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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Rachel Maddow: Corporate shill for the oligarchs

I was surprised to see an old photo going around late last week in the Green Party circles I'm in showing Jill Stein dining with, among others, Vladimir Putin. Green Party folks are sensitive creatures, so my momma bear hackles got raised right away because they were so distressed in their search for an explanation for why their lady was seen fraternizing with the corporate media's current official supervillain. I had already seen the photo because it had previously been used to smear Jill Stein during the lead-up to the general election in the days when McCarthyist red-baiting was still a shocking new thing that stuck out like a sore thumb, before it hit the ubiquitous perpetual shriek that it's at today. Not everyone's a progressive news junkie though, so for many this photo was a startling revelation.

I figured someone must have brought it back into mainstream circulation, and I figured who that person probably was. There's no public figure who's been such a virulently Russophobic nutcase and so relentlessly aggressive in their attacks upon third parties as one Rachel Anne Maddow.


Citizen militia in US experiences explosive growth following last election

Until the 1990's, civilian run volunteer militias weren't all that common in the United States. They were the fringe of the fringe in our culture. But after Waco and Ruby Ridge, their ranks swelled and they became a common subject in the news and in pop culture. Their numbers fell again under President Bush, and then grew to new heights under President Obama.

It's an obvious pattern. Conservative militias multiply like crazy under Democratic presidents, and for good reason. When Democrats take the reigns of government, they always threaten to restrict gun ownership. They then decline under Republican administrations, when conservatives don't feel as threatened.

However, there may be a new trend emerging. CBS Atlanta recently did a piece on a militia called the Three Percenter Security Force (which obviously showed them in slightly negative light, given the source). The organization is run by Marine Corps veteran Chris Hill, who says that their membership has grown from a few dozen, to roughly 400 members since November. The Marine told CBS that the militia would protect the Second Amendment under any administration, and that "The government or law enforcement agencies, disarming people, it's a constant threat."


The last time this occurred in stock markets an epic crash followed

The Dow Jones continues to hit record highs and yesterday it reached a milestone not seen since January of 1987.

Back then, the band Starship was at the top of the charts with their hit song Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, which appears to also be the rallying cry of Wall Street, Main Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue today.

Of course, for those who are familiar with their history, that year didn't end up so well for investors. On 'Black Monday', October 19th, 1987, the U.S. stock market suffered the largest crash in history with the Dow Jones losing 22.6% in value, amounting to roughly $500 billion in losses by the end of the trading day.

Comment: Former budget director for the Reagan Administration agrees, and says a lot more about how possible a true economic turn-around is. And it ain't pretty.

Life Preserver

True humanitiarians: Russia delivers another 17 tonnes of aid to Syria

© Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin
Russia has delivered 17 metric tons of humanitarian cargo to Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

A Russian Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter has delivered 17 metric tons of humanitarian cargo to Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday.

"Il-76 transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces has delivered humanitarian aid (food products, clothes, items of first necessity) provided by the Russian Federation. Total weight of the humanitarian cargos has reached 17 tons," the ministry's Center for Syrian reconciliation said in a daily bulletin.

Comment: Russia has been routinely delivering humanitarian aid to Syria for quite some time:


South Korean prosecutors to file charges against Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong on Monday

© AFP 2016/ JUNG Yeon-Je
Special prosecutors of South Korea plan to file charges against Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., over corruption scandal on February 27, local media reported on Sunday.

The prosecution plans to indict Lee, former presidential aide Woo Byung-woo and several other suspects on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported citing unnamed sources.

According to the media, special prosecutors questioned Lee for the second day straight on Sunday on suspicion of bribing President Park Geun-hye's friend Choi Soon-sil in return for state support of a controversial merger.

Comment: For more information:


Large sewage spill into the Tijuana River, Mexico, fouls air and ocean north of the border

Imperial Beach, California
Officials in Southern California are crying foul after more than 140 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Tijuana River in Mexico and flowed north of the border for more than two weeks, according to a report. The spill was caused Feb. 2 during rehabilitation of a sewage collector pipe and wasn't contained until Thursday, the International Boundary and Water Commission said in its report released Friday. The river drains into the Pacific Ocean on the U.S. side.

Serge Dedina, the mayor of Imperial Beach, California, said residents of his city and other coastal communities just north of the border have complained about a growing stench. Dedina criticized federal officials in the U.S. and Mexico for not alerting people to the spill.

Comment: This reoccurring sewage crisis has a history of ongoing negligence. As one example of many, in April, 2012, another ruptured pipeline dumped 2M gallons of raw sewage into the ocean from the Tijuana River, closing adjacent beaches because of high bacteria counts. A sewage treatment plant, built to solve this problem, unfortunately does not capture subsequent sewage flows having been brilliantly located outside the regulatory reach and without enforcement action. For the public involved, this stinks.


Tweet war: London mayor backtracks after likening Scottish nationalism to racism

© Getty Images
London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan sparked a row in tweets preceding his latest speech by implying Scottish nationalism is akin to racism. He was forced to backpedal after Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, slammed his remarks as "spectacularly ill-judged."

"The last thing we need now is to pit different parts of our country or sections of our society against each other - or to further fuel division or seek separation. There's no difference between those who try to divide us on the basis of whether we're English or Scottish, and those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race, or religion," Khan said in tweeted remarks preceding his speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Perth on Saturday. He also implied that a new Scottish independence referendum would be destabilizing. "The world is an increasingly divided place - with Brexit, the election of President Trump and the rise of populist and narrow nationalist parties around the world," he said.

Comment: Those who need to express frustrations will choose any opportunity to express their angst and any target upon which to focus it.


I'm waiting for Google to explain why they deleted Natural News

As many of you know by now, Google deleted Natural News, owned by Mike Adams, from its listings.

When you type in "Natural News," you get "Natural.News" instead, a different and tiny site also owned by Mike Adams.

Various people have speculated about Google's reasons. All Google has to do is print an explanation. Where is it?


Eye 1

Meet the terrorist behind the next "Day without a Woman" march

© Getty Images
Here's the left's next great idea for bringing down President Trump: another women's march. Which means another public instance of Trump haters shouting slogans to one another and mistaking it for constructive politics. What progressives need to defeat Trump is outreach, but all they have is outrage.

On March 8, organizers seem to be aiming for a different vibe than the librarians-in-pussy-hats element that made the first women's march after Trump's inauguration so adorable.

Instead of milling around Washington, organizers have in mind a "general strike" called the Day without a Woman. In a manifesto published in The Guardian on Feb. 6, the brains behind the movement are calling for a "new wave of militant feminist struggle." That's right: militant, not peaceful.

Comment: See also:

No Entry

4K ISIS victims buried in mass grave in Iraqi desert

© Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP
A member of the Iraqi forces checks a mass grave in the Hamam al-Alil area on November 7, 2016.
The bodies of some 4,000 Islamic State victims have been buried in the Khasfa sinkhole in Iraq's desert, making it the country's largest mass grave, according to locals, police, and activists, as cited by The Telegraph.

The sinkhole is located near the Baghdad-Mosul highway, only eight kilometers from Mosul, the daily reports.

Witnesses and police, as well as human rights organizations, say that Islamic State (IS, Daesh, formerly ISIS/ISIL) murdered and dumped the bodies of thousands of Iraqi troops into the sinkhole after they captured Mosul three years ago.

The majority were shot and thrown into the pit, locals said.

"Daesh would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pickups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded. They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head," 40-year-old local villager Mahmoud told The Daily Telegraph.

Comment: See also: Hidden hells of ISIS: Thousands of bodies found in 72 mass graves as images reveal the shocking scale of industrial-scale murder