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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Galactic CAT scan reveals bubbly interior of supernova Cassiopeia A

© D. Milisavljevic (CfA) & R. Fesen (Dartmouth)

Astronomers have produced a 3D map of the interior of Cassiopeia A, a supernova in our galaxy, using the astronomical equivalent of a CAT scan.

The Cassiopeia A, or Cas A, exploded around 340 years ago and its relatively close proximity to the Earth makes it one of the most well-studied supernovas in our galaxy. Many astronomers still observe the supernova with great interest.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Dartmouth College unravels the bubbly interior of the supernova. The findings may shed more light on the way a supernova dies.

"Our three-dimensional map is a rare look at the insides of an exploded star," said Dan Milisavljevic of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Astronomers explain that when a star explodes, it spews out extremely radioactive and hot matter outward from the core of the star. It is complex to model such process even with some of the most powerful computers on Earth.

However, by cautiously studying the remnants of fairly young supernovae such as Cas A, astronomers can examine several key processes that drive such stellar explosions.

The scientists suggest that the latest research involved examining the debris to understand what blew and how it blew. They claim that this latest study is a step forward in understanding how stars explode.

To generate the 3D map, the research team observed Cas A in near-infrared wavelengths of light using the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, southwest of Tucson, Ariz. The team also examined very faint materials found in the interior of Cas A, which provided significant information.

The study found that large cavities in the interior of Cas A look as if they were connected to large debris in the outer part of Cas A. The scientists posit that two cavities were very well-defined and had a diameter of three and six light-years. The researchers say that the entire structure resembled that of a Swiss cheese.

The authors of the study explain that the bubbly cavities of the supernova were possibly produced by clouds of radioactive nickel that was generated through the star explosion. As the nickel decays and forms iron, the bubbly interior of Cas A becomes rich in iron, scientists believe.

Further examination of the supernova via next-gen telescopes is needed to understand the origination of the bubbly interior of Cas A, suggest the researchers.

The study was published in the journal .

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Studies outside the U.S. show unvaccinated children healthier than vaccinated children


© VacTruth.com

Studies Prove Without Doubt That Unvaccinated Children Are Far Healthier Than Their Vaccinated Peers

A study from the 1990s has come to light, proving that compared to unvaccinated children, vaccinated children were more likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, ear infections, hyperactivity and many other chronic conditions.

Furthermore, the study identified that there was a ten-fold increase in the incidence of tonsillitis in the children who were vaccinated, and a total lack tonsillectomy operations among the children who were unvaccinated. In 1992, the Immunization Awareness Society (IAS) conducted a survey to examine the health of New Zealand's children.

Unsurprisingly, the results of their study indicated that unvaccinated children were far healthier than vaccinated children. Questionnaires were given out to IAS members, their friends and their associates asking various health questions. A total of 245 families returned their questionnaires, giving the researchers a total of 495 children surveyed. Of these children, 226 were vaccinated and 269 were unvaccinated.

Healthy Children and Ethics

The ages of the children ranged between the ages of two weeks - 46 years (obviously some friends were older with older children). Of the children studied, 273 were males and 216 were females. (Six children were unclassified.) Sue Claridge, who reported on the study, wrote:

"Respondents were asked to provide the year of birth, gender, vaccinations received, whether or not the child suffered from a range of chronic conditions (asthma, eczema, ear infections/glue ear, recurring tonsillitis, hyperactivity, diabetes or epilepsy) whether or not he or she needed grommets, had had a tonsillectomy, or were shown to develop motor skills (walking, crawling, sitting-up etc.). Parents also provided information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding and when a child was weaned if breastfed."

During the study, another interesting fact emerged. Researchers discovered that 92 percent of the children requiring a tonsillectomy operation had received the measles vaccination, indicating that the vaccination for measles may have made some of the children more susceptible to tonsillitis. The study also revealed that 81 of the families had both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Many of these families had vaccinated their older children but had grown more reluctant to vaccinate their younger children, due to their growing concerns regarding vaccine safety. Researchers concluded that:

While this was a very limited study, particularly in terms of the numbers of unvaccinated children that were involved and the range of chronic conditions investigated, it provides solid scientific evidence in support of considerable anecdotal evidence that unvaccinated children are healthier that their vaccinated peers." [1]

Although governments from around the world have continually stated that studying vaccinated versus unvaccinated children would be unethical, the New Zealand researchers are not the only group of researchers to study comparisons.

Vaccinated Children 5 Times More Likely To Suffer From A Range Of Diseases

In September 2011, German researchers carrying out a longitudinal study surveyed a total of 8000 unvaccinated children from the ages of 0 - 19. As with the New Zealand study, researchers collected their data by conducting a survey using questionnaires. [2]

Results showed that vaccinated children were up to five times more likely to suffer from a variety of diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children. Their results were compared to another German study (KiGGS), which examined a larger sample group consisting of 17,461 participants between the ages of 0 - 17. Dr. Andreas Bachair, a German classical homeopathic practitioner, responsible for collecting the results of the survey from the website vaccineinjury.info stated that:

"Asthma, hay fever and neurodermatitis are seen very frequently today. A recent German study with 17461 children between 0-17 years of age (KIGGS) showed that 4.7% of these children suffer from asthma, 10.7% of these children from hay fever and 13.2% from neurodermatitis. These numbers differ in western countries, i.e. the prevalence of asthma among children in the US is 6% whereas it is 14-16% in Australia (Australia's Health 2004, AIHW).

The prevalence of asthma among unvaccinated children in our study is around 2.5%, hay fever, 3%, and neurodermatitis, 7%. According to the KIGGS study more than 40% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 years were sensitized against at least one allergen tested (20 common allergens were tested) and 22.9% had an allergic disease. Although we did not perform a blood test, around 10% stated that their children had an allergy." [3]

(As this study is a longitudinal study, the number of children being studied has since risen to 13,222. To join the study, you can fill in the questionnaire provided by clicking on the link listed as the third reference at the end of this article.) Although there were four cases of autism reported among unvaccinated children, Dr. Bachair reported that:

"Of these 4 children one tested very high for metals (mercury, aluminium, arsenic); in another case the mother was tested very high for mercury."

However, this number pales into insignificance when we compare it to the 1 in 88 children currently being reported as autistic by the CDC. [4]

Other Conditions Found To Be Almost Non-Existent In Unvaccinated Children

Dr. Andreas Bachair continued her report by stating that their study found the prevalence of sinusitis, warts, skin problems and middle ear infections were also much lower in the unvaccinated children, as were the cases of diabetes and epilepsy. She went on to say that the results demonstrated that the prevalence of many conditions in the unvaccinated children were also significantly lower. These were:

"Other disorders and diseases

As we included open questions in our survey we evaluated the prevalence (of the first 10,070 participants) of some other disorders and illnesses. Unvaccinated children show very low prevalences of the following disorders:

Dr. Bachair concluded her amazing and intuitive paper by adding a number of statements from parents, which I believe really added weight to her overall findings.


I find it amazing that despite mainstream media and leading government agencies stressing repeatedly that studies comparing vaccinated children to unvaccinated children cannot take place for ethical reasons, groups around the world are taking it upon themselves to do these studies anyway.


1. http://bit.ly/1yZUgc1...

2. http://bit.ly/15Xty8l...

3. http://bit.ly/15Xty8p...

4. http://1.usa.gov/1yZUgc7

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Police State: NYPD to permanently patrol protests with machine guns

militarized police

© youmaybenext.com

New York, NY- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Thursday that 350 heavily armed NYPD officers, called the "Strategic Response Group," will soon be patrolling protests and the city at large.

He said the new strain of hyper-armed police will be

"...equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not. They'll be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and machine guns - unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances."

Bratton announced their purpose is specifically

"...designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris ."

Lumping protesters in with terrorists, he said the permanent force will deal with "disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities." It will allegedly assist on crime scenes and help with "crowd control and other large-scale events."

It is not unusual for authorities to ramp up "security" efforts following attacks (such as the ax attack against officers in October), but the idea of machine-gun clad officers is disturbing, especially considering past NYPD abuses of protesters and other residents .

The federal government, which has attempted to feign concern with police brutality, is partially funding the militarized venture. The Department of Homeland Security is supplying resources, as is the city of New York. The Pentagon has previously provided machine guns, ammuniton, and other military gear to New York police and other local cops around the country.

The program is set to begin with two precincts in Queens and two in Manhattan, though Bratton did not specify when. During the announcement at a Police Foundation breakfast at the Mandarin Hotel, Bratton also said his plan was backed by both Mayor Bill de Blasio (who came under fire from cops last year) and the city council.

He said the effort is intended to improve police relations with communities since "regular" police will no longer be called from their local precincts to deal with protests and alleged security threats:

"For years we've been asking our officers to engage in the community, but we've never given them time to do it, or the training."

Such "crises" will now be handled by the machine gunning cops (machine guns are banned for private citizens). Bratton has also previously asked the city for more tasers to "improve relations" by reducing fatal shootings.

In his Thursday announcement, Bratton additionally called on the MTA to install cameras on all subways-for safety, of course.

Unsurprisingly, there is outrage against the proposed plan. Priscilla Gonzalez, Organizing Director of Communities United for Police Reform, said Bratton's

"...demands for less oversight of the NYPD and a more militarized police force that would use counter-terrorism tactics against protesters are deeply misguided and frankly offensive. We need an NYPD that is more accountable to New Yorkers and that stops criminalizing our communities, especially when people are taking to the streets to voice legitimate concerns about discriminatory and abusive policing. Despite growing evidence that discriminatory broken windows is a failed and harmful policing strategy, Commissioner Bratton stubbornly continues to defend and expand it."

The move comes as crime has dropped in New York and the police ticket-writing boycott in protest of Mayor de Blasio led to no increase in conflict.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Norman Finkelstein: On the origins of Israel's modern propaganda (and Alan Dershowitz's legal troubles)

Joan Peters, the author of the book From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict over Palestine, died on January 5th, at 78. As David Samel wrote following her death,"The bizarre chapter of Joan Peters's contribution to the Middle East debate does not end with her death. Her arguments, both those she adopted from others and those she formulated herself, still constitute a huge portion of the go-to hasbara repertoire." I interviewed Norman Finkelstein and asked him to reflect on her work and legacy, as he played a central role in debunking much of her work as described in his book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Adam Horowitz: Could you start by saying a bit about how From Time Immemorial was received?

Norman Finkelstein: First of all the important primary factor is the context. Israel in 1982 took its first major public relations hit since the 1967 war. It was a public relations disaster for Israel. One of the reasons being I think, as Robert Fisk pointed out in Pity the Nation he said unlike all other Arab states Lebanon did not control the press and so mainstream reporters were able at that time to roam freely throughout Lebanon. Mainstream reporters, I should say who had credibility, were able to roam freely through Lebanon during the Israeli attack, and what they were reporting was quiet horrifying. It's forgotten now but even against the Israeli attacks in recent years on Lebanon, on Gaza, they all pale in comparison to what Israel did in Lebanon in 1982. The usual figures are between sixteen and twenty thousand Lebanese and Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, were killed during the Israeli attack. All the Lebanese killed in 2006 plus the three massacres in Gaza that doesn't even come to half of the figure that happened in Lebanon.

So now you had credible reportage of what Israel was doing and it was a major public relations setback for Israel. You could say the first layer of Jewish support for Israel, the first layer, peeled away and that was the layer of what you would call the Old Left, mainly those were identified with the Soviet Union and therefore identified with Israel because the Soviets supported the creation of the state of Israel in '48 and also because a lot of the signature institutions of Israel in that era were of a socialist leftist orientation, most famously the kibbutzim.

And so before 1982 the pro-Soviet, pro-Communist Old Left even those who were disaffected from the Soviet Union which still fell within the umbrella of the Old Left, they were still pretty much pro-Israel, there were just really a tiny handful of exceptions. The best known being of course Professor Chomsky. There was also Maxime Robinson in France, but in general the support was totally for Israel, overwhelmingly for Israel.

And so the first layer of support was peeled off, peeled away, but overall Israel took a public relations hit. There were the usual characters, and the usual liars, people like Martin Peretz who went on the Israeli army tour of Lebanon and famously said at the time that everything you have read in the newspapers and heard in the media about what happened in Lebanon just didn't happen, it didn't happen.

As Professor Chomsky replied in The Fateful Triangle, his account of the Lebanon war within the broader context, that's just a very unusual claim. You don't usually make the claim that the other side has just made everything up whole cloth. You usually said they left out context, or they were selective, but to say that it didn't happen, as in 16 to 20 thousand people weren't killed, that's an unusual claim. And of course it was an absurd claim, it did happen. And so the basic purpose of From Time Immemorial was to re-establish Israel's image in the West.

Adam Horowitz: And when did it come out in relation to the war?

Norman Finkelstein: It came out in 1984.

Adam Horowitz: Okay, two years later.

Even decades later, films like Israeli director Ari Folman's 'Waltz with Bashir' are re-examining the effects of those events on the psyche of Israelis who were unwitting participants to them.

Norman Finkelstein: Right, where you are still feeling the repercussions of the Lebanon war. And the Lebanon war was not so quickly forgotten, as I'm sure you know. First of all it lasted three and a half months, and second of all it climaxed in Sabra and Shatilla. So it left its imprint on the public consciousness and they needed something to rally the stalwarts behind the cause again because people were shook up by Lebanon especially those who had been reared on the Exodus version of Israeli history. It all came as a kind of shock.

As I said it was the first public relations hit Israel has taken since 1967 because after '67, the next major interaction was, it came to be called, the Yom Kippur War where Israelis were seen as being on the defensive because they were "attacked."

So straight through till '82 Israel's image was like teflon in the West. And so it was big setback and they needed something to rally the stalwarts around the cause. From Time Immemorial fit the bill because its essential message was the Palestinians have no legitimate claim whatsoever because the heart of their claim is false, they don't even exist.

This was an old theme. For example, right now I am reading through the foreign relations of the U.S. volumes on the Carter years 1977 through '80. They are voluminous they run to 3,000 pages. But as you know during that period that's when the transition occurred between the Labor party which was ejected from office in 1977 and the Likud for the first time takes power. The main advisor to Menachem Begin who won the election in '77 was a guy named Shmuel Katz, he used to come on the periodic diplomatic trips to the White House because they were trying to figure out how to end the conflict in the Carter years. He would come along as basically the court historian, or the court propagandist, and if you read the transcripts, and I can actually send you the quotes, he says to Carter you have to understand there are no Palestinians. Palestine was empty and Jews came and made the desert a home then all these Arabs came and they surreptitiously entered Palestine, exploited the economic opportunities that the Jews created and then pretended to be indigenous to the land.

Then he goes on to say exactly as Joan Peters says, the reason only 150,000 Palestinians remained in Israel after the 1948 war was because they were the true peasants, they were truly indigenous to Palestine and the rest were just recent immigrants. That's why they fled without any incentive, let alone any military force, by the Israelis.

So the thesis itself was old, what made Joan Peters novel was two things. Number one that she pretended to prove her thesis with serious scholarship. She used to like to boast, "my book has 1837 footnotes," so it wasn't sort of a propaganda pamphlet or didn't appear to be. It had a scholarly apparatus. The second thing which was of equal moment was it wasn't churned out by a partisan political operation, it was Harper & Row which was a very big publishing house back then and it had all of these scholarly endorsements and an impressive array of people had lent their names to it. And at least among them, leaving apart the big names - the Saul Bellows, the Elie Wiesels and so forth - you had this guy Philip Hauser from the University of Chicago who headed the populations studies program. There was a letter from him incorporated as an appendix to the book saying her demographics and findings were accurate.

So, you had the combination of a high-power publishing house, high-power intellectuals and just a vast scholarly apparatus. So suddenly, as they say, this age old Zionist legend suddenly had legs and it took off. It was a huge best seller back then and it received all of these glowing reviews.

Adam Horowitz: In your book you say the glowing reviews were primarily in the United States. That once it reached Europe, and even in Israel, it was seen for what it was.

Norman Finkelstein: We have to be a little bit careful about that because here the devil really is in the details, actually it's usually in the details, the British reviews came out much later than the American reviews because the British edition didn't come out until, maybe my memory could be wrong, around six months later. By that time I had my findings and Professor Chomsky had his connections and so we sent the findings to the key people who were going to review it in the UK. For example Ian and David Gilmour who reviewed it in the London Review of Books. If you read their review it basically took everything I said because they were primed.

They were actually quite hilarious reviews. I quote one, I think in Image and Reality, from the British publication Time Out which described it as the size and weight of a dried cowpat. They treated it with contempt, but partly because some of them were primed. There were others of course who knew the truth, but they didn't know the truth, I don't think, in the detail. What I did was I demonstrated not just that as a broad tableau the book is false, I demonstrated that the evidence was fake, which is a different thing. The numbers were faked, the reports she used, the annual British reports to the League of Nations when they had the mandate over Palestine, and these reports they were all faked and they were doctored by Peters. One example that stood out was she took one paragraph from the Hope Simpson report and she mangled it 19 times. It was a real feat what she had done.

Adam Horowitz: And is that the report that Alan Dershowitz then just took whole cloth?

Norman Finkelstein: No what Dershowitz did is different. As I said this was an old Zionist thesis and she reproduced all the standard Zionist representations of accounts of Americans and British who visited the holy land in the 19th century. They are travel accounts and as you can imagine you are coming from London and you are going to Palestine, Palestine looks empty. That's not surprising. You've been to the occupied territories and even now if you are traveling on roads to the West Bank, most of it looks empty and this is now, the population in the West bank is about two million. Back then the population in the whole of Palestine - meaning the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan, the whole of Palestine - the population was about 300,000. So of course it's going to look empty. And so all of these accounts were then used by the Zionist movement and then by Peters who reproduced the accounts. But she wasn't the first. As I said ironically she plagiarized another person, a guy named Ernst Frankenstein, she plagiarized him because it was just standard Zionist propaganda.

What Dershowitz then did was to proceed and copy her stuff. Frank Menetrez is a very brilliant scholar, a PhD and a LLD from UCLA, graduated first this class, editor of the law review and currently up for a federal judgeship. His definitive expose of the Dershowitz plagiarism is an Appendix to my book Beyond Chutzpah in the paperback version. I asked him if I could reproduce it. It's about forty pages it's very detailed and he shows that what he did was he copied Peters, who copied other Zionist tracts, it was just standard.

Adam Horowitz: In Image and Reality you end your chapter on From Time Immemorial saying that, despite it all, the book still clings to life. You quote Netanyahu basically repeating her argument as a scholarly fact. Reflecting now on the book, and her life, all these years later, do you see this book living on?

It's a totally different picture now because there is just a lot more now known about the conflict. American Jews tend to be very educated, I think 98% of American Jews have a college degree. So you go to college you take these courses and it's a totally different picture. On the other hand, it's not a totally different picture in Israel. I think quite the contrary. I think Israel has now gone more in the direction of Joan Peters than back in the 1980s. You know, people like Netanyahu and everything he represents.

And remember there is a large Russian immigrant population who haven't a clue what happened before they came. So they hear people like Avigdor Lieberman saying the land was empty, and now they just want to kill us, and they believe all that stuff. But the American Jews don't believe that stuff. They have gone to school, they read in college. They'll read Benny Morris, or they'll read Avi Shlaim's standard histories, and they will also read that the Joan Peters thing was a hoax. So even though it carries in the lunatic fringes of American Jewish life, the Joan Peters stuff carries no weight.

I would say a good 80% of American Jews recognize, at this point, Palestinians have legitimate grievance. Now how legitimate, and that's the trump Israel writes, now there is an argument but they recognize there is a legitimate grievance there. The whole point of From Time Immemorial was to prove that Palestinians had no legitimate grievance because their actual existence was a myth. So that's...

Adam Horowitz: That lives on more now in Israel.

I think it's actually more pervasive now because of these few immigrants populations which know nothing of the past history except the propaganda.

Adam Horowitz: There was this quote I found when Peters visited the settler community in Hebron in 2010 and one of the people she met was Baruch Marzel who is a leader of some the worst right-wing settlers there. He told her he was a huge fan and he studied her book cover to cover.

Yeah, I am sure the settlers believe it all. They do because they think they are like the American west, they think they are conquering the wilderness. That's how they can see themselves and no amount of facts are going to deflate them because, it's what you might call, to use a phrase of Professor Chomsky's, it's a necessary illusion.

If you actually accepted the fact that there were people living there then you would have to acknowledge what you are doing is wrong. So it's a necessary illusion to believe the place was empty before you came with your settlers. As I said like the American west and the setters completely believe it.


Following our interview I asked Finkelstein if he cared to comment on the lawsuit accusing Alan Dershowitz of sexually abusing a minor. He responded by email:

I prefer not to comment directly on the serious allegations being leveled against Alan Dershowitz.

It appears that everyone will have their day in court, which is as it should be.

However, I would want to express an opinion on the letter signed by 38 Harvard Law School professors (including "radical" Critical Legal Studies professor Roberto Unger and liberal tribune Laurence Tribe) in defense of Dershowitz.

They describe him as "courageous" and "outspoken" in "defending the despised, and attacking the views of important people."

The journalist Jack Newfield memorably described former New York City Mayor Edward Koch as a "toady to the powerful and a bully to the powerless."

If you multiply this description a thousand fold, you might begin to approach the real-life Alan Dershowitz.

It is break-taking to read the Harvard statement in the context of a sexual slavery case pitting vulnerable minors against billionaires, celebrities and royalty.

Of particular relevance to your website, no single person in the U.S. was more responsible than Dershowitz for whitewashing Israel's brutal torture of Palestinian detainees. When Israel's torture first came under public scrutiny, Dershowitz wrote (with attorney Monroe Freedman) in the New York Times , "Allegations of systematic torture and allegations of systematic violations of human rights by Israel must be viewed with more than a little skepticism."

Dershowitz repeated his egregious apologetics during the first intifada (beginning 1987) when, according to B'Tselem, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Israel was "systematically" torturing Palestinian detainees, deploying methods similar to those recently recounted in the Senate Report on Torture, but on a vastly greater scale. The Torture Report documents 39-44 cases of CIA use of torture, whereas HRW estimated that during the first intifada alone, Israel tortured and ill-treated "tens of thousands" of Palestinian detainees.

Indeed, Dershowitz misrepresented Israeli torture practices in testimony sworn to under oath in a U.S. extradition hearing of a Palestinian resident, Mahmoud el-Abed Ahmad, fearing torture in Israel. For example, he said that Israel's "toughest methodology for eliciting statements" from Palestinian detainees "is to frighten the person being interrogated into believing that the situation is actually going to be worse than it would become." Israel was at most guilty, according to Dershowitz, of "occasional pushing and shoving...physical touching." (I go through the sordid record in detail in my book Beyond Chutzpah .)

Is this what the Harvard Law School professors had in mind when they praised Dershowitz's "courageous" and "outspoken" defense of "the despised"?

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Break in the collective punishment? U.S. allows Crimeans U.S. accounts, money transfers


© RIA Novosti/Yuriy Lashov

A train station in Simferopol, Crimea.

US Treasury has revised sanctions regime in Russia's Crimea, allowing residents of the peninsula to operate US bank accounts. Crimeans will also be able to send and receive non-commercial personal money transfers.

Washington is easing the latest restrictions it imposed on Crimeans on December 19, making concessions to those residents of the peninsula that were not earlier specifically blacklisted by the US.

The updates to the sanctions, published Friday, allow Crimeans to have bank accounts in the US.

"The operation of an account in a US financial institution for an individual in the Crimea region... is authorized provided that transactions processed through the account are of a personal nature and not for use in supporting or operating a business," an executive order by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control reads.

US citizens and banking institutions are allowed to transfer money to and from Crimea on condition the transaction is non-commercial.

"US persons...[and] US registered money transmitters are authorized to process transfers of, funds to or from the Crimea region... in cases in which the transfer involves a noncommercial, personal remittance," the Treasury said.

The document specifies that the allowed remittances "do not include charitable donations of funds to or for the benefit of an entity or funds transfers for use in supporting or operating a business, including a family-owned business."

According to updated sanctions transactions related to telecommunications as well as mail and packages delivery are also authorized by the Treasury.

What Americans are not allowed is to sell or to lease telecommunications equipment and technology to Crimea residents.

Crimea held a referendum in March 2014, with 96 percent of voters saying yes to secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia.

The United States and the EU have not recognized the referendum results and have accused Russia of annexing Crimea. They have imposed a series of economic sanctions on both Russia and Crimea.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Anti-vaccine doctor cancels lecture tour due to bomb threats

vaccine prison

© unknown

Our words, voice, and opinions are our birth right and are protected. Free speech is not a luxury and it is certainly not handed down to us from a government. In Australia and ramping up quickly in the United States, it seems that some speech is freer than others.

Long-time expert and vaccine educator Dr. Sherry Tenpenny has publicly announced that she has cancelled speaking appearances scheduled for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Gold Coast. The reason was due to pro-vaccine extremists repeatedly calling for bomb threats and violence against venue owners and their families in some cities originally scheduled for the healthy living seminars.

Stephanie Messenger, who jointly decided to cancel her appearances along with Dr. Tenpenny, states that:

We have reached a point where we can no longer guarantee the safety of those attending the seminar. Some people were planning to bring babies. The threats have been persistent. We are not able to insure that the attendees would be safe from harm.

Mainstream Strikes Out

These actions mirror a certain level of hypocrisy that is a constant undercurrent from mainstream media in which there has been deafening silence on any real coverage of senior CDC researcher Dr. William Thompson's bombshell whistleblower testimonial that vaccines showed a 340% increase in autism in black children. The few times the mainstream media does decide to tackle the subject of autism and vaccinations the coverage is shockingly clueless and one sided.

It started with CNN health correspondent Elizabeth Cohen arrogantly attempting to end the conversation by talking down to her dwindling audience with the words "...vaccines are safe. Autism is not a side effect of vaccines. Or to say it another way, vaccines don't cause autism". Coming shortly after Dr. Thompson's public statements, the timing of Cohen's rhetoric were reckless at best.

In addition, Naturalnews.com just released a complete overview of the Flulaval manufacturer's insert in which it states, among other concerning things "8.4 Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness of FLULAVAL in pediatric patients have not been established." This begs the question, what was Cohen talking about?

Next up was Nancy Grace attempting to put to rest the myth that vaccines are not safe. Unfortunately, while covering a story of a vaccine-injured child, she too did not do her homework and was shocked to learn on air that individuals cannot sue the vaccine manufacturers if damage occurs. This, a fact that is not told to patients by doctors and nurses before injecting, is known all too well by every family whose children have suffered injury and are looking for answers.

This week, it appeared that the third time was going to be the charm as CBS health contributor Dr. Holly Phillips tried her hand at the pro-vaccination talking point game on The Nightly Show. After host Larry Gilmore's nice ten-minute lead up of second-rate jokes about people who question the safety of vaccines, Dr. Phillips said "This isn't the first time that groups of people have questioned overwhelming amounts of science. There's this little thing called climate change I don't know if you've heard of that." I wonder if she talked to Dr. Thompson directly since he and his colleagues write and conduct the "science" and studies that she relies on and quotes from. With more info coming out and scores of Dr. Thompson's documents still being reviewed, it borders on irresponsible for health professionals to instantly strike down the very question of safety from vaccines, a private corporation's product.

The Missing Links

In closing, what is interesting to point out is that in all this talk about vaccines, no one mentions how individuals can take simple, very well-documented steps to build up their immune systems. Personal empowerment comes with a lot less side effects. In fact, last time I read the "insert" there were none.

Sadly, the mainstream media has chosen to largely ignore important evidence from CDC whistleblower data, vaccine inserts, pleas of parents with autistic children, and public backlash. Instead, they are using the recent vaccine controversy to double-down and seemingly side with the ones threatening violence against Dr. Tenpenny in Australia by saying "Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail". This according to USA Today columnist Alex Berezow.

Since we live in a world of hyper connectivity where all movement, phone calls, emails, etc. can be tracked, I look forward to writing the follow up to this article when the ones calling for violence against Dr. Tenpenny and her audience are found shortly.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Thousands of Ukrainian troops trapped by Donbass rebels?

Ukraine tank

© Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili

A Ukrainian serviceman is pictured next to an armored vehicle near the village of Debaltsevo in eastern Ukraine.

Some 8,000 Ukrainian troops are believed to be surrounded near the village of Debaltsevo in Donbass, as militia units cut off the only road linking the pocket to Kiev-held territory. The servicemen have been offered the chance to surrender.

The forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk (DPR) have stormed and captured the town of Uglegorsk, a stronghold of the Ukrainian army in the east of the country used for communication and supply. It is about 10 kilometers from Debaltsevo.

Ukrainian MP and commander of the Donbass volunteer battalion Semyon Semenchenko, says on his Facebook page that Uglegorsk has been abandoned by Ukrainian forces. Semenchenko claimed that the rebels attacked his unit from the rear.

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Donetsk People's Republic head Aleksandr Zakharchenko says Uglegorsk was captured in a violent "dawn-to-dusk operation" and offered enemy troops to surrender, promising to spare their lives.

"Guys, my proposal is to lay down arms and surrender. You're fighting the wrong people. You have the only chance to save your lives. Surrender and you will live. I promise that all of you will return home afterwards," Zakharchenko said.

Following the offer, 11 Ukrainian soldiers have already "crossed the DPR's border" and surrendered to the rebel forces. "Their lives are not in danger," DPR Defense Ministry spokesperson Eduard Basurin said.

[embedded content]

Meanwhile, the Lugansk Republic's forces are currently battling for the town of Popasnaya, Basurin said. "If the LPR militias capture Popasnaya and move towards Artemovsk - there will be yet another pocket to the north of the one near Debaltsevo," he warned.

Meanwhile, Kiev authorities have reportedly empowered army commanders to gun down deserters on the spot.

A leaked document published on Cyber Berkut hacktivist website alleges that Ukraine's Security Service has forbidden hospitals from revealing the real losses on the battlefield.

The Kiev authorities have called an emergency meeting of the cabinet on Friday to discuss the situation in the east.

It has been rapidly worsening since January 18, when Ukrainian troops have launched a massive assault on militia-held territories after an order from Kiev.

Shelling of the rebel-controlled towns is done on a daily basis, including the metropolitan city of Donetsk with warring sides pointing fingers at each other.

On Monday Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk imposed a state of emergency in the war-torn south-eastern Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, while all other territories were put on high alert.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian military draft for 2015 has come into effect. It's expected to see 100,000 people joining the army in three stages throughout the year.

Kiev authorities have revealed that since the beginning of the latest draft as many as 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen are absent from their posts.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Euroskeptics: Polls reveal forty percent of Italians no longer want Euro

© Flickr/ Mario Mancuso

Four out of every ten Italians no longer want the euro, according to a survey released on Friday by the Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies, Eurispes.

The percent of Italians who want Italy to leave the Eurozone has risen from 26% at the start of 2014 to 40.1% now, the polling agency says.

More than half of the Euroskeptics think the single currency is the chief cause of Italy's economic woes, as it has deprived the country of the possibility of devaluating its currency at will.

Italy's Euroskeptics want to return to the lira; 22.7 percent of respondents claim that only the richer EU members have benefited from the euro and 71.5 percent of the respondents claim that their purchasing power has declined significantly over the past year. More than half of the Italians polled (57%) said they can't manage to pay for large expenses.

Nearly one of every two Italians, or 45%, would like to leave the country and live abroad.

The agency says this marked an increase of 8% from 2006, two years before the global economic crisis.

The poll also found that almost half of Italians, 47%, say they can't make it financially to the end of the month, 16.4% more than last year.

This echoes similar concerns in Greece, where much has recently been said of a possible Grexit - a Greek exit from the Eurozone. While newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised that the issue is currently not on the table, many experts fear it may still come.

"What we are seeing are the death-agonies of the Euro," Robin Mitchinson, a Contributing Editor to , wrote on its official website. "It will be prolonged and nasty but the single currency must eventually collapse under the weight of its fundamental contradiction: that it cannot work without a fiscal union and the member countries surrendering complete sovereignty over their financial affairs.

Brussels is terrified that a Grexit might start a stampede for the exit among the "Club Med" countries (Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal), he predicts. Monetary union has been a catastrophic failure.

Greece's new Finance Minister gives it two years. The big question is what can be salvaged from the wreckage, he stated.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Russian developments over last month: Isolation, economy, Ukraine

russia isolated

Russia Has Had Enough

I agree, as I usually do, with Alexander Mercouris: here and here he argues that Putin and his team have given up trying for a diplomatic solution. Moscow used its influence to stop the rebels' offensive last year when they believed themselves on the edge of routing the Kiev forces, forced the Minsk ceasefire, made several proposals to Kiev and... nothing. I believe that Putin stopped believing anything the West said after Libya, but I think he kept hoping Europe would not be willing to harm itself in subjugation to Washington. Or maybe he just needed time; time to strengthen links with the BRICS and especially Beijing, time to de-dollarise (Russia is buying a lot of gold), time to build up and exercise the military; time to make his case to the "not-the-world" (I love this cartoon). I'm sure he has the next move figured out and I'm equally sure Brussels, Washington and their dependants will be just as stunned by it as they were the last times.

Russian Economy

Two takes on it that argue that the situation is serious but recoverable: Goldman Sachs repeats points I have mentioned; Chris Weafer says rally but not boom. Yes, inflation is up, yes the Ruble is down, but there is much import substitute going on, industrial and agricultural production continue to rise and unemployment is unchanged. As for rating downgrades, China has a different opinion. Time, as they say, will tell. But I'd bet on China.


Excellent summary by Anatoly Karlin. By the way, Russia now has a higher crude birth rate than anywhere in Europe.


After welcoming the decision to stop South Stream, the Europeans are starting to realise that they had better build some infrastructure to pick up Russian gas. Nordstream too. Or do without. Or find another supplier. Or something. They've got about four years . Here's the new reality.


Putin made a last appeal for both sides to withdraw following the Minsk agreements but Kiev attacked. The "cyborgs" were driven out of the airport (your local media outlets took a week or so to tell you: here's saying the Kiev forces had re-taken the airport. They didn't; cancel your subscription.) Another "cauldron" is forming and the neo-nazis are saying all is lost. What's their answer: coup or ?

How to Read the Western Media

When they say Kiev forces have re-taken the airport, know that they have lost it. When they say giving up South Stream was a defeat for Putin, know it was a brilliant counter-move. When they say Russia is isolated (a stopped clock, here's in 1999!), know that it is expanding its influence and connections every day. When they say Russians are turning against Putin, know that the opposite is true. When they speak of nation-building in the new Ukraine, know it's degenerating into armed thuggery (see video). Know that when they speak of Kyrzbekistan, they're not just stenographers, they're stenographers. Take what they say, turn it upside down, and you'll have a better take on reality.

[embedded content]

The Merkel Mystery

I, like many, thought, when the Ukraine crisis began, that German Chancellor Merkel would prove to be key in settling it. This has not proved to be the case at all; in fact she often throws more fuel on the fire. I believe that Gilbert Doctorow may have the answer. In essence, he believes that Berlin dreams the "pre-WWI dream of with cheap, docile workers in Poland, Ukraine and the others forever. Of course, it hasn't worked out very well, but that, he thinks, was the plan. There was no "End of History" after all; a rebirth of history it seems.

The Wheels Are Coming Off

A US official expressed concern that Russia and China were narrowing the military-technology gap. Threaten them and they come together; nothing is working out the way it was supposed to, is it? Do people in Washington ever wonder if they're trying to juggle too many balls at once? And now Greece is throwing grit in the machinery.

Declaration of War?

The Ukrainian parliament just declared that Russia was an "aggressor state". Is that a declaration of war? Can Russia now legally go in and stop the killing?

Ukraine Today

Watch this video - your media outlets hide the insanity from you. But we don't.

[embedded content]

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Superpower blunders: Czechoslovakia in 1938

The Czechoslovakia crisis of 1938 marked a pivotal shift in the balance of power in Central Europe, putting the major world superpowers in a collision course. The policies of one superpower in particular made inevitable what was to come less than a year later - World War II.

This episode provides important historical insights on geopolitics, appeasement strategies, buffer zones, ethnic tensions - and unintended consequences.


Czechoslovakia was formed as a sovereign state in October 1918, and eventually became one of the most democratic, prosperous and best administered of all the nations that emerged out of the collapse of the Habsburg Empire after World War I.

In 1930, the country had a population of 15 million, consisting of 6 million Czechs (40% of total), 4 million Slovaks (27%), 3.2 million Germans (21%), and the balance (12%) split between Hungarians, Polish, Ruthenians and foreigners. The large number of minorities arose from the need to give Czechoslovakia defensible and viable frontiers. This was a sensitive issue for the sizeable German speaking population, which had previously attempted to unite with German Austria.

There were four main regions in the country (listed from west to east): Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia and Ruthenia. The western regions were wealthier. The border districts of Bohemia and Moravia and the domestic portion of Silesia were inhabited primarily by German speakers, a region known as the Sudetenland (a name derived from the Sudetes Mountains, which run along the northern border).

The Sudetens were unhappy with the state of the Czechoslovak union, and not just because of their longing to reunite with whom they perceived to be their cultural brethren. Their region had been the most industrialized of the Habsburg Empire, and suffered disproportionately from the curtailment of markets pursuant to the new territorial division; they were largely at the "giving end" of the country's agrarian reforms; and the government was primarily controlled by the Czechs.

Their discontentment became even more pronounced after the onset of the world depression in 1929. Hitler's subsequent rise to power and the perception that his policies were restoring Germany to its former glory only added more fuel to the fire. And before long, tempers were boiling over.

The Sudeten Issue

Only a part of the Sudetens were Nazis, but these were noisy, organized and funded from Berlin. Accordingly, their numbers grew steadily. The Czechoslovak government became alarmed with this development, banning the Nazi Party in 1934. Under Konrad Henlein, however, it merely changed its name to the Sudeten German Party ("SdP") and promptly became the agent for Hitler's campaign in the country.

As a result of Henlein's insistent demands, the government progressively granted more autonomy to the Sudetens, including a proposal for full local administration by 1937. While he evidently could not state this publicly, Henlein's real intent was to tear apart the Czechoslovak state. Therefore, he kept increasing his demands to the point where he and Hitler knew would became unacceptable, particularly as they undermined the country's fortified security in the north against Nazi Germany.

On 24 April 1938, the SdP issued the Karlsbader Programm, demanding full autonomy for the Sudetenland and the freedom to profess Nazi ideology. If Henlein's demands were granted, the region would be able to finally align itself with Nazi Germany.

Czechoslovakia's political crisis was now in full bloom. And the government found little help from its Western counterparts.

Choosing a Lesser Evil

Despite its internal struggles, Czechoslovakia featured impressive military capabilities. Its army consisted of 34 divisions, ranking amongst the better equipped in Europe; it had an excellent fortification system (provided the configuration of its borders remained intact); and it had alliances with France, the Soviet Union, as well as Romania and Yugoslavia under the Little Entente.

After the Anschluss, Nazi Germany's invasion of Austria, Bohemia was surrounded on three sides. However, Hitler could not safely invade this region as the Czechoslovaks could counter from their fortified base into Bavaria.

As it turned out, Hitler relied on more than just political subversion to break any military stalemate, and from an unlikely source: his major Western European adversaries.

Seemingly fearful that Czechoslovakia could never stand up to Nazi Germany after its invasion of Austria, not even if the Soviets came to its aid, the British government of Neville Chamberlain started putting pressure on key counterparts to reach a political compromise - and particularly on the Czechoslovaks to make concessions to Hitler in exchange for assurances of non-aggression. The idea was to turn the country into a neutral territory like Switzerland, with no significant military alliances and whose peace would be guaranteed by France and Nazi Germany.

In addition to avoiding a direct military confrontation, there was an undertone to Chamberlain's appeasement overtures towards the Nazis: creating a strong buffer zone against the Soviet Union. In Britain's assessment of the balance of power in Central Europe, Hitler was perceived as a lesser evil than Stalin. And should Nazi Germany's influence ever start to get out of bounds, even at the expense of the French, the Brits could counter it by closely aligning themselves with the English-speaking world - including the United States.

The French, Germany's fiercest adversaries over the previous hundred years, had similar concerns when looking out to the East. The fear of Bolshevism was pervasive in political circles, particularly amongst influential conservatives, who viewed the fall of Czechoslovakia as a way to undermine Stalin's aspirations in Central Europe. Moreover, sitting behind the fortified Maginot line, the French government did not want to face Nazi Germany alone and increasingly took its lead from the British government.

The Soviets were thus the only significant European power seeing Hitler's pretensions with great consternation. Right after the Anschluss, they called for consultations to stop Nazi aggression and eliminate the prospect of a major confrontation. They were dismissed outright by the British, who in turn publicly stated that they would not come to the rescue of Czechoslovakia in case of an invasion.

As we shall see, Britain's role in this whole crisis proved decisive in many more ways than one.

The Munich Agreement

The Czechoslovaks resisted British and French pressure, and on 20 May 1938 a partial mobilization was under way in response to a possible Nazi German invasion. They were right to be cautious. Ten days later, Hitler signed a secret directive for war against Czechoslovakia to begin no later than 1 October of that year.

A new mediator appointed by the British eventually persuaded the Czechoslovak government to agree on a plan acceptable to the Sudetens, in large part because it never wished to sever its ties with Western Europe. Accordingly, on 2 September, nearly all the demands of the Karlsbader Programm were granted.

Intent on obstructing conciliation, however, the SdP held demonstrations that provoked police action on 7 September. The Sudetens broke off negotiations on 13 September, after which violence and disruption ensued. As Czechoslovak troops attempted to restore order, Henlein flew to Germany, and on 15 September issued a proclamation demanding the takeover of the Sudetenland by Germany.

On the same day, Hitler met with Chamberlain and demanded the takeover of the Sudetenland under the threat of war, as he claimed that the Sudetens were being slaughtered. Despite an official British investigation confirming that Sudeten leaders had been behind the unrest, Chamberlain nevertheless referred the demand to the British and French governments, which was promptly accepted.

The Czechoslovaks protested, arguing that Hitler's proposal would eventually leave them at his mercy. In response, Britain and France issued an ultimatum. Chamberlain contended that the Sudetens' grievances were justified and believed that Hitler's intentions were limited. On 21 September, Czechoslovakia finally capitulated. The next day, however, Hitler added new demands, insisting that the claims of Poland and Hungary also be satisfied.

The capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies, both Czechs and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet was installed, and on 23 September a decree of general mobilization was issued. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia's assistance. The Czechoslovak President, however, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers.

As all of this was unfolding, the British and French governments took steps to align public opinion with their ultimatum on Czechoslovakia. Accordingly, a war scare with Nazi Germany was built up by grossly exaggerating its military capabilities, reaching full panic mode by 28 September.

On that day, Chamberlain reached out to Hitler for a conference. Hitler met the following day in Munich with the government heads of France, Italy and Britain; all signed what would be known as the Munich Agreement. The Czechoslovak government, which was neither invited nor consulted, capitulated on 30 September and agreed to abide by the agreement.

Czechoslovakia’s Borders After the Munich Agreement.

The Munich Agreement stipulated that Czechoslovakia must cede the Sudeten territory to Germany, with its occupation completed by 10 October. An international commission would supervise a general vote to determine the final frontier. Hungary and Poland would also get lands and people. Britain and France promised to join in an international guarantee of the new frontiers against unprovoked aggression. Ominously, Germany and Italy decided not to join this guarantee until the Polish and Hungarian minority problems were settled.

A Plot to Assassinate Hitler

When Hitler signed the secret directive to invade Czechoslovakia, he set in motion a chain of events in his own country which might have changed the course of history. Unfortunately for his compatriots and the rest of the world, Hitler's diabolic lucky charm was still with him during that time.

In that directive, Hitler clearly stated his "unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future". In the case of war with Czechoslovakia, whether France intervened or not, all forces should be concentrated on the Czechoslovaks in order to achieve an "impressive success" in the first three days of the invasion. Only then could forces be transferred to the French frontier. All regular forces were to be withdrawn from East Prussia in order to speed up the defeat of the Czechoslovaks. No major provision was made for a war against the Soviets. The deployment of troops would begin on 28 September 1938.

Several Nazi military leaders were in shock, alarmed by the prospect of a quick defeat by exposing so many flanks to foreign aggression. This was also shared by the entire Foreign Ministry, except for Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister and a Nazi to the core. Hitler was isolated in his mountain retreat, cut off from any outside contacts by his inner circle. This group insisted that the Soviet Union, France and Britain would not fight and that the Czechoslovaks were bluffing.

By August the dissenters were becoming desperate. They reached out to senior foreign allies in order to make Hitler realize the folly of his plan, to no avail. Finally, a conspiracy of major generals and important civil leaders was formed to pursue the three strategies: (i) make Hitler see the truth; (ii) to inform the British of their efforts and ask them to stand firm on the Czechoslovak issue and to tell the German government that Britain would fight if Hitler made war on Czechoslovakia; and (iii) to assassinate Hitler if he nevertheless issued the order to invade.

Although many messages were sent to Britain in the first two weeks of September by senior German officials, the British refused to cooperate. Accordingly, a plan was made to assassinate Hitler as soon as the attack was ordered.

This project was canceled at noon on 28 September when news reached Berlin that Chamberlain was going to Munich to yield to Hitler's demands. The attack order was to have been given by Hitler at 2:00 P.M. that day.

An Alternative Reality...

Even if Hitler had survived that assassination attempt, a war against Czechoslovakia might not have been as quick as he had planned for.

Germany had 22 partly trained divisions on the Czechoslovak frontier, while the Czechoslovaks had 17 first-line and several other divisions which were superior from every point of view except air support. In addition, they had excellent fortifications and higher morale. By the third week of September, Czechoslovakia had 1 million men and all its divisions under arms. The Germans increased their mobilization to 31 and ultimately to 36 divisions, but this likely still represented a smaller force.

The Soviets had about 100 divisions. While these could not be used directly against Germany, because Poland and Romania would not allow them to pass over their territory, they would have been a threat to ensure the neutrality of Poland and Hungary, effectively isolating Germany. In any case, the Soviet Air Force could help Czechoslovakia directly; the Soviets could have likely overrun East Prussia across the Baltic States and from the Baltic Sea, since it had been almost completely denuded of regular German Army forces.

France, which did not completely mobilize, had the Maginot Line fully manned on a war basis, plus more than 20 infantry divisions and 10 motorized divisions. They might have overrun Germany from the western side.

In air power the Germans had a slight edge in average quality, but in numbers of planes it was far inferior: Germany had 1,500 planes; Czechoslovakia had less than 1,000; France and England together had over 1,000; the Soviet Union may have had around 5,000.

These facts were known to the British government via their foreign diplomats and intelligence operators, and further reinforced by the messages sent by the plotting German generals in their attempts to avoid a military disaster.

... And What Actually Happened

On 5 October, five days after capitulating to the Munich Agreement, the President resigned, realizing that the fall of his country was inevitable. He was correct in his assessment.

The Munich Agreement was violated on every point in favor of Nazi Germany, so that ultimately the German Army merely occupied all the places it wanted. Hungarians and Polish followed suit, and took over large parts of the territory. As a result, Czechoslovakia was shred to pieces. The only democracy in the region collapsed. The Soviet alliance was ended and the Communist Party outlawed. The anti-Nazi refugees from the Sudetenland were rounded up by the Prague government and handed over to the Nazis to be destroyed.

The terms of trade were substantially skewed in favor of Nazi Germany, which absorbed all the resources it could to maintain its rapid militarization. The economy in what was left of the country promptly collapsed, and had to rely on British and French aid to remain minimally viable.

Czechoslovakia had been a major manufacturer of machine guns, tanks and artillery to supply its once impressive army of 34 divisions. Many of these factories would continue producing Czechoslovak weapon designs, adding to the Nazis' arsenal during World War II. Entire steel and chemical factories were moved out and reassembled in Austria.


In the aftermath of the Czechoslovakia crisis, Nazi Germany reigned supreme in Central Europe. Chamberlain must have been pleased because this was exactly what he intended.

And it would not be long before he realized that this had been a blunder of historical proportions.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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In pictures: Russia's imperial Romanov family

E-mails sent to Sott.net become the property of Quantum Future Group, Inc and may be published without notice.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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'Great American villain' Henry Kissinger faces citizen's arrest inside a Senate hearing room

© Reuters

CODEPINK Protesters Attempt Citizens Arrest of Henry Kissinger for War Crimes.

In an action that has already made headlines around the world, Code Pink stole the show yesterday with an attempted citizen's arrest of Henry Kissinger for War Crimes committed during his tenure as Secretary of State from 1973-1977.

As the 91 year old Kissinger took to his seat at the witness table alongside former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and George Shultz for a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee on global threats and national security strategy, chants of "Arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes, arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes, arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes" began pulsating throughout the chambers. Press hovered over the scene, and Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin began speaking for the voiceless, calling for the citizen's arrest of Kissinger for war crimes:

In the name of the people of Chile

In the name of the people of Vietnam

In the name of the people of East Timor

In the name of the people of Cambodia

In the name of the people of Laos

Activists then read aloud a citizen's arrest (text below). Senator John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee (currently facing charges of being a "war monger" himself from critics in his own party) bent to the microphone and announced that in all his years on the committee he had "never seen anything as disgraceful, and outrageous, as despicable". Then he told Code Pink protestors to "get outta here" and called them "you low life scum."

[embedded content]

Do we worry about that invective? Heck no! Take a look at that iconic photo at the top of the page. The die was cast a long time ago: Kissinger's legacy, his complicity in crimes against humanity , is what he will be remembered for, from his service as Secretary of State and national security advisor.

"Henry Kissinger is responsible for the deaths of millions," Benjamin said in a press release issued by Code Pink. "He's a murderer, a liar, a crook, and a thug, and should be tried at the Hague." CP action organizer Anna Kaminski called Kissinger "The great American villain."

Press Release:

"CODEPINK is really proud of our action in the Senate today, speaking out on behalf of the people of Indochina, China, East Timor and peace-loving people everywhere," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, "Henry Kissinger is responsible for the deaths of millions. He's a murderer, a liar, a crook, and a thug, and should be tried at the Hague."

"I chose to speak out during the Senate Arms Committee because I'm appalled that the Senate would bring in a war criminal to testify about 'American leadership' when the only things Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright have shown leadership in is wreaking destruction upon other countries and murdering countless innocent civilians," said 26-year-old CODEPINK National Coordinator Alli McCracken. "Is that the leadership we want to uphold as a nation and use to determine our current and future foreign policies? We need to stop rehashing these tired old war criminals and come up with a new foreign policy based on diplomacy and compassion - - two things Kissinger knows nothing about."

"Henry Kissinger is one of many representatives of the culture of impunity which still dominates American leaders' approach to foreign policy. While he has been continually criticized by activists for his orchestration of or support for egregious crimes, he is regarded as a bulwark for global diplomacy by those who walk the hallowed halls of congress. His true legacy is that of destruction. He is the great American villain, Kissinger's agent orange in Vietnam is Bush's Depleted Uranium in Iraq, the time to end impunity is now," said Anna Kaminski, a CODEPINK organizer.

The Citizens' Arrest warrant denounced Henry Kissinger for complicity in the bombings in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos; the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile and the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. "Democracies should hold their officials accountable for their acts. That's why we demand that Kissinger be arrested for crimes against humanity and tried at the Hague," the warrant concluded.

Maybe McCain thinks his rebuke of Code Pink will whitewash the harsh public scolding he got from members of his own party last weekend. Check out the loud boos coming from the audience as McCain takes to the stage at the annual statutory meeting of the State Committee of the Arizona Republican party:

[embedded content]

Here's text from the Citizen's Arrest Warrant calling for the arrest of Henry Kissinger for War Crimes:

Vietnam: From 1969 through 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which led to the deaths of millions of people. Many thousands more died from the affects of massive doses of Agent Orange and from unexploded US bombs that cover the countryside.

Chile: Henry Kissinger was one of the principle architects of the coup in Chile on September 11, 1973, a coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. Sixteen years of repression, torture and death followed under the rule of Kissinger's friend, the fascist Augusto Pinochet.

East Timor: In 1975, while working for President Gerald Ford, Kissinger pre-approved the Indonesian dictator Suharto's bloody invasion of the small island of East Timor. This illegal act of aggression was carried out with weapons furnished by the US. By the time the Indonesian occupation finally ended in 1999, 200,000 Timorese - 30 percent of the population - had been wiped out.

This is Kissinger's legacy. Death. Destruction. Suffering. Misery. Dictatorships. His is a murderer, a liar, a crook, a thug.

Democracies should hold their officials accountable for their acts. That's why we demand that Kissinger be arrested for crimes against humanity and tried at the Hague.

CODEPINK, January 29, 2015

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Match made in "heaven"? Netanyahu denies wife pocketed state money in cash-for-bottles scheme

© Reuters/Nir Elias

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied reports that his wife, Sara, stole thousands of dollars worth of state funds from bottles returned to local supermarkets on her orders.

In a Facebook post, Netanyahu railed against the "false accusations against me and my wife that seek to topple the Likud and bring the left to power."

Netanyahu criticized local media who jumped at the opportunity to ridicule Sara, just a month-and-a-half ahead of scheduled snap elections which will pit Netanyahu's ruling Likud party against a united center-left front.

"All of this aims to detract attention from what is really important - who will lead the country," he wrote.

But Israeli media did seize the chance to make fun of Sara. A frequent target for left-leaning , she is often portrayed as out of touch and extravagant.

In the wake of the revelation, published a cartoon of her seated in her living room, watching the recent spat between Israel and Hezbollah on television, surrounded by empty bottles and ordering her staff to take the bottles to the supermarket.

In 2013, the Netanyahu couple returned $1,000 from used bottles to the state, according to a spokesperson for the prime minister's office. However, Meni Naftali, a former manager for the prime minister's residence, alleges in a lawsuit for wrongful treatment that the actual sum was much higher.

He claims that Sara made around $6,000 over the course of four years during her husband's first term in office.

"She would collect the bottles obsessively," Naftali told Yedioth Ahronoth daily, in an interview published on Friday. "'Here's a bottle, here's another bottle.'"

reported that the matter has been turned over to the Attorney General's Office.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Netanyahu speech scandal blows up and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy

In the last 24 hours the controversy over the planned speech by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to both houses of Congress on March 3 to rebut the president's policy on Iran has blown up to a new level. Muted outrage over the invitation has turned into open rage. The opposition to the speech by major Israel supporters across the political spectrum, liberal J Street, center-right Jeffrey Goldberg, and hard-right Abraham Foxman, all of whom say the speech-planners have put the US-Israel relationship at risk by making it a political controversy in the U.S., has been conveyed to the Democratic establishment.

The and Chris Matthews both landed on the story last night, a full week after it broke, to let us know what a disaster the speech would be if it's ever delivered. So these media are acting to protect the special relationship by upping the pressure to cancel the speech.

With even AIPAC washing its hands of the speech, it sure looks as if Israel supporters want an exit from this fiasco. Jettisoning Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer or cancelling the speech would seem like a small price to pay in the news cycle next to a spectacle in which leading Democrats are forced to line up against Netanyahu in Washington, even as they file in and out of the AIPAC policy conference and praise Israel to the skies.

Here are the developments. First, the ' Julie Hirschfeld Davis has a report of unleashed White House fury over the invitation. The story contains the signal that Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, will be the fall guy for the scandal:

The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama's inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu's political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The would not be named, and the White House declined to comment....

So: The White House gets to appear as if it is protecting the special relationship between the countries from that shmendrick Dermer. The message to Dermer is delivered in scatological terms by former ambassador Dan Kurtzer, a liberal Zionist:

"He has soiled his pad; who's he going to work with?" Mr. Kurtzer said.

Dermer's felony was politicizing the relationship between the countries. Hey, no one wants this politicized? The neoconservatives do; they want a battle over Iran policy. So did Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, when he said Obama was taking his talking points from Tehran. The left surely wants the matter politicized; that way our politicians can come out against Israeli settlements and massacres. But the centrist elements of the lobby have cohered over this issue, saying the speech is a big problem, and Obama must keep Israel supporters happy in order to get the prize here: freedom to negotiate with Iran.

Even AIPAC is trying to steer clear of the wreckage. Ron Kampeas reports:

Alan Elsner of J Street has savaged Dermer in , "Israel's ambassador to the U.S. is planting a rotten seed." Elsner wrote that Dermer has placed Israel's most essential protection at risk:

At a time of growing diplomatic isolation, Israel only has one firm ally that it can depend on - the United States. Does it really want to further narrow that base of support by depending entirely on Republicans, as Dermer seems to want to do?

The echoes the point, saying the last thing Obama wants is for Americans to start arguing about the special relationship:

White House officials were at first wary that Mr. Dermer would politicize relations between Washington and Jerusalem, but over time cultivated a working relationship with him after concluding that there were advantages in his closeness to Mr. Netanyahu.

The last week has borne out their initial concerns.

The Israelis are reportedly enraged about it too. The also published the story that Michael Oren has called on Netanyahu to cancel the speech. Short term political gain at the risk of the entire US-Israel relationship.

Is there a conspiracy of folks trying to protect the US-Israel relationship from any robust debate? Yes. Chris Matthews led off his broadcast last night with the story. This after ignoring it the day it broke last week. Matthews slyly wondered who was at the bottom of the invitation, but then went on to praise Tzipi Livni, Isaac Herzog, Michael Oren, and Abe Foxman as wonderful people. Talk about covering your bases. David Corn seemed to echo J Street when he explained that an Israeli prime minister had two jobs, keeping his country safe and protecting the relationship with the United States. But gosh, that's Israel's problem. Where is the American interest? Maybe it would be a good thing if the issue were open to the American voters. They'd get to discuss how they feel about Israeli expansion and massacres and nuclear weapons, and their feelings would be echoed by politicians. We would have a deal with Iran in no time; and there'd be huge pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

Corn said the battle is for "Jewish voters." This is not true; Jewish voters are in safe states, with the exception of Florida. It's about Jewish donors and Jewish friends of Israel all over the establishment. Matthews said again that no president could be elected or reelected if he/she allowed Iran to get a nuclear weapon. To his great credit, Corn disagreed. While emphasizing that it is not evident that Iran even wants a nuclear weapon, Corn seemed to express the view that we can contain a nuclear Iran. It's about time that realist view was expressed in the MSM. The establishment wants this scandal to end in a hurry, but it continues to yield benefits.

Update: National Iranian American Council organizes a campaign to stop the speech. It has three Congresspeople on board.

It is unbelievable that some in our Congress would provide a foreign leader with an official platform to attack our President and start a war. If sanctions pass and diplomacy collapses, Americans could be sent to die in a war with Iran. That is not Bibi Netanyahu's decision to make.

So some in Congress are taking action to stop Bibi's speech. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Steve Cohen (D-TN) are organizing a letter to demand that House Speaker John Boehner (who made the invitation) cancel Bibi's invite.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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