BREXIT storm deepens, as parliamentary coup may be forming against May and Corbyn

brexit-storm-deepens-as-parliamentary-coup-may-be-forming-against-may-and-corbyn

16-01-19 11:32:00,

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

The Middle East is metamorphosing. New fault-lines are emerging, yet Trump’s foreign policy ‘hawks’ still try to stage ‘old movies’ in a new ‘theatre’.

The ‘old movie’ is for the US to ‘stand up’ Sunni, Arab states, and lead them towards confronting ‘bad actor’ Iran. ‘Team Bolton’ is reverting back to the old 1996 Clean Break script – as if nothing has changed. State Department officials have been briefing that Secretary Pompeo’s address in Cairo on Thursday was “ slated to tell his audience (although he may not name the former president), that Obama misled the people of the Middle East about the true source of terrorism, including what contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. Pompeo will insist that Iran, a country Obama tried to engage, is the real terrorist culprit. The speech’s drafts also have Pompeo suggesting that Iran could learn from the Saudis about human rights, and the rule of law.”

Well, at least that speech should raise a chuckle around the region. In practice however, the regional fault-line has moved on: It is no longer so much Iran. GCC States have a new agenda, and are now far more concerned to contain Turkey, and to put a halt to Turkish influence spreading throughout the Levant. GCC states fear that President Erdogan, given the emotional and psychological wave of antipathy unleashed by the Khashoggi murder, may be mobilising newly re-energised Muslim Brotherhood, Gulf networks. The aim being to leverage present Gulf economic woes, and the general hollowing out of any broader GCC ‘vision’, in order to undercut the rigid Gulf ‘Arab system’ (tribal monarchy). The Brotherhood favours a soft Islamist reform of the Gulf monarchies – along lines, such as that once advocated by Jamal Khashoggi .

Turkey’s leadership in any case is convinced that it was the UAE (MbZ specifically) that was the author behind the Kurdish buffer being constructed, and mini-state ‘plot’ against Turkey – in conjunction with Israel and the US. Understandably, Gulf states now fear possible Turkish retribution for their weaponising of Kurdish aspirations in this way.

And Turkey is seen (by GCC States) as already working in close co-ordination with fellow Muslim Brotherhood patron and GCC member,

 » Lees verder

Benefiting Israel Tops US Congressional Agenda – Global Research

benefiting-israel-tops-us-congressional-agenda-8211-global-research

16-01-19 09:00:00,

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously was unaware that he was being filmed when he commented that “America is a thing you can move very easily, moved in the right direction.” His predecessor Ariel Sharon was even more to the point when he reportedly said “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that …don’t worry about American pressure; I tell you, we, the Jewish people, control America and the American people know it!”

If this were only chest thumping rhetoric one might just shrug and go about one’s business, but actions speak louder than words, even in the world of corrupt politicians, where nothing is ever as it seems to be. In the past year alone, the U.S. government has moved its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has stopped criticizing the Netanyahu government’s expansion of illegal settlements, and is reportedly currently contemplating recognizing as legal Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. All the moves were and are contrary to actual American interests.

Furthermore, Israel, a country having a European level standard of living to include free education and medical care, has received more than $250 billion in “aid” from Washington. It currently is receiving $3.8 billion yearly from the U.S. Treasury as a base figure guaranteed for ten years, with supplements for special projects and programs. Adding in trade arrangements favorable to Israel and the money it gets from American Jewish donors’ tax-exempt contributions, the real total per annum approaches and may even exceed $10 billion. Much of the donor money, including that from the Kushner Foundation, has gone to fund the illegal settlements on the West Bank in violation of U.S. law. And then there is the $2.7 billion given yearly to Egypt and Jordan, essentially bribes to maintain friendly relations with Israel.

The ultimate irony is that any aid to Israel is illegal in light of the fact that it has violated the Symington and Glenn amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act due to its undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal and its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Both Congress and the White House have chosen to ignore that complication,

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From Baghdad To Finland And All Across The World: What’s The US Up To?

from-baghdad-to-finland-and-all-across-the-world-what8217s-the-us-up-to

16-01-19 08:43:00,

Via Off-Guardian.org,

Why does the US Embassy in Helsinki need a big warehouse near Malmi Airport and what are the contents of thousands of kilograms of cargo sent to Helsinki from Baghdad?

A dilapidated warehouse in Malmi is being used by the US Embassy for unknown operations after a Wikileaks release revealed its location.

The anonymous looking building on Takoraudantie is notable only for the new 427 meter perimeter fence that according to the Wikileaks’ database was ordered by the US Embassy in April 2018.

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.

Here are two critical articles on this subject from Helsinki Times, dated December 29, 2018 and January 1, 2019 respectively.

GUARDED WAREHOUSES NEAR AIRPORT AND MYSTERIOUS CARGO FROM BAGHDAD

by Will Sillitoe

Situated across the street from the main entrance of Malmi Airport, the warehouse with its 3 meter high security fence appears an unlikely location for official embassy business. Neighbouring companies include a car yard and a tyre warehouse.

Helsinki Times visited the perimeters this weekend. Security personnel, young Finns in uniforms with American flags on their arms, appeared nervous and suspicious when asked to comment on the warehouse and refused to even confirm the order of the new fence structure which now surrounds the compound. At one point a security guard appeared in a second floor window to carefully monitor this reporter’s movements along Takoraudantie.

US embassy warehouse near Malmi airport. This image from Google street view is from 2011. The newly built permitter fence can not be seen in this image.

Mysterious parcels from Baghdad

The Wikileaks’ database has also revealed mysterious packages being sent to the US Embassy in Finland from their embassy in Baghdad.

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Buchanan: Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?

buchanan-is-bolton-steering-trump-into-war-with-iran

15-01-19 10:05:00,

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday night tweet.

Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton.

Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the Green Zone in Baghdad, which exploded harmlessly in a vacant lot, Bolton called a series of emergency meetings and directed the Pentagon to prepare a menu of targets, inside Iran, for U.S. air and missile strikes in retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one U.S. official as saying Bolton’s behavior “rattled people. … People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

Bolton’s former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was “an act of war” to which the U.S. must respond decisively.

Bolton has long believed a U.S. confrontation with Iran is both inevitable and desirable. In 2015, he authored a New York Times op-ed whose title, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran,” said it all. He has urged that “regime change” in Iran be made a declared goal of U.S. foreign policy.

When Trump announced his decision to withdraw the 2,000 U.S. troops now in Syria, Bolton swiftly imposed conditions: ISIS must first be eliminated, Iranian forces and allied militias must leave, and the Kurds must be protected.

Yet enforcing such red lines would require a permanent presence of American troops. For how, without war, would we effect the removal of Bashar Assad’s Iranian allies, if he declines to expel them and the Iranians refuse to go?

Bolton has an ally in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Cairo last week, Pompeo declared it U.S. policy “to expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria.

And though Hezbollah has been a “major presence” in Lebanon for several decades, “we won’t accept this as the status quo,” said Pompeo, for Hezbollah is a “wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian regime.”

But how does the secretary of state propose to push Hezbollah out of Lebanon peacefully when the Israelis could not do it in a month-long war in 2006?

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EU approval of glyphosate weed killer was based on ‘plagiarized’ Monsanto studies, report finds

eu-approval-of-glyphosate-weed-killer-was-based-on-plagiarized-monsanto-studies-report-finds

15-01-19 09:59:00,

EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial glyphosate-based Monsanto weed-killer on an assessment which was heavily plagiarized from agri-chemical industry reports, a cross party group of MEPs has revealed.

The MEPs commissioned the investigation after the Guardian reported that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) had copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies into its safety assessment for the weed killer. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) then based its recommendation that glyphosate was safe based on that very report.

Shocking: Greens in the European Parliament today exposed the involvement of the agri-chemical industry in renewing the authorisation of the suspected carcinogen glyphosate. A damning new report presents evidence of… https://t.co/flkAbuSPZR

— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) January 15, 2019

The results of the investigation were published just hours before a parliamentary vote on tightening scrutiny on the approval of pesticides. The cross-party report said that BfR had given the “deliberate pretence” of independent assessment, but in reality was “only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.”

The scale of plagiarism was “extremely alarming” according to Green MEP Molly Scott Cato. The study found that more than 50 percent of the chapters were plagiarized, including whole pages of text.

Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $63 billion last year, is dealing with more than 9,300 lawsuits from people claiming that the company’s glyphosate-based weed killers caused their cancers. The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

Adding to the company’s woes, a French court on Tuesday decided to cancel the authorization to market RoundUp Pro 360, a Monsanto weed killer product which contains glyphosate. Filings showed that regional court in Lyon ruled to cancel the market authorization for the product, saying the approval, which had been granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017, had not taken potential health risks into consideration.

The court said that “scientific studies and animal experiments” showed that RoundUp Pro 360 is a “potentially carcinogenic product for humans, suspected of being toxic for human reproduction and for aquatic organisms.” ANSES has not yet commented on the ruling. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously pledged to outlaw it completely in France by 2021.

 » Lees verder

Pentagon Wants Big War Funding – Now | New Eastern Outlook

pentagon-wants-big-war-funding-now-new-eastern-outlook

15-01-19 06:20:00,

LOG453422

We are off to a huge news cycle for 2019, with everything from shifting sands in the Mideast, to what some say could be a growing class rebellion in the EU, which might tip its house of cards over.

The Trump White House interprets its Syria policy differently day after day. More countries state their intentions to resume ties with Syria, including many in Europe. And the same EU has left Iran standing at the altar over its phantom Special Purpose Vehicle that Mogherini said would be ready by year end, but which appears to have morphed into a “dark project”.

Lost among all the current high profile stories was a Pentagon report that slipped by getting much news coverage, but continues the US long march from a new Cold War to a hot one. The US Defense Science Board issued a report titled Task Force on Survivable Logistics. Although it has a somewhat innocuous title, it is a message in a bottle to us all.

In short, the report was a maximum effort to sell a US military logistics crisis to fight a World War with a “strategic adversary”. And “crisis” was used in describing the situation, indicating that the US has allowed the military logistics supply chain to deteriorate badly, due to funding going into other things.

But there was no mention in the report of our fighting new fake wars after blowing trillions in failed and dead-end US military adventures in the Mideast that have left a wide path of destruction in their wake; and all this was done when no real war had been declared.

Wading through the report, I got the feeling that, after Trump had rolled out his nuclear modernization program with its big price tag and bragged he was going to build the biggest and best military machine on the planet, these logistics chiefs wanted to get in on the action. Dear Mr. President, when we outspend everyone else put together, just who did you have in mind to use this big bad machine on?

And as to the drafters of the report, I would ask them, if we do have crises logistics problems when we have over 700 bases worldwide, with members of NATO creeping up to the Russian and Chinese borders to be able to threaten them with a quick delivery first strike,

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DOJ, Rosenstein Working To Better Spy On Journalists, Target Leakers

doj-rosenstein-working-to-better-spy-on-journalists-target-leakers

15-01-19 06:14:00,

Over the past few months, the Department of Justice has been quietly engaged an effort to revise its guidelines governing the rules for seizing records from journalists – especially when it comes to leak cases, reports The Hill’s John Solomon.

The effort has the potential to touch off a First Amendment debate with a press corps that already has high degrees of distrust of and disfunction with the Trump administration. –The Hill

Current guidelines were established during the Clinton Administration – “long before WikiLeaks was a twinkle in Julian Assange’s eye,” and were designed to balance a journalist’s First Amendment rights and the investigative interests of law enforcement. They require prosecutors in most cases to exhaust all obvious investigative methods for identifying leaks before they go after a journalist’s records – and free-speech rights. 

In addition, the rules generally have required DOJ to alert news organizations in advance of a possible subpoena, giving both sides a chance to negotiate before the subpoena — viewed as a nuclear button by most journalists — gets pushed.

Multiple sources familiar with the ongoing DOJ review tell me that it has two main goals. The first is to lower the threshold that prosecutors must meet before requesting subpoenas for journalists’ records; the second is to eliminate the need to alert a media organization that Justice intends to issue a subpoena. –The Hill

Supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office following the departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the revisions are not yet finalized according to Solomon’s sources – who note that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is aware of the effort but has not been given a final recommendation. 

“Sources close to Whitaker say he will await final judgment but, in recent days, has developed reservations about proceeding with the plan,” writes Solomon. 

“After a lengthy period of turmoil and regular criticism from President Trump, DOJ has enjoyed a period of calm normalcy that has put employees’ focus back on their work and not the next tweet. Matt doesn’t want to disrupt that unless a strong legal case can be made.”

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Universal Basic Income Will Make Serfs of Us All

universal-basic-income-will-make-serfs-of-us-all

15-01-19 06:11:00,

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a much-touted solution to our increasingly tech-driven society, proposed by everyone from Alexandria OcasioCortez to conservative libertarian think tank the Cato Institute.

The idea is that UBI could replace vanishing jobs and give all Americans a cushion. Give every American a set amount of money per month, often suggested at the $500 or $1,000 level, to spend as they wish.

As leaders from tech to social movements are well aware, we are about to enter the age of self-driving Ubers, increasingly smart supply chain and warehouse technology, and news reports being generated and delivered by AI. It doesn’t matter how many workplaces unionize or how many stomp their feet and demand jobs: a lot of people currently employed won’t be in the foreseeable future.

Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg have all pointed to UBI as a solution for the fact that tech is taking over entire industries. Besides being a prong in the “Green New Deal,” the city of Stockton, California, is implementing a trial run beginning in February by giving 100 residents $500 a month.

Never mind that in 1972, when the idea of UBI was gaining popularity, the guaranteed amount discussed was $1,000. It seems absurd that, given inflation and massive cost of living increases over the last 45 years, $500 a month is what’s being discussed.

And rarely, if ever, is it pointed out that, in fact, the idea of giving everyone money is so they can spend money. That seems to go without saying, of course, but that point should be made: Our capitalist system requires everyone in this country spend money.

More important is how to enable people to live in a way that is healthy—will UBI do that? The evaporation of traditional jobs requires a reevaluation of our place in society, and how we can contribute to and support our families and communities. Do we want to continue to labor for money to buy things that for thousands of years were acquired without cash or credit?

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Ukraine’s Cult of Stepan Bandera: Not a Detail, but a Cornerstone

ukraines-cult-of-stepan-bandera-not-a-detail-but-a-cornerstone

15-01-19 01:10:00,

Ukraine’s Cult of Stepan Bandera: Not a Detail, but a Cornerstone

During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).

THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS

Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?

The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941,

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The Migrants quota and the new European Spring – FREESURIYAH

the-migrants-quota-and-the-new-european-spring-freesuriyah

15-01-19 01:09:00,


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor migrant plan from the EUPicture: Daily mail
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As I wrote before, the migrant-crisis, is a result of wars waged by the US and Western states (EU/NATO) in the Middle-east and Africa. The plan however, for these wars and letting in migrants (I don’t speak about real refugees) is also a set-up plan, by mainly the so-called “left” political block in the EU (Social Democrats mainly), who are sponsored individually and as political party, by the bilionaire George Soros, who is a frequent quest at the EU meetings.

Soros is a well-known supporter of so-called progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, he donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes;[by 2017, his donations “on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world” totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown.   

According to the New York Times and other so-called progressive Newspapers, in the US and Europe promote Soros, saying that conservatives have promoted false claims that characterize Soros as a singularly dangerous “puppetmaster” behind a variety of alleged global plots! Which is to my opinion true and has nothing to do with “left of right, progressive and liberal”. Which the MSM likes to call it. It’s proven that his Open Borders society gives training for so-called “color-revolutions”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros.

Also there is leaked plan, brought up by the Hungarian government:

Just how long have the pro-migration forces in Brussels been scheming about a migrant quota?

Some claim that the notion of a pro-migration lobby is nonsense, that Brussels came up with the migrant quota for the sake of Member States and in response to the crisis that erupted in 2015. This idea that there are forces at work in the background driving an agenda to enable migration to Europe rather than stop it – this idea,

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‘A Reckless Advocate of Military Force’: Demands for John Bolton’s Dismissal After Reports He Asked Pentagon for Options to Strike Iran

8216a-reckless-advocate-of-military-force8217-demands-for-john-bolton8217s-dismissal-after-reports-he-asked-pentagon-for-options-to-strike-iran

15-01-19 10:24:00,

Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, “a reckless advocate of military force,” the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton “asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department.”

“It is imperative that this Congress investigate Bolton’s request for war options and pass legislation placing additional legal and political constraints on the administration’s ability to start a new war of choice with Iran that could haunt America and the region for generations.”
—Jamal Abdi, NIAC

“It definitely rattled people,” a former U.S. official said of the request, which Bolton supposedly made after militants aligned with Iran fired mortars into the diplomatic quarter of Baghdad, Iraq that contains the U.S. Embassy in early September. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

“The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council’s request to develop options for striking Iran,” the Journal reported, citing unnamed officials. “But it isn’t clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request, or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at that time.”

The Journal‘s report, which comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an “arrogant tirade” of a speech vilifying Iran, sparked immediate alarm among critics of the Trump administration’s biggest warmongers—who, over the past several months, have been accused of fomenting unrest in Iran and laying the groundwork for war.

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, called the news “a reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane.”

Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), tweeted, “Make no mistake: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!” Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations and longtime critic of Bolton, called for his immediate ouster over the request detailed in Journal’s report.

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House Bill Forces Trump to Nominate “Anti-Semitism Envoy” Who Would Monitor Criticism of Israel

house-bill-forces-trump-to-nominate-anti-semitism-envoy-who-would-monitor-criticism-of-israel

15-01-19 09:58:00,

The position of anti-Semitism envoy was
created in 2004 over the objections of the
State Department, which said it wasn’t
needed. It was urged by Israeli Minister for
Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, who had
formulated a new definition of anti-Semitism
that includes criticism of Israel.



By Alison Weir

January 14, 2019 “Information
Clearing House

–   

The U.S. House of Representatives voted
411-1
 for a bill that would force
President Trump to nominate an anti-Semitism
envoy, a position that has been vacant since
he took office. The definition of
anti-Semitism the position uses includes
certain criticisms of Israel.

The bipartisan bill upgrades the current
position of Anti-Semitism Envoy to an
ambassador rank, which requires the job to
be filled within 90 days.

The law states that the Special Envoy
shall “serve as the primary advisor to, and
coordinate efforts across, the U.S.
government relating to monitoring and
combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic
incitement in foreign countries.”

The bill, H.R.221-
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat
Anti-Semitism Act
, was sponsored by Rep.
Christopher H. Smith [R-NJ-4] and has 87
co-sponsors
. Smith’s largest campaign
donor
 was NorPAC,
a pro-Israel political action committee.

To become law the bill must next be
passed by the Senate and then be signed by
the president. If Trump vetoes it, Congress
can override this through a two-thirds vote.

The position of anti-Semitism envoy was
created in 2004 over the objections of the
State Department, which said it wasn’t
needed. It was urged by
Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan
Sharansky, who had formulated a new
definition of anti-Semitism that includes
criticism of Israel.

Previous envoys before or after serving
in the position worked for the Israel
lobbying organization AIPAC, the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee.


The second envoy,

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“Financial Nuclear Warheads” – The Yellow Vests Get It Right

8220financial-nuclear-warheads8221-8211-the-yellow-vests-get-it-right

15-01-19 09:08:00,

Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog,

The mainstream media has degenerated irreparably. Here’s a reliable rule of thumb: if it’s important it’s not covered; if it’s covered it’s not important. Stories in the American mainstream press about Yellow Vest protests have been few. One aspect of the protests, transcendently important, has received scant coverage.

The Yellow Vest protestors have called for a coordinated run on French banks. Whether they realize it or not, they’re playing with nuclear warheads that could annihilate not just the French, but Europe’s and the entire world’s financial system. Because inextricably linked to the ends of contemporary governments―how much they can screw up the lives of those who must live under them—is the question of means―how do they fund their misrule? The short answer is taxes and debt.

Since 1971, when President Nixon 
“temporarily” suspended international convertibility of dollars for gold (it’s never been reinstated), the monetary basis of the global economy has been fiat debt. Neither government or central bank debt nor currencies are tethered to any real constraint, like precious metals (see “Real Money,” SLL). Thus, politicians and monetary officials can create as much debt as they want: debt by fiat.

Government and central bank debt is at the apex of the global debt pyramid. The next tier is commercial banks that have accounts at central banks. Those accounts are bank assets and central bank liabilities, or debts. Central banks expand their fiat liabilities to banks in exchange for banks’ fiat government debt, an exchange called debt monetization, which is a bit of a misnomer since no “Real Money” is involved. The “monetization” is the central bank’s fiat expansion of banks’ accounts with the central bank in exchange for fiat government debt, which expands banks’ assets available for loans to governments, businesses, and individuals.

In “Real Money,” money was defined, in part, as that which has intrinsic value and is not a liability of an individual or entity. This part of the definition is controversial; it invalidates everything we currently think of as money. Popularly accepted definitions are essentially: money is as money does,

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French Riot Police Deploy Semi-Automatic Weapons Against Yellow Vests As Macron Loses Grip On Country

french-riot-police-deploy-semi-automatic-weapons-against-yellow-vests-as-macron-loses-grip-on-country

15-01-19 08:39:00,

French riot police were pictured brandishing Heckler & Koch G36 semi-automatic rifles with 30-round magazines near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Saturday afternoon, reports the Daily Mail

French riot police brandishing H&K G36 semi-automatic rifle

The deployment of rifles with presumably live ammunition visible through the magazine is an intimidating escalation as President Emmanuel Macron continues to lose his grip over France following nine weeks of country-wide protests by the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement. 

The Gilet Jaunes began as a demonstration against a climate change-linked fuel tax, which quickly morphed into a general anti-government protest against the Macron administration and the world’s highest taxes. We’re sure France’s plege to send 1 billion euros to rebuild Iraq will help calm them down. 

Riot police in France now armed with G36 assault rifles against unarmed civilians. WHERE IS THE NEWS COVERAGE?https://t.co/NqglT52MTk

— Drew Ludwig (@drew_ludwig93) January 13, 2019

Yellow Vest demonstrator Gilles Caron told the Mail “The CRS with the guns were wearing riot control helmets and body armour – they were not a specialised firearms unit,” adding “Their job was simply to threaten us with lethal weapons in a manner which is very troubling. We deserve some explanations.”

A French National Police spokesman confirmed that the CRS were equipped with H&K G36s on Saturday, but would not discuss their operational use ‘for security reasons’.

A G36 was stolen from inside a police van during a similar Yellow Vest demonstration by the Arc de Triomphe on December 1.

A number of vehicles belonging to the 21stIntervention Company of the Paris Prefecture were stormed, suggesting that the theft was an opportunistic one during a day of intense violence, when the Arc de Triomphe itself was vandalised. –Daily Mail

Former French conservative minister Luc Ferry called for live rounds to be used against the Yellow Vest “thugs” who “beat up police,” such as this former pro heavyweight boxer, 37-year-old Christophe Dettinger who was arrested after squaring off with several French police officers. 

#GiletsJaune très forte mobilisation à #Paris le peuple en colère force les barrages de police #Acte8 #ActeVIII #05janvier #05janvier2019 pic.twitter.com/BSnVj6glKL

— LINE PRESS (@LinePress) January 5,

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https://journal-neo.org/2019/01/14/the-us-institute-of-peace-promotes-endless-syrian-war/

httpsjournal-neo.org20190114the-us-institute-of-peace-promotes-endless-syrian-war

14-01-19 07:24:00,

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An “independent national institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible,” would be the last place you would expect to find calls for continued war.

Yet the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is just the place to go for exactly that.

In a recent article appearing on the USIP website titled, “What Does the U.S. Troop Withdrawal Mean for Syria?,” USIP’s senior adviser for Syria would claim the recently announced US troop withdrawal from Syria would “undermine U.S. interests in Syria and the broader region.”

The article would claim:

A precipitous U.S. troop withdrawal will undermine critical U.S. interests in Syria. The U.S. troop presence serves as a key pre-condition for a newly invigorated U.S. Syria policy focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS, the withdrawal of Iran from Syria, and the rejuvenation of the Geneva Peace Process.

The USIP also claims:

…U.S. forces on the ground have also served as a key counterweight against Iran and Russia. In particular, this derivative benefit has countered further Iranian expansion into eastern Syria. Should the U.S. withdraw, Iran as well as Russia and the Assad regime will be well poised to exploit the vacuum that will be created.

In other words, the USIP insists that the end of America’s illegal occupation and military campaign inside of Syria – not authorized by Congress as per the US Constitution and in violation of international law as per the UN Charter – is unfavorable because it would allow the internationally recognized, sovereign government of Syria to reassert control over its own territory.

The USIP article also insists that a US troop withdrawal would deprive the US “of leverage to rejuvenate the Geneva Peace Process.” Or in other words – impair Washington’s ability to shape the face of the Syrian government emerging post-war.

The USIP never explains why Washington is owed this unwarranted authority over Syria’s internal political affairs.
The US Institute of “Peace,” also claimed as an undesirable implication of a US troop withdrawal – the possibility of Syria’s Kurds negotiating with Damascus – a key prerequisite for peace in Syria.

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Ditching Russian gas will be economic suicide for Europe – analyst to RT

ditching-russian-gas-will-be-economic-suicide-for-europe-analyst-to-rt

14-01-19 01:18:00,

Washington’s attempts to derail the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to supply Russian natural gas to the European Union will definitely backfire, according to a geopolitical expert Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann.

“The more the US puts pressure on Europeans, the more there is a risk that Europeans try to detach themselves from the US and try to make a better deal with Russia,” Thomann, who heads Eurocontinent geopolitical research, told RT.

“We cannot abandon the import of Russian gas, this will be economic suicide. So the Americans also have a limit of their pressure capacity,” the analyst stressed.

Read more

US threatens sanctions against Nord Stream 2 contractors as construction goes at full drive

The comment comes as the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent out warnings to German companies reminding them about significant sanctions they may face for participating in the building of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia.

Later, the US Embassy clarified that the letters were not a threat, but rather a statement of US policy. However, the clarification hasn’t stopped a number of German politicians from venting their anger.

“The matter of European energy policy must be decided in Europe, not in the US,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

“The US ambassador seems to give the impression he is a viceroy of the Washington emperor,” top Left Party MP Fabio De Masi said, urging the White House to reprimand Grenell.

“The US ambassador using direct threats towards German companies is a new unacceptable strengthening of tone in the transatlantic relationship, which the Federal Government should protest against,” said the German foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU Party Juergen Hardt.

Nord Stream 2, a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom and five European energy majors, is currently one third complete. The €9.5 billion pipeline is projected to double capacity of Russia’s gas exports to Germany via the Baltic Sea, and is supposed to come into operation by the end of the current year.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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The ‘Private Governments’ That Subjugate U.S. Workers

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14-01-19 01:11:00,

Corporate dictatorships—which strip employees of fundamental constitutional rights, including free speech, and which increasingly rely on temp or contract employees who receive no benefits and have no job security—rule the lives of perhaps 80 percent of working Americans. These corporations, with little or no oversight, surveil and monitor their workforces. They conduct random drug testing, impose punishing quotas and targets, routinely engage in wage theft, injure workers and then refuse to make compensation, and ignore reports of sexual harassment, assault and rape. They use managerial harassment, psychological manipulation—including the pseudo-science of positive psychology—and intimidation to ensure obedience. They fire workers for expressing leftist political opinions on social media or at public events during their off-hours. They terminate those who file complaints or publicly voice criticism about working conditions. They thwart attempts to organize unions, callously dismiss older workers and impose “non-compete” contract clauses, meaning that if workers leave they are unable to use their skills and human capital to work for other employers in the same industry. Nearly half of all technical professions now require workers to sign non-compete clauses, and this practice has spread to low-wage jobs including those in hair salons and restaurants.

The lower the wages the more abusive the conditions. Workers in the food and hotel industries, agriculture, construction, domestic service, call centers, the garment industry, warehouses, retail sales, lawn service, prisons, and health and elder care suffer the most. Walmart, for example, which employs nearly 1 percent of the U.S. labor force (1.4 million workers), prohibits casual conversation, which it describes as “time theft.” The food industry giant Tyson prevents its workers from taking toilet breaks, causing many to urinate on themselves; as a result, some workers must wear diapers. The older, itinerant workers that Amazon often employs are subjected to grueling 12-hour shifts in which the company electronically monitors every action to make sure hourly quotas are met. Some Amazon workers walk for miles on concrete floors each shift and repeatedly get down on their hands and knees to perform their jobs. They frequently suffer crippling injuries. The company makes injured employees, whom it fires, sign releases saying the injuries are not work-related. Two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries are victims of wage theft, losing an amount estimated to be as high as $50 billion a year.

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Embarrassing Speeches: Signs Of A Dying Empire

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14-01-19 10:30:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo,

“What are you reading my lord?” — Polonius

“Words.” — Hamlet

Something has changed in U.S. politics. And it may finally signal something changing for the better. Since the announcement (but no real follow through) to end our military involvement in Syria what passes for our statesmen – John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have been ignored, mocked or both.

Bolton attempted to box Trump in on not leaving Syria while Israel chest-thumped about how they will not yield an inch to Iran. Turkish President Erdogan publicly lambasted him with no response from President Trump.

Or anyone else for that matter.

When was the last time you heard of a major U.S. political figure go overseas and be refused a meeting with a foreign head of state, publicly upbraided and sent home like an irrelevant flunkie?

I can’t think of one.

Bolton came into the Middle East and made demands like he was the President which Bolton knew were clearly red lines for Erdogan — guaranteeing the safety of the Syrian Kurds.

And he did this from Jerusalem.

The insult couldn’t be plainer. The lack of Bolton’s self-awareness and understanding of the situation was embarrassing. And it left Erdogan the perfect opportunity to call out the Trump Administration’s policies as beholden to a foreign power, Israel.

Pompeo’s Pomp

Next up we have His Rotundity, Mike Pompeo. He goes into Cairo and gives a speech which again shows a stunning lack of specific knowledge of history. Pompeo spent most of the speech doing what he does best.

Misrepresenting history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East so ardently one really thought he should have done it in his private man place.

The other thing he did however, is what got my attention. And I have Moon of Alabamaagain to thank for this. Pompeo outlined Trump’s vision for the future of U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

And that intervention involves something Trump is good at and Pompeo isn’t.

Words.

From Pompeo’s speech (H/T MoA):

In Syria,

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Report: Trump Military Adviser Asked Pentagon for Options to Strike Iran

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14-01-19 09:04:00,

Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, “a reckless advocate of military force,” the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton “asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department.”

“It definitely rattled people,” a former U.S. official said of the request, which Bolton supposedly made after militants aligned with Iran fired mortars into the diplomatic quarter of Baghdad, Iraq, that contains the U.S. Embassy in early September. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

“The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council’s request to develop options for striking Iran,” the Journal reported, citing unnamed officials. “But it isn’t clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request, or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at that time.”

The Journal‘s report, which comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an “arrogant tirade” of a speech vilifying Iran, sparked immediate alarm among critics of the Trump administration’s biggest warmongers—who, over the past several months, have been accused of fomenting unrest in Iran and laying the groundwork for war.

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, called the news “a reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane.”

In which the @WSJ provides your occasional reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane. https://t.co/YVIojDpgl1

— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) January 13, 2019

Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), tweeted, “Make no mistake: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!” Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations and longtime critic of Bolton, called for his immediate ouster over the request detailed in Journal‘s report.

MAKE NO MISTAKE: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!

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“Erratic Movement” In Earth’s Magnetic Field Threaten Global Navigation

8220erratic-movement8221-in-earth8217s-magnetic-field-threaten-global-navigation

14-01-19 08:43:00,

Earth’s magnetic field, otherwise known as the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s inner core out into space, where it deflects harmful radiation from the Sun.

But now something bizarre is taking place. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been rapidly shifting away from Canada and towards the Siberian Federal District, driven mostly by liquid iron churning deep within the planet’s core.

“The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move,” Nature reported.

On January 30 (delayed due to the US Government shutdown), the World Magnetic Model (WMM), a large spatial-scale representation of the Earth’s magnetic field, will be updated.

WMM is the standard geomagnetic model of the US Department of Defense (DoD), the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the World Hydrographic Office (WHO) navigation and attitude/heading reference.

The current model was expected to be valid until 2020, but extraordinarily large and erratic movements of the north magnetic pole have been realized and had to be fixed immediately.

“They realized that it was so inaccurate that it was about to exceed the acceptable (safe) limit for navigational errors,” Nature said.

Geophysicists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Geological Survey regularly monitor the current state of Earth’s magnetic field.

Nature said consistent monitoring is necessary because liquid iron churning in the Earth’s core does not move in a uniform manner.

The movement of the north magnetic pole has been studied since 1831. Initially, it was tracked moving into the Arctic Ocean at a rate of about 9.3 miles each year. But, since the mid-1990s, it has accelerated.

It is now moving at a rate of about 34.17 miles per year.

However, geophysicists are not exactly sure why the magnetic field is shifting so quickly.

“Geomagnetic pulses, like the one that happened in 2016, might be traced back to ‘hydromagnetic’ waves arising from deep in the core,” Nature reported. “And the fast motion of the north magnetic pole could be linked to a high-speed jet of liquid iron beneath Canada.”

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The War Against America’s Only Anti-War Candidate | New Eastern Outlook

the-war-against-americas-only-anti-war-candidate-new-eastern-outlook

14-01-19 08:32:00,

TG45322

Born in American Samoa, Representative (Major) Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Democrat and, far more than Trump, someone who stands against hypocrisy and fakery of every kind, is now running for President of the United States. Unlike Trump or Clinton or Obama or Romney or so many, Tulsi is military, a decorated combat veteran.

Unlike all of them, she is openly against war as a basis for American “diplomacy.”

Gabbard continues to serve as a Major in the Army National Guard after two combat tours in Iraq, one in 2004 as enlisted and a second as a platoon commander in 2009.

Gabbard is known, in particular, for a bill she introduced to Congress, H.R. 608 – Stop Arming Terrorists Act. The Israeli/GOP controlled House of Representatives shelved the bill and America’s love affair with ISIS and al Qaeda went on as it does today, while a deeply censored American press has begun a smear campaign against Gabbard. From Congress.gov:

“Stop Arming Terrorists Act

Sponsor: Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi (D-HI-2) (Introduced 01/233/2017)

This bill prohibits the use of federal agency funds to provide covered assistance to: (1) Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or any individual or group that is affiliated with, associated with, cooperating with, or adherents to such groups; or (2) the government of any country that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) determines has, within the most recent 12 months, provided covered assistance to such a group or individual.

“Covered assistance” is defined as:

  • defense articles, defense services, training or logistical support, or any other military assistance provided by grant, loan, credit, transfer, or cash sales;
  • intelligence sharing; or
  • cash assistance. “

All discussion or reporting of this bill and how it was shelved and why, is censored in the US. Why would the Republican Party want to kill a bill prohibiting the US from aiding terrorist groups it claims to be at war with is telling. What is simple here is this, this is a confession that the United States isn’t simply arming and supporting ISIS and al Qaeda but has been all along.

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Fake News? How About No News?

fake-news-how-about-no-news

13-01-19 07:50:00,

Authored by Eric Peters via EricPetersAutos.com,

Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?

Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?

Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France?

CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today (Jan. 9). Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though. And also of such important stories as “Want to Pay off Your Mortgage? Try Frugal Minimalism.”

You might think France, a major western European country, coming unglued – and on the verge of its government outright banning “unauthorized” criticism of its actions – might at least be  . . .  well,  news.

Instead, nothing.

Which is very interesting, given what the yellow vests are protesting. This being chiefly the purposely punitive taxes on fuel – diesel especially – imposed by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In the name of “climate change” – but really in the name of squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars. These taxes – already extortionate and brutally regressive – were on track to increase the cost of a gallon of fuel to more than $7.

This brought the French not to their knees – but to the streets. The yellow vests – which are reflective jackets every French motorist is required by law to keep in their vehicle, to be worn in the event of an emergency – were donned for a different kind of emergency.

And Macron buckled. The tax hike has been rescinded. But did you read about it?

Probably not – unless you went out of your way to look for it. Mainstream press coverage of this effective protest has been as scanty as its coverage of the reason for the yellow vest protests – which by the way continue, notwithstanding Macron’s retreat.

The reason being that Macron has not retreated in principle from resurrecting the tax,

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“Free Trade” Is Today’s Imperialism by the 1 Percent

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13-01-19 04:26:00,

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Opposition to “free” trade is clearly growing — both the progressive and the corporate elements of the Democratic Party are now critical of agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Less clear are the alternatives to free trade that might emerge. As progressives continue to build power inside and outside of the Democratic Party, we must clarify our understanding of the international political economy, and imagine and begin to build real alternatives to free trade. Building these alternatives must become an essential component of a more progressive US foreign policy.

The conventional wisdom says that if you oppose free trade, you must support protectionism or economic nationalism. This is misleading. There is no such thing as “free” trade. People create all of the systems that govern our political economy. These systems inevitably favor certain human activities over others, and we can design them to act any way that we want. The important question is: For whom are trade policies “free”? Put another way: Who do trade policies favor?

Debunking “Free” Trade

“Free” trade is free only for capital owners: the plutocratic few who own and control multinational corporations. When countries enter into free trade agreements, the governments of both countries effectively agree that their laws will not favor businesses from their country over businesses from any other countries. The main way that free trade does this is by attempting to reduce all tariffs to as close to 0 percent as possible, to eliminate import quotas that countries can use to limit the amount and types of goods imported from specified countries, and to discourage countries from more directly subsidizing their own businesses.

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Tantalizing Details From Britain’s Program to Manipulate US, German Media (Integrity Initiative)

tantalizing-details-from-britains-program-to-manipulate-us-german-media-integrity-initiative

13-01-19 02:09:00,

It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous’ comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full:

image

Tantalisingly, Anonymous describe this as a list of people who attended a meeting with the White Helmets. But there is no evidence of that in the document itself, nor does any other document released so far refer to this meeting. There is very little in the documents released so far about the White Helmets at all. But there is a huge amount about the Skripal case. With the greatest of respect to Anonymous and pending any release of further evidence, I want you to consider whether this might be a document related to the Skripal incident.

The list is headed CND gen list 2. CND is Christopher Nigel Donnelly, Director of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative and a very senior career Military Intelligence Officer.

The first name on the list caught my eye. Duncan Allan was the young FCO Research Analyst who, as detailed in Murder in Samarkand, appears in my Ambassadorial office in Tashkent, telling me of the FCO staff who had been left in tears by the pressure put on them to sign up to Blair’s dodgy dossier on Iraqi WMD. During the process of clearing the manuscript with the FCO, I was told (though not by him) that he denied having ever said it.

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Lugar Biolab: Will the Truth be Revealed before the Spin Doctors Label it a Conspiracy | New Eastern Outlook

lugar-biolab-will-the-truth-be-revealed-before-the-spin-doctors-label-it-a-conspiracy-new-eastern-outlook

13-01-19 11:29:00,

1068051041

It is bad enough that the Lugar Lab in Tbilisi, an alleged front for public health research has been feathered on about every Russian TV channel over its role in viral and bacterial (germ) warfare, but now Georgia faces a new round of recriminations. Such news is starting to get reported in the Georgian media as well, as the body count from what may be more than a seasonal flu.

However, to cut to the chase and make a very complicated story simple, in laypersons terms, so much media attention, with recriminations and counterclaims. The timing could not be worse, considering the debate over vaccines is heating up in the West, especially the United States. And the allegation of bio weapons was even feathered in the Washington Post and NYTs, flagships of the US mainstream media.

In the meantime, the latest vaccination story is about ready to “go viral” in Tbilisi Georgia, in spite of efforts to contain it by media censorship and spin stories. Moreover, apparently public health officials are eager they are hastening the field research, even before the smoke clears as to all outstanding recriminations of recent weeks, the “body count”, nearly 100 dead, and likely more, over a free Hep C elimination program that did not go as planned, at least that is what the documents indicate, as the true agenda of the US-funded Lugar Lab.

Former Georgian State Security Minister, Igor Giorgadze announced at a press briefing last September:

Behind the walls of the Lugar Laboratory, biologists of the U.S. military-medical group in Georgia and private contractors under federal contract with the … Defense Threat Reduction Agency indeed could have performed secret experiments on residents of Georgia.

Insult to Injury

Georgia’s Health Minister David Sergeenko has recently announced the need for much of the population to be vaccinated against flu, including pregnant women and children, two categories that are severely impacted by vaccines, resulting in stillbirths, miscarriages and other adverse flu vaccine reactions.

In short, it is clear that influenza epidemiological and data on seasonal viral strains from Georgia is limited, as if the truth would be known there would be social and dire political consequences,

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Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

neoliberalism-free-market-fundamentalism-or-corporate-power

13-01-19 11:19:00,

Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

Richard MOSER

I’ve been hearing about neoliberalism for a long time now and never could make much sense of it. It turns out the story we tell about neoliberalism is as contradictory as neoliberalism itself. Two currents within the critique of neoliberalism offer different analyses of the current economy and suggest different strategies for dealing with the gross exploitation, wealth inequality, climate destruction and dictatorial governance of the modern corporate order.

These opposing currents are not just different schools of thought represented by divergent thinkers. Rather they appear as contradictions within the critiques of neoliberalism leveled by some of the most influential writers on the subject. These different interpretations are often the result of focus. Look at neoliberal doctrine and intellectuals and the free market comes to the fore. Look at the history and practice of the largest corporations and the most powerful political actors and corporate power takes center stage.

The most influential strain of thought places “free market fundamentalism” (FMF) at the center of a critical analysis of neoliberalism. The term was coined by Nobel Prize winner and former chief economist of the World Bank itself – Joseph Stigliz. FMF is usually how neoliberalism is understood by progressives and conservatives alike. In this view, an unregulated free market is the culprit and the oft cited formula — de-regulation, austerity, privatization, tax cuts — is the means used to undermine the public commons.

David Harvey’s, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, is perhaps the single most influential book and the author begins with the free market. Harvey sets it up like this:

And it is with this doctrine…that I am here primarily concerned. Neoliberalism is…a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human wellbeing can be best advanced by liberating individual entreprenaurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets and free trade. The role of the state is to create… an institutional framework appropriate to such practices. [1]

Not a mention of the massive modern corporation just those 19th century individuals and institutions that are the stock characters of FMF. But to be fair, Harvey moves on to the “paradox:” neoliberalism is a political project that needs state power.

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Watch Absolute Mayhem As Yellow Vests Battle French Riot Police In 9th Week Of Protests

watch-absolute-mayhem-as-yellow-vests-battle-french-riot-police-in-9th-week-of-protests

12-01-19 08:06:00,

The Yellow Vest movement has taken to the streets across France for a 9th week of anti-government protests, as the Gilets Jaunes movement appeared to surge in both number and intensity. While the demonstrations were largely peaceful for most involved, there were several violent skirmishes with police. 

#GiletsJaunes protest: #Toulouse

Mainstream media: ‘a few protesters’ pic.twitter.com/uqryFMj3mD

— Oh boy what a shot (@ohboywhatashot) January 12, 2019

Some 80,000 officers were deployed across France, deploying tear gas in major urban centers such as the Parisian Arc de Triomphe monument.

Vous n’avez pas honte?

Le peuple se fait gazé, frappé, il y en a qui ont des sequelles à vie à cause des CRS, mais vous chouinez car un boxeur a frapper un flic? Et en pus de ça vous donnez 1m € aux fdo?

Il y a 75 ans, on appelait ça des COLLABOS.#ActeIX #giletsjaunes #bavures pic.twitter.com/nRprATVz2u

— _ (@nongilbertstp) January 12, 2019

#Paris Use of tear gas and water cannon on #GiletsJaunes in front of Arc De Triomphe #Acte9 #Yellowvests #ActeIX pic.twitter.com/n0lKcll6Lz

— nonouzi (@Gerrrty) January 12, 2019

UNE HONTE ! 5 grenades de désencerclements, des tirs de canons à eau sur des gens qui évacue un blessé #ActeIX #Paris #GiletsJaunes @davduf pic.twitter.com/4u5LxA44WB

— L’Elite voit tout (@EPrivilegie) January 12, 2019

Protesters came out en masse in Bordeaux, where a man was shot in the head with a with a flash-ball round and police deployed a water cannon (h/t @Steph_Roy_). 

#Bordeaux Les gilets jaunes défilent dans les rues du centre-ville #GiletsJaunes #ActeIX #Acte9 #12janvier #12janvier2019 pic.twitter.com/1phMuxoFxz

— Stéphanie Roy (@Steph_Roy_) January 12, 2019

#Bordeaux Très rapide retour au calme à la demande de nombreux gilets jaunes.

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Banksters Hate the Free Market — Steemit

banksters-hate-the-free-market-steemit

12-01-19 07:21:00,

by James Corbett
corbettreport.com
January 12, 2019

It’s no secret that governments hate the free market. At its base, every single government tax, license, regulation and restriction is an implicit rebuke of the idea that humans should be able to interact freely with those around them.

This is old news to my long-term readers, but it bears repeating because many have been duped by the purveyors of socialist dogma to believe that free interactions between sovereign individuals is a scourge that must be eradicated. Because, you see, the fact that food, clothing, shelter, health care and the means of production don’t magically rain from the sky into the lap of every person on the planet means that any attempt to exchange your skills and services with another in return for compensation is slavery. (No, this is not an analogy, it’s LITERAL SLAVERY, guys!)

The words “free market” have become so tainted in modern economic discourse that their very mention tends to evoke a slew of supposedly related and equally hated terms. “Capitalism” and “big business” and “banker” are thrown together in a stew with “free market” so that anyone who talks positively about voluntary transactions between free people in a positive manner is obviously a poor-hating fat cat who lights his cigars with $100 bills and dines on the tears of beggars.

But here’s a puzzler for the socialists in the crowd: Why is it that the very banksters that they so rightfully rage against are in fact their biggest allies in the fight against the free market?

I know this perfectly straightforward observation will come as a shock to some of my readers, so let’s break it down.

As I’ve already stated, we know that the very raison d’être of government is to undermine, skew, and otherwise hamper free exchange among its citizens. Government, after all, is a claim of ownership over a geographical territory by a cartel of crooks. That claim (according to the cartel and its defenders) gives the mafia the right to set rules for and impose restrictions on the inhabitants of that region. To understand how the gang of crook wields this power over the free market,

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Health Care Industry Spends $30 Billion a Year Pushing Its Wares

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12-01-19 05:14:00,

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Culture & Media

People Are Mobilizing Against the Crackdown on Dissent

Hoping to earn its share of the $3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing nearly doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

“Marketing drives more testing. It drives more treatments. It’s a big part of why health care is so expensive, because it’s the fancy, high-tech stuff things that get marketed,” said Steven Woloshin, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. His study captured only a portion of the many ways that drug companies, hospitals and labs promote themselves.

Advertising doesn’t just persuade people to pick one brand over another, said Woloshin. Sophisticated campaigns make people worry about diseases they don’t have and ask for drugs or exams they don’t need.

Consumer advocates say that taxpayers pay the real price, as seductive ads persuade doctors and patients alike to order pricey tests and brand-name pills.

“Whenever pharma or a hospital spends money on advertising, we the patients pay for it — through higher prices for drugs and hospital services,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass., nonprofit that advocates for affordable care. “Marketing is built into the cost of care.”

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High costs ultimately affect everyone, because they prompt insurance plans to raise premiums,

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Someone’s Finally Going to Jail over the Panama Papers: A Turkish Journalist Who Reported True Facts from Them – Global Research

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12-01-19 05:09:00,

Someone’s Finally Going to Jail over the Panama Papers: A Turkish Journalist Who Reported True Facts from Them

A Turkish court has sentenced journalist Pelin Ünker to 13 months’ imprisonment for her participation in reporting the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from the tax-evasion enablers Mossack-Fonseca.

Ünker published the true (and undisputed) facts about former Binali Yıldırım and his sons, whose ownership of Maltese companies was revealed in the leaks. Despite the truth of the matter, Ünker was convicted of “defamation and insult.”

Ünker is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The ICIJ’s director, Gerard Ryle, condemned Ünker’s jail sentence of 13 months, as the latest in a long series of attacks on free speech in Turkey.

“This unjust ruling is about silencing fair and accurate reporting. Nothing more,” Ryle said. “ICIJ commends Pelin Ünker’s brave and truthful investigative reporting and it condemns this latest assault on journalistic freedom under Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s autocratic rule.”

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New Poll: US Military Occupations Supported by Far More Democrats Than Republicans

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12-01-19 01:42:00,

New Poll: US Military Occupations Supported by Far More Democrats Than Republicans

Caitlin JOHNSTONE

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found that there is much more support for ongoing military occupations among Democrats surveyed than Republicans.

To the question “As you may know, President Trump ordered an immediate withdrawal of more than 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. Based on what you know, do you support or oppose President Trump’s decision?”, 29 percent of Democrats responded either “Somewhat support” or “Strongly support”, while 50 percent responded either “Somewhat oppose” or “Strongly oppose”. Republicans asked the same question responded with 73 percent either somewhat or strongly supporting and only 17 percent either somewhat or strongly opposing.

Those surveyed were also asked the question “As you may know, President Trump ordered the start of a reduction of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, with about half of the approximately 14,000 U.S. troops there set to begin returning home in the near future. Based on what you know, do you support or oppose President Trump’s decision?” Forty percent of Democrats responded as either “Somewhat support” or “strongly support”, with 41 percent either somewhat or strongly opposing. Seventy-six percent of Republicans, in contrast, responded as either somewhat or strongly supporting Trump’s decision, while only 15 percent oppose it to any extent.

These results will be truly shocking and astonishing to anyone who has been in a coma since the Bush administration. For anyone who has been paying attention since then, however, especially for the last two years, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

This didn’t happen by itself, and it didn’t happen by accident. American liberals didn’t just spontaneously start thinking endless military occupations of sovereign nations is a great idea yesterday, nor have they always been so unquestioningly supportive of the agendas of the US war machine. No, Democrats support the unconscionable bloodbaths that their government is inflicting around the world because they have been deliberately, methodically paced into that belief structure by an intensive mass media propaganda campaign.

The anti-war Democrat, after Barack Obama was elected on a pro-peace platform in 2008, went into an eight-year hibernation during which they gaslit themselves into ignoring or forgiving their president’s expansion of George W Bush’s wars,

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European Spring Civil war has begun English version – FREESURIYAH

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12-01-19 01:40:00,


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The European spring – civil war – has begun
By Sonja van den Ende – January 8, 2019
In Dutch (printed in Belgium by the Uitpers :http://www.uitpers.be/…/europese-lente-burgeroorlog-is-be…/…

It really started, the uprising, which I will call the “European Spring”, a variation of the Arab, with the big difference that the Arab was a set-up plan and after thorough investigation, this rebellion is NOT a Soros plan or “left” plan. It is the uprising of the people, who are totally fed up with elite politicians and have seen their standard of living go down for years. Add the “refugee crisis” the recipe for revolt is ready.
Did we not predict that a few years ago, when the Western European countries went to war against Afghanistan, then Iraq, the destruction of Libya and finally the war in Syria? ! Then the election of Trump, simply because the American people suffered under the regime of its own governments, not that Trump will solve anything, but it was a sign. This is the sign that Western Europeans are fed up with the Liberal culture of culture and the dictatorial policy of the EU.
The European Union, an institution were citizens do NOT have a say or vote, is deciding for them and not with them. That is called a multi-dictatorship, which the elite presents us as a democracy, a democracy is a sovereign country, where the will of the people happens. Therefore, it is time for revolt!
An overview of the events per country

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.

France: Of course I start with France, there it started, just like in 1789, the French revolution.
An online petition posted in May 2018 reached 300,000 signatures in mid-October 2018 and was followed by regular mass demonstrations that began on November 17. The reason was the rising fuel prices, the high cost of living and a disproportionate burden of the government’s tax reforms on the working and middle class, especially in the rural areas, also in the other Western European countries first the rural areas were affected, Germany and Belgium are good examples of this.
The protesters have demonstrated for lower fuel taxes,

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How a NeoCon-Backed ‘Fact Checker’ Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

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12-01-19 01:37:00,

How a NeoCon-Backed ‘Fact Checker’ Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

Whitney WEBB

Soon after the social media “purge” of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider — Jamie Fly — was caught stating that the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was “just the beginning” of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.

While a few, relatively uneventful months in the online news sphere have come and gone since Fly made this ominous warning, it appears that the neoconservatives and other standard bearers of the military-industrial complex and the U.S. oligarchy are now poised to let loose their latest digital offensive against independent media outlets that seek to expose wrongdoing in both the private and public sectors.

As MintPress News Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh recently wroteMintPress was informed that it was under review by an organization called Newsguard Technologies, which described itself to MintPress as simply a “news rating agency” and asked Muhawesh to comment on a series of allegations, several of which were blatantly untrue. However, further examination of this organization reveals that it is funded by and deeply connected to the U.S. government, neo-conservatives, and powerful monied interests, all of whom have been working overtime since the 2016 election to silence dissent to American forever-wars and corporate-led oligarchy.

More troubling still, Newsguard — by virtue of its deep connections to government and Silicon Valley — is lobbying to have its rankings of news sites installed by default on computers in U.S. public libraries, schools, and universities as well as on all smartphones and computers sold in the United States.

In other words, as Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States. Worse still, if its efforts to quash dissenting voices in the U.S. are successful, Newsguard promises that its next move will be to take its system global.

Red light, green light…

Newsguard has received considerable attention in the mainstream media of late, having been the subject of a slew of articles in the Washington Post,

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