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Friday, 16 January 2015

The bizarre ESP experiments conducted on Canadian aboriginal children without parental consent

Brandon Indian Residential School students

© Library and Archives of Canada

Brandon Indian Residential School students in 1946.

Canada's residential schools for aboriginal children were places of hunger, isolation and misery. Children as young as 3 were separated from their families and became wards of the state.

In the 1940s, the children were also, as more and more evidence is revealing, the unwitting subjects of bizarre, cruel and unethical experimentation .

A recently uncovered experiment reveals the depths of the access given to so-called researchers seeking to find evidence that aboriginal children, by dint of their race, had extrasensory perception, also known as ESP, or a "sixth sense."

Fifty children at the Indian Residential School in Brandon, Manitoba, became the subjects of a series of tests that sought to establish a new measure for identifying ESP and also to find evidence of supernatural abilities of "primitive" people.

Brandon Indian Residential School

© Library and Archives of Canada

Brandon Indian Residential School, as seen from the driveway. (Library and Archives of Canada)

As was typical for the time, there was no parental consent. But the children, ranging from ages 6 to 20, likely participated "willingly," as the study claims, eager for candy that might stave off their persistent hunger.

The study was conducted for researchers at what was then known as the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory; the findings were published in the in 1943.

"The bare fact that American Indians have shown ESP ability is not surprising enough to deserve great emphasis," the study's author wrote.

The study was recently uncovered by Maeengan Linklater, an aboriginal community worker, who forwarded it to Ian Mosby, a researcher at McMaster University.

Duke University has since cut ties with the laboratory, which continues its work under a new name: the Rhine Research Center.

ESP and human behavioral phenomenon that "transcend the known physical laws of nature" were once hot topics of scientific interest, but have fallen from favor.

"It's fallen into disuse due to the fact that there's just nothing there," columnist Michael Shermer told Discovery.com. "Parapsychology has been around for more than a century. (Yet) there's no research protocol that generates useful working hypotheses for other labs to test and develop into a model, and eventually a paradigm that becomes a field. It just isn't there."

The aboriginal children in Canada were tested based on their ability to guess what was written on a card that was being looked at by the researcher - essentially reading someone's mind. But the results were inconclusive: The children's performance was no better than chance.

The "research" experiment highlights just one of the many indignities suffered by these children, according to Mosby, a postdoctoral fellow in Canadian history at McMaster.

Taking a Blood Sample

© Library and Archives of Canada

A nurse takes a blood sample from a boy in Port Alberni, British Columbia, during a Department of National Health and Welfare survey.

"The children didn't suffer harm; but as we know from other examples, indigenous children in Canada were seen as available to researchers because they were wards of the state," Mosby told in an interview. "The government was making decisions for them, and the residential system became this sort of easy access for researchers to have a population of institutionalized bodies to do experiments on."

The children, the old study notes, came from "primitive" cultures where fishing, hunting and trapping were the primary occupations. They were brought to the schools as young children and kept there, away from their families, for most of the time.

More than 150,000 aboriginal children were forced to attend these schools until the last one was closed 1996. They were run by churches but funded by the government.

Meals at the schools consisted of oatmeal gruel and toast for breakfast followed by thin soup for lunch and dinner, even while school administrators ate rich foods prepared by the students themselves. Hunger and malnutrition were common, and many of the children died there - in some cases, death rates exceeded 50 percent of the students.

In 2013, Mosby published a paper describing nearly a decade of "nutritional" experimentation conducted on aboriginal children. The experiments involved depriving children of nutrition in the name of science and allowing conditions of virtual starvation to continue.

"The mortality rates of these schools were vastly higher than the rest of Canada," Mosby said. "This comes back to the dehumanizing elements of residential schools in Canada. The entire purpose of them was to destroy indigenous ways of life."

Linklater, who unearthed the study, forwarded it to Mosby because the researcher had previously examined other experiments conducted on aboriginal children during that time period.

"There's no parental consent, there's no research studies that would have been ethical by our standards today, and these kids were exploited," Linklater told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "I don't mean to say this to inspire white guilt, I'm using this as a tool for change."

In 2008, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to the aboriginal community for the schools and the country settled a class-action lawsuit brought by surviving former students.

"The really important point is it highlights the vulnerability of indigenous children in Canada and the lack of care," Mosby said. "The idea that they would let quack scientists do experiments on children highlights the inhumanity of these institutions."

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Jean-Marie Le Pen to Russian newspaper: 'Charlie Hebdo attack has the hallmarks of being a secret service operation'

Komsomolskaya Pravda

The founder of the National Front party and MEP, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is an 86-year-old politician is a the legend of France. As a teenager, participated in the resistance movement. He fought with France's airborne troops in Indochina and Algeria. This old man with difficulty rising from a chair politely declined my hand. He damaged his left eye in a street brawl, but he sees women perfectly with his right eye. This Frenchman is very much a Frenchman. "Who is this beauty, who came to us from the Russian frost?" he asks me when I greet him. It's flattery, of course, but what woman does not melt at such a compliment?

Daria Aslamova: Monsieur Le Pen, you first made the statement "I am not Charlie". How come?

Jean-Marie Le Pen: I am not Charlie Hebdo. This anarchist rag is a direct enemy of our National Front party, and a few years ago its journalists were collecting signatures on a petition demanding our closure. And all these politicians who came to the demonstration - they too are not Charlie but 'charlots'! (so-called French clowns, comedians - DA) They can organize a big spectacle with strong media support and the slogan 'I am Charlie', temporarily mobilizing the nation, but they are not able to protect the country from the influx of immigrants from the south. I would like to be 'Charlie Martella'. (as French naval battleships were named, after the French military leader Charles Martel - DA) Martell, this brilliant French soldier, in 732 stopped the Arab invasion in Poitiers.

DA: But now we're in 2015!

J-M LP: Yes, and we live in a France with between 15 and 20 million Muslims. All French governments, left or right, allowed immigration, and even encouraged it. Every year another three hundred thousand people come, and they're not looking for work. 6 to 8 million people in France live on social benefits, which these immigrants come for. This is the result of a common Christian and European decadence. Europe has removed borders within the EU. And now, from the southern border, which nobody protects, leak hundreds of thousands of people into France. The whole thing amounts to intra-European betrayal.

DA: But France itself is partly to blame for this. People are fleeing from war and chaos. After all, France has turned Libya into ruins!

J-M LP: It was real crazy to get involved in a war with Libya. French planes bombed Gaddafi's tanks at a time when he was preparing to take Benghazi - the main stronghold of the Salafis (Wahhabis). Today complete anarchy reigns in Libya. From there, arms have been spreading across North Africa, and French leaders like Sarkozy are directly responsible for it.

DA: What do you think about the Ukrainian crisis and the division between Europe and Russia?

J-M LP: It was provoked by NATO, this Ukrainian crisis, as it tried to get closer to Russia's borders. The position of our party is this: the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a family quarrel. After all, Russia was born in Kiev. And neither Europeans nor the Americans need to interfere in this family drama. Russian and Ukrainians themselves will understand each other. But there is no doubt that the United States continues to treat Russia as the Soviet Union, and to try to shake your government with conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine.

DA: You are a member of the European Parliament looking into the situation with the downed Malaysian Boeing. What do you think about this crime?

J-M LP: The surprising fact is that all investigations are conducted in an atmosphere of great secrecy. I'm no expert, but it is clear to me that this kind of attack requires military professionals of the highest level, and high-precision weapons, which for militias are not simple to acquire and use. And the obvious question is: why was this civilian aircraft flying over a war zone? Who let this happen?

DA: This year a transatlantic partnership between the United States and the European Union will be signed. What are the benefits it promises Europe?

J-M LP: Yes, it would be a disaster! We've turned into an economic colony of America. The EU is moving in the wrong direction - to the West, and it is necessary to turn to the East, Russia. We need a united Europe - from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but a Europe of sovereign nations. Russia has demographic problems, and it is increasingly difficult for it to keep Siberia. However, Siberia - a geo-strategic location - is absolutely necessary for the survival of the whole of Europe. We need a strong alliance between Europe, with its high technology, and Russia, with its natural resources. If we do not, then our continent, with its demographic depression, in the cultural and economic sense, will simply disappear.

Look at Germany: it's a gold-plated coffin full of dead bodies. The Germans are a dying nation. How many children give birth in Europe? Per woman, on average, 1.3 children. And just to keep the previous level of the population requires 2.5. And now look at the world around us. Muslim countries, India - per woman, between 3 and 5 children. I've said nothing about China. If it cancels the rule of 'one family - one child', a population explosion will happen that will shake the entire planet. But Europe must be saved individually, without relying on bureaucrats in Brussels. France should withdraw from the EU to limit immigration and to solve economic problems on its own. We need to get the French to understand that our salvation lies in national sovereignty.

DA: But your National Front party is not even invited to the general demonstration against terrorism!

J-M LP: Because we are the defenders of the national idea. We had to be at the forefront, as it is the National Front that spoke of the urgent problems of immigration for many years! And on the possibility of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

DA: However, in the affair, there are many unanswered questions.

J-M LP: I agree. These Kouachi brothers leaving their ID cards behind reminded me of that passport falling out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and miraculously surviving intact. Downtown New York City burned, but the passport was fine. They now tell people that the terrorists are idiots, which is why, they say, they left their documents in the car. The shooting at Charlie Hebdo has the hallmarks of being a secret service operation, but we have no proof. I do not think that the French authorities organized this crime, but they allowed this crime to be committed. This is only a guess.

DA: Why did the magazine constantly insult Muslims and Christians, but hardly touched the Jews?

J-M LP: Because the Jews know how to defend themselves. Pay attention to the Femen organization. They can run around naked in front of the Pope, naked in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, but they never do that in the synagogue.

DA: Europe mourns the dead cartoonist, but does not see the death of Russian journalists in the Donbass.

J-M LP: Because it's real journalists, not the Trotskyists and anarchists at Charlie Hebdo. If I killed their colleagues in other French media, Charlie Hebdo staff would, with pleasure, 'joke' about their deaths.

DA: What are the chances of success for your daughter Marine Le Pen in the next presidential election?

J-M LP: Yes, she can win, but I'm afraid she will inherit the ruins of this country. France is economically, and irresistibly, heading for the abyss.

The National Front is the far-right party in France. Founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1972, for many years it has consistently struggled against immigration from non-European countries, advocates for traditional values and independent policy-making for Paris, without the dictates of Brussels. It currently firmly opposes anti-Russian sanctions.

In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen received second place in the presidential election with nearly 18% of the vote, but eventually lost to Jacques Chirac.

In 2011, the party was taken over by his daughter Marine Le Pen, and a year later in the presidential election Marine got almost 20% of the vote. The National Front holds seats in the lower house of parliament. The party's greatest success to date came in the European Parliament elections in 2014, when the National Front increased its number of seats from 3 to 22.

Recent polls suggest that at the next presidential elections in 2017, Marine Le Pen has every chance winning.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Pakistani father sacrifices five children 'to gain magic powers'


© Naharnet.com

A Pakistani father-of-six is on the run after strangling five of his children to death, apparently believing the sacrifice would endow him with magical powers including alchemy, police said Friday.

Ali Nawaz Leghari, 40, killed the two girls and three boys, aged between three and 13 overnight Thursday in the village of Saeed Khan, some 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the city of Karachi.

"The man's financial condition was bad but he was also learning black magic and it seems that he made the sacrifice to excel in the craft," police officer Qamaruddin Rahimo told AFP.

Amjad Sheikh, the district's police chief, confirmed the incident which occurred while Leghari was undertaking a 40-day spiritual journey, known as a prescribed to him by a (living saint) that he hoped would teach him the art of alchemy.

Rahimo said that on Tuesday Leghari had attempted to poison the family's dinner but was spotted by his wife, resulting in a bitter quarrel.

The wife along with their eldest son left the house to go and stay with her parents. With the pair out of the way, Leghari was able to successfully carry out his plan to sedate the remaining five children and then used a rope that was found at the scene to strangle them, said Rahimo.

"He strangled them one by one inside the room and later dumped them on a bed in the courtyard," he said, adding police were now hunting Leghari down.

Black magic practices are rooted in mystic Sufi lore and have traditionally been the domain of and (sorcerers). The practice is particularly strong in rural parts of the country including the impoverished southern Sindh province where the killings took place.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Paul Craig Roberts: Ruin Is Our Future

Neoconservatives arrayed in their Washington offices are congratulating themselves on their success in using the Charlie Hebdo affair to reunite Europe with Washington's foreign policy. No more French votes with the Palestinians against the Washington-Israeli position. No more growing European sympathy with the Palestinians. No more growing European opposition to launching new wars in the Middle East. No more calls from the French president to end the sanctions against Russia.

Do the neoconservatives also understand that they have united Europeans with the right-wing anti-immigration political parties? The wave of support for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists is the wave of Marine Le Pen's National Front, Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party, and Germany's PEGIDA sweeping over Europe. These parties are empowered by the anti-immigration fervor that was orchestrated in order to reunite Europeans with Washington and Israel.

Once again the arrogant and insolent neoconservatives have blundered. Charlie Hebdo's empowerment of the anti-immigration parties has the potential to revolutionize European politics and destroy Washington's empire. See my weekend interview with for my thoughts on this potential game-changer.

The reports from the UK and from that Russia has cut off natural gas deliveries to six European countries must be incorrect. These sources are credible and well-informed, but such a cut-off would have instantly produced political and financial turmoil of which there is no sign. Therefore, unless there is a news blackout, Russia's action has been misunderstood.

We know something real has happened. Otherwise, EU energy official Maros Sefcovic would not be expressing such consternation. Although I am without any definite information, I believe I know what the real story is. Russia, tired of Ukraine's theft of the natural gas that passes through the country on its way to delivery to Europe, has made a decision to route the gas to Turkey, thus bypassing Ukraine.

The Russian energy minister has confirmed this decision and added that if European countries wish to avail themselves of this gas supply, they must put in place the infrastructure or pipeline to bring the gas into their countries.

In other words, there is a potential for a cutoff in the future, but no cutoff at the present.

These two events - Charlie Hebdo and the Russian decision to cease delivering gas to Europe via Ukraine - should remind us that the potential for black swans, and unintended consequences of official decisions that can produce black swans, always exist. Not even the American "superpower" is immune from black swans.

There is as much circumstantial evidence that the CIA and French Intelligence are responsible for the Charlie Hebdo shootings as there is that the shootings were carried out by the two brothers whose ID was conveniently found in the alleged get-away car. As the French made certain that the brothers were killed before they could talk, we will never know what they had to say about the plot.

The only evidence we have that the brothers are guilty is the claim by the security forces. Every time I hear government claims without real evidence, I remember Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," Assad's "use of chemical weapons," and Iran's "nuclear weapons program." If a US National Security Advisor can conjure up out of thin air "mushroom clouds over an American city," Cherif and Said Kouachi can be turned into killers. After all, they are dead and cannot protest.

If this was, and we will never know for certain, a false flag attack, it achieved Washington's goal of reuniting Europe under Washington and Israeli auspices. But this success has an unintended consequence. The unintended consequence is to unify Europe under the anti-immigration policy of the right-wing parties, thus empowering the leaders of those parties.

If this surmise is correct, Marie Le Pen and Nigel Farage will find their lives and/or reputations in danger as Washington will resist the rise of European governments that do not adhere to Washington's line.

The consternation caused by Russia's decision to relocate its gas delivery to Europe is proof that Russia holds many cards that Russia could play that would bring down the political and financial structures of the Western World.

China holds similar cards.

The two countries are not playing their cards, because they do not think that they need them. Instead, the two powers are withdrawing from the Western financial system that serves Western hegemony over the world. They are creating all of the economic institutions that they need in order to be completely independent of the West.

Therefore, the Russian and Chinese governments reason, "Why be provocative and slap down the Western fools. They might resort to their nuclear weapons, and the entire world would be lost. Let's just walk away while they encourage us to depart with their provocations."

We can be thankful that Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the Chinese government are both intelligent and humane, unlike Western leaders.

Imagine, for example, the dire consequences for the West if Putin were to become personally involved as a result of the numerous affronts to both Russia and Putin himself. Putin can destroy NATO and the entire Western financial system whenever he wants. All he has to do is to announce that as NATO has declared economic war against Russia, Russia no longer sells energy to NATO members.

The NATO alliance would dissolve as Europe cannot survive without Russian energy supplies. Washington's empire would end.

Putin realizes that the insolent neoconservatives would have to push the nuclear button in order to save face. Unlike Putin, their egos are on the line. Thus, Putin saves the world from nuclear war by not being provocative.

Now, imagine if the Chinese government were to lose its patience with Washington. To confront the "exceptional, indispensable, unipower" with the reality of its impotence, all China needs to do is to dump its massive dollar-denominated financial assets on the market, all at once, just as the Federal Reserve's bullion bank agents dump massive uncovered gold contracts on the future's market.

In order to avoid US financial collapse, the Federal Reserve would have to print massive amounts of new dollars with which to purchase the dumped Chinese holdings. As the Federal Reserve would protect US financial markets by purchasing the dumped Chinese holdings, the Chinese would lose nothing from the sale. It is the next step that is decisive. The Chinese government then dumps the massive holdings of dollars it has received from its selloff of dollar-dominated financial instruments.

Now what happens? The Fed can print dollars with which to purchase the dumped Chinese holdings, but the Fed cannot print foreign currencies with which to buy up the dumped dollars.

The massive supply of dollars dumped in the exchange market by China would have no takers. The dollar's value would collapse. Washington could no longer pay its bills by printing money. Americans living in an import-dependent country, thanks to jobs offshoring, would be faced with high prices that would seriously erode their living standard. The United States would experience economic, social, and political instability.

Putting aside their brainwashing, their defensiveness and patriotic support of the regime in Washington, Americans need to ask themselves: How is it possible that the government of the United States, an alleged Superpower, is so unaware of its true vulnerabilities that Washington is capable of pushing two real powers until they have had enough and play the cards that they hold?

Americans need to understand that the only thing exceptional about the US is the ignorance of the population and the stupidity of the government.

What other country would let a handful of Wall Street crooks control its economic and foreign policy, run its central bank and Treasury, and subordinate citizens' interests to the interests of the one percent's pocketbook?

A population this insouciant is at the total mercy of Russia and China.

Yesterday there was a black swan event, an event that could yet unleash other black swan events. The Swiss central bank announced an end to its pegging of the Swiss franc to the euro and US dollar.

Three years ago flight from euros and dollars into Swiss francs pushed the exchange value of the franc so high that it threatened the existence of the Swiss export industries. Switzerland announced that any further inflows of foreign currencies into francs would be met by creating new francs to absorb the inflows so as not to drive up the exchange rate further. In other words, the Swiss pegged the franc.

Yesterday the Swiss central bank announced that the peg was off. The franc instantly rose in value. Stocks of Swiss export companies fell, and hedge funds wrongly positioned incurred major hits to their solvency.

Why did the Swiss remove the peg? It was not a costless action. It cost the central bank and Swiss export industries substantially.

The answer is that the EU attorney general ruled that it was permissible for the EU central bank to initiate Quantitative Easing - that is, the printing of new euros - in order to bail out the mistakes of the private bankers. This decision means that Switzerland expects to be confronted with massive flight from the euro and that the Swiss central bank is unwilling to print enough new Swiss francs to maintain the peg. The Swiss central bank believes that it would have to run the printing press so hard that the basis of the Swiss money supply would explode, far exceeding the GDP of Switzerland.

The money printing policy of the US, Japan, and apparently now the EU has forced other countries to inflate their own currencies in order to prevent the rise in the exchange value of their currencies that would curtail their ability to export and earn foreign currencies with which to pay for their imports. Thus Washington has forced the world into printing money.

The Swiss have backed out of this system. Will others follow, or will the rest of the world follow the Russians and Chinese governments into new monetary arrangements and simply turn their backs on the corrupt and irredeemable West?

The level of corruption and manipulation that characterizes US economic and foreign policy today was impossible in earlier times when Washington's ambition was constrained by the Soviet Union. The greed for hegemonic power has made Washington the most corrupt government on earth.

The consequence of this corruption is ruin.

"Leadership passes into empire. Empire begets insolence. Insolence brings ruin."

Ruin is America's future.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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An Afghan training base that melted in the rain? US wasted billions on botched projects

Afghan policemen stand guard

© AFP Photo/Jeff Pachoud

Afghan policemen stand guard for a debriefing during an exercise under the supervision of the Eurogendfor, on September 26, 2012, at the National Police Training Center in the Wardak province

The United States wasted nearly $500,000 on an Afghan police training center that began to fall apart only months after it was built due to shoddy contractor work, according to a watchdog report released Thursday.

The center's adobe-style brick buildings were supposed to replicate an Afghan village to allow the country's special police to practice search operations but the roof and walls began "melting" away in the rain four months after it was completed, said the report by John Sopko, Washington's special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR).

"Therefore, although this project may have been well intentioned, the fact that the Afghans had to demolish and rebuild the DFR (dry fire range) is not only an embarrassment, but, more significantly, a waste of US taxpayers' money," Sopko's office said.

The report found that US officials failed to properly supervise or hold accountable the Afghan firm selected to build the center, Qesmatullah Nasrat Construction Company, which used substandard bricks and failed to follow contract requirements.

The inspector general's report is the latest in a long series that have found massive waste and botched projects worth billions of dollars across Afghanistan.

For the police training center in eastern Wardak province, American officials at Forward Operating Base Shank awarded the $456,669 contract to the firm in May 2012. And the company was paid in full once the buildings were completed in October of the same year.

The center "was not constructed according to contract requirements, and our analysis showed that, as a result, water penetration caused its walls to begin disintegrating within 4 months of when the US government accepted the project . . .," the SIGAR report said.

Bricks made of sand

The firm installed roofs without gravel and asphalt, failed to ensure a slope to the roof to allow water to drain to collection points, used smaller bricks than required and of insufficient strength, it said.

The bricks "were made mostly of sand with little clay content and that the lack of adequate clay material caused the bricks to fail when water penetration occurred," it said.

The report included photos that showed the buildings intact just after construction was completed, then with massive leaks and disintegrating walls in the following months.

US officials eventually concluded the building was completely unsafe and would have to be rebuilt entirely. The contracting company initially planned repairs but was not ready to rebuild the entire facility, it said.

The Afghan government has since demolished the buildings and is now rebuilding the training center.

The report urged US Central Command to try to recoup funds where possible, determine why the compound was not built according to contract requirements and what disciplinary action should be taken against contracting officials.

Central Command accepted the report's recommendations and said it plans to take corrective action.

Sopko has warned that it will be difficult to track reconstruction projects as international troops withdraw.

Most of a NATO-led force has pulled out of Afghanistan and a small force of about 12,000, made up mostly of American troops, remains deployed.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Department of Homeland Security promises to protect your privacy while they intrude into every aspect of your life

© AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

US citizens' privacy will be protected even as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prepares additional efforts to counter the "new phase" in the threat of global terrorism, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told Sputnik on Friday.

"The thing that is the greatest strength in our country is...our values in our privacy, our freedom to associate," Johnson told Sputnik when asked about the agency's planned response to the renewed global terror threat. "Those [values] we have to preserve."

Asked whether the next phase in US counter-terrorism and intelligence efforts would bring increased infringements on US citizens' privacy, Johnson explained that homeland security is a balance between ensuring civil liberties and basic security. "It's striking a balance," he added.

In a Friday speech to aviation experts in Washington, DC Johnson stated that the United States is "in a new phase of the global terrorist threat" which is represented by the recent months' terror attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris.

The DHS and US intelligence community has begun a process of "vertical intelligence sharing" among state and local law enforcement agencies, Johnson explained. Engaging with state and local law enforcement has become an increased priority of DHS, "given the domestic-based nature" of the terrorist threat to the US homeland, the DHS Secretary said.

The US Department of Homeland Security was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and quickly became the third largest federal agency.

Since its inception, DHS has come under scrutiny by US civil liberties organizations like the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center and multiple state-based civil liberties groups for allegedly engaging in domestic surveillance.

Comment: American tax dollars at work - arming and training terrorists, stripping Americans of their freedoms, all while keeping liars like this employed in order to convince us it's legitimate. And most people believe it legitimate to "strike a balance" between freedom and "security" during our all-out global war. Prior to 9/11 this would have been denounced as absolute lunacy. But now it's America's top industry, and we're told we must give just a little bit more. How much more will we give? The answer to that question seems to lie in how much the imperial oligarchs are willing to take. And the answer to that is not looking good.

Also see:

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Ice covering Great Lakes makes giant leap in January

GIF animation

Animation of ice cover on the Great Lakes from Jan. 7 to Jan. 14 (NOAA)

Ice cover on the Great Lakes has made quite a leap after the first, week-long cold snap of the season.

As of Thursday, ice covered 34.1 percent of the Great Lakes, up from just 5.6 percent on Jan. 1, and 10.8 percent on Jan. 5 - the first day of a polar plunge that gripped most of the eastern U.S. for days to come.

"Last year, the Great Lakes were 21.2 percent ice-covered on Jan. 14, making this year's ice cover 13 percent higher to date," writes weather.com. "If you recall, below-average temperatures were persistent from mid-January onward in the winter of 2014, leading to the second highest ice coverage on record at 92.2 percent on March 6, 2014."

Amazing shot from our Life on #LakeErie Photo Contest: Fortress of Solitude by @LakeErieSurfer http://ift.tt/1sIEfGn

- Lake Erie Commission (@OhioLakeErie) January 15, 2015

This year's January cold snap set off an upward spiral in ice cover over the lakes, particularly for Erie, the shallowest lake in the network.


By Jan. 14, Lake Erie had iced over. Thin ice can be seen in the eastern half of the lake, while thicker ice had formed over the western half

Lake Erie's ice cover has sky-rocketed this month, and is now about 88 percent covered in ice. Just a couple weeks ago, it was ice-free. Last year, Erie's climb was slightly more gradual, starting in December and then shooting up twice after Polar Vortex I and II in January. It seems this year Erie is getting it done in one shot.

Long-term outlooks suggest more chilly blasts are on the way, which means ice cover records could be in play this year.

According to our winter weather expert Wes Junker, more cold might be in store behind a potent winter storm late next week. "After the storm pushes through, colder weather is expected to filter in," Junker writes. "By the end of the two week period, temperatures could take a plunge as a strong upper level ridge develops over Alaska and northwestern Canada."

The ice breaking tug Breaker cuts through Lake Erie this morning. http://ift.tt/1ISBtAC

- Derek Gee (@DerekGeePhoto) January 14, 2015

Cool shot of Lake Erie in winter on approach to Buffalo post attending #JPM15 http://ift.tt/1ISBrsv

- Rob Wright (@RfwrightLSL) January 15, 2015

Lake Erie : Ice : Sunset @Interior @OhioNatureBlog @nature_org @lakecountyoh http://ift.tt/1sIEeSO

- john kovach (@kovachio) January 14, 2015

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Cop shoots unarmed man in the back, pepper sprays his dying body, then runs away

Rocky Ford, CO - Former Rocky Ford police officer will be standing trial on second degree murder charges after a preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

James Ashby was arrested on Nov 14., and fired that day for the killing of 27-year-old Jack Jacquez on October 12.

[embedded content]

Jaquez was reportedly out skateboarding when Officer Ashby approached him. Ashby then followed the man home and into his mother's house. Jaquez reportedly knocked on the back door and when his mother let him in the officer followed.

According to court records released Thursday, Ashby told investigators that he followed Jaquez into his own home because he thought he was a burglar. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation found that Ashby never identified himself as a police officer and had no reason to believe the Jaquez was committing any crime before the shooting,

According to the family, Ashby then raised his gun just inches from Jaquez' mothers head and shot her son in the back, causing the bullet to pierce his heart. The officer proceeded to pepper spray the man's back as he lay bleeding out on the floor, then fled the residence.

Officer Ashby said Jacquez was reaching into his backpack, but eventually followed orders to show his hands. According to Ashby's statements, Jacquez then grabbed a baseball bat and started swinging it around, an action that caused him to fear for his life.

Viola Jacquez, the victim's mother witnessed the killing. She watched as the officer chased her son into her home and then shot him in the back just before pepper spraying her dying son. She claims there was a brief struggle between the officer and her son over his skateboard, before her son let go and walked away.

"I froze," Viola Jacquez, the victims mother, told . "Honestly, I froze. I could not speak, but I could see. It was one of those moments where you're falling off a cliff."

This wasn't the first time this officer has been accused of misconduct, either. Ashby has had multiple accusations against him from his previous job at the Walsenburg Police Department. The allegations against Ashby range from using profane and derogatory language on the job to sexual harassment against a dispatcher.

Ashby had only been with the Rocky Ford police department for five months when he killed Jacquez and already had three internal investigations launched against him, including one for excessive force that was filed just days before the killing. reports that the Rocky Ford Police Department did not review Ashby's disciplinary records from Walsenburg before hiring him.

"Viola Jacquez hasn't moved back into her home since the shooting, returning only to grab her cats and occasionally speak to her son in his room.

Candles mark the spot where Jack Jacquez's head and feet came to rest after he was killed. A stain marks the spot on the area rug where his sister cleaned away blood and pepper spray. A tiny bullet hole in the front door serves as a reminder of a night the family cannot forget", Jesse Paul of the wrote.

The trial is scheduled for February and Ashby will remain free on bond until then.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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China reacts to Japan's ignoring their past aggression, states it 'erodes Japan's international credit'


© Xinhua

People visit the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province

Days after China and Japan took a step closer to setting up a consultative mechanism to govern contacts in the East China Sea, Beijing on Thursday criticised Japan's "denials" of its wartime atrocities.

"It is irrefutable that the Nanjing Massacre was a cruel crime that the Japanese militarists committed during Japan's war on China. Any attempts to overturn its past aggression only erode Japan's international credit," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing on Thursday in Beijing.

Hong's comments came one day after the news agency quoted Japanese government sources as saying Japan told China in late December that it was "not appropriate for Chinese President Xi Jinping to state that the number of victims of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre totaled 300,000″.

Chinese President Xi on 13 December attended the first national memorial day for the Nanjing Massacre.

"Anyone who tries to deny the massacre will not be allowed by history, the souls of the 300,000 deceased victims, 1.3 billion Chinese people and all people loving peace and justice in the world," Xi said in a reference to conservative Japanese politicians and nationalists who deny the massacre ever took place.

"We urge Japan to correct its attitude and honor its commitment to face up to and reflect on its aggressive past," the Chinese spokesperson Hong said on Thursday in Beijing.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on Dec. 13 of 1937 and slaughtered tens of thousands of Chinese civilians and soldiers for 40-odd days. Chinese officials maintain more than 300,000 Chinese soldiers, who had laid down their arms, and civilians were murdered and about 20,000 women were raped.

An Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000.

China's State Council in September released a list of 80 state facilities and sites commemorating the war with Japan.

The conflict, commonly known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, led to the death of some 20 million Chinese, according to Beijing's estimates. It ended with Tokyo's World War II defeat in 1945.

China on Wednesday also voiced concern over Japan's annual military budget.

Japan's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a 4.98 trillion yen (about $42.46 billion) defense budget for the 2015 fiscal year, starting in April, the country's largest ever and a 2 per cent increase year on year.

Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in late 2012, Japan's defense budget has seen an uptrend and could top 5 trillion yen in 2016, said media reports.

Japan's military and security policies have long drawn the attention of the international community, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted by Chinese agency at a routine press briefing on Wednesday.

"We hope Japan will reflect on its history, follow the path of peaceful development and play a constructive role in promoting regional peace and stability," he said.

The Japanese Cabinet will now submit the budget to the parliament.

Since Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito have majorities in both houses of parliament, the passage of the budget is almost certain, local media said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Chinese and Japanese defense officials discussed how to manage tensions stemming from a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

Both sides are trying to finalize details of a hotline that will allow leaders from both sides to communicate in the event of an emergency, as well as other strategies for avoiding accidents at sea or in the air.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Brazil increases terrorist threat level for Olympic Games; officials aware that there are 'certain people who can lend assistance to such groups'


© Xinhua

Brazilian counter terrorism officials say they are prepared for a “lone wolf ” attack during the Olympic Games, but they think it is unlikely to happen

With a year-and-a-half to go until Rio de Janeiro hosts the next Olympic Games, Brazilian counter terrorism officials say they are prepared for a "lone wolf " attack during the Games, but they think it is unlikely to happen.

Brazil has raised the terrorist threat level for the Summer Olympic Games it will host in 2016 following the recent terror attacks in Paris, said Luiz Alberto Sallaberry, the director of the counter-terrorism department at the Brazilian Intelligence Agency.

"We have no terrorist cells, but there are certain people who can lend assistance to such groups or aid logistically," he said in an interview with Brazilian news site G1 on Thursday.

Brazil's counter terrorist strategy for the Games will focus on the danger from "lone wolves".

He said the Intelligence Agency was closely monitoring these 'lone wolfs' who "don't belong to a terrorist group, but share the ideology of Jihad and have contacts".

"We are to host the Olympic Games (from August 5 to 21, 2016), bringing together athletes, high-ranking guests and fans from countries that have become priority targets for terrorists - all this increases the level of threat," said Sallaberry.

Sales of tickets for the 2016 Games will begin in March this year.

Sallaberry said Brazil secret services had timely uncovered terrorist plans for the World Cup it hosted last year, disrupting them.

"Luckily, such incidents were few," he added.

Olympic Games - at Atlanta 1996 and Munich 1972 - have shown that major sporting tournaments are susceptible to the threat of terror attacks.

Seventeen people were killed in France last week in a terror attack. Twelve individuals were killed during an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Four people died in a shooting in a kosher supermarket and a policewoman was also murdered.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff condemned the attack on the French magazine saying "it is an unacceptable attack on press freedom, a fundamental value of democratic societies".

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Paris Charlie - the Shock Doctrine par Excellence

January 15, 2015 "

At the same time France lawmakers agreed to displayed 10,000 troops throughout the country to protect 'vulnerable places'; spying on citizens, for their protection takes on new forms and formats. A direct reaction to the attack on Charlie Hebdo on January 7 and the assault on a kosher supermarket on January 9? - Killing 17 people in all? Is that it?

French Ministers of the Interior and of Defense have advanced their wish of substantially increased respective military and defense budgets, when the 2016-2017 allocations are being discussed later this year. No doubt they will get their way.

No doubt, this is the shock doctrine at its best. People are in awe and shock after the assault of the satirical and Moslem insulting Charlie Hebdo. A million and a half took to the streets in Paris this past weekend, the largest manifestation since the liberation of Paris after WWII in 1945. Some media report more than 6 million people marching throughout Europe. Almost all waving signs "I am Charlie" - Solidarity or stupidity? Hard to say. Most likely just sheer ignorance.

Its ignorance that kills our democracies, our human values; public ignorance allows leaders (sic) to wage wars, to aggress nations that refuse to submit, to fall to their knees. Its ignorance perpetuated daily by our mainstream media and swallowed without question, day-in-day-out like breakfast coffee.

Neocon leaders, all over Europe, the new patsies of Washington that we, the people, have voted into office, under shrewd but hardly noticeable Washington-funded propaganda, through NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and other well-endowed CIA sponsored so-called think-tanks, meddling in local politics, sowing threats or acts of destabilization. Europe's new masters that a majority of the people doesn't really like, but who are in office anyway - these spineless stooges constitute Europe in Brussels, the EU itself having become a miserable colony of Washington.

So, with a populace under shock, politicians have it even easier to get away literally with murder, with whatever they want under the pretext of fighting the eternal enemy - the Moslem terrorist armies, AlQada, ISIS and whatever other names they have morphed into or morphed out from in the course of the last couple of decades. Eternal war on eternal terrorists perpetuates evil and more terrorism and - war budgets yielding insane profits for the war industry throughout the western Washington-aligned world.

Under shock and awe, people will approve every aberrant and sick wish of aggression by politicians - if being told that it is for their good and protection. Yes, that's what the propaganda machine has done to the 'free-thinking' minds of the citizens of our ever so heralded democracies. Democracies, freedom of expression, freedom of press - mon oeil !

The Charlie atrocities reek all over of false flag. An attack so well and professionally carried out with cutting edge Kalashnikovs and get-away methodology, way beyond the capacities of the Kouachi brothers, who have no doubt criminal records, spent time with and were trained by the very AlQada and ISIS that were created and funded by Washington and by its European puppets - including the French, according to President (sic) Hollande's own admission.

Yes, the French were and are funding counter-terrorism in Iraq and Syria, the very counter-terrorism that provides them in turn with pretexts to bomb the two war-torn countries to even more rubble - just for regime change, with the added benefit of oil and gas, and a constant profit generating war machine - leaving millions of deaths behind, mostly civilians, women and children and elderly - and other untold millions as refugees, in miserable unsanitary camps, or fleeing across dangerous borders to unknown destinies, to disease, hunger and death - people the world forgets, the media stays away from - forgotten lives.

The Kouachi brother, as well as Amedy Coulibaly, the suspect in the hostage drama of the Hyper Cacher food market in eastern Paris, whose identities and past activities were well recorded in French police files, were most likely pre-identified as perpetrators of the probable pre-meditated murderous attacks that left 17 people dead within three days of horror in Paris; attacks so well organized and carried out that they could easily bear the stamp of French special forces, CIA, Mossad or all three of them - because, cui bono - who benefits? - Perhaps the Masters of all three of them?

The Kouachi brothers were identified only by a conveniently lost ID in the get-away car, reminiscent of the intact passport of one of the 9/11 'terrorists' found in the rubbles of the twin towers. Are people really ignorant enough to believe such a farce? - All three were caught and killed almost immediately by police. Dead men don't talk.

And there is more - coincidentally, as reported by Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research http://ift.tt/14OFEQC , the Police Commissioner, Helric Fredou, Number Two Police Officer of the Regional Service of France's Judicial Police in Limoges, "committed suicide on the night of Wednesday to Thursday at the police station." Commissioner Helric Fredou was leading the police investigation into the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.

The reason given for the 'suicide' is 'burn-out' and depression - depression when in charge of one of France's most prominent criminal investigations of the century? The incidence as of this day is hardly covered by the msm.

False flag written all over the walls of Charlie Hebdo's publishing house. - The publisher being controversial, having received frequent threats for its Moslem-offensive cartoons, was normally under heavy police protection. Why was on 7 January only one police car with one police officer parked half a block away?

False flag - converted immediately into public shock, the perfect condition for ramming any police, military and surveillance legislation down the people's throat. Better, it doesn't even have to be 'rammed down', the population asks for it. They want to be protected and secure. They want their government going to war to wipe out Moslem terrorism, never mind how violent and how cruel they go about it, never mind the criminal acts these governments are committing in the name of protecting their citizenry.

Does anybody take to the streets in Europe, in the US with posters saying "I am.... blank" ... the million victims of Iraq, of Syria - of Libya, of Afghanistan, of Yemen, of Pakistan, of Sudan, of Somalia - and the list is almost endless. These millions of lives wiped out by Obama's drones and NATO count for nothing in the dulled minds of the western civilization (sic).

The war and killing machine that feeds the propaganda machine, driven by the six Zionist-Anglos-Saxon monster media that control 90% of the western information system, shy not from dishing out lie after lie after lie to indoctrinate the populace with believes that have zilch to do with reality - but they transform our western populace into hapless zombies.

What does it take to stop this vicious cycle and awaken consciousness?

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Some folks will get tortured: Gitmo guards being recruited as police officers


© Unknown

"You're hired!"

This week, as millions of Americans demand that Guantanamo Bay guards be prosecuted for war crimes, it seems that some of them may be getting jobs as cops instead.

It was recently reported that large numbers of military police officers who were formerly stationed at the infamous torture prisons, are now getting jobs as local cops, and could be coming to a town near you. The Worcester Police department in Massachusetts is testing a pilot program, in which former Guantanamo prison guards will be given jobs as police.

Although it is common practice for police departments to hire from the military, Worcester police sergeant Richard Cipro said that this is the first program in the country to specifically recruits from military prisons. He called the effort a "life-changing opportunity" when speaking to new recruits during a recent training class.

New recruits from Guantanamo Bay receive a full-time, paid 35 week training course which is apparently designed to help them make the transition from military police to neighborhood cop. Each class is filled with dozens of potential recruits, many of whom have worked in Guantanamo Bay. There are many hundreds and even thousands more who worked at lesser known military prison camps that are run in very much the same way, being accepted to police departments nationwide.

Cipro has said that people transitioning from the military require less physical training, which saves the department money in the long-run. However, many have pointed out that this is another example of the blurring lines between the military and the police in America.

Critics of former military personnel working in law enforcement, have argued that departments are contributing to the war-time mentality among police by hiring soldiers that are accustomed to operating in combat conditions. Hiring guards from Guantanamo Bay would be taking this a step further, as the prison has become notorious for widespread torture and abuse.

Guantanamo Bay was in the news again this week, as it was revealed that detainees were regularly killed in the prisons, and their murders covered up and made to look like suicides. By all reports it was the CIA that was involved in carrying out these murders, but it has been well documented for years that guards were required to beat and torture detainees on a regular basis. Even being exposed to such a brutal culture day in and day out should be enough to disqualify a person from working in law enforcement.

Direct insubordination and refusal to carry out acts of assault and torture is extremely rare in the US military, especially at sites like Guantanamo Bay. At Guantanamo Bay specifically, there was just one major case reported where a member of the staff refused to participate in torture. As detainees were being force-fed during a hunger strike, one Navy Nurse stood alone and refused to feed the prisoners against their will. The nurse was swiftly sent home and placed under court martial status with the US military.

Sadly, when it comes time to pick new recruits to transition from the military to a police department, the type of people who get the jobs are not the type of people who refuse orders.

A decade ago, Democracy Now spoke with a former army sergeant, Erik Saar who served as an Arabic translator at Guantanamo Bay for six months. Among the abuses he says he witnessed was sexual abuse, mock interrogations, the use of dogs and a female interrogator smearing what looked like menstrual blood on a Muslim prisoner. He also says children were imprisoned at Guantanamo and that the military ordered them not to speak to the Red Cross.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Don't be a helicopter parent! Autonomous tots have higher cognitive skills

© TheOtherNate

Higher cognitive skills are found in the children of mothers who are consistently able to support the development of their baby's sense of autonomy, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Montreal. The researchers specifically looked at executive functioning, which refers to a range of cognitive processes that are essential for cognitive, social and psychological functioning. "We have shown that the child's executive functioning is linked to the mother's ability to support his or her autonomy.

Autonomy support includes things such as teaching children problem solving skills and involves taking the child's perspective while ensuring he or she takes an active role in completing tasks," said Célia Matte-Gagné, who led the study. "Importantly, the study shows that it's not just about getting off to a good start. While many studies have confirmed that a mother's support are critical, few have looked at how these skills might change over time and what effect that might have."

Seventy-eight mothers and their children participated in the study. The participants were visited in their homes twice by the research team - once when the child was 15 months old, again at 3 years of age - and each visit lasted 60 to 90 minutes. During this time, the mother was asked to help the children complete activities that were slightly too difficult for the child to complete alone (building a tower and completing puzzles at the first visit, sorting blocks at the second.)

The activities took ten minutes and were video-recorded so that the researchers could evaluate the mother's autonomy-supportive behaviours: to what extent she encouraged her child in the pursuit of the task (giving positive feedback and using a positive tone of voice), took her child's perspective and demonstrated flexibility in her attempts to keep the child on task, followed her child's pace, providing the child with the opportunity to make choices and play an active role, and intervened and adapted the task according to the infant's needs while minimizing the use of controlling techniques.

The child's executive functioning was evaluated at three years of age by using a range of adapted games that reveal a child's ability to delay gratification, the strength of their working memory and their capacity to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. The highest scores went to the children whose mothers were consistently amongst the best at promoting autonomous behaviour; conversely, those whose mothers weren't scored lowest. However, there is no single point in time that counted the most for the child's development.

"Special significance must be given to the stability of the parent's behaviour when attempting to predict a child's future development," Matte-Gagné explained. "This study raises the possibility that child executive functioning may require not only high-quality parenting, but also consistency in this quality. This is suggested by the association between the composite score of autonomy support and child executive function, as well as by the fact that the clearest group differences emerged between children experiencing consistently high versus consistently low degrees of autonomy support over time. Our findings raise interesting avenues for investigation as to how the relationship between scaffolding autonomy and executive functioning evolves as children develop."

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Government tyranny and terrorism work hand in hand

politicians charlie hebdo

© unknown

I was in the middle of working on an article covering real U.S. economic stats versus manipulated statistics when the Charlie Hebdo shootings took place. And though I knew the implications of the event would be far-reaching, I was originally undeterred from my financial subject matter. I had already covered in previous articles the inevitability of ISIS attacks on Europe and America,including the "warnings" of Saudi Arabia in August of last year that jihadists would target the EU within months and the U.S. a month later.

In September of last year, ISIS publicly urged attacks on French and U.S. citizens.

I have also published extensive analysis on the covert funding and training of ISIS militants by Saudi Arabia and Western intelligence agencies, including my article "The Time Is Ripe For A False Flag Attack On American Soil."

The bottom line is the Paris attack was not surprising in the slightest. I have no doubt whatsoever that such attacks are going to increase in frequency, that the U.S. will be hit soon, and that our government will do little to nothing to stop such tragedies. However, a Reuters article titled "White House to hold global security summit Feb (sic) 18: U.S. official" caught my eye. And after reading it, I'm afraid I have to set aside my financial piece until next week and break down the insanity that is now taking place in the world of geopolitics.

It is clear, by the language being used by the political elite that the "global summit" called in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks is about far more than radical Islamic terrorism. Set aside the fact that our government essentially created ISIS in order to destabilize Syria. Set aside the fact that globalist middlemen like John McCain and "former" covert ops goons like Gen. Paul Vallely have met directly with groups like the Nusra Front that are providing support for ISIS. Set aside the fact that Saudi Arabia has been openly funneling cash and arms to Syrian terrorist factions tied to ISIS, and realize that the mere existence of ISIS, regardless of its origins, is being used as a rationale for the erasure of civil liberties and the establishment of martial law on both sides of the Atlantic. Such federalized reactions CANNOT be allowed to continue, regardless of the threats each nation faces.

As far as the Reuters article is concerned, one does not need to read very far between the lines to see the true message being conveyed.

First, the focus of the summit is not necessarily indicated as "Islamic terrorism." In fact, the word "terrorism" is barely mentioned. Now politicos are shifting their language to the term "extremism," which is far broader in its implications. It should be noted that while the terrorist label has been bandied about rather liberally by both the Bush and Obama administrations, "extremism" offers greater cover for governments to persecute or attack political opponents. A terrorist is generally someone who initiates or at least plans a large-scale attack designed to elicit a fear response in a population. An extremist, on the other hand, could literally be anyone who holds views or initiates activism outside acceptable forms of mainstream thought. Attorney General Eric Holder did not use the words "terrorism" or "jihadist" in his announcement of the global summit in February; he used the phrase "violent extremism":

We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world...

Throughout history, "violence," according to governments, is often attributed to ideas as well as actions. The point is the change in vocabulary over to the extremist label is not accidental or coincidental. The establishment is conditioning the public to think in broad terms and to identify numerous groups as the enemy, rather than focusing on radical Islam. As I have said for years, Islamic terror is nothing but an advantageous excuse for governments to make war on all of us. Do not forget, constitutionalists are often referred to in the mainstream media and by Orwellian institutions like the Department of Homeland Security as "extremists." How long before we are artificially linked as being suspect? How long before Charlie Hebdo-style attacks come to the U.S.? How long before the liberty minded are categorized as accessories to terrorism due to our anti-corrupt-government philosophies?

It is disturbing to witness the lack of conviction in principles in the average person. Self-proclaimed leftists railed against the degeneration of civil liberties and constitutional protections under George W. Bush, but rallied in support of the same weakening of freedoms under Barack Obama. Self-proclaimed conservatives today are shocked and infuriated by the trampling of the constitution through executive orders displayed by the Obama administration. Yet, I suspect that many of them will willingly jump on the fascist bandwagon in the event of "Islamic" attacks on American soil. Neither side seems to grasp the reality that the disruptions of liberty we enact in the name of stopping jihadists today, will eventually fall back on the rest of us tomorrow.

The lockdown of the populace is already ramping up. The EU is currently discussing the creation of a European Passenger Name Record database (national ID database), meaning officials hope to create a centralized database with a file on every single citizen. Think the no-fly list is a terrifying concept? Wait until it becomes publicly accepted for all web comments, Facebook posts, and blog posts to be added to an ongoing record that determines whether you are allowed to travel. Wait until it becomes a mainstream notion that every travel destination you visit, is tracked, recorded on permanent record, and scrutinized by some pencil necked bureaucrat who then determines whether or not you are suspect. Apparently, French officials are supportive of the idea. And given the proclamations of "unity" surrounding the upcoming summit, I suspect actions undertaken in Europe will eventually be exported to the United States. Reuters reports:

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the meeting that European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation in an effort to thwart further jihadist attacks.

"We all agree that we need to put in place better control on certain passengers, on the basis of objective criteria and with respect for fundamental liberties and without disrupting cross-border travel," he said.

He said Europe needed urgent progress in establishing a European Passenger Name Record database, which would facilitate the exchange of data about passengers between member states.

"We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theaters or who return from there," he said, adding that this database would also be useful in the fight against other serious crimes.

Unfortunately, travel is the least of our concerns. Free speech is a primary target for the elites, and the Internet is clearly outlined as a threat by politicians claiming concern for public safety. This comes in the form of one of the oldest rationalizations for tyranny - the trade-off between freedom and security. The French argue that while free speech is important, some "exceptions" must be made in order to thwart extremist ideas:

Cazeneuve said the Internet needs to remain a space for free expression, but that Europe should fight against abusive use of the web (sic) to spread hate speech, anti-Semitic messages and the recruiting vulnerable young people for violence.

"We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology of terrorism or calls for violence and hatred," he said.

Who gets to determine what speech amounts to an "apology of terrorism?" Who is the all-benevolent and wise sage who gets to decide what we can and cannot say? Will he be fair and just? Or will he use the power of censorship to attack any and all websites critical of the establishment? What do you think the most likely outcome of such legal precedence would be?

Again, how long before websites like the one you are reading now are vilified by the extremist label? How long before liberty-minded speech is categorized as violent speech or hate speech?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the White House are now kindly warning the public that terrorist "sleeper cells" have been activated and that some are present in the United States. On CNN,Feinstein said:

She means mass Internet and phone surveillance, the same National Security Agency surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden, which now has a convenient justification in the form of an ever-present fear of terrorism.

Finally, it is only a matter of time before a militarized response is activated in the U.S., just as it has been in France. One shooting event has led to the fielding of over 10,000 French troops on French soil, as well as an extra 5,000 heavily armed police.

Frankly, this is where I - and many people like me - draw the line. Martial law is not acceptable under any circumstances. I don't care if we one day see a mushroom cloud over an American city, there is no measure of government security (false security) that is worth the degradation of essential liberties. I suspect the loss of liberty, usurping of the constitution and the deployment of the military on U.S. soil would trigger revolution - a revolution I'm sure the establishment would attempt to marginalize as mere terrorism. Ultimately, though, there is no other option.

As I have been discussing constantly over the past several months, community preparation and organization comprise the only action plan worth the effort and energy at this time. The French are disarmed and utterly socialized. Millions of them march in Paris in a display of solidarity, but solidarity behind what solution? Even more government; the same government that created the problem in the first place? Even more centralization? The globalization of despotic security policies? The French have dug their grave, and now they are going to have to lie down in it.

Americans do not have to follow the same path.

The French government could not or would not protect the staff of Charlie Hebdo, and the U.S. government will not protect you. That means you must train to protect yourself and those you care about. Whether we face a false flag attack or a legitimate terrorist action, the response is the same: Fight back. It is times like these that separate the courageous from the cowardly; those with principles and conscience versus the treacherous and self-serving. Make no mistake; as I wrote in my last article, many illusions are about to be shattered. You can be caught up in the storm as a helpless spectator and victim or you can become a barrier, a wall of defense against the dangerous riptides. These are your choices. Choose wisely.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Lake Erie's sudden freeze of January 2015

NASA/NOAA satellite image from above the Great Lakes taken just after 1:30 p.m. Monday

Lake Erie was less than six percent frozen last Tuesday with ice covering only a sliver of the lake's western basin.

But, after a week with frigid temperatures in the single digits, heavy lake-effect snows and high winds, Lake Erie is freezing up fast.

Nearly 60 percent of the lake waters were frozen today, according to graphs by the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL).

Most of the western half of the lake is already under ice coverage.

In some areas - the western basin, along the U.S. and Canadian shorelines, near Long Point, Ont. and close to Buffalo - it's nearly 100 percent iced over, according to GLERL charts.

As Lake Erie iced, so too have the Great Lakes at large.

Just a week ago, more than eight percent of the surface area of all of the lakes was frozen.

But by Monday, nearly one-quarter of the Great Lakes were under ice.

Iced-covered lakes generally choke off the possibility of lake-effect snow such as the events that pummeled areas of Western New York last week at rates of three inches or more of snow per hour.

When the lakes freeze, it robs opportunity for cold unstable air masses to suck up lake waters through evaporation and then drop the moisture, usually in the form of heavy snowfall, over land areas east of the lakes.

The middle of Lake Erie from just east of Cleveland to about Sturgeon Point remains wide open this morning, according to data from GLERL.

Here's a look at how the cold snap of the last week has helped accelerate the average ice concentration on both lakes Erie and Ontario as well as a look at figures for the entire Great Lakes since New Year's Day:

DAY HI/LO @ Buffalo Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes

Jan. 1 32/20 0.7% 0.5% 5.7%

Jan. 2 33/22 1.4% 1.1% 6.9%

Jan. 3 48/22 2.7% 1.3% 8.8%

Jan. 4 55/28 0.8% 0.9% 8.3%

Jan. 5 28/9 3.6% 0.9% 10.8%

Jan. 6 18/10 5.6% 1.0% 11.6%

Jan. 7 17/2 17.1% 1.9% 14.2%

Jan. 8 15/5 25.9% 3.3% 18.7%

Jan. 9 19/9 31.2% 3.4% 15.2%

Jan. 10 18/5 51.5% 4.2% 19.8%

Jan. 11 31/14 55.9% 12.3% 22.5%

Jan. 12 31/15 57.6% 12.2% 25.2%

On Jan. 13, 2014, Lake Erie was 63 percent frozen and Lake Ontario was just 5.9 percent covered in ice. The Great Lakes, as a whole, was 19.6 frozen.

Last winter, the Great Lakes started taking on significant ice buildup in December 2013 but the coverage waxed and waned until the middle of January when it quickly accelerated its freezing.

By March 6, the Great Lakes were 92.2 percent ice covered - the highest concentration since 1979.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Tongan volcano creates new island since last month's eruption

Erupting Volcano

© Agence France-Presse

This handout photo taken on January 15, 2015 from a boat at sea and released by New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows smoke rising from the eruption of a volcano, some 65 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of the South Pacific nation Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa.

Nuku'Alofa, Tonga -- A Tongan volcano has created a substantial new island since it began erupting last month, spewing out huge volumes of rock and dense ash that has killed nearby vegetation, officials said Friday.

The volcano, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the South Pacific nation's capital Nuku'alofa, rumbled to life on Dec. 20 for the first time in five years, the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry said.

It said the volcano was erupting from two vents, one on the uninhabited island of Hunga Ha'apai and the other underwater about 100 meters offshore.

The ministry said experts took a boat trip to view the eruption on Thursday and confirmed it had transformed the local landscape.

"The new island is more than one kilometer wide, two kilometers long and about 100 meters high," it said in a statement.

"During our observations the volcano was erupting about every five minutes to a height of about 400 meters, accompanied by some large rocks ... as the ash is very wet, most is being deposited close to the vent, building up the new island."

It said ash and acidic rain was deluging an area 10 kilometers around the volcano, adding: "Leaves on trees on Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai have died, probably caused by volcanic ash and gases."

A number of international flights were cancelled earlier this week amid concerns about the volcano's ash plume but they resumed on Wednesday, with authorities saying debris from the eruption was not being thrown high into the atmosphere.

Tonga, which is almost 2,000 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, lies on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," where continental plates collide causing frequent volcanic and seismic activity.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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A 'New-Fashioned' food system that helps and heals

© Photo by Brenda Palmer/American Alps Rance

Electrified fences mean cattle can be moved frequently — better for the cattle and for the land.

Calling something "old-fashioned" might encourage tourists and antique buyers to take note, but it does not captivate the hearts and minds of our mainstream culture.

Too often, the Earth-stewardship movement positions itself as one of returning to a bygone era - to the good old days, pre-electricity and pre-petroleum. While washboards, hoop skirts and hearth cooking may have romantic appeal, living that way doesn't inspire the imagination of today's solution-seekers.

Even the majority of people who yearn for simpler times and a slower lifestyle don't really want to go without electricity and automobiles. Those of us who strive to bring about a sustainable food system need a message that's dynamic enough to convert fast-food junkies. The industrial food system spends a lot of time and resources refining its message. Along with disparaging the do-it-yourself ethos, pastured livestock and fertilizing with compost, it promotes phrases such as "technology," "futuristic" and "feeding the world."

These catchwords have emotional appeal. Savvy people like to hitch themselves to that kind of engine. Solving problems, meeting needs, going places - these phrases capture hearts and minds. On the other hand, if impressions can kill a movement, stodgy, anti-tech and stuck in a rut are the last ways you want to be seen.

This is a ticklish talking point for those of us dedicated to the proven environmental stewardship principles that predate electricity and petroleum. Part of our worldview is that in a horse race, you bet on the proven winner. For example, carbon-centric soil building beats out using chemical "inputs." But how do you commend this time-honored methodology that so beautifully mimics nature without seeming backward and unscientific?

Let's Reframe Food and Farming

As I see more and more anti-ecology propaganda emanating from industry and government agencies, I lie awake at night trying to figure out positive sound bites for our team. If I decry the giant pork corporation Smithfield's sale to China, I'm either xenophobic or childishly protectionist. If I denounce genetically modified organisms (GMOs), I'm naive and anti-science. If I disagree with a food-safety policy that criminalizes an artisan who sells homemade yogurt to a friend at church, I'm an anarchist.

Societal perception of the sustainability movement's backwardness has roots that run deep. The early-1970s back-to-the-land movement that spawned M and many other publications started with the word "back." The struggles that many of those pioneering souls experienced, from backbreaking labor to lost money to broken dreams, testify to the stark reality that truly going back is not something most of us really want to do.

So what kind of messaging - what lexicon - works? It has to be big enough, innovative enough, sacred enough to capture the hearts of all types of people. How do you stop people in their tracks - people content to watch TV every waking hour, depend on pharmaceuticals for every malady, and assume all is well in the world as long as the Kardashians' dysfunction continues to provide conversational material? How do you interrupt that?

I think our side needs to position itself as "new-fashioned." We have said "No" to GMOs, chemical fertilizers, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and unpronounceable food additives. These things we oppose have become the old fashion - and we need to call them that. Like neglected buildings, these approaches are outdated and falling apart. Anyone who thinks we can continue inventing drugs faster than microorganisms can adapt is guilty of backward, unscientific thinking - or not much thinking at all.

Let's Upgrade the Language of Stewardship

Here's some language we can use to create contrast between the old and new, and to stimulate conversation and more than passing interest in our solutions.

Integrated food and farming rather than segregated. These are powerful social words. Who wants to be in favor of segregation? Yet, a specific sort of segregation is exactly what city ordinances forbidding backyard chickens are about. Not so long ago, chickens turned food scraps into eggs and meat. Now trucks carry our edible scraps to the landfill, where they take up space and create climate-changing methane. We drive to the supermarket to purchase eggs from hens raised motionless in tiny cages and given medicated feed. How could we ever have invented such a senseless, segregated system?

People intuitively know that integrating food and farming practices is the right way to live. When I encounter people who oppose urban chickens, I love to look them in the eye and ask, "Why are you such a segregationist?" Now that gets a reaction. And getting a reaction is what we need to do, because it means people are paying attention. Powerful, positive words, such as integration, move people. Having developed together for millions of years, food systems that integrate the needs of plants, animals and the soil are fundamentally superior to segregated ones. The more we point that out, the better off we'll all be.

Food systems that caress rather than conquer. Universally, conquistadors and crusaders have negative emotional equity. Who wants to be one of those people - or to be subjected to them? Industrial agriculture has created 700 riparian dead zones in and around the United States, the largest being a New Jersey-sized lifeless area in the Gulf of Mexico. Juxtapose that damage with an Earth-centric farm's tender touch. With an overarching approach of respect, our side caresses ecology to tease abundance out of the Earth. We don't take what we want by wrestling with our ecological womb as if it were a reluctant partner to be forcefully subdued.

Yes, we do run chainsaws and use broadforks and chipper-shredders, but the goal of our disturbance is thoughtful stewardship. Rather than allowing diseased and poorly formed trees to take up space in the forest, we harvest them for firewood and chip the tops for winter livestock bedding in our cowsheds. This carbonaceous cover turns to compost and, in our way of doing things, displaces chemical fertilizer.

In working with natural processes we adopt a common-sense approach to what we do. I remain amazed at the number of farmers I see locating hay feeders and mineral troughs in a valley rather than on a hillside. Animals congregate at these points, which accumulate manure. Why wouldn't you want the blessing of that manure up on higher ground, where its fertility and helpful bacteria could percolate into the soil, instead of down in the valley - the landscape's gutter - where the first rain would wash it away?

Healing rather than hurting. Here at Polyface Farms, our cooler bags are imprinted with the phrase "Healing the planet one bite at a time." Almost everyone would rather heal than harm. Compost heals soil and feeds earthworms; chemical fertilizers scald earthworms, burning them alive. Pastured livestock virtually dance in the field. When you enter a CAFO, you don't see any animals dancing. It's horrifying and terribly sad.

Here's the point: We don't pasture our livestock because it's quaint or old-fashioned. We do it because it makes for happy, healthy animals. It's the new-fashioned way to farm, a smart approach that provides all sorts of benefits, including biomass recycling, exercise, emotional and spiritual fulfillment, and superior nutrition, both for the animals and the humans who ultimately consume them.

On our farm, if I even hear a whisper of, "This is like Grandpa's farm," I'll interrupt and diplomatically start a lesson about how new-fashioned we are. I've even put together a presentation that highlights how our farm is not like Grandpa's was.

Here are some of the new-fashioned objects in my props box:

Electric fence energizer. Grandpa couldn't move herds of cows every day to eat the pasture's biomass and convert the sun's energy into sequestered carbon. Now, with computerized, microchipped energizers, we can move the cattle frequently to spread the manure love.

Polyethylene pipe. Grandpa couldn't easily deliver clean, potable water to the far reaches of his farm. With this rugged, flexible material, we can send water over the undulations of the land and keep animals from damaging riparian areas. Amazing.

Shade cloth. Grandpa couldn't provide portable shelter for his livestock because roofing was too heavy and susceptible to wind damage. This newfangled material lets the wind blow through while protecting the animals - and the fabric weighs practically nothing.

Solar-friendly plastic polymers for solariums and greenhouses. Grandpa relied solely on the larder for winter food. These new materials enable season extension and passive-solar gain at low cost and high efficiency, which means we can supply our table with fresh-cut harvests year-round.

Rather than promoting a return to old ways, celebrating the solutions in our new-fashioned, technology-supported, integrated world gives us a message of hope and progress to share. We don't want to turn back the clock; we want to be on time for tomorrow's needs and challenges.

Let's stop looking in the rearview mirror. Out with the hurtful, earth-conquering old - let's get on with the life-affirming, health-giving new.

© hareable.net

About the author

Fields of Farmers; Folks, This Ain't Normal; The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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