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Navy disciplines sailors for LSD ring aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — RT US News

14 sailors working in the nuclear reactor department aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan face...

Ken Kesey on LSD

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US troops on missile base regularly used LSD — RT US News

The security of the US’ nuclear arsenal once lay in the hands of a few young...

Claims of drug ring at US Naval Academy selling cocaine, LSD on dark web...

US Navy investigators are looking into claims of a drug ring that was selling illegal substances...

Thug jailed after feeding pet hamster LSD & cannabis (VIDEO)

A British man who fed hallucinogenic drug LSD and cannabis to his pet hamster ‘Mr....

Microsoft Says Virtual Reality Will Soon Have Same Mind-Bending Effects as LSD

Virtual reality technology will soon be so powerful that it will cause drug-like hallucinations, Microsoft has predicted. One of the tech firm’s...

How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left

Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac and Other Activists is a virtual encyclopedia of...

Video: $9,6mln to inject LSD in rabbits: Controversial US animal drug testing ‘veiled in...

[youtube] US Health authorities have been handing out millions of dollars for studies on how recreational drugs affect animals. But scientists believe these sacrifices...

UK prisoners discover creative ways to smuggle LSD

A prison watchdog has called for urgent action after finding inmates at Stocken Prison in the East Midlands, are getting their friends and relatives...

LSD cures depression? Scientists plead for cash to fund ‘exciting’ drug study

British scientists are asking the public for financial backing to push forward an “exciting” study exploring the positive impacts of psychedelic drugs like LSD...

Magic mushrooms & LSD can cure depression — study

A new study reveals the similarity between the way our brain works while sleeping, and when we’re tripping on psychedelic drugs. What’s more, LSD...

Immediate Investigation Announced After LSD-Tainted Walmart Meat Poisons Pregnant Woman and Her Family

A 9 month’s pregnant woman and her family began hallucinating after eating meat purchased from Walmart that was tainted with the drug LSD, according...

LSD Can Ease Anxiety for Dying Patients

All those flower children who said, “Dropping acid/dancing with Lucy/a dose of this stuff melts your worries away, man” weren’t (just) tripping, after all. The...

LSD and ‘Magic’ Mushrooms May Be the Key to Keeping You Out of Prison

New study shows that hallucinogenic drugs...

Snapped in the Seventies: Angel Dust, LSD and High School

Snapped Juan G. Escobar “In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey.” -Beck We are at Dave's house, somewhere in the middle of late 70s southern California...

50 Years Ago Aldous Huxley Took LSD On His Deathbed

The Dreamatists notes that Friday marked the 50th anniversary of novelist Aldous Huxley's passing in what may be the ideal way to die: Laura Huxley...

Psychedelic Renaissance: LSD, Ecstasy and Magic Mushrooms Are Helping People Face Death, Cope with...

“The room instantly lit up in a blinding glare of white, white light. I was seized by an ecstasy such as I had never known,” wrote AA's co-founder, Bill Wilson, of his first spiritual experience.He was dropping acid as part of an informal study supervised by a doctor in the ‘50s, when LSD was legal and the power of psychedelic-assisted therapy was heralded as potentially transformative.

LSD, Ecstasy Tested on Terminally Ill Patients

Researchers are exploring the use of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and ecstasy as a form of “psychedelic psychotherapy” for terminally ill patients, London’s Daily...

Don’t Get Conned by the Neocons

Anti-Semitism vs. Anti-Zionism in France – Consortiumnews

By Lawrence Davidson We are at a new stage of the fight to realize Palestinian rights and free both Palestinians and...

Drunken US sailor found naked in Japanese couple’s home — RT USA News

A US Navy officer stationed in Japan has been arrested after he was found naked inside...

Bolton: We’re Taking Venezuela’s Oil

President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton made US policy toward Venezuela very clear in an interview on FoxNews yesterday: We’re going to overthrow...

A Tough Time to Be a Spy, NPR Reports – Current and former CIA...

by Belén Fernández NPR (1/3/19) reports on the CIA finding it harder to sneak into other countries to commit espionage. Imagine, for a moment, that a prominent...

Better than flogging! US Navy to stop ‘bread & water’ punishment for low-ranked sailors...

Gluten-sensitive sailors rejoice! The US Navy is dropping the practice of punishing minor infractions with three...

Video: Top U.S. & World Headlines — November 26, 2018

Visit to watch the full independent, global news hour, read the transcript, search our archive and to make a donation to support us. Via...

Truth serum? New CIA ‘torture program’ docs shed light on post-9/11 ‘Project Medication’ —...

A CIA report obtained by the ACLU lays bare the details of the agency's "enhanced interrogation"...

Video: Naomi Osaka’s Win at U.S. Open Overshadowed by Umpire’s Power Play Against Superstar... - We continue our look at fallout from the women's U.S. Open final Saturday, where tennis star Serena Williams lost to 20-year-old ... Via...

White House coin marks Trump-Putin Helsinki summit as ‘historic moment’ — RT US News

Although US President Donald Trump has come under fire for daring to have a conversation with...

Video: Scallop wars: UK, French boats ram each other in clam-rich waters

French maritime authorities are appealing for calm after fishermen from rival French and British fleets banged their boats in ill-tempered skirmishes over access ... Via...

Could science-fiction super soldiers become reality after extreme US military tests? — RT US...

Captain America, Deadpool, Wolverine: three fictional characters with superhuman bodies boosted for combat. Such stories, however,...

Latvian Social Democratic Workers’ Party Release Ad Showing EU as an African Migrant Making...

A political party in Latvia has come under fire after its official Facebook page posted a “Nazi-related ad,” which apparently aims to...

the Long Battle Against US Imperialism

Photo by eric molina | CC BY 2.0 As of June 28, the death toll in Nicaragua has reached 285, with more than 1,500 wounded....

FDA approves America’s first marijuana-based medication — RT US News

In a breakthrough for medical marijuana use, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved...

Moment police punch, wrestle naked Harvard student to ground (VIDEO) — RT US News

Disturbing video footage shot in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows the moment police tackle a black Harvard University...

Video: A Message to Trump: Fund Background Checks and Public Health Research on Guns—Don’t... - Two weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, President Trump appears to have broken with the NRA...

Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow

He may have been a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, but a component of John Perry Barlow’s activism and corpus will forever be associated...

Video: ‘Enough is enough’: After 3 years & 10,000 killed, Saudis still can’t end...

Surging violence across Yemen had displaced some 47000 people in the past 2 months, with hundreds continuing to flee each day, the UN said....

Japan-based US sailors probed in drug dealing investigation — RT US News

American sailors serving in Yokosuka are being investigated over allegations of selling, buying and using hard...

Court hears plan to sell Chloe Ayling for £250,000 — RT UK News

Glamor model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped in a plot to get £250,000 ($347,000) in ransom...

‘Happy New Year blunts!’ 2018 brings marijuana legalization to California — RT US News

Californians woke up on Monday to a stimulating New Year’s gift: legal recreational cannabis. The state...

Chloe Ayling’s ‘kidnapper’ claims model plotted stunt to become famous — RT UK News

Published time: 13 Dec, 2017 08:06 The man accused of kidnapping aspiring British model Chloe...

Hallucination machine lets you blow your mind without taking psychedelic drugs — RT UK...

Published time: 20 Nov, 2017 17:09 VR tech had to branch out into the world...

Smart schizophrenia pill that tracks how you take it approved by FDA — RT...

Published time: 15 Nov, 2017 03:10 An antipsychotic pill that digitally tracks consumption has been approved...

Epileptic girl sues Sessions to legalize medical marijuana nationwide — RT US News

A 12-year-old girl suffering from epilepsy is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions in order to legalize...

The CIA’s House of Horrors: Frank Olson’s Fatal Trip

By the early 1950s the CIA’s relationship with drugs stretched from alliances with criminal smugglers of heroin to research in, and application of, lethal...

Kidnapping of topless model Chloe Ayling could be ‘publicity stunt,’ court hears

British glamor model Chloe Ayling’s claim she was kidnapped to be sold on the dark...

A World Without Nation-States

Pentagon diverts 2 warships, Marine expeditionary unit for Hurricane Irma relief

The Pentagon said Tuesday that was putting two U.S. Navy ships staffed with Marines on standby to help FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane...

MDMA could be used to treat PTSD in war veterans – study

Published time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:38 Edited time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:39 A drug associated with...

British topless model’s ‘kidnapper’ says he was not involved in any crime

The chief suspect in the kidnapping of a British model in Milan has denied knowingly...

British model ‘to be sold for sex in Middle East’ went shoe shopping with...

A British glamor model who says she was kidnapped to be sold for sex in...

British glamor model describes her kidnapping by ‘sex slavery gang’ in Italy

A British model, who says she was kidnapped in Italy and told she would be...

Anti-State Masterpiece

How do you narrow down the entire history of science fiction cinema into a list of only the 10 best movies? Help us, Mental...

The CIA’s Drug Smuggling Airline

If you’re familiar with the American war on drugs, then it may not surprise you to learn that the CIA represents one of the...

Mike Pence Notre Dame speech marred by student walk-out (VIDEO)

Published time: 22 May, 2017 12:07 Dozens of students at Indiana's Notre Dame University walked out...

Is Putin the 'Preeminent Statesman' of Our Times?

“If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count...

The ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?

“If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the...

Puff break: Pro-cannabis party fined £23K for stereotypical stoner behavior

Published time: 21 Feb, 2017 17:03 A British political party campaigning for the legalization of cannabis...

Medical Cannabis

By Dr. Mercola Cannabis is a vastly underutilized therapeutic option that has been wrongly vilified by U.S. regulatory agencies. In this interview, Dr. Margaret Gedde,...

Media Consensus on ‘Failing Schools’ Paved Way for DeVos

The spectrum of opinions on Betsy DeVos presented in corporate media range from skepticism to enthusiasm, but school choice itself is unquestioned. The nomination of...

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain in Place

As Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on January 20, the future of NAFTA is in doubt. He has promised to either renegotiate...

Marijuana and a Free Society

Not all Americans are celebrating the recently passed ballot measures relating to marijuana—especially some conservatives. People in the states of California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada...

Columbia University to Host No-Whites-Allowed Student Leadership Retreat

Students of color at Columbia University can apply to attend an upcoming racially segregated retreat hosted by the school that promises to...

DEA targeting of addiction treatment kratom will protect Big Pharma profits

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), currently starring in the new season of the Netflix series “Narcos,”...

Public Relations Firm Claims to Have Ghost Written Thousands of Op-Eds in Major U.S....

Laura Bentz of Keybridge Communications describes her company as “a boutique PR firm — founded by a former writer for the Wall Street Journal...

Colorado marijuana grow house invasion ends in fatal shooting

Police are seeking a homicide suspect after a home invasion in a marijuana grow house left...

Video: Getting into a tight place: 8yo rescued after having her head stuck in...

A Chinese girl was rescued by a policeman after her head got stuck in a hole in railway guard fence RT LIVE Subscribe...

Not content tricking migrant workers, Byron burgers now found hiding taxable profits abroad

First they rounded up their staff and let immigration authorities seize those with out-of-date papers....

You Will Never Know War

For those, like this writer, who esteem the arts of modern fortification, Metz is the Florence of military architecture. I greet the spring each...

Memphis police tackle man to ground, arrest him for filming them (VIDEO)

Police in Memphis have launched an investigation after a video was posted online purportedly showing police...

Sorry, but the Super Bowl Promotes War

David Swanson Super Bowl 50 was the first National Football League championship to happen since it was reported that much of the pro-military hoopla at football games — the...

Highest since 1980: 1 in 17 US college students regularly smokes pot, study says

The number of US college students regularly smoking marijuana has reached the highest point since 1980, a new study has found. Daily or near-daily...

Chris Squire, founding member of Yes, dead at 67

By Kevin Reed Chris Squire, the British-born bass player, song writer and vocalist for the progressive rock band Yes, died on June 27 at his home...

Cleveland officer pepper sprays crowd of protesters

Notes on police violence in America By Evan Blake A Cleveland police officer pepper sprayed a group of activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization shortly...
In Oakland

U.S. judge won’t remove marijuana from most-dangerous drug list

A federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of a 1970 federal law that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug akin to heroin. Efforts to legalize...


          THE CIA AND AMERICA’S PRESIDENTS Some rarely discussed truths shaping contemporary American democracy   John Chuckman Many people still think of the CIA as an agency designed...

Greedy big pharma guilty of selling harmful children’s medicine

The maker of Children’s Tylenol agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge of knowingly selling adulterated bottles of its painkillers for children...

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Nick Barrickman There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice. Charles de Montesquieu ** In...

As Malaysia Airlines bleeds out, twin tragedies are still a question mark

Malaysia Airlines has had a profoundly difficult year. Between two harrowing air disasters and the company’s precarious financial woes, the national carrier faces daunting challenges as it attempts to restructure and recover its reputation as a leading regional airline. Despite poor commercial performance in recent years, it maintained a stellar record for decades as one of the Asia-Pacific's safest and most reliable airlines.

Malaysia Airlines has suffered the two worst disasters in modern aviation less than five months apart. Both incidents involved Boeing 777-200ERs, widely considered being one of the safest aircrafts. Over six months have past since flight MH370 disappeared on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A multinational search team has scoured remote southern stretches of the Indian Ocean, unable to find even a trace of debris from the aircraft.

A preliminary report on the demise of flight MH17 released by Dutch investigators has failed to provide a wider understanding of the incident, leaving critical questions of culpability unanswered. The crippling impact of the two air disasters has forced Malaysia Airlines into accelerating a major restructuring effort to rescue the brand and return it to profitably by 2017, with plans to relist the company by 2019.

Nationalize or privatize?

As the flagship carrier, Malaysia Airlines is viewed as a symbol of national prestige and development. The state has played a vital role in using public funds to restructure the airline over the years. The key challenges confronting the carrier are competition from low-cost national and regional rivals, high operating costs, unprofitable long haul routes, and a bloated payroll.

The main question going forward is whether further nationalization or drastic privatization will more effectively resuscitate the airline. Khazanah Nasional, a state investment fund that owns about 70% of Malaysia Airlines, proposed a strategy to recover the national carrier, involving plans to take full ownership of the airline and the most stringent job cuts in the company's history.

Unlike the four previous attempts to restructure the airline, which reneged on plans to scale back the workforce under pressure from politically influential airline unions, the company intends to cut staffing by 6,000 jobs or 30% of the carrier's 20,000 employees. Malaysia Airlines has about 30 percent more staff than comparable airlines, and while the cuts will be painful, the status quo can clearly not be maintained under the prevailing circumstances.

Khazanah Nasional will channel around RM6bn ($2 billion) into reviving the carrier, buying out remaining stock from shareholders, layoffs and other restructuring costs, debt settlement and capital injections. Putrajaya claims these funds are an investment, rather than a bailout, expressing its intention to regain the funds when the airline returns to profitability. One can be forgiven for being skeptical of the carrier’s strategy, taking into account the shortcomings of previous restructuring attempts.

An accumulative sum of RM17.4bn ($5.3 billion) was injected into the airline between 2001 and 2014, and losses of RM8.4bn ($2.6 billion) were incurred nonetheless during that period. Malaysia Airlines reported a net loss of RM443mn ($140.8 million) for the first quarter of 2014. Second-quarter earnings following the unexplained disappearance of MH370 in March saw losses of RM307mn ($97.6 million). The second-half earnings are expected to be even grimmer in the wake of MH17, following reports from the airline that average weekly bookings had declined by 33 percent. The company has lost more than 40 percent of its market value this year and has not made an annual profit since 2010.

Shareholders will be meeting in early November to consider Khazanah’s selective capital reduction proposal plan before the recovery plan can go into effect. Although shareholders will be losing money by selling off their assets for lower prices than they purchased them for, the independent adviser AmInvestment Bank advised that they accept the offer, because without the proposed capital injection from Khazanah, the airline will go under and the share price will collapse. It’s better to lose a finger than to lose an arm.

As budget carriers like AirAsia, which was formally state-owned before being taken private, lead the Southeast Asian market, there are those who will view any further capital injection into Malaysia Airlines as an imprudent use of public funds. Khazanah itself has noted that the RM17.4bn used to restructure the national carrier could have helped improve education or provide water and power to remote villages. It also doesn’t make sense to refer to Khazanah’s move to take full ownership of the airline as a privatization since it is a government investment fund; it’s more like a de-facto nationalization.

At this stage, whether Malaysia Airlines is nationalized or privatized is a periphery concern: the real question is how can it be restructured to viably compete with discount airlines that make up some 58 percent of the air traffic in Southeast Asia? There are concerns going forward that Khazanah lacks the expertise needed to micromanage the airline and implement the kind of solutions needed to shift the balance back toward profitability. Additionally, there will be no minority shareholders to scrutinize the management and provide helpful input under Khazanah’s full ownership of the carrier.

Structural adjustments are needed to make the airline leaner and more efficient if it has any chance of surviving. Long unprofitable routes that require heavy subsidies should be cut with renewed focus on competitively priced medium-haul services within Asia. The fleet of Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s can be sold off and replaced with more fuel-efficient A330s and the A350s designed for shorter distances.

If employees and unions were better informed about the dire ill health of the airline, perhaps they would agree to voluntary pay cuts for a limited period if it meant retaining job security. Under the current circumstances, bonuses should be suspended and the balance sheet should be carefully scrutinized. In addition to rolling out a public relations blitz to repair the image of the company, Malaysia Airlines should emulate some qualities of their rivals’ business models, but differentiate themselves by offering greater value for money to the extent that a full-service airline can provide.

No answers, no closure

As the enquiry continues into the demise of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the skies of eastern Ukraine in July, the preliminary findings of the international investigation have done little to develop a clearer understanding of the incident. The parties responsible for bringing down the aircraft, and exactly what means were utilized to do so, have yet to be firmly established.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which is leading the investigation into the MH17 crash, released a preliminary report in September, which sought to analyze air traffic control and radio communication data, assess the inflight break-up sequences, and conduct a forensic examination of the wreckage. Assigning culpability to any party was not in the report’s mandate; the authors of the text use highly guarded and ambiguous language to explain their findings.

Due to the continued obstruction and contamination of the crash site as a result of military hostilities, it is highly questionable whether further forensic examinations can be carried out under such protracted circumstances. Another barrier is a lack of political will to consider certain findings, due to the politically charged nature of the Ukrainian conflict, which has resuscitated Cold War-era hostilities, bringing US-Russia relations to new lows.

Though Ukraine, the United States, and other countries have accused Russia of supplying the rebels with surface-to-air missiles and orchestrating the shoot-down of MH17, those governments have yet to declassify their intelligence on MH17, refusing even to discuss the sources and methodology behind their findings. Comments by Russian officials at the UN and elsewhere indicate that Moscow feels its side of the story has been neglected and overlooked.

The satellite images and military data made public by Moscow, which suggest a completely different series of events, have been entirely absent from the media’s narrative. The Dutch findings conclude that the aircraft abruptly ended its flight after a large number of “high energy objects”penetrated the aircraft from the outside, but does not identify the nature of those objects.

Dutch investigators have wholly omitted findings from radar data submitted by Moscow that purportedly showed a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet flying in close proximity to MH17 prior to it disappearing from radar.  BBC’s Russian language service broadcasted a report shortly after the disaster where several local eyewitnesses claimed to see a military aircraft in the sky flying in the vicinity of MH17 as it exploded and broke apart. The investigation has a responsibility to address the question of the Ukrainian fighter jet and its possible role in the incident.

The case of MH370 has proven to be the most baffling incident in commercial aviation history and one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. Despite the largest multinational search and rescue effort ever conducted, not a trace of debris from the aircraft has been found, nor has the cause of the aircraft’s erratic change of trajectory and disappearance been established.

After a fruitless search in the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have crashed after running out of fuel, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau leading the investigation has admitted that investigators are not entirely sure if the current underwater search is being conducted in the right spot, although Malaysian officials have been more optimistic.

Tim Clark, the CEO and president of Emirates, questioned the methodology used by investigation team to pinpoint the crash site, claiming it was downright “suspicious” that a Boeing 777 could disappear without a trace with its communications being disabled. Clark also raised concerns that the public was not being told the whole truth about the cargo manifest.

The families of the passengers and crewmembers onboard the missing aircraft recently renewed calls for Putrajaya to release the full cargo manifest, which they say was only partially released some two months after the incident, claiming that there were missing gaps in the document. The manifesto claimed that the cargo contained 2.4 tons of lithium ion batteries and radio accessories and chargers consigned for Motorola, and 4.5 tons of mangosteen.

IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar promised the media that authorities would investigate the mangosteen supplier after the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority claimed that the fruit was not in season, nor were there any orchards in Johor where the mangosteen supplier, Poh Seng Kian, is based. The way in which certain information has allegedly been withheld from the public domain has worked to stoke skepticism that investigators must address. 

Inmarsat, the British satellite telecommunications company responsible for analyzing MH370 satellite data, has also come under scrutiny from independent satellite experts and engineers that found glaring inconsistencies in their analysis. The Atlantic magazine published a report in May based on the analysis of Michael Exner, founder of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation, Duncan Steel, a physicist and visiting scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and satellite technology consultant Tim Farrar.

The team of analysts used flight and navigation software to deconstruct Inmarsat’s analysis, and determined that Inmarsat’s data contained irregular frequency shifts, and even when the values were corrected, Inmarsat’s example flight paths failed to match and proved to be erroneous. In other words, these analysts believe there may be grounds to believe that the search is being conducted on the basis of a false mathematical conclusion.

The authors of the report attempted to reach Inmarsat and other relevant bodies, but they claim that the company did not reply to requests for comments on basic technical questions about their analysis, leading them to determine that “Inmarsat officials and search authorities seem to want it both ways: They release charts, graphics, and statements that give the appearance of being backed by math and science, while refusing to fully explain their methodologies.”

While the investigation teams are doing their level best to establish accounts of the two Malaysia Airlines disasters, there is undoubtedly a dimension of political pressure involved that can create various barriers to understanding. The astonishing nature of these two incidents demand that uncomfortable scenarios and questions be addressed and examined. The media still has an important role to play.

This article was appeared in the October 28 and 29, 2014 print edition of The Malaysian Reserve newspaper.

Nile Bowie is an independent journalist and political analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His articles have appeared in numerous international publications, including regular columns with Russia Today (RT) and newspapers such as the Global Times, the Malaysian Reserve and the New Straits Times. He is a research assistant with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), a Malaysian NGO promoting social justice and anti-hegemony politics. He can be reached at

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As BRICS steps forward, can they reform global power relations?

The latest meeting of the BRICS countries, held in Brazil’s northeastern city of Fortaleza last week, represents the bloc’s most significant step forward towards its agenda of building a new multilateral development framework.

After two years of negotiations, the geoeconomic grouping of emerging markets known as the BRICS – Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa – have broken new ground by launching a development bank intended to challenge Western-dominated multilateral lending institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

The New Development Bank (NDB) will be headquartered in Shanghai and will primarily serve to facilitate sustainable development and large-scale infrastructure modernization within BRICS countries, which will each allocate an equal share of $50 billion startup capital with the aim of reaching $100 billion.

NDB loans would not be exclusively for BRICS governments, but also extended to other low- and middle-income countries that contribute to the capital base, which will finance the construction of mega-projects involving electricity supply grids, telecommunications networks, roads and bridges, power stations, shipping infrastructure and ports, and water treatment facilities.

In addition to the development bank, the BRICS group will also establish a contingency reserve currency pool worth over $100 billion, enabling the bloc to raise liquidity protections and collectively hedge against economic challenges. Though member countries will contribute an equal amount of startup capital to the NDB, China will have a 41 percent stake in financing the currency pool, with other members taking on smaller percentages.

BRICS countries represent 41.6 percent of world’s total population, 19.6 percent of global GDP, and 16.9 percent of total global trade, making the five-member community the world’s largest market. Despite extensive economic clout, the BRICS countries together wield only about 11 percent of the votes at the IMF, an institution that is widely viewed as disproportionately delineating influence to the detriment of the Global South.

The BRICS project is not simply about emerging economic powerhouses striving for a wider international role that traditional Western institutions have thus far denied, but rather, it is an attempt by the Global South to articulate an alternative multilateral global order intended to be more equitable, inclusive, dynamic, and suitable to 21st century realities.

As developed economies find themselves today marred in austerity policies and struggling to tackle unemployment wrought by hallowed-out industrial sectors, trade between economies in the Global South now exceeds trade between emerging and developed economies by some $2.2 trillion, more than one-quarter of global trade. China, Brazil, and India have also begun to displace Western nations as large-scale donors throughout Africa and other low-income countries.
The growing role of developing countries in international institutions signifies how the global political landscape is shifting in favor of a multipolar order. The determination for emerging countries to independently pursue institution building has been brought on by policies of Western financial bodies that attach intrusive conditionalities to loans and deny equal voting rights to developing states.

Countries that borrow from institutions such as the IMF are forced to enact structural adjustment policies that scale back on public and social spending, and pressure countries to hurriedly reduce subsides that would better be phased out gradually. Loan conditionalities have also been known to disproportionately favor the private sector and reduce a country’s ability to hedge against speculative capital.

The bloc’s push toward institution building to advance an alternative development vision has been hastened in recent times by several contentious flashpoints in global politics, primarily between Russia and China on one side, and the United States and European Union on the other.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, while the US has spearheaded punitive sanctions against Russia for its purported role in Ukrainian conflict. China has also expressed displeasure with US efforts to refocus its naval presence to the Asia Pacific region, which Beijing views as efforts by the US to interfere in the region’s complex territorial disputes.

The increasing pressure from Western capitals on Moscow and Beijing, who also take joint positions on issues in the UN Security Council, has prompted both countries to deepen their involvement in the multipolar project. Russia and China now intend to more forcefully utilize the BRICS framework to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technology, and diversify political and trade relations with countries throughout the Global South.

The BRICS group will not be solely an economic community, but due to increasingly tense relations with the West, the five-member bloc is increasingly more disposed to cooperate politically to adopt common positions and coordinate joint efforts toward tackling regional issues at the UN level. In contrast to Western leanings toward interventionism, the core principles of BRICS foreign policy thinking centers on respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.

In a recent interview with news agency ITAR-TASS, Russian President Vladimir Putin articulated his intentions to deepen both economic and political cooperation among the BRICS group, primarily by addressing the bloc’s common position against unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions that violate international law, pledging closer coordination and high‑level consultations between the group’s foreign ministries to jointly forge political and diplomatic settlements.

Washington’s calls for heavy economic sanctions on Russian industries and sectorial trade have been met with opposition by most EU states, who are largely dependent on Moscow for their energy needs. European states are also weary that sectorial sanctions against Russia will drastically drive up gas prices.

Putin has said that any economic sanctions on Russia will eventually boomerang back to harm US interests, and called on BRICS countries to introduce “a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies, but would promote a civilized dialogue on all points at issue based on mutual respect.”

The primary interest of the BRICS countries is to begin the gradual process of reforming the international monetary and financial system, which remains heavily dependent on US monetary policy. The emerging multipolar alternative being championed by developing states, with varying degrees of antipathy toward Washington, is propelled forward by perceptions that global management on the basis of genuine and equal partnership cannot be realized under current circumstances.

The BRICS countries face an uphill battle and have yet to firmly establish internal decision-making mechanisms, and there are hurdles to address before the bank begins lending in 2016. The NDB can play an important role in channeling capital into industrial assets rather into bubbles and financial markets, thus improving investment confidence, reducing risk, and advancing a productivity-focused development agenda.

The failure of Western-dominated institutions to address their asymmetric influence over global political and economic affairs is the primary factor that has given rise to an alliance of developing countries that intend to correct this imbalance, and one can only hope they work toward bringing about a more equitable and just world order.

This article appeared in the July 22, 2014 print edition of The Malaysian Reserve newspaper. 

Nile Bowie is a columnist with Russia Today, and a research affiliate with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at

Predator Rising: Obama To Use Drone Strikes On Americans In US

Barack Hussein Obama has given himself, and those he designates, the power to order the deaths of American citizens without ever having charged them with a crime in a court of law. Obama exercised this power when he ordered the drone strikes on Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Two weeks later al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman was also killed in a drone strike in Yemen. When the boy went out looking for his father, not knowing that he had already been killed, he and several friends were blown apart by a Hellfire missile as they sat next to a campfire eating their dinner. The Obama administration says Abdulrahman’s death was a mistake.

The title of this video is 100% accurate. Now that Obama has successfully murdered three American citizens with barely a peep from Congress - and has successfully installed the author of his legal justification for the extra-judicial killings of American citizens onto the federal appeal's bench - it is not a stretch to believe that he will eventually use this power domestically. One reason is because Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA director John Brennan have both refused to assure the American people that drones will not be used to kill American citizens without charges inside the United States.

Over the next few minutes I’m going to prove how this is the most frightening concept in modern politics, an issue that affects every American citizen equally, regardless of their political beliefs. If you don’t watch another video today you must watch this one, and share it with your friends, because this is the most important issue affecting American citizens today. This is an issue that has been brought together critically thinking individuals from both sides of the aisle, uniting Tea Party favorite Rand Paul and the ACLU among others in an effort to save the Fifth Amendment and preserve the rule of law.

Out of all of the scandals currently confronting the Obama administration one might think ordering the death of an American citizen who has not been charged or convicted in a court of law, with no congressional oversight or judicial review whatsoever, might be at the top of the list of impeachable offenses committed by Barack Obama. When the merciless savages of Ansar al-Sharia attacked the CIA outpost in Benghazi four American citizens lost their lives due to enemy action, the government’s response - or lack thereof - became a cause célèbre for congressional investigators; but when the president actually orders the extrajudicial deaths of American citizens who have never even been charged with a crime nobody cares. Why is this?

It is because the Republicans want to preserve that power for themselves. They don’t want to charge Obama with a crime for killing the al-Awlaki’s and Kahn because when he is out of office they hope to be able to do the same thing. Who needs pesky little things like the Fifth Amendment, trials, and representation by a lawyer before the government can just snuff out your life?

The Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

One does not have to be a lawyer to understand the meaning of the words “No person.” That is very unambiguous language and it was written that way by the Founders because they had just fought a bloody conflict to free themselves from the yoke of a tyrant king who, just like Barack Hussein Obama, thought that it is within his purview to hold the power over life and death with nobody but himself for counsel.

Writing as "Publius" in Federalist Paper #47, James Madison observed that "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

On September 30th 2011, Barack Obama became a Tyrant when he ordered the deaths of American citizens Anwar al-Alawki, Abdulrahman al-Alawki, and Samir Kahn. On September 30, 2011 the Republic of the United States fell and was replaced with what Madison correctly defined as a tyranny – and the ACLU agrees.

After al-Awlaki was killed ACLU lawyer Nate Wessler, who at the time was working for the ACLU’s National Security Project which handles the question of targeted assassinations by the United States government, appeared on The Truth Is Viral and said that the Obama administration was lawless. He said that Obama and his minions were acting as “judge, jury, and executioner” by denying these American citizens the right to a trial - any kind of trial – and taking their lives without any apparent due process whatsoever.

Rand Paul and the ACLU don’t normally have much in common, but in this interview with CNN’s Erin Andrews the senator said that the very idea of using a drone to strike an American citizen without first going through the courts is “appalling.”

On Wednesday, May 21st, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul gave an impassioned plea decrying the use of drones to murder American citizens without any sort of due process whatsoever in advance of a Senate vote to confirm David J. Barron to a federal appeals court judgeship. Barron is the chief architect of Obama's drone policy as it applies to the extra-judicial killings of American citizens. His policy (a secret policy) was used to justify the killings of Samir Khan, and the al-Alawkis
Paul says that he is "appalled" and "horrified" that we now live in a country where a mere accusation is enough for Obama or those he designates to "legally" order the death of an American citizen - at home or abroad - without ever having charged that person with a crime in a court of law as was done in the case of Kahn and the al-Alawki's.

Last week, the United States Senate voted to confirm Barron to a lifetime appointment to the Federal court. What good is having a Constitution if it can be ripped to shreds by activist judges and Presidential Executive Orders?

The most frightening thing about this entire issue is the complete lack of transparency. Even the process for determining the “guilt” of a targeted individual is, and will continue to be, classified. The entire idea of accusing a person of a crime and trying them in a court of law before a jury of their peers has been thrown out the window by the Federal government. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Department of Homeland Security has issued guidelines that determine who they consider to be a terrorist threat that can be broadly interpreted to include just about anybody.

If you are on one of those lists – and if you aren’t on one by now you should be ashamed of yourself - the President and those he designates can declare you to be a terrorist threat and take your life without any Congressional oversight or judicial review whatsoever. Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA director John Brennan have both refused to say that drones will not be used to target Americans domestically, again without charges or a trial, and that thought is frightening - or should be - to Americans on both sides of the aisle.

In a letter from Eric Holder to the Senate,  the Attorney General said “It is possible I suppose to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. “

Today, a Democratic American President named Barack Obama has the power to kill anyone he wants using only his pen and his phone. In 2016, that power could be transferred to a Republican President named Sarah Palin, Chris Christy, or Jeb Bush. And now they have backup to take the lives of any American citizen they choose on the Federal appeals bench.

Are you concerned now? 

You can watch the entire, explosive, 30-minute interview with ACLU attorney Nate Wessler by clicking this link:


Cancer Victim’s Obamacare Nightmare: Death Panels And Racism A Reality

My wife DeLynn is going to die.

Barring a miracle, something which is being constantly prayed for and is entirely possible considering the boundless healing power of Almighty God, I have had to come to terms with that reality. While I might not be able to do anything to prevent the cancer that has ravaged her body from taking her life, I should at least be able to make her passing more comfortable; but we are being blocked at every turn by coverage limitations under Obamacare and, even more shockingly, social workers who delight – and profit – from denying benefits to eligible clients.

DeLynn and our grandson Conner
My wife and I are not the only victims of a social services system run by sadistic ideologues. According to a vendor for the Michigan Department of Human Services, the department is filled with cruel, uncaring, and despicable “social workers.” In an exclusive interview with The Truth Is Viral, this whistleblower says that she has personally held conversations with social workers who called their clients, “leeches, losers, and lowlifes.” She relayed the story of one woman in particular who was raising five children alone after her husband left upon learning that she had cancer. The woman’s worker told the whistleblower, “She should have thought about getting sick before she had all of those kids.”

The whistleblower described the sickening practice of rewarding workers who denied benefits to eligible clients – many times based solely on the fact that the client was white – and how those workers were rewarded. Every time an eligible client was denied a benefit for which they would normally be entitled, the worker gets a “brownie point.” According to the whistleblower, these brownie points can be turned in for pay raises and promotions.

One would think that people choose social work in order to help people who are in need. It is possible, and apparently altogether too common, for social workers to become so jaded that they begin to treat their clients with the disdain normally reserved for junkies or skid row bums stinking of Sterno; and even then, aren't they human beings deserving of compassion too? When that disdain takes the form of criminal actions that not only adversely affect the lives of society’s most vulnerable, but define anew terms like “corruption,” “avarice,” and “sociopath,” it is incumbent upon society to put an end to those actions and punish those responsible.

The Old Ball & Chain dragging me to garage sales.
I believe that my family is being punished by our social worker and her superiors. We can never get a phone call returned by our worker and her supervisor refuses to meet with us or even consider our request for a new worker despite repeated complaints. Whenever I go to talk to him he’s “In a meeting” or otherwise unavailable. My wife’s Medicaid has been turned off twice since she was diagnosed with cancer. Dealing with the disease is difficult enough without having to fight to keep her insurance for no good reason whatsoever. We are literally afraid to ask them for anything for fear of having new sanctions imposed instead of the help we require.

But the situation here at Casa Powell has reached the point where my wife needs skilled, in-home care; she needs hospice. She’s pretty much confined to bed, as her bed sores will attest, depending on me to steady her and provide what measures I can to make her comfortable. I’m “on-call,” literally 24 hours a day, unable to even leave the house to shop for groceries unless there is another adult available to stay with her.

Chemo-weakened bones break from simply walking
So last week we called NEMSCA, the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency which works with Social Services to arrange such things, only to receive a letter informing us that my wife could not be evaluated because their in-home nursing program was “at capacity.” In other words, they don’t have any money. So much for Obamacare “protecting the most vulnerable in our society.”

Does anyone else find it disturbing that the government can find money to supply weapons to terrorist groups in Syria (ISIS thanks you Mssr. Obama & McCain,) and send illegal aliens to school instead of sending them back to the country from which they came, that Bradley Manning can transmogrify himself into a “woman” (boy, will that ever make him popular in Leavenworth,) and aged transsexuals can use Medicare to pay for their gender reassignment surgeries when they turn 65; but a dying woman can’t get skilled end-of-life care? Possibly because she is white?

The very thought makes me want to vomit.

If you would like to do something to change this, share this video on every social media site to which you belong. Post it on Twitter, sending it specifically to the FOX News personalities listed below. If anyone expects MSNBC to touch this story they’re nuts. Post it on Facebook, remembering to post it in all of the groups to which you belong in addition to your timeline. Click the share button under the video on Youtube and it opens up to reveal ten different sites where you can share the video with a couple of mouse clicks. Then send it to all of your email contacts and ask them to do the same. Send up smoke signals if you have to.

Maybe someone who can help us will see this and give a damn.

Our 25th anniversary gift; a night in a B&B
DeLynn and I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us as we have waged this battle against this most insidious disease. Your kind comments, lengthy written prayers, and moral support have strengthened us more than can be described. We’d ask however, that you not give up yet. We haven’t. Continual prayer may yet have the desired effect and save her life.

I can’t imagine a greater miracle than a cure for her cancer and diabetic neuropathy, and if one is forthcoming I swear now before the entire world that I will be ceaseless in my efforts to proclaim the healing power of Christ to all who would listen. If granting that miracle is not Father’s will, then we will need your prayers to strengthen us for our walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
In any case, please pray. At this point, for anything that matters, Jesus Christ is our only hope.

God bless you all, and Semper Fi,
Bobby and DeLynn
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If the accomplishments of the Obama administration can be summed up in three words, those words would be failure, scandal, and treason. The president and his toadies had to repeatedly lie to the people of the United States in order to pass the massive fail known as Obamacare, they have been lying to the American people and stonewalling Congress over what really happened in Benghazi for the last 18 months, and they are currently lying and/or pleading the fifth over the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Let’s not forget “Operation Fast and Furious,” NSA spying on American citizens, the targeting of journalists, unconstitutional recess appointments, illegal military actions in Libya, and the unconstitutional and extrajudicial killings of Anwar al-Alawki, Samir Khan, and al-Alawki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman who was killed in the CIA drone strike two weeks after his father for no particular reason.

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The last time there were anti-Obama protests in Washington DC, 1.8 million bikers roared through the town and patriots tore down the “Barrycades” that were preventing the nation's heroes from reaching their monuments; the ones that they earned with their sweat, their devotion to country, and their blood. When protesters started marching towards the White House Obama got into Marine One and fled the nation’s capital. On May 16th millions of Americans are set to converge in Washington DC for Operation American Spring, and Obama can see the handwriting on the wall. He desperately needs a win to avoid impeachment and conviction by the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors against the people of the United States.

According to former CIA spy Dr. Jim Garrow, Obama intends to quash all of the scandals plaguing his administration by announcing to the world that humanity has been in contact with extraterrestrials, and that he (Obama) has been selected to speak for humanity. Garrow says that this announcement will be timed to come after an imminent currency collapse orchestrated by Russia and China in a secret deal approved by Obama, who has not given up on his plans to wipe out up to 300 million Americans with an electromagnetic pulse - a triple threat from a POTUS known to double-down when his back is against the wall.

An EMP would send the US back to the 1800's without the infrastructure to support 314 million people. Overnight those people would be too busy trying to stay alive, too busy fighting hunger and disease to fight the absolute tyranny Obama and his masters seek to impose on the United States. With the nation crippled after attacks from numerous vectors, including terrorist attacks within the US perpetrated by Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian terrorists, Obama intends to complete his stranglehold on the country by asking for UN forces to keep the peace and suppress dissent. The irony is that those forces will be made up largely of our communist and Muslim enemies. I suppose we'll be busy fighting them too.

Obama’s plan to set off an EMP last fall was thwarted by three brave flag and general officers of the United States military, men in charge of our nuclear security, who were subsequently fired from their positions when they refused to give Obama access to those weapons. According to Dr. Garrow, one of the weapons Obama tried to steal was detonated at sea in the Atlantic Ocean causing a 2.2 magnitude earthquake that was verified by the US Geological Survey. Two more weapons are still under the control of patriotic members of the United States military.

This exciting episode is one that you do not want to miss.

Why Should I Care About the Situation in the Ukraine?

By Clark Hay

Why should I care about the situation in the Ukraine? Good question! Glad you asked.
Here’s a quick overview:
Although the Ukraine used to be under the control of Russia, the rather internally divided multi-ethnic country broke away and achieved its tenuous independence in 1990. Since that time there have been 5 president (including today’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov), and 15 Prime Ministers (including today’s incumbent Arseniy Yatsenyuk).

While a treaty (“The Budapest Memorandum”) signed in 1994 by the US and Britain has a remote chance of pulling the UK and the US into the regional ongoing conflict of the Ukraine, it is doubtful that things would escalate that far without a direct assault on the U.K. or the U.S.

The EU has relied upon 25% of its oil and natural gas coming through the Ukraine – so in many ways it has wanted to tread lightly in that country and has been working towards pulling it into the EU as a partner with many incentives by the IMF which has offered financial assistance in the face of mounting economic woes. Without that oil and gas, Europe will suffer. The problem is, however, the same is true for Russia. If the Ukraine becomes allied with the EU then Russia would become a paying importer of oil rather than an exporter. In addition, the Ukraine is a virtual breadbasket for Russia – with fertile farm lands producing much needed food supplies.

On top of that is the involvement of the international banking cartel (IMF/BIS) and groups working with the CIA to stir up anti-Russian sentiments in the Ukraine and bolster support for the globalists of the E.U.

From 2005 to 2010 Viktor Yushchenko was Ukraine’s pro-EU President who in 1993 was appointed Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine (Ukraine's central bank), which pleased the globalist central bankers.

Pro Russian Viktor Yanukovych replaced Yushchenko, and he recently rejected a bid by the EU’s IMF to help bail out the country’s flagging economy in favor of a Russian bailout. This pleased Russia, but Yushchenko’s corruption and theft of government money helped sway public opinion against him – assisted by CIA operatives help to stir up anti-Russian sentiments. Over the last week he appears to have fled the country and has been replaced by an interim “president”.

The current interim president is Oleksandr Turchynov, another pro-European pawn in this lethal game of regional chess. The new prime minister of the Ukraine is millionaire and former banker Arseniy Yatsenyuk who is all but in the hip pocket of the IMF and the Central Bankers. So both of the men in charge are pro-European stooges of the Western globalists and that connection is a perceived and likely very real threat to Russia’s interests. Rumors of neo-Nazi affiliations are spreading and may likely be true.

Another Russian interest in the Ukraine is the very strategic Russian naval base in Crimea – a peninsula of the Ukraine in the Black Sea. Anything or anyone who might threaten access to the services rendered by that port would be viewed by Russia as a very real threat! The CIA, and related pro-Western covert forces, have very much been meddling in the Ukraine to stir up anti-Russian sentiments in those areas not so heavily dominated by a Russian populace. Russia, of course, is not taking this lying down and has sent in troops and stationed more along the borders.

But it is more than even that. Russia and China both have different ideas from the Western powers about what constitutes the best globalist vision of a New World Order. Russia and China both believe they should be free to either reign supreme or at least be equal yet independent partners in this Brave New World Order. They really don’t like the idea of yet another form of UN, G20, G8 or even G6 form of global governance, or of being subservient or accountable to anyone else.

The Bible presents a similar picture of the Western EU powers allied with the coming antichrist, having opposition both from a power from far the North (Russia), and a very sizable group allied with the Rulers of the East (China – said to have a standing army of at least 200,000,000 soldiers – which was achieved and exceeded by China many years ago).

Don’t be surprised if all of this further alienates Russia from the Western powers and becomes yet another bone of contention. Also, do not be surprised if it results in a civil war that bleeds into the EU itself – and into other countries via terrorist activities from any and all sides.

War and conflicts and chaos, I must remind you, are a great way to rally the people of every faction to their particular causes and it takes our eyes off who the real criminals are in all of this. Conflicts such as this are a great money making deal for the corporate war machines and investors of both sides of the conflict, it is also a distraction of the masses from all the other ills we face, and it furthers the neo-eugenic program of the űber elite to eliminate more “useless eaters”. A win-win situation for those who have globalist goals of managing the ignorant masses.

Big oil and big money during harsh winters and fragile economies can bring about surprising things. Sabotage seems a popular way to make a point. Economic sanctions have ways of blowing up – sometimes literally. Political divides and animosities generally increase as do socio-economic problems and ethnic violence.

Interconnected economies are perhaps at their most fragile stage right now. A downturn in any area could have a cascading effect – and the same is true of random terrorist or para-military actions or state military actions. And, the return of the cold-war era is always a threat – with Russian vessels already off our coast and docked in Cuba.

The economic and political landscape hinted at in the Bible is one where America is not even mentioned (for whatever reason), Russia and China somewhat oppose the European globalists, and hostilities in the Middle East escalate.

In a world of extremists and globally interconnected volatile/fragile economies with multiple flash points, the events of Crimea and Ukraine become just another trigger for continued global unrest and suffering.

Historically, whenever economies take a serious downturn, unrest conflict and war magically seem to follow. There are many powerful people/corporations/movements who love to meddle and take advantage of such times. A global economic reset/”correction”/collapse is inevitable, so political and civil unrest and regional unrest cannot be far behind.

The “big boys” behind the scenes are already licking their chops – they smell blood in the water and can almost taste the sweet success of bringing their New World Order out of the ensuing chaos. Argentina, Venezuela, Greece, Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan (etc.) have merely been trial runs for what is ahead.

In the States it has been even easier for them, no real violence or public protests to worry with – even with their trial run of a complete military shut down (imposition of martial law) in Boston, with door to door searches for just 2 handpicked stooges.

What happens to America in the interim is anybody’s guess.

  • ·         A retreat to protectionism and disengagement from being the world’s policeman?
  • ·         Economic collapse and civil war and martial law?
  • ·         Major terrorist attacks (foreign or domestic) on nuclear facilities or power grids?
  • ·         Major catastrophes like an EMP, or pandemic, or earthquakes, volcanic eruption (as may be the case in Yellowstone)?
  • ·         Or perhaps a total political collapse as states rebel and leaders exposed lose public trust and we fragment into troubled regions? …

Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect a combination of the above could turn us into a banana republic almost overnight. We seem to have been headed in that direction for some time now.

So, will there be any US military involvement in the Ukraine? … Mmmmm, I doubt it. Maybe an ineffectual presence of NATO or UN troops in the region, and much empty rhetoric and sword rattling, and the drawing meaningless lines in the sand, but actual intervention? I truly doubt it. I think we’re saving up all that conflict for the coup de grâce of a Middle Eastern Armageddon – probably less than a decade down the road.

Between now and then, don’t forget to start stocking up on food and water and necessary supplies, just in case things start unraveling much sooner than most people think. Too many triggers are in the hands of too many sociopaths to think we live in a safe or sane world – we don’t.

Should we care what is happening in the Ukraine? Absolutely! What happens there will have a profound impact of US/EU/Soviet relations – and the chaos there can have dire ripple effects across the board. Don’t think we are immune from the fall out here in the U.S. – we’re not immune at all. 9-11 should have proven that to you, and it looks like chaos and uncertainties and instability will become the new norm for a while – at least until the powers that be divide up their realms and prepare for the coming Armageddon.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Stay alert, informed, prepared, and safe.

Best regards,


P.S. A variety of news reports and commentaries have been used to piece this little report together. My apologies for not footnoting anything, but I’m sure you can find the sources and quotes with a few quick searches (just like I did). Views expressed here are solely my own and I’ve done my best to vet the sources of this info to the best of my ability.

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Sunn O))) & Ulver’s Terrestrials

There was a palpable sense of immensity in the announcement that avant-garde heavyweights Sunn O))) and Ulver would release a collaborative recording. These two musical forces have spent their careers rebelling against traditional song structure and pushing the barriers of genre and frequency, and their matrimony is earth shaking. The most striking aspect of the duo’s first formal joint release, Terrestrials, is how effectively the amplified low-end style of Sunn O))) and the dancing melodies of Ulver were unified without compromising one another. The end result is three long-form compositions that never waver from contemplation and a sense of poetic wandering through the expanding and contracting soundscapes.

Sunn O))) and Ulver have both explored acoustic and orchestrational compositions to a greater degree in their recent albums, and Terrestrialsremains consistent with this theme while delving deeper into uncharted territory, seeped in hypnotic textures with augural foresight. The opening movement ‘Let There Be Light’ unfurls itself giving rise to flickering electronics and brass over droning bass progressions, commanded by ethereal horns and chants. Percussion heralds in a cinematic and wall-shaking climax, an auditory decree that powerfully envelopes the listener with its amplified ceremonial grandeur. “Immersive” would be an understatement. 

‘Western Horn’ opens with an ominous droning low-end that evokes visuals of a parched red earth pulsating under an ancient didgeridoo. The second composition builds over throbbing bass notes as feedback spills onto distant guitars and glimmering electronics, arriving at a spectral and menacing space. Imagine standing before the monolith in Kubrick’s 2001, and expect your hair to be blown back. The finale materializes in the poetic and palindromic ‘Eternal Return’ starting with a lush filmic progression of winding melodies and an arioso bass line. The composition builds toward the album’s most Ulver-esque segment, featuring vocalist Kristoffer Rygg’s poetry over a serene arrangement of violin and electronics, culminating in a wailing climax that elucidates the plight of endless wayfaring.

The album’s only lyrical passage brings esoteric antiquity to the fore, ostensibly rendering Terrestrials as a musical interpretation of the Book of Exodus, giving way for the album’s final composition to steadily etiolate and vanish. The union between Sunn O))) and Ulver is concurrently tranquil and tectonic, a vesica piscisstemming from the intersection of two giants. Terrestrials elucidates the grey area between these two mammoth artists and drags it toward the light, creating something highly imaginative and outstanding. Here’s to a fruitful marriage.

Terrestrials can be purchased on Southern Lord’s website.

Nile Bowie is an independent political analyst and photographer – and avant garde music enthusiast – based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at

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Benedict Arnold was a great patriot and hero of the American Revolution; until he wasn’t. Now, his contributions to the cause of freedom go unrecognized, his name is synonymous with betrayal and treason. As the country marches inexorably towards the second American Revolution, many people - including honorably retired members of the Armed Forces of the United States - are setting themselves up to lead it. One of these men is Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who may not be what he appears.

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely is a darling of the Tea Party, a “Birther” who has called for Barack Obama’s impeachment over the many lies told by the administration, particularly those told about the al-Qaeda attack on the CIA outpost in Benghazi Libya that resulted in the deaths of three Americans including Amb. Christopher Stephens. Maj. Gen. Vallely now wants to lead a formation of Americans in a march on Washington DC to oust the Kenyan usurper and restore the Republic to a constitutional state; but can Vallely be trusted?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have received confirmation from Col. Harry Riley, the founder of Operation American Spring, that Maj. Gen Vallely has no connection to OAS or Col. Riley's planned march on Washington D.C. on May 16th. Col. Riley will be a guest on TTiVLIVE! in the very near future to talk about his plans.
In 1980 Maj. Gen. Vallely, who retired from the Army in 1991 as Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army in the Pacific and is now a senior military analyst for Fox News Channel, co-wrote a paper entitled, "FromPSYOP to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory" with Lt. Col. Michael Aquino. And therein lies the problem.

Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, "Temple of Set" Founder
Aquino is officially retired from the NSA and U.S. Army Special Forces; but he is still an avowed Satanist. Aquino is the founder of a Luciferian cult called the “Temple of Set,” and his name is frequently associated with ritual child abuse cases in the United States military, including the Franklin and Presidio scandals.

Aquino has never been convicted of any crime, but his name keeps on popping up in child sex scandals at military installations all over the country, prompting this writer to wonder if he is not being protected by the Dark Lord. You know what they say,  “Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” and Aquino’s career is nothing if not densely smoke-filled.

Aquino broke away from Anton LeVay’s Church of Satan and started the “Temple of Set” fully five years before he co-wrote this paper with Maj. Gen. Vallely, so Vallely had to have known about Aquino’s association with the Prince of Darkness. How can Americans trust a man with these kind of connections to lead a demonstration, the purpose of which is ostensibly to restore the rule of law to a now fallen Republic, to undertake what can only be described as a Holy mission?

The purpose of the paper was to set forth a doctrine intended to control populations of varying sizes, from entire countries to unruly mobs, by instilling them with a never-ending and overwhelming sense of fear. And this was 34 years ago. Since then technology has advanced sufficiently so that ideas, suggestions, and even “voices” can be beamed into the head of a victim using microwaves and other types of radiation; true beam weapons that can instill in the victim and overwhelming sense of dread, confusion, and despair. Watch this video, sent to this reporter by Patriot News Network host Kathy Rubio, to learn more about "Mindwar."

In this episode of The Truth Is Viral, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bobby Powell speaks with talk show hosts Kathy Rubio and Zeeda Andrews (from the Patriots Ride for the Constitution) about information they have received from militia leaders that had planned to attend this event, patriots that are finding out too late that they have been lied to.

Rubio and Andrews claim that information they have received from military sources as well as members of various militias indicates that Vallely's march to reclaim the Republic is ultimately intended to be a sacrifice to Satan, the blood of patriots meant to stain his altar, the area between the Washington Monument and the Capitol rotunda. These monuments were built to represent the erect phallus of Osiris (aka Apollo, Appolyon, Antichrist,)  and the ever pregnant belly of Isis by the Masonic architects that laid out the nation’s capital in accordance with the ancient Egyptian "Mystery Religion."

Andrews even makes the startling claim that several patriots have been arrested, some even killed, and that their deaths are being totally suppressed. The Truth Is Viral has not been able to substantiate this shocking accusation; but rest assured if innocent patriots are being murdered, their friends and family are being left behind. And they will talk. When they do, The Truth Is Viral will share their stories after the deaths of their loved ones, and the circumstances surrounding those deaths, have been confirmed.

It is not the editorial position of The Truth Is Viral that Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely is a Satanist, but the fact that he has had a close association with Satanist Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, the head of the Luciferian “Temple of Set,” definitely gives one pause; at least it should before embarking on an endeavor that could change the Republic – for the better or the worst – forever.

The Truth Is Viral has investigators looking into Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely to see how deep his association with Lieut. Col. Aquino goes, to ferret out other work they might have done, and to see if they are still working together to betray the patriots and the People of the United States of America as some claim. Until then, because of the paper these two co-wrote together that talks about controlling masses of people, and most importantly because of Aquino’s proud promotion of Satanism, The Truth Is Viral will not endorse this march as long as Vallely’s name is attached to it. "Birds of a feather," right?

And even then we will be very wary. Stay tuned.


"Alternative Media Journalist Bobby Powell Arrested After Protecting His Children From Deadly Attack"

Please keep us in your prayers. Pray for the protection of my family and lift us up to the Lord asking that He comfort and defend us as we go through this period of tribulation, brought on by my stubborn refusal to shut my mouth. I swore to my little girl and to my Father in Heaven that I would do everything in my power to save lives and win souls for Jesus Christ in these very last days, and that is exactly what I intend to do.

God bless and Semper Fi,
Bobby Powell
The Truth Is Viral

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Alternative Media Journalist Bobby Powell Arrested After Protecting His Children From Deadly Attack

Bobby & Jaiden Daniel Powell

On Thursday, January 9th 2014, I was with my son Adam, his girlfriend, and their son – my grandson – Jaiden Daniel, when a situation arose that caused me to fear for my life and the lives of the three children who were with me. I reacted to the situation as I believe that any responsible person would and addressed that threat. As a result of my perfectly reasonable actions I was arrested by the Michigan State Patrol and charged with Simple Assault and Brandishing a Firearm; both misdemeanors. I was able to bail myself out about 4 hours later.

I wish I could be more forthcoming about the circumstances of my arrest, and indeed I will as soon as the case has been adjudicated; but for now I hope that you will believe me when I say that I did what any reasonable person would do to ensure the safety of my children from an imminent threat.

I have retained the services of an attorney, but before he enters his appearance on my behalf he wants $2,000 retainer which must be paid this week so he can prepare for my arraignment on the 22nd of January. My bail and the cost of having my truck hauled from the scene and impounded wiped me out financially. So once again I turn to you, my TTiV family, for help.

Please click the Paypal button on the right to donate whatever you can afford, whatever you will not miss, to my defense fund. I would never ask anyone to put themselves out for me, but if you have a few dollars to spare they would most certainly be appreciated. If you do not have a credit card, or if you are wary of using the internet to conduct financial transactions, you can also send your donation to:

Bobby Powell
The Truth Is Viral
P.O. Box 91
Alpena, Mi.,

My friends I give you my word that the only thing on my mind when I made that split-second decision was saving the lives of the three children behind me, and that there was absolutely no criminal intent on my part. I just did what any responsible person would do, and now the justice system must decide whether I acted within the scope of the law. I believe that being in legitimate fear of an imminent deadly attack is a valid defense; but as I found out when the MSP slapped the handcuffs on my wrists, the State reserves the right to make that decision.

Please don’t ask me to go into the details of the case any more than I already have. After I am vindicated I will tell all, I even have video (which, hopefully, is going to save my butt,) and once this latest attack on my family has been dealt with I will share it with you.

Thank you in advance for your donations, and for sharing this post with others that might be able to help; but most importantly, please keep me and my family in your prayers. We need those most of all.

God bless and Semper Fi,

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Two years ago my family had not a care in the world. Although my wife and I had ongoing medical issues they were being properly managed and between Medicare and Medicaid our treatments were completely paid for. With both of us living on Social Security Disability, we have lived below the official "poverty line" for more than 20 years; but we adjusted our lifestyle accordingly so even though we were "poor," we were able to survive. That all changed when I started getting serious with The Truth Is Viral.

Almost immediately my 24-year-old daughter died from a massive heart attack, the cause of which has yet to be explained. A man I had known for years who has ties to a foreign intelligence agency told me that she may have been murdered by the CIA in retaliation for a NATO leak that I published after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi’s Libyan dictatorship and his subsequent murder at the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists and soldiers from Gulf Cooperation Council member nations; scum financed, trained, and armed by Barack Hussein Obama.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12

The leak came from an active duty NATO officer who spoke on the record when he stated that Barack Obama’s reason for intervening in Libya was a lie. Obama had claimed that Gadhafi was preparing to use chemical weapons against “peaceful Libyan protesters,” but this NATO officer stated that not only was NATO aware that Gadhafi had no weaponized chemical capability, they had in fact been helping him destroy it since 2003.

I have never been able to verify this man’s claim, but in the end it really makes no difference because my daughter is still dead. She died without knowing the Lord and that is my fault, so I swore to her and to Almighty God that I would use whatever talents he granted me to save other daughters, and sons, mothers, and fathers. As I held her ashes in my hands I lifted them skyward, I looked up, and I promised my Father in Heaven that never again would I be silent because I was afraid of  being ridiculed; being called a name. How childish a fear was that?

I believe the devil saw what was coming. I believe he tried to stop me back then getting up off my couch to tell the truth and save people’s lives; but he failed. Instead of dissuading me as he had hoped, my daughter’s death actually caused me to dedicate The Truth Is Viral to the sole purpose of saving lives and winning souls for Jesus Christ in these very last days; but it was also just the beginning of sorrows.

Shortly before Thanksgiving of 2012 we were stunned to learn that my wife DeLynn had a cancer so advanced that her oncologist did not expect her to live until Christmas. Well that doctor did not know my wife very well. Instead of going home to put her affairs in order as the oncologist had suggested, my wife decided that she would fight. We just celebrated the second Christmas her doctor said she would never have. It has been a long hard fight not only for DeLynn, it has been extremely taxing on the rest of the family as well.

On top of having to worry about her treatment and hopes for survival, there has also been the additional drama twice in the past year of losing our Medicaid so we did not even know how to pay for that treatment. I’m here to tell you chemotherapy is not cheap. I stopped opening bills when they totaled $60,000, it was just too depressing to look.

Not only did we lose our Medicaid when I reported a $200 monthly income from The Truth Is Viral, the government in its infinite wisdom also decided to take away a total of $600 from the disability benefit package that we had been receiving. My family survived on $6000 less over the past 12 months than they did the year prior when I was doing nothing but sitting on my couch; but we did survive, and we will continue to not only survive, but we will thrive (even if a few of those medical bills have to wait for a little while) and the truth will continue to be heard.

I try not to complain about my own health too much, but I’m in desperate need of spine surgery. My left arm is practically useless. I can’t afford the CAT scans my doctor wants me to have taken because I also lost my Medicaid, simply because I reported a $200 monthly income. I have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis hanging over my head, and the viral load from the Hepatitis C I acquired from a tattoo in the Marine Corps is higher now than it has ever been. Without treatment liver failure is a certainty. Without Medicaid to pay for that treatment, I am going to die. I'm expecting Christ to return with my new body before this one gives out completely, so I'm not particularly worried about that.
But what does worry me is that this past August my mother was diagnosed with the exact same type of cancer, stage IV colorectal and liver cancer, that my wife DeLynn is fighting. My mother lives in another state so I don’t have the responsibility of taking care of her as I do my wife, but her illness still adds a tremendous amount of stress to my life.

The one bright spot towards which I can point over the last two years is that the ceaseless prayers of The Truth Is Viral family on behalf of my wife have given us a prognosis that is most definitely a cause for hope. The most recent PET scan showed that the cancer in her colon is totally inactive, as is 85% of the cancer in her liver. The cancer has been turned into calcium deposits; literally turned to stone. Praise God!

The week before Christmas last, with the good news of her prognosis still ringing in her ears, my wife was walking into the house, turned her ankle and broke her foot. Cheese and crackers, it’s two steps forward and one step back on the road to recovery. Before DeLynn broke her foot at least she was able to get up and make a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom by herself. Now she is totally dependent on me for everything, and while I don’t mind caring for her one little bit I’m finding myself with very little time to produce The Truth Is Viral. No matter what my family comes first.

Connor Christian Powell
This has been compounded in recent weeks by the birth of our two new grandchildren. Children are a blessing to any home, there is no doubt about that. In the past two weeks our household has been blessed with the sons of my sons Colin and Adam; their names are Connor Christian and Jaiden Daniel respectively. Colin and Connor have not been a source of too much stress. Colin is an adult who works two jobs and has his own apartment so he is doing exactly what I had always hoped for him to do -raising a family of his own and taking care of them like a responsible adult.

Jaiden Daniel Powell remains in NICU
I wish I could say the same for Adam and Jaiden, because Adam is only 15, and Jaiden is fighting for his little life. As detailed in this episode of The Truth Is Viral, while his doctors are hopeful in their prognosis he is still experiencing apnea events that cause him to stop breathing. At the time this was published, Jaiden had experienced yet another "event" just hours before. So he's still not out of the woods yet.

When he does come home, it will be to two teenage parents, sophomores in high school, 15-year-olds barely able to take care of themselves much less an infant with medical problems. Who do you think is going to be responsible for the day-to-day raising of this child? Me, that’s who.

The devil figured if he couldn’t beat me down or scare me away, then perhaps he could weigh me down with so much responsibility I would not have time to produce The Truth Is Viral and save lives and win souls for Christ. I guess he just does not learn. Apparently the devil has no idea who he is dealing with. The Marine Corps taught me to improvise, adapt, and overcome; and when you watch me on your computer screen and see me crying those are not tears of despair.

No, when I become overwhelmed with emotion it’s not because I have lost hope, on the contrary, it is because I’m full of hope. I’m hopeful and confident that 2014 will be an awesome year for both my family and for The Truth Is Viral - at least two people told me over this past year that TTiV had led them to the Lord - and that has absolutely nothing to do with my abilities as a journalist or anything else that I might have to offer. It’s all you, my viewers, our TTIV family; praying for us and spreading the word.

I do what I do because somebody has to do it, somebody has to tell the truth about the mess that this world is in, and it doesn't make any difference how much pain or hardship I - or my family - have to endure, nothing is going to get in the way of me keeping the promise I made to my little girl and Father God. I don’t have any corporate sponsors, nobody pays me to say anything on their behalf, and I’m not a government shill. The Truth Is Viral is me, it is you, it is honest and faithful people rising up together to do what needs to be done in these very last days before the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have the experience and talent necessary to bring this truth to you, but once I uncover that truth it is your job to spread it far and wide.

I don’t mind walking point as long as I know that I have you guys on my six, lifting my family up in prayer to keep us safe from these attacks that are coming straight out of the pits of hell. There is no way that I can adequately convey how difficult it has been to persevere over the last two years since I started getting serious with The Truth Is Viral, not in a few column inches anyway. Let us just say that without your intercession, and the strength that I received from the Holy Spirit as a result of that intercession, that there would be no TTIV. I would most likely be dead.

But I'm not dead, and that simple fact has got to have Satan pissing his pants, or at least pulling his horns in frustration wondering, "What do I have to do to this guy to shut him up?" Short answer B? "You're gonna have to kill me."

Until he does, I intend to continue doing exactly what I'm doing now: Saving lives and winning souls for Jesus Christ.

In closing this post I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due. First and foremost that credit goes to Almighty God, but most of the rest of it goes to you, my viewers, and the dedicated volunteers that help me run the TTiV Forum and Facebook page. You have sustained us spiritually, emotionally, and a few of you have been instrumental in helping us financially. Were it not for a last-minute donation Adam and I would not have been able to go to Traverse City to be with his son as he struggles for his life, a fight that is far from over. I know that we can continue to count on your support.

Thank you, God bless, and Semper Fi,

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LO Sweden: Can an Old Model be Renewed?

LO Sweden is starting a high-level commission on a “new Swedish model”. Long ago, Sweden was known for what was called the Rehn-Meidner model. The idea was that union wage strategies and government policy should be combined to promote full employment and fair distribution while respecting the autonomy of unions and employers. The basic element was a “solidaristic” wage policy which would raise the income level of low-income groups and simultaneously speed up structural change and thereby create more jobs in the future. Unemployment benefits and active labour market programmes would give workers security in the process of change; a “security of the wings”, as Gösta Rehn, LO economist at the time, phrased it. In this guest post, Ingemar Lindbergdiscusses the huge task of this new commission: How to re-establish a strategy for these goals in our times?

Sweden has a semi-centralised wage setting system, in which negotiations between the social partners in industry are expected to “set the mark” for other sectors. Union affiliation is still around 70 per cent and collective agreement coverage 90 per cent. But full employment is far away; the rate of unemployment remains around 8 per cent. Moreover, wages have not increased in line with productivity; actually Sweden beats Germany (and even China) in export surplus seen over the last ten to fifteen years. This is not very solidaristic with workers in other countries.

In the 1950s and 1960s – the hey-days of the old model – LO Sweden, the blue-collar confederation, could still dominate the scene on the union side. Today, two other confederations – TCO for salaried employees and Saco for professionals –have together more members than LO and negotiate two thirds of the total wage sum. Differences between the three confederations are not easy to bridge. Many TCO and Saco unions have accepted individual wage setting models. And LO’s insistence on its link with the Social-Democratic party is a hindrance for closer collaboration with the other two.

Also, in the hey-days of the old model, the Swedish employers were part of the handshake. The leaders of LO and the Employers´ Confederation SAF toured the US together, presenting the case for a compromise of this kind. The employers actually saw this model as a constructive way of working together with labour and create a good climate at the workplace. Now, however, major fractions on the employer side seem to have lost all national or long-term interests, focusing instead on transnational production networks or short-term financial transactions.

Even more challenging is the persistent high rate of unemployment. The old model was based on global capital controls of the Bretton-Woods era and on Keynesian macro-economic management at national level. There was political agreement across all parties that if unemployment rose towards 3 per cent, active stimuli through fiscal and/or monetary policies were called for. And the tools were available at the national level. The national government ruled over fiscal and monetary policy.

A central issue for the new commission is bound to be how far a national government in a small and open country like Sweden can master its own policies for full employment. No one would deny that national policy space has shrunk. But some, including myself, would argue that the real limits are larger than the perceived ones. Excessively low aggregate demand seems to be the main reason for this “prolonged crisis of democratic capitalism” (Streek). And Sweden is no exception. Could not the share of wages to GDP be raised? Could not the inflation target be elevated and fiscal norms relaxed, now that stagnation is more of a threat than inflation? Could not a huge-scale public investment programme with green ambitions be started, now that idle resources need be put to use?

Photo by Arjan Richter
However, the basic role of unions is not politics, it is negotiating good contracts for workers. My own guess is that priority No.1 for LO will be to maintain and renew its mandate to coordinate central wage negotiations. This will require some kind of common understanding with the unions of salaried employees and professionals. But also politically I would think that LO will gradually shift towards more emphasis on coordinating with TCO, and to some extent even with Saco. In this process LO will have to distance itself substantially from the Social-Democratic party SAP. I think that in the long run they will both benefit from a more detached mutual relationship. The old model was built on the LO/SAP axis. Now LO has no hegemonic position, nor has SAP. But a strong wage earner strategy for full employment and fair distribution would certainly influence also the non-socialist political parties.

There are several other new elements which the commission will most probably have to consider. One is “globalization”, meaning the organization of production and distribution in trans-national networks, and the extreme mobility of financial capital. These two elements of a neo-liberal world order threaten both unions and democracy. More effective tools for transnational union responses need to be developed.  And simultaneously, a reasonable degree of national policy space – for full employment, labour market regulation and welfare programmes – needs to be defended and restored.

At its 2012 Convention, LO Sweden elected a complete set of new leaders. A new generation took over. Establishing a high level commission with a task like this is certainly a brave thing to do. The commission is required to report in 2015 and decisions will be taken at the 2016 LO Convention. It will be interesting to see how far and in what way the commission will tackle these challenges.

Ingemar Lindberg is a former researcher and social policy adviser to the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). He has written a number of books and articles on labour and globalisation.

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New Journalism & the Alternative Press

By the mid-1960s most college towns had some nearby liberated zone where you could cruise and drink and dream, and along the way find out about what was shaking in the “outside world.” For most Orangemen, the innocently sexist nickname for Syracuse University students, the place was Marshall Street, a commercial strip a few hundred feet off campus, where you could find coffee and company and “underground,” experimental, downright radical books and periodicals of every kind.

     Building on a tradition that stretched back to nineteenth century literary social criticism, early twentieth century investigative journalism, utopian community newspapers, and early radical magazines like The Masses, the modern American alternative press had emerged in mid-50s New York with The Village Voice and Dissent. Within a few years, Paul Krassner launched the irreverent Realist, publishing “diabolical dialogues” that mixed fantasy and reality.
     But a truly counter-cultural underground press movement would not fully blossom until the middle of the 1960s on the West Coast, and then quickly spread back across the country. After the LA Free Press, which provided a passionate voice for “the other side” – specifically youth, leftists, gays, and disaffected locals – came the Berkeley Barb, San Francisco Oracle (and later Bay Guardian), and New York’s East Village Other.
     What distinguished the underground press and “new journalism” writing from their predecessors was a combination of style, focus, and values. Abandoning what looked like the pretence of “objectivity,” most alternative writers embraced advocacy or adopted a more intimate and personal prose style, concerned yet sometimes cynical, detailed and still selective. Many of the publications even looked different, merging print and avant-garde graphics in ways that the mainstream media found unprofessional and alienating to their “mass” audiences.
      Max Scherr started the Berkeley Barb in 1965 to coincide with a Vietnam Day demonstration to stop troop trains. Visually uneven, sometimes shrill but always provocative, it soon reached a circulation of 90,000. The next year saw an explosion of underground papers. The San Francisco Oracle took full advantage of offset printing, the emerging photographic plate technology, to further fuse print and graphics in presenting articles on LSD, orientalia, and peace. In New York, The East Village Other adopted a more conventional layout style, but offered everything from quasi-academic pieces on Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey to underground comics and local coverage of knife fights in the city’s crime-scarred tenements.
     With newspapers popping up across the country, notably Detroit’s Fifth Estate and Lansing’s The Paper, a clearinghouse for articles and ads called Underground Press Service was also established, starting with half a dozen members but reaching 200 papers and a potential audience of more than a million readers within a few years. That was followed by Liberation News Service, which sent out packages three times a week to about 360 counter-cultural and political outlets.
     The psychedelic and “Marxist” wings of this nascent media movement ultimately fractured. But for a glittering moment, as activists and "hippies" looked for ways to “do your own thing” and “change the world” at the same time, there was The Rag out of Austin, perhaps the first “movement” paper – anarchist-structured and strongly anti-sexist, and The Rat, a political alternative to the East Village Other, and The Bird, with its catalog approach to tracking and backing political causes, not to mention Space City, started before a Houston anti-war demo, featuring a rotating staff and strong identification with Black and Chicano militants, and The Berkeley Tribe, born out of sectarian-inspired strikes against The Barb.
     Devouring any new publication that came along, I was increasingly excited by the transformation underway in journalistic and fiction writing. Both were providing increased space for imagination, advocacy and speculation. Just as fiction drifted away from social realism, “new journalists” were breaking with the reporting of isolated events, and starting to consider context and broader social impacts. Adopting some techniques of realism, they were developing devices that gave their writings an immediacy and emotional power missing in both objective reporting and surrealist fiction.
     Subjectivity, which had been common and acceptable during the nineteenth century era of “partisan” press and the turn-of-the-century “yellow journalism” period, returned under the banners of “advocacy” and the “non-fiction novel.” According to Tom Wolfe, a move from news reporting to this field led naturally to the discovery "that the basic reporting unit is no longer the datum, the piece of information, but the scene, since most of the sophisticated strategies of prose depend upon scenes." The old rules no longer apply when a journalist takes this leap, said Wolfe, "it is completely a test of his personality."
    Reporters were turning from the exclusively "objective" concerns for verification, specificity and readability that dominated conventional journalism to the uniqueness of each experience and the writer's impressions and intentions in becoming a witness. The presentation ranged from the polemic to the dramatic, as pioneers pondered their subjects in various aspects and relations.
    Certainly, this social revolution didn't significantly alter the way the "mainstream" press dealt with events. It did, however, expand the range of permissible expression for reporters, paralleling trends in documentary film making, where the subjective point of view has since become a powerful audio-visual tool, as well as in non-fiction writing.
     In the '60s, only a few authors dared to bring their personal experiences into consideration when writing about politics, sociology, and psychology. By the '80s such "testimonial" touches were commonplace; in certain fields, notable pop psychology, they virtually became a requirement.
     At the same moment, speculative fiction – an outgrowth of science fiction and fantasy – moved from the margins to the mainstream. The merging of surrealism and sci fi had begun with writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula LeGuin, Samuel Delany, Harlan Ellison, Romain Gary and others who explored current and potential realities. Since then, this has attained the status of a highly popular genre, often affirming the view that the arithmetically predictable model of the world and universe is only one of many possibilities.
Part Six of “In the 60s: Education of an Outsider.” Originally published April 9, 2008. Next: Birth of the Counterculture

Economic Stagnation Haunts America

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Fragmenting labour: Temporary agency workers in German manufacturing.

The increasing reliance on temporary agency workers by large German manufacturers has changed industrial relations, reported Hajo Holst, Associate Professor at the University of Jena, to the transnational labour projectat the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo. Large car manufacturers, for example, have used temporary agency workers to secure short-term profits and to bypass statutory dismissal protection. Trade unions and workers, on the other hand, have increasingly come under pressure as a result.

The offensive by capital

Traditionally, temporary agency work was highly regulated in Germany and mainly used by companies to respond flexibly to short-term challenges in the production process. It was the 2003 change in legislation by a coalition government of Social Democrats and the Green Party deregulating temporary agency work, which facilitated the change in employers’ strategy. Now, several key companies have moved towards employing a significant number of their workers through temporary work agencies in order to be able to respond flexibly to changes in the economy and, thereby, to secure their short-term financial profits. Unsurprisingly, from 2003 until 2007, temporary agency work was the largest sector of employment growth, while it then became the largest sector of dismissals in the global economic crisis from 2007 onward. The risks of economic recession have been passed from employers to workers.

To date, only four per cent of the overall German workforce are temporary agency workers. However, the fact that there are between 10 to 20 per cent temporary agency workers of the overall workforce in large manufacturing companies such as Mercedes or BMW signifies the overall importance of this type of workers for German industrial relations. The most drastic example of the use of temporary agency workers is the brand new BMW plant in Leipzig in East Germany, where 40 per cent of the workforce is made up of temporary agency workers.

Photo by International Transport Forum

The increasing use of temporary agency workers has drastic implications for workers and trade unions. First, being a temporary agency worker becomes less and less a route into permanent employment. Companies have to some extent stopped employing directly new workers themselves. Second, the fact that temporary agency workers are employed on lower salaries than their colleagues, although they are doing the same jobs, and that they face the constant threat of dismissal, should there be an economic recession, has a disciplining effect on permanent workers. The latter know that should they become unemployed, the only way back into employment may be as a temporary agency worker on less good conditions. This will affect their position on whether to criticise management and, unsurprisingly, it has become more difficult for trade unions to organise strike action.

The response by labour

Capital’s structural power vis-à-vis labour has dramatically increased since the early 1970s and the onset of globalisation. The BMW plant in Leipzig is again a good example here. When negotiating with the trade union about the use of temporary agency workers, BMW made clear that unless it gets its way it will build the plant in Slovakia instead. Considering the high-level of unemployment in East Germany, the works council of BMW felt that it had no alternative but to accept the level of 40 per cent of temporary agency workers.

Photo by IG Metall
And yet, structural power by capital is not enough to explain the works council’s acceptance. Rather, we need to see this decision against the background of German trade unions’ wider self-understanding of their role in the German economy. In many respects, they consider themselves to be the better ‘managers’ of the workforce and feel that they are co-responsible for the success of individual companies. Hence, it is difficult to think about more radical alternatives to companies’ cost-cutting strategies outside the ‘common sense’ economic understanding.

Workers themselves are ambivalent about their own situation, Hajo Holst reported. On the one hand, permanently employed workers regard temporary agency workers as a guarantee for their own jobs. In times of crisis, it is the latter who are made redundant. On the other hand, however, there is still a feeling of injustice about the fact that their co-workers do the same jobs for less money and under the constant risk of unemployment. Perhaps it is this ambivalence, which provides the seeds for an alternative trade union strategy based on solidarity? Equally, important, manufacturing workers are often high-skilled and cannot be replaced that easily. The power of workers in production should not be underestimated by trade unions.

Photo by IG Metall

Clearly, the first precondition for a more active trade union position is to drop this idea of co-responsibility for company performance. Is this perhaps the time to re-politicise German trade unions and the process of collective bargaining? The continuing sense of injustice and solidarity amongst workers as well as the fact that highly-skilled workers cannot only not be replaced easily, but often know better how to run the production process itself may provide the basis for a more radical position against capital.

Key publications by Hajo Holst related to his presentation:

Holst, Hajo/Nachtwey, Oliver/Dörre, Klaus (2010) ‘The Strategic Use of Temporary Agency Work – Functional Change of a Non-standard Form of Employment’, International Journal of Action Research, 6(1), 108-38.

Prof. Andreas Bieler
Professor of Political Economy
University of Nottingham/UK

Personal website:

28 October 2013

Israel: Major International Cocaine Trafficking Hub

Israel: Major International Cocaine Trafficking Hub

by Stephen Lendman

A June UN Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report named Israel for its "star role." More on that below.

Israel is a serial lawbreaker. Its rap sheet already overflows. This revelation adds another reprehensible black mark.

The State Department's 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report says:

"Israel’s illicit drug trade is regionally focused, with Israel as more of a transit country than a stand-alone significant market." 

"The authorities continue to be concerned with illegal pharmaceutical sales, retail businesses which are suspected money-laundering enterprises, and corruption accusations against public officials."

An earlier State Department report said "the Israeli drug market continued to be characterized by high demand in nearly all sectors of society and a high availability of drugs including cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, hashish and LSD."

Drug trafficking and money laundering go hand-in-hand. On July 11, Haaretz headlined "US: Israeli played lead role in international drug money laundering ring."

Israeli/Colombian Isaac Perez Guberek was named. "Ten Panamanian companies, 11 Colombian companies and one based in Rosh Ha'ayin allegedly built (a) network that laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of drug money."

A State Department statement said:

"Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz, a Colombian national, and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, a dual Colombian and Israeli national, lead a money laundering network based in Bogota, Colombia that launders narcotics proceeds on behalf of numerous drug trafficking organizations, including organizations based in Colombia."

They "primarily rely upon the use of ostensibly legitimate textile companies within Colombia to engage in trade-based money laundering."

A US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida press release added:

"(D)efendants are charged with conspiracy to launder the illegal proceeds from the manufacture, importation, sale, and distribution of a controlled substance." 

"If convicted, (they) face a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison."

"Money launderers provide a critical service to narco-traffickers, helping them to wash, move, and hide their drug money."

The US Treasury called father and son Guberek as well as "29 other individuals and entities. Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs)."

On June 26, 2012, Haaretz headlined "IDF soldiers suspected of drug trafficking along Israel's border with Egypt."

Twelve soldiers and career junior officers were named. They were "arrested for trafficking in drugs worth some NIS 800,000 (about $200,000)."

"The arrest sweep is one of the largest ever in the IDF." Suspects are Gaza Division trackers. They're deployed along Egypt's border.

Their job is assuring no border breaches. According to IDF military police, "a sergeant first class and a conscript soldier were involved in smuggling heroine, cocaine, hashish and ecstasy."

On June 21, they were arrested. Others were apprehended days earlier.

According to military police special investigations commander Lt. Col. Gil Mamon, an undercover agent bought drugs from one of the suspects.

Smuggling has been ongoing for months, he said. Three civilians were arrested on suspicion of involvement.

On October 19, Haaretz headlined "Israel becomes major hub in the international cocaine trade, abuse rising."

Annual UN World Drug Reports discuss ongoing trends. Israel is a major abuser.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) implements UN drug treaties and conventions. 

In 2012, it named Brazil and Israel among "countries that are major manufacturers, exporters, importers and users of narcotic drugs."

Israeli cocaine trafficking is especially significant. Israel's Anti-Drug Authority (ADA) said cocaine use in Israel doubled from 2005 to 2009.

ADA rehabilitation unit head Haim Mal believes increased use reflects lifestyle changes.

"Whereas people in the past looked for drugs that would soothe them and produce peace of mind, now they are looking for drugs that will enable them to be more alert," he said. 

"Cocaine is a social drug that can be found in nightclubs in Israel's major cities and among a wide range of users, most of them in the liberal professions." 

Usage is "a social phenomenon that has emerged in Israel as in other countries around the world."

Heroin damages people physically, he added. "Cocaine damages the soul."

A young Israeli woman called "G" to maintain anonymity described her experience, saying:

"It was three in the morning and I had already had a number of drinks."

"The washrooms were really crowded, but not always because of bursting bladders." 

"There was a disorderly lineup that was moving along very slowly. Sometimes the door opened and out would come two to four people, who had emerged from one of the stalls." 

"After about a quarter of an hour, or it might have been 20 minutes, it was my turn."

"I went in with two friends. One of them took out a bag of coke and began to spread the stuff on a small surface." 

"He then used a credit card to arrange the coke in rows. I took out a 100-shekel note from my pocket, rolled it up and then each of us took turns snorting two rows." 

"At that moment, I still felt nothing. I went to the bar and ordered a vodka chaser. We all then went back to the dance floor. We danced up a storm and felt we could go on doing that forever." 

"Suddenly, you have this burst of energy. Everything was dark around me and I couldn't give a damn about anyone. I was so full of self-confidence."

According to the UN's report, cocaine trafficking and consumption are increasing in developing Asian countries. 

Israel was named among others. Cocaine arrived "fashionably late." Amounts seized are similar to figures other countries report.

In Israel, 63 kilograms were seized in 2009. In 2010, it was 71. In 2011, it jumped to 264. In 2012, it dropped to 171. One pound = 0.454 kg. 

Israeli authorities know these amounts are minuscule compared to what's trafficked and consumed.

Cocaine, hashish and other illicit drugs are readily available. Supply meets demand. 

Cocaine is called the drug of the rich. It's not just about price. Traffickers call it "the drug that lifts you up, because it takes you to the best places imaginable but leaves you sharp and focused - king or queen of the world."

Crack cocaine use isn't widespread in Israel. At least not so far. Cocaine consumption began during Britain's Mandate period. 

In 1929, Tel Aviv police seized 800 grams. It was cheap compared to today. It cost about 300 Palestinian pounds.

In America, one gram of pure cocaine costs $100 or more. Price various according to where sold. It's much the same in Europe and elsewhere.

According to international law enforcement agencies, Peru became the world's leading cocaine exporting nation in 2011. In 2012, it trafficked an estimated 538 tons.

Colombia ranks second. In 2012, it exported an estimated 345 tons. Bolivia was third with about 265 tons.

Revenues are huge. Black money attracts organized crime. According to Israeli police:

"There are Israeli crime organizations (involved) with the world's major drug cartels."

"Criminals are measured by their ability to traffic huge quantities of drugs and today there are several Israeli criminals who can traffic impressive quantities around the world." 

"Israeli drug criminals have a good reputation in the world because they meet several of the criteria in the field and because Israelis have global connections."

Israeli criminal ex-pats "never touch the drugs they traffic. They merely serve as middlemen." 

"They open a 'cashbox,' namely, a shipping container holding several hundred kilograms of cocaine, and they know how to find investors to fund" it.

Recent police reports say a cashbox en route to Australia was opened. Israeli criminals were involved in the deal.

The police's International and Serious Crimes Unit arrested members of an international trafficking network earlier.

Some were ex-pats. They worked for Israeli crime boss Yitzhak Abergil. 

His illicit activities included drug trafficking, money laundering, murder, extortion, embezzlement, illegal gambling and other crimes.

He operated in Israel, America and elsewhere. He was extradited to America. A 32-count indictment called his crime family one of Israel's most powerful. His operations continue without him.

In 2008, Israeli police broke up a major international drug trafficking ring. Huge amounts were sold. Other operations continue.

Israeli police conduct intelligence. They work with counterparts worldwide. According to an unnamed high-ranking official:

"Today we work with police forces all over the world on cases that involve not only Israel but also other countries." 

"The information flows constantly between the police forces of different countries." 

"Not only does the Israel Police have nothing to be ashamed of in connection with the war on cocaine trafficking; it has a lot to be proud of."

Cocaine is hugely profitable. In South America, a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) costs from $3,000 to $5,000.

According to an unnamed Israel Tax Authority drug and money laundering enforcement unit official:

"(Y)ou will almost always find cocaine in the possession of" couriers aboard flights from European countries and Israel.

Superintendent Noam Deshati heads Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport police unit 747. Around 13 million passengers pass through the airport annually. 

"You can bet your bottom dollar that we do not have the capacity for checking each and every one of them," he said. 

"Although we do not know whether there has been any increase in cocaine use, we do know that there has been an increase in the number of drug shipment seizures."

Couriers are well paid. Some earn thousands of dollars. It return, they transit drugs. Doing so is high risk. Despite efforts to curb trafficking, it continues flourishing. 

CIA involvement is longstanding. Peter Dale Scott's books and articles provide invaluable information.

"Since at least 1950 there has been a global CIA-drug connection operating more or less continuously," he said.

"The global drug connection is not just a lateral connection between CIA field operatives and their drug-trafficking contacts." 

"It is more significantly a global financial complex of hot money uniting prominent business, financial and government as well as underworld figures."

Global money laundering runs up to around $1.5 trillion annually. Most of it's from illicit drugs. Israel is tiny compared to America. It stands out as a major global cocaine trafficking hub.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

CIA Whistleblower: Obama’s Plans To Destroy US And Seize Power; 70 Agency DHS To...

In the 1976 movie “Network,” news anchor Howard Beale proclaimed, “We’re in a lot of trouble!” He had no idea.

We’ve watched as the Department of Homeland Security has beefed up to the point that SWAT teams under DHS authority from no less than seventy government agencies, including the National Weather Service and the Library of Congress, can load some of their 2 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition (enough to fight an Iraq-intensity conflict for 24 years) into their thousands of brand new MRAPS and take down a major city as we saw recently in Boston.

This is the “domestic army as powerful as the U.S. military” that Barack Obama promised to raise when he campaigned for President; and according to CIA whistleblower Dr. Jim Garrow, who has just come in out of the cold world of international espionage after a 45-year career as a CIA operative in China, he is about to unleash it upon the American people.

Dr. Garrow, revealed earlier this year that Obama was giving General officers in the United States military a "litmus test," a loyalty test, asking if they would fire on American citizens. Over thirty high-ranking Admirals and Generals have been removed from duty in the past year, including teo Three-star generals in charge of nuclear weapons in just the past few days.

On Friday the Air Force fired Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, who was in charge of its nuclear missiles., citing "alcohol abuse." Two days earlier the Navy deep-sixed Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, SAC's second-in-command. The reasons given for his dismissals was "gambling."
In this episode of The Truth Is Viral, Dr. Garrow tells Publisher Bobby Powell the explosive truth about the origins of Barack Hussein Obama, his parents and grandparents, and his Communist upbringing as a young Muslim child who was schooled in an Indonesian Madrassa.

Even more shockingly, Dr. Garrow confirms information published by The Truth Is Viral last year that Obama relies on Iranian-born White House advisor Valerie Jarrett to make foreign policy decisions. According to another former CIA spy, Iranian-national Reza Kahlili, Jarrett has even been conducting secret negotiations with Iran with the intent of betraying the United States to the Iranians should hostilities break out with Israel, a scenario that would necessitate the involvement of the United States.

Those hostilities could begin over Israeli retaliation for a WMD attack launched from Syria by either the Iranian-backed government of Bashar al-Assad or the al-Qaeda terrorists backed by Barack Obama, or they could begin should Israel strike Iranian nuclear facilities. Either way, the U.S. would be dragged into the conflict. With Russia and China recently asserting influence and projecting forces into the Eastern Mediterranean, and Russia especially stating that they would not allow U.S. airstrikes on Syrian targets, the possibility for a much wider conflict is uncomfortably high.

According to Kahlili, who sits on the board of EMPact America and is an advisor to the Congressional EMP Commission, the Iranians already possess nuclear weapons, some of their own manufacture and at least two purchased from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. Dr. Garrow agrees with Kahlili’s assessment that an EMP strike against the United States is possible, combined with terrorist attacks perpetrated by Iranian agents already in place inside the United States.

After an EMP attack, all electronics not specifically hardened against an electro-magnetic pulse will be fried. There will be no telephones, no internet, no way for Patriots to communicate with one another. In the days after such an attack, the country would be in utter chaos and Obama would undoubtedly declare martial law, sealing off major cities with the help of his new private army and Russian and U.N. troops.

According to Dr. Garrow, this is the ultimate dream of Barack Hussein Obama: To utterly destroy the United States and replace it with a Marxist/Muslim tyranny. The Muslim Brotherhood has been shown to have infiltrated the highest levels of the United States government. Valerie Jarrett and Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s most trusted assistant, are the most visible; but there are dozens of Muslim Brotherhood operatives in place in various federal agencies.

One FEMA employee, a man in charge of purchasing weapons for the agency, was recently in the news because he has published a radical Muslim Brotherhood-linked website that calls for the murders of gays, Christians, and basically anyone who doesn’t submit to the Muslim Brotherhood’s form of Islam.

Dr. Garrow goes on to talk about the murders of Andrew Brietbart, Michael Hastings, and novelist Tom Clancy and the information that they had about the Obama administration that led to their murders. He said that Obama has no problem killing those who get in his way or try to expose his true past or plans for the destruction of the United States.

According to Dr. Garrow, the People of the United States have been betrayed. Traitors sit in the highest offices in the land and they control vast resources; and they will not hesitate to crush any who would oppose their rule once this Marxist/Muslim coup is complete.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified my guest as Dr. Jim Garrison in a couple of places; his name is Dr. Jim Garrow. I apologize for the confusion. ~ Bobby

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This war veteran's blood, indeed, the blood of everyone who was ever wounded or killed in the line of duty, has been shed on behalf of a nation that is increasingly turning on those veterans with a paranoid vengeance; declaring them possible "domestic terrorists" along with Preppers, "Birthers", pro-Lifers, environmentalists, home-schoolers, Christians, and even - ridiculous as it sounds - people who pay for their purchases in cash.

This witness, who has come forward to tell his story, has been an extremely vocal Patriot, and has experienced direct intimidation in the form of black vans with tinted windows (but without license plates) parking down the street from his house hacking into his WiFi and spying either on him or on the whole block. More disturbingly, he says that he was paid a visit by a Black Hawk helicopter that flew so low the pilot could have trimmed the man’s tree with his main rotor.

The witness, who spoke on camera on the condition that his identity be obscured, said that a Black Hawk helicopter buzzed his home twice, once flying no more than 20-25 feet above the ground directly over his backyard. The pilot hovered, he said, looked him dead in the eye for a few seconds, then turned his aircraft and flew off.

Angered at what was clearly an act of intimidation the witness said, "They can take my blood, they can take my life, but they will never take the rights that God granted me. Those are God-given, and there's not a man walking on this Earth that can come up against God and win."

Operating under cover of the largest air combat exercise in the country called "Northern Strike," the skies over Northeastern Michigan have been filled with flights of attack helicopters, all fully loaded, flying back and forth to the gunnery range at Camp Grayling. C-130's have also been landing at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center filled with foreign troops taking part in these exercises, which include ground operations. I personally ran into four individuals in the local Walmart who bore all the hallmark signs of being Spetsnaz - Russian Special Forces. That story will be released shortly.

Untold numbers of citizens across the United States who have opinions that differ from those of the current administration have suffered some form of intimidation at the hands of an increasingly paranoid government that is desperately trying to survive a series of scandals, any one of which could bring the Obama administration crashing down.

That intimidation has been most visible of late in the form of IRS targeting of Conservative groups, and Justice Department investigations of mainstream journalists. FOX News Washington Bureau Chief James Rosen was nearly charged with espionage by the Justice Department. A DOJ affidavit accused Rosen of being “an aider, an abettor, and/or a co-conspirator” simply for doing his job.

This targeting of journalists was telegraphed by former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano who said that the National Operations Center’s Media Monitoring Initiative and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”

But when the government sends a Black Hawk helicopter to hover just feet above the head of an innocent American citizen who has done absolutely nothing other than voice his opinion in accordance with the 1st Amendment, terrorizing that citizen and his wife, that action goes beyond simple intimidation and enters the realm of criminality; a condition to which the Obama administration is no stranger.

It is, in fact, illegal for a pilot to fly his craft in such a manner. Using an attack helicopter to intimidate and terrorize American citizens who have done absolutely nothing wrong represents a clear and present danger to the citizens of this town, this county, this state, and this country.  At the urging of this reporter, the source in this episode is going to contact local civil authorities to ask them to open an investigation into this matter.

We, the citizens of Alpena Michigan, want this pilot’s wings clipped. If an investigation reveals that the pilot was ordered to fly his helicopter with the intent of intimidating the source and his family, we expect the United States government to punish the person who issued those orders to the fullest extent of the law.

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The Causes of Financial Crises

Photo by infomatique
Contrary to the propaganda of austerity that a country’s debt crisis is caused by government profligacy, tax evasion, and people’s overconsumption, lax work ethics, and the pervasive sense of entitlement in the debtor country, the real causes of debt crises are often both structural (a country’s place in the global economy) and institutional (banking regulations). The Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the current Euro-zone crisis share structural and institutional elements conducive to a region-wide financial crisis. In both cases, financial liberalization enabled excessive credit circulation in countries with high growth rates. Secondly, at the sign of a declining rate of profit, foreign capital took flight from countries of high current account deficits. A contagion effect spread as more speculative capital withdrew from countries with a high rate of external short term debt. As countries with a debt payment crisis turn to international financial institutions (IFIs) for help, fiscal rescue packages were promised on the condition that austerity measures were implemented. Without addressing the root causes of the crises, IFIs insisted on the structural adjustment programs (SAPs) as a condition for loans and demanded that public services should be reduced to bare bones minimum so that a bigger portion of government budget can be dedicated to debt servicing. This is a very dangerous idea that was tried in Asia but utterly failed.

Austerity Politics Compared: Asia and Europe

A comparison of the Asian case with the European one reveals a number of salient similarities and differences. The impact of austerity on society in both cases is catastrophic with massive unemployment and social unrest. They differ, however, as to how the state and civil society have responded to IFIs’ austerity politics.

Photo by FuturePresent

At the peak of the Asian crisis, millions of people were thrown out of work and faced abject poverty in Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea (called the Asian Three thereafter). Due to the IMF’s insistence on austerity measures, the Asian Three found their hands tied, unable to help mitigate social unrest resulting from massive unemployment and increased poverty. The situation developed into full blown social crises, resulting in major political upheavals in the Asian Three. In Thailand, tapping into the pervasive anti-IMF populist nationalism during the Asian crisis, Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party seized power with strong support from the wider population. Although neoliberal restructuring continued under his administration, the Thaksin government moderated destabilizing impacts of neo-liberalism by extending social welfare measures. In Indonesia, a nationwide anti-austerity movement eventually forced the pro-IMF Suharto regime to resign. The new administration, now more responsive to popular demands, did not implement many austerity measures previously planned. In South Korea, anti-IMF sentiments contributed to the electoral victory of the opposition party leader, Kim Dae-Jung who was most critical of the International Monetary Fund program. As in the case of Thailand and Indonesia, the Kim administration did moderate the scope of neoliberal restructuring and introduced an extensive social welfare program.

Similar to the Asian Three, massive protests against austerity measures have taken place in Greece, Spain and Portugal (the European Three thereafter). Unlike the case of the Asian Three, a large segment of the anti-austerity movement in Europe eschewed electoral politics. As a result, the politically elusive anti-austerity movements failed to forge a government with a popular mandate that is able to challenge the IFIs. The Indignados (‘the Outraged’), also known as the 15 M movement in Spain and the anti-austerity protesters in the Greek Syntagma square are cases in point.

Photo by photoAtlas
In Spain, a significant number of anti-austerity protesters refused to engage in electoral politics and as a result, the pro-austerity, conservative Popular Party was elected into power. As in the case of Spain, Portugal also saw an electoral victory of right-wing parties that are happy to cut welfare programs. In Greece, too, many anti-austerity protesters, disenchanted with electoral politics, refused to utilize electoral venues for a social change. In the absence of an alternative political opposition party backed by anti-austerity movements, the far-right political forces take advantage of the situation by exploiting mass resentment. With the anti-Troika, ultra nationalist narrative that immigrants and foreigners siphon off national wealth, the far-right fringe parties such as the Golden Dawn Party in Greece gain increasing support from the disgruntled populace who resent the sharing of reduced public services and welfare benefits with immigrants.

Photo by furlin
Partly due to these different state-civil society dynamics in Asia and Europe, the outcomes of the two financial crises have so far turned out to be different. With anti-austerity administrations in power, the Asian Three reversed IMF austerity policy and expanded social welfare. As a result, they were able to spur further economic growth and significantly reduced their external debt within a relatively short time period. In sharp contrast, with the electoral victory of conservative parties in the European Three, austerity measures are likely to prolong economic downturns and social instability in Europe. More alarmingly, the rise of ethno-exclusionary political parties in Europe can further divide civil society as sections of the populace turn against the most marginalized and powerless in society.

We can draw a valuable lesson from the Asian financial crisis for the Eurozone. As shown in the case of Asia, the ideology of austerity can be defeated. To this end, anti-austerity movements in Europe should not abandon the state as a site for social change.

This blog post is based on the article “Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis for the Euro-zone: A Comparative Analysis of the Perilous Politics of Austerity in Asia and Europe”, Asia Europe Journal, Vol.11/2 (2013).

Mi Park is a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She can be reached at
I could not agree more with the overall thrust of the 9 May blog post by Andreas Bieler where he wrote about the need for – and political potential of – of the People’s Assemblies against Austerity now being held across the UK (see Why we need local People’s Assemblies). At a moment when opposition to this government’s cruel cutbacks is ‘highly fragmented’ and the Labour Party, as well as many unions, have almost ‘given up the struggle against austerity…local and regional People’s Assemblies are of high importance to ensure a revival of resistance and overcome the lethargy at the national level,’ Bieler wrote. And as the historian Keith Flett reminds us, such mass gatherings have a long history in the British working class movement. Meetings in Birmingham and Manchester to choose local delegates for the Chartist Convention of 1839 attracted crowds of, respectively, 200,000 and 300,000 people  (see On the History of People’s Assemblies).

So yes, the People’s Assemblies --- IF they are organised democratically and transparently and actually do create a ‘broad space to bring together the diverse groups opposed to austerity’ ---- do have some potential. (I also add the caveat: unless they also directly challenge the insipid role of the Labour Party in the growing anti-cuts campaign, PA’s have a potentially fatal Achilles’ heel.) That’s exactly why I actively participated in the organisation of the 18 May People’s Assembly in Nottingham. But I watched in growing disappointment for over six weeks as its planning committee fell apart after a series of undemocratic manoeuvres and local activists withdrew (or were excluded). This meant that the best possibilities of the Notts PA were not realised. Controlled by two trade unionists from Notts TUC, its planning committee reproduced capitalist relations of production --- that is, there were bosses and there were workers --- and its functioning mirrored the cabal politics of Westminster.  

The Notts PA did give us a flavour of the anger that is ‘out there’ in the broader community and the event has been called the ‘best-attended’ local protest meeting in some years. But the words of PA plenary speaker and disabled activist Francesca Martinez that ‘I believe in better’ led me to write an open letter to the Notts TUC.

This guest blog expands on that letter. The trajectory of events concerning a proposed crèche for the PA gives us a series of lessons as to how activists and trade unionists must learn to work together in a far better fashion in future months and in future campaigns. As a large crowd was expected at the Notts PA and as the event was to last all day, the establishment of a crèche was agreed at a Notts PA planning meeting in early April. A child care expert then did all of the planning required, including engaging the top-rated mobile crèche unit of a local non-profit agency. But the crèche never occurred. What lessons does this regrettable debacle teach us for future collaboration?  

1) BE INCLUSIVE – When establishing a crèche was first proposed, the head of planning committee clearly was rather cool to the idea. ‘I have never been to an event which had a crèche,’ he said, adding that he doubted anyone would need one. But those of us with a somewhat broader political experience and a strong commitment to assisting women to get involved in politics --- as well as appreciating the need to send a clear political signal that the PA did as well --- won that initial battle. We were, however, to lose the crèche ‘war’…as we found out a few weeks later and as we again learned our own lessons about how not to organise. The importance of inclusiveness also applies to disabled people (as it says in the open letter, ‘one accessible parking space on a steep road simple does cut it’), to working class people who may lack middle class confidence and, thankfully, glibness, and to people who are still novices at political campaigning. Concerning the latter group, one woman I know who is an extremely hard-working and talented campaigner, passionately hates injustice and who needed a crèche at the PA for her two children left the planning committee in disgust after a single session. That’s not surprising; read on.

2) OPERATE DEMOCRATICALLY – One of the reasons that more activists are getting involved in the struggle against austerity --- and indeed government policies are bringing forth new activists daily by the barrow-load --- is because they detest the increasingly dictatorial attacks on their lives, as well as the resulting alienation and sense of isolation they feel. Or they appreciate how others at the pointed end are feeling. Not surprisingly when such activists join protest campaigns or plan events AS VOLUNTEERS, they expect to feel at least some sense of community and solidarity with those who are working in the same campaign. And they can also expect a minimum level of democratic functioning. Time and time again this did not happen in the People’s Assembly planning process here in Nottingham: democratically-taken decisions (such as to establish a crèche) were ignored, some meetings were packed while others were held unannounced, and some genuinely bizarre events occurred. For example, about four weeks before the PA was to occur and before any distribution of 3,000+ flyers had even begun, the group’s chairperson decided --- without consulting anyone in the group ---- to post at midnight on the Notts PA website these words: ‘Sorry, this event is sold out.’ Such shenanigans, whether the campaign is about the lack of NHS beds or the bedroom tax, do not promote group cohesiveness and trust.
3) OPPOSE ‘CONTROL FREAKERY’ - Anyone who has ever participated in a protest campaign or organised a large event understands the need for strong leadership. But strong leadership is not the same as ‘control freakery.’ Take the question of access to a campaign’s e-mail lists, website, Facebook or Twitter accounts. In these digital days, all four of them can provide campaigners with simple, powerful - and cheap - rapid response units that allow them to connect with, inform and mobilise their target audiences. In the case of the Notts PA, there were more than 625 names on an e-mail list of people who had taken the initiative to personally send in an RSVP to say they would be attending this event. For more than a month, members of the planning committee repeatedly requested that the planning committee chairperson announce the fact that a crèche would be held and tell parents how they could register their children. A minuted meeting in late April unanimously made the same request. (You might ask:  why couldn’t they do this posting themselves? Because the chairperson was the sole person in the group with digital access rights to this media.) But these minutes were never circulated and, after that, those on the committee who wanted a crèche --- and thus wanted the group to carry out what had been agreed --- were never told where or when committee meetings were held. The committee chairperson simply did not want a crèche; so none was held. Thus the aptness of the analogy to bosses and workers made earlier. One of the first decisions any campaigning group needs to make is how, AS A GROUP, it will get out its message into cyberspace.    

4) USE EVERYBODY’S TALENTS – Some trade unionists have long experience organising campaigns. But lots of activists have many talents and experiences as well. Good leadership decides how to harness and co-ordinate the talents of all who want to work together to plan a large event or campaign against Iain Duncan-Smith’s hare-brained and cruel schemes, such as the bedroom tax. (See the open letter for a couple of examples of how this scheme is working here in the Midlands.) But it simply won’t do to have a very sickly child care expert spend many hours organising a crèche and then to scrap the idea without discussion because the building chosen to host the event would obviously be too cramped, as it proved to be, and because several people wanted to use the space selected for a crèche (and agreed to at a group meeting) for their own particular workshop. Word of a ‘bad experience’ working with --- sometimes, more accurately working for --- trade union officials advancing their own narrow agendas, personal or sectarian, can spread quickly in the community.  

5)  BE ACCOUNTABLE – Most activists join campaigns as individuals. Trade unionists, however, often join as official representatives of their union or local trades’ council and claim to speak on their behalf. But what if they, bluntly, ‘screw up’ as occurred at the Notts PA?  To whom are they accountable?  To the campaign group? To a local TUC? And is it national TUC policy to create another barrier to the wider political involvement in our movement of women, likely the main people requesting a crèche for their children? These are questions, and others, which I think trade unions need to address. 


It will be a while before 300,000 people attend a protest meeting held outside London; even acquiring 300,000 followers on Facebook would be an accomplishment. Bur we will never reach such a plateau unless we ALL start constructing a radically transformed opposition culture. Trade unions have a key role to play in this construction project…which can’t start too soon.

Alan Story lives in Sherwood, Nottingham and would be interested in learning your comments on this guest blog ( All of the events mentioned above are fully documented. 

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President Obama called for a modest raise in the federal minimum wage to $9 in his State of the Union Address, and several Democratic legislators have upped his bid with a proposed increase to $10.10.Prevailing wage laws, which protect local construction sector workers from private sector undercutting, are the kind of legislation that ALEC-affiliated state legislation would dismantle. (Photo: Rubber Dragon / Flickr / Creative Commons)

But an insidious effort to lower the wage floor is already underway much closer to the ground—in the state legislatures where right-wing lobbyists have been greasing the skids for years for an onslaught of anti-worker policies.

An extensive analysis recently published by labor advocacy organization the National Employment Law Project tracks more than 100 bills introduced in 31 states since January 2011 that “aim to repeal or weaken core wage standards at the state or local level." Each bears the fingerprint of notorious super-lobbying organization the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which acts as a forum for “private sector leaders” to advise public officials. Most of the anti-worker bills were proposed by lawmakers directly linked to ALEC and include language that echoes that of "model legislation" developed by ALEC. Among the proposals are measures to undercut minimum wages for teenage workers, restrict overtime pay and repeal or ban local laws to improve working conditions.

ALEC has been called out by activists for pushing legislation that advances a classic right-wing agenda, from school privatization to rolling back healthcare reform. But the “wage suppression” tactics are a particularly callous attempt by ALEC-affiliated legislators to feed corporate profits by starving workers.

The wage-suppression laws are the latest strike in a war of attrition waged by ALEC and “private sector leaders” (as the organization calls them) against labor and workplace rights, aimed at forcing low-wage workers into even deeper economic insecurity.

While efforts to pass pro-worker policies in Washington have met with resistance, ALEC-sponsored bills seek to outlaw protections for workers at the state and local level, such as living wage ordinances and paid leave mandates. In several states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan, lawmakers have introduced ALEC-associated legislation to preempt prevailing wage laws, which ensure workers receive relatively fair wages in government-contracted work, including the public infrastructure projects that fuel local construction sectors.

NELP points out that only a minority of these bills have actually been enacted, but the sheer volume of anti-worker legislative proposals is nonetheless alarming at a time when the labor movement, which has traditionally struggled to beat back pro-corporate legislation, is weaker than ever. 

The ALEC-inspired bills to weaken state minimum wage laws strike directly at state’s efforts to lift workers above the absurdly low federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Some states have set base wages significantly higher than the federal minimum—like Vermont's minimum hourly wage of $8.60, adjusted automatically to keep pace with the cost of living.

Losing the state minimum wage could leave some workers completely unprotected, because they are excluded from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Home health aides, for example, have long been exempted from federal minimum-wage rules, despite strong grassroots campaigns to include them, but are covered by minimum wage law in some states, including New York and Massachussetts. Their incredibly low wages—typically less than $10 an hour across the industry—could be bumped down further if state wage floors are ripped from under them.
Overtime pay is another labor issue on which states have filled gaps in federal law. While the FLSA guarantees time-and-a-half overtime pay for many sectors, some low-wage workers, including certain federally-exempted domestic service jobs, are entitled to that wage boost only under state law. Legislators in some states—including the “right to work” battlegrounds of Ohio and Michigan, where unions are under siege—have tried to allow certain employers to get around overtime by instead paying workers “comp time,” or time off equal to one regular hour of work, even if they work more than 40 hours a week. One ALEC-affiliated bill proposed in 2011 in Nevada explicitly sought to exclude home care workers from overtime laws.

Noting that conservatives will hold majority control of most state houses this year, NELP analyst Jack Temple says, “Since legislation to raise the federal minimum wage usually depends on momentum from the states, bills like these that weaken or repeal wage standards at the state level serve to undercut the momentum needed to pass national legislation in Congress.”

The measures to prevent local officials from raising the bar for workers betrays ALEC’s underlying agenda. Though the organization purports to champion the “rights” of local authorities to act independently of “big government,” NELP reports, it’s really more about emancipating big business from regulation:

Despite ALEC’s putative support for limited government and local sovereignty, living wage preemption proposals would establish state-wide mandates that severely restrict the freedom that city governments have to set standards for businesses that receive public support.

According to Temple, with so many wage-suppression bills clogging state legislatures, even if many do not pass:

The significance of these bills for advocates at the state level concerns the sheer amount of energy and time that must be spent fighting back bills like these, which drains the time and resources that could otherwise be dedicated to improving wage standards rather than just protecting the laws already on the books.

A bill creeping through the Florida legislature seems poised to undercut emerging efforts to improve workers’ lives. HB 655 would ban towns and cities from taking local initiatives to raise wages and give workers paid leave time, thus blocking key policies that could improve the lives of workers surviving on the state’s threadbare minimum wage of $7.79 (about a third of what a single parent of two would need to earn a decent living). On the heels of a recent campaign, led by local labor groups, to establish paid sick days in Miami-Dade County, the bill would effectively block local officials from granting workers the basic protection of not having to lose wages for calling in sick.

Florida is just one battleground in a nationwide movement to improve protections and wage standards for the working poor, as labor advocates push for raises in state and federal minimum wages in tandem with the White House's proposal. But NELP's report reveals how groups like ALEC have already gotten a head start in our state legislatures. 

Without strong unions or even an adequate social safety net, minimum wage laws are the last line of defense between low-wage workers and abject poverty. So it makes sense that ALEC is now driving to pull the floor from under them; they might as well kick them when they’re down.

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After initially denying the killings, Dale Cregan unexpectedly admitted the offences after a break in his trial at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard last week how the 29-year-old ambushed PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes after making a 999 call to report a bogus burglary from a house in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on September 18.

The jury was told that he opened fire on the policewomen as they approached the front door of the house and that as they lay on the floor, he threw a hand grenade at their bodies.

Families of PCs Bone, 32, and Hughes, 23, wept in court as details of the murders were outlined. They heard a recording of the call made by Cregan and watched CCTV footage of the two officers leaving their police station in response.

None of their relatives were in court to hear Cregan admit the murders.

Cregan, of no fixed address, continues to deny murdering a father and son in two separate attacks earlier in the year.

Mark Short, 23, was shot at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Manchester, on May 25, while his 46-year-old father David was found dead on August 10 following a blast a house in nearby Clayton.

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Before September 11, 2001, more than half the border crossings between the United States and Canada were left unguarded at night, with only rubber cones separating the two countries. Since then, that 4,000 mile “point of pride,” as Toronto’s Globe and Mail once dubbed it, has increasingly been replaced by a U.S. homeland security lockdown, although it’s possible that, like Egyptian-American Abdallah Matthews, you haven’t noticed.

The first time he experiences this newly hardened U.S.-Canada border, it takes him by surprise. It’s a freezing late December day and Matthews, a lawyer (who asked me to change his name), is on the passenger side of a car as he and three friends cross the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia, Ontario, to the old industrial town of Port Huron, Michigan. They are returning from the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto, chatting and happy to be almost home when the car pulls up to the booth, where a blue-uniformed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent stands. The 60,000-strong CBP is the border enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security and includes both customs and U.S. Border Patrol agents. What is about to happen is the furthest thing from Matthews’s mind. He’s from Port Huron and has crossed this border “a million times before.”

After scanning their passports and looking at a computer screen in the booth, the agent says to the driver, as Matthews tells the story:

“Sir, turn off the vehicle, hand me the key, and step out of the car.”

He hears the snap of handcuffs going around his friend’s wrists. Disoriented, he turns around and sees uniformed men kneeling behind their car, firearms drawn.

“To my disbelief, situated behind us are agents, pointing their guns.”

The CBP officer asks Matthews and the remaining passengers to get out of the car and escorts them to a waiting room. Thirty minutes later, he, too, is handcuffed and in a cell. Forty-five minutes after that another homeland security agent brings him into a room with no chairs. The agent tells him that he can sit down, but all he sees is a countertop. “Can I just stand?” he asks.

And he does so for what seems like an eternity with the door wide open, attempting to smile at the agents who pass by. “I’m trying to be nice,” is how he put it.

Finally, in a third room, the interrogation begins. Although they question Matthews about his religious beliefs and various Islamic issues, the two agents are “nice.” They ask him: Where’d you go? What kind of law do you practice? He tells them that a former law professor was presenting a paper at the annual conference, whose purpose is to revive “Islamic traditions of education, tolerance, and introspection.” They ask if he’s received military training abroad. This, he tells me, “stood out as one of their more bizarre questions.” When the CBP lets him and his friends go, he still thinks it was a mistake.

However, Lena Masri of the Council of American Islamic Relations-Michigan (CAIR-MI) reports that Matthews’s experience is becoming “chillingly” commonplace for Michigan’s Arab and Muslim community at border crossings. In 2012, CAIR-MI was receiving five to seven complaints about similar stops per week. The detainees are all Arab, all male, all questioned at length. They are asked about religion, if they spend time at the mosque, and who their Imam is.

According to CAIR-MI accounts, CBP agents repeatedly handcuff these border-crossers, often brandish weapons, conduct invasive, often sexually humiliating body searches, and detain people for from two to 12 hours. Because of this, some of the detainees have lost job opportunities or jobs, or given up on educational opportunities in Canada.  Many are now afraid to cross the border to see their families who live in Canada. (CAIR-MI has filed alawsuit against the CBP and other governmental agencies.)

Months later, thinking there is no way this can happen again, Matthews travels to Canada and crosses the border, this time alone, on the Blue Water Bridge to Port Huron. Matthews still hadn’t grasped the seismic changes in Washington’s attitude toward our northern border since 9/11.  Port Huron, his small hometown, where a protest group, Students for a Democratic Society, first famously declared themselves against racism and alienation in 1962, is now part of the “frontline” in defense of the “hom