Connect with us

News

Staged Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria? Why We Need Critical Thinking

Avatar

Published

on

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

I have 20 years experience teaching critical thinking. Today I teach critical thinking at one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, and the rest of the time I travel, teaching critical thinking to students in poor and rich countries around the world. I do this because I believe understanding how to identify fact from fiction is not just helpful – it is essential.

advertisement - learn more

Most would probably agree that critical thinking (being able to separate facts from fiction and thus make informed decisions) is important, but unfortunately this skill is largely missing in the general public.

--> Our Journalism Is Moving - Our investigative journalism and reporting is moving to our new brand called The Pulse. Click here to stay informed.

A Need for Critical Thinking

In 2014, Cambridge International Examinations research revealed that teachers across the globe believe critical thinking is the skill their students most lack when they begin their post-16 courses at school, and 56% of teachers said students were still unable to think critically when they entered university (source).

A 2011 study by sociologists from the New York University and University of Virginia concluded that 45% of students graduated “without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event” (source).

More recently, a 2017 study by MindEdge, an online learning company founded by Harvard and MIT educators, found 44% of college students could not correctly answer 6 of 9 questions designed to gauge their ability to detect fake news (source), and a report by The Wall Street Journal the same year found large groups of college seniors have “basic or below-basic levels” meaning “they can generally read documents and communicate to readers but can’t make a cohesive argument or interpret evidence” (source).

It is easy to focus on the students here, but if the majority of students are unable to critically think at 16 years of age, and are still unable to critically think when they enter or leave university, it follows that parents, teachers and other adults that they regularly come into contact with are also failing to effectively demonstrate how to do so.

advertisement - learn more

That is not all. A report by the Foundation for Young Australians in 2015 found the demand for critical thinking skills in new graduates has risen 158% in 3 years (source) while a 2016 Stanford University report found college students actually performed worse than high school students at distinguishing “between a news story, an ad, and an opinion piece” (source).

This is extremely worrying when we consider that the growing nuclear threat and a lack of trust in political institutions are two main reasons scientists have set the doomsday clock at 2 minutes to midnight for 2018 (source).

The need for students and non-students to understand global events is indeed increasing, while the ability for the general public to act on truth, it seems, is actually declining.

The Ability to Act on Truth

Let us take one of the most important events unfolding in the world right now as an example – missile strikes against the Syrian government.

France (source), the UK (source) and the USA (source) claimed they had evidence that a chemical attack did take place on April 7th in Douma and that it was carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Meanwhile, Russia said this evidence comes only from media reports (source), and presented testimony from two medics who said the video broadcast of survivors being treated for chemical exposure had been faked by intelligence services, with Britain directly involved (source).

Is it possible that media outlets reported on a fake video about a chemical weapons attack that did not even take place so that the US-led coalition could justify attacking the Syrian government?

Critical thinking is the “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement” (source). It is therefore first important to acknowledge any assumptions or conclusions we may already have based on prior conditioning (not facts). For example, a preconceived idea that our governments and media are the good guys and would not lie.

Next is the ability to find fact-based information to investigate the topic or argument to discover what the facts, not assumptions, actually are.

Evidence of Media Manipulation

In 2013 the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released a documentary called Saving Syria’s Children with staged events and fake video footage of an an incendiary bomb attack that featured British doctor Rola Hallam, who not only lied about incendiary bomb victims around her, but also turned out to be the daughter of Syrian rebel supporter, Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi (source).

A similar event took place in 1990 when nurse Nayirah gave testimony that was used to justify bombing Iraq in the Gulf War. It turned out her testimony was also fabricated, and her father was in fact the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington (source).

The U.S. government has certainly been manipulating the media since the 1950s (source), and in 2010 it was made public that the CIA “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network” and has “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories” (source). Modern journalists confirm this (source) and according to former CIA officer Michael Scheuer, the BBC is now one of the first organisations that the CIA goes to when they want to influence the news media (source).

Evidence of Chemical Weapons Attacks

In 2013, PressTV reported on a leaked document revealing a UK-Qatari plot to fund rebels and fake a chemical weapons attack from the Syrian government (source). Later that year, Carla del Ponte, leading an investigation for the U.N., found no evidence Assad had used chemical weapons but strong evidence coalition-supported Syrian rebels had carried out a Sarin nerve gas attack (source).

According to award-winning journalist Ben Swann, as of Feb 2018 there has been no evidence of Assad using any chemical weapons (source), and Professor Theodore Postol at MIT released a 6-page document providing evidence that the White House Intelligence Report from 2013 and 2017 were both blatant fabrications (source).

Postol also reminds us that false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction “led to a US attack on Iraq that started a process that ultimately led to a political disintegration in the Middle East” and only days ago, CNN reported that the US-led coalition in fact proceeded with military action in Syria without having any certainty about the alleged chemical attack (source).

Facts Not Assumptions

The final stage of critical thinking is to be able to make a conclusion based on the facts and not on any preconceived assumptions. According to University of Minnesota Professor Nan Gesche, this means having an open-minded “beginners mindset” without bias and prejudice (source).

This is the hardest part of critical thinking because of cognitive dissonance, which is the human’s tendency to argue black is white rather than hold a view that goes against their previous conditioning/assumptions.

Nevertheless, if we look at the facts, we must conclude “Yes. It is possible” that the media reported on fabricated evidence, and it is also possible that the attack was completely staged by intelligence services and did not take place at all.

Why? Because the facts show that all this has happened multiple times before.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

General

Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

Published

on

By

2 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Exopolitics

New UFO Film Questions What The US Government Is Hiding

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The US recently released its highly anticipated Pentagon UAP report, but it wasn’t much more than a 9 page rundown of what has been known for decades. Regardless, for many, what was promising was that the UFO subject was being taken seriously again – and perhaps many more scientists might get involved.

For decades many have been warning about leaving UFO disclosure in the hands of a government that likes to use crisis’ or current events to expand its defense budgets. Further, why would we suddenly expect a government, who has been lying about this subject for 70 years, to suddenly come forth with the truth? What would inspire them to suddenly change their mind?

Perhaps it’s because the search for ET is an idea who’s time has truly come. We’ve reporting on this for over 13 years, and are mongst a community of researchers who have been encouraging humanity to look at the evidence for more than 70 years. It feels like an idea that human collective consciousness is more than ready to explore.

The impact the ET question has on our individual and collective worldview has the power to truly change the way we view ourselves and the meaning of life here on earth. Think of the implications answers to this question could have on how we set up and run our society as well. Technology, culture, collaboration etc – I spoke about this more in great detail in my extended interview for Greer’s. prior film Close Encounters of The Fifth Kind here.

Now, a new documentary from Dr. Steven Greer, directed by my good friend Michael Mazzola, seeks to explore what the films calls “the current government and media disinformation campaign promoting 3 big lies:”

1. We do not know what these UAPs/ UFOs are. WE DO.
2. Humans cannot make craft that can maneuver like UFOs. WE CAN and WE DO.
3. The UFOs are a threat. THEY ARE NOT.

Bold statements. Watch the film below and see what resonates most with you.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

General

PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Elevate your inbox and get conscious articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!