Sunday, January 21, 2018

Walmart Sued for Selling “Organic” Factory-Farmed Eggs

Cornucopia | Jan 19, 2018 | Lynne Curry

Cal-Maine’s Kansas operation, screened porches visible
(click on image to enlarge)
The New Food Economy - While the USDA wavers on organic egg laws, consumers are taking matters into their own hands with a new lawsuit against the retail giant.

For a year, Pittsburg, California resident Donnie Lee Gibson regularly bought organic eggs at his East Bay Walmart store. At $3.97 a dozen, the Organic Marketside brand cost him about a dollar more than cage-free Marketside. The difference was that the organic label stated that the laying hens were raised “with outdoor access.” Like the growing number of eaters concerned about farm animal welfare, Gibson paid attention to the labels and chose to pay a premium for the organic eggs.

Only it wasn’t true, at least not in the way most of us would understand outdoor access. Produced for Walmart’s private label by Cal-Maine Foods in Chase, Kansas, the hens lived in industrial, multi-story barns with tiny portholes and long ramps to access enclosed porches. No soil or vegetation. No fresh air or sunshine.

On January 8, Gibson became the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, accusing Walmart and Cal-Maine Foods of fraud. “Consumers are being tricked into paying more based on the ‘outdoor access’ claim on the egg carton,” Gibson said through his attorney, Elaine Byszewski of the law firm Hagens Berman. She added, “The motivation of the lawsuit is to return to consumers the higher amount that they paid for the eggs and get defendants to stop their false advertising.”

As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is a giant force in the organic foods boom, which is increasing by double digits annually, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA). But a rash of fake organic food scandals has cast suspicion on the government’s organic seal. It has left eaters wondering exactly why they’re paying more for organic eggs that are essentially the same as cage-free.

Donnie Lee Gibson v. Walmart Stores signals a rebellion aimed at retailers and their suppliers for transparency. “When these food companies fail to uphold their responsibility ensuring truthful advertising to consumers,” the lawsuit states, “such consumers are deceived into paying more for products or buying products that they otherwise would not have.”

It comes at a precarious moment for the $43 billion-dollar organic food industry. Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew a groundbreaking animal welfare rule under pressure from large-scale agricultural groups, including egg producers like Cal-Maine. Finalized in January 2017 to become the first set of farm animal welfare standards under law, the new rule clarified the meaning of outdoor access for poultry as ample access to areas with vegetation and soil. It also pointedly disqualified enclosed porches for organic certification.

Then, last September, OTA sued USDA for obstructing due process, and on January 12, 2018 The Humane Society of the United States filed its own suit, charging the agency with “brazen” political maneuvering. As reported on Tuesday, organic industry members took this fight to the court of public opinion with a full-page ad in the Washington Post and the headline, “If you eat food, you should read this.”

As the law stands now during this impasse, Cal-Maine is technically in compliance with the national organic standards. But Donnie Lee Gibson v. Walmart has nothing to do with the National Organic Program or the USDA organic seal.

The issue of this case is consumer rights. And it narrows the organic egg fracas to one essential question: Did Walmart and Cal-Maine use false advertising to defraud its customers?

“We take this matter seriously,” a Walmart spokesperson told Law360 (paywall). “Once we have been served with the complaint and have reviewed the allegations, we will respond with the court.” Cal-Maine did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The complaint centers on consumer expectations and leans on a 2016 consumer survey from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). It found that 77 percent of consumers are concerned about the welfare of farm animals and 69 percent of consumers pay “some or a lot of attention to food labels regarding how the animal was raised.” By and large, shoppers are confused by label claims. Many believe that organic means that animals spend most of their time outdoors in open pastures.

“Consumers expect much more from the label than the current [organic] standards ensure,” says Suzanne McMillan, content director of the ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Campaign. “That’s particularly true when it comes to outdoor access, a misunderstanding frequently exploited on labels featuring sunny pastures and rolling hills when the reality is often anything but.”

At Walmart, the Organic Marketside egg carton reads, “Free to roam, nest and perch in a protected barn with outdoor access” on a green background. An investigation by the plaintiff’s attorneys conducted in the fall photographed eight hen houses at Cal-Maine’s Kansas facility. Built in 2014, it consists of windowless structures the company claims have sufficient interior space for dust bathing, perching and other natural behaviors. The “outdoors” consists of attached concrete porches enclosed with screens and bars that resemble a small state penitentiary. “This is not outdoor access for the hens, as promised by defendants to the consumers paying a premium for it,” the complaint states.

In 2014, the Cornucopia Institute, a farm justice advocacy organization, filed a formal complaint with USDA against this same facility over outdoor access violations. “Even if a tiny porch with a concrete floor, metal ceiling, and a screened wall could be considered the ‘outdoors,’ if only 1 to 3 percent of the chickens can access their, so-called, outdoor space, that means 97 percent or more of the birds are being illegally confined,” says Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s founder.

After refiling the complaint to no avail, Kastel considers consumer action a necessary step. “Since the USDA has, almost universally, refused to vigorously enforce the federal organic standards, a responsibility assigned to them by Congress,” he says, “civil litigation by consumers is one of the few avenues to ‘take the law into our own hands.’”

The public interest in farm animal welfare encompasses the living conditions and the treatment of the hens who lay our eggs. This upswell has already caused 200 major corporations to respond to consumer expectations with a commitment to cage-free eggs by 2025. This lawsuit continues a shift of responsibility for enforcing animal welfare onto retailers and their suppliers.

With USDA mired in politics and outdoor access for organics loosely defined, eaters will remain guessing whether the organic eggs we buy are from producers who provide meaningful outdoor access for hens—even if the quality, space, and time on pasture varies—or from those who live by the loophole in the current organic standards for porches. Some egg producers like Austin, Texas-based Vital Farms, have launched campaigns to educate eaters about the differences of genuine pasture-raised eggs. Still, most shoppers looking for better eggs remain at the mercy of unsupported and possibly misleading label claims.

The real opportunity to effect change in the organic market may not be fighting President Trump’s deregulatory USDA but raining down public outrage upon companies that enrich themselves by using labels that deceive eaters into spending money they would not have spent if they had known the truth. “Defendants’ deceptive use of the ‘with outdoor access’ packaging is unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and injurious to consumers,” the complaint states.

With an open call to other Walmart shoppers who purchased organic eggs in California within the past four years, this suit could blow up to include potentially hundreds of thousands of class members, according to Byszewski.

The case is slated for a jury trial.

Cornucopia’s Take: Walmart has been sued for selling eggs that purport to come from hens with access to the outdoors when the hens actually only have limited access to cement-floored, screened porches. Cornucopia has filed several formal complaints about operations using these porches as outdoor access. Use our organic egg scorecard to determine which eggs in your grocery store were produced with the highest integrity.




Fighting Fake News: Back Door Trick to Enact Censorship

Freedom Articles | Jan 21, 2018 | Makia Freeman


Fighting fake news


is the new pretext given by the ruling cabal in many nations to enact censorship via the back door. Amid the rallying cries of “We must fight fake news!” both France (under would-be dictator Macron) and now Brazil are attempting to pass legislation to ban political content on the web that the government deems to be fake news. There is a theme to this, as it follows on from many acts of censorship in 2016 and 2017. Whether it’s Twitter shadowbanning, Facebook rolling our fake news checkers or deleting entire accounts, YouTube embarking upon soft censorship through forced sign-ins or hard censorship by deleting entire channels, Google’s search engine hiding websites (by de-ranking them) or – worst of all – Google demonetizing content and sites not to its liking, censorship is clearly getting worse and threatening to overtake a free and open internet.

All in the Name of Fighting Fake News


The big corporations of the internet have shown their true colors on the issue of censorship vs. free speech. Amazon has been caught banning certain books from being sold on its platform, e.g. in 2015 it decided to ban Jim Fetzer’s book No One Died at Sandy Hook, which exposed the false flag mass shooting at Sandy Hook. In reaction to the whole “Russian meddling in the US election saga”, which is itself fake news and a tempest in a teapot, Facebook decided to get tough and enlist the help of international fact checkers to do your thinking for you and decide for you what is real news and what is fake news. Funnily enough, it was recently reported that the rollout didn’t go so well, so for the time being Facebook has canned the idea because it was making things worse! Facebook has also been caught banning posts on certain topics (e.g. with NaturalNews.com and their posts on gun control) or even deleting entire accounts of users it didn’t like (as recently happened with David Icke, whose 700,000+ follower account just got reinstated after being down for 6 days due to an “error” – yeah right).

If fighting fake news is so important, why not ban
the MSM? That should take care of most of it …
Twitter is no stranger to censorship either, with its employees boasting of shadow banning (aka stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting), meaning blocking a user or their content from an online community without the user realizing they have been banned. At one point Google publicly floated the idea of deranking and delisting certain sites (they mentioned Russian sites RT and Sputnik), but they later did a U-Turn and claimed they would not be doing that. Obviously, it is easily within their power to tamper with algorithms to include or exclude anything they want, and virtually no one would ever know the search results were being skewed due to Google’s own ideological bias. Google was caught doing this in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential elections. Indeed, after the firing of ex-Google employee James Damore (who has now initiated a class action lawsuit due to his dismissal), we have to wonder whether bias isn’t already coded into Google’s algorithms just as a result of their orthodoxy and culture (left-wing and promoting diversity at all costs). Recently, Breitbart reported that Google’s fact-checking almost exclusively targets conservative or right wing media.

It’s not just Google itself. Google-owned YouTube has been embarking on campaigns of both soft censorship and hard censorship. In many ways, soft censorship is more insidious, because then the company can claim plausible deniability and refuse to admit they are even engaged in censorship. In this case, soft censorship refers to when YouTube technically allows people to watch a video, but makes it difficult by putting barriers in the way, e.g. by claiming the content is “age-restricted” (forcing you to open an account, give your details to YouTube and prove that you are of mature age) or using other ways to force you to sign in before being allowed to watch the video.

The adpocalypse of 2017 as it was called was perhaps closer to hard censorship, and involved a sweeping demonetization of videos due to “inappropriate content” for advertisers. Finally, YT has actually deleted entire channels on occasion, such as the deletion of ActivistPost’s account last year in 2017.

Fighting fake news is really about the end goal
of narrowing the “allowable”, “permissable”
or even “legal” range of thought … censorship
and perception management.

It’s Not Just Fighting Fake News; Censorship Also Thriving under Pretext of Fighting Terrorism, Fighting Hate Speech and Being Political Correct


Fighting fake news gives would-be tyrants a great excuse to censor, however free speech is also being eroded by the equally vague and nebulous concepts of terrorism and hate speech. The term fake news rose to prominence right around the time that Donal Trump was elected in November 2016, yet there is hardly a clear and widely-agreed upon definition for the phrase. It often gets used by people who seek to criticize information they don’t like, dismiss allegations against them, or even to defend themselves when faced with an unflattering report about themselves. As Glenn Greenwald writes:
Yet, as many have long been warning, few people, if any, ever bothered to define what the term [fake news] actually means. As a result, it’s incredibly vague, shifting, and devoid of consistent meaning. Do any news articles that contain false, significant assertions qualify? Is there some intent requirement, and if so, what is it and how is determined (does recklessness qualify)? Can large mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, Le Monde, and Globo be guilty of publishing “fake news” and thus subject to this censorship, or is it — as one expects — reserved only for small, independent blogs and outlets that lack a powerful corporate presence?

Ill-defined terms that become popularized in political discourse are, by definition, terms of propaganda rather than reliable, meaningful indicators of problems. And invariably, they wreak all kinds of predictable havoc and inevitably give rise to abuses of power. More than anything else, such terms — which, by design, mean whatever the powerful groups wielding them want them to mean — so often produce arbitrary censorship in the name of combatting them. Just consider two similarly ill-defined but popular propagandistic terms — “terrorism” and “hate speech” — which have been appropriated by governments all over the world to justify the most extreme, repressive powers.
The fake war on terror has given the West – especially the US and UK – lots of mileage to suppress its own citizens. Egypt and Saudi Arabia also jumped in on the act with censorship laws based on terrorism. As for hate speech, it has been used to silence all sorts of opinions including those opposing Zionism and Israel’s continuous theft and murder against the Palestinians – because if you criticize Israel then you must be anti-semitic, right (even though true Judaism and Zionism are mutually exclusive)?

Political correctness is nothing but censorship at the end of the day. It is intolerance disguised as tolerance. As George Carlin said, it is fascism pretending to be manners. There is no right “not to be offended.” It is becoming more and more ludicrous as each year passes, with groups making lists of approved and non-approved terms and insisting that people using the non-approved, “politically incorrect” terms are therefore committing microaggressions against the people who hear them. How much more are we going to take before our range of “permissible” thoughts has been utterly diminished?

When you put all these nebulous but lethal terms together – national security, war on terror, terrorism, hate speech and fake news – it pretty much allows the government to do anything it wants to you, anytime, anywhere, including searching you, robbing you, jailing you and killing you!

Final Thoughts


Watch out anytime politicians invent a new talking point term which is vague and indefinable. That vagueness can be used against you. Fighting fake news is a joke. People are people. As long as humans have had free will and the ability to speak or write, there has always been the possibility of people lying, omitting, distorting or making false claims. It’s part of being alive to develop your discernment and work out what is true or false. Never allow government to pretend it can do this, for the result will always be that the ruling class filters out what its doesn’t want you to know out of self-interest and a desire for more power and control.

*****

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Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.

The NSA Is a Blackmail Agency


© deeperthinking.blogspot.com
The main function of the National Security Administration is to collect the dirt on members of the house and senate, the staffs, principal contributors, and federal judges. The dirt is used to enforce silence about the crimes of the security agencies.

The blackmail mechanism was put into gear the minute the news reported that the House Intelligence Committee had assembled proof that the FBI, DOJ, and DNC created Russiagate as a conspiracy to unseat President Trump. Members of Congress with nothing to hide demanded the evidence be released to the public. Of course, it was to be expected that release of the facts would be denounced by Democrats, but Republicans, such as Rep. Mike Conaway (R, Texas), himself a member of the committee, joined in the effort to protect the Democrats and the corrupt FBI and DOJ from exposure. Hiding behind national security concerns, Conaway opposes revealing the classified information. “That’d be real dangerous,” he said. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48637.htm

As informed people know, 95% of the information that is classified is for purposes that have nothing to do with national security. The House Intelligence Committee memo has no information in it related to any security except that of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the DNC, and the presstitute media. The logical assumption is that every member of Congress opposed to informing the American public of the Russiagate conspiracy to unseat the President of the United States is being blackmailed by the security agencies who planned, organized, and implemented the conspiracy against the President of the United States and American democracy.

American insouciance is a great enabler of the ability of the security agencies and their media whores to control the explanations.

Erdogan accuses allies of sending ‘thousands of planeloads' and 'truckloads of arms' to Kurds

RT | Jan 21, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned on Ankara’s allies, insinuating that the US in particular has been providing massive military support to Kurdish YPG in Syria.

In a speech to his ruling AK Party Erdogan said that ‘some allies’ of Turkey had provided the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia with 2,000 planeloads and 5,000 truckloads of weapons.

“Now, apart from 5,000 trucks, there are weapons and ammunition from around 2,000 planes.” the Turkish leader said. He also accused Ankara’s allies of dishonesty when they say that they do not provide weapons for “terrorists,” referring to Kurdish-linked YPG forces.


The president also vowed to hand over Afrin to its “real owners,” explaining that he aims to return 3.5 million refugees back to Syria from Turkey as soon as possible.

This weekend, Turkey began operation ‘Olive Branch’ against Kurdish forces in Afrin, deploying jets and land forces.


Turkey sees the YPG as being closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – whom the government considers terrorists.The United States is backing the YPG in Syria, seeing it as an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State.

However, the US stressed on Saturday that they are not supporting the PKK.“We recognize Turkey’s security concerns about the PKK, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization,” Adrian Rankine-Galloway, the Pentagon’s spokesman said in a statement sent to the Anadolu Agency.

Turkey’s operation in Afrin follows Ankara’s outrage over America’s recent claim (since retracted) that it would create a force to patrol the Turkey-Syria border.

Syria - Turks Attack Afrin, U.S. Strategy Fails, Kurds Again Chose The Losing Side

Moon of Alabama | Jan 21, 2018

After negotiations between Russia/Syria and the Kurds of Afrin had failed, the Russian side made a deal with Turkey. Now Turkey attacks Afrin while everyone else looks aside. The main impetus for this development was the announcement of a U.S. occupation in north-east Syria with the help of the Kurdish YPG/PKK. The occupation strategy is already failing. The Kurds made the false choice. They will be the losers of this game.

We had wrongly predicted that Turkish threats against the Kurdish held north-west area of Afrin were empty:
The threat is not serious:
  • ...
  • Afrin is under formal protection of Russian and Syrian forces.
  • The real danger to Turkey is not Afrin but the much larger Kurdish protectorate the U.S. publicly announced in north-east Syria.
The Turkish threats and its artillery noise have led to counter noise from Syria and more silent advice from Russia. The Syrian government wants to show that it is the protector of all Syrian citizens be they ethnic Arabs or Kurds. Russia is proud of its role as the grown up who is calming down all sides.
Turkey is now attacking the Afrin canton in full force.

bigger
The Turkish operation to go after Afrin was triggered by two events. The more important one was the U.S. announcement of a permanent occupation of north-east Syria with the help of a 30,000 men strong SDF "border protection force" consisting of mainly Kurds and some Arabs who earlier fought under ISIS. We had noted at that time:
The Turks were not consulted before the U.S. move and are of course not amused that a "terrorist gang", trained and armed by the U.S., will control a long stretch of their southern border. Any Turkish government would have to take harsh measures to prevent such a strategic threat to the country.
The U.S. move was amateurish. It ignored the security needs of its NATO ally Turkey in exchange for an illegal and unsustainable occupation of north-east Syria. Secretary of State Tillerson tried to calm the Turks by claiming that the "border protection force" was not for border protection. Reports from the training ground expose that as a lie:
"This force will be a foundational force to protect the borders of north Syria," proclaimed the announcer at the graduation ceremony.
A second motive for the Turkish operation was the success of the Syrian army in the east-Idleb where "Free Syrian Army" and al-Qaeda Takfiris supported by Turkey were eliminated by Syrian Army attacks.

The now unfolding Turkish operation was preceded by several rounds of negotiations.

The Syrian government and its Russian allies offered the Afrin Kurds to protect them from any Turkish attacks:
Nearly a week ago, [a] meeting between Russian officials and Kurdish leaders took place. Moscow suggested Syrian State becomes only entity in charge of the northern border. The Kurds refused. It was immediately after that that the Turkish Generals were invited to Moscow. Having the Syrian State in control of its Northern Border wasn't the only Russian demand. The other was that the Kurds hand back the oil fields in Deir al Zor. The Kurds refused suggesting that the US won't allow that anyway. The meeting was not exactly a success.
This account was confirmed by Kurdish negotiators:
Aldar Xelil (@Xelilaldar), member of the Democratic Free Society Tev-Dem: “In a meeting Russia proposed to the Afrin Administration that if Afrin is ruled by the Syrian regime, Turkey won’t attack it. #Afrin Canton Administration refused this proposal.”
The Kurds made a counteroffer. They would raise some Syrian flags and give up on the (mostly destroyed) Menagh air force base they hold but they were unwilling to give up any border control:
A translation from the Diken newspaper:
Amberin Zaman talked to Rojava officials Nobahar Mustafa and Sinam Mohammed. They say:
  • Russia aims to weaken the YPG and to turn Afrin over to "the regime."
  • We're still in negotiations with Russia. They said if you turn over Afrin to the regime it will protect you. We refused. We offered to turn over Menagh airbase and some other checkpoints but they refused.
  • We may pull out of Sochi
  • New alliances will be formed with Saudi, UAE, and Egypt.
  • Rojava forces commander General Mazlum and Ilham Ahmed have met Brett McGurk to ask the US to stop the Turkish attacks. This is a test of how reliable an ally the US is.
After the negotiations with the Kurds had failed Syria and Russia, which was the negotiating entity, made a deal with Turkey. Turkey had agreed to a de-escalation zone in Idleb but never proceeded to set up the promised observation posts in the al-Qaeda ruled area. Turkey had supported al-Qaeda. Fighting it directly is against Turkish interests. It is itself too vulnerable as many al-Qaeda fighters have family and friends living within Turkey.

The new deal will give Syria control over most of Idleb in exchange for Turkish control over Afrin (if the Turks can indeed take the area). In parallel to the start of the Turkish operation the Syrian army took the air base Abu Duhur in east-Idleb. It will eliminate whatever is left of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the now closed cauldron. It will then proceed further into Idelb governorate.

bigger
Having Turkey take over Afrin is bad for Syria. The Syrian government clearly dislikes the deal the Russians made in its name. Any agreement with the shifty Turkish President Erdogan will likely not hold for long. But having the Kurds ally with the U.S. in a permanent occupation of the north-east is even worse.

The Syrian government has rejected Turkish claims that it was informed about the attack and officially condemned the Turkish move. But it can do little against it. Its army is depleted and engaged elsewhere. Neither Russia nor Iran would support an open conflict with Turkey.

Turkish media are in full war mode:
Turkish papers this morning:
  • Hurriyet: Our jets hit #Afrin. Turkey’s heart beats as one
  • Sabah: We hit them in their den
  • Haberturk: Iron fist to terror, olive branch to civilians
  • Sozcu: We said we would strike despite the US and Russia. We struck the traitors
Turkey has launched a quite large operation against Afrin. Its air-force is bombarding the area. It is now sending its most modern tanks. The al-Qaeda-"Free Syrian Army" Turkey supports and controls will be its front line infantry that is sure to bleed the most. Afrin is mountainous and it will be a difficult fight. Two Turkish tanks have already been destroyed. The Kurds are well prepared and armed. Both sides will have lots of losses.

Meanwhile the Syrian army and its allies will have time to take over Idelb.

The U.S. is left with a mess. Its strategy for Syria, only announced last week, is already falling apart. Its Central Command rejected any responsibility for the Kurds in Afrin while allying with the Kurds in the east. These are the same people. The Kurdish military commander in Afrin earlier fought in Kobane. Now Turkish planes are taking off from the U.S. build Incerlik air base to bomb the Kurds in the Syrian west while U.S. tanker planes take off from Incirlik to support the U.S. alliance with the Kurds in the east.

The Arab group Jaysh al Thuwar was part of the Arab fig leaf that disguises the Kurdish command over the U.S. supported SDF in the east. It has now turned sides and is back under Turkish tutelage. More elements of the SDF will change sides. We can expect "insider attacks" against the U.S. forces who are training them.

The Kurdish command blames Russia for the Turkish attack on Afrin. That is laughable. Syria and the Russians had supported the Kurds throughout the war. They were the first to deliver weapons and ammunition to the Kurds for the fight against the Takfiris. It were the Kurds that changed sides and invited the U.S. occupation. It is the Kurds that announced they would ask for Saudi support.

Just a few month ago the Kurdish project in Iraq failed miserably. The Iraqi government took back all gains the Kurds had made over a decade and the U.S. did nothing to help their Kurdish "allies". Why do the Kurds in Syria believe that their immense overreach will have a different outcome?

The FISA Memo Is All The Ammo Trump Needs To Take On The CIA

Zero Hedge | Jan 20, 2018 | Ton Luongo

© policestatedaily
FISA is an abomination. Let’s get that out of the way. And since I don’t believe there are any coincidences in U.S. or geo-politics, the releasing of the explosive four-page FISA memo after Congress reauthorized FISA is suspicious.

Former NSA analyst (traitor? hero?) turned security state gadfly Edward Snowden came out in favor of President Trump vetoing the FISA reauthorization now that the full extent of what the statute is used for is known to members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are rightly aghast.
Officials confirm there’s a secret report showing abuses of spy law Congress voted to reauthorize this week. If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth would have failed. These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto. https://t.co/BEwJ9EyIq0
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 19, 2018
But, like I said, timing in these things is everything. And the timing on this leak is important.

Someone leaked this memo to the House Intelligence Committee with the sole intention of giving President Trump the opportunity to do exactly what Snowden is arguing for.

And well Trump should.

This is the essence of draining the swamp.  It is the essence of his war with the Shadow Government.  If one makes the distinction between the Deep State and the Shadow Government, like former CIA officer Kevin Shipp does, then this falls right in line with Trump’s goals in cleaning up the rot and corruption in the U.S. government.  In a recent interview with Greg Hunter at USAWatchdog.com,
Shipp explains, “I differentiate between the ‘Deep State’ and the shadow government. The shadow government are the secret intelligence agencies that have such power and secrecy that they act even without the knowledge of Congress. There are many things that they do with impunity. Then there is the ‘Deep State,’ which is the military industrial complex, all of the industrial corporations and their lobbyists, and they have all the money, power and greed that give all the money to the Senators and Congressmen. So, they are connected, but they are really two different entities. It is the shadow government . . . specifically, the CIA, that is going after Donald Trump. It is terrified that some of its dealings are going to be exposed. If they are, it could jeopardize the entire organization.” [emphasis mine]

Court the Military Against the Spooks


And as I’ve talked about at length, I’ve felt from the moment Trump was elected he was going to have to ally himself with the U.S. military to have any chance of surviving, let alone achieve his political goals.

Trump’s final campaign ad was a clarion call to action.  It was a declaration of war against both the Shadow Government and the Deep State.  And it ensured that if he won, which he did, they would immediately go to war with him.



And you don’t declare war like this if you aren’t prepared for the biggest knock-down, drag-out street brawl of all time.  If you aren’t prepared for it, don’t say it.  And for the past year we’ve been left wondering whether Trump was 1) prepared for it 2) capable of pulling it off.

Trump’s continued needling of the establishment; playing the long game and demonizing the media which is the tip of the Shadow Government’s spear while strengthening the support of both the military (through his backing them at every turn) and his base by assisting them destroy the false narratives of globalism has been nothing short of amazing.

As a hard-core, jaded politico, I can tell you I never thought for a second he had the ability to what he’s already done.  But, as the past few months have pointed out, the real power in the world doesn’t rest with the few thousand who manipulate the levers of power but the billions who for years stood by and let them.

And those days of standing by are gone.

So, Trump cozying up to the military, cutting a deal with the military-industrial complex (MIC) has the Deep State now incentivized to fight the Shadow Government for him.  The tax cut bill, while a brilliant example of political knife-fighting, is fundamentally about shoring up the finances of the corporations that make up the MIC through the repatriation of foreign-earned income, lowering the corporate tax rate and stealing even more of the middle class back from the Democrats.

Trump had the right strategy from the beginning.  Civil Wars turn on what the police and the military do.  They are instigated by and fanned by the spooks, but it is the soldiers and the cops who decide the outcome.

And so here we are.

FISA, It’s Everywhere You Don’t Want it to Be


Trump has called the Democrats’ and RINOs’ bluff on DACA and chain-immigration as a vote-buying scheme with zero political fallout.  He’s properly reframed the looming government shutdown on their inability to stick to their original agreements.

His much-maligned Justice Department is now rolling up traitors associated with Uranium One, pedophiles and human traffickers all over the country and preparing for a showdown with blue state governors and attorney generals over “Sanctuary” grandstanding.

By leading the charge, he gave strength to the patriots within both the Shadow Government and the Deep State organizations to leak the material needed to keep his campaign afloat.

And as each new thing drops at the most inopportune time for the political establishment mentioned ad nauseum in that final campaign ad linked above, you have to wonder just how big the revolt inside these organizations is.

Because, right here, right now, Trump can demand the release of this FISA memo and use it to torpedo the very thing that allowed the entire “Russia Hacked Muh Election” nonsense and send it back to the sh$&hole it was spawned from in the first place, the CIA and the DNC.

And if that means for a few months the FISA courts are inoperable while a new bill and a new set of rules is drafted so be it.

*  *  *

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