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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Rare megamouth shark washes up in the Philippines

Bulbous head, 50 (yes, 50!) rows of tiny teeth, flabby body ... yep, it's a megamouth shark!

Megamouth Shark

© Manay Ning & Rosalina Sariola/Facebook

The 66th megamouth shark ever seen washed ashore this morning in Marigondon, a port in the Albay province of the Philippines. Initial reports suggest the shark () was approximately five metres (16 ft.) in length, but until a necropsy can be performed, the finer details about the animal (including the cause of death) will remain a mystery. Sightings like this are rare ... so rare, in fact, that when the first megamouth was spotted in 1976, a new shark family, genus and species had to be created!

These bizarre deep-diving animals are characterised by their bulbous snouts, loose skin, poorly calcified skeletons and (of course) their mega-mouths, which extend upward beyond the eyes. Only two living specimens have ever been studied by researchers, so every find is a big deal for science.

"The 6th shark offered the most important insights into the behaviour of this species," notes Florida Museum of Natural History's Carol Martins. Scientists were able to tag and follow the shark for two days - something that had never been done before! "One of the conclusions of these observations is that megamouth probably [spends] the daytime in deep waters and [ascends] to mid-water depths at night," she says, adding that this may have to do with the krill that make up the megamouth's diet, which migrate from deep to shallow water.

Now with fifteen sightings, the Philippines has recorded the second-highest number of megamouths of any country in the world (next to Japan), including this incredible 5.5-metre (18 ft), 900-pound behemoth, which has been carefully preserved at D' Bone Collector Museum by the museum's owner Darrell Blatchley.

Dead Megamouth

© Blatchley/used with permission

Darrell Blatchley recovers a dead megamouth for preservation.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Donetsk PM Zakharchenko: West seeking to destroy Russia to avert its own destruction


If one is to speak without geopolitical complexities and nuances, the situation is extremely simple. This is a battle for the continent, for the international system, for one's own taiga. They are desperately attacking us and are trying to take us down quickly. They use all means at their disposal, except for direct military intervention on Russia's territory. They are destroying Russians outside their borders, are raising foreign legions in order to invade the country. The West undertook to destroy us for the simple reason it is trying to avert its own destruction. The main factors are the destruction of the economy and of the political authorities of Russia.

The main factor that might allow them to accomplish this is the decay within Russia, a split within the Russian government, the spreading of hatred among the people. That's the reason for the constant provocations and the divide-and-conquer policies: inter-ethnic animosities, hatred toward the state, toward big capital (specifically the pro-Russian), toward the Orthodox Church, toward its own people and everything around it. All of that is being done to get Russia to destroy itself from within. But that's precisely what is not happening. Everything is breaking apart against the unity of the government which has the support of its people which feels as if it was in a besieged fortress together with its leader. Even capitalists like Usmanov, Vekselberg, and others, who chose the West, moved their assets from offshore accounts back to Russia. Even Shuvalov swore his loyalty to Putin in Davos. To say nothing of ordinary mortals. No matter how much is said about "Putin the billionaire" and the government for sale, in spite of all the problems and the worsening financial situation, the solidarity with the national leader is not only not growing weaker, but is getting stronger. What is more, the people want him to act more firmly and not compromise with the West, no matter what the cost.

This is what angers the West so. It is trying to promote division and chaos in Russia but it is not happening. The only remaining possibility is to try to destroy the economy, to deprive Russia from access to dollars (which for the West itself is the equivalent of hara-kiri), or to convince Russians that Putin is their enemy and thus deprive him of his national support. Yes, the so-called patriotic maidan. There is an opportunity here, but a small one. And it is closely tied to the situation on the Donbass. It's a primitive calculation: keep shouting that "Donbass was abandoned", "there are idiots in the Kremlin", "Surkov sold out", etc. Putin is kept out of the line of fire in the first round, and the whole emphasis is on the myth of a palace coup (i.e., Putin was betrayed, they are deceiving him). But they are also pushing the "Putin abandoned the Donbass" line, and sooner or later someone will shout "we have no Czar!" and "down with the Czar!". This, in a situation of conflict with the West, ought to help topple the "Putin regime." Donbass is being used as leverage to increase dissatisfaction with the Kremlin: if you introduce Russian forces, you become an international pariah and Hitler (which is more or less how he has been labeled), if you don't send in troops, you are a traitor.

Moscow chose an intermediate approach of containing Western aggression (until the x-hour) and indirect military confrontation on Ukraine's territory. Yes, this is not the best variant from the perspective of the Donbass inhabitants. Moreover, it is a forced strategy based on the current realities: Russia's forces are insufficient for a rapid victory over the consolidated West which, even though it is a giant clay feet, is still the dominant force in the world. As part of this post-Crimean strategy, Russia is taking steps which are far from obvious, but which nevertheless allow the aggression to be repelled. Yes, the position adopted by the eternal critics, who demand a cardinal resolution of the Ukrainian question arguing that it will have to be done "sooner or later", may seem just and attractive to a patriotically-minded people who suffer at the sight of the dead inhabitants of the Donbass. But the critics don't want to understand that in their desire to strike the final blow here and now, they are helping the West by forcing the Kremlin to strike when the West still has sufficient power. But the time is working against Washington. Even though it is assembling foreign legions against Russia and is taking Russian lives every day, it is not accomplishing its own task of destroying Russia in the nearest few months. To remove it from the world map as a single political unit. Break it up as an organism. If you want to take up the fight "sooner", you may not find yourself living in Russia "later."

If the majority of us understand it with our hearts and minds, then the final victory will be Russia's. But if we stray from that path, even with good intentions, in the hopes of solving the problem here and now, we will lose. Everyone's duty right now is to help the Donbass to the extent they can, and not give in to emotions, even if they are sincere or provocative. Be fully prepared for the moment when the word comes "it's time."

Translator's Note: Zakharchenko is without any doubt one of the foremost Russian leaders of our time, one who not only proved himself an able commander of the DPR, but also someone who has a grasp of the big picture. And the big picture is one in which the West is suffering a systemic crisis not unlike the Great Depression, and is trying to stave off an internal breakdown through political and economic expansion. Hence the recent regime changes in the Middle East and elsewhere, hence the Maidan. EU and the US must keep finding new markets, otherwise their internal policies of austerity are bound to destroy their own economies. It need not be so - Greece's recent election represents a ray of hope that Western institutions may yet be reformed. But one should not put too many hopes in the little Greece's ability to stand alone against Germany and its quislings within the EU bureaucracy. What is happening in Ukraine is today's equivalent of the Spanish Civil War. Then, too, USSR stood alone against fascism, hoping to enlist the help of like-minded citizens of Europe and to send a message to the aggressors. Had that war ended differently, tens of millions of people would not have perished in the Second World War. The stakes are equally high today. Russia's stand is aimed at encouraging resistance within the EU (Greece's suggests its stand is already having an effect) and also persuading would-be aggressors that the cost of aggression would be too high. As much is at stake in the Donbass today as was in Spain in 1938.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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South Front Ukraine updates: Ukraine 'troops' enter Russia! Russian Popeye behind Mariupol shelling!

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Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Mother of Helric Fredou, the Charlie Hebdo Police Commissioner, denied autopsy report

Mother of Helric Fredou, the Charlie Hebdo Police Commissioner who was suicided shortly after the Paris attacks in mysterious circumstances, has said that she has been told by authorities that she will not be allowed to look at the autopsy report.

7 details around Helric Fredou's death that the mother has provided

  1. According to the mother of Helric Fredou, police officers informed her that she would not have access to the autopsy report . The Code of Criminal Procedure says that any member of the family can make a request to see the report. She has been denied for unknown reasons.

  2. The Helric Fredou service weapon was not equipped with a silencer . Her mother has asked a basic question to his colleagues: "Why did you not hear anything?" The answer that came back: "His office was well insulated" .

  3. According to his mother, Helric Fredou was due to to make an important phone call to "debrief three investigators" questioning the immediate family of a victim of the attacks and then check "social networks".

  4. According to police, Helric Fredou would have raised the barrel of his revolver on the front of his head and the bullet would have remained inside the skull.

  5. The attending physician for Helric Fredou with whom his mother spoke to on Thursday 22 January refuses to accept "depression" and denies knowledge of any "burn-out".

  6. The mother wanted to know who had sent the last call to his son. Police reportedly said "we can not know" before finally saying no call had been made.

  7. Four top police officers from Paris met her to send their condolences and convince her that he was a "suicide".

All of these points point to an officer who had no intention of committing suicide. Why are the family being denied the autopsy report? And what was Helric Fredou's investigation uncovering at the time of his death? We will keep you updated with this story as it progresses.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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This is why Ukraine's government is losing the war


On January 27th, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense headlined "Militants Continue to Suffer Losses," and reported that four helicopters, and other weapons of the "militants," were destroyed in battle, but no evidence was given to support the assertion.

Just two days prior, the (also -Government) had, in fact, bannered "Ukraine Hides Devastating Losses as Russia-Backed Fighters Surge Forward," and reported "Ukraine's worst-kept secret - that the Ukrainian army is drastically understating its casualties." After detailing, there, what seems to be outrageous unconcern by the Government, for the welfare of troops it's sending into battle (even by jamming battlefield-injured soldiers into regular civilian hospitals, which aren't equipped to handle their injuries), this report ends with a doctor saying, "It's bad everywhere. Yes, the soldiers are still standing at their positions ready to fight. But we don't see any help coming for them."

The Ukrainian news agency RIAN headlined on January 26th, "Mobilization in Dnipropetrovsk Almost Drowned," and reported, "In Dnipropetrovsk region [which is run by the U.S. White House's friend, the Ukrainian-Swiss-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, whose longstanding personal mercenary army has, alone, more than 5,000 fighters], thousands of men are hiding from the draft. Enforcement officers recognize that accomplishing their task will be very difficult." More than 2,000 people there who were drafted "did not show up, they evaporated."

Consequently, the Government is dragooning-in, or "ambushing" (as the article says), virtually anyone who seeks help from the Government, "mobilizing the unemployed" and other "desperate" people. "Military enlistment offices complain" that some draftees are too sick to be able to fight at all.

Also on January 26th, the Fort Russ blog bannered, "Azov Commander Freaks Out, Calls the War 'Lost'. Blames Everybody," and reported that, "Ukrainian politicians and generals 'already lost the war,' and 'the West did not help.' That's the core of the statement by Azov punitive [meaning: to 'punish' the residents in the anti-Government region, for their not supporting the Government] battalion commander's, and currently also Rada [Parliament] Deputy's, Andrey Biletsky, in his 'Address to the Nation.'" According to Biletsky, after the fictitious "thousands of supposedly killed enemies and burned out tanks, the wake-up can be very painful," because of disappointment felt from the Government's lies.

RIAN news headlined on January 27th, "The Situation at the Front and Riots Against the Mobilization," and Andrew Vajra, of the news-site "Alternative," quoted Biletsky there, as saying, "We were not prepared for the current confrontation."

Whereas Ukrainian conscript soldiers are not eager to risk their lives in order to impose the current Ukrainian Government (which had resulted from Obama's coup in Ukraine in February 2014), upon the residents in Ukraine's Donbass region, which had voted 90% for the man whom Obama overthrew, the residents who still survive there are very eager not to allow this new regime to kill them; and, so, the motivation on the part of the people whom Obama's forces are trying to kill , is vastly higher than is the motivation on the part of conscript troops, from the rest of Ukraine, to kill them. The only troops who are that eager to kill them are supporters of Ukraine's two nazi (or racist-fascist) parties, the "Freedom" (renamed by the CIA from their former "Social Nationalist") and the Right Sector, Parties. Those parties have always gotten only a small percentage of the popular vote in Ukraine, though Obama's people have placed them into power . Once in power, they passed laws to lock-in that power.

The Ukrainian Government's problem is that there just aren't enough nazis, and there's also not enough money, to do the amounts of killing that need to be done in order to enable Obama's Ukrainian regime to retain the land in Donbass while eliminating the people there. The 90% of those people who had voted for the man (Viktor Yanukovych) whom Obama overthrew are far more numerous, and far more motivated, than are the vast majority of Ukraine's soldiers.

America's and Ukraine's oligarchs cannot come up with the money to finish the job, but Obama's big financial backer George Soros is now globetrotting in order to convince taxpayers throughout the West to provide the money to finish it, and the amount he's coming up with as being necessary for the job is between twenty and fifty billion dollars. His entreaties appear to be falling upon deaf ears.

And that's the real reason why Obama's war in Ukraine is failing: there's just not enough blood-lust for the task , either in Ukraine , or in "the West."

There aren't enough nazis, in either area. Obama had over-reached, when he overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. Either he'll have to yield-up the land in Donbass, or else he'll have to yield-up the anti-Russian Government that he has imposed upon Ukraine. It's one or the other, and he'll have to choose which.

Either outcome will be embarrassing for him. But perhaps it won't be quite as embarrassing for him as was his predecessor's embarrassment regarding the Iraq War. (Of course, Republicans would be in their glory then, by saying "Obama lost Ukraine," even though it was actually Obama who had seized Ukraine, to begin with - and Republicans would never criticize a President for doing a thing like that: it's the sort of thing that Republicans are expected to do.)

On the other hand, it might turn out to be even more embarrassing than that for Obama, if he should happen to decide to go all the way here, and to push on for a nuclear war against Russia.

As regards the Ukrainian Government itself, they were placed into power by Obama's action of coup, followed by this Ukrainian Government's actions removing the Donbass residents from their electorate; and, so, the current members of the Rada, and of the Ukrainian Administration, cannot blame Obama; they are instead blaming Vladimir Putin and Russia - the country that Obama (like George Soros and so many other American aristocrats) hates, and that not merely the people whom Obama placed into power in Ukraine hate. Thus, on Wednesday, January 28th, RIAN news headlined, "Full Text of the Appeal for Recognition of Russia as Aggressor," and they reported:

"The Verkhovna Rada made ​​public the full text of Resolution number 1854 on appeal to the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, and the national parliaments of the countries in the world, to recognize the Russian Federation as the aggressor state."

Furthermore, reported that this action by the Rada had been passed by "271 of 289 deputies present," and that it could "have international legal consequences." report also said that Ukraine's leaders claim they now "urgently need new loans" from the EU, because, otherwise, Ukraine's existing loans will go into default. The reader-comments to that news-report at website seem to be negative on that request, and to be far more inclined to view Ukraine's Government as nazi than as Ukraine's being the victim of Russia or any other country, and least of all as being a victim of the EU's own taxpayers, who have already given plenty to the Ukrainian Government, and who would become the people bearing the burden of those new 'loans,' which would be going to the very back of Ukraine's long line of creditors, if Ukraine goes bankrupt, as is widely expected soon to happen. In other words: there would seem to be little public support in Germany, for giving Ukraine yet more money. If the EU's leaders do decide to comply with Ukraine's urgent request, then the EU will have even less public support in Germany than it currently does. The EU is therefore likely to turn down the request, so as not to place even further into jeopardy the EU's own continued existence.

And, obviously, unless Ukraine gets the further 'loans' to prosecute its war against the residents in Donbass, Ukraine won't even possibly be able to win this war.

So, that's the Ukrainian Government's predicament, regarding this war.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Russian banks cancel US contracts after demands to reveal taxpayer information

russian bank

© Sputnik/Ruslan Krivobok

Russian banks have been forced to cancel contracts with their US clients due to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), law that requires foreign banks to provide information on US citizens' banking activities, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.

The FATCA, which became law in 2010, requires foreign banks to report information on some US clients. If a bank does not comply, it may be subject to a fine. Moscow and Washington were negotiating a FATCA deal acceptable for both sides until March 2014, when the United States suspended the talks over the Ukraine crisis.

"We could not put our national security under risk in this case, this is why a rule was adopted, under which every credit services organization may cancel the contracts with its clients, the US residents, and avoid FATCA regulations this way," Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service Pavel Livadny told journalists.

Livadny added that the banks are now obliged to inform the Russian Central Bank, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, and the Federal Tax Service of such clients.

"The credit organizations prefer to part with such clients, rather than stay under pressure from US tax laws," Livadny added.

US Congress enacted FATCA to make it more difficult for US taxpayers to conceal assets held in offshore accounts and shell corporations, and thus to recoup federal tax revenues.

Comment: The U.S.'s FATCA, ostensibly designed to make more money, seems only to have had the effect of turning the rest of the world against Americans, and making it harder for law-abiding U.S. citizens living abroad to do so. There's a word for this kind of behavior:

  1. Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

  2. The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.

  3. A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.

  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.

  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.

(from Carlo Maria Cipolla's "Basic Laws of Human Stupidity")

See also: FATCA what? How to fight the war on tax evasion, one American at a time

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Right-wing party leader: No more Muslim immigrants to Germany!

© Reuters / Hannibal

A German right-wing politician said in an interview his country should halt immigration for Muslims and others who "are completely foreign to our cultural tradition." He says this is necessary to stop the creation of "parallel societies in Germany."

"We should no longer support immigration by people who are totally foreign to our cultural tradition, in fact we ought to block it," Alexander Gauland, a senior official with the Alternative for Germany (AFD) party, told the newspaper.

"There are cultural traditions that have a very hard time integrating here ... those cultural traditions are at home in the Middle East," Gauland, 73, said.

His comments came less than a week after it emerged that German's population had grown by 300,000 during 2014, largely due to immigration. This is the fourth year in a row that the German population has recorded growth.

Gauland also spoke of the danger of creating "parallel societies" developing in Germany, "which we won't be able to cope with in the end," reported.

The AFD party has seen an upsurge in support in recent months, and is ideologically close to the anti-Islamist movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West).

Gauland says the anti-immigration drive by PEGIDA is not racist, but rather, "a people's movement" that he believes is comparable with the early anti-nuclear demonstrations that helped to launch the Green party as a political force in Germany.

He was originally a member of the Christian Democrats Union (CDU), before quitting and helping to form the AFD in 2013. He says that Chancellor Angela Merkel's comments that "Islam belongs to Germany" could prove to be fatal for the CDU and the AFD is ready to pick up the disenfranchised voters.

"The chancellor's words were deadly for ordinary CDU members," Gauland said.

During Germany's national elections in 2013, the right-wing AFD narrowly failed to reach the 5 percent electoral threshold necessary to enter parliament, claiming 4.7 percent of the vote. But the party managed to win seven of Germany's 96 seats in the European Parliament during last year's European elections.

Chancellor Merkel has hit out at the anti-Islamist sentiment in German that has been stirred by the emergence of PEDIGA. She joined a rally in Berlin on January 13 to promote "religious tolerance" amid ongoing mass rallies against immigration policies and the growing "Islamization" of the West.

A rally held by PEDIGA in Dresden on January 12, attracted in the region of 25,000 protesters, who were complaining about excessive immigration in the city. However, less than three percent of the capital of Saxony's 100,000 population were born outside of Germany and just 0.1 percent of people from the city are Muslims, AP reported.

A poll carried out in November and commissioned by the Bertelsman Foundation think-tank said that 57 percent of non-Muslims surveyed thought that Islam threatened German society. In addition, 61 percent of respondents said that Islam did not fit into Western society. According to census data from previous years, Islam is the second largest religion in Germany after Christianity.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Possible shake up between Putin and Medvedev?

Putin regards Medvedev as "too soft with Barack Obama and the European leaders," writes Moscow correspondent Cristina Giuliano.

She quotes, among others, Russian political scientists Alena Ledeneva of University College London: "Medvedev might even resign, maybe not immediately, but as soon as the economic situation will stabilize a little".

Medvedev originally fell out of favor with the Siloviki - Kremlin's strong men, whom refers to as "Eurasian sovereignists" - during the 2011 Libya crisis, when Western intervention led to the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi.

A Russian documentary film on the Libya crisis openly accused him of "treason" for his compliant, pro-Western handling of the crisis, and supine acceptance of its outcome.

Among the first Siloviki to point the finger at Medvedev were Evgeny Primakov, former prime minister and head of Russia's foreign secret services, and Vladimir Chamov, Russian ambassador to Libya at the time of the crisis, removed for objecting to the very toppling of Gaddafi.

Retired general Leonid Ivashov said during the Libya documentary: "Unfortunately Russian presidents cannot be prosecuted for treason".

Putin's comeback as President was especially cheered by the Siloviki during the 2013 Syria crisis. Had Medvedev been there, another area under Russian influence would have been "sold out" to the West.

How the US reacted to Russia stop playing balls with an ever-expanding West we learned last year: by organizing a coup next to Russian borders, and turning Ukraine into a neo-Nazi killing ground.

And, as we have recently reported, there are signs that Russia has stopped believing in the essential goodwill of the West. The offensive carried out by the rebels in Mariupol on Sunday was followed by Putin describing the Ukraine army as a "NATO legion aimed at restraining Russia."

In this rapidly deteriorating climate, a pro-Western prime minister is simply not the right man for the job. With the likely demise of Medvedev, the West has again done its cause yet another disservice.

Is a possible rebel takeover of the whole of Donbass what a tough Russian prime minister would like to force upon the West? If so, exciting times lie ahead!

also mentions "a series of scandals with the Medvedev government: from bed time affairs and corruption that have ensnared former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdjukov, as well as Education Minister Dmitry Livanov's troubles. His dismissal has been requested even by the staid Academy of Sciences."

According to source, "Medvedev himself has tight relationships with the West. And the West plays on them to advance its desires. All of this cannot please Putin's men."

Who will take over? Rumors abound.

A much-talked about candidate is Alexei Kudrin, a semi-liberal, and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Other rumors point to Dmitry Rogozin, the current Deputy Prime Minister, and a hardliner.

Or maybe Andrej Vorobiov, born 1970, current governor of the rich Moscow region. recently described him as the rising star in Putin's United Russia party.

Medvedev's eventual resignation could follow what source calls: "a sortie à la Yeltsin, because in Moscow we don't wash our dirty laundry in public".

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Former Australian prime minister warns that U.S. is "a dangerous ally"

Malcolm Fraser, former primer minister of Australia

In his new book titled "," Malcolm Fraser, the former prime minister of Australia worries that Canberra's dependence on the United States will eventually bring the nation into a direct conflict with China. His words echo those of Georgetown University professor Amitai Etzioni in and article he wrote for the Diplomat on Jan. 20.

Australia has always been strategically dependent on other great powers since gaining independence in 1901. It relied on the United Kingdom until World War II and then transfered that dependence to the United States afterwards. The relationship grew stronger with the signing of the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty in 1951. Fraser said that the treaty does not require the US to defend Australia, only needing to "consult" it in case of an attack.

In Fraser's book, he describes how Australia's blind faith in the UK before World War II left the country unprepared for war. He then goes on to say that currently many feel more vulnerable because of the country's dependence on the United States. What Fraser and many Australian leaders fears most is that the United States will get Australia involved in a coflict not of its own making. "Australia effectively ceded to America the ability to decide when Australia goes to war," said Fraser.

Fraser labelled the United States a "dangerous ally" as Australia has become progressively more enmeshed in American strategic and military affairs since the end of Cold War.

Just as with the armed conflicts in the Middle East, Fraser said that the conflict in Ukraine took place partially due to Washington's attempt to include Ukraine in NATO. He went on to blame the United States lack of historical understanding towards Russia on the matter.

Washington's policy to "contain" China can eventually lead to trouble for Australia. Believing that the United States will eventually use Australia as a base to attack China, Fraser suggested the removal of all American military facilities from Darwin in the north and Pine Gap in the center of the country as soon as possible. The former Australian leader added that the country should be more independent of the United States in both defense and foreign affairs. While recommending that Australia shore up its diplomatic activities throughout Asia and at the UN, he also suggested an increase in defense spending to 3% of the country's GDP.

Jared McKinney, an American defense expert, said that Fraser's book is often redundant and sometimes appears simplistic and one-sided in its historical interpretations. Still, he praised Fraser's great service to Australia and it said would be a shame if his arguments were unable to incite the sort of grand strategy debate.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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5.7 magnitude earthquake SW of Ferndale, California

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Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Insanity! Ukraine launches two Tochka-U ballistic missiles on Donetsk and Gorlovka, but they break apart midflight

Tochka U Ballistic missile

© Unknown

Two installations of "Tochka U" today left the airfield at Kramatorsk, in the direction of Druzhkovka. Firing positions were between Kramatorsk and Druzhkovka near the village of Kamyshevakha.

Rumble at startup and the flying missiles were seen and heard by the residents of Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka, Alekseev-Druzhkovka and several other settlements.

The direction of launch: Donetsk, Gorlovka. The first launch was made at 16:00, the second at 18:30.

Due to outdated components of the missiles and not without the help of providence (God is still with us!), both missiles had not reached their targets, having broken off in the sky in the vicinity of Gorlovka.

Exact time of launch and location of the explosion of the missiles in the air need to be verified further.

The main targets for Tochka short-range ballistic missile system (NATO Designation SS-21 Scarab) are airfields, command posts, support facilities, air defense batteries, bridges and troops concentrations. The Tochka can carry conventional, nuclear or chemical warheads. Maximum range of fire is 70 km. It has a CEP of 160 m. A standard missile is 6.4 m long and weights 2 000 kg. Warhead weights about 480 kg, depending on the type.

Comment: Don't you think firing ballistic missiles with warheads weighing 480kg against your own people, just because they didn't agree with your power grab, is a bit extreme, not to say completely insane? Do you think that it is normal that the Western governments are condoning this and even handing more money and military equipment to Ukraine, while punishing Russia?

Winning hearts and minds it is not!

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Police state stupidity: New Jersey cops shut down teens' snow shoveling business

snow pile

© Lisa Jacobs/Flickr

Apparently the world isn't like it was when I was a kid, no more Kool-Aid stands, no more doing yard work for cash, no more shoveling snow, as the government now has their hands in everything, regulating all aspects of our lives.

When I was a kid I remember passing out fliers to do yard work which would earn me in the range of $15-$20 a yard, raking leaves or mowing.

I also remember setting up a Kool-Aid stand on the street corner at the age of 8, garnering the attention from neighbors willing to pay a dollar for each glass.

However those days are over.

During the recent snow storm school was closed and a few high school seniors were eager to make some extra cash by helping out their neighbors. But moments into their venture they were shutdown by local cops.

Eric Schnepf, 18, and Matt Molinari, 18, were dumbfounded when they were shutdown by police after someone called 911 complaining that the boys were passing out flyers offering "snow removal" services in the area.

snow removal ad

© Bound Brook NJ Events/Facebook

[Police Chief Michael]

, reported USA Today.

Apparently a local law in the area prevents people from doing such work unless they purchase a rather pricy license from the city for $450 which allows work for 180 days. And at $15 to $20 dollars a yard/driveway, the price of the license wouldn't be feasible for one to profit.

This is just another failed example highlighting why kids nowadays are forced to become lazy loafs, playing first-person shooter video games all day, as good old-fashioned hard work is frowned upon.

Has anyone ever stopped to think why everyone is jobless and on welfare in this country?

The stupidity amazes me.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Australian aboriginal stories of ancient sea level rise have survived for 10,000 years

The Great Barrier Reef, off the Queensland coast, was once part of the mainland according to Aboriginal tales

Traditional stories passed down through generations by Australian Aborigines may be among the oldest accurate oral histories in the world, scientists have claimed.

The findings have allowed them to map how the continent may have looked around 10,000 years ago.

Oral folklore tells how the Great Barrier Reef once formed part of the coastline of north east Queensland, while Port Phillip Bay in Victoria was once a rich place for hunting kangaroo and opossum.

Researchers have found other stories from all over the continent that mirror how the landscape dramatically changed towards the end of the last ice age.

They say at this time sea levels rose as a result of the melting of the huge ice caps that covered much of the northern hemisphere around 10,500 years ago.

The researchers now believe that these stories could constitute some of the oldest accurate oral histories in the world, passing through some 300 generations.

The finding is remarkable as many anthropologists believe that exaggeration and Chinese whispers often distort oral history so severely that they can no longer be reliable if they are older than 1,000 years old.

However, Dr Nick Reid, a linguist at the University of New England, has found that the stories of Australian Aborigines are astoundingly accurate.

Hidden within myths of seagull gods and ancestral heroes causing seas to rise and great floods are details of how the landscapes looked before the time.

Dr Reid studied 18 traditional Aboriginal stories and found that they seemed to coincide with true geological events.

Writing for the Conversation, he said: 'How do we know that these stories are authentic? We suggest that because they all say essentially the same thing, it is more likely that they are based on observation.

'All tell of the ocean rising over areas that had previously been dry. None tell stories running the other way - of seas falling to expose land.

'The huge distances separating the places from which the stories were collected - as well as their unique, local contexts - makes it unlikely that they derived from a common source that was invented.'

This graphic shows how Aboriginal stories from all over Australia describe the sea level rise that occurred at the end of the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, causing much of the coastline to be flooded by water

Aborigines on the Tiwi Islands in northern Australia, like those above, tell stories of how an old woman led flood waters to cut off the area from the mainland and these could have survived for 7,500 to 8,900 years

Among the stories examined by Dr Reid and his colleague Professor Patrick Nunn, a geographer at the University of the Sunshine Coast, were a tale told by the Ngarrindjeri people.

It tells how an ancestral hero called Ngurunderi chased his wives on foot to Kangaroo Island, where he angrily rose the seas, turning the women into rocks that now jut out of the water between the island and the mainland.

Australian Aboriginals are famed for their ancient rock art (pictured), but their oral histories are shedding light on their land's past too

If this is based on true geographical changes, it would mean it originated at a time when seas were around 100 feet lower than they are today, making it around 9,800 to 10,650 years old.

Another story describes how the Wellesley Islands in the southern Gulf of Carpentaira was once part of a peninsular that jutted out from the mainland.

The story tells how a 'seagull woman' called Garnguur swept down and dragged her raft across the neck of the peninsula to allow the sea pour in.

Other stories written down in early colonial times also tell of kangaroo and emu hunting grounds that were later flooded by the rising sea water.

The Narrangga people of the York Peninsula of southern Australia told stories that recalled a time when the Spencer Gulf was actually a marshy part of the mainland that was dotted with freshwater lagoons that attracted rich wildlife.

Dr Reid estimates that these stories could date from between 9,550 to 12,450 years ago.

Aboriginal stories confirm that view from Kangaroo Island, above, off the coast of South Australia would have looked very different around 10,000 years ago before sea levels rose and cut it off from the mainland

Similarly other stories tell how the area of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria was also a marshy part of the mainland, making them around 7,800 to 9,350 years old.

A tale told by the Tiwi people describe how an old woman followed by a flood of water crawled between the islands of Brathurst and Melville, now off the coast of Australia's Northern Territory.

This, the researchers say, could be telling how the islands were settled and then cut off from the mainland around 8,200 to 9,650 years ago.

A traditional story from Western Australia tells how Rottnest, Carnac and Garden Islands, once formed part of the mainland and the land was covered in trees.

The story says that a fire took hold and burned with such intensity that the ground split, allowing the sea to rush in.

Dr Reid and his colleagues estimate this would have occurred at least 7,500 to 8,900 years ago.

Dr Reid said that their findings suggest that other traditional oral histories passed down in indigenous languages around the world could also provide similar nuggets of truth.

He said: 'The extraordinary care with which Aboriginal people have passed down these stories over previously unimaginable time depths forces a rethink of the ways in which such oral traditions have previously been dismissed.

'While these examples should not be regarded as a licence for the incautious interpretation the antiquity of oral traditions, or indeed for the belief all such stories have empirical foundations, it does allow for some traditions in some cultures to have survived for far longer than it was once thought any such traditions could.'

Another ancient oral history among the Klamath of Oregon is thought to be around 7,700 years old.

Professor Nunn added that there could also be stories traditional cultures in India that could be equally as old.

Local folklore in Australia tells how some areas that were rich with kangaroo like this were lost to the ocean


Several stories tell how the Great Barrier Reef was once the original coastline of north east Queensland.

Stories told by the Googanji people describe how a river entered the sea near to what is now called Fitzroy Island.

The Yidindji people who lived in the Cairn's area of Queensland also tell how Fiztroy Island was once called 'gabar', or lower arm.

They told how it had once been part of a promontory sticking out from the mainland while nearby Green Island was four times larger and the Island is now all that is left sticking out the ocean.

They also describe a place called 'mudaga', or pencil cedar, between Fitzroy Island and King Beach after the trees that once grew there.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Greece's Syriza party breaks from EU propaganda line against Russia

Alexis Tsipras

© unknown

Alexis Tsipras

No sooner than they were sworn in, Syriza came out swinging, asserting strong opposition to an EU statement blaming Russia for Saturday's deadly attacks in Ukraine:

The new Greek government has spoken out against the EU partners over the statement that lays the blame for Saturday's fatal attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Russia. Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria voiced similar objections earlier.

The government, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tripras, said in a press release on Tuesday that

Tsipras added.

He voiced his in a phone call to EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini.

Naturally, the EU insisted that Greece had not objected beforehand:

The EU statement was published on Tuesday morning, saying that all 28 EU leaders had agreed that Russia bears for a rocket attack on the city of Mariupol that left 30 people dead on Saturday.

Brussels objected that the Greek government had been informed about the statement on Russia and Ukraine, but no one had contradicted it until Tuesday.

But Greece's courage and candor encouraged others in the EU to break ranks, setting a dangerous precedent.

One EU diplomat reportedly said that Greece had attempted to remove the line blaming Russia for the Mariupol killing. Also, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia tried, and failed, to the communiqué, the EU Observer website stated.

It's the first time that such a situation - a retroactive abjuration of an EU line - has happened, EU Council official stressed.

Foreign affairs analyst Serja Trifkovich told RT that other countries might follow suit and oppose Brussels' policies on the Ukrainian crisis.

"It's very difficult in the EU to break the ranks. Now that Greece has made a move, I confidently expect that the Hungarians in particular, but perhaps also Slovakia and Cyprus, will [find] the courage to say no to the dictate from Brussels."

This doesn't bode well for the future of the EU. Between this, the ECB's move to devalue the euro, the trouble over Greek debt, and the crisis in Ukraine, its future is uncertain.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Elephant kills teenage girl in Assam, India

© Yathin S Krishnappa, Wikimedia Commons

An elephant killed a girl at Ballamguri in Chirang district today.

The elephant, which came from the nearby Manas National Park, attacked the teenaged girl injuring her seriously, police officials said.

The girl, identified as Ramisa Khatun, succumbed to her injuries later at the Barpeta Medical College Hospital.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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The TSA backtracks on including social media and purchase history in airport security screening


© Flickr/Alan Levine

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told Sputnik on Tuesday that it plans to remove social media and purchase history screening from its proposal concerning the security control at airports.

"The line on social media and purchase history was inadvertently included in this request for proposal (RFP), and will be removed in an updated amendment to the solicitation. All proposals will be evaluated for privacy and civil liberties risks," a TSA press officer said.

The proposal to include the collection of "commercial data" about passengers via "press reports, location data and information that individuals post on blogs and social media sites" has provoked criticism from privacy advocates.

Joe McNamee, Executive Director of the European Digital Rights group, told Sputnik that these measures could threaten freedom of speech and called them "disturbing".

Tim Cushing, a writer for the Techdirt blog on government policy, technology and legal issues, expressed deep concern over "crazy ideas third party contractors might have about 'commercial data'" in his blog post on Monday.

TSA seeks to use the services of private sector contractors to determine low-risk passengers at airports, with contractors allowed to use "commercial data" to carry out pre-screening.

The TSA PreCheck program allows passengers at airports to cut the time spent in screening lines for a fee of $85, given they have passed a background check, submitted their fingerprints and were assessed as a low-threat to security. The proposal is aimed at speeding up security screenings and raising the efficiency of identifying potential terrorists.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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The deadly toll that the war machine takes on soldiers awaits the rest of us

© AP

Like pretty much all ailments and illnesses in the United States, returning soldiers from the warfronts suffering from acute cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are currently being treated, or more like snowed under, with powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs. Because it is unnatural for the vulnerable human psyche to witness the insanity of war, watching your buddies or yourself get blown up by IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices), instantly your life can forever be changed into a permanent living nightmare. Just by surviving the trauma after observing your brothers-in-arms (increasingly sisters-in arms with next year's official US policy change deploying women into combat) or even witnessing any humans die in war will often plague combat veterans the rest of their lives as survivor's guilt. Also as human tools of the US Empire killing machine, American soldiers in combat have systematically participated in war crime atrocities killing thousands and even millions of innocent civilians over the many decades of constant US war. Those soldiers who have not been desensitized and numbed to the extent that they cannot block out their survivor's guilt nor their residual guilt from killing others in immoral wars or possibly committing war crimes themselves, virtually always end up scarred for life, burdened with the shame and remorse for what they perceive as their own never forgotten much less forgiven past sins.

My own father, a decorated Navy war hero on US submarines during World War II and Korea, was tortured by his post-war "sins" that he carried for over 70 years all the way to his grave. His particular war sins were the result of being forced at gunpoint by US naval command to comply with America's racist war policy to kill every Asian man, woman and child in Pacific waters during World War II, even innocent non-Japanese civilian families peacefully eking out a modest living in their small fishing boats. At one point when my machine gunner father couldn't bear committing any more of his racist nation's sins, after defiantly throwing his .50 caliber bullet belt to the deck and retreating down below deck to his bunk, his submarine captain charged after him with his revolver drawn ready to murder my father until several of my father's shipmates talked the raging Medal of Honor winning skipper out of it. For the next seven decades my father agonized over the haunting images of gunning down little children and their mothers laying lifeless in their slowly sinking boats, turning the Pacific blue red with white man's inhumanity toward yellow race people. But this is what the last "justified," red, white and blue American war did to my father's fragile human psyche. Rather than placing the blame squarely on United States war policy in the Pacific theater, he always blamed himself for murdering those innocent families whose only crime was being born with slanted eyes. His PTSD symptoms persisted the next 70 years, countless times suddenly jarred awake in the middle of the night in cold sweat moaning in agony over his nightmares of those haunting, indelible images from so many years before. Then on weekends he would regularly put on his treasured "Victory At Sea" records, and the lilting music like a trance would morosely place him right back into reliving his war trauma, wrestling with his inner demons hundreds of times over while drowning himself in alcohol, futilely self-medicating numbness amidst his lingering, unshakable pain. This is what war does. From any end of the gun, war is always wrong.

Especially in recent years with the present war of terror raging as permanent official US foreign policy, military jargon has conveniently invented self-deceptive ways of distancing and separating individual and collective guilt by renaming murdered victims "collateral damage" as if inanimate objects that every seasoned soldier accepts as part of the human cost of war. Demonizing the enemy as some form of subhuman lowlife is another distorted, twisted way to avoid individual and national culpability and the so called trappings of guilt and shame. If the enemy is objectified and debased into pure evil, then one can be anointed a war hero, feeling good and even proud for removing such scum off the face of the earth. These are the insidious methods of mental madness adjustments that the national warring state indoctrinates, manipulates and infuses into its military warriors to become callous, unthinking, unfeeling killing machines. To become the best at waging war as a member of the USA's most elite fighting force, a soldier typically trains to become a coveted Navy Seal, a Delta Force Commando or a member of the Special Forces. These men are some of the most skilled killers/murderers/assassins on the planet. The CIA and Joint Special Operations Forces busily fighting dirty little secret wars in more than 134 nations around the globe have honed and refined this killer instinct. Their deep brainwash allows them to live with themselves in the same way their Mafia hitmen counterparts can comfortably do what they do for a living without a tinge of guilt or remorse. "It's just a job and somebody's gotta do it."

Yet no matter how much rationalization, historical revisioning, brainwashing or repression one utilizes to run away from the truth, if still human, the nagging guilt and shame that those still possessing a conscience must bear can easily become too agonizingly painful a burden. Hence, a subsequent pervasive pattern of self-sabotage, self-destruction and ultimate suicide all too frequently emerge as their only way out of this sad and tragic common fate. At the deeply wounded core level, their war experience has left them believing they simply do not deserve to ever be loved, happy or successful in life and too often they die young.

If not already, soldiers and veterans returning home from multiple combat tours quickly become addicted to prescribed major antipsychotic tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping sedatives, painkillers, antidepressants, stimulants, and mood stabilizers that all carry horrific cumulative side effects. Just to get an idea of the enormity of the problem, military personnel are prescribed narcotic painkillers three times more often than the civilian population in America that consumes 80% of the world's supply of highly addictive painkillers. One in three veterans polled in a survey say they are on ten different medications. A February New York Times article four years ago reported that one in three of the record 162 suicides by active duty soldiers in 2009 were taking psychotropic medication. And from 2006-2009 another 101 soldiers died from toxic mixing of prescribed drugs.

Drug toxicity causes brain damage, nerve damage, liver damage and frequently enough organ failure. Compounding this epidemic amongst our service men and women, too many are also simultaneously self-medicating with highly addictive alcohol and illegal drugs. As a result, the combination of these harmful dangerous drugs are causing increasing accidental overdoses as well as planned suicides and mounting homicides. Last year's Fort Hood shooting comes readily to mind. On the average, a veteran is killing him or herself every single hour of every single day. In 2012 more died at their own hands than fighting the war in Afghanistan. During the first eight years of the war of terror the US has been waging globally since 9/11, the suicide rate amongst Army personnel spiked more than 150%at the same time that Big Pharma prescriptions rose 76%. Another key finding is that 85% of military suicide victims were never in combat. This alarming fact strongly suggests that what's driving so many to kill themselves has more to do with the harmful drugs being prescribed them than the effects of the actual wars going on.

Another appalling discovery in recent years is the fact that US military personnel have been placed in harm's way not only by constant US war and dangerous drugs, but also by being used as human guinea pigs for controversial deadly vaccines as well. The US military has a long history of conveniently using its soldiers as human subjects as well as veterans at VA hospitals without gaining their consent in the most cruel and sadistic experiments at the infamous Edgewood lab from 1955 to 1975. Many vaccines in recent years including Gulf War soldiers have been contaminated with the anthrax vaccine and other harmful cocktail combinations of immunizations forced on them against their will.

Victimized active duty personnel as well as veterans ever since the Vietnam War, which have come to include the veterans of the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, all have been increasingly prescribed Big Pharma drugs to smother and straightjacket their PTSD symptoms. Rather than invest in their true care through long term intensive programs providing quality individual and group therapy along with extremely limited and prudent use of prescribed psychoactive drugs, along with extensive job training and employment support services, the quick and easy answer has been to simply snow vets under with a pharmacopeia of harmful drugs that send them into comatose states of oblivion. As an example of "limited and prudent" use of medication for PTSD treatment, in response to an article I wrote last year on this subject, renowned psychologist Dr. Ralph Metzner cited the promising results that MDMA (called Ecstasy on the street) is generating for trauma patients. His call for more research testing seems worth the follow-up over the conventional medications that are clearly not working.

The Big Pharma poisoning through heavy toxins and adverse side effects have been the quick fix to treating today's active duty service members. According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a watchdog organization investigating and exposing psychiatric human rights violations, "today the willingness to empathize with the warrior and listen to his experiences has been replaced by a psychiatric pop-a-pill 'quick-fix' mentality." It's simply more expedient and far less costly to over-sedate our soldiers and veterans into a drug fog, creating a national policy of obliterating them as victims that customarily gets swept under the safety-net rug, sent away from the military and VA psychiatrists to sooner die off in an "out of sight, out of mind" nationalized policy of complete lack of healthcare.

The heavy consequence of dragging out multiple wars - the longest in US history - for over a decade in the ongoing, US created "forever war on terror" has resulted in the federal government, the military and the Veterans Administration to all be criminally ill-equipped to adequately and humanely respond to the overwhelming numbers of mentally and emotionally damaged Americans our government has systematically used and abused. Last year's VA scandal grabbed headlines when it was exposed that vets around the country have been placed on invisible waiting lists that turn into death lists before the patient ever gets seen by the doctor. This horror show along with an average waiting period backlog of over a year to process initial veteran's disability claims and another two and a half years for denied claim appeals are causing thousands of suffering soldiers straight from the battlefields to go untreated for far too long. These extremely disturbing realities reflect the thoroughly corrupt and broken system of VA healthcare for our military who sacrificed everything for their country.

On top of all these problems, every war America fights kills countless more victims from poison chemicals that are part of the lethal US military weaponry and hardware used. Human victims of America's wars are mostly innocent civilians who are maimed and killed in addition to targeted enemy troops. But within a few years from every war more US casualties never stop showing up dead from exposure to some highly toxic chemical, starting with the Vietnam veterans' exposure to Monsanto-made napalm known as Agent Orange. Four million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange and the Vietnamese government contends that 3 million have suffered illnesses from it. For decades the VA lied, denying any and all responsibility before finally admitting liability.

Like napalm, depleted uranium (DU) is also considered a weapon of mass destruction killing countless more people in the Middle East and Central Asia. In the Gulf War and current Iraq and Afghanistan Wars the US has been responsible for dumping thousands of tons of depleted uranium killing thousands of US veterans and far more Iraqis and Afghanis. And with much more DU used in the much longer recent wars, out of the little more than half million soldiers who fought during the 1990-91 Gulf War, by 2000 11,000 were already dead and another 325,000 on permanent medical disability. The Gulf War syndrome caused by uranium that produces deadly cancerous growths and tumors will even take a much larger number of the million US soldiers along with the 28 million Iraqis exposed to DU in this century's wars. Based on just the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority estimates the number of deaths resulting from DU poisoning could be as many as a half million. The death toll from the recent decade long wars of course will even be much higher.

As if all these unjustly horrendous hardships are not enough crosses to humanly bear compliments of US Empire aggression, in recent years the US government is perpetrating an ultimate betrayal of our returning veterans. After fighting their government's wars, returning soldiers have been increasingly targeted and labeled as potential enemy of the state by their own fascist government. Homeland Security documents have disclosed that due to their vast combat experience veterans are deemed a serious threat of executing violence against the US government. So after surviving a war your government sends you to fight against its designated enemy, you then come home and end up on the feds' shit list as your own government's to-be-disposed-of enemy. That's the most egregious assault imaginable that your treasonous own government could possibly do to our veterans. But that is exactly what traitors in our current United States government are up to.

The highly destructive US Empire-NATO forces are now operating to further intentionally destabilize and polarize the world into a West versus East confrontation, heating up hotspots around the world and threatening to start World War III. US-West induced false flags are happening regularly now, the latest in France. With a series of false flags with the 9/11 tragedy and most recently now in France, the citizens of the US and Europe are continuing to be conditioned and brainwashed to fear the US-NATO invented scapegoat enemy Islamic extremists.

© USA Today

The US federal government's priority to misuse its patriotic young citizenry as cannon fodder for its perpetual global war of terror, sending Americans to be sacrificed in a blood for oil endgame, has overburdened and virtually destroyed a once vital and vibrant middle class in America. The onetime quasi-democratic republic of America has viciously been morphed by a handful of neocon globalists into a plutocratic oligarchy where the rich get richer at the expense of the poor only getting poorer at a never before seen rate. As of next year the top 1% will have more wealth than the rest of us 99% in the entire world. Tyranny in America has never been so near absolute. The Orwellian nightmare is alive and well, and the New World Order already is diabolically controlling the planet.

US Empire led global militarization has increasingly brought war home against the American people as a declared domestic enemy of the now totalitarian state. The same raw deal our veterans have gotten from their US government, the rest of us citizens are also receiving. The militarized police are currently armed and weaponized for war at home. As judge, jury and executioner, our own president has talked openly and matter-of-factly of murdering Americans on US soil. Since the inside 9/11 coup de tat, gone are our Constitutional rights to protect us from the evil that the US government has become. With killer drones and an army of heavily armed police forces now authorized to be accompanied by active duty US military forces, the Posse Comitatus law in effect since the post-Civil War era that always prohibited military personnel from involvement in domestic civil matters was repealed by Obama's National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Despite a lower Court of Appeals ruling in favor of journalist Chris Hedges et al representing the civil interests and rights of American citizens, the same US Supreme Court that permitted Bush's voter fraud to steal the 2000 election, then put our government up for sale to the highest bidders with unlimited and anonymous campaign donations, also last April overturned the lower court NDAA decision.

The military can now break into our homes without a warrant, arrest us without a reason, throw us in prison indefinitely without a trial, deny us access to due process without legal representation and sever all contact with family forevermore, all on trumped up charges they don't even have to reveal if someone in the military security surveillance prison complex happens to not like you. Since 9/11 we have lost our Constitutional rights, our freedom and civil liberties. As political activists opposing the government's tyranny already on watch lists, as soon as the next false flag goes down, or the US petrodollar and US dollar as standard international currency collapse, so will our economy with devastating ripple effects felt around the world. When this preeminent event finally occurs with more experts predicting it will befall America this year or next at the latest, the oligarch's puppet Obama will have his way in declaring martial law in the US and then we know the FEMA roundups will immediately follow. That's all it will take. Every one of us Americans are now fair game. All those Halliburton refurbished, privatized empty prisons will not remain empty much longer. To be a citizen of the United States today means you are right now standing in the crosshairs ready to be deemed an enemy sympathizer and locked away in a concentration camp. We appear now to be teetering on the precipice of an unprecedented human genocide the earth has never known, demonically designed to reduce the world population from seven billion to just half billion. Those still in denial too busy living in their delusional insulated bubble of a world, too busy playing violent video games to notice, or fearfully sticking their heads in the sand desperately praying a miracle will stop the madness, you need to wake up. We need to take action now if we wish to save the human species from extinction. It's up to us to step up as unified citizens of the world to make the difference between life and death.

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

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Ukrainian parliament declares Russia aggressor


The Verkhovna Rada with 271 votes officially recognized Russia as an aggressor. The MPs also called on the international community for the implementation of all measures to stop the military aggression against Ukraine, for strengthening of sanctions against the Russian Federation as a country that supports aggression on the territory of Ukraine, and declare DPR and LPR terrorist organizations. What is the reason of this decision, what it means and what the consequences might be, spoke the President of the Center of System Analysis and Forecasting, Rostislav Ishchenko in an interview to Pravda.Ru.

"Rada not only recognized Russia as an aggressor, but also recommended that the President actually declares war on Russia. That is, in this situation, Kiev regime, except for individuals looking for a personal gain, seeks to formalize the state of war with Russia. Ukraine has long said that it is at war with Russia," - said Rostislav Ishchenko.

But as the Russian army did not show up on the battlefield, Rada is trying to formalize it, believes the expert. "I understand that during the meeting of the Security and Defense Council, Poroshenko was pressured to declare martial law. When he resisted, they continued to push. Either they will force him, or else without him the Parliament or government of Ukraine will somehow formalize a state of war with Russia."

Responding to the question, whether he expects NATO to help Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko told Pravda.Ru that the alliance is unlikely to be involved in the fighting in Ukraine. "By the way, to declare war on Russia - does not mean that Russia will go to war. So far, Novorossia army can cope with the Ukrainian troops. Another thing is that Ukraine and the United States want to have an additional trump card for international organizations, in their discussions with the European Union, to represent Russia as an aggressor," - said Rostislav Ishchenko.

Therefore, he said, it is "actually a gesture of despair." "Because they were trying to force Russia to take an active part in the hostilities on the territory of Ukraine for the entire year. Because it didn't work, now the Parliament declares that Russia is the aggressor, Rada might as well vote for the fact that the sun rises in the West and sets in the East," - finished Rostislav Ishchenko.

Translator's Note:

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Syrian security officials: ISIS using advanced state-of-the-art weapons which are only manufactured by the U.S.

© Unknown

An ISIL convoy that, with all of the billions of dollars of high-tech military gadgetry at the U.S.'s disposal, could conceivably be turned to dust at just the touch of a button. But just like the caves that Osama bin Laden hung out in, they are oh so hard to reach!

Fars news agency in Tehran is reporting that Syrian intelligence and security officials have disclosed that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group are "using advanced state-of-the-art weapons which are only manufactured by the US", adding that "the largest such cargo has been dispatched to the terrorists just recently."

"These weapons were given to the ISIL inside Syria and only kilometers away from the Turkish border," the Arabic-language Al-Waqt news website quoted an informed source as saying on Tuesday.

This can't be a coincidence! Remember these weapons are being used in many cases against innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq.

You can find numerous execution videos showing ISIL fighters wearing US surplus military camouflage BDU's (Battle Dress Uniforms) and killing people with US made M-16 assault rifles.

The source noted that the advanced weapons included "anti-armor missiles as well as light and semi-heavy weaponry. "We are seeing NATO ammunition boxes as well", said one Syrian Army commander via a social media site -who wished to remain anonymous in this report for security reason.

The report said the consignment contained the largest cargo of US-made arms aid sent to ISIL so far.

This is consistent with reports by Senator Rand Paul and other in Congress who say that the US has provided over 600 tons of weapons to Syrian rebels, many of whom are strategically allied with ISIL.

You can trace this back to actions taken by the US Congress.

[embedded content]

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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North Dakota oil industry trying to preserve cash by changing radioactive waste disposal laws

used radioactive filter sock

© REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

An environmental group employee holds a used filter sock in Bismarck, North Dakota January 27, 2015.

North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.

The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. That's because rules prohibit North Dakota landfills from accepting anything but miniscule amounts of radiation.

The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock, a mesh tube resembling a sandbag through which fracking water is pumped before it's injected back into the earth. Tank and pipeline sludge are also radioactive.

It's not clear how much of this waste is generated, as North Dakota officials only began requiring tracking last year; final 2014 reports aren't due until next month. Some put the number at 70 tons per day; others say 27 tons.

Given that, estimates on potential savings aren't precise. But the oil industry says allowing North Dakota's landfills to accept more radioactive material could save at least $10,000 in transportation costs per truckload. There are 11,942 active wells in the state, so assuming each well generates at least one 15-cubic yard Dumpster's worth of radioactive waste each year - a conservative estimate, state officials say - that translates to an annual savings of about $120 million statewide.

"You're talking hundreds of dollars to transport versus tens of thousands" of dollars if regulations are changed, said Kari Cutting, vice president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

Cutting attended three hearings last week across the state to testify. Some oil companies, including SM Energy Co, also attended. "This just shows how much of a priority we're putting on this and these costs," Cutting said.

With U.S. crude oil prices down more-than 60 percent since last June, eating into the industry's financial lifeline, every penny counts.

The changes would most-directly affect companies that operate saltwater disposal sites. Oasis Petroleum Inc is the largest publicly traded company with saltwater sites, though most operators are privately held. Oasis did not return a call seeking comment.

Changing the regulation would also make North Dakota's energy industry more self-reliant, oil producers said.

If other states stop taking the waste - Utah, Washington and California have far more liberal standards but for now aren't planning to close the gates - North Dakota's oil development would stop.

Clean Harbors Inc's Colorado landfill currently accepts North Dakota's radioactive waste. But allowing the company's North Dakota facility to do the same could represent a boon for the company. Clean Harbors said it supports changing the regulations.

The proposed changes are not universally popular. During the hearing in Williston last week, some attendees held signs reading: "Protect Health Not Oil's Wealth!" that were plastered with radioactive symbols.

"The only reason we're doing this today is to cut the oil industry's costs," said Darrell Dorgan, spokesman for the North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition, an environmental group.


The hydraulic fracturing process - commonly known as "fracking" - extracts millions of gallons of water per well alongside oil. That mixture also contains small amounts of radium, a byproduct of uranium, and other sediments.

After that water is separated from oil, but before it's sent back into the earth, it must be pushed through the mesh filter socks to remove sand, pebbles and other materials that could potentially clog injection wells.

Filter socks are also used at drilling sites to separate sediment from water that naturally flows back each time a new well is bored.

In both instances, the radioactive material is actually an afterthought: the filter socks aren't designed to collect it, but become radioactive when they do their jobs.

North Dakota's landfills currently can only accept waste with radioactive material up to 5 picocuries, a measurement of the radioactivity found in a gram of material.

A banana has, on average, 3.5 picocuries of radiation.

Last year, state officials commissioned Argonne National Laboratory to study what the safest levels of radiation would be for landfills. The answer: 51.5 picocuries. Armed with that information, the state's Department of Health is seeking approval to boost the level for in-state disposal to 50 picocuries.

The increase is part of broader regulatory power the health department is seeking; current regulations were not written with oil industry waste in mind, officials said.

"This is all a part of our efforts to protect the health and safety of North Dakotans," said Scott Radig, head of the department's waste management division, which late Tuesday extended the public comment period to March on the rule change.

Even if a legislative panel approves the change - which wouldn't happen until Oct. 1 at the earliest - North Dakota's disposal levels would remain below Utah's (10,000 picocuries), Colorado's (2,000) and Idaho's (1,500).

"On the radioactive scale," said Radig, "the material we're talking about is extremely low."

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