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Steroids May Be Behind Aggressive Behavior of US Police

Sputnik – 31.08.2016

Side-effects associated with police steroid use and abuse have become a dangerous element in the ongoing debate regarding overly violent behavior and the militarized law-enforcement culture of the United States.

In 2004, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) listed the many side-effects of steroid use, including mood swings, impaired judgment, depression, increased aggression, extreme irritability, hostility, and delusional behavior. Endemic steroid abuse could go a long way to explaining the aggressive and violent behavior used by American police, especially in situations that could easily have been safely de-escalated, according to the Free Thought Project. As with methamphetamine abuse, steroids bring a sense of invincibility, making the user feel indestructible.

According to the DEA, “The idea of enhanced physical strength and endurance provides one with ‘the invincible mentality’ when performing law enforcement duties.” Many examples of police brutality represent a trend in overt law-enforcement violence that could be the result of steroid abuse.

There currently is no policy to regulate the use of steroids by active-duty weapon-carrying law-enforcement employees.

Some police unions claim that drug tests, similar to those administered every day to suspects, violate their civil rights. A deeper reason why some refuse to be tested is that they are involved in selling, and using, steroids.

Santucci, a former police sergeant, got his department’s attention after he routinely took $30,000-$100,000 vacations, all on an annual salary of some $80,000, before deductions. In April 2015 Santucci was arrested for running an anabolic steroid manufacturing and distribution network.

He received a delay in sentencing twice, first to complete training to become an electrician, and second, due to “some scheduling conflicts,” according to attorney Dan LaBelle. On August 25 Santucci was finally sentenced to a mere 16 months in prison, along with two years of supervised release.

The disgraced cop sold enormous quantities of steroids to police officers, who used and further distributed his illicit product.

Santucci, however, may be the tip of the iceberg in the United States. Steroid use is a popular tactic for police officers and an epidemic, which until recently has been quietly shoved under the rug, is now revealed as the cause of much unnecessary violence and is shown to be a danger to the public.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | | 2 Comments

Gurus of the progressive community . . . Chomsky and Goodman

By Dave Alpert | Intrepid Report | May 23, 2016

There was a time when I, like tens of thousands of my progressive partners, held Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman in awe. After all, Amy informed us and Noam spoke for us, coherently explaining the issues. However, as I became more aware and more informed, I realized that there were great differences between their thinking and mine.

In many instances, our gurus spoke with forked tongue. Although Amy’s program Democracy Now! was informative, there were many areas of reporting that were out of bounds and were not reported on.

One could legitimately claim that reporters cannot report on everything and they would be right. But let us be honest. When 9/11 occurred, it was an historical event and an event that changed the course of history. Where was Amy? Relatively silent. She invited David Ray Griffin, who has written several books illustrating the lies and misdirections of the government’s narrative about that day, to Democracy Now! which one could claim was a significant journalistic move.

However, instead of interviewing him so that he could reveal to her listening audience the facts that he had accumulated that put into question the government’s explanations of that day, she paired him with a pro-government guest who spent the hour attacking Griffin personally and ignoring any of the data Griffin produced. It became a three-ring circus and helped sabotage any impetus the Truth Movement might have gained within the progressive community. Was that her goal? I’m not sure I can answer that but it was a successful strategy, progressives seemed reluctant to support the Truth Movement. The Movement was being portrayed as one in which there were marginal “conspiracy nuts” leading the charge and should be avoided.

Where was Noam Chomsky on this issue? Despite the significance of 9/11, Chomsky has remained relatively passive concerning this event.

During an interview on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky stated that he believes Osama bin Laden was probably behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement was curious because in earlier interviews Chomsky described the evidence against bin Laden as thin to nonexistent, which was accurate and, no doubt, explains why the US Department of Justice never indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.

In two peer-reviewed papers published in 2008–2009, independent scientists reported finding residues of nanothermite, an incendiary, military level explosive which is capable of cutting through steel, in dust samples from the collapsed World Trade Center. The scientists also found tiny flakes of unexploded nanothermite.

How did this explosive material get into the dust at the WTC? Certainly, one could conclude that the explosives were used to bring down all three towers (WTC #7 collapsed later that day in free fall time despite the fact a plane never touched it).

This evidence of explosives coupled with the testimony of many New York City firemen, who claimed they heard a continuing series of explosions before the towers collapsed, and the testimony of Willie Rodriquez, a maintenance worker in the towers, who stated that there was an explosion in the sub-basement before any planes flew into the towers, make it clear that it was the explosives, not the planes that brought the towers down. The question now is, who planted these explosives in the three buildings that collapsed? It takes time to set up a controlled demolition which means the explosives had been placed in the buildings prior to 9/11. Does this sound like a conspiracy to anyone?

In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Noam Chomsky claimed that there were only “a minuscule number of architects and engineers” who felt that the official account of WTC Building 7 should be treated with skepticism. Chomsky followed-up by saying, “a tiny number—a couple of them—are perfectly serious.” The reality is that close to 2,500 architects and engineers have expressed their doubts about the government’s explanation of how and why the towers fell. It doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to admit it. The facts remain that the U.S. government’s account for the destruction of the WTC on 9/11 is purely false. There is no science behind the government’s explanation for WTC 7 or for the Twin Towers and everyone, including the government, admits that WTC Building 7 experienced free fall on 9/11. There is no explanation for that other than the use of explosives.

Also, Chomsky’s assumption that only a small number of architects and engineers have expressed support for the notion that the towers fell because of explosives planted in the buildings and that a much larger majority of architects and engineers have remained silent, is the argument of the absurd. It is equivalent to implying that if 10,000 New Yorkers claim the schools are substandard, because the rest of New Yorkers remain silent, the schools cannot be considered substandard.

Chomsky and Goodman are bright, knowledgeable, intelligent people. What has influenced them to avoid confronting the government regarding the events of 9/11?

The fact that 9/11 investigators had already presented substantial documented evidence for: prior warnings, Air Force stand-down, anomalous insider trading connected to the CIA, withdrawal of most of the U.S. fighter planes from the east coast to participate in military exercises on that particular day, cover-up of the domestic anthrax attacks, inconsistencies in identities and timelines of “hijackers” did not appear to influence either Amy or Noam.

Their influence on people who view themselves as progressive cannot be over estimated. When I began questioning the government’s role regarding 9/11, several of my friends responded to me negatively and said specifically that if my suspicions had any legitimacy, Chomsky and Goodman would be speaking out.

Ever since the events of 9/11, the American Left and even ultra-Left have been downright fanatical in combating notions that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks or at least had foreknowledge of the events.

This kind of response from Chomsky regarding possible government conspiracies is not new. He still insists that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas. Anyone who still supports the Warren Commission hoax after 50 years of countering proofs is either ill-informed, dumb, gullible, afraid to speak truths to power or a disinformation agent.

Michael Morrissey stated, in one of his articles, “Rethinking Chomsky,” in 1994, “we should be clear about the stand that ‘America’s leading intellectual dissident,’ as he is often called, has taken on the assassination. It is not significantly different from that of the Warren Commission or the majority of Establishment journalists and government apologists, and diametrically opposed to the view ‘widely held in the grassroots movements and among left intellectuals’ and in fact to the view of the majority of the population.”

Michael Parenti states, “Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history.”

However, the word conspiracy is often used by those in power, who have participated in a conspiracy to advance their own power and/or wealth, as a label to marginalize and neutralize those who seek to reveal the conspiracy. Thus we, as a society, have developed what Parenti calls conspiracy phobia.

The behavior of both Chomsky and Goodman have led me to conclude that they hesitate to see the conspiracies for fear that such acknowledgment would compromise their reputations. Either that or they are controlled by powerful people who censor their behavior. We cannot afford to accept what they say at face value.

Chomsky’s questionable political positioning is still evident today. On May 17, Chomsky appeared on Democracy Now! and was asked by Amy Goodman to speak on the Syrian crisis. Chomsky is a linguist and words are very meaningful to him. So what he said and how he said it is significant.

“It’s necessary to cut off the flow of arms, as much as possible, to everyone. That means to the vicious and brutal Assad regime, primarily Russia and Iran, to the monstrous ISIS, which has been getting support tacitly through Turkey, through—to the al-Nusra Front, which is hardly different, has just the—the al-Qaeda affiliate, technically broke from it, but actually the al-Qaeda affiliate, which is now planning its own—some sort of emirate, getting arms from our allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our own—the CIA is arming them.”

I found it particularly informative that he describes Assad’s regime as vicious and brutal and places Russia and Iran right alongside ISIS.

If Assad’s government is really brutal and vicious, why did 86% of the Syrian people vote for him in the last election. Also, let it be clear that it was Russia’s entrance into the conflict last September that led to the retreat of ISIS from many cities and villages, a success that the U.S. had avoided for a year. Syrians who were freed from ISIS rule were openly happy to welcome Assad’s “brutal” army into their villages. Many Syrian refugees began returning to their homes.

Chomsky also managed to portray the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists in their conflict with Britain. He conveniently omitted the context for their behavior . . . the brutality of British rule against the Irish Catholics for hundreds of years.

Both Amy and Noam are extremely influential and have attained a degree of power amongst progressives. It is crucial that we remain aware of what they are telling us, how they are framing it, and what it is they are not telling us. Both seem to have provided, and continue to provide today, a cover from the left for the U.S.’s imperialist agenda.

Chomsky is called upon to address various issues periodically. Amy, on the other hand, is viewed every week, Monday through Friday. It is easy to identify her evolution into someone slightly to the left of MSNBC.

With the world collapsing around her, she offers relative silence on issues such as the U.S. supported takeover of the Ukrainian government by neo-Nazis, the surrounding of Russia by U.S. and NATO military forces, the threat of WW3 which would likely be a nuclear war, the Syrian crisis and the U.S. desire to overthrow Assad’s government, the humanitarian crisis in Libya, the coup to oust Dilma Rousseff from office in Brazil, the ongoing collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the threat to the Maduro government (please note: both Rousseff and Maduro are progressive thinkers—is the U.S. behind the collapse of their governments?). She does not address the continuous wars sponsored by the U.S. and NATO countries in their imperialistic ventures.

Instead, most of her time is spent covering the election and interviewing guests who have recently published books. Her program has mellowed. Most of her guests are establishment people, people MSNBC would not hesitate to have on. The radical view, the view that challenges the establishment, is no longer part of her coverage.

Amy’s audience expects to get the news coverage and the variety of views the MSM does not provide. Today’s Democracy Now! no longer provides that.

Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Putin to meet Turkish, Saudi, UK leaders at G20 summit

Press TV – August 30, 2016

CT3jDUbWUAUO1IcRussian President Vladimir Putin is to hold a series of high-profile meetings with Turkish, British and Saudi leaders, among others, as part of his schedule for attending a summit in China in early September.

Yury Ushakov, a Kremlin aide, told reporters on Tuesday that Putin will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on September 3, when he is in Hangzhou, China, for the summit of the group of 20 world major economies, known as G20.

Ushakov said Putin’s meeting with Erdogan will take place as the “process of normalization of relations between the two countries is under way.”

Russia downgraded ties with Turkey last November, when Ankara shot down a Russian jet near the Syrian border. Relations began to improve in July after Ankara offered an apology as demanded by Putin. The two met this month in Russia, with reports suggesting they narrowed gaps on the conflict in Syria.

Ushakov said Putin will also hold a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to discuss the crisis in Syria. He would not elaborate but said the meeting will come on September 4, the day when the Russian president will also hold an important meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss a need for “a new impetus in bilateral relations.”

The official said a trilateral meeting of leaders from Russia, Germany and France, which had previously been agreed to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, was called off and instead Putin would meet separately with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 4 and 5, respectively. He noted that the sensitive meeting on Ukraine was cancelled because of new tensions that have emerged over Crimea, a former Ukrainian territory which rejoined Russia following a referendum in 2015.

Putin will also hold a much-anticipated meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who will be in China as a guest to G20, Ushakov said.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

The Election Has Been Hacked: The Dismal Reality of Having No Real Electoral Choices

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | August 29, 2016

The FBI is worried: foreign hackers have broken into two state election databases.

The Department of Homeland Security is worried: the nation’s voting system needs greater protection against cyberattacks.

I, on the other hand, am not overly worried: after all, the voting booths have already been hacked by a political elite comprised of Republicans and Democrats who are determined to retain power at all costs.

The outcome is a foregone conclusion: the police state will win and “we the people” will lose.

The damage has already been done.

The DHS, which has offered to help “secure” the nation’s elections, has already helped to lock down the nation.

Remember, the DHS is the agency that militarized the nation’s police, spied on activists and veterans, distributed license plate readers and cell phone trackers to law enforcement agencies, contracted to build detention camps, carried out military drills and lockdowns in American cities, conducted virtual strip searches of airline passengers, established Constitution-free border zones, funded city-wide surveillance cameras, and generally turned our republic into a police state.

So, no, I’m not falling for the government’s scare tactics about Russian hackers.

I’m not losing a night’s sleep over the thought that this election might by any more rigged than it already is.

And I’m not holding my breath in the hopes that the winner of this year’s particular popularity contest will save us from government surveillance, weaponized drones, militarized police, endless wars, SWAT team raids, red light cameras, asset forfeiture schemes, overcriminalization, profit-driven private prisons, graft and corruption, or any of the other evils that masquerade as official government business these days.

The sad truth is that it doesn’t matter who wins the White House, because they all work for the same boss: Corporate America.

Politics is a game, a joke, a hustle, a con, a distraction, a spectacle, a sport, and for many devout Americans, a religion.

It is a political illusion aimed at persuading the citizenry that we are free, that our vote counts, and that we actually have some control over the government when in fact, we are prisoners of a police state.

In other words, it’s a sophisticated ruse aimed at keeping us divided and fighting over two parties whose priorities are exactly the same so that we don’t join forces and do what the Declaration of Independence suggests, which is to throw the whole lot out and start over.

We’re in trouble, folks.

We are living in a fantasy world carefully crafted to resemble a representative democracy.

It used to be that the cogs, wheels and gear shifts in our government machinery worked to keep our republic running smoothly. However, without our fully realizing it, the mechanism has changed. Its purpose is no longer to keep our republic running smoothly. To the contrary, this particular contraption’s purpose is to keep the corporate police state in power. Its various parts are already a corrupt part of the whole.

Just consider how insidious, incestuous, and beholden to the corporate elite the various “parts” of the mechanism have become.

Congress. Perhaps the most notorious offenders and most obvious culprits in the creation of the corporate-state, Congress has proven itself to be both inept and avaricious, oblivious champions of an authoritarian system that is systematically dismantling their constituents’ fundamental rights. Long before they’re elected, Congressmen are trained to dance to the tune of their wealthy benefactors.

The President. What Americans want in a president and what they need are two very different things. The making of a popular president is an exercise in branding, marketing and creating alternate realities for the consumer—a.k.a., the citizenry—that allows them to buy into a fantasy about life in America that is utterly divorced from our increasingly grim reality. Take President Obama, for instance. This is a president who got elected by campaigning against war, torture, surveillance only to make them hallmarks of his presidency, and yet somehow these “indiscretions” are overlooked and forgiven as long as he presents a jocular, hip façade.

The Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court—once the last refuge of justice, the one governmental body really capable of rolling back the slowly emerging tyranny enveloping America—has instead become the champion of the American police state, absolving government and corporate officials of their crimes while relentlessly punishing the average American for exercising his or her rights. Like the rest of the government, the Court has routinely prioritized profit, security, and convenience over the basic rights of the citizenry.

The Media. Of course, this triumvirate of total control would be completely ineffective without a propaganda machine provided by the world’s largest corporations. Besides shoveling drivel down our throats at every possible moment, the so-called news agencies which are supposed to act as bulwarks against government propaganda have instead become the mouthpieces of the state. The pundits which pollute our airwaves are at best court jesters and at worst propagandists for the false reality created by the American government. When you have internet and media giants donating to the Clinton Foundation, you no longer have an independent media that can be trusted to hold the government accountable.

The American People. “We the people” now belong to a permanent underclass in America. It doesn’t matter what you call us—chattel, slaves, worker bees, drones, it’s all the same—what matters is that we are expected to march in lockstep with and submit to the will of the state in all matters, public and private. Through our complicity in matters large and small, we have allowed an out-of-control corporate-state apparatus to take over every element of American society.

We’re playing against a stacked deck.

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

As long as they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, our failure to remain informed about what is taking place in our government, to know and exercise our rights, to vocally protest, to demand accountability on the part of our government representatives, and at a minimum to care about the plight of our fellow Americans has been our downfall.

Now we find ourselves once again caught up in the spectacle of another presidential election, and once again the majority of Americans are acting as if this election will make a difference and bring about change. As if the new boss will be different from the old boss.

When in doubt, just remember what the astute commentator George Carlin had to say about the matter:

The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything… They want more for themselves and less for everybody else… They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking… They want obedient workers… who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork…. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it… The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice…. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on…. It’s called the American Dream, ’cause you have to be asleep to believe it.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

In Ukraine: Independence From the People

An empty pathos: Impressions from Independence Day in Kyiv

By Dmitry Kolesnik | CounterPunch | August 30, 2016

KYIV, Ukraine – A sudden rain chases the few tourists from the streets. Kyiv looks abandoned except for the central square where several hundred people await the military parade. Along Kyiv’s main Khreschatyk throughfare, there are a few lines of spectators, consisting mostly of paramilitary nationalists, low-ranking military and civilian officials mobilized for the event, and the relatives of parade participants. Apart from them, there are groups of hired people in white T-shirts, hired for six euros to wave national flags until the evening. Many Kyiv employment agencies offered this “job” for August 23 and 24.

Just before Independence Day on August 24, Ukrainian authorities announced that a military parade would take place in order “to show our resolve to Putin”. So the entire show, it turns out, was designed for a single spectator. An island of triumphant nationalism in the semi-abandoned city looks a bit surreal. Groups of paramilitaries in camouflage uniforms hope that all the military vehicles will head east to Donbass soon – to “kill all the separatists and sovoks” [pejorative term for pro-Soviet Ukrainians] there.

There are dozens of the U.S.-supplied Humvees on display, along with the very tanks and missile systems which are targeting almost daily the towns and cities of the people of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, punishing civilians and local militias there for their ‘wrong choice’ in rejecting the ultra-nationalist Ukraine born of the “Revolution of Dignity” on Maidan Square two and a half years ago.

Also on parade are several units of the notorious BUK missile system. This shocked some international observers because Ukraine’s top military brass tried to convince the world’s media two years ago, following the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014, that Ukraine had no BUKs. They said the last BUK system in Ukraine had been sold to Georgia.

Militarist rhetoric and promises to punish “terrorists and separatists” dominated the speeches of officials, fueling the next wave of civil strife in the country. Unlike paramilitaries and officials, however, the hired flag-wavers seemed bored and half asleep after long hours under the careful supervision of parade organizers. They avoid any comments and shyly turn their faces away from cameras. Pathetic speeches about “outdated socialist stereotypes” and “our insidious enemies” of Donbass “terrorists” and Russian “invaders” are largely met with silence.

As a rule, the more dependent a country becomes, the more hysterical is its government’s patriotic propaganda. An ‘independence’ of most semi-colonies, economically suppressed by imperialist powers, is nominal at best – restricted to a national flag, an anthem and other emblems. That’s what we witness in today’s Ukraine: patriotic slogans such as ‘Ukraine above all’ and ‘Hail to the heroes’ (of the anti-Russia crusade) are omnipresent, along with other national symbols. Meanwhile, all the important aspects of the country’s life have been and continue to be decided externally. The only remaining aspect of ‘sovereignty’ is in symbols; hence, they are constantly emphasized by all media.

During the 25 years of post-Soviet ‘independence’, Ukraine has been losing its sovereignty steadily. Most Ukrainians, even some ultra-nationalists, realize this all too well. That’s why national holidays such as Independence Day or Constitution Day (June 28) have never been very popular compared to the holidays of Soviet times or religious or regional holidays. People perceive that they live in a country ruled not by themselves but by authorities appointed or approved by the United States or European Union.

Prior to the Maidan counterrevolution of 2014, Ukraine had lost ten million of its population, some 20 per cent of the 1991 total. Today, Ukraine’s GDP still hasn’t reached the level of 1990. The people are keenly aware that international financial institutions such as the IMF are imposing harsh and unpopular austerity measures. The popular attitude to national decorative symbols and holidays is thus very skeptical.

The official parade is followed by another one, consisting of a column of far-right paramilitaries and NGO volunteers (involved in supplying military equipment). They march while shouting “Hail to Ukraine”. Meanwhile, the crowd of hired flagwavers disperses.

A woman selling patriotic symbols asks people to buy a small flag or at least a ribbon of the national colors as she hardly sold anything during the day’s events. An elderly man jokes while asking for money from passersby. Independence day? Independence from the people; nothing depends on us anymore. Do you have any spare change?

This article originally appeared in Junge Welt’ (Germany) on August 26, 2016.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Why Hillary is the perfect person to secure Obama’s legacy

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By John Chuckman | Aletho News | August 30, 2016

I read a piece that said Hillary, with her speech about racism and extremists taking over the Republican Party, was making a play for a one-party state. That seems rather an exaggeration, but it does contain an important bit of truth. I do indeed believe Hillary thinks along the lines of a one-party state as suggested, but without ever saying so directly, and she is not focused on the particular political party with which she is now associated.

Hillary stands for the establishment, and her views appear to include the idea that anyone without attachment to that establishment is to be designated as a kind of “plebe,” as in 1984, or even “untouchable,” as in the old Indian caste system. That’s the approach that she took in her “racism” speech. It is, if you will, very much a one-party approach to politics as well as an implicitly anti-democratic one.

And, of course, it represents a truly super-arrogant attitude.

But isn’t that the natural inclination of all tyrant temperaments? And there is every indication in Hillary’s past acts and words of a tyrant’s temperament.

Her views on the military and on a long history of events from the FBI Waco massacre (she advocated for aggressive FBI action to get the event out of the headlines) and the bombing of Belgrade (which she advocated privately to her husband) to the invasion of Iraq (which she supported as a Senator) and the death of Libya’s Gadhafi (there’s her infamous, “We came, we saw, he died. Ha, ha, ha,” quote as Secretary of State) to the employment of paid terrorists and poison gas in Syria (an operation she oversaw as Secretary of State), could provide a good working definition of a tyrant’s temperament.

And just look at her close friends and associates in, or formerly in, government, people like Victoria Nuland or Madeleine Albright, extreme Neocon advocates for violence and America’s right to dictate how others should live. Madelaine Albright is best remembered for answering a journalist in an interview, when questioned about tens of thousands of Iraqi children dying in America’s embargo, “We think it’s worth it.” She is also remembered for her dirty, behind-the-scenes work in dumping as Secretary General of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a highly intelligent, fair-minded, and decent man who just happened to disagree with the United States once too often. Victoria Nuland’s claims to fame include being recorded talking about America’s spending $5 billion to create the coup in Ukraine. There is also her wonderfully diplomatic quote, “Fuck Europe,” and a seemingly endless stream of photos of her scowling into cameras.

And the same temperament is revealed in her record of ‘I know better than the expert’ when it comes to matters such as a Secretary of State’s protocols around computer security. Again, her record as First Lady with the Secret Service agents assigned to her protection was so unpleasantly arrogant that there is a residual of ill will still towards her in the Secret Service, enough to cause a number of past agents to tell tales out of school to journalists and in books.

Hillary likes to use language in public speeches which puts her ‘on the side of the angels’ where various social issues are concerned, but it is entirely an advertising campaign of no substance, much resembling the big, clown-like or grimacing smiles she puts on at public events. Many mistakenly associate her with the historic traditions of the liberal left in the older Democratic Party, the kind of traditions Bernie Sanders brought momentarily flickering back to life, although they are in reality now virtually dead in the Democratic Party. Her actual record of behavior, as opposed to her sound bites and slogans, just cannot support that view of her as a liberal or progressive light.

Just to start, Hillary conducted the most corrupt campaign against Bernie Sanders I can recall in my adult lifetime. It included an inappropriate insider relationship with the Chairman of the Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who used every opportunity with the press and other means to disadvantage Bernie Sanders. It included voter suppression in a number of states as well as outright vote fraud in a number of others. Academic statistical analysis of the primaries’ data suggests that Bernie Sanders in fact won the nomination.

Search as you might, you will not find a history of Hillary actually being involved, beyond uttering slogans every so often, with social issues. She has no record at all. But her history does very much include such acts as being fired from her early job as a Watergate Committee lawyer for unethical behavior (the man who fired the young lawyer still has his contemporary notes of the event) and, in an early volunteer case, grinding down a 12-year old rape victim about fanaticizing over older men and getting her brutal 42-year old attacker freed, smiling in an interview later that she in fact knew he was guilty.

There is literally a line of women who were her predator husband’s lovers at one time or another who say that Hillary afterwards approached them with threats about keeping their mouths shut. And, perhaps her single clearest achievement on social issues, is her record of enabling her husband to carry on with a convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, who lives on a private island and keeps a stable of underage girls for the use of visitors. He is a very wealthy man with wealthy friends and arranges large political contributions, so he receives visitors such as Bill. Epstein actually once claimed he co-founded the Clinton Foundation, and he and associates have made large donations, tens of millions. We have a documented record of 28 trips to the island by Bill, and there is no way on earth Hillary wouldn’t know about them. Just as there is no way she could not know about important developments with the Clinton Foundation. She implicitly approved of the relationship with her often seen money-before-morals attitude.

Her husband’s office-leaving pardon of Marc Rich is often regarded as corrupt and having been paid for by Mr. Rich’s family and friends who donated large and continuing sums over time. Mr. Rich had been indicted in New York for tax evasion and fraud, but perhaps the outstanding aspect of his career, as it relates to Hillary and her slogans about social issues, is the way he made a considerable part of his fortune. He smuggled oil to the apartheid government of South Africa over time against international sanctions, and he is said to have made $2 billion doing so. Well, it does seem more than a little hypocritical to have supported a pardon for this man and then today to be giving speeches on someone else’s purported racism, and even to have been photographed, with toe-scrunching smarminess, eating fried chicken with a group of black voters.

We also have the fact of her talking, quite fiercely and recorded on video, about black “super-predators” when she was First Lady. Her husband signed legislation which likely put more young black males in prison than any other piece of legislation. Bill also bragged, as he signed another bill, of ending “welfare as we know it,” again legislation which hit poor black people hard. And, in all these acts, we know he had Hillary’s support. By a great many reports, Bill Clinton never dared do anything major of which his wife disapproved. With his years of flagrant sexual adventures and his need, on more than one political occasion, for her public lies of support when he was caught out, she had a virtual hammer over his head. Besides, Hillary has always regarded herself as having considerable acumen in such policy matters, and hers is a personality type you do not comfortably ignore.

In terms of pure competence, despite her assuming a public air of swaggering competence, her record is simply meagre to poor. We can return to that early instance, her dismissal from the Watergate Investigation for what her boss called unethical conduct and lying. Later, as First Lady, she took over the healthcare portfolio from her husband, the President, with unprecedented arrogance for an unelected person and one holding no formal appointment to office, and she failed badly in the complicated task.

As a Senator from New York, her eight-year record is remarkably undistinguished. Only three bills she sponsored became law, a bill to rename a highway, a bill to re-name a post office building, and a bill to designate a house as a national historic site. As Secretary of State, she of course ran the Benghazi operation which saw an American Ambassador and others killed, and her handling of the families of the dead afterwards, as the bodies were returned, echoes to this day with insensitivity and even brutality. She is deeply resented by family members and accused of lying.

I do believe it would be a difficult task to come up with a more fitting candidate than Hillary Clinton for carrying on the Obama legacy, a legacy of killing in a half dozen lands on behalf of America’s establishment, lying daily, and leaving your own people, the people who elected you with great hopes more than seven years ago, with nothing.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

Refocusing the US Global Change Research Program

By David Wojick | Climate Etc. | August 29, 2016

Our goal here is to begin to articulate a research program into the role of recent long-term natural variability in climate change.

Long-term natural variability has implications for the modeling of future climate changes, on the scale of decades to centuries. It is called dec-cen variability. Dec-cen variability also relates to explaining the climate changes that have occurred over the last century or so. This is what is called the attribution problem; that is, how much of these historical changes are attributable to human activity, versus natural variability?

Our investigations indicate that the $2.5 billion a year US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is doing very little research of this sort [link]. There is a great deal of research on short-term variability, on the scale of a season to a decade or so. There is also some paleoclimate research looking at long periods of past climate, which may be useful. But there is very little research specifically on near term dec-cen variability, especially in relation to observed climate change over the last century or so.

This lack of research is unfortunate because the attribution problem is clearly the central policy-relevant question in climate change science. The National Academy of Sciences put the importance of attribution very succinctly way back in 1998, in their report titled “Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Timescales (NAP, 1995). The Preface of the 1998 Report provides a clear statement of the attribution problem:

“The climate change and variability that we experience will be a commingling of the ever changing natural climate state with any anthropogenic change. While we are ultimately interested in understanding and predicting how climate will change, regardless of the cause, an ability to differentiate anthropogenic change from natural variability is fundamental to help guide policy decisions, treaty negotiations, and adaptation versus mitigation strategies. Without a clear understanding of how climate has changed naturally in the past, and the mechanisms involved, our ability to interpret any future change will be significantly confounded and our ability to predict future change severely curtailed.”

In stark contrast, the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake. For example, semantic analysis of USGCRP annual reports indicates that their attention is heavily weighted to what is called “anthropogenic global warming” or AGW. Then too, analysis of NSF research awards under the program that arguably anchors the USGCRP indicates that the vast majority of awards are directed at short-term variability, typically on a scale from a season to a decade. Modeling makes up a great deal of climate research and it too looks to be biased toward AGW. It might even be argued that AGW-based modeling dominates climate change science.

In contrast to the above, it is entirely possible that much, perhaps most, of the climate change observed over the last century or so is natural. We simply do not know because the crucial research is not being done. This central question is the attribution problem.

Our Proposal:

The USGCRP needs to be expanded or redirected to look deeply into the attribution problem. Here is our candidate list of research topics for a research program on recent long-term natural variability.

1) Low climate sensitivity to CO2 increases. Recent research suggests that climate sensitivity is much lower than most models assume.

2) Sun-climate mechanisms, especially indirect effects. Several indirect solar effects have been proposed.

3) Natural oscillations (ENSO, AMO, PDO, etc.). The role of these natural oscillations in recent long-term climate variation should be a major USGCRP research area.

4) Ocean circulation (upwelling, Gulf Stream, conveyor belt, etc.). Changes in ocean circulation are thought to be able to produce large rapid temperature changes. What role they play in recent long-term changes needs to be determined.

5) Long-term natural variations (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.). We need to know if climate oscillates naturally on the decade to millennial scale.

6) Negative feedbacks (Lindzen’s Iris, convection, etc.). The climate models generally do not include strong negative feedbacks, but these have been proposed.

7) Chaotic oscillations. Climate is known to be chaotic on relatively small time scales. Whether it is on larger scales needs to be investigated. It might explain the long-term natural variations.

8) Alternative model parameterizations and assumptions.

9) Other hypotheses and new approaches.

10) Modeling the above. (It will be important to do new modeling, to explore these various processes and hypotheses, and their potential role in recent long-term climate change.)

Congress and the USGCRP should work together to develop and fund this Dec-cen Research Program.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

US Cultural Colonisation in Asia Pacific

Aug2016YSEALI

By Joseph Thomas | New Eastern Outlook | August 30, 2016

Ancient Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 – after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.

Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.

In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:

His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as ‘civilization’, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.

Compare what Tacitus wrote nearly 2,000 years ago with the United States’ Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Upon the YSEALI website, a description of the programme reads:

Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.

At face value, the notion of the United States “training” the “leaders” of Asia makes little sense, considering such training would be endowing such leaders with American values serving American interests, not Asia’s. Thus, their role as “leaders” is questionable. Their role as “facilitators” or “collaborators” seems like a much more accurate description.

The programme includes academic and professional fellowships to the United States.

The Academic Fellows Program is described as:

The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program brings undergraduates or recently graduated students between the ages of 18 and 25 to the United States for a five-week institute held on the campus of a U.S. college or university.

These five week institutes, held on the campus of a U.S. university or college, will include an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers. The program will conclude in Washington, D.C., to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.

This, quite literally, is the modern day version of what Tacitus described in his writings nearly 2,00 years ago, where the US is educating the youth of Southeast Asian states in the liberal arts, indoctrinating them into networks built to establish, maintain and expand American hegemony, encouraging an expressed preference for American culture, values and institutions while placing those of their homelands as subordinate.

It is interesting to note that “think tanks” are mentioned as part of the YSEALI experience. Those familiar with the board of directors and corporate sponsors of these think tanks will understand that it is within their halls, unelected policymakers representing immense corporate and financial interests, create foreign and domestic policy that is implemented regardless of who the American people vote into office and regardless of whether the American people agree with such policies or not, saying nothing of whether such policies even benefit the American people.

Those partaking in the YSEALI will likely believe they are at the cutting edge of “democracy,” while in fact, they are instead becoming extra weight behind the bludgeoner of dictatorial corporate special interests.

The Professional Fellows Program is described as:

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program gives participants ages 25-35 the opportunity to spend five weeks in the United States, including four weeks working directly with American counterparts in individually tailored work placements with non-profit organizations, state and local government, and private-sector offices across the country. During these placements, Fellows build their practical expertise, leadership skills, and professional networks

The Professional Fellows Program places young Asians at work places in areas including economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, legislative process and governance/civic engagement and civil society and NGO (nongovernmental organisation) development.

Just as the Roman Empire did two millennia ago, the United States is today recruiting cadres of young people from across Southeast Asia, indoctrinating them into America’s hegemonic networks and sending these cadres back to their home countries to culturally colonise them.

Instead of building up media platforms, institutions and NGOs based on local values, culture and the best interests of the people living in Southeast Asia, these cadres, with “seed funding” provided through both the US State Department and the YSEALI itself, will be building networks that serve US special interests, locked directly into the very institutions and networks YSEALI alumni met and worked with during their various fellowships.

Empire has not died. It has simply evolved, with much of that evolution being superficial and the underlying networks and methods remaining nearly indistinguishable to those employed by the Romans, British and even by 19th century American “Manifest Destiny.”

Empire has not died because the fundamental aspects of human nature; greed, the need to dominate, avarice and all other negative qualities associated with absolute power corrupting absolutely have not changed.  No matter how progressive the US attempts to dress up its “fellowships,” the YSEALI and other programmes like it will continue to be spoken of  by those who are drawn into them as “civilisation” when in fact they are only a “feature of their enslavement.”

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | | Leave a comment