25 May 2015

European Emergency: 'EU risks turning African' via Libya

African migrants will keep pouring into Europe via Libya - unless the EU takes urgent action. That's the warning from the foreign minister of Libya's alternative government in Tripoli, which controls nearly half of the country. The official is calling for international recognition and help from Brussels.


EU should 'undermine national homogeneity' says UN migration chief:

The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN's special representative for migration has said.

Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.

He also suggested the UK government's immigration policy had no basis in international law.

He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration.

Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development , which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.

He told the House of Lords committee migration was a "crucial dynamic for economic growth" in some EU nations "however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states".

'More open'

An ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the "key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states", he added.

"It's impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them. Just as the United Kingdom has demonstrated."

Mr Sutherland, who has attended meetings of The Bilderberg Group , a top level international networking organisation often criticised for its alleged secrecy, called on EU states to stop targeting "highly skilled" migrants, arguing that "at the most basic level individuals should have a freedom of choice" about whether to come and study or work in another country.

Mr Sutherland also briefed the peers on plans for the Global Migration and Development Forum's next annual conference in Mauritius in November, adding: "The UK has been very constructively engaged in this whole process from the beginning and very supportive of me personally."

Asked afterwards how much the UK had contributed to the forum's running costs in the six years it had been in existence, he said it was a relatively small sum in the region of "tens of thousands".

The cosmos is morphing

Think of it as a low hum, a rumble too deep to notice without special equipment. It permeates everything—from the emptiest spot in space to the densest cores of planets. Unlike sound, which requires air or some other material to carry it, this hum travels on the structure of space-time itself. It is the tremble caused by gravitational radiation, left over from the first moments after the Big Seed.

Gravitational waves were predicted in Albert Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity. Einstein postulated that the gravity of massive objects would bend or warp space-time and that their movements would send ripples through it, just as a ship moving through water creates a wake. Later observations supported his conception.

The imprint of this type of radiation on the oldest light in the universe—the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—is one prediction of inflation theory, which was first proposed in 1979. That theory states that the universe, originally chaotic quantum noise made of unstable particles and space-time turbulence, expanded at an unimaginable rate, creating these gravitational waves, smoothing out reality, and leaving the orderly cosmos we see today.

“Gravitational waves allow us to see all the way back to the start to the universe,” says Katherine Dooley, a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “The early universe was too dense such that standard electromagnetic waves”—light—“would get scattered off of all the material, and could not travel to us today.” Observing these gravitational waves might confirm what we know about general relativity, or they might give us new insight into the nature of the universe, like whether the Big Seed was the beginning of all time, or if another universe preceded ours. The story of the universe’s origin is best told through this primordial rumble…if we can figure out how to detect it. A few gravitational wave observatories have been built—none has yet detected a wave—and more are planned over the next few decades. It’s an exciting time for astronomers, who may soon have real evidence on which to ground this new branch of one of the oldest scientific disciplines.

Practically every action makes gravitational waves—you can create them by waving your arms—but it takes serious astronomical doings to generate anything powerful enough to be detected. Earth orbiting the sun produces them, but they are low energy (which is good for the long-term stability of our solar system); two pulsars, the ultra-compact remnants of massive stars, locked in binary orbit produce far more substantial waves. As those bodies sweep around each other, they compress and expand the structure of space-time itself, creating a disturbance that travels out at the speed of light.

Gravitational waves from binaries like this are regular, like a pure note from a single string of an instrument. In principle we could trace such a signal back to its source, though, as with sound, triangulation is less precise than for light. Primordial radiation, on the other hand, comes from every place at once, since it was produced everywhere, when the universe was much smaller, and traveled in all directions from where it was created. The ultimate sources were tiny fluctuations in the quantum processes that was the cosmos right after the Big Seed; the gravitational ripples created by the fluctuations stretched out when the universe expanded rapidly into large, solar system-spanning waves.

In the pipe organ that is the gravitational-wave universe, inflation would be the longest, largest pipes, producing sounds so low-pitched they are felt rather than heard. Binary pulsars would lie toward the middle register, and violent catastrophes like supernovas or cosmic collisions would be the short, piccolo pipes. “Hearing” each type of wave requires equipment tuned to the appropriate register.

The entire article is here.

23 May 2015

The One Party State, The War Party


This means America is now a nation of "proles," whom George Orwell described as the majority of the population who are too distracted by "films, football, beer, and above all, gambling" to care about the decline of America and the destruction of the Bill of Rights. If the proles did become aware of the larger evils, the world would change for the better, which is why the establishment wants to keep the majority of the population distracted with "bread and circuses." 

U.S. and Israel have worst inequality in the developed world

The U.S. and Israel have the worst inequality in the developed world, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The OECD found that the gap between rich and poor is at record levels in most of its 34 member countries. But the U.S. and Israel stood out from the pack.

In the U.S., the richest 10% of the population earn 16.5 times the income of the poorest 10%. In Israel, the richest 10% earn 15 times that of the poorest.

That compares with the average ratio of 9.6 times across the OECD.

The income gap has been growing steadily in recent decades. In the 1980s, the rich made about 7 times as much as the poor.

The report also reveals wealth inequality is even more extreme than income inequality.

Data from 2012 shows that among 18 member nations, the top 10% of households controlled half of all wealth, while the bottom 40% owned just 3%.

Based on the top 5%, the U.S. has the widest wealth gap. These households own nearly 91 times the wealth of the average.

Both the U.S. and Israel have seen inequality grow faster in part because of comparatively low spending on social programs and benefits, said Mark Pearson, the author of the 330-page report. Other countries, such as France, are better at redistributing wealth using taxes and benefits, he said.

Another factor contributing to inequality in the U.S. is a wide skill gap in the workforce. That means highly skilled people can command significantly bigger salaries than low skilled workers.

For example, U.S.-based doctors can make a lot more money than they can in the U.K. and Germany. And low skilled laborers in the U.S. tend to have lower incomes than they would in other countries, said Pearson.

Israel also has problems with encouraging women to enter the workforce, which can prevent poor families from getting ahead, said Pearson.

"There's a [long] way to go in Israel to get the female employment rates higher," he said, noting that religious and cultural factors have kept many women at home.

The report shows that having strong female participation in the workforce, and smaller gender pay gaps, can help make a country more equal.

"More women in work really does seem to have an effect on inequality. It reduce[s] inequality," said Pearson.

21 May 2015

ZOG-US Approves Precision-Guided Munitions Resupply for Israeli Air Force

TEL AVIV — The ZOG-US regime has cleared a US $1.9 billion package for the Israeli Air Force to replenish its precision-guided munitions (PGMs).

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency reported the potential foreign military sale (FMS) on Tuesday, a day after it notified Congress of the preapproved munitions requested by the Israeli government.

According to the Pentagon agency, the package includes 14,500 tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions in sizes ranging from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds. Additionally, the Israelis have requested 4,100 250-pound GBU-39 small diameter bombs, a variety of Paveway laser-guided bomb kits, some 3,000 Hellfire missiles and 250 AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.

The Pentagon notice did not specify Israel's need to replenish stocks expended during last summer's Gaza war, during which the Israel Air Force dropped an estimated 100 tons of munitions during the 50-day campaign.

Rather, it noted that the proposed sale would provide for Israel's self-defense needs.

"These munitions will enable Israel to maintain operational capability of its existing systems and will enhance Israel's interoperability with the United States."

The statement added that Israel "already has these munitions in its inventory" and "will have no difficulty absorbing the additional munitions into its armed forces."

In an interview last month with Israel's Channel 10, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, Israel Air Force (IAF) commander, said in the next war, his service will be prepared to attack thousands of targets in a 24-hour period.

"We're training for the IAF to attack as many targets as possible in the shortest amount of time. ... To take the correct munitions in the correct time on the correct aircraft, to arm them, to send them, to have them return … and then to do it again and again," Eshel told Channel 10's Alon Ben-David.

"In order to win the war and to do it in a short amount of time, the quantities and the extent needs to be very very big and [the operational tempo] needs to be very very fast," Eshel said.

In its May 19 statement, the Pentagon agency noted that principal contractors for the prospective package include Boeing in St. Charles, Missouri; Lockheed Martin in Archbald, Pennsylvania; General Dynamics in Garland, Texas; Elwood National Forge in Irvine, Pennsylvania; and Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.

"There are no known offset agreements in connection with this proposed sale," it added.

Israel's last major PGM package was notified to Congress in December 2012, less than a month after Israel's Pillar of Defense campaign in Gaza. That FMS deal, estimated at $647 million, included many of the same items contained in the latest preapproved package, but at less than half the quantities.

20 May 2015

Israel Calls Off Palestinian Bus Segregation Plans: Nobel Peace Prize Likely

TEL AVIV—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrapped a plan that would have barred Palestinians from Israeli public buses in the West Bank following a tide of criticism that it would be a moral embarrassment and would undermine the country’s international standing.

The policy, which was about to be implemented on Wednesday, was one of first decisions by Mr. Netanyahu’s newly inaugurated conservative government. It would have required Palestinian day laborers returning home from jobs inside Israel to take separate buses after crossing back into the West Bank instead of the public transportation used by Jewish settlers who live in the territory.

Opposition Israeli lawmakers criticized the defense ministry’s plan as something akin to South African apartheid.

“The proposals are unacceptable to the prime minister,” a senior official in Mr. Netanyahu’s office said. “He spoke this morning with the defense minister who agreed that the whole matter would be shelved.”

The shift would have complicated Israel’s standing abroad at a time Mr. Netanyahu already faces questions about his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli leader has also been put on the defensive by Palestinians’ unilateral push for statehood recognition in international organizations.

Palestinian laborers said they had been informed by their Israeli employers that the new busing arrangement would go into effect on Wednesday. Had the plan gone into effect on Wednesday, it would have coincided with a visit to the region by two high-profile international figures: European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini and Sepp Blatter, president of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA. Mr. Blatter, who began a two-day visit on Tuesday, was trying to mediate a solution to a Palestinian initiative to have Israel suspended from international soccer.

Tzipi Livni, a dovish former Israeli foreign minister and a member of the parliamentary opposition, wrote in a Facebook post that the government’s last-minute about-face was evidence that the plan was made under political pressure from settlers and not based on security considerations.


Just last week President Obama unveiled the historic statue of famous civil rights icon Rosa Parks whose activism helped spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott, credited with propelling the civil rights movement to victory.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden today assured the right-wing pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), that Obama loves Israel enough to bomb Iran. He reminded the crowd of 13,000 AIPAC supporters that “no president has done as much to physically secure the state of Israel as President Barack Obama,” who “is not bluffing” about using military force against Iran, to which he received a standing ovation.

The Obama administration’s love for Rosa Parks and condemnation of segregation stands in stark contrast to his unwavering support for Israel, which leads me to the conclusion that Obama has yet to be informed of Israel’s latest policy towards the Palestinians, which journalist Anna Lekas Miller reported on today for the Daily Beast:
Today, Israeli bus company Afikim will begin operating a “Palestinian-only” bus service to transport Palestinian workers to central Israel. Previously, Palestinians holding permits to work in Israel would use Israeli buses to travel to work there. Now Palestinians who try to use the Israeli buses will be requested to use the Palestinian bus instead. Although the Israeli Ministry of Transport cites overcrowding as the official reason for instituting segregated buses, a source from inside the ministry told Yedioth Ahronot that the decision was prompted by complaints from Israeli settlers that Palestinian riders could pose a security threat to other passengers.
Lekas, whose stellar on-the-ground reporting on Palestine should be read regularly, points out that this latest segregated bus maneuver is only the latest in a long line of Israeli Jim Crowesque and Apartheid policies in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (both occupied by Israel):
To begin with, the Palestinians who are being asked to take the segregated buses are the privileged few with permits to work in the state of Israel. Most Palestinians living in the West Bank are not even able to travel to Israel on a segregated bus; their only options are to find work in the West Bank, which can be very difficult, or to sneak in and illegally work in Israel, which is low-paying and can result in arrest and imprisonment if they are caught. 
In addition, segregation between Israeli and Palestinian passengers on public transportation is hardly new. In Jerusalem, the “Central” bus station operates buses connecting Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Dead Sea and several Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank. These buses do not have to stop at checkpoints—as the passengers are Israeli citizens, soldiers and settlers. Some of these buses—the settler buses—are heavily subsidized by the Israeli government, and thus often travel the city half empty. It’s easy for these buses to have a set schedule. The bus station itself is indoors, air-conditioned and even equipped with a Kosher McDonalds. 
But to travel from Jerusalem to a Palestinian city in the West Bank, buses leave from the Nablus Road Bus Station, the Palestinian bus station tucked behind the Old City of Jerusalem. These buses connect Jerusalem to Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem and several other smaller Palestinian towns and villages. They have to pass through checkpoints, often forcing passengers to disembark completely while Israeli soldiers check their identification to make sure that they are not where they are not supposed to be. None of the buses are subsidized by the Israeli government—and therefore can only leave once they are completely full, often brimming with passengers standing in the aisles. It’s next to impossible for the buses to have a set schedule. The Nablus Road station itself is outdoors, unkempt and chaotic. 
One of the only mixed modes of transportation in Israel is the Jerusalem Light Rail—which, as it was originally built to connect surrounding Israeli settlements to central Jerusalem, is hardly equally inclusive to Palestinians. Historically, when the light rail system was first constructed, it uprooted several Palestinian neighborhoods, further displacing many Palestinians who once lived in Jerusalem. Now, though the train passes through several traditionally Arab neighborhoods, the stations are named in Hebrew rather than Arabic. Although Palestinian passengers are free to take the light rail as they please, many experience violent verbal or physical harassment from Israeli passengers. Just last Monday a group of Jewish religious students attacked an Arab woman at the Kiryat Moshe station, violently shoving her and forcibly removing her hijab—or traditional headcovering—in public.
Speaking to the celebratory crowd gathered at the US Capitol last week, President Obama said of Rosa Parks, “She defied the odds and she defied injustice…she helped change America and change the world.” I wonder if he would speak as highly or even acknowledge the courage of a Palestinian who refused to exit a jews only bus to protest Israeli segregation. Just kidding, we all know the answer to that.

Still, it’s remarkable how willingly blind America’s political class has proven itself to be on the issue of Israel.

It’s far easier to condemn Jim Crow when all the hard work and sacrifice of brave activists like Rosa Parks is in the past. Real courage is the willingness to stand up against modern day injustices as they happen. It seems that the President and 99 percent of Congress are nothing more than a bunch of pathetic cowards.


Beauty unfolding: harmonic bio-immanence - VIDEO

19 May 2015

'Second Earth' to be found in DECADES as experts claim ONE BILLION planets may hold life

NASA scientists believe they could find a 'second Earth' within the next generation and then look at how to travel there.

NASA astronomers believe there are one billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way alone

Bill Borucki - lead investigator for the Kepler mission, a space-based telescope that orbits our Sun and looks at over 100 thousand stars simultaneously - said: "We have learned most stars have planets, that Earth-sized planets are common, and a good fraction are in the habitable zone of their star.

"And when you put the numbers together: 100 billion stars, 10 per cent with Earth-sized planets, 10 per cent stars like the sun, that’s a billion Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of stars like the Sun.

"Let me repeat that last bit. There may be a billion Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.

"Thirty years ago, astronomers weren’t sure of any. And that, of course, is just within our galaxy.

“There are billions of stars in our galaxy alone, billions of galaxies out there.

Artist impression of planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way

"The numbers are, fortunately, very much in our favour.”

Mr Borucki spoke of his hopes at the opening ceremony of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, New York State, which was founded solely to explore the possibility of life on the cosmic horizon.

Never before has there been such a buzz about the prospect of soon finding other life forms.

Natalie Batalha, an astronomer at NASA’s Ames research centre told website Gizmodo.com: "Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is not a pipe dream. It's something we can accomplish—maybe not within my lifetime, maybe within my daughter’s life.”

The Kepler mission has so far discovered over 4,100 possible planetary candidates and 1,000 confirmed planets, and is only looking at a contained area of space.

Scattered among them, a handful of so-called  “Goldilocks” planets — those not-too-hot and not-too-cold for life - have been discovered to be orbiting stars like the Sun .

Miss Batalha said: "These planets are relatively common, and using statistics, we know they’re likely to be nearby.”

Graph showing the huge surge in discovery of so-called exo planets that could support life last year

Building on Kepler's work is the Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launches in two years.

It will scan the entire sky, monitoring more than half a million stars in Earth's closest cosmic vicinity.

Astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger, the brainchild behind the institute, said: "TESS will be like Kepler, just doing transit, but instead of staring at one particular part of sky, it’ll scan the entire sky, focusing on our nearest neighbours. It’ll allow us to pick a lot of promising targets that are much closer than the Kepler planets.”

The James Webb Space Telescope, a 6.5 metre-long solar-powered observatory, will takeover from the Hubble Telescope in 2018, and will scan the cosmos for more likely Earth-like planets to explore.

From around 2025, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), using a technique called micro-lensing, will detect smaller than Earth-sized planets orbiting at the same distance between Earth and the Sun when a "life finder" mission among various space agencies begins.

Miss Batalha added. “WFIRST is going to get the statistics of planets orbiting at an Earth orbit or outward.

"So, over time, we’re going to build up this comprehensive picture of what exoplanets are out there. Between now and the life finder, we’re not going to find nearby Earths in great numbers.

“But as long as we’re well positioned by 2025 to start putting money into a life finder, then I think we’ll have a hope of really making headway in three decades.”

At the Carl Sagan Institute's opening ceremony the question was asked of what will happen once a 'second Earth' is found.

How many of these stars in the Milky Way seen here from Earth could have planets orbiting them?

Cornell astronomer Steve Squyres, the lead investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover, said: "If somebody finds a real Earth-like planet within a few light years, my reaction is, lets start building a spacecraft.”

Didier Queloz, an exoplanet researcher at the University of Cambridge, added: “It took the human species ten thousand years to spread across the Earth. When I came here, it took me eight hours by plane to cross the Atlantic ocean.

"Maybe we need another hundred, or a thousand years, but it doesn’t seem so crazy to think we’ll be sending probes to these nearby planets. There is no fundamental limitation but the time.”

NASA Believes Algae And Bacteria Will Achieve Oxygen Production On Mars

Bacteria and algae could be used to solve oxygen production on Mars, one of the most critical issues for colonization. 

As scientists work to meet the 2030 target to send humans to Mars, NASA has turned to private industry to devise a strategy. Techshot, a development company that has designed products including X-ray systems for the International Space Station and deep-sea chambers for submersible vehicles, is working to develop a method to utilize bacteria and algae for the production of oxygen on the Red Planet, writes Science Times.

Techshot developers believe that the answer could rest on the Martian surface. The soil on Mars in rich in nitrogen, and bacteria and algae from Earth could be tasked with removing the chemical from the soil and converting it into oxygen.

"This is a possible way to support a human mission to Mars, producing oxygen without having to send heavy gas canisters," Techshot's chief scientist, Eugene Boland said in a statement. "Let's send microbes and let them do the heavy lifting for us."

To support their theory, Techshot has constructed a replica of the Martian environment. The "Mars Room" is a special laboratory designed to mimic the atmosphere and soil chemistry of Mars, including appropriate levels of radiation and length of daylight,with some of their experiments proving to be successful.

NASA envisions bio domes, stretching across the Martian landscape, which would house immense colonies of oxygen-producing algae and bacteria. However, this still needs to be tested on a smaller scale. They intend to send tightly sealed canisters of microorganisms aboard future rover missions that would then be implanted in the Martian soil. The canisters will then be monitored, with the hope that they will successfully produce oxygen. 

The concept being tested by these scientists is not a new one as these organisms have been performing this function on Earth for millions of years.

Between 70 and 80 percent of the oxygen on Earth is generated by photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria. Algae contain light-absorbing chloroplasts and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. They can be found in fresh and saltwater, and on rocks, trees, and in soil. Cyanobacteria are also aquatic and photosynthetic and make up the oldest known fossils on Earth: the 3.5 billion-year-old stromatolites that dot the shallow shores of Western Australia.

These organisms are essential to life on our planet and perhaps they will be able to do the same on Mars.

18 May 2015

Swarms of Mini-Drones Prepping for Battle


Judo-plutocratic US military scientists have invented a miniature drone that fits in the palm of a hand, ready to be dropped from the sky like a mobile phone with wings.

The "micro air vehicle" is named after the insect that inspired its invention, the Cicada, which spends years underground before appearing in great swarms, reproducing and then dropping to the ground dead.

"The idea was why can't we make UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that have the same sort of profile," Aaron Kahn of the Naval Research Laboratory told AFP.

"We will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up."

The "Cicada," short for Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, was designed to be smaller, cheaper and simpler than any other robotic aircraft -- but still able to carry out a mission in a remote battlefield.

The prototype cost just a thousand dollars, and the cost could come down to as little as $250 apiece, said Kahn, a flight controls engineer at the naval lab.

With no motor and only about 10 parts, the Cicada resembles a paper airplane with a circuit board.

It is designed to glide to programmed GPS coordinates after being dropped from an aircraft, a balloon or a larger drone, researchers said.

In a test about three years ago in Yuma, Arizona, Cicada drones were released from 57,600 feet (17,500 meters). The little drone flew -- or fell -- 11 miles, landing within 15 feet of its target.

The Cicada drone can fly at about 46 miles (74 kilometers) per hour and are virtually silent, with no engine or propulsion system.

"It looks like a bird flying down," said Daniel Edwards, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory. But, he said, "it's very difficult to see."

“Israel has always been the capital of the Jewish people alone and not of any other people” - Benjamin Netanyahu


Israeli nationalists and police clashed with Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem yesterday as crowds of Jewish hardliners marched across the city to mark the 48th anniversary of its capture. 

Known as Jerusalem Day, the anniversary marks Israel’s seizure in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexation of mainly Arab East Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community. 

Police said that two officers were wounded by Palestinian stone throwers and at least four protesters arrested near the walled Old City’s Damascus Gate. 

Demonstrators were dispersed by baton-wielding police, some on horseback. 

A police statement said that in one incident “several dozen Muslims scuffled with a group of Jews”. 

Onlookers said that at least two Palestinians were wounded in various clashes and video footage showed a man being taken away on a stretcher by Red Crescent ambulance staff. 

Police would not say how many jubilant Zionists were descending on the Old City’s Muslim Quarter on their way to pray at the Western Wall Jewish holy site but said “large crowds” were expected. 

“They are coming here with the support of an extremist government that paid for their buses,” a Palestinian woman, Muna Barbar, said outside Damascus Gate. 

The Palestinians want the eastern sector of the city as the capital of their promised state, and vigorously oppose any attempt to extend Israeli control. 

But Israeli leaders have repeatedly vowed that the city will never again be split, calling it their “eternal, indivisible” capital. 

“Israel has always been the capital of the Jewish people alone and not of any other people,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at an official Jerusalem Day ceremony. 

“A divided Jerusalem is a past memory: the future belongs to a complete Jerusalem which will not be divided again.” 

Jerusalem Day is marked by a series of state ceremonies and an annual march through western Jerusalem and into the east side, which is predominantly attended by nationalist hardliners. 

Every year, police deploy in strength to secure the march, which frequently provokes clashes. 

The entire article is here.

17 May 2015

Israeli settlers reportedly chop down 800 Palestinian olive trees

(CNN) The official Palestianian news agency is reporting that Israeli settlers have chopped down and seized about 800 Palestinian-owned olive trees near the town of Shuyukh, east of Hebron.

The report, by WAFA, the Palestine News & Information Agency, cited "a local source," whom it did not identify. Israel has yet to comment on the report.

The source, described by WAFA as "a local activist," told the agency that residents of the Israeli settlements of Bani Kadim and Asfar broke into an olive orchard near the town and chopped down the trees, which belonged to people who lived in the area.

Israel forces said not to protect Palestinians from violence

The news agency quoted the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem as saying that Israeli security forces do not always deploy in advance to protect Palestinians from settler violence, even when such violence can be anticipated.

"In some cases, rather than restricting violent settlers, Israeli security forces impose restrictions on the Palestinians," the news report quoted the human rights group as saying.

There are over 500,000 Israeli settlers living in settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Many international leaders say the settlements hinder the chances of achieving a stable peace with two states, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, living side by side.

Incident at Aqsa Mosque also reported

Also Sunday, more than 175 right-wing Jewish extremists entered the Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, escorted by Israel police and security personnel, according to sources inside the mosque. The sources cannot be named for security reasons.

CNN is working to get Israeli comment on the assertion.

The report came as thousands of Israelis planned to march Sunday in Jerusalem's Old City to commemorate what the Israeli government calls the unification of Jerusalem, Israel's annexation of the eastern part of the city in 1967. The international community does not recognize the annexation.

The march -- described by sources as being conducted by people from the extreme right, many of whom are from West Bank settlements -- was considered provocative by many Palestinians.

16 May 2015

Judeo-Mammonism stifles European man's ascent into the cosmos

The US spends billions a week on invading countries and losing wars but all it can offer for breakthrough ideas on protecting astronauts from possible space radiation on their way to Mars is $29,000, political cartoonist Ted Rall told RT.

Since the Mars One project was founded four years ago, more than 200,000 candidates have been evaluated and billions of dollars spent. But today it seems the project is deadlocked as one critical issue was forgotten about - what to do about deadly space radiation. Though NASA has leading scientists and nearly a dozen specialized centers of research in this field it seems unable to conquer the problem on its own and has decided to seek help from the public. It is offering $29,000 to anyone who can figure out how to get astronauts safely to Mars with as little exposure to space radiation as possible.

RT: The NASA Chief recently said this about the planned Mars missions: “This plan is clear. This plan is affordable, and this plan is sustainable" – talking about the plans to send people to Mars. They must be really banking on that $30,000 breakthrough from someone else right?

Ted Rall: Sometimes I really don’t understand how Americans don’t understand the value of a dollar. After the earthquake in Nepal the first thing the US government did was claimed that it was brag about the fact that they were releasing one million dollars in aid to Nepal now, more coming later. One million dollars in the face of a major natural disaster isn’t really much to brag about. And here you have a government that squanders billions of dollars a week on invading countries and losing wars, and things like… It can finance a mission to Mars on the cheap like this and basically have it be crowd sourced.

There was a time when the US was a leader in the international space race, and the reason that we were leaders is that we threw a lot of money at the problem. You can’t really substitute for it. Going to space is expensive and going to Mars is going to be very dangerous and hazardous. I don’t think anyone who is smart enough to solve a problem is going to be able to be purchased with $29,000. It’s insane.

RT: NASA’s budget is over ten billion dollars annually – what are they doing with that money, if they need to look for a miracle cure solution from outside?

TR: I think part of the problem is that NASA no longer really does what the American public wants it to do. The American public wants it to be like Star Trek to go out and explore brave new worlds and go to Mars and beyond, and explore the galaxy. And these guys are spending basically their time sending up industrial and corporate satellites for transnational corporations. So that’s where the money is going, that’s what their mission is, and this space exploration part of the budget has been dramatically reduced. Unfortunately that’s why we haven’t done hell of a lot in space since 1969.

RT: If you’re a scientist who’s on the verge of a space radiation breakthrough wouldn’t you want a bit more of a bang for your buck than a measly 29 grand from NASA?

TR: It’s insane. You have the US government, pundits and people in the media constantly talking about how they want to convince more people - particularly women and minorities - to go into the STEM professions – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. If the maximum reward you are going to get for a major achievement such as this is $29,000 you are not going to get too many people to pay $70,000-80,000 a year to go to four years of engineering school or four more years of grad school or four more years of doctoral studies. You do have to pay people properly; you have to remunerate them properly in order to get them to do good work.

Congressional Supporters of theocratic Zionist entity tell Pope Francis: Stay out of politics

Israel hawks to Pope Francis: Stay out of politics

After Pope Francis moved to recognize a Palestinian state, some gung-ho defenders of Israel suggested the pontiff should stick to preaching and stay out of politics.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel.

It wasn’t just Duncan. Several House conservatives seemed exasperated that Francis, who will address Congress this fall, approved the Vatican’s recognition of Palestine as a state. On Wednesday, critics said Rome needs to leave the question of Palestinian statehood to be sorted out in the Middle East.

“I’m disappointed,” Duncan added. “Now the Pope is legitimizing a Palestinian state without requiring those who get recognition to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

Others were frustrated that the pontiff would recognize a place that’s an avowed enemy of a U.S. ally like Israel.

“I’m surprised that the pope would recognize Palestine when they’re still haters who want to eliminate Israel off the map and don’t recognize Israel,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a member of the Israel Allies Caucus. “The Pope is the head of his religion, and he makes those calls for himself, but I represent 700,000 people from East Texas and a vast majority agree with me.”

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who co-chairs the caucus, was even bolder, calling the pontiff’s position into question on Biblical grounds.

“He’s a religious figure and he has every right to have his political viewpoint, but someone of that profile should have strong scriptural foundation for whatever positions he takes that are extensively representing the head of the Catholic Church,” Franks said. “I think this is probably one he should not have expressed.”

The Vatican’s policy change comes just a day after a top aide to Francis blasted U.S. politicians for denying climate change, blaming it on capitalism. The pope has also made waves with comments on homosexuality that many considered more moderate than his predecessors and with skepticism of consumerism.

Several Republicans were more forgiving. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who is Catholic, didn’t seem too worried and said it’s not really in his wheelhouse.

“On faith and morals, he can speak to that … but on foreign affairs, maybe not,” he said.

Another idea some members floated: Maybe he just doesn’t know any better.

“I’m not sure that he’s as good of a politician as he is a Pope,” said Steve King (R-Iowa).

“I’m not sure he’s fully apprised of the circumstances out there,” Franks said.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), also Catholic, has invited the Pope to address Congress later this year, where the whole world will watch to see if he delivers a political message. He has, after all, not shied away from criticizing his own priests for lack of piety at a holiday mass.

Huelskamp said that, when the Pope comes to Washington, he hopes the Pontiff “focuses on issues [where] he can make a difference — the ‘nonnegotiables’”— like abortion, same sex marriage and the like.

“How do you deal with a poverty problem? There’s not a Catholic [fix], contrary to the arguments of certain economists that work at the Vatican,” Huelskamp said, said referring to the pope’s views on economics. “But there’s a Catholic view on life, on marriage, on the rights of parents and education. So I hope he sticks to this.”