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Tue, 12 Dec 2017
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Something, something ... Tax Cuts For The Rich

Croesus and Solon
© FineArtAmerica.com
Croesus and Solon by Johann Georg Platzer. A story worth reading.
Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie. - Miyamoto Musashi
Writing about taxes is slightly less fun than being spit roasted by someone with cerebral palsy. Reading what someone wrote about taxes is probably akin to being tied to a chair with toothpicks holding your eyelids open and being forced to watch.

People used to like money. We all talk about the death of capitalism. Capitalism is dying, but not from flaws in its ideological substrata, but of fiscal ennui - no matter what the left says, greed is just too vital for modern capitalism. What we really have is the lethargic gluttony of crass consumerism. Can you blame the West? All those ratios and percentages, and progressive pass-through limited partnerships and blah blah blah. Greed used to be sexy, now whining about the 1% while twirling your dreadlocks in between puffs of medical marijuana is sexy.

Greed is dead.

Map

Ireland, UK and Brussels reach Brexit agreement: No hard border for Northern Ireland, which effectively remains in EU

brexit scrabble
'Brexit' just took an interesting turn. After all-night talks between Irish, British and EU leaders, a deal was reached Friday morning, after which British Prime Minister Theresa May said at a press conference in Brussels that there will be "no hard border" between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, along the Northern Irish border.

Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar hailed the agreement as "politically bulletproof" after Britain promised to "maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support north-south cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 [Good Friday] agreement".

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The Health & Wellness Show: Consumerism is Consuming Us!

Image
It's that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us and for many so is the pressure to shop. Gotta find that perfect present? Maybe a little something for yourself?

What drives our desire to shop? Are we manipulated by the sophisticated propaganda of advertising? Does a seductive media convince us with its illusion of consumer happiness?

Consumption means acquiring and using goods and services to meet one's needs, yet consumerism is our particular (and peculiar) relationship to consumption, in which we seek to meet our emotional and social needs through shopping, defining and demonstrating our self-worth through the stuff we own. Does this sound like the basis of a happy and fulfilled populace?

Join us on The Health and Wellness Show as we discuss consumerism: the consumption that is consuming us. How can we navigate our daily lives without buying into the lies that we are exposed to every moment of the day? And stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment, where she talks about the psychic power of pets!

Running Time: 01:36:11

Download: OGG, MP3


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Cow

FBI Lies and Coverups on Trump 'Dodgy Dossier' Exposed at House Judiciary Committee Hearing, Mainstream Media Ignores It

Chrisopher-Wray
Trump recently tweeted that the FBI's "reputation is in tatters". Some may put that down to more unsubstantiated mud slinging by a President who is under investigation by the same FBI for 'colluding' with the Russians. Yet anyone with two neurons firing knows that the entire 'Russia collusion' circus that has embroiled the Trump administration since before the inauguration is just that, a circus, a manufactured 'scandal' by the US 'deep state' that has nothing to do with any actual 'Russian collusion' or 'hacking of the US Presidential election'. Instead, it is a desperate attempt by the US deep state to achieve two linked objectives: 1) prevent Trump from doing what he stated he intended to do after he was elected: improve US relations with Russia, 2) tarnish Russia's good name in the international community and thereby 'contain' the only country that today presents a direct threat to failing US global hegemony.

Those are the facts, dear readers, but if you only read the Western mainstream press, you could be forgiven for being completely unaware of those facts and languishing under the false belief that Trump is some kind of treasonous criminal. Thankfully, this cynical setup by elements of the US deep state, which is dominated by the US intelligence agencies, is gradually being exposed for what it is.

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Armageddon? World Reacts to Trump's Jerusalem Decision - Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah Warn of New Intifada

Ramallah
© Abbas Momani / AFP
Palestinian protesters take cover from tear gas during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on December 7, 2017
Yesterday, Trump made good on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Given that the whole world (minus Israel) is against him - along with international law - he moderated his decision slightly by delaying the decision to move the U.S. embassy there for six months. Predictably, his decision has been unanimously condemned by pretty much everyone not a raving Zionist - and that includes so-called allies of the U.S. (again minus Israel).

As Piers Morgan put it yesterday in the Daily Mail,
"Today, President Donald Trump has taken a million-ton barrel of oil and tipped it all over the Middle East."
Russian MPs made similar comments:
"Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and the plan to relocate the US embassy [in Israel] to this city is a continuation of a string of provocations in American foreign policy, which we are continuously witnessing in relation to Syria, Iran and North Korea, among others," said Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma Committee for International Relations, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday. The lawmaker also noted in his comments that Trump's move could potentially "explode the situation in the zone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Head of the Upper House Committee for Information Policy, Senator Aleksey Pushkov, wrote on Twitter that the US president's decision was a global shock with potentially dire consequences. "The whole world except for Israel is in a state of shock because of Trump's decision. He has brought a new fuse to the old powder keg. I am confident that this is not the last shock," he said.
Dmitry Peskov gave the Kremlin's reaction:
"What is to be done? We have to continue to search for a diplomatic solution, though, the situation definitely became complicated." The Russian ambassador to Israel reaffirmed that Jerusalem's status will not be determined by some guy in the U.S., but rather as agreed upon in "direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations".

Russian Flag

Syrian and Russian Forces Have Completely Destroyed ISIS in Syria, US Says it Plans to Remain

Russia in Syria
More than six years after the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar sowed the seeds that led to a brutal conflict in Syria that killed upwards of 400,000 Syrians and caused millions more to flee their homes - causing a massive immigration problem for Europe in the process - the Russian General Staff has declared that all of Syria has been liberated of ISIS fighters.

"All terrorist units of ISIS on Syrian soil have been destroyed, and the territory is liberated. Therefore, as of today, there is no territory controlled by ISIS in Syria," Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov reported Tuesday. Senior military officer Sergei Rudskoi provided more details, saying that, "There is not a single village or district in Syria under the control of ISIL. The territory of Syria has been completely liberated from fighters of this terrorist organisation."

Newspaper

The US-Inspired Olympic Ban on Russia: Another Pyrrhic Victory for the Ailing Empire of Chaos

russia ban olympics

USA: 'No Russians allowed because the world is OURS!'
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) most recent results (2014), the leading sports doping offenders are as follows: Russia (148), Italy (123), India (96), Belgium (91), France (91), Turkey (73), Australia (49), China (49), Brazil (46) and South Korea (43).

What hasn't been made clear is that these figures encompass all sports, not just Olympic sports
. As an example, of Australia's 49 offenses, 20 of them came in Rugby League. Should that be used in deciding whether or not to ban Australia from competing in the Olympics? Obviously not.

What also hasn't been made clear is that it is irrelevant to look at the absolute number of transgressions of any nation in making a decision on whether or not to impose a ban. We would expect the US, for example, to have a much higher number of athletes caught doping than Fiji because the US has far more athletes than that tiny nation. Likewise, it makes sense that Russia would have more athletes caught doping than, say, Bolivia.

Play

John Kerry admits that Russia entered Syrian war to stop ISIS, U.S. used ISIS to pressure Assad

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
© Brendan Smialowski / Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Back in late September, the New York Times published an interesting piece: Audio Reveals What John Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors. (PolitRussia's Ruslan Ostashko commented on it here.) But the NYT piece left out THE most damning statements made by Kerry. The full video is below, followed by one of the biggest revelations:

26:09: "I mean, the reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger. Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus and so forth. And that's why Russia came in. Because they didn't want a Daesh government. And they supported Assad. And, and, uh, and we we know that this was growing. We were watching. We saw that, that Daesh was growing in strength. And we thought Assad was threatened. Uhh, we thought our, we could probably manage, uh, you know, that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, you've got Assad and you've got Putin to support him."

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Behind the Headlines: The Russia Collusion Ruse: Why the US Deep State Hates Russia, Not Trump

US President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn
© Jim Lo Scalzo / Carlos Barria / Reuters
US President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn
Another week, another Russiagate flop. As many predicted, Flynn was finally indicted this week. But the charges have nothing to do with alleged collusion with Russia. Instead, they are for lying to the FBI about the content of phone calls he had with the Russian ambassador, the content of which was perfectly legal. If anything, however, the actual evidence points to a long-standing relationship of collusion: with Israel.

Join us today as we talk Flynn, Trump, Russiagate, and more. Tune in to Behind the Headlines at 6-8pm CET (4-6pm UTC / 12-2pm EST).

Running Time: 01:35:56

Download: OGG, MP3


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Stormtrooper

San Bernardino mass shooting: 3 white gunmen, 2 unlikely culprits, and 1 saving grace


Comment: We're re-running this article because today - Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 - marks the two-year anniversary of the San Bernardino mass shooting. Notice how many elements this bloody event had in common with US mass shootings that have occurred since then...


Bernardino shooting

'Hands up, don't shoot' - Employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, are marched out of buildings following the massacre that took place there on Wednesday December 2nd, 2015
Another day, another massacre of innocents in the US of A. 14 people were shot to death during a mass shooting on December 2nd at the Inland Regional Center in the city of San Bernardino, California, about 100km east of Los Angeles. Another 21 people were wounded in what was the worst mass shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012.

Another turkey shoot

At 11am local time last Wednesday, masked gunmen - initially reported as a team of three - "dressed head-to-toe in black tactical gear and vests stuffed with ammunition magazines", entered one of the three main buildings on the site and made their way to the conference room, where staff for the county's Department of Public Health were enjoying a Christmas office party. From the moment they opened fire, the shooting reportedly lasted 5-8 minutes, during which the gunmen "never said a word" and fired about 75 rounds into the group of unarmed civilians, with eyewitnesses saying they paused only to reload their weapons.

The sight of heavily-armed police officers swarming the Regional Center was apparently so familiar to employees there that they initially thought they were witnessing "another active shooter drill". Indeed, according to the LA Times, active shooter drills take place there every "every month or so". Watch as employees remark upon how realistic this latest 'drill' appears, completely oblivious to the fact that some of their colleagues nearby have been shot to death:


Comment: See also this update published 28 Dec 2015:

Mystery second car chase following the San Bernardino mass shooting