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Racist Halloween 'lynching decor' removed from Fort Campbell military base

© ClarksvilleNow
Disgusting display of idiocy
Military authorities removed a Halloween display that depicted a black family hanging in effigy from a tree at Fort Campbell.

A photograph of the display, which was set up at a residence on the base that straddles Kentucky and Tennessee, was sent to Army officials for investigation.

Authorities at the base said the occupant, who was not identified, told military officials the display was not intended to be offensive and agreed to take it down.

Comment: Whether it was intended to be racist or not, the damage done by the image of a lynching is real and it, and its undercurrent of racism, has horrific historical roots:

Star of David

Growing boycott movement forces SodaStream to close illegal West Bank settlement factory

sodastream boycott
SodaStream to benefit from Israel's displacement of Palestinians in Naqab
Retailers and investors dropped SodaStream over BDS pressure

Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists today welcomed the news that SodaStream has announced it is to close its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim following a high profile boycott campaign against the company.

sodastream factory location
© Shai Efrati/Who Profits
"SodaStream's announcement today shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is increasingly capable of holding corporate criminals to account for their participation in Israeli apartheid and colonialism," said Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement.

"BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company's share price has tumbled in recent months as our movement has caused increasing reputational damage to the SodaStream brand," she added.

The news of this major success against a company famed for its role in illegal Israeli settlements broke amidst intensifying demonstrations against Israel's policies of colonisation in Jerusalem.

Grassroots boycott activism saw SodaStream dropped by major retailers across North America and Europe including Macy's in the US and John Lewis in the UK.

SodaStream was forced to close its flagship store in Brighton in the UK as a result of regular pickets of the store.

Soros Fund Management, the family office of the billionaire investor George Soros, sold its stake in SodaStream following BDS pressure.

SodaStream's share price fell dramatically in recent months as sales dried up, particularly in North America.

Comment: A "country" like Israel only understands through pain, in this case, economic. Boycotts worked in South Africa, and help here too. Unfortunately, Israel is currently being economically underwritten by the US, so it will take longer. When Israel starts costing the US more than it considers worth, watch Israel be cut loose.


100 years of racist policies has turned Ferguson into a pocket of concentrated despair

Ferguson riots
© Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
Demonstrator Keisha Gray cries while protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014.
Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown's fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it.

White America has come up with a number of rationales for these enduring pockets of despair. An elaborate mythology has developed that blames it on a "culture of poverty" - holding the poor culpable for their poverty and letting our political and economic systems off the hook. A somewhat more enlightened view holds that whites simply fled areas like Ferguson - which had a population that was 99 percent white as recently as 1970 - because of personal racial animus, leaving them as hollowed-out, predominantly black "ghettos."

But a study by Richard Rothstein, a research fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, comes to a very different conclusion. In his report, "The Making of Ferguson," Rothstein details how throughout the last century a series of intentionally discriminatory policies at the local, state and federal levels created the ghettos we see today. spoke with Rothstein about the report. The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Joshua Holland: Most people believe that Ferguson became so racially polarized because of "white flight" - white people fled the area because of personal prejudice against African-Americans. In your report, you argue that this misses a crucial point. What are we overlooking?

Rothstein: The segregation that characterizes Ferguson, and that characterizes St. Louis, was the creation of purposeful public policy. We have a segregated nation by design.

The St. Louis metropolitan area was no different from most metropolitan areas of the country. The ghetto in the central city of St. Louis was redeveloped for universities, and for a number of other uses, and the African American population in the central city was shifted to inner ring suburbs like Ferguson.

It was done primarily with two policies: First, public housing was segregated, purposely, by the federal government, so that what were previously somewhat integrated neighborhoods in urban areas were separated into separate black and white public housing projects.

And then, in the 1950s, as suburbs came to be developed, the federal government subsidized white residents of St. Louis to move to the suburbs, but effectively prohibited black residents from doing so. The federal government subsidized the construction of many, many subdivisions by requiring that bank loans for the builders be made on the condition that no homes be sold to blacks.

Because black housing was so restrictive, there were so few places where African-Americans could live in St. Louis. So what was left of St. Louis' African-American community became overcrowded. City services were not readily available. The city was zoned so that the industrial or commercial areas were placed in black neighborhoods but not in white neighborhoods. So the industrial areas, where African-Americans lived, became slums.

And then white residents in places like Ferguson came to associate slum conditions with African-Americans, not realizing that this was not a characteristic of the people themselves, but rather it was a creation of public policy.

This is a somewhat oversimplified description of a complex array of policies. But every policy that I described in this report can be found in every other metropolitan area throughout the country. These policies applied in the New York City area, and they applied in the liberal San Francisco area. It's a story that characterizes the entire country, but you cannot understand what's going on with Ferguson today without knowing this history.

Holland: Who was Adel Allen, and why is his story - which took place in nearby Kirkwood, Missouri - important for understanding how Ferguson came to be the city it is today?

Rothstein: Adel Allen was an African American engineer for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. He was recruited from Kansas to work in the St. Louis metro area. When he got there, he couldn't find housing anywhere in the suburban areas near the plant. He was about to move back to Kansas, because the only place he could find housing was in overcrowded conditions in the central St. Louis ghetto.

He finally got a white friend to buy a home for him in the town of Kirkwood. He moved into a block that was overwhelmingly white. There were 30 white families. Seven years later, there were 30 black families and two white families on that block. And this was largely because of practices in the real estate industry.

Realtors engaged in a practice which came to be known as "blockbusting." When a black family moved onto a block, like Adel Allen did in Kirkwood, the real estate agents would go door to door and try to panic their white neighbors into selling their homes at very reduced prices, with the idea that property values were going to be destroyed because African-Americans were moving into their neighborhood.

Those real estate agents then bought those properties at very low prices and resold them to African-Americans, who had to pay very high prices because they had no other housing options.

Now, this was something that was not considered unethical until the 1970s. In fact, licenses would be suspended by the state real estate commission if a real estate agent sold a home to a black family in a white neighborhood - until the first one sold, and then it was considered perfectly ethical for real estate agents to turn an entire block into an African-American block.

Once they moved into that block, all of a sudden, over the course of a few years, city services began to decline. Other parts of Kirkwood which were overwhelmingly white continued to get good services, but the African-American neighborhoods were denied. The rest of the city got sidewalks and curbs; the black blocks did not.

Comment: The current crop of government psychopaths are profiting handsomely on the policies of their predecessors, setting one racial group against another. This is how the system is perpetuated.


Sweden becomes first European state to recognize Palestine

Israel's foreign minister says Sweden 'needs to understand that relations in the Middle East are more complicated than a piece of furniture from IKEA that you assemble at home.'
© Dreamstime
The Swedish Parliament building in Stockholm
The Swedish government officially recognized Palestine as a state Thursday morning, during its morning session. In doing so, it became the first European state to recognize a Palestinian state.

"Today the government takes the decision to recognize the state of Palestine," Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement published in the Dagens Nyheter daily, AFP reported.

"It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians' right to self-determination," she added.

"Through our recognition we want, first of all, to give our support to moderate forces among the Palestinians," Wallstrom wrote, according to DPA.

Sweden considered that criteria in international law for recognizing a Palestinian state "are met," she said. Although the borders are not defined, there is a government that can "show inner and outer control."

Wallstrom wrote that "Sweden has earlier recognized states - Croatia in 1992 and Kosovo in 2008 - although they actually lacked control over parts of their territory. Like them, Palestine is a special case."

The world must judge America's human rights abuses

"If Eric Holder doesn't prosecute Michael Brown's killer any resulting violence ought to be called the Barack Obama Riots."
Police Brutality
© Global Research
Black people in this country are brutalized by police on a daily basis. That has always been true but thanks to modern technology there is a steady stream of proof caught on video. Accessing the internet means inevitably being confronted with awful imagery such as Marlene Pinnock being beaten by a highway patrolman in California. We see Eric Garner murdered by the NYPD, pleading that he couldn't breathe.

These videos may or may not assist with prosecutions. Footage showed the late Rodney King being beaten by California police in 1991. The officers were indicted, a rarity, but a jury acquitted them anyway, making a mockery of the old saying "seeing is believing." Common sense wisdom doesn't count for much if it threatens to upend white supremacy. No matter how seemingly iron clad the case, police rarely face criminal charges.

Such was the case of Milton Hall, a mentally ill black man shot to death by Saginaw, Michigan, police on July 1, 2012. A camera inside one of the patrol cars shows Hall, surrounded by police, armed only with a small pen knife. He is unable to harm anyone, given that he was surrounded by seven cops and a police dog, yet they fired forty-six shots with fourteen of them striking and killing Hall.

Local prosecutors did not charge the officers and the Obama/Holder Department of Justice did not see fit to do anything either. After investigating they concluded that prosecution was not warranted.

"Even if the officers were mistaken in their assessment of the threat posed by Hall, this would not establish that the officers acted willfully, or with an unlawful intent, when using deadly force against Hall. Accordingly, this tragic event does not present sufficient evidence of willful misconduct to give rise to a federal criminal prosecution of the police officers involved."
"No matter how seemingly iron clad the case, police rarely face criminal charges."
The ACLU of Michigan not only pushed for local and federal action, but has taken its protest to a new and very important level. On October 27, 2014, Mark Fancher, Racial Justice Project Attorney for the ACLU of Michigan, testified before an international body regarding the federal government's refusal to prosecute Hall's "death by firing squad." The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is an arm of the Organization of American States. It is mandated to "promote the observance and protection of human rights in the hemisphere."

Russia to open new Su-27 airbase in Belarus next year

© Vitaly V Kuzmin
The Russian Air Force deployed four Su-27SM3 fighters to Belarus in December 2013
The Russian Defence Ministry will open a new airbase in Belarus in 2016, Russian Air Force commander colonel general Viktor Bondarev has said.

Speaking to reporters during his visit to Russia's under construction facilities, Bondarev said: "The Russian Air Force base in Belarus will open in 2016. Su-27 fighters will be stationed there."

The Su-27 fighters are expected to be deployed at a military airfield in the Belarusian city of Bobruisk. Russia has drafted a technical plan for the reconstruction of the airfield.

Russia deployed four Su-27SM3 fighter jets to the 61st air base in Baranavichi, Belarus, in December 2013, and is expected to increase the number to 24 by the year-end.

An upgraded variant of the Su-27 Flanker, Su-27SM3 jets are used to carry out tasks in support of the Union State of Russia and Belarus Air Force, ITAR-TASS News Agency reported.

Manufactured by Sukhoi, the Su-27 Flanker is a twin-engine super manoeuvrable fighter aircraft designed to provide general air defence in cooperation with ground and airborne control stations.
Evil Rays

Growing unease among parents, lawmakers over RFID biometric tracking of students

A growing number of schools are using special tracking chips embedded in student ID cards or biometric scanners to track students, and the new technology is making many lawmakers nervous about its privacy implications.

The relatively new tracking technology allows schools to more accurately follow student attendance, lunch purchases and students who ride buses, but lawmakers in many states have banned specific types of student data collection over privacy concerns, reports.

"This year, Florida became the first state to ban the use of biometric identification in its schools. Kansas said biometric data cannot be collected without student or parental consent. New Hampshire, Colorado and North Carolina said the state education departments cannot collect and store biometric data as part of student records.

"New Hampshire and Missouri lawmakers said schools can't require students to use ID cards equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that can track them. The new laws are similar to one Oregon passed last year and what Rhode Island lawmakers passed in 2009," according to the news site.

Of the 110 bills considered in 36 states this year to address student data collection, 39 targeted biometric data specifically, and 14 of those bills passed, according to information from the nonprofit Data Quality Campaign cited by Governing.

At the same time, many private companies are quickly recruiting schools and have amassed a large clientele over roughly the last decade. More than 1,000 school districts in 40 states currently use biometric identification - from reading portions of student fingerprints, to iris scanners, to palm scanners - to track student lunch accounts, student bus travel, attendance and other activities, Jay Fry, CEO of biometric firm identiMetrics, told Governing.
Eye 2

Fired CBC host Jian Ghomeshi accused by at least 8 women of violence, sexual abuse, and harassment

One woman, actor Lucy DeCoutere, alleges she was slapped and choked without her consent.

Eight women from across Canada now accuse former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi of abusive behaviour ranging from allegations of beating and choking without consent, to workplace sexual harassment.

The allegations the Star is probing range from 2002 to the present.

One of the women, popular Canadian television actor Lucy DeCoutere, has agreed to be identified. DeCoutere, who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys , recalls an incident in 2003 when she alleges Ghomeshi, without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head.

"He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question. It was shocking to me. The men I have spent time with are loving people," said DeCoutere, who, when she is not acting on the television show, is a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force in New Brunswick.


Air traffic controller arrested in Total CEO plane crash investigation

© RIA Novosti. Maksim Blinov
An air traffic controller, who was working a shift at Moscow's Vnukovo airport when the private jet of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie went down, has been charged in the plane crash case, the Russian Investigative Committee said Thursday.
An air traffic controller, who was working a shift at Moscow's Vnukovo airport when the private jet of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie went down, has been charged in the plane crash case, the Russian Investigative Committee said Thursday.

"Criminal proceedings continue involving other suspects in the case," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, adding that the suspects, which include a snowplow driver, a senior airport engineer and a flight supervisor, will be charged in the near future.

Markin added that Alexander Kruglov, the air traffic controller, had already been questioned and placed in custody. Earlier an air traffic controller trainee was also charged.

Comment: Are these individuals patsies or part of a larger more sinister CIA-M16 scheme to take out Christophe de Margerie? The Total CEO was not toeing the line by isolating Russia and had also expressed his support for a wider use of other currencies in transactions outside the US - for oil purchases in particular. See: CIA-MI6 hit? French oil CEO dies in plane crash at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport


Airplane crashes into flight safety building at Wichita airport

A building at Wichita airport burns today after a 10-seater plane crashed into it.
An airplane crashed into a two-story building at an airport in Wichita, Kansas early Thursday shortly after takeoff, leaving at least two people dead and five injured.

The 10-seater, twin-engine plane struck a building at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport at around 9:50 a.m. local time Thursday. Eyewitnesses at the scene have since posted photographs on the social media site Twitter of huge plumes of black smoke rising into the sky from the site of the crash.

Ron Blackwell, the chief of the Wichita Fire Department, said during a press conference shortly after 11 a.m. that authorities can confirm two fatalities, and said a search was ongoing. Five people at that time were unaccounted for, Blackwell said, and four had been transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

A local NBC News affiliate reported shortly after that one person is listed critical condition as a result of the incident, and confirmed that the plane in question is a Beechcraft that lost an engine during takeoff, citing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Around 45 minutes after the crash occurred, the FAA said in a statement that the aircraft crashed while attempting to return to the runway shortly after takeoff.

Ryan Weatherby, a witness, told the Kansas City Star that the airport building started on fire once the plane hit. First responders have since descended on the scene and the building has been evacuated, but a NBC affiliate reported that 10 people inside were unaccounted for as of 10:45 a.m. local time.

As many as 13 people may have been onboard the plane at the time of the crash.