Lawlessness / Ruined – part 34

John Rendon (left) with Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, US Africa Command Chief of Staff (photo by US Africom Public Affairs)

“Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US” by Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames (Gray Zone via Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert U.K. state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting “Russian disinformation.”

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called “Integrity Initiative” to shape domestic opinion—and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbin.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the U.S.. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top D.C. think tanks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka.

Haiti protests

“Is Haiti Awakening to Change?” by Jake Johnston (New York Times via CEPR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It started with a few keystrokes in a living room in Montreal. Gilbert Mirambeau Jr., a Haitian filmmaker and writer, took to Twitter on Aug. 14 to post a photo of himself, blindfolded, holding a piece of cardboard with a simple question written on it in Haiti’s Creole: “Kot Kòb Petwo Karibe a???” — Where is the Petrocaribe money???

He was referring to funds that had gone missing from some $2 billion in low-interest loans provided by Petrocaribe, a Venezuela-led oil-purchasing alliance of Caribbean states, since 2008 to help Haiti’s economy. It became a critical emergency resource in 2010, when an earthquake devastated the country.

A few days after the Mirambeau tweet, the popular Haitian rapper K-Lib tweeted his own picture, using the hashtag #PetroCaribeChallenge. On the 18th, an informal group of young Haitians who organized on Twitter and Facebook decided to make promoting the hashtag their first public action. The movement continues to build momentum and the campaign has hit Haitian streets…

After the 2010 earthquake here, foreign donors pledged more than $10 billion in aid. But less than 1 percent of the emergency aid spent in their names went directly to Haitians. The legitimate government, the private sector and civil society were cast aside in favor of for-profit aid companies in the United States and other foreign experts. It is a policy that evokes the dynastic Duvalier dictatorship in the mid-20th century, when “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” became international symbols of kleptocracy. Today it is a policy that has only served to weaken the state and perpetuate the corruption, this time on an international scale.

Seemingly in contrast at first, Petrocaribe put funds directly into government coffers, allowing the government to fill wide gaps left by the earthquake. But rather than helping develop a more effective aid regimen, the infusion wound up delivering a highly efficient patronage system. Nine years after the earthquake, there is little to show for the billions received.

We need missiles in Europe. Not.

“Video: The EU Votes for the Installation of New US Missiles in Europe” by Manilo Dinucci (Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== =
The Obama administration first, followed by the Trump administration, have accused Russia, without any proof, of experimenting with a missile from the forbidden category, and have announced their intention of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. At the same time, they have launched a programme aimed at renewing the installation of nuclear missiles in Europe to guard against Russia, while others will also be based in the Asia-Pacific region against China…

The Russian representative at the UN has warned that “this constitutes the beginning of a full-blown arms race”. In other words, he warned that if the United States should once again install in Europe nuclear missiles pointed at Russia (as were the Cruise missiles based in Comiso in the 1980’s), Russia would once again install, on its own territory, similar weapons pointed at targets in Europe (but which would be unable to reach the USA).

Ignoring all that, the EU representative at the UN accused Russia of sabotaging the INF Treaty, and announced the opposition vote by all the countries of the Union because “the resolution presented by Russia avoids the question under discussion”.

Essentially, therefore, the European Union has given the green light to the possible installation of new US missiles in Europe, including Italy.
= ===

Lindsey Graham

“War Whores Scramble To Say Syria Attack Means Troops Must Remain” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria has reportedly killed 19 people including four Americans, two of whom were US soldiers and two of whom worked with the US military. ISIS, which has an extensive history of falsely claiming responsibility for attacks it had nothing to do with, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite the fact that ISIS would claim responsibility for a housewife stepping on a Lego block, and despite the complete absence of evidence that it had anything to do with the deadly explosion, all the usual cheerleaders of endless war are pointing to the Manbij suicide bombing and shrieking “See?? Trump said ISIS is defeated and it’s not!”

“ISIS is still a very real threat here,” CNN international corespondent Clarissa Ward told Jake Tapper from northern Syria. “And the real concern that we are hearing over and over again on the ground, Jake, is that when US troops withdraw, a power vacuum is created, and that only gives them more strength.”

Virulent Syria war pundit Charles Lister, who is notorious for praising Al Qaeda and is a senior fellow at the Gulf state-funded neoconservative think tank Middle East Institute, told AFP that this attack invalidates Donald Trump’s order last month to withdraw troops from Syria.

proud and evil fascist Jair Bolsonaro

“All the ways that Canadian journalists serve the ruling class” by James Wilt (Briarpatch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In late October, fascist Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president of Brazil. Many news outlets around the world had worked hard to document the litany of racist, homophobic, sexist and ecocidal statements the former army captain had made.

So how did Canada’s national broadcaster respond to the news of his candidacy? By wondering aloud: “What a far-right Bolsonaro presidency in Brazil means for Canadian business.”

The article and related tweets were immediately condemned by Canadians, journalists, and Brazilians. The broadcaster eventually apologized. But even that was criticized, with media critic and New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen tweeting: “The @CBC is not a tip sheet for rich investors, is it? If authoritarians – like the one who just became president of Brazil – have their way, public broadcasters will either be defunded or absorbed into the state. The CBC better wake up.”…

But this wasn’t an isolated incident. Far from it, in fact.

Shot of a large flock of chicken hens all together in a big warehouse on a farm

“Factory farms no longer have to report their air emissions. That’s dangerous for their neighbors.” by Leah Douglas (Grist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Rosemary Partridge has lived in Sac County, Iowa, for 40 years. She has watched the state’s agricultural landscape change, with large-scale hog farms taking over nearly all the land surrounding her home. The stink of the neighboring farms is “unbearable,” making her nauseous whenever she is outside. She and her husband, once cattle and crop farmers who now plant their land with native grasses, suffer health problems — including her husband’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — that they worry are a result of the pollution their neighbors are pumping into the air.

Eleven hundred miles to the east, Lisa Inzerillo wonders how much longer she and her husband can tolerate living across the street from six chicken barns, one of the many concentrated animal farming operations (CAFOs) that make the area the poultry production epicenter of Maryland’s Delmarva peninsula. She says she suffers chronic allergies and her husband has had several bouts of bronchitis since the chicken farm moved in about three years ago. “At night, you see the dust from these fans,” she says. “That’s fecal matter, that’s feathers, god knows what else. And if you’re seeing it, you’re breathing it.”

The two families are united by the experience of living near large-scale livestock operations: unable to use their porch or land on certain days, keeping windows closed, and worrying constantly about long-term health consequences. Until recently, though, they could at least be assured that in the case of a major emission of hazardous waste, farm operators would be required by law to notify state and federal responders.

But recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions. The moves follow a decade-long push by the livestock industry for exemption and leave neighbors of large-scale operations in the dark about what they’re inhaling…

These latest moves to exempt farms from reporting requirements follow a decade of push and pull between the livestock industry and community advocates. In 2008, at the tail end of the second Bush administration, the EPA issued its first EPCRA and CERCLA reporting exemption for farms. The exemption had been prompted by lobbying from the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation, and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

At the time, the EPA defended its decision by saying that “reports are unnecessary because, in most cases, a federal response is impractical and unlikely.” But the exemption was overturned by the court of appeals for the District of Columbia in April 2017, which said that “reports aren’t nearly as useless as the EPA makes them out to be.”

“Undercover Cop Says Fellow Cops Beat Him ‘Like Rodney King’ and Smashed His Camera” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)

St. Louis, MO — In December 2011, St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley violated department policy when he grabbed his personal AK-47, premeditated, and then murdered Anthony Lamar Smith. The planning of the murder and the actual murder were captured on the officer’s dashcam. In spite of the overwhelming amount of evidence against him, a St. Louis judge in 2017 found Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Smith. Months of protests ensued immediately.

During the protests, undercover police officers were placed throughout the crowd in order to catch people who were attempting to instigate violence or destroy property. Police violence was so over the top, that four officers allegedly grabbed one of their own, a 22-year veteran of the department who was working undercover. Now, for the first time, that officer’s account of what happened and evidence of his fellow officers’ crimes is coming out.

Officers Dustin Boone, Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers now face federal charges of civil rights violation, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators.

These four cops are accused of savagely beating their fellow officer, Detective Luther Hall during the protests and then covering it up.

Modern greenhouse (AP Stock)

“Organic Advocacy Groups File Legal Action to Prohibit Hydroponics from Organic” by ? (Cornucopia Institute)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a new legal action demanding the Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit hydroponic operations from the organic label. Hydroponic production systems—a catch-all term that applies to food production methods that do not use soil—do not meet federal organic standards and violate organic law, which requires that organic farming include soil improvement and biodiversity conservation. Hydroponic systems cannot comply with the organic standard’s vital soil standards because hydroponic crops do not use soil at all. The CFS filing was endorsed by over a dozen other organic farmer, consumer, retailer, and certifying organizations, including the Organic Farmers Association, Northwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), PCC Community Markets, and the Cornucopia Institute.

“‘A sad day’: two more B.C. mountain caribou herds now locally extinct” by Sarah Cox (The Narwhal)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Slocan valley farmer Jim Ross spotted an unusual convoy on Monday as he pulled into a gas station near Salmo in the afternoon twilight — three B.C. government trucks and a stock trailer with plywood tacked over the slats.

Intrigued, Ross asked the government employees what kind of animal was in the trailer while they filled up their vehicles at the snowy Centex station. He didn’t get an answer, so he asked again. And again.

“They all looked like deer in the headlights and behaved like they were on some secret mission,” Ross wrote that evening in a Facebook post. “When I wouldn’t stop pressing, the driver told me they were caribou.”

Inside the stock trailer were two female caribou and a male — three of the last survivors of two highly endangered caribou herds in southeastern B.C. known as the South Selkirk and South Purcell subpopulations.

The caribou, already fitted with radio-collars, had been tracked by helicopter that morning, captured with net guns, blindfolded and hobbled, sedated, flown to staging areas, and loaded into the trailer as part of an elaborate government rescue mission that B.C. wildlife biologist Leo DeGroot estimated cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

After two hours on the road, the animals were still a five-and-a-half hour drive from their final destination — a pen near Revelstoke, where they would be sedated again the next morning and flown briefly by helicopter to join an orphaned caribou calf named Grace in the enclosure.

“A sad day when the remaining caribou in the southern interior fit in a stock trailer with room to spare,” posted Ross, who raises hogs and has lived in the Kootenays for most of his life.


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