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Two GOP Committee Chairmen Accuse Hillary of Perjury

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 17/08/2016 - 22:01
Two GOP Committee Chairmen Accuse Hillary of Perjury
by Stephen Lendman
Perjury is a serious US crime, involving willfully lying under oath with intent to deceive in verbal, written or other testimony in court, before a grand jury, in congressional testimony, among other proceedings.
On August 15, House GOP Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz jointly said Hillary’s congressional testimony regarding use of her personal server for official State Department business was “incompatible” with FBI collected evidence - in a letter to US Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing Phillips.
Urging “appropriate action as necessary” be taken, their letter in part said:
“The evidence collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony, which are described in greater detail below.”
“During a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing on October 22, 2015, Secretary Clinton testified with respect to (1) whether she sent or received emails that were marked classified at the time; (2) whether her attorneys reviewed each of the emails on her personal email system; (3) whether there was one, or more servers that stored work-related emails during her time as Secretary of State; and (4) whether she provided all her work-related emails to the Department of State.”
“Although there may be other aspects of Secretary Clinton’s sworn testimony that are at odds with the FBI’s findings, her testimony in those four areas bears specific scrutiny in light of the facts and evidence FBI Director James Comey described in his public statement on July 5, 2016 and in testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 7, 2016.”
All politicians lie. It’s one thing doing it in public addresses, statements or other communications - entirely another under oath, a criminal offense, calling for a fine and/or up to five years imprisonment.
Subornation of perjury (attempting to influence another party to lie under oath) is a criminal offense. Proving perjury requires distinguishing between unintentionally misstating facts in contrast to willfully lying.
United States v. Dunnigan was a seminal case, establishing the legal standard of perjury under US law, stating:
“(T)estifying under oath or affirmation violates this section if (any individual) gives false testimony concerning a material matter with the willful intent to provide false testimony, rather than as a result of confusion, mistake, or faulty memory.”
Information Hillary gave the FBI regarding use of her home server and personal BlackBerry for official State Department business differed from what she told Congress under oath.
If charged and proved guilty in judicial proceedings, she’ll be a convicted felon subject to penalties as prescribed by law.
Her war crimes and racketeering should disqualify her for public office. Nuremberg-level criminality, influence selling, money-laundering and likely grand theft are too serious to ignore. Prosecution should hold her accountable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Demand California Fix CalGang, A Deeply Flawed Gang Database

eff.org - Wed, 17/08/2016 - 03:56

CalGang is a joke.

California’s gang database contains data on more than 150,000 people that police believe are associated with gangs, often based on the flimsiest of evidence. Law enforcement officials would have you believe that it’s crucial to their jobs, that they use it ever so responsibly, and that it would never, ever result in unequal treatment of people of color.

But you shouldn’t take their word for it. And you don’t have to take ours either, or the dozens of other civil rights organizations calling for a CalGang overhaul. But you should absolutely listen to the California State Auditor’s investigation.

The state’s top CPA, Elaine Howle, cracked open the books and crunched the numbers as part of an audit:

This report concludes that CalGang’s current oversight structure does not ensure that law enforcement agencies (user agencies) collect and maintain criminal intelligence in a manner that preserves individuals’ privacy rights.

Brutal.  But then there was more. 

She wrote that CalGang receives “no state oversight” and operates “without transparency or meaningful opportunities for public input.”

She found that agencies couldn’t legitimize 23 percent of CalGang entries she reviewed. Thirteen out of 100 people had no substantiated reason for being in the database.

She found that law enforcement had ignored a five-year purging policy for more than 600 people, often extending the purge date to more than 100 years. They also frequently disregarded a law requiring police to notify the parents of minors before adding them to CalGang. 

She found that there was “little evidence” that CalGang had met standards for protecting privacy and other constitutional rights.

As a result, user agencies are tracking some people in CalGang without adequate justification, potentially violating their privacy rights.

And then the other shoe dropped:

Further, by not reviewing information as required, CalGang’s governance and user agencies have diminished the system’s crime-fighting value.

To recap the audit: CalGang violates people’s rights, operates with no oversight, is chockfull of unsubstantiated information and data that should have been purged, and has diminished value in protecting public safety.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber has the start of a solution: A.B. 2298.  

This bill would write into law all new transparency and accountability measures for the controversial CalGang database and at least 11 other gang databases managed by local law enforcement agencies in California.

For example:

  • Law enforcement would be required to notify you if they intend to add you to the database.
  • You would have the opportunity to challenge your inclusion in a gang database.
  • Law enforcement agencies would have to produce transparency reports for anyone to look at with statistics on CalGang additions, removals, and demographics.

EFF has joined dozens of civil rights groups like the Youth Justice Coalition to support this bill. If you live in California, please join us by emailing your elected officials today to put this bill on the governor’s desk.

Support Reform of California's Gang Databases

Here are some other things you should know about CalGang.

What is CalGang?

CalGang is a data collection system used by law enforcement agencies to house information on suspected gang members. At last count, CalGang contained data on more than 150,000 people. As of 2016, the CalGang database is accessible by more than 6,000 law enforcement officers across the state from the laptops in their patrol vehicles.

As the official A.B. 2298 legislative analysis explains:

The CalGang system database, which is housed by the [California Department of Justice, is accessed by law enforcement officers in 58 counties and includes 200 data fields containing personal, identifying information such as age, race, photographs, tattoos, criminal associates, addresses, vehicles, criminal histories, and activities.

Something as simple as living on a certain block can label you as a possible Crip or Hell’s Angel, subjecting you to increased surveillance, police harassment, and gang injunctions. Police use the information in the database to justify an arrest, and prosecutors use it to support their request for maximum penalties.

Many of the Californians included in the CalGang database don’t know they’re on it. What’s worse: If you’re an adult on the list, you have no right to know you’re on it or to challenge your inclusion. Law enforcement agencies have lobbied aggressively to block legislation that would make the CalGang data more accessible to the public.

How Does CalGang Work?

In use for almost 20 years, CalGang holds information collected by beat officers during traffic stops and community patrols. The officers fill out Field Identification Cards with details supporting their suspicions, which can include pictures of the person’s tattoos and clothing. They can collect this information from any person at any time, no arrest necessary. The cards are then uploaded to CalGang at the discretion of the officer. Detectives also add to the database while mapping out connections and associations to the suspects they investigate. Any officer can access the information remotely at any time. So if, during the course of writing a fix-it ticket, an officer runs the driver’s name through the database and sees an entry, that officer can potentially formulate a bias against the driver.

Ali Winston’s Reveal News article about the horrors of CalGang shows how Facebook photos with friends can lead to criminal charges.

Aaron Harvey, a 26-year-old club promoter in Las Vegas at the time, was arrested and taken back to his native city of San Diego. He was charged with nine counts of gang conspiracy to commit a felony due to the fact that a couple of his Facebook friends from the Lincoln Park neighborhood where he grew up were believed to be in a street gang. Police further suspected that those friends took part in nine shootings, all of which occurred after Harvey had moved to Nevada. Even though no suspects were ever charged in connection to the actual shootings, Harvey still spent eight months in jail before a judge dismissed the gang conspiracy charges against him as baseless. As a direct result of his unjust incarceration, he lost his job and his apartment in Las Vegas and had to move in with family in San Diego.

Asked about his experience of gang classification systems, Harvey said,  “It’s like a virus that you have, that you don’t know you have… (Someone) infected me with this disease; now I have it, and there’s no telling how many other people I have infected.”

It’s Based on Subjective Observations

The criteria used for determining gang affiliation are laughably broad. Much of the information that is considered to be evidence of gang activity is open to personal interpretation: being seen with suspected gang members, wearing “gang dress”, making certain hand signs, or simply being called a gang member by, as the CalGang procedural manual states, an “untested informant”. The presence of two of these criteria is considered enough evidence for people to be included in the database for at least 5 years and subject to a possible gang injunction (a court order that restricts where you can go and with whom you can interact). 

A.B. 2298’s legislative analysis explains the flaw in this system.  

[A]s a practical matter, it may be difficult for a minor, or a young-adult, living in a gang-heavy community to avoid qualifying criteria when the list of behaviors includes items such as “is in a photograph with known gang members,” “name is on a gang document, hit list or gang-related graffiti” or “corresponds with known gang members or writes and/or receives correspondence.” In a media-heavy environment, replete with camera phones and social network comments, it may be challenging for a teenager aware of the exact parameters to avoid such criteria, let alone a teenager unaware he or she is being held to such standards.

As we saw with Aaron Harvey, meeting three of the criteria can get you a gang conspiracy charge.

It’s Racially Biased

 Patrol officers, because they directly engage the public during their daily beat, make many of the entries. The problem is that communities of color tend to be heavily policed in the first place. In a state that is 45% black and brown, Hispanic and African-American individuals make up 85% of the CalGang database. In a country where people of color are already targeted and criminally prosecuted at disproportionately higher rates, having a database that intensifies racial bias and penalizes thousands of Californians based on the neighborhood and community in which they live, their friends and other personal connections, what they wear, and the way that they pose in pictures is unconstitutional. 

That being said, false gang ties can be attributed to anyone (with all the negative ramifications that go along with them) regardless of race. The database also includes people with tenuous ties to Asian gangs, white nationalist groups, and motorcycle clubs.

Lack of Transparency

Even though S.B. 458 was passed in 2013 requiring that the state of California notify parents of juveniles who are listed on the database (because some registrants are as young as 9 years old), a 2014 proposition that would have extended the notification to adults was heavily resisted by law enforcement agencies. That bill ultimately failed. As it stands today, if an adult Californian wanted to know if they are listed in CalGang, they would have absolutely no recourse. There is no way to challenge incorrect assertions of gang affiliation. Most of the adults who are listed as potential gang members won’t find out until after an arrest. 

In terms of governance, the State Auditor noted that because CalGang wasn’t created by a statute, there is no formal state oversight. Instead, it’s managed by two secretive committees, the CalGang Executive Board and the CalGang Node Advisory Committee. She writes:

Generally, CalGang’s current operations are outside of public view… we found that the CalGang users self?administer the committee’s audits and that they do not meaningfully report the results to the board, the committee, or the public. Further, CalGang’s governance does not meet in public, and neither the board nor the committee invites public participation by posting meeting dates, agendas, or reports about CalGang.

The last report from the California Department of Justice explaining the data in CalGang was published way back in 2010.

Tell your elected representative to support A.B. 2298 today.

Correction: The figure regarding the number of individuals in the CalGang database has been adjusted from 200,000 to 150,000 based on updated numbers from the auditor's report.  


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Categories: Aggregated News

Israel Planning Third Temple on Al-Aqsa Mosque Site?

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 17/08/2016 - 03:55
Israel Planning Third Temple on Al-Aqsa Mosque Site?
by Stephen Lendman
It’s hard imagining Israel going this far, but who knows, given its longstanding persecution of Occupied Palestinians and its own Arab citizens - 20% of its population unwanted, treated like fifth column threats. 
Al-Aqsa is sacred to Muslims worldwide, Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), “Israeli institutions and organizations are preparing to build the so-called ‘Third Temple’ in place of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and are waiting for a political decision to start, Israeli channels reported.”
IMEMC said the scheme has “wide political and popular support.” Israeli television reported readiness to begin the project once an OK is gotten - expected to take three years to complete if undertaken.
An Israeli Channel 2 report last weekend said Women for the Temple are preparing materials needed to begin construction.
Zionist zealots claim “scriptural” backing for the project. Notorious Arab-hating Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel backs it.
Frequent clashes occur when heavily protected extremist settlers provocatively visit the Al-Aqsa compound where they don’t belong.
Muslims consider their trespass part of an Judaization project, Israel intending Jerusalem to be an exclusive Jewish capital - a Third Temple perhaps part of the disturbing scheme.
It remains to be seen if Israel dares try building it, replacing sacred Al-Aqsa or changing its site in any way, risking a mass uprising if undertaken.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Rock Against the TPP heads to Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco

eff.org - Wed, 17/08/2016 - 02:07

As the Rock Against the TPP tour continues its way around the country, word is spreading that it's not too late for us to stop the undemocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in its tracks. The tour kicked off in Denver on July 23 with a line-up that included Tom Morello, Evangeline Lilly, and Anti-Flag, before hitting San Diego the following week where Jolie Holland headlined. You can check out the powerful vibe of the kick-off show below.

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And the tour isn't even half done yet! This weekend, Rock Against the TPP heads to Seattle on August 19 and Portland on August 20, featuring a number of new artists including Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba in Seattle, and hip-hop star Talib Kweli in Portland. The latest tour date to be announced is a stop in EFF's home city of San Francisco on September 9, featuring punk legend Jello Biafra.

EFF will be on stage for each of the three remaining dates to deliver a short message about the threats that the TPP poses to Internet freedom, creativity, and innovation both here in the United States, and across eleven other Pacific Rim countries. These threats include:

  • Doubling down on U.S. law that makes it easy for copyright owners to have content removed from the Internet without a court order, and hard for users whose content is wrongly removed.
  • Forcing six other countries to go along with our ridiculously long copyright term—life of the author plus another 70 years—which stops artists and fans from using music and art from a century ago.
  • Imposing prison terms for those who disclose corporate secrets, break copyright locks, or share files, even if they are journalists, whistleblowers, or security researchers, and even if they're not making any money from it.

In addition, the TPP completely misses the opportunity to include meaningful protections for users. It fails to require other countries to adopt an equivalent to the fair use right in U.S. copyright law, it includes only weak and unenforceable language about the importance of a free and open Internet and net neutrality, and its provisions on encryption technology and software source code fail to offer any protection against crypto backdoors.

Rock Against the TPP is an opportunity to spread the word about these problems and to stand up to the corporate lobbyists and their captive trade negotiators who have spent years pushing the TPP against the people's will. First and foremost it's also a celebration of the creativity, passion, and energy of the artists and fans who are going to help to stop this flawed agreement.

If you can make it to Portland, Seattle, or San Francisco, please join us! Did we mention that the concerts are absolutely free? Reserve your tickets now, and spread the word to all your family and friends. With your help, the TPP will soon be nothing but a footnote in history.

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Obama Pushing for TPP: Misinformation and Big Lies His Strategy

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 17/08/2016 - 01:55
Obama Pushing for TPP: Misinformation and Big Lies His Strategy
by Stephen Lendman
US trade deals are jobs-killing weapons of mass destruction. They destroy fundamental freedoms. They ignore eco-sanity.
They’re abominations vital to end. America needs fair, not Orwellian free trade. Preventing TPP’s enactment into US law is crucial for all working-age Americans and their families.
Obama intends going on the offensive publicly to get Congress on board for its passage. Last October, he touted it in his weekly radio address - featuring a litany of Big Lies, one of many examples of how he consistently betrayed the public trust throughout his tenure.
He claimed (then and now) TPP is “the best possible deal for American workers.”
Fact: It’s an abominable jobs, wages and benefits destroyer. Obama, of course, knows it but lied claiming the opposite of what’s true.
Obama: TPP lets “American businesses…sell more of their products (abroad so) they can expand and support good jobs here at home.”
Fact: “American business” want TPP enacted to offshore more jobs than already, accelerating the nation’s race to the bottom.
Obama: “Outdated trade rules put our workers at a disadvantage. And TPP will change that.”
Fact: TPP is anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-vital freedoms too important to lose.
Obama: TPP will hold “partner countries to higher standards and rais(e) wages across a region that makes up nearly 40% of the global economy.”
Fact: TPP lowers the fairness and equity bar in all signatory countries, notably America if it’s enacted into law here.
Obama: TPP “means to level the playing field for American workers and businesses (under) rules (that) are fair…”
Fact: TPP prioritizes corporate profits at the expense of worker rights and fundamental freedoms.
Obama claims TPP will undo sins of past trade deals. It’ll exacerbate them on steroids. “It includes the strongest labor rights in history,” he said. FALSE!!
“It includes the strongest environmental standards in history.” FALSE!!
“Without this agreement, competitors that don’t share our values, like China, will write the rules of the global economy.” FALSE!!
He shamelessly blamed China and other low-wage countries for the sins of corporate America offshoring millions of US jobs abroad. 
TPP will greatly accelerate the process - transforming America into a nation of maids, waitresses, bellhops, fast-food workers, janitors, bus and cab drivers, along with other poverty wage service jobs for most workers able to have any employment.
Obama intends taking his destructive TPP-touting message on the road to various US cities. He’ll deceitfully lie about the most destructive deal in history if it becomes US law - economic and financial warfare against the rights, welfare and futures of working-age Americans and their families, already suffering under neoliberal harshness he and his successor will maintain with or without TPP.
At an August 2, East Room White House press conference, Obama shamelessly said “I’m president and I’m for” TPP. He intends formally submitting legislation to Congress later this year.
It faces stiff opposition, hopefully enough to kill it. Progressive groups like Global Trade Watch lead the fight against it.
GTW highlights its enormous danger, saying enacting TPP “will expand corporate power over our daily lives and our government.”
It’ll “make it easier for corporations to ship jobs overseas.” It’ll “flood US markets with unsafe food.”
It’ll “cause a pay cut for 90% of American workers.” It’ll “undermine critical environmental and climate policies.”
It’ll “raise medicine prices (much more than already) and give expanded powers to Big Pharma corporations.”
It’ll “tie the US closer to known human rights abusers.” TPP is “a partnership between governments and big corporations” against the interests of the vast majority of their citizens.
It’s outrageous unfair trade legislation too destructive to permit.
“#STOP TPP,” GTW stresses!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump's Aggressive Foreign Policy

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 16/08/2016 - 21:30

Trump’s Aggressive Foreign Policy
by Stephen Lendman
His August 15 foreign policy address in Youngstown, OH showed he’ll govern as an establishment leader if elected in November - continuing dirty geopolitical business as usual vital to end once and for all.
He’ll wage endless wars to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” he said - without explaining its US creation and support at least since the 1980s in Afghanistan against Soviet Russia.
Bin Laden was a Pakistani intelligence-recruited CIA asset. Obama didn’t kill him. He died of natural causes in December 2001, widely reported at the time. 
Earlier mujahideen fighters are today’s Taliban, Al Qaeda, Nusra Front, ISIS, Boko Haram and similar groups - created, supported and used by America as imperial foot soldiers to do its killing and dying where they’re deployed with the aim of replacing sovereign independent governments with US puppet regimes.
America isn’t at war with “radical Islamic terrorism.” It actively supports it as an instrument of US imperial foreign policy.
Obama and Hillary didn’t create today’s deplorable geopolitical landscape. They exacerbated decades earlier policy - begun under Jimmy Carter, continued under Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II to today, certain to go on seamlessly under duopoly governance no matter who succeeds Obama.
Today’s gravest issue is systemic - neocon infested Washington bent on world dominance, doing whatever it takes to accomplish its objective, color revolutions and wars its strategies of choice.
Will Trump as president change things? No!! Will he differ from another Clinton co-presidency? Only by being less likely to start WW III if he follows through on wanting better relations with Russia.
If he continues waging imperial wars on the phony pretext of combating terrorism, US/Moscow geopolitical policies will be intractably at odds.
“ISIS…operat(es) in 18 countries with aspiring branches in 6 or more for a total of 24, and many believe it is even more than that,” said Trump.
Fact: ISIS operates where US policymakers deploy their fighters, under commanders chosen by CIA and Pentagon officials - recruited, armed, funded and directed by America, NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states.
Fact: The way to defeat ISIS and other radical Islamic groups is stop supporting them. They can’t exist without foreign backing.
Instead of diverging from America’s imperial agenda if elected president, Trump could exacerbate it by belligerence  against all nations where he says ISIS exists.
He’ll continue drone wars, mostly killing noncombatant men, women, children, the elderly and infirm threatening on one.
He’ll maintain Guantanamo (and likely America’s global torture prison network) instead of shutting it down. He’ll introduce ideological screening tests to suspend immigration from certain countries.
He claims wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were mistakes he opposed after supporting them earlier. He called failure to seize Iraq’s oil fields poor judgment. “In the old days when we won a war, to the victor go the spoils,” he blustered.
He failed to explain all wars violate core international, constitutional and US statute laws without Security Council authorization. US presidents and Congress have no right to wage them without it - especially against nations posing no threat to America or any other countries.
All ongoing US direct and proxy wars are illegal acts of aggression. Trump promised to continue them - justified by pledging to combat radical Islamic terrorism America supports.
US war on humanity will continue no matter who succeeds Obama. Prospects for world peace and stability are nonexistent - a deplorable situation threatening everyone.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT: Right About Trump's Foreign Policy for the Wrong Reasons

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 16/08/2016 - 21:28
NYT: Right About Trump’s Foreign Policy Address for the Wrong Reasons
by Stephen Lendman
The Times leads the unprecedented scoundrel media assault against one US presidential candidate in support of the worst of two unacceptable choices.
Its editors’ latest broadside followed Trump’s Monday foreign policy address, a prescription for endless wars of aggression. A same day article deconstructed it - calling it dirty geopolitical business as usual vital to end once and for all.
Instead of blasting continued US imperial wars on the phony pretext of combating ISIS and other terrorist groups, Times editors called his speech “a collection of confused and random thoughts that showed little understanding of the rise of the Islamic State…”
Fact: Times editors never explain ISIS and all other prominent terrorist groups are US creations, a policy begun under Jimmy Carter against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan.
Times editors: Trump’s vetting “approach to immigration that would impose an ideological test on newcomers and undermine the very American values of tolerance and equal treatment that he said he wanted to encourage.”
Fact: Vilifying Muslims as gun-toting terrorists is longstanding US policy, notably after communism ceased to be public enemy number one with the dissolution of Soviet Russia - greatly exacerbated post-9/11 as a pretext for advancing America’s imperium.
Times editors: Trump’s speech “struck many listeners as an uncomfortable echo of McCarthyism.”
Fact: The Wisconsin senator died in 1957. His demagogic/hate-mongering legacy is more virulent today than ever with bipartisan and scoundrel media support, especially from The Times.
Times editors: Obama and Hillary “dropped the ball in Libya after” ousting Gaddafi, and their ill-defined strategy in Syria has generated many legitimate questions.”
Fact: Obama and Hillary as secretary of state waged naked aggression against countries threatening no others - committing Nuremberg-level high crimes.
Times editors: “Trump’s attempt to blame them for unleashing the Islamic State and destabilizing the Middle East shows either misunderstanding or ignorance.”
Fact: I’ve explained many times. ISIS and all other prominent terrorist groups are US creations - used as imperial foot soldiers where Washington deploys them.
Times editors: “The people and leaders of the Middle East are the ones who brought about the Arab Spring and its aftermath, first raising hopes for more democratic societies and then leaving the region in turmoil.”
Fact: The misnamed “Arab spring” was made in the USA. The scheme was to replace leaders outliving their usefulness to America like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia’s Abidine Ben Ali, and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, replacing them with more servile ones.
Times editors: “Iran is…a threat to the region, given its support for Hezbollah, Hamas…Assad…and its involvement in Yemen.”
Fact: Throughout its history as the Islamic Republic, Iran neither attacked or threatened another country. It fosters peaceful relations with all nations.
Times editors falsely claimed Obama “largely abandoned” Bush administration “regime change and nation-building” policies. His wars of aggression in multiple theaters way exceed what his predecessor undertook.
Another Clinton co-presidency risks more of the same on steroids. Trump’s foreign policy address shows he’s part of the deplorable problem, not the solution.
Both candidates for the nation’s highest office are too unacceptable to tolerate. 
What’s vital explain, Times editors suppress - instead one-sidedly support war goddess/racketeer Hillary, the worst of duopoly options.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

New Development in Russia's War on Terrorism in Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 16/08/2016 - 21:08
New Development in Russia’s War on Terrorism in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Russia remains committed to defeating the scourge of US-sponsored terrorism in Syria. What’s coming strategically remains to be seen.
Iran agreed to let Russia fly long range combat missions from its Hamadan airbase - shortening a 2,000 km flight from its own territory to around 700 km, enabling more rapid responses against terrorists in Syria with increased payloads by combining airpower from Syrian and Iranian bases. 
On August 16, Tass said Russian long-range Tu-22M3 bombers and “frontline” Su-24 warplanes attacked terrorist positions.
Monday’s mission “destroyed five large depots with armament, ammunition, fuel and lubricants, militants’ training camps in the areas of the communities of Serakab, Al-Bab, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor, and also a large number of militants,” Tass reported. 
“The arms and ammunition depots, the training camps and the command posts destroyed by the air strike were used to provide supplies for the militants operating in the area of Aleppo.”
Protected by support Sukhoi-30SM and Sukhoi-35 aircraft, long-range and frontline bombers “destroyed five large depots with armament, ammunition, fuel and lubricants, militants’ training camps in the areas of the communities of Serakab, Al-Bab, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor, and also a large number of militants.” 
“The arms and ammunition depots, the training camps and the command posts destroyed by the air strike were used to provide supplies for the militants operating in the area of Aleppo.”
Tass said mission objectives were accomplished. Separately, it quoted Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu saying his government and Washington are “in a very active stage of negotiations” on the situation in Aleppo - talks ongoing in Geneva and Amman, Jordan.
“We are step-by-step approaching an alternative,”  Shoigu explained. “I am speaking only about Aleppo now, that will help us to find some points in common and to start actually a joint fight to see peace established in that territory…”
Russian convoys “constantly” supply area residents with desperately needed humanitarian aid. America delivers arms and munitions to its terrorists foot soldiers on the ground.
Both countries are intractably apart on resolving things overall. Washington insists Assad must go. Russia supports the right of all Syrians to decide who’ll lead them, along with preserving national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Shoigu spoke hopefully about reaching common ground with Washington on Aleppo - “to see peace established in that territory” so residents can return home and start rebuilding their lives.
It requires a giant leap of unfounded faith to believe America will compromise in any meaningful way on its imperial project anywhere.
Russia’s best efforts to resolve US-instigated conflicts in Syria and Donbass, Ukraine accomplished little - nothing toward restoring peace and stability to either country.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

White House Source Code Policy Should Go Further

eff.org - Tue, 16/08/2016 - 08:21

A new federal government policy will result in the government releasing more of the software that it creates under free and open source software licenses. That’s great news, but doesn’t go far enough in its goals or in enabling public oversight.

A few months ago, we wrote about a proposed White House policy regarding how the government handles source code written by or for government agencies. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has now officially enacted the policy with a few changes. While the new policy is a step forward for government transparency and open access, a few of the changes in it are flat-out baffling.

As originally proposed (PDF), the policy would have required that code written by employees of federal agencies be released to the public. For code written by third-party developers, agencies would have been required to release at least 20% of it under a license approved by the Open Source Initiative—prioritizing “code that it considers potentially useful to the broader community.”

At the time, EFF recommended that OMB consider scrapping the 20% rule; it would be more useful for agencies to release everything, regardless of whether it was written by employees or third parties. Exceptions could be made in instances in which making code public would be prohibitively expensive or dangerous.

Instead, OMB went in the opposite direction: the official policy treats code written by government employees and contractors the same and puts code in both categories under the 20% rule. OMB was right the first time: code written by government employees is, by law, in the public domain and should be available to the public.

More importantly, though, a policy that emphasizes “potentially useful” code misses the point. While it’s certainly the case that people and businesses should be able to reuse and build on government code in innovative ways, that’s not the only reason to require that the government open it. It’s also about public oversight.

Giving the public access to government source code gives it visibility into government programs. With access to government source code—and permission to use it—the public can learn how government software works or even identify security problems. The 20% rule could have the unfortunate effect of making exactly the wrong code public. Agencies can easily sweep the code in most need of public oversight into the 80%. In fairness, OMB does encourage agencies to release as much code as they can “to further the Federal Government's commitment to transparency, participation, and collaboration.” But the best way to see those intentions through is to make them the rule.

Open government policy is at its best when its mandates are broad and its exceptions are narrow. Rather than trust government officials’ judgment about what materials to make public or keep private, policies like OMB’s should set the default to open. Some exceptions are unavoidable, but they should be limited and clearly defined. And when they’re invoked, the public should know what was exempted and why.

OMB has implemented the 20% rule as a three-year pilot. The office says that it will “evaluate pilot results and consider whether to allow the pilot program to expire or to issue a subsequent policy to continue, modify, or increase the minimum requirements of the pilot program.” During the next three years, we’ll be very interested to see how much code agencies release and what stays obscured.

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Putin-Erdogan Meeting: No Geopolitical Breakthroughs

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 16/08/2016 - 04:15
Putin-Erdogan Meeting: No Geopolitical Breakthroughs
by Stephen Lendman
Putin knew it was chancy at best dealing with a rogue leader like Erdogan - Turkey a NATO member with close ties to Washington’s imperial agenda, despite current strains over the disruptive events of July 15 he blamed on his US ally.
If Moscow-based international correspondent John Helmer is right, both leaders remain intractably apart on Syria and regional policies overall.
Erdogan continues ruthless mass purging of suspected opponents, numbers perhaps approaching 100,000 with no end to cleaning house in sight.
At the same time, he’s “promis(ing) big,” in return for maximum concessions possible from Russia, America and the EU.
Helmer appears right calling his strategy “a Turkish bluff.” Russia wants stability on its borders, cooperative relations with neighboring countries, and Erdogan ending his support for ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.
His meeting with Erdogan accomplished none of the above. Helmer puts it this way:
“Turkey should stop supporting and fueling and providing safe haven and supplies for groups that threaten Russia to the North, threaten Syria to the south (and) Iraq to the east.”
It should stop supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups. It should give Russia “free passage through the so-called Turkish straits, between the Black Sea…Aegean Sea (and) Mediterranean” - the way it’s been for hundreds of years.
Erdogan should stop calling for Assad’s ouster. Despite talk of improved bilateral political and economic relations, nothing was consummated except agreement to keep talking.
Key is whether Erdogan will survive or be toppled by internal opposition fed up with how he’s running things.
As for relations with Russia, America and the EU, how they’ll play out remains highly uncertain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Humanity Loses No Matter Who Succeeds Obama

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 20:27
Humanity Loses No Matter Who Succeeds Obama
by Stephen Lendman
Money controlled duopoly power runs America, its two right wings barely distinguishable from each other.
Trump sounds anti-establishment, but is he? I’ve said before he didn’t get to be a billionaire by being a good guy. His one redeeming feature is he’s less likely to launch WW III than Hillary. With her empowered, it’s too frightening a prospect to risk.
America was always a warrior nation, serving its privileged class exclusively - doing enough for ordinary people to prevent street riots leading to mass rebellion.
Since the neoliberal 90s, New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society social justice became expendable. Already ravaged under Bill Clinton, GW Bush and Obama, it’s heading toward being eliminated altogether, a frightening prospect.
Bill Clinton’s deplorable legacy includes jobs-destroying NAFTA, so-called welfare reform harming America’s most needy, and unconditional surrender to Wall Street and other predatory corporate interests.
George Bush’s domestic agenda included No Child Left Behind war on public education, tax cuts for rich, and fostering the notion that business does things better than government so let it, free from pesky regulations.
Obama continued the Clinton/Bush legacy on steroids - increasing social Darwinism, letting casino capitalism run wild, wrecking the economy, creating protracted Main Street Depression conditions, looting the Treasury, turning dollars into toilet paper from massive Fed money printing, creating an unprecedented wealth disparity, waging war on public education and labor, making poverty a growth industry, and doing more than his predecessors to thirdworldize America - while eroding fundamental freedoms at the same time.
America is on a fast-track toward full-blown homeland tyranny combined with permanent war on humanity, heading toward WW III - perhaps begun with too few people realizing it.
Whether Hillary or Trump succeeds Obama, dirty business as usual will continue. 
She’s more likely to wage war with nuclear weapons able to kill us all - why it’s crucial to prevent her ascendency to power.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Defeating Clinton Requires Exposing Her War Crimes and Racketeering

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 20:04
Defeating Clinton Requires Exposing Her War Crimes and Racketeering
by Stephen Lendman
Calling her “crooked Hillary,” a “liar,” a “devil,” and “unfit to serve” aren’t good enough. Ya gotta be more specific. Tiptoeing around her dark side is no winning formula. 
I’m no political strategist but it strikes me that defeating her requires striking where she’s most vulnerable - with hard-hitting facts backing it up.
And hammering at them relentlessly. The Clinton campaign’s only ammunition is Trump’s rhetoric with no public record to attack him on.
It goes without saying that anyone reaching billionaire status has lots of skeletons to hide, but they’re mostly private, not public.
Hillary’s baggage is notorious, indictable stuff since her crooked lawyer days followed by a near-generation of more serious criminality - enough evidence to sink her if used effectively with an important caveat.
She’s the establishment candidate, thus the scoundrel media favorite, chosen to win in November, Trump to lose, electoral rigging easy to arrange it - the same way she stole the nomination from Sanders.
It’s all over but the postmortems unless Trump goes all-out against her no-holds-barred. He’ll lose otherwise. She’s already widely reviled and considered untrustworthy.
Volumes of hard facts add meat to the bones - discussed in detail in many articles I’ve written, other independent writers exposing her dark side the same way. It’s all there online for the taking to be used advantageously so why hesitate when holding back is a losing strategy.
I’m no Trump fan. I deplore duopoly rule, fantasy democracy, not the real thing - monied interests served exclusively, ordinary people everywhere harmed grievously.
Things worsen each electoral cycle. Trump is a deplorable choice for US president - with one redeeming feature I stressed earlier. 
He’s not Hillary, the worst possible choice to empower with the fate of the nation and world - a self-serving war goddess, racketeer, Wall Street tool, threatening world peace if she succeeds Obama.
I support Green Party nominee Jill Green, but electoral rigging and media shunning assures her no chance of winning - just perhaps able to turn the election one way or the other by getting enough support in November.
I reject both duopoly power candidates. One will be the next US president. Better hope it’s Trump, not Clinton.
I’ve said it before, will say it again, and keep repeating it through election day. As president, greater imperial wars than already are virtually certain under her leadership - but that’s not the worst of it.
She’s militantly anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Iran, anti-all other independent sovereign states. She wants them all toppled, violently if nothing else works, a recipe for disaster.
The threat of global war with nuclear weapons is greater with her in charge than any other US leader in history.
Is that a risk worth taking? Can any sensible person support her with it in mind? 
World peace is too precious to lose if she succeeds Obama. It’s crucial to keep it from happening.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

George Soros Documents Leaked

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 19:54
George Soros Documents Leaked
by Stephen Lendman
Notorious international con man Soros seeks new financial world order policies controlled by and exclusively benefitting monied interests like himself - to the detriment of most others.
He gave it away once saying “(a)s a market participant, I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.”
While illegal US sanctions were killing around 5,000 Iraqi children under aged five monthly, he urged Bill Clinton, when president, to establish a “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.”
In 2003, George Bush obliged, destroying the cradle of civilization - endless war, conflict-related violence and chaos continuing over 13 years later. 
Soros supports military, financial and economic wars for greater self-enrichment. He takes credit for Americanizing Eastern Europe, exploiting it resources and people for huge profits.
He endorses global governance, national sovereignty replaced by centralized control over money, resources, populations, and markets. He once said we need a global sherif - perhaps with himself in mind.
DC Leaks calls itself a “new level project aimed to analyze and publish a large amount of emails from top-ranking officials and their influence agents all over the world.”
It calls Soros “the architect and sponsor of almost every revolution and coup around the world for the last 25 years. (He) spill(s) blood of millions (of) people to make him(self)” even richer.
He’s a Democrat party/Hillary Clinton sponsor. Over the weekend, DC Leaks released over 2,500 hacked Soros files and documents, covering the period 2008 through 2015, revealing information on his geopolitical schemes and strategies.
Russia was wrongfully blamed for leaking DNC emails, showing Hillary became party nominee through election rigging - now falsely blamed again for hacking Soros files and documents.
Bloomberg.com reported it in an article headlined “Russian Hackers of DNC Said to Nab Secrets from NATO, Soros,” claiming DCLeaks is an arm of “the same Russian intelligence outfit that targeted the Democratic (sic) political organizations.”
Bloomberg cites unnamed “security experts” as its source, claiming, without substantiation, Russia seeks to influence America’s November presidential election, obtain more information on “the Obama administration’s policy toward (its government, as well as) disclosures about the hidden levers of political power in Washington.”
Irresponsible Russia bashing diverts public attention from America’s destructive imperial project, as well as punishing homeland neoliberal harshness harming millions. 
It’s also part of longterm US strategy for regime change, replacing all sovereign independent governments with exploitive new world order colonization and control.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Scandalous Anti-Trump Media Bias

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 19:39
Scandalous Anti-Trump Media Bias
by Stephen Lendman
This year’s presidential race seems more like Trump v. US media scoundrels than against Hillary. It’s hard recalling bias for one candidate against the other more brazen than now.
On Saturday in Fairfield, CT, Trump said “I’m not running against crooked Hillary Clinton. I’m running against the crooked media.”
Tweeting on Sunday, he said “(i)f the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly…I would be beating Hillary by 20%.”
He blasted a weekend NYT article, claiming campaign dysfunction, tweeting “(t)he failing nytimes talks about anonymous sources and meetings that never happened. Their reporting is fiction. The media protects Hillary.”
“The failing nytimes, which never spoke to me, keeps saying that I am saying to advisers that I will change. False, I am who I am-never said.”  
“It is not ‘freedom of the press’ when newspapers and others are allowed to say and what whatever they want even if it is completely false!”
On Friday, Trump called mainstream reporters the “lowest form of humanity” - doing Hillary’s bidding instead of their jobs.
His campaign began emailing stories and web site screen shots - overlaid with the comment “media bias offender” in large red letters.
Trump is no paragon of virtue - far from it. Both he and Hillary are unacceptable candidates, she by far the most ruthlessly dangerous of the two. Yet extreme media bias for her over her GOP opponent solely for political reasons is inexcusable.
Trump is right. America’s print and electronic establishment media are out to get him, Hillary their chosen candidate. Her deplorable baggage should automatically disqualify her from any public office.
The power of media manipulated public sentiment combined with election tweaking as needed in key battleground states likely means she’ll succeed Obama next year. Doomsday may follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hillary: Seriously Ill from Dementia, Seizures and Blackouts

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 03:41
Hillary: Seriously Ill from Dementia, Seizures and Blackouts
by Stephen Lendman
Besides numerous other reasons relating to affairs of state to keep Hillary from succeeding Obama, her deteriorating physical, mental and emotional health should automatically disqualify her.
Her illness is incurable, worsening over time, perhaps incapacitating her in office or killing her if she becomes America’s 45th president.
In February 2014, Mount Kisco Medical Group’s Dr. Lisa Bardack, Hillary’s doctor, wrote the letter below, clearly indicating she’s unfit to serve for medical reasons. 

An earlier article I wrote explained the following:
Presidential illnesses aren't rare. Noted US heads of state took ill in office, became sidelined, couldn’t perform their duties properly, or at times at all.

Woodrow Wilson was America’s 28th president. He served two terms from 1913 - 1921. His health was a state secret.

In November 1912, he was elected president. In March 1913, he took office. Few knew his health history.

In 1896, he suffered a stroke. It caused marked right upper limb weakness. Sensory disturbances affected his fingers. For almost a year, he couldn't write.

In 1904, he developed right upper limb weakness. It lasted months. In 1906, he lost vision on his left eye. He had multiple neurological problems. He experienced double vision.

He had severe episodic headaches. They lasted days. Hypertension and atherosclerosis affected him.

In summer 1918, he was frail. He suffered breathing problems. Much worse lay ahead.

On October 2, 1919, he collapsed. He experienced a debilitating stroke. For the rest of his presidency, he remained in seclusion. He was sidelined unable to govern.

Historian John Milton Cooper called his condition “the worst instance of presidential disability we’ve ever had.”

“We stumbled along…without a fully functioning president" for 18 months. Information about his health was suppressed. An official White House statement said he suffered from “nervous exhaustion.”

He was dying. Few knew. His top officials and congressional leaders weren't told. His personal physician, Dr. Cary Grayson, said nothing. The public was entirely shut out.

He served two full terms. He hung on longer than expected. On February 3, 1924, he died.

Franklin Roosevelt served from 1933 - 1945. In 1921, poliomyelitis left him paralyzed below the hips. In the 1920s, an enlarged pigmented lesion affected his left eye. Some believed it was malignant melanoma.

In 1944, he was too ill to run. He was advised to step down. In January, he complained of headaches. He was visibly tired. Once he blacked out at his desk. He was gravely ill. He kept it secret.

In March 1944, he developed heart disease and high blood pressure. His condition worsened. Congestive heart disease affected him.

He was in no condition to serve. He ran in November. He was reelected. On April 12, 1945, he died.

A state-sponsored assassination ended Jack Kennedy's presidency. Had he lived, his health might have undone him.

At age two, he nearly died from scarlet fever. He contracted measles, whooping cough, and chicken pox. He had upper respiratory infections and bronchitis problems.

In 1935, he experienced jaundice. His weak physique caused multiple sports-related injuries.

His mother called him “a very, very sick little boy.” In the 1930s, he began taking steroids for colitis. Complications followed.

They included duodenal ulcers, back problems, and underactive adrenal glands - called Addison’s disease.

In 1947, his Addisonism was diagnosed. At the time, he was told he had a year to live. He was given his last rights.

As a WW II naval officer in the Pacific, he experienced malaria. The 1960 presidential campaign exhausted him.

As US senator and president, his health was kept secret. Few knew what later was revealed. 
In June 1956, he was my commencement speaker as a junior Massachusetts senator. His memorable address, erudite and thoughtful, unlike how today’s politicians speak, inspired me to write about what he said many years later in my current career - going strong in my 9th decade thanks to two special doctors I call my dynamic duo.

Ronald Reagan served from 1981 - 1989. Before becoming president, he suffered from severe nearsightedness, fractures, urinary tract infections, prostate stones, hearing loss, temporomandibular (jaw) joint degeneration, osteoarthritis, and a trans-urethral prostatecomy.

He had a history of benign prostatic hypertrophy. He experienced prostatis and skin cancer.

In January 1981, he took office. In March, he was shot. Loss of blood alone might have killed him. Emergency surgery saved him. He never fully recovered.

Early in his presidency, Alzheimer's disease symptoms surfaced. They worsened. He forgot cabinet officer names. On a Brazil state visit, he toasted the people of Bolivia. He served two full terms. He lived to age 93.

Other US presidents experienced serious health problems. John Adams was diagnosed manic depressive. James Madison suffered from epilepsy. He had high fevers. It left him “deranged” for weeks.

George Washington experienced Klinefelter syndrone. Thomas Jefferson suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Chester Arthur had chronic renal disease.

Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield, William McKinley, and Warren Harding died in office.

Presidents are mortal like ordinary people. They get sick like we do, at times seriously.
If Hillary succeeds Obama, most likely at this stage of the campaign, will she be the next US president to be incapacitated or die in office?
Will her deteriorating physical, mental and emotional state result in catastrophic policy decisions?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

"The Birthday"

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 15/08/2016 - 02:42
”The Birthday”
by Fidel Castro Ruz: my comments after his 
It was published on August 12, 2016, the day before his 90th birthday. The translation is a bit choppy. Bear with it. Fidel’s thoughts come through clearly.
Fidel:
“I wish to express my deepest gratitude for the signs of respect, greetings and gifts I have received in these days, that give me strength to reciprocate through ideas trasmitiré militants of our Party and the relevant bodies.”
“Tomorrow I will fulfill 90 years. I was born in a territory called Biran in eastern Cuba. That name is known, although it has never appeared on a map.” 
“Given their good behavior was known to close friends and, of course, for a place of political representatives and inspectors who were around any typical of countries around the world neocolonized commercial or productive activity.”
“On one occasion I accompanied my father to Pinares de Mayari. I was eight or nine years. How he liked to talk as he left the house Biran! There was the owner of the land where sugar cane, pasture and other agricultural crops are planted. But in the Pinares de Mayari I did not own but tenant, as many Spaniards, who were owners of a continent under the rights granted by a Papal Bull, whose existence did not know any of the peoples and human beings on this continent. Transmitted knowledge were already largely treasures of humanity.”
“The height rises to about 500 meters, sloping hills, rocky, where vegetation is sparse and sometimes hostile.” 
“Trees and rocks obstruct traffic; suddenly, at a certain height, a large plateau that calculation extends approximately over 200 square kilometers, with rich deposits of nickel, chromium, manganese and other minerals of great economic value starts. Of that plateau is extracted dozens of trucks daily large pine and quality.”
“ Note that I have not mentioned gold, platinum, palladium, diamonds, copper, tin, and others parallel have become symbols of the economic values ??of human society, in its present stage of development requires.”
“A few years before the triumph of the Revolution my father died. Before, he suffered enough.”
“Of his three sons, the second and the third they were absent and distant. Revolutionary activities are either fulfilled their duty. I had said he knew who could replace me if the opponent was successful in its phase-out plans. I almost laughed at the Machiavellian plans of US presidents.”
“On January 27, 1953, after the treacherous coup Batista in 1952, a page of the history of our Revolution wrote: college students and youth organizations, with the people, made the first March of the Torches to commemorate the centenary of birth of José Martí.”
“He had already reached the conviction that no organization was prepared for the fight we were organizing. It was total confusion from political parties that mobilized masses of citizens, from left to right and center, sickened by the politicking that reigned in the country.”
“At 6 years a full of ambitions teacher, who taught in the public school of Biran, convinced the family that I had to travel to Santiago de Cuba to accompany my older sister would enter a convent school in good standing. Include me was a skill of the teacher's own schoolhouse Biran.” 
“She splendidly treated in Biran house where he fed at the same table with the family, was convinced of the necessity of my presence. Definitely I had better health than my brother Ramon, who died in recientes- months, and was long schoolmate. I will not be extensive, only were tough years of hunger that stage for most of the population.”
“I was sent, after three years at Colegio La Salle de Santiago de Cuba, where I was enrolled in first grade. They spent almost three years without ever take me to a movie.”
“Thus began my life. Maybe I write, if I have time, about that. Excuse me that he has not done so far, I just have ideas of what can and should teach a child. I believe that the lack of education is the greatest damage that can be done.”
“Humankind today faces the greatest risk of their history. Specialists in these areas are the most to do for the inhabitants of this planet, whose number rose from billion at the end of 1800, seven billion at the beginning of 2016. How many will our planet within a few years?”
“The brightest scientists, who now number several thousand, are those who can answer this question and many others of great importance.”
“I wish to express my deepest gratitude for the signs of respect, greetings and gifts I have received in these days, that give me strength to reciprocate through ideas trasmitiré militants of our Party and the relevant bodies.”
“The modern technology have allowed scrutinize the universe. Great powers like China and Russia can not be subject to threats to impose the use of nuclear weapons. They are people of great courage and intelligence.”
“Mankind is faced with the greatest danger in its history. We must preserve peace around the world and must not let any power believe it has the right to kill millions of human beings.”
“I believe that (Obama’s) speech lacked apologetic words for the killing of thousands in Hiroshima when he visited Japan, though he knew about the effects of the bomb. The attack on Nagasaki was equally criminal.”
“That's why you have to hammer on the need to preserve peace and (assure) no power (be allowed) the right to kill millions of people.”
He scoffed at plots of US presidents to eliminate him. Hundreds of attempts failed.
A web site (www.fidelcastro.cu) was launched in his honor, including his biography, speeches, articles and much more in 8 languages.
Former Cuban Five US political prisoner Gerardo Hernandez said “Fidel put Cuba on the map. Without him and the Revolution, we would have been just another small island among other islands” - dominated by imperial America.
Vladmir Putin telegrammed birthday greetings to Fidel, wishing his “dear friend” a “happy birthday, good health, longevity, vitality and prosperity,” adding: 
“In Russia, you have a lot of respect as a renowned leader who dedicated his entire life to the Cuban people.”
He stressed Fidel’s “personal contribution to the development of friendship and cooperation between our countries.”
“I am confident that these relations will continue to develop fruitfully in the future, contributing to regional stability and security.”
The White House web site mentions nothing about Fidel’s 90th birthday - no congratulations or outreach of any kind.
In his weekly Saturday, August 13 address on Fidel’s birthday, Obama’s topic was “providing a better, cleaner, safer future for our children” - ones he’s arguably harmed more grievously than any of his predecessors at home and abroad.
On August 11 - 14, John Kerry commented on South Korea’s independence day, Liechtenstein’s national day, Chad’s national day and Pakistan’s independence day - nothing about Cuba, no congratulatory outreach to Fidel on his 90th birthday.
US media gave him scant coverage. The New York Times ignored his memorable day altogether. So did the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post used an AP story on the occasion instead of its own.
World leaders and others were more gracious, including Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro with him in Havana, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, Colombia’s FARC, among other well-wishers.
This writer among them, wishing Fidel long life, good health and vibrant spirit for many more years to come.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

We're All Oppressed African Americans

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 14/08/2016 - 22:40

We’re All Oppressed African Americans
by Stephen Lendman
America has always been an elitist society, serving its privileged class exclusively, a sham democracy, uncaring about its most needy and vulnerable - today offering them crumbs at most.
It’s been viciously racist from inception, at war with its people of color, notably African Americans, changing from chattel to wage slavery, Jim Crow to its modern-day version, freedom to mass incarceration, a deplorable history of racial injustice.
Inner cities across America are virtual war zones - killer cops lethally shooting over 1,100 victims last year unaccountably, a epidemic of state-sponsored violence, overwhelmingly against young Black males, almost always unarmed threatening no one, this year’s pace of killings exceeding 2015.
On average, over three lethal cop shootings occur daily. Headlined incidents in Ferguson, MO, Baton Rouge, LA, Baltimore, Dallas, New York, Chicago and Saturday in Milwaukee mask state-sponsored persecution affecting millions of African Americans nationwide - in large and small cities, urban and rural areas, safe havens unavailable anywhere.
Cops across America lethally shoot, brutalize or otherwise abuse African Americans with virtual impunity. Horrors go on multiple times daily because federal, state and local authorities permit it. 
Being young, Black and male in America automatically makes them a potential target for cops to arrest, abuse and too often murder in cold blood unaccountably.
In the 1960s, US inner cities burned for social justice. Civil and voting rights legislation followed. Everything gained earlier was lost  - conditions today far worse than then, especially economically.
Black youth unemployment is over 40% nationally - in some cities exceeding 50%, an untenable situation, the stuff rebellions are made of.
At times, justifiable pent up rage explodes - Milwaukee on Saturday in response to the latest headlined cop killing.
What began as a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest turned violent after police killed an unnamed 23-year-old African American man.
Police claiming he was armed with a handgun was disputed by eye-witnesses. Angry protestors set fires and threw rocks at cops. Arrests were made on unspecified charges.
City alderman Khalif Raney spoke for others, saying “(t)he Black people of Milwaukee are tired. They are tired of living under this oppression.”
He explained Sherman Park where the incident occurred is “a powder keg,” adding “(t)his entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the country.”
“Now this is a warning cry. Where do we go from here? Do we continue…with the inequities, the injustice, the unemployment, the under-education, that creates these byproducts that we we see this evening?”
African Americans put up with these abuses nationwide. Powder keg conditions could explode anywhere in response to police killings, unjustifiable arrests, other forms of brutality and increasing social injustice.
Will cities again burn like in the 1960s? Will things be as bad or worse ahead? Will America become more of a battleground for oppressed Blacks than already? 
Will other disadvantaged Americans join in the struggle? Will the stuff revolutions are made of become reality?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump on the Stump

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 14/08/2016 - 22:38
Trump on the Stump
by Stephen Lendman
At times he’s gaffe-prone. His economic plan leaves much to be desired, yet his address on the topic offered specific ideas, unfortunately for the most part omitting what should have been included instead of what was.
In contrast, Hillary presented meaningless platitudes, feel-good stuff without substance, hard specifics left out, along with a litany of lies like claiming she opposes TPP after earlier calling it “the gold standard” of trade deals and being a rabid supporter of NAFTA - besides her longstanding fealty to Wall Street, war-profiteers, and other corporate interests harming the general welfare.
A Trump press release statement highlighted her “week of scandals, from corruption to allegations of pay-to-play to flip-flops, reminded everyone just how flawed she is as a candidate and why the American people cannot afford four more years of Obama-Clinton rule.” 
“Whether it’s using government entities to personally and politically enrich herself, prioritizing donors over what's best for the American people, using her influence to shutter suspicious financial transactions with the Clinton Foundation and foreign entities, or the ability of Clinton to completely surrender and sell out American workers after promising a stop to the TPP, it’s clear that Crooked Hillary will do and say anything to get elected.”
On Friday, Trump delivered two on-message speeches in Erie and Altoona, PA. I listened to some of his Erie address, delivered to a packed, cheering crowd, admittedly stacked with supporters, yet I heard nothing especially offensive in his remarks.
Since television replaced radio as the leading medium for campaigning, his addresses are unlike any others - anti-establishment sounding at a time protracted Main Street Depression conditions harm most Americans, things getting worse, not better, attracting support by promising relief when it’s badly needed.
Media scoundrels bash him relentlessly no matter what he says or does - The New York Times his leading antagonist. Despite his on-message speech in Erie, likely repeated in similar form to an Altoona audience, The Times headlined “Inside the Failing Mission to Tame Trump’s Tongue,” saying:
Unnamed “(a)dvisors (say he’s) beyond coaching. He has ignored their pleas and counsel…(H)is incendiary approach seems to be sputtering.”
Admire or revile him, the Trump I watched on Friday was exuberantly on message - no “sputtering” in sight.
The neocon/pro-Clinton Washington Post followed the same theme as The Times, asking “Has Donald Trump hit bottom?”
“The unraveling of Donald Trump’s candidacy continues apace…If he were deliberately trying to avoid winning the election, he could hardly be doing a better job,” WaPo claimed.
The address I heard showed he wants to win, not lose, despite relentless media bashing he takes daily.
In contrast to The Times and WaPo, the latest Wall Street Journal edition avoided ad hominem attacks.
Instead it featured stories about running mate Pence “trying to persuade GOP stalwarts to rally behind the party’s presidential ticket,” and Democrats trying to assess damage from newly leaked personal information on current and former House members.
Americans face the same dilemma in all so-called elections, especially presidential ones. Duopoly governance offers no legitimate choices - with rare exceptions too few to matter.
Independent progressives like Jill Stein are shunned, largely ignored by the major media, shut out of so-called presidential debates, featuring pre-scripted demagoguery and theater, not legitimate give-and-take substance.
This year is unlike all previous ones in my memory, much more one-sided than LBJ v. Barry Goldwater in 1964.
It featured a deplorable a one-time aired, one-minute “Daisy” political ad on NBC TV alone, portraying the GOP nominee as a threat to use nuclear weapons - the ad ending with the sound of an atomic blast.
Trump is relentlessly, one-sidedly attacked unlike any previous US presidential candidate in memory, while Hillary’s scandalous record is largely ignored.
The late Gore Vidal once called America “a nation of ongoing hustlers from the prisons and disaster areas of old Europe…(a) decaden(t) (system) not worth preserving.”
If alive, imagine what he’d say about this year’s presidential campaign.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Fidel Attends Gala Honoring Him on His 90th Birthday

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 14/08/2016 - 22:22
Fidel Attends Gala Honoring Him on His 90th Birthday
by Stephen Lendman
Saturday on the occasion of beginning his 10th decade, Fidel Castro made an unexpected appearance with his brother Raul (current Cuban President) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at Havana’s Karl Marx theater.
Thousands attending the nationally televised event in his honor gave him a standing ovation, chanting “Fidel, Fidel, Fidel…Congratulations father.”
He witnessed a children’s theater company musical tribute, accompanied by video highlights of his decades of service to the Cuban people - delivering social justice Americans can’t even imagine, why he’s so widely revered worldwide.
In written comments, he “express(ed) (his) deepest gratitude for the show of respect, greeting and praise (he’s) received in recent days, which gave (him) strength to reciprocate with ideas that (he) will send to party (officials) and relevant organizations.”
He praised “(m)odern medical techniques (for) allow(ing) him to scrutinize the universe” for so long. He last appeared in April at Cuba’s Communist Party Congress, urging its officials to stick with their revolutionary socialist ideals and not be distracted by Obama’s disingenuous call for normalizing ties.
The US president’s March visit was marred by offensively meeting with dissidents, challenging governance the vast majority of Cubans support.
He failed to end over a half century of lawless embargo - as head of state able to do it without congressional authorization.
Jack Kennedy formalized embargo in 1962 by executive order, using the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) as authorization.
It prohibits trade with US enemies - defined as “any individual (or) government of any nation” at war with America.
Cuba isn’t a US enemy as defined under TWEA. Neither country declared war on the other. No legal authority exists for applying TWEA to US/Cuban relations.
Obama by executive order can rescind illegal embargo regulations. He can normalize US/Cuban relations with a stroke of his pen.
He could have made his visit truly historic. Instead, it’ll be remembered as little more than an asterisk in US-Cuban relations, a failure to do the right thing - providing little hope for meaningfully improved ties ahead, just the false appearance disguising America’s imperial aims.
Fidel is too wise to be fooled. A dozen US presidents failed to oust him. Days after Obama’s visit, he said “we don’t need the empire to give us anything.”
Cuba under Fidel and now Raul Castro foiled over half a century of US efforts to return the country to client state status - wanting its resources stolen, its people exploited, the same intent against all sovereign independent nations worldwide, color revolutions or wars its strategies of choice.
When new leaders succeed Fidel and Raul one day, hopefully they’ll continue the noble tradition that freed Cuba from imperial dominance - a scourge vital to prevent from ever happening again.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Obama's Phony No First Use Nuke Proposal

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 14/08/2016 - 02:57
Obama’s Phony No First Use Nuke Proposal
by Stephen Lendman
In December 2001, the Bush administration issued its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), asserting the preemptive right to unilaterally declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons. It remains US policy.
Obama campaigned against militarism, promising all US combat troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq if elected. They’re still there and in lots more places deployed during his tenure.
His 2010 National Security Strategy reflected old wine in new bottles - dressed up language, no substantive change, same old dirty business as usual - including pledged first-strike use of nuclear weapons against any adversary, nuclear armed or not.
Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy followed the same pattern, including what the late Gore Vidal called assuring “perpetual war for perpetual peace.”
Obama stressed it at the time, saying “(w)e will lead through strength…by example…with capable partners, (using) all instruments of US power.”
Adding he’d “(s)triv(e) for a world without nuclear weapons,” he approved a $1 trillion program to upgrade America’s arsenal over the next 30 years - likely meaning double or triple this amount before completed along with probably using these weapons to wage war preemptively against one or more adversaries.
Throughout his tenure, Obama has been the most belligerent US president in history, bombing seven countries posing no threat to America, replacing sovereign democratic states with despotic US client ones, engaging in ruthless practices to undermine others - notably challenging Russia and China confrontationally.
On August 12, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about an Obama “ ’No First Use’ protocol for nuclear weapons” running into flack from some cabinet officials and allies in Europe and Asia.
The report reads like an administration plant to burnish Obama’s deplorable image. After seven-and-a-half years of naked aggression against multiple nonthreatening states, along with a first-strike nuclear posture, can anyone believe he suddenly became less warrior-like.
His scheme seems like a thinly veiled attempt to soften his deplorable legacy. Opposition from John Kerry, War Secretary Ashton Carter and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz gives him a convenient out to leave policy unchanged.
According to the Journal, “opposition from critical cabinet members and US allies reduces the likelihood of (any) change. (It’s) unlikely in his remaining months, given the controversy it would stir in the midst of a presidential election…”
Maybe an asterisk in his legacy will say he tried even though throughout his tenure, he “t(ook) (no) concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons” as he pledged in an April 2009  Prague speech.
Along with Henry Kissinger and Israeli war criminal leaders, no one less deserved Nobel Peace Prize recognition than Obama - a leader committed to waging endless wars with all weapons in America’s arsenal as necessary, including nuclear, chemical and biological ones.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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