The Pilots

  • The pilot in command was 53-year-old Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah from Penang. He joined Malaysia Airlines as a cadet pilot in 1981 and, after training and receiving his commercial pilot’s licence, became a Second Officer with the airline in 1983. Zaharie was promoted to Captain of Boeing 737-400 in 1991, Captain of Airbus A330-300 in 1996, and to Captain of Boeing 777-200 in 1998. He had been a Type Rating Instructor and Type Rating Examiner since 2007 and had 18,365 hours of flying experience.[16]:13[32][33]
  • The co-pilot was 27-year-old First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid. He joined Malaysia Airlines as a cadet pilot in 2007 and became a Second Officer on Boeing 737-400 aircraft. He was promoted to First Officer of Boeing 737-400 aircraft in 2010 and later transitioned to Airbus A330-300 aircraft in 2012. In November 2013, he began training as First Officer on Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Flight 370 was his final training flight and he was scheduled to be examined on his next flight. Fariq had 2,763 hours of flying experience.[16]:14[34][35]

Read More Here

Although Captain Zaharie was estranged from his wife, there is no record of animosity or violence.

But the undeniable fact is that he was in charge (not necessarily control) of the aircraft, and it changed course and turned the transponder off.

The difficulty with either pilot downing this aircraft on his own would mean he would have to incapacitate the very guy that knew as much as the other on how to avert this happening.

Normally not a huge problem on its own….but when you are trying to hide an aircraft on your own from prying eyes that monitor you …….would be a daunting task both together at once!

I am getting old I guess

In the Daily Mail today there is a piece about a ‘poly-amorous’ family that live together Here

Nothing strange about multiple partner arrangements as that has been going on forever in history in one respect or another…… but this one is very different.

These three young people have a different view on who and what they are…………….

Polymorous

The Daily Mail treats it with some seriousness that I fail to understand…………….

One of the people is Nic, then there is Zander and Rachel.

Nic, who was born male and initially lived as a transgender woman, but now identifies as gender neutral and prefers the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them,’ has always been mainly polyamorous – first dating multiple people during high school.

Then, around a year ago, the TV station worker met delivery driver Rachel, who is a transgender female, through OKCupid, a dating site.

Initially, the pair dated monogamously – or as a ‘closed couple.’ Then Nic met Xander, a transgender male, through work, and the trio now live together and share a king size bed. 

So we have…………………..
Nic —– Born male—– was a transgender woman——-and is now gender neutral
Rachel—- Born male—- and is now a transgender woman.
Xander—- Born female—– who is now a transgender woman.
Transgender people are those who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.[1][2][3] Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer or non-binary, including bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).[2][4][5] Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or else conceptualize transgender people as a third gender.[6][7] Infrequently, the term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross-dressers,[8] regardless of their gender identity.
For my own view….. I have none at all on what these people wish to see themselves as….. it is…quite simply none of my business.
But I do have some very serious concerns as to what society forces us to see these people as……… which violates a very simple but exact process…called science!
It is now fact that…………..
The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification. See here
Even though we have very definitive accepted study that would say that this is simply not true.
From Live-science and The National Library of medicine…. Here

Chromosomes are thread-like molecules that carry hereditary information for everything from height to eye color. They are made of protein and one molecule of DNA, which contains an organism’s genetic instructions, passed down from parents. In humans, animals, and plants, most chromosomes are arranged in pairs within the nucleus of a cell. Humans have 22 of these chromosome pairs, called autosomes.

Humans have an additional pair of sex chromosomes for a total of 46 chromosomes. The sex chromosomes are referred to as X and Y, and their combination determines a person’s sex. Typically, human females have two X chromosomes while males possess an XY pairing. This XY sex-determination system is found in most mammals as well as some reptiles and plants.

There are now more than 200 accepted (by some) as alternative genders including some sub groups of the same gender.

What seems to me as being traditional, scientifically proven, and without doubt……. is now apparently no longer in question…. it is now Law …….

Your gender is no longer what what it is, but what you or the system wants it to be regardless of other individuals feeling or rights which are now dictated to you.

There is enough fact in this particular law to see that if the system disrupts the norm of society we become very easy pawns to be manipulated and accepting of obscure laws no matter how ridiculous and anti everyone………. they may seem.

That said I do not wish to seem old fashioned in these modern days……….. so……. Wiskas (my cat) has decided he is now Boris (my new Great Dane).

This my friends is just a short step away……. destroy the basics of society…….. and our demise is so very easy to arrange……..

Boris….. BORIS…… come here boy………………

 

Marijuana

So much talk about marijuana these days……

So as prescriptions are so easy to actually get you may conclude that around 85% of the American population can legally use Marijuana.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS see:here

  • Short-term memory problems
  • Severe anxiety, including fear that one is being watched or followed (paranoia)
  • Very strange behavior, seeing, hearing or smelling things that aren’t there, not being able to tell imagination from reality (psychosis)
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of sense of personal identity
  • Lowered reaction time
  • Increased heart rate (risk of heart attack)
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Problems with coordination (impairing safe driving or playing sports)
  • Sexual problems (for males)
  • Up to seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections
    than non-users (for females) 22,32 & 33

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

  • Decline in IQ (up to 8 points if prolonged use started in adolescent age)
  • Poor school performance and higher chance of dropping out
  • Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
  • Potential development of opiate abuse
  • Relationship problems, intimate partner violence
  • Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying
  • Financial difficulties
  • Increased welfare dependence
  • Greater chances of being unemployed or not getting good jobs.33

Now can you think of a better way of making someone a slave than the use of it?

Or here

Everything you could possibly want in member of society is absent while you have a use of Marijuana…… In fact what you really achieve is dependence on the state….in every way.

Once dependent on the state you are easily pliable to what the state wants.

This is one of probably the most important items that the state is happy to be in control of…….. and assures your vote and compliance. its not by accident…. its by design!

One in every five young adults’ deaths in the US is an opioid overdose, study suggests

Opoid deaths.jpg

So they do what??? They legalize it….. going according to plan? It used to be 1 in 25 deaths……….

Antisocial behavior is another attribute which benefits many sections of government. It allows the police to increase their armament to drastic levels. They can now monitor the cell phones with little or no oversight.Your mail being looked at by the government whenever they chose.

To make an individual anxious perhaps is one of the strongest benefits of the use of Marijuana……. to make them believe there is an enemy within.

What better reason to monitor their rights , introduce more invasive identifications, make more areas off limits to the public….. Its what they want.

With this list of side effects we do not ban it…. we legalize it… which will give more users more dependency on the state.

Now I would ask you again…. What better way to make people slaves to the system than legalizing marijuana……??

Break down society…….. and the res is easy……….Like……….Here

 

Premonition or Mistake?

One of the most remarkable reports on 9/11 came from Jane Stanley, who according to the BBC was in New York at the time of the attacks.

The controversy  with this report is that it came twenty minutes early………………………

The trouble with this report for me personally……. and generally very worrying is that Jane clearly refers to the two towers that have already collapsed…….. and up to this point I could find no news channel that made a reference to Building 7 before its collapse.

Another piece some hours later also adds to the worry of these BBC reports.

BBC's Jane Standley - Audio cuts-out when asked about WTC7

Another ‘mistake’ from the BBC?

The BBC eventually commented on this years later……Did you get that ???? 6 years later!

Part of the conspiracy?

Richard Porter | 17:12 UK time, Tuesday, 27 February 2007

 

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are pretty well known by now. The BBC addressed them earlier this month with a documentary, The Conspiracy Files, shown within the UK.

BBC World logoUntil now, I don’t think we’ve been accused of being part of the conspiracy. But now some websites are using news footage from BBC World on September 11th 2001 to suggest we were actively participating in some sort of attempt to manipulate the audience. As a result, we’re now getting lots of emails asking us to clarify our position. So here goes:

1. We’re not part of a conspiracy. Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn’t get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn’t receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.

2. In the chaos and confusion of the day, I’m quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate – but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did – sourced our reports, used qualifying words like “apparently” or “it’s reported” or “we’re hearing” and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.

An image of the website hosting the alleged BBC World footage

3. Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I’ve spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn’t remember minute-by-minute what she said or did – like everybody else that day she was trying to make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires services.

4. We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I’d love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don’t help clear up the issue one way or another.

5. If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error – no more than that. As one of the comments on You Tube says today “so the guy in the studio didn’t quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy… “

****************************

Does it seem logical to you that the great BBC would no longer have tapes of their reports of probably the biggest attack on US soil in history?

Media contact page here

But the more I think about this the more I am resigned to believe she was another reporter that did not do her homework. Why? Because there is no possible useful reason for anyone to bring further people into what must have been a huge plot anyway!

A mistake!

 

A Case Against America

A Case Against America

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky; drawing by James Ferguson

It is hard to see yourself as others do, all the more so if you are the world’s sole remaining superpower. In unparalleled fashion, the United States today has the capacity to project its military might throughout vast parts of the globe, even if blunders in Iraq and Libya, unresolved crises in Syria and Yemen, and disturbing trends in Russia and China demonstrate the limits of American military power to shape world events. In an increasingly multipolar world, America’s power is far from its dominant heights after World War II, but it is still unmatched.

Americans tend to ease any qualms about such military supremacy with self-assurances about US benevolence. Noam Chomsky is at his best in putting those platitudes to rest, seeing an America of hypocrisy and self-interest. Yes, there are times when the United States does good, but Chomsky in his latest book, Who Rules the World?, reminds us of a long list of harms that most Americans would rather forget. His memory is almost entirely negative but it is strong and unsparing.

Chomsky reminds us that parallels to America’s tendency to act in its own interest while speaking of more global interests can be found among the powerful throughout history. As predecessors to “American exceptionalism” he cites France’s “civilizing mission” among its colonies and even imperial Japan’s vow to bring “earthly paradise” to China under its tutelage. These past slogans are now widely seen as euphemisms for exploitation and plunder, yet Americans tend to believe that their government acts in the world without similar imperial baggage.

Chomsky’s book is not an objective account of the past. It is a polemic designed to awaken Americans from complacency. America, in his view, must be reined in, and he makes the case with verve and self-confident assertion, even if factual details are sometimes selective or scarce.

Yet Who Rules the World? is also an infuriating book because it is so partisan that it leaves the reader convinced not of his insights but of the need to hear the other side. It doesn’t help that the book is a collection of previously published essays with no effort to trim the repetitive points that pop up in chapter after chapter. Nor was much attempt made to update earlier chapters in light of later events. The Iranian nuclear accord and the Paris climate deal are mentioned only toward the end of the book, even though the issues of Iran’s nuclear program and climate change appear in earlier chapters.

At times Chomsky’s book suffers from simple sloppiness. For example, he reports that “the Obama administration considered reviving military commissions” on Guantánamo when in fact these commissions have been operating there for most of President Barack Obama’s eight years in office. And in certain places it is simply confused, as when Chomsky quotes from a review by Jessica Mathews in these pages and implies that she subscribes to the view that America advances “universal principles” rather than “national interests,” when in fact she was criticizing that perspective as part of her negative review of a book by Bret Stephens.*

In some respects, Chomsky’s preoccupation with American power seems out of date because the limits of American power have become so apparent. When we ask “Who rules the world?” and take account of Syrian atrocities, the emergence of the Islamic State, or the mass displacement of refugees, the answer is less likely to be the American superpower than no one. Obama’s foreign policy has been far more about recognizing the limits of US military power than the exercise of that power, but this merits barely a mention by Chomsky. His America is the one of military adventure—the Vietnam War, the Bay of Pigs, the Central American conflicts of the 1980s, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the potentially suicidal recklessness of the nuclear arms race.

Chomsky’s selective use of history limits his persuasiveness. He blames Middle East turmoil, for example, largely on the World War I–era Sykes-Picot agreement that divided the former Ottoman Empire among British and French colonial powers. He’s right that the borders were drawn arbitrarily, and that the multiethnic and multiconfessional states they produced are difficult to govern, but is that really an adequate explanation of the region’s current turmoil? President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq fits his thesis of American malevolence, and the terrible human costs of the war get mentioned, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to fight his country’s civil war by targeting civilians in opposition-held areas, killing hundreds of thousands and setting off the flight of several million refugees, does not. Nor does Russia’s decision to back Assad’s murderous shredding of the Geneva Conventions, since Chomsky’s focus is America’s contribution to global suffering, not Vladimir Putin’s.

Still, it is useful to read Chomsky because he does undermine the facile if comforting myths that are often used to justify US action abroad—the distinction between, as Chomsky puts it, “what we stand for” and “what we do.” His views are held not only by American critics on the left but also by many people around the world who are more likely to think of themselves as targeted rather than protected by US military power.

For example, Americans are rightly appalled by al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11, 2001, which killed some three thousand people, but most Americans have relegated to distant memory what Chomsky calls “the first 9/11”—September 11, 1973—when the US government backed a coup in Chile that brought to power General Augusto Pinochet, who proceeded to execute some three thousand people. As with US actions in Cuba and Vietnam, the US-endorsed overthrow of the socialist government of Chilean President Salvador Allende was meant, in the words of the Nixon administration quoted by Chomsky, to kill the “virus” before it “spread contagion” among those who didn’t want to accommodate the interests of a US-led order. The “virus,” Chomsky writes, “was the idea that there might be a parliamentary path toward some kind of socialist democracy.” He goes on:

The way to deal with such a threat was to destroy the virus and inoculate those who might be infected, typically by imposing murderous national-security states.

Thus began the US-led redirection of Latin American militaries from external defense to internal security, with the ensuing “dirty wars” and their trails of torture, execution, and forced disappearance.

A similar rationale lay behind US actions in Vietnam and the “domino theory” used to rationalize it. Among its most tragic applications was Indonesia’s slaughter in 1965 and 1966 of half a million or more alleged Communists under the guidance of then General and soon-to-be President Suharto. Chomsky describes how this “staggering mass slaughter” was greeted with “unrestrained euphoria” in Washington’s corridors of power. Suharto so successfully swept these extensive crimes under the rug that thirty years later Bill Clinton welcomed him as “our kind of guy.” Indonesia’s current president, Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, has bravely taken initial steps to expose this ugly chapter of his country’s history. Obama could assist him by opening US government archives to reveal the working relationship between CIA and US embassy operatives and the Indonesian forces doing the killing.

Chomsky takes on the facile use of the label “terrorism” to describe the actions of one’s enemies but not one’s friends. Why, Chomsky asks, did the US government condemn the 1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut as an act of terrorism, given that in war a military base is a legitimate military target, but not the Israeli-backed slaughter in 1982 by Lebanese Phalangists of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps? To describe any attack by one’s opponent regardless of the target as “terrorism” is to endanger ordinary civilians by blurring the important distinction established by international humanitarian law between combatants and noncombatants. The view, as Chomsky mockingly puts it, that “our terrorism, even if surely terrorism, is benign” is dangerous, since most governments and groups, even the Islamic State, believe they are acting for some conception of the good.

Chomsky criticizes the US government for discounting large-scale civilian deaths that are the foreseeable outcome of a policy even if they are not the intent of that policy. The deliberate targeting of civilians is rightfully viewed as a war crime, but what of an attacker who knows that the consequence of an attack on a military target will be substantial civilian deaths? Chomsky cites Bill Clinton’s 1998 missile attack on Sudan’s al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant, in the unjustified belief that it was producing chemical weapons, when the attack “apparently led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people” deprived of the drugs it was producing. As is often the case, Chomsky gives no substantiation for this enormous number, but the point remains. Chomsky makes a similar observation about Israel’s bombing of electrical plants in Gaza, which interrupted water supply to Palestinians and helped to cripple Gaza’s economy, and Israel’s West Bank checkpoints, which deprive Palestinians of timely access to emergency medical care.

As for promoting democracy abroad, Chomsky says that US support for it “is the province of ideologists and propagandists.” “In the real world,” he explains, “elite dislike of democracy is the norm.” Democracy is supported “only insofar as it contributes to social and economic objectives.” But what happens when the preferences of a nation’s public differ from US objectives—such as what Chomsky describes as the Arab public’s sense that Israel is a greater threat than Iran? In those cases, Chomsky argues, notwithstanding a brief flirtation with the Arab Spring, the US government tends to be amenable to dictatorships that favor warmer relations with the West:

Favored dictators must be supported as long as they can maintain control (as in the major oil states). When that is no longer possible, discard them and try to restore the old regime as fully as possible (as in…Egypt).

The epitome of this policy, according to Chomsky, was the 2006 decision to “impose harsh penalties on Palestinians for voting the wrong way” and electing Hamas in Gaza.

George W. Bush on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, declaring the end of major fighting in Iraq, May 2003
Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

George W. Bush on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, declaring the end of major fighting in Iraq, May 2003

In the Middle East, Chomsky focuses in particular on US hypocrisy toward Israel. Washington’s attitude toward the West Bank settlements is illustrative. The Carter administration, like most of the world, recognized that the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition on transferring an occupying power’s population to occupied territory. The US government has never repudiated that view but, since the Reagan administration, it has tended to refer to the settlements as only “a barrier to peace.” While the United States has periodically pressed Israel to stop expanding the settlements, that “pretense of opposition reached the level of farce in February 2011, when Obama vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for implementation of official US policy.”

Similarly, in May 2014, the United States supported jurisdiction for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Syria (Russia and China vetoed the resolution) but only after insisting that the resolution exempt Israel from any possible liability. That is consistent with US legislation adopted under George W. Bush authorizing an invasion of the Netherlands should any American or allied suspect be brought to The Hague for trial before the ICC. It is also consistent with the Obama administration’s failed pressure on Palestine not to ratify the ICC treaty.

Chomsky has one chapter on America’s selective outrage. Americans were outraged when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine, apparently by Russia-backed forces, killing 298 people. But who remembers when the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, killing 290 people? The Vincennes was in the Persian Gulf at the time to defend the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, then a US ally at war with Iran. In neither case is there reason to believe that the attacker knowingly targeted a civilian aircraft, but the Western response was notably different.

Chomsky cites a New York Times report that Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, “choked up as she spoke of infants who perished” in the Malaysia Airlines crash. But he notes that the commander of the Vincennes and his anti–air warfare officer were given the US Legion of Merit award for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service” and for the “calm and professional atmosphere” maintained during the period of the downing. President Reagan blamed the Iranians for the tragedy. Only under the Clinton administration did the US government admit “deep regret” and pay compensation to the victims—facts that Chomsky neglects to mention.

Likewise, the US is rightfully outraged at Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians but far more reticent about the large-scale destruction of civilian property and loss of civilian life caused by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Invocations of Hamas using human shields do not begin to account for such likely war crimes as Israel’s targeting of Hamas commanders’ family homes or its use of artillery that had wide effects in densely populated areas.

Or to cite another example: the US government rightfully expressed outrage over the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo by Islamist extremists who killed eleven journalists. But as Chomsky points out, there was nothing comparable to the “I am Charlie” campaign when in 1999 during the war with Serbia over Kosovo, NATO deliberately sent a missile into Serbian state television and radio (RTS) headquarters, killing sixteen journalists. Even though RTS was a propaganda outlet, that did not make it a legitimate military target, yet Washington defended the attack. Chomsky introduces the concept of “living memory”—“a category carefully constructed to include their crimes against us while scrupulously excluding our crimes against them”—to explain why there was no collection of Western leaders proclaiming “We are RTS.” Even after the Charlie Hebdo attack, while France was portraying itself as a champion of free expression, it prosecuted advocacy of boycotting goods from Israel or its settlements.

While Chomsky mostly looks back in time, he does not spare Barack Obama. One of Obama’s first acts as president was to order an end to the CIA’s use of torture, yet Chomsky quotes the journalist Allan Nairn to the effect that Obama “merely repositioned” the United States to the historical norm in which torture is carried out by proxies. But Chomsky gives no evidence of torture by such proxies under Obama. Even before Bush administration lawyers contorted the meaning of the prohibition against torture in the notorious “Torture Memos,” Chomsky notes, the legal defense for the types of mental torture preferred by the Bush CIA, euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” was foreshadowed by the Reagan administration in the form of detailed reservations about the definition of torture in the international Convention against Torture, which were endorsed by the Clinton administration at the time of ratification in 1994.

One reason often driving the US government to ignore international norms is a sense of impunity. For example, until recently, only the United States had weaponized drones, so why should the US bother to articulate and respect rules governing their use? But such technological monopolies are inevitably short-lived, and America’s many years of using drones without articulated standards are much more likely to influence how other countries behave when they too have weaponized drones than any belated effort at standard-setting.

Chomsky does nothing to contribute to what those standards might be, lapsing into denunciatory language about drone attacks being “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times.” He describes “assassination” in violation of “the presumption of innocence” without addressing the obvious retort—that combatants in war can be targeted—or grappling with the central question of whether US drone attacks in places like Yemen and Somalia should be considered acts of war or bound by the more restrictive standards of law enforcement.

Groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State certainly have no intention of abiding by international standards. Yet the Geneva Conventions deliberately impose duties regardless of an adversary’s conduct—and for good reason, because otherwise virtually any war would descend into a tit-for-tat spiral of atrocity and retaliation. US compliance with international humanitarian law is all the more important in view of America’s unique superpower status, because its actions are more visible and far-reaching.

That makes it all the more lamentable that Obama has refused to authorize prosecution of the CIA torturers or those in the Bush administration who authorized them, thus leaving torture as a policy option for the next US president facing a serious security threat, and setting a disastrous precedent for other countries. Needless to say, many other parts of the world do not accord these actions the presumption of benevolence that Americans are more willing to embrace.

How does such hypocrisy persist in US foreign policy? Chomsky provides no clear answer. He alludes to the power of commercial interests in setting Washington’s agenda. He also notes the importance of secrecy. Government secrecy, he explains, “is rarely motivated by a genuine need for security, but it definitely does serve to keep the population in the dark.” As an example, Chomsky cites the National Security Agency’s mass collection of telecommunications metadata—a deeply intrusive program in which the records of many of our most intimate contacts have been stored in government computers and kept available for official inspection. Operating with the benefit of secrecy, government officials claimed the program was needed and had stopped fifty-four terrorist plots.

Once the claim was subjected to scrutiny, it turned out that the program, at enormous costs to American taxpayers and their privacy, had identified only one supposed plot—someone who had sent $8,500 to Somalia. Two independent oversight bodies with access to classified information have found that the phone metadata program has provided no unique value in countering terrorist threats. More recently, Chomsky notes that the details of transpacific and transatlantic trade deals have been kept secret from the public but not from “the hundreds of corporate lawyers who are drawing up the detailed provisions.”

It is perhaps unfair to challenge an author for what he didn’t write rather than what he did, but given the broad question that Chomsky asks—“Who rules the world?”—I could not help noticing how little of the world he discusses. The book is about the parts of the world where America and its closest allies, such as Israel, assert military power, but Chomsky does not in this book seem interested in the parts of the world where US military power is not exercised and seemingly incapable of making much of a difference. Africa barely appears except as a source of migration—we get no sense of the deadly conflict in South Sudan, the growing turmoil in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the murderous rampage of the Islamist group Boko Haram. China is largely ignored. Russia emerges with respect to nuclear issues but little else. South Asia appears mainly as the site of Osama bin Laden’s demise.

Chomsky does no more than touch on the issue of migration—one of today’s most complex problems. Without elaboration, he attributes Mexican migration to the United States to Mexican campesinos being forced under the NAFTA agreement to compete with heavily subsidized US agribusiness. He takes no account of Central Americans fleeing drug cartels, or even of the consequences of America’s ill-fated “war on drugs.” He mentions African migration to Europe with a passing, undeveloped reference to European colonialism. Perhaps his most interesting contribution in an otherwise superficial discussion is his recollection that Benjamin Franklin once warned against admitting German and Swedish immigrants to the United States because they were “swarthy” and would tarnish “Anglo-Saxon purity.” We can hope that before long we will regard today’s rampant Islamophobia with equal ridicule.

Chomsky concludes by answering the titular question of his book with a question. Beyond asking “Who rules the world?” we should also inquire, “What principles and values rule the world?” It is easy for a superpower to deviate from Kantian principles—to avoid treating its neighbors as it would want to be treated—because it can. No external power can compel a superpower to be principled. That is the task of its citizens.

Chomsky offers little in the way of prescription. His book is mainly a critique, as if he cannot envision a positive role for America other than a negation of the harmful ones he highlights. Yet imperfect as the book is, we should understand it as a plea to end American hypocrisy, to introduce a more consistently principled dimension to American relations with the world, and, instead of assuming American benevolence, to scrutinize critically how the US government actually exercises its still-unmatched power.

The Conspiracy Project

Seldom have I seen a film that has so much logic for truth…….

A film by Neal Fox that has the answers to a heck of a lot of thoughts I have had…… such as why we are going backwards with education…

Are learning more yet understanding less…. why we cant even pick out another country on a map….. and why we are forgetting our history…….

Today we are so corrupted by the media social sites and where to think on your own you are labelled….something which, generally speaking is not nice….

Here is a guy who has put it all into one…and if nothing else take a little time to humor yourself….. and be careful as you do so… you may learn…..

 

A Huge Missed Opportunity!

Tonight I saw a video by Ron Paul.

Over the years I have had so much respect for this guy and the fact that he was born years before his time.

He is not afraid to be honest in his thoughts and to express them in a way that makes sense…… he is not an establishment man……. he is an honest man.

I personally believe not taking advantage when we had the opportunity of him being President was detrimental to the whole wide world.

Take time to watch a man that will be written into history as our last opportunity to see sense here.

Tommy Robinson

The far right wing organizer Tommy Robinson has been arrested whilst reporting on a trial in London of a few Muslim men that have been accused of grooming children for sex.

Tommy who is currently on suspended sentence for three years for a similar event that he served three months before the sentence became suspended.

So it would seem for the act of recording outside the court and without actually speaking to anyone……… he was arrested, brought before a judge and ordered to complete his sentence of 13 months.

What is far worse is that a gag order has been put on his arrest by the judge and should any publication report this and publish this, they too can be thrown is prison.

What  is concerning is that this guy although broadcasting live on general court issues has the police (or who I wonder) have the guy arrested when not being definitive about anything at all.

The case is however being held in a closed court and the reporting restrictions have been in place for all aspects.

This gives a ominous twist to the case as to why? Typically in a rape trial or a pedophile trial the defendants are known….. yet in all Muslim cases the defendants are not known.

He does however have some assistance from Alec Jones who can publicize what is happening and he does with this emergency clip.

Love Tommy or hate him, my concern is that Robinson is not being given his given right to free speech. In addition it would seem as the British government is protecting the rights of a minority group who have abused girls as young as 8yrs old.

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=CIUnB_1527464531

If we are too dumb to consider what is happening today, we deserve all we will ultimately have thrown at us.

Big Brother Is Watching You: Is Britian Becoming Orwell’s Nightmare?

Big Brother Is Watching You: Is Britain Becoming Orwell’s Nightmare?

An amazing piece that can be seen here

EDITOR’S NOTE:  So many people were shocked, disturbed or just plain baffled that after barely a week in power the Trump administration was spreading outright lies and embracing dangerous ideas such as “alternative facts” that it’s no wonder the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four shot to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.  After all, George Orwell’s cautionary tale described a society in which “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth” and “the Ministry of Truth” promotes “doublethink” and “newspeak.”  We thought it timely to repost Stephen Rohde’s (cautionary) review.

WITH A THEATRICAL PRODUCTION of Nineteen Eighty-Four, imported from London, opening in Los Angeles in January 2016 at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage, renewed attention is being paid to one of Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels. Of course, George Orwell’s classic has been frequently reviewed and assessed. It has become commonplace to identify how far the Orwellian vision of the “surveillance state,” with its “Big Brother,” “doublespeak,” and “thoughtcrimes,” has become embedded in our society not just in authoritarian regimes all over the world, but in the United States, England, and Europe.

In No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (2014), journalist Glenn Greenwald compares his present day subject to Nineteen Eighty-Four. “[B]oth rely on the existence of a technological system with the capacity to monitor every citizen’s actions and words,” in which because “the state had the capability to watch them at any time,” it was “the uncertainty and possibility of ubiquitous surveillance that served to keep everyone in line.”

Far less frequently do commentators reflect on why the “surveillance state” is able to take hold and envelop people’s lives, even in countries that consider themselves democracies. Orwell was clear about this: the creation of a state of perpetual war and all pervasive fear induces people to willingly surrender their rights and liberties and enables the imposition of the surveillance state, making a fresh examination of Orwell’s cautionary tale seem especially worthwhile.

Orwell marshals an array of literary techniques in service of his unconcealed political views. While the political messages at times jump off the page, in other sections of the novel, often overlooked, are long sensual passages devoted to the torrid but short-lived romance between 39-year-old Winston Smith and 26-year-old Julia. His sexual yearnings, suffocated in a failed marriage, are contrasted with her sense of sexual freedom. Their encounters, first in a remote forest and then in their love nest above Mr. Charrington’s shop, breath with the intimacy and delight that is so painfully absent from the rest of their dreary and regimented lives, and by extension the lives of everyone else in Oceania. Orwell shares their joyful relationship in their secret haven to remind readers what has been lost in the rest of this suffocating conformist society. He vividly brings to life the essential thing that the Party and Big Brother have systematically eliminated: privacy. This representation of blissful privacy is the baseline against which readers measure the pervasive control and sweeping surveillance imposed by the Party.

Early in the novel, Orwell writes: “Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war.” War “had been literally continuous though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war.” At present, in 1984, Oceania is at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia, but Winston possesses the “furtive knowledge” (because his “memory was not satisfactorily under control”) that only four years earlier Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. “The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.”

Winston is frightened when Julia, typically indifferent to such things, considers it unimportant whether Oceania is at war with Eastasia or Eurasia. “‘Who cares?’ she said impatiently. ‘It’s always one bloody war after another, and one knows the news is all lies anyway.’”

Later in the story, Winston (and everyone else) is required to participate in Hate Week, complete with “processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxwork displays, film shows, telescreen programs.” Julia’s works at the Fiction Department, where her unit has been taken off the production of novels to rush out a series of “atrocity pamphlets.” The streets are lined with posters everywhere showing the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier with an expressionless Mongolian face. But, without notice, on the sixth day of Hate Week, it is abruptly announced that Oceania is not at war with Eurasia, it is at war with Eastasia and Eurasia is an ally.

Orwell is clear: regardless of shifting enemies, the Party perpetuates a permanent state of war in order to maintain complete control over society. Winston surreptitiously obtains a copy of “the book” entitled The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, written by Emmanuel Goldstein, originally the architect of Ingsoc, the prevailing philosophy of Oceania, but now declared an enemy of the state. Winston devours the book in a desperate attempt to understand what is happening, and readers will see chilling parallels to our present circumstances. Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, the world’s “three superstates” are “permanently at war,” Goldstein writes in the book within the book, and they have been for the past 25 years: “war hysteria is continuous and universal in all countries.” Acts such as the slaughter of children and reprisals against prisoners are looked upon as normal, “and, when they are committed by one’s own side and not by the enemy, meritorious.” War now involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly trained specialists, causes comparatively few casualties, and takes place on vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average person can only guess at.

The first essential ingredient in permanent war is that “it is impossible for it to be decisive.” And that is intentional, using up the products of “the machine” without “raising the general standard of living.” If the machine was used not for war, but to eliminate human inequality, then “hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations.” But an all-around increase in wealth would threaten “the hierarchical society.” “If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction.”

For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

Continuous war keeps the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. War destroys “material which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”

At the same time, “consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.” Even the humblest Party member should be “a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph.” He acquires “the mentality appropriate to a state of war.”

Perpetual war demands the endless search for “new and unanswerable weapons,” and all three powers produce atomic bombs, storing them up against the decisive opportunity that they all believe will come sooner or later. Meanwhile, new tactical weapons are deployed, including “self-propelled projectiles.”

All of this is in service of the two aims of the Party: “to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought.” The average citizen of Oceania is kept ignorant of the citizens of Eurasia and Eastasia. “If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies.” War “helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs” and “is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects,” not to make or prevent conquests of territory, “but to keep the structure of society intact.”

The Goldstein book observes that beginning in about 1930,

practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations — not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.

In comparison to what the Party had achieved, “all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient,” the “ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas,” and “no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.” Print, followed by film, radio, and television, made it easier to manipulate public opinion. When “technological advances” made it possible “to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end.”

Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communications closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

The only danger to the Party was the splitting off “of a new group of able, underemployed, power-hungry people, and the growth of liberalism and skepticism in their own ranks.” There needed to be “continuous molding” of the people’s consciousness. At the apex of society was Big Brother, infallible and all-powerful. Every success, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue issued directly from his leadership and inspiration. People live from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. One is expected to have no private emotions but to live “in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before the power and wisdom of the Party.” The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called (in the language of Newspeak), crimestop, the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. In short, “protective stupidity.”

It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.

In a permanent state of war, with pervasive scarcity and thought control, the vast majority of people in Oceania, know as proles, “can be prodded into frenzies of fear and hatred, but when left to themselves they are capable of forgetting for long periods that the war is happening.”

¤

Long before Orwell, James Madison warned that of “all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” He pointed out that in war “the discretionary power of the Executive is extended,” including “all the means of seducing the minds” of the people. “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

No one aware of post-9/11 society in the United States, England, Europe, and elsewhere can fail to see how chillingly Orwell (and Madison) imagined the consequences of permanent war in instilling fear, inflaming patriotism, creating an obedient citizenry, and establishing a pervasive surveillance state.

On September 14, 2001, Congress adopted the Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF”) granting the President unfettered authority to wage permanent war with no time limits or geographic boundaries against:

those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The Senate passed the AUMF by a vote of 98-0 (with two senators not voting) and the House of Representatives voted 420 in favor (with 10 not voting). Only Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) voting against the AUMF. She cautioned that it was “a blank check to the president.” She warned that in “granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibilities to understand the dimensions of its declaration. I could not support such a grant of war-making authority to the president; I believe it would put more innocent lives at risk.”

Barbara Lee was as prescient as George Orwell.

In the last 14 years, without any Declaration of War as required by the Constitution, two American presidents have waged endless war and used deadly military force in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Cameroon, and Syria, and have indefinitely imprisoned detainees in Cuba, Poland, Thailand, North Africa, and Romania, creating a state of permanent war which continues to this very day. Representing more than 53 percent of its discretionary budget, the United States spends over $600 billion a year on the military.

In January 2013, Rep. Lee introduced a bill to repeal the AUMF. At a hearing on May 16, 2013, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) asked “How will we know when the current conflict is over?” A military panel that included two generals testified that the “war against radical Islam, or terror, whatever description you like” will last another 10 to 20 years and the president has the “authority to put boots on the ground in Yemen” or in the Congo, or anywhere in the world, because “when it comes to international terrorism, we’re talking about a worldwide struggle.”

A member of the committee, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) recently complained that the AUMF “is now being interpreted as a blank check to allow war without geographical limitations, without temporal limitation. Fifteen years of war under an open-ended authorization should have taught us something.” But what it has actually taught us is that in a state of permanent war, the American people, like the people of Oceania, will accept the ever-increasing use of raw power by the government. Just as the endless wars in Oceania prompted the use of torture, the War on Terror launched the use of torture in direct violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the United States ratified in 1994. A December 2014 report issued by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence documented that several detainees were subjected to waterboarding, one 82 times and another 183 times; interrogations lasted for days on end, detainees were forced to stand on broken legs or go 180 hours in a row without sleep; were subjected to “rectal feeding,” and one prison was so cold that a suspect froze to death. Despite these shocking revelations, no high-level CIA officials or military officers have been prosecuted or held accountable. And the American people go about their business, just like the citizens of Oceania.

Orwell’s prediction that countries would endlessly search for “new and unanswerable weapons” beyond the atomic bomb, as well as new tactical weapons including “self-propelled projectiles,” has come true with terrifying consequences. In 1996, in response to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) concluded that “it is difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the requirements of international humanitarian law.” But in 2015, almost 20 years later, on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ICRC was still urging that the “use of nuclear weapons must be prohibited and the weapons eliminated altogether.” Yet the world is moving in the opposite direction. The Economist in March noted:

Twenty-five years after the Soviet collapse, the world is entering a new nuclear age. Nuclear strategy has become a cockpit of rogue regimes and regional foes jostling with the five original nuclear-weapons powers (America, Britain, France, China and Russia), whose own dealings are infected by suspicion and rivalry.

Although the world continues to comfort itself with the thought that mutually assured destruction is unlikely, the risk that somebody somewhere will use a nuclear weapon is growing apace. Every nuclear power is spending lavishly to upgrade its atomic arsenal. Russia’s defense budget has grown by over 50 percent since 2007, a third of which is devoted to nuclear weapons. China is adding to its stocks and investing heavily in submarines and mobile missile batteries. And President Obama has asked Congress for almost $350 billion to undertake a decade-long program of modernization of America’s arsenal.

Pakistan is amassing dozens of battlefield nuclear weapons and North Korea is thought to be capable of adding a warhead a year to its stock of around 10, while developing missiles that can strike the west coast of the United States. Meanwhile, weapons proliferate in the Middle East, as Iran (subject to the new agreement limiting its nuclear development) and then Saudi Arabia and possibly Egypt join Israel in the ranks of nuclear powers.

In a January 2014 report, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) concluded that:

nearly 2,000 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear materials (highly enriched uranium, separated plutonium, and the plutonium content in mixed oxide fuel) are stored at hundreds of sites around the world; some of those materials are poorly secured and are vulnerable to theft or sale on the black market.

The report pointed out that enough highly enriched uranium to fill a five-pound bag of sugar or a quantity of plutonium the size of a grapefruit would be enough to build a nuclear weapon. The result of a nuclear blast “would be catastrophic — with dire consequences that would stretch across the globe for economies, commerce, militaries, public health, the environment, civil liberties, and the stability of governments.”

The Party in charge of Oceania would feel right at home. Those “self-propelled projectiles” Orwell invented, we call drones. Nothing exemplifies the impact of permanent war more than the pervasive use of killer drones to assassinate suspected terrorists, without arrest, charges, or trial. Drone attacks have dramatically increased under President Obama. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), in Pakistan between 2004 and 2015 there have been 421 CIA drone strikes (370 under President Obama) which have killed between 2,476 and 3,989 people, including between 423 and 965 civilians, of which 172 to 207 were children, and injured between 1,158 and 1,738.

During comparable time periods in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the BIJ estimates there have been between 390 and 430 CIA drone strikes, which have killed between 1,670 and 2,480 people, including between 127 and 264 civilians, of which between 17 and 41 were children, and injured between 297 and 375.

Did you know that US killer drones reportedly killed and injured as many as 8,582 people, including as many as 1,232 civilians, of which as many as 248 were children? Most do not. The citizens of Oceania didn’t know the number of casualties in their endless wars either.

And of course since 2001, the US government, with the assistance of major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans. News reports in December 2005 first revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been intercepting Americans’ phone calls and internet communications. The NSA is also receiving wholesale copies of Americans’ telephone and other communications records. All of these surveillance activities are in violation of the privacy safeguards established by Congress and the US Constitution. In early 2006, it was revealed that AT&T installed a fiber optic splitter at its facility in San Francisco and provided copies of all emails, web browsing, and other internet traffic to and from AT&T customers to the NSA.

In June 2013, a modern day Winston Smith, Edward Snowden, leaked secret government documents which showed — and the government later admitted — that the government collected phone metadata of all US customers under the guise of the Patriot Act. Moreover, the government is collecting and analyzing the content of communications of foreigners talking to persons inside the United States, as well as collecting much more, without a probable cause warrant. Snowden revealed that under the PRISM program, the NSA and FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs that enabled analysts to track foreign targets. In just one 30-day period in March 2013, one NSA unit named Boundless Informant, collected data on an astounding 97 billion emails and 124 billion phone calls from around the world.

For bringing this pervasive US spying program to the attention of the public, Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act. It remains to be seen whether he will suffer the fate of Winston Smith or be recognized as a courageous whistle-blower.

Except for a handful of privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and civil liberties organizations, such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, this massive program of NSA domestic spying has generated little if any protest from the vast majority of Americans, and in Congress it has largely been met by passive acceptance or patriotic praise. The recent USA Freedom Act was a welcome but very limited congressional effort to restrict government spying.

Americans have become numb to a loss of personal privacy on an unprecedented scale. Everyone’s comings and goings on streets and in public places are routinely videotaped. Orwell’s invention of two-way “telescreens,” which not only broadcast programs into one’s home but also record what is happening there, has largely come true with “cookies” embedded in our computers relaying our private choices of books, movies, consumer goods, and much more.

Cookies store sensitive personal information including forms, third-party ad tracking, and user profiling/website preference tracking. Many websites use large-scale third-party ad serving networks that cover many sites. This ubiquitous tracking and ad-specificity impacts user privacy since no express consent is given. Also, unlike browser-based cookies, flash-based cookies are not stored on your computer, so they are harder to find and delete. Banks and online finance sites use flash-based cookies precisely for this reason. In addition, consumer privacy protection activists are deeply concerned about the huge evolution of websites like Facebook, which pose extensive security concerns. Not even Orwell dreamed that technology would develop such sophisticated techniques to access and store such massive amounts of private information.

¤

Across the country, the weapons and surveillance techniques of permanent war are being shared with local law enforcement. Since 2003, through the federal Urban Area Security Initiative and the Department of Defense 1033 program, over $7 billion of funding and military grade equipment, including military aircraft, grenade launchers, and heavily armored tactical vehicles, have been disbursed to militarize police departments. In May 2014, the Los Angeles Police Department acquired 2 Draganflyer X6 Drones which place tools for unprecedented invasions of privacy of people’s homes and neighborhoods in the hands of the same department of police officers who have been found to sabotage voice recording and video equipment inside patrol cars designed to monitor police conduct.

The pervasive surveillance has become the new normal in America. Over 600 state, local, and federal agencies, including the US military and the CIA, conduct intelligence operations through Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) and Fusion Centers. In 2004, under the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU discovered an FBI JTTF spying on political advocacy groups, and a follow-up investigation by the Inspector General found that the FBI lied to hide these improper activities from Congress and the American public. A 2012 Senate report found the intelligence gathering at Fusion Centers was flawed, irrelevant, unrelated to terrorism, and posed a serious threat to privacy.

Meanwhile, since 2008 the LAPD has been creating secret Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) based on ordinary, lawful, and constitutionally protected activities such as using cameras in public, shooting videos, using binoculars, drawing diagrams, taking notes, and inquiring about hours of operation. The SARs are stored and shared with thousands of law enforcement and public agencies, and private contractors have access through Fusion Centers. A January 2015 audit by the LAPD Inspector General revealed that while Los Angeles’s black population is less than 10 percent of the total, over 30 percent of SARs involved black residents.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Police Commission approved new guidelines for intelligence gathering on political groups and others engaged in social justice work, which allows the LAPD to insert informants at organizations for 180 days at a time and for LAPD officers to create fictitious personas for online investigations involving Facebook and other social media tools.

This is the very kind of world Winston lived in and so eagerly, and unsuccessfully, tried to escape.

¤

As Nineteen Eighty-Four moves inexorably to its terrifying conclusion, Winston and Julia enjoy what unbeknownst to them will be their last intimate time together. Orwell describes the thoughts that flood Winston’s mind, as if to remind the reader that there is an alternative to the mind-numbing, spirit-crushing world described in Goldstein’s book:

It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everyone, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same — everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same — people who never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.

He remembers the thrush that sang at the edge of the wood during their first night together:

The birds sang, the proles sang, the Party did not sing. All around the world, in London and New York, in Africa and Brazil and in the mysterious, forbidden lands beyond the frontiers, in the streets of Paris and Berlin, in the villages of the endless Russian plain, in the bazaars of China and Japan — everywhere stood the same solid unconquerable figure, made monstrous by work and childbearing, toiling from birth to death and still singing.

Winston’s faith — Orwell’s faith — in the dignity of the common man is breathtaking. Few passages in the literature of liberation speak with greater hope for the universality of humankind.

In his 1961 afterword to a special edition of Ninety Eighty-Four, Erich Fromm, author of Escape from Freedom (1941), suggested that one can react to Orwell’s dystopia in two ways:

either by becoming more hopeless and resigned, or by feeling there is still time, and by responding with greater clarity and greater courage. […] The hope can be realized only by recognizing, so 1984 teaches us, […] the danger of a society of automatons who have lost every trace of individuality, of love, of critical thought, and yet who will not be aware of it because of “doublethink.”

If we heed Orwell’s dire warnings; if we eliminate the threat of nuclear annihilation; if we dismantle the permanent war machine; if we insist that our leaders actively negotiate diplomatic solutions to world conflicts; if we devote the trillions of dollars spent on war to combat economic inequality, disease, hunger, homelessness, illiteracy, and joblessness around the world; if we end warrantless government surveillance; if we restore personal privacy and lost liberties; if we organize and speak out and do all this, then America will not become Oceania. But time is running out.

It gets worse……………………

24/5/2018

So today President Trump has cancelled a meeting with NK….. a meeting that has been a long time coming…..and considering that NK has full nuclear capability (proven) would be a smart thing to talk about.

The reason for the cancellation is the NK response to Mike Pence comments………………

“There was some talk about the Libya model,” Pence told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “As the President made clear, this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn’t make a deal.”
When MacCallum said that some people may have seen Bolton’s comments as a threat, Pence said “I think it’s more of a fact.” Here
The way that you could interpret that is you give up your nuclear weapons and regime change follows……. So NK had a predictable answer………..
I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice-president. We could surmise more than enough what a political dummy he is (Pence), as he is trying to compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya that had simply installed a few items of equipment and fiddled around with them 
 North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui on Mike Pence’s interview with the Fox News Channel.
This answer I personally find predictable and the correct answer……. an answer which other countries find logical given their tone…..
South Korea says:
At an emergency meeting on Thursday, Moon told his top security officials he was “very perplexed” and found it “very regrettable that the North Korea-US summit will not be held on June 12”
Singapore says:

Singapore, which was to host the historic summit, said it also “regrets” the cancellation.In a Twitter post, the country’s foreign ministry said it hoped “efforts to find lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue”.

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said he was “profoundly worried” over Trump’s decision.

“I am deeply concerned by the cancellation of the planned meeting in Singapore between the president of the United States and the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Guterres said at the University of Geneva on Thursday. 

UK says:

The United Kingdom also expressed disappointment with Trump’s decision, with a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May calling for an agreement to “bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.Britain will continue to work with its partners to that end, the spokeswoman added.

And France says:

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, said he hoped Trump’s move “was just a glitch in a process that should be continued”.

Even Russia says:

“We had counted on that a significant step towards a deescalation on the Korean peninsula would be taken and a start made on the denuclearisation,” Putin said at the joint press conference. He added: “We hope that a dialogue will be resumed, continued and the meeting take place.”

Worse still Trumps says:

 

'You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used,' Trump wrote to Kim

There are so many things wrong with this letter given the gravity of the issue and really seems to miss every major point.

Firstly using the term irrelevant at that point.

Secondly “Anger and Open hostility” Given Pence’s remarks just what else would you expect?

Thirdly… His comments on nuclear capabilities are so very bad.

Fourthly… He is rubbing their faces in the mud that he conned them into releasing hostages.

Fifth    The US NOT NK cancelled the meeting…… and to think they would ever ask for another is pushing the boundaries into stupidity.

I am starting to think this president wants a nuclear war with somebody….anybody!