– A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog: Occasional Musings –

‘The Western Center for Journalism is a vigorous watchdog that keeps a check on government abuse and the media. The Center believes strongly in open public debate. It also believes that informed public debate requires quality journalism and reporting. Western Journalism is working to provide quality journalism and reporting by exposing bias and falsehoods in the liberal, mainstream media. We also actively publish numerous independent citizen journalists at WesternJournalism.com so that ignored information and under-reported stories will be available online’ And on 23 July 2014, the Western Center for Journalism released a YouTube video dealing with the Ukraine Crisis and the downed Malaysian plane. produced, written, and edited by Kris Zane and narrated by Tom Hinchey.

Even though the above narrative sounds convincing and arguably bears relation to what has really transpired in the Ukraine over the past months, one should not forget that the Western Center for Journalism is a ‘a conservative advocacy group . . . founded in 1991 by Joseph Farah and James H. Smith. Based in Sacramento, California . . . The Center doesn’t include either an address or telephone number on its letterhead, but is believed to be headed by conservative author, speaker and media commentator Floyd Brown’, as related by the good folks of Wikipedia.[1] And thus, its reporting might very well include a distinct anti-Obama slant . . . and, the good folks of Wikipedia kindly inform us that ‘ExposeObama.com is an anti-Barack Obama website created by Brown and his National Campaign Fund. The website purports to show that the Democratic nominee has inconsistent positions regarding abortion, taxes and other issues, in addition to being soft on crime and on what the site calls “Islamo Fascism”. The website has been criticized in media accounts for “mudslinging” and misrepresenting Obama’s positions’.[2]

 

[1] “Western Journalism Center” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Journalism_Center.

[2] “Floyd Brown” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Brown.

On 22 July 2014, the news agency Agence France-Presse reports from Beijing that a “Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said. The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said. A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday [ 16 July 2014] , the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported. CCTV said officials were not allowing anyone to leave. The China Daily newspaper said four quarantine sectors had been set up in the city”. [1]

The AFP report explains that the “Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection best known for the Black Death, a virulent epidemic that killed tens of millions of people in 14th-century Europe. Primarily an animal illness, it is extremely rare in humans. The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) says modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague, but that without prompt treatment the disease can cause serious illness or death”.[2] Dr. Paul S. Meade, MD, who specialises in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology, states that the “Plague (Bubonic, Pneumonic, Septicemic)” is transmitted “[u]sually through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient . . . [and that the disease is e]ndemic in rural areas in central and southern Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the northeastern part of South America, and parts of the southwestern United States”.[3] In other words, these Chinese whispers represent nothing but a storm in a tea cup and much ado about nothing . . .

 

[1] “Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death”AFP (22 July 2014). http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/22/chinese-city-yumen-sealed-bubonic-plague-death.

[2] “Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death”.

[3] Paul S. Meade, “Plague (Bubonic, Pneumonic, Septicemic)” CDC. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2014/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/plague-bubonic-pneumonic-septicemic.

‘Al Jazeera‘s Martine Dennis travelled to Erbil, the capital of the Kurds semi-autonomous region in the north of the country – where they have prospered since the removal of Saddam Hussein – to find out whether we are truly witnessing the start of the break-up of Iraq. Masoud Barzani talks to Al Jazeera about autonomy, the current state of Iraq and the Kurds’ role in the country (19 July 2014)’.

Dr Farsat Sofi, an MP from Barzani’s dynastic Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) some time ago said that a “greater Kurdistan is the dream of every Kurd. But for now we want to set up a state in this country”, and adding that “We never wanted to be in Iraq in the first place. It’s been forced upon us”. And finally, Farsat Sofi spelled it out: “If [Nouri al-Maliki] continues like this we will use this right to self-determination”.[1]

The Guardian‘s Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy elucidate that since “2003, Kurdistan’s regional government in Irbil, the KRG, has been locked in a bitter dispute with Iraq’s federal leaders in Baghdad. The row encompasses revenue sharing, the implementation of the 2005 constitution – which is supposed to determine what happens to contested territories outside the autonomous Kurdish region – and al-Maliki’s alleged dictatorial tendencies”.[2]

 

[1] Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy, “Kurds hope oil boom will fuel prosperous independent future” The Guardian (14 July 2014). http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/14/kurdish-technocrats-discuss-kurdistan-oil-wealth.

[2] Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy, “Kurds hope oil boom will fuel prosperous independent future”.

 

‘President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Russian companies after he said the Russia had failed to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine (16 July 2014)’.

On Point with Charlie McGrath – RAND Corp Leaked Memo Spells Out Ukraine Blitzkrieg

‘Charlie McGrath presents activist Gary Hendershot and an overview of leaked RAND Corp memo (11 July 2014)’.

Already on 5 July 2014, RT reported that even “if the leaked plan of ‘handling’ Ukrainian crisis was not produced by the RAND corporation, events on the ground very much resemble the shocking points of the memo and the “guidelines for genocide” exported by the US, Don Debar from CPR News told RT. A memorandum, recently leaked to online media, suggested surrounding eastern Ukrainian cities and placing citizens in internment camps. The document bears a logo of RAND corporation think-tank, but the company denies producing such a report. While the authenticity of the document could not be independently verified, anti-war activist and journalist Don Debar told RT the guidelines amount to ‘serial war crimes’ some of which are already happening on the ground”.[1]

Don DeBar, Morning Show host on “Community Progressive Radio – From the Metropolitan NY area to the World” told RT that “actually knowing something about RAND Corporation, that is where reports credit the memo, it rings very true. RAND Corporation in the 1950s, for example, was contracted to take a look at the emerging political power of minorities in the cities. People were learning, as they got concentrated at the ghettos, people actually learned that they could accumulate political power, elect people to Congress, and state legislators and things. And this became a problem for the status quo. So RAND basically advised them to destroy neighborhoods, scatter the populations to the four corners of the region and thereby decimate political power. And urban renewal accomplished that. As far as its coming from RAND it is quite credible to me, it is the kind of work that they engage in”, adding significantly that “my understanding is that they advise the Pentagon to this day, yes”.[2]

Predictably, RAND itself released the following statement: “Some media outlets have circulated a memo purportedly prepared by the RAND Corporation regarding military operations in eastern Ukraine. RAND has produced no such document”.[3]

 

[1] “Guidelines for genocide is US prime export product’” RT (05 July 2014). http://rt.com/op-edge/170588-us-export-guidelines-genocide/.

[2] “Guidelines for genocide is US prime export product’”.

[3] “RAND Statement on Phony Ukraine Memo” RAND (07 July 2014). http://www.rand.org/news/press/2014/07/07.html.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Spain cracks down on members of one of Italy’s biggest mafias, Ukraine’s military says it’s found a secret rebel base after recapturing Sloviansk, Russia launches the first newly designed rocket since the Soviet era, and a U.S. study shows plants can ‘sense’ predators (10 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Mexican train derailment strands migrants trying to reach American border, head of U.S. Homeland Security seeks quicker deportation of migrants, Texas city purifies wastewater to increase drinking water supply, and Polish company produces guns for urban warfare.

MEXICO. Train Derailment Strands U.S.-Bound Migrants. About 1,300 migrants were aboard the cargo train when it came off the tracks in Oaxaca state.

GUATEMALA. U.S. Homeland Security Chief Calls for Speedier Deportation. Jeh Johnson told regional officials thousands of unaccompanied children who crossed the border aren’t exempt and will be returned home.

U.S.A. A City’s Toilet-to-Tap Approach to Drought. Wichita Falls, Texas, is purifying sewage water to increase the supply of drinking water.

POLAND. A New Generation of User-Friendly Rifles. The line allows a swift change from sniper to assault rifle (11 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: French defense minister announces end to Mali military operations, denial and suspicion hinder efforts to contain ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Afghan presidential candidates agree to accept results of recount, and Peru considers old strategy to combat drug trafficking.

MALI. France to Widen Military Operations to Sahel Region. Foreign minister says the troops will be redeployed to protect the area from extremists.

SIERRA LEONE Fear Fuels the Spread of Ebola. Health workers say many people refuse to get tested and choose to stay home even if they exhibit symptoms.

AFGHANISTAN. Opponents Agree to Accept Recount Results. The United Nations will supervise a full audit of the June 14 presidential run-off.

PERU. Government Considers Old Strategy to Fight Drug Trade. The military may soon be allowed to shoot down planes used to smuggle drugs (14 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Boko Haram leader mocks #BringBackOurGirls campaign, French police disperse pro-Palestinian rally, Iraqi cleric calls on volunteers to protect holy sites, and Chinese designers produce small 3D-printed boat.

NIGERIA. Boko Haram Leader Mocks ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Campaign. Abubakar Shekau danced around in a video, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to release some of his fighters.

FRANCE. Police Disperse Pro-Palestinian Rally in Paris. Ten thousand people marched through the French capital against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

IRAQ. Volunteers Help Protect Samarra from Militants. Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his supporters to guard the country’s holy sites.

CHINA. Design Team Test 3D-Printed Boat. The two-person rowboat took 10 hours to make and cost around $80 dollars (15 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: U.S. completes first expedited deportations of Central American migrants, North Korean leader directs military drills near South Korean border, Cambodian security forces clash with protesters, and Thailand melts thousands of guns into recycled metal.

HONDURAS. U.S. Completes First Fast-Track Deportations. American officials say they’re the first of several expedited proceedings to deal with the cross-border surge.

NORTH KOREA. Kim Jong-Un Supervises Military Drills. The country rarely carries out such exercises so close to the South Korean border.

CAMBODIA. Protesters Beat Guards in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park. Activists are demanding the government re-open the capital’s main protest site.

THAILAND. Police Destroy Thousands of Guns. They melted down 34,000 firearms into nearly 30 tons of recycled metal (16 July 2014)’.

Before Turning the Gun on Himself is the eighth stand-up comedy album by Doug Stanhope, released on November 6, 2012, by Roadrunner Records. It was recorded live at The Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah’.

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