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Justin Amash Blasts 2-Party System as “Existential Threat to America” Then Quits His Party

Image source: TFTP

By Matt Agorist | The Mind Unleashed

(TFTP Op-Ed) — In an inspiring op-ed on the 4th of July, the now-former Republican Congressman Justin Amash took to destroying the idea of identity politics, notably the two-party system, which he says is destroying the country. Amash declared that he is no longer going to identify with a party and declared himself an independent.

“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it,” he wrote.

In the op-ed, Amash, who was brought up by Republican immigrant parents, noted how the two-party paradigm is catering to smaller and smaller audiences, causing the vitriol to grow and become amplified by the loudest extremes on both sides. This vitriol, which is stoked by only a handful of people, according to Amash, is tearing the country apart.

“With little genuine debate on policy happening in Congress, party leaders distract and divide the public by exploiting wedge issues and waging pointless messaging wars. These strategies fuel mistrust and anger, leading millions of people to take to social media to express contempt for their political opponents, with the media magnifying the most extreme voices. This all combines to reinforce the us-vs.-them, the party-first mindset of government officials” wrote Amash.

“The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”

The irony of Amash leaving the Republican party cannot be understated as him and Thomas Massie are arguably the smallest government, pro-gun rights members of the party. Amash has been unafraid to challenge his own party on multiple occasions as they circumvented the constitution to wage illegal wars, erode gun rights, and grow the surveillance state.

This uncompromising stance taken by Amash has made him an enemy to the neocons and establishment lackeys alike. This is why it should come as no surprise that after trying to bridge the divide between a country torn apart by identity politics in a well-written op-ed, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call Amash a “total loser.”

After Amash declared his independence and pointed out that “modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral,” he proposed a solution.

Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. In fact, the parties have become more partisan in part because they are catering to fewer people, as Americans are rejecting party affiliation in record numbers.

These same independent-minded Americans, however, tend to be less politically engaged than Red Team and Blue Team activists. Many avoid politics to focus on their own lives, while others don’t want to get into the muck with the radical partisans.

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.

We agree.

As TFTP has previously reported, there would have been very little difference in the current state of affairs had Clinton won in 2016, as Trump has carried out most of her biggest plans, including war with Syria and Iran, and diminishing rights. Having an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ behind one’s name only serves as a distraction to the masses, tearing them apart using the same few divisive issues, as both parties march on toward more war and rights violations behind the scenes.

It is entirely possible to disagree with both liberals and conservatives. It is called thinking for yourself. TFTP will often be accused of supporting a certain party because we report on a piece of legislation that is supported by a certain party. However, both sides sometimes have good ideas as long as those ideas offer more freedom and not less. The same thing goes for calling out politicians. Just because someone has an R or a D doesn’t mean you can’t call them out for their tyrannical policies.

Being pro-self defense and gun rights makes no one more a Republican than supporting the legalization of weed makes someone a Democrat. These ideas promote freedom, and that is what will truly lead to peace and prosperity.

For the majority of Americans, the United States political system is seen as a football game. Any time their party is in power, it’s as if they are ‘winning’ and the other party or team is ‘losing.’ But what most Americans fail to see is that both ‘teams’ have the same owner. That owner cares not about which one of their teams is ‘winning,’ just so long as its one of their teams in the game.

The controlled politicians, the rigged system, and the elite are not some vast conspiracy as much as they are a tendency of the state in general. As long as a system exists that allows government force to be bought and sold for the benefit and privilege of a few, these atrocities will continue.

The money shoved into the pockets of politicians on behalf of special interest groups, aka bribery, has become so mainstream and widely accepted that no one even bats an eye at the billions doled out to their elected officials on behalf of lobbyists, including supporters of Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans and Democrats alike sit back in their plush, taxpayer-funded offices in white marble buildings, rubbing elbows with elite businessmen who pay them to write laws that create unfair advantages for their industries. In the extremely rare case that a politician resists this corruption and refuses to conform, they are ridiculed by fellow lawmakers, painted as kooks by the mainstream media, and their supporters labeled as radical nutjobs. Case in point—Kayne West.

Meanwhile, We The People argue over the various privileges granted, and how much of our paychecks can be stolen by the almighty rulers on high.

Seeing outside of the two-party paradigm is a difficult task. It can take years for people to break their conditioning and see the political system for the rigged game that it is.

The good news is that once you see the system for what it is, you cannot unsee it. No one goes back to sleep, despite the fact that waking up to the system can be particularly stressful.

Hopefully, readers of Amash’s op-ed are shaken out of their sleep and open their eyes to us vs. them mentality that is tearing all of us apart.


By Matt Agorist | TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Read more great articles at The Mind Unleashed.




Federal Prosecutors to Continue ‘Unconscionable Prosecution’ of Humanitarian Scott Warren for Helping Migrants

Scott Warren, a volunteer with the humanitarian group No More Deaths, faces up to 20 years in federal prison for providing aid to migrants in the Arizona desert. (Photo: No More Deaths/Twitter)

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

Federal prosecutors in Arizona announced Tuesday that they will seek a retrial in the case of humanitarian aid volunteer Scott Warren, who could face several years in prison for providing food, water, clean clothes, and beds to migrants in the desert.

The move by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona comes after Warren’s first trial ended with a hung jury last month. The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that “Anna Wright, an assistant U.S. attorney, said in Tucson federal court that the government would dismiss one count of conspiracy to transport or shield, but that they would seek a retrial on two counts of harboring an undocumented immigrant.”

Warren—a 36-year-old college geography instructor—and two undocumented migrants were arrested in January of 2018 after Border Patrol agents set up surveillance outside “The Barn,” a building in the Ajo, Arizona where humanitarian workers provide migrants with water and other essentials. Human rights advocates worldwide have accused the Trump administration of “criminalizing compassion” with the decision to charge Warren with multiple felonies.

The humanitarian group No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, for which Warren is a volunteer, tweeted in response to the retrial announcement that the U.S. government is continuing the “unconscionable prosecution of [an] aid worker in midst of a humanitarian crisis at our border.”

Though the new trial is currently scheduled for later this year, the government reportedly put forward a plea deal on Tuesday that would keep Warren out of prison.

According to the Republic:

Prosecutors also announced a plea offer to Warren to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of aiding and abetting with a sentence of time served. If convicted of the more serious, felony charges for harboring, Warren could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Raner Collins set the start of the second trial for Nov. 12. Warren has 10 days before that date to decide whether to take the plea deal.

Speaking to journalists and supporters outside the courthouse Tuesday, Warren did not comment on the government’s plea offer. The Arizona Daily Star reported that his attorney, Amy Knight, promised, “We will continue to defend [him] for as long as necessary.”

Reading a prepared statement outside the courthouse, Warren said the case “has been deeply exhausting and troublesome to my friends and family and loved ones,” but also that “we are ready for this second trial and more prepared than ever.”

“While I do not know what the government has hoped to accomplish here,” he added, “I do know what the effect of all this has been and will continue to be: a raising of public consciousness, a greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the borderland, more volunteers who want to stand in solidarity with migrants, local residents stiffened in their resistance to border walls and the militarization of our communities, and a flood of water into the desert at a time when it is most needed.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

While the wealth of billionaires increased by $900 billion last year, or $2.5 billion a day, latest Oxfam report on inequality shows “this bonanza has not been felt by the poorest half of the world, which saw its wealth decline by 11 percent.”

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion.

“We have the worst inequality in this country since the 1920s.”
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the Federal Reserve’s newly released “Distributive Financial Accounts” data series and found that, overall, “the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing, meaning they have more debts than they have assets.”

The growth of wealth inequality over the past 30 years, Bruenig found, is “eye-popping.”

“Between 1989 and 2018, the top one percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion,” Bruenig wrote. “The bottom 50 percent actually saw its net worth decreased by $900 billion over the same period.”

“Enormous crisis,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tweeted in response to Bruenig’s analysis.

“We have the worst inequality in this country since the 1920s,” wrote Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Three wealthiest people in America have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Alternative Views About the Recent Bombing of Japanese Tankers

By Robert O’Leary

Relations seem to be heating up in the Middle East, at the same time there are courageous individuals stepping forward to work to establish peace in the region. Yet, peace is not good business for warmongers. As consumers of news media, we are healthier with a complete “diet” of information. Just in case, you have only been feeding on the mainstream media menu in the last couple of days, we have some alternative videos below which may enrich you and make you more well-informed on this important and timely subject. Please let us know your thoughts, about this issue, in our comments section below.

We start with a video about the good news: Japan stepping up and talking directly with the leader of Iran to attempt to offer a brokering of peace in the Middle East:

The mainstream media (except Fox News) seems to have no problem with criticizing nearly everything the Trump Administration does and says, it is suspiciously non-critical of his foreign policy decisions when it comes to his actions against countries which do not go along with the NWO and banking interests (such as Syria, North Korea, and Iran). So, not surprisingly, the mainstream media seems to merely parrot whatever the Trump Administration seems to say about Iran.

Since the advent of the internet, more and more news viewers are aware that their governments are not always truthful, and that they  will at times foster the occurrence of events, such as “false flag” events, in order to manipulate public sentiment to be in favor of policies which monied interests, or those of the so-called “Deep State.”

It is not surprising that Trumps current national security adviser, John Bolton, seems to be advocating a war with Iran. He was a part of the Project for the New American Century, which had in September, 2000, written the document, entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” which among other things advocated for “the subversion of any growth in political power of even close allies, and advocates “regime change” in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran and other countries.” Source: Profile: Project for the New American Century (PNAC)

And Pompeo has also been generally hawkish, in his foreign policy perspectives and policies, throughout his political career. The following videos speak to the reasonable questions around the timing of this latest incident, and the possibility that we may be dealing with a false flag. Above all, these videos seem to implicitly ask of such an alleged action by Iran is in the best interest of Iran, or if it is likely part of an agenda by other actors to serve there own political or global interests.

 

The president’s perspective that Iran is behind this bombing has met with push back even in certain parts of the mainstream media. Wall Street Journal, earlier today, release an article, entitled, “Japanese ship owner contradicts U.S. account of how tanker was attacked.” It stated, in pertinent part, as follows:

 The owner of a Japanese tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman offered a different account Friday of the nature of the attack than that provided by the United States.

Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, said the Filipino crew of the Kokuka Courageous tanker thought their vessel was hit by flying objects rather than a mine.

“The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel,” he told reporters. “Then some crew witnessed a second shot.” Source: “Japanese ship owner contradicts U.S. account of how tanker was attacked”

Iran has pushed back, rejecting the U.S. Executive’s view of the story, as demonstrated by the following video:

https://youtu.be/vJiEvaUhzXU

More will no doubt be revealed about this story in coming days. Stay tuned to your alternative as well as mainstream media outlets.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




War is a Racket & Not What It Seems To The Majority of People: Major General Smedley Butler

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

In Brief

  • The Facts:The highest ranking marine and most decorated US solider at the time, Smedley, told the truth about war in 1935 and how it’s not what we really think it is. It’s not about protection from harm, it’s about big business and special interests.
  • Reflect On:Why do so many people believe that war is necessary, and that the military establishment is here to protect our freedom? Is it true, or is it simply propaganda to blind us from what’s really going on?

War is not what most people think it is. We’re told that war is necessary, that soldiers are and have been overseas ‘fighting for our freedom’ and sacrificing their lives in order to keep our homeland safe. It’s a narrative that’s still pushed today and it’s backed by a massive propaganda campaign that beams patriotism into the hearts of the masses; meanwhile, very few people ever question what’s actually happening. We are made to believe that war and the entire military establishment are necessities, but they’re not. People have been sharing this opinion for a very long time, those of us who actually think for ourselves instead of simply believing everything that’s presented to us without ever questioning it. Take Mark Twain, for example, who explained the behaviour of the global elite to which I am referring to quite well:

The statesman will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them: and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. (source)

Today, this represents so much more than an opinion. In order to keep patriotism flowing and money feeding into the military industrial complex, we are made to believe war is necessary. More people have become aware of what’s known as ‘false flag’ terrorism. One of the more recent examples of false-flag terrorism would be the supposed chemical gas attack in Syria. False-flag terrorism means that these acts were covertly carried out by one country (in this case it was the United States) and blamed on the home country (Syria), all for the purpose of justifying a specific goal (US military intervention). It’s important to keep in mind that these aren’t just beliefs, they’re facts that are backed by tremendous amounts of evidence, so much so that current presidential candidate and military veteran Tulsi Gabbard, who introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, the terms of which her website outlines succinctly: “The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.”  Gabbard herself was quoted as saying that the “CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

The idea that the latest gas attack in Syria was fabricated by the western military alliance in order to justify intervention in that country clearly outlines how ‘fake’ things are. These fake terrorist attacks, both home and abroad, are not only used to justify military action, but also to take away our rights here at home and justify surveillance and a heightened national security state. This article is not going to go into the Syria attacks, but I put more information in a recent article titled “BBC Producer Blows The Whistle & Admits The “Gas Attack” Footage From Syria “Was Staged.” 

Another example of false-flag terrorism would be 9/11, as all of the witness testimonies and published research suggest it was a controlled demolition, and many believe it was orchestrated by the US government.  

Think about that for a second: The same powers that claim to be protecting us from and fighting the ‘war on terror’ could be the same ones creating it.

This is why I wanted to share a portion of the work of Smedley Darlington Butler, a United States Marine Corps Major General, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

What better person to hear it from than a source like this?

This is an excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. I obtained these excerpts from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. You can access General Butler’s entire speech here.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




‘Criminalizing Compassion’: Trial Begins for Humanitarian Facing 20 Years in Prison for Giving Water to Migrants in Arizona Desert

Scott Warren faces up to 20 years in prison for providing humanitarian aid to migrants in the Arizona desert. (Photo: Alli Jarrar/Amnesty International)

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

Human rights advocates accused the U.S. Justice Department of “criminalizing compassion” as a federal trial began in Arizona Wednesday for activist Scott Warren, who faces up to 20 years in prison for providing humanitarian aid to migrants in the desert.

Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor from Ajo, Arizona, is a volunteer for the humanitarian organization No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson. He was arrested by Border Patrol agents in 2017 and faces three felony counts for providing food, water, clean clothes, and beds to two migrants.

Warren’s parents, Pam and Mark, launched a MoveOn.org petition earlier this month calling on federal authorities to drop all charges, which has garnered nearly 130,000 signatures. Amnesty International issued that same demand on May 15, in an open letter to Michael Bailey, the U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona.

The charges against Warren “are an unjust criminalization of direct humanitarian assistance” and “appear to constitute a politically motivated violation of his protected rights as a Human Rights Defender,” Amnesty International’s Americas regional director Erika Guevara-Rosas wrote to Bailey.

“Providing humanitarian aid is never a crime,” Guevara-Rosas added in a statement last week. “If Dr. Warren were convicted and imprisoned on these absurd charges, he would be a prisoner of conscience, detained for his volunteer activities motivated by humanitarian principles and his religious beliefs.”

On the eve of the trial, Warren detailed his lifesaving work with No More Deaths in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

In the Sonoran Desert, the temperature can reach 120 degrees during the day and plummet at night. Water is scarce. Tighter border policies have forced migrants into a harsher and more remote territory, and many who attempt to traverse this landscape don’t survive. Along what’s become known as the Ajo corridor, dozens of bodies are found each year; many more are assumed to be undiscovered.

Local residents and volunteers organize hikes into this desert to offer humanitarian aid. We haul jugs of water and buckets filled with canned food, socks, electrolytes, and basic first-aid supplies to a few sites along the mountain and canyon paths. Other times, we get a report that someone has gone missing, and our mission becomes search and rescue—or, more often, to recover the bodies and bones of those who have died.

According to Warren, the volunteers previously coexisted with Border Patrol agents, but those days are long gone.

In recent years, “government authorities have cracked down on humanitarian aid: denying permits to enter the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and kicking over and slashing water jugs,” he wrote. “They are also aggressively prosecuting volunteers.”

Warren warned that “my case, in particular, may set a dangerous precedent, as the government expands its definitions of ‘transportation’ and ‘harboring'” under federal law. In addition to humanitarian workers, there are worries such treatment could be applied to families with mixed citizenship status who provide for undocumented relatives.

“Though this possibility would have seemed far-fetched a few years ago, it has become frighteningly real,” wrote Warren. “The Trump administration’s policies—warehousing asylees, separating families, caging children—seek to impose hardship and cruelty. For this strategy to work, it must also stamp out kindness.”

Amnesty’s Guevara-Rosas, in her statement last week, noted that “the U.S. government is legally required to prevent the arbitrary deaths of migrants and asylum-seekers in border areas. Yet instead, authorities have willfully destroyed humanitarian aid provisions in deadly desert terrain and are criminally prosecuting humanitarian volunteers in order to deter them from saving lives.”

In response to Warren’s trial, she said that “the U.S. government should immediately adopt and implement exemptions from criminal prosecution under ‘smuggling’ and ‘harboring’ charges, for the provision of humanitarian aid.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Vaccine Censorship Is the Last Tool of Tyrants

https://youtu.be/f3nB4fGljTY

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 vaccine (which protects against common strains of pneumonia) made more money than either Lipitor or Viagra, two of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, thanks to the U.S. government recommendation to start using it in seniors over 65
  • There’s a rapidly progressing effort to vilify and even criminalize those who express concerns about vaccine safety and to shut down free speech in the U.S. (but only speech relating to vaccine harms, not the alleged benefits of vaccines)
  • Increasingly tyrannical measures are also being employed, including forcing people to get vaccinated against measles or face significant fines or jail time
  • Washington state will no longer accept a philosophical exemption from the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for children seeking to attend daycare or school
  • Instagram is now blocking vaccine-related hashtags such as #vaccinescauseautism, and any hashtag found to be “spreading misinformation” will be added to an ever-growing list of banned hashtags

The following referenced information contains opinion and perspective on a health topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics that is being discussed in public forums, including in medical, law and other professional journals; newspapers, magazines and other print; broadcast and online media outlets; state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

Readers are encouraged to go to the websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation, and policymaking, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for information on vaccine policymaking; to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for information on regulating vaccines for safety and effectiveness; and to National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for information on research and the development of new vaccines.

The World Health Organization has stated that “vaccine hesitancy” is one of the top 10 global public health threats.

Is the vaccine business a profitable industry? You bet! 1 Many vaccine pushers like to promote the idea that vaccine profits are slim, hence there’s no financial incentive behind the push for vaccinations. Two years ago, the blog Skeptical Raptor, just to point to one example, stated that ” … [T]he Big Pharma vaccine profits conspiracy is still one of the most amusing myths of the antivaccination world.”2

In reality, Pfizer’s Prevnar 133 vaccine (which protects against common strains of pneumonia) actually made more money than Lipitor or Viagra in 2015, both Pfizer top-selling drugs,4,5 and the 2018 revenues for Gardasil 9 was $3 billion according to CNBC.6

As noted by Financial Times,7 profits from Prevnar 13 shot up in 2015, reaching $6.25 billion, nearly three times more than Viagra that year, thanks to the U.S. government recommendation to start using it in seniors over 65 and not just children. “The success of Prevnar shows [vaccines] can be as lucrative as any drug,” the article states.8

Censorship Aimed at Blocking First-Hand Testimony of Vaccine Harms

When you have a profitable business, you want to nurture and protect it, and promote its sustained growth. That’s normal in the world of business. What’s not normal is enlisting government to mandate the use of your product while simultaneously preventing the sharing of bad reviews that might impact sales and/or force you to improve the safety or effectiveness of your product.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in the vaccine industry. In recent months, the push to censor negative press about vaccines has been outright shocking. The “justification” given is that “misinformation” about vaccines is preventing people from making sound medical decisions.

But make no mistake about it; what’s really happening here is that Big Pharma and government are blocking parents of vaccine-injured children from sharing their stories and letting the truth be known that there are risks involved. It’s really a showdown between a largely pharma-run government and parents of vaccine injured children — not government against creators of fake news.

There’s nothing fake about vaccine injuries. There’s also nothing fake about data, oftentimes obtained from government documents, that are unfavorable for the vaccine manufacturers. The current censorship is blocking out those real-world stores of injury, and important data demonstrating that government and industry are not telling the whole truth about what is known about vaccines.

‘Vaccine Doubts Spread Like Disease’

Speaking at a recent event at the World Health Organization’s annual assembly, Seth Berkley, CEO of the Global vaccine alliance GAVI, stated that doubts about vaccines spread across social media “at the speed of light,” and that the spread of “misinformation about vaccines,” is “not a freedom of speech issue,” and that “social media firms need to take it offline” because “it kills people.”9

He also stated there’s “a strong scientific consensus about the safety of vaccines,” referring to the spread of negative vaccine information as “a disease.” It’s well worth remembering that GAVIs primary mission is to “shape markets for vaccines and other immunization products.” Clearly, that will not be as easy if people understand the risks.

The WHO and U.S. government are founding partners of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $750 million in seed money to spearhead the creation of GAVI, a public-private partnership and multilateral funding mechanism involving the WHO, governments, the vaccine industry, the World Bank, philanthropic foundations and civil society groups to “improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.”10

Since 2000, GAVI has raised more than $15 billion to vaccinate the world’s children. The single biggest funding source for GAVI is the Gates Foundation, which has donated more than $3 billion, or 20 percent of GAVI’s total income.11

Between 2000 and 2013, only about 10 percent of the total funding provided by GAVI ($862 million) was used to actually strengthen health systems in developing countries, such as improving sanitation and nutrition, while nearly 80 percent was used to purchase, deliver and promote vaccines.12

Shutting Down Vaccine Safety Discussion and Censoring Vaccine Harms

Several of my recent articles have discussed the rapidly progressing effort to vilify (if not outright criminalize) those who express concerns about vaccine safety and to shut down free speech about vaccine harms in the U.S., along with increasingly tyrannical measures, forcing people to get vaccinated or face significant fines or jail time. Here’s a summary of some of the most prominent examples:

The World Health Organization lists “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the top 10 global public health threats for 2019.13
In a January interview with CBS News,14 Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) did not tell the truth when he flat-out denied the fact that vaccines can cause injury or death.

The fact is, the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 has paid out $4 billion in awards for vaccine damages and deaths, and that’s just 31 percent of all the injury petitions filed.15,16

February 27, 2019, Fauci also did not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at its “Confronting a Growing Public Health Threat: Measles Outbreaks in the U.S.” hearing.17

In his sworn testimony, he claimed childhood vaccines like the MMR are completely safe and do not cause encephalitis (brain inflammation) before the parents in the audience audibly protested and he was prodded into quickly adding the word “rare.”18 The facts are:

a. The MMR vaccine package insert19 published by Merck states that “Encephalitis and encephalopathy have been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of M-M-R II or measles-mumps- and rubella-containing vaccine.”

b.The vaccine information statement (VIS), which doctors by federal law (under the 1986 Vaccine Injury Act) are required to give parents before their children receive a CDC recommended vaccine, states that “severe” adverse effects of the MMR20 and MMRV21 vaccines include “deafness; long-term seizures; coma; lowered consciousness; and brain damage.” One of the “moderate” adverse events listed as associated with the MMRV vaccine is encephalitis.

c.Studies have shown the MMR vaccine can cause encephalitis and encephalopathy (acute or chronic brain dysfunction).22

d.As noted in a 2015 paper in the journal Vaccine:23

“We summarize epidemiologic data on deaths following vaccination, including examples where reasonable scientific evidence exists to support that vaccination caused or contributed to deaths.

Rare cases where a known or plausible theoretical risk of death following vaccination exists include anaphylaxis, vaccine-strain systemic infection after administration of live vaccines to severely immunocompromised persons, intussusception after rotavirus vaccine, Guillain-Barré syndrome after inactivated influenza vaccine, fall-related injuries associated with syncope after vaccination, yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease or associated neurologic disease, serious complications from smallpox vaccine including eczema vaccinatum, progressive vaccinia, postvaccinal encephalitis, myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy and vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis from oral poliovirus vaccine.”

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, also misinformed Congress when she stated, “There are rare instances in children with certain very specific underlying problems with their immune system in whom the vaccine is contraindicated.”

She lied when she said the MMR vaccine “does not cause brain swelling and encephalitis” in healthy children, and that parents would know if their child was at risk beforehand because their child’s doctor would tell them if this were the case.24

In February 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb threatened state legislators with federal government intervention if they do not eliminate vaccine exemptions.25,26,27
California state Sen. Dr. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is urging the U.S. Surgeon General to push mandatory vaccinations to the top of the federal public health agenda.28,29 According to Pan, mandating vaccines, as was done for smallpox during the Revolutionary War, would “protect our right as Americans to be free of preventable diseases.”
In March 2019, a bill was introduced in Washington, D.C., allowing minor children of any age to get vaccines in the city without a parent’s knowledge or consent after a doctor says the child is “mature” enough to make the decision.30
March 27, 2019, Rockland County, New York, barred any infant, child or teen under the age of 18 who is not vaccinated against measles from entering “public places” until the state of emergency is lifted in 30 days or until they get an MMR shot. (A New York Supreme Court judge lifted the state of emergency April 5, saying the number of measles cases did not meet the legal requirement for an emergency order.)
April 9, 2019, health officials ordered residents in four Williamsburg, New York, zip codes — 11205, 11206, 11211, 11249 — to get vaccinated for measles within 48 hours or face a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.
April 25, 2019, Rockland county issued another emergency order that banned anyone with measles or who has come in contact with a measles case from appearing in public for up to 21 days or face a $2,000 per day fine.

“The new order would keep unvaccinated students who don’t have medical or religious exemptions in the most affected areas from going to school, and those who have measles or have been exposed to it and are not vaccinated from going to public places, both indoor and outdoor,” CBS2 New York reported.31

May 12, 2019, KUTV reported Washington state will no longer accept a philosophical exemption from the MMR vaccine for children seeking to attend daycare or school.32

Tech Platforms Embrace Position as Truth Adjudicators

In recent months, media have also been flooded with reports of how tech platforms and social media are fueling “anti-vax” fears and spreading misinformation, and not doing everything possible to prevent sharing of vaccine safety-related material between users.33

Art Caplan, a bioethics professor and head of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine, has stated that “companies cannot allow themselves to be ‘vehicles for misinformation contagion,'” and must take steps to censor information that might lead people to avoid vaccination.34 In response:

YouTube has demonetized “anti-vaccine” channels, barring them from advertising on the platform.35
Facebook is “hiding” vaccine critical content and barring “ads that contain misinformation about vaccines.”36
Pinterest is blocking search terms related to vaccines, as well as “memes and pins from sites promoting anti-vaccine propaganda.”37
Amazon has removed films critical of vaccine safety from its Prime Video streaming service, including the award-winning 2011 documentary “The Greater Good,”38,39 as well as books discussing vaccine risks and failures and/or biomedical and holistic health treatments for autism.40
Google is burying content and videos relating to vaccine safety issues.41
Instagram is blocking vaccine-related hashtags such as #vaccinescauseautism and any hashtag found to be “spreading misinformation” will be added to an ever-growing list of banned hashtags.42,43

Twitter Joins in Censoring Vaccine Material

To this ever-growing list we can now add Twitter, which on May 10, 2019, announced44 users searching for vaccine-related Tweets will immediately be directed to “a credible public health resource,” namely the vaccines.gov website, which is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Noncredible commentary and information about vaccines” will not be included in auto-suggested queries. Twitter is also planning on expanding this censorship tool to include “other important public health issues …”

And that’s the crux of the problem, isn’t it? Let’s face it, the censorship will not be restricted to vaccine information. There are many toxic but profoundly profitable industries out there, and before you know it, we won’t be allowed to read about any number of toxic and dangerous issues.

Can You Get Full Disclosure on Vaccines From a Single Source?

Even if, right now, you think it “might be a good idea” to restrict information about the risks and failures of vaccines, it won’t be long before the censorship train stops at your station and suppresses information you are interested in and need to know about to take control of your health. Censorship, which is a threat to freedom of thought, speech, and conscience, is always a slippery slope.

If the vaccine thought police prevail today, tomorrow you easily could be prevented from reading or sharing information about another health topic near and dear to your heart — be it pollution, climate change, water fluoridationtoxic cosmetics, dangerous infant products, pesticide-contaminated and GMO-altered food or any number of other contentious issues that can impact an industry’s bottom line.

Once censorship takes root as an acceptable norm, there will be no end to it. The fact of the matter is, the federal government’s vaccines.gov website does not spell out the whole truth about what is known, scientifically, about vaccines. For example, in a May 16, 2019 post, The Highwire points out the fallacies proclaimed on vaccines.gov with regard to aluminum adjuvants in vaccines,45 and that’s just one example of many.

According to the vaccines.gov website, aluminum in vaccines is safe, stating that “For decades, vaccines that include aluminum have been tested for safety — these studies have shown that using aluminum is safe.”

In reality, aluminum has been used in vaccines for decades without any safety testing having been done. It has simply been assumed that aluminum was safe because the addition of aluminum to vaccines provokes a stronger inflammatory response in an effort to create longer-lasting artificial immunity.

However, as noted in a 2011 paper in Current Medicinal Chemistry, titled “Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are They Safe?”:46

“Experimental research … clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have the potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”

Or how about this 2018 study,47 which found high amounts of aluminum in the brains of autistic patients. According to the authors:

“The aluminum content of brain tissue in autism was consistently high. The mean (standard deviation) aluminum content across all 5 individuals for each lobe were 3.82(5.42), 2.30(2.00), 2.79(4.05) and 3.82(5.17) μg/g dry wt. for the occipital, frontal, temporal and parietal lobes respectively.

These are some of the highest values for aluminum in human brain tissue yet recorded and one has to question why, for example, the aluminum content of the occipital lobe of a 15-year-old boy would be 8.74 (11.59) μg/g dry wt.?”

This study goes on to note that one known source of aluminum that children would be exposed to is vaccines, and that “their burgeoning use has been directly correlated with an increasing prevalence of ASD.”

Science Earmarked as False News — Who Are the Science Deniers Now?

https://youtu.be/GmFX-iQA2nA

Another example of what the government’s vaccines.gov website isn’t telling you is the documented evidence48 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been sitting on since 1978, showing the MMR vaccine causes gastrointestinal problems and upper respiratory infection in roughly HALFof all children.

This 1978 MMR vaccine’s licensing data were recently obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Informed Consent Action Network.49 These documents raise several other safety questions as well. For example, they show that:

  • The MMR vaccine was licensed for use in all children based on clinical trials involving a total of 834 children, of which only 342 received the MMR vaccine
  • Adverse events were only tracked for 42 days following injection
  • All of the control groups in the eight trials upon which licensing was granted were given another vaccine, in some cases simply another batch or lot of the MMR. None received a real placebo (an inert substance), without which you cannot accurately judge safety, as both the treatment group and the controls will experience side effects. The only thing these studies can tell us is which of two vaccines is better or worse, in terms of short-term side effects

We’re Entering an Era of Faith-Based Science

Does the vaccine.gov website tell you this about the MMR? No, it does not. Instead, this very real news, based on official documents from the FDA showing the actual science underpinning the licensing of this vaccine, is now labeled “noncredible vaccine commentary.”

The pro-vaccine lobby is very quick to label anyone who questions the safety of vaccines as “anti-science.” Yet, what most vaccine safety critics are trying to do is to reveal the science the pro-vaccine lobby doesn’t want to share with the public. So, just who are the science deniers?

The pro-vaccine lobby is working hard to get laws passed that will force everyone to use every vaccine the pharmaceutical industry produces and the federal government recommends. If forced vaccination lobbyists get their way, only studies confirming preconceived notions that all vaccines are safe and effective in all instances will be deemed “real science.” Everything else is “pseudoscience” or plain “misinformation.”

Not only is this censorship trend endangering public health by hiding reality, but it’s also endangering the very foundation of the field of science by ushering in a highly-radicalized form of faith-based science, where you form an opinion and only allow studies that support that opinion to see the light of day. That’s already happening, but we’re bound to get much more of it if we continue down this path.

We cannot make sensible decisions about our health and that of our children when all we get is half the story. The video below, “Our Girls Are Not Rumors — Stories of the HPV (Gardasil) Vaccine,” is a perfect example of the devastation wrought by incomplete vaccine disclosures. Yet media, largely owned by Big Pharma, tries to write these real-world effects off as nothing but fake news.

In Criminals We Trust?

According to the vaccine lobby, information highlighting the lack of safety is too dangerous to be read. You should just trust the vaccine industry, the makers of these lifesaving marvels.

The problem with that is that most of them have been found guilty in civil courts of engaging in unethical, even criminal, behavior. Why should we trust companies with shoddy ethics that engage in criminal behavior? In my view, this is an unreasonable demand.

Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Baxter International have all graced AllBusiness’ Top 100 Corporate Criminals List, along with 13 other drug companies. For example, at the height of the bird flu pandemic of 2009, Baxter “mistakenly” mixed the lethal, live, biological weapon/virus, H5N1, with seasonal flu, then sent it to labs around Europe.

In the largest health care fraud settlement in history, Pfizer was ordered to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra, and GlaxoSmithKline was found to have spent 11 years covering up trial data showing Avandia was a risky drug for the heart.

In 2012, Pharmaceutical-technology.com reported50 GlaxoSmithKline was in hot water again after a court in Argentina found the company mismanaged a Synflorix vaccine trial that killed 14 babies. Synflorix is a pediatric vaccine against pneumonia and meningitis, much like Pfizer’s blockbuster vaccine Prevnar. According to Pharmaceutical-technology.com:

“The firm was fined $93,000 for failing to obtain parental consent to conduct the trials on 15,000 Argentine babies, and an additional 9,000 babies from Colombia and Panama, between 2007 and 2008.

The children were recruited from poor families. Evidence from Argentina’s medical regulator said that, in some cases, GlaxoSmithKline pressured parents and grandparents to sign lengthy consent forms that they couldn’t understand … GlaxoSmithKline was also criticized [sic] by Judge Marcelo Aguinsky for keeping inadequate records of the children’s ages and medical histories.”

Unethical Vaccine Testing Methods Have Been the Norm

The sad truth is that GlaxoSmithKline’s “mismanagement” was not a one-off event. As reported by Collective-Evolution,51 while under oath, “Dr. Stanley Plotkin, known as one of the fathers of vaccines, reveals … testing vaccines on orphans, colonial ruled populations, babies whose mothers are in prison, and mentally handicapped children.” In a letter to the editor of “Ethics on Human Experimentation,” Plotkin wrote:

“The question is whether we are to have experiments performed on fully functioning adults and on children who are potential contributors to society or to perform initial studies in children and adults who are human in form but not in social potential?”

A short outtake of his testimony covering these specific points is in the video above. The full nine-hour video testimony can be found on Youtube.52 I also suggest reading through “The 6 Top Thugs of the Medical World… As Ranked by ‘Top 100 Corporate Criminals List” for a general overview of the companies you’re being told to trust blindly and without question.

The Fallacy of Censorship as a Conformity Builder

What we have here is a highly profitable vaccine industry, which has no civil liability for any of the health problems caused by the use of their products, that lobbies government to mandate vaccines, while simultaneously insisting on censoring criticism of vaccine safety and effectiveness, and blocking parents from publicly describing real-life experiences about how their healthy children were injured or died after vaccinations, and refusing to conduct well-designed scientific research that investigates evidence of harm.

The end result cannot be anything other than mounting public distrust, because this simply isn’t how honest corporations and industries who conduct business with transparency and integrity go about making a profit. There’s no need for censorship when you have nothing to hide and are willing to address shortcomings or product risks to ensure safety and effectiveness.

On top of it all, we now also have an up-cropping of self-appointed arbiters of truth and trustworthiness, such as NewsGuard — a company that right out of the gate failed to adhere to one of its own tenets of trustworthiness: transparency. From the outset, NewsGuard “declined to disclose” the size of its revenue stream in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.53

You can learn more about NewsGuard and its funders in “Beware: New Plan to Censor Health Websites” and “Ghost in the Machine Part 6: Mainstream Media Censors News That Threatens Its Financial Interests.”

One of the Most Powerful Videos I’ve Ever Seen

The following video from Barbara Loe Fisher is one of the most powerful videos that I have ever seen. I am hopeful that watching this video will inspire you to take up the cause and join the fight for vaccine freedom and independence.

There are a cultural war and collusion between many industries and federal regulatory agencies that result in a suppression of the truth about vital important health issues. If this suppression continues we will gradually and progressively erode our private individual rights that our ancestors fought so hard to achieve. Please take a few minutes to watch this video.

https://youtu.be/xEcYQydhY9E

Protect Your Right To Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

Think Globally, Act Locally.

National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smartphone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up to date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.

Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up to date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call into a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination, will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.

The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims — View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions — Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall — View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall — View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in the attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.

It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect, and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Top 5 “Conspiracy Theories” That Turned Out To Be True

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO5oJM8GjWA

Video Source: corbettreport

We all know the old trope of the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist who believes crazy things like “the government is spying on us” and “the military is spraying things in the sky” and “the CIA ships in the drugs.” Except those things aren’t so crazy after all. Here are five examples of things that were once derided as zany conspiracy paranoia and are now accepted as mundane historical fact.

TRANSCRIPT AND MP3 AUDIO:

https://www.corbettreport.com/5conspiracies/



History’s Dire Warning: Beware False Flag Trigger for Long-Sought War with Iran

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News

Four excerpts to show why you should read this article, and share widely:

“We are very worried about the risk of a [U.S.-Iran] conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict.” [British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Monday, May 13, 2019, after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo].

“[The …] former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman has stated that [John] Bolton, … in order to advance the goals of the Israeli government,… in more than one instance while in the Bush administration, … traveled to Israel in violation of State Department rules and negotiated privately with Israeli officials, including the then-head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, to lay the groundwork for a war with Iran … Worse still, Bolton has pressured Israeli officials to initiate a war with Iran, even when they didn’t support such a move.”

“[C]urrent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also called for the preemptive bombing of Iran long before he joined the Trump administration … based on his fervent adherence to Christian Zionism … Pompeo sees an “apocalyptic” war between Israel and Iran as a necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ and the “rapture.”

“Sheldon Adelson — the top donor to Trump, the entire Republican Party, and also the top political donor to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – has long sought war with Iran, and several of Adelson’s desired policies have already been enacted by Trump. These include recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, replacing H.R. McMaster with Bolton as National Security Advisor, and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.”

With the beat of Washington’s war drums continuing to grow, particularly following the Monday revelation of a government plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to counter Iran, the threat of an “accidental” provocation or a “false flag” is also becoming increasingly likely. As MintPress recently reported, the possibility of an “accident” leading to open conflict between the U.S. and Iran is now being openly stated by top European officials — such as U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt — following meetings with noted Iran hawk and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Part I of this series, MintPress explored how current events — including seemingly unrelated regional events, such as the Israeli government’s bid to occupy the West Bank and the Syrian offensive against Al Qaeda-held Idlib — were converging to create a “now or never” scenario for those most eager for regime change in Iran and a U.S.-Iran military confrontation, particularly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.

This installment will also reveal how Trump’s top political patron Sheldon Adelson — who is also the top donor to Netanyahu and a long-time confidant of Bolton, whom he helped install in his powerful post in the Trump administration — may be the deciding factor whether Trump authorizes the use of military force against Iran.

Yet, while the endgame for Bolton, Adelson and Netanyahu, as well as Pompeo, has long been a U.S.-led war with Iran, public justification for such hostilities must be given in order to manufacture American consent for a war against a country significantly larger than Iraq, complete with a more powerful army. Historically, the U.S. government has frequently planned and used false flags in order to justify the initiation or expansion of hostilities, with the best-known examples being Operation Northwoods and the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

However, given the current situation, it is essential to revisit two other incidents that reveal that the key players pushing for war in Iran — Israel’s government and neoconservatives of the Bush era (Bolton chief among them) — have planned and attempted to execute false flag attacks to push the U.S. into a major war that the American public would not normally support.

Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty

On June 8, 1967, one of the worst attacks on a U.S. naval vessel during peacetime took place, an attack that the U.S. government has kept shrouded in secrecy over 50 years later in what many have called a cover-up.

Around two in the afternoon on a cloudless, sunny day, unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the U.S.S. Liberty — a largely defenseless naval intelligence vessel flying visible American flags — without provocation. The attack saw the aggressors commit several war crimes, including attacking with unmarked aircraft and vessels; shooting survivor-bearing lifeboats out of the water with machine-gun fire; and the jamming of the Liberty’s ability to use international distress frequencies.

Thirty-four American sailors lost their lives and 173 were wounded, and the Liberty — which cost U.S. taxpayers $40 million to build — was so badly damaged it was subsequently sold for scrap metal for pennies on the dollar.

During the attack and in its immediate aftermath, Liberty survivors were puzzled as to why the U.S. Department of Defense ordered the recall of U.S. ships that were on route to aid the Liberty from the hostile attack, which many sailors had assumed at the time was being conducted by Egyptian or Arab forces in light of the ship’s proximity to the Sinai Peninsula.

Indeed, the attack on the Liberty took place during the Israeli-Arab Six Day War, a war that Israel claimed to have started as a preemptive means of self-defense but that was later revealed to have been the culmination of years of planning for a war of aggression. This fact was openly admitted by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the early 1980s. Israel, an American ally, was not suspected by Liberty crewmen at the time of the attack as being their potential assailants.

However, no Arab nation had attacked the Liberty that day, though that assumption by Liberty sailors was what their true assailants had hoped they and the American public would believe. Instead, it had been Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats that had fired on the clearly-marked American vessel with torpedos, machine gun fire and even napalm. The Israelis “officially” maintain to this day, with little challenge from the U.S. government, that the attack was an accident, a fact that has been and continues to be heavily contested by the attack’s survivors.

Yet, beyond the testimony of survivors, the most compelling evidence that the attack on the Liberty was no accident comes from the Israelis themselves. Intercepted Israeli communications from the time of attack, made public only in recent years, reveal that the ship had been identified as American prior to the attack and, despite that, the plan was to sink the U.S.S. Liberty and ensure that there were no survivors. The goal of the attack was to place the blame on Egyptian forces, which necessitated there being no American survivors who could dispute the claim. If the Liberty had been sunk, it would have provided the United States legal cover and popular support for a more central role in the conflict and its crucial diplomatic aftermath. Indeed, the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty was a false flag, one that failed to achieve its intended goal of goading the U.S. into a major war.

Instead of responding with indignation, then-President Lyndon Johnson — whether it occurred before or during the attack is disputed — ordered that the Liberty not be rescued during the course of the attack, allegedly not wanting to harm relations with or “embarrass” an ally even if it meant consigning the 294-person crew of the Liberty to death.

Those who survived the assault of the Liberty owe their lives to the then-23-year-old Terry Halbardier, who valiantly navigated the Liberty’s napalm-glazed deck and managed to jury-rig an antenna and send out an SOS signal to the Navy’s Sixth Fleet. Upon intercepting that distress signal, the Israelis immediately broke off the attack. Halbardier’s heroism prevented the massacre of all 294 crewmen and allowed them to live to tell their stories, despite Johnson’s having left them for dead.

Yet many Liberty survivors were unable to tell their stories for decades, as the U.S. government issued gag orders and threatened them with being court-martialed for speaking to anyone, even their spouses, about the incident. The Navy’s Board of Inquiry, which abetted the cover-up, was headed by Admiral John S. McCain Jr., the father of the late Senator John McCain of Arizona.

To this day, the U.S. government has failed to conduct a full, public inquiry into the attack. Liberty survivors who have since spoken out have been accused of “anti-Semitism” and of slandering Israel for discussing their personal and traumatic experiences of the attack, significantly compounding their suffering and post-traumatic stress.

While the survivors of Israel’s assault on the Liberty have been denied closure, the U.S. government’s response has endangered the lives of American personnel by clearly signaling to Israel that they will suffer no consequences for such “false flag” attacks, regardless of whether American servicemen are wounded or killed. As former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern has previously noted for Consortium News, “the U.S. cover-up [of the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty] taught the Israelis that they could literally get away with murder.”

In a 2015 interview on the Real News Network, McGovern warned that the attack on the Liberty still holds “current relevance” and that he felt that “the Israelis are capable of doing this kind of thing when they see their supreme national interests at stake.” McGovern further stated that Israeli officials may well have considered a provocation, such as false flag, to throw a wrench in the Iran nuclear deal, which was being negotiated at the time.

McGovern — in an open letter to President Barack Obama, co-authored with former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council Elizabeth Murray — noted that Admiral Mike Mullen, former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Bush administration, had flown to Israel in 2003 and told the Israeli government emphatically “to disabuse themselves of the notion that U.S. military support would be knee-jerk automatic if they somehow provoked open hostilities with Iran. According to the Israeli press, Mullen went so far as to warn the Israelis not to even think about another incident at sea like the deliberate Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty.”

McGovern and Murray cited Mullen’s statements to Israeli officials as the first time that “a senior U.S. official braced Israel so blatantly about the Liberty incident.” In an email to MintPress, McGovern stated that he was unsure whether current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford “can be counted upon to play a similar restraining role” in preventing hostilities with Iran. Notably, Dunford was in attendance along with Bolton at the recent CIA meeting to discuss “highly sensitive covert actions” in relation to Iran.

An “accident” waiting to happen

Since Bolton announced the movement of the Lincoln carrier strike group towards the Persian Gulf, some have pointed out that the vessels could well be destined for use in a “false flag” provocation, such as one planned by former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2008 (to be discussed shortly) and another conducted by Israel in 1967. Indeed, as MintPress noted the day after Bolton’s announcement, the carrier strike group’s deployment was actually announced a month prior and was a routine deployment.

The political analysis blog Moon of Alabama also noticed that Bolton had framed this routine deployment as something more dire for his own purposes, writing:

The carrier deployment to the Gulf is routine. It had beenannounced on April 8. The U.S. has bomberson rotation in the Middle East since 2001. Moreover – a carrier in the Persian Gulf is a sure sign that the U.S. will not attack Iran. Within the restricted waters of the Persian Gulf a carrier is a too easy target. The idea though may be to provide for an ‘accident’’ as Iran’s Foreign Minister [Javad Zarif] described it in a recent CBS interview.”

In an interview late last month with CBS’ Face the Nation, Zarif explicitly told journalist Margaret Brennan his concern about an imminent “false flag” to trigger war with Iran by John Bolton in collaboration with Israeli, Saudi and Emirati leadership:

Foreign Minister Zarif | I don’t think military confrontation will happen. I think people have more prudence than allowing a military confrontation to happen. But, I think the U.S. administration is putting things in place for accidents to happen. And there has to be extreme vigilance, so that people who are planning this type of accident would not have their way.

Margaret Brennan | What do you mean? What kind of accident are you talking about?

Zarif | I’m talking about people who have — who are designing confrontation, whose interest —

Brennan | Who’s doing that?

Zarif | My ‘B’ team. I call —

Brennan | What do you mean ‘B’ team?

Zarif | I call the group ‘B’ team who have always tried to create tension, whose continued existence depends on tension. Ambassador Bolton, one ‘B,’ Bibi Netanyahu, second ‘B,’ Bin Zayed, third ‘B,’ Bin Salman, fourth ‘B.’ And I’m not just making accusations.

With an aircraft carrier little more than a sitting duck in the area amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, an “accident” may well occur. As was noted in Part I of this mini-series, such a possibility was directly stated by British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Monday.

Hunt told reporters “We are very worried about the risk of a [U.S.-Iran] conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict.” Hunt notably made the statement after meeting with Pompeo, who is currently in Europe meeting with European heads of state to discuss Iran. The Associated Press noted that the Trump administration had warned European officials, Hunt included, that “Iran or its proxies could be targeting maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf region.”

The possibility of such an “accident” is further compounded by Bolton’s aforementioned and “highly unusual” meeting about Iran and “highly sensitive covert actions” at CIA headquarters last week. Declassified CIA documents show that the agency had previously planned to stage terror attacks on U.S. soil and murder Americans to blame on Cuba in order to justify invading the Caribbean nation in the 1960s. That plan, known as Operation Northwoods, further called for the destruction of U.S. military vessels to be blamed on Cuba and also the staging of fires and mortar attacks on U.S. military installations in Cuba (i.e., Guantanamo Bay) or nearby (i.e., in Florida). Though Operation Northwoods was never enacted, the agency has been accused of orchestrating numerous “false flags” in the decades since.

As was recently seen with the alleged “sabotage” of Saudi oil tankers near Iran, there are many potential targets for provocation. However, the incident that would most assuredly force U.S. involvement in a military conflict would be an attack on an American military target. While some have dismissed Bolton’s announcement of the carrier’s movements as a self-serving manipulation of the facts, it may have had the added purpose of framing the lead-up to an unfortunate “accident” targeting American vessels in the area, particularly the Lincoln carrier strike group or one of the other subsequent U.S. naval deployments to the Middle East.

The neocon plan for a Liberty-like attack

If any sort of provocation blamed on Iran should occur, it is important to consider that a powerful group of U.S. politicians — the neo-conservatives — have long sought to plan provocations that would drag the U.S. into war with Iran. One of the most recent examples took place during the George W. Bush administration when then-Vice President Dick Cheney held a meeting with other administration officials in 2008 aimed at provoking war with Iran.

The details of that meeting were revealed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, who described some of the ideas considered in that Cheney-led meeting as follows:

There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build in our shipyard four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives.

And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of, that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation.

Silly? Maybe. But potentially very lethal. Because … if you get the right incident, the American public will support bang-bang-kiss-kiss. You know, we’re into it.”

It is unknown if any Bush officials now in the Trump administration were present at that meeting where the use of a “false flag” pitting Americans against Americans disguised as Iranian was discussed. However, what is known is that John Bolton — who was a member of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, along with Cheney, and who also served in the Bush administration — has zealously sought war with Iran for nearly two decades. Indeed, the New York Times recently described Bolton as “one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.” It is also known that Bolton has a history of playing fast and loose with unconfirmed intelligence and also distorting intelligence to fit his pre-determined narrative.

As MintPress reported last year, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman has stated that Bolton, when serving in the Bush administration, was prone to “direct fire on his own forces,” — i.e., the U.S. government — in order to advance the goals of the Israeli government, especially with respect to Iran. For instance, in more than one instance while in the Bush administration, Bolton traveled to Israel in violation of State Department rules and negotiated privately with Israeli officials, including the then-head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, to lay the groundwork for a war with Iran. As journalist Gareth Porter has noted, Bolton did this in an effort to directly undermine Colin Powell, Bolton’s superior, just as Powell “was saying administration policy was not to attack Iran.”

Worse still, Bolton has pressured Israeli officials to initiate a war with Iran, even when they didn’t support such a move. One such case was Shaul Mofaz, former Israeli defense minister, who told Israeli media last March that Bolton “tried to convince me that Israel needs to attack Iran,” even though Mofaz did not see such a war as “a smart move — not on the part of the Americans today or anyone else until the threat is real.”

Pompeo’s Holy war and rapture

Furthermore, Bolton is not the only top Trump administration official who has long promoted a war with Iran, as current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also called for the preemptive bombing of Iran long before he joined the Trump administration. Pompeo’s desire to push the U.S. towards war with Iran is based on his fervent adherence to Christian Zionism. As a result of the admitted influence his beliefs hold over his foreign policy, Pompeo sees an “apocalyptic” war between Israel and Iran as a necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ and the “rapture.”

Pompeo is on record speaking about the rapture on several occasions, particularly as CIA director when he spoke about the event — which holds that “true believers” will ascend to Heaven prior to the tribulations and trials of the “end times” — so often that he made veteran intelligence officers uncomfortable. As a result, some have asserted that Pompeo is “a man who appears to view American foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.”

The fact that the actions of the current Secretary of State are influenced by his Christian Zionist faith was on display last month, when American Christian journalist Chris Mitchell of the Christian Broadcasting Network asked Pompeo: “Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this … to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” Pompeo responded that this was definitely “possible.”

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




Police Raid Venezuelan Embassy in DC, Arrest Last Remaining Members of Embassy Protection Collective

By Sputnik News | Mint Press News

“This morning, US Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers assisted US Department of State Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents in executing federal arrests warrants against individuals who were inside the Venezuelan Embassy”, the Secret Service statement said.

Benjamin cited Venezuela’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Ron as denouncing the US actions as a violation of the Vienna Conventions and slamming the arrest of Embassy Protection Collective members.

“We call on the US government to sign a Protecting Power Agreement to ensure the integrity of our Embassy in DC and the US Embassy in Caracas. We do not authorize any of the coup representatives to enter the Embassy”, he was quoted as saying by the CODEPINK activist.

Marissa J. Lang [an eyewitness stated via Twitter that:]

Two officers, one in uniform bearing the word “POLICE” and another in green fatigues, were spotted in the 3rd floor window at which the remaining activists had been congregating for several days.

I couldn’t get a photo, but my colleague w/ a real camera may have. Stay tuned.

Marissa J. Lang
@Marissa_Jae

[She went on to state that, at 10:06 A.M. on May 16, 2019 that:] The press and a handful of activists have converged at the back of the building on 29th St. This is where a walkway to the back courtyard and the underground garage lead. Consensus seems to be police may bring any detainees out this way. Street is blocked. pic.twitter.com/mpiBBGgwy8 See Marissa J. Lang’s other Tweets

The activists from the Embassy Protection Collective have been living inside the embassy since 10 April in a bid to protect it from US attempts to seize the facility and hand it over to supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. The group was invited by the embassy’s Venezuelan diplomats, who were forced to leave US soil.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier slammed US attempts to seize the property of the country’s embassy, pointing to its “inviolability” under international treaties regulating the activities of diplomatic missions.

[Read more here]

For more information on this topic, please check out: “What Our Government isn’t Telling Us About Venezuela.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




Julian Assange Tortured with Psychotropic Drug

By Kurt Nimmo | Nexus News

Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski writes in an article posted at Lew Rockwell’s website that Julian Assange is receiving the same treatment as suspected terrorists while in captivity at “Her Majesty’s Prison Service” at Belmarsh.

The FBI, Pentagon, and CIA are “interviewing” Assange. Kwiatkowski writes:

Interviewing is the wrong word.  I’d like to say doctoring him, because it would be more accurate, except that word implies some care for a positive outcome.  Chemical Gina has her hands in this one, and we are being told that Assange is being “treated” with 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, known as BZ. 

BZ is a powerful drug that produces hallucinations. “Soldiers on BZ could remember only fragments of the experience afterward. As the drug wore off, and the subjects had trouble discerning what was real, many experienced anxiety, aggression, even terror,” the New Yorker reported. “…The drug’s effect lasted for days. At its peak, volunteers were totally cut off in their own minds, jolting from one fragmented existence to the next. They saw visions: Lilliputian baseball players competing on a tabletop diamond; animals or people or objects that materialized and vanished.”

Assange is being chemically lobotomized prior to being extradited to the United States to stand trial on bogus computer hacking charges that—and the corporate media won’t tell you this—passed the statute of limitations three years ago (see 18 U.S. Code § 371. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States).

Forget about the statute of limitations. The US government has long violated both domestic and international law. It is a rogue nation led by an ignorant clown who opened the back door and ushered in neocon psychopaths notorious for killing millions. In normal times, these criminals would be in the dock at The Hague standing trial for crimes against humanity. But we don’t live in normal times.

The message is clear: if you expose the massive criminal enterprise at the heart of the US government, you will be renditioned, chemically tortured (a favorite of Chemical Gina, now CIA director), chewed up and spit out until you’re a babbling mental case like David Shayler (who believes he is the Second Coming of Christ). Shayler, a former MI5 agent, made the mistake of exposing the UK’s support of terror operations in Libya. Shayler spent three weeks at Belmarsh after a conviction for breaching the Official Secrets Act. He emerged from prison broken and delusional.

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




What Our Government Isn’t Telling us About Venezuela

By Kim Iversen | Kim Iversen

Editor’s Note: Although both Venezuela and Iran are both in the news right now, you will be forgiven for not connecting the dots between these two countries. Kim Iversen does a good job of showing how these 2 countries are connected, and have further connections to other important countries. In a report discussing matters of international politics, policy and intrigue, you will receive a wonderful synopsis which will help you to better understand (as well as see through) what you will see and hear elsewhere in the media. You will even gain insight into why Donald Trump may have stood by Saudi Arabia the way he has, despite its leadership’s arrogance and probable murder of a world-renowned journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Please let us know what you think of this video in our comments section.

https://youtu.be/2a2ednyUDOM

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




Facebook Co-Founder Calls Out Zuckerberg & Says It’s Time To ‘Break-Up’ The Company

By Arjun Walia | Collective-Evolution

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently called out Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, stating that things have become out of control and that it’s time for the company to “break up.”
  • Reflect On:Was Facebook really invented to be a simple social media platform? Why do so many Ex high level US government employees work at Facebook? What is Facebooks real purpose and why are they censoring free speech?

It’s no secret that many people believe that Facebook has become a massive tool for censorship. Multiple social media platforms are now banning anything and everything that opposes certain political thoughts or corporate agendas, regardless of how credible it is and how much evidence there is to back up those claims. A lot of news that isn’t really false has simply been labelled as ‘fake news.’ It reminds me of what’s happening with vaccines today, for example, as the mainstream media (which never receives any type of censorship or “fake” labels) never seems to address the concerns and points that are made by multiple vaccine safety advocates, even when those concerns are expressed by scientists and doctors. Instead, mainstream media uses terms like ‘anti-vax conspiracy theorists’ and ‘fake news’ to make their point, while simultaneously influencing the minds of the masses.

Furthermore, if you look at some of Facebook’s employees, it’s not hard to see why they are censoring specific types of information. For example,  ex-DARPA Director and Google Executive Regina Dugan was an employee at Facebook. Nathan Gleicher worked at the US governments counsel for the US D.OJ. and is now the head of Cyber Security at Facebook. Joel Kaplan, a Deputy Chief of Staff for the US, is Facebook’s VP of Public Policy. There are several employees with similar backgrounds. Not many people know that Facebook has become a revolving door of employees between the corporation itself and the US government. We see this with various corporations like Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as pharmaceutical companies and the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is why we must carefully examine the recent piece Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes published in the New York times, calling for the break up of the social media giant due to the “staggering” and “unchecked” power of CEO Mark Zukerberg.

Before we go any further, I want to mention that a lot of blame has been put on Zuckerberg for Facebook’s actions as of late, particularly when it comes to the censorship of information, mass surveillance, and sharing of information that most people thought would remain private. But is it really only Zuckerberg? Or has Facebook been ‘taken over’ by ‘higher’ powers and made Zuckerberg the ‘fall guy,’ or the one to blame? Something to think about.

In his oped, co-founder Hughes points towards Facebook’s “sloppy privacy practices,” “violent rhetoric and fake news,” and the “unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention.”

He goes on to say that “there is no precedent for Zuckerberg’s ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.”
Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.



The Shocking Tale of Two Generations

The top one-tenth of 1 percent controls as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, while roughly a fifth of American children live in poverty, and half of the American infants are so poor they depend on public aid to eat.

By

It’s easy to feel fatalistic, accepting as “just the way things are” an America in which the top one-tenth of 1 percent controls as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, while roughly a fifth of American children live in poverty, and half of the American infants are so poor they depend on public aid to eat.

But wait.

What if we were to acknowledge — to really let sink in — that we have arrived at this tragic place in no time at all, historically speaking? Might we even feel entitled to hope and thus motivated to work for a transformational shift of the kind the Green New Deal now envisions? One in which we effectively address climate change as we also tackle economic inequity?

First, though, check out the chart below:

Photo: Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America, 2006/7, Chapter I, Figure 11, from Bureau of the Census, CPS (all data deflated)

In ten columns is the tale of two generations. The blue bars capture the late 1940s through the early ‘70s when real family income roughly doubled for every income quintile, with the poor gaining the most.

Then…whoa! From the early ‘70s through the early 2000s, progress slows radically and the pattern of who gains most reverses The richest score big time, while the poorest advance virtually not at all. Such dramatically deepening inequality has continued to worsen, not only reducing economic opportunities but shortening lives as well: The life-span gap between the richest and poorest American males is 15 years, and in recent years, overall longevity has declined.

The contrasts between these two generations are staggering, but now consider an international comparison that might strike some as yet more shocking. America, long-perceived as a paragon of “middle class” prosperity, now ranks by family income as more extreme than over 100 countries, from Russia to Bangladesh to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the CIA World Factbook.

These contrasts alone should signal the truth that there is nothing inevitable about this disgrace. Not long ago we experienced more equitable income growth, linked to much greater prosperity. So, what happened to us?

Most importantly, our beliefs changed — or rather, they were changed. We, humans, are creatures of the mind. We create our world according to what we believe is both right and possible, and our ideas, absorbed via story, create filters through which we see. So “believing is seeing,” not the other way around. Both Plato and the Hopi Indians are credited with noting, “those who tell the story rule the world”; and in these two periods, different storytellers told very different stories.

In the first period (blue bars), Americans absorbed the notion that we could all advance together — that government was established to support the “general welfare.” After all, that is what our constitution’s preamble affirms as a purpose of our government.

The first period benefited from FDR’s New Deal that catalyzed sweeping gains for all Americans — from establishing the minimum wage and Social Security to strengthening workers’ rights to organize, to bolstering banking industry rules. Well into mid-century, both Republicans and Democrats embraced government as a partner in setting standards and expanding opportunity.

Republican Dwight Eisenhower ran on a platform that included the pledge to “more effectively protect the rights of labor unions” and to “assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex”; Democrat Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty, which helped cut the poverty rate almost in half between 1959 and 1969; and Republican Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law in 1970.

But soon, the business community feared it was losing ground and began actively, and effectively, putting forth an opposing story, as laid out in Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. In 1971, the Chamber of Commerce commissioned a corporate lawyer, Lewis Powell, to prepare a game plan, known now as the “Powell Memo,” for regaining ground for business. Soon thereafter, in 1977, Ronald Reagan warned Americans to “use the vitality and the magic of the marketplace to save this way of life.” And by 1981, he famously declared, “in this present crisis, the government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

In the ensuing decades, the story that a market freed from government tampering would bring prosperity for all was propagated through big-money-funded think tanks, politicians, the media, and educational materials, from grade school to graduate school.

Legislation and court decisions have weakened protections, making it harder, for example, for labor to organize. In the 1960s, about a third of workers were union members, but today this figure is less than 10 percent. And since 1968, when our minimum wage was $8.68 (in 2016 adjusted dollars), its purchasing power has fallen by 16 percent. Safety nets were tattered, too, as Bill Clinton’s welfare reform ended “welfare as we know it.”

We often hear the reversal of the second period blamed on job-killing technology and “globalization” in which corporations shift operations, and thus jobs, to low-wage countries where workers have few, if any, protections. So, of course, American workers’ bargaining power eroded.

But, if true, other industrial nations’ labor markets would have seen a shift of wealth to the top similar to ours. But no. Western Europe saw only a modest increase in inequality.

Today we are also told that fighting for transformative change is naïve, that the Green New Deal, for example, is unrealistic because it prioritizes economic equity as integral to confronting climate change. However, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s brilliant video message, set in an imagined future in which we look back on successes achieved today, asks us to believe we can change this story. Showing us possibilities that can arise from a Green New Deal, she declares, “we can be anything we have the power to see.”

Looking back now on the “tale of two generations,” it’s clear that when we Americans have acted from the premise of connected fates and have stayed true to our constitution’s mandate to promote the “general welfare,” we have accomplished what was before believed to be impossible.

Indeed, given America’s revolutionary birth, isn’t transformational change our very birthright?

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Warren Unveils Plan to Restructure Puerto Rico Debt

By Rafael Bernal | The Hill

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a Democratic presidential contender, unveiled a plan Thursday to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, as the U.S. territory struggles to rebuild its economy.
Under her proposal, territories like Puerto Rico would be allowed to “terminate” their debt under certain criteria like a natural disaster, major population loss, or if they are “staggering under overwhelming debt.”
The plan, which was unveiled in a post on Medium, would also set up a fund to compensate certain holders of Puerto Rico debt, such as pension funds, island residents, individual investors and credit unions.
“Comprehensive debt relief is essential to Puerto Rico’s recovery. It is the only way for the island to get out from under the thumb of Wall Street speculators,” Warren wrote in her post. “It is the only way to stabilize the island and allow its people to reclaim their future.”
Warren added that under her proposal, which she plans to reintroduce in the Senate as the “U.S. Territorial Relief Act,” Puerto Rico would also need to undertake an independent audit of its debt.
Warren said her proposal was intended to give Puerto Rico the same recourse to lowering debt that is provided to companies and other U.S. cities.
“If Puerto Rico were a big company in this kind of financial trouble, it could file for bankruptcy, pay some of its debts, discharge the rest, then start rebuilding. If Puerto Rico were an American city in this kind of financial trouble, it could do the same,” she said.
But Warren avoided touching on the issue of Puerto Rico’s territorial status, focusing instead on the island’s financial woes.
Puerto Rico, in 2017, filed a form of bankruptcy codified in the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (Promesa) Act, a law passed by Congress in 2016 that provides for federal oversight of Puerto Rico’s unmanageable debt.
The control board that manages that debt, Warren argued in her post, has “slashed basic government services throughout the island and imperiled Puerto Ricans’ pensions, while generously helping out the Wall Street firms that hold Puerto Rico’s debt.”
With a debt estimate of more than $70 billion, Puerto Rico’s was the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history, overshadowing Detroit’s 2013 filing to restructure nearly $20 billion in debt.
“But Puerto Rico isn’t a corporation or a city,” wrote Warren. “Because of its unique status, those legal options aren’t available — and so it’s caught in a terrible position, battered by natural disasters with no clear path to recovery.”
Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, which devastated the island’s already teetering economy.
Warren’s plan comes as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) and members of the Promesa-imposed Fiscal Control Board testified Thursday before the Natural Resources Committee — the committee of jurisdiction on territorial affairs — on Promesa’s record.