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Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think


Parents of woman killed by 'poison used on Skripal' blame... UK govt, British media, but not Russia

dawn sturgess
© Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Dawn Sturgess died after being poisoned with nerve agent following the Sergei Skripal incident
The parents of the woman who died in the Wiltshire novichok poisonings have broken their silence to express their anger and hurt at losing their daughter in an extraordinary international incident and say they believe there could be more of the nerve agent yet to be found.

Speaking as the first anniversary of the poisonings nears, Stan and Caroline Sturgess also revealed their concerns that the UK authorities chose to settle the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, exposing residents to risk.

The couple told the Guardian they still had many unanswered questions and called for more clarity from the British government about the poisonings. They also spoke passionately about their sense of injustice that Dawn, a mother of three from a very respectable family, was unfairly portrayed as a homeless drug user.
Stan and Caroline Sturgess
© Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Stan and Caroline Sturgess
The Sturgesses have complicated feelings toward Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who collapsed after being poisoned with novichok in Salisbury and are now in hiding. "I don't know where Skripal is and I don't know what I'd do if I met him. He's still got his daughter," said Stan, a retired bricklayer.

Caroline said: "It's sad they ended up in a coma but they weren't the true victims. He [Skripal] took risks - he must have known there was a chance people were still after him."


The Soviets Were Winning Their Afghan War Against US-backed Insurgency Until Gorbachev Pulled Them Out

Soviet Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopter

Soviet Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopter in Afghanistan in the 1980s
Twenty-five years ago, on Christmas Eve, Soviet troops marched into Afghanistan with the aim of restoring order in a few months. Nine years later they withdrew amid continued violence. In their wake, civil war erupted and the Taliban rose to power, providing a haven to Al Qaeda.

Critics of the U.S. military effort in Iraq often cite the Soviet experience in Afghanistan as evidence that using foreign troops to put down an insurgency is bound to fail. But that "lesson" is misleading because it depends on a depiction of the Soviet-Afghan war that is downright inaccurate.

When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, they initially failed to protect their logistical and communications lines. But Soviet commanders quickly corrected these mistakes and brought in better troops, including helicopter pilots trained for mountain warfare. From mid-1980 on, the Afghan guerrillas never seized any major Soviet facilities or prevented major troop deployments and movements.

When Soviet generals shifted, in mid-1983, to a counterinsurgency strategy of scorched-earth tactics and the use of heavily-armed special operations forces, their progress against the guerrillas accelerated. Over the next few years, the Soviets increased their control of Afghanistan, inflicting many casualties - guerrilla and civilian. Had it not been for the immense support - weapons, training, materials - provided to the Afghan guerrillas by the United States, Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan, Soviet troops would have achieved outright victory.

Red Flag

Leftist hysteria continues: French schools to change 'mother & father' to 'parent 1 and 2' under new law

French schools are set to replace the words 'mother' and 'father' with 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2' following an amendment to a law which passed through French Parliament this week.

Comment: You have GOT to be kidding.

The new naming convention is ostensibly aimed at ending discrimination against same sex parents but critics argue that it "dehumanises" parenthood and may lead to rows over who gets classified as 'Parent 1.'

The amendment, passed Tuesday as part of a wider plan to build a so-called "school of trust," will also enforce mandatory school attendance for all three-year-olds.

"This amendment aims to root in law children's family diversity in administrative forms submitted in school," said Valérie Petit, MP for the majority REM party of President Emmanuel Macron.

Comment: And now you have more of an understanding why 80% of the French population supports a movement that wants to sweep the whole political class out of power.

Airplane Paper

Millions of Venezuelans sign Maduro's open letter to US with the message 'Hands Off Our Country'

letter us

Venezuelans queue to sign open letter to US government
The Grayzone breaks the media blockade inside Venezuela, amplifying the voices of people ignored by the corporate media. By Anya Parampil

Produced in partnership with MintPress News

The Grayzone reported from inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country.

Anya Parampil interviewed working-class Venezuelans in Simon Bolivar Square in the capital Caracas, on February 10, 2019.

Read the letter in full below.

Watch our report:

Comment: By February 8th, after just one day, two million Venezuelans had signed the letter, according to the Venezuelan government.

Quenelle - Golden

Yellow Vest spokesman hints at next stage: 'Paramilitaries are ready to overthrow the government'

Christophe Chalençon

Unofficial Yellow Vest spokesman Christophe Chalençon
The so-called Yellow Vest protests have been raging across France since mid-November, with the movement calling for the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron over his government's policies.

The official Twitter account of an Italian political show, Piazzapulita, released a video of an interview with a man they claim is Christophe Chalençon, one of the leaders of the yellow vests movement.

While the footage, apparently filmed on a hidden camera, shows only the legs of a man, he can be heard speaking about the ongoing unrest in France.

The man, who is alleged to be Chalençon, is heard saying that if anything happens to him, French President Emmanuel Macron would end up on the guillotine.

Comment: Correction: ...which are rapidly turned violent by the police, on Macron's orders. And no, the demonstrators are not "no longer reflecting the group's early demands." The demonstrators are 'the group', which are supported by an overwhelming majority of French people, this crooked poll notwithstanding. France really is that close to a reckoning, and the Italian government is wise to prepare for it.

Assuming that that is Chalençon making those statements, then he is by no means the first to voice similar. Macron's palace guard have had a helicopter on stand-by to airlift him out of the Elysée if necessary! Hundreds of former and current police and military personnel have posted videos online since early December 2018 discussing armed intervention of some kind or another. A dozen retired generals published a letter late last year demanding that Macron get control of the situation, or else...


Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The Meteor Connection

docks meteor
© Rachel Cook
On February 1, 2019 a bright meteor crossed the sky over Cuba just in the middle of the day. The phenomenon, that was followed by a "smoke trail" (a characteristic cloud left by the burn in the atmosphere of a meteoroid) and a sonic boom, was witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists in the region of Pinar del Rio (western side of the island).

Almost at the same time of the impact, a cruise ship was leaving the Havana harbor and on board, Rachel Cook, an American tourist and blogger, was making a timelapse of the undocking process. Without knowing, she was recording one of the few videos known to date of the falling meteor. Meanwhile, 400 km away, in Ft. Myers beach, Florida, a web cam of the EarthCam network was filming the midday activities in the beach. Luckily, the camera was aimed at the right direction to record the meteor from afar.

Just a couple of minutes after the event, social networks, especially Instagram and twitter, received a flood of tens of videos and pictures, taken from the island, most of them showing the smoke trail left by the meteor (see the image below). One of those videos was particularly interesting. It was recorded in one of the main streets of the city of Pinar del Rio, and showed tens of people in the street contemplating with awe the remnant cloud (see the video in this link). Although the video does not show the meteor, it was full of details about the place and time when it was recorded.

Comment: See also:


An Eccentric Tradition: The Paradox of 'Western Values'

moses painting
© Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn / Getty Images
Western values?
It is no secret that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a fan of Western values.

On more than one occasion he has lamented what he calls "the great Australian silence" - the neglect of "the Western canon, the literature, the poetry, the music, the history and above all the faith without which our culture and our civilisation is unimaginable."

Abbott's predecessor, John Howard, is also known as a stout defender of the Western tradition and its values, and he too worries that we are losing our connection to it: "When we think of our civilisation, we lack an integrated understanding of the contribution of the early Romans and Greeks, the framework of what is frequently called the Judaeo-Christian ethic."

Further afield, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has preached the importance of Christian values for Britain.

More recently, and perhaps unhelpfully for the cause, Donald Trump has jumped on the bandwagon. In a rare moment of coherence, Trump delivered a speech ahead of the 2017 G20 summit in Poland, urging the defence of "our values" and "our civilization."


Is there really such a thing as the "Judeo-Christian tradition"?

Ten commandments movie film drive-in
© J. R. Eyerman/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments, in 1958.
The notion of a "Judeo-Christian tradition" conceals the Western history of anti-Judaism, even when seeming to extol the virtue of Jewish identity.

These days, the term "the Judeo-Christian tradition" is most often meant to evoke "those religious, ethical, or cultural values or beliefs regarded as being common to both Judaism and Christianity." Obvious enough, perhaps. But then, when asked to specify what these religious, ethical, or cultural values or beliefs really are, we quickly find ourselves struggling.

So before asking what the term "Judeo-Christian tradition" means or what its particular "values or beliefs" are, we first need to ask what work the term "Judeo-Christian" is doing in the modern West?

It may come as a surprise to many that it has a very short history. In its current dominant meaning, it is virtually unknown before the Second World War, only really coming into vogue in the mid-1940s. If we look at the peaks and troughs of the usage of "Judeo-Christian" on Google Ngram ― which is useful here simply as a heuristic device ― we can see that from 1800 to 1935 the term is virtually non-existent. Then, we note two surges in its usage, from 1935 to 1951 and then again from 1962 to 2000, with peaks in 1942 and 1992. From 2000, its usage begins to climb again.


Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

macron may
It was billed politely as a Franco-German "compromise" when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin's blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called "compromise" was a rejection of Macron's proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country's ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Comment: Macron is siding with Trump on this because Trump's 'America First' agenda here coincides with the globalist agenda: against Russia. Macron is an Anglo-Saxon creature, a bankers' globalist, through and through. De Gaulle is rolling in his grave.


Totalitarianism: Investigation finds US police shoot 1,000 people dead every year

© Reuters / Elijah Nouvelage
A new investigation has revealed that no matter the circumstances, American cops shoot almost 1,000 people dead every year.

The line between life and death can be crossed in a split second, as was the case with 20-year-old Willie McCoy on Saturday night. Police came upon the amateur rapper sleeping in his car with a handgun on his lap outside a Taco Bell in Vallejo, California. Officers drew their weapons when McCoy stirred and woke up, and ordered him to "keep his hands visible."

When McCoy allegedly moved his hands towards his weapon, the officers opened fire. McCoy died on the scene.

Saturday's shooting was just one of the almost 1,000 fatal police-involved shootings that take place in the United States every year, according to data compiled by the Washington Post. As everything else changes, that number remains the same. 998 people were shot and killed by cops last year, up from 987 in 2017. 963 people were shot and killed by police in 2016, and 995 in 2015.

45 percent of these victims were white males, while 23 percent were black males. 96 percent of the victims were armed, half of these with guns, and 25 percent were in "mental distress" at the time of their shooting. Only five percent were women.

Comment: For comparison, Chinese police officers kill about 4 people per year.

In 2017, US police actually killed 1,147 citizens, according to the Mapping Police Violence report. Officers were charged with a crime in just 13 of these cases - about 1% of all killings.

Just in case American readers don't know this: it's not normal...