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New official thread for water privatization issues.


Nestlé CEO Denies That Water is an Essential Human Right
TOPICS:FoodKevin SamsonWater

April 19, 2013

The current Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the largest producer of food products in the world, believes that the answer to global water issues is privatization. This statement is on record from the wonderful company that has peddled junk food in the Amazon, has invested money to thwart the labeling of GMO-filled products, has a disturbing health and ethics record for its infant formula, and has deployed a cyber army to monitor Internet criticism and shape discussions in social media.

This is apparently the company we should trust to manage our water, despite the record of large bottling companies like Nestlé having a track record of creating shortages:

    Large multinational beverage companies are usually given water-well privileges (and even tax breaks) over citizens because they create jobs, which is apparently more important to the local governments than water rights to other taxpaying citizens. These companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé (which bottles suburban Michigan well-water and calls it Poland Spring) suck up millions of gallons of water, leaving the public to suffer with any shortages. (source)

But Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, believes that “access to water is not a public right.” Nor is it a human right. So if privatization is the answer, is this the company in which the public should place its trust?

Here is just one example, among many, of his company’s concern for the public thus far:

    In the small Pakistani community of Bhati Dilwan, a former village councilor says children are being sickened by filthy water. Who’s to blame? He says it’s bottled water-maker Nestlé, which dug a deep well that is depriving locals of potable water. “The water is not only very dirty, but the water level sank from 100 to 300 to 400 feet,” Dilwan says. (source)

Why? Because if the community had fresh water piped in, it would deprive Nestlé of its lucrative market in water bottled under the Pure Life brand.

In the subtitled video below, from several years back, Brabeck discusses his views on water, as well as some interesting comments concerning his view of Nature — that it is “pitiless” — and, of course, the obligatory statement that organic food is bad and GM is great. In fact, according to Brabeck, you are essentially an extremist to hold views opposite to his own. His statements are important to review as we continue to see the world around us become reshaped into a more mechanized environment in order to stave off that pitiless Nature to which he refers.

The conclusion to this segment is perhaps the most revealing about Brabeck’s worldview, as he highlights a clip of one of his factory operations. Evidently, the savior-like role of the Nestlé Group in ensuring the health of the global population should be graciously welcomed. Are you convinced?
History / ⛪ The History of Religious Intolerance
« Last post by RE on Today at 12:05:59 AM »

The History of Religious Intolerance
By Luke Eastwood
Global Research, February 20, 2018
Theme: History, Police State & Civil Rights, Religion

In the world before Christianity and Islam took hold far more religions and philosophies existed than do now. Around the middle of the first millennium BCE Daoism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism began to become established and quickly spread in Asia, no doubt impacting on already long established religions of the time but without such wide-reaching repercussions.

These new religions appeared in a world where a vast amount of religions already existed. The Mesopotamian religion, is the oldest known and recorded organised religion, consisting of worship of some two thousand deities. Although not explicitly tied to the state and rulers (as was the case with Egypt) it was deeply embedded in the culture of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires over some four thousand years, spreading its influence over a vast region and, it is thought, influencing Canaanite, Greek and possibly Egyptian and Jewish religions during that time.

Like many other religions it co-existed with others and was transmitted by cultural shifts brought about by war and trade as various empires expanded and collapsed. Whether it was state sponsored or the ‘official’ religion throughout its empire, as in Egypt, is unclear but it does appear that their religiosity was at the core of their culture. In Egypt, their polytheistic religion, although transforming over time was clearly tied to the monarchy (Pharaohs) and implemented by a highly organised, state sponsored, priesthood, deeply embedded within the social and political hierarchy. As a great imperial power, its religion had a significant impact on other cultures and religions such as Greek polytheism and possibly some aspects of Christianity. Certainly the cult of Isis was widespread across the Greco-Roman world, throughout the Mediterranean region and also in parts of Africa.

Although it is generally regarded that religious intolerance was the norm in antiquity, it was not always the case. In India Buddhism and Jainism, alongside Hinduism, were allowed to flourish in the Mauyra and Gupta dynasties. In China Buddhism coexisted with Daoism and Confucianism along with folk religion over two millennia with very little suppression an intolerance in that time period. In the Achaemenid empire of Cyrus the Great (after 550BCE), religious tolerance was enshrined in the laws passed, covering an area thought to contain half the population of the world at the time. Within the much later Sassanid empire(around 400CE) Judaism, Manichaeism and Christianity were tolerated alongside Zoroastrianism which was dominant in western Asia. During such times both the environment and people were able to prosper – free from the constant destructive onslaught of war.

Unfortunately the situation was not to last. Both Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, from being hugely popular faded into obscurity due to violent competition with Christianity and Islam. The political and religious union of the Roman empire following Constantine left little room for toleration of rival religions, including the Greco-Roman Paganism that had been so dominant for over a millennium. In Armenia and Georgia both Zoroastrianism and Paganism suffered as the state chose to enforce a policy of Christianity as the official religion, while at the same time centralising and consolidating economic and political influence. The 5th century ushered in a new era of religious persecution which also served to consolidate social and political power.

Islam quickly spread beyond Arabia following Muhammad’s death in 632, swiftly taking the Byzantine and Sassanid empires by storm, although Byzantium survived in gradual decline for another eight hundred years. Although current troubles surrounding Islamic extremism may lead many to think otherwise, Islam has historically had a more tolerant attitude to other religions than Christianity. Zoroastrianism, which was dominant in western Asia was persecuted by Islam and actively discouraged for a millennium. Despite this, today in Iran (often considered a pariah state) Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism coexist peacefully alongside the majority religion of Islam, albeit with less rights.

At the end of the 11th century Pope Urban II initiated a Christian war against Islam in defence of Byzantium to reclaim the Holy Land. Two hundred years of Crusades ended ultimately in failure and led to the destruction of Byzantium in 1453 and Muslim incursions into Europe thereafter. Apart from a few decades, the Muslim Ottoman (Turkish) empire was at almost constant war with Christian Europe, until its final demise at the end of World War I. During the Crusades, and up until the end of the 17th century, Christians took the opportunity to also persecute Jews, with mass expulsions and massacres throughout Europe during much of that period.

The Muslim world also came under attack from the Mongols during the 13th century, the low point of which was the destruction of the 500 year Caliphate and city of Baghdad – bringing to an end the Abbasid dynasty and what was considered the golden age of Islam. Most of the Mongols were Tengriist but Genghis Khan permitted and encouraged religious freedom across his new empire, so long as he faced no resistance. Tough resistance from Muslim rulers led to a typical Mongol response, a bloodbath across the Islamic world, which almost destroyed Islam in Asia. Freedom of religion generally allowed Tengriism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Manichaeanism, Taoism and Islam to coexist peacefully, although gradually three of the four Mongol Khanates became Muslim, with the Chinese Khanate adopting Tibetan Buddhism.

With the discovery of the Americas and subsequently the rounding of the Cape of Africa (Good Hope) in the 15th century, the Spanish and Portuguese unleashed a unprecedented wave of Christian oppression and religious intolerance far beyond it’s previous domains. Beginning with Columbus’ genocide in Hispaniola, religious persecution, enslavement, murder and environmental destruction took place across the New World and coastal Africa. Soon to be joined by other emerging imperial forces, such as England, a wave of colonisation, extermination and forced conversion took place, over hundreds of years. The repercussions of this are still very much in evidence today with continents environmentally ravaged and many peoples becoming extinct, diminished and relocated, with their indigenous cultures and religions completely or nearly destroyed.

Despite a gradual move towards secular governments throughout the world individual, organisational and state sponsored religious intolerance has continued to plague the world into the modern era. Some the most horrific religious oppression in history has occurred in the last century or so with the genocide of Armenian Christians by the Ottomans and the Nazi Holocaust against primarily Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Religious and social oppression of Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, indigenous tribes in South America, in Apartheid South Africa and throughout the former Soviet Union and China has all taken place within the last hundred years.

Even now, the world has witnessed the barbarism of Daesh (Islamic State) in the Middle East and the recent oppression and migration of the Muslim Rohingya people in Myanmar by the Buddhist majority. Although only recently re-ignited this new horror is part of a long conflict that originated during World War II. Having been on opposing sides during the war, the Buddhist regime and the Rohingya have been in sporadic conflict since 1947, culminating with the mass eviction (in 2017) of Rohingya people into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Currently there are estimated to be some ten thousand distinct religions in existence in the world, despite the eradication of many faiths during our tumultuous history. Unfortunately we have still not figured out a way to co-exist in peace both on an international level, between theocratic states, or within individual religious communities.

Part of the problem, no doubt, is created by the adoption of religion at a state level. Where secularism or at least state guaranteed religious tolerance is the norm the level and frequency of religious intolerance is lower. Throughout our sad collective history there have been brief islands of calm, religious plurality and toleration, instigated at state level, that prove that peaceful co-existence was and still is possible.

Many religions claim to have the right answers, to be the one true religion or to have the sole authority of the divine. Given that there are so many religions in the world, it seems rather bizarre that just one could rightfully lay claim to exclusive divine approval. In truth what religion a person adheres to is largely dictated by social and geographical factors – the community and location in which one grows up.

If one is able to put aside the correctness of polytheism, henotheism (many aspects of the one) or monotheism, all religions point to the hand of the divine in the creation of the universe and life within it. In a certain sense all religions can be said to be both right and wrong at the same time, in that they describe or allude to the divine truths of our existence, but in a way that can hardly be satisfactory to all.

All religions have ideas about morality and decency but these are not necessarily the same and indeed are quite often contradictory. For instance, murder would generally be considered wrong, almost universally, however there are circumstances such as ‘honour killings’ in some religious cultures that are considered acceptable. However, in some religions even to kill a fly would be considered a great sin. So, who is to decide what is correct and what is not, who has a divine mandate and who does not?

As human beings we are somewhat like goldfish in a small tank – with our limited perception we attempt to understand the world around us and ourselves, to discover the nature of life and the universe and to find meaning within the chaos and confusion of life. Like the goldfish we are limited by our intelligence our senses and our placement within a universe that is bigger than our imaginings. I believe that it is true to say that our ability to comprehend the mysteries of existence are very limited, perhaps more so than we can possibly realise.

The belief in one true religion has been the cause of conflict the world over or been the justification for it. Religion has been misguidedly been used to justify war and colonisation, economic predation and the ecological destruction that accompanies it. While humanity has been foolishly arguing, fighting and jostling for dominance in the world we have been distracted from the raging fires that now surround us, that we have created ourselves.

It is clear that the ‘end times’ talked of in many faiths could well be upon us, but if that is so, it is surely not due to an act of God but as a result of our own carelessness, stupidity and obsession with competing with our fellow humans. At this time, we have the capacity to destroy the world with nuclear weapons or to poison it for many thousands of years through the careless use of nuclear power. We have taken warfare to new depths with increasingly efficient ways to slaughter one another, even without the direct involvement of human soldiers any more. Worse still, through over-population and over-exploitation of nature we are pushing the world towards ecological collapse; which could bring extinction for many species including our own.

While our governments waste fortunes on larger and more dangerous armies economic hardships and poverty continue to plague the world – the poor suffer the ravages of climate change while a powerful minority continue to feed their insatiable greed for more. Instead of being united by faith, albeit of different strands, peoples are often divided and turned against each other to the benefit of their manipulators and to the detriment of humanity and the world at large.

In truth we have reached a great crisis for humanity and for the world – climate change, caused by our shortsightedness, is merely one of the symptoms of our disease. It is well past the time when we should put aside our religious and ideological differences and focus on the great problems of our time i.e. saving humanity from itself.

In the past empires and civilisations collapsed due to economic, religious and ecological factors in addition to military failures. Such collapses were localised not systemic, but now we no longer have the luxury of repeating the mistakes of human history. If we continue down a path of violence, destruction, vast inequality and intolerance then there is little hope for humanity. History has proven that times of peace, cooperation and toleration are possible. If we can overcome our differences, while there is still time, and truly work together in cooperation to transform our societies then we at least have a chance to save humanity from an avoidable tragedy.


Luke Eastwood is a legal celebrant and writer in Ireland. You can view more of his work at
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Luke Eastwood, Global Research, 2018
The Diner Pantry / 🐖 Doomstead Diner Dinner Special: 2/23/2018
« Last post by RE on February 23, 2018, 05:53:13 PM »
OK, Pork Chops are not Ham, but they are still Pig 🐖 Meat, so they roughly fit the theme of the week here in the Diner Kitchen.  :icon_sunny:  You want a real good pork chop to make these, good FAT content!  Mangalitsas would probably work well.


Smoked Pork Chops
Science, Inventions & Techology / Re: 🚀 The ISS was never supposed to end like this
« Last post by RE on February 23, 2018, 04:06:24 PM »
They did give us Satellites though, which improved communications

 Not the ISS, that gave us nothing apart from long-term monitoring of astronaut physiology.

That is true, but the ISS was a necessary part of NASA keeping the dream of Space Travel alive and keep the funding rolling in.  They were piggy-backing on a Sci-Fi movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.  However, putting a bunch of RV size Tin Cans up in Space didn't sufficiently capture the imagination of the Techno Ethusiast population, and funding for the whole organization began to dry up.  But the Military still needed Rockets and Space development, so they Privatized it and set Elon Musk up as the Front Man for SpaceX.

Science, Inventions & Techology / Re: 🚀 The ISS was never supposed to end like this
« Last post by Palloy2 on February 23, 2018, 03:58:41 PM »
They did give us Satellites though, which improved communications

 Not the ISS, that gave us nothing apart from long-term monitoring of astronaut physiology.
Geopolitics / Mueller probe: Manafort hit with new charges after Gates pleads guilty
« Last post by RE on February 23, 2018, 03:22:19 PM »
The Noose gets Tighter...

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Hang 'em High!


Mueller probe: Manafort hit with new charges after Gates pleads guilty

by Tracy Connor, Kenzi Abou-Sabe, Tom Winter and Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was hit with new charges on Friday, including an allegation he secretly recruited and funded a group of former European politicians to lobby in the United States on behalf of Ukraine.

The superseding indictment was filed just a couple of hours after Manafort's business partner, former campaign aide Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to lying to investigators — even while he was negotiating a deal with Mueller.

Gates is now the third associate of President Donald Trump to strike a cooperation agreement with Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to the campaign.

The agreement, which requires Gates to cooperate on "all matters" prosecutors deem relevant, appears to be a good deal for both sides. Gates could get as little as probation if he keeps up his end of the bargain, and Mueller's case from Manafort morphs from one built on paper evidence to one where the star witness worked hand-in-hand with the defendant.
[Ex-Trump Campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty to conspiracy]
Ex-Trump Campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty to conspiracy 1:02

Gates and Manafort were indicted together in October in Washington on charges related to their lucrative lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian political figures and then hit this week with a new 32-count indictment in Virginia that contained new charges of tax and bank fraud.

Further squeezing Manafort, Mueller lodged new accusations in a five-count superseding indictment Friday that charges him with conspiracy, money-laundering, being an unregistered agent for a foreign entity, and making false statements.

The most significant allegation is that Manafort assembled what he called a "Super VIP" group of highly influential Europeans who could push Ukraine's agenda "without any visible relationship" with the Ukrainian government, according to an email obtained by Mueller.

Manafort paid the politicians 2 million euros from offshore accounts in 2012 and 2013 to lobby members of Congress and other U.S. officials. It's illegal for Americans to direct foreigners to lobby the U.S. without informing the Justice Department.

The so-called "Hapsburg Group" was managed by a former European chancellor, who was not named in the indictment.

The term chancellor is used in only a small number of countries, including Germany and Austria. The Associated Press reported last year that Mercury LLC, which was involved in the Manafort lobbying effort, employed former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer as an expert. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Manafort said he has no plans to follow suit and make a deal with Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

"I continue to maintain my innocence," Manafort said.

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence. For reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise. This does not alter my commitment to defend myself against the untrue piled up charges contained in the indictments against me."
Image: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates
From left, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Alex Brandon / AP

Court documents reveal that a deal has been in the works since late January. Under the agreement, Gates could face up to 71 months on the two felony counts, but could also ask for probation without opposition if he "fully cooperates."

In a statement of offense attached to the plea agreement, he admits he conspired with Manafort "in a variety of criminal schemes," including moving millions from offshore accounts without paying taxes on the money, which was disguised as loans.

He also admits he helped Manafort avoid registering as a lobbyist for Ukrainian political figures and misleading two other firms, the Podesta Group and Mercury, on whether they had to register. The firms were paid through an advocacy group which employees knew was a "fig leaf" so they would not have register as agents of the Ukrainian regime, Mueller alleged.

One of the more surprising details in Friday's filings was the admission by Gates that even while he was negotiating a possible agreement with Mueller, he lied to investigators. He falsely claimed that Ukraine was not discussed at a March 19, 2013, meeting attended by Manafort, a lobbyist, and member of Congress and that a report about the meeting was not sent to clients in the Ukraine.

The lawmaker who attended was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, his office confirmed, His press secretary said it was a dinner with longtime acquaintances where "the three reminisced and talked mostly about politics."

"The subject of Ukraine came up in passing," the press secretary, Ken Grubbs, said in a statement.

"It is no secret that Manafort represented [former Ukraine president] Viktor Yanukovych’s interests, but as chairman of the relevant European subcommittee, the congressman has listened to all points of view on Ukraine. We may only speculate that Manafort needed to report back to his client that Ukraine was discussed."

Gates lied about the 2013 dinner during a Feb. 1 sitdown with Mueller's team for what's known as a proffer meeting, where details of an agreement are hashed out. That's the same day Gates' previous lawyers asked for permission to withdraw from the case, citing "irreconcilable differences."
Image: Former Trump Official Rick Gates To Plead Guilty In Charges Related To Mueller's Russia Investigation
Richard Gates arrives at federal court for a plea hearing. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Russia probe, which Mueller took over in May, has been intensifying since the fall and picked up even more momentum in the last two weeks.

In October, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos secretly pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Kremlin-connected Russians — communications that Manafort was allegedly aware of.

In December, Trump's short-lived national security adviser Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his communications with Russia after the election but before the inauguration. It was allegedly at the urging of Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn's former deputy, K.T. McFarland.

Last week, Mueller unveiled the first charges directly tied to Russian meddling in the election: indictments against 13 Russian nationals accused of conducting "information warfare" through social media accounts that drummed up support for Trump and criticized Hillary Clinton. A California man, Richard Pinedo, pleaded guilty to selling bank account and other stolen information to those Russians
Image: Paul Manafort, Donald Trump
Donald Trump with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call,Inc. file

Then earlier this week, Alex van der Zwaan, a former attorney for the blue-chip firm Skadden Arps who is the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller's team about his contacts with Gates.

In recent weeks, Mueller has also interviewed key figures, including former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" and insists there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.

It's still not clear if Trump will submit to questioning by Mueller.

Andrea Mitchell, Pete Williams and Ken Dilanian reported from Washington, and Tracy Connor, Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Tom Winter from New York.
Science, Inventions & Techology / Re: 🚀 The ISS was never supposed to end like this
« Last post by RE on February 23, 2018, 02:49:27 PM »
First developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1964 for the US space program ... was used e.g. on the Apollo Lunar Module.

And it stops beer warming up !

Tang is a fruit-flavored drink. It was formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell[1] in 1957, and first marketed in powdered form in 1959.

Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight in February 1962,[4] and subsequent Gemini missions.[5] Since then, it has been closely associated with the U.S. manned spaceflight program, leading to the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program.

OK, nix Tang off their list of Technical Achievements.

They did give us Satellites though, which improved communications  Also made GPS possible.  Those were legitimate technical achievements.

Science, Inventions & Techology / Re: 🚀 The ISS was never supposed to end like this
« Last post by Palloy2 on February 23, 2018, 02:38:55 PM »
First developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1964 for the US space program ... was used e.g. on the Apollo Lunar Module.

And it stops beer warming up !

Tang is a fruit-flavored drink. It was formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell[1] in 1957, and first marketed in powdered form in 1959.

Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight in February 1962,[4] and subsequent Gemini missions.[5] Since then, it has been closely associated with the U.S. manned spaceflight program, leading to the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program.
Diner Newz & Multimedia / Re: Doomstead Diner Comic Strip
« Last post by Surly1 on February 23, 2018, 02:03:17 PM »
Diner Newz & Multimedia / Re: Doomstead Diner Comic Strip
« Last post by Surly1 on February 23, 2018, 02:02:32 PM »


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