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Updated: 27 min 45 sec ago

N Korea Vows to Hit US With 'Unimaginable' Strike if US-S Korean Drills Continue - Sputnik Internati

31 min 38 sec ago
Pyongyang could stage an unprecedented strike on the US at an unexpected time, the North Korean state run news agency KCNA warned on Thursday. The threat came as the South Korean and US navies conduct massive joint drills amid increasing tensions over the north's nuclear and missile ambitions.

As the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan appeared in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's emergency committee for opposing nuclear war drills condemned the joint move between the US and South Korea to mobilize strategic nuclear assets near the peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"The US is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. The US should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time," the Korean Central News Agency warned.


CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination

32 min 42 sec ago
CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination

  More than 3,000 never-before-seen documents from the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department on the assassination of John F. Kennedy are scheduled be released, with many experts fearing that such a large release of secret JFK assassination documents will spur “a new generation of conspiracy theories.” According to Roger Stone, the CIA is urging President Donald Trump to delay disclosing […]

Source: CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination

5,000-mile long 'atmospheric river' to deliver heavy rain, feet of snow to Northwest US

32 min 42 sec ago
5,000-mile long 'atmospheric river' to deliver heavy rain, feet of snow to Northwest US

An atmospheric river is poised to funnel gigantic amounts of rain and snow to the Northwest over the next few days.

As much as 15 inches of rain is forecast in the mountains along with several inches in coastal areas, including Portland and Seattle. It could be Seattle's wettest weather since February, the National Weather Service said.

There is also a risk of flash flooding in western Washington and northwestern Oregon on Thursday as a result of the heavy rainfall, the weather service warned.

Snowfall will expand throughout the Washington and Oregon Cascades and parts of the northern Rockies on Thursday - with some light snowfall in higher elevations of northern California. By Friday, snow will continue across the Cascades and throughout the northern Rockies.

On the very tops of the Cascade mountains, a whopping 9 feet of snow could fall, the weather service said.

Some of the rain will make it down to fire-ravaged California in the next few days. However, while a few periods of rain are in store for northern California late Thursday through Friday, a widespread, fire-quenching rainfall is not expected, AccuWeather said.

Another one of these rivers in the sky could funnel rain into Oregon by the weekend.

Source: 5,000-mile long 'atmospheric river' to deliver heavy rain, feet of snow to Northwest US

Demented Slovenian 'artist' who breast-fed dog and fertilized one of her eggs with a dog cell wins award

32 min 42 sec ago
Demented Slovenian 'artist' who breast-fed dog and fertilized one of her eggs with a dog cell wins award

A Slovenian "artist" breastfed her dogs and fertilized one of her eggs with a dog cell as part of an award-winning three-month art project.

Maja Smrekar lived in seclusion with her dogs as part of the lengthy artistic experiment, which was titled "K-9_topology."

During that time, she triggered her body to produce breast milk by systematic breast pumping. She then breastfed her puppy Ada to explore "the social and ideological instrumentalization of the female body and breastfeeding."

Comment: The only thing this poor woman is 'exploring' is her own disordered psychological makeup. In a sane society, she would be deemed in need of psychological help. In our 'modern' society, she wins awards and is emulated.

Smrekar also took a fat cell from another dog, Byron, and used it to fertilize one of her eggs using a method similar to IVF. The fat cell was a non-sexual cell, so no dog's sperm was used in the project.

Source: Demented Slovenian 'artist' who breast-fed dog and fertilized one of her eggs with a dog cell wins award

30,000 sq mile Antarctic ice hole & Arctic ice gain anomalies

32 min 42 sec ago
30,000 sq mile Antarctic ice hole & Arctic ice gain anomalies

The media sounds alarm bells that there is a 30,000 square mile ice hole that opened in the Antarctic sea ice, as if its because of global warming, but they forget to add that this occurred in the 1970's as well. Arctic sea ice continues to grow at record pace and Greenland with massive gains to the top of the charts in the S.E. All of these changes were forecast to occur during the Grand Solar Minimum.

Source: 30,000 sq mile Antarctic ice hole & Arctic ice gain anomalies

ISIS 'plotting new 9/11': Homeland Security chief says jihadists are working on a 'big explosion' and want to bring down planes

4 hours 32 min ago
ISIS 'plotting new 9/11': Homeland Security chief says jihadists are working on a 'big explosion' and want to bring down planes

ISIS 'plotting new 9/11': Homeland Security chief says jihadists are working on a 'big explosion' and want to bring down planes to inflict mass civilian casualties | 18 Oct 2017 | Islamic State fanatics and other terror groups are planning another massive attack on the scale of 9/11, a top US security chief warned today. Elaine Duke, Donald Trump's acting Secretary of Homeland Security, said jihadists were using crude knife and van attacks to keep their members engaged and their finances flowing as they plot another 'big explosion' similar to the September 2001 atrocities. Speaking at the US embassy in London, she said intelligence is pointing to extremists plotting to take down planes to inflict mass civilian casualties. Mrs Duke said ISIS is currently in an 'interim' period focusing on a much bigger endgame.

Source: ISIS 'plotting new 9/11': Homeland Security chief says jihadists are working on a 'big explosion' and want to bring down planes

Nationwide human trafficking stings ensnare multiple cops-84 kids as young as 3 months freed

4 hours 32 min ago
Nationwide human trafficking stings ensnare multiple cops-84 kids as young as 3 months freed

Nationwide human trafficking busts captured cops and high-level military, and more than 80 children were rescued, one of whom was only 3-months old.

Multiple undercover sting operations across the United States were carried out this month targeting adult and child sex trafficking. The results of many of these stings netted hundreds of arrests-including doctors, pharmacists, high-level military officers, and law enforcement officers. Dozens of children were also rescued - including one as young as three months old.

"That's the most we have ever arrested in the history of the sheriff's office," Sheriff Grady Judd said of his undercover operation in Polk County, Florida.

The sheriff is referring to the 277 people rounded up in "Operation No Tricks, No Treats" which started last Tuesday and ran through Monday.

According to the sheriff's office, as reported by WFLA, 51 of the arrests were related to those who advertise as prostitutes online and 209 of the arrests were those who solicited undercover detectives posing as prostitutes. Seventeen arrests were made for other offenses.

The sheriff noted that the arrests included lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, former and current police officers, multiple men looking to have sex with children, and convicted sex offenders.

Source: Nationwide human trafficking stings ensnare multiple cops-84 kids as young as 3 months freed

The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z

4 hours 32 min ago
The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z

The acceptance of violence in cinema today has become the norm. In almost every genre of cinema (even in comedies [Kick Ass] and musicals [Sweeney Todd]) today extreme violence can crop up at some point during the movie. Some film genres are based on violence: horror, war, westerns, crime, terror.
This is especially true of science fiction and zombie movies where ‘replicants’ (androids/robots) are executed (‘retired’) and zombies are mowed down with machine guns. And because replicants (Blade Runner 2049) and zombies (World War Z) are not ‘human’ then the representation of any form of violence can be used to ‘take them out’. In both films the replicants and zombies are in revolt globally. If we were to argue that both films were symbolic representations of contemporary global issues then we could explain this depiction of the revolting masses as symbolic of elite anxieties regarding the ever growing masses of slum dwellers and refugees in the world today.
​Blade Runner 2049
It is believed that 863 million people live in slums and around 65 million people live in refugee camps. We live in a global system which has created these problems but is not able to resolve them. Moreover, these numbers are constantly increasing and no state or international organisation has been able to reverse the figures, hence the anxiety.In Blade Runner 2049 the fear is that the replicants could start reproducing themselves and overrun the planet and in World War Z masses of zombies have already started to take over the world. In both films the overriding concern is how to stop them. In Blade Runner 2049 a replicant’s child must be found and destroyed and in World War Z the discovery is made that inoculation with a pathogen causes the zombies to ignore the humans.
​Sweeney Todd
The use of violence to destroy the replicants and zombies is depicted in very graphic scenes. We are being  familiarised with regular violent scenes of ‘people’ being killed with machine guns, shot point blank in the head, knifed in the heart or executed on the spot. We do not question the morality of such actions because they are ‘androids’, ‘robots’,  ‘zombies’, etc. However, when such behaviour is shown in films where humans are depicted, do we question it? Do we think about issues of human dignity, justice before the law, the Geneva Conventions, the abolition of capital punishment? Are we becoming like the mob who shouts ‘take him out’?In film-making the movement of actors before the camera is called ‘blocking’. This comes from theatre where small blocks were used to work out the positions of each actor on stage.
Blocking means working out the the details of each actor’s moves during filming of each scene. Actors must learn the choreography of hand to hand combat (slaps and punches) and how to work with a gun to look authentic and realistic. The huge increase in realistic violent scenes in cinema has had its physical toll on actors accruing injuries in combat scenes, an increase in stunt actors and ever more realistic computer graphics.
​World War Z
On a symbolic level the human body is becoming more objectified as a dehumanised punch bag, while on a philosophical level there is a move away from humanism to an apocalyptic ‘posthuman’ view. We are becoming less and less shocked at the sight of torture, pumping blood, bones sticking out, severed limbs, massive gashes in the body, knife wounds and multiple bleeding bullet holes.It wasn’t always like this. In the 1930s Hollywood adopted the self-imposed Hays Code (officially the Motion Picture Production Code) which set out guidelines on what could be depicted in films. While the code covered many aspects of society especially in relation to crime, nudity and religion, it also recommended that ‘special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated’ such as: ‘Arson’, ‘The use of firearms’, ‘Brutality and possible gruesomeness’, ‘Technique of committing murder by whatever method’, ‘Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime’ and ‘Rape or attempted rape’.
While some may laugh at the prudery and censorship of cinema during those times (which had been rejected by the early 1960s), others see a more human era when violence was implied rather than graphically depicted.
​Kick Ass
The issues at stake here, though, are not the problems of censorship or prudery but the depiction and role of violence in cinema. Cui bono? In society who benefits from the constant portrayal of interhuman and internecine violence in the movies? Cinema has a mass popular base and therefore will influence attitudes in society as people watch and discuss films they see in theatres and on television. Cinema is also extremely costly to make and therefore its content is highly constrained by the type of subject matter elites wish to be viewed. It is often said that the director gets first cut and the producers determine the rest.It is also known that elites foment controversy to keep the people fighting with each other as a form of divide and rule. By recycling controversies in different forms again and again elites create as many divisions as possible that prevent people uniting as one, and, more importantly, uniting against them. In cinema we constantly see people individually and in groups at each others throats arguing and fighting or facing each other off in various types of gun battles.
Fortunately, cinema also has a tradition of film making which revolves around working class unity and solidarity. This comes down to individual writers and directors with a social consciousness who over the years have made films that explored the lives and struggles of ordinary people. Filmmakers themselves are aware of the potential for decline of a film industry without a code of ethics, where anything goes. In recent years the president of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia, film director Nikita Mikhalkov, initiated the creation of an ethics charter for the film industry there. The code would be a voluntary, self-regulation of the industry. It is interesting to note that in the United States the Golden Age of Hollywood coincided with the time of the Hays Code.
In the discussion about violence in the cinema part of the debate revolves around just and unjust violence. However, one may ask if the depiction of extreme violence in the revenge of the oppressed is reason enough for the acceptability of its portrayal? Even here the dignity of the human being implies that the ethical imperative is to move away from the horror of extreme violence for the possibility of the creation of a genuinely civilised future.

Source: The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z

American Teaching Hospitals: Where Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia Happen

4 hours 32 min ago
American Teaching Hospitals: Where Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia Happen

Before undergoing a liver biopsy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, I asked my surgeon’s nurse whether I was to be catheterized for the procedure. In response to this perfectly legitimate question the knave sardonically replied: “I’m really not supposed to say this, but what difference does it make? You’re going to be under general anesthesia.”
It was at that moment that I started to wonder: With an attitude like that, what do they really do to us when we are under anesthesia? And thus a little Internet surfing was most certainly in order.
In my journey into the subterranean depths of cyberspace, I was startled to come across a most terrifying sea monster indeed: a disturbing discussion where medical students debate, often favorably, the ethics of doing practice pelvic exams on anesthetized women undergoing surgery. The thread is here.
Apparently, there is no shortage of medical students, interns, residents, and attending physicians who feel they are entitled to penetrate the vaginas and anuses of anesthetized patients that lie paralyzed and helpless on the operating table, and who feel that they have the right to do this without first obtaining the patient’s consent. This naked display of barbarism and sociopathic behavior speaks volumes about the moral unraveling that is so glaringly on display in the West today.
This scandalous practice is evidently not uncommon in Australia, as this article attests.
The forum is fascinating in that it allows the reader to be a fly on the wall, giving one a glimpse into how many American medical students think – if that is, in fact, the appropriate word. (Some spelling corrections have been made in the following quotations. Hopefully, these Ivy League superstars will take more care in looking after their patients than they do with the written word. Considering the attitudes on display here, I am not optimistic).
The discussion opens with a medical student named Unregistered Abuser, who, like a kind of postmodern Socrates struggling with an existential conundrum, puts forth the following question:
Let me pose a question. I am on gynecological surgery and several different residents and attendings have told me that prior to surgery it is a great idea to perform a pelvic exam on the anesthetized woman in order to get practice. Many have said it is not traumatic to the patient and you get a more technically adequate exam since the patient is not guarding. Sure enough, before every procedure the attending and resident…perform a quick pelvic exam. Is this wrong? The attending does it for one last chance to feel for any previously undiagnosed masses or other abnormalities, but the resident and student do it primarily for educational purposes. The patient has consented to the surgery, but not for the pelvic exam. Does consent to surgery of the uterus, vagina, vulva, ovaries, etc. also imply consent to manual palpation of these structures during the surgery?
A medical student named Starayamoskva comments: “It is standard procedure. How else do you think the residents and students are going to learn?” A student named Gauss replies: “Pelvics on anesthesized women prior to surgery is routine – informed consent was obtained as part of the surgical consent.”
Doc Ivy chimes in, “As a woman I have to say that I really don’t have a problem with this. If I am at a teaching hospital it’s what I would expect.” A medical student named tupac_don flippantly remarks, “Been there done that, it’s A okay.” And not to be outdone, one student who could be the very devil himself says, “Patients…have rights? This phrase is thrown around by every damn idiot…but where does it come from? Hey Mr. lawyer, does the Bill of Rights say ‘Medical students shall not examine a patient’s vagina prior to vaginal surgery?’ This patient’s have rights bull**** came from lawyers…. Healthcare isn’t even a right.”
So how did we arrive at this cesspit of degeneracy and the most abject moral bankruptcy? And where did these despicable monsters come from?
They came from our schools, our press, and our mass media. They came from our consumerism, our materialism, our barbarism abroad, and the totalitarianism of our prison system. They were born out of the ashes of post-New Deal America, where our nation’s once proud middle class now lies in ruins, and we are increasingly trapped in a world of the affluent living in their gated communities on one side, and the miserable wretched masses – the oppressed, the destitute, and the debt-ridden on the other.
The dismantling of the humanities has also played a significant role in fomenting this dehumanization. This is because most colleges and universities presently exist for only two reasons: to maximize the greatest possible profit, while also serving as vocational institutes that mold young people into becoming automatons trained to perform increasingly specialized jobs. (Jobs which, particularly outside of health care, do not even exist).
This absence of a proper humanities education has undoubtedly contributed to the inculcation of many medical students with the pernicious idea that patients are mere objects and teaching tools. And the danger of significant numbers of young people receiving an advanced scientific and technical education that is utterly devoid of any foundation in the humanities, lies in the fact that the soullessness and amorality that follow will inevitably usher in an age of authoritarianism and absolute unchecked barbarism.
Many medical students are also made acutely aware of which patients have money and good health care plans, and which don’t. This two-tier system is well on display in many medical institutions across the country, as patients are separated into the haves and the have nots. (And lest we forget, there are also the “have mores,” as George W Bush was once kind enough to point out). One student writes on this thread: “At my school, the rule is that it’s ok to do [pelvic exams on anesthetized women] on welfare patients but not on private patients.”
The oligarchy’s mass media brainwashing apparatus has been relentless in spreading the virus of neoliberal free market dogma. And this has also exacerbated commodification, dehumanization, desensitization, as well as contributing to a profound loss of compassion, empathy, and a sense of self.
The attitude of the attending physician will unequivocally have a profound impact on the behavior and thinking of the medical students, interns, and residents that they mentor. And their philosophy and approach to patient care will shape and mold the moral character (or lack thereof) of their charges in profound ways, and for many years to come.
The physician Peter Ubel writes on the website
Moral attitudes are often a function more of our experience than of our training. When some colleagues and I surveyed medical students and asked them how important it was to ask permission before conducting a pelvic exam on an anesthetized woman, brand new medical students almost universally stated that permission was vital but by the time the students finished their OB/GYN rotations three years later, they didn’t see permission as being important anymore. Despite the lectures they’d received about ‘informed consent’ during the first two years of medical school, six weeks of an OB/GYN rotation was enough to change their moral attitudes.
Men under anesthesia are not immune to this barbarous practice, as the attending physician can order medical students to line up and perform practice prostate exams on anesthetized male patients.
How ironic, that if a student passes out while intoxicated at a party and their body is vaginally or anally penetrated while they are unconscious, the law states unequivocally that this is illegal. However, if a student gets a 4.0 GPA, aces the MCAT, and goes to medical school they can actually do this all day long and to their heart’s content.
Many medical students will feel in their heart that this practice is unethical, yet proceed with the unauthorized exam as they wish to get a good grade and don’t want to anger their attending physician. And like soldiers in the military, the pressure to conform will be overwhelming. It will take great courage to say no.
There is also an inextricable connection between nonconsensual physician shadowing and nonconsensual rectal and pelvic exams performed on anesthetized patients. With the former, once this Rubicon has been crossed it becomes ingrained in the minds of everyone on the medical “team” that the patient is more of a primate than a human being, and is consequently undeserving of any right to privacy whatsoever. Moreover, once these civilized norms of morality and ethics have been breached, it will be easy for a medical student to take things just one step further, and violate a patient’s body on the operating table “for practice.”
It is vitally important that medical students, residents, and fellows be inculcated with an understanding that both observing a patient’s session with their doctor as well as examining a patient’s body, constitute a privilege and not a right. And they must be made to understand that this privilege can only be granted when both the attending physician  and the patient sign off on it.
There may be some medical students who are angrily reading this, and who have concluded that I am somehow attempting to sabotage their efforts at becoming doctors. As one who has taken a lot of photographic portraits on the streets of New York City, never have I taken someone’s portrait without first obtaining their consent. If a photographer makes the case that there is an ethical and an unethical way of taking portraits, does it then somehow follow that they are of the opinion that photographic portraiture should be banned altogether?
Every teaching hospital in this country has a website where they speak ad nauseam of their profound respect for patient privacy. The problem is that their conception of the term applies only to protecting the digitalization of your medical records.
It is noteworthy that not all the medical students who participated in this discussion were in favor of this practice. Souljah1 says: “Lining up 4-6 medical students to do pelvics on anesthetized women is totally ****ed up in my opinion. Not giving clear information regarding students lining up to examine their genitalia and reproductive organs is incredibly unethical in my opinion.”
And one brave medical student going by the name Mumpu argues, “Think about the absolute trust the patient places in your skills and professionalism when they go under anesthesia. They are paralyzed and unconscious and it is grossly unprofessional of you to violate that trust by violating their body. There’s no ‘greater good’ clause here. To do an unconsented exam is assault (any firefighter/EMT who ever worked on the streets knows this), to do an unconsented pelvic is sexual assault.”
And so perhaps we can take heart in knowing that even in this dark age of book burning and the most appalling ignorance, there are still those who live their lives with a powerful sense of morality and ethics, who have retained their humanity in the face of stifling reactionary dogmas, and who have resisted the call of dark forces that lie in wait behind every shadow and every unlocked door.

Source: American Teaching Hospitals: Where Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia Happen

Why the Columbine and Las Vegas Massacres?

4 hours 52 min ago
Why the Columbine and Las Vegas Massacres?

After the 1999 school massacre in Columbine, Colorado – an exurbia community – by two disaffected teenage boys (who also killed themselves), I came to the conclusion that the killers’ “motive” was not at all a purposeful urge, goal, revenge or obsession, but instead a complete self-abandonment into nihilism – a giving up – and the horrible eruption of that destructive nihilism was a symptom of those boys’ lack of culture – an abysmal lack of culture. I see the same about Stephen Paddock, the shooter in Las Vegas; his fury to kill emerged out of a profound lack of culture.
It seems to me that these rapid-fire suicide-killers had been born into and raised (probably somewhat thoughtlessly) in a cultural void. Their world was a generic beyond-suburbia commuter outpost of sprawl, malls, video games and Internet pablum and porn, instead of real books of literature, real art instead of plastic flamingo-level decorations, and real music instead of throwaway canned between-commercials pop. They had never absorbed real culture, which is the emotional and intellectual glue that binds an individual to the wider human communities both in the present and through the long arc of time.
Those boys (young and old) had lives of material ease, but they had absolutely no spirit because the nurturing and feeding of the spirit – the essential purpose of culture – was absent from their lives. I believe the spiritual-cultural hollowness of their cores was a reflection of the spiritual-cultural desert that was their environment.
By their late teens the two Columbine killers had had enough of it, and could see nothing in their possible 60 to 70 years of future living except more of the same. That “more of the same” is the listless life Stephen Paddock lived until he too had had enough, at age 64. As they looked into their futures the Columbine teens could have thought that maybe they could become insurance agents or realtors, or some other “normal” occupation that would see them harnessed to the spinning wheels of pointless money-making. And they would have their free time to be just as hollow as their comfort-providing work would be: more video games or video poker?, hanging out at the same beer joints with the same kind of empty-headed crowd?, watching another game on TV?, getting married and keeping up the same kind of families they had grown up in?
What would be the point? It was like looking down an arrow-straight empty four-lane freeway across a dry-lake salt-flat that stretched out to their 80th year and led to nothing but a dead end. Why spend the better part of a century bored, waiting to get to nowhere after having spent the whole trip doing nothing because nobody cared anyway, and end up just as useless as they were now, then die unnoticed and thereafter remain forgotten? Why not cut out all the slow stuff, the boring, tiresome waiting and pointless work, and just get one incredible orgasmically exciting machine-gun humping high, and then check out in a blink before the let-down set in?
I think it is the deep, personal absorption of and sensitivity to culture, and even tradition, that fills a psyche with the substance needed for living life joyfully; and the substance which occupies what would otherwise be a spiritual-cultural void that can only produce interminable lassitude or explosions of destructive nihilism erupting out of deeply submerged despair.
I think the appreciative absorption of culture, along with the received gifts of affectionate nurturing, kind friendship and confident love, are the necessary courses in a complete education of the human heart. I see major tragedies like the Columbine and Las Vegas massacres, as well as so many little-noticed murders of the same sort, to be the result of our society’s many failures at providing all our people with that necessary education of the heart.
I was prompted to write these comments after reading the following article by Greg Palast, “I went to School with the Vegas Shooter” pointed out to me by Anthony Tarrant.

Source: Why the Columbine and Las Vegas Massacres?

Video: As Puerto Rico Faces $95 Billion Cleanup, Exposé Reveals Vulture Firms Who Own Its $74 Billion Debt

8 hours 32 min ago
Video: As Puerto Rico Faces $95 Billion Cleanup, Exposé Reveals Vulture Firms Who Own Its $74 Billion Debt – One month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a major new investigation examines the looming question of what will … Via Youtube

Source: Video: As Puerto Rico Faces $95 Billion Cleanup, Exposé Reveals Vulture Firms Who Own Its $74 Billion Debt

Universal Basic Income: Visionary or Wishful Thinking?

8 hours 32 min ago
Universal Basic Income: Visionary or Wishful Thinking?

By Susan Boskey Universal Basic Income, also known as UBI, social credit and Basic Income Guarantee, is not a new concept. However, it is being...

Source: Universal Basic Income: Visionary or Wishful Thinking?

How to make real history: China and Russia transforming enemies into friends

8 hours 32 min ago
How to make real history: China and Russia transforming enemies into friends

In the previous articles, the military and economic means by which the United States initially aimed for global hegemony were addressed, detailing how the US became the (declining) superpower it is today. In both analyses I highlighted how the threat of US military power is no longer credible, and how sanctions and the strong-arming behavior of corporate giants and international bodies (IMF, World Bank, BIS, etc) have ceased their effectiveness. This has made the United States increasingly irrelevant, leaving in the process a vacuum to be filled by emerging powers like China and Russia, which effectively ushers in a new world order based on multipolarity. In this third and final part of the series, I will dive into the specific events that show how the military, economic and diplomatic combination of Iran, Russia and China have forged, by known as well as less-known means, an alternative world order to the unipolar American one.

Russia, China and Iran have in recent years drawn enormous benefit from the declining military and economic power of the United States, further propelled by a general mistrust of Washington's diplomatic and political abilities, both with Obama and now with Trump. The two previous articles showed that Moscow, Beijing and Tehran, even as they addressed different situations, shared similar interests and came to coordinate their military, economic and diplomatic strategy.

The success of the Euro-Asian triptych is based on the essential principle of transforming enemies into neutral players, neutral players into allies, and further improving relations with allied nations. In order for this project to be realized, economic, military and diplomatic efforts are variously employed, depending on the country and the general regional context. The flexibility shown by Moscow and Beijing in negotiations has delivered historic deals, not only in the energy sector but also in the military sphere and also in education and poverty reduction, as seen in Africa.

Source: How to make real history: China and Russia transforming enemies into friends

French president Macron wants to lead EU rapprochement with Iran

8 hours 32 min ago
French president Macron wants to lead EU rapprochement with Iran

France has taken the first step in respect of showing good faith towards Iran, in the context of a possible post-US JCPOA. However, much more is still required if Europe is serious about preserving its agreement with Iran.

Facing unpopularity at home over callous remarks associated with his controversial labour reforms, French President Emmanuel Macron is looking east in order to establish himself as Europe's leading figure in the diplomatic rush to 'save' the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) from Donald Trump's threats to fully withdraw from the agreement, after the US domestically de-certified the JCPOA, thus sending it to Congress for extended debates.

Whether Macron cares about the Iran deal as a matter of principle, seeks to enhance his personal prestige or is feeling the pressure from French companies who are successfully conducting business with Iran, is ultimately, a moot point. In reality, Europe does need to take a lead in representing the western half of the east-west agreement that is the JCPOA. Thus far, the most robust statements clarifying the EU's continued support of the deal have come from the European Union's High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, who spoke minutes after Trump's speech confirming US de-certification of the JCPOA.

Source: French president Macron wants to lead EU rapprochement with Iran

Roger Stone: Guccifer 2.0 is not a Russian hacker -- Puppet Masters --

8 hours 46 min ago
Both during and after my recent interrogation by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, democratic members of that Committee repeated again the false claim that a blogger who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 is a known Russian asset. While our politicized intelligence agencies insist this is a fact, much of the known evidence is to the contrary.

The Deep State chorus repeating this falsehood over and over again makes it no truer than the discredited notion that the DNC was hacked at all, and that the Russians did it.

The Nation magazine recently reported on a study issued by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), which is a group comprised of numerous former high-level US intelligence officials. Based upon the VIPS study, The Nation concluded that, "There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee's system on July 5, 2016... not by the Russians and not by anyone else." Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak; a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data storage device. In short, they reported it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system. This casts serious doubt on the initial alleged hack claim that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.


Las Vegas cover-up continues: Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos cancels all TV interviews - UPDATE: Campos to appear on Ellen

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:40
Las Vegas cover-up continues: Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos cancels all TV interviews - UPDATE: Campos to appear on Ellen

Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay security guard who first encountered mass shooter Stephen Paddock, vanished Thursday afternoon hours before planned interviews with five TV networks, his union president said Friday.

"The union doesn't have any idea where he's at at this time," said David Hickey, international president of the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America, which represents security guards at Mandalay Bay.

Hickey said he had been with Campos for the last four days, along with another union member, helping him prepare for media interviews. He said Campos was staying in a Las Vegas-area hotel suite, with a living room and an adjoining bedroom.

Source: Las Vegas cover-up continues: Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos cancels all TV interviews - UPDATE: Campos to appear on Ellen

Borneo to enforce smoking ban at 76 public parks

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:40
Borneo to enforce smoking ban at 76 public parks

Seventy-six public parks across the state have been gazetted as 'No Smoking' zones, following the enforcement on June 1 this year by the state Health Department.

According to state Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim, her side ran a three-month public awareness prior to the enforcement.

"Public parks should be used for healthy recreational activities. Smokers are, therefore, urged to respect other visitors who wish to utilise these public facilities without the dangerous side effects of secondary smoking," she said when asked about the number of compounds issued for those caught smoking at public parks across the state, under Regulation 11(1)(w) of Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.

Source: Borneo to enforce smoking ban at 76 public parks

Liquid democracy: Colorado candidate pledges to make political decisions based on Parti.Vote app

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:40
Liquid democracy: Colorado candidate pledges to make political decisions based on Parti.Vote app

By the People

Technology has the potential to radically change how elected officials perform their duties, and at least one political candidate thinks now's the time to take advantage of that potential. If Camilo Casas is elected to the city council in Boulder, Colorado, this November, he promises he will not make any decision by himself. Instead, he plans to put that power in the hands of the people via a liquid democracy app called Parti.Vote.

Casas built the app himself, and as he explained to Motherboard, he designed it to facilitate a liquid democracy. The idea is that instead of simply hoping their elected representatives support their stance on issues, citizens will be empowered to directly affect policy-making by voting through the app.

Source: Liquid democracy: Colorado candidate pledges to make political decisions based on Parti.Vote app

'Hollywood now, Washington, DC next': Fmr Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney rails against gov't pedophilia

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:40
'Hollywood now, Washington, DC next': Fmr Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney rails against gov't pedophilia

"We're outraged and angry--not having had justice for at least a generation. Hollywood now; Washington, DC next." - Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Ph.D.

Let there be no doubt, those who engage in the child sex trade are society's most vile - and many times, as the recent revelations out of Hollywood are showing us, the most elite.

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney agrees and has devoted much of her life to ousting these vile predators. In February, McKinney made a point noting that going after child predators will lead to the downfall of both Republicans and Democrats - as this problem goes all the way to the top.

Now, this former congresswoman is at it again, promoting a documentary, titled, An Open Secret that exposes the horrific problem of child sex trafficking in Hollywood.

For those who don't remember McKinney, she is the Congresswoman who bravely questioned the elite - on the house floor - about their role in the child trafficking industry.

Source: 'Hollywood now, Washington, DC next': Fmr Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney rails against gov't pedophilia

The State Department reveals nearly 3,000 of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:20
The State Department reveals nearly 3,000 of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser

The State Department admitted the FBI discovered nearly 3,000 government documents on a laptop belonging to the ex-husband of Hillary Clinton's top adviser, Huma Abedin, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch said.

The revelation was in response to a May 2015 lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the State Department after it failed to respond to a Freedom of Information request (FOIA) seeking all emails of official State Department business received or sent by Abedin between January 2009 and February 2013 "using a email address."

"This is a disturbing development. Our experience with Abedin's emails suggest these Weiner laptop documents will include classified and other sensitive materials," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement, naming Abedin's ex-husband, Anthony Weiner.

Source: The State Department reveals nearly 3,000 of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser

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