Who Is Interested In A Conflict In North Korea?

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In case of war with North Korea, the US would face a military challenge as perhaps never before in the last seventy years. This is why a conventional deterrence is actually more important than the nuclear one if we break down a realistic war scenario. The downside is that the DPRK is fully aware that if it responded to a US attack, even in a limited way and only on military targets, it would be flagged as an aggressor, paving the way for a larger foreign intervention.

To answer this question, it is necessary to examine what would entail a US attack on North Korea. Suffice it to say that as the neocon Senator John McCain has admitted, the US would be unable to defend Seoul (as well as its US bases nearby) in the first 24 to 48 hours of a conflict. A city of 20 million inhabitants, together with military bases containing thousands of soldiers, would suffer untold loss of life.

The United States would certainly suffer huge losses, revealing weaknesses that could be exploited in future conflicts, a consideration that would need to be considered if contemplating shooting down DPRK missiles.

China would certainly not be happy to risk a humanitarian catastrophe on its own border, not to mention being eventually forced to intervene to defend its ally (there is a treaty between the two countries). Japan and South Korea would be hit hard, being clearly exposed to a North Korean retaliatory attack; so they clearly do not want a war with Pyongyang. The great truth about the Korean Peninsula is that despite the fact that every country flexes its muscles and seems ready to act, no one wants this eventuality, as no one could win this war, and everyone would suffer devastating effects both economically and militarily. This is not to mention the popular uproar that would arise from so many civilian deaths, let alone were there to be a nuclear escalation.

In the Korean peninsula, we are faced with a great strategic game in which the DPRK becomes more difficult to attack with each passing day, thanks to its conventional forces rather than its nuclear power. This is something that western planners tend to ignore in order to avoid accentuating the power of the DPRK. Unfortunately for them, this is something that is far too well known to US soldiers, and especially South Koreans, which is why a real attack on the DPRK is absolutely out of the question for Seoul.

Finally, there is a worrying aspect to consider for the DPRK’s opponents, namely the alleged ways in which the DPRK preserves and launches its conventional forces. In the parade on April 15, a large availability of solid-fuel mobile platforms was displayed. This creates two great advantages: the first being the ability to launch a missile within a short space of time, thereby minimizing the risk of detection during such things as refueling operations; and the second, of course, being the ability to launch a missile and then quickly change position (shoot and scoot). With mobile launchers, it is impossible to track and hit all such systems in a preemptive attack. This is without factoring into the equation the North Korean submarines that are said to be able to launch medium- and short-range SLBMs with conventional or nuclear warheads.

An indication of the confusion that prevails amongst military planners regarding North Korea can easily be seen with the story of USS Carl Vinson. Ships with significant attack capabilities, Trump said a few days ago, were sailing towards the DPRK with the intention of inducing Kim to talks through military intimidation. However, the reality was that the carrier group was actually thousands of miles away, continuing to navigate in the opposite direction. Even without this ridiculous situation, US military leverage hardly works with the DPRK for the reasons explained above.

With this unprecedented gaffe, the United States is at least divided internally on what to do, sending a troublesome message to its allies, leaving them with the following set of questions: Is Trump really in control of the armed forces? Can his words be taken seriously? Is he consistent with his intentions? The first 100 days of the Trump presidency raise these questions, and in difficult scenarios such as the one that obtains in the Korean Peninsula, they take a heavy toll. At the end of the day, in Korea we are faced with a lot of smoke and mirrors, threats and promises. But realistically, no one wants an actual conflict…

more…

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-02/who-interested-conflict-north-korea

WIKK WEB GURU

 

 

Our world outsmarts us

Resultado de imagem para the laughter of the gods From Puck magazine 1909. Courtesy Library of Congress

From Puck magazine 1909. Courtesy Library of Congress

Social problems are fantastically complex, while human minds are severely under-engineered. Is democracy doomed?

by Robert Burton is a neurologist, author and the former associate director of the department of neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center at Mt Zion. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Nautilus, among others. His latest book is A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves (2013).

When mulling over possible reasons for the alarming nastiness associated with the recent presidential election in the United States, I am reminded of my grade-school bully. Handsome, often charming, superbly athletic, the bully (let’s call him Mike) would frequently, usually without clear provocation, kick, punch and shove other classmates. Fortunately, for reasons not apparent at that time, he never bothered me.

Fast-forward 20 years. After his long-time girlfriend left him for another man, Mike stalked and stabbed to death the new boyfriend. Shortly following his murder conviction and incarceration, I ran into Mike’s father, who spontaneously blurted out: ‘Did you know that Mike had severe dyslexia?’

As soon as his father spoke, I recalled Mike’s great difficulty reading aloud in class. As he stumbled over simple words, the other kids fidgeted, snickered and rolled their eyes. In return, they got bullied. I can still sense my classmates’ fear of Mike even as I cringe at the knowledge that, in our collective ignorance, we were at least partially responsible for his outbursts. What if we had understood that Mike’s classroom performance was a neurological handicap and not a sign of general stupidity, laziness or whatever other pejoratives of cognition we threw at him? Would our acceptance of his disability have changed the arc of Mike’s life? Of ours?

Since running into his father, I’ve often wondered if Mike’s outbursts and bullying behaviour might offer an insight into the seeming association between anger, extremism and a widespread blatant disregard for solid facts and real expertise. I’m not dismissing obvious psychological explanations such as ideological and confirmatory biases and overriding self-interests, or suggesting that a particular human behaviour can be reduced to a single or specific cause. But Mike’s story suggests an additional, more basic dynamic. What if, as a species, the vast majority of us have a profoundly challenging collective difficulty with mathematics and science analogous to Mike’s dyslexia?

Whether contemplating the pros and cons of climate change; the role of evolution; the risks versus benefits of vaccines, cancer screening, proper nutrition, genetic engineering; trickle-down versus bottom-up economic policies; or how to improve local traffic, we must be comfortable with a variety of statistical and scientific methodologies, complex risk-reward and probability calculations – not to mention an intuitive grasp of the difference between fact, theory and opinion. Even moral decisions, such as whether or not to sacrifice one life to save five (as in the classic trolley-car experiment), boil down to often opaque calculations of the relative value of the individual versus the group.

If we are not up to the cognitive task, how might we be expected to respond? Will we graciously acknowledge our individual limits and readily admit that others might have more knowledge and better ideas? Will those uneasy with numbers and calculations appreciate and admire those who are? Or is it more likely that a painful-to-acknowledge sense of inadequacy will promote an intellectual defensiveness and resistance to ideas not intuitively obvious?

Imagine going to your family doctor for a routine physical exam. After running a number of screening tests, he informs you that one of the blood tests – for an initially asymptomatic but rapidly progressive and uniformly fatal neurological disease – came back positive. The doctor further explains that everyone with the disease tests positive (no false-negative rate), but that there is a 5 per cent false-positive rate (a positive test in people who never develop the disease). He then pats you on the shoulder and says: ‘I wouldn’t worry. It’s a rare disease that affects only one in 1,000 people.’

Before continuing, what’s your initial gut feeling as to the likelihood that you have the illness? Now take a moment and calculate the actual likelihood…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/the-complexity-of-social-problems-is-outsmarting-the-human-brain

WIKK WEB GURU

Former President of Merck Led Secret Biowarfare Program, Influencing Experiments on Americans

by Cassius Methyl, Guest Waking Times

Merck & Co. is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing corporation, and is one of the largest pharma companies in the world. They created such things as the MMR vaccine, and the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

As a corporation that has affected the lives of almost everyone around us in the Western world, with most people receiving their vaccinations that are known to do damage, we should know their history.

In this article, we will examine Merck’s connection to biological warfare, and the implications of that connection. Merck & Co. is not to be confused with the German “Merck KGaA,” but they both originate from the original German Merck. Merck was founded in 1668, in Germany. By 1887, a US division of Merck called Merck & Co. was set up in New York by George Merck. George Merck moved to NY in 1891.

In April 1917, as the US entered the Great War (WWI), the government announced the seizure of corporations affiliated with Germany.

Merck & Co. was seized, but George Merck and partners founded a “McKenna Corporation” to bid on Merck as it was put up for auction, and they managed to buy Merck back in 1919, fully separating from the other Merck in Germany (as far as we know).

From that point, Merck made efforts to stay boldly on the side of the American war effort, and perhaps that influenced their involvement with the US’ biological warfare program during the peak of World War II.

In 1925, the same year Nazi chemical monopoly IG Farben was created, George Merck passed his company onto his son, George W. Merck.

George W. Merck grew up in a privileged position, using the workshop of Thomas Edison as a child and inheriting his position as the president of the company.

He would become Merck’s president for 25 years, all throughout World War II: and he was given a central leadership position in the US’ biological warfare program during the same years he led Merck, retiring from the company years after his alleged retirement from biowarfare.

It was George W. Merck who led biological warfare work as the head of the War Research Service, the department in charge of Ft. Detrick, while still being president of Merck. According to Wikipedia:

“During World War II, he led the War Research Service, which initiated the U.S. biological weapons program with Frank Olson.”

According to MIT Press:

“By midsummer, three candidates had rejected an offer to head the new group: economist Walter W. Stewart, who chaired the Rockefeller Foundation, geographer Isaiah Bowman, president of Johns Hopkins University, and economist Edmund Ezra Day, president of Cornell University. Finally, in August, chemist George W. Merck, president of the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co., accepted the position.

The innocuously named War Research Service (WRS) started out in mid-1942 with an initial allocation of $200,000. Wide contacts with major biologists and physicians enabled the eight member directorate to initiate secret work in about 28 American universities, including Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, and the University of California.”

To read George W. Merck’s report to the Secretary of War in 1945, click here.

This history perfectly illustrates what “the system” is, and how it extends into all the major universities.

He was later given several awards, and was put on the cover of the August 18, 1952 edition of Time Magazine, while the public was unaware he was ever involved with biological warfare, let alone his setting the foundation for experiments on Americans.

Ft. Detrick is one of the most well known biological warfare centers in US history: it’s the place where the plan to spray bacteria over San Francisco in the 1950’s and 60’s under Operation Sea Spray was conceived, shortly after Merck left. After Merck’s departure from the War Research Service, Ft. Detrick became a central factor in experiments on US citizens.

It was the place where paperclipped Nazi scientist Kurt Blome advised biological warfare experts on how to experiment on US citizens. Blome had previously experimented on his victims with Bubonic Plague.

It was where Frank Olson worked, the man who was almost certainly assassinated for starting to question the morality of his work with biowarfare, and with MK Ultra. According to Center for Research on Globalization:

“On 28 November 1953, at 2 am, a man crashed through a closed window and fell to his death from the 10th floor of the Statler Hotel in New York City. He was identified as Frank Olson, a bacteriologist with the US Army Research Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He had fallen from a room he shared with another scientist, Robert Lashbrook. It was ruled a suicide.

Twenty-two years later, in 1975, William Colby, then CIA director, declassified documents that changed the complexion of the case. It was revealed that Olson had actually been an undercover CIA operative at Fort Detrick, and that one week prior to his death, he had been drinking Cointreau at a high-level meeting with scientists at Deep Creek Lodge in rural Maryland. The Cointreau was laced with a large dose of LSD administered by his CIA boss, Sidney Gottlieb. He was then sent to New York with Lashbrook, also with the CIA, to see a psychiatrist because the LSD had induced a psychosis.

It was also revealed that Olson had been part of the top secret CIA program that was known as Project MK-ULTRA, exploring the use of chemicals and drugs for purposes of mind control, and bacteriological agents for covert assassination. Olson had been working on ways to deliver anthrax in aerosol form, for use as a weapon. New evidence that came to light, through the persistent efforts of Olson’s son Eric, made the suicide ruling highly suspect.”…

more…

About the Author
Cassius Methyl is a researcher and writer from Sacramento, California. He is the founder of Era of Wisdom, writer/director of the documentary “Toddlers on Amphetamine: History of Big Pharma and the Major Players,” and a writer in the alternative media since 2013 at the age of 17.
This article (Former President of Merck Led Secret Biowarfare Program, Influencing Experiments on Americans) was originally created and published by The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/05/03/former-president-merck-led-secret-biowarfare-program-influencing-experiments-americans/

WIKK WEB GURU

Masturbating While Muslim

Illustration by Dave van Patten

by Hussein KesvaniFollow

Meet the men of No-Fap Islam

On a Friday night a few weeks ago, Ibrahim “Ibby” Mamood was frantically typing on his laptop, shaking, with droplets of sweat dripping from his forehead. Every so often, he peered over his shoulder, just in case someone was still awake and could come into his room. “I did it again,” he typed to the members of a private Facebook group. “I lost control of myself. May Allah, the greatest, the most kind, the most merciful, forgive me.”
Mamood, 27, lives in Birmingham, one of Britain’s largest cities and home to the country’s largest Muslim population outside of London. He’s a practicing Muslim who prays five times a day and teaches children in madrassa (Islamic school). He lives in a neighborhood almost entirely filled with Muslim families, all of whom know each other, attend the same social events and congregate at the same mosque.
This makes what he calls an “addiction” to masturbation even harder to talk about. Calling me from a cafe in central Birmingham, far away from his home, he says that he started masturbating in his late teens “without really knowing what I was doing.”
“It started, like most boys, with wet dreams. I thought I was wetting the bed. And it really developed from there. Later, I looked at pornographic images. Not because of a sinful sexual attraction. I wanted to figure out what was happening to my body.”

Illustration by Dave van Patten
Mamood tells me that as he grew older — and with Islamic marriage on his mind — he attempted to become a more devout Muslim. As he was doing so, however, he continued looking at pornography. “I knew what I was doing was wrong… I’ve always known that. But we live in a society where pornography is widespread, so even when I wasn’t looking for porn, it was just there.”
Like many Muslim men in Mamood’s situation — i.e., finding themselves unable to talk about sex, masturbation or porn in deeply religious communities, where such things are considered taboo — he turned to the internet for help. In addition to private groups on Facebook (Mamood’s has more than 200 members) and WhatsApp, the biggest support network is on Reddit, where the MuslimNoFap subreddit has about 2,000 followers.
On the surface, it might seem like the normal Reddit No Fap community, a group of men whose choice of abstinence is largely driven by a desire for self-improvement. But according to members of MuslimNoFap, who all wished to remain anonymous, their community is much different. As one told me, “The main NoFap community is largely aiming to somehow assert their masculinity through control of themselves, with the hope of sleeping with women outside of marriage.” Conversely, the MuslimNoFap community is designed to uphold the sanctity of Nikah (marriage), which also means that “any form of sexual activity is prohibited until made permissible by Allah.”

Illustration by Dave van Patten
“All we’re trying to do is serve Allah, and to do what he commanded us to do,” the MuslimNoFapper adds.
While the men I spoke to had joined the group for different reasons — some wanted to stop watching porn; others used to the group to manage depression and anxiety — nearly all of them wanted to get married in a halal (Islamically permissible) way, and were worried that their affinity for porn and masturbation would nullify their marriages in the eyes of God. It also was clear that despite thinking about marriage for much of their lives, none of these men had been prepared for what would happen on their wedding nights.
“There’s no way we can talk about sex, or anything to do with sex inside a mosque. It’s impossible,” a Canadian man by the username Abu Khadeer says. “Most of the people in these groups had a strict Islamic upbringing. They didn’t learn about sex education in the madrassa, where they were prohibited from having girlfriends. Some date and have sex outside of marriage, but [most] other men are truly devoted to their religion. They end up giving into temptation … usually because they’re afraid they won’t be competent when they finally get married.”
“Most mentions of sex in the [mosque] are usually associated with sin,” he adds. The attitude that the imams take is that any sort of deliberate extramarital sex is a severe sin — one that results in punishment in the akhira [afterlife].”
Islamic scholars differ in their opinions of this interpretation. The mainstream view among some world-famous preachers, including Zakir Naik, is that anyone engaging in extramarital sexual activities without repentance (in the form of fasting and prayer) will be sent to hell on Judgment Day. Others say that because the Qu’ran doesn’t specifically call masturbation zina (a major sin), severe punishments don’t apply.
Still, most devout Muslim men grow up being told to stay away from any type of sexual activity until marriage. As Abu Khadeer says, “A lot of us are told to be celibate up to the point of marriage. And then when we get married, we’re just expected to know what to do. One of the guys on the forum had to divorce his wife because he couldn’t consummate his marriage. He literally didn’t know how to have sex with her on his wedding night.”
It’s difficult to quantify the problem, but most of the imams I spoke to recognized that this is an issue that is often kept secret. Imams like Ghulam Rasool of the progressive Imams Online network say Islamic leaders hadn’t really dealt with situations involving men and sex education, beyond very extreme situations — ones where the men believed they’d been possessed by evil spirits, in which case, the imams recommend long periods of praying and fasting, or sometimes ruqyah, an Islamic exorcism ritual…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/masturbating-while-muslim-120c09a891a7

WIKK WEB GURU