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Che Guevara

Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo

For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chàvez, who passed away today.

As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television. DVDs also available.

Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It's the oil. And it's the Koch Brothers - and it's the ketchup.

Reverend Pat Robertson said,
"Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
It was 2005 and Robertson was channeling the frustration of George Bush's State Department.

Despite Bush's providing intelligence, funds and even a note of congratulations to the crew who kidnapped Chavez (we'll get there), Hugo remained in office, reelected and wildly popular.

But why the Bush regime's hate, hate, HATE of the President of Venezuela?

Reverend Pat wasn't coy about the answer: It's the oil.
"This is a dangerous enemy to our South controlling a huge pool of oil."
A really BIG pool of oil. Indeed, according to Guy Caruso, former chief of oil intelligence for the CIA, Venezuela hold a recoverable reserve of 1.36 trillion barrels, that is, a whole lot more than Saudi Arabia.

If we didn't kill Chavez, we'd have to do an "Iraq" on his nation. So the Reverend suggests,
"We don't need another $200 billion war....It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Chavez himself told me he was stunned by Bush's attacks: Chavez had been quite chummy with Bush Senior and with Bill Clinton.

Che Guevara

In memoriam: Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's "El commandante Presidente"

Hugo Chavez, "El commandante Presidente", died one year ago on March 5th, 2013, after contracting an unusually aggressive form of cancer.

To commemorate the life of this unique man, we look back at some unforgettable moments from him.

Here is the speech Chavez made at the UN in 2006 when he called Bush "The Devil":

Bizarro Earth

Suffering? Well, you must deserve it

© AP/Mark Lennihan
People wait in line to enter the Northern Brooklyn Food Stamp and DeKalb Job Center in New York City in 2012.
Oxford, England - The morning after my Feb. 20 debate at the Oxford Union, I walked from my hotel along Oxford's narrow cobblestone streets, past its storied colleges with resplendent lawns and Gothic stone spires, to meet Avner Offer, an economic historian and Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History.

Offer, the author of "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain Since 1950," for 25 years has explored the cavernous gap between our economic and social reality and our ruling economic ideology. Neoclassical economics, he says, is a "just-world theory," one that posits that not only do good people get what they deserve but those who suffer deserve to suffer. He says this model is "a warrant for inflicting pain." If we continue down a path of mounting scarcities, along with economic stagnation or decline, this neoclassical model is ominous. It could be used to justify repression in an effort to sustain a vision that does not correspond to the real world.

Bad Guys

Children in long-term solitary confinement - Modern Medieval Dungeons

"Why lock somebody up while you're locked up? You're trying to kill their spirit even more," says Michael Kemp, describing his six-month stay in solitary confinement at age 17.

Solitary confinement was once a punishment reserved for the most-hardened, incorrigible criminals. Today, it is standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America. Far from being limited to the most violent offenders, solitary confinement is now used against perpetrators of minor crimes and children who are forced to await their trials in total isolation. Often, these stays are prolonged, lasting months or even years at a time.

Widely condemned as cruel and unusual punishment, long-term isolation for juveniles continues because it's effectively hidden from the public. Research efforts by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition have struggled to uncover even the most basic facts about how the United States punishes its most vulnerable inmates.

How can a practice be both widespread and hidden? State and federal governments have two effective ways to prevent the public from knowing how deep the problem goes.


Reminders of the BP oil spill evident at Mardi Gras

© Tony Giberson/tgiberson@pnj.com
Florida Department of Environmental Protection representatives Joey Whibbs, left, and Dom Marcanio , right, recover oil from a submerged tar mat Friday morning Feb. 28. 2013. Work crews began work to remove the submerged BP oil near Langdon Beach on Thursday. During the recovery effort more than a 1,000 pounds of oil was removed.
More than one million tourists have flocked to the South for Mardi Gras, and hundreds of thousands of those revelers have settled in for a few days along the Gulf Coast. Those who decided to enjoy the festivities along the Gulf of Mexico might be in for something they didn't expect: oil tar mats.

On Thursday of last week, workers on Pensacola Beach, Florida spotted and brought to shore a 1,200 pound oil tar mat, which officials say accounted for about 90% of the total size of the mat. While the bulk of the mat was a mixture of sand and other debris, scientists ran tests and were quickly able to determine that the oil in the mat was a perfect match for the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, as the Pensacola News Journal explains:
The weathered oil from the tar mat was confirmed to be MC-252 oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Although the waters of the Gulf of Mexico were once scoured regularly for residual oil from the spill, physical searches were phased out as the number of sightings began to dwindle.
In the summer of 2013, BP pulled their cleanup crews from the Gulf Coast, assuring residents and tourists alike that the oil spill was all cleaned up. A few months later, the U.S. Coast Guard made similar claims to the public.

Comment: See also The Day the Water Died: Detoxing after the Gulf Oil Spill:
"It is not in corporations' best interest to have science educate society about the true risks - the threat to life on earth - posed by side effects of their businesses. So these corporations buy scientists, university professors and others, to spin counter stories, create public confusion, and stall unfavorable policy changes.

"Whose truth are we talking about, your truth or my truth?" public relations specialist, John Scanlon, retorted to a reporter who had asked him whether he served his clients or the truth. Until science deals with its Achilles' heel of advocacy science,it cannot meet society's needs to protect life and we will continue to pollute our soil, air, and water, ourselves, and other life on this planet. Like lemmings,we are all racing towards the cliff. -Riki Ott, PhD., Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill."


Blame the Victim: Marissa Alexander to face 60 years

Marissa Alexander Poster
© Dignidadrebelde.com
A poster as part of the free marissa movement.

Marissa Alexander may face 60 years in prison for firing what she says was a "warning shot" at her abusive estranged husband, as the Florida State Attorney's office prepares to retry her on three counts of aggravated assault.

Alexander had been serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault when ajudge ordered she receive a new trial, finding that the jury instructions in her original trial were erroneous. Many of her supporters cheered the announcement, believing that the mandatory minimum 20-year sentence was overly harsh for Alexander, who tried unsuccessfully to use Florida's Stand-Your-Ground law in her defense.

Comment: We should note here that there has been a bit of a hullabaloo over Stand Your Ground Laws. In a nutshell, SYGLs mean you are NOT obligated to run away from an attacker. Which you'd think would be obvious, but apparently many people disagree with SYGLs on the basis that some psychos, like Dunn in the recent Davis case used SYGLs in their defense. This whole thing smacks of psycho elite mind games.

This woman did not KILL anyone. She did not HURT anyone. All she shot was a CEILING. 20 years in prison is UNACCEPTABLE. 60 years in prison is so INSANE I think I am going to spit fire and dance like Rumplestiltskin here.

People ask: But is living under a pathocracy so bad? This is why. She fired a shot at a ceiling as a warning to her estranged and abusive husband (for those of you not in the know, estranged means he wasn't sposed to be there.). And a bunch of Authoritarian psycho nincompoops think that this is going to send a statement about SYGLs. Some statement.

Light Saber

Russia's ban on GMOs - 80% of citizens oppose GMO creations

© Unknown
The US mainstream media has targeted the Sochi Olympic games possibly because Russia is going against the grain when it comes to GMO. There is talk of terrorists all over the elite-controlled media, but the real terrorists are the WTO, Monsanto, Dow, and Biotech.
Voice of Russia (VoR) is reporting that almost 80% of Russian citizens want to ban GMOs along with the legislative bill proposed by the United Russia Party which would make cultivating any GMO seed in the country illegal.

Russians understand that this corrupt technology can bankrupt farmers, poison people, and ruin the ecosystem. Their political and grassroots stance against GMOs is diametrically opposed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) which Russia recently joined, Monsanto, one of the largest GMO seed producers, and other powerful influences in the US and EU political landscape are trying to push GMO on the entire world.

If Russia wins their anti-GMO bill, this could sweep across the rest of Europe, single-handingly defeating GMO agribusiness. This could be the end of transgenic crops - and the powers who like to think they are running the food supply show would have to look for a new gig.
"The committee heard reports form scientists and representatives of the farming community, the Agriculture Ministry and related branches. We recommended suspending or, to be more exact, prohibiting the production and cultivation of GMO foods in Russia. We urged researchers to be more specific on GMOs and how they influence human health. Today, there is no need whatsoever for Russia to launch GMO production. I think that Russia should become a GMO-free country," the lawmaker told the Voice of Russia.
Russian law presently requires the labeling of all foods containing GMOs, and the country is principally considered to be GMO-free already due to the fact that Moscow, Belgorod, Kostroma, Nizhniy, Novgorod, Kurgan and many other cities have been declared GMO-free zones.


Slaying the bankster Goliaths? Richmond, eminent domain and your mortgage

Foreclosure Notice
© AlterNet
In a nearly $13 billion settlement with the US Justice Department in November 2013, JPMorganChase admitted that it, along with every other large US bank, had engaged in mortgage fraud as a routine business practice, sowing the seeds of the mortgage meltdown. JPMorgan and other megabanks have now been caught in over a dozen major frauds, including LIBOR-rigging and bid-rigging; yet no prominent banker has gone to jail. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of all mortgages nationally remain underwater (meaning the balance owed exceeds the current value of the home), sapping homeowners' budgets, the housing market and the economy. Since the banks, the courts and the federal government have failed to give adequate relief to homeowners, some cities are taking matters into their own hands.

Gayle McLaughlin, the bold mayor of Richmond, California, has gone where no woman dared go before, threatening to take underwater mortgages by eminent domain from Wall Street banks and renegotiate them on behalf of beleaguered homeowners. A member of the Green Party, which takes no corporate campaign money, she proved her mettle standing up to Chevron, which dominates the Richmond landscape. But the banks have signaled that if Richmond or another city tries the eminent domain gambit, they will rush to court seeking an injunction. Their grounds: an unconstitutional taking of private property and breach of contract.

How to refute those charges? There is a way; but to understand it, you first need to grasp the massive fraud perpetrated on homeowners. It is how you were duped into paying more than your house was worth; why you should not just turn in your keys or short-sell your underwater property away; why you should urge Congress not to legalize the MERS scheme; and why you should insist that your local government help you acquire title to your home at a fair price if the banks won't. That is exactly what Richmond and other city councils are attempting to do through the tool of eminent domain.


Behind the Headlines: All and Everything, Part 6: U.S. Government Shutdown, Ride for the Constitution, Cosmic Roulette

In the following SOTT Talk Radio show from October 20th 2013, we discussed high drama in high places, the all-too-brief rise and fall of the Ride for the Constitution protest in Washingotn, DC, ongoing climate chaos and incoming meteor fireballs from space.

We took a look at the contrived theatre of Republicrats dogging it out on the political stage in the first US 'government shutdown' in 20 years, while a drama unfolded in which a mother with her young child in her car was accused of "ramming the White House gates" and ended up riddled with bullets near the Capitol building.

Meanwhile spectacular fireball sightings throughout the Fall produced some notable overhead explosions in the U.S. You know folks are noticing that something is 'up' when Anderson Cooper dedicates an episode of 60 Minutes to the topic of "cosmic roulette"...

Running Time: 02:09:00

Download: MP3

Arrow Down

Early morning jogs banned in Central Park!

Peter Shankman
© Alex Rud for New York Daily News
Peter Shankman, who was ticketed for jogging in Central Park early Thursday morning, says the ticket is ridiculous. 'You’re writing me a summons for exercising?' he told the Daily News.
Sometimes I look at how NYC has been transformed in recent years and I just shake my head. It has become so similar to one of those elite communities in Huxley's Brave New World. Just a haven for cry baby bailed out bankers running amok, tossing their Fed provided fiat all over the place.

As I have said before, the city of my birth has become Disney Land for Wall Street, with the NYPD basically a private enforcement arm of JP Morgan and the TBTF banks.

To scared Manhattanites everywhere, fear not. The departure of Mayor Bloomberg has apparently done nothing to stop the city's evolution into full blown nanny-state.

The latest thing New Yorkers can't do is jog in Central Park early in the morning. Just to keep you peasants safe...

From the Daily News: