Saturday, May 31, 2014

The 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth As The 3.5 Billion Poorest

As the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam International has released a new report called, “Working for the Few,” that contains some startling statistics on what it calls the “growing tide of inequality.”
The report states:
  • Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
  • The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
  • The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
  • Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
  • The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
  • In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.
Asserting that some economic inequality is necessary to foster growth, it also warns that extreme levels of wealth concentration “threaten to exclude hundreds of millions of people from realizing the benefits of their talents and hard work.”
Tables From Oxfam's 'Working For The Few' Report
Tables From Oxfam’s ‘Working For The Few’ Report
Additionally, the report says that high levels of wealth concentration can harm democracy and reduce equal opportunity, as the wealthy begin to have an undue influence on government policy making:
When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favor the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else.
Oxfam also conducted polls in six countries — Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. — showing that a majority of people believe “laws are skewed in favor of the rich” in areas ranging from financial deregulation, tax laws favoring the wealthy and facilitation tax evasion, austerity economics, policies that disproportionately harm women, and oil and mineral revenues.
The report states that the trend can be reversed, as it has at other times in history, such as in the U.S. and Europe after World War II and in Latin America in the last decade.
Oxfam calls on the leaders at the World Economic Forum to not dodge taxes in their countries or countries where they invest and operate, not use their economic wealth to seek political favors, and support progressive taxation on wealth and income, among other things.
It also quotes Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’

House Defunds DOJ ‘Choke Point’ Bullying Operation

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The U.S. House of Representatives today passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Blane Luetkeymeyer (R-Mo.) to defund the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point,” a controversial program that has been used to force banks to sever the accounts of legitimate businesses in the name of combating fraud.
After the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a May 29 reporton the DOJ program, the Community Financial Services Association of America, a national trade association, stated that legal businesses “should not be targets of clandestine government actions that circumvent the law.” After today’s decision, the same group applauded members of the House for their “major victory” in defense of “consumers, law-abiding businesses, and anyone who believes in due process and restraint of government encroachment.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tx.) last week pegged the DOJ operation as a tool used by the Administration to bully its ideological adversaries.
“Under Obama’s ‘Operation Choke Point’ banks are complaining that government agents are threatening them because they service legal businesses engaged in legal commerce. Often the customer is a gun retailer or other businesses that poses no risk, but differs with Obama’s political agenda,” said the U.S. Rep. from Texas in a May 19 statement. “This is just the latest example of the Obama administration exploiting executive power to target political opponents. It would appear the only purpose of Operation Choke Point is the choke the life out of businesspeople with political views that may differ from the President.”
To date, reports have shown that thousands of businesses in firearms retail have suffered account closures at their financial institutions, despite the fact that they were not engaging in illegal actions.
In 2012, the Bank of America closed the accounts of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, and McMillan Group International after having serviced the brands for over a decade. The bank told operations director Kelly McMillan that they had made their decision after assessing “the risk of doing business with a firearms related industry.”
As John Hayward of Human Events says, “it is extremely dangerous, and strongly antithetical to the American understanding of citizenship and government, to have the ruling elite presiding over a nebulous  ‘legal but undesirable’ classification rewritten at their whim… and enforced with government power.”
Members of the United States Senate should concur with their colleagues in the lower legislative chamber and allow the language to defund the Department of Justice’s bully operation reach the President’s desk.

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A new Turkish aggression against Syria: Ankara suspends pumping Euphrates’ water

Top: "The decrease in water levels" Bottom: "Tishrin Dam" (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

The Turkish government recently cut off the flow of the Euphrates River, threatening primarily Syria but also Iraq with a major water crisis. Al-Akhbar found out that the water level in Lake Assad has dropped by about six meters, leaving millions of Syrians without drinking water.
Two weeks ago, the Turkish government once again intervened in the Syrian crisis. This time was different from anything it had attempted before and the repercussions of which may bring unprecedented catastrophes onto both Iraq and Syria.
Violating international norms, the Turkish government recently cut off the water supply of the Euphrates River completely. In fact, Ankara began to gradually reduce pumping Euphrates water about a month and half ago, then cut if off completely two weeks ago, according to information received by Al-Akhbar.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that water levels in the Lake Assad (a man-made water reservoir on the Euphrates) recently dropped by six meters from its normal levels (which means losing millions of cubic meters of water). The source warned that “a further drop of one additional meter would put the dam out of service.”
“We should cut off or reduce the water output of the dam, until the original problem regarding the blockage of the water supply is fixed,” the source explained.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controlling the region the dam is located in did not suspend the water output. Employees of the General Institution of the Euphrates Dam are running the lake under the supervision of al-Qaeda linked ISIS, but they don’t have the authority to take serious decisions, such as reducing the water output. In addition, such a step is a mere attempt to ease the situation, and it will lose its efficacy if the water supply isn’t restored to the dam by Turkey.
The tragic repercussions of the new Turkish assault began to reveal themselves when water levels dropped in al-Khafsa in Aleppo’s eastern countryside (where a water pumping station from Lake Assad is located to pump water through water channels to Aleppo and its countryside).
Meanwhile, water supplies in auxiliary reservoirs in al-Khafsa are close to being depleted and the reservoirs are expected to run out of water completely by tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. This threatens to leave seven million Syrians without access to water. Also, Tishrin Dam stopped receiving any water which blocked its electricity generating turbines, decreasing the power supply in Aleppo and its countryside, further intensifying the already severe imbalance in the power supply.
In Raqqa, the northern side of Lake Assad is today completely out of service. Two million Syrians living in the region covering the villages of Little Swaydiya to the east until al-Jarniya to the west could lose their drinking water supply. “Losing water supplies in the dam means that the silt in the lake will dry off which would pressure its structure, subjecting it to fissures and eventually total collapse,” Al-Akhbar sources warned, adding “it is crucial to shut down the dam to stop its collapse.”
However, shutting down the dam (if ISIS agrees) will only lead to a human and ecological (zoological and agricultural) catastrophe in Syria and in Iraq.
According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Aleppo locals (who had already launched many initiatives to reach solutions for a number of local issues) began a race against time to recommend solutions for the problem, including putting the thermal plant at al-Safira back to work, which may convince ISIS to spare the Euphrates Dam turbines, and in turn preserve current water levels in the lake.
In case it succeeds, such a step would only rescue whatever water and structures are left, and would ward off further repercussions of the crisis that has already started. A halt to the water supply is now inevitable and can’t be resolved unless the Turkish government takes the decision to resume pumping Euphrates water.
In any case, it is worth mentioning that the water in the lake would take about a month, after resuming pumping, to return to its normal levels.

Top: "The decrease in water levels" Bottom: "Euphrates Dam" (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

A historical conflict
The Euphrates River has historically been at the center of a conflict between Turkey on the one hand and both Syria and Iraq on the other. Ankara insists on considering the Euphrates a “trans-boundary river” and not an “international river,” hence it is “not subject to international laws.” Also, Turkey is one of the only three countries in the world (along with China and Burundi) that opposed the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997.
In 1987, a temporary agreement between Syria and Turkey was signed to share the water supplies of the Euphrates during the period when the basin of the Ataturk Dam was being filled. In virtue of the agreement, Turkey pledged to provide an annual level of over 500 cubic meters of water a second on the Turkish-Syrian borders, until reaching a final agreement about sharing the water supplies of the river between the three countries. In 1994, Syria registered the agreement at the United Nations to guarantee the minimum amount of Iraq and Syria’s right to the water from the Euphrates River.

Gay male student selected as school’s homecoming queen

In a scene straight out of Glee, high school junior Nasir Fleming was crowned prom queen at his junior prom even though he is a male. The 17 year old student at Danbury High in Danbury, Connecticut said that he never expected to actually win the crown. He is very candid about his s*xuality and has been that way since the sixth grade. He is a very popular student at school. Other classmates had nominated him for both king and queen. When he won the crown there was thunderous applause from the audience.
Fleming stated that he thought his classmates were more excited than he was for his big win. It is hard to tell sometimes whether the nominations for prom queen were done seriously or to mock Fleming, but either way he says that he is still “fabulous” and is happy. He is hoping that this will make a statement about gay youth and that you need to be who you are without fear. He wants to spread a message that if someone like himself, who identifies as a male, can win a title in the opposite gender there is no reason a transgendered person cannot do the same.
He posted the video of his crowning on Youtube and while it has garnered positive comments from many different people, criticism was still there. Fleming states that it was sad to see people who were grown adults attacking a teenager for something like this. Some were attacking the school for allowing this to happen. Some attacked Fleming’s lifestyle. He says that he just lets it roll off of his shoulders. He knows who he is and he is happy with his life. Just because other people don’t feel the same does not mean that he should have to change who he is.

US, UK military to stage NATO exercises in Ukraine Operation Rapid Trident

AFP Photo / Shah Marai

Ukraine will play host, but the US military will call the shots, in an upcoming military exercise called "Rapid Trident" that will bring together some 1,300 international forces in Ukraine for a long-planned exercise.
Although the United States canceled Atlas Vision 2014, which was scheduled to take place in July in the northeastern Russian city of Chelyabinsk, the Pentagon says it will go ahead with plans for a multinational military exercise this summer in Ukraine.

Rapid Trident 2014 is designed to "promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations," according to the US forces in Europe website.

The Pentagon refused to provide information on the number of US forces expected to participate in the maneuvers.

US Army spokesman Col. Steven Warren said Rapid Trident is the only Ukraine military exercise the United States plans to participate in this year. The exercise is intended to help the Ukrainian military improve its troops and weapons operability with NATO forces.

Last year's Rapid Trident, which focused on "airborne and air-mobile infantry operations," according to a report on the Rapid Trident website, brought together 17 NATO countries for joint exercises.

According to Rapid Trident’s Facebook page, last year’s exercises involved “more than 800 pieces of weaponry and about 170 military and combat vehicles... In addition, 4 Mi -8 helicopters, a military transport aircraft An- 26 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and a German transport aircraft C- 160 were involved to work out airborne operations and elements of evacuation of the wounded from the field of battle.” 
However, given the level of hysteria that has been generated by the Ukrainian crisis, Rapid Trident 2014 will take place under entirely different circumstances than last year’s event.

The Pentagon has already dispatched 12 warplanes and hundreds of troops to Poland following the Crimean referendum on Sunday that witnessed an overwhelming majority of residents voting in favor of joining Russia.

Last week, the US military announced that the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and its group would remain in the Mediterranean Sea for a few more days than planned “to reassure US allies” over the Ukraine crisis.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of Sevastopol, signed an agreement in Moscow for Crimea and Sevastopol to join the Russian Federation.

In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Rapid Trident military exercises have been held annually on the territory of Ukraine for a number of years.

Ukraine has a partner relationship with NATO but is not officially a member.

Judge allows forced feeding to resume on Guantanamo detainee

This is the restraint chair used to force-feed detainees on hunger strike at the detainee hospital at Camp Delta.
This is the restraint chair used to force-feed detainees on hunger strike at the detainee hospital at Camp Delta.

(CNN) -- A federal judge has lifted a temporary ban on painful forced feedings of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, saying she had no choice and "the court simply cannot let (him) die."
In the meantime, the court will advance a "speedy exchange" of information about terrorism detainee Mohammed Abu Wa'el Dhiab's request to stop what he describes as abusive forced feedings, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ruled late Thursday.
Dhiab, 42, a Syrian, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and has been detained in the U.S. military's facility for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo for more than 10 years, according to the London-based human rights group Reprieve.
Dhiab has stopped eating, and his case is example of the forced feedings at Guantanamo, which the U.S. government has been administering typically to detainees who go on hunger strikes. Dhiab was cleared for release by the Obama administration in 2009 and has never been charged, Reprieve's website said.
Kessler said the court "is now faced with an anguishing Hobson's choice: reissue another temporary restraining order despite the very real probability that Mr. Dhiab will die, because he has indicated a continuing desire to refuse to eat and/or drink liquids, or refuse to issue the TRO and allow the medical personnel on the scene to take the medical actions to keep Mr. Dhiab alive, but at the possible cost of great pain and suffering."
"The Court is in no position to make the complex medical decisions necessary to keep Mr. Dhiab alive," the judge said. "Thanks to the intransigence of the Department of Defense, Mr. Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions. However, the Court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die."
The judge noted that Mr. Dhiab's physical condition has been "swiftly deteriorating, in large part because he was refusing food and/or water."

Fluoride Officially Classified as a Neurotoxin in World’s Most Prestigious Medical Journal

The movement to remove industrial sodium fluoride from the world’s water supply has been growing in recent years, with evidence coming out against the additive from several sources.
Now, a report from the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin, in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury.
The news was broken by author Stefan Smyle and disseminated by the Facebook page Occupy Food, which linked to the report published in The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, in the March 2014 edition, by authors Dr. Phillippe Grandjean and Philip J. Landrigan, MD. The report can be viewed by clicking here.

Industrial Chemicals Identified

As noted in the summary of the report, a systematic review identified five different similar industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.
The summary goes on to state that six additional developmental neurotoxicants have also now been identified: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The authors added that even more of these neurotoxicants remain undiscovered.

ADHD, Dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments

In the Lancet report, the authors propose a global prevention strategy, saying that “untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.”Also in the report, they note that neurodevelopmental disabilities, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, are now affecting millions of children worldwide in what they call a “pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity.”
They continue: “To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”
The report coincides with 2013 findings by a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health that concluded that children in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores that those who live in areas with low amounts of fluoride in their water supplies.

Fluoride also linked to Cancers

Sodium fluoride in drinking water has also been linked to various cancers. It is functionally different than the naturally-occurring calcium fluoride, and commonly added to drinking water supplies and used by dentists and in dental products who posit that it is useful for dental health.
Currently, fluoride is added to water supplies across much of North America, but as this list of countries that ban or reject water fluoridation shows, the practice is actually not too common, or banned entirely throughout most of Europe and in several other developed nations across the world.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Chicago mayor introduces ordinance to restrict gun sales


Chicago has been forced to allow gun stores by a court order, but a new city ordinance introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel will look to severely restrict gun sales.

Under the terms of the ordinance, gun shops would only be allowed to operate in 0.5% of Chicago's demographic area. They would be restricted from operating within 500ft of a park or school and would require special permits.
There would be a 72 hour waiting period for purchases of handguns and 24 hours for shotguns and rifles. Handgun sales would be restricted to one per customer per month. Additionally sales would have to be recorded on video and store owners would have to open their books to quarterly audits.
In January 2014, a federal judge struck down Chicago's ban on gun sales saying it was overreaching and did little to prevent gun violence. The Illinois State Rifle Association said that if the new ordinance is enacted it will be subject to a lawsuit.

U.S. Court of Appeals, 219 S Dearborn St #2722, Chicago, IL

A federal appeals court in Chicago cited the 2nd Amendment in invalidating an Illinois law blocking people from carrying concealed weapons in public. The court gave the state 6 months to pass a new law with "reasonable limitations" on carrying guns in public, which it did on July 9, 2013.
The Illinois law meant that Chicago could no longer require that gun owners sign up for a registry in the city that had existed since 1968. The city council reluctantly abolished the registry--effectively allowing concealed weapons--on Sept. 11, 2013.

The 81-Year-Old Newspaper Article That Destroys The Redskins’ Justification For Their Name

George Preston Marshall, founder and owner of the Washington Redskins, in 1935.

George Preston Marshall, founder and owner of the Washington Redskins, in 1935.
As challenges against the name of the Washington Redskins have persisted for more than four decades, the teams ownership and management has held on to a consistent story: that the team changed its original name — the Boston Braves — to the Boston Redskins in 1933 to honor its coach, William “Lone Star” Dietz, who maintained at the time that he was a member of the Sioux tribe.
But in a 1933 interview with the Associated Press, George Preston Marshall, the team’s owner and original founder, admitted that the story wasn’t true.
“The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins,” Marshall said in the AP report. The quote was originally referenced in a story on the team’s name at Sports Illustrated’s MMQB site. Jesse Witten, the lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the team’s federal trademark protection, unearthed the actual AP report this week, and provided it to to Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney. ESPN’s Keith Olbermann reported it on his show, “Olbermann,” Thursday night.
Here’s a copy of the news clip, which ran in the Hartford (Conn.) Courant on July 5, 1933:

The team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, and top management have justified the team’s name as an “honor” to Native Americans in letters to fans and the public. So too has NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. And both have leaned on the story that Marshall chose the name to honor Dietz to make that case.
Snyder referenced the history without using Dietz’s name specifically in a letter to season ticket-holders last October:
As some of you may know, our team began 81 years ago — in 1932 — with the name “Boston Braves.” The following year, the franchise name was changed to the “Boston Redskins.” On that inaugural Redskins team, four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans. The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor.
The team has also used Dietz’s heritage — and the claim that the Redskins were named in his honor — to defend itself in the lawsuits challenging its federal trademark.
The NFL, too, has rested its case on that history. Goodell did so in a letter to 10 members of Congress who wrote him to challenge the name last June. The commissioner called the name a symbol of “strength, courage, pride, and respect” and specifically referenced Dietz’s role in the name:
In our view, a fair and thorough discussion of the issue must begin with an understanding of the roots of the Washington franchise and the Redskins name in particular. As you may know, the team began as the Boston Braves in 1932, a name that honored the courage and heritage of Native Americans. The following year, the name was changed to the Redskins — in part to avoid confusion with the Boston baseball team of the same name, but also to honor the team’s then-head coach, William “Lone Star” Dietz.
Asked for their response to the news clip, neither the NFL nor the Washington Redskins responded by the time of publication.
Dietz’s history was already in question at the time thanks to the work of historian Linda M. Waggoner, whose exhaustive account of Dietz’s life found that he almost certainly was not a Native American, as he had claimed. In fact, Dietz faced a federal trial alleging that he had falsely represented himself as a Native American to avoid the World War I draft. After the first trial ended with a hung jury, Dietz pleaded no contest to the same charges in a second trial and served 30 days in jail.
When ThinkProgress asked the franchise about the claims that Dietz was not a Native American last year, the team’s president and general manager, Bruce Allen, called the questions “ignorant requests” and suggested that we speak to Dietz’s family instead.
Amid scrutiny about Dietz’s history, the team has given the appearance of backing away from relying on the claim that he inspired the name. Notably, Allen did not cite Dietz or the origins of the name in his written response to a letter from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and 49 other senators who called on the team to drop “Redskins.”
If Marshall didn’t choose the name based on Dietz or the presence of Native Americans, what was his reason? As Olbermann notes in his report, the team chose its original name — the Boston Braves — because it shared a field with Boston’s baseball team by the same name. Marshall explains the AP story that he gave up the name “Braves” because it was too easily confused with the baseball team, and he chose “Redskins” to keep the Native American imagery as the team moved away from the Braves and into Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.
Until recently, that story was more commonly told than the one about Dietz. In 1972, freelance writer Joe Marshall wrote a story on team nicknames in a promotional program from a game between Washington and the Atlanta Falcons. Joe Marshall didn’t reference Dietz in his story, instead writing that the team wanted to “change names but keep the Indian motif”:
The Redskins also copied a baseball team, the Boston Braves. George Preston Marshall started with his team in Boston on Braves Field. When he switched playing sites, he wanted to change names but keep the Indian motif. Since he was now sharing a park with the Red Sox and at the same time liked Harvard’s crimson jerseys, Redskins seemed appropriate. Redskins they have remained, a proud tradition. Until now, that is.
In that sense, it seems obvious that the name “Redskins” was chosen more as a marketing ploy than anything else, a way to tweak the team’s name without changing the image it had established. Regardless of the original motive, however, this much is clear: the story the team and NFL have used to justify the name’s existence as a “badge of honor” is not true, and the man who founded the team refuted it himself more than 80 years ago.

Putin Planning To Release Evidence Exposing 9/11 As An Inside Job

As tensions between the U.S. and Russia remain at an all time high comparable to that of the Cold War, it seems that strong-armed Putin has had just about enough of Obama’s petty nuisances. Several analysts have recently speculated that to put Obama in his place once and for all, Putin was set to release evidence (i.e. satellite imagery) in his position that revealed the 9/11 terror attacks as an inside job.
These so called “inside jobs” are better known as false-flag attacks in which they were specifically and strategically designed so as to deceive the public into thinking something that isn’t true. In other words, U.S. officials would plan and execute an attack on America and its people that would look as though a certain enemy entity had carried out the atrocity.
This is only the case when America has proven interests in the homeland of the attributed group. As many have explained before, from both sides of the aisle, the United States had a heavy oil interest and is thought to have been the motive for the alleged false flag attacks.
Several documented cases have been exposed showing that this would be nothing new in the military realm of America in the pursuit of selfish interest. That being the case, it appears as though the rest of the world is growing tired of the impact America is having as it carries out its agenda.
In an effort to expose the government for what it is doing – killing Americans in an effort to invade elsewhere, and then killing nationals wherever they go – some have threatened to leak military details exposing America’s atrocities. The most recent of speculation has fallen upon Putin as he is said to have certain satellite images that prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that America was complicit in a false flag attack.
Supposedly demonstrating that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by American officials – well, you could imagine the repercussions. All faith and trust in government would disintegrate, riots would break out in the streets and perhaps a civil uprising would commence.
Vladimir Putin, Enrico Letta

That being said, imagine what America would look like upon the world stage. An easy target for Muslim extremists or maybe a takeover by a foreign competing superpower? Although these scenarios may be a stretch, you could see how other forces could easily take advantage of such a situation.

FBI: More People Killed with Fists & Hammers Than with Rifles & Shotguns

Bloody Hammer

Washington DC - -(  On January 3, 2013, Breitbart reported on the newest FBI crime statistics then available (2011) showing that more people are killed with hammers and clubs each year than are killed with rifles. [ Yet there are no calls to ban hammers..? ]
With newer crime statistics now out for 2012, we can report that more people are killed each year with fists and hammers than are killed with rifles or shotguns.
According to the FBI, there were a total of 625 murders committed with rifles and shotguns in 2012. That breaks down to 322 murders that were rifle related and 303 that were shotgun related.
The total number of deaths committed with fists, hammers, and other blunt objects was 1,196. That breaks down to 518 murders related to hammers and blunt objects and 678 related to fists.
Taken together, the rate of murder by fists and hammers was nearly 100 percent higher than the rate of murder by rifles or shotguns.
Follow AWR Hawkins in Twitter @AWRHawkins
AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

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Obama Administration Desperate to Censor Assassination Memo

After announcing it would comply with a federal court order, the Obama administration has decided that it wants to conceal more portions of a controversial memo authorizing the assassination of Americans overseas.
Last week, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said they would make public parts of the internal document written in July 2010 by then-federal lawyer David Barron that justified the use of drones or other means to kill U.S. citizens accused of terrorist involvement.
The declaration came as the U.S. Senate was considering Barron’s confirmation as a judicial appointee to the First Circuit Court of Appeals—a move that helped convince at least one Democratic senator, Mark Udall of Colorado, to support the nomination.
Now, with Barron’s place on the federal bench secure, the Justice Department says it needs to censor some sections of the memo dealing with national secrets, not legal reasoning for the assassinations.
“Some of the information appears to have been ordered disclosed based on inadvertence or mistake, or is subject to distinct exemption claims or other legal protections that have never been judicially considered,” Sarah Normand, an assistant U.S. attorney, told The New York Times.
The 41-page memo led the way for a drone strike in Yemen three years ago that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric suspected of plotting terrorist attacks.
The judicial order calling for the document’s partial disclosure came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Times and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeking to obtain a copy.
In seeking to keep additional redactions to the memo, the Justice Department asked the court to keep its request a secret—that next month’s hearing concerning the requested redactions be held privately, barring the presence of attorneys for the Times and the ACLU. But the judge denied that request.
Sen. Udall found it significant that the Obama administration gave its assurance that Barron’s legal reasoning for the drone assassinations would not be among the redacted portions of the memo.
“I intend to hold the White House to its word,” he said in a statement.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

NBC Censors Snowden’s Critical 9/11 Comments from Prime Time Audience

Statements made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden regarding the 9/11 terror attacks were edited out of his NBC Nightly News interview with Brian Williams Wednesday in what appears to be an attempt to bolster legitimacy for the agency’s controversial surveillance programs.
Snowden’s comments surrounding the failure of dragnet surveillance in stopping the 9/11 attacks were censored from the prime time broadcast and instead buried in an hour long clip on NBC’s website.

“You know this is a key question that the 9/11 commission considered, and what they found in the postmortem when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States, to detect this plot,” Snowden said.
“We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.”
NBC’s decision to annex Snowden’s comments are unsurprising given the fact that the 9/11 attacks are exhaustively used by the federal government as the prime justification for surveilling millions of innocent Americans. Snowden remarked on the government’s prior knowledge of the accused Boston bombers as well, also cut from the prime time interview.
‘If we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country or are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life,” Snowden said.
Despite countless government officials pointing to 9/11 foreknowledge, whether missed or ignored, establishment media outlets have continually worked to keep such voices out of relevant reporting.
Former NSA senior executive turned whistleblower Thomas Drake, who revealed unconstitutional surveillance programs targeting Americans in 2005, has repeatedly commented on NSA intelligence that would have “undoubtedly” stopped the 9/11 attacks.
“The NSA had critical intelligence about Al Qaeda and associated movements in particular that had never been properly shared outside of NSA,” Drake said in a recent interview. “They simply did not share critical intelligence although they had it.”

In a January letter to President Obama, Drake and fellow whistleblowers William Binney, Edward Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe not only detailed the agency’s foreknowledge, but the ensuing cover-up as well.
“The sadder reality, Mr. President, is that NSA itself had enough information to prevent 9/11, but chose to sit on it rather than share it with the FBI or CIA. We know; we were there,” the letter reads. “We were witness to the many bureaucratic indignities that made NSA at least as culpable for pre-9/11 failures as are other U.S. intelligence agencies.”
Outside of the NSA, countless intelligence officials have also commented on 9/11 foreknowledge and the federal government’s attempts to stifle any investigation into negligence and wrongdoing.
Former senior intelligence officer Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer, who attempted to inform the government after identifying the two terrorist cells later charged for the 9/11 attacks in 2000 during Operation Able Danger, was attacked and demonized by the Defense Intelligence Agency after informing Congress of the agency’s refusal to act.
“I had no intention of joining the ranks of ‘whistle blowers,’” Shaffer said in 2009. “When I made my disclosure to the 9/11 commission regarding the existence of a pre 9/11 offensive counter-terrorism operation that had discovered several of the 9/11 terrorists a full year before the 9/11 attacks my intention was to simply tell the truth, and fulfill my oath of office.”
Former FBI wiretap translator Sibel Edmonds, who had access to top-secret communications, told reporters in 2004 that the FBI had detailed 9/11 foreknowledge that specifically mentioned a terrorist attack involving airplanes.
“We should have had orange or red-type of alert in June or July of 2001. There was that much information available,” Edmonds told Salon. “There was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should’ve alerted the people to the threat we’re facing.”
According to Edmonds, after the 9/11 attacks, FBI supervisors ordered translators to “work slowly” in order to ensure that the agency would get larger funding the next year.
The vast number of whistleblowers in the intelligence community not only gives credence to Snowden’s comments, but also exemplifies the NSA’s illegitimate growth since 9/11.
In a desperate attempt to gain the moral high ground, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed Snowden had aided terrorists during an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday despite having absolutely no evidence to support his accusation.
Despite the fact that the NSA leaks have proven the agency to be involved in issues unrelated to national security, such as economic espionage, the claim of using mass surveillance to stop terrorism deteriorates even further in light of recent decisions by the Obama Administration.
In 2013, President Obama waived a federal law designed to prevent the US from arming terrorists in order to provide military support to the “Syrian rebels.” Even with Syrian Revolutionary Front leader Jamal Maarouf admitting that his fighters work alongside the Al-Qaeda aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, the Obama Administration has continued its unflinching support.
The president’s support of Al-Qaeda was so transparent during the Libyan overthrow that former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich publicly questioned why the US-backed “Libyan rebels” had placed an Al Qaeda flag over the top of the courthouse in Benghazi.

Whether it be issuing fake terror alertscreating domestic terror plots or allowing them to take place, the national security state will undoubtedly do whatever it can to continue its unabated growth towards total information awareness.

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