See below the sticky for NEW CONTENT.

Posted in General, Urgent | Tagged , , ,

Professional Scam Artists – part 22

Rachel Notley, NDP Premier of Alberta

“The Oil Industry’s PR Offensive” by David Gray-Donald (Briarpatch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I’m walking through the massive exhibition floor at the 50th annual Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, looking for the signs saying “I HEART CANADIAN OIL & GAS.” As the industry experiences low oil prices and trouble building pipelines, I’m trying to understand what strategies and messaging these pro-oil public relations groups are adopting – and whether the campaigns are working…

I don’t see Cody Battershill, founder and driving force behind Canada Action… The group has 63,000 Facebook followers and 14,000 Twitter followers. Online, they praise Canadian oil and gas for creating jobs and economic benefit, and for the industry’s supposed environmental responsibility. Meanwhile, they delight in bashing Greenpeace, and occasionally post about Canadian military achievements, like Canada’s contributions in the World Wars…

Canada Action’s success and style has been mimicked by Canada’s Energy Citizens, initiated in 2014. Canada’s Energy Citizens distributes stickers nearly identical to Canada Action’s and retweets some of their content. The group also occasionally shares posts from overtly conservative groups like B.C. Proud. While not mentioned on their social media pages, Canada’s Energy Citizens is simply a marketing campaign for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), an industry association and lobbying group…

CAPP calls the group alternately a “grassroots movement,” a “grassroots organization,” and a “grassroots community of citizens.” With the help of paid Facebook ads, they have amassed a very large online following of people (including over 233,000 Facebook followers) who like, share, and comment enthusiastically on their posts. In July, a joint investigation by the Toronto Star, the National Observer, and Global News revealed that CAPP, through this “grassroots” persona, reached an audience of nearly 17.5 million people for its pro-Trans Mountain pipeline expansion campaign – and targeted voters in 13 Ontario “swing ridings” preceding the Ontario election, which took place on June 7…

I’m wondering what other PR groups are at the petroleum show. I leave the Canada Action booth and, around the corner, see a booth for a campaign I don’t recognize, “Made With Petroleum.” …The fact that oil is thrust on people at every turn in modern society is given as evidence of our consent to it, and to scold against pushing for alternatives.

I ask who is behind the campaign and which organizations are supporting the project. The rep points to the “Wenzel Petroleum Consultants Ltd” sign posted behind the campaign-branded stickers and posters, explaining that Made With Petroleum is based in Calgary.

I leave the booth and check out their website, It redirects to Down the site a bit, I see Areco Perforating is listed as what looks like a sponsor or partner. It turns out that Areco Perforating developed and manufactures the CoFracTM Gun, a piece of fracking equipment, in Xi’an, China, but lists its mailing address in Texas…

Another major player throwing its weight behind the industry – to the delight of some and dismay of others – is the provincial government. Alberta’s first NDP premier, Rachel Notley, gives a speech at the petroleum show. It’s titled “Keep Canada Working” and it’s part of a campaign and tour she’s been working on relentlessly to push for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion…

The campaign website features testimonials from allies more fitting of Conservative or Liberal governments: the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of British Columbia, and the Surrey Board of Trade. The Keep Canada Working campaign is largely in line with CAPP and Canada Action’s messaging. Where Alberta differs from CAPP can be seen in a Keep Canada Working video ad titled “How is Trans Mountain Part of Canada’s Climate Plan?,” which says revenues from Trans Mountain will help us in “transitioning us to the next economy, one less reliant on fossil fuels.” The Alberta NDP, which at least mentions a fossil fuel phaseout, has, however, done next to nothing to articulate a clear vision or implement that energy transition during their time in power. They have instead passed legislation that allows tarsands emissions to grow by nearly 50 per cent from 2014 levels and called it a climate plan.

From The Globe And Mail:
Private Dan Bard/Private Dan Bard/Department of National Defence

“Ottawa’s incestuous world of pro-military lobbying” by Yves Engler (Yves Engler)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

How do you feel about taxpayer-funded organizations using your tax dollars to lobby elected politicians for more of your tax dollars?

Welcome to the Canadian military.

Last week Anju Dhillon told the House of Commons “I saw first-hand the sacrifices that our men and women in the navy have made to protect our country.” The Liberal MP recently participated in the Canadian Leaders at Sea Program, which takes influential individuals on “action-packed” multi-day navy operations. Conducted on both coasts numerous times annually, nine Parliamentarians from all parties participated in a Spring 2017 excursion and a number more joined at the end of last year. The Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Commodore Craig Baines, describes the initiative’s political objective: “By exposing them to the work of our men and women at sea, they gain a newfound appreciation for how the RCN protects and defends Canada at home and abroad. They can then help us spread that message to Canadians when they return home.”

And vote for more military spending.

MPs are also drawn into the military’s orbit in a variety of other ways. Set up by DND’s Director of External Communications and Public Relations in 2000, the Canadian Forces Parliamentary Program was labeled a “valuable public-relations tool” by the Globe and Mail…

The NATO Parliamentary Association is another militarist lobby in the nation’s capital…

More politically dependent than almost all other industries, arms manufacturers play for keeps in the nation’s capital. They target ads and events sponsorships at decision makers while hiring insiders and military stars to lobby on their behalf…

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries is the primary industry lobby group…

The sad fact is enormous profits flow to a few from warfare. In a system where money talks, militarists on Parliament Hill will always be among the loudest voices.

President Donald Trump talks with Lockheed Martin president and CEO Marilyn Hewson, right, and director and chief test pilot Alan Norman in front of a F-35 as he participates in a “Made in America Product Showcase” at the White House, Monday, July 23, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“US F-35 Fighter Jet Fizzles, Totaled in Epic Crash Just One Day After Combat Debut” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA — According to several reports citing U.S. military sources, the Lockheed Martin-manufactured F-35 jet – the most expensive U.S. fighter jet ever and the most expensive weapon system in the world – crashed spectacularly on Friday, just one day after its first-ever successful airstrike, resulting in the “total loss” of the aircraft.

The crashed plane, each of which costs U.S. taxpayers more than $100 million, was a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B and had taken off from a training squadron at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina. The pilot safely ejected from the plane prior to the crash and there were no civilian injuries…

Yet, the recent crash of the F-35 jet has brought renewed scrutiny to the program, which has long been controversial not only for its high cost but for long-standing concerns about the jet’s effectiveness in combat. Indeed, the F-35 jet program has been called one of the most egregious cases of government waste in regards to defense spending, ever…

Despite the setbacks of the F-35, the U.S. has continued to not only pour more money into the F-35 program itself but to award Lockheed Martin massive contracts in apparent ignorance of the terrible precedent set by the controversial fighter jet program. For instance, in August, the U.S. government awarded Lockheed Martin over $3 billion in new contracts in just two days after concerns were raised regarding missile system advances made by Russia and China.

With the U.S. government continuing to funnel money to Lockheed for the development of weapons and defense systems deemed critical to U.S. “national security,” it again appears that the U.S. corporate welfare, which is so characteristic of the country’s military-industrial complex, is in fact driving the U.S. military’s decline in competitiveness and ironically helping accelerate the U.S.’ loss of its former global hegemony.

Relatives of Palestinian Muhammed al-Sadiq, 21, mourn at the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Gaza’s Health Ministry said Al-sadiq was killed and at least 10 others wounded by Israeli fire during a protest near the perimeter fence. Thousands of Palestinian protesters gathered Monday on a beach in northern Gaza near the frontier, burning tires and hurling rocks toward Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas and live fire. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

“Meet Ten Corporate Giants Helping Israel Massacre Gaza Protesters” by Joe Catron (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

NEW YORK — As Israeli soldiers gun down unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in the Great March of Return, their lethal operations depend on an array of contractors and suppliers, many of them companies based outside Israel.

“The Israeli military relies on a network of international companies, supplying everything from sniper rifles to tear gas, to carry out its massacres of protesters in Gaza,” Tom Anderson, a researcher for Corporate Occupation, told MintPress News. “These companies are knowingly supporting war crimes, and are complicit in state-orchestrated murder.”…

Caterpillar is known internationally for Israel’s use of its bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and inside Israel itself…

Combined Systems — a Jamestown, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer owned by Point Lookout Capital and the Carlyle Group — supplies light weaponry and security equipment, such as tear gas and flash grenades, to repressive governments worldwide…

While other manufacturers, like General Motors, also provide vehicles used by the Israeli army to deploy its soldiers along the Gaza barrier, Ford’s are distinctive for their creative use…

Along with herbicides from the Dow Chemical Company and ADAMA Agricultural Solutions, an Israeli unit of China’s state-owned National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), Israel sprays Bayer subsidiary Monsanto’s notorious Glyphosate (marketed as Roundup), a known human carcinogen, on Palestinian fields across its military barrier with Gaza several times annually…

Formerly one of Israel’s biggest occupation contractors, G4S sold its major Israeli subsidiary, G4S Israel, in 2016, but kept a stake in the construction and operation of Policity, Israel’s privatized national police academy…

Now three companies with interlocking operations — HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and DXC Technology — HP equips the Israeli military with computers and has undertaken contracts to “virtualize” IDF operations, starting in 2007 with a pilot program for the Israeli navy, which enforces the blockade of Gaza…

HSBC provides extensive financing to some of the most notorious military manufacturers in the world, several of them Israeli…


Among casualties of the Great March of Return, Amnesty International reports, some “wounds bear the hallmarks of U.S.-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition…


An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Anglo-American candidate to be President of Russia, replacing Vladimir Putin, reprivatizing Russia’s resource assets, and emasculating the country’s defences, has made a fresh pitch.

Alexei Kudrin, sacked as Finance Minister, demoted as presidential economic adviser, then appointed Chairman of the Accounting Chamber five months ago, gave a speech to the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) in Moscow on Wednesday. “Today”, Kudrin declared, “Russia’s foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries and, at least, to the preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not to the build-up. Today I would measure the effectiveness of our foreign policy on these indicators. We do not have such global problems for Russia — risks of military and political importance which would require increasing tension with other countries.”

By other countries, Kudrin means the United States. By subordinating Russian foreign policy, Kudrin means withdrawal from Syria; from Crimea and the Donbass; and capitulation to US sanctions. By reduction of tension, Kudrin means regime change in the Kremlin – himself instead of Putin.

“The Times Whitewashes Haley” by Michael Howard (American Herald Tribune)

The decampment of Nikki Haley from Trump’s military regime is, or ought to be, a nonstory. The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations is a ceremonial position that serves no purpose. The very idea of it is absurd. The US is a law unto itself, readily violating the UN Charter whenever the latter’s principles get in the way of the former’s imperial agenda…

The United Nations is useful insofar as it can provide cover for American crimes. Otherwise it’s merely a thing to be sidestepped and disregarded. It’s of no consequence who serves as the empire’s official envoy to the UN. Still, Haley’s resignation is a welcome circumstance, if only because we’ll be spared her vapid effusions going forward. This is the woman who has repeatedly cast blame on Iran for the cataclysm in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been deliberately murdering civilians, millions of whom are starving to death, since 2015—using US-made munitions. So atrocious is the Saudi-led massacre that even CNN has begun to report on it objectively. For Haley, though, it pales in comparison to the handful of rockets fired at Saudi Arabia by the Houthis, Iran’s so-called proxy.

Moral hypocrisy may be part and parcel of politics, but Haley took it to uncommon depths. When Israeli snipers mowed down hundreds of non-violent demonstrators in Gaza earlier this year, killing children, medics and journalists, Haley had this to say: “Let’s remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy [to Jerusalem in violation of international law]. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.”

She went on to condemn Gazans for flying kites over the fence into Israel and asserted with a straight face that “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.” When the Palestinian envoy began to speak to the delegation, Haley walked out of the room. Such is her racist contempt for the victims of Israeli terrorism. She might just as well have called them “sand-niggers.”

Rod Serling

“60 Minutes Leslie Stahl: Perfect Shill for the Eternal Imperial War Machine” by Patrice de Bergeracpas (The Greanville Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In but the lastest major display of media dishonesty, and dripping hypocrisy and sanctimony from every pore, Leslie Stahl, a veteran disinforming [sic] agent with the CBS 60 Minutes (pseudo) news stable, pressed Trump from the right last evening to force him to reafirm his commitment to the official Russiagate narrative, everlasting hatred for Russia, North Korea, constant wars, and so on.

Stahl, who, like the rest of the press has drunk the Democrats’ Kool Aid and obviously serves as an eager vector for the imperial disease, knew well what she was doing. As noted in many articles posted on this site, this is the Wall Street/CIA/identity politics Democrats’ favorite self-serving tack, pretending to care about human rights, peace, democracy (“they meddled in our sacrosanct elections!”), and the rest of the American exceptionalist bunk, so loyally disseminated by the mainstream media. The double standards are glaring. Stahl and her ilk are always ready to remind Trump of Moscow’s putative attack on “our democracy” (itself a laughable myth) but would never dream of attacking Israel for the same sin, despite the fact that both Israel and the Saudis, to mention just two notorious and demonstrable power players in US politics, meddle constantly in the shaping of US foreign policy…

…For while humanity – to mention another low point in the interview – has welcomed the relaxing of tensions in the long tormented Korean peninsula and the brotherly rapprochement between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (this is a region where, for those living under a rock, due to longstanding US machinations, only a few months ago the world stood on the edge of the nuclear abyss), the Pentagon and braying media assets like Stahl are apparently not happy, as the system rests on a deeply entrenched, bloated and utterly corrupt military Keynesianism for its economic stability and international supremacism.

“Is there anything Nancy Pelosi would impeach a president, vice president, or justice for?” by David Swanson (Let’s Try Democracy)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Stage set: a dining room at left, an office at right

A woman enters the office where the phone is ringing. She answers it.

NP: Hello? Why do you ask? Yes, I’m sure. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Impeachment is off the table. Now let me tell you about some new legislative proposals that I think you’re really going to like. I’ll give you what we’re going to pass in the first hundred seconds and in the first hundred months. Which one do you want first? Let’s start with…

The woman’s voice lowers but continues as lights go up in the dining room, where we see a cat jump off the table and wander into the office where the woman is hanging up the phone.

NP: Where were you sweetie? Was I ignoring you? Come here kitty kitty. I didn’t mean to ignore you.

The phone rings. The cat leaves.

NP: Hello? Yes, this is Nancy Pelosi. Yes, I know, but an investigation investigates. It doesn’t impeach. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Will you excuse me a second?

Nancy gets up and walks to door of dining room, where cat is sprawled on the table.

NP: Impeachment! Get off the table! Now!

The cat flees.

NP: I’m sorry. No. No. It was some, um. There were some stem cells, I mean a doctor about some stem – Dennis Hastert? Why would anyone want to clone Dennis Hastert? I don’t follow. Listen, impeachment is off the table. I assure you. Because we’ve been given a mandate to effect change and…

Nancy’s voice lowers and drones on as a bloody corpse enters the dining room and collapses on the table with a groan. Blood drips audibly onto the floor.

NP: …so those children will be covered with a low adjustible deductible payment during the first three years without illnesses. Can you excuse me a moment?

Nancy looks into dining room. Unfazed, she returns to phone, just as someone knocks at her office door.

NP: Hello? Yes, I’m going to need to call you back. Yes, off the table. That’s a pledge. That’s a blood oath, a pledge. Yes.

Nancy opens the door to greet two men with a television camera and a microphone.

Media: Are we on time?

NP: Yes, yes, come on in. Let me just get some notes. Have a seat.

Nancy goes into the office and closes the door behind her. She drags the corpse off the table, thumping its head on a chair and the floor, splattering blood everywhere, and shuts the corpse in a closet where we see that there are already several others. Nancy returns to the office.

NP: I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Why don’t we go into the other room where there’s more room? Let me get my papers. These are just a few of the bills we’re going to pass in the first hundred legislative minutes…

Nancy picks up a three-foot-high stack of papers and carries it into the dining room with the camera crew behind her. Nancy lays the papers out on the table, especially where the blood is. She puts some on the chairs and floor where the blood is. The paper soaks up the blood.

Media: May we begin filming?

NP: Yes, of course.

Media: Congresswoman Pelosi, on November 7th your home town of San Francisco was one of the cities where voters approved resolutions calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. There are those here in Washington concerned that, being from San Francisco, you might support gay marriage, thereby lowering the supply of unmarried young men in need of drudge work to build their political resumes, which… I mean, let me rephrase that to be more clear. There are concerns that you might be influenced by the people who live in your district who want impeachment.

NP: That’s absurd. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Impeachment is off the table. And when I say off the table…

A naked man of Arab descent walks in and climbs onto the table on hands and knees.

NP:…I mean that we will be conducting investigations into a number of issue and policy areas, but an investigation is not an impeachment commission.

Six more naked men follow and they form a pyramid atop the table.

Media: With all due respect, I know that you’ve stated that position, but given the abundant, I mean the almost unavoidable fact that you are from San Francisco and do have the voting record of a terrorist-loving America-hating liberal radical, can you assure us that you will never ever pursue impeachment, for example around the sort of issues addressed by the Military Commissions Act?

Three men in dark suits, sunglasses, and ear microphones enter the office and begin setting up small cameras, searching through computers and drawers and a purse, planting recording devices on the phones, etc…

NP: I can promise you no articles of impeachment, no investigation into impeachment, and no reprieve for the enemies of freedom.

Media: Yes, but if you have an investigation and if for some reason that investigation is allowed to proceed to the point of, say…

The men in suits come into the dining room where they attach electronic devices to the naked men on the table.

Media: …of, say, questioning the President’s authority in time of war to create terrorism surveillance programs that don’t comply with a 30-year-old law…

The men in suits administer electric shocks to the naked men who scream in agony. The men in suits leave.

Media: I mean, in a sense, with Secretary Rumsfeld already having resigned isn’t it the Democrats’ turn to make a concession in the interests of the sort of bipartisan civility and cooperation that the voters showed they wanted last week?

NP: Yes, of course.

The naked men continue to scream and to fall off the table, dead.

Media: For some reason I continue to have the impression that you will not be able to avoid impeachment. Can you assure us that it is off the table?

NP: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Impeachment is off the table.

Cameramen leave. Nancy begins dragging new corpses to the closet.
= == ===

“UK Corporate Media: Social Media Platforms Must Pay” by Mike Robinson (UK Column)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The British corporate media is in desperate straits. With revenues collapsing, they are begging government to act…

Corporate media has been slow to react to the rise of the internet, and particularly the impact of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter…

The result has been devastating for corporate media. They have purged their best journalistic talent. They have imposed article quotas on the inexperienced staff they now employ. They have put their content behind paywalls, restricting their narratives to the few willing, or stupid enough, to pay.

As a result, each publisher, desperate for eyeballs, churns out low quality, unverified content rehashed from each other, and from corporate and government press releases. All the while they accuse social media of being an echo chamber…

In the meantime, the Cairncross Review is their best option: perhaps the social media platforms will pay?…

“The primary focus of concern today,” said the NMA, “is the loss of advertising revenues which have previously sustained quality national and local journalism and are now flowing to the global search engines and social media companies who make no meaningful contribution to the cost of producing the original content from which they so richly benefit.”

Some may argue that they have a point: publishers see their revenues collapse, while Google and Facebook in particular pull in billions. For them it is the fault of “giants” who make “no meaningful contribution”.

Is this the case? Or is it more likely that what we’re seeing are market forces at work here: no-one is buying what they are selling?

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Avalanche – Snapshot 23 – Oct 16, ’18

“Blanket Silence: Corporate Media Ignore New Report Exposing Distorted And Misleading Coverage of Corbyn” by David Cromwell and David Edwards (Media Lens)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== === == =
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the 17 years since Media Lens began, it’s that media professionals generally hate being challenged, critiqued or criticised. This fierce antipathetical belligerence underlies the corporate media’s total refusal to mention, far less discuss, a recent damning report on how the corporate media have been misreporting Labour and its supposed ‘problem’ with antisemitism.

The report was published last week by the Media Reform Coalition (MRC), set up in 2011 in the wake of the News International phone hacking scandal, to promote debate about the media and democracy. The MRC coordinates effective action by civil society groups, academics and media campaigners, and is currently chaired by Natalie Fenton, Professor of Communication and Media at Goldsmiths, University of London…

In the careful MRC study, articles and news segments on Labour and antisemitism from the largest UK news providers, both online and television, were subjected to in-depth analysis. The research was undertaken by Dr Justin Schlosberg, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media at Birkbeck, University of London, together with Laura Laker, an experienced freelance journalist.

In their study, Schlosberg and Laker identified:

‘myriad inaccuracies and distortions in online and television news including marked skews in sourcing, omission of essential context or right of reply, misquotation, and false assertions made either by journalists themselves or sources whose contentious claims were neither challenged nor countered. Overall, our findings were consistent with a disinformation paradigm.’

In other words, the corporate media have been pumping out reams of ‘fake news’ promoting a narrative that Corbyn and Labour are mired in an ‘antisemitism crisis’.
= == === ====

related: “New MRC research finds inaccuracies and distortions in media coverage of antisemitism and the Labour Party” by ? (Media Reform Coalition)

Note, The above entry does not mean that I endorse faker Jeremy Corbyn. I’m not even 100% convinced that Media Lens is the real deal. But the above report is one that I know enough to know is solid.

“Where Does Our Attention Belong: Kavanaugh or Yemen?” by Paul Craig Roberts (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

There are reports that the Washington-initiated and militarily- supported Saudi Arabian war against Yemen have a starving Yemeni population eating leaves.

The Saudis, with Washington’s GPS support, continue to target school busses, massacring children as an element of the terror assault against the population, trying to break Yemeni resistance by murdering children on school busses. Washington continues to supply the Saudis with the weapons to target school buses and the diplomatic support to protect the criminal Saudi regime from war crimes charges. The European cowards turn their heads. Even Russia is silent. Putin’s “partnership” with the criminal state of Saudi Arabia is more important.

Isn’t this a far greater offense, an offense that most definitely does not lack evidence, than the accusation that Kavanaugh, a nominee to the US Supreme Court attempted to rape a women 30 or 40 years ago, for which there is no evidence…?

From 21st Century Wire:
Civilian martyrs names and photographs displayed at entrance to the village of Shrehi in eastern Sweida countryside. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

“SWEIDA: A Bloody Massacre Barely Registered by Western Media as ISIS Slaughter Innocent Civilians in their Sleep” by Vanessa Beeley (21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On the 2nd October 2018, a young woman’s life was brought to a brutal end by a bullet from an ISIS executioner’s hand-gun. Mrs Thoraya Um Ammar was executed on video by the terrorist group more than two months after she and twenty five other women and children were kidnapped from the Sweida countryside, south of Damascus on July 25th 2018.

[Note: Numbers of kidnap victims do vary. While in Shbeki, I was told 32 were originally kidnapped but that a number of them managed to escape their captors and return to their village]

The images circulating of this execution are extremely distressing and we will not be sharing them in this article. During my recent visit to Syria, I visited three of the seven villages that came under attack in the eastern countryside of Sweida City on that fateful day in July 2018. The grief and anger was still very raw but civilians spoke to me of the bloodshed that was a result of the meticulously planned ISIS attack, unhindered by the US Coalition forces camped in Al Tanf, 330km to the East. ISIS entered the villages from the east and traversed vast areas of exposed desert to do so, apparently undetected by those who claim to wage war on ISIS inside Syria…

On the drive down to the villlage of Shrehi, our guide H Saab told us that thirty-five members of his family had been killed in the ISIS attack that took place in the early hours of the 25th July 2018. I asked him what he believed to be behind this attack. He told me that he thought it was to reduce SAA pressure on the ISIS terrorists holding out in Yarmouk Basin at this time. Perhaps to give them an escape route to the US base at Al Tanf…

Khaled told us that, in his opinion, many of the ISIS fighters were on drugs, very likely to be Captagon. “We fired many bullets into them, but they kept fighting” he told us and this was confirmed by other family members in the madafa. In January 2017, “at least 137kg of Captagon, dubbed a “jihadist drug” and “the drug of the Syrian conflict,” was seized at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in a first for France, customs officials said, adding that half of the illicit cargo was destined for Saudi Arabia.” Captagon is a psychostimulant that is used as a performance enhancer by the extremist gangs that have invaded Syria since 2011…

The media reports in the West were a cursory glance at the impacts of this ISIS attack upon this community, a skating over of detail and no mention of the potential connection to the US coaliton. As always, the true victims of this 8 year war will be brushed under the carpet while the focus remains upon the whitewashing of the perpertrators of the crimes against the Syrian people – the “rebel”-washing of the terrorist gangs who have been enabled to roam freely across Syria by the US Coalition and its Gulf State financiers of the sectarian ideologues described by the Colonial media as “moderates”.

“Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Facebook has purged more dissident political media pages today, this time under the pretense of protecting its users from “inauthentic activity”. In a statement co-authored by Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher (who also happens to be the former White House National Security Council Director of Cybersecurity Policy), the massive social media platform explained that it has removed “559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

This “inauthentic behavior”, according to Facebook, consists of using “sensational political content – regardless of its political slant – to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites,” which is the same as saying they write about controversial things, and posting those political articles “in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period, to drum up traffic for their websites.”

In other words, the pages were removed for publishing controversial political content and trying to get people to read it. Not for writing “fake news”, but for doing what they could to get legitimate indie media news stories viewed by people who might want to view it…

“BREAKING: The FACEBOOK PURGE Is On – Independent Media Outlet PRESS FOR TRUTH Memory Holed!” by Dan Dicks (Press For Truth via Another Day In The Empire)

An excerpt from Kurt Nimmo’s report on the banning of Press For Truth and other orgs follows:

Both the Free Thought Project and The Anti-Media lost their social media accounts in a coordinated attack today by Facebook and Twitter…

Facebook alone removed 559 pages and 251 accounts.

Facebook has unpublished our page

After 5 years of building fans Facebook has officially unpublished our page (3.1 million fans) so we can’t post on it anymore. This is truly an outrage and we are devastated. We will do everything we can to recover our page and fight back.

— Free Thought Project (@TFTPROJECT) October 11, 2018

Dan Dicks is another victim.

“The Press For Truth FaceBook Page with 350k followers has just been memory holed form the internet! 350k followers gone in the blink of an eye as we are right before our eyes witnessing the results of what happens when these big tech companies appoint themselves as the gatekeepers of political thought and opinion,” a headline story at Press For Truth reports today.

I am not a fan of Press For Truth, although it’s not all bad. Which is beside the point here.

related: “LEAKED DOCUMENT: Google’s “THE GOOD CENSOR” Reveals A Plan To Silence Political Opponents!” by Dan Dicks (Press For Truth)

related: “Google’s “THE GOOD CENSOR”” by Allum Bokhari (Scribd)

“Owen Jones meets Salma Karmi-Ayyoub: ‘The IHRA antisemitism debate is toxic’” by Owen Jones and Salma Karmi-Ayyoub (Owen Jones via The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond)

A blurb about the above linked-to show (YouTube) follows:

+++ == o
Palestinian voices went largely unheard during the protracted debate over whether or not the Labour party should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.
o == +++

“China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part” by F. William Engdahl (F. William Engdahl)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In recent months Western media and the Washington Administration have begun to raise a hue and cry over alleged mass internment camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang where supposedly up to one million ethnic Uyghur Chinese are being detained and submitted to various forms of “re-education.” Several things about the charges are notable, not the least that all originate from Western media or “democracy” NGOs such as Human Rights Watch whose record for veracity leaves something to be desired .

In August Reuters published an article under the headline, “UN says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.” A closer look at the article reveals no official UN policy statement, but rather a quote from one American member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN, a member with no background in China. The source of the claim it turns out is a UN independent advisory NGO called Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The sole person making the charge, American committee member Gay McDougall, stated she was “deeply concerned” about “credible reports.” McDougall cited no source for the dramatic charge.

Reuters in their article boosts its claim by citing a murky Washington DC based NGO, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). In an excellent background investigation, researchers at the Grayzone Project found that the CHRD gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from unnamed governments. The notorious US government NGO, National Endowment for Democracy, is high on the list of usual suspects. Notably, the CHRD official address is that of the Human Rights Watch which gets funds also from the Soros foundation.

The ‘Uyghur Problem’

The true state of affairs in China’s Xinjiang Province regarding Uyghurs is not possible to independently verify, whether such camps exist and if so who is there and under what conditions. What is known, however, is the fact that NATO intelligence agencies, including that of Turkey and of the US, along with Saudi Arabia, have been involved in recruiting and deploying thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslims to join Al Qaeda and other terror groups in Syria in recent years. This side of the equation warrants a closer look, the side omitted by Reuters or UN Ambassador Haley

“Act Now To Protect Our Right To Protest” by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The radical attack on our constitutional right to protest in Washington, DC needs to be stopped. The National Park Service (NPS) has published proposed rules that would curtail First Amendment rights to assemble, petition the government and exercise free speech in the nation’s capital. Together, we can stop this proposal from going forward…

The proposal would result in people being charged fees if they hold a protest. That means in order to exercise your constitutional right, the government can charge you for the police barricades, the Park Service police time and even their overtime. And, if you hold a concert with your protest where people make speeches, play music or use spoken word, you can be charged for that exercise of Free Speech as well.

While the “pay to play” rules have gotten some attention in the media, that is just the beginning of the restrictions. The area around the White House would basically be off-limits as they would close the walkway and sidewalk in front of it. This area that was used by suffragists to appeal to President Wilson for the right to vote would no longer be available. There are hundreds of protests every year around the White House as this iconic spot has been used for protests on civil rights, opposition to war, protection of the environment, urging climate justice, for economic fairness and so much more. It is used to get the attention of the president to use the presidential power to pardon, as we did in the campaign for Chelsea Manning directed at President Obama…

This is a time to be protecting constitutional rights, not curtailing them. People understand the government is not listening to them or meeting their needs and are protesting in order to be heard as they face economic insecurity – high debt and low pay.

I find some of the statements in the above article to be strange. The authors state “In this time of immediate news coverage and the ability to use social media for breaking news as it happens, NPS proposed restricting “spontaneous demonstrations.”” The immediate news coverage, if the authors are referring to corporate media, is fake – at least in the area of politics and foreign policy. There’s also a great deal that the public is not told by corporate media. How often does it talk about US-supported genocidal assault, by Saudi Arabia (mainly) on Yemen that is underway right now? The authors make no mention of the censorship happening online. They could have made their point, dramatically, by mentioning that: We are losing, in other words, ‘all’ venues for free expression and protest.

Jim Miles

“The Saudi problem – it is not the oil” by Jim Miles (Axis of Logic)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Listening to various pundits and news reporters discussing Prime Minister Trudeau’s reaction to events in Turkey vis à vis the alleged murder of a Saudi dissident makes me realize the shallowness and wilful ignorance of the majority of them…

First is Thomas Friedman, New York Times mouthpiece of empire, and apparently a personal friend of Jamal Khashoggi but also a fawning admirer of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS]. After the news of Khashoggi’s disappearance, Friedman had to twist himself around, and argued that the Khashoggi event is far more severe of an international concern than the war in Yemen.

Thus the first idiocy of the whole affair: the western world is tied up in confusion about what to say to MBS yet – and this points directly at the mainstream media and its corporate-governmental control – say very little about Saudi attempts at genocide and ethnic cleansing in Yemen supported in large part by western countries including through Canada’s military sales to MSB. It would appear that a few thousand Canadian jobs are being bargained off against tens of thousands of dead Yemenis, hundreds of thousands suffering from cholera and millions in imminent danger of starvation, disease, and death from U.S. supplied armaments…

Secondly, a pundit on CBC’s Power and Politics this afternoon (Thursday, October 12, 2018) indicated that not much can actually be done because the west buys much of its oil from Saudi Arabia and thus cannot complain too loudly…

However, the comment reveals, as usual, the common misrepresentation of Saudi oil in the western marketplace. The important factor is not the oil per se, but the fact that the oil is priced in US$ – everybody seems to know this, but few will admit to its impact, its importance to the global economy. If the Saudis decided to sell oil to whatever country using the whatever country’s currency – yuan, rial, kroner, euro, et al – the US$ would die a nasty death.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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Lawlessness / Ruined – part 23

*edit, October 12, 2018 – Note that The Free Thought Project has been targetted by Facebook. I include items from their website (and do so in this post) all the time. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with links to articles on their website, but just be aware that this is what is happening to them.

“Scientists Accuse DARPA of Genetically Modifying Insects for Bioweapon to Spread Agricultural Viruses” by Matt Agorist (Activist Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In a scathing report issued this week, researchers with the Science Policy Forum have accused the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of creating a technology—ostensibly used to genetically modify crops with insects—but that could be converted into a dangerous and illegal bioweapon.

The current program is being funded by the Pentagon’s darling “research” arm DARPA — who last year was found to be spending millions on “genetic extinction technology” that could wipe out entire species. DARPA’s new project, dubbed “Insect Allies” involves releasing fleets of genetically modified insects onto crops which would “infect” plants with a special virus that would genetically modify the plant on location.

“U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes” by Brian Kalman (South Front)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The world is once again witnessing the height of U.S. hypocrisy as members of the U.S. State Department ratchet up anti-Russian and anti-Syrian rhetoric surrounding the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the UK. Ambassador Nikki Haley has warned Syria, Iran and Russia that they will be held accountable for their pre-determined use of chemical weapons in Idlib on innocent civilians. No evidence was provided to support her threats. The United States carried out cruise missile strikes on two previous occasions, and each time provided no evidence to prove their assertion that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in attacking civilians, nor was any rational reason given for such an obviously irrational decision on the part of the Syrian state. No evidence has ever been provided to justify the clear international crime of aggression committed by the United States on these two earlier occasions. Now, the UK and the U.S. are both attempting to accuse the Russian government of using chemical weapons in an alleged attempted assassination of a Russian national on UK soil. Once again, no real evidence has been presented, only assertions and hearsay…

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has lied through her teeth repeatedly in her statements before the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly. She has stated repeatedly that Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people in Ghouta in 2013, Khan Shaykhun in 2017 and Douma in 2018, yet has not supplied one shred of evidence beyond dubious social media posts of unknown provenance. She has also stated that the United States is certain that it could only be the Syrian government, as no other party in the conflict zone could possibly possess chemical weapons. Here’s the problem with her statement. Firstly, the United States and the OPCW verified that Syria destroyed or surrendered all of its chemical weapons agents. On its official website, the OPCW states:

“Veolia, the US firm contracted by the OPCW to dispose of part of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile, has completed disposal of 75 cylinders of hydrogen fluoride at its facility in Texas.

This completes destruction of all chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic. The need to devise a technical solution for treating a number of cylinders in a deteriorated and hazardous condition had delayed the disposal process.

Commenting on this development, the Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, said: “This process closes an important chapter in the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapon programme as we continue efforts to clarify Syria’s declaration and address ongoing use of toxic chemicals as weapons in that country.”

Secondly, the OPCW and the UN have both verified that opposition forces within Syria have used chemical agents as weapons on numerous occasions during the conflict. Not only has Carla Del Ponte, UN human rights investigator, former UN Chief Prosecutor and ICC attorney stated that opposition forces had used chemical weapons, but also the former OPCW head field investigator in Syria Jerry Smith stated to the BBC that he found it very unlikely that the government perpetrated these chemical attacks…

Russia needs to finally accept the reality that there is nothing to be gained by negotiating, or attempting to collaborate with the United States in solving problems. It’s like a shepherd using a wolf to defend his flock, or a detective enlisting the aid of a criminal to solve a crime that the criminal is a co-conspirator in perpetrating. It is illogical in the extreme.

related: “Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation Of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

Russians spot ISIS stealing chlorine

“Russian Reconciliation Center: ISIS Cells Steal Chlorine Gas Cylinders From HTS (Video)” by ? (South Front)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== =
On October 10, the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria revealed that a cell of ISIS attacked a position of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) near the town of Al-Lataminah in the northern Hama countryside a day earlier. During the attack, the terrorists stole two chlorine cylinders and killed two members of the White Helmets, who were working there.
= ===

“Western weapons Discovered in Terrorists’ Bases in Syria” by ? (Muraselon)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Syrian army units found a large stockpile of ammunition and weapons, some manufactured in the western states, in their clean-up operation in Northern Hama, Eastern Sweida and Eastern Deir Ezzur on Thursday.

Field sources reported that machine-guns, Western-made missiles, sniper guns of Wall type, RPGs, missile-launchers, different types of artilleries and a large amount of ammunitions were discovered in the terrorists’ former strongholds in the three provinces.

“Turkey-Backed Terrorists Continue Plundering Afrin’s Historical Artifacts” by (Muraselon)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Ankara-Backed militants in Afrin in Western Aleppo still continue stealing the historical artifacts and usurping private properties, assets, farms and lands in the region, local sources reported on Thursday.

The sources said that the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Awwal militants are plundering the artifacts in Cyrrhus (a city in ancient Syria founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great’s generals) known among Arabs as Nebi Huri castle in Northeastern Afrin.

They added that the commander of the terrorist group also monitors extensive excavation operations in the historical sites in the region, saying that the militants sell the artifacts in local and regional markets or transfer them to other regions.

“Court Rules Innocent Pregnant Mother’s Rights NOT Violated When Police Dog Mauled Her” by Rachel Blevins (Activist Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Indianapolis, IN – A shocking case in which a pregnant mother was brutally attacked by a police dog has become even more disturbing this week after a U.S. district court judge ruled that the woman’s rights were not violated because she was an “innocent bystander” during the incident.

Mara Mancini was standing on the front porch of her home in July 2015 when she was attacked by a police dog that was chasing a suspect through her neighborhood. She was 7 months pregnant at the time, and the attack resulted in severe wounds to her arm and leg, according to a report from the IndyStar…

Given the fact that Mancini was an innocent bystander when she was viciously attacked by the police dog, she said the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department promised it would cover all of her medical expenses. However, she filed a lawsuit against the department in August 2016, claiming she had received nothing and her medical expenses had surpassed $100,000.

Mancini’s lawsuit claimed the attack violated her constitutional liberties, and she also attempted to challenge the law in the state of Indiana, which grants immunity to police dogs by stating that they are exempt from the “dog bite liability statute” because they are owned by a government agency, and because the dog was “engaged in assisting the owner or the owner’s agent in the performance of law enforcement or military duties.”

“Cops Breaking Facebook Rules, Creating Fake Accounts to Watch You—Here’s How to Spot Them” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A scathing new report shows that Facebook is teeming with face accounts—created by police officers to track their adversaries. According to Facebook’s official terms of use, they are against the rules, but cops seemingly couldn’t care less and keep making them anyway.

“‘Hahaha’: Deputies Laugh, Film Decorated Veteran as He Suffers Horrifying Death in a Jail Cell” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Milwaukie, OR — A mother announced a lawsuit this week after a deeply disturbing video showed her Army veteran son suffering an agonizing last few moments of his life in a jail cell as deputies laughed at and filmed him…

Perry’s family has now filed a lawsuit against the department and medical staff, who they say failed to property treat him on that November day in 2016.

[Clackamas County Sheriff Craig] Roberts said in a statement that “The laughter, substance, and tone of several comments heard from my employees in that video were inappropriate, and do not conform to our professional standards.”

The ACLU also released a statement last week noting that the video exposes a serious problem with the state’s jails.

Billy Maurice Driggers

“Alabama Police Chief Arrested for Allegedly Masturbating In Front of Children at the Beach” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Panama City Beach, FL — The chief of police for the city of Level Plains, Alabama was arrested last week after allegedly masturbating in public in an elevator as young children entered and exited. He was also witnessed masturbating while walking down the beach behind various teen girls and filming them shower.

Billy Maurice Driggers, the 44-year-old chief of police, was arrested at the police station last week and charged with four counts of disorderly conduct.

Qatar World Cup

“The World Cup is a Crime Scene” by Simon Black (Canadian Dimension)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== === == =
On the eve of World Cup 2018, soccer’s international governing body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, announced that the United bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States has been awarded the 2026 tournament.

Canadian soccer fans, please hold your applause.

At the outset, let me state that the fan in me is thrilled that not only will the World Cup be played in Canada—albeit just 10 games—but that the men’s national team will likely be playing, by virtue of Canada being a co-host, in the 2026 competition. It will be the men’s team’s first appearance on soccer’s biggest stage since Mexico 1986…

But the socialist and activist in me know that wherever it’s held, the World Cup is a crime scene.

And that’s not just because FIFA has for so long operated like an international crime syndicate—in the last six years alone, dozens of FIFA officials from more than 15 countries have been charged with racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.

But it’s because the World Cup, much like the Olympics, has become a profit-hungry corporate behemoth. Its crimes are not unique but those endemic to global neoliberal capitalism; a gangster capitalism of “free” markets, lax state regulations, and low taxes that enriches the global 1% and leaves the rest of us behind.
= == === ====

Nicolás Maduro Moros

“ACTION ALERT: Venezuela Poses No ‘Threat to the World’—but WaPo’s Claim That It Does Is Dangerous” by Joe Emersberger (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A Washington Post article by Ishaan Tharoor (9/10/18) states that it “can be plausibly argued” that Venezuela is “a threat to the world.” The justification for the remark is unclear, but seems to be based on his claim that a “hemispheric humanitarian calamity is now straining Venezuela’s neighbors, who are struggling to cope with the vast influx of refugees fleeing hunger and depredation.”,,,

I’ve written recently on the scale of Venezuela’s migration (, 8/31/18), given the comparisons to Syria that Tharoor and others have tossed around. According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration figures, by July 2018, about 1.6 million Venezuelans had fled its economic crisis, far from the 5 million that have fled Syria’s civil war to live abroad, and whom no decent person would call a “threat to the world.”…

Trump’s policy has been to deliberately make Venezuela’s economic crisis worse, which makes its migration crisis worse…

I asked the Washington Post to correct Tharoor’s article so his readers are not left completely ignorant of Trump’s economic sanctions on Venezuela, and worked up into a panic about a democracy that poses them no threat.

A grim picture from inside ruined Ukraine

“July update: A grim picture from inside a collapsing country” by Dmitry Kovalevich (The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

+++ ++ +
At present, the general situation in Ukraine can be characterized by the instability of almost all aspects of daily life. Some of our commentators are increasingly using the term ‘rogue state,’ while comparing Ukraine with today’s Libya, Somalia or Yemen. At the same time, pro-government politicians are increasingly referring to the experience of Latin American dictatorships as a ‘promising model.’ The central political power is relatively weak; it cannot oppose the various paramilitary groups of ultra-nationalists – who impose their agendas beyond any legal procedure – just by force. Meanwhile, economic collapse continues to spiral, compelling millions of Ukrainians to migrate as a cheap labour force to EU countries, as well as neighbouring Russia and Belarus…

Following Maidan, Ukraine’s political sphere was significantly reshaped, so as to guarantee the future change of personalities in power without any change to the country’s main political course: for example, the continuation of the neoliberal reforms, following all IMF demands, driving Ukraine into NATO and the suppression of the remaining opposition. Forces opposed to the course were either banned or suppressed with the help of extralegal paramilitary far-right groups. Thus, most people don’t see any purpose in participating in politics, even when it comes to the straightforward business of voting…

Within the last four years Ukraine has gradually turned into territory of lawlessness, since all criminal gangs and ‘robber barons’ have quickly understood that under the cover of ‘patriotism’ they can do anything they want. The situation is aggravated by the number of demobilized soldiers who often smuggle arms from the frontline, suffer from PTSD and are unable to find a well-paid job inside the country. Therefore, we see murders, assaults or cases of robbery committed by roaming gangs of nationalists or former soldiers on a daily basis. It is enough for them to claim that the victim had ‘pro-Russian’ or ‘separatist’ views, without any evidence to justify such an assault.
+ ++ +++


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Professional Scam Artists – part 21

“Canada’s trade unions deepen corporatist alliance with government during NAFTA talks” by Roger Jordan (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As Canada and the United States enter the final stages of bitter negotiations over a revised North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the role of Canada’s union bureaucracy as a key partner of Canada’s big business Liberal government is becoming ever clearer. While stoking reactionary Canadian nationalism and boasting of their role as official government advisers during the NAFTA talks, leading union bureaucrats are pulling out all the stops to prevent an eruption of the class struggle.

“I can’t think of any (previous) trade agreement, ever, where labour has played any sort of an active role,” blustered Unifor President Jerry Dias in a CBC interview last week in which he boasted about the unions’ high-level access to government officials, including Liberal ministers. “NAFTA has been a game-changer for the labour movement and how working class people are treated as it relates to trade.”

Apart from Dias’ thoroughly cynical invocation of the working class, upon whom he and his fellow union bureaucrats have for decades been imposing wage cuts and other givebacks at the behest of corporate management, the Unifor president’s comment contains a grain of truth. The “game changer” has been that the union bureaucracy’s long-standing corporatist alliance with the government and big business has dramatically expanded over the past year, with Dias and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) head Hassan Yussuff accompanying the Liberal government’s negotiating team to Washington and Mexico City…

The unions in the United States are playing an equally reactionary role.

Jordan notes that Dias expressed hope that Trump et al would produce a more progressive deal for Canadians. That’s like sending your children to an ISIS camp for them to be babysat and expecting a good outcome. Incredibly, there were a few gains that came about from this re-negotiation (and I don’t know whether Dias and his union leadership colleagues can claim credit for those), but the deal is still awful and couldn’t possibly be anything else.

related: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on NAFTA 2.0” by Sujata Dey (The Council of Canadians)

“Cameco ruling shows need to outlaw tax haven use” by Dennis Howlett (Canadians For Tax Fairness)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Like many Canadian companies, Cameco uses subsidiaries and related companies in known tax-haven countries to lower their taxes in Canada. This often-used strategy by large corporations is costing Canadians over $10 billion per year.

The September 26, 2018 Tax Court of Canada ruling on the Cameco case deals with the company’s practice of selling uranium at a low below-market price to its subsidiary in Switzerland, which in turn sells at a much higher price to their ultimate customers. The company challenged the CRA tax assessments that they owed back taxes.

The Tax Court ruling sided with Cameco. Though the ruling only covers the company’s 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years including about $11 million in taxes, it will have implications for the approximately $2 billion in taxes plus interest and penalties CRA has assessed as owing in subsequent years.

To add insult to injury, in addition to the millions taxpayers are already out from the suit, Cameco will be making an application to the court to recover their court costs – a total about $57 million.
= == ===

“New job numbers in, still no credible evidence against minimum wage raise” by Ricardo Tranjan (Behind The Numbers / Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

During an announcement last week, Labour Minister Laurie Scott confirmed plans to freeze the minimum wage at $14. This measure would prevent more than 1 million Ontarians from getting the legislated $1/hour raise next January.

The minister provided two pieces of “evidence” as justification.

First, she said business owners have told her they find it hard to adjust to the raise; some of them apparently told her they are even working longer days to make up for employee hours that have been cut back…

The minimum wage increased in January. Scott’s party assumed office in June and proceeded to break campaign promises, cancel contracts with international companies and pick legal fights with other levels of government. Could August’s job numbers perhaps be related to the uncertainty a change in government has created? Could it possibly related to the potential for auto tariffs to be applied at the U.S. border by the Trump administration? We don’t know.

Today, Statistics Canada released the following statement regarding the August job loss:

The level of part-time employment observed in September 2018 is consistent with typical seasonal patterns. On a seasonally unadjusted basis, declines in part-time employment usually observed in July occurred this year in August…Further analysis will be undertaken to identify the labour market conditions contributing to these trends.

In other words, Statistics Canada experts are not completely sure of what happened to part-time employment in August. They will do due diligence before providing a definitive answer…

Table 1 and Table 2 present overall employment figures and employment growth rates in minimum wage–heavy industries. The conclusion is clear: Ontario’s labour market is doing well, and in some areas it is doing better than the Canadian average.

Tables 1 & 2 can be seen at the top of the entry.

Rightwinger J.K. Rowling

“J.K. Rowling Rolls Out Tired Anti-Semitism Trope” by Warren Beale (The Libertarian Institute via American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I wasn’t entirely sure how to begin writing the following words. I felt that I was walking on egg shells, and had to be careful to not say anything that might be interpreted in a way I did not mean. Then it hit me. This was the very problem I am attempting to address. You see, I came across a Haaretz article recently about anti Semitism. J.K Rowling, the well known author of the popular “Harry Potter” book series, had written a new novel where the villain is critical of Israel, thus being labeled an anti Semite. Immediately I realized the absurdity and danger of this characterization. For a while now there has been an attempt to paint anyone critical of Israel as an anti Semite, but this is a new level, now making its way into children’s literature. Rowling’s justification for the characterization is due to what she believes to be rising anti Semitism in Europe. Replying to a comment that states Arabs cannot be anti Semitic because Arabs are Semites too, Rowling shared a dictionary definition of anti-Semitism that states it’s “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” I wonder, when did we shift definitions to fit our narrative? Then I realized this is a type of Orwellian newspeak, wherein the very people who call themselves peacemakers that drone strike civilians, change labels to suit themselves.

J.K. Rowling also added her star power to the propaganda operation that centered in a little girl named Bana Alabed. Rowling is therefore no stranger to using kids to further the war aims of the US-led Corporatocracy. See my previous blog post titled “The Ruination Of Bana Alabed.” Elliot Aronson, a social psychologist, long ago wrote (in “The Social Animal”) about something called social reality. When everyone around you asserts that a thing is so, even if you know that it isn’t, then after some time has passed and no one else speaks up to tell you that you are right and the crowd is wrong, you may lose the strength of your convictions – unless you’re solid. Something similar could be at work here. That and simple gatekeeping, in which unprincipled people (the opposite of solid), who don’t care how they survive but only that they do, make the determination that those who claim that antisemitism means criticism of Israel, instead of racism against Semites, who also happen to be those with power, should be supported and their victims should be hindered, attacked, anything but left in peace.

As for the Libertarian Institute website, I have zero use for it. Without even looking for anything, my eyes fell on a statement asserting that socialism is no good because it relies on force. That implies that capitalism is good because it doesn’t rely on force. Good grief!

The “Adir” jets first flight in Israel.Pictured: “Adir” jet and F-16I “Sufa”.Photo by: Maj. Ofer. .הטיסה הראשונה של מטוסי ה”אדיר” בשמי ישראל.בתמונה: מטוס ה”אדיר” ומטוס ה”ספוה”.צילום: רס”ן עופר

“The US Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The S-300 May Destroy and Expose the F-35” by Federico Pieraccini (Strategic Culture Foundation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The tragic episode that caused the death of 15 Russian air force personnel has had immediate repercussions on the situation in Syria and the Middle East…

In one sense, the delivery of S-300 batteries to Syria is cause for concern more for Washington than for Tel Aviv. Israel has several F-35 and has claimed to have used them in Syria to strike alleged Iranian weapons transfers to Hezbollah. With the S-300 systems deployed in an updated version and incorporated into the Russian command, control and communications (C3) system, there is a serious risk (for Washington) that Israel, now incapable of changing the course of events in Syria, could attempt a desperate maneuver…

If the Israelis will follow through with their reckless attempts to eliminate the S-300 (if they can find them in the first place, given that they are mobile), they will risk their F-35s being brought down. The US military-industrial complex would suffer irreparable damage. This would also explain why Israel (and probably the US) has for more than five years put enormous pressure on Moscow not to deliver the S-300 to Syria and Iran…

The F-35 program has already cost hundreds of billions of dollars and will soon reach the exorbitant and surreal figure of over 1 trillion dollars. It has already been sold to dozens of countries bound by decades-long agreements. The F-35 has been developed as a multi-role fighter and is expected to be the future backbone of NATO and her allies. Its development began more than 10 years ago and, despite the countless problems that still exist, it is already airborne and combat-ready, as the Israelis insist. From the US point of view, its employment in operations is played down and otherwise concealed. The less data available to opponents, the better; though the real reason may lie in a strong fear of any revelation of potential weaknesses of the aircraft damaging future sales. At this time, the Pentagon’s marketing of the F-35 is based on the evaluations provided by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, and on the tests carried out by the military who commissioned it to Lockheed Martin. Obviously, both Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force have no interest in revealing any weaknesses or shortcomings, especially publicly. Corruption is a big thing in Washington, contrary to common assumptions.

“Former Prisoner of Conscience Condemns Amnesty International” by Camilo E. Mejia (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Through this letter I express my unequivocal condemnation of Amnesty International with regards to the destabilizing role it has played in Nicaragua, my country of birth.

I open this letter quoting Donatella Rovera, who at the time of speaking had been one of Amnesty International’s field investigators for more than 20 years:

“Conflict situations create highly politicized and polarized environments… Players and interested parties go to extraordinary lengths to manipulate or manufacture ‘evidence’ for both internal and external consumption. A recent – though by no means the only – example is provided by the Syrian conflict in what is often referred to as the ‘YouTube war,’ with a myriad techniques employed to manipulate video footage of incidents which occurred at other times in other places – including in other countries – and present them as ‘proof’ of atrocities committed by one or other parties to the conflict in Syria.”

Rovera’s remarks, made in 2014, properly describe the situation in Nicaragua today, where even the preamble of the crisis was manipulated to generate rejection of the Nicaraguan government. Amnesty International’s maliciously titled report – ‘Shoot to Kill: Nicaragua’s Strategy to Repress Protest’ – could be dismantled point by point, but doing so requires precious time that the Nicaraguan people don’t have, therefore I will concentrate on two main points:

1. The report completely lacks neutrality
2. Amnesty International’s role is contributing to the chaos in which the nation finds itself…
= == ===

Shadi Yousef Shehda showing Eva his murdered family

“Liberate Idlib and Syria: The Martyred of Mhardeh Speak Through the Ones They’ve Left Behind” by Eva Bartlett (In Gaza And Beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

MHARDEH, SYRIA — (War Report) On September 7, Mhardeh, a small Christian town in northern Hama, was targeted with nine Grad missiles — six of which were fitted with internationally-prohibited cluster sub-munitions — by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists roughly four kilometers away from the town center, occupying the northern Hama countryside areas of Ltamenah and surroundings.

Four days later, I went to Mhardeh and took the testimony of a man who lost everything to the terrorist attack: his wife, three young children, and mother were all killed in the initial bombardment…

According to Mhardeh’s National Defense Forces (NDF), the attackers were Jaysh al-Izza, a group that works directly with al-Qaeda in Syria…

Also, on September 7, the UN Security Council (UNSC) met to warn Syria’s government “against the use of chemical weapons” in Idlib — something the Syrian government had been repeatedly warning the UN about for weeks prior, specifying that terrorists within Idlib, and the White Helmets propaganda front, had been moving canisters of chlorine around in preparation for a new staged chemical attack. The Syrian and Russian governments warned that children who had been abducted from Idlib and the Aleppo countryside would be used in staged videos, surely to star [alongside] the fake-rescuers of the White Helmets.

But at the UNSC, the United States continued its hypocritical exceptionalism, again blaming Syria and Russia for alleged attacks not even yet faked by Washington’s terrorist allies in Syria.

That would be the same UN that ‘Christian’ leaders hailed as the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth. See my previous blog post titled “Nazi America.”


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The US Ruling Class Thinks And Does What It Says Its Targets Are Thinking And Doing

Source: MoA – China’s Port In Sri Lanka’s Is Good Business – The NYT’s Report On It Is Propaganda

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

‘China’s financial imperialism’ is a relatively new genre in western journalism. China is providing loans to other countries to build infrastructure. If those countries can not pay back the loans, China offers to lease and manage the infrastructure built with its money…

Surely no other countries do such? Other countries do not use loans to gain influence? Other countries do not play hardball to collect?

From the Preface to “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” by John Perkins, we get the following:

This is what we EHMs do best: we build a global empire. We are an elite group of men and women who utilize international financial organization to foment conditions that make other nations subservient to the corporatocracy running our biggest corporations, our government, and our banks. Like our counterparts in the Mafia, EHMs provide favors. These take the form of loans to develop infrastructure – electric generating plants, highways, ports, airports, or industrial parks. A condition of such loans is that engineering and construction companies from our own country must build all these projects. In essence, most of the money never leaves the United States; it is simply transferred from banking offices in Washington to engineering offices in New York, Houston, or San Francisco.

Despite the fact that the money is returned almost immediately to corporations that are members of the corporatocracy (the creditor), the recipient country is required to pay it all back, principal plus interest. If an EHM is completely successful, the loans are so large the debtor is forced to default on its payments after a few years. When this happens, then like the Mafia we demand our pound of flesh. This often includes one or more of the following: control over United Nations votes, the installation of military bases, or access to precious resources such as oil or the Panama Canal. Of course, the debtor still owes us the money – and another country is added to our global empire.

From page 1 of “The New Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man,” by John Perkins, we get the following:

The treacherous cancer beneath the surface, which was revealed in the original “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” has metastasized. It has spread from the economically developing countries to the United States and the rest of the world; it attacks the very foundations of democracy and the planet’s life-support systems.

All the EHM and jackal tools – false economics, false promises, threats, bribes, extortion, debt, deception, coups, assassinations, unbridled military power – are used around the world today, even more than during the era I exposed more than a decade ago. Although this cancer has spread widely and deeply, most people still aren’t aware of it; yet all of us are impacted by the collapse it has caused. It has become the dominant system of economic, government, and society today.

And it is in perfect harmony with this dark world’s paradigm, or operating principle, of ‘riches for the strongest’.

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