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Thursday, 21 May 2015

"War is just a racket": Memorial day is a hoax. "Our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers"

© americleaninc.com

Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent's bottom line.

Jade Helm, an exercise that pits the US military against the US public, is scheduled to run July 15 through September 15. What is the secret agenda behind Jade Helm?

The Soviet Union was a partial check on capitalist looting in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, with the Soviet collapse capitalist looting intensified during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes.

Neoliberal Globalization is now looting its own constituent parts and the planet itself. Americans, Greeks, Irish, British, Italians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Libyans, Argentinians, the Spanish and Portuguese are being looted of their savings, pensions, social services, and job opportunities, and the planet is being turned into a wasteland by capitalists sucking the last penny out of the environment.

As Claudia von Werlhof writes, predatory capitalism is consuming the globe.

We need a memorial day to commemorate the victims of neoliberal globalization. All of us are its victims, and in the end the capitalists also.

Strange skys, strange times: Another solar halo in mexico

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

Dentist sued by over 50 patients for performing unnecessary surgery and abusing children


Dr. Howard Schneider

It's a sound no parent likes to hear: a child screaming out of fear and possibly pain from the dentist's chair. Going to the dentist is a rite of passage, of sorts, but what's alleged to have happened at the hands of 78-year-old Dr. Howard Schneider was not.

For the past three weeks, there have been daily protests outside his practice. One parent was so angry, she attacked him outside his office. Schneider said he's done nothing wrong.

The firestorm started after Brandi Motley wrote about the day she took to her 6-year-old daughter, Bri'el, to Schneider to have one tooth pulled. On the day of surgery in December 2014, Motley said she was not allowed to sit with her daughter.

"The nurse suggested that it's best - that kids act better when parents aren't in the room. So they said we don't like parents back here for the procedures," she said.

Motley said she sat in the waiting room for three hours until the waiting turned to worrying.




"Finally, the nurse came and got me and she said there had been an incident," Brandi Motley said. "(Bri'el) was hyperventilating. She had marks all over her, blood all over her."

Angry and unable to get an clear explanation of what had happened, Motley says she and Bri'el left to rush to an emergency room.

"In the parking lot, she takes her gauze out, and I notice that all of her teeth were gone," Motley said.

She said Schneider pulled seven teeth.


One parent was so angry, she attacked him outside his office.

According to her mom, Bri'el said Schneider hit and choked her, so she called police - twice. Although department records indicate officers responded and according to police logs one wrote a report, Jacksonville Sheriff's office told CNN "no report was written on this incident."

Initially, no attorney would take her case.

"That's when I decided to put her pictures on my Facebook and tell everybody what happened," Motley said.

Her story went viral, and soon, other parents posted their children's pictures and claims of unwanted procedures and abuse at the hands of Schneider.

"I kept reading and reading until the name Doctor Howard, and I knew that was the same dentist," Barry said.

Amanda Barry is deaf. Her five-year old son, Dominic, is blind in one eye. Barry says Dominic was referred to Schneider for a crown in March.

The boy is part of a civil suit accusing Schneider of assault and battery.

According to the complaint, "two front teeth were removed for unknown reasons" and that Dominic was "terrified and told stories of the dentist choking (him)."

"I screamed for my mom," Dominic said.

"That's what bothers me the most," Amanda Barry said. "Because I'm deaf, I can't hear anything, and to know that my child was calling for me and my name and I couldn't help him, it makes me feel like lousy. It makes me feel lousy."

Bri'el's family at one point was part of that same lawsuit but has since withdrawn. They are now pursuing a medical malpractice suit, represented by attorney John Phillips.

Phillips says he also represents dozens of Schneider's former patients, most of whom rely on Medicaid for health insurance.

"Medicaid paid him per tooth," attorney Gust Sarris said. "So, can I cap a tooth twice? Yes. Can I then pull it? Yes. Can I then successfully obtain benefits for all three? Absolutely."

Schneider has made a fortune from Medicaid. State records show Schneider has received nearly $4 million in Medicaid reimbursements in just the last five years.

The Florida Attorney General's office has launched a criminal Medicaid fraud investigation, and the claims stretch back decades.

A 1995 malpractice suit was settled out of court. It claimed Schneider unnecessarily placed 16 crowns in the mouth of a 3-year-old. The boy's family was paid $7,500 as part of the settlement agreement.

A second malpractice suit was filed that year. The documents from that case have been destroyed, and the outcome is unclear.

"Somebody who is performing procedures that children don't need, pulling teeth that he knows should still be in the child's mouth. In some cases, we even have where many procedures were done, except what they came in for," Sarris said.

Sarris said he represents Dominic and dozens of Schneider's former patients. This month, he filed the potential class action suit against Schneider on behalf of these children, claiming "patterns of abuse of his child patients" - an accusation that has been made before.

According to a 2013 police report, the mother of a 5-year-old patient was allowed to sit with daughter during a procedure. The mother told police Schneider grabbed her daughter's face" and "slapped her face several times." The officer acknowledged a "small scratch behind the victim's left ear."

Schneider denied touching the girl. He was not arrested. Instead, the officer referred the mother to the state attorney's office. Nurses who were in the room later "denied that anything inappropriate happened."

Prosecutors decided not to file charges because of an "improbability of conviction at trial." CNN made no fewer than five calls to Schneider's office to arrange an interview. None were returned.

"They're not correct and that's it. I want to be left alone, OK?" Schneider said when asked in his practice's parking lot about the charges.

Despite the calls to police, the malpractice settlements and the fraud investigation, Schneider is still free to practice. His license is clear. According to the Florida Board of Dentistry, he's not been disciplined by the state.

For these parents, that's unacceptable. They want Schneider "to go to jail, to never work on any other kids, to shut his doors so he can never do this again."

NOAA study confirms BP oil spill caused unprecedented fatalities in Gulf of Mexico dolphins

© Reuters

The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused an unprecedented number of fatal diseases in roughly 1,300 dolphins over the course of five years, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Up to now, the link between oil spill exposure and dolphin deaths has been inconclusive, but this study changes that. The results are from a forensic investigation that was part of NOAA's long-term ecological analysis of the Deepwater incident that began in 2013. The spill itself leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over five months in 2010.

"No feasible alternatives remain that can reasonably explain the timing, location and nature of this increase in death," co-author Stephanie Venn-Watson of the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego said in a Wednesday press conference.

BP has always challenged the claim linking the oil spill to dolphin deaths, but the study examined unusual mortality events (UMEs) in which large numbers of dolphins perish in a short time frame and from similar causes. Afterwards, researchers drew firm conclusions about the die-offs.

The NOAA team examined the major organs of 46 dolphins that had died along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama from June 2010 to December 2012. Researchers then compared results to a control group of 106 dolphins that had washed up off the coasts of the Carolinas between 1996 to 2012, or those found off the coasts of Florida and Texas prior to the Deepwater oil spill.

The researchers said that as the dolphins swam to the surface for air, oil fumes and liquid petroleum leaked through their blowhole, into their lungs, and caused disease. They also found the mammals had shrunken, thinner adrenal glands never observed before in Gulf dolphins. Adrenal glands produce hormones to help the body cope with stress.

"Animals with untreated adrenal dysfunction can essentially be balancing precariously on a ledge, waiting for the right stressor to push them into an adrenal crisis," Venn-Watson said. That kind of stress can come from dealing with cold ocean water, pregnancy or fighting infection.

Researchers said without normal adrenal glands, the dolphins were susceptible to bacterial pneumonia, which can damage the lungs to "the point of suffocation or can completely impair the mammal's immune system through septic shock."

"These dolphins had some of the most severe lung lesions that I had ever seen in wild dolphins from throughout the US," said University of Illinois's Kathleen Colegrove, who is the lead veterinary pathologist on the study, reported Reuters. "More than 1 in 5 had pneumonia that was severe and caused or contributed to death in those dolphins."

When comparing the results to the control group, only one in 50 from other parts of the Gulf had evidence of bacterial pneumonia.

"Aside from chemical exposure, conditions that can cause adrenal dysfunction are cancer, autoimmune disease and tuberculosis. We didn't find any of these additional causes," Colegrove said. The worst injuries were spotted in Barataria Bay, Louisiana — 40 miles due south of New Orleans. This location was hit hardest by the spill, with oil coating close to 25 miles of shoreline.

For its part, BP questioned whether other factors were to blame.

"The data we have seen thus far, including the new study from NOAA, do not show that oil from Deepwater Horizon accident caused an increase in dolphin mortality...Even though the UME may have overlapped in some areas with the oil spill, correlation is not evidence of causation," said Geoff Morrell, BP's senior vice president for US communications, in a statement.

Ukrainian parliament makes ignoring human rights official policy

The Ukrainian parliament has approved a regulation removing the obligation to protect certain human rights in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

An note accompanying the regulation states that the conduct of what Kiev calls"anti-terrorist operations" in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is not in compliance with the country's obligations for the protection of human rights. The document, cited by Tass, also mentions an "objective necessity to take measures to repel armed aggression of the Russian Federation"prompting Ukraine"to implement a temporary derogation from its obligations to ensure certain human rights to the extent permitted by relevant international agreements."

Among the articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights the Ukrainian authorities can now refuse to fulfill in Eastern Ukraine are those stipulating the obligations to protect the security of citizens and their right to a fair trial, freedom of movement, choice of residence and guarantee the inviolability of people's homes.

© Reuters / Maxim Shemetov
ARCIVE PHOTO: A man walks past a garage set ablaze by what locals say was shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk, September 4, 2014

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has been instructed to notify the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary General of Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland of the new regulation.

Russian children's rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, said Kiev's regression on human rights violations was "humanitarian suicide."

"They have committed 'humanitarian suicide' by legally refusing to adhere to the Convention on Human Rights," Astakhov wrote on his Twitter feed on Thursday.

Kiev's decision to renege on its human rights obligations under the UN Convention comes at a time when, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Ukrainian crisis is supposed to make the EU's partnership with the bloc's eastern neighbors "more important than ever."

Merkel said peace in Europe had been affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, stating: "Not least under these circumstances, the eastern partnership is more important than ever." She spoke in the Bundestag before joining a summit in Latvia with six of the EU's ex-Soviet neighbors.

"We will further support our eastern neighbors on their path to a society based on democracy and the rule of law," Merkel added, Reuters reported.

© RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy
ARCHIVE PHOTO: A house in the residential settlement Malaya Vergunka, on the outskirts of Lugansk, ruined by a Ukrainian air raid

Among the eastern partners that the German chancellor was referring to were Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, all of whom have been looking to join the EU.

The Ukrainian conflict broke out in April 2014 after Kiev sent troops to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions after local residents refused to recognize the new coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. The highly-awaited Minsk accords, brokered by Russia, Germany and France in February of this year, brought several weeks of calm to the region, but ceasefire violations by both sides have been growing, hampering the peace process. According to OSCE observers, up to 80 percent of ceasefire violations have been perpetrated by the Ukrainian army and the so-called who are fighting alongside the Ukrainian army.

According to the UN human rights office, at least 6,116 people have been killed and 15,474 have been wounded in Eastern Ukraine during a year of fighting. The real numbers could be much higher, however.

In an interview with RT, the human rights ombudsman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Konstantin Dolgov, described the situation in Ukraine as far as human rights are concerned as

© RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov
ARCHIVE PHOTO: A man going down to the basement of a building damaged during an artillery attack by the Ukrainian Security Forces in Lugansk

"Ukraine is still a country which has quite a number of political prisoners and political inmates. And this is a big problem. They have not abolished their so-called 'lustration' law, which has been criticized by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. [Also we should] not forget about the lack of investigations into huge crimes in Odessa and Mariupol," Dolgov said in March.

Earlier this month, Moscow called on the international community to put pressure on Ukrainian authorities, which according to Russia's Foreign Ministry, are not making any "tangible steps" toward an independent and impartial investigation of last year's Odessa massacre.

On May 2, 2014, Ukrainian radicals set fire to the Trade Union House in Odessa, killing 48 and injuring over 200 anti-Kiev activists inside. "As a result of these barbaric acts of intimidation, several dozen people, whose only fault was that they openly expressed their civic stance against the anti-constitutional coup in February 2014 and outburst of radical ultranationalists, were killed," the Foreign Ministry's statement pointed out. The shocking incident received little coverage in the Western media.

Moscow urged the international community, including human rights NGOs, to "decisively and honestly" demand Kiev stage a fair investigation into the Odessa massacre and correct the "glaring flaws" in the Ukrainian judicial system.

The ministry stressed that the lack of attention given to the Odessa massacre in European and US news was "yet another manifestation of information warfare and manipulation of the media."

Psychopathic pediatric dentist accused of torture, abuse, fraud


Jacksonville, Florida — A Jacksonville pediatric dentist under investigation by the state of Florida is now the target of a class-action lawsuit alleging his practice is a front for a "sadistic and systematic scheme of physical and psychological torture and abuse" of "utterly defenseless" children.

In a lawsuit filed this week in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, Fla., four plaintiffs accuse Dr. Howard Schneider of assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentionally inflicting "severe emotional distress" spanning decades from his office.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday follows days of protests outside Schneider's office and a wave of complaints from parents alleging he physically abused their children, botched their dental work, and stonewalled parents and investigators when his methods were questioned.

It also comes just days after the Florida Attorney General's Office confirmed Schneider's practice was under active investigation for alleged Medicaid fraud.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages exceeding $15,000 and a jury trial, alleging his practice was a "house of horrors," where some parents say their children were at times strapped down and left with visible injuries and marks to their faces and necks, that "has little to do with dentistry, but much to do with the Doctor's deviant sadistic appetites."

The suit claims that Schneider's practice specifically preyed on low-income, uneducated and non-English speaking clients to "limit the ability of these initially unsuspecting parents and families to protect their children" from his "deviant and violent" methods and threatened them to avoid exposure.

"Dentist Schneider's deep need to inflict pain, torture, mutilate and humiliate, has driven him to create a specialized dental 'practice', which, by its very design and structure, provided him with a constant supply of especially defenseless, indigent, children to victimize," the complaint said.


Protesters gather outside the Jacksonville, Fla., dental office of Dr. Howard Schneider. There had been days of protest outside the doctor's office accusing him of abusing his patients.

The suit — citing testimony from patients, parents and past employees of Schneider's — also accuses him of being a "pathological sadist" suffering from a "psychosexual disorder" who derives "sexual excitement" from inflicting pain or humiliation on another person, consenting or otherwise.

Schneider, 78, has been practicing in Jacksonville for more than 40 years. He has never been charged with a crime in connection to the jarring allegations, which the suit says include:

- "Choking children to the point of unconsciousness rather than using appropriate anesthetic prior to doing tooth extractions..."

- "Performing non-medically necessary dental procedures" without anesthetic and "fraudulently" billing Medicaid for them

- "Using fear and threats to scare and thereby silence his victims, including threats not limited to saying things like 'Your mom will die' if you tell her what happened..."

Twice, though, first in 2001 and more recently in 2013, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been called to his practice to deal with complaints about the dentist using excessive force on young patients. Court records also show that there were two malpractice suits brought against him in 1995 but they were later dismissed.

This week's lawsuit alleges one mother called the Department of Children and Families after a visit to the dentist's office April 15 when she said he pulled four of her 2-year-old son's baby teeth instead of two. It said he was returned to his mother "crying profusely and covered in blood and bruises" and had been "cut on the bottom front outer gum line from ear to ear."

"(The Department of Children and Families) documented the scene, and attempted to contact (Schneider), who repeatedly refused to make an appointment to give a statement to DCF," according to the complaint. His wife allegedly told the Department of Children and Families the child had injured himself during the procedure and "this type of thing happens all the time."

That complaint is one of four accounts detailed vividly in the lawsuit, which says attorneys for the plaintiffs have identified at least 60 victims of Schneider's, some of whom are now adults. The suit suggests there could be as many as 1,000 victims from over the years who have yet to come forward.

John Harrell, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, said it was possible the department received a call about that complaint, but noted that the agency does not have jurisdiction over doctors and dentists.

"Legally, we don't have the authority to investigate (them)," said Harrell, who encouraged parents to contact law enforcement to investigate claims of abuse involving medical professionals.

The agency, Harrell said, generally only gets involved when it comes to allegations of abuse or neglect at the hands of parents, caretakers and educators.

It's not clear whether the Florida Board of Dentistry, which investigates allegations of malpractice and could revoke his license if the claims are founded, has intervened. The board's investigations remain confidential until they're complete.

An attorney representing Schneider did not return calls for comment about the lawsuit. However, in an earlier interview, Schneider dismissed the allegations.

"I'm sure in my lifetime I've done something that is off color, but it ain't mistreat kids," he said.

U.S. coalition's increased aid to extremists bears fruit: Palmyra, Syria, falls to ISIS

© Sergey Ponomarev/New York Times
The central Syrian city of Palmyra last year. On Wednesday, Islamic State fighters fought their way into the city center.

News reports have begun to come in about the fall of Palmyra to ISIS in Syria, and while most Western media has rightly been concerned with the city's ancient ruins, few mentions have been given to the welfare of the people living in the region, or the fact that "The Syrian army launched a massive operation to evacuate as many civilians as possible of the city's 100,000 inhabitants before its epic defeat." (Debkafile, May 20, 2015)

Perhaps it is not expedient to the Western narrative to report the fact that the Syrian army is heavily invested in the protection of its people.

However, these outlets do note that "The capture of Palmyra is the first time the al Qaeda offshoot has taken control of a city directly from the Syrian army and allied forces, which have already lost ground in the northwest and south to other insurgent groups in recent weeks." (Reuters, May 20, 2015) (emphasis added)

The title "insurgent groups" is a euphemism for al-Qaeda, as "the Syrian military opposition is dominated by ISIS and by Jabhat al-Nusra, the official al-Qaeda representative, in addition to other jihadi groups,"(1) and their gains are not some recent aberration but instead are the direct result of the US-led coalition ramping up aid to their proxy forces in the region.

In the Israeli intelligence source Debkafile's recent weekly newsletter they specifically point out that "Bashar Assad's fortunes have been waning in recent weeks. His army's morale is in the pits. Some units are keeping to the sidelines of battles. Iran no longer rushes forward with fresh military supplies. Hizballah, the strongest force still fighting for Assad, is taking heavy losses at the hands of Al Qaeda's Syrian arm, the Nusra Front. All this is the outcome of the first heavy weapons to reach the hands of the Syrian opposition in years of civil war from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey - blessed by Washington after long hesitation." (DEBKA Weekly Vol. 14, Issue 663, May 15, 2015) (emphasis added)

Thus the "insurgent" al-Qaeda groups that have recently been making gains against the Syrian army are doing so because of the heavy weaponry they have recently received from their backers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey... all blessed by the oversight and direction of Washington.

Further revealing Washington's hand in leading al-Qaeda from behind is a recent report by analyst Charles Lister of the Brookings Institute Doha Center, in which it was admitted that the operation rooms headed by the US in Turkey and Jordan specifically encouraged forces of the Syrian opposition to work closely with al-Qaeda in order to achieve these recent gains, a cooperation that has been known to knowledgeable analysts for years, yet which is now fully admitted in the open:

"The involvement of FSA groups, in fact, reveals how the factions' backers have changed their tune regarding coordination with Islamists. Several commanders involved in leading recent Idlib operations confirmed to this author that , which coordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups, was instrumental in facilitating their involvement in the operation from early April onwards. That operations room — along with another in Jordan, which covers Syria's south — also appears to have dramatically increased its level of assistance and provision of intelligence to vetted groups in recent weeks.

"Whereas these multinational operations rooms have previously demanded that recipients of military assistance cease direct coordination with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, recent dynamics in Idlib appear to have demonstrated something different. specifically encouraged a closer cooperation with Islamists commanding frontline operations." (, "Why Assad is Losing", May 5, 2015) (emphasis added)

[embedded content]

Although the author acts as if this cooperation of US-backed rebels and Islamist extremist is a "change of tune", in reality it is actually "business as usual," at least by US-backed rebel commanders own admissions. A video, which has been authenticated by the leading Syria expert in the US, Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, documents a meeting between US Ambassador to Syria Robert Stephen Ford (for more information on Robert Ford consult this article) and Free Syrian Army Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi. The same video shows Col. Okaidi celebrating a recent victory with ISIS Emir Abu Jandal. The Free Syrian Army is the largest recipient of US aid and commonly referred to in Western media as the "moderate" opposition. The video goes on to show footage of Col. Okaidi speaking in various interviews about FSA's connection with ISIS and al-Qaeda, himself even stating that al-Nusra do not "exhibit any abnormal behavior, which is different from that of the FSA." He also states that "My relationship with the brothers in ISIL is good... I communicate almost daily with brothers in ISIL... the relationship is good, even brotherly." The video shows the same ISIS Emir Abu Jandal a few minutes after his celebration with Col. Okaidi stating that "The Islamic State is here to stay!" another ISIS fighter is then seen saying "I swear to Allah, O Alawites, we came to slaughter you. Await what you deserve!"

This unfortunately is the true and shameful history of US support to the "moderate" Syrian opposition.

The recent gains of ISIS in Palmyra are not separate from these events however. It must be remembered that the Islamists who are now receiving their first shipments of heavy weaponry from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey are not limited to al-Qaeda and the Nusra Front, but include ISIS as well. The Western support for ISIS goes further than US-backed groups openly collaborating with ISIS. In Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey's own words, it is these same Arab allies, "our Arab allies," who "fund ISIS."

A recent report by the would further detail how our "Arab allies" are stepped up support for these extremist elements:

"King Salman, 79, has shifted toward an activist foreign policy, going to war in Yemen as he positions his country as the defender of the region's Sunnis. In some cases, ... And his support for Islamists could end up empowering extremists, just as Saudi support for the Afghan jihad decades ago helped create Al Qaeda... In another shift, like the Muslim Brotherhood as a fundamental threat to the regional order... In March, he received Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Riyadh. The two agreed to work together to support the rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, according to Yasin Aktay, the foreign relations chief for Turkey's governing party.

", raising the possibility that aid might also empower extremists.

(, "King Salman Upends Status Quo in Region and the Royal Family", May 10, 2015)

Therefore, despite the whitewash of attempting to separate "support for Islamists" from support for extremists, stating that support for Islamists only "end up empowering extremists" rather than the obvious fact that these are one in the same, what the Times is saying, without actually saying, is that "our Arab ally" King Salman, who has a "history of working with Islamists" and who "funds ISIS", has recently increased "support for rebels in Syria", has increased support for ISIS, sanctioned "allying with Islamists to serve the kingdom's agenda", and has "discarded" a "rejection of political Islamists", therefore fully embracing them.

Therefore the recent gains made by the extremist opposition in Syria is the direct "outcome of the first heavy weapons to reach the hands of the Syrian opposition... from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey." These states are "our Arab allies who fund ISIS," Saudi Arabia itself specifically "increasing support for rebels" and "sanctioning allying with Islamists." All of these developments of course being "blessed by Washington."

The Obama administration recently approves the shipment of heavy weaponry to the Syrian opposition after long hesitation, the US-led operation rooms in Turkey and Jordan openly encourage working with al-Qaeda to defeat Assad's army, and the new Saudi King Salman, whose country is the main funder of ISIS, openly has ramped up support to Islamists in Syria, all the while al-Qaeda makes recent gains in the northwest and south, while ISIS makes its gains in the eastern region of Palmyra.

All just one big coincidence? I think not...


1.) Cockburn, Patrick. "The Rise of ISIS." . Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2015. 3. Print.

Undercover cops on trial shown on video terrorizing couple in SUV attack

As the nation turns its attention to the biker gang attacks in Waco, another violent biker gang episode from 2013, this one in New York, is making headlines again as the trial of two of its assailants, former undercover NYPD police officer Wojciech Braszczok and Robert Sims, gets underway in Manhattan.

The testimony of one of the victims, Rosalyn Ng, was backed up in court by a new video obtained by the showing the brutality of the attack that left her husband hospitalized for months. The video depicts the men (one of whom it was later revealed infiltrated Occupy Wall Street on behalf of the NYPD) dragging Alexian Lien out of his SUV in broad daylight in Washington Heights. They proceed to severely beat him as his wife, Rosalyn Ng, cries for help. The couple had an infant child in the back seat, a fact Ng claims she yelled out repeatedly as the men continued to stomp and kick Lien. The footage was taken from one of the bikers' GoPro helmets.

Braszczok's lawyer alleges his client went along with the attack because he didn't want to break what he called "deep cover." The former NYPD officer is also accused of being responsible for breaking the couple's windshield, a charge he denies. If convicted, both men face up to 25 years in prison.

Lien recently testified about the incident as well. As CBS News reported:

In court, the man whose beating was later seen by millions of online viewers broke down and told a New York judge in emotional testimony that he was in "complete fear" as the bikers closed in.

Two of the eleven bikers charged in the attack are now on trial. With his face covered by a t-shirt, Wojciech Braszczok entered a Manhattan courtroom. The undercover cop, along with co-defedent Robert Sims, face charges that include assault for participating in the now-infamous road rage incident in which thirty-five year old Alexian Lien was pulled from his vehicle and beaten in front of his wife and young daughter.

In describing the September 2013 incident, Lien said, "I felt complete fear for my life, my wife and my daughter."

As for Braszczok's gig spying on Occupy Wall Street, Gothamist detailed how the 2013 motorcycle incident revealed the disturbing subplot:

"It's definitely creepy and unsettling to think of this guy monitoring conversations and actions and tweets that were all part of this nonviolent social movement," Molly Knefel says. "Once you know you're being surveilled, it changes the way you think and the way you act."

Most Occupy Wall Street participants assumed that undercover police had infiltrated their ranks, but many said yesterday that they were taken aback at how far the 32-year-old detective had taken his work. "I mean, he came to my birthday at the Blarney Stone," said one occupier who asked to be identified by his Twitter handle, @SeaNick_. "He was there 'til like 4:30 in the morning with us. I never thought anything of it."

In addition to Occupy Wall Street, Braszczok also spied on Hurricane Sandy relief work for the NYPD, according to the Gothamist.

Video available HERE

Police in Germany investigated over accusations of torturing migrants


© Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach

Prosecutors in the German city of Hanover are looking into accusations that federal police are involved in torturing migrants and documenting the incidents of violence in mobile phone photos and text messages.

The mistreatment first reported by the public radio and television network Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) which described two incidents at a police station in Lower Saxony, included beating the men and force-feeding one with rotten pork - a forbidden food in Islam, even if fresh.

"We received a complaint last week that referred to assaults in a police department of the federal police," Attorney-General Thomas Klinge told NDR. Police has been sent to search the home and workstation of at least one accused officer, he said.

In March 2014, one of the officers allegedly tried to choke a refugee from Afghanistan after dragging him through the police station by his feet shackles.

He shared the details of his assault with his colleagues via mobile messenger WhatsApp, sending "I knocked him away. An Afghan. With prohibited entry [to Germany]. I stuck my finger in his nose. And he choked. It was funny. And I dragged him by the foot shackles through the station. It was great. He squealed like a pig. It was a gift from Allah," according to NDR exclusive report aired on Sunday.

Reportedly the Afghan man was detained for not carrying his ID papers.

About six months later a 19-year-old Moroccan was detained after travelling on a train without a ticket and carrying a small amount of marijuana. NDR reported that one of the officers bragged about having force-fed the young refugee with rotten pork off the floor.

"(An officer) heard him squeal like a pig," another WhatsApp message reportedly read. "Then the bastard gobbled up the rotten pork leftovers in the refrigerator. Off the floor."

Hannover: Flüchtlinge in Polizeigewahrsam misshandelt? http://t.co/1khxaXoUE1 #Flüchtlinge

— tagesschau (@tagesschau) 17 мая 2015

The German human rights organization Pro Asyl demanded a broad investigation into the report calling it the evidence of "an appalling level of racism and contempt for human beings" by the Hanover federal police, Deutsche Welle cites.

The NDR report comes amid concern that hostility towards asylum seekers in Germany is only growing.

The United Nations published a report this month warning over growing support for racist and Islamophobic movements in Germany. The UN urged the government to take stronger measures against racist violence and discrimination.

"The Committee is greatly concerned at the proliferation and dissemination of racist ideas by certain political parties and movements and the lack of efficient measures taken to strongly sanction and deter such discourses and behaviors," the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination said.

Hillary Clinton's lucrative life of crime

© The Japan Times

Bill and Hillary Clinton "earned" — can a mortal earn such stratospheric sums? — "at least $30 million over the last 16 months, mainly from giving paid speeches to corporations, banks and other organizations," The New York Times reports. "They have now earned more than $125 million on the [lecture] circuit since leaving the White House in 2001."

This is an important issue. But the big story has little to with what actually matters.

Coverage of the Clintons' spectacularly lucrative speaking career has focused on how it affects Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign — specifically the political damage caused by the public's growing perception that Hillary is out of touch with the common man and woman. It is a promising line of inquiry for her detractors (myself included).

Hillary is out of touch. She hasn't been behind the wheel of an automobile for nearly 20 years, is a multi-multi-millionaire who nevertheless considered herself "dead broke" and still believes that she and her husband are not among "the truly well off." (Maybe Bill still drives.)

Ostentatious wealth coupled with tonedeafness didn't help Mitt "47 percent" Romney in 2012, or John "I can't remember how many houses I own" McCain in 2008 — and they were Republicans, a party that gleefully despises the poor and jobless. For a Democrat under heavy fire from her party's progressive base — with Elizabeth Warren, Bill di Blasio and Bernie Sanders leading the charge — this stuff could be politically fatal.

But the media ought to focus on the real issue. FDR was wealthy, yet he created the social safety net as we know it (what's left of it, anyway). JFK and RFK came from money, yet no one doubted their commitment to help the downtrodden. Liberals distrust Hillary due to her and her husband's long record of kowtowing to Wall Street bankers and transnational corporations, supporting jobs-killing "free trade" agreements, backing the NSA's intrusions into our privacy and as an unrepentant militarist. Her progressivism appears to have died with her law career.

Conflict of interest: that's why we should be concerned about all those $250,000 speeches.

The big question is: Why do corporations and banks shell out a quarter of a million dollars for a Hill Talk?

Corporations and banks don't pay big bucks to Hillary Clinton because they're dying to hear what she has to say. After having been front and center on the national political scene for a quarter century, she and Bill don't have new insights to share. And even if I'm wrong — even if you're a CEO and you're dying to learn her ultimate (new) recipe for baking cookies — you don't have to invite her to speak to your company to get the dish. You can ask one of your CEO pals who already had her speak at his firm — or pay to attend one of the zillions of other lectures she gives.

This is not about Hillary's message.

Corporations and banks bribe the Clintons to buy political favors. The speaking racket is a (flimsy) cover.

Like, there's the time Goldman Sachs paid $200,000 for a Bill Talk a few months before the financial conglomerate lobbied Hill when she was secretary of state. At least 13 companies paid Bill and Hill at least $2.5 million in similar sleazy deals.

Those are just the brazen quid pro quo deals.

Among the companies that have lined Hillary's pockets over the last 16 months are "a mix of corporations (GE, Cisco, Deutsche Bank), medical and pharmaceutical groups (the California Medical Associationand the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association), and women's organizations like the Commercial Real Estate Women Network," the says. "Mr. Clinton's speeches included a number of talks for financial firms, including Bank of America and UBS, as well as technology companies like Microsoft and Oracle."

GE, Cisco and Deutsche Bank aren't run by idiots. Nor are lobbying groups like the female realtors. Their boards know that Hillary may well become president. Even if she loses, those bribes — er, speaking fees — are a smart investment in Washington influence. The Clintons have strong ties at the highest levels of the Democratic Party establishment and on Wall Street. If you're GE, it makes sense to make nice with people whose help you might want someday, so they're likelier to pick up the phone when you call to, say, grease the skids for a merger in danger of getting derailed by antitrust laws.

Laws governing the sale of political access are relatively clear, but rarely enforced. The ethics, however, are simple: Honest people don't take money from people they may be charged with governing or regulating in the future.

"Behind every great fortune," Balzac maintained, "lies a crime." If there were any justice, the Clintons would be in prison for a generation of criminal activity that has left America a corrupted, Third Worldified nation, poorer for having been looted by the companies and banks whose criminality they aided and abetted.

Study of twins finds nature and nurture play equal parts in psychological makeup


© Shutterstock

The effect of genetics versus the environment is around 50/50, a new study finds. When it comes to personality, intelligence, health and many other factors, nature and nurture play their part equally.

To reach this conclusion, scientists have reviewed almost every twin study conducted in the last 50 years. The research included data from 14,558,903 pairs of twins, measuring 17,804 individual traits across 2,748 separate publications.

Dr Beben Benyamin, one of the study's authors, said:

"There has still been conjecture over how much variation is caused by genetics and how much is caused by environmental factors — what people call nature versus nurture.

We wanted to resolve that by revisiting almost all the genetic twin studies conducted over the past 50 years, and comparing all of them together.

Dr Benyamin explained the study's results:

"...there is overwhelming evidence that both genetic and environmental factors can influence traits and diseases.

What is comforting is that, on average, about 50 per cent of individual differences are genetic and 50 per cent are environmental.

The findings show that we need to look at ourselves outside of a view of nature versus nurture, and instead look at it as nature and nurture."

While most traits were balanced between nature and nurture, this wasn't true for all of them. For example, bipolar disorder was found to be 70% genetics and only 30% environmental factors. Schizophrenia was also found to be 70% genetic. At the other extreme, social values are 70% shaped by environment and only 30% by genetics.

Why twin studies?

Twin studies are the classic way of examining the effects of nature versus nurture. This is because identical twins share almost 100% of the same genes and much of the same environment.

Fraternal twins, however, share around 50% of their genes while sharing much the same environment. Taken together, this makes it possible to work out the relative contributions of the environment and of genetics.

The research is published in the journal (Polderman et al., 2015).

Innocent man who spent 39 years in jail sues cops who framed him for murder


© Reuters / Kim Palmer
Ricky Jackson

Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, is suing the police officers who allegedly helped frame him. Jackson was convicted on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy who didn't see the crime and later retracted his statement.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, alleges that eight officers, including detectives and their superiors, were involved in framing Jackson and brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman for the killing of salesman Harold Franks, which occurred in the Cleveland area in 1975. Three of the officers involved in the case have since passed away.

"This lawsuit seeks compensation for that grievous injustice," attorney Jon Loevy said in the statement. "We now know substantially more about the fallibility of eyewitness identifications. Too many people have been sent to prison wrongfully based on bogus identifications."

Jackson, now 58 years old, was exonerated of the murder in November and was awarded just over $1 million in March as compensation for the decades he spent in prison. The case was overturned after Eddie Vernon, who was 12 at the time, retracted his statement four decades on. He said he did not even see the murder being committed, as he had been riding on a school bus at the time.

Man wrongfully convicted of 1975 murder sues city of Cleveland and former police officers. http://bit.ly/1GsKaEp http://pic.twitter.com/5rOIWMCTbq

— 19 Action News WOIO (@19ActionNews) May 20, 2015

The seventh-grader was told by a school friend that "Ricky," "Buddy," and "Bitsey," were responsible. The friend, Tommie, had not seen the incident either.

Eddie told the police who he believed committed the crime and "things quickly spiraled out of control," the lawsuit states. Eddie was questioned by police without a parent or guardian present. He later retracted his statement, saying he did not know who had committed the murders.

"The defendants told Eddie that he was lying and threatened to put his mother and father in jail if he backed out. Eddie was scared, did not understand what was happening, and began to cry. Eddie's mother was sick at that time, and the prospect of her going to jail was very scary to him as a 12-year-old boy," the lawsuit added.

The document also says that the police helped to fabricate Vernon's trial testimony, as well as investigative reports.

Following his arrest, Jackson was allegedly subjected to beatings from the police officers. Two detectives "repeatedly put a phone book on Mr. Jackson's face and other areas of his body and hit him through it so that it would not leave any marks," the statement added.

Jackson was sentenced to death by the electric chair; however, this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

"On information and belief, Mr. Jackson's 39 years of wrongful incarceration is the longest ever served prior to exoneration in the history of the United States.

"In serving almost four decades behind bars, Mr. Jackson was wrongfully deprived of his entire adult life to date. Imprisoned at age 18 and released at age 58, Mr. Jackson must now attempt to make a life for himself outside of prison without the benefit of the decades of life experiences which ordinarily equip adults for that task," the statement concluded.

Anti-gay pastor resigns after caught seeking men on dating app Grindr


© HO
Matt Makela

In light of revelations that he solicited companionship with men on Grindr, the popular hookup app, Reverend Matthew Makela has resigned as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Midland, Michigan, Pink News Reports.

St. John's website has removed Makela's biography from its staff page, but it has added a letter from senior pastor Reverend Daniel Kempin to parishioners, alerting them to the preacher's departure, and urging them to be wary of reporters.

"Pastor has acknowledged that there was sin and repentance," Kempin reassures his flock. Kempin concedes it's the "end of our time together in ministry," but that he encourages churchgoers to pray for Makela and his family.

Makela's resignation is difficult enough, Kempin continues, but "to make matters worse, though, the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John's."

"I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin," Kempin cautions parishioners.

Makela and church leadership have taken down Facebook pages that the media might wish to rifle through in search of incriminating evidence. "But the internet and age of communication being what it is," Kempin laments, "I have no way of guaranteeing that you will not come across this information in some way."

Should a member of St. John's church come across information on the Internet pertaining to Makela's Grindr travails, Kempin urges them not to panic, not to respond to media wanting to "generate traffic to their website," and to alert church leadership with "any information the members need to have."

"However," Kempin notes of St. John's senior officials, "we do not intend to use the internet as the primary means of communication at this point."

"See you in Church," Kempin says in closing.

Queerty reported on Monday that Makela, in ministry at St. John's since 2010, confirmed himself as a Grindr user. The site offers screenshots of Makela's Grindr interactions — including a shirtless photo of the pastor — as supporting documentation.

Queerty further notes that Makela has a record of disparaging members of the LGBTQ community on Facebook, posting (since deleted) screenshots of the reverend decrying gay marriage and stating that the "transgender movement is going to assist opportunistic sickos in preying upon children and others."

Google Fiber users suspected of downloading illegal content may find automatic demands for money

screen-shot-2015-05-21-at-08-39-16.pngGoogle Fiber is allegedly acting as a conduit for automatic demands for money in relation to piracy and copyright infringement.


Google Fiber, the high-speed broadband service, is quickly expanding across the United States. Touting speeds which leave current Internet offerings in the dust -- allowing consumers to enjoy up to 1 GB/ps -- the service has moved from its original pilot grounds in Kansas City and is expected to appear in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, NC along with Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA later this year.

Consumers are clamouring for broadband speeds up to 100 times faster than the national average, but may have a nasty shock if they plan to use the service in order to download content from file-sharing websites and torrent search engines which infringe upon intellectual copyright.

As reported by TorrentFreak on Wednesday, the rollout of Google Fiber has potentially become a catalyst for an increase in targeted piracy notices.According to the publication, piracy notices are being automatically forwarded to users of Google Fiber, and not only include regular cease-and-desist warnings but controversial demands from companies such as Rightscorp and CEG TEK.

Rightscorp, for example, recently filed a lawsuit against two Comcast customers who both ignored multiple notices -- 11 and 288 demands respectively -- which may result in damage settlements and attorney fees if the firm can prove its case.

Demands for payment, often settled online, can range from $20 to several hundred dollars.

"We Reached The Tipping Point": Income Inequality Is Highest Since Records Began

While soaring stock prices do nothing to boost the economy, because as 7 years of hard facts have shown, the only thing "trickle down" QE has done is forced economists to jump the shark and demand not one but two seasonal adjustments to goal seek collapsing economic data, the S&P hitting new all time highs on a daily basis has certainly succeeded in one thing: pushing inequality around the globe, and especially in the US, to new record highs.

And earlier today the latest OECD report confirmed just that, when it reported that gap between the rich and poor in most of the world's advanced economies is at record levels.

In most of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development the income gap is at its highest level in three decades, with the richest 10 percent of the population earning 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 percent.

In the 1980s this ratio stood at 7 to 1, the OECD said in a report.

The wealth gap is even larger, with the top 1 percent owning 18 percent and the 40 percent only 3 percent of household wealth in 2012.

"We have reached a tipping point. Inequality in OECD countries is at its highest since records began,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

Keep in mind this only looks at earnings, which have actually slowed down in recent years, and ignores the massive imbalance in accumulated assets: assets which almost exclusively are controlled by the top 10%. As for the bottom 10%, 50% and even 90%? Well they have "liabilities."

Sadly as this point it is far too late for hopes of a change: the wealthy are so engrained in the fabric of official decision-making, that any hope they would willingly cede their wealth, or power, is naive. As a result, the failed policies which have pushed the world to this disastrous condition will continue as can be seen by the recent launch of QE in Europe and the boost of QE in Japan, which will make the rich even richer, and the poor and hungry even madder until one day, the entire world decides it has had it and is covered in a bloody revolution against a broken status quo regime.

The OECD's is a little more politically correct, but it too now gets the message:

"By not addressing inequality, governments are cutting into the social fabric of their countries and hurting their long-term economic growth," said Gurria.

Here is the direct evidence that it is the Fed's policies that are causing the economic slowdown: the study found that the rise in inequality between 1985 and 2005 in 19 OECD countries knocked an estimated 4.7 percentage points off cumulative growth between 1990 and 2010.

One can only imagine what inequality did to GDP after 2005 when it really took off.

Another point Zero Hedge has made since 2010: the reason there is no inequality is the surge in part-time labor and temp jobs, which the idiot economists have consistently spun as bullish for an "any minute now" recovery. As it turns out it was just another byproduct of the Fed's disastrous monetary policies.

According to AFP, "an increase in part-time and temporary work contracts as well as self-employment was seen as an important driver of increased inequality, with half of all jobs created in OECD countries between 1995 and 2013 falling into these categories."

So we guess that wasn't just yet another Zero Hedged "conspiracy theory" after all.

Naively, the OECD believes that wealth redistribution with taxation may fix the problem:

Redistributive taxes and transfers is another effective option, said the OECD as it noted that existing mechanisms have been weakened in many countries.

"To address this, policies need to ensure that wealthier individuals, but also multinational firms, pay their share of the tax burden," said the OECD, which has been playing a key role in an international effort to crack down on tax avoidance.

Great on paper; horrible in practice for the simple reason that it is the wealthiest 0.001% who now own the legislative branch, directly and indirectly, will never agree to laws that tax them more. Case in point: Buffett who is all about boosting income tax which crushes the middle class, while staying mute on carried interest and financial asset tax. Of course: he is no idiot, and realizes that in a crony capitalist world made for billionaires, the only thing that matters are "assets." Plus cash flow in a ZIRP (and certainly NIRP) world is a thing of the past.

And finally, while the US middle class is approaching extinction and millions are desperate to find how to feed their families, the 0.001% are spending their money on stuff like $50,000 monthly rentals. From Bloomberg:

There’s a four-story townhouse on the Upper East Side for $35,000 a month that Marilyn Monroe once called her “sanctuary,” according to the listing, and a four-bedroom duplex in Midtown for $70,000 that Oscar winner Anne Hathaway used to rent. There are rentals in iconic new buildings and in grand old hotels. For $42,500 a month, you can live in the Chelsea condominium designed by Pritzker-winning architect Jean Nouvel. For a cool quarter million, there’s the Jewel Suite at the New York Palace, decorated with glass-encased rings and necklaces by the designer Martin Katz. (Management will gladly add the baubles to your bill, said Margaret Bay, an agent at Brown Harris Stevens, who has the listing.)

In all, there were 82 apartments renting for at least $50,000 a month listed on StreetEasy during the first three months of the year, more than triple the number listed in the first quarter of 2008. At lower thresholds, luxury listings are also on the rise. Apartments renting for more than $25,000 a month made up 0.95 percent of total inventory in the first quarter of 2015, up from 0.46 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Real estate agents and wealth managers say the increase in expensive rentals is partly an outgrowth of the luxury building boom sweeping through New York City, and partly due to the shifting whims of a global elite that wants luxury digs without the hassle of a long-term commitment.

How does all of this class insanity end? Simple: watch the following documentary on the French Revolution which we first posted over the weekend, for the answer.

DHS giving grants to police to set up DUI checkpoints

Drunk driving has decreased by one-third since 2007 and three-quarters since 1973, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 2013-2014 Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers. The NHTSA used FORCIBLY collected oral fluid or blood samples from 11,100 drivers at 60 locations across the country to make the determination .

DHS/NHTSA studies claim drunk driving is decreasing, click 


 to read more.

If drunk driving is down, why is there an increase in illegal 

no-refusal blood draw checkpoints

 across the country?

Why would DHS give out MILLIONS in grant money to police DUI checkpoints if drunk driving is decreasing? It's all about conditioning the public to accept illegal 4th. Amendment intrusions by DHS.

Connecticut Police will hold a DUI checkpoint this Friday night at the intersection of Corbin Avenue South and West Main Street.

The checkpoint is part of a grant the department received from the Connecticut Department of Transportation that provides 75% overtime reimbursement to support increased DUI detection and enforcement efforts, police said.

Fyi, the Department of Transportation is a part of DHS. Click 





 to read more.

Police said the grant will be used to "staff additional DUI patrols as well as roadside sobriety checkpoints."

Police in Miami. Florida are setting up barricades and traffic loops, turning Miami Beach into a mini police state!

"Miami Beach will once again turn itself into a mini police state during Memorial Day weekend. The traffic loops, barricades, and checkpoints will all return this year."

Police in Philadelphia post the 

exact locations

 of their DUI checkpoints.

Police in California proudly boast to 

“Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force”

 where they target innocent drivers:

The Calif. Office of Traffic Safety even posts an annual 

calendar of DUI checkpoints

, giving everyone the dates but not the exact locations.


South Carolina Dept. Of Safety

 provides numerous links to 'Highway Safety Grants' provided by DHS.

Even the Department of Defense is giving out 

grants to police departments

! Click 


 to read more.

DHS has partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA).





 to read more.

The NHTSA & DHS are providing police across the country with 'No Refusal DUI' toolkits! Click 




 to find out more. 

DHS/Police want to put breathalyzers in EVERY bar! Utah introduced a bill to have breathalyzers put in every bar and bill customers $2.00. Even though DUI arrests have dropped.

The devices can cost as much as $1,000. To date, nightspots that have such meters generally affix them to walls and charge about $2 for a reading, and patrons often wander over for a laugh."Utah DUI arrests have dipped in recent years, but lawmakers say the state should do more to prevent those numbers from climbing again."

Does doing more include treating every bar patron like a criminal?

Don't forget MADD's close relationship with DHS, click 




 to read more. 

If MADD/DHS have there way, they'll put 

breathalyzers in every vehicle


DHS wants to have everyone wear 

portable alcohol biosensors


DHS wants automakers to equip every car with 

DUI interlock devices


Where is all this heading? Why to a complete American Police State of course!

Thousands Gather At McDonald's Headquarters Demanding Higher Wages

On Wednesday, we got a look at a leaked WalMart training videoin which a series of “associates” (read: hilariously bad actors) patiently explain to new hires why unions are bad. 

The video is especially relevant in light of the retailer’s recent battle with intractable “clogs and leaks” at several locations and if “clogs and leaks” actually means “unions” then it makes a lot of sense why the company closed its Pico Rivera location because if ever there were a WalMart store that suffered from stubborn “plumbing problems” then Pico Rivera is surely it. 

But WalMart isn’t the only giant multinational that just can’t seem to get the “plumbing” fixed because as you’ll see below, legions of McDonald’s workers descended on the company's Illinois headquarters ahead of the annual shareholders meeting in an effort to show the company that they are most assuredly not “Lovin’ It.” 

Here’s The Chicago Tribune:

Potesters hailing from as far away as Kansas City and New York City participated in a demonstration at McDonald's Oak Brook headquarters Wednesday, urging that hourly wages for the burger giant's front-line workers be increased to $15 an hour.

Darrell Miller, 35, who said he left Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday night on a bus filled with other protesters, said he decided to join in because it was his dream to march like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and fight for freedom.

His job at McDonald's, he said, gives him no control over his life or his independence because the $7.75 an hour he is paid barely covers his bills.

Protesters, who had gathered about a half a mile west of the headquarters, slowly marched toward McDonald's campus shortly after noon. At the head of the long line of protesters several held aloft a banner: "McDonald's $15 and union rights, not food stamps. #fightfor15."

The Oak Brook police estimated the crowd at about 2,000 people. Organizers had projected that upward of 5,000 would participate in the demonstration.

Before demonstrations began, Heidi Barker, a McDonald's spokeswoman, said the company does not have the power to raise wages of workers employed by its franchisees. She said it's possible that franchisees will follow the company's lead and also raise wages of front-line workers.

McDonald's will increase starting wages to $1 above the local minimum at 1,500 company-owned restaurants effective July 1. While that increase affects more than 90,000 employees, those restaurants account for about one-tenth of McDonald's restaurants across the country. Franchisees, which operate the majority of U.S. restaurants, make their own decisions on pay and benefits. Overall, about 750,000 employees work at company- and franchisee-owned McDonald's restaurants in the U.S.

Given that McDonald's can play the "it's up to the franchise owners" card when it comes to wages, one approach to dealing with rising wages if you're the company is simply to decrease the number of company-owned locations, which is why we aren't surprised to learn that the company is refranchising thousands of stores:


And while the company's employees may not be getting rich, its shareholders sure are, and it's all courtesy of central banks. McDonald's completed its largest reverse Yankee bond sale in history this week, raising $2 billion, money which, as you can see below, will be promptly used to buy back stock, enriching shareholders and management even as workers strike for higher wages. In other words: not only is the QE 'wealth effect' not working, the exact opposite is happening. Central bank policy is serving, once again, to exacerbate the wealth divide:


Of course Illinois’ fiscal nightmare isn’t helping matters for workers in the state, as budget cuts aimed at closing a $6 billion funding gap are driving up prices for services:

Adriana Alvarez said that since joining the Fight for $15 campaign last year, her hourly wages at a McDonald's on Cicero Avenue jumped by $1.75 an hour, reaching $10.50 an hour. But the single mother of a 3-year-old boy said her costs also continue to go up and state budget cuts affected a child care subsidy she receives.

And according to union officials, the battle for higher burger flipping wages is just getting started:

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, called on McDonald's to sit with a union at a national bargaining table and put some of its profits into the pockets of workers.

"Even when we get $15 and a union we will keep fighting," Henry said.

We suspect it might be just a matter of time before McDonald's and some McDonald's franchisees decide that now might be a good time to fix the plumbing at certain locations.

*  *  *

A reminder to McDonald's: WalMart suggests you discourage this kind of thing early on by showing this to new hires...

What’s Baddawi?

On October 29, 1948, the Israeli terrorist group Irgun ethnically cleansed the village of Safsaf in Palestine, lining some 70 men up, shooting them, dumping them in a ditch, and raping three girls. Among the survivors who fled to Lebanon were the grandparents of a young woman in Chicago who has a talent for telling stories in pictures and words. Safsaf was called Safsofa by the Romans and can be found as Safsufa on the iNakba app on your NSA-tracking device.

Baddawi is two things. It’s the name of a refugee camp in Lebanon where this young woman’s father grew up. The name comes from the word Bedouin, meaning nomad. “Al Beddaoui, Lebanon” locates it on Google-Earth. The residents have been there since 1948 or since they were born, and they are not nomads by choice. They live in a permament state of desiring to return home forever, even those who have never been home ever.

Justice for Palestine is where little sparks of opposition to war can be found among young people in the militarized United States of 2015, and where their art can be found as well.The second thing that Baddawi is, is a book that tells a story of childhood in Baddawi for Ahmad, the father of the author and artist Leila Abdelrazaq.

I’ve just read Baddawi and passed it along to my son. It’s a book that tells a personal story that is also a cultural and historical record. This is the unique story of one boy, but in great measure the story of millions of Palestinian refugees. Ahmad’s experiences growing up are often identical to my own or my son’s, but often dramatically different. He plays the games and learns the lessons of children everywhere, but confronts the struggles of poverty, of war, and of discrimination — of second-class citizenship in the land where Israel and its Western backers swept his unwanted ancestors.

Baddawi is the story of a rather remarkable boy, but a story that conveys a sense of what life was like and is like still for a great many boys and girls who live without nationality, not as a result of choosing world citizenship but by mandate of global powers who find their existence inconvenient. And yet the story is quite straightforwardly entertaining and good-spirited. One is disappointed when it ends rather abruptly, yet heartened to gain the impression that part two may be forthcoming.

I notice, incidentally, that there will be a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 2nd, on Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian Children, and that you can go here to ask your Misrepresentative and Senators to attend.


Full disclosure: I sometimes do work for this book’s publisher, but that work does not include reviewing books.<--break-> 

Snake filmed on moving car windscreen


© newsflare
Snake hitches a lift in windscreen wipers

An oblivious motorist had no idea they had an extra passenger on board their car - until a huge snake suddenly appeared on their windscreen.

The slippery customer had been nesting in the windshield washer reservoir tank when its peaceful sleep was brought to an abrupt end by the car's engine starting.

Disturbed from its unique hiding place, the snake slowly appeared through the car's outside vents and found itself trapped on the windscreen as the driver was cruising down a motorway.

[embedded content]

In the video, the snake is seen crawling up the window in an attempt to check out its surroundings, before it eventually gives up and appears to crawl straight back into the tank.

The 52 second clip, which was originally posted to YouTube in April by Brian Wilds, has clocked up more than 63,000 views.

Brian wrote alongside the video: "This fella crawled out from the windshield wiper reservoir and went along for the ride."

It is not clear where the footage was filmed.