Monday, December 22, 2014

Some economy that the UK has going

'Minister of darkness' berated as 500,000 UK streetlamps switched off amid cripling spending cuts: "Almost 25 percent of England’s streetlights have been dimmed or switched off since 2010 as local councils under government minister Eric Pickles, dubbed the “Minister for Darkness,” have been pressured into carrying out crippling spending cuts."

Blaming N. Korea for cyber attacks useful to justify US militarization of region

‘N.Korea – useful enemy for US to justify militarization of region’: "Washington uses North Korea as a pretext to justify its pivot to Asia and the militarization of the Asia- Pacific region in its efforts to contain China, Christine Ahn, advisor to the Korea Policy Institute [link added] told RT."

Vatican bureaucrats' ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’

Pope blasts Vatican bureaucrats for ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’, lists their 15 sins: "Pope Francis prepared rebukes instead of greetings for this year’s Christmas meeting with the Curia. He has urged Vatican officials to stop feeling “superior to everyone,” to give up on the “terrorism of gossip” and recover from “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” A pope that tells it like it is.

An opportunity missed: N. Korea offer of joint investigation

N. Korea threatens US, demands apology for Obama’s ‘reckless rumors’ of Sony hack: "Pyongyang earlier proposed a joint investigation with the United States into the hack, saying it has 'a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture as the CIA does.'" US slams the door:

UK parliament's pedophiles

Top UK parliamentarians named in pedophile dossier: "British police officials are reportedly investigating allegations against six senior parliamentarians believed to have had links with up to five pedophile rings operating at the heart of Westminster." It is not unusual to read about pedophiles in the upper class in England. Another example from CNN July 17:

Sanctioned Kalashnikov is still growing

Choose your weapon! RT visits Kalashnikov as it gears up to make new army rifle (VIDEO): "Despite US sanctions imposed against Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern, the company has increased production by 40 percent this year. Tarasov estimated that weapons production in 2014 would be about 130,000 units."

Star 'prosecution' witness in Wilson grand jury lied

Will star 'prosecution' witness in Wilson grand jury be charged with lying to the FBI?: "The “prosecution” star witness in the Darren Wilson grand jury lied to the FBI and local officials about witnessing the officer’s killing of unarmed youth Mike Brown, according to an investigation by the website The Smoking Gun. Sandra McElroy, unmasked as ‘Witness 40,’ told the FBI and a Missouri grand jury that she saw Brown charge Wilson “like a football player,” a phrase that has been repeated over and over on right wing media like Fox News’ Sean Hannity show."

Broken promises: Islanders forcibly evicted by UK pleading that promises be kept

Victims of Diego Garcia base: Islanders forcibly evicted by UK plead to return home: "Residents of the Chagos Islands who were kicked out of their homes in the 1960s by the British government to make way for a US military base fear they may never return home, despite politicians’ promises, RT’s Polly Boiko reports."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sometimes capital punishment seems right: Pakistan starts hanging militants

Pakistan starts hanging militants in revenge for school massacre: "Pakistan has executed two convicted militants [not connected to school massacre] after lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in response to the murder of over 130 children at a Peshawar school by the Taliban. It is planning more hangings and airstrikes against militants."

Self absorbed Greenpeace violates UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Greenpeace director appears in Peru court after ill-conceived Nazca Lines stunt: "Greenpeace’s executive director was met with protests calling for “Justice for Nazca” outside a Peruvian court following a reckless stunt during which activists trampled Peru’s world-renowned Nazca Lines in an attempt to promote renewable energy."

Cuba to continue its socialist route.

Cuba to stand by its communist principles, Castro says: "Cuban leader Raul Castro said the country would not give up its political values for which it has fought. Calling for mutual respect in the new development of relations with the US, Castro stated Cuba would continue its socialist route."

Cheney's place is in prison, not being feted on weekend news shows.

Dick Cheney should be in prison, not on ‘Meet the Press’ - Greenwald: "Journalist Glenn Greenwald said Dick Cheney is able to brag about the success of torture on weekend news shows because the Obama administration has decided to shield torturers rather than prosecute them." Do you wonder what is a vice-president doing authorizing torture? Just another bashing of the constitution by political operatives.

Misdirection by Obama

One must notice the flurry of events that are leading the media and the public away from the torture activities of the CIA and the racial issues across the country. There are no coincidences. Three major efforts at misdirection: The opening the door to Cuba (it is a twofer because it is part of the anti-Russia stance), the freeing of Guantanamo prisoners, and the accusing North Korea of cyber attack on Sony (N. Korea offered a joint investigation).

Four Afghans Released From Guantanamo Bay

Four Afghans Released From Guantanamo Bay: "The United States transferred four detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to Afghanistan late Friday, the Defense Department announced Saturday, fulfilling a request from the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, in what officials here characterized as a show of good will between the United States and the government in Kabul."

Senior Officer responsible for CIA torture

Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals - The Intercept: "NBC News yesterday called her a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program. A follow-up New Yorker article dubbed her 'The Unidentified Queen of Torture' and in part 'the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ Yet in both articles she was anonymous." And  she is connected to the failure to prevent 9/11.

Oops: US didn't see this coming: ​N. Korea offers joint investigation Sony cyberattack

​North Korea offers US joint investigation of Sony cyberattack: "North Korea has proposed a joint investigation with the United States into the hack attack against Sony Pictures, according to the state news agency, KCNA." Check.

Friday, December 19, 2014

FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony hack. Why should we believe?

FBI formally accuses North Korea in Sony hack: "The Federal Bureau of Investigation first time on Friday officially weighed in on the colossal computer hack suffered by Sony Pictures Entertainment that in recent days has been elevated to an issue of national security." Oh yeah, there may be a China link.

US-Led Coalition eliminated senior ISIL leaders. Really?

US-Led Coalition Eliminates Islamic State Senior Leaders: Pentagon: “'I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,' Kirby said in a statement published Thursday." But remember this story ISIS leader (apparently not dead) says America 'weak' as he carves out caliphate.

Ukrainian paranoia

Transdniestria poses no threat to Ukraine — president: "Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria, which is a de facto independent unrecognized state known as the Dniester Republic, does not pose any threat to Ukraine, its President Yevgeny Shevchuk said on Friday."
We’re alarmed by the declarations of some officials in Ukraine on an alleged military threat to their country on the part of the Dniester Republic.

CIA report noted that US unsuccessful in 'targeted killings'

CIA: US unsuccessful in 'targeted killings': "US counterinsurgency programs and drone strikes targeting militants in Iraq and Afghanistan have been unsuccessful, shows a leaked CIA report." And the why . . .

Pakistanis Chastise CNN for its coverage of Peshawar massacre

Pakistanis Write Open Letter to CNN Following Peshawar Massacre:

Dear CNN,

If you don't know what you're talking about (which is usually 99% of the time) then don't bother reporting it until you have the facts. [and there is much more  . . .]

NYPD - out of control?

Plainclothes NYPD officer hits teen subdued by other cops (VIDEO): "The New York Police Department said it has launched an internal investigation of a plainclothes police officer caught on video punching a young suspect as three uniformed cops tried to subdue and handcuff him during an arrest."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2 Navy Commanders relieved for incompetence

2 Navy Commanders Relieved After Tortuga Hits Buoy | Military.com: "The Navy has fired the top two officers aboard the dock landing ship Tortuga, two months after the ship collided with a buoy in the Chesapeake Bay." Damage to the ship - $2.5 million.

‘I can’t breathe’: UK judge only adds to reality of state sponsored racism

‘I can’t breathe’: UK judge withheld G4S guards’ racist texts from jury in manslaughter case: "A judge withheld racist text messages from a jury that were sent from the phones of two G4S security officers accused of the manslaughter of an Angolan man in their care. The judge claimed the offensive messages bore no relevance to the trial." The 'war on terror has a message' - only white (is there another kind?) Anglo-Saxons, and their descendants, need apply to have their humanity respected.

Nick Clegg speaking out from the wrong end of the horse.

Sony slammed by Deputy PM Clegg for bowing to N. Korean ‘intimidation’: "Nick Clegg has suggested Sony was wrong to cave to North Korea’s “intimidation” by canceling the release of its controversial film “The Interview” as a result of a hacking attack.

Sony: A false flag in cyberwar

A Look at North Korea's Cyberwar Capabilities | Military.com: ". . .  the country Washington suspects is behind a devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has managed to orchestrate a string of crippling cyber infiltrations of South Korean computer systems in recent years, officials in Seoul believe, despite North Korea protesting innocence."

UK might be better off biting its tongue

Russia not fit to be part of international financial system – Cameron: "The combined effect produced by Western sanctions and low oil prices proves that there’s no place for Russia in the international financial system, believes British prime minister David Cameron, urging for more pressure on Moscow." Cameron might consider that . . .

Normalizing relations with Cuba - really?

For Truly Better Relations with Cuba, Open the Door and Get Out of the Way!: "President Obama today took a bold and surprising step toward ending the futile 50 year US embargo of Cuba. The president announced he would begin normalizing relations, including upgrading the diplomatic mission in Havana to embassy status. The president also said he was taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information between the US and Cuba." But . . .

Ukraine - the international bum

EU running out of budgetary capability to support Ukraine — EC president: "EU is running out of budgetary capability to support Ukraine, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday upon arrival at a regular EU summit."

Ukraine: Have you noticed how poor the US surveillance capability?

In the 60s, the US had photo reconnaissance of Cuba depicting the Soviet Union's build up of missiles. President Kennedy was able to demonstrate that to Americans. No Photoshop in those days. No satellites.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pope? Solving the 50 years of cold war between US and Cuba?

Pope Francis unexpected hero of US-Cuba relations breakthrough: "Pope Francis has congratulated both the US and Cuba on restoring relations, as the Vatican together with Canada were confirmed to have played a significant role in the talks which broke 50 years of cold."

I sure wouldn't want to take anything away from the pope's efforts, but one has to wonder what leverage does a Catholic pope have in international politics? Same too with Canada. Canada is a only one of the pack of dogs following the US. Maybe the pope and Canada would be better off addressing the issue of torture. Oh, I forgot, the Catholic Church nearly invented torture,

Hypocrisy bubble. Most likely busted with this quote from Obama: “I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest debate on lifting this embargo.”

Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimps - Yes blimps, and big.

Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch over Maryland - The Intercept: "In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles."

Turkey's President Erdogan is demonstrating his ire against the EU

EU can’t teach democracy lesson to Turkey: Erdogan: "Turkey’s president has hit back at the European Union’s condemnation of the Turkish police raids on opposition media, stating that the bloc has no right to give Ankara a 'democracy lesson.'" And he goes on to say:

Obama: reestablishing embassy in Cuba?

Obama announces US will establish embassy in Cuba, lift sanctions: "United States President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the US is initiating plans to rebuild its relationship with Cuba following decades of disputes between the two nations." Really?

Sanctions for you and you and you too Swiss and Dutch traders

US slaps sanctions on Swiss, Dutch oil trading firms over Syria "The US has slapped sanctions on Dutch and Swiss oil trading firms for their dealings with the Syrian government, Reuters said. The US Treasury put Netherlands-based Staroil BV and two Swiss-based firms, Rixo International Trading Ltd and Bluemarine SA, on its list of sanctioned entities. Wednesday’s decision effectively cuts the companies off from the US financial system."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A medical profession requests FBI probe into CIA torture involvement by medical professionals

CIA medical professionals accused of committing war crimes: ​"Federal investigators in the United States should considering weighing whether or not health workers involved in the interrogation tactics highlighted in the recent CIA torture port should be charged with war crimes, a group said this week." Physicians for Human Rights examined

Sometimes you have to laugh: NASA continued to build a facility for program closed in 2010

NASA built $349 mn facility for already closed space program: "In what some see as symbolic of an often-aimless space program, NASA was allowed to complete construction of a $343-million rocket-testing tower in Mississippi even after the structure’s mission was cancelled in 2010. The A-3 test stand, which will require $700,000 a year to maintain despite its lack of utility, was finally finished in June near Gulfport, Mississippi after about seven years of work."

Door is Closed: Hundreds of UK children sleep on streets and in drug dens

Hundreds of UK children sleep on streets and in drug dens – local govt slammed: "Glaring failures by local authorities to protect vulnerable children and teenagers have reduced them to sleeping rough on British streets, night buses, in police stations, and in drug dens. Many are thought to be at high risk of abuse."

Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary straying from the NATO and EU fold?

After Ukraine: Are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary Veering Off The NATO/EU Reservation?: "Despite the firmness shown by the EU’s biggest players when it comes to sanctioning Putin’s Russia, lower down the pecking order some member states are not happy. Unlike the most craven and obedient puppets — the Baltic States and Poland — it took some arm twisting to get the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to agree to punish Moscow for annexing Crimea."

No surprise here: Ukraine heads the 2014 risk list for journalists.

Ukraine Tops 2014 Risk List For Journalists: Reporters Without Borders: "Ukraine heads the list of countries with the most kidnapped or arrested journalists, a report issued Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) said."

One misstep: US-Russia Cold War could turn into hot war

US-Russia Cold War could turn into hot war: James Jatras: "Former Senior Foreign Policy Analyst James Jatras says that imposing further sanctions against Russia by the US could turn a Cold War situation between the two countries into a hot war." Scary.

Italian journalist expelled from Estonia

Influential Italian journalist to leave for Moscow after being expelled from Estonia: "Authoritative Italian journalist and politician Giulietto Chiesa, who has been expelled from Estonia, told TASS on Tuesday he planned to go to Moscow." Chiesa was in the Estonian capital to take part in a conference on the relations between Russia and Europe. He was arrested at his hotel and expelled. Estonia another podunk.

Mistrals’ sounds like some illness the French have

Mistrals’ delivery is about signed legal contract and French nation’s dignity — Lavrov: "The delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers is the matter of a signed legal contract and dignity of the French nation." The French are showing what they think of legal contracts, and we know that the French government hasn't much in the way of dignity.

Isn't this just great? Canada pressures US to pass Keystone XL

Canada pressures US to pass Keystone XL as falling oil prices threaten project: "The Keystone XL pipeline may no longer make economic sense to build, thanks to falling global oil prices. However, Canada's natural resources minister is in Washington to push hard for the project’s construction."

Monday, December 15, 2014

The CIA torturer paid well for his immoral and unethical conduct sanctioned by the CIA

The Charmed Life of a CIA Torturer: How Fate Diverged for Matthew Zirbel, aka CIA Officer 1, and Gul Rahman - The Intercept: "'Zirbel was on his first foreign tour for the CIA and colleagues, according to the Senate report, had recommended that he not be allowed access to classified material due to his “lack of honesty, judgment, and maturity,' according to the Senate report. A Senate aide who briefed reporters about Zirbel said the CIA officer had “issues” in his background, the Daily Beast reported, and should never have been hired by the CIA." Read the article if you care about our government and its use of torture.

Never say 'never:' EU to never recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia

EU to never recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia - Mogherini: "The European Union will never recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said Monday after the first meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council." She is speaking a little afar from her EU position.

Protesters in North Carolina doubt 'suicide' hanging of black teen

North Carolina protesters call for fresh probe in teen's hanging: "Several hundred protesters marched in a small town in the US sate of North Carolina calling for an investigation into the hanging death of a black teenager, months after the death was declared suicide by local authorities." Sounds more like lynching. Some factors:

Sydney gunman was out on bail despite his criminal activity

Sydney gunman identified as Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, on bail for violent crimes: "Sheik Man Haron Monis, an Islamic ‘spiritual healer’ who is facing charges of sexual assault and being an accessory to murder, has been identified as the man who has taken civilians hostage in a Sydney cafe, according to local media citing police sources." Who was he?

Finland issues 'concern' over increased Russian warplane activity

Finland calls to discuss air security over alleged activity of Russian warplanes: "Finland’s Minister of Transport Paula Risikko has called to discuss issues of air security in international air space over the allegedly increased activity of Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea, the Finnish News Agency /STT/ said on Sunday." But see Russia rejects Sweden minister statement on Russian warplane spotted in air space.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hanging of effigies of black people found at UC Berkeley

Lynching effigies hung at UC Berkeley, quickly taken down - SFGate: "Leigh Raiford, an associate professor of African American studies at UC Berkeley, saw the photos on Twitter. 'To me this suggested a really powerful public art installation that was trying to provoke people to make historical connection between the history of lynching, state violence against black folks and the contemporary situation that we’re faced with around police brutality and these non-indictments,' Raiford said."

"Berlin anti-war rally protests NATO militarism, anti-Russian warmongering"

Berlin anti-war rally protests NATO militarism, anti-Russian warmongering (VIDEO): "Hundreds of people in Berlin joined the German Peace Movement march on Saturday, blaming the West – especially the US and NATO – for spreading wars worldwide. The protest called for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and mending relations with Russia."

Exhibit A of what is wrong with the police

NYC police union wants Mayor de Blasio banned from officer funerals: "New York City's largest police union has started a petition to stop Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from attending their funerals, should they be killed in the line of duty."

R Rating on Snowden Documentary? How stupid is that? It is censorship.

R Rating on Snowden Documentary Entirely at Movie Theaters Discretion: MPAA: "Enforcing an R rating on the documentary about US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is entirely at movie theaters’ discretion, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) spokesperson told Sputnik on Saturday."

Sweden doing the bidding of the EU and US.

Russia - Russia rejects Sweden minister statement on Russian warplane spotted in air space: "Russian Defence Ministry has refuted Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist’s statement on a Russian warplane detected in the air space and allegedly nearly colliding with a passenger airliner on the way from Denmark’s capital Copenhagen."

The Swedish narrative:

Turkey drifts towards Eurasia

​Revitalized Turkey drifts away from Europe and towards Eurasia: “Imagine being tied to that now? Paying for Greece and all the other bankrupt places? We were blessed. They wouldn’t accept us because we were too big and too Muslim. Now we don’t feel like supporting their stagnant economies,” as one Black Sea coast politician put it."

Romania 'bribed' to host CIA 'black sites'

Romania agreed to host CIA 'black sites' to be accepted into NATO - ex spy chief: "Romania allowed the CIA to use a number of sites on its territory, a former head of the country’s intelligence confessed. He added that Bucharest’s bid to join NATO at the time prevented it from asking the US about the purposes of the sites."

EU: Ukraine 'cleansing' law not in line with EU principles

EU says Ukraine 'government cleansing' law not in line with bloc’s principles: "Ukraine’s recently passed law on lustration – the cleansing of government from past regimes’ officials – “does not live up to” European principles, according to the Venice Commission, the EU’s advisory body on constitutional matters."

US troubled because of Russian/Crimean official included in delegation to India

 State Department attempts negative background for Putin’s trip to India: "The statements made by representatives of the U.S. Department of State, related to the first international trip made by Crimea’s head, are aimed at making a “negative background” for the visit of Russia’s president to India, Crimea’s top official Sergei Aksenov said on Sunday."

'US has no compassion: Manning stripped naked, kept in solitary' and tortured

'Stripped naked, kept in solitary': Manning tortured like terrorist, Welsh relatives say: "US authorities tortured Chelsea Manning with barbaric CIA techniques, which posed a threat to her psychological health, the Welsh aunt of the jailed whistleblower revealed to local media."

AMA criticizes doctors involved in CIA torture - a slap on the wrist

Doctors involved in CIA torture harshly criticized: "Following the release of a Senate report on the CIA torture techniques, the American Medical Association (AMA) has harshly criticized doctors involved in interrogating inmates in custody of the United States."

A Star Wars imperial Tie Fighter caught on dashcab

Dashcam 'captures' Star Wars TIE fighter crash on snowy German highway. Sometimes the news is very amusing. This was nicely done. See the video below.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Former CIA directors: These are evil, evil men that ordinarily would be deemed sociopaths

Former CIA directors defend waterboarding, rectal rehydration: "Days after the release of the Senate’s report on post-9/11 CIA torture, Robert James Woolsey, former head of the intelligence agency, said he would still opt for the torture method known as waterboarding if it meant saving 'thousands of American lives.'”

Operation Socialist

Operation Socialist: How GCHQ Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco: "When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies." State sponsored cyber attack  on a close ally.

Norwegian: No Increase in Russian Military Flights off Norway's Coast

No Increase in Russian Military Flights off Norway's Coast: Norwegian Army: "The number of Russian military flights off the Norwegian coast has remained stable in recent years, despite tensions between Russia and NATO and recent media reports about increased Russian air activity in Europe, the Norwegian Armed Forces said Wednesday."