Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tragedy of the True Believer

By William Lippincott 

On April 14, a man set himself on fire in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.  His suicide was fired with fossil fuel, as was his stated intent in protest of climate change.  According to his suicide note, the man lamented, "My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."
What should society take from this man's messy and tragic death?

U.N. officials who admit that so-called climate change is about ending capitalism, not protecting the environment, will take nothing.

UN IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer: "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy, it is not.  [It is actually about how] we redistribute de facto the world's wealth."

For such global officials, the quest is revolution, for which anything and anyone are dispensable.  The earnest masses, among them those willing to slander and persecute any climate change "denier," may pause for a moment.  But so convinced are they of human environmental perfidy that I doubt that anything would move them off their pedestal.

But what of the researchers who call themselves "climate scientists" and who provide the scientific cover for globalist revolutionaries and earnest zealots?  What do the researchers say to the family and friends of the self-immolated man?  Would they consider the sacrificial lamb's final action appropriate to their claims?

Let's ask the computer modelers why they think any computer code can reflect natural reality, even if it somehow incorporated every nonlinear relationship and higher-order interaction in a system as complex as our atmosphere.  The models do not.  Knowing, as they should, that contrary evidence is cause for rejection of theory, why do the modelers cling to theory when the most relevant data (from satellite and weather balloons) fail to validate model predictions?

Let's ask the government agencies about their repeated unexplained changes to surface temperature data so that successive datasets come to resemble an increasing warming trend.  Such is not seen in the atmosphere itself.  Why are the agencies fudging the data?

The suicidal man was extreme but not alone.  If only skeptics could have spoken directly to him.  They might have reassured him that they appreciate that climate does change.  How else to explain the ice ages long before man came on the scene?  Nor, might they have offered, do skeptics question that humans have some effect on our atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels.  The problem with climate alarm is that there seems to be no possibility of detecting the human signal among the noise of natural climate change.  And if one cannot tell the difference between man-made and natural climate change, skeptics can reasonably ask why society should destroy the energy underpinnings of the industrial age that have so advanced the human condition.

We could have had this conversation, and it might have averted senseless loss of life.  Today I ask the "climate scientists" how they like their work.  Are they satisfied with their role in the greatest perversion of the scientific method since Lysenko?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

All Hail The EMPIRE!!

By Thomas DiLorenzo

I watched the press conference with “Mad Dog” Mattis at the Pentagon last night after the missile attacks on Syria.  He was not his usual cocky, swaggering, big-talking self, but seemed more like a frightened little poodle.  He read a statement off of a piece of paper, probably written by John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz and edited by Douglas Feith.  It contradicted what he said just a day earlier about lobbing missiles at Syria.  When he was asked if he had proof of Syria being responsible for a “gas attack” he had absolutely nothing to say except that “I am confident” that such an event occurred.  He alluded to no evidence of any kind whatsoever because, of course, he has none.  If he did, he surely would be broadcasting it all over the world.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Professor Jeffery D Sachs on Syria

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Cui Bono XIV?

By Philip Giraldi

There is a vast industry in the United States that wants a hot war with Syria and Iran as well as increased confrontation with Russia and China. It is appropriate to refer to it as an industry because it has many components and is largely driven by money, much of which itself comes from Wall Street and major corporations that profit from war related business. Some prefer to refer to this monster as the Military Industrial Complex, but since that phrase was coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961, it has grown enormously, developing a political dimension that includes a majority of congressmen who are addicted to receiving a tithe from the profits from the war economy to finance their own campaigns, permitting them to stay in office indefinitely and retire comfortably to a lobbying position or corporate directorship.

The defense industry also has spawned hundreds of so-called think-tanks whose sole business is promoting war. Some, like the neoconservative Institute for the Study of War, have a clear agenda, but the most powerful rely on euphemisms to conceal what they are doing. They include the American Enterprise Institute and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, both of which promote a hard-line foreign policy directed against Iran and Russia, to include intensified confrontation with both in Syria.

The national media, which also benefits from the same food chain, is also complicit in the process, knowing that the public can easily be deceived by pronouncements coming from alleged experts in Washington. Leading politicians like Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain lead the pack but there is no shortage of lesser known congressmen to also raise the cry about foreign threats to national security. Regarding developments in Syria, Graham advised last weekend that Trump must attack and destroy the Syrian Air Force or “look weak” while McCain said White House talk of pulling troops out of the country had “emboldened” al-Assad.

Unenlightened self-interest prevails in the White House over the formulation of policy, with the public interest completely lost from sight as high officials jockey in support of the agendas being promoted by those with money and access to those in power. There is no other explanation for the astonishing performance last weekend, which pushed the United States closer to a new war in spite of Trump’s earlier expressed claims that he wants to exit from Syria, a comment that he quickly backed away from under pressure from the Israelis and Congress.

But now we have a dubious narrative of a horrible new chemical weapon attack in Syria and the Israelis, who have spent the past two weeks shooting two thousand unarmed demonstrators, have attacked a Syrian airbase, killing 14, pretending that they care about civilian casualties when all they really want to do is jumpstart a seven-year war which has been winding down.

Anyone could see there was something not quite right about this latest “chemical attack,” supposedly implemented by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops are about to finish off the last rebels near Damascus. But Donald Trump apparently could not appreciate that the Syrian government had no motive to use chemical weapons, while the rebels, who control the space where the attack supposedly took place, have every reason to motivate an international coalition to attack the Syrian Army.

At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning the President of the United States sent out this tweet:
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay…
Donald Trump could not have possibly known who staged the gas attack so soon after it occurred, but he felt compelled to tweet something anyway. And it was not as if other observers hadn’t suspected that a big lie was coming. Days before the staged attack, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that a false flag incident was being prepared.

One hour later, the Sunday morning talk shows in the US were full of reports about the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. No one contradicted that narrative and the news was soon headlined in the late editions of the Sunday newspapers. “Fake news” had won out again, in spite of a complete lack or evidence or credibility. This is completely crazy. There is something very wrong with what is going on currently in the United States.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

With the Mainstream Media Logic is Not a Strong Suit

By Michael Rozeff

What happened in Douma? We do not know who perpetrated a chlorine gas attack. Who had the motive? Who had the means? Who had the opportunity? One of the possible suspects is the Syrian armed forces. Another is the anti-Assad forces in Douma, with or without the assistance of external state or non-state actors. It is also possible that uncontrolled or rogue elements in either of these organizations is responsible. Until there is clarification, we are in the position of a jury that awaits hearing evidence. We withhold judgment.

The truth in Douma may be challenging to figure out, but at least some sort of efforts are underway. Syria’s “…foreign ministry said it would help the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in a fact-finding mission…” A thorough investigation would require finding out the Syrian military movements, inspecting records and interviewing armed forces personnel. It would require tracing the movements of chlorine before its release.

The anti-Assad forces in Douma have agreed to a deal in which they are leaving Ghouta and going to a place near Aleppo. “As part of the surrender deal, the Jaish al-Islam group that controlled the town released scores of people it had been holding.”

Who were these hostages? According to Wikipedia “On 1 November 2015, an opposition media outlet, Shaam News Network, posted a video showing Jaysh al-Islam militants had locked people in cages and spread out 100 cages containing about 7 captives each through Eastern Ghouta, northeast of Damascus, to use them as human shields against Syrian government air raids. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the caged people being used as human shields were captured Alawite military officers and their families who had been kidnapped by Jaysh al-Islam two years ago outside Adra al-Ummaliyah, a government-held neighbourhood in Eastern Ghouta.” [Emphasis added].

If Jaish al-Islam was on the ropes in Douma and facing defeat in Syria, why would it not launch a false flag chemical attack, gambling, even counting, on a response from the West that would set Assad back or cripple his forces? If Assad was about to achieve the removal of anti-Assad forces from Ghouta, a project successfully underway for several weeks, why would he launch a chemical attack that would cause the West to inflict great damage on his forces?

Trump happens to have used the word “mindless” to describe the attack. In context of his other remarks, he meant this in personal terms in accusing Assad of an atrocity. He meant that it is mindless to kill innocent people including children, because they are not participants in the fighting. This is correct, but he said more than he realized he was saying, because while such an attack is senseless from Assad’s side, it is sensible from the side of Jaish al-Islam.

Detailed information about Jaish al-Islam appears in a Stanford University source. At one point, the leader of the group “… expressed a desire to cleanse Damascus of all Shiites and Alawis.” This provides another possible motive. In addition, this source states “The group also allegedly has access to chemical weapons.”

We do not know what happened in Douma. If our government has definitive information about this, it hasn’t released it. When politicians and other government officials immediately reach the conclusion that Assad did it, they are leaping to conclusions without the benefit of publicly available evidence.

Even if Assad’s forces launched a chlorine attack, it doesn’t force or require a response from U.S. military forces. Going into another war should not hinge on incidents. War means the multiplication of death, injury, displacement and destruction. It may not even achieve the tactical objective of stopping chemical attacks. It may even amplify them and other heinous crimes.

War should be entered into only to achieve strategic objectives that benefit our side. In this case, there are those in Washington who want to make war against Syria as a steppingstone to making war on Iran. Regime change in Iran is their strategic objective. It’s the wrong objective. Destruction of Iran’s government will create a new region that’s fertile ground for new insurgencies that take direct aim at mainland America. America’s debt bomb will explode along with the price of oil. The resulting depression will be severe because of the huge debt. Pakistan, adjacent to Iran, will be affected. The de-stabilization of Pakistan, an Islamic nuclear power, is certainly not in the strategic interest of the U.S.
We do not know the truth. There are other possibilities. It is possible that Assad used chlorine as an alternative to bombing the remaining rebel enclave relentlessly and killing even more people. It is possible he used it to break the rebels’ will. It is possible that what seems to be evidence of chlorine gassing has been staged. It is possible that Jaish al-Islam is dead set against using chemical weapons or last-minute ethnic cleansing. The truth is elusive.

But what is clear is that a Western attack led by the U.S. contravenes international law and escalates the U.S. presence in the war. This is true even if Trump manages to amass some international support from allies. Two British ex-ambassadors have spoken up against rash action. It’s also clear that such an attack will almost certainly elicit a direct Russian military response. “Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, said that the Russian military reserves the right to shoot down missiles and destroy launch sites in the event of US aggression against Syria.”


Monday, April 09, 2018

False Flag Update Courtesy of: Veterans Today

Germany, Britain, America, Israel - VT provides proof of chemical warfare and war crimes.

 VT has long covered the “aiding and abetting” of terrorists by the US coalition, and by derivation NATO, for some time now. We view its going on unchecked as a major national security threat to all countries.

Unfortunately Western corporate media, with financial resources far beyond VT, has played Mickey the Dunce on this whole story, the case usually being that the respective country intelligence agencies have warned them to stay away from it all, or suffer the consequences.
VT has also followed closely the long series of false flag chemical weapons attacks, both sarin and military-grade chlorine because we knew the Syrians would never be so stupid as to hand their heads to the US Coalition in a silver platter by doing something with no chance of any gain, but exactly the opposite.
We were also concerned that the longer “they” got away with doing this, the more innocent people would be murdered by the alleged protectors of freedom and democracy in the world, but who we know to be currently among the worst enemies of mankind.
Unfortunately, despite our best labors, the citizens of these countries have done almost nothing to hold those accountable in their own countries.

The SAA capturing this chemical weapons facility was a huge turn of events. The guilty parties knew what the Syrians had on them now. We have been waiting to see who would do what.
Now that might have changed, with our long pleadings for the Syrians to give us photographic proof of the chemical weapons assets they have been capturing – serial numbers and all – so we could cram it down the throats of the guilty, thinking maybe someone inside the respective countries might want to start asking some hard questions.

The flurry of military accidents also caught our attention, as we know historically that this method is used by the military to hide overseas combat deaths for which any public investigation would be embarrassing.
In Vietnam, if a thousand of our troops were lost in one week, the announcement would be spread out, the families lied to. Welcome to the dark underside of America.

The impending attack on Damascus by the US was partially due to what the SAA might uncover in East Ghouta; and because they were able to move fast, they overran the US Coalition’s chemical weapons operations faster than anyone thought possible.

Our pleading with Syria has been rewarded with these new photos. The SAA has US Coalition chemical weapons officers in custody; and Russia has told the US, Brits, Israelis, and Saudis that they will have to deal with Damascus.

How long US media and our own Congress can pretend they know nothing about who some of the major terrorist elements are that most are afraid to mention? Their house of cards is crumbling, and “they” will be more dangerous in that situation, as we are talking about some serious crimes here.

We are suspicious of why the Brits would throw together what appears to us to have been a sloppy false flag, even to use against Russia, for putting Russia’s feet in the fire to get the Brits people back from Syria and keep this story out of major news distribution.

Is now the time for some of the really guilty to have to pay the piper? We shall see. But for that to happen, what is left of non-compromised public institutions has to step up to the plate, when they have shown a hesitancy to do so when their countries really needed them.

We hope they will get to see this and start asking the obvious questions Jim W. Dean ]
[table id=DonateDean /]

A chemical artillery shell

– First published … April 08, 2018
Today another chemical weapons stockpile was found in East Ghouta, produced in Germany, fully weaponized and commercially produced by Merck. 
Merck was the primary producer of chemical weapons for Germany in World War I and George Merck founded the War Research Service along with Frank Olson in 1944, which using captured Germany and Japanese scientists and research facilities, took control of America’s biological and chemical warfare production which continues to this day in facilities at Fort Meade, Maryland and at the Lugar Lab in Tibilisi, Georgia in partnership with the current government of Ukraine.

Chlorine gas-filled shell from Porton Down, Salisbury, found in East Ghouta with al Qaeda
Last week, Russia and Syria announced the capture of British chemical weapon stockpiles in East Ghouta along with the capture of a “coalition” command and chemical weapons facility with all personnel. Taken from the combined statement censored from the western press, from March 25, 2018

“The Syrian Arab Army and with the help of Russian captured a shipment of chemical weapons destined for the Eastern Ghouta. These were British weapons produced at Porton Down in Salisbury. Russian suspects that the Skripal incident is related as by their records, Skiripal was working at Porton Down as a chemical weapons trafficker in partnership with a Ukrainian firm. Russia denies attacking Skripal but admits he was under surveillance for his activities involving support of terrorism in Syria and arms trafficking.
Russia also confirms that there are British, American, Israeli and Saudi intelligence officers who were caught by the Syrian army in one of the heavily fortified operations rooms during the invasion of the Syrian army and its allies of the East Ghouta.” 

VT asked the Syrian government for serial numbers and closeup photographs of chemical weapons used. Syria sent them to us today.
Today, the Syrian Army captured the following German made poison gas shells, shipped into Syria though Ukraine and Turkey and delivered to Jeish al Islam by a US CH53 helicopter, according to statements “allegedly” gotten from POW interrogations.

American, British and Israeli military personnel captured in Syria have confirmed they were ordered to stage chemical attacks in East Ghouta by their governments.

The Americans are still being held along with Israeli’s while British prisoners are being negotiated for. Sources in Damascus told us that representatives of Oman in Damascus approached the Russian Office of Reconciliation on behalf of Britain for the return of British chemical warfare personnel.

The shells in the above video are identified as VX gas from British stockpiles.

Russian officials in Syria informed Britain through Oman that they would have to directly deal with Syria for the return of their personnel. We have received no further information since, Damascus has remained silent on how or if negotiations were proceeding.

We do know that US Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a US Army combat veteran of Iraq, met with both President Assad and Donald Trump, in order to arrange for covert exchange, for substantial financial consideration, of captured Americans.

Initial introductions for this meeting were done by VT.
Israel bought back a Brigadier General (they claimed he was a colonel) in 2015 that we know about.

The recent gas attack in Syria, timed as the last terrorists were surrendering for relocation inside the Douma region of the Ghouta pocket, was planned personally by nominated presidential advisor John Bolton and President Donald Trump personally, according to highly placed sources.
Our sources in Russia, highest level, told us the attack was coming based on information they received from US and Israeli prisoners taken in East Ghouta after an evacuation attempt failed.

US casualty announcements in this effort have been released over the past few days as happening in other areas to cover US complicity in terrorism. This dishonors families of the dead, not just in the misuse of service members to support terrorism but in lying to families about combat deaths. This shame goes directly to coward Trump!

The Marine Corps identified four Marines killed on Tuesday in a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crash near El Centro, Calif. The Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
“The loss of our Marines weighs heavy on our hearts,” Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW, said in a statement.
“Our priority is to provide support for our families and HMH-465 during this critical time.”
The four Marines killed in the crash were Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley and Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad.”

Other US casualties were listed as a US Air Force F16 that allegedly crashed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and up to 6 Americans who the US claims were killed by “Kurdish forces” in the north of Syria.
All died in a failed combined US/Israel rescue operation to remove not only communications and command personnel but also chemical weapons operations teams as well.

Last week, VT Damascus received evidence that Americans, US Army Special Forces along with Israeli chemical weapons officers had been captured in East Ghouta. We were told that not only was a command facility captured with modern weapons but a stockpile of British made 81mm poison gas mortar shells, numbering in the hundreds, was seized as well.

Video’s were viewed by former MOD weapons specialists who identified the green stripe on the shells seized in East Ghouta as VX gas from British stockpiles.

The Obama administration investigated alleged chemical attacks in 2012 and 2013 and advised Syria to turn over chemical stockpiles as a way of discouraging terrorists from continuing to stage chemical attacks to blame on Damascus.

Most efforts had their roots in Britain’s MI6 and its affiliates, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the White Helmets.

The US is currently facing combined military operations against its occupied zone in Syria by Iraq, Syrian and Russian forces. The US has been told to remove forces from Syria or face a wider conflict.

The US and Russia have been at war against one another inside Syria for about a month now.
More coming…

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

False Flag "When all Else Fails"

Another conveniently timed false flag gas attack. Assad who is clearly winning the civil war against the American backed Al Qaeda rebels would surely use gas and provoke a response from the U.S. What a crock of shit. Trump does his usual twitter bloviating. Looks like the neo-cons have found a way to keep Trump from moving troops out of Syria. What a shocker.
I’m sure Q predicted this. I wonder how provoking Putin even more by attacking Assad is part of the master plan to save America. I’m sure the strategy is too deep for me to comprehend. All hail Q, Trump and the neo-cons.

ByTyler Durden

Remember when the US admitted Syrian “Rebels” have used chemical weapons? Or when earlier this year, now former Secretary of State blamed Russia for an alleged Syrian chemical attack despite admitting he doesn’t know who actually did it? Or when the US finally admitted there was “no evidence” Assad used sarin gas? Or just last week, when Trump said that the US is finally pulling out of Syria as a result of the defeat of ISIS  (much to the Pantagon’s fury and open-ended timetable for extracting Syrian resources)?

Well, maybe you do, but the neocons back in charge of US war preparations foreign policy – now that war hawk John Bolton is Trump’s National Security Advisor – are so stuck with the age-old narrative that Assad is desperate to be bombed at any cost, that none of this actually matters, and instead the big story overnight is once again that, lo and behold, Assad decided to gas some “rebels” again, despite now overwhelmingly winning the war against US-backed insurgents, and despite knowing very well that exactly one year ago an alleged “chemical attack” prompted Trump to launch dozens of Tomahawks at Syria.

This is what happened (if you’ve seen this script played out before, you are not alone).

On Saturday night, an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta reportedly killed dozens of people, according to US-linked medical services with Washington immediately responding that the reports – if confirmed – would demand an immediate international response. Actually scratch the “if confirmed” part – after all, the last time the US “intervened” in Syria, on April 7, 2017, the US did not need confirmation; Trump just needed a geopolitical distraction.

It seems that he needs another one again, and ideally one that shows just how angry he is with Putin now that an interview with Mueller is reportedly imminent.

A joint statement by the medical relief organization Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the civil defense service, which operates in rebel-held areas, said 49 people had died in the attack late on Saturday. Others put the toll at 150 or more.

The response from the Assad side was similarly predictable: the Syrian regime, whose overthrow the US failed to achieve in the course of the 6 year proxy war in order to facilitate the transport of Qatari natural gas to Europe, denied its forces had launched any chemical attack as the reports began circulating and said the rebels were collapsing and fabricating news.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said Jaish al-Islam was making “chemical attack fabrications in an exposed and failed attempt to obstruct advances by the Syrian Arab army,” citing an official source.

Meanwhile, Reuters said it could not independently verify the reports. Others did the same: The Syrian Observatory said it could not confirm whether chemical weapons had been used in the attack on Saturday.
But, as we noted above, who needs confirmation: after all, if the 2013 “chemical attack” that started it all and was later proven to be a hoax was sufficient, just do the same. And sure enough, a video uploaded by “local media activists” allegedly showed bodies of victims – including women and children – of the reported chemical attack in Douma. Once again, nobody has actually confirmed if anyone has died.

Meanwhile, the US, itching for that military spending GDP boost was ready with the outraged retort: the U.S. State Department said reports of mass casualties from the attack were “horrifying” and would, if confirmed, “demand an immediate response by the international community”. At the same time, Britain’s Foreign Office also called the reports, if confirmed, “very concerning” and said “an urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. We call on the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, to stop the violence against innocent civilians.”
Note the “if confirmed” part, and keep an eye on how the narrative switches from that to “the attack was confirmed.” If the Skripal case is any indication, just repeating it often enough, should be sufficient.
Trump already did his part on Sunday morning, when he tweeted several statements on the alleged attack as if it was already confirmed, just as one would expect to accelerate the escalation:
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!

Then, for good measure, Trump decided to throw Obama under the bus for not crossing his “red line in the sand”, once again assuming the attack was confirmed.
If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!

After the alleged attack, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauret recalled a 2017 sarin gas attack in northwestern Syria that the West and the United Nations blamed on Assad’s government. “The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately,” she said adding that “The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks.”
The US also said yet again that Russia is “ultimately bearing responsibility” for all chemical incidents in Syria, regardless of who carried them out, after rebel sources accused Damascus of gassing dozens in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma.  In other words, even if the “chemical attack” was carried out by US-backed “rebels”, or better yet “ISIS”, it’s Putin’s fault.
“The regime’s history of using chemical weapons against its own people is not in dispute,” said the US State Department, indicating, however, that it was relying on “reports,” being unable to confirm the incident. “Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the brutal targeting of countless Syrians with chemical weapons.”
As for Russia, its Defense Ministry immediately denied and dismissed as false reports that the Syrian government had carried out a chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma: “We strongly refute this information,” Major General Yury Yevtushenko, head of the Reconciliation Center in Syria, said in a statement on Sunday. “We declare our readiness, after Douma is liberated from the militants, to immediately send Russian radiation, chemical and biological protection specialists to collect data that will confirm the fabricated nature of these allegations,” he stated.
Yevtushenko said that “a number of Western countries” are trying to prevent the resumption of an operation aimed at driving militants from the city of Douma.

“For this purpose, the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces – one of the most widespread claims in the West – is being used,” he added.

And, knowing where this is all headed, Russia’s Foreign Ministry says in statement on website that reports of chemical weapons attack in rebel-held town of Douma are fabricated, and any military operations against Syria on false pretenses may lead to “gravest consequences,”

The Russians added that “The goal of such reports is to aid terrorists and justify possible military strikes from outside Syria.”

Russia is correct, and it is now just a matter of time before Trump unveils his next grand diversion from the chaos at home and the trade war with China, by launching another 50 or so Tomahawks at some venue deep inside Syria, in a carbon copy repeat of what happened exactly one year ago.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Saturday, April 07, 2018

The "Stock" Market Gets Curiouser and Curiouser

By Wolf Richter

$2 billion just went POOF, from one second to the next.

This is just too funny. Longfin [LFIN], my favorite “blockchain company” and hero among scam stocks that I have lambasted since December, is at it again. But this time, it’s likely the last time.

On April 2, I published a piece titled, “What Kind of Hyper-Enthusiastic Market is this that Blindly Keeps Pursuing Scams to Make a Fortune Overnight, even if They Already Crashed the First Time?” It was all about Longfin, which went public on the Nasdaq last December, though it has nothing in the US, and whose CEO lives in Singapore.

On Friday, April 6, at 10:30 a.m., the Nasdaq halted trading in LFIN after shares had tripled in three days, reaching a market cap of $2.1 billion. The tripling occurred after shares had crashed 89% in the prior seven trading days.

Minutes after the trading halt, the SEC announced that it had “obtained a court order freezing more than $27 million in trading proceeds from allegedly illegal distributions and sales of restricted shares of Longfin Corp. stock involving the company, its CEO, and three other affiliated individuals.”

Take a look at the chart, depicting the last two weeks, including the 89% seven-day plunge and the 250% three-day surge, with the trading halt Friday morning. In terms of dollars, shares went from $73 to $8 in seven days, and then from $8 to $28.19 in three days, when trading was halted:

The chart below shows the short and glamorous life of the stock from its IPO in December until its trading halt on Friday:

The blue circles with “P” inscribed in the chart appeared on April 4 and April 5. When you hover over them on the website, a box pops up with some technical analysis: “Bullish reversal. Reliability: High,” just before the dream went POOF at 10:30 a.m. on April 6. Here’s the April 5 box:

And the SEC on Friday went on in its calmly brutal manner:
According to a complaint unsealed today in federal court in Manhattan, shortly after Longfin began trading on NASDAQ and announced the acquisition of a purported cryptocurrency business, its stock price rose dramatically and its market capitalization exceeded $3 billion.
The SEC alleges that Amro Izzelden “Andy” Altahawi, Dorababu Penumarthi, and Suresh Tammineedi then illegally sold large blocks of their restricted Longfin shares to the public while the stock price was highly elevated. Through their sales, Altahawi, Penumarthi, and Tammineedi collectively reaped more than $27 million in profits.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Longfin’s founding CEO and controlling shareholder, Venkata Meenavalli, caused the company to issue more than two million unregistered, restricted shares to Altahawi, who was the corporate secretary and a director of Longfin, and tens of thousands of restricted shares to two other affiliated individuals, Penumarthi and Tammineedi, who were allegedly acting as nominees for Meenavalli. The subsequent sales of those restricted shares violated federal securities laws that restrict trading in unregistered shares distributed to company affiliates.
“We acted quickly to prevent more than $27 million in alleged illicit trading profits from being transferred out of the country,” said Robert Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit. “Preventing defendants from transferring this money offshore will ensure that these funds remain available as the case continues.”
The SEC’s complaint, which was filed under seal on April 4, charges Longfin, Meenavalli, Altahawi, Penumarthi, and Tammineedi with violating Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaint seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and penalties, among other relief.
The LFIN scam started on December 13, following its IPO. On December 15, LongFin announced that it had acquired a “blockchain-empowered solutions provider,” as it called it, namely a website that belonged to a Singapore corporation that is 95% owned by Longfin’s CEO. The SEC called this website “a purported cryptocurrency business.” Nevertheless, shares skyrocketed 2,700% to an intraday high of $142.55 on December 18, giving it a market cap of $7 billion, after which the insiders started selling shares illegally, according to the SEC allegations.

The whole thing was a stock manipulation scheme from day one. And the shares collapsed.

But then on March 12, it started all over again, when index provider FTSE Russell announced that LongFin would be added to some of its indices, including the Russell 2000. That caused the huge surge in March. But on March 26, Russell announced that Longfin would be removed from the indices because it had misrepresented its free float of shares. And shares re-collapsed.

On April 3, Longfin finally disclosed that the SEC had been investigating it since March 5 and admitted that it has no accounting controls because it “lacks qualified personnel who fully understand GAAP reporting requirements,” and that therefore any financial disclosures it does make are fabrication. That day, shares plunged another 31%.
But by April 4, the true believers, morons, and spaghetti-code algos piled into the shares again and drove up the price 250% in three days. Of course, this is only a theoretical value. In reality, they’re stuck with the shares, now most likely worthless if they ever start trading again, at a time when the company in the US, given the SEC’s actions, will likely disappear.
Astonished at all the nonsense going on in the market, of which Lonfin is just one example, I wrote on April 2:
But what kind of hyper-enthusiastic market is this that blindly keeps pursuing the latest scam, knowing all the things that are wrong with it? How can the people and algos that make up this market drive these shares so high as to give a nothing-company with the iffiest disclosures a market capitalization at one point of $7 billion? And after it crashes, how can these players in this market try to do this all over again?
The irony, well the funny part, is that a few days after my words — uttered in total disbelief about these morons, true believers, and spaghetti-code algos that make all this possible — it happened all over again, and with a vengeance. But this time will likely be the last time for LFIN.

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