Lawlessness / Ruined – part 1

Lissa Lucas abused by fascist politicians

“West Virginia Woman Removed From Legislature After Exposing Fossil Fuel Contributions to Lawmakers” by Ben Norton and Lissa Lucas (The Real News Network)

An excerpt from the above linked to report follows:

=== =
Ben Norton: A scandal in West Virginia underscores just how much corporations control politics in the United States and what little influence working people have over the laws that govern their lives. On the morning of Friday, February 9th, a woman in West Virginia drove 100 miles to the state capital to testify against the bill sponsored by the oil and gas industry that will let fossil fuel companies drill on people’s land without their consent.

Lissa Lucas: I’d also like to point out that the people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry and people who are going to be voting on this bill are also often paid by the industry.

Ben Norton: Lissa Lucas was physically removed from the hearing after naming lawmakers who have received large financial contributions from fossil fuel companies and who support the invasive drilling legislation.
= ===

“Israeli soldiers deface poster hung in memoriam of slain Palestinian teen” by ? (Ma’an News Agency)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|=-
Just over a week after Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Musaab al-Tamimi during clashes in his hometown of Deir Nitham, in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers allegedly defaced posters of the boy hanging in the town.

Israeli news website Ynet said in a report on Thursday that posters commemorating al-Tamimi’s martyrdom were defaced with permanent marker.

A picture posted by Ynet shows slogans written in Hebrew, stars of David, and a middle finger drawn on the teen’s face. The Hebrew slogans translate to “son of a whore,” “whore,” and “dead.”
-=|

Jan Morgan

“Arkansas Governor’s Right-Wing Challenger Wants To Put Prisons Ahead of “Non-Essential” Services—Like Welfare” by Brandon E. Patterson

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|[-
Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson’s Republican challenger, who has been drumming up support from far-right types for the May primary, thinks the state should dedicate money for cops, courts, and prisons at the expense of the social safety net. This, according to her campaign website, is how to keep people safe.

“Crime has continued to rise in parts of the state. We must ensure we have the resources to protect the public,” [Jan] Morgan says in an campaign platform outline on her website. “This means prioritizing funding for our prisons, courts, and law enforcement over welfare programs and non-essential functions of government. We cannot fail on keeping our people safe. That is one of the primary purposes of state government.”
-]|

Note: the image on the website says that it’s a “representational” image. Does that mean it’s inauthentic? I don’t know.

“In UP, Minor Girl Sets Self On Fire After Being Allegedly Gang-Raped By Two Brothers” by ? (Outlook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== =
The police on Monday sent for postmortem the body of a minor girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur who they suspect had committed suicide by setting herself on fire after being raped by two brothers…

This comes days after a minor girl in Haryana’s Jind district was found dead with her private parts mutilated and liver ruptured. According to the post-mortem report, the girl was raped by more than two people who also inserted a blunt object into her body after raping her.
= ===

Larry Nassar
photo by Geoff Robins

“USA Gymnastics doctor convicted of sexual assault was scolded by the judge for writing a letter saying he couldn’t handle 4 days of testimony from victims” by Scott Davis (SFGATE)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(—
Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor accused of sexual assault and molestation, was scolded on Thursday by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina over a letter he wrote before his four-day sentencing.

According to Matt Mencarini of The Lansing State Journal, Nassar wrote in the letter that he wasn’t sure he could “mentally” handle four days of victim-impact statements during his sentencing. According to Mencarini around 125 women and girls are expected to make victim-impact statements during the sentencing, with the number growing each day.
—)

From the Axis of Logic website: ||- © SPUTNIK/ GRIGORIY VASILENKO A man carrying a picture of Stepan Bandera during a torchlight procession of Ukrainian nationalists in downtown Kiev. File photo -||
Stepan Bandera, a godless killer and a deputized (by Hitler’s Germany) Nazi is worshipped by ruined Ukrainians.

“UN General Assembly calls Russia ‘occupant power’” by Dmitry Sudakov (pravda.ru)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

====–
On December 19, the document was adopted by a majority vote: 70 countries voted in favor of the resolution, mainly the USA and its satellites, while 26 countries voted against it, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Cuba, North Korea, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and South Africa.

China and 76 other countries abstained from making a decision on the subject. In its decision, the UN General Assembly pointed out Kiev’s efforts aimed at “putting an end to the Russian occupation of the Crimea.”
–====

The disregard for the rule of law and for right and wrong by the beastly politicians of the gangster Corporatocracy is astonishing – to normal people. This sort of harassment of Russia by the US and those who choose to side with the US is essentially a big, shameless frame. How would my country react, I wonder, if a majority of UN member nations pointed a finger at it and condemned it for its human rights violations? (Which, come to think of, would not be inappropriate.) How would Canada react to an accusation that it occupies Quebec? This is like someone screaming at someone else, “Shame on you for beating your wife. When will you stop?” If facts matter, and to too many dull regular people, they don’t, then the proper response is to inquire as to whether the accused husband has in fact beat his wife. The accuser, however, sets up a frame with his accusation, which is more than an accusation. The way the matter is stated makes it sound like the beating is an established fact. Same with the above UN resolution. Please compare the above Pravda report with the UK Russian Embassy response to Boris Johnson’s shameless lies. It’s so easy to lie and smear and harass. It’s much harder to be on the receiving end of such evil.

related: “Russian Embassy in London Dismantles Boris Johnson Over Finger-Wagging on Crimea” by ? (Sputnik)

related: “Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality” by Robert Parry

Jeff Bezos
Photo from Wikipedia

“Amazon’s inter-city headquarters competition epitomizes our class war moment” by Nicole Karlis (Salon)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=-=–
North American cities have been tripping over each other to give away tax dollars to Amazon in hopes of attracting the company’s second headquarters — and the competition is getting fiercer as the list gets smaller.

On Thursday, the tech conglomerate narrowed down the list of finalists for its second headquarters, which they call “HQ2” — winnowing 238 bids down to some 20 cities that could potentially host the next major Amazon campus. The list of finalists strayed from the West Coast (where Amazon originated), and included many locations in the Midwest and on the East Coast — including the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York and Miami. Yet location may be less important to Amazon than free money, considering the eye-bulging incentives cities have thrown at the fourth-largest company in the United States…

This civic genuflection to our corporate overlords marks the most extreme courting phase American cities have exhibited with a big corporation. Indeed, many democratically-elected civic leaders are laying out the welcome mat for Amazon, while everyday people in said cities seem less enthused by the prospect of prioritizing corporate needs over civic ones. In other words, it feels a lot like class war.
–=-=

Robert Parry

“George W. Bush: Dupe or Deceiver?” by Robert Parry (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

[=-
George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, is without doubt a self-serving defense of his presidency – and Bush’s own words condemn him as a liar – but there is another nagging question that surrounds this curious book: Has the U.S. media/political system become so polluted with falsehoods that even people at the top now believe the propaganda?

It is not clear which is the more troubling answer: that Bush and his advisers were bald-faced liars confident that their elite status lets then deceive at will, or that they have wallowed so long in a Washington’s hot tub of spin that their brains can no longer separate fact from fiction.

In general, I assume that political leaders know the truth and just believe that the rest of us are easily manipulated by clever propaganda or can be readily bullied into line. As long as the leaders stick to their story (no matter how false it is), they can rely on their Establishment credentials to tough it out against the few skeptics who dare call out the lies.

But there were moments in reading Bush’s memoir when I began wondering whether – at least for him – the other explanation was more plausible, that he was clinically delusional in the sense that he could no longer distinguish between what was real and what had been created by others to appeal to his preconceptions, biases and vanity.
-=]

Darkness is its own reward. When you knowingly and willingly embrace darkness, you may think you are impervious to its deleterious effects, that you can straddle both worlds, namely the world of light where truth is important and the world of darkness where facts can be manipulated for personal gain. But the reality is, as you travel down that path of darkness, all of your god-given light diminishes. You may have begun your career as a gangster clever enough but you won’t end that way. Criminals can’t live long enough to become as dumb as you can get for choosing darkness, otherwise we would have starker examples of the ravages of the drug of darkness, like Bush, all around us.

Thom Yorke
(Photo: Henry Laurisch/Wikimedia)

“Radiohead and Nick Cave– sing with the caged birds” by Frank Barat (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

o—
Mondoweiss editor: Last summer Radiohead played Tel Aviv, and when fans at a Glasgow gig waved Palestinian flags to protest the event, the band’s frontman, Thom Yorke, lashed out, muttering on stage, “Some fucking people”. Months later, Nick Cave accused Palestinian human rights supporters of bullying and silencing artists like himself for crossing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) picket line.

Frank Barat: And there was Nick saying that he was fed up of being bullied and silenced by BDS bullies like Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Ken Loach and dozens of other artists, so much so that he felt it a duty to play Israel. Well, Nick, your hosts have silenced a 16 year old who has shown more moral courage and conviction in her 16 years than you ever have. They’re preparing to throw the book at her, a book so mendacious that it has a near-100% conviction rate. It’s to teach her a lesson and any Palestinians like her who dares respond to daily injustice, violence and humiliation with anything other than total subordination. Hell hath no fury like an occupier humiliated. Israel’s education minister says Ahed, her cousin and mother should spend the rest of their lives in prison.
—o

From the website: Graffiti reading “Death to Ahed Tamimi” left by Israeli settlers in the village of Nabi Salah (Photo: Jaclynn Ashly)

“‘Death to Ahed Tamimi’: Israeli settlers vandalize Nabi Saleh” by Jaclynn Ashly (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

((–
On Thursday night, when residents of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank were sound asleep in their homes, Israeli settlers crept through the village’s streets, vandalizing walls with graffiti threatening jailed teen activist Ahed Tamimi and her family.

Some of the graffiti reads: “Death to Ahed Tamimi,” “There’s no place in this world for Ahed Tamimi,” and another demanding that the Tamimi family be “kicked out of the country.”

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, told Mondoweiss that none of the village’s residents had seen the settlers enter the village, but that the incident occurred at some point after 1 a.m. “The settlers wrote that Ahed should be killed in order to scare the residents in Nabi Saleh,” he said.
–))

Tom Philpott

“Here’s the Worst, Anti-Science Idea of the Week from the Republican Congress” by Tom Philpott (Mother Jones)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== === == =
At a hearing this week, Rep. Lamar Smith (R.-Texas) lashed out at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the group that assesses cancer risk for the UN’s World Health Organization. He accused it of conducting “cherry-picked science,” which, he declared “raises questions about why IARC should receive any [US] government funding in the future.”

“Cherry-picked science” is quite a charge coming from Smith, a magnate for cash from the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries who is widely regarded as the “preeminent climate change denier in Congress,” to use the veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik’s phrase.

What drew Smith’s ire is an ongoing dispute over the herbicide glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. In an assessment of the scientific literature back in 2015, IARC declared glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The finding triggered a fierce pushback from Monsanto as well as a flood of pending lawsuits from cancer survivors.
= == === ====

From the website: Antonio Gonzalez, accused by 26-year-old soccer player Bernardo Gabriel Caballero of coercing him into sex. | Photo: Twitter @enunabaldosa

“Paraguay: Sex Scandal Soccer President Was ‘Human Trafficking'” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=+=+=+-
The former president of a Paraguay soccer club embroiled in a sex scandal with one of his young players is now also suspected of human trafficking, the Prosecutor’s Office revealed on Saturday.

Police who raided the home of former Liga Luqueňa de Futbol President Antonio Gonzalez found films, cell phones and flash drives containing child pornography, along with a stash of ammunition. Investigators are currently analyzing the evidence.

Prosecutor Teresa Martinez, who authorized the raid, said there have been numerous allegations mounted against Gonzalez by young soccer players.
-+=+=+=

From Mondoweiss:
Member of Knesset Oren Hazan, Likud, snaps a photograph with President Donald Trump, May 22, 2017. (Photo: Twitter)

“Israeli lawmaker tells BBC he’d put Ahed Tamimi ‘in the hospital’ by kicking her face” by Jonathan Ofir (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

===========—
Israeli lawmaker Oren Hazan of the Likud Party was interviewed by the BBC on Wednesday, in a news report about Ahed Tamimi titled “Is a slap an act of terror?”. Hazan opined that “a slap is terrorism” and described his response:

“If I was there, she would finish in the hospital. For sure. Nobody could stop me. I would kick, kick her face, believe me”.

Hazan is known for outrageous statements. For example he recently called Gazan families visiting relatives in Israeli prison “dogs”, “human scum” and “beasts”.
—===========

“Not Fit to Lead: Mike Pence ‘Takes a Knee’, Shows His True Colors Pyeong-Chang” by Patrick Henningsen (21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|===—
Yesterday, as American Vice President Mike Pence was basking in the international spotlight, he made the puzzling decision not to stand when they played the Unified Korean anthem.

Undoubtedly, this was a very important moment in history, when North and South Korea entered the Olympic Stadium during the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Pyeong-Chang, South Korea, as the two countries proudly marched in the Parade of Nations – under one Unified Korean flag.

And what did the US high representative do? He did a [Colin] Kaepernick. He took a knee…

Cameras caught Pence in one of the most embarrassing public moments for US internationally – openly exhibiting behavior which is unbecoming of any bona fide statesperson. In terms of international relations, this should certainly disqualify this man from ever holding a chief executive position…

There is another disturbing possibility here though, which is that Pence knows something we don’t. Here we will pose the question: is Pence foreshadowing an US war with North Korea? We hope not…

To all the vehement opponents of Donald Trump, let me just say that Trump will take his love where ever he can get it, including from the Koreans, and had he been placed in the exact same position, he would have stood up and clapped, maybe not enthusiastically, but like any good actor, at least pretending to be like a world leader should. People should take heed of this, and be aware that Mike Pence might be a potentially dangerous individual in comparison to Trump. Right now, he may only be Trump’s éminence grise, but if the deep state have their way, things could change, and maybe not for the better.
—===|

related: “NFL QB Colin Kaepernick says, “We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally””

Jonathan Vance

“Top general suspends VIP military flights — after excessive drinking, sex assault charge and peeing in seats” by Bruce Campion-Smith (Toronto Star)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

[o
Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff, announced Friday that he had temporarily suspended Team Canada trips and ordered a ban on alcohol on military aircraft when they do resume.

Vance acted after getting the results of an air force investigation into a December trip that saw former Maple Leafs player Dave (Tiger) Williams charged with assault and sexual assault after alleged incidents involving a female member of the military who was a flight attendant.

During that same trip, two VIPs wet themselves in their seats, there were complaints about excessive drinking and concerns whether military and aviation regulations were adhered to. For example, one passenger was allowed to bring a 40-ounce bottle of alcohol past security and onboard the flight, and several passengers were allowed to board the flight in Ottawa even though they appeared inebriated.
o]

From the Toronto Star:
Student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are greeted as they arrive at a rally for gun control reform on the steps of the state capitol, in Tallahassee, Fla., on Wednesday. (Gerald Herbert / AP)

“Gun enthusiasts would rather lose their kids than their guns” by Rick Salutin (Toronto Star)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
But when the gun question is involved, I also find myself asking: are the most vocal opponents of gun control speaking in good faith or bad? Generally, when people voice despicable (to me) views, I’d prefer thinking they believe what they say, and that they’d pass a lie-detector test for sincerity. So they’d have convinced themselves of the B.S., before passing it to others. There’s a tortuous philosophical category covering this called false consciousness.

For the main voices against gun control, though, I don’t believe it. They speak in bad faith. They know they’re lying as they talk. The evidence against them is simply too strong…

When you learn that you live in the best country in the history of the world, it’s a short step to thinking it’s the only one. In either case, why would you bother drawing lessons from lesser peoples?

Each time one of these searing events occurs, I find myself hoping, like an idiot, that Americans whose lives have been shattered will draw connections to others in the world whose own lives have been blasted by U.S. acts — and that the effect will be to augment general compassion…

That kids in Florida, for instance, will think of kids in Iraq and Syria after what is now generations of U.S. military interventions.

I felt that way, stupidly, after 9-11. The U.S., which had never been struck by terror from abroad, would start comprehending how it’s viewed elsewhere. Why don’t Americans ever learn from these things? It’s a price they pay for their “exceptionalism”— they have nothing to learn from others.
= == ===

“ICE Put Immigrant Woman, Who Alleged Sexual Abuse, In Solitary To Make Her Recant Claims” by Brian Sonenstein (SHADOWPROOF)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

)o
An incarcerated immigrant woman, who alleged sexual harassment and assault by a corrections officer, said she was thrown in solitary confinement for 60 hours and was told she would not be released until she publicly recanted her accusations.

Laura Monterrosa is a 23 year old immigrant from El Salvador detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a private prison operated by CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America).

Grassroots Leadership, a Texas-based immigrant rights group advocating on behalf of Monterrosa, said she was isolated between 11:00 PM on Friday, February 9, and 11:00 AM on Monday, February 12. She was threatened with more isolation if she didn’t publicly state she was not sexually abused by staff.

“This should not be happening in America,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership…

“This is against the law,” Muñoz continued. “There is an ongoing FBI investigation, and ICE is trying to convince this witness to change her story. This is one of the most egregious abuses I have ever witnessed.”
o(

“Ruin”

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