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Friday, 14 November 2014

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 7.1 - 156km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Kota Ternate Quake_151114

© USGS



Event Time

2014-11-15 02:31:40 UTC

2014-11-15 10:31:40 UTC+08:00 at epicenter

Location

1.928°N 126.547°E depth=35.0km (21.7mi)


Nearby Cities

156km (97mi) NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

156km (97mi) NW of Ternate, Indonesia

160km (99mi) ENE of Bitung, Indonesia

164km (102mi) W of Tobelo, Indonesia

1064km (661mi) SW of Koror Town, Palau


Scientific Data


Missouri KKK: We will use 'lethal force' against Ferguson protesters

KKK

© Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi



The Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is threatening to use "lethal force" against protesters in Ferguson who threaten their safety, equating some demonstrators to "terrorists."

Frank Ancona, leader of the KKK's Missouri operations, has been distributing fliers in the metropolitan St. Louis area warning protesters in Ferguson that those who have threatened police officers and their families will be met with violence themselves.


The flier, obtained by , is addressed to "the terrorists masquerading as peaceful protesters." It also states that they have "awakened a sleeping giant."


"You have been warned by the Klu Klux Klan!" it continues. "There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri."


This kind of behavior is not exactly unusual for the KKK, which has circulated similar letters in various cities across the United States. But the delivery of these fliers comes at a particularly sensitive time in Ferguson and the surrounding St. Louis area.


Residents are currently waiting to hear whether or not a grand jury will bring criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. The 18-year-old's death sparked massive, weeks-long protests, which made headlines around the country after police deployed a number of controversial crowd-control tactics - the use of tear gas and the establishment of a no-fly zone over the city, for example.


Ferguson_protesters

© Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images / AFP

Protesters sit down in the street outside the police department during a protest over the killing of Michael Brown August 30, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.



No one knows exactly when the decision will be reached, but reports suggest the process is coming to a close and it could be any day now. Gun sales have spiked in the area, and some businesses have boarded up their storefronts in an attempt to preempt looting. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced earlier this week that the National Guard would be on standby to respond to any reports of violence.

Speaking with the , Ancona said: "Missouri is definitely on fire right now." He also stated that the Ferguson protests were a boon for KKK recruiting.


"These Ferguson protesters are the best recruiters since Obama," he said, noting that 50 people joined the group in November alone. "Normally we might hear from 10 people a week in Missouri, and now we're hearing from more like 50 people a week. Sometimes, depending on these news stories, we get 100, 200 calls in a day."


Soon after the new KKK fliers came to the public's attention, Ancona appeared on MSNBC, where he was asked if he was inciting violence.


"No, actually it's addressing the people who are making these terroristic threats and letting them know that the people of Missouri have rights too," Ancona said. "There are remedies under the law. The flier, if you read it, it says 'defend', it talks about defense. So, in order to defend yourself, that means you're being attacked."


Activist Bassem Masri has been called out specifically by the KKK, which claims he threatened police while live-streaming one of the protests. Masri dismissed the accusation to .


"If they want to perpetuate hate, we can't stop them, but we can surely let them know we ain't going for it," he said. "They are using the KKK to change the narrative to something they want, which is a race war which we are not advocating for, taking the story off [Missouri Governor Jay] Nixon, [St. Louis Country prosecutor Bob] McCulluch, and Darren Wilson."


"It's ok for the KKK to hate folks but God forbid a minority speaks up."


Westminster, Massachusetts outrage over proposed tobacco sales ban fuels talk of recall




Westminster, Massachusetts Board of Health



Westminster, Massachusetts -- In the aftermath of an emotional public hearing on the town's proposed tobacco-sales ban, some residents were discussing the possibility of recalling the Board of Health members who proposed the new policy.

If the residents did want to recall the Board of Health, Town Clerk Denise MacAloney said they would only be able to recall two of its members. Since 1995, the town has had a bylaw providing for recall elections, but the bylaw states that an elected official with six months or less left in his or her term is not eligible for recall.


"(Board of Health chair) Andrea Crete's term is up on April 28, so she wouldn't be eligible," MacAloney explained.


If Westminster residents wanted to petition for a recall of the other two board members, Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro, they would need to submit an affidavit to the Town Clerk's Office, signed by 25 registered voters and stating the individuals to be recalled and the grounds for recall.


Once these were submitted and certified by the town clerk, residents would need 800 signatures on a petition within 20 days to trigger a recall election. The officials up for recall have the option to resign, and if they do not resign within five days, the Board of Selectmen sets a date for a recall election.


"It's a very lengthy process, as far as time is concerned," MacAloney said.


The three members of the Board of Health could not be reached for comment regarding a potential recall following Wednesday night's events.


Brian Vincent, who owns Vincent's Country Store and estimates tobacco products make up 5 to 6 percent of his sales, said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that a recall had "been brought up," but "nothing was set in stone."


On Wednesday night, hundreds of residents made clear their opposition to banning all tobacco sales in town. At a scheduled public hearing on the issue, the crowd grew so disruptive that Crete closed the hearing after only 23 minutes. Protests grew louder after the hearing was shut down, and the board members were escorted out of the building by Westminster police.


Police Chief Sam Albert said Thursday he and his officers were anticipating an unruly crowd going into the event.


"Oh yes, I knew this would happen just from the pulse of the community," Albert said. "People talking at coffee shops, at ball games, at events."


Albert assigned four officers and himself to work inside the Westminster Elementary School cafeteria, where the hearing was held. He also asked for state troopers to be in the area if needed.


"We were very prepared," he said. "We had an adequate amount of help."


While there were no arrests, summons, or citations issued during the meeting, police did escort one disruptive man out of the building.


Albert estimated there were between 550 and 600 attendees in total at the hearing, even though the cafeteria's capacity is just 440. About a hundred people were in the hallway outside the cafeteria, he explained, and when police moved away from the doors to monitor the crowd, people in the hallway came into the room.


There were at least a hundred people in attendance that were not Westminster residents, Albert added, but the majority of the crowd was made up of emotional locals.


"There are really outraged people," he said. "It's more about taking away their choice, taking away their freedom, the feeling that government is taking over."


SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Russia to send 7th aid convoy - Poroshenko says Donbas children can sit in cellars


aid convoy

© REUTERS / Marko Djurica



Back in August the world was seemingly united and practically foaming at the mouth in moral outrage that Russia would presume to send food and medicine to the people of Donbas (eastern Ukraine, aka Novorussia). After agreeing to the aid convoy, and after Russia providing all documentation and inspections required, Kiev hemmed and hawed, further delaying the convoy's entry, Russia finally just said, . They did, Kiev cried , the people of Donbas were happy, and after establishing the precedent, Russia has since sent five more such convoys with much-needed supplies for a people whose homes are being shelled daily by Kiev's forces. (The last, on November 4, delivered 100 tons of aid in 20 trucks, arriving and returning to Russia on the same day.) Now it's time for a seventh.

Planned to leave today, November 14, Moscow has officially asked Kiev for its assistance, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich: "We have officially turned to the Ukrainian side with a request to assist in allowing this cargo through as well as in helping with security issues. We also hope for cooperation with the International Red Cross," he said.


In a replay of the first convoy mission, Kiev will no doubt end up looking the bully to anyone actually paying attention. The convoy will be spotless (i.e., only legitimate humanitarian aid), Kiev will delay, cry once more, and Russia will rightly look like the wronged humanitarian hounded by genocidal jerks. And speaking of genocidal jerks...


Ukrainian Oligarch-President Petro Poroshenko is doing a good job living up to his image as being a heartless ponce. In the past few days, a video of a speech he gave on October 23 at Odessa's Opera House has gone viral in Russian social media. As if his face weren't offensive enough, Poroshenko had this to say:



...we [in Ukraine] will have work - they [in the Donbas] won't. We will have pensions - they won't. We will care for our children and pensioners - they won't. Our children will go to school, to kindergartens - their children will sit in cellars. They don't know how to organize or do anything. This, ultimately, is how we will win this war.



And commenting on the criticism that Odessa, where he was speaking, had become home to the Banderites, he quipped: "I consider there to be no higher complement for Odessa." Seriously... Remember the Odessa massacre?

[embedded content]




Keep in mind these statements were made the elections in Donetsk and Lugansk, and thus while the ceasefire was at least nominally still in effect (even though Kiev violated it pretty much every day). And that reference to children in cellars? What could he possibly have meant?

[embedded content]




The 'cellars' are bomb shelters. The children are 'sitting' in them because their neighborhoods and homes are being bombed. Their neighborhoods are being bombed by Poroshenko's army. They are not in school because Poroshenko's army is also bombing their schools.

[embedded content]




And Kiev has the audacity to claim Donetsk and Lugansk don't want peace?! Clearly Poroshenko had no plans of stopping the shelling of civilians. This two-faced scumbag billionaire has no shame and no conscience.

So while Russia plans yet another humanitarian mission to bring aid to people being bombed daily, Poroshenko revels in the fact that the children of Donbas will not be in school - they'll be huddling in some dark, dank bomb shelter while the bombs drop overhead, destroying their homes and schools, killing their friends and relatives. Good choice, America. Good choice, Europe. You've given your support to the scum of the earth.




Avatar

Harrison Koehli (Profile)


Harrison Koehli hails from Edmonton, Alberta. A graduate of studies in music and performance, Harrison is an editor for Red Pill Press and the Dot Connector Magazine, and has been interviewed on several North American radio shows in recognition of his contributions to advancing the study of ponerology. When he is not writing or editing, Harrison reads prolifically and helps run The Rabbit Hole, an independent book and record store. In addition to music and the written word, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists.



Walmart sends riot police to arrest employees daring to protest against slave wages





Protesters rally in front of a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera on Nov. 13



Police dressed in riot gear arrested dozens of Walmart workers and their supporters who were peacefully protesting outside a Walmart store in Pico Rivera, Calif., last night.

The protest followed an earlier sit-in strike at another nearby Walmart. Pictures of those protesters with their mouths taped and holding signs were tweeted with the hashtag #Walmartstrikers.


Protesters were arrested in Pico Rivera for refusing to move after being ordered to do so by police.


"I have two sons and it's their future that I'm concerned about, mainly. Walmart is setting the trend for all companies," a Walmart employee named Denise told KTLA. "If we don't change it now, the future of our youth is in dire straights."


The protesters want the multibillion-dollar company to pay all employees at least $15 per hour and give workers full-time hours, which would qualify them for health insurance.


In response to the protests, Kory Lundberg, director of media relations for Walmart, said in a statement, "Our workers have access to unparalleled advancement opportunities, cash bonuses, a 401(k) plan and many other benefits."


According to USA Today, Walmart claims to pay its employees an average of $11.83 per hour, far less than its big-box competitor Costco, which pays almost $21 an hour.


CNN reported last month that Walmart eliminated health insurance coverage for 30,000 part-time workers (under 30 hours a week). Those workers' health coverage will now be paid for by American taxpayers who will have to foot the bill via health insurance subsidies.





Comment: Walmart makes $16 billion dollars per year by squeezing both suppliers and employees, and has destroyed many small communities by making it impossible for local retailers to survive, thus eliminating middle-income jobs. Whenever Walmart has moved into communities, dollars have flowed into it's tills and out of the local economy. These communities are left with little but low-wage jobs for the workers who now toil in Walmart stores. To get by, many Walmart employees have no choice but to rely on food stamps and other public assistance. The heartless sociopaths at the helm of this ruthless corporation continue to try to refashion the US labor force into one more closely resembling that of the third world, no protesting allowed!

Polish woman declared dead wakes up 11 hours later in morgue




Janina Kolkiewicz



A 91-year-old Polish woman was declared dead and spent hours in a morgue before waking up, to the astonishment of hospital staff and relatives. Her demise and resurrection had apparently created an appetite, as she ate soup and pancakes.

Janina Kolkiewicz was declared dead by local medics in a small town of Ostrow Lubelski in eastern Poland, reported TVP public broadcaster. She had no pulse, was not breathing and her eyes didn't react to light.


But 11 hours later she woke up inside a body bag in the cold chamber of the local morgue. The dramatic event happened on November 6, but the information emerged in the local press only on Thursday.


"I was sure she was dead," Kolkiewicz's doctor, Wieslawa Czyz, who has 28 years of medical practice, told TVP. "I'm stunned, I don't understand what happened. Her heart had stopped beating, she was no longer breathing."


Kolkiewicz has no children and was never married. Her niece has been taking care of the old woman in her dotage.


"My aunt has no inkling of what happened since she has late-stage dementia," shocked niece Bogumila Kolkiewicz told Dziennik Wschodni, a local newspaper.


Bogumila added that when she delivered the woman home, Janina "was freezing and asked for a hot cup of tea."


Then she ate a bowl of soup and two pancakes, showing a good appetite, added her niece.


Police authorities have started an investigation into the case.


In another November miracle resurrection, Zachariah Kasagga, a fisherman in Uganda, also rose from the dead after being buried. However he died hours later in hospital.


Also in Africa, Brighton Dama Zanthe, 34, after a long illness at home in Zimbabwe in May 2013. However when the mourners paid tribute to him lying in the coffin, they noticed his legs were moving. The 'deceased' man turned out to be very much alive and was immediately taken to hospital.


Sott Exclusive: The NYT goes batty over China's freedom of association


Get your hip waders on because the rubbish and sheer hypocrisy coming from the NYT is about to get deep and far-flung. Edward Wong's recent propaganda hit-piece, In New China, 'Hostile' West Is Still Derided says more about Wong's obvious contempt for China's choice and ability to break away from American influence than any genuine and generalized 'anti-American' sentiment in China.

What Wong fails to realize, or deliberately ignores, is that the rest of the world is getting fed up with the U.S. toppling governments, committing overt and covert war crimes, staging 'revolutions' and coups, spying, murdering, and being an all round global parasite.


Wong starts off:





Chinese blogger, Zhou Xiaoping




Even as his government was making red-carpet plans to host President Obama this week, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, praised a young blogger whose writing is best known here for its anti-American vitriol.


In one widely circulated essay published by state news outlets titled "Nine Knockout Blows in America's Cold War Against China," the blogger, Zhou Xiaoping, argued that American culture was "eroding the moral foundation and self-confidence of the Chinese people." He compared unfavorable American news coverage of China to Hitler's treatment of the Jews. In another essay, he said the West had "slaughtered and robbed" China and other civilizations since the 17th century, and was now "brainwashing" it.



I wonder, has Mr. Wong seen American culture lately? It has become such a toxic wasteland of gratuitous vulgarity, perversion and glorified pathology that it has sunken to the lowest of the low and any sensible person can see it does indeed 'erode the moral foundation and self-confidence' of any normal person who consumes it.

If this is truly what America has become, then Zhou Xiaoping's criticisms should be heeded not condemned. It's rather unfortunate that part of the American identity has adopted such a defensive and self righteous posture, rather than considering what others have to say. The inability to hear and seriously consider the viewpoint and grievances of others is the mark of a small and ultimately self-defeating mind. Calling a spade a spade only becomes 'vitriol' when America has become so self absorbed that it can no longer see the results of it's own destructive actions. It's a rather amazing feat that America has had such a far-reaching influence over so many nations yet internally has remained so incredibly isolated and wrapped up in a supremacist ideology.


Wong continues:



Mr. Xi, at a forum last month aimed at tightening political control of the arts, said the blogger exhibited "positive energy."


His embrace of Mr. Zhou, who has been hailed by propaganda officials but widely mocked by scholars here, is just the latest sign of rising anti-Western sentiment, bordering on xenophobia, that has emanated from the highest levels of the Communist Party and sent a chill through Chinese civil society and academia.



Oh, the U.S. is such a victim! Everyone, especially the evil commies, are out to get us! This narrative really is pathetic. For people like Wong and his political masters, any criticism of the 'exceptional' USA simply has to be motivated by some nefarious agenda of those 'others' who just "hate us for our freedoms". This Wong character isn't even wong, and has obviously imbibed too much 'Murica Cool-aid' TM The really strange thing is that, from Wong's hyperbole, you could be forgiven for thinking he is speaking for the entire US population, when in fact, he's speaking for the "1%" and the US political elite, while attempting to convince the American people, most of whom KNOW their is something rotten in the state of the USA, that the 'American dream' was never more real.

In reality China is busy building bridges with other nations while the U.S. is holding on



© Wikipedia

BRICS leaders at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. Left to right: Putin, Modi, Rousseff, Xi and Zuma.



for dear life to it's faltering position as the dominant global superpower. We're likely to see more lashing out as the U.S. empire continues to fall. The U.S. needs an external enemy to blame for its imminent demise and any nation that makes moves to detach from the sinking ship of empire will be demonized and scapegoated.

Decades of indoctrination have primed the American mind to expect evil around every corner, to see the other as lesser and barbaric while nary a peep from the media about the gross criminality from those running the show in Washington. Their depravity has been projected outwards instead and the myth of American 'exceptionalism' (which is merely a euphemism for bullying) has made the environment ripe to accept the lies.


The U.S. had its chance to act as a true world leader and to work with other countries for the betterment of all humanity, but chose instead to dominate, exploit and advance the gross self-interest of the 'elite'.


Meanwhile, the U.S. has dusted off its book of Cold War rhetoric and lies, which, in typical psychopathological fashion, includes accusing others of 'Cold War' tactics. Wong provides an example:



Using ideological language reminiscent of the Cold War, Chinese officials have voiced conspiracy theories with relish, accusing foreigners, their companies, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations of plotting to weaken or overthrow the party. Chinese institutions with ties to Western entities, no matter how benign, have also come under attack. And state-run newspapers have taken to blaming "hostile foreign forces" for any major disturbance, whether it is ethnic violence in western China or student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.






Prominent "Occupy Central" co-organizers Martin Lee and Anson Chan visited Washington D.C. to marshal support for upcoming, premeditated unrest. Here, they speak in front of a NED-hosted event.



Should we be surprised to see the old 'conspiracy theory' shtick being bandied about? Probably not after seeing how the author is clearly in a paranoid frenzy over the 'bad guys' seeking blood from the 'benevolent' and ever so humble US of A. And indeed, there's loads of evidence showing U.S. involvement in the manufactured protests of "Occupy Central": It's glaringly obvious that the U.S. financed and orchestrated the 'democratic' "Occupy Central", yet Wong conjurers an antagonizing narrative to deflect from the truth:

The vilification of foreigners as enemies of China has been a staple of propaganda by the Communist Party since before its rise to power, and analysts say the leadership tends to ramp up such rhetoric when it feels under pressure at home.


"Historically, during every period with many deep conflicts within the country, there has been a surge of antiforeign sentiments from the party," said Zhang Lifan, a historian, pointing to Mao Zedong's disastrous Cultural Revolution as an example. At the moment, he said, "the political establishment needs the public to turn their rage toward foreign countries" because anger over the widening gap between rich and poor in China has reached "crisis levels."



So, China is returning to a Maoist revolution and Russia is reverting back to Stalinist expansionism. Got it?

Never mind that the U.S. manufactures 'crises' as easily as you or I plan a night at the movies. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! And then propagandist tools like Wong feign alarm when other countries have the gall to look after their own interests and reject U.S. interfering:

But unlike earlier campaigns targeting the West, the current wave of nationalism comes as China is ascendant. Mr. Xi presides over a country that is on the verge of overtaking the United States as the world's largest economy and that enjoys influence around the world, especially in Asia, where it has sought to expand its territorial footprint.


In speeches, Mr. Xi has openly called on other nations to push back against the United States on specific issues. In July, for example, he told Brazil's National Congress that developing nations must "challenge U.S. hegemony on the Internet." Two months earlier, Mr. Xi suggested at a conference in Shanghai that the United States should cede power in Asia, saying, "It is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia."


The surge in anti-Americanism extends beyond speeches. Over the summer, for example, the Chinese government began a security review of foreign nongovernmental agencies operating in China, as well as Chinese nongovernmental agencies that receive foreign support, scrutinizing their finances and freezing bank accounts. A 100-minute anti-American propaganda film made by the People's Liberation Army last year laid out the case that American nongovernmental agencies were out to undermine the party. (It used the martial theme music from the HBO series "Game of Thrones.")



See? Now it's anti-American for other countries to run their own affairs!? Good grief! The utter pathology is shining through here, but does the average American see it?

Wong blathers on:



In Guangdong, the province adjacent to Hong Kong that has long been more open to foreign influence and investment, officials have considered shutting down Chinese nongovernmental agencies that depend on foreign funds, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported last week.


Wang Jiangsong, a professor of labor relations at the China Institute of Industrial Relations, was quoted in the newspaper as saying that the authorities had secretly tracked transfers of overseas money to the Chinese organizations and were worried that "some NGOs would be manipulated by overseas forces and conduct activities that may endanger national security and undermine social stability."



It's no secret that NGOs have a long history of sowing discord to maintain and spread America's hegemonic interests. Fake US 'NGOs' are always first on the ground as part of Western covert warfare and the 'destabilization' of foreign governments, all to 'protect America's interests' of course.

See:


It's pretty outrageous to denounce the distrust of foreign agents when they have proven time and time again to act against the interests of the people and act instead for the benefit of the psychopathic establishment.

Wong wraps up his tirade:



The campaign has reached into academia as well. An employee of an American organization that promotes dialogue among scholars said some Chinese professors who work on international relations were no longer writing or saying anything in public that cast the United States in a positive light, for fear of being accused of spying. The employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to antagonize Chinese partners, added that one Chinese university had barred visiting American scholars from lecturing if their research did not conform to the party line.


Casting blame on the "black hand" of foreign forces has become more common in the state news media as well. The People's Daily has published 42 articles this year blaming "Western," "foreign" or "overseas" forces for China's domestic problems. That total is nearly triple the number of similar pieces from the first 10 months of last year, according to a count by The Christian Science Monitor .


The pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong have been a favorite target. Last Friday, Ta Kung Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper close to the party, ran a front-page article under a headline that said the newspaper had found "ironclad evidence" that the United States had been secretly plotting the local Occupy movement since 2006.


The government has also targeted major Western companies with high-profile investigations and imposed record fines for what officials call monopolistic practices. Some foreign businesspeople and officials say the investigations are a form of protectionism. At the same time, the Chinese government has maintained restrictions on foreign investment, ownership and market access in many industries.


As a result, American executives have tempered their optimism about doing business here, said John Frisbie, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, a trade group in Washington. "It should be more than a $350 billion market in China for U.S. companies," he said. "Many sectors are still closed. There has generally been a lack of movement forward on further openings."


Some have questioned the sincerity, or pointed out the hypocrisy, of the party's tirades against the West, noting that many party officials have children or other family members living and even applying for citizenship overseas. Mr. Xi's daughter, Xi Mingze, attended Harvard University under a pseudonym.


"How can Chinese officials really be anti-American?" asked Zhan Jiang, a media studies professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University.


"Antiforeign sentiments will always be present in China because of China's unique history," he said. "However, the public's opinion of the West will not change because of what the party says."



Here's a thought: China isn't actually anti-American. The 'anti-American' argument is inherently black and white and designed to pit the ordinary people of this world against each other. China, much like Russia, is seeking to protect its interests from the fall-out of a crumbling US empire, and they have the capacity, and the right, to do so. Of course the psychopaths and pathologicals in Washington do not see other countries as having any right to make such a choice, they are, as Washington sees it, mere vassals. As Laura Knight-Jadczyk wrote in Freedom of Association, Smoking and Psychopathy:

That is one of the defining characteristics of psychopathology: the victim is NEVER allowed to say "no, stop, enough." The victim has no rights, not even the right to choose who they will or will not associate with.



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Police expert: War on terror has turned our cops into occupying armies - and we're the enemy

Thomas Nolan

© Thomas Nolan (YouTube)



The war on terror has essentially turned police into occupying armies in some American communities, said a police and criminology expert.

Thomas Nolan, an associate professor of criminology at Merrimack College and former senior policy analyst with the Department of Homeland Security, said the focus of police work had shifted greatly since he was a Boston police officer in the 1980s and 1990s.


"I remember it being drilled into me as a police officer, as a sergeant and then as a lieutenant: partnership, problem-solving, and prevention - the three Ps," Nolan said Wednesday during a panel sponsored by the American Constitution Society.


He said police were heavily trained to form alliances to help them to better serve and protect communities, and he said those relationships clearly don't exist in Ferguson, Missouri.


While the war on drugs is frequently cited as a major factor in the breakdown of civil liberties and police-community relations, Nolan said a more recent shift was largely to blame.


"In the early 2000s, particularly after 9/11, we saw a paradigm shift from community policing and problem-oriented principles to the war on terror, and we became Homeland Security police," said Nolan, who has worked in the federal agency's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.


He said this shift toward "homeland security" had quickly destroyed the relationships police had worked nearly two decades to build.


"I think what has happened as a direct result of that, is that those relationships that we forged, and worked so hard to attain and to maintain in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to erode because the police were seen, particularly in communities of color, as an army of occupation," Nolan said.


"If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality," he continued. "We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities - particularly in communities of color."


At the same time domestic police began to focus on homeland security, the Department of Defense began selling surplus military weapons and gear to American police departments without much public debate.


"We weren't included in the discussion, we didn't know anything about it, and I think Ferguson has brought that into the glare of the public spotlight," Nolan said.


The 27-year police veteran said officers make him feel unsafe when he walks around his own diverse neighborhood in Boston.


"I see the police conducting themselves in a highly militaristic fashion on routine patrol activities - and I know that's what they're doing because I come from that world," Nolan said. "What I experience and what people on the street experience is a palpable, tangible sense of fear, and that is that we are unsafe if police need semiautomatic rifles to protect us and to keep us safe."


He said Americans have found themselves in danger from their own police officers because they did not object to previous abuses - and he said the police response to the Boston Marathon bombing proves the situation can only get worse.


"What we saw in that aftermath was the unilateral suspension of the United States Constitution, and particularly the Fourth Amendment," Nolan said.


"We saw for the first time that I can recall in the United States of America house-to-house searches," he continued, "and what I said to some colleagues of mine, who work in the news media, that when we fail to object to what's going on now, and we did, we forfeited our right to do so in the future - and we have."


[embedded content]


Senior citizen killed by elephant in India


A senior citizen was killed by an elephant in Hulaginakoppa village in Kalghatagi taluk of Dharwad district on Monday.

The deceased was identified as Ramappa Tadas (75), resident of the same village. Sources said Ramappa had taken his cattle for grazing and sighted movement in a nearby sugarcane field.


Mistaking it for a buffalo, he tried to chase it away, but the elephant trampled him instead.


Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sabakath Hussain told The Hindu that the incident took place at around 5.30 p.m. Officials of the Department of Forests rushed to the spot and chased the elephant into the nearby forests.


Mr. Hussain said five wild elephants were seen in a nearby village and officials had driven them away on Friday.


But Monday's elephant attack was unexpected. The department will provide compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, of which Rs. 2 lakh would be handed over to the family immediately, he said. The department was taking al precautionary measures to avoid such incidents in the area, he added.


Blasts rock UAE and Egyptian embassies in Libya


car bomb Libya

© www.aljazeera.com

Two car bombs struck near the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Tripoli.



Bombs exploded near the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Thursday though there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage in the attacks.

The blasts followed a series of car bombs on Wednesday mainly in towns under the control of the internationally recognized government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is facing a challenge from a rival government set up in Tripoli.


Both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates followed other nations in pulling diplomatic staff out of the capital over the summer after armed clashes in Tripoli between armed factions battling for control of the North African state.


A Reuters witness said the Egyptian embassy bomb had slightly damaged buildings and some stores, but it was not clear if the embassy had been hit. There were no immediate details of whether embassies were the target of the bombs or whether any staff or security guards were in the buildings at the time.


Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is caught up in growing unrest as rival armed factions compete for power and control of the OPEC country's oil resources.


Libyan PM

© http://ift.tt/13f05Td

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni



One faction has taken over Tripoli, setting up its own government and parliament and forcing the elected parliament and administration of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni to operate out of Tobruk.

Both sides have routinely accused each other of seeking support from neighboring regional powers, and many embassies and embassy staff have left the capital after armed clashes and the takeover of the city in the summer.


Haftar

© www.worldtribune.com

General Khalifa Haftar



Rivals of Thinni's government say neighboring Egypt has lent support to a renegade former Libyan army general, Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a campaign to drive Islamist factions out of the eastern city of Benghazi. His foes say he has received air support from Egypt, which is worried about the spread of Islamist militants.

International efforts led by the United Nations to mediate between the rival factions have so far failed to broker a ceasefire or bring the North African state's main armed actors to the negotiating table.





Comment:

Khalifa Belqasim Haftar is a Libyan general and a principal commander in the ongoing Libyan Civil War (2014). He served under Gaddafi and helped bring Gaddafi to power in 1969. A prisoner of the Chadian-Libyan Conflict, the CIA negotiated a settlement gaining Haftar and 300 of his soldiers refuge in the United States. Living near Washington, D.C. for two decades, he became a citizen and was ostensibly trained by the CIA in Langley. Haftar was part of the anti-Gaddafi forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War and a member of the Revolutionary Command Council which governed Libya after the coup. He was also involved in toppling the Islamist-dominated General National Congress as part of "Operation Dignity," his actions condemned as a "coup d'etat." In May, 2014, he began a combined air and ground assault against the pro-Islamic militias of Benghazi. The Libyan parliament branded Haftar's enemies as "terrorists." Operation Dignity aims to completely dismantle the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as any other Islamist terrorist organizations within Libya.

http://ift.tt/1pGwHzI

Abdullah al-Thinni is a Libyan politician who has been serving as Prime Minister since March 11, 2014 when he took over in an interim capacity when Congress dismissed Ali Zeidan. He resigned April 13, 2014 after he and his family were victims of an attack. In September, Libya's parliament reappointed Thinni asking him to form a new government. Rocked by factional violence since 2011, Islamists now control the capital in Tripoli. Thinni's government operates out of a hotel in Tobruk.

http://ift.tt/1vaesYB



Elephant tramples man to death in India


A 52-year-old man was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Pathiri South forest under the Chethalayath range of the South Wayanad Forest Division on Tuesday night.

The deceased was identified as Joy, from Thadathil at Karyampathi, near Pulpally.


Range officer P. Ranjithkumar said a herd of elephants chased Joy and his friend Chandran of Karyampathi tribal colony when they were collecting firewood from the forest. While Joy was trampled to death by an elephant, Chandran managed to escape.


The body was found in a search by forest officials and villagers on Wednesday.


Joy is survived by wife Lilly and two children.


Israel hands a doctor who worked in the Gaza Strip during the latest Israeli assault a lifetime ban from entering Gaza




Mads Gilbert treating injured child at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza



Mads Gilbert, a doctor who worked in the Gaza Strip during the latest Israeli assault, has been banned from re-entering the Strip by Israeli authorities who cited security reasons.

The 67-year-old Norwegian has travelled to and from Gaza to treat Palestinians for several years, working in Shifa hospital during the most recent war.


During his stay, he highlighted the plight of the Palestinians living under Israel's bombardment.


In October, while he was trying to re-enter the Strip, the head physician specialising in anaesthesiology at University Hospital of North Norway was stopped by Israeli officials.


Gilbert, who has worked in areas of conflict for over 30 years, said: "When we came back to the Erez border station, the Israeli soldiers told me that I could not go in to Gaza."


According to an email from the Norwegian embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli government said it banned Gilbert for security reasons.


Norway's Secretary of State, Bård Glad Pedersen, said: "From the Norwegian perspective, we have... asked Israel to change their decision. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is still difficult and there is a need for all health workers."


Gilbert believes the decision is connected to his critical comments against Israel.


Cameron compares Russia to Nazi Germany ahead of G20 Summit

David Cameron

© AP Photo/ Yves Logghe



David Cameron has compared Russia to Nazi Germany because of its actions in Ukraine on the eve of a tense meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Mr Cameron will on Saturday night challenge Mr Putin about Russia's continued acts of aggression in Ukraine as it supplies heavy weapons and tanks to the separatists.




In a reference to World War II, Mr Cameron said that the world must "learn the lessons of history" and intervene to stop "a larger state bullying a smaller state".

He said: "Russian action in Ukraine is unacceptable. We have to be clear about what we are dealing with. It is a large state bullying a smaller state in Europe.




"We have seen the consequences of that in the past and we should learn the lessons of history and make sure we don't let it happen again."

Mr Cameron is expected to meet Mr Putin in an unscheduled "brush-by" on Saturday evening.


Speaking in Canberra, Australia, the Prime Minister said he does not believe that there is a "military solution" to the crisis. He instead remains convinced that sanctions against Russia will have an impact.


He said: "You can see that with what's happened to the Rouble, what's happened to the Russian stock-market. We should use those sanctions in response to Russian action. I would still hope the Russians would see sense and recognize that they should allow Ukraine to develop into an independent and free country.




"But if they don't take that approach the relationship that Britain has with Russia, the European Union has with Russia will be very different. If Russia takes a positive approach towards Ukraine's freedom we could see those sanctions removed. If Russia continues to make matters worse we could see those sanctions increase. It's as simple as that."

Relations between Mr Putin and western leaders have deteriorated further after Russia stationed warships off the coast of Australia in an apparent "show of force" ahead of the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

Earlier, Mr Cameron appeared to criticize Russia in an address to the Australian Parliament, saying the country has adopted an "authoritarian" model of capitalism.


He said that democratic values such as the rule of law and a free press make Britain "strong". He said: "We are democracies. We don't shy away from self-criticism.


"We debate our mistakes in public. That can be painful, but it is so powerful.


"Our free and fearless press shines a light wherever it is needed, without fear or favor.


"Of course that can make life difficult - but it helps drive out the corruption that destroys so many countries.


"Our governments lose cases in court, because we don't control the courts.


"But that's why people invest in our countries because they have proper rights, and they know that they can get redress from the rule of law and that we have judges who are honest and not on the make.


"It is no accident that the most successful countries in the world are those with the absence of conflict or corruption and the presence of strong property rights and institutions.


"These attributes - our rule of law, our democracy, our free press - these aren't weaknesses, they are our greatest strength."


Complicit Western media totally silent about U.S.-sponsored genocide in SE Ukraine


Here's a typical example of what's being blacked-out:

This is a photo of a Ukrainian soldier guiding a truck-full of prisoners toward a ditch, to which the prisoners are then dragged one-by-one, and thrown in, and shot - then covered over with dirt after all the corpses (and perhaps some living bleeding survivors) are piled in it.


(Of course, any survivors then quickly choke to death, from the dirt):



And here's an explanation of how this extraordinary video of a genocide being carried out, came to be found by the resistance-fighters against Ukraine's war to exterminate the residents in Ukraine's southeast, Ukraine's region where the vast majority of the people are ethnic Russians, or commonly called "Moskals" by many people in northwestern Ukraine, which term employed by them is equivalent to the terms "nigger," and "kike" that are used in some other countries: all psychological terms of de-humanization.

Though this video of a genocide-in-action is rare, the event itself is routinely happening in southeastern Ukraine, so that the Ukrainian Government can reduce the population in the area of Ukraine that had voted over 80% for the Ukrainian President whom the Obama Administration overthrew in a violent CIA-paid, U.S.-State-Department planned-and-run, coup, that climaxed on 22 February 2014 . The new Government is trying to eliminate enough of the people who had voted for him so that the coup-imposed regime will be able to stay in power 'democratically,' with those Russia-friendly voters gone - enough of those voters gone so that America's coup-regime can continue even as a democracy.


This is the video from which that still-photo is taken - you can see this entire event (except the burial), here. The victims who are shoved into, then shot in the ditch, are all dressed in civilian clothes. They're not soldiers.


As is evident from that video, the troops who are executing these people don't care whether any one of the bodies down in that ditch are still alive; the next victim just gets thrown promptly on top, and shot. These troops are interested only in speed, without concern for victims.


Their only "concern" for the victims is to rape the ones they want, and to kill as many of the residents who live there as possible. The objective is officially called "punishment." That's the Ukrainian Government's term. The aim is to make them suffer.


Here is how deeply immersed in hatred of "Moscals" these people are. The Ukrainians who fought on Hitler's side in WWII are heroes to them. An American friend who happens to live in the conflict-zone, the southeast, where the "Moskals" are predominant, wrote me today about the city of "Mariupol. The hospital there is being inundated with rape victims. A lot of girls are just going missing. People are disappearing constantly. The photo enclosed is from Artemosk yesterday. The Ukraine army ran over the car killing two people. It got stuck on top of the car." Kill them however you can, is their assignment. Soldiers in the Ukrainian Army are taught that everyone who lives in these areas is the enemy. Killing the residents there is considered to be 'patriotic.'


There is also plenty of bombing, and firing missiles at, the cities and villages there, to destroy people and buildings, so that many of the surviving residents will flee over the border into neighboring Russia, from whence they'll never again be allowed to vote in a Ukrainian election - thereby further reducing the number of those voters in Ukrainian national elections. Such bombing and shelling seem to be the Government's main methods of eliminating residents in the southeast. Also, white phosphorous and other illegal weapons of terror are used, in order to especially induce the residents to evacuate into Russia.


This is a "genocide" against ethnic Russians whose families have lived inside Ukraine, in many cases, for centuries. It is also, and in the very same sense, an "ethnic cleansing," to lock-in the anti-Russian regime that Obama installed earlier this year.


Here are some of the people who have been fleeing into Russia. Every one of those busloads of refugees exiting Ukraine is further success for Obama's plan, because it means fewer pro-Eastern, anti-Western, voters.


So, as you can see, the new Ukrainian Government is having considerable success in its efforts to murder and terrorize enough of the residents there, for Ukraine's electoral map to be no longer as favorable as it formerly was toward political candidates who prefer Russia over the United States. This is a way to gain a new ally against Russia, right next door to Russia. It's conquest of Ukraine's southeast, by Ukraine's northwest.


Here is a Gallup poll that had been taken throughout Ukraine in April 2014, just after the coup. As you can see, the northwest liked the U.S., the European Union, and NATO, while the southeast liked Russia and didn't want to join either the EU or NATO. Furthermore, Crimeans, the residents in what had been the far-southernmost part of Ukraine, loathed Ukraine, and were relieved to be restored again to Russia. Sectional differences in Ukraine are extreme. Obama forced the Russia-haters into power, and wants to keep them in power.


Moreover, Gallup had polled 500 Crimeans during May 16-30 in 2013, and found that only 15% considered themselves "Ukrainian" at all. This was when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. 24% considered themselves simply "Crimean," which nonetheless was a renunciation of any Ukrainian identity for themselves; so, that's 24% who didn't think of themselves as being Ukrainian. And additionally, 40% - a number virtually matching the totality of the other two, and nearly three times larger than the percentage who called themselves "Ukrainian" - considered themselves already to be "Russian," even before the coup. The people there overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine, and they preferred to be part of Russia, just as Crimea had been prior to 1954.


Immediately after the coup, Russia sent troops into Crimea to preserve its Black Sea Fleet which has always been stationed there; and this military presence protected Crimeans, too, against the ethnic cleansing that was quickly started by the new Ukrainian regime to eliminate the residents in other areas of Ukraine's southeast than Crimea. You'll see those areas in purple on Ukraine's 2010 electoral map, with the purple areas being the ones where the election's pro-Russian winner, Viktor Yanukovych, had received over 80% of the vote. Here is the map of that 2010 vote, with the purple areas being the same areas that are now being ethnically cleansed. This map shows the exact voting-percentages: the three districts that voted more than 80% for the man whom Obama overthrew are now the ones that either broke away from Ukraine or are trying to. This is where the genocide is being concentrated. The people who live there aren't wanted by Kiev's new Government; only their land is.


Back when the U.S-engineered "Maidan" demonstrations had first placed into power a pro-U.S. Ukrainian President, Yanukovych's opponent in 2004, here is the election map, which showed just the same areas that were strongly pro-Russian then as now.


Obviously, the U.S. CIA, and State Department, and President Barack Obama, can read electoral maps; and, as long as those voters in Ukraine's far-east stayed alive where they were, inside Ukraine, no anti-Russian regime in Ukraine would be able to remain securely in power.


However, a pretext needed to be established in order to 'justify' this ethnic cleansing; and that pretext was that they were separatists who threatened the presumed (but always fictional) unity of the Ukrainian culture and State.


In order to scare the residents in the pro-Russian areas and get them to become separatists - to become terrified enough for them to want to become part of Russia or else flee into safety inside Russia rather than to be attacked, bombed, and shot, by this new regime in Kiev - the Government, or actually one of its officials who happens to be one of Ukraine's oligarchs, with a fortune over five billion dollars, held a massacre of peaceful pro-Russian demonstrators they trapped inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building on 2 May 2014, and then the army itself invaded other cities in the southeast on May 9th. By this time, many residents throughout the southeast, basically in the areas where Yanukovych had received over 80% of the vote, formed themselves into militias and moved to secede from Ukraine (to protect themselves and their families from the new regime), which this new Ukrainian Government promptly called 'terrorism,' and the Government announced an "Anti-Terrorist Operation," or "ATO," in order to exterminate them. Also, many people in Ukraine's northwest openly mocked the people who had been burnt and clubbed to death at the Trade Unions Building massacre. The victims of that massacre were blamed for the massacre, because they had been 'terrorists.'


Here is how Ukraine's Defense Minister described his plan:



"There will be a thorough filtration of people. There will be special filtration measures put in place. We will filter out people, including women, who are linked to separatism, who were committing crimes on Ukrainian territory, crimes related to terrorist activities. We have a lot of information regarding this, and we have a formidable framework to combat this, and respective power structures will carry out this operation. Besides, this is a serious issue, related to the fact that people will be resettled to other regions."



The new Government is also training Ukraine's children to view extermination of Russians as being a patriotic necessity for Ukrainians. There are summer camps to which children are sent to be taught Ukrainian nazi ideology, where they march under both the Ukrainian flag and also various nazi flags, sometimes including the swastika. Both at such camps, and inside the parliament, the German nazi salute of the stiff right arm raised upward, with the hand and fingers positioned stiffly forward, is commonly given, as a sign of the individual's loyalty to the country. Also, Ukraine's military is increasingly filled with men who are tattooed with the swastika and other German nazi insignia. The common heritage back to Adolf Hitler (whom America's WWII veterans went to war to defeat, of course) is being honored, not merely more overtly, but also more privately, by right-wing Ukrainians, as having been the leading edge of the new Ukraine, which U.S. President Barack Obama - the United States Government - installed on February 22nd, and which perpetrated the Odessa massacre on May 2nd , as well as the civil war that followed. These are America's new allies.

But it's all being blacked-out, in countries that claim to represent democracy. This black-out adds insult to the injury that the present regime is causing, and not only to Ukraine, but to US. It's complicity in this Administration's criminality. And it is dangerous.


This is no mere game. The public needs to know that this is happening, and why it's happening. Otherwise, there is no democracy, because what's at stake here is not only the character of today's America, but is America's future, and the world's. If the American people are manipulated about this, then they are no free people, and American democracy is then itself fake, no longer real, in any significant sense. Just a sham. And a shame - not of the public, but of the people who hide the truth from the public.


Due to the Internet, this is the first genocide that is being documented in real time, as it occurs. Historians will note this genocide, and will also note where it was reported, and where it was not reported.


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Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare architect, lies about healthcare exchanges and calls American voters 'stupid'

obamacare

Does the name Jonathan Gruber ring a bell?

He's an economist and professor at MIT, best known for his role in the development of the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare.


We talked about him last summer. This might sound familiar:




Gruber was an architect of both the PPACA and its Massachusetts precursor, "RomneyCare." In 2009 and 2010, he was a highly paid advisor to the Obama administration during the congressional debate that produced the PPACA. According to the New York Times, "the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation."


He boasts to the Times, "I know more about this law than any other economist."




He's the guy who agreed with the Congressional interpretation of the law - that intended subsidies to apply to who purchased insurance on a federal exchange, .

But in 2012, Gruber gave a speech, in which he stated that the law clearly provided for tax credits only if the individual purchased on a state exchange:




"I think what's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits."




Remember, at the heart of Obamacare are those tax subsidies that were supposed to make the Affordable Care Act "affordable." But there is an ongoing legal battle about those subsidies - one that will be heard by the Supreme Court early next year.

Possibly in light of all the lawsuits over this very issue, Gruber changed his tune when Chris Matthews asked him about it on Hardball. He claimed the state exchange vs. federal exchange debate is the result of a "typo" and that there was no intention of excluding the states. That's funny, considering Gruber said this in his 2012 speech:




"In the law, it says if the states don't provide them, the federal backstop will. The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop, I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it. I think what's important to remember politically about this, is if you're a state and you don't set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you're essentially saying to your citizens, you're going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they'll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this."




That's pretty clear, isn't it?

Gruber, perhaps not surprisingly, has found his way into the news again.


If his blatant lie about state exchanges wasn't bad enough, now a video of him calling American voters "stupid" has surfaced.


Watch for yourself:


[embedded content]




That's right - you just watched Gruber, who said "I know more about this law than any other economist" admit a "lack of transparency" helped the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats pass Obamacare.

American Commitment posted the video, reportedly from an Oct. 17, 2013, event, on YouTube.




"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it's written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in - you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed... Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass... Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I'd rather have this law than not."




Does this guy have foot-in-mouth disease, or did someone give him truth serum? Either way, it would be great if he keeps talking, because statements like the ones he's made may help facilitate Obamacare's demise.

(H/T to Legal Insurrection)


Beating Obamacare 2014: Avoid the Landmines and Protect Your Health, Income, and Freedom


Obamacare: Healthcare Apocalypse


Obamacare Bend Over And Say Ouch - Anti-Obama Shirt


Coal mining CEO indicted for deaths of 29 miners


© Reuters / Chris Keane

A West Virginia State Police officer stands at the entrance to the Massey's Performance Coal at the scene of an accident where 12 coal miners were killed, at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia April 6, 2010



Donald Blankenship, former chief executive of Massey Energy Co., was indicted Thursday on charges that he violated mine safety laws ahead of an April 2010 blast that killed 29 miners at the company's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

The US Department of Justice said a federal grand jury charged the former Massey CEO with four criminal counts, including conspiring to violate mine safety standards, conspiring to impede mine safety officials, making false statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and securities fraud.


The April 5, 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch was the worst US mining disaster since 1970. Twenty-nine of the 31 miners at the site died, as the explosion occurred around 1,000 feet underground.


The mine, in Raleigh County, West Virginia, 40 miles south of Charleston, is now closed. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. bought Massey in 2011 for around $7 billion.


Blankenship, Massey CEO from 2000 to 2010, now faces a maximum 31 years in prison. He received $17.8 million of compensation in 2009, according to the indictment.


"Mr. Blankenship is entirely innocent of these charges. He will fight them and he will be acquitted,"said William Taylor, Blankenship's lawyer, in a statement, according to Reuters.



© AFP Photo / Saul Loeb

An ambulance drives by a sign praying for miners in Eunice, West Virginia, April 7, 2010, near the Upper Big Branch coal mine owned by Massey Energy Company and operated by Performance Coal Company in Montcoal where an explosion killed 25 miners with 4 still unaccounted for



The indictment alleges that, from January 2008 to April 2010, Blankenship knew of and could have corrected hundreds of safety law violations occurring every year at the mine.

Blankenship is accused of tipping off workers about forthcoming inspections as to cover up any violations. He then misled the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding Massey's operations following the blast.


The former Massey CEO "fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated (the mine's) practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws and make more money," the indictment said.


Blankenship is "a tireless advocate for mine safety," said Taylor, Blankenship's lawyer, in his statement. "His outspoken criticism of powerful bureaucrats has earned this indictment. He will not yield to their effort to silence him. He will not be intimidated."


In December 2011, Alpha Natural, which was not accused of wrongdoing in the indictment, agreed to pay $209 million to settle criminal and civil charges over the deadly explosion, including $1.5 million to each family of the 29 miners who perished in the blast.


In January 2013, former mine superintendent Gary May also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.


Hawaii sued by Monsanto and Dow over law banning GMOs


© Reuters/Mark Blinc



Two biotechnology behemoths have followed through with vows to sue Hawaii's Maui County for passing a law last week that bans the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

Monsanto Co. and a Dow Chemical Co. unit filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday. The agricultural giants are calling on a judge to block the law and to invalidate the voter-approved measure.


Maui County voters approved a temporary ban on GMO crop cultivation in a 50 to 48 percent vote. The state has become a battleground between biotech firms and food activists - it was the country's first ever ballot initiative against global agricultural companies like Monsanto and Dow, which spent $8 million trying to defeat the measure.


According to AP, Monsanto Vice President John Purcell said the law is a violation of state and federal laws that allow for the safe and legal cultivation of GMO products.


The company echoed those sentiments in a statement following last week's vote.


"We believe this referendum is invalid and contrary to long established state and federal laws that support both the safety and lawful testing and planting of GMO plants," Monsanto wrote. "If effective, the referendum will have significant negative consequences for the local economy, Hawaii agriculture and our business on the island. We are committed to ongoing dialogue as we take steps to ask the court to declare that this initiative is legally flawed and cannot be enforced."


Authors of the ballot measure, meanwhile, sued Maui County in state court on Wednesday, insisting the county moves forward with implementation of the law.


Maui County spokesman Rod Antone would not comment to AP on the matter given pending litigation.


Residents in Hawaii, a prime location for seed companies based on good weather year-round, challenged the biotech corporations based on concerns about long-term effects of GMO farming and the associated pesticide use on health and the environment, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.


While Maul County voters were successful in their fight against GMOs and incredibly-powerful biotech companies, voters in Oregon and Colorado decided against measures that would have mandated labeling of food that contains genetically modified crops.


In Colorado, 66 percent of voters were against the measure with 34 percent in favor. Prior to the election, a poll found 59 percent of voters were opposed to GMO labeling in the state. Proposition 105 would have required food companies to label packaged foods with text reading, "produced with genetic engineering."


In Oregon, the vote's failure was narrower by just 1.2 percent - fewer than 51 percent of votes came in opposition. Oregon's Measure 92 required food labels to include the words "genetically engineered."


Similar labeling measures have failed in other states as well. Voters in California and Washington State rejected them in 2012 and 2013, respectively. However, many millions of dollars have been spent by agricultural businesses lobbying against the measures. In Colorado alone, anti-GMO labeling groups spent $15 million. In Oregon, opposition groups spent $18 million. In total, these groups businesses have spent $100 million fighting the measures nationwide.


The Obamacare extortion plan: Bigger penalties this year if you don't comply

obamacare

Oh, yay!

The Obamacare website homepage has an exciting announcement for us!


Here's what it says:




See plans & prices for 2015!

Starting November 15, you can enroll in an affordable health plan that works for you




How about...NO. I'd rather not, thanks.

Like Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, I am NOT going to comply with Obamacare. I've said that from the day I first heard about this extortion plan.


The mainstream media is alerting us that UH OH!, the second enrollment season is HERE and if you don't comply like a good citizen, you'll be facing even BIGGER penalties this time around!


From CBS:




Americans will see their bank accounts shrink if they don't sign up for Obamacare in its second enrollment season.


Uninsured Americans who decide not to enroll will face a penalty of $325 per person, more than tripling the $95 penalty those who did not enroll had to pay the first time around.


Children under the age of 18 will be fined $162.50. The maximum amount an uninsured family will be penalized is $975 under the flat-rate method.




Oh, wait - there's more!


The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher (emphasis mine).




Note that the maximum amount a family would be penalized under the FLAT RATE method is $975. I don't know about you, but I think that's a LOT of money, especially in this terrible economy. And that flat rate penalty is mostly going to affect lower-income and middle income families. Some middle class families make too much money to qualify for a subsidy, so they will be stuck with a hefty penalty if they can't buy insurance.

Once again, the middle class gets slammed. They are damned if they do, damned if they don't.


I thought the purpose of the ACA was to HELP lower income families?


To make matters even worse, if families who DO qualify for the subsidies use the federal exchange to buy insurance because their state doesn't offer an exchange, they might be out of luck. That's because the legality of subsidies issued through the federal exchange is in question. The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on this in early 2015, as Mac Slavo reported:




The chief aim of the law is to expand health insurance coverage and offer financial assistance to families that can't afford it. Since most states declined to set up their own health insurance exchanges, the federal government was left to set them up instead. As a result, more than two-thirds of the people who had signed up for health insurance of April 30 purchased their insurance from a federal exchange. Among all enrollees, 85 percent received subsidies to help pay for it - that's almost 5 million people. The average value of these tax credits was $264 a month, which represents a discount off the sticker price of more than three-quarters.




Senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com told CBS "The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage. This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock."

Is it meant to incentivize us, or to extort us?


I think this definition of extortion from FindLaw gives us our answer:




Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action.




To add insult to injury, the prices for plans are going up - WAY up:


It's not only the uninsured who will be facing higher costs. Many health-care plans are also charging more, with Investor's Business Daily finding that a 27-year-old earning 250 percent of the poverty rate will pay an average of 7 percent more for the lowest-cost bronze plan, based on an analysis of rates in the largest city in 34 states. The lowest-cost silver plan will rise an average of 9 percent, while the lowest-priced catastrophic policy will climb 18 percent, the analysis found.




Now, for even more shocking numbers...

The financial site NerdWallet ran some numbers to see how much a lifetime of Obamacare penalties would cost.


The title of the article says it all.


Study: A Lifetime of Obamacare Penalties Can Total Six Figures


Here are some key points from the article:




NerdWallet estimated the cost of a lifetime of penalties - that is, what penalties might cost for someone who never purchases insurance. Our calculations predict that individuals will pay a minimum of $36,556, and families of four a minimum of $109,668.


For 2014, 2015, and 2016, the minimum penalty will be $95, $325, and $695 annually, respectively. After 2016, tax penalties will be calculated based on annual cost of living adjustments determined each year by the Social Security Act.


To estimate the "lifetime" sum of tax penalties, we used two methods:



  1. Based on projected future inflation rates, individuals will pay a minimum of $36,556, and families of four a minimum of $109,668 in total tax penalties. This estimate assumes a 2% increase in cost of living each year.

  2. Based on historical cost-of-living data, individuals will pay a minimum of $42,077 and families of four a minimum of $126,231 in total tax penalties. This estimate assumes a 2.78% increase in cost of living.Both methods represent the minimum sum because the calculations are based on the flat fee for the penalty, rather than the penalty based on percentage of income.


Higher-income uninsured individuals and families will pay much more for the tax penalty.

For example, an individual making approximately $200,000 in 2016 will pay an estimated penalty of $4,500-$5,000 for one year.




For a startling, in-depth chart that shows estimated penalties per year, and for information on how NerdWallet calculated their projections, please see the full article here.

Okay - now for some relatively good news.


Last December, the Obama administration quietly added some Obamacare exemptions to the individual mandate:




The 13th and 14th exemptions are listed on the hardship exemption application and read as follows:


13.) You received a notice saying that your current health insurance plan is being cancelled, and you consider the other plans available unaffordable.


Documentation required as proof: Copy of notice of cancellation


14.) You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.


Documentation required: Please submit documentation if possible




That hardship exemption form can be found on Healthcare.gov.

Here's what I said about the exemption form back in March:




For the 14th exemption, what kind of "hardship" do they mean? That's very vague wording. And "please submit documentation if possible"? What if it isn't possible? What if you don't have "documentation", and Obamacare itself is simply a hardship for you? Does that mean you are exempt from the extortion tax penalty?




I also reported on what some politicians said about the exemptions:


House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the exemption could cover "essentially everyone" at a Capitol press conference today:


"Quietly, without any fanfare, there's a real question whether the White House has just abandoned the individual mandate, the heart of Obamacare itself."


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., accused the Obama administration of trying "to sneak through a unilateral change to Obamacare which essentially allows anyone who has experienced a hardship in obtaining health insurance to opt out of the individual mandate tax without requiring documentation."




And then, there's the whole IRS problem.

Last week, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) National Tax Conference in Washington, DC that the 2015 tax filing season "will be one of the most complicated filing seasons we've ever had."


The reasons?


The IRS's budget has been severely cut by Congress (hey, they got something right for once!). And, now the agency has increased responsibilities because of Obamacare.


Is anyone surprised? A lot of Americans saw this coming. We predicted that the IRS would not be able to handle administering Obamacare. The agency can't even handle its regular tasks, or finding hidden lost emails.


On that note, I find it funny that Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber called American voters "stupid." He sort of contradicted himself, didn't he? He called us stupid right after he admitted that a "lack of transparency" helped pass the ACA. He also bragged about knowing more about the ACA than any other economist, but...then he told a blatant lie about the state exchanges and subsidy eligibility. Both of his flubs were caught on camera.


In late September, the Senate Republican Policy Committee posted an article titled Obamacare Unleashes IRS on Americans.


Here are some disturbing points from that article:




The president has requested that the IRS receive nearly half a billion dollars in fiscal year 2015 to implement Obamacare. In contrast, genuine, consumer-based reform would have improved the country's health care system without increasing the IRS's power, complicating the tax code, and raising compliance costs for taxpayers.


Obamacare dramatically increased the size and power of the IRS - an agency shown over the past year to be untrustworthy and partisan - and its role in the American health care system. For starters, over the next decade, Obamacare hiked taxes by more than $1 trillion, through more than 20 tax increases. The IRS faces enormous challenges in implementing these new taxes. For example, last month the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration found that IRS was unable to properly collect the medical device tax.


Taxpayers who claim one of the 19 exemptions from the individual mandate must file Form 8965 with the IRS. As many as 23 million Americans may have to file a Form 8965 for the 2014 filing season. The form has 21 boxes for entries for single filers and 78 boxes for entries for married filers with two dependents.Instructions for Form 8965 take 12 pages and contain five worksheets.




Oh, and guess what? Most of the people who receive subsidies to buy insurance through the exchanges get them in the form of a check sent from the Treasury to their insurance company every month. Those monthly subsidies were based on estimates of what the recipients would earn during the year. So, at tax time, those taxpayers will have to reconcile the amount paid out with how much SHOULD have been paid. In other words, if the Treasury sent too much money to the insurance company on a person's behalf, the IRS is going to go after the TAXPAYER for any overpayment . This is going to happen even though the TREASURY sent too much to the insurance companies!

The IRS issued $3.6 billion in potentially fraudulent tax returns for tax year 2011.


They are understaffed and under budget and will NOT be able to handle administering Obamacare.


The agency is plagued with scandals.


For all of these reasons, I will be filing an exemption and opting out of Obamacare. Instead of participating in the racket that Big Government-enforced insurance-based "healthcare" has become, I will use the Direct Primary Care option. For more on how that system works, please see Money Talks, Obamacare Walks: Some Doctors to Accept Cash Only, the Direct Primary Care Coalition website, and Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Alternative to Conventional Health Insurance.


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