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Thu, 29 Jul 2021
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Israeli settlers torch Palestinian trees

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Israeli settlers set olive trees on fire in the village of Burin in West Bank, 29 July, 2011.
Israeli settlers have set olive trees in the West Bank village of Burin on fire, in another attempt to target a key product of the Palestinian economy.

On Friday, settlers torched the trees and later Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at the fire trucks attempting to reach the scene, witnesses said.

The Palestinian Authority affairs official Ghassan Doughlas explained that the fire raged throughout the day as firefighters were unable to arrive at the scene, Ma'an News Agency reported.

Witnesses further said that the clashes between Israelis and the villagers erupted as the Israeli soldiers began firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military said the soldiers had only used "regular riot dispersal means" to put an end to the clashes, stressing that they had not used live ammunition.

Bad Guys

The Essential Rules Of Tyranny

Rules of Tyranny
© Alt-Market.com

As we look back on the horrors of the dictatorships and autocracies of the past, one particular question consistently arises; how was it possible for the common men of these eras to NOT notice what was happening around them? How could they have stood as statues unaware or uncaring as their cultures were overrun by fascism, communism, collectivism, and elitism? Of course, we have the advantage of hindsight, and are able to research and examine the misdeeds of the past at our leisure. Unfortunately, such hindsight does not necessarily shield us from the long cast shadow of tyranny in our own day. For that, the increasingly uncommon gift of foresight is required...

At bottom, the success of despotic governments and Big Brother societies hinges upon a certain number of political, financial, and cultural developments. The first of which is an unwillingness in the general populace to secure and defend their own freedoms, making them completely reliant on corrupt establishment leadership. For totalitarianism to take hold, the masses must not only neglect the plight of their country, and the plight of others, but also be completely uninformed of the inherent indirect threats to their personal safety. They must abandon all responsibility for their destinies, and lose all respect for their own humanity. They must, indeed, become domesticated and mindless herd animals without regard for anything except their fleeting momentary desires for entertainment and short term survival. For a lumbering bloodthirsty behemoth to actually sneak up on you, you have to be pretty damnably oblivious.

The prevalence of apathy and ignorance sets the stage for the slow and highly deliberate process of centralization. Once dishonest governments accomplish an atmosphere of inaction and condition a sense of frailty within the citizenry, the sky is truly the limit. However, a murderous power-monger's day is never quite done. In my recent article 'The Essential Rules of Liberty' we explored the fundamentally unassailable actions and mental preparations required to ensure the continuance of a free society. In this article, let's examine the frequently wielded tools of tyrants in their invariably insane quests for total control...

Bad Guys

US: Who Are The Extremists?

"Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers." - Ron Paul
The Extremists?
© The Burning Platform
The Debt Ceiling Reality Show approaches its grand finale in the next week. The world breathlessly awaits the shocking conclusion. The debt ceiling will be raised. The world will be saved. Wall Street will rejoice. Americans can focus on the important stuff again, like Casey Anthony's upcoming book, who will win this week's Toddlers and Tiaras pageant, and the latest app created for their iPads. Based on my observations over the last few weeks, I'm absolutely sure that 90% of the politicians in Washington DC would lose on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Still, the mainstream media and the performing puppet politicians need to create a fearful frenzy among the masses to insure maximum public relations exposure for their lies, misinformation, and mistruths. Wall Street will exert their control over the debate by threatening to crash the market if they don't get what they want (aka TARP). I generally ignore the talking heads on Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC, as I could learn more from watching Cash Cab than listening to ideologues spouting their talking points. But, last night I happened to see an hour or so of Fox, CNN and MSNBC. I saw the full spectrum of right wing and left wing rhetoric and fear mongering. These stations should be ashamed to call themselves news organizations. They do not even purport to report the news. They spew talking points generated by the left and right, depending on the station's bias. Truth is unavailable on the mainstream media.

What the public doesn't see is the rooms filled with PR maggots in the bowels of Congress generating talking points and testing them in over night polls of the public. Their sole purpose is to generate a message that will convince the public the fiscal debacle is the fault of the other party. The goal is to gain an advantage in the next elections. The long term future of our country is unimportant to the soulless autobots that get paid to misinform and mislead the masses. Leaving unborn generations with an un-payable debt so we can selfishly cling to benefits promised to us by corrupt politicians who only made the promises so they could be elected, is the ultimate in egocentric myopia.

Bad Guys

'Land Grabs Threaten Africa Food Security'

Land Grab
© Seed Daily
Large land grabs by foreign countries and corporate entities are endangering food security in sub-Saharan Africa, an area already under pressure from famine, drought and endemic conflict, the State of the World 2011 report said.

The report didn't outright oppose large land transactions, reported both in Africa and Latin America but called for "fairer deals" to ensure better opportunities for African farming communities marginalized by the transactions.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of international investor funds, including hedge and pension funds, are known to have gone into the massive land deals on the two continents.

Unless properly managed, large-scale land acquisitions by foreign governments and firms could trigger "xenophobia, riots, coups and more hunger," the report warned.

Gear

And No One Finds It Interesting and Highly Suspicious? Mystery Surrounds Loss of Records, Art on 9/11

Image
© AP Photo/National September 11 Memorial & Museum
In this undated photo provided by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a damaged photographer's proof sheet, with photos of William DeCosta, the aviation Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is shown. The document was found by a recovery worker a few blocks away from ground zero and he eventually traced it to DeCosta, who continued to work for the Port Authority until his death about 2 years ago. Besides ending nearly 3,000 lives, destroying planes and reducing buildings to tons of rubble and ash, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks destroyed tens of thousands of records, irreplaceable historical documents and art.
Letters written by Helen Keller. Forty-thousand photographic negatives of John F. Kennedy taken by the president's personal cameraman. Sculptures by Alexander Calder and Auguste Rodin. The 1921 agreement that created the agency that built the World Trade Center.

Besides ending nearly 3,000 lives, destroying planes and reducing buildings to tons of rubble and ash, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks destroyed tens of thousands of records, irreplaceable historical documents and art.

In some cases, the inventories were destroyed along with the records. And the loss of human life at the time overshadowed the search for lost paper. A decade later, dozens of agencies and archivists say they're still not completely sure what they lost or found, leaving them without much of a guide to piece together missing history.

Eye 2

Norway Attacks Expose U.S. Media's Double Standard on "Terrorism"

Numerous news outlets and commentators initially blamed the attacks in Norway on Islamic militants. Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper, The Sun, ran a front-page headline that read, "'Al-Qaeda' Massacre: Norway's 9/11." In the United States, Murdoch's Wall Street Journal also initially blamed "jihadists," reporting that "Norway is targeted for being true to Western norms." Meanwhile, on the Washington Post's website, Jennifer Rubin wrote, "This is a sobering reminder for those who think it's too expensive to wage a war against jihadists." To discuss the media coverage of the attacks, we're joined by Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger who has written about the media coverage of the attacks in Norway for Salon.com. "When it became apparent that Muslims were not involved and that, in reality, it was a right-wing nationalist with extremely anti-Muslim, strident anti-Muslim bigotry as part of his worldview, the word 'terrorism' almost completely disappeared from establishment media discourse. Instead, he began to be referred to as a 'madman' or an 'extremist,'" says Greenwald. "It really underscores, for me, the fact that this word 'terrorism,' that plays such a central role in our political discourse and our law, really has no objective meaning. It's come to mean nothing more than Muslims who engage in violence."


Dollar

Max Keiser: 'America will lose its sovereignty'

us debt
© opposingviews.com
The countdown to armadebtdon carries on and we are just 3 days away from the debt ceiling deadline. If a discussion is not reached will the US lose its AAA rating? The problem is we are not taking in enough revenue to continue spending like we are. Max Keiser of Keiser Report gives us his insight on what that means to the US.

Bad Guys

US debt crisis: Wall Street warns feuding politicians

NYSE
© Lucas Jackson/REUTERS
Difficult days: a flag flies outside the New York Stock Exchange building in New York.
Chief executives of major banks write to the White House warning that failure to break deadlock would be 'very grave'

Wall Street's stark message to President Barack Obama on Thursday was that failure to end the war between Democrats and Republicans over US debt would smash business confidence, cripple the economy and send financial markets plunging.

Chief executives of all the major banks wrote to the White House warning that a continued deadlock over raising the debt ceiling "would be very grave".

With the 2 August deadline rapidly approaching and a vote in the House of Representatives scheduled on Thursday night, the bankers said they wanted to see "meaningful and concrete steps to put our nation on a sound fiscal footing".

The warning from Wall Street came amid renewed concerns over the fate of the eurozone, with bond yields in Italy and Spain back to the levels seen before the debt package for struggling members of the single currency was agreed a week ago and Cyprus starting to look like the next country in need of a bailout.

Signed by Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, the letter said: "Our economic recovery remains very fragile. A default on our obligations, or a downgrade on America's credit rating, would be a tremendous blow to investor confidence - raising interest rates for everyone who borrows, undermining the value of the dollar and roiling stock and bond markets - and, therefore, dramatically worsening our nation's already difficult economic circumstances."

Bad Guys

US: This Country Defaulted Long Ago

"There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved." - Ludwig von Mises
Drowning Liberty
© The Burning Platform
The final collapse of our credit expansion boom approaches. We have a choice over the next week. We could voluntarily abandon further credit expansion by voting for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution or we can raise the debt ceiling, pretend to cut spending far in the future, and allow our currency system to experience a catastrophic final collapse.

We'll take what's behind door #2 Johnny. The vested interests in Washington DC and Wall Street only care about power and wealth. They will never abandon credit expansion. It's their drug. They must have it. They are addicted to it. They will keep injecting it into our system until they overdose America.

Star of David

Israel: A Strike Against Free Speech

Boycott Israel
© Unknown
Free speech in Israel was dealt a severe blow this month when the country's Parliament passed antiboycott legislation that targets individuals or organizations publicly calling for a boycott against Israel or any area under its control.

Because I believe in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes and lands in 1948, I support boycotting - and calling on others to boycott - all Israeli companies that help perpetuate these injustices.

But this new legal limit on free speech could bankrupt me.

Israeli officials will not throw me in jail for publicly supporting such boycotts, but settler groups can claim financial damages without even having to show any harm done. Furthermore, organizations supporting boycotts could be denied tax-deductible contributions and state funding. This week, I appealed the law to the high court.

Already, a member of the Knesset, our Parliament, Alex Miller, has threatened to sue me for my words - specifically my call, which I continue to make today, to boycott the illegal Jewish settlement of Ariel. Such a call would be unremarkable in a proper democracy with untrammeled free speech. The right to criticize a population that has dispossessed Palestinians and discriminated against us for decades should be protected speech.