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Mon, 24 Feb 2020
The World for People who Think

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In case you had any respect left for the elderly, academics want to label old age a disease

Prominent academics are pushing for the World Health Organization (WHO) to include old age on its list of diseases. They say it will improve old people's lives - but in reality, it will give everyone the excuse to write them off.
Elderly man hospital
© Getty Images / Thomas Barwick

Comment: Not only are the sexes pitted against each other, the food we eat poisons us, the schools we attend indoctrinate us, and our health services make us sick - but now the only people who have attained wisdom are shunned and made to look like loonies. Now the state can further groom the younger generations into subservient adult-children.


Doctors for Assange warn he could be 'effectively tortured to death in prison'

Julian Assange Belmarsh Prison

Julian Assange is being held in Belmarsh ahead of a hearing on 24 February.
A group of doctors and psychologists has warned that Julian Assange could be "effectively tortured to death in prison".

The 117-strong group penned an open letter in The Lancet medical journal, calling for an end to what it described as "the psychological torture and medical neglect" of the WikiLeaks founder.

Mr Assange is being held in Belmarsh prison ahead of a hearing on 24 February which could result in him being extradited to the US.

The 48-year-old faces 18 charges in the US, including conspiring to hack into a classified Pentagon computer.

The letter says: "Assange is in a dire state of health due to the effects of prolonged psychological torture in both the Ecuadorian embassy and Belmarsh prison, where he has been arbitrarily detained according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Comment: More recent news on Assange's case:

Eye 1

Boy Scouts of America file for bankruptcy amid tsunami of child sexual abuse allegations

Boy Scouts of America
Faced with a tsunami of sexual abuse lawsuits from thousands of alleged victims, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for bankruptcy Tuesday in a bid to continue operating.

The organization, which just recently celebrated its 110th anniversary on February 8, listed its liabilities as between $100 million and $500 million, but its assets at $50,000 or less, per court documents filed in the Delaware bankruptcy court.

Due to the filing, all civil litigation against the organization has ground to a halt. Thousands of people had filed accusations that they faced abuse while they were scouts and myriad others had also been expected to come forward.

Los Angeles-based attorney Paul Mones, who represents hundreds of sexual abuse victims in individual lawsuits, described the bankruptcy filing as a "tragedy," according to CNN. He said:

Comment: From RT:
Boy Scouts of America are declaring bankruptcy, so they can afford to pay off thousands of still-uncompensated sex abuse victims. In a move both craven and irresponsible, however, they are staying open for business.

"Parents should be told the moment they're approached about signing their child up" that the Scouts are dealing with the fallout from a massive sex abuse scandal, comedian and social critic Lee Camp told RT on Tuesday.

"That way they can make an informed decision. They can think to themselves, 'On one hand my boy may be molested like thousands of boys have. On the other hand... he could learn how to whittle...Hmm, tough call.'"

Visiting Scouting.org, one comes away none the wiser that the organization is even having financial troubles, let alone wrestling with the guilt of covering up for predators for decades.

There's a very real risk that a parent signing their child up for scouting hasn't heard of the scandal, or isn't aware of its size and scale. Testimony from last April merely showed that the BSA knew about 7,800 former leaders who had sexually abused over 12,000 children. One attorney for the victims suggested that the scandal could be bigger than the one currently facing the Roman Catholic Church.

"Acting like the higher-ups didn't know this was going on is simply laughable," Camp added, suggesting "It's like Lance Armstrong claiming he didn't know why he kept winning every Tour de France."


Canada plans deportation of 96yo ex-SS death squad member as Russia probes 1942 massacre of disabled orphans

© Global Look Press
Canada started a deportation procedure for Helmut Oberlander, an ex-member of the dreadful SS Einsatzgruppe, whose death squad have slaughtered 214 disabled Soviet orphans back in 1942. The heinous crime is now probed by Russia.

"The deportation process has begun but it is far from over," Ron Poulton, a lawyer for Oberlander, told RIA Novosti, adding, "there is no extradition proceedings." The country's Supreme Court has previously upheld the decision to strip the man of Canadian citizenship over war crimes allegations.

It comes days after Russia's Investigative Committee requested Canadian criminal files related to the 96-year-old man who enlisted as an interpreter in the SS Sonderkommando 10A — part of the wider Einsatzgruppe D deployed to the south of the Nazi-occupied part of the Soviet Union.

Comment: Previously: Russia seeks Canada's aid in probing 95-yo Nazi death squad member over mass murder of vulnerable children

No Entry

Russia temporarily bans all Chinese visitors to prevent entry and spread of coronavirus

Russians evacuated China coronavirus
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree on Tuesday evening prohibiting Chinese citizens from entering Russia for tourism, work and for private purposes. The new rules are effective from Thursday.

The decision is the strongest measure yet taken to prevent the entry and spread of the new coronavirus in Russia. Previously, Russian Railways suspended all passenger traffic to and from China, and flights have been heavily restricted. In addition, border crossings in the Far East have been closed.

"From 00:00 local time on February 20, 2020, the passage of citizens of the People's Republic of China across the state border of the Russian Federation entering the territory of the Russian Federation for labor purposes, for private, educational and tourist purposes, is temporarily suspended," read a statement issued by the government's operational headquarters headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.

Additionally, from Wednesday Russia will temporarily stop issuing entry invitations to Chinese citizens for private and educational purposes.

Comment: The Chinese government is apparently fine with this:
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Russia's measures..., saying it had been informed in advance about the action through diplomatic channels.

"Russia stressed that it firmly supports China's fight against the epidemic and firmly believes that China will win the fight," spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

He added that Russia has taken some restrictive measures out of the need of its own prevention and control efforts, but these actions do not mean a total ban on personnel exchanges between the two countries.

"Temporary measures," he said. "Once the situation gets better, these measures will be adjusted and even withdrawn."

Geng also stressed that the two countries are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era, and China thanks Russia for its help and support amid the NCP outbreak.

The spokesperson also called on the international community to assess the epidemic situation in an objective and rational way, and adjust their restrictive measures at an early date to avoid any disturbance to normal personnel exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
Whether the virus is actually as dangerous as the WHO claims, or is just a tempest in a teapot, remains to be seen, but Russia is wise to take precautionary steps. And yet, despite conflicting assessments, it appears that much of the fear-mongering is just sensationalism. See:


American Civil Liberties Union has abandoned civil liberties for crowd-pleasing gestures, former director warns

© Global Look Press / Michael Candelori
ACLU doing something other than its job
The ACLU, once the flagship US civil liberties organization, has abandoned its post right when it's most needed. Unlike other groups that have sold out for political expediency, it can't be easily replaced.

Most Americans, if they've heard of the ACLU, know of the infamous 1977 case in which the organization, then dominated by New York Jews, defended the right of a fringe group of less than two dozen neo-Nazis to march in full swastika-speckled regalia through an area of Skokie, Illinois, heavily populated by Holocaust survivors. Laws the town had tried to pass to prevent the display were struck down as unconstitutional. While unpopular at first, the decision proved to be a PR coup demonstrating the ACLU would stand by its principles, no matter what. Americans couldn't ask for a more dedicated crew safeguarding their rights.

But former ACLU executive director Ira Glasser recently told UK outlet Spiked he doesn't think the ACLU would take the Skokie case again - certainly not after the hasty legal retreat they beat after defending the 'Unite the Right' marchers in Charlottesville. "They might take the same case for the Martin Luther King Jr Association, but they wouldn't take it for the Nazis," Glasser told the outlet on Friday.

Comment: See also:


Long-time Massachusetts Democratic lawmaker on ETHICS and RULES panels arrested for feeding gambling habit with campaign contributions

David M. Nangle massachusetts arrest
© Boston Globe/Getty Images/File
Rep. David M. Nangle speaks during a press conference in Boston, Feb. 6, 2014
Longtime Massachusetts state Rep. David Nangle, who sits on both the ethics and rules committees, has been arrested for corruption.

The Democratic lawmaker was arrested by the FBI and IRS on Tuesday and charged with bank fraud, lying to a bank, falsifying tax returns, and wire fraud. He stands accused of using his campaign's bank account to fund his expensive gambling habit, according to ABC News.

The 28-count indictment alleges Nangle "was heavily in debt, had poor credit and had regular cash flow problems as a result of extensive gambling at various casinos in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, among others — placing thousands of bets on internet gambling sites."

Comment: There isn't a jail sentence long enough to 'correct' this breed.

More details from ABC:
According to federal prosecutors, Nangle defrauded Massachusetts campaign finance regulators by "using the Nangle Committee bank account as his own personal checking account to pay for various personal expenses and to withdraw cash."

Prosecutors also detailed how exactly Nangle used his campaign funds to pay for a golf club membership, which he categorized as "Campaign Volunteers Appreciation," and charged the green fees and member dues as "fundraiser catering."

Separately, Nangle did not pay for up to $8,000 in renovations to his house, instead "handing the contractor his State Representative business card." Ultimately, the contractor, who was not named, was rewarded with "lucrative bids for construction projects for which Nangle had secured state funding."

In addition to his state representative's salary, Nangle also "consulted" for a local home improvement company while getting paid $10,000 and $17,000 for no real work at all.

"At the time Nangle had received the February 2015 payment, Nangle had provided no real estate consulting services...," the indictment says.

Sound familiar?

Nangle, also according to the indictment, used cars rented with money from his campaign account to travel to casinos all over New England, from New Hampshire to Connecticut.

He also set up a straw vendor for his campaign to pay, which was operated by a friend of Nangle's relative.

While applying for a bank loan, prosecutors say he committed bank fraud, by not listing or omitting the truth for not paying his debts, in one letter "falsely blamed his bad credit on his ex-wife, claiming that he had loaned her the money, which she did not pay back in a timely fashion, when in truth and fact, Nangle had spent thousands of dollars at NH Casinos 1 and 2, the RI Casino and CT Casino 2."

While filing faulty taxes, prosecutors allege that Nangle wrangled in a part-time state employee to help him, and when the person refused to submit the false tax returns, Nangle pushed the button and said that he would "take the blame if anything happens."

In addition, Nangle filed fraudulent deductions, prosecutors said, giving one example of Nangle driving 47,000 miles for the consulting company in one year, which prosecutors determined that he would have to drive 345 miles per day for 7 days per week for the entire year.


211.6 million gallons of sewage spilled into Florida town's waterways

Sewage spill
According to officials, around 212 million gallons of sewage has spilled into Fort Lauderdale's waterways over the last few months. That's enough sewage to fill a shocking 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

During December 2019, the south Florida city's sewer pipes broke six times resulting in the spilling of 126.9 million gallons of sewage. It was one of south Florida's biggest spills to date. In the end, the Tarpon River, the Himmarshee Canal, and the streets in three different neighborhoods were affected: Rio Vista, Victoria Park, and Coral Ridge.

And then from January 30 until February 8, 79.3 million gallons of additional sewage spilled into George English Lake while 5.4 million gallons flooded city streets.

City officials reportedly stopped the leak three days after it was discovered by installing a bypass line but later that same day another leak was found.


Man seeks release from prison 25 years into 60-year cannabis sentence in a legal state

Michael Thompson
"I can't die in here. For what? Some marijuana and some guns in a locked closet?"

For more than a year, cannabis has been legal in the state of Michigan and businesses across the state are making millions in the legal industry. However, tens of thousands of people are still incarcerated under charges relating to cannabis, despite its recent change in legal status.

Michael Thompson is one of those people. The 68-year-old is currently fighting for a shot to be released after spending the past 25 years in jail. Thompson was sentenced to 60 years in prison for cannabis distribution in 1996 — a sentence that would effectively keep him in jail for the rest of his life with no chance for parole until he is in his late 80s.

Two years ago, Thompson was denied clemency by former Gov. Rick Snyder, but he hopes his chances will be better now that cannabis is legal and now that there is a growing support movement on the outside.

Eye 1

As Weinstein verdict comes in, what has #MeToo wrought?

Film producer Harvey Weinstein
(L) Film producer Harvey Weinstein (R) #MeToo March on November 10, 2018 in Hollywood, California
Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is facing a reckoning for his 'casting couch' habits - but the #MeToo movement he triggered has not only empowered victims, it's grown into a weapon for politicians and culture warriors.

Weinstein was hauled before a Manhattan court last month, to answer a multitude of charges of rape and sexual assault. Over 100 women have gone on record accusing him of misconduct since actress Rose McGowan (Charmed) led the way in 2017, accusing the powerful producer of having raped her 20 years prior.

The jury begins deliberations on his verdict on Tuesday. Whether he is found guilty or acquitted, Weinstein's case has reverberated not just in Hollywood or the US, but globally, with far-reaching consequences on society, politics and relations between the sexes.

The 'casting couch' has long been one of Hollywood's worst-kept secrets. McGowan's allegations brought some of it out into the open, only to see Weinstein's powerful political friends weaponize the mounting #MeToo outrage for their own ends.

Comment: See also: West Point tackles 'toxic masculinity'