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Sat, 17 Nov 2018
The World for People who Think


Handcuffs

Free speech for CNN, but not for Assange?

White House Correspondents
© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Correspondents' Association dinner attendees raise a glass to the First Amendment.
Two journalists on the bad side of Donald Trump were vindicated this week. One had his White House credentials restored. Another got proof that Uncle Sam wants him behind bars. Guess which one had all the support from the MSM.

CNN's Jim Acosta was kicked out of the White House because the US president didn't like the way the journalist bombarded him with confrontational questions. Less than a week later, a Trump-appointed judge ordered his access restored, at least for the time being. A big win for the freedom of speech in America.

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is in a self-imposed confinement in Ecuador embassy in London because he believes that if he leaves the British will snatch him and ship to the land of the free to be prosecuted as a spy. His situation did not change much this week, except that his suspicions of a secret indictment were collaborated an Assistant US Attorney, in an apparent slip of the pen.

Comment: See also: US intel would bring Assange to the US in chains


Quenelle - Golden

Europe bows to Trump: Not a single member-state takes up EU offer to form alternative payment channel for bypassing Iran sanctions

United States US EU flags
© Getty Images
Plans by Brussels to create a special payment channel to continue doing business with Iran and bypass US economic sanctions against the country, are now in tatters, as no EU country has agreed to support the idea.

All the members of the 28-nation bloc are reportedly scared by the punitive measures that Washington may potentially introduce against them for such an act of disobedience.

Earlier, EU officials proposed creating a clearing house, or a special purpose vehicle (SPV), to eliminate the bloc's dependence on the US and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) which currently provides high-value cross-border transfers for members across the world.

Comment: Wow, we knew it would be difficult for Euro-leaders to learn how to walk the walk, but we didn't suspect there would be ZERO actions to match their fightin' words about reining in the US...


USA

Illusion of democracy? If US elections could change anything they wouldn't be held

us election vote sign
© Getty Images
Last week's US midterm elections received saturated media coverage. Why? The reality is that elections in the US don't change much, if anything, because America has a regime and is not a genuine democracy.

The US midterms - and you'd have to have been locked in a wardrobe all week to have avoided hearing about them - reminded me of a great song by the 1980s indie-rock band The Smiths. No, not 'This Charming Man', in reference to Donald Trump, but 'What Difference Does it Make?' Remember that one? It should be played on a loop every time America goes to vote.

Because every couple of years, whenever 'big' elections come along in the US of A, we are treated to the same spectacle. Ordinarily intelligent people making fools of themselves in the belief that the elections are 'tremendously important'. When will they ever learn that the best thing to do on a US election night is to go to bed early with a nice hot water bottle and a good book.

Let's take presidential contests first.

Bad Guys

Directed Mass Migration: NGO caught red-handed coaching migrants in Greece how to trick EU border agents

Migrants crowded on the Greek border March 11 2016.
© Reuters / Stoyan Nenov
Migrants crowded on the Greek border March 11, 2016.
A group that helped over 15,000 refugees and migrants to get into Europe has been caught on tape admitting to systematically training asylum seekers to exploit screening interviews by feigning trauma and persecution.

Ariel Ricker, the executive director of Advocates Abroad, a major non-profit NGO which provides legal aid to migrants, has been caught on tape openly discussing how she teaches refugees to lie to border agents. The video was released by Canadian right-wing activist, author and internet personality, Lauren Southern, and will be a part of her new documentary film project 'Borderless,' which takes on the European migration crisis.


On its website, Advocates Abroad claims to have helped as many as 15,000 migrants cross the Greek border, and 2,500 more outside of Greece. The organization is massive, taking volunteers from major universities, and was even featured in a documentary film by the International Bar Association.

Comment: More from Southern here.




Family

Washington's and NATO's criminal wars and government austerity policies at the heart of European & US migration turmoil

migrant woman child
© AFP / Jorge Guerrero
A migrant woman holds a baby upon her arrival aboard a coast guard boat at Malaga's harbour on September 23, 2018
Europe has certainly adopted more fortress-like controls against would-be refugees. A concomitant rise in anti-immigrant political parties has in turn fueled popular resentment towards EU institutions.

But the debate requires much more than "moral appeals."

A recent study entitled 'Building Walls' puts the growth of EU internal and external border barriers into stark perspective. In the 1990s, there were two border walls. Now the number has grown to a total of 17, with most of the structures built over the past three years.

Stop

Trump: Forged ballots have 'infected' Florida recounts of governor & Senate votes

Lauderhill voter recount rally
© Reuters
A U.S. President Donald Trump cutout is pictured before a ballot recount in Lauderhill
Recounts to decide Florida's next governor and senator have been tainted by foul play, Donald Trump has claimed, sparking accusations that the president is undermining the democratic process by pushing conspiracies.

Ascending once again to his presidential Twitter pulpit, Donald Trump wrote on Monday that the Florida recounts were a sham and that the elections should be called in favor of outgoing Governor Rick Scott and former US Representative for Florida's 6th congressional district Ron DeSantis, both Republicans holding slim leads in their respective races for Senate and governor.

Comment: Also see:


Fire

California wildfires: At least 42 dead, 200 missing, 250k evacuated, over 7000 buildings destroyed - Camp Fire becomes deadliest in state's history

Camp Fire rages through Paradise, California
© AP
A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
The death toll in California has risen to 42 and 228 people are still missing as three major wildfires continue to sweep across the state. An estimated 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

Thirteen more people were confirmed dead from the "Camp Fire" in Paradise, northern California, taking the toll in that area to 42 and making it the deadliest fire in California history.

Paradise, some 90 miles (145 km) north of Sacramento, has been completely destroyed by the blaze, with the authorities saying that up to 90 percent of the residents lost their homes. The death toll is expected to rise.

An estimated quarter million Californians have been forced to flee their homes to escape the three blazing infernos across the state. Strengthening winds mean the flames are expected to spread even further by Tuesday. So far, the fires have spread to some 400 square miles (1,040 square km) as some 8,000 firefighters are still unable to contain the inferno.


Comment: A total of 7,177 buildings have been destroyed, Cal Fire said. High winds and dry conditions threaten more areas through the rest of the week, fire officials warned. The total cost to the state, insurers and homeowners is expected to top $19 billion.

See also:


Attention

American 'liberation': New report breaks silence on US slaughter in Raqqa, civilian deaths at least 25x higher than admitted

raqqa
© AFP
Syrians walk along a destroyed street in Raqqa, February 18, 2018.
Entire families perished in US-led strikes on Raqqa that may have claimed more civilian lives than those of ISIS, NPR said in a shocking report tilting the Western media narrative on what has become of the "liberated" city.

The retaking of Raqqa from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) extremists, was hailed by the mainstream media as a major victory for the Western coalition one year ago - even despite harrowing reports of civilian casualties and unhinged destruction caused by the offensive. One year later, the Syrian city, where people are living side-by-side with rubble and human remains, barely makes a blip in Western media.
raqqa
© Reuters / Erik De Castro
A baby stroller is pictured near a burnt vehicle in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017.
But now a new report, supplied with a warning it "contains descriptions of dead bodies," is bringing harrowing testimonies of people, working tirelessly to recover corpses from under the ruins, to the Western readers. Those may be surprised to discover that US-led airstrikes apparently left more civilian casualties than publicly acknowledged.

Comment: The 'liberation' of Raqqa by the US military and their Kurdish allies was an indiscriminate slaughter. Russia has been pointing this out for the last year, but no one has listened. While US politicians and media virtue signalled by decrying the (actual) liberation of cities like Aleppo and Damascus by the Syrians and Russians, they were totally silent about their own slaughter in Raqqa. Even worse, the Russians at least put in the effort of surveilling potential targets for civilians. The Americans bombed anything and everything without a second thought. And after the liberation of Syrian towns and cities, the Russians help clean up and rebuild. The Americans simply left Raqqa to rot. Who are the barbarians here?


Attention

Military coup plot uncovered in Germany - Sensational report claims special forces and military vets planned to execute 'unwanted' politicians 'en masse'

commandos
© Reuters / Michaela Rehle
FILE PHOTO
A far-right underground network made up of members of Germany's elite commando force and military veterans planned to kill top politicians upon the collapse of order in the country, a sensational media report claims.

German police have reportedly uncovered a clandestine far-right network which allegedly had "concrete plans" for what they called "Day X" - the moment when Germany's civil order would collapse, Focus magazine reported. The harrowing plan included bringing "unwanted" political figures to a remote place and killing them en masse.

The names of people on the group's "hit list" have yet to be established, but it is thought that Dietmar Bartsch, head of the Left Party's parliamentary group, was one of those to be taken out.

Comment: Is this a liberal German establishment putting the worst possible face on whatever it is they actually uncovered... or is this as nuts as it sounds?

We can't help but wonder if and/or how this is connected to the discovery last year that German soldiers are embedded as 'refugees' throughout Germany with a view to carrying out terror attacks to be blamed on Muslims...


See also:


Snakes in Suits

In bizarre WW1 centenary speech, Macron claims nationalism is evil because it 'erases moral values'

macron louvre
Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism, Emmanuel Macron said in his speech before the world leaders in Paris and caused a storm on Twitter, with the French President getting praise and bashing in equal parts.

Macron delivered a powerful address during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary since the end of World War I in the French capital on Sunday, with Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and other heads of state being among his audience.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism," the French leader proclaimed, adding that nationalism erases the most important thing for any country: "its moral values."


Comment: Specious, postmodernist, claptrap.


macron nationalism ww1
© Reuters / Ludovic Marin
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a commemoration ceremony for 100 years after the end of the World War I at the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris.
With days of their 'bromance' far behind, Macron's jab might've been well directed at Trump, who previously proudly declared himself a nationalist and promotes the "America First" agenda.

The Twitterati shared photos of what they believe was the US President's annoyed reaction to the words of his French counterpart and discussed the few weak claps Trump gave to the whole speech afterward.

Comment: Trump's is a healthy reaction to Macron's paramoralism (an insincere or deceptive moral argument or line of reasoning).

The King of Morocco's was another healthy reaction:


Here's the relevant clip from Macrons' speech:


The dictionary definition of patriotism, in English, is:
the quality of being patriotic; vigorous support for one's country.
synonyms: nationalism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance/loyalty to one's country, loyalism
And vice versa for nationalism:
patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts."an early consciousness of nationalism and pride"
synonyms: patriotism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance/loyalty to one's country, loyalism, nationality
Which means that the two terms, as commonly understood, are synonymous and thus interchangeable.

Macron's sophistry merely accentuates the fact that we're going through a 'great global culture war' - arguably the World War of our time - and that the primary faultline is that separating the globalist worldview from the nationalist worldview.

That he feels it imperative to reach for and claim 'monopoly of the moral good' on such a public stage speaks to the insecurity his 'side' feels in the face of their nationalist challengers...