Thanks to Scotland's new Children and Young People Bill - passed by the Scottish National Parliament on February 19th - each child in that land (from birth to 18 years of age) is to have a state-appointed "guardian" to ensure that he or she is growing up in safety. Although the idea is to make it easier for the authorities to spot difficulties such as abuse, critics point to the fact that the "guardians" will have legal access to sensitive information about the child and his/her family, and to the probable fact that the legislation runs contrary to Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
Neither a global warming believer, nor a "denier", Charles Krauthammer chastises those who pretend that "the science is settled." It's "a crude attempt to silence critics", he says, as is the term "denier" which he heavily criticises for its abusive and manipulative connation of "Holocaust denial."
The pretense of "settled science" allows every natural disaster, be it "warming and cooling, drought and flood" to be conveniently blamed on "man's sinful carbon burning." But "sinful" against Whom? Now there's a new god on the block: Mother Earth; in some ways fitting, since promoters of the idea of anthropogenic climate change "have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith."
Paul Craig Roberts reports that he is receiving confirmations from his readers that Washington and the EU are helping to finance the violent protests in the Ukraine. This supports his assessments in previous articles, such as: "Washington Orchestrated Protests Destabilizing Ukraine".
"Nuland is the Obama regime official who was caught red-handed naming the members of the Ukrainian government Washington intends to impose on the Ukrainian people once the paid protesters have unseated the current elected and independent government. What Nuland means by Ukraine’s future under EU overlordship is for Ukraine to be looted like Latvia and Greece and to be used by Washington as a staging ground for US missile bases against Russia."
If you've ever tried to tell someone about one of the countless official lies that we're bombarded with on a regular basis, and they've "answered" you before even bothering to listen to what you have to say...
... well, the writer of this proverb said it all thousands of years ago:
"The one who gives an answerbeforehe listens that ishis follyand his shame."
"...[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations..." (p. 324 - emphasis added)
"When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favour the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else. The consequences include the erosion of democratic governance, the pulling apart of social cohesion, and the vanishing of equal opportunities for all. Unless bold political solutions are instituted to curb the influence of wealth on politics, governments will work for the interests of the rich"
...Floyd notes that if we work "really, really hard... [we] too might one day be able to afford one night on the bottom floor of a hotel where a Saudi prince or a movie star once actually took a dump hundreds of feet above [us]. Now there's something to fire up [our] pathetic little middle-class imagination!"
Old news perhaps, but as we listen to reports of Syrian defector "Caesar" and his 55,000 photographs (whose provenance may, or may not, be questionable), let's pause to remember a previous defector: "Curveball." When Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi was seeking political asylum in Germany in 1999, he claimed that he had overseen the construction of a mobile biological laboratory in Iraq, a testimony that was later used in 2003 by Colin Powell, then US Secretary of State, at the UN Security Council to help make the case for the invasion of Iraq.
Later, however, "Curveball" admitted that it was all a lie; when the BBC said to him, "we went to war in Iraq on a lie, and that lie was your lie" his reply was "Yes."
On the claimed systematic torture and execution of 11,000 detainees by the Syrian government, conveniently 'evidenced' by a report (funded by Qatar) on graphic photographs (from where?) delivered by a certain photographer code-named "Caesar" (who "was apparently happy to take photos of dead bodies for years before releasing them to be made public just 24 hours before the start of Geneva II"), Paul Joseph Watson writes with characteristic clarity.
Another MUST READ: Richard Lloyd (former UN Weapons Inspector) and Theodore A. Postol (Professor of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have produced a persuasive study challenging Washington's accusations that Syrian government forces carried out chemical weapon attacks in August 2013. In a nutshell, the distances between the Syrian government-controlled areas and the targets in East Ghouta exceed the range of the delivery rockets...
If passed, the recently introduced Trade Priorities Act (in the US) would enable Obama to "fast-track" a number of global trade accords, including the controversial TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), and TAFTA (the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement).
Often dubbed "NAFTA on steroids!", and as "corporatist power grabs", these accords, which purport to be all about "free trade" across large areas of the globe, have been heavily criticised for their secrecy, and for the undue power they are likely to give to corporations over nation states. As Washington's Blog puts it, the TPP:
"will increase the cost of borrowing, make prescription drugs more expensive, destroy privacy, harm food safety, and – yes - literally act to destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and the other nations which sign the bill."
The RT piece concurs, reporting the words of Fight For The Future, that the TPP is poised to:
“restrict, police and censor the Internet, stifling free speech and innovation; radically decrease access to affordable medicine; circumvent protections for workers and the environment; expand economic inequality; prevent corporations from properly labeling genetically modified food.”
On the day of JFK's funeral (25 November 1963), Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sent a memo to Bill Moyers (then presidential assistant to Lyndon B. Johnson), calling for a campaign of action to satisfy the public that Oswald was the lone assassin, and that the evidence for this conclusion was compelling; well before the truth of the matter could possibly have been known.
"The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."
Seymour Hersh: "Whose Sarin?", London Review of Books, 19 December 2013.
A MUST READ - Seymour Hersh dismantles Washington's bogus case for an attack on Syria. Obama "omitted important intelligence" and "presented assuptions as facts." A key omission was this: US Intelligence had assessed that the al-Qaeda-connected al-Nusra Front was capable of producing significant amounts of sarin.
In his Christmas column, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts celebrates the historic role of Christianity in the West in empowering the individual and protecting citizens from tyranny through the rule of law and the right to free speech. These achievements, he insists, "all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual’s soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice." But, laments Roberts, much of this achievement is being undone as "political correctness" and "the war on terror" combine to destabilise the worldview foundations upon which our civilisation rests... and thus... "Tyranny has re-emerged."
A US federal court has just struck down the NSA's bulk metadata spying program. Quotations from the Memorandum Opinion [external PDF]:
"The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature."
"There is no indication that these revelations were immediately useful or that they prevented an impending attack."
"I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism."
"The Fourth Amendment typically requires "a neutral and detached authority be interposed between the police and the public," and it is offended by "general warrants" and laws that allow searches to be conducted "indiscriminately and without regard to their connection with [a] crime under investigation." "
"I cannot imagine a more "indiscriminate" and "arbitrary invasion" than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on "that degree of privacy" that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware "the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power," would be aghast."
Kevin Ryan, who was fired from his job as Site Manager at Underwriters Laboratories for publicly challenging the US Government’s investigation into the WTC tragedy, comments on The Wall Street Journal's recent coverage of the arrest of Terry Lee Loewen. That a Wichita avionics specialist, described by his neighbours as "normal", and by his ex-wife as "peaceful" and "easy-going" and as a man who "didn’t like confrontation", should convert to jihadist Islam (about six months ago) and then spend all his free time preparing to be a "lone wolf" suicide bomber for the sake of "Muslim brothers and sisters" whom he had never met, and apparently without the knowledge of his family, Kevin Ryan finds pretty difficult to believe. He concludes:
"If we can learn anything from the incident it is that the next terrorist could be anybody—you, your father, your neighbor—anyone at all.
And there won’t necessarily be any signs other than what the FBI provides about internet activity."
Washington's Blog reports that Japan is falling back into fascism after 68 years. Reflecting the outrage of thousands of protesters outside the Diet building in Tokyo, oppostion lawmaker Hirokazu Shiba was heard to shout during Thursday's committee meeting: "This is the way the reign of terror begins!" The Secrecy Bill, which, according to the Guardian, could see whistleblowers and journalists in Japan being given long prison sentences for revealing "state secrets", has prompted one senator to remark:
According to Bloomberg's William Pesek, Shigeru Ishiba, the Japanese governing Liberal Democratic Party's Secretary-General, wrote in a blog post that the act of challenging the Bill should be likened to "an act of terrorism."
Madison Ruppert: "British MPs highlight Christianity as 'the most persecuted religion globally' ", EndTheLie.com, 05 December 2013.
During a three-hour debate in The House of Commons on Wednesday, UK Members of Parliament heard that every eleven minutes, somewhere in the world, a Christian is being killed. According to Christian Today, MP Stephen Pound remarked that it is "beyond doubt … [that] Christians are the most persecuted single group in the world today on grounds of religion", and MP Jim Shannon, that the persecution of Christians around the globe is "the biggest story in the world that has never been told." Shannon added that, this year alone, 200 million Christians will be targets for persecution, and that 500 million live in "dangerous neighbourhoods."
Kevin Ryan, who was fired from his job as Site Manager at Underwriters Laboratories for publicly challenging the US Government’s investigation into the WTC tragedy, takes issue with recent comments made by MIT professor Noam Chomsky at the University of Florida. In response to Chomsky's claims - for instance, that only "a miniscule number of architects and engineers" are sceptical about the official account of WTC7's fall, and that "a tiny number—a couple of them—are perfectly serious" - Kevin Ryan points up example after example the ways in which Chomsky, the celebrated public intellectual, seems to be ignoring the evidence and belittling those who question 9/11.