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This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorse any racist (or "racialist") ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist and/or terrorist activities. Any racial separatist or militant groups listed here are solely for reference and Opinions of multiple authors including Freedom or Anarchy Campaign of conscience.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Beware Twitter Users:

Beware Twitter Users: Your Tweets Help The Government Predict The Future

Twitter-cuffs-shackles
When it comes to whatever social media platform we use on a regular basis, most of us take it for granted that these websites are spying on us in some capacity. Granted, many social media users don’t know or don’t care, but everyone else at least implicitly agrees that in exchange for using these website for free, their posts will be data mined for information that can be used to target them with ads.
However, the personal information and opinions that we put out on social media doesn’t just provide commercial opportunities for advertisers. It’s a veritable goldmine for governments as well. Everything that people used to keep to themselves in previous generations, is now willingly shouted into the Internet abyss for all to hear. Social media users often feel free to share their most controversial, subversive, and inflammatory thoughts on a platform that could reach millions of people. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, but it’s the world we live in today.
Governments of course, love this. People say things on the Internet, that in years past would require a warrant to discover. Law enforcement would have to get permission from a judge to tap someone’s phone, or search their house for diaries and letters that would give them a damning insight into that person’s psychology and intentions. Now we just give it away for free.
Obviously, this makes it very easy for the government to identify individual threats. Somebody can talk about overthrowing the government on social media, and either they’ll be reported or some NSA algorithm will pick them up, and add their comments to a threat matrix. But social media has the potential to give the government so much more. It can also give them an insight into the collective desires of the masses.
A new study was recently conducted by Arizona State University, Texas A&M, and Yahoo, which discovered that with the right algorithm, you can predict with 70% accuracy, the probability that any given Twitter user is going post something that is part of a protest. They could use this information to predict a protest movement in the real world, as well as how big it will eventually become.
The researchers collected 2,686 posts related to the Nigerian general election that took place between February and April of last year, an election that was marred by political violence in the form of the Boko Haram insurgency and that was beset by accusations of voting irregularities. So what predicts when someone begins protesting on Twitter? It’s not your personal history so much as your Twitter history of interacting with people who are part of that movement.
“The interaction we study is how users mention each other,” researchers Suhas Ranganath and Fred Morstatter wrote toDefense One in an email. “In the model, the probability of the future post expressing protest increases if: 1) The post mentioning the user is related to the protest. 2) The author of the post mentioning the user is interested in the protest. We dynamically learn [or teach] the model by testing how each of the previous status messages of the given user are affected by the recent posts mentioning him. We then use the model to predict the likelihood of the user expressing protest in his next post.”
Their accuracy threshold of 70 percent is because what might seem completely unpredictable is in fact part of a pattern, albeit one that’s incredibly complex. The researchers employed Brownian motion theory to design the formula, a theory that usually is employed to track the movement of particles, as well as model stock market fluctuations and other highly complicated systems. “Brownian Motion for fluid particles models change in the direction of the particle movement  on collision with other particles. We take each ‘particle’ as a social media user. We relate collision with other particles, other users mentioning him, and the change in direction to change of the user’s inclination to express protest in his next post. We then use the models of Brownian motion to relate the two quantities. We mainly employ this to model the dynamic change in user behavior resulting from interactions over time,” Suhas told Defense One.
I might add that it wasn’t just some university or a private company that decided to fund this study. The Office of Naval Research chipped in as well, so clearly the government is interested in this sort of thing.

The Family Assistants Campaign.

Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !

For them, social media is a powerful tool. The deeply personal opinions that you might shout into the Internet, gives the government the power of prognostication. And as computer technology advances, they will be able to do better than 70%. They’ll be able to look at the information you post on social media, compare that to what everyone else is saying, and they’ll be able to predict wars, protests, and revolutions long before they occur. And that’s an incredibly dangerous power for any government to have.

Also Read:

Social Media Surveillance Expands as IBM Taps Twitter

Twitter Opens Entire Database To MIT – How Will It Be Used?

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personalTwitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

Beware Twitter Users: Your Tweets Help The Government Predict The Future

Twitter-cuffs-shackles
When it comes to whatever social media platform we use on a regular basis, most of us take it for granted that these websites are spying on us in some capacity. Granted, many social media users don’t know or don’t care, but everyone else at least implicitly agrees that in exchange for using these website for free, their posts will be data mined for information that can be used to target them with ads.
However, the personal information and opinions that we put out on social media doesn’t just provide commercial opportunities for advertisers. It’s a veritable goldmine for governments as well. Everything that people used to keep to themselves in previous generations, is now willingly shouted into the Internet abyss for all to hear. Social media users often feel free to share their most controversial, subversive, and inflammatory thoughts on a platform that could reach millions of people. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, but it’s the world we live in today.
Governments of course, love this. People say things on the Internet, that in years past would require a warrant to discover. Law enforcement would have to get permission from a judge to tap someone’s phone, or search their house for diaries and letters that would give them a damning insight into that person’s psychology and intentions. Now we just give it away for free.
Obviously, this makes it very easy for the government to identify individual threats. Somebody can talk about overthrowing the government on social media, and either they’ll be reported or some NSA algorithm will pick them up, and add their comments to a threat matrix. But social media has the potential to give the government so much more. It can also give them an insight into the collective desires of the masses.
A new study was recently conducted by Arizona State University, Texas A&M, and Yahoo, which discovered that with the right algorithm, you can predict with 70% accuracy, the probability that any given Twitter user is going post something that is part of a protest. They could use this information to predict a protest movement in the real world, as well as how big it will eventually become.
The researchers collected 2,686 posts related to the Nigerian general election that took place between February and April of last year, an election that was marred by political violence in the form of the Boko Haram insurgency and that was beset by accusations of voting irregularities. So what predicts when someone begins protesting on Twitter? It’s not your personal history so much as your Twitter history of interacting with people who are part of that movement.
“The interaction we study is how users mention each other,” researchers Suhas Ranganath and Fred Morstatter wrote toDefense One in an email. “In the model, the probability of the future post expressing protest increases if: 1) The post mentioning the user is related to the protest. 2) The author of the post mentioning the user is interested in the protest. We dynamically learn [or teach] the model by testing how each of the previous status messages of the given user are affected by the recent posts mentioning him. We then use the model to predict the likelihood of the user expressing protest in his next post.”
Their accuracy threshold of 70 percent is because what might seem completely unpredictable is in fact part of a pattern, albeit one that’s incredibly complex. The researchers employed Brownian motion theory to design the formula, a theory that usually is employed to track the movement of particles, as well as model stock market fluctuations and other highly complicated systems. “Brownian Motion for fluid particles models change in the direction of the particle movement  on collision with other particles. We take each ‘particle’ as a social media user. We relate collision with other particles, other users mentioning him, and the change in direction to change of the user’s inclination to express protest in his next post. We then use the models of Brownian motion to relate the two quantities. We mainly employ this to model the dynamic change in user behavior resulting from interactions over time,” Suhas told Defense One.
I might add that it wasn’t just some university or a private company that decided to fund this study. The Office of Naval Research chipped in as well, so clearly the government is interested in this sort of thing.

The Family Assistants Campaign.

Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !

For them, social media is a powerful tool. The deeply personal opinions that you might shout into the Internet, gives the government the power of prognostication. And as computer technology advances, they will be able to do better than 70%. They’ll be able to look at the information you post on social media, compare that to what everyone else is saying, and they’ll be able to predict wars, protests, and revolutions long before they occur. And that’s an incredibly dangerous power for any government to have.

Also Read:

Social Media Surveillance Expands as IBM Taps Twitter

Twitter Opens Entire Database To MIT – How Will It Be Used?

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personalTwitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .


Medical Marijuana Cultivation Officially Decriminalized In Italy

Medical Marijuana Cultivation Officially Decriminalized In Italy

The government in Italy recently decriminalized the cultivation of medical marijuana and production of the plant for research purposes. The court system in Italy is one of the most overcrowded and inefficient in Europe, so the government was forced to roll back a few of their laws and regulations to prevent so many people being pushed through the system.
Italy’s legal system is ranked 139th out of 140 countries when it comes to efficiency in settling disputes, and 138th when it comes to the burden of state regulations, according to the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.
The Family Assistants Campaign.
Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !
Along with medical marijuana production, the state also rolled back hundreds of other small crimes, including “obscene acts,” driving without a license and deceiving people. When once these were jailable offenses, they now only carry a fine.
“It will free up courts from issues of little relevance,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a statement.
It is important to note that this new law does not change much for recreational drug users. The decriminalization will only apply to people working in the medical marijuana field and in cannabis research. Cultivation of marijuana for private consumption or distribution is still illegal in Italy.
An Italian research group also suggested that legalizing cannabis could boost Italy’s GDP by between 1.30 and 2.34 percent, Green Rush Dailyreported.
A new study, published in the journal, Scientific Reports, suggests that smoking cannabis is roughly 114 times safer than drinking alcohol. Ironically, out of all the drugs that were researched in the study, alcohol was actually the most dangerous, and it was the only legal drug on the list.
Prohibitions of any kind should be opposed, for the reasons I have laid out in the past. However, marijuana is of a specific immediate importance though, because of its ability to heal sick people and create more environmentally friendly industrial products. It is also one of the safest drugs known to our species.
This article (Medical Marijuana Cultivation Officially Decriminalized In Italy) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.

Medical Marijuana Cultivation Officially Decriminalized In Italy

The government in Italy recently decriminalized the cultivation of medical marijuana and production of the plant for research purposes. The court system in Italy is one of the most overcrowded and inefficient in Europe, so the government was forced to roll back a few of their laws and regulations to prevent so many people being pushed through the system.
Italy’s legal system is ranked 139th out of 140 countries when it comes to efficiency in settling disputes, and 138th when it comes to the burden of state regulations, according to the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.
The Family Assistants Campaign.
Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !
Along with medical marijuana production, the state also rolled back hundreds of other small crimes, including “obscene acts,” driving without a license and deceiving people. When once these were jailable offenses, they now only carry a fine.
“It will free up courts from issues of little relevance,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a statement.
It is important to note that this new law does not change much for recreational drug users. The decriminalization will only apply to people working in the medical marijuana field and in cannabis research. Cultivation of marijuana for private consumption or distribution is still illegal in Italy.
An Italian research group also suggested that legalizing cannabis could boost Italy’s GDP by between 1.30 and 2.34 percent, Green Rush Dailyreported.
A new study, published in the journal, Scientific Reports, suggests that smoking cannabis is roughly 114 times safer than drinking alcohol. Ironically, out of all the drugs that were researched in the study, alcohol was actually the most dangerous, and it was the only legal drug on the list.
Prohibitions of any kind should be opposed, for the reasons I have laid out in the past. However, marijuana is of a specific immediate importance though, because of its ability to heal sick people and create more environmentally friendly industrial products. It is also one of the safest drugs known to our species.
This article (Medical Marijuana Cultivation Officially Decriminalized In Italy) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.


The 2016 US Presidential Election: Produced For Your Viewing Satisfaction

The 2016 US Presidential Election: Produced For Your Viewing Satisfaction

oligarchy club
Every four years, in an established display of political engagement, Americans line up on the right or the left and the game begins. Feelings that lay dormant or simmering for four years emerge with great forcefulness, as the campaign for US President occupies television broadcasts, news reports and barroom debates.
While the pundits earnestly discuss the merits of the candidates, there lurks off screen a question that is growing in magnitude. “Does it really matter?” has been joined by an equally dark concern: “Is this only theatre?”
Increasingly, that latter question demands our attention. The trajectory of American politics has resulted in a narrowing of the differences between right and left, between Republicans and Democrats. Some have gone so far as to say that there is really only one political party in the US at this juncture, and that would be the “Money Party.” Others have likened the Presidential contest to a Punch and Judyshow, with the hidden hand of the puppeteer creating what appears to be conflict and dialectic where none really exists.
The Family Assistants Campaign.
Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !
It is not within the scope of this article to dissect the similarities between the red and blue candidates. Briefly, an overview on their war policies as well as their domestic policies reveals little separating them from each other.
The reality that the candidates may not be substantially different from each other constitutes one level of concern. Of even greater magnitude is that the election results may be predetermined. The entire campaign and electoral process may be a sham, a display to convince us that the race — and therefore the future — is not fixed. In other words, the elections may be a charade to sucker us into believing that we have choice when we do not.
If we are living in a mock-up nation, wherein the program has been predetermined and we are objects, rather than subjects of our own future, one could conceivably see where the election could be contrived to convince us that we live in a representative democracy when we do not. If in fact we do not, the spin doctors may go to some lengths to engineer our delusion. The proof of this could be found in what is commonly termed “election fraud.”
Allegations of election fraud surfaced in 2000, in the Presidential race between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. Gore took his demand for a recount in Florida, which appeared to be the focal point of election fraud, up to the US Supreme Court. In a patently bizarre decision, SCOTUS ruled that a complete recount in Florida would violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause because different counties have different ways of counting votes.
By 2004, many people had had their fill of Bush. And the allegations of election fraud in the 2004 Presidential contest between Bush and John Kerry went through the roof. Concerns about election fraud centered on several states — Ohio, Florida and New Mexico — featuring as pivotal battleground states. And, as we shall see, these three states, which determined the vote count to re-elect George Bush in 2004, were the critical states determining the re- election of President Obama in 2012. At both junctures — in 2004 for incumbent George W. Bush and in 2012 for incumbent Barack Obama — public support for the incumbent had turned sour for the men seeking a second term in the White House. And in each circumstance, the same states popped up Republican to support a Bush victory and then turned around and weighed in as Democrat to ensure Obama’s re- election.
Curious, isn’t it?

OHIO

Ohio was “delivered” to Bush through a number of dedicated methods, including African American voter suppression; the utilization of voting machines pre-programmed to register Democrat votes as Republican ones; the removal of voting machines in African American neighborhoods (African Americans are known to vote Democrat), resulting in lines so long that many people simply were not able to vote at all; as well as the destruction of new voter registration forms.
The fact that the problematic electronic voting machine companies were owned by Republicans was extensively reported in the news, as was the statement by Diebold’s CEO, Walden O’Dell, a major fundraiser for Bush, who stated that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year.”
Exit polls, considered to be a reliable form of vote prediction, consistently showed that Kerry was winning in Ohio. “Exit polls are almost never wrong,” wrote Republican pollster Dick Morris in The Hill. “So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries. …”
In defiance of the exit polls, the final vote tally delivered Ohio — and the country — to Bush. Writes Michael Parenti, “Bush Jr. also did remarkably well with phantom populations. The number of his votes in Perry and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio exceeded the number of registered voters, creating turnout rates as high as 124 percent. In Miami County nearly 19,000 additional votes eerily appeared in Bush’s column after all precincts had reported. In a small conservative suburban precinct of Columbus, where only 638 people were registered, the touchscreen machines tallied 4,258 votes forBush.”

FLORIDA

The 2000 Presidential election was brutally close. As it eventuated, Florida determined that election. Factors resulting in Bush’s victory over Gore included Florida Governor Jeb Bush (George’s kid brother) ordering state troopers to engage in such confrontational tactics as car searches at polling places, which resulted in keeping individuals from voting. Other tactics included some precincts demanding two forms of identification (Florida’s law only requires one form of ID); voters turned away due to falsely being termed “convicted felons”; early closure of polls in Democrat precincts; and the infamous “hanging chad” ballots.
Florida election difficulties again emerged as a tool in George Bush’s box of tricks in 2004, when Bush faced disgruntled voters in the national election. In 2012, when Obama faced a disillusioned voting population, Florida, where election fraud is now considered to be state of the art, went for Obama.

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico is another state wherein problematic voting machines may have fixed election outcomes. Writing about the 2004 election, Michael Parenti stated: “In New Mexico in 2004 Kerry lost all precincts equipped with touchscreen machines, irrespective of income levels, ethnicity, and past voting patterns. The only thing that consistently correlated with his defeat in those precincts was the presence of the touchscreen machine itself.”
In 2012, New Mexico helped ensure Obama’s national victory.
What we see in these three states is that the depth of connivance in falsifying the vote tallies served to re-elect an incumbent President both in 04 and then in 2012. What this appears to point to is that there are certain states which will serve up a President – of either party – upon demand.
The US populace was keenly aware in 2008 that the country needed change. In 2008, Obama appeared to be the candidate offering this. His sweeping victory in ’08 could have been viewed as a mandate for a new direction. Rather than steer the country away from the policies of Bush, however, Obama only continued them. He pursued Bush’s “War on Terror,” advancing the methods to include drone kills and executive ordered assassination of US citizens alleged to be involved with Al Qaeda, in a shocking detour from the Constitutional imperatives for due process.
Obama also advanced the invasion of Middle Eastern countries to include Libya and Syria. His promise to close Guantanamo did not bear fruit and his promise to provide medical care for all Americans resulted in a mandated coverage scheme which excluded a chunk of poor Southern blacks and jacked up the rates for many others.
Such a yearning for “change” appears to be fueling the popularity of DC outsider Donald Trump. If you put them side by side, Trump would appear to be the polar opposite of Obama, in terms of personal style and apparent policies (although the New York Times has suggested that Trump may be the first “post-policy candidate”. )
Trump appeals, as did Obama, to the politically desperate and disillusioned, who think that the country is on a problematic course and needs a “different kind” of leader who will steer the ship of state in a new direction. In this sense, Trump is playing the “change” card, as did Obama in 08, although he is certainly playing it in an extravagantly different manner.
When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, he was considered to be a DC “outsider.” The Washington Times has stated that when George W. Bush ran for President in 2000, he ran as a Washington outsider. Obama’s 2008 campaign was focused on his outsider status. This sort of spin seems to work well for candidates who wish to occupy the Oval Office. The fact that Trump has positioned himself as an “ultimate outsider” might well be viewed with an understanding of the usefulness of this perception in prior Presidential elections.
The game is on. While are settling into our stadium seats to watch the applicants duke it out, it might be helpful to remember that the entire extravaganza may be just that — a hunky big psyop.
Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

The 2016 US Presidential Election: Produced For Your Viewing Satisfaction

oligarchy club
Every four years, in an established display of political engagement, Americans line up on the right or the left and the game begins. Feelings that lay dormant or simmering for four years emerge with great forcefulness, as the campaign for US President occupies television broadcasts, news reports and barroom debates.
While the pundits earnestly discuss the merits of the candidates, there lurks off screen a question that is growing in magnitude. “Does it really matter?” has been joined by an equally dark concern: “Is this only theatre?”
Increasingly, that latter question demands our attention. The trajectory of American politics has resulted in a narrowing of the differences between right and left, between Republicans and Democrats. Some have gone so far as to say that there is really only one political party in the US at this juncture, and that would be the “Money Party.” Others have likened the Presidential contest to a Punch and Judyshow, with the hidden hand of the puppeteer creating what appears to be conflict and dialectic where none really exists.
The Family Assistants Campaign.
Click here to lend your support to: The Family Assistants Campaign. and make a donation at pledgie.com !
It is not within the scope of this article to dissect the similarities between the red and blue candidates. Briefly, an overview on their war policies as well as their domestic policies reveals little separating them from each other.
The reality that the candidates may not be substantially different from each other constitutes one level of concern. Of even greater magnitude is that the election results may be predetermined. The entire campaign and electoral process may be a sham, a display to convince us that the race — and therefore the future — is not fixed. In other words, the elections may be a charade to sucker us into believing that we have choice when we do not.
If we are living in a mock-up nation, wherein the program has been predetermined and we are objects, rather than subjects of our own future, one could conceivably see where the election could be contrived to convince us that we live in a representative democracy when we do not. If in fact we do not, the spin doctors may go to some lengths to engineer our delusion. The proof of this could be found in what is commonly termed “election fraud.”
Allegations of election fraud surfaced in 2000, in the Presidential race between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. Gore took his demand for a recount in Florida, which appeared to be the focal point of election fraud, up to the US Supreme Court. In a patently bizarre decision, SCOTUS ruled that a complete recount in Florida would violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause because different counties have different ways of counting votes.
By 2004, many people had had their fill of Bush. And the allegations of election fraud in the 2004 Presidential contest between Bush and John Kerry went through the roof. Concerns about election fraud centered on several states — Ohio, Florida and New Mexico — featuring as pivotal battleground states. And, as we shall see, these three states, which determined the vote count to re-elect George Bush in 2004, were the critical states determining the re- election of President Obama in 2012. At both junctures — in 2004 for incumbent George W. Bush and in 2012 for incumbent Barack Obama — public support for the incumbent had turned sour for the men seeking a second term in the White House. And in each circumstance, the same states popped up Republican to support a Bush victory and then turned around and weighed in as Democrat to ensure Obama’s re- election.
Curious, isn’t it?

OHIO

Ohio was “delivered” to Bush through a number of dedicated methods, including African American voter suppression; the utilization of voting machines pre-programmed to register Democrat votes as Republican ones; the removal of voting machines in African American neighborhoods (African Americans are known to vote Democrat), resulting in lines so long that many people simply were not able to vote at all; as well as the destruction of new voter registration forms.
The fact that the problematic electronic voting machine companies were owned by Republicans was extensively reported in the news, as was the statement by Diebold’s CEO, Walden O’Dell, a major fundraiser for Bush, who stated that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year.”
Exit polls, considered to be a reliable form of vote prediction, consistently showed that Kerry was winning in Ohio. “Exit polls are almost never wrong,” wrote Republican pollster Dick Morris in The Hill. “So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries. …”
In defiance of the exit polls, the final vote tally delivered Ohio — and the country — to Bush. Writes Michael Parenti, “Bush Jr. also did remarkably well with phantom populations. The number of his votes in Perry and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio exceeded the number of registered voters, creating turnout rates as high as 124 percent. In Miami County nearly 19,000 additional votes eerily appeared in Bush’s column after all precincts had reported. In a small conservative suburban precinct of Columbus, where only 638 people were registered, the touchscreen machines tallied 4,258 votes forBush.”

FLORIDA

The 2000 Presidential election was brutally close. As it eventuated, Florida determined that election. Factors resulting in Bush’s victory over Gore included Florida Governor Jeb Bush (George’s kid brother) ordering state troopers to engage in such confrontational tactics as car searches at polling places, which resulted in keeping individuals from voting. Other tactics included some precincts demanding two forms of identification (Florida’s law only requires one form of ID); voters turned away due to falsely being termed “convicted felons”; early closure of polls in Democrat precincts; and the infamous “hanging chad” ballots.
Florida election difficulties again emerged as a tool in George Bush’s box of tricks in 2004, when Bush faced disgruntled voters in the national election. In 2012, when Obama faced a disillusioned voting population, Florida, where election fraud is now considered to be state of the art, went for Obama.

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico is another state wherein problematic voting machines may have fixed election outcomes. Writing about the 2004 election, Michael Parenti stated: “In New Mexico in 2004 Kerry lost all precincts equipped with touchscreen machines, irrespective of income levels, ethnicity, and past voting patterns. The only thing that consistently correlated with his defeat in those precincts was the presence of the touchscreen machine itself.”
In 2012, New Mexico helped ensure Obama’s national victory.
What we see in these three states is that the depth of connivance in falsifying the vote tallies served to re-elect an incumbent President both in 04 and then in 2012. What this appears to point to is that there are certain states which will serve up a President – of either party – upon demand.
The US populace was keenly aware in 2008 that the country needed change. In 2008, Obama appeared to be the candidate offering this. His sweeping victory in ’08 could have been viewed as a mandate for a new direction. Rather than steer the country away from the policies of Bush, however, Obama only continued them. He pursued Bush’s “War on Terror,” advancing the methods to include drone kills and executive ordered assassination of US citizens alleged to be involved with Al Qaeda, in a shocking detour from the Constitutional imperatives for due process.
Obama also advanced the invasion of Middle Eastern countries to include Libya and Syria. His promise to close Guantanamo did not bear fruit and his promise to provide medical care for all Americans resulted in a mandated coverage scheme which excluded a chunk of poor Southern blacks and jacked up the rates for many others.
Such a yearning for “change” appears to be fueling the popularity of DC outsider Donald Trump. If you put them side by side, Trump would appear to be the polar opposite of Obama, in terms of personal style and apparent policies (although the New York Times has suggested that Trump may be the first “post-policy candidate”. )
Trump appeals, as did Obama, to the politically desperate and disillusioned, who think that the country is on a problematic course and needs a “different kind” of leader who will steer the ship of state in a new direction. In this sense, Trump is playing the “change” card, as did Obama in 08, although he is certainly playing it in an extravagantly different manner.
When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, he was considered to be a DC “outsider.” The Washington Times has stated that when George W. Bush ran for President in 2000, he ran as a Washington outsider. Obama’s 2008 campaign was focused on his outsider status. This sort of spin seems to work well for candidates who wish to occupy the Oval Office. The fact that Trump has positioned himself as an “ultimate outsider” might well be viewed with an understanding of the usefulness of this perception in prior Presidential elections.
The game is on. While are settling into our stadium seats to watch the applicants duke it out, it might be helpful to remember that the entire extravaganza may be just that — a hunky big psyop.
Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Newly Translated WikiLeaks Saudi Cable

Newly Translated WikiLeaks Saudi Cable
Overthrow the Syrian Regime, but Play Nice with Russia



-  IT IS NO SECRET that Saudi Arabia, along with its Gulf and Western allies, has played a direct role in fueling the fires of grinding sectarian conflict that has kept Syria burning for the past five years. It is also no secret that Russian intervention has radically altered the kingdom’s “regime change” calculus in effect since at least 2011. But an internal Saudi government cable sheds new light on the kingdom’s current threats of military escalation in Syria.

Overthrow the Regime “by all means available”

A WikiLeaks cable released as part of “The Saudi Cables” in the summer of 2015, now fully translated here for the first time, reveals what the Saudis feared most in the early years of the war: Russian military intervention and Syrian retaliation. These fears were such that the kingdom directed its media “not to oppose Russian figures and to avoid insulting them” at the time.
Saudi Arabia had further miscalculated that the “Russian position” of preserving the Assad government “will not persist in force.” In Saudi thinking, reflected in the leaked memo, Assad’s violent ouster (“by all means available”) could be pursued so long as Russia stayed on the sidelines. The following section is categorical in its emphasis on regime change at all costs, even should the U.S. vacillate for “lack of desire”:
The fact must be stressed that in the case where the Syrian regime is able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form, the primary goal that it will pursue is taking revenge on the countries that stood against it, with the Kingdom and some of the countries of the Gulf coming at the top of the list. If we take into account the extent of this regime’s brutality and viciousness and its lack of hesitancy to resort to any means to realize its aims, then the situation will reach a high degree of danger for the Kingdom, which must seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria. As regards the international position, it is clear that there is a lack of “desire” and not a lack of “capability” on the part of Western countries, chief among them the United States, to take firm steps…
Amman-based Albawaba News—one of the largest online news providers in the Middle East—was the first to call attention to the WikiLeaks memo, which “reveals Saudi officials saying President Bashar al-Assad must be taken down before he exacts revenge on Saudi Arabia.” Albawaba offered a brief partial translation of the cable, which though undated, was likely produced in early 2012 (based on my best speculation using event references in the text; Russia began proposing informal Syrian peace talks in January 2012).

Russian Hardware, a Saudi Nightmare

Over the past weeks Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up its rhetoric on Syria, threatening direct military escalation and the insertion of special forces on the ground, ostensibly for humanitarian and stabilizing purposes as a willing partner in the “war on terror.” As many pundits are now observing, in reality the kingdom’s saber rattling stems not from confidence, but utter desperation as its proxy anti-Assad fighters face defeat by overwhelming Russian air power and Syrian ground forces, and as the Saudi military itself is increasingly bogged down in Yemen.

Even as the Saudi regime dresses its bellicose rhetoric in humanitarian terms, it ultimately desires to protect the flow of foreign fighters into Northern Syria, which is its still hoped-for “available means” of toppling the Syrian government (or at least, at this point, permanent sectarian partition of Syria).
The U.S. State Department’s own 2014 Country Report on Terrorism confirms that the rate of foreign terrorist entry into Syria over the past few years is unprecedented among any conflict in history: “The rate of foreign terrorist fighter travel to Syria – totaling more than 16,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 90 countries as of late December – exceeded the rate of foreign terrorist fighters who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years.”
According to Cinan Siddi, Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Georgetown’s prestigious School of Foreign Service, Russian military presence in Syria was born of genuine geopolitical interests. In a public lecture recently given at Baylor University, Siddi said that Russia is fundamentally trying to disrupt the “jihadi corridor” facilitated by Turkey and its allies in Northern Syria.
The below leaked document gives us a glimpse into Saudi motives and fears long before Russian hardware entered the equation, and the degree to which the kingdom utterly failed in assessing Russian red lines.
For the first time, here’s a full translation of the text
 

THE BELOW original translation is courtesy of my co-author, a published scholar of Arabic and Middle East History, who wishes to remain unnamed. Note: the cable as published in the SaudiLeaks trove appears to be incomplete.


[…] shared interest, and believes that the current Russian position only represents a movement to put pressure on him, its goals being evident, and that this position will not persist in force, given Russia’s ties to interests with Western countries and the countries of the Gulf.

If it pleases Your Highness, I support the idea of entering into a profound dialogue with Russia regarding its position towards Syria*, holding the Second Strategic Conference in Moscow, working to focus the discussion during it on the issue of Syria, and exerting whatever pressure is possible to dissuade it from its current position. I likewise see an opportunity to invite the head of the Committee for International Relations in the Duma to visit the Kingdom. Since it is better to remain in communication with Russia and to direct the media not to oppose Russian figures and to avoid insulting them, so that no harm may come to the interests of the Kingdom, it is possible that the new Russian president will change Russian policy toward Arab countries for the better. However, our position currently in practice, which is to criticize Russian policy toward Syria and its positions that are contrary to our declared principles, remains. It is also advantageous to increase pressure on the Russians by encouraging the Organization of Islamic States to exert some form of pressure by strongly brandishing Islamic public opinion, since Russia fears the Islamic dimension more than the Arab dimension.


In what pertains to the Syrian crisis, the Kingdom is resolute in its position and there is no longer any room to back down. The fact must be stressed that in the case where the Syrian regime is able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form, the primary goal that it will pursue is taking revenge on the countries that stood against it, with the Kingdom and some of the countries of the Gulf coming at the top of the list. If we take into account the extent of this regime’s brutality and viciousness and its lack of hesitancy to resort to any means to realize its aims, then the situation will reach a high degree of danger for the Kingdom, which must seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria.


As regards the international position, it is clear that there is a lack of “desire” and not a lack of “capability” on the part of Western countries, chief among them the United States, to take firm steps […]

*[in the Arabic text: Russia, but this is a typo]
https://www.wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/pics/f93dc529-7eff-43ea-87f3-7ec121b906fc.jpg
LEVANT REPORT is composed of a network of Texas professionals who are deeply alarmed by what Washington is doing in the Middle East. The LR Editors are primarily made up of educators—at the university and high school levels—who have lived, studied, and traveled extensively in the region. http://levantreport.com/

Newly Translated WikiLeaks Saudi Cable
Overthrow the Syrian Regime, but Play Nice with Russia



-  IT IS NO SECRET that Saudi Arabia, along with its Gulf and Western allies, has played a direct role in fueling the fires of grinding sectarian conflict that has kept Syria burning for the past five years. It is also no secret that Russian intervention has radically altered the kingdom’s “regime change” calculus in effect since at least 2011. But an internal Saudi government cable sheds new light on the kingdom’s current threats of military escalation in Syria.

Overthrow the Regime “by all means available”

A WikiLeaks cable released as part of “The Saudi Cables” in the summer of 2015, now fully translated here for the first time, reveals what the Saudis feared most in the early years of the war: Russian military intervention and Syrian retaliation. These fears were such that the kingdom directed its media “not to oppose Russian figures and to avoid insulting them” at the time.
Saudi Arabia had further miscalculated that the “Russian position” of preserving the Assad government “will not persist in force.” In Saudi thinking, reflected in the leaked memo, Assad’s violent ouster (“by all means available”) could be pursued so long as Russia stayed on the sidelines. The following section is categorical in its emphasis on regime change at all costs, even should the U.S. vacillate for “lack of desire”:
The fact must be stressed that in the case where the Syrian regime is able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form, the primary goal that it will pursue is taking revenge on the countries that stood against it, with the Kingdom and some of the countries of the Gulf coming at the top of the list. If we take into account the extent of this regime’s brutality and viciousness and its lack of hesitancy to resort to any means to realize its aims, then the situation will reach a high degree of danger for the Kingdom, which must seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria. As regards the international position, it is clear that there is a lack of “desire” and not a lack of “capability” on the part of Western countries, chief among them the United States, to take firm steps…
Amman-based Albawaba News—one of the largest online news providers in the Middle East—was the first to call attention to the WikiLeaks memo, which “reveals Saudi officials saying President Bashar al-Assad must be taken down before he exacts revenge on Saudi Arabia.” Albawaba offered a brief partial translation of the cable, which though undated, was likely produced in early 2012 (based on my best speculation using event references in the text; Russia began proposing informal Syrian peace talks in January 2012).

Russian Hardware, a Saudi Nightmare

Over the past weeks Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up its rhetoric on Syria, threatening direct military escalation and the insertion of special forces on the ground, ostensibly for humanitarian and stabilizing purposes as a willing partner in the “war on terror.” As many pundits are now observing, in reality the kingdom’s saber rattling stems not from confidence, but utter desperation as its proxy anti-Assad fighters face defeat by overwhelming Russian air power and Syrian ground forces, and as the Saudi military itself is increasingly bogged down in Yemen.

Even as the Saudi regime dresses its bellicose rhetoric in humanitarian terms, it ultimately desires to protect the flow of foreign fighters into Northern Syria, which is its still hoped-for “available means” of toppling the Syrian government (or at least, at this point, permanent sectarian partition of Syria).
The U.S. State Department’s own 2014 Country Report on Terrorism confirms that the rate of foreign terrorist entry into Syria over the past few years is unprecedented among any conflict in history: “The rate of foreign terrorist fighter travel to Syria – totaling more than 16,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 90 countries as of late December – exceeded the rate of foreign terrorist fighters who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years.”
According to Cinan Siddi, Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Georgetown’s prestigious School of Foreign Service, Russian military presence in Syria was born of genuine geopolitical interests. In a public lecture recently given at Baylor University, Siddi said that Russia is fundamentally trying to disrupt the “jihadi corridor” facilitated by Turkey and its allies in Northern Syria.
The below leaked document gives us a glimpse into Saudi motives and fears long before Russian hardware entered the equation, and the degree to which the kingdom utterly failed in assessing Russian red lines.
For the first time, here’s a full translation of the text
 

THE BELOW original translation is courtesy of my co-author, a published scholar of Arabic and Middle East History, who wishes to remain unnamed. Note: the cable as published in the SaudiLeaks trove appears to be incomplete.


[…] shared interest, and believes that the current Russian position only represents a movement to put pressure on him, its goals being evident, and that this position will not persist in force, given Russia’s ties to interests with Western countries and the countries of the Gulf.

If it pleases Your Highness, I support the idea of entering into a profound dialogue with Russia regarding its position towards Syria*, holding the Second Strategic Conference in Moscow, working to focus the discussion during it on the issue of Syria, and exerting whatever pressure is possible to dissuade it from its current position. I likewise see an opportunity to invite the head of the Committee for International Relations in the Duma to visit the Kingdom. Since it is better to remain in communication with Russia and to direct the media not to oppose Russian figures and to avoid insulting them, so that no harm may come to the interests of the Kingdom, it is possible that the new Russian president will change Russian policy toward Arab countries for the better. However, our position currently in practice, which is to criticize Russian policy toward Syria and its positions that are contrary to our declared principles, remains. It is also advantageous to increase pressure on the Russians by encouraging the Organization of Islamic States to exert some form of pressure by strongly brandishing Islamic public opinion, since Russia fears the Islamic dimension more than the Arab dimension.


In what pertains to the Syrian crisis, the Kingdom is resolute in its position and there is no longer any room to back down. The fact must be stressed that in the case where the Syrian regime is able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form, the primary goal that it will pursue is taking revenge on the countries that stood against it, with the Kingdom and some of the countries of the Gulf coming at the top of the list. If we take into account the extent of this regime’s brutality and viciousness and its lack of hesitancy to resort to any means to realize its aims, then the situation will reach a high degree of danger for the Kingdom, which must seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria.


As regards the international position, it is clear that there is a lack of “desire” and not a lack of “capability” on the part of Western countries, chief among them the United States, to take firm steps […]

*[in the Arabic text: Russia, but this is a typo]
https://www.wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/pics/f93dc529-7eff-43ea-87f3-7ec121b906fc.jpg
LEVANT REPORT is composed of a network of Texas professionals who are deeply alarmed by what Washington is doing in the Middle East. The LR Editors are primarily made up of educators—at the university and high school levels—who have lived, studied, and traveled extensively in the region. http://levantreport.com/



In Israel, Racism Is The Law

In Israel, Racism Is The Law

Successive Israeli governments since 1948 are responsible for the institutionalised discrimination against Palestinians.

On January 3, two Palestinians were removed from an Aegean Airlines flight from Athens to Tel Aviv, after Jewish Israelis claimed that they constituted a "security risk". The incident made headlines worldwide. A month later, a Tel Aviv-based cleaning company sparked outrage with a flyer that priced its staff based on ethnicity. The story was also covered around the world.
For some, these kinds of episodes are proof of the racism that critics claim permeates Israeli society; for others, they are examples of isolated bigotry and idiocy. In fact, neither interpretation is quite right. While stories resonate and go viral, they can mask the fact that in Israel racism is the law.

Institutionalised inequality

First, inequality in Israel is institutionalised. Contrary to a widely held perception, there is no guarantee of full equality for Jewish and Palestinian citizens; as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel put it, "the right to equality is not yet enshrined in law regarding most aspects of life."
"Equality cannot be recognised on the constitutional level," wrote legal academic Aeyal Gross, since that would challenge "the inequality created by the complete identification of the state with only one group."

The nearest that Israel's foundational legislation comes to a specific commitment to equality is Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, adopted in 1992 - Israel does not have a formal, written constitution but a number of "Basic Laws" passed over the years deal with key issues.

Yet even here, equality is not "recognised as an independent right that stands on its own". In fact, just in the past month, the Knesset voted against a draft bill that called for the inclusion of an equality clause in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
Furthermore, the Basic Law allows for rights to be violated "by a law befitting the values of the State of Israel", a caveat that provides a basis "for giving significant weight to the nature of Israel as a Jewish state and its goals, at the expense of the fundamental rights concerned".

In the words of former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak: "Israel is different from other countries. It is not only a democratic state, but also a Jewish state." In other words, Israel is not a state of all its citizens, something freely admitted by senior officials.
Second, Palestinian citizens of Israel face systematic discrimination in law and policy - as these examples in land and housing, family life, and immigration demonstrate.

In 43 percent of Israeli towns, residential admission committees filter out applicants on the grounds of "incompatibility with the social and cultural fabric". These committees, which operate by law, are "used to exclude Arabs from living in rural Jewish communities", as Human Rights Watch has noted.
In 2014, the Supreme Court rejected a petition against the committees, a ruling slammed for having legalised "the principle of segregation in housing". These small communities also "exercise control over a significant amount of land" through the regional councils of which they are part.

Palestinian citizens also face discrimination when it comes to family life. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, first adopted in 2003 (PDF), "imposes severe restrictions on the right of Israeli citizens … to apply for permits for their Palestinian spouses and children from the Occupied Palestinian Territory to enter and reside in Israel for purposes of family unification".

This law, which has the effect of dividing Palestinian families and separating spouses, has been described by a senior European Union official as establishing "a discriminatory regime to the detriment of Palestinians in the highly sensitive area of family rights".
Israel's Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012, stating (PDF): "human rights are not a prescription for national suicide", putting its stamp of approval - not for the first time - on a "racist law".
For the former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, the law was about "demographics". "There is no need to hide behind security arguments," he admitted. "There is a need for the existence of a Jewish state."

Perpetual status quo

While Palestinian citizens of Israel suffer under restrictions on family unification, Jewish citizens benefit from Israel's discriminatory immigration laws.

Israel's Law of Return, Absentee Property Law, and the Citizenship Law, passed in 1948-1950, created a reality whereby any Jew in the world can move to Israel and claim citizenship, while expelled Palestinian refugees were stripped of citizenship and are still unable to return.
Israel's law "creates three tracks of naturalisation": the highest track for Jews, a second track "for non-Jewish foreigners, who can apply for Israeli residency status through a process of individualised interviews and background checks", and the lowest track for "Palestinian/Arab/Muslim spouses of Palestinian citizens of Israel who are prohibited from entry for the purpose of family unification".

Third, 4.5 million Palestinians live under an Israeli military regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, an occupation that has lasted for 49 of the state's 68-year history. In other words, one in three of the population in territory under Israel's control is not a citizen and is subject to military, not civil, law.

It is important to remember that the territory occupied by Israel since 1967 is not, in practice, distinct from the rest of the state: land has been expropriated, 600,000 Jewish Israelis live in more than 200 colonies, natural resources are exploited, and basic infrastructure - water, telecommunications, transport - all bind the West Bank to pre-1967 territory.
The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under military rule within this de facto single state, are subjected to severe policies of discrimination and segregation, as well as military brutality and repression. This is no secret: as Human Rights Watch stated in 2010.
"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits."

To enforce this "two-tier system", the Israeli military conducts nightly raids, detains Palestinians without trial or charge, tortures detainees, and represses any kind of resistance - including unarmed protests - with lethal violence.

Who is responsible for all of the above - for the institutionalised discrimination, the racist laws, and military rule over 4.5 million Palestinians? Successive Israeli governments since 1948.
The crude racism of private individuals - whether on a Greek plane or at a Tel Aviv cleaning company - might get the headlines, but it is the Israeli state and its institutions that created and perpetuates the colonial status quo, and which must be held to account.

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. 

In Israel, Racism Is The Law

Successive Israeli governments since 1948 are responsible for the institutionalised discrimination against Palestinians.

On January 3, two Palestinians were removed from an Aegean Airlines flight from Athens to Tel Aviv, after Jewish Israelis claimed that they constituted a "security risk". The incident made headlines worldwide. A month later, a Tel Aviv-based cleaning company sparked outrage with a flyer that priced its staff based on ethnicity. The story was also covered around the world.
For some, these kinds of episodes are proof of the racism that critics claim permeates Israeli society; for others, they are examples of isolated bigotry and idiocy. In fact, neither interpretation is quite right. While stories resonate and go viral, they can mask the fact that in Israel racism is the law.

Institutionalised inequality

First, inequality in Israel is institutionalised. Contrary to a widely held perception, there is no guarantee of full equality for Jewish and Palestinian citizens; as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel put it, "the right to equality is not yet enshrined in law regarding most aspects of life."
"Equality cannot be recognised on the constitutional level," wrote legal academic Aeyal Gross, since that would challenge "the inequality created by the complete identification of the state with only one group."

The nearest that Israel's foundational legislation comes to a specific commitment to equality is Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, adopted in 1992 - Israel does not have a formal, written constitution but a number of "Basic Laws" passed over the years deal with key issues.

Yet even here, equality is not "recognised as an independent right that stands on its own". In fact, just in the past month, the Knesset voted against a draft bill that called for the inclusion of an equality clause in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
Furthermore, the Basic Law allows for rights to be violated "by a law befitting the values of the State of Israel", a caveat that provides a basis "for giving significant weight to the nature of Israel as a Jewish state and its goals, at the expense of the fundamental rights concerned".

In the words of former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak: "Israel is different from other countries. It is not only a democratic state, but also a Jewish state." In other words, Israel is not a state of all its citizens, something freely admitted by senior officials.
Second, Palestinian citizens of Israel face systematic discrimination in law and policy - as these examples in land and housing, family life, and immigration demonstrate.

In 43 percent of Israeli towns, residential admission committees filter out applicants on the grounds of "incompatibility with the social and cultural fabric". These committees, which operate by law, are "used to exclude Arabs from living in rural Jewish communities", as Human Rights Watch has noted.
In 2014, the Supreme Court rejected a petition against the committees, a ruling slammed for having legalised "the principle of segregation in housing". These small communities also "exercise control over a significant amount of land" through the regional councils of which they are part.

Palestinian citizens also face discrimination when it comes to family life. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, first adopted in 2003 (PDF), "imposes severe restrictions on the right of Israeli citizens … to apply for permits for their Palestinian spouses and children from the Occupied Palestinian Territory to enter and reside in Israel for purposes of family unification".

This law, which has the effect of dividing Palestinian families and separating spouses, has been described by a senior European Union official as establishing "a discriminatory regime to the detriment of Palestinians in the highly sensitive area of family rights".
Israel's Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012, stating (PDF): "human rights are not a prescription for national suicide", putting its stamp of approval - not for the first time - on a "racist law".
For the former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, the law was about "demographics". "There is no need to hide behind security arguments," he admitted. "There is a need for the existence of a Jewish state."

Perpetual status quo

While Palestinian citizens of Israel suffer under restrictions on family unification, Jewish citizens benefit from Israel's discriminatory immigration laws.

Israel's Law of Return, Absentee Property Law, and the Citizenship Law, passed in 1948-1950, created a reality whereby any Jew in the world can move to Israel and claim citizenship, while expelled Palestinian refugees were stripped of citizenship and are still unable to return.
Israel's law "creates three tracks of naturalisation": the highest track for Jews, a second track "for non-Jewish foreigners, who can apply for Israeli residency status through a process of individualised interviews and background checks", and the lowest track for "Palestinian/Arab/Muslim spouses of Palestinian citizens of Israel who are prohibited from entry for the purpose of family unification".

Third, 4.5 million Palestinians live under an Israeli military regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, an occupation that has lasted for 49 of the state's 68-year history. In other words, one in three of the population in territory under Israel's control is not a citizen and is subject to military, not civil, law.

It is important to remember that the territory occupied by Israel since 1967 is not, in practice, distinct from the rest of the state: land has been expropriated, 600,000 Jewish Israelis live in more than 200 colonies, natural resources are exploited, and basic infrastructure - water, telecommunications, transport - all bind the West Bank to pre-1967 territory.
The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under military rule within this de facto single state, are subjected to severe policies of discrimination and segregation, as well as military brutality and repression. This is no secret: as Human Rights Watch stated in 2010.
"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits."

To enforce this "two-tier system", the Israeli military conducts nightly raids, detains Palestinians without trial or charge, tortures detainees, and represses any kind of resistance - including unarmed protests - with lethal violence.

Who is responsible for all of the above - for the institutionalised discrimination, the racist laws, and military rule over 4.5 million Palestinians? Successive Israeli governments since 1948.
The crude racism of private individuals - whether on a Greek plane or at a Tel Aviv cleaning company - might get the headlines, but it is the Israeli state and its institutions that created and perpetuates the colonial status quo, and which must be held to account.

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. 



Academia: Hands off Revolutionary Philosophy!

Academia: Hands off Revolutionary Philosophy!

Philosophers have been muzzled by the Western global regime; most of great modern philosophy concealed from the masses. What has been left of it, allowed to float on the surface is toothless, irrelevant and incomprehensible: a foolish outdated theoretical field for those few remaining intellectual snobs.
Philosophy used to be the most precious crown jewel of human intellectual achievement. It stood at the vanguard of almost all fights for a better world. Gramsci was a philosopher, and so were Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho-Chi-Minh, Guevara, Castro, Frantz Fanon, Senghors, Cabral, Nyerere and Lumumba, to name just a few.

To be a thinker, a philosopher, in ancient China, Japan or even in some parts of the West, was the most respected human ‘occupation’.

In all ‘normally’ developing societies, knowledge has been valued much higher than material possessions or naked power.
In ancient Greece and China, people were able to understand the majority of their philosophers. There was nothing “exclusive” in the desire to know and interpret the world. Philosophers spoke to the people, for the people.

Some still do. But that whoring and servile Western academic gang, which has locked philosophy behind the university walls, viciously sidelines such men and women.

Instead of leading people to the barricades, instead of addressing the most urgent issues our world is now facing, official philosophers are fighting amongst themselves for tenures, offering their brains and bodies to the Empire. At best, they are endlessly recycling each other, spoiling millions of pages of paper with footnotes, comparing conclusions made by Derrida and Nietzsche, hopelessly stuck at exhausted ideas of Kant and Hegel.
At worst, they are outrightly evil – making still relevant revolutionary philosophical concepts totally incomprehensible, attacking them, and even disappearing them from the face of the Earth.
***
Only the official breed, consisting of almost exclusively white/Western ‘thought recyclers’, is now awarded the right to be called ‘philosophers’.

My friends in all corners of the world, some of the brightest people on earth, are never defined as such. The word ‘philosopher’ still carries at least some great theoretical prestige, and god forbid if those who are now fighting against Western terror, for social justice or true freedom of thought, were to be labeled as such!
But they are, of course, all great philosophers! And they don’t recycle – they go forward, advancing brilliant new concepts that can improve life on our Planet. Some have fallen, some are still alive, and some are still relatively young:
Eduardo Galeano – one of the greatest storytellers of all times, and a dedicated fighter against Western imperialism. Noam Chomsky – renowned linguist and relentless fighter against Western fascism. Pramoedya Ananta Toer – former prisoner of conscience in Suharto’s camps and the greatest novelist of Southeast Asia. John Steppling – brilliant American playwright and thinker. Christopher Black – Canadian international lawyer and fighter against illegal neo-colonialist concepts of the Empire. Peter Koenig – renowned economist and thinker. Milan Kohout, thinker and performer, fighter against European racism.

Yes – all these great thinkers; all of them, philosophers! And many more that I know and love – in Africa and Latin America and Asia especially…
For those who insist that in order to be called a philosopher, one has to be equipped with some stamp that shows that the person has passed a test and is allowed to serve the Empire, here is proof to the contrary:
Even according to the Dictionary of Modern American philosophers (online ed.). New York: Oxford University Press:
“The label of “philosopher” has been broadly applied in this Dictionary to intellectuals who have made philosophical contributions regardless of academic career or professional title. The wide scope of philosophical activity across the time-span of this Dictionary would now be classed among the various humanities and social sciences which gradually separated from philosophy over the last one hundred and fifty years. Many figures included were not academic philosophers but did work at philosophical foundations of such fields as pedagogy, rhetoric, the arts, history, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, religion, and theology.”
***
In his brilliant upcoming book Aesthetic Resistance and Dis-Interest, my friend John Steppling quotes, Hullot-Kentor:
“If art – when art is art – understands us better than we can intentionally understand ourselves, then a philosophy of art would need to comprehend what understands us. Thinking would need to become critically imminent to that object; subjectivity would become the capacity of its object, not simply its manipulation. That’s the center of Adorno’s aesthetics. It’s an idea of thought that is considerably different from the sense of contemporary “theory”, where everyone feels urged to compare Derrida with Nietzsche, the two of them with Levinas, and all of them now with Badiou, Žižek and Agamben. That kind of thinking is primarily manipulation. It’s the bureaucratic mind unconsciously flexing the form of social control it has internalized and wants to turn on others.”
Western academia is rigidly defining, which lines of thought are acceptable for philosophers to use, as well as what analyses, and what forms.
Those who refuse to comply are ‘not true philosophers’. They are dilettantes, ‘amateurs’.

And those who are not embraced by some ‘reputable’ institution are not to be taken seriously at all (especially if they are carrying Russian, Asian, African, Middle Eastern or Latino names). It is a little bit like with journalism. Unless you have an ‘important’ media outlet behind you (preferably a Western one), unless you can show that the Empire truly trusts you, your press card is worth nothing, and you would not even be allowed to board a UN or a military flight to a war zone.

Your readers, even if numbering millions, may see you as an important philosopher. But let’s be frank: unless the Empire stamps its seal of acceptance on your forehead of backside, in the West you are really nothing more than worthless shit!
***
BLURRING THE WORK OF REVOLUTIONARY PHILOSOPHERS
After all that I have witnessed and written, I am increasingly convinced that Western imperialism and neo-colonialism are the most urgent and dangerous challenges facing our Planet. Perhaps the only challenges…
I have seen 160 countries in all corners of the Globe. I have witnessed wars, conflicts, imperialist theft and indescribable brutality of white tyrants.

And so, recently, I sensed that it is time to revisit two great thinkers of the 20th Century, two determined fighters against Western imperialist fascism: Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The Wretched of the Earth, and Black Skin, White Masks – two essential books by Frantz Omar Fanon, a Martinique-born Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer, and a dedicated fighter against Western colonialism. And Colonialism and Neocolonialism, a still greatly relevant book by Jean-Paul Sartre, a prominent French resistance fighter, philosopher, playwright and novelist…
I had all three books in my library and, after many years, it was time to read them again.

But my English edition of Colonialism and Neocolonialism was wrapped in dozens of pages of prefaces and introductions.  The ‘intellectual cushioning’ was too thick and at some point I lost interest, leaving the book in Japan. Then in Kerala I picked up another, this time Indian edition.

Again, some 60 pages of prefaces and introductions, pre-chewed intrusive and patronizing explanations of how I am supposed to perceive both Sartre and his interactions with Fanon, Memmi and others. And yes, it all suddenly began moving again into that pre-chewed but still indigestible “Derrida-Nietzsche” swamp.
Instead of evoking outrage and wrath, instead of inspiring me into taking concrete revolutionary action, those prefaces, back covers, introductions and comments were clearly castrating and choking the great messages of both Sartre and Fanon. They were preventing readers and fellow philosophers from getting to the core.

Then finally, when reaching the real text of Sartre, it all becomes clear – why exactly is the regime so determined to “protect” readers from the originals.

It is because the core, the original, is extremely simple and powerful.  The words are relevant, and easy to understand. They are describing both old French colonialist barbarities, as the current Western neo-colonialism. God forbid someone puts two and two together!
Philosopher Sartre on China and Western fascist cultural propaganda:
“As a child, I was a victim of the picturesque: everything had been done to make the Chinese intimidating. I was told about rotten eggs… of men sawn between two planks of wood, of piping and discordant music… [The Chinese] were tiny and terrible, slipping between your fingers, attacked from behind, burst out suddenly in a ridiculous din… There was also the Chinese soul, which I was simply told was inscrutable. ‘Orientals, you see…’ The Negroes did not worry me; I had been taught that they were good dogs. With them, we were still among mammals. But the Asians frightened me…”
Sartre on Western colonialism and racism:
“Racism is inscribed in the events themselves, in the institutions, in the nature of the exchange and the production. The political and social statuses reinforce one another: since the natives are sub-human, the Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to them; conversely, since they have no rights, they are abandoned without protection to the inhuman forces of nature, to the ‘iron laws’ of economics…”
And Sartre goes further:
“Western humanism and rights discourse had worked by excluding a majority of the world’s population from the category of humans.”
I address the same issues and so is Chomsky. But the Empire does not want people to know that Sartre, Memmi and Fanon spoke ‘the same language’ as we do, already more than half a century ago!
Albert Memmi:
“Conservatism engenders the selection of mediocre people. How can this elite of usurpers, conscious of their mediocrity, justify their privileges? Only one way: diminish the colonized in order to exult themselves, deny the status of human beings to the natives, and deprive them of basic rights…”
Sartre on Western ignorance:
“It is not cynicism, it is not hatred that is demoralizing us: no, it is only the state of false ignorance in which we are made to live and which we ourselves contribute to maintaining…”
The way the West ‘educates’ the world, Sartre again:
“The European elite set about fabricating a native elite; they selected adolescents, marked on their foreheads, with a branding iron, the principles of Western culture, stuffed into their mouths verbal gags, grand turgid words which stuck to their teeth; after a brief stay in the mother country, they were sent back, interfered with…”
***
It is actually easy to learn how to recycle the thoughts of others, how to compare them and at the end, how to compile footnotes. It takes time, it is boring, tedious and generally useless, but not really too difficult.

On the other hand, it is difficult to create brand new concepts, to revolutionize the way our societies, and our world are arranged. If our brains recycle too much and try to create too little, they get lazy and sclerotic – chronically sclerotic.

Intellectual servility is a degenerative disease.
Western art has deteriorated to ugly psychedelic beats, to excessively bright colors and infantile geometric drawings, to cartoons and nightmarish and violent films as well as “fiction”. It is all very convenient – with all that noise, one cannot hear anymore the screams of the victims, one cannot understand loneliness, and comprehend emptiness.

In bookstores, all over the world, poetry and philosophy sections are shrinking or outright disappearing.

Now what? Is it going to be Althusser (mostly not even real Althusser, but a recycled and abbreviated one), or Lévi-Strauss or Derrida, each wrapped in endless litanies of academic talk?
No! Comrades, philosophers, not that! Down with the sclerotic, whoring academia and their interpretation of philosophy!
Down with the assassins of Philosophy!

Philosophy is supposed to be the intellectual vanguard. It is synonymous with revolution, humanism, and rebellion.
Those who are thinking about and fighting for a much better world, using their brains as weapons, are true philosophers.
Those who are collecting dust and tenures in some profit-oriented institutions of higher ‘learning’ are definitely not, even if they have hundreds of diplomas and stamps all over their walls and foreheads!

They do not create and do not lead. They do not even teach! They are muzzling knowledge. To quote Fanon: “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” But “they” don’t want people to understand; they really don’t…

And one more thing: the great thoughts of Fanon and Sartre, of Gramsci and Mao, Guevara and Galeano should be gently washed, undusted and exhibited again, free of all those choking ‘analyses’ and comparisons compiled by toxic pro-establishment thinkers.
There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. Even a child can understand.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries.

Academia: Hands off Revolutionary Philosophy!

Philosophers have been muzzled by the Western global regime; most of great modern philosophy concealed from the masses. What has been left of it, allowed to float on the surface is toothless, irrelevant and incomprehensible: a foolish outdated theoretical field for those few remaining intellectual snobs.
Philosophy used to be the most precious crown jewel of human intellectual achievement. It stood at the vanguard of almost all fights for a better world. Gramsci was a philosopher, and so were Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho-Chi-Minh, Guevara, Castro, Frantz Fanon, Senghors, Cabral, Nyerere and Lumumba, to name just a few.

To be a thinker, a philosopher, in ancient China, Japan or even in some parts of the West, was the most respected human ‘occupation’.

In all ‘normally’ developing societies, knowledge has been valued much higher than material possessions or naked power.
In ancient Greece and China, people were able to understand the majority of their philosophers. There was nothing “exclusive” in the desire to know and interpret the world. Philosophers spoke to the people, for the people.

Some still do. But that whoring and servile Western academic gang, which has locked philosophy behind the university walls, viciously sidelines such men and women.

Instead of leading people to the barricades, instead of addressing the most urgent issues our world is now facing, official philosophers are fighting amongst themselves for tenures, offering their brains and bodies to the Empire. At best, they are endlessly recycling each other, spoiling millions of pages of paper with footnotes, comparing conclusions made by Derrida and Nietzsche, hopelessly stuck at exhausted ideas of Kant and Hegel.
At worst, they are outrightly evil – making still relevant revolutionary philosophical concepts totally incomprehensible, attacking them, and even disappearing them from the face of the Earth.
***
Only the official breed, consisting of almost exclusively white/Western ‘thought recyclers’, is now awarded the right to be called ‘philosophers’.

My friends in all corners of the world, some of the brightest people on earth, are never defined as such. The word ‘philosopher’ still carries at least some great theoretical prestige, and god forbid if those who are now fighting against Western terror, for social justice or true freedom of thought, were to be labeled as such!
But they are, of course, all great philosophers! And they don’t recycle – they go forward, advancing brilliant new concepts that can improve life on our Planet. Some have fallen, some are still alive, and some are still relatively young:
Eduardo Galeano – one of the greatest storytellers of all times, and a dedicated fighter against Western imperialism. Noam Chomsky – renowned linguist and relentless fighter against Western fascism. Pramoedya Ananta Toer – former prisoner of conscience in Suharto’s camps and the greatest novelist of Southeast Asia. John Steppling – brilliant American playwright and thinker. Christopher Black – Canadian international lawyer and fighter against illegal neo-colonialist concepts of the Empire. Peter Koenig – renowned economist and thinker. Milan Kohout, thinker and performer, fighter against European racism.

Yes – all these great thinkers; all of them, philosophers! And many more that I know and love – in Africa and Latin America and Asia especially…
For those who insist that in order to be called a philosopher, one has to be equipped with some stamp that shows that the person has passed a test and is allowed to serve the Empire, here is proof to the contrary:
Even according to the Dictionary of Modern American philosophers (online ed.). New York: Oxford University Press:
“The label of “philosopher” has been broadly applied in this Dictionary to intellectuals who have made philosophical contributions regardless of academic career or professional title. The wide scope of philosophical activity across the time-span of this Dictionary would now be classed among the various humanities and social sciences which gradually separated from philosophy over the last one hundred and fifty years. Many figures included were not academic philosophers but did work at philosophical foundations of such fields as pedagogy, rhetoric, the arts, history, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, religion, and theology.”
***
In his brilliant upcoming book Aesthetic Resistance and Dis-Interest, my friend John Steppling quotes, Hullot-Kentor:
“If art – when art is art – understands us better than we can intentionally understand ourselves, then a philosophy of art would need to comprehend what understands us. Thinking would need to become critically imminent to that object; subjectivity would become the capacity of its object, not simply its manipulation. That’s the center of Adorno’s aesthetics. It’s an idea of thought that is considerably different from the sense of contemporary “theory”, where everyone feels urged to compare Derrida with Nietzsche, the two of them with Levinas, and all of them now with Badiou, Žižek and Agamben. That kind of thinking is primarily manipulation. It’s the bureaucratic mind unconsciously flexing the form of social control it has internalized and wants to turn on others.”
Western academia is rigidly defining, which lines of thought are acceptable for philosophers to use, as well as what analyses, and what forms.
Those who refuse to comply are ‘not true philosophers’. They are dilettantes, ‘amateurs’.

And those who are not embraced by some ‘reputable’ institution are not to be taken seriously at all (especially if they are carrying Russian, Asian, African, Middle Eastern or Latino names). It is a little bit like with journalism. Unless you have an ‘important’ media outlet behind you (preferably a Western one), unless you can show that the Empire truly trusts you, your press card is worth nothing, and you would not even be allowed to board a UN or a military flight to a war zone.

Your readers, even if numbering millions, may see you as an important philosopher. But let’s be frank: unless the Empire stamps its seal of acceptance on your forehead of backside, in the West you are really nothing more than worthless shit!
***
BLURRING THE WORK OF REVOLUTIONARY PHILOSOPHERS
After all that I have witnessed and written, I am increasingly convinced that Western imperialism and neo-colonialism are the most urgent and dangerous challenges facing our Planet. Perhaps the only challenges…
I have seen 160 countries in all corners of the Globe. I have witnessed wars, conflicts, imperialist theft and indescribable brutality of white tyrants.

And so, recently, I sensed that it is time to revisit two great thinkers of the 20th Century, two determined fighters against Western imperialist fascism: Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The Wretched of the Earth, and Black Skin, White Masks – two essential books by Frantz Omar Fanon, a Martinique-born Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer, and a dedicated fighter against Western colonialism. And Colonialism and Neocolonialism, a still greatly relevant book by Jean-Paul Sartre, a prominent French resistance fighter, philosopher, playwright and novelist…
I had all three books in my library and, after many years, it was time to read them again.

But my English edition of Colonialism and Neocolonialism was wrapped in dozens of pages of prefaces and introductions.  The ‘intellectual cushioning’ was too thick and at some point I lost interest, leaving the book in Japan. Then in Kerala I picked up another, this time Indian edition.

Again, some 60 pages of prefaces and introductions, pre-chewed intrusive and patronizing explanations of how I am supposed to perceive both Sartre and his interactions with Fanon, Memmi and others. And yes, it all suddenly began moving again into that pre-chewed but still indigestible “Derrida-Nietzsche” swamp.
Instead of evoking outrage and wrath, instead of inspiring me into taking concrete revolutionary action, those prefaces, back covers, introductions and comments were clearly castrating and choking the great messages of both Sartre and Fanon. They were preventing readers and fellow philosophers from getting to the core.

Then finally, when reaching the real text of Sartre, it all becomes clear – why exactly is the regime so determined to “protect” readers from the originals.

It is because the core, the original, is extremely simple and powerful.  The words are relevant, and easy to understand. They are describing both old French colonialist barbarities, as the current Western neo-colonialism. God forbid someone puts two and two together!
Philosopher Sartre on China and Western fascist cultural propaganda:
“As a child, I was a victim of the picturesque: everything had been done to make the Chinese intimidating. I was told about rotten eggs… of men sawn between two planks of wood, of piping and discordant music… [The Chinese] were tiny and terrible, slipping between your fingers, attacked from behind, burst out suddenly in a ridiculous din… There was also the Chinese soul, which I was simply told was inscrutable. ‘Orientals, you see…’ The Negroes did not worry me; I had been taught that they were good dogs. With them, we were still among mammals. But the Asians frightened me…”
Sartre on Western colonialism and racism:
“Racism is inscribed in the events themselves, in the institutions, in the nature of the exchange and the production. The political and social statuses reinforce one another: since the natives are sub-human, the Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to them; conversely, since they have no rights, they are abandoned without protection to the inhuman forces of nature, to the ‘iron laws’ of economics…”
And Sartre goes further:
“Western humanism and rights discourse had worked by excluding a majority of the world’s population from the category of humans.”
I address the same issues and so is Chomsky. But the Empire does not want people to know that Sartre, Memmi and Fanon spoke ‘the same language’ as we do, already more than half a century ago!
Albert Memmi:
“Conservatism engenders the selection of mediocre people. How can this elite of usurpers, conscious of their mediocrity, justify their privileges? Only one way: diminish the colonized in order to exult themselves, deny the status of human beings to the natives, and deprive them of basic rights…”
Sartre on Western ignorance:
“It is not cynicism, it is not hatred that is demoralizing us: no, it is only the state of false ignorance in which we are made to live and which we ourselves contribute to maintaining…”
The way the West ‘educates’ the world, Sartre again:
“The European elite set about fabricating a native elite; they selected adolescents, marked on their foreheads, with a branding iron, the principles of Western culture, stuffed into their mouths verbal gags, grand turgid words which stuck to their teeth; after a brief stay in the mother country, they were sent back, interfered with…”
***
It is actually easy to learn how to recycle the thoughts of others, how to compare them and at the end, how to compile footnotes. It takes time, it is boring, tedious and generally useless, but not really too difficult.

On the other hand, it is difficult to create brand new concepts, to revolutionize the way our societies, and our world are arranged. If our brains recycle too much and try to create too little, they get lazy and sclerotic – chronically sclerotic.

Intellectual servility is a degenerative disease.
Western art has deteriorated to ugly psychedelic beats, to excessively bright colors and infantile geometric drawings, to cartoons and nightmarish and violent films as well as “fiction”. It is all very convenient – with all that noise, one cannot hear anymore the screams of the victims, one cannot understand loneliness, and comprehend emptiness.

In bookstores, all over the world, poetry and philosophy sections are shrinking or outright disappearing.

Now what? Is it going to be Althusser (mostly not even real Althusser, but a recycled and abbreviated one), or Lévi-Strauss or Derrida, each wrapped in endless litanies of academic talk?
No! Comrades, philosophers, not that! Down with the sclerotic, whoring academia and their interpretation of philosophy!
Down with the assassins of Philosophy!

Philosophy is supposed to be the intellectual vanguard. It is synonymous with revolution, humanism, and rebellion.
Those who are thinking about and fighting for a much better world, using their brains as weapons, are true philosophers.
Those who are collecting dust and tenures in some profit-oriented institutions of higher ‘learning’ are definitely not, even if they have hundreds of diplomas and stamps all over their walls and foreheads!

They do not create and do not lead. They do not even teach! They are muzzling knowledge. To quote Fanon: “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” But “they” don’t want people to understand; they really don’t…

And one more thing: the great thoughts of Fanon and Sartre, of Gramsci and Mao, Guevara and Galeano should be gently washed, undusted and exhibited again, free of all those choking ‘analyses’ and comparisons compiled by toxic pro-establishment thinkers.
There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. Even a child can understand.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries.