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Sat, 16 Oct 2021
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What If Iran...

Iran Nuclear Site
© Tom Mullen Net

As another "holiday" weekend draws to a close, Americans have again been bombarded with exhortations to thank the U.S. military establishment for their supposed freedom. This theme pervades all aspects of American culture. Uniformed military personnel are granted privileges on airlines, discounts at restaurants, hotels, and other business establishments. This past summer, I attended my daughter's dance recital at the Tampa Performing Arts Center. At the midpoint of the performance, men in uniform were rolled out onto the stage and a long tribute followed, including patriotic-sounding music and a special dance routine, with a pair of army boots spotlighted at the front of the stage. The militarization of American culture is inescapable. That no one seems to recognize the similarity between this cultural worship of the military and the same by another militarized society of not so long ago is truly horrifying.

It may not be fashionable to say so, but I am sick and tired of being told to thank the military. The idea that thanks is owed grows out of the inability of most Americans to recognize simple cause and effect relationships. As I've said before, Americans seem to be unwilling to ask themselves the most basic questions about precisely how U.S. wars have made them freer. What are the specific results that the U.S. military has either achieved or prevented in the past 70 years that have led to this supposed increase in freedom? How would we be less free if the U.S. government did not fight one or more of those wars? While I have dealt with this at length before, let me summarize briefly:
  1. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Korea.
  2. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Viet Nam.
  3. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Grenada (does anyone really take this one seriously?).
  4. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Somalia.
  5. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Kuwait.
  6. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Iraq.
  7. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan.

Bad Guys

Israel Shuts Down Dovish "All for Peace" Radio Station

Image
© AP
Broadcaster Eyal Raz, right, and producer Yarden Amir, left, work in the studio of the "All for Peace" radio station in east Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011.

Jerusalem -- Israel has ordered the shutdown of a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station, officials and the station's operators said on Sunday.

The station and other critics said the move was politically motivated, and part of a broader assault on democracy by conservative forces in the government.

Some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition have pushed forward a series of measures recently that critics say are aimed at stifling opponents.

Among the proposed legislation are attempts to block most foreign funding for dovish nonprofit groups, lowering the threshold for politicians to file libel suits against the media, and a push to shift control of Supreme Court appointments from an independent panel to parliament.

Bomb

Asian powers spurn German debt on EMU chaos

Asian investors and central banks have begun to sell German bonds and pull out of the eurozone altogether for the first time since the debt crisis began, deeming EU leaders incapable of agreeing on any coherent policy.

German BUNDS_01
© Alamy
German Bunds have already lost their status as Europe's anchor debt. The yields of non-euro Sweden are now 20 basis lower for the first time in modern history. Danish and UK yields are higher but have closed most of the gap over recent months.
Andrew Roberts, rates chief at Royal Bank of Scotland, said Asia's exodus marks a dangerous inflexion point in the unfolding drama. "Japanese and Asian investors are for the first time looking at the euro project and saying 'I don't like what I see at all' and fleeing the whole region."

"The question on everybody's mind in the debt markets is whether it is time to get out Germany. The European Central Bank has a €2 trillion balance sheet and if the eurozone slides into the abyss, Germany is going to be left holding the baby. We are very close to the point where markets take a close look at this, though we are there yet," he said.

Family

US: Gingrich: Laws preventing child labor are 'truly stupid'

Image
© Getty
Newt Gingrich proposed a plan Friday that would allow poor children to clean their schools for money, saying such a setup would both allow students to earn income and endow them with a strong work ethic.

Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the former House Speaker said his system would be an improvement on current child labor laws, which he called "truly stupid."

"It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in child laws which are truly stupid," Gingrich said. "Saying to people you shouldn't go to work before you're 14, 16. You're totally poor, you're in a school that's failing with a teacher that's failing."

Gingrich then proposed a system he said would help those students rise from poverty.

Star of David

Bibi's Official Genocide Policy

Israel control of Palestine
© Unknown
Much is made in the rush to war with Iran of Ahmadinejad's alleged saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map". I am not an Iranian speaker and not qualified to enter the debate as to whether that is, or is not, an accurate statement. I view Ahmadinejad as a thug anyway, irrespective of any linguistic quibble.

But it is quite astonishing that Netanyahu's declared, published and open intention to wipe the Palestinians from the map gets nil publicity in the west. The source for this is impeccable: Likud's party platform as presented on the website of the Knesset.

This is absolutely compulsory reading for anybody who was taken in by the opposition to Palestinain statehood "without negotiation" as explained by the Israeli stooges in western governments. This is the actual, official Israeli policy:
The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.

Eye 2

Down by Law: Vulture Funds Feeding on the Dispossessed

Vulture fund cycle
© Unknown
I am glad to see the renewal of interest in "vulture funds," where predatory elites buy up bits of the debt of impoverished nations from various creditors - at pennies on the dollar - then use the courts of the 'developed,' 'civilised' world to force the debtor to cough up the full amount, plus punitive interest payments. The Guardian is running a series of articles on this heinous practice (here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and CounterPunch has a good piece as well.

I wrote about vulture funds back in 2007. This was one of the many posts which were destroyed in the many hack attacks on the website. So I'm taking the opportunity to re-post it full here, as background to the new push to combat these avid feasters on human misery.

Stormtrooper

Occupy Oakland: footage shows police beating peaceful Iraq war veteran

Oakland police investigating after ex-marine Kayvan Sabehgi suffered a ruptured spleen in apparently unprovoked incident


The video shows Kayvan Sabehgi being hit numerous times by an officer clad in riot gear. Link to this video.

Video footage has emerged of a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran so hard that he suffered a ruptured spleen in an apparently unprovoked incident at a recent Occupy protest in California.

The footage, which has been shared with the Guardian, shows Kayvan Sabehgi standing in front of a police line on the night of Occupy Oakland's general strike on 2 November, when he is set upon by an officer.

Briefcase

The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of The Rest Of Europe

EU
© unkonwn
A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would "mean more Europe, not less Europe". Well, now we are finding out. A leaked internal German government memo entitled "The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union" actually proposes the creation of a "European Monetary Fund" which would be given the power to run the economies of troubled European nations. This "stability union" would be quickly followed by the creation of a full-fledged "political union". Essentially, this leaked memo proposes the creation of a "European Superstate" which will be crammed down the throats of the rest of Europe whether they like it or not. National sovereignty would be a thing of the past and European bureaucrats would run everything. Of course this will never be accepted by the people of Europe until they feel the bitter pain of the coming financial collapse, but we are starting to see that there is already a clear plan for what the Germans wish to implement in the aftermath of the coming crisis.

Vader

Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI 'entrapment' questioned

FBI
© Somodevilla/Getty Images
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots

David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.

Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.

His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. "Newburgh is a hard place," she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down military jets with missiles.

Even more shocking was that the organisation, money, weapons and motivation for this plot did not come from real Islamic terrorists. It came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks for help in carrying out an attack. For McWilliams, her own government had actually cajoled and paid her beloved nephew into being a terrorist, created a fake plot and then jailed him for it. "I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone," she told the Guardian.

Handcuffs

New Law By Obama To Jail 500,000 American Citizens Or More For The Crime Of Opposing Their Government.

quiet
© Unknown
Foreign Ministry reports circulating in the Kremlin today are warning that an already explosive situation in the United States is about to get a whole lot worse as a new law put forth by President Obama is said capable of seeing up to 500,000 American citizens jailed for the crime of opposing their government.

Sparking the concern of Russian diplomats over the growing totalitarian bent of the Obama government is the planned reintroduction of what these reports call one of the most draconian laws ever introduced in a free society that is titled "The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act".

First introduced in the US Congress in 2007 by Democratic Representative Jane Harmon, this new law passed the US House of Representatives by a secretive voice vote, but failed to pass the US Senate, after which it was believed dead until this past week when it was embraced by Obama who became the first American President to name his own citizens as a threat to his Nations security.