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Sat, 07 Dec 2019
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Puritan gatekeepers' wish to censor Paul Gauguin paintings demeans art

The Birth (Te tamari no atua)
© Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
The Birth (Te tamari no atua), 1896. Found in the Collection of Neue Pinakothek, Munich.
Paul Gauguin is under attack from supporters of post-colonialism and feminism because of his erotic paintings of Polynesian girls and women. Is censoring art of long-dead artists for moral reasons constructive?

Curators of the current display of Gauguin portraits at the National Gallery in London have not included any of his famous nudes, even though they could be described as portraits. Gauguin is in the firing line because of his erotic paintings of Polynesian women and his life, while living in Polynesia from 1891 until his death in 1903. The attacks come from supporters of post-colonialism and feminism. Academic post-colonial studies treat colonialism and all its products as irredeemably unjust; feminism is deeply hostile to any sexualised depictions of women by men.

Some criticism of Gauguin has been vicious: "He was, in almost every way, an absolute prick." "Exquisite art by the Harvey Weinstein of the 19th century," adds another review. The exhibition seems part artistic assessment and part historical trial.


Hostage rescued after "assailant" with axe storms game hall in Buchholz, Germany

germany police
There have been no immediate reports of casualties although ambulances were reportedly spotted at the site of the incident.

An unidentified assailant armed with an axe took one patron of a slot machine hall in the German city of Buchholz, in Lower Saxony, hostage at around 12 p.m. local time on 30 November, the online media outlet Nonstopnews reported.

An hour later, responding police units commenced the operation to free the hostage, with the perpetrator reportedly fleeing from them into the gaming hall's restroom. The person was later overpowered and arrested by police officers.

Comment: This is the latest in a recent spate of events to strike Europe in 48 hours:

Eye 2

Palestinians reel from violent harassment during Jewish celebration in Hebron

© Quds News Network
Thousands of settlers descended upon Hebron over the weekend, violently attacking Palestinians as they made their way through the city
More than a dozen Palestinians, including a baby, were injured over the weekend in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, when tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims descended on the city and many became violent.

According to local reports, extremist Israelis wreaked havoc on the city, verbally harassing and physically attacking Palestinian residents on their way to mark the occasion of "Chayei Sarah," a portion of Torah reading that discusses the life of Abraham's wife Sarah, who Jews believed is buried in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in Hebron's Old City.

Groups of settlers reportedly hurled rocks at Palestinian homes and businesses, while others engaged in physical altercations with Palestinian bystanders.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Wedding Rings

In the UK children of divorce are sticking at marriage, as divorce rate fallen to lowest for almost 50 years

holding hands

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today published data showing that there were 90,871 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2018, a decrease of 10.6% compared with 2017 and the lowest number since 1971.
Children of divorce are sticking at marriage, experts say, as official figures reveal that the divorce rate has fallen to the lowest for almost 50 years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today published data showing that there were 90,871 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2018, a decrease of 10.6% compared with 2017 and the lowest number since 1971.

Researchers also found that the percentage of marriages ending in divorce has been decreasing for those who have married since the mid-1990s.

The Divorce Reform Act 1969, which came into effect on 1 January 1971, made it easier for couples to divorce upon separation.

Following the publication of the latest divorce statistics, family lawyers claimed that the children of divorce are likely to want to avoid the trauma of splitting up their own families.

Zahra Pabani, family law partner at Irwin Mitchell said: "If divorce rates are dropping because of genuine happiness and relationships working out, then that is fantastic and should be lauded.


In defense of journalism

US Air Force B-1 Bomber
© Getty Images
A US Air Force B-1 Bomber separates from the boom pod after receiving fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker en route to strike chemical weapons targets in Syria.
It was lucky for the New York Times and the Washington Post that they did not uncover the Pentagon Papers or the Watergate Scandal in this unhappy age. They would have found themselves mercilessly beset by 'citizen journalists' denouncing them as tools of the Soviet Kremlin or the Red Chinese.

Perhaps the same self-appointed guardians of rectitude would also have gone through the past writings and sayings of the journalists involved, and found they were insufficiently loyal to the fashionable opinions of the time. It is a form of McCarthyism. And if you scoff at that, you have to ask yourself honestly if you would have recognized Joe McCarthy for what he was in his own time, or stood up to him, as so few actually did? How the junior senator for Wisconsin would have loved Twitter.

What they could not have done, of course, would have been to refute the devastating stories which these great newspapers brought into the daylight, with considerable courage. Because those stories were true. But even so, they might have frightened reporters and editors out of pursuing them. And in that case we would be living now in a darker and less truthful world.

Comment: Hitchens clearly has a lot wrong (his characterization of Putin and Assad, for one), but he gets the crux of the problem. But he should keep in mind that many 'citizen journalists' (Caitlin Johnstone comes to mind) who relentlessly pursue the truth and get it out there and act as a guard against 'consensus realilty'. Hitchens should be aware of the fact that, in today's politically charged climate, he's a dying breed - real journalism, that goes after the story regardless of the consequences to ideology, is hard to come by.

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Some upset that London Bridge terrorist who had just stabbed numerous people was killed by police

london bridge stabbing
Some people are upset that the London Bridge terrorist who was wearing fake explosives and had stabbed multiple victims was shot dead by police, arguing that he should have been arrested.

The attacker was apprehended by brave citizens who disarmed him of his weapon before police moved in to gun down the assailant.

This disturbed numerous leftists on Twitter who were upset that the terrorist was killed.

Comment: Conservatives are scoffing at the suggestion that the London Bridge incident was a false flag to cement support for the Conservative Party in the upcoming election. But Sott.net's Joe Quinn called this 3 weeks ago. Posted on Facebook:
"I'll make a little prediction now, that if there is another "Muslim terror attack" in the UK before the Dec. 12th general election, it will be pretty clear evidence that the British establishment, as represented (as always) by the Conservative party, uses "Muslim terrorism" to maintain their position in power.

Why? Because "Muslim terrorism" was THE reason that a majority of British people voted for Brexit. If that reason were to be brought back, front and center, it would likely swing a general election vote in favor of the Conservatives, with the people thinking that by voting for the Conservatives they are voting for "Brexit" (and an end to immigration) when they are merely voting for 5 more years of Conservative party rule (and the continued destruction of the NHS)."
For more on this developing story, see: Convenient London Bridge Terrorist Attack Occurs Two Weeks Before General Election

Arrow Up

South Carolina lawmaker proposes statewide ban on gender reassignment surgery for minors

© Shutterstock
A South Carolina State Representative has filed legislation that, if it were to pass, would ban gender reassignment surgery and/or treatment for minors. State Rep. Stewart Jones was inspired to take this action by the James Younger case in Texas, where the 7-year-old Texas boy's mother was gonna force him to undergo gender reassignment without the consent of the father, who said the boy doesn't even believe himself to be a girl.

Last month, we reported that Ginny Ehrhart, a Republican state representative in Georgia, wants to make it a felony to perform gender transition surgeries on minors. Since then, others with common sense in different states are following suit.

State Rep. Jones told the Post and Courier gender reassignment surgery has "almost been weaponized, and this is to protect children." Jones' legislation does not seek to ban gender reassignment surgery for legal adults over the age of 18. "For a child, it's a whole different matter," Jones says. "Somebody under 18, they can't buy cigarettes and alcohol, and so they shouldn't be able to have a sex change."

His bill, H. 4716, is designed to prevent kids from being pressured by adults with an agenda into having damaging, irreversible surgery, and punishes doctors who perform gender reassignment medical treatment. Here is what the bill states.

Comment: Amen!


Cyprus appoints investigator in Israeli-owned 'spy van' probe

According to WiSpear, the van was only in Cyprus for demonstration and field-testing purposes on company-owned devices and with the knowledge of local authorities.
spy van
© Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters
Israeli-owned Intellexa surveillance van ('spy-van') confiscated by Cyprus police
Cyprus police have enlisted the help of an independent criminal investigator in their investigation of a surveillance van owned by an Israeli intelligence veteran, according to the Washington Post.

Tal Dilian, the owner of the "spy-van," spent 24 years in the IDF in an elite combat unit and as chief commander in the technological unit of the IDF's Intelligence Corps and is now a multimillionaire surveillance-tech dealer, according to Forbes. Dilian co-founded Circles, a smartphone surveillance company, in 2010 and earned millions when the company was sold.

After a short hiatus, Dilian founded Intellexa, which aims to provide what Dilian called "the good guys" with the ability to hack and spy on encrypted communications. He wants the right balance to be found with citizens having privacy, but with authorities also still having the ability to spy on them. WiSpear, a Cypriot company that sells long range mission intelligence vehicles, is owned by Dilian as well.

The spy-van, a converted GMC ambulance equipped with millions of dollars of surveillance equipment, can access any phone with a 1-kilometer radius and read their WhatsApp messages, Facebook chats, texts, contacts and more from the phone. The tech in the van can also recognize your face wherever you travel, listen in on your calls, and locate all the phoneσ in an entire country within minutes, according to Dilian, adding that every 15 minutes, he can know where you are.

Comment: Here's the Forbes original article with the video they recorded in Dilian's offices in Cyprus, where Dilian is bragging about the surveillance capabilities of his van, which proves that trying to enter the van in Cyprus as "meteorological equipment" was clearly an act of deception on his part.

An Israeli intelligence veteran turned surveillance dealer steps out of the shadows... and his $9 million hacking van


'Seattle is Dying': Documentary of homelessness and drug problems in the city

Seattle is Dying
© KOMO News
Seattle Is Dying. It's a harsh title. Someone on social media even called it a "hopeless" title. I'll admit to you that I wrestled with the name for some time. Too dramatic, I wondered? Too dark? In the end I went with it because I believe it to be true. I believe that Seattle is dying. Rotting from within.
Seattle is Dying

Bordered by beautiful mountain ranges and gleaming waters, Seattle is one of the most desirable spots to live in the United States. According to Seattle is Dying, a documentary produced by the local KOMO news outlet, the appeal of the city is giving way to rampant crime, homelessness and disgrace.

After tackling issues related to homelessness and drug addiction in previous documentaries, the outlet decided to focus on how these elements impact the quality of life for residents and what can be done to curb the tide of despair that has gripped their beloved city.

The scope of the problem is distressing, and its visual evidence can be seen on nearly every corner. Junkyards hiding under overpasses, tents set up on the side of highways, disturbed members of the homeless community shouting obscenities on downtown streets.


Italian police seize guns & explosives, arrest 19 in another raid on 'new Nazi Party' organizers

nazi italy
© Reuters / Polizia di Stato Handout
Weapons seized in police raids on a far right group that planned to create a new Nazi party, in an unidentified location in Italy, November 28, 2019.
Police raids across Italy have exposed alleged efforts by ultranationalist militants to form a modern-day Nazi Party, making over a dozen arrests and uncovering a cache of military-grade firearms, explosives, and Nazi memorabilia.

The hardline activists sought to create an "openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic, anti-Semitic group" which they would dub the "Italian National Socialist Workers' Party," according to prosecutors based in Sicily, who have led the two-year investigation, codenamed "Black Shadows." Police in 16 towns in Sicily and Italy took part in the probe.

The weapons captured in the raids include military-style and hunting rifles, pistols, knives and even a crossbow. Police did not specify what type of explosives were found.

Comment: Of course they're related. And they're all under the heel of Western intelligence agencies. How else would they get hold of an unused, new French-made air-to-air missile?!

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