Sunday, December 31, 2017

WWII Tank Battles: Canada Vs Germany: Deathtrap In Ortona Italy

WWII: Sept 1944: American Sherman Tanks Vs German Panzers at The Battle of Arracourt

WWII The Eastern Front: The Battle of Kursk, The Biggest Tank Battle of All Time

'White Tiger' WWII The Eastern Front, Russian Film/English Subtitles

Not history, but set in history. Wonderful script, acting, and attention to detail/accuracy.

A German Tank known only as the White Tiger wreaks havoc on Russian Tanks. It appears all by itself, like a ghost, kills, and disappears. 

One Russian T-34 Tank Commander becomes obsessed with hunting and killing it.

Unfortunately the distributor has blocked its being embedded here.

Go watch it on youtube.

White Tiger

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hungarian Christmas: We'll Protect Christian Culture, Not Retreat Behind Concrete Blocks and Watch Our Women Harassed on New Years Eve

Jack Montgomery 25 Dec 2017

Viktor Orbán has used his annual Christmas message to call on Europeans to protect their Christian culture, and vowed Hungary will not “retreat behind concrete blocks” at Christmas and watch its women and daughters “harassed in the New Year’s Eve crowd” like its multicultural neighbours.


“Christianity is culture and civilization. We live in it. It is not about how many people go to church or how many pray honestly. Culture is the reality of everyday life… Christian culture defines our everyday morals,” wrote the Fidesz leader, in an article published in Magyar Idők.

Orbán also took aim at the enemies of his ‘country first’ policies, who say he cannot claim to be Christian if he will not support allowing “millions from other continents to settle into Europe” in accordance with the commandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself”.

“They forget the second part of the commandment,” observed Orbán: “To love ourselves.”

The conservative heavyweight explained: “Loving ourselves also means taking and protecting all that we are and who we are. To love ourselves means that we love our country, our nation, our family, Hungarian culture and European civilization.”

“Fundamentals of European life are now under attack,” the Hungarian leader continued, alluding to the difficulties faced by countries such as Britain, France, Germany, and Sweden, which have all pursued policies of mass migration and state-sponsored multiculturalism.

“Regardless of whether we are going to church or not, and if so, to which we are going, we do not want to celebrate the sacrament just behind the curtains so as not to violate the sensitivity of others,” he declared.

“We don’t want our Christmas markets to be renamed, and we definitely don’t want to retreat behind concrete blocks. We don’t want our Christmas masses to be surrounded by fear and distress. We don’t want our women, our daughters to be harassed in the New Year’s Eve crowd.”

Prime Minister Orbán added a warning against the forces which seek to deliberately weaken Christianity in Europe, which he described as a kind of cultural “immune system” — unnoticed while it is strong, but leaving the entire body politic vulnerable when it is weak.

“They want us to stop being who we are. They want us to become those who we don’t want to be. They want us to mix with people from another world, and to change in order to make diversity trouble-free,” he said.

“The free nations of Europe, the national governments elected by the free citizens, have a new task: to protect our Christian culture.
“Not for others, but for ourselves; for our families, for our nation, for our countries, and for the ‘homeland of our homeland’ — for the defence of Europe.”

Thank You PM Orban, Mr Montgomery, and Breitbart.

Europe's Runaway Train Toward Full Digitization of Money & Labor

Tyler Durden
Dec 26, 2017 11:30 PM

Authored by Peter Koenig via The Saker blog,

The other day I was in a shopping mall looking for an ATM to get some cash. There was no ATM. A week ago, there was still a branch office of a local bank – no more, gone. A Starbucks will replace the space left empty by the bank. I asked around – there will be no more cash automats in this mall – and this pattern is repeated over and over throughout Switzerland and throughout western Europe. Cash machines gradually but ever so faster disappear, not only from shopping malls, also from street corners. Will Switzerland become the first country fully running on digital money?


This new cashless money model is progressively but brutally introduced to the Swiss and Europeans at large – as they are not told what’s really happening behind the scene. If anything, the populace is being told that paying will become much easier. You just swipe your card – and bingo. No more signatures, no more looking for cash machines – your bank account is directly charged for whatever small or large amount you are spending. And naturally and gradually a ‘small fee’ will be introduced by the banks. And you are powerless, as a cash alternative will have been wiped out.

The upwards limit of how much you may charge onto your bank account is mainly set by yourself, as long as it doesn’t exceed the banks tolerance. But the banks’ tolerance is generous. If you exceed your credit, the balance on your account quietly slides into the red and at the end of the month you pay a hefty interest; or interest on unpaid interest – and so on. And that even though interbank interest rates are at a historic low. The Swiss Central Bank’s interest to banks, for example, is even negative; one of the few central banks in the world with negative interest, others include Japan and Denmark.

When I talked recently to the manager of a Geneva bank, he said, it’s getting much worse. ‘We are already closing all bank tellers, and so are most of the other banks’. Which means staff layoffs – which of course makes it only selectively to the news. Bank employees and managers must pass an exam with the Swiss banking commission, for which they have study hundreds of extra hours within a few months to pass a test – usually planned for weekends, so as not to infringe on the banks’ business hours. You got to chances to pass. If you fail you are out, joining the ranks of the unemployed. The trend is similar throughout Europe. The manager didn’t reveal the topic and reason behind the ‘retraining’ – but it became obvious from the ensuing conversation that it had to do with the ‘cashless overtake’ of people by the banks. These are my words, but he, an insider, was as concerned as I, if not more.

Surveillance is everywhere. Now, not only our phone calls and e-mails are spied on, but our bank accounts are too. And what’s worse, with a cashless economy, our accounts are vulnerable to be invaded by the state, by thieves, by the police, by the tax authority, by any kind of authority – and, of course, by the very banks that have had your trust for all your life. Remember the ‘bail-ins’ first tested in early 2013 in Cyprus? – Bail-ins will become common practice for any bank that has abused its greed for profit and would go belly-up, if there wouldn’t be all those deposits from customers. Even shareholders are not safe. This has been quietly decided on some two years ago, both in the US and also by the non-elected white-collar mafia, the European Commission – EC.

The point is, ‘banks über alles’. And which country would be better suited to introduce ‘cashless living’ than Switzerland, the epicenter – along with Wall Street – of international banking. Bank’s will call the shots in the future, on your personal economy and that of the state. They are globalized, following the same principles of deregulation worldwide. They are in collusion with globalized corporations. They will decide whether you eat or become enslaved. They are one of the tree major weapons of the 0.1 % to beat the 99.9% into submission. The other two at the service of the master hegemon’s Full Spectrum Dominance drive, are the war- and security industry and the ever more brazen propaganda lie-machine. Banking deregulation has become another little-propagated rule of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Countries who want to join WTO, must deregulate their banking sector, prying it open for the globalized money-sharks, the Zion-controlled banking conglomerates.

Retrenchment of personnel in the banking employment market is increasing. The news only selectively reports on it, when there are large amounts of jobs being eliminated. Statistics lie everywhere, in the EU as well as in Washington. – Why scare people? They will be scared enough, when they are offered jobs at salaries on which they can barely survive. That’s happening already. It used to be a tactic applied for developing countries: Keep them enslaved by debt and low pay, so they don’t have time and energy to take to the streets to protest – they have to look for food and work, whatever menial jobs they can get, to feed their families. It’s now hitting Europe, the West in general. Some countries way more than Switzerland.

Cashless trials are going on elsewhere, especially in Nordic countries, where selected department stores and supermarkets do no longer take cash. Another monstrous trial has been carried out in India a year ago, in the last quarter of 2016, where from one day to another 80% of the most popular money notes were eliminated, and could only be exchanged for new notes by banks and through bank accounts. And this in an almost pure cash country, where half the population has no bank account, and where remote rural areas have no banks. People were lied to so that the sudden introduction had maximum effect.

It caused massive famine and thousands of people died, as they had suddenly no acceptable cash to buy food – all instigated by the USAID Project ‘Catalyst’, in connivance with the Indian rulers and central bank. It was a trial. It was a disaster. If it works in India with 1.3 billion people, two thirds of whom live in rural areas and most of them have no bank account, the scam could be applied in any developing country – see also India – Crime of the Century – Financial Genocide

What is going on in Switzerland is a trial with the high end of populations. How is the upper crust taking to such radical changes in our daily monetary routine? – So far not many protests have been noticed. There is a weak referendum being launched by a group of people who want the Swiss Central Bank be the only institution that can make money, like in the ‘olden days’. Though a very respectable idea, the referendum has no chance in today’s banking and debt-finance environment, where youth is being indoctrinated with the idea that swiping your card in front of an electronic eye is cool. Today, most money is made by private banks, like elsewhere in Europe and the US. Worldwide banking deregulation, initiated by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s – today a rule for any member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – has made this all possible.

Digitalization and robotization is just beginning. Staffed check-out counters in supermarkets are dwindling; most of them are automatic – and that happened within the last year. – Where are the employees gone? – I asked an attendant who helped the customers through the self-checkout. ‘They joined the ranks of unemployed’, she said with a sad face, having lost several of her colleagues. ‘It will hit me too, as soon as they don’t need me anymore to show the customers on how to auto-pay.’

Digitalization also includes the cryptocurrencies, the blockchain moneys floating around – of which the most famous one is Bitcoin. It brings digitalization of money to an apex. The system is complex and seems to lend itself only to ‘experts’. Cryptocurrencies are fiat money, based on nothing, not even on gold. Cryptos are electronic, invisible and highly, but highly speculative, an invitation for gangsters and fraudsters. With extreme speculative values, it looks as if cryptocurrencies were designed for crooks and speculators.

Bitcoin was allegedly invented by Satoshi Nakamoto which could be a pseudonym of a man or a group of people, suspected to live in the US. “Nakamoto’s” identity is believed to be commonwealth origin, due to the vocabulary used in his writings. One of his close associates is purportedly a Swiss coder, who is also an active member of the cryptocurrency community. He is said to have graphed the time stamp of each of Nakamoto’s more than 500 bitcoin forum posts. Such ‘forum posts’ exist in the thousands, worldwide. They form an elaborate network based on algorithms.

Bitcoin was formally created in January 2009 with a fix amount of 21 million ‘coins’, of which more than half are already in circulation, and 1 million, or about 4.75% (of the total) can be traced to Nakamoto – which according to the current market value corresponds to close to US$15 billion. Today’s overall Bitcoin market cap is more than US$ 315 billion. The market is highly volatile. Drastic daily fluctuations are common, especially within the last 12 months. If one of the major Bitcoin holders, like Nakamoto, would capitalize his profit by selling a big portion of his holdings, the Bitcoin price would be in free fall, functioning pretty similar to the regular stock exchange.

On 24 August 2010, when Bitcoin was first traded, its value was US$ 0.06. On 24 December 2017, the coin was worth US$ 13,800, an increase of 230,000%. In the last twelve months, its value increased from about US$ 800 in December 2016 to a peak of close to US$ 20,000 in December 2017, an increase of nearly 2,500 %. However, in the last 7 days, the price has dropped by US$ 5,160, i.e. by more than 27%, and the trend seems to be downward; perhaps a sign of quick profit-taking? However, this shows how instable this cryptocurrency is, apparently much more so than trading corporate shares on the stock market.

The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 27 November 2017 is above 1300 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time and by anyone. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is presently the largest blockchain network (database network, storing data in different publicly verifiable places), followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin.

Bitcoin may be the next bubble, bringing down a parallel economy which has already its fingers clawing into our regular western economy. Cryptocurrencies are officially forbidden in Russia and China, though stopping cryptocurrency dealings by individuals is hardly possible. They do not touch the traditional banking system. That’s why major banks hate them. They circumvent the banking suckers, prevent them from making ever higher profits from horrendous commissions, against which the people at large are powerless.

Here is Bitcoin’s positive value. It escapes bank and state controls. If countries’ economies were run on Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency, they would escape US sanctions which function only because western currencies are foster-children of the US-dollar, hence, subject to the dollar hegemony; meaning all international transactions have to pass through a US bank. A typical case is ‘banking blockades’, when Washington decides to stop all international transactions of a country until it submits to the wishes of the empire. It is blackmail; totally illegal, but unless there is a monetary alternative, the (western) world is subject to this system.

A typical case was Argentina, when she was forced by a New York judge in June 2014 to pay a New York based Vulture Fund US$1.6 billion, an illegal ruling according to a UN resolution. Argentina refuse to pay, so the judge, interfering in a sovereign nation, blocked more than US$ 500 million in Argentina’s debt payment to creditors, bringing Argentina to the brink of a second bankruptcy in 13 years. Eventually, neoliberal Macri negotiated a deal with the Vultures of a payment in excess of US$ 400 million.

This US blackmail would not have been possible had Argentina been able to make its foreign transactions in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. Venezuela is currently using a national cryptocurrency for some of its foreign transactions, thereby escaping the sanctions stranglehold of Washington. Had Greek and Cyprus citizens had a cryptocurrency alternative to the euro, they would not have been subject to the cash control imposed by the European Central Bank.

On the other hand, funding of terror organizations, like ISIS, cannot be disrupted, if the terror group deals in cryptocurrencies. – This shows, for good or for bad, Bitcoins, or cryptocurrencies are for now unique in resisiting censure and blackmail, or any kind of authoritarian outside interference in electronic money transactions.
Cashless Living

If Switzerland accepts the change to digital money, a country where until relatively recently most people went to pay their monthly bills in cash to the nearest post office – then we, in the western world, are on a fast track to total enslavement by the financial institutions. It goes, of course, hand-in-hand with the rest of systematic and ever faster advancing oppression and robotization of the 99.9% by the 0.1%.

We are currently at cross-roads, where we still can either decide to follow the discourse of a new electronic monetary era, with ever less to say about the product of our work, our money; or whether, We the People, will resist a banking / finance system that has full control over our financial resources, and which can literally starve us into submission or death, if we don’t behave. In order to resist we need an alternative monetary system or monetary network, away from the dollar-euro hegemony.

All the more important is the ascent of another economy, another payment and transfer scheme which already exists in the East, the Chinese International Paymen, totally System (CIPS), effectively a replacement of SWIFT, totally privately run and linked to the US-dollar and US banks. The world needs a multipolar economy, based on the real output of a country or society, as is the case in China and Russia, not one based on fiat money as is the current western economy.

Will Switzerland, the stronghold of world finance, along with New York, London and Hongkong, resist the temptation of increased profit, power and control, offered by digital money? – We, the People, have still the chance to decide either for continuing rotting in a fraud economy, based on wars and greed – for which digital money, exacerbated by cryptocurrencies, is a new tool for a new maximizing profit bonanza on the back of the common people; or do we opt for an honest future and for a life that leaves us free to take sovereign political and monetary decisions in a full cash society. For the latter we must wake up to see the propaganda fraud going on before our eyes, and to resist the robot and electronic money onslaught being unleashed on us.

Thank You Mr Koenig, and Mr Durden.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Horror Show: VA Hired Health Care Workers With Revoked Medical Licenses For Years

Matt Vespa
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 1:00 PM

Well, there was more bad news for Veterans Affairs yesterday. Apparently, the VA had hired workers with expired medical licenses for the past 15 years. USA Today reported there was a crossing of the legislative wires in which a 2002 law gave local entities the ability to hire workers as long as they had a valid license in one state. Yet, a 1999 federal law prohibits any health care worker from working at a VA facility if his or her medical license had been revoked in any state. Of course, members of Congress are concerned, with one member saying that the VA appears to be a “dumping ground” for these sorts of individuals in the health care industry. The publication added 31 House members and 14 U.S. Senators have sent letters to VA Secretary David Shulkin expressing their concern. Shulkin has ordered a compete re-writing of the hiring practices for the VA, along with a nationwide review to find if there are any other health care professionals with revoked licenses working in the VA system (via USA Today):

The Department of Veterans Affairs has allowed its hospitals across the country to hire health care providers with revoked medical licenses for at least 15 years in violation of federal law, a USA TODAY investigation found.

The VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocations and as long as they still had a license in one state.

But a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been yanked by any state.

Hospital officials at the VA in Iowa City relied on the illegal guidance earlier this year to hire neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, who had revealed in his application that he had numerous malpractice claims and settlements and Wyoming had revoked his license after a patient death. He still had a license in Montana.


The USA TODAY investigation published earlier this month found that in addition to hiring Schneider, VA hospitals have knowingly hired other health care providers with past license discipline. In some cases, they have gone on to harm veterans.


USA TODAY reported that the malpractice claims against Schneider included cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead, and that his veteran patients in Iowa already have suffered complications. One of those patients, 65-year-old Richard Joseph Hopkins, died from an infection in August after four brain surgeries by Schneider in a span of four weeks.


Schneider denied in an interview that he had provided substandard care and blamed poor patient outcomes on other providers or unfortunate complications that can occur in neurosurgery.

Hopkins’ daughter Amy McIntire told USA TODAY this week that she is furious Schneider was hired in the first place and floored by the national policy that allowed it.

“I’m appalled by the ineptitude at the VA,” said McIntire, a registered nurse who noted that an agency so large has numerous staff to write policies and ensure they comply with federal law. “For it just to be ignored, it’s crazy.”

Nearly 50 members of Congress have called on the VA for answers since USA TODAY’s story ran.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) said, “The dumping ground for all these folks is the VA.” The issues plaguing this agency have been lingering for years. It led to the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki under Obama. The waiting times issue was appalling, with the VA Inspector General claiming that hundreds of thousands of veterans may have died as a result of the appointment fiasco. In Los Angeles, nearly 100 veterans died waiting for health care between October 2014 and August 2015, though the report does not explicitly say that the wait times were the reason these patients died. There’s also another report that links veteran suicides to neglect. Some reforms have been enacted, but we still have a ways to go.

Thank You Mr vespa and Townhall.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Trump On U.S. Aid Recipients: 'Let Them Vote Against Us At U.N., We'll Save A Lot'

Patrick Goodenough | December 21, 2017 | 4:26 AM EST

( – President Trump had a blunt warning Wednesday for countries that “take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars” in U.S. aid, and then vote against U.S. interests at the United Nations.

“We’re watching those votes,” he said during a cabinet meeting at the White House. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Earlier, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley cautioned U.N. member-states that the U.S. will be “taking names” when the U.N. General Assembly in an “emergency session” Thursday is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Haley suggested that countries who get significant aid from the U.S. should be especially careful, and Trump expanded on the thinly-veiled threat.

“I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the [General] Assembly,” he said.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

“This isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing.”

Trump said U.S. citizens are “tired of this country being taken advantage of, and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

Some of the countries that receive the most U.S. assistance each year vote in opposition to U.S. positions at the U.N. more often than not. (See related story)

Criticism came quickly from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which calls itself “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.”

“Our government should not use its leadership at the U.N. to bully/blackmail other nations that stand for religious liberty and justice in Jerusalem,” said executive director Nihad Awad.

Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi predicted the resolution would pass by an “overwhelming majority.”

“Extortion is the most effective way for the U.S. to isolate itself even further and to weaken its influence and standing globally,” she said in a statement.

The resolution coming to a vote on Thursday was co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag bristled at Trump’s threat.

“The U.S. must know that it cannot direct all of the sovereign countries with pressure and threats as it wants,” he said in a series of Twitter posts. “Tomorrow’s vote is an opportunity for this.”

On Monday, the U.S. used its veto power in the Security Council to kill a similar resolution critical of Trump’s Jerusalem move. All 14 other members of the council voted in favor.

If previous General Assembly votes are anything to go on, Thursday’s resolution will indeed pass with a large majority as predicted by the PLO.

In 2016, the General Assembly adopted 18 condemnatory Israel-related resolutions.

In each case the U.S. and Israel cast “no” votes, and on occasion they were joined by a small group of other countries, including at various times Canada, Australia and several Pacific island nations. A number of countries abstained in each case.

Each of the 18 texts passed by lopsided majorities : 177 votes to 7, 100-9, 99-9, 153-7, 153-7, 103-6, 149-7, 157-5, 166-6, 167-6, 165-7, 91-11, 168-6, 165-6, 162-7, 133-9, 166-8 and 168-7.

Thank You Mr Goodenough, CNS, President Trump and Ambassador Haley.

Trump/Putin Bromance BS Takes Another Hit: Trump Approves Weapons Sales To Ukraine

Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
4:30 PM 12/22/2017

President Donald Trump approved earlier this week the sale of certain lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that appears to refute the claim that the Trump campaign wanted to assist Russia by softening the GOP platform on Ukraine policy.

The authorization clears the way for the sale of about $41 million worth of sniper rifles and other light weapons systems, according to the Washington Post. Though it does not approve the sale of heavier weapons sought by Kiev, the export license will facilitate the largest single sale of U.S.-made weapons to Ukraine since hostilities erupted there in 2014.

Authorizing the weapons sales also punctures a narrative pushed by Trump critics during the campaign: Trump modified the Republican Party platform on arming Ukraine because of its alleged improper ties to the Russian government.

In the run-up to the 2016 GOP convention, a Republican delegate proposed an amendment to the party’s Ukraine policy platform that supported giving “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine. The amendment was put into the platform, but with language that replaced “lethal defense weapons” with “appropriate actions.”

Trump’s Democratic opponents, spurred on by breathless media reporting, seized on the change as evidence that Trump was inappropriately sympathetic to Russia. In the end, however, the official Republican position remained hawkish on Russia, and Trump has since pursued a far more punitive policy toward Moscow than his predecessor.

The Trump administration has wrestled for months over whether to green light weapons sales to Kiev to enhance the pro-NATO government’s capabilities against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. While the option was generally supported by Trump’s top foreign policy advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, administration officials also worried that approving the sales would hinder Trump’s ability to begin some kind of rapprochement with Russian President Vladmir Putin.

The State Department has emphasized that Trump’s order only approves, on a case-by-case basis, the commercial export of lethal weapons to Ukraine, not direct sales or transfers. Congress authorized such government sales in the 2014 Ukraine Freedom Support Act, but the Obama administration never exercised the option to do so.

“The United States Government has neither directly sold nor granted defensive weapons to Ukraine,” a State Department official told reporters on Wednesday. “We also haven’t ruled out the option of doing so, and at this point, we don’t have anything to announce.”

Congressional Republicans and some Democrats had been urging the Trump administration to boost military support for Ukraine as part of a larger effort to counter Russian military intervention and cyber meddling.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, cheered Trump’s approval of the export license, saying Wednesday that it “reflects our country’s longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.”

Thank You Mr Racke and the DC.

Obama: Worse Than Chamberlain?

The Algemeiner
Martin Sherman
Dec 22, 2017

1:52 pm

“In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States…Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U.S. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias”

— Josh Meyer, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook,” Politico, Dec. 18, 2017.

“It is becoming clear that the liberal President Obama…in complete contradiction of his saintly statements, effectively gave a green light to an entire web of ongoing crimes, based on his perception — ridiculous in itself — that it was in America’s national interest to do so.”

— Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, “No moral backbone,” Israel Hayom, Dec. 19, 2017.

“The really chilling aspect of the Obama incumbency is that it is genuinely difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results we see represent a crushing failure of his policies or a calculated success; whether they are the product of chronic ineptitude or purposeful foresight; whether they reflect myopic misunderstanding, moronic incompetence or malicious intent.”

Into the Fray: Will the West Withstand The Obama Presidency?, Nov. 28, 2013.

Earlier this week, a scorching piece of investigative journalism in the widely-read political publication, Politico, catapulted the ill-conceived 2015 Iran nuclear deal, mendaciously railroaded through by the Obama administration, back into the center of media attention.

Well, sort of.

No record in “the paper of record”?

For although numerous media channels did swoop down on the report that, in order to secure some agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program, the Obama White House deliberately strove to obstruct an extensive Drug Enforcement Administration operation, codenamed “Project Cassandra,” targeting the Iran-backed terror group, Hezbollah — it appears to have been studiously ignored by several major Obamaphilic outlets.

Indeed, Google as I might, I could find nary a reference — even the most oblique or remote — in The New York Times to the almost 15,000-word investigation. Or in the Los Angeles Times. Or The Washington Post. Or on CNN. Or MSNBC…

The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, did address the matter. In an editorial headlined “Obama’s Pass for Hezbollah,” it called for a congressional investigation into the allegations that the Obama administration “had shut down, derailed or delayed numerous…Hezbollah-related cases with little or no explanation” — despite evidence that “Hezbollah had transformed itself…into an international crime syndicate that…was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

In fairness, it should be noted that the liberal-leaning National Public Radio did air an interview with the exposé’s author, Josh Meyer. However, in a breathtaking example of politically partisan obfuscation, the host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Rachel Martin attempted to defend the indefensible.

Media mumbo-jumbo

Summing up Meyer’s deeply disturbing investigation, she concluded: “…this was obviously a historic deal, the Iran nuclear deal.. It has become a central part of Barack Obama’s presidential legacy. [T]he premise was all about making the world safer.” Then transparently trying to minimize the gravity of Meyer’s revelations, Martin suggested: “The takeaway from your piece and your reporting seems to be that there were just more tradeoffs involved in this deal than the public knew about.”

Just more tradeoffs involved than the public knew about? Really?

Turning a blind-eye to “tons of cocaine” smuggled into the US by a Mexican cartel; rivers of dirty cash, traced to “the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran”; procurement of deadly weapons used to “kill hundreds of U.S. soldiers” Just another trade-off? Imagine if the American people had known.

In his closing comment, Meyer managed to dispense with Martin’s mumbo-jumbo of “making the world safer”: “It is somewhat ironic…that in their efforts to make the world a safer place they did allow a group that was a regionally focused militia-slash-political organization with a terrorist wing to become a much more wealthy global criminal organization that has a lot of money that can now be used to bankroll terrorist and military actions around the world.”

“Making the world safer…”?

Indeed, there could be little more ludicrous than the contention that Obama’s foreign policy made the world “a safer place.” For virtually in every corner of the globe, the opposite is clearly the case. Virtually, everywhere it was applied, the “Obama doctrine” was dramatically and definitively disproven. Indeed, wherever the administration took action — or refrained from action — disaster followed debacle, leaving a gory trial of death, destruction and devastation. America’s traditional allies were alienated and abandoned; its traditional adversaries embraced and emboldened. Time and again, the US saw its prestige as a power degraded; its credibility as an ally drastically diminished.

Whether in Egypt, or Libya; in Yemen or Iraq; Syria or Turkey, Obama never failed in putting the wrong foot forward.

In Egypt, he embraced the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, but coldshouldered General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the man who managed to oust it and save the county from plunging into an Islamist abyss. In Libya, Obama “led from behind” in ousting a chastened Muammar Gaddafi — which led to the ongoing bloody turmoil that has engulfed the country ever since. In Syria, his reticence left the more moderate rebel forces without support, emboldened Russia and created a vacuum that Iran — with its capabilities greatly enhanced and its coffers greatly replenished by the 2015 nuclear deal — eagerly rushed to fill. In Iran, during the 2009 Green Revolution, he turned his back on the millions protesting against the incumbent tyranny, thus making the prospects for any positive regime-change increasingly remote. In Iraq, his grave underestimation of the threat ISIS posed precipitated gruesome carnage of genocidal proportions.

And so, under Obama, the world got safer and safer.

Puzzling, perturbing and perverse

It is against this backdrop of pervasive foreign policy failures that the fateful Iran deal should be scrutinized — together with the reasons for the exorbitant price the Obama administration was willing to pay for it, and the light this might shed on the motivations behind the US endorsement of it.

For as I pointed out in a previous “Into the Fray” column (see introductory excerpts): “… it is genuinely difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results we see represent a crushing failure of his policies or a calculated success; whether they are the product of chronic ineptitude or purposeful foresight… whether they reflect myopic misunderstanding, moronic incompetence or malicious intent.”

For, as more and more emerges as to what we know — and what we don’t — about the noxious deal brewed by Obama and his minions (e.g. the obstruction of Project Cassandra), it is becoming increasingly difficult to accept that negotiations with Iran were conducted in good faith.

Indeed, this very question is posed by Prof. Victor Davis Hanson of Stanford’s Hoover Institute. In in a scathing essay, “Is Obamism Correctable?,” he writes: “Iran will become a nuclear power. The only mystery over how that will happen is whether Obama was inept or whether he deliberately sought to make the theocracy some sort of strategic power.”

It is a question that cannot be skirted — for much that surrounds the actions of the previous administration regarding its policy towards Iran is puzzling and perturbing — even perverse.

From preventing to permitting proliferation

It would appear that, for Obama, there were good reasons to keep the US public in the dark as to the details of the nuclear deal. As I pointed out elsewhere (POTUS vs US), not only was there significant — and increasing — opposition to the deal, but the more people knew about it, the more they opposed it — see here and here.

But beyond the question of duplicity and concealment, there lies the question of motivation.

After all, the deal with Tehran was in large measure, a dramatic point of inflection in US policy towards Iran. Rather than being a hard-won triumph, it was an unexplained, unnecessary capitulation, which not only departed from, but contradicted, long-held principles.

This is vividly illustrated in a Wall Street Journal article, “The Iran Deal and Its Consequences,” by two former secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. They pointed out. “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests — and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it.”

However, under Obama, they warned: “…negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability.”

In an earlier appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kissinger reiterated the far-reaching weakening of US positions: “Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option. They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability…The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.”

Thus, under Obama, the US moved from a firm commitment to prevent proliferation to feebly consenting to permit it — hopefully somewhat delayed.

Untethered to America’s founding Judeo-Christian heritage

How is this radical sea-change to be accounted for?

As I have underscored in numerous previous “Into the Fray” columns, Obama himself was in effect a point of inflection in the history if the US presidency.

Indeed, it is difficult for anyone — other than the willfully blind or the woefully biased — to deny that in the formative environment, in which Obama’s political credo coalesced, many of the influences, and many of the personalities/organizations that shaped his political consciousness, were, at least partially, sharply divergent from — even antithetical to — the ethos that made America, America.

Accordingly, only the overly naïve — or excessively partisan — could believe that these inputs would not color his political instincts and policy preferences. Consequently, under his administration, US national interests — and the manner in which they should be pursued — were perceived being fundamentally different from the way they were perceived by almost all his predecessors.

Indeed, Obama was the first US president who was explicitly and overtly untethered — cognitively and emotionally — from the moorings of America’s Judeo-Christian cultural heritage, and who genuinely conceived of Islam as not inherently opposed to American values or interests.

This — for anyone who understands that the US constitution is not a Sharia-compliant document — is likely to a problematic perspective

The Chamberlain analogy

The Chamberlain analogy has been applied to Obama; and the Munich analogy, to the Iran nuclear deal he was so eager conclude, as to reflecting a repetition of the kind of appeasement of tyranny that led to the horrors of World War II. Indeed, it has been invoked not only by his political adversaries, but concerned political supporters as well.

Thus, two-time Obama voter, Prof. Alan Dershowitz warned that, if as a result of the nuclear deal, Iran acquired nuclear weapons, Obama’s legacy would be similar to the disgraced British prime minister, whose capitulation to Nazi Germany precipitated arguably the greatest carnage in human history.

However, capitulation by Obama to Tehran is far more difficult to comprehend than Chamberlain’s to Hitler. For the disparity between the strength of the mighty US and the then economically emaciated and drought-ravaged Iran was vastly greater than the power differential between Britain and the resurgent Germany of the late 1930s.

After all, America’s GDP outstrips Iran’s by a factor of more than 40, its per capita GDP is 10 times higher; it has over four times the population of Iran, and is six times its size.

But perhaps the most significant comparison concerns military prowess.

While the US defense budget is around $600 billion, most published estimates put Iranian defense expenditure at that time at around 2% -3% of that of the US.

Worse than Chamberlain?

Accordingly, with more than 40 times the resources devoted to military capabilities than Tehran, the claim, that some other more favorable deal could not be imposed on an impoverished Iran, rings decidedly hollow — if not manipulatively mendacious.

It certainly seems wildly implausible that the only other alternative was to allow Iran to pursue, with virtual impunity, all its other nefarious, non-nuclear malfeasance across the globe, while empowering it militarily, enriching it economically and entrenching it politically — thus making any regime change in the foreseeable future highly unlikely.

Clearly then, the question of whether Obama will be judged as worse than Chamberlain cannot be avoided. But will America be able to muster the moral courage to contend with it honestly?

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thank You Very Much Mr Sherman and The Algemeiner.

Trump Effect: Apple Looking To Bring $252 Billion In Foreign Cash Back To USA After Landmark Tax Bill

gateway pundit
Lucian Wintrich

Since the Senate approved Trump’s tax bill 51-48 in a midnight showdown, we have already seen major economic wins in this country:

TRUMP EFFECT: AT&T Announces it Will Pay 200,000 US Employees ‘Special $1,000 Bonus’ Due to GOP Tax Reform Bill

TRUMP EFFECT: Boeing Announces $300 Million Investment Initiative Thanks To GOP Tax Reform

TRUMP EFFECT: Fifth Third Bancorp Raises Minimum Hourly Wage, Issues Bonuses To Employees Due To GOP Tax Reform

TRUMPMAS: Comcast Announces $50 BILLION INVESTMENT Due To Historic GOP Tax Reform

Well, here’s another one.

For all the scowling that Apple’s Tim Cook did during those Tech council meetings, he might not be able to feign outrage over the Republican president any longer. It has now become affordable for Apple to fulfill a longtime goal and repatriate $252B in cash that currently sits overseas. Via 9to5Mac:

Apple would be able to take advantage of a one-time tax break, paying just 15.5% tax on the cash, rather than the 35% it would have had to pay previously.

If Apple chose to bring all of the cash back to the US, it would pay $39.1B in tax. And this would be practical because the company has already set aside $36.3B – almost the entire amount – for exactly that eventuality. But there’s one catch …

Reuters notes that Apple could be caught out by one provision in the bill. The bill introduces a minimum tax of around 13% on income from patents held overseas, and this could put an end to one method Apple has used to reduce its tax bill.

The treatment of foreign patent profits is important to Apple because shifting those profits overseas was a cornerstone of its tax practices for decades.

In effect, the company attributes a large portion of the value of its products to patents and other intellectual property such as trademarks. Apple then assigns some of that IP, proportional to overseas sales, to subsidiaries in countries with low tax rates and assesses substantial patent royalties on sales. Those royalties then flow back to those low-tax locations, like Ireland.

This means that it no longer matters where the patents are held – Apple still has to pay US tax on the revenue assigned to them.

To further discourage companies from assigning patents to overseas subsidiaries, the tax bill also reduces the tax on patent income within the USA. This falls to 13.1%, meaning that Apple Inc might as well hold onto ownership of future patents, as there’s little to no benefit in shipping them off to tax havens.

Thank You Lucian Wintrich and Gateway Pundit

Vineyard Owner Pelosi Defends 'Joe Six Pack' Against The Rich With Their Champagne Glasses Clinking

It has come to this. 

The Democrat House Minority, and former Majority, Leader, is so far disconnected from the only thing that's ever mattered to her - the Optics of her own Shenanigans - she doesn't realize she's become a caricature of herself.

cnsnews Staff | December 21, 2017 | 3:54 PM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who together with her husband owns a vineyard in the Napa Valley, went to the House floor on Wednesday to condemn the Republican majority for working against the interests of a person she called “Joe Sixpack” in order to cut taxes for “wealthy families” swigging champagne.

“Today, the Republicans take their victory lap for successfully pillaging the American middle class to benefit the powerful and the privileged. This holiday they are talking about giving people a Christmas present?” said Pelosi.

“Well, Joe Sixpack, whom the President said he was there to help, and I hope that that is true, Joe Sixpack will be delivering the champagne to their parties,” she said.

“That is how this is,” said Pelosi.

“This isn’t about anything better for working class families. This is about champagne glasses clinking in wealthy families across the country.”

continue reading

Thank You CNS.

WSJ: The Democratic Party Is Rooting Against The American Worker And Our Country's Success

Matt Vespa
Posted: Dec 22, 2017 4:04 PM

We all know the left wing lurch the Democratic Party has taken over the past for years. You saw that with the energized progressive cohorts that flocked to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 Democratic primaries. Now, with tax reform done, Democrats are licking their lips. They think they can use this as the ICBM to nuke the Republicans in the midterms, and that could happen, but this is all based on the bill’s bad poll numbers. Analysis and even some publications, like The Washington Post, admit that this bill will cut taxes for 80 percent of Americans over the next eight years. It’s a gamble on both sides. Yet, for Democrats, that also includes explaining why they voted against middle class tax relief, betted against the American worker, and want business in general to fail in order to screw Trump. If this bill becomes more popular, and it’s bound to, and people start seeing more money in their pockets—the defense of this will be, well—less than stellar. You’re already seeing some acknowledgement, like with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who admitted in a radio interview that there are provisions of this tax reform package that will help the people of his state. Manchin voted against the bill.

continue reading

Thank You Mr Vespa, Townhall, and WSJ.

Inside The Ring: Trump Seeks To Expand American Influence

Bill Gertz
December 21, 2017 1:48 pm

President Trump’s new national security strategy lists expanding American influence around the world as one of four pillars of the new doctrine.

"America will lead again," Mr. Trump said Monday in unveiling the new strategy. "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology."

The goal, according to the president, is to develop stronger partnerships with states that share American goals and interests, and turn common interests into a common cause.

Read the entire article at the Washington Times.

Thank You Mr Gertz and Free Beacon.

Marine Veteran Denied VA Care After Waiting Over A Year For Treatment

Natalie Johnson
December 22, 2017 10:00 am

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Rick Disney had served in the military about a year when he fell from a repel tower and broke his heel in Norfolk, Va., during a 1999 training exercise.

In the years that followed, Disney was deployed overseas to carryout anti-terrorism operations, where he endured the wear-and-tear of an active duty service member, suffering neck, back, and leg pain that has persisted for more than a decade after he transitioned to the inactive reserves in 2002.

He first visited the Veterans Affairs hospital in Tampa, Fla., to receive care in 2013. He recalls a chaotic process, running around the facility's campus for six hours in an attempt to file a claim for treatment.

Disney then waited nine months to receive his first appointment. He spent another six months undergoing medical tests, but never received treatment. A year later, Disney received a letter rejecting his claim for benefits, asserting his injuries weren't sustained on active duty.

"When I got the denial claim in the mail I was disappointed, but I didn't expect much," Disney told the Washington Free Beacon. "The staff's treatment throughout the whole ordeal set it up where I wasn't surprised when I was turned away. It was just a long, drawn-out process, and for the veterans who are in immediate need for care, that's a life or death issue."

Lawmakers over the past year have floated several bills to give veterans the option to seek private-sector medical care if the VA is unable to provide a patient with an adequate healthcare team in a timely manner.

Though varying in detail, all three pieces of legislation would overhaul the private-sector Veterans Choice Program created by Congress in response to a 2014 scandal regarding over manipulated wait times at federal facilities that led to the deaths of dozens of veterans. The program was intended to temporarily provide veterans with greater flexibility to visit care providers outside of the VA's network of healthcare facilities.

With government funding set to run out Friday and a lack of consensus on those bills, VA secretary David Shulkin has urged lawmakers to pass a temporary stopgap measure "to ensure our veterans receive uninterrupted care."

Disney, who now works as a senior field director at the conservative Concerned Veterans for America, has advocated for a Senate measure that would increase access to private care "rather than relying on the VA bureaucracy to determine eligibility criteria." CVA has endorsed the bill, cosponsored by Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and John Moran (Kans.).

"I know veterans who are no longer here who needed immediate action, they needed immediate response, they needed help sooner, and then they self medicated and now they're dead," he said. "If they had the opportunity to go to any doctor and use their VA benefits elsewhere, there's a possibility that something different would have happened if they didn't have to wait for care." 

This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Veterans, Veterans Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Johnson and Free Beacon.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Freud Was A Fraud: Triumph Of Pseudoscience

Science-Based Medicine

Frederick Crews (ED; Hallowed Be His Name) has written a reassessment of Freud based on newly available correspondence and re-evaluation of previously available materials. He shows that Freud was a fraud who deceived himself and succumbed to pseudoscience.

Harriet Hall on December 12, 2017

Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of all the medical specialties, and Freudian psychoanalysis is arguably the least science-based psychotherapy. Freud’s theories have been widely criticized as unscientific, and treatment of mental disorders has increasingly turned to psychotropic medications and effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Freud’s impact on 20th century thought is undeniable, but he got almost everything wrong. He was not only not scientific; he was a liar and a fraud. A new book, Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews, may put the final nail in his coffin.

Crews had access to material not available to previous biographers. The extensive early correspondence between Freud and his fiancée, Martha Bernays, has only recently been released, and it is very revealing of Freud’s character flaws, his sexist attitudes, and his regular use of cocaine.

Freud was trained as a scientist, but he went astray, following wild hunches, willfully descending into pseudoscience, covering up his mistakes, and establishing a cult of personality that long outlived him.

His early work in science was scattershot and lacked follow-through. He “deftly criticized premature conclusions reached by others but never crucially tested any of his own hypotheses.” He was lazy, reluctant to collect enough evidence to make sure a finding was not an anomaly; he generalized from single cases, even using himself as the single case. In an early article “On Coca” he demonstrated poor scholarship, omitting crucial references, citing references from another bibliography without reading them, and making careless errors (misstating names, dates, titles, and places of publication).

His advocacy of cocaine

His advocacy of cocaine was irrational. He wanted to justify his own use of the drug, which he took for migraines, indigestion, depression, fatigue, and many other complaints; and he presented it as a panacea. He claimed it was harmless, refusing to see clear evidence that it was addictive. When nasal applications resulted in tissue necrosis, he treated it by applying more cocaine! He used it to treat a friend’s morphine addiction and only succeeded in leaving the patient addicted to both morphine and cocaine. Then he claimed the treatment had been successful! And in his reports, he referred to other successful cases that never existed. There were many instances where it appeared that his own drug use affected his judgment.

He published a scientific study on the physiological effects of cocaine on reaction time and muscle strength. His only experimental subject was himself! In his write-up, he first tried to explain away his failure to test other subjects, and then claimed he had confirmed his results by testing colleagues, which was a lie. The study was riddled with other methodological flaws, and Crews comments that it “may rank among the most careless research studies ever to see print.”

Charcot and hysteria

Freud spent several months at Charcot’s Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. Another observer, Delboeuf, spent only a week there and quickly realized patients were being sadistically abused and coerced into stereotyped hysterical performances through hypnosis, strong suggestion, peer pressure, and other influences. Freud saw the same evidence Delboeuf saw, but his hero worship of Charcot and his need to ingratiate himself with his mentor made him blind to what was really going on. He believed Charcot had understood and mastered hysteria. Crews comments, “Every stage magician hopes that his audience will consist of precisely such eyewitnesses as Freud.”

Before specializing in the treatment of hysteria and neuroses, he practiced general medicine and neurology. He practiced useless electrotherapy for at least two years and may have continued using it even after he realized it was bogus. But later he claimed to have “soon” realized it was placebo and to have promptly stopped using it. He sent patients to spas for immobility and fattening regimens. He prescribed hydrotherapy. He steered patients to a gynecologist who treated hysterical women with surgical procedures like hysterectomy and excision of the clitoris. He put patients in needless jeopardy, acting on impulsive, sometimes fatal misjudgments. He became so enthusiastic about cocaine that he tried it on everything, even on a case of diphtheria that he misdiagnosed as “throat croup;” he interpreted transient symptomatic improvements as cures and failed to do any follow-up. At one point, he admitted privately that he had yet to help any patients.

In the first years of his practice, he was preoccupied with the rank and status of his patients. He came to specialize in a “disease of the rich,” hysteria, which could never be cured and which generated a continuing stream of income. When some of his “hysteric” patients were subsequently shown to have organic diseases, he still maintained that hysteria was part of the clinical picture. He never admitted being wrong, in one case saying his diagnosis had not been incorrect but had not been correct either. Crews says, “He chose to remain deceived even after having been proven wrong.”

Evidence of dishonesty

He treated pampered, rich socialites. His attitude towards them was cynical; they provided a steady source of income by not being cured, and in one case he rushed back to see a patient in the fear that he might get well in his absence. He had little sympathy for his patients; he actively despised most people, especially those of the lower social orders. He was a misogynist who believed women were biologically inferior. He treated his wife abominably.

Few of his ideas were original. He plagiarized. He borrowed ideas from rivals but then backdated them and treated them as his own. His debts to others were originally acknowledged but “eventually suppressed in favor of the specious appeal to clinical experience. ”He was “actively evasive, malicious, and dishonest” in covering up his mistakes. Crews relates many instances where he re-wrote history, changing the story to put himself in a better light.

He made things up as he went along, constantly changing his theories and methods but not making any actual progress towards a successful treatment.

If a patient disagreed with his interpretation, (“No, I’m not in love with my brother-in-law.”) that only strengthened his conviction that he was right. He violated patient confidentiality. If a former patient improved after leaving his treatment, he took the credit. He was oblivious to the dangers of confirmation bias.

The editors of Freud’s letters and other papers were members of his cult and were dishonest. Comparison to the original documents shows that they changed words and omitted passages that they thought would have made him look bad. They “put the most damning evidence under the rug.” For example, “Out of 284 letters Freud wrote to Fliess, only 168 were represented, and all but 29 of them underwent diplomatic and often silent alteration.”

One of the foundational cases of psychoanalysis, the prototype of a cathartic cure, was the “Anna O” case reported in a book by Breuer and Freud. They said she had recovered after Breuer’s treatment, but that wasn’t true. In fact, she got worse and was hospitalized. After leaving psychoanalytic treatment, she improved on her own and eventually led a successful life as an activist opposing the sex trade. (This was interpreted in psychoanalytic terms as a means of unconsciously wishing to prevent her mother from having sex with her father!) She probably didn’t even have a psychiatric illness, but rather a physical, neurologic one, and many of her most troubling symptoms were caused by the morphine addiction Breuer had inflicted on her. Freud’s interpretation of the case contradicted the facts: he was either lying or venting a delusion of his own.

He found his true métier as a storyteller, using anecdotes from his own case history to illustrate how his mind was “cured” of bafflement over the origin of mysterious symptoms. He described adventures of the intellect. His orientation was more literary than scientific.

Crews says, “Freud was something of a specialist in gleaning precious admissions from people who couldn’t be reached for checking.” His “standard practice was to smear his former associates as soon as they posed an obstacle to his goals.”
Freud’s obsession with sex

He was preoccupied by sex, presumably because of his own problems in that area. His own wife called psychoanalysis “a form of pornography.” He saw everything an infant did as a source of sexual pleasure, from sucking milk to excreting. He was obsessed with masturbation and believed it was the cause of most mental illness. He developed a succession of questionable concepts like virginal anxiety, penis envy, and the Oedipus complex. He decided each hysterical symptom was a depiction of a sexual fantasy; he told one virginal patient that her cough was caused by her unconscious desire to suck her father’s penis.

At one point, he was convinced that sexual molestation in childhood was the cause of adult psychoneuroses. He believed everything patients told him, and even made things up for them and interpreted their dreams as distorted evidence of actual events. He failed to distinguish their fantasies from his own, even believing they had telepathically transmitted their thoughts to him. He thought his neurotic patients had repressed their memories of abuse, which he tried to bring to light. At first he thought nursemaids and governesses were the abusers, then he came to believe fathers were the abusers. Eventually he realized some of the stories about fathers were too outlandish to be real, so he switched gears. He decided patients were merely fantasizing about sex with fathers because of an Oedipal repressed yearning for paternal incest, or because they were trying to cover up the auto-erotic activities of early childhood sexuality. Some of the fantasies were bizarre, like an account of female circumcision where the little girl was forced to eat her own labia after it was excised. This prefigured the repressed memory witch-hunt of the 20th century, with its many false accusations of child molestations and Satanic ritual abuses. At one point he entertained the possibility that he had forced daydreams of molestation upon his patients, but then quickly rejected the idea.

When he thought he could get away with it, he would align details of a case history to support his current theory. He “awarded himself a license to invent, suppress, alter, and rearrange facts in the interest of enhanced self-portraiture and theoretical vindication.”

Off the deep end

One whole section of Crews’ book is titled “Off the Deep End.” Freud developed into a “manic speculator,” who fantasized, interpreted, and guessed. And his speculations were often fueled by cocaine. In a damning admission that his editors suppressed, he once confessed:

I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador – an adventurer, if you want it translated – with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort.

He displayed an expanding grandiosity, saying psychoanalysis was the only possible treatment for certain conditions and claiming impressive successes. In reality, he had not achieved a single cure. He knew his claims of healing lacked any basis in fact, and sometimes he said therapeutic success was not his primary aim; rather, he aimed only to give patients a conscious awareness of their unconscious wishes. He told a friend, “we do analysis for two reasons: to understand the unconscious and to make a living…we certainly cannot help [the patients].”

He claimed that his critics weren’t entitled to pass judgment on psychoanalysis because they didn’t understand it. His criterion for the truth of his ideas was internal consistency, not external reality.

He believed dreams could reveal arcane knowledge and were more accurate than conscious memories. He believed in the paranormal, in numerology, and in occultism.

Conclusion: A bad man, but a good book

Freud was a despicable person with multiple character flaws. He betrayed his scientific training in a tour-de-force of self-deception, succumbing to all sorts of irrational beliefs. His vaunted psychoanalyses never objectively helped a single patient. It is astounding that his ideas and his cult were so influential for so long. Freud was a fraud, a liar, a bad scientist, and a bad doctor; but Crews’ book about him is excellent. Crews’ detailed, well-referenced investigation of Freud’s descent into pseudoscience is a fascinating read. Readers familiar with the development of alternative medicine treatments will find many parallels.

Posted in: Book & movie reviews, History, Neuroscience/Mental Health
Tagged in: false memory syndrome, Frederick Crews, Freud, hysteria, neurosis, psychoanalysis, recovered memory

Posted by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so), and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel. In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly.

All Posts Website

Thank You Colonel Hall, SBM, and God Bless you Professor Crews.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Report: Arms Supplied By The U.S. To Syrian Rebels Often Fell Into The Hands of ISIS

Natalie Johnson
December 20, 2017 5:00 am

Roughly 90 percent of weapons and ammunition deployed by ISIS were manufactured in China, Russia, and Eastern European countries

Arms supplied by the United States to Syrian rebels under the Obama administration were regularly captured by the Islamic State and used against American-led coalition forces, according to an international arms monitoring group.

The London-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) disclosed in its latest report that most of the arms recovered from ISIS were stolen in bulk from the Iraqi and Syrian militaries during initial advances by the militant group in 2014. But many of the group's weapons, particularly newly manufactured ammunition, were initially provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia to Syrian opposition forces battling President Bashar al Assad.

The report detailed a dozen cases in which arms purchased by the U.S. for Syrian rebels ended up in ISIS's arsenal. In one instance, it took militants less than two months to capture a guided antitank missile bought by the Pentagon from Bulgaria and supplied to a Syrian opposition group.

The occurrence demonstrates the swiftness in which U.S.-supplied weapons can be turned against its own troops and allies.

"These findings are a stark reminder of the contradictions inherent in supplying weapons into armed conflicts in which multiple competing and overlapping non-state armed groups operate," the report said. CAR later noted that international efforts to supply weapons to rebel groups "have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to [ISIS] forces."

Investigators were unable to determine whether the 40,000 weapons recovered from ISIS over the past three years were captured on the battlefield or acquired from Syrian rebels amid ever-changing alliances.

The Obama administration began covertly supplying weapons to moderate Syrian rebel groups in 2013 to combat the Assad regime. President Donald Trump ended the secretive CIA operation in July, but a publicly known federal program to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS remains in place.

The report found no evidence of SDF weapons falling into the hands of ISIS.

CAR said all of the weapons purchased by the United States were manufactured in European Union states, raising the prospect that the Pentagon violated international contracts.

"At the very least, the diversion of weapons documented in this report has eroded the trust that exporting authorities placed in the recipient governments," the authors wrote. "At worst, the diversions occurred in violation of signed agreements that commit recipient governments not to retransfer materiel without the exporter's prior consent."

Though the terrorist group often showcased American-made weapons presumably seized from Iraqi security forces in its propaganda videos, the majority of arms captured by ISIS came from Russia and China.

Roughly 90 percent of weapons and ammunition deployed by ISIS were manufactured in China, Russia, and Eastern European countries, with Moscow and Beijing accounting for more than 50 percent, according to the report. By comparison, NATO-produced weapons and ammunition accounted for 3 percent and 13 percent of ISIS's arsenal, respectively. 

This entry was posted in National Security and tagged ISIS, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Johnson and Free Beacon