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Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society (UK)

by Oui Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 09:41:40 PM EST

A warning word by Colman over 12 years ago:

Neocons sighted on the Thames

As promised earlier today, my follow-up diary ... some links added in article are mine!

Neo-McCarthyism and the US Media | The Nation - June 2015 |

Large parts of eastern Ukraine lie in ruins, and relations between the United States and Russia have perhaps reached their most dangerous point since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

And yet a special report published last fall by the online magazine The Interpreter would have us believe that Russian "disinformation" ranks among the gravest threats to the West. The report, titled "The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money," is a joint project of the Interpreter and the Institute for Modern Russia (IMR), a Manhattan-based think tank funded by the exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

More below the fold ...

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Zero Net Energy - January, 2018

by gmoke Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 06:13:17 PM EST

Clovis, CA net zero energy development
https:/www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/net-zero-energy-community-coming-to-californias-central -valley

The Zero House - Zero net energy, Zero carbon footprint, Zero toxins, Zero construction waste
http://endeavourcentre.org/zero-house/
https:
www.treehugger.com/slideshows/green-architecture/zero-house-big-nothing - slide show

Transforming the Real Estate Market: Scaling Net-Zero Energy Homes at No Additional Up-front Cost
https:/rmi.org/news/transforming-real-estate-market-scaling-net-zero-energy-homes-no-additional-fro nt-cost

REACT home produces its own energy and food
https:/inhabitat.com/food-producing-react-home-sustainably-and-intelligently-adapts-to-your-needs
https:/www.solardecathlon.gov

Net zero residence built out of recycled materials
http://www.dwelldevelopment.com/portfolio/genesee-park-net-zero/
https:
inhabitat.com/net-zero-genesee-park-residence-in-seattle-is-built-out-of-recycled-materials

Innenco says they can reduce existing buildings' energy use by 58-90% using the buildings' own thermal mass, heat pumps, and chillers
http://www.innenco.com
https:/inhabitat.com/this-new-energy-concept-from-sweden-can-make-any-building-net-zero

Oxford, UK plans zero emissions zone for vehicles
https:/www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/11/oxford-aims-to-cut-air-pollution-car-ban-zero-emissi ons-zone

Passivhaus for 6,500 people
http://theecoarchitect.com/case-study-heidelberg-bahnstadt/
from the Eco Architect blog about all things Passivhaus http://theecoarchitect.com/#blog-home

Reversible tent design for homeless
https:
www.billionbricks.org
https:
weatherhyde.org
https:
inhabitat.com/reversible-weatherhyde-tent-saves-lives-in-extreme-weather

Net zero building over-view 2018
https:/cleantechnica.com/2018/01/11/zero-hero-zero-net-energy-buildings-reach-new-communities-promi sing-savings-renewable-energy

More Than Housing in Zurich, Switzerland, with 13 buildings, nearly 400 housing units, 35 retail units and large shared community spaces built to 2000 Watt per person standard where 1,200 residents and 150 employees live and work
https:/www.world-habitat.org/world-habitat-awards/winners-and-finalists/more-than-housing#award-co ntent

Maersk Tower in Copenhagen with "Denmark's most energy-efficient laboratories"
http://www.cfmoller.com/p/-en/Udbygning-af-Panum-komplekset-Koebenhavns-Universitet-i2732.html
Editorial Comment:  Living in Cambridge, MA, the energy-efficiency of laboratories is of increasing importance as we work towards becoming a zero emissions city

Divide and Conquer?

by Frank Schnittger Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:02:11 PM EST


Britain's favourite tactic in gaining and running an empire was to divide and conquer: There was always some local comprador bourgeoisie willing to give their loyalty in return for immediate financial gain. So long as you had a superior military presence and at least some local elites on your side, subduing or marginalising those opposed to you could become a relatively straight forward process. Even a huge and populous country such as India could be governed as long as you had most of the Maharajas on your side. The fact that India, as a whole, was impoverished by the process did not detain the Imperial office unduly.

Britain  seems to think that employing similar tactics with the EU could pay similar dividends. Theresa May's recent visit to Poland with a full ministerial entourage at a time when the EU and Poland are at loggerheads over the latter's alleged violations of judicial independence sent a none-too-subtle message to Brussels: We can make a lot of trouble for you if you don't give us a good deal. Eastern European countries have an interest in remaining as close as possible to the UK's belligerent attitudes to Russia and nuclear deterrent capabilities. Boris Johnson and David Davis' "charm offensive" in Germany sought to highlight some German Industries' dependence on the UK market.

It will certainly be much more difficult for the EU to maintain the unanimity it displayed in Phase I of the Brexit negotiations when the differing national interests come into play in the trade negotiations. Germany, France, Holland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Eastern European and Mediterranean countries will all have different priorities. Macron has just become the first major European leader to visit 10 Downing St. in a long time. You know you are in trouble when even Trump displays no enthusiasm for a state visit with all the royal bells and whistles.

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Intrusion Soviet Space and CW Arms Race

by Oui Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 01:33:43 PM EST

German domestic television still spends much of its broadcast time on WWII documentaries produced in the US. Today was about the development of ICBMs, missile and satellite systems. Interesting was the part about Lockheed's U-2 development and the SR-71 Blackbird. Both developed by F-104 designer Kelly Johnson.

The very first flights of the U-2 spy plane gave most secrets of the Soviet military power ... mostly bluster and propaganda. The number of boasted missiles and bombers was greatly overstated. Krushchev was quite pissed by these intrusions during the second term of president Eisenhower. It didn't take too long to develop military methods to intercept and take the U-2 spy plane down on May 1, 1960. A great success and boost for Soviet Communist propaganda across the globe.

In the same year the Eisenhower administration was confronted with the Hungarian uprising and bloodshed, and the Franco-British-Israeli pact and the Suez Crisis. [A great read LSE thesis of 478 pages - Oui]

The excerpts below are taken from articles in the CIA Library and National Security Archives.

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All Out Class Warfare, No Compromise

by Oui Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:51:47 AM EST

There are many parallels between the UK vote for Brexit and the rise and win of Trump in America. The wrong answer is to simply blame Russia's Putin or the "global" right-wing extremists [alt-right] gaining a voice through populist leaders in rising parties. In the UK the vote split along geographic lines of inequality due to decades of austerity for the underclass in British society. A breeding ground for the British people to be gullible for political propaganda of UKIP and its leader Farage: blame the immigrant policy of the EU and especially the Polish migrants.

The scientific input by Robert Mercer's Cambridge Analytica performed in both the UK referendum and US presidential election is mostly disregarded.

As the Democats and its pundits in America still put the blame on Russia and its intrigues for HRC's loss, a lot of attention is diverted from a full year of politics ...

World: Confidence In America Drops Off A Cliff

I just read two articles about Carillion with quite opposing views, word choice and analysis ...

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Carillion's Insolvency Adds to Britain's Economic Brexit Woes

by Oui Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 10:48:18 PM EST

I will have more to say about Carillion's collapse in building and maintenace UK Government infrastructure of schools, hospitals and transport.

    The private finance initiative (PFI) is one of the most controversial domestic issues of Labour's second term. It has exposed deep divisions between ministers and Labour activists; it prompted a rare and embarrassing defeat for the party's leadership at the Labour party conference in 2002; and threatens to finally sever the traditional ties between the party and some of its trade union paymasters.

    There are also signs that while the public may be enjoying the new schools, hospitals and roads provided under PFI, the method itself is increasingly unpopular.

Steve Bell on Carillion's continued troubles - cartoon

PMQs verdict: Corbyn taunts May over Carillion | The Guardian |

The collapse of Carillion, the construction company which was one of the biggest contractors to the British government, provided Jeremy Corbyn with an open goal at this week's prime minister's questions. The Labour leader began by asking why the government had awarded more than £2bn of contracts to Carillion, even after the company had issued three profit warnings and its share price was in freefall.

May replied that if the government pulled out of contracts whenever a profit warning was issued, it would lead to companies failing and jobs being lost. Corbyn retorted that the government had continued to hand the company public contracts, either to keep it afloat or because they were "deeply negligent of the crisis coming down the line".

...
While Carillion went into liquidation with debts of £1.29bn, Corbyn said, they were paying extravagant share dividends and bonuses, and the chief executive will be renumerated for another 10 months. "One rule for the super-rich, another for everybody else." Can May assure the House that no more money will go to directors, or on bonuses?

May said workers would continue to be paid and that the official receiver was doing his job; where bonus payments were unlawful, they could be recovered. "We were a customer of Carillion, not the manager and that's a very important difference."

PMQ's Memorable lines

    "As the ruins of Carillion lie around her, will the prime minister act to end this costly racket of the relationship between government and some of these companies?

    Corbyn links the failure of Carillion to other failures of public-private partnerships

   "The vast majority of people are employed by the private sector, but [the shadow chancellor] John McDonnell calls business the real enemy. The Labour party will always put politics before people.

    May's final retort  

More below the fold ...

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RIP Dolores O'Riordan, Cranberries

by Frank Schnittger Tue Jan 16th, 2018 at 01:27:38 AM EST

Dolores O'Riordan (46), Lead Singer of The Cranberries has died.

Read more... (6 comments, 247 words in story)

Challenging Russia with Swarming Suicide Drones in Syria

by Oui Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 10:00:06 AM EST

Challenging Russia with the drone swarming attack in Syria, any state actor would pay a price. In Idlib province, the rebels are supported by Turkey, Gulf States and Israel. I do not think the U.S. or western allies of NATO would be involved in the logistic backing of such an attack. There are enough states with the capability of course, but there needs to be a political motivation.

Do we need a reminder the proxy wars involving jihadist rebels are funded and supporte by the above mentioned states? The same nations have strong military backing from the United States in aggression against Iran. See also the alliance to fight the civil war in Yemen with all the atrocities and war crimes. Next to Saudi Arabia with young Crown Prince Salman, a new darling of the West, an important state actor is the Emirates (UAE) with strong military support from the United States .... and home base of XE or Academia or Blackwater of Erik Prince. These US mercenaries have swarmed its presence out over the globe to any hotspot of warfare, Afghanistan and Ukraine included.

 « click for more info
Israel's Aeronautics [under criminal investigation]  Orbiter 1K drone, also known as a 'suicide drone'

In Syria, Russia and Israel are in a political and military stand-off. Through its advanced technological drone warfare, Israel has an alliance with former Soviet bloc states like Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.

More below the fold ...

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How Xenophobia and Targeted Funding Sank Democrats

by Oui Sat Jan 13th, 2018 at 08:40:33 AM EST

Hate spreading outward from Trump's White House. The new nominations mirror the conservative beliefs in denial: climate change, fake news items, plain lies mixed with fundamental "Christian" fallacies on inequality and wealth (see also Mitt Romney in 2012).

Dutch Reporters Stun Trump's Ambassador By Pressing Him to Admit He Lied About "No-Go Zones"| The Intercept |

... saga goes on ...

After Hoekstra had presented his credentials to the Dutch king in the Hague on Wednesday, the former U.S. representative told reporters that he would be "moving on" from the controversy over his remarks.

But the reporters failed to play along, with one quickly asking, "Will you be visiting our 'no-go areas?'"

More below the fold ...

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Not In My Backyard

by Oui Fri Jan 12th, 2018 at 10:49:30 AM EST

Follow-up diary of my previous ...

Envoy Hoekstra Acts Just Like His Boss Trump

Participated in the public debate when mayor Wim Deetman (Labor Party) tried to convince us elderly the new U.S. Embassy should be build in a park called Clingendael. A stone's throw from where I lived, the local people would have none of it and launched a loud protest against the mayor. Speaker after speaker voiced their opposition with well placed arguments to the historical neighborhood. The criticism really got under the mayors' skin and he quickly got very pissed, threatened to shut down the debate bij leaving the public meeting. That had the opposite effect on us elders of course!

During the German occupation 1940-1945, The Hague as most large cities, had suffered greatly from fascist administration. Seyss-Inquart took possession of the large villa in Park Clingendael. In many places, the German SS tortured their political prisoners and many were executed in the dunes of Waalsdorpervlakte where every year a remembrance ceremony is held and televised in moments of silence.

More below the fold ...

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Unbelievable ... Jaap De Hoop Scheffer

by Oui Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 09:57:14 PM EST

"The West should respect the red lines of Russia."

Yep, just recently I met the former NATO secretary general while buying a book as Xmas present for a friend. JDHS is a former acquaintance long before he became Dutch foreign minister of the Iraq War fame.

Ever since I have seen the SG become more entangled in the web of right-wing intrigues of an aggressive NATO policy of the West. Just very recently a so-called independent policy group advised the Rutte cabinet on Dutch foreign policy issues. I was saddened by its neoconservative attitude. I was even more surprised to find JDHS as chair for the foreign policy forum, hardly an independent thinker after all those years of supporting military AngloSaxon policy for the West.

Here are a few snippets from his interview ...

'NATO should not have committed to membership of Ukraine and Georgia'

NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO's former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin's aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.

NATO should not have committed to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. "He said to me, after the communiqué came true: mister secretary-general, this will not be. This is not going to happen!"

More below the fold ...

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Europe's Frontier: A Rusted Iron Curtain

by Oui Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 09:58:35 AM EST

"Europe faces a threat to its cohesion. But this time it's on the eastern front, not the western"

The Observer view on the EU's eastern bloc | Editorial - Jan. 7, 2018 |

European leaders have been at pains over the past 12 months to emphasise that Brexit is not the only or even the biggest issue confronting the EU. They do so, in part, to keep the British in their place. But they also speak the truth. Whether it is eurozone reform, the rise of xenophobic extremism or growing pressure exerted by Russia ...

Yet the EU's biggest challenge in 2018 may be none of the above. It comes from within. It has been slowly emerging along the bloc's central and eastern flanks since the so-called Visegrád Group of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic acceded in 2004.

More below the fold  ...

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

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Saakashvili Applies for Family Reunification (EU)

by Oui Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 06:36:26 PM EST

An asylum seeker WTF ... let him eat cake and apply once gain to seek exile in the United States, his CIA alma mater. And Sandra Roelofs is his estranged wife who was a darling of the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

Dutch to accept Saakashvili if he arrives - minister | UNIAN / Dutch News  |

The Netherlands will accept former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili if he decides to leave Ukraine, the Dutch foreign minister said Friday after reports the firebrand politician may move to the country.

Dutch minister Halbe Zijlstra's comments come after several reports, including by the NOS public broadcaster, said Saakashvili has applied to travel to The Netherlands and that his request has been approved.

More below the fold ...

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Protests In Iran - Hardliners vs Elite Reformers

by Oui Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 05:58:17 AM EST

Analysis at the start of deadly protest which lasted a week ...

2 dead as Iran warns protesters will 'pay the price' | Dawn |

As videos on social media showed thousands marching across the country, an official in the small western town of Dorud confirmed two people had been killed during protests, but denied security forces had fired on the crowd.

"A number of people took to the streets responding to calls from hostile groups," Lorestan province deputy governor Habibollah Khojastehpour told state television. "Unfortunately in these clashes two citizens from Dorud were killed. No bullets were fired by the police, military or security forces towards the people."

Videos on social media overnight showed demonstrations in Isfahan, Mashhad and many smaller cities but travel restrictions and limited coverage by official media made it difficult to confirm reports.

Semi-official conservative outlets confirmed an evening attack on a town hall in Tehran and showed protesters attacking banks and municipal buildings in other parts of the country.

"Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behaviour and pay the price," Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli said on state television early on Sunday. "The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted," he added.

In one of the few official reports, an official in Arak , around 300 kilometres southwest of Tehran, said 80 people had been arrested overnight.

More below the fold ...

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Checking in with the World's Winds

by gmoke Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 04:16:46 AM EST

I like to see the maps of the Arctic Jet Stream every day or so (http://squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_norhem_00.gif).
They look like dragons and other creatures
chasing each other around the North Pole.

Then I look at the Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean conditions (https:/earth.nullschool.net)
which animates the winds and ocean currents in what seems like real-time
in full color
coded according to the speed.
I look for where the rare red winds are.

Usually, last, I pull up the World Cloud Cover map (http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/comp/wv/LATEST_WV.gif)
to see how it relates to the other two images
and make sure the equatorial rainforests are
still making rain.

Sometimes, late at night
I look at the Northern Lights
from the Churchill, Manitoba Northern Studies Centre live camera (https:
/youtu.be/kDWh0ijwCp0).
Even when the Northern Lights aren't shining,
I'll often just
listen to the sounds
of that distant wind.

It reminds me where I live.

Comments >> (6 comments)

Predictions for 2018

by Frank Schnittger Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 01:12:21 AM EST

At this time of the year we often test our prognostication skills by making some predictions for 2018.  Please add your own in the comments. Here's some to start the conversation:

  1. Brexit - becomes less and less important in EU27 countries. A poll finds that 29% of Europeans think it has happened already. No Brexit deal is agreed in 2018, with the first deal negotiated rejected by the UK Parliament or withdrawn before Parliament can reject it. UK economic growth continues to decline. May says she will deliver a red, white and blue Brexit. With British passports becoming  blue again, she has already delivered one third of her election promises.

  2. A Hollywood star will be outed for not abusing women.

  3. New CDU/SDP Grand Coalition in Germany builds alliance with Macron on an EU reform agenda. A Eurozone Finance Minister is appointed with a budget equivalent to Juncker's expense account.

  4. Trump starts a war somewhere about something in time for Mid-term elections.

  5. Trump and the Republicans lose control of Senate in Mid-Term elections undermining Trump's agenda but Democrats do their best to implement much of it anyway.

  6. Putin becomes President for life with 103% of the vote.

Read more... (41 comments, 543 words in story)

Downers Stradling the EU Entry and British Exit

by Oui Mon Jan 1st, 2018 at 05:59:25 PM EST

From my diary - Papadopoulos and Australian Spy Chief in a London Bar.

Australia was wounded when Britain joined the EU. Now we can make things right - as partners  By Alex Downer

I am not the first member of my family to serve as Australian High Commissioner to the UK. My father held the position between 1964 and 1972. You will understand the significance of that period.

For the past few years of his posting my father argued, sometimes acrimoniously, with the British government about the damage the UK's terms of accession to the EEC - as it was then called - would do to Australia.

Over four decades later I am talking somewhat more amiably with Whitehall about the consequences for Australia of Britain's departure from the EU. So there you have it. Britain's adventure in the EU has been bookended by the Downer family.

Let's be frank. (We Australians do frank quite well.) My father's generation was deeply hostile to Britain abandoning those Commonwealth countries [pdf] which had stood by her in her darkest hour.

In two world wars, New Zealand, Australia and Canada - with India, South Africa and other members of the then Empire - sent thousands upon thousands of troops, airmen and sailors to help save Britain from the Germans.

And during the Second World War, following the fall of Hong Kong and Singapore in 1941, we Australians also had to deal with the Japanese on our doorstep.

Despite this sacrifice, the attitude of the Heath government in the Seventies was "So what?" Government is about the national interest, not emotion. Britain had to make its future in Europe and we could make our futures somewhere else.  

Further reading ...

A journey into Downer's dark past

In international trade, there are no best friends

by Frank Schnittger Sun Dec 31st, 2017 at 04:29:43 PM EST

John Bruton is a former Irish Prime Minister and EU ambassador to the USA. Like Leo Varadker, he was leader of Fine Gael, the most conservative and arguably the least nationalistic party in Ireland. Indeed he was the leader of the least nationalistic and most conservative wing of that party. So much so, that that he was dubbed "John Unionist" by his rival, Fianna Fail leader and then Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, for his willingness to crack down on IRA violence and to accommodate Unionist demands on almost everything.

I give you this background to emphasise that there has been no more conservative and Anglophile figure prominent in Irish politics, and one sympathetic to both UK Conservative and DUP Unionist concerns. And yet he has some dire warnings for the UK about the difficulties they are likely to encounter in phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations:

Read more... (32 comments, 1359 words in story)

Social Engineering in the Digital Cyber Age

by Oui Sat Dec 30th, 2017 at 11:52:25 AM EST

The importance of the U.S. Presidential election and how difficult it will be to maintain democratic values.

In my analysis, the U.S. Election 2016 was unprecedented in malevolent intervention from Intelligence agencies from major world powers. The nations of the Asian continent have undoubtedly worked hard in hacking and cyber crimes on an equal basis as the Western world.

More and more, there is more than meets the eye in the whole #Russiagate affair of deception, espionage, smoke and mirrors. My belief there were people set-up around the original Republican funded Trump dossier. There were fall guys introduced, an FBI mole within the Trump campaign HQ and the bogus and poorly documented Steel dossier that was actually written and produced by Fusion GPS.

The Mueller investigation should focus on the role Fusion GPS played, the main characters Glenn Simpson and his spouse Jacoby.

Originally the Trump opposition dossier was funded by intrigant Paul Singer and a source within the Emirates (Abu Dhabi). The UAE has worked hand in glove with the Saudi regime in Yemen and in the Syrian civil war. Now the Gulf States (minus Qatar) have been cooperation with Israeli intelligence to turn US foreign policy in their favor and contribute all terror to the Islamic State of Iran.

Saudi and Israel intelligence had earlier joined forces in false-flag attacks in Syria. Both countries backed Al Qaeda and the Al-Nusra foreign fighters against Assad.
King Salman failed in his attempt to open a new battle front in Lebanon by incarcerating Saad Hariri.

Today, the Saudi regime with all its wealth, will do a new attempt to get Pakistan and its new leaders to follow the foreign policy demands of King Salman. Pakistan of course possesses the Islamic Nuclear bomb.

A werlcome sign for the region, unrest in a number of cities in Iran today. Most likely initiated by economic austerity measures, price hikes and the frustration of Iranians fighting and dying for a cause in foreign nations.

Escalation Towards Military Strike on Iran's Nuclear Facilities
Stuxnet: US-Israel Cooperation Cyber Warfare on Iran (2011)
The Saudi-Israeli Alliance and Piggy-back Coup of 2005

Cyber warfare after the joint US-Israeli Stuxnet Operation

More below the fold ...

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Christian Zionists Collude with Alt-right Trump

by Oui Thu Dec 28th, 2017 at 10:29:02 AM EST

[Note: Trump's appreciation for support to get elected was rewarded with his gift of Jerusalem to the "Jewish" State of Israel]

The rise of the alt-right in Western politics due to Middle-East wars [neocon policy] and the refugee crisis in its aftermath. Also the effects of Anglo-American banking, financial institutions, off-shore deposits, stock market, corporate might in capitals and political parties causing wealth accumulation by the 0.1%. The rich getting richer, turning the dials of tax reform, promising trickle-down cents for the working majority. Instead inequality is on the rise in the last 50 years and people's revolutions are managed for regime change in the mirror of American capitalism while undermining labor rights. Welcome to the new year 2018, more of the same?

Attacking church sermons on Christmas Day ....

Read more... (2 comments, 961 words in story)
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News and Views

 12 - 18 February 2018

by Bjinse - Feb 12, 87 comments

Your take on this week's news

 5 - 11 February 2018

by Bjinse - Feb 6, 74 comments

Your take on this week's news

 Open Thread 5 - 18 Feb

by Bjinse - Feb 6, 16 comments

The purpose of life is to live it, to thread to the utmost

 Open Thread 29 Jan - 4 Feb

by Bjinse - Jan 29, 25 comments

The colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them in a thread

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