Archive | June 10th, 2014

New Organization Hangs Sign: ‘Whistleblowers Welcome’

NOVANEWS

ExposeFacts.org aims to shed light on both government and corporate malfeasance

– Jon Queally

Detail of new ad featuring famed Vietnam-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg urging those with secrets the public has a right to know to step forward. (Source: exposefacts.orgA new organization called ExposeFacts—backed by well-known source of The Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg—is debuting itself in Washington, DC on Wednesday as a new place where government and corporate employees aware of wrongdoing can more safely and securely report their concerns.

In the post-Snowden age of NSA surveillance and what many see as the Obama administration’s targeted attack on leakers and press freedoms, the group’s straightforward message is no secret: “Whistleblowers Welcome at ExposeFacts.org.”

“All governments lie, and they all like to work in the dark as far as the public is concerned.” —Daniel Ellsberg

A project of the Institute for Public Accuracy, the new group’s primary purpose will be to facilitate the leaking of corporate or government malfeasance by giving potential whistleblowers a place to submit sensitive documents and/or creating a secure line between such individuals and journalists working in the public interest.

In remarks prepared for the group’s launch, Ellsberg expressed his emphatic support for the group’s interlocking goals of supporting whistleblowers and journalists as both seek to preserve essential democratic values.

“All governments lie, and they all like to work in the dark as far as the public is concerned,” said Ellsberg. “A country that wants to be a democracy has to be able to penetrate that secrecy, with the help of conscientious individuals who understand in this country that their duty to the Constitution and to the civil liberties and to the welfare of this country definitely surmount their obligation to their bosses, to a given administration, or in some cases to their promise of secrecy.”

According to the group, the job of its five-member editorial board (supported by a 40-member advisory board) will be to assess all submitted material and, if deemed appropriate, arrange for journalistic release of that information. The founding editors include: journalism professor and author Barbara Ehrenreich; former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for The Washington Post John Hanrahan; communications and media director at IPA Sam Husseini; independent journalist and radio host Sonali Kolhatkar; and journalist and IPA co-founder Norman Solomon.

Ellsberg called the government’s increasingly powerful ability to track or discover a journalist’s interaction with his or her sources a “deadly threat to democracy” and said ExposeFacts’ stated desire to counter that “technological onslaught” is one of the key reasons the group has garnered his support.

Watch:

The groups says its aim is “to shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war” and its website features a whistleblower submission system known as “SecureDrop.”

SecureDrop, developed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, allows individuals hoping to share sensitive information a more secure way of doing so by using encryption software and tactics developed specifically to avoid government surveillance techniques.

According to the group:

While no software can provide an ironclad guarantee of confidentiality, ExposeFacts—assisted by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and its SecureDrop whistleblower submission system—is utilizing the latest technology on behalf of anonymity for anyone submitting materials via the ExposeFacts.org website. As journalists we are committed to the goal of protecting the identity of every source who wishes to remain anonymous.

The group is holding a morning press conference on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Visit the group’s website to see its full editorial board and advisory board.

As part of its public launch, the group created this ad, featuring Ellsberg, which it has posted in at least one bus stop shelter in Washington:

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Families of Drone Victims: No Hope for Justice in US Courts

NOVANEWS

‘I have no faith left in a judiciary that refuses even to hear whether Abdulrahman, an American child, was wrongfully killed by his own government.’

– Sarah Lazare

This mural is part of the 12 Hours Campaign in Sana’a, Yemen. Artists include Hadeel Almoafak, Hanan Alsurmi, Thi yazen Alalawi, and Murad Subay (Photograph courtesy of Murad Subay)

The surviving family members of three American citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen decided this week to discontinue an effort to hold top military and CIA officials accountable in U.S. courts for targeted executions without trial, saying their faith that they can achieve justice has been “shattered.”

“I have now spent years asking American courts to decide whether the U.S. government can deprive even its own citizens of life as part of a killing program that has devastated families like ours, and the courts have repeatedly accepted the government’s broad claims of national security and told me they will not decide,” said Nasser Al Aulaqi, who lost his son and grandson in the attacks, in a statement emailed to Common Dreams. “This isn’t justice.”

U.S. drone strikes in September 2011 killed U.S. citizens Anwar Al Aulaqi, who had been placed on a “kill list,” and Samir Khan, as well as three other people. Just weeks later, another U.S. drone attack on a restaurant in Yemen killed Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s son Abdulrahman, also a U.S. citizen, and six other civilians.

“I have no faith left in a judiciary that refuses even to hear whether Abdulrahman, an American child, was wrongfully killed by his own government.” —Nasser Al Aulaqi

The father of Anwar and grandfather of Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, Nasser Al-Aulaqi, and mother of Samir Khan, Sarah Khan, sued four top officials—including Defense Secretary and former CIA Director Leon C. Panetta and former CIA Director David Petraeus—in July 2012, charging they had taken the lives of U.S. citizens without due process. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union helped levy the lawsuit.

“In claiming the power to target and kill individuals, including U.S. citizens, without due process and far from any field of armed conflict, the U.S. government is effectively turning the whole world into a potential battlefield with incalculable harm to the lives of people everywhere,” declared CCR in a fact sheet about the case.

In April 2014, years after the lawsuit was filed, federal judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the DC District Court dismissed of the case.

Family members chose not to appeal the dismissal, and the deadline for filing an appeal expired Tuesday. “My faith was shattered by the district court’s opinion, which went out of its way to defer to the government’s claims of killing authority, without allowing those claims to be challenged,” said Nasser Al Aulaqi. “I have no faith left in a judiciary that refuses even to hear whether Abdulrahman, an American child, was wrongfully killed by his own government.”

Nasser Al Aulaqi also sued the Obama administration in 2010 in a bid to prevent the targeted killing of his son, but that effort was dismissed as well.

In a statement by the ACLU and CCR, emailed to Common Dreams on Wednesday, the organizations declared, “The U.S. government killed three Americans without due process. Their families asked a U.S. court to fulfill its crucial role in deciding whether the government’s claims of killing authority are lawful. Getting answers in court for the state’s killing of citizens should not be too much to ask in a democracy, but our system of checks and balances failed these families.”

In this short video produced by CCR and the ACLU, Nasser Al Aulaqi discusses the life and loss of his grandson, Abdulrahman:

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Hundreds of Ukrainians Killed as Obama Pledges Even More Support for Military

NOVANEWS

Families fleeing eastern Ukraine to escape military siege

– Lauren McCauley

Ukrainians living in the east are fleeing over the border to Russia to escape the violence since the country’s military began their offensive this week. (Photo: gynti 46/ Creative Commons)Hundreds of Ukrainians have been killed this week since government troops launched their “anti-terrorist operation” on the rebel strongholds in the east.

As the fighting continued to rage in the cities of Luhansk and Slaviansk, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw, Poland on Wednesday. During the meeting, Obama pledged his support for the newly elected Kiev government by promising $5 million worth of supplies for the Ukrainian military—in the form of night vision goggles and body armor—to aid their continued offensive against the rebels.

In remarks following the meeting, Obama announced an additional $1 billion in additional loan guarantees to supplement the IMF’s assistance and said that he and Poroshenko discussed other means that the U.S. might aid in their “reform and transition process.”

“We’ve discussed additional steps that we can take to help train and professionalize the Ukrainian law enforcement and military so they can deal with some of the challenges that are still taking place in certain portions of the country,” Obama said a day after he pledged to boost U.S. military deployments and exercises throughout eastern Europe.

For the second straight day in and around the eastern town of Slaviansk, government forces have battled the separatist army with “aircraft, helicopters and artillery,” Reuters reports.

The news agency, quoting a government spokesman, said more than 300 rebel forces had been killed in the past 24 hours, although the rebels have contested these numbers saying the troops’ losses were “more than ours.”

Speaking with those who were fleeing the country to escape the violence, Reuters continues:

“It’s a mess,” Marina, a young woman, sobbed as she clutched her husband’s arm. “It’s war.”

Balancing his four-year-old daughter on his hip, Andrei Bander, 37, said he feared he would not be back any day soon.

“We took only what was most necessary. We are going. We don’t even know where. We will head to Russia though because it’s clear we need to leave Ukraine. I don’t see anything good left here,” he said, waiting for a taxi in the no man’s land beyond the check point with only a few small bags.

Along the eastern border, armed rebels have seized three military facilities after prolonged battles with Ukrainian troops. The Associated Press reported the insurgents as saying that they wanted to crate a “humanitarian corridor” for those fleeing to Russia to escape the fighting.

During his speech, Obama continued to invoke the Russian threat, slamming them for allegedly “financing or supporting or arming separatists on Ukraine’s sovereign territory.” Calling their involvement a clear “violation of international law,” Obama added that the international community is “willing to back up those principles with consequences for Russia.”

On Wednesday evening, leaders of the G7 countries will convene in Brussels. The meeting, originally slated to include President Vladimir Putin and take place in Sochi, Russia, marks the first time in 17 years that body will come together without a representative from Russia.

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So Obama Really Can Close Gitmo

NOVANEWS

Over the weekend the government of Qatar brokered a dramatic deal between the US and the Taliban to swap five Guantánamo prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier held as a prisoner of war for almost five years. Flexing his political clout, President Obama demonstrated his ability to navigate with ease through the Congressional obstacles in the way of releasing prisoners from Guantánamo. Some House Republicans accused the President of breaking the law to get his way. But the Obama administration made it clear that the President had added a “signing statement” to the bill restricting the transfer of Guantánamo detainees, saying that the restrictions violated his Constitutional prerogative.

Called “the hardest of the hardcore” by hawkish Republican Senator John McCain, the Guantánamo prisoners released in the swap have been identified as high-level Taliban operatives. According to Human Rights Watch, one of those released, Mullah Norullah Nori, could be prosecuted for possible war crimes, including mass killings. All of the men were recommended for continued detention because of their “high-risk” status. Qatar has assured the US that the released men will be held and monitored in Qatar for at least a year, but some US officials are highly critical of the move, saying that the men are likely to return to their former positions within the Taliban.

If Obama is willing to take the risk with these “high-risk” prisoners, and if he really wants to close Guantanamo as he has claimed many times, why hasn’t he been using his authority all along  to release the 77 prisoners already cleared for release? Of the remaining 149 Gitmo prisoners, 77 were cleared by the President’s Guantánamo Review Task Force –– meaning the US government has deemed them innocent or not a threat to Americans. But since President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University in May of 2013, in which he reiterated his promise to close the detention facility, only 12 of these men have been transferred.

In his May 23 speech, the President also announced he was lifting a self-imposed ban on repatriating Yemeni prisoners, who represent the majority of remaining prisoners. Yet over one year later, not one Yemeni has been transferred. If finding a safe place to transfer prisoners is indeed a problem, President Obama could immediately accept the generous offer of Uruguay’s President Mujica to take five men from Guantánamo.

By releasing the five Guantánamo prisoners without prior Congressional approval, President Obama has blown away the excuse that his hands are tied by Congress. He should use his authority to free all the cleared prisoners, such as the five below:

1. Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni national, has been detained at Guantánamo since February 2002 and cleared for release since 2009. In February of 2007, he began the longest running hunger strike at Guantanamo that continues to this day. He is force-fed daily. He says his hunger strike is the only way that he has to communicate to those of us who have our freedom how barbaric it is to be put in a cell for a decade without charge.

2. Yunis Abdurrahman Shokuri is a 46-year-old citizen of Morocco who has been held in Guantánamo for over 12 years. As his lawyers at Reprieve explained, “Younous has consistently been one of the most cooperative, peaceful prisoners at the base; he says he bears Americans no ill-will. His greatest wish is to be reunited with his wife and continue with the quiet life that was interrupted by America’s ‘war on terror.’”

3. Ghaleb Nassar Al-Bihani, a diabetic Yemeni citizen, copes with his anxiety and depression through exercise, including yoga. Mr. Al-Bihani has been imprisoned for the last 12 years on the basis of allegations that in 2001 he was an assistant cook for a Taliban-affiliated group that later disbanded––yet he has never been charged with a crime.

4. Fahd Ghazy, a Yemeni citizen, has been detained at Guantánamo since 2002. Imprisoned just months after getting married and having a child at the age of 17, he is one of the last remaining prisoners detained as a juvenile. Fahd was cleared for transfer by President Bush in 2007, and again by the Obama administration in 2009. He is now 29 years old and has spent over one-third of his life in Guantánamo without charge.

5. Shaker Aamer is a former UK resident and Saudi Arabian national who has been held at Guantánamo without charge since 2002. Despite the willingness of UK authorities to permit Aamer’s return to the UK and rejoin his family, he remains imprisoned. He has spent much of his time held in solitary confinement, and has been involved in protesting against conditions at the camp, including participating in hunger strikes.

The president should also use his authority to release another prisoner wrongly held: former CIA official John Kiriakou, imprisoned for telling the truth about CIA waterboarding and torture. Kiriakou’s family is in danger of losing their home while he serves time a 30-month prison sentence, and the peace community has rallied to their defense.

President Obama acted courageously to secure the release of Bowe Bergdahl. Now he must act courageously to deal with the remaining Guantanamo prisoners by freeing the 77 who have been cleared and by freeing—or securing fair trials—for the rest.

This is precisely what Bob Bergdahl, father of the swapped prisoner, is calling for. “I don’t think anybody can relate to the prisoners in Guantánamo more than our family, because it’s the same thing,” he said. “How could we have such a high standard of judicial process for horrible war criminals [during World War II] … and yet now we can go for 10-11 years without even having judicial process? It’s just wrong.” President Obama can, and must, right this wrong.

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Force-Feeding Videos Sought by Second Guantánamo Hunger-Striker Thought to Show ‘Gratuitous Brutality’

NOVANEWS

Lawyers for Mohammad Ahmad Ghulam Rabbani, a Pakistani father of three held for over a decade without charge in Guantánamo Bay, have today sought a court order compelling the Obama administration to release videotapes of his treatment.

The requested tapes are thought to document a period of particularly ‘gratuitous brutality’, in which Mr Rabbani contracted a chest infection as a result of botched force-feeding procedures, leading him to repeatedly vomit blood and lose consciousness. They will also include footage of Mr Rabbani’s ‘Forcible Cell Extractions’ (‘FCE’s), whereby a team in riot gear storms the cell of a prisoner who does not comply.

Today’s motion comes a week after federal judge Gladys Kessler ordered the Obama administration to disclose 34 video tapes showing the force-feeding and FCE of Syrian hunger-striker Abu Wa’el Dhiab. Mr Dhiab’s videos will be reviewed by Reprieve lawyers at the Secure Facility in Washington, D.C. after the court’s handover deadline of June 13; today’s motion seeks Mr Rabbani’s videos for review at the same time.

In a declaration filed to the D.C. District Court, Mr Rabbani has described how an improperly-inserted feeding tube caused him to develop chest pain, as a result of which he asked for a day’s rest from force-feeding. His request was ignored, and the following day he “vomited blood on himself three or four times” before losing consciousness –  yet was still taken to the feeding chair by the FCE team. Mr Rabbani has also described how an improperly-inserted feeding tube led to his airways being blocked with liquid, and considerable pain from the repeated insertion and withdrawal of the tube, often multiple times in each feeding session.

Mr Rabbani’s Reprieve lawyer Cori Crider said: “Mr Rabbani has repeatedly reported disturbing abuse at the hands of the Guantánamo authorities, as have so many of his fellow hunger-strikers. Yet the prison denies it, and has flatly refused even the smallest requests to make the force-feeding process more humane. These videos can only help us get to the truth. The court must be allowed to see exactly what is going on daily at Guantánamo Bay.”

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They Are Not Like Us

NOVANEWS

by Jack Harper

Roughly 6 percent of the world’s population consists of people with Neanderthal genes. Jews fall into this category. This is why Jews have always been a problem: because their Neanderthal genes make them twice as aggressive as the rest of the world’s Cro-Magnon derived races.

Edited and presented with pictures, captions, and an endnote by Lasha Darkmoon on the sexual proclivities of the Jews.

neandertable

“Basically, I estimate that about seventy percent of the present crisis on this planet can be fairly attributed to the machinations of Neanderthal-Semitic elements of the human population against the Cro-Magnon majority.”  — Michael Bradley, Esau’s Empire

Quite independent of Arthur Koestler, whose work he had never read, Michael Bradley, a Canadian-based writer of Jewish origin, released his own 1978 work, The Iceman Inheritance, followed up by its sequel, Chosen People From the Caucusus. In both these books, Bradley put forth his thesis that the modern day people known as the Jews were descendants from the Khazars and that, indeed, the Khazars could trace their origins back to the Neanderthals.

Bradley’s website at michaelbradley.info describes Bradley’s findings in part: In Chosen People from the Caucasus, Bradley focuses on the two separate groups of people who came from the Caucasus Mountains of the Middle East: the Biblical Hebrews who emerged from the southern Caucasus between 3000-2000 BC to invade Palestine, and the northern Caucasus “Khazars” who were converted to Judaism about 740A.D.

The Khazars were pushed into Central and Eastern Europe by Mongol invasions, and their descendants comprise the vast majority of modern Jewry. Although these have no direct historical or genetic connections with the Semitic Jews of the Holy Land, both groups shared a Neanderthal origin in the Caucasus Mountains in the far distant pre-Judaic past.

Bradley contends that people and cultures emerging from the Caucasus Mountains — a known refuge of late lingering Neanderthal populations — in proto-historical and historical times, would have remained highly intelligent, highly aggressive and psychosexually maladapted, promoting a high level of in-group cohesion. These traits, Bradley contends, explain the survival of Biblical Hebrews against all odds and also the inordinate social influence of modern Western Jews.

Bradley contends that there is no mystique of “the chosen people.” Monotheism— a purely male and abstract Godhead— is merely a result of Neanderthal glacial physical and mental adaptations or “maladaptations.”

Proven Neanderthal in-group cohesion and extreme aggression together resulted in a fiercely parochial “chosen people” perspective.

The cultural fusion of the two separate streams of “Jews” has, since the 16th century, played an important role in the evolution of Western Civilization and thus in the molding of the entire world’s present cultural profile.

Bradley contends that a uniquely high level of lingering Neanderthal aggression, perpetuated by ethnic prohibitions against outside marriage, has been responsible for the major role played by those calling themselves Jews in the discovery and conquest of the Americas, the transatlantic trade in Black Africans as slaves and cultural colonization of non-Whites by the West. It has been a role too often distorted and disguised by loud lamentations of “anti-Semitism.”

Bradley writes further of his own research and the subsequent controversy that erupted when many media outlets (and Jewish sources) which had previously hailed his writing on the topic of the Neanderthals came to realize that his work pointed toward Neanderthal origins for the Jewish people:

The “Jewish” Ashkenazim had come from a region of known late-lingering Neanderthals, the Caucasus Mountains and the neighboring Russian steppes. Some typically “Jewish” physical traits were very obviously vestigial Neanderthal ones – generally a short stature and a plump physique, many very short wide-hipped and big- breasted women, extremely hairy men and a tendency toward beetling brows and large beaky “hooked” noses in both genders. Many Ashkenazim have crinkly-curly head hair tending toward dark reddish brown or mahogany in color.

Neanderthal-type male

Neanderthal-type male

Among Ashkenazi “Jews” there is also a genetic tendency toward beaky faces, not only just noses, and big mouths (in more ways than one) that “wrap around” the lower face.

Barbara Streisand and Julia Roberts provide two lovely and very well known examples of how attractive this genetic trait can be. But these are not “Semitic” physical traits. They are Neanderthal physical characteristics. And maybe some Neanderthal emotional and behavioral traits persisted among the Ashkenazim along with the physical ones.

Their “chosen people” pretension is a typical Neanderthal in-group obsession that is actually a genetic racist predisposition against all other humans. It is a genetically determined “us against them” mentality. Their higher level of known Neanderthal aggression against outsiders is responsible for their disproportional social influence wherever they have settled in the West. . . .

The Ashkenazi Jews, as a group, exhibit lingering Neanderthal traits most strongly among living Caucasians because of Jewish prohibitions against marriage with outsiders. Their Neanderthal genes have been kept “all in the family”, as it were. These Neanderthal genes were not diluted by intermarriage nearly as much as with most other Caucasians.

Neanderthal-type female. Note the same beaky nose and big mouth.

Neanderthal-type female.
Note the same beaky nose and big mouth.

This Russian steppe origin of today’s Ashkenazi “Jews” was not just a “theory” based on squibs by medieval Christian, Moslem and Jewish chroniclers. It was solid and objective historical reality based on linguistics and hard archaeological artifacts.

And, with The Iceman Inheritance, my unforgivable crime had been to add very persuasive anthropological data to all the other evidence. And this “data” was also something that anyone could actually see by simply taking a close look at many North American “Jews.”

According to Bradley, the Neanderthal heritage of modern-day Jewish people explains much about their ongoing problems with not only the native people of Palestine but with other people on the planet. He writes:

This unfortunate combination of high aggression combined with a tendency toward emotional instability and hysteria when they feel nervous or threatened… which is all the time when they are not in absolute control. And they are arrogant, but uneasy, even then.

An ethnic symptom of this emotional instability is the Jewish tendency toward hypochondria. Even they cannot control death. This unfortunate combination of high aggression combined with a tendency toward hysteria and emotional instability has proved to be a dangerous and tragic situation over the course of Western history.

Their aggression encourages continual Jewish attempts to control societies, while the emotional instability makes it difficult for most Jews to distinguish reasonably between justified social criticism by their non-Jewish neighbors and attacks.

Insensitive even to objective concerns about inordinate Jewish influence in societies, and reacting with hysterical aggression to any such supposed “attack” on their behavior and pleas from non-Jews to limit it, Jews have always provoked violence against themselves. And then they, with much emotional satisfaction, feel victimized and attribute the situation to innate “anti-Semitism” among their neighbors.

On his website, in an essay entitled “A frightening publication history of Jewish media suppression”, Bradley explores the amazingly negative reaction against his writings and the determined efforts to discredit his work.

___________

Endnote: On the sexual proclivities of Jews
by Lasha Darkmoon

This is related tangentially to the above article. It poses the question: are the Jews’ Neanderthal genes, which account for their double-than-average rate of aggression,  also responsible for their high libido and sexual hyperactivity?

It has always been an “antisemitic canard”, or perception among anti-Semites, that Jews are given to excessive amounts of lechery compared to non-Jews. The “Jew as Lecher” featured frequently in Nazi Germany Der Stürmer cartoons showing the Jew lusting after young Aryan women. When the Jews took over Weimar Germany, they flooded the country with pornography and made it the most sexually decadent country in Europe. Today, Jews dominate the world porn industry and produce roughly 90 percent of American porn in the San Fernando Valley, California. (See here)

Again, the Talmud’s obsession with sex is well-known. I have dealt with this subject in great detail in my article, Secret Sex Life of the Jews.  Amazingly, the Talmud has to be the only religious text in the world to discuss and compare the penis size of its most venerated sages.  (See  The Passionate Talmud, Introduction, p. 1).

The Jewish appetite for non-Jewish women, especially blondes, is apparently insatiable. All these appear to be Neanderthal characteristics — a huge libido, excessive testosterone, seething aggression — with the hairy Neanderthal-type male lusting darkly after the Cro-Magnon type female with her regular features and honeyblond flesh.

“I have not yet met a Jewish guy who wasn’t a horny rabbit,” porn star Nina Hartley once revealed. Nina should know, being Jewish herself — and having kicked up her heels for endless legions of lecherous Jews during her lubricious life time.

Here is Jewish novelist Philip Roth, who would undoubtedly have Neanderthal genes, going into raptures over the physical charms of Cro-Magnon woman. This is his hymn to the Aryan Blond Goddess from Portnoy’s Complaint:

“But the shiksas, ah, the shiksas are something else…. I am so awed that I am in a state of desire beyond a hard-on. My circumcised little dong is simply shriveled up with veneration…. How do they get so gorgeous, so healthy, so blond?” 

THE  LUST  OF  NEANDERTHAL  MAN  FOR  CRO-MAGNON  WOMAN

The_neanderthal_man_1953

To learn more about Bradley’s Neanderthal thesis and the far-reaching effects of Neanderthal genes on the Jewish psyche, see: Chapter 4. The Decline and Fall of Esau’s Empire.

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The Economic and Social Crisis in Portugal: The Hypocritical Policy Discourse of Prime Minister Pedro Passos

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Portugal

Portugal is bombarded daily with the prime minister’s discourse. It is an unmistakable discourse, unlike any known speech. I cannot find adequate words to describe it.

Hypocritical? Irrational? These are insufficient to express the style, purpose and content of his pompous harangues. It is a mad, neo-fascist discourse, which turns reality on its head and offends people’s intelligence.

In the last few days, tirelessly, Prime Minister Pedro Passos has traveled the country to glorify his administration. The central theme of these harangues is a justification of what his government has been doing.

He calls attention to the people’s gratitude. He has no doubts about the approval of the Portuguese for his policy (a word he uses and abuses to the point of perversion) that imposes “sacrifices” on them. He knows that he demanded much of them, but what comforts him is the certainty that they accept the harsh laws and decrees designed to satisfy the “greater interests of the nation.”

He feels proud of the wise measures taken by his ministerial team that convey an unprecedented but humanistic concept of solidarity, misinterpreted by people who refuse to understand that reducing wages will in the end bring about an indirect sort of solidarity.

He thinks of himself now as a revolutionary reformer and that history will judge his strategy as one that brought justice.

What pains him is the total lack of understanding among the opposition parties, those incapable of realizing that his government is ensuring the welfare state, combating unemployment, demanding much from the powerful, protecting the poorest – this opposition is so blind they fail to see the growth of the economy and the admiration the major powers of the European Community and the IMF for the results of his diligence in fulfilling the demands of the “memorandum” signed with the troika.

The judgment of the Constitutional Court, which ruled that three measures enforced in the state budget were unconstitutional, aroused the indignation of the prime minister, his government and its parliamentary majority.

Passos and his people did not limit themselves this time to expressing disagreement with the decisions of that sovereign body. They unleashed an unprecedented campaign against the court, with an insulting tone.

The Prime Minister set the tone by questioning the competence of the constitutional judges, suggesting basic changes in the appointment process.

The arrogant letter to the president of the Constitutional Court demanding a clarification of the judgment is a shameful document that accurately reflects the level of political degradation to which the scum ensconced in power has sunk.

The remarks pronounced in Parliament by the representatives of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the CDS in an attempt to justify the submission of this defiant letter illuminate the incompatibility of the menagerie of Passos & Portas* with the universal principles of constitutional law.

The gesture should have raised widespread repudiation by the media. But it did not.

Authoritative TV channels and newspapers promoted debates and roundtables in which many commentators – spokespeople for the ideology of the ruling class — took the opportunity to criticize the Constitutional Court.

Some did not even hesitate to express understanding for the insane speech of the prime minister, who is the defender of the interests of big business, ally of imperialism and enemy of the workers.

The response of the victims of the brutal tax policy, of the unemployed, of the retired workers whose pensions were stolen, will be given in factories, schools, in the service industries and in all workplaces.

The people, as the subject of history, will intensify the fight against a government whose policy, in a different context, reminds us increasingly of Salazar. It falls to the CGTP union confederation and the Communists to give leadership to this patriotic struggle.

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The Propaganda Wars and Putin’s Diplomatic Counter-offensive

NOVANEWS
Global Research
putin1

East of Vienna, that’s where the military action and bloody confrontation in Ukraine is being played out on the ground. But the furtive diplomatic goings on in Vienna are no less intensive nor internationally important, from the standpoint of a small and neutral, (although EU member state). While the US is discreetly conducting “low–key” talks here with another “bad boy” or similarly sanctioned state namely Iran (which after decades of being demonized by the west, is finally coming out of its international isolation), the Austrian government, is  attempting to play an instrumental intermediary role in breaching Russia’s western imposed isolation. It’s a delicate matter indeed. Especially as the threat of further western sanctions against Moscow are looming ominously over Russia.

 G-7, US and EU: All Stick and no Carrot

For example, in an ultimatum which harkens back to the prewar period of June 1914, the “so-called” G-7” (now minus Russia) has warned Moscow, unless it recognizes the results of the recent Ukrainian elections, withdraw its troops from the Russian Ukrainian border, and stops supporting separatist elements fighting in Eastern Ukraine that new sanctions will be imposed. Obama has effectively given Putin “between two to four weeks” to comply with these demands. Tough talk for sure!

With the threat of further western punitive measure against Putin’s Russia looming in the background Austria has stepped into the diplomatic fray. In a surprise announcement, the Austrian President Heinz Fischer has invited his Russian counterpart to Vienna on June 24th. The head of state is effectively extending a helpful hand or at least a handshake to his counterpart in the Kremlin, at a time when the EU and US (in a simulations and well-coordinated fashion) are seeking to minimize Russia’s resurgence as a great power to be in the 21st century.

This past week, the Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz told “Die Presse” (05/07/2012) the state visit seeks to “open channels of communication”. Between whom? The EU and Russia? That’s so far remains unclear.

After Brussels, Paris all eyes are now on Vienna

Is Austria playing the role of diplomatic go-between as it has during the height of the Cuban missile crisis? Maybe so, but in any case, the post –imperial capital, going back almost two hundred years or to the “Congress of Vienna”, has always been a key or central place for sorting out international conflicts. And today’s tensions are no exception to this rule. Hence the Austrian overture to Putin.

“Whoever wants to mediate, must [be willing] to talk with both sides,” the foreign minister said. For his part, the Austrian head of state, (whose office officially announced Putin’s upcoming visit to Vienna) believes that in the midst of the current Russia vs. EU and US standoff, talking directly with the Kremlin leader is essential.  “Dialogue in this present phase is of special significance,” President Fischer told the influential Austrian daily.

Are Austrian Sanction- busters ready for “business as usual”?

Whether the Russians are adored or despised by the Austrians themselves remains uncertain. Undoubtedly, both states have had historically, a tumultuous and intensive relationship with each other.  In any case, the current Ukraine conflict (and the harsh sanctions regime) apparently hasn’t hurt closer bi-lateral economic, or business friendly ties at all, between the two states. Austria does lots of business in Russia. It sells machinery over there and also has according to the Austrian National bank has lent over the years, an overall sum of 36,3 billion Euros to the Russian federation in credit outlays.

In return, Russia, delivers vital oil and gas supplies to the land locked alpine country. So expect to see some big energy contracts signed during the Putin-Fisher meetings.  Moreover, as part of this strange courtship, Austria has adeptly taken advantage of its much vaunted neutrality to act according to national interests, instead of abiding by EU-wide policy directives.  Austria thus, has more room to maneuver diplomatically than Brussels does, when it comes to dealing with Russia. And the country is in full gear, as regards to resolving the ongoing crisis to its East.

This surely riles Germany and the US very much.

And it hasn’t forgotten the days when like Russia it was considered a “Black Sheep” within the EU or the “international community”. Back in the 1990s when a right wing party under Jorg Haider, partook in the sharing of governmental power (within a coalition government) Brussels slapped Austria on the wrist with symbolic political sanctions, which nearly  relegated the country to  “pariah state” status inside the EU .

Vienna felt left out or ostracised back then (or the way Moscow might feel today with respect to the west). The resentment from those days remains present in the minds of several Austrian diplomats and policy makers and politicians alike. And perhaps besides business considerations also explains why Putin now shunned on the multilateral scene, (and vilified by the western mainstream media) is hardly unpopular among influential and prominent Austrians.

Posted in RussiaComments Off on The Propaganda Wars and Putin’s Diplomatic Counter-offensive

Mass Protests Grow Against French-backed Regime in the Central African Republic

NOVANEWS

Occupations by foreign forces has failed to stabilize troubled state

Global Research
AFRICOM

Discontent among the people with the French-imposed government in the capital of Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) has erupted in demonstrations by both the Muslim and Christian communities.

These developments are taking place amid the increasing deployment of foreign military forces mandated for peacekeeping operations by United Nations Security Council and other regional bodies.

The number of troops now occupying the CAR include a bolstered French force of 2,000 along with 6,000 personnel from regional African states (MISCA), European Union Forces (EUFOR) of 1,000 and the impending intervention of some 12,000 other soldiers under the rubric of the Security Council. Nonetheless, the minority Muslim community is still facing organized violence while more people are being forced out of Bangui and other cities across the country.

Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza was appointed after the forced removal at the aegis of Paris of the previous transitional leader Michel Djotodia in January. A Muslim, Djotodia came to power in March 2013 when Seleka Coalition rebels entered Bangui without any real opposition from French troops that were already maintaining a presence in the CAR.

Subsequent human rights violations against the Christian community during the rule of Seleka prompted reprisal attacks by the Anti-Balaka forces composed of armed youth who have been accused of attacking Muslim residents, their homes, mosques and businesses.

On May 30 people took to the streets of the capital protesting the deteriorating security situation. Earlier in the same week 17 people were killed in a church that was attacked while people were taking refuge in the building.

According to CNN,

“Hundreds also came out in the streets to protest against the international peacekeeping forces — French troops and the MISCA forces — whom they accuse of doing too little to protect the people. The unrest continued Friday. (May 30) The International Red Cross described the situation in Bangui as ‘fluid and somewhat chaotic.’ Its teams on the ground have received reports of injured people in the demonstrations but are still assessing the number of casualties, it said.” (May 30)

Foreign troops in efforts to control the demonstrations, which other sources report to have involved thousands of people, opened fire resulting in three demonstrators being killed by gunshot wounds. Rather than calming the situation, the deaths of the three people fueled anger and further unrest throughout the following week.

Text Messages Banned Amid Call for General Strike

Tensions escalated through June 6 when the current government issued a ban on text messaging. The blocking of the technology was done to minimize the impact of a call for a general strike in opposition to the government and the role of so-called peacekeepers.

In an article published by the London-based Guardian newspaper, it reports that “Mobile phone users in the CAR who try to send texts get the response:

‘SMS not allowed.’ Abdallah Assan Kadre, the communications minister issued a statement saying ‘On the instruction of the prime minister … in order to contribute to the restoration of security in the country, the use of SMS by all mobile-phone subscribers is suspended.’” (June 6)

Moreover, the Guardian continued by noting

“The clampdown came after a mass SMS (text message) was circulated urging a general strike in response to more than a year of conflict between Christian and Muslim militias that has killed thousands of people. An organization called Collectif Centrafrique Debout sent out the texts last weekend urging people to stay at home and demanding complete disarmament, especially of the PK5 Muslim neighborhood in the capital, Bangui.” (June 6)

Anti-French sentiment is growing both among the Christian and Muslim populations who have been bitterly divided by the present neo-colonial system of governance. France and other imperialist countries maintain mining interests in the diamond, gold and uranium sectors.

On June 1 Prime Minister André Nzapayeke urged people to end the strike and mass demonstrations in order to return to work in the capital after several days of unrest that had virtually shut down Bangui. Nzapayeke also appealed for a voluntary national disarmament campaign where all residents were requested to hand in their weapons by June 8.

French troops were heckled by residents on June 7 and 8 in Miskine, a Christian-dominated area of Bangui. In Muslim neighborhoods chants of “No to France!” and anti-French insults are commonly shouted at the occupying forces. (AFP, June 6)

Noël Ngoulo, the Secretary General of Bangui University, was quoted by the AFP as saying that

“When they arrived, (French troops) we had hope that they were going to disarm the country. But as time has gone on, the population noticed that the disarmament was delayed. People are angry at the French because they have the impression that the mission objective has changed, from a mission of disarmament to one of simple intervention.” (June 6)

Recent events in the CAR illustrate that the deployment of troops from former colonial and present imperialist countries will only further destabilize the political situation in Africa. The United States has provided logistical and intelligence support to the French-led occupation of the CAR.

These foreign policy initiatives are being headed by the Pentagon through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) whose presence and influence is being strengthened and enhanced by the administration of President Barack Obama. African workers, farmers and youth will inevitably escalate their opposition to the western military interventions being carried out across the continent.

Posted in Africa, FranceComments Off on Mass Protests Grow Against French-backed Regime in the Central African Republic

Sheriff Calls Homeland Security On Journalist For Requesting Public Records

NOVANEWS

DHS leveraged as tool of intimidation

Global Research

A Sheriff in Tennessee called Homeland Security on a journalist for attempting to obtain public records about the treatment of prisoners at a local jail.

“Alex Friedmann, editor for the Prison Legal News, has been working on a piece about complaints coming out of the (Marshall County) jail. He’s now suing Sheriff Normal Dalton for refusing to release public records of alleged questionable practices in the prison system,” reports WSMV.com.

After Sheriff Dalton refused to provide Friedmann with records pertaining to medical care and other services for inmates, he paid him a home visit, ordered background checks, and even called the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to get federal agents to harass Friedmann.

Dalton’s attorney claimed that the Sheriff had the right to take such action in order to protect the jail and ensure that Friedmann was a resident of Tennessee, while also asserting that Friedmann’s attempt to obtain the records in person invalidated the request.

“I think that’s very alarming and very disturbing that a law enforcement officer can do a background check, and in this case actually drove in to check my residence in person just because I filed a public records request with his agency,” Friedmann said.

Bail bondsman Mike Farrar claimed that the refusal to provide records was part of a cover-up centered around the fact that prisoners are only fed twice a day and that the Sheriff’s department is financially profiting as a result.

The judge in the case has taken the decision under advisement and is expected to rule in the next few days.

The story highlights how the Department of Homeland Security is being leveraged as a tool of intimidation against Americans who are simply trying to uncover official misconduct.

Posted in USAComments Off on Sheriff Calls Homeland Security On Journalist For Requesting Public Records

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