Lawlessness / Ruined – part 47

“Glyphosate Worse than We Could Imagine. “It’s Everywhere”” by F. William Engdahl (Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In a trial in San Francisco the jury was unanimous in their verdict that Monsanto Roundup weed-killer, based on glyphosate, had been responsible for Hardeman’s cancer. His attorneys stated,

“It is clear from Monsanto’s actions that it does not care whether Roundup causes cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about Roundup.”

It is the second defeat for the lawyers of Monsanto after another jury ruled in 2018 that Glyphosate-based Roundup was responsible for the cancer illness of a California school grounds-keeper who contracted the same form of cancer after daily spraying school grounds with Roundup over years, unprotected…

A new independent study shows that those with highest exposure to glyphosate have a 41% increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancer. A meta-analysis of six studies containing nearly 65,000 participants looked at links between glyphosate-based herbicides and immune-suppression, endocrine disruption and genetic alterations. The authors found “the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma).”

In a long-term animal study by French scientists under Gilles Eric Seralini, Michael Antoniou and associates, it was demonstrated that even ultra-low levels of glyphosate herbicides cause non-alcoholic liver disease…

While most attention is understandably drawn to the human effects of exposure to glyphosate, the most widely used agriculture chemical in the world today, independent scientists are beginning to look at another alarming effect of the agrochemical– its effect on essential soil nutrients. In a study of the health of soils in the EU, the online journal found that the effects of spraying of glyphosate on the major crops in European agriculture is having disastrous consequences on soil health in addition to killing weeds.

Scientists at Austria’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna showed that casting activity of earthworms had nearly disappeared from the surface of farmland within three weeks of glyphosate application. Casting is the process of the worm pushing fertile soils to the surface as they burrow, essential for healthy soil and plant nutrition.

Deepwater Horizon

“Trump Administration Weakens Post-Deepwater Horizon Offshore Drilling Safety Regs” by ? (Earthjustice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Trump administration today is expected to issue a rule rolling back safety regulations designed to prevent another Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The Well Control and Blowout Preventer Rule, finalized under the Obama administration, requires real-time oversight of risky drilling operations and precautionary failsafe measures to stop a spill when things go wrong. Interior officials began re-writing the rule after President Trump issued an executive order in 2017 calling for offshore drilling controls — regarded as a “burden” by the fossil fuel industry — to be rolled back.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Oceans Attorney Chris Eaton:

“The Trump administration is rolling back mechanisms and technology designed to protect rig workers and prevent another disaster offshore. These rollbacks are a hand out to oil company CEOs at the cost of endangering the lives of their workers and heightening the risk for another environmental catastrophe off America’s coastlines. We will use every tool we have to prevent these rollbacks.”

Julian Assange

“Assange Sentenced 50 Weeks For Bogus Bail Charge” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== == =
Following seven years of imprisonment at the Ecuadorian embassy fighting US extradition, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks behind bars for an entirely bogus bail charge.

Sky News reporter Jordan Milne live-tweeted events as they unfolded, reporting that Assange’s defense argued that his fears of rendition and torture at the hands of the US government were well-founded. His life in the Ecuadorian embassy and the physical and psychological detriments which came with it were described, including deteriorated health and depression. The judge rejected his entire defense and delivered nearly the harshest sentence possible.

“Your continued residence in the Embassy has necessitated a concentration of resources, and expenditure of £16 million of taxpayers’ money in ensuring that when you did leave, you were brought to justice,” Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange upon his sentencing.

This is bullshit. Assange’s residency at the embassy never cost taxpayers a penny; it was the British government’s decision to pour money into patrolling the embassy around the clock with police who had orders to arrest Assange on sight over a petty bail charge. It was the British government’s decision to persuade the Swedish government not to drop its investigation in 2013 so that it could pursue the agenda to arrest Assange for US extradition. Assange’s residency didn’t cost British taxpayers anything; the agenda to imprison and extradite a journalist for publishing facts is what cost taxpayers £16 million. There is one reason and one reason only that the British government saw fit to spend £16 million of taxpayers’ money patrolling that embassy, and it wasn’t because they really, really hate bail violations.
= == ====

“Politicians celebrate “World Press Freedom Day” as Julian Assange languishes in prison” by David Walsh (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, sponsored annually by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO holds the event, it avows, to celebrate “the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”

Those claims are hollow and duplicitous, as the facts demonstrate.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains locked up in a high-security prison in London and faces the threat of rendition to the US. Why? Because he and his organization took seriously “the fundamental principles of press freedom” and actively shed light on both the daily corruption and criminality of governments and corporations internationally and the murderous activities of the American military in particular. As one of Assange’s lawyers has observed, Washington is “seeking to extradite a foreign journalist to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information.”

Meanwhile, another UN body, its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, registered its disapproval Friday of the “disproportionate sentence” of 50 weeks imprisonment meted out to Assange for violating bail, which it noted was “a minor violation.” In 2015, the Working Group, part of the UN Human Rights system, expressed its opinion that Assange was being “arbitrarily detained” by the governments of Sweden and the UK and that he was “entitled to his freedom of movement and to compensation.” That opinion was ignored by the British government, as Friday’s will be.

In any event, no one associated with UNESCO or World Press Freedom Day made mention of Assange during this week’s events.

“Pentagon Manhunt for Julian Assange Preceded Swedish Rape Allegations” by Ann Garrison (Black Agenda Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Since April 11th, when British police forcibly removed Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London Embassy, there has been talk of renewing an investigation of rape allegations made against him in Sweden in 2010, even though the case was closed after all parties had been interviewed and Assange was never charged. As with most rape allegations, the only evidence is witness testimony, evaluated on the credibility and consistency of the witnesses, and the context. On the April 26 Unity4J YouTube vigil for Julian Assange, Kiwi journalist and exile Suzie Dawson said that the context of the allegations against Assange included a Pentagon manhunt initiated well before the incidents in Sweden…

“At the Hackers on Planet Earth Conference in New York City, Jacob Appelbaum appeared in Julian Assange’s place on July the 7th, 2010, six weeks prior to the incidents in Sweden. The reason that Jacob Appelbaum appeared on Julian’s behalf is because the Pentagon had already issued a manhunt notice on Julian Assange. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were already searching for him. And you can actually go on YouTube and watch Jacob Appelbaum’s keynote speech, and you can see him call out Homeland Security agents who stomped into that event looking for Julian Assange. And Jacob Appelbaum, at the end of his speech, actually had a doppelganger dressed as him leave through the main theatre while he took off out the back door because he was so concerned that he might be arrested and detained simply for speaking in Julian Assange’s place.

So the fact that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security were launching this manhunt for Julian Assange six weeks prior to the Swedish incidents completely reframes the context of the situation that Julian was in in 2010. And the idea that he was only wanted for any issue relating to Sweden is a complete fallacy. They were after him six weeks prior to the Swedish incidents.”

Two things. 1. The incorrect punctuation in the above quote of Ann quoting Susie Dawson is in the original. How do people who write for a living not know the basics of English grammar and punctuation? 2. Jacob Appelbaum is mentioned favorably (no doubt with full justification) by Ann, but Jacob Appelbaum is a faker, about as good for Wikileaks’s health as Democracy Now is good for Noam Chomsky’s health. It’s all covered in Yasha Levine’s book “Surveillance Valley.” Tor, the privacy browser, was government designed for espionage purposes. (Also, As Yasha points out, Tor is essentially the dark web.) Tor is funded by the US government, which needed to get Tor into wide use and used the progressive community – which it accomplsihed via the trojan horse of a paid asset, Jacob Appelbaum – so that it could penetrate China’s firewall and simply see into everything everywhere. Levine, discussing Appelbaum’s celebrity status in the internet privacy movement, notes that “He was more than just a world-renowned Internet freedom fighter and confidant of Assange and Snowden. He was also an employee of a military contractor, earning $100,000 a year plus benefits working on one of the most disorienting government projects of the Internet Era: the weaponization of privacy.” – page 222. Sadly, Levine unjustly smears Assange with this: “But Assange kept firm control of Wikileaks, even after he was forced to go into hiding at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape extradition back to Sweden to face an investigation of rape allegations.” (pg 243) That’s essentially a lie. It completely mischaracterizes Julian’s actions. He never sought to evade Swedish authorities’s efforts to question him. And his entry into the Ecuadorian embassy was in an effort to avoid letting the lawless, fascist American government get its hands on him. Does Levine realize how that mischaracterization undermines the integrity of his narrative?

Police shooting protesters in Benin

“Police filmed shooting at protesters in one of Africa’s ‘most stable’ Western-backed democracies” by Glen Black (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Protests erupted in Benin, western Africa, after a controversial election in which there was effectively no opposition party. Police were later filmed shooting at the protesters.

Benin has been called “one of Africa’s most stable democracies”. It also receives millions of pounds’ worth of arms from the West, despite high levels of corruption and inequality. The US has called its relationship with Benin in recent years “excellent”.

Benin held parliamentary elections on 28 April. However, people across the country boycotted it because they said the ballot offered only one choice: President Patrice Talon (one of the richest leaders in Africa). Although two parties ran, both were allied to Talon. This came as a result of tough new electoral laws that Al Jazeera said “effectively barred the entire political opposition from fielding candidates”. Talon has also reportedly sought to rig elections in favour of wealthier candidates.

Building the new maternity ward at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

“May Day in Gaza, ‘If you work, you are lucky, if not, then you starve’” by Ahmad Kabariti (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On May 1, as workers across the world take a day off to observe May Day, the buzz of blacksmiths and carpenters fill the upper floors of a new building under construction at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Porters deliver bags of cement. All the workers seem unaware of the occasion.

At 6:30 a.m. on the fifth floor of a new maternity ward under construction, Aref Jendia, 43, is setting up iron pillars along with 17 employees. Their breakfast, an untouched spicy bean dish and hard-boiled eggs, seems forgotten.

“Oh! You are right,” said Jendia, who has 25-year of experience in the construction business, as I remind him about their long-awaited meal. However, “I think they are so happy from my phone call last night that we could resume work instead of [taking off for the] declared public holiday. Each are waiting for their $13 wage at the end of the day.”

One worker said he is “so lucky” to have an extra day of income…

Unemployment in Gaza jumped from 44 percent in 2017 to 52 percent in 2018, compared to 19 percent in 2017 in the West Bank and 18 percent the following year, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics…

“As long life in Gaza is politicized, then the loaf of bread will be,” said Mahmoud Hassan, 24, “everything became politicized since the blockade and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah.” Hassan has been engaged for the last 20 months and said he is unable to pay a dowry or afford to marry her.

Moving to an industrial zone in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, Maged al-Dali, 27, an auto painter has steady work, but the pay is extremely low.

“If you work, you are lucky, if not, then you starve,” al-Dali says.

From Mondoweiss:
A member of the Adgluni family watching his house being demolished by Israeli authorities in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem on January 27, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

“Demolitions spike in East Jerusalem, and UN officials call on Israel: ‘This must stop’” by Yumna Patel (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Amidst a spike in the Israeli government’s demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, UN officials are calling for an immediate halt to the practice, which they condemned as a “discriminatory” violation of international law.

According to the UN, more Palestinians have been displaced in East Jerusalem in the first four months of 2019 than in all of 2018: 193 displaced persons, compared to 176.

In a statement Friday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian Territories, noted that demolitions in East Jerusalem “have increased at a staggering pace over the last month.” He said the actions displaced tens of Palestinians, causing them to “have lost their livelihoods overnight.”

“This must stop,” he said…

James Heenan, head of OHCHR in the occupied Palestinian territories, called on Israel “as the occupying power” to fulfill its obligations to “ensure the welfare and well-being of the local Palestinian population.”

“The implementation of the discriminatory Israeli zoning and planning regime cannot be invoked by Israel to justify any violation of international law,” he said.

There are some 350,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as “permanent residents” of the city. Despite the fact they make up 40% of Jerusalem’s population, Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality has zoned only 15% of the land in East Jerusalem for residential use.

According to UN documentation, at least a third of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem lack an Israeli-issued building permit, placing over 100,000 Palestinians at risk of displacement.

“Fallujah Forgotten” by David Swanson (David Swanson)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I don’t know if most people in the United States ever knew what Fallujah meant. It’s hard to believe the U.S. military would still exist if they did. But certainly it has been largely forgotten — a problem that could be remedied if everyone picks up a copy of The Sacking of Fallujah: A People’s History, by Ross Caputi (a U.S. veteran of one of the sieges of Fallujah), Richard Hill, and Donna Mulhearn…

Fallujah was the “city of mosques,” made up of some 300,000 to 435,000 people. It had a tradition of resisting foreign — including British — invasions. It suffered, as did all of Iraq, from the brutal sanctions imposed by the United States in the years leading up to the 2003 attack. During that attack, Fallujah saw crowded markets bombed. Upon the collapse of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, Fallujah established its own government, avoiding the looting and chaos seen elsewhere. In April, 2003, the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division moved into Fallujah and met no resistance.

Immediately the occupation began to produce the sort of problems seen by every occupation everywhere ever. People complained of Humvees speeding on the streets, of being humiliated at checkpoints, of women being treated inappropriately, of soldier urinating in the streets, and of soldiers standing on rooftops with binoculars in violation of residents’ privacy. Within days, the people of Fallujah wanted to be liberated from their “liberators.” So, the people tried nonviolent demonstrations. And the U.S. military fired on the protesters. But eventually, the occupiers agreed to be stationed outside the city, limit their patrols, and allow Fallujah a degree of self-governance beyond what the rest of Iraq was permitted. The result was a success: Fallujah was kept safer than the rest of Iraq by keeping the occupiers out of it.

That example, of course, needed to be crushed. The United States was claiming a moral obligation to liberate the hell out of Iraq to “maintain security” and “assist in transition to democracy.” Viceroy Paul Bremer decided to “clean out Fallujah.” In came the “coalition” troops, with their usual inability (mocked quite effectively in the Netflix Brad Pitt movie War Machine) to distinguish the people they were bestowing liberty and justice upon from the people they were killing. U.S. officials described the people they wanted to kill as “cancer,” and went about killing them with raids and firefights that killed a great many of the non-cancer people. How many people the United States was actually giving cancer to was unknown at the time.

In March, 2004, four Blackwater mercenaries were killed in Fallujah, their bodies burned and hung from a bridge. The U.S. media portrayed the four men as innocent civilians who somehow happened to find themselves in the middle of a war and the accidental targets of irrational, unmotivated violence. The people of Fallujah were “thugs” and “savages” and “barbarians.” Because U.S. culture has never regretted Dresden or Hiroshima, there were open cries for following those precedents in Fallujah. A former advisor to Ronald Reagan, Jack Wheeler reached for an ancient Roman model in demanding that Fallujah be completely reduced to lifeless rubble: “Fallujah delenda est!”

“U.S. Hybrid War On Venezuela Entered Hot Phase” by ? (South Front)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article/video follows:

The US hybrid war on Venezuela has now entered a hot phase.

On April 30, Juan Guaido, US-declared ‘Interim President’ of the country appeared in a video calling for a military uprising. Guaido, accompanied by heavily armed men, claimed that he had backing from the military and that the video was filmed at the Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base in the capital, Caracas.

Opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, who had been held under house arrest after “inciting violence” during the anti-government riots, appeared alongside Guaido. He claimed that he had been “released by the military”.

The US immediately declared its public support for the coup attempt at the highest level and once again threatened the country’s legitimate government with military action. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the actions of Guaido and his armed supporters a “quest for freedom and democracy”.

The US-backed coup attempt was branded “Operación Libertad” and received at least vocal support from leaders and officials of US Latin American allies. But something went wrong.


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