“The basis of the home is commonality and mutuality. A good home is not aware of any privileged or slighted, no darlings and no stepchildren. You see no one despise the other, no one who tries to gain advantage of others… In the good home you find compassion, cooperation, helpfulness.”
A unilateral assertion offered to and for consideration by the European Descended People of the fifty united States of America and all ...
26 July 2015
Far-right political parties are making huge gains across Nordic countries as new champions of a working class alienated by the cosmopolitan left
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson celebrates his party’s gains at the general election last September.
Per Albin Hansson, Swedish prime minister, 1932-1946
Every July, thousands of politicians, lobbyists and journalists desert Stockholm in a seasonal exodus of the well-connected. Their destination is Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, for a festival of politics that showcases the consensual virtues associated with Scandinavia. During Almedalen week, named after the park in the main town of Visby, Social Democrats rub along with Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists and Greens in the narrow medieval streets, competing for bar space, television interview slots and seats at myriad fringe meetings held throughout the day.
The mood is normally convivial, as befits a political elite at play before the summer break begins. But this year there was a palpable edge. On the Wednesday evening, bodyguards in dark suits and sunglasses were prowling around a main stage, on which a sniffer dog was searching. Police vans lined a nearby road.
The crowd that began to gather was notably different from the habitual Almedalen set – poorer, older and less fashionably dressed. Middle-aged couples from the south mingled with pensioners and the occasional skinhead. This was another Sweden, overwhelmingly provincial and, in these monied surroundings, somewhat self-conscious. It had assembled to listen to Jimmie Åkesson, the latest Scandinavian leader to take his party from the far-right fringes of politics to the mainstream.
Ostracised within the Swedish parliament, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats are the country’s fastest-growing political force. Before last September’s general election, one of their candidates had to withdraw when photographs appeared of her wearing a swastika armband. Such reminders of the party’s neo-fascist roots are a regular occurrence, but a substantial swathe of the Swedish electorate does not seem to care. The SD gained 12.9% of the vote at the election, more than doubling its share and making it Sweden’s third-largest political movement. Latest opinion polls put the party above 18%, snapping at the heels of the Social Democrats, who run an enfeebled minority government.
The pitch to voters was summed up by Åkesson in the runup to last autumn’s poll, when he tweeted: “The election is a choice between mass immigration and welfare. You choose.”
Ragna, a policewoman from Västerås, had travelled to Visby for the day to hear Åkesson. She believes that tweet got to the heart of the matter: “Instead of taking more and more people in, we have to take better care of the people who are already here,” she says. “We have housing shortages that mean our young people are trapped living with their parents. If times are tough and the state doesn’t have money, we have to think about our own people.”
Ignoring one lone protester waving an “SD = Racist” placard, Henrik Poulstrom, a 29-year-old accountant, shrugged off the idea that he might be following an extremist party. “They’re at the centre of the spectrum. They take their policies on immigration from the right and their policies on defending the welfare state from the left.” His father chipped in: “Åkesson wants to defend the way our society is. He thinks about things from a Swedish perspective.”
Åkesson joined the party in the bad old days of the mid-1990s, when its neo-Nazi associations were in plain view. The logo back then was a National Front-style flaming torch, in the colours of the Swedish flag. But when he appeared at Almedalen, wearing sharp glasses, an open-necked shirt, blue jacket and chinos, the 36-year-old Lund graduate resembled an ambitious mid-ranking company manager. Behind him was the new party emblem, introduced in 2006 – a soothing blue and yellow anemone hepatica flower, and the slogan: “Sweden’s Opposition.”
Three themes dominated the speech: the danger of Islamism, which Åkesson has described as “the Nazism of our times”; the need to stop the flow of refugees and asylum seekers – Sweden takes more asylum seekers per capita than any other EU country; and the desire to create a better society for Sweden’s children. Åkesson claimed that if the Sweden Democrats eventually claim a place in government, Swedish children would experience “the best childhood in the world”. As a taster, a more generous policy on pay for primary school teachers was unveiled. Schools and healthcare will, Åkesson stated, be a priority for any Sweden Democrats administration.
The entire article is accessible here.
25 July 2015
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Saturday that Europe’s existence is under threat from the huge influx of migrants to the region, but that granting Brussels more power isn’t the way to solve the bloc’s problems.
Escalating political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has led to a surge of migrants to the European Union this year. In the first half of 2015, 137,000 migrants reached Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain—an 83% increase compared with the same period last year, according to the United Nations.
“For us, Europe is at stake today; Europeans’ way of life; European values; the survival or demise of European nations, or rather, their transformation beyond recognition,” Mr. Orban said in a speech in Baile Tusnad, which is part of neighboring Romania and has a large number of ethnic Hungarians.
Hungary has become a major transit country for migrants this year with some 71,200 entering the country in the first six months, almost double the amount for the whole of 2014, Hungarian police data showed. After crossing the Balkans, migrants, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, enter Hungary to seek registration for EU asylum before heading to the bloc’s more developed western and northern countries.
“The question is not what sort of a Europe we Hungarians would like to live in but whether what we call Europe today will continue to exist. We would like Europe to continue to belong to Europeans,” Mr. Orban added.
Hungary’s government supports a solution that lets each EU member state deal with its border protection the way it sees fit, an asylum system that provides shelter for “real” asylum seekers but is tough on illegal immigrants, and provides aid to the countries which their people are fleeing, a government spokesman has said.
Mr. Orban criticized certain unnamed factions in the EU and Brussels, accusing them of wanting to destroy the current form of the union and replace it with a “united states of Europe,” while weakening national sovereignty and eliminating national identity—something that Hungary strongly rejects, he added.
“The left has always looked upon nations, national identities with suspicion. They reckon that an escalation of immigration could terminally weaken, even eliminate the [EU’s] structure of nation states, and thus bring about the left’s unfulfilled historic goal,” Mr. Orban said.
Unlike other EU member countries, Hungary rejects giving a home to “masses of people coming from a different civilization,” Mr. Orban said. There is a clear connection between the rise of terrorism, higher unemployment, increasing crime rates with the rise in illegal immigration, he added.
In an effort to deter migrants, Hungary has started the construction of a 4-meter (13-foot) high fence on its 175-kilometer (110-mile) border with non-EU member Serbia, where most of the migrants en route to Austria and Germany enter Hungary.
Hungary will complete the fence by the end of August, Mr. Orban said.
24 July 2015
There are a billion Earths in this galaxy, roughly speaking. Not a million. A billion. We’re talking 1 billion rocky planets that are approximately the size of the Earth and are orbiting familiar-looking yellow-sunshine stars in the orbital “habitable zone” where water could be liquid at the surface.
That’s a billion planets where human beings, or their genetically modified descendants, as well as their dogs and cats and tomato plants and crepe myrtle trees and ladybugs and earthworms and whatnot, could plausibly live.
The estimate comes from NASA scientist Natalie Batalha. Let’s go through some background information to see how she got to that number. Thank you, Dr. Batalha! Keep in mind, she is using conservative estimates. So 1 billion may be a little low.
Before we make plans for colonizing these other Earths, we should pause for a second to note that there are two "Earth-like" planets orbiting our own sun and much, much closer to home than any of these extrasolar planets. Getting Venus in shape for habitability would be a terraforming challenge of the first order. Mars is potentially more congenial, but still an unpleasant place by our standards. Before we colonize Mars, we'll probably colonize the bottom of our shallow seas. Your scribbler will avoid going into a full rant about people who think there's a do-over in space for when we ruin our own planet.
23 July 2015
Meet Earth 2.0: Kepler 452b: The planet most similar to our own ever found with a 'substantial opportunity' for life
Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, but its 385-day orbit is only 5 per cent longer. The planet is 5 per cent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun. Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter and has a diameter 10 per cent larger. 'We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth's evolving environment,' said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at Nasa's Ames Research Center, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b. 'It's awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star' longer than Earth. 'That's substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.'
22 July 2015
The ancient assembly of galaxies has been seen at the edge of the visible universe by astronomers using the ALMA telescope in Chile. Clouds of gas are seen starting to coalesce into the first galaxies and superclusters of families of stars.
Due to the finite speed of light, these formations are seen as they were not long after the formation of the first matter created in the universe.
Astronomers at ALMA directed the gaze of the powerful instrument past known galaxies, quasars and other more traditional, celestial targets. Studying deep into space (and thus, back in time), researchers were able to target some of the oldest known galaxies, dating back to just 800 million years after the Big Seed. Just to the side of BDF 3299, one of these ancient collections of stars, astronomers detected the presence of a significant collection of glowing carbon.
"This is the most distant detection ever of this kind of emission from a 'normal' galaxy, seen less than one billion years" after the Big Seed, said Andrea Ferrara from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy and co-author of an article detailing the discovery.
This discovery allows astronomers to carefully study the formation of galaxies in the ancient universe for the first time, according to researchers on the project.
"We have been trying to understand the interstellar medium and the formation of the reionization sources for many years. Finally to be able to test predictions and hypotheses on real data from ALMA is an exciting moment and opens up a new set of questions. This type of observation will clarify many of the thorny problems we have with the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe," Ferrara said.
Long ago, the universe was filled with dusty clouds of gas that served to efficiently absorb most of the light produced by the first stars. However, these hot, youthful stars eventually "burned away" at the material in a process known as reionization. Following this event, light was free to travel throughout the universe.
The cloud of glowing gas near BDF 3299 shows an area where little material remains, located where the feature would make contact with the galaxy. This suggests to astronomers that the two objects are joined, and they are witnessing reionization in action.
Future investigations using ALMA will examine the ancient material in great detail, in an effort to better understand how these archaic formations eventually developed into the galaxies we see around us in our modern universe.
18 July 2015
I don't know what he said, but I know I agree with him.
Golden Dawn MP furiously tears up papers in Parliament over bailout deal
Pro-White Golden Dawn MP, Ilias Kasidiaris harshly criticised the deal Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to during an impassioned speech to Parliament.
A lawmaker from the patriotic populist Golden Dawn party on Wednesday lashed out at the ZOG-Greek government over new economic measures meant to strip Greece of her assets, to be sold at rock-bottom prices to the friends, associates, and co-conspirators of Golden Sachs, the ECB, the IMF, et al. – it’s not like it’s a secret.
Addressing the ZOG-Greek Parliament, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris harshly criticised the deal Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to after a 17-hour eurozone summit. The Greek government [i.e., ZOG], and many experts [i.e., ZOG spin doctors], say the bailout deal is needed to avoid the even worse scenario of a complete collapse of Greece's banks, which would push the country out of the euro.
Economists estimate that if Greece falls out of the currency union, its economy could shrink by another 10 or 20 percent. The government also notes that the bailout deal will ensure the country's funding for three years and includes a promise to lighten its debt burden.
In the short-term, it is needed to help the banks reopen, a priority for the economy to start breathing again.
Greece's parliament of Whores voted to approve the austerity [i.e., serfdom] measures on Wednesday.
15 July 2015
Seeing Nazi imagery on the Internet is always a bad sign — doubly so when it's part of a campaign photo in support of a presidential candidate.
Trump campaign blames an intern for the inclusion of men wearing Nazi uniforms
On the morning of July 14, a photo including the American flag, the hashtag #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, and four men wearing Nazi uniforms was posted to Donald Trump's Twitter account and Facebook page.
They may be hard to spot at first glance, but the soldiers marching towards Trump's face in the photo are in fact wearing the uniform of the Waffen-SS, part of the armed wing of the Nazi party.
Schindler tweeted that he's "100% certain" these are Nazi uniforms because of the style of camouflage and the SS eagle.
Photographer George Cairns snapped the photo during a Second World War reenactment in Kent, England.
"I have photos of American soldiers as well," Cairns said to Mother Jones. "But for some reason, politicians seem to be downloading Nazis."
Cairns added that Tim Spear, a Democrat in North Carolina's legislature, accidentally used his brother's photo of men wearing Nazi uniforms in a campaign flier.
Trump's campaign is blaming the use of this image on an intern.
"A young intern created and posted the image and did not see the very faded figures within the flag of the stock photo. The intern apologized and immediately deleted the tweet," a spokesperson relayed to the Daily Dot.
The controversial posts have since been deleted from Twitter and Facebook, though the morbidly curious can still see the image on both accounts using archive.org.
Despite recent controversy, including labeling illegal immigrants from Mexico as rapists, a USA Today poll lists Trump as leading the Republican presidential race.
11 July 2015
"This is our answer to same sex marriages, this mockery of the very concept of family. We must prevent gay fever in our country and support traditional values," Andrei Lisovenko, deputy head of the United Russia branch in Moscow, said.
In what appears to be a direct response to last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage and the ensuing global display of gay pride flags, Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russian Party has revealed its own "straight flag."
"This is our answer to same sex marriages, this mockery of the very concept of family. We must prevent gay fever in our country and support traditional values," Andrei Lisovenko, deputy head of the United Russia branch in Moscow, told the Izvestia newspaper, The Independent reported.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges in June to effectively render same-sex marriage bans illegal in all 50 states.
While homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, the government is not exactly known for its friendly stance towards gays, either. Putin introduced a law in 2013 that bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations," which went on to pass 436-0, according to The Guardian.
Three variants of the Russian straight flag exist, depicting a husband, wife and three children holding hands against a solid background of white, blue or red, which are the colors of the Russian national flag, RT reported.
"We are speaking of the traditional family. We mean the average standard Russian family that is ours: mother, father and three children," Lisovenko said.
It was unveiled at a United Russia Party rally in Moscow's Sokolniki park on the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, an annual celebration held across the country on July 8.
Alongside the flag's release, officials launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #realfamily.
Pro-White Golden Dawn says will not back proposals sent to Greece's creditors
Greece's third largest political force, the pro-White Golden Dawn party, said early on Saturday it will not back government proposals submitted to the country's creditors in a race to reach a cash-for-reforms deal and avert bankruptcy.
"We say 'no'. We won't give you the authorisation for this deal," leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos told lawmakers during a parliamentary session.
The country's leftist government is seeking lawmakers' approval to negotiate a series of tax hikes and spending cuts which it will hope will unlock 53.5 billion euros in aid over the next three years from international creditors.
09 July 2015
WASHINGTON — A new group advocating for closer ties between Hungary and the U.S. is bringing a delegation to Capitol Hill next week that includes a politician from Jobbik, Hungary’s pro-White patriotic party.
A group calling itself the Hungarian American Institute is inviting members of Congress to meet with several Hungarian politicians and business leaders next week, according to an invitation sent on June 30 and seen by BuzzFeed News. The list includes László Kucsák, a member of parliament for ruling party Fidesz, Márta Demeter, a member of parliament for MSZP, the socialist party, as well as Gábor Staudt, a Jobbik MP who was a member of the Magyar Gárda, a nationalist paramilitary organization connected to Jobbik that was banned in 2009.
The delegation is trying to meet with members of the House and Senate foreign affairs committees, particularly members of the subcommittees on Europe, next week, according to Ben May, corporate counsel for Policy Impact Communications, the firm helping organize the visit. May said that the list of which members are taking the meetings has not been finalized.
There’s little information about the Hungarian American Institute online, as the group is new, having “only been around for a couple of months at this point,” May said. Its website, parts of which have not yet been filled out, says it “is an international association devoted to promoting trade and business relations between Hungary and the United States, as well as policies in both nations that provide economic growth, personal opportunity, peace, and security for individuals and families.”
A congressional source told BuzzFeed News that at least one congressional office sought clarification from the State Department after receiving the request for a meeting made on behalf of the previously unknown institute.
Jozsef Szamosfalvi, a Hungarian-American businessman, told BuzzFeed News he had founded the group because “we don’t like the current lack of communication and where the relationship between the two countries is going, and we decided to do something about it.
“We don’t have a political dog in the fight,” Szamosfalvi said. “We’re not affiliated with political parties either here or in Hungary.”
He said the group had no connection to the Hungarian government and that it is seeking donations from U.S. businesses that want to do business in Hungary and vice versa and is structured under the tax code as a 501©6 non-profit.
The Hungarian government currently has three official lobbying contracts in Washington, with SLI Group, Liberty International Group, and Levick Strategic Communications, respectively.
The group’s board is composed of Paul Horvath, the CEO of Orchard Global Asset Management, former diplomat (and father of conservative journalist Tucker Carlson) Richard Carlson, Utah banker Lew Cramer, former Congressman Ernest Istook, and Georgetown professor Michael Czinkota.
Relations between Hungary and the U.S. have turned frosty in the past few years as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has grown closer to Russia and shown signs of wanting to imitate Vladimir Putin’s populist style of government. Orban, who leads the ruling Fidesz party, said last year that he wants Hungary to be an “illiberal state” rather than a liberal democracy, and cited China, Russia, and Turkey as models.
“We try to reach out across the board,” Szamosfalvi said when asked why his group had included the Jobbik MP on the list of politicians available to meet with members of Congress. “As you can see, we do not want to meet with one party only, but we wanted a selection of all of them.”
Staudt, the Jobbik MP, was in the U.S. in April, visiting Boston, Washington, and New York.
Pro-White European leaders have visited the Hill before; in 2011, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National, had what was described as an “awkward” time in Congress visiting then-Congressman Ron Paul.
In the past couple months, Hungary has had an unusual level of focus in the House Foreign Affairs Committee; a hearing devoted to Hungary was held in May in the Subcommittee for Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, which is chaired by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
Sooner or later Iran's application for membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will be granted; this will happen after the UN Security Council sanctions are lifted from the country, Russian presidential adviser Anton Kobyakov said at a briefing.
"The consideration of the Iranian application is on the agenda. Sooner or later this application will be granted, after the UN Security Council sanctions are lifted," Kobyakov said.
According to the official, the meeting of the SCO foreign ministers' council in Moscow was the final stage in preparing for the SCO summit and during the meeting a breakthrough decision of principle importance - to begin the acceptance procedure on India and Pakistan - was made.
"It is expected that the start of the organization expansion will be announced at the summit due to take place in Ufa," Kobyakov said.
On July 2 the SCO secretariat received Egypt's application for partnering state status. As of now, there are eleven applications to join the SCO and participate in its work, he said.
08 July 2015
MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Greece can easily receive financing from the New Development Bank established by BRICS, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said on Tuesday.
According to him, it will be enough for Greece to buy a couple of shares of the bank to be eligible for funding. He added that this would require a political decision.
"If they buy, so to speak, a few shares and become members of the bank, they will be able to count on the resources. We do not have any co-relation between a contribution and an amount of funding. There is general agreement that the system of the countries’ assets will be balanced," said Storchak.
The Deputy Finance Minister also said that the admission of a new member to the current system is always a political decision.
"Greeks happened to be first who got interested in BRICS bank. As soon as the Institute starts operating, the board of directors will prepare and the board of governors will approve the procedure to consider membership applications from new candidates," he stressed.
Storchak said he "sees no problems" with the approval of Greece’s possible application.
"I do not see any problem if all five governments order their governors to uphold [Greece’s request]," he said.
BRICS New Development Bank
BRICS member-states established the New Development Bank by an agreement signed on July 15, 2014 in Brazil. The institution was set up to finance infrastructure projects and sustainable development of these and other developing countries.
The new bank will start operating in April of 2016. Its charter capital will amount initially to $50 bln with further growth to $100 bln. The bank will start operating in dollars and then move to a basket of currencies. The bank is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
Hungary’s radical nationalist Jobbik has made a breakthrough over the previous half-year and become a people’s party, the party’s leader Gábor Vona said, assessing the first sixth months of the year.
The ruling Fidesz is “broken” and the left wing is “agonising”, Mr. Vona told a press conference. Voters will only have a choice between Fidesz and Jobbik in the next general election, he added. The left is trying to blur the line between Jobbik and the governing parties, pointing out however that votes in parliament do not support this view. Jobbik makes its decisions based on the content of bills and not based on its proponents, he insisted. He said Fidesz, unlike Jobbik, was “arrogant and corrupt”. Fidesz has surpassed the former Socialist government in terms of corruption, he said. The party chairman said it was “hypocritical” of Fidesz to reject the proposed rule on making the wealth declarations of politicians’ family members compulsory. The ruling party also declined to respond to “easily proven” allegations that they had syphoned off money from the Quaestor brokerage days before it went under, he said. Jobbik’s agenda for the autumn includes anti-corruption efforts, a drive to allow men to join women in retiring after 40 years, to resolve the conflicts resulting from “Hungarians and Gypsies” living side by side and to debate the future of the European Union, Mr. Vona said.
He said immigration issues have drawn attention away from the problems of Roma living together with the mainstream population, but Jobbik wants to keep this question on the agenda. The government should go beyond its “verbal euro-scepticism” and actually deal with the issue of amending the accession and basic treaties, Vona said. Fidesz said Jobbik had “abandoned the Hungarian people on serious issues several times.” Jobbik had voted against or abstained on several key issues over the past six months which aimed at improving people’s livelihoods, the Fidesz parliamentary group said in a statement. The changes Jobbik did not support included next year’s tax cuts, increasing tax credits for families, holding banks to account, wage hikes for law enforcement staff, tightening rules for brokerages and approval on Hungary’s role in anti-IS efforts, the statement said.
According to a recent public opinion poll conducted by Nézőpont Intézet, the governing centre-right Fidesz-KDNP alliance holds 27 per cent of support among the entire population, followed by Jobbik at 16 per cent and the left-wing MSZP and DK parties at 7 and 6 per cent, respectively.
The House has voted to ban the display of Confederate flags at historic federal cemeteries in the deep South — a low-profile move that prompted an outcry from supporters of the flag.
Those supporters, including some Southern conservatives, were taken by surprise by the vote and the bill's chief sponsor Wednesday night called for a revote on Thursday in which members would go on record on the display of the flag.
The vote to ban the display of the flag at the cemeteries came Tuesday evening after a brief debate on a measure funding the National Park Service, which maintains 14 national cemeteries, most of which contain graves of Civil War soldiers.
The proposal by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., added language to block the Park Service from allowing private groups to decorate the graves of Southern soldiers with Confederate flags in states that commemorate Confederate Memorial Day. The cemeteries affected are the Andersonville and Vicksburg cemeteries in Georgia and Mississippi.
One lawmaker who protested the move was Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Miss.
"I strongly oppose the inclusion of this amendment, which was slipped into the bill in the dead of night with no debate," he said in a statement. "Congress cannot simply rewrite history and strip the Confederate flag from existence. Members of Congress from New York and California cannot wipe away 150 years of Southern history with sleight-of-hand tactics."
House leaders have deferred action on a plan by Bennie Thompson, a black Democrat from Mississippi, to ban Confederate images such as that contained in the Mississippi flag from being displayed in the House complex. Numerous statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States, are also on display in the Capitol.
Amid sustained applause in the European Parliament today, Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) directly tells Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras across the room, "your moment has come, and frankly if you have the courage, you should lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone with your head held high. Get back your democracy. Get back control of your country. Give your people the leadership and the hope that they crave."
07 July 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban, a mega-donor, assuring him that she would make countering the global Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel a priority. She invoked a recent terrorist attack against Jews in Paris to condemn BDS and specifically sought Saban’s advice on how to fight back.
“I am writing to express my alarm over the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or ‘BDS,’ a global effort to isolate the State of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges,” Clinton wrote [PDF]. “I am seeking your advice on how we can work together—across party lines and with a diverse array of voices—to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
Clinton expressed serious concern over comparisons between Israel and South African apartheid.
“Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival,” Clinton asserted. “Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world—especially in Europe—we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. After all, it was only six months ago that four Jews were targeted and killed in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as they did their Sabbath shopping.”
The invoking of a terrorist attack against Jews in Paris is a nasty attempt to cast the growing nonviolent BDS movement as anti-Semitic. In fact, to read Clinton’s letter in its entirety, one has to believe Israel is engaged in no acts of occupation or oppression against the Palestinians and a movement is mobilizing out of hatred or baseless assumptions about Israel.
In a column for the Los Angeles Times published in May 2014, Saree Makdisi, a UCLA professor and author of Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, explained that apartheid is not merely used to inflame tensions. It very specifically has legal meaning, as outlined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. (Note: The UN General Assembly adopted the convention in 1973 and most UN member states except for Israel and the United States have ratified the convention.)
From Makdisi’s column:
According to Article II of that convention, the term applies to acts “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” Denying those others the right to life and liberty, subjecting them to arbitrary arrest, expropriating their property, depriving them of the right to leave and return to their country or the right to freedom of movement and of residence, creating separate reserves and ghettos for the members of different racial groups, preventing mixed marriages — these are all examples of the crime of apartheid specifically mentioned in the convention.
Israel engages in all of these actions against Palestinians. In fact, as Gil Maguire hasshown, Israel “created an apartheid system and became an apartheid state at the end of the 1967 war.”
One of Clinton’s arguments in her letter is that BDS seeks to “punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict.” She indicates she supports a two-state solution and that can only be achieved through “direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians—it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions.”
If anything, it is Israel which seeks to unilaterally impose a resolution and that resolution is protect and even expand apartheid.
Former President Bill Clinton shared in 2011 the reason why the “peace process” failed. According to Foreign Policy, Clinton claimed it was because of the reluctance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration to “accept the terms of the Camp David deal” and a “demographic shift in Israel” that made the Israeli public “less amenable to peace.”
What BDS is doing is building a worldwide consensus that seeks to force Israel to stop killing, torturing, detaining, abusing, and repressing Palestinians through its inhumane policies. It increasingly has more support than the resolution Israel seeks to impose against Palestinians.
The letter’s conclusion is rather nauseating.
…It was more than three decades ago when Bill and I took our first trip to Israel, walked the ancient streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, and fell in love with the country and its people. Israel became a special place for us, and I’m lucky to have had many opportunities to return and to make any dear friends there over the years. The Jewish state is a modern day miracle—a vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert. We must nurture and protect it. [emphasis added]
Clinton fervently expresses this belief that Israel is a “vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival.” However, being surrounded by countries with dictatorships should not insulate a government from having to address their own systematic human rights violations.
Finally, Clinton wrote this letter to help re-solidify Saban’s support for her presidential campaign. It is largely a public relations ploy against right wing groups. Saban has always been close to Clinton and the Democratic Party.
Saban supports increased exports of US military equipment to Israel. He zealously opposes statehood for Palestine and any UN Security Council resolution against illegal Israeli settlements.
In 2006, Saban declared, “When there is a terrorist attack, I am [Avigdor] Lieberman. Sometimes to the right of Lieberman. For two days I really love Lieberman. But afterward I come back to reality. Look, I don’t see a solution today.”
For those unfamiliar with Lieberman, he is Israeli foreign minister. In March, he said, “Anyone who’s with us should be given everything – up to half the kingdom. Anyone who’s against us, there’s nothing to do – we should raise an axe and cut off his head; otherwise we won’t survive here.” He also has expressly made statements in support of ethnic cleansing Palestinians.
Saban has teamed up with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to raise millions to fight BDS. The two mega-donors hosted a closed-doors summit in June that could be used to challenge campus campaigns. Only those “willing to pledge at least $1 million over the next two years” were allowed to participate.
Morton Klein, the national president of the Zionist Organization of America, called for all groups to come together and “demonize the demonizers.” Everyone needs to demonize the “racists by telling the truth about the Palestinian Authority and giving examples of what it does as a racist terror organization.”
This is what Hillary Clinton’s campaign is pledging to join forces and support. However, it will be extraordinarily difficult to beat back the momentum of the BDS movement. There are increased efforts in states and the federal government to criminalize the movement yet the BDS movement continues to win victories. Recently, the United Church of Christ pledged to boycott and divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation.
“For Palestinians living under occupation or facing systematic discrimination as citizens of Israel, enduring the destruction of their homes and businesses, the theft of their land for settlements, and living under blockade and siege in Gaza, this action sends a strong signal that they are not alone, and that there are churches who still dare to speak truth to power and stand with the oppressed,” Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Christian Palestinian and Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, declared after the Church passed its divestment resolution.
This letter from Clinton is destined to become an artifact of history that will forever remind the world of which leaders were on the wrong side.
Clinton may be elected the first woman president in November 2016, but, just as President Ronald Reagan will forever be remembered as a fervent supporter of South African apartheid, Clinton is now on a path to potentially becoming a US president, who aligned herself with militant defenders of Israeli apartheid.
06 July 2015
CIA Director John Brennan says America’s top spies are not diverse enough, and he’s doing something about it.
The Central Intelligence Agency is once again mired in crisis. CIA Director John Brennan finds himself “deeply concerned.” The spy agency he runs suffers from an affliction that he says has “persisted despite repeated efforts by Agency leaders to address it.”
What is ailing this vital guardian of national security? The CIA’s upper echelon, Mr. Brennan said on Tuesday, does “not reflect the diversity of the Agency workforce or of the nation.”
Mr. Brennan was commenting on the “Director’s Diversity in Leadership Study,” an unclassified report released that day. The study comes to the “unequivocal conclusion,” he said in a statement, that there has been a major failure at the agency in the “crucial” area of diversity and inclusiveness.
What accounts for this state of inequity? Pulling no punches, and using words that must sting Mr. Brennan if not also President Obama, the report finds that “the senior leadership of the Agency is not committed to diversity.” The CIA has suffered from a “failure of leadership,” which has led to a “general lack of accountability in promoting diversity” and “the absence of an inclusive culture.”
The CIA’s diversity panel offers several recommendations to arrest and reverse these trends.
For one thing, “all leaders, managers, and supervisors” in the CIA should be subject to “mandatory stand-alone diversity and inclusion training.” This must include such “well-established tools” as “unconscious bias training” so that all CIA officers can “learn how societal forces and their own experiences mold their daily decisions and perceptions.” If done with sufficient thoroughness, such training could inculcate the conviction in CIA managers and supervisors that developing a diverse workforce is a “core job function.”
The trouble is, however, that training alone may not suffice to rewire brains prone to “unconscious bias.” Additional steps are therefore necessary. Managers and supervisors, the panel says, “must be consistently evaluated on their success and failure” in fostering inclusivity. The CIA should introduce an agency-wide performance-measuring tool, which “must be utilized on a 360-degree basis”—that is, imposed on everyone without exception—“to drive and institutionalize accountability for inclusive behaviors.”
Changing the CIA’s culture in this way may take some time, perhaps several years. Yet an urgent crisis demands urgent action: “Immediate steps” must therefore be taken to fill senior leadership positions with minority officers, the study says. The steps would include a “series of conspicuous appointments at the highest levels of the CIA.” The goal—both “necessary and achievable”—should be a quota of “at least 30% minority representation at the GS-13 level and above.” Such measures will make it clear that “the Agency has entered a new era and is committed to a leadership structure that truly ‘looks like America.’ ”
Mr. Brennan evidently thinks so. In his statement accompanying the study’s release, the CIA director said he has ordered that beginning Oct. 1 every member of his senior leadership team will be required “to attend diversity and inclusion training.” As of that date, these top CIA officials will also be “evaluated on their actions to create, maintain, and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment.”
One can only hope that it will not take a national-security disaster to remind Mr. Brennan that the CIA is first and foremost an espionage agency, with a “core job function” of gathering intelligence and killing terrorists.
05 July 2015
03 July 2015
A unilateral assertion offered to and for consideration by the European Descended People of the fifty united States of America and all people of European descent regardless of spacial or temporal propinquity.
02 July 2015
Not unlike the fading tones of a ringing crystal goblet, the spacetime continuum and the universe itself may be oscillating through billions of years of cosmic time, say two U.S. physicists.
In a paper recently published in The Astronomical Journal, physicists Harry Ringermacher and Lawrence Mead at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg, detail analysis of some 400 Type 1a supernova data points against cosmic look-back time. They conclude that the speed of the expansion of the universe has varied at least seven times during its 13.8 billion year history.
“We found that the universe has been wiggling during its expansion and that 7 such “cycles” or oscillations have occurred since the beginning of time,” Ringermacher, a USM adjunct professor of physics and the paper’s lead author, told me. “Each wiggle or cycle consists of a slow-down, followed by a speed-up, followed by a slow-down.”
Ringermacher says that they also observed secondary “harmonics” of those wiggles at 14 and 21 cycles, akin to such secondary harmonics produced by musical instruments. If one thinks of the 3-dimensional expanding volume of the universe as a 2-dimensional glass, he explains, then a tap on the glass will cause it to ring or oscillate.
We postulated the existence of a “scalar field,” a non-directional variable force in spacetime, he says, that is essentially the same as the one responsible for inflation, but which penetrates into the present epoch. Ringermacher notes that this scalar field is possibly the cause of the oscillations.
“So, this new model replaces the traditional dark matter term in Einstein’s equations with an oscillating term,” said Ringermacher. “In reality, the “wave” has properties of both dark matter and dark energy.”
With the discovery of dark energy in 1998, astronomers recognized that the universe had actually transitioned from a decelerating cosmos to an accelerating cosmos at least once — when the universe was roughly half its current age.
But the key to the new research lies in a novel way of plotting Type 1a supernova data, using what the authors describe in their paper as a “model-independent plot” of the radius of the universe against cosmic look-back time. The extremely bright Type 1a supernovae are widely regarded as astrophysical “standard candles” for measuring the universe’s expansion.
“By discovering a reliable new way to plot the distances of supernova events against time we were able to see features in the data that heretofore were obscured,” said Ringermacher. He notes that the oscillations they observed across the metric of time would not be as obvious in terms of redshift.
Publicly available data, largely culled from the 2011 Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS-3), enabled Ringermacher and Mead to come up with their results. “We analyzed the data 4 independent ways and found the 7 cycle signal in all methods along with 2 multiples of this frequency at 14 and 21 cycles,” said Ringermacher.
At what time intervals would these oscillations have occurred?
They appeared in the data between 8.3 billion years ago and 1.4 billion years ago, says Ringermacher, and appear to continue even to the present but are very small.
“The very earliest [such] oscillations, according to our new model, occurred approximately 500 million years after the big bang and indicated a significant deceleration of the universe,” said Ringermacher. “This first slow-down was significantly greater than that predicted by the standard model of big bang cosmology.”
Ringermacher says this deceleration at early times may explain why observations of the early universe show more galactic structure than predicted. The deceleration could have allowed matter to coalesce into stars and proto-galaxies.
In their paper, the authors note that the best confirmation would be with new information contained in a new Type 1a supernova data set hopefully coming out soon.
If confirmed, what do these oscillations tell us about the big bang or the makeup of the universe itself?
“A more remote possibility is that this “wave” is the result of a collision between our universe and another; implying that dark matter and dark energy are related to events in higher dimensions,” said Ringermacher.
RUSSIA is set to unveil a top secret spaceship-like aircraft that promises to be "lighter than air".
Work is already underway on the hi-tech 130-metre-long Atlant, which is to be created by merging technology from planes, hovercraft and airships.
Capable of taking off and landing without a runway it will be able to carry 200 military personnel at speeds of up to 105mph.
The futuristic craft is equipped with sophisticated high-precision computer technology, with Russian officials claiming that the $15million (£9.5million) aircraft will be used by the Defence Ministry.
The company behind the 21st century model, Augur RosAeroSystems, say Putin's new toy will be ready for use by the army as early as 2018, according to The Siberian Times.
Mikhail Talesnikov, the vice-president of the firm, said all development work in the first phase of the project would be completed by December.
Mr Talesnikov said: "During the unloading of the weight at the point of arrival, the airship will be able to get heavier via controls without needing ballast.
"In that way it will not get weightless after unloading and will not soar into the stratosphere.
"We also came up with the decision to make the airship harder by using special balancing system. It also has a hard shell. Not a frame faced by cloth, but a composite body.
"It is an innovative solution and this system is unique, nowhere abroad do they have that."
Computer images of the Atlant show its main cabin resembles that of an airship, with an overly large cockpit window and two small wings fixed to the rear of the fuselage.
Designers say it will "combine the best properties of an airship, plane, helicopter and hovercraft" but gave no further details on how the hybrid will be created.
It will also be designed to withstand outside temperatures of -40C, which are typical in the midst of Russian winters.
It is estimated there are around 50 of them in existence around the world, in use by private firms as well as the military.
And manufacturers insist they are cheaper to fly than helicopters and airplanes, can carry more cargo and are capable of reaching remote and hard-to-reach areas.
The Atlant will cost 30 per cent less than Russia's Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter, which can cost up to $25million (£15million).
Two different models will be created: the Atlant-100, which will be 130 metres long and able to fly at 140kph, and the smaller 75-metre-long version, the Atlant-30, which will be able to carry a 16 tonne payload at speeds of about 170kph.
There is speculation the Russian military aims to use the blimp at border points, in order to control drug trafficking.
However it can also be used to move mass numbers of personnel around the country, or into combat zones, more efficiently.
Mass cargo transportation is another possible use for the new airship, and there are hopes that the Atlant could become a cheap method of moving people around Siberia.
Established in 1991 Augur RosAeroSystems is a leading manufacturer of airships and two years ago unveiled the AU-30, which was capable to carrying a payload of half-a-tonne.
But it is slowly making a comeback, almost seven decades after the German Hindenburg aircraft disaster that left 35 people dead.
UKIP could win more than seven seats in the 2016 assembly election, the party's campaign manager for the poll has said.
Sam Gould said the proportional representation element of the assembly electoral system would give UKIP "six or seven" seats, if it repeated its general election performance.
But he told BBC Wales the party was "definitely" capable of winning more.
UKIP got more than 200,000 votes in Wales in May, more than both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.
It came second in six of the 40 Welsh seats but, under the first past the post system, did not win any.
The closest it came was Mr Gould in Caerphilly, who was beaten by Labour's Wayne David by around 10,000 votes.
UKIP's campaign in Wales also had several problems, including one of its candidates threatening to sue the party for libel, and its regional organiser stepping down.
The party believes the regional list system - whereby 20 of the 60 AMs are elected under a form of proportional representation - gives it a strong chance at the assembly election.
Former Conservative and UKIP MP Mark Reckless has been given the job of developing the manifesto and it is planning to appoint spokespeople on each of the main devolved policy areas.
Local branches will select the 40 constituency candidates by the autumn, while regional list candidates will be picked by a central committee.
Mr Gould said: "The (general election) performance was absolutely fantastic and we are so pleased with this foundation ready for next year's assembly election.
"If we were to run the same number of votes across Wales we would get seven AMs under the list system.
"So we're very confident of breaking through next year in the assembly election.
"I think seven seats would be a success, but I think we're in with a very good chance of achieving more."
He added: "Mark Reckless will be coming to Wales to work with a Wales-based policy team to help us turn the ideas we have from our local grassroots Welsh representatives into a reality in our manifesto."
There has never been a UKIP assembly member, but the party had a Welsh MEP elected in 2009 and 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the United States by saying Americans have chosen a “path of degradation.” In addition, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, echoed Putin’s perception of Western countries, accusing them of engaging in the “spiritual disarmament” of their people.
Patriarch Kirill is specific in criticizing a few European countries that prevent believers from displaying religious symbols, including banning people from wearing crucifixes at work.
Russian state-controlled television aired comments of Patriarch Kirill’s view of the Western world.
“The general political direction of the [Western political] elite bears, without doubt, an anti-Christian and anti-religious character. We have been through an epoch of atheism, and we know what it is to live without God. We want to shout to the whole world, ‘Stop!’
In addition, Kremlin television claims “some Americans” funded a “demonic” protest by a female punk rock group, Pussy Riot, against the Russian Orthodox Church’s support of President Vladimir Putin, according to a report in Washington Times.
In a recent speech, Putin said the following.
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”
In mid-December 2014, Russian President Putin gave his state of the nation address, portraying Russia as a staunch defender of “traditional values” in comparison to the “morally bankrupt” West.
The former KGB officer stated that the only way to prevent to world from sliding into “chaotic darkness” is to embrace social and religious conservatism.
In support of Putin’s philosophy, the Russians are attempting to defend “Christian values” by adopting laws that ban “homosexual propaganda.”
They are also enacting laws to make it a criminal offense to “insult” the religious sensibilities of believers, according to Washington Times‘ coverage.
As the Kremlin continues to encourage traditional values, Orthodox vigilantism is on the rise. Groups like the Union of Orthodox Banner Bearers and The Banner Bearers are growing in numbers. For his services to the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill has honored the Union of Orthodox Banner Bearers group’s leader, an openly anti-Semitic monarchist, Leonid Simonovich, whose group’s slogan is “Orthodoxy or Death.”
Union of Orthodox Banner Bearers
In addition, members of the Banner Bearers dress in black paramilitary uniforms decorated with skulls, and regularly confront liberal and gay activists on the streets of Moscow.
In addition to Putin’s views, other figures within the Orthodox Church are criticizing the West, as well. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a church spokesperson, suggested that the modern-day West is no better for a Christian believer than the Soviet Union.
Chaplin says, “The separation of the secular and the religious is a fatal mistake by the West. It is a monstrous phenomenon that has occurred only in Western civilization and will kill the West, both politically and morally.”
01 July 2015
County officials on Wednesday announced welfare fraud charges against 30 people and two corporations, bringing the amount of fraudulently obtained public benefits wrapped up in three county-wide sweeps since January 2014 to more than $1 million.
County officials on Wednesday announced welfare fraud charges against 30 people and two corporations, bringing the amount of fraudulently obtained public benefits wrapped up in three county-wide sweeps since January 2014 to more than $1 million.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and County Executive Steve Neuhaus stressed that there is a critical need for legislation to close state and federal loopholes that allow people with substantial income or assets to game the system in ways that allow them to legally collect public benefits.
In this sweep, dubbed "Operation Million Dollar Mark,"officials say the defendants improperly collected $324,000 in public assistance administered by the county. The full total now is $1.07 million.
One in four people in Orange County collects some kind of public benefit, Hoovler said. Many are legitimately eligible and deserving, but fraud remains a serious problem.
"It affects everyday people," Hoovler said. "It affects the taxpayers of the county more than you would think."
The arrests announced Wednesday bring the number of people charged in these sweeps to 97, plus the two corporations. Hoovler put the amount of fraud prevented by the investigations and arrests at $5 million.
The investigations have been done through cooperation between the county's Department of Social Services and its special investigations unit, the county sheriff's office and the district attorney's office, and entail significant legwork and scrutiny of documentation and public records, said Ann Caldwell, the county's deputy commissioner of social services.
In the latest sweep, the largest chunk of fraud - $239,979 - was through Medicaid. Another $63,908 was attributable to fraudulently collected Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progam benefits and $20,905 from Temporary Assistance.
So far, the county has received $123,930 in restitution from prior sweep defendants, and $148,390 in voluntary repayments from people who had not been charged.
Both of the corporations involved in the most recent sweep are owned by residents of the Village of Kiryas Joel.
The largest fraud charged was against Mordechai Friedman, 37, of Kiryas Joel, 100 percent shareholder of YMF and Associates. Officials say he fraudulently collected $61,442 in Medicaid benefits by under-reporting his income. He was charged with second-degree welfare fraud, a felony.
Another businessman, Chayim Deutsch, 36, of Kiryas Joel, structured his financial draws from his corporation, KJ Advertising, so he could create false documents and under-report his income and appear to be eligible for Medicaid. He collected $21,133 in benefits, officials said. He was charged with third-degree welfare fraud.
Hoovler and Chief Assistant District Attorney Chris Borek explained that individuals who structure their business corporations properly and who structure the pay they draw from the corporation can actually be eligible for public assistance, even if they own homes and cars and have substantial savings, and it's legal. Those business owners are often instructed on doing this by tax professionals, Hoovler said.
"It cries for a legislative fix," he said. "We need these loopholes closed. ... It's the IRS, it's the state level. There's multiple levels that need to be fixed."
Hoovler and Neuhaus announced that they will be contacting state Assembly and Senate members to address the issues, and a major push by the state's district attorneys' and county executives' associations to close loopholes is coming.