Did CIA Director Gina Haspel run a black site at Guantánamo?

did-cia-director-gina-haspel-run-a-black-site-at-guantanamo

10-01-19 08:02:00,

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — An attorney for the accused architect of the Sept. 11 attacks told a judge in a secret session last year that CIA Director Gina Haspel ran a secret agency outpost at Guantánamo, an apparent reference to a post-9/11 black site, according to a recently declassified transcript.

The claim by Rita Radostitz, a lawyer for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, appears in one paragraph of a partially redacted transcript of a secret hearing held at Guantánamo on Nov. 16. Defense lawyers were arguing, in a motion that ultimately failed, that Haspel’s role at the prison precludes the possibility of a fair trial for the men accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks who were also held for years in covert CIA prisons.

Neither the public nor the accused was allowed to attend the hearing but, following an intelligence review, the Pentagon released portions of its transcript on a war court website.

Haspel reportedly ran a CIA black site in Thailand where two terror suspects were waterboarded, probably before her arrival there. The unverified statement that she had a similar assignment at the terror-detention center at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would reveal a never-before disclosed chapter of the spy chief’s clandestine career.

The CIA declined to comment on the claim.

But in the transcript of a discussion about CIA torture and restrictions on the lawyers for the alleged plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Radostitz notes that prosecutors claim they are “not trying to cover up the torture … But the one thing that they’re not willing to talk about is the names of the people involved in the torture.” Then, after a large censored section, she says, “it makes it impossible for people at Guantánamo, who may have seen her when she was here as chief of base, to identify her and talk about it.”

Chief of base is a CIA term for the officer in charge of a secret foreign outpost. A 2014 Senate study of the CIA’s network of secret overseas prisons, called black sites, said the CIA had two such secret prisons at Guantánamo in 2003 and 2004 — apart from the Pentagon’s Guantánamo prison known as Camp Delta.

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Trump’s Acting Pentagon Chief Reportedly Said The $1 Trillion F-35 Is ‘F*cked’ And Never Should Have Been Made

trump8217s-acting-pentagon-chief-reportedly-said-the-1-trillion-f-35-is-8216fcked8217-and-never-should-have-been-made

10-01-19 08:01:00,

The new defense chief, a former Boeing employee, has reportedly been extremely critical Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter in private meetings, raising questions about whether he is bias in overseeing the largest weapons program in history.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who took over in the wake of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation, spent more than 30 years at Boeing before he joined the Department of Defense in 2017 as the deputy secretary of defense.

Although he signed an ethics agreement recusing himself from participating in matters involving Boeing, the new defense chief has continuously bashed a key program for one of Boeing’s top competitors in high-level meetings at the Pentagon and other private gatherings, Politico reports, citing former government officials who personally heard Shanahan make critical comments.

Shanahan reportedly called the F-35 stealth fighter “f—ed up,’ saying that Lockheed “doesn’t know how to run a program.”

“‘If it had gone to Boeing, it would be done much better,’” a former official recalled Shanahan saying, Politico reported.

He is said to have “dumped” on the aircraft regularly, with a former Trump administration official noting that he kind of “went off” on the program last year. “He would complain about Lockheed’s timing and their inability to deliver, and from a Boeing point of view, say things like, ‘We would never do that,’” the former official revealed.

U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter crew chief, Tech. Sgt. Brian West, watches his aircraft approach for the first time at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 14, 2011. Aircraft 0747 is the Department of Defense’s newest aircraft. (U.S. Air Force/Samuel King Jr.)

In other private meetings, Shanahan has reportedly called the program “unsustainable,” complaining about the cost in particular of the stealth fighters, with separate versions built for the Navy, Marines and Air Force. The F-35 is expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the life of the program, making it the most expensive weapon in US military history.

Current administration officials, however, told Politico that Shanahan’s comments are being taken out of context, stressing that he is not advocating for Boeing. “I don’t believe that’s the case at all.

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78% Of Americans Live Paycheck To Paycheck (Including Many Government Workers Affected By The Shutdown)

78-of-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck-including-many-government-workers-affected-by-the-shutdown

10-01-19 04:22:00,

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

In just a few days, this will officially be the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight. 

President Trump is pledging that he will not sign any spending bill unless it includes funding for a border wall, and the Democrats are promising their supporters that they will never agree to a single penny for a wall.  This could be the confrontation that ends up defining Trump’s presidency, and whoever backs down now is going to look incredibly weak. 

But the longer this shutdown lasts, the more painful things are going to become for the hundreds of thousands of federal workers that are going without pay, and for the hundreds of thousands of workers that are employed by government contractors that rely on business from the federal government.

You should never play a game of chicken with somebody that is crazier than you are.  In this case, it looks like both sides fully expect the other party to blink first, but the truth is that neither side is likely to yield any time soon.

So the days ahead are likely to be exceedingly painful for most federal workers, because just like the population as a whole, most of them are living paycheck to paycheck.

In fact, one survey found that 78 percent of American workers are currently living paycheck to paycheck…

Government workers are far from alone in feeling stressed about not getting paid. Nearly 80 percent of American workers (78 percent) say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder. Women are particularly vulnerable: 81 percent of them report living paycheck to paycheck, compared with 75 percent of men.

As I have repeatedly stressed, living paycheck to paycheck is something that you do not want to do if at all possible.  When you live paycheck to paycheck, you are just one major disaster away from financial ruin.  For example, if somebody in your family has a major accident or a significant medical emergency,

 » Lees verder

Human Rights Defenders Call Out Israel on Dangerous Herbicides Sprayed over Gaza – Global Research

human-rights-defenders-call-out-israel-on-dangerous-herbicides-sprayed-over-gaza-8211-global-research

10-01-19 04:20:00,

A number of human rights organizations have called on Israel to stop spraying dangerous herbicides over the Gaza Strip, as they endanger health and crops in the besieged coastal enclave, a press release by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said, on Wednesday.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Adalah wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his role as Minister of Defense, Military Advocate General Sharon Afek, and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit with an urgent demand to refrain from conducting further aerial spraying of herbicides inside and near the Gaza Strip, due to the severe damage to crops and the risk to the health of Gaza residents caused by the spraying.

According to media reports and accounts from Gaza residents, on December 4, the Israeli military sprayed herbicides, from the air, over areas inside the Gaza Strip and near the fence separating it from Israel. A variety of crops grown in fields near the fence inside the Strip were damaged, as a result.

WAFA further reports that, in December of 2015, the military confirmed that it uses planes to spray herbicides near the fence in order to clear terrain. Farmers and local organizations in the Strip report that spraying has occurred since 2014. In June 2016, Gisha, Adalah and Al Mezan submitted a complaint on behalf of eight farmers from Gaza whose crops had been damaged by spraying, calling on the Israeli authorities to refrain from the practice and compensate the farmers, to no avail.

In the letter submitted on Monday, the organizations emphasize that the spraying is a highly destructive measure, infringing on fundamental human rights and violating both Israeli and international law. Contrary to Israel’s official position, whereby the military only sprays herbicides over Israeli territory, farmers in Gaza report that the planes spray over the Strip’s aerial space.

The letter further notes that even if the spraying were to, in fact, take place only on the Israeli side, the chemical agents used are carried by wind over to the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to crops and disproportionate financial losses to local farmers, meaning that there is no justification or legal basis for the continued use of this destructive practice.

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Why We Must Stop the 5G Network

why-we-must-stop-the-5g-network

10-01-19 04:16:00,

The global deployment of the fifth-generation wireless network,(5G) constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is nothing less than a crime under international law.

Yet the subject of the the enormous dangers of the imminent and rapid deployment of 5G technology was not mentioned when world leaders gathered earlier this month in Poland for the UN ‘Earth’ conference.

An inconvenient truth perhaps that our leaders could argue was not part of the overall subject in Poland of the well being of the Earth and all its inhabitants. Give me a break.

In Poland details of an important scientific report, commissioned by the UN, were released that stated the world has under 12 years to drastically cut emissions to avert catastrophe – that appeared to create a sense of urgency causing this closing statement. “To waste this opportunity in [Poland] would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said. “It would not only be immoral, it will be suicidal.”

What is more suicidal, insane is a more appropriate word, is not to address the terrible impact on the Earth of the introduction of 5G.

Some of the world’s largest companies, with the support of their governments, are poised, over the next two years, to roll out 5G. This is set to deliver what is acknowledged to be “unprecedented societal change” on a global scale.

As if that will not increase the potential in future for more cyber attacks by States and potentially terrorist organisations as well as further contribute to the ever emerging disturbing social networks consequences of ‘people manipulation’ by huge corporations and States led by by mainly psychopathic and inept political leaders.

The great writer Aldous Huxley, imagined such forms of ‘technological progress’

in his famous book BRAVE NEW WORLD written nearly a 100 years ago. The late Stephen Hawkins before he died said the greatest threat to mankind was artificial intelligence (AI) – well 5G is the road that will eventually lead us to AI domination.

5G will bring us “smart” homes, “smart” businesses, “smart” highways, “smart” cities and self-driving “smart” cars. Virtually everything we own and buy, from TVs to refrigerators and washing machines to milk cartons,

 » Lees verder

France’s Macron and Philippe order CRACK DOWN on Yellow Vests (Video)

frances-macron-and-philippe-order-crack-down-on-yellow-vests-video

10-01-19 04:16:00,

The global deployment of the fifth-generation wireless network,(5G) constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is nothing less than a crime under international law.

Yet the subject of the the enormous dangers of the imminent and rapid deployment of 5G technology was not mentioned when world leaders gathered earlier this month in Poland for the UN ‘Earth’ conference.

An inconvenient truth perhaps that our leaders could argue was not part of the overall subject in Poland of the well being of the Earth and all its inhabitants. Give me a break.

In Poland details of an important scientific report, commissioned by the UN, were released that stated the world has under 12 years to drastically cut emissions to avert catastrophe – that appeared to create a sense of urgency causing this closing statement. “To waste this opportunity in [Poland] would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said. “It would not only be immoral, it will be suicidal.”

What is more suicidal, insane is a more appropriate word, is not to address the terrible impact on the Earth of the introduction of 5G.

Some of the world’s largest companies, with the support of their governments, are poised, over the next two years, to roll out 5G. This is set to deliver what is acknowledged to be “unprecedented societal change” on a global scale.

As if that will not increase the potential in future for more cyber attacks by States and potentially terrorist organisations as well as further contribute to the ever emerging disturbing social networks consequences of ‘people manipulation’ by huge corporations and States led by by mainly psychopathic and inept political leaders.

The great writer Aldous Huxley, imagined such forms of ‘technological progress’

in his famous book BRAVE NEW WORLD written nearly a 100 years ago. The late Stephen Hawkins before he died said the greatest threat to mankind was artificial intelligence (AI) – well 5G is the road that will eventually lead us to AI domination.

5G will bring us “smart” homes, “smart” businesses, “smart” highways, “smart” cities and self-driving “smart” cars. Virtually everything we own and buy, from TVs to refrigerators and washing machines to milk cartons,

 » Lees verder

AIPAC Takes Newly Elected Congress Members, CNN’s Setmayer on Propaganda Trips to Israel

aipac-takes-newly-elected-congress-members-cnns-setmayer-on-propaganda-trips-to-israel

10-01-19 01:18:00,

AIPAC Takes Newly Elected Congress
Members, CNN’s Setmayer on Propaganda Trips to Israel

By Alison Weir

Newly elected Congressional Reps David Trone, Dan Crenshaw,
Elaine Goodman Luria, Tim Burchett, Denver Riggleman, and Susie Lee on a
December 2018 AIPAC trip to Israel. AIPAC’s educational arm spends about $10,000
a piece on these trips. By using a nonprofit entity, the Israel lobby gets
around a U.S. law intended to prohibit Congressional junkets funded by lobbying
groups.

January 03, 2019 “Information
Clearing House

–    The Israel lobby has been busy taking a wide variety of government officials
and opinion makers on fully expense paid trips to Israel this month. The trips
cost in the range of $10,000
per person
.

Six newly elected House members are on a 5-day visit to Israel, a delegation
of northern California “progressive leaders” are on a week-long trip, media
commentator Tara Setmayer has just returned from such a trip, and a delegation
of southern California progressive leaders returned from their trip earlier this
month.

The House participants include liberals and conservatives, Jewish
representatives and Christian fundamentalists, Trump supporters and Trump
opponents: Tim Burchett (R-TN), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Susie Lee (D-NV), Elaine
Goodman Luria (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA) and David Trone (D-MD).

The


California participants
are County Supervisors John Gioia and Joe Simian,
California Democratic Party Executive Committee Member Andrea Beth Damsky, and
unknown others. The delegations are named “Northern Pacific Progressive Leaders”
and “Southern Pacific Progressive Leaders,” but no one will divulge the rosters.

The AIPAC loophole

The trips are organized and funded by the


American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF),
 the nonprofit arm of the
powerful Israel lobbying group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
AIEF was founded in 1989 “to advance the purposes of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee.”

AIPAC is widely believed to be the most powerful organization in the US
lobbying Congress on behalf of a foreign country. An outgrowth of the 1939
organization “American Zionist Emergency Council,” AIPAC’s annual convention is
attended by ambitious politicians from across the political spectrum (see


this
 example;

 » Lees verder

The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

the-secret-logistics-of-americas-global-deep-state

10-01-19 11:02:00,

The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?

“It’s as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher 

Zaidan’s article went on to say:

The world’s largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

[Editor’s’ Note: The ten-acre US Embassy in Beijing is the second largest overseas construction project in the history of the Department of State — and the 104-acre US Embassy in Iraq is the largest.]

So, America’s largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment. … The United States announced several months ago that between diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the pullout of US forces.

On January 1st, Will Sillitoe headlined at the Helsinki Times, “What does the US embassy in Baghdad export to Finland and dozens of other countries?” and he reported that:

More than a million kilograms of cargo were shipped from Baghdad to different parts of the world, reveals US embassies procurement documents.

Mysterious cargo shipments from the US Embassy in Baghdad to other American embassies and consulates around the world have been revealed on a Wikileaks’ database. Procurement orders of US embassies are public documents, but Wikileaks put them in a searchable database making it easier to analyse.

The database displaying worldwide US embassy orders of goods and services reveals Baghdad as a postal and shipping centre for tonnes of freight.

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Media not covering Integrity Initiative scandal because they might be ‘involved’ – Labour MP to RT

media-not-covering-integrity-initiative-scandal-because-they-might-be-involved-labour-mp-to-rt

10-01-19 11:00:00,

The revelations about UK government-funded propaganda outfit the Integrity Initiative are a “real scandal” and more questions need to be asked about its activities and motives, Labour MP Chris Williamson has told RT.

British media has been reluctant to cover the Anonymous leaks which exposed the Scotland-based organization in November 2018, revealing that it had used its hefty government funding to interfere in the domestic politics of other European countries and to engage in a smear campaign against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at home.

Speaking to RT’s Afshin Rattansi on Going Underground, Williamson said that the media might be hesitant to cover the leaks because they themselves are implicated.

One has to ask the question, therefore, is it because of their involvement that [journalists] are not covering this real scandal?

The leaks named a number of high-profile journalists, academics, politicians and military personnel, claiming they were part of special ‘clusters’ of influencers based in various countries around Europe. The documents showed that these so-called clusters are particularly interested in ensuring certain ‘narratives’ about Russia remain prominent in the mainstream media.

Williamson said the Integrity Initiative revelations were reminiscent of Operation Mockingbird in the United States in the 1950s, during which the CIA paid journalists at the New York Times, the Washington Post and other major trusted outlets to “put out propaganda and misleading stories” about the US government and its adversaries. The idea that something similar could be happening in British media is very troubling, Williamson said.

We value a free press in this country and I think it’s really important, therefore, that we are confident that people aren’t in the pay of some shady organization.

Lacking interest from mainstream media, Williamson himself made an effort to investigate the Integrity Initiative, traveling to its registered address in Scotland, which he found at the end of a “remote dirt track” in a “semi-abandoned mill” where nobody had heard of the organization. He then went back to London and visited the address of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS), the parent organization of the Integrity Initiative, where he was “met with a very hostile reception; I mean, shouted at and the door slammed in my face.”

It is odd,

 » Lees verder

‘Elected officials’ worst nightmare’? Yellow Vests hope to trigger bank run with financial protest

elected-officials8217-worst-nightmare-yellow-vests-hope-to-trigger-bank-run-with-financial-protest

10-01-19 10:32:00,

Yellow Vest protesters are hoping to trigger a bank run with a nationwide coordinated cash withdrawal. By threatening the French financial system, protesters say, they want to peacefully force the government to pass their reforms.

If the banks weaken, the state weakens immediately,” said Yellow Vest “sympathizer” Tahz San on Facebook. “It’s elected officials’ worst nightmare.”

Read more

Stop treating people like beggars or face hatred – Yellow Vests to Macron

Protesters plan to empty their bank accounts on Saturday, withdrawing as much money as possible in a bid to undermine the French banks – if not the euro itself. The plan is to “scare the state legally and without violence,” forcing the government to adopt the movement’s Citizens’ Referendum Initiative, which would allow citizens to propose and vote on new laws.  

We are going to get our bread back…you’re making money with our dough, and we’re fed up,” said protester Maxime Nicolle in a video message shared on YouTube. 

A well-coordinated financial action has the potential to bring the French banking system – and by extension the euro – to its knees, as banks always hold only a fraction of the funds the country’s citizens have in their accounts. However, most banks limit ATM withdrawals to a relatively low amount, meaning protesters would have to line up inside the banks to withdraw the rest of their money, giving the state plenty of time to place restrictions on withdrawals – though this would, no doubt, spark further protest.

The financial demonstration is a novel means of circumventing Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s proposed crackdown on “unauthorized protests,” announced earlier this week after a particularly violent weekend of clashes with armed riot police – including an unexpected appearance by boxer Christophe Dettinger. Philippe has promised 80,000 security forces will be deployed for the next protest.

Also on rt.com
France’s crackdown on protesters: ‘Govt has nothing to offer except blood, sweat & tears’

Meanwhile, there is tension within the movement itself, as some former protest leaders call for a political solution.

 » Lees verder

“Complete Chaos” As Brazil’s Gangs Go Ballistic Over Bolsonaro Crackdown

8220complete-chaos8221-as-brazil8217s-gangs-go-ballistic-over-bolsonaro-crackdown

10-01-19 10:27:00,

Brazil has been swept with a rash of violence as gangs react to new President Jair Bolsonaro’s crackdown on crime – which includes military takeovers of Brazilian cities and shoot-to-kill orders carried out by teams of sharpshooters. 

Five hundreds national guard troops have been deployed to the north-eastern town of Fortaleza in the state of Ceará, after authorities have been overwhelmed by more than a week of violence which saw more than 160 attacks, reports the Guardian

Security forces say three rival drug gangs have come together to carry out more than 160 attacks in retaliation for a proposal to end the practice of separating gang factions inside Brazil’s prisons.

Buses, mail trucks and cars have been torched. Police stations, city government buildings and banks have been attacked with petrol bombs and explosives. On Sunday, criminals blew up a telephone exchange, leaving 12 cities without mobile service. Other explosions have damaged a freeway overpass and a bridge. –Guardian

There have been 148 arrests linked to the attacks, while at least 20 prisoners suspected of ordering the attacks haver been transferred from state to federal prisons – where Bolsonaro’s administration says it won’t back down on its plan to combat gang activity.  

Via The Guardian

Gang members detonated an IED on a viaduct support column, putting the viaduct structure at risk of collapse. https://t.co/Gab6Z6zb5G pic.twitter.com/23udUoicpl

— Ross Dayton (@rdayt_) January 7, 2019

Homicide rates in Fortaleza and other north-eastern cities have soared in recent years, as a territorial wars have broken out between Brazil’s most notorious gangs; the First Capital Command (known as the PCC in Portuguese) from São Paulo and the Red Command (Comando Vermelho) from Rio de Janeiro, which have locked horns with the Fortaleza-based Guardians of the State and the Northern Family from Amazonas state. 

The PCC and the Red Command are locked in a bitter fight to control Brazil’s drugs trade, and Fortaleza is seen as a strategic prize because it is the closest large port to Europe and Africa. 

 » Lees verder

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media | The Vineyard of the Saker

beyond-kafka-how-youtube-amp-facebook-keep-purging-alternative-media-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

10-01-19 10:26:00,

Hassan Nasrallah is persona non grata on Social Networks, where Anti-Zionism is the ultimate thoughtcrime 

With a comment from Norman Finkelstein

Cache view of the Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, August 2018

I had created this Page at the beginning of 2018, since no other place can compete with Youtube and its near-monopoly on video content, in order to reach a broader audience. But it was deleted without explanation by Facebook short of its first anniversary. I can’t even know the precise date of termination. Youtube did at least bother to send emails notifying of the removal of a video or of a whole channel, but Facebook has only internal notifications for posts removals. Here is how it happened. 

I got two warnings from Facebook, dated December 24th and December 25th, 2018:

When I logged in on December 28th and saw these messages, I immediately appealed the decisions through the automated procedure, as shown above, though the specific posts alledgedly violating the Communnity Standards weren’t even accessible, since they had been removed. It means that I didn’t –and still don’t– even know which posts got me these “strikes”. At least, Youtube was specific about the videos alledgedly violating their rules –three speeches of Hassan Nasrallah–, though they didn’t say more than that. I don’t know if the whole Page was finally removed because of a third “strike” –Facebook does not even state how much “strikes” you can get before termination– or because of something else, like constant flagging and reports by cyber-IDF soldiers and Hasbara trolls. But I am positive it has to do with my anti-Zionist content. It is a blatant attempt to take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices, as stated by Vera Eidelman from the ACLU

Of course, one should always protest and complain using the due procedures. After all, Facebook has been known to restore such Pages after the public outcry following their removal without proper reason (TeleSur, VenezuelAnalysis, etc.). I did protest, and I am still expecting an answer from them, without much hope, since earlier appeals as old as September 17th are still awaiting a response almost 4 months later,

 » Lees verder

Meet Godfathers of Ukraine’s New Church: CIA, Neo-Nazis and Mafia | The Vineyard of the Saker

meet-godfathers-of-ukraines-new-church-cia-neo-nazis-and-mafia-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

10-01-19 10:24:00,

by arras, published with agreement of the author

On January 5, 2019, Bartholomew I, patriarch of Constantinople (today known as Istanbul in Turkey) had signed a decree of autocephaly (independence) for the new unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Decree of autocephaly is also known as Tomos. This was preceded by the council organized by the Ukrainian government on December 15, 2018 in Kiev which was supposed to unite three existing separate Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in to one. Unity did not materialize as the largest and oldest of the three churches, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow patriarchate refused to attend, bringing fears that Ukrainian government may resort to more heavy handed methods to subdue it. Like those used against Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east of the Ukraine, sparking 4 years of civil conflict in Donbas and ethnic violence elsewhere.

However Tomos for Ukraine created large controversy not just inside Ukraine but in the whole Orthodox Christian world, as it brought Bartholomew I in to inevitable confrontation with Russian Orthodox Church, which was for centuries senior to Ukrainian Orthodox Church and claims that Bartholomew I have no right to grant Ukrainian church independence as he has no jurisdiction over it. Other Orthodox Churches all around the world now have to choose between Patriarch of Constantinople and Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the largest and most influential one among all Orthodox Churches.

Despite looming schism in Orthodox Christianity, Kiev authorities and their backers in Washington and London had burst in to celebrations. Pictures from these celebrations which emerged from Kiev and Istanbul had however left many people baffled. Even people supporting Bartholomew’s actions. Standing around the cradle of the new independent Ukrainian church were strange figures. Figures that bring questions about what purpose and whose interests new Ukrainian church represent.

The first one is Jack Devine, ex-Acting Director and Associate Director of the CIA’s operations outside the United States. As such he directed CIA overthrow and assassination of the president Salvador Allende in Chile, bringing to power dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973. In 1980s he oversaw Iran–Contra scandal, illegal sale of arms to Iran in order to finance US death squads in Nicaragua. Height of his career came however when he directed creation of the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight Soviet Union.

 » Lees verder

When Guns Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Guns

when-guns-are-outlawed-only-outlaws-will-have-guns

10-01-19 10:24:00,

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Guns are banned in the UK, but the black market is booming and criminals are loading up on firearms.

I have often wondered what is the real agenda of gun ban advocates. More people die from falls than from being shot. Deaths from accidents far exceed deaths from being shot.

The FBI reports that there were 1,247,321 violent crimes in the US in 2017.

Aggravated assault and robbery account for 91% of violent crimes. Rapes account for 7.7%. Murders accounted for only 1.4% of violent crime.

According to the FBI, there were 17,284 murders in 2017. 

Assailants using rifles killed 403 people, and 1,591 were killed by people using knives.  Handguns were used in 7,032 killings, many of which resulted from criminals killing one another over, for example, drug distribution.

The police were responsible for 987 shooting deaths, about one-fourth of which were mentally disturbed people.

There were 40,327 motor vehicle accident deaths in 2017. About 4,000 people died from drowning. There were 34,673 deaths from accidental falls. There were 58,335 accidental poisoning deaths. All unintentional deaths totalled 161,374.

It turns out that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death, which puts it up there with cancer and heart attacks. Harvard University reports that properly prescribed medications hospitalize 1.9 million Americans annually, killing 128,000 people, which places prescribed medicines fourth place with strokes as a leading cause of death. Far more lives could be saved by focusing on careful drug testing rather than on gun control.

What then explains the fixation and constant propaganda about banning “assault rifles” when the total annual murders by assailants using all kinds of rifles is 403?

What explains the fixation on handguns that are the weapon of choice in only 41% of murders numbering only 7,032 deaths?

What is the point of disarming the population when private ownership of firearms prevents a large number of crimes.

 » Lees verder

UK’s Secret Propaganda Network Was Heavily Involved in Skripal Affair

uk8217s-secret-propaganda-network-was-heavily-involved-in-skripal-affair

10-01-19 10:12:00,

The Institute for Statecraft (IoS) and its Integrity Initiative (II) constitute a secret propaganda network tied to the UK security services. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel, journalists and academics to manufacture and disseminate propaganda serving the geo-political aims of British imperialism and its allies.

The IoS was founded in 2006 and the II in 2015. But their secret role in promoting fake news and disinformation was exposed only in November and December of 2018 by hacking group Anonymous.

A document published by Anonymous shows funding for the II totalled £582,635 in 2017-18, with £480,635 coming from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the rest from NATO.

Funding shot up to £2.6 million in 2018-19, with £1.96 million from the FCO and the rest from the US State Department, NATO and the American neoconservative Smith Richardson Foundation. Facebook, which plays in integral role in imposing censorship on behalf of US imperialism, donated £100,000.

The Working Group on Syria Propaganda and Media (WGSPM) produced a briefing on the II last month documenting the role played by leading figures in the UK Ministry of Defence, US Army and senior intelligence figures. It noted, “The involvement of these senior officers from military intelligence and information warfare units suggests that the MoD rather than the FCO is driving the Integrity Initiative programme.”

On January 4, a fourth trove of documents was made public by the Anonymous collective, taken from the internal servers of the IoS and II. These include many documents related to the poisoning last March of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, without citing any evidence, immediately accused Russia of attempting to assassinate the pair using the nerve agent novichok, thereby ramping up global tensions. The II leaks indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance, with the IoS planning a detailed anti-Russia propaganda war, including suggested achievable objectives.

A 2015 document written by IoS “team member” Victor Madeira is titled “Russian Federation Sanctions.” It lists “potential levers” to achieve Russian “behaviour change,” “peace with Ukraine,” “return [of] Crimea,” and “regime change.” Such “levers” span almost every conceivable area, including “civil society,” “sports,” “finance” and “technology.”

Under “intelligence” Madeira calls for the simultaneous expulsion of “every RF [Russian Federation] intelligence officer and air/defense/naval attaché from as many countries as possible”—citing as a precedent the expulsion of over 1,000 Soviet officials from the UK in September 1971.

 » Lees verder

Yellow Vests Advocate Taking Money Out of Banks in France to Topple Macron | Armstrong Economics

yellow-vests-advocate-taking-money-out-of-banks-in-france-to-topple-macron-armstrong-economics

10-01-19 10:12:00,

The Yellow Vest Movement in France is turning to an all-out war against Macron. Many are now advocating withdrawing their money from backs in order to topple Macron. Yellow Vest activists ‘Gilets Jaunes’, are now supported by up to 70% of the population. This new effort stepping up their pressure to de-throne President Macron and regain French sovereignty from the hands of the EU elites and globalists is becoming really intense as they call on the people to remove Euros from French banks to destabilize the regime.

Now we are witnessing the further spread of the Yellow Vest Movement as Taiwanese demonstrators have also launched their ‘yellow vest’ movement to protest taxes. The Yellow Vest Movement has also now emerged in Lebanon as people there to are calling for “Revolution” to unfold.

 » Lees verder

The EU votes for the installation of new US missiles in Europe, by Manlio Dinucci

the-eu-votes-for-the-installation-of-new-us-missiles-in-europe-by-manlio-dinucci

10-01-19 09:48:00,

The member States of the European Union have unanimously aligned themselves with the military strategy of their American big brother. They have accepted that their own territory may transform itself into a nuclear battleground in the case of conflict between the United States and Russia.

JPEG - 33.8 kb

Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled “Evil Defeated by Good”, representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987, which banned land-based short- and mid-range nuclear missiles (a reach of between 500 and 5,000 km). Symbolically,the body of the dragon is in fact made with pieces of US Pershing-2 ballistic missiles (originally based in West Germany) and Soviet SS-20 missiles (originally based in the USSR).

But the nuclear dragon, which in the sculpture is shown as dying, is now being reborn. Thanks to Italy and other countries of the European Union, which, at the United Nations General Assembly, voted against the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and Implementation of the INF Treaty”, rejected by 46 to 43 with 78 abstentions.

The European Union – of which 21 of its 27 members are part of NATO (including the United Kingdom, which is currently leaving the EU) – has thus taken a uniform stance with the position of NATO, which in turn has taken a uniform stance with that of the United States.

The Obama administration first, followed by the Trump administration, have accused Russia, without any proof, of experimenting with a missile from the forbidden category, and have announced their intention of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. At the same time, they have launched a programme aimed at renewing the installation of nuclear missiles in Europe to guard against Russia, while others will also be based in the Asia-Pacific region against China.

The Russian representative at the UN has warned that “this constitutes the beginning of a full-blown arms race”. In other words, he warned that if the United States should once again install in Europe nuclear missiles pointed at Russia (as were the Cruise missiles based in Comiso in the 1980’s), Russia would once again install,

 » Lees verder

War Criminals at Large – Global Research

war-criminals-at-large-8211-global-research

09-01-19 04:02:00,

It is a common misconception that democracies do not start wars of aggression or carry out terrorist attacks. The historical facts for the period from 1945 to today show a completely different reality: time and again, democratic states in Europe and North America have participated in wars of aggression and terrorist attacks in the past 70 years.

There are so many cases that I am not able to list all of them here. As examples, I have selected three events from different decades:

  • the illegal attack by the European democracies Britain and France on Egypt in 1956;
  • the terrorist attack by the democracy France on Rainbow Warrior, a ship operated by the environmental organization Greenpeace in 1985;
  • and the illegal attack by US President Donald Trump on Syria on April 7, 2017.

Because mass media, neither in the European nor the American democracies, openly address and criticize these crimes and because so far the responsible politicians have not been convicted by a court, a stubborn misconception persists in the populations of these aggressor states that democracies never start wars and also never use terror as a political instrument.

But the three examples mentioned show clearly:

Democracies, members of the NATO military alliance and with a veto power in the UN Security Council to protect themselves from condemnation, have repeatedly attacked other countries.

This is illegal. For the UN Charter of 1945, Article 2 (4), clearly states:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force..[..]

The Charter only allows the use of force if an attacked state defends itself or if the United Nations Security Council has approved the military strike. In all other cases, the UN prohibits war. Terrorist attacks are always prohibited.

The attack on Egypt in 1956

Egypt is a strategically important country because of the 160 kilometer long Suez Canal, opened in 1869. It plays a central role in supplying Europe with crude oil. The canal connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and saves ships from the Persian Gulf to Europe the detour around Africa. Today, the canal is plied daily by tankers bringing oil and liquefied natural gas to the European market.

 » Lees verder

Collaboration between Egypt and Israel

collaboration-between-egypt-and-israel

09-01-19 03:42:00,

On 6 January 2018, the US television channel, CBS, broadcast an interview with Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi [1] as part of their programme “60 minutes”, In this interview, President al-Sissi declared “that his army is working with Israel to fight terrorists in the North of Sinai”.

CBS’s announcement that it planned to broadcast this interview had alarmed the Egyptian ambassador to Washington. The latter had asked that the interview not be aired, a request that fell on deaf ears.

Whilst President al-Sissi is talking about collaboration, most actors in the region are persuaded that the Israeli air force had struck what Daesh call Wilayat Sinaï (“the province of Sinaï “) more than a hundred times during the last three years.

According to the website of the Israeli Left Walla!, joint operations against Daesh are being used to conceal actions against the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the pro-Iranian, armed branch of the Palestinian Hamas [2].

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

 » Lees verder

Jason Bermas on the 9/11 Papers : The Corbett Report

jason-bermas-on-the-911-papers-the-corbett-report

09-01-19 01:39:00,

The Corbett Report

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed

Watch this video on BitChute / BitTube / DTube / YouTube

Jason Bermas of Pulse Change joins us to discuss the recently released “9/11 papers.” What new information is in this release, and does it tell us anything of value about 9/11? Can the documents be verified?

CLICK HERE for show notes and mp3 audio of this conversation.

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Asbestos Found in Baby Powder. You’ll Never Guess How J&J Respond!… #PropagandaWatch : The Corbett Report

asbestos-found-in-baby-powder.-youll-never-guess-how-jampj-respond-propagandawatch-the-corbett-report

09-01-19 01:35:00,

  • HomeRemedySupply says:

    I am pleasantly amazed that Reuters actually ran the article.

    My hat off to the journalist.

    I have long detested Johnsons and Johnsons baby powder because of its synthetic chemical perfumes and dust like nature. I think it is insane to sprinkle it on a baby. If you can smell it, it is going in your lungs (i.e. the very toxic synthetic chemical fragrances along with mineral talc particulates). Lung inhalation is a direct line to the blood stream, (as any pot smoker knows). Mineral particulates (whether talc or other types of minerals) in the lungs can cause all kinds of issues.

    Even J&J’s baby powder gives a warning “Keep powder away from baby’s face to avoid inhalation, which can cause breathing problems.”
    MDSD – Material Data Safety Sheet – Talc – pdf
    https://www.nwmissouri.edu/naturalsciences/sds/t/Talc.pdf

    To me, it has always seemed like common sense NOT to sprinkle this dusty stuff on infants. My god! The baby is bound to breathe it. It is easily airborne.

    I just can’t get over how corporations can dupe the common sense out of people.

    I mean…look…Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Oil (mineral oil and fragrance). Mineral oil is typically a distillate of petroleum. Might as well just get some motor oil and put it on an infant.

    Corn Starch has long been used in the south by both guys and gals to help keep the private parts and feet dry, especially in the summer. It actually feels pretty good.

    “It’s a conspiracy theory”

    I think the media and corporations are starting to lose the impact of their denigration with the use of the supposed ‘insult’: “It’s a conspiracy theory”. Pretty soon, like on this Corbett Episode, the public will laugh at them for making such a silly statement.

  •  » Lees verder

    US telecoms ‘selling cellphone data showing user locations in real time’

    us-telecoms-selling-cellphone-data-showing-user-locations-in-real-time

    09-01-19 01:23:00,

    American telecommunications giants are selling access to their customers’ location data, leaving them exposed to being tracked by bounty hunters and others, a disturbing report by Motherboard has revealed.

    T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are reportedly among the companies whose data is being used to track phone locations, leaving mobile network users exposed without their knowledge.

    US telecommunication companies sell user data to aggregator companies who then sell this information in turn to their own customers. The data can then be re-sold on the black market, where it could fall into the hands of criminals, stalkers and others.

    Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox paid a bounty hunter to geolocate a target’s T-Mobile phone in his investigation into the location tracking practice. The bounty hunter’s contact was able to track the phone to the correct Queens neighborhood within a few hundred meters of its location. This was done without any hacking or previous knowledge of the owner’s location.

    Tracking the target

    T-Mobile shared user location data with a data aggregator company called Zumigo, which shares information with another company called Microbilt. Microbilt sells phone geolocation services to a number of private industries, like property managers, bail bondsmen and roadside assistance, company documents and sources revealed to Motherboard.

    Using just a phone number, the company’s Mobile Device Verify can bring up the target’s name, address and phone location, either in a specific instance, or as a constant tracking service.  

    Finding a phone will set you back a mere $4.95, but if you sign up to a package to track more phones the cost per phone will fall. To track someone’s real time location using their phone costs $12.95. In this case, a bounty hunter got a Microbilt customer to find the target’s phone, for $300.

    Also on rt.com
    German cyber watchdog says no evidence that Huawei spies

    Microbilt customers can sell on the information they pay for to other sources, meaning the data can end up in anyone’s hands. Motherboard reports bounty hunters also use the geolocation to track their own ex’s.

    Telcos sell customers’ real time location to one set of companies, that then sell it to an array of different industries: car rental,

     » Lees verder

    Brexit Unleashes British Bulldog Snarling at Russia

    brexit-unleashes-british-bulldog-snarling-at-russia

    09-01-19 10:05:00,

    Brexit Unleashes British Bulldog Snarling at Russia

    Britain is dispatching some 1,000 marines to join NATO war exercises off Norway in “a show of strength to Russia”. The move is but one of several military muscles being flexed by Britain in a bid to boost its international standing. Russia is designated as the convenient villain to justify Britain’s renewed militarism.

    To lend the madness some popular appeal, British media reported that “Prince Harry will join one of ­Britain’s biggest war exercises against Russia in 20 years, as a warning to Vladimir Putin over his continued aggression.”

    Harry (34), the youngest son of heir to the British crown, Prince Charles, is said to be privy to secret battle plans taking place in Norway over the next 12 weeks “as the marines practice drills in a show of strength against potential military strikes by ­Moscow.”

    Russia’s embassy in Britain dismissed the exercise involving the young royal as a PR gimmick to fire up public enthusiasm for what is otherwise a hackneyed ploy of provoking tensions with Moscow. “Apparently, the authority of politicians and generals is no longer enough to ensure public support for this policy,” it said.

    Indeed, a PR stunt is surely what it is going on. And the British media are showing themselves once again to be the disgraceful pro-war stenographers that they are by churning out official assertions of “Russian aggression” and “potential military strikes”.

    But what’s also going on here is a wider and more disturbing pattern of Britain increasing its militarism towards Russia. Not that Russia is quaking in its boots over Britain’s threatening conduct, but the reckless snarling attitude of the British bulldog nevertheless adds to increasing international tensions between NATO powers and Moscow. That implies an increasing risk of a military confrontation.

    A significant factor here is Britain’s intensifying Brexit chaos as it splits from the European Union. The deadline for the EU divorce comes on March 29 when Britain is set to leave the bloc after more than four decades of membership. If Britain crashes out of the EU without a trade deal, which looks increasingly likely due to internal British political squabbling, then economic and social chaos is expected.

    Given the high stakes, it seems that the British establishment is seeking to distract from the Brexit debacle through ramping up tensions with Russia.

     » Lees verder

    How The US Spent Billions To Change The Outcome Of Elections Around The World: A Review

    how-the-us-spent-billions-to-change-the-outcome-of-elections-around-the-world-a-review

    09-01-19 08:16:00,

    Authored by Danny Haiphong via BlackAgendaReport.com,

    The U.S. military state overthrows democratically-elected governments that it deems to be a threat to corporate interests.

    “There is plenty of evidence that the United States is the most depraved and dangerous “meddler” in the affairs of other nations that history has ever known.”

    Dan Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer, but most of all he is an anti-imperialist and an author of three books. Kovalik’s first two books tackled the specific US war drives against Russia and Iran. His third installment, The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, addresses the broad scope of US election meddling abroad. The book provides much needed political and ideological life support to an anti-war movement in the U.S that has been rendered nearly invisible to the naked eye.

    The Plot to Control the World is as detailed in its critique of U.S. imperialism as it is concise. In just over 160 pages, Kovalik manages to analyze the various ways that the U.S. political and military apparatus interferes in the affairs of nations abroad to achieve global hegemony. He wastes no time in exposing the devastating lie that is American exceptionalism, beginning appropriately with the U.S. imperialist occupations of Haiti and the Philippines at the end of the 19thcentury and beginning of the 20th. The U.S. would murder millions of Filipinos and send both nations into a spiral of violence, instability, and poverty that continues to this day. As Kovalik explains regarding Haiti, “While the specific, claimed justifications for [U.S.] intervention changed over time- e.g., opposing the end of slavery, enforcing the Monroe Doctrine, fighting Communism, fighting drugs, restoring law and order — the fact is that the interventions never stopped and the results for the Haitian people have been invariably disastrous.”

    “Kovalik wastes no time in exposing the devastating lie that is American exceptionalism.”

    US expansionism has relied upon the ideology of American exceptionalism to silence criticism and weaken anti-war forces in the United States. American exceptionalism claims that the U.S. is a force for good in the world and completely justified in its wars of conquest draped in the cover of spreading “democracy and freedom” around the world.

     » Lees verder

    The Stomach-Churning Violence of the Agrochemical Oligopoly

    the-stomach-churning-violence-of-the-agrochemical-oligopoly

    09-01-19 08:14:00,

    Colin Todhunter

    Image source here.

    As humans, we have evolved with the natural environment over millennia. We have learned what to eat and what not to eat, what to grow and how to grow it and our diets have developed accordingly. We have hunted, gathered, planted and harvested. Our overall survival as a species has been based on gradual, emerging relationships with the seasons, insects, soil, animals, trees and seeds. And out of these relationships, we have seen the development of communities whose rituals and bonds have a deep connection with food production and the natural environment.

    However, over the last couple generations, agriculture and food production has changed more than it had done over previous millennia. These changes have involved massive social upheaval as communities and traditions have been uprooted and have entailed modifying what we eat, how we grow our food and what we apply to it. All of this has been driven by geopolitical concerns and powerful commercial interests with their proprietary chemicals and patented seeds. The process of neoliberal globalisation is accelerating the process as farmers are encouraged to produce for global supply chains dominated by transnational agribusiness.

    Certain crops are now genetically engineered, the range of crops we grow has become less diverse, synthetic biocides have been poured on crops and soil and our bodies have been subjected to a chemical bombardment. We have arrived at a point where we have lost touch with our deep-rooted microbiological and social connection with nature and have developed an arrogance that has placed ‘man’ above the environment and all other species. One of the consequences is that we have paid an enormous price in terms of the consequent social, environmental and health-related devastation.

    Despite the promise and potential of science, it has too often in modern society become a tool of vested interests, an ideology wrapped in the vestiges of authority and the ‘superstition’ that its corporate-appointed priesthood should not be challenged nor questioned. Instead of liberating humankind, it has now too often become a tool of deception in the hands of agribusiness conglomerates which make up the oligopoly that controls what is an increasingly globalised system of modern food and agriculture.

     » Lees verder

    US Snatches Chinese Executive – Sets Dangerous Precedent | New Eastern Outlook

    us-snatches-chinese-executive-sets-dangerous-precedent-new-eastern-outlook

    09-01-19 08:12:00,

    HuaweiHQ

    Claiming that prominent Chinese telecommunications company Huawei had violated US sanctions on Iran – Canada was requested to arrest and hand over Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was transferring planes in Vancouver.

    The arrest was described even by the Washington Post as “unusual” in its article titled, “Arrest of Huawei executive triggers stock market turmoil and unsettles U.S.-China trade talks.”

    The article would also claim:

    Meng was arrested on a U.S. extradition warrant because Huawei is suspected of evading American sanctions on Iran, according to multiple news reports. U.S. prosecutors have been investigating since 2016 whether Huawei violated U.S. export and sanctions laws by shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran. 

    The arrest, on the same day President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping met for dinner in Buenos Aires for trade and national-security talks, is being viewed in China as politically motivated.

    And very clearly the move made against Huawei – along with a barrage of similar legal moves made to cripple rising Chinese companies competing against their waning US counterparts – is politically motivated – as are the sanctions the US has imposed on Iran in the first place.

    Part of a Wider Pattern of Trying to Provoke, Humiliate China  

    Reuters in an article titled, “U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations: sources,” would lay out previous examples of US attempts to cripple China’s largest tech companies, claiming:

    The probe of Huawei is similar to one that China’s ZTE Corp says is now threatening its survival.The United States last week banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. Washington accused ZTE of violating an agreement on punishing employees after the company illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran.

    Nowhere on the websites of the US State Department, US Department of Treasury, or the US Justice Department is any information available regarding the alleged sanctions Huawei supposedly violated or how Huawei selling US technology to Iran allows the US to snatch Chinese citizens at Canadian airports.

    China, for its part, has demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou.

     » Lees verder

    France Moves To Ban All Protests As PM Announces Major Crackdown On Yellow Vests

    france-moves-to-ban-all-protests-as-pm-announces-major-crackdown-on-yellow-vests

    09-01-19 08:02:00,

    France is signaling it’s making preparations for a massive new crackdown on the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” anti-government protests that have gripped the country for seven weeks. A new law under consideration could make any demonstration illegal to begin with if not previously approved by authorities, in an initiative already being compared to the pre-Maiden so-called “dictatorship law” in Ukraine.

    In the name of reigning in the violence that has recently included torching structures along the prestigious Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, and smashing through the gates of government ministry buildings, the French government appears set to enact something close to a martial law scenario prohibiting almost any protest and curtailing freedom of speech.

    Fires set at structures along the famous Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, France, January 5, 2019, via Reuters

    Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented the new initiative to curtail the violence and unrest while targeting “troublemakers” and banning anonymity through wearing masks on French TV channel TF1 on Monday. He said the law would give police authority crack down on “unauthorized demonstrations” at a moment when police are already arresting citizens for merely wearing a yellow vest, even if they are not directly engaged in protests in some cases. 

    PM Philippe said the government would support a “new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare [protests], those who take part in unauthorized demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks”.

    Philippe’s tone during the statements was one of the proverbial “the gloves are off” as he described the onus would be on “the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused” to businesses and property. 

    “Those who question our institutions will not have the last word,” he added. 

    However, if anything the protests have grown fiercer in response to any police crackdown or violence against demonstrators. Should all protests be banned under the new law, it could be the start of more violent riots gaining steam, as what began Nov. 17 as anger over fuel tax hikes has now turned into rage at President Emmanuel Macron and policies that seem to favor the urban elite. 

    Other yellow vest inspired protests previously broke out across Europe,

     » Lees verder

    Organizer of Macron’s ‘grand debate’ with Yellow Vests defends her ‘shocking’ €176,000 salary

    organizer-of-macrons-grand-debate-with-yellow-vests-defends-her-shocking-e176000-salary

    08-01-19 08:37:00,

    Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a nationwide public debate, intended to defuse months of Gilets Jaunes protests, is off to a rocky start. The spotlight has shifted to the extravagant salary of the official in charge of organizing it.

    Chantal Jouanno is a former sports minister in the conservative government of Nicolas Sarkozy, and the current chairwoman of the CNDP, an official body for public debates, a role for which she receives an annual salary of €176,000 ($201,000).

    The prominent position for yet another well-paid bureaucrat has caused outrage against the backdrop of street protests that were fueled by the disconnect between decisions taken by financially secure public officials, and the impact they have on ordinary citizens, such as the now-cancelled petrol tax.

    Jouanno, a former national karate champion, deployed a series of blocks to stave off the discontent.

    Read more


    © Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi © Reuters/Benoit Tessier

    She insisted she was not specifically being paid for the “unprecedented” public discussions, but for a broader role that she assumed last year, adding that she does not negotiate her salary, which is set by the “CNDP, whoever they are.”

    “I think it’s important that people can express their shock with my salary, and if they want to propose a different salary for my role, they are free to do so,” she told France Info TV.

    She was also defended by her colleague, Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy, who said that if people wanted political posts to be “filled for free, or the minimum wage, it means society no longer recognizes that there is a scale of responsibilities.” With a self-reported salary of just €114,000 ($130,400) per annum – de Rugy must consider himself to be about a third less responsible than Jouanno.

    The French president’s proposal for three months of public consultations and town-hall debates starting from January 15 was a bold gambit, but fraught with risk. As part of the process, the government is sure to receive thousands of ambitious and contradictory demands, which may be at odds with its own past tax and labor reforms, and its planned pension proposals.

    Also on rt.com
    French PM says new,

     » Lees verder

    A Majority of Americans Do Not Believe the Official 9/11 Story – PaulCraigRoberts.org

    a-majority-of-americans-do-not-believe-the-official-911-story-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

    08-01-19 08:26:00,

    A Majority of Americans Do Not Believe the Official 9/11 Story

    “Conspiracy Theorists” Now A Majority

    Paul Craig Roberts

    TruePublica, a British website that has avoided the 9/11 issue, has had its fill of ignorant journalists at the BBC, Huffington Post and other propagandists for the military/security complex. The constant, shrill demeaning of experts and distinguished people who have raised questions about the official story has convinced TruePublica that skeptics who need so much shouting down must have a point.

    The media has NEVER EXAMINED the evidence or explained the analysis provided by scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, and the first responders who experienced the explosions of the World Trade Center twin towers. The media has never asked for the release of the multiple videos that recorded whatever struck the Pentagon. The media has never investigated whether cell phones worked in 2001 from the altitudes at which the official story claims calls were made.

    Instead two-bit punk presstitutes, such as the BBC’s Chris Bell and the Huffington Post’s Jess Brammer andl Chris York, label experts with knowledge and integrity “conspiracy theorists.” These presstitutes knowingly use a cover-up term that the CIA put into use via its media assets to discredit the expert skeptics of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy.

    The fact that the carefully presented evidence is NEVER ENGAGED EXCEPT WITH NAME-CALLING is a strong indication that the evidence is true and cannot be refuted.

    TruePublica is such a mainline site that, in its own words, it does not even “publish news sourced by RT,” a far more reliable source of news than the BBC, CNN, or New York Times. However, it has dawned on TruePublica that after 18 years an ad hominum attack remains the only defense of the official story. The official account has NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER. It rests entirely on the AVOIDANCE OF EVIDENCE and on unverified assertions.

    The success of the 9/11 Lawyers’ Committee in obtaining the consent of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York to “comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3332,” which requires the convening of a federal grand jury to examine the unexamined 9/11 evidence,

     » Lees verder

    Kiss What Is Left of Your Medical Data Privacy Goodbye

    kiss-what-is-left-of-your-medical-data-privacy-goodbye

    08-01-19 03:39:00,

    Politics & Elections

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    Medicaid Patients Suffer as Layers of Private Companies Profit

    Matt Stoller warned back in 2012 that insurers would increasingly induce, then force, customers to agree to surveillance. But a Wall Street Journal story describes how insurers and medical providers, meaning your doctor’s employers, are actively cooperating, so as among other things, to help Big Pharma peddle more drugs to you.

    Stoller warned that over time, insurance companies would make it prohibitive and eventually impossible to refuse to agree to intensive monitoring:

    Profit-driven surveillance does not start and stop with young adults. It is, in fact, becoming pervasive. The main theme of a recent IBM consulting document on the future of the insurance industry is how much more money an insurance company can make if it tracks and tags its customers. This is particularly true for auto insurance companies, some of whom like Allstate and Progressive are experimenting on new technologies. For instance, IBM suggests that “A “pay-as-you-live” product would trade some location and time-of-day privacy data for lower insurance bills overall.”

    IBM is recommending these companies stick a sensor in your car, measure where you go and when, your speed, acceleration and deceleration, etc. The progression over time could be to withdraw traditional insurance products, so that you won’t be able to get an insurance product without sensors attached. As this presentation offers, “The aforementioned rising tide of technology also empowers insurance underwriters to bring their products closer to realtime interaction via sensor networks and enlightened privacy regulations.”…

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    Now at least this progression has the appearance of being consensual. First you are paid for giving up your privacy,

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    French PM says new, tougher laws on unauthorized protests coming in wake of Yellow Vest clashes

    french-pm-says-new-tougher-laws-on-unauthorized-protests-coming-in-wake-of-yellow-vest-clashes

    08-01-19 02:57:00,

    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that the government will crack down on unauthorized protests and toughen punishment for rioting in the wake of anti-government Yellow Vest demonstrations which began in November.

    The new measures will significantly toughen punishment for people who participate in riots, Philippe said, while adding that it was still “necessary to preserve the freedom” to demonstrate in France. Those who want to protest peacefully should not be punished, he said.

    The announcement comes as part of new “public order” measures unveiled by the government after the Yellow Vest protests resulted in violence against police officers and government buildings.

    Philippe’s office said in a statement on Monday that the government would take “a very firm stance” against the “continued unacceptable violence across the country.”

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    ‘Continue the fight’: French boxer who punched police officer urges Yellow Vests to keep going

    Philippe also told channel TF1 that a major police force of 80,000 will be deployed in France next Saturday, including 5,000 in Paris. Over 1,000 people have already been charged in connection with the protests and rioting, he added.

    “Over 1,000 sentences have been given in total. Around 5,600 people have been detained since the beginning of the [Yellow Vest] movement,” Philippe said.

    “We cannot accept that some people take advantage of these demonstrations to break, to burn,” he stressed.

    Also on rt.com
    Сovering protest from the office? French TV station refuses to hit the street after reporters mobbed

    The newly announced measures to curb the nationwide protest movement received mixed reactions. While Mayor of Toulouse Jean-Luc Moudenc said he was “satisfied” with Philippe’s move, opposition politicians such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon sarcastically claimed that the PM is totally disconnected from reality.

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    © RT France

    “The king of the Shadocks is in Matignon,” Mélenchon said referring to the popular animated series where ignorant bird-like creatures live on their own planet, and the Matignon Palace,

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    How The Federal Reserve Quietly Bankrupted The US Pension System

    how-the-federal-reserve-quietly-bankrupted-the-us-pension-system

    08-01-19 02:56:00,

    Submitted by Stephanie Pomboy of Macro Mavens

    Actions have consequences.  Even for the Fed.

    That’s not a reference to the market’s grumpy reaction to the central bank’s continued rate hikes and quantitative tightening.  No.  The impact of both on financial assets were as obvious as they were inexorable.  To be sure, Wall Street’s resident soothsayers had a good run spinning tales that ‘this time’ was different. A tightening Fed, we were assured, was a good thing—a ringing endorsement of the economy’s indefatigable strength. But, in the end, there was simply no way around the basic fact: Just as rate cuts and QE were designed to expand the pool of credit and incent the embrace of risk, so would rate hikes and QT necessarily beget the reverse. And so they have.

    But while the impact of receding liquidity and the reduced reward for reckless speculation and risk-taking have finally begun to play out on Bloomberg screens everywhere, the real devastation has yet to be revealed.  In the ensuing weeks and months the full and lugubrious legacy of the Fed’s great monetary experiment of the last decade will finally come into view.

    Beyond inflating and bursting a bubble in corporate debt (with leveraged loans acting as posterchild), the Fed’s decade-long financial repression has had a far larger and more sinister impact: It has silently bankrupted the US pension system.  

    Sound overly dramatic??

    Here are the numbers from no lesser authority than the institution responsible for this destruction itself: the Federal Reserve.   By their calculations, at the end of the 3rd quarter, the funding shortfall of U.S. pension plans (public and private) stood at -$6.18t.  That’s trillion, with a capital ‘t’.  To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 30% of GDP:

    But that’s not even the scary part.  The scary part is that this is the funding deficit NOW…after a decade of rampant financial asset inflation and a 10-year economic expansion. One shudders to imagine what the picture will look like as these tailwinds reverse.  If the last two cycles are any indication, it won’t be pretty. The DotCom bust sent the cumulative deficit from -$1.2t to -$3.1t and the GFC saw it swell from -$2.9t to -$5.3t. 

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    Let’s Play Follow The Climate Money!

    let8217s-play-follow-the-climate-money

    08-01-19 02:54:00,

    Authored by Paul Driessen, originally published at CFACT.org

    The climate crisis industry incessantly claims that fossil fuel emissions are causing unprecedented temperature, climate and weather changes that pose existential threats to human civilization and our planet. The only solution, Climate Crisis, Inc. insists, is to eliminate the oil, coal and natural gas that provide 80% of the energy that makes US and global economies, health and living standards possible.

    Failing that, CCI demands steadily increasing taxes on carbon-based fuels and carbon dioxide emissions.

    However, as France’s Yellow Vest protests and the latest climate confab in Poland demonstrated, the world is not prepared to go down that dark path. Countries worldwide are expanding their reliable fossil fuel use, and families do not want to reduce their living standards or their aspirations for better lives.

    Moreover, climate computer model forecasts are completely out of touch with real-world observations. There is no evidence to support claims that the slight temperature, climate and weather changes we’ve experienced are dangerous, unprecedented or caused by humans, instead of by the powerful solar, oceanic and other natural forces that have driven similar or far more serious changes throughout history.

    More importantly, the CCI “solutions” would cause unprecedented disruption of modern industrialized societies; permanent poverty and disease in poor countries; and serious ecological damage worldwide.

    Nothing that is required to harness breezes and sunshine to power civilization is clean, green, renewable, climate-friendly or sustainable. Tens of billions of tons of rock would have to be removed, to extract billions of tons of ores, to create millions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials, to manufacture millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and install them on millions of acres of wildlife habitats – to generate expensive, intermittent energy that would be grossly insufficient for humanity’s needs. Every step in this process requires fossil fuels – and some of the mining involves child labor.

    How do CCI alarmists respond to these points? They don’t. They refuse to engage in or even permit civil discussion. They rant that anyone “who denies climate change science” is on the fossil fuel industry payroll,

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