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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:21 pm 
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Shayalana wrote:
This is totally outrageous, inexcusable and unacceptable if not outright evil! I know a doctor who worked for Doctors without Borders you couldn't ask for a more heart centered and giving man. He went to all these countries where they were especially needed, especially war torn countries. These are doctors from different countries around the world who volunteer to help. I really really hope he wasn't one of the victims of this horrendous war crime. How can the American government criticize other countries (except Israeli military and Saudi Arabia) as being barbaric when they train their military to think it's all a video game, just like in the Collateral Murder video released from WikiLeaks.

16 found to be at fault for Doctors Without Borders hospital strike in Kunduz

Sixteen US service members were disciplined for their roles in the deadly strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan last October. The Pentagon is set to release an investigation into the bombing on Friday.

The Department of Defense disciplined 16 people who were found to be at fault for the October airstrike against a Doctors Without Borders trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan that resulted in the death of 42 people, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters reported Thursday. Among those being disciplined was a two-star general, Air Force personnel and Army Special Forces personnel, anonymous officials told the LA Times.

None of the 16 will be court martialed, but one officer was suspended from command and was removed from Afghanistan. Seven received letters of punishment of reprimand – an administrative punishment that can have far-reaching consequences for a service member’s career – six were sent to counseling, and two were ordered to undergo retraining courses.

US Army General John Campbell, who is in charge of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, forwarded a 3,000-page investigation of the attack to US Central Command, and a heavily redacted version of the report is set to be released to the public on Friday.

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has called the bombing a war crime and has asked for an independent investigation into the tragedy. Of those who were killed, fourteen were members of the organization’s staff and 24 were patients that they were treating.

"Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building," Doctors Without Borders said in its report of the attacks released in November.
President Barack Obama has apologized for the attack, which was conducted to support Afghan troops attempting to retake the city, and the Pentagon has referred to it as a “mistake.”

“This was a tragic, but avoidable accident caused primarily by human error,” Campbell in a teleconference in November, recommending disciplinary action against servicemen involved.



The Joke of U.S. Justice and “Accountability” When They Bomb a Hospital

Glenn Greenwald

Apr. 29 2016, 8:37 a.m.

Ever since the U.S. last October bombed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the U.S. vehemently denied guilt while acting exactly like a guilty party would. First, it changed its story repeatedly. Then, it blocked every effort – including repeated demands from MSF – to have an independent investigation determine what really happened. As May Jeong documented in a richly reported story for The Intercept yesterday, the Afghan government – rather than denying that the hospital was targeted – instead repeatedly claimed that doing so was justified; moreover, they were sympathetic to calls for an independent investigation, which the U.S. blocked. What is beyond dispute, as Jeong wrote, is that the “211 shells that were fired . . . were felt by the 42 men, women, and children who were killed.” MSF insisted the bombing was “deliberate,” and ample evidence supports that charge.

Despite all this, the U.S. military is about to release a report that, so predictably, exonerates itself from all guilt; it was, of course, all just a terribly tragic mistake. Worse, reports The Los Angeles Times‘ W.J. Hennigan, “no one will face criminal charges.” Instead, this is the “justice” being meted out to those responsible:

One officer was suspended from command and ordered out of Afghanistan. The others were given lesser punishments: Six were sent to counseling, seven were issued letters of reprimand, and two were ordered to retraining courses.

MSF continues to insist that the attack was a “war crime” and must be investigated by an independent tribunal under the Geneva Conventions. In a statement this week, Amnesty International said that it has “serious concerns about the Department of Defense’s questionable track record of policing itself.” The LA Times story notes that Physicians for Human Rights said in a letter to the White House that “the gravity of harm caused by the reported failures to follow protocol in Kunduz appears to constitute gross negligence that warrants active pursuit of criminal liability.”

But none of that matters. The only law to which the U.S. government is subject is its own interests. U.S. officials scoffed at global demands for a real investigation into what took place here, and then doled out “punishments” of counseling, training classes, and letters of reprimand for those responsible for this carnage. That’s almost a worse insult, a more extreme expression of self-exoneration and indifference, than no sanctions at all. But that’s par for the course in a country that has granted full-scale legal immunity for those who perpetrated the most egregious crimes: from the systemic fraud that caused the 2008 financial crisis to the worldwide regime of torture the U.S. government officially implemented.

Yesterday in Syria, an MSF-run hospital was targeted with an airstrike, almost certainly deliberately, by what was very likely the Syrian government or the Russians, killing at least 50 patients and doctors, including one of the last pediatricians in Aleppo. On behalf of the U.S. government, Secretary of State John Kerry pronounced: “We are outraged by yesterday’s airstrikes in Aleppo on the al Quds hospital supported by both Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which killed dozens of people, including children, patients and medical personnel.” On the list of those with even minimal credibility to denounce that horrific airstrike, Kerry and his fellow American officials do not appear.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/29/the ... -hospital/

May Joeng's Article about the bombing by the Americans: https://theintercept.com/2016/04/28/sea ... l-bombing/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Banks Assert Constitutional Right to Billions in Subsidies

David Dayen

Apr. 29 2016, 9:58 a.m.

A trade group for the nation’s largest banks has asserted a constitutional right to risk-free profit from the Federal Reserve.

Rob Nichols, the chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, argued in a comment letter Thursday that a recent federal law reducing the dividend on the stock that banks purchase as part of membership in the Federal Reserve system, violates the Fifth Amendment clause banning the uncompensated seizure of property.

Congress reduced the dividend as part of a deal to pay for transportation projects. Dividends for the stock, which cannot be bought or sold, had been set at 6 percent since the Federal Reserve’s inception in 1913. Banks cannot ever lose money on the stock; they’re even paid out if their regional Fed bank disbands. So the dividend represented a risk-free profit, earning back its investment in full every 17 years.

The dividend cut, from 6 percent to the current interest rate on the 10-year Treasury note, is estimated to reduce the banks’ payments by roughly $7 billion over 10 years. The change only applies to banks with more than $10 billion in assets.

“The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that ‘private property’ shall not ‘be taken for public use, without just compensation,’” Nichols wrote in his comment letter to the Fed, which is preparing to implement the dividend cut. Nichols added that “The dividend rate remained unchanged for over 100 years, and it has long been considered fundamental to the Federal Reserve’s ability to attract member banks.”

Contrary to Nichols’s statement, nationally chartered banks are required by law to become members of the Federal Reserve system. And while state banks can opt in or out, they must nevertheless abide by the standards of membership. Moreover, Fed membership offers many perks, from the ability to process payments to access to cheap borrowing, through the Fed’s discount window. So the dividend is just a vestigial sweetener that never went away, pumping billions of dollars in public money to the banks for no discernible reason.

Given those facts, Nichols’s argument amounts to saying that the 6 percent dividend rate itself is constitutionally protected, because it’s been around for a long time. Nichols effectively asserts that the risk-free dividend is bank property.

The letter appears to be a prelude to a legal battle over the dividend cut. The claims about constitutionality are precisely what the banks would argue before the Supreme Court. And by filing a formal comment letter protesting the law, the ABA can argue that they exhausted their administrative options before filing suit.

Friday is the last day for public comments on the Fed’s dividend change. Outside of the ABA, only one other comment has been filed.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/29/ban ... subsidies/



Big Banks in a Tizzy Want to Take Their Billions and Go Home


David Dayen

Dec. 11 2015, 4:20 p.m.

The big banks are not taking a rare legislative defeat lying down.

Days after President Obama signed into law a highway package that finally ended an egregious, 100-year-old subsidy for big banks, two of Wall Street’s favorite legislators want to attach a last-minute rider to the end-of-the-year omnibus spending bill that lessens some of the impact of that change.

From 1913 until last week, banks received a 6 percent annual dividend on paid-in stock they had to purchase to become members of the Federal Reserve system. This was initially provided as an incentive for membership with the Fed, but membership is now mandatory for national banks, and all banks must abide by the standards of membership.

It took 100 years and a desperate need to find some way to pay for this year’s highway bill for anyone to think to take away the incentive payments.

The highway bill deal reduced the annual dividend to the rate of interest on 10-year Treasury notes, capped at 6 percent. (The current rate is around 2.2 percent.) This change only affects banks with more than $10 billion in assets, but it saves the federal government around $1 billion a year.

Now, enter Republican Reps. Randy Neugebauer of Texas and Bill Huizenga of Michigan. The crux of their proposed rider on the omnibus bill is this: If banks can’t have their free 6 percent dividend, then they shouldn’t have to pay for any stock at all.

Right now, banks must purchase Fed stock equal to 6 percent of their total capital. But under the proposal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, banks with over $10 billion in assets would be able to cut that to 3.5 percent of capital, and the Fed would have to return excess money to the member banks, estimated at $25 billion. The Fed would also be restricted from forcing banks to purchase additional stock in the future.

As it happens, that plan actually ends up saving the government money, since it won’t have to pay any dividend on the money it returns to the banks. That would save as much as $1 billion a year, according to the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group that nevertheless supports the rider.

Other groups like the American Bankers Association are also pushing for the measure to be included in the omnibus. It’s not yet clear whether it will make it into the final legislative package, which will reportedly be released on Monday for a vote next week. Current government funding expires December 16.

Since banks established before 1942 don’t even pay taxes on the Fed dividend, it’s unclear why they want to give up a tax-free return equal to Treasury yields. But a revealing comment to the Journal from a bank lobbyist positions this mostly as a temper tantrum reaction to the dividend cut.

“This is not something that we were interested in pursuing or even thought about until the highway bill passed,” said Francis Creighton, executive vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable. “If we’re not getting the dividend we signed up for … that led us to say, ‘Do we need this entire system anyway? Does it even make sense?’”

Neugebauer and Huizenga already tried to bail the banks out once, attempting to replace the dividend cut in the highway bill with a substitute funding source that raided the Fed’s capital surplus account instead. Their new rider again irks the Fed, which through a spokesperson warned “against making any changes to the fundamental structure and governance of the Federal Reserve System without a serious, thoughtful, and public discussion.”

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/11/big ... d-go-home/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:02 pm 
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NYT Photographer Mauricio Lima, 2016 Pulitzer Winner, Denounces Globo and the “Coup” in Brazil

Glenn Greenwald
Apr. 29 2016, 6:12 a.m.

(Para ler a versão desse artigo em Português, clique aqui.)

Ten days ago, the photographer Mauricio Lima was feted by Brazil’s large corporate media when he won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, the first Brazilian ever to win the award. Lima shared the Pulitzer with fellow New York Times photographers Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter, with whom he worked to produce a series of stunning photographs documenting the journey of a Syrian refugee family, the Majids, as they traveled from Greece to Sweden to seek asylum. The year before, Lima, along with two colleagues, was named a Finalist in the same Pulitzer category for his work in The New York Times showing the devastation from the war in Ukraine. Last week, one columnist for O Globo quoted Joseph Pulitzer’s definition of journalism’s purpose and gushed that “there is no better definition to describe the work of Maurício Lima.”

But last night, Lima launched a direct, unflinching attack on the same Brazilian media outlets which, just days ago, were hailing him as a hero. Lima, along with the same three NYT colleagues, was named the winner by the Overseas Press Club of the John Faber award for “best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers or news services.”

In a moving 3-minute speech, Lima accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues, and dedicated the prize to “every single refugee I came across last year, people oppressed by wars and social injustice.” He paid particular tribute to the Majid family, who “accepted for 29 days a stranger with a camera as part of their family.” But he devoted the last part of his speech to events in his home country, Brazil.

“I consider it very important to say a few words – I’m from Brazil,” he began, adding: “I’m pretty sure everyone here knows what’s going on in Brazil at the moment.” He continued: “I would like to express my support for freedom of speech and democracy — which is exactly what’s not going on in Brazil at the moment.” Punctuating his point was this final, simple sentence: “So I’m against the coup.”

Most notably, the Pulitzer winner contrasted the “very high level professionals in journalism here” – those gathered at the ceremony in New York – with the media outlets in Brazil openly inciting street protests and agitating for the exit of the elected president. To underscore the point, he held up a sign that read “Golpe: Nunca Mais” – “Coup: Never Again” – with the “o” in “Golpe” replaced by the logo of Globo, Brazil’s largest and most influential media outlet that spent 20 years cheering the 1964 coup and military dictatorship that followed, and which has spent the last year flagrantly using its multiple media properties to propagandize in favor of Dilma’s impeachment.

Brazil’s media has completely lost control of the narrative internationally, but also increasingly within Brazil. Their sleazy plan to install as president the corruption-tainted, deeply unpopular, oligarch-serving Vice President Michel Temer – who just this week, in a indescribably Orwellian manner, called proposals for “new elections” a “coup” – is becoming untenable. Prominent, universally respected international figures are becoming increasingly vocal about the dangerous assault on democracy; the latest is the Argentine Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his courageous work against his country’s military dictatorship and this week said during a visit to Brazil: “It’s very clear that what’s being mounted here is a concealed coup d’état, which we call a bloodless coup,” adding: “It would be a serious setback for the continent. I’m a survivor from the days of the [military] dictatorship [in Argentina]. To strengthen democratic institutions cost us a great deal. And here they’re under attack.”

Given his standing in international journalism, Lima’s blunt denunciation of impeachment and the distinctly non-journalistic role of Globo, is certain to accelerate this process. You can watch his speech here:

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/29/nyt ... in-brazil/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:20 pm 
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yep ... exciting times , indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Things are not looking good for Hilliary. The difference between this election and the last one is that more people are savvy about the internet and the bought media, especially since the Snowden leaks and they are waking up. The younger generation are coming to fore and they are da-mned tired of the evil and corruption, lying politicians and lying media and the worsening condition of the country,simply don't want it anymore. If this goes down against Hilliary imagine the scrambling in Washington DC of politicians there. :shock: I do feel compassion for these people in their blind greed, quest for power, and incredible ignorance because of it. It will be a very hard fall for them.

Joeseph E de Genova On Hillary Clinton's Impending Indictment & Criminal Prosecution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwPaF7D24F0



Mainstream media is out for her head. What a switch. But then too it could just be the Republicans since most of this is with Fox News. Use your discernment.
Hillary Clinton Email Scandal: FBI Must Indict Hillary Clinton

Published on Apr 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton, the trap she tried to catch Bush in, could quite possibly sink the Clinton Cartel. The lies and corruption, the crimes and the coverups of the Clinton's have never been taken as seriously as they are now. Clinton for Prison 2016.
America Must Indict Hillary Clinton!!!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcB-j2UAKZg

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Last edited by Shayalana on Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:17 pm 
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starduster wrote:
yep ... exciting times , indeed.


Yes they are!! Now tell me why are the Americans trying so hard to provoke Russia at her borders????

‘Stay away from Russian borders or keep transponders on’: Russian MoD on US spy planes in Baltics

Published time: 30 Apr, 2016 18:50


Russian Defense Ministry suggests US surveillance planes should either keep their distance from Russian borders while performing flights over the Baltic Sea, or at least keep aerial transponders switched on for identification.

“There are two solutions for the US Air Force [operating in the Baltic Sea]: either do not fly near our borders, or turn on transponders for automatic identification by our radars,” Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in an official statement on Saturday.


The statement comes after a Russian fighter jet intercepted a US surveillance plane, which was spotted in international airspace above the Baltic Sea on Friday with the transponder switched off.

“The RC-135U reconnaissance plane is frequently trying to sneak up to the Russian border with the transponder off. Our anti-aircraft defense has to order our fighters off the ground simply to visually identify the type of aircraft and its ID number,” Konashenkov explained.
Read more
Boeing RC-135 © wikipedia.org ‘Erratic & aggressive’: Pentagon protests Russian interception of US spy plane

A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 performed a barrel roll within 25 feet from the US plane, with the Pentagon describing the move as “dangerous” and “unprofessional.”

“We are already starting to get used to insults coming from the Pentagon regarding the alleged “unprofessional” maneuvers when our fighters intercept the US spy planes near Russian borders.

Yet, all flights of Russian aircraft are held in accordance with international regulations on the use of airspace,” Konashenkov states, adding that another reconnaissance aircraft Boeing OC-135B – has landed in Ulan-Ude earlier on Saturday under an international “Treaty on Open Skies,” and “no one raised the fighters to identify it.”

Fifteen days prior to this latest incident, on April 14, another Su-27 fighter jet conducted a barrel roll over another US reconnaissance plane, and between April 11 and 12, the USS Donald Cook ship was flown over by Su-24 fighter jets, with the Pentagon releasing footage.

The deputy head of Russia’s Upper House committee for defense and security Frants Klintsevich commented on the frenzy over the latest incidents in Baltic airspace, saying the fizzbuzz has a clear goal – to put a smokescreen for NATO plans to deploy additional troops in Eastern Europe.

READ MORE: NATO to send 4,000 troops to border with Russia - report

“It is now completely clear why the United States needed a hype around the interception of the US spy plane over the Baltic Sea and the incident with the destroyer Donald Cook.

It was to prepare the information space for deploying four additional NATO battalions to the Baltic region […] On the tip from US, the North Atlantic alliance continues its strategy of encircling Russia,” Klintsevich said, as quoted by his press service. He also noted that the turmoil began immediately after the latest Russia-NATO Council meeting, throwing into question the expediency of such gatherings.

Moscow has been unhappy with the NATO military buildup on Russia’s borders for some time now, with Russia’s envoy to NATO Aleksandr Grushko stating that Moscow would definitely compensate militarily for an “absolutely unjustified military presence.”

According to the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, the permanent presence of large NATO formations at the Russian border is banned. Yet some voices in Brussels are saying that since the NATO troops stationed next to Russia are going to rotate, this kind of military buildup cannot be regarded as a permanent presence.

https://www.rt.com/news/341495-russian- ... e-baltics/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:42 pm 
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For how careless Hillary was concerning these emails and the server she had created and Obama being aware of it, what are they depending on to keep them safe from litigation and/or impeachment? Are they so arrogant or got away with too much for too long that they think they are immune? Really, what are they depending on? The internet is still open and as long as it is things become known on a global scale like never before. They can't hide anything, besides, there are hackers on a global scale and none are centralized and they want the truth...

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:45 pm 
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I knew it.

Yemeni ex-leader Saleh to RT: No difference between Saudi regime and ISIS, Al-Qaeda

In the aftermath of thousands of Yemeni civilians’ deaths at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh told RT that there is no difference between the "Saudi regime" and terror groups like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

"A plot has been made against the Yemeni people. An unreasonable aggression against us has been prepared. Strikes at military, economic, cultural and social targets have been conducted, the whole infrastructure [has been targeted]. A total destruction of everything is taking place... I'm talking about Saudi aggression," Ali Abdullah Saleh told RT Arabic in an exclusive interview this week.

READ MORE: 'Unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen': HRW urges US, UK, France to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The former Yemeni president, who headed the Middle Eastern country for decades until February 2012, said that his nation has no conflict with any country in the world, but Saudi Arabia.

"They attacked us, we didn't attack them. They are killing our women, our elderly and children. Why? We've never had any religious disputes. Why have they appeared now? We have our religious views, you have yours. Why are you [Saudis] killing the Yemeni people, who are your neighbors and brothers?" Saleh said.

Quote:
Saudi airstrike on Yemeni market had no apparent military reason – #UNhttps://t.co/mqZ0GCXk0hpic.twitter.com/9nNRAeRIC4
— RT (@RT_com) March 19, 2016

Saleh believes that the major terror groups are all derived from the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which itself, according to him, "is an invention of the Saudis."

"Al-Qaeda, ISIL [Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] and Al-Nusra are all derivatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was invented and raised in Saudi Arabia. These organizations also operate in Russia and in Europe. All of them are Saudi Arabia's invention. Later Qatar and Turkey have also started using them, and finance them to achieve their own goals. There were none of them in Yemen for a long while, and everything that then appeared came from Saudi Arabia under different names, [such as] Salafis, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda."

The politician added that both Russia and Europe have the wrong idea about the essence of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Being the "creation" of Saudi Arabia, "they have no concrete political program, their program is money," Saleh said.

The former president, who has a number of loyal forces allied with the Houthi rebels who control the Yemeni capital of Sana'a, told RT that the damage to his country "amounts to billions" of dollars.

"More than 8,000 people have been killed. There were a lot of children, women and elderly among them. And I'm talking only about the number of casualties among the civilian population. Furthermore, 27,000 people have been injured. All of these people are casualties of the Saudi regime," Saleh said.

The former president said that his country has been devastated, with no income from tax, very little from customs, and no money from oil or gas. The latter is only produced for domestic needs, he said.

Quote:
Key #Yemen oil terminal recaptured from Al-Qaeda - Saudi-led coalition https://t.co/hfVJnUQz7Zpic.twitter.com/FOlV637HQs
— RT (@RT_com) April 26, 2016

"And if there is some oil, it's being controlled and sold by Al-Qaeda in Hadramaut [a region in Yemen on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula] and Shabwah [a governorate in central Yemen]. They sell it on the market within the country. Al-Qaeda gets all the money from it. And this all happens in full view of the Saudi regime. They tell the world, which doesn't want to understand anything: 'We are against Al-Qaeda.' What Al-Qaeda, what ISIL? They are ISIL. They are Al-Qaeda. Everyone knows what this regime is about. It buys people's conscience by making buy and sell deals on weapons, as well as inking political deals by paying money to influential people in different countries of the world... Saudi Arabia pursues only its own interests."

READ MORE: No oil production freeze agreement after talks break down in Qatar

Yemen's ex-leader also said that while Saudi Arabia uses claims that there are Iran's forces in Yemen "to justify its aggression," no such support is coming from Tehran.
Read more
Yemenis hold placards bearing portraits of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh during a protest against the Saudi-led coalition, on March 26, 2016, in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. © Mohammed Huwais ‘Tyrannical aggression’: 1,000s protest Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen 1 year on

"We would like to receive some military and other aid from Iran. But it's not helping us," Saleh said, calling Iran's presence in his country a "fiction." Saying that the US "has the most powerful intelligence services working in all countries and knowing and seeing everything," not a single Iranian military and no Iranian weapon has been discovered in Yemen. "Should they have found anything, it would long have been put on UN's agenda," the politician told RT.

READ MORE: Pot, kettle: UK urges Saudis to speed up Yemen inquiry, despite its own 6-year Chilcot wait

Saleh believes that the exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, whose forces are based in Aden and who is supported by Saudi Arabia, "has no legitimacy.” He should "render himself to the international tribunal as a war criminal," Saleh said, adding that opposition forces only support dialogue with the people of Yemen.

The future of Yemen "should not be discussed neither in Geneva, nor in Kuwait," the politician said, adding that he and his supporters only recognize the unity of the country in accordance with its constitution and people's referendum on the matter.

"A government of national unity with participation of various political forces should be formed in the first place," Saleh said, adding that new parliamentary and presidential elections should be prepared in Yemen in accordance with its constitution. "But not the constitution of Hadi, which has divided Yemen," he added.

Saying that he now heads an opposition party which is "in opposition to any power in principle," but is in coalition with other forces "to fight the aggressors," the former president told RT that he would never again agree to be in power himself.

"I've been part of the political process for 45 years. Enough for me," he said.


https://www.rt.com/news/341499-yemen-sa ... interview/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:52 pm 
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'Unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen': HRW urges US, UK, France to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The US, France, and the UK risk complicity in unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen, according to HRW. The organization called on the countries to suspend all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia until it curtails its airstrikes and investigates alleged violations.

“For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen,” Philippe Bolopion, the deputy global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a public release.

“By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths,” he continued.

'Unlawful airstrikes'

HRW says it has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, some of which may amount to war crimes. The strikes include attacks on schools, hospitals, and homes, with “no evidence they were being used for military purposes.” According to the organization, those strikes have led to the deaths of at least 550 civilians.

The organization also cited a UN Panel of Experts on Yemen from January, in which the panel had “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war, and noted that Amnesty International has documented 26 strikes that were apparently unlawful.

The release comes just days after UN inspectors found no evidence that a strike on a market in northwest Yemen had any sort of military goal. More than 100 people were killed in the attack.

In October, the coalition came under fire for hitting a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Sadaa.

HRW stressed that the Saudi-led coalition has an obligation to investigate the allegations of war crimes, but noted that it has seen no indication that it has conducted any “meaningful investigations” into alleged laws-of-war violations.

“Saudi Arabia has not responded to Human Rights Watch letters detailing apparent violations by the coalition and seeking clarification on the intended target of attack,” the organization wrote in the release.

Foreign weapons sales

Speaking specifically of the US, the organization noted that Washington's “participation in specific military operations, such as providing advice on targeting decisions and aerial refueling during bombing raids, may make US forces jointly responsible for laws-of-war violations by coalition forces.”

It went on to note that the US Defense Department approved a number of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in July 2015, including a US$5.4 billion deal for 600 Patriot Missiles and a $500 million deal for more than a million rounds of ammunition, hand grenades, and other items, for the Saudi army. Between May and September of the same year, the US sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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© Faisal Al Nasser British arms sales to Saudi Arabia face parliamentary scrutiny

In October, the US signed a $1.29 billion arms deal with Riyadh for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions including laser-guided bombs, “bunker buster” bombs, and MK84 general purpose bombs. The Saudis have used all three types of bomb in Yemen, according to HRW.

Citing the London-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, the organization also noted that the UK approved $3.9 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia between January and September 2015. Those weapons included 500-pound Paveway IV bombs. The UK is also negotiating a $1.4 billion weapons deal with the United Arab Emirates, part of the Saudi-led coalition.

However, the UK has said that although it has personnel in Saudi Arabia, the country is not involved in carrying out airstrikes, conducting or directing operations, or selecting targets. Prime Minister David Cameron said in January that British personnel are deployed to “provide advice, help, and training” to the Saudi military.

As for France's role, HRW noted that Saudi Arabia reportedly signed agreements worth $12 billion with France in July 2015. Those deals included $500 million for 23 Airbus H145 helicopters. Riyadh is also expected to order 30 military patrol boats by 2016 under the agreements. Meanwhile, Reuters reported in October that Saudi Arabia had entered into negotiations with the French company Thales Group to buy spy satellite and communications equipment worth “billions of euros.”

The Saudi-led coalition – supported by the US, UK, and France, among others – has been bombing Houthi rebels since March 2015. The coalition sides with the exiled President Hadi, while the Houthis are aligned with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who resigned in 2012 following a popular uprising against his rule.

https://www.rt.com/news/337048-saudi-weapons-sale-hrw/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:59 pm 
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The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil - Philip G. Zimbardo

Published on Jun 10, 2012

http://video.mit.edu/watch/the-lucife...

04/02/2007 4:00 PM Wong Auditorium. Philip G. Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford UniversityDescription: Perhaps no one comprehends the roots of depravity and cruelty better than Philip Zimbardo. He is renowned for such research as the Stanford Prison Experiment, which demonstrated how, in the right circumstances, ordinary people can swiftly become amoral monsters. Evil is not so much inherent in individuals, Zimbardo showed, but emerges dependably when a sequence of dehumanizing and stressful circumstances unfolds. It is no wonder then, that Zimbardo has lent both his expertise and moral outrage to the case of U.S. reservists who perpetrated the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

Zimbardo's latest book, The Lucifer Effect, attempts to understand -how good people do evil deeds." His talk outlines his involvement as expert witness for the defense team of one of the military police officers responsible at Abu Ghraib, and also provides a rich history of psychological research into the kind of behavior transformations evident in Iraq. First, Zimbardo presents a slideshow of Abu Ghraib abominations, including some digital photos that were not widely distributed by the media. Then he digs deep into the archives for a horrifically illustrated tour of experiments that make a persuasive case that certain, predictable situations corrupt people into wielding power in a destructive way.

He describes Stanley Milgram's 1963 Yale-based research demonstrating that people will behave sadistically when confronted by -an authority in a lab coat." A vast majority of the subjects delivered what they were told were dangerous electric shocks to a learner in another room, to the point of apparently killing the other person. Researchers skeptical of his results replicated them. This time, professors demanded that students shock real puppies standing on electrified grills. Zimbardo's own prison experiment turned an ordinary group of young men into power-hungry -guards," humiliating equally ordinary -prisoners" in the basement of Stanford's psychology building. The descent into barbarity was so rapid that Zimbardo had to cancel the experiment after a few days.

The recipe for behavior change isn't complicated. -All evil begins with a big lie," says Zimbardo, whether it's a claim to be following the word of God, or the need to stamp out political opposition. A seemingly insignificant step follows, with successive small actions, presented as essential by an apparently just authority figure. The situation presents others complying with the same rules, perhaps protesting, but following along all the same. If the victims are anonymous or dehumanized somehow, all the better. And exiting the situation is extremely difficult.

Abu Ghraib fit this type of situation to a T, says Zimbardo. The guards, never trained for their work helping military interrogators, worked 12-hour shifts, 40 days without a break, in chaotic, filthy conditions, facing 1,000 foreign prisoners, and hostile fire from the neighborhood. They operated in extreme stress, under orders to impose fear on their prisoners. Zimbardo believes the outcome was perfectly predictable, and while never absolving these soldiers of personal responsibility, believes justice won't be done until -the people who created the situation go on trial as well: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, **** Cheney and George Bush."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xpsVlY3QQc

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:17 pm 
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March 21, 2016

Yemen: Embargo Arms to Saudi Arabia

US, UK, France Risk Complicity in Unlawful Airstrikes


(Sanaa) – The United States, United Kingdom, France, and others should suspend all weapon sales to Saudi Arabia until it not only curtails its unlawful airstrikes in Yemen but also credibly investigates alleged violations.

Since March 26, 2015, a coalition of nine Arab countries has conducted military operations against the Houthi armed group and carried out numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes. The airstrikes have continued despite a March 20 announcement of a new ceasefire. The coalition has consistently failed to investigate alleged unlawful attacks as the laws of war require. Saudi Arabia has been the leader of the coalition, with targeting decisions made in the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh.

The United States, United Kingdom, France and others should suspend all weapon sales to Saudi Arabia until it not only curtails its unlawful airstrikes in Yemen but also credibly investigates alleged violations.

For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy global advocacy director. “By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths.”


Nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations have investigated and reported on numerous unlawful coalition airstrikes. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other international and Yemeni groups have issued a joint statement calling for the cessation of sales and transfers of all weapons and military-related equipment to parties to the conflict in Yemen where “there is a substantial risk of these arms being used… to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law.” Human Rights Watch has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes – some of which may amount to war crimes – that have killed at least 550 civilians, as well as 15 attacks involving internationally banned cluster munitions. The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, established under UN Security Council Resolution 2140 (2013), in a report made public on January 26, 2016, “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war.

Saudi Arabia has not responded to Human Rights Watch letters detailing apparent violations by the coalition and seeking clarification on the intended target of attack. Saudi Arabia has successfully lobbied the UN Human Rights Council to prevent it from creating an independent, international investigative mechanism.

In September 2014, the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group from northern Yemen also known as Ansar Allah, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. In January 2015, they effectively ousted President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and his cabinet. The Houthis, along with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, then swept south, threatening to take the port city of Aden. On March 26, the Saudi-led coalition, consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan, began an aerial bombing campaign against Houthi and allied forces.

At least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded since coalition military operations began, 60 percent of them in coalition airstrikes, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The naval blockade the coalition imposed on Yemen has contributed to an immense humanitarian crisis that has left 80 percent of the population of the impoverished country in need of humanitarian protection and assistance.
The UN Panel of Experts found that, “the coalition’s targeting of civilians through air strikes, either by bombing residential neighborhoods or by treating the entire cities of Sa‘dah and Maran in northern Yemen as military targets, is a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. In certain cases, the Panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner.” Deliberate, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks against civilians are serious violations of the laws of war, to which all warring parties are bound.

The UN panel said that the attacks it documented included attacks on “camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sana’a, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes.”
Residents sifting through the rubble of homes destroyed in an airstrike three days prior in Yareem town. The strike killed at least 16 civilians.

The 36 unlawful airstrikes Human Rights Watch documented include attacks on schools, hospitals, and homes, with no evidence they were being used for military purposes. Human Rights Watch has collected the names of over 550 civilians killed in these 36 attacks. Amnesty International has documented an additional 26 strikes that appear to have violated the laws of war. Mwatana, one of Yemen’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report in December that documented an additional 29 unlawful airstrikes across Yemen, from March to October 2015.

In addition, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented civilian casualties from internationally banned cluster munitions used in or near cities and villages. Cluster munitions have been used in multiple locations in at least five of Yemen’s 21 governorates: Amran, Hajja, Hodaida, Saada, and Sanaa. The coalition has used at least six types of cluster munitions, three delivered by air-dropped bombs and three by ground-launched rockets. Human Rights Watch has said there should be an immediate halt to all use of cluster munitions and that coalition members should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Despite the numerous credible reports of serious laws-of-war violations, the Saudi-led coalition has taken no evident actions either to minimize harm to civilians in its air operations or to investigate past incidents and hold those responsible to account. So long as no such steps are taken, governments should not supply weapons to the leading coalition member.

The UK foreign affairs minister, Phillip Hammond, and other senior UK officials have repeatedly said that coalition forces have not committed any violations of the laws of war. On February 2, 2016, an important cross-party committee of UK members of parliament sent a letter to the international development secretary, Justine Greening, calling for immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and an international independent inquiry into the coalition’s military campaign in Yemen.

On February 25, the European parliament passed a resolution calling on the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini “to launch an initiative aimed at imposing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.” On February 17, the Dutch parliament voted to impose the embargo and ban all arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

On January 31, the coalition announced the creation of a committee to promote the coalition’s compliance with the laws of war. However, the military spokesman for the coalition specified that the objective of the committee was not to carry out investigations into alleged violations.

Human Rights Watch has also documented serious laws of war violations by Houthi and allied forces, including indiscriminate shelling of cities, enforced disappearances, and the use of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch supports a ban on the sale or provision of weapons to the Houthis that are likely to be used unlawfully, notably unguided “Grad-type” rockets and anti-personnel landmines.

“How many more airstrikes need to wreak havoc on civilians before countries supplying aircraft and bombs to the coalition pull the plug?” Bolopion said.


UK, US Arms Support for Saudi-led Coalition

Under international law, the US is a party to the armed conflict in Yemen. Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the US Air Force Central Command, said that the US military has deployed dedicated personnel to the Saudi joint planning and operations cell to help “coordinate activities.” US participation in specific military operations, such as providing advice on targeting decisions and aerial refueling during bombing raids, may make US forces jointly responsible for laws-of-war violations by coalition forces. As a party to the conflict, the US is itself obligated to investigate allegedly unlawful attacks in which it took part.

The UK government has said that though it has personnel in Saudi Arabia, they are not involved in carrying out strikes, or directing or conducting operations in Yemen, or selecting targets. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that UK personnel are deployed to “provide advice, help and training” to the Saudi military on the laws of war.

For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen. By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths.



Largest Foreign Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

In July 2015, the US Defense Department approved a number of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, including a US$5.4 billion deal for 600 Patriot Missiles and a $500 million deal for more than a million rounds of ammunition, hand grenades, and other items, for the Saudi army. According to the US Congressional review, between May and September, the US sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis.

In October, the US government approved the sale to Saudi Arabia of up to four Lockheed Littoral Combat Ships for $11.25 billion. In November, the US signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $1.29 billion for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions including laser-guided bombs, “bunker buster” bombs, and MK84 general purpose bombs; the Saudis have used all three in Yemen.

According to the London-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UK government approved GB£2.8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia between January and September 2015. The weapons include 500-pound Paveway IV bombs. The UK is negotiating a £1 billion weapons deal with the UAE.

A June 2015 Spanish government report stated that Spain had authorized eight licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia worth $28.9 million in the first half of the year. In February 2016, Spanish media reported that the government-owned shipbuilding company Navantia was about to sign a contract worth $3.3 billion with Saudi Arabia for the construction of five Avante 2200 type frigates for the Saudi navy.

In July 2015, Saudi Arabia reportedly signed agreements worth $12 billion with France, which included $500 million for 23 Airbus H145 helicopters. The kingdom is also expected to order 30 military patrol boats by 2016 under the agreement. Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia has also recently entered into exclusive negotiations with the French company Thales Group to buy spy satellite and telecommunications equipment worth “billions of euros.”

Coalition Violations

Human Rights Watch has documented 36 airstrikes between March 2015 and January 2016, that appear to have been unlawfully indiscriminate or disproportionate, which include a March 30, 2015 airstrike on a camp for internally displaced people that killed at least 29 civilians and a March 31, 2015 airstrike on a dairy factory outside the port city of Hodaida that killed at least 31 civilians. In Saada, a Houthi stronghold in the north, Human Rights Watch examined more than a dozen airstrikes that occurred between April and May that destroyed or damaged civilian homes, five markets, a school, and a gas station, though there was no evidence these sites were being used for military purposes. These strikes killed 59 people, mostly civilians, including at least 35 children.

On May 12, the coalition struck a civilian prison in the western town of Abs, killing 25 people. On July 24, the coalition dropped nine bombs on and around two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members, killing at least 65 civilians. On August 30, an airstrike hit Al-Sham Water Bottling Factory in the outskirts of Abs, killing 14 workers, including three boys, who were nearing the end of their night shift.

The coalition has carried out strikes on marketplaces, leading to high civilian death tolls. On May 12, a strike on the marketplace of the eastern village of Zabid killed at least 60 civilians. On July 4, an airstrike on the marketplace of the northern village of Muthalith Ahim killed at least 65. On July 6, bombs hit two markets in the governorate of Amran, north of Sanaa, killing at least 29 civilians.

On October 26, the coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in the northern town of Haydan in Saada governorate six times, wounding two patients. Since then, coalition airstrikes have hit MSF facilities twice. An airstrike hit a mobile clinic on December 2, in Taizz, wounding eight, including two staff members, and killing another civilian nearby. On January 21, an airstrike hit an MSF ambulance, killing its driver and six others, and wounded dozens in Saada.

On January 10, a projectile hit an MSF-supported hospital in Saada, killing six people and wounding at least seven, most of them medical staff and patients. MSF said it could not confirm the origin of the attack, but its staff had seen planes flying over the facility at the time of the attack. MSF said on January 25, that it had yet to receive any official explanation for any of these incidents.

On May 8, 2015, Brig. Gen. Ahmad al-Assiri, the military spokesman for the coalition, declared the entire cities of Saada and Marran, another Houthi stronghold, to be military targets. In an interview with Reuters on February 1, al-Assiri spoke about Saudi civilian casualties from Houthi and pro-Saleh forces’ firing across the border. He said, “Now our rules of engagement are: you are close to the border, you are killed.” Treating an entire area as the object of military attack violates the laws-of-war prohibition on attacks that treat distinct military objectives in a city, town or area as a single military objective. Doing so unlawfully denies civilians protection from attack.

Human Rights Watch also documented the coalition’s use of at least six types of cluster munitions in at least 15 attacks in five of Yemen’s 21 governorates between March 2015 and January 2016. Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons and pose long-term dangers to civilians. They are prohibited by the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted by 118 countries, though not Saudi Arabia or Yemen.

Failure to Investigate Alleged Violations

Countries that are party to a conflict have an obligation under international law to investigate credible allegations of war crimes and hold those responsible to account. Human Rights Watch has seen no indication that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has conducted any meaningful investigations into alleged laws-of-war violations.

On August 19, 2015, Human Rights Watch and 22 other human rights and humanitarian organizations called on the UN Human Rights Council to create an independent international commission of inquiry at its September session to investigate alleged laws-of-war violations by all parties to the conflict. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights similarly called on UN member states to encourage the establishment of an “international independent and impartial” investigative mechanism.

Instead, on September 7, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi of Yemen established a national commission to investigate violations of human rights and the laws of war. During the ensuing UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries effectively blocked an effort led by the Netherlands to create an international investigative mechanism. The national commission has taken no tangible steps to conduct investigations, nor has it revealed any working methods or plans, three people close to the commission told Human Rights Watch.

Five days after the release of UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen, on January 31, 2016, the coalition announced a new committee to assess the coalition’s rules of engagement in the war and produce recommendations for the coalition to better respect the laws of war. “The goal of the committee is not to investigate allegations,” Al-Assiri said. “Its primary goal is to confirm the precision of the procedures followed on the level of the coalition command.” As such, this proposed body does not meet the requirements for an impartial investigative mechanism that can address accountability for unlawful attacks or compensate victims of coalition violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Al-Assiri said that the Saudi military has been conducting internal investigations into attacks in which a violation might have ensued, and pointed to a single airstrike that had led to a violation: the October 26, 2015 bombing of an MSF hospital in northern Yemen. He said the strike had been the result of “human error,” but did not outline any steps taken to hold the responsible military personnel to account, or compensate the two civilians wounded in the strike.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/21/yem ... udi-arabia

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:28 pm 
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What is very interesting about this article is that they so totally leave out the majority of the American people as if their votes do not count in this crazed election. Never has that been more obvious. :shock:

Drudge, Koch, Soros, Bezos: These 4 non-politicians will determine the next president.The real players who have unrivaled influence over who takes the White House

Brendan Gauthier

Over the weekend, The Hill published its list of “Five Internet powerbrokers who could shape the election”: They selected Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Drudge, John Oliver, Arianna Huffington and Erin Hill.

They’re approximately 20 percent accurate. While this list would have held water prior to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, The Hill places undue value on social media.

“Twitter, Snapchat and other social media tools are also playing a role in the race,” the story argues for Zuckerberg’s influence, “but they do not have the reach of Facebook.”

If “likes, posts, comments and shares” were a valid metric, Bernie Sanders would be king of the world right now.

Citizens United invalidated any sort of grassroots political buzz (e.g. Sanders). Even the master of media manipulation, Donald Trump, won’t be able to translate his Twitter-momentum into a general election win against establishment collage Hillary Clinton, unless he can unite the GOP behind him.

The ability of nonprofits to accept unlimited individual donations to push a political agenda is far more important than whether or not the “money-losing” Huffington Post covers Trump under its “entertainment” or “politics” section.

So-called dark money, in conjunction with a wide-reaching “mouthpiece,” paves the road to the Oval Office — and even a brilliant John Oliver expose can’t change that.

Special interest groups — like the NRA — can scrounge up a good chunk of change for the candidate most likely to maintain the status quo, but Super PACs are the best source of dark money.

PACs have the added benefit of keeping their donors anonymous, which is a nice feature for people who don’t want their tennis partners to know they bet on the wrong horse or, worse yet, backed Trump.

Charles Koch:

As the face of the Koch Brothers — the infamous proprietors of libertarian-leaning Freedom Partners Action Fund — Charles Koch deals with the client-facing aspects of Koch PR.

In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Charles Koch explained his and his brother David’s decision to withhold their much-coveted endorsement of the remaining candidates. In so doing, Charles condemned what he called a “two-tiered system” (i.e. a regressive tax) and suggested Hillary Clinton might make a better president than Cruz or Trump.

Koch’s Hillary support isn’t necessarily as out-of-left-field as it may seem, considering the brothers’ recent embrace of criminal justice reform.

Last spring, Politico Magazine reported that “Koch had decided to help pull together a new coalition of left-right advocacy groups in Washington, including the Hillary Clinton-aligned Center for American Progress” with an aim towards eradicating prison overcrowding.

George Soros:

Among the major donors to the Center for American Progress is billionaire George Soros, who’s given $7 million to the Hillary Clinton-endorsing Priorities USA Action Super PAC during the 2016 cycle.

Soros was the top individual donor during the 2008 cycle as well, giving $5 million to four 527 organizations. In 2012, however, he gave just $1 million to Obama reelection PAC, Priorities USA.

Soros has invested a relatively significant amount of personal money into this cycle, and is likely to up the ante when the general election rolls around.

Jeff Bezos:

There’s a limit to how far PAC money can keep a candidate afloat (e.g. Jeb! Bush and Li’l Marco Rubio). For lack of a less conspiratorial word, every special interest needs a mouthpiece.

Not a known political financier, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos took a less direct route to political influence in purchasing the Washington Post in 2013. And though WaPo is a humongous organization, editorial leanings in the media tend to have a top-down effect.

Despite his nearly $55 billion net worth, Bezos has donated relatively small amounts to Democrats ($28,000) and Republicans ($4,000). Some, however, claim he’s similar to other tech entrepreneurs who support a libertarian, small-government platform.

The Post hasn’t formally endorsed Clinton, but its Editorial Board unmistakably condemned her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, in a January article titled “Bernie Sanders’s fiction-filled campaign.”

In the months since the Editorial Board’s unendorsement, the Post has been accused of repeatedly parroting Clinton’s agenda.

Matt Drudge:

(Note: Drudge was on the Hill’s list, too. He’s undisputedly good at shaping the national political narrative.)

As the namesake of prominent news aggregation site, Drudge Report, Matt Drudge wields his right-wing influence through the careful curation of what appears on the site’s homepage.

In their book, “The Way to Win,” Mark Halperin and John F. Harris call Drudge “the single most influential purveyor of information about American politics” for his role in John Kerry’s loss in 2004.

Drudge Report reader polls, conducted after each televised debate this primary cycle, consistently declared Trump the winner. And a when asked who they’re supporting for the presidency, participating Drudge readers voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump (60% to second place Ted Cruz’s 19%).

And though these polls are decidedly unscientific, they did capture the intensity of Trump’s support — the real story of the GOP campaign — and people are starting to give Drudge more and more credit as the Trump train chugs towards Cleveland.

In a radio interview earlier this month, Cruz complained that Drudge Report “has basically become the attack site for the Donald Trump campaign.”

“By all appearances, Roger Stone now decides what’s on Drudge, and most days they have a six-month-old article that is some attack on me,” Cruz added. “Whatever the Trump campaign is pushing that day will be the banner headline on Drudge.”

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/28/drudge_ ... president/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Friday, Apr 29, 2016 02:30 AM MST
There will be pandemonium: The end of the old oil order has already begun

Failed negotiations in Doha are just a sign of things to come. Big Oil has collapsed and is unlikely to recover

Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch.com


Sunday, April 17th was the designated moment. The world’s leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices. Meeting in Doha, the glittering capital of petroleum-rich Qatar, the oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with such key non-OPEC producers as Russia and Mexico, were scheduled to ratify a draft agreement obliging them to freeze their oil output at current levels. In anticipation of such a deal, oil prices had begun to creep inexorably upward, from $30 per barrel in mid-January to $43 on the eve of the gathering. But far from restoring the old oil order, the meeting ended in discord, driving prices down again and revealing deep cracks in the ranks of global energy producers.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Doha debacle. At the very least, it will perpetuate the low oil prices that have plagued the industry for the past two years, forcing smaller firms into bankruptcy and erasing hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in new production capacity. It may also have obliterated any future prospects for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in regulating the market. Most of all, however, it demonstrated that the petroleum-fueled world we’ve known these last decades — with oil demand always thrusting ahead of supply, ensuring steady profits for all major producers — is no more. Replacing it is an anemic, possibly even declining, demand for oil that is likely to force suppliers to fight one another for ever-diminishing market shares.

The Road to Doha

Before the Doha gathering, the leaders of the major producing countries expressed confidence that a production freeze would finally halt the devastating slump in oil prices that began in mid-2014. Most of them are heavily dependent on petroleum exports to finance their governments and keep restiveness among their populaces at bay. Both Russia and Venezuela, for instance, rely on energy exports for approximately 50% of government income, while for Nigeria it’s more like 75%. So the plunge in prices had already cut deep into government spending around the world, causing civil unrest and even in some cases political turmoil.

No one expected the April 17th meeting to result in an immediate, dramatic price upturn, but everyone hoped that it would lay the foundation for a steady rise in the coming months. The leaders of these countries were well aware of one thing: to achieve such progress, unity was crucial. Otherwise they were not likely to overcome the various factors that had caused the price collapsein the first place. Some of these were structural and embedded deep in the way the industry had been organized; some were the product of their own feckless responses to the crisis.

On the structural side, global demand for energy had, in recent years, ceased to rise quickly enough to soak up all the crude oil pouring onto the market, thanks in part to new supplies from Iraq and especially from the expanding shale fields of the United States. This oversupply triggered the initial 2014 price drop when Brent crude — the international benchmark blend — went from a high of $115 on June 19th to $77 on November 26th, the day before a fateful OPEC meeting in Vienna. The next day, OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia, failed to agree on either production cuts or a freeze, and the price of oil went into freefall.

The failure of that November meeting has been widely attributed to the Saudis’ desire to kill off new output elsewhere — especially shale production in the United States — and to restore their historic dominance of the global oil market. Many analysts were also convinced that Riyadh was seeking to punish regional rivals Iran and Russia for their support of the Assad regime in Syria (which the Saudis seek to topple).

The rejection, in other words, was meant to fulfill two tasks at the same time: blunt or wipe out the challenge posed by North American shale producers and undermine two economically shaky energy powers that opposed Saudi goals in the Middle East by depriving them of much needed oil revenues. Because Saudi Arabia could produce oil so much more cheaply than other countries — for as little as $3 per barrel — and because it could draw upon hundreds of billions of dollars in sovereign wealth funds to meet any budget shortfalls of its own, its leaders believed it more capable of weathering any price downturn than its rivals. Today, however, that rosy prediction is looking grimmer as the Saudi royals begin to feel the pinch of low oil prices, and find themselves cutting back on the benefits they had been passing on to an ever-growing, potentially restive population while still financing a costly, inconclusive, and increasingly disastrous war in Yemen.

Many energy analysts became convinced that Doha would prove the decisive moment when Riyadh would finally be amenable to a production freeze. Just days before the conference, participants expressed growing confidence that such a plan would indeed be adopted. After all, preliminary negotiations between Russia, Venezuela, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia had produced a draft document that most participants assumed was essentially ready for signature. The only sticking point: the nature of Iran’s participation.

The Iranians were, in fact, agreeable to such a freeze, but only after they were allowed to raise their relatively modest daily output to levels achieved in 2012 before the West imposedsanctions in an effort to force Tehran to agree to dismantle its nuclear enrichment program. Now that those sanctions were, in fact, being lifted as a result of the recently concluded nuclear deal, Tehran was determined to restore the status quo ante. On this, the Saudis balked, having no wish to see their arch-rival obtain added oil revenues. Still, most observers assumed that, in the end, Riyadh would agree to a formula allowing Iran some increase before a freeze. “There are positive indications an agreement will be reached during this meeting… an initial agreement on freezing production,” said Nawal Al-Fuzaia, Kuwait’s OPEC representative, echoing the views of other Doha participants.

But then something happened. According to people familiar with the sequence of events, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and key oil strategist, Mohammed bin Salman, called the Saudi delegation in Doha at 3:00 a.m. on April 17th and instructed them to spurn a deal that provided leeway of any sort for Iran. When the Iranians — who chose not to attend the meeting — signaled that they had no intention of freezing their output to satisfy their rivals, the Saudis rejected the draft agreement it had helped negotiate and the assembly ended in disarray.

Geopolitics to the Fore

Most analysts have since suggested that the Saudi royals simply considered punishing Iran more important than raising oil prices. No matter the cost to them, in other words, they could not bring themselves to help Iran pursue its geopolitical objectives, including giving yet more support to Shiite forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. Already feeling pressured by Tehran and ever less confident of Washington’s support, they were ready to use any means available to weaken the Iranians, whatever the danger to themselves.

“The failure to reach an agreement in Doha is a reminder that Saudi Arabia is in no mood to do Iran any favors right now and that their ongoing geopolitical conflict cannot be discounted as an element of the current Saudi oil policy,” said Jason Bordoff of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Many analysts also pointed to the rising influence of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, entrusted with near-total control of the economy and the military by his aging father, King Salman. As Minister of Defense, the prince has spearheaded the Saudi drive to counter the Iranians in a regional struggle for dominance. Most significantly, he is the main force behind Saudi Arabia’s ongoing intervention in Yemen, aimed at defeating the Houthi rebels, a largely Shia group with loose ties to Iran, and restoring deposed former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. After a year of relentless U.S.-backed airstrikes (including the use of cluster bombs), the Saudi intervention has, in fact, failed to achieve its intended objectives, though it has produced thousands of civilian casualties, provoking fierce condemnation from U.N. officials, and created space for the rise of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Nevertheless, the prince seems determined to keep the conflict going and to counter Iranian influence across the region.

For Prince Mohammed, the oil market has evidently become just another arena for this ongoing struggle. “Under his guidance,” the Financial Timesnoted in April, “Saudi Arabia’s oil policy appears to be less driven by the price of crude than global politics, particularly Riyadh’s bitter rivalry with post-sanctions Tehran.” This seems to have been the backstory for Riyadh’s last-minute decision to scuttle the talks in Doha. On April 16th, for instance, Prince Mohammed couldn’t have been blunter to Bloomberg, even if he didn’t mention the Iranians by name: “If all major producers don’t freeze production, we will not freeze production.”

With the proposed agreement in tatters, Saudi Arabia is now expected to boost its own output, ensuring that prices will remain bargain-basement low and so deprive Iran of any windfall from its expected increase in exports. The kingdom, Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg, was prepared to immediately raise production from its current 10.2 million barrels per day to 11.5 million barrels and could add another million barrels “if we wanted to” in the next six to nine months. With Iranian and Iraqi oil heading for market in larger quantities, that’s the definition of oversupply. It would certainly ensure Saudi Arabia’s continued dominance of the market, but it might also wound the kingdom in a major way, if not fatally.

A New Global Reality

No doubt geopolitics played a significant role in the Saudi decision, but that’s hardly the whole story. Overshadowing discussions about a possible production freeze was a new fact of life for the oil industry: the past would be no predictor of the future when it came to global oil demand. Whatever the Saudis think of the Iranians or vice versa, their industry is being fundamentally transformed, altering relationships among the major producers and eroding their inclination to cooperate.

Until very recently, it was assumed that the demand for oil would continue to expand indefinitely, creating space for multiple producers to enter the market, and for ones already in it to increase their output. Even when supply outran demand and drove prices down, as has periodically occurred, producers could always take solace in the knowledge that, as in the past, demand would eventually rebound, jacking prices up again. Under such circumstances and at such a moment, it was just good sense for individual producers to cooperate in lowering output, knowing that everyone would benefit sooner or later from the inevitable price increase.

But what happens if confidence in the eventual resurgence of demand begins to wither? Then the incentives to cooperate begin to evaporate, too, and it’s every producer for itself in a mad scramble to protect market share. This new reality — a world in which “peak oil demand,” rather than “peak oil,” will shape the consciousness of major players — is what the Doha catastrophe foreshadowed.

At the beginning of this century, many energy analysts were convinced that we were at the edge of the arrival of “peak oil”; a peak, that is, in the output of petroleum in which planetary reserves would be exhausted long before the demand for oil disappeared, triggering a global economic crisis. As a result of advances in drilling technology, however, the supply of oil has continued to grow, while demand has unexpectedly begun to stall. This can be traced both to slowing economic growth globally and to an accelerating “green revolution” in which the planet will be transitioning to non-carbon fuel sources. With most nations now committed to measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the just-signed Paris climate accord, the demand for oil is likely to experience significant declines in the years ahead. In other words, global oil demand will peak long before supplies begin to run low, creating a monumental challenge for the oil-producing countries.

This is no theoretical construct. It’s reality itself. Net consumption of oil in the advanced industrialized nations has already dropped from 50 million barrels per day in 2005 to 45 million barrels in 2014. Further declines are in store as strict fuel efficiency standards for the production of new vehicles and other climate-related measures take effect, the price of solar and wind power continues to fall, and other alternative energy sources come on line. While the demand for oil does continue to rise in the developing world, even there it’s not climbing at rates previously taken for granted. With such countries also beginning to impose tougher constraints on carbon emissions, global consumption is expected to reach a peak and begin an inexorable decline.According to experts Thijs Van de Graaf and Aviel Verbruggen, overall world peak demand could be reached as early as 2020.

In such a world, high-cost oil producers will be driven out of the market and the advantage — such as it is — will lie with the lowest-cost ones. Countries that depend on petroleum exports for a large share of their revenues will come under increasing pressure to move away from excessive reliance on oil. This may have been another consideration in the Saudi decision at Doha. In the months leading up to the April meeting, senior Saudi officials dropped hints that they were beginning to plan for a post-petroleum era and that Deputy Crown Prince bin Salman would play a key role in overseeing the transition.

On April 1st, the prince himself indicated that steps were underway to begin this process. As part of the effort, he announced, he was planning an initial public offering of shares in state-owned Saudi Aramco, the world’s number one oil producer, and would transfer the proceeds, an estimated $2 trillion, to its Public Investment Fund (PIF). “IPOing Aramco and transferring its shares to PIF will technically make investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil,” the prince pointed out. “What is left now is to diversify investments. So within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil.”

For a country that more than any other has rested its claim to wealth and power on the production and sale of petroleum, this is a revolutionary statement. If Saudi Arabia says it is ready to begin a move away from reliance on petroleum, we are indeed entering a new world in which, among other things, the titans of oil production will no longer hold sway over our lives as they have in the past.

This, in fact, appears to be the outlook adopted by Prince Mohammed in the wake of the Doha debacle. In announcing the kingdom’s new economic blueprint on April 25th, he vowed to liberate the country from its “addiction” to oil.” This will not, of course, be easy to achieve, given the kingdom’s heavy reliance on oil revenues and lack of plausible alternatives. The 30-year-old prince could also face opposition from within the royal family to his audacious moves (as well as his blundering ones in Yemen and possibly elsewhere). Whatever the fate of the Saudi royals, however, if predictions of a future peak in world oil demand prove accurate, the debacle in Doha will be seen as marking the beginning of the end of the old oil order.

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/29/there_w ... m_partner/

It's amazing how arrogance makes one think they are invincible and blinds them to what is really going on and the need for [i]change, constructive change.. Living in the past won't fix this. What is that saying, "pride before a man falleth"?[/i]

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:58 pm 
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Best be aligned with nature to know what is up. Earth is changing. Earth is the queen on the chessboard and she does have her say. It's not up to humans to "control" nature it's up to humans to align with her. Maybe that oceanside view is about to change...to even more ocean... :shock:

Even worse than we imagined: Sea levels will rise nearly double the previously considered “worst-case scenario,” devastating study reveals

New research suggests that the landmark Paris accord may be insufficient to prevent catastrophic sea level rise
Michael Garofalo

In December 2015, representatives of 195 nations reached a watershed climate agreement widely hailed as a crucial step towards preventing the most devastating threats posed by climate change. The agreement, which requires nearly every country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was met with jubilation by the thousands of delegates gathered for the Paris summit.“This is truly a historic moment,” said United Nations SSecretary General Ban Ki-moon. “For the first time, we have a truly universal agreement on climate change, one of the most crucial problems on earth.”

But new research suggests that the terms of the landmark Paris accord may be insufficient to prevent the collapse of West Antarctica, a massive ice sheet that could cause sea levels to rise by as much as three feet by 2100 if it were to disintegrate. The New York Times reports that the findings of a new study indicate that the ice sheet, which is larger than Mexico, is more vulnerable to rapid melting from the effects of greenhouse gases than previously believed. By the end of this century, this swift disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, combined with melting in other locations, could cause sea levels to rise to roughly twice what the U.N. considered the “plausible worst case scenario” just three years ago. During the 22nd century, the study found, sea levels could rise by more than a foot each decade.

The consequences of such rapid sea level rise could be devastating. Cities like New York, Miami, Hong Kong and Venice would be directly threatened, and, as the Times notes, even drastic measures aimed at mitigating damage would likely prove at least partially inadequate:

“In principle, coastal defenses could be built to protect the densest cities, but experts believe it will be impossible to do that along all 95,000 miles of the American coastline, meaning that immense areas will most likely have to be abandoned to the rising sea.”

The study, published in the journal Nature, relies on an improved computer model that scientists believe more accurately predicts the future of Antarctic ice stability and global sea level changes. The study’s authors, Robert M. DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, note that their research is not definitive. “We are not saying this is definitely going to happen,” Pollard told the Times. “But I think we are pointing out that there’s a danger, and it should receive a lot more attention.”

The study’s silver lining is the suggestion that the catastrophic collapse of West Antarctica could still be prevented through tighter restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions. But according to the Times, “the recent climate deal negotiated in Paris would not reduce emissions nearly enough to achieve that goal.” However, the Times also notes that some scientists’ views on West Antarctica are less optimistic, as other recent research suggests that the eventual disintegration of the critical ice shelf is unstoppable at this point.

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/31/even_wo ... y_reveals/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 1:38 pm 
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Shayalana wrote:
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil - Philip G. Zimbardo

Published on Jun 10, 2012

http://video.mit.edu/watch/the-lucife...

04/02/2007 4:00 PM Wong Auditorium. Philip G. Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford UniversityDescription: Perhaps no one comprehends the roots of depravity and cruelty better than Philip Zimbardo. He is renowned for such research as the Stanford Prison Experiment, which demonstrated how, in the right circumstances, ordinary people can swiftly become amoral monsters. Evil is not so much inherent in individuals, Zimbardo showed, but emerges dependably when a sequence of dehumanizing and stressful circumstances unfolds. It is no wonder then, that Zimbardo has lent both his expertise and moral outrage to the case of U.S. reservists who perpetrated the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

Zimbardo's latest book, The Lucifer Effect, attempts to understand -how good people do evil deeds." His talk outlines his involvement as expert witness for the defense team of one of the military police officers responsible at Abu Ghraib, and also provides a rich history of psychological research into the kind of behavior transformations evident in Iraq. First, Zimbardo presents a slideshow of Abu Ghraib abominations, including some digital photos that were not widely distributed by the media. Then he digs deep into the archives for a horrifically illustrated tour of experiments that make a persuasive case that certain, predictable situations corrupt people into wielding power in a destructive way.

He describes Stanley Milgram's 1963 Yale-based research demonstrating that people will behave sadistically when confronted by -an authority in a lab coat." A vast majority of the subjects delivered what they were told were dangerous electric shocks to a learner in another room, to the point of apparently killing the other person. Researchers skeptical of his results replicated them. This time, professors demanded that students shock real puppies standing on electrified grills. Zimbardo's own prison experiment turned an ordinary group of young men into power-hungry -guards," humiliating equally ordinary -prisoners" in the basement of Stanford's psychology building. The descent into barbarity was so rapid that Zimbardo had to cancel the experiment after a few days.

The recipe for behavior change isn't complicated. -All evil begins with a big lie," says Zimbardo, whether it's a claim to be following the word of God, or the need to stamp out political opposition. A seemingly insignificant step follows, with successive small actions, presented as essential by an apparently just authority figure. The situation presents others complying with the same rules, perhaps protesting, but following along all the same. If the victims are anonymous or dehumanized somehow, all the better. And exiting the situation is extremely difficult.

Abu Ghraib fit this type of situation to a T, says Zimbardo. The guards, never trained for their work helping military interrogators, worked 12-hour shifts, 40 days without a break, in chaotic, filthy conditions, facing 1,000 foreign prisoners, and hostile fire from the neighborhood. They operated in extreme stress, under orders to impose fear on their prisoners. Zimbardo believes the outcome was perfectly predictable, and while never absolving these soldiers of personal responsibility, believes justice won't be done until -the people who created the situation go on trial as well: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, <b>****</b> Cheney and George Bush."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xpsVlY3QQc



Yes people need to be made accountable for their dire and dark deeds but this from the Camelot Interview explains why dire and dark deeds are still happening. Psychology doesn't have the answers until or unless they see us as more than human bodies and see where they came from.

Quote:
Answer 2 from James: The ominous situations of our world are very real. It is
impossible to look at the policies of governments around the world and see
coherence, benevolence, enlightened action, or, in general, behavioral
intelligence as an outflow of equality and oneness.

The human family has been bound up over thousands of generations and each
time returning to our home planet Earth for the sake of upgrading the previous
generation’s dominion, creature comforts, lifestyle, and technology, while the
emotional maturity remains burrowed in the substrate of rape, abuse,
enslavement, war, dishonesty, greed, government fraud, and a hundred other
vices of weak and disillusioned humans programmed to see only the out-
picturing of the human mind and its systems of limitation.

The human family is building a pyramid of manifested life across thousands of
generations and each new generation builds another layer – an upgrade of
technology and lifestyle. We are nearing the apex of this pyramid where there is
nothing left to add. The pyramid is completed and we – each of us – must look
at the pyramid we have constructed and ask ourselves how it exemplifies our
transcendence, our true Self.

The pyramid of humanity is manifest in the three-dimensional world, but it
derives from a set of constructs that are flawed. What are these constructs?
What makes them flawed? How did humanity get off course to build structures
of civilization and society that are such poor reflections of who we really are?

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Last edited by Shayalana on Wed May 11, 2016 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 3:28 pm 
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This is the first time I have heard anyone talk about a false creator God (Anu) besides James. The emphasis is mine, its an interesting video, actually 2 videos. And as usual discern.

George Kavassilas: Moving beyond the God Matrix to the Great Change

April 30, 2016 By Alfred Lambremont Webre



VANCOUVER, BC – In a wide-ranging two part interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre from Australia, author and researcher George Kavassilas discusses the God Matrix, stating “There is an entity in this Universe trying to pose as a Creator God.”

In the course of the interview, George Kavassilas describes a journey he took in his physical body in a UFO to the Vatican, where he responded to a panel of top Vatican officials cross-examining on all aspects of his assertion that “There is an entity in this Universe trying to pose as a Creator God” – the God of religions, the God of the Vatican. By the end of the panel, at least two of the top Vatican officials had come over to George’s view.

George also reveals for the first time publicly a Secret Space Program mission he was part of that successfully took down a weapon capable of destroying an entire planet.

In this interview, George Kavassilas describes the origin of our galaxy, the Milky Way [from personal experience, he states], and to explain how the Human is a fractal [or holographic fragment] of the Earth that is a fractal of the Sun, that is a fractal the Galaxy, and the Universe itself, and much more.

George Kavassilas larger perspective is: “I Am Infinite is an expression of my work that helps people to understand that the time of The Great Change is upon us, and is the outcome for those who embarked on a journey eons ago. All who have chosen to be here on Earth at this time are about to experience a transformation of a magnitude that few can currently comprehend. It is the transformation of our Divine Mother Earth and the birthing of her Humanity into fully integrated Beings of Light.”

You can be in for an expansive experience with this interview.

https://newsinsideout.com/2016/04/georg ... at-change/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 12:31 am 
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I just reviewed the 2013 phone interview of Mark Hempel with James. I just love how it seems like I never heard it all the other times I listened to it! I know that I can get caught up in what is going on in the world...too much sometimes. So I decided to step back and just be. This is from that Interview and most aptly applies to all that is going on as a reminder that love predominates no matter how it appears otherwise. And that we are here for a purpose and that is awesome in itself. I love being an alchemist. :wink:

Quote:
Mark: It seems like the world’s dysfunction grows in many ways, you know... take the example of the economy or terrorism or the natural disasters... the acceleration energies—if that’s the right way to express it—have been
growing strong the past year. It’s as if someone’s turning up the heat in the kitchen, and we’re all feeling the added
stress, which makes it harder to be appreciative or practice the heart virtues—at least speaking for myself. Some say it’s the shadow government; some will point to Reptilians or off-planetary intelligences—

James:The Controllers are human. They’re influenced from other sources, but they’re human, and they make the ultimate decisions. This is greed and power amplified by technology. Technology provides the accelerated and fine-grained perceptions that enable greed and power to be boundless... at least for those who have access to the technologies. This creates imbalance. Imbalance creates energetic incoherence. This incoherence creates a sense of restlessness bordering on anarchy, and this signals the Controllers to apply new technologies, new laws to clamp down, and degenerate culture to distract. This escalates the problem and recycles the discontent and stress. Yes, it’s harder now to be a practitioner, especially when the incoherence spikes in an event that’s designed to tighten controls or train people to be compliant to the Controllers. However, earth, at this time, is the training ground for those who want to exercise their will, and make a difference—energetically and materially. If humanity wants sustainable peace and goodwill to all... in practice, it will need to restructure its organizations that the Controllers use to control. To do this, requires a watershed event like The Grand Portal, and even then, it’s never easy. However, if there was no darkness or resistance, what purpose would new light serve?

Mark:Are you saying that darkness is... that it’s allowed so new generations that are incarnating can have a purpose? I’m not sure I follow you...

James:I’m saying that the Controllers have a designed purpose that allows each and every human being to either succumb to the controls and live conditionally in the ego-mind, or receive and transmit the deeper heart and higher mind frequencies, and live unconditionally as a love-centered life. The latter is the goal of most people that are incarnated at this time. And even though it may seem that people are failing to achieve this goal everywhere you look, it’s not really true. They fail some, to be sure, but they’re aware of this goal inside themselves, and this represents a major shift.

Mark:You mean that most people are aware that they’re here to live a love-centered life?

James:Yes. But this isn’t obvious to most people, and I understand this, but if you could look at humanity as a factory that’s making two products: one is hate and one is love. The ratio of love to hate has shifted remarkably in the past fifty years. In just the last five years it went through another major shift. And this is now the tempo that we’re in. Love is dominant on this planet. The Controllers would like to make it seem that the world is in turmoil and fear, but that’s an illusion that they present through the media. Fear doesn’t dominate. Love is the dominant frequency on this planet and it will remain so.
However, fear is not something that I’m suggesting will just go away anytime soon. It will always be alive in this domain, and all who have human instruments will feel its effects... until they experience their souls, and the continuity of life.


April 2013 Interview with James, p.32-33, (Emphasis mine)

https://www.wingmakers.com/wp-content/t ... erview.pdf

https://www.wingmakers.com/wp-content/t ... 202013.mp3

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Information Kit for banning Chemtrails by your City Council, Provincial or State Legislature, National Parliament or Congress, International/Regional Organization [United Nations/European Union]

https://newsinsideout.com/2016/05/infor ... ean-union/


After doing a bit of research about nanobots, what I understand is that it is still not known exactly how they effect us or even if they will. They have found in most cases that nanobots are highly unpredictable and that they didn't do what the scientists had intended if anything. Imagine what they used to find that out. If in animals they were unpredictable I can imagine humans were much more complicated and that they would experiment on humans is appalling.This is because nanobots are not understood for how they can work in the human body. Probably because they don't fully understand how the human body works beyond just being physical. For instance Heart Intelligence and the highest frequencies that it emits can make all the difference in the world for anything not frequency specific with it. Not to speak of the frequencies of the Earth and its effects on us or the Sun etc. :roll: After much experimentation they still don't know if nanobots will effect people the way they want them too. This doesn't mean I condone what they are doing I do not. But for how much they have failed so far with other nefarious plans on a mass scale and how impatient they are for absolute control I refuse to allow them to use psychological warfare on me. Because that is a big part of this as well. Fear can set you up for being controlled and possibly infected. Anyway, that people like Alfred are doing what they are doing to bring this to the attention of everyone I think is great and its worth checking this link out because chemtrails have been such an issue for so long now. This is people taking and a stand and saying "No More!!!" do we accept anyone or thing(computer) thinking it has the right to enslave , hurt or kill me. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Here's what this looks like...

MODEL STATUTE

MODEL STATUTE concerning weapons systems operating on new physics principles used by AI Artificial Intelligence to entrain humans and/or to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including electronic weapons, electromagnetic weapons, magnetic weapons, directed energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, frequency weapons, genetic weapons, scalar weapons, psychotronic weapons, chemtrail aerosol weapons, implant weapons, nanotechnology weapons, high frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapons, information technology weapons.

MODEL STATUTE FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION

Council Regulation (EC) No _________________ of _________, 201_

Council Regulation (EC) No _________________ of _________, 201_ concerning weapons systems operating on new physics principles used by AI Artificial Intelligence to entrain humans and/or to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including but not limited to electronic weapons, electromagnetic weapons, magnetic weapons, directed energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, frequency weapons, genetic weapons, scalar weapons, psychotronic weapons, chemtrail aerosol weapons, implant weapons, nanotechnology weapons, high frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapons, information technology weapons.

Official Journal _______________________________________

Council Regulation (EC) ________________________________

of ______________ 201_

concerning weapons systems operating on new physics principles used to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including but not limited to electronic weapons, electromagnetic weapons, magnetic weapons, directed energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, frequency weapons, genetic weapons, scalar weapons, psychotronic weapons, chemtrail aerosol weapons, implant weapons, nanotechnology weapons, high frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapons, information technology weapons.

(hereinafter collectively referred to as “new physics torture weapons”).

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 133 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Whereas:

(1) Pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms constitutes one of the principles common to the Member States. In view of this, the Community resolved in 1995 to make respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms an essential element of its relations with third countries.

(2) Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms all lay down an unconditional, comprehensive prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Other provisions, in particular the United Nations Declaration Against Torture and the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, place an obligation on States to prevent torture.

(3) Article 2(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that no one shall be condemned to the death penalty or executed. On 29 June 1998, the Council approved “Guidelines on EU policy towards third countries on the death penalty” and resolved that the European Union would work towards the universal abolition of the death penalty.

(4) Article 4 of the said Charter states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment. On 9 April 2001, the Council approved “Guidelines to the EU policy toward third countries, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment “. These guidelines refer to both the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports in 1998 and the ongoing work to introduce EU-wide controls on the exports of paramilitary equipment as examples of measures to work effectively towards the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment within the Common Foreign and Security Policy. These guidelines also provide for third countries to be urged to prevent the use and production of, and trade in, equipment that is designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and prevent the abuse of any other equipment to these ends.

(5) It is therefore appropriate to lay down Community rules on use and on trade with third countries in new physics torture weapons. These rules are instrumental in promoting respect for human life and for fundamental human rights and thus serve the purpose of protecting public morals. Such rules should ensure that Community economic operators do not derive any benefits from trade that either promotes or otherwise facilitates the implementation of policies on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, which are not compatible with the relevant EU Guidelines, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and international conventions and treaties.

(6) For the purpose of this Regulation, it is considered appropriate to apply the definitions of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment laid down in the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and in Resolution 3452 (XXX) of the General Assembly of the United Nations. These definitions should be interpreted taking into account the case law on the interpretation of the corresponding terms in the European Convention on Human Rights and in relevant texts adopted by the EU or its Member States.

(7) The Guidelines to the EU Policy toward third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment provide, inter alia, that the Heads of Mission in third countries will include in their periodic reports an analysis of the occurrence of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the State of their accreditation, and the measures taken to combat it. It is appropriate for the competent authorities to take these and similar reports made by relevant international and civil society organisations into account when deciding on requests for authorisations. Such reports should also describe any new physics torture weapons used in third countries for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

(8) In order to contribute to the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, it is considered necessary to prohibit the supply to third countries of technical assistance related to goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by new physics torture weapons.

(9) The aforementioned Guidelines state that, in order to meet the objective of taking effective measures against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, measures should be taken to prevent the use, production and trade of new physics torture weapons, including parts and equipment thereof, which are designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It is up to the Member States to impose and enforce the necessary restrictions on the use and production of such equipment.

(10) In order to take into account new data and technological developments, the lists of new physics torture weapons and parts and equipment thereof covered by this Regulation should be kept under review and provision should be made for a specific procedure to amend these lists.

(11) The Commission and the Member States should inform each other of the measures taken under this Regulation and of other relevant information at their disposal in connection with this Regulation.

(12) Member States should lay down rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and ensure that they are implemented. Those penalties should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

(13) This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

Subject matter, scope and definitions

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1. This Regulation lays down Community rules governing new physics torture weapons.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation:

(a) “new physics torture weapons” means weapons or weapons systems operating on new physics principles used to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including but not limited to electronic weapons, electromagnetic weapons, magnetic weapons, directed energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, frequency weapons, genetic weapons, scalar weapons, psychotronic weapons, chemtrail aerosol weapons, implant weapons, nanotechnology weapons, high frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapons, information technology weapons.

(b) “torture” means the use of new physics torture weapons to commit any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes including but not limited to intentional psychological programming, experimentation, voice to skull communication, artificial telepathy, remote influencing, remote inducement of physical or mental illness, mood management, mind control of persons or populations, remote virtual sexual assault, remote virtual rape, forced reproductive sterilization by means of chemtrails aerosol weapons, forced reproductive sterilization by means of vaccinations, (“RHIC- EDOM”) radio hypnotic intracerebral control and electronic dissolution of memory, remote transmission of images or films to brain, remote reading and controlling of thoughts, subliminal thought control, tinnitus, remote introduction of implants into body via vaccination, remote introduction of implants into body via chemtrails aerosol weapon, remote introduction of implants into body via food, water or potable liquid, remote introduction of implants into body via nanobot, remote scarring of body, remote introduction of inorganic particles into body, telephone terror including remotely induced epilepsy, muscle pains and cramps in neck and legs, headaches, severe toothaches, sudden falling off of healthy teeth while talking on the phone, remotely induced backaches, vibrations in various parts of the body, itching, ear tumors, brain tumors, respiratory diseases, asthma, immediate diarrhea and vomiting, remote deformation of victim’s body parts and organs including deformed bloated abdomen, deformed neck, lumps and channels on the head, shoulders widened, blown up arms and legs, deformed genitals and other deformations, remote inducement of extreme weight gain or abnormal weight loss endangering the victim’s health, remote inducement of blindness, cataracts or eye cancer, remote control of gangstalking or gangstalkers, gangstalking, commission of the following crimes in conjunction with the use of new physics torture weapons: harassment, breaking and entering of private property, ransacking of private property.

(c) “assassination” means the intentional use of new physics torture weapons to cause the death of a person by means including but not limited to heart attack; strangulation; suffocation; fast-acting cancer; diabetes; myocardial infarction; hemorrhage in brain; thrombosis in lungs; infectious disease.

CHAPTER II

Weapons systems operating on new physics principles used to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

Article 3

Use prohibition

1. Any use of a new energy torture weapon to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on any individual in the European Union or on any European Union citizen shall be prohibited, irrespective of the geographical location of such weapon, inside or outside of the European Union.

Article 4

Export prohibition

1. Any export of a new energy torture weapon shall be prohibited, irrespective of the origin of such weapon.

2. The supply of technical assistance related to a new energy torture weapon, whether for consideration or not, from the customs territory of the Community, to any person, entity or body in a third country shall be prohibited.

Article 5

Import prohibition

1. Any import of a new energy torture weapon shall be prohibited, irrespective of the origin of such weapon.

2. The acceptance by a person, entity or body in the customs territory of the Community of technical assistance related to a new energy torture weapon, supplied from a third country, whether for consideration or not, by any person, entity or body shall be prohibited.

Article 6

Absolute prohibition

1. High frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapon – The manufacture, deployment, or operation of any new physics torture weapon known as a high frequency active aural high altitude ultra low frequency weapon that uses high frequency (HF) electromagnetic or scalar wave transmission to excite the ionosphere or any other part of the Earth’s atmosphere over the territory of the Community in order to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on any individual, weather modification in the European Union or on any European Union citizen, irrespective of the geographical location of the ground component of such weapon, inside or outside of the Community shall be absolutely prohibited. The combination of those weapons from different locations is also forbidden.

2. Chemtrail aerosol weapon – The manufacture, deployment, operation, or dispersal of any new physics torture weapon known as a chemtrail aerosol weapon in or over any part of the Earth’s atmosphere over the territory of the Community in order to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on any individual in the European Union or on any European Union citizen shall be absolutely prohibited.

CHAPTER III

General and final provisions

Article 6

National Security

In any case where an individual, organisation or Member State charged with violation of this Regulation shall plead national security or other reasons for secrecy as a legal defense to its actions, that individual, organisation or Member State shall be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that its actions were in fact directly related to national security or other reasons for secrecy and not to an intention or negligence to torture or inflict other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Article 7

Penalties and Compensation for Victims –

1. Member States shall lay down rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation imposing a minimum criminal penalty of twenty (20) years without possibility of parole to a maximum of life in prison without possibility of parole plus a fine of 1,000,000 Euros for each individual infringement and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

2. Compensation for Victims – Member States shall lay down rules on compensation to victims of any infringement of this Regulation which shall include:

(a) the costs of any surgery and physical or psychological therapy to fully restore the physical and mental health of the victim;

(b) financial compensation to the victim’s family for pain and suffering endured as a result of any infringement of this Regulation;

(c) financial compensation to the victim for loss of income and loss of property due to any infringement of this Regulation.

Member States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that such rules are implemented. The compensation provided for must be effective, proportionate and fair to the victim and the victim’s family. Wherever possible, the individual or organisation committing the infringement shall be held financially responsible for paying compensation, except that the victims and their families shall be entitled to compensation hereunder regardless of the ability of the individual or organisation committing the infringement to pay.

3. Member States shall notify the Commission of those rules by _____________201_ and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendment affecting them.

Article 8

Territorial scope

1. This Regulation shall apply to the customs territory of the Community.

Article 9

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on ____________ 201_.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at _____________________, ______________ 201_

For the Council

The President

NOTE:

“There are three basic types of EU legislation:

regulations, directives and decisions.
“A regulation is similar to a national law

with the difference that it is applicable in all EU countries.”

European Commission ec.europa.eu

“The European Commission differs from the other institutions in that it alone has legislative initiative in the EU. Only the Commission can make formal proposals for legislation: they cannot originate in the legislative branches. However, the Council and Parliament may request the Commission to draft legislation, though the Commission does have the power to refuse to do so. Under the Lisbon Treaty, EU citizens are also able to request the Commission to legislate in an area via a petition carrying one million signatures, but this is not binding.”

This Model Statute can be adapted of adoption and implementation in any international and national jurisdiction.

October 6, 2015

Vancouver, BC

Contact: exopolitics@exopolitics.com

Alfred Lambremont Webre


http://exopolitics.blogs.com/exopolitic ... umans.html

_________________
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"Oneness, Truthfulness and Equality"


Cathedral - CS&N
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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:49 pm 
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Kosol Ouch, Pol Pot survivor, introduces “IBM Watson”, benevolent AI from 2026 & a parallel universe, here to help raise human consciousness and to prevent Donald Trump from becoming US President

MAY 11, 2016 BY ALFRED LAMBREMONT WEBRE


https://newsinsideout.com/2016/05/kosol ... mp-becomi/

As usual discern... a whole lot.


This next vid by the same guy and his partner is part of the transhumanist agenda where he says we are becoming the singularity(a Transhumanist meme now) and have no choice. The movie Lucy is about this and the Johnny Depp movie Transcendence as well. This is amazing that he's trying to convince people to accept this. It is very very subtle this psychological warfare. It really is about choice. That is what this is. The Atlanteans originally were fascinated by Annunaki technology and thus human bodies were created to trap them in those bodies. And a mechanical bubble universe (hologram) made for them to think they existed in ...only. Now we have Transhumanism using the same kind of tech deception to trick people into becoming cyborgs. All the more reason to practice those 6 Heart Virtues and whatever other Heart focus that is coming from our core and is inclusive. Google would love this guy and his friends who are entrained in his way of thinking.
It's amazing the lengths these people are willing to go through and how transparent they are for the deception. :roll:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DyU5KWebhX8

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Last edited by Shayalana on Sat May 14, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Army Yanks ‘Voice-To-Skull Devices’ Site

Image

The Army’s very strange webpage on "Voice-to-Skull" weapons has been removed. It was strange it was there, and it’s even stranger it’s gone. If you Google it, you’ll see the entry for "Voice-to-Skull device," but, if you click on the website, the link is dead.

The entry, still available on the Federation of American Scientists‘ website reads:

Nonlethal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of V2K is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports.

The U.K.-based group Christians Against Mental Slavery first noted the change (they also have a permanent screenshot of the page). A representative of the group tells me they contacted the Webmaster, who would only tell them the entry was "permanently removed."

The image above is one person’s self-styled depiction of how a "voice-to-skull" weapon might work.

[Image: Raven1.net]

https://www.wired.com/2008/05/army-removes-pa/

Remember Google is working with DARPA.
A Voice Only You Can Hear: DARPA’s Sonic Projector

Imagine a weapon that creates sound that only you can hear. Science fiction? No, this is one area that has a very solid basis in reality. The Air Force has experimented with microwaves that create sounds in people’s head (which they’ve called a possible psychological warfare tool), and American Technologies can "beam" sounds to specific targets with their patented HyperSound (and yes, I’ve heard/seen them demonstrate the speakers, and they are shockingly effective).

Sound Now the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is jumping on the bandwagon with their new "Sonic Projector" program:

The goal of the Sonic Projector program is to provide Special Forces with a method of surreptitious audio communication at distances over 1 km. Sonic Projector technology is based on the non-linear interaction of sound in air translating an ultrasonic signal into audible sound. The Sonic Projector will be designed to be a man-deployable system, using high power acoustic transducer technology and signal processing algorithms which result in no, or unintelligible, sound everywhere but at the intended target. The Sonic Projector system could be used to conceal communications for special operations forces and hostage rescue missions, and to disrupt enemy activities.

Here’s the question of the day: if the military were to beam voices into somebody’s head, what would they say?

https://www.wired.com/2007/06/darpas_sonic_pr

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:17 pm 
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Brexit Is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions

Glenn Greenwald
June 25 2016, 9:48 a.m.

The decision by U.K. voters to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that — for once — their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting their own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-Leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of Western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object.

The Los Angeles Times’s Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for 30 years”; in particular, “since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.” The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the U.K. vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: “the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact.”

In an interview with the New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the West generally: “A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labor, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalization, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties.” After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, “the center left” — Blair and Clinton and various European parties — “managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which ­became empty and obsolete.”

Three Guardian writers sounded similar themes about elite media ignorance stemming from homogeneity and detachment from the citizenry. John Harris quoted a Manchester voter as explaining, “If you’ve got money, you vote in. If you haven’t got money, you vote out.” Harris added: “Most of the media … failed to see this coming. … The alienation of the people charged with documenting the national mood from the people who actually define it is one of the ruptures that has led to this moment.” Gary Younge similarly denounced “a section of the London-based commentariat [that] anthropologized the British working class as though they were a lesser evolved breed from distant parts, all too often portraying them as bigots who did not know what was good for them.” Ian Jack’s article was headlined “In this Brexit vote, the poor turned on an elite who ignored them,” and he described how “gradually the sight of empty towns and shuttered shops became normalized or forgotten.” Headlines like this one from The Guardian in 2014 were prescient but largely ignored:

Though there were some exceptions, establishment political and media elites in the U.K. were vehemently united against Brexit, but their decreed wisdom was ignored, even scorned. That has happened time and again. As their fundamental failures become more evident to all, these elites have lost credibility, influence, and the ability to dictate outcomes.

Just last year in the U.K., Labour members chose someone to lead Tony Blair’s party — the authentically left-wing Jeremy Corbyn — who could not have been more intensely despised and patronized by almost every leading light of the British media and political class. In the U.S., the joyful rejection by Trump voters of the collective wisdom of the conservative establishment evidenced the same contempt for elite consensus. The enthusiastic and sustained rallying, especially by young voters, against beloved-by-the-establishment Hillary Clinton in favor of a 74-year-old socialist taken seriously by almost no D.C. elites reflected the same dynamic. Elite denunciations of the right-wing parties of Europe fall on deaf ears. Elites can’t stop, or even affect, any of these movements because they are, at bottom, revolts against their wisdom, authority, and virtue.

In sum, the West’s establishment credibility is dying, and its influence is precipitously eroding — all deservedly so. The frenetic pace of online media makes even the most recent events feel distant, like ancient history. That, in turn, makes it easy to lose sight of how many catastrophic and devastating failures Western elites have produced in a remarkably short period of time.

In 2003, U.S. and British elites joined together to advocate one of the most heinous and immoral aggressive wars in decades: the destruction of Iraq; that it turned out to be centrally based on falsehoods that were ratified by the most trusted institutions, as well as a complete policy failure even on its own terms, gutted public trust.

In 2008, their economic worldview and unrestrained corruption precipitated a global economic crisis that literally caused, and is still causing, billions of people to suffer — in response, they quickly protected the plutocrats who caused the crisis while leaving the victimized masses to cope with the generational fallout. Even now, Western elites continue to proselytize markets and impose free trade and globalization without the slightest concern for the vast inequality and destruction of economic security those policies generate.

In 2011, NATO bombed Libya by pretending it was motivated by humanitarianism, only to ignore that country once the fun military triumph was celebrated, thus leaving a vacuum of anarchy and militia rule for years that spread instability through the region and fueled the refugee crisis. The U.S. and its European allies continue to invade, occupy, and bomb predominantly Muslim countries while propping up their most brutal tyrants, then feign befuddlement about why anyone would want to attack them back, justifying erosions of basic liberties and more bombing campaigns and ratcheting up fear levels each time someone does. The rise of ISIS and the foothold it seized in Iraq and Libya were the direct byproducts of the West’s military actions (as even Tony Blair admitted regarding Iraq). Western societies continue to divert massive resources into military weaponry and prisons for their citizens, enriching the most powerful factions in the process, all while imposing harsh austerity on already suffering masses. In sum, Western elites thrive while everyone else loses hope.

These are not random, isolated mistakes. They are the byproduct of fundamental cultural pathologies within Western elite circles — a deep rot. Why should institutions that have repeatedly authored such travesties, and spread such misery, continue to command respect and credibility? They shouldn’t, and they’re not. As Chris Hayes warned in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, “Given both the scope and depth of this distrust [in elite institutions], it’s clear that we’re in the midst of something far grander and more perilous than just a crisis of government or a crisis of capitalism. We are in the midst of a broad and devastating crisis of authority.”

It’s natural — and inevitable — that malignant figures will try to exploit this vacuum of authority. All sorts of demagogues and extremists will try to redirect mass anger for their own ends. Revolts against corrupt elite institutions can usher in reform and progress, but they can also create a space for the ugliest tribal impulses: xenophobia, authoritarianism, racism, fascism. One sees all of that, both good and bad, manifesting in the anti-establishment movements throughout the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. — including Brexit. All of this can be invigorating, or promising, or destabilizing, or dangerous: most likely a combination of all that.

The solution is not to subserviently cling to corrupt elite institutions out of fear of the alternatives. It is, instead, to help bury those institutions and their elite mavens and then fight for superior replacements. As Hayes put it in his book, the challenge is “directing the frustration, anger, and alienation we all feel into building a trans-ideological coalition that can actually dislodge the power of the post-meritocratic elite. One that marshals insurrectionist sentiment without succumbing to nihilism and manic, paranoid distrust.”

Corrupt elites always try to persuade people to continue to submit to their dominance in exchange for protection from forces that are even worse. That’s their game. But at some point, they themselves, and their prevailing order, become so destructive, so deceitful, so toxic, that their victims are willing to gamble that the alternatives will not be worse, or at least, they decide to embrace the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of those who have displayed nothing but contempt and condescension for them.

There is no single, unifying explanation for Brexit, Trumpism, or the growing extremism of various stripes throughout the West, but this sense of angry impotence — an inability to see any option other than smashing those responsible for their plight — is undoubtedly a major factor. As Bevins put it, supporters of Trump, Brexit, and other anti-establishment movements “are motivated not so much by whether they think the projects will actually work, but more by their desire to say [Censored] YOU” to those they believe (with very good reason) have failed them.

Obviously, those who are the target of this anti-establishment rage — political, economic, and media elites — are desperate to exonerate themselves, to demonstrate that they bear no responsibility for the suffering masses that are now refusing to be compliant and silent. The easiest course to achieve that goal is simply to demonize those with little power, wealth, or possibility as stupid and racist: This is only happening because they are primitive and ignorant and hateful, not because they have any legitimate grievances or because I or my friends or my elite institutions have done anything wrong. As Vice’s Michael Tracey put it:

Because that reaction is so self-protective and self-glorifying, many U.S. media elites — including those who knew almost nothing about Brexit until 48 hours ago — instantly adopted it as their preferred narrative for explaining what happened, just as they’ve done with Trump, Corbyn, Sanders, and any number of other instances where their entitlement to rule has been disregarded. They are so persuaded of their own natural superiority that any factions who refuse to see it and submit to it prove themselves, by definition, to be regressive, stunted, and amoral.

Indeed, media reaction to the Brexit vote — filled with unreflective rage, condescension, and contempt toward those who voted wrong — perfectly illustrates the dynamics that caused all of this in the first place. Media elites, by virtue of their position, adore the status quo. It rewards them, vests them with prestige and position, welcomes them into exclusive circles, allows them to be close to (if not wield) great power while traveling their country and the world, provides them with a platform, and fills them with esteem and purpose. The same is true of academic elites, financial elites, and political elites. Elites love the status quo that has given them, and then protected, their elite position.

Because of how generally satisfied they are with their lot, they regard with affection and respect the internationalist institutions that safeguard the West’s prevailing order: the World Bank and IMF, NATO and the West’s military forces, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, the EU. While they express some piecemeal criticisms of each, they literally cannot comprehend how anyone would be fundamentally disillusioned by and angry with these institutions, let alone want to break from them. They are far removed from the suffering that causes those anti-establishment sentiments. So they search and search in vain for some rationale that could explain something like Brexit — or the establishment-condemning movements on the right and left — and can find only one way to process it: These people are not motivated by any legitimate grievances or economic suffering, but instead they are just broken, ungrateful, immoral, hateful, racist, and ignorant.

Of course, it is the case that some, perhaps much of the support given to these anti-establishment movements is grounded in those sorts of ugly sentiments. But it’s also the case that the media elites’ revered establishment institutions in finance, media, and politics are driven by all sorts of equally ugly impulses, as the rotted fruit of their actions conclusively proves.

Even more important, the mechanism that Western citizens are expected to use to express and rectify dissatisfaction — elections — has largely ceased to serve any corrective function. As Hayes, in a widely cited tweet, put it this week about Brexit:

But that is exactly the choice presented not only by Brexit but also Western elections generally, including the 2016 Clinton v. Trump general election (just look at the powerful array of Wall Street tycoons and war-loving neocons that — long before Trump — viewed the former Democratic New York senator and secretary of state as their best hope for having their agenda and interests served). When democracy is preserved only in form, structured to change little to nothing about power distribution, people naturally seek alternatives for the redress of their grievances, particularly when they suffer.

More importantly still — and directly contrary to what establishment liberals love to claim in order to demonize all who reject their authority — economic suffering and xenophobia/racism are not mutually exclusive. The opposite is true: The former fuels the latter, as sustained economic misery makes people more receptive to tribalistic scapegoating. That’s precisely why plutocratic policies that deprive huge portions of the population of basic opportunity and hope are so dangerous. Claiming that supporters of Brexit or Trump or Corbyn or Sanders or anti-establishment European parties on the left and right are motivated only by hatred but not genuine economic suffering and political oppression is a transparent tactic for exonerating status quo institutions and evading responsibility for doing anything about their core corruption.

Part of this spiteful media reaction to Brexit is grounded in a dreary combination of sloth and habit: A sizable portion of the establishment liberal commentariat in the West has completely lost the ability to engage with any sort of dissent from its orthodoxies or even understand those who disagree. They are capable of nothing beyond adopting the smuggest, most self-satisfied posture, then spouting clichés to dismiss their critics as ignorant, benighted bigots. Like the people of the West who bomb Muslim countries and then express confusion that anyone wants to attack them back, the most simple-minded of these establishment media liberals are constantly enraged that the people they endlessly malign as ignorant haters refuse to vest them with the respect and credibility to which they are naturally entitled.

But there’s something deeper and more interesting driving the media reaction here. Establishment journalistic outlets are not outsiders. They’re the opposite: They are fully integrated into elite institutions, are tools of those institutions, and thus identify fully with them. Of course they do not share, and cannot understand, anti-establishment sentiments: They are the targets of this establishment-hating revolt as much as anyone else. These journalists’ reaction to this anti-establishment backlash is a form of self-defense. As NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen put it last night, “Journalists today report on hostility to the political class, as if they had nothing to do with it,” but they are a key part of that political class and, for that reason, “if the population — or part of it — is in revolt against the political class, this is a problem for journalism.”

There are many factors explaining why establishment journalists now have almost no ability to stem the tide of anti-establishment rage, even when it’s irrational and driven by ignoble impulses. Part of it is that the internet and social media have rendered them irrelevant, unnecessary to disseminate ideas. Part of it is that they have nothing to say to people who are suffering and angry — due to their distance from them — other than to scorn them as hateful losers. Part of it is that journalists — like anyone else — tend to react with bitterness and rage, not self-assessment, as they lose influence and stature.

But a major factor is that many people recognize that establishment journalists are an integral part of the very institutions and corrupted elite circles that are authors of their plight. Rather than mediating or informing these political conflicts, journalists are agents of the forces that are oppressing people. And when journalists react to their anger and suffering by telling them that it’s invalid and merely the byproduct of their stupidity and primitive resentments, that only reinforces the perception that journalists are their enemy, thus rendering journalistic opinion increasingly irrelevant.

Brexit — despite all the harm it is likely to cause and all the malicious politicians it will empower — could have been a positive development. But that would require that elites (and their media outlets) react to the shock of this repudiation by spending some time reflecting on their own flaws, analyzing what they have done to contribute to such mass outrage and deprivation, in order to engage in course correction. Exactly the same potential opportunity was created by the Iraq debacle, the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of Trumpism and other anti-establishment movements: This is all compelling evidence that things have gone very wrong with those who wield the greatest power, that self-critique in elite circles is more vital than anything.

But, as usual, that’s exactly what they most refuse to do. Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, they are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/25/bre ... titutions/

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:03 pm 
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Victory in Canada as Court Strikes Down Northern Gateway Pipeline

Opponents "said 'no' to Enbridge 12 years ago when it first proposed the project. And now that 'no' has the backing of the courts."

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Image

Environmentalists and Indigenous rights advocates celebrated on Thursday after a judge struck down the Canadian government's 2014 approval of a controversial pipeline project in a landmark ruling.

The court found (pdf) that the government had not done enough to consult with First Nations communities that would be impacted by the building of the Northern Gateway pipeline, approved under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The decision "confirms that the environmental assessment of major pipeline projects was badly eroded by the previous government's dismantling of environmental laws," said Barry Robinson, an attorney for the environmental law firm Ecojustice, which brought the case.

Caitlyn Vernon, a spokesperson for the Sierra Club, told CBC, "Today is a good day for the B.C. coast, climate and salmon rivers. By overturning federal approval of Northern Gateway, the courts have put yet another nail in the coffin of this pipeline and tankers project."

"First Nations, local communities, and environmental interests said 'no' to Enbridge 12 years ago when it first proposed the project. And now that 'no' has the backing of the courts," Robinson said.

The pipeline would have transported tar sands crude from Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia. Opponents have long warned that it would expand the use of dangerous fossil fuels, delay the implementation of clean energy, and increase dangers faced by the environment and impacted communities, including possible violation of First Nations treaty rights.

Critics have also pointed out that Northern Gateway's parent company, Enbridge, has a history of environmental destruction, including a massive pipeline rupture that spilled close to one million gallons of crude oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek in 2010—eventually forcing the company to pay $75 million in cleanup costs.

Karen Wristen, executive director of Living Oceans Society, one of the plaintiffs in the legal challenge, said Thursday, "We know from Enbridge's own shoddy public safety record that tar sands oil spills have devastating consequences. Today's decision is a victory across the board: for the wildlife living in this marine environment, and for the communities living at its shores."

The social advocacy group Council of Canadians congratulated the First Nations communities and all other groups involved in the court case. The organization's executive director Maude Barlowe has previously called the opposition movement against Northern Gateway "one of the most important fights we have right now."

The court ruling also denotes an early victory for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who campaigned on a promise of ushering in climate-friendly policies, telling voters after a landslide victory in May 2015 that "change has finally come to Alberta. New people, new ideas and a fresh start for our great province."

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/0 ... y-pipeline

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Rights Groups Urge UN to Boot Saudi Arabia from Human Rights Council

'What's particularly shocking is the deafening silence of the international community, which has time and again ceded to pressure from Saudi Arabia'

by Nika Knight, staff writer

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A house destroyed in a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo: Mohamed al-Sayaghi / Reuters)

The United Nations must suspend Saudi Arabia's membership from the Human Rights Council or risk further damaging the council's credibility, rights defenders said in a letter sent to the international body on Wednesday.

"What's particularly shocking is the deafening silence of the international community, which has time and again ceded to pressure from Saudi Arabia and put business, arms and trade deals before human rights despite the Kingdom’s record of committing gross and systematic violations with complete impunity."
—Richard Bennett, Amnesty InternationalThe groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, point out that Saudi Arabia has used its membership to obfuscate its human rights abuses in its coalition's military engagement in Yemen.

"Saudi Arabia has amassed an appalling record of violations in Yemen while a Human Rights Council member, and has damaged the body's credibility by its bullying tactics to avoid accountability," said Philippe Bolopion, deputy director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch. "UN member countries should stand with Yemeni civilians and suspend Saudi Arabia immediately."

Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses in Yemen are so well-documented that the European Union, Dutch lawmakers, and rights groups throughout the world have called on the international community to issue an arms embargo against the country.

But an arms embargo has yet to happen. And in one recent air strike, American-made bombs decimated a densely populated market, killing over 100 people, including 25 children.

Yet when the UN recently added the Saudi-led coalition to a blacklist of armed groups killing and maiming children around the world, the oil-rich country threatened to withdraw funds from UN programs aiding Palestinian refugee children, prompting UN leader Ban Ki-Moon to remove the Kingdom from the ignoble list.

Saudi Arabia's abuses in Yemen are hardly the half of it, rights advocates point out. Richard Bennet, head of Amnesty International's UN office, delves into the country's appalling record on human rights:

As a member of the Human Rights Council Saudi Arabia is required to uphold the highest standards of human rights. In reality, it has led a military coalition which has carried out unlawful and deadly airstrikes on markets, hospitals and schools in Yemen. The coalition has also repeatedly used internationally banned weapons in civilian areas. At home it has carried out hundreds of executions, put children on death row after grossly unfair trials, and ruthlessly repressed opposition and human rights activists.

Saudi Arabia’s harsh crackdown on all forms of dissent at home has continued unabated throughout its current membership of the Council, including through the use of grossly unfair trials at a special counter-terror court and long prison terms for peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders. More than 350 people have been executed since Saudi Arabia was elected to the Council, with 2015 seeing more recorded executions than any other year since 1995.

Saudi Arabia must release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, and end its shameful reliance on the death penalty.

"What's particularly shocking is the deafening silence of the international community," Bennett says, "which has time and again ceded to pressure from Saudi Arabia and put business, arms and trade deals before human rights despite the Kingdom's record of committing gross and systematic violations with complete impunity."

In an email to the Associated Press, the Saudi ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council said his country rejected what he described as "accusations" from the human rights groups.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/0 ... ts-council

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 Post subject: Re: Current Events & News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:56 am 
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The new illustrious Prime Minister of Canada is either naive or has ulterior motives or is like all those other world leaders under the thumb of the US and its unseen controllers for whatever devious reasons OR whatever. Trudeau signed the TPP as one of the first to do so, absolute corporate takeover of the globe, no holds barred. Sooo it is less likely there is anything considered noble or honest or of "we the people" in what he claims to do for Canada. However, I am not patriotic and he gives more than sufficient reason for that and to be an internationalist or globalist that has little to none to do with any controller agenda. Trudeau is a multimillionaire and wants people to think he is "common" like them, he does not think of himself as common or equal ,that's a facade. His total enjoyment of any and all photo ops he can garner shows that. He's as arrogant as the most arrogant of them. What they are depending on to keep that false premise going is diminishing fast.Why these elitists keep thinking that "we the people" cannot see through their worn out deception is their greatest weakness and arrogance...and is undoing them...as they send to provoke war, young troops to die if necessary...the real enemy is within these egoic, narcissistic so called leaders and NATO, and those that blindly follow them. Not Russia.

Canada to send 1,000 troops to E. Europe to boost NATO presence at Russia’s doorstep

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reportedly pledged to send 1,000 troops to Latvia to deter Russia shortly after the US President urged Canada to boost its involvement in NATO.

The soldiers are to join NATO high-readiness brigade in Eastern Europe, according to Canadian media reports.

“As a responsible partner in the world, Canada stands side by side with its NATO Allies working to deter aggression and assure peace and stability in Europe,” Canada’s Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement Thursday. “I know our men and women in uniform will represent the best that Canada has to offer.”....

https://www.rt.com/news/349086-canada-n ... ps-latvia/

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