If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday. Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel ... “A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens — or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” Kerry told the group of senior of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan.
Jewish groups condemned the racist remarks attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the Los Angeles Clippers ... TMZ published a ten-minute recording of the racist rant on its website late Friday, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his model girlfriend, V. Stiviano. Sterling, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, allegedly tells his girlfriend, who is black and Mexican, not to be seen in public with black people or to post photographs of herself with black people on Instagram. He also tells her not to bring black people, including Magic Johnson, to his team’s basketball games.
In a newly released audiotape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s notorious racist remarks to his girlfriend, he seems to justify his views of African-Americans by noting how in Israel “the blacks are just treated like dogs.” ... Sterling -- born to American Jewish immigrant parents as Donald Tokowitz – seemingly tries to defend his views by putting them in an international context, singling out how blacks are treated in Israel. Sterling: “It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.” Stiviano: “So you have to treat them like that too?”
My mind is spinning from watching the horror show of Donald Sterling and his racist rants. In case you’ve been on Mars during the past few days, Sterling is the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who got caught on a recording spewing racist bile to his girlfriend, telling her, among other things, not to bring “black people” to his games ... Donald changed his last name from Tokowitz to Sterling to give himself an aura of success. The name Tokowitz, apparently, sounded too Jewish. I guess you can say that his name change was good for the Jews ... We can only wish that Bernie Madoff had done the same and changed his name to Bernie Madsen.
Ukrainian nationalists in western Ukrainian city of Lviv have held a rally in commemoration of a Nazi SS division created in 1943, despite a ban asking them to stop. One attendee said "This march is to commemorate the Galician division, which had nothing to do with the divisions of the Waffen SS. Their oath of allegiance was for Ukraine. They are our heroes and that is why we honour them every year." ... Also called the Galician division, the group was formed to exclusively fight "Bolsheviks", but it still creates tension between political groups and affiliations today.
Supporters of Adolf Hitler in Milan emblazoned the city with posters of the German dictator over the weekend in honour of his 125th birthday. The posters were put up overnight on Saturday by members of the National Socialist Workers Movement, a neo-Nazi group that originated in the Lombardy town of Varese in 2002. In comments published in Il Messaggero, the group said the posters were a “simple gesture” to mark the birthday of “the greatest leader that Europe has known so far”. Hitler was born on April 20th 1889. “Every year, we feel it’s important to pay respect to a man who knew how to take a nation’s hand and guide it to rescue, until its tragic end.”
German neo-Nazis, hamstrung by tough laws back home, are increasingly organising bashes across the French border, including a recent commemoration of Adolf Hitler's 125th birth anniversary. Facing intense media scrutiny in Germany and a slew of tough legislation, many neo-Nazis have turned to surrounding countries to stage concerts and other events ... Some 200 people crossed over the border for the party, held on the Saturday before Easter, in a communal hall in the Alsace town of Oltingue, which is near the border with Germany and Switzerland ... The officer said the events were "very tightly controlled and discreet" and did not "cause any trouble or pose any threat to public order.”
… On April 15, 1945, British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The anniversary was widely remembered in official ceremonies and in newspaper articles that, as the following essay shows, distort the camp's true history … Ghastly images recorded by Allied photographers at Belsen in mid-April 1945 and widely reproduced ever since have greatly contributed to the camp's reputation as a notorious extermination center. In fact, the dead of Bergen-Belsen were, above all, unfortunate victims of war and its turmoil, not deliberate policy.
President Barack Obama was far from candid when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq last month, but he did nothing to hide the fact that he is a neoconservative when it comes to the American empire ... It’s not enough that the George W. Bush and Obama administrations made messes of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama promises more. “And because of our drawdown in Iraq,” he said, “we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense.” ... Let’s understand that this is blueprint for unlimited government — to be precise, executive — power. The Obama administration again demonstrates that while presidents come and go, the permanent regime rumbles on.
... What should we do if Putin seizes Southern Ukraine to Odessa? What did Ike do about Hungary in 1956, or JFK do when the Wall went up? What did LBJ do about Czechoslovakia in 1968, or Reagan do when Solidarity was crushed? Mature leaders, they accepted militarily what they could not prevent. Like those presidents, Obama should take the military option off the table and use his diplomatic, political and economic weapons, and keep communications open. There are big issues, like terrorism, where we still agree.
The routes of slave trade in Eastern Europe in the medieval and pre-modern period extended all the way to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. A recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland suggests that persons captured during raids into areas which today constitute parts of Finland, the Russian Karelia and the Baltic Countries ended up being sold on these remote trade routes. There was a particular demand for blonde girls and boys who were seen as exotic luxury items, and it was financially beneficial to transport them to the far-away markets.
British Pathé, the newsreel maker which documented all walks of life on video during the 20th Century, has uploaded its entire collection of moving images to YouTube. The archive of 3,500 hours of footage was digitised in 2002 thanks in part to a grant from the National Lottery, and is now freely accessible to anyone around the world for free. The unique collection of video covers major events, famous faces, travel, sport and culture and is a wealth of information on the First and Second World Wars in particular.
The College Board — the standardized testing behemoth that develops and administers the SAT and other tests — has redesigned its flagship product again ... The SAT does predict success in college — not perfectly, but relatively well, especially given that it takes just a few hours to administer. And, unlike a “complex portrait” of a student’s life, it can be scored in an objective way ... Test score (SAT or ACT — whichever the student took) correlated strongly with cumulative GPA at the end of the fourth year ... Thus, just as it was originally designed to do, the SAT in fact goes a long way toward leveling the playing field, giving students an opportunity to distinguish themselves regardless of their background.
When real history is finally written, mainstream social sciences during most of the twentieth century will be exposed as consisting largely of ethnically motivated disinformation. Much has already been written about the subversion of American anthropology: the shift from legitimate science to ideological pap under the direction of the Jewish immigrant Franz Boas. Much less has been written about how psychology was transformed from a branch of natural science into a section of the Marxist-influenced social sciences. In this paper I will provide information on the subversion of psychology, pointing out the role of Boas and others in the subversion of psychology.
Two of the major superstitions of our time are the notion that man is merely a blank slate whose behavior is merely the product of the social environment and its sister, that race doesn’t exist. Yet one by one, the pseudo-scientific sources of these myths are being discredited by serious scientists, and last week, one of the biggest sources of all took a nose dive. Franz Boas, often called the grandfather of modern anthropology and a pioneer pusher of the idea that race is not a very meaningful concept, merely a “social construct” not found in nature, probably ranks with Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud as one of the most influential thinkers of the modern age.
Controversy recently erupted when Rick Sanchez, whom CNN subsequently sacked, noted that Jews have a disproportionately large influence on the media. ... This Jewish preponderance is also apparent to anyone who looks at the columnists in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, etc. ... The kind of influence Sanchez points to would be equally problematic if Irish Catholics, Orthodox Serbs, or Oriental Orthodox Armenians were exercising it — particularly if, like the Jews, they brought along strong ethnic fixations. The Jews are not the only group to exhibit such traits, but they have more media clout than other groups.
… By supporting Israel and its policies, the United States betrays not only its own national interests, but the principles it claims to embody and defend. The only country in the world that has a nuclear weapons arsenal, that occupies territory of its neighbors, and which is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions – is Israel. In fact, if the United States were to hold Israel to the same standards that it has applied to Iraq, Serbia, and other countries, American bombers and missiles would be blasting Tel Aviv, and American troops would seize Israel’s leaders and punish them for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The corporate media is focused on the question of how or if Iran could ever break out of its promise under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to eschew nuclear weapons to use reactors only for civilian purposes. So many headlines refer to sanctions imposed against Iran that millions of people mistakenly think Iran has a nuclear arsenal. It doesn’t. Meanwhile the Congress in January fully funded production of a new B61 thermonuclear gravity bomb ... So as the White House and its Secretary of State wag fingers at Iran, we and our NATO friends openly violate the binding promise made in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ... Maybe Iran can arrange for some sanctions to be imposed on us.
... Putin knows that his own popularity, near 80 percent, is due directly to his being seen as a nationalist willing to stand up to the Americans and their claim to be sole architects of the New World Order. And it is nationalism, not a NATO full of freeloaders, that is America's great ally in this post-Cold War world. It was nationalism that liberated the captive nations, broke apart the Soviet Union, split Czechoslovakia in two and divided Yugoslavia into seven countries ... A new world is coming.
... Pretending that the revolt in east Ukraine is phony and stage-managed by Russia is dangerous self-deception. Different though Ukraine is from Iraq and Afghanistan there are some ominous similarities in the Western involvement in all three countries. The most important of these common features is that each country is deeply divided and to pretend otherwise is to invite disaster ... The foreign media has presented an over-simplified picture of what is happening in Ukraine much as it did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. The old regime in all cases was demonised and its opponents glorified, so the picture of events presented to the public was often close to fantasy.
I’ve finally finished John Judis’s new book, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/ Israeli Conflict, and can say that it is a landmark in anti-Zionism: it states that Harry Truman was opposed to establishing a religious state in Palestine out of the fear that it would lead to endless conflict, and possibly World War III. But he was overwhelmed by a Zionist lobby that corrupted the policy-making process ... Palestinians were “screwed” out of their own country and have never gotten a fair break in more than a century of Zionist domination. As his subtitle suggests, Judis is concerned with the American Jewish role in creating the conflict.
... In the end [President] Truman would accede to the Zionists’ pressure — not because he believed in their cause, but because he was worried about Democratic losses in 1946 and again in 1948. A pattern had been established that would prevail for the rest of the century ... The State Department argued for gradualism and against recognition of the Jewish state. Facing an uphill battle for re-election in the fall of 1948, Truman overruled it.
On Sept. 22, 1947, Loy Henderson strongly warned Secretary of State George C. Marshall that partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was not workable and would lead to untold troubles in the future. Henderson was director of the State Department's Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, and his memorandum ... stands as one of the most perceptive analyses of the perils that partition would bring. Henderson informed Marshall that his views were shared by "nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems.”
To better understand the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations, it is important to understand the original 1947 UN action on Israel-Palestine. The common representation of Israel’s birth is that the UN created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the US governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect … The US administration supported the recommendation out of domestic electoral considerations, and took this position over the strenuous objections of the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon … The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and US interests.
... While people around the world tended to have positive opinions of U.S. leadership, residents of some countries had a negative impression of the United States. In five nations, more than two-thirds of those surveyed disapproved of the current administration, according to the latest U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between Meridian International Center and Gallup. ... [The nine countries are: Tunisia, Iran, Slovenia, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine.]
The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans ... The stagnation of income has left many Americans dissatisfied with the state of the country. Only about 30 percent of people believe the country is headed in the right direction, polls show.
A new report shows that top CEOs were paid 331 times more than the average US worker in 2013. At the same time, the poorest fifth of Americans paid an average tax rate of eleven percent while the richest one percent contributed half that rate at state and local levels. In this three minute video essay, Moyers reflects on the forces that are causing inequality to skyrocket, why it matters and where we're headed in the future.
Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas's unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group. The negotiations had appeared to be heading nowhere even before Wednesday's reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian groups plunged them deeper into crisis.
... Here we come to the heart of the matter as to why Americans want to stay out of any Ukrainian conflict. Americans not only see no vital U.S. interest, but also no moral dimension to this quarrel ... And where do we Americans come off piously damning what the Russians are doing in Ukraine? A decade ago, the National Endowment for Democracy and its progeny helped to foment the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Orange Revolution in Kiev, and countless other "color revolutions" to dethrone unresponsive regimes and bring those countries into America's orbit.
... President Putin keeps bringing up history to justify his assertive policies towards Ukraine and Crimea. This annoys Americans, who know little about history and refuse to accept Russia as a great power- and certainly not as an equal. Recently, Sen. John McCain, the voice of America’s ignorant right, sneered that Russia was merely “a gas station masquerading as a country.” Gas stations do not produce the likes of Tolstoy, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, or the very smart Vlad Putin. They do, however, produce puny intellects like McCain.
... The sequence of events early in Washington's relationship with Putin reflects a dynamic that has persisted through the ensuing 14 years and the current crisis in Ukraine: U.S. actions, some intentional and some not, sparking an overreaction from an aggrieved Putin. As Russia masses tens of thousands of troops along the Russian-Ukrainian border, Putin is thwarting what the Kremlin says is an American plot to surround Russia with hostile neighbors. Experts said he is also promoting "Putinism" - a conservative, ultra-nationalist form of state capitalism - as a global alternative to Western democracy ... Putin and other Russian officials asked why NATO continued to grow when the enemy it was created to fight, the Soviet Union, had ceased to exist.
... To place the coup in Ukraine in historical context, this is at least the 80th time the United States has organized a coup or a failed coup in a foreign country since 1953. That was when President Eisenhower discovered in Iran that the CIA could overthrow elected governments who refused to sacrifice the future of their people to Western commercial and geopolitical interests ... The basic framework of U.S. coups has hardly evolved since 1953. The main variables between coups in different places and times have been the scale and openness of the U.S. role and the level of violence used. There is a strong correlation between the extent of U.S. involvement and the level of violence.
... Hidden in the pine forests of central Ukraine is one of Hitler’s clandestine bunkers, from which he and his generals monitored the Eastern Front during the World War II. Built in 1941, about eight kilometres from the town of Vinnitsa (three-and-a-half hours southwest of Kiev), the site today is overgrown; frequented by history buffs and illegal diggers. A concrete grey swimming pool – dry except for when the spring rains come – and eerie piles of rocks covered in Nazi graffiti are the only indicators that this was once a German command centre.
Lawmakers and staffers on two House committees are concerned that admitting Israel to a program that eases entry of foreigners into the United States would increase the risk of Israeli espionage, congressional aides say. For several years, Israel has sought admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which comprises 38 nations whose citizens may enter the United States and remain for 90 days without first obtaining approval for a visa at a U.S. consulate ... Several congressional aides said that members of the intelligence community, as well as officials from the State and Homeland Security departments, expressed those concerns in a classified briefing to lawmakers and staffers on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over visa issue.
The US's Secretary of State John Kerry and its UN ambassador, Samantha Power have been pushing for more assistance to be given to the Syrian rebels. This is despite strong evidence that the Syrian armed opposition are, more than ever, dominated by jihadi fighters similar in their beliefs and methods to al-Qa'ida ... America has done its best to keep secret its role in supplying the Syrian armed opposition, operating through proxies and front companies ... The Pentagon is much more cautious than the State Department about the risks of putting greater military pressure on Assad, seeing it as the first step in a military entanglement along the lines of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday visited an ancient Christian town recaptured from rebels last week, state media said, as he seeks to persuade minorities that the government is their best protection against hardline Islamists. Assad's Easter visit to Maaloula - a rare appearance outside central Damascus - also highlighted growing government confidence in recent gains against insurgents around the capital and along the Lebanese border ... Maaloula's churches and monasteries attracted both Christian and Muslim pilgrims before the conflict. Some of its inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ ...
... The decisions confirm what many have suspected — that Holocaust promotion is gradually replacing the commemoration of the sacrifice of servicemen as the subject of community remembrance in Britain. It is a change for which the British political elite seems to have a driving enthusiasm. The annual government grant to the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) is already a very generous 2.1 million pounds. The extra 300,000 pounds a year will not only pay for more school Holocaust propaganda, but will also pay to set up a new national Holocaust Commission to erect yet another permanent memorial ... Over the past few years the Holocaust industry has moved centre stage and is now one of the most lavishly funded and well-appointed causes in British public life.
A senior Chicago police officer said that parts of the city are being overwhelmed by gun violence, after a weekend in which nine people were shot dead and at least 36 – including six children – were wounded. Ronald Holt, the commander of the Chicago police department’s special activities division, said that the city was witnessing “fratricide” among young men ... His remarks came as Chicago suffered its bloodiest weekend of the year. Dozens of residents were shot in a series of separate incidents.
Many Western nations have experienced significant declines in crime in recent decades, but could the removal of lead from petrol explain that? / ... If you want to understand the causes of crime - and be tough on them - you need to start with lead, says Dr Bernard Gesch, a physiologist at Oxford University who has studied the effect of diet and other environmental factors on criminals ... The data for the lead theorists has become more and more detailed. Nevin and his supporters predicted that crime would fall in other nations 20 years after the banning of leaded petrol - and their theory appears to have played out in Europe.
Femen activists have held a topless protest in central Paris to confront the National Front. They gathered outside the Maison des Centraliens where far-right leader Marine Le Pen was launching the party’s European election campaign. The women had the Nazi symbol in the colours of the European flag painted on their chest and moustaches drawn on their faces. Femen leader Inna Shevchenko said: “We are today here to announce that fascism, a fascist epidemic is spreading all over...” ... Femen [a feminist protest group] say they want to draw attention to far-right parties in Europe who are trying to join forces.
... US secretary of state John Kerry soon waded into the media storm over the piece of paper, describing it as "grotesque" and "beyond unacceptable". But on Friday the chairman of the Donetsk People's Republic and the city's chief rabbi both stated that the flyer was a fake meant to discredit the so-called republic or the Jewish community. The hoax has nonetheless contributed to the tense, divisive atmosphere in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian protests have ended in violence in recent weeks.
Suppose the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, fails to cajole the Israeli and Palestinian leaders into finally ending their conflict. What would happen next? A tsunami of pent-up animosities is likely to be unleashed ... Our contention is that the occupying power [Israel] should no longer be able to have it both ways. The laws of occupation either apply or do not apply. If it is an occupation, it is beyond time for Israel’s custodianship — supposedly provisional — to be brought to an end. If it is not an occupation, there is no justification for denying equal rights to everyone who is subject to Israeli rule, whether Israeli or Palestinian. Successive Israeli governments have got away with a colossal bluff for nearly 47 years. It is time to call that bluff and compel a decision.
Given that most Americans living today were born and raised under a massive military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, a large number of Americans very likely believe that the United States has always had this type of government. Not so, as Michael Swanson shows in a new book, The War State. Swanson points out that America’s warfare state didn’t come into existence until more than 150 years after the country’s inception ... The Cold War, which was the original justification for this revolutionary change in America’s governmental system, ended 25 years ago, yet Americans are still saddled with the warfare state. But to get the solution right, it is necessary to understand the origins of the problem.
… The overwhelming history of U.S. conduct in other countries rarely occurs to the average American. Aside from some obvious instances, such as the Vietnam War and the nearly universally approved U.S. intervention into World War II, the history of U.S. foreign policy does not get the attention and consideration it deserves. Stephen Kinzer, in his new book, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq … sketches out an engaging, very tightly written narrative of U.S. involvement in overthrowing the governments of Hawaii, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Until the 1890s, America followed its traditional foreign policy of non-interventionism. The year 1898 was a landmark in the transition of the United States from a republic to an imperial power. Today, as Americans debate the merits of new military intervention in foreign lands, many of the arguments for and against such actions echo those made nearly a century ago, but with some interesting differences.
The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded. The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them ... One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country ... Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
The American Jewish community’s network of charity organizations is a font of Jewish power, a source of communal pride and a huge mystery ... The Forward’s investigation has uncovered a tax-exempt Jewish communal apparatus that operates on the scale of a Fortune 500 company and focuses the largest share of its donor dollars on Israel ... The Jewish community’s federations, schools, health care and social service organizations, Israel aid groups, cultural and communal organizations, and advocacy groups report net assets of $26 billion ... It’s an apparatus that benefits massively from the U.S. federal government and many state and local governments, in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants, billions in tax-deductible donations and billions more in program fees paid for with government funds.
... These numbers for donations to Jewish charity are underestimates because the IRS doesn’t require synagogues to file tax returns, and the same goes for schools and seminaries ... The other way in which such a report fails to get at the scope of financial support for Jewish ethnic activism is that it does not include organizations that are not explicitly Jewish but are supported by Jews for ethnic reasons. ... Consider the neocon infrastructure, such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: All of the identifiable donors are Jews ...
... Jewish power is actually far more sophisticated than simply a list of Jewish lobbies or individuals performing highly developed manipulative skills. Jewish power is the unique capacity to stop us from discussing or even contemplating Jewish power. It is the capacity to determine the boundaries of the political discourse and criticism in particular. Contrary to popular belief, it is not ‘right wing’ Zionists who facilitate Jewish power, It is actually the ‘good’, the ‘enlightened’ and the ‘progressive’ who make Jewish power the most effective and forceful power in the land.
Western hysteria surrounding Russia’s seizing of Crimea is rooted in a larger problem with U.S. foreign policy – "the Munich 1938 syndrome" ... However, a good case can be made that the now-vilified Chamberlain saved Britain’s bacon during World War II and that, despite his pledge to the contrary, Winston Churchill was the one who sold the British Empire down the river, even forfeiting Britain’s standing as a world power ... “Winning" the massive conflicts of World Wars I and II financially ruined Britain, causing it to ultimately lose its empire and even its status as a world power ... Whenever US politicians want to hype a threat, they compare the minor villain of the day to Hitler ...
Winston Churchill, Britain’s premier during World War II, is honored for his stubborn “bull dog” hostility toward Hitler and Nazism, and his important role in ultimately destroying Third Reich Germany. In fact, his policies brought death and destruction on a mass scale, Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, a shattered British empire, and Britain itself exhausted and bankrupt. The well-polished image of Churchill as a courageous and principled defender of freedom is based on a deceitful and ultimately dangerous narrative of history.
… In his powerful new book, Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, veteran politician and author Pat Buchanan challenges many historic taboos by claiming that Winston Churchill plunged Britain and its empire, including Canada, into wars whose outcomes were disastrous for all concerned. Other writers, me included, have made the same point for decades, but Buchanan has marshalled a formidable array of facts and historians to support his case … Buchanan's book strips away lingering war propaganda and shows the cynicism, lust for power and foolishness of the "saintly" Allied war leaders and their "good" war.
... It is crazy for the West to turn the Crimean problem into an opportunity for confrontation with Russia. To embark on such a path is not in Europe's interest. On the contrary, we should be doing everything possible to insure that our important eastern neighbor is integrated with Europe and not isolated from it ... If there is something to remember, it is what the attempts to humiliate and isolate Germany after the First World War led to: the Germany of the Weimar Republic and the tragic Treaty of Versailles that led to Hitler's rise to power.
... When the faith or ideology of a civilization or nation dies, something must replace it. And around the world what peoples and regimes seem to be turning to is nationalism ... At the end of the Cold War Francis Fukuyama predicted that we were approaching the "End of History," where liberal democracy would prove the final form of governance, embraced by all mankind. Yet not only in Russia and China, but also in much of Europe and the Third World, democracy seems to be not so much an end in itself for peoples, but a means to advance a greater cause. The call of tribe and nation appears more compelling ... The American imperium, the last of the great Western empires, may be about to come down with the suddenness of the other empires of the 20th century.
As this video graphically shows, the borders of the European countries – along with their ideologies and politics -- have changed drastically from 1519 to 2006. Although the continent’s boundaries have been relatively stable since the end of World War II, Europe today is once again reconfiguring along fault lines both ancient and modern. How governments and major institutions respond to these shifts will determine if the changes will be relatively peaceful or whether they will be accompanied by destructive armed conflict. Runtime: 1:20 mins.
Last month saw another flare-up in the ongoing controversy regarding the philosopher Martin Heidegger. The German thinker is Janus-faced. On the one hand, he is lauded by his admirers as the greatest mind of the 20th century. On the other hand, he was a Nazi ... In the volumes covering 1931-41, which have just been published in Germany, Heidegger described Jews as having “a talent for calculation”, and of opposing the Nazis’ racial theories despite “having lived according to the race principle for longest” ... The Black Notebooks reveal a new aspect of Heidegger: the belief that “World Judaism” was a driving force in the dehumanisation of the modern world ...
... A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful ... The resulting data empirically verifies that U.S. policies are determined by the economic elite. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” says the peer-reviewed study.
A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt ... "Our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts ... The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." ... The authors of this historically important study are Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, and their article is titled “Testing Theories of American Politics.”
... Money has corrupted every aspect of government at every level in the United States, creating a system in which laws are passed to make various forms of corruption legal rather than trying to have government do things that actually benefit most of the people ... The rot starts with the bipartisan dominance of what passes for political process in the United States. The vetting process managed by the two parties and their batteries of lawyers coupled with large cash flows from special interests means that challenging the status quo is well-nigh impossible.
The well-being of Americans hasn’t improved in the past six years, and it even declined slightly in 2013, according to a recent Gallup study. While national figures remained flat overall, the ranks of the states with the highest well-being scores changed considerably. North Dakota topped the well-being list in 2013 after failing to crack the top ten in 2012. Hawaii, 2012’s top state, fell to number eight in 2013. West Virginia, on the other hand, remained at the bottom of the list for the fifth consecutive year ... [The five most miserable states, from the worst: West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio.]
... Over the past few days, I have talked to shopkeepers, students, soldiers, doctors, a dentist, MPs and government ministers ... On the basis of these conversations, I would judge not just that support for the regime is holding up, but that President Assad could very well win a popular election ... I found – to my surprise – that even people outside the governing Ba’ath party, including some of Assad’s political opponents, said they would support him ... People here see their country as being threatened by foreign powers (above all Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all backed by the West) who are sponsoring the jihadist groups that make up the opposition ... I also heard it from Sunni Muslims, Christians and members of the various other cultural and religious groups that abound in Syria.
With little fanfare, Iran has taken faster steps than required to comply with an interim nuclear deal that substantially limits its capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Today, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported that Iran has significantly reduced its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium – the material that is a few technical steps from bomb-grade – and is ahead of schedule to completely dispose of remaining stocks by mid-July ... Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said it is in Iran’s interest to prove to the world that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, and has promised his countrymen that if Iran does so, crippling sanctions will be lifted in a final deal.
... But even with the hopeful negotiations, the Obama administration refuses to talk straight about Iran’s nuclear intentions. For example, in 2007 and 2011, America’s 16 intelligence agencies issued national-security estimates finding that any research the Iranians had been doing on nuclear weapons was terminated in 2003 ... President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the mainstream media never tell the American people this. Wouldn’t you think that’s a critical piece of information for evaluating the U.S.-Iran relationship? ... Did you know that Iran’s two supreme leaders since the revolution, Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, each in his time issued fatwas against weapons of mass destruction?
This documentary set off intense controversy when it was shown at the Baja International Film Festival in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2007. Highlighted in this independently produced film, titled El Gran Tabú (The Great Taboo), are three prominent Holocaust revisionist activists: Germar Rudolf, Ernst Zundel, and Bradley Smith. Runtime: 34:27 mins.
David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission has appealed for every Shoah [Holocaust] survivor in Britain to come forward and take part in the project. It is hoped a nationwide search, launched today in the JC, will reach every survivor of Nazi persecution now living in this country. A landmark event — due to take place in London on May 5 — will be part of a series of activities offering former refugees the opportunity to give their views on the future of Holocaust education.
... Though essential for understanding international affairs and history, geography has vanished from America’s educational curriculum as an antique irrelevance. So, too often, has history. Even many well-off, educated Americans are deeply deficient in these subjects ... Leading US newspapers – “The Wall Street Journal” and “New York Times” – have been beating the war drums. The most-watched TV network, Fox, is a mouthpiece for the War Party ... Too few voices urge calm and restraint. President Putin is being demonized into America’s leading hate figure. Few in the media dare say that Putin is reacting in Russia’s interests to NATO’s foolish push right up to his borders.
... The entire [Israel-Palestine] “peace process” revolves around a basic misconception. Some would say: a basic lie. Namely: that we have here two equal sides of a conflict ... If the two sides to negotiations are so extremely unequal, the situation can only be remedied by the mediator supporting the weaker side. What is happening is the very opposite: the American support for Israel is massive and unstinting ... The average American statesman has not the slightest idea of Arab history, world-view, religions, myths or the traumas that shape Arab attitudes, not to mention the Palestinian struggle ... Nobody wants to break off the farce, because all three sides are afraid of the alternative.
... The state of US foreign policy in the Middle East, but also around the world, cannot be described with any buoyant language. In some instances, as in Syria, Libya, Egypt, the Ukraine, and most recently in Palestine and Israel, too many calamitous scenarios have exposed the fault lines of US foreign policy ... US foreign policy is almost entirely crippled. For the Obama administration, it has been a continuous firefighting mission since George W. Bush left office ... And now, the US foreign policy makers are mere diplomatic firefighters, from Palestine, to Syria to the Ukraine. For the Americans, the last few years have been more than a ‘reality check’, but the new reality itself.
Two Long Island [New York] high school students have been suspended for allegedly bringing a Confederate flag to school. Brother Gary Cregan, principal of St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, said the two seniors walked in with a Confederate flag draped around their shoulders during an after-hours sporting event at the school ... Cregan said he sees the flag as a symbol of hate. “I find it just very hard to even imagine why any student in 2014 would even consider or think that a Confederate flag would be anything other than a symbol of hate,” Cregan said.
A still-secret Senate Intelligence Committee report calls into question the legal foundation of the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, a finding that challenges the key defense on which the agency and the Bush administration relied in arguing that the methods didn’t constitute torture. The report also found that the spy agency failed to keep an accurate account of the number of individuals it held, and that it issued erroneous claims about how many it detained and subjected to the controversial interrogation methods.
A leak of the major findings of a landmark Senate inquiry into the CIA’s post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees led, on Friday, to intensified pressure on the White House and the CIA to release the inquiry speedily and with a minimum of redactions. The classified study, prepared by the Senate select committee on intelligence, concluded that the CIA’s interrogations, secret detentions and outsourced torture sessions were “brutal, and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.” More suspected terrorists underwent the agency’s post-9/11 treatment, which largely lasted from 2002 to 2006, than the CIA has publicly admitted, according to the report’s findings ...
Huntington, West Virginia, has been awarded the dubious mantle of America’s fattest city, as new research found that the proportion of obese US citizens grew again last year to 27 per cent. With almost 40 per cent of its population classed as obese, the unassuming riverside city of 50,000 led the nation in a survey by the polling company Gallup. The fittest Americans were found in Boulder, Colorado, where just over 12 per cent of the residents of the sports-mad university community were classed as obese. Of Americans as a whole, just 35 percent are considered to be of normal weight, according to the survey.
Caroline Glick is an American-born Israeli journalist and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post ... Inevitably, given the Jewish stranglehold over the American media, Glick is given a regular platform to espouse her Jewish supremacist views ... It is typical of hyper-ethnocentric Jewish activists like Glick to divide humanity into two groups — the inherently moral and righteous Jews on the on the one hand, and the inherently immoral and wicked non-Jews on the other — completely ignoring the ethical double standard that is absolutely central to Judaism as noted above ... The reality is that hostility between Jews and non-Jews stems from conflicts of interests.
… As Marc Ellis, a bright young Jewish scholar, persuasively argues in this insightful and provocative book [Beyond Innocence and Redemption], a pseudo-religious mythos centered upon the Holocaust and an increasingly brutal and suppressive Israel state have now firmly replaced the Jewish religion as the binding force that unites Jews everywhere. This new situation, Ellis goes on to emphasize, has had the most profound consequences for the Jewish people, and for the perpetually difficult relationship between Jews and non-Jews.
For the first time, six former senior American officials issued a statement candidly accusing Israel of breaching international law and undermining peace talks ... Former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US defence minister Frank Carlucci, chairman and ranking member of the house committee on foreign affairs Lee Hamilton, former secretary of housing and urban development Carla Hills, retired US ambassador Thomas Pickering and former national director of the American Jewish Congress Henry Siegman signed the statement. These former officials called on US Secretary of State John Kerry to stop brokering Palestinian-Israeli peace talks in order to compel Israel to comply with international law.
... U.S. disapproval of continued settlement enlargement in the Occupied Territories by Israel’s government as “illegitimate” and “unhelpful” does not begin to define the destructiveness of this activity. Nor does it dispel the impression that we have come to accept it despite our rhetorical objections. Halting the diplomatic process on a date certain until Israel complies with international law and previous agreements would help to stop this activity and clearly place the onus for the interruption where it belongs.
... Most Americans do not want to take sides in the Middle East and are strongly opposed to starting another war in that region. Many identify Israel as the major promoter of war with Iran. Increasingly, Americans are becoming aware that the United States has no real quarrel with the Iranians. Regarding the Lobby itself, more Americans now understand how it has corrupted our political system through PAC money flowing to congress and in terms of how it plays domestic politics ... Will the Israel Lobby die soon? Undeniably, “no” again, but the writing is on the wall.
There was a mad scramble by Washington last week to prevent the seemingly inevitable – an implosion of the Middle East peace talks ... With Israel still dragging its feet, an infuriated Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas submitted applications to join 15 United Nations conventions, thereby reviving a campaign to win international recognition of Palestinian statehood. Although Washington will continue quietly arm-twisting the two sides a little longer, President Barack Obama is reported to be worried that US diplomacy is starting to appear “desperate”. The negotiations’ failure could prove an important clarifying moment, signalling the effective demise of the two-state solution ... The era of wishful thinking may finally be coming to an end – and that will be progress in itself.
... Today, Official Washington is marching in lockstep just as it did in 2002-03 when it enforced the misguided consensus on Iraq’s WMD. The latest case is Ukraine where Russian President Vladimir Putin is accused of committing “aggression” to expand Russian territory at the expense of noble ”democratic” reformers in Kiev. Not only is this the dominant storyline in the U.S. media; it is virtually the only narrative permitted in the mainstream press.
The decision by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to annex Crimea ended the post-Cold War era in Europe. Since the late Gorbachev-Reagan years, the era was defined by zigzags of cooperation and disputes between Russia and the West, but always with an underlying sense that Russia was gradually joining the international order. No more. Our new era is one defined by ideological clashes, nationalistic resurgence and territorial occupation — an era in some ways similar to the tragic periods of confrontation in 20th-century Europe. And yet there are important differences, and understanding the distinction will be critical to a successful American foreign policy in the coming decades.
New Zealand came first in a global index published on Thursday that ranks countries by social and environmental performance rather than economic output ... The Social Progress Index (SPI) rates 132 countries on more than 50 indicators ... New Zealand received high scores for personal rights and freedom, internet access and school enrolment. It was followed in the Top Ten by Switzerland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Denmark and Australia. Some of the world's largest economies did not fare so well, with Germany in 12th place, the United Kingdom in 13th, Japan 14th, the United States 16th and France 20th.
When President Barack Obama visited Sweden last year, he expressed his deep admiration for the Swedish model. But that should make Americans a little nervous. One U.N. report says Sweden will be a third-world nation in about 15 years, below Libya and Bulgaria. Sweden is a society that believes it is racing into the future, but critics warn that it is racing to the bottom ... Sweden's leftist establishment and media believe a cornerstone of their perfect society is multiculturalism: large scale immigration from some of the poorest, most backward nations on earth. Swedes who disagree with that plan risk being labeled racist, fascist, even Nazi.
Objects that belonged to the Nazi leaders Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering have been withdrawn from an auction in Paris, after Jewish groups objected to the sale. The memorabilia included Goering's passport and a wooden chest marked with swastikas, which was owned by Hitler. The French Culture Minister had joined Jewish groups in denouncing the sale ... The sale on April 26 was due to feature some 40 items seized from Hitler's Bavarian home in the last days of Nazi Germany in May 1945, according to the auction house.
A doctored photo of an Adolf Hitler poster hanging from Kiev's city council building has been circulated by the head of a Russian TV station, apparently to suggest the prevalence of neo-Nazism in Ukraine. "A portrait of Hitler has been put up on a building in Kiev, captioned 'Hitler the liberator'," tweeted Ashot Gabrelyanov, the chief of Life News TV ... Russian media rhetoric on Ukraine has been belligerent amid fears of a full-blown military conflict following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych by pro-EU demonstrators. The activists have been called nationalists, neo-Nazis and radicals by both the media and Kremlin officials, who say Moscow has a duty to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine.
Demographic transformations are dramas in slow motion. America is in the midst of two right now. Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion ... At the same time our population is going gray, we’re also becoming multi-colored. In 1960, the population of the United States was 85% white; by 2060, it will be only 43% white. We were once a black and white country. Now, we’re a rainbow.
... Jewish organizations are unanimous in support of the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge drive. This support for liberal immigration laws has a long history ... But what is striking is that Jewish immigration enthusiasts have portrayed themselves as motivated entirely by a set of ethical values that are unique and central to Judaism ... From the mainstream Jewish perspective, swamping the historic American nation with peoples from all over the world is nothing less than a moral imperative. The tacit assumption: Jews are ethically superior — motivated by a unique set of specifically Jewish values that make them support displacement-level immigration into Western societies.
Judaism is not just another religion. Its core values are markedly unlike those of Christianity and the other great faiths. A central message of the Hebrew scriptures is that Jews are a divinely "chosen" people — a unique community distinct from the rest of humanity. Some recent news items reconfirm this point, which is important for an understanding of the reality of cultural and political life in the United States, the US relationship with Israel, and the issue of war and peace in the Middle East and in the world. Runtime: 48 mins.
Whether saber rattling or not, word is out that the White House is “rethinking its options” on intervening in the Syrian war. The collapse of John Kerry’s Geneva 2 talks between the rebels and regime, the lengthening casualty lists from barrel-bomb attacks, and a death toll approaching 150,000, are apparently causing second thoughts ... This is not America’s war. Never was ... The case against intervention needs to be restated. First and foremost, Obama has no authority to go to war in Syria, for Congress has never voted to authorize such a war. An unprovoked attack on Syria would be an impeachable act. Last August, the American people were almost unanimously opposed to intervention.
... Few if any of these Christian supporters [of Zionism] had any idea that the creation of the Jewish state would entail a massive expulsion of hundreds of thousands of non-Jews, who made up the large majority of Palestine‘s population, creating a new and much longer lasting refugee problem ... The [U.S. military’s] Joint Chiefs [of Staff] issued at least sixteen papers on the Palestine issue following World War II. They were particularly concerned that the Zionist goal was to involve the U.S. One 1948 paper predicted that “the Zionist strategy will seek to involve [the United States] in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations intended to secure maximum Jewish objectives.”
... Several traits of Jewish activist groups that make them so effective ... are all on display in Alison Weir’s excerpt from her book Against Our Better Judgment: How the US Was Used to Create Israel ... The image of a beleaguered, morally superior Israel has been a very successful cornerstone of Jewish propaganda, although I hasten to add that this image is becoming a very tough sell in the face of Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing ... Again one must be impressed at the depth and breadth of Jewish activism — well organized, well funded, and very adept at appealing to taking advantage of the moral and religious sentiments of their audience.
Sweeping gains by Hungary’s neo-Nazi Jobbik party provoked concern across Europe after the anti-Semitic organisation won one in five votes in a general election which returned the maverick right-wing Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, to power. Results showed that far-right Jobbik, which wants detention camps for Roma [Gypsy] “deviants” and has argued that Jews are a “national security risk”, had upped its share of support by five per cent and had secured 20.86 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s election. The party’s leader, Gabor Vona, said the result allowed Jobbik to claim the title of “strongest national radical party” in the EU, and Hungary’s second largest political party.
... Jobbik leaders deny that they are a fascist movement. “We are not communists, fascists, or National Socialists,” Gabor Vona, the party’s 33-year-old leader, declared in a speech to several thousand Jobbik supporters this winter. “But — and this is important for everyone to understand very clearly — we are also not democrats.” ... Jobbik, Gyöngyösi told me, rejects the Western “neoliberal” order, describing the European Union as “a collapsing union.” ... In its warnings about an “Israeli occupation” of Hungarian business and real estate, its bloodcurdling cries against the Roma [Gypsies], and its slogan of “Hungary for the Hungarians,” Jobbik is tapping into very deep-seated Hungarian political traditions.
... Far-right groups have emerged or grown stronger across Europe in the wake of the financial crisis, and they are increasingly sharing ideas and tactics. Reuters has found ties between at least half a dozen of the groups in Europe’s ex-Communist east. At the network’s heart, officials from those groups say, sits Jobbik ... From its strong base at home, Jobbik has stepped up efforts to export its ideology and methods to the wider region, encouraging far-right parties to run in next month’s European parliamentary elections, and propagating a brand of nationalist ideology which is so hardline and so tinged with anti-Semitism, that some rightist groups in Western Europe have distanced themselves from the Hungarians.
The US government is refusing to grant Angela Merkel access to her NSA file or answer formal questions from Germany about its surveillance activities, raising the stakes before a crucial visit by the German chancellor to Washington. Merkel will meet Barack Obama in three weeks, on her first visit to the US capital since documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been monitoring her phone. The face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders had been intended as an effort to publicly heal wounds after the controversy, but Germany remains frustrated by the White House's refusal to come clean about its surveillance activities in the country.
A group of Czech researchers has conducted a study in which they determined that the perceived intelligence of men correlates strongly with their actual intelligence – but the same doesn't hold true for women. "Both men and women were able to accurately evaluate the intelligence of men by viewing facial photographs," the researchers write in a paper published in the online, peer-reviewed journal, PLOS ONE. However, "No relationship between perceived intelligence and IQ was found for women."
A German furniture store chain has apologised for selling mugs with Adolf Hitler's face on them. The ceramic cups feature a faint image of a Nazi-era postage stamp with Hitler's profile on it, postmarked with a swastika stamp. The mug also features a rose and handwriting in English ... The cups' Chinese designer had mistakenly chosen the image of the former dictator, it said, which the chain then ordered in error - 5,000 of them ... The small chain sold 175 of the mugs before anyone drew attention to the black and white profile of the world's most infamous Nazi ... The chain has destroyed the unsold cups.
The top US military official said that Israel and the United States are “more harmonized” in their agreement over military action in Iran, and that Israel believes the US will strike Iran if necessary. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey acknowledged that Iran and the US have had differences over the threat that Iran poses, and the way the US is handling diplomatic negotiations with Tehran, which insists its nuclear programs are for energy and medical purposes only. But Dempsey says the two countries have now bridged the gap over past quarrels regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
... The thrust of the sensational [US media] coverage, instigated by hawkish American politicians, has been that for almost two decades, beginning in the mid-1980s, Iran secretly enriched uranium in order to make a bomb ... The IAEA concluded in 2003, “To date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities referred to above were related to a nuclear weapons programme.” Comments Porter, “But the Bush administration ridiculed that conclusion, and news media coverage tended to support its skepticism.” However, in 2007 the U.S. intelligence community declared that whatever [nuclear] weapons research the Iranians might have been engaged in had ceased four years earlier.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has a second fascinating essay that rewrites the official record of the sarin gas attack on Ghouta, near Damascus, in August last year. As usual, Hersh uses his sources in the US security establishment to throw light on what really took place. The bottom line: Turkey was almost certainly the party responsible for the attack, hoping it would force Obama to honour his threatened “red line” if Assad used chemical weapons. Was the Assad regime to be brought down by a US military campaign, Turkey assumed it would be able to turn Syria into a client state.
Last August, the Obama administration lurched to the brink of invading Syria after blaming a Sarin gas attack outside Damascus on President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but new evidence – reported by investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh -- implicates Turkish intelligence and extremist Syrian rebels instead. The significance of Hersh’s latest report is twofold: first, it shows how Official Washington’s hawks and neocons almost stampeded the United States into another Mideast war under false pretenses, and second, the story’s publication in the London Review of Books reveals how hostile the mainstream U.S. media remains toward information that doesn’t comport with its neocon-dominated conventional wisdom.
... The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt ... The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition.
Former foreign minister Bob Carr has published private text messages between himself and Julia Gillard to reveal the “extraordinary” level of influence the pro-Israel lobby had on the former prime minister’s office. In a remarkable disclosure of private conversations, Mr Carr said he chose to publish the text messages in his book – Diary of a Foreign Minister – without getting Ms Gillard’s permission, because to do so was in the national interest. He also describes Israel’s former ambassador as “cunning” ... “The public should know how foreign policy gets made, especially when it appears the prime minister is being heavily lobbied by one interest group with a stake in Middle East policy.”
... In proportion to their numbers, Jews are the most successful and powerful group in the United States today. They have both raw power, political and economic, and enormous intellectual influence, shaping America's self-understanding ... The Jews don't really “run” America; but they haunt it in a peculiar way that makes it seem as if they run it, and gives them a leverage out of all proportion to their numbers, and even to their raw power. They have a certain moral authority, which isn’t altogether specious, but is certainly lopsided, since they are exempted from the kind of public criticism they are free to dish out.
... [Israeli] Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has government approval to take on more than $2 billion in commercial debt for near-term buys of V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and other Pentagon-approved weaponry. Under a US-approved deferred payment plan (DPP), Israel would pay only interest and fees over the course of the current agreement set to expire in September 2018. Principal will be covered by the new Obama-pledged package that would extend annual foreign military financing (FMF) aid through 2028, US and Israeli sources say.
If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers. The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson [1902-1994] ... Some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden ...
... For the first time on a large scale, it is now more acceptable in mainstream American society to discuss Israeli behavior in public, assess whether Israel is acting justly or criminally and propose measures to force Israeli compliance with the rule of law and ethical international norms of behavior. The simple but historic message I read in this trend is that traditional Zionist intimidation tactics are losing some of their effectiveness – other than against American presidential candidates, who will remain fully compliant with Zionist demands.
If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that. Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.
Russian MPs have given initial approval to a bill forbidding what it calls "rehabilitation of Nazism" that will punish historians denying Nazi crimes during World War II. The Lower House has passed the first reading of a bill introducing prison sentences for the public justification of Nazism ... The bill would make it illegal to publicly deny the Nuremberg Tribunal verdict and the anti-Hitler coalition’s effort to defend international peace and security during the Second World War. The ban is also extended to knowingly spreading false reports about the crimes of anti-Nazi armies during the war and the fabrication of proof of such crimes. Those convicted face fines of up to 300,000 rubles (about $8300) or prison terms of up to three years.
Russian lawmakers approved a bill that would make Holocaust denial illegal. The lower house of the Russian Parliament, or Duma, passed the measure Friday on its first reading, the Voice of Russia reported Monday, making it illegal to deny the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal and punishing the “rehabilitation of Nazism.” Those found guilty of the crime could be fined up to $8,300 or imprisoned up to three years. Public officials or media personalities would be fined nearly double or face up to five years in prison.
The situation of Jews in Ukraine, and in France; growing anti-Semitism in Europe; the boycott campaign against Israel; and the upcoming 20th anniversary of the AMIA center bombing in Argentina were among the topics discussed by the members of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Monday and Tuesday in the French capital Paris. The Jewish leaders ... backed as “entirely legitimate” measures to restrict free speech where it is deemed necessary by the local Jewish community to protect “citizens from the spread of anti-Semitic and racist incitement.”
… The Nuremberg enterprise violated ancient and fundamental principles of justice. The victorious Allies acted as prosecutor, judge and executioner of the German leaders. The charges were created especially for the occasion, and were applied only to the vanquished. Defeated, starving, prostrate Germany was, however, in no position to oppose whatever the Allied occupation powers demanded. As even some leading Allied figures privately acknowledged at the time, the Nuremberg trials were organized not to dispense impartial justice, but for political purposes.
The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter" — a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned. The Obama administration project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform.
... If anyone had any illusions about American politics, they were dispelled this week. The casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, organized a public display of his power ... And what was he demanding from the future president of the United States? First of all and above everything else, blind and unconditional obedience to the government of another state: Israel ... I wonder how ordinary Americans react to this spectacle of one billionaire - especially a Jewish one - choosing their next president for them ... And here we have a Jew, straight out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, trying to appoint the ruler of the mightiest country on the planet ... The basic problem is that the American political process is totally corrupt. There is no other way to put it.
A recent survey conducted by three US college professors found that only one in six Americans could find Ukraine on a map of the world. The results are plotted in one shame-inducing graphic. What's more disturbing is that the farther away from the actual location of Ukraine the survey participants guessed, the more likely they were to support US military intervention. A few of the 2,066 respondents seem to think Ukraine is somewhere in the central US ... It's worth noting, however, that no matter how woefully misinformed Americans are about Ukraine's actual location, only 13% of the total survey wanted to intervene militarily.
Afghanistan’s national election held this week is a sham. A group of candidates, handpicked by the US, will pretend to compete in an election whose outcome has already been determined – by Washington ... If an open vote was held today, Taliban would probably win. Americans have no problem it seems working with Afghan Communists, war criminals, and drug kingpins. In fact, under American rule, opium, morphine and heroin production in Afghanistan has surged to all-time record highs. This is called “nation-building.” After 12 years of using everything in its arsenal short of nuclear weapons, the mighty US military has failed to defeat lightly-armed Taliban forces. The Pashtun tribes are almost certain to keep on fighting indefinitely.
The U.S. government is finalizing a plan to increase training and small-arms shipments for Syrian rebels, two U.S. security sources said on Friday, as Syrian government troops gain momentum following the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks. The United States would increase assistance and send the shipments to moderate rebel factions mostly based in Jordan, along Syria's southern border, the officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.
... The source of the current calamity-howling about Russia is the Warfare State – that is, the existence of vast machinery of military, diplomatic and economic maneuver that is ever on the prowl for missions and mandates and that can mobilize a massive propaganda campaign on the slightest excitement. The post-1991 absurdity of bolstering NATO and extending it into eastern Europe, rather than liquidating it after attaining “mission accomplished”, is just another manifestation of its baleful impact.
... The informal US Empire, as opposed to the formal empires of the British and French, has been supported internally by not only the American foreign policy elite but also the US military-industrial-congressional complex ... The US government needs to quit fanning hysteria and put Russian intentions and capabilities into proper perspective. It also needs to recognize that Russia is trying only to protect an eroding sphere of influence. The United States would be lucky to have so coherent a national strategy. Currently, the US is trying to retain its role as world policeman, a role that it can no longer afford.
... Jon Olsen's new book, Liberate Hawai'i ... makes a compelling case ... Olsen's case, in very condensed summary, looks like this: Hawai'i was an independent nation, recognized as such by the United States and numerous other nations, with treaties in effect between Hawai'i and other nations, including the United States, that have never been terminated. In 1893 U.S. profiteers and U.S. Marines, in a criminal act, overthrew Hawai'i's government and queen, setting up a new government that lacked any legal standing.
For more than a century, US foreign policy was based on the principle of non-intervention in overseas wars and disputes, and rejection of “entangling alliances.” In 1898 the US -- seizing on a pretext -- declared war against Spain. The US acquired the Philippines and Puerto Rico, and also took Hawaii and established hegemony over Cuba. This was a landmark transition from a republic to an imperial power. Later, in two world wars, the US pushed a globalist foreign policy, justifying military intervention everywhere in the name of “democracy.” Today America’s “exceptionalist” role as a “world policeman” is increasingly resented everywhere as arrogant and hypocritical.
... Putin is a gifted statesman: I stand by this observation. He brings an understanding of history to his foreign relations. And in his dealings with Washington he exposes the very old American habit of refusing history any place in the understanding of anything — which is to say the habit of making nearly every mistake it is possible to make ... Kerry, Obama, Victoria Nuland and all the others in on the Ukraine caper come over to me as clownish. It is fine to pretend there is no such thing as history within the walls of the neoliberal hothouse Washington has made of itself. But it is never going to travel successfully in our century.
... In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God’s side. The West is Gomorrah ... Putin is plugging into some of the modern world’s most powerful currents. Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America’s arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated. He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West. In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.
In every region of America, white and Asian children are far better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children, according to a new report appealing for urgent action to bridge this racial gap. Titled "Race for Results," the report is being released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ... Using a single composite score with a scale of one to 1,000, Asian children have the highest index score at 776, followed by white children at 704. "Scores for Latino (404), American-Indian (387) and African-American (345) children are distressingly lower, and this pattern holds true in nearly every state," said the report.
A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history."
Behind dysfunctional government, is democracy itself in decay? ... In the United States and Britain, democracy is disintegrating when it should be nurtured by leadership ... It’s not enough for governments to simply be democratic; they must deliver or decay. In Britain, government is increasingly ineffectual ... The health of the U.S. system is even worse than it looks ... Six years after the global economic crisis, the signs from the model democracies are that those in privilege are unable to care and that our systems are unable to learn ... Economic inequality has followed through to political inequality, and democratic government is bereft of power and capacity.
Americans have never been so distrustful of their country’s political leaders and major institutions, or more gloomy about the long-term future. This is much more than unhappiness about the economy and unemployment. Across the US and in Europe, there’s a profound crisis of confidence in the democratic-capitalist system. In the years ahead, American and western European society will continue to disintegrate because the factors behind the decline are still in place, and because the prevailing system operates on the basis of an ideology of egalitarianism, universalism and “diversity” that’s not grounded in historical or social reality. Runtime: 45 mins.
... Citizens of the United States often believe that the U.S. military is fighting overseas to advance their freedom and that of other peoples everywhere ... Research shows that democracies are no more pacific and benevolent on the world stage than are dictatorships -- as can be illustrated by the aggressive formal British and French Empires and the informal American Empire ... During the post-World War II era, in terms of numbers of military actions, the United States has empirically been the most aggressive country in the world -- the vast majority of these interventions having nothing to do with spreading freedom and some of them even extinguishing it.
... The self-deception of contemporary Western diplomacy can be most clearly seen in the casual way that it applies double standards in its assessments of global affairs. The naive, almost child-like self-delusion of the modern Western attitude to Russia was brought home to me last May ... The presumption of self-righteousness now runs so deep among those who promote Western values that even highly intelligent young people could not see that they were clearly applying double standards, where they think it is okay for Americans to promote American values in Russia, but not vice versa ... Leaders in the West think nothing of behaving in a way they would consider unacceptable if others did it.
... The Left has long maintained that Hitler was put into power by wealthy white capitalists ... The narrative was challenged by Atlanta-born Yale University historian Henry Ashby Turner in his best-known book, German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler ... The 1985 book rebuts the standard claim that German big business financed and promoted the attainment of power by Adolf Hitler. It demonstrates that the extent of big business support for Hitler and the Nazi Party has been greatly exaggerated, even falsified ... Actual sources of financing for election campaigns and party activities came mostly from membership dues and contributions by small and medium-sized businesses.
… The picture of the relationship between German big business and the Nazi party which Turner provides us is one that reveals how little big business had to do with the party's success … Most of the NSDAP funds were derived from membership dues, interest-free loans, and the gate receipts from the many mass rallies the party held … In sum, the NSDAP was a prototypical "grass-roots" political organization able to expand and prosper during a period when most of the bourgeois parties suffered a serious loss of support.
The Washington narrative about Iran’s alleged secret program to obtain nuclear weapons capability is among the single greatest lies ever propagated by the Warfare State. It has been underway for 30 years now ... Keeping alive the notion that America is threatened by a fanatical incipient nuclear state is a vital lynch-pin justifying the presence of the vast US war machine in the Persian Gulf and our incessant interventions and meddling in the regions conflicts ... For three decades the War Party has been sanctimoniously denouncing Iran as a rogue state in violation of international law and the NPT. In that they have the shoe on the wrong foot.
I am going to explain why Gareth Porter’s new book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare is possibly the most important expose of political corruption and government malfeasance to appear in the past ten years. Investigative reporter Porter’s meticulously documented account tells the tale of how the government lied again and again to make a fabricated from full cloth case, which he describes as a "false narrative," against Iran. While the tale was being spun, the US and Israeli governments both knew that the entire process was completely bogus and that Iran had no nuclear weapons program ...
... A grain of truth can be found at the core of the official story. Iranian officials did indeed engage in secret activities to achieve a nuclear capability. But it was a capability aimed at generating electricity and medical treatments, not hydrogen bombs ... The Reagan administration imposed “a series of interventions … to prevent international assistance of any kind to the Iranian nuclear program.” Not only did President Reagan block American firms from helping the Iranians; he also pressured American allies to participate in the embargo. This was in clear violation of the NPT, which recognizes the “right” of participating states to acquire nuclear technology for civilian purposes ... This is indeed a manufactured crisis.
Iranian distrust of the United States is rooted in a legacy of arrogant, belligerent US policy. During World War II, British and Soviet military forces invaded neutral Iran. The country's leader, Reza Shah Pahlavi, trustingly appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt, who had solemnly proclaimed devotion to the principles of freedom and respect for national sovereignty. But Roosevelt rejected the plea and sought to justify the aggression, which he backed to help the Soviet Union against Germany and to support British imperial interests. The Allied invasion and occupation brought destruction, mass death and humiliation to Iran. And twelve years later, US and British officials, acting through the CIA, organized the violent overthrew of Iran's democratically elected government in a violent coup that cost hundreds of lives.
“Do the Jews Really Control America?” asked one Chinese newsweekly headline in 2009. The factoids doled out in such articles and in books about Jews in China — for example: “The world’s wealth is in Americans’ pockets; Americans are in Jews’ pockets” — would rightly be seen to be alarming in other contexts. But in China, where Jews are widely perceived as clever and accomplished, they are meant as compliment ... In Shanghai, I am often told with nods of approval that I must be intelligent, savvy, and quick-witted, simply because of my ethnicity. While it is true that the Chinese I’ve met are fascinated by — rather than fear — the Jews, these assertions make me deeply uncomfortable.
China's economy is now the world's second largest, and China is set to soon replace the US as the foremost economic and industrial nation. Over the past 30 years, real per capita income in China has grown by more than 1,300 percent. Over the last decade alone, China quadrupled its industrial output. It now produces more automobiles than the US and Japan combined. China -- along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan and South Korea – has achieved dramatic economic growth with a social-political system that combines free enterprise and "state socialism." What those countries have accomplished over the past half century proves that economic growth, technological progress and prosperity are possible without US-style democracy and capitalism.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for governor, on Tuesday likened President Obama to dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin on the issue of gun control ... Nazi comparisons have backfired on California politicians in the past, including Flores' boss, party Chairman John Burton. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Burton said Republican rhetoric was rooted in falsehoods and “that was Goebbels, a big lie.” Burton was criticized by Republicans and the Obama campaign for referencing Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Two years earlier, during California's 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Democrat Jerry Brown said Republican opponent Meg Whitman’s advertising campaign was “like Goebbels.”
…The popular image of this man, particularly in the United States, is a crude caricature… Contrary to popular belief, Goebbels was successful as a propagandist not because he was a master of the "Big Lie," but rather as a result of his fidelity to facts and truth. As biographer Heiber notes: “Goebbels was accordingly able to celebrate his information policy as being not only superior to the enemy's in its monolithic character, but also of a `seriousness and credibility’ which `simply cannot be surpassed.’ The boast could be made with some justification: Seen in the long view, Goebbels preached, the best propaganda is that which does no more than serve the truth."
Many thousands of starlings gather in a large flock that soars, swoops, turns and dives, as if a single vast organism. This astonishing “murmuration" of starlings is at England’s Otmoor nature reserve. Runtime: 5:28 mins.
President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago. Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs. A recent petition written in clunky English on the official White House website seeks Alaska's secession and return to Russia. So far, it has generated more than 37,000 signatures ...
Stupidity and ignorance rule the world. The trouble is that the stupid and the ignorant think that they are clever and well-informed ... It never occurs to them that Russia has good historical reasons to fear its neighbours. It never crosses their mind that the borders drawn by the victorious West in 1992, like those drawn at Versailles in 1919, are an unsustainable, unjust mistake. They never ask why Britain (or the USA) should be hostile to Russia, or what the quarrel between us actually is. What is it to us whose flag flies over Sevastopol? Yet it matters greatly to those who live there. They cast every Russian action as evil, and every Ukrainian action as saintly. The world is not like that.
... The recent takeover of Crimea marked a significant escalation of Moscow’s determination to defend and consolidate its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe ... It was appallingly bad judgment for U.S. policymakers to put their country in such a position. Military allies are supposed to augment American power and improve the security position of the United States. The goal should not be to collect allies simply for the sake of collecting allies, regardless of the costs and risks involved. Acquiring an assortment of weak, vulnerable security clients masquerading as useful allies is the height of folly. They are dangerous strategic liabilities, not assets. Yet that is what Washington has done by pushing NATO’s expansion into Russia’s traditional sphere of influence.
... Talking tough is easy. Defending Eastern Europe from a possible Russian invasion will not be. The main problem is that while US/ NATO guarantees have been advanced to Russia’s sensitive borders, their military capabilities have not. In short, commitment without capability ... The barrage of trade sanctions Washington is imposed on Russia is an act of pre-war. We should remember that US sanctions imposed on Japan in 1941 that led Tokyo to attack the Western powers ... Meanwhile, the US has scattered forces all over the globe in what Frederick the Great would call an effort to defend everything ... America’s military power has been dissipated in little colonial wars, just as Britain’s were in the 19th century.
The 2016 presidential primaries are still years away, but an unofficial one held this weekend in Las Vegas could prove incredibly lucky for at least one GOP contender's coffers. It's the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is held at the Venetian casino, owned by Sheldon Adelson ... Four potential presidential candidates are hoping they can cajole Adelson, who is also on the Republican Jewish Coalition's board, into giving them a leg-up in the already crowded Republican field after four days of scotching and cigaring. Welcome to the "Adelson Primary."
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife plowed more than $92 million into efforts to help mostly losing candidates in the 2012 elections, is undertaking a new strategy for 2016 — to tap his fortune on behalf of a more mainstream Republican with a clear shot at winning the White House, according to people familiar with his thinking ... Adelson, who is worth an estimated $37.9 billion, according to Bloomberg, is a staunch supporter of Israel.
... Americans of Jewish faith cannot visualize the extent to which their rabbis and secular leadership, operating through Organized Jewry, have totally deceived them into confusing humanitarianism with nation-building, religion and nationalism. A home could have been found in 1947 for the 285,000 survivors of Hitler's concentration camps without ever establishing a state; just as today security for the Jews of Israel can be obtained without the continued expansionism wrought by the West Bank settlements policy or the ruthless repression of the rights of the Palestinian people.
Representatives of TOP 09 and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) [political parties] are outraged at Justice Minister Helena Valkova (ANO) saying that "nothing terrible" happened to Czechs during the Nazi Germans' occupation ... In a press release sent to CTK later, Valkova said the comment was relative to Poland and the Soviet Union. She stressed that she considered the developments in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (1939-1945) absolutely inexcusable ... Asked what she thought of the post-war transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia, she replied: "The worst. I understand that this was a reaction to what happened to Czechs before, but nothing terrible happened in the Protectorate."
At a mass meeting in Prague, 200,000 Czechs pledge loyalty to their homeland and to the German Reich. Czech Minister Emanuel Moravec addresses the large rally on July 3, 1942, on Wenceslas Square, near the historic statute of St. Wenceslas. He concludes with an expression of confidence in a better future for the Czech people, and of support for the “new Europe,” the “National Socialist revolution,” “our leader, Adolf Hitler,” and “our state president, Dr. Hacha.” Emil Hacha, head of the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia government is present, along with many other officials. The meeting concludes with the crowd singing the Czech national hymn. Three minute newsreel clip, with Czech narration.
... In the calculus of western interests there is no suffering, whatever its scale, which cannot be justified. Chechens, Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis are of little importance ... The Crimean affair led to barely any loss of life, and the population clearly wanted to be part of Russia. The White House's reaction has been the opposite of its reaction to Chechnya. Why? Because Putin, unlike Yeltsin, is refusing to play ball any more on the things that matter such as Nato expansion, sanctions on Iran, Syria etc. As a result, he has become evil incarnate.
... His domestic policy was to restore stability, to end what he called the "revolutions" that had brought Russia low. His foreign policy was to regain Russia's place in world affairs. Those two core aims have driven everything he has done since. If only people had been listening, none of his actions would have come as a surprise to them ... Says Dmitry Linnik, London bureau chief of the Voice of Russia radio. "He is a nationalist - in the federal 'Russian', not ethnic 'Russian', sense of the word. That is his biggest driving force, I think - not hunger for power or personal ambition."
As the old saying goes, you cannot truly understand a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Perhaps Americans, a fortunate tribe, should try to see the world from the vantage point of the Russian people and Vladimir Putin ... The vast territorial losses suffered by the Soviet Union would be like the amputations America would have endured had the secession of the eleven states of the Confederacy succeeded in 1865 ... And how would we have reacted if a Soviet Union, victorious in the Cold War, effected the expulsion of all U.S. troops and bases from Europe and brought Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua into the Warsaw Pact?
In the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, public concern about Russia has increased, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Even so, when given the choice, more describe Russia as a serious problem but not an adversary (43%) than say it represents an adversary (26%) ... Just 23% of independents and 19% of Democrats view Russia as an adversary, little changed from November ... The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 20-23 among 1,002 adults, finds continued public reluctance about getting too involved in Ukraine.
... The happiest of countries -- many of which are in Scandinavia according the latest World Happiness Report -- have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices, and lower perceptions of corruption ... 1. Denmark; 2. Norway; 3. Switzerland; 4. Netherlands; 5. Sweden; 6. Canada; 7. Finland; 8. Austria; 9. Iceland; 10. Australia.
More details are emerging about what was presented at the "White Privilege Conference" held in Madison, Wisconsin, where tax money was spent to train teachers how to annihilate "white privilege" and "white supremacy" in American schools. One session insisted that whites can never be cured of their permanent racist attitudes. On March 30, Breitbart reported on the conference, now in its fifteenth year. Over these years, teachers have been told that whites have been pushing "white supremacy" on kids since the country was created, and that whites are so infused with racism that they aren't even cognizant of their crimes.
Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben, who was successfully prosecuted in 2009 under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, would have been protected under a new sub-section in the government’s proposed race law amendments, according to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). A clause in Attorney-General George Brandis’s draft legislation ... would have made it almost impossible to successfully sue Toben, ECAJ executive director Peter Wertheim said.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says growing fears that Holocaust deniers could avoid prosecution under proposed changes to the racial vilification laws is proof enough the government is making a "colossal mistake". In a Sunday speech in Melbourne to Jewish community leaders, Mr Shorten argued how any watering down of protections under the Racial Discrimination Act would be a giant step backwards.
… In Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and several other European countries, as well as in Israel, it is a crime publicly to dispute the official version of Holocaust history … “Holocaust denial” laws violate ancient and universal standards of justice. They criminalize even factual or truthful statements that “play down” or “whitewash” the Holocaust. They are selective and one-sided. In countries where they are on the books, the Holocaust is the only chapter of history that cannot be freely discussed. They inhibit historical inquiry and restrict free speech. They are a disgrace, and should be repealed.
Amid a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, a French court for the first time punished a defendant who performed the quasi-Nazi quenelle salute. The correctional tribunal of Bordeaux on Wednesday convicted the defendant, a 28-year-old Moroccan native, of incitement to racial hatred for performing the quenelle in front of a synagogue, and fined him the equivalent of $4,130.
National Geographic Channel said Monday that it would “indefinitely” pull a planned television series on unearthing Nazi war graves after days of blistering criticism from archeologists and others who said the show handled the dead with macabre disrespect ... National Geographic Channel International had commissioned four episodes of the show, in which two British metal detecting specialists, a Polish relics hunter, and an American, Craig Gottlieb, who deals in Nazi World War II artifacts, hunt for the graves of German and Red Army soldiers on the Eastern Front.
It’s hard to imagine a political spectacle more loathsome than the parade of Republican presidential candidates who spent the last few days bowing and scraping before the mighty bank account of the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. One by one, they stood at a microphone in Mr. Adelson’s Venetian hotel in Las Vegas and spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition (also a wholly owned subsidiary of Mr. Adelson), hoping to sound sufficiently pro-Israel and pro-interventionist and philo-Semitic to win a portion of Mr. Adelson’s billions for their campaigns.
Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino mogul, is back in the political news ... a timely reminder of the degree to which top Republican candidates feel compelled to kiss his ring and presumably commit themselves to unswerving devotion to the security of Israel as defined by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The occasion is a convention of the Likudist and Adelson-chaired Republican Jewish Coalition at Adelson’s hotel in Las Vegas, aptly named by the Post’s headline, “Sheldon Primary.” Worth noting in the article, which reports that Adelson’s net worth is currently estimated at $37.9 billion ...
Is the Republican Party's Middle East policy up for bid? For four days ending Sunday, a quartet of presidential hopefuls trooped to Las Vegas to attend the annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Impresario: Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion -- 8th richest man on the planet ... Is this what Republican presidential candidates must do now? Kowtow to this fattest of fat cats who wants to buy himself an American war on Iran?
A striking expression of the corruption of America’s social-political life is the ignorance and arrogance of its prominent politicians. The presidential candidates who addressed a recent “debate” in Washington, DC (with the notable exception of Ron Paul) showed that they lack principle, a coherent worldview, or a reality-based understanding of history. Along with empty “feel good” rhetoric about “American exceptionalism,” they also showed a craven pandering to Jewish-Zionist power. In a healthy and educated society, such individuals would be considered unfit for any position of authority or responsibility.
... It [Israel’s flag] serves today as the flag of the state, the flag of the international Zionist movement, and, in the eyes of some, the flag of all Jews. It is not, however, the flag of all of Israel’s citizens. For the Arab citizens it means nothing except discrimination and exclusion. It reminds them, everywhere and at all times, that they are at best second-class citizens, present but no quite belonging ... It is much more than the flag of an ordinary state. It embodies the claim of the state to represent all the Jews around the world. Have the Jews been asked whether they want to be represented by the government of Israel? Curiously enough, this question is never raised.
Russia and Ukraine are ruthlessly using history as a weapon in the battle to paint their opponents as dangerous aggressors, ripping open old wounds from World War II that may not easily heal. Since the start of the crisis politicians and media in the two ex-Soviet states have raised the ghosts of over half a century ago, accusing their opponents of "fascist" tendencies and painting them as the 21st century successors of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.
... What about the least valuable colleges and majors in America? ... Here are the eleven schools in PayScale's data with a 20-year net return worse than negative-$30,000. In other words: these are the schools where PayScale determined that not going to college is at least $30,000 more valuable than taking the time to pay for and graduate from one of these schools ... Here [also] are the degrees (i.e.: specific majors at specific schools) with the lowest 20-year net return, according to PayScale.
The University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill has already been embroiled in a scandal for allowing its athletes to enroll in fake courses for easy credit. Now, the whole controversy has a rather potent visual symbol to go along with it: a 146-word, ungrammatical essay on Rosa Parks that earned an A- for a real intro class ... Academically troubled UNC athletes were encouraged to sign up for so-called “paper classes” — which were essentially no-work independent studies involving a single paper that allowed functionally illiterate football players to prop up their GPAs, thus satisfying the NCAA’s eligibility requirements.
Here is, according to a report by ESPN’s Outside the Lines, what amounted to an A- paper at University of North Carolina. Whistleblower Mary Willingham said it was the work of a student-athlete. It is 148 words long. Of those words, at least one is a misspelling and several are grammatical errors ... If this is the kind of education that student-athletes can get away with, then student-athlete is a totally meaningless term. Student is already a meaningless enough term for the majority of the body. But this definitely does not amount to an A-. It doesn’t even amount to a paper.