Was The Charlie Hebdo Massacre a False Flag Operation?

January 17th, 2015 1 comment

Paul Craig Roberts believes it has many of the same characteristics as a false flag operation, and while I haven’t seen sufficient evidence to prove this, I have no problem believing that such is possible.

Read about the inconsistencies yourself:

Charlie Hebdo

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Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

January 9th, 2015 2 comments

You’ve probably noticed all the “Je Suis Charlie” banners appearing all over the place – translated as “I am Charlie”, as a act of solidarity with Charlie Hedbo – the French satirical paper, which lost 12 of its staff to the killing spree initiated by alleged Muslim extremists.

While I abhor the killing of anyone, especially anyone working for a magazine that is simply expressing an opinion, I also find this global “Je Suis Charlie” campaign to be somewhat contrived, even hypocritical.

We are told how free speech is sacrosanct, that ridiculing a religion (Islam in this case) is fair game. And I would agree. I certainly think religion is fair game for ridicule, as are politicians and any other political or religious ideology.

Trouble is, I can’t help wondering how this would have played out if the free speech was aimed at another group – say Jews for example. And I know the answer. Such “free speech” would be redefined as “hate speech” and a despicable slur on a religious/ideological community.

And why do I know this? Because it’s what happened to Dieudonné M’bala M’bala – the French comedian who was barred from performing because he satirises the Holocaust “religion”. 

We can’t have it both ways. Either free speech is sacrosanct, meaning that any person or group of people are fair targets, or it is selective – politically motivated.

Let me put it another way. If Charlie Hedbo was a magazine that satirised the Holocaust, would it be the hero now? I doubt it. In fact, I know what would happen – it would be demonised as anti-semitic, and its writings condemned as “hate speech”. In other words, it would not be protected by the “free speech” mantra, and the world media would not be defending their actions. In fact, they would be viewing the killing of its staff as legitimate “payback” for being a hateful organisation.

Such is the nature of hypocrisy in our world.

 

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The Cost of US Wars

January 6th, 2015 1 comment

What has the USA actually spent on wars since 9/11? This video lays it all out…

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Happy New Year and Reasons to be Cheerful

January 2nd, 2015 No comments

Thanks to Gilad Atzmon for this – Charlie Brooker & Blockheads reflecting on the past year, 2014, and looking forward to 2015.

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What’s In Store For 2015?

December 31st, 2014 1 comment

No doubt many pundits will weigh in with their prognostications regarding the imminent New Year. But I will not be one of them.

However, while perusing some of my favourite informational websites this morning, I came across the following essay. It’s published by The Vineyard of the Saker, someone who says he was a military analyst, resides in Canada, and clearly has a lot of knowledge regarding Russia.

I’ve been reading his blog for some while now and certainly find it informative.

For those of you who like to read thought-provoking material, with an eye on the future, this will no doubt provide plenty to think about – as opposed to the blathering of the mainstream media.

2014 End of Year Report And a Look Into What 2015 Might Bring

N.B. Scroll down past the many links to the title to read…

 

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All Men By Nature Desire to Know

December 28th, 2014 2 comments

A “Thought For The Day” from Julian Assange, where he talks about how those who rule over us seek to know everything about us, while making sure we know nothing about them.

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Securing Your Bitcoin Wallet

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

Anyone who has purchased Bitcoin knows the issue: “How do I best secure my bitcoins?” And it is a serious issue indeed, because many people have experienced losses – either because of their own lack of care or due to some form of theft.

The issue and associated risk can be thought of in another way, as part of the new paradigm that is “being your own bank”. For that’s what Bitcoin is, a completely new financial architecture where you can literally be your own bank. But with such freedom comes a great deal of responsibility.

To transact and hold Bitcoin you need a “wallet” – which is the software or service that connects you to the blockchain and registers/secures your ownership of bitcoins.

There are many different types of wallets, and during this past year there have been many improvements to their security. Breaking such choice down to basics, you have web-based wallets like Blockchain.info – which give you the security of holding your own keys, while making it relatively easy to operate. You have desktop wallets like Electrum, which have gained a good reputation. And of course you have smart phone wallets like Bread Wallet, which open up new possibilities for convenience.

But wallets are divided by other features as well – like whether it operates like a bank, a trusted third party. Services like Coinbase and Circle fall into this category, which require users to provide full ID verification and comply with KYC rules. Such services are clearly attractive to those who feel intimidated by the responsibility of “being their own bank” – but such comes at a cost.

The issue of security is also a variable. You have the obvious levels like two-factor authorisation, using smartphone apps like Google Authenticator or Authy, which generate a one time secondary passphrase on your phone, to be used to confirm login to your account.

Then you have what is known as “multi-signature” security, which requires typically three different sources of authorisation for a transaction.

But the nearest thing to “total” security is what’s termed “offline” storage. This means the wallet or private key is held offline, away from key-logging or other viral security risks. The simplest form of offline security is a paper wallet. This is nothing more than the process of printing your pubic and private keys on to a piece of paper, then securing such paper in a safe place.

While I can see how this works, I’ve never been that impressed with the process, as it comes with significant downsides – like not being able to easily access or transact with such bitcoins.

Up until now, I have maintained my primary secure wallet on a separate USB drive offline – one which holds a full MacOS operating system and just one piece of software – an Electrum wallet.

But just recently I’ve started experimenting with a new form of offline security, the Trezor hardware wallet. I actually ordered this at the time of their original crowdfunding project, paying 1 BTC for it (a bit expensive in light of today’s pricing, but hey, all in a good cause!). But it sat in my drawer for a long time, without me paying too much attention to it.

Anyway, a few days ago I decided to change all that by taking a serious interest in it and moving funds around with it. And I must say, I like what I see.

Basically, the Trezor is a small offline device that is attached to your computer via USB in order to authorise/sign transactions. What makes it secure is that while it does connect to your computer, the process of transaction signing and private key storage is completely walled off from the internet – and all possible dangers lurking out there.

It’s remarkably easy to use. It works in conjunction with a dedicated web-based wallet called MyTrezor, which is no more than a visual display of your account. To make this wallet usable, you simply plug in the Trezor – which has been paired with this wallet when it was first configured.

Receiving funds is as simple as copying the receiving address and giving it to whoever wants to send funds to you. While sending funds requires interaction with the Trezor device itself.

It works like this: You bring up the “send” screen as per usual, enter in the Bitcoin address of the recipient, the amount of Bitcoin, and “send”. At that point you are asked to authorise the payment by entering your PIN, which you do by using a table displayed on the Trezor device itself, as it has a small screen.

Providing the PIN in this way enables Trezor to sign the transaction from its offline location and that’s it – the bitcoins are on their way.

All in all, I think Trezor is an excellent investment for anyone holding a reasonable amount of bitcoins, and who wants the piece of mind that comes with not only being your own bank, but in having a device that maximises your security.

At $119, some people may balk at the price, and if that is so, there is a new device on the market, one that works in a similar way. It’s a preprogrammed USB stick called the Ledger Wallet, which is priced at €29.00.

Wallets have come a long way during 2014, and I’m sure they will get even better during 2015.

 

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Keiser Report on The Russian Ruble

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

This is an interesting session from the Keiser Report, discussing recent developments regards Russia’s currency, the ruble. Worth the watch:

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Six Reasons to Doubt ISIS’s Agenda

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

The ISIS phenomena is very disturbing. But not just to us Westerners, to other Muslims as well – as clearly the wrath of ISIS so far appears to target Muslims more than Westerners.

To try to understand these events in a larger context, it’s necessary to also listen to what other influential Muslims are saying, which is why I find the following video address by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to be very interesting. Why? Because he sees “takfiri” orientated ISIS as a dangerous development which is covertly supported by Western intelligence agencies.

Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you have to acknowledge that ISIS is clearly worrying a lot of Muslims, who are starting to openly discuss this phenomenon and the threat it poses to Islam itself.

For myself, I believe our corrupt governments and their military/intelligence services are quite capable of anything, including bare-faced lies and propaganda, if it can achieve their unstated ends. And while Khamenei’s assertions may seem outrageous to some, there is enough circumstantial evidence of collusion and unity of purpose to take such assertions seriously.

Click the “Subtitles/CC” button to bring up English subtitles.

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Why is Bitcoin Money And What Gives it Value?

December 20th, 2014 No comments

This is a serious question and clearly many people are still puzzled by the cryptocurrency revolution.

While we have moved on from assertions that Bitcoin is some sort of ponzi scheme, there are still plenty of detractors who assert that Bitcoin does not meet an important definition of money – that it arose out of something that already had value in the marketplace.

Jeffrey Tucker, in his usual clear-thinking way, tackles this issue head on.

A must read for anyone serious about understanding Bitcoin, and why it indeed has value.

What Gave Bitcoin Its Value?

 

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