As we approach the first anniversary of the assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, the only witness to the homicide is suing the Honduran government amid rising anti-government sentiment, which has brought together political opposition parties. Many, including Cáceres' mother, say justice for Cáceres is impossible with the current government.
Human rights activists in Washington, DC, converged on the US State Department for a protest to honor Berta Cáceres's life and resistance on Friday, March 4, 2016. (Photo: SOA Watch / Flickr)
"We are not satisfied because they have only captured those that executed her. The intellectual authors -- those who ordered it, those who paid for it -- are enjoying complete impunity," said Austra Flores, mother of slain Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, from her home in La Esperanza, before the latest arrest of a suspected hitman.
Cáceres has become one more human rights defender killed who had precautionary measures meant to protect her life granted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. From the beginning of a botched investigation that was described as a "crime of passion," to the stolen case file from a judge assigned to the murder trial, all roads lead to impunity for Cáceres' assassins. Now, two key figures in the case -- Berta's mother and the sole witness to Berta's assassination, Gustavo Castro -- are once again taking aim at the Honduran government led by Juan Orlando Hernández. Hernández, meanwhile, is seeking to extend his presidency via changes to the constitution despite rising protest and a political opposition alliance that has formed in Cáceres' name and is rallying to defeat him in the upcoming primary elections.
A small altar for Berta Cáceres in Rio Blanco on the road once blockaded by the local Lenca community to prevent machinery for the notorious Agua Zarca dam from passing. (Photo: Suzanne Llewellyn)The malevolent forces that came together to plan and execute Cáceres' assassination were private and state actors -- the very targets of her campaign to stop the privatization and seizure of Honduras' natural resources. Cáceres organized Indigenous Lenca communities opposed to the hydroelectric dam Agua Zarca being constructed by a Honduran company with the help of international financiers and state armed forces. Yet Cáceres' work was not singularly focused on ending one project. She was the founder of a leading Lenca organization -- the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) -- and she was a member of various Honduran opposition groups organizing against the repressive Honduran state and creating a movement for democracy and justice, which her organization brilliantly connected to the people's struggle for land, rights and justice everywhere. It was this strategic organizing and international vision that fatefully brought together Cáceres and Gustavo Castro, coordinator of Other Worlds in Mexico, for a forum on "Alternative Energy Through COPINH's Indigenous Vision" days before her death.
On March 3, 2016, when the assassins broke into Cáceres' home, Castro was unexpectedly inside. He was shot during the attack and left for dead with Cáceres, who eventually died in his arms. He thus became the sole survivor and witness to this gruesome crime. Yet, for Castro, this would prove to be only the start of a traumatic ordeal. The Honduran state failed to treat Castro as a protected witness and illegally detained him in Honduras for weeks following the assassination, despite his cooperation in the investigation, his lawyer's appeals and the viability of cooperating from Mexico, where he would be presumably safer.
In December 2016, during a sit-down interview, Cáceres' mother, Austra Flores, a notable opposition and community leader in her own right, expressed that she does not believe justice will be served under the Hernández administration. When asked what can be done when many consider the Honduran government complicit in the assassination of her daughter, she responded, "For this to be reversed and for justice to be done, we would have to have a different government, a government that doesn't lie, because this president is a liar, along with all his other people.... We need support ... for [people] to echo our voices in their countries where our entire world hears the reality that we are living."
Cáceres' Mother Slams Honduran Government
Austra Flores is not alone in her strong anti-government sentiment. The assassination of her daughter, who was widely known and loved, has fueled the people's rising discontent with the Honduran government, which may prove to be the tipping point for the downfall of the Hernández-led government. In a social media survey carried out from December 18-31, 2016, the Honduran newspaper El Libertador found that 80 percent of more than 3 million respondents considered Hernández to be the worst government official of 2015. Similarly, Radio Progreso Reflection, Investigation and Communication Team's 2014-2015 National Public Opinion Survey15 National Public Opinion Survey found that 1,571 respondents gave an average rating of 4.7 out of 10 to Hernández's administration in the last two years; this was down from a rating of 5.42 in 2014. In the latest poll published on January 30, 2017, done by the same group, respondents' average rating of the president was 5.15 out of 10, a slight improvement in low approval ratings, although 32.5 percent of the population surveyed considered the Honduran government as having "no achievements." Negative public opinion about the government has increased, but the real threat to Hernández's power is that this popular discontent has translated into attempts to strengthen and unify the opposition. From high-level American and European diplomats attending Cáceres funeral, to celebrities tweeting about the injustice of her murder and the spread of the popular slogan of "Berta did not die, she multiplied" -- something is changing in the social and political context in Honduras, which has been simmering for a long time.
Since Cáceres' assassination, a couple of umbrella opposition groups have formed: the Popular Honduran Articulation Berta Cáceres, which is seeking to establish an independent (read: not Honduran-led) investigation into the assassination of Cáceres; and secondly, the Alliance of the Opposition Parties, which has brought together three political opposition parties in Cáceres' name solely to defeat Hernández in the primary elections set for March 12, 2017. Some believe the alliance will succeed, if of course, there are clean and fair elections, although its fight against the economic and political elite and conservative sectors in Honduras will by no means be easy.
For Gustavo Castro, "the assassination of Berta has been the event that has marked a turning point in the history of Honduras." But, he adds, "The interest, the corruption and impunity are so entrenched in Honduras, that this means much more is needed than protests, solidarity and monitoring of its actions for the situation to change for the people of Honduras." The Honduran resistance movement has certainly had a long trajectory in the country, yet Cáceres' assassination in the post-coup context has emboldened civil society and may be a key catalyst for change in Honduras, as seen in the historic alliance of political opposition parties that was brought together in her name. Cáceres' daughter Laura Zúniga understood the change happening in Honduras and her mother's significance when she proclaimed at her mother's vigil, "My mother is not assassinated. My mother is planted and is born and reborn and this, what they wanted to extinguish today, this fire that is the people's struggle -- the only thing they did was ignite it, because they wanted to extinguish the fire with gasoline."
Nearly 2 million Brits have signed a petition calling on President Trump's official state visit to be canceled. On Monday, thousands of protesters gathered outside Parliament in London as British lawmakers debated whether to deny Trump a formal state visit. We speak to Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth International. He spoke at the protest in London yesterday.
AMYGOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, nearly 2 million Brits have signed a petition calling on President Trump's official state visit to be canceled. On Monday, thousands of protesters gathered outside Parliament in London as British lawmakers debated whether to deny Trump a formal state visit. Inside Parliament, MPs debated for three hours. This is Labour MP Naz Shah.
NASEEMSHAH: In the last 31 days, what we have seen has, in many ways, been chilling. The executive orders that have dominated Donald Trump's first weeks in the White House have been frightening. And the question many of us are asking: Where does this slippery slope really lead? If we take only one of the groups of people he has sought to divide, those of the Muslim faith, not necessarily distinct to one country or another, his rhetoric has been so broad that even I, personally, as a Muslim, feel attacked and misrepresented. And no doubt, many of my constituents, who make wonderful contributions to this country on a daily basis, feel the same way. We have to take every opportunity to show that his negativity and divisive messages are not going to divide us. And just as importantly, we cannot let them define us.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Meanwhile, Tory MP Julian Lewis said he supported the state visit and hopes the United Kingdom can influence Trump, who he referred to as a, quote, "inexperienced individual." This is Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, followed by Labour Party's -- the Labour Party's Paul Flynn.
JACOBREES-MOGG: What complaint did the honorable gentleman make when Emperor Hirohito came here, who was responsible for the Rape of Nanking?
PAULFLYNN: Certainly, we can't try to imitate the errors of the past. We should set an example by making sure that we don't make those mistakes again.
AMYGOODMAN: For more, we're going to London, where we're joined by Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth International, who spoke at the protest outside Parliament yesterday.
Asad, thanks so much for being with us again. We usually speak to you at the U.N. climate summit, wherever it's happening in the world. Talk about what's happening right now and what you think is going to happen with the state visit of President Trump.
ASADREHMAN: Well, since the -- both President Trump's various executive orders targeting the Muslim -- with the Muslim ban and, of course, his outrageous comments, or against women and migrant communities, the normalizing of a really -- of hatred, bigotry and xenophobia, a large number of British people, and I think right across the political spectrum, find it absolutely abhorrent that this government should roll out a red carpet for President Trump. And the state visit is an honor that is bestowed by the U.K. government. It's not something that happens automatically. And nearly 2 million people signed a petition asking the government to withdraw its offer of a state visit. Hundreds of thousands of people have now been mobilizing on the streets. In fact, yesterday, there was the fourth big mobilization that there's been to send a message to this government that they should listen to British people.
And there has been already a commitment that if Donald Trump steps inside this country, and when he does, that there will be a huge mobilization. We intend to put millions of people on the street, not only to oppose Donald Trump and his agenda, but also to hold up a mirror about what's happening both in the U.K. and across Europe, and, listening to your previous guest talking about the normalization of racism and attacks on migrants and refugees, talking about how we are slowly moving into a space where the far right and extreme right-wing parties are dominating our political space, and how we have to be able to oppose that, and we have to actively oppose that.
And to do that, we need to build a movement, a movement that is much more inclusive and brings together a different spectrum of views and organizations. And that's why Friends of the Earth, we're one of the organizers of the Stop Trump Coalition. And we, together with trade unions, Muslim organizations, migrant organizations, have been organizing these huge protests that have been taking place, because we think that the struggle for climate justice, for climate refugees, is a struggle for justice. And it's the same struggle against -- whether we're talking against sexism, sexist violence, racism or bigotry.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Asad, I wanted to ask you about Theresa May, the prime minister, who has obviously extending her hand to Trump, and her relationship, her reaction to what's happened here. And, of course, famously, when she did visit Washington, Trump tried to grab her hand as they were walking in the White House, and she pulled back.
ASADREHMAN: Well, that image, I think, will live on in most people's minds, and it sort of sums up the picture of that relationship. I mean, many people felt, you know, that, of course, we have -- we're in a post-Brexit world. And the U.K. has voted in the referendum last year to leave the European Union. There's a great deal of uncertainty as to what that actually means. Many people are arguing for a hard Brexit, which could lead to real crisis in terms of our economy and jobs. And, of course, the issue of migration is being played very much by some forces to justify a vote to leave the European Union.
Now, all of those things means that this government is basically willing to accept anything from the U.S. administration. And that's part of what I think has angered so many people, that what the U.K. is hoping, that by cozying up to Donald Trump, by accepting the kind of views that he's espousing, that somehow we will manage to get a trade deal. Unfortunately, we know what kind of trade deal that will be. The trade deal will be that we will have given up our rights. We would have given up decency. We would have accepted this agenda of hatred. And in return, we would have had a trade deal of deregulation, of weakening labor laws, environment protection. We would had to give up in terms of our controls around our food, our health. And all of those things are just --
AMYGOODMAN: Asad, we --
ASADREHMAN: -- I think, unacceptable. And all of that is part of the agenda of actually making Theresa May say -- take a step back and think again about rolling out this red carpet.
AMYGOODMAN: We want to go back to Monday's parliamentary debate on whether the state visit of Donald Trump should be canceled. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said Trump's climate change denials alone should disqualify him from being invited.
CAROLINELUCAS: Many of them have raised not only Trump's misogyny and racism, but also his contempt for basic climate science. Would the honorable member agree that to have a state visit for someone who has shown such effrontery to basic climate science is another reason to say that he should not be coming here?
AMYGOODMAN: So, that was inside Parliament, as thousands were outside. What's coming of this vote? And what actually will happen?
ASADREHMAN: Well, the vote is not a binding vote. But I think it was very clear from the speakers who spoke in Parliament yesterday, the number of people who contacted their members of Parliament, that the overwhelming majority of members of Parliament also oppose that this government -- the state visit of Donald Trump. We've heard, unprecedented, that the speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions in the House of Commons, has himself said he thinks it's absolutely inappropriate that if Donald Trump comes on a state visit, that he should be allowed the honor of speaking in Parliament to our Parliament, both the House of Commons and House of Lords. This is an incredible rejection of Donald Trump and his agenda. And we heard it last night, and we heard it from right across the political spectrum. And it's really now up to the government to listen to those voices, because we have been here in the past, where, of course, we have had a prime minister who has been willing to accept an American agenda, and that led us into a really disastrous war. Two million people marched on the street. And, of course, that prime minister's reputation is in tatters now. And I think there's a stark warning to Theresa May that cozying up to Donald Trump could end up with her and her reputation being in similar tatters.
AMYGOODMAN: Well, we want to thank you for being with us, Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International.
President Trump is doubling down on his false claim that Sweden is struggling with immigration-related security problems, after he faced widespread criticism and ridicule for appearing to invent a terrorist attack in Sweden. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt responded to Trump's claim by tweeting, "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound." There has been one recent terror attack in Sweden: Three neo-Nazis attacked a Gothenburg asylum center in January with a homemade bomb. One person was seriously injured. According to The Independent, the suspects were members of the Nordic Resistance Movement, which opposes non-white immigration to Sweden. We speak to Mattias Gardell, professor of comparative religion and head of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University in Sweden.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Trump is doubling down on his false claim that Sweden is struggling with immigration-related security problems, after he faced widespread criticism and ridicule for appearing to invent a terrorist attack in Sweden while speaking at a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday.
PRESIDENTDONALDTRUMP: Here's the bottom line: We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening. We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt responded to Trump's claim by tweeting, quote, "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound," unquote. Trump later said his comment was in response to a Fox News story he had watched the night before about alleged refugee-related crime. Sweden's crime rate has fallen over the last decade, even as it has accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees, including from Syria.
AMYGOODMAN: On Monday, President Trump tweeted, "Give the public a break–The FAKENEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!" exclamation point. Well, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven responded to Trump's claims to highlighting many things in Sweden are, in fact, working "very well."
PRIMEMINISTERSTEFAN LÖFVEN: It's up to the president to decide what he wants to say. I can only say the World Economic Forum states that -- written, "Why Sweden beats other countries at just about everything." OECD reports that we have a very strong economic development in terms of, for example, GDP per capita. The European Commission states that Sweden is Europe's most innovative country. The Global Innovation Index says Sweden is number two when it comes to innovative countries. So, we have some very strong facts that shows that Sweden is also handling the situation. But as I said, yes, we have challenges, like all other countries. There's no doubt. We have a situation in the world where 65 million people had to flee their country's last year, or the year before that -- 65 million. So that's a worry for us together.
AMYGOODMAN: There has been one recent terror attack in Sweden: Three neo-Nazis attacked the Gothenburg asylum center in January with a homemade bomb. One person was seriously injured. According to The Independent, the suspects were members of the Nordic Resistance Movement, which opposes non-white immigration to Sweden.
Well, for more, we're going to Stockholm, where we're joined by Mattias Gardell, professor of comparative religion and head of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University in Sweden.
We welcome you, Professor, to Democracy Now! So, talk about what you started to hear on Saturday night, when President Trump, at his campaign rally for 2020, talked about what happened in Sweden, quote, "last night."
MATTIASGARDELL: Well, to us, it's absolutely amazing that a president could be that detached from empirical reality as Mr. Trump. And had it not had such dire consequences for the U.S. population, possibly the world, it would have been entertaining. Last night, it actually did happen, a suspected terrorist attack. It was a Muslim Association house that was burned down, and possibly by people connected to the anti-Muslim neofascist scene here, you know, similar to the ones you cited before with the bombing attacks made by -- suspected to be made by people from the national -- Nordic Resistance Movement. And they are all jubilant, because they see Mr. Trump as their man. And Sweden is a place where, you know, it doesn't really happen that much. It's quite quiet. But terrorism has skyrocketed in 2015 and 2016. Last year alone, it was 92 suspected attacks. But they were all against asylum seekers, home for refugees, and probably made by the same political milieu that supports Trump.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what about the overall crime situation in the country? The critics of Sweden's asylum policy say that crime has been rising as a result of its welcoming so many foreign asylum seekers and refugees into the country.
MATTIASGARDELL: That's another illustration of alternative facts. In fact, for a decade or more, crime rates, especially violent crime rates, have been going down. And if you judge by or compare by capita, United State has five -- United States has five times as much murders as has Sweden. So, it's not true.
AMYGOODMAN: And can you respond to President -- well, let me ask you this. I want to turn to an interview from Fox News's Tucker Carlson Tonight that might have precipitated Donald Trump's comments in some odd, twisted way. Carlson interviewed the right-wing filmmaker Ami Horowitz about his documentary on refugee violence in Sweden. Carlson asked Horowitz about the long-term effects of Sweden's open-door policy toward asylum seekers.
AMIHOROWITZ: We don't have to actually prognosticate on what the long game is. You can look at France and Belgium and -- because they've been doing it for that period of time, for longer. And you can see the social unrest that's going on there, the terrorism that's happening there. Sweden, this is a relatively new policy phenomenon for them. And by the way, Sweden had its first terrorist Islamic attack not that long ago. So they're now getting a taste of what we've been seeing across Europe already.
AMYGOODMAN: So, that was the conversation that took place Friday night. Saturday night, Donald Trump talked about that a -- talked about terrorist attacks and then referred to Sweden. He said, "We all know what happened last night." And when there was a great deal of outcry and when the Swedish Embassy asked for clarification in Washington, he said he had watched television the night before. I guess that's "what happened last night." But the response to that, and also the uptick in hate crimes and terror attacks in Sweden that are actually being committed -- and I don't think this is what Donald Trump was referring to -- by neo-Nazis?
MATTIASGARDELL: That is true. I mean, it was so many mistakes in that right-wing, anti-Muslim filmmaker's -- his so-called documentary, what was all a fabrication of alternative facts. Sweden does not, in fact, have an open-door policy. One of the problem is that we have sealed our borders, and preventing people seeking to -- refuge and seeking asylum from coming into the country. And we all know what consequence that has in human life -- drown in the Mediterranean.
And when it comes to the rise of the very militant anti-Muslim, neo-Nazi or protofascist movement, that's a subject of great concern to us here in Sweden. And we have a protofascist party elected into Parliament, that now, according to surveys, is the second-largest party. And this has not happened before in Swedish history. And behind them is this whole industry of social media that also informs President Trump. So it's of grave concern to us now. And you can see that fascism is returning with a vengeance to Europe, maybe dressed in a way that we don't necessarily recognize it as fascism, because we have had this Hollywood stereotyping of national socialism and fascism, that we expect fascism to be the only ideology that doesn't really change. We don't recognize people as fascist if they don't come dressed as in the Second World War II mediatized by Hollywood. And that's of great concern. And this is not what's happening only in Sweden; it's across all over Europe. And maybe we will have a new axis forming, with these strong, populist, ultranationalist white men -- you know, Trump, Putin, Orbán in Hungary, Zeman in the Czech Republic. Let's see what's going to happen in France. The same kind of movement is also gaining strength in Sweden, and it's quite deadly.
And it comes also at the -- in a very precarious time in Sweden, because we now live 25 years into the experiment of neoliberalism, that really undermined the so-called Swedish model and transformed Sweden into a society that has the greatest levels of segregation, for instance, and also differences between the classes in the whole OECD region. And lots of people in Sweden are concerned now about their future and the future of their kids. And fascism, as we know, is not a right-wing extremism as much as it is an extremism of the center. It comes from the people who claim that we belong to those who built this country, and now we cannot afford to accept more people. And they're all built on contrafactual news or facts, because we all know that, in terms of GNP, Sweden has actually benefited from accepting more people coming in. It's simple economy. If the country grows larger, more people live here, the economy will also get a boost. But fascism is not only spreading its agenda with references to empirical facts, but it also has a very strong affective dimension. And this sort of affective dimension today, formulated by the ultranationalists, this sort of fascist vision -- and you see the same phenomenon in the U.S. So, they are all really interconnected. And this causes us great concern at the moment.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Professor Gardell, in terms of -- you mentioned the economic problems that have created the basis for the rise of fascism. What about the issue of race? As Sweden, like many other European countries, has become more multiracial than it was in the past, how has that affected the rise of fascist tendencies within the country?
MATTIASGARDELL: Could you please repeat the question? I couldn't hear you.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I said, what about the issue of race in the rise of -- racism in terms of the rise of fascism in Sweden, as the country, like many other European countries, has become more multiracial than it was in the past?
MATTIASGARDELL: That's true, but it's also true that Sweden has never been a homogeneous nation. We have had national minorities, such as the Roma people, here for half a millennium. And so, the image of a homogeneous Sweden doesn't really exist. But it's true now that racism has risen and become normalized. If you look at structural racism, for example, it's very easy to see from research that if you have a Muslim name, you will have -- much harder to try to get a job according to your qualifications in competition with people with non-Muslim or Swedish names. So, structural racism is strong. And also, these movements now, that has gained from the global spread of anti-Muslim rhetoric, that started actually already at the fall of the wall and gained, you know, a breakthrough with 9/11, has just continued to gain momentum, and very much so due to this industry of alternative facts.
AMYGOODMAN: Professor Gardell, we want to thank you for being with us. Professor Mattias Gardell is a professor of comparative religion and leads the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University in Sweden.
This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we head to London, where massive protests have been taking place. More than -- close to 2 million people online have called for the state visit of President Trump to be canceled. Stay with us.
Ecuadoreans have voted to bar politicians and civil servants from having assets, companies or capital in tax havens.
With 44 per cent of the votes counted, 54 per cent of the nation's electorate voted 'yes' in the referendum against tax havens on Sunday 19 February, according to the BBC. It is the first referendum of this kind.
'It's a very ambitious, radical, and exemplary referendum' said Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long said in an exclusive interview with New Internationalist. He explained that now 'civil servants will have one year to bring all their assets back to Ecuador, and if they don't comply with this within one year they will have to step down -- including President and Vice-President. This will be enshrined in electoral law.'
He said the aims of the referendum were to increase transparency and increase tax revenue for development, while also cracking down on corruption and bringing down inequality.
'It doesn't solve the whole tax haven issue; it affects public workers, civil servants -- but it seeks to position the debate on the national agenda,' Mr Long added.
The left-wing government pushed for action on the issue of tax havens after the scandal of the Panama Papers. According to the country's tax agency, from January 2014 to October 2016, $4.52 billion left Ecuador destined for tax havens.
The referendum asked: 'Do you agree that, in order to fulfill a dignity of popular election or to be a public servant, it is established as a prohibition to have assets or capital, of any nature, in tax havens?'
In the election, ruling left-wing party Alianza Pais's candidate Lenin Moreno secured 39 per cent of the votes, with right-wing Creo Suma's candidate Guillermo Lasso trailing with 28 percent. In accordance with the country's electoral system, the two candidates will now go on to a run-off ballot later this year.
Watch our in-depth interview with Mr Long on YouTube.
In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a "virus" is fine.
Antisemitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports.
One of Sweden's main news outlets, in fact, described anti-Semitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, in the eyes of Swedish authorities, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much.
Swedish authorities also give large sums of money to organizations that advocate violence and invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS. One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS and has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with assault rifles alongside his small children.
Are some individuals receiving preferential treatment under Sweden's "hate speech" laws? It seems that way.
Under the Swedish Penal Code, a person can be held responsible for incitement if a statement or representation made "threatens or disrespects an ethnic group or other such group of persons with regards to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation".
In 2015, the imam at Halmstad mosque, Abu Muadh, said that homosexuality was a "virus" from which parents were obliged to protect their children.
The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL) filed a legal complaint in October 2015. "[M]any people are listening [to the imam] and there is a risk that the opinions and other expressions of homophobia will spread among believers, as they attach great importance to their representatives' words", said Ulrika Westerlund, chairman of RFSL.
The Swedish legal establishment however, seemed entirely unconcerned; the imam was not prosecuted.
"[F]or something to be incitement, it needs to reach a certain level and in this context, the assessment is that this statement does not reach that level", said Martin Inglund, acting investigation officer at Halmstad police. He added that an assessment had been made based on freedom of religion, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. It took the police only one week to make the decision not to prosecute the imam.
"It is a strange decision, said Jonnié Jonsson, chairman of RFSL Halland, "I do not think anyone has the right to violate other people in the name of religion".
Then there is the recent case of Stefan Vestling, a local politician from the Sweden Democrat Party. He was recently prosecuted and convicted for "incitement against an ethnic group", when he wrote the following comment on the official Facebook page of the Sweden Democrats Party in Norberg in December 2014:
"Muslims who have ended up in the 'diaspora' are at war. A Muslim who lives in Sweden is thus living in a war zone, where it is allowed to rape a woman, as this is a Muslim right according to the Quran. [A Muslim] is allowed to have sex with women who have been conquered in war... that is to say the infidels' women (Quran Sura 4:3, 4:24). Easiest for 'Swedish' horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied".
The prosecutor failed to convince the district court that Vestling had committed a crime. "Freedom of expression includes the right to convey such information and opinions and ideas that offend shock or disturb" the court wrote in its ruling. However, at the Court of Appeals in Svea, in December 2016, the court found that Vestling's post had been offensive to Muslims. The appeals court seemingly had no problem with the first part of Vestling's post. It was the last sentence, "Easiest for 'Swedish' horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied", which was considered to be in violation of the Penal Code. Vestling was handed a suspended jail sentence and a fine. He has appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.
Both the statements made by Abu Muadh and the statements made by Stefan Vestling were offensive; yet the Swedish authorities ended up protecting the imam from legal repercussions, even though prosecuting him would send an important signal to other Muslim preachers who view homosexuality in a similar way. That they do has been documented by a Swedish-Muslim blogger, who wrote:
During my years as a Muslim, I have visited several Swedish mosques from north to south. In all the mosques, homophobia was the norm. I have heard worse things than "homosexuality is a virus." In no mosque, I repeat not one, have I come across teachings that tolerate homosexuality... The fact that the media act as if they were astonished [at Abu Muadh's statement] shows how little contact they have with Muslim environments in Sweden. For those who have been on the "inside", who have visited mosques and spent time with Muslims who are active in the mosques, the imam's views [sound] completely mainstream.
Swedish experts largely consider Abu Muadh a radical, who moves in Salafist circles and has encouraged jihad, glorifying martyrdom in the battle to spread Islam. In a video clip on YouTube, he urges people who have "sinned" to wage jihad to be forgiven by God. In an interview with Hallandsposten in June 2016, he said that Muslims should not befriend unbelievers. He has argued that Muslims must not emulate the dress and haircuts of "kuffars" (infidels) and has declared 95% of all TV programs "haram" (forbidden).
In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a "virus" is fine.
Homosexuals are not the only ones to find themselves among those groups that Swedish society apparently no longer count as minorities worthy of protection. Anti-Semitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports. One of Sweden's main news outlets, in fact, described antisemitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much in the eyes of Swedish authorities.
In addition, Swedish authorities give large sums of money to organizations that invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
The Gothenburg-based nonprofit organization, Swedish Federation of Muslims (SFM,) was handed a government subsidy of 535,200 SEK [$60,000] in 2016. This is in addition to 150,000 SEK [$17,000] that SFM received from the city of Gothenburg.
SFM applied for the money "to combat Islamophobia", which the organization considers "one of the biggest problems in Sweden right now". One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS. Now, calling himself Abdul Samad al Swedi, he has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with Kalashnikov assault rifles alongside his small children, outside Kobane in Syria. Abu Muadh is also a regular speaker.
Michael Skråmo, a Swedish convert and ISIS jihadist, brought his family to Syria. He has also urged Muslims in Sweden to bomb their workplaces.
Terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp said that he was surprised that SFM had been awarded state grants. "I see lots of question marks. We're talking about a group that invited hate preachers, whose Salafist orientation is in many ways the opposite of tolerance", he said. The decision to award SFM government subsidies also runs counter to the government's agreement with the four conservative Alliance parties that no public money should go to advocate violence.
What is the Swedish authorities' response to the official granting of money to organizations that host extremists? "Of course this is serious, and it is our view that this must be factored into future contribution assessments", said Daniel Norlander, chief secretary of the National Authority Against Violent Extremism. The authority apparently does not think that the money should be returned or that there should be any sanctions. After all, we are only talking about preachers of violent jihad.
America's Midwest farmers can't seem to catch a break. First, an epic collapse of grain prices over the last couple of years have threatened to wipe out family farmers (see "Midwest Farm Bubble Continues Collapse As Farm Incomes Expected To Crash In 2017") and now, thanks to the pending NAFTA showdown threatened by President Trump, Mexico, the single largest importer of U.S.-grown corn, has announced plans to find alternative grain sources in South America. Per Bloomberg:
The Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, one of the nation’s top business chambers, is examining countries such as Brazil and Argentina to add new sources for soy, corn and wheat, according to Juan Pablo Castanon, the group’s president. Exports from those countries could help Mexico adjust to the difficulties that a Nafta renegotiation might present, he said.
“The renegotiation might bring increased costs to imports, and our own exports might be hurt, so we need to find new markets,” he said in a phone interview, adding that the group’s efforts are still in the initial stages. The chamber, established in 1976, represents the country’s main agricultural, industrial and financial industry organizations, among others.
"We’d like to keep the trade deal as it is, but right now we have to look for alternative producers and Brazil and Argentina could work,”
Of course, any move by Mexican businesses to import raw materials from other countries could hit U.S. farmers hard. Mexico is the largest buyer of U.S.-produced corn, spending $2.5 billion in the 2015-2016 season, ahead of Japan’s $1.8 billion, according to the U.S. Grains Council. Moreover, Mexico has spent $800 million on U.S. corn so far in the current season.
Of course, grain imports aren't the only raw materials for which Mexico is actively looking for alternative sources as Sigma Alimentos SA, Mexico's meat-packing conglomerate, is also looking to Brazil and Chile as alternative supply sources.
The push is not limited to grains, Castanon said. Other imports such as meat are also being considered. “An economy as important as Mexico’s needs to have secure supply sources on many fronts,” he said.
Sigma Alimentos SA, the meat-packaging unit of Mexican conglomerate Alfa SAB, is looking into countries such as Brazil and Chile as new sources of raw materials, Chief Financial Officer Eugenio Caballero said on a call with investors last week.
Switching suppliers isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. Mexico depends heavily on rail for imports from the U.S. and Canada, which wouldn’t work for goods from South America. But Mexico’s ports could handle imports from the south, and the benefits would outweigh the costs, Castanon said.
“We need to open new doors,” he said. “As the trade talks progress, we’ll see how we need to make use of them.”
So where does that leave the American farmer? Well, not in a great spot given the already dire position they're in. For those who missed it, below are some stats from the USDA detailing the financial condition of the American farmer.
* * *
Real farm incomes in 2017 are expected to sink below 2010 levels which represents a 36% decline from the recent peak and a 14% decline since 2015.
Meanwhile farm debt continues to rise at an astonishing rate...
While farmer leverage has spiked to the highest level since at least 1960.
And of course, lower incomes means less money to spend on shiny new John Deere tractors with equipment capex expected to decline 35% compared to 2015.
And finally, farmer returns have crashed to the lowest levels ever. We're not sure about you but a 2.1% ROIC seems a "little low" even in our current rigged interest rate environment. So, there's only a couple of ways to fix that problem...either commodity prices have to recover quickly or farmland prices need to come down substantially. Which do you think will happen first?
The Netherlands' general election takes place on March 15
Geert Wilders far-right Party for Freedom expected to emerge first
Wilders path to premiership likely to be blocked by moderate coalition
Support for Wilders' anti-immigration, anti-EU stance fits populist narrative
Key lessons for Europe ahead of French and German elections
Brussels looking for consolidation after Brexit and Italian referendum rockets
Now what is it about that Wilders fellow that seems so familiar?
If we needed any reminders that 2016 was the year when the anti-establishment phenomena broke through the glass ceiling, then this week's Brexit-bill debate among the arch-establishment House of Lords institution was it.
The irony of the non-elected house discussing the bill that will eventually pave the way for the trigger of Article 50 before March 31 will not have been lost on many. It was, after all, the protest element of the Brexit vote that saw the UK electorate deliberately snub what their elites dictated they must do and establish the barricades between the establishment and the disaffected.
And that unleashed genie has gone on to cause havoc ever since. The victory of Donald Trump in the US and the rejection of Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi's constitutional reform referendum in December struck a powerful blow at the heart of the establishment foundations.
Yet, the traffic has not all been one way. Austrian voters rejected the far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache in December in presidential elections, and Marine Le Pen's efforts to become the next president of France still look likely to be stymied at the second round in May despite a collapse in support for scandal-hit rival Francois Fillon briefly making her the race favourite.
The stage looks set, then. If 2016 was the year of the breakthrough, 2017 could see the status-quo fightback, with Europe likely to form the battleground ahead of pivotal elections. And, while next month's general election in The Netherlands may not be the biggest showdown of the year, the outcome could set the tone for 2017.
The far-right PVV party, platformed on an anti-immigration, anti-European Union ticket, looks likely to emerge as the biggest party after March 15, but controversial leader Geert Wilders is almost certain to be snubbed when it comes to either the prime minister role or a top ministerial role. Nevertheless, a moderate coalition made up of numerous parties may find itself somewhat hobbled depending on the actual outcome.
We give eight reasons why the Dutch elections matter.
Dreamy Amsterdam could be facing a nightmare.
1. Setting the template (version 2.0)
If Brexit set the template for the anti-establishment mantra in 2016, the subsequent victories of Trump and the populist anti-EU movement in Italy have subtly altered the blueprint. The outcome of this election could see the template take yet another twist with French and German elections to follow.
Like a military campaign, the domino effect of Brexit through to Italy six months later was next to impossible to stem. But with a new year and a new start, there is a different mood.
While a poll of UK voters in December said 47% would still vote leave, 45% said they would go for remain and 8% were undecided. That's a shift from the 52/48 divide of the June 23 vote and came at a time when the UK consumer was spending and the economy looked robust.
A slump in retail sales for January out of the UK may have shifted that sentiment further after a 0.3% fall dramatically undercut expectations for a 0.9% rise. Add that to a revision of the December slump revised to 2.1% and it is beginning to look like the post-Brexit party and big-ticket item splurge encouraged by the likes of Black Friday could be over.
With housing transactions also predicted to fall 11% in 2017, according to research conducted by The Times, this could be a trying period for sterling and UK confidence.
GBPUSD plunged to below 1.24 after the retail data release for January
Some 15 weeks have also elapsed since Trump's victory. With the president embarking on a campaign-style approach since his inauguration on January 20, that has led to a standoff with the mass media, a battle with his own judiciary, some embarrassing climb downs in foreign policy and disarray within his own hand-picked team.
The Dutch then have had some nine months to take on board the anti-establishment wave and what it potentially means. That includes the fallout.
How will they react? A reversion to the safety of the centre is a possibility. A lurch even further to the right can also not be ruled out. We'll know in less than one month.
2. Anti-immigration reinforced
However Wilders' party fares next month, the anti-immigration platform is well established in Europe and looks likely to be reinforced. The UK turned its back on an agreement to take up to 3,000 child refugees fleeing war earlier this month and, though it has faced a backlash, is sticking to its guns.
The UK government's strategy is twofold. It wants to clip the wings of Ukip (more of that later) and make inroads into the working-class defection from Labour that has alighted on the immigration issue as a rallying cause.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has also bowed to the inevitable and earlier this month set out tough new plans to repratriate asylum seekers designed to speed up the exit of those who have not earned asylum. A new Centre for the Support of Returns to be opened in Berlin is at the heart of the plan and marks a considerable contrast to the open-border policy that defined Germany's immigration stance in 2015.
With Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement party in Italy firmly established on the back of the referendum result ten weeks ago and with the likes of Hungarian premier Viktor Orban threatening to round up asylum seekers and detain them in shipping container camps, there is a dehumanising aspect to the right-wing rhetoric that is frightening.
Wilders incendiary "Moroccan scum" comments on February 19 indicate the latitude that the far right has been granted by a lazy and complacent centre. It's going to get worse.
However you spin it, there is a reason why thousands of refugees have fled to Europe and are willing to put up with degrading conditions.
Le Pen's chances of victory in May are not great but getting through to the final round on May 7 after the initial vote on April 23 would be success in itself and demonstrate that the far-right group is truly established as a mainstream party.
To put that in context, the party has spent almost its entire political life since its formation in 1972 on the fringes of the political spectrum. Founder Jean-Marie Le Pen may have got into a runoff off for the presidency in 2002 but it is only since his daughter became leader in 2011 that the party has really made its breakthrough.
It would be tempting to say that this is due to the new leader softening the party's stance to become more acceptable, but the reality is a corrupt and decrepit political establishment has made it easy for Le Pen to harvest voters disaffected with the ruling elites. The atrocities in Paris in November 2015 and Nice in July 2016 have bolstered her bandwagon and reportedly made her party the most popular among 18-34 year olds.
The long game remains her strategy. Brick by brick, she's demolishing the establishment wall.
4. The Merkel paradox
Of all the establishment figures under threat this year, none matter more than the German chancellor. She is the symbol of European solidity, an immigrant champion, a veteran of the international stage and she has demonstrated time and time again that she is able to go toe to toe with some of the most formidable opponents you could wish to encounter, including the likes of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
But, unlike much of the rest of Europe, Germans rather like the current status quo and even the far-right Alternative for Germany Party has seen support slip from around 15% in the summer of 2016 to less than 10%.
The 'junior' party in Merkel's Christian Democratic Union coalition moved ahead in some polls this weekend ahead of the September election. It may be that Merkel's sudden shift in position on immigration is less to do with the far right and more to do with delineating her platform from that of Schultz.
Merkel may be a politician of principle. She's also not above opportunism.
And with Schultz breathing down her neck, it is already beginning to look like the greater public-speaking skills of the latter could land him the biggest prize of all come September. In that light, a better-than-expected showing for Wilders' party at next month's election might tip the fine margins in Merkel's favour, although it is clearly a double-edged sword and a gamble to change her stance.
Merkel won't say it of course. But you can bet some of her strategists are thinking it.
5. The French/German bonds spread barometer
The spread in yields between French and German 10-year bonds has become a useful indicator of political risk in Europe.
It ran as high as 72 basis points when the Francois Fillion got himself into a terrible mess over nepotism earlier this month as it briefly threatened to propel Le Pen into the lead. That subsequently came back to the 65 mark after the immediate outcry receded but has once again jumped to 78 basis points on February 22.
This could spread yet further depending on Wilders' showing on March 15 and demonstrates that not only is Germany decoupling from the peripheral economies like Portugal, Italy and Spain but even from a Eurozone-core economy like France, as the latter's fundamental structural problems combine with political tensions to deepen the uncertainty over its future direction.
French/German 10-year yield spread out to 78 basis points
6. The far-right splinter
The fate of Ukip should be instructive for all the far-right groups (or indeed any of the extremist movements in vogue) that are currently enjoying their moment in the sun on a platform of anti-immigration.
On the crest of a wave on June 24, Ukip's progress since has been akin to someone wading through quicksand as the loss of a charismatic leader in the form of Nigel Farage has seen a catalogue of disasters beset the anti-EU party.
Ukip does not yet look like a spent force but with Farage chasing the 'dream' in the US, its direction and sense of purpose has ironically been undermined by successfully seeing through the single-issue strategy that gave the party its raison d'etre. With Brexit due to be triggered next month, it's become a little bit of a rebel without a cause.
The mainstream — read May's ruling Conservative party — has also stepped into the breach to effectively dilute the Ukip message by taking over some of their policies and pushing the hard Brexit stance that defined Ukip. It's a mainstream fight back through latching on to policies (a strategy which Boris Johnson unsuccessfully tried to follow through last summer) that could help re-establish the status quo, albeit with a significant lurch to the right.
In the meantime, a key by-election on February 23 in the UK in the Brexit-supporting constituency of Stoke-on-Trent is a key test for Ukip. Nuttall's party is favourite to take the formerly safe Labour Party seat (the problems that have beset the Labour Party also owe much to the Brexit vote and a lack of direction under leader Jeremy Corbyn) but a Conservative victory would be a remarkable result in the circumstances as a signal of the status-quo rebirth. It could happen.
The lesson for Wilders, Italy's Five-Star Movement and Spain's left-wing anti-establishment Podemos are clear. A single cause can most definitely unite disparate elements. But, the achievement of goals or an inability to break important electoral thresholds will unmask tensions. And, as Ukip is discovering, that's a recipe for disaster.
Perhaps he knew it was a good time to look for something else.
7. The euro to come under pressure
Whatever the outcome of the Dutch election, the euro is likely to come into pressure as volatility stalks the continent in 2017.
The potential crisis in Greece once again, the upcoming French and German elections, the triggering of article 50 next month and the unnerving and unwavering hostility from the Trump administration to all things EU, means that EURUSD in particular is likely to feel the heat.
Trump may be pursuing a weaker dollar policy, but he might not get his wish granted in relation to the euro for some time. EURUSD has faced down the parity challenge on a couple of occasions already in the last few months but with the pair once again below 1.05 this morning, the debate looks set for some invigoration.
EURUSD breached 1.05 Wednesday morning
Source: SaxoTraderGO EURUSD was at 1.0500 exactly at 1037 GMT, February 22.
It's not surprising that someone with Trump's ego then chose to go on the warpath with Stockholm instead of coming clean. Expect him likewise then to react to the Dutch election, especially if it's another significant blow to the status quo. He is unlikely to let facts get in the way of his agenda either.
If nothing else, Trump will seek endorsement for his selective immigration ban against seven mainly Muslim countries and the opportunity to twist the debate towards the border with Mexico which remains the most controversial pillar of his foreign policy (despite considerable competition).
The oxygen of publicity. Trump can't resist it — markets will be moved.
That's the size of the immigration problem in Sweden... no France...i meant Europe. Obviously.
Over the past year, an organization called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been surveying college campuses around the country to assess how the liberal bastions of safe spaces handle reports of "hate speech" (a.k.a. "any opinion, or fact for that matter, that runs contrary to the widely accepted views of leftist professors and administrators"). Apparently, and to our great shock no less, hundreds of college campuses all around the country have established so-called "Bias Response Teams" tasked with the crucial responsibility of scrutinizing campus speech that may be deemed "hateful."
While FIRE published a very comprehensive, 35-page report on the 230 "Bias Response Team" systems they surveyed, below is just a taste of some of the atrocities they uncovered.
The first example comes from Ohio State University, where one precious snowflake was apparently appalled to discover that someone had written "Build the Wall" on a class chalk board and brazenly left the vicious hate speech there for the world to see.
"There is chalk on the oval saying "Build the Wall" which could be construed as hate speech against Hispanic students and undocumented citizens. This is unsafe for the University community and cannot be allowed."
Meanwhile, students at the University of Michigan were absolutely terrified of this 'snow penis.' Of course, rather than simply demolish the phallus, the 'triggered' Michigan students were forced to alert the authorities.
Finally, a student humor publication (akin to The Onion) at the University of California San Diego called The Koala, was recently censored for the following satirical article that was intended, ironically, to poke fun at college safe spaces.
Administrators at UC San Diego are creating an all new, state-of-the-art Dangerous Space for UCSD students who just don’t feel like their needs have been met on campus. In the past few weeks, the lack of dangerous space at UCSD has become increasingly apparent; students have been lashing out with puppy parades, non-violent protests, and other equally safe gimmicks. Safe spaces at UCSD are commonplace, and threaten individuals who do not like feeling safe. The logical next step has been taken by the university in creating a place to fairly support all UCSD students, continuing the university’s theme of inclusion and equality.
Located in the center of Library Walk, the new Dangerous Space is the ideal place for students to do whatever the hell they want. Senior Frank Yu gave The Koala the following statement: “The needs of dangerous-space students have been overlooked for generations, but UCSD is finally recognizing what means the most to 19-year-old Asian nerds: fucking a dead body with a picture of my waifu taped on the face.”
F. Yu isn’t alone. Not only will this new dangerous space allow people of all ethnicities and sizes – even unnaturally large sizes – it will allow for knifes, guns, opinions that might be different than yours, drug paraphernalia, sharp writing instruments, and explicit pornography.
The new Dangerous Space is guaranteed to get students excited for a good time, and will probably end like all good things do, with body mutilation and feelings of remorse.
So what happens when a university's Bias Response Team is alerted to "offensive speech" on campus? The Washington Examiner explains:
What happens when the Bias Response Team is alerted to subversive or offensive speech? Some teams have demonstrated an awareness that a public university cannot (and should not) act to chill protected speech, focusing their efforts instead on supporting students who encounter offensive speech. But others, such as the University of California, San Diego, call upon their lawyers to find "creative" ways to censor offensive speech: in that case, a student newspaper satirizing "safe spaces." (The university is now being sued for these "creative" efforts.)
Many Bias Response Teams respond with what they characterize as an "educational" response. This might sound like a faculty member visiting a student who was reported for racist speech and discussing the Civil Rights movement. But it's not. Rather, it's often an administrator, not an educator, summoning a student or faculty member to a meeting, reprimanding them, and "educating" them about how their words upset someone.
That was the case at the University of Northern Colorado, where an adjunct professor encouraged students to confront views with which they disagreed. When a student sparred with the professor over transgender rights, a debate raging both in the media media and legislative and judicial chambers, the professor was summoned to meet with an administrator, who warned the professor that discussing such issues might result in lengthy investigations.
With such quality education and services, we can't for the life of us understand why such a huge percentage of millennials are completely incapable of holding a job and still living in their parents' basement.
One of the biggest problems facing this nation is the amount of money that has been “sequestered,” to term it, for “Non-Profit Organizations,” or “NPO’s.” Why? They present a problem when they can be used by an unscrupulous individual or groups of unscrupulous individuals (for examples, a George Soros, or the Democratic Party respectively). What is an NPO? Let’s look at what they are and see if the definition is characterized by actual NPO actions.
Here is an excerpt from a book that describes NPO’s (what they should be):
“The main financial difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit enterprise is what happens to the profit. In a for-profit company like Ford or Microsoft or Disney or your favorite fast-food establishment, profits are paid to the owners, including shareholders. But a nonprofit can’t do that. Any profit remaining after the bills are paid has to be plowed back into the organization’s service program. So profit can’t be distributed to individuals, such as the organization’s board of directors, who are volunteers in every sense of the word.”
“Nonprofit Kit for Dummies,” ISBN: 0-7645-5347-X, pg. 8
Austere and stoic, these NPO’s, all! Ahh, but what is conveniently left out is the salary portion…for the directors. Those salaries are written off as an operating expense by the “Non-Profit,” but they’re hardly the funds gleaned by a “simple volunteer for the beneficent NPO.” Another paragraph from the book shows this:
…for the most part, we’re talking about an organization that the Internal Revenue Service has classified as a 501(c)(3). They receive exemption from federal income taxes and sometimes relief from property taxes at the local level. Nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) receive extra privileges under the law. They are, with minor exceptions, the only group of tax-exempt organizations that can receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations.
Being a nonprofit organization does not mean that an entity is exempt from paying all taxes. Nonprofit organizations pay employment taxes just like for-profit businesses do. In some states, but not all, nonprofits are exempt from paying sales tax…”
Ibid., p. 9
So, we have some of the basic parameters here for NPO’s. We’re not going to delve into the different types, such as politically-organized, or the religious-type of NPO’s. I draw the reader’s attention to the simple fact that (as mentioned in the last paragraph) the NPO’s “pay employment taxes just like for-profit businesses do.” How wonderfully utopian and egalitarian that sounds, all under the “color of law!” The reality is far from it. Directors of NPO’s make six-figure salaries, and all their “bennies” (that’s benefits, not Benzedrine…well, we hope!) are little perks they take and write off as the almighty “operating expense.”
They can’t very well wear down their cars driving back and forth to the NPO-location, or conducting NPO business, can they? What they do have, as attested by the “pay employment taxes” phrase is a willing army of misfortunates they pay little more than enough to obtain dog food and perhaps live out of their car (if they have one) …this is where the “payroll taxes” originate. A place such as a Thrift-Store “chain” (they differ from local area to area) employs people at minimum wage and keeps them at under full-time hours to deny them any benefits with little more than “sweat shop” conditions, and the management and the directors, of course, make the salaries.
The government turns a blind eye to all of it, because there are still taxes to be generated from payroll taxes withheld: The Rube Goldberg perpetual taxation machine/hamster wheel. There are also “handout” programs that run hand-in-hand between government and NPO’s, such as tax breaks for the NPO’s for hiring veterans, or the mentally handicapped, as well as any “reformed” alcoholics, drug addicts, or criminals placed within the “program” by the state or local government. In this manner, the directorate “pads” their salaries and steals more by justifying it through the omnipotent “operating expenses” category.
The original purpose for NPO’s was to provide some worthwhile service for the community (such as restoration of public buildings, or helping victims of natural disasters, or with education. They had to do with true community service and volunteer effort in a manner that would harness resources and enable people and communities to eliminate bureaucracy from action. In addition, a semi “self-supportive” organization would be formed…not to rake in the millions, but to accomplish projects outside of the normal business spectrum.
NPO’s were also for protecting religious institutions…certainly not for shielding the “mega-hucksters” raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year and being chauffeured back and forth from mega-churches to their Lear jets, a full complement of armed bodyguards throwing rose-petals along the way. The NPO’s in this case were intended for a church/synagogue/religious institution to stay solvent, untaxed, and unharassed by government in what they garnered for their attendees in funds, resources, and property. The 501(c)(3) was not to germinate “Wolves of Wall Street” in sheep’s clothing preying on their congregants financially. The NPO was not designed to insulate these Wolves and exempt them from obligations (financial or otherwise) to a government that still extracts payroll taxes for anyone working for the Wolves…in a 9-5 “job” for the religious institution.
The largest “gray area” is with alleged civil rights and civil liberties NPO’s, that strive for “government policy reform,” or “citizen participation groups.” They wish to overthrow the existing system and society, camouflaging their true beliefs beneath the protective “veil” of “Public/Societal Benefit” for the establishment of the 501(c)(3).
Enter Soros, the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, and all these other Communists who hide their “contributions” and utilize their resources [Their “right” to do so protected under the Constitution, mind you] toward overthrowing the Constitution and the society. These NPO’s are not limited to operation domestically, but can operate in foreign countries…under the “friendly international relations” shield, as they develop Marxist cadre and supporters in other countries they also want to see overthrown.
They call their group Indivisible Guide, a name that came from an actual guide posted online telling activists how to pressure members of Congress. Among topics: what to say when going to town halls and calling or visiting a member’s office. Leaders of the organization have loose ties to George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager who bankrolls liberal causes, according to the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank that investigates nonprofits.
“Indivisible is ultra-slick leftist astroturf activism at its finest,” Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the Capital Research Center, told The Daily Signal in an email. “At least three of the group’s five principals—Ezra Levin, Leah Greenberg, and Angel Padilla—have ties to organizations funded by George Soros. Indivisible is apparently not yet a nonprofit, but plans are in the works to register it as a nonprofit.”
According to Vadum’s research:
Ezra Levin, a former staffer for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and his wife, Leah Greenberg, are the president and vice president of the Indivisible Guide’s board, respectively. Levin is also associate director of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, an anti-poverty nonprofit. Melissa Bradley, who sits on that group’s board, previously worked for Green for All, a group founded by liberal commentator and former Obama administration official Van Jones. She was appointed as a Soros Justice Fellow through the Open Society Foundations, which Soros founded. Greenberg previously worked for Humanity United, which is funded by Soros’s Open Society Institute.
The secretary of Indivisible Guide, Angel Padilla, works for the National Immigration Law Center, which is funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundations. And treasurer Matt Traidi is the research team director for the Service Employees International Union, a major donor to and endorser of Democrat politicians, Capital Research Center notes.
Soros has been responsible for actively toppling more than half a dozen different governments. We are not addressing all the evils of NPO’s, however, all of these “Grand Wizards” who term themselves “board members” or “directors” all operate straight out of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” They are all “organizing the organized,” in that they take an organization (either existing or one that they’ve created), and use the organization’s framework and legal status (in this case the 501(c)(3) shield-format) to develop their minions and cadre, and march them in the direction toward their end goals. In the meantime, they turn a tidy profit for themselves, enjoy “favored” status by politicos and other enablers, and continue growing an organization.
In the end, the little minions on the sweatshop floors do not even understand what their function is. They’re just working day-by-day, exploited in the usual manner, and also exploited for their numbers and support unknowingly in a game that is designed to overthrow the existing social, cultural, political, and religious normative practices of our society. The end goal is to destroy the Constitution and subvert the country. Are all NPO’s this way? No, certainly not. But the majority are, and this is one of the things that needs to be addressed by the current administration and Congress, brought to light by We the People…to keep Soros and his ilk from taking us in the direction that other countries have been taken…and at taxpayer expense, with the 501(c)(3) as their shield.
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For a lot of Trump supporters the past week has been a painful one. Whether we chose to react with abject panic or pretended like nothing happened, something did happen and it was something big: the Three Letter Agencies pulled-off a de facto coup against Donald Trump by forcing him to fire his most important […]
America uses banned depleted uranium (DU) weapons in all its wars, ongoing since first developed during the Vietnam era. The 1925 Geneva Protocol and succeeding Geneva Weapons Conventions prohibited use of chemical and biological agents in any form as weapons of war. Although no Geneva Convention or other treaty specifically bans radioactive uranium weapons, including […]
It was recently announced that US President Donald Trump selected US Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his National Security Adviser. The New York Times in their article, “Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser,” would report: President Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security adviser on Monday, […]
By the end of the first month of President Trump’s Administration we are in a better position to evaluate the policies and direction of the new President. An examination of foreign and domestic policy, particularly from a historical and comparative perspective will provide insights about whether America is heading for a catastrophe as the mass […]
In his address to the 2017 Munich Security Conference, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu proposed that the US should send its own Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Northern Syria to support the «moderate opposition forces» fighting against the Islamic State (IS). «Two days ago [US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Gen. [Joseph] Dunford […]
nsnbc : The 34-year-old Basema Darwish who had been abducted and raped by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State was accused of supporting ISIS during an operation against Iraqi – Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The 34-year-old mother of three was acquitted by the Second Erbil Criminal Court in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Northern Iraq. Basema […]
nsnbc : Germany will speed up the processing of asylum seekers and deportations under measures adopted by Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 22. The decision and measures caused some to protest while many others welcomed the initiative, both for the sake of Germany and for the sake of asylum seekers. Under the new regulations staff […]
nsnbc : Nikolay Pavlov the Energy Minister of Bulgaria, said during a visit to Azerbaijan that the construction of the gas pipeline link between Bulgaria and Greece is expected to start in the beginning of 2018. Speaking to reporters in Azerbaijan Nikolai Pavlov noted that intensive work is currently being conducted to prepare and conclude all […]
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) will ask a number of European countries to help raise funds for ELN peace negotiators. Official peace talks between the Colombian government and the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) were launched in the Ecuadorian capital Quito on February 7, 2017. In March […]
nsnbc : Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the release of the jailed opposition activist Ildar Dadin, the first Russian to be convicted under controversial anti-protest laws in November 2015. Dadin was sentenced to 2,5 years in 2015, under legislation adopted in 2014, for protest-related “crimes” committed before the law came into effect. The case of Ildar […]
An average of 400 “criminal illegal immigrants” are being released every 10 days by the newly elected sheriff in Arizona’s most populous county, federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch, many of them violent offenders. It’s part of Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone’s new policy to protect illegal aliens, even those who have committed serious […]
President Donald Trump has repeatedly reminded the U.S. media establishment of its shrinking credibility among Americans. Today, media elite Mika Brzezinski got skewered for telling viewers how the situation really makes her feel. During a discussion about Trump’s efforts to “undermine the media” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Brzezinski lamented that Trump is attempting to […]
An armed robber was found a few blocks away from a Dairy Queen after getting shot by one of its employees. Police say that the robber pointed a gun at employees around 10:20 p.m. One of the employees was a concealed carrier. According to FOX 8 News Cleveland, the concealed carrier fired one shot […]
Hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities are encouraging students to report any comments they find offensive to so-called bias response teams, which scrutinize campus free speech. A report published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) earlier this month details how more than 230 U.S. colleges and universities are setting up the […]
Local law enforcement said the number of people crossing the border illegally is on the decline. We met with Hidalgo County Precinct 3 deputy constable Joel Contreras for a ride along in Anzalduas Park on Tuesday. They patrol the area on their overtime shifts. During the trip, we found a mother and daughter […]
Taiwan received a fog freeze event which is different that snow, but after the bizarre fog freeze snow covered the peaks with 3 inches of snow. Japan smothered in 2nd record snowfall in Tottori, and an extra tropical typhoon off Kamchatka Russia.
Over the last two weeks, heavy rains pushed water levels at Santa Clara County's largest reservoir into the danger zone, with officials warning it could overflow.
That happened over the weekend, sending massive amounts of water into the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of San Jose.
By Tuesday, the creek was overflowing at numerous locations, inundating neighborhoods, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the frantic evacuations of more than 14,000 residents, who remained out of their homes Wednesday.
The worst flooding to hit Silicon Valley in a century left San Jose reeling and residents angry about why they were not given more warning that a disaster was imminent. Even city officials on Wednesday conceded they were caught off guard by the severity of the flooding and vowed a full investigation into what went wrong.
"If the first time a resident is aware that they need to get out of a home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, then clearly there has been a failure," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "There is no question that we'll need to do things differently next time."
There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper — at a cellular level — and scientists have found that eating less can slow this cellular process.
Recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes — the cell's protein makers — slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves.
"The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said Brigham Young University biochemistry professor and senior author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires."
So what causes ribosome production to slow down in the first place? At least for mice: reduced calorie consumption.
The Mason County Sheriff's Office and the USGS reported a magnitude 4.2 earthquake about 14 miles northwest of Belfair near the Hood Canal
The Mason County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.2 earthquake about 14 miles northwest of Belfair near the Hood Canal Wednesday night.
"We felt that one!" the sheriff's office tweeted just after the 9 p.m. temblor.
"We had some alarm systems go off, but no reports of slide or other damage as of now," the sheriff's office reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the epicenter of the quake was about 14 miles west of Belfair on the southern end of the Kitsap Peninsula.
The quake was felt in part of Olympia and Shelton, the USGS said.
"We're losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars."
If you didn't hear about this, it's because virtually the entire mainstream media has been silent about it. The mainstream media is owned by just six corporations and relies for the bulk of its funding on pharmaceutical advertisers.
In a report from High Times, President Trump is referenced as stating that he is "a hundred percent" in favor of medical marijuana and added that legalizing it is "good in some ways."
The comment was made during an interview conducted by Bill O'Reilly while Trump was still a candidate, and indicated to many people that he had an open mind on the matter.
The 2017 Grammy Awards featured pop stars taking aim at Trump while elevating Beyoncé to a goddess-like status. It was a 2017 update of the elite’s agenda. All award shows contain carefully planned “highlight moments” to be discussed by mass media in the following days. The 2017 Grammys were no exception and, this year, these “moments” had […]
In this edition of SPOTM: Various examples of insanity being celebrated as “art”, the “gender revolution” and, of course, the One-Eye sign is still everywhere. Special thanks to everybody who sent in pics!
Actress Mischa Barton was taken to a hospital after she was found hanging on a fence and yelling about the end of the world and her mom being a witch. Unfortunately, that meltdown follows a known pattern in Hollywood. Mischa Barton, the 31-year-old actress most famous for her roles in the Sixth Sense and The O.C. is under […]
In her first in-depth interview ever, Paris Jackson revealed that she was abused at age 14, the she tried to commit suicide several times and that she is absolutely sure that her father Michael was murdered. Paris Jackson’s interview with Rolling Stone magazine caused some stir due to the disturbing nature of some revelations. While she is only 18 years […]
The Weeknd’s video Party Monster is described as a “psychedelic trip” but, beyond the colorful visual effects, are symbols with a profound occult meaning. We’ll look at the deeper meaning of these symbols and the story they tell. Party Monster features The Weeknd walking around a brothel while occult and religious symbols flash on screen. The video features the same […]
In one of his last interviews before leaving office, host Abby Martin talks to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa about Trump, the global crisis of inequality, CIA plots and opposition in his own country. teleSUR
Amy Goodman speaks to former Department of Homeland Security attorney Margo Schlanger and attorney Cesar Vargas, co-director of DREAM Action Coalition, about how the White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to increase the number of immigration and Border Patrol agents by […]
Juan Gonzalez speaks to McClatchy reporter Franco Ordoñez and Tim Warden-Hertz of the North West Immigrants Rights Project about how the harsh new draft orders that were signed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were largely endorsed by then-Senator Jeff Sessions months before he took office as attorney general. (Democracy Now!) Sessions letter from last year […]
Amy Goodman speaks to University of Michigan Law School professor Margo Schlanger, who served as the head of civil rights and civil liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, and Cesar Vargas, co-director of DREAM Action Coalition and New York state’s first openly undocumented attorney. The White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security’s […]
Peter Dale Scott, author of The American Deep State, writes in the first of his two part pieces for WhoWhatWhy: On February 3, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported President Trump’s plans to pave the way for a broad rollback of the recent financial reforms of Wall Street.Although no surprise, the news was in ironic […]
In 2014 Bill Moyers was joined by Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for 28 years, to talk about what he calls Washington’s ‘Deep State’, in which elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or […]
NASA told us in advance that there would be a huge announcement on Wednesday, and it certainly was not a disappointment. NASA’s declaration that 7 new Earth-sized planets had been discovered approximately 40 light years away from our sun made headlines all over the globe, and the Internet immediately started buzzing with lots of discussions [...]
Current stock market valuations are not sustainable. If there is one thing that I want you to remember from this article, it is that cold, hard fact. In 1929, 2000 and 2008, stock prices soared to absolutely absurd levels just before horrible stock market crashes. What goes up must eventually come down, and the stock [...]
In recent months Donald Trump has been severely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not being sufficiently “anti-Russia”, but the truth is that the Trump administration has not been working hard enough to repair a relationship that is now souring very rapidly. When Donald Trump won the election in November, the Russians celebrated tremendously, [...]
We just witnessed Melania Trump’s finest moment as First Lady so far. After a week in which her husband declared war on the mainstream media, Melania absolutely electrified a huge crowd at a rally in Melbourne, Florida by reciting the Lord’s Prayer. What Donald Trump had to share afterwards was remarkable as well, but that [...]
Thursday afternoon’s press conference was perhaps the most memorable moment of Donald Trump’s presidency so far. Trump’s blistering attack on the media was quite a spectacle, but the truth is that it was desperately needed. For decades, the mainstream media has dominated political discourse in this country no matter who has been in control of [...]
‘Chappaquiddick kid’ off hook with college Feb. 23, 2006: He was only 20 years old, but Paul Trost, a student at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass., was incensed over something that happened 17 years before he was born and he wasn’t about to let Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., begin his speech without reminding him. “Remember [...]
The Panama Canal was first proposed by Spain as early as 1534. It would save having to sail the long and dangerous trip around South America’s Strait of Magellan. France began building a sea-level canal in 1880, led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal. France to abandon the effort because of landslides [...]
While the immediate threat to some 200,000 Californians has been the focus of the Oroville Dam crisis, the problem accentuates a growing rift between the state’s conservative, mostly rural northern counties and the coastal and urban populations of the south — the sunny, palm-tree graced California of American dreams that has become firmly entrenched in [...]
Why would globalist elites want to allow millions of unassimilable Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa into the West? That is the question at the heart of the current refugee crisis, and WND news editor Leo Hohmann answered it during a recent interview on “The Alex Jones Show.” “In my opinion, what we see [...]
WASHINGTON – First it was “fake news.” Are Republicans now the victims of fake anger at town halls held by members of Congress around the country? The topic came up at Wednesday’s White House press briefing. However, the real question may be: If the anger itself is not fake, just who is it that is [...]
Abby and Robbie Martin talk about the new measures being taken by POTUS Trump, debunk the idea that Hitler was a socialist and why he turned against his brownshirt army, explain why globalism is really just capitalism misunderstood and offer insight on the “free speech” argument defending neo-nazis. This podcast is the product of many long hours of hard work … Read More
Abby and Robbie Martin discuss Trump’s first week in office carrying out several executive orders that violate human rights and the environment, namely the Muslim Ban which blatantly discriminates against 130 million people around the world. They discuss the line that has been drawn in the sand, and why people need to stop carrying water for the Empire’s CEO and join … Read More
Anti-Russian hysteria has hit a new peak, with the political establishment and corporate media jointly accusing Russia of interfering in the recent US election. While some politicians have gone so far as to treat the alleged hack as an act of war, this fear-mongering doesn’t engage with the actual history of US-Russia relations. Beyond just influencing elections in Russia, the US––along … Read More
While many in power recklessly escalate tensions with Russia, there’s very little discussion of the geopolitical significance of this aggression and the dangerous consequences people could suffer as a result. The establishment’s anti-Russian sentiment goes beyond allegations of election hacking, with leading US intelligence officials labeling Russia as the number-one existential threat to the United States. One of the foremost … Read More
The release of the report, submitted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that offered details to support U.S. officials’ claims that Russian interference had tainted the recent American presidential election was treated by many news sources as a major development and further justification for treating the Kremlin, not to mention the incoming Donald Trump administration, with suspicion.Several … Read More
Whether legal or illegal, the U.S. cannot handle millions more immigrants. When it comes to illegal aliens, every year, 500,000 illegal aliens violate America’s borders. If you multiply 33 years times 500,000 people, that adds another 16.5 million people by 2050. Once this immigration storm hits, no one
Whether legal or illegal, the U.S. cannot handle millions more immigrants. When it comes to illegal aliens, every year, 500,000 illegal aliens violate America’s borders. If you multiply 33 years times 500,000 people, that adds another 16.5 million people. Once this immigration storm hits, no one will be
Is anyone really surprised that, behind efforts to undermine everything that is good and righteous in the United States, the familiar hand—and money—of billionaire slash-and-burn speculator George Soros is found? He broke the Bank of England and was prosecuted in France, yet the scheming globalist keeps popping up
Is anyone really surprised that, behind efforts to undermine everything that is good and righteous in the United States, the familiar hand—and money—of billionaire slash and burn speculator George Soros is found? He broke the Bank of England and was prosecuted in France, yet the scheming globalist keeps
Did Gen. Michael Flynn really do something wrong when he told a Russian diplomat not to overreact to Obama’s sanctions? The real problem here appears to be that unelected bureaucrats, unhappy with the Donald Trump, have been colluding with the MSM to undermine the White House and target
U.S. president Donald Trump pledged to “put America first,” stop other countries from taking “advantage” of the United States, and shake up Washington’s business-as-usual mind-set. This resulted in inconsistent and erratic policy in his administration’s first two weeks. From putting Tehran “on notice,” to signing an executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries, to jeopardizing longstanding U.S. alliances, President Trump continues to undermine EU member states’ security, interests and citizens. The EU must react to mitigate the broader strategic implications of the drastic changes to U.S. policy and check President Trump.
The deep state (loosely synonymous with the shadow government or permanent government) is in contrast to the public structures which appear to be directing individual nation states. The deep state is an intensely secretive, informal, fluid network of deep politicians who conspire to amplify their influence over national governments through a variety of deep state milieux. The term «deep state» derives from the Turkish »derin devlet», which emerged after the 1996 Susurluk incident so dramatically unmasked the Turkish deep state...
At the just completed Munich Security Conference (MSC), the US government made clear its preference for seeing all NATO member countries financially contribute to that military alliance in accordance to the stated specifications. As evident in a February 18 Eric Shaun hosted Fox News segment, the anti-Russian slant believes (at least a segment of it) that a better funded/stronger NATO, will more likely compel Russia to do "the right thing" (as in being more agreeable with Western neolibs and neocons)...
The US administration has tasked the Department of Defense with preparing, by Feb. 28, a comprehensive plan to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. With only eight days left, it's clear we're entering the final phase of preparations for retaking Raqqa, the strategic heart of IS in Syria.
The first month of the Donald Trump presidency in the United States has been truly exceptional. A combination of circumstances created headwinds for the new president, unprecedented in recent American political history. At the epicentre lies the question of the US’ Russia policies, but on deeper reflection, it is the Trump presidency that is under attack...
When Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe made his famous argument against democracy back in 2001, the notion that voting was a lousy way to organize society was still radical even among many libertarians. Virtually everyone raised in a western country over the past century grew up hearing “democracy” used as a synonym for wonderful, good, just, and […]
From the outset of Donald Trump’s campaign for the Presidency the infamous New York billionaire made it clear that the tactic of moral panic would be his chosen route to making it all the way to the White House. Like many politicians of the wealthy classes before him, threatening images of the “dangerous classes” were […]
President Donald Trump has rolled back Obama-era guidelines granting transgender students access to bathrooms that conform with their gender identity. Trump said the issue caused “so little trouble” during his campaign. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education (DOE) sent a “dear colleague” letter to public schools, informing them of […]
House Bill H.R.975 To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marijuana, and for other purposes. Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses in the 29 states that permit either the medical or legalized decriminalization for adults to use […]
Article via AntiMedia Stamford, Conn. — An interracial couple in Stamford, Connecticut, is being fined $100 a day by local government for failing to remove a racial slur that was spray painted on their garage door. Despite the fine, the common law husband and wife say the graffiti will remain until authorities “do their job” […]
Article Via: The Daily Sheeple NASA has designed a Disneyland-esque travel poster to the new system. Astronomers have confirmed that an “ultra cool dwarf” star 40 light-years away from Earth called Trappist-1, although not particularly active, has seven Earth-sized planets revolving around it. Although all seven could have liquid water on the surface, only three […]
A fundraiser by Muslim Americans to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, has exceeded its initial goal today. An effort by a Muslim group to raise $20K to fix a badly vandalized Jewish cemetery met its goal in three hours. https://t.co/ZFDVx23BVL — Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) February 21, 2017 It was reported that Jewish […]
As President Trump prepares to issue a new executive order barring all refugees and visitors from seven majority-Muslim nations, we speak to Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. He reflects back on how FDR twice denied permission for the Frank family to come to the United States as refugees to escape Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
As President Trump prepares to issue a new executive order barring all refugees and visitors from seven majority-Muslim nations, we speak to the Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. He reflects back on how FDR twice denied permission for the Frank family to come to the United States as refugees to escape Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has revealed the number of anti-Muslim groups in the United States tripled last year, from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. The Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups have said hate groups have been energized by the candidacy and then election of Donald Trump. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dodged a question about why Trump has not spoken out against anti-Muslim attacks. We speak to Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Eleven Jewish community centers across the country were hit by another wave of bomb threats Monday. It was the fourth wave of nationwide bomb threats against JCCs in the last five weeks. In total, 69 threats have been reported against 54 JCCs. Meanwhile, at a cemetery in University City, Missouri, the gravesites of more than 100 Jews were vandalized over the weekend. For weeks, President Trump has faced increasing criticism for failing to denounce anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim threats. On Tuesday, Trump briefly addressed the recent wave of anti-Semitic threats. We speak to Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. The group posted a statement on Facebook titled "Mr. President, Your Too Little, Too Late Acknowledgment of #Antisemitism Today is Not Enough."
The White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to increase the number of immigration and Border Patrol agents by 15,000. We look at how President Obama's deportation practices set the stage for today's new crackdown. During his time in office, Obama deported a record 2.7 million people. In 2014, the head of the National Council of La Raza, Janet Murguía, called Obama the nation’s "deporter-in-chief." We speak to former Department of Homeland Security attorney Margo Schlanger and attorney Cesar Vargas, co-director of DREAM Action Coalition.
According to Reuters, the CIA has frozen all aid to Syrian “rebels” even though they risk being attacked by the “jihadists” . Up until now, Nato members were drawing a distinction between “rebels” and “jihadists”. Occasionally, they would dichotomize “moderates” and “extremists”. But in actual fact, the “moderate rebels” have never been less violent that the “extremist jihadists”. Thus in a video, a tool of propaganda, you see the Commander of a “moderate” organization, the Free Syrian Army devouring the (...)
Since the beginning of the negotiations in Astana, Turkey has been trying to save the jihadists in Syria. And so we witness the dissolution of the groups composed of foreign mercenaries [and their incorporation] into a new structure, Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (the Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant). While controlled by Al-Qaeda, this new group differs from its predecessors in that the person in command is a Syrian: Abou Jaber Hashem Al-Cheikh (see photo). In 2005, this war-chief appears (...)
On 14 February 2017, the US Navy reported an incident in the Black Sea which appears to have been challenged by the Russian Navy. According to the [US Navy] report, four armed Russian airplanes (Su-24 and Ilyushin Il-38) appear to have drawn dangerously close to the destroyer, USS Porter (DDG-78), and yet, in violation of the laws on military navigation, refused radio contact. The seriousness of this incident, which appeared to take place in international waters, would appear to (...)
On 14 February 2017, President Donald Trump recalled to the Mediterranean the Sixth Fleet which should have taken part in a celebration in Ukraine. On 18 February 2017, President, Vladimir Putin, published a decree, recognizing “on humanitarian grounds” all administrative acts emanating from the People's Republics of Donbass and Lougansk, governments that are not recognized . By doing so, Russia is giving de facto recognition to passports issued by these two (...)
On Sunday 19 February, Daesh [released] a video, declaring its intention to exterminate all Christians in Egypt. On 11 December 2016, an attack on the Copt cathedral, Saint-Marc, had caused the death of 28 believers. The alleged kamikaze pilot, Abu Abdallah al-Masri (see photo), appeared in Daesh's video. Going forward, the Copts will form the most important Christian community in the Middle (...)
The Financial Times’ Special Report (2/16/2017) published a four-page spread on the ‘use and possible dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Unlike the usual trash journalists who serve as Washington’s megaphones on the editorial pages and political columns, the Special Report is a thoughtful essay that raises many important issues, even as it is fundamentally flawed. […]
The President of the United States can hardly be taken seriously, saying much but doing little. His words, often offensive, carry no substance, and it is impossible to summarize his complex political outlook about important issues. This is precisely the type of American presidency that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, prefers. However, Donald Trump is […]
Here it goes again! The same old tired and predictable tune, the same recognizable chorus. Once again the world is told what to think and what to believe. The world is also given both rhythm and leitmotif, so the grotesque and crooked dance could begin. Who could resist, really? The lyrics of the tune are […]
In a recent media alert, we noted the occasional tell-tale signs of uncomfortable truths that slip through cracks in the propaganda façade of BBC News. Very occasionally, the propaganda nature is clearly highlighted and can be enjoyed for its directness and the flustered BBC response it provokes. Such was the occasion last Friday (February 17) […]
Resistance to unjust government action is the duty of all people who care about human rights. As Dr. King reminded us in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” It is now clear that Latinos and Muslims are Trump’s first target for government actions. The orders […]
Ukraine is politically and economically bankrupt, requiring foreign aid to keep from imploding. On February 20, the third anniversary of the US-sponsored coup, replacing democratic governance with Nazi-infested putschists, protests are planned in Kiev, involving groups of various ideological persuasions – united against the ruling regime. They’re fed up with how they’re being governed. Well ...
Mixed messages on Russia are coming out of the Trump administration, which seems to be hopelessly divided and anything but cohesive on the Russian issue. Much to the great disappointment of many who see that a peaceful US-Russia relationship is the key to avoiding World War 3, Trump has for the most part changed his ...
The Death of Civility After the most tumultuous election many of us have ever personally witnessed, the animosity still hasn’t waned three months after the shocking (to some) results were announced. In fact, it’s gotten even more heated. I’ll try to lay this out without divisiveness because taking sides isn’t my goal here. One side is unwilling ...
Have you ever pictured what it would be like to be ordered to immediately evacuate your home because of an impending emergency? Imagine only having enough time to grab your pets and your children and head for the hills. While many believe there is adequate advanced notice in evacuations, this isn’t always the case. As many ...
By: The Voice of Reason | After all the information that has come to light in recent months that originated from locations once thought to be highly secret, it’s amazing that any Democrat or member of the mainstream media would dare continue towing the Party line about there is no evidence of voter fraud, but ...
But before the clandestine spooks developed their sway on policy and intrigue, the absolute power behind the throne, crowned their lineage selection with the full mashaḥ anointing from the Bankster tribe. The masses are not part of this universe.
Their role is to bow down to the chief executive that has been picked for them to obey. The actual person is less important than keeping the line of authority in the family.
In the 1920s and 1930s Americans thought of Adolf Hitler as a joke. His shrill voice and jerky hand movements made it difficult to take him seriously. But some of the first people to meet him didn’t feel the same way.
Junior military attaché Truman Smith said, “This is a marvelous demagogue who can really inspire loyalty.”
Karl von Wiegand was the first American journalist to interview Hitler in 1922. He felt the same way as Smith. They were both struck by Hitler’s oratorical skills and his ability to drive people into a frenzy.
The Nazi Party finally emerged as a major contender for power after the great depression hit, but Americans still considered Hitler to be a clown.
Climate engineering is mathematically the greatest single assault against all life ever launched by the human race.
The ongoing catastrophic effects of the global atmospheric spraying and radio frequency transmissions related to geoengineering programs are so massive in scope and scale that the overall destruction and death they are inflicting is impossible to quantify.
Many deadly effects of the solar radiation management operations are completely overlooked, epidemic vitamin D deficiency is in this category.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a very long and growing list of human degenerative disease.
First, Iceland, and now Spain has taken on the Big Bankers responsible for financial calamity, as the country’s highest national court charged the former head of Spain’s central bank, a market regulator, and five other banking officials over a failed bank leading to the loss of millions of euros for smaller investors.
This, of course, markedly departs from the mammoth taxpayer giveaway — commonly referred to as the bailout — approved by the U.S. government ostensively to “save” the Big Banks and, albeit unstated, allow the enormous institutions to continue bilking customers without the slightest fear of penalty.
Errant bankers and financiers, it would seem, typically manage to either evade actually being charged, or escape hefty fines and time behind bars.
Continuing to support corrupt governments will never help defeat terrorism; however, addressing the problem will take political will, Abdallah Hendawy, coauthor of the latest Transparency International report, told Sputnik.
With renewed strategies, India has started taking steps to cease its eroding influence over neighbor like Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka which were considered as buffer states once but Delhi lost grip to Beijing in recent years.
Russia does not intend to use its division which will be deployed to the Kuril Islands against Japan and is ready for military cooperation with Tokyo on the issue, Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, told Sputnik on Thursday.
For those not tired of the aftermath of the 2016 American election and the first 30 days of the Trump presidency, this missive is not intended. For the rest of us, inundated with Trump’s odd version of a fictional reality and the insanity of the very fake news, and Trump is so right on this, […]
Kim Jong-nam, the 46-year old son of Kim Jong-il from his first (civilian) wife, actress Song Hye-rim, and the consanguine older brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed on February 13, 2017 at the Kuala-Lumpur International Airport. The late was born on May 10, 1971 and studied at the International School of Berne […]
Russophobia is the sentiment that has recently become particularly widespread in Anglo-Saxon countries. Yet those that are pushing it are pursuing a very specific goal: to justify the aggressive, expansionist policies of British and American special interests. Today Russophobic commentators are trying to scare regular readers with the alleged uncontrolled ambitions Russia has. We are […]
Former Georgian presiden Mikhail Saakashvili still enjoys close ties with various American organizations, involving USAID, which traffics weapons under the cover of agricultural projects in West Georgia, close to Zugdidi – as one of the key sources of this article explains, “I have told you in previous articles, and interview with the Georgian press, ones which […]
It was recently announced that US President Donald Trump selected US Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his National Security Adviser. The New York Times in their article, “Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser,” would report: President Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security adviser on Monday, picking […]