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ANTI-STATE • ANTI-WAR • PRO-MARKET
Updated: 3 hours 24 min ago

Prepare for Martial Law

10 hours 57 min ago

Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians.

Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.

But with residents of the entire states of Texas and Utah dubbed ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the exercises, Jade Helm has some concerned the drills are too realistic.

Hostile: An unclassified military document reveals the states involved in a controversial multi-agency training exercises that will place 1,200 military personnel into 7 Southwest states–with residents of Utah, Texas and part of Southern California designated as ‘hostile’

Headlines like Freedom Outpost‘s ‘Operation Jade Helm—military trains for martial law in American South-west’ abound across the Right-leaning blogosphere and Info Wars warns that Jade Helm is simply ‘an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques’ on the American public.

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Why Do Walmart Haters Hate Customers?

10 hours 57 min ago

Why do they Hate Customers?

One-hundred percent of the people on earth are customers.  Well, except for those who live totally and completely off the grid and grow or kill everything they eat and make everything they wear from materials they find in nature, etc.  In other words I doubt there are more than three exceptions on the entire planet.  So, just say 100% for rounding.

I recently had some feedback, bashing Wal-Mart – the typical stuff: they aren’t fair to suppliers, they aren’t fair to employees, they are cut-throat with competitors.

I will caveat my comment: Wal-Mart, like every major corporation, probably gains much more from corporatocracy (the relationship between large companies and the government) than it loses.  But this rambling isn’t about that.

It also isn’t about the employees, suppliers or competitors.  The employees and suppliers are not forced to work at Wal-Mart.  Full stop.  As to the competitors, they have no property right in customers.

Which gets to my point.  Add up all of Wal-Mart’s employees, suppliers and competitors – they have 1.3 million employees in the US, I have no idea how many employees of suppliers or competitors but let’s say all of it adds to 10 million people.  Out of a population of over 300 million customers.  Yes, I know, not all 300 million of them shop at Wal-Mart; however Wal-Mart directly has impacted the competitive nature of every other retailer.

Virtually every individual in the United States benefits from Wal-Mart.  Even if one grants that 10 million people suffer because of Wal-Mart (I do not), why are so many people desirous to take it out of the hide of the three hundred million who benefit?

There is no better democracy than the vote of the customers’ dollar.  There is no better freedom than the vote of the customers’ dollar.

So, I wonder: why do they hate customers?  I think it must be because they hate freedom.

Organized War Criminality

10 hours 57 min ago

Professor Michel Chossudovsky is the author of many important books. His latest is The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity. Chossudovsky shows that Washington has globalized war while the US president is presented as a global peace-maker, complete with the Nobel Peace Prize. Washington has military deployed in 150 countries, has the world divided up into six US military commands and has a global strike plan that includes space operations. Nuclear weapons are part of the global strike plan and have been elevated for use in a pre-emptive first strike, a dangerous departure from their Cold War role.

America’s militarization includes military armament for local police for use against the domestic population and military coercion of sovereign countries in behalf of US economic imperialism.

One consequence is the likelihood of nuclear war. Another consequence is the criminalization of US foreign policy. War crimes are the result. These are not the war crimes of individual rogue actors but war crimes institutionalized in established guidelines and procedures. “What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations,” Chossudovsky writes, “is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain ‘the global war on terrorism’ and support the spread of ‘Western democracy.’”

Chossudovsky points out that the ability of US citizens to protest and resist the transformation of their country into a militarist police state is limited. Washington and the compliant foundations now fund the dissent movement in order to control it. He quotes Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about manufacturing consent. He lets Paul Kivel describe how funding of dissent by the elite results in the co-option of grassroots community leadership. The same thing is happening to environmental organizations. Black Americans also have lost their leaders to the elite’s money and ability to bestow position and emoluments.

Chossudovsky notes that progressive, left-wing, and anti-war groups have endorsed the “war on terror” and uncritically accept the official 9/11 story, which provides the basis for Washington’s wars.

Having accepted the lies, there is no basis for protest. Thus its absence.

As Professor Stephen Cohen has observed, dissent has disappeared from American foreign policy discussion. In place of dissent there is exhortation to more war. A good example is today’s (March 26, 2015) op-ed in the New York Times by neoconservative John R. Bolton, US ambassador to the UN during the George W. Bush regime.

Bolton calls for bombing Iran. Anything short of a military attack on Iran, Bolton says, has “an air of unreality” and will guarantee that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey will also develop nuclear weapons in order to protect themselves from Iran. According to Bolton, the Israeli and American nuclear arsenals are not threatening, but Iran’s would be.

Of course, there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but Bolton asserts it anyway. Moreover, Bolton manages to overlook that the agreement being worked out with Iran halts the Iranian enrichment program far below the level necessary for nuclear weapons. Bolton’s belief that Iran would be able to hide a weapons program if permitted to have nuclear energy is unsubstantiated. It is merely an implausible assertion.

The neoconservatives constitute a war lobby. When one war doesn’t work, they want another. They have an ever expanding war list. Remember, the neoconservatives are the ones who promised us a 3-week “cakewalk” Iraq war costing $70 billion and paid for by Iraq oil revenues. After 8 years of war costing a minimum of $3,000 billion paid for by US taxpayers, the US gave up and withdrew. Today jihadists are carving a new country out of parts of Syria and Iraq.

It is now a known fact that the neocon Bush regime’s Iraq war was totally based on lies, just as is every other neocon war and the current drive for war with Russia and Iran. Despite their record of lies and failure, the neocons still control US foreign policy, and neocon Nuland is busy at work fomenting “color revolutions” or coups in the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Without the support of the New York Times, the neocons could not have got the Iraq War going. Now the New York Times, faithful to the neocons but faithless to the American people, is helping the neocons get a war going with Iran and Russia.

I have friends who are college presidents who still read and believe the New York Times. The wars with Iran and Russia that the New York Times is encouraging will be much more dangerous than the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. Humanity might not survive them.

How To Survive a House Fire

10 hours 57 min ago

As I write this, a four-story building in New York City is reported to have collapsed during an explosion and subsequent fire. Although details are sketchy at present, it made me think about what you should do in a circumstance like this to protect your family.

Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured in fires in the U.S. Many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented with knowledge of the nature of fire. You must understand the following:

1) Most people who die in fires don’t die because of burns as much as from asphyxiation (suffocation). Fire consumes available oxygen that you need to breathe, and produces harmful gases and smoke. Inhalation of even a small amount of these can disorient you and affect your ability to respond appropriately. Even if there is little smoke, some poisonous gases are invisible and odorless. Some people who die in bed appear to have not woken up at all, most likely a result of toxic inhalation.

2) Fire spreads rapidly. A small fire can go out of control in less than a minute if not extinguished rapidly. Many house fires occur at night when everyone is asleep. Smoke and flames can engulf an entire building before you are even aware of it. Sometimes, rooms can combust all at once, a phenomenon known as a “flashover“; opening hot doors can cause an explosive fire effect, called a “backdraft“.

3) The environment in a fire is dark, not bright as you might think. Black smoke can easily make it impossible to see clearly as well as cause eye irritation. This leads to confusion as to where the best avenues of escape might be.

4) Heat from a fire can burn you, even if you’re in a room that isn’t on fire itself. Breathing in super-heated air can burn your lung tissue and is more fatal than burns on the skin. Here’s my article on smoke inhalation.

5) Hot air rises. Most people understand this concept, but not the extremes you’d experience in a fire. Air that is just hot at floor level becomes much hotter at eye level. This is why you should stay close to the floor as you make your way out of the building.

6) People unwittingly feed fires by keeping flammable clutter around the house. Don’t collect old newspapers, for example, or other combustibles if at all possible, especially near heaters or stoves.

What To Do In A Fire

• Make it clear to everyone that there’s a fire. Hit the fire alarm or loudly yell “Fire!”. You should have previously identified at least two exits and conducted fire drills with your family so that they know exactly what to do.

• Get out fast as soon as it’s clear you can’t put out the fire easily with your fire extinguisher (you should have more than one placed in susceptible areas). Don’t wait to grab personal items, you might have only seconds to get out of there.

• As mentioned before, get down low and crawl to an exit to be least exposed to heat and smoke. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth if possible. Covering your body with a wool blanket is an option, but not a wet one; it will conduct heat more quickly and burn you.

• Touch doorknobs to test them before opening. If the doorknob or door itself is hot, leave it closed and pick another exit. If the door isn’t hot, open it slowly and close it if fire or heavy smoke is present.

• Call 911 as soon as you exit the house if emergency services are available. If you are missing someone, tell the firefighters where they might be located in the building. Same with pets. Returning to a burning building to search for someone may be heroic, but it is also extraordinarily dangerous.

• If you are trapped in the building, close the door and cover any possible avenue for the fire to enter, such as vents and spaces between the door and the walls. If you can communicate with firefighters, let them know where you are, either by cell phone or by signaling for help from a window. Windows should not be secured in a fashion that prevents opening them in an emergency.

• If someone catches fire: stop, drop, and roll. Stop them immediately, drop them to the ground, and roll until the fire is out. Smother the flames with a towel or blanket if available. Remove burn clothing as soon as possible.

Many deaths and injuries from fires are preventable with a little planning and quick action. Be aware of the fire hazards in your home and work to eliminate them before a disaster strikes. In my next article, I will address the many ways this can be accomplished.

Reprinted with permission from Doom and Bloom.

Lose 1/3 of Your Waistline in 1 Month

10 hours 57 min ago

By Dr. Mercola

When it comes to shedding stubborn belly fat, exercise alone is not the answer. The master key really lies with what you eat, and perhaps more importantly when you eat, followed closely by the type of exercise you engage in.

Scheduling your eating to a narrow window of time each day is the version of intermittent fasting I recommend for those struggling with insulin resistance and excess body weight.

Other healthy lifestyle habits such as sleep and stress reduction are also helpful, as they help keep your cortisol levels low. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, when elevated, depletes lean muscle and holds on to fat in the abdominal region.1

It’s important to realize that the benefits of reducing belly fat go far beyond aesthetics. Abdominal fat—the visceral fat that deposits around your internal organs—releases proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, affecting how your body breaks down sugars and fats.

The chronic inflammation associated with visceral fat accumulation can trigger a wide range of systemic diseases linked with metabolic syndrome.

This is why carrying extra weight around your middle is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and other chronic diseases, and why measuring your waist-to-hip ratio is actually a better indicator of your health status than body mass index (BMI).

Three Dietary Keys for Shedding Abdominal Fat

To shed abdominal fat, you need to reduce your overall body fat. It’s simply impossible to target just one area for fat reduction. Diet is key here, as poor diet promotes fat accumulation and causes your body to hold on to excess fat.

In terms of your food choices, the following two are foundational for successful weight loss:

  • Reduce or eliminate added sugar from your diet. This includes all forms of sugar and fructose, whether refined or “all-natural” such as agave or honey, as well as all grains (including organic ones), as they quickly break down to sugar in your body.That said, processed fructose (such as high fructose corn syrup) is by far the worst of the bunch in terms of causing metabolic dysfunction. Because your body metabolizes it in the same way it metabolizes alcohol, it promotes insulin resistance and fat accumulation to a greater degree than other sugars.Processed fructose is a staple ingredient in most processed foods and sweetened beverages, where it can hide under 60 different names,2 so the easiest way to avoid it is to swap out processed foods for whole, ideally organic, produce.As a general rule, if you’re insulin resistant (and you likely are if you’re struggling with abdominal fat) keep your total sugar/fructose intake below 15 grams per day. If your weight is normal and you have no other signs of insulin resistance, the recommended daily amount is 25 grams a day
  • Increase healthy fats in your diet. Following a low-fat diet is a sure-fire way to sabotage your weight loss goals. To shed fat, you actually need to eat healthy saturated fats, and plenty of them.Most who are insulin resistant will benefit from 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fat until their insulin resistance resolves.This includes avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw dairy, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, raw nuts, and grass-fed meats, as well as animal-based omega-3s.As noted in the featured article,3 monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados have been shown to boost abdominal fat loss:

    “When researchers in one study asked women to switch to a 1,600-calorie, high-MUFA diet, they lost a third of their belly fat in a month.”

For more healthy diet details, I suggest you review my Optimized Nutrition Plan, which is a comprehensive and step-by-step guide to help you make health-promoting food and lifestyle choices.

The third dietary key for shedding abdominal fat (and fat in general) is intermittent fasting. This is really one of the most effective ways I’ve found to address excess weight, as it “resets” your body to start using fat as its primary fuel rather than sugar.

My Intermittent Fasting Recommendations

The version of intermittent fasting I recommend for those with insulin resistance is simply restricting your eating to a specific window of time every day, such as an eight-hour window.

For example, you could restrict your eating to the hours of 11am and 7pm. Essentially, you’re just skipping breakfast and making lunch your first meal of the day instead. This equates to a daily fasting of 16 hours—twice the minimum required to deplete your glycogen stores and start shifting into fat burning mode. I have experimented with a number of different schedules, and this is my personal preference as it’s really easy to comply with once your body has made the shift from burning sugar to burning fat.

Fat, being a slow-burning fuel, allows you to keep going without suffering from the dramatic energy crashes associated with sugar. And if you’re not hungry, or not eating for several hours is no big deal, I recommend following this eating schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves, your weight normalizes, and your health issues resolve, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. After that, just do it as often as you need to keep yourself healthy without insulin resistance.

Foods That Can Help You Shed Belly Fat

A recent article4 by David Zinczenko, author of the book, Zero Belly Diet, addresses a number of specific foods that can help promote a leaner belly by decreasing inflammation, eliminating bloat, and turning off your fat storage genes. Zinczenko writes, in part:

“Zero Belly is based on the breakthrough science of ‘nutritional genetics…’ In early 2014, I put together a panel to test-drive the Zero Belly program, and I’ve been stunned by the results: The average person lost four inches off their waist — in just six weeks. The key to this program is a scientifically proven eating program that targets your fat genes — turning them to ‘off’ and making weight loss automatic. There’s no calorie counting, no deprivation. Zero Belly works in three ways:

  1. First, it reduces bloating by cutting down on excess salt, dairy, and artificial sweeteners… Some of the test panelists lost up to three inches of bloat off their waist in just seven days.
  2. Second, it heals your gut by feeding the ‘good’ microbes in your belly. A balanced gut reduces inflammation and helps to turn off your fat genes.
  3. Third, it turbocharges your metabolism with protein, healthy fats, and quality fiber.”

The nine foods, or groups of foods that Zinczenko recommends eating include: plant-based smoothies high in protein, healthy fat, fiber, and resveratrol; eggs (I recommend eating only organic, pastured or free-range eggs); red fruits, olive oil and other healthy fats; high-fiber foods; nuts and seeds; meat (again my recommendation is to stick with organic, grass-fed varieties); leafy greens and brightly-colored veggies, along with plenty of fresh herbs and spices.

As Zinczenko points out, reestablishing a healthy gut flora is very important, as imbalances can have a significant impact on your weight. One hypothesis states that your gut bacteria may in fact be in control of your appetite. Recent research5suggests there’s a positive-feedback loop between the foods you crave and the composition of the microbiota in your gut that depend on those nutrients for their survival. Microbes that thrive on sugar, for example, can signal your brain to eat more sweets.

Other studies6,7 have shown that certain bacteria found in your gut can produce insulin resistance and weight gain by triggering chronic low-grade inflammation in your body. Food processing, pasteurization, and sterilization also have a detrimental effect on your microbiome. For all of these reasons, and more, I always recommend a diet rich in whole,unprocessed foods along with cultured or fermented foods.

Common Mistakes That Can Make Shedding Belly Fat More Difficult

Eating a diet too high in processed foods (and hence processed fructose and other added sugars), along with eating too frequently, tend to be among the primary causes of a bulging waistline. However, as discussed in a recent article,8 a number of other lifestyle factors can contribute to the problem. So, in addition to correcting your diet and implementing a fasting regimen, addressing the following factors may boost your chances of successfully eliminating those extra inches around your midriff:

  1. Lack of exercise: To maximize your weight loss results, be sure to incorporate some form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). This short intense training protocol improves muscle energy utilization and expenditure, due to its positive effects on increasing muscle mass and improving muscle fiber quality. Muscle tissue burns three to five times more energy than fat tissues, so as you gain muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which allows you to burn morecalories, even when you’re sleeping. Further, several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.The combination of intermittent fasting and HIIT is a particularly potent combination, as when done in tandem it virtuallyforces your body to burn off excess body fat. To find the HIIT workout that works best for you, see my previous article: “This Interval Training Infographic Helps You Pick the Right Workout.” I also recommend getting more walking into your daily life. Ideally, aim for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day, over and above your regular exercise regimen. Not only will this give your metabolism a boost in the right direction, it’s also necessary to counter the ill effects of too much sitting—which in and of itself increases your risk of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction, even if you exercise!
  2. Magnesium deficiency: Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Researchers have also found that people who consume higher levels of magnesium tend to have lower blood sugar and insulin levels. Seaweed and green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard can be excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Avocados also contain magnesium. Juicing your vegetables is an excellent option to ensure you’re getting enough of them in your diet.
  3. Diet soda consumption: Contrary to popular belief, diet soda can actually double your risk of obesity compared to drinking none,9 and research has shown that drinking diet soda increases your risk of weight gain to a greater degree than regular soda. If you’re serious about weight loss, ditch all sweetened beverages, including artificially sweetened ones, and opt for pure filtered water.
  4. Beer and alcohol consumption: Alcohol of all kinds will tend to promote weight gain, so consider cutting down on the number of drinks you indulge in each week. Beer has the added adverse effect of raising your uric acid levels, which promotes chronic inflammation.
  5. Stress: Chronic stress will keep your stress hormones elevated, which can hinder weight loss efforts, so be sure to incorporate some stress-busting activities. As you learn how to effectively decrease your stress level, your cortisol will stabilize, your blood pressure will drop, and your health will improve in just about every way.It’s important to realize that stress management isn’t something you save up to do on the weekend—it needs to be done on a daily basis, because that’s how often stress rears its ugly head. There are many different stress reduction techniques, including: exercise, meditation, mindfulness training, yoga, spending time in nature, music, and EFT (emotional freedom techniques), the latter of which is a very effective form of energy psychology that can help “reprogram” your ingrained stress responses.

The Final Step: Exercises That Target Your Abs

Abdominal workouts should not be overlooked just because they won’t result in a slimmer waistline. Your abdominal muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability. Having a strong abdominal wall is very important for optimal body movement and gets increasingly more important with advancing age.

A strong abdominal wall is also what will produce that six-pack look once you’ve lost sufficient amounts of subcutaneous fat. To effectively train your core muscles, be sure to incorporate a variety of stabilization, functional, and traditional exercises, such as:

  • Traditional exercises, such as a standard crunch with rotation or a standing rotation with a light hand weight
  • Functional exercises, including work on a stability ball
  • Stabilizing exercises, such as lying on the floor and pulling your belly back toward your spine and holding that position while breathing deeply
  • Extension exercises, such as lying on your stomach with arms extended above your head. Then raising both arms and both legs, at the same time, off the floor. (Hold for a count of 5, or 5 breaths, and slowly return to the floor)

Popular exercise programs that work your core muscles are widely available, and include virtually all types of yoga and Pilates. But there’s yet another exercise you might not have thought of: push-ups!  That’s right. Push-ups don’t just give you a stronger upper body, they also train your abdominals—as long as you’re doing them correctly. I recommend watching Darin Steen’s demonstration of the proper form below, but I’ve also included a summary of key points to remember:

  • Keep your body stiff and straight as a plank
  • Elbows at a 45-degree angle from your sides
  • Breathe in on the way down
  • Lower your body all the way down, allowing your sternum to gently touch the floor
  • Breathe out on the way up

If you’re looking to get rock-hard abs, remember that proper dietary choices is your first step, ideally in combination with intermittent fasting and high intensity exercises. From there, a comprehensive lifestyle and fitness program that addresses factors such as sleep, stress, specific nutritional deficiencies, and targeted ab exercises, will help you achieve your goal.

Sources and References

NATO Is Marching Towards Russia

10 hours 57 min ago

This article originally appeared at Mat Rodina

American politicians in particular and European politicians in general are some of the most ignorant fools when the issue comes to anything outside their own borders. When it comes to Russia, it is an engima wrapped in a mystery… but only because, dear readers, no one has every bothered to try to understand Russians and the Russian world view.

One important historical fact about Russia is that Russia is a unique civilizational empire built upon defense not offense. What this means is that historically, Russia does not start the wars, or series of wars (though it may strike first in a confrontation that is punctuated by a series of wars). In Russian history, Russian leaders, since Russia’s baptism to Orthodoxy, have tried hard to avoid war with our neighbors, though just about every time this has failed. In parallel, as much as we do not like war, and in Orthodoxy killing in combat is still a sin as we do not have the heresy of Just War, we are very very good at killing and destroying. A paradox, but it is the reality.

This was so profound that in the summer of 1914, the Tsar Nicholas II, when war was eminent, even haulted mobilization to try and defuse the situation one more time and talk the Austrians and Germans out of what would become the great tragedy of early 20th century.

The problems with modern, and in truth historical, Western politicos is that these guys are absolute fools with no understanding of the Russian psyche and are sure to be the cause of WW3, be it intentional or accidental. They are projecting their psyche onto Russians.

What this means is that they are projecting a typical negative reinforcement mentality. Europe and the US are societies built on constant aggression towards neighbors. Aggression like that is staved by building up a credible large counter force of allies and blocks, which causes fear of defeat and deescalation…your typical European balance of forces approach.

Russia is a defensive empire, that is, most wars or series of wars were not started by Russians but by enemies attacking or massing on Russia’s borders. After 800 years of almost non-stop aggression by Europeans, Russia does not tolerate any enemy massing on her borders in what appears as a preparation for invasion or the creation of large scales basing areas as would be a US neo-con dominated Ukraine.This is also coupled with the Russian approach of not abandoning Russians (ethnic or cultural) and allies, as opposed to Anglo society where back stabbing allies when the opportunity to earn exists, is a prized skill.

As such, this is a spiral approach. Any escalation by the foreigners will lead to a direct escalation by Russia and not deescalation. Balance of power does not work when Russia feels her survival threatened. Enough of an enemy escalation in the hope of forcing Russia to back off will generate an exact opposite effect in generating a first strike and total war, as Russia feels her life and existence is threatened by the enemy.

Nothing like putting Russian society in a threatened siege mentality to force the individual chaotic Russian nature to crystallize into one direction: total destruction of the threat and the states that generate it.

Russia’s army may be only 1 million but the ready reserve is over 20 million with a follow capability of total mobilization of over 40 more million, and maybe more if one starts counting female combatants and one should.

Last time the factories were run by children, old people and women. Now with massive automation, even more of society is freed up to fight. Since Russian civilization is not just land but a cultural idea/philosophy it generates an absolute fanatical loyalty. This is a loyalty to a culture that allows the temporary surrender of land for time in the understanding that this will then be used, combined with non-stop partisan warfare, to grind down the invader and  decimate him deep in the Russian interior, before marching on his cities and burning them to the ground in revenge.

Europe needs to find some German or Romanian veterans and ask them how much fun they had. Mamal Kurgan, the highest hill in Volgograd (Stalingrad) a 1,5 km sq area had 35,000 identifiable bodies on it, half of them German, after 4 months of fighting. That is more than both sides lost on the beaches of Normandy. In WW2 the Germans were on average having 1 soldier killed every 30 seconds. Figure 3-4 times as many wounded.

The present serving armies of NATO would be used up in 3-4 months. That would amount to almost a million and a half dead and wounded.

NATO would collapse. Greeks would refuse to fight. Serbs would be a war in the middle of all this. Cypriots would refuse to fight. Turkey would likely also refuse to die in a war they could only lose from. Bulgaria would probably have a revolution. Romania and Italy and Spain and Portugal would not long suffer heavy casualties before their unpopular governments were overthrown. France more than likely also. US couldn’t fully concentrate their army as they would have to release their grip on all other sectors which in turn would be blowing up.

As for a second front, that is, if America was to invade the Russian far east, well, outside of grabbing Sakhalin and Vladivastok and Khabarovsk, all of which will cost hundreds of thousands of corpses, a US invasion force would be faced with a march of 3,000 km, or about 1,800 miles to the nearest major oil fields and forced to cover a land area larger than the continental United States, in wilderness terrain, with Russian partisans and the very cold Siberian winter (8 months long) filling the corpse lists on a daily basis. In other words, outside of a temporary land grab, nothing to fear.

Also if things got bad China would step in knowing they are next on the hit list, and thus Siberia would be fairly safe from US forces.

The reality, Americans, Germans, and foolish Poles, is, Russians will fight and 152 million people will fight to the end, not because Putin sits in power, or because we fear the enemy, but because love of Russia, the very idea of Russia, will drive fanatical, well trained and armed with advanced weaponry resistance. Russians will fight regardless of who sits the throne, because we are not fighting for the leader but for Christ and for Russia, the land He gave us as the Third Rome. What exactly will you be fighting for?

Reprinted from Russia Insider.

The Stage Is Set for Another Big War

10 hours 57 min ago

Rapid changes are occurring in Yemen. Ever since United States had to leave its military base there, other powers have been lining up to benefit from the chaos. It has been revealed that Saudi Arabia has commenced bombing targets in Yemen. Egypt has announced its support for the Saudi effort. I am quite confident that this support is in compliance with our instructions to our puppet leader now in charge in Egypt. The current president of Yemen, Hadi, a leader who took over after the Arab Spring revolution, has been removed from power. He is said to have escaped to Saudi Arabia, and those who are now in charge in Yemen will most likely kill him if he returns.

Yemen has been instrumental in the US effort to fight al-Qaeda in the region. Unsuccessfully, I might add. The Houthis who have deposed Hadi are said to get their support from Iran and are now likely the strongest political force in the country. But they will not have an easy time of it. Too much is at stake for the United States and Saudi Arabia. We don’t read much about the Saudi Air Force being involved in military conflict, but the seriousness of the situation has prompted them to do exactly that. There are also reports that 150,000 or more troops are massed near the borders of Yemen for a probable invasion. It is assumed that other Arab nations will be involved, along with Egypt. One report said that it appears the country is “sliding toward a civil war.” I would suggest that it’s past sliding toward the civil war, and, rather, is involved deeply in a civil war that is now spreading outside its own borders.

The neoconservatives, I am sure, will blame everything on Iran. And it’s likely Iran may have been involved in giving some type of support to the Shia that now are on the verge of taking over the country. But one must ask, “How does this compare to the support the United States has given to over 100 countries in recent years, with a major portion going to the Middle East?” There’s a big difference between a country becoming involved in a crisis next door and a country getting involved 6000 miles away.

It looks like the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a military dictator who was deposed in the Arab Spring revolution, is now aligned with the Shia Houthis who are supported by Iran. This will not be tolerated by the United States, and we can expect the US to provide indirect military assistance to those who are prepared to invade Yemen and install a US friendly dictator.

Foreign forces’ bombs and occupation will serve to unify the citizens of Yemen despite their other differences. As a matter of fact, it’s been our presence in this country for more than a decade that has been an aggravating factor. The fact that al-Qaeda type rebel forces have done well in the various countries in recent years is because they gain support from the local people with the promise that the foreign invaders will be expelled. This certainly is true when it comes to the type of support that the people give, tacit or otherwise, to the very ruthless ISIS forces. It amazes me how these ragtag rebels can out-fight and outfox various countries whose forces are larger and better armed. The so-called rebels find that their promise to expel the invaders is a strong motivating factor to gain support for the military resistance. The catch-22 is that the more we or any other nation try to subdue a foreign country, the stronger the opposition becomes.

This new expansion of the war in Yemen is a bad sign. The situation could easily worsen, involve many countries, and last for a long time to come. The stage for the “Big War” may well be set and we will be hearing a lot more about Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula in the coming months. If this war gets out of hand, I would expect that the benefits of $45 per barrel of oil will soon end. There is no doubt in my mind that the American people — financially and for security reasons — would be better served if we just came home and avoided these nonsensical military interventions that are carried out in behalf of various special interests that control our foreign policy.

Peace With Iran

10 hours 57 min ago

The forces that do not want a U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, nor any U.S. detente with Iran, are impressive.

Among them are the Israelis and their powerful lobby AIPAC, the Saudis and their Sunni allies on the Persian Gulf, a near unanimity of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats in Congress.

Is there a case to be made for a truce in the venomous conflict that has gone on between us since the taking of U.S. hostages in 1979? Is there any common ground?

To both questions, President Obama and John Kerry believe the answer is yes. And they are not without an argument.

First, the alternative to a truce — breaking off of negotiations, doubling down on demands Iran dismantle all nuclear facilities, tougher sanctions — inevitably leads to war. And we all know it.

Yet Americans do not want another war in the Middle East, with a nation three times the size of Iraq, and its allies across the region.

Nor can Iran want such a war. Had the ayatollahs and mullahs wanted it, they could have had a war with the United States at any time in the third of a century since they seized power.

Yet as Ronald Reagan was taking the oath in 1981, our hostages were suddenly on their way home. With the accidental shoot-down of an Iranian Airbus by the cruiser Vincennes in 1988, the Ayatollah ended his war with Saddam Hussein, fearful the Americans were about to intervene on the side of Iraq.

Why Iran wants to avoid war is obvious. Given U.S. air, missile and naval power, and cyberwarfare capabilities, a war with the United States would do to Iran what we did to Iraq, smash it up, set it back decades, perhaps break up the country.

Some mullahs may be fanatics, but Iran is not run by fools.

Yet even if we have a mutual interest in avoiding a war, where is the common ground between us?

Let us begin with the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaida who brought down the twin towers, and the Islamic State that is beheading Christians, apostates, and nonbelievers, and intends to establish a Middle East caliphate where there are no Americans, no Christians, and no Shiites.

Americans and Iranians have a common goal of degrading and defeating them.

In the Syrian civil war, Iran and its Shiite allies in Hezbollah have prevented the fall of the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad.

For years, Iran has helped to keep the al-Nusra Front and ISIL out of Damascus.

When the Islamic State seized Mosul and most of Anbar, the Iranians helped to rally Shiite resistance to defend Baghdad, and are now assisting the Iraqi army in its effort to recapture Tikrit.

Until this week, the U.S. stayed out, as Shiite militias were mauled by fewer than 1,000 jihadis. Wednesday, however, we intervened with air power, thus exposing Iraq’s reliance on us.

This does not contradict but rather reinforces the point. In the war to expel the Islamic State from Iraq, we and Iran are on the same side.

Does Iran wish to displace American influence in Baghdad?

Undeniably. But when we destroyed the Sunni Baathist regime of Saddam, disbanded his army and held elections, we greased the skids for a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. We can’t walk that cat back.

Consider Yemen.

This week, the Saudis sent their air force against the Houthi rebels who had seized the capital of Sanaa, driven out the president, and have now driven south to Aden to take over half of the country.

Why is the Saudi air force attacking the Houthis?

The Houthis belong to a sect close to the Shiite and are supported by Iran. Yet the Houthis, who bear no love for us, began this war to expel al-Qaida from Yemen. And their hatred for ISIS is surely greater than it is for us or Israel, as, last week, 137 of their co-religionists were massacred in two mosque bombings in Sanaa. ISIS claimed credit.

In summary, though the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shiite militia in Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Alawite regime of Assad may not love us, they look on al-Qaida and ISIS as mortal enemies. And, thus far, they alone have seemed willing to send troops to defeat them.

Where are the Turkish, Saudi, Kuwaiti or Qatari troops?

During World War II, the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine shipped tanks, guns and munitions to a Soviet Union that was doing most of the fighting and suffering most of the casualties in the war against Hitler.

No matter all the “Uncle Joe” drivel at Tehran and Yalta, we were never true friends or allies, and shared nothing in common with the monster Stalin, save Hitler’s defeat.

If President Nixon could toast Mao Zedong, can we not deal with Ayatollah Khamenei?

Killer Co-Pilot

10 hours 57 min ago

For a year before embarking on a career as a pilot, Andreas Lubitz worked in his local branch of Burger King, serving up french fries. The restaurant – on a busy A3 junction – is a few kilometres outside the small German city of Montabaur where Lubitz grew up. The branch manager, Detlef Aldolf, described Lubitz on Friday as dependable and inconspicuous. He earned €400 (£290) a month, he said, and quit his part-time job to join Lufthansa.

In 2009, however, Aldolf said Lubitz abruptly reappeared. Lufthansa had sent him on a training course, initially in Bremen and then in Phoenix, Arizona, in the US. “I asked him how it was. He replied: ‘Too much stress. I’m going to take a break’,” Aldolf said. The manager added that Lubitz didn’t formulate this stress as depression. But, he said, the future pilot seemed overwhelmed.

For 24 hours French and German investigators had been at a loss: why would a 27-year-old co-pilot deliberately fly his plane with 150 people on board into the French Alps? This, certainly, is where the black box pointed. By Friday there were uncomfortable answers. Lubitz had a history of psychological problems, which he had apparently been concealing from his colleagues and bosses.

State prosecutors in Düsseldorf said medical documents had been retrieved from his flat there, which suggested that treatment for an unspecified illness was ongoing. Investigators found a torn-up current medical certificate. It was dated the day of the crash. “The assumption is that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional circles,” prosecutors said, without specifying whether the illness was mental or physical. They added that no suicide note had been found. Nor were there indications of a “political or religious background”.

Citing police sources, the German media said that Lubitz had broken off his pilot training several times. At one point the Lufthansa flight school in Phoenix designated the man later left in sole charge of Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf as “not fit to fly”. He spent a year-and-a-half receiving psychiatric treatment. In 2009 he was diagnosed with a “severe depressive episode”, according to the German newspaper Bild.

Throughout this difficult period it appeared Lubitz was getting regular medical help. A special coding “SIC” was entered into his pilot’s licence, which means “Specific Regular Medical Examination”, according to Germany’s Federal Aviation Office. It is unclear, though, if this treatment was for episodes of depressive illness or some other complaint. Mental health professionals have urged caution until all the facts are known.

On Thursday, prosecutors in France gave details of the final moments of flight 4U9525, travelling from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. For eight minutes, during which the cockpit voice recorder revealed Lubitz said nothing but was breathing normally, the 27-year-old ignored captain Patrick Sondheimer hammering on the cockpit door and did not respond to increasingly urgent radio calls from air traffic controllers and nearby aircraft. At approximately 10.40am the aircraft smashed into the side of a mountain near the picturesque mountain village of Seyne-les-Alpes.

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Christian Economics in One Lesson

10 hours 57 min ago

Christian Economics in One Lesson is my reworking of Henry Hazlitt’s classic introduction to economic thought, Economics in One Lesson. That book set the standard as an introductory economics book. Nothing has come close to replacing it ever since it was first published in 1946.

Why do I believe it is necessary to replace a classic? There are several reasons. First and foremost, it was written in 1946. A lot has happened since then, including the publication of Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action (1949). Second, it was written under a strict deadline. Hazlitt had been given a six-week leave of absence, and he had to produce the book from start to finish. It is possible to do this. I have written several books in less than a month. I wrote my introductory book on Christian economics, Inherit the Earth (1987), in two weeks. But I had a tremendous advantage at the time, which a year earlier I would not have enjoyed. I had a structure, as I explain below. Hazlitt did not have a comparable structure. This made his work more difficult, and it made the book less effective than it might have been. Third, he targeted a different audience: readers of his business columns. I target Christians. (Orthodox Jews are invited to come along for the ride.) Fourth, I place ethics at the heart of my analysis: the deliberate breaking of the window. Hazlitt did not — not explicitly, anyway.

1. The Broken Window

He began the book with a classic analogy: Frédéric Bastiat’s analogy of the broken window. It was a powerful analytical tool when it was first published in 1850, the year the author died. It was long ignored by professional economists, because Bastiat was perceived by them as a journalist at best. He was a gifted essayist and a master of rhetoric — the art of persuasion. But his books were never accepted by writers in the field of what was then called political economy. By the time that economics developed as a separate academic field after 1900, he was forgotten.

Then came Hazlitt’s book. Hazlitt resurrected Bastiat’s brilliant analogy, and then he applied it, chapter by chapter, state intervention by state intervention. He demonstrated the analytical power of the original observation. The fundamental insight of Bastiat was this: the typical observer of economic affairs is blinded by the visibility of the effects of spending. He does not think to investigate what could have been done with the money. This insight has become the most common definition of economic cost: the most valuable use forgone because a buyer spends the money on something else. Anyone who wants to demonstrate economic logic can do no better than to invoke the broken window analogy.

Every economic decision is something of a broken window. It is the substitution of a new set of conditions for an older set of conditions. Maybe we do not break the old window, but we exchange it for something we think will be better. We come to forks in the road, decision by decision. Once we take a particular fork in the road, we can never return to exactly the same fork. Our world changes at the margin. It changes because of the decision which we made. So, when we think of the cost of any decision, we should always think of it as a decision to go down one road rather than another. We spend our money and we spend our time on one thing, and therefore we cannot spend it on another.

Because public works were popular in France in 1850, and everywhere else, Bastiat’s observation helped make it possible to come to grips with the real costs that are borne by individuals and societies when violence is used against a property owner. Just because the government is the violator, this in no way changes the economic analysis of the replacement costs of the broken window.

The power of the analogy is simple, for this reason: we can understand it. It does not involve a long chain of reasoning. We find it difficult to follow long chains of reasoning, and economic analysis, more than any other social science, usually involves long chains of reasoning. People get lost along the way. Also, as the reasoning becomes more complex, people’s commitment to the details of the chain of reasoning grows weaker. If it is necessary to argue a point in such a way that not a single link in the chain is left out or misapplied, then the outcome of the chain of reasoning is not clear, either to the person making the argument, or to the person who is listening carefully — initially — and attempting to follow it. The longer the argument, the less its persuasive strength. People get bogged down in the details. They cannot keep the details straight. If you can’t keep the details straight, you cannot be confident that you have gone from point A to point Z in a systematic and accurate way.

Making effective use of the analogy of the broken window involves pointing to only a couple of short chains of reasoning. There are more chains, and they can be long, but you don’t need to follow all of them in order to make your point. Most people can follow this chain, and one of the reasons why they can follow it is the simplicity of the analogy. We can understand a broken window. We can understand the economic burden of replacing that window. We do not get bogged down in a long chain of reasoning.

This is why Hazlitt’s book was a success. Bastiat did not make it work in his lifetime. He died in the year he came up with it. Over a century later, Henry Hazlitt made it work.

My book is not an attempt to reinvent the wheel. My book is an attempt to re-balance the wheel, stick a new tire on it, and to sell it to a new audience.

2. I Begin With Ownership

I come now to a crucial point. I am not the first person to make this point; Tom Bethell is. Adam Smith began with scarcity as the heart of his economic analysis: the famous third chapter in The Wealth of Nations (1776). This was on the division of labor/specialization. He set the pattern for subsequent economic theorists.

He should have started with ownership. He should have made private ownership the bedrock foundation of his analysis.

By beginning with the division of labor, he committed a strategic error. Critics from the Left immediately challenged him. They were also able to invoke the division of labor. They invoked state planning as a way to deal with the division of labor.

The fundamental economic issue, ownership, did not become a major focus of economic theory until the 1950’s. So, for almost two centuries, the crucial economic issue had not been central in free market economic analysis.

Hazlitt, following the lead of Bastiat, began with a violation of private property: the broken window. This act was a violation of ownership, but neither Hazlitt nor Bastiat focused on the rights of ownership. In other words, they did not begin with the fundamental economic issue: “Who is legally responsible for the allocation of property, and why?” Both men began with a negative sanction: throwing a stone through a window. This was a violation of property rights, but they never mentioned property rights. Had they done so, this would have raised the issue of ownership.

Then they followed the money. They showed that the owner had to re-allocate his financial budget to replace the broken window. Already, he was a loser. That was because he was a victim of a violent invasion of his rights of ownership.

Note: property does not have rights; owners have rights to property. It is like the phrase “price controls.” Governments do not seek to control prices. They seek to control individuals, who are seeking to negotiate prices. So, free market defenders have adopted this phrase: “There are no price controls; there are only people controls.” The same approach is both analytically and rhetorically mandatory for understanding property. “There are no property rights; there are only owners who have rights to property.” This may seem like hairsplitting, but it is not. It is foundational. These slogans illustrate the foundational nature of the economic issues involved.

Because of Hazlitt’s unwillingness to deal forthrightly with the issue of ownership rights, he did not structure his criticism of state intervention in terms of a violation of these rights. He did not structure his discussion in terms of a fundamental ethical principle: “Thou shalt not steal.” This mistake goes back to Adam Smith.

I think the reason economists avoid labeling state wealth-redistribution as theft is because they want to avoid raising the even more controversial issue of ownership. This inevitably raises this issue: the moral and legal foundations of ownership. When you ask the following question, you raise a fundamental ethical question: “Who has the moral and legal right to control this asset?” There is no agreement about these ethical issues. Anyone who attempts to construct a science of economics on the basis of self-evident logical principles immediately hits a brick wall when he raises the issue of ownership. Ethics cannot be kept out of the discussion from that point on.

My book is a self-conscious attempt to reinsert ethics into economic theory. That is because it is my goal to establish ownership as the fundamental theorem of economic theory. It is not a theorem in a Euclidean sense. It is a theorem in a cosmological sense. It is about the nature of God, man, law, sanctions, and time.

I begin with God’s ownership, not man’s. I do not begin with self-ownership. I also do not begin with state ownership. This is the fundamental distinction between Christian economics and rival economic views. What free market economists call self-ownership is in fact stewardship: delegated ownership under God’s original ownership. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). This also includes 1,000+ hills. This was Jesus’ message in the parable of the talents (money). It introduced His description of the final judgment (Matt. 25).

I realize that atheist libertarians will respond along these lines. “I belong to me. I answer to no one.” To which I offer this non-rhetorical question: “Who backs up your claim when the tax collector calls?”

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The Beauty of the Female Form

10 hours 57 min ago

The beguiling nature of beauty – shifting and subjective, yet undeniably potent – has inspired perhaps the majority of art in human history. As the new exhibition, Defining Beauty: the Body in Ancient Greek Art, opens at the British Museum, we look at 10 key artworks around the world that deal with bodily beauty.

EGYPT – The bust of Nefertiti by Thutmose (1345 BC)

“We held the most lively piece of Egyptian art in our hands,” wrote the enraptured German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt in his diary, after discovering the bust of Nefertiti along the banks of the Nile in 1912. It is thought to portray the wife of the Sun King, Akhenaten, with whom she ruled Egypt between 1353 and 1336 BC, and her high, chiselled cheekbones and elegant, swanlike neck remain a paragon of beauty even today. Although apparently naturalistic, the bust is a highly stylised portrayal of the human figure – the skull is elongated and the torso thinner.

GREECE – Goddesses from the east pediment of the Parthenon (c. 435 BC)

The languorous recline of these three goddesses befits their easy grace, but it is actually due to practical necessity – their postures vary due to the slope of the pediment that originally framed them. Believed to be Hestia, Dione and her daughter Aphrodite, there is an organic informality about this trio of Pentelic marble figures, in contrast to the geometric qualities found elsewhere in the Parthenon frieze. With their draping garments and lascivious forms, this sculpture conveys an unfettered femininity.

CHINA – Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies by Gu Kaizhi (c. 344–406)

This silk Chinese narrative handscroll by celebrated painter Gu Kaizhi was originally created to reprimand Empress Jia, who was known to manipulate the emperor and crush rivals. To the right, one lady gazes into a mirror, suggesting the importance of inner beauty as much as external appearance. From the perspective of a court instructress, who is advising the ladies of the imperial harem on correct etiquette, it reads: “If one’s nature is not ornamented, rites and proper behaviour will become confused and erroneous.”

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Not a Cop? You’re a 2nd Class Citizen

10 hours 57 min ago

The prosecutor at Matthew Townsend’s March 19 preliminary hearing appeared to be auditioning for a Daytime Emmy. Her subsequent performance, and that of her colleagues, may be sufficient to earn a criminal contempt charge.

Townsend, who is active in the Cop Watch (or police accountability)  movement,was arrested without cause on February 2nd in Meridian, Idaho for the supposed offense of walking away from a cop who wouldn’t charge him with an actual crime. On the eve of his hearing he protested that mistreatment in a Facebook post promising a “shame campaign” against his kidnapper, Officer Richard Brockbank of the Meridian Police Department – and any public officials who collaborated in that outrage.

The Meridian PD wanted to prosecute Townsend for felonious “intimidation of a state witness,” a charge without merit that summarily convicts Officer Brockbank of cowardice. The intent was to have Townsend arrested before or during the March 19th hearing on his “resist and obstruct” charge.

“Your Honor, the State has received information that Mr. Townsend has been making threats to the Meridian Police Department,” intoned prosecutor Abbey Germaine melodramatically. “Based on that information and the contents of that threat the State will be moving to revoke Mr. Townsend’s bond. We’ll also be asking for a no contact order in this matter in regards to the officer involved in this case and any relevant family members in that message.”

The offending Facebook post expressed Townsend’s intent to conduct “a non-violent and legal shame campaign that will be remembered.”

Nothing therein could be construed as a threat of any kind, let alone what is called a “true threat” as defined in current case law – under which the statement in question would have to be evidence of imminent, unlawful violence.

Seeking to disseminate his message, Townsend tagged dozens of people – including every significant media outlet in Idaho, and several others nation-wide. He also tagged everyone he could find who shared Officer Brockbank’s surname.

“In Mr. Townsend’s desire to get the message out as well as he could, he tagged a number of individuals,” explained the defendant’s court-appointed defense attorney. “He does not know these individuals. All he was doing was using what Facebook would tell him, finding every individual with the same last name as the officer, and getting the message out.”

“There has never been any violence alleged,” continued the defense counsel. “There has never been any threat of violence alleged. It specifically says within the context that was shown to the court, and was shown to counsel here today, that he’s [prepared to undertake] a `shaming’ program. A non-violent program. He’s doing exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King wanted to do – he’s doing it in the age of social media. He is trying to shame the government, which is First Amendment-protected speech. What he did does not warrant an increase in bond.”

The intent of the Facebook post was to express “a message that shared his displeasure with the government’s actions,” emphasized Townsend’s attorney. “That is absolutely the number one thing protected by the First Amendment free speech laws.”

As a reasonable person, Townsend “realizes that by tagging lots of people it apparently had the effect of reaching a lot of people who don’t have a stake in this game,” his attorney conceded. “People who could be juveniles or minors. He is happy to un-tag all of those people. The one thing we want the court to be aware of is that nothing that happens today should infringe on his First Amendment right to communicate his displeasure with the government.”

That right includes the liberty to criticize, by name, the individual who abducted Townsend under color of “state authority,” as the defendant’s lawyer pointed out:

“The officer involved in this case is a public official. It is absolutely appropriate for him [Townsend] to continue to use the name of that officer in his political speech. He’s not going to the police station. He’s not going to the police officer’s house. He’s not interacting with their family, aside from this digital format. He’s happy to un-tag all of those people. I think this will address the issues brought to the court’s attention.”

Ms. Germaine’s rejoinder was worthy of a junior varsity High School debate competition.

“Although the defendant has a First Amendment right to freedom of speech, he does not have a right to commit criminal acts while speaking,” she insisted. “In this case, he did make direct threat against individuals, whether these are cast in a violent or non-violent manner.”

Germaine graduated from law school two years ago. This isn’t long enough to have forgotten the relevant case law, which doesn’t sustain her claim that a conditional promise to carry out “non-violent” legal action can be treated as a “threat.” This means she either never learned that case law, or simply chose to ignore it.

Her voice groaning under the burden of affectation, Germaine continued:

“He states, and I quote, `I know where you live.’ That is in direct correlation to the officer in this case, and the officer’s family. Bond is appropriate in this case, Your Honor…. At this time, the defendant is a threat to the community, and some bond is warranted.”

Perhaps Germaine was hoping that youth, charm, and apparent earnestness would overcome the deficiencies of her argument. They didn’t.

Judge Cawthon ruled in favor of the defense’s objection that prior notice of bond revision was necessary.“I am going to set the motion of the State’s for hearing on March 30 at 10:30,”Cawthon announced. “And I will require the state to file that motion and have it served on [the defense] no later than Monday the 23rd.”

A second hearing was necessary, Judge Cawthon specified, in order to protect the defendant’s “constitutional rights in regards to any allegations of the commission of a new crime… [To] place him in the position today of responding to those would be very problematic from a Due Process point of view.”

Having dispensed with the motion to revoke bond, Judge Cawthon delivered a finding of fact regarding the claim that Townsend had committed felonious intimidation of a witness:

“While it is concerning what the state is alleging, what I don’t hear is any threats related to any type of physical harm, violence, things of that nature, to the officer involved in this case, or his family.” (Emphasis added.)

Acting on the suggestion of Townsend’s attorney, Cawthon ordered the defendant “to un-tag the family members of the officer involved in the case.”

Since no evidence was presented that Townsend had actually committed a felonious offense, Cawthon declared, “the court is … imposing a pre-trial release order in your case – unsupervised, [on] conditions of the court. I’m not making you subject to the sheriff’s office on anything like that…. And then we will come back on the 30th and have this hearing related to the State’s request at that time.”

The evidence – such as it was – had been presented to the trial judge, who made a finding of fact that it was insufficient to justify revocation of bond. The prosecution was not deprived of a remedy: It could present any additional evidence against Townsend at the hearing scheduled for March 30, unless it decided to drop the charges.

Pending the second hearing, Officer Richard Brockbank – the poor, timid little thing – would have to butch it up, relying on his body armor, weaponry, and the intangible yet impregnable shield of “qualified immunity” to protect his vulnerable ego and sense of privilege against the withering assault of Townsend’s rhetoric.

This would have solved the problem, if one had actually existed. Instead, the Meridian Police Department and Attorney’s Office went judge-shopping.

A complaint was filed by Ada County DA’s office citing a carefully cropped – and artfully dishonest – rendering of Townsend’s Facebook post. It was, in substance, indistinguishable from the version of the post in which Judge Cawthon had found no evidence of a genuine threat. By way of an ex parte hearing, and in violation of the existing order by the trial judge, an arrest warrant was obtained against Townsend.

In addition to being patently unethical and undeniably vindictive, this was quite probably illegal.

Rule 7 of the “Local Rules of the District Court and Magistrate Division” for Idaho’s Fourth Judicial District specifies that Ex Parte orders “will be granted only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury … will result to the applicant before the adverse party or the party’s attorney can be heard in opposition, and (2) the applicant’s attorney … has certified to the court in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give the notice and the reasons supporting the party’s claim that notice should not be required.”

The trial court judge before whom the facts had been presented had ruled that the supposed victim – the intrepid Juggernaut of Justice known to lesser beings as Officer Richard Brockbank – had suffered, or stood to suffer, no “injury” of any kind as a result of Townsend’s Facebook post.

The prosecution obviously did not make this known to its hand-picked judge, nor did they give notice to the defendant of the impending second complaint.

Although assistant Ada County DA Kari Higbee’s name was on the complaint, Abby Germaine was the official who “routed” the case to the County DA’s office. She was the one who developed the evidence – such as it was – and was present when Judge Cawthon issued his ruling. Interestingly, the officials behind this prosecution are not willing to disclose the names of those who played the most important roles therein.

Ms. Germaine did not directly respond to multiple direct inquiries asking that she either confirm or deny that she acted as prosecutor during the March 19 hearing. A spokesperson for the Meridian City Attorney’s Office confirmed that they “contract all of our prosecutions to the Boise City Attorney’s Office” –where Germaine is employed in the Enterprise/Land Use division.

After I left a message on Ms. Germaine’s voice mail a woman identifying herself as “an attorney in the Boise City Attorney’s Office” contacted me at 12:44 PM on March 26 to tell me that “because the Matthew Townsend case is still pending, there’s not much I can comment publicly about it,” including the name of the prosecutor. When I asked for her name, that spokeswoman replied, “That, too, is confidential.”

While nobody would confirm that Ms. Germaine acted as prosecutor in the Townsend case, her name was called by Judge Cawthon at the beginning of the hearing, as recorded in the courtroom audio. She has just recently begun her legal career. She is more vulnerable than her colleagues, and in the event the matter gives rise to a civil rights lawsuit – as it should – her name will be one of the first listed in the complaint. She may be also left to endure, by herself, the career-killing impact of a contempt of court charge, and appropriate sanctions by the Bar.

American Bar Association’s Rule 3.8, which deals with “Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor,” instructs prosecutors to “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

Ms. Germaine had been informed by the trial judge that no probable cause existed to charge Townsend with a felony. She and her superiors did not disclose this to the second magistrate, an omission that violates Rule 3.3 of the “Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct,” governing “Candor to the Tribunal.”

If Judge Cawthon’s findings “were hidden from the second judge, there should be hell to pay,” opines Jerri Lynn Ward, a veteran defense attorney from Texas. The second judge “is now a witness” if Townsend’s attorney files a motion for contempt.

“Years ago in Texas, some CPS [Child Protective Service] attorneys did the same thing” in seeking the removal of a child from parental custody, Ward recalls. “The first judge ruled `no,’ and they went to a second judge and failed to tell him that there was already a ruling. They got into a bunch of trouble over that.”

In this case, Ward believes, if the prosecutor responsible for Matthew Townsend’s arrest warrant “misrepresented facts to a second judge, her career should be over” – which could apply to either Germaine, or Higbee, or both of them.

Defense attorney Susan Gerber, who served as a deputy state Attorney General in Oregon, offered substantially the same assessment of the case, albeit in somewhat empurpled language. J. Andrew Lauer, a former prosecutor in both Colorado and Washington, presents a more ambivalent view.

“A second judge would owe more deference to an earlier judge’s factual findings on a particular matter if there were a contested hearing with witnesses, exhibits, and such, where a judge had to decide who or what to believe,” Lauer points out. “But if the first judge simply reached a legal conclusion that even if what is alleged is true, it is still not a crime, then that’s an opinion that a second judge could generally disagree with – but should be told about.”

The prosecution did what was necessary to prevent the second judge from being apprised of Judge Cawthon’s ruling, and to avoid a “contested hearing” that had been scheduled for March 30th.  Lauer believes that the prosecution has “the option of charging the defendant sooner, in a new case … regardless of how [Judge Cawthon] would probably have ruled or will rule” in the scheduled hearing.

Waiting for an adversarial proceeding of that kind wouldn’t be satisfactory to the Meridian Police Department and Attorney’s Office. As Judge Cawthon pointed out, the hearing was necessary to protect Matthew Townsend’s due process rights, and require his accusers to provide evidence of an actual crime.

By violating the law and existing ethical guidelines, the Meridian City Attorney’s Office, and the Ada County DA’s office, conspired – no other word is suitable – to contaminate Townsend’s record with an illegitimate felony arrest, in the apparent hope of caging him for at least two days without the need to demonstrate that he had committed any offense other than “contempt of cop.”

In this fashion, to paraphrase a similarly abusive prosecutor in another part of the Gem State, “punishment would be achieved” — even if the meritless charges were eventually dismissed.

It should not be forgotten that Townsend’s original infraction was to walk away from a police officer who had refused to charge him with a crime. When Officer Brockbank subjected him to an unlawful arrest, Townsend did not resist in any way.

“The worst facts in the police report include the officer noting that Mr. Townsend had a sign that was conveying a First Amendment message regarding the government, and that he was doing it at an intersection,” Townsend’s attorney pointed out during his March 19 hearing. “There was no foot flight; there was no pushing, there was no shoving, there was no fighting. He was in all other ways cooperative except when he decided he no longer wanted to have contact with the police – which, of course, we are absolutely allowed to do.”

Although those who commit “contempt of cop” are subject to severe summary punishment, that offense is not found in Idaho Code section 18-1801, which lists “Criminal contempts.” Specific mention is made, however, of “contempt of court” through “Willful disobedience of any process or order lawfully issued by any court” (emphasis added). That applies to ruling issued by Magistrate Judge Cawthon.

The real crime here, let it not be forgotten, is not an offense to the supposed majesty of any court, but the repeated violent abduction of an innocent and harmless man as punishment for the peaceful exercise of his rights. In this entire affair, Matthew Townsend has never broken the law, and his official persecutors have never obeyed it. No law forbids a citizen to walk away from a police officer who refuses to charge him with a crime. Nor is it a criminal offense to publish a Facebook post demanding that a spurious charge arising from that incident be dropped, and promising non-violent, peaceful protest if that demand isn’t granted. No law authorized Richard Brockbank to arrest Matthew for the first act, or Abbey Germaine to pursue a felony charge for the second — particularly in light of Judge Cawthon’s finding that the second charge had no merit. We are supposed to believe that those actions reside within the discretion of public officials.Someone who is ruled by the “discretion” of another is, to that extent, a slave.

Killer Pilot Was Under Psychiatric Care

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:38

The co-pilot who crashed his plane into a mountain killing himself and 149 people hid a secret illness from his employers, German prosecutors have revealed.

‘Obsessive’ Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the Airbus A320’s cockpit before setting the plane’s controls to descend into a rocky valley, it emerged yesterday.

Following a search of Lubitz’s Dusseldorf apartment, investigators today revealed they had found old torn-up sick leave notes, current ones and one issued for the day of the disaster.

Prosecutors said the finds indicate 28-year-old Lubitz may have had a medical condition which he kept secret from his employers, budget airline Germanwings. They have found no suicide note or claim of responsibility and no evidence of a political or religious motivation for his actions.

As the revelations emerged, families of those killed in the disaster expressed fury that Germanwings allowed Lubitz to fly a plane. Claude Driessens, whose 59-year-old brother died on the Airbus A320, said the co-pilot should not have been anywhere near the cockpit.

Responding to the developments, Mr Driessens said: ‘Looking back, I slowly start to be angry. I don’t understand how a serious company can let a depressed man pilot a plane.

‘Because the boy was depressed, it was necessary to say he was. It’s not normal to leave somebody by himself in charge, and who shuts the doors, I’m very angry.’

Prosecutor’s spokesman Ralf Herrenbrueck today said in a written statement that torn-up sick notes for the day of the crash ‘support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues’.

Mr Herrenbrueck said documents found indicated ‘an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment’ , but he didn’t confirm details of what illness Lubitz was suffering from. Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, refused to comment on the new information.

German police are now investigating whether Lubitz had stopped taking any medication he was on and today questioned chemists at the Apotheke am Breidenplatz close to Lubitz’s Dusseldorf flat.

Lubitz regularly collected a prescription from the pharmacy, MailOnline understands. A chemist at the Apotheke confirmed she had spoken to the police but declined to offer any details.

The chemist told MailOnline: ‘The police have visited the pharmacy this morning. But I cannot talk about anything that occurs inside the pharmacy. We are required to protect all information about patients.’

As well as having been signed off from training with depression in 2008, it was reported this morning that Lubitz had continued to receive mental health support up until this week’s crash.

Friends have told how Lubitz, whose pilot’s licence was up for renewal in June, had a life-long obsession with planes and ‘would have died’ if he had not have passed his flying exams.

Read the Whole Article

Allied Troops Raped 285,000 German Women

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

There was no doubt that Private Blake W. Mariano of the 191st Tank Battalion was a brave man. As part of the American Army’s 45th Infantry Division, he had killed many Germans as he fought through Africa, Italy and southern France, before finally, in March 1945, he and his Sherman tank had crossed the Rhine into Germany.

By April 15, 1945, Mariano had been away from his home in New Mexico for nearly three years. A father of three, the 29-year-old was divorced, although he did have a girlfriend in England.

His loved ones, however, were far from his mind that evening. During the day, his unit had successfully overrun the large village of Lauf on the edge of the Black Forest in south-western Germany, and Mariano decided it was time to celebrate.

Accompanied by another American private, Mariano went out drinking. After finding a well-stocked cellar, the two men quickly became inebriated on cognac, at which point they went looking to complete their evening.

They found what they wanted in an air raid shelter under the town’s castle. Huddled there were 17 villagers, two of whom were children.

Mariano pointed his rifle at a young woman called Elfriede. Aged just 21, Elfriede worked in an office, and had a fiancé who was away fighting. Mariano took her outside and raped her. After he had finished, his companion did the same.

Still not sated, Mariano returned to the shelter and chose a 41-year-old woman called Martha. When it became apparent that she was menstruating, Mariano shot her. It would take Martha until the following morning to die.

In a final act of savagery, Mariano selected one more woman, a 54-year-old shopkeeper called Babette, who he also raped. His ‘entertainment’ now over, Mariano finally returned to his tank.

The following morning, Martha’s husband returned to the village after being discharged from the Army. He might have thought that he and his wife were now safe, having survived six long years of war.

As soon as he had discovered what had happened, the widower went straight to the Americans, who immediately launched an investigation.

Just over three weeks later, on May 8, Mariano was arrested and charged. In his defence, he claimed not to remember a thing. The villagers of Lauf would have no such problem. What Mariano had done in a few hours that one night would remain with them for decades.

Never mind that the German population was complicit in countless horrors.

One of the enduring narratives of World War II is that during the invasion of the Third Reich, British and American troops largely behaved well, and it was the soldiers of the Soviet Union’s Red Army who raped hundreds of thousands of German females, aged from eight to 80.

However, a new book published in Germany makes the shocking and disturbing claim that the Americans raped a staggering 190,000 women in the decade from the invasion until West Germany became a sovereign country in 1955.

In When The Soldiers Came, historian Professor Miriam Gebhardt also suggests the British raped 45,000 German women, and the French a further 50,000.

It should be stressed that Dr Gebhardt is not a specialist World War II historian, but is better known for her works on other topics, such as the feminist movement in Germany, the philosopher Rudolf Steiner and the history of education.

She has also spoken at conferences on Left-wing politics, and it is therefore tempting to regard Dr Gebhardt as one of many academics who is not entirely minded to view countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom in a positive light.

But, if these figures are correct, then we would not only have to alter dramatically the way we look at how the Allies overran Germany, but also need to make a radical reassessment of what we call ‘our greatest generation’.

Is it really possible that the numbers are so high?

Read the Whole Article

The Greatest Threat to Life on Earth

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

According to news reports and to this appeal by Kristoferis Voishka the pro-American government installed in Lithuania is persecuting Lithuanians who dissent from the anti-Russian propaganda that is driving Washington’s NATO puppets to war with Russia. Unlike their puppet government, Lithuanians understand that war with Russia means that Lithuania on the front line will be utterly destroyed, a result that would not bother Washington in the least, just as Washington is undisturbed when its forces obliterate weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games.

What is Lithuania? To Washington it is a nothing.

Kristoferis Voiska runs an alternative Internet news site in LIthuania. Not long ago he interviewed me, and the interview appeared in both LIthuanian newspapers and on his Internet news program in video form. I found him to be sincere and well informed. I advised him that interviewing me would bring trouble for him, and he already was aware of that.

As I have said so many times, Americans are the worst informed people on the planet.The are unaware of the growing momentum toward war with Russia. The presstitute media throughout Europe, especially in the Baltic states and Poland, is hard at work creating in people’s minds the fear of a Russian invasion. The orchestrated fear then provides the basis for the American puppet governments to beg troops and tanks and missiles from Washington, and the US military/security complex, counting its profits, is pleased to comply.

But what Russia sees is a threat, not a money-making opportunity for the US military/security complex and payoffs to the corrupt Lithuanian and Polish governments, which are increasingly perceived as neo-nazi like the government that Washington bestowed on Ukraine.

The situation is dangerous, as I keep telling you, a message that some are too weak to accept.

If you care to show support for Kristoferis and the independent media in Lithuania, send emails to him at: tautiniai.socialistai@yandex.ru

In about one week I will be 76 years old. I was born in 1939 as World War II was unfolding as the direct consequence of the Versailles Treaty that broke every promise President Woodrow Wilson made to Germany in exchange for the end of World War I.

I remember as a child Cold War nuclear attack drills in elementary school during which we would cower under our school desks. We were issued dog tags with our blood type just like the dog tags ripped by their comrades off US soldiers killed in the war movies by Germans or Japs (no longer a permissible word) and sent home to the dead GI’s family.

To us it was more romantic than scary. We loved wearing the dog tags. I have no idea what happened to mine. They must be collectors’ items by now.

I have seen a lot. As kids playing war–in those days you could have toy guns without being shot down by the police who are protecting us–we reveled in America’s World War victories. We understood, thanks to our parents and grandparents, that the Red Army won the war against Germany, but we Americans beat the heartless Japs.

That was enough. We knew that the US was tough.

I was 14 when the Korean War broke out. We expected to win, of course, and our expectations, we thought, were proven correct when General MacArthur’s amphibious landings rolled up the North Korean army. But what MacArthur and Washington had overlooked is that China and the Soviet Union were not about to accept a US victory.

Before Americans could cheer, the Third World Chinese Army rolled in and pushed the conqueror of Japan back town to the tip of South Korea. It was a humiliating defeat for American arms. In his dispute with President Truman about the conduct of the war, MacArthur, America’s most famous general, was removed from command.

Washington accepted defeat in Korea and again in Viet Nam where a 500,000 US force consisting of US Army, Marines, and Special Forces was defeated by a Third World guerrilla army.

To these defeats we can add Afghanistan and Iraq. After 14 years of killing, the Taliban controls most of the country. Jihadist have carved a new state out of parts of Syria and Iraq. The Middle East reeks of American defeat. Just like Korea. Just like Viet Nam.

Despite these facts insouciant Americans and their crazed rulers in Washington imagine that the US is a Uni-Power, the world’s only superpower against whom no country can stand. Arrogance, ignorance, and hubris are leading the US into conflict with Russia and China, either of which can destroy the US with ease. And Europe as well. And the stupid bought-and-paid-for Japanese government, a total non-entity, a disgrace to the Japanese people, a collection of well-paid American puppets.

As Andrew Cockburn has documented, the US military is lost in abstractions and is no longer capable of conducting conventional warfare. Any American or NATO army sent to attack Russia will be destroyed almost instantly. Washington cannot accept the loss of prestige from defeat and would take the war nuclear. Life on earth would end.

The only conclusion that informed analysis supports is that Washington is the greatest threat to life on earth. Washington is a greater threat than global warming. Washington is a greater threat than the exhaustion of mineral energy sources. Washington is a greater threat than the rise in world and US poverty from Washington’s policy to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

The only possible conclusion is that unless Washington collapses from its economic house of cards or is abandoned by its NATO puppet states, Washington will destroy life on earth.

Washington is the greatest evil that the world has ever faced. There is no good in 
Washington. Only evil.

4 Gun Friendly Countries

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

March 26, 2015 

Santiago, Chile 

If there’s one lesson we can learn from the 20th century it’s that we should be suspicious of a government that actively tries to disarm its population.

When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia one of the first things they did was set out to disarm the population.

There were already a series of strict gun control laws in place, left over from the time of French colonialism, but the Khmer wanted to take no chances.

They went door to door asking people if they had guns, telling them “no one has a need for a gun anymore,” because, “we’re here to protect you.”

After 10 days of going door to door they cut the friendly act and told everyone to leave their villages and go for a long walk. While they were gone they thoroughly searched houses for leftover guns and foreign currencies.

Now that they were certain that the populace was unarmed, the Khmer Rouge were free to go on a murderous rampage that left somewhere between 2 and 3 million people dead over their 4 year reign of terror.

Similar stories played out in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Uganda, Armenia, Guatemala, China etc. resulting in more than a hundred million deaths.

I’m not suggesting that calls for greater gun controls are a pretext to mass genocide, but it’s still worth bearing in mind the dangers of living in a country that has strict gun control laws.

Maybe you’ve thought about moving abroad, but are uncomfortable with the thought of leaving your guns behind.

The good news is that the US isn’t the only country where people can bear arms. Here are four other countries where you can own guns:

Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for having one of the most well-armed populaces on the planet. Not only are the Swiss allowed to have guns, many citizens were traditionally required to own one and go through training on how to use it.

Switzerland’s laws require having a permit in order to be able to buy certain firearms, but these are attainable with minimal and straightforward bureaucracy.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic is another place in Europe where you can enjoy the benefits of gun ownership without having to deal with much government paperwork.

You’ll need to get a permit in order to legally own firearms, but these are relatively easily available—also for most foreigners who live there.

There’s no limit to how many firearms you can own and you can carry a concealed firearm.

Estonia

Private possession of a large variety of guns is allowed for Estonian residents under a license. These can be obtained for any number of reasons, including self-defense.

The government maintains a record of individual civilians licensed to possess firearms and ammunition, but private sale and transfer is allowed, as is concealed carry.

Paraguay

Most types of firearms can be legally purchased in Paraguay, but a license is required and a central registry of gun ownership is maintained.

The plus side is that even as a tourist you can legally buy weapons in Paraguay.

Reprinted with permission from Sovereign Man.

Quasi-Universal Intergalactic Moolah

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

Paper money has been around since China issued it in the seventh century. But not all banknotes are made of paper; they’ve been made of everything from wood and foil to leather and polymers. Here are the oddballs in the money world.

10 Germany’s 50-Pfennig Emergency Money

Germany was already suffering shortages in coins and metals when World War I kicked off in 1914. With the advent of hostilities, silver prices skyrocketed, and copper and nickel were diverted to the war effort. Without coinage, commerce became nearly impossible, and municipalities and private businesses began printing paper money called notgeld or emergency money.

At first, these notgeld were plain, issued in 25, 50, and 75 pfenning (penny) notes, along with some in marks. Later, the notes featured colorful images of folklore, social satire, political statements, and even playing cards. These notes were so unique by the end of the war that collectors were gobbling up banknotes as quickly as they were issued.

For three postwar years, many notgeld were issued purely for collectors and were rarely circulated. During this time, serienscheine banknotes—a series of notes with the same thematic story depicted on them—were issued. But in 1921, Germany’s inflation evolved into hyperinflation, and the situation became so dire that currency itself became difficult to obtain. Postage stamps encased in aluminum or celluloid began to be used as currency.

In 1923, the Reichsbank issued a new currency, the Rentenmark, thus ending the era of notgeld.

9 Burmese 1-Kyat Democracy Note

Until a few years ago, Burma had been fighting a civil war since it gained its independence in 1948, the longest civil conflict in the world. The resulting chaos played havoc with Burma’s monetary system, and the country’s odd banknotes will appear again on this list.

One of the key leaders in the country’s independence was General Aung San, who became the de facto prime minister. Just months before England relinquished control, Aung San was assassinated by a political rival. His daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, was just two years old.

Suu Kyi left Burma in 1960 and didn’t return until 1988 to care for her ailing mother. She found a country in transition from a dictatorship to a military junta. Using the lessons from Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Suu Kyi led a nonviolent campaign for democratic elections. The junta responded by arresting her, placing her under house arrest, and cutting her off from all communication. Simply putting her image on a poster or flyer was punishable by imprisonment.

The next year, the junta authorized a 1-kyat note with the national hero, General Aung San depicted on it. The watermark was simply to be the same image. Some unknown engraver, however, softened the general’s features to form a watermark with Suu Kyi’s illegal likeness. For the months it took for the junta to withdraw the banknote, democratic reformists needed only hold their currency to the light to see their leader.

Suu Kyi spent most of the next 20 years under house arrest and in 1991 won the Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, in 2010, she was released. Two years later, she and her party were elected to parliament.

8 Oranienburg Concentration Camp’s 50-Pfennig Note

As soon as deportees arrived at Nazi-run concentration camps and ghettos during World War II, they had to exchange their cash and bonds for “local currency.” These local notes were poorly made, worthless, and rarely circulated because there was little to purchase in a camp or ghetto.

The first camp to issue such scrip was the Oranienburg Concentration Camp just outside Berlin. The camp opened in 1933 after a wealthy banker donated a lumber yard to the government. One of the first inmates was Horst-Willi Lippert, a graphic artist imprisoned for his anti-Nazi sentiments.

Lippert was ordered to design the printing plates for banknotes to be used within the camp. He used the notes to send a subtle message to the public that the camps were not voluntary communities where undesirables were relocated for everyone’s safety, as the Nazis claimed. His 5-pfennig note showed a guard tower standing over a barbed wire fence. His 1-mark note depicted an elderly man digging a trench. He drew a barbed wire and a pair of stern-looking armed guards on the 50-pfennig plates.

He didn’t stop there. After the first run of printing, Lippert scratched off the top of “g” in the word Konzentrationslager (“concentration camp”) on his printing plates, changing the word to Konzentrationslayer (“concentration killer”). The change can be seen in the image above.

The Nazis never caught on to Lippert’s subtle message or alteration, and Lippert’s notes became the template for money printed in other camps throughout the Reich. He survived the war and later verified his efforts.

Read the Whole Article

Government Can’t Keep Us Safe

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

Investigators are now of the opinion that the co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner that crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 people aboard appears to have brought the A320 Airbus down deliberately, the Marseille prosecutor said today.

German Andreas Lubitz, 28, left in sole control of the Airbus A320 after the captain left the cockpit, refused to re-open the door and operated a control that sent the plane into its final, fatal descent, the prosecutor told a news conference.

Here is what caught my eye about recent reports:

“The guy outside [the captain] is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” an investigator described only as a senior French military official told the New York Times, citing the recordings. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

“You can hear he is trying to smash the door down,” the investigator added.

Those tamper proof doors were installed after 9-11, to prevent attacks on the pilots. But in this case it served to protect a mad pilot.

Bottom line: It is impossible to create a completely safe and secure world. Government regulations will never do it. Having tamper proof doors in planes is probably a good idea in most cases, in this case it wasn’t.

The idea that government can solve all problems is a myth. Which brings me to government created nuclear weapons. Stephen L. Carter writes:

[The crash of  Flight 9525] stands as a chilling reminder of how difficult it is to harden our systems entirely against attack. The human factor is always a variable for which we cannot fully account. Eric Schlosser, in his book “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety,” tells us how planners agonized for decades over how to prevent a crazed individual from stealing or detonating a nuclear weapon. Even if guarded against outsiders, the systems couldn’t be completely protected against insiders. His chilling conclusion is that the problem was never really solved: We’ve just been lucky.

And there should be no comfort in the fact that these weapons are controlled by individuals who are in the first place government trained killers. Governments need to be shrunk everywhere and in every sector but especially in sectors where a mad man can do nuclear level destruction.

Reprinted from Target Liberty.

Resistance Is Futile

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01

Someday – and that day might be closer than you want to know – we’ll look back fondly on speed traps.

Because at least you could speed. Give the finger – via the accelerator pedal – to ridiculous, dumbed-down/one-size-fits-all velocity maximums laid down by bureaucrats whose prime directive always seems to be to suck the joy out of everything, especially driving.

Sometimes, of course, you’d get caught – and fined.

But most of the time you could “get away” with it. (Kind of like the way people used to be able to “get away” with not buying health insurance, if they decided it wasn’t something they needed.)

Tomorrow, you may not be able to “speed” even if you wanted to.

Because your car will not allow you to.

The uber governor – Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter – will see to that.

It uses cameras and GPS mapping technology to keep track of the speed limit in real time – that is, as you drive – on whatever road you happen to be on at any given moment and – by dialing back the throttle – prevents the vehicle from exceeding it. Mash the pedal all you like. Resistance is, indeed, futile.

Some of us saw this coming.

A few months back, I did an article (Heebie Jeebies) about what I suspected was on deck.

I began to notice that the new cars I was getting to test drive and review that had GPS (which these days is almost all of them) were aware of my speeding. The GPS map that shows the road you’re on also told you (oh-so-helpfully) the speed limit on that road. A little icon that looked exactly like a white with black numerals roadside speed limit sign popped up – and stayed up – as you drove. It changed as the speed limit changed. 55 to 45 to 35 – and so on.

Interesting.

Even more interesting was the next step.

I noticed one day that if I drove faster than the posted limit, the little icon immediately turned angry red. The car knew I was speeding. And almost certainly by exactly how much. Every new car – every car built since the mid-’90s – has wheel speed sensors (a component of the ABS, which virtually all modern cars have and have had for more than a decade at least) as well as OBD II – On Board Diagnostics – which knows pretty much everything about how the car is driven, including its speed at any given moment..

This data is also stored in the car’s Event Data Recorder, or “black box” (recently mandated by the government) and can be accessed without your consent by third parties – the coppers, the insurance mafia – and will be used against you.)

Read the Whole Article

Do You Know Your State Speed Limits?

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:01



1 Alaska’s default speed limit is 55 mph. 65 on select Interstate routes is by engineering investigation and case by case, not automatic or default.2 Rhode Island speed limits not set by law, but by state traffic commission.3West Virginia speed limits, in general, are not set by law, but by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways.

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

Reprinted from National Motorists Association.

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