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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Young woman who was arrested for owning 'anarchist literature' says: I am ready to go to prison

Note: Leah Lynn Plante was sentenced to prison yesterday afternoon after refusing to answer questions to a grand jury in Seattle. The following article was posted yesterday before Leah went to court. This witch-hunt style grand jury is unacceptable. Leah and her comrades are tremendously brave for standing up to state repression of anarchists by refusing to cooperate.
Leah Plante will again appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle, Washington, for the third time, and refuse to testify about her political beliefs and political associations. It is likely that she will be imprisoned for her principled stance against what she calls a witch hunt against local anarchists.

The grand jury is investigating anarchists in the Northwest, following FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force raids in search of "anarchist literature." Two other anarchists, Matthew Kyle Duran and Katherine Olejnik,have already been imprisoned for refusing to cooperate.

Plante wrote a powerful statement to her friends and supporters in preparation for today's hearing. Here is an excerpt:

Comment: Read also: Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books

Fireball 4

Update! Meteor impacts Louisiana, explosion causes damage to nearby buildings, cover-up swings into operation

© Kristi Johnston/The Times
Webster Parish sheriff's deputies set up on scene on Elmo Burton Loop this morning in search of what caused the ground to shake across northwest Louisiana late Monday night.
Northwest Louisiana authorities are investigating the source of whatever shook people's residences and businesses about 11:40 p.m. Monday. The Webster sheriff's office now is entertaining the possibility that it may have been a meteorite, possibly in the Dixie Inn area. There have been a large number of reports stating that they saw something come down instead of something blow up, a spokesman said.

And a woman reported hearing what sounded like debris hit a shop on Bellevue Road in the Dixie Inn area. If it was a meteorite, that would fall to NASA and the Air Force to investigate. A spokeswoman for Barksdale Air Force Base public affairs said that the installation is investigating and that whatever the source, it didn't originate at the base.

Webster authorities still don't know what it was or where it hit, Sheriff Gary Sexton just said. Thermal-imaging cameras showed nothing off Elmo Burton Loop near Dixie Inn, but helicopters are expected to be in the air this morning to survey the area along U.S. 80 and Interstate 20 for the cause of what caused the ground to shake.

Comment: Damage control has swung into operation:

Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp Minden
Webster Parish, Louisiana (KSLA) - Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton says hazmat experts tell him the underground bunker containing explosives that blew up late Monday night at Camp Minden worked exactly as it was designed to do.

Sexton describes the bunker, in the "L-1 area," as an "igloo," constructed of concrete. He says they were built in the 50s. The underground bunkers are designed to send any blast up instead of out to lessen the shock wave impact. No one was injured.

The force of the explosion was felt across a wide area just before 11:40 p.m. Monday, with reports of people feeling the blast from Minden to Shreveport and well beyond. The explosion site was discovered right at sun-up.

The National Weather Service later issued a statement describing radar imagery showing a debris/smoke plume right around 11:30 p.m. approximately one and one half miles southwest of Dixie Inn, which is where the Camp Minden Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant is located. The NWS says the debris plume drifted northwest at about 10 miles per hour and dissipated after about 30 minutes.

Webster Chief Deputy Bobby Igo says the bunker belongs to a company called Explo Systems, Inc. A news conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. to be held by officials from Explo was pushed to 11 a.m., but that was canceled at the last minute with no explanation given.

When reached by phone, Explo Chief Operations Officer Terri Wright would only say he had no comment. Neither Explo nor authorities have said yet what kind of explosives were stored in the bunker.

State Police, the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office and the military will investigate exactly what caused the explosion.

Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton says there are numerous reports of collateral damage, mostly consisting of broken windows. But he says there has been some structural damage.

Earlier in the morning, Sexton said there was a "possibility that a meteor did hit the ground" in the area, but that theory was put to rest with the confirmation of the blast at the Camp Minden bunker.

The event resulted in a flood of phone calls to the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office, as well as to the KSLA News 12 newsroom.

KSLA News 12 viewer Shana Levick tells us she was driving on I-20 by Dixie Inn when she saw the sky light up a bright orange color. She said she could see what appeared to be small fire sparks above the tree lines.

Callers are also reporting seeing a bright light flash in the sky when they heard the boom.
Well now, this is interesting. Initially reported as being a possible meteor strike, we're now hearing that this explosion in Louisiana was the result of a planned explosion at an old underground bunker at 11.30pm on a Monday night. If that was really so, why did buildings in nearby downtown Minden sustain blast damage? Once again, U.S. authorities are spinning as fast as they can to cover up for the cosmic threat.

© Minden Press Herald
The U.S. government isn't alone, however. Just last week a massive explosion caused a mushroom cloud in southern Russia. It was blamed on an accident, "probably caused by a lit cigarette" (yeah right!), as some 4,000 tonnes of soon-to-be decommissioned munitions were supposedly being unloaded from a train at a remote military base. Injuries were initially reported but then this was retracted, leaving no on-site injuries where surely there should have been at least a few, especially given that windows were shattered on buildings in towns located up to 40 km away.

We had been wondering whether or not this Russian "munitions accident" was covering up for an overhead airburst caused by an incoming meteor or cometary fragment ... and now something rather similar has happened in southern U.S. one week later!

Update 2:

Local news station is now reporting that a debris cloud was picked up on radar images. One eyewitness also reported 'meteor ash' falling to the ground ...

Camp Minden 'Debris Plume' photo:



The 2012 U.S. Presidential "Non-election": Which brand of "fascism" this time?

© Duncan Long
No matter who "wins", humanity loses.

Every four years, the deck chairs of the political
Titanic that is the American empire get rearranged in the choreographed spectacle of another presidential "election". The 2012 charade is particularly disgusting; the lies more blatant and shrill, as the world continues to burn.

It is critical to focus on the cold, ugly reality facing the world with either prospective White House occupant.

On one side, the Obama administration, and the traditional brand of neoliberal imperialism and international consensus, and false domestic populism. On the other side with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, militant right-wing extremism, an apocalyptic war agenda and the politics of sadism at home.

The interests of the elite (Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberger, etc.) is dutifully served with either Obama or Romney in the White House. The question for the elite is purely over style and execution.

Obama has been a servile facilitator and protector of the political establishment; an insidious capitulator and "consensus man". For Wall Street's billionaires, the Pentagon's warmongers, and Washington's most shamelessly corrupt, there has been no greater gift than Obama and his presidency. But with Romney and Ryan, the agenda simply speeds up and destroys faster, more violently, with true theocratic maniacal fervor.

The final choice will not be made by voters (who will be disenfranchised again, via electronic vote fraud and other manipulations), but by the criminal elements who seize final control of the apparatus over the final month of the "contest".

The "children" are being allowed to fight it out amongst themselves. The side with ultimate command of the corporate media propaganda, the most effective back door deals, and the most effective dirty tricks and election night shenanigans, will prevail, the pre-determined result promptly encrypted into the software of controlled Diebold voting machines.

Eye 1

Police State: U.S. Supreme Court dismisses eavesdropping lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed lawsuits in San Francisco against the nation's telecommunications companies for cooperating with the Bush administration's secret surveillance program, leaving intact an immunity law supported by President Obama.

The 2008 law shielded the companies from liability for their alleged roles in helping the government intercept phone calls and e-mails between Americans and suspected foreign terrorists without a search warrant. Obama voted for the law as a senator and has defended it in court as president.

The high court, without comment, denied a hearing on an appeal by AT&T customers after lower federal courts upheld the law.

The order does not affect a separate wiretapping suit by the customers against the government, currently pending before a federal judge in San Francisco. The plaintiffs allege that federal agents conducted warrantless "dragnet" surveillance that intercepted millions of messages from U.S. residents. The suit is partly based on testimony in 2003 by a former AT&T technician about equipment in the company's Folsom Street office that allowed Internet traffic to be routed to the government.


28 good questions that the mainstream media should be asking


Anybody home?
Why is there so little trust in the mainstream media these days? CNN ratings have been hovering close to record lows over the past few months. A recent Gallup survey found that 60 percent of all Americans "have little or no trust" in the mainstream media. That was a record high according to Gallup. So why is this happening? Sadly, the truth is that the mainstream media quit telling the truth a long time ago. The mainstream media has an agenda, and more Americans than ever are beginning to recognize this. Once upon a time, control of the news in the United States was at least somewhat decentralized. But now there are just six giant media corporations that control almost everything that we see, hear and watch. The version of "the news" that they give us is designed to serve the interests of those corporate giants and the other corporate giants that spend billions of dollars to advertise their products through those outlets. Watching the news on television can be an extremely frustrating experience these days. Yes, there are little bits and pieces of the truth in there, but you have to wade through an awful lot of "infotainment" to get to those bits and pieces. That is one of the reasons why the "alternative media" has absolutely exploded in recent years. The American people are hungry for the truth, and they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of news on the Internet in an attempt to find it.

Eye 1

America's moral degeneracy: Acceptance of torture is Mark of the Beast

It is not only foreign political regimes that are corrupted by Washington's evil, but also Americans themselves.
On May 31, 2010, the Israeli right-wing government sent armed military troops to illegally board in international waters Gaza aid ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief. The Israelis murdered 8 Turkish citizens and one US citizen in cold blood. Many others were wounded by the forces of "the only democracy in the Middle East."

Despite the murder of its citizen, Washington immediately took the side of the crazed Israeli government. The Turks had a different response. The prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan, said that the next aid ships would be protected by the Turkish navy. But Washington got hold of its puppet and paid him to shut up. Once upon a time, the Turks were a fierce people. Today they are Washington's puppets.

We have witnessed this during the past week. The Turkish government is permitting the Islamists from outside Syria, organized by the CIA and Israel, to attack Syria from Turkish territory. On several occasions a mortar shell has, according to news reports if you believe them, fallen just inside the Turkey border. The Turkish military has used the excuse to launch artillery barrages into Syria.


Obama 'Care': Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering for millions

© Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA
An Iranian man counts his banknotes after Iran's currency, the rial, crashed to a record low
Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery though a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive

The Economist this week describes the intensifying suffering of 75 million Iranian citizens as a result of the sanctions regime being imposed on them by the US and its allies [my emphasis]:
"Six years ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of "smart" sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people - only with a regime that seemed bent on getting a nuclear bomb, or at least the capacity for making one. Yet, as sanctions have become increasingly punitive in the face of Iran's intransigence, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price.


The Maimed

© Mr.Fish
Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.

Many of us who are here carry within us death. The smell of decayed and bloated corpses. The cries of the wounded. The shrieks of children. The sound of gunfire. The deafening blasts. The fear. The stench of cordite. The humiliation that comes when you surrender to terror and beg for life. The loss of comrades and friends. And then the aftermath. The long alienation. The numbness. The nightmares. The lack of sleep. The inability to connect to all living things, even to those we love the most. The regret. The repugnant lies mouthed around us about honor and heroism and glory. The absurdity. The waste. The futility.

It is only the maimed that finally know war. And we are the maimed. We are the broken and the lame. We ask for forgiveness. We seek redemption. We carry on our backs this awful cross of death, for the essence of war is death, and the weight of it digs into our shoulders and eats away at our souls. We drag it through life, up hills and down hills, along the roads, into the most intimate recesses of our lives. It never leaves us. Those who know us best know that there is something unspeakable and evil many of us harbor within us. This evil is intimate. It is personal. We do not speak its name. It is the evil of things done and things left undone. It is the evil of war.


Stealing a U.S. election? Nothing's easier!

The US prides itself on a free and fair election system. It's the main hallmark of democracy. But as RT's Anastasia Churkina reports, stealing an election in America is easier than 1,2,3.

The U.S. - a beacon of democracy, and an example to be followed by the rest of the world. One big source of pride is its' fundamental concept of free and fair elections.

"American elections are a disgrace. It's like looking into a kitchen of a world-class restaurant and losing your appetite at what you see, because we have an election system, a voting system that is completely non-transparent," said Mark Crispin Miller, Professor at NYU and author of "Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections."

This is an opinion shared by many political experts and educators.

"If you were to hand your vote to a man in a magician's suit who then went behind a curtain and came out having first shredded the ballots, to tell you who won - would you trust that process?" said the co-founder and director of the Election Defense Alliance Jonathan, Simon.

The process largely to blame is the out-dated electronic voting system.

Comment: One apparent reason why there is no pressing need for uniform nationwide rules on voting systems is that it is fairly well known among powerbrokers that the outcome is a foregone conclusion: either their puppet on the left will win, or their puppet on the right will win... why bother with rigorous procedures when all that matters is which one of the 'Democrat' (Corporatist Party) or 'Republican' (Corporatist Party) candidates comes out on top?


Venezuelan Elections: It's either Chávez or Washington!

© Agence France-Presse/Leo Ramirez/Juan Barreto
This combination of file pictures shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) and Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
This Sunday's elections will pit incumbent President Hugo Chávez Frías against neoliberal pro-US opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Opinion polls vary widely both ways, proof it will be a head-to-head race.

­This election is not only of vital importance to Venezuela, but to all of Latin America, as Chávez has been a veritable barrier against traditional US interventionism in the region.

Get Chávez!

­That's been the rallying call in the mainstream Western media, demonizing Chávez's refusal to align Venezuela to the Western powers' geopolitical objectives throughout the world, something the US and its allies find very hard to swallow.

That's why they've put all their clout behind young up-start Henrique Capriles Radonski, as if he were a savior of democracy in Venezuela.

But that's not quite the case when you consider that Capriles Radonski was very much involved in the failed US-backed coup in April 2002 to oust Chávez, and even spent a short spate in jail for it.

Chávez, in turn, is presented as "authoritarian and not democratic". And yet, when he lost the 2007 constitutional reform referendum or the 2010 congressional elections, his government fully heeded the electorate's will. No one today doubts that Sunday's elections will be transparent and fair.

So why all the anger and fuss against Chávez?

To those who haven't got the message yet: "It's his foreign policy, Stupid!"

Irrespective of whether his domestic policies are good or bad, his foreign policies have held Venezuela's sovereignty and self-esteem very high indeed, actively supporting all nations being savagely attacked by the US, UK, NATO or Israel.

Such is Venezuela's support of the martyred peoples of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, all flagrantly bombed, invaded and devastated by the Western powers based on outright lies, perverted distortions of the truth, and corporate greed to grab oil resources.

Today, the West targets Syria engineering internal strife and civil war as they already did in Iraq, Libya and other Muslim countries: in Orwellian Newspeak, the "Arab Spring". They also threaten Iran with unilateral military attack and commit murder, sabotage and financial manipulation inside Iranian territory whilst spreading all sorts of global media lies.