NATO Is a Protection Racket, Among Other Things

“In the immediate post-World War II period the US, which took more than its share of the credit for the liberation of Europe from the Nazis, saw an opportunity to consolidate its influence over the continent. Given the poverty and disarray of other countries after the war, the Americans saw an opportunity for the United States to advance their world-domination agenda. Their first step in tutoring their European allies, and it was a masterstroke, was to create NATO in Washington on April 14, 1949, and headquarter it in Brussels. This grouping of the Europeans in a single organization made them much more manageable.”

Trump and All the Rest

Let’s Go Back Over the Story

The rationale for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been based on a genial lie from the beginning: that the United States set up and essentially runs NATO in order to protect Europe from potential Russian aggression. It seems to make perfect sense when interpreted in the context of the Cold War, in which we were obliged by Big Brother to perceive almost everything as a Russian plot. The best defense against this looming danger, the story goes, was a military alliance led by the greatest power in the history of the world, the United States.

In the immediate post-World War II period the US, which took more than its share of the credit for the liberation of Europe from the Nazis, saw an opportunity to consolidate its influence over the continent. Given the poverty and disarray of other countries after the war…

View original post 2,448 more words

The Criminal Prosecution of Boeing Executives Should Begin

Mish Talk | September 18, 2020

Damning details of purposeful malfeasance by Boeing executives emerged in a Congressional investigation.

FAA, Boeing Blasted Over 737 MAX Failures

On Wednesday, the Transportation Committee Blasted FAA, Boeing Over 737 MAX Failures

The 238-page document, written by the majority staff of the House Transportation Committee, calls into question whether the plane maker or the Federal Aviation Administration has fully incorporated essential safety lessons, despite a global grounding of the MAX fleet since March 2019.

After an 18-month investigation, the report, released Wednesday, concludes that Boeing’s travails stemmed partly from a reluctance to admit mistakes and “point to a company culture that is in serious need of a safety reset.”

The report provides more specifics, in sometimes-blistering language, backing up preliminary findings the panel’s Democrats released six months ago, which laid out a pattern of mistakes and missed opportunities to correct them.

In one section, the Democrats’ report faults Boeing for what it calls “inconceivable and inexcusable” actions to withhold crucial information from airlines about one cockpit-warning system, related to but not part of MCAS, that didn’t operate as required on 80% of MAX jets. Other portions highlight instances when Boeing officials, acting in their capacity as designated FAA representatives, part of a widely used system of delegating oversight authority to company employees, failed to alert agency managers about various safety matters.

Boeing Purposely Hid Design Flaws

The Financial Times has an even more damning take in its report Boeing Hid Design Flaws in Max Jets from Pilots and Regulators.

Boeing concealed from regulators internal test data showing that if a pilot took longer than 10 seconds to recognise that the system had kicked in erroneously, the consequences would be “catastrophic”.

The report also detailed how an alert, which would have warned pilots of a potential problem with one of their anti-stall sensors, was not working on the vast majority of the Max fleet. It found that the company deliberately concealed this fact from both pilots and regulators as it continued to roll out the new aircraft around the world.

In Bed With the Regulators

Boeing’s defense is the FAA signed off on the reviews.

Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA.

 Only One Way to Stop This

There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.

Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution […]

Via https://alethonews.com/2020/09/20/the-criminal-prosecution-of-boeing-executives-should-begin/

Facebook sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users through phone cameras

According to the complaint, the Instagram app was activating smartphone cameras without notifying the owners of the phones in order to gather “lucrative and valuable data that it would not otherwise have access to.”

Nwo Report

Facebook sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users through phone cameras

Source: RT News

Social media giant Facebook secretly used iPhone cameras to obtain “extremely private and intimate” information about the uses of its Instagram picture and video sharing app, a new US lawsuit claims.

The legal action follows Instagram users reporting in July that they had noticed the FaceTime symbol, which indicates that an iPhone camera is on, was showing up when they scrolled their feeds.

At the time, Facebook denied spying accusations and blamed the issue on a bug, which, it said, triggered false notifications that Instagram was accessing cameras.

However, now a lawsuit, filed in a federal court in San Francisco on Thursday, insists that the tech giant was doing it on purpose.

The Instagram app was activating smartphone cameras without notifying the owners of the phones in order to gather “lucrative and valuable data that it would not otherwise have access to,” plaintiff Brittany Conditi from New…

View original post 7 more words

Attack on Independent Campaign Shows that Undermining Democracy is a Bi-partisan Project

Basic democratic rights in the US are constantly under attack, and Americans must fight to protect what the have and to further expand their rights. They cannot make the mistake of thinking that the Democratic Party, which has shown itself to be the second-most anti-democratic party in the US, will somehow save democracy simply because they aren’t the first-most anti-democratic party.

Red Madison

By Scot McCullough

Last week the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its decision to keep Green Party Presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and his Vice Presidential running mate Angela Walker off of the ballot for the November election. This close to the election, the court ruled that they “would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election.” Election officials across the state have been preparing and printing mail-in ballots to send out to voters this week, and they raised concerns that they would not be able to re-print ballots to accommodate late-stage changes while still mailing ballots in time.

Many Democrats regard the Supreme Court decision as having prevented the “spoilers” in the Green Party from sowing electoral chaos. However, a closer look at events reveals that this issue can be traced back to anti-democratic ballot restrictions enforced not by the Republican Party, but this time by the Democrats.

View original post 1,094 more words

Is Vitamin D is the Solution to the Covid-19 Second Wave?

Ron Conte Covid.us.org

Second Wave

More than two dozen studies of Covid-19 show us the way to TURN BACK the Second Wave.

Vitamin D versus Covid-19

These 27 studies show that having normal blood levels of vitamin D reduces Covid-19 risks:
* vitamin D reduces risk of infection [7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 23, 27]
* vitamin D reduces risk of having a severe case [1, 3, 4, 5, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26]
* vitamin D reduces risk of hospitalization, ICU care, or mechanical ventilation [2, 10, 14, 15, 21, 22, 24, 26]
* vitamin D reduces risk of dying from Covid-19 [4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25]

And all you need to get those benefits is a normal blood level of vitamin D:
30 to 100 ng/ml, which is the same as 75 to 250 nmol/liter.

Note, however, that one study [27] found that vitamin D levels in the range of 50 to 60 ng/ml had the lowest risk of infection from Covid-19, about half the risk of the blood level 20 ng/ml. But the other studies show that 30 ng/ml (or higher) is enough.

The type of vitamin D measured by lab tests in the blood is called “25(OH)D”.

“Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a 25(OH)D below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/liter), and vitamin D insufficiency as a 25(OH)D of 21–29 ng/ml (525–725 nmol/liter).” [86]

What is causing the Second Wave? Vitamin D blood levels are seasonal; they rise and fall from one season to another. In summer, vitamin D levels are higher because people are out in the sunshine. When sunshine (specifically UV-B) strikes the skin, the body makes vitamin D. But as people spend more time indoors, in autumn and winter, vitamin D blood levels fall. The levels decrease from late September to October to November, and they reach their lowest extent in December through March.

This type of seasonal vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is VERY COMMON in nations of the northern hemisphere, especially further north. The Southern States in the U.S. have this problem, but to a lesser extent than the States at higher latitudes in the U.S. Then Europe and Canada also have low vitamin D in autumn and winter.

In Muslim nations and in other nations where the religion or social custom requires covering the skin so that little skin is exposed to sunshine, vitamin D deficiency can be quite widespread. It is too difficult to obtain vitamin D from food, unless it is fortified with vitamin D. But even when, it would be too difficult to get the right amount of vitamin D to everyone in the right dosage through food. Perhaps religious or social rules could be loosened by authorities, so as to permit “sunshine on skin” to make vitamin D. The other possibility is vitamin D supplementation (discussed further below).

In the United States, where the Second Wave will strike next starting in October, more than twice as many adults have a vitamin D deficiency in winter (48%) than in summer (21%) [85]. That increases the number of persons infected with Covid-19, which greatly increases the spread (as the disease is highly contagious), and it also increases the severity of those cases that have low vitamin D, resulting in a much greater need for hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators. Low vitamin D in winter increases the fatality rate (percent who die) on top of a higher case rate, meaning that the number of deaths rises faster than the number of cases, since the cases are more severe […]

Vitamin D is the Solution to the Covid-19 Second Wave — Covid.us.org

What if the Agricultural Revolution Was a Mistake?

Masanabu Fukuoka Natural Mind – Interviews with Larry Korn

City as Nature (2019)

Film Review

City as Nature has released this three-part interview as a tribute to Larry Korn,* who died in 2019. They concern his work with the so-called “father of natural farming” Masanabu Fukuoka.

Fukuoka (and Korn) believed that humanity made a serious error 12,000 years ago in departing from the way human beings had lived for hundreds of thousands of years.

During the agricultural revolution, which occurred around 10,000 BC, human beings decided they were separate from nature and superior to other species. This led to the widespread adoption of the myth that science and “progress” improve the quality of our lives.

They also took up three specific technologies that have proved disastrous for the biosphere and human welfare: plowing, logging, and irrigation. Ironically Fukuoka made these observations decades before soil scientists discovered that 1) plowing and logging destroy essential soil bacteria that enable plants to take up basic nutrients and 2) irrigation destroys soil by making it more saline.

Since then (according to Fukuoka and Korn) all new farming innovations (synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc) have simply been unsuccessful attempts to mitigate the damage caused by plowing, logging and irrigation.

In the first video, Korn describes Fukuoko’s philosophy of natural farming: that by fully accepting themselves as part of nature, human beings will intuitively know how to produce the food they need to survive.

In the second video, Korn describes how Fukuoko taught himself natural farming by systematically challenging conventional agricultural practices. He eventually discovered not only that plowing was unnecessary, but also weeding, composting, pruning and flooding rice fields. His approach mainly involves scattering food crop seeds among plants occurring naturally in ecosystems. Once he restored a natural insect habitat to his fields, he found they attracted enough insect predators that he no longer needed to apply (natural) pesticides to his food crops.

In the third film, Korn describes how the economics of industrialized society supports a materialistic lifestyle that’s harmful to nature. After working with Fukuuoka, Korn began to actively challenge many of his other personal beliefs. He found the vast majority were cultural precepts he had learned via indoctrination. Four he considers the most dangerous are progress, open field agriculture and the dogma that science will find a solution for all our problems.


*Larry Korn, a student of Masanobu Fukuoka, helped translate and edit the English language version of The One-Straw Revolution. He was also an educator, consultant, editor and author in the fields of permaculture, natural farming, sustainable landscaping and local food production.

 

 

What are They Hiding? Human Rights Groups Blocked from Monitoring Julian Assange Trial

Fair trial monitors are a critical component to upholding transparency and regulation in courtrooms across the world, reminding authorities that independent witnesses are scrutinizing them. Amnesty International monitors have been recognized as international fair trial monitors for cases in many repressive states, including Bahrain and Turkey, and even oversaw cases at Guantanamo Bay. It is a disgrace that the UK has failed to recognize that international fair trial monitors should be officially recognized and permitted access to the Assange hearings.

The Free

TOPICS:Alan MacleodHuman RightsJulian Assange

By Alan MacLeod

September 18, 2020 from ApokalypsNu shared with thanks

The high profile extradition hearing of publisher and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange continued in Central London today. But it did so without oversight from international human rights groups.

Julia Hall, an expert on criminal justice and human rights for Amnesty International, revealed that her organization was again denied entry to the court today, despite their repeated requests to be recognized as fair trial monitors.

Fair trial monitors are a critical component to upholding transparency and regulation in courtrooms across the world, reminding authorities that independent witnesses are scrutinizing them. Hall noted that Amnesty monitors have been recognized as international fair trial monitors for cases in many repressive states, including Bahrain and Turkey, and even oversaw cases at Guantanamo Bay.

View original post 923 more words

Amazon Heroes Who Don’t Give Up

The Guardians of the Forest are a group of 120 indigenous activists who are trying to protect the 413,000 hectares in Arariboia against environmental crimes, which are perpetrated almost always by illegal loggers.

HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

Human Wrongs Watch

By Manuella Libardi*

The Guardians of the Forest, a group of indigenous Guajajara in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, struggle to defend their land from invaders and to guarantee their survival in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

16 September 2020 (openDemocracy)* — If we ask Olimpio Santos Guajajara when the Guardians of the Forest were founded, his answer would be very simple: in 1500, the year the Portuguese landed in Brazil with an armada under the command of Pedro Álvares Cabral.

View original post 3,717 more words

“The $2.5 Trillion Annual Theft” — Blog For Iowa

That is an estimate of how much the annual theft is from America’s workers.

A study came out this week that astounded nearly everyone. While everyone knows that workers have been left behind in the economic race since the early 70s, there had never been a study to put a real number on it. The RAND corporation undertook that challenge. The numbers they came up with caught most everyone by surprise:

Rick Wartzman at fastcompany.com addresses that with his opening paragraphs on the findings:

“Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy? A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income—and the results are stunning.

A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median—with half the population making more and half making less—now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation’s economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)”

<<snip>>

Tally it all up, according to RAND, and the bottom 90% of American workers would be bringing home an additional $2.5 trillion in total annual income if economic gains were as equitably divided as they’d been in the past—leading Rolf to dub the phenomenon “the $2.5 trillion theft.”

“From the standpoint of people who have worked hard and played by the rules and yet are participating far less in economic growth than Americans did a generation ago,” he says, “whether you call it ‘reverse distribution’ or ‘theft,’ it demands to be called something.”

From a Time magazine article on the same study Nick Hanauer and David Rolf point out:

“As Price and Edwards explain, from 1947 through 1974, real incomes grew close to the rate of per capita economic growth across all income levels. That means that for three decades, those at the bottom and middle of the distribution saw their incomes grow at about the same rate as those at the top. This was the era in which America built the world’s largest and most prosperous middle class, an era in which inequality between income groups steadily shrank (even as shocking inequalities between the sexes and races largely remained). But around 1975, this extraordinary era of broadly shared prosperity came to an end. Since then, the wealthiest Americans, particularly those in the top 1 percent and 0.1 percent, have managed to capture an ever-larger share of our nation’s economic growth—in fact, almost all of it—their real incomes skyrocketing as the vast majority of Americans saw little if any gains.

What if American prosperity had continued to be broadly shared—how much more would a typical worker be earning today? Once the data are compiled, answering these questions is fairly straightforward. Price and Edwards look at real taxable income from 1975 to 2018. They then compare actual income distributions in 2018 to a counterfactual that assumes incomes had continued to keep pace with growth in per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—a 118% increase over the 1975 income numbers. Whether measuring inflation using the more conservative Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE) or the more commonly cited Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U-RS), the results are striking.”

So where is the money that you and I didn’t get? Somebody got it. Back to the fastcompany.com story Hanauer and Rolf give their assessment:

[…]

 

“The $2.5 Trillion Annual Theft” — Blog For Iowa

 

Culture, Class and Civilization

Great essay on the origin of class society.

Journal of People

CULTURE AND CLASS

Culture, Class and Civilisation

Dave Lordan

Culture Matters | September 16, 2020

Culture, class and civilisation

About 10,000 years ago, after 3.6 million years of the Stone Age, humanity began to slowly and stutteringly transform itself. A nomadic species made up of small egalitarian groups and surviving (or not) on the given bounty of the Earth, changed into a settled, class-based, accumulative society. It was based on agricultural surpluses, and institutional hierarchies and gross inequalities were to become a permanent feature. The domestication of certain animals such as the sheep and the goat, cultivation of high-yield grains, and improvements in food storage methods, irrigation, and farming methods and technologies, gave humanity for the first time the problem of more than enough stuff to go around – surplus – and what to do with it.

View original post 3,147 more words

%d bloggers like this: