Bulletin N° 831




"The Trump Prophecy"





Subject :  Millenarianism vs. Class Struggle.




22 January 2019

Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


Many years ago, my high school history teacher in a small town in the southwest told her class: you can communicate most ideas with 10¢-words, and occasionally you might need a 25¢-cent word, but if you really want to impress certain people you should use a $2-word now and then, or perhaps a foreign word, like from Latin. Where I grew up, it was considered in poor taste to try to impress people with words sans ideas – it was a cheap magician’s trick to create an illusion of superiority - rather than real understanding. Such practice would often put an end to the conversation. The dogma of individualism that is embodied in bourgeois writing and discourse cannot be taken for granted; it is a part of the armor that separates us and prepares us for combat amongst ourselves, like the gladiators of antiquity who prepared for blood sports to entertain their masters. All this does not go without saying . . . .


In the 19th-century populist tradition, communication skills were deemed to be of higher value than an arsenal of weaponized vocabulary, which was the exclusive culture of a hierarchy of “ladder climbers,” those would-be managers who sought to gain power over people around them by use of words.


Words are symbols, like clothing and automobiles, and the meaning is always open to interpretation. In final analysis, the power of the symbol is produced by the interpreters themselves, and when a conventional interpretation is no longer found to be in the interest of people, they quite naturally modify their interpretation. This change executed by society can happen over a period of decades or even centuries; but it can also take place in a matter of weeks, days, or only hours. Bob Dylan expressed this transitory truth in his famous 1964 song, The Times They are A-Changin.  


Another example comes to mind: Last spring I was invited to give a series of lectures at Minsk State University, where I had taught as a Fulbright Professor in the early 1990s. The atmosphere on campus had changed considerably (from socialist realism to capitalist realism), and I had the occasion to speak about the Cold War and the economic interests on both sides that fueled it for nearly half a century. Students were mildly surprised that I did not conformed to the innocucous ideology of contemporary anti-communism, and hoping to bring me around to the post-cold-war norm, they began to ridicule the dominant symbol of the old regime: The ubiquitous Hammer and Sickle of the Soviet Union flag. I took the opportunity to deconstruct this communist symbol and place it in its historic context. At the turn of the century, I reminded the class, these two instruments of essential labor represented the two social classes that stood united in solidarity to challenge the political hegemony of their masters - the class of industrial capitalists and the large land owning class - who for all practical purposes owned them. What later became a cliché and a fetish for many people had, in fact, at one time successfully symbolized the revolutionary vision of emancipation from bondage. This original meaning has been all but lost today, and the symbol stands as a caricture of a failed past, with pathological implications. Many of the former Soviet Union cadre were well positioned to become rich capitalist owners, and cultural hegemony shifted in favor of contemporary oligarchs. What, I then asked the students, do you think is a fitting symbol of your generation of ordinary Russians today, in the spring of 2018? The class grew silent; then a young woman raised her hand: "I think our symbol is the i-phone. It represents who we are." Unfortunately, the class ended at that point, and we had no possibility to discuss this insight further . . . .



The 22 + items below will provide reads with descriptions and analyses of events which are likely to affect our lives in the near future. The famous German philosopher Hegel is reported to have once said: the "bible" for the philosopher is the daily newspaper. Even this German Idealist understood that without social context words have no meaning, and with inadequate knowledge of current events the meanings of words are necessarily distorted. The popular mass movements which are now developing around the world will increasingly challenge corporate capitalist interests - both its tactics and its objectives. The tried and proven capitalist ruse of displacing crises to another part of the world is now revealed. It has run its course, and the only method now available for capitalists to continue their expropriation of  “respectable” profits through exploitation of the masses appears to be rapport de force.




Francis Feeley


Professor emeritus of American Studies

University Grenoble-Alpes

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego







From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Saturday, 19 January, 2019
Subject: [MCM] "Conspiracy theory" could become a criminal offense in California


As Sen. Richard Pan is a (notorious) Big Pharma tool, the immediate purpose of this law would be to shut down all debate about particular vaccines as well as vaccination overall, by making it a crime to doubt the state's assurances that all vaccines are 100% safe, necessary and effective.


However, Pan's law would make criminals not just of those who dare to question California's vaccination program, but of all those who dare question any of the state's "official stories," by posting contrary information, which the state reflexively defines as "false."


So let's keep a close eye on SB1424.


(Mario Savio must be spinning in his grave.)




Top of Form

Senator Richard Pan is pushing a bill that would make it a "crime"

for anyone to question vaccines



by Tracey Watson


Fake News. The term that didn’t even exist five years ago has now become everybody’s favorite way to suppress free speech. The latest person to jump on the censorship bandwagon is California’s Senator Richard Pan, the very same politician who has already done untold damage by mandating vaccinations for all Californian schoolchildren with his infamous SB277 bill of 2015.


As reported by Natural Health 365, Senator Pan has proposed a new bill entitled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan,” which would make it a crime to raise questions about any “official story” put forth by the government. That, of course, would include the official vaccine story, namely that all vaccines are good, safe and side effect free, and that a healthy nation is a vaccinated nation. (Related: The dirty history of Big Pharma’s scientific censorship, oppression and destruction of human knowledge.)


Why SB1424 is dangerous

Natural Health 365 explained how this bill would threaten free speech and the right to question the official vaccine narrative:

Any person operating an Internet site in California would be obligated to develop a strategic plan to verify any news stories shared on the site. The plan must also have measures to mitigate the spread of false information by using fact-checkers to verify the stories and provide outreach to social media users. A “fake news” warning must be placed on any news story that contains false information.

The bill, if it passes, will require agencies of the California government to develop numerous laws for its enforcement, including penalties for so-called “speech criminals.”


100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here, and help support this news site.

If, for example, someone in the independent media published a story about the dangers of vaccines and their toxic ingredients, that person would have to include a warning that the content was fake (since it deviates from the “official” story), or risk penalties for being a speech criminal. (Related: Find out what they’re hiding from you at Censorship.news.)


Censorship disguised as a form of “protection”

And just who would get to decide what is right and wrong, true and false? Where will these official “fact checkers” come from, and which way will their viewpoints be slanted? After all, we are all biased for or against things based on our own life experiences. (Related: Mainstream media fails to expose government censorship of news.)


Breitbart News noted:

It is not clear who would appoint the “fact-checkers.”

Currently, Facebook uses fact-checkers approved by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), an organization run by the Poynter Institute, which in turn is funded, in part, by George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and other liberal organizations.


It would be easy for government agencies to eliminate all sources of opinion that deviate from the official narrative by first targeting the largest organizations and news outlets that routinely express non-mainstream opinions, and slowly working their way down to the smaller organizations and finally to any individual who dares to express a contrary opinion.


Slowly but surely, censorship is being presented as a wholesome way to control the facts that we are all exposed to – a way to protect us from fake news and the spread of misinformation. It is important to recognize, however, that we have the right to hear both sides of every story and form our own conclusions.

Government interference like that which would surely arise from the implementation of proposed bill SB1424 strips us of the right to assess the validity of information for ourselves – a right which each one of us should cherish.


Read Vaccines.news

for more coverage of the dangers of vaccines.

And visit ThoughtPolice.news for news about restrictions on the freedom to think.


How The NSA Tracks You: Former NSA Technical Director

(a MUST watch)

William "Bill" Binney, former NSA technical director on how NSA track you. From the SHA2017 conference in Netherlands.

“I am very honored and proud to present you Bill Binney on the stage and he will be telling us the perspective from the inside of the NSA because he was the Technical Director of the NSA for many years and worked in the intelligence services for more than thirty-seven years. He is a child of the Cold War and worked throughout the Cold War decrypting and breaking cyphers from the adversaries of the US and back then he used to call himself the ‘Technical Director of the World, in a sense.’ So please give it away for ‘How the NSA tracks you’ with Bill Binney


Scheer & Hedges: They Know Everything About You (1/7)


Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges interviews Truthdig's editor in chief Robert Scheer about his latest book "They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy"


House Bill Forces Trump to Nominate “Anti-Semitism Envoy” Who Would Monitor Criticism of Israel

by Alison Weir


The position of anti-Semitism envoy was created in 2004 over the objections of the State Department, which said it wasn’t needed. It was urged by Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, who had formulated a new definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 411-1 for a bill that would force President Trump to nominate an anti-Semitism envoy, a position that has been vacant since he took office. The definition of anti-Semitism the position uses includes certain criticisms of Israel.

The bipartisan bill upgrades the current position of Anti-Semitism Envoy to an ambassador rank, which requires the job to be filled within 90 days.

The law states that the Special Envoy shall “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.”


The bill, H.R.221- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, was sponsored by Rep. Christopher H. Smith [R-NJ-4] and has 87 co-sponsors. Smith’s largest campaign donor was NorPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee.


To become law the bill must next be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the president. If Trump vetoes it, Congress can override this through a two-thirds vote.

The position of anti-Semitism envoy was created in 2004 over the objections of the State Department, which said it wasn’t needed. It was urged by Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, who had formulated a new definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel.


Previous envoys before or after serving in the position worked for the Israel lobbying organization AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The second envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, adopted the Sharansky definition of anti-Semitism for use by the State Department. This is part of an international campaign to insert the new Israel-centric definition in governments and other bodies around the world.

The Times of Israel reports that the impetus for the current bill was “Trump’s failure to pick someone for that opening over the last two years, despite frequent calls from Jewish groups.”

The lawmaker who voted against the bill was Republican Justin Amash from Michigan, a civil libertarian who is Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus.


Israeli Companies Sell Spy Tech They Perfected for Occupying Palestine


(January 20, 2019)

We speak to Antony Lowenstein, author of an article on “Exporting the Technology of Occupation.” He shows the growing connection between Israeli offensive cyber companies and mass surveillance in the service of authoritarian governments around the world





Media & paramedics among 30 wounded

at March of Return protest in Gaza https://img.rt.com/files/2019.01/article/5c421390fc7e936a308b4621.JPGs

A photographer reacts from tear gas fired by Israeli troops @ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters


At least 30 Palestinians have been wounded by live Israeli fire at the Great March of Return protest in Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports, including two members of the media and three paramedics.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra reports Israeli forces were “targeting three ambulances (2 for the Red Crescent and 1 for medical relief).”




'Real journalists act as agents of people, not power'


by John Pilger and Eresh Omar Jamal

John Pilger, as foreign correspondent, covered Bangladesh's Liberation War. His front-page report 'Death of a Nation' alerted the world to the life-and-death struggle of the Bengali people. He has been a war correspondent, author and documentary filmmaker who has won British journalism's highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an American Television Academy Award, an Emmy, and a British Academy Award given by the British Academy of Television Arts. He has received the United Nations Association Peace Prize and Gold Medal. His 1979 documentary, Cambodia Year Zero, is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the 10 most important documentaries of the 20th century. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, including Heroes, A Secret Country, The New Rulers of the World, and Hidden Agendas. In an exclusive (electronic) interview with Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, Pilger talks about his coverage of Bangladesh's Liberation War, the state of journalism today, and the current political shifts happening in the West.


Watch Replay of 13th Vigil for Assange


Watch Friday’s broadcast here on Consortium News that discussed the latest news on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks publisher continues to resist pressure to leave the Ecuador Embassy and be sent to the U.S. for prosecution, even as he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and Donald Trump’s lawyer says he should not be charged with any crime.

Julian Assange’s is an historic test-case for press freedom.


On Julian Assange and the Political Economy & future of Europe


with Yanis Varoufakis

(video 18min)

Yanis Varoufakis is a professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens, former finance minister of Greece and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, (DiEM25). Varoufakis is also the author of several books on the European debt crisis, the financial imbalance in the world and game theory.

In this exclusive interview with bestselling author, former finance minister of Greece and the co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, Yanis Varoufakis, we talk about the case of Julian Assange. Furthermore we examine, amongst other issues, the socio-economic transformations taking place within the core of the European Union and how much time is left until it disintegrates. Lastly Yanis explains why he is contesting from Germany in the 2019 European elections and what his vision is for the future.





Angela Davis on Running from the FBI, Lessons from Prison

and How Aretha Franklin Got Her Free



'Mistreated in prison, family kept in the dark' – ex-colleague of detained Iranian journalist to RT






Placing the USA on a collapse continuum with Dmitry Orlov
by The Saker

The word ‘catastrophe’ has several meanings, but in its original meaning in Greek the word means a “sudden downturn” (in Greek  katastrophē ‘overturning, sudden turn,’ from kata- ‘down’ + strophē ‘turning’). As for the word “superpower” it also has several possible definitions, but my preferred one is this one “Superpower is a term used to describe a state with a dominant position, which is characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined-means of economic, military, technological and cultural strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers” this one, “an extremely powerful nation, especially one capable of influencing international events and the acts and policies of less powerful nations” or this one “an international governing body able to enforce its will upon the most powerful states“.

I have mentioned the very visible decline of the US and its associated Empire in many of my articles already, so I won’t repeat it here other than to say that the “ability to exert influence and impose its will” is probably the best criteria to measure the magnitude of the fall of the US since Trump came to power (the process was already started by Dubya and Obama, but it sure accelerated with The Donald). But I do want to use a metaphor to revisit the concept of catastrophe.

If you place an object in the middle of a table and then push it right to the edge, you will exert some amount of energy we can call “E1”. Then, if the edge of the table is smooth and you just push the object over the edge, you exercise a much smaller amount of energy we can call “E2”. And, in most cases (if the table is big enough), you will also find that E1 is much bigger than E2 yet E2, coming after E1 took place, triggered a much more dramatic event: instead of smoothly gliding over the table top, the object suddenly falls down and shatters. That sudden fall can also be called a “catastrophe”. This is also something which happens in history, take the example of the Soviet Union.


Let's Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They Are


by Major Danny Sjursen


As the nation continued to reel from President Donald Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of U.S. soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president’s withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

The reflexive hatred for Trump that dominates the national conversation is bad for the U.S., especially when it comes to foreign policy. This is not to say that the president isn’t a flawed figure; after all, I’ve spent the better part of two years critiquing most of his policies. Still, when the man demonstrates prudent judgment—as in his recent calls to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan—he should be applauded. But that’s unlikely to happen in a divided America, as long as an interventionist, bipartisan consensus runs the show in Washington.

Some call it the deep state, others the swamp—but the terminology hardly matters at this point.  This forever-war crowd of congressional members, media pundits, arms industry CEOs and semiretired generals holds the reins on foreign policy in ways that are counter to the war-exhaustion instincts of both Trump and the American public. And it has to stop.



From: Mark Crispin Miller

Sent: Friday, 18 January, 2019


How many US military bases are there, all around the world? We can't know (even though we're paying for them)


by Nick Turse

Bases, Bases, Everywhere …

Except in the Pentagon’s Report

These installations exist somewhere between light and shadow, writes Nick Turse. While acknowledged as foreign military outposts, they are excluded from the official inventory. 

Within hours of President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, equipment at that base was already being inventoried for removal. And just like that, arguably the most important American garrison in Syria was (maybe) being struck from the Pentagon’s books — except, as it happens, al-Tanf was never actually on the Pentagon’s books. Opened in 2015 and, until recently, home to hundreds of U.S. troops, it was one of the many military bases that exist somewhere between light and shadow, an acknowledged foreign outpost that somehow never actually made it onto the Pentagon’s official inventory of bases.

Officially, the Department of Defense maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.

According to David Vine, author of “Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World,” there could be hundreds of similar off-the-books bases around the world. “The missing sites are a reflection of the lack of transparency involved in the system of what I still estimate to be around 800 U.S. bases outside the 50 states and Washington, D.C., that have been encircling the globe since World War II,” says Vine, who is also a founding member of the recently established Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition, a group of military analysts from across the ideological spectrum who advocate shrinking the U.S. military’s global “footprint.”




Richard Wolff: The Next Economic Crisis Is Coming


by Lee Camp


Professor Richard Wolff talks to host Lee Camp in this still image from "Redacted Tonight: VIP." (RT America)

Every time I sit down with economist Richard Wolff, he demonstrates why the field of economics is so necessary in the cultural critique of our American empire. In my recent interview with him, we discussed why the thriving economy touted by President Donald Trump hasn’t translated into real gains for the majority of Americans. We also went over what is hidden by the economic indicators that allow the financial industry to celebrate while so many Americans are still suffering.

Professor Wolff talked with me on my show “Redacted Tonight: VIP” on RT America. Enjoy this excerpt from the interview.


The Left Case Against the EU






Noam Chomsky full length interview: Who rules the world now?



Cathy Newman's full interview with Philosopher Noam Chomsky. From Trump and Clinton, to climate change, Brexit and TPP, America's foremost intellectuals presents his views on who rules the world today. Subscribe for more: bit.ly/LtASif.


Human Beings are Destroying Life on Earth but Deluding Ourselves that We are Not
by Robert Burrowes


It is easy to identify the ongoing and endless violence being inflicted on life on Earth. This ranges from the vast multiplicity of assaults inflicted on our children and the biosphere to the endless wars and other military violence as well as the grotesque exploitation of many peoples living in Africa, Asia and Central/South America. But for a (very incomplete) list of 40 points see ‘Reflections on 2018, Forecasting 2019’.

However, despite the obvious fact that it is human beings who are inflicting all of this violence, it is virtually impossible to get people to pay attention to this simple and incontrovertible fact and to ask why, precisely, are human beings behaving in such violent and destructive ways? And can we effectively address this cause?

Of course, one part of this problem is the existence of many competing ideas about what causes violence. For example, some ideologies attribute the cause to a particular structural manifestation of violence, such as patriarchy (which generates a gendered system of violence and exploitation) or capitalism (which generates a class system of violence and exploitation). However, none of these ideologies explains why humans participate in structures of violence and exploitation in the first place. Surely a person who was not violent and exploitative to begin with would reject such violent and exploitative structures out of hand and work to create nonviolent and egalitarian structures instead.

But most people really just accept the elite-promulgated delusion that humans are innately dysfunctional and violent and this must be contained and controlled by socialization processes, laws, legal systems, police forces and prisons or, in the international arena, by such measures as economic sanctions and military violence. It is a rare individual who perceives the blatant dysfunctionality and violence of socialization, laws, legal systems, police forces, prisons, economic sanctions and military violence, and how these institutions and their violence serve elite interests.

Hence, humans are trapped in a cycle of attempting to address the vast range of manifestations of violent human behaviour – the wars, the climate catastrophe, destruction of the environment, the economic exploitation of vast sectors of the human population (women, indigenous peoples, working peoples…), the military dictatorships and occupations – without knowing what, fundamentally, causes dysfunctional and violent human behaviours and draws many people to participate in (and benefit from) violence in whatever form it takes.

Well I, for one, find it boring to see the same manifestations of violence repeated endlessly because we do not understand or address the fundamental cause (and so even well-meaning efforts to address it in a variety of contexts are doomed to fail). How about you?

Moreover, I find it boring to listen to (or read about) people endlessly deluding themselves about the violence; that is, deluding themselves that it isn’t happening, ‘it was always like that’, ‘it isn’t as bad as it seems’, ‘nothing can be done’, ‘there is another explanation’, that I am ‘doing enough already’, and so on.

To illustrate the above let me write some more frequent examples of people deluding themselves about the cause. You may have heard delusions like these expressed yourself; you may know some of the many others.






From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, 18 January, 2019


Here's what Amazon will do if you don't let it into your computer

From an NFU subscriber:


I listened to your interview with Leonard Lopate, and I have one small observation about Amazon and your Forbidden Bookshelf.  I haven't spent any of my own money at Amazon in twenty years, ever since bullet-headed asshole Jeff Bezos laid off 1400 American workers in favoring of offshoring their jobs and cashed in $70 million in stock in the same week (this at a time when Amazon had never shown a profit).

However, one of my sisters insisted on sending me an Amazon gift card, and I figured it would be easy money in Bezos' pockets if I didn't order something, and the best use of it would be items from the Forbidden Bookshelf.  So I purchased several of the books in Kindle format, installed the PC version of Kindle, since I don't have a stand-alone Kindle reader, and perused the books I bought.  Within seconds of opening the Kindle emulation program, the computer's firewall sent a notice that Amazon's Kindle reader was trying to access the internet.  Reading the books doesn't require internet access, so I blocked it.

Instantly, the computer went nuts.  Both the CPU and the hard drive went to 100% activity and memory leakage started to climb.  The CPU and hard drive temps started to skyrocket, and I shut the system down.  I came to the conclusion that this was a deliberate program, probably related to someone's skewed idea of digital rights management. (Amazon's Kindle policies have always been hinky; I recall it coming out a while back that they have the ability to reach in and delete purchased titles from your device.)  Beyond that, I think, Amazon just wanted free access to my computer, and got very nasty when it was denied that access.  I did find a workaround, but it requires shutting down the computer, physically disconnecting Ethernet from the router (I use a hard-wired system only), then restarting without internet access.  Apparently, the program then recognizes there's no internet on the device and suspends the hijinks.  But, c'mon, bricking the computer or slowing it to a dead stop in order to enforce a company's DRM policies is a bit beyond extreme.  

I've noticed similar encroachments on data with other Amazon subsidiaries.  About four months ago, I noticed that whenever I went to imdb.com, now an Amazon subsidiary, there was data streaming continuously even after the page was fully loaded.  This went on as long as the page was up on the browser.  So now I mostly stay away from imdb.com, and on the very rare occasions I visit that site, I close the page as quickly as possible and immediately wipe all history and cookies, just to be safe.

I have a hypothesis that large institutions, led for a long time by a single individual in their formative years, take on the personality and character of those leaders (think Stalin and the Politburo, Dulles at the CIA, Hoover at the FBI).  And Bezos is a greedy asshole, so what does that make Amazon?  

I wish people understood that Amazon is not only not their friend, it may end up being their worst enemy.  

For more News From Underground, visit http://markcrispinmiller.com


How a NeoCon-Backed "Fact Checker" Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

How a NeoCon-Backed "Fact Checker" Plans to Wage War on Independent Media


by Whitney Webb


Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack

is Just What You Need



by Jeffrey St. Clair





The ‘Private Governments’ That Subjugate U.S. Workers


by Chris Hedges


Corporate dictatorships—which strip employees of fundamental constitutional rights, including free speech, and which increasingly rely on temp or contract employees who receive no benefits and have no job security—rule the lives of perhaps 80 percent of working Americans. These corporations, with little or no oversight, surveil and monitor their workforces. They conduct random drug testing, impose punishing quotas and targets, routinely engage in wage theft, injure workers and then refuse to make compensation, and ignore reports of sexual harassment, assault and rape. They use managerial harassment, psychological manipulation—including the pseudo-science of positive psychology—and intimidation to ensure obedience. They fire workers for expressing leftist political opinions on social media or at public events during their off-hours. They terminate those who file complaints or publicly voice criticism about working conditions. They thwart attempts to organize unions, callously dismiss older workers and impose “non-compete” contract clauses, meaning that if workers leave they are unable to use their skills and human capital to work for other employers in the same industry. Nearly half of all technical professions now require workers to sign non-compete clauses, and this practice has spread to low-wage jobs including those in hair salons and restaurants.

The lower the wages the more abusive the conditions. Workers in the food and hotel industries, agriculture, construction, domestic service, call centers, the garment industry, warehouses, retail sales, lawn service, prisons, and health and elder care suffer the most. Walmart, for example, which employs nearly 1 percent of the U.S. labor force (1.4 million workers), prohibits casual conversation, which it describes as “time theft.” The food industry giant Tyson prevents its workers from taking toilet breaks, causing many to urinate on themselves; as a result, some workers must wear diapers. The older, itinerant workers that Amazon often employs are subjected to grueling 12-hour shifts in which the company electronically monitors every action to make sure hourly quotas are met. Some Amazon workers walk for miles on concrete floors each shift and repeatedly get down on their hands and knees to perform their jobs. They frequently suffer crippling injuries. The company makes injured employees, whom it fires, sign releases saying the injuries are not work-related. Two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries are victims of wage theft, losing an amount estimated to be as high as $50 billion a year. From 4 million to 14 million American workers, under threat of wage cuts, plant shutdowns or dismissal, have been pressured by their employers to support pro-corporate political candidates and causes.


Israeli Companies Sell Spy Tech They Perfected for Occupying Palestine


(January 20, 2019)


We speak to Antony Lowenstein, author of an article on “Exporting the Technology of Occupation.” He shows the growing connection between Israeli offensive cyber companies and mass surveillance in the service of authoritarian governments around the world





Israel Spraying Herbicides Inside Gaza Violates International Law



by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man


The Israeli army is continuing to spray dangerous herbicides on agricultural fields inside the Gaza Strip, three years since +972 Magazine first reported on the practice. This week, three Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups sent a letter to Israeli military officials demanding they immediately cease spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza.

The latest instance of spraying herbicides, using a reportedly carcinogenic chemical, took place in early December. A variety of crops inside Gaza were damaged as a result, according to the rights groups.

“The farmers have sustained massive losses in the past as a result of spraying, and been exposed to the health risks associated with the chemical agents used in the spraying,” Al Mezan, Gisha, and Adalah wrote in their letter to Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with the country’s attorney general and military advocate general.

“The spraying is a highly destructive measure, infringing on fundamental human rights and violating both Israeli and international law,” the rights groups added in a joint statement Wednesday.

Israel has for years maintained a unilateral “no-go zone” inside the Gaza Strip, and regularly sends bulldozers and other equipment across the fence to level land and destroy plants and trees in order to maintain a clear line of sight. Since the start of 2015, the Israeli army crossed the fence upwards of 207 times in such operations, an average of more than twice a week.


'Catastrophic situation' imminent as Gaza's children hospitals nearly out of fuel






The Vice President’s Men


by Seymour M. Hersh


When George H.W. Bush arrived in Washington as vice president in January 1981 he seemed little more than a sideshow to Ronald Reagan, the one-time leading man who had been overwhelmingly elected to the greatest stage in the world. Biography after inconclusive biography would be written about Reagan’s two terms, as their authors tried to square the many gaps in his knowledge with his seemingly acute political instincts and the ease with which he appeared to handle the presidency. Bush was invariably written off as a cautious politician who followed the lead of his glamorous boss – perhaps because he assumed that his reward would be a clear shot at the presidency in 1988. He would be the first former CIA director to make it to the top.

There was another view of Bush: the one held by the military men and civilian professionals who worked for him on national security issues. Unlike the president, he knew what was going on and how to get things done. For them, Reagan was ‘a dimwit’ who didn’t get it, or even try to get it. A former senior official of the Office of Management and Budget described the president to me as ‘lazy, just lazy’. Reagan, the official explained, insisted on being presented with a three-line summary of significant budget decisions, and the OMB concluded that the easiest way to cope was to present him with three figures – one very high, one very low and one in the middle, which Reagan invariably signed off on. I was later told that the process was known inside the White House as the ‘Goldilocks option’. He was also bored by complicated intelligence estimates. Forever courteous and gracious, he would doodle during national security briefings or simply not listen. It would have been natural to turn instead to the director of the CIA, but this was William Casey, a former businessman and Nixon aide who had been controversially appointed by Reagan as the reward for managing his 1980 election campaign. As the intelligence professionals working with the executive saw it, Casey was reckless, uninformed, and said far too much to the press.

Bush was different: he got it. At his direction, a team of military operatives was set up that bypassed the national security establishment – including the CIA – and wasn’t answerable to congressional oversight. It was led by Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, a brilliant navy officer who would be known to those on the inside as ‘M’. He had most recently been involved, as deputy chief of naval operations, in developing the US’s new maritime strategy, aimed at restricting Soviet freedom of movement. In May 1983 he was promoted to assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vessey, and over the next couple of years he oversaw a secret team – operating in part out of the office of Daniel Murphy, Bush’s chief of staff – which quietly conducted at least 35 covert operations against drug trafficking, terrorism and, most important, perceived Soviet expansionism in more than twenty countries, including Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Senegal, Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Vietnam.

Moreau’s small, off-the-record team, primarily made up of navy officers, was tasked with foreign operations deemed necessary by the vice president. The group’s link to Bush was indirect. There were two go-betweens, known for their closeness to the vice president and their ability to keep secrets: Murphy, a retired admiral who had served as Bush's deputy director at the CIA; and, to a lesser extent, Donald Gregg, Bush’s national security adviser and another veteran of CIA covert operations. Moreau’s team mostly worked out of a room near the National Military Command Centre on the ground floor of the Pentagon. They could also unobtrusively man a desk or two, when necessary, in a corner of Murphy’s office, which was near Bush’s, in the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House.

The Reagan administration had been rattled by a wave of Soviet expansionism and international aggression that had begun before the president took office. In 1979, even before their incursion into Afghanistan, the Soviets had taken over the old airbase at Cam Ranh Bay in the former South Vietnam, which had been extensively rebuilt and updated by the US during its losing war. It was a base heavy with symbolism for the American and British navies – in December 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor, Japanese dive bombers operating from Cam Ranh sank two of Britain’s premier battleships – and the Soviet decision to expand there was seen by some senior admirals as an alarming affront. And a revolutionary increase in America’s capacity to intercept and decode Soviet signal traffic in the year before Reagan came to power led to the discovery by analysts at the National Security Agency of a ring of Soviet sleeper agents inside the United States, many of them working in federal jobs with – the Carter White House feared – access to national security data.

A former military officer who worked closely with Moreau recalled the early tensions that prompted Bush to increase the targeting of Soviet operations. Moreau’s actions were aimed at limiting Soviet influence without provoking a confrontation. ‘We saw the Russians sorting out their internal politics and expanding economically,’ the officer recalled. ‘Its military had become much more competent, with advances in technology, nuclear engineering and in space. They were feeling good about their planned economy and believed that their state control of education from cradle to grave was working, and it seemed as if the Russians were expanding everywhere. We were in descent; our post-Vietnam army was in shambles; morale was at rock bottom, and the American people had an anti-militarist attitude. There was a sense of general weakness, and the Russians were taking advantage of it. They had developed the MIRV’ – the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, a missile carrying several nuclear warheads – ‘and were putting ICBMs on wheels and hardening nuclear silos. This was at the time when it became clear that the president was drifting, and was not an effective leader.’

By 1983, it was plain to those who worked on national security for the White House that Reagan wouldn't or couldn't engage with intelligence or counterintelligence matters. Bush had emerged, by default and very much in private, as the most important decision-maker in America's intelligence world. ‘He controlled the strings,’ the officer said. ‘We ran small, limited operations that were discreet, with a military chain of command. These were not long-term programmes. We thought we could redouble our efforts against the Soviets and nobody would interfere. And do it in such a way that no one could see what we were doing – or realise that there was a masterplan. For example, the published stories about our Star Wars programme were replete with misinformation and forced the Russians to expose their sleeper agents inside the American government by ordering them to make a desperate attempt to find out what the US was doing. But we could not risk exposure of the administration’s role and take the chance of another McCarthy period. So there were no prosecutions. We dried up and eliminated their access and left the spies withering on the vine.’ Once identified, the Soviet sleepers who worked inside the federal bureaucracy were gradually dismissed or moved to less important jobs, in the hope that the low-key counterintelligence operation would mask the improvements in the US’s capacity to read sensitive Soviet communications. ‘Nobody on the Joint Chiefs of Staff ever believed we were going to build Star Wars,’ the officer said, ‘but if we could convince the Russians that we could survive a first strike, we win the game.’ The aim of the game was to find a way to change the nuclear status quo of Mutual Assured Destruction, or seem to do so. ‘We wanted the Russians to believe that we had removed the M from MAD.’

In the beginning, the officer told me, ‘there was a great fear that the Russians were ten feet tall. What we found was total incompetence.’ Moreau’s team were amazed to find how easy it was to reverse Soviet influence – often with little more than generous offers of American dollars and American arms. Across the Third World – in countries such as Chad, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire – the offer of advanced American electronics and communications equipment was also invaluable. ‘The Russians simply were not liked abroad,’ the officer said. ‘They were boors with shoddy clothing and shoes made out of paper. Their weapons were inoperative. It was a Potemkin village. But every time we found total incompetence on the part of a Soviet mission, the American intelligence community would assume that it was Soviet “deception”. The only problem was that it was not deception. We came to realise that the American intelligence community needed the threat from Russia to get their money. Those of us who were running the operations were also amazed that the American press was so incompetent. You could do this kind of stuff all over the world and nobody would ask any questions.’


Who attacked the US forces in Syria on 16 January 2019?

See the source image



A suicide bombing in the US-SDF held #Manbij killed has killed at least 14 people including four American soldiers in the #USA-SDF held Manbij in north #Syria. The #ISIS-affiliated website, Amaq, claimed an attacker with an explosive vest had struck a foreign military patrol in a suicide attack, but this footage indicates that the explosion happened inside a restaurant called Qasr al Oumara in Manbij. Following the details of the attack, we should pose this question: Who is the beneficiary of this attack?


Blackwater Founder Says US Troops In Syria Could Be Replaced By Private Contractors





The brutal crackdown on the gilets jaunes



Protesters have lost limbs and eyes for daring to make their voices heard.


Macron's debate put to test as 'yellow vests' stage 10th protest

Macron's debate put to test as 'yellow vests' stage 10th protest


France's "yellow vests" took to the streets on Saturday for a 10th straight weekend of anti-government protests, despite attempts by President Emmanuel Macron to channel their anger into a series of town hall debates.

In Paris, several thousand people, many waving placards calling for Macron to resign or condemning police violence, marched peacefully through the Left Bank in freezing temperatures.

"Parisians, rise up!" they chanted, urging residents of the capital to join the movement which has been led by rural and small-town France.

At the end of the march, clashes broke out around the Invalides war museum, with police using tear gas and water cannon to disperse hooded protesters who threw paving stones and bottles.

Demonstrations were also held in other major cities, with clashes reported in the western city of Rennes and eastern city of Lyon.

The interior ministry estimated the number of protesters at 27,000 by the early afternoon -- down from 32,0000 at the same time a week ago -- with 7,000 in the capital.

Turnout was being closely watched for signs of possible fatigue in the movement as it enters its third month and Macron's "great national debate" gains momentum.

Some 80,000 police were deployed to keep the peace.

Last week, an estimated a total of 80,000 people took part in protests that were markedly less violent than several previous editions, which ended in clashes with police, the torching of cars and shopfronts being smashed.


Special documentary on France's 'gilets jaunes' movement


(documentary video, 7 December 2018)


'No one is in charge here': How yellow vest protests spread, and why Macron's struggling to keep up


Analysis by Jim Bittermann, CNN

(19 January 2019)


French police under fire as 'yellow vests' casualty toll mounts



Yellow Vests, round 10: Thousands clash with police on streets of Paris


(19 January 2019)





Blacks and Latinos Face Global South” Conditions in US


with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford


Black and Latino workers in the US are more favorable to unions because they “are most like workers in the Global South,” where workers are super-exploited, said Michael Yates, the labor educator and author. “Hispanic came from the Global South as immigrants” and “Black people came from the Global South as slaves whose very bodies were owned by capital,” said Yates. His latest book is titled Can Workers Change the World?


Born Disposable: Trump’s War on Youth



by Henry Giroux

We live in an age in which the welfare of children is no longer a measure of the degree to which a society lives up to its democratic ideals. In an age of growing fascism, those in power no longer view children as the promise of a future but as a threat to the present.

In particular, poor Black and Brown children are being treated as what Teju Cole calls “unmournable bodies.” Rather than being educated, many are being imprisoned; rather than living in communities that are safe and clean, many are relegated to cities where the water is poisoned and the police function as an occupying army.

In the age of Trump, children of undocumented workers are stripped of their humanity, caged in internment camps, sometimes sexually abused and subjected to the unethical grammars of state violence. Sometimes they lose their lives, as did two children from Guatemala who died while in custody of Customs and Border Protection: seven-year old Jakelin Caal and eight-year-old Felipe Gómez. In this way the dual logic of disposability and pollution becomes the driving force of a machinery of social death.





President Trump’s Losing Strategy: Embracing Brazil

And Confronting China


by James Petras



The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China’s growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and promoting the division and fragmentation of greater China.

Washington’s choice of allies and enemies is based on a narrow conception of short-term advantage and strategic losses.

In this paper we will discuss the reasons why the US-Brazilian relation fits in with Washington’s pursuit for global domination and why Washington fears the dynamic growth and challenge of an independent and competitive China.

Brazil in Search of a Patron

Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro from day one, has announced a program to reverse  nearly a century of state directed economic growth.  He has announced the privatizationof the entirepublic sector, including the strategic finance, banking, minerals, infrastructure, transport, energy and manufacturing activities. Moreover, the sellout has prioritized the centrality of foreign multi-national corporations.  Previous authoritarian civilian and military regimes protected nationalized firms as part of tripartite alliances which included foreign, state and domestic private enterprises.





Trump’s Flailing will get More Desperate and More Dangerous


by Jesse Jackson


Since the striking victories of Democrats up and down the ballot in 2018, President Donald Trump has been flailing more and more wildly.

He’s setting new records for the length of the government shutdown, watched his defense secretary resign after suddenly announcing the withdrawal of troops from Syria, forced his attorney general to resign, found it difficult to find a permanent replacement for his departing chief of staff, and tweeted that he is “all alone in the White House.”

Quietly, the unrelenting investigation of Robert Mueller becomes ever more ominous. Now the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives will probe the corruption of this most corrupt administration, from Trump’s business dealings to the corporate lobbyists who are running entire departments in the interests of their once and future employers.

While Trump issues insult after insult against opponents — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — he reveals just how desperate he is.

Essentially, Trump now has three choices. He can stay in office and be impeached. The evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors is building each day, from trampling election laws by payoffs to keep his mistresses quiet to blatant self-enrichment that surely offends the Constitution’s ban on emoluments, to open and secret efforts to obstruct justice.

Democrats will no doubt wait for special prosecutor Mueller to issue his report. They will wait to see if Republicans, alarmed by their sinking poll numbers, begin to separate themselves from Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney’s blast at Trump may be an early warning of what’s likely to come.

Hearings on the impeachment of the president are inevitable. Impeachment in the House is likely. Whether the Republican-led Senate will protect the president remains to be seen.

If not impeached, Trump could stay in office and be disgraced. Disgrace appears unavoidable. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes at a time many Americans were desperate to change things.

Republicans lost several key congressional races last fall. That’s when the economy was at its best, and Trump’s foreign policy chaos hadn’t yet been felt. Two years from now, if he chooses to run for re-election, Trump will try to pull the Electoral College equivalent of an inside straight again, but he is most likely to be routed, bringing down with him many of the Republican senators who have lacked the backbone to stand up to him.

At the same time, the investigations of his various business dealings, his tax returns, his conflicts of interests will end in myriad lawsuits, if not criminal charges. Once he is defeated, Trump will face not only unending lawsuits for damages, but the real possibility of jail time for himself or his family or both.

Alternatively, Trump — the deal maker — could cut a deal to define his fate. After the Mueller report is issued, as the congressional investigations accelerate, as various criminal investigations begin, he could seek to negotiate his way out. Cut a deal that would give him and his family immunity from criminal liability and possibly civil liability in exchange for his resignation, sparing the nation the agony of what will inevitably be an ugly, divisive fight over impeachment and over criminal indictment after he is defeated.

Americans tend to forgive and forget, once an offender resigns. President Gerald Ford took a hit for pardoning President Richard Nixon, but Nixon survived and regained some of his stature with books on foreign policy. Pelosi and Schumer might take a hit for cutting a deal with Trump, but Trump could retain his freedom and his celebrity, with a base surely willing to support him in the wilderness.

It has come to this: impeachment, disgrace or resignation. Trump, no doubt, will rail against his fate. He’ll claim he could be vindicated in court or in Congress or in the elections. His twittering will grow more frantic and more venomous.


Mother Watched Her Son Die in Police Custody, Now She Says the Town is Covering it up



Anton Black died after he was tasered and placed in a chokehold just outside his home, 4 months ago. Police have released little information to the family or the community about why his encounter with a controversial officer they fought to keep off the force ended with his death.





A Tale of Self-Serving Black Journalists and the Corporate Duopoly

A Tale of Self-Serving Black Journalists and the Corporate Duopoly


by Glen Ford, BAR executive editor


Diversity insulates the bosses from criticism by large elements of the oppressed classes, while posing little or no threat to capital and the rule of rich white men.

“NABJ should forever be cursed and shunned as the most narrowly self-serving and cowardly manifestation of Black collaborationist politics imaginable -- a house of shame.”

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has joined the NAACP in criticizing CBS News’ initial, 12-person lineup of digital journalists assigned to cover the 2020 elections, which includes five women, three Asian Americans, at least one Hispanic, but no Blacks. “CBS News’ decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued,” said the NAACP. “As the voting bloc that will most certainly determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election,” said the press release , “it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the Black community. Representation matters and the media needs our coverage on the issues to drive the discussion.”

Sarah Glover , president of the Black journalists group, said her organization is “very disappointed” and “disturbed” at the CBS lineup. “It is unfortunate that we are still having these discussions about diversity and inclusion,” said Glover. “Ironically last year the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report was a major topic and now in 2019 we’re still asking media organizations.”

“The NABJ acts as a kind of guild to safeguard Blacks with jobs in white, corporate media, but abstains from struggles over the substance of reporting.”

Black employment in newsrooms is a civil rights issue, like employment issues anywhere, but it has been a very long time since the presence of Black and brown reporters of any gender has made any detectable difference in the politically monochromatic corporate world view transmitted by the so-called “mainstream” electronic and print press in the United States. Since its formation in the mid-Seventies, the National Association of Black Journalists has been concerned almost solely with counting Black faces in newsroom chairs, rather than the issues of power and politics that shape the actual journalistic content churned out daily by the “news” industry. The NABJ acts as a kind of guild to safeguard Blacks with jobs in white, corporate media, but abstains from struggles over the substance of reporting -- with some rare exceptions in cases of the most blatant racial stereotyping in media. The NABJ asks only that Blacks be represented on corporate payrolls, mastheads and credits. For the NABJ, “diversity” has no political content beyond numerical representation in the workplace.

“The NABJhas been concerned almost solely with counting Black faces in newsroom chairs, rather than the issues of power and politics that shape the actual journalistic content.”


Freedom Rider: Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives

Freedom Rider: Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives


by Margaret Kimberley


Harris has spent her career locking up Black and brown people. She should not be allowed to shake hands, kiss babies or walk into black churches without being taken to task.

“Kamala Harris is no friend of black people.”

California Senator Kamala Harris shows all the signs of announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She is giving speeches in the right states, interviewing with the right talking heads, and recently published the obligatory memoir. She has been on the Democratic funder’scasting couch for nearly two years. Only the official announcement is missing.

But Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes.

Barack Obama was smart enough to choose a career path free of such red flags. As a community organizer,state legislator and United States senator he took a route that black people were able to support. Unlike Harris he was not actively involved in building the prison system, the institution that has done more damage to black people than any other.

“She did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations.”





The West Has Islam Dangerously Wrong


Author and philosopher Sam Harris, who has advanced the idea that there’s something uniquely dangerous about the Muslim religion.


by Robert Scheer


In January of 2017, one week after he was sworn into office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. Approximately 18 months later, the United States Supreme Court voted, 5-4, to uphold a revised version of Trump’s Muslim ban—a decision that Omar Jadwat of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project has lambasted as one of the worst in our nation’s history, on par with the Korematsu v. United States decision during World War II.

If nothing else, Trump’s political ascent has served as a potent reminder of Islamophobia’s pervasiveness throughout 21st century American society. How then do we dismantle these harmful stereotypes, which threaten Muslim communities both at home and broad? For Juan Cole, author of the riveting new history “Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires,” the answer would appear to be a greater understanding of the religion’s founder and formation.

“One of the features of the Qur’an, which I think is too little appreciated, is that it’s a counterargument,” he tells Robert Scheer. “It’s an argument for tolerance, at least of the monotheistic religions, of Christianity and Judaism. … So I think it’s an extremely ecumenical book, the Qur’an, and the Prophet’s preaching of it. And that is something that’s been lost, not only in Western conceptions of the religion, but often among some believers as well.”


Over 100 security killed in Taliban attack on Afghan military training center – reports — RT World News





From: Mark Crispin Miller

Sent: Thursday, 17 January, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Iranian anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi jailed in US on unspecified charges

Has Putin ever done this to a foreign journalist? 


Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi jailed in US on unspecified charges




A dispatch from PressTV, Iranian press service

Dateline: Wed Jan 16, 2019

Press TV anchor and journalist Marzieh Hashemi

Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons.

American-born Hashemi, most famous for anchoring news programs and presenting shows for Press TV, was detained upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.

Press TV has learned that she was transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC. The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Seyed Yasser Jebraily@YJebraily

The US regime silenced #MarziehHashemi by kidnapping her, as the Saudi regime silenced #JamalKhashogji by killing him. Different ways for the same ends.#FreeMarziehHashemi

The Associated Press (AP) said a call to the FBI rang unanswered early on Wednesday morning. The bureau did not immediately respond to a written request for comment, it added.

Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin, had arrived in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members. Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest.


PressTV-Press TV issues statement on anchor’s detention in US

The Iranian television news network releases a statement about the situation of its anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi who is being held in a US detention center.

Mistreatment in US jail

Hashemi, who has been living in Iran for years and is a Muslim convert, has told her daughter that she was handcuffed and shackled and was being treated like a criminal.

The journalist also said that she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.

Hashemi has only been allowed to wear a T-shirt, and is currently using another one to cover her head.

Furthermore, she has been offered only pork as meal – which is forbidden under Islamic law – and even denied bread and any other halal food after refusing to consume the meat.

Hashemi told her daughter that the only food she has had over the past two days has been a packet of crackers.

Hashemi’s family members and media activists have launched a social media campaign with the hashtags #FreeMarziehHashemi and #Pray4MarziehHashemi in support of the detained journalist.


Saudi: MBS’ global campaign to silence critics exposed



The scope of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s attempt to silence critics was exposed yesterday in a report by the New Yorker. Details of a global campaign – run by the Saudi government – revealed that thousands of Saudis have faced threats and intimidation for criticising the Crown Prince, despite not holding strong political views.

According to the report the Crown Prince, also known as MBS, has authorised the use of blackmail, intimidation and forced repatriation of anyone found to be critical of him or his policies, including roughly 90,000 Saudi students studying abroad on government scholarship programmes.

While the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi exposed the brutality with which Riyadh goes after its dissidents, victims cited in the report suggest that the Saudi government’s campaign to clamp down on critics is far greater than previously anticipated.

Despite his claim to be a reformer, the Crown Prince – who has spent millions to polish his image – is accused of using the country’s embassies and back channels, outside the gaze of the international community, against his critics. These tactics are said to be not only used for vocal and prominent dissidents like Khashoggi, but for thousands of Saudi citizens; a claim which suggests that the Saudi government’s anti-dissent net is cast far and wide across the globe.

According to the report’s author, MBS has heeded no national boundaries in going after his critics because of his “obsessive need to control his reputation”. This has meant that Saudi citizens who possessed little or no political profile have been targeted by the Crown Prince’s indiscriminate campaign.

The number of people trying to flee his grasp has more than doubled following his appointment as Crown Prince in 2015. The report said that Saudi asylum seekers had increased from 575 cases to 1200 in 2017; not to mention that there is a swelling number of Saudis who, like Khashoggi, opted for self-exile under separate visa processes.

Critics cited in the report – whose real identity was not revealed over fears for their safety – said that a campaign of fear, blackmail and intimidation via social media was used to lure them into the Saudi embassy in various countries. The campaign typically saw family members and friends being threatened in Saudi Arabia.





Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration


by Julian Borger


he influence of evangelical Christianity is likely to become an important question as Trump finds himself dependent on them for political survival.
In setting out the Trump administration’s Middle East policy, one of the first things Mike Pompeo made clear to his audience in Cairo is that he had come to the region as “as an evangelical Christian”.

In his speech at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo said that in his state department office: “I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and his word, and the truth.”

The secretary of state’s primary message in Cairo was that the US was ready once more to embrace conservative Middle Eastern regimes, no matter how repressive, if they made common cause against Iran.

His second message was religious. In his visit to Egypt, he came across as much as a preacher as a diplomat. He talked about “America’s innate goodness” and marveled at a newly built cathedral as “a stunning testament to the Lord’s hand”.

The desire to erase Barack Obama’s legacy, Donald Trump’s instinctive embrace of autocrats, and the private interests of the Trump Organisation have all been analysed as driving forces behind the administration’s foreign policy.

The gravitational pull of white evangelicals has been less visible. But it could have far-reaching policy consequences. Vice President Mike Pence and Pompeo both cite evangelical theology as a powerful motivating force.

Just as he did in Cairo, Pompeo called on the congregation of a Kansan megachurch three years ago to join a fight of good against evil.

“We will continue to fight these battles,” the then congressman said at the Summit church in Wichita. “It is a never-ending struggle … until the rapture. Be part of it. Be in the fight.”

For Pompeo’s audience, the rapture invoked an apocalyptical Christian vision of the future, a final battle between good and evil, and the second coming of Jesus Christ, when the faithful will ascend to heaven and the rest will go to hell.

For many US evangelical Christians, one of the key preconditions for such a moment is the gathering of the world’s Jews in a greater Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. It is a belief, known as premillenial dispensationalism or Christian Zionism – and it has very real potential consequences for US foreign policy.

It directly colours views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and indirectly, attitudes towards Iran, broader Middle East geopolitics and the primacy of protecting Christian minorities. In his Cairo visit, Pompeo heaped praise on Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for building the new cathedral, but made no reference to the 60,000 political prisoners the regime is thought to be holding, or its routine use of torture.

Pompeo is an evangelical Presbyterian, who says he was “brought to Jesus” by other cadets at the West Point military academy in the 1980s.

“He knows best how his faith interacts with his political beliefs and the duties he undertakes as secretary of state,” said Stan van den Berg, senior pastor of Pompeo’s church in Wichita in an email. “Suffice to say, he is a faithful man, he has integrity, he has a compassionate heart, a humble disposition and a mind for wisdom.”

As Donald Trump finds himself ever more dependent on them for his political survival, the influence of Pence, Pompeo and the ultra-conservative white Evangelicals who stand behind them is likely to grow.

“Many of them relish the second coming because for them it means eternal life in heaven,” Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University said. “There is a palpable danger that people in high position who subscribe to these beliefs will be readier to take us into a conflict that brings on Armageddon.”

Chesnut argues that Christian Zionism has become the “majority theology” among white US Evangelicals, who represent about a quarter of the adult population. In a 2015 poll, 73% of evangelical Christians said events in Israel are prophesied in the Book of Revelation. Respondents were not asked specifically whether their believed developments in Israel would actually bring forth the apocalypse.

The relationship between evangelicals and the president himself is complicated.

Trump himself embodies the very opposite of a pious Christian ideal. Trump is not churchgoer. He is profane, twice divorced, who has boasted of sexually assaulting women. But white evangelicals have embraced him.

Eighty per cent of white evangelicals voted for him in 2016, and his popularity among them is remains in the 70s. While other white voters have flaked away in the first two years of his presidency, white evangelicals have become his last solid bastion.

Some leading evangelicals see Trump as a latterday King Cyrus, the sixth-century BC Persian emperor who liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity.


Europe on the Brink of Collapse?


by Peter Koenig


The Empire’s European castle of vassals is crumbling. Right in front of our eyes. But Nobody seems to see it. The European Union (EU), the conglomerate of vassals – Trump calls them irrelevant, and he doesn’t care what they think about him, they deserve to be collapsing. They, the ‘vassalic’ EU, a group of 28 countries, some 500 million people, with a combined economy of a projected 19 trillion US-dollar equivalent, about the same as the US, have submitted themselves to the dictate of Washington in just about every important aspect of life.

The EU has accepted on orders by Washington to sanction Russia, Venezuela, Iran – and a myriad of countries that have never done any harm to any of the 28 EU member states. The EU has accepted the humiliation of military impositions by NATO – threating Russia and China with ever more and ever more advancing military basis towards Moscow and Beijing, to the point that Brussels’ foreign policy is basically led by NATO.

It was clear from the very get-go that the US sanctions regime imposed on Russia and all the countries refusing to submit to the whims and rules of Washington, directly and via the EU, was hurting the EU economically far more than Russia. This is specifically true for some of the southern European countries, whose economy depended more on trading with Russia and Eurasia than it did for other EU countries.

The ‘sanctions’ disaster really hit the fan, when Trump unilaterally decided to abrogate the “Nuclear Deal” with Iran and reimpose heavy sanctions on Iran and on “everybody who would do business with Iran”. European hydrocarbon giants started losing business. That’s when Brussels, led by Germany started mumbling that they would not follow the US and – even – that they would back European corporations, mainly hydrocarbon giants, sticking to their contractual arrangements they had with Iran.

Too late. European business had lost all confidence in Brussels EU Administration’s feeble and generally untrustworthy words. Many breached their longstanding and, after the Nuclear Deal, renewed contracts with Iran, out of fear of punishment by Washington and lack of trust in Brussel’s protection. Case in point is the French-British petrol giant, Total, which shifted its supply source from Iran to Russia – no, not to the US, as was of course, Washington’s intent. The damage is done. The vassals are committing slow suicide.

The people have had it. More than half of the European population wants to get out of the fangs from Brussels. But nobody asks them, nor listens to them – and that in the so-called heartland of ‘democracy’ (sic). That’s why people are now up in arms and protesting everywhere – in one way or another in Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Poland – the list is almost endless. And it can be called generically the ‘Yellow Vests”, after the new French revolution.





2018 was the ocean's hottest year. We'll feel it a long time.

See the source image


by Alejandra Borunda


The ocean soaks up 93 percent of the heat of climate change. But that heat has a big and long-lasting impact.

Earth’s oceans are warmer now than at any point since humans started systematically tracking their temperatures, according to research published on January 16 in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. The oceans have sopped up more than 90 percent of the heat trapped by human-emitted greenhouse gases, slowing the warming of the atmosphere—but causing many other unwelcome changes to the planet’s climate.

Even a slightly warmer ocean can have dramatic impacts. Other new research shows that warmer oceans make waves stronger. Warmer waters fuel stronger storms, increasing the damage that hurricanes and tropical storms inflict. The added warmth hurts coral habitats and stresses fisheries. Around Antarctica, yet another new study suggests, ice is melting about six times faster than it was in the 1980s—an increase due in part to the warmer waters lapping at the continent’s edge.

“The oceans are the best thermometer we have for the planet,” says Zeke Hausfather, an energy and climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who used the ocean heat data published today in an analysis published last week in Science. “We can really see global warming loud and clear in the ocean record.”


Ocean Warming Continues To Break Every Record


by Trevor Nace


Greenland's Melting Ice reaches a 'Tipping Point'






From: Sierra Club Insider [mailto:reply@emails.sierraclub.org]
Subject: Trump's Destructive Shutdown

More than 800,000 federal workers forced to get by without a paycheck, an inactive EPA leaving corporate polluters unchecked, public lands trashed, and vacation plans dashed -- Read and share our stories.


Donate today!

Photo by Danita Delimont/Alamy Stock Photo

Find Your Outside on a Sierra Club Trip
Find your outside with our 2019 trip roster, featuring more than 300 itineraries across the U.S. and around the globe. Whether you’re looking for a family adventure, a challenging backcountry trek, or a volunteer vacation, we’ve got something to suit your tastes. This year, you'll find specialty trips for adults under 50, women, seniors, and LGBT+ adventurers—and check out additional options for younger travelers, including scholarships for adults 18-35.
Book your reservation online or call (415) 977-5522 to join us.
See all trips and sign up.



Send a message!

Photo courtesy Joseph Yaroch, Southern New Mexico Progressives

Trump's Destructive Shutdown
More than 800,000 federal workers forced to get by without a paycheck, an inactive EPA leaving corporate polluters unchecked, public lands trashed, and vacation plans dashed—all because of President Trump's stubborn determination to squander billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars on a xenophobic, environmentally destructive border wall that he guaranteed Mexico would pay for.
Tell your senators to speak up against Trump's destructive shutdown.



Take our survey!

Tell Us What You Think
Every few years, Sierra magazine conducts a supporter/reader survey that helps us produce a magazine and website tailored to your interests and passions. Complete our survey, include your email address, and you'll be entered to win a $500 gift certificate from REI and a one-year national parks pass. Sierra values feedback from our readers and we appreciate your participation.
Take the Sierra survey.



Read more!

Jonathan Franzen birdwatching in Spain. | Photo courtesy of Andreas Meissner

Jonathan Franzen’s Controversial Convictions
In a new collection of essays, The End of the End of the Earth, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jonathan Franzen examines everything from endangered seabirds to our collective inertia on climate change with his trademark tonic of brutal honesty wrapped in stunning prose.
Read what Franzen has to say about finding meaning in dark times.



Read more!

Illustration by Cate Andrews

Can Phoenix Remain Habitable?
Over the past three decades, heat has caused more U.S. deaths than any other weather-related hazard, including blizzards, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Researchers expect U.S. heat deaths to reach into the thousands or tens of thousands by the end of this century. What does that mean for Arizona, where there are already roughly 600 heat-related deaths each year?
Read about how climate change will affect Phoenix and other Arizona cities.



Read more!

Photo by iStock.com/David Wright

Fight for Our Right to Vote
Attempts to undermine voting rights and the corrosive influence of corporate money in elections are on the rise, putting our democracy—the foundation of so much of our environmental progress—at risk. House Democrats have proposed H.R. 1, a sweeping package of commonsense democracy reforms, as their first order of business in 2019.
Call 347-269-4100 or send a message asking your representative to co-sponsor the bill.



Read more!

Photo by Mike Belleme

What Happens After the Mines Close?
For the people of Harlan County, Kentucky, climate change threatens a kind of cultural and economic disorientation: The coal-mining industry they have relied on for decades is no longer viable. Now former coal mining towns are plotting how to reinvent themselves.
Learn about how lifelong residents of Harlan County are looking ahead to a future without coal.



Send a message!

Trump's Million-Acre Land Grab
Last month, the Trump administration released a dire federal climate report late in the afternoon on the busiest shopping day of the year while they thought nobody was paying attention. (They were wrong.) Now they’ve revealed detailed plans for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Big Oil, despite protest from Native tribes who hold the refuge sacred.
Tell the administration to chill the drills in the Arctic Refuge.



Read more!

Photo courtesy of Cindy Hirschfeld

Happy Hutting
Why embark on a hut trip? For starters, there’s the allure of skiing untracked powder in the backcountry. Then there’s the paradoxical pairing of solitude with the camaraderie that develops among your hutmates. And of course, getting back to basics in the wilderness is always a welcome respite from the plugged-in, high-stress daily grind.
Thinking about a hut trip of your own? Here's how to plan one.



Get your cuddly plush today!

Adopt a Cuddly Plush for Valentine's Day!
When you symbolically adopt an adorable plush grizzly bear—or gray wolf, snowy owl, or sea otter—you are helping to protect America's magnificent wildlife and wildlands for generations to come.
Order by Sunday, February 3, with code CUDDLES and get 20% off + FREE ground shipping.
Hurry, supplies are limited!



Read more!

Illustration courtesy of Peter Arkle

How Weird Was 2018?
"The high point of my work week at Sierra comes on Thursday mornings," says senior editor Paul Rauber. That’s the day New York City–based illustrator Peter Arkle submits his ideas for "In Case You Missed It," a weekly roundup of environmentally themed illustrations. Rauber says Arkle’s sense of the absurd is "a perfect match to the head-spinning strangeness of environmental news in the modern era."
Check out this gallery of jazz whales, horny toadlets, and other strange environmental news.



Read more!

Photo by iStockphoto.com/MikeOrlov

8 Ways to Start Eating Less Meat
Even those of us who salivate at the sight of a charred, sizzling ribeye fresh off the grill have to admit that consuming animal products is just plain lousy for the environment. According to a recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, animal agriculture harms the climate more than the combined emissions from every plane, train, car, bus, and boat in the world. Luckily, it’s getting easier to find tasty, satisfying alternatives to meat and dairy products that are good for the planet, good for your health, and easy on your wallet.
Here are 8 easy ways to begin cutting down on animal edibles and reduce your carbon footprint at the table.



Read more!

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler | Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture taken by Lance Cheung

Toxic Tragedy
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler has proposed that his agency ignore the public health benefits provided by the Clean Air Act’s mercury and air toxics standards. This arbitrary decree turns a deliberately blind eye to the dangers of particulate pollution, putting the health of tens of thousands of people in jeopardy and bailing out the coal industry, even as virtually all economic indicators suggest that coal can’t compete with cleaner, cheaper energy from solar and wind.
Read more about how Wheeler has cooked the books to benefit coal barons.






From: "Jacobin Roundup" <publicity@jacobinmag.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January, 2019
Subject: The Democratic Party's civil war



January 16, 2019
The Democratic Party's civil war




Socialists have made big electoral strides in the first two years of the Trump administration. From state legislatures to the House of Representatives, an insurgent left wing has built its voting base by demanding real alternatives, putting pressure on the centrist Democratic establishment in the process.

Now, as the 2020 horse race gets started, Democratic party elites are caught in a bind: they're terrified of insurgent candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but they also need to appropriate those candidates' momentum. It seems like every day a new party insider approaches the podium to announce their candidacy for president, each claiming to be more progressive than the next.

Jacobin has long watched these milquetoast #Resistance types very closely. Scroll down for the latest stories of centrist wolves in radical clothing, why socialists can't abandon electoral politics to our enemies, and what challenges await.


Here's the latest...https://gallery.mailchimp.com/b7db5951d33a061da219ae2c8/images/9f0b77f9-bad7-4dad-9490-b970c21e92c5.png











Did you miss...? 


  • This week's Los Angeles teachers strike starkly poses the question: will the public or privatizers control public education?
  • Los Angeles teachers are striking against a hostile takeover of public schools by the superrich. At its core, this fight is between LA and the billionaires.
  • The United States' dependence on the labor of immigrants is exactly what confirms their rights. That's the last thing Donald Trump wants to confront.
  • Critics of Marx often get the great socialist thinker wrong. Here are eight Marxist claims that may surprise you.
  • Socialists like Eugene Debs fought for free speech rights against state and employer despotism. We should take up their struggle for civil liberties today.
  • Decades of stealth attacks haven’t just weakened Britain’s National Health Service, argues Dawn Foster. They’ve also made it harder to criticize its shortcomings.
  • What can workers do when the company pulls the plug on an entire workplace? The only answer is democratic planning. Sam Gindin on the GM shutdowns in Canada.





Check out The ABCs of Capitalism!


Political organizing is hard — political education shouldn’t have to be. That's why Catalyst and Jacobin produced these pamphlets. Buy all three for $10 today.  






From: Mark Crispin Miller

Sent: Fri, 18 Jan 2019


Here's what Amazon will do if you don't let it into your computer


From an NFU subscriber:


I listened to your interview with Leonard Lopate, and I have one small observation about Amazon and your Forbidden Bookshelf.  I haven't spent any of my own money at Amazon in twenty years, ever since bullet-headed asshole Jeff Bezos laid off 1400 American workers in favoring of offshoring their jobs and cashed in $70 million in stock in the same week (this at a time when Amazon had never shown a profit).However, one of my sisters insisted on sending me an Amazon gift card, and I figured it would be easy money in Bezos' pockets if I didn't order something, and the best use of it would be items from the Forbidden Bookshelf.  So I purchased several of the books in Kindle format, installed the PC version of Kindle, since I don't have a stand-alone Kindle reader, and perused the books I bought.  Within seconds of opening the Kindle emulation program, the computer's firewall sent a notice that Amazon's Kindle reader was trying to access the internet.  Reading the books doesn't require internet access, so I blocked it.

Instantly, the computer went nuts.  Both the CPU and the hard drive went to 100% activity and memory leakage started to climb.  The CPU and hard drive temps started to skyrocket, and I shut the system down.  I came to the conclusion that this was a deliberate program, probably related to someone's skewed idea of digital rights management. (Amazon's Kindle policies have always been hinky; I recall it coming out a while back that they have the ability to reach in and delete purchased titles from your device.)  Beyond that, I think, Amazon just wanted free access to my computer, and got very nasty when it was denied that access.  I did find a workaround, but it requires shutting down the computer, physically disconnecting Ethernet from the router (I use a hard-wired system only), then restarting without internet access.  Apparently, the program then recognizes there's no internet on the device and suspends the hijinks. But, c'mon, bricking the computer or slowing it to a dead stop in order to enforce a company's DRM policies is a bit beyond extreme.

I've noticed similar encroachments on data with other Amazon subsidiaries.  About four months ago, I noticed that whenever I went to imdb.com, now an Amazon subsidiary, there was data streaming continuously even after the page was fully loaded.  This went on as long as the page was up on the browser.  So now I mostly stay away from imdb.com, and on the very rare occasions I visit that site, I close the page as quickly as possible and immediately wipe all history and cookies, just to be safe.

I have a hypothesis that large institutions, led for a long time by a single individual in their formative years, take on the personality and character of those leaders (think Stalin and the Politburo, Dulles at the CIA, Hoover at the FBI).  And Bezos is a greedy asshole, so what does that make Amazon? 

I wish people understood that Amazon is not only not their friend, it may end up being their worst enemy.