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Inside Lockheed Martin’s Sweeping Recruitment on College Campuses

Our investigation found this unfettered recruiting access to be part of a deeper and growing enmeshment between universities and the defense industry.

at many college STEM programs around the country have become pipelines for weapons contractors.

if you’re an engineering student at Georgia Tech, Lockheed is omnipresent.

Reader Supported News, Indigo Olivier/In These Times 14 august 22

To a casual observer, the Black Hawk and Sikorsky S-76 helicopters may have seemed incongruous landing next to the student union on the University of Connecticut’s pastoral green campus, but this particular Thursday in September 2018 was Lockheed Martin Day, and the aircraft were the main attraction.

A small group of students stood nearby, signs in hand, protesting Lockheed’s presence and informing others about a recent massacre.

Weeks earlier, 40 children had been killed when a Saudi-led coalition air strike dropped a 500-pound bomb on a school bus in northern Yemen. A CNN investigation found that Lockheed — the world’s largest weapons manufacturer — had sold the precision-guided munition to Saudi Arabia a year prior in a $110 billion arms deal brokered under former President Donald Trump.

Back in Storrs, Conn., Lockheed, which has a longstanding partnership with UConn, appeared on campus to recruit with TED-style talks, flight simulations, technology demos and on-the-spot interviews. A few lucky students took a helicopter flight around campus.

UConn is among at least a dozen universities that participate in Lockheed Martin Day, part of a sweeping national effort to establish defense industry recruitment pipelines in college STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. Dozens of campuses nationwide now have corporate partnerships with Lockheed and other weapons manufacturers.

Lockheed is the country’s single largest government contractor, producing Black Hawks, F-35 fighter jets, Javelin anti-tank systems and the Hellfire missiles found on Predator drones. With more than 114,000 employees, the company depends on a pool of highly skilled and highly specialized workers, complete with the ability to obtain proper security clearances when needed. In its most recent annual report, Lockheed tells investors, “We increasingly compete with commercial technology companies outside of the aerospace and defense industry for qualified technical, cyber and scientific positions as the number of qualified domestic engineers is decreasing and the number of cyber professionals is not keeping up with demand.”

Lockheed has hired more than 21,000 new employees since 2020 to replace retiring workers and keep up with turnover. Student pipelines are integral to the company’s talent acquisition strategy.

As tuition costs and student debt have skyrocketed, Lockheed has enticed students with scholarships, well paid internships and a student loan repayment program. When the pandemic made in-person recruitment more difficult, Lockheed expanded its virtual outreach — after one 2020 virtual hiring event, the company reported a 300% increase in offers and a 400% increase in job acceptances among the STEM scholarship program participants over the previous year.

And in a self-described effort to diversify its workforce and build an inclusive culture, Lockheed has also put new focus on financial support and recruitment at historically Black colleges and universities.

Lockheed’s recruitment efforts are intertwined with various types of “research partnerships.” Universities receive six- and seven-figure grants from Lockheed and other defense contractors — or even more massive sums from the Department of Defense — to work on basic and applied research, up to and including designs, prototypes and testing of weapons technology. A student might work on Lockheed-sponsored research as part of their course load, then intern over the summer at Lockheed, be officially recruited by Lockheed upon graduation and start working there immediately, with defense clearances already in place — sometimes continuing the same work. In 2020, Lockheed reported that more than 60% of graduating interns became full-time employees.

Lockheed is not alone among corporations or military contractors in its aggressive university outreach, but the expansive presence of private defense companies on campuses raises questions about the extent to which corporations — particularly those profiting from war — should influence student career trajectories. In April, student and community protesters at Tufts University shut down a General Dynamics recruiting event, then protested outside a Raytheon presentation later that month, chanting, “We see through your smoke and mirrors. You can’t have our engineers.”

Illah Nourbakhsh, an ethics professor at Carnegie Mellon University with a background in robotics, presents the question this way: “If you have a palette of possible futures for students, and you take some possible future, and you make it so shiny and exciting and amazing by pouring money on the marketing process of it that it overcomes any possible marketing done by alternatives that are more socially minded — do the kids have agency? Is it a fair, balanced field?

“Of course not.”

Lockheed did not respond by deadline to requests for comment on this article.

For more than a year, In These Times investigated the presence of Lockheed and other arms manufacturers on campuses, combing through company and university annual reports, IRS filings, LinkedIn profiles, budgets, legislative records and academic policies, as well as interviewing students and professors. Most students requested pseudonyms, indicated with asterisks*, so as not to adversely impact their career prospects. Several spoke positively of Lockheed.

“It’s probably what most engineers, especially in mechanical and aerospace who want to go into defense prospects, aspire to,” says Sam*, who graduated with a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering in December 2021. “They’re one of the biggest defense contractors in this country, so you have the opportunity to work on very state-of-the-art technology.”

Other students believe putting their skills to military use is unethical.

Alan*, a December 2021 graduate in electrical engineering at the University of West Florida who is currently job-hunting while living with his parents, says he’s not looking at defense contractors and is instead holding out for a position that allows him to leave the Earth better than he found it. “When it comes to engineering, we do have a responsibility,” he says. “Every tool can be a weapon. … I don’t really feel like I need to be putting my gifts to make more bombs.”

Located near the world’s largest Air Force base in the Florida panhandle, the University of West Florida regularly hosts recruiters from the defense industry, including Lockheed. Alan says companies like Lockheed set up tables in student buildings to recruit in the hallways.

“I just walked past those tables,” he says, “but sometimes they’ll call you over. It’s kind of like going to the mall, and people want you to try their soap. It’s kind of annoying, but I get that they always need new people.”

Our investigation found this unfettered recruiting access to be part of a deeper and growing enmeshment between universities and the defense industry.

Decades of state disinvestment in public higher education have converged with a growing emphasis on sponsored research, and in an era of ballooning student debt, the billions in annual defense spending prop up university budgets and subsidize student educations. The result is that many college STEM programs around the country have become pipelines for weapons contractors……………………………….

Cameron Davis, who graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s in computer engineering in 2021, says, “A lot of people that I talk to aren’t 100% comfortable working on defense contracts, working on things that are basically going to kill people.” But, he adds, the lucrative pay of defense contractors “drives a lot of your moral disagreements with defense away.”

In 2019 and 2021, Lockheed was the university’s largest alumni employer, and the company has been one of Georgia Tech’s most frequent job interviewers since at least 2002.

“Even in my field — which isn’t even as defense-adjacent as aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering — companies like Raytheon will have dedicated programs to recruit people,” says Davis. “I’ve been in line with other companies at a career fair and defense contractors literally walk up to me in line and be like, ‘Hey, do you want to talk about helicopters or something?’”

“The corporate presence at Georgia Tech is a little bit overwhelming at times,”……………………………………….

THE MILITARY’S STUDENT RESEARCHERS

Clifford Conner recalls his freshman year at Georgia Tech, in 1959, when the school was still segregated. He studied experimental psychology. When graduation approached, his professors — who also worked in the Lockheed Corporation’s Marietta office just north of Atlanta — said they could help him get a job at Lockheed. Conner accepted.

His work on the wing design of the C-5 Galaxy, then the largest military cargo plane in the world, took him to England, where he began reading a lot about the war in Vietnam. “I wasn’t under the spell of the American press,” Conner says. After a few years with Lockheed, he quit and joined the antiwar movement.

It took him another year to find a job at about a third of the salary he was making at Lockheed.

Conner went on to become a historian of science and a professor at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. His most recent book, The Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump (2020), explores how the STEM fields have moved away from improving the human condition to advancing corporate and defense interests. He writes about the Bayh-Dole Act, which removed public-licensing restrictions in 1980 and “opened the floodgates to corporate investors seeking monopoly ownership of innovative technology.” The law allowed universities and nonprofits to file patents on projects funded with federal money, from weapons to pharmaceuticals. The rationale was to encourage commercial collaboration and underscore the idea that federally funded inventions should be used to support a free-market system.

“After the Bayh-Dole Act, the lines between corporate, university and government research were all blurred,” Conner tells In These Times.

Conner went on to become a historian of science and a professor at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. His most recent book, The Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump (2020), explores how the STEM fields have moved away from improving the human condition to advancing corporate and defense interests. He writes about the Bayh-Dole Act, which removed public-licensing restrictions in 1980 and “opened the floodgates to corporate investors seeking monopoly ownership of innovative technology.” The law allowed universities and nonprofits to file patents on projects funded with federal money, from weapons to pharmaceuticals. The rationale was to encourage commercial collaboration and underscore the idea that federally funded inventions should be used to support a free-market system.

“After the Bayh-Dole Act, the lines between corporate, university and government research were all blurred,” Conner tells In These Times.

Georgia Tech’s applied research division, known as the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), now has four laboratories directly on Lockheed’s aeronautics campus in Marietta……………………………………

 publicly available CVs, résumés and job listings for student researchers at GTRI explicitly detail work on weapons technology……………………………

Unlike Europe, the United States does not provide universities with general funding to support basic research, or “research for the sake of research.” A 2019 analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for example, notes, “on average, one-third of R…D in OECD countries” is funded by “government block grants used at the discretion of higher education institutions” — but the United States does not have the same mechanism.

U.S. appropriations to public higher education, meanwhile, have declined significantly in the past two decades, while the research environment has seen universities performing an ever-larger share of the nation’s technology research. The Defense Department has been the third-largest source of federal research and development funding to universities for decades (after the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation).

But universities also seek out private-sector money to fund research directly, and the defense sector has been a willing donor.

In recent years, Lockheed has partnered with a network of more than 100 universities to advance hypersonics technology — weapons traveling so fast they’re undetectable by radar — and signed master research agreements for multi-year collaborations with Purdue, Texas A…M and Notre Dame in 2021.

While delivering technological innovations to defense companies, these partnerships also double as employment pipelines. The University of Colorado Boulder has collaborated on space systems with Lockheed for nearly two decades. In a statement on the university’s website, one Lockheed executive (and school alum) writes, “Lockheed Martin employs about 56,000 engineers and technicians, 35% of which could retire in the next few years. We must keep up a ‘talent pipeline’ to fill this pending gap: currently, our major source of talent is CU-Boulder.”

SADDLED WITH DEBT

Nearly half of the nation’s discretionary budget goes toward military spending; of that money, one-third to one-half goes to private contractors, according to a 2021 analysis by military researcher William Hartung for Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

Today, 46 million Americans hold student debt totaling $1.7 trillion, which is the projected lifetime cost to U.S. taxpayers of Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jet program — the most expensive weapon system ever built………….

Lockheed is among a growing number of companies that offer student loan assistance to its employees. The company’s Invest In Me program offers incoming graduates a $150 monthly cash bonus for five years and a student loan refinancing program. Every year, Lockheed awards $10,000 scholarships to 200 students that may be renewed up to three times for a potential $40,000. Lockheed also lists 61 universities participating in its STEM scholarship program, projected to invest a minimum of $30 million over five years as part of a larger $460 million education and innovation initiative using gains from Trump’s 2017 corporate tax cuts.

In a 2015 survey by American Student Assistance, 53% of respondents said student debt was either a “deciding factor” or had a “considerable impact” on their career choice.

“Pushing people into higher education has been our labor policy,” explains Astra Taylor, a writer, filmmaker and co-founder of the Debt Collective, a debtors’ union with roots in Occupy Wall Street. “You’re indebting yourself for the privilege of being hired, and it gives companies this economic power because then they can say, ‘We can help relieve some of the economic pain that you’ve incurred to make yourself appealing to us.’”

Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Boeing all provide some form of student aid, such as scholarships and tuition reimbursement.

DIVERSIFYING WEAPONS MAKING

The private defense sector targets much of its financial support toward historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and students from minority groups as part of stated efforts toward workforce diversity and promoting STEM jobs among a demographic that is critically underrepresented in STEM fields. Lockheed’s website and annual report note that minority groups are the “fastest-growing segment in the labor market” and that recruitment through “internships, early talent identification, outlying educational programs, co-ops, apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships” is integral to building diverse employee pipelines.

This trend stirs up old controversies around military recruiting in communities of color.

 The Army has long targeted minority-majority high schools and HBCUs with its Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs and scholarships, to the extent that critics refer to it as a school-to-soldier pipeline. Without enlisting and the ensuing funding, many students wouldn’t receive a higher education. According to a 2016 report from the Brookings Institution, Black students hold an average of $7,400 more in student debt than their white counterparts upon graduating — a gap that widens to nearly $25,000 four years later. The Army leverages students’ predicaments to meet its recruiting goals.

Regardless, “the racial implications” of U.S. military actions “are hard to evade,” civil rights activist and Rep. John R. Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said at the outset of the Iraq War in 2003. “Would this be happening to [the Iraqis] if they were not nonwhite?” A Gallup poll at the time found 7 in 10 Black Americans opposed the war, while 8 in 10 white Americans favored it.

……………………………… Lockheed has started STEM education and recruiting initiatives at 20 minority serving institutions (MSIs), including 16 HBCUs. Of Lockheed’s 2021 scholarship recipients, 60% identified with a minority racial or ethnic group. In the 2020 to 2021 academic year, more than 40% of Lockheed’s early-career hires identified as people of color, with 450 coming from MSIs.

“Students who work in these spaces don’t know the gravity — are systematically made ignorant of the gravity — of participating in these systems,” says Myers……………………………………..

“You said that the CEO was an advocate for women and minorities,” a student organizer says during a recruitment presentation. “How does she maintain that role as head of a company that produces weapons which bomb and kill women and children in places like Palestine, Yemen, Libya and the Middle East?”

The recruiter responds: “I have no idea.”

MONEY TALKS

Ultimately, Lockheed’s deep reach into higher education reflects national priorities.

Since 9/11, the United States has spent $8 trillion on war. In 2020, for the first time, federal funding to Lockheed surpassed that of the U.S. Department of Education, the federal agency tasked with dispensing scholarships and Pell grants. Biden requested $813 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2023, which includes the largest-ever allocation for research and development.

“Of course it’s the defense industries that have the ability to offer these favorable terms to people, because they’re also parasites on the public purse,” Astra Taylor says. “If these students weren’t worried about the cost of college, would they be as apt to take a job at a defense contractor versus doing something else in their community?”

Conner doesn’t fault students for taking jobs in the defense industry. “[They] realize that if they’re going to get a job when they graduate, it’s going to be at one of these places. And they can protest all they want, but they’ve got to be the spearpoint of a larger protest that involves the whole society.”

https://www.rsn.org/001/inside-lockheed-martins-sweeping-recruitment-on-college-campuses.html

August 14, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Education, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine and its Western backers should be held accountable for the ‘suicidal’ attack on Europe’s largest nuclear powerplant

The US secretary of state hoped to make Russia look like a ‘nuclear terrorist’. Instead, he implicated himself

Even as UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed survivors of the World War Two US atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, halfway around the world, the armed forces of Ukraine seemed hellbent on unleashing a modern-day nuclear holocaust on Europe by firing artillery rockets at the Zaporozhye power plant. 

This week’s assault, which damaged safety equipment and disrupted power to the facility, the continent’s largest, was characterized by Guterres as “suicidal.”

Kiev was quick to blame Russia for the attacks, accusing Moscow of conducting “nuclear terrorism,” and calling for the international community to send in a delegation of “international peacekeepers” to “completely demilitarize the territory.”

The Zaporozhye nuclear facility has been under the physical control of Russia since its forces occupied the site back in March. Since then, the plant has been operated by Ukrainian technicians working under the supervision of Russian atomic energy experts. The facility contains six nuclear reactors which, before the start of the military operation, generated approximately one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity. Three of these reactors ceased operation after the Russians took control the site, and another one was forced to shut down after the facility was shelled on August 5. The two remaining reactors were likewise compelled to reduce their output to half as a safety precaution.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, declared that Russian forces were attempting to cause electricity blackouts in southern Ukraine by shelling the plant. The Ukrainian state nuclear agency, Energoatom, has accused the Russian military of placing explosives throughout the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, which would be detonated in the event of a Ukrainian counterattack which threatened to capture the facility. The Ukrainian military has also accused Russia of placing military equipment, including ammunition, in buildings located near the nuclear reactors.

The only problem with the Ukrainian narrative is that, simply put, none of it is true. The August 5 attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility was carried out by artillery rockets whose impact characteristics point clearly to having originated from Ukrainian controlled territory. Moreover, Russian air defense and counter-battery radars situated in the vicinity of the plant would have detected the ballistic trajectory of the incoming rockets, providing unimpeachable evidence of the origin of the attack. So, too, would have US and NATO intelligence collection platforms operating over and around Ukraine. And, given the propaganda victory that could be achieved by releasing such evidence, one can rest assured that the US would very much take full advantage of any scenario which would reproduce the release of U-2 imagery during the Cuban missile crisis, or the release of the audio tapes of the Soviet fighter pilot downing KAL 007…………………………….

The Ukrainian attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility was, in typical Orwellian fashion, forecasted by the United States four days before it took place. During an August 1 news conference at the United Nations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of using the nuclear facility as a base from which it conducted artillery strikes against Ukraine. Blinken declared that the act of firing artillery rockets from proximity to the nuclear power plant was “the height of irresponsibility,” implying that these rockets could land on the power plant itself. Blinken also added that the Russians were using the nuclear facility as a “nuclear shield” which prevented any Ukrainian attack out of fear of striking the nuclear reactors.

Blinken’s brazen parroting of Ukrainian government talking points was made more absurd by the absolute dearth of evidence to back up his powerful pronouncements. Normally, when someone of the stature of the Secretary of State speaks in such a public manner about issues of this importance, there is some intelligence information that is released – for instance, overhead imagery showing Russian troop locations near the Zaporozhye nuclear plant – to sustain the allegation. No such data was provided, however, because Blinken had ceased functioning as the head of the American diplomatic service, and instead was functioning as little more than a Ukrainian propagandist.

For its part, Russia has made it clear that there were no Russian forces located in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye nuclear facility save for a small contingent of troops for security purposes (it is, after all, an active nuclear power plant.) Again, while Russia can clearly provide overhead imagery of its force disposition in the vicinity of the plant, operational security precludes it from doing so. It is, after all, the job of the accuser to provide the evidence of a crime, not the accused.

Blinken’s August 1 statement served as the initiation of a public relations campaign which culminated in the Ukrainian artillery attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility. The goal of this campaign appears to be twofold – first, to put Russia in a bad light, and second, to allow Ukraine to accomplish that which it could not achieve through military force – the eviction of Russian troops from Zaporozhye. The calls for international intervention emanating from the West point to a concerted effort in promoting a pro-Ukrainian narrative even when all parties know the underlying facts sustaining this narrative are not true. To counteract that, Russia has extended its own invitation to IAEA monitors to visit the powerplant and summoned a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation.

This is far more serious than simply another information warfare campaign gone bad. While the Zaporozhye nuclear facility is constructed to standards which would be able to survive a direct hit from an artillery rocket, the disruption of power and/or damage to safety equipment could lead to the kind of runaway event that preceded the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Russian Defense Ministry noted that the Ukrainian attack on the power plant had caused a power surge which triggered an emergency shutdown. The head of the Ukrainian company operating the plant further noted that all but one power line connecting it to Ukraine’s energy system had been destroyed, declaring that any power blackout could be “very unsafe for such a nuclear facility.”

Secretary-General Guterres rightly called the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility “suicidal.” However, the “nuclear terrorists” involved in this atrocity do not hail from Moscow, but rather Washington and Kiev. When the dust from Russia’s military operation finally settles, and those responsible for perpetrating crimes such as the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility can be held accountable, Tony Blinken’s name should, if there were any justice in this world, be at the top of this list. 
 https://www.rt.com/russia/560561-ukraine-nuclear-powerplant-attack/

August 9, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Only 30% of the Weapons Are Even Making it to the Frontlines

all the people with their snouts in the trough are stealing billions of dollars of Western tax money.

the attention of the spook agencies, the politicians and the media will zero in on where there is the most money to be made stealing from the public coffers. Is there money to be made sending money to Taiwan for defense against China and stealing 70% of it with the help of local corrupt officials?

the attention of the spook agencies, the politicians and the media will zero in on where there is the most money to be made stealing from the public coffers. Is there money to be made sending money to Taiwan for defense against China and stealing 70% of it with the help of local corrupt officials?


 https://roloslavskiy.substack.com/p/only-30-of-the-weapons-are-even-making Rolo Slavskiy 8 Aug 22,

The new CBS documentary “arming Ukraine”, explores why much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the US is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines.

We talked about the topic of arms deliveries on the blog before.

There is a constant stream of videos coming out on Telegram of Ukrainian troops complaining that they have no weapons or have inferior weapons and that wages are going unpaid.

We were left with a dilemma last time: how do we square this with the information we have about billions of dollars being sent to arm the Ukrainian army?

Well, now we have yet more proof that indicates that the money is being stolen and the weapons being resold somewhere else.

Andrew Anglin thinks that the money could be being sent to arm terrorists in Europe.

He might be right and I’ve entertained similar ideas.

The key takeaway here for us though is that the West + Ukraine is too corrupt to fight an honest war against a peer or near-peer opponent. Stealing 70% of a war arsenal paid for by the Western taxpayers is a level of graft that makes winning wars impossible. I wrote an article musing that this war is bleeding the West dry and wondering whether or not the West was getting enough bang for its buck (dead slavs) for the obscene amounts of money they were spending and the damage that they were inflicting on their own countries with the sanctions

But a lot more money appears to be unaccounted for, or at least, not being put to use for the purpose that it was supposedly allocated for. It would be interesting to see an analysis, any analysis really, of the funds and the weapons to see where they actually ended up. More and more though, it seems that we have an Afghanistan 2.0 on our hands where Western taxpayer money is sent over in crate-loads, but very little of it actually seems to go towards either the war effort or state-construction or anything related to the supposed mission objectives.

I left the questions somewhat in the air then, but I’m going to have to revise that analysis now.

Put simply: the war is indeed bleeding the West dry.

Ukraine was supposed to be a quagmire for Russia, but it appears that it has become a quagmire for the West instead. The West, could, in theory, pull out of the Ukraine, which Russia cannot do, but the political will has to be there for that. The spook agencies are making a lot of money on this, as are their friends in the military industrial complex and the politicians and oligarchs who now have access to the Ukraine weapon slush fund. The media has whipped up a moral panic over Ukraine, making it difficult for the peasants to voice opposition to it, providing cover for the looting operation. Why the Deep State would put down this cash cow when the milk is flowing so abundantly is beyond me. There are no adults who care about balanced budgets and the national interests of Western states anymore. It’s all just non-stop looting and graft.

Ukraine, however, does appear to be fading out of the news cycle at the time of this writing. Zelensky’s view count is way down, as an example. He released a video a day ago about the Russians trying to cause a Chernobyl by firing at a nuclear plant that has only gathered 8500 Western audience views at the time of this writing:

This all indicates to me that the Western public is losing its enthusiasm and interest in this war and that perhaps the Ukraine psy-op won’t be renewed for another season.

So, on the one hand, ..They’re also damaging Russia, their Authoritarian mortal enemy. All opposition to this war has effectively become banned. All this seems to indicate that the West will continue its Ukraine operation.

On the other hand, enthusiasm and interest has dwindled to a trickle. I see this reflected in my own articles and other Russia bloggers’, as people are no doubt talking about monkeypox and COVID and the midterms and other topics now. Furthermore, the Pelosi stunt in Taiwan put the spotlight on China again.

I don’t know what to make of it all, but my gut instinct tells me that the attention of the spook agencies, the politicians and the media will zero in on where there is the most money to be made stealing from the public coffers. Is there money to be made sending money to Taiwan for defense against China and stealing 70% of it with the help of local corrupt officials? Sure.

But, Ukraine is quite unique in its ability to achieve new heights of excellence and innovation in the field of organized graft. The entire spook apparatus, government and military is completely committed to looting as much as possible and the West would be sad to see such a lucrative money-laundering operation go under.

Russia would no doubt liked to have knocked out Ukraine in the early days of the war with its push on Kiev and prepared covert operation, but, despite that failure, the unexpected runner-up prize of bleeding the West dry is starting to look quite good as well.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, spinbuster, Ukraine | Leave a comment

It’s all about public perception. Can the crooked nuclear industry convince the world?

Nuclear power is on the brink of a $1 trillion resurgence, but one accident anywhere could stop that momentum.

Demand for advanced nuclear reactors will be worth about $1 trillion globally, according to Secretary Granholm, at the Department of Energy.

 “The IAEA has moved quite fast
from almost an intruder into a very welcomed participant in this
dialogue” about decarbonizing the energy grid, said Rafael Grossi, the
director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. But that
momentum depends on international cooperation around safety and best
practices. “The issue how nuclear industry works and is perceived
globally, any accident anywhere is an accident everywhere,” said Hamad Al
Kaabi, the United Arab Emirates’ representative to the IAEA.

 CNBC 3rd Aug 2022

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/03/nuclear-energy-growing-popularity-could-be-undone-by-one-accident.html

August 5, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

To join UK’s Nuclear Waste ‘Community Partnership’ one must be required to have a ‘commitment to exploring development’ of an ocean nuclear waste dump

Assertions are being made we were invited to join the community
partnership. This is not the case. When the announcement was made we were
sent the same press release that went out to the media. In short, it
announced that the, so called partnership, had been formed and that NWS was
recruiting members. Hardly an invitation.

We investigated further and found this at the top of the personal qualities required of members. Commitment
to exploring the possibility of the development of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in the identified Search Area, according to the requirements of the Working With Communities Policy.

GOTEC 17th July 2022

https://www.gotec.org.uk/post/gotec-has-not-been-invited-to-join-the-community-partnership

August 1, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

The Anti-China Brainwashing Is Working: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Caitlin Johnstone 2 Aug 22, If someone criticizing the most dangerous agendas of the most powerful and destructive government on earth looks like “Russian propaganda” or “Chinese propaganda” to you, it’s because you yourself have been brainwashed by propaganda.

The western propaganda campaign against China is succeeding, even among many who consider themselves anti-war or critical of establishment power. Whatever sick future agendas they’re manufacturing consent for, they’ll be able to roll right on out. People’s brains are turning to soup.

The best case scenario for Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit — the absolute best case — is that it ratchets up cold war tensions with China that threaten us all and benefit ordinary people in no way. The worst case scenario is as bad as anything you can possibly imagine.

So why are we being told that it’s still happening? Well, as Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reminded us a few months ago, one major factor is that it facilitates US military expansionism geared toward encirclement strategies against China.

“The United States no longer sees Taiwan as a ‘problem’ in our relations with China, we see it as an opportunity to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Raymond Greene, the deputy director of the de facto US embassy in Taipei, said last year.

Imagine if the Democratic Party fought against Republicans as hard as they fight against world peace……..

Taiwan is a US military asset, not a US ally. That’s a very significant difference that everyone, especially the Taiwanese, would do well to keep in mind………

It’s a safe bet that a minority of Americans could find Taiwan on a map, and that of these the overwhelming majority believe it’s just some island nation that China randomly decided it hates…….

There needs to be a major war every generation or two, otherwise peace becomes normalized and becomes the expectation. If you allow that to happen then war begins to stand out against expected norms like the freakish abomination that it is, and militarism looks insane.

They use propaganda to facilitate war, but they also use war to facilitate propaganda. Keeping the wars going helps the propaganda machine spin war as something normal and expected and to be continuously prepared for. It acts as an immunosuppressant against the public’s natural, healthy rejection of war. The more normalized war becomes, the more suppressed our collective immune system’s rejection of it becomes.

War is the absolute worst thing in the world. It’s the most insane thing humans do. The most destructive. The least sustainable. The most conducive to human suffering. Only by very aggressive narrative management can the public be dissuaded from insisting on peace…………………..

Westerners are only encouraged to contemplate the horrors of war when it is someone else’s war.
   https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-anti-china-brainwashing-is-working?r=19f8t&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=direct

August 1, 2022 Posted by | media, politics international, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Rolls Royce hyping up risky and unproven small nuclear reactors

The seeds of a recovery are in place. The company’s nascent small
modular nuclear reactor operation is hugely promising. They can be built
for a fraction of the cost [ed -this is a dubious claim] and are much quicker to assemble. The Government
has thrown its weight behind the technology with £210m of grants. Yet the
project will require four new factories to be built and the first reactor
isn’t expected until 2029. There are high hopes, too, for a move into
electric powered planes and clean fuel. With a cutting edge in combustion
engines that burn hydrogen or artificial fuels, the real elephant in the
room for Rolls is decarbonisation. Yet, the newer technologies it is
pouring money into are risky and unproven.

 Telegraph 27th July 2022

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/07/27/rolls-royce-existential-crisis-new-unknown-b

July 25, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Busting the poorly informed pro-nuclear hype of Spectator Australia.

Today I encountered, for the first time the magazine “Spectator Australia”. I was drawn to it by the tantalising title of its article (25/7/22) “Politicians destroy nuclear when the world needs it most.”, by Alan Moran. The main message of the article seems to be that the stringent safety regulations are an unnecessary handicap to the nuclear industry, and cause unnecessary costs.

I was tempted to check on what sort of a magazine ”Spectator Australia” is. Crikey reported that :

The Spectator presents a stridently — often rabidly — ideological conservative perspective on Australian politics and society. ”

Much earlier, The Guardian reported on its British parent:

The magazine cleaves to a purple-faced, right-wing, pro-fox-hunting, climate-change-denying, insidiously Islamophobic worldview” 

Ah well – that helps to explain this article. Here are just a few of my reflections on the article:

Nuclear power is reliable and safe” – as long as you don’t count Mayak, Santa Susanna, Church Rock, Chornobyl, submarine accidents, Windscale. Three Mile Island, Tokaimura, Fukushima …

“Deaths related to the industry are small” – yeah, when you don’t count the deaths caused by persuisten exposure to radiation – especially amongst nuclear workers. Later-developing cancers are not as newsworthy as sudden accidental deaths.
”Demonisation”, presumably by fanatic anti-nuclear people , has caused the downfall of the nuclear industry? Well, well – I had no idea that we were so effective. I thought that it was caused by the unaffordable costs. the intractaible waste problem, the nuclear weapons proliferation problem.

“risk aversiveness to whatever safety problems there may be” – that phrase speaks volumes – this mansplaining macho author isn’t even interested in knowing about risks!

Costs? Well the Fin Review and CSIRO don’t agree with this author https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/nuclear-energy-too-expensive-to-replace-fossil-fuels-20220711-p5b0pd 

He quotes France – does he not know that France is in one hell of a pickle – nationalising the industry, shutting down reactors because of the heat, and the corrosion?

UK – he quotes Rishi Sunak – as Chancellor Sunak advised Boris against the big nuclear spend ! This article is a load of ignorant poppycock!

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’

FAIR, JOSHUA CHO, 21 July 22 ‘‘………………………………. To say Ukraine is “filled” with Nazis is an obvious exaggeration, although even a relatively small number of Nazis has wielded disproportionate influence in the Ukrainian government (Kyiv Post3/26/19Euronews8/4/21). Nevertheless, FAIR (3/7/141/15/221/28/222/23/22) has covered the Western media’s denial of the far-right’s role in the Ukrainian 2014 coup, as well as their complicity in amplifying Ukrainian neo-Nazi publicity stunts during the war. 

But if it’s true that falsely associating a government with Nazism is a manipulation worthy of condemnation, how then should one judge Western media efforts to tie Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler?

FAIR (3/30/22) has previously noted how evidence-free caricatures in Western media of Putin as irrational (and perhaps psychotic) make diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis seem pointless. Tracing a connection between Putin and Hitler is an even more insidious attempt to make the idea of a negotiated end to the war seem like a moral outrage……………………………………………..

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law, condemned by 141 out of 193 countries in a UN General Assembly vote. But claims that Russia is committing genocide—a charge that carries automatic repercussions under international law—have to reckon with the comparison between the Ukraine invasion and the largest US military operation of the 21st century, the Iraq War. The UN’s count of civilian deaths in the first four months of Russia’s war was 4,677; the tally in the first four months of Iraq, according to Iraq Body Count, a project that monitored press accounts of civilian casualties, was 8,576

Both numbers are horrific, and each surely underestimates the true civilian toll of these wars. But if Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine, what was the US doing in Iraq?

“I know it’s hard…to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,” a US Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told Newsweek (3/22/22). “But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians.”

If one genuinely wants to compare Putin’s brutality to Hitler’s, one has to look at the actual civilian toll of World War II. In the European theater alone, tens of  millions of civilians were killed; some 14 million of these deaths were inflicted in the Soviet Union, which comprised both Russia and Ukraine. When you assert that the enemy of the day is as bad as Hitler, you’re also asserting that Hitler is no worse than the enemy of the day……………………………………

Diplomacy = ‘appeasement’

One inevitable feature of these Hitler comparisons is frequent reference to “appeasement” when reporting on the US’s dealings with foreign leaders. This presents any attempt at diplomatic negotiations with foreign leaders opposed by the US as a misguided or unprincipled effort to placate an irrational or evil dictator bent on expansionist conquest. ……………………………….

This is a false dichotomy. Although establishment Western pundits and officials like to claim that the Russian invasion was “unprovoked,” FAIR (1/28/223/4/22) has pointed out that this self-serving narrative omits a record of conscious provocations against Russia via NATO expansion towards Russian borders, in violation of promises made to Soviet reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. …………………

Accusations of “appeasing” Russia or Putin have been raised towards influential Western officials who have either engaged in diplomacy or advocated de-escalation through negotiations.  Zelenskyy has made contradictory remarks throughout the conflict, arguing that diplomacy is the only way to end the war, while also advocating for escalation through more NATO military support and setting up a “no-fly-zone.”…………………………………………..

The cost of ‘appeasement’ charges

The hyperbolic comparisons between Russia and Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, as well as constant accusations that anyone who attempts to negotiate with Russia for a peaceful end to the war is engaged in “appeasement,” have cost the world opportunities to de-escalate. The Biden administration has not encouraged the Ukrainian government to engage in serious negotiations with Russia (Jacobin5/30/22)………………..

The extreme caricatures of Putin as equal to or worse than Hitler are setting up Ukraine and the world for a grim fate. A BBC report (6/20/22) last month featured NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urging the West to “prepare to continue supporting Ukraine in a war lasting for years,” while the head of the British Army, Gen. Patrick Sanders, asserted that the “UK and allies needed to be capable of winning a ground war with Russia.” The frequent Nazi comparisons and Munich references made by Western media paint those who would prefer a negotiated settlement to years of bloodshed, the risk of World War III and nuclear war as “appeasers” of a Hitlerian dictator with genocidal ambitions.  https://fair.org/slider/calling-putin-hitler-to-smear-diplomacy-as-appeasement/

July 22, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, psychology and culture, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Greenpeace investigation challenges nuclear agency on Chornobyl radiation levels

Greenpeace Germany is concerned that the IAEA is severely compromised in its role on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by its ties to Russia’s nuclear state agency, ROSATOM, including its current IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov, a long term ROSATOM official. 

 https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/54762/greenpeace-investigation-challenges-nuclear-agency-on-chornobyl-radiation-levels20 July 2022 

Kyiv, Ukraine – A Greenpeace Germany investigation team working with Ukrainian scientists at Chornobyl has found radiation levels in areas where Russian military operations occurred to be at least three times higher than the estimation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).[1] In April 2022, the IAEA provided very limited data with assurances that radiation levels were “normal” and not a major environmental or public safety issue.[2] 

The investigation team in Chornobyl also documented that Russian military actions against essential laboratories, databases and radiation monitoring systems have caused severe damage to the scientific infrastructure that was developed with the international scientific community. This includes damage to the lab equipment needed to study the impact of radiation on people and the environment, which threatens the safety of current and future generations.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany said:

“Understanding the complex radiation effects at Chornobyl is essential for the world and that means conducting research and working with international scientists. All of that has been put at risk by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Scientists and workers conducting essential radiation hazard monitoring are now threatened by an unknown number of Russian landmines and anti-personnel explosives. This is one further outrageous legacy of Russia’s illegal war and is a crime against the environment and global science. The IAEA appears reluctant to explain the scale of the radiation hazards at Chornobyl and the impact of the Russian occupation.”

Greenpeace Germany is concerned that the IAEA is severely compromised in its role on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by its ties to Russia’s nuclear state agency, ROSATOM, including its current IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov, a long term ROSATOM official.

Jan Vande Putte, lead radiation specialist at Greenpeace Belgium who also participated in the investigation said:

“We measured levels of gamma radiation inside the abandoned Russian trenches that qualify it as low-level nuclear waste. Clearly the Russian military was operating in a highly radioactive environment, but that’s not what the IAEA is communicating. We can only conclude that the IAEA for some reason decided not to make an effort to fully investigate. It’s clear from our survey that there is nothing normal about the radiation levels inside the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, despite what the IAEA wants the world to believe.” 

Essential to Greenpeace Germany’s investigation was a satellite analysis report commissioned from UK based McKenzie Intelligence Services (MIS) which showed the location of Russian military operations during February and March 2022. Expert military analysis of multispectral imagery from the Sentinel 2 constellation satellite and NASA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite identified fires in the exclusion zone which McKenzie concluded was set deliberately by the Russian military.[3]

July 19, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The Biggest Lie The Hawks Ever Sold: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The most important job of the western media right now is convincing the public that the world’s major powers splitting into two increasingly hostile alliances is probably nothing to worry about.

The Biggest Lie The Hawks Ever Sold: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, Caitlin Johnstone The US is the only nation on earth whose entire economy is built on arms manufacturing and security guarantees to tyrannical Gulf states. It’s not just correct to call the US empire a uniquely evil power structure, it’s correct to say it’s impossible for it not to be.

Saudi Arabia’s destruction of Yemen and proxy warfare in Syria are many thousands of times more evil and horrific than the assassination of one Washington Post columnist, but because the empire is built on that kind of bloodshed it gets far less attention.

Biden continuing the unbroken presidential tradition of courting the Saudis is not a betrayal of US values but a very normal expression of them. You either want the complete dismantlement of the US empire or you don’t. If you don’t, quit bitching about how the sausage gets made.

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans say they will do evil things and then do evil things, while Democrats say they will not do evil things and then do evil things…………..

Current proxy warfare tactics in Ukraine have no chance of delivering a swift defeat to Russia. What they do have is a pretty good chance of creating a costly military quagmire for Russia and a 100 percent certainty of creating massive profits for the arms industry.

The biggest lie the hawks ever sold was that their militaristic policies prevent the problems they actually create. Militarizing against Russia caused this war. The war on terror created terror groups. Continuing the encirclement of China will likely lead to a nasty confrontation there. Etc.

Working to bring down Moscow and Beijing would be a great way to move toward securing unipolar planetary hegemony while simultaneously unleashing the kind of worldwide economic chaos and desperation that shock doctrine capitalism engineers have heretofore only ever dreamed of.

At the end of this clip Bolton cites “classified information” as the reason he won’t name the other US coups he’s helped orchestrate, calling to mind when Assange said “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security”:

The most important job of the western media right now is convincing the public that the world’s major powers splitting into two increasingly hostile alliances is probably nothing to worry about. ………………. https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-biggest-lie-the-hawks-ever-sold?r=3pc89&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

July 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Would you trust nuclear environmental research funded by the USA Department of Energy? (I wouldn’t)

UW researchers to study potential environmental injustices surrounding nuclear development at Kemmerer, Wyoming Public Radio | By Caitlin Tan, July 6, 2022 

As Wyoming sets its sights on nuclear development, a team of University of Wyoming researchers will study how one project impacts environmental justice.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the team an $800,000 grant to span the course of three years. This is the first time the DOE is funding a study that looks at how nuclear energy affects environmental justice. The grant will focus on these effects on the TerraPower nuclear project in Kemmerer. The goal is to take a proactive approach and identify potential environmental injustices before they happen.

Lead researcher Rachael Budowle said environmental justice means that specific populations should not experience inequalities because of development – this can include things like, water and air quality, and even access to economic opportunities.

“So, nuclear energy in particular, has historically presented a range of social, environmental and ethical challenges that also warrant exploration, around public perception, safety, trust, and industry and government responsibility for waste and accidents,” Budowle said.

Lead researcher Rachael Budowle said environmental justice means that specific populations should not experience inequalities because of development – this can include things like, water and air quality, and even access to economic opportunities.

“So, nuclear energy in particular, has historically presented a range of social, environmental and ethical challenges that also warrant exploration, around public perception, safety, trust, and industry and government responsibility for waste and accidents,” Budowle said………..

In the second year, researchers will interview a wide range of stakeholders and then provide recommendations to the state and TerraPower.  https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/natural-resources-energy/2022-07-06/uw-researchers-to-study-potential-environmental-injustices-surrounding-nuclear-development-at-kemmerer

July 7, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Military social media campaigns promote the war in Ukraine, and attack any ”wrongthink” that dares criticise role of USA and NATO

Ukraine Is The Most Aggressively Trolled War Of All Time: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin’s Newsletter, 1 July 22,

There’s a lot going on in America and the people are very stressed out and frightened, but don’t worry, there’s nothing the US government won’t do to make sure more High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems get to Ukraine.

Rest assured Americans: no matter how dark things may seem right now, no matter how insecure and uncertain you may feel, you can sleep soundly knowing your government is moving mountains around the clock to make sure the Ukraine war becomes a strategic quagmire for Moscow.

The Ukraine war is the single most aggressively trolled issue I’ve ever witnessed. As soon as it started, Twitter was full of brand new accounts swarming anyone who uttered wrongthink about Ukraine, and now there are entire extremely coordinated troll factions working to scare people away from criticizing empire narratives about this war. It’s plainly very inorganic, so it’s good to recall what we know about the trolling operations of western militaries.

[Ed. note – several examples given here]

So the western empire is responding to a war that was caused by NATO expansion by greatly expanding NATO, at the same time we learn that the Biden administration doesn’t even believe Ukraine has any chance of winning that war. This is going great, guys. Good job everyone.

Sure the worst case scenario of all this brinkmanship with Russia is nuclear war, but on the other hand the best case scenario is securing planetary domination for an empire that has spent the 21st century killing people by the millions in wars of aggression for power and profit. Totally worth the risk!

When you realize the US really only has one political party, you cease seeing one good party protecting people from a bad party and start seeing one giant party threatening to take away people’s civil rights if they don’t obey and submit. You suddenly understand that saying one party is a “lesser evil” is like saying a boxer should want to get hit by his opponent’s left hand because his right cross hurts more. It’s two arms on the same boxer, and they’re both working together to knock you out…………….. https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/ukraine-is-the-most-aggressively?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

July 2, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

ELON MUSK IS NOT A RENEGADE OUTSIDER – HE’S A MASSIVE PENTAGON CONTRACTOR

while the 50-year-old businessman presents himself as a maverick science genius – an act that has garnered him legions of fans around the world – a closer inspection of his career shows he earned his fortune in a much more orthodox manner. First by being born rich, then by striking it big as a dot-com billionaire, and finally, like so many others, by feeding from the enormous government trough.

Perhaps more seriously though, SpaceX’s close proximity to both the military and the national security state marks it out as a key cog in the machine of U.S. empire, allowing Washington to spy, bomb or coup whoever it wants.

ALAN MACLEOD, Mint Press News, MAY 31ST, 2022 ”………………………………………….. Musk has deliberately cultivated this image of himself: a real life Tony Stark figure who thinks for himself and is not part of the established order. But behind this carefully constructed façade, Musk is intimately connected to the U.S. national security state, serving as one of its most important business partners. Elon, in short, is no threat to the powerful, entrenched elite: he is one of them.

TO UKRAINE, WITH LOVE

Musk, whose estimated $230 billion fortune is more than twice the gross domestic product of Ukraine, has garnered a great deal of positive publicity for donating thousands of Starlink terminals to the country, helping its people come back online after fighting downed the internet in much of the country. Starlink is an internet service allowing those with terminals to connect to one of over 2,400 small satellites in low Earth orbit. Many of these satellites were launched by Musk’s SpaceX technologies company.

However, it soon transpired that there is far more than meets the eye with Musk’s extraordinary “donation.” In fact, the U.S. government quietly paid SpaceX top dollar to send their inventory to the warzone. USAID – a government anti-insurgency agency that has regularly functioned as a regime-change organization – is known to have put up the cash to purchase and deliver at least 1,330 of the terminals.

Starlink is not a mass-market solution. Each terminal – which is, in effect, a tiny, portable satellite dish – has a markedly limited range, and is useful only in hyper-local situations. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, estimated that the 10,000 Starlink terminals were allowing around 150,000 people to stay online.

Such a small number of people using the devices raises eyebrows. Who is important enough to be given such a device? Surely only high-value individuals such as spies or military operatives. That the Starlinks are serving a military purpose is now beyond clear. Indeed, in a matter of weeks, Starlink has become a cornerstone of the Ukrainian military, allowing it to continue to target Russian forces via drones and other high-tech machinery dependent on an internet connection. One official told The Times of London that he “must” use Starlink to target enemy forces via thermal imaging.

Starlink is what changed the war in Ukraine’s favor. Russia went out of its way to blow up all our comms. Now they can’t. Starlink works under Katyusha fire, under artillery fire. It even works in Mariupol,” one Ukrainian soldier told journalist David Patrikarakos.

The reference to Mariupol alludes to the infamous Nazi group, the Azov Battalion, who have also reportedly been using Musk’s technology. Even in a subterranean cavern beneath Mariupol’s steelworks, Azov fighters were able to access the internet and communicate with the outside world, even doing video interviews from underground. In 2015, Congress attempted to add a provision to U.S. military aid to Ukraine stipulating that no support could go to Azov owing to their political ideology. That amendment was later removed at the behest of the Pentagon.

Dave Tremper, Director of Electronic Warfare at the Pentagon, sang SpaceX’s praises. “How they did that [keeping Ukrainian forces online] was eye-watering to me,” he said, adding that in the future the U.S. military “needs to be able to have that agility.”

ROCKETMAN

Such a statement is bound to get the attention of SpaceX chiefs, who have long profited from their lucrative relationship with the U.S. military. SpaceX relies largely on government contracts, there being almost no civilian demand for many of its products, especially its rocket launches.

Musk’s company has been awarded billions of dollars in contracts to launch spy satellites for espionage, drone warfare and other military uses. For example, in 2018, SpaceX was chosen to blast a $500 million Lockheed Martin GPS system into orbit. While Air Force spokesmen played up the civilian benefits of the launch, such as increased accuracy for GPS devices, it is clear that these devices play a key role in global surveillance and ongoing drone wars. SpaceX has also won contracts with the Air Force to deliver its command satellite into orbit, with the Space Development Agency to send tracking devices into space, and with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to launch its spy satellites. These satellites are used by all of the “big five” surveillance agencies, including the CIA and the NSA.

Thus, in today’s world, where so much intelligence gathering and target acquisition is done via satellite technology, SpaceX has become every bit as important to the U.S. war machine as more well-known companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Without Musk’s company, the U.S. would not be able to carry out such an invasive program of spying and drone warfare around the world. Indeed, China is growing increasingly wary of this power, and is being advised to develop anti-satellite technologies to counter SpaceX’s all-seeing eye. Yet Musk himself continues to benefit from a general perception that he is not part of the system.

From its origins in 2002, SpaceX has always been extremely close to the national security state, particularly the CIA. Perhaps the most crucial link is Mike Griffin, who, at the time, was the president and COO of In-Q-Tel, a CIA-funded venture capital firm that seeks to nurture and sponsor new companies that will work with the CIA and other security services, equipping them with cutting edge technology. The “Q” in its name is a reference to “Q” from the James Bond series – a creative inventor who supplies the spy with the latest in futuristic tech………………………..

While at NASA, Griffin brought Musk in for meetings and secured SpaceX’s big break. In 2006, NASA awarded the company a $396 million rocket development contract – a remarkable “gamble” in Griffin’s words, especially as it had never launched a rocket before. As National Geographic put it, SpaceX, “never would have gotten to where it is today without NASA.” And Griffin was essential to this development. Still, by 2008, SpaceX was again in dire straits, with Musk unable to make payroll. The company was saved by an unexpected $1.6 billion NASA contract for commercial cargo services. Thus, from its earliest days, SpaceX was nurtured by government agencies that saw the company as a potentially important source of technology.

NUKING MARS & BACKING COUPS

Like Henry Ford, Musk went into the automobile business, purchasing Tesla Motors in 2004. And also like Henry Ford, he has shared some rather controversial opinions. In 2019, for instance, he suggested that vaporizing Mars’ ice caps via a series of nuclear explosions could warm the planet sufficiently to support human life. If this was done, it would arguably not even be his worst crime against space. During a 2018 publicity stunt, he blasted a Tesla into outer space using a SpaceX rocket. However, he did not sterilize the vehicle before doing so, meaning it was covered in earthly bacteria – microorganisms that will likely be fatal to any alien life they encounter. In essence, the car is a biological weapon that could end life on any planet it encounters.

NUKING MARS & BACKING COUPS

Like Henry Ford, Musk went into the automobile business, purchasing Tesla Motors in 2004. And also like Henry Ford, he has shared some rather controversial opinions. In 2019, for instance, he suggested that vaporizing Mars’ ice caps via a series of nuclear explosions could warm the planet sufficiently to support human life. If this was done, it would arguably not even be his worst crime against space. During a 2018 publicity stunt, he blasted a Tesla into outer space using a SpaceX rocket. However, he did not sterilize the vehicle before doing so, meaning it was covered in earthly bacteria – microorganisms that will likely be fatal to any alien life they encounter. In essence, the car is a biological weapon that could end life on any planet it encounters.

Musk also attracted attention when he appeared to admit that he worked with the U.S. government to overthrow Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2019…………………..  The new government quickly invited Musk for talks. When asked on Twitter point blank whether he was involved in Morales’ ouster, Musk responded, “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”………………………..

WORLD’S RICHEST MAN, FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS

In addition to the billions in government contracts Musk’s companies have secured, they also have received similar numbers in public subsidies and incentives. Chief among these is Tesla, which benefits greatly from complex international rules around electric vehicle production. In a push to reduce carbon emissions, governments around the world have introduced a system of credits for green vehicles, whereby a certain percentage of each manufacturer’s output must be zero-emission vehicles. Tesla only produces electric cars, so easily meets the mark.

However, the system also allows Tesla to sell their excess credits to manufacturers who cannot meet these quotas. In a competitive market where each manufacturer needs to hit certain targets, these credits are worth their weight in gold, and net Tesla billions in profit every year. For example, between 2019 and 2021 alone, Stellantis, which owns the Chrysler, Fiat, Citroen and Peugeot brands, forked out nearly $2.5 billion to acquire Tesla U.S. and European green credits.

This bizarre and self-defeating system goes some way to explaining why Tesla is worth more by market cap than Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Volvo put together, despite not being even a top-15 car manufacturer in terms of units sold.

Musk’s company also received significant government backing in its early stages, receiving a $465 million low-interest loan from the Department of Energy in 2010, at a time when Tesla was on the rocks and its future was in doubt.

Like many giant companies, Tesla is able to play states off against each other, each job-hungry location bidding against the others to give the corporation as much free cash and tax incentives as possible. In 2020, for example, Austin gave Tesla more than $60 million in tax breaks to build a truck plant there.

This, however, was small fry in comparison to some of the deals Musk has signed. The State of New York handed Musk over $750 million, including $350 million in cash, in exchange for building a solar plant outside of Buffalo – a plant that Musk was bound to build somewhere in the United States. Meanwhile, Nevada signed an agreement with Tesla to build its Gigafactory near Reno. The included incentives mean that the car manufacturer could rake in nearly $1.3 billion in tax relief and tax credits. Between 2015 and 2018, Musk himself paid less than $70,000 in federal income taxes.

Therefore, while the 50-year-old businessman presents himself as a maverick science genius – an act that has garnered him legions of fans around the world – a closer inspection of his career shows he earned his fortune in a much more orthodox manner. First by being born rich, then by striking it big as a dot-com billionaire, and finally, like so many others, by feeding from the enormous government trough.

Perhaps more seriously though, SpaceX’s close proximity to both the military and the national security state marks it out as a key cog in the machine of U.S. empire, allowing Washington to spy, bomb or coup whoever it wants.

It is for this reason that so much of the hysteria, both positive and negative, over Musk’s ongoing purchase of Twitter is misplaced. Elon Musk is neither going to save nor destroy Twitter because he is not a crusading rebel challenging the establishment: he is an integral part of it.  https://www.mintpressnews.com/elon-musk-not-renegade-outsider-cia-pentagon-contractor/280972/

June 7, 2022 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Another university infiltrated by the nuclear industry – University of Derby and Rolls Royce

 Rolls-Royce Submarines announced plans recently to open a new academy
dedicated to nuclear training within the city. The academy forms part of
their Rolls-Royce Submarines’ plans to boost nuclear capability in the UK
and create a pipeline for nurturing talent.

In partnership with the
University of Derby, the site will create 200 new apprenticeships every
year for at least the next 10 years. The academy is set to open in
September 2022. The Council’s iHub – managed by Connect Derby – will
become the home of the new academy, taking centre-stage at the
manufacturing-focused innovation and technology site, Infinity Park. Derby City Council

26th May 2022 https://www.derby.gov.uk/news/2022/may/ihub-rolls-royce-nuclear-skills-academy/

May 28, 2022 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment