Friday, May 24, 2019

The crucifixion of Julian Assange continues unabated



Right before our eyes, we are seeing how very much down the hole the once great country of the United States of America has fallen and yet we are reluctant to call things the way they are and keep pretending it's still a democracy.  Sad! 

Joe Lauria at ConsortiumNews
Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act on 17 New Counts

 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted on Thursday under the Espionage Act, the first time a journalist has been charged under the Act for possessing and disseminating classified information.

A journalist was indicted under the Espionage Act for the first time in U.S. history on Thursday when the Department of Justice charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Act in a move that opens the way for prosecution of anyone who publishes classified information.

The 37-page indictment charges Assange under four sections of the Act, including Section E for possessing and disseminating classified matter. It charged him with acts common to any investigative journalist:
“(i)circumvent(ing) legal safeguards on information; (ii) provid(ing) that protected information to WikiLeaks for public dissemination; and (iii) continu(ing) the pattern of illegally procuring and providing protected information to WikiLeaks for distribution to the public.”     
Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in London’s Belmarsh prison for skipping bail and seeking asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in 2012 because he feared onward extradition from Sweden to the United States and prosecution under the Espionage Act. He was arrested on April 11 when Ecuador illegally lifted his asylum and let British police onto Ecuadorian territory to carry Assange from the embassy.

The U.S. had until June 12 to add additional charges in its extradition request to Britain. The decision on extradition rests with British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who WikiLeaks said “is now under enormous pressure to protect the rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere.”
 
Not a Journalist
John Demers, head of the DOJ’s National Security Division, in announcing the indictment told reporters: “Some say that Assange is a journalist and that he should be immune for prosecution for these actions.  The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it. It is not and has never been the department’s policy to target them for reporting.”

But Demers said Assange wasn’t a journalist. “No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposefully publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in a war zone, exposing them to the gravest of dangers,” he said.  

Assange’s attorney in the U.S., Barry Pollack,  responded:...........




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Some of my tweets ... May 16 - 20





























































Friday, May 17, 2019

Asian Culture Carnival (CDAC) and China's president's speech at the opening ceremony


As our MSM in the West has been very quiet about this beautiful event going on right now in Beijing, one has to wonder how we continue to intake the propaganda from our media and are willing to let ourselves be turned into zombies.


From CGTN
Aiming at promoting exchanges between the Asian civilizations and the rest of the world, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) kicked off on Wednesday in China's capital Beijing.
One of the conference's highly anticipated events, the Asian Culture Carnival, hosted by China Media Group (CMG), was staged at Beijing's National Stadium on Wednesday night.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, as well as the leaders of countries and international organizations and their spouses, attended the CDAC and enjoyed the magnificent, diverse gala.
With the theme of "Celebration of Youth, Dream of Asia," the extravaganza showcased the distinctive charm of Asian civilizations and Chinese civilization through various art performances and high-tech stage effects.
More than 30,000 performers from 47 countries took part in 15 performances at the celebration. The cast included famous performers from different countries, Asian youth leaders and world-class artists
Opening ceremony



Xi Jinping's speech


News about the event 
 From CCTV.com
China hosts carnival celebrations
China hosts carnival celebrating diversity of Asian civilizations
 Dazzling dance steps and music from different corners of Asia livened up the National Stadium in Beijing Wednesday evening as a grand carnival was held to celebrate the diversity of Asian civilizations....

Fro ECNS
Asian Cultural Carnival releases theme song "Our Asia"
 The Asian Cultural Carnival, a celebratory activity for the upcoming Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, released its theme song "Our Asia" on Wednesday.
The conference, scheduled to open on May 15 in Beijing, seeks to foster exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and to build a community of a shared future.
Bands from several Asian countries collaborated on the theme song, "Our Asia," working together to bring the music of Asia to the world....

From SouthChinaMorningPost
  Over 10000 Performers Share Beijing Stage Open Asian Culture Carnival
At least 10,000 performers took part in the opening ceremony for the Asian culture carnival in Beijing on May 15, 2019.
The predominantly Asian cast was joined by one famous Italian – singer Andrea Bocelli.
The event in the Chinese capital was organised to open the week-long Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations, which involves 47 Asian countries.
 

The Knowns and the Unknowns in yet another proposed war by the warlords in America


What a damned and forsaken country the USA has become !!!!


Juan Cole at GlobalResearch
Top Ten Differences Between the Iraq War and Trump's Proposed Iran War


1. Iraq is 168,754 mi² and Iran is 636,400 mi²; that is, Iran is geographically 3.77 times bigger than Iraq, almost 4 times as big.

2. Iraq’s population when invaded was 26 million. Iran’s population today is 81 million.

3. General Eric Shinseki testified before Congress prior to Bush’s invasion that based on the US military’s experience in the Balkans, 800,000 troops would be needed to provide security to Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted on 100,000 troops, wrongly believing he could pull them out in 6 months. Bush’s viceroy in Iraq, Paul Bremer, later admitted that “we never had enough troops” in Iraq.

4. Since Iran is 3 times as populous as Iraq, by Shinseki’s correct calculation, the US would need 2.4 million troops to occupy Iran.

5. The US total military personnel count is about 2,141,900, of whom 1, 281,900 are active duty and the rest reservists.

6. Iraq’s army was a conventional military force with four powerful tank divisions, which the US Air Force turned to black carbon dust. The US only ran into trouble when Iraqis opposed to the invasion turned to guerrilla tactics, which the US never was able to deal with effectively.

7. Iran can already mobilize at least 1.5 million paramilitary “Basij” forces for guerrilla warfare. This is in addition to over 500,000 active duty military personnel...............



Some of my tweets from May 11 to 15























































The stupidity of waging a trade war with China

Will China flounder just because Trump thinks USA still has the clout to  bully each and every nation on our planet?  

Look what happened when Russia was bullied with sanctions and NATO doing the gig on their doorstep. Russia started producing more and mightier WMDs.  That's plain and simple logic.  If you live in a neighbourhood where a horde of new hoodlums have taken up residence at the invitation of the old hoodlums, you know you have to improve your security measures and perhaps even add many a  new gadget to keep those additional crooks away from your front door and your backyard. Russia has now become one of the major WMD suppliers ... all thanks to USA's belligerence and threats of war towards it. Well done America!! 

Bullying China is like pouring water on a duck's back.  It won't work.  If Americans were not so full of themselves and had at least tried to learn a  bit about Asian cultures and pride, they would know that China will  never bend to their will.  China might pretend to, but actually give in?  Never!!  Right now as we speak, there are conferences taking place in Beijing where thousands of business folks have gathered and by the time the event ends, I am willing to bet  there will be trade agreements signed to the tune of Billions of Dollars.  No one, and I mean no one, can deter China from its   onwards march and firmer entrenchment of its status as the new Empire.

Peter Koenig at DissidentVoice
Trump: From China to Iran to Venezuela, Threats and Sanctions Everywhere

A Chronicle of Disorganized Chaos Foretold


As of May 10, Mr. Trump has arbitrarily increased tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the US, worth about 200 billion dollars, from 10% to 25%. It is an action without any foundation. An action that makes no sense at all, as China can and will retaliate – and retaliate much stronger than what the impact of the US’s new “sanctions” may bear – because these arbitrary tariffs are nothing else but sanctions. Illegality of such foreign interference aside, there is hardly any serious economist in this world who would favor tariffs in international trade among “adults” anywhere and for any reason, and, of course, least as a punishment for a nation. All that such sanctions do is pushing a partner away. In this case it’s not just any partner; China is a key trading partner of the United States.

The new tariffs will hardly harm the American consumer. There are huge profit margins by US middlemen and importers of Chinese goods. They are competing with each other within the US  and the consumer may not even notice a thing. However, the US economy will likely suffer, especially from Chinese retaliatory actions.

A spoiled child, what Trump is, doesn’t get his way – and goes into a tantrum, not quite knowing what he is doing, and knowing even less what he may expect in return. Mr. Trump, himself, has not only reached a level of incompetence and ignorance which is scary – but he has also surrounded himself with inept, preposterous people, like, Pence, Bolton, Pompeo – who, it appears, have no other means left than running around the world amok, dishing out threats left and right and spending billions on moving aircraft carriers around the globe to make sure people are afraid of the great-great United States of America.

Back to trading with China. China has a million ways (almost) to retaliate. China can devalue her currency vis-à-vis the dollar, or China can dump some of their almost 3 trillion dollars-worth of reserves on the money market – just take a wild guess about what that would do to the hegemony of the dollar which is already in dire straits – with ever more countries departing from the use of dollars for international trade......

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Some of my tweets from May 6 - 10





























































When is Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy ?


Here's the answer from A - Z, nicely laid out from author and attorney John Whitehead:


John W Whitehead at Rutherford Org
D is for Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business
What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.............

.........In the interest of liberty and truth, here’s an A-to-Z primer to spell out the grim realities of life in the American Police State that no one is talking about anymore.

A is for the AMERICAN POLICE STATE. A police state “is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, a nation of suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and a citizenry with little recourse against police actions.”

B is for our battered BILL OF RIGHTS. In the cop culture that is America today, where you can be kicked, punched, tasered, shot, intimidated, harassed, stripped, searched, brutalized, terrorized, wrongfully arrested, and even killed by a police officer, and that officer is rarely held accountable for violating your rights, the Bill of Rights doesn’t amount to much.

C is for CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE. This governmental scheme to deprive Americans of their liberties—namely, the right to property—is being carried out under the guise of civil asset forfeiture, a government practice wherein government agents (usually the police) seize private property they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity. Then, whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, the government keeps the citizen’s property.

D is for DRONES. It is estimated that at least 30,000 drones will be airborne in American airspace by 2020, part of an $80 billion industry. Although some drones will be used for benevolent purposes, many will also be equipped with lasers, tasers and scanning devices, among other weapons—all aimed at “we the people.”

E is for ELECTRONIC CONCENTRATION CAMP. In the electronic concentration camp, as I have dubbed the surveillance state, all aspects of a person’s life are policed by government agents and all citizens are suspects, their activities monitored and regulated, their movements tracked, their communications spied upon, and their lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness dependent on the government’s say-so.

F is for FASCISM. A study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups. In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere economic units..........