Liberal Totalitarianism and the Trump Diversion

Liberal Totalitarianism and the Trump Diversion

04-02-18 08:15:00,

The ongoing political circus in the capital of the world’s most powerful empire opens almost daily  with a new act each day showcasing an even more bizarre and more revealing display of the internal rot of a culture and a political system in decline.

The day before Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, the Russia-gate drama took an unexpected and dangerous turn with the vote by the House Intelligence Committee to release a now classified memo that alleges that senior members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) may have misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) in order to secure a warrant to engage in what Republicans assert is a politically motivated effort that spied on the Trump campaign before he won the 2016 election and attempted to undermine his presidency.

Right-wing neoliberal Democrats who have engaged in a vigorous defense of the intelligence agencies of the U.S. state are concerned about the possible fallout with the public. They argue Republicans are deliberately undermining confidence in U.S. institutions by irresponsibly hurling allegations that support a growing public perception that the government and the individuals who populate governmental institutions are inherently corrupt.

Republicans now refer to this as “FBI-gate” and Democrats counter by appealing to the dubious belief that the FBI is some kind of neutral political force populated by people of unreproachable character—those who would never engage in the kind of crass partisanship being alleged by Republicans in Congress.

Even members of the Congressional Black Caucus–the one caucus that traditionally has always been wary of the FBI because of its history abuse against Black activists, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–joined in the effort to prop up this institution and its former director Robert Mueller.

This new narrative of FBI integrity and neutrality is predicated on the assumption that most of the public has forgotten or is unaware of the notorious history of the FBI and its founder, J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was a racist anti-Semite and fascist sympathizer. He shared his obsessive anti-communism and anti-Semitism with Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s Gestapo chief, who Hoover corresponded with personally and kept on the FBI’s mailing list right up until the eve of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.

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EU Imposes Anti-Union Law on Greece

EU Imposes Anti-Union Law on Greece

04-02-18 08:14:00,

Under instructions from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek government pushed through the most anti-union legislation in Europe on Monday 15 January.

The move was demanded, along with other draconian measures, as a condition of the latest tranche of what is called Greece’s bailout but which in reality is bailing out the European financial institutions which recklessly encouraged Greek borrowing.

The key concession required from the Syriza government was that industrial action would now require a yes vote from more than half of the total number of union members in a workplace, regardless of the actual turnout. This is even worse than the provisions in the Trade Union Act which came into law in the UK in March 2016.

Astonishingly – or perhaps not – there has been not one word about this from the TUC, which continues its scaremongering about the effect of Brexit on workers’ rights. While it prattles on, the European Union is turning the screw on the most fundamental of all workers’ rights, the right to strike, and using Greece as a test bed for policies it would like to see across all member states.

Without the right to take effective strike action, workers have no protection save the courts, and capitalist courts consistently favour the employers.

The European Court of Justice ruled (in the Laval case, 18 December 2007), that employers have the right to bring workers from a low-wage EU state to a higher-wage EU state on the wages payable in the cheaper country, regardless of any collective bargaining agreements in the higher-wage state. It has also ruled (in the Viking case, 11 December 2007) that effective industrial action to stop outsourcing to cheaper countries is illegal.

In the Alamo­–Herron case (18 July 2013), involving Unison members transferred out of local authority employment, it ruled that whatever their contracts said, benefits collectively negotiated for local authority workers could be ignored by their new employers. “This case is an appalling attack on collective bargaining and is at least as serious as Viking and Laval,” wrote Britain’s leading employment barrister, John Hendy.

Hendy went on to say, “The EU has become a disaster for the collective rights of workers and their unions.”

As we have consistently said,

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Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

Global Research, January 29, 2018
Global Research 25 January 2012

In the light of recent reports pertaining to “unimaginable” levels of radiation emanating from Fukushima, we are reposting this I-Book on the Fukushima tragedy, which has been the object of media coverup and distortion. In the words of Dr. Helen Caldicott, “one millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancer”.

Originally published in January 2012, this study by Michel Chossudovsky confirms what is now unfolding, a Worldwide process of nuclear radiation.

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.

Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook.

[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

Originally published in January 2012. The introduction of the I-Book is contained as a chapter in Michel Chossudovsky’s 2015 bestseller: The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity, Global Research, Montreal 2015

Hitler’s Failed Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union. The “Battle of Moscow” and Stalingrad: Turning Point of World War II | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Hitler’s Failed Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union. The “Battle of Moscow” and Stalingrad: Turning Point of World War II | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

03-02-18 08:06:00,

This article was first published by GR in December 2011

February 4, 2017 is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad (February 4, 1943), considered by historians as a decisive turning point of World War II, during which German forces were defeated after five months of combat.

Historian Dr. Jacques Pauwels analyses the evolution of World War II,  focusing on the “Battle of Moscow” in December 1941 which preceded the defeat of German troops in Stalingrad in February 1943. According to Dr. Pauwels, the turning point was not Stalingrad but “the Battle of Moscow” and the Soviet counter-offensive launched in December 1941:

When the Red Army launched its devastating counteroffensive on December 5, Hitler himself realized that he would lose the war. But of course he was not prepared to let the German public know that. The nasty tidings from the front near Moscow were presented to the public as a temporary setback, blamed on the supposedly unexpectedly early arrival of winter and/or on the incompetence or cowardice of certain commanders.

It was only a good year later, after the catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad during the winter of 1942-1943, that the German public, and the entire world, would realize that Germany was doomed; this is why even today many historians believe that the tide turned in Stalingrad .

Even so, it proved impossible to keep the catastrophic implications of the debacle in front of Moscow a total secret. For example, on December 19, 1941, the German Consul in Basel reported to his superiors in Berlin that the (openly pro-Nazi) head of a mission of the Swiss Red Cross, sent to the front in the Soviet Union to assist only the wounded on the German side, which of course contravened Red Cross rules, had returned to Switzerland with the news, most surprising to the Consul, that “he no longer believed that Germany could win the war.”[30]

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, V-Day, May 9, 2015

The defeat of German troops at Stalingrad was on February 4, 1943

The Battle of Moscow, December 1941: Turning Point of World War II

The Victory of the Red Army in front of Moscow was a Major Break…

by Jacques Pauwels

Global Research

6 December 2011

World War II started,

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Selected Articles: U.S. ‘Plan B’ for the Middle East | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Selected Articles: U.S. ‘Plan B’ for the Middle East | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

01-02-18 01:33:00,

We thank readers who have contributed to Global Research. If you have the means to make a small or large donation in support of our fight for truth, peace and justice around the world, your gesture will be much appreciated.

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US Decline is Ongoing, Yet America Remains the Undisputed “Military Master”

By Shane Quinn, January 31, 2018

The United States’ decline can be traced as far back as 1949, when the world’s dominant power unexpectedly suffered the “loss” of China. It was a monumental early blow to US strategic planners, who were carefully executing dreams of unchallenged global dominance.

Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Israeli Settlements

By Middle East Monitor, January 31, 2018

Ireland is set to discuss a new bill that seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian Territory.

Doping-control in Sports and Athletics: Eyes Wide Shut

By Roy Harper, January 31, 2018

Today, the victories of athletes and the large-scale use of doping are inextricably linked in the modern world of elite sport. Although the 20th century was marked by the struggle for the spirit of fair play, then in the 21st century doping scandals are discussed more often than the outstanding records of prominent athletes. The use of prohibited substances and fight against doping turned into the main problem in the world of sports.

Turkish Troops Seen Wearing Patch of Terrorist Free Syrian Army

By Paul Antonopoulos, January 31, 2018

Turkish soldiers have been seen wearing a patch of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on their uniforms while operating in Syria’s northwest canton of Afrin where they leading a coalition of militants against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

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Frontrunning: February 1

01-02-18 01:32:00,

  • Republican memo likely to be released Thursday -Trump administration official (Reuters)
  • Ex-Trump Aide Page Was on U.S. Counterintelligence Radar for Years (WSJ)
  • FBI Knew of Clinton Emails Weeks Before Alerting Congress (WSJ)
  • Facebook Reversal Lifts Markets, Though FAANG Jitters Linger (BBG)
  • How trade disputes could hurt U.S. pork exports (Reuters)
  • Dollar weakens after Fed bounce proves short-lived (Reuters)
  • Bitcoin skids to lowest since November after worst month in three years (Reuters)
  • Worries Grow That the Price of Bitcoin Is Being Propped Up (NYT)
  • How GE Went From American Icon to Astonishing Mess (BBG)
  • Deluge of Influenza Patients Forces Hospitals to Creatively Cope (WSJ)
  • A $1.5 Trillion Question in Trump’s Public Works Plan: Who Pays?  (BBG)
  • Insurers gingerly test bitcoin business with heist policies (Reuters)
  • Bored With Banking, This Former Citi Trader Went Full Crypto (BBG)
  • U.S. says military option not believed to be close for solving North Korea crisis (Reuters)
  • How J.D. Power Was Acquired by a Chinese Company Shrouded in Mystery (WSJ)
  • A Bitcoin Conference Rented a Miami Strip Club—And Regretted It (BBG)
  • Capitec Report: Was There Insider Trading? (Huffpost)

Overnight Media Digest


– UK Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to beat the drum for deepening trade ties and showcase her country’s global ambitions, a visit clouded by simmering discord at home over her handling of Brexit negotiations.

– Pandora Media Inc will lay off 5 percent of its workforce as the internet radio company tries to rein in costs while investing in advertising technology and efforts to woo back listeners.

– German media giant Bertelsmann SE on Wednesday announced it is seeking to unload one of its largest businesses which has struggled to grow in a full or partial sale.

 » Lees verder

It’s Israel Vs Lebanon And Hezbollah In Escalating Dispute Over Mediterranean Gas Field

It’s Israel Vs Lebanon And Hezbollah In Escalating Dispute Over Mediterranean Gas Field

01-02-18 01:14:00,

Submitted by Leith Fadel via Al-Masdar News,

The eastern Mediterranean gas field that has been put up for tender by Lebanon and is expected to be developed by an international consortium of energy companies, belongs to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. “They [Lebanon] are announcing a tender on the gas field, including Block 9, which is ours by any definition,” Lieberman said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli minister said that the respectable companies participating in the tender were making a major mistake, as their involvement in the project contradicts current rules and practices, calling Lebanese actions in the eastern Mediterranean “very, very challenging and provocative conduct here.”

Image via Al Arabiya

Lieberman said further that, “Respectable firms” bidding on the tender “are, to my mind, making a grave error – because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this.” His remarks were made before an international security conference at a Tel Aviv University national security conference.

In December, the Lebanese government approved provisions for the right to explore two energy blocks, namely Block 4 and Block 9, in Lebanon to the consortium of Russia’s Novatek natural gas producer with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni. Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks up for international bids.

Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks (above) up for international bids. Source: Lebanese Petroleum Administration 

Disputed area above. Israel announced this week that “Block 9 is ours by definition” in a disputed area which also includes Lebanon’s claims on Blocks 8 and 10. Map source: Tekmor Monitor

Lebanon, together with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, where new gas fields have been revealed in 2009. However, two Lebanese offshore blocks now lie within a triangle of maritime territory claimed by Israel.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is standing its ground against Israel after the latter recently indicated its interest in oil and gas exploration in Lebanese territorial waters.

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Money Laundering: Is It Really True that Switzerland Is the #1 Most Corrupt Nation, and the U.S. #2? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Money Laundering: Is It Really True that Switzerland Is the #1 Most Corrupt Nation, and the U.S. #2? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

01-02-18 01:05:00,

The Tax Justice Network produces a Financial Secrecy Index, ranking countries for the assistance their legal systems provide, to money-launderers, and to all people who seek to protect corruptly-obtained wealth. The higher the score, the more corrupt the government is. The last time this Index was published, in 2015, Switzerland was rated the world’s most-corrupt country, and Hong Kong was then #2.

But now, in its newly released global rankings, “Financial Secrecy Index — 2018 Results”, though Switzerland still holds its #1 (most-corrupt) spot, the U.S. has become #2, and Hong Kong has now fallen to #4, which is immediately below Cayman Islands (which is #3, and which had been #5 in 2015).

The detailed report-card for Switzerland says

“the Swiss will exchange information with rich countries if they have to, but will continue offering citizens of poorer countries the opportunity to evade their taxpaying responsibilities. These factors, along with ongoing aggressive pursuit of financial sector whistleblowers (resorting at times to what appear to be non-legal methods) are ongoing reminders of why Switzerland remains the most important secrecy jurisdiction in the world today.”

The detailed report-card for the United States notes America’s rising score, and resulting success in attracting corrupt wealth, as follows:

The rise of the US continues a long term trend, as the country was one of the few to increase their secrecy score in the 2015 index. The continues [intending the word “continued”] rise of the US in the 2018 index comes off the back of a significant change in the US share of the global market for offshore financial services. Between 2015 and 2018 the US increased its market share in offshore financial services by 14%. In total the US accounts for 22.3% of the global market in offshore financial services.

The U.S. report-card asserts that, “Financial secrecy provided by the U.S. has caused untold harm to the ordinary citizens of foreign countries, whose elites have used the United States as a bolt-hole for looted wealth.” Of course, this isn’t the largest such “bolt-hole” — it’s the second-largest. Furthermore, the report-card for Switzerland said:

According to the Swiss Bankers’ Association banks in Switzerland hold CHF 6.65 trillion ($6.5 trillion) in assets under management,

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: January 31

31-01-18 01:24:00,

  • As Yellen Hands Off at the Fed, Whither Her Go-Slow Approach? (WSJ)
  • ‘This is our American moment,’ Trump urges cooperation (Reuters)
  • President Tries Taking On a New Role: Optimist (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Olive Branch to Democrats Cut Short by Divisive Tone of Speech (BBG)
  • Signs of Old Age Abound in a Bull Market Closing In on History (BBG)
  • Japan’s Fujifilm to take over Xerox in $6.1 billion deal, create joint venture (Reuters)
  • Bitcoin Is Having Its Worst Month in Three Years (WSJ)
  • For Bezos, Buffett and Dimon, a Health Push Years in the Making (BBG)
  • Rival Employers Dread Possible Arrival of Amazon HQ2 in Their Town (WSJ
  • For Bezos, Buffett and Dimon, a Health Push Years in the Making (BBG)
  • One Indicator Says Bond Rout Going Too Fast for Stocks to Escape (BBG)
  • Skywatchers in western North America will see moon turn red in rare eclipse (Reuters)
  • Immigration Fight Shifts From Trump’s Wall to Family Green Cards (BBG)
  • Bond Selloff Sends Ripples Through Corporate Debt Market (WSJ)
  • Facebook Really Wants You to Come Back (BBG)
  • Boeing says to deliver more planes in 2018 (Reuters)
  • Judge Dan Polster Is Singlehandedly Trying to Solve the Opioid Crisis (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


– U.S. President Donald Trump, in his first State of the Union address, called for major, bipartisan deals on infrastructure and immigration, while reversing his predecessor’s vow to close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility for suspected terrorists.

– Xerox Corp is nearing a deal with Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp that would mark the end of the independence of the stalwart of 20th-century American industry.

– Special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking an interview with Mark Corallo,

 » Lees verder

The Magnificent Oomph: Aiming for Norway Plus to secure a progressive Brexit – transcript of speech

The Magnificent Oomph: Aiming for Norway Plus to secure a progressive Brexit – transcript of speech

31-01-18 01:19:00,

Courtesy of, here is the transcript of my speech of 29th January at the House of Commons. The theme? How should Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party secure a progressive Brexit consistent with a socialist agenda for the UK but also with DiEM25’s campaign to democratise Europe.

The main reason I am here, I believe – I’m going to add back into Chuka’s account a few wrinkles that he omitted out of kindness I suspect – is because I was prepared to advocate a Marxist case for the Norway agreement.

As a declared Corbynista and someone who could never be considered a lapdog for the EU but who dedicated every sinew I possess at the time to campaigning against Brexit – nevertheless I am here to present to you the case for what I call ‘Norway plus’ from a leftwing perspective, portrayed as an opportunity to do that which we progressives have been failing to do in the last year and a half, which is the following.

Let’s face it – here in this room we are reeling from a massive defeat in June 2016. We are deflated. A lot of what I have heard is correct but nevertheless defensive. It is as if I am hearing again the arguments which should have been heard loudly before the referendum! Let’s not keep fighting yesterday’s war.Let’s not keep fighting yesterday’s war.

I am in favour of a second referendum, but not one that annuls the first one. As a democrat I cannot stand up in front of an audience in Leeds or Doncaster or Clacton-on-Sea, look in the eye people who voted for Brexit and say to them what was said to Irish voters in 2004 – “You voted the wrong way. Go back and deliver the right verdict this time.” But at the same time I believe we have an internationalist duty, a progressive duty to save that which must be salvaged from the Brexit wreckage.

The possibility under this government or any Tory government of a decent, mutually advantageous agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is vanishingly small if not absolutely zero.

So what we must save is firstly freedom of movement. Speaking from my perspective, I do not believe that you can be a Marxist,

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Intercepted Podcast: Hate of the Union

Intercepted Podcast: Hate of the Union

31-01-18 01:13:00,

Subscribe to the Intercepted podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Radio Public, and other platforms. New to podcasting? Click here.

Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech was a hateful assault. This week on Intercepted: Naomi Klein and Jeremy analyze Trump’s threats toward North Korea, his executive order on Guantánamo, and the attack on immigrants, the poor, and the environment. Naomi also reflects on her recent reporting trip to Puerto Rico. Veteran journalist Juan González dissects the roots of fascism, the rise of authoritarian movements, and global migration trends. Marcy Wheeler gives a brief analysis of a theory floated by a former CIA officer that the “Steele dossier” contains Russian disinformation. Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada discusses Israeli collusion with the Trump campaign and Mike Pence’s trip to Israel. He also gives an update on the case of  Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen who is in military detention after a video of her slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers went viral. And Franklin James Fisher of the band Algiers talks about the power of optimism in the face of destruction, and we hear music from their album “The Underside of Power.”
“2001: A Space Odyssey”: The crew of Discovery One consists of five men and one of the latest generation of the HAL-9000 computers. Good afternoon, Hal. How’s everything going?

President Donald J. Trump, Jr.: Station, this is your president, do you hear me?

BBC Interviewer: Hal, despite your enormous intellect —

DJT: Do you hear me?

BBC Interviewer: Are you ever frustrated by your dependence on people to carry out actions?

DJT: We have astronauts and we have everybody. We’re flying right now. We’re learning, we’re learning about space, learning about a lot of other things — racing into space. So, excited about space! Space. Spaceflight. Space Station. Love space and think about space.

Gary Lockwood (as Dr. Frank Poole): But, Dave, I can’t put my finger on it, but I sense something strange about him.

DJT: So many other things having to do with NASA and space.

GL: If you weren’t proven to be malfunctioning,

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Donald Trump’s North Korea Rhetoric During the State of the Union Is an Ominous Carbon Copy of Bush’s Words About Iraq 15 Years Ago

Donald Trump’s North Korea Rhetoric During the State of the Union Is an Ominous Carbon Copy of Bush’s Words About Iraq 15 Years Ago

31-01-18 08:42:00,

Donald Trump devoted a large section of the end of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to North Korea.

Anyone who was paying attention during George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses in 2002 and 2003 would have found Trump’s statements frighteningly familiar: Trump used exactly the same justifications for war with North Korea as Bush had for war with Iraq when standing at the same podium.

To begin with, Trump claimed, the United States simply cannot accept a North Korea with weapons that could “threaten our homeland.” Moreover, the danger from Kim Jong Un is not just to America: His regime constitutes “a menace that threatens our world.”

Similarly, Bush had ruled out living with an Iraq armed with unconventional weapons that could be used against America. “Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein,” said Bush, “is not a strategy, and it is not an option.” And this was not just for our sake: A nation such as Iraq, he had proclaimed, was “the gravest danger facing America and the world.”

But Trump’s assertions raised an obvious question: Why is the situation with North Korea so dire? Why can’t the United States, by far the most powerful country on earth, simply deter a government that seems to value literally nothing more than staying alive and in power?

The answer is obvious, Trump explained. “We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime,” he said, “to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America.” He then went on to describe the quite real and hideous actions of the Kim Jong-un’s government in loving, emotional detail – in particular what we’ve learned from the testimony of a refugee who was present, Ji Seong-ho.

Bush made exactly the same case: According to Bush, the undeniable fact that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to Iraqis unquestionably meant he was a threat to the U.S. And how did we know about the suffering of Iraqis? “Iraqi refugees,” Bush said, “tell us how forced confessions are obtained, by torturing children while their parents are made to watch,” while Iraq’s torture chambers utilize “electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin,

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In the War on Media Disinformation, the Truth is our Most Valuable Weapon | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

In the War on Media Disinformation, the Truth is our Most Valuable Weapon | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

30-01-18 07:45:00,

It’s time for change, time to choose peace over violence, facts over lies. In the words of Michael Carmichael:

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–Michael Carmichael, Planetary/USA (For list of all articles, click here)

Making a donation or taking out a monthly or yearly membership with Global Research means making an ongoing commitment to brave, honest journalism and, ultimately, to peace. If we are to face the real demons threatening our small and beautiful planet, the truth is our most valuable weapon, and Global Research will fight on to bring us closer to it.

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Education Without Boundaries: | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Education Without Boundaries: | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

30-01-18 05:34:00,

Education Without Boundaries: This School In Finland Is Breaking Down Walls & Creating Open Spaces

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

Imagine a class where there are no scripted lessons, children are allowed to have fun, giggle and even daydream from time to time.

We’re creating viewer supported news. Become a member! Click Here!

Finland are known for their repeated success in national education rankings, their approach to schooling is radical and features a number of practices not widely used in the UK or US. Children start formal education at age 7, there are short school hours, light homework and no exams.

“There is a lot of variety in learning situations,” Reino, Tapaninen, chief architect at the National Agency for Education said. “Teachers can decide at the beginning of the month or week, or even at the beginning of the school day, how they want to work.”

Kastelli School and Community Centre located in Oulu, Finland, is one of 100 schools that have decided to take it one step further. They have adopted the flexible mindset that open learning spaces are better than walled-off classrooms. As a result, the school incorporates an open plan model, mixing students of different ages and cross-teaching subjects. The school’s interior features long hallways, soft chairs, big cushions, moveable walls and partitions for private discussions.

Reino Tapaninen, chief architect at the National Agency for Education said: “We’ve given up the old type of school desk and chair and have a real diversity now.” To make sure that there is minimal noise disruption, an acoustic designer works on the layout of the school. “We are using more acoustic materials on the ceilings, while textile flooring has become more popular — the materials are much better than they used to be, and now far easier to clean.” Tapaninen goes on to say that: “We now have what we call ‘shoe-less schools,’ where pupils either change into softer shoes or simply wear socks when they come indoors.”

Will the architecture lead to a better scholastic experience? We’ll just have to wait and see. What we do know is that there are certainly a few lessons to be learned from Finland’s radical approach to learning.

 » Lees verder

Robert Parry (1949-2018) was een authentieke onderzoeksjournalist

Robert Parry (1949-2018) was een authentieke onderzoeksjournalist

30-01-18 04:41:00,

Op 27 januari 2018 overleed Amerikaans journalist Robert Parry. Hij was een vastberaden onderzoeksjournalist die zijn eigen regering meermaals confronteerde met zijn illegale en amorele praktijken, zoals het Iran-Contraschandaal en het CIA-folterhandboek voor de Nicaraguaanse contra’s. In 1995 richtte hij zijn eigen onafhankelijke nieuwssite Consortiumnews.Com op.

Robert Parry werkte jarenlang als onderzoeksjournalist voor het persagentschap Associated Press. Hij werd meermaals gelauwerd voor zijn reportages. Daarin onthulde hij onder meer dat de Amerikaanse buitenlandse inlichtingendienst CIA trainingen gaf aan rechtse contrarebellen in Nicaragua in folter- en terreurpraktijken tegen de bevolking. Ook de praktijk van de Contra’s om cocaïne te smokkelen en te verkopen in de VS onder het toezicht van de CIA bracht hij uit. Dat geld gebruikten de Contra’s om hun wapens aan te kopen.

AP weigerde aanvankelijk zijn reportages over de Contra’s te publiceren, maar nadat zijn onthullingen door een verkeerde communicatie van de leiding van het persagentschap was gepubliceerd in de Spaanstalige media, kon het agentschap de reportage niet langer tegenhouden.

Toen Parry vernam dat de baas van AP hier voorafgaand overleg over had gepleegd met Oliver North, een lid van de Nationale Veiligheidsraad van president Reagan, vertrok hij naar het tijdschift Newsweek. Oliver North was verantwoordelijk voor de verkoop van wapens aan het Iraans leger, met de bedoeling daar een militaire staatsgreep tegen het regime van de ayatollahs uit te lokken. Die wapens financierde hij met het geld dat de Contra’s voor hun wapenaankopen betaalden. Op die manier kon hij die verkoop van wapens uit de officiële budgetten houden.


Ondanks meerdere prijzen voor zijn onderzoeksjournalistiek ondervond Robert Parry meer en meer hinder om zijn reportages in de Amerikaanse mainstreammedia gepubliceerd te krijgen. In 1995 richtte hij Consortiumnews op, een van de eerste non-profit onafhankelijke internetsites in de VS.

Parry publiceerde meerdere boeken tussen 1992 en 2012. vertaalde meerdere artikels van zijn hand of gebruikte zijn informatie voor eigen berichtgeving. Hij toonde zich steeds een journalist die de waan van de grote media doorprikte en hun slaafse volgzaamheid van de regering ontmaskerde.

Hij was een van de eersten om de hypocrisie van de Amerikaanse (en Europese steun) voor de opstand in Oekraïne aan te klagen (Zie Wanneer Henry Kissinger zinnige dingen zegt). Parry schreef ook uitgebreid over de steun van de Amerikaanse regeringen aan rechtse doodseskaders in Midden-Amerika (zie Medeplichtigheid VS bij genocide in Guatemala).

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Frontrunning: January 30

30-01-18 01:27:00,

  • Immigrants to Be in Spotlight at State of Union (WSJ)
  • Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Link Up to Form New Health-Care Company (BBG)
  • Yellen Leaving Fed With Full Employment, Increased Focus on Labor Market (WSJ)
  • Market Euphoria May Turn to Despair If 10-Year Yield Jumps to 3% (BBG)
  • U.S. Names Russian Oligarchs, But Says It’s Not a Sanctions List (BBG)
  • World stocks sucked under by bond market breakout (Reuters)
  • House Panel Votes to Release GOP Memo on Russia Probe (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Push to Fire Mueller Heightens Political, Not Legal, Risk (BBG)
  • CIA expects Russia to target U.S. mid-term elections (Reuters)
  • Decade of Easy Cash Turns Bond Market Upside Down (WSJ)
  • HNA to Face $2.4 Billion Liquidity Crunch This Quarter (BBG)
  • U.S., Mexico explore placing armed U.S. air marshals on flights (Reuters)
  • Iranian opposition cleric accuses Khamenei of abuse of power (Reuters)
  • Forget Self-Driving Cars, Robot Delivery Vans Are Here (BBG)
  • Venezuelan Pirates Rule the Most Lawless Market on Earth (BBG)
  • Trump administration holds off on new Russia sanctions, despite law (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Agenda Faces Tough Fiscal Reality After State of the Union (BBG)
  • Pentagon Muzzles Afghanistan Watchdog as Situation Worsens (BBG)
  • Banker Bonuses Jumping While Traders Brace for Smaller Payouts (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


– The maker of Keurig coffee machines is taking over Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, a marriage that combines popular brands that have struggled with increased competition and shifting consumer tastes.

– Revlon Inc Chief Executive Fabian Garcia brought in less than two years ago to help revive the iconic beauty giant—is leaving the company next month.

 » Lees verder

Polleit: “The Economic Upswing Shows The Devils’s Footprints”

Polleit: “The Economic Upswing Shows The Devils’s Footprints”

29-01-18 09:55:00,

Authored by Thorstein Polleit via The Mises Institute,

Most early business cycle indicators suggest that the global economy is pretty much roaring ahead. Production and employment are rising. Firms keep investing and show decent profits. International trade is expanding. Credit is easy to obtain. Stock prices keep moving up to ever higher levels. All seems to be well. Or does it?

Unfortunately, the economic upswing shows the devil’s footprints: central banks have set it in motion with their extremely low, and in some countries even negative, interest rate policy and rampant monetary expansion.

Artificially depressed borrowing costs are fueling a “boom.” Consumer loans are as cheap as ever before, seducing people to spend increasingly beyond their means. Low interest rates push down companies’ cost of capital, encouraging additional, and in particular risky investments – they would not have entered into under “normal” interest rate conditions. Financially strained borrowers – in particular states and banks – can refinance their maturing debt load at extremely low interest rates and even take on new debt easily.

By no means less important is the fact that central banks have effectively spread a “safety net” under financial markets: Investors feel assured that monetary authorities will, in case things turning sour, step in and fend off any crisis. The central banks’ safety net has lowered investors’ risk concern. Investors are willing to lend even to borrowers with relatively poor financial strength. Furthermore, it has suppressed risk premia in credit yields, having lowered firms’ cost of debt, which encourages them to run up their leverage to increase return on equity.

The boom stands and falls with persisting low interest rates. Higher interest rates make it increasingly difficult for borrowers to service their debt. If borrowers’ credit quality deteriorates, banks reign in their loan supply, putting even more pressure on struggling debtors. Also, higher interest rates cause asset prices – stock and real estate market prices in particular – to come down, putting the banking system under massive strain. In fact, higher rates have the potential to turn the boom into bust.

The US Federal Reserve (Fed), at the beginning of the 21st century,

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White House Is Planning To Nationalize 5G Network: Report

White House Is Planning To Nationalize 5G Network: Report

29-01-18 05:57:00,

In a stunning – if accurate – report published Sunday night, Axios claims that White House national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile spectrum/network to protect against Chinese attacks, in what may well be a pre-emptive shot, hinting at upcoming trade wars between the two superpowers.

Axios got its hands on PowerPoint deck and a memo, both of which were purportedly produced by a senior National Security Council official, which were presented to other senior officials at other agencies during a recent meeting.  The documents argue that America needs a centralized nationwide 5G network within three years. There’ll be a fierce debate inside the Trump administration, and an outcry from the industry over the next 6-8 months over how such a network is going to be built and paid for.

For those unfamiliar with 5G, Quora has a useful discussion on “How is 5G different from 4G and when will it be launched?”

The document’s author presents two options:

  • The U.S. government pays for and builds the single network — which would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure.
  • An alternative plan where wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete with one another — though the document says the downside is it could take longer and cost more. It argues that one of the “pros” of that plan is that it would cause “less commercial disruption” to the wireless industry than the government building a network.

Another expert who discussed the plan with Axios said the second option isn’t really feasible because a single, centralized network is what is needed to protect against cyberattacks from the Chinese or other foreign powers.

The source said the internal White House debate will be over whether the U.S. government owns and builds the network or whether the carriers bind together in a consortium to build the network, an idea that would require them to put aside their business models to serve the country’s greater good.

Option 1 would lead to federal control of a part of the economy that today is largely controlled by private wireless providers;

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Frontrunning: January 29

29-01-18 05:16:00,

  • Global Stocks Start 2018 With a Roar (WSJ)
  • Challenged on all fronts, Britain’s May faces pressure over Brexit law (Reuters)
  • Governments Worry That Cryptocurrencies Could be the ‘Next Swiss Bank Account’ (BBG)
  • U.S. Spending Rises in December; Saving Rate Lowest Since 2005 (WSJ)
  • Trump security team sees building U.S. 5G network as option (Reuters)
  • All Signs Point to Big Democratic Wins in 2018 (BBG)
  • U.S. Companies Brace for Wider Oversight of Chinese Deals (WSJ)
  • The Follower Factory: how celebs buy twitter followers (NYT)
  • U.S. authorities due to make arrests in futures ‘spoofing’ probe (Reuters)
  • North Korea, Under Sanctions Strain, Dials Back Military Exercises (WSJ)
  • First Lady’s Military Flights Before Washington Move Cost More Than $675,000 (WSJ)
  • Why Canada is the next frontier for shale oil (Reuters)
  • SpaceX’s New Beast of a Rocket Is Go for Launch (BBG)
  • Japan raps Coincheck, orders broader checks after $530 million cryptocurrency theft (reuters)
  • How Apple Built a Chip Powerhouse to Threaten Qualcomm and Intel (BBG)
  • AutoNation Just Decided to Stop Caring About Pot Smoking (BBG)
  • London’s Bankers Haven’t Been This Gloomy Since 2008 (BBG)
  • U.N. employees in Gaza hold protest strike over U.S. aid cut (Reuters)
  • Hung out to dry twice, Tennessee city stumped by Trump’s washer tariffs (Reuters)
  • British Lords Get Ready to Disrupt Brexit (BBG)
  • VW faces inquiry call over diesel fumes test on monkeys (reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


– U.S. President Donald Trump extended his threats of action against America’s trading partners, this time hinting at major retaliation against the European Union for what he described as its “very unfair”

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Emmanuel Macron’s Neoliberal Blitzkrieg | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Emmanuel Macron’s Neoliberal Blitzkrieg | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-01-18 10:44:00,

The gambit is a well-known opening move in the chess game. The player makes a sacrifice, typically a pawn, for the sake of a compensating advantage. Emmanuel Macron metaphorically did that in the first six months of his presidency. In the run-up to the presidential election, the political neophyte introduced himself as neither left-wing nor right-wing, but rather as left-wing and right-wing. It was a bold attempt to supersede the deeply entrenched left-right divide in French politics, and to take from both camps “what works best.” In so doing, Macron was able, for a short period of time, to defy political gravity and position himself as an ideal centrist candidate.

What’s more, the 39-year old candidate was untested politically, a young bright figure with a liberal profile and background. In this respect, Macron likes to remind everyone that he was once the editorial assistant to renowned French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Indeed, Macron is keen to be seen as the first “intellectual president” since François Mitterrand.

If Macron was a breath of fresh air in the run-up to the election, his political honeymoon with the voters did not last long. His first actions in power have marked the end of an original realignment of French politics. His economic policy blatantly leans to the right and is of a neoliberal nature. Both sides say so. Les Républicains, the party launched by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, has been remarkably silent since the start of the Macron presidency. They are unable to mount any significant challenge because, as some Republicans privately argue, Macron has stolen most of their policies. In short, they have virtually nothing to oppose and nowhere to go.

For political observers of French politics, Macron’s shift to the right was no major surprise. Backed by a strong 60-seat majority in the National Assembly, Macron had made no secret that, should he be elected, he would dramatically reshape France’s labour market. While running for president, Macron said that France needed “a shock of trust, a real acceleration.” He has all the constitutional power to pass any legislation he wishes to put forward. From a constitutional point of view, the French president, even called a “republican Monarch,” is the most powerful of any Western democracy (including the U.S).

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“Even Orwell And Huxley Couldn’t Imagine The Threat Posed By Facebook And Google”

“Even Orwell And Huxley Couldn’t Imagine The Threat Posed By Facebook And Google”

28-01-18 10:33:00,

Authored by Jake Johnson via,

In addition to warning that U.S. President Donald Trump represents an immense “danger” to civilization, billionaire George Soros used the spotlight of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday to urge the international community to take seriously the threats posed by Facebook and Google, which he said could ultimately spawn “a web of totalitarian control” if they are not reined in.

Particularly alarming, Soros said, is the prospect of Facebook and Google – which he scathingly deemed a “menace” to society – teaming up with “authoritarian states” to “bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance.”

Such “unholy marriages” could result in a strain of authoritarianism “the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined,” the billionaire investor cautioned.

Soros went on to compare the tech giants’ impact on the internet – and social media in particular – to the effects of fossil fuel giants on the environment.

“Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” Soros said, warning that the days of internet monopolies like Facebook and Google “are numbered.”

“They claim they are merely distributing information,” Soros added of the tech giants that are frequently denounced by critics of corporate power for abusing their market dominance.

“But the fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access.”

If tech companies are permitted to retain overwhelming control over information, “far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy” could result, Soros concluded.

“The power to shape people’s attention is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies,” Soros said.

“It takes a real effort to assert and defend what John Stuart Mill called ‘the freedom of mind.’ There is a possibility that once lost, people who grow up in the digital age will have difficulty in regaining it.”

Below is a short clip of Soros’s speech.

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The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-01-18 10:28:00,

First published in 2005, updated in January 2015 and April 2017. The US opioid crisis broadly defined bears a relationship to the export of heroin out of Afghanistan. There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users).

Author’s Note and Update

Afghanistan’s opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which feeds the surge of the US heroin market which is currently the object of debate and public concern. 

In the course of the last decade, there has been a surge in Afghan opium production. In turn the number of heroin addicts in the US has increased dramatically. Is there a relationship?  

“There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users). Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the US-NATO War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares in 2016. (One hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres). Ironically, the so-called US eradication operation in Afghanistan has cost an estimated $8.5 billion in American taxpayer funds since the US-NATO-Afghan war started in October 2001.” ( See the article by Sibel Edmonds, August 22, 2017)

Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the opium which feeds the heroin market.

In turn, the US is now sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Lest we forget, the surge in opium production occurred in the immediate wake of the US invasion in October 2001.

Who is protecting opium exports out of Afghanistan?

In 2000-2001,  “the Taliban government –in collaboration with the United Nations– had imposed a successful ban on poppy cultivation. Opium production declined by more than 90 per cent in 2001. In fact the surge in opium cultivation production coincided with the onslaught of the US-led military operation and the downfall of the Taliban regime.

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Illinois Unveils Another Shocker: Sell A Record $107 Billion In Debt To Fund Insolvent Pensions

Illinois Unveils Another Shocker: Sell A Record $107 Billion In Debt To Fund Insolvent Pensions

28-01-18 10:14:00,

If there is such a thing as financial hell, it is probably Greece… with Illinois coming in close second.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it’s largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90’s, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017. 

Here is just a small taste of some of our recent posts on Illinois’ challenges:

Seen in this light, any irrational actions undertaken by the near-insolvent state would almost make sense, if not be expected. Actually make that irrational and utterly bizarre, such as a proposed offering of a mind-blowing $107 billion in debt – a never before attempted amount in the world of munis – to “fund” the state’s insolvent pension system, which would also assure that Illinois would default (even faster) in the very near future.

According to Bloomberg, Illinois lawmakers are so desperate to shore up the state’s massively underfunded retirement system that “they’re willing to entertain an eye-popping wager: Borrowing $107 billion and letting it ride in the financial markets.“

If that number sounds oddly large, is because it is: an offering of this size would be by far the biggest debt sale in the history of the municipal market, and amount to roughly 50% more debt than bankrupt Puerto Rico accumulated in the run up to its record-setting insolvency.

Putting the proposed deal in context, Illinois had $26.3 billion of general-obligation bonds as of July and the state sold $750 million of bonds in November to pay down unpaid bills that had accumulated during its two-year budget impasse.

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The Practice of “Satanism” Within The Vatican – Exposed | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

The Practice of “Satanism” Within The Vatican – Exposed | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

28-01-18 08:41:00,

Multiple Catholic Priests Expose The Practice of “Satanism” Within The Vatican

The works of multiple scholars, from Plato to Manly P. Hall and further down the line, suggest it is essentially the use of rituals and techniques to invoke and control “spirits” or lifeforms that could be existing within other dimensions or worlds. For example, according to Hall, “a magician, enveloped in sanctified vestments and carrying a wand inscribed with hieroglyphic figures, could by the power vested in certain words and symbols control the invisible inhabitants of the elements and of the astral world. While the elaborate ceremonial magic of antiquity was not necessarily evil, there arose from its perversion several false schools of sorcery, or black magic.”

A distinction is made early in the article about black magic and white magic. Basically, black magic is the process of using entities to accomplish a goal through ceremonial magic.

Hall writes:

“By means of the secret processes of ceremonial magic it is possible to contact these invisible creatures and gain their help in some human undertaking. Good spirits willingly lend their assistance to any worthy enterprise, but evil spirits serve only those who live to pervert and destroy. . . . The most dangerous form of black magic is the scientific perversion of occult power for the gratification of personal desire.”

In his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ageshe goes on to describe how the elites in ancient Egypt, all the way up to the present day, have used these concepts in conjunction with their desire to completely control our world. Today, it starts with the government, up through the corporations and further along up the pyramid into our major financial institutions, into the Vatican and beyond.

Religion is interesting, to say the least. On one hand, you have multiple religions preaching the same message at their core, and, on the other hand, it’s not uncommon to come across several contradictions between them all. Don’t forget about different interpretations of the same religion, which has created ‘mini-religion’ spin-offs  which take these different interpretations into account. Obviously, multiple religions and their own interpretation of reality resonate with millions of people, and that’s because they preach a message of peace,

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Syrian Kurds Ask Assad to Save Them From Turkey

Syrian Kurds Ask Assad to Save Them From Turkey

28-01-18 08:29:00,

The hopes of the Trump administration to use the Syrian Kurds as a wedge against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus may be rapidly fading.

The liberal Lebanese newspaper Elbalad [The Country] reports that the Autonomous Administration of the Kurdish-majority Afrin region of northern Syria, which is under attack from Turkey, has called on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to defend the country’s borders from the “brutal Turkish aggression,” affirming that Afrin is an inseparable part of Syria. The Kurds, organized by the Democratic Union Party and its paramilitary the People’s Protection Units (YPG) said that the Turkish invasion, launched last Saturday, aims at grabbing another piece of Syrian territory through the occupation of the district of Afrin.

The Kurds called on the Syrian state to undertake its responsibilities of sovereignty with regard to Afrin and to safeguard the borders of the country from the attacks of the Turkish occupier, something it has not done so far despite the announcement by Damascus that it would send troops to man the frontier.

The communiqué said that the People’s Protection Units had spent the last six years fulfilling their national duty to safeguard the district against the attacks of terrorist groups and preserving of the integrity of Syrian territory and its national institutions.

The some two million Syrian Kurds in the north and northeast of the country have been a wild card for decades. They were discriminated against by the Arab nationalist Baath Party, the tattered remnants of which still huddle around al-Assad in Damascus, on the grounds that Kurds are not Arabs and so not full citizens of the Syrian Arab Republic unless they are willing to learn Arabic and give up their ethnic identity. The Baath Party is as racist as the KKK. In fact, in the 1960s, the Arab nationalist government in Damascus just removed citizenship from 100,000 Kurds, who later grew into a million.

When the attempted revolution broke out in 2011, Bashar al-Assad went up to Hasaka in the northeast and offered to restore citizenship to the Kurds if they would back his government instead of rebelling. The Kurds showed little interest in the offer. For them, the outbreak of revolution was a chance to stake their claim to a federal Kurdish ethnic province,

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The Medical Industrial Complex & Technology | With Richard D. Wolff

The Medical Industrial Complex & Technology | With Richard D. Wolff

28-01-18 07:01:00,

The Medical Industrial Complex & Technology | With Richard D. Wolff

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In this educational video we talk to the founder of Democracy at Work and Professor of Economics Emeritus (University of Massachusetts), Richard D. Wolff, about the healthcare system of the United States and what possible durable economic solutions could be pursued. Furthermore we also talk about the general perspective of the left regarding unemployment due to technological change and why this perspective requires reevaluation

To view our entire video playlist with Richard D. Wolff, click here.

VIDEO: The Medical Industrial Complex & Technology

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Richard D. WolffRichard D. Wolff

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, and the University of Paris I (Sorbonne).

He is a co-founder and contributor of Democracy at Work, a non-profit organization that promotes democratic workplaces as a key part of a transition to a better economic system. Wolff has published many books and articles, both scholarly and popular. Most recently, in 2012, he published the books Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (Haymarket Books) and Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian, with Stephen Resnick (Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT University Press). The New York Times Magazine has named him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.

Citation-List of YouTube & Facebook Video: „The Medical Industrial Complex & Technology | With Richard D. Wolff“

  • (10.11.2017) – „Health at a Glance 2017“ – – Author: OECD
  • (2017) – „Infant mortality rates“ – –Author: OECD
  • (24.05.2017) – „Profits are booming at health insurance companies“ – – Author: Bob Herman  – Source: Axios
  • (2017) – „Home / Influence &

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The Genocide Conspiracy Against North Korea: An Open Letter to the International Criminal Court | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Genocide Conspiracy Against North Korea: An Open Letter to the International Criminal Court | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-01-18 09:28:00,

The American threats against North Korea continue to mount and with them the threat of the genocide of the people of North Korea by the United States of America and its allies. The meeting of the USA, Canada and other nations that attacked North Korea in 1950 held in Vancouver, Canada, on January 16, which some hoped would lead to a political solution, instead took on the character of a meeting of criminals who by their presence, agreement and actions made them parties to a conspiracy to commit genocide, a crime under the statute of the International Criminal Court and the Genocide Convention of 1948.

The threats made against North Korea are due to one single fact: the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea refuses to accept the world hegemony of the American Empire. It has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. It has become a ritual now to state that all the permanent members of the Security Council are armed with nuclear weapons, that the United States has used them on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that they have continuously threatened to use them to intimidate other nations since 1945, that Pakistan, India, and Israel have them, that NATO members in Europe have them at their disposal under US direction, that North Korea is in violation of no international law in developing them to defend themselves, to ensure their security just as all those other nations have done, that North Korea threatens no one and seeks only to have a full and final peace with the United States.

The nuclear weapon issue is a simply the pretext that the United States is using to try to solidify its tyranny over Korea, over the world.

The threat to the world peace comes not from North Korea. It comes from the United States and its allies: the nations who have degraded themselves into subjugated vassal states ready to obey any criminal order of their masters of war in Washington.

In response to what in our considered opinion are criminal actions, Dr. Graeme MacQueen, Founder and former Director of the Centre For Peace Studies, at McMaster University, and I, felt it necessary to send the following Open Letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on January 23.

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$11,589.01?… Ask The Swiss!

$11,589.01?… Ask The Swiss!

27-01-18 10:54:00,

Authored by Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog,


That’s the US dollar amount of American stocks the Swiss National Bank owns on behalf of every man, woman and child in Switzerland. Let that sink in.

A Central Bank has taken on itself to expand its balance sheet and invest in the proceeds, not in gold, nor sovereign debt – heck not even in corporate bonds. Nope, the SNB has taken it upon itself to “invest” that money in another country’s most risky part of the capital structure – equity.

And don’t think it’s a small number. It’s almost $100 billion US dollars.

In a strange twist of fate, the Swiss National Bank is not only Switzerland’s Central Bank, but also a publicly traded security. I know, it makes little sense, but in this day and age, what does? Anyways, the financial community is all abuzz with SNB’s rocket ship chart formation.

The SNB’s equity price market capitalization is only 584 million CHF, so when you consider that the S&P 500 is up almost 6% since the start of the year, and that the SNB owns $100 billion of stocks which are up $6 billion USD during the last two months, maybe it makes sense to take a punt of buying some SNB equity. Now, who really knows how to value this security? Those gains should accrue to Swiss citizens as opposed to SNB equity holders, but it’s easy to understand the excitement.

The real problem

It’s all fun and good to speculate on the SNB equity price, but I am more interested in what the SNB’s behaviour means for the global markets going forward.

The real problem is that a Central Bank just monetized their balance sheet against another country’s equity market, and instead of getting punished for this reckless behaviour, the markets are celebrating the Swiss good fortune. And I ask you – have you ever seen Central Bankers not behave like a bunch of antelopes on the Serengeti? It is an amazingly disturbing precedent.

The Swiss National Bank has gone down a rabbit hole from which it will be extremely difficult to surface.

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Truth or Treason? Dirty Secrets of the Korean War

Truth or Treason? Dirty Secrets of the Korean War

27-01-18 10:45:00,

The Korean War ended in a stalemate at the 38th parallel, which to this day divides North and South Korea. The final armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. There still is no final peace settlement of the conflict. Technically, the two sides are still at war, separated by a Demilitarise Zone (DMZ) with nukes now pointing at each other, guaranteeing nuclear annihilation if war breaks out again. And given Donald Trump’s threats of unleashing “fire and fury” on the DPRK, the possibility is horrifyingly real.

The cessation of military operations also marked the beginning of a new war: the propaganda war. As the first armed conflict of the Cold War ended in a draw, it was essential for the US-led coalition, flying the UN flag, to claim a moral victory for the “Free World”. The Red-Yellow hordes had been stopped at the 38th parallel in Korea. The next battle would be in Indochina, where the French – supported by the US – were fighting a “communist” insurgency, led by Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap. The Indochina War  would become the Vietnam War, or the American War as they call it in Viet Nam.

But the “Free World” propagandists had to clear some hurdles before claiming victory in Korea. The North Koreans and Chinese had accused the US of waging bacteriological warfare and of atrocities against the civilian population and prisoners of war held in Allied camps. The war had left much of the country in ruins, with barely a building left standing in the North. According to Wikipedia, “nearly 3 million people died. More than half of these, about 10 percent of Korea’s pre-war population were civilians.” Unlike World War II, the Korean War did not bring much glory to the US & Allies. Thus it became the “forgotten war”, the one no one knows much or talks about.

Two “Caucasian Communists”, Wilfred Burchett and Alan Winnington reported the Korean conflict from the Chinese-North Korean side. I put Chinese first, because both were accredited to the Chinese delegation to the ceasefire talks. There was nothing sinister about it. Both held British passports and the United Kingdom had officially recognised the People’s Republic of China and had normal diplomatic relations. The two men were reporting events of world significance from the “other side” of a conflict which was officially a “police operation”,

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Creating an Empire of Graveyards?

Creating an Empire of Graveyards?

27-01-18 10:40:00,

Recently, a memory of my son as a small boy came back to me. He was, in those days, terrified of clowns. Something about their strange, mask-like, painted faces unnerved him utterly, chilled him to the bone. To the rest of us, they were comic, but to him — or so I came to imagine anyway — they were emanations from hell.

Those circus memories of long ago seem relevant to me today because, in November 2016, the American electorate, or a near majority of them anyway, chose to send in the clowns.  They voted willingly, knowingly, for the man with that strange orange thing on his head, the result — we now know, thanks to his daughter — of voluntary “scalp reduction surgery.”  They voted for the man with the eerily red face, an unearthly shade seldom seen since the perfection of Technicolor.  They voted for the overweight man who reputedly ate little but Big Macs (for fear of being poisoned), while swinging one-handed from a political trapeze with fingers of a particularly contestable size.  They voted for the man who never came across a superlative he couldn’t apply to himself.  Of his first presidential moment, he claimed “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”; he declared himself “the greatest jobs president that God ever created”; he swore to reporters that he was “the least racist person you have ever interviewed”; he offered his version of modesty by insisting that, “with the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office”; and when his mental state was challenged, he responded that his “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” adding, “I think that [I] would qualify as not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!”

Of course, none of this is news to you, not if you have a screen in your life (or more likely your hand) — the very definition of twenty-first-century modernity.  In fact, by the time this piece comes out, you’ll undoubtedly have a new set of examples to cite. 

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