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Sun, 07 Feb 2016
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The values of Hillary, Bernie and... Dr. Jill Stein

Dr. Jill Stein. Beholden to no one but the voters - which is why she'll never become President.
For reasons that greatly puzzle this writer, Democrats in the United States seem to have divided into two camps. We will call the first one Camp B, for those campers who apparently believe that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the savior, the one the world has been waiting for. It is he, they seem to believe, who will usher in a new golden era of equality, one in which banks will be held accountable for their crimes, and students will be able to attend the university of their choice without going into lifelong debt. Under a Sanders administration, we are told, the United States will play a new role on the world stage, fostering independence and self-determination for all (except the Palestinians of course; we all know that they don't count) by means of diplomacy, and not weaponry. The monies stolen by the rich from the poor will be returned to those who rightfully earned them. The world's citizens will then, in some symbolic way, join hands and sing Kumbaya, as this new age of Aquarius dawns upon us all.

The remaining Democrats are encamped, it appears, in Camp H. These folks seem to believe that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the one who will bring us into this bright new world. Never mind her vote to authorize then President George W. Bush to invade Iraq! As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, the voters aren't interested in the past; they want to know what the candidate will do in the future! Forget Mrs. Clinton's statement that, if Iran were to threaten her beloved Israel, she would, as president, obliterate Iran! Similar to Mr. Sanders, Palestinians are not worthy of her concern. And need we look at her close ties to every organization linked to wealth? While it may have been her husband who bedded an intern, Mrs. Clinton it seems has been intimate with every corporate industry associated with the 1%.

Comment: For further examination of this farce called the U.S. Presidential elections among other related topics, listen to this SOTT Talk Radio interview with the author of the article: The Truth Perspective: Interview with Robert Fantina

Arrow Up

'Justice prevails': Activist who graffitied military battlefield truck has criminal case dropped

Court proceedings against a peace activist who scrawled "arms tested on children" on a battlefield truck bound for the world's biggest arms fair have been scrapped.

Vyara Glysen, 28, was arrested in September and charged with criminal damage after she graffitied a military vehicle that was en route to the Excel Center in east London. The exhibition space was being prepped for the Defense & Security Equipment International (DSEI) weapons fair, scheduled to take place the following week.

The fair is held every two years in London, and is regularly attended by representatives from repressive regimes. It has also previously provided a platform for weapons dealers to illegally promote arms that are used for torture.

Arrow Down

Indoctrinating racism: Swedish schools using racist map for last 5 years

© Maurizio Gambarini / Reuters
A scandal broke out in one of Swedish schools after a 12-year-old girl born in Ethiopia found that a children's map depicted African people in offensive manner. The publisher had to quickly delete the "racist" map from the website.

Comment: No need to put "racist" in quotes: it's just racist.

Comment: Offending people isn't the issue: the issue is indoctrinating impressionable children into a racist mindset. And this isn't the only time that indoctrinating propaganda has been in school textbooks: SOTT Exclusive: Anti-Russian propaganda appearing in Dutch school textbooks


No end in sight: Radioactive water from the Fukushima disaster continues to be released into the Pacific

© Ko Sasaki / The New York Times
The Ikata Nuclear Power Plant, which was idled after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima, in the Ehime prefecture of Japan, January 23, 2014.
"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Truthout shortly after a 9.0 earthquake in Japan caused a tsunami that destroyed the cooling system of Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan.

While this statement might sound overdramatic, Gundersen may be right.

Several nuclear reactor meltdowns in the plant, which at the time forced the mandatory evacuations of thousands of people living within a 15-mile radius of the damaged power plant, persist, and experts like Gundersen continue to warn that this problem is not going to go away.

Comment: The following article was published back in May 2014 - Japan begins purposely dumping 100s of tons of radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific.
According to the Japan Times, Tepco released 560 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific on Wednesday, and Tepco says that for the foreseeable future we should expect another 100 tons of radioactive water to be released into the ocean every single day...

Tepco is assuring us that the radioactive water that is being released is within "legal radiation safety limits".

But this is the same company that could not tell us why radiation levels in water near Fukushima reached a new all-time high just a few days ago...

So do you trust Tepco?

I certainly do not.

And this is not just a Japanese issue. Radioactive material from Fukushima has literally been found all over the planet. For example, a nuclear fuel fragment from Fukushima has been found as far away as Norway.

Once this radioactive material gets into the ocean and into our food chain, there is no telling where it may end up.

Stock Down

Billionaire NFL owners receive tax subsidies, despite rampant homelessness and infrastructure decline in the US

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
"I'm rich. Why should I have to pay taxes? The poor should be paying me. Oh wait, they already are."
The recent announcement by the National Football League that the St Louis Rams would be relocating to Los Angeles created much excitement in NFL circles, but the news didn't meet with universal approval.

While revenues in the league continue to rise at a staggering rate - the Forbes 2015 list of the most valuable teams in the NFL showed the average team value is $1.97 billion, up 38 percent from the previous year - the question of taxpayer subsidies continues to cause much debate.

The Rams' valuation of $1.45 billion might suggest they don't need handouts, yet the stadium they leave behind will continue to cost St Louis and Missouri taxpayers $12 million per year until 2022.

Comment: Your tax dollars at work.

Comment: Bread and circuses in a dying empire.


Could there be a link between the release of genetically modified mosquitoes and the Zika virus?

© theantimedia.org
The location of the release of GM mosquitoes and suspected Zika-related cases of microcephaly

Comment: This story is still developing so it's not yet clear if there's a link, but the connection is interesting.

The World Health Organization announced it will convene an Emergency Committee under International Health Regulations on Monday, February 1, concerning the Zika virus 'explosive' spread throughout the Americas. The virus reportedly has the potential to reach pandemic proportions — possibly around the globe. But understanding why this outbreak happened is vital to curbing it. As the WHO statement said:

"A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes ... is strongly suspected. [These links] have rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika, from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions.

"WHO is deeply concerned about this rapidly evolving situation for 4 main reasons: the possible association of infection with birth malformations and neurological syndromes; the potential for further international spread given the wide geographical distribution of the mosquito vector; the lack of population immunity in newly affected areas; and the absence of vaccines, specific treatments, and rapid diagnostic tests [...]

"The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty."

Comment: It's not clear if there's a causal relationship between the release of the GM mosquitoes and this Zika outbreak, nor what the causal method of action would be, however at the very least, releasing these GM mosquitoes into the environment was extremely irresponsible.

Heart - Black

First they came for the Muslims: Mob of masked men beat up refugee children at Stockholm station

Mob of black-clad masked men went on a rampage in and around Stockholm's main train station targeting refugee children
A mob of black-clad masked men went on a rampage in and around Stockholm's main train station last night beating up refugees and anyone who did not look like they were ethnically Swedish.

Before the attack, the group of 200 people handed out xenophobic leaflets with the message 'Enough now'.

Swedish media reported that the thugs, allegedly linked to Sweden's football hooligan scene, were targeting unaccompanied minors with a 'foreign' background.

The mob, wearing all-black balaclavas and armbands, 'gathered with the purpose of attacking refugee children' Stockholm police spokesman Towe Hagg said.

'Police are now looking into the leaflets that were handed out by masked people before the attack'.

Authorities confirmed that at least 40-50 people went on a rampage at 9pm on Friday night attacking migrants.

Witnesses told Aftonbladet newspaper that they saw a gang of black-clad thugs attacking refugees at the station.

'I saw maybe three people who were beaten. That was no football brawl or something similar. They targeted migrants. I was quite scared and ran away,' a witness said.

The leaflet handed out before the attack refers to the alleged murder of Alexandra Mehzer, a 22-year-old aid worker knifed to death at the child centre where she worked in Molndal, Sweden.

A Somali-born 15-year-old migrant has been accused of killing her during a fight between two asylum-seekers.


Little shop of horrors: Michigan couple arrested for black market body-selling ring

© Ricardo Rojas / Reuters
Anything involving over 1,000 body parts is going to be gruesome. Arthur and Elizabeth Rathburn of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, were arrested over their alleged involvement in a black market body-selling ring that exposed others to diseased parts.

Arthur Rathburn, 62, was once a respected University of Michigan morgue attendant who held patents related to the preparation of cadavers and even gave lectures on anatomy, according to the Detroit Free Press. However, after losing his job at the University of Michigan for possibly selling body parts, he started a business called International Biological and opened up shop in a warehouse in Detroit.

Comment: See also: What you lose when you sign that donor card

Heart - Black

Heartbreaking: Arizona mom pleads for someone to adopt medically kidnapped daughters

© Miracle for two sisters
Melissa Diegel with daughters Kayla and Hannah before they were medically kidnapped.

An Arizona court has ruled that the Diegel sisters are now eligible for adoption, and have terminated all of Melissa Diegel's rights to her children. In a recently released video, this mother displays an incredible act of love for the children that CPS will no longer allow her to parent. She pleads for someone good to step up and adopt her children, so that, if they cannot be with their family, they will at least be with good people who will love and care for them. It is a plea that no loving parent should ever be forced to make.

Melissa received the shattering news from the courts that Judge Kristin Hoffman has ruled to sever all of her and her ex-husband's parental rights to Kayla and Hannah. It was the day before Christmas Eve. She was devastated, and could not bring herself to make the bitter announcement to her supporters until recently.

Comment: Having to ask for kind-hearted strangers on the internet to adopt one's children, in order to remove them from a terrible situation that they were forced into, is something that no parent should ever have to do. It's truly a heartbreaking situation and hopefully she'll be able to get her daughters back.

It also appears that the CPS has a history of doing things like this:


Video shows Arizona sheriff and congressional candidate bragging about abusive discipline of special needs children

© 12News
Paul Babeu
After repeatedly denying knowledge of rampant child abuse, a video recently surfaced depicting the sheriff bragging about abusing and psychologically torturing children with special needs. Instead of confessing to his participation in the mistreatment of vulnerable children, the sheriff blames his sister for releasing the video and is currently running for Congress.

While serving as Headmaster and Executive Director at DeSisto Private Boarding School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, from 1999 to 2001, Pinal County Sheriff and Congressional Candidate Paul Babeu attended a Christmas dinner with his family in 1999. In a video recorded that night, Babeu callously endorsed and bragged about using abusive methods and psychological torture to discipline his special needs students at DeSisto. Referring to his students as "absolutely bonkers," Babeu explained his reasons for placing the children in isolation for days at a time.

"Because they are hopeless," Babeu rationalized. "Because they're hopeless. They need to get through, this is why. They need to feel hopeless and feel depression and complete failure."

Comment: More eyebrow-raising information on Paul Babeu from a 2012 HuffPost article:
Disgraced Arizona congressional candidate and GOP sheriff Paul Babeu is facing yet another round of unseemly charges.

The Pinal County sheriff, who stepped down as Arizona's co-chair for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign amidst allegations he threatened a gay ex-lover with deportation, reportedly served as headmaster for the now-defunct DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass. from 1999 to 2001. When Babeu -- a retired major in the Army National Guard and an ex-police officer -- was in charge, the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services launched an investigation into repeated claims of physical and sexual abuse from students at the private boarding school, ABC15 is reporting.

More questionable still: Babeu's older sister Lucy told the news station that she confronted her brother after finding a 17-year-old student from the school, which services troubled teens, living with him. She noted: "I said what is this student from Desisto doing here? He says, 'Lucy, he's my boyfriend. I love him.'"

Lucy claims her brother, once considered one of his state's rising Republican stars, was clearly having a relationship with the student, who has not been identified: "I said, 'Paul, get a hold of yourself here,'" said Lucy. "You were his teacher! You were his Executive Director! You can't do this."

At age 17, the student would have been the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

Babeu, 43, has denied claims that he threatened former lover Jose Orozco with deportation back to Mexico, but has acknowledged that he is gay. "I'm here to say that all these allegations ... are absolutely completely false except for the issues that refer to me as being gay," he is quoted by the Associated Press is saying. "Because that's the truth."