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After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded.  When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet.  This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.”  He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition.  Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger.  Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.

The media coverage that followed Lopez’s rampage was, of course, 24/7 and there was much discussion of PTSD, the all-purpose (if little understood) label now used to explain just about anything unpleasant that happens to or is caused by current or former military men and women. Amid the barrage of coverage, however, something was missing: evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the “homeland” as the troops return.  In that context, Lopez’s killings, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide.  It’s a story with a body count that should not be ignored.

War Comes Home

During the last 12 years, many veterans who had grown “worse” while at war could be found on and around bases here at home, waiting to be deployed again, and sometimes doing serious damage to themselves and others.  The organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has campaigned for years for a soldier’s “right to heal” between deployments.  Next month it will release its own report on a common practice at Fort Hood of sending damaged and heavily medicated soldiers back to combat zones against both doctors’ orders and official base regulations. Such soldiers can’t be expected to survive in great shape.

Immediately after the Lopez rampage, President Obama spoke of those soldiers who have served multiple tours in the wars and “need to feel safe” on their home base. But what the president called “that sense of safety… broken once again” at Fort Hood has, in fact, already been shattered again and again on bases and in towns across post-9/11 America — ever since misused, misled, and mistreated soldiers began bringing war home with them.

Since 2002, soldiers and veterans have been committing murder individually and in groups, killing wives, girlfriends, children, fellow soldiers, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, and — in appalling numbers — themselves. Most of these killings haven’t been on a mass scale, but they add up, even if no one is doing the math.  To date, they have never been fully counted.

The first veterans of the war in Afghanistan returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2002.  In quick succession, four of them murdered their wives, after which three of the killers took their own lives. When a New York Times reporter asked a Special Forces officer to comment on these events, he replied: “S.F.’s don’t like to talk about emotional stuff.  We are Type A people who just blow things like that off, like yesterday’s news.”

Indeed, much of the media and much of the country has done just that.  While individual murders committed by “our nation’s heroes” on the “home front” have been reported by media close to the scene, most such killings never make the national news, and many become invisible even locally when reported only as routine murders with no mention of the apparently insignificant fact that the killer was a veteran.  Only when these crimes cluster around a military base do diligent local reporters seem to put the pieces of the bigger picture together.

By 2005, Fort Bragg had already counted its tenth such “domestic violence” fatality, while on the West coast, the Seattle Weekly had tallied the death toll among active-duty troops and veterans in western Washington state at seven homicides and three suicides.  “Five wives, a girlfriend, and one child were slain; four other children lost one or both parents to death or imprisonment. Three servicemen committed suicide — two of them after killing their wife or girlfriend.  Four soldiers were sent to prison.  One awaited trial.”

In January 2008, the New York Times tried for the first time to tally a nationwide count of such crimes.  It found “121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war.” It listed headlines drawn from smaller local newspapers:  Lakewood, Washington, “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife”; Pierre, South Dakota, “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress”; Colorado Springs, Colorado, “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”

The Times found that about a third of the murder victims were wives, girlfriends, children, or other relatives of the killer, but significantly, a quarter of the victims were fellow soldiers.  The rest were acquaintances or strangers.  At that time, three quarters of the homicidal soldiers were still in the military.  The number of killings then represented a nearly 90% increase in homicides committed by active duty personnel and veterans in the six years since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.  Yet after tracing this “cross-country trail of death and heartbreak,” the Times noted that its research had probably uncovered only “the minimum number of such cases.”  One month later, it found “more than 150 cases of fatal domestic violence or [fatal] child abuse in the United States involving service members and new veterans.”

More cases were already on the way. After the Fourth Brigade Combat team of Fort Carson, Colorado, returned from Iraq later in 2008, nine of its members were charged with homicide, while “charges of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault” at the base rose sharply. Three of the murder victims were wives or girlfriends; four were fellow soldiers (all men); and two were strangers, chosen at random.

Back at Fort Bragg and the nearby Marine base at Camp Lejeune, military men murdered four military women in a nine-month span between December 2007 and September 2008.  By that time, retired Army Colonel Ann Wright had identified at least 15 highly suspicious deaths of women soldiers in the war zones that had been officially termed “non-combat related” or “suicide.” She raised a question that has never been answered: “Is there an Army cover-up of rape and murder of women soldiers?”  The murders that took place near (but not on) Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, all investigated and prosecuted by civilian authorities, raised another question: Were some soldiers bringing home not only the generic violence of war, but also specific crimes they had rehearsed abroad?

Stuck in Combat Mode

While this sort of post-combat-zone combat at home has rarely made it into the national news, the killings haven’t stopped.  They have, in fact, continued, month by month, year after year, generally reported only by local media.  Many of the murders suggest that the killers still felt as if they were on some kind of private mission in “enemy territory,” and that they themselves were men who had, in distant combat zones, gotten the hang of killing — and the habit. For example, Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old Army veteran, went to a party in Seattle in 2012 and got into a gunfight that left four people wounded.  He then fled to Mount Rainier National Park where he shot and killed a park ranger (the mother of two small children) and fired on others before escaping into snow-covered mountains where he drowned in a stream.

Barnes, an Iraq veteran, had reportedly experienced a rough transition to stateside life, having been discharged from the Army in 2009 for misconduct after being arrested for drunk driving and carrying a weapon. (He also threatened his wife with a knife.) He was one of more than 20,000 troubled Army and Marine veterans the military discarded between 2008 and 2012 with “other-than-honorable” discharges and no benefits, health care, or help.

Faced with the expensive prospect of providing long-term care for these most fragile of veterans, the military chose instead to dump them.  Barnes was booted out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, which by 2010 had surpassed Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, and Fort Carson in violence and suicide to become the military’s “most troubled” home base.

Some homicidal soldiers work together, perhaps recreating at home that famous fraternal feeling of the military “band of brothers.” In 2012, in Laredo, Texas, federal agents posing as leaders of a Mexican drug cartel arrested Lieutenant Kevin Corley and Sergeant Samuel Walker — both from Fort Carson’s notorious Fourth Brigade Combat team — and two other soldiers in their private hit squad who had offered their services to kill members of rival cartels. “Wet work,” soldiers call it, and they’re trained to do it so well that real Mexican drug cartels have indeed been hiring ambitious vets from Fort Bliss, Texas, and probably other bases in the borderlands, to take out selected Mexican and American targets at $5,000 a pop.

Such soldiers seem never to get out of combat mode.  Boston psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, well known for his work with troubled veterans of the Vietnam War, points out that the skills drilled into the combat soldier — cunning, deceit, strength, quickness, stealth, a repertoire of killing techniques, and the suppression of compassion and guilt — equip him perfectly for a life of crime. “I’ll put it as bluntly as I can,” Shay writes in Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming, “Combat service per se smooths the way into criminal careers afterward in civilian life.”  During the last decade, when the Pentagon relaxed standards to fill the ranks, some enterprising members of at least 53 different American gangs jumpstarted their criminal careers by enlisting, training, and serving in war zones to perfect their specialized skill sets.

Some veterans have gone on to become domestic terrorists, like Desert Storm veteran Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in the Oklahoma federal building in 1995, or mass murderers like Wade Michael Page, the Army veteran and uber-racist who killed six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in August 2012. Page had first been introduced to the ideology of white supremacy at age 20, three years after he joined the Army, when he fell in with a neo-Nazi hate group at Fort Bragg.  That was in 1995, the year three paratroopers from Fort Bragg murdered two black local residents, a man and a woman, to earn their neo-Nazi spider-web tattoos.

An unknown number of such killers just walk away, like Army Private (and former West Point cadet) Isaac Aguigui, who was finally convicted last month in a Georgia criminal court of murdering his pregnant wife, Sergeant Deirdre Wetzker Aguigui, an Army linguist, three years ago. Although Deirdre Aguigui’s handcuffed body had revealed multiple blows and signs of struggle, the military medical examiner failed to “detect an anatomic cause of death” — a failure convenient for both the Army, which didn’t have to investigate further, and Isaac Aguigui, who collected a half-million dollars in military death benefits and life insurance to finance a war of his own.

In 2012, Georgia authorities charged Aguigui and three combat veterans from Fort Stewart with the execution-style murders of former Private Michael Roark, 19, and his girlfriend Tiffany York, 17.  The trial in a civilian criminal court revealed that Aguigui (who was never deployed) had assembled his own private militia of troubled combat vets called FEAR (Forever Enduring, Always Ready), and was plotting to take over Fort Stewart by seizing the munitions control point.  Among his other plans for his force were killing unnamed officials with car bombs, blowing up a fountain in Savannah, poisoning the apple crop in Aguigui’s home state of Washington, and joining other unspecified private militia groups around the country in a plot to assassinate President Obama and take control of the United States government.  Last year, the Georgia court convicted Aguigui in the case of the FEAR executions and sentenced him to life.  Only then did a civilian medical examiner determine that he had first murdered his wife.

The Rule of Law

The routine drills of basic training and the catastrophic events of war damage many soldiers in ways that appear darkly ironic when they return home to traumatize or kill their partners, their children, their fellow soldiers, or random strangers in a town or on a base.  But again to get the stories we must rely upon scrupulous local journalists. The Austin American-Statesman, for example, reports that, since 2003, in the area around Fort Hood in central Texas, nearly 10% of those involved in shooting incidents with the police were military veterans or active-duty service members. In four separate confrontations since last December, the police shot and killed two recently returned veterans and wounded a third, while one police officer was killed.  A fourth veteran survived a shootout unscathed.

Such tragic encounters prompted state and city officials in Texas to develop a special Veterans Tactical Response Program to train police in handling troubled military types.  Some of the standard techniques Texas police use to intimidate and overcome suspects — shouting, throwing “flashbangs” (grenades), or even firing warning shots — backfire when the suspect is a veteran in crisis, armed, and highly trained in reflexive fire.  The average civilian lawman is no match for an angry combat grunt from, as the president put it at Fort Hood, “the greatest Army that the world has ever known.”  On the other hand, a brain-injured vet who needs time to respond to orders or reply to questions may get manhandled, flattened, tasered, bludgeoned, or worse by overly aggressive police officers before he has time to say a word.

Here’s another ironic twist. For the past decade, military recruiters have made a big selling point of the “veterans preference” policy in the hiring practices of civilian police departments.  The prospect of a lifetime career in law enforcement after a single tour of military duty tempts many wavering teenagers to sign on the line. But the vets who are finally discharged from service and don the uniform of a civilian police department are no longer the boys who went away.

In Texas today, 37% of the police in Austin, the state capitol, are ex-military, and in smaller cities and towns in the vicinity of Fort Hood, that figure rises above the 50% mark.  Everybody knows that veterans need jobs, and in theory they might be very good at handling troubled soldiers in crisis, but they come to the job already trained for and very good at war.  When they meet the next Ivan Lopez, they make a potentially combustible combo.

Most of America’s military men and women don’t want to be “stigmatized” by association with the violent soldiers mentioned here.  Neither do the ex-military personnel who now, as members of civilian police forces, do periodic battle with violent vets in Texas and across the country.  The new Washington Post-Kaiser survey reveals that most veterans are proud of their military service, if not altogether happy with their homecoming.  Almost half of them think that American civilians, like the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t genuinely “respect” them, and more than half feel disconnected from American life.  They believe they have better moral and ethical values than their fellow citizens, a virtue trumpeted by the Pentagon and presidents alike.  Sixty percent say they are more patriotic than civilians. Seventy percent say that civilians fail absolutely to understand them.  And almost 90% of veterans say that in a heartbeat they would re-up to fight again.

Americans on the “home front” were never mobilized by their leaders and they have generally not come to grips with the wars fought in their name. Here, however, is another irony: neither, it turns out, have most of America’s military men and women. Like their civilian counterparts, many of whom are all too ready to deploy those soldiers again to intervene in countries they can’t even find on a map, a significant number of veterans evidently have yet to unpack and examine the wars they brought home in their baggage — and in too many grim cases, they, their loved ones, their fellow soldiers, and sometimes random strangers are paying the price.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175832/tomgram%3A_ann_jones%2C_star-spangled_baggage/#more

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WCC Vehicle 6
I’m confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were ‘pro-democracy protestors’.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these ‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.

Why was the occupation of government buildings in Ukraine a very good thing in January, but it is a very bad thing in April? Why was the use of force by the authorities against protestors completely unacceptable in January, but acceptable now? I repeat: I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

Pro-Russian activists gather outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff) Pro-Russian activists gather outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The anti-government protestors in Ukraine during the winter received visits from several prominent Western politicians, including US Senator John McCain, and Victoria Nuland, from the US State Department, who handed out cookies. But there have been very large anti-government protests in many Western European countries in recent weeks, which have received no such support, either from such figures or from elite Western media commentators. Nor have protestors received free cookies from officials at the US State Department.

Surely if they were so keen on anti-government street protests in Europe, and regarded them as the truest form of ‘democracy’, McCain and Nuland would also be showing solidarity with street protestors in Madrid, Rome, Athens and Paris? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

A thousand people gather in front of fences blocking the street leading to the Spain's parliament (Las Cortes) during an anti-government demonstration in Madrid (AFP Photo / Javier Soriano) A thousand people gather in front of fences blocking the street leading to the Spain’s parliament (Las Cortes) during an anti-government demonstration in Madrid (AFP Photo / Javier Soriano)

A few weeks ago I saw an interview with the US Secretary of State John Kerry who said“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” But I seem to recall the US doing just that on more than one occasion in the past 20 years or so.

Have I misremembered the ‘Iraq has WMDs claim’? Was I dreaming back in 2002 and early 2003 when politicians and neocon pundits came on TV every day to tell us plebs that we had to go to war with Iraq because of the threat posed by Saddam’s deadly arsenal? Why is having a democratic vote in Crimea on whether to rejoin Russia deemed worse than the brutal, murderous invasion of Iraq – an invasion which has led to the deaths of up to 1 million people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

AFP Photo / Pool / Mario TamaAFP Photo / Pool / Mario Tama

We were also told by very serious-looking Western politicians and media ‘experts’ that the Crimea referendum wasn’t valid because it was held under “military occupation.” But I’ve just been watching coverage of elections in Afghanistan, held under military occupation, which have been hailed by leading western figures, such as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a “historic moment for Afghanistan”and a great success for “democracy.” Why is the Crimean vote dismissed, but the Afghanistan vote celebrated? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

An Afghan policeman keeps watch as Afghan voters line up to vote at a local polling station in Ghazni on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rahmatullah Alizadah) An Afghan policeman keeps watch as Afghan voters line up to vote at a local polling station in Ghazni on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rahmatullah Alizadah)

Syria too is rather baffling. We were and are told that radical Islamic terror groups pose the greatest threat to our peace, security and our ‘way of life’ in the West. That Al-Qaeda and other such groups need to be destroyed: that we needed to have a relentless ‘War on Terror’ against them. Yet in Syria, our leaders have been siding with such radical groups in their war against a secular government which respects the rights of religious minorities, including Christians.

When the bombs of Al-Qaeda or their affiliates go off in Syria and innocent people are killed there is no condemnation from our leaders: their only condemnation has been of the secular Syrian government which is fighting radical Islamists and which our leaders and elite media commentators are desperate to have toppled. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

AFP Photo / Amr Radwan Al-HomsiAFP Photo / Amr Radwan Al-Homsi

Then there’s gay rights. We are told that Russia is a very bad and backward country because it has passed a law against promoting homosexuality to minors. Yet our leaders who boycotted the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of this law visit Gulf states where homosexuals can be imprisoned or even executed, and warmly embrace the rulers there, making no mention of the issue of gay rights.

Surely the imprisonment or execution of gay people is far worse than a law which forbids promotion of homosexuality to minors? Why, if they are genuinely concerned about gay rights, do our leaders attack Russia and not countries that imprison or execute gay people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb) US President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

We are told in lots of newspaper articles that the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party Jobbik is very bad and that its rise is a cause of great concern, even though it is not even in the government, or likely to be. But neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists do hold positions in the new government of Ukraine, which our leaders in the West enthusiastically support and neo-Nazis and the far-right played a key role in the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in February, a ‘revolution’ cheered on by the West. Why are ultra-nationalists and far-right groups unacceptable in Hungary but very acceptable in Ukraine? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/western-mainstream-media-disinformation-im-confused-can-anyone-help-me/5378093

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Do you know what happens to your earnings after they are swept up and tossed into the Medicare black hole?

A massive, new Medicare data release has uncovered a multimillion-dollar scandal that has been growing through the years. Consumer groups have been pressuring the government to release recent Medicare data and were taken aback when the numbers were finally unveiled.

Medicare system being exposed for what it really is

The data release reveals that government intervention in the marketplace has created a cursed system of fraud, a cycle of inefficiency and a dependency that has catered to special interests governing the medical establishment. Furthermore, the data release shows that the fraudulent Medicare system has been pressuring doctors to fraud taxpayers exponentially, as drug companies grow richer.

The government program, designed to provide health insurance for senior citizens, is really just a paradigm of social control, robbing citizens as they go through life and then enslaving them to a system of abusive medicine as they age.

As the country’s number one purchaser of healthcare services, Medicare ultimately shells out at least $77 billion to healthcare providers in a one-year time period — according to the new 2012 data release. It’s now apparent that this long-standing program has ballooned the cost of healthcare through the years, propping up a health insurance industry as the only answer to cover the bloated costs. Now the whole controlled medical system is so inefficient that even health insurance has become unaffordable for millions. But, believe it or not, some think that more government intervention and mandates is the answer, hence the formation of Obamacare and forced health insurance. This will not only perpetuate the problem, but also prop up drug companies as the greatest dictators in the history of mankind.

One doctor raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone

To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone. Dr. Melgen isn’t the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program. Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012, according to the new data release analyzed by The Washington Post.

Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is calling on the public for help in identifying fraud. He says, “The program is funded by and large by taxpayer dollars. The public has a right to know what it is paying for. We know there is fraud in the system. We are asking for the public’s help to check, to find waste, and to find potential fraud.”

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Thousands of vials of deadly SARS virus ‘go missing’ in France

Thousand of vials of the contagious respiratory disease SARS go missing from its high-security laboratory in France [No worries. The US will 'find' them.]

15 Apr 2014 More than 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus have gone “missing” from a high-security laboratory at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The research body insists there is no cause for alarm as the samples have “no infectious potential”, but it has filed a complaint against “persons unknown” in an attempt to resolve the mysterious disappearance. During a recent inventory, researchers at the Pasteur Institute discovered they had lost some 2,349 vials containing samples of the SARS virus.

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A Special Report On the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Admonishment: Let me make this perfectly clear, I am not approved as a certified journalist by Diane Frankenstein.

The Pacific Ocean Is Dying

A Special Report On the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Just prior to the Supermoon of March 18th, 2011, the world witnessed both a natural and a manmade disaster of epic proportions. What transpired off the coast of Honshu Island, Japan on March 11 has forever altered the planet and irremediably affected the global environment. Whereas the earthquake and tsunami proved to be truly apocalyptic events for the people of Japan, the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima is proving to be cataclysmic for the entire world.

Most of the world community is still unaware of the extremely profound and far-reaching effects that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had. If the nations of the world really understood the implications of the actual ‘fallout’ – past, current and future – the current nuclear energy paradigm would be systematically shut down. For those of us who are in the know, it is incumbent upon each of us to disseminate the relevant information/data necessary to forever close down the nuclear power industry around the globe.

TEPCO photo showing tangled wreckage inside the fuel pool at Fukushima after earthquake

There is now general agreement that the state of the art of nuclear power generation is such that it was deeply flawed and fundamentally dangerous from the very beginning. This fact was completely understood to be the case by the industry insiders and original financiers of every nuclear power plant ever built. Nuclear engineers had a very good understanding of just how vulnerable the design, engineering and architecture was at the startup of this industry. Nevertheless, they proceeded with this ill-fated enterprise at the behest of who?

Therefore, this begs the question, “Why would such an inherently unsafe technology and unstable design be implemented worldwide in the first place?”

More importantly, “Who ought to be responsible for mitigating this ongoing planetary nuclear catastrophe?” And, is there any practical way this predicament can be fixed? Is there technology available which can address this situation in any meaningful way?

With the increasing energy needs of the global economy pushing energy-poor nations like Japan into nuclear power, the economic incentive has always overridden good judgment. Especially in Japan do we see a nation that was literally set up to be a poster child for the nuclear power industry. This, in a place that is known to be the most seismically active region in the world!

“Does anyone in their right mind believe that nuclear power plants can ever be designed, engineered or constructed to withstand 9.0 earthquakes followed by 15 meter high tsunamis? Sorry if we offend, but such a display of so deadly a combination of ignorance and arrogance must represent the very height of hubris. Particularly in view of the inevitable consequences which have manifested at Fukushima, how is it that so few saw this pre-ordained and disastrous outcome, except by willful blindness?”
— Japan: A Nation Consigned To Nuclear Armageddon

Numerous headlines over the past few weeks have been relentless in trumpeting Japan’s begrudging response to this global wakeup call. For the first time since nuclear power has been used in the land of Nippon, all 55 nuclear power plants now sit idle. This is of course very good news for the people of Japan. The question now remains how to go about remediating all of these vulnerable and unsafe nuclear reactors. Particularly because of those nuclear plants that are located anywhere along the Japanese coastline is this remediation imperative an existential necessity.

Japan nuclear power-free as last reactor shuts

Japan switches off last nuclear power plant; will it cope?

International Forces Are Responsible For Fukushima;
An Immediate Global Response Needs To Be Formulated

Since the very first news about the Fukushima nuclear disaster came to light, many industry researchers and various investigations have unveiled the multi-decade plot to foist nuclear power onto the islands of Japan. The many forces arrayed against the Japanese people were so formidable that this ill-fated enterprise could only come to such an unfortunate outcome. Just as humankind learned from the folly of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fukushima has served as an example of how not to implement nuclear power generation.

“Quite purposefully, no one ever stopped to consider the obvious and far-reaching ramifications of constructing 55 nuclear reactors on the most seismically active piece of property on planet Earth! And, that doesn’t count another 12 reactors in various stages of planning or development.”
— An Open Letter to the People of Japan

If Japan is to remain habitable for future generations, there are certain (nuclear) matters confronting every corner of this island nation which must be addressed post haste. We know the people of Japan are up to it. The real question is whether the powers who have controlled their destiny are willing to back off for once since WWII.

Can the USA, the UK, France and Israel completely let go of their control of the Japanese economy, energy infrastructure and political process? Not only does the very existence of Japan rely on this relinquishment of control, the futures of the USA, UK and France do as well.

“Tokyo has the largest greater metro population in the world at about 34.3 million. Tokyo has the largest GDP of all major cities in the world – larger than both New York City and London. Tokyo is the economic/financial capital of the world’s 3rd largest national economy, as well as the primary economic engine of East Asia.”
– As Fukushima Goes, So Goes Japan

Most are not aware, even at the very highest levels of the Global Control Matrix, but as Fukushima goes, so goes Japan. Taken to its logical conclusion we can say with absolute certainty that as Japan goes, so goes the entire planet. In reality, Japan is not only a super-charged trigger point in the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is also a lynchpin for the world economy as the previous article well explains. Therefore, we would highly advise the Anglo-American power structure to take proper responsibility for this unprecedented global catastrophe and show up in great force on the Honshu coastline to remediate and de-activate wherever still possible.

Global “Manhattan Project” Required

It is quite quizzical that those who run the Global Control Matrix have not yet seized the day. What is clearly at stake is the Pacific Ocean, its shorelines, numerous national economies, as well as myriad ecosystems and aquatic environments.
If they persist in this display of passivity and willful neglect, the planet may never recover. Surely, we can offer the observation that as the Pacific becomes exposed to massive volumes of radioactive water being dumped from the Fukushima site, eventually this radiation will find its way to the four corners of that ocean and beyond.

There has been a steady barrage of headlines lately aimed at those who can respond to this global catastrophe with some degree of cogency. A uniquely cohesive international response is urgently required if there is to be any hope of a successful remediation. Only a fully represented international think tank and implementation team has any chance of formulating a strategy that might be successful at fixing Fukushima.

We’re thinking of a Manhattan Project type of gravity. After all, if such a serious project was established in the interest of creating an atomic bomb, surely a similar endeavor can be initiated in the interest of saving the same country, which was ravaged by nuclear war, from Fukushima-generated radiation.

Japan has clearly shown that this disaster is way beyond their ability to manage and capacity to address in any meaningful way. Their entire culture seems to ensure that the real problems will be constantly swept under the rug. The problem this time around is that there may soon be no rug to sweep it under.

As Fukushima Goes, So Goes Japan

The preceding article clearly sets forth the thesis that if Tokyo requires evacuation in the future, the Japanese economy will immediately collapse. This eventuality would merely be the first domino to fall toward the collapse of the entire global economy. The prospect at this point is so real that those decision-makers at the top of the Global Control Matrixcan’t afford not to inaugurate a worldwide effort to remediate Fukushima.

The Pacific Ocean Is Dying

How about the rest of the Pacific Ocean? What does the future hold in store for the largest body of water on Earth. One that circulates more water than any other ocean and possesses more coastline than all the others put together. The following headlines portend the future health of the Pacific, so all are encouraged to take serious notice.

Fukushima Daiichi Worker: Nothing can be done except to leak radioactive water! — Honestly feel that we are dumping massive amounts into ocean — Will spread all over world, reaching Hawaii and US soon

Nuclear Professor: 5,000 Hiroshima bombs worth of cesium-137 in spent fuel pool No. 4 — “Low estimate”

Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant

Former Ambassador: No. 4 reactor a top national security issue for entire world — Could start “the ultimate catastrophe”

Japan Nuclear Expert: Humanity as a whole has literally never experienced something like Fukushima — “We will be fighting this radiation on the order of tens or hundreds of years”

Radioactive Seawater Impact Map (March 2012), US Dept of State Geographer Image

The upshot of each of the preceding articles is that the Pacific Ocean is extremely vulnerable to the radioactive waste being dumped into her waters at Fukushima. Should another catastrophic earthquake occur, it could create a new and more complicated nuclear disaster scenario that is truly irreparable. Even without any seismic activity affecting the nuclear sites, the current state of affairs has taken for granted that the Pacific Ocean will become a nuclear dumping ground for decades to come. It has not been lost on us that such an inevitability appears to be the only practical expedient available.

We are truly saddened by the great loss of marine life and harm to myriad aquatic and shoreline ecosystems. As the nuclear radiation is exported around the Asian Ring of Fire, genetic mutation will begin to affect every form of life — from phytoplankton to whales, from seabirds to mangroves, from dolphins to krill. Everything that lives near the Pacific will be at risk to some degree. Anyone who lives, works or plays in or around the Pacific will be compelled to evaluate their relationship to this great ocean.

What have we done to Mother Earth by siting nuclear power plants in the most seismically active region of the world?!

What in God’s Creation can possibly be done to fix it?

Never in the history of humankind has the planet been confronted with such a grave set of circumstances. Fukushima represents all that can go wrong when scientific applications and technological advancement within a crude industrial context have gone awry. Unfortunately, given the many trajectories that numerous fields of technological innovation are currently on, Fukushima and the BP Gulf oil spill of 2010 may only be the beginning of a period of  accelerating technospheric breakdown which will sweep across the planet.

Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown Converge to Create Global Perfect Storm

http://dublinsmickdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/a-special-report-on-the-fukushima-nuclear-catastrophe-may-2012-when-they-talk-and-nobody-listens/

SD Bullion

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Ahhhhhh….hmmmmmmm……….

The poppy fields of bagrammmmmmmmmmm…..

where does it go?

Don’t you know?

Some call it snow……

Like powder

this is my

block

and this is my

glock

now run

that through your nose

strike a pose

with a gun

well done

well done

son…

well done….

We should ponder our doings deeply!

There is no fault or blame, just the opportunity to change directions….

Stay balanced, these are tense astrological times through the 23rd of April…

Hugs all around,

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US airstrike kills woman, two children in E. Afghanistan

15 Apr 2014 Local Afghan officials say at least three civilians– including a woman and two children — have been killed in a US-led airstrike in the country’s troubled east. A spokesman for the governor of Afghanistan’s southeastern Khost province said the incident took place in the Zani Kheil area on Monday night. The official added that a helicopter belonging to US-led foreign forces opened fire on a house during a training mission.

Free Standard Shipping at VetApprovedRx.com on Orders Over $39.00.

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Surf’s up! The Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – turning seawater into fuel:

After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.

The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it.

Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline.

This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being called, a “game changer.”

I expect the GOP to go ballistic over this and try to legislate it out of existence. It’s a threat to their fossil fuel masters because it will cost them trillions in profits. It’s also “green” technology and Republicans will despise it on those grounds alone. They already have a track record of trying to do this. Unfortunately, once this kind of genie is out of the bottle, it’s very hard to put back in.

There are two other aspects to this story that have not been brought up yet:

1. The process pulls carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas driving Climate Change) out of the ocean. One of the less well-publicized aspects of Climate Change is that the ocean acts like a sponge for CO2 and it’s just about reached its safe limit. The ocean is steadily becoming more acidic from all of the increased carbon dioxide. This in turn poisons delicate ecosystems like coral reefs that keep the ocean healthy.

If we pull out massive amounts of CO2, even if we burn it again, not all of it will make it back into the water. Hell, we could even pull some of it and not use it in order to return the ocean to a sustainable level. That, in turn will help pull more of the excess CO2 out of the air even as we put it back. It would be the ultimate in recycling.

2. This will devastate oil rich countries but it will get us the hell out of the Middle East (another reason Republicans will oppose this). Let’s be honest, we’re not in the Middle East for humanitarian reasons. We’re there for oil. Period. We spend trillions to secure our access to it and fight a “war” on terrorism. Take away our need to be there and, suddenly, justifying our overseas adventures gets a lot harder to sell.

And if we “leak” the technology? Every dictator propped up by oil will tumble almost overnight. Yes, it will be a bloody mess but we won’t be pissing away the lives of our military to keep scumbags in power. Let those countries figure out who they want to be without billionaire thugs and their mercenary armies running the show.

Why this is not a huge major story mystifies me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out so stay tuned.

UPDATE:

People have been asking for more details about the process. This is from the Naval Research Laboratory’s official press release:

Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.

In plain English, fuel is made from hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon). This process pulls both hydrogen and carbon from seawater and recombines them to make fuel. The process can be used on air as well but seawater holds about 140 times more carbon dioxide in it so it’s better suited for carbon collection.

Another detail people seem to be confused about: This is essentially a carbon neutral process. The ocean is like a sponge for carbon dioxide in the air and currently has an excess amount dissolved in it. The process pulls carbon dioxide out of the ocean. It’s converted and burned as fuel. This releases the carbon dioxide back into the air which is then reabsorbed by the ocean. Rinse. Repeat.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/04/12/navy-ends-big-oil/

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Despite proclamations that the “economy is improving” and that “unemployment is down,” one thing is evident and that is – for a number of reasons – food costs are soaring, and as they do, those most vulnerable, like the poor, the elderly and those earning the lowest wages, are being hurt the most.

“We are sure the weather is to blame but what happens when pent-up demand (from a frosty east coast emerging from its hibernation) bumps up against a drought-stricken west coast unable to plant to meet that demand? The spot price (not futures speculation-driven) of US Foodstuffs is the best performing asset in 2014 – up a staggering 19 percent,” notes Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge.

In February, the site gave voice to a sort of prelude to the aforementioned scenario, in publishing a post by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog:

Did you know that the U.S. state that produces the most vegetables is going through the worst drought it has ever experienced and that the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is now the smallest that it has been since 1951? Just the other day, a CBS News article boldly declared that “food prices soar as incomes stand still,” but the truth is that this is only just the beginning. If the drought that has been devastating farmers and ranchers out west continues, we are going to see prices for meat, fruits and vegetables soar into the stratosphere.

A number of factors are leading to price increases

Sure, prices are up because California’s drought is limiting supply. Some have even said that commodities prices are being pushed upward by speculators on Wall Street; that may be happening to an extent.

But there are a number of other factors that the government doesn’t report as having much of an effect at all on food prices (and remember, the government doesn’t include “volatile” food and energy prices in its monthly inflation reports).

Speaking of energy, the price of a gallon of fuel, especially diesel fuel, has a lot to do with the prices you pay at the grocery store. Historically, food supplies were more much more local; transportation costs, therefore, were much reduced (and that was during the era of much cheaper fuel). Not anymore; the impact on prices that California’s drought is having demonstrates how vast the U.S. food supply chain has become. With it has come higher transport costs.

Kimberly Amadeo, a U.S. Economy Guide at About.com notes:

Food prices rise in response to high gas prices. That’s because transportation is a large cost of food you buy at the store. When you notice prices at the pump rising, expect to see the same thing happen in about six weeks at the grocery store. High gas prices are, themselves, usually caused by high oil prices. Here again, it usually takes about six weeks for increases in oil futures to translate to the pump.

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — US Congress members are calling for action to be taken against the Palestinian Authority in response to the applications to join 15 international treaties, Palestine’s envoy in Washington said Sunday.Maen Areikat told Ma’an that some pro-Israeli US representatives have voiced their demands to impose sanctions against the PA, which including ceasing financial aid.Areikat said the US administration realizes the importance of the PA’s role in the peace process and the importance of financial aid in the current stage.“We did not hear any indication by the US administration about taking action against the PA,” Areikat said, explaining that stopping financial would will have negative repercussions for US interests.

He also said they would not affect plans to seek international recognition.

Areikat highlighted that the Palestinians should remain on guard and make their positions clear to Congress members.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was exposed last Friday as the mastermind behind the Bureau of Land Management’s persecution of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, can be seen in this March 2014 photo breaking ground for a new solar farm near the Bundy Ranch, emphasizing that the senator’s plan for solar projects in Nevada wasn’t just limited to the shelved solar farm near Laughlin.

Credit: First Solar Media press release via Business News

Signaling the first day of construction of the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, which is about 35 miles from the Bundy homestead in Bunkerville, Nevada, Sen. Reid joined representatives from the Moapa Band of Paiutes, executives from First Solar, Inc. and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the groundbreaking ceremony on March 21.

“First Solar is thrilled to celebrate this important milestone with Sen. Reid and distinguished guests, and honored to work with the Moapa Band of Paiutes on this landmark project,” Jim Hughes, the CEO of First Solar, said at the time.

The development of solar farms just like this one is exactly why Sen. Reid was using the BLM, whose director is Reid’s former senior advisor, to push Bundy out of the Gold Butte area his family has worked for over 140 years.

As we revealed last Friday in an article that became the #1 news story in the world for 24 hours, the BLM specifically stated that it wanted Bundy and his cattle out of the area as part of the agency’s “regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone.”

The BLM attempted a cover-up by deleting documents exposing the plan from its web site, but fortunately contributors at the Free Republic were able to save them for posterity.

Others have attempted to whitewash the situation by suggesting that the solar farm development was only limited to the shelved 2012 deal between Sen. Reid and Chinese-owned ENN Energy Group in Laughlin, Nev., but by reading the BLM’s own documents it is quite obvious that this is not the case.

“The BLM’s current action builds on the Western Solar Energy Plan, a two-year planning effort conducted on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to expand domestic energy production and spur development of solar energy on public lands in six western states,” the BLM announced in a March 14 press release. “The Western Solar Energy Plan provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah by establishing Solar Energy Zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those Solar Energy Zones, and a process through which to consider additional Solar Energy Zones and solar projects.”

“The Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone is the first of several pilot plans to be developed by the BLM,” the press release added.

In summary, the BLM, acting under Sen. Reid’s corrupt interests, wants Cliven Bundy out of the 600,000 acre Gold Butte area so the agency can use the land for future solar projects and de facto buffer zones surrounding the solar farms.

original link

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US denies MH370 ‘cover-up,’ denounces Diego Garcia link as ‘baseless conspiracy theory’

‘This is a baseless conspiracy theory that has already been debunked around the world.’ – Embassy press attaché Harvey Sernovitz

15 Apr 2014 Washington has strongly refuted all allegations of a cover-up in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. As discussions, including on social media, on the purported role of the United States behind the Boeing jetliner going missing continue to swirl, Washington, through its embassy here, said that they were all “baseless conspiracy theories”. The US Embassy here, in an email to the New Straits Times, said claims that MH370 was hidden somewhere in its island military base, Diego Garcia, were also wild allegations… Washington also addressed allegations that logs at Diego Garcia from March 8 to 10, had been wiped clean. “These reports are completely false. MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia. This is a baseless conspiracy theory.”

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Dennis O. Simmonds, Boston police officer wounded in Watertown shootout with Boston bombing suspects dies on duty at 28
Boston Police Department Dennis O. Simmonds, a decorated Boston police officer who was wounded in last year’s Watertown shootout with the Boston bombing suspects, has died on duty at the age of 28.

A 28-year-old Boston police officer, who was wounded in the Watertown shootout with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, has died after suffering a medical emergency.

Dennis O. Simmonds, who was set to receive a Top Cop Award from President Obama next month for his valiant service nearly a year ago today, died while on duty Thursday, his department announced Friday.

His cause of death was not disclosed.

His department instead described him as “a highly decorated and beloved” six-year police veteran who was assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force.

Police officers search homes for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown, Massachusetts April 19, 2013.  Police on Friday killed one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing during a shootout and mounted a house-to-house search for a second man in the suburb of Watertown after a bloody night of shooting and explosions in the city's streets. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi    (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) JESSICA RINALDI/REUTERS Simmonds was injured when an explosive was thrown at him on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Mass. He was one of many heros who responded to the small town in search of the Boston bombing suspects.

He had just taken his lunch break while training at the Boston police academy in Hyde Park when he suffered an undisclosed medical emergency, a police spokesman told the Boston Globe.

He was rushed to a hospital where despite efforts by Department and hospital personnel, he died that evening.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Simmonds family and friends during this very difficult time,” his department said in a release. “Officer Simmonds will be greatly missed by his friends, colleagues and all members of the Department.”

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TaxExtension

This island has come up in the news lately. We have some general information on it.

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Blackberry Accessories 80%

At least two people have been killed in the town of Kafr Zita in Syria’s central province of Hama in what appears to be a chemical attack.

 

Syrian television said on Saturday that more than 100 people were also injured in the attack carried out by militants from al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front on Friday.

The chemical agent used is believed to have been toxic liquid chlorine.

“There is information that the terrorist al-Nusra Front released toxic chorine…leading to the death of two people and causing more than 100 people to suffer from suffocation,” State TV said, adding, “There is information that al-Nusra Front is preparing to hit Wadi Deif in Idlib Province and Morek in Hama Province with toxic chorine or sarin.”

On August 21, 2013, hundreds of Syrians were killed and scores of others were injured in a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

The militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition accused the army of being behind the deadly attack.

Damascus, however, vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

Following the chemical attack, US stepped up its war rhetoric against the Syrian government and called for punitive military action against Damascus.

The Syrian government averted possible US aggression by accepting a Russian plan to put its chemical arsenal under international control and then have them destroyed.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/another-chemical-attack-in-syria-by-nato-backed-mercenaries/5377721

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