when he was back in Belgium flying for a parachute training centre, said his friend told him those unspecified wider tasks also included attacking Hammarskjöld. He said he was simply ordered to bring down a plane and didn’t know who was inside, Coppens told researchers working on a new film about the crash, Cold Case Hammarskjöld. It premieres at the Sundance film festival in two weeks’ time, and names Van Risseghem as the attacker. Full details of the filmmakers’ research are revealed here for the first time.
2 days ago
Chief of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove On the Relationship Between MI6 and the CIA - YouTube
With a career spanning over thirty-eight years in British Intelligence, Sir Richard rose to Chief, known as C, after serving as a frontline case officer behind the Iron Curtain, in Geneva and Paris, in Africa and as station head in Washington D.C.
2 days ago
Chief of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove Discusses How he Recruited the Chief Archivist of the KGB - YouTube
Sir Richard Dearlove was the Chief of the the famed Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, from 1999 to 2004.
2 days ago
Sir Richard Dearlove | The Cambridge Union - YouTube
Former Head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove was at the heart of British secret intelligence for nearly 40 years. Having served in posts across the world, he was Head of MI6 during the September 11th attacks and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Codenamed "C", he is only the second holder of that position to be named publicly. He has subsequently expressed concerns over the growth of the use of surveillance in Britain and was, in 2008, asked to testify against allegations that MI6 were involved in the death of Princess Diana.
2 days ago
What Technologists Can Learn From Religions — The Information
In 1994, Umberto Eco famously wrote that the Macintosh was Catholic and that DOS was Protestant. While he was mostly speaking in jest, I am increasingly convinced that modern internet platforms have as much to learn from religious history as they do from corporate history. Bitcoin and the crypto ecosystems, for example, have a lot in common with decentralized religions like Judaism and Sikhism. Meanwhile, the centralized social platforms have a lot in common with religions like Catholicism.
2 days ago
Witch hunt or mole hunt? Times bombshell blows up all theories | TheHill
If true, this is likely the only time in history that the FBI has investigated whether a sitting president was either a knowing or unknowing agent of a foreign power. However, the real benefit of the investigative story may not be the original suspicion but how it could explain the course both sides took into our current quagmire. What if there were no collusion or conspiracy but simple cognitive bias on both sides, where the actions of one seemed to confirm precisely the suspicions of the other?

Of course, no charges were ever brought against Page, who simply appears to have been pursuing business interests in his field in Russia. Moreover, investigative journalist Michael Isikoff who broke the dossier story admitted recently, “When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them, and, in fact, there is good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven and are likely false.” Even the New York Times now reports that “no evidence has emerged publicly” that Trump was “secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.”
3 days ago
'You are being programmed,' former Facebook executive warns - BBC News
"We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works," he told the audience. He advised people take a "hard break" from social media, describing its effect as "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops."

"We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up," Palihaptiya said.
"We conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that's short term and leaves you even more vacant and empty before you did it. "You don't realise it but you are being programmed."
3 days ago
Facebook hires former British deputy prime minister Clegg
Facebook Inc (FB.O) has hired former British Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to lead its global affairs and communications team, as the social network deals with a number of scandals related to privacy, fake news and election meddling. The appointment makes Mr Clegg, former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and deputy to David Cameron in the 2010-2015 coalition government, the most senior European politician ever in a leadership role in Silicon Valley.
3 days ago
Putin, Spooks and Honeytraps - the inside story of modern espionage 1 - YouTube
Cliveden Literary Festival 2018 Panellists: Sir Richard Dearlove, Richard Davenport-Hines, Ben Judah, Adam Zamoyski
3 days ago
Samuel P. Huntington - Wikipedia
In his 1991 book, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Huntington made the argument that beginning with Portugal's revolution during 1974, there has been a third wave of democratization which describes a global trend which includes more than 60 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa which have undergone some form of democratic transition. Huntington won the 1992 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for this book.[12]
3 days ago
Richard Dearlove - Wikipedia
Sir Richard Billing Dearlove KCMG OBE (born 23 January 1945) was head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), a role fictionally known as "M" and actually, though informally, as "C",[1] from 1999 until 6 May 2004.
3 days ago
The Ideology of the Ruling Elite - YouTube
The report observed the political state of the United States, Europe and Japan and says that in the United States the problems of governance "stem from an excess of democracy" and thus advocates "to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions."
3 days ago
The Crisis of Democracy - Wikipedia
The report says the problems of the United States in the 1960s stemmed from the "impulse of democracy ... to make government less powerful and more active, to increase its functions, and to decrease its authority" and concludes that these demands are contradictory. The impulse for the undermining of legitimacy was said to come primarily from the "new activism" and an adversarial news media, while the increase in government was said to be due to the Cold War defense budget and Great Society programs. To remedy this condition, "balance [needs] to be restored between governmental activity and governmental authority." The effects of this "excess of democracy" if not fixed are said to be an inability to maintain international trade, balanced budgets, and "hegemonic power" in the world.
3 days ago
Full text of "The Crisis of Democracy - Trilateral Commission - 1975"
The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Western Europe, Japan, and North America to foster closer cooperation among these three regions on common problems. It seeks to improve public understanding of such problems, to support proposals for handling them jointly, and to nurture habits and practices of working together among these regions.
3 days ago
/ / / FREEthe3
It has come to our attention - via helpful back channels that owe much more to the absurd breadth of our municipal bureaucracy than to any particular person or point of influence - that there are three privately owned giraffes registered with the city of New York.
3 days ago
Police Bust Giraffe-Fighting Ring
"This might very well be the largest giraffe-fighting ring in North America," police spokesperson Heather Walker said. "We seized a great deal of the usual paraphernalia, including 80 pounds of chains, spiked leather collars, a treadmill, a padded suit, and several pairs of stilts."
3 days ago
THE YELLOW VESTS: A Mass Strike In France? Interview with Jacques Cheminade - YouTube
As protests sweep France for the third weekend in a row, former French Presidential candidate and leader of the Solidarité et Progrès party (S&P) -- www.solidariteetprogres.org -- Jacques Cheminade joins us for an exclusive interview from Paris to convey the potential and opportunity which the Yellow Vest movement poses to secure a new economic order for Europe and the globe.
3 days ago
Was ‘Institute for Statecraft’ behind Ofcom’s targeting of RT? Sleuths point to yes — RT World News
Shoebridge then did some old-fashioned detective work, and found that Ofcom might have actually received external complaints about RT – but not from members of the British public, but a government sock-puppet, the “Institute for Statecraft.” That shadowy outfit was recently unmasked by a trove of leaked documents, published by a group claiming to be the hacker collective Anonymous.
3 days ago
British Jeremy Corbyn Supporters Volunteer For The Bernie Sanders Campaign
Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left. "I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I’ll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."
3 days ago
Secret Scottish-based office led infowars attack on Labour and Jeremy Corbyn - Daily Record
On the surface, the cryptically named Institute for Statecraft is a small charity operating from an old Victorian mill in Fife. But explosive leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal the organisation’s Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by military intelligence specialists. The “think tank” is supposed to counter Russian online propaganda by forming “clusters” of friendly journalists and “key influencers” throughout Europe who use social media to hit back against disinformation.
3 days ago
Two Temple Place | Bulldog Trust
Two Temple Place is a magnificent neo-gothic mansion on the Embankment built by the first Viscount Astor, William Waldorf Astor in the 1890s. The house has been owned by the Bulldog Trust since 1999 and is one of the charity’s most successful charitable projects to date.  Two Temple Place is now dedicated to promoting culture and philanthropy. The house hosts events and activities for charities through the year, offers public access and sell-out education opportunities through the Winter Exhibition Programme and is also available for private hire.
3 days ago
William Waldorf Astor - Two Temple Place
William Waldorf inherited this vast fortune in 1890 and shortly after emigrated to Britain. Here he came to own Cliveden, a country house in Buckinghamshire, Hever Castle in Kent as well as commissioning the construction of a lavish Estate Office in London – Two Temple Place. Astor had no hesitation in handing the architect, John Loughborough Pearson, an unlimited budget for Two Temple Place and clearly had a great deal of influence in its planning; the result of which is something so personal to him that it reads almost like his own autobiography. By all accounts he was a shy and austere man with a secretive nature and prickly personality; reflected in the building’s imposing façade, formidable gargoyles and strong room. Whilst the opulent interior with wood panelling and intricate carving is a vivid reflection of Astor’s deepest passions and interests: history, literature and the arts.
3 days ago
British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft - Craig Murray
The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the “Institute for Statecraft” to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney). By sleuthing the company records of this “Scottish charity”, and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.
3 days ago
Research | The Institute for Statecraft
 Research is undertaken either on the personal initiative of staff and Fellows; as part of The Institute's Research Programme to inform the projects and programmes it is delivering; or when specifically commissioned by clients. The Institute's Research Programme combines input from government, academia and the corporate world. As well as in-depth research into specific topics, The Institute particularly encourages and enables cross-disciplinary research as a means of stimulating creative thinking.
3 days ago
Fellows | The Institute for Statecraft
In addition to maintaining a wide network of researchers, contributors and associates from government, academia and the corporate world, The Institute appoints Fellows for a three-year term. Those Fellows who so wish have listed their names and the topics of their particular interest on the webpage below.
3 days ago
The Integrity Initiative: Defending Democracy against Disinformation | The Institute for Statecraft
Through The Integrity Initiative, The Institute for Statecraft has drawn together a network of well-informed specialists who have studied the phenomenon of disinformation, and see it as one element of a serious effort by undemocratic regimes to weaken the resolve of Western peoples to stand up for the freedoms guaranteed by their democratic systems. The very existence of such freedoms represents a threat to the frequently dictatorial and non-democratic ways in which these countries and organisations are ruled. Members of the Integrity Initiative clusters actively engage with policy-makers and the wider public in their own countries to show them the damage which can be done to their societies by disinformation. They also share information and experience across the region to help society to understand the varied and pernicious nature of the threat and to counter it.
3 days ago
Steal This Show S03E10: The Battle Of The Bots - TorrentFreak
In this episode we meet Ben Nimmo, Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, to talk us through the latest patterns and trends in online disinformation and hybrid warfare. ‘People who really want to cause trouble can make up just about anything,’ explains Ben, ‘and the fakes are getting more and more complex. It’s really quite alarming.’
3 days ago
Facebook partners with Atlantic Council to improve election security | TheHill
Experts from the international think tank’s Digital Forensic Research Lab will help provide Facebook “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.” Facebook said it will also use the Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions during elections and other “highly sensitive moments,” according to a post written by Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, Katie Harbath. The social media company will also consult with the Atlantic Council to address other political security issues that could arise on its platform.
3 days ago
Atlantic Council Digital Forensics Research Lab and Iranian Propaganda
While the vast majority of people in the West have not heard of the Atlantic Council, it is becoming an increasingly important organ of the "censor the internet and remove all disinformation" movement that has taken over the global media since Hillary Clinton lost her birthright to the Oval Office in November 2016.  In this posting, I want to take a very brief look at the people behind the Atlantic Council, its affiliate, the Digital Forensic Research Lab aka Digital Sherlocks and how it is handling so-called misinformation from Iran. First, let's look at the backers of the Atlantic Council.  Here is a complete list of executives and directors:
3 days ago
How Putin's Russia turned humour into a weapon - BBC News
"They have brought the humour inside," says author Peter Pomerantsev who himself experienced the world of the Russian TV producer. While humour was once a threat to their Soviet predecessors, the Kremlin has now turned it to their advantage. "It's not a super-serious regime, they do things with a kind of smirk and sometimes just with a smile. It's a system that allows for a certain amount of humour."
3 days ago
F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia - The New York Times
The F.B.I. conducts two types of inquiries, criminal and counterintelligence investigations. Unlike criminal investigations, which are typically aimed at solving a crime and can result in arrests and convictions, counterintelligence inquiries are generally fact-finding missions to understand what a foreign power is doing and to stop any anti-American activity, like thefts of United States government secrets or covert efforts to influence policy. In most cases, the investigations are carried out quietly, sometimes for years. Often, they result in no arrests.
3 days ago
The British Come Out of the Shadows: "We Will Prevent a Second Trump Term" - YouTube
The British House of Lords just published a Report on what they want to do between now and 2020. They are emphatic: Donald Trump must not get a second term. They plan to use world-wide censorship, and information warfare to accomplish Trump's loss. Aside from the United States, they are focused on China, India, and Russia as their foreign policy priorities.

At the same time that the Lords were publishing their Report and some of the “proceedings” which led to it, one arm of the Empire’s black propaganda and psyops operation was being exposed: the military intelligence Integrity Initiative. It has multiple overlaps of personnel and tactics with the circles of Sir Richard Dearlove, Christopher Steele’s controller, the same guy who wrote the filthy fake propaganda piece about Donald Trump which has dominated U.S. political discussion for well over two years. It overlaps heavily with Orbis Business Intelligence, Steele’s spook firm.
3 days ago
Earth's Magnetic Field Is Up To Some Seriously Weird Stuff And No One Knows Why | IFLScience
Every five years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maps out the Earth’s magnetic field in the World Magnetic Model (WMM). This was last published in 2015, with the next edition planned for 2020, but this freak behavior forced scientists to revise the map earlier than anticipated. Unfortunately, the revamped WMM was supposed to be released on January 15, but it's been postponed until at least January 30 due to the ongoing government shutdown.
4 days ago
Albert Hofmann - Everybody Has Cosmogonic Potency (1984) - Mondo 2000
A.H.- Yes. It was intended to be used as an adjunct in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. That was the most important application. And this is one of the main characteristics of the LSD experience, that the patient could come out of his encapsulated ego, get out of his problems, that he can get better contact with his doctor, with his psychiatrist, and then, enhanced adjustability. He can be deeply influenced. Another effect that was important as an adjunct to psychoanalysis was that, under certain conditions, repressed or forgotten experiences come out of the subconscious and become conscious again. And that is just what is attained in psychoanalysis… to become conscious of traumatic experiences which have been repressed or forgotten. As soon as they are conscious, you can work with them. LSD was not intended as a medicament. It was intended as an adjunct, a help, an aid in psychoanalysis. But the healing process must come by the spirit of the psychiatrist. This is a spiritual thing. LSD is just an adjunct. It helps. It opens the personality, and loosens the I-you barrier. That is very important. It loosens the subject-object barrier and gives you a feeling of openness, and the feeling of unity with the universe, with your fellow man or fellow woman. These effects can be helpful, also, without psychoanalysis and without psychotherapy. But that was the medical indication. That was the reason why Sandoz distributed it all over the world for testing.
4 days ago
THAT STRANGE DARK OVERLOAD STORY IS NOW A LITTLE STRANGER
In other words and to put it country simple, I've long suspected that there is some sort of "deep story" here, connecting 9/11, its financial shenanigans, and PROMIS (in some "updated" version). Which brings us to the Dark Overlord hacks. One of the little details that emerged during the whole INSLAW scandal was that the software had undergone several modifications after its theft, some carried out by private corporations on Indian reservations at the behest of the intelligence "community". Digging deeper (really deeper), allegations even surfaced that an Inslaw programmer had installed his own private and personal back door before this whole process had even begun! Let that sink in for a moment. It means that, if all those stories are true, then (1) a "multi-lingual" software platform was created that could read and translate from any computer language, (2) it was then stolen by the USA, and widely disseminated throughout the world's intelligence and financial "community" after a number of modifications with back doors were made to it, and (3) in addition to those back doors, there were private and personal backdoors potentially added by any number of programmers themselves who worked on it each step of the way. That's a useful thing to have around, especially when you're taking all the financial ledgers "secret" (See Catherine Austin Fitt's year-end wrap up, available at Solari.com).
4 days ago
Laser triggers electrical activity in thunderstorm for the first time
At the top of South Baldy Peak in New Mexico during two passing thunderstorms, the researchers used laser pulses to create plasma filaments that could conduct electricity akin to Benjamin Franklin's silk kite string. No air-to-ground lightning was triggered because the filaments were too short-lived, but the laser pulses generated discharges in the thunderclouds themselves.
4 days ago
9/11 Evidence: "Conclusive Evidence Federal Crimes were Committed" - Grand Jury Breakthrough vested with Subpoena Power
This means a 23-member grand jury, vested with subpoena power and the authority to take sworn testimony, will hear the voluminous evidence of the World Trade Center’s demolition and will have the ability to conduct a thorough investigation that results in indictments against suspected individuals — in other words, what the 9/11 Truth Movement has been working toward for 17 years.
5 days ago
Anti-Federalist Papers - Wikipedia
The Anti-Federalist papers were written over a number of years and by a variety of authors who utilized pen names to remain anonymous, and debates over authorship continue to this day. Unlike the authors of The Federalist Papers, a group of three men working closely together, the authors of the anti-Federalist papers were not engaged in an organized project. Thus, in contrast to the pro-Constitution advocates, there was no one book or collection of anti-Federalist Papers at the time. The essays were the product of a vast number of authors, working individually rather than as a group.[2] Although there is no canonical list of anti-federalist authors, major authors include Cato (likely George Clinton), Brutus (likely Melancton Smith or Robert Yates or perhaps John Williams), Centinel (Samuel Bryan), and the Federal Farmer (either Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee, or Mercy Otis Warren[citation needed]). Works by Patrick Henry and a variety of others are often included as well.

Until the mid-20th century, there was no united series of anti-Federalist papers. The first major collection was compiled by Morton Borden, a professor at Columbia University, in 1965. He "collected 85 of the most significant papers and arranged them in an order closely resembling that of the 85 Federalist Papers." The most frequently cited contemporary collection, The Complete Anti-Federalist, was compiled by Herbert Storing and Murray Dry of the University of Chicago. At seven volumes and including many pamphlets and other materials not previously published in a collection, this work is considered, by many, to be the authoritative compendium on the publications.[3] Considering their number and diversity, it is difficult to summarize the contents of the Anti-Federalist papers. Generally speaking they reflected the sentiments of the anti-Federalists, which Akhil Reed Amar of the Yale Law School generalized as: a localist fear of a powerful central government, a belief in the necessity of direct citizen participation in democracy, and a distrust of wealthy merchants and industrialists.[4] Essays with titles such as "A Dangerous Plan of Benefit Only to The 'Aristocratick Combination'" and "New Constitution Creates a National Government; Will Not Abate Foreign Influence; Dangers of Civil War And Despotism" fill the collection, and reflect the strong feelings of the authors.

The Anti-Federalists proved unable to stop the ratification of the US Constitution, which took effect in 1789. Since then, the essays they wrote have largely fallen into obscurity. Unlike, for example, The Federalist No. 10 written by James Madison, none of their works are mainstays in college curricula or court rulings.[6] The influence of their writing, however, can be seen to this day – particularly in the nature and shape of the United States Bill of Rights. Federalists (such as Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 84) vigorously argued against its passage but were in the end forced to compromise.[7] The broader legacy of the Anti-Federalist cause can be seen in the strong suspicion of centralized government held by many Americans to this day.
5 days ago
Exclusive: How a Russian firm helped catch an alleged NSA data thief - POLITICO
Although Kaspersky has worked with U.S. law enforcement and security firms for years to track hackers, the company's relationship with the government began to grow tense around 2012 as it exposed a series of covert NSA spy kits and hacking operations after finding the previously unknown spy software on customers’ machines. The company has exposed more U.S. spy operations than any other cybersecurity firm in the last six years, and has in turn become a hacking target of spy agencies itself for its success in exposing not only NSA operations but those of Israel, the United Kingdom and France.
6 days ago
Astronomers discover first direct evidence of white dwarf stars solidifying into crystals
"All white dwarfs will crystallise at some point in their evolution, although more massive white dwarfs go through the process sooner. This means that billions of white dwarfs in our galaxy have already completed the process and are essentially crystal spheres in the sky. The Sun itself will become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years."
6 days ago
Alger Hiss and Russia-gate – Consortiumnews
Among them was Thomas McKittrick, a former agent of the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA) who was the wartime president of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. He was also an executive with Chase Manhattan Bank and a Marshall Plan administrator who allegedly conspired with his friend, the future CIA Director Allen Dulles, to move looted Nazi gold to Argentina.
6 days ago
New Pentagon chief under scrutiny over perceived Boeing bias - POLITICO
Shanahan, this official said, called the plane “f---ed up” and argued that Lockheed — which edged out Boeing to win the competition to build the plane in October 2001 — “doesn’t know how to run a program.” “If it had gone to Boeing, it would be done much better,” Shanahan said, according to the former official.
6 days ago
Oil Companies Like ExxonMobil Have Known About Climate Change For Decades : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, the president and the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), respectively, explain why the organization decided to divest its holdings on fossil fuel companies. Although the divesting decision is broad-ranging, they single out ExxonMobil for its "morally reprehensible conduct."

"For over a quarter-century the company tried to deceive policymakers and the public about the realities of climate change, protecting its profits at the cost of immense damage to life on this planet," they write, condemning ExxonMobil for not only covering up its cutting-edge research findings on how fossil-fuel burning affects the global climate, but also for willfully promoting an agenda of deception, aiming at confusing and influencing public opinion by turning a scientific issue into a political one.
6 days ago
Time for a Conservative Anti-Monopoly Movement | The American Conservative
But for conservatives willing to break from the principles of free market fundamentalism, the papal encyclicals of the Roman Catholic Church, the distributist thought of Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, the social criticism of Christopher Lasch, and the observations of agrarian essayist Wendell Berry provide an intellectual framework from which conservatives can critique and combat concentrated economic power. With a respect for robust and resilient localities and a keen understanding of the moral dangers posed by an economy perpetuated by consumerism and convenience, these writers appeal to the moral imaginations of the reader, issuing warnings about the detrimental effects that economic consolidation has on the person, the family, the community, and society at large.
6 days ago
Unequal Protection: The Early Role of Corporations in America
In response to the Dartmouth decision, Pennsylvania’s legislature passed a law in 1825 that declared the legislature had the power to “revoke, alter or annul the charter” of corporations. New York State passed a similar law in 1828, including “Section 320,” which said that any acts by a corporation not specifically authorized in their charter were ultra vires (Latin for “beyond the power”; it basically means “you can’t do that because you lack the legal authority”) and grounds for revocation of the corporation’s charter. Michigan, Louisiana, and Delaware all passed laws in 1831 limiting the time of corporate charters.26
6 days ago
The Second Bank of the United States | Federal Reserve History
Why was Jackson so opposed to the Bank? On a personal level, Jackson brought with him to Washington a strong distrust of banks in general, stemming, at least in part, from a land deal that had gone sour more than two decades before. In that deal, Jackson had accepted paper notes — essentially paper money — as payment for some land he had sold. When the buyers who had issued the notes went bankrupt, the paper he held became worthless. Although Jackson managed to save himself from financial ruin, he never trusted paper notes again. In Jackson’s opinion, only specie — silver or gold coins — qualified as an acceptable medium for transactions. Since banks issued paper notes, Jackson found banking practices suspicious. Jackson also distrusted credit — another function of banks — believing people should not borrow money to pay for what they wanted.
6 days ago
Equifax Deserves the Corporate Death Penalty | WIRED
Under the law of Georgia, where Equifax is incorporated, the state attorney general may file a lawsuit in state court to dissolve a corporation if the corporation "has continued to exceed or abuse the authority conferred upon it by law." (All 50 states have similar provisions.) State attorneys general don't invoke these corporate death penalty statutes often, especially not against large, well-known corporations. But Equifax could not have obtained its unusually important position in our economy without the privileges of a corporate charter conferred by law, and it has forfeited its claim to those privileges.
6 days ago
The Death Penalty for Corporations Comes of Age | corpwatch
Throughout the nation's history, the states have had -- and still have -- the authority to give birth to a corporation, by granting a corporate charter, and to impose the death penalty on a corporate wrongdoer by revoking its charter. Activist-author Richard Grossman points out that in 1890, for example, New York's highest court revoked the charter of the North River Sugar Refining Corporation -- referring to the judgment explicitly as one of ''corporate death.'' It was once widely understood that the states had this power. ''New York, Ohio, Michigan and Nebraska revoked the charters of oil, match, sugar and whiskey trusts'' in the 1800s, Grossman wrote in the pamphlet, ''Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation,'' co-authored with Frank Adams.
6 days ago
Bring Back the Corporate Death Penalty
While the human death penalty has largely disappeared in the world and is fading in the U.S. (a good thing), the corporate death penalty needs a revival. The corporate death penalty, widespread in the 19th century, is a political and economic Darwinian process that weeds bad actors out of the business ecosystem to make room for good players. The process of revoking corporate charters goes back to the very first years of the United States. After all, the only reasons states allow (“charter”) corporations (normal business corporations can only be chartered by a state, not the federal government) is to serve the public interest.
6 days ago
Democrats in Congress Unveil Ambitious Plan to Fix Our Elections
The bill’s overall framing is to counter systemic corruption that blocks some citizens—but not others—from voting; or allows large donors to hide their identity while funding attacks they wouldn’t publicly want to be associated with; or enables current and recent officeholders to personally profit from serving in the highest levels of the federal government.
6 days ago
Synthetic organisms are about to challenge what 'alive' really means | WIRED UK
In 2016, Craig Venter and his team at Synthetic Genomics announced that they had created a lifeform called JCVI-syn3.0, whose genome consisted of only 473 genes. This stripped-down organism was a significant breakthrough in the development of artificial life as it enabled us to understand more fully what individual genes do. (In the case of JCVI-syn3.0, most of them were used to create RNA and proteins, preserve genetic fidelity during reproduction and create the cell membrane. The functions of about a third remain a mystery.)
6 days ago
A Community Organizer From Way Back - The New York Times
I founded El Puente in 1982. At the time, Williamsburg was the city’s teenage gang capital, according to the media. Between 1979 and 1980, in the Southside alone, a small section of Williamsburg, we lost 48 young people. I was the director of community medicine at Greenpoint Hospital, and I spent a lot of time in the emergency room, where the young people would come, mostly dead on arrival.
6 days ago
El Puente (coalition) - Wikipedia
Luis Garden Acosta, a human rights activist, is the founder and president of a community and youth development organization in Brooklyn, New York. His drive to create peace and prevent injustices at the local and international scale was his reason to create the El Puente activist group in 1982.[11] Luis Garden Acosta, son to a Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1945.[12] His initial life plan was to become a Catholic priest, however, after years of pursuing his career, Acosta's life plan changed after hearing a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which lead to his decision on becoming a political activist.[8] Acosta has a diverse career background as he worked as community organizer, public health researcher, educator, and hospital director. He was also a member of the Young Lords Party, a Puerto Rican civil and human rights groups equivalent to the Black Panther Party.[8]
6 days ago
From Garbage Offensives to Occupying Churches, Actions of the Young Lords Continue to Inspire - YouTube
We look back at the Young Lords, a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. In late July 1969, the group staged their first action in an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickup in East Harlem. The Young Lords would go on to inspire activists around the country as they occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community projects. The group called for self-determination for all Puerto Ricans; independence for the island of Puerto Rico; community control of institutions and land; freedom for all political prisoners; and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, Puerto Rico and other areas. The Young Lords would also play a pivotal role in spreading awareness of Puerto Rican culture and history. While the group disintegrated in the mid-1970s, its impact is still felt today. The Young Lords is the focus of a new art exhibit organized by The Bronx Museum of the Arts called "¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York." It is on view at three different cultural institutions in New York. We speak to our very own Juan González, who served as the group’s first minister of education, and Johanna Fernández, co-curator of "¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York" at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
6 days ago
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