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MIB

Vote all you want, the secret government doesn't change.

© iStock/Lesley Becker
The voter who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA's warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America's nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn't have changed policies much even if he tried.

Though it's a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, National Security and Double Government, he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term "double government": There's the one we elect, and then there's the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.
Airplane

Ron Paul slams Rand's 'politically motivated' Ebola travel ban


Rand Paul speaks to Fox News
When it comes to dealing with Ebola in the United States, former Congressman Ron Paul (R) and his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), don't see eye to eye.

In an interview with Fox News radio host John Gibson last week, Rand Paul argued that a ban on people traveling from west African "ought to be considered."

"It's not like AIDS," he explained. "AIDS is difficult to transmit. You're not going to go into a cocktail party and have someone cough and get AIDS. If you are in a cocktail party with someone with Ebola and they cough, you are at risk for getting Ebola."

The Kentucky senator said that a "temporary hiatus on flights" was "only reasonable."

But as BuzzFeed pointed out on Monday, Ron Paul urged people to put the situation in "perspective."
V

Hong Kong leader complains: Allowing democracy would let poor people dominate elections

© Alex Ogle for Agence France-Presse
A pro-democracy protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask stands at a barricade during a stand-off with police in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Oct. 19, 2014.
Hong Kong's Beijing-backed leader Leung Chun-ying told media that if the government met pro-democracy protesters' demands it would result in the city's poorer people dominating elections.

In an interview with foreign media, carried in the Wall Street Journal and International New York Times, the embattled chief executive reiterated his position that free elections were impossible.

Demonstrators have paralyzed parts of Hong Kong with mass rallies and road blockades for more than three weeks, in one of the biggest challenges to Beijing's authority since the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests of 1989.

Leung's comments were published just hours before talks between senior government officials and student leaders to end the impasse are scheduled to take place later on Tuesday.

China has offered Hong Kongers the chance to vote for their next leader in 2017. But only those vetted by a committee expected to be loyal to Beijing will be allowed to stand - something protesters have labelled as "fake democracy".

Leung said that if candidates were nominated by the public then the largest sector of society would likely dominate the electoral process.

"If it's entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you'd be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than US$1,800 a month," Leung said in comments published by the WSJ and INYT.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has one of the biggest income divides in the world, with growing discontent at increased inequality and exorbitant property prices fueling the protests which turned increasingly violent at the end of last week.

There are fears any further clashes between police and protesters could derail Tuesday's discussions.

Comment: This demonstration, of course, could be a western backed ploy to destabilize China and open the doors to vulture capitalism.

Airplane

Military occupation of West Africa: U.S. Reaper drone crashes at Niger airport

An American drone crashed into the runway at Niger's main international airport on Monday, damaging it and shutting the facility down for hours, the US military has confirmed, adding that there were no casualties or injuries.

The crash occurred in the early morning around 3:40 am at Diori Hamani International airport, according to AFP, which added that the runway was closed for nearly nine hours to enable crews to repair the damage.

In a statement by the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, it was revealed that the drone was an unarmed MQ-9 Reaper, which is remotely operated and capable of maintaining airborne surveillance efforts for dozens of hours.

"The US government is working closely with the government of Niger to secure the scene and mitigate inconveniences caused by the incident," the statement read, as quoted by AFP. "The cause of the incident is currently under investigation."

The use of surveillance drones over Niger has been a common occurrence since 2013, when the United States started the practice in an attempt to bolster French troops battling Islamist militants in neighboring Mali. Roughly 1,200 French soldiers are trying to contain an insurgency that erupted in 2012.
Che Guevara

It's fine when it happens over there! London police clear #OccupyDemocracy protesters from Parliament Square


What, no bulldozers, chains, rifles, molotovs, and machetes? Hmmm, Kievans must just be naturally more violent then...
Occupy Parliament Square in London ended before it really begun. British and American agents are very good at fomenting dissent abroad... and crushing it at home.


Comment: Are you in the UK?

Did you even know this was going on?

But you are certainly aware that Occupy protests are taking place in Hong Kong.

Strange that, don't you think?

Anyway, the police cleared the protesters out of Parliament Square this morning... because it's illegal to protest in London without state approval.

Info

No 'alien underwater activity': Sweden lied about location submarine

© Unknown
It's a dolphin!
The Swedish Armed Forces admitted Monday evening that they have failed to maintain transparency and issued false information about the whereabouts of the alleged foreign submarine in the Stockholm archipelago.

"The Armed Forces are conducting an intelligence operation in the Stockholm archipelago. . . We are supposed to do this with maximum transparency while preserving operational secrecy. This is how a credible, correct authority should and must act to preserve public confidence. It must be said that the Armed Forces in a sense have failed at this," Sweden's Armed Forces said in a statement.

On Sunday, Sweden's Armed Forces released a photograph of an object, suspected to be a foreign submarine in the Stockholm archipelago and a map, allegedly showing where the photo was taken. The area of the sighting was reported to be Jungfrufjärden, a fjard near the settlement of Dalarö south of Stockholm.

Comment: See:Cold war fever: Sweden denies 'Russian submarine hunt' report as military search ongoing

Monkey Wrench

Newspeak: NY Times jargon what 'democracy' really means in U.S.


Bolivia’s popular president, Evo Morales, overwhelmingly won a third term on Sunday.
One of the most accidentally revealing media accounts highlighting the real meaning of "democracy" in US discourse is a still-remarkable 2002 New York Times Editorial on the US-backed military coup in Venezuela, which temporarily removed that country's democratically elected (and very popular) president, Hugo Chávez. Rather than describe that coup as what it was by definition - a direct attack on democracy by a foreign power and domestic military which disliked the popularly elected president - the Times, in the most Orwellian fashion imaginable, literally celebrated the coup as a victory for democracy:
With yesterday's resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona.
Thankfully, said the NYT, democracy in Venezuela was no longer in danger . . . because the democratically-elected leader was forcibly removed by the military and replaced by an unelected, pro-US "business leader." The Champions of Democracy at the NYT then demanded a ruler more to their liking: "Venezuela urgently needs a leader with a strong democratic mandate to clean up the mess, encourage entrepreneurial freedom and slim down and professionalize the bureaucracy."
Heart - Black

MK Zoabi: Israeli combat pilots are no better than Islamic State beheaders

Balad MK Haneen Zoabi
© Knesset Channel
Balad MK Haneen Zoabi in the Knesset.
Says 'Islamic State kills one person at a time with a knife and the IDF at the press of a button [kills] dozens of Palestinians.

'MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) equated fighters of Islamic State with Israeli soldiers on Sunday. "They [IS] kill one person at a time with a knife and the IDF at the press of a button [kills] dozens of Palestinians," Zoabi told Channel 2 Online in an interview. Zoabi added that an Israeli pilot "is no less a terrorist than a person who takes a knife and commits a beheading."

Zoabi said she believes that "both are armies of murderers, they have no boundaries and no red lines." Zoabi said the cases of Arab Israelis joining IS do not add up to a trend but rather represent a "very tiny number on the margins" - people who "apparently have no options in life." Zoabi said such people had lost meaning in their lives and adopted a closed, fundamentalist ideology.

"In Iraq and Syria they have their picture taken with a knife and here they have their picture taken with dead bodies and with their bombardments and they also laugh," she said. "The M-16 and the bombardments kill more than a knife."
Dollar

U.S. corporations are doing better than ever; taxes are not "crushing"

While middle-class and low-income Americans struggle to get by, corporate profits are soaring. In 2013, corporate after-tax profits consumed a record-breaking 11.2 percent of total national income. Between 1946 and 2010, after-tax corporate profits always remained below 10 percent of national income, but 2013 was the fourth consecutive year in which corporate profits exceeded 10 percent of national income.
Meanwhile, corporate income taxes only constituted about 10 percent of total federal revenues collected in fiscal year 2013, which is right in line with their average contribution since FY 1980 but down sharply from earlier decades, when corporations contributed double or triple that percentage.

Comment: While Americans remain homeless, jobless and struggle to get by, the psychopaths and their representative corporations are enjoying the fruits of the conscious-less system they created.


The Psychopathic Corporation -- A Clinical Diagnosis (PCLR), by Dr. Robert Hare

Rocket

Huge blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile

Donetsk
© © Screenshot from youtube (L) and screenshot from Ruptly Video
A huge blast has rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers.

The explosion reportedly took place at 12:10pm local time.
#UKRAINE: Blast rocks chemical plant in #Donetsk, militia claims Kiev fired tactical missile http://t.co/4OCCdwf4zb pic.twitter.com/4sidy4qqso

- RT (@RT_com) October 20, 2014
Local militia has said that the plant was targeted by a tactical Tochka-U missile (SS-21 Scarab).RT's team in Donetsk is trying to verify this information.

RT correspondent Roman Kosarev posted on his Twitter account that the blast was heard across the city.

"We are now checking the information that a ballistic missile ss-21was used," he tweeted.
Now investigating reports of ballistic missile ss-21 scarab hitting #Donetsk windows blown out across the city. pic.twitter.com/2KrStCnRx3

- Roman Kosarev (@Kosarev_RT) October 20, 2014
When RT's team arrived at the scene, they found a crater "about 10 meters (33 feet) deep," he said.

Comment: Given that the orders for these attacks are coming from the U.S. puppet junta in Kiev, it should come as no surprise that the new U.S. standardized dictionary definitions are now being employed. Where 'ceasefire' is defined as: 'Non-stop shelling day and night and/or the firing tactical missiles into populated areas'.

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