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Uber, Lyft Drivers Game 'Surge Pricing' At Reagan National Airport With Synchronized Scheme

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - Tue, 2019-05-21 07:45

Uber and Lyft drivers at Reagan National Airport have been gaming the system "every night, several times a night," by simultaneously turning off their rideshare apps for a minute or two so that the system is tricked into thinking there are no drivers available, thus creating a price surge. 

When the fare is high enough, drivers turn their apps back on and 'lock in' the higher fares, according to ABC 7

It's happening in the Uber and Lyft parking lot outside Reagan National airport. The lot fills with 120 to 150 drivers sometimes for hours, waiting for the busy evening rush. And nearly all the drivers have one complaint:

“Uber doesn’t pay us enough, what the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35-40 percent,” one driver told ABC 7.

“They are taking all this money because there’s no system of accountability,” another unidentified driver said. -ABC 7

Drivers are complaining that after three years of declining income, they are now fighting back by artificially manipulating the apps. 

"All the airplanes we know when they land. So five minutes before, we turn all our apps off all of us at the same time. All of us we turn our apps off. They surge, $10, $12, sometimes $19. Then we turn our app on. Everyone will get the surge," said one driver. 

"Someone is standing by that corner. I stand by this corner and the other one stands at this corner and we say turn the app off and then go online," the driver continued, explaining how they coordinate the scam. 

A man running the operation , alerts drivers that the time to shutdown is just around the corner. Using another app, he knows the precise moment to have everyone power down, ensuring the largest surge.

“Hey! We gotta wait, we gotta wait.”

“Alright—go off go off. Go, go, go, go, go, go.”

“10-12 10 -12.”

The surge rises to $12 within seconds. The organizer watches his phone closely.

“It’s still going up. It’s still going up.”

“It’s 13 still going up, it’s still going up. It’s 13. Don’t go on yet! You up?? Refresh it!”

In less than 2 minutes it's over. Passengers now pay an additional $13 on their fares. -ABC 7

"When we find out what the highest surge is, that’s when we say everybody on. And that’s when everybody gets paid what we think we should be getting paid," said the man. 

"It’s like we work as a family, like a team together. Like as a team. We do it. Every night. We do it again. We drop off, come back again, it’s a routine. We do it to 12 o' clock." 

GOP Congressman Who Calls for Impeachment Stands Alone

Truthdig - Tue, 2019-05-21 06:59

WASHINGTON—He was known in the Michigan statehouse as “Mr. No” for voting against some Republican legislation. But now in Congress, on the question of whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, Rep. Justin Amash is the lone Republican saying “Yes.”

In tweeted remarks over the weekend, Amash wrote that he’s read special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump’s conduct during and after the 2016 presidential election. Mueller did not find evidence of conspiracy with Russia, but he revealed startling details about Trump’s efforts to shut down the probe and made no recommendation on obstruction. Amash did, becoming the only Republican in Congress to call for the House to formally charge the president.

“Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash, a longtime Trump critic, tweeted on Saturday after reading the report. Specificially, Amash tweeted, the findings identify “multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice.”

The backlash from Republicans was swift and sharp against a congressman from a key state that Trump swiped from Democrats — by less than a percentage point — for the first time since the Reagan administration. In his bid to keep the state in his column next year, Trump launched a weaponized tweet that could serve as a warning to other Republicans considering defying him. None immediately did so.

Within hours, Trump had called Amash “a total lightweight” and a “loser.”

“He’s been against Trump from the beginning,” Trump told reporters on Monday. “Personally I think he’s not much.”

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House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Fox News questioned whether Amash really belongs among GOP congressmen. But most notably, the fifth-term lawmaker drew a primary challenger for his Grand Rapids-area seat in the 2020 elections. The key disqualification, as they described it across the board Monday, was Amash’s insufficient loyalty to the president on matters ranging from Trump’s wall to Mueller’s “witch hunt.”

“Amash has consistently voted against President Donald Trump on important issues,” said state Rep. Jim Lower, who scrambled to announce his campaign Monday after Amash’s tweets. In a telephone interview later in the day, Lower said, “Most Republican Party primary voters support the president and want a congressman that would work with him to get his agenda done.” He accused Amash of “standing in the way” and said the congressman has moved away from the party over several years.

Amash was elected in 2010 as part of the tea party wave that toppled Democratic control. He was one of the founding members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. He vowed to explain all his votes, and to never miss one.

But many of the Freedom Caucus members are no longer in Congress and the group is now dominated by pro-Trump Republicans. Amash acknowledges that he’s somewhat isolated in Washington as a result, describing himself in the “Liberal Lions” podcast in March as “not personally lonely, but politically lonely.”

Back home in Michigan, establishment Republicans in the business community have long been disenchanted with Amash, saying he does not do enough to solve problems in the district. They backed an unsuccessful primary challenger in 2014. But the dynamics have shifted with Trump’s election, and GOP operatives say the president’s criticism of Amash has hurt the congressman’s standing with the base.

“He’s the most vulnerable in a Republican primary that he’s ever been,” said Greg McNeilly, a Republican strategist in Grand Rapids. “The 3rd District, while much more of a swing district in a general election for the president, is a solidly Trumpian district in a primary. The delta between the president and congressman is the chief source of Justin Amash’s problem.”

Like all Republicans, Amash is well aware of the potential cost of defying Trump. Unprompted in the same podcast interview, he harked back to Mark Sanford, the former North Carolina governor and congressman critical of Trump who became the focus of the president’s twitter fury — and lost the GOP primary ahead of the 2018 elections. A Democrat ultimately won that seat.

So it may come as no surprise that Amash isn’t ruling out challenging Trump on the Libertarian ticket in 2020, in part because he wants to offer people an alternative to the major parties.

For certain, he wasn’t backing down on Monday. At midday, Amash answered his critics on legal and constitutional grounds, tweeting, among other things, that there need not be a statutory crime named in the Mueller report for impeachment to be appropriate.

In the nearly two dozen tweet stream throughout Saturday and Monday, Amash kept one scolding quote pinned at the top.

“‘Let me now…warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.’ – George Washington.”


Associated Press writer David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan, contributed to this report.

5th Migrant Child Dies in U.S. Custody

Truthdig - Tue, 2019-05-21 06:49

HOUSTON—A 16-year-old Guatemala migrant who died Monday in U.S. custody had been held by immigration authorities for six days — twice as long as federal law generally permits — then transferred him to another holding facility even after he was diagnosed with the flu.

The teenager, identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, was the fifth minor from Guatemala to die after being apprehended by U.S. border agents since December.

Advocates demanded that President Donald Trump’s administration act to safeguard the lives of children in detention as border crossings surge and the U.S. Border Patrol detains thousands of families at a time in overcrowded facilities, tents, and outdoor spaces.

“We should all be outraged and demand that those responsible for his well-being be held accountable,” said Efrén Olivares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

“If these were white children that were dying at this rate, people would be up in arms,” he said. “We see this callous disregard for brown, Spanish-speaking children.”

John Sanders, CBP’s acting commissioner, said in a statement that his agency was “saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family.”

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“CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody,” Sanders said.

Border Patrol agents said Carlos was apprehended on May 13 in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley after crossing the border illegally. He was taken to the agency’s central processing center in McAllen, Texas, a converted warehouse where hundreds of adults and children are held in large, fenced-in pens and sleep on mats.

CBP said Carlos was processed as a minor unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Federal law and CBP’s guidelines generally require that unaccompanied youth be transferred within three days to a facility operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A CBP official who declined to be named in order to brief reporters said Carlos was awaiting transfer to HHS custody on Thursday, three days after his apprehension. At the time of his death, Carlos was supposed to be sent to Southwest Key Casa Padre, a 1,400-person facility inside an old Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, the official said.

Mark Weber, a spokesman for HHS, did not address in a statement why the teenager wasn’t transferred sooner, but said a “minority of cases exceeding 72 hours have generally involved exceptional circumstances.”

CBP said Carlos reported early Sunday morning that he was not feeling well and diagnosed with the flu by a nurse practitioner.

He was prescribed the medicine Tamiflu, then transferred later Sunday to the Border Patrol station at Weslaco, Texas, to prevent his flu from spreading to other detainees.

He was not hospitalized, according to the agency official who briefed reporters. The official said CBP facilities have medical providers who can monitor detainees, though the official did not know what specific symptoms Carlos had.

Carlos had last been checked an hour before he was found unresponsive.

Asked about the death, Trump blamed Democrats, saying they are refusing to approve changes that could improve the system.

“The Democrats are really making it very, very dangerous for people by not approving simple quick 15 minutes legislation, we could have it all worked out,” Trump said.

His administration has called for legislation that would allow it to detain migrant families for longer and expedite deportations, which Democrats oppose

The FBI is investigating the latest migrant death, as are local police and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

Guatemala’s foreign ministry said the teenager was from Baja Verapaz, north of Guatemala City, and was seeking to reunite with family in the U.S. already.

The U.S. government has faced months of scrutiny over its care of children it apprehends at the border. A 2-year-old child died last week after he and his mother were detained by the Border Patrol. The agency says it took the child to the hospital the same day the mother reported he was sick, and he was hospitalized for several weeks.

On April 30, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died after officials at an HHS detention facility noticed that he was sick. He was hospitalized in intensive care for several days before his death.

After the deaths of two children ages 7 and 8 in December, the DHS ordered medical checks of all children in its custody and expanded medical screenings.

Trump administration officials have said they have passed a “breaking point” in the immigration detention system, with the numbers of parents and children crossing the border dramatically exceeding the capacity at facilities.

That strain is particularly acute in the Rio Grande Valley, which has more unauthorized border crossings than any other region.

The Border Patrol has released photos of adults and children lying in small, military-style tents or on the grass and pavement outside of two of its stations. It also recently opened a 500-person tent near one port of entry and announced plans to open another.

Amnesty International said in a statement that Carlos’ death “leads us to wonder how many deaths it will take for the administration to ensure the safety and security of children.”

“It is dangerous and cruel to detain people, particularly children, in crowded and unsanitary conditions for seeking protection,” the organization said.

Charles Koch’s Cynical Rebranding Shouldn’t Fool Anybody

Truthdig - Tue, 2019-05-21 06:20

A majority of Americans support raising taxes on the rich in some form, according to a February poll conducted by SurveyMonkey for The New York Times. Just weeks before, a similar poll by TheHill/HarrisX, asking specifically about Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for an annual 2% tax on people with assets over $50 million, found that 74% of respondents agreed with the idea.

Supporters of wealth taxes generally, and Warren’s specifically, include Trump voters. “I think that raising taxes on the rich should have happened a long time ago,” Virginia Connolly, who voted for Trump and runs a home-cleaning business in Florida, told the Times. “The rich, what are they going to do with all that money?”

As The Washington Post reports Monday, if you’re Charles Koch, billionaire head of Koch Industries, you might use it to rename and reorganize your right-wing empire—funded by you and around 700 of your closest wealthy friends, who pay at least $100,000 annually—into an organization called Stand Together, formerly known as The Seminar Network, emphasizing philanthropy toward such causes as poverty, addiction, recidivism, gang violence and homelessness.

Brian Hooks, former chair of The Seminar Network, will lead Stand Together. In an interview with the Post, he denied that the name change and reorganization is a marketing or rebranding exercise, calling it instead a “natural evolution” of Koch’s work. “For too many years, we’ve let people define us. Going forward, we’re going to define ourselves,” he told the Post.

Charles, along with his brother David (who retired from politics in 2018), helped use the immense profits from their family business to finance a vast network of political, educational, philanthropic and policy organizations. As The Associated Press wrote in January, they were “GOP kingmakers best known for their pro-business agenda, libertarian leanings and support for the tea party movement.” Now, all political and policy activities will be folded into Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, which will continue to lobby for Charles’s political goals.

“We live in a period of unprecedented progress — economic, social, technological — but not everyone has shared in that progress,” Charles Koch wrote in a letter to supporters shared with the Post, sounding almost progressive. “While many people have gotten ahead, too many people are falling behind. Our charge is clear: we must stand together to help every person rise.”

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Even prior to the rebranding, Koch and Koch donors have worked to promote what are generally considered progressive causes. They are working with liberal pundit Van Jones on criminal justice reform. They’re also supporting undocumented immigrant teens who came to the United States as children, the legalization of marijuana and an end to the war in Afghanistan. Stand Together also is staying out of the 2020 presidential race, though not out of politics altogether. Hooks told the Post that the organization is committed to working with unexpected partners, emphasizing a desire to be pragmatic: “What we’re committed to doing is offering people a different way to stay engaged in policy and in politics but to do it in a way that unites people to actually get things done.”

Hooks says he wants to work across political affiliations, telling the Post, “In a sense, all of us have had to make a choice, right? What do we care more about? Do we care more about helping people to actually break barriers or some of these old attachments? I think more and more people are making the right choice on that.”

Read more about the reorganization and renaming at the Post.

U.S. Navy Warns That 5G Will Interfere With Weather Forecasting and Large Urban Areas Will Be Impacted First. FCC Auctions 5G Spectrums Anyway.

Activist Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 05:51

By B.N. Frank

When it rains, it pours…

Activist Post reported last week about meteorologists warning about 5G interfering with weather forecasting.  Now the U.S. Navy is chiming in with the same concerns AND including objections raised also by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

From Ars Technica:

A US Navy memo warns that 5G mobile networks are likely to interfere with weather satellites, and senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to avoid issuing new spectrum licenses to wireless carriers until changes are made to prevent harms to weather forecasting.

The FCC has already begun an auction of 24GHz spectrum that would be used in 5G networks. But Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking him to avoid issuing licenses to winning bidders “until the FCC approves the passive band protection limits that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determine are necessary to protect critical satellite‐based measurements of atmospheric water vapor needed to forecast the weather.”


The internal Navy memo on the topic, written on March 27 by Capt. Marc Eckardt, a Naval oceanographer, was made public by Wyden and Cantwell today.

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The memo topic is “Operational impacts from potential loss of NOAA/NASA METOC [meteorology and oceanography] satellite data resulting from the FCC spectrum auction for 5G.” The Navy memo summarizes the problem as follows:

  • Remotely sensed observations (water vapor) may be degraded or lost due to growing interference from the broader adoption of 5G; specifically, in the 24GHz bands.
  • Naval operations will continue but with a probable degradation of weather and ocean models, resulting in increased risk in Safety of Flight and Safety of Navigation, and degraded Battlespace Awareness for tactical / operational advantage.

[…]The Navy’s concerns are shared by meteorologists quoted in a recent Nature article.

Lawsuits have already been filed against the FCC regarding forced 5G installation (See 1, 2, 3).

The Telecom Industry has provided no scientific evidence that 5G is biologically or environmentally safe.  There’s research that says it isn’t safe.  Security experts are also voicing opposition to 5G due cybersecurity risks.

Yet some folks are still blaming Russia for American 5G opposition.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Be Free and Independent! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Image credit: Pixabay

Categories: News for progressives

The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle

Greanville Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 05:32
RICHARD GREEMAN—Fortunately, in the past few weeks the League for the Rights of Man and other such humanitarian groups have at last turned out to protest police brutality, while committees of artists and academics have signed petitions in support of the Yellow Vests’ struggle for democratic rights, condemning the government and media. At the same time, Yellow Vests are more and more converging with Ecologists (“End of the Month/End of the World/Same Enemy/Same Struggle”), feminists (who play a major role in the movement). Workers have also played an important role, many of them active as opponents of the bureaucracy in their unions.

Gaza boy killed by explosive grenade fired at his face

Electronic Intifada - Tue, 2019-05-21 05:06

Israeli forces shot Adham Nidal Amara, 17, during protests marking one year of Great March of Return.

The Missing Step

Greanville Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 04:56
CRAIG MURRAY—In Sweden, prosecutors have applied to the Swedish courts to issue a warrant for Julian’s arrest. There is a tremendous back story to that simple statement.The European Arrest Warrant must be issued from one country to another by a judicial authority. The original Swedish request for Assange’s extradition was not issued by any court, but simply by the prosecutor. This was particularly strange, as the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm had initially closed the case after deciding there was no case to answer, and then another, highly politically motivated, prosecutor had reopened the case and issued a European Arrest Warrant, without going to any judge for confirmation. 

Why Are Democrats So Scared of Impeachment?

Truthdig - Tue, 2019-05-21 04:38

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a two-part series examining the relationship between President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, and the challenges their assertions of extreme executive authority pose to Congress. Read the first part here.

Why haven’t congressional Democrats moved to impeach Donald Trump? Is their failure to act due to an inexcusable lack of courage and political will, or is the inaction attributable to an understandable fear of failure?

The answer, unfortunately, is a bit of both. Given the president’s thoroughgoing corruption and reckless disregard for the rule of law, impeachment is imperative.

But impeachment is a two-step process, and that’s where the fear sets in. Even if the current Democratic majority in the House votes to impeach Trump, there is little prospect that the Senate will convict the president and remove him from office following an impeachment trial conducted in the upper chamber.

Sooner rather than later, Democrats will have to find the fortitude to set aside their fears. The president and his new attorney general, William Barr, are daring them to initiate impeachment proceedings, refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas and document requests seeking, among other items, Trump’s tax returns, and the full, unredacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller.

As New York Times reporters Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt recently noted, “As the White House and Congress escalate their constitutional showdown, President Trump and his team are essentially trying to call what they see as the Democrats’ bluff. The message: Put up or shut up. Impeach or move on.”

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On May 15, White House counsel Pat Cipollone upped the ante in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., in response to the committee’s request for additional information related to the Mueller probe. Cipollone threatened to invoke executive privilege to block the committee’s demands for documents. He also threatened to block the committee’s efforts to summon testimony from current and past administration officials.

Contending that the committee’s demands violate “the separation of powers and the constitutional prerogatives of the President,” and alleging that Trump had fully cooperated with the special counsel, Cipollone wrote:

<blockquote>Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents. … The Committee’s requests repeatedly run afoul of the Constitution by encroaching upon authorities that the Constitution assigns exclusively to the Executive Branch. These requests have no legitimate legislative purpose and exceed Congress’s limited authority. </blockquote>

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it has happened before. On May 22, 1974, President Richard Nixon, faced with House subpoenas seeking the infamous secret Watergate tape recordings, penned a similar letter to then-House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, D-N.Y., protesting:

<blockquote>Thus it is clear that the continued succession of demands for additional Presidential conversations has become a never-ending process, and that to continue providing these conversations in response to the constantly escalating requests would constitute such a massive invasion into the confidentiality of Presidential conversations that the institution of the Presidency itself would be fatally compromised. </blockquote>

Nixon refused to turn over the tapes, not only to the House, but also to special prosecutor Leon Jaworski, sparking a legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court (United States v. Nixon), which Nixon lost. Shortly thereafter, he resigned.

The current Democratic leadership, guided by Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, fears that a Trump impeachment will more closely resemble the failed campaign to remove President Bill Clinton from office than the successful effort against Nixon. After his impeachment by the House in 1998, Clinton’s public approval rating spiked 10 points, to an astounding 73%. Clinton was subsequently acquitted by the Senate and served out the remainder of his second term.

Pelosi’s impeachment trepidations are not unfounded. Although Trump’s overall approval rating remains mired in the 42% range, she and other top Democrats believe that even a modest post-impeachment boost for Trump could prove decisive in the 2020 election.

The truth, of course, is that no one actually knows how impeachment would affect Trump’s popularity or the next election. Given the scope of his malfeasance, impeachment proceedings may well cause his approval ratings to plummet, replicating Nixon’s demise. Nixon began his second term with a lofty approval rating of 68%. But by August 1974—following Senate and House hearings, respectively, on Watergate and impeachment, and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the White House tapes—57% of Americans thought Nixon should be removed from office.

In the end, the decision to impeach Trump shouldn’t be based on predictions about poll numbers, however worrying they may be. It should be rooted in principle.

Like all of his predecessors, Trump took an oath on Inauguration Day pursuant to Article I, Clause 3 of the Constitution to “take care” that the laws of the nation be faithfully executed.

Trump has violated that oath in myriad ways, by:

&#x25cf; Defying the oversight authority of Congress.

&#x25cf; Attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

&#x25cf; Using the presidency to enrich himself, his family and the Trump Organization in violation of the Constitution’s “emoluments clause.”

&#x25cf; Refusing to defend the Affordable Care Act, imperiling the health insurance available to millions of Americans.

&#x25cf; Undermining environmental protections and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, endangering the health and safety of generations.

&#x25cf; Reneging on the Iran nuclear deal, bringing the nation to the brink of another war in the Middle East.

&#x25cf; Refusing to enforce the Voting Rights Act, promoting voter suppression and sowing racial hatred and resentments.

&#x25cf; Promising tax relief for middle-class and working families, but sponsoring a massive giveaway to the superrich.

&#x25cf; Incarcerating undocumented children in cages, and declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall.

Through it all, he has lied incessantly about these and other misdeeds, much as Nixon lied about Watergate. Nixon was cited for deceiving the public in the Articles of Impeachment ratified by the House Judiciary Committee in 1974. Trump should be as well.

All things considered, the real issue is not whether Trump should be impeached, but when and how impeachment should unfold.

As for when, there is no better time than the present. Trump and Barr show no signs of relenting in their crusade to expand presidential power. The sooner they are put on the defensive, the better.

As for how, the gravity and breadth of Trump’s derelictions warrant lengthy and public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee. Congress’ authority to subpoena documents and witnesses is at its greatest in impeachment proceedings. In those proceedings, we should hear from constitutional scholars, and such key witnesses as Robert Mueller and former White House counsel Don McGahn. We should also hear from scores of ordinary Americans who have been victimized by Trump’s misconduct.

In the Senate, the House would be represented by a team of managers who would present the case against Trump. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would preside.

Among other demands, the managers should request a trial in open session in the well of the Senate—something that hasn’t happened since the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868. This would expose Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” for all the world to see, even if House managers do not ultimately prevail in the Senate. If the trial is properly handled,  Trump’s reelection prospects should tumble.

As Alexander Hamilton postulated in Federalist Paper No. 65, impeachment is the constitutional remedy for the removal of federal officials for behavior  that violates the “public trust.” Our 45th president has long exceeded that critical threshold.

All that’s left is for the Democrats to take a shot of courage, stop wringing their hands and start wielding their gavels.

Dr. Devra Davis Weighs In On Efforts to Blame Russia for American 5G Opposition

Activist Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 04:30

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post has been trying to keep up with the folks blaming Russia for American opposition to 5G technology (See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  It’s not just Americans who oppose 5G.  Even The Telecom Industry won’t say it’s safe.

This blame-game might all be really funny if 5G wasn’t so damn scary.  Thanks to Dr. Devra Davis of the Environmental Health Trust for this exceptional piece:

5G: The Unreported Global Threat

Accusations of Russia lobbying are ricocheting around the media and have now been extended through a front-page article in the New York Times positing that scientists and consumer advocates calling to halt 5G have fallen under the spell of RT, a news network registered as a Russian foreign agent in the U.S. Could it be a coincidence that following on the heels of the NY Times story, the Wall Street Journal and the UK Telegraph have echoed the same smear of guilt by association, portraying scientists who warn of the potential environmental and health damages of 5G as untethered alarmists unwittingly linked to Russian propaganda? These otherwise credible media sources ignore the substantial body of science pinpointing hazards of wireless radiation and 5G detailed in independent journalistic investigations that have appeared extensively in media throughout Europe and been covered by major networks.

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William J. Broad, author of the Times’ unusually placed opinion piece, is an award-winning investigative journalist, known for searching studies of complex technical issues including matters of space exploration and national intelligence. By relegating concerns about 5G to a Russian ploy, he misses altogether the fact that the purportedly independent international authorities on which he relies that declare 5G to be safe are an exclusive club of industry-loyal scientists. China, RussiaPolandItaly and several other European countries allow up to hundreds of times less wireless radiation into the environment from microwave antennas than does the U.S. Moreover, while many other countries regularly monitor levels of environmental radiation, the last EPA report on the topic was released in 1986, back when a gallon of gasoline cost less than one dollar and streetcars still ran in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Environmental levels of wireless radiation in the U.S. and worldwide are growing exponentially.

The history of research on the environmental and public health impacts of radio frequency microwave radiation (“wireless radiation”) reveals some uneasy parallels with that of tobacco. In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists who showed the harmful impacts of tobacco found themselves struggling for serious attention and financial support. The validity of their views was only accepted after the toll of sickness and death had become undeniable. For health impacts from wireless radiation, a similar pattern is emerging. Each time a U.S. government agency produced positive findings, research on health impacts was defunded. The Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Environmental Protection Agency all once had vibrant research programs documenting dangers of wireless radiation. All found their programs scrapped, reflecting pressure from those who sought to suppress this work.

Russia’s 50 years of research on electromagnetic radiation since the Cold War has led to their clear understanding that this exposure does have biological effects. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection issued a 2011 Resolution recommending persons under 18 not use a cell phone. Further, in asserting that there is no science indicating risks of wireless radiation, Broad ignores his earlier reporting that American diplomats serving in Cuba and China have been diagnosed with brain disorders that serious scientists like Professor of Medicine, Beatrice Golomb, MD PhD, have attributed to targeted microwave radiation. He also discounts scientific reviews and studies from several  nations showing sperm damage from cellphone radiation along with the advice from the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics for men to keep phones off their bodies if they want to have healthy babies and optimal performance, as well as advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics that families should reduce wireless radiation exposures.

In response to first U.S. reports that wireless radiation damaged the DNA of rat brains in 1994, Motorola directed their public relations agency to carry out strategic efforts to “war-game” the science and dismiss and discredit both the research and researchers. Motorola once sponsored the most brilliant and productive scientists in the field of bio-electromagnetics. But, as one insider recently relayed, as industry scientists began to produce studies indicating the need to reduce radiation exposures, their work was suspended. That program no longer exists.

The autobiographical “Cell Phone Radiation — Russian Roulette” tells the story of senior telecom engineer, Robert C. Kane, who had willingly served as a guinea pig for Motorola and other companies developing new wireless technologies in the 1980s. Until he died from brain cancer in 2002, Kane sought to persuade others about the dangers, noting:

“Never in human history has there been such a practice as we now encounter with the marketing and distributing of products hostile to the human biological system by an industry with foreknowledge of those effects.”

In 2018 the U.S. gold standard National Toxicology testing Program (NTP) confirmed that wireless radiation from cell phones could cause the same malignant brain tumor that felled Kane. The FDA rejected the NTP conclusions arguing that NTP exposures were not relevant to humans, despite the fact that the agency had requested the studies and approved the specific design a decade earlier. Dr. Ronald Melnick, the senior NIH toxicologist who designed the $30 million study concluded:

“The NTP studies were conducted to test the widely-held assumption that cell phone radiofrequency radiation could not cause cancers or other adverse health effects (other than by tissue heating) because this type of radiation (non-ionizing) did not have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. The NTP findings that cell phone radiation caused cancers in the heart and brain, DNA damage in brain cells, heart muscle disease and reduced birth weights clearly demonstrate that the assumption that non-ionizing radiation cannot cause cancer or other health effects is wrong.”

The absence of a major epidemic of brain cancer at this time should not bemisconstrued as proof of safety for cell phones or other wireless technology.. The technology is too new, the expanded uses too recent, and the ways we employ phones keep changing, making it even more challenging to evaluate their impacts or for us to be able to see any evidence of major population pattern changes. It took four decades before increases in smoking produced measurable increases in lung cancers. The tremendous increase in cellphone use in infants, toddlers and young children, has led Israel, France, Belgium, India, and other high tech nations to reduce exposures in the young.

When it comes to downplaying the potential risks of wireless radiation, the telecom industry makes the tobacco industry look like rank amateurs. For years, respectable American and European scientists carried out research supported by the Tobacco Industry Research Council, at a time when there was little government sponsorship of science. Only when bodies of evidence accumulated, making the dangers of tobacco undeniable, were tobacco-funded studies brought to an end. The achievements of the tobacco industry in manipulating science led Judge Gladys Kessler to confirm a verdict of racketeering that included manipulating institutions such as the American Medical Association and National Cancer Institute — both of which at various times worked to build a safe cigarette.

As GQ reported a decade ago, the telecommunications industry uses the same PR strategies, some of the same industry consultants and scientists to promote disinformation in defense of their addictive products. Further, in 2015 aHarvard expose tracked the revolving door between the FCC and the telecom industry and concluded that the FCC is a captured agency and that “Consumer safety, health, and privacy, along with consumer wallets, have all been overlooked, sacrificed, or raided due to unchecked industry influence.”

Surprisingly for someone who has charted the work of NASA for years, Broad appears oblivious to the fact that serious scientists are raising questions about the ways that “Global 5G wireless networks threaten weather forecasts.” A recent story in the respected scientific journal Nature explains that water vapor is measured at a frequency quite close to those employed by Earth-observing satellites flying over areas of the United States. If widespread proposed 5G wireless coverage fills the airways, then satellites will not be able to detect changes in water vapor in the atmosphere key to predicting massive shifts in weather that we have been experiencing in recent years.

“This is the first time we’ve seen a threat to what I’d call the crown jewels of our frequencies — the ones that we absolutely must defend come what may,” says Stephen English, a meteorologist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK.

Reportedly, weather experts within the U.S. government are being muzzled. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA are currently locked in a high-stakes negotiation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees US wireless networks. When NOAA and NASA asked the FCC to protect these frequencies from interference as 5G rolls out, the FCC rebuffed the weather scientists. The sale ended on 17 April and reaped the U.S. nearly $2 billion. This week, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington have written the FCC urging that steps be taken to protect national security and weather science.

Could the failure to report these critical 5G issues and correct misleading information regarding health effects of wireless and 5G in the New York Times have anything to do with the their new joint venture with Verizon in 5G journalism, or the fact that the Times board of directors includes officials from Facebook, Verizon, Media Lab, and other stalwarts of the telecom industry, while Carlos Slim, head of some of the largest telecom firms in the world, has downsized and now owns just 15 percent of its stock?

It is frankly astonishing that a seasoned science journalist like Broad would rely on an outdated “factsheet” from 2014, that was prepared for the EMF Project of the World Health Organization, a group led by industry-supported scientists. Curiously, Broad cites this 5 year old World Health Organization (WHO) statement as showing that cellphones are safe, and ignores the fact that another expert group within the WHO reached an entirely different conclusion nearly a decade ago. In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011 declared that cellphone radiation was a possible human carcinogen. More recently, the IARC advisory group has called for a re-evaluation in light of the NTP and other new studies published since 2011. Several experts now consider wireless radiation to be a definite human carcinogen.

Although one would not know it from the Times, the WSJ and other accounts, other nations are demanding safety information before proceeding with 5G. The health minister of Brussels recently declared that their citizens will not be guinea pigs, effectively halting 5G in Europe’s capital. In Switzerland, the Cantons of Geneva, Vaud, and Neuchatel are blocking deployment until safety is demonstrated. s Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. WSJ columnist has just pointed out that, contrary to the notion that all concerns about 5G are merely the work of clueless feckless Russian trolls, British, U.S. and Russian research on the dangers of electromagnetic fields go back thirty years.

Also missing from these recent stories is any mention of the fact that Senator Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Representatives. Anna G. Eshoo and Jackie Speier (California), Thomas Suozzi (New York), and Peter A. DeFazio(Oregon) have all demanded evidence of safety from the FCC. At a March, 2019 Senate Commerce hearing where Blumenthal directly questioned officials, he criticized the government’s lack of response stating, “I believe the American people deserve to know what the health effects are…We are flying blind here on health and safety.”

Long before RT America began to cover the issue of 5G a year ago, more than 230 distinguished scientists with relevant publications called for a moratorium on 5G. Around the nation, communities from Bethesda, Maryland, Long Island, New YorkAsheville, North Carolina, to San Diego, California, and Kauai, Hawaii have held protests to halt 5G. International protests are being held from Israel to SwitzerlandSpainItalyIreland, theUK and Australia.

Finding such a slanted report in the Times, is especially disconcerting to those who have long believed that that newspaper printed all the news that was fit to print without prejudice, and that the ‘truth is now more important than ever.’ Indeed it is the truth, and our capacity to agree on what that constitutes, that is imperiled by stories such as Broad has filed, and others are now echoing.

Devra Davis, PhD., MPH, is Visiting Professor Medicine, The Hebrew University. An award-winning writer and scientist, she is also President of Environmental Health Trust

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Image credit: Pixabay

Categories: News for progressives

London hunger striker tells The Canary why she’s prepared to die

Canary, The Other - Tue, 2019-05-21 03:33

The Canary recently spoke to a 48-year-old woman in London who’s on hunger strike. And she explained exactly why she took this drastic step.


Nahide Zengin has a positive attitude which is so contagious that I can’t help but grin. Like many others, she’s in exile. Branded as a ‘terrorist’ by the Turkish state, she now lives in London. Along with roughly 7,000 other Kurdish people around the world, she is on an indefinite hunger strike. She has been surviving on a combination of liquids, sugar, salt, and B vitamins since 14 March. With a big, determined smile on her face, she says she’s at high risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

She’s not the only Londoner on hunger strike. Mehmet Sait Yilmaz has also been on strike for the same amount of time. Like all of the hunger strikers, Nahide and Mehmet are demanding that Turkey lifts the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been imprisoned by Turkey for 20 years. For much of that time, Öcalan has been kept in solitary confinement, without contact with lawyers or his family.

In the first of a two-part interview with the London hunger strikers, The Canary asked Nahide about her life, the situation for Kurdish people, and why she is prepared to die.


The Canary: What are your reasons for hunger striking?

Nahide Zengin: It is very simple. We are fighting for justice and freedom in a peaceful way. In the [Turkish] constitution, it says that prisoners have rights to have visitors, phone calls, doctors, media and lawyers. [These are denied to Öcalan.]

Our hunger strike action makes us understand more about Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation. We think deeply about his situation, and we have more empathy with him.

Do you think the hunger strike has had a positive outcome so far?

This action has brought to light Öcalan’s real situation. Sometimes, to know something and to actually understand something and give it meaning can be different. So at the moment, the outcome of our struggle is that this huge isolation on Öcalan is understood more by the public.

Can you talk about your life?

I’m from Dersim [in Bakur, the Kurdish region of Turkey]. I come from a political family, who are just hoping that this struggle will end in victory. I know that my family understands me, so that makes me feel good.

In 2004, I was tried and sentenced in Adana heavy penal court [for ‘terror’-related offences]. I was sentenced to six years in prison and I had to flee the country.

It was not difficult [for the Turkish state] to find a reason [to find me guilty]: even finding a Kurdish newspaper in the house could be a reason to charge someone with being a ‘terrorist’.

At the same time that I was on trial, two of my siblings were also on trial in different cities. One of them was acquitted and one of them had to pay a fine and was forced to do military service. But they wouldn’t give him a gun: they didn’t trust him with a weapon!

Now, I can’t go back to my home town because the fascist [Turkish] regime defines me as a terrorist. They have destroyed the meaning of terrorism; they have emptied the meaning of the word by calling us that.

If we look at the peace process [between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey], who brought it to the table? Öcalan. Who destroyed it? [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan. So if you look morally at the situation, who is the terrorist? The person who brought peace to the table or the person who destroyed it? We want justice. If this makes us terrorists, what can I say?

According to the Turkish state, the best Kurd is a dead Kurd. When you look at my family, most have had to migrate from Dersim. Every family – political or not – has suffered because of repression by the state. There are different types of state repression: either through being arrested or psychological. And we’re treated as though we migrated to Kurdistan, as if we came from elsewhere, and not them. The feeling of belonging in Bakur has been destroyed by state policies. But when I was living in Rojava [the majority-Kurdish autonomous region of northern Syria], I felt that I belonged there.

What were you doing in Rojava?

I was there in 2016 and 2017. I started Jinwar [a women’s village] and some economy projects, as well as cooperative projects about farming.

But our friend, Mehmet Aksoy, was killed [by Daesh (Isis/Isil)], so I came back illegally the day after Mehmet’s body was brought back. If I’d tried to travel legally I would have been arrested by the Iraqi Kurdistan government.

You recently joined the three-day occupation of Amnesty International to protest about the organisation’s silence over the isolation of Öcalan. Amnesty refused to let activists use the toilet and finally called the police, resulting in a number of arrests. Can you say more about what happened?

My blood pressure was high and I had a high risk of a heart attack. I was taken to hospital by ambulance on the third day of the protest. When we were there, we heard about the police presence at Amnesty, so I refused treatment and went back to their office directly.

I saw someone – a man in a high position in Amnesty – pointing at demonstrators so that the police could arrest them. So I intervened. The police tried to arrest me. But there were a lot of people around me preventing it. Someone I didn’t know – a member of the public – held me [in his arms] and protected me. I told the police that my potassium level was high and that I was at risk of a heart attack or a stroke. The officer said, “you shouldn’t come here, then.”

When you look at Amnesty’s statement [about what happened that day], everything they have said to the public is a lie. Their report about the number of protesters is a lie. What they say about us attacking the security – and that a security guard was laying on the floor – is a lie. They said we put their 300 staff in danger: this is a lie. They are committing a crime, lying to the public about us.

Is there anything else you want to let people know?

It was [Kurdish-led forces] who defeated [Daesh] and brought victory to the world. The world really owes the Kurds, and they should pay their debt.

We are really fed up with the oppression by the [Turkish] state against the Kurdish people. Our mothers are beaten in the street. Children can’t play on the street. Kurdish youths spend their lives in prison and are tortured. Enough is enough. This is a freedom struggle, and it will end up in victory because you can see our will.

I want to live: you see all the energy in me! But I am also ready to give my life, and this is the same for my friends.


Featured image author’s own

Special thanks to Emily Apple for her help with this interview.

By Eliza Egret

Bernie Sanders Puts The New York Times to Shame

Truthdig - Tue, 2019-05-21 03:22

In response to what one observer described as “anti-American baiting” by a New York Times reporter over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders refused to shy away from his record of opposition to Reagan-backed death squads and coup plotters in Nicaragua throughout the 1980s.

During an interview published in the print edition of the Times on Sunday, journalist Sydney Ember repeatedly asked Sanders about supposed anti-American chants that rang out during a rally he attended in Managua in 1985, when the Reagan administration was funneling arms and money to the right-wing Contras in support of their brutal and deadly effort to topple the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

“The United States at that time—I don’t know how much you know about this—was actively supporting the Contras to overthrow the government,” Sanders told Ember, who co-authored a Times story last week detailing Sanders’s foreign policy positions during his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

“Of course there was anti-American sentiment there,” Sanders said. “This was a war being funded by the United States against the people of Nicaragua. People were being killed in that war.”

When Ember continued the same line of questioning, asking Sanders whether he “would have stayed at the rally” had he heard the “anti-American” chants from the crowd, Sanders responded, “I think Sydney, with all due respect, you don’t understand a word that I’m saying.”

“I strongly oppose U.S. policy, which overthrows governments, especially democratically elected governments, around the world,” said Sanders. “So this issue is not so much Nicaragua or the government of Nicaragua. The issue was, should the United States continue a policy of overthrowing governments in Latin America and Central America? I believed then that it was wrong, and I believe today it is wrong. That’s why I do not believe the United States should overthrow the government of Venezuela.”

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“Let me just say this: I plead guilty to, throughout my adult life, doing everything that I can to prevent war and destruction,” Sanders said. “That is my view, and I make no apologies for it.”

(Read the exchange between Sanders and Ember below.)

While some characterized Sanders’s sharp responses as “rude” and unbecoming of a presidential candidate, others argued the Vermont senator’s replies were perfectly appropriate given the severity of the issue under discussion and the quality of the questions.

“Reagan backed a vicious anti-Sandinista war that would leave ~60,000 dead. The CIA helped contras lay underwater mines in Nicaraguan ports. But Sanders is the rude one for objecting to ‘anti-American’ baiting?” tweeted Sarah Lazare, web editor for In These Times. “It is not right-wing or ‘like Trump’ to object to NYT’s pro-war bias.”

Author and climate activist Naomi Klein tweeted that while she thought Sanders “should have been more patient and polite,” his angry responses were understandable.

“I certainly get why he had smoke coming out of his ears,” Klein wrote. “My blood pressure soared just reading it.”

Do you seriously think that was a legitimate line of questioning? Anti-Yankee chants are standard fare at protests in LatAm and the Middle East, for very good reasons (U.S.-backed coups, death squads, invasions…) Any U.S. person standing in solidarity needs to grow up and deal.

— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) May 19, 2019

BTW, I also think Bernie should have been more patient and polite, because that is what is expected of candidates. But I certainly get why he had smoke coming out of his ears. My blood pressure soared just reading it.

— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) May 19, 2019

Read part of exchange from the Times:

Q. In the top of our story, we talk about the rally you attended in Managua and a wire report at the time said that there were anti-American chants from the crowd.

The United States at that time—I don’t know how much you know about this—was actively supporting the Contras to overthrow the government. So that there’s anti-American sentiment? I remember that, I remember that event very clearly.

You do recall hearing those chants? I think the wire report has them saying, “Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die.”

They were fighting against American——Huh huh——yes, what is your point?

I wanted to——

Are you shocked to learn that there was anti-American sentiment?

My point was I wanted to know if you had heard that.

I don’t remember, no. Of course there was anti-American sentiment there. This was a war being funded by the United States against the people of Nicaragua. People were being killed in that war.

Do you think if you had heard that directly, you would have stayed at the rally?

I think Sydney, with all due respect, you don’t understand a word that I’m saying.

Do you believe you had an accurate view of President Ortega at the time? I’m wondering if you’re——

This was not about Ortega. Do you understand? I don’t know if you do or not. Do you know that the United States overthrew the government of Chile way back? Do you happen to know that? Do you? I’m asking you a simple question.

What point do you want to make?

My point is that fascism developed in Chile as a result of that. The United States overthrew the government of Guatemala, a democratically elected government, overthrew the government of Brazil. I strongly oppose U.S. policy, which overthrows governments, especially democratically elected governments, around the world. So this issue is not so much Nicaragua or the government of Nicaragua.

The issue was, should the United States continue a policy of overthrowing governments in Latin America and Central America? I believed then that it was wrong, and I believe today it is wrong. That’s why I do not believe the United States should overthrow the government of Venezuela.

Hama Ceasefire Initiative Failed. Clashes Ongoing

Vineyard of the Saker - Tue, 2019-05-21 03:13
Syrian War Report – May 20, 2019: Hama Ceasefire Initiative Failed. Clashes Ongoing On May 17 and May 18, the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) intercepted several unidentified aerial objects

Russia Grinds Out Wins In Europe

Greanville Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 03:05
TOM LUONGO—At some point one has to realize that a particular policy has failed and cut a deal. The Council of Europe bowed to internal pressure as five years of rising Euroskepticism and stagnating exports to a formerly strong market for most of Europe, especially mighty Germany, finally pushed them to end the grandstanding.It’s too bad psychopaths like John Bolton never understand this.This is the necessary first step to defying the U.S. over sanctions this summer when they come up again. And, what’s the point, anyway? Blocking one pipeline only to empower two others is just idiotic.

Houthis, Yemeni Army Deny Saudi Allegations of Attempted Missile Attack Near Mecca

MintPress News - Tue, 2019-05-21 03:03

HAJJAH, YEMEN — Saudi Arabia has claimed that its air defenses shot down two ballistic missiles over the city of Taif, just 65 kilometers east of Mecca, in the early hours of Monday morning. Saudi officials claim that another missile was intercepted over the Haddah in western Saudi Arabia.

Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that the missiles were intercepted as residents were breaking their day-long Ramadan fast. The paper claimed that the attempted attack was evidence that the Houthis had no regard for the safety and security of Muslim pilgrims visiting Mecca during the nights of Ramadan. The Houthis have unequivocally denied any involvement in the attacks.

Mohammed AbdulSalam, a spokesman for the Houthi political wing Ansar Allah, said in a statement, “We avoid targeting civilians as well as holy places, and this [accusation] is Saudi bankruptcy,” adding “Saudi Arabia fabricated the Houthi threat [to Meccia] in order to mobilize official and popular support.”

The Yemeni army, which is allied with the Houthis, said in a statement in the wake of Saudi accusation: “This isn’t the first time the Saudi regime has accused us of targeting Mecca. The objective of these accusations is to gain support and approval for their monstrous aggression.” An army spokesperson noted that the Houthis have never denied previous military maneuvers, saying “We do not hesitate to announce our military operations.”


An acknowledged drone attack on a non-civilian target

The Houthis did claim responsibility for last week’s attack on two Saudi oil pumping stations in the provinces of Dawadmi and Afif near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

High-ranking officials in the Yemeni army, as well as the Houthi Political Council, told MintPress that the pumping station attack was not part of a regional effort to stir up tension between Iran and the United States, and was planned before those tensions came about.

The attack was carried out with domestically manufactured Houthi drones and reportedly caused a four-meter rupture in one of the station’s main oil pipes, in turn resulting in a 1000-square-meter leak in the area surrounding the facility.

Qatari television network Al Jazeera released satellite imagery showing the extent of damage to  Saudi energy giant Aramco’s Pump Station 8 following the drone attack.

 An aerial view of Saudi Aramco Pump Station 8 after (left) and before (right) Houthi drone strikes. Source | Al Jazeera

The Houthis have said that the attack on Saudi pumping stations was the start of an operation that will target 300 vital military and economic targets, including military headquarters and facilities inside Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi-led Coalition military targets inside Yemen.

Long-distance drone strikes have served as a breakthrough for Yemen’s civilians and Houthi-allied military forces alike. They have served as an equalizer against one of the most well-funded and -equipped military forces in the region.

Yemen’s Houthi-allied military says the drone weapons are a necessary tool in the war and can serve as a means to finally reach peace — further pointing out that Yemen poses no threat to any country outside of the Saudi-led Coalition and has no aggressive intentions against its neighbors or U.S. interests in the region.

“We have no choice, we are being killed every day and our suffering has slid into oblivion in the rest of the world,” Amar Faress, a father who lost his entire family when Saudi airstrikes targeted his home in 2015, said of the Houthi strikes on Saudi Arabia. “Maybe the world will care about us if their interests are compromised.”


The suffering of Yemenis unabated

Meanwhile, a spate of Saudi Coalition airstrikes across Yemen this weekend into Monday took a predictably heavy civilian toll. Local witnesses told MintPress that at least four civilians were killed and 11 others injured when Saudi aircraft targeted a vehicle as it was traveling along a road in the Mustaba district of Hajjah province on Monday afternoon.

Over the weekend, three civilians were killed and a young girl sustained injuries when militiamen loyal to the Saudi-led Coalition shelled a home in the Qa’atabah district of the southwestern Yemeni province of Dhale.

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis remains the worst in the world and shows no sign of ending. UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said that around 360,000 children now suffer from severe acute malnutrition, and half of Yemen’s children under five (2.5 million people) have stunted growth — an irreversible condition. More than 2 million of Yemen’s children are out of school.

Fore added that famine still threatens millions, and a new cholera outbreak continues to spread, claiming almost as many victims in the first four months of the year as in the entirety of 2018. Cholera has affected 300,000 people in Yemen this year alone, compared with 370,000 during the whole of 2018.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said during a speech to UN Security Council members, “Ten million were still in need of emergency food assistance, while the specter of famine still looms.”

Feature photo | A Houthi officer reacts to a Saudi airstrike in Sana’a, Yemen May 16, 2019. Mohamed Al-Sayaghi | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Houthis, Yemeni Army Deny Saudi Allegations of Attempted Missile Attack Near Mecca appeared first on MintPress News.

How Are We Being Poisoned; Let Us Count The Ways

Activist Post - Tue, 2019-05-21 02:17

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Poison!  What is the definition?

According to Dictionary online,

a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.

According to MedicineNet online,

Poison: Any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in, injected into the body or absorbed through the skin.

[Aren’t vaccines injected?]

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Poisoning probably is the favorite ‘game’ control freaks enjoy playing since, in most cases, those being poisoned don’t recognize the problem until it’s too late, like with weather geoengineering now.  They ain’t contrails! However, the poison practice probably has been ongoing ever since time immemorial.

Nevertheless, the ‘game’ changed dramatically when “old man” John D. Rockefeller decided in the early 1900s to create a new industry [1-2], which would do just that: Invent, patent, manufacture and sell chemicals that would be sold legally as “medicines but with implementing an apparent sub-culture of causing ancillary diseases by either adverse reactions, or even death!

Yet, in 2013, an estimated 128,000+ prescription drug takers died from adverse drug reactions.

This means that prescription drugs almost rival stroke in terms of overall casualties.


Rockefeller’s game plan was enhanced further at the end of World War II when the United States offered Hitler’s “poison specialists” the opportunity under Project Paperclip [3-4] to come to the USA avoiding prosecution to create similar poisons for the U.S. government.  Unbelievable, but true—and no one in Congress had the ‘gonads’ to oppose that program, unless, of course, it was funded under black ops or as part of the then-evolving Deep State and Shadow Government agendas, which Congress has no control over.

Fluoride/Fluoridation of municipal water systems

One of the first mass-citizen-poisonings under the guise of improving dental health was the introduction of fluoride, a protoplasmic poison [5], into public and municipal water systems in the 1960s. [6]   Fluoride: How A Toxic Poison Ended Up In Our Water Supply.

After all these years, plus independent scientific research documenting fluoride’s ability to reduce IQs [7], By 2006, 69.2% of the U.S. population on public water systems were receiving fluoridated water” [8], we’re still being poisoned by fluoride. 

1976 Trade Secrets Act

That federal law began the slippery slope slide to being able not to report certain ‘ingredients’,  since they were regarded as “trade secrets,” but allowed the ‘hiding’ of chemicals, which made products with patents available.  The Act has been revised over the years; however, it began an ‘accepted practice’ regarding secret chemicals, in my opinion.

National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34.

This “get out of jail free” act provided Big Pharma with total exonerations at law for product liability adverse reactions regarding vaccines/vaccinations. Talk about bailout!  It probably began the downfall of U.S. children’s health status during the ensuing years since hundreds of vaccines are being produced without independent, non-vested-interests ‘science’ publically being made available to consumers and intended vaccinees regarding the neurotoxic ingredients and chemicals in vaccines, which now are becoming government mandatory!

U.S. children’s health went from one in 10,000-15,000 Autism cases in the 1970s, to one in 59 nationally, and one in 34 in New Jersey [9].  U.S. has higher death rates for newborns than other rich countries [10], but also the highest number of vaccines given in the first year of life [11]!

Check out the neurotoxins and other chemicals in vaccines here.

Global Weather Geoengineering Toxic Poisons

Even though the above goes by many names, including Solar Radiation Management (SRM) [12], it is explained more intricately by Dane Wigington of

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, May 18, 2019,
54:44 minutes

Check out 50 minutes on the timeline to learn the toxic chemicals being rained down from the man-made clouds created under SRM, which were verified by lab tests inflight April 29, 2019.

Weather Geoengineering, also known as “climate change” is the most dangerous of all poison attacks upon the ecosystem, humans, wildlife and the environment, yet it goes on daily; just look to the skies above to see horrendous clouds full of microwave energies and toxic chemicals creating either drought, fires or daily torrential rainstorms, which interfere with agriculture and food production.  See “Is Global Famine On Dinner Plates After Autumn 2019 Courtesy of Weather Geoengineering?”.

Genetically Modified ‘Phoods’ and Glyphosate

Even though food additives, preservatives, irradiation, etc. have been around for decades, nothing matches the insanity of GM phoods and seeds, which, in most cases, have to be cultivated using Roundup®, Monsanto’s killer herbicide, now owned by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. It’s not safe to drink as many would have consumers believe, thus propelling the weed killer herbicide into over one thousand lawsuits-in-waiting for causing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Glyphosate was first synthesized in 1950 by Swiss chemist Henry Martin, who worked for the Swiss company Cilag. The work was never published.[14]:1Stauffer Chemical patented the agent as a chemical chelator in 1964 as it binds and removes minerals such as calciummagnesiummanganesecopper, and zinc.[15]


Almost everything not organically grown is contaminated by glyphosate, especially during what’s called pre-crop-harvest staging.  See “Preharvest Staging Guide.”

“Glyphosate Contaminates the Global Ecosystem: The Damning New PAN Report” (Oct. 18, 2016)

“Glyphosate” Report [N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine]

How much glyphosate is used globally?

Glyphosate is the most used herbicide in human history: 3.5 Billion pounds (1.6 Billion Kilograms) sprayed across America since 1974. 18.9 Billion pounds (8.6 Billion Kilograms) sprayed worldwide since 1974. [13]

Electromagnetic Frequencies, Radio Frequencies, Wi-Fi and 5G

How did EMFs, RFs, Wi-Fi and 5G get involved in this article, when they are not chemicals?  Good question!

The simple answer is they are electromagnetic energies for which consumers, in general, really don’t know what damage they do.  Any RF frequency, especially on the higher end of the spectrum, i.e., millimeter waves as 5G, which is known for heating the body like it’s on fire when used in military weaponry and crowd control, has to be causing some sort of adverse effects when they bombard humans continuously 24/7/365! And from every modern money saving electrical product, especially AMI Smart Meters, cell phones, Wi-Fi and the forthcoming ‘high tech disaster in the making’—5G.

If exposure to cell phones and computers causes a blood reaction known as rouleaux, as seen in the video below, we have to wonder what EMFs really can do. Do they set us up for breaks in our DNA?  Double-strand DNA breaks lead to cancer!

Dr. Magda Havas’ Live Blood & Electrosmog
2:32 minutes

Nuclear Energy and Power

Electric power plants using nuclear energy are not as emissions-free, ecologically-safe, as we are led to believe.  Those cooling towers actually can emit some RADs!  Check out the chart in the link below.

Not only nuclear power plants emit radioactive substances with the exhaust air, Fossil fuels contain various concentrations of natural radioactive substances which are released during combustion.”

Radiation exposure, power plants. Not only nuclear power plants emit radioactive substances with the exhaust air. Fossil fuels contain various concentrations of natural radioactive substances which are released during combustion.


The farther away from a nuclear power plant you can live and work, the better.  However, I find it interesting that most nuclear power stations are situated near large cities.  What were they thinking?

Recently, Exelon announced it was decommissioning its Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, the first U.S. nuclear accident in the State Capitol area, Harrisburg, since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania wouldn’t ‘bail it out’.  Who is going to be monitoring it for how many thousands of years?  Will it have the potential of poisoning local ground and well water?

I have covered what I consider the most egregious poison assaults on the citizens of the United States.

I’m certain there are more readers can point to, i.e., formaldehyde in everything, just about, including vaccines.  However, what I hope this exercise shows is that our federal ABC agencies may, and probably are not, functioning in consumers’ best interests.

Those agencies are caught up in what I claim is the Corporatocracy governance mode and we are paying the price for legislators and bureaucrats collusionary actions.



Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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Categories: News for progressives

Thousands of people hit the streets to highlight the housing and homelessness crisis in Ireland

Canary, The Other - Tue, 2019-05-21 02:14

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Dublin to protest the housing and homelessness crisis gripping Ireland. It comes as the crisis in the country continues to worsen.

A wide array of groups

Organised by Raise the Roof, a coalition of housing and political groups, the demonstration took place on Saturday 18 May. Roughly 20,000 people hit the streets, according to one report. Inner City Helping Homeless Dublin (ICHHDublin) said it was there to demand “an end to government “indifference”:

We are at the #RaiseTheRoof housing demonstration as feet hit the street to demand an end to governement indifference towards the housing and homelessness emergency.

We finish outside the GPO with speeches and musical performances so please join us!#RaiseTheRoof #HomesforAll


The Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) also attended the demonstration, arguing that the “housing crisis has taken the joy out of so many of our lives”:

Watch 1000s take to the streets of #Dublin as part of the latest #RaiseTheRoof housing march in this speeded up video of the entire march. The housing crisis has taken the joy out of so many of our lives as people face #homelessness or rents they can't afford & insecurity

— Workers Solidarity (@WSMIreland) May 18, 2019

Also attending the march was the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI):

"And so we march for the constitutional right to housing so that the next generation won't have to march for it" #RaiseTheRoof

— MASI (@masi_asylum) May 19, 2019

Age Action, an advocacy group for older people in Ireland, was another attendee:

We are marching to #RaiseTheRoof for homes for all #ageinplace #ageingequal

— Age Action (@AgeAction) May 18, 2019

Member of the Irish parliament Richard Boyd Barrett, meanwhile, explained that he was there because of the “government’s disastrous housing policies”:

At the #RaiseTheRoof housing demonstration today – thousands on the streets demanding public and affordable homes, an end to evictions and radical action to address the housing emergency. ⁦

— Richard Boyd Barrett (@RBoydBarrett) May 18, 2019

The bleak truth

But it was during the speeches that a number of activists highlighted for everyone the problems Ireland currently faces. Housing activist Fr. Peter McVerry explained to the protesters the scale of the crisis. He told them that the cost of renting or buying a home is “beyond the means of most” Irish people. He also revealed that:

Dublin City Council predicts that homelessness is going to increase for at least the next three years.

And what’s more, he pointed out that:

The prediction is that rents will go up by 17% over the next three years.

As a result, he accused the Irish government of being ‘the emperor with no clothes’.

Justifiable anger

John Douglas, the general secretary of union Mandate (which represents 40,000 Irish workers), argued that:

The land is here. The money is here. What’s lacking is a moral compass and a political will to build public housing for the people of Ireland.

He ended by insisting that:

We have to make change happen. If we don’t make change happen, no one else will make change happen.

Aisling Hedderman of the National Homeless & Housing Coalition also criticised the government’s handling of the crisis. She argued that it willingly “pumped” money into private emergency accommodation for people; but it would not fund the “prevention” of homelessness and the building of public housing. And she finished by arguing:

Let’s continue to organise in our communities, mobilise in our communities, and achieve a housing model for the people, by the people.

Irish senator Frances Black also spoke, as well as performing a song about Irish socialist revolutionary James Connolly. She said that he:

died for the people in this country so that the people in this country had equality. He did not die so that 4,000 children would be homeless in one of the richest countries in the world.

An uncaring government

With house prices and homelessness only getting worse in Ireland, the government seems to simply not care. Eoghan Murphy, the minister for housing, has suggested “co-living” as a possible solution. One developer-proposed co-living building in Dublin would have one kitchen per floor for tenants. This means that 42 people would share one kitchen on one of the floors. Given that the government sees this as a possible solution, it is clear that it doesn’t really care. So the only hope of solving the crisis is if people keep standing up, uniting, and demanding change.

Featured image via Twitter screenshot

By Bryan Wall

The Assange/Manning Cases Discredit US and UK Justice Systems

Roberts, Paul Craig - Tue, 2019-05-21 01:51

The Assange/Manning Cases Discredit US and UK Justice Systems

In my explanation today ( ) of Assange’s case, I noted corruption in the British court’s ruling.  Former British Ambassador Craig Murray indentifies the corrupt act committed by the British judge, Lord Phillips.  The ambassador’s explanation is here: 

The post The Assange/Manning Cases Discredit US and UK Justice Systems appeared first on

2:00PM Water Cooler 5/20/2019

Naked Capitalism - Tue, 2019-05-21 01:00
Today's Water Cooler: Nouriel Roubini on China v. US, Democrat insiders on a brokered convention, Biden, Inslee, Sanders, Democrats on FOX, Democrat big tent, national activity index, device ownership, Happy #WorldBeeDay, Game of Thrones debacle, AFL-CIO on the means of production, AI

Racist Voter Suppression Made Alabama’s Abortion Ban Possible

Truthout - Tue, 2019-05-21 00:40

I was devastated when I saw the news that Alabama passed a near-total abortion ban set to take effect in six months if not challenged. My husband is from Alabama, and it’s a place I’ve come to love as well. Yet it’s impossible not to consider how different our lives would be right now if the difficult pregnancy I experienced at the beginning of our romantic relationship had happened in his home state instead of my own, New York.

A little less than six years ago, I found myself excitedly holding a positive pregnancy test. Though the timing was sooner than expected, we were fortunate to have the emotional and economic security that allowed us to look forward to welcoming a new baby into our family the following spring. That excitement was soon tempered by more anxiety and pain than I would ever have predicted. As a healthy woman in my late 20s, I somewhat naively expected everything to go smoothly. So I was terrified when I experienced a threatened miscarriage in my first trimester, and crushed when I made it through that only to experience even more problems in my second. At 19 weeks, during a bloody and intensely traumatic emergency room visit, we learned that there was virtually no chance I’d be able to successfully continue the pregnancy. So, like one in four women in the U.S., I had an abortion.

Though heartbroken, I was also lucky to be able to seamlessly transfer to the hospital’s family planning unit and have the procedure I needed to preserve my future fertility and avoid potentially life-threatening infections or complications. There were no protesters, arbitrary delays or out-of-pocket costs; I simply received competent medical care as well as the love and support of my partner and family while I healed. Exactly as it should be.

Months later, I was thrilled to learn that I was pregnant again. Giving birth to my now four-year-old son was the most powerful and joyful experience of my life, and it almost certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the abortion I had in my first pregnancy. My experiences as a mother have only strengthened my belief that everyone, regardless of income or circumstance, should exercise their basic human right to decide if, when and how to welcome children into their families. Everyone deserves access to competent, compassionate health care for their whole bodies, which includes the parts of our bodies involved in reproduction. That means everyone must have access to birth control and abortion, on demand, without interference or out-of-pocket costs.

This really shouldn’t be a debate. For starters, we don’t have to agree about when life begins in order to understand that no person should be forced to have anything in their bodies that they don’t want there, much less at the risk of their health or their lives. In a country with rising maternal mortality rates (particularly for Black mothers like me) and an overall health care system that doesn’t meet all or even most people’s needs, it’s especially unconscionable to force people to bear and birth children under these circumstances.

Moreover, seven in 10 people in the U.S. agree that abortion should be safe and legal. Yet here we are, living under the tyranny of the 30 percent who don’t. Anti-choice activists and politicians have been working for decades to chip away at Roe v. Wade and now, assisted by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s outright theft of a Supreme Court seat, and emboldened by Donald Trump’s subsequent appointments to that court, extremist politicians in states including Alabama, Georgia and Ohio are racing to pass laws that could be the springboard to gut or overturn Roe outright.

Few issues so starkly illustrate the dire consequences of minority rule like these extreme abortion bans.

Few issues so starkly illustrate the dire consequences of minority rule like these extreme abortion bans and the maze of devastating restrictions that preceded them. They are a product of racist voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering; naturally, the people who will be most hurt by these bans are young, low-income people of color whom these same lawmakers work so hard to prevent from voting. This is what happens in a system where a person who loses an election by more than 3 million votes can still occupy the White House, where Republican senators who received 12 million fewer votes than their Democratic counterparts can still control that chamber and confirm unqualified and dangerous people to lifetime positions on our federal courts.

This is also what happens in a political culture where many eligible voters frequently ignore local and state elections, and where too many so-called progressives write off entire states and regions of the country as “backward” and undeserving, simultaneously abandoning our stated values and our people. Every time people argue that we should just “let the South secede again” when laws like Alabama’s abortion ban are passed, they reveal not only their horrifying insensitivity — no one deserves to be forced into pregnancy or die in childbirth because of who their neighbors voted for — but the idea of Southern secession is also politically untenable. For example, the majority of Black Americans — a core constituency of the Democratic Party — live in the South, as do growing numbers of many other people of color. If we are going to successfully beat back these harrowing assaults on our bodies and our lives, we have to stop making the same mistakes that got us here.

As Steve Phillips reminds us in Brown is the New White, people of color plus progressive white folks are the majority of the American electorate. There are enough people of color and progressive white people in many swing districts and states to change state and federal election outcomes, but only if campaigns successfully find, appeal to and mobilize them. Instead, too many Democratic strategists continue to ignore the new U.S. majority in order to appeal to a shrinking number of fickle white swing voters, forfeiting millions of votes and wasting billions in campaign contributions.

Unless we change course immediately, we are going to repeat the same pattern that created the dystopian nightmare we’re living through right now. Now is the time for us to listen to leaders like Stacey Abrams, who are urging us to get serious about ensuring everyone can vote, no matter where they live or what circumstances they face. Instead of writing off voting as meaningless or obsessively tracking early primary polls that tell us nothing except how many survey respondents recognize a given presidential candidate’s name, we need to prevent the ascension of extremists in these local and state legislatures.

The people most hurt by these bans are young, low-income people of color whom these same lawmakers work so hard to prevent from voting.

At the same time, we have to strategize about ways to outmaneuver and eventually eliminate the voting restrictions and political structures that have given racist, sexist zealots outsized power over our local, state and federal governments – and in turn, our bodies. It doesn’t matter if we are the majority if the majority of us don’t exercise our full political power.

To make our majority matter, we have to stop idly complaining and feeling helpless on the sidelines, and start organizing and mobilizing in deep solidarity with each other, within and across communities, states and regions. We have to think beyond our traditional late election-year get-out-the-vote efforts. Yes, we’ll need to register as many unregistered voters as we can, starting yesterday. We’ll also need to fight new attempts to limit voting access tooth and nail. But most importantly, we need to really look at the landscape of existing voting restrictions and start dreaming up creative solutions to overcome them so we can finally get the political representation we need and deserve.

Luckily, abortion funds — donor-funded organizations that help people overcome the financial and logistical hurdles anti-choice politicians impose to block abortion access — offer a useful model for some of the creative solutions we need to employ to connect with and empower people who are typically left behind in our politics. If voter ID restrictions or court fees are functioning as modern-day poll taxes, let’s raise money to pay determined voters’ fees. If long lines at under-resourced polling sites keep underpaid hourly workers from voting, let’s organize solidarity funds to help voters who lose wages and jobs pay their bills.

Further, those of us who have the privilege of paid time off or otherwise have flexibility with our time and resources should come forward to support these efforts, doing everything from following the lead of local organizers to build the infrastructure to support this work, to helping monitor voter intimidation, to ensuring that people waiting in hours-long poll lines are hydrated, fed and entertained until they cast their ballots. If some of us aren’t into direct political activism, we can cook meals and provide child care for organizers who are. It’s all valuable and necessary work.

There is still time for us to turn things around, in Alabama and across our deeply troubled United States. But that means we’ve got to shed not only the shame and stigma that has stymied so much of the political conversation around abortion, but also the outdated political assumptions and apathy that have allowed a cruel, callous minority of voters and politicians control our bodies and our futures writ large. If we want a choice over any other aspect of our lives, we have no choice but to be as brave and bold in our organizing as we are becoming in sharing the stories that have shaped our lives.


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Brian Robinson
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1,000 Apologies, I had to remove my actual e-mail address from this page. I got really tired of sock puppets offering me free sexual favours. (And NO! I don't know how many of them were Russian, and it wouldn't change my vote!) So here's one of those crappy contact forms that I really hate. Did I mention I'm sorry?
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