Articles

ISIS ‘ARMY OF ORPHANS’ VOWS REVENGE IN DISTURBING PROPAGANDA VIDEO

May 3, 2016

Numerous orphans who lost their parents due to foreign anti-terror intervention in Syria are becoming thirsty for revenge, a new ISIS propaganda video claims, showing a squad of well-equipped child soldiers preparing for battle. The footage created by the jihadist group’s media arm, Alhayat Center, starts off with a child walking across the ruins of a city destroyed during the Syrian conflict. Amid the scenes of destruction, the faces of Western leaders and politicians blend in with carefully drafted propaganda messages, accompanied by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) nasheed tune sung in French. The terror group vowed payback for the “massacre” perpetrated by the West against the self-proclaimed caliphate in the name of “so-called precious freedoms,” the inserts read, reassuring followers that the extremist organization has enough means by which to defend their cause. US President Barack Obama, Russian and French leaders Vladimir Putin and François Hollande, alongside Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad are shown in the video that vows vengeance. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his counterpart John Kerry are also seen in the footage, as examples of those who had committed crimes against ISIS. Read

Jack Rasmus – Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?

May 3, 2016

Progressive Radio Network, May 01, 2016 This past week the U.S. government announced the country’s economy rose in the January-March 2016 at a mere 0.5 percent annual growth rate. Since the U.S., unlike other countries, estimates its GDP based on annual rates, that means for the first quarter 2016 the U.S. economy grew by barely 0.1 percent over the previous quarter in late 2015. Growth this slow indicates the US economy may have “slipped into ‘stall speed’, that is, growth so weak that the economy loses enough momentum and slides into recession”, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase. Has the U.S. economy therefore come to a halt the past three months? If so, what are the consequences for a global economy already progressively slowing? What will an apparently stagnating US economy mean for Japan, already experiencing its fifth recession since 2008? For Europe, stuck in a long term chronic stagnation? And for emerging market economies, struggling with collapsing commodity prices and currencies, rising unemployment, and long term capital flight trends? Once heralded as the only bright spot in the global economy, the US economy now appears to have joined the slowing global trend. Some Interesting Trends Read

Supreme Court Quietly Approves Rule to Give FBI ‘Sprawling’ Hacking Powers

May 3, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday quietly approved a rule change that would allow a federal magistrate judge to issue a search and seizure warrant for any target using anonymity software like Tor to browse the internet. Absent action by U.S. Congress, the rule change (pdf) will go into effect in December. The FBI would then be able to search computers remotely—even if the bureau doesn’t know where that computer is located—if a user has anonymity software installed on it. The rule changes, which the FBI said were necessary to combat cybercrime, come amid escalating tensions between the intelligence community and technology and privacy advocates, and just a day after the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a bill that would require the government to obtain a probable cause warrant from a judge before seizing data stored with tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Dropbox. “These amendments will have significant consequences for Americans’ privacy.” —Sen. Ron Wyden “Whatever euphemism the FBI uses to describe it—whether they call it a ‘remote access search’ or a ‘network investigative technique’—what we’re talking about is government hacking, and this obscure rule change would authorize a lot more of it,” said Kevin Bankston, director of the policy advocacy group Open

Pentagon Claim That War Crimes Must Be “Intentional” Called “Flatly Wrong”

May 3, 2016

The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday released its redacted report on the military’s deadly October 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which found that the bombing was a mistake—and thus, not a war crime—a conclusion which human rights groups called “an affront” to justice and accountability. The report follows an announcement on Thursday that the Pentagon would not file any criminal charges against 16 people it found associated with the bombing that killed 42 people. General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said during a press conference on Friday that the individuals responsible for the airstrike “were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to support their Afghan partners.” “The investigation determined that all members of both the ground force and the AC-130 air crew were unaware that the aircraft was firing on a medical facility throughout the engagement,” Votel said. “The investigation ultimately concluded that this tragic incident was caused by a combination of human errors, compounded by process and equipment failures.” Read

Carlos Lozada – How Clinton and Obama tried to run the world — while trying to manage each other

May 3, 2016

There is something about the relationship between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that fascinates Washington journalists — and then stymies them. In 2009, we learned that NBC’s Chuck Todd was writing a book about Obama and Clinton, a “nuanced analytical narrative” of their political relationship, according to Todd’s agent. By the time “The Stranger”came out in 2014, though, it had devolved into a daily rundown of Obama White House coverage; the portions focusing on the president and secretary of state, however tantalizing, were a small part of the story. Now Mark Landler of the New York Times offers “Alter Egos,”promising the inside account of Obama and Clinton, “protagonists in a great debate over American power . . . archrivals who became partners for a time, trailblazers who shared a common sense of their historic destiny but different instincts about how to project power.” The result is an outstanding book on U.S. foreign policy over the past seven years, a work that is granular when it must be and overarching when it can, revealing how foreign relations are conducted and deliberated, and packed with fly-on-the-wall anecdotes. Read

Richard Gale and Gary Null – The Vaccine Dilemma: Unsafe at Any Dose

May 3, 2016

The CDC and advocates for mandatory vaccination consistently repeat a dangerous mantra that finds no warranted basis in medical science.  This monolithic industry, now a massive network of private and government institutions, state senates, and supported by a compliant media, want us to believe that science has finally settled the debate over vaccine safety and efficacy.  All the data is in, so we are told, and no further research and discussion is necessary because vaccines have been officially ruled to pose no neurological and immunological risk to infants, children, pregnant mothers, adults and the elderly.  This official policy is founded upon flawed premises and a primitive understanding about the complexities of the human body and its multifaceted immunological system.   This argument’s fallacy is actually quite simple. Valid science is never settled.  The myth of “settled science,” which is especially endemic to the biological and medical sciences that rely on private financial interests, is sheer propaganda.  Valid science, on the other hand, constantly seeks new discoveries to acquire further knowledge and greater understanding. The pursuit to fully comprehend the complexity of our biological, immunological and physiological systems, therefore, is in perpetual infinite regress. Today’s justifications for medical intervention, whether by

ANDREW LEVINE – What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing

May 3, 2016

Think of Republicans and despair for the human race. Even the ones who otherwise seem morally and intellectually sound champion political views straight out of Morons R’Us. However, Democrats are worse — not morally or intellectually, of course; and neither are their views worse.   But within the matrix of our semi-established two party system, Democrats do the most harm. The Democratic Party is, by default, the political voice of organized labor and of social movements that fight for racial and gender equality, environmental sanity, and other worthy causes.   Democrats can therefore do what Republicans cannot: integrate the victims of the status quo into a political consensus that serves and protects those who benefit most from it – the “one percent,” the “billionaire class.” They are good at this. The generally accepted name for the socially atomizing, inequality-generating, environmentally reckless version of late capitalism practiced and promoted in developed countries over the past four decades is “neoliberalism.” For most Americans, as for most people around the world, neoliberalism has become Enemy Number One. Read

VIJAY PRASHAD – Political Violence in Honduras

May 3, 2016

On March 3, assassins entered the home of Berta Caceres, leader of Honduras’ environmental and indigenous movement. They shot her friend Gustavo Castro Soto, the director of Friends of the Earth Mexico. He pretended to be dead, and so is the only witness of what came next. The assassins found Berta Caceres in another room and shot her in the chest, the stomach and the arms. When the assassins left the house, Castro went to Berta Caceres, who died in his arms. Investigation into the death of Berta Caceres is unlikely to be conducted with seriousness. The Honduran government suggested swiftly that it was likely that Castro had killed Berta Caceres and made false statements about assassins. That he had no motive to kill his friend and political ally seemed irrelevant. Castro has taken refuge in the Mexican embassy in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa. He continues to fear for his life. Berta Caceres led the Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH), one of the most important critics of government and corporate power in her country. Most recently, she and COPINH had taken a strong stand against the construction of the Agua Zarca dam on a river sacred to the indigenous

DAVE LINDORFF – The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate

May 2, 2016

Bernie Sanders, to the consternation of critics in the Democratic Party, pundits in the corporate media, and purists on the hard left, has accomplished an amazing thing. Up against Hillary Clinton, surely the biggest, best-funded corporate-backed candidate the Democratic leadership has run since Walter Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984 over three decades ago, the once obscure independent Vermont senator has battled Clinton to almost a draw, down by only some 319 delegates with nearly 900 to go (not counting the corrupt “super delegates” chosen for their fealty to party leaders, not by primary or caucus voting.) By doing this well, as a proudly declared “democratic socialist” who on the stump has been denouncing the corruption of both the US political and economic systems, and as a candidate who has refused to take corporate money or money from big, powerful donors, instead successfully funding his campaign with only small two and three-digit donations from his supporters, Sanders has exposed not just his opponent, Hillary Clinton, but the entire Democratic Party leadership and most of its elected officials as nothing but hired corporate tools posing as progressive advocates of the people. Read

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman – Is Hillary Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie Birth a Long-Term Movement?

May 2, 2016

t this delicate moment in the primary season, we all need to take a deep breath and evaluate what comes next. Bernie Sanders has a mathematical chance to win. But Hillary seems the likely Democratic nominee. Donald Trump has an army of delegates. But if he doesn’t win on the first ballot, Paul Ryan could be the Republican nominee. Oy! For a wide variety of reasons, we believe Hillary and Bernie could beat Trump. But we’re not sure about Ryan, who we find absolutely terrifying. Key is the stripping of our voter rolls. Millions of Democrats have already been disenfranchised. In a close race, that could make the difference. Also key is the flipping of the electronic vote count, which few on the left seem to be willing to face in all its depressing finality. Both are explored in our new Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft (introduced by Mimi Kennedy and Greg Palast) at www.freepress.org and www.solartopia.org. As Greens, we believe this election’s most critical imperative is that Bernie convert the HUGE upwelling of mostly young grassroots discontent he has ignited into a long-term multi-issue movement. His success won’t be measured by whether he wins the nomination
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