10/12/17: Folks, there isn’t a Russkie in the Alabama waste collection ditches

No, it is not Russia Today, nor Sputnik, nor some other ‘foreign agent’ reporting this, but the U. S. own Newsweek. The mass media, mainstream news publication headlined its recent report with this: ALABAMA HAS THE WORST POVERTY IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD, U. N. OFFICIAL SAYS (You know things are pretty much going South when the UN sends in a “Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights” to look into the, that is right, poverty and human rights record of the world’s leading democracy, the Number One, the shining light on the ever-dark horizon, that marks the way for the destitute and the oppressed… ah, you know the leitmotif.
It would be a bit of a ‘right, UN, say no more’ if it weren’t for the hard cold facts mentioned in the Newsweek article, the open sewers, the 2017 hookworm outbreak, the “nearly 41 million people in the U. S. live in poverty. That’s second-highest rate of poverty among rich countries” reported by another, non-RT/non-Sputnik agency, the U. S. Government’s own Census Bureau. Were it not for the fact that the UN investigator is a U. S. law professor (well, he might be a foreign agent too, who knows).

This post was published at True Economics on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Politico: Trump’s “Fake News Mantra” Provides Global Dictators A “Shield For Human Rights” Abuses

pparently Trump’s efforts to call out reporters for their biased, misleading, inaccurate and/or often just outright false reporting (A. K. A. “Fake News”) is now tantamount to endorsing human rights abuses by dictators the world over…at least according to Politico. Per an article published earlier this morning, Politico argues that “by aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U. S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights.”
Authoritarian rulers across the globe are adopting President Donald Trump’s favorite phrase to limit free speech, with prominent leaders or state media in at least 15 countries using his ‘fake news’ line to denounce their critics, according to a POLITICO review.

By aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U. S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights, said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

‘I’m seeing it more and more,’ he said. Trump, he added, ‘is providing a context and framework for all sorts of authoritarian leaders – or democratic leaders and others who are dissatisfied or upset by critical media coverage – to undermine and discredit reporting.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 8, 2017.

Faux Outrage: Reuters Says Tillerson Violating “Child Soldier Laws”; Ignores Same Policies Under Clinton-Obama

Late last night, Reuters published an “exclusive” report which was undoubtedly intended to be a “gotcha” hit piece on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, courtesy of some disgruntled Obama/Clinton holdovers at the State Department. The report from Reuters came after they got their hands on a confidential “dissent” memo, signed by ” a dozen U. S. State Department officials” accusing Tillerson of violating the “Child Soldiers Prevention Act.” Here’s a summary from Reuters:
A group of about a dozen U. S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters.
A confidential State Department ‘dissent’ memo not previously reported said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a U. S. list of offenders in the use of child soldiers. This was despite the department publicly acknowledging that children were being conscripted in those countries.
Keeping the countries off the annual list makes it easier to provide them with U. S. military assistance. Iraq and Afghanistan are close allies in the fight against Islamist militants, while Myanmar is an emerging ally to offset China’s influence in Southeast Asia.
Documents reviewed by Reuters also show Tillerson’s decision was at odds with a unanimous recommendation by the heads of the State Department’s regional bureaus overseeing embassies in the Middle East and Asia, the U. S. envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the department’s human rights office and its own in-house lawyers.
‘Beyond contravening U. S. law, this decision risks marring the credibility of a broad range of State Department reports and analyses and has weakened one of the U. S. government’s primary diplomatic tools to deter governmental armed forces and government-supported armed groups from recruiting and using children in combat and support roles around the world,’ said the July 28 memo.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

US Calls For ‘Genuine Transition’ In Zimbabwe As Mugabe Resigns

BREAKING: President Robert Mugabe has resigned, Speaker of Parliament confirms
— Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) November 21, 2017

Update: During a small roundtable with State Department reporters late Monday, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto urged the Zimbabwe military to implement ‘real, genuine, economic [and] political reforms” and to ensure elections scheduled to be helpd next year are fair and transparent.
The message came hours before Zimbabwe’s parliament speaker announced President Robert Mugabe had resigned Tuesday.
Yamamoto said the international community wants to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe and see the country, once an economic success story, become a pillar of stability on the continent, according to VOA News.
The way for Washington to lift sanctions is for Harare to carry out the due process, to respect human rights, and to give the opposition a genuine opportunity to form a government.
‘What we don’t want is a manipulation by the government or by the ruling ZANU-PF party – holding rush elections, not taking into consideration a lot of the reform issues that the opposition wants to implement; also, not giving political space for Zimbabwe people for them to express what they want to see in a new government,” Yamamoto said.
US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry Thomas has been meeting with officials from ZANU-PF party and the opposition party behind the scenes to try and help push the political process forward.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

‘Extreme Vetting’ would be a #PreCrime #DigitalMuslimBan

Today The Identity Project joined 55 other civil rights, civil liberties, government accountability, human rights, immigrant rights, and privacy organizations in calling on the US Department of Homeland Security to abandon its Extreme Vetting Initiative.
The essential goal of the DHS Extreme Vetting Initiative is to extend the bogus ‘pre-crime’ prediction algorithms and methodsbased on ‘big data’ from suspicionless mass surveillance, already being used by the DHS and its partner agencies in the US and abroad to decide who is allowed to board airplanes, to a broader range of decisions about who is allowed to travel to, or reside or remain in, the US.
But the DHS doesn’t have any ‘pre-cogs’, human or robotic, to make these predictions. And prior restraint of our movements or other activities based on predictions of future criminality is not only impossible (and inherently subject to abuse by those who create the predictive and decision-making algorithms) but an affront to fundamental notions of justice, due process, and human rights.
According to a joint letter we sent today to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke:

This post was published at Papers Please on November 16th, 2017.

3 TROUBLING SIGNS OF THE EXPANDING WAR ON CHILDREN’S HEALTH

NOVEMBER 17, 2017
There are some disturbing trends developing in children’s welfare, tell-tale signs of which are emerging from mainstream media sources. It’s an assault on the health, sovereignty and well-being of our children. If you’ve ever wondered why people are so much more insane today than they used to be, there’s a real chance it could be because of the things we are doing to kids these days.
Robbing Children and Their Parents of Health Sovereignty
For decades now, American municipalities have been fluoridating public water supplies, a practice which may very well be considered medication without consent, a violation of basic human rights. This is particularly more serious for children, as their small bodies receive much higher relative doses than adults. Even the government has had to admit that fluoridation is not as beneficial for teeth as we’ve been told, and studies are demonstrating that exposure to fluoride may be damaging to developing of child intelligence, causing lower IQ.
Beyond fluoridation, parents are increasingly being superseded by the government when making health decisions for their children. This is happening with regards to vaccination, as one mother was recently jailed for choosing not to vaccinate her child, and while in police custody the state administered vaccines without parental consent. Major illnesses like cancer are also now grounds for state health tyranny. In 2016, Cassie C, a teenager from Connecticut was forced to undergo chemotherapy even though her and her parents had decided against it.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on ALEX PIETROWSKI VIA http://WWW.WAKINGTIMES.COM /.

AI Researcher Warns Skynet Killer-Robots “Easier To Achieve Than Self-Driving Cars”

A group of the world’s leading AI researchers and humanitarian organizations are warning about lethal autonomous weapons systems, or killer robots, that select and kill targets without human control.
The group alleges killer robots now exist and the bulk of these technological developments are military funded in UK, China, Israel, Russia, and the United States. Although, fully autonomous weapons systems have not yet been deployed on the battlefield, the action by the group to ban lethal autonomous weapons is a preemptive ban before the technology falls into the wrong hands. The group calls on the citizens of the world to contact their representatives and for countries to work together to form international treaties, before it’s too late.
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Member List of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots:
Human Rights Watch Article 36 International Committee for Robot Arms Control PAX Association for Aid and Relief Japan: Mines Action Canada Nobel Women’s Initiative Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs Seguridad Humana en Amrica Latina y el Caribe (SEHLAC) Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Future of Life Institute released a video yesterday titled: Slaughterbots.
The video portrays not to far in the distant future of a military firm unveiling a drone with shaped explosives that can target and kill humans on its own. Further in, the video abruptly changes pace, when bad guys get ahold of the technology and unleash swarms of killer robots onto the streets of Washington, D. C. and various academic institutions.
The video is aggressive and graphic but outlines if the technology was misused it could have severe consequences – such as civilian mass causality events.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.

Is Trump Jr Being Set up By his Own Lawyers?

One of the most interesting events is how the Democrats and Muller have gone after Trump, Jr. for meeting with a Russian lawyer last year. The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower said the president’s oldest son told her the U. S. government would review a 2012 law punishing Russian human rights abusers if Donald Trump won the presidency, according to a report. So what is this really about? It’s called the Maginsky Act.


This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 15, 2017.

‘Meddling’? The US State Department’s New Program To Take On Hungarian Media

Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
Hypocrisy may be the only consistent guiding principle of US foreign policy.
Here’s a prime example of the “do as we say, not as we do” that is the core of how Washington does business overseas: In the same week that the the US Justice Department demanded that the Russian-backed RT America network register as a foreign propaganda entity or face arrest, the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DNL) has announced that it is launching a program to massively interfere in NATO-partner Hungary’s internal media.

So the US Justice Department is cracking down on RT America for what it says is manipulation of US domestic affairs while the US State Department announces a new program to manipulate Hungary’s domestic affairs.
The State Department’s new program would send three-quarters of a million dollars to Washington-selected Hungarian media outlets to “increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues in Hungary.” On what authority does the United States pick winners and losers in Hungary’s diverse media environment? Since when does one government have the right to determine what news is “objective” in another country? Hungary is not a country to be “regime-changed” — it is a full democracy where the will of the people is regularly expressed at the ballot box and where the media competes freely in the marketplace of ideas.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 14, 2017.

The Boy Genius Tackling Energy’s Toughest Problem

In the past year or so an unorthodox think-tank called Helena has been quietly bringing together an eclectic cross-section of brilliant individuals (mostly bright-eyed millennials) with ambitious goals. They’re focusing on the world’s biggest and most insurmountable problems: climate change and global security issues such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, and nuclear proliferation.
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The elite and edgy group includes Nobel laureates, Hollywood stars, technology entrepreneurs, human rights activists, Fortune-list executives, a North Korean refugee, and more, but one of Helena’s most unique members is undoubtedly the 23-year old nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson, once known as ‘the boy who played with fusion’.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2017.

EU Support Madrid Refuses to Acknowledge Catalonia

Madrid has seized Catalonia by force and the EU, of course, backs Madrid saying they do not recognize Catalonia as a free state. This is demonstrating that human rights in Europe mean nothing when it comes to protecting the jobs of those in Brussels. This is clearly sending a statement to the rest of Europe – shut up or you are next. That statement should surprise nobody since the rising separatist movements in Europe are against the power of Brussels.
Meanwhile, Spain is proposing to change the President of Catalonia with treason. They threatened him before that he would end up like the last attempt to break away – dead. The Catalan regional president, Carles Puigdemont, who has been deposed by the central government in Madrid, has called on the population to ‘democratically resist’ the seizure by Madrid. In a televised address on Saturday, Puigdemont said he would continue to work to build a ‘free country’.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 31, 2017.

CBP Intelligence Records System (CIRS)

Today The Identity Project and eight other civil liberties and human rights organizations filed comments with the US Department of Homeland Security objecting to both the creation and the exemption from the Privacy Act of the latest DHS system of social media and travelsurveillance records, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Intelligence Records System (CIRS).
Our comments were co-signed and submitted jointly on behalf of:
The Identity Project (IDP) Restore The Fourth, Inc. Woodhull Freedom Foundation Defending Rights & Dissent Government Information Watch National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) FirstAmendment. Com Cyber Privacy Project (CPP) Government Accountability Project Members of the public (regardless of whether they are U. S. citizens or residents) can submit their own comments on these DHS proposals, including anonymous comments, until midnight tonight, Washington DC time, by using the official Web forms here and here at Regulations.gov.

This post was published at Papers Please on Oct 23, 2017.

Civil liberties and human rights groups denounce illegal DHS social media monitoring

The Identity Project and ten other civil liberties and human rights organizations filed comments today with the US Department of Homeland Security objecting to the DHS keeping records of what we say and publish and who we associate with on social media.
(See our FAQ: U. S. government monitoring of social media. The DHS isn’t the only Federal agency spying on us on social media. We submitted comments earlier this month on parallel proposals by the Department of State to expand social media monitoring that it began last year over our objections and those of many other organizations and individuals.)
The comments from civil liberties and human rights groups were submitted in response to a notice from the DHS last month that ‘Social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results’ would be added to DHS ‘Alien Files’.
Our comments were co-signed and submitted jointly on behalf of:
The Identity Project (IDP) Government Information Watch National Workrights Institute Woodhull Freedom Foundation

This post was published at Papers Please on October 18th, 2017.

YEMEN: Media Blackout Imposed by Saudi Coalition is Exacerbating Humanitarian Crisis

Statement by Journalist Support Committee
The Journalists Support Committee in Yemen, with deep regret, continues to pursue the media blackout imposed by the coalition governments upon Yemen. The coalition has prevented foreign journalists from entering Yemeni grounds, therefore, preventing media coverage of the dire and dangerous conditions in Yemen.
The committee notes that the Yemeni authorities -who are led by the internationally recognized president- and the Saudis have consistently restricted journalists from entering Yemen, with excuses that do not match with human rights laws and other international treaties, charters, and conventions or with the preamble of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Committee draws attention to the coalition preventing cargo planes carrying aid and belonging to the United Nations from reaching Yemen in September because the plane had journalists on board.
Ahmad Ibn Al-Aswad, the spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen said: ‘The coalition reckons that it is not possible to assure the safety of the journalists in areas controlled by the rebels’ he then advised them to board commercial flights instead.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 16, 2017.

Escobar: The Future Of The EU Is At Stake In Catalonia

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,
Fascist Franco may have been dead for more than four decades, but Spain is still encumbered with his dictatorial corpse.
A new paradigm has been coined right inside the lofty European Union, self-described home/patronizing dispenser of human rights to lesser regions across the planet:
‘In the name of democracy, refrain from voting, or else.’ Call it democracy nano-Franco style.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

FAQ: U.S. government monitoring of social media

Yes. Since December 2016, all visitors to the U. S. under the ‘Visa Waiver Program’ (VWP) have been asked to identify the social media IDs they use to the Department of State on the online ESTA form. In several recent notices in the Federal Register, and in official statements in response to questions about those notices, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it already searches for and reviews information about individuals from social media.

Why is the U. S. singling out immigrants and visitors for this surveillance? The U. S. government is targeting foreigners first because they are legally more vulnerable. Under U. S. law, foreign visitors and immigrants have often been held to have fewer rights than U. S. citizens. We don’t think this is the way it ought to be, and we don’t think this is even a correct reading of the U. S. Constitution and the human rights treaties that the U. S. has ratified. But this is often the way that courts have ruled. Most acts of terrorism in the U. S., like most crimes of any sort, are committed by U. S. citizens. Most of those criminals are white, and most of them are Christian, not that this should matter either. In practice, the government knows that it is more likely to be able to get away with surveillance of foreigners – on social media or in any other realm – than with surveillance that targets U. S. citizens equally or that focuses on, say, white Christian nationalist sources of terrorism.

This post was published at Papers Please on Oct 2, 2017.

Spain Reveals EU Does Not Stand For Human Rights & Making Revolution Inevitable

The Spanish state police violence have turned against the people showing that they are clearly still a fascist reign supported by troops. Riot officers have been firing rubber bullets at crowds protesting in a Barcelona street, sending people running for cover. Countless are injured. This demonstrates that Spain is not a place for investment and one should be very cautious about even buying a house in Spain after this display of ruthless authoritarianism. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy has demonstrated he is a fascist and this is EXACTLY the type of person that caused the American Revolution.
We should all take pause and read just the first two paragraphs of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. The King sent a whole army to his house to kill him for writing these words. He was warned the army was coming and told to flee into the hills which he did. I fully disagree with Donald Trump for supporting Rajoy. That has been a total disgrace and Trump needs to study history.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 1, 2017.

EXPLAINED: The West’s NGO ‘Human Rights’ Scam

Just look around the world and throughout recent history, and you will find a number of compelling cases where western-backed NGOs have been frequently acted as enablers for the military interventions, sanctions and economic blockades that followed. Look at Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iran and Sudan – all were given the ‘human rights’ treatment prior to aggressive western actions. In most cases, claims of human rights violations and exaggerated atrocity reports preceded western action.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 27, 2017.

The Syrian ‘Opposition’, Who Are They and What Motivates Them?

Camille Otrakji
Creative Syria – 2015
[Editor’s note: this article was written in 2015] ‘America and France should broaden their outreach to Syrian dissidents, human rights groups, artists, professors – indeed, almost anyone who’s willing to talk with outsiders. They should convey the message that the West is standing with the Syrian people as they move into the future. When Syria is truly ripe for change, these helping hands can ensure a safe passage.’ ~ David Ignatius, a 2005 article titled ‘Careful with Syria’
The ‘America and France’ that Mr. Ignatius called on to motivate Syrians to rebel against their government was actually a group of westerners residing in Damascus: Diplomats, NGO management and staff, resident journalists and professional photographers, students studying Arabic in Damascus. Not all of course, but many.
There are three different headings under which countries in the Middle East are classified as far as the United States is concerned;
Most valuable allies; Israel and Saudi Arabia Well-behaved allies; Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt (and many more) Pressure/destabilization targets; Syria, and Iran. If Syria’s authoritarian leadership (‘regime’) had an inherent propensity to distrust the intentions of resident foreigners eager to befriend Syrians, their extensive experience with the consequences of such contacts turned their caution into paranoia. They would question or detain anyone who travels to attend private meetings, workshops or conferences without prior arrangements with the Syrian security services. Syrians who frequently visited foreign embassies in Damascus (4thof July events, dinners at Ambassador’s house …etc.) were never trusted again.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 23, 2017.

Spain Showing the World It is Still A Fascist Government – Sell Spanish Debt

The Spanish government is facing the real moment of truth. It is displaying that it is by no means concerned about human rights nor is it a true democratic system. Spain has reverted to Franco fascism as now more than 40,000 people have gathered in Barcelona to protest over the Catalan independence vote being shut down as the Spanish Government sends in 16,500 troops to deal with the activists. This is showing just how far out of touch this entire EU anti-democratic government has gone. The people no longer matter – the elite know what is best for them.
This is 86 years from the beginning of the Second Republic in Spain so 2017 is precisely on target for this type of civil unrest. What this is demonstrating is the old adage – the king is dead, long live the king. No matter what form of government takes power, it will ALWAYS, and without exception, seek to act only in its own self-interest precisely as Thrasymachus argued against Socrates.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 22, 2017.