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Heart - Black

Amnesty decries UK govt migrant crisis response - 'Show some humanity!'

Human rights experts have called on the government to stop using "inflammatory language" to describe vulnerable migrants and "show some basic humanity" in helping refugees who have fled war-ravaged states.
© Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuter
The call was issued by Amnesty International on Thursday, following the release of Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures detailing asylum applications tendered to the British government in recent years.

As swathes of the Middle East and Africa remain mired in violent conflicts, wars and foreign military intervention, Amnesty demanded the government do more to help migrants at the center of the most serious refugee crisis the world has seen since 1948.

The ONS figures revealed the British government had received 25,771 applications for asylum in the year ending June 2015, and 23,515 applications in the year ending June 2014.

The largest number of applicants in 2015 stemmed from crisis-ridden Eritrea (3,568). However, applications from war-ravaged Syria (2,204) and Sudan (1,799) were also high.

Amnesty previously branded the British government's efforts to help Syria's refugees "pitiful." Recent figures from European Union (EU) border agency Frontex show that people feeling war-torn Syria and Afghanistan make up the "the lion's share" of those attempting to make their way into Europe.

Meanwhile, the ONS figures reveal that 66 percent of asylum applications from Eritrea were rejected during the second quarter of 2015. This marks a huge increase on the 14 percent refusal rate recorded in 2014.

Comment: The EU puppets of the US have sown the wind of war at the behest of their masters and are now reaping the whirlwind.


Attention

Power or Compassion: which face of society will you choose?

© Gabriel R. Piper
Time to tackle a topic that's very hard to get right, and that will get me quite a few pairs of rolling eyes. I want to argue that societies need a social fabric, a social contract, and that without those they must and will fail, descend into chaos. Five months ago, I wrote the following about Europe:

Europe, The Morally Bankrupt Union
The European Union is busy accomplishing something truly extraordinary: it is fast becoming such a spectacular failure that people don't even recognize it as one.[..] the Grand European Failure is bound to lead to real life consequences soon, and they'll be devastating. The union that was supposed to put an end to all fighting across the continent, is about to be the fuse that sets off a range of battles. [..]

The carefully re-crafted relationship with Russia, which took 25 years to build, was destroyed again in hardly over a year, something for which Angela Merkel deserves so much blame it may well end up being her main political legacy.

To its south, the EU faces perhaps its most shameful - or should that be 'shameless'? - problem, because it doesn't do anything about it: the thousands of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe but far too often perish in the process. [..]

But the biggest failure is not even in politics outside of its own territory. The union rots from within. Which starts with its moral bankruptcy, obviously. If you allow yourself to be an active accomplice in the death of over 6000 East Ukrainians, and you simply look away as thousands of migrants die in the seas off your shores, it should not be surprising that you just as easily allow for a humanitarian crisis, like the one in Greece, to develop within your own borders. It comes with the territory, so to speak.

And make no mistake: this absence of moral values is something Europe in its present form will never be able to claim back. Never. The EU has shown itself to be a gross moral failure, and that's it: the experiment is over. They can't come back in 10 or 20 years and say: now we want it back, we're different now. You'd need to have a whole new union, new rules and principles, and new leadership. [..]

What will undo Europe from within is its economic policies. Which are strongly linked to the same moral values issue: inside a union, you cannot let thousands of people go without food and health care while others, a few hundred miles away, drive new Mercs and Beamers over a brand new Autobahn. That's not a union. That's a feudal society.
Though it may look out of far left field for those of us -and there are many- who think in economic and political terms only, we cannot do without a conscious definition of a social contract. We need to address the role of compassion, morals, even love, in our societies. If Jesus meant anything, it was that.

Sheriff

Another feather in the cap of the police state: North Dakota police now authorized to use drones equipped with 'non-lethal' weapons

© Dair Massey/The Daily Beast
Coming to a town near you.
North Dakota police will be free to fire 'less than lethal' weapons from the air thanks to the influence of Big Drone.

It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist.

With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with "less than lethal" weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn't drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.

The bill's stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker's bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.

Arrow Down

Coincidence? The DEA leaves Bolivia and cocaine production plummets

© yahoo news
Coca crop
After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.

It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.

"Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],"Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.

Comment: The DEA: Keeping the world safe from the scourge of drugs or partying it up with coke and hookers? Good on Bolivia for throwing them out.


Quenelle - Golden

No juice for you! Cops shut down Seinfeld and son's lemonade stand

© Instagram / Jessica Seinfeld)
Lemonade dreams crushed by local neighbor but not before raising lots of money for @loverecycled. Thanks to all of our customers and big tippers! Thanks Xander and Jaden for crushing it today with Julian and Jerry.
Last Week, Jerry Seinfeld and his son set up a lemonade stand in the family's East Hampton, New York neighborhood. Seinfeld and son — along with a few neighborhood friends — were raising money for his wife's Baby Buggy charity. Everything was going well until the lemonade stand had a run-in with the law.

According to Counter Current News, "one of their neighbors called the police to complain. Sure enough, the police jumped at the chance to rush over and shut down another lemonade stand. Jerry didn't want the cops to get away with shutting down their innocent lemonade stand without capturing a chance to make fun of the cops."

Jerry's response? The Seinfeld family, along with his son's two friends, decided to mock the cops by posing for a picture as if they had been arrested.

"Jessica Seinfeld's Instagram followers instantly joined in ridiculing the police for their 'crime fighting' activities. 'What can you do, you live in a seedy town, from the wrong side of the tracks,' one commenter said jokingly. 'Lemons are a gateway fruit to bigger and badder things like vegetables,'" Counter Current News documented.

Comment: Welcome to Police State America. Celebrity or not, freedom is now considered punishable by law. For more on the War Against Lemonade Stands see:


Eye 1

Details of Virginia reporters' deaths revealed

© Chris Keane / Reuters
A picture of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward is seen next to candles at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia August 27, 2015.
The two Virginia journalists shot earlier this week both received gunshot wounds to the head, according to state officials. The causes of death for Alison Parker and Adam Ward have been classed as homicides.

The medical examiner's office in Roanoke said that WDBJ reporter Alison Parker's official cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Cameraman Adam Ward received gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

The office did not specify how many times Parker and Ward were shot during the attack on Wednesday.

Comment: Also see: Virginia shooter's manifesto included racial grievances and Charleston shootings as reasons for attack


Arrow Down

USDA has been withholding disclosures of GMO crop records for over ten years

Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), alleging that APHIS has violated FOIA by routinely failing to respond to requests for records related to genetically engineered (GE) crops, unlawfully delaying its responses, and withholding public disclosure of information.

APHIS has failed to provide a timely final response to at least 29 of CFS's FOIA requests or appeals. Of these, APHIS has entirely failed to provide a final response to 10 requests and 2 appeals. The lawsuit asks the court to direct APHIS to promptly provide CFS with the requested information and to order APHIS to stop its practice of failing to respond to FOIA requests related to GE crops.

Comment: The USDA is likely stalling as long as possible so that it can continue to promote these toxic time-bombs with as little public scrutiny as possible, and to claim plausible deniability when the resulting biological devastation and ecological collapse is so apparent it can no longer ignored or denied.


Quenelle

People power! Mass visa checks in Australia streets canceled after public outcry

© Mick Tsikas / Reuters
A multiagency crackdown in central Melbourne that would have involved freshly empowered immigration officers checking visas has been canceled after mass protests.

The crackdown, called Operation Fortitude, would see officers placed in key spots in Melbourne's business center "speaking with any individual we cross paths with," Don Smith of the Australian Border Force (ABF) said.

Arrow Down

EPA withholding Animas River toxic spill documents from Congress

Congress is slamming the Environmental Protection Agency for withholding documents pertaining to the enormous amount of toxic chemicals it sent into the largest source of drinking water for the western part of the United States.

"It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee's reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). "These documents are essential to the Committee's ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sept. 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA."

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee gave the EPA until Tuesday morning to hand over documents surrounding the agency's clean-up effort. The EPA failed to produce a single document.

Comment: It's looking more and more like the EPA is trying to hide something:


Red Flag

Bar that used naked women as fruit platters sparks outrage

© Twitter
A bar in Sydney sparked outrage after using naked women as fruit platters.

Cruise Bar hosted a tropical-themed opening night party, and shared pictures of the women lying covered in fruit on social media.

They wrote on their Facebook page: "Amazing night to officially launch to the public. More pics to come tomorrow!" However, members of the public weren't sure how "amazing" the party was after seeing the pictures of nude women being used as plates.


Jane Oakley wrote on the page: "Thanks Cruise Bar for so openly showing your contempt for women and contributing to the disgusting view that women's bodies are just a utensil. I won't be coming to your venue when I'm looking for a night out."