Aug 22, 2017
Aug 22, 2017
At least 100 civilians, including many women and children, have been killed in US airstrikes from Sunday to Tuesday.
August 23, 2017
— Escalating US airstrikes are taking a growing toll on the population of the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS which is presently being invaded by US-backed forces. Reports out of the area are that at least 100 civilians have been killed in US-led airstrikes in a 48 hour span from Sunday to Tuesday.
Monday’s airstrikes were the deadliest incident of that span, with 55 civilians killed in two of the city’s eastern neighborhoods, including at least 19 children. The attacks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, hit a particularly densely populated area.
“These are buildings full of civilians that are trying to get away from the front lines,” the Observatory’s director noted, adding that US-led coalition airstrikes seem to be targeting any building with any hint of ISIS activity in the city.
This appears to be a recurrence of the same problem that plagued the later months of the Iraqi invasion of Mosul, where US warplanes caused massive civilian tolls by attacking buildings they claimed ISIS was forcing civilians into, but which in practice were densely populated by locals because they were the only buildings still standing that were seemingly out of the direct line of fire.
Yet in the ever-escalating US war against ISIS, no building, no matter how civilian in nature, is ever really out of the direct line of fire. Such large civilian death tolls have severely harmed morale of forces on the ground, and fueled outcry from human rights groups. Officially, however, the Pentagon’s figures on how many civilians they killed are rarely more than 10% of the actual toll documented by independent NGOs, which so far has allowed the Pentagon to dismiss calls to stop targeting civilians.
To be fair to Canada, I am Canadian, this vote was made by our ex-Prime Minister Harper’s who was and is a repulsive right-wing dinosaur. He was a USA boot licker.
With permission from
On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology (opposing the ideology that’s commonly called «nazism») which Resolution was titled «Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance», 115 nations voted «Yes» to pass the Resolution, 3 voted «No» to reject it, and 55 voted «Abstain», meaning they didn’t want to express a view on the resolution. An additional 19 didn’t vote at all on it (decided to absent themselves from that roll-call, for whatever reason — basically, not even saying whether they were neutral on it by voting «Abstain» — just said nothing at all on it).
The document that they were voting on had been posted complete on 17 November 2014, and is still posted in its entirety here. As can be seen there, it had been proposed by the following 29 nations: Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, the Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), and Viet Nam.
Each of its component 48 paragraphs was entirely moderate, such as these paragraphs, this core passage, from it (and a «Yes» vote on the Resolution meant that the given nation agreed with all 48 of its paragraphs, and so the Resolution was drafted to be extremely non-extreme throughout):
7. Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;
8. Notes with concern the increase in the number of racist incidents worldwide, including the rise of skinhead groups, which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting, inter alia, persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities;
9. Reaffirms that such acts may be qualified to fall within the scope of the Convention, that they may not be justified when they fall outside the scope of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as well as the rights to freedom of expression and that they may fall within the scope of article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and may be subject to certain restrictions, as set out in articles 19, 21 and 22 of the Covenant;
10. Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;
11. Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial;…
No nation was named — far less condemned or criticized at all — anywhere in the entire document. This was done so as to welcome support from each and every nation.
The roll-call on the vote, along with each nation’s vote on it, is posted here.
These are the 55 nations that Abstained: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Chad, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yemen.
These are the 3 nations that voted «No»:
Canada, Ukraine, United States.
Among the 115 «Yes» votes on it, were: Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, UAE, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and many others.
The reason there were 55 who voted «Abstain» is that the US was dead-set against this Resolution (for the reason explained here). Some allies of US, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, had sufficient control over the US Government so that they were free to vote whatever way they wanted on this or on just about any other U.N. Resolution. (Those two nations, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are ‘allies’ of the US not in the sense that they’re vassal-nations of the US Empire, but instead that the US is their vassal-nation — so, they were free to vote however they wished.) Furthermore, if Israel had voted not to condemn nazism and Holocaust-denial, then Israel’s existing leader would have become replaced because of that scandal; and, so, Prime Minister Netanyahu, for domestic political reasons, had to vote (or to have his Government vote) «Yes» on it. The Sauds could vote any way they wanted, because that royal family own their country and because the only entity specifically condemned in the Resolution was «Nazism during the Second World War», meaning Germany’s Nazi Party, which the Saud family (having been vassals of the US during WW II, not masters of the US Government like today) hadn’t ever supported. The fact that Austria and Germany, now under US control, voted «Abstain» instead of «Yes» on condemning the Nazi Party, means that even the two Nazi-controlled nations that FDR’s America had fought against in WW II are now on-the-fence as regards the Resolution that was presented to the U.N. General Assembly for a vote on 21 November 2014 to condemn the Nazi Party. The Obama Administration gave each of its vassals the option to «Abstain», but pressed to vote «No» any nation that it demanded to vote «No», which nations turned out to be only two: Ukraine and Canada.
The United States Government, under President Barack Obama, was actually leading the opposition against this Resolution.
Prior reporting, by me, about this matter, has included:
21 June 2015, «America’s U.N. Ambassador Continues Standing Up for Nazis».
20 August 2017, «Trump’s Fascism versus Obama’s Fascism».
The only mainstream US newsmedium that covered this matter at all was CBS, which headlined, on 17 November 2014, four days prior to the vote on it, «US votes against anti-Nazi resolution at U.N.», and reported that:
The United States says it was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism over freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.
The resolution entitled «Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance», was approved by the U.N.’s human rights committee on Friday with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions.
Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes.
That was reporting only a preliminary vote, even before the Resolution was presented for an actual floor-vote of the entire Assembly. (Obama lost Palau, which ended up reversing totally and voting «Yes» on it, but then he gained Canada as their replacement third «No» vote on it.) That news-report received little exposure at CBS or elsewhere. At CBS News online, there were only 25 reader-comments to it. Typical was: «So we voted against anti-Nazism because it would deprive the Nazis the freedom of expression to demand banning the freedom of expression.» Readers accepted at face-value what was being said. CBS issued no subsequent news-report on the matter, to correct nor even to clarify anything in their cryptic report. However, that reason which had been represented as having been given to CBS for America’s intended vote against the Resolution was not the actual reason that America’s U.N. Ambassador gave for it, as I reported, after the vote, on 24 November 2014:
Samantha Power, the US Representative at the U.N., gave as her reason for voting against the resolution, its unacceptability to the Government of Ukraine. «Her delegation was concerned about the overt political motives that had driven the main sponsor of the current resolution. That Government had employed those phrases in the current crisis in Ukraine. That was offensive and disrespectful to those who had suffered at the hands of Nazi regimes. Therefore, the United States would vote against the resolution.» In other words: the US opposed this resolution, supposedly, because it was offensive to Ukraine, even though the very term «Ukraine», and all other conceivable references to Ukraine, were and are entirely absent from it.
If Ukraine, whose government the US had installed during the US coup in February 2014, had been instructed by the US to vote in favor of the Resolution, they would have done so. The government that the US coup overthrew, would probably have abstained on a Resolution such as this (because it was trying to be accepted both by the United States and by their own neighbor, Russia, which the US Government is obsessed to conquer), but the newly installed Ukrainian Government was being ruled by members and supporters of Ukraine’s traditional two nazi parties and thus would have voted for the Resolution only if the US Government had instructed them to do that. They might then have laughed in private about the matter, but they would nonetheless have done whatever they were instructed by Washington to do. After all, they had to — the US had placed them into power.
In fact, even prior to America’s takeover of Ukraine, Obama’s U.N. Ambassador had been one of only three nations voting «No» on a previous U.N. Resolution, titled «Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance», which had passed the General Assembly on 20 December 2012, little over a year after the secret planning for the Ukrainian coup had started at the US State Department, and little over a year prior to the coup itself. The other two pro-nazi nations, on that occasion (since Obama hadn’t yet replaced Ukraine’s government by nazis), were Canada, and the Marshall Islands. (America’s U.N. Ambassador at that time was Susan Rice.) Ukraine, then under the President whom Obama was soon going to overthrow, was one of the 57 nations to vote «Abstain.» 120 nations voted «Yes», on that occasion.
The only international poll that has asked the question «Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?»found that by an overwhelming margin, the United States was mentioned by more people throughout the world than any other. But Americans chose Iran as being the most dangerous country. That was a scientifically sampled poll by WIN/Gallup, of 67,806 people in 65 countries, and was published on 30 December 2013.
Anyone who wants further, and up-to-date (as of August 18th), information on how nazism proceeds in our time, under US international leadership, will find that here.
By now, it seems clear that the leading feature of today’s nazism is its hypocrisy. George Orwell already had that figured out, in his prophetically futuristic dystopian 1949 novel, 1984. But the real version, of nazism in our era, fascinates me even more than does the fictional one. Not even Orwell’s genius could match it, in my book.
Yo Ukraine, guess who the real dumb ass is?
“Ukraine has proudly announced that it shall receive 700,000 tonnes of American coal this year.
At three times the price of Donbass coal, the hefty price of long-distance coal shipments is not just demonstrative of the Ukrainian regime’s detachment from economic realities, but a wider lesson in how ideology can warp any sense of logic and pragmatism.”
In the winter of 2017, the Ukrainian regime following the lead of neo-Nazi radicals, decided to ban all imports of coal from Donbass, one of the most abundantly coal rich places in the world. To add to the troubles, existing coal burning power stations in Ukraine had been designed specifically with Donbass coal in mind as Donbass coal has certain particles which make it unique to other varieties around the world.
The blockade of cheap local coal is said to have cost the regime $550, a figure which becomes all the more magnified when one considers that the regime is practically bankrupt.
The solution to the problem has been found and its an expensive one. Kiev has agreed to purchase large quantities of American coal, coal which has to be expensively shipped from Pennsylvania to the north-west Black Sea.
Ukraine has proudly announced that it shall receive 700,000 tonnes of American coal this year.
At three times the price of Donbass coal, the hefty price of long-distance coal shipments is not just demonstrative of the Ukrainian regime’s detachment from economic realities, but a wider lesson in how ideology can warp any sense of logic and pragmatism.
If Ukraine accepted the peaceful, democratic self-determination of the Donbass republics and if indeed it accepted the will of other regions to do the same, Kiev could realistically save a great deal of money. There is no chance that the industrial parts of Donbass will ever return to Kiev’s rule and the over all inefficiency of tax collection in Ukraine means that cutting costs is more important and more realistic than trying to find ways to increase revenue. According to many reports, one of the best options Kiev has come up with in order to raise revenue is by selling Soviet made rockets to North Korea.
In trying to save face by pretending that expensive American coal is somehow a better option than cheap coal from a nearby place, Ukraine is doing what all ideologues eventually do: they are putting fanaticism before common sense.
This is what led Hitler to invade Russia in the winter and it is also what has led Donald Trump to think it is possible to ‘win’ a war in Afghanistan.
The move also serves as a lesson to Europe that in paying for expensive imports of US natural gas as Lusitania just did and as Poland is set to do, they are not harming their former Russian suppliers, they are only harming themselves.
It’s not the ‘bad hombres’ but the middle-class white guys who are the baddies of this US crime drama.
“Ozark is a shift in the representation of the drug trade and its attendant violence to a new realisation of the complex systems that keep it in place. The Mexican cartel’s activities provide motivating action that impels the narrative forward – but it is the white characters’ willingness to participate for personal gain that is fundamentally at question.”
Reader in Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool
Aug 23, 2017
The recent violence in Charlottesville and the ever-shifting statements by Donald Trump about national identity bring to the fore the dangers of the recurrent narratives of “us” versus “them” and the threats posed to American values by the omnipresent other – such as Trump’s “bad hombres” from Mexico.
This is a narrative that has become familiar fodder in popular US crime dramas, such as Breaking Bad and Sicario. But the recent Netflix series, Ozark, is a welcome shift from the dominant paradigm of the beleaguered and fundamentally decent white man struggling to survive in world full of threatening others.
Ozark has received mixed reviews. For some it falls short when compared to Breaking Bad, because rather than follow the protagonist’s downward spiral, in this series not only is the protagonist a middle-class white man but he is crooked from the start.
What Ozark shares with both the Sopranos and Breaking Bad is the way it brings home the consequences of criminal activity and shines a spotlight on the practical – even mundane – difficulties involved in multi-million dollar crime. Ozark focuses on a white-collar bureaucrat operating on behalf of a cartel.
To understand the significance of Ozark it must be considered in the context of a proliferation of series about the cartels, which are indelibly tied to current US-Mexican border policy and attitudes to race in the US.
Ozark shares with Narcos the technique of having an opening voiceover which, in this case, establishes financial adviser Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) as the show’s – flawed – hero. But the shift in protagonist from Narcos’ heroic law enforcement officer, Steve (Boyd Holbrook), to a crooked money manager, reflects the key recognition that backroom people – bean counters even – are integral to the operation of criminal enterprises.
After it emerges that his business partner, Bruce Liddell (Josh Randall), has been siphoning off money from an unnamed Mexican cartel, Marty uproots his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and children to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Marty knows nothing about the Ozarks beyond a page from a brochure – but the move is Marty’s idea – a deal struck with the angry cartel bosses in exchange for his life.
Del (Esai Morales), the cartel leader, accepts the deal on condition that Marty retrieves and then launders the $US8m that his partner stole. So the family travels to Missouri. Marty and Wendy’s relationship has broken down before we meet them, but they are now forced to cooperate for their own safety and that of their children. But they soon discover that the majority white town they move to is full of corruption and criminality – as evidenced in the sadistic and murderous local drug dealers.
Marty and his family are superficially ordinary and respectable – a point that the series frequently casts ironic shade on through dialogue. For example, in a typically barbed exchange, Wendy asks Marty what he has done for the family today. His response is that he has “bought a strip club”, thus upending the heavily loaded righteousness of the premise of the question. In this way, the series presents the machinations of the drug war as something that permeates all aspects of society right down to family relations. Unlike Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, where family is only in danger when systems break down, in Ozark being involved in criminality is inherently a permanent state of crisis.
There is an irony in the presentation of the Ozarks as an ideal space for drug activity when its rural setting would normally bring with it a presumption of idyllic retreat and its location so far north should distance it from the trade to the south. This led to criticism by Missouri opinion writer, Kevin Horrigan, who objected to the portrayal of the Ozarks. Some of this is because the series was shot in Georgia, but there is also an awareness that the series’ stories of corruption do not reflect local versions of white-collar crime, which tends more typically to consist of tax evasion and embezzlement.
The lake shore, an artificial construct in itself since the lake was created in 1931 by damming Missouri’s Osage River stands as a clear signal of the impossibility of policing borders because its porous border makes it a perfect locale for dealers and other illegal activity. This internal frontier challenges the idea presented by Trump that building a wall between the US and Mexico will somehow ensure that those he calls “bad hombres” will be kept out. The Mexicans Trump is referring to are for the most part a distant shadow in Ozark. Instead, it is the well-established white majority residents, who prove to be the most dangerous criminals.
Ozark is a shift in the representation of the drug trade and its attendant violence to a new realisation of the complex systems that keep it in place. The Mexican cartel’s activities provide motivating action that impels the narrative forward – but it is the white characters’ willingness to participate for personal gain that is fundamentally at question.
As a result it is “us” who are suspect not “them” in this story – and hopefully that signals a shift in direction for popular long-form narrative.
“What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the Second World War.”
With permission from
Aug 22, 2017
In the wake of violent protests involving white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US, the Pentagon’s top military brass issued unprecedented condemnations of «racists and extremists». One veterans spokesman said: «Anyone waving a Nazi flag must be rooted out of our society».
What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the World War Two.
Mattis, the top Pentagon official, is due to authorize the transfer of $50 million-worth of military gear to the Kiev regime. This will mark the first official delivery of lethal equipment from the US. Previous military aid to Ukraine was reportedly «non-lethal». Among the inventory Mattis is signing over are Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Modern-day regiments under the control of the Kiev regime, such as the Azov Battalion, publicly self-identify with Nazi-collaborating descendants and former pro-Nazi Ukrainian leaders like Stefan Bandera. This Neo-Nazi ideology of the Kiev-run military is a central impetus in why these forces have waged a three-year war on the ethnic Russian population of the breakaway Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. The latter refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the Kiev regime which seized power in February 2014 in a coup d’état against an elected government. The American CIA backed that violent coup.
Political and financial support from Washington and the European Union has underpinned the Kiev regime led by the dubiously elected President Petro Poroshenko. This is in spite of the fact that the Kiev regime continues to wage a war on the people of Donbas in violation of a peace deal – the Minsk Accord – brokered by Russia and the EU in 2015. Western governments and media accuse Russia of sponsoring the breakaway Donbas republics and their militia, and of infiltrating its troops into the region. Russia denies direct military involvement, but is believed to be supporting the self-declared Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The Pentagon’s supply of weaponry to Kiev forces will no doubt embolden their regiments to step up violations of the truce which was supposed to be implemented under the Minsk Accord. Hundreds of breaches are reported on a weekly basis in which towns and villages in Donestk and Lugansk come under fire from heavy artillery. Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, has recently remarked that his defense forces «are not fighting Ukrainians, but rather Banderites» – that is, Neo-Nazi militia who adulate their Third Reich hero Stefan Bandera for assisting the German SS exterminate thousands of fellow Ukrainians deemed to be «sub-human».
The American military support for the Kiev regime and its Neo-Nazi death squads attacking the people of Donbas is a monumental contradiction to what the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were declaring last week about extremists on American soil.
All five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard – issued public condemnations of the violence perpetrated by assorted white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the state of Virginia. The latter groups were protesting the proposed removal of American Civil War statues commemorating Confederate military leaders like Robert E Lee. Counter-demonstrators claim the statues are icons of racial prejudice and white supremacy. Many of the pro-Confederate protesters were carrying Nazi flags and other fascist icons. In a deadly incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, a suspected Neo-Nazi man rammed his car into a crowd killing a woman.
US President Donald Trump came under intense public criticism for being slow to condemn the violence and for appearing to lay blame on both sides, thereby equating Neo-Nazis with anti-fascist protesters.
Prominent news media organizations, like the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN, ran editorial comments lambasting Trump for his equivocal position, which allegedly afforded the Neo-Nazi groups a degree of legitimacy. CNN ran the headline: «Trump is who we feared he was».
A New York Times oped piece declared: «The Test of Nazism That Trump Failed». Adding: «There can be no ‘two sides’. If the president is not against Hitlerism, he is for it».
The Washington Post editorial board said that Trump had «brought the international image of the US into disrepute».
Then there were numerous resignations by business CEOs from White House consultative panels, again in protest over Trump’s alleged association with racists and bigots. Even though to be fair to the president he did explicitly condemn such groups.
The national controversy appeared to be catharsis for politicians, media, business leaders and public alike in which it was proclaimed that «America is not like that» – meaning, not a supporter of Nazis and fascsim. In almost ritualistic fashion, the evils of racism, fascism, white supremacy and Nazism were exorcised from the body politic – or at least supposedly exorcised.
Joining in the catharsis were the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The New York Times reported: «In an unusually public move, the nation’s top military leaders, who typically try to steer clear of social controversy, have come out strongly against racism and extremism in the wake of violent protests over the weekend. Five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, representing the Navy, the Marines, the Army, the Air Force and the National Guard, posted messages on social media condemning hatred and Neo-Nazis, saying that the extremist violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday went against the military’s core values».
As the NY Times noted, the public condemnations by the Pentagon top brass were an extraordinary rebuke to President Trump who, as titular Commander-in-Chief, is their superior.
Its report also quoted Charles E Schmidt, the national commander of the American Legion, who said: «Americans fought fascism and crushed the Nazis in World War Two, and anyone who waves a Nazi flag on our soil is, by very definition, anti-American. The disgusting displays of hatred and bigotry on display in Charlottesville dishonor all veterans who fought and died to stamp out fascism».
The public outpouring is classic American cognitive dissonance. Condemning Nazis at home while at the same time arming Nazis abroad. How does Nazism at home offend «our core values» when «our core values» involve politically, financially and militarily supporting Nazis in Ukraine?
To be sure, there is a long history of such American support for Nazis in Ukraine going back to the end of World War Two, when the Pentagon and CIA covertly backed the Gehlen Organization of former Third Reich General Reinhard Gehlen and his Ukrainian Nazi partisans in their sabotage operations against the Soviet Union.
In explaining American cognitive dissonance there are at least two factors. One is the lack of US media reporting on what is actually going on in Ukraine. How can so many ordinary Americans be alarmed by Neo-Nazis at home while seemingly insouciant about the same kind of fascists in Ukraine? That disconnect is due to ignorance, owing to the lack of US media coverage about what is really happening in Ukraine. US media seem more concerned to report claims that Russia is the culprit for destabilizing Ukraine. Which is all part of the ongoing Russophobia in the US media distorting the reality of international relations.
A second factor for American cognitive dissonance is that the outpouring of condemnation of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US by many public figures is simply a cynical PR exercise. Of course, the hate-filled mobs with Nazi regalia in Virginia and other US states are damaging the «American brand» of supposed liberal democracy in the eyes of the world. Therefore the imagery must be swiftly expunged from public view with vigorous condemnations. But the cynical disingenuousness is betrayed by the fact that the US is arming and bankrolling the same hate-filled Nazis in Ukraine.
The arms dealing trip by Pentagon boss James Mattis to the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine this week is the reality check on what the Washington establishment and the American military-industrial complex really think about Nazism and extremists.
We could also add to the list the American arms dealing to fundamentalist regimes like Saudi Arabia and the covert arming of head-chopping Wahhabi terrorists. All of them are welcome clients for American militarism, in the service of US hegemonic world dominance.
Official US condemnation of Nazis, fascists and extremists is just American public relations rhetoric. Evidently, the condemnation has no credibility in terms of objective reality.
The US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on six Chinese-owned firms, and one Russian, one North Korean, and two Singapore-based entities as well as six individuals —four Russians, one Chinese and one North Korean — for facilitating trade ties with Pyongyang.
Russia and China have reacted strongly to new US sanctions targeting Chinese and Russian companies and individuals for allegedly “supporting” North Korea’s weapons program by doing business with the country.
The targeted firms and figures are accused of working with blacklisted individuals, assisting the development of the North Korean energy sector, helping it place workers abroad, or move money from abroad. Their US assets were frozen and Americans were barred from conducting business with them.US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that it was “unacceptable” for the designated entities to “enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction.”
‘Russia preparing response’
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov reacted to the new US sanctions by expressing disappointment and warning Washington that Moscow was preparing a response.
“The lip service from American representatives about the desire to stabilize bilateral relations [with Russia] is extremely unconvincing,” Ryabkov said in a statement.
“In recent years, Washington in theory should have learned that for us, the language of sanctions is unacceptable, and the solutions to real problems are only hindered by such actions. So far, however, there doesn’t seem to be an understanding of such obvious truths,” he said.
“In the meantime,” he added, “we are beginning to work out the inevitable response to this situation.”
The Russian official also expressed hope that “our American colleagues will be aware of the futility and detrimental nature of further sliding down the spiral of sanctions.”
Russian Senator Andrey Klimov also reacted to the unilateral US sanctions by calling them illegitimate and urging due counteraction.
Saying that the only sanctions recognized by international law are the ones approved by the UN Security Council, he said, “We must react in principle to this insane and confrontational policy. The toolbox is rich; let’s hope that we will act consistently, reasonably, professionally and effectively.”
China says bilateral cooperation at stake
China, for its part, said that Washington should “immediately correct its mistake” of imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese firms and individuals to avoid denting bilateral cooperation.
Beijing “opposes unilateral sanctions out[side] of the UN Security Council framework,” said a Chinese government spokesperson. “We strongly urge the US to immediately correct its mistake, so as not to impact bilateral cooperation on relevant issues.”
The US is opposed to the North Korean missile and military nuclear programs. Pyongyang says it needs them to deter potential US aggression.
Earlier this month, China and Russia had voted in favor of a US-drafted sanctions resolution against North Korea in a rare move that signaled willingness to cooperate with Washington.
Among the Chinese names targeted with the new sanctions are three coal companies, including one of the country’s largest importers, Dandong Zhicheng. The three firms are collectively responsible for having imported nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016, the US Treasury Department claimed.
Moscow-based company Gefest-M was among the Russian entities singled out by the Treasury Department.
What? Can’t do the Macarena? Saudi Arabia is a barbaric country.
The Associated Press
Posted: Aug 23, 2017
Western music and dancing are taboo in Saudi Arabia, but such incidents have not necessarily led to lengthy imprisonment or serious punishment.
Police in Saudi Arabia arrested and later released a 14-year-old boy who was filmed dancing to the ’90s hit song Macarena at an intersection in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to local media reports on Wednesday.
The 45-second video, which went viral on social media in the kingdom, shows the boy wearing headphones, sweat shorts, a striped shirt and neon Crocs. He sways his hips and arms to the Los Del Rio song, and appears to be smiling and giggling throughout the dance.
The original album from the early 1970s was a seminal moment in my youth.
Researchers have found that pork products sold at one of the UK’s leading supermarkets may have unknowingly contained hepatitis E (HEV), a strain of the virus that can, very rarely, cause fatal liver damage.
Something wicked this way comes. As reported by the Guardian, researchers have found that pork products sold at one of the UK’s leading supermarkets may have unknowingly contained hepatitis E (HEV), a strain of the virus that can, very rarely, cause fatal liver damage. Potentially thousands of people may be at risk.
This finding came about not due to random testing, but because Public Health England (PHE), a government agency that focuses on the medical well-being of the population, wanted to know more about how people with HEV contract it.
For some time, it was thought that HEV wasn’t that prevalent in the UK, and was instead restricted to emerging in developing or low-income nations. Sudden spikes in people found to have HEV in their blood raised the alarm, and groups like PHE have been investigating ever since.
The researchers found that many of those with HEV had shopped at one store – known only anonymously as “supermarket X” – and had regularly purchased ham and sausages from it. As the virus doesn’t appear to be found in British pigs, as per a previous report, it’s likely the infections are occurring thanks to pork products being shipped in from outside of the UK.
Right now, the virus hasn’t been directly detected in the meat products from supermarket X. This is just a correlation, but it’s extremely unlikely that in this case another, currently undiscovered, HEV transmission vector is to blame.
According to The Times, as many as 200,000 Britons are infected with the virus through imported pork every single year. For most, the infection only brings with it mild, influenza-like symptoms, as well as darker urine, paler poop, and jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Worryingly, it can prove to be deadly to those with pre-existing liver conditions; those who are pregnant are also at a higher risk of suffering from complications.
Confusingly, it appears that both pre-cooked products – like ham – and pork products required to be cooked at home – like sausages – are associated with the prevalence of HEV. There’s a lot to unravel here, but for now, that’s all the details that have been made public as the review continues.
Aug 22, 2017
It might seem odd for tech entrepreneurs to take an interest in income distribution policy. But an increasing number of high-profile Silicon Valley executives are endorsing universal basic income (UBI), a system in which everyone receives a standard amount of money just for being alive.
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson became the latest mogul to endorse the radical idea, writing in a blog post that “most countries can afford to make sure that everybody has their basic needs covered.”
On the one hand, basic income is a way to reduce poverty, but tech folks like Branson also see it as a way to solve the growing problem of robot automation, which they themselves are helping to create.
Here are some of the highest-profile entrepreneurs who have endorsed UBI.
Basic income advocates have long argued that the security of getting regular income would encourage people to take risks and invest.
Butterfield, CEO of the messaging app Slack, seemed to agree when he wrote on Twitter in early August that “giving people even a very small safety net would unlock a huge amount of entrepreneurialism.”
In February, the eBay founder donated $493,000 through his philanthropic organization, Omidyar Network, to an experiment in basic income taking place in Kenya later this year.
The experiment is put on by GiveDirectly, a charity that delivers cash transfers to people in East Africa as a means to lift the from poverty.
The findings will be “unlike those of any past study and provide evidence-based arguments to shed light on the discussions around the future of work and poverty alleviation policies,” according to a February statement.
In the wake of Donald Trump winning the US election, Ng, co-founder of Coursera and chief scientist at Baidu, wrote on Twitter that “More than ever, we need basic income to limit everyone’s downside, and better education to give everyone an upside.”
Ng has expressed his support for basic income before. In January, he said at the Deep Learning Summit that basic income deserves serious consideration. He also claimed the government should help fund lifelong education to keep the workforce strong.
The president of Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s largest start-up incubator, Altman has repeatedly come out in favor of basic income, arguing that the robot-run economy will almost certainly materialize this century.
Y Combinator has launched a basic income experiment in Oakland, California to see how the system works in reality. Roughly 100 people are receiving $2,000 a month, no matter what.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Medical marijuana. You can smoke it, you can eat it, you can vape it, you can infuse it. And you can rub it on.
With the medical and legal marijuana markets coming out of the shadows, we are seeing a rapid expansion of marijuana product lines. One of the most promising is topicals, such as balms, lotions, oil, and salves. Topicals laden with cannabidiol (CBD), the molecule that puts the medical in medical marijuana, are proving to be useful for a number of syndromes and conditions.
While research on the efficacy of CBD-based topicals is in its infancy, here, with a tip of the hat to High Times, are four areas where the science is beginning to demonstrate that topicals can help:
Got zits? CBD topicals may help. A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggested that CBD could help with treating acne abrasions: “Collectively, our findings suggest that, due to the combined lipostatic, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris,” the study concluded.
2. Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that THC and CBD successfully killed tough strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, in laboratory experiments.
“Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has long been known to contain antibacterial cannabinoids, whose potential to address antibiotic resistance has not yet been investigated,” the authors noted. Their successful results using cannabinoids against a variety of MRSA strains suggest “a specific, but yet elusive, mechanism of activity” and warrant further investigation.
There could be relief for joint pain sufferers through CBD topicals, too. An Israeli study found that most patients reported reduced pain and increased function, and fully 90% of them stayed on their medication regime.
And a 2013 study from researchers at the University of Nottingham found that CBD products targeting cannabinoid receptors may help bring relief for knee joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Research on medical marijuana for arthritis continues, although in a Canadian study, the CAPRI Trial (Cannabinoid Profile Investigation of Vaporized Cannabis in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee), researchers are examining vaporized marijuana, not topicals. But CBD topicals are already well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and more research is likely to cement their reputation as highly effective in this regard.
4. Open Wounds
Topical CBD may help in treating open wounds. A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management noted that: “Anecdotal accounts of the use of topical extracts from the cannabis plant being used on open wounds date back to antiquity. In modern times, cannabinoid therapies have demonstrated efficacy as analgesic agents in both pharmaceutical and botanical formats.”
The study suggested that it was the combination of CBD and terpenes, the aromatic organic compounds that give marijuana its odor, that make marijuana efficacious in soothing skin abrasions.
Warning: Some topicals may contain grain alcohol or other solvents and would not be appropriate for broken or irritated skin. Look instead for topicals that have organic coconut oil or almond oil bases.
Graham Hancock reviews the evidence and the arguments, the new archaeology and the intriguing genetic clues, to bring us closer to the truth of what really happened during this astonishing lost period in history. Hancock suggests the survivors of earth’s lost civilization, left us unmistakable clues in the form of advanced technology and ancient ruins.
Graham looks at the clues scattered around the world in ancient myths, maps and monuments and in deliberately buried time-capsules, such as mysterious 12,000-year-old sites like Gunung Padang in Indonesia and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, these clues appear to have been designed to reawaken humanity at a time when an advanced global civilization had once again emerged. Hancock concludes his lecture with evidence that a planetary awakening is underway, the birth of a new – or perhaps very old and long-lost – form of human consciousness.
With permission from
Aug 22, 2017
Dairy products, specifically milk is one of the beverages still aggressively pushed as a health promoting food, especially relating to strong bones. However, Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and rates of bone loss showed no association with dietary calcium intake in men, according to a recent study in British Journal of Nutrition.
The dairy industy has been hard at work the last 50 years convincing people that pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases bioavailable calcium levels. Many studies have exposed this claim as being totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process actually causes osteoporosis.
Pasteurized dairy contains too little magnesium needed at the proper ratio to absorb the calcium. Most would agree that a minimum amount of Cal. to Mag Ratio is 2 to 1 and preferably 1 to 1. So milk, at a Cal/Mag ratio of 10 to 1, has a problem. You may put 1200 mg of dairy calcium in your mouth, but you will be lucky to actually absorb a third of it into your system.
Over 99% of the body’s calcium is in the skeleton, where it provides mechanical rigidity. Pasteurized dairy forces a calcium intake lower than normal and the skeleton is used as a reserve to meet needs. Long-term use of skeletal calcium to meet these needs leads to osteoporosis.
For years, US guidelines have advised men and women to take anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day to help prevent fractures and improve bone density. This likely lasted for so long due to an overreliance on studies from the 1970s and 1980s.
Does Not Reduce Bone Loss
Increased dietary calcium intake did not significantly reduce bone loss in the hip, spine or total body in a group of men aged 39-88, reported the research team from University of Auckland.
No correlation was observed between calcium intake and BMD either at baseline, or at the end of the study period. Although dietary calcium intake was inversely related to parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels at baseline, indicators of bone turnover were uncorrelated with calcium intake.
“Bone loss over 2 years was not related to Ca intake at any site, before or after adjustment [forconfounding variables],” wrote first author, Dr. Sarah Bristow.
“Dietary calcium intake was inversely correlated with PTH at baseline, but was not associated with the markers of bone turnover.”
The findings may have important implications for osteoporosis prevention strategies, where increased dietary or supplemental calcium intake has previously been recommended.
“This suggests that efforts to increase calcium intake are unlikely to have an impact on the prevalence of and morbidity from male osteoporosis,” the researchers propose.
“Many of the messages being promulgated at the present time are based on the findings of calcium-balance studies and the short-term effects of high-dose calcium interventions, which do not reflect those of long-term dietary intake.
“Messages to increase dietary calcium could be directing at-risk individuals away from considering interventions and strategies proven to influence long-term fracture risk.”
The study used data from a previous Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) which examined the effect on BMD in 323 males given either 1200 milligrams/day (mg/d), 650 mg/d or placebo of calcium over two years. Data from the placebo group (n=99) were used in longitudinal analysis.
Although the earlier RCT found that the 1200 mg/d dose improved BMD by around 1%, this effect was achieved in the first 6 months, with no further subsequent improvement in the remaining 18 months.
These results prompted the researchers to hypothesise that short-term calcium intakes from high-dose calcium interventions are unrepresentative of longer-term dietary intake. The findings of the recent longitudinal study support this hypothesis.
They are also consistent with previous research indicating a similar lack of association between calcium intake and bone loss in women.
The researchers suggested the lack of association between calcium intake and BMD might be because the body is able to maintain calcium homeostasis over (long-term) typical dietary ranges (415-1740 mg/d).
Observational study findings appear to contradict supplementation RCTs, which have shown small increases in BMD, coupled with reductions in PTH and bone turnover. However, BMD improvements identified in RCTs have only occurred in the first year with no further cumulative effect.
This may be because short-term high doses of calcium induce a temporary reduction in bone turnover, which does not persist once steady-state calcium homeostasis is restored, suggested the researchers.
“Collectively, evidence from intervention and observational studies suggests long-term calcium intake doesn’t influence the rate of bone loss, but large increases in calcium intake induce a transient change,” they wrote.
The scientists emphasised that the study was conducted in Caucasian males with adequate vitamin D status. Therefore, results may not be applicable to other ethnic groups or those with vitamin D deficiency.
“The present demonstration of an absence of an effect of dietary calcium intake on current bone mass or on bone loss in normal men, together with the absence of an effect of calcium intake on bone turnover, contributes to the body of evidence suggesting that calcium intake, within the range studied here, is not a critical factor in the maintenance of bone health in older adults” the authors concluded.
6 WAYS TO BUILD STRONG BONES
1. Eat calcium rich foods
Eat foods high in calcium. The best food sources are non-pasteurized raw dairy sources such as raw milk/yogurt, as well as bony fish, such as sardines. Leafy green veg such as kale, broccoli and spinach are also rich in calcium. Dried herbs and dried fruits such as figs and currants are also good choices. Seeds such as sesame, chia and flax are also rich sources of calcium. Also, enjoy foods that contain sulfur such as garlic and onions.
2. Food selections/combinations are critical
Try not to eat whole grains and calcium-rich foods at the same time. Whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and prevents proper absorption. Some foods that contain compounds such as oxalic or phytic acids, such as sweet potatoes, beans, rhubarb, celery and beets, can also decrease the amount of calcium that’s absorbed when eaten at the same time as calcium-rich foods.
3. Avoid the causes of mineral excretion
Pass on phosphate-containing foods such as soft drinks. Phosphorus causes the body to excrete calcium. Limit or avoid high-protein animal foods. A diet high in protein causes calcium to be excreted from your body. Decrease caffeine consumption. People who smoke have significantly lower bone density, while drinking alcohol can also prevent your bones from absorbing the maximum nutrients from your food.
4. Get more Sunlight and Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Although some is found in oily fish, our main source comes from the effect of sunlight on your skin. It’s estimated that half of us have a deficiency because we don’t get outside enough or because we always use sunblock. It is especially important to maximize sun exposure between May and September to keep vitamin D levels topped up. Just 10 minutes of sunlight a day on bare arms and your face can cut your risk of bone fractures by a third. A half hour exposing your torso is equivalent to roughly 10,000 units of Vitamin D.
5. The right exercise
Another vital way to boost your bones is weight-bearing exercise –basically anything that has you upright and using your body weight. Good choices include squatting, rope skipping, aerobics, plyometrics, dancing or brisk walking. “Research shows that if you don’t exercise you end up weeing out all the calcium you take in instead of storing it in your bones,” warns Professor Dawn Skelton, an aging and health specialist at Glasgow Caledonian University. “Ideally we should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. “Put simply, the more hours we spend on our feet, the fewer bone breakages we should have in later life.”
6. Avoid Medications and Medical Therapies
Acid-blocking medications used for heartburn and other gastrointestinal conditions can block the absorption of calcium through the stomach walls. Stomach acids break down food during the digestive process, allowing the nutrients to become absorbed into your body. Medications designed to stop acid production or decrease the amount of acids present in your stomach can have a negative effect on calcium.
This is starting to look like a civil war.
More people were shot in Chicago over this past weekend than any other this year, except for the Fourth of July weekend that spanned four days. According to the Chicago Tribune and police data, a total of 63 people were shot and 8 were killed as violence erupted all over the city.
At least 63 people were shot in the city, and eight of them were killed, police said. More than half of them were wounded over 13 hours from Saturday to early Sunday. At least 16 more people were shot through the day Sunday, including three on the same street in South Austin.
The level of violence exceeded the 52 shot on the three-day Memorial Day but fell short of the 102 hit by gunfire over the long Fourth of July weekend, according to Tribune data. Still, fewer people have been shot in Chicago this year than at this time last year: 2,435 compared to 2,710.
The wounded included a 14-year-old boy grazed in the chest and left knee while he walking with his sister and a friend just before 9:30 p.m. Friday in Pilsen.
An officer-involved shooting Saturday night left 33-year-old man with graze wounds to the head. Police said he confronted police with a gun and an officer fired.
The violence in Chicago continues despite the Trump administration sending in dozens of ATF agents to work with the Chicago Police Department back in June. Per U.S. News, ATF agents were sent in to assist with ballistics information intended to help cops track down suspect quicker while identifying repeat offenders.
The ATF is sending 20 agents to Chicago to supplement ongoing efforts and coordinate with local agencies on a strike force aimed at solving shooting cases and using collected evidence and ballistics to find and stop gun traffickers, the Chicago Sun Times reported. They will join some 35 to 40 ATF agents already assigned to Chicago.
The goal is to use ballistics information submitted to a national database to identify when guns are used in multiple shootings and connect them to new cases. The beefed-up strike force, equipped with a mobile lab to quickly test new evidence, will help law enforcement build criminal cases against shooters and those providing the guns.
“We’ve been doing this all along but now it’s being amped up,” Dave Coulson, a spokesman for ATF in Chicago, told the Sun Times. “It’s a more concerted effort.”
“The goal is the prosecute as many of these guys as possible federally where they will serve longer prison terms,” Anthony Riccio, head of the Chicago Police Department’s organized crime unit, told the paper.
Meanwhile, the following daily tracking graph from HeyJackAss! helps to put the surge in violence this past weekend into perspective.
Per the Chicago Tribune, this weekend’s shootings occurred across the city, from Rogers Park on the Far North Side, where a 32-year-old man was killed early Sunday, to West Pullman on the Far South Side, where seven people were shot outside a banquet hall a few hours later the same day.
Finally, as we’ve noted before, 2017 is still shaping up to be every bit as devastating for the residents of Chicago as 2016 was.
Recent federal data shows that more people in the U.S. use opioid painkillers than tobacco, highlighting the tragic opioid crisis gripping the country.
With permission from
by Julie Fidler
Posted on August 20, 2017
A federal review published in the spring showed that opioid prescriptions in the U.S. decreased for the 1st time in 2 decades, which suggests that doctors are finally starting to heed warnings about the drugs’ addictive properties. However, that decrease has not translated into fewer deaths. The SAMHSA report illustrates just how widespread the problem remains.
The problem is especially severe in Tennessee, where there are more opioid prescriptions written than people actually living in the state. There are 1.18 opioid prescriptions per every resident of Tennessee. More people died from overdoses in the state in 2014 than from car crashes or shootings. 
Nationally, 37.8% of American adults are using some type of opioid painkiller, while 31.1% of U.S. adults use tobacco problems.
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), more than 91.8 million Americans 18 and older used prescription painkillers last year. By comparison, 75.4 million U.S. adults used tobacco products. 
Those numbers creep even higher when children 12 and older are included; to 97.5 million and 78.3 million, respectively. And more than 12.5% of those users admitted to misusing the painkillers.
Danny Winder, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research in Nashville, said:
“You’d like to think that is good news and reflects a reduction of tobacco use, but unfortunately that’s not the case. It’s a particularly pernicious problem because of its prevalence…Anytime you have a substance that is legally available and has addictive properties, that’s setting up the problem.” 
Actually, smoking rates have declined significantly in the U.S. in the last 50 years. From 2005 to 2015, smoking among adults declined from 20.9% to, or 45.1 million, to 15.1%, or 36.5 million. In the last year alone, the overall smoking rate fell 1.7 percentage points, resulting in the lowest prevalence since the CDC began collecting data in 1965.
However, you don’t generally associate tobacco use with hard drugs, yet many people who die from heroin overdoses begin with a dependence on prescription opioids. Even in those who don’t overdose or graduate to heroin, painkiller addiction can be devastating. In 2015, approximately 40% of unemployed people in the U.S. used a prescription opioid. 
Another disturbing finding from the survey is that in 2014, 27.0 million people aged 12 and older had reported using an illicit drug (10.2%). This percentage in 2014 was higher than those in every year from 2002 to 2013. 
The 2nd most common type of illicit drug use remained nonmedical painkiller use, but the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of pain relievers (1.6%) was lower than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2012.
The 2014 NSDUH estimated 66.9 million people aged 12 or older were tobacco users.
Dr. Richard Soper, chief at the Center for Behavioral Wellness in Nashville, said:
“We require tobacco companies to put warning labels on tobacco products; you don’t really see that in opioid products. As long as the FDA is continuing to approve opioids, there will still be access to it. There will still be doctors writing prescriptions.” 
In early 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published draft guidelines outlining testing standards for generic drugs that have been produced to be harder to crush and dissolve or snort. The agency requires that generic drug makers be able to prove that their product is bioequivalent to the name brand drug. But under the new guidelines, manufacturers will also have to prove that their generic drug has the same anti-abuse properties as its name brand equivalent.
However, this is the same agency that approved OxyContin for use in children in August 2015.
 The Tennessean
 The Daily Caller
Officials say drug smugglers are getting more creative with the methods they employ for getting narcotics over the border.
Aug 22, 2017
Authorities along the U.S. border intercepted a drone employed by Mexican drug cartels to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.
Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protections arrested Jorge Edwin Rivera, an American citizen, Aug. 8 near San Diego with a drone and 13 pounds of methamphetamine worth roughly $46,000. Authorities witnessed the drone crossing the border and tracked it to nearby brush, where they found and arrested Rivera, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Rivera confessed to participating in at least five smuggling operations using a drone since March. He would then deliver the drugs to a man in San Ysidro, taking a $1,000 cut. Border agents said the incident is the first confirmed case of narcotics trafficking with a drone in the San Diego sector.
“This is a new method we’re seeing,” Border Patrol supervising Agent Mark Endicott told The Dan Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve had some success on the ground when it comes to (catching) smugglers of humans and controlled substances. So transnational organizations are looking for other ways to get their product into the country.”
Officials say drug smugglers are getting more creative with the methods they employ for getting narcotics over the border.
Authorities caught two illegal immigrants attempting to smuggle nearly half a million dollars in heroin May 17 hidden in caulking tubes at a California bus station. Border agents conducting routine checks of identification at a Greyhound Bus Station in Blythe, Calif., made the arrests after finding two Mexican men in violation of their immigration status.
The relentless efforts of drug cartels and domestic traffickers continue the steady flow of fatal narcotics into America’s cities, fueling overdose deaths throughout the country. Heroin claimed nearly 13,000 lives in 2015 and officials estimate more than 90 percent of heroin in the U.S. is flowing in from Mexico.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
Contributed by Steve Birr of The Daily Caller News Foundation.
As the mainstream corporate press attempts to guilt Westerners over making Syrian refugees return home, Western outlets are, in fact, deconstructing their own propaganda narrative for all to see.
For instance, according to the International Organization for Migration, more than 600,000 Syrians have returned home to Syria since the beginning of 2017, more than the number of returning refugees in the entire year of 2016.
IOM reports that the majority of those Syrians going home were internally displaced people. After that, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq followed respectively.
The typically pro-imperialist NPR attempted to suggest that the return of the internally displaced to their homes are being forced to relocate back home by the Syrian government. That claim, while largely nonsensical, is also contradicted by reports from other mainstream agencies.
IOM is worried that the “appropriate measures” to ensure safety to those Syrians returning home are not yet in place.
Of course, the real question that needs to be asked here is simple: “If Assad is killing his own people, why are Syrians running back to him in droves?” After all, when African refugees were being labeled Syrian two years ago, we were told that these people were fleeing the “brutal Assad,” the dictator “killing his own people.” So why would people who were being slaughtered by their own government rush back to it at the earliest possible opportunity?
Perhaps because they actually prefer to live in Syria than some other country. Perhaps their government isn’t killing them like Americans are being told they are.
It is also important to point out that the rate of return for Syrian refugees has increased directly with the amount of territory liberated by the Syrian government. In other words, as the Syrian government liberates more territory, more Syrians return to their homes in government-controlled territory. Obviously, if Syrian refugees were fleeing Assad, we would be seeing an increase in refugees.
Regardless, it is clear to all who are not being paid to see otherwise that Syrians are returning home because America’s terrorists are losing territory and, thus, they now have the ability to return to their homes under government control.
While alternative media researchers have been pointing this out since the beginning of the conflict, mainstream media now has no choice but to admit that Syrians are willingly returning to the country run by the man these same outlets have attempted to demonize and destroy for six years.
Slowly but surely, the mainstream media’s narrative surrounding Syria is unraveling in front of everyone’s eyes.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.