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Thu, 19 Jan 2017
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Dollar

Behind the Curtain: Romney Caught Expressing His Thinking on Secret Video from Fundraiser


During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...These are people who pay no income tax.

Light Sabers

Dollar no longer primary oil currency - China begins to sell oil using Yuan

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© TIME/Facts Global Energy
On Sept. 11, Pastor Lindsey Williams, former minister to the global oil companies during the building of the Alaskan pipeline, announced the most significant event to affect the U.S. dollar since its inception as a currency. For the first time since the 1970's, when Henry Kissenger forged a trade agreement with the Royal house of Saud to sell oil using only U.S. dollars, China announced its intention to bypass the dollar for global oil customers and began selling the commodity using their own currency.


Comment: Lindsey Williams: "The most significant day in the history of the American dollar, since its inception, happened on Thursday, Sept. 6. On that day, something took place that is going to affect your life, your family, your dinner table more than you can possibly imagine."

"On Thursday, Sept. 6... just a few days ago, China made the official announcement. China said on that day, our banking system is ready, all of our communication systems are ready, all of the transfer systems are ready, and as of that day, Thursday, Sept. 6, any nation in the world that wishes from this point on, to buy, sell, or trade crude oil, can do using the Chinese currency, not the American dollar. - Interview with Natty Bumpo on the Just Measures Radio network, Sept. 11


This announcement by China is one of the most significant sea changes in the global economic and monetary systems, but was barely reported on due to its announcement taking place during the Democratic convention last week. The ramifications of this new action are vast, and could very well be the catalyst that brings down the dollar as the global reserve currency, and change the entire landscape of how the world purchases energy.

Light Saber

Federal judge blocks indefinite detention law

© Shutterstock
New York - A New York federal judge shot down part of a controversial anti-terror law Wednesday that journalists and scholars worry could see them locked up indefinitely for speaking their minds.

Judge Katherine Forrest issued a ruling that permanently blocked a section of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Barack Obama at the end of last year authorizing the detention of US citizens accused of supporting terror groups.

The suit was brought by activists, including former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges and outspoken academic Noam Chomsky, who said the law was vague and could be used to curtail reporters' and other civilian citizens' right to free speech guaranteed under the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Arrow Down

Survey Suggests Widespread Distrust of US Extends Beyond Middle East

© Rajput Yasir/Demotix/Corbis
An anti-US protest in Pakistan. The poll found 78% of Pakistanis did not trust America to act responsibly.
American influence on the world stage is being sapped by widespread distrust of US intentions, not just in the Middle East and south Asia but also among traditional European allies, according to a survey of global opinions.

Suspicion of America outweighed faith in its good intentions by large margins in the Arab world and Pakistan, and even its heavyweight European ally Germany was more sceptical than trusting, a YouGov survey found. British and French opinion was more positive but still deeply divided.

Negative Arab and Pakistani perceptions of America as overweening and untrustworthy clearly pose a daunting foreign policy challenge for the Obama administration. The fact that 78% of Pakistanis questioned by YouGov said they did not trust America to act responsibly underlines Washington's serious lack of soft power in the region as it attempts to extricate itself from Afghanistan.

Attitudes towards the US in the Arab world were nearly as negative. Those respondents in the Middle East and north Africa who said they trusted America were outnumbered by more than two to one by those who said they did not, and 39% said they did not trust America at all.

MIB

KUBARK: The CIA's Torture Programme

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© Gallo/Getty
A recently released FBI 'primer' revealed some of the 'advanced interrogation methods' in use

A 2011 FBI "primer" on overseas interrogations, which became public on August 2, 2012, as a result of Freedom of Information Act action taken by the American Civil Liberties Union, repeatedly cites the Central Intelligence Agency's 1963 KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation. KUBARK was the code name the CIA used for itself.

The FBI briefing also cites the CIA's 1983 Human Resource Exploitation Manual (Honduras version) which was compiled by sections of KUBARK to train interrogators in the art of obtaining intelligence from "resistant sources". This was disseminated to the intelligence services of right-wing regimes in Latin America and south-east Asia in the context of the global "war on communism". In the mid-1980s, these manuals became the subject of Congressional investigations into US-supported atrocities in Central America. Both became public in 1997 as a result of FOIA action by the Baltimore Sun.

The FBI primer favourably invokes the KUBARK manual as a resource to illustrate the value of isolation "for several days before you begin interrogation" as well as during the "multi-session, multi-day process" as a means of prolonging a prisoner's fear prior to interrogation. The encouragement of fear-production through isolation is disturbing for (at least) two reasons. First, it indicates that some elements of the CIA's psychological torture model continue to have currency, despite the scandalous record of US prisoner abuse in the "war on terror" and the Obama administration's pledge to end torture.

Coffee

Fooled you once: Democrats Retreat on Civil Liberties in 2012 Platform

© Flickr/US Army
US Soldiers jog by a guard tower at Camp Delta in 2010.

What a difference four years makes.

In 2008, Democrats were eager to draw a contrast with what they then portrayed as Republican excesses in the fight against Al Qaeda. Since then, the Obama administration has in many cases continued the national security policies of its predecessor - and the Democratic Party's 2012 platform highlights this reversal, abandoning much of the substance and all of the bombast of the 2008 platform. Here are a few places where the differences are most glaring:

Bad Guys

Obama campaign brags about its persecution of whistleblowers

© Reuters
A US drone strike in eastern Yemen on Sunday was claimed by a security official to have killed six suspected Islamist militants. The Yemeni government has contradicted this, saying the intended target was 'completely missed', and 13 civilians were killed instead.
Excuse me if I don't join in Democrats' sycophantic cheerleading for an Obama presidency that has shredded laws and liberties

For several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for Democrats, at least for progressives. Daniel Ellsberg has long been viewed by liberals as an American hero for his disclosure of the top secret Pentagon Papers. In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as "acts of courage and patriotism", which "should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration".

President Obama, however, has waged the most aggressive and vindictive assault on whistleblowers of any president in American history, as even political magazines generally supportive of him have recognized and condemned. One might think that, as the party's faithful gather to celebrate the greatness of this leader, this fact would be a minor problem, a source of some tension between Obama and his hardest-core supporters, perhaps even some embarrassment. One would be wrong.

Far from shying away from this record of persecuting whistleblowers, the Obama campaign is proudly boasting of it. A so-called "Truth Team" of the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign issued a document responding to allegations that the Obama White House has leaked classified information in order to glorify the president:

Mr. Potato

Mitt Romney Accidentally Confronts A Gay Veteran; Awesomeness Ensues

Back in December 2011 during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney decided to drop by Vietnam War veteran Bob Garon's breakfast table for a quick photo-op. What Romney didn't realize is that Garon was sitting with his husband, whom he had married just a few months earlier.

What followed might be the single greatest "oblivious Romney" moment of the entire campaign. Enjoy.

Handcuffs

We're one crucial step closer to seeing Tony Blair at The Hague

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© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Tony Blair arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to give evidence on media ethics to the Leveson inquiry in May 2012.
Desmond Tutu has helped us see the true nature of what the former prime minister did to Iraq and increased pressure for a prosecution

For years it seems impregnable, then suddenly the citadel collapses. An ideology, a fact, a regime appears fixed, unshakeable, almost geological. Then an inch of mortar falls, and the stonework begins to slide. Something of this kind happened over the weekend.

When Desmond Tutu wrote that Tony Blair should be treading the path to The Hague, he de-normalised what Blair has done. Tutu broke the protocol of power - the implicit accord between those who flit from one grand meeting to another - and named his crime. I expect that Blair will never recover from it.

The offence is known by two names in international law: the crime of aggression and a crime against peace. It is defined by the Nuremberg principles as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression". This means a war fought for a purpose other than self-defence: in other words outwith articles 33 and 51 of the UN Charter.

Health

The 5 Most Repeated Health Myths That Medical Doctors Have No Intention of Abandoning

© Prevent Disease.com
There are more health myths propagated by the media and conventional medicine today than there ever have been throughout history. In large part, this is due to a lack of public education and a broadening of the corporate powers who promote myths to achieve very specific and malicious goals all in the name of profit.

Myth #1
Conventional medicine and the healthcare system helps sick people.

Perhaps the biggest health myth today is the public's misconception that mainstream medicine and the healthcare system helps sick people. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The freedom of people to choose natural healing, alternative medicine and methods of disease prevention could soon be threatened by corporate lobbyists who will do anything to protect their wealth at the expense of your health.

Promoters of conventional medicine claim that all the drug studies, approvals, surgical procedures, all other treatments are based on scientific evidence. But is it really science? What passes for "science" today is a collection of health myths, half-truths, intellectual dishonesty and fraudulent reporting to help serve higher interests. Science is not really science anymore.

90 percent of all diseases (cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, etc.) are easily preventable through diet, nutrition, sunlight and exercise. None of these solutions are ever promoted by conventional medicine because they make no money.

No pharmaceuticals actually cure or resolve the underlying causes of disease. Even "successful" drugs only manage symptoms, usually at the cost of interfering with other physiological functions that will cause side effects down the road. There is no such thing as a drug without a side effect.

There is no financial incentive for anyone in today's system of medicine (drug companies, hospitals, doctors, etc.) to actually make patients well. Profits are found in continued sickness, not wellness or prevention.

Almost all the "prevention" programs you see today (such as free mammograms or other screening programs) are nothing more than patient recruitment schemes designed to increase revenue and sickness. They use free screenings to scare people into agreeing to unnecessary treatments that only lead to further disease. Mammography is a very good example. Chemotherapy is another.

Nobody has any interest in your health except you. No corporation, no doctor, and no government has any desire to actually make you well. This has served the short-term financial interests of higher powers in the west very well. The only healthy, aware, critically thinking individuals are all 100% free of pharmaceuticals and processed foods.