AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1505340 times)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
US struck Iranian military computers this week
« Reply #13140 on: June 23, 2019, 06:07:00 AM »
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. military cyber forces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, U.S. officials said Saturday.

Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the operation.

The cyberattacks — a contingency plan developed over weeks amid escalating tensions — disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said. Two of the officials said the attacks, which specifically targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps computer system, were provided as options after Iranian forces blew up two oil tankers earlier this month.

The IRGC, which was designated a foreign terrorist group by the Trump administration earlier this year, is a branch of the Iranian military.

The action by U.S. Cyber Command was a demonstration of the U.S.’s increasingly mature cyber military capabilities and its more aggressive cyber strategy under the Trump administration. Over the last year U.S. officials have focused on persistently engaging with adversaries in cyberspace and undertaking more offensive operations.

There was no immediate reaction Sunday morning in Iran to the U.S. claims. Iran has hardened and disconnected much of its infrastructure from the internet after the Stuxnet computer virus, widely believed to be a joint U.S.-Israeli creation, disrupted thousands of Iranian centrifuges in the late 2000s.

Tensions have escalated between the two countries ever since the U.S. withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and began a policy of “maximum pressure.” Iran has since been hit by multiple rounds of sanctions. Tensions spiked this past week after Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone — an incident that nearly led to a U.S. military strike against Iran on Thursday evening.

The cyberattacks are the latest chapter in the U.S. and Iran’s ongoing cyber operations targeting the other. Yahoo News first reported the cyber strike.

In recent weeks, hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including finance, oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails, according to representatives of cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, which regularly track such activity. This new campaign appears to have started shortly after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector this month.

It was not known if any of the hackers managed to gain access to the targeted networks with the emails, which typically mimic legitimate emails but contain malicious software.

Tensions have run high between the two countries since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and began a policy of “maximum pressure.” Iran has since been hit by multiple rounds of sanctions. Then Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone this week.

“Both sides are desperate to know what the other side is thinking,” said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye. “You can absolutely expect the regime to be leveraging every tool they have available to reduce the uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, about what the U.S.’s next move will be.”

CrowdStrike shared images of the spear-phishing emails with the AP.

One such email that was confirmed by FireEye appeared to come from the Executive Office of the President and seemed to be trying to recruit people for an economic adviser position. Another email was more generic and appeared to include details on updating Microsoft Outlook’s global address book.

The Iranian actor involved in the cyberattack, dubbed “Refined Kitten” by CrowdStrike, has for years targeted the U.S. energy and defense sectors, as well as allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at CrowdStrike.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement released Saturday that its agency tasked with infrastructure security has been aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activities directed at U.S. government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher C. Krebs said the agency has been working with the intelligence community and cybersecurity partners to monitor Iranian cyber activity and ensure the U.S. and its allies are safe.

“What might start as an account compromise, where you think you might just lose data, can quickly become a situation where you’ve lost your whole network,” Krebs said.

The National Security Agency would not discuss Iranian cyber actions specifically, but said in a statement to the AP on Friday that “there have been serious issues with malicious Iranian cyber actions in the past.”

“In these times of heightened tensions, it is appropriate for everyone to be alert to signs of Iranian aggression in cyberspace and ensure appropriate defenses are in place,” the NSA said.

Iran has long targeted the U.S. oil and gas sectors and other critical infrastructure, but those efforts dropped significantly after the nuclear agreement was signed. After Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in May 2018, cyber experts said they have seen an increase in Iranian hacking efforts.

“This is not a remote war (anymore),” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos Inc. “This is one where Iranians could quote unquote bring the war home to the United States.”

Caltagirone said as nations increase their abilities to engage offensively in cyberspace, the ability of the United States to pick a fight internationally and have that fight stay out of the United States physically is increasingly reduced.

The U.S. has had a contentious cyber history with Iran.

In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility in Iran. Iran accused the U.S. and Israel of trying to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations.

Iran has also shown a willingness to conduct destructive campaigns. Iranian hackers in 2012 launched an attack against state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, releasing a virus that erased data on 30,000 computers and left an image of a burning American flag on screens.

In 2016, the U.S. indicted Iranian hackers for a series of punishing cyberattacks on U.S. banks and a small dam outside of New York City.

The Defense Department refused to comment on the latest Iranian activity. “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning,” Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb said in a statement. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite the apparent cyber campaign, experts say the Iranians would not necessarily immediately exploit any access they gain into computer systems and may seek to maintain future capabilities should their relationship with the U.S. further deteriorate.

“It’s important to remember that cyber is not some magic offensive nuke you can fly over and drop one day,” said Oren Falkowitz, a former National Security Agency analyst. It takes years of planning, he said, but as tensions increase, “cyber impact is going to be one of the tools they use and one of the hardest things to defend against.”

https://apnews.com/f01492c3dbd14856bce41d776248921f
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Google Chrome has become surveillance software. It’s time to switch.
« Reply #13141 on: June 23, 2019, 06:13:18 AM »
Our latest privacy experiment found Chrome ushered more than 11,000 tracker cookies into our browser — in a single week. Here’s why Firefox is better.

You open your browser to look at the web. Do you know who is looking back at you?

Over a recent week of web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the web.

This was made possible by the web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.

Lately I’ve been investigating the secret life of my data, running experiments to see what technology really is up to under the cover of privacy policies that nobody reads. It turns out, having the world’s biggest advertising company make the most-popular web browser was about as smart as letting kids run a candy shop.

It made me decide to ditch Chrome for a new version of nonprofit Mozilla’s Firefox, which has default privacy protections. Switching involved less inconvenience than you might imagine.

My tests of Chrome versus Firefox unearthed a personal data caper of absurd proportions. In a week of web surfing on my desktop, I discovered 11,189 requests for tracker “cookies” that Chrome would have ushered right onto my computer, but were automatically blocked by Firefox. These little files are the hooks that data firms, including Google itself, use to follow what websites you visit so they can build profiles of your interests, income and personality.

Chrome welcomed trackers even at websites you’d think would be private. I watched Aetna and the Federal Student Aid website set cookies for Facebook and Google. They surreptitiously told the data giants every time I pulled up the insurance and loan service’s log-in pages.

And that’s not the half of it.

Look in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser. See a picture or a name in the circle? If so, you’re logged in to the browser, and Google might be tapping into your web activity to target ads. Don’t recall signing in? I didn’t, either. Chrome recently started doing that automatically when you use Gmail.

Chrome is even sneakier on your phone. If you use Android, Chrome sends Google your location every time you conduct a search. (If you turn off location sharing it still sends your coordinates out, just with less accuracy.)

Firefox isn’t perfect – it still defaults searches to Google and permits some other tracking. But it doesn’t share browsing data with Mozilla, which isn’t in the data-collection business.

At a minimum, web snooping can be annoying. Cookies are how a pair of pants you look at in one site end up following you around in ads elsewhere. More fundamentally, your web history – like the color of your underpants – ain’t nobody’s business but your own. Letting anyone collect that data leaves it ripe for abuse by bullies, spies and hackers.

Google’s product managers told me in an interview that Chrome prioritizes privacy choices and controls, and they’re working on new ones for cookies. But they also said they have to get the right balance with a “healthy web ecosystem” (read: ad business).

Firefox’s product managers told me they don’t see privacy as an “option” relegated to controls. They’ve launched a war on surveillance, starting this month with “enhanced tracking protection” that blocks nosy cookies by default on new Firefox installations. But to succeed, first Firefox has to convince people to care enough to overcome the inertia of switching.

It’s a tale of two browsers – and the diverging interests of the companies that make them.

The cookie fight

A decade ago, Chrome and Firefox were taking on Microsoft’s lumbering giant Internet Explorer. The upstart Chrome solved real problems for consumers, making the web safer and faster. Today it dominates more than half the market.

Lately, however, many of us have realized that our privacy is also a major concern on the web – and Chrome’s interests no longer always seem aligned with our own.

That’s most visible in the fight over cookies. These code snippets can do some helpful things, like remembering the contents of your shopping cart. But now many cookies belong to data companies, which use them to tag your browser so they can follow your path like crumbs in the proverbial forest.

They’re everywhere – one study found third-party tracking cookies on 92 percent of websites. The Washington Post website has about 40 tracker cookies, average for a news site, which the company said in a statement are used to deliver better-targeted ads and track ad performance.

You’ll also find them on sites without ads: Both Aetna and the FSA service said the cookies on their sites help measure their own external marketing campaigns.

The blame for this mess belongs to the entire advertising, publishing and tech industries. But what responsibility does a browser have in protecting us from code that isn’t doing much more than spying?

In 2015, Mozilla debuted a version of Firefox that included anti-tracking tech, turned on only in its “private” browsing mode. After years of testing and tweaking, that’s what it activated this month on all websites. This isn’t about blocking ads – those still come through. Rather, Firefox is parsing cookies to decide which ones to keep for critical site functions and which ones to block for spying.

Apple’s Safari browser, used on iPhones, also began applying “intelligent tracking protection” to cookies in 2017, using an algorithm to decide which ones were bad.

Chrome, so far, remains open to all cookies by default. Last month, Google announced a new effort to force third-party cookies to better self-identify, and said we can expect new controls for them after it rolls out. But it wouldn’t offer a timeline or say whether it would default to stopping trackers.

I’m not holding my breath. Google itself, through its Doubleclick and other ad businesses, is the No. 1 cookie maker – the Mrs. Fields of the web. It’s hard to imagine Chrome ever cutting off Google’s moneymaker.

“Cookies play a role in user privacy, but a narrow focus on cookies obscures the broader privacy discussion because it’s just one way in which users can be tracked across sites,” said Ben Galbraith, Chrome’s director of product management. “This is a complex problem, and simple, blunt cookie blocking solutions force tracking into more opaque practices.”

There are other tracking techniques – and the privacy arms race will get harder. But saying things are too complicated is also a way of not doing anything.

“Our viewpoint is to deal with the biggest problem first, but anticipate where the ecosystem will shift and work on protecting against those things as well,” said Peter Dolanjski, Firefox’s product lead.

Both Google and Mozilla said they’re working on fighting “fingerprinting,” a way to sniff out other markers in your computer. Firefox is already testing its capabilities, and plans to activate them soon.

Making the switch

Choosing a browser is no longer just about speed and convenience – it’s also about data defaults.

It’s true that Google usually obtains consent before gathering data, and offers a lot of knobs you can adjust to opt out of tracking and targeted advertising. But its controls often feel like a shell game that results in us sharing more personal data.

Get breaking news and alerts with our free mobile app. Get it from the Apple app store or the Google Play store.

I felt hoodwinked when Google quietly began signing Gmail users into Chrome last fall. Google says the Chrome shift didn’t cause anybody’s browsing history to be “synced” unless they specifically opted in – but I found mine was being sent Google, and don’t recall ever asking for extra surveillance. (You can turn off the Gmail auto-login by searching “Gmail” in Chrome settings and switching off “Allow Chrome sign-in.”)

After the sign-in shift, Johns Hopkins professor Matthew Green made waves in the computer science world when he blogged he was done with Chrome. “I lost faith,” he told me. “It only takes a few tiny changes to make it very privacy unfriendly.”

There are ways to defang Chrome, which is much more complicated than just using “Incognito Mode.” But it’s much easier to switch to a browser not owned by an advertising company.

Like Green, I’ve chosen Firefox, which works across phones, tablets, PCs and Macs. Apple’s Safari is also a good option on Macs, iPhones and iPads, and the niche Brave browser goes even further in trying to jam the ad-tech industry.

What does switching to Firefox cost you? It’s free, and downloading a different browser is much simpler than changing phones.

In 2017, Mozilla launched a new version of Firefox called Quantum that made it considerably faster. In my tests, it has felt almost as fast as Chrome, though benchmark tests have found it can be slower in some contexts. Firefox says it’s better about managing memory if you use lots and lots of tabs.

Switching means you’ll have to move your bookmarks, and Firefox offers tools to help. Shifting passwords is easy if you use a password manager. And most browser add-ons are available, though it’s possible you won’t find your favorite.

Mozilla has challenges to overcome. Among privacy advocates, the nonprofit is known for caution. It took a year longer than Apple to make cookie blocking a default.

And as a nonprofit, it earns money when people make searches in the browser and click on ads – which means its biggest source of income is Google. Mozilla’s CEO says the company is exploring new paid privacy services to diversify its income.

Its biggest risk is that Firefox might someday run out of steam in its battle with the Chrome behemoth. Even though it’s the No. 2 desktop browser, with about 10 percent of the market, major sites could decide to drop support, leaving Firefox scrambling.

If you care about privacy, let’s hope for another David and Goliath outcome.

https://www.siliconvalley.com/2019/06/21/google-chrome-has-become-surveillance-software-its-time-to-switch/
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Effects of global warming
« Reply #13142 on: June 23, 2019, 06:22:41 AM »
The signs of global warming are everywhere, and are more complex than just climbing temperatures.



The planet is warming, from North Pole to South Pole. Since 1906, the global average surface temperature has increased by more than 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius)—even more in sensitive polar regions. And the impacts of rising temperatures aren’t waiting for some far-flung future–the effects of global warming are appearing right now. The heat is melting glaciers and sea ice, shifting precipitation patterns, and setting animals on the move.

Many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, but scientists prefer to use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts. All of these changes are emerging as humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Today’sPopular Stories
Environment
How your toothbrush became a part of the plastic crisis

Photo Contest
See the winning images from the Nat Geo Travel Photo Contest
Science & Innovation
Two potentially life-friendly planets found orbiting a nearby star

Scientists already have documented these impacts of climate change:

    Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice. In Montana's Glacier National Park the number of glaciers has declined to fewer than 30 from more than 150 in 1910.
    Much of this melting ice contributes to sea-level rise. Global sea levels are rising 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, and the rise is occurring at a faster rate in recent years.
    Rising temperatures are affecting wildlife and their habitats. Vanishing ice has challenged species such as the Adélie penguin in Antarctica, where some populations on the western peninsula have collapsed by 90 percent or more.
    As temperatures change, many species are on the move. Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have migrated farther north or to higher, cooler areas.
    Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average. Yet some regions are experiencing more severe drought, increasing the risk of wildfires, lost crops, and drinking water shortages.
    Some species—including mosquitoes, ticks, jellyfish, and crop pests—are thriving. Booming populations of bark beetles that feed on spruce and pine trees, for example, have devastated millions of forested acres in the U.S.

Photos of Global Warming Impacts

11 pictures in slide show



Other effects could take place later this century, if warming continues. These include:

    Sea levels are expected to rise between 10 and 32 inches (26 and 82 centimeters) or higher by the end of the century.
    Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger. Floods and droughts will become more common. Large parts of the U.S., for example, face a higher risk of decades-long "megadroughts" by 2100.
    Less freshwater will be available, since glaciers store about three-quarters of the world's freshwater.
    Some diseases will spread, such as mosquito-borne malaria (and the 2016 resurgence of the Zika virus).
    Ecosystems will continue to change: Some species will move farther north or become more successful; others, such as polar bears, won’t be able to adapt and could become extinct.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-effects/?fbclid=IwAR29zYkbE89fWRdWB2rbw7vkPPulSKf-QzbBJUsrj0RwmrBYY6gzA52-4rk
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline Eddie

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 17502
    • View Profile
Re: LGBTQ Sickness.
« Reply #13143 on: June 23, 2019, 07:09:34 AM »
From Taylor Swift’s LGBTQ support to AOC to Ellen to everybody lost about who they are, who they were made to be by evolution or creation, to supporters of abominable perversion, LGBTQ IS A SICKNESS OF CONFUSION, DENIAL, IMMORALITY AND LACK OF IDENTITY. And if the truth rings your bell, that’s just too bad. Those who get the most upset are those the most in denial. They are those who most hate the truth because down deep they know what I am saying is true. Yet they don’t know what to do about their confusion.

I have the FIRST AMENDMENT right to speak the truth and my opinion just as LGBTQ people have the right t express theirs. I don’t have to accept them and that is Biblical truth, not phobia, not hate speech. If LGBTQ people want the right to speak and display as they wish, they need to start by recognizing we who are straight have the very same rights – including the right to disagree and the right to refuse acceptance of them.

I strongly object to LGBTQ being added to the Civil Rights Act and even spoken of in the same breath as the civil rights movement. Why should a group be covered because of who they choose to sleep with? That should not even be outside of their perverted bedrooms. Heterosexuality is not included as a protected group so to protect homosexuality under a banner is a violation of “equal protection under the law”. And that is a violation of the Constitution.

Do the research and you will find many LGBTQ people are those who were sexually abused or molested at a young age like Don Lemon on CNN. Not all but many of them and they know it. So their abuse manifests in confusion and sexual perversion.

LGBTQ is unnatural because it violates the rules of nature such as reproduction. LGBTQ is abnormal because in this world and even in warped America it is not the norm. LGBTQ tries to ignore both evolution and creation in regards to who and what a person was born as.

As for all this “trans” BS, you cannot change your gender by swapping out genuine parts for re-manufactured ones. Trans anything is simply a lie. Then when we who are neither blind nor perverted nor confused nor compromised stand up to speak the truth, we are labeled as having phobias or being hateful as if something is wrong with us. Wrong. Very wrong.

I could go to the Bible on this issue all day long, but this time I will not because there is a ton of evidence against LGBTQ even without the Bible. And how sick is it for LGBTQ people to blame God for making them that way when the Bible speaks against all such perversion as abominations?

I do not have to accept lies, especially when they hurt my community, deceive my people, reduce our numbers, confuse our children and go against my God. Christianity stands against LGBTQ even though so many so-called “godly” church leaders are dead silent because they don’t want to lose members, money and popularity. Islam stands against LGBTQ. The majority of America stands against it. Africa as a people of real identity stand against LGBTQ. Creation stands against it. Evolution does too. Who you sleep with is a choice but who or what you were born as is not.

As for the laws of the land, sodomy is a crime. In many countries LGBTQ behavior is a perverse behavior and not to be tolerated. Try that in many African countries. LGBTQ even works against the reproduction numbers of the “black” community. And these disadvantages of LGBTQ just scratch the surface.

LGBTQ is a choice, every single perverted letter. And none of it should ever be connected with the struggles of African Americans whose ancestors were forced to come here and had no choice. The only struggle in America that parallels and should ever be compared to that of “black” people is the struggle of the indigenous people America calls “Indians”. No other group even comes close.

https://thyblackman.com/2019/06/22/lgbtq-sickness/

Hmmm. Sounds like an ignorant bigot to me. But I guess I do respect his/her right to say stupid shit on the internet. But I personally would not lend credence to it by reposting it.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Re: LGBTQ Sickness.
« Reply #13144 on: June 23, 2019, 09:05:55 AM »
From Taylor Swift’s LGBTQ support to AOC to Ellen to everybody lost about who they are, who they were made to be by evolution or creation, to supporters of abominable perversion, LGBTQ IS A SICKNESS OF CONFUSION, DENIAL, IMMORALITY AND LACK OF IDENTITY. And if the truth rings your bell, that’s just too bad. Those who get the most upset are those the most in denial. They are those who most hate the truth because down deep they know what I am saying is true. Yet they don’t know what to do about their confusion.

I have the FIRST AMENDMENT right to speak the truth and my opinion just as LGBTQ people have the right t express theirs. I don’t have to accept them and that is Biblical truth, not phobia, not hate speech. If LGBTQ people want the right to speak and display as they wish, they need to start by recognizing we who are straight have the very same rights – including the right to disagree and the right to refuse acceptance of them.

I strongly object to LGBTQ being added to the Civil Rights Act and even spoken of in the same breath as the civil rights movement. Why should a group be covered because of who they choose to sleep with? That should not even be outside of their perverted bedrooms. Heterosexuality is not included as a protected group so to protect homosexuality under a banner is a violation of “equal protection under the law”. And that is a violation of the Constitution.

Do the research and you will find many LGBTQ people are those who were sexually abused or molested at a young age like Don Lemon on CNN. Not all but many of them and they know it. So their abuse manifests in confusion and sexual perversion.

LGBTQ is unnatural because it violates the rules of nature such as reproduction. LGBTQ is abnormal because in this world and even in warped America it is not the norm. LGBTQ tries to ignore both evolution and creation in regards to who and what a person was born as.

As for all this “trans” BS, you cannot change your gender by swapping out genuine parts for re-manufactured ones. Trans anything is simply a lie. Then when we who are neither blind nor perverted nor confused nor compromised stand up to speak the truth, we are labeled as having phobias or being hateful as if something is wrong with us. Wrong. Very wrong.

I could go to the Bible on this issue all day long, but this time I will not because there is a ton of evidence against LGBTQ even without the Bible. And how sick is it for LGBTQ people to blame God for making them that way when the Bible speaks against all such perversion as abominations?

I do not have to accept lies, especially when they hurt my community, deceive my people, reduce our numbers, confuse our children and go against my God. Christianity stands against LGBTQ even though so many so-called “godly” church leaders are dead silent because they don’t want to lose members, money and popularity. Islam stands against LGBTQ. The majority of America stands against it. Africa as a people of real identity stand against LGBTQ. Creation stands against it. Evolution does too. Who you sleep with is a choice but who or what you were born as is not.

As for the laws of the land, sodomy is a crime. In many countries LGBTQ behavior is a perverse behavior and not to be tolerated. Try that in many African countries. LGBTQ even works against the reproduction numbers of the “black” community. And these disadvantages of LGBTQ just scratch the surface.

LGBTQ is a choice, every single perverted letter. And none of it should ever be connected with the struggles of African Americans whose ancestors were forced to come here and had no choice. The only struggle in America that parallels and should ever be compared to that of “black” people is the struggle of the indigenous people America calls “Indians”. No other group even comes close.

https://thyblackman.com/2019/06/22/lgbtq-sickness/

Hmmm. Sounds like an ignorant bigot to me. But I guess I do respect his/her right to say stupid shit on the internet. But I personally would not lend credence to it by reposting it.

So you think what that I did, is lend credence to this persons view on LGBTQ people. That's an inaccurate assumption. I posted it so that readers have some idea of how the haters of the movement make their assumptions. He listed most of them, but on a root level he is judgemental, which the Bible teaches is a no no. Glad your back.
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline Eddie

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 17502
    • View Profile
Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13145 on: June 23, 2019, 10:39:26 AM »
I don't think you MEANT to lend credence to his misguided agenda. I know better.

All I'm saying is about 99% of the people who might drop in here and read that will totally miss your nuance and decide on what they read......thumbs up or thumbs down.

The number of thumbs ups might surprise you, and......almost  anyone who would give it a thumbs down would immediately label you as a hater too, even though you're intention was to shed light on how these extremist think.

No matter.it

It really doesn't matter to me......and thank you for saying you're glad I'm back. I'm a doomer and I don't belong much of anyplace else. But I'm not sure I belong here either. We'll take it one day at a time.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38353
    • View Profile
Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13146 on: June 23, 2019, 10:45:17 AM »
I don't think you MEANT to lend credence to his misguided agenda. I know better.

All I'm saying is about 99% of the people who might drop in here and read that will totally miss your nuance and decide on what they read......thumbs up or thumbs down.

The number of thumbs ups might surprise you, and......almost  anyone who would give it a thumbs down would immediately label you as a hater too, even though you're intention was to shed light on how these extremist think.

No matter.it

It really doesn't matter to me......and thank you for saying you're glad I'm back. I'm a doomer and I don't belong much of anyplace else. But I'm not sure I belong here either. We'll take it one day at a time.

What the readers read into what you post versus what you intend to convey is something you cannot control  You just have to write (or copy/paste) to satisfy yourself, nobody else.  And of course, stay POLITE! lol.

As to where you belong, I'm interested to know the other websites you frequented while on your Walkabout?

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Israel will consider U.S. Mideast plan, Palestinians to boycott
« Reply #13147 on: June 23, 2019, 05:15:28 PM »
RAMALLAH/JORDAN VALLEY, West Bank (Reuters) - Israel’s prime minister said on Sunday he would give U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan fair and open consideration, while the Palestinian president rejected the proposal.

The two leaders were commenting, separately, about Trump’s plan for the first time since details of its initial, economic, phase were revealed by Reuters on Saturday.

Trump’s team is formally unveiling the economic portion of the plan this week at a workshop in Bahrain, which it hopes will stimulate the economy of the Palestinian territories and of the region. The political part of the plan will be rolled out at a later date.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated Israel’s consistent position that it must retain a presence in the strategic Jordan Valley, the eastern-most part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that borders Jordan.

“We’ll hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness. And I cannot understand how the Palestinians, before they even heard the plan, reject it outright,” Netanyahu said while touring the area with visiting U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“Under any peace agreement our position will be that Israel’s presence should continue here, for Israel’s security and for the security of all,” Netanyahu said.

The Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area covers nearly 30% of the West Bank. Palestinians say that it forms an integral part of the land that they claim for a future state.

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission in London, said on Twitter: “The Jordan Valley is Palestine’s strategic reservoir & the most vital area for a prosperous Palestinian economy: Water, fertile lands, minerals, Dead Sea and heritage sites.”

Palestinian officials are boycotting the Trump administration and have refused to engage with its Middle East peace plan.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that solely economic solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were a non-starter.

“Money is important. The economy is important. But politics are more important. The political solution is more important,” Abbas told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We welcome all those who wish to help us, whether it be in Manama or anywhere else. But for now, we reject the deal of the century,” he said.

Appearing dismissive of U.S. plans to arrange massive investments in the region, Abbas said: “What have the Americans proposed that is original? 50 or 60 billion dollars? We are used to this kind of nonsense. Let’s not lie to each other. We’ll see if anyone lives long enough to see that $50 or $60 billion come.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-plan-netanyahu/israel-will-consider-u-s-mideast-plan-palestinians-to-boycott-idUSKCN1TO0PX?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29&utm_source=reddit.com
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
More than 400 pilots have joined a class action against American plane manufacturer Boeing, seeking damages in the millions over what they allege was the company's "unprecedented cover-up" of the "known design flaws" of the latest edition of its top-selling jet, the 737 MAX.
Key points:

    A plaintiff lodged claims against Boeing on behalf of hundreds of colleagues
    It alleges that the company knowingly covered up the defective aspects of its 737 MAX jet
    The claim hinges on a piece of software pilots say they weren't told about

Boeing's 737 MAX series— first announced in 2011 and put to service in 2017 — is the fourth generation of its 737 aircraft, a widely popular narrow-body aircraft model that has been a mainstay of short-haul aircraft routes across the globe.

By March 2019, the entire global fleet was suspended by a US presidential decree, following the second fatal crash involving a 737 MAX that killed 157 people in Ethiopia.

The first crash involving the 737 MAX jet happened off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 people.

In the time since the two fatal crashes, some of the families of the 346 people killed have sought compensation, while aircraft carriers — such as Norwegian Air — have sought compensation from the American manufacturer for lost revenue as a result of the plane's global ban.

This latest lawsuit filed against Boeing marks the first class action lodged by pilots qualified to fly the 737 MAX series, who have alleged that Boeing's decisions have caused them to suffer from monetary loss and mental distress since the jet's suspension.

The originating plaintiff, known as Pilot X —who has chosen to remain anonymous for "fear of reprisal from Boeing and discrimination from Boeing customers" — lodged the statement of claim on Friday, which seeks damages for them and more than 400 colleagues who work for the same airline.

In court documents seen by the ABC, the claim alleges that Boeing "engaged in an unprecedented cover-up of the known design flaws of the MAX, which predictably resulted in the crashes of two MAX aircraft and subsequent grounding of all MAX aircraft worldwide."

They argue that they "suffer and continue to suffer significant lost wages, among other economic and non-economic damages" since the fleet's global grounding.

The class action will be heard in a Chicago court, with a hearing date set for October 21, 2019.

The claim brought against Boeing hinges on the controversial addition of an automated piece of software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Pilot X claimed that this gave the aircraft "inherently dangerous aerodynamic handling defects".

The reason for this handling quirk was by design, as Boeing made the decision to retrofit newer, large fuel-efficient engines onto an existing 737 model's fuselage, in order to create the MAX.

The larger engines caused a change in aerodynamics which made the plane prone to pitching up during flight, so much so, that it risked a crash as a result of an aerodynamic stall.

To stop this from happening, Boeing introduced MCAS software to the MAX, which automatically tilted the plane down if the software detected that the plane's nose was pointing at too steep of an angle, known as a high Angle of Attack (AOA).

But in light of the MAX's two fatal crashes, questions were raised about the software's capacity to determine the AOA correctly, as the MCAS system only relies on two AOA sensors.

Critics of this design choice said this made the plane vulnerable to faulty or mismatched readings, and Boeing made a cockpit display alerting mismatched AOA readings to MAX pilots an optional extra.

The MAX's competitor, the Airbus A320neo, relies on three sensors as a fail-safe.

These concerns were also noted in Pilot X's claim:

    "Boeing's defective design causes the MCAS to activate based on the single input of a failed AOA sensor without cross-checking its data with another properly functioning AOA sensor."

Pilots allege that Boeing kept them in the dark about MCAS

The MCAS function was not made explicit to pilots.

In a rush to bring the plane to customers, Boeing did not alert pilots to the software in a bid to prevent "any new training that required a simulator" — a decision that was also designed to save MAX customers money.

Pilot X, alleges that Boeing "decided not to tell MAX pilots about the MCAS or to require MAX pilots to undergo any MCAS training" so that its customers could deploy pilots on "revenue-generating routes as quickly as possible".

In March, a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) found that the system was only mentioned once in the aircraft manual, which was in the glossary, explaining the MCAS acronym — an omission Boeing did not deny in response to the CBC.

When contacted by the ABC in April, a Boeing spokesperson said that MCAS's function was referenced in the MAX's flight crew operations manual, where it outlined what the plane would do "in the rare event that the airplane reaches a high angle of attack".

But this is disputed by Pilot X:

    "Boeing decided not to provide MAX pilots with information or knowledge that the MCAS was incorporated into the airplane."

Pilot X hopes profits won't trump safety ever again

By seeking damages for monetary and mental distress, the pilots lodging the class action said they hoped to "deter Boeing and other airplane manufacturers from placing corporate profits ahead of the lives of the pilots, crews, and general public they service".

Spokespeople for the pilots' legal team — Queensland's International Aerospace Law and Policy Group (IALPG) and Chicago's PMJ PLLC — told the ABC that they would never like to see a case like theirs come before a court again.

    "Success would have meant that no similar action is required in the future, as Boeing would never have permitted profits to displace proper safe design," a spokesperson said.

They also told the ABC that Pilot X would serve an administrative claim — an out-of-court claim seeking compensatory damages — against the FAA.

Presently, the Boeing 737 MAX fleet remains grounded around the world as the company proceeds with a software update.

The last Boeing press statement on certification progress in May said that the MAX has flown "with updated MCAS software for more than 360 hours on 207 flights".

So far the FAA has not committed to a timetable for the jet's return.

Boeing declined to comment on the class action.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-23/over-400-pilots-join-lawsuit-against-boeing-over-737-max/11238282
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline Eddie

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 17502
    • View Profile
Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13149 on: June 23, 2019, 06:15:17 PM »
I don't think you MEANT to lend credence to his misguided agenda. I know better.

All I'm saying is about 99% of the people who might drop in here and read that will totally miss your nuance and decide on what they read......thumbs up or thumbs down.

The number of thumbs ups might surprise you, and......almost  anyone who would give it a thumbs down would immediately label you as a hater too, even though you're intention was to shed light on how these extremist think.

No matter.

It really doesn't matter to me......and thank you for saying you're glad I'm back. I'm a doomer and I don't belong much of anyplace else. But I'm not sure I belong here either. We'll take it one day at a time.

What the readers read into what you post versus what you intend to convey is something you cannot control  You just have to write (or copy/paste) to satisfy yourself, nobody else.  And of course, stay POLITE! lol.

As to where you belong, I'm interested to know the other websites you frequented while on your Walkabout?

RE


I've mostly been hanging out on a couple of crypto forums. One public, One private. On the private one (the more intelligent people pay for mentorship) there are  a few serious doomers, and many people from Oz, who seem to be more tuned in, generally. They see climate change in motion, no problem.

On the public crypto forums you mostly get gamblers...... also you get your gold bugs and your death-of-the-dollar crowd.. And your bitcoin-equals-freedom-from-government-oppression crowd.

It's funny. The dollar is so strong the Fed is going to have to intervene in the currency markets to weaken it, Some death.

I don't feel comfortable here, there, or anywhere online much anymore. Which is fine. I'd be far better off to ignore most of what is going on and stick to my projects and plans and my family. I have no doubt of that. I never was any kind of activist and I'm not any more inclined to be one at this late date. And I damn sure have no time to argue with people on the internet, whatever they're selling.

I cut way back on my online reading before I left the Diner. I don't waste my time anymore reading the alternative financial press and the tinfoil hat guys like Brandon S. I watch a broad range of things on tube, but not collapseniks  and preppers. I watch a few things having to do with crypto, some sailing stuff. Lots of How-tos.

What I don't watch is any political spin. Not liberal. Not alt right, Pretty much nothing, other than Google news. it's gotten way too silly for me.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 06:23:08 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38353
    • View Profile
Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13150 on: June 23, 2019, 09:28:03 PM »

I've mostly been hanging out on a couple of crypto forums. One public, One private. On the private one (the more intelligent people pay for mentorship) there are  a few serious doomers, and many people from Oz, who seem to be more tuned in, generally. They see climate change in motion, no problem.

On the public crypto forums you mostly get gamblers...... also you get your gold bugs and your death-of-the-dollar crowd.. And your bitcoin-equals-freedom-from-government-oppression crowd.

It's funny. The dollar is so strong the Fed is going to have to intervene in the currency markets to weaken it, Some death.

I don't feel comfortable here, there, or anywhere online much anymore. Which is fine. I'd be far better off to ignore most of what is going on and stick to my projects and plans and my family. I have no doubt of that. I never was any kind of activist and I'm not any more inclined to be one at this late date. And I damn sure have no time to argue with people on the internet, whatever they're selling.

I cut way back on my online reading before I left the Diner. I don't waste my time anymore reading the alternative financial press and the tinfoil hat guys like Brandon S. I watch a broad range of things on tube, but not collapseniks  and preppers. I watch a few things having to do with crypto, some sailing stuff. Lots of How-tos.

What I don't watch is any political spin. Not liberal. Not alt right, Pretty much nothing, other than Google news. it's gotten way too silly for me.

I can see why you wouldn't find much worthwhile on single topic forums like Crypto.  Single topics are inherently boring.  Generally the folks focused this way have tunnel vision, no matter how "intelligent" they are.

The Diner ranges far and wide in topics, many of which are of concern to you. Crypto and money in general are often topics of discussion.  We probably have the longest running thread on Inflation vs Deflation of any forum on the net.  The people who discuss it are all intelligent, AZ, NF and of course ME! lol.  Similarly, you enjoy prepping topics, and there we have standouts like NF, C5, Farmgal when she occasionally shows and ME.  :icon_sunny:  I may not own a Doomstead, but I DO more prepping stuff than any housebound cripple can reasonably be expected to do.  From 12V to Food Preps, I am all over those topics.  Right now I am engaged on a so far TOP SECRET alternative transportation project, which I will reveal as I get more built.  Building is slow for Cripples.  I was dangerous with Power Tools when I was healthy, now it's positively terrifying. lol.

Then of course there is the Seasteading Dreams we both have.  It's relaxing for me to escape into those fantasies for me.  For you, they could turn into a reality.

Your conflict area here as I see it comes in the area of politics, because you take a contrarian viewpoint to just about all the primary posters who frequent the Diner and manage to stay polite and within the rules.  For someone who has some extremely strong opinions on this topic, saying you don't watch or pay attention to any political spin is fairly difficult to believe.  Your difficulty seems to be in handling being a contrarian and sticking to the topic when confronted.  I can't solve that one for you.

Finally, your Ayn Rand, John Galt style Rugged Individualist attitude doesn't play our well in collapse, as you well know.  Where else but the Diner can you find a community of people who are intellligent and concerned with the same topics you are?

I leave you with the words of John Donne, Meditation 17.


Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

MEDITATION XVII.

NUNC LENTO SONITU DICUNT, MORIERIS.


Now this bell tolling softly for another,
says to me, Thou must die.


PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him.  And perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.  The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all.  When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingraffed into that body, whereof I am a member.  And when she buries a man, that action concerns me; all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.

There was a contention as far as a suit (in which, piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest.  If we understand aright the dignity of this bell, that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is.  The bell doth toll for him, that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.  Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?  But who takes off his eye from a comet, when that breaks out? who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings?  But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were;  any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors.  Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath afflicion enough, that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.  If a man carry treasure in bullion or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels.  Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it.  Another may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger, I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.


RE

Save As Many As You Can

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back
« Reply #13151 on: June 24, 2019, 05:06:15 AM »

Photograph Source: Tasnim News Agency – CC BY 4.0

It was a helluva week on the Iran front. It started with attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13th and ended with Donald Trump ordering, and then calling off, a military attack on Iran on June 20-21. How we got from beginning to end of that chapter in ongoing US-Iran saga is worth close consideration.

Studied Ambiguity

Like everyone else who can say “Gulf of Tonkin,” “Remember the Maine,” and “Iraqi WMDs,” my instinctive reaction to the attacks on two tankers, a month after explosions hit four oil tankers in the UAE port of Fujairah, was: “Oh, come on now!” We know the United States, egged on by Israel and Saudi Arabia, has been itching to launch some kind of military attack on Iran, and we are positively jaded by the formula that’s always used to produce a justification for such aggression.

It seemed beyond credibility that Iran would attack a Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, at the moment the Prime Minister of Japan was sitting down with Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran. After all, Iran is eager to keep its oil exports flowing, so it would hardly want to so flagrantly insult one of its top oil customers.

Nor did it seem to make sense that Iran would target a Norwegian vessel, Front Altair. That tanker is owned the shipping company, Frontline, which belongs to Norway’s richest man (before he moved to Cyprus), John Fredriksen. Fredriksen made his fortune moving Iranian oil during the Iran-Iraq war, where his tankers came under constant fire from Iraq, and were hit by missiles three times. He became known as “the Ayatollah’s lifeline.” Furthermore, as the Wall Street Journal reports, Fredriksen’s Frontline company has continued to help Iran move its oil in a way that evades sanctions. A friendlier resource Iran has not.  This is the guy Iran chose to target, in another gratuitous insult?

Then there’s the smoky-gun “evidence”: a grainy video of somebody doing something on the side of some ship, which looks like it came out of an episode of Ghost Hunters. I encourage everyone to read this Twitter thread, which includes the observations:

    I count 10 people on board this vessel. That also could very well be a magnetic mooring line they are removing, because we have such trash resolution on the video.

    Lastly, these sailors clearly are working out of the mine clearance handbook:

    “when clearing mines ensure that you have your 10 best friends standing behind you. That way if it blows they can catch you and you won’t fall down.”

Because they probably weren’t clearing mines.

All of this—the history of US false-flags and war-justifying lies, the specifics of the targets hit, and the risibility of the evidence presented—made it very difficult for the Trump Administration to assemble a critical mass of  domestic or international consent for a military attack on Iran.

Too many people share former British Ambassador Craig Murray’s reaction: “I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe” that Iran attacked those tankers. After all, Cui bono? Aren’t there a slew of other actors—Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or the US itself (Can you say John Bolton?)—who have more of an interest right now in dramatic explosions that practically invite a US military response?

That was certainly my reaction.

Let’s pause for a second to emphasize the wonderfulness of the Trump-effect at work here. As numerous media pundits are complaining, Trump himself lacks credibility and elicits skepticism, even from “our Western allies.” The Washington Post (WaPo) headlined it: “Standoff with Iran exposes Trump’s credibility issue as some allies seek more proof of tanker attack.” I discussed this in a previous essay, quoting the New York Times on the attitudes of more than a dozen diplomats and international politicians: With Trump as president, the US is losing the “moral authority [that] has imbued America with a special kind of clout in the world” and even “its ability to make needed alliances.”

Ain’t that grand?

Barack or Hillary wouldn’t have that problem. Their attack on Iran would have been chock full of moral authority, grainy video and all.

Widening Gyre

Then Iran shot down an RQ-4A Global Hawk drone on June 20th. That’s a very valuable US military asset, one of the Navy’s four RQ-4A “massive surveillance” drones that cost $110-220 million apiece—more than an F-35, the country’s most advanced fighter jet.

That drone probably did violate Iranian airspace, as Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and MoA show (also here). In that narrow part of the Strait of Hormuz, it was virtually impossible not to. But the argument over that is clouded by how the drone’s 60,000-ft cruising altitude affected its angle from the Iranian shore.

By any measurement, that Hawk was not an innocent bystander. It was undoubtedly spying on its prey, Iran, from as close as the US thought it could get away with, gathering intelligence and scouting targets to facilitate the deadly military attack the US is always planning. And the Iranian military did not hesitate to strike that very valuable US military asset—directly, overtly, and without apology.

Though I still hold to the false flag explanation of the tanker incidents, Iran’s action in taking down the drone confirms the crucially important point made by the well-informed anti-imperialist commentators who suggested that Iran did commit at least one of the tanker attacks. Particularly cogent is the analysis, Elijah J. Magnier, a reporter with many reliable sources in the region, as elaborated by the always-sharp blogger, Moon of Alabama (MoA).

Their fundamental point is that Iran is not going to passively abide the siege-warfare economic sanctions that the US has now ratcheted up to “maximum pressure.” The last straw is the US’s denial of waivers allowing China, Japan, India, and South Korea to import Iranian oil. With those sanctions in full force, the US is effectively imposing a blockade of Iran, which is an act of war.

In the face of this, Iran will not content itself with listening to heartfelt entreaties from European and Asian countries that it take responsibility for not “raising tensions” by accepting its besieged position as a new starting point for ”dialogue” with its attacker.

Indeed, the Abe-Khamenei encounter ended up precisely in a rejection of any such scenario. Contrary to Craig Murray’s assumption that the Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was in Tehran for “US-disapproved talks,” he was there carrying a message from Trump, who was offering to “to suspend all sanctions only during the negotiations.” Khamenei summarily refused, telling Abe that Trump was “not worthy” to “exchange a message with,” and dismissing Abe as the errand boy he was. That does put another light on the attack on a Japanese tanker.

As Magnier emphasizes, Iran has made its position clear: “f Iran can’t export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one in the Middle East will be able do this…oil will stop being delivered to the world if Iran can’t export its two million barrels per day.”

Even if its ostensible European and Asian friends capitulate to them—as they are doing, despite their professions of solidarity—Iran is not going to discuss or negotiate or live under crippling sanctions imposed by the US. It is going to act against them. It’s done seeking relief from its completely untrustworthy besieger through infinitely regressive talks. It’s determined not to talk about the siege, but to break it.

MoA sums it up, the present situation is confusing and dangerous because “Iran and some of its enemies now have the very same tactical interests. Both sides now want to increase the heat in the region.”

Iran is now going to act in ways that require Europe and Japan either to put up right quick about their promises to defy US sanctions and abide by their commitments in the JCPOA, or to shut up, watch Iran fight back, and pay the consequences. It is telling the US and the Trump administration that it better back off on the sanctions, or face Iran’s version of “maximum pressure.”

The ambiguity about whether or not Iran was responsible for either of the tanker attacks demonstrates that Iran is in a position where it could stage a series of plausibly deniable incidents, taking advantage of the justifiable suspicions about US patterns of behavior to turn the US’s own historical actions and present Boltonesque war-whoops against themselves to create what are essentially false false flags.

It won’t take too many such incidents that are hard to pin definitively on anyone, until it doesn’t matter who did it, and, as one of Magnier’s sources put it: “no insurance company will agree to cover any oil tanker navigating in Gulf waters, putting Iran and other oil-exporters at the same level.” Per his source: “more objectives may be targeted and the level of tension will gradually increase. …If Iran is in pain, the rest of the world will suffer equally.”

The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces assures us that: “If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

Maybe so, but, as Pepe Escobar points out:

    The key point is it doesn’t matter how the Strait of Hormuz is blocked.

    It could be a false flag. Or it could be because the Iranian government feels it’s going to be attacked and then sinks a cargo ship or two. What matters is the final result; any blocking of the energy flow will lead the price of oil to reach $200 a barrel, $500 or even, according to some Goldman Sachs projections, $1,000.

    …This figure, times 100 million barrels of oil produced per day, leads us to 45% of the $80 trillion global GDP. It’s self-evident the world economy would collapse based on just that alone.

The certainty—indeed, the proud acknowledgement—that Iran did shoot down one of the US’s best military assets that strayed in, or too close to, its airspace demonstrates that Iran is also going to respond militarily and unequivocally to any hostile military activity directed against it, including any violation of its air, sea, and land borders.

Of course, one hopes Iran will be cautious with any such decision, as the head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division claims it has been here: “With the U.S. drone in the region there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board. This plane also entered our airspace and we could have shot it down, but we did not.”

Though it’s news from Mars for most Americans, and I have not heard a single word about it in days of US media coverage about the innocent stricken drone, Iran does not forget that the US Navy once shot down an Iran Air civilian airliner in Iranian airspace, killing 290 people, including 66 children. This prompted the President of the United States at the time—the “thoughtful, restrained” George H. W. Bush, icon of “bipartisan respect and comity,” who “always found a way to set the bar higher”—to declare: “I will never apologize for the United States—I don’t care what the facts are.”

Iran will shoot down any threatening aircraft—and certainly any damn drone—it wants. Without apology.

All In

Thus, Iran considers that it is already at war, and has struck back. And it will do so again—with whatever instruments of force it can muster, in a manner of its choosing, at whatever deadly level of escalation the US uses to try to force Iran to accept its own strangulation.

Fortunately, all the incidents so far have been without loss of life or immense damage, but any US attack on Iran—whether it’s the “tactical assault,” “limited to a specific target” that the Jerusalem Post described as imminent, or whether it’s the widespread strategic assault aimed at destroying large parts of Iran’s infrastructure, “sinking its navy,” and bringing about “the official end of Iran” that’s been threatened by various US politicians—will result in calamitous death and destruction, and Iran will respond in kind.

That response will take the form of direct counterattacks from the Iranian military on US and attacking forces where possible, and/or asymmetric counterattacks by Iranian-allied forces on US and allied bases, installations, and forces throughout the region.

General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, wants the shooting down of the US drone to be a “clear message” that Iran does “not have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war.”

To be clear: In my opinion, this is a non-passive, assertive posture that all anti-imperialists should support. The United States has no right to forcibly determine what Iran’s government is, what weapons it can have, who its allies are, or with whom it can trade. Iran has every right to fight back against any such aggression, and every anti-imperialist leftist should advocate its victory in any such fight.

Whatever happens to Iran, can the Gulf countries, Israel, Western Europe, Japan, the entire US presence in the Middle East, the world economy, or, most trivially for everyone but him, the Trump presidency, survive that without catastrophic damage? That’s the question Iran is now forcing all those actors to answer.

Unfortunately, among the rulers and decision-makers (in whose hands Donald Trump is putty) and, more fatally, among the populace, there is a strongly embedded assumption of inevitable, relatively-costless victory and an infinite ability to control outcomes. They think the US will be able to do to Iran what it has done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria: impose catastrophic destruction at will, without suffering serious and deadly consequence in return.

It doesn’t seem to register on them that the US has achieved nothing its own citizens can embrace as “victory” in any of these deadly interventions. In Afghanistan, the US is hoping it can strike a deal with the Taliban it came to defeat sixteen years ago. It can throw missiles at Syria at will, but has not been able to overthrow the Syrian government it proclaimed “had to go” 7 years ago.

Indeed, neither elites nor populace seem able to recognize that Iran is not Syria. As Iranian analyst Trita Parsi says, they’ve bamboozled themselves into thinking that “Iran is no different from Syria. You can strike yet they won’t have the guts to respond.” But those who think the US can get away with a limited “tactical” assault on Iran are deluding themselves.

Iran does not have the weaknesses Syria has faced for the last decade, and it is precisely determined not to allow them to develop. Iran will not allow itself to be struck at will by the US or its ward state, Israel, without punching back. It the US delivers a “bloody nose” attack to Iran, Americans better be ready for a punch in the face.

Iran is calling the US bluff on escalation dominance. It knows it can be hurt, but not defeated. It is a country of 83 million people, with 617,000 square miles of formidable, semi-mountainous territory—almost three times more populous and four times larger than Iraq. It’s a country that fought and won one of the deadliest wars in history, against an Iraqi invasion backed by the US and all its regional and international client states. It will not hesitate to defend itself furiously against any American attack.

The Saker gives a reasonable evaluation of Iran’s military strengths and vulnerabilities here. But Even a warmongering neocon like Max Boot recognizes that it would take “more than 1.6 million troops” to invade Iran, and that

    Even…stick[ing] simply to airstrikes…would not be an antiseptic, push-button exercise … Iran could employ a combination of antiship cruise missiles, drones, submarines, small boats and mines to “swarm” U.S. naval ships in the confined waters of the Persian Gulf. It could target U.S. bases in the region with its arsenal of some 2,000 missiles. It could cripple U.S. computer networks with cyberattacks. It could employ Hezbollah and other groups to stage terrorist attacks abroad. It could send local militias armed with missiles and car bombs to attack the 19,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It could tell the Houthis in Yemen to unleash a missile barrage against Saudi Arabia and it could order Hezbollah to fire 150,000 rockets and missiles at Israel.

    In response, the United States would do . . . what?

All the US can do is blow a lot of stuff up. But two can play at that game, and Iran isn’t afraid of it. Notably, neocon Boot echoes Hezbollah leader Sayyed Nasrallah, who says that the “entire region will burn if the US goes to war against Iran,” and anti-imperialist Magnier, who warns that “Iran is ready to burn the Middle East if it is prevented from exporting its oil.”

Targets of opportunity

As Iran understands, they are already at war. Trump started the fire when he pulled out of the JCPOA and imposed a “maximum pressure” economic siege on Iran. That fire can easily become a conflagration—and Iran understands every jump of the flame.

To be specific about one danger of escalation for the US, which Iran knows and the Pentagon knows, and Iran knows that the Pentagon knows, I remember one counterintuitive observation from, I think, military analyst The Saker, to the effect that we’ll know when the US is about to attack Iran not when it sends its aircraft carriers to, but when it withdraws them from, the Gulf. Aircraft carriers are very effective platforms for force projection against countries that don’t have advanced anti-ship defense capabilities (Libya, Syria). But it’s an open secret that advanced anti-ship missiles (ASMs) of the type made by Russia and China—including ballistic, anti-radiation, submarine-launched, and super- or hypersonic—can quickly turn the aircraft carrier into a very big floating coffin. Unlike Libya or Syria, Iran has obtained or locally produced versions of all but fully hypersonic ASMs, and can launch them from the air, from mobile carriers, from submarines, and from a ring of concealed and hardened sites around the Persian Gulf and the narrow Strait of Hormuz—confined sea quarters where a Nimitz-class carrier is, indeed, a very big and close target.

It might be worth noting that: “Part of the selling point is Global Hawks fly so high and normally they should be secure from being shot down.”

That’s why we should not cavalierly dismiss the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s air force, when he says: “An aircraft carrier… was a serious threat for us in the past. But now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities.”

Maybe he’s bluffing. There’s no question that the US holds a powerful military hand, and maybe it is absolutely, positively sure it knows where all the missiles are and can defend against them. (That’s’ what those high-flying Hawks are for!) But there’s a hell of a pot on the table for raising on a maybe. It’s the good hands that lose the most.

Iran is not hiding its tells. There is no “maybe” about the fact that, if there’s a carrier sitting in the Persian Gulf launching planes to attack the country, Iran will try to sink it. How many ASM aces did you see Iran get from Russia or China?

For someone, there’s a bad beat coming.

As military analyst Andrei Martyanov says, even in the ‘70s, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was worried about “the strategic and psychological effects of the loss of even a single nuclear aircraft-carrier would have on the U.S. Navy.” And the whole exceptional, invincible country. If Iran sinks, or even hits and seriously damages a US carrier, there will be enormous pressure on Trump to absolutely devastate Iran. Iran knows that, and is ready to respond to it with as much devastating force as it can muster, hitting any target it can.

And we haven’t even mentioned what happens if Iran or, as Boot evokes, its Hezbollah ally, rains missiles on Tel Aviv, causing serious damage and casualties. My bet on that hand is that Israel takes the opportunity it’s been looking for to nuke Tehran or Qom, establishing its ruthless and irreversible hyper-dominance of the region for once and for all. (It will think.) It’s Israel. Who within the United States, during that war on Iran, will protest?

Because Israel, like Iran, and unlike the US public, from whom this knowledge is assiduously hidden in the weeds of deliberately dishonest blather, knows what this conflict is about. And it’s not about preventing Iran from getting any mythical nuclear weapons. Again, even Boot knows “the nuclear deal did [that] far better”—and the US throwing away that deal proves it is not interested in Iranian nuclear weapons at all.

Down Card

As Bolton and Pompeo keep saying, the goalposts have been changed entirely. (Or should we say, finally revealed?) It’s all about Iran’s “bad behavior” in the region, its threat to US “allies and interests.” This is the Trump administration reprising Hillary Clinton’s definition of Iran as an “existential threat to Israel”—which means, precisely, that its very existence as the main power that can materially and militarily resist Israel’s hyper-dominance of the region is unacceptable.

That’s why Trump also executed Hillary’s call for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to be designated a terrorist organization. Iran must cease its support of Hezbollah, the most effective frontline fighting force, which prevented the Israeli seizure of South Lebanon. It must abandon the Palestinians, the Syrians, and the Lebanese, and neuter itself militarily, giving up any strategic weapons. Iran must agree to become a country that can be bombed at will by Israel and the US, as Syria is (for the moment).

Above all is Hillary’s admonition (which Trump has again been happy to take up) that “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran…totally obliterate them,” should Iran attack Israel. Speaking for the whole of the bipartisan US political elite she meant “for any reason,” including self-defense.

That’s what this is about, as Iran knows well. The rest, including Iranian nuclear weapons, is diversionary bullshit.

Yes, the US also wants to prevent Iran from having any power to resist Saudi Arabia’s dominance as the oil power and as the guarantor of reactionary Sunni rule against secular nationalism and socialism throughout the Muslim world. But the US’s full embrace of Saudi Arabia depends on the latter’s alliance with Israel. The US political and media establishment would turn on a dime against Saudi Arabia if Israel deemed that to be in its essential national interest. There is no possibility that that establishment would turn against Israel because Saudi Arabia wanted it. The US political and media establishment is thoroughly committed to Zionism; they will never be committed to Wahhabism. The interest and demands of Israel and Zionism are determinative of US policy in a way that Saudi interests and demands will never be.

So, ultimately, as Ray McGovern says: “The ‘WHY,’ quite simply, is Israel. It is impossible to understand U.S. Middle East policy without realizing the overwhelming influence of Israel on it and on opinion makers.” That influence is the primary factor driving the enormous destruction that has already been wrought on the region by the US in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and will be wrought from a war on Iran. Though there are always other considerations, we would not have undertaken any of those wars but for the US commitment to Israel and Zionism. And it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

And Israel, and those in the US establishment for whom Israel’s interests are central, do not care if an aircraft carrier is sunk, or if the region burns. (Why the carriers may not leave the danger zone.) That’s what they want! They are trying to provoke a war in which they—either the US on their behalf or Israel directly with its nukes—can “obliterate” Iran. They don’t care who else gets obliterated in the process, and they cannot imagine that could be them. Did I mention—Does anybody ever?—Israeli nukes? Ace in the hole, that they will play if necessary to steal the pot.

Dead Man’s Hand

Trump’s rescission of his attack order, as well as Iran’s refrain from shooting down a manned US aircraft, is nice and all, but this game ain’t over as long as the economic siege of Iran continues. And given the actually-existing US polity, I think an enormously destructive conflict with Iran is virtually inevitable.

What might stop the insanity is if key “allies” have the backbone to tell the US president that (as Putin did) that any war with Iran will be a “catastrophe” for everyone, and that they will not only not go along with it, but explicitly denounce it.

What would help the most to deter the calamity is if more Americans understand, along with Iran (and Israel) what the object of the game really is, and make clear they don’t want to play it. That requires that enough Americans, among the populace and the decision makers—especially the military decision makers—drop the ideology of invincibility and exceptionalism, see and warn of the real dangers, and just say “No!”

That may be happening. This unprecedented episode where the President orders a military attack and then very publicly calls it off at the last minute may indicate that there’s some serious re-thinking going on. WaPo tells us that “The decision has divided his top advisers, with senior Pentagon officials opposing the decision to strike and national security adviser John Bolton strongly supporting it.”

Which is more plausible: That Trump was absolutely certain the U-S-of-A could “obliterate” Iran, and only called off the strike because he was repelled by the idea of killing 150 people? Or that someone among those foreign or domestic influencers who had actual, dispassionate knowledge of the forces arrayed, and who did care about watery graves and burning cities and oil fields, had the courage to say: “Do this, and we are fucked.”?

Either Trump is an extraordinarily reasonable and compassionate commander-in-chief, or he blinked.

I’m good with either. (And I just gotta say: We’re talking can’t-think-of-another level extraordinary. Definitely not Barack or Hillary!)

But what does Iran think? Or the US Deep State, with all its thoroughgoing commitments?

This time, someone—either a wise counsellor or his inner grasshopper—told Trump not to raise. But the real smart move is to call off the game, and that’s not going to happen.

Let’s see the next card.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/24/eve-of-destruction-iran-strikes-back/
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
A Brief History of US Concentration Camps
« Reply #13152 on: June 24, 2019, 05:08:50 AM »

Photograph Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Public Domain

    concentration camp (noun): a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution.

    – Oxford English Dictionary

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has ignited a firestorm of criticism, from both the left and the right as well as the mainstream media, for calling US immigrant detention centers “concentration camps.” To her credit, Ocasio-Cortez has refused to back down, citing academic experts and blasting the Trump administration for forcibly holding undocumented migrants “where they are brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.” She also cited history. “The US ran concentration camps before, when we rounded up Japanese people during World War II,” she tweeted. “It is such a shameful history that we largely ignore it. These camps occur throughout history.” Indeed they do. What follows is an overview of US civilian concentration camps through the centuries. Prisoner-of-war camps, as horrific as they have been, have been excluded due to their legal status under the Geneva Conventions, and for brevity’s sake.

Trail of Tears

Half a century before President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830, a young Virginia governor named Thomas Jefferson embraced genocide and ethnic cleansing as solutions to what would later be called the “Indian problem.” In 1780 Jefferson wrote that “if we are to wage a campaign against these Indians, the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal beyond the lakes of the Illinois River.” However, it wasn’t until Jackson that “emigration depots” were introduced as an integral part of official US Indian removal policy. Tens of thousands of Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, Winnebago and other indigenous peoples were forced from their homes at gunpoint and marched to prison camps in Alabama and Tennessee. Overcrowding and a lack of sanitation led to outbreaks of measles, cholera, whooping cough, dysentery and typhus, while insufficient food and water, along with exposure to the elements, caused tremendous death and suffering.

Thousands of men, women and children died of cold, hunger and illness in camps and during death marches, including the infamous Trail of Tears, of hundreds and sometimes even a thousand miles (1,600 km). This genocidal relocation was pursued, Jackson explained, as the “benevolent policy” of the US government, and because Native Americans “have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits nor the desire of improvement” required to live in peace and freedom. “Established in the midst of a… superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority… they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and long disappear,” the man who Donald Trump has called his favorite president said in his 1833 State of the Union address.

The Long Walk

Decades later, when the Sioux and other indigenous people resisted white invasion and theft of their lands, Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey responded with yet another call for genocide and ethnic cleansing. “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state,” he declared in 1862, offering a bounty of $200 — over $5,000 in today’s money — for the scalp of each fleeing or resisting Indian. Around 1,700 Dakota women, children and elderly were force-marched into a concentration camp built on a sacred spiritual site. Many didn’t make it there. According to Mendota Dakota Tribal Chair Jim Anderson, “during that march a lot of our relatives died. They were killed by settlers; when they went through the small towns, babies were taken out of mothers arms and killed and women… were shot or bayoneted.” Those who survived faced winter storms, diseases and hunger. Many did not make it through the winter.

Two years later, Civil War general and notorious Indian killer James Henry Carleton forced 10,000 Navajo people to march 300 miles (480 km) in the dead of winter from their homeland in the Four Corners region to a concentration camp at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This followed a scorched earth campaign in which famed frontiersman Kit Carson tried to starve the life out of the Navajo, hundreds of whom died or were enslaved by white settlers and rival tribes during what became known as The Long Walk. Those who survived the death march to Fort Sumner faced starvation, lack of wood for heating and cooking during the bitterly cold winters and ravaging diseases. Daily depredations included a ban on prayers, spiritual ceremonies and songs. It is estimated that some 1,500 people died while interned at Fort Sumner, many of them infants and children.

Contraband

At about the same time, the Union Army was re-capturing freed slaves throughout the South and pressing them into hard labor in disease-ridden “contraband camps,” as escaped and freed slaves were considered captured enemy property. “There is much sickness, suffering and destitution,” wroteJames E. Yeatman of the Western Sanitary Commission after visiting one such camp near Natchez, Mississippi in 1863. “There was not one house that I visited where death had not entered… Seventy-five had died in a single day… some had returned to their masters on account of their suffering.” At one camp in Young’s Point, Louisiana, Yeatman reported “frightful sickness and death,” with 30-50 people dying each day from disease and starvation. One camp near Natchez, Mississippi held as many as 4,000 black refugees in the summer of 1863; by fall 2,000 had already perished, most of them children infected with smallpox and measles.

‘Benevolent Assimilation’ in the ‘Suburbs of Hell’

With indigenous peoples no longer standing in the way of its “manifest destiny,” the US set its sights on becoming a first-rate imperial power through overseas conquest and expansion. After overthrowing Hawaii’s monarchy and annexing its islands, war was waged against Spain, resulting in the capture of the first US colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. When Filipinos resisted, US commanders responded with tremendous cruelty. Echoing Andrew Jackson, President William McKinley called this the “benevolent assimilation” of the Philippines into the burgeoning US empire.

As General “Hell-Roaring” Jake Smith ordered his troops to “kill everyone over 10” in Samar, future president William Howard Taft, the US colonial administrator of the archipelago, instituted a “pacification” campaign that combined the counterinsurgency tactics of torture and summary execution with deportation and imprisonment in concentration camps, or reconcentrados, that one commandant referred to as the  “suburbs of hell.” General J. Franklin Bell, looking forward to his new post as warden of the notorious Batangas reconcentrado, declared that “all consideration and regard for the inhabitants of this place cease from the day I become commander.”

He meant it. In December 1901 Bell gave the people of Batangas two weeks to leave their homes and report to the camp; everything they left behind — their homes, farms, livestock, food stores and tools — was stolen or destroyed by US troops. People who refused to report to the camp were shot, as were random prisoners whenever insurgents killed an American. Conditions were beyond horrific in many reconcentrados. Hunger, disease and torture, which included waterboarding, were rampant. In some camps, as many as 20 percent of internees died. In order to save food, 1,300 Batangas prisoners were forced to dig mass graves before being gunned down 20 at a time and buried in them. “To keep them prisoners would necessitate the placing of [US] soldiers on short rations,” one soldier explained. “There was nothing to do but kill them.”

Concentration Camps for US Citizens

During both world wars, thousands of German nationals, German-Americans and Germans from Latin American nations were imprisoned in concentration camps across the United States. However, their race and relatively high level of assimilation saved most German-Americans from internment, and conditions were much better than they had been in previous US camps. Japanese-Americans weren’t so lucky. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, under which all people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were rounded up and imprisoned in dozens of civilian assembly centers (where they were often forced to sleep in crowded, manure-covered horse stables), relocation centers, military bases, and “citizen isolation centers” — harsh desert prison camps where “problem inmates,” including those who refused to pledge allegiance to the United States, were jailed. Conditions varied by camp, but overcrowding, lack of indoor plumbing, fuel shortages and food rationing were common. Many of the camps were located in remote, scorpion- and snake-infested deserts.

Incredibly, thousands of Japanese-Americans volunteered to fight for the country that was imprisoning them for nothing more than their ethnicity. These were some of the most highly-decorated US troops in the war. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sided with the government in three cases brought by Japanese-Americans challenging the constitutionality of their detention, and an American public caught in the grip of racist “yellow peril” hysteria acquiesced to the blatantly unconstitutional mass imprisonment. Internment would last the duration of the war, sometimes longer, with many detainees discovering their homes, businesses and property were stolen or destroyed when they were finally released. President Ronald Reagan would formally apologize and sign off on $20,000 reparation payments to former internees in 1988.

In addition to Japanese and some Germans, a smaller number of Italians and Italian-Americans were also imprisoned during World War II. So were the indigenous Aleuts of Alaska, who were forcibly evacuated before their villages were burned to the ground to prevent any invading Japanese forces from using them. Nearly 900 Aleuts were imprisoned in abandoned factories and other derelict facilities without plumbing, electricity or toilets; decent food, potable water and warm winter clothing were in short supply. Nearly 10 percent of the detainees died in the camps. Others were enslaved and forced to hunt fur seals.

During the early years of the Cold War, Congress passed the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 over President Harry Truman’s veto, which led to the construction of six concentration camps that were meant to hold communists, peace activists, civil rights leaders and others deemed a threat in the event the government declared a state of emergency. The act was upheld by the Supreme Court during the McCarthy/Red Scare years but in the 1960s the high court ruled  that provisions requiring communists to register with the government and banning them from obtaining passports or government employment were unconstitutional. The camps, which were never used, were closed by the end of the decade.

From Japan to Vietnam

In a little-known atrocity, at least 3,000 Okinawans died from malaria and other diseases in camps set up by US troops after they conquered the Japanese islands during fierce fighting in 1945. During and after the war, Okinawans’ land and homes were seized at gunpoint and their houses and farms were bulldozed or burned to the ground to make way for dozens of US military bases. Some 300,000 civilians were forced into these camps; survivor Kenichiro Miyazato later recalled how “too many people died, so the bodies had to be buried in a single mass grave.”

For sheer scale, no US concentration camp regime could match the Strategic Hamlet Program. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy approved the forcible relocation, often at gunpoint, of 8.5 million South Vietnamese peasants into over 7,000 fortified camps surrounded by barbed wire, minefields and armed guards. This was done to starve the growing Viet Cong insurgency of food, shelter and new recruits. However, few hearts and minds were won and many were indeed lost as US and South Vietnamese troops burned people’s homes before their very eyes before marching them away from their land, and with it their deepest spiritual bonds with their revered ancestors.

War on Terrorists and Migrants

Although prisoner of war camps are not included in this survey of US concentration camps, the open-ended global war against terrorism started by the George W. Bush administration after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States has seen a blurring of lines between combatant and civilian detention. According to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff for Bush-era secretary of state Colin Powell, most of the men and boys held at the Guantánamo Bay military prison were innocent but held for political reasons or in an attempt to glean a “mosaic” of intelligence. Innocent civilians were also held in military prisons, some of them secret, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Many detainees were tortured and died in US custody. Some of these men have been held without charge or trial for as many as 17 years, while some deemed too innocent to charge remain imprisoned at GITMO despite being cleared for release for many years.

Now it’s the migrants’ turn. And despite the howling protestations of those who commit or justify the crime of tearing infants and children from their parents’ arms and imprisoning them in freezing cages that Trump officials have euphemistically compared to “summer camp,” there is no doubt that concentration camps are in operation on US soil once again. The Trump administration’s attempt to portray child imprisonment as something much happier instantly recalls World War II propaganda films showing content Japanese-Americans benefiting from life behind barbed wire. Actor George Takei, who was interned with his family for the duration of the war, was anything but content. “I know what concentration camps are,” he tweeted amid the current controversy. “I was inside two of them. In America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.”

Takei noted one big difference between then and now: “At least during the internment of Japanese-Americans, I and other children were not stripped from our parents,” he wrote, adding that “‘at least during the internment’ are words I thought I’d never utter.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/21/a-brief-history-of-us-concentration-camps/
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
Facebook’s Libra Isn’t a “Cryptocurrency”
« Reply #13153 on: June 24, 2019, 05:12:45 AM »
n mid-June, Facebook — in cahoots with 28 partners in the financial and tech sectors — announced plans to introduce Libra, a blockchain-based virtual currency.

The world’s governments and central banks reacted quickly with calls for investigation and regulation. Their concerns are quite understandable, but unfortunately already addressed in Libra’s planned structure.

The problem for governments and central banks:

A new currency with no built-in respect for political borders, and with a preexisting global user base of 2.4 billion Facebook users in nearly every country on Earth, could seriously disrupt the control those institutions exercise over our finances and our lives.

The accommodation Facebook is already making to those concerns:

Libra is envisaged as a “stablecoin,” backed by the currencies and debt instruments of those governments and central banks themselves and administered through a “permissioned” blockchain ledger by equally centralized institutions (Facebook itself, Visa, Mastercard, et al.).

To put it a different way, Libra will not be a true cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ether. Neither its creation nor its transactions will be decentralized and distributed, let alone easily made anonymous. A “blockchain” is just a particular kind of ledger for keeping track of transactions. It does not, in and of itself, a cryptocurrency make.

In simple terms, Libra is just a new brand for old products: Digital gift cards and pre-paid debit cards.

The only real difference between Libra and existing Visa or Mastercard products is that Libra’s value will fluctuate with the “basket” of currencies and bonds it’s backed by, instead of being denominated in one particular (also fluctuating — you experience the fluctuations as changes in the prices of goods) currency like the dollar or the euro.

When it comes to the goal envisaged by cryptocurrency’s creator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto — to free money from control and manipulation by governments and central banks — Libra is a dead end. Instead of being manipulated by one government or central bank, Libra will be manipulated by all of them.

Cryptocurrency is, to get biblical, new wine in old wine skins — it bursts those skins, by design. Libra isn’t new wine. It isn’t even a new wine skin. It’s a blend of the same old wines, in the same old skins, with a fancy new label. And there’s nothing to suggest that the old wine is getting better with age.

Fortunately, these structural defects also mean that Libra isn’t a threat to real cryptocurrency. Accept no substitutes.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/24/facebooks-libra-isnt-a-cryptocurrency-2/
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 12282
    • View Profile
The Banality of Imperial War Criminals
« Reply #13154 on: June 24, 2019, 05:27:49 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ga5CcwMHKBI&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Ga5CcwMHKBI&fs=1</a>

Not only will America go to your country and kill all your people, but what’s worse I think is they’ll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad.”
— Frankie Boyle

This film may have been the one that inspired Frankie’s rant.



As the next team of warmongers gears up to lie the world into an illegal assault on Iran, this film takes on added significance. It’s angering on so many levels from the monsters in suits, to the reign of terror, to the Nazi-level war crimes, to the willful blindness of both participants and filmmakers.

Some Background

America’s invasion of Iraq was exactly comparable to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, from a legal standpoint. No American ever had the legal right to step one foot on Iraqi soil. Iraq was a sovereign country, a principle that World War Two was fought to establish, costing upwards of 70 million lives.

America thinks it’s above the law and has led the assault on any restraints to its exercise of force, Iraq being a most glaring example.

No End In Sight says not one word about any of that. Far from it. They accept the US regime’s main argument that Saddam was a bad guy, and so somehow it was okay to invade his country. It was not.

They knew it was not. That’s why they concocted phony “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies to try and deceive the United Nations into granting Security Council approval for the attack — and their obvious lies failed. That made the entire war a breach of the UN Charter and the “Supreme International Crime,” Crimes Against the Peace. Every subsequent action was the direct fault of those who initiated the war, every atrocity, every evil, every consequence, every kidnapping, every maiming, every rape, every murder. These people are monsters towering well above and beyond the Saddams or Qaddafis of the world.

By their own logic, as they are immoral and gleefully evil, other nations now have a right to invade America and install a new regime. That’s not the way international law works. It’s the way imperial war propaganda works, however.

Spinning the Indefensible

Now onto the fiasco depicted in the film. We have a cast of self-styled do-gooders participating in a major war crime, desiring to stabilize the country and rebuild it (after their own military destroyed it). They are prevented from doing so by a series of seemingly incomprehensible bad decisions from Rumsfeld, Cheney, Paul Bremer and their gaggle of incompetent lackeys.
1. Upon the fall of Saddam, no law is enforced, allowing complete chaos and looting all over the country.
2. The Iraqi army is disbanded leaving hundreds of thousands of armed, trained men, with no income and nothing to do.
3. The Americans refuse to even speak with Iraqis as their stormtroopers raid and kill and torture their family members.

I’m of the mind that all of this was intentional, and that the PLAN A was never to win the peace in Iraq. Wars are so difficult to launch, they wanted Iraq to descend into region-wide chaos engulfing Syria (done) and Iran (still very much on the agenda).

What No End in Sight captured was a small part of this large imperial agenda for a “new American Century” of aggression and the seizing of vital resources, particularly oil and gas.

While the film talks about Paul Bremer’s presumed incompetence, it fails to mention his 100 Orders slicing up Iraq’s economy like Darth Vader seizing a new star system. Of course, pillaging other countries is glaringly illegal, but we’ve already established the blinders worn by the filmmakers.

These types of key omissions are why I don’t ever trust US documentarians when it comes to foreign policy. They revert to the juvenile “mistakes were made” mindset. They’re not “mistakes” when you do them on purpose: those are crimes, capital crimes punishable by death. They violate every Treaty the country has signed — and which the US helped create in the first place — including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter.

The most evil criminals wear suits and they get away with it. One of the reasons they get away with it is because of biased journalism that spins away their crimes so that the public is dissuaded from thinking of US rulers as criminals on par with the worst war criminals one can name. In the end it’s an assault on reality as well as morality.

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/06/24/the-banality-of-imperial-war-criminals/



HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!