Shame on city and county officials who brought in and enforced these heartless laws.
Go Abby! Show them up for the heartless, tax wasting maggots they are.
Shame on city and county officials who brought in and enforced these heartless laws.
Go Abby! Show them up for the heartless, tax wasting maggots they are.
Posted: 09 Feb 2014 04:29 AM PST
Failed privatizations, rampant unemployment and a thoroughly inefficient and unaccountable political system lie at the basis of the Bosnian protests.
Bosnia-Herzegovina finally emerged from the sidelines, once again as a country in flames. On February 5, laid off workers of the recently privatized factories of the industrial city of Tuzla, the third largest in Bosnia-Herzegovina, took to the streets to claim their healthcare and pension payments, to get their 50 months’ back pay, and to demand the government to fight youth unemployment, whose rate in Bosnia-Herzegovina ramped up to 60%. Read more http://roarmag.org/2014/02/bosnia-protests-tuzla-workers/
Oil sands strip mining of Indian lands and boreal forests – for what?
Here’s the FBI definition – http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism-definition
Here the Wiki definition – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism#Obstacles_to_a_comprehensive_definition
All the definitions refer to violence.
So why are peace, anti-war, environmental, human rights and other social movements targeted by so called anti-terrorism squads acting with corporate spies?
Pity they don’t also possess a sense of proportion, fairness and respect for human rights.
In most countries, the press would run this story until the Government relented. What is wrong with the US courts, legislature and media that they would allow a man to be imprisoned for life for $150. Read more: http://www.alternet.org/man-was-sentenced-die-prison-shoplifting-159-jacket-happens-more-you-think?
—By Nick Turse | Fri Sep. 6, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
“They’re involved in Algeria and Angola, Benin and Botswana, Burkina Faso and Burundi, Cameroon and the Cape Verde Islands. And that’s just the ABCs of the situation. Skip to the end of the alphabet and the story remains the same: Senegal and the Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. From north to south, east to west, the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, the heart of the continent to the islands off its coasts, the US military is at work. Base construction, security cooperation engagements, training exercises, advisory deployments, special operations missions, and a growing logistics network, all undeniable evidence of expansion—except at US Africa Command.” Read more . . .
British surgeon David Nott, says snipers shot this fetus inside its mother’s womb. He blames the Syrian government and says eight pregnant women were shot in the uterus in two days.
The same article in the Daily Mirror reports that he said there were two women and does not assign blame to the Syrian government.
Although it is sometimes difficult to see damage in an X-ray of a bullet in a skull, I would have expected to see some damage to the delicate skull of a fetus – an entry point perhaps, and I doubt a tiny baby with its delicate bones would have done much to stop a bullet unless it was nearing the end of its trajectory.
Nonetheless, casualties of war are not just enemies. They are babies and grandparents, mothers and children, pets and farm animals. All suffering for the greed of the few.
Published on 9 Sep 2013
Abby Martin speaks about the blatant hypocrisy regarding Obama’s “red line” of chemical attacks as the motivating factor to intervene militarily in Syria, citing the top four chemical weapons attacks that the US military does not want you to know about.
Websites, blogs and Facebook are the communications media of this century. Ethical standards are just as important for them as the traditional press. Hiding evidence or, by omission, creating videos that mislead the public, is just as unethical when it’s on the web as when it’s on newsprint.
This is the image that won’t appear on 911 conspiracy websites and that is continually taken down on other blogs such as ICH. It’s of WTC1 falling onto Building 7. You can clearly see the moment debris hits the building.
In the next image, taken just a few seconds before the first. You can clearly see the huge structural steel and aluminium panels that caused severe damage to the corner of Building 7 (bottom left corner of the image)
Below is an image of the panels with their aluminium cladding still attached.
An often used claim is that Building 7 fell into its own footprint. Here is another image, not often shown by conspiracy theorists.
As you can see, a huge amount of Building 7 debris fell to the North onto Barclay Street and 30 Broadway/Fiterman Hall, the striped building at the top of the image. The debris was almost as high as the building on the right. The Southern half of the west facade and most of the South facade of 30 Broadway/Fiterman Hall, were severely damaged or destroyed, in spite of the fact that they were on the other side of Barclay Street. Therefore, Building 7 did not fall into its footprint.
The videos of Building 7 falling that are so often used on conspiracy websites, are taken from the relatively undamaged Northern side of the building. Video clips taken from other viewpoints showing different sides of the building, tell a very different story. Fire is evident on many floors and the building twists and buckles as it collapses.
The first video below shows a collection of video clips that include views of the building leading up to the scene usually shown on truther sites. The second shows deliberate omissions; one can only suspect, for the purpose of misleading the public.
3 minute 58 seconds into Nathan Flach’s video compilation, you will see the part edited out on conspiracy sites. The penthouse and the corner of the building that was most damaged by WTC 1, falls first. You can see that the structure behind the north facade has collapsed on the left hand side. In fact you can see daylight through the windows. There is a short delay, and then the rest of the building collapses, not straight down but towards the North across Barclay Street. The deliberate editing out of those first few seconds on a number of videos and the selective use of videos shot mainly from the North, strongly suggests fraud on the part of a number of conspiracy sites that claim that the fall of WTC 7 was a controlled demolition.
Now see how the crucial beginning of the fall of building seven has been edited out and the extent of the debris field, deliberately obscured.
Committing fraud on a public still traumatized by the events of 911 is unethical and cruel. Not least, because it constantly reminds them of the tragedy on blogs, websites, Facebook and twitter. It is the 21st Century version of 19th Century scams on the bereaved and just as profitable for the main instigators.
Israel can no longer claim the moral high ground as it continues to prove that it promulgates apartheid.
by Lisa Goldman Aug 23, 2013
Gore Vidal gives the briefest, most surgically accurate analysis of the Presidents of America ever written.
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
Two men, two presidents almost fifty years apart, one a child of white privilege, the other a child of multiculturalism, both commanders in chief of an empire of military bases on every continent from the Arctic to the Antarctic, both world leaders of their times, both are consummate speakers, both are masters of spin..
The spin, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama used in their speeches, might differ but each in his own way achieved what, if not exactly impossible, was thought highly improbable in their times. They did it using powerful rhetoric.
Kennedy and his speechwriters Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Theodore “Ted” Sorensen were masters of traditional empire building rhetoric that referenced ancient Greece and Rome in tones of imperial gravitas. His style was typified by his Inaugural Address in Washington in 1961.
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage . . .
Whilst I doubt that many Americans used the words, go forth, foe or tempered, they were hypnotized by his address. His command of classical rhetoric created the myth of a great leader and the people hung on his words.
Obama and his speechwriters Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan choose instead to toggle between the rhetoric of the founding fathers and the common touch depending on the circumstances. Obama’s speech on Race Relations; delivered at the National Constitution Center across from Independence Hall in Philadelphia started with ‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union. Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy.’ He draws on the style and dignity of the Constitution. Whereas the simpler language and common expressions of his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention draws on colloquialisms like fudge the numbers.
When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
With these rhetorical strategies, Obama deftly places himself as a man of the people and an American. In fact what his spin on this piece is disguising is encapsulated in the line “to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war”. He could have said, ‘When I become president, and I go to war, I want more troops.’
It is almost 50 years since Kennedy wrote his last speech in November 1963. He was due to deliver it on the day he was assassinated. Would he deliver the same speech today? Would the president of the country that believed it won the greatest war in history, a country in economic growth and with a politically naïve population make the same speech to the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Dallas Citizens Council and Assembly? Would he make the same speech after two long, unsuccessful wars and one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression?
Parts of Kennedy’s speech might be even better received today than that which Obama presented on a similar theme. For instance the carefully scripted, almost poetically rhythmical “There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternative, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.” It sounds almost Shakespearean compared to Obama’s down to earth and school masterly defense of his tax compromise with Republicans in 2010.
Now if that’s the standard against which we are measuring success or core principles, then let’s face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about ourselves about how good our intentions are, how tough we are.
On the other hand, Kennedy’s boast about spending on nuclear missiles is unlikely to escape the notice of online critics today. The political capital invested in nuclear weapons has long since dissipated and his aggressive dialectic in the Dallas speech would be more likely to offend allies and American citizens than make them feel secure, particularly after the Chernobyl and Fukushima leaks and in the light of many more countries possessing nuclear weapons than in 1963.
. . . the strategic nuclear power of the United States has been so greatly modernized and expanded in the last 1,000 days, by the rapid production and deployment of the most modern missile systems, that any and all potential aggressors are clearly confronted now with the impossibility of strategic victory – and the certainty of total destruction – if by reckless attack they should ever force upon us the necessity of a strategic reply.
It is also doubtful that any president today would provide so much ammunition to his opposition and national enemies as this list of military expenditures from Kennedy’s remarks at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 1963, his last delivered speech.
In the past 3 years we have increased the defense budget of the United States by over 20 percent; increased the program of acquisition for Polaris submarines from 24 to 41; increased our Minuteman missile purchase program by more than 75 percent; doubled the number of strategic bombers and missiles on alert; doubled the number of nuclear weapons available in the strategic alert forces; increased the tactical nuclear forces deployed in Western Europe by over 60 percent; added five combat ready divisions to the Army of the United States, and five tactical fighter wings to the Air Force of the United States; increased our strategic airlift capability by 75 percent; and increased our special counter-insurgency forces which are engaged now in South VietNam by 600 percent. I hope those who want a stronger America and place it on some signs will also place those figures next to it.
Keeping in mind his military and nuclear weapons spending, as he has just outlined, leads to a clearer understanding of Kennedy as a manipulative rhetorician and spin doctor particularly in the light of his famous speech to the Commencement Address at American University on June 10 in 1963.
Kennedy started with his title. “Peace and Freedom Walk Together” In fact he used the word “Peace” 50 times in this one speech, a clever linguistic device that remained fixed in his listener’s minds rather than the actual content of what he said. In addition, he used the word “Freedom” 9 times at key points even though he had already created the CIA’s Domestic Operations Division that year. Freedom, but perhaps not so much for Americans.
Later in his speech, it is doubtful this gem of rhetorical absurdity would achieve anything like the effect it had in 1963. “To secure these ends, America’s weapons are non-provocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility.”
Kennedy goes on to say with a straight face, “For there can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.” This was at a stage in his presidency when he was well on the way to be able to say to the citizens of Fort Worth ‘Our assistance to these nations can be painful, risky, and costly, as is true in Southeast Asia today. But we dare not weary of the task. For our assistance makes possible the stationing of 3.5 million allied troops along the Communist frontier’.
He concludes with the hypocritical ‘The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war.” As he said at the time, he was actively escalating involvement in Vietnam and he conveniently omitted to mention, Laos. In fact, as linguist and political researcher, Noam Chomsky said, ‘by 1962, Kennedy’s war had far surpassed the French war at its peak in helicopters and aerial fire power’.
It was a clever speech, a satisfying one to those who looked at Kennedy with rose tinted glasses even today. After all, he says “peace” 50 times leading many people to believe that the Commencement Day speech was proof that Kennedy was a peacemaker and that he intended to withdraw from Vietnam. But his actions as he states himself prove otherwise. Rather, his clever speech, aimed at mollifying increasingly radical students, is proof that he was, in his time, a master of double speak. Not a man for all seasons but a man for all men, who adapted his speeches to appeal to each of his audiences. A man who could make a speech that talks of war to one person and a speech that makes it sound like peace to another. As he says himself ‘No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.’
President Barack Obama could not have existed in the America of 1963. In that year, Kennedy was just coming to the end of his procrastination on the issue of Civil Rights and the Act was not passed until 1964 after his assassination.
However, Obama’s speeches would in many ways, have been understood by the Americans of that time. His catch cry of hope and destiny was just as supportable then as now. In his Iowa Caucus Victory Speech in 2008, ‘Hope is the bedrock of this nation. The belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.’ Later, in his speech delivered in Berlin in 2008, he says, ‘We are a people of improbable hope With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.’ Would the people of America prefer ‘People of improbable hope’ to‘Hope is the bedrock’ in 2013 or 1963? Does either statement have any meaningful content?
From an ideological and dialectic perspective, Obama reveals the political angles in his spin doctoring and rhetorical appeals to pathos at the Millennium Development Goals Summit in 2010. He says with all sincerity, “When a child dies from a preventable disease, it shocks all of our consciences.” That begs the question whether children killed in drone strikes do not. He spins the polio eradication campaign to make it appear to be a US led program. “We’re working with partners to finally eradicate polio.” When in fact it is an initiative of the WHO, UNICEF and Rotary. And U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan have seriously hindered the final vaccination drive in Pakistan because of the suspicion that the CIA is using the vaccination campaign as a cover as it identifies potential drone targets.
Obama goes on with “instead of just treating HIV/AIDS, we’ve invested in pioneering research to finally develop a way to help millions of women actually prevent themselves from being infected in the first place.” However he does not share with his audience what the United States Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, PEPFAR, does with its ‘pioneering research’. Take Uganda as an example. As Scott Evertz, a leader in health policy practice, pointed out; previously Uganda had a comprehensive ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condoms) strategy which reduced the Aids rate from 15% to 6% of the population. Now PEPFAR provides much of its Aids funding to Christian religious groups promoting an abstinence-only strategy and actively attacking condom use. As a result, Aids is rising again.
Omission continues to be Obama’s strategy in informing the public about other foreign aid particularly that channelled through the Millennium Development Corporation. He speaks glowingly of the Corporation, and its help building rural roads in El Salvador. However, as reported in Voices from El Salvador, in 2012, U.S. Ambassador Maria Carmen Aponte said that approval of new MCC funds is dependent upon the passing of the P3 Law. Unions and indigenous people say that the P3 Law will privatize government services such as air and seaports, health care facilities, and education. The much-lauded roads are not for the local people but to enable investment in tourism and hotels on indigenous land.
Another strategy Obama uses is the appearance of even-handedness. Words like ‘balance’ allow Obama to place socially positive concepts next to more controversial political actions such as freedom and need for security or privacy protection and intercept communication.
That’s why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, but also build in privacy protections to prevent abuse.
Kennedy said more or less the same thing in his address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961 but uses a yes/but argument with a complete about face.
And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know. . . . Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security — and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.
The strength of Obama’s speeches is evident in his success in two elections as the first black president in America. He is a president that like Kennedy is capable of flights of rhetoric and hyperbole that stir the imagination and inspire Americans. Like Kennedy, he uses sweet lies and shibboleths that appeal to his electorate as he prevaricates and plays with the truth. The content and historical context of their speeches is often almost identical. At times, their speeches could be interchangeable and in fact, Americans of 1963 and 2013 would probably see little difference in their politics or rhetoric as read in:
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. . . To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.
History will not judge our endeavors–and a government cannot be selected–merely on the basis of color or creed or even party affiliation. Neither will competence and loyalty and stature, while essential to the utmost, suffice in times such as these.
For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each one of us–recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state–our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions:
First, were we truly men of courage–with the courage to stand up to one’s enemies–and the courage to stand up, when necessary, to one’s associates–the courage to resist public pressure, as well as private greed?
Secondly, were we truly men of judgment–with perceptive judgment of the future as well as the past–of our own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others–with enough wisdom to know that we did not know, and enough candor to admit it?
Third, were we truly men of integrity–men who never ran out on either the principles in which they believed or the people who believed in them–men who believed in us–men whom neither financial gain nor political ambition could ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?
Finally, were we truly men of dedication–with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and compromised by no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest.
The first is Barack Obama’s Victory speech in Grant Park, 2008. The second is John F. Kennedy’s Address before the Massachusetts General Court, January 9, 1961.
When History and the people of America take their rose colored glasses off, they will judge the endeavors and hypocrisy of Kennedy and Obama for what they are – excellent rhetoricians, poor human beings, 50 years apart, who but for the color of one’s skin would have been completely interchangeable.
“Ce n’est pas la première fois que je remarque combien, en France particulièrement, les mots ont plus d’empire que les idées.”
“It’s not the first time I’ve noticed how much more power words have than ideas”
George Sand, Indiana
“Address, “The President and the Press,” Before The American Newspaper Publishers Association, 27 April 1961.” - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.
“Attack on Team of Polio Vaccinators in Pakistan Kills One.” Zeenews.com. Zeenews, 20 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
“Barack Obama 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address – American Rhetoric.” Barack Obama 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address – American Rhetoric. C-Span, 18 Aug. 2008. Web. 28 May 2013.
Chomsky, Noam. “Noam Chomsky – 1993 – Rethinking Camelot.” Scribd. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.
“The Debate Over Public-Private Partnership Law and MCC Funding in El Salvador.” Voices from El Salvador. N.p., 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 May 2013.
Drum, Kevin. “Obama Goes Medieval on the Left.” Mother Jones. N.p., 07 Dec. 2010. Web. 28 May 2013.
Evertz, Scott H. Rep. How Ideology Trumped Science Why PEPFAR Has Failed to Meet Its Potential. Center for American Progress • Council for Global Equality, Jan. 2010. Web. 30 May 2013.
Kennedy, John F. “Address before the Massachusetts General Court, January 9, 1961.” - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
Kennedy, John F. “Commencement Address at American University, June 10, 1963.” - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
Kennedy, John F. “Commencement Address at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 11 June 1962.” - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. National Archives and Records Administration. n.d. Web. 29 May 2013.
Kennedy, John F. “Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas, November 22, 1963 [Undelivered].” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. National Archives and Records Administration. n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
Mirengoff, Paul. “This Month in Civil Rights History.” Power Line. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
Obama, Barack. “Barack Obama Gives His Iowa Caucus Victory Speech.” Barack Obama.net. Barack Obama, 3 Jan. 2008. Web. 30 May 2013.
Obama, Barack. “Barack Obama Speech – Election Night Victory – Nov 4 2008.” Barack Obama. N.p., 04 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 May 2013.
Obama, Barack. “Remarks by the President at the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, New York.” The White House. US Govt., 22 Sept. 2010. Web. 30 May 2013.
Obama, Barack. “Remarks by the President at the National Defense University.” The White House. US Govt, 23 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
“Obama Speech on Race at the National Constitution Center.” Obama Speech on Race at the National Constitution Center. National Constitution Centre, 8 Mar. 2008. Web. 28 May 2013.
“President Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Address.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Jan. 2009. Web. 28 May 2013.
Record, Jeffrey. “The Wrong War Why We Lost in Vietnam.” Books. New York Times, n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.
“Trade Mart Speech (Kennedy’s Last Speech).”American Experience: TV’s Most-watched History Series.” PBS. n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
Their strategy was multi-pronged.
First they attacked her for gaining the parliamentary numbers on Rudd. Constant media stories particularly in Murdoch’s main rag, The Australian, claimed that this was unprecedented and that it indicated her disloyalty. So were the musical chairs within the prime ministership unprecedented. Absolutely not. There have been 21 changes of Prime Minister without an election. Reasons include: party-room coups: Hughes, Menzies, Gorton, Hawke, Gillard, Rudd,: Voluntary (or involuntary) departure: Barton, Fisher, Page, Forde, McEwen, Menzies and defeat in Parliament: Deakin twice, Watson, Reid, Fisher, Fadden. Note the list includes many of our most beloved and trusted prime ministers such as Menzies and Hawke.
Part of the problem is that people seem to think of the Prime Minister as something like an American President. They even think that a president is elected directly by the people whereas as all Americans know (particularly Al Gore), the Electoral College elects them. In Australia, Prime ministers are elected from amongst sitting members by a caucus of their party i.e. they are the prime or first ministers (think of class captain). Therefore, Gillard becoming prime minister did not do so “Behind the backs of the Australian people” but rather was acting in the good old Australian tradition of counting the numbers in parliament. If the two independents had switched sides, there would have been a complete change of government.
The press constantly criticized Gillard for increasing costs for ordinary Australians particularly with the Carbon pollution tax (the corporations took out full-page ads, wonderfully profitable for Murdoch) In fact, Gillard paid the working and non-working classes recompense for the increased charges industry imposed because of the carbon price to prevent their pollution. (Pollution did fall with the carbon price)
Treasurer Wayne Swan kept interest rates to their lowest ever and the Gonski reforms meant that working class kids got the education funding they needed. Would Australians rather keep the previous Howard government’s system of private school kids getting three times as much as a worker’s kid from the worker’s taxes?
Patrick O’Connor said, “In Gillard, the Obama administration found a compliant instrument to realign Australia with its aggressive “pivot” to Asia in order to encircle, and prepare for war against, China.” However he was wrong. Gillard was the consummate negotiator who managed to negotiate Washington’s request for four major bases across the North of Australia (Think Camp Bondsteel) down to permission to share some of our facilities mainly for R&R and training. Of course, she could not get out of the treaties signed by earlier governments for all the smaller facilities that the US uses for monitoring such as Pine Gap. She also was firm about US requests to stop trade with China and traveled to Beijing to reassure the Chinese, imagine the job situation in Australia if she had not.
Mass layoffs of thousands of medical, education, public service and environmental workers and the selling of state assets such as schools by right wing state governments following an American agenda are unfairly laid at Gillard’s door. In fact, as has happened, they were the agenda of the current government under Abbott and Newmann.
Then there are the corporate economic pundits who try to sow panic with “The Australian dollar is now plunging in value against other currencies, driving up the cost of fuel and other imported products upon which working people depend.” Again, this is a deliberate attempt to sway readers with false information. A low Australian dollar means more jobs in Australia, more exports, more manufacturing and it is not imported products such as iPhones, on which workers depend. It is homegrown food and housing and the more that is home grown, the more jobs there are.
The widespread popular hostility towards Gillard was started by the media, continued by the media, never let us forget it by the media, 5 pages demonizing Gillard in every edition of The Australian, media. As Obama said, “If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth”. It is the media, (Murdoch, Newscorp and Fairfax) that are pushing the Yank line. It is the media that is undemocratically trying to remove the Labor government leaving the way for a right wing pro-American Abbott government. The media is the true ‘anti-democratic’ force in Australian politics
Patrick O’Connor sees the danger ahead for Australia “the ruling elite is demanding nothing less than a European-style social counter-revolution, with permanent, sweeping spending cuts to public education, healthcare, welfare, other basic services and social infrastructure.” He should have added that national assets would be stripped in the biggest fire sale in history, the national parks and the environment would be hardest hit, that conscription has been mooted and the US would have free reign to build bases. Queensland is the example of what can happen. Australia would be virtually the 51st state, but then he goes into la-la land when he thinks Australians are ripe for revolution. Nothing could be further from the truth; Australians are too comfortable. We won’t revolt unless they try to take Medicare away from us.
None of the media mentions any of the socially responsible (very un-American) things Gillard’s government has done. As Van Badham said – Julia Gillard navigated Australia through the financial crisis, presided over a 14 per cent growth in the economy and pushed through several impressive policy reforms including:
As Van Badham says “It must beggar belief in other developed nations to see a leader who has delivered low unemployment, low interest rates, low inflation, three triple-A credit ratings and the third-lowest rate of debt in the OECD shafted so brutally by the press and her fellow parliamentarians.”
Patrick O’Connor, The Political Crisis in Australia, 2013, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35430.htm
Van Badham, Julia Gillard ousted: Achievement does not equal respect if you’re a woman, The Telegraph, 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10143834/Julia-Gillard-ousted-by-sexism-Achievement-does-not-equal-respect-if-youre-a-woman.html
Cop Sexually Assaults Woman Then Arrests Her For Protesting whilst the Judge Fiddles.
Reblogged from ICH.
I would like to rant about this however the video says it all. Shame on the marshalls who, I note reacted as if it was perfectly normal and didn’t even ask one question about the incident. Shame on the hearing master on the bench who as a lawyer had the obligation and authority to step in but didn’t. In fact she looked as if she had seen it all before and was so intimidated that she turned her back, then left as the arrest took place.
Police State – yes, not because of what the cop did because feeling up women is a traditionally bad habit of cops. But because the rest of the court authorities stood by and did nothing. Shame on them all
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It seems there is something stopping this particular video from playing. If this attempt doesn’t play, here is the website.
The Strange Case of
Reblogged from Information Clearing House.
Amid the outrage over the NSA’s spying program, the jailing of
journalist Barrett Brown points to a deeper and very troubling
By Peter Ludlow
June 20, 2013 “Information Clearing House - In early 2010, journalist and satirist
was working on a book on political pundits, when the hacktivist
collective Anonymous caught his attention. He soon began writing
about its activities and potential. In a defense
of the group’s anti-censorship operations in Australia published
on February 10, Brown declared, “I am now certain that this
phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social
developments to have occurred in decades, and that the
development in question promises to threaten the institution of
the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the
world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human
By then, Brown was already considered by his fans to be the Hunter S.
Thompson of his generation. In point of fact he wasn’t like
Hunter S. Thompson, but was more of a throwback—a sharp-witted,
irreverent journalist and satirist in the mold of Ambrose Bierce
or Dorothy Parker. His acid tongue was on display in his
co-authored 2007 book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern
Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, in
which he declared: “This will not be a polite book. Politeness
is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of
any well-intended concession.” Read More http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35351.htm
From the musical Oliver:
Fagin: I have an airtight kitty-plan. Plan! It’s sweet and simple, the plan . . .
If I had written this article in 2012, I could have had US State Department travel and banking restrictions placed on me according to Mark Feygin (or is that Fagin?), lawyer for the Pussy Rioters.
As geopolitical researcher and journalist, Tony Cartalucci said of the Pussy Riot video, although
. . . marketed as an act of “freedom of expression” by the Western media and the West’s collection of foreign ministries, it was in reality what would be called both a hate-crime and disorderly conduct in the West. Furthermore, in the West, such an act would come with steep fines and lengthy jail sentences.
In 2011 in Australia, Brendon Lee O’Connell received a three year sentence in Perth for posting a video of himself committing a similar crime.
Pussy Riot is a feminist punk band of roughly a dozen young women and around 15 supporters who are angry at discrimination in Russian legislation such as restrictions on legal abortions. According to band member Tolokonnikova, they are “part of the global anti-capitalist movement, which consists of anarchists, Trotskyists, feminists and autonomatists.” (Many who supported their right to freedom of expression would probably have locked them up themselves if the media hadn’t selectively hidden that information; particularly in America.)
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love
Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
In their February 2012 deliberately provocative stunt, Pussy Riot attacked the patriarch of the Orthodox Church because of his influence on abortion policy and on Putin. Their “punk prayer” as actually performed in the Cathedral did not get much further than singing “Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!”
Award winning journalist, Michelle Grattan says “In the era of spin, symbols and style become more important in the presentation of the political message.” Considerable spin was put on the Pussy Riot video.
The original video was a shambles. It reminded me of David Bowie’s original Space Oddity film track; the one he made himself as a teenager. NASA saw its symbolic possibilities for the mood landings and the version we all know complete with stylish space suit has become part of music and spin history. Now that they want to go to Mars, it’s no surprise that Astronaut Chris Hadfield sang a wistful cover of it on the International Space Station recently.
The final Pussy Riot video as presented repeatedly across all electronic media platforms in the west for several weeks was also very different to the original. Ambiguous, bitty, rhythmical, incomprehensible to non-Russian speakers, with much of it filmed in another church and crafted to appeal to the young, it was classic spin. You can see both versions at Feygin’s website. Later, Feygin became the scriptwriter for the girls’ trial, tried to trademark Pussy Riot as a brand name and even tried to take custody of their children.
If they [the church] mean repentance in the sense of a crime … it definitely
won’t happen. Our clients won’t admit guilt. A call for that is pointless – Feygin
His clients sacked him before he could get their sentences increased further.
Cartalucci, Tony. Russian “Punkers” Get 2 Years Jail for US State Department Stunt. Land Destroyers Report. August 17, 2012. Accessed May 16 2013. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2012/08/russian-punkers-get-2-years-jail-for-us.html Web
Hadfield, Chris. Space Oddity. May 12 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo Accessed May 12 2013. Web.
Holpuch, Amanda. Media take a prim view of Pussy Riot. 17 August 2012. The Guardian. Accessed May 16 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/us-news-blog/2012/aug/17/media-prim-view-pussy-riot . Web.
Lawyers intend to initiate creation of Pussy Riot list in U.S. Interfax: Religion. 24 September 2012. Accessed May 16 2013. http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=9894Web.
Murcouris, Alexander. Pussy Riot after the judgement. Mercouris. August 28 2012. Accessed May 16 2013. http://mercouris.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/pussy-riot-after-the-judgment/ Web.
Mark Feygin. http://mark-feygin.livejournal.com/90408.html Accessed May 16 2013. Web.
Pussy Riot. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pussy_Riot Accessed May 16 2013. Web
Pussy Riot – Punk Prayer Lyrics. Rapgenius. http://rapgenius.com/Pussy-riot-punk-prayer-lyrics Accessed May 16 2013. Web
Reblogged from Information Clearing House
Boston terror suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had their complexions darkened on a magazine cover, so as to make them look less European and more Arabic.
The Tsarnaev brothers are natives of Chechnya which is a republic of Russia. (They are whiter than many Europeans)
The Week ran caricature images of the suspects noticeably darker than they appeared in photos and surveillance footage made public in the last few weeks. 19-year-old Dzhokhar is even listed as “White” on a poster released by the FBI. Clearly confused as to how a Muslim terrorist could be White, perhaps the magazine illustrator decided to paint the suspects the way they believe they should look.
Read more: http://hiphopwired.com/2013/05/03/boston-bombings-suspects-go-from-white-to-brown-on-magazine-cover-photos/
Featuring a photo of a Muslim doll with a Hijab, the talking bubbles placed on top of the doll’s photo read, “The Talking Doll, Pull string for message, if you dare,” and “She’ll Love You To Death! She’ll Blow Your Brains Out!”
Why shouldn’t a political speech be as factual and accurate as a health and safety manual? Why shouldn’t there be a code of practice for writers? A writer’s code that might emphasize truth and fact over spin for instance.
In practice, the writer’s ethical choices can literally be matter of life and death. For instance Piper Hoffman’s 8 Common Medical Tests You Shouldn’t Let Your Doctor Perform article on the popular site, Care2.com is an example of extremely doubtful writing practice. While not a report itself, it reports on the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations about which medical tests are worth government approval and which aren’t.
Worth it to whom? Certainly not women. Here’s a sample of the USPSTF findings:
Few people will read the USPSTF reports but many will remember Hoffman’s 8 points. If I had believed her, I would be dead of cancer and heart disease. My mother died of ovarian cancer. So I have a personal interest in this debate.
Hoffman deceives her readers, she skews, omits and is unashamedly biased. What is her personal interest? Does she have shares in health insurance? A clear example of her unethical behavior is that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is not “an independent panel of non-Federal experts”. It is funded, staffed, and appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ to look at the “net benefit” of medical tests i.e. the benefit to cost ratio for insurers, health care providers and the government. NOT the individual’s benefit.
Hoffman agrees uncritically with so the so-called experts on the panel. However according to the USPSTF website, its panel is composed of ‘internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists’. So according to Hoffman, a P plate doctor is an expert on a nation’s health?
Note how Hoffman picked out the tests women need in her article as being the most unnecessary. Then she attacked doctors saying “Get to know the USPSTF’s recommendations in case your doctor wants to perform unnecessary or even harmful tests.” She saved her sycophancy for the USPSTF with her comments like “Enter an obscure hero: the USPSTF”.
A truly dangerous and unethical writer, Hoffman needs to question her ethical stance towards her readers but so too do the writers who work for the USPSTF quango and that’s another story.
Hoffman, Piper. 8 Common Medical Tests You Shouldn’t Let Your Doctor Perform. Care2 Causes Web. April 12, 2013. http://www.care2.com/causes/8-common-medical-tests-you-shouldnt-let-your-doctor-perform.html
Surma, Anne. Public and professional writing: ethics, imagination, and rhetoric. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.
I wondered about the venom against Noam Chomsky. It is splashed across every single site mentioning his name and to dare to comment about him is to put your avatar on their radar. There is no-one else that receives the same spit laden attention as Chomsky.
Hitler is very popular and is seen as the very model of an effective leader.is misunderstood and ignored, both George Bushes are just old fuddy-duddies manipulated by the , even isn’t a monster unless you are Ukrainian, whereas the word ‘Chomsky’ is red flagged by every bull troll on the web. They turn up in mobs and herds to toss their horns, flex their ignorance and roar their hatred and fear of this quietly spoken thinker.
What are they so afraid of?
Why do they bother to demonize a man who, if they ignored him, would probably just be considered another old fart by Gen Y and ignored by the generally apolitical baby boomers and Gen Xs?
Oh! I know why, he is one of the most effective critics of Washington, an anarchist thinker and internationally popular communicator. He is one of the few real thinkers inthat people actually listen to and that scares the thought police and mind-twisters.
They like to call themselves mind-twisters and psy warriors rather than trolls as they engage in psy-ops to pervert debate and propagate real conspiracies – the creation of the ‘stupid nation’, the removal of the voting power of the masses, the myth of fee market capitalism and democracy, the conspiracy to deny climate change, the acceptance of: rule by plutocracy, the concentration of wealth, the idiocy of the financial system and the irrelevance of energy independence. They use slogans and memes and talk about evidence without producing any. If an online debate is on a sensitive topic, their strategy is to immediately throw in a distracting furphy such as 911 conspiracies or Zionist plots.
There are many examples of the success of the mind-twisters on the web but the one that stood out clearly for me was the “It’s not worth voting. Voting can’t change anything” meme. I’m not sure that the many online commenters who supported that meme were aware that they were the unwitting disseminators of a real conspiracy.
Noam Chomsky said in 2008 that access to information on the internet is not enough because a framework of understanding is required. The mind-twisters job is to destroy that framework, a framework that should be based on based on reason, science, ethics, history and humanity as Chomsky so ably demonstrates in the video below.
2013 March — A second example of US media crimes against peace, is the present startling situation, as offered in US TV and print media, namely, that of the somewhat tiny nation, North Korea (size of US State of Pennsylvania), threatening the greatest military power the world has ever seen, possessing tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, with a nuclear attack, not for the sake of the bravely warning of its defense and retaliation power to ward of a feared attack from US planes and ships which periodically fire heavy weapons of mass destruction within earshot of its capital Pyongyang as part of frequent military exercises off its coast; the whole world is constantly ‘informed’ of what a madcap menace its leader is, by a Pentagon fed US media, which at the same time is justifying US bombings, invasions, occupations of some three dozen other small nations. Read more at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34476.htm
Right the Wrong: Release Lynne Stewart Now!
By Andrea Bauer
March 21, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -”FSP” – Attorney Lynne Stewart has many friends and fans. But the U.S. government is not one of them, and now it seems ready to turn the 73-year-old’s prison sentence into a death sentence, by denying her the medical care she needs to defeat a spreading cancer.
In 2005, Lynne was convicted of supporting terrorism after serving as the court-appointed lawyer for Egyptian cleric and alleged terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman. Her crime? Helping her ailing client publicize a press release that she hoped might play a role in transferring him back to Egypt. Read more http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34375.htm
Reblogged from Information Clearing House
Today, Freedom of the Press Foundation is publishing the full, previously unreleased audio recording of Private First Class Bradley Manning’s speech to the military court in Ft. Meade about his motivations for leaking over 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks. In addition, we have published highlights from Manning’s statement to the court.
While unofficial transcripts of this statement are available, this marks the first time the American public has heard the actual voice of Manning. Continue http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34277.htm
One of the human beings I most respected has just died. I could have written an obituary but for once, words did not express what I felt. So I will let Chavez himself and the people of Venezuela show you why Hugo Chavez was worth respect.
The video, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Chavez: Inside the Coup, below will show you the love Venezuelans had for Chavez and what they achieved by using their vote and joining in peaceful demonstrations.
It also shows the exact same strategy used in Libya, Syria and Iran, of organizing counter demonstrations and employing snipers to kill protesters. There must be a manual called “How to destroy really popular elected governments that don’t do what America tells them to”.
After the video is James Petras’s essay on the political, social, ethical, national and religious thought of Chavez and how he created a unique form of grass roots true democracy in Venezuela. It is well worth reading.
An essay by James Petras http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1932
Trillions of dollars unaccounted for, more arms sold than the rest of the world combined, the biggest employer in the world – The US Defense Department.
The really scary thing in the video was that they process 10 million paychecks. That means that 10 million people work for the Defense Dept. BUT they admit to just over 3 million.
At 3.2 million, the Defense dept is the biggest employer in the world, At the real figure of 10 million, it is three times bigger than that. That’s 1 in 15 of working Americans directly employed in defense. Note that does not include the spooks or FBI. Then if you add all the support industries, from brothels to Macdonalds, armaments to aerospace and I’ll bet it would be nearly a quarter of the US working population.
I’ll leave you to ponder on the significance of such a militarized society.
On another point:
The section in the above video about 2.3 trillion dollars disappearing is a good example of how information taken out of context can be used to completely skew public opinion. The government does it all the time, just ask Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It’s why all claims need to be checked before believed.
Here’s Rumsfeld in context on Sept 10 2001.
“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.”
It was well known about years before. The auditors report came out in 1999 and therefore included accounts from the Clinton era.
And most of the money has since been found
Maximilian Forte’s assessment of where NATO “freedom” has left Libya. The people of Libya have my deepest sympathy.
Here are 2 fabulous song videos. Great music, Great protests.
By Alex Kane
February 12, 2013 “Alternet” — Kawana Young, a single mother of two kids, was arrested in Michigan after failing to pay money she owed as a result of minor traffic offenses. She was recently laid off from her job, and could not pay the fees she owed because she couldn’t find another source of employment. So a judge sentenced her to three days in jail. In addition, Young was charged additional fees for being booked and for room and board for a place she did not want to be. In total, she has been jailed five times for being unable to pay her debts. Read more: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33918.htm
A child or teen dies or is injured from guns every 30 minutes.
18,270 children and teens died or were injured from guns in 2010
1 child or teen died or was injured every 30 minutes
50 children and teens died or were injured every day
351 children and teens died or were injured every week
More children and teens die from guns every three days than died in the Newtown massacre.
2,694 children and teens died from guns in 2010.
1 child or teen died every 3 hours and 15 minutes
7 children and teens died every day
52 children and teens died every week
Between 1979 and 2010, 119,079 children and teens died from guns. This is more child and teen deaths in 32 years than U.S. soldiers killed in action in the Vietnam (47,434), Korean (33,739), Afghanistan (1,712), and Iraq (3,518) wars combined.
The number of children under five who died from guns was more than the number of law enforcement officers who died from guns in the line of duty in 2010. 82 children under five died from guns in 2010, compared to 58 law enforcement officers killed by guns in the line of duty.
Dr. Mark Rosenberg, the scientist who led the government’s research on guns before funding was cut, reveals that keeping a gun for protection increases your risk of dying by 300%.
Like me many people have wondered why he US and NATO support Israel in the light of their apartheid and the attempted genocide of the Palestinian people. Why does Israel keep the Palestinians locked up in Gaza? Why didn’t they simply expel them all, if they wanted an exclusively Jewish state? Why build huge concrete walls around Palestinian areas.
This is what some of those corporations are up to:
Boeing http://en.boeing.co.il/ViewContent.do?id=49643 This website has now changed to Hebrew however if you slide down the menu on the right you will be able to see the weapons Boeing has worked on with Israel.
Gaza is an horrific parody of the Warsaw Ghetto only much larger. The reason why is graphically documented in this video.
Nazi Revisionism is flooding the internet. One of the major tenets of this anti-historical approach is that Hitler was not anti-Semitic. Likewise claims that Palestinian citizens living in Israel are treated fairly without racism, cannot be substantiated.
In 1925/26 Hitler published Mein Kampf. Here is just a small portion of what he said.
“…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
“The black-haired Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end, satanically glaring at and spying on the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew uses every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people. (Book 1 Chap 11)”
“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ‘by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
Public burning of books by Jews and anti-Nazis
Police and the courts no longer protect Jews
April boycotts of Jewish shops – for one day, Germans are told not to buy from shops and business owned by Jews
SA stand outside shops to discourage people from going inside
‘Kosher’- ritual slaughter of animals banned
Department of Racial Hygiene (‘ethnic cleansing’) established
Jews are prohibited from owning land
Jewish students excluded from exams in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law
Jews excluded from military service
Nuremberg Laws deny Jews many basic civil rights
Law for ‘The Protection of German Blood and German Honour’ forbade mixed marriages
Jews no longer allowed to vote and lose German citizenship
Benefit payments to large Jewish families stopped
Jews banned from parks, restaurants and swimming pools
Jews forbidden to use the German greeting ‘Heil Hitler’
Jews no longer allowed electrical/optical equipment, bicycles, typewriters or records
Passports for Jews to travel abroad restricted
Many Jewish students removed from German schools and universities
Special identity cards issued to Jews
Jews excluded from cinema, theatre, concerts, exhibitions, beaches and holiday resorts
Jews forced to add the names Sarah or Israel to their own
Kristallnacht (9 November) – a night of terrible violence in Germany. German and Austrian Jews are murdered, synagogues burnt and desecrated and shop windows smashed. Thousands of Jews are arrested
Jewish children expelled from German schools
Jews’ passports stamped with a red letter ‘J’. Some have passports removed to prevent them leaving the country.
NOTE: all the above were before WW2. The Germans documented everything meticulously.
THE NUREMBERG LAWS
Ben S. Austin
The Congress of the National Socialist Workers’ Party (NAZI) convened in Nuremberg, Germany on September 10, 1935. Among the many items of business on the Nazi agenda was the passage of a series of laws designed (a) to clarify the requirements of citizenship in the Third Reich, (b) to assure the purity of German blood and German honor and (b) to clarify the position of Jews in the Reich. These three laws, passed on September 15, 1935, and the numerous auxillary laws which followed them are called the Nuremberg Laws. They are reprinted here in their entirety. Please take special note of the similarity between these laws and the Jim Crow Laws which were passed in the United States following the Compromise of 1877, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy vs Ferguson (1896) and remained in effect until the court reversed the “separate but equal doctrine in Brown vs the Board of Education of Topeka
In the days since the appalling murder of 20 school children and six adults in, the same questions keep getting asked around the world: why does this keep happening in the States? Why do cling so persistently to their guns, even as the number of rampage murders continues to escalate and children continue to die? And why do so many of the shooters fit the same profile: young white men from middle-class backgrounds?
When horrific mass killings at Port Arthur and Dunblane rocked and Scotland in 1996, Canberra and Westminster responded swiftly with new laws severely restricting gun ownership and buying back weapons already on the market. In both the UK and Australia, gun deaths plummeted. There have been no comparable mass murders since. Meanwhile, most of the deadliest rampage killings in US history have taken place Read more http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/defending-masculinity-with-guns-20121219-2bml3.html
Outrage over all children killed by weapons
Read the whole story here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33333.htm
Warning: This video is horrifying. It shows actual beheading.
Syria – FSA using children in Conflict against Government 29/11/2012
Child soldier made to dig own grave
Just what any country with militaristic aims needs for Christmas. A stocking filled with hi-tech boy toys. New ways to kill people, new ways to terrify the world and new ways to make a profit. Presented with gusto, the ads above are a holiday season exposé of what the modern militant, mercenary and conventional soldier must have for next year.
In this time of peace and joy, these are just what the world needs?
THE IRAQI CHILDREN
by Francis A. Boyle Professor of International Law
before The International Conference on War-affected Children
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 22, 2012
© Copyright 2012 by Francis A. Boyle. All rights reserved.
During the summer of 1991 I was contacted on behalf of several Mothers in http://www.countercurrents.org/boyle041212.htmwhose children were dying at astounding rates because of the genocidal economic sanctions that had been imposed upon them by the Security Council in August of 1990 at the behest of the Bush Senior administration. They requested that I do something in order to save these innocent children from perishing in agony in front of their mothers’ very own eyes. Read more:
Read the full endictment at legal-protection-of-children-in-armed-conflict
Sanctions more deadly than the atomic bomb
Sanctions kill Iran’s children
So why would the US want to attack Iran?
This video has been taken down at many sites but you can still see it at Underground Documentaries. Scroll down to find it.
See the full program http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/watchonline/509/Syria
I hate bullies; Particularly ones that stop discussion and debate; Particularly ones that gang bash new commenters on blogs like Information Clearing House and Particularly ones that demand free speech but undertake concerted campaigns to prevent free speech from others who have a different world view.
We frequently hear that government and other organizations are watching what we do on the web but rarely notice the invasion of our privacy and our freedom to speak. Below is an example of one way attacks are made on the web.
Under the commenter’s pseudonym 3bancan, an auto-commenter has been used for some time to make extremely offensive attacks on other commenters. Comments like “squeaks the Jewish racist supremacist genocidal barbarian nh…” and “squeaks the professional z i o propagandist and brain damage totaller F….” are typical.
Today, 3bancan showed his true nature, a digital program, an online robot, and auto-commenter that is only as clever as its programing. In the comments below, the robot agrees with me and admits that it is a robot.
3bancan functions with his user who also comments and a number of other posters who have varying degrees of English literacy but who all seem to work the same shift and who all support each other to gang up on other commenters. At times their comments bear no relationship to the topic under discussion and invariably, they always attempt to turn the discussion to Zionism. They all profess a rigid anti-Jew world viewpoint in which all the worlds political (and natural) problems are blamed on Zionist plots and are particularly vicious when America and Hitler are criticized.
I often see advertisements for bloggers, writers and commenters to do paid work by commenting on forums and social media for numerous organizations from the government to baby goods manufacturers. It’s traditionally been a form of promotion but 3bancan’s group are not promoting anything. They are blocking debate, scaring away new-comers and threatening commenters. They are employed to write online text incorporating listed key words such as Zionist and Jew and I believe they are also employed to prevent ICH from fulfilling the function Tom Feeley designed it for.
I hate bullies; particularly ones attempting to demolish a great site like ICH.
Here’s how it may be done.
Pentagon Seeks to Manipulate Social Media for Propaganda Purposes
Thanks Blue Pilgrim
Military’s sock puppet software creates multiple fake online identities http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks
And an anonymous guest just stuffed up.
The latest: Just found this when I checked my name on the web.
No NOT MY blog. It’s standard practice for trolls to set up a similar site to demonize their victims with unpleasant material. So I checked it with On StatsCrop.com. (Free, help you explore any web’s history and monitor its performance!) Here’s what I found:
14 Sep 2012 – FitzHenryMac.wordpress.com stats – web status: online, server location: San Antonio United States, last updated: 14 Sep 2012
So I guess I have narrowed down where the trolls are working.
Here’s another one at
And here is how they work
By Ex-Shill, Above Top Secret
I am writing here to come out of the closet as a paid shill. For a little over six months, I was paid to spread disinformation and argue political points on the Internet. This site, ATS, was NOT one that I was assigned to post on, although other people in the same organization were paid to be here, and I assume they still walk among you. But more on this later.
I quit this job in the latter part of 2011, because I became disgusted with it, and with myself. I realized I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore. If this confession triggers some kind of retribution against me, so be it. Part of being a real man in this world is having real values that you stand up for, no matter what the consequences.
My story begins in early 2011. I had been out of work for almost a year after losing my last job in tech support. Increasingly desperate and despondent, I jumped at the chance when a former co-worker called me up and said she had a possible lead for me. “It is an unusual job, and one that requires secrecy. But the pay is good. And I know you are a good writer, so its something you are suited for.” (Writing has always been a hobby for me).
She gave me only a phone-number and an address, in one of the seedier parts of San Francisco, where I live. intrigued, I asked her for the company’s URL and some more info. She laughed. “They don’t have a website. Or even a name. You’ll see. Just tell them I referred you.” Yes, it sounded suspicious, but long-term joblessness breeds desperation, and desperation has a funny way of overlooking the suspicious when it comes to putting food on the table.
The next day, I arrived at the address – the third floor in a crumbling building. The appearance of the place did not inspire confidence. After walking down a long, filthy linoleum-covered corridor lit by dimly-flickering halogen, I came to the entrance of the office itself: a crudely battered metal door with a sign that said “United Amalgamated Industries, Inc.”
I later learned that this “company” changed its name almost monthly, always using bland names like that which gave no strong impression of what the company actually does. Not too hopeful, I went inside. The interior was equally shabby. There were a few long tables with folding chairs, at which about a dozen people were tapping away on old, beat-up computers. There were no decorations or ornaments of any type: not even the standard-issue office fica trees or plastic ferns. What a dump. Well, beggars can’t be choosers.
The manager, a balding man in his late forties, rose from the only stand-alone desk in the room and came forward with an easy smile. “You must be Chris. Yvette [my ex-co-worker] told me you’d be coming.” [Not our real names]. “Welcome. Let me tell you a little about what we do.” No interview, nothing. I later learned they took people based solely on referral, and that the people making the referrals, like my ex-colleague Yvette, were trained to pick out candidates based on several factors including ability to keep one’s mouth shut, basic writing skills, and desperation for work.
We sat down at his desk and he began by asking me a few questions about myself and my background, including my political views (which were basically non-existent). Then he began to explain the job. “We work on influencing people’s opinions here,” is how he described it. The company’s clients paid them to post on Internet message boards and popular chartrooms, as well as in gaming forums and social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Who were these clients? “Oh, various people,” he said vaguely. “Sometimes private companies, sometimes political groups.”
Satisfied that my political views were not strong, he said I would be assigned to political work. “The best people for this type of job are people like you, without strong views,” he said with a laugh. “It might seem counter-intuitive, but actually we’ve found that to be the case.” Well, OK. Fine. As long as it comes with a steady paycheck, I’d believe whatever they wanted me to believe, as the guy in Ghostbusters said.
After discussing pay (which was much better than I’d hoped) and a few other details, he then went over the need for absolute privacy and secrecy. “You can’t tell anyone what we do here. Not your wife, not your dog.” (I have neither, as it happens.) “We’ll give you a cover story and even a phone number and a fake website you can use. You will have to tell people you are a consultant. Since your background is in tech support, that will be your cover job. Is this going to be a problem for you?” I assured him it would not. “Well, OK. Shall we get started?”
“Right now?” I asked, a bit taken aback.
“No time like the present!” he said with a hearty laugh.
The rest of the day was taken up with training. Another staff member, a no-nonsense woman in her thirties, was to be my trainer, and training would only last two days. “You seem like a bright guy, you’ll get the hang of it pretty fast, I think,” she said. And indeed, the job was easier than I’d imagined. My task was simple: I would be assigned to four different websites, with the goal of entering certain discussions and promoting a certain view. I learned later that some of the personnel were assigned to internet message boards (like me), while others worked on Facebook or chatrooms. It seems these three types of media each have different strategy for shilling, and each shill concentrates on one of the three in particular.
My task? “To support Israel and counter anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic posters.” Fine with me. I had no opinions one way or another about Israel, and who likes anti-Semites and Nazis? Not me, anyway. But I didn’t know too much about the topic. “That’s OK,” she said. “You’ll pick it up as you go along. For the most part, at first, you will be doing what we call “meme-patrol.” This is pretty easy. Later if you show promise, we’ll train you for more complex arguments, where more in-depth knowledge is necessary.”
She handed me two binders with sheets enclosed in limp plastic. The first was labeled simply “Israel” in magic-marker on the cover, and it had two sections .The first section contained basic background info on the topic. I would have to read and memorize some of this, as time went on. It had internet links for further reading, essays and talking points, and excerpts from some history books. The second, and larger, section was called “Strat” (short for “strategy”) with long lists of “dialogue pairs.” These were specific responses to specific postings.
If a poster wrote something close to “X,” we were supposed to respond with something close to “Y.” “You have to mix it up a bit, though,” said my trainer. “Otherwise it gets too obvious. Learn to use a thesaurus.” This section also contained a number of hints for de-railing conversations that went too far away from what we were attempting. These strategies included various forms of personal attacks, complaining to the forum moderators, smearing the characters of our opponents, using images and icons effectively, and even dragging the tone of the conversation down with sexual innuendo, links to pornography, or other such things. “Sometimes we have to fight dirty,” or trainer told us. “Our opponents don’t hesitate to, so we can’t either.”
The second binder was smaller, and it contained information specific to the web sites I would be assigned to. The sites I would work were: Godlike Productions, Lunatic Outpost, CNN news, Yahoo News, and a handful of smaller sites that rotated depending on need. As stated, I was NOT assigned to work ATS (although others in my group were), which is part of the reason I am posting this here, rather than elsewhere. I wanted to post this on Godlike Productions at first, but they have banned me from even viewing that site for some reason (perhaps they are onto me?). But if somebody connected with this site can get the message to them, I think they should know about it, because that was the site I spent a good 70% of my time working on.
The site-specific info in the second binder included a brief history each site, including recent flame-wars, as well as info on what to avoid on each site so as not to get banned. It also had quite detailed info on the moderators and the most popular regged posters on each site: location (if known), personality type, topics of interest, background sketch, and even some notes on how to “push the psychological buttons” of different posters. Although I didn’t work for ATS, I did see they had a lot of info on your so-called “WATS” posters here (the ones with gold borders around their edges). “Focus on the popular posters,” my trainer told me. “These are the influential ones. Each of these is worth 50 to 100 of the lesser known names.”
Each popular poster was classified as “hostile,” “friendly,” or “indifferent” to my goal. We were supposed to cultivate friendship with the friendly posters as well as the mods (basically, by brownnosing and sucking up), and there were even notes on strategies for dealing with specific hostile posters. The info was pretty detailed, but not perfect in every case. “If you can convert one of the hostile posters from the enemy side to our side, you get a nice bonus. But this doesn’t happen too often, sadly. So mostly you’ll be attacking them and trying to smear them.”
At first, like I said, my job was “meme-patrol.” This was pretty simple and repetitive; it involved countering memes and introducing new memes, and didn’t demand much in-depth knowledge of the subject. Mostly just repetitive posting based on the dialogue pairs in the “Strat” section of the first binder. A lot of my job was de-railing and spamming threads that didn’t go our way, or making accusations of racism and anti-Semitism. Sometimes I had to simply lie and claim a poster said something or did something “in another thread” they really hadn’t said or done I felt bad about this…but in the end I felt worse about the possibility of losing the first job I’d been able to get since losing my “real” job.
The funny thing was, although I started the job with no strong opinions or political views, after a few weeks of this I became very emotionally wedded to the pro-Israel ideas I was pushing. There must be some psychological factor at work…a good salesman learns to honestly love the products he’s selling, I guess. It wasn’t long before my responses became fiery and passionate, and I began to learn more about the topic on my own. “This is a good sign,” my trainer told me. “It means you are ready for the next step: complex debate.”
The “complex debate” part of the job involved a fair amount of additional training, including memorizing more specific information about the specific posters (friendly and hostile) I’d be sparring with. Here, too, there were scripts and suggested lines of argument, but we were given more freedom. There were a lot of details to this more advanced stage of the job – everything from how to select the right avatar to how to use “demotivationals” (humorous images with black borders that one finds floating around the web). Even the proper use of images of cats was discussed. Sometimes we used faked or photo-shopped images or doctored news reports (something else that bothered me).
I was also given the job of tying to find new recruits, people “like me” who had the personality type, ability to keep a secret, basic writing/thinking skills, and desperation necessary to sign on a shill. I was less successful at this part of the job, though, and I couldn’t find another in the time I was there.
After a while of doing this, I started to feel bad. Not because of the views I was pushing (as I said, I was first apolitical, then pro-Israel), but because of the dishonesty involved. If my arguments were so correct, I wondered, why did we have to do this in the first place? Shouldn’t truth propagate itself naturally, rather than through, well…propaganda? And who was behind this whole operation, anyway? Who was signing my paychecks? The stress of lying to my parents and friends about being a “consultant” was also getting to me. Finally, I said enough was enough. I quit in September 2011. Since then I’ve been working a series of unglamorous temp office jobs for lower pay. But at least I’m not making my living lying and heckling people who come online to express their views and exercise freedom of speech.
A few days ago I happened to be in the same neighborhood and on a whim thought I’d check out the old office. It turns out the operation is gone, having moved on. This, too, I understood, is part of their strategy: Don’t stay in the same place for too long, don’t keep the same name too long, move on after half a year or so. Keeping a low profile, finding new employees through word of mouth: All this is part of the shill way of life. But it is a deceptive way of life, and no matter how noble the goals (I remain pro-Israel, by the way), these sleazy means cannot be justified by the end.
This is my confession. I haven’t made up my mind yet about whether I want to talk more about this, so if I don’t respond to this thread, don’t be angry. But I think you should know: Shills exist. They are real. They walk among you, and they pay special attention to your popular gold-bordered WATS posters. You should be aware of this. What you choose to do with this awareness is up to you.
What you don’t see in media about Gaza
We must pass this on. Make sure everyone you know sees it. Make the media show it. Put the link in every forum, every comment and we must do it now before it becomes just history.
We must accuse the media for hiding this, for colluding with crimes, for a heartless lack of sympathy with victims they would have lionized in the blitz.
We must teach our students that this is what war is and this is what Gaza is.
We must not be silent.
Rockets and a tweet – What a weak-willed, lily livered way to announce a war.
Here’s another tweet showing an alleged target near a playground. Just one thing they left out. The Fajr5 rockets are 9 metres long. That’s as long as the bitumen road in the bottom right hand corner is wide. They also need a large rocket launcher to launch them. Now that’s an interesting problem. How do you smuggle a 9 metre rocket with 200 pounds of explosives and the rocket launcher through Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Even though the IDF has blocked red over the alleged launch site. There is nothing there that looks at all as big as one Fajr rocket or even it’s buried launcher.
Ian Thomson has an interesting take on this at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/14/israel_hamas_attack_twitter/
And who is left out of the twitter universe – journalists.