Noam Chomsky: How Close the World Is to Nuclear War?

The following is an excerpt from the new book Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe, by Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk, which takes the form of a series of interviews with MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Laray Polk: What immediate tensions do you perceive, that could lead to nuclear war? How close are we? Noam Chomsky: Actually, nuclear war has come unpleasantly close many times, since 1945. There are literally dozens of occasions, in which there was a significant threat of nuclear war. There was one time in 1962, when it was very close, and furthermore, it's not just the United States. India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war several times, and the issues remain. Both India and Pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenals with US support. There are serious possibilities involved with Iran, not Iranian nuclear weapons, but just attacking Iran, and other things can just go wrong. It's a very tense system, always has been. There are plenty of times, when automated systems in the United States, and in Russia, it's probably worse, have warned of a nuclear attack, which would set off an automatic response, except that human intervention happened to take place in time, and sometimes in a matter of minutes. That's playing with fire. That's a low probability event, but with low probability events over a long period, the probability is not low. There is another possibility that, I think, is not to be dismissed: nuclear terror. Like a dirty bomb in New York City, let's say. It wouldn't take tremendous facility to do that. I know US intelligence or people like Graham Allison at Harvard who works on this. They regard it as very likely in the coming years, and who knows what kind of reaction there would be to that. So, I think there are plenty of possibilities. I think it is getting worse. Just like the Security Council did pass a resolution, S/RES/1887, which was interpreted here as a resolution against Iran. In part it was, but it also called on all states to join the Non Proliferation Treaty. That's three states: India, Pakistan, and Israel. The Obama administration immediately informed India, that this didn't apply to them, it informed Israel that it doesn't apply to them. If India expands its nuclear capacity, Pakistan almost has to, it can't compete with India with conventional forces. Not surprisingly Pakistan almost has to, it can't compete with India with conventional forces. Not surprisingly, Pakistan developed its nuclear weapons with indirect US Support.   

Daniel Walker: Search for Survivors After Explosion in Texas Factory Kills at Least 5.

Rescuers launched a door to door search Thursday, for victims, after a massive explosion at a Texas fertilizer factory killed as many as 15 people, and leveled much of this small Texas town. With the country already n edge from Boston Marathon attacks, the factory blew up in a huge fireball late Wednesday, destroying scores of nearby homes. Authorities said they feared they would find a lot more bodies in the rubble of homes and businesses leveled by the force of the blast. Sergeant Patrick Swanton of the nearby Waco, Texas police department said that officials don't yet know what caused the explosion, but they are treating the site as a crime scene. We are not indicating that this is a crime, but we don't know, Swanton told US media overnight. What that means to us, is that until we know that it is an industrial accident, we will work it as a crime scene, he said. The main investigation was being led by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Swanton said the death toll is anywhere from five to 15 at this point, but expected to rise. Hospitals have treated more than 160 people wit varying injuries. He said law enforcement and rescue officials were conducting a massive search for survivors. They are working together, to still find survivors, to still find people that are injured, and are going door to door, Swanton told reporters at a briefing. They are being very thorough,they are taking their time in their searches, he said. The US Geological Survey recorded the force of the explosion at a 2.1 magnitude. The blast, which was felt as many as 50 miles away, destroyed an apartment complex and a nursing home, and sent residents fleeing into emergency shelters. The acrid smell of smoke lingered in the air early Thursday. Authorities said that the fire was under control, and said there was no risk of another explosion. President Barack Obama, in a statement, offered the prayers of the nation to the people of West. A tight knit community has been shaken, and good, hard working people have lost their lives, he said. Obama offered aid through the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and promised to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. The explosion at the West Fertilizer Company came with the nation still raw with emotion after the Boston marathon bombings Monday, which left three people dead. Americans also were on edge, following a scare in which letters lace with the poison ricin were sent to President Barack Obama, and a US senator in Washington.

Roi Tov: Ameeican Palestinian Jailed by Israel. Does it Matter?

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel Ezekiel 37:11. On April 5, 2013, a 14 year old boy with American and Palestinian citizenship was arrested by Israel, on April II, he reached the military court at the "Ofer Prison". It was an event which this website wouldn't have missed the opportunity to comment on, yet that didn't happen. Three days afterwards, Al Jazeera came out with the story, titling it Israel arrests 14 year old US citizens. Another four days passed, and I got from a goof friend an email with the article. Seconds afterwards, I found the story all over the web, Google reported four million results on a search with the article's title, I had missed the opportunity . In such cases, I keep the information, and later on use it to add depth to subsequent analyses. I knew for sure, that this wouldn't be the last Israeli crime. You put things into a wider sociological context, he wrote, hinting that he expected an article on the topic from me. My having missed the item was not casual. The arrest of Mohammad Khaleq, born in New Orleans, had not been reported by the Hebrew media. Writing under harassment, my missing an important item published by international media id understandable, and actually even functional, since it provides an awesome example of Israeli censorship. Let me rephrase, it was a formidable example of Israeli Orwellian reality. 1984 is here, 1984 is now. Yet, there is another reason for my being exonerated. On March 30, in Land Day Looting, I commented on the arrest by Israel of Ahmed Abu Ramaylah, an 8 year old boy, in Hebron. An indefatigable enemy of the Zionist State, he is ridiculously dangerous, while not playing with his Mickey Mouse toys. The problem is that Israel jails 700 children every year. It is clearly legal, but utterly illegitimate. Most children prosecuted in Israeli military courts are charged with throwing stones. This is an offence under Section 212 of Military Order 1651. It says: Throwing an object, including a stone, at a person or property with the intent to harm the person or property, carries a maximum penalty of 10 year's imprisonment. On March 6, UNICEF published Children in Israeli Military detention, Observations and Recommendations. The report defines the reality in the West Bank as a large torture camp, in which Israel is torturing Palestinian children. UNICEF is so aware that the Israeli Administration is unable to comprehend the topic, even to differentiate between good and evil, that it added the following: The prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment is universal and absolute.   


Tomgram: Erika Eichelberger, Your Home Is Your Abbattoir!

At a certain point in my life, I studied shotokan karate with a remarkable teacher, and then, unable to find her equivalent in the San Francisco Bay Area, took up wing chun for a while  with a very amusing guy. At that point, I realized that the main threat to my health and well being, was my own stress level and, well, you can see where this is going: yoga. There should be a national equivalent of that little trajectory from East Asian techniques for dealing with others to South Asian techniques for dealing with the self , when it comes to real threat assessment: Americans die of lousy health and our lousy healthcare system, of natural disaster and, at levels unequalled through out the affluent world, of each other. Gun deaths in the US in 2011: more than 11,000, in Japan that year, seven. From foreign terorism in the US that year: O. Some fears are convenient: terrorism has devoured money and civil rights, and government surveillance at a rate that is itself terrifying. And it's made "security" into doublespeak. In terms of actual American deaths, terrorists are right down there with sharks. Zero domestic shark deaths in 2011, worldwide. Some fears are inconvenient: if you look at leading causes of death and injury for women, the terms terrorist and husband should perhaps be interchangeable. Male violence, much of it by partners and former partners, is the second highest cause of death for women between 15 and 44, worldwide. And in the US, suicide kills more of us than homicide, as Erika Eichelberger points out in her timely piece today. To acknowledge what really threatens us, is to upset two of the same force on different scales. Armed intervention is imperial machismo in the same way a raging husband or father is the military dictator of a g household. Maybe "domestic terrorist" should be twinned with "domestic violence." After all, the seldom acknowledged main form of such terrorism in this country in recent decades, anti-abortion violence, fits in comfortably, being an assault on women's rights to bodily autonomy and self determination. At the Republican National Convention in New York city back in 2004, I coined the term "safe dangers" to describe how some perils are too dangerous to name, and the way they are instead transformed into more conventional and acceptable dangers. The activists in Manhattan's streets then threatened the legitimacy and hegemony of the Republicans, and brought up unsayable things about our wars, our leaders, and the state of our union. We were a threat. To acknowledge what kind of threat we were, however, would have meant acknowledging first that we had real power, the power to change the conversation and rock the boat, as Occupy would do, threateningly, in that same city seven years later.

Normon Solomon: The Orwellian Warfare State of Carnage and Doublethink.

After the bombings that killed and maimed so horribly at the Boston Marathon, our country's politics and mass media, are awash in heartfelt compassion and reflective doublethink, which George Orwell described as willingness to forget any fact, that has become inconvenient. In sync with media outlets across the country, the New York Times put a chilling headline on Wednesday's front page: Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Maim, Officials Say. The story reported that nails and ball bearings were stuffed into pressure cookers, rigged to shoot sharp bits of shrapnel into anyone within reach of their blast. Much less crude, and weighing in at 1,000 pounds, CBU-87/B warheads were in the category of combined effects munitions, when put to use 14 years ago, by a bomber named Uncle Sam. The US media coverage was brief and fleeting. One Friday, at noontime, US led NATO forces dropped cluster bombs on the city of Nis, in the vicinity of a vegetable market, bringing death and destruction, peppering the streets of Serbia's third largest city with shrapnel, a dispatch in the San Francisco Chronicle reported on May 8, 1999. And, in a street leading from the market, dismembered bodies were strewn among carrots and other vegetables in pools of blood. A dead woman, her body covered with a sheet, was still clutching a shopping bag filled with carrots. Pointing out, that cluster bombs explode in the air, and hurl shards of shrapnel over a wide radius, BBC correspondent John Simpson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. Used against human beings, cluster bombs are some of the most savage weapons of modern warfare. Savage did not preclude usage. As a matter of fact, to Commander in Chief Bill Clinton, and the prevailing military minds in Washington, savage was bound up in the positive attributes of cluster bombs. Each one could send up to 60,000 pieces of jagged steel shrapnel into what the weapons maker described as soft targets. An unusually diligent reporter, Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times, reported from Pristina, Yugoslavia: During five weeks of airstrikes, witnesses here say, NATO warplanes have dropped cluster bombs, that scatter smaller munitions over wide areas. In military jargon, the smaller munitions are bomblets. Dr. Rade Grbic, a surgeon and director of Pristina's main hospital, sees proof every day, that the almost benign term bomblet masks a tragic impact. Grbic, who saved the lives of two ethnic Albanian boys, wounded while other boys played with cluster bombs found Saturday, said he had never done so many amputations.   

Allen L Roland: America's Auschwitz is the Evil of Guantanamo!

America's Auschwitz is the evil of Guantanamo, a festering open sore, of civil and human rights abuse, and a blatant reminder, that the name Guantanamo evokes criminality and torture to the rest of the world. As Michael Ratner reports: The Obama Administration is responsible for the continued imprisonment of 86 men, who were found not to have been involved in any crime or act of war. Eleven years later, there is no sign these people will ever be released. In case you forgot, Obama promised to shut Guantanamo down. Real News 13 minute interview with Michael Ratner. So whu does Obama refuse to deliver on his promise to close this open sore of civil and human rights abuse? To me, the obvious reason goes back to the Big, Big lie of 9/11, and Obama's continuance of the Bush administration's decision to justify torture, illegal rendition, forced confessions and indefinite imprisonment of innocent civilians, in order to maintain the perception of implied external guilt, for an obvious internal false flag attack on America, which was orchestrated, or at least condoned by the Cheney/Bush administration, and their cabal of American traitors. As Ratner correctly point out on Real News, Guantanamo is an international moral outrage, but I maintain that the Obama administration continues the tradition of the Cheney/Bush decade, by implementing any means, however illegal, towards the end of maintaining the transparent and discredited facade of the official 9/11 story, as well as the equally transparent and discredited War on Terror. Here are the words of Gitmo detainee, Samor Naji Hasan Moqbel, published in the New York Times this week, "I've been on a hunger strike since February 10, and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat, until they restore my dignity. I have been detained at Guantanamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. I could have been home years ago, no one seriously thinks I am a threat, but still I am here. Years ago, the military said I was a guard for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don't even seem to believe it anymore, but they don't seem to care how long I sit here, either. I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can't describe how painful it is to be force fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn't. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone!  


Washington's Blog: Boston Terror Attacks!

All of America's security forces were there. Terror bombing shows that our anti terrorism policies are ineffective. We documented earlier today, that the American government has squandered huge sums of homeland security and defense spending on useless tasks that increase rather than prevent terrorism. Indeed, the head cross country track coach at the University of Mobile Alastair Stevenson, told Alabama's Press Register: At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs, and the bomb squad out there, he said. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise. He added, I have run a lot of races like this one, but I never saw bomb dogs at the starting line of any running event. Stevenson provided additional details in an interview by local 15 TV news: University of Mobiles Cross Country Coach, who was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, when a series of explosions went off, said he thought it was odd, that there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines. They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, It's just a training exercise, Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15. Stevenson said he saw law enforcement spotters on the roofs at the start of the race. He's been in plenty of marathons in Chicago, DC, London and other major metropolitan areas, but has never seen that level of security before. All the marathon runners, including Stevenson, started the race hours before the bombs exploded. Time Magazine reported yesterday: Over the years, The Boston Marathon has undergone numerous security overhauls. Time writer Katy Steinmetz reports: Under heightened security in 2002, 600 police officers joined the runners. There were also an unprecedented 1,500 state and local police patrolling the route, and another 1,500 security guards. There were 415 National Guard troops on hand. Helicopters, bomb sniffing dogs, hazmat teams, and radiation detectors were added. Boston Globe compared to security used for the Olympics and Super Bowl. According to the Mass National Guard website, more than 400 troops were involved in 2013, too. From the release: Pfc. Matthew S Knowlton, a military policeman with the 747 Military Police Company, was one Soldier assigned to help out at the starting line. Describing the scene, Knowlton said, This is a very positive setting, I'm just happy to be here. There are a lot of people here, but its a great crowd.

Alex Kane: The Latest on the Boston Marathon Bombing:

What we know so far. Senator Dianne Feinstein told reporters that the Saudi National, whose home was searched, in relation to the Boston bombings, is not a suspect. As far as I know, he is not a suspect. That's as far as I know, she said. See this is the problem, we really don't know. We know one thing. It qualifies, in my book, as a terrorist attack. Here is a video of Fox News questioning his roommate. News outlets have confirmed that the man is not a suspect, but has been questioned as a witness. 29 year old Krystle M Campbell of Medford, Mass., has been identified as the second victim. Her father, William A Campbell Jr., told Yahoo News. "She helped everyone, and I am just so shocked right now. We are just devastated. She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. Always willing to lend a hand. In a press conference earlier today, President Obama called the Boston bombing an act of terrorism, but reiterated that investigators do not know the group or individuals responsible, or their motives. The President added: We also know this: The American people refuse to be terrorized, because what the world saw yesterday, in the aftermath of the explosions, were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love. Exhausted runners, who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets. The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. The men and women who are still treating the wounded, at some of the best hospitals in the world, and the medical students who hurried to help saying, when we heard, we all came in. The priests who opened their churches, and administered to the hurt, and the fearful and good people of Boston, who opened their homes to the victims of this attack, and those shaken by it. So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that's it: selflessly, compassionately, not afraid. Meanwhile, the Boston Herald has identified the roommate of the man questioned by police in connection with the bombing. The Globe reports: A Revere man today said police informed him his roommate was injured by shrapnel at the Marathon, before searching his apartment, and questioning for hours last night. He is sweet and kind, and a good person, Mohammed Hassan Bada, 20, of Saudi Arabia of his roommate, who he said is a 22 year old also from Saudi Arabia, here to study English in Boston.

Jim W.. Dean: Obama and Neocons Openly Back Terrorism!

America using Proxy States for Terror, is a thin Veil to hide behind. The tragic comedy of the phony War on Terror, is being exposed as never before, for the sham that it is. Press TV reported yesterday the opening of the MKO terrorist organization office a block awat from the White House. What a message that sends to the world, that we look out for our terrorists, and take good care of them, but it just might take a little time to do it. This is the group who inflicted four 911's on Iran, by murdering 12,000 in terrorist attacks, much of it under Saddam, and then under under US protection, when we took over Iraq. Israel was involved also, no surprise there. We had no boots on the ground inside Iran for Intel collection, so the War on Terror stopped at the border of the MKO Camp Ashraf. Terrorists who worked for us were given immunity, while keeping them on the terrorist list, I assume until the day, when maybe nobody would remember what they did. We did not forget, about MKO, or the others. I was shocked when our State Department under Hillary Clinton announced last fall that MKO was being rehabilitated, by taking them off the terror list. It seems the International Criminal Court, might be off the hook for doing absolutely nothing about this group, thinking I guess, that mass murderers only lived in the Balkans or Africa. So the powers that we think they have slipped this one by on us. Here we have our Nobel Peace Prize winner President, effectively pardoning the killing of four times the 911 victims, when he has no authority to do so, because the MKO are not American citizens. I did not mention aiding and abetting terrorism, because that obviously was not a concern to his administration or the "Neo-Cons". We are all put at risk, if terrorist groups with well connected big bad brothers can provide them with not only material support, but protect them from prosecution. The status of a country doing so, is lowered to that of a Mafia chief, Murder Incorporated. This is not a fitting robe to wear for America, or is it? I was shocked, but not too much so, to find John Bolton and retired general Jim Jones, a Bush regime national security adviser, welcoming the MKO to Washington, DC. Does this mean that Jones was running a terror operation out of the White House? Aren't there some big laws against that, where even a former government official can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity?  


Steven Rosenfeld: A Recent History of Homemade Bombs

built in the United States! Since the Oklahoma City in 1995, where Timothy McVeigh used a homemade truck bomb with two tons of fertilizer, racing fuel and a blasting cap, to destroy the federal building, and kill 167 people, there have been a dozen domestic bombings, where domestic or foreign born attackers have sought, or tried to kill people to sent a message. These bombings are distinct from the 34 police officers, who have been murdered by domestic right wing political extremists since Oklahoma City, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they do not include the worst gun massacres in the US since then, which include: Littleton, CO in 1999, 15 dead, Blacksburg, VA in 2007, 32 dead, Fort Hood, Texas in 2009, 12 dead, Tuccon AZ in 2011, 6 dead, Blacksburg, VA n 2011, 6 dead, Oakland CA in 2012, 7 dead, Auroa, CO in 2012, 12 dead, and Newtown, CN last December, 28 dead. On Tuesday, police said that the two bombs that killed three, and injured 176 people at Monday's Boston Marathon was a homemade device, a metal pressure cooker filled with nails, ball bearings, metal shards that were left in duffle bags near the finish line. This is similar to road side bombs used against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, various news organizations reported. What follows is a list of other domestic bomb attacks, and attempts dating back to 1995, with additional details on the types of bombs used. January 17, 2011. White supremacist Kevin Harpham put a back-back bomb along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Washington, but it was found and disabled. The pipe bomb was loaded with lead fishing weights coated in rat poison, which can inhibit blood clotting in wounds, AOL.com reported. Harpham was sentenced to 32 years in prison. May 1, 2010. Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad, left an explosive laden SUV in New York's Times Square. Smoke was seen coming from the car, and the bomb was found and disabled. The car was packed with more than 100 pounds of fertilized, but not the kind that would explode, ABC-TV reported. Other news reports said, he put the fertilizer in pressure cookers, like the Boston bombs, and used firecrackers as the trigger. Shahzad was taken off a plane by police, and was sentenced to life in prison.  

Gearoid O Colmain: France's Media Admits that the Syrian Opposition is Al Qaida!

Then justifies French Government support to the Terrorists. In a report published on the 11th of April, French daily Le Monde admits that rebels fighting the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, are dominated by Japhat Al Nosra, a terrorist group linked to Al Qaida. The admission comes after two years of non stop disinformation trumpeted from all French mainstream media outlets, from the official right to the official left, disinformation trumpeted from all French mainstream media outlets from the official right to the official left, disinformation that has attempted to convince the French public, that democratic revolutionaries are fighting a war for human rights, and freedom against a brutal, tyrannical dictator, who is killing his own people. This puerile, and deeply dishonest narrative, has now been utterly discredited, as the facts about the terrorist nature of the Syrian rebels have become too obvious to ignore. In an article entitled The New Visage of French Jihadism, it is reported that the French "jihadists" are leaving France in their hundreds, to join the holy war against the Syrian Arab Republic, with many more joining jihadist groups in Mali. On the same page, in an article entitled Al Qaida, extends its territory, and unites its forces in Iraq and Syria, Le Mondes Christophe Ayad reports: The head of Iraq's Islamic state, the Iraqi branch of Al Qaida, announced in a recorded message on April 9th, that this group would be fused with the Japhat Al Nosra, the principal armed jihadist organization in Syria. The new group will be called Al Qaida in Iraq and the Levant. This announcement comes two days after the call of Ayman Al Zawarhi, the successor of Osama Bin Laden, in the leadership of Al Qaida headquarters, for the establishment of an Islamic state, after the fall of the regime of Bachar Al Assad, afflicted since two years, by an insurrection by the Sunni majority. So, here we are now have the French establishment press, who has been working overtime since two years, to convince us that those fighting Assad are democrats, admitting that they are in fact Al Qaida. According to an October 2010 Fox News report, the above mentioned Al Qaida leader Al Zawarhiri, dined at the Pentagon just months after 911. Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge, claimed she had documents to prove this. Of course, Fox News, being a corporate propaganda agency, did not pursue this story any further, nor did any other international mainstream media outlets. In the war on terror, ignorance is strength, and questioning is stupid. The Fox News reporter earns 900,000 dollars per annum.        

Dr. Kevin Barett:100 Critical Points About 9/11.

It's time for 'debunkers' to showcase their years of hard work. I'm looking for a concise and agreed upon explanation for each of the following items, so that we might forever put to rest these nonsense conspiracy theories about 9/11. Ideally, I'm hoping for a 1-4 sentence long, simplified explanation for each of these listed circumstances, explaining how they fit into the widely accepted narrative. If any of these conditions were not present as alleged, or if you find them to be irrelevant, just explain a more accurate interpretation of the corresponding data. Choose any number, or set of numbers, from the following list. For each point, write what you believe to be the official stance, relative to the mainstream Arab terrorist narrative. Consistency and consensus, is what we are looking for. The goal of this article is to have each of these points adequately addressed, in order to demonstrate, for any future "truthers", that there is a reasonable explanation for these circumstances, that was simply overlooked by the 9/11 Truth movement. Eventually, I would like to be able to construct a full outline of the 'debunker' consensus on these most relevant aspects of 9/11. Some of the points, below, may seem familiar. Special thanks to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and all of the honest institutions and individuals, who have made this article possible. Regarding WTC7: 1. Rapid onset of collapse. 2. Sounds of explosions at ground floor, reported immediately before the building's destruction. 3. Symmetrical structure failure, through the path of greatest resistance, at free fall acceleration. 4. Imploded, collapsing completely, and landed in its own footprint. 5. Massive volume of expanding pyroclastic like clouds. 6. Expert corroboration from the top European controlled demolition, referring to the evidently bias free testimony of the late Danny Jowenko. 7. Foreknowledge of collapse by media, NYPD, FDNY, particularly the numerous media announcements of the WTC7 collapse, more than 20 minutes prior to its occurrence. 8. FEMA finds rapid oxidation and granular melting on structural steel samples. 9. Several tons of molten metal, reported by numerous highly qualified witnesses. 10. Very few visible fire deformation prior to complete collapse of WTC7. 11. No evidence of fire temperatures capable of softening steel. 12. High rise buildings with much larger, hotter, and longer lasting fires have never collapsed. One Meridian Plaza, First Interstate Bank!      


Stephen Lendman: New York Times vs North Korea!

The Times is America's unofficial ministry of information and propaganda. Daily managed news misinformation is featured. Articles, commentaries and editorials are "brazently" one sided. Readers are systematically lied to. Fiction substitutes for facts. Information is carefully filtered. Dissent is marginalized. When America goes to war, or plans one, Times editors, correspondents and contributors march in lockstep. Independent leaders are denigrated. Democrats are called despots. Rule of law principles don't matter. Democratic values are ignored. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Mass murder, destruction and human misery go unreported. What is most important is not explained. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. Wrong over right is endorsed. Patriotism means supporting what demands condemnation. America ''Ueber alles" matters most. The Times features hostile North Korean coverage. It has done so for decades. It is biased and irresponsible. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were vilified. So is Kim Jong Un. An April 13 report called him young and defiant. Nonexistent threats are headlined. Truth is turned on its head. Readers are systematically misinformed, and lied to. It's long standing Times policy. News most fit to print is omitted. On April 12, The Times headlined North Korea's Nuclear Threats. What exactly is North Korea threatening to do, I asked? It issues near daily threats against the United States and South Korea, and sometimes at our United States forces in the Pacific. Irresponsibly deploying them there goes unmentioned. America's imperial agenda is not discussed. Its global footprint gets short shrift, and its permanent war agenda is not explained. Former US diplomat Charles Freeman commented earlier on Washington's war on terror. How can we win, he asked? America's enemies are so ill understood, that we must invent a non existent ideology for justification, he said. Not according to Times editors. Iran is Exhibit A. So is North Korea. They are the two remaining components of Bush's axis of evil. Times editors make sure their readers do not forget. In one of the boldest warnings, they claimed, the North said it could carry out "pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against the United States. Whether nuclear tipped or not, some of its missiles could hit South Korea or Japan, and American forces there. Why is North Korea threatening the United States? Because more sanctions followed its February nuclear test, The Times claimed. It also ratchets up its political speech during joint United States, during joint United States-South Korea military exercises.   

Rev. Howard Bess: Many American Cristian Leaders Are Authoritarian Bullies!

Bullying is now a major reason that American teenagers give for skipping school, and eventually dropping out of high school. Students get bullied over race, sexual orientation, clothes, looks, handicaps, intelligence and economic class. Yet, where can we find a voice of sanity, that will publicly call for a halt in the practice of bullying? It is not the Christian churches. Indeed, many Christian pastors and fundamentalists practice the art of bullying themselves, demanding obedience to holy books and creeds. I cringe every time, I hear preachers and devout Christians declare: The Bible says. Rarely do they identify the author, or the circumstance of the passage to which they refer. The Bible says is the sledge hammer of Protestant Christianity. The message is all too plain: Get in line, or you are headed for punishment, rejection, or even Hell. It is the ultimate bullying tool, because it is difficult for a parishioner to out gun a holy god, who has spoken with finality and with out error. Dynamic and authoritarian preachers, are especially good at Bible rhetoric that is calculated intimidation. Preachers may be the most skilled persons in our society in the practice of bullying. And then there are the creeds, which were originally devised to force conformity to Christian belief. The creeds of Christianity have been, and are regularly used as the club for bullying. Again, the message is clear: Agree and be labeled a heretic, and be excommunicated. Bullying also is practiced at the highest level of American civil society, with bullying a front line tool of US foreign policy. One could say that America in its world leadership role has refined the art of bullying. We constantly send messages to the nations of the world: Behave, and we will send you money, misbehave, and we will place sanctions against you. Get out of line too much, and we have the power to crush you. Dare rattle your own sword, and we will station our battleships off your coast. None of these public practices teaches our children the ways of peace. Then we seem surprised, when we find bullying prevalent among our school children. Teenage gangs are simply another manifestation of a bully system, that pervades many of the most respected institutions of society. While details change, the dynamics of bullying never change. The story line repeats itself over and over. A bully finds ways to intimidate others, to establish control over them. The person who is the object of the bullying has three choices: Submit, run away, or fight back. None of these standard responses produce good results.      

Tom Engelhardt: America Has Turned a World Without Serious Enemies

into the most threatening place in the Universe. The communist enemy, with the world's fourth largest military, has been trundling missiles around, and threatening the United States with nuclear obliteration. Guam, Hawaii, Washington: all, it claims, are "target-able". The coverage on the media has been hair raising. The US is rushing an untested missile defense system to Guam, deploying missile interceptor ships off the South Korean coast, sending nuclear capable B-2 Stealth bombers thousands of miles on mock bombing runs, pressuring China, and conducting large scale war games with its South Korean ally. Only one small problem: there is as yet little evidence that the enemy with a few nuclear weapons facing off, rhetorically at least against an American arsenal of 4,650 of them has the ability to miniaturize, and mount even one on a missile, no less deliver it accurately, nor does it have a missile capable of reaching Hawaii or Washington, and I wouldn't count on Guam either. It also happens to be a desperate country, one possibly without enough fuel to fly a modern air force, whose people, on average, are inches shorter than their southern neighbors, thanks to decades of intermittent famine and malnutrition, and who are ruled by a bizarre three generational family cult. If that other communist, Karl Marx, hadn't once famously written that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, we would have had to event the phrase for this very moment. In the previous century, there were two devastating global wars, which left significant parts of the planet in ruins. There was also a cold war between two superpowers, locked in a system of mutual assured destruction, aptly acronymed as MAD, whose nuclear arsenals were capable of destroying the planet many times over. Had you wakened any morning in the years between December 7, 1941 and December 26, 1991, and been told that the leading international candidate for America's Public Enemy Number One was Kim Jong-un's ramshackle, comic opera regime in North Korea, you might have gotten down on your hands and knees, and sent thanks to pagan gods. The same would be true for the other candidates for that number one position, since September 11, 2001, the original al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, located in poverty stricken Yemen, the Taliban in poverty stricken Afghanistan, unnamed jihadis scattered across poverty stricken areas of North Africa or Iran, another rickety regional power, run by not particularly adept theocrats. All these years, we have been launching wars, and pursuing a global war on terror. We have poured money into national security, as if there were no tomorrow.     


Jean Claude Paye and Tulay Umay: The Cult of Killing, and the Symbolic Order of Western Barbarism!

How the Media Worships Violence and Ritualized Atrocities. The display of the lynching of Gaddafi, exposes our societies for what they are. It mesmerizes and dismantles our capacity to think and critically assess a historical process. By focusing public attention on what constitutes a ritualized atrocity, these gruesome images confirm that the US Empire actually represents an unprecedented regression, a step backwards in the history of humanity. They show that the objective of the war on Libya was not only conquest, leading to the plundering of oil, or of Libyan assets, but also, just as was the case in the Crusades, the destruction of a symbolic order, leaving room for the sheer enjoyment of an act of killing, as displayed by the media, in a capitalist World Order run amok. When watching the broadcast images of the lynching of Mouammar Gaddafi, our political leaders manifested a strange pleasure. Strange Fruit, these images remind us of the images of the hanging of Saddam Hussein, organized on the day of the Eid al Adha, the feast of the sacrifice. These two instances inscribe us into a religious structure which, through the substitution of the human sacrifice to the one of the ram, restores the primitive image of the Mother goddess. It turns the Old Testament upside down. Such book free religion is reduced to a fetish. It has neither Other, nor Law. It merely bids public opinion to enjoy the spectacle of death. Through images, the will to power becomes unlimited. Transgression is no longer bounded as in the sacrificial rite, neither in space, nor in time, it is everywhere. It echoes the continuous violation of the order of Law, that can be observed since the 9/11 attacks. The way Gaddafi's body was treated, is a token of the tragedy the Libyan people went through. The treatment of his remains was the object of a double exception, a double violation of the symbolic order that rules society, instead of being buried on the same day, as required by Muslim rites. His corpse was displayed for four days in a cold room, before being buried in a secret location, in spite of his wives request to the UN, that she may retrieve the body. This double decision by the new Libyan authorities, places the Libyan people in a situation that the Greek tragedy explored long ago. As they deny the family the right to bury the body, the new political leaders do away with the symbolic order. As it deletes any connection between human and divine law, the National Transitional Council merges the two, and grants itself the monopoly of the sacred, thus placing itself above the political level.  

Steven Rosenfeld: Disturbing Facts Abour State Lotteries!

They prey on the poor  and trash the economy, and political leaders don't care! The following article is part of Alter net's series on poverty, Hard Times USA. State lotteries amount to a hidden tax on the poor. They eat up about 9 percent of take home incomes, from households making less than $13,000 a year. They siphon $50 billion a year away from local businesses, besides stores where they are sold. And they are encouraged by state sponsored ads, suggesting everyone can win, win, win! State lotteries, which once were illegal, now exist in moth states. What many people don't know about lotteries, is that they prey on those who can least afford it. Most people never win anything big, and 11 states raise more money from lotteries, than from corporate taxes. Beyond the moral, mental health or religious debates over gambling, lotteries are another example of how society preys on the poor, and the working class. Let's look at why state lotteries do far more harm than good, especially at the bottom of the economic ladder. 1. Legalized gambling is almost everywhere. Legalized gambling is available in every state except for Utah and Hawaii. This includes state lotteries, which are in 42 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC. Lotteries were illegal for most of the 20th century, but that changed in 1964, when New Hampshire, a state without an income tax, re-instituted a state lottery. The first lotteries predate the American Revolution, but these mostly privately run efforts, were so corrupt, they were completely prohibited by every state in 1894. 2. They suck billions out of the economy. In 2009, $50.4 billion was spent on state lottery tickets and video kiosks. The government pocketed $17.9 billion of this total in 2010, which breaks down to 30 percent in profits, and 8 percent in administrative costs, including advertising. The rest went to prizes and commissions, to stores selling the tickets. Many corner stores could not remain open, without the income from lottery sales. 3. They are a tax from anti tax politicians. Tax averse Democrats and Republicans have increasingly been relying on state lotteries, to subsidize basic public programs like schools, instead of raising taxes for that purpose. In 11 states, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Oregon, South Dakota, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, the lottery raised more per person, than corporate income taxes. The long term shift in tax burdens from capital and corporations to individuals and their activities, is perhaps best illustrated by the rise of state lotteries, wrote tax expert David Cay Johnston, calling lotteries the most heavily taxed consumer product in America.  

Preston James PhD: Operation Deception, North Korea!

So far, the conflict between the USG and North Korea is a virtual false flag only. A major Psyops designed to deflect attention away from a seriously failing US Administration, which is pulling out all the stops to pass gun control laws, which are designed to eventually lead to complete confiscation. This current conflict with North Korea has been engineered, and portrayed as a real state of conflict, when it is virtual only. In practical terms, North Korea and America are now only involved in a state of virtual war, which is unlikely to be followed with an actual real shooting war. Virtual war is an imaginary war, fought only in the major mass media, and the enemy is the news consumer, or the public, which is psychologically managed. Virtual war is a newer type of warfare, which is a major Psychological operation, aka a Psyop, that is, an act of Mind-war against the people. As the infamous Iron Mountain study group, which was comprised of the top secular scientists inside America concluded, a state of war is needed by societies to solidify them, strengthen them, and consolidate central governmental government power, necessary for the survival of the existing power structure. It was their conclusion, that the state's exercise of its war making power, provided the glue which held a nation together, and maintained their power over that society. A Deception is a two part operation where the first part, a major international deception, is communicated in the mass media, after being engineered by various USG officials and military, working with counterparts in other nations. The second part of the operation, is comprised of using that major deception, to manufacture false confidence of the people in their government, where none is indicated or deserved. The current USG conflict with North Korea is a back channel, virtual war, being fought in the major mass media for the purpose of distracting the American public, and creating the illusion that the current administration has prevented WW3, thus strengthening its viability. There is something for everyone when a Deception is successfully deployed. The USG gets what it wants, a bolstered image on successful avoidance of WW3, and an appearance of major nuclear war power, that established predominance in the world. The Korean people get bamboozled, and feel that they really showed the South Koreans and the Americans and Japanese, they can't be pushed around, and maybe a deal has already been negotiated for back-channel food or fuel shipments to North Korea, as part of the prearranged virtual war? The economy at home in America is failing, the common man has about had it with the current administration, and a long line of presidents, that have NOT served the people.           


Greg Guma: Drones and Law Enforcement in America, The Unmanned Police Surveilance State!

The US is at the dawn of a new era in police surveillance, the Associated Press revealed casually last week. In a Chicago based story about the growing use of drones, and other sophisticated, unmanned aircraft for aerial surveillance, it noted that the Congressional Research Service considers their future use bound only by human ingenuity. The story focused on one Illinois legislator, who has proposed a limit on how far law enforcement agencies can go. But bills have been introduced in almost 40 states, and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee has two model ordinances to assist communities in the emerging movement against domestic surveillance drones. This isn't science fiction, although the threat of an emerging Surveillance State does figure in my forthcoming novel, Dons of Time. As I learned while researching, drones already fly pretty freely in US airspace. Law enforcement groups use them for search and rescue operations, for security along the border, mainly the one with Mexico so far, for weather research and scientific data collection. In fact, last year Congress authorized the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open the nation's airspace to widespread drone flights by 2015. The FAA estimates that more than 7,000 civilian drones could be surfing the sky by 2020. As Bill of Rights Defense Committee Executive Director Shahid Buttar explains, Because the legal landscape governing drones is essentially barren, law enforcement agencies around the country are currently making policy to suit their interests. But we live in a constitutional Republic, meaning that We, the People hold the opportunity and responsibility to petition our local representatives for legal protections that Congress is too timid to provide. In Seattle, the police department purchased two drones through a federal grant, but opted not to use them, after protests in February. A bill barring Virginia law enforcement from using drones for two years, passed the General Assembly months ago, but awaits a response from the governor. The National Conference of State Legislatures has heard about more than 70 bills in around 40 states that address the use of drones. The Defense Committees legislative models are designed to satisfy diverse interests. One creates a drone free zone, while another establishes strict requirements limiting their use by law enforcement agencies, and other public officials. The model regulating drone use, rather than outlawing it, allows them to be used with a judicially issued warrant, or for limited non law enforcement purposes like fire detection, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and natural disasters.  

Bill Moyers: We Are Living in the United States of Inequality!

The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill Moyers shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California's Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area's homeless, who have grown 20 percent in the last two years, are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps. A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government, says Moyers, while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole, that has turned us into the United States of Inequality. Inequality matters. You will hear people say it doesn't, but they are usually so high up the ladder, they can't even see those at the bottom. The distance between the first and the least in America is vast, and growing. The Washington Post recently took a look at two counties in Florida, and found that people who live in the more affluent St. Johns County, live longer than those who live next door in less rich Putnam County. The Post concluded: The widening gap in life expectancy between these two adjacent Florida counties reflects perhaps the starkest outcome of the nation's growing economic inequality. Even as the nation's life expectancy has marched steadily upward, a growing body of research shows, that those gains are going mostly to those at the upper end of the income ladder. That is true across America. In California's Silicon Valley, Apple, Facebook and Google, among others, have reinvented the Gold Rush. But down the road in San Jose, it's not so a pretty picture. Co the math: In an area where one fourth of the population earn an average of about $19,000 dollars a year, rent alone can average more than $20,000 dollars a year, and that difference adds up to homelessness. We talked to Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza,who brought this story to our attention. Martha Mendoza: I've been a journalist in this area for 25 years, and during that time, it has gone from having a pretty robust middle-class, to being an area, where you see this great divide of wealthy and poor, and nowhere do you see, that more than in the Silicon Valley, where 25 years ago, this was a place of orchards and farms, and ranching, and small businesses, and it has completely changed now, so that you have incredibly wealthy people, and incredibly poor people, and a growing gap. Homelessness has increased dramatically.     

Gilad Atzmon: Controlled Opposition, From Goldstein to Soros and Beyond!

Jewish power is the unique capacity to stop us from discussing, or even contemplating Jewish power. It is the capacity to determine the boundaries of the political discourse and criticism in particular. In his new book, The Invention Of The Land of Israel, Israeli academic Shlomo Sand, manages to present conclusive evidence of the far fetched nature of the Zionist historical narrative, that the Jewish Exile is a myth, as is the Jewish people, and even the Land of Israel. Yet, Sand and many others, fail to address the most the most important question: If Zionism is based on myth, how do the Zionists manage to get a way with their lies, and for so long? If the Jewish homecoming, and the demand for a Jewish national homeland, cannot be historically substantiated, why has it been supported by both Jews and the West for so long? How does the Jewish state manage for so long to celebrate its racist expansionist ideology, and at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab peoples? Jewish power is obviously one answer, but, what is Jewish power? Can we ask this question, without being accused of being Anti Semitic? Can we ever discuss its meaning, and scrutinize its politics? Is Jewish Power a dark force, managed and maneuvered by some conspiratorial power? Is it something of which Jews themselves themselves are shy? Quite the opposite, Jewish power, in most cases, is celebrated right in front of our eyes. As we know, AIPAC is far from being quiet about its agenda, its practices or its achievements. AIPAC, CFI in the UK and CRIF in France, are operating in the most open manner, and often openly brag about their success. Furthermore, we are by now accustomed to watch our democratically elected leaders shamelessly queuing to kneel before their pay masters. Neocons certainly didn't seem to feel the need to hide their close Zionist affiliations. Abe Foxman's Anti Defamation League (ADL), works openly towards the Judification of the Western discourse, chasing and harassing anyone, who dares voice any kind of criticism of Israel or even Jewish choseness. And of course,the same applies to the media, banking and Hollywood. We know about the many powerful Jews, who are not in the slightest bit shy about their bond with Israel, and their commitment to Israeli security, the Zionist ideology, the primacy of Jewish suffering, Israeli expansionism, and even outright Jewish exceptionalism. But, as ubiquitous as they are, AIPAC, CFI, ADL, Bernie Madoff, liberator Bernard Henri Levy, war advocate David Aaronovitch, free market prophet Milton Friedman, Steven Spielberg, Haim Saban, Lord Levy, and many other Zionist enthusiasts and Hasbara advocates, are not necessarily the core or the driving force behind Jewish Power, but are merely symptoms,