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There is a thesis in it.  Versions of it certainly circulate: smaller, and weaker powers, tend to pre-empt the wishes of their masters or those who would promise to protect them.   If performed successfully, rewards might issue from the mighty protector, be it in the form of dispensations and further guarantees of security.

The political environment of a democracy is peculiar in that regard, given that political pre-emption tends to be the internal province of police states. (To be in the dictator’s special invitations list, best try to predict what his wishes might be.) The democratic system adds the complication of “the people” – those wishes of the electorate which have to be abided by. The elected classes do, however, have to undertake some elaborate window dressing when dumping a policy on the sceptics and people who might suspect they are being taken for a dangerous and lack lustre ride.

Australia provides the most acute example of this play between the constituency that needs to be bribed, if not deluded, and a government that wishes to be in the good books of its great behemoth of an “ally”. (The term ally in the Australian-US relationship is more akin to a shotgun marriage between inherently unequal partners.) For that reason, ground must be smoothed out, and electors prepared for what those in Washington would want. It doesn’t pay to reveal how demeaning that state of affairs actually is – Australia is, after all the fluff about special relationships, essentially subordinate, its sovereignty qualified and conditioned by US strategic thinking.

There is some precedent for this. An ongoing argument made by such individuals as Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, is that the United States and its entrenched presence in Western Europe during the Cold War was the product of “empire by invitation”. The subtext there was one of pre-emption: the US will want their security enhanced by actually protecting Western Europe from the Soviet hordes. This also stood to reason, given that the American empire had come into being. “The American expansion went so deep and affected so many different parts of the world that it can be said to have resulted in an American empire.”[1]

Lundestad then ventures the notion that the cobbled empire that stumbled into the barracks and the institutions of Europe was a short-lived experiment, suggesting a rather naïve assessment.

By the 1970s, the US-European relationship had to be redefined in the wake of declining American influence, but that never meant that US bases, or US influence, would vanish. Some guests are reluctant to leave, and while the Soviet Union wearily packed up after its torturous decline in 1990, taking its place on the mantelpiece of history, Washington’s imperial juggernaut was reshaped.

The Abbott government has been doing its level best to second, even third guess, the decisions of the Obama administration. This has proven difficult in a sense, given the not infrequent bouts of indecisiveness that seem to arise in Washington. Will it re-deploy US forces in Iraq to add meat to air strikes against ISIS positions? Will there be a need for further sanctions on Russia to pressure separatists in Ukraine?

The measuring of what the US will do is important for the amateur psychoanalysts in the Prime Minister’s office. If the murmurings are humanitarian, then the Australian response is to anticipate that. Abbott has spoken to US officials about the “potential humanitarian disaster” in Northern Iraq that awaits if the planes aren’t flown in and the supplies aren’t dropped. “President Obama has already said that it has the potential to become a genocide and that’s why it’s important for Australia to join with our international partners in doing what we can to render humanitarian assistance.”[2] Note: it matters not a jot what the Australian assessment on the ground would have been – what Obama says, goes.

Humanitarian aid drops have a tendency of becoming military drops – food aid gives way to weapons when the moral rhetoric gets steamy with righteous indignation. Abbott is careful to underline the monstrosity he, and his colleagues, are facing while trumpeting the need to “protect civilians from a murderous onslaught.” The fate of the refugees of the Yazidi sect are coming in for some heavy publicity. Describing the capacity of the Royal Australian Air Force in terms of its humanitarian credentials is one thing (“a fleet of six C-17A Globemaster heavy lift aircraft as well as C-130 Hercules transport aircraft”[3]); adding the military edge to it is something that will come in due course. “We are talking to our … security partners about what we can usefully do to help.”

At this writing, the prospects of troops joining a mission against ISIS is very real indeed. Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, has left that road open despite the fact that Washington has not approached either he or the Prime Minister. This, despite US Secretary of State John Kerry claiming on Tuesday that there would be “no reintroduction of American combat forces.”

Abbott has, instead, decided to split hairs. “There is a world of difference between getting involved to prevent genocide and the kind of involvement that we’ve seen in recent years by Western countries in the Middle East.” With such flexible reasoning, one that uses terms of invasion as if they were policing metaphors, anything is possible.

What is surprising about all of this is that the Canberra policy hacks should be surprised when other powers retaliate. The Russian foreign ministry has found Australian efforts to piggyback on the sanctions regime against Moscow primitively unimaginative. It is – the Australian reliance on commodity exports places it at the mercy of powers who might wish to turn off the tap of demand. The powers of reading what the US might do then will come to naught.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

original link@ http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-australia-us-military-relationship-australian-troops-to-iraq/5396338

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Dr Jim Willie has been talking about the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) being joined by other nations to take down the dollar. He says there are now 80 nations in the BRICS alliance who have joined together to end the dollar’s reign as the international reserve currency. China could have taken down the US economy any time it wanted to after it had accumulated more than a trillion dollars in US Treasury bonds. All it had to do was to sell them and buy real assets until the US government collapsed and surrendered.

The Chinese are playing a much more sophisticated game. Their goal is to take down the dollar and the British pound but not to hurt their customers in Africa, Latin America, Australia and elsewhere. He thinks a Northern euro will emerge leaving southern Europe and France far behind. Italy’s future was hurt when they mistakenly decided to send half of their gold to New York. That gold is in Asia along with the bullion from the Netherlands and Germany. Dr Willie agrees with Jim Rickards who says the dollar will be devalued 80%. This will make imported goods 500% more expensive. And it will also enable foreigners to buy food off the shelves of America and Great Britain. Please note that the British pound is being targeted by the BRICS 80 as well.

Dr Willie also believes that J P Morgan and other financial firms in the US and the UK are helping China to manipulate gold and silver. The Chinese want to buy gold for a low price and spend it at a much higher price when everything goes to hell and Americans have to sell off their few remaining assets to feed themselves. He says the London and New York banks have been sending a thousand tons of gold to China every month since April of 2012. The dollar will collapse and the price of gold will skyrocket when there is no gold left in London and New York to send to China.

The Federal Reserve balance sheet has grown from $800 billion in 2009 to $3.9 trillion today. That is almost a 500% increase in less than 5 years. You would think that would be inflationary. But the federal government lies about employment, economic outlook and inflation. John Williams at Shadow Stats says the inflation rate is really almost 9%. Since GDP is flat, the real economy after factoring in the inflation rate is contracting at 9%.

Read more@ http://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/jim-willie-brics-80-preparing-to-take-down-the-dollar/

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3-Day Lite Emergency Kit

War: The Big Picture

All of the talk of war in the Ukraine and Syria is confusing … so here’s an executive summary:

more@ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/war-big-picture.html

 

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. According to a Justice Department study more than half of the prisoners in the U.S. suffer from a bona fide mental illness. Among female inmates, about three-quarters have a diagnosable mental disorder.

. According to a Justice Department study more than half of the prisoners in the U.S. suffer from a bona fide mental illness. Among female inmates, about three-quarters have a diagnosable mental disorder.

“We have embraced the idea that being mentally sick is a crime.”

It is way past time to overhaul the U.S. prison system.

I’m not talking about a little tweak here and there. I’m talking about throwing a massive metaphorical hand grenade into the entire system and starting over from scratch. We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing the system to have morphed into what it has.

Why should you care about this? Well, because you’re paying for it. Between states and the federal government the U.S. spends about $74 billion a year housing, feeding, providing health care (such as it is in prison) for inmates and supervising the newly released.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 2012 there were nearly 7 million Americans under the supervision of adult correctional systems. Translated: one in every 108 adults in the United States was incarcerated, a per-capita world record.

The problem, as I see it, centers on who we are locking up. The Washington Post reports that only one percent of them are in for murder. Four percent are serving time for robbery. The most serious charge against 51 percent of them is a drug offense.

But here is the most startling, heart-wrenching statistic of them all. According to a Justice Department study more than half of the prisoners in the U.S. suffer from a bona fide mental illness. Among female inmates, about three-quarters have a diagnosable mental disorder.

Why in the world are we locking up the mentally ill in the same place we house violent and predatory criminals? The answer is simple. Because there is nowhere else to put the “crazy people,” so we put them in jail after they act out. Many times their families have spent years begging for mental health care for their disturbed loved one to no avail. And sometimes, the “crazy people” deliberately commit crimes knowing they will be housed, fed and minimally medicated in lockup.

Back in the mid-’50s, psychotropic drugs like Thorazine were found to be so successful in quelling mental patient’s delusions and agitation that within a decade society decided it was cruel to continue to institutionalize them. The abuse of patients and unsanitary conditions found at some mental hospitals were ascribed to all such institutions so we closed them down. Patients were given a prescription for their meds and told they were “free.” No one seemed to notice that the planned community mental health centers never materialized and when one of these former patients had a problem there were very few places they could go for help.

The pattern continues to this day. There are simply not enough mental health beds to service everyone who needs help. Today, commitment is difficult and, sadly, we have to wait for the mentally ill to actually commit a crime before the state steps in. In the last few years, many of America’s mass murders were committed by untreated mentally ill people who should have been in a mental health care facility — for their protection and for ours.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? The very society that once agreed it was unjust to lock people up in mental hospitals now allows the mentally disturbed to be locked up in much more dangerous jails and prisons.

We have turned our backs on these folks and our prisons have become de facto psychiatric facilities. We have decided that these are throwaway human beings and embrace the idea that being mentally sick is a crime. Our children and grandchildren are going to look back and wonder what was wrong with us.

I could fill this entire page with quotes from wardens describing the horror of what happens to sufferers of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders and other mental illnesses once they enter prison. But the ugly truth is that some of those same wardens employ practices that are, literally, creating even more disturbed individuals.

The widespread use of solitary confinement in prisons has been shown to have a tremendously negative effect. Mostly because inmates — be they habitually violent, in danger from other prisoners or simply a rule breaker — are often held for months and even years in isolation. You know what being locked up, alone, for years at a time does to the human mind?

According to Dr. Stuart Grassian, a veteran psychiatrist from Harvard who is considered an expert on the effects of solitary confinement, prolonged seclusion only leads inmates to exhibit more impulsive and violent behavior.

“Ninety-five percent of these people will get out and be released back on the streets,” Grassian said on a National Geographic documentary. “All isolation will have done is make them as violent, crazy and dangerous as possible when they get out.”

So how long does the system continue doing what we know doesn’t work? When do the priorities shift away from warehousing chronic drug addicts with the hope that they will somehow cure themselves by their release date? When do we stop thinking it is morally defensible to house the mentally ill alongside career gang-bangers, rapists and killers? And, what will it take to convince prison administrators to reject the rage-filling practice of prolonged solitary confinement?

Look, I’m not advocating letting anyone out of prison. I’m suggesting its way past time to take a fresh look at revolutionary new ways to spend that $74 billion every year.

How about we start with a plan that separates the hardcore, habitual criminals from the mentally sick and persistently addicted? Keep the first group in a standard prison setting. Then, turn some of our prisons into psychiatric centers to help the more fragile inmates. The past confirms that an overwhelming majority of those who suffer from mental illness and addiction are not violent. They are lost souls who could possibly get their lives set straight if exposed to the right therapies and medications.

I’m embarrassed that we have adopted a toss-and-forget attitude about so many of our weakest citizens. Prison is not where they belong and it certainly isn’t where they will ever learn to become contributing members of society again. By continuing our current policies we insure only one thing: America’s per-capita standing as the world’s number one jailer.

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While Americans comprise only 5 percent of the world population, we consume an incredible 50 percent of Big Pharma’s drugs, as explained in Jeff Hays’ documentary film, Doctored. Make no mistake. These drugs are meant to keep us imprisoned in poor health, not heal us. It’s time to kick the drug habit America. Tell the drug pushers – Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, GlaxoSmith Kline, Abbott, Astra-Zeneca, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Sanofi (along with the FDA and CDC) that you are going cold turkey, and learn what true health really means.

Sadly, Americans are more familiar with names like Abilify, Nexium, Humira, Plavix, Crestor, Advair Diskus, Enbrel, and Cymbalta, the top selling drugs of Big Pharma, than  names like Aloe barbadensis, Curcuma longaAllium sativumMoringa oleiferaVitis vinifera L, all indigenous plants that have healed millions around the world.

You’ve likely heard the phrase before – just a dozen huge corporations are keeping Americans popping pills while they rake in billions, but have you really thought of what these numbers translate into, in terms of real health?

 

Annual sales for just one drug, Humira, was $9.3 billion. That puts Abott squarely at the top of the list as one of the most successful drug companies of all time.

One drug. One year. $9.3 billion.

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SDBullion.com – Homepage
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People inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an air strike in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda April 19, 2014. (Reuters)

People inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an air strike in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda April 19, 2014. (Reuters)

Dozens are reportedly dead in Yemen, including at least three civilians, as the result of a series of drone strikes that started in the southern part of the country on Saturday and is alleged to still be occurring two days later.

By noontime in Washington, DC on Monday, the Associated Press reported that 55 Al-Qaeda militants were among those that had been killed in an hours-long series of strikes that targeted a training camp operated by the group, according to Yemen’s interior ministry. The United States is alleged to have carried out the strikes using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, but does not legally have to acknowledge any operations conducted by its Central Intelligence Agency and has not commented.

People inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an air strike in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda April 19, 2014. (Reuters)

People inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an air strike in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda April 19, 2014. (Reuters)

While reports consider the strikes carried out by US-operated drones, outlets like The Bureau of Investigative Journalism say that, as of early Monday evening EDT, it is ultimately unknown whether Yemen military forces were involved or if the attacks were indeed executed with unmanned drones. A “high-level Yemeni government official” told CNN the attacks were “a joint US-Yemeni operation.” He added that, “unfortunately, a civilian truck was also hit.”

Among the 55 believed to be killed in that series of strikes, the AP reported, were three senior but unnamed Al-Qaeda leaders. The AFP also corroborated that claim by reporting that witnesses on the scene in Shabwa province early Monday said three alleged militants were indeed killed when a missile struck the car the men were traveling in that morning.

At the same time on Monday, an anonymous Yemeni government official briefed on the strikes told CNN that the strikes had yet to cease and that at, by his count, at least 30 alleged militants had been killed. Statistics regarding the death toll remain fluid, but preliminary reports concerning the strikes suggest that the number of those killed since Saturday is in the dozen.

More @ http://rt.com/usa/drone-yemen-dozens-dead-880/

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As the US and the European Union impose sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine for helping the people of Crimea to make a democratic choice to become a part of the Russian Federation, one specific question arises – where were all the sanctions when the West was carrying out genuinely illegal wars and interventions that resulted in destruction and thousands of innocent civilians being killed?

Unlike Russia, which has not fired one single shot in Crimea, nor has been seen as an invader by the people of Crimea, the West, primarily the United States and NATO countries, have caused havoc and destruction all over the world with little or no repercussions. Below are just three examples which warrant toughest sanctions to be imposed on Western powers.

The Iraq War 

The Lancet journal in 2006 published an estimate of 654,965 excess Iraqi deaths related to the war of which 601,027 were caused by violence. In terms of financial costs, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimates that the US will have spent almost $802bn (£512.8bn) on funding the war by the end of fiscal year 2011, with $747.6bn (£478bn) already appropriated. The dire consequences of Western invasion continued way beyond 2003. Sectarian violence in the conflict began to grow from early 2005. But the destruction of an important Shia shrine in February 2006 saw attacks between Sunni and Shia militias increase dramatically. This caused many Iraqi families to abandon their homes and move to other areas within the country or to flee abroad. The International Organization for Migration, IOM, which monitors numbers of displaced families, estimates that in the four years 2006-2010, as many as 1.6 million Iraqis were internally displaced, representing 5.5% of the population.

 Libyan Bloody intervention 

The intervention in Libya was supposed to be about saving lives and protecting civilians from the murdered Colonel Gaddafi. Instead it quickly became a catastrophe. Firstly, it is important to note that NATO acted completely outside its mandate. Secondly, just as currently in Syria, the West supported vile and blood thirsty rebels who took it upon themselves to create massacre after massacre. Amnesty International has produced compendious evidence of mass abduction and detention, beating and routine torture, killings and atrocities by the rebel militias Britain, France and the US have backed. Throughout that time African migrants and black Libyans have been subject to a relentless racist campaign of mass detention, lynchings and atrocities on the usually unfounded basis that they have been loyalist mercenaries. What is now known, is that while the death toll in Libya when NATO intervened was perhaps around 1,000-2,000 (judging by UN estimates), eight months later it became more than ten times that figure. Estimates of the numbers of dead range from 10,000 up to 50,000. The National Transitional Council puts the losses at 30,000 dead and 50,000 wounded. Currently, Libya continues to be in a state of anarchy with frequent assassinations, complete lack of security and towns controlled by aggressive militia.

 US Drone Strikes 

The impact of President Barack Obama’s drone strikes has been devastating to many communities in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. In Pakistan alone, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals. Where media accounts do report civilian casualties, rarely is any information provided about the victims or the communities they leave behind. Furthermore, current US targeted killings and drone strike practices undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections and may set dangerous precedents. There is clear doubt on the legality of strikes on individuals or groups not linked to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and who do not pose imminent threats to the US. The US government’s failure to ensure basic transparency and accountability in its targeted killing policies, to provide necessary details about its targeted killing program, or adequately to set out the legal factors involved in decisions to strike hinders necessary democratic debate about a key aspect of US foreign and national security policy.

Typical double standards and hypocrisy 

The above three examples clearly illustrate that the West, and especially the United States, has engaged in actions which undoubtedly warrant severe sanctions and even trials in the International Criminal Court. However those involved, such as George Bush, Tony Blair and current British Prime Minister David Cameron have been left untouched. Meanwhile these leaders have been the first to condemn and criticise the actions of Russia that cannot be compared to the atrocities committed by the West. The hypocrisy and double standards are perhaps cliché terms regularly attributed to the West, nevertheless, it is crucial to point out once again the lack of moral ground that the West can stand on when condemning Russia. Until sanctions are imposed on the Western countries that have engaged in atrocious and illegal activities over the last decade, Western powers have no right to speak out against the current crisis in Ukraine.

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In late 2004, protests erupted after Viktor Yanukovych won the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential election, with protestors claiming that the vote had been rigged. The protests forced a revote, in which Yanukovych’s rival, Viktor Yuschenko, was elected president. This movement, dubbed the Orange Revolution for the orange ribbons and clothing sported by its members, was one of a series of so-called colour revolutions which swept the former Soviet Republics in the last decade.

The two events are not unrelated. As The Guardian noted at the time of the protests:

“[...]the campaign [Orange Revolution] is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.[...]The Democratic parrty’s National Democratic Institute, the Republican party’s International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros’s open society institute.”

So it is not without reason that seasoned political observers looked for outside connections to the recent protests in Ukraine that has, in an almost exact repeat of the 2004 protests, sought to overthrow the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych in order to install Viktor Yuschenko’s political allies. Those connections have not been difficult to find.

Audio of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland apparently dictating who the US wanted “in” and “out” of the supposedly grassroots-supported interim government only came as a surprise to those who did not believe Washington or its allies in the Washington Consensus were actively involved with the ongoing protests in the country. As did the revelation of her admission last December that the US had already pumped $5 billion into the funding of the Ukrainian opposition.

As did the appearance of confirmed terrorist supporter John McCain at a rally with the leader of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Svoboda party leader. As did the appointment of a central banker as the interim Prime Minister and his immediate announcement that the country was in talks with the US, EU, and IMF for emergency loans. As did the appearance of a slick new viral propaganda video in English promoting the supposedly grassroots uprising which was immediately exposed as finding its “inspiration” in Council on Foreign Relations member Larry Diamond, who has worked closely with the same N.E.D. and USAID that were linked to the 2004 Orange Revolution.

In the latest startling revelation, Pando.com has published documents implicating the Omidyar Network in the funding of the current Ukrainian protest movement. The Omidyar Network is the NGO of billionaire Ebay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, who recently set up “First Look” as an outlet for (among others) Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras to selectively publish some of the Snowden document archive, 99% of which continues to be withheld from the public.

As geopolitical analysts from across the board explain, the Ukrainian coup has been deliberately provoked by outside agents to promote a combination of US, EU, NATO and IMF interests.

Perhaps more worrying than the interference itself are its potential implications. As Russia’s every move is now being scrutinized for a possible military response to the ongoing crisis, the specter of a larger military operation now hangs over Eastern Europe. Part of the decade-long encirclement of Russia by NATO and deliberate provocations on Russia’s doorstep, this process of brinksmanship now threatens to plunge the region into a war the consequences of which cannot be foreseen, let alone contained.

As supposedly “progressive” outlets once again scramble to throw their support behind the billionaire oligarchs and NGOs that have helped to destabilize the country, and as neocons unite with neoliberals in their agenda to carve up Ukraine for western interests, it remains to be seen what genuine alternative outlets will stand up against this blatant interference and stand up for the principle that it is up to the Ukrainian people, and no one else, to decide what happens in their country.

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Frank Scott
Official American policy regarding the Ukraine, Russia, Putin and democracy has left the realm of ignorance and can only be described as stupid. Even the pressure of running an empire and maintaining capitalism are not enough to excuse present behavior and actions, previously labeled by some as demented but presently, and however more dangerous, no more or less than complete stupidity.
Defined by the dictionary as “the quality of being stupid”, that word needs to be clarified in meaning:
Stupid – in a state of stupor, lacking normal intelligence or understanding, slow, dull witted, the quality of incapacity to perceive or learn.
Yep.
Labeling the president, secretary of state, congressional gas bags and a wanna be president as stupid might actually be kinder than calling them murderous hypocrites, but the quality of being stupid is an important component part of the skills necessary to play the roles of a murderous   hypocrite.
Listen to the secretary lecturing about democracy and civility while presiding over a most uncivil and anti-democratic excuse for humanity that bombs and kills all over the globe with the largest military force and budget in history, or the president forced by his employers to mouth off with comments about freedom even he must know make no sense while his regime throws a catholic nun in jail for three years for non-violently trying to warn of the nuclear menace and puts private manning in the slam for thirty five years for daring to tell americans what he felt they should know about their country’s bloody crimes in foreign places. And possibly worst of all given her already under way billionaire coronation as future first empress of the nation,, the feminist pretender calling Putin’s actions an equation of Hitler’s, this pleasing to the gallery of mentally poor readers in America but causing sever stomach cramps and hysterical laughter all over the rest of the planet.
Whatever the flaws and faults of the Ukrainian regime, an elected president was deposed under the gun and without even a pretense of an election. If Lord Obama were thrown out of the half-white house by a mob of Tea Party “Patriots”, would there be such support from supposed liberals and progressives? If a force of righteous Occupy Wall Street types threw him out on his butt, would conservatives and slack jawed Ayn Randites rise up in support of these anti-capitalists and call it democracy? And would media stenographers be presenting and echoing the mouthings of experts (?) who should wear propeller beanies to identify their mental capacity as “analysis” of affairs in a nation so far way and foreign that people who know little or nothing about Canada and Mexico can be led to believe after listening to and reading such garbage that they are now expert on a place many could not find on a map?
Hint: it’s right next to a very big place called Russia.
Does a snake have wings?
Is a bluebird blue?
Are you kidding?
If you are a member of the Low I.Q. Club and are not already on the paid staff of our disabled regime, please send in your resume to fill some of the positions soon to be open by those who will be leaving under the stress of mental breakdown and/or legal actions.
Is it any wonder that Americans who know all about Academy Award winners, losers, their mates, dates and latest publicly revealed private conversations, know so little about the world that they swallow garbage poured into their heads about the menace allegedly created by Putin while remaining relatively deaf dumb and blind to the horrors of the imbeciles running them and their nation into planetary brick walls?
Hey, in this economy, a job’s a job.
email: fpscott@gmail.comFrank Scott writes  political commentary and satire which appears online at the blog Legalienate

http://legalienate.blogspot.com

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New Ooga Booga No Longer Effective … So Government Switches Back to Tried-And-True Old-Timey Ooga-Booga

Preface: I’m not siding with Putin on the Ukrainian dispute. I don’t like Communism.  I was born in the U.S. and have lived here all of my life.  I hate Stalin with a passion – a man who killed countless protesters, and sent numerous others away to insane asylums – and have railed against the “useful idiots” who naively supported the Soviets. I also think that Putin is a corrupt kleptocrat.  I’m just pointing out that the U.S. Government is completely overreacting and fear-mongering. This is taking place on the other side of the world, and doesn’t effect America’s national security (although we may have heavily invested in the outcome).

Fear of terrorists made the American public afraid, gullible and easy to manipulate for more than a decade.

But now – despite the best efforts of the military-industrial complex to  intentionally whip up an exaggerated hysteria of Islamic terrorists –  Americans are starting to wake up from our fear-induced haze:

Indeed, Americans are realizing that we’re more likely to be killed by lightning, toddlers, brain-eating parasites or bad government policy than terrorism.

So how can the poor lads in the military industrial complex keep the gravy train going?

The evil Russians!  That worked last time … it’ll work again!

All they have to do is re-demonize the Russians.  How long can it take to scrub the images of the peaceful Olympics – and Putin’s prevention of war against Syria – out of people’s minds, and re-instill the fear of the old Red Menace?

After all, in the 1970s, Cheney and Rummy generated fake intelligence exaggerating the Soviet threat in order to undermine coexistence between the U.S. and Soviet Union, which conveniently justified huge amounts of cold war spending.  And see this. That worked like a charm!

Surely, a few misrepresentations about Putin’s intention to start the next world war and take over the world will scare the daylights out of the American people!

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“Humanity is at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history.”

 by Frank Scott

Which is why what remains of a privileged population in the USA is being mobilized to support regime change in Syria, Thailand, Venezuela and the Ukraine, a health care marketplace in the USA, a zealous drive to destroy Iran and an equally fanatic attempt at declaring Russia a worse menace now than at the time of brain dead american anti-communism. Orwell might suffer a stroke and complete paralysis if he were alive to see what deranged lunacy now passes for news reporting. And he might stop breathing completely at the form taken by some allegedly progressive social activism.

As the crisis builds many well meaning people are led to make it worse by swallowing a forced diet of propaganda and not only accepting that as a healthy meal but having it fuel idiotic pursuit of what they are told would be a better world if only elected foreign governments would collapse and their people become more devout worshipers at the church of the market. Where to begin?

The Olympics have long been nothing more than a massive global advertising campaign to occupy minds with products and orgies of jingoism, but when in a state on the west’s hit list we get far more than the average criticism of this international marketing flesh pot. Attacks on Putin’s Russia and the Ukraine leadership are related and both display hopeless ignorance on the part of American public opinion, which is exactly as American public opinion shapers would have it.

Suddenly, Americans who might pass out or be horrified at being forced to listen to what is called “punk rock” are moved to ecstatic fan worship by stories of pussy power Russian women who hate Putin and represent as much public opinion in their country as cricket fans do in the USA. And a nation with an economic crisis gripping millions, suffering an open season on shooting civilians and an ecological problem with fossil fuel use growing worse each day is supposed to be outraged because stray dogs in Sochi are mistreated and gays in Russia are not as free as homeless people are here. Hello?

An elected leader in the Ukraine, whatever his faults, is under attack by forces that might want the nation split in two, and that may yet result from the present assault. An attempt to incorporate parts of the Ukraine culturally aligned with the west into the NATO military shopping mall, thereby creating a further menace to Russia, is supported by manipulated american public opinion from conservative Fox to moderate PBS and including some Pacifica progressives (?) anxious to look politically correct.

How can it be “democratic” for an elected regime in the Ukraine or Venezuela to be thrown out of office by an uprising of some citizens aided by U.S financing and many other outside forces? And now the spineless president who grovels before the Israeli lobby and remains mute at the savaging of Palestinians is making bold threats that violence in the Ukraine will incur harsh response from Master Race-Chosen People-Exceptional Nation headquarters in the USA.

Reports of mass vomiting from Vultures, Hyenas, Ghouls and others that feed on the dead may not be true but seem to make sense under these circumstances.

If the archconservative right demanded Obama be thrown out for his sins of socialism, Muslimism, alien birth or other fantasies entertained by some of these middle school dropouts, would American liberals and progressives rush to join the Tea Party? Actually, some might benefit from doing so if only to confront up close and personal a criticism of nothing more than personalities, which is common to both sides of the two-wings but really one-party TV show foisted on the nation as “democracy”.

But present response to the situation referred to in the opening quote, especially from the dangerously crumbling minority that calls itself “the international community”, needs to be a concern not only to the people in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Thailand and the Ukraine, but even more to the people of the USA who play a major role in this crisis nearing a dangerous point of no return for the real international community.

And we are members of that group, even though our leadership seems to think we preside over the world according to some directive from the market gods of Wall Street, Corporate Capital and Zion. Religious folk who believe in a god of justice and peace need to join with agnostics who at least accept the last two ideals, and work to bring about a solution to the crisis facing all of humanity, before it’s too late and a self chosen minority calling itself an elite brings the whole structure down on our heads.

Frank Scott writes  political commentary and satire which appears online at the blog Legalienate

http://legalienate.blogspot.com
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The US, the UK, Russia, China and France are rebuilding or upgrading their arsenals of nuclear weapons. The other four nuclear states(Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea) too are ‘improving’ their arsenals. As we discuss the statistics and strategies of ‘nuclear arsenals’ and ‘nuclear deterrence’ it can be hard to keep in mind the reality underlying the abstract discussions.

The nine nuclear states have over 10,000 nuclear weapons in their stockpiles1. This is enough to wipe out the entire population of the planet many times over together with all other life forms.

Is this sane? Has the human race lost its senses? A single United States thermonuclear warhead, designated W88, has an estimated ‘yield’ of 475 kilotons2.  The ‘yield’ is the destructive power expressed in tons of TNT equivalent.

The W88 is over 30 times more destructive than the bomb which wiped out Hiroshima.

A single W88 could completely destroy London, Moscow or New York. Each bomb on a major city would kill millions of people; women, children, babies, old people, everyone. The suffering would be indescribable and for many would go on for months and years before death. No emergency services could begin to cope There would be no relief. What sort of people would do such a thing? What kind of human would threaten such an atrocity?

File:W-88 warhead detail.png

 

The US government has 5 nuclear submarines on patrol at all times carrying 1000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb3. Is it possible to imagine the degree of paranoia represented by such a standing threat? The UK government has started to spend one hundred billion pounds on rebuilding its Trident fleet of nuclear submarines, each one with the capacity to incinerate over 40 million people. This is being done at a time when many citizens are suffering from inadequate defences against flooding and when the social services are being radically cut back.

The situation is being rendered even more dangerous by the US and Russia who keep 1,800 weapons on high alert atop long-range ballistic missiles that are ready to launch 5 to 15 minutes after receiving an order!

It is ironic that the worst offenders are the five permanent members of the ‘Security’ Council of the United Nations. They have had 69 years to get rid of their nuclear weapons while all that the citizens of the world hear from them are windy speeches around purported good intentions which never come to fruition.

Citizens of the world have simultaneously become aware that the nuclear states do not intend to get rid of their nuclear weapons and that their existence imposes a permanent and intolerable threat to us all. The existence of nuclear weapons means they could be used by accident, by misunderstanding or by malicious intent. How can we ever be sure that some deranged psychopath will not gain power in one of the nuclear states and deceive him/herself into believing that it is in their best interests to make a first strike? How can we ever be sure that some terrorist organisations will not hack into the electronic control systems and carry out the launching themselves? And we now know that even a small nuclear exchange could be a lethal threat to everyone on the planet. In a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan 20 million people would die from the nuclear blasts, fires, and radioactive fallout. And the fallout would have global consequences that would kill millions of people, disrupt climate patterns, and threaten global agricultural collapse4.

 Furthermore decent people round the globe know that the existence of nuclear weapons is a brooding evil which undermines the moral integrity of humankind. As the great moral leader Desmond Tutu wrote “Nuclear weapons are an obscenity. They are the very antithesis of humanity5…’

The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons. The other weapons of mass destruction have already been banned. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all.

And finally there is hope. The huge burgeoning of awareness in the citizens of the world is bearing fruit.

There are 9 nuclear states and there are 183 non-nuclear states. The security of the non-nuclear states is threatened by the irresponsible and self-focused behaviour of the 9 others. But these 9 are outnumbered by 20 to one. The non-nuclear majority which do not feel the need for a lethal ‘security’ crutch have decided to take the initiative. And rather than focus on the numbers and ‘yields’ of the weapons it was wisely decided to concentrate on the effects on humanity of the use of nuclear weapons. The next logical development, as the nuclear states continue to deny their obligations to shed their arsenals, is for the non-nuclear states to proceed independently to enact a treaty outlawing these weapons internationally. By focusing attention on the humanitarian consequences of their use they are well on their way to doing so.

The first International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in 2013. Humanity owes a great debt to Norway for this initiative.

This ground-breaking and historic conference was attended by delegates from 127 countries and 70 nongovernmental organizations. The nuclear states were invited but declined to attend. It is not easy to face up to the implications of these arsenals especially if you bear the primary responsibility. India and Pakistan sent observers.

After hearing presentations from a wide range of experts on the various effects of nuclear weapon detonations the conference concluded that “it is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected.” Conference members also agreed that the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation will not be constrained by national borders but will produce significant negative regional and global effects6.

Mexico offered to host a follow-up meeting to this conference and such is the vital importance of this approach that other states declared their intention to organise additional events on this subject.

The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in Nayarit, Mexico, on 13 and 14 February 2014. It included delegations representing 146 States, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and civil society organizations.

The powerful summary statement of the conference Chair pointed out that the broad participation of states and civil society reflected the burgeoning awareness that this issue is of the utmost importance to all the peoples of the world. Due to ‘…proliferation, the vulnerability of nuclear command and control networks to cyber-attacks and to human error and potential access to nuclear weapons by non-state actors, in particularly terrorist groups’ the risks are ‘growing globally’.

The risks of ‘accidental, mistaken, unauthorised or intentional use is growing significantly due to more countries holding weapons on higher levels of combat readiness’. As awareness of the humanitarian impact grows hearts and minds are being changed worldwide. These weapons must be outlawed; ‘in the past, weapons have been eliminated after they have been outlawed. We believe this is the path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons’. He called for a ‘legally binding instrument’ and declared that the, ‘time has come to initiate a diplomatic process conducive to this goal. Our belief is that this process should comprise a specific timeframe, the definition of the most appropriate fora, and a clear and substantive framework, making the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons the essence of disarmament efforts. It is time to take action 7.’

The Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Austria later this year. The movement for an international ban is unstoppable.

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)8 is a coalition of over 350 organisations in 90 countries. Ray Acheson, in her closing statement on behalf of ICAN to the Second Conference included the words ‘The claim by some states that they continue to need these weapons to deter their adversaries has been exposed by the evidence presented at this conference and in Oslo as a reckless and unsanctionable gamble with our future’.

She went on to explain that the use against cities of less than one percent of existing weapons would put billions of lives in jeopardy and have a long lasting detrimental  effect on both the planet’s climate and agriculture. She insisted that we must act to get rid of them or they will be used by accident, misunderstanding or malicious intent. Getting rid of them will take courageous leadership by states but such leadership will have the support of civil society. She concluded ‘It is time to change the status quo. It is time we ban nuclear weapons.

 So with these and other major forces at work there is an unstoppable movement towards banning these Armageddon machines. The nuclear states have become a sorry sight. Frozen in a realm of outdated thinking which was always inhuman; their leaders frightened and paranoid and prepared to put the survival of humanity in jeopardy simply in order to feel important and powerful as they strut, uncomprehending, on the world stage.

Their brief and nightmarish ascendancy is over. The world has moved on.

source link

Notes

1.     http://www.scribd.com/doc/168600341/Bulletin-of-the-Atomic-Scientists-2013

2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W88

3.     http://www.psr.org/chapters/washington/energy-and-peace/trident.html

4.      http://www.good.is/post/what-the-volcano-can-teach-us-about-nuclear-war/

5.    http://wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php?article_id=417

6.    http://thebulletin.org/mexico-preview-humanitarian-approach-disarmament

7.    http://www.sre.gob.mx/en/images/stories/cih/ci.pdf

8.    http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/ican-closing-statement-to-the-second-conference-on-the-humanitarian-impact-of-nuclear-weapons/

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Tsar Bomba – King of the bombs

The bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945 scared world leaders into

1. Forming the UN on 24 Oct 1945
2. Forbidding knowledge of energy in cores of
_ a.) Heavy atoms like Uranium
_ b.) Ordinary stars like the Sun

After the USSR exploded the Tsar bomb in Oct 1961 (>1000 times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945)

Frightened leaders of both political parties apparently agreed, “BETTER RED THAN DEAD !”

Today I am pleased to report that sixty-eight years (2014 – 1946 = 68 yrs) of magical, pseudo-scientific models are crumbling in the face of reality.

That game is over. World leaders and their armies of pseudo-scientists have encountered a Higher Power.

Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

tsar bomba

On October 23, 1961, Soviet pilot A. E. Durnovtsev guides his Tu-95 Bomber towards the Arctic Sea above Novaya Zemlya Island. This day will make atomic history, not as an advancement in nuclear science, but rather as a statement of intimidation by the Soviet Union to the United States in those tense days now known as The Cold War.

The bomber is carrying a secret cargo that will soon make the world take notice of Russia as a serious nuclear threat to the survial of mankind. For on this day a nuclear weapon rides into history as the largest thermonuclear bomb ever constructed and detonated named, “Tsar Bomba…King of the Bombs.”

The events of the Cold War leading up to Tsar puts a strain on world peace as the U.S. and Soviet Union play a deadly game of military and political “cat and mouse”.

  • Jan. 1960 – Khrushchev’s speech at the United Nations for support of “wars of national liberation” is viewed as Communist intervension into third world countries.
  • Jan. 1961 – JFK’s in his inauguration speech responds to Khrushchev’s speech stating, “…oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty”.
  • April 1961 – CIA-backed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs fails making the United States appear weak in military strength.

kruschev kennedy The events of the Cold War leading up to Tsar puts a strain on world peace as the U.S. and Soviet Union play a deadly game of military and political “cat and mouse”.

On July 10, 1961 Nikita Khruschev meets with Sakharov, then the senior weapon designer, and directs him to develop a 100 megaton bomb. This device had to be ready for a test series due to begin in September so that the series would create maximum political impact.

  • Aug 1961 – The Berlin Wall is erected by the Soviets dividing Berlin into two separate cities: East Berlin (communist) and West Berlin (democratic).
  • Sept 1961 – President Kennedy’s letter in the Sept issure of LIFE advises Americans to build fallout shelters. For an entire year the American public is obsessed with “fallout shelter mainia”.

Tsar was developed in a remarkably short time, just fourteen weeks after the initiation of its design. It weights in at 27 metric tons!

A scaled down version of the original is produced by replacing the uranium fusion tamper (which amplifies the reaction) with one made of lead to eliminate fast fission by the fusion neutrons, hence reducing the power of the original version. A 50 megaton bomb was now ready to be detonated.

The test method for Tsar was a Parachute Retarded Airburst dropped from a bomber at 4000 meter altitude.

October 23, 1961 the Soviet Union unexpectedly explodes Tsar. The impact of a 100 meg ton atomic bomb startles the world because Khrushchev had assured President Kennedy in June 1961 that the Soviet Union wouldn’t test nuclear devices if the United States didn’t.

Some interesting facts regarding Tsar Bomba:

  1. A bomb this size is virtually useless militarily. The efficient method to destroy a city is with many smaller bombs rather than one huge bomb.
  2. If detonated at full scale the yield of 100 megatons (100Mt–equal to one hundred million tons of TNT). The explosive force of this bomb would have been approximately 6,500 times the 15-16 kiloton bomb detonated at Hiroshima. It would have increased the world’s total fission fallout since the invention of the atomic bomb by 25%.
  3. The fabrication of the massive parachute disrupted the Soviet nylon hosiery industry. Commerical impact unknown.
  4. Bomber pilot A. E. Durnovtsev was made a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Tsar was not the “end to all” in the days of the Cold War. It proved that the delivery of nuclear weapons by long range aircraft was inefficient in time war. An immediate response to nuclear attack was needed, something that was fast, reliable and cost effective to maintain. The resulting solution was the creation of new nuclear weapon delivery systems of war…the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Exactly one year from the Tsar’s detonation in October 1961 to October 1962 the United States is on the brink of nuclear war as the Cuban Missile Crisis marks another chapter in atomic history.

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