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Ireland Continues to Remember 1916 and Continues to Betray It (With Some Canadian Help)

By Aidan O’Brien | CounterPunch | June 9, 2016


Do you remember Ireland’s 1916 commemorations in late March? Do you remember the spectacle? Do you remember all those fighting words and strong images of national independence and national justice? The attention of the world was on Dublin for a few days and Dublin played the part of the rebel city. Well it was all a bit too real and too popular. And for that reason it had to be officially repressed as soon as possible.

The official repression occurred on May 26 when the Irish state honoured the British soldiers who butchered Dublin in 1916.

That’s right! It’s worth reiterating: a few weeks after glorifying the 1916 birth of modern Ireland, the Irish state on May 26 turned around and honoured the men who stuck a bayonet through the heart of modern Ireland. Think about that.

The Irish state needless to say was doing this on the sly. In a military graveyard somewhere in Dublin the Irish state together with the British army prayed for the British war dead of Easter 1916. It was a semi-secret ceremony because the Irish people would’ve been insulted otherwise.

You must remember that the Irish state isn’t the Irish people. The Irish state being more in tune with the UK and the EU (and of course with the USA) than with the Irish people.

One brave Irish protester (Brian Murphy) however did sneak into this prayer for the Empire to register the disgust of the Irish (the living and the dead). But the words “insult” and “disgust” were barely out of his mouth when the Canadian ambassador (Kevin Vickers) attacked him.

That’s right! It’s worth repeating: Canada’s representative in Ireland attacked a peaceful Irish protester at a gathering in Dublin to honour the Empire that viciously attacked Ireland in 1916. Think about that.

The Irish media thought this Canadian defence of the British Queen was funny. But the Irish media are so detached from the Irish people they might as well be located in Canada. So the “Irish” declared the Canadian ambassador to be a hero. And the peaceful Irish protester? He was arrested. Then mocked.

In contrast the Canadian media and the Canadian government understood the craziness of the incident and felt a bit embarrassed.

But not the Irish. Nothing it seems embarrasses the Irish state and the Irish media. They continue to feel around in the dark – looking for a Dollar here and a Euro there and to hell with Ireland.

So on May 31 Ireland’s memories of 1916 moved north of the border. In Belfast the Irish state continued to honour the British military. This time the object of “Irish” respect was the British navy. The excuse was the number of Irishmen who died at sea while fighting for Britain in the First World War.

Standing alongside British royalty the Irish state tossed “red poppies” into the sea. Why? Why honour cannon fodder if you’re not condemning at the same time the practice of using people like cannon fodder? Why honour the desperate Irishmen who joined the British army for economic reasons if you’re not at the same time condemning the economic conditions that turned the men into mince meat?

Why recall Irish mercenaries without questioning the system? Because the contemporary Irish state is a mercenary itself. One that is trapped in similar economic conditions to those of 1916. Conditions which force   one to betray oneself. And ethics in general.

On May 26, the same day that the  Irish state was praying for the British who butchered Dublin, the Irish Treasury was informing the Irish people that Ireland’s national debt amounts to €207 billion.

In 2007 Ireland’s debt was €47 billion. So the treasonous Irish bank bailout of 2008, and the equally bad EU enforcement of this bailout in 2010, more than quadrupled “overnight” Ireland’s debt burden.

And today? The Irish Treasury broke down the figures. Each Irish worker it said “owed” €102,000. And servicing this debt cost each Irish worker in tax€3,400 a year. In 2007, in comparison, the servicing of Ireland’s national debt cost each Irish worker €900 a year.

According to Bloomberg the Irish Treasury got its sums right. Ireland’s national debt per capita ($48,730) is the highest in Europe. Indeed on a per capita basis the “unsustainable” Greek public debt ($31,850) is more attractive than Irish debt. In fact in the world, only Japan’s per capita public debt ($77,660) surpasses Ireland’s. Tiny agricultural Ireland however is not mighty Japan.

And who does Ireland owe? According to Britain’s Daily Mail : in 2010 Ireland owed the British banks  £88 billion. This means, in short, that Ireland owes Britain £88 billion worth of “red poppies”. And to hell with 1916.

One might feel sorry for Ireland’s financial predicament. But it was self inflicted. Indeed the two political parties that emerged from Ireland’s revolutionary years (1916-1921) and have since ruled Ireland, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, both share the blame. The former pressed the “bailout button”. And the latter kept the finger on it.

And these two kamikaze decision makers are the ones who now decide to treat the butchers of Ireland and Ireland’s mercenaries with as much respect as Ireland’s Freedom Fighters. Ireland’s moral compass to put it mildly, is broken.

Ireland’s debt trap is an immoral trap in every way. Because it can only be serviced by nonstop payments to the Empire: the NATO establishment. And these payments are not just financial but political as well. Indeed the payments involve culture and history too. Ireland’s debt in a word is totalitarian. And it is swallowing the truth. The truth about the past as much as the truth about the present.

And Kamikaze “Ireland” continues to crash itself into 1916. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil managed to form an administration at the beginning of May. One acting as government and the other acting as opposition. Nonetheless the Irish people remain leaderless. And that probably is a good thing. Since the solution to the debt and to history remains in the streets.

At this point it’s worth repeating a few words from Ireland’s 1916 Proclamation of Independence:

“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefensible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.”

Think about that. About the betrayal and the solution.

Aidan O’Brien is a hospital worker in Dublin, Ireland.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Will Anyone on the Left Stand Up for Brexit?

By Oliver Pawley | CounterPunch | June 9, 2016

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, The IMF, David Cameron, George Osborne, Hillary Clinton, Mark Carney — it’s a list of names that many on the left would surely like rather see condemned than side with in a democratic debate. Yet the build-up to the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s EU membership sees them doing exactly that. While those figures emblematic of exiting the EU — Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage — aren’t very appealing to those of liberal instincts, allying with them offers a chance to shake-up the status quo. In an age where democracy is heavily curated by corporate power, is it not better to assume a disruptive islander mentality than a supine federalist one? Will anyone on the left stand up for Brexit?

Rousseau once mocked British democracy by claiming the British public were ‘free only during elections’. Given that it was 1975 last time we had a referendum on European membership and a great deal of power has been transferred from our parliament to the EU since then, by Jean-Jacques’ logic it’s 41 years since we were last ‘free’. Should Britain really fear being in charge of its own affairs more than continuing along its current path?

If we consider domestic politics in Britain we see a governing Conservative Party that in its last two budgets has attempted to rob from the poor and give to the rich to such an extent that it has caused national outcry. Plans to remove tax credits for low earners in 2015[i] and reduce benefits for the disabled this year[ii] have had to be rescinded. With some laughably optimistic predictions about fiscally beneficial future growth the Chancellor, George Osborne, manages to hang on to his tax cuts for the rich. The British public are starting to see what a Tory majority looks like in practice and it’s quite a shock compared to the coalition government that preceded it. Then, the Liberal Democrat party acted as set of humanitarian reins to steer the Conservatives away from their worst excesses and sacrificed itself electorally as a result. Up and down the land voters are feeling the effects of savage cuts to the budgets of their local councils: youth centres are closed, roads go unrepaired, and teachers lose their jobs in a manner that is completely incompatible with building a country fit for success in the twenty first century[iii]. Brexit would cause chaos in the Conservative party, fatally wound Cameron and Osborne, and yet commentators on the left shy away from urging voters to take a shot at this open goal. It’s as though Britain’s liberals are scared of the chance to run the country.

Goldman Sachs warn us that homebuilders and banks would be the worst affected if we chose to leave the EU[iv]. It’s hard to think of two sets of industries that have failed the British people more in recent years. The UK faces a housing crisis because the emphasis has been on serving vested interests by maintaining overly high property and land values rather than focusing on the need to house an expanding population. Banking is lauded in the media as an industry of huge importance to Britain but is there really much future growth to come from it? Banks’ main product is debt, which is something we in the developed world already have too much of. The future of UK banking looks rather more like the moribund loss-making and largely nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland[v] than a dynamic saviour. Brexit might force the UK to diversify its economy away from the dominant property and finance nexus, which provides economic growth but of a precarious, iniquitous and [spoiler alert] ephemeral kind.

At least twice George Osborne has warned the British that leaving the EU would cause house prices to fall, the second time he came out with a figure of 18 per cent as an upper bound. UK house prices could halve and they would still be high — particularly in London and the South East. The latest wheeze to extend the bubble appears to be the introduction of intergenerational mortgages.[vi] This kind of financial ‘innovation’ combined with ever rising student debt means Britain’s young graduates face a lifetime of debt servitude. If Brexit really could bring down house prices the millennials and the generation beneath them ought to be clamouring for it, yet the pollsters suggest they don’t and that three-quarters of 18 to 24 year-olds want to remain.[vii]

The threats from the Remain camp that leaving the EU will be a catastrophe for the UK’s economic cooperation with the continent are overblown. Anyone who has spent any time in central London recently will have noticed the huge quantity of continental Europeans employed in the capital. It seems very unlikely that their home countries, many of which are beset with economic difficulties, would want all these people delivered back to them. It is also hard to believe that those countries would wish to jeopardise tourism from the UK, or the spending power of British pensioners living out their days in the sunshine of Southern Europe. The idea that deals could not quickly be done to facilitate movement between Britain and the EU as well as mutually beneficial trade agreements is absurd given that it would be in nobody’s interests, least of all big business, to do otherwise. Angela Merkel’s recent hint that Britain ‘will never get a really good result’ in negotiations if it leaves the EU is unlikely to be popular with German firms which exported 90 billion Euros worth of goods and services to the UK last year.[viii]

Much of Britain’s left perceives the EU as some sort of enlightened force for good but this isn’t a notion that stands up to much scrutiny. Has it formed a bulwark against US imperialism as we were told it would? Not at all, European leaders have meekly followed America’s neo-conservative agenda leading to disaster. Indeed, Europe’s refugee crisis is the direct result of the Western establishment’s gauche attempts at terraforming Iraq, Libya and Syria into groves of economic opportunity for the few. Sadly, the recent terrorist attacks on European soil haven’t raised the right questions about events both at home and abroad. Instead of trying to curb civil liberties and drop more bombs, European leaders ought to be considering the deeper reasons for discontent. Is Brussels’ Molenbeek district really a hotbed of jihadist sentiment because of a few internet videos and radical clerics or does it have more to do with the 40 per cent unemployment rate of Muslim men?[ix] Is a foreign policy that supports the continued ruination of Muslim lives abroad ever going to be compatible with amicable relations at home? The EU’s eastward expansion has also played a part in the bloody civil war in the Ukraine and heightened tensions with Russia.[x]

Then we have economic policy which has been a disaster. Where was the European sense of fraternity when Greece as in trouble? It completely disappeared. Europe’s leaders chose to protect their failed bankers and broken single currency and throw the Greek people under a bus. Of the 240 billion Euros that was ‘given’ to Greece in 2010 and 2012 a miniscule amount actually went to improving the lot of the Greek people, the vast majority found its way into the coffers of financial institutions.[xi] Compare this to Iceland which sits outside of the EU. Its response to the financial crisis was not to kotow to bankers but to jail them. The government didn’t seek to absorb all the country’s private banking debt but put its people first and financial institutions second.[xii] The Icelandic economy has now recovered to a size above its pre 2008 peak, a target far away from the likes of Greece. While the Goldmanite European Central Bank chairman Mario Draghi prepares to pump money into a corporate black hole[xiii], the youth of Southern Europe see their futures evaporate into a sclerotic mist of unemployment, under-investment and hopelessness. Why does Britain’s left wish to support an EU that propagates such unfairness? Is it not time to admit that Europe has been captured by financiers and will not prosper until their influence is reduced and un-payable debts written-off? Ironically, by leaving the EU Britain may stimulate a shift away from the current failed orthodoxy.

Given seven years of economic stagnation in the Eurozone you might imagine that the lessons of letting unelected technocrats take the big decisions would have created a desire to move to a more democratic system. The truth is that even now EU officials attempt to bargain away our rights with the secretive TTIP agreement. Rumoured to be a corporate manifesto that relegates the role of the state to that of a butler for business interests it’s hard to reconcile it with the needs of the masses[xiv]. So when the most disappointing President of the United States ever, Barack Obama, warns us that we’ll be going to the ‘back of the queue’ for trade negotiations if we exit the EU, we should grab the opportunity with both hands. If the majority of British people were privy to the contents of TTIP it’s likely the idea of being in the queue at all would be deeply abhorrent.

Obama’s is just one of many voices from across the Atlantic urging Britain to stay in the EU. Eight former US Treasury Secretaries wrote to The Times newspaper urging us to stay in. Three names stand out: Larry Summers, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner. These architects of neo-liberal disaster have overseen a huge transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in the United States. Summers helped sow the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis as a cheerleader for the Gramm­—Leach—Bliley—Act, which repealed much of the Glass—Steagal safety net[xv]. Casino capitalism came to the fore and after the inevitable financial collapse Paulson masterminded the Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP) giveaway to Wall Street[xvi]. Geithner continued in much the same vein, scandalously failing to stop executives of AIG being rewarded for failure with enormous bonuses effectively paid for with government money[xvii]. The only people whose interests apparatchiks like these represent are the very wealthiest, the rest of us can safely ignore their advice. Similarly, the warnings of the IMF’s Christine Lagarde should go unheeded; her organisation is there to protect the few not enrich the many[xviii]. Defying the wishes of the IMF is a rare democratic opportunity which should not be ignored by those who seek a fairer world.

The honourable intentions to use European integration as a means to avoid another European conflict as damaging as The Second World War were all well and good, but they are the solution to an obsolete problem. Today’s fight is no longer between nation states but between an exploitative global economic elite and the rest of us. Voting for Brexit is a blow to their ambitions and the natural choice for anyone who wishes to challenge the doomed status quo. Don’t vote for Brexit because you are a small-minded xenophobe, vote for Brexit because it is a chance to challenge the cabal of venal politicians who are dragging Western Civilisation towards crisis with their continued deference to corporate power, misguided use of military force, and disdain for democracy.




















June 9, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Level of Radiation on Nuclear Test Islands Remains High 60 Years Later

Sputnik – 09.06.2016

Although decades have passed since atomic tests were conducted by the US on the northern Marshall Islands, radiation levels within the territory are still dangerously high, a recent study revealed.

In 1940s and 50s, during a heavy period of nuclear weapons testing, scientists predicted that background radiation would eventually drop to a level that would allow the return of relocated indigenous people to their native islands.

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), the Pacific Ocean islands are still too dangerous for habitation, 60 years since the massive hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

The lead author of the research, Autumn Bordner, from Columbia University’s Center for Nuclear Studies, accompanied by fellow scientists, traveled to the islands to test gamma radiation levels on Enewetak, Rongelap, and Bikini.

The team stayed on the islands for two weeks and covered an area of over 1,000 square miles. Radiation readings were then compared to measurements from Majuro Atoll, an island far enough away to be used as a control. Measurements were also taken in Central Park, in New York City, New York, as an additional control.

“Central Park and the Majuro Atoll experience 13 and 9 millirems of radiation per year, respectively,” the study said. “Enewetak had the lowest radiation levels, at 7.6 mrem/y, which makes sense, since the island has had extensive cleanup efforts. Rongelap has higher levels at 19.8 mrem/y, and Bikini Atoll has the most radiation of the islands studied, with a mean of 184 mrem/y.”

Radiation on Bikini Atoll was found to be higher than the minimum accepted levels agreed upon by the US and Marshall Islands governments.

The scientists observed that the measurements differ little from those taken two decades ago, although it had been expected that radiation levels would by now have measurably decayed.

Researchers affirm that, without studying the effects of the environment on humans, it is not known whether the Marshallese people can safely return to Rongelap and Bikini.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

EPA Pushing Hike in Radioactive Contamination in Drinking Water

Corporate Crime Reporter | June 7, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled a plan allowing radioactive contamination in drinking water at concentrations vastly greater than the levels permitted by the Safe Drinking Water Act for long periods following release of nuclear materials.

radioactive The new guidance would permit radiation exposures equivalent to 250 chest X-rays a year for the general population for an unlimited time period.

EPA’s “Protective Action Guides” (or PAGs) dramatically relax allowable doses of radioactive material in public drinking water following a Fukushima-type meltdown or “dirty bomb” attack.

They cover the “intermediate phase” after “releases have been brought under control” – an unspecified period that may last for weeks, months or even years.

The agency has declared that the strict limits for chemical exposure in the Safe Drinking Water Act “may not be appropriate… during a radiation incident.”

EPA states that it “expects that the responsible party… will take action to return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act maximum contaminant levels as soon as practicable” but during the indefinite meantime –

The general population may be exposed to radioactive iodine-131 at 10,350 pico-curies per liter of water.

By contrast, the current limit is 3, resulting in a 3,450-times increase;

The current strontium-90 limit of 8 pico-curies per liter would be allowed a 925-fold increase; and

In an attempt to shield “sensitive populations,” the plan proposes 500 millirem per year for the general population but only 100 millirem for children under 15, pregnant or nursing mothers without explaining how these latter groups will get access to less contaminated water.

“Given this monstrous proposal, it unclear what lessons EPA learned from the contaminated water calamity of Flint, Michigan,” said. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) executive director Jeff Ruch. “It is unfathomable that a public health agency would prescribe subjecting people to radioactive concentrations a thousand times above Safe Drinking Water Act limits as a ‘protective’ measure.”

Internal EPA documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by PEER show that EPA itself concluded that proposed concentrations “would exceed MCLs [Maximum Contaminant Limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act] by a factor of 100, 1000, and in two instances, 7 million.”

The internal analysis estimated for one radionuclide that drinking only one small glass of water “would result in an exposure that corresponds to a lifetime of drinking liters of water per day at the MCL level.”

The Bush Administration in its last days unsuccessfully tried to put forward similar proposals, which the incoming Obama Administration pulled back.

Now, in the waning months of the Obama Administration, those plans are moving forward with new exposure limits higher than the Bush plan it had rejected.

“President Obama goes to Hiroshima to urge a nuclear-free world while his EPA facilitates a nuclear-ridden water supply,” added Ruch. “It speaks volumes that the current Obama drinking water plan is less protective than his predecessor’s.”

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel

By Craig Murray | June 9, 2016

Contrary to Article 44 of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which the UK and Russia are both party, the UK has engaged in extensive illegal harassment of a Russian naval submarine engaged in fully lawful transit of the Dover Strait.

A Russian naval vessel en route between the Baltic and Black Seas is fully and specifically entitled under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Articles 37 and 38 to the right of passage through the strait. This is in addition to the general right of passage through the territorial sea at Article 17. The Russian navy was in full compliance with the provision at Article 20 that, while in territorial waters, the submarine must be on the surface and displaying its flag, and in compliance with Articles 29 to 32 on warships.

Not only does the Russian Navy have every right to sail through the Dover strait on passage, it has been exercising that right – along with many other navies – for over a hundred years. The decision of the British government now to employ military harassment and threat is not only illegal, it is a gross and entirely deliberate act of provocation designed to sour international relations and disturb the atmosphere of world peace.

The author of this article, Craig Murray, is a former Head of the Maritime Section of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and former Alternate Head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He is a retired British Ambassador.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

‘All China’s assets in the US might be annulled‘, warns ex-BoE chief, urging countries to diversify

RT | June 9, 2016

Washington may be forced to renege on its huge debt to Beijing under catastrophic circumstances, says the former head of the Bank of England Mervyn King. He suggests governments could mitigate risk by diversifying their assets.

“Who knows what the future holds, but China and other countries do not want to be in a situation where all their international assets are in effect dependent on the US,” said King, who was the Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013, in an article for Gold Investor magazine.

“Of course the US would not want to renege on its debts, but if some awful conflagration occurred, then all China’s assets in the US might be annulled,” said the former BoE chief, adding that China and other countries should diversify their portfolios, making them less dependent “on the goodwill of other countries.”

China is the biggest holder of US debt with $1.245 trillion, according to US Treasury data. Over the past 12 months Beijing has cut its Treasury securities 1.3 percent from $1.261 trillion seen last year.

According to the most recent data from March, global central banks sold off $17 billion in US Treasuries. Since the beginning of the year the sell-off has reached $123 billion, which is the quickest pace since 1978.

Russia has steadily shed US assets since the 2008 financial crisis, with holdings dropping from more than $200 billion in 2008 to $86 billion as of March this year.

In May, billionaire George Soros cut investment in US stocks by a third and acquired a $264 million stake in the world’s biggest bullion producer, Barrick Gold.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Minister urges Israel to go ahead with West Bank annexation


Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Uri Yehuda Ariel
Press TV – June 9, 2016

An Israeli minister says Tel Aviv must go ahead with a plan to annex more than half of the occupied West Bank after evicting thousands of Palestinians from the area.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel made the remarks in Moscow where he traveled with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

“We have to aspire to the annexation of Area C. These are areas where there are no Arabs at all. We would remove a few thousand, who do not constitute a significant numerical factor,” Ariel said.

Area C comprises over 60 percent of the occupied West Bank. Measuring about 330,000 hectares, the territory is totally run by the Israeli military even though it is home to nearly 300,000 Palestinians, according to the United Nations.

Israel, however, says only about 50,000 Palestinians are residing there.

Ariel, also a hawkish member of the Knesset, is fervently pushing for the annexation of Area C. In January, he strongly urged the Israeli regime to take full possession of the land.

“We should tell the prime minister, the government and the Knesset that the time has come to annex Area C. I am suggesting that we unite around this call,” he said.

Ariel has even hinted at annexing the occupied West Bank in whole. “If someone asks about Areas A and B, then their time will come. When, we will see. For now, let’s agree on Area C.”

Under the interim agreements reached between Tel Aviv and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the 1990s, and as part of Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into three zones.

Area A, the smallest of all, constitutes about 18 percent of the land and the Palestinian Authority is supposed to control most civilian affairs and internal security.

Area B, constituting around 22 percent of the rural West Bank, is administered by the Palestinian Authority for its civil affairs and by Israel for its security issues.

In both zones, Israel holds full control of external security, meaning it retains the right to enter the zones at any time and make arrests or carry out any extrajudicial execution.

Virtually all of the Israeli settler population of the West Bank of more than 350,000 is based in Area C, living in 125 settlements and about 100 outposts.

The Israeli military almost never grants the Palestinians living in Area C building permits. According to a UN report, more than 11,000 demolition orders are currently outstanding in Area C.

The agreement on separating the West Bank into three zones was worked out to enable an incremental transfer of authority to the Palestinian Authority and to address the needs of a long-term demographic growth.

The UN announced in late April that a total of 588 Palestinian structures, mostly based in Area C, had been razed since January. It said the demolitions had affected more than 1,000 people as the residents had lost structures related to their source of income.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Under Israeli pressure, Facebook and Twitter delete large amounts of Palestinian content

MEMO | June 9, 2016

Facebook and Twitter have recently deleted thousands of posts, pages and accounts in response to demands from the Israeli ministry of justice, Quds Press reported on Wednesday.

“We succeeded to achieve our goals as around 70 per cent of our demands [to delete Facebook and Twitter content] were fulfilled,” Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

She also added: “We succeeded to delete incitement contents calling for death and violence across the internet.”

During a meeting she held to discuss “fighting incitement and shameful content on social media” three-days ago, Shaked reiterated Israel’s “cooperation with Facebook, Twitter and google regarding the violent electronic Palestinian incitement”.

Shaked claimed that when internet incitement decreased, the attacks on Israelis decreased.

“This proves that there is a direct relationship between internet incitement and violence in Israel,” she said.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Big Brother 2016: Beyond Orwell’s wildest dreams

By Sam Gerrans  | RT | June 8, 2016

Media is doling out in bite-sized bits what we already knew: we are being tracked and traced, recorded and stored.

The Guardian recently told us that – shock – Google is storing lots of information about us; meanwhile, the wildly different Independent gently awakens us to the fact that Facebook is doing something almost identical. Both articles contain instructions on how to appear to thwart these intrusions.

Oh well, click, click, yawn. Safe again.

An Orwellian present

Most people who read my column will have read Orwell’s 1984. And most who haven’t will have seen the film (the one with John Hurt, I hope). If you haven’t done either, go and do one of them right now.

Orwell’s famous dystopian vision describes a world in which the State knows everything about you. He had entitled his book The Last Man – meaning by that: The last true man left on earth. It was changed – perhaps fortuitously – by the publisher.

The book fed a slew of references into the culture, seemingly understood even by those who had never read it: Big Brother, Doublespeak, Sex Crime, Winston Smith.

The world Winston inhabits is physically viler and more obviously brutal that ours – at least if you live outside the perimeters of the wars the US is waging directly or indirectly. Its architecture and ambiance are, likewise, orders of magnitude darker and more depressing than ours – parts of inner cities excepted.

Orwell’s Doublespeak is more directly relevant to our experience today. With things now routinely called by something other than their proper names – men ‘identifying’ as women, women ‘identifying’ as men, men ‘identifying’ as dogs, and forty-six-year-old fathers ‘identifying’ as six-year-old girls – our world is littered with an increasing number of obvious truths which must be resolutely ignored on the grounds of political necessity.

Doublespeak has hamstrung academia – rendering whole swathes of it inoperative, and much of the rest of it either irrelevant, farcical or pernicious.

In our day-to-day exchanges it has resulted in smile-fronted loneliness and lurking suspicion as necessary features of a life wherein those of us who comment openly upon the Spandex-coated bars of our prison are treated as pariahs and lepers.

As in Orwell’s world, our language is undergoing a thinning process and morphing into a ghettoized Newspeak and Twitteresque literary shorthand. Our grandparents knew what it was to speak and write well because they acknowledged an objective standard. Those who attained it were regarded as exemplars, and those who had not could see what remained to be done. Now, as in so much else, mediocrity and approximation are defended as acceptable standards; simply noticing one’s own shortcomings is elitist – and, therefore, contemptible – while commenting on another’s is an outright sin.

The result is a common language attenuated to the point where being correctly understood is increasingly difficult, and the scope for being wrongfully construed almost unlimited.

But here the overlap in terms of content between our world and Orwell’s thins out in favor of a stark – and for some disarming – stylistic dissonance.

Orwell’s world is bleak. It is dark. The walls are covered – at best – by poorly applied institutional paint and creeping mold. The lights hang by a rat-eaten wire and flicker erratically, serving only – to plunder Milton – to discover sights of woe, regions of sorrow, doleful shades. Orwell’s “boot stamping on a human face – forever” is congruent in Hollywood terms with the scenery.

But our world is not like that. At least, not yet. Much of it is shiny and manicured – and not only for the technocrats and Inner Party members, but also for the drones of the Outer Party like Winston Smith.

Today, Smith does not wear dungarees and inhabit cold, dark corners creeping with vermin. He wears clothes which look something like what he sees on TV. He makes his car repayments. True, what he buys has the obsolescence of Orwell’s world, but that is due to a design philosophy geared to keep the drones shopping, rather than a simple inability to produce at all.

These seeming contradictions are difficult to process. A system which tortures you and stamps on your face might still be identified by the proles in their current state of conditioning as an enemy. But boot-stamping is not our experience – again, at least not yet.

The Big Brother of our experience has a public relations department and a team of designers with bed-head haircuts working on more palatable and fabulous ways to sell you servitude. Our prison does not simply consist of bars. It consists of hi-tech, ergonomically designed, ambient-adjustable bars. And it is policed by people who want you to call them by their first name; who are trained to seem to agree with you; who sit patiently when you talk, and then tell you to have a nice day.

If this seems unconnected with your current worldview, consider that some of the highest-profile puppets we vote for recently attended the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel, Switzerland – without batting an eyelid.

Online 1984

Our online experience broadly resembles our offline experience.

Sure, if you are deep in the bowels of Badnet – downloading a program you just discovered you really need but don’t want to pay for from a site featuring languages you don’t understand and from which windows with images of scantily dressed females jump out erratically at you – then you expect nasties. It feels dodgy and dangerous – and it is.

But Facebook and Google don’t feel like that. They are shiny, convenient heavens generated by serried ranks of earnest, enthusiastic angels in love with what they do. They love you, too. They don’t love you individually, but they love you mathematically; they love you when enough of you say the same thing to them for it to be incrementally advantageous to do something about your prayers. The world they produce feels professional and safe, something like a cross between a business park, a shopping mall where everything is free, and a children’s nursery.

This does not feel like a place where boots stamp on faces forever.

Collecting data

A common misconception about this ergonomic, customer-service Big Brother decked out in primary colors is that he couldn’t possibly watch everyone at the time.

But it doesn’t work like that. Mostly, he doesn’t care what you are doing on a day-to-day basis.

When databases were created in the 1970s, storing stuff was very expensive. That’s why they used the relational data model: it could cram more stuff into less space.

Now storing stuff costs nothing. I bought a 16 GB USB memory stick for the price of two cups of coffee last week. So they are not watching you. They are storing what you do.

Firstly, in case they need it. As morals, mores and norms are re-engineered and hemorrhage and coalesce in new configurations and are downloaded as normative updates by a population unable to concentrate or remember, everyone eventually will be a criminal – at least retrospectively. There is no future-proofing compliance with this new system of control. No matter how quickly you take the upgrades in Newthink, proof of your Oldthink will be accessible and visible to those who care to use it against you.

Secondly, they are building profiles. They want to know who the troublemakers are.

Those at the helm couldn’t care less what you think currently. If you are intelligent and happen to have spent your time online researching rather than looking at compilations of top goal-scoring moments, pornography, or highly pixelated editions of the Simpsons’ back catalog, that is likely to have rendered you a social outcast sheltering under the bridge of your own Cassandra complex yelling at random passing cars. So they don’t care about you – at least, not yet.

What they are on the lookout for in the current phase is a rogue idea. They are afraid that some bright individual will find the solar plexus of the psychological control grid and start jumping up and down on it. And they are also making sure existing powerful entities don’t go off the reservation of what is agreed by the guiding think tanks and conclaves of the mighty.

What to do?

We incline toward fight or flight. Many feel their security lies in keeping their heads down, by conforming. While I understand the feeling, my opinion is that no amount of conformity will be enough to placate what is coming. This system does not simply want conformity – although it does require it – it will not rest until it has your homage. For myself, my mind is made up: I will not bow to the new idol.

Armchair heroism is easy, it is true. But I know one thing: Room 101 will hold much less terror for me if I ever have to enter it, if I know then that I stood up now and spoke out while I could, leveraging what intelligence God saw fit to give me.

And that is something no boot can stamp out of existence.

Sam Gerrans is an English writer, translator, support counselor and activist. He also has professional backgrounds in media, strategic communications and technology. He is driven by commitment to ultimate meaning, and focused on authentic approaches to revelation and realpolitik.


June 9, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

FBI increase use of anti-ISIS undercover agents, sting operations

RT | June 8, 2016

Sending someone undercover was once a last resort for the FBI – despite popular law dramas where it seems to happen every few weeks. But the FBI’s use of undercover agents in the fight against Islamic State has some questioning its legality.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has significantly increased its use of agents and informants in terrorism cases according to a report from the New York Times. In fact, the FBI uses it so intensively that it is used in about two out of three prosecutions related to suspects believed to be supporting the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

When agents and informants go undercover, they pose as anything from weapons and arms dealers to jihadists or just friends on social media. However, defense lawyers, civil right activists and Muslim leaders have all compared the tactics used by the FBI to entrapment.

“They’re manufacturing terrorism cases,” Michael German, a former undercover agent with the FBI and national security law researcher at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, told the New York Times, adding: “These people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States.”

For example, Emanuel Lutchman of Rochester, New York, was arrested in relation to a plot to abduct and kill the patrons at a Rochester bar on New Year’s Eve. His grandmother, Beverley Carridice-Henry, told the Democrat and Chronicle that Lutchman had suffered from mental illness and was sent to prison when he was 16 years old. While there, he converted to Islam to gain protection after another inmate attempted to rape him.

Carridice-Henry told the Democrat and Chronicle that he had been hospitalized at least three times for suicide attempts and that his difficulties with mental health made him vulnerable to coercion, saying: “I’m not going to say he’s a saint, but the thing about him is, he’d meet somebody and they were automatically his friend,” adding, “And I told him, ‘Not everyone you meet is your friend.’ But to him they were.”

She explained her frustration with the sting operation involving her allegedly homeless grandson, saying: “They sent this guy to befriend him and set him up in a sting. How is that right? For the federal government to set up youths that they know are vulnerable?… He didn’t have money to buy Pampers for his son. How would he find money to go buy these [weapons]?”

The New York Times explained that the informant provided Lutchman with the $40 necessary to purchase the materials he needed for his plot from Wal-Mart.

Karen J. Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University, told the New York Times that these tactics may not be giving the FBI the results they want. “I think the FBI is really going down the wrong path with a lot of these ISIS cases.”

The FBI has defending its methodology, saying that the warrantless use of undercover operatives and informants is justified by the accelerated timeline that causes Islamic State loyalists to attack as soon as days or weeks after their radicalization. Michael B. Steinbach, who leads the FBI’s national security branch, told The New York Times : “We’re not going to wait for the person to mobilize on his own timeline,” adding that the FBI cannot “just sit and wait knowing the individual is actively plotting.”

The FBI claims its agents go to great lengths to avoid entrapment by asking the subject of their stings to confirm their intent multiple times. In the case of James Gonzalo Medina, a convert also known as James Muhammad, he had initially attempted to distance himself from a plot to attack a synagogue.

When Medina, 40, pointed out a “David’s triangle star” outside of a synagogue, an FBI informant suggested that he attack the temple during a Jewish holiday. Medina responded to this suggestion, saying: “Now that’ll be a good day to go and bomb them.”

The informant introduced him to a person that was said to have experience with explosives. Unbeknownst to Medina, he was an undercover FBI agent. The agent told Medina: “You need to be sure, brother,” and even said: “You know you don’t have to do any of this.”

These dubious tactics have lead judges to consider whether what the FBI is doing is entrapment. In 2011, Judge Colleen McMahon, of the US District Court in Manhattan, said that a case involving four men was potentially crossing the line, saying: “I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here, except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition.”

However, Judge McMahon upheld the charges.

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment