Syria, the many-layered proxy war with multiple, simultaneous explanations

First, great appreciation to Amanda Matthew and the many commentators to her essay today.

In that essay I learned about Morton's Fork.

A Morton's fork is a type of false dilemma in which contradictory observations lead to the same conclusion. It is said to have originated with the collecting of taxes by John Morton.
....

Under Henry VII John Morton was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1486 then lord chancellor in 1487. He raised taxation funds for his king by holding that someone living modestly must be saving money and, therefore, could afford taxes, whereas someone living extravagantly obviously was rich and, therefore, could afford taxes.[2][1]

In some instances, such as Morton's original use of the fallacy, it may be that one of the two observations is likely valid, but the other is pure sophistry: evidence of possessing wealth may be genuinely irrelevant to having a source of taxable income.

In other cases, it may be that neither observation may be relied upon to support the conclusion properly. For example, asserting that a person suspected of a crime who is acting nervously must have something to feel guilty about, while a person who acts calmly and confidently must be practiced or skilled at hiding guilt. Either observation therefore has little, if any, probative value, as each could equally be evidence for the opposite conclusion.

This is what happen's to Morton's fork if you try using it--not as functional as we are led to believe.

Next consider Occam's Razor.

Occam's razor (also Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor; Latin: lex parsimoniae "law of parsimony") is the problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.

In science, Occam's razor is used as an heuristic guide in the development of theoretical models, rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models.[1][2] In the scientific method, Occam's razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable.[3][4][5]

In attempting to understand this Syria debacle we must be aware that there are "facts". But the facts change depending upon the transmissible medium through which they pass. Therefore, which is the truth?

As an example of Morton's fork, consider the case of the dueling serial liars: Comey and McCabe. One may be telling the truth but the other must not in order to satisfy the "Fork". But both may be false. Occam's razor cannot cut through such uncertainty. The truth is that there are layers upon layers of subterfuge here, hence the title.

Because of the uncertainties, even the best-informed amongst us are forced to speculate. As with the Delphic Oracle, any one statement is capable--by design--of having more than one meaning. How to choose? When information is suspect, as most about this Syrian War is, we are reduced to speculation. Hence I shall elaborate on speculation after presenting more "facts" or "alternative facts".

How did this begin?

At this point going on 6 years after the fact, the true bases, whether understood or not, are irrelevant. Example: once an avalanche has begun, it matters little HOW it started. The matter is instead how to escape the avalanche. So we need not discuss PNAC, Clinton, Hussein, etc.

Why this began is more relevant. Several explanations are simultaneously plausible, with the possibility that each such alternative is an equally powerful explanation. Think oil--correct!
Think wahhabism. Correct! Think Israel. Correct! This essay is not the place for an expository on any of the issues--unless it can lead to a termination of the proxy war.

The failure of the media.

Local journalists have long served as a validator of the news coming from Washington, New York and Los Angeles, but when local news doesn’t exist they can’t play the role of trusted intermediary. If voters don’t know any journalists, it’s easier for a would-be demagogue to tell people what they want to hear, while vilifying those journalists from the big city who would tell them the truth as playing them for a bunch of rubes. The truth-teller is demonized, while the con artist goes all but unchallenged.

Of course deregulation by WJC allowed this extinction to happen. A main reason this consolidation was allowed to happen was that the nascent internet with accompanying alternate media was not considered.

News from Syria is exfiltrating in dribs and drabs. Today alone has produced more than 20 posts, probably more than 100.

Russia reveals evidence of staged chemical attack in Syria (15 minutes). This YouTube video exposes what I and many others believe is the core story: the attack on Douma makes absolutely no sense, since Assad's troops were within days of complete routing of those "moderate rebels" with ISIS next on the target list. So why would he perform an act of chemical attack which he KNEW would invite the international murderers back into his country, to capture the hearts and minds of its citizens by killing them? This makes no sense.

But wait! Does any of this have to make sense? I think not. Only a minority of Americans could identify Syria on a map, let alone West Virginia. Before this latest complex charade, most Americans did not care about Syria. They want things like better health care, adequately paying jobs, good infrastructure, etc. Now that the missile strikes have occurred, how many Americans realize how close to a hot war we are? Maybe 10% but I'm optimistic.

The mechanics of the attack, combined with preliminary Trump's tweets, MSM embellishment (read bullshit), Russian and UN responses ARE informative. But the information is not subject to single interpretations. Unlike Morton's fork, two (or more) simultaneous correct interpretations are possible.

First images of US attack on Damascus.

The first videos and photos that have emerged on social media show what appear to be the strikes by the US, the UK and French militaries in the Syrian capital.
Syrian state TV reported that Syria’s missile defenses shot down 13 missiles south of Damascus.

The Chairman of the United States Army Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, however, said he was not aware that any missiles were intercepted, adding that the military has yet to assess the operational data. He confirmed that manned aircraft were involved in the airstrikes that hit three facilities in Syria that the US claims are part of its chemical weapons program.

One of the targets was a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, Dunford said. The second was “a chemical weapons storage facility” in the vicinity of Homs, which, according to Dunford, housed sarin and chemical weapons precursors. The third target was also located near Homs and was identified by the general as a Syrian Army command post and storage facility.

Let that business about a research facility sink in a bit. What kind of research facility? Like Fort Dietrick? Like Porton Downs?

The non-Damascus strikes were allegedly aimed at outlying chemical weapons repositories under Assad's control. No collateral damage? Are we talking about Potemkin villages or ones in which real people lived, until recently? What chemicals? Is exploding already usable chemical weapons a good choice--like perhaps vats of chlorine or tubes of sarin? That stuff kills people even if not intended targets.

A short trip in the WayBack machine to one year ago brings us to the Trumpian chest-thumping bombing of Al-Sharyat airbase on the same cocked up excuse of chemical weaponry. And just when independent chemical weapons experts like the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) were about to go in to verify the charges at Al-Sharyat, boom go the cruise missiles.

Remarkable replay of last year. Only with more missiles and more countries. Remember last time the shot off ~63 missiles but most were destroyed en route or missed the target completely? This time our missile-surplus emptying act didn't fare as well as last year.

The Russian military has claimed that the Syrian air defences, whose most modern weapon is a three-decades-old Russian-supplied anti-aircraft system, shot down 71 of 103 missiles fired by the US and its allies, the UK and France, a claim denied by the Pentagon.

As further details began to emerge about the sites targeted by the US-led strikes, Col Gen Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military said the strikes had not caused any casualties and that Syrian military facilities suffered only minor damage.

It was not possible to verify the claims. The most up-to-date system that Moscow has supplied to the Syrian regime is the short range Pantsir S-1, which has an anti-missile capability.

Syria latest: US 'locked and loaded' if chemical weapons used again – as it happened
Read more
Russia said its advisers had spent the last 18 months completely rebuilding the Syrian air defence system, and said the high number of intercepted rockets spoke to “the high effectiveness of the weaponry in Syria and the excellent training of Syrian servicemen prepared by our specialists”.

Think about this also. A year ago, large numbers of tomahawks failed their mission. This year, largely facing the same decades old missile defense system as last year, only 30% of missiles made it to their targets. How much damage those that got through is yet unknown.

Syria protests to UN security council, not exactly an unexpected move here.

“This aggression comes at a time when the terrorist groups in Syria badly needed a morale boost. It will only serve to embolden them for a while. But it will not make a real difference. The armed terrorist groups are doomed, rejected by the local people in the areas they control, and will continue to face one major defeat after another. Syria will not be unnerved by this new aggression,” Syria's Ambassador to China and former ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, told Sputnik.

Here is a multi-facetted appraisal by Aljazeera with references to many different countries--notably not a mention about Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, etc.

Was Russia tipped off?

According to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, the US did not notify Russian forces in Syria ahead of the strikes. "We did not do any coordination with the Russians on the strikes, nor did we pre-notify them." The Pentagon said the strikes were a "one time shot" to send a strong message to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Meanwhile, Russia fights back, playing its own game, not ours.

Here are two you tube videos, both created today with polar opposite views on this Syrian missile attack. They are both long but worth listening to if you are patient.

Lionel Nation's video on the Mother Of All Bullshit (40 minutes)

Jerome Corsi, with a pro-Trump interpretation (1 hour 18 minutes)

As mentioned above, we are bereft of reliable information in this, as well as many other, situation.

Here are various views, not necessarily contradicting any other.

One dimensional view

This is a testosterone fueled dick-measuring contest between Putin and Trump. Which gorilla pounds his chest more frighteningly. Simple. Straightforward. Possibly correct.

Domestic Politics view, two dimensional

Trump is being pushed into a corner by Müller, Democrats, McCain, MSM to take on Putin, to prove he is not a Putin-loving Quisling, or some such crap. Trump surrenders to the "dark side" (i.e., globalist cabals, etc). Trump reacts to show the rest of them it just ain't so.

Maneuver warfare, three-dimensional

Many say Drumpf is not that clever. He would be unable to pull off the chess moves required. In order for Trump to succeed with his OWN agenda, he has to neutralize the MSM and shuffle his players judiciously amongst the executive branch. This is something Trump has done with great frequency, and will do again as needs must. He must squeeze Rosenstein out. THEN Müller goes without his fairy godfather to protect him. Once this is accomplished, Huber and Horowitz go out for Clinton blood. It's all a matter of timing.

Recently, Trump placed ex-military intelligence officer Ezra Cohen-Watnick into the Justice department, not above Rosenstein but to watch whatever Rosenstein does and read what he reads.

Mike Pompeo, after his stint at CIA, will inform Trump about what he knows is going on in the dark state. More ammunition.

Trey Gowdy withdraws from Congress, me thinks to replace either Wray, or less likely, Sessions. The players are being shifted around.

My belief is that all three scenarios, and perhaps others, are at play here.
1. Dick swinging
2. Sucking up to the MIC
3. Longer term goals, i.e., pursuing his own vision of nationalistic neoliberalism.

This is what I believe:
1. There is a functioning backdoor between Trump and Putin
2. Trumps tweet about new, super, small missiles (or whatever) was a direct tip-off for an impending attack
3. This allowed Putin and Assad to reposition assets. Furthermore Assad did damage to "moderate terrorists" the day after.
4. The failure rate of missiles is more problematic. Perhaps many were targeted to go into barren desert areas, perhaps not. But the failure rate should be cause for grave concern for those warhawks who think war with Russia will be a cake walk. Send them to the front lines.

As far as I know, Trump's domestic situation is much harsher than Putin's. Putin knows this. He is allowing Trump to bluster, posture and do ineffective missile attacks. He wants peace. I think Trump has not fully succumbed to the dark side. At least, I hope has not.

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Comments

arendt's picture

As a collector of political shorthand, I applaud your detailed examples about Morton's fork.

I also thank you for the discusssion of how little it is possible for us grunts to know about what is going on. It makes one feel less helpless to understand why the situation cannot be comprehended.

You have added substance to a very dark and confused situation.

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snoopydawg's picture

a false flag event and yet the attack on Syria happened anyway. That is some hubris and arrogance. Trump said that the bombs hit a few of Assad's chemical weapons facilities, but he left a few standing and then said that assad might use the weapons sometime in the future. This leaves opportunity to bomb Syria again if it's needed. But we know that all chemical weapons were given to us and then they were destroyed on one of our naval ships. But let's not remind people of that.

Bombing a country from miles away is cowardice. Plain and simple cowardice! We are very lucky that Putin decided not to lob a few of his bombs on our military bases. I imagine that the troops were sweating while they waited to see if they too would end up as bug splat. Military term for collateral damage.

US special interests are always one reason for war. The Saudis want to build their pipeline through Syria so they asked John Kerry to overthrow Assad for them and they would pay for it. Funny how neither the Saudis or Israel make their own people put their own butts on the line, but want ours to do it for them.

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A state department memo

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Media talking points

Good essay, alligator. I hope that you are right about Rosenstein and Mueller getting booted off the island and Trump then goes after the Clinton Creature. This would be justice for Haiti, Honduras, Libya, Syria and every other country she has f*cked up. The dead children of Honduras who she wanted sent back to "send a message to their parents" would get justice. There sure are a lot of people who are retiring from congress. An ex CIA agent told us that this would happen. I just hope that Ryan gets caught up with that.

I don't agree that there is a connection between Trump and Putin, but I could be wrong. Why do you think that? But speaking of Russia, here's an interesting connection with the Saudis, others in the Middle East who donated to Hillary's foundation and why they did. This could be a reason why Obama didn't rein her in when she was using her position as SOS to pad her foundation.

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That she got away with doing that is another Obama legacy. This fraud happened right under his nose as well as her using her private email server to keep people from seeing what she was doing.. (sorry, didn't mean to threadjack)

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Hypocrisy

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Mission Accomplished

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America is a psyop wearing a cowboy hat

Sorry to say, but the claims of the Russians ring much more true--and are the only ones with evidence supporting them. The Russian capabilities are quite impressive. Before the Pentagon came out with numbers, the Russian defense ministry said it had detected 103 missles launched against Syrian assets (later, the Pentagon said they had launched 105). The Russians claimed:

4 missiles launched against Damascus International Airport--all were intercepted
12 missiles launched against al-Dumayr military airport--all were intercepted
18 missiles launched against Baly military airport--all were intercepted
12 missiles launched against Shayarat military airport--all were intercepted
9 missiles launched against Mezzeh military airport--5 were intercepted
16 missiles launched against Homs military airport--13 were intercepted
30 missiles launched against Barzah (where the chemical weapons were developed)--7 were intercepted

The Pentagon claims the following:

76 missiles launched against Barzah--none intercepted
22 missiles launched against Him Shinshar (chemical weapons storage site)--none intercepted
7 missiles launched against Him Shinshar bunker--none intercepted

However, there were videos of at least 3 missiles being intercepted, so the Pentagon claims fall apart right there. Furthermore, the images from Barzah show damage more in line with fewer missile hits--more like the 23 the Russians claim, instead of the 76 the Pentagon claims.

There is talk of the Russians lending their ample detection and tracking technologies to the Syrians (aircraft, radar, satellites, etc.) thereby making their older anti-missile technologies much more effective than what we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, you may have noticed that there have been zero reports of drones being used over Syria recently. There is speculation rampant that Russian electronic countermeasures have made American and Israeli drone missions unsustainable since about the beginning of the year.

The end result seems to be something like this. American and Israeli intervention in Syria has been pretty much a failure. Any future attacks against Iran--which would undoubtedly get similar electronic countermeasure, detection, and tracking support from the Russians--would be extremely costly (only about 25% of missiles reached their targets if Russian claims are true), and with very limited effectiveness. Attacks against Russia itself would probably outright fail.

One can only hope that the sociopaths in Washington DC are finally waking up and smelling reality a bit.

https://southfront.org/summing-up-results-of-us-uk-france-strike-on-syri...

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/not-a-bad-out...

Edit to add links!

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@apenultimate

According to the Pentagon--if you believe their story--it takes 103 cruise missiles to knock out ONLY THREE RATHER INCONSEQUENTIAL SITES. (That's an average of 34 missiles per inconsequential target.)

So, either they had more sites targeted, and many of their missiles were either downed or diverted (in which case, their mission has not been truly successful because they haven't hit all their objectives), or they knew that given the high kill ratio of the air defenses arrayed against them, they'd have to launch OVERWHELMING numbers of cruise missiles just to get a relative few number of missiles through to successfully hit THREE SITES.

What I'm saying is that the official Pentagon story doesn't make sense. At the most, if one is targeting only three sites with cruise missiles, and one expects that none of them will be shot down or diverted, then it would likely take maybe 10 missiles per site to wipe out the targets. That would be thirty missiles in all.

How does one then explain the additional 75 missiles that were fired? Why does one need so many, when one is only targeting three sites?

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Alligator Ed's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople One: the Pentagon knew that there would be many failures because of air defenses. Two: the number of missiles used was an excuse to replenish with new tomahawks, a point I made one year ago about Al-Sharyat. Of course there is ALWAYS the third option: one or both sides are lying. Mr. Morton, you've dropped your fork.

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@Alligator Ed

. . . many failures due to air defenses" would seem to be contradicted by their own official narrative, which seems to DENY COMPLETELY any effectiveness of the Syrian/Russian air defenses.

Unless, you mean that they are saying, "Well, we anticipated at the outset that there would be some effectiveness of the defenses against us (though we're very glad it turned out we were wrong about this) and we were compensating for this by way of numerical 'overkill.'"

Look, it's possible that the official U.S. narrative is true. However, given my knowledge of my government's and the DoD's history of LYING about so many, many, many things, I know that I'm not predisposed at this point in my life to give them ANY presumption of truthfulness or accuracy. Thus, it's not that I think the "other side" are such truthful or good people. Rather, it's that I am mostly persuaded that the people that supposedly make up "my side" are lying shits.

Remember "Weapons of mass destruction?" Remember Pat Tillman? Remember the female American soldier that supposedly shot her way out of captivity? Remember all those unaccounted for TRILLIONS of dollars from the DoD? Remember the babies allegedly stripped from incubators in Kuwait right before the first Gulf War? Remember, even, the three phony allegations of Assad using gas on his own people (including this latest alleged incident)?

At this point, why should I give anyone in the U.S. Government or in the DoD any presumption of truthfulness?

Why?

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Bisbonian's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople I remember. Don't believe anything they say, even if it might be true...it's most likely not.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

. . . person was targeted or harmed in these latest strikes.

That alone has gotten just about every analyst that I've read who has weighed in on the events of the past 48 hours to state that at the very least, the United States took VERY SERIOUSLY Putin's promise to retaliate if any Russian lives were threatened. Apparently, cool heads within Trump's inner circle didn't want to find out if Putin was bluffing when he implied that if Russian lives were threatened that American warships would find their way to the bottom of the sea, and/or American bases would be damaged/destroyed. So, in a sense, the West has respected Russia's "red line" and decided not to cross it, and the latest attacks on Syria were no more than a very expensive, face-saving piece of theater that has allowed the West (and Trump) to save face by appearing "tough" in order to mask its irreversible defeat in Syria.

Many other sites I've read have pretty much all concluded that in the hours leading up to the latest missile attacks in Syria there was a lot of maneuvering/negotiating going on behind the scenes between all the parties involved (including France, Russia, and the U.S.) to allow Trump to have a face-saving fireworks show, while doing little if any real damage to Syrian, Iranian, or Russian assets. This way, a very real and dangerous conflict that could escalate into a nuclear war was avoided . . . for now.

However, when I read the Saker's latest essay--written about a day before Trump's latest cruise missile strikes--about the price humankind must pay to be free of "the empire," it's clear to me that all this gamesmanship is about one thing: The "Anglo-Zionist Empire" of the West (that is his terminology, not mine), is trying to defeat any threats to its world dominance. As Russia presents the only entity that has openly defied and stood up to the United States with any success--after all, they have for the past three years thwarted the West's plans for regime change in Syria, and in the face of the U.S.-sponsored coup in Ukraine they successfully annexed Crimea without firing a shot--consistent with the neocon playbook, Russia must be subdued or even destroyed. Thus, Syria is just only one theater in what appears to be an ongoing war by the West to bring Russia (and also China) to heel. The Saker seems to think that this ongoing war against Russia will likely now shift to Ukraine's Donbass region, with the West possibly spurring on a war on the Ukrainian separatists that will draw Russia into a potentially costly and disastrous conflict in an attempt to protect the Russians separatists that live there. So, in short, what we are seeing in Syria, is merely a skirmish in a much larger and still ongoing war in which the empire of the West is trying to prevent the emergence of any challengers to its hegemony over the globe. (This, by the way, is consistent with the classic neocon doctrines articulated in the Project for a New American Century documents from the 1990's.)

Anyway, let me quote from the opening paragraph of the Saker's latest essay, because I think it brings certain things into sharp focus:

"The first thing to realize is that this [latest episode in Syria] is not, repeat, not about Syria or chemical weapons, not in Salsbury, not in Douma. That kind of nonsense is just “mental prolefeed” for the mentally deficient, politically blinded or otherwise zombified ideological drones who, from the Maine, to the Gulf of Tonkin, to NATO’s Gladio bombing of the Bologna train-station, to the best and greatest of them all – 9/11 of course – will just believe anything “their” (as they believe) side tells them. The truth is that the AngloZionists are the prime proliferators of chemical weapons in history (and the prime murderers of Arabs and Muslims too!). So their crocodile tears are just that – crocodile tears, even if their propaganda machine says otherwise.

"Does anybody seriously believe that Trump, May, Macron or Netanyahu would be willing to risk an apocalyptic thermonuclear war which could kill several hundred million people in just a few hours because Assad has used chemical weapons on tens, hundreds or even thousands of innocent Syrian civilians (assuming, just for argument’s sake, that this accusation is founded)? Since when do the AngloZionist care about Arabs?! This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!"

BTW, here's the link to the Saker's essay:

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/what-price-for-collapse-of-the-empire/

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

Thanks for the Saker link.

There's a lot of retracing going on today. It seems that toxin in the UK wasn't Novichok, according to a Swiss lab, but some other toxin developed in the US and produced by the UK. Leonid Rink, one of the Novichok creators, says the report of the OPCW proves that former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia could not be poisoned with a Novichok-class nerve agents, He thinks they were sprayed with fentanyl.

A very messy business, that. And then, to make matters worse, there may not have been a chemical attack after all in Syria. The UN team arrived this morning and cannot locate any victims.

We'll have wait and watch the circus this morning in the UK, where the news tools are pushing back really hard. It's a war of the narratives now. Russia is accused of taking unfair advantage of honest mistakes and using propaganda at the UN to make the US and UK look bad. Russia is also accused of inventing the technique of smearing toxins on doorknobs. But, the day is still young....

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic Just imagine if Teresa could be one-third as inventive as Killary for the reasons she (HRC) lost the election, TM could invent more different poisoning scenarios to pin this on the Russians. Ok, Novichok is out, what do we blame next?--we already KNOW whom to blame, those meddlesome Bears.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic Just imagine if Teresa could be one-third as inventive as Killary for the reasons she (HRC) lost the election, TM could invent more different poisoning scenarios to pin this on the Russians. Ok, Novichok is out, what do we blame next?--we already KNOW whom to blame, those meddlesome Bears.

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mimi's picture

Just to say that I tried to listen and read as much as I could. I now have a little bit better view on Blackstone Network, Lionel Nations. I don't have a clue about that Q-Anon (though you have written about that several times, but it just doesn't stick with me) other than I can't stand listen to him and therefore don't do it.

I just don't know why so many folks feel they can believe in ANY images they see online as 'proof' for any 'facts'. I think it should be clear that crying folks in the news are just a method to tell you to not believe in anything (that does not include crying civilians who have bombed out in war zones).

I don't know how to say this, but I remember my first morning to wake up in the United States, when I came to the US in 1982 and happened to watch some sort of "morning TV" show with Tammy Fay and Jim Bakker, this preacher guy. (First time in my life I watched a TV show in the morning. They didn't exist in Germany back then, so it was new to me. First time too to watch US TV, and that right after waking up without having had a coffee...).

What can I say, it was a traumatic event from which I have post traumatic stress syndrome til today. My first crocodile tears from godly people who had sinned (sniff, sniff). Tamyy Fay with thick lip stick and fake eye lashes with mega tons of make-up on her face ... I just was so terribly haunted by what I foresaw as following me now through my life in the US in the future. I was absolutely scared and upset about what my life would be in the US. And it was just what happened, it haunted me for years to come. Crying folks on TV, sinners, preachers, godly folks who sell their souls and all the shebang including crying babies, kids - girls or other self-promotional videos of overly engaged activistas these days, they all have the same effect on my soul. I am a non-believer.

If I see images either on TV or online of anyone crying too obviously in front of a camera, I cut it but and shut my eyes. The same happens these days, if I watch talking hosts and heads who are too overly outraged about something in their news coverage. I cut them out. The only thing I can bare are the outrageously good comedians. But then sometimes it's too much, I cut them out too.

It won't take me much longer to cut myself off of all things online. I am ready to cut it all OUT.

Couldn't listen to Q-Anon more than two minutes. Cut him out. Listened to the Lionel Nation guy for 2/3 of the video, but then it was enough. Listened to the Blackstone guy, this time I got a little bit better what he was about and thought it was convincing. So, I made some progress, heh. Wink

You see I live here with persons who don't use the internet. They couldn't care less, they don't even know what it does and really what it is, other than that I can 'google' for them for whatever they happen to want to know. These people are perfectly happy without the internet. When they watch the German main stream media they ask the right questions instinctively and they instinctively cut out the bullshit by not understanding most of the bullshit to begin with. I wonder if that is not a much smarter way to deal with today's technologically enabled 'news' broadcasts.

Other than that, thank you for all the efforts to make us aware of all the bullshit and some inklings on some drops of truth. I respect all the work that goes into it.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@mimi

You have a very unique and soulful perspective on the rapidly twisting world. I envy your friends. I think they have the right idea to ignore the Internet. It feels important, but it is not. I would make a different choice if I could go back in time. I shouldn't know all the things that I do.

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mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic
but the persons I was talking about are just too old or too uneducated and poor to have caught the internet train on time. They don't use the computer much, even though their kids do, but apparently they were not able to get their parents 'hooked'.

I just envy them sometimes because they are not addicted and not dependent on it, they don't even use smart phones, just mobile phones without the "smart" in it. And to make it more amazing, one reads a lot, the other is quite a self-educated historian about his geographical home region where he grew up in.
So, I learn a lot from him, and he thinks I am 'funny' when I talk about what I read online.
Smile

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi I thought about calling my kids on Friday, 2 days ago, to tell them about how close we were to a hot war but thought better of it. Why alarm them, make them fearful, even if the war does occur. What could be accomplished? Nothing. Those wishing to learn will stick their heads out of the TV, video games and shopping malls. You have to volunteer to learn the truth. No one can force another to learn the truth--for then truth becomes propaganda, that which I am forced to believe.

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed
me and my son we try to cut out all of the political talk (it's hard, but if we don't we go both through the roof). You are lucky, if your kids are not yet scared from their own reading of the world's political events, with mine it is more the opposite, too fearful, but I don't blame him. I understand where that comes from.

I think I owe you an apology, because I said stuff in my own ignorance that probably was so wrong that I am fearful I messed up big time. Many things talked about here are too far away from my world and to detailed and too much for me to either understand or to follow through with it to the point that I do understand properly what authors meant to say. I somehow hope one day everything else in my brain will leave me alone and I can read and learn with more success.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi These events are by themselves, stripped of emotion (impossible to do), too mind boggling for most people. Just think of trying to explain the monstrosity of Killary Klinton and her evil machinations and carefree disregard of law and morality. How explain that rationally? Following rabbit holes is fatiguing enough, but moreso when filled with putrid slime.

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5 users have voted.

do your post justice. However, I did spot this, which I call out for being biased in favor of not taxing the wealthy:

Under Henry VII John Morton was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1486 then lord chancellor in 1487. He raised taxation funds for his king by holding that someone living modestly must be saving money and, therefore, could afford taxes, whereas someone living extravagantly obviously was rich and, therefore, could afford taxes.[2][1]

In some instances, such as Morton's original use of the fallacy, it may be that one of the two observations is likely valid, but the other is pure sophistry: evidence of possessing wealth may be genuinely irrelevant to having a source of taxable income.

The reality is just the opposite. First, the sophistry, if any, is in the framing. There is zero reason to assume that, in the Fifteenth Century England, when and where land was king and monarchs were almost all-powerful, the monarch gave a crap about whether a taxpayer had taxable income. The issue in the fifteenth century was the desire/need of the Crown and/or the nation for more money---real estate taxes, excise taxes, wealth taxes, per capita taxes, whatever. Just taxes the Crown wanted to collect. Moreover, extravagant lifestyle is far more relevant to the ability to pay taxes, even if you have to sell off a tiara or the lower forty in order to raise the cash to make the payment.

Claiming it's sheer sophistry to assume a high baller can afford to pay taxes reminds me somehow of focusing on income inequality when the far larger issue is wealth inequality.

On the other hand, living frugally is no evidence at all that someone has money stashed away. Aside from the odd Ebeneezer Scrooge, someone might very well live frugally because he or she has no money to spare. In my experience, it's more likely for people to live beyond their means by choice than to live like a poor person when they have no any financial need to live that way.

Claiming that someone living high on the hog may not be able to pay taxes while not remarking on the ability of frugal people to pay taxes, IMO, reflects so much that is wrong with both the modern tax code and society in general.

Besides--and this is admittedly, a "usage police" carp, the Archbishop of Canterbury did not raise taxes by bloviating about living extravagantly versus living frugally. I have no idea how taxes were raised in England then, but I assume it was by law or decree of Parliament and/or the King. Rather, it sounds as though the Archbishop was rationalizing a tax increase--and not doing even that skillfully. Sounds more like a flippant remark made by the Archibishop about a tax increase, more a joke in bad taste than anything else.

Besides, I always understood a false dilemma to be a situation in which someone pretends a choice has to be made between A or B, when other options exist. It's often a close relative of another logical fallacy, namely, reductio ad absurdum. For example: "Will you vote Democratic for President in 2020, or would you rather Putin ran the US?" is a false dilemma.

Finally, I must wonder about the wikipedia editors citing Sophie's Choice as an example of a false dilemma --the choice that, in a novel and a film by that name, a character named Sophie had to make between the death (by Nazi) of her daughter or of her son, a choice that robbed her permanently of what was left of her emotional well-being. Fictional dilemma, probably. False dilemma, though? Seriously? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie%27s_Choice_(novel)

As far as "Occam's Razor," like any razor, it can be helpful in practical matters or unnecessarily dangerous, depending upon how it is used. I've often seen the term "Occam's Razor" used the same way that the term "conspiracy theory" is used, when "conspiracy theory" is used as a synonym for nonsense, insanity, tin foil hat, etc. IOW, I've seen both terms used to shut people up when they even speculate that the official story ab0ut some topic or other might not be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And, p.s., the official story seldom is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Bottom line, while "Morton's Fork" may be a useful term and I am always grateful to have such things brought to my attention, I think the wikipedia article about Morton's Fork is awful.

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7 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@HenryAWallace Interesting that logic plays such a part in our mutual discussions here. Morton's fork, Occam's razor, and false dilemmas. However we need not concern ourselves with rationality in the current McCarthyite, let's start WW3 atmosphere.

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5 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Alligator Ed

the whole "Morton's Fork" thang may have been proto-propaganda to make people feel better about "having" to pay their taxes. They could at least pat themselves on the back about being "rich enough to afford it" or "really frugal", depending.

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Lookout's picture

I appreciate your work and research. Excellent comments from everyone as well.

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Big Al's picture

objective, as well as isolating Iran (for eventual regime change) along with U.S./Israeli hegemony over the MENA, also a key component of the agenda for global hegemony, i.e., the New American Century (PNAC 2000). Another PNAC document, "A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" asserts the primary issue is Israel's "security". That goes back to 96, not long after the Oded Yinon plan which advocated for remaking the middle east to achieve "Greater Israel". Clinton's emails uncovered by WikiLeaks show the primary objective was Israel's "security". The email makes it clear that it has been US policy from the very beginning to violently overthrow the Syrian government—and specifically to do this because it is in Israel’s interests.

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” Clinton forthrightly starts off by saying.

http://yournewswire.com/clinton-email-we-must-destroy-syria-for-israel/

The 7 countries in 5 years thing (Wesley Clark) which included Syria, was a neocon/Zionist plan directly from PNAC that also had Israel's security as number one priority by achieving U.S./Israeli hegemony over the middle east and north Africa.

Based on the Zionist hold on Trump and his admin, I'd say this strike was coordinated with Israel and is meant to set the stage for taking on Iran, in which Syria always has been that setup (the road through Tehran goes thru Damascus). They believe Russia isn't going to do shit based on past experience. They're fucking delusional at this point.

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12 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@Big Al During WW2, the "gentleman agreement era" of anti-Semitism was the rule. How did PNAC come into its prominence in the 90s? I don't know the answer. Political contributions by Jews is only a small part of the answer.

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4 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Alligator Ed

At least, that's probably where it started. Then it occurred to some bright and unscrupulous person that propping up this country allowed easier access to the oil in those countries - by persuasion (including more guilt-tripping), subversion, or naked force. But they kept up the "underdog" propaganda as a mask for their real intentions.

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Alligator Ed's picture

@TheOtherMaven All things political usually boil down to follow the money--or in this case O-I-L.

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1 user has voted.
QMS's picture

Glad to see a rational perspective on current events. The US military machine reminds me of a big balloon being pumped up with so many billions, it is leaking missiles. And the propaganda apparatus trying to justify the big ballon is faltering badly. They've gone from scary Russians hacking elections (failed the sniff test) to Trump is a Putin puppet, a la McCarthy witch hunts. UK nerve gas leaks and Russian spy intrigue, to Syrian gas attacks and White Helmet Hollywood productions. The voices on the internet are exposing the Israel crimes, the fallacy of the UN 'security' council and the true nature of NATO. International treaties, laws and justice are no longer preventing imperial ambitions. Now they say it is all legit, but that's classified information. Common sense and honest observation is showing the lies have become more desperate. Going all the way to threats of Armageddon. Sheesh.

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4 users have voted.
Amanda Matthews's picture

You and everyone else here every day.

That’s why I love this place. Posts are based on information not emotion. Like this one.

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6 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Amanda Matthews's picture

Why in the Hell would anyone bomb a ‘chemical weapons’ STORAGE FACILITY?? Particularly when the point of the attack is (supposedly) to protect the Syrian people?

Maybe I’m being an idiot (it happens with some frequency) but that just doesn’t ring right to me.

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7 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa