If you've spent much time in a hospital, you've probably noticed piles of medical supplies everywhere you look. But you might be surprised by the hidden waste behind the stacks of butterfly needles, rolls of gauze and myriad other tools that make a hospital tick.
A ProPublica investigation has revealed shockingly profligate waste in the U.S. health care industry, and that's not good for anyone -- except the hospitals in developing nations that receive discarded medical supplies from charities that attempt to mitigate the waste.
There are many reasons why hospitals throw out perfectly usable supplies, like single-use items that haven't expired yet or used medical equipment that's in good working condition, if a little old.
One is the very real desire to adhere to the law and hospital policy – regulations that aim to limit the spread of infection, for example. Thus, equipment that might be contaminated is discarded -- even if it's not, or if it could be cleaned to address the concern. Likewise, when patient rooms are cleared, the supplies left in the room are just tossed, rather than being restocked. For people in the ICU who may have rooms littered with packages of gauze, tubing, needles, sterile saline and other supplies, that can add up very quickly.
In surgery, strict infection protocols also tend to facilitate waste as well. While the desire to keep surgical tools scrupulously sterile is well-founded -- patients have better outcomes when surgeons use sterile equipment -- some hospitals go a little overboard. Once something has been brought into the operating room, it may be discarded after a procedure, even if it wasn't used. And that's a major problem when expensive disposable surgical instruments are involved.
Historically, all of these materials went straight into the garbage, posing some environmental and health concerns. Medical waste can be bulky, and sometimes needs special handling. Needles and scalpels require bulky sharps containers, for example. First hospitals are using the resources needed to make these supplies, and then they're tossing the implements without even using them -- even if they're not expired or contaminated.
This practice is also expensive. Supplies can be a big part of hospital overhead, so patients -- and their insurance providers -- are covering the cost of goods purchased, but not used. In light of this, some advocates are pushing hospitals to be more conscientious about training surgeons and other personnel in how to reduce waste and cut down on costs for the facility without compromising patient care.
ProPublica reports that people concerned about hospital waste started putting out bins to collect usable discards so they could be redirected to facilities in need. In developing nations, hospitals have trouble keeping supplies in stock and often engage in potentially dangerous activities like reusing needles and other supplies because they need to provide care with what they have.
Some hospitals and clinics in the U.S. -- including in the prison system -- also struggle to get by on much less, while their wealthier, larger counterparts cavalierly toss useful products.
To combat future waste, it will be critical to modify practices like how supplies are bundled for surgery, how patient rooms are cleaned and prepared for their next occupants and how facilities handle the phase-out of old products. Sometimes supplies need to be discarded because they're contaminated or dangerous -- as for example when hospitals convert to safety needles from older models to protect health care providers and patients alike. At other times, they could safely be phased out as new products are brought in.
And don't worry: Medical charities that distribute supplies would be delighted to stop handling hospital waste. After all, the process eats up a lot of time, as personnel have to inspect, sort and package the materials. Much like the hospitals they received donations from, it would be easier for them to make bulk purchases from medical supply companies, buying exactly what they need -- and no more.
The DLC never went away: Through well-funded think tanks like Third Way, it continues to push Democrats to the right. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)
The Democratic Leadership Council has been dead for years, but not its pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate mission, which has lived on in groups like the Third Way. Now armed with millions of dollars, they are increasing their public profile and aggressively advancing the "New Democrat" agenda to push the party to the right. Can progressives stop them?
The DLC never went away: Through well-funded think tanks like Third Way, it continues to push Democrats to the right. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)
Stringer Bell had a problem. On HBO's show "The Wire," the rather learned kingpin was concerned that the drugs his gang sold on the streets of West Baltimore were too weak, which jeopardized their control of the streets. So, in a memorable scene, Bell, who was taking economics courses at a community college, asked his instructor, "What are the options if you have an inferior product in an aggressive marketplace?" The instructor offered him some prescient advice, mentioning how WorldCom (now MCI Inc.) once faced a similar problem.
"The company was linked to one of the largest fraud cases in history," he said. "So, they decided to change the name."
Bell adopted the strategy. West Baltimore was soon flooded with the same inferior product, but with a slew of flashy new names.
The world of politics and ideas is an especially aggressive marketplace. Here, so-called centrist "New Democrats" adopted a very similar approach. For many years, Democrats proudly associated themselves with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a powerful group founded in the 1980s that sought to build a Democratic Party "liberated" from labor and grounded in "support for free market and free trade economics ... an end to the politics of 'entitlement' [and] a rejection of affirmative action."
At the height of its power the DLC was the dominant force in the party, boasting President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as its acolytes. But like Bell's weak narcotics, the DLC, which supported the Iraq War and received money from the likes of the Koch Brothers, soon became a tainted brand. Long before 2011, when the organization dissolved, the DLC label hung around politicians like a scarlet letter. Even President Obama publicly distanced himself from the organization in 2004 as he ascended as a national figure.
So, eager to maintain power and influence, New Democrats did what Stringer Bell ended up doing. They changed the name.
"I don't think the people who ran the DLC ever really left," said Norman Solomon, a coordinator for RootsAction, in an interview with Truthout. "It is the same product, different name." Indeed, the DLC agenda is carried out today by think tanks like the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and Third Way, which push the same regressive agenda but under different labels, and with less public scrutiny. As the Boston Globe described in 2014, Third Way usually works "behind the scenes -- in the White House, the corridors of Congress, and the office suites of lobbying firms in downtown Washington."
Now, as Democrats face an existential crisis in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump, these fundamentally conservative organizations, armed with millions in corporate donations, are working with a renewed aggressiveness in the public sphere. They are attempting to convince the party to shun its base and further embrace the so-called "vital center," and the corporatism that has long defined these groups.
If Third Way succeeds, the Democrats will leave an opening for right-wing "populism" to thrive long after the Trump presidency. If this happens, Americans will increasingly (and correctly) see Democrats as a party run by the establishment, and serving the interests of its donors, rather than the working class. This is why progressive activists are fighting hard to rid the party of Democrats who embrace this agenda.
Wrong Lessons From 2016: Third Way's Using Trump Election to Gain Influence
Sensing blood in the water since the election, the 13-year-old Third Way think tank, which was "never formally associated with DLC but self-consciously drawing on the same heritage," as former DLC staffer Ed Kilgore once wrote, has been especially aggressive. It has thrown $20 million into its "New Blue Campaign." The campaign, according to Third Way President Jonathan Cowen, aims to prevent Democrats from meeting "Donald Trump's dangerous right-wing populism with a liberal populism of our own." To put this in perspective, $20 million is enough to fund a fairly large nonprofit organization like 350.org or the Center for Constitutional Rights for about two years. However, it's a relative drop in a bucket for an organization that by its own admission is backed almost entirely by Wall Street sources.
Additionally, the organization published a paper in late February called, "Why Demography Does Not Equal Destiny," which has been covered by much of the dominant media and even been praised by numerous conservative outlets and think tanks. The basic premise: Democrats are wrong to appeal to growing demographics that lean liberal, such as Latinos and young people. Third Way claims that this thinking has led Democrats to "pursue a base-only strategy without worrying about persuading a broader swath of voters to support them." Democrats are failing to acknowledge, it argues, that voters are increasingly registering as independents and do not identify as liberal. It declares that the party must move to the center.
Third Way's argument rests on the flawed notion that the Democrats have already been guilty of running a "base-only" strategy. The party's problems and electoral defeats, it argues, are because it is just too progressive for its own good.
However, the more persuasive argument is that the Democrats lost the election precisely because they are too much like what Third Way wants them to be: deferential, non-ideological and too close to Wall Street. "Secretary Clinton does represent the establishment," Sen. Bernie Sanders explained during the primary.
Consider what occurred in 2016. The Democrats ran a candidate who spent most of her career as a figurehead for groups like Third Way and the DLC. Clinton was a prominent member of the New Democratic Caucus in the Senate and spoke at DLC conferences on multiple occasions as recently as 2008. She was also awash in corporate money, dominating every other candidate in donations from Wall Street, Big Pharma, Big Media and most other centers of private capital, while her primary opponent relied almost entirely on grassroots support. Meanwhile, she was given strategic support from the Democratic National Committee, which collaborated in efforts to discredit Bernie Sanders (which it vehemently denied before being exposed) and leaked debate questions to Clinton. The campaign, with the support of almost every powerful Democrat, went on to smear ideas that appeal to the base, such as Medicare for All and tuition-free higher education, saying they were unrealistic.
Working-class voters, especially in states hurt by the very same trade deals Hillary Clinton has defended and Third Way promoted vigorously, viewed her as part of "the establishment." They were turned off by her relationship with Wall Street figures, who donated to her campaign in record numbers, and gave her grotesque sums of money to give speeches at Goldman Sachs (the contents of which were eventually leaked). Thus, Third Way got the candidate it wanted, she had the full support of the establishment, and she still lost. Third Way, however, continues to claim the party has been insufficiently establishment-oriented in recent years.
The Great Independent Voter Fallacy
Third Way's rhetoric repeatedly conflates "independent" with "moderate." This conflation is repeated frequently in the media as a truism. And while the specific politics of "independent voters" vary widely and change from election to election, pollsters agree that "it's critical not to confuse 'independents' with 'moderates,'" as 538 acknowledged in an article about Bernie Sanders' success among independents.
The reality that "independent" does not equal "moderate" has been affirmed by many other pollsters and experts, including Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling and even the DLC's still surviving sister think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, which acknowledged as much in 2010.
"One of the frustrating things about contemporary political analysis is the frequency with which key terms get used in a very sloppy manner that reflects highly biased or inaccurate assumptions," the Progressive Policy Institute stated in a 2010 article on its website. "A perpetual example is the use of 'independent' and 'moderate' as interchangeable words for unaffiliated voters."
Yet Third Way insists Democrats must govern to the right because "a near record high 38 percent of Americans now call themselves a political Independent.... And key groups in the Rising American Electorate have a high proportion of Independents, particularly Millennials and Asians."
This interpretation of millennials' politics runs contrary to the research: Polls show a majority of millennials "reject capitalism." The rise of movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, populated largely by younger people, also indicates that the equation of "independent" with "moderate" does not sync, when it comes to millennials. Polls show many young people are admirers of Senator Sanders, who himself is a registered independent. During the primary, Gallup showed Sanders with an 82 percent approval rating among millennial Democrats and 55 percent overall (compared with 38 and 22 percent for Clinton and Trump respectively). In fact, a March 15 Fox News Poll shows him as the most popular politician in the country overall, regardless of age. Yet Third Way insists the Democrats can win over these anticapitalist millennials by cutting entitlements and compromising more with Republicans -- and it is now attempting to rally grassroots support for these efforts.
Third Way's Media Offensive Isn't Working
The aggressiveness with which Third Way is promoting the New Blue campaign and this flawed paper is noteworthy. On their Twitter account, they have been promoting their demography paper with a fervor that is unusual for a group that, as the Boston Globe described, usually works "behind the scenes" in "the office suites of lobbying firms." Not only is the paper pinned to the top of its official Twitter account (@ThirdWayTweet), but the group has been retweeting it frequently from both its main account and other Third Way accounts, such as Third Way Politics (@TWPolitics). Third Way has also been publishing articles on Medium and even made a video explaining the paper's content on its own YouTube channel.
It is notable that despite these efforts, there is so little grassroots support for Third Way. As of March 21, the official Twitter account has just north of 10,000 followers, slightly less than Flat Earth Today and about 20 percent the amount of Our Revolution. The group's national security Twitter account has about 2,500 followers, as does its economic account (@ThirdWayEcon). And the account for its prized new "New Blue Campaign," has 287 followers, which is about 100 fewer than an account devoted to cats in favor of abolishing prisons (@Cats4Abolition). The video version of "Why Demography Does Not Equal Destiny" was been watched on YouTube 134 times at the time of this writing. Comments and upvotes are blocked, perhaps because its administrators are aware that there is virtually no grassroots support for a group whose mission is to make the Democrats even more establishment-driven.
The lack of public enthusiasm for Third Way is not surprising. As Truthout has previously reported, New Democrats have never really been about popular support. Their audiences are inside meeting rooms in DC, and their currency is not the will of the masses, or crowded town halls, but, well, actual currency. In fact, one of the purposes of the Third Way/DLC crowd is to allow Democrats to succeed without needing to worry about unionists or feminists or protesters spoiling their party.
In fact, the Third Way staff actually promotes its ability to oppose grassroots interests. For example, on Third Way's website, the staff bio for Senior Fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy Dave Kendall states: "In the early 1990s, he worked with moderate Democrats on the Hill to change the traditional approach to Democratic health policy-making, known as single-payer health care."
Of course, the Democratic Party has made no secret of its failure to push for single-payer for years. But for a so-called Democrat to brag openly about helping the party abandon the very concept of universal public health care shows how little concern the so-called New Democrats have for actual Democrats, 81 percent of whom support such a system.
Third Way has gotten by with this indifference to actual people in large part because its strategy of "splitting the difference" between the two parties already sells well to a Democratic Party establishment, which has long been compromised by corporate money.
"In this sense, the DLC has already won," said Steve Maher, a social critic and Ph.D. student at York University, in an interview with Truthout. "The Democrats have moved away from organized labor, toward corporate power and are pursuing a neoliberal agenda."
The Death of the DLC and Progressives' Premature Victory Party
Third Way's real audience is not the masses of people protesting the gross inequities of our political and economic system. Its real targets are power brokers working on K Street or Wall Street. While Third Way may fail when it attempts to court support from the public, it rises to the challenge when it comes to wielding influence among elite players in politics, finance and media. When the DLC died in 2011, many progressives were (understandably) elated and declared victory in the battle for the "soul of the Democratic Party."
"Where is the grave so I can go dance on it!" boasted Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, who fought several rounds with the DLC over the Howard Dean and Ned Lamont campaigns. "One of the things that is happening in Democratic politics is that progressives are winning the battle for the party," said Progressive Congress President Darcy Burner to Politico.
However, the victory dance was premature. The DLC was dead in name only. Even before it officially dissolved, its allies were laying the groundwork to continue its agenda. "I am a New Democrat," Obama told the New Democrat Coalition in 2009, according to Politico. Obama's unambiguous words of support to this faction of the party was notable, especially since for most of his career he has, as Politico noted, "largely avoided the Democratic Leadership Council."
It is indeed telling that President Obama kept his distance from DLC, but still assured their people he was on their side. He knew the DLC name would hurt his carefully crafted image in the eyes of progressives, but in terms of general philosophy, Obama's description of himself as a "New Democrat" was accurate. He embraced industry to a fault and kept his distance from the left. He relied solely on "market solutions" to health care, despite being a long-time supporter of single-payer.
He also hired DLC alumni often and in positions of importance, most notably appointing two White House chiefs of staff who were proud DLC allies: Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley, the latter of which is a Third Way board member. "Visitor logs show that Third Way leaders have enjoyed excellent access to the Obama White House, with at least 50 visits since 2009," reported the Boston Globe in 2014.
"There will always be a class conflict, and the powerful will always try and use the Democratic Party as a vehicle to wage it," Solomon said.
Indeed, the "battle" for the party's soul is seemingly another endless war. After almost every election cycle, New Democrats either try to claim responsibility for the victory or use the defeat to advance their cause. In 2006, when Democrats took back Congress in large part due to opposition to President Bush's war in Iraq, which the DLC supported, New Democrats said it was "a victory for the vital center." When Democrats got crushed in 2010, Third Way was, as an American Prospect article described it, "salivating at the prospect of a Republican-controlled House" so it could "vigorously oppose the left."
Now the self-styled "centrists" are at it again: Third Way is trying to convince Democrats to shun their base at a time when it has never been more educated, energized and ready for change.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order aimed at rolling back one of former President Barack Obama's major environmental regulations to protect American waterways, in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, February 28, 2017. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)
President Donald Trump's deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency terrify me. They will gut the agency, removing protections for American families and our children.
As I travel from one polluted community to the next, women weep as they hold their children, and explain how chemicals in their air, water or land have made their families sick.
Local leaders describe how their city or town won't help them, because it's a company town, and no one will hold the polluter responsible. They go on to say their state agency isn't much better. Their only recourse is the federal EPA.
The EPA was designed to provide a safety net for these communities. But it has been hard enough for EPA to answer demand for their services across the nation, and to stretch their existing budgets. Clearly, Trump's administration intends to take away this safety net, and a means for checks and balances.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that living in a toxic environment, with little hope of getting out, is a family's worst nightmare. In 1978, I lived with my two small children at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, NY, where 20,000 tons of toxic chemical wastes were buried.
My daughter had a rare blood disease, and my son suffered from many medical problems including with his liver, asthma and epilepsy. Our house was worthless, and our American dream taken away through no fault of our own. Fifty-six percent of our neighborhood children were born with birth defects.
Niagara Falls was a city with 47 different chemical facilities. The city didn't want to upset the industry, nor did the county. Moreover, the state was concerned about setting a precedent, estimating there were thousands of similar sites in the region just like Love Canal.
The federal EPA came in to investigate the site, after pleas from the community that the city and state were not acting. Eight hundred families were later relocated, and the Superfund Program was established to address threats to human health by the most dangerous chemical waste sites.
Superfund provides the opportunity for the EPA to come in to a town or city and clean up contamination to protect families from exposure. The program also identifies the corporations that created the site, and holds them responsible for the costs. If there is no responsible corporation, the EPA has the authority and funds to clean up the site.
There is no gentle way to state the obvious. Trump prioritizes corporations over people, children and the planet. These cuts will gut the agency, removing protections for American families.
I am old enough to remember the black smoke of the steel mills, the rivers catching fire and sickness and death in communities that surround the factories. The magnitude of the cuts proposed by this administration will take America back decades.
Cuts in the EPA budget mean no one will be watching the polluters. No one will be there to ensure industrial facilities don't dump wastes into the sewer, air or rivers.
No one would hold polluters accountable to pay for cleaning up toxics or for the costs of sick children with asthma, cancer, with birth defects and so much more.
Superfund was designed to provide technical, financial and legal assistance to states and local governments by creating a pool of funds to be used in the most toxic waste sites in the country.
States nominate sites for the Superfund program because they want help; they can't afford to clean up abandoned sites on their own. As was the case in Niagara Falls, many states and local governments have neither the resources to investigate, nor the backbone to take on corporate polluters. Instead, they look the other way.
What polluters take from us is more than any bank robber can ever take, and much more devastating. The air you breathe, the water you drink and land you play on could be toxic poison. Regulations mean little when there are no police, no investigators or consequences for doing harm.
The entire planet is at risk if the Trump Administration cuts the EPA's budget by 30 percent. Everyone but the very wealthy will suffer the consequences. Families of low income and of color will suffer the most, as they often live closest to industry.
Rather than weakening the EPA and environmental protections, we should work to strengthen rules to protect communities from the impacts of waste dumps, factory farms, fossil fuels, and other pollution sources. We should work to ensure all people have access to clean water, safe food, and a livable climate.
Everyone will be harmed by these cuts, and everyone must speak out. Our very existence, public health and America's future depend on it, as does our ability to control industrial pollution and hold corporations accountable.
With the election of Donald Trump, it seems unlikely that reparations will move forward at a national scale anytime soon. But Chicago's ordinance provides a model for creating reparations at the local level, even in the face of daunting circumstances.
Victims of alleged torture by Chicago Police stand during a City Council meeting at City Hall in Chicago, May 6, 2015. The City Council approved a $5.5 million reparations package for victims of police torture during the 1970s and '80s under the watch of a notorious police commander, Jon Burge. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The New York Times)
Somewhere between his 12th and 13th hour inside a Chicago Police Department interrogation room, Lindsey Smith decided to confess to a murder he didn't commit. Multiple officers had pistol-whipped, stomped on, and beaten him, again and again. Convinced he would not otherwise live through the ordeal, Smith signed a false confession for the attempted murder of a 12-year-old White boy. At 17, Smith too was a boy. But with one major difference: He was Black.
Tried as an adult and convicted, Smith took a plea deal and served nearly five years in prison.
He was among the first of at least 120 young, primarily Black men whom Chicago police officers would torture into false confessions. Yet while many who suffer at the hands of the police never get justice, Smith's story ended differently. More than 40 years later, following the passage of historic reparations legislation, he became one of the first Black people in America to be granted reparations for racial violence.
After receiving parole, Smith moved out of the city and attempted to rebuild his life. But his struggles were far from over. Given the conviction on his record, Smith faced difficulty in everything from finding work to accessing his car insurance benefits. He remained haunted by his experiences as a teen inside the interrogation room and never felt at ease in Chicago again -- until May 6, 2015.
On that date, the city of Chicago signed into law an ordinance granting cash payments, free college education, and a range of social services to 57 living survivors of police torture. Explicitly defined as reparations, the ordinance also includes a formal apology from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a mandate to teach the broader public about the torture through a memorial and public schools curriculum. The hard-won legislation, envisioned by activists, made Chicago the first, and thus far only, municipality in the country to pay reparations for racist police violence.
Reparations have found a renewed life in American public discourse and at the heart of some social movements.
"I can sleep a whole lot better tonight," Smith told local media upon the ordinance's passage. A 61-year-old factory worker, he has since collected $100,000 in reparations.
"I'd take that night back before I took their money any day. I can never get back that time away from my family and the things I could have done," Smith said. "But at least I can afford new shoes now."
As the national conversation around racial disparities in the United States has broadened to include criminalization, job discrimination, school segregation, and neglect of infrastructure, so has the need for a reckoning of the institutional wrongs done to African American communities. Reparations, the concept of offering monetary or social redress for historical injustices, has found a renewed life in American public discourse and at the heart of some social movements.
With the election of Donald Trump, it seems unlikely that reparations will move forward at a national scale anytime soon. But Chicago's ordinance provides a model for creating reparations at the local level, even in the face of daunting circumstances.
The momentum has been building for years. Reparations sparked debate on the presidential campaign trail, and when more than 50 organizations collaborated to write the Movement for Black Lives policy platform earlier this year, they put reparations front and center.
"We wanted to put forth a set of policies that show what we really want and what would lead to a transformation of our conditions," says Karl Kumodzi, a member of the coalition's policy table who is active with the organizations BlackBird and Black Youth Project 100 in Brooklyn, New York. "Reparations had to be at the forefront of that."
Since then, a Georgetown University committee has recognized that the school profited from the sale of slaves and said it would "reconcile" by naming two buildings after African Americans and by offering preferred admission status to any descendants of slaves who worked at the university.
Increasingly, the question appears not to be whether reparations are needed, but in what form and how to get them.
Most of the time, it's still an abstract conversation. But Chicago's $5.5 million reparations legislation is a concrete exception.
According to a city spokesperson, as of October, payments have been made to the majority of the 57 recognized survivors, nine individuals have begun the process of accessing free community college, and 11 requests for prioritized access to social services have been made. Meanwhile, a city-funded community center dedicated to survivors and their families is set to open later this year, when curriculum on the torture scandal will commence in Chicago Public Schools.
From the Black Manifesto to the Movement for Black Lives
Mary Frances Berry, a former chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, documented the country's first struggle for reparations, which was led by ex-slaves, in her book My Face Is Black Is True. She thinks Chicago offers a model for how to win reparations across the country.
"We often hear talk about national legislation and national responses in the civil rights community. … But a lot of things can be done locally," she says. "Chicago shows [what] can be done -- and [that] other kinds of remedies for other kinds of harms can be done, like, for example, the harm done to the people in Flint."
Berry was referencing the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, that left thousands of residents in the predominantly African American town without access to clean drinking water.
Not far from Flint, nearly 50 years ago, the Black Manifesto was launched in Detroit as one of the first calls for reparations in the modern era. Penned by James Forman, a former organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and released at the 1969 National Black Economic Development Conference, the manifesto demanded $500 million in reparations from predominantly White religious institutions for their historic role in perpetuating slavery. The manifesto demanded that the money fund nine key projects aimed at building the collective wealth of Black communities: a Black university, Black presses and broadcast networks, research and training centers, and a Southern land bank. A multiracial contingent of clergy in support of the Black Manifesto succeeded in raising at least $215,000 from the Episcopalian and Methodist churches through months of rancorous deliberation that ultimately tore the coalition apart.
The mantle was next assumed by the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, or N'COBRA. Centering their demands on reparations for chattel slavery, N'COBRA gained a following throughout the early 1990s, but their demands never established a mainstream foothold.
There are three key components to a reparations program: acknowledgement, restitution and closure.
Joe Feagin, distinguished professor of sociology at Texas A&M University, has a hunch about why that is. It has been difficult for demands for reparations for slavery to gain traction in the past, he says, because the direct link between slavery and the high rates of poverty prevalent in contemporary Black communities is not widely understood, let alone acknowledged.
"When you focus on slavery, it's easy for Whites to say all the Whites are dead and all the Blacks are dead," Feagin said.
But that's not true for Jim Crow segregation, Feagin pointed out, citing a study on "segregation stress syndrome" based on interviews with 100 elderly African Americans in the South. The study revealed that 80 percent of the participants' families had suffered extreme violence in the form of lynching, rape, attempted rape, and home invasions. "They can name the White families who were involved," Feagin said.
But with the publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates' landmark article "The Case for Reparations," in 2014, the living legacy of White supremacy became difficult to deny. Detailing the systematic "plunder" of Black communities, Coates' work tracks multiple Chicagoans living the outcomes of generations of racism -- demonstrating a legacy of impoverishment that runs from slavery, sharecropping, and Jim Crow to housing discrimination and economic hardship today.
As for solutions, Coates called for support of H.R. 40, federal legislation that seeks to form a commission on reparations. Sponsored by John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, H.R. 40 aims "to examine the institution of slavery and its legacy, like racial disparities in education, housing, and healthcare" and then "recommend appropriate remedies to Congress." First introduced in 1989, H.R. 40 has been reintroduced by Conyers in every session of Congress since -- and subsequently mired in the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, currently chaired by Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
But although H.R. 40 has languished, other reparations legislation has prevailed at both the state and federal levels. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill providing $20,000 to each of the approximately 65,000 living Japanese Americans who had been interned during World War II, prompting Congress to allocate $1.25 billion. A few years later, the state of Florida approved $2.1 million for the living survivors of a 1923 racial pogrom that resulted in multiple deaths and the decimation of the Black community in the town of Rosewood.
More recently, in 2014, the state of North Carolina set aside $10 million for reparations payments to living survivors of the state's eugenics program, which forcibly sterilized approximately 7,600 people. Last year, the state of Virginia, one of more than 30 other states that practiced forced sterilizations, followed North Carolina's lead and will soon begin awarding $25,000 to each survivor.
Meanwhile, the five-point outline for reparations in the Movement for Black Lives platform broadens the conversation. Spanning a demand for services focused on healing from trauma to access to free education and cash support in the form of a "guaranteed livable income," the policy platform was built on decades of experience, research, and values long held by the Black radical tradition -- galvanized further by the victory in Chicago, says Kumodzi.
"What they won offers clear examples of reparations being more than just a check, but rather a set of initiatives and investments that address the economic, psychological, educational, and health impacts of the harm that's been done," Kumodzi says.
How They Did It
So how'd they do it?
According to sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom, there are three key components to a reparations program: acknowledgement, restitution, and closure. In addition, for an offered recompense to be reparations, it must be specific to alleviating or directing resources at the harm caused.
In many ways, the movement for reparations in Chicago started out of a lack of acknowledgement. Communities in Chicago had spent years fighting for legal redress for survivors of police torture under Commander Jon Burge and his officers, who for nearly three decades tortured more than 120 Black and Latino men into confessing to crimes they didn't commit.
Their first effort was legal: to bring the weight of the law against Jon Burge and officers under his command and to achieve retrials for the wrongfully convicted people still imprisoned. The statute of limitations had expired on many of the alleged cases of police torture, but Burge was eventually brought to trial and sentenced for perjury.
Attorney Joey Mogul had been litigating cases on behalf of people who claimed to be victims of Burge's torture squad for more than two decades by the time the commander was brought into court. But looking around at the torture survivors she had been working with, especially those asked to dredge up painful memories for Burge's trial, Mogul realized the victory of his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice was a hollow one.
"What we gained, what we won, was more expansive than any court could have provided."
"It didn't bring them peace or relief," she said. She points to the case of Anthony Holmes, who said he was tortured by officers under Burge in 1973 and went on to serve the full 33-and-a-half-year sentence for murder before being exonerated. "Anthony Holmes … struggles with trauma to this day. There [were] no psychological services for him whatsoever."
Mogul and Alice Kim, an activist whose work amplifying the voices of Burge victims on death row was instrumental in winning a moratorium in Illinois, started the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials along with several others. From there grew the idea of a city ordinance as a way to recognize the city's legacy of torture.
The ordinance was drafted in 2012 and included a request for financial compensation, as well as a curriculum to teach about the Burge tortures in Chicago Public Schools and free enrollment in the city's community colleges.
Then, in October 2013, following the city's settlement with two police torture victims, Rahm Emanuel attempted to close the book on the issue by urging Chicago to "all move on." That spurred outrage -- and an increased urgency to push the ordinance before the City Council.
The group found an alderman friendly with the mayor to bring it into committee. At the same time, a coalition was forming that would bring the burgeoning power of the Black Lives Matter movement to the fight for reparations. The next year, the group upped its efforts, ranging from protests to meetings with city officials. After decades of organizing around the Burge tortures, the ordinance passed in the spring.
"We fought outside the legal box," said Mogul. "What we gained, what we won, was more expansive than any court could have provided."
In January 2016, the checks to individual torture victims went into the mail. The city has agreed to provide three additional years of funding while the curriculum and memorial planning are underway.
However, the ordinance limits financial relief to people tortured during Burge's exact time on the force -- from May 1, 1972 to Nov. 30, 1991 -- despite evidence that it continued after he left. More than 20 known Burge survivors remain incarcerated today, according to lawyers with the reparations committee.
For the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials team, the gains of reparations serve as a starting point and reminder of all there is to be done.
"The glass is only half full because until we get those other brothers back to court and get fair and impartial hearings into their allegations of having been tortured, then this fight must continue" said Darrell Cannon, a survivor of Burge's police torture.
Aislinn Pulley, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago, considers the city's effort one of the most powerful examples of reparations. "Chicago … created new possibilities of what transformative justice, holistic justice can look like and, in addressing the modern problems of policing, helps us envision new demands and possibilities of justice," she said.
What's more, activists like Janaé Bonsu, who worked on the reparations campaign, have taken their experience in Chicago and run with it. As national public policy chair of Black Youth Project 100, she has fought in recent months to keep open the historically Black Chicago State University in Illinois and to partially "defund the police" in municipal budgets nationwide, advocating for the funding of programs benefitting Black communities in need of services instead.
Bonsu sees clear next steps for where the fight for reparations needs to move. "I think the conversation of reparations should be expanded to thinking about the war on drugs, in thinking about [housing] redline policies -- in all the ways systemic racism can be proved," said Bonsu.
The story of Chicago's ordinance suggests that local campaigns have the potential to broaden reparations in each of these ways. But in the absence of a national policy, how much harm can be mitigated by local laws? If hundreds of Chicago-style ordinances were replicated in every town or state where demonstrable, systemic harm can be proved, how far would they go in addressing centuries of wrong meted out by the state against African Americans and other vulnerable communities?
The state and city levels can be a powerful means for keeping the larger dream of national reparations alive.
Kumodzi says that reparations are needed on multiple fronts: for both specific harms, such as those wrought by Chicago's police torture ring, and oppressive systems as a whole. There needs to be an analysis of reparations, not just for very specific cases that require proof, but also for the intergenerational, community-wide, and lasting impacts of systems like slavery and policing. "They also have the same consequences, the same needs of their families, the same lasting traumatic effects."
However, under a Trump presidency, Kumodzi says, priorities in organizing will shift because conditions have shifted: The state and city levels can be a powerful means for keeping the larger dream of national reparations alive.
"Our vision for the world that we want to live in, our demands, our understanding of the policies that are going to get us towards that vision, that's not going to change, that's gonna stay the same for the long haul -- whether it's four years, two years, 10 years," he said. "There's been a lot of harms. Reparations have to be done to address those harms."
"The Origins of Totalitarianism" discusses the rise of the totalitarian movements of Nazism and Stalinism to power in the 20th century. Arendt explained that such movements depended on the unconditional loyalty of the masses of "slumbering majorities," who felt dissatisfied and abandoned by a system they perceived to be "fraudulent" and corrupt. These masses sprang to the support of a leader who made them feel they had a place in the world by belonging to a movement.
I am a scholar of political theory and have written books and scholarly essays on Arendt's work. Published more than 50 years ago, Arendt's insights into the development of totalitarianism seem especially relevant to discussions of similar threats to American democracy today.
Who Was Hannah Arendt?
Arendt was born in Hanover, Germany in 1906 into a secular Jewish household. She began studying the classics and Christian theology, before turning to philosophy. Subsequent developments made her turn her attention to her Jewish identity and political responses to it.
It began in the mid-1920s, when the nascent Nazi Party started spreading its anti-Semitic ideology at mass rallies. Following the arson attack on the Reichstag (the German Parliament), on Feb. 27, 1933, the Nazis blamed the Communists for plotting against the German government. A day later, the German president declared a state of emergency. The regime, in short order, deprived citizens of basic rights and subjected them to preventive detention. After Nazi parliamentary victories a week later, the Nazis consolidated power, passing legislation allowing Hitler to rule by decree.
Within months, Germany's free press was destroyed.
She remained safe in France for a few years. But when France declared war on Germany in September 1939, the French government began ordering refugees to internment camps. In May 1940, a month before Germany defeated France and occupied the country, Arendt was arrested as an "enemy alien" and sent to a concentration camp in Gurs, near the Spanish border, from which she escaped. Assisted by American journalist Varian Fry'sInternational Rescue Committee, Arendt and her husband, Heinrich Blücher, immigrated to the United States in 1941.
Soon after arriving in America, Arendt published a series of essays on Jewish politics in the German-Jewish newspaper "Aufbau," now collected in The Jewish Writings. While writing these essays she learned of the Nazi destruction of European Jewry. In a mood she described as "reckless optimism and reckless despair," Arendt turned her attention back to the analysis of anti-Semitism, the subject of a long essay ("Antisemitism") she'd written in France in the late 1930s. The basic arguments from that essay found their way into her magnum opus, "The Origins of Totalitarianism."
Why "Origins" Matters Now
Many of the factors that Arendt associated with the rise of totalitarianism have been cited to explain Trump's ascendancy to power.
In "Origins," for example, some key conditions that Arendt connected with the emergence of totalitarianism were increasing xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism, and hostility toward elites and mainstream political parties. Along with these, she cited an intensified alienation of the "masses" from government coupled with the willingness of alarming numbers of people to abandon facts or to "escape from reality into fiction." Additionally, she noted an exponential increase in the number of refugees and stateless peoples, whose rights nation-states were unable to guarantee.
Although that might be true, I argue there is an equally important lesson to be drawn -- about the importance of thinking and acting in the present.
Why People's Voices and Actions Matter
Arendt rejected a "cause and effect" view of history. She argued that what happened in Germany was not inevitable; it could have been avoided. Perhaps most controversially, Arendt claimed the creation of the death camps was not the predictable outcome of "eternal anti-Semitism" but an unprecedented "event that should never have been allowed to happen."
The Holocaust resulted neither from a confluence of circumstances beyond human control nor from history's inexorable march. It happened because ordinary people failed to stop it.
Arendt wrote against the idea that the rise of Nazism was the predictable outcome of the economic downturn following Germany's defeat in World War I. She understood totalitarianism to be the "crystallization" of elements of anti-Semitism, racism and conquest present in European thought as early as the 18th century. She argued that the disintegration of the nation-state system following World War I had exacerbated these conditions.
In other words, Arendt argued these "elements" were brought into an explosive relationship through the actions of leaders of the Nazi movement combined with the active support of followers and the inactions of many others.
Yet, Arendt warned, it would be a mistake to conclude that every outburst of anti-Semitism or racism or imperialism indicated the emergence of a "totalitarian" regime. Those conditions alone were not sufficient to lead to totalitarianism. But inaction in the face of them added a dangerous element into the mix.
Not Submitting Quietly
I argue that "Origins" engages readers in thinking about the past with an eye toward an uncharted future.
Arendt worried that totalitarian solutions could outlive the demise of past totalitarian regimes. She urged her readers to recognize that leaders' manipulation of fears of refugees combined with social isolation, loneliness, rapid technological change and economic anxieties could provide ripe conditions for the acceptance of "us-against-them" ideologies. These could result in ethically compromised consequences.
In my view, "Origins" offers both a warning and an implicit call to resistance. In today's context, Arendt would invite her readers to question what is being presented as reality. When President Trump and his advisers claim dangerous immigrants are "pouring" into the country, or stealing Americans' jobs, are they silencing dissent or distracting us from the truth?
"Origins" wasn't intended to be a formulaic blueprint for how totalitarian rulers emerge or what actions they take. It was a plea for attentive, thoughtful civil disobedience to emerging authoritarian rule.
What makes "Origins" so salient today is Arendt's recognition that comprehending totalitarianism's possible recurrence means neither denying the burden events have placed on us, nor submitting quietly to the order of the day.
President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the "big, beautiful wall" that he's promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But, as AP's Alicia Caldwell reports, his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. illegally faces impediments of its own.
It's still not clear how Trump will pay for the wall that, as described in contracting notices, would be 30 feet (9 meters) high and easy on the eye for those looking at it from the north. The Trump administration will also have to contend with unfavorable geography and many legal battles.
A look at some of those obstacles:
Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his wall, a demand Mexico has repeatedly rejected. Trump's first budget proposal to Congress, a preliminary draft that was light on details, asked lawmakers for a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall. An internal report prepared for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly estimated that a wall along the entire border would cost about $21 billion. Congressional Republicans have estimated a more moderate price tag of $12 billion to $15 billion. Trump himself has suggested a cost of about $12 billion.
It's unclear how much money Congress will approve. Lawmakers have been balking at his plans to sharply cut other federal spending to pay for the wall and other boosts to border security, while increasing military spending. White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters this past week that the administration was still looking at how the wall would be funded, adding that it hasn't given up on Mexico footing the bill.
Roughly half of the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border is in Texas and marked by the winding and twisting Rio Grande. A 1970 treaty with Mexico requires that anything built near that river not obstruct its flow. The same treaty applies to a stretch of border in Arizona, where the Colorado River marks the international boundary.
Some fencing that is already in place along the frontier is built well off the river, in some places nearly a mile (about a kilometer) away from the border.
Trump will have to navigate not only the treaty maintained by the International Boundary and Water Commission but also various environmental regulations that protect some stretches of border and restrict what kind of structures can be built and where. The contracting notices of March 17 say the Trump administration wants the wall dug at least 6 feet (almost 2 meters) into the ground. Along parts of the border in California, environmentally sensitive sand dunes required that a "floating fence" was built to allow the natural movement of the sand.
Nearly all of the land along the Texas border is privately held - much of it by people whose families have been in the region for generations - and buying their land won't be easy, as Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama discovered. Lawyers for both administrations fought in court with private landowners. Obama's efforts to buy privately held land in the Rio Grande Valley have carried over into Trump's term.
The Trump administration appears to be preparing for the legal fight and included a request for more lawyers to handle such cases in its budget proposal. Spicer said this past week the administration would "take the steps necessary" to fulfill Trump's promise to secure the southern border.
In 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron was widely criticized in the UK when he claimed that London mayor Sadiq Khan had ties to the terror group ISIS. An investigation by Disobedient Media has determined that Khan has ties not just to organizations associated with ISIS, but also groups such as Hamas, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. During his time as mayor, London has seen an increase in terror incidents with concerning indications that terror groups wish to stage a major attack on the City of London. Rather than focusing on combatting terror, Khan has used his forum to tell Londoners as well as citizens in other parts of Europe and the United States that the West must learn to live with terrorism as a part of daily life. Khan's extreme flirtation with radical Islamic extremism raises serious questions about his commitment to fighting a wave of extremist fueled terrorism that only continues to spread after a number of attacks and police operations in London and other areas of the UK.
I. Khan Has Been Affiliated With Organizations Tied To Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIS And The Muslim Brotherhood
A. Khan's Relationship To Figures Tied To Hamas And The Muslim Brotherhood
Khan has openly associated in the past with individuals and organizations tied to Palestinian terror group Hamas. During his time as a legal advocate, Sadiq Khan served as the Chief Legal Advisor of the Muslim Council of Britain's legal affairs committee. Khan was a member of a delegation organized by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2003 to protest what they described as "indiscriminate" arrests of Muslims for alleged terror ties. The Muslim Council of Britain was placed under investigation by the British government over "irregularities" surrounding £1,263,000 in aid given to it by the government. In the past it has admitted to funding groups tied to both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and is banned from Israel as a result of its ties to terror. On September 19th, 2004, Khan spoke at an event which included Ibrahim Hewitt; Hewitt has decreed on record that adultery should be punished by stoning. Hewitt serves as the Chairman of The Palestinian Relief and Development Fund (Interpal), an organization which has been labeled as a Terrorist Entity by the United States Department of the Treasury for providing support to Hamas and acting as a part of its funding network in Europe. Despite the US Treasury's designation, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has described Hewitt as a "very good friend."
While the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) claims to be non-sectarian, a government report released in 2015 revealed that supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood “played an important role in establishing and then running” the MCB and continues to exert "significant influence" in it. In 2009 the UK government cut ties with the MCB after it signed a public document which appeared to condone violence against any country supporting an arms blockade of Gaza. The government report also found that a number of Brotherhood groups have for years been raising funds in the UK. Some of those funds have allegedly been linked to Hamas, whose military wing was proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation in 2001. The MCB was also criticized for its ties to Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic group linked to a number of terror organizations in Pakistan whose members have been accused of war crimes in Bangladesh.
B. Khan Supported Convicted Taliban Sympathizers
In 2009, Khan acted as a member of an international campaign which sought to resist attempts to extradite Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan for their role in providing material support to the Taliban and Chechen jihadist groups via a number of websites they ran under the name of Azzam Publications. Ahmad and Ahsan were ultimately extradited to the United States, where they pled guilty to terrorism charges.
Khan went to visit Babar Ahmad on multiple occasions between May 21, 2005 and June 2006, while he was being held in Woodhill prison awaiting a ruling on his extradition request. It was reported that Khan visited Ahmad, not in his capacity as an MP, but as a friend, as the two had known each other since they were children. In September of 2005, in an attempt to thwart Ahmad’s extradition to the United States, Khan presented a petition containing 18,000 signatures to then Home Secretary Charles Clarke, calling for him to be tried in the UK instead. However, Ahmad was ultimately extradited to the US on October 5, 2012, where he was held in custody until his release in July 2015.
C. Khan Has Involved Himself With Groups Connected To Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Al-Nusra
Sadiq Khan has historically maintained close relational and professional ties with groups associated with both Al-Qaeda and ISIS. During the 1990's, Khan's brother in law Makbool Javaid gave fiery public addresses advocating jihad and whose name even appeared on a fatwa calling for holy war against the United Kingdom and United States. Javaid was a member of the Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun. Al-Muhajiroun was founded by Islamic hate preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad, who has been banned from the UK since 2005 and acted as a sponsor and recruiter of British jihadists seeking to join ISIS. Al-Muhajirou was also lead by Anjem Choudary, a British Islamist who was jailed in 2016 for supporting the Islamic State after he released guides on making bombs and establishing "Muslim gangs" for the purpose of committing terror attacks. The guides are indicative of an increasingly tight relationship between organized crime and ISIS in Western Europe previously reported on by Disobedient Media. Other connections to Al-Muhajiroun include Parliament attacker Khalid Masood, Lee Rigby's murderer Michael Adebolajo and Abdul Waheed Majeed, an Al-Nusra affiliated militant who in 2014 became the first British born jihadist to carry out a suicide attack in Syria.
While Khan has tried to distance himself from his brother in law and Al-Muhajiroun, in 2003 he shared a stage with Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, another member of Al-Muhajiroun and convicted terrorist who ran a camp in Pakistan which trained Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan. Also speaking at the same event was Yasser al-Siri, a terrorist who has been sentenced to death in absentia by Egyptian authorities over a political assassination attempt there which left a young girl dead.
In 2004, Khan made an "error of judgement" by attending four meetings organized by Stop Political Terror, a group supported by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula senior recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. Stop Political Terror was later merged with the Islamic organization CAGE, who represented the ISIS executioner "Jihadi John" (Mohammed Emwazi) as a "beautiful young man." Khan claimed that he was merely there as part of his efforts to help fight the extradition of convicted terrorist Babar Ahmed to the United States. He has furthermore stated that he condemns CAGE despite his appearances at events organized by their affiliates and the fact that he wrote a forward for a report run by CAGE in 2006.
In 2008, reports revealed that Khan was serving as a legal consultant for convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarius Moussaoui. It was further revealed that Khan was the only practicing Muslim on Moussaoui’s defense team. Moussaoui was ultimately extradited to the US, where he pled guilty to taking part in the 9/11 attacks. Moussaoui is currently being held at the Federal ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, where he is serving 6 life sentences without parole.
II. Khan Has Used His Political Influence To Fuel Sectarianism And Has Routinely Failed To Speak Out Against Those Who Denigrate Women's Rights
A. Promotion Of Sectarianism
Sadiq Khan claims that much of his association with various individuals and groups tied to jihad and terrorism was a result of his work as a human rights lawyer. However, The Daily Beast has noted that Khan did not attend the majority of these events in his capacity as a lawyer at all. Khan has a long history of making off color comments justifying sectarianism and terror. He has repeatedly had to apologize for comments he has made smearing moderate Muslims and telling Europeans and Americans to expect terrorism as a part of living in metropolitan areas. In 2009, while serving as the "Minister for Community Cohesion," Khan was interviewed by Iranian-backed Press TV. During the interview, he referred to moderate Muslim groups who commonly lead the fight to curb Islamic extremism as “Uncle Toms."
While Khan apologized for the remark, he has had no qualms about fomenting sectarian strife against Islamic minorities for political gain. In 2010, while running for re-election as Shadow Justice Secretary, Khan worked with the Tooting Islamic Center (TIC) to attack his political opponent, Nasser Butt based on his ties to the Ahmadiyya Islamic minority. The Muslim Council of Britain also contributed to sectarian attacks against the Ahmadiyya community in the UK.
In September 2016, Khan stated in the wake of the New York and New Jersey bombings, which injured 35 people that he believes the threat of terror attacks are simply “part and parcel of living in a big city." Khan has demonstrated a ready willingness to label Scottish nationalism as promoting racism. Yet he was silent when huge crowds of Muslims descended upon London in December 2016 for a week of protests calling for the establishment of a global Caliphate. Protestors at the event openly waved flags and bore placards supporting the Taliban and Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain.
B. Failure To Speak Out Against Marginalization Of Women
On many occasions, Khan has spoken alongside individuals who promote Salafist principals advocating the abuse of women. In 2008, Khan was filmed delivering a speech at the Global Peace and Unity festival in 2008 organised by the Islam Channel. The Islam Channel was found guilty by the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) of extremism both before and after the MP's appearance. Members of the audience during Khan's speech were openly waving the black flag of jihad and sporting headbands with extremist slogans written on them. The network's head, Mohamed Ali Harrath was arrested on terror charges in South Africa after he was sought by Interpol and Tunisia due to his involvement with a militant group there. Ofcom specifically criticized the Islam Channel for comments it made labeling women who wore perfume as prostitutes as well as for advocating marital rape and violence against women.
Screenshot from a 2008 video of a speech by Sadiq Khan showing a spectator waving a jihadist flag
In addition to his appearances at events alongside individuals who have demeaned and denigrated women, Khan also accepts funding from financial backers who promote extremist figures who have repeatedly expressed contempt for women's rights. In 2016, the Daily Mail revealed that Muslim millionaire Farouq Sheikh had donated £15,000 to Khan's mayoral campaign. Mr. Sheikh has also donated at least £150,000 over a three-year period to a charity founded by Dr Zakir Naik. Dr. Naik is a Indian cleric who has been barred from entering Canada and the UK after making very controversial comments exhorting Muslims to become terrorists as well as stating that "Jews are our staunchest enemy." Naik is also the founder and owner of Peace TV, which is believed to reach a global audience of nearly 100 million. Despite having such a large audience, Dr. Naik’s preaching has been banned in India, Bangladesh, Canada, and the UK, due to the many extremely controversial statements he has made and beliefs he holds. In 2016, The Huffington Post condemned Naik over his comments supporting female sex slavery, beating one's wife, the death penalty for those who renounce Islam and the prohibition of homosexuality.
In addition to taking funds from mutual supporters of Dr. Naik, Sadiq Khan has also advocated for groups which support his brand of extremism. In 2011, Khan defended a controversial organization known as iEngage, from being barred from involvement with the All Party Parliamentary Group. In Parliament, iEngage was described as having a track record of aggressive anti-Semitism, homophobic, as well as having links to terror in Tunisia & the Middle East. That same year, the Chief Executive of iEngage wrote a letter asking the Home Secretary to lift the ban that had been placed on Dr. Naik.
Khan has also failed to address a growing epidemic of acid attacks in London; roughly 80% of victims of such attacks globally are on women. In 2016 alone, London saw 431 acid attacks, a rise of over 170 cases from the previous year. The instances of attacks in London represent a rising number of crime related incidents as the city has grown increasingly lawless.
III. Authorities Have Sought To Minimize A Wave Of Terror Affecting London And The UK
For well over a year now, London has been hit with a number of terror incidents. In some cases, these incidents appear to have been minimized by both authorities and the media in an attempt to stile public panic. Despite the denials by authorities in many cases, the confiscation abroad of large weapons shipments destined for London and the recent attack on Parliament makes it clear that the city's terror problem is more serious than is publicly acknowledged.
October 6th, 2016:News World India reported that police in Karachi, Pakistan had recovered the largest ever cache of NATO weapons in the hands of Islamic jihadists in the city’s history. Karachi’s police chief stated that the weapons were scheduled to be shipped to militant groups in London for a major operation they were planning. How the militants were able to acquire the massive supply of NATO arms is unclear.
October 21st, 2016:BBC News reported a “chemical scare” at London City Airport. Paramedics treated 26 people at the scene and took two to hospital. The cause was claimed to be a CS gas spray which was “accidentally” released. The incident came several days after an explosion at facilities belonging to German chemical manufacturer BASF left two dead.
November 9th, 2016:BBC News reported that a tram derailment in Croydon, London left seven dead and 50 injured. The driver was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. The next day The Guardian cited a survivor of the crash who stated that the driver told him he had "blacked out." The story was then dropped from the press and not followed up on. ISIS has in the past targeted trains in a number of different geographic locales, including India and the United States.
January 24th, 2017: TheEvening Standard reported a huge explosion in Hornchurch, East London that sent five to the hospital. A Met Police spokesman said that two men were arrested on suspicion of arson. No further details were released about the suspects.
February 8th, 2017: Metro reported an explosion on an East London train where several were injured and passengers jumped onto the track in panic. The explosion was blamed on an “overheating battery.” The incident happened just hours after the Daily Mirror reported an explosion on the Paris metro which injured eight passengers and forced dozens to evacuate. The media immediately reported that the blast was caused by an “electrical fire” despite also reporting that it was unclear what caused the explosion.
February 27th, 2017:The Express reported that a junction in Shoreditch high street in London was evacuated and bomb squad trucks called in to deal with what they said was a "suspected explosive device." Police stated afterward that the device was an "inert WWII bomb." How a WWII era munition had managed to sit undetected next to an incredibly busy intersection of London for decades was not explained.
March 14th, 2017: The Evening Standard reported that a 60-year-old man was stabbed by a machete-wielding attacker outside of the Horse and Groom pub in London. The attacker was arrested by the Met Police and no further information was released.
March 22nd, 2017: A terror attack targeting Westminster Bridge and Parliament has resulted in over 40 injuries and five dead, including an attacker. Authorities stated that the assailant acted alone despite multiple eyewitnesses claiming they saw multiple assailants during the attack.
March 23rd, 2017:Londoners reported a series of blasts coming from inside the city the day after the attack on Parliament. The Express subsequently reported that authorities had destroyed a suspicious package near the scene of the previous day's attack in a controlled demolition. Police also raided six addresses in London, Birmingham and other areas of the UK in the aftermath of the terror incident, undermining official claims that the Parliament attacker had acted alone.
March 25th, 2017: The London Met responded in force to an incident where a car ran over multiple pedestrians in the Islington area. Despite the Met's insistence that terrorism was not a factor, multiple knives were recovered from the scene invoking striking similarities to the Parliament attack just days earlier. The Islington incident occurred on the same day as a massive explosion in the town of New Ferry on Merseyside that authorities attributed to a gas leak.
David Cameron's 2016 attempts to foster a conversation about the Mr. Khan ties to extremism resulted in detractors branding him as a rampant racist. Yet the extremely concerning connections between Sadiq Khan and those who participate in terror, promote extremist ideologies and advocate for the marginalization of women's and LGBT rights raise very serious concerns about Khan’s willingness to take a firm stand against the threats facing London. Khan has shown that he has no qualms about fostering sectarian persecution against religious minorities not in line with mainstream Sunni Islam when it benefitted him politically. His unique history shows that he is prone to protecting the interests of his own cultural peers, but not those who differ from him culturally. As London descended into what appears to be a weekend of terror, it is apparent that the city faces these threats without a leader who is ready to take a bold stance to protect those who look up to him for guidance and protection.
This article was co-authored with Kenneth Whittle of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Greece will cease taking back refugees under the controversial Dublin Regulation, as the country’s limited capacities to host people are already on the brink of collapse, the Greek migration minister announced in an interview.
RT reports that as the European Commission pressures Athens to re-implement the Dublin Regulation – stipulating that refugees can be returned to the first EU state they arrived in – the Greek migration minister told Spiegel his country is not in a position to do so. The agreement was put on hold for Greece back in 2011 over problems in the country’s asylum system.
“Greece is already shouldering a heavy burden,” Ioannis Mouzalas, the migration minister, said.
“We accommodate 60,000 refugees... and it would be a mistake to make Greece’s burden heavier by the revival of the Dublin agreement,” he said, also adding that Germany, the primary destination for most refugees, “wants countries where refugees arrive first to bear a large portion of the burden.”
Asked if Athens is ruling out implementation of the Dublin Regulation, Mouzalas answered in the affirmative, adding, “I want the Germans to understand that this is not because of political or ideological reasons, or failure to appreciate Germany’s assistance.”
“Greece simply has no capacities to cope with additional arrival of refugees,” he said. “We’ve just pulled ourselves together, so please, don’t make us falter again.”
At this stage, Mouzalas said, Greece is ready to accommodate only a small number of refugees as a symbolic gesture, showing “that we’re not opposed to the Dublin agreement.” Greece “reached its limits” and “we can’t bring in a single refugee,” he reaffirmed, appealing “to the common sense of Europe.”
Human rights groups warn that imminent transfers from other EU countries back to Greece in line with the regulations are likely to cause more refugees than ever to go underground in western European countries, as many are desperate to stay there because of family links or successful attempts to start a new life. The scheme also adds even greater pressure to existing refugee facilities in Greece and beyond.
Of course, should Greece really go against Merkel's dream of assimilation, she will simply unleash further austerical despair on the nation in return for their next bailout. How much longer will the Greeks take it?
The EU has almost regulated firearms enough to keep people completely safe from terrorism. Just one more law, and they should be able to usher Europe into a new age of utopian peace.
The European Parliament passed a bill this month which closes loopholes in regards to “acoustic” and “deactivated” prop guns to make them irreversibly unusable.
If the law passes the Council of Ministers, it will also apply stricter regulations on semi-autos with high capacity magazines.
Included in the bill are obligations of member states to monitor the issuance of firearms licenses, and share that information across the EU.
Countries in the EU will have 30 months to implement the required procedures for tracking firearms.
What this means:
With so much focus on tracking firearms, it is interesting to note that one of the weapons used in the Paris terror attacks may have been acquired through “Operation Fast and Furious,” where the ATF purposely leaked guns into criminal hands for the supposed purpose of tracking them.
But yes, why doesn’t the European Parliament simply require more tracking of guns, since it has worked so well in the past.
And then of course we will have to ban trucks, since those have been used in multiple terror attacks across Europe.
Because the root of the issue is access to items that could be used as weapons, right? It has nothing to do with deep ideological differences of people from a region plagued by war.
The EU passing more gun laws is like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound.
The vice grip of government tightens; as always they say just a little more control will keep everyone safe.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote several notes about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's painfully awkward visit to the White House. After meeting in private, the pair sat down in the oval office for a brief press conference where you could cut the tension with a knife. At one point someone from the media asked for a handshake but the request was promptly ignored.
Now, a couple of weeks later, we learn what may have prompted some of the tension in the room between Merkel and Trump that day. According to a new report from The Times of London today, Trump apparently took advantage of Merkel's visit to Washington D.C. to pass her a $375 billion invoice for 'overdue' NATO defense expenses. Per The Hill, Merkel largely ignored the invoice though it certainly seems to have accomplished it's goal of ruffling some feathers.
“The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” a German minister told the newspaper.
Trump during his presidential campaign railed against the NATO alliance and has called for member countries to increase defense spending to support the organization.
Merkel “ignored the provocation,” the Times said.
As reported, the invoice was based on a 2014 pledge from NATO countries to spend 2% of their GDP on national defense. As such, Trump allegedly instructed aides to calculate how much German spending fell below that 2% target for the past 12 years, added interest and created an invoice which he hand delivered.
Meanwhile, with the benefit of this new information, Trump's tweets from March 18th, after his meetings with Merkel, take on all new meaning.
Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes.....
En un contacto especial con la 36 (Radio Centenario), el sociólogo estadounidense, profesor James Petras, analizó la coyuntura internacional, a raíz de los sucesos ocurridos en Londres. La oportunidad sirvió también para consultarle sobre la situación en Siria y en …
Thomas Guénolé (París, 1982) es un spin doctor, un consejero político. No tardó ni cinco minutos en aceptar esta entrevista en una cafetería al lado de la facultad de Sciences Po de París, donde ejerce como profesor. Esta disponibilidad es …
El 26 de marzo, Hong Kong elegirá un nuevo gobernador. No se hará mediante una elección abierta sino a través del voto secreto de una comisión electoral de 1.200 miembros, en su mayoría bajo la influencia de Beijing. A priori, …
US and European interests continue to portray the government and nation of North Korea as a perpetual security threat to both Asia and the world. Allegations regarding the nation’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs are continuously used as justification for not only a continuous US military presence on the Korean Peninsula, but as justification for a […]
With the collapse of post-World War II international contrivances of political control has come an unprecedented fracturing of diplomatic relations between nations. In the world, today, there are, give or take, 207 sovereign entities that have an ability to enter into formal diplomatic relations. In recent years, several nations have completely severed diplomatic ties or […]
If we don’t regulate what we do to the climate, we’ll commit suicide and kill everyone else, too. The vast majority of planets have no life on them. Climate changes. Right now, ours is changing with accelerating speed, from livable toward unlivable. There is only one scientific theory as to why it’s happening (human-caused atmospheric […]
Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his “America First” policy […]
This is the transcript of an interview with Alex Knyazev from Russia TV24. The occasion is the recent UK Parliament’s go-ahead for BREXIT – despite the massive pressure to reserve the people’s democratic choice. Today’s terror act on London’s Westminster bridge that left so far four people dead and many injured, may be another false […]
nsnbc : Pakistan has begun fencing its border with Afghanistan. The two countries share a nearly 2,600 kilometer long and very porous boder regularly blame each other for cross-border insurgencies by non-state actors, often with murky ties to domestic and/or foreign intelligence networks. Notoriously tense relations between the two countries have nosedived in the last […]
nsnbc : The Iraqi military denied that an airstrike claimed the lives of at least 100 civilian non-combatants in Western Mosul on March 17. Citing experts, the military stated that the site shows no evidence of an airstrike but rather of a controlled demolition. A vehicle borne explosive device went off at another site where […]
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The General Staff of the armed forces of North Korea warned that the United States’ and South Korea’s joint military drills include drills for special operations aimed to decapitate the political and military leadership in Pyongyang. Pyongyang described the ongoing military exercises which involve aircraft carrier groups and B-1B nuclear capable […]
nsnbc : Following at least interim collapse of attempts to repeal and replace the United States’ health care plan, President Donald Trump noted that he will be turning his attention to a major overhaul of the tax system. At a White House meeting on Friday after Republicans withdrew legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly […]
Nizar Visram (nsnbc) : At the 28th Summit meeting of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 30 January 2017, Morocco’s readmission to the continental body generated heated discussion. At the end of the day the Kingdom of Morocco managed to win over sufficient member states on its side and it was allowed […]
Well, Mas Ayoob has done it once again, a superbly researched and well-written book on the use of deadly force in a self-defense situation. This book is loaded with lots of very sound and well research information and provides you with a library of recommended reading material that you should also study. Great Stuff! […]
David Rockefeller was a very nice evil man. So was his father. He always thought he was doing the right thing. Maybe once in a while he did something really good. I just can’t think of anything. Rockefeller was a big promoter of modern art. So was his brother Nelson. The brothers promoted an […]
I have spent this past week watching the Senate Judiciary Committee interrogating U.S. Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The vacancy was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than 13 months ago. The Supreme Court is currently generally […]
During Monday’s Senate Judiciary hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senator Diane Feinstein displayed either abject ignorance of the Constitution, or she outright fibbed. During her committee performance monologue, Feinstein stated: Judge Gorsuch has also stated that he believes judges should look to the original public meaning […]
Something truly incredible happened on January 21. Several top officials from the Obama administration woke up and decided to join Twitter now that they were out of jobs. It must have been like turning on the TV news for the first time after coming out of an eight-year-long coma because none of them can seem […]
Despite the signing of a declaration on post-Brexit priorities at a celebratory EU summit late last week, most experts warn that the supranational organization faces its gravest challenge yet and that its most highly-touted accomplishments of the last several decades are in jeopardy.
On Saturday, a new declaration honoring the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which led to the EU's foundation, was signed by 27 EU member states during a celebratory summit in the Italian capital.
Spanish police have found 57 pieces of artificial fruit containing seven kilograms of cocaine mixed among real bananas, with another 10 kilos packed in cardboard boxes.
The video obtained by Ruptly video agency shows how officers smash the bananas open using screwdrivers and hammers.
One banana is cracked open to reveal the white powder "filling" it.
The fake bananas were found during an operation in the coastal cities of Malaga and Valencia on Sunday. The footage of the haul was shot in Valencia, the Ruptly news agency said.
Two people were detained on charges of drug trafficking, and a third person is now under investigation as a result of the operation, according to the police.
An earthquake that struck this morning in the Banda Sea has rattled parts of Darwin but is unlikely to have caused any damage.
The magnitude 5.3 quake hit in the Banda Sea at a depth of 96 kilometres, about 600 kilometres north of Darwin.
Many people were asleep when it rattled parts of the city at 4:44am (ACST), but several people contacted ABC Radio Darwin to say they felt it.
Australia was a long way from the zone where damage was expected from the quake, according to information from Geoscience Australia.
Geoscience Australia seismologist Eddie Leask said quakes in the Banda Sea were often felt in Darwin.
"We had about 50 in that area over the last year and about 15 of those were felt in Darwin," Mr Leask told ABC Radio Darwin.
Both parents affect your personality, but rejection by one parent could be more critical for long-term development. Being rejected by your father can do greater, long-lasting emotional damage than being rejected by your mother, research finds.
While rejection by either parent is traumatising for children, fathers often have higher prestige and/or power. Therefore, children can take their father's rejection harder.
Professor Ronald Rohner, co-author of the study, said:
"In our half-century of international research, we've not found any other class of experience that has as strong and consistent effect on personality and personality development as does the experience of rejection, especially by parents in childhood.
Children and adults everywhere — regardless of differences in race, culture, and gender — tend to respond in exactly the same way when they perceived themselves to be rejected by their caregivers and other attachment figures."
Rejection by either parent, or both, has a huge effect on children's personality.
Russian center for Syrian reconciliation carried out six humanitarian events in Aleppo and Latakia Province, distributing 1.7 metric tons of humanitarian aid to civilians, the statement released by the Center said on Monday.
"Within last 24 hours, 2,850 citizens have received humanitarian aid. Total weight of humanitarian aid provided to the Syrian population has reached 1.7 [metric] tons," the statement reads, adding that a total of five humanitarian events were held in Aleppo and one more in Darmina settlement in the Latakia province.
Two nuns who are strongly opposed to Katy Perry purchasing their former convent accused Katy Perry of witchcraft and of “selling her soul to the devil”. They really don’t want her to move in there. The singer whose last single was about people being too “comfortable in their bubble” has been attempting to buy, for […]
In this edition of SPOTM: Emma Watson, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, a triceratops and some inappropriate stuff happening at the Kid’s Choice Awards. Emma Watson is an “It” celeb at this particular moment and, of course, the media attention comes with a bunch of symbolic stuff (even photo “leaks”). Some controversy surrounded the following Vanity Fair […]
It took some time and effort, but The Vigilant Citizen are back online – and they’ve been greatly improved. The VC Forums were taken offline a few months ago due to several issues that could not be fixed without drastic modifications. The main issue was that s that occurred on the forums sometimes affected and compromised […]
The latest Wikileaks dump is said to be the “biggest exposure of CIA spying secrets ever”. It reveals how the agency hacks into consumer products to turn them into spying devices … and how it can even remotely take control of cars. Entitled Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed, the latest Wikileaks dump contains tons […]
“Chained to the Rhythm” is your typical Katy Perry pop song but with a slight subversive twist. However, there is intense “double think” going on here. Indeed, the “rebellion” presented by the video is actually accepting the global elite’s agenda that has been pushed for years. After Trump’s election, Katy Perry declared that it was […]
Mark Curtis writes in an extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam: Britain’s willingness to work with Islamist forces has been evident in Libya, where it took a brutal civil war between armed opposition forces and remnants of the regime to overthrow Libyan ruler, Muammar Qadafi, who was killed in October 2011. Massive NATO […]
Simon Jenkins writes for The Guardian: On Wednesday afternoon a car went on to the pavement on Westminster bridge and killed three passersby. A man leapt out and stabbed a policeman. He was shot. No one knew who he was, only that he was dark-skinned and bearded. The police later released the names of those […]
Jane Mayer reports for The New Yorker: Last month, when President Donald Trump toured a Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, he saw a familiar face in the crowd that greeted him: Patrick Caddell, a former Democratic political operative and pollster who, for forty-five years, has been prodding insurgent Presidential candidates to attack […]
Amy Goodman speaks to David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of The Making of Donald Trump, who obtained part of Trump’s 2005 tax returns. (Democracy Now!)Filed under: Donald Trump, USA
Paul Farhi reports for The Washington Post: Alex Jones, the conspiracy-loving media personality, apologized Friday for his role in promoting “Pizzagate,” the baseless viral story that a Washington pizza restaurant was the locale of a child sex-abuse ring run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta. In a surprising and rare bit of backtracking, […]
Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities? Recently, I wrote about the mass exodus that is happening out of the state of California, but the truth is that what is happening there is just part of a national phenomenon. The populations of some of our largest cities are steadily shrinking, [...]
Are we going to see a dramatic stock market plunge if the effort to get “Obamacare Lite” through the U.S. House of Representatives ultimately fails? On Thursday, a vote on the Republican healthcare bill was postponed once it became clear that there would not be enough votes for it to pass. House Republican leaders are [...]
More than 3,500 retail stores are going to close all across America over the next few months as the worst retail downturn in U.S. history gets even deeper. Earlier this week, Sears shocked the world when it announced that there is “substantial doubt” that the company will be able to “continue as a going concern” [...]
The post-election stock market rally is officially over. After hovering near record highs for the past couple of weeks, U.S. stocks had their worst day in six months on Tuesday. For quite some time it has been clear that the momentum of the post-election rally had been exhausted, and a pullback of this nature was [...]
The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe [...]
(INSIDER.FOXNEWS) — Former CIA officer Col. Tony Shaffer said the basics of President Trump’s claim to have been “wiretapped” are likely true, and that the incident is “worse than Watergate.” Noting it has been exactly two weeks since Trump tweeted that President Obama wiretapped his namesake tower, Shaffer said the “basic fundamental idea and claim [...]
(DAILYMAIL) — Ted Koppel had some harsh words for Fox News host Sean Hannity this morning. In a CBS ‘Sunday Morning’ segment, the veteran news journalist said he thinks Hannity, a Fox News commentator, is ‘bad for America.’ Hannity said, of the difference between commentary shows such as his own and actual news programs: ‘We [...]
On April 16, 1859, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville died. After nine months of traveling the United States, he wrote “Democracy in America” in 1835, which has been described as “the most comprehensive … analysis of character and society in America ever written.” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: “Upon my arrival in the United States the [...]
Mystical death curses. Visions of the Messiah. A renowned world political leader under the threat of death. Religious leaders in absolute shock. A cryptic death note … The story is shocking, it’s true, and it’s still unfolding right now – especially with the recent death of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which figures prominently in [...]
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I joined comedian Lee Camp to talk about my experiences in Palestine seeing the brutal Israeli occupation and apartheid regime firsthand, how Steve Bannon serves as Trump’s brain and why his ideology is so dangerous, and why the corporate media is terrible for democracy on his awesome RT show Redacted Tonight. Abby Martin and Lee Camp Reveal the Truth Behind the Headlines ** @AbbyMartin … Read More
Robbie Martin and Abby Martin break down the media hysteria over the Trump wiretapping claim and discuss the implications of Wikileaks’ Vault 7 data dump about CIA targeted hacking and spying. They also talk about the media’s Russophobia campaign and Robbie extensively dissects the actual facts and analysis behind the so-called “Russian hacking” allegations on Media Roots Radio. This podcast … Read More
Abby and Robbie Martin talk about the significance of Trump’s military budget increase of $54 billion, his ramping up of drone strikes and special ops, putting boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria and the danger of new wars in North Korea and Iran on Media Roots Radio. This podcast is the product of many long hours of hard … Read More
Despite being the fifth most popular religion of the world, people of the Sikh faith are rarely recognized as such in the US. With a sharp rise in Islamophobia, Sikhs are frequent targets of bigoted hate crimes, often mistaken for Muslims or Hindus. The first victim of post-9/11 hate crimes was a 49 year old Sikh man – shot to … Read More
The Sikh Experience in America Despite being the fifth most popular religion of the world, people of the Sikh faith are rarely recognized as such in the US. With a sharp rise in Islamophobia, Sikhs are frequent targets of bigoted hate crimes, often mistaken for Muslims or Hindus. The first victim of post-9/11 hate crimes was a 49 year old … Read More
In Maryland, the rape of a 14-year-old girl in the high school boys’ bathroom by two older classmates, both of whom are illegal aliens, has drawn national attention. The tragic event highlights the need to [...]
Google, the world’s biggest Internet search engine provider, has decided it should “help” readers determine whether or not a search result is “safe” by applying “quality ratings.” In its latest move along the censorship path, [...]
Click on the image below to subscribe to AFP’s online editions. Already a subscriber? Click here to login to read the latest issue, AFP’s March 27 & April 3 edition. RELATED ARTICLES FROM AMERICAN FREE [...]
According to reports, an 19-year-old Jewish Israeli man has been arrested in Israel and is being charged with making “most” of the bomb threat calls to Jewish institutions since Jan. 1. By John Tiffany Since [...]
According to reports, a 19-year-old Jewish Israeli man has been arrested in Israel and is being charged with making “most” of the bomb threat calls to Jewish institutions since Jan. 1. By John Tiffany Since [...]
What would have happened if Mother Nature had not ordained a three-day snowstorm sweeping over America’s east coast in mid-March? The blizzards and the howling winds kept German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s jet waiting in Berlin’s Flughafen Tegel «Otto Lilienthal» pending weather clearance to take off for Washington.
The ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS held in Washington, DC was an important milestone on the path to the Trump team’s mission to fully defeat the would-be caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opened the proceedings by unequivocally stating that the ISIS threat would be the first priority of the new administration, and that in achieving that overarching objective, the United States would be invested in securing the stability of areas conquered from ISIS. Tillerson correctly identified Syria as a priority for stabilization after ISIS.
The recent meeting in Antalya between the US, Russian, and Turkish chiefs of staff kindled unequivocal hopes that a united front would finally materialize to advance the struggle against the terrorist Islamic State (IS). However, leaked information from the US later showed that the plan to fight IS that the Pentagon had drafted for President Trump did not include such aims.
Panmunjom, the ‘peace village’ on the incredibly tense demilitarized zone (aka DMZ) between North and South Korea, is one of the weirdest places I’ve ever visited. Tough North Korean soldiers lurk about, watched by equally tough South Korean troops in one-way sunglasses and an aggressive judo ‘warrior’ stance.
Only hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a bloodcurdling warning about terror attacks against European citizens, four people lay dead on the streets of London. That death toll may rise further because several of those injured in the attack this week in the British capital are in critical condition, fighting for their lives...
US President Donald Trump has reportedly called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to pay hundreds of billions of dollars Berlin owes to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a German minister says, calling the request “outrageous.” Trump handed the bill – thought to be for more than £300 billionns (US$375 billions) —to Merkel during their […]
SpeisaMarch 24, 2017 In an interview with the Belgium newspaper De Standaard, Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon said that the country is hit by a cancer of extremism, and that a substantial portion of Muslims in the country celebrate when terrorist attacks happen. Speaking to the Flemish-language newspaper, Jan Jambon did not specifically refer to the […]
World countries are set to launch talks on a global nuclear weapons ban despite objections from major nuclear powers. Some 123 member states of the United Nations (UN) had announced in October last year that they would launch a UN conference to negotiate a legally-binding nuclear ban treaty. The initiative is scheduled to be launched […]
A battle over the death penalty is brewing in Florida, where Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala has announced her office will no longer seek the death penalty in any murder cases, including in the case of Markeith Loyd, who is accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Orlando police officer Debra Clayton. Ayala's announcement sparked immediate backlash from the police union and Florida Governor Rick Scott, who called on her to recuse herself from the Loyd case. When she refused, Scott signed an executive order removing her from the case and reassigning it. Now Ayala, the first African-American state attorney in Florida history, has been receiving death threats, including from local government employees. We are joined by Angel Harris, assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
We feature an extended excerpt of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) grilling Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing about the so-called frozen trucker case of Alphonse Maddin. Gorsuch ruled it was right for Maddin to be fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned the trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. "It is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving in an unsafe vehicle," says Sen. Franken. "It makes me question your judgment."
As confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch wrap up and Senate Democrats vow to filibuster his nomination, we look at Gorsuch's ruling in a case known as the "frozen trucker." Truck driver Alphonse Maddin was fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned the trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. We speak with Robert Fetter, the attorney who represented Maddin in his wrongful termination lawsuit.
As President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan face a showdown with Republicans, both moderate and conservative, on whether to repeal Obamacare, the party has been scrambling to rewrite the legislation in order to appease members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus and win its passage. The latest version of the bill strips away provisions that would require health insurers to provide basic services including maternity care, newborn care, emergency services, mental health and addiction treatment. The Democratic Caucus has been united in opposition to the bill, which is projected to leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 than under Obamacare. The bill also includes over $275 billion in tax breaks for wealthy Americans. We are joined by John McDonough, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the former executive director of Health Care for All in Massachusetts, which played a key role in the passage of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform bill, which was known as Romneycare. He later became a top aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy and worked on the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act.
GOP Delays Healthcare Vote as President Trump Issues Ultimatum, Police Arrest 24 at Healthcare Protest Outside White House, House Intel Committee Democrat: More Evidence of Trump-Russia Ties, House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes Under Fire for Wiretap Claims, Senate Minority Leader Plans Filibuster of SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch, State Department Tightens Visa Rules for Some Travelers, Death Threats Target Federal Judge Who Ruled Against Trump Travel Ban, Hundreds of Migrants Feared Dead After Boats Capsize in Mediterranean, Britain: Police Identify Assailant in Attack Near Parliament, Video Shows Israeli Police Officer Assaulting Palestinian Driver, Israel Accused of "Dirty Tricks" in Arrest of Palestinian Activist, Israel Arrests Jewish Teen for Bomb Threats Against Jewish Centers, Ousted Dictator Hosni Mubarak Released from Egyptian Prison, GOP Congressmember Duncan Hunter Faces DOJ Corruption Probe, La Jornada Reporter Miroslava Breach Gunned Down in Mexico, Chicago Officer Draws Additional Charges in Laquan McDonald Killing, Trump Issues Keystone XL Pipeline Permit to TransCanada, Scientists Report New Record Low for Sea Ice in Winter, RIP: Bob Lee aka Robert Alwalee, Black Panther Activist & Community Organizer
On the occasion of the release of Thierry Meyssan's new book , «Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump», we are publishing a series of articles which develop a few of the numerous points he mentions. After the comments by Jean-Luc Mélenchon during the debate for the French Presidential election, we shall begin with the true story of Lafarge-Holcim in Syria.
These emails have been first uploaded by Zaman al-Wasl (an anti-Syria group sponsorised by the Turkish secret service, Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı). Then removed from its website. It is impossible to verify their authenticity.
February 16th, 2017 Fabien Namias: Good morning Mr President. Bashar al-Assad: Good morning. Fabien Namias: A very simple question to begin with. Two months after the fall of Aleppo, can you say that you have won the war? Bashar al-Assad: No. I do not think that we can talk about having won the war before beating all the terrorists throughout Syria. It is only an important step on the path that is going to lead us to beat and eliminate terrorism from our country; but I think that this (...)
The new Chair of the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, Devin Nunes (the Californian Representative), gave a press conference on the wire taps of Team Trump. He confirmed that the Intelligence agencies had “accidentally” listened to some members of Team Trump. « Accidentally», should be interpreted to mean that they were not the targets of interception, but they were talking with people who had been targeted by the agencies. Devin Nunes has confirmed that contrary to (...)
According to McClatchy, the FBI is investigating the internet sites, Breitbart and InfoWars in the context of its investigations into whether there was a Russian intervention in the presidential electoral campaign. Breitbart is a news website. Steve Bannon (see photo), who is currently the President Trump's strategic adviser, used to be the editor-in-chief. It has been largely subsidized by Robert Mercer (who also supports Cambridge Analytica, the Cato Institute and the Media Research (...)
A strong tone of temperance has characterised discussions about Australian cricket of late. The tone got somewhat more excited with the announcement that Cricket Australia, after two decades, would end its relationship with Carlton and United Breweries, producer of Victoria Bitter. A veritable whoop of delight could be noted through medical and activist circles: a […]
Indians had no cannon Algerians, Kenyans, Koreans, Congolese, all Africans, not to mention a few Chinese For centuries past, in century present with aims sincere could no gentle (white) man endear. Where are those Western values cherished at whose hands whole peoples perished? Where is that order here maintained closing hospitals and schools profits to […]
She’s special, that girl, simply magical. It’s like sitting next to a radiator, you can feel the warmth come right off her. Aura buzzing lightly like a pylon in the corner of a daisied meadow. I saw a dragonfly dance with her fingers once, the Welsh side of The Forest Of Dean. She’d just opened […]
The tree spreads its roots beneath the concrete flutters its leaves in the winds channeled between the buildings pretends it’s in a forest. Earthworms, confused by its happiness crawl up through the dirt to find there is no forest above them, there is only pavement and hot sun. The tree shares its fantasy with the […]
My activist friend sends me pictures almost every day. The signal chirp sends shock ripples through my mother sloshing the amniotic tracery that still coddles my secret organs where bonding originates. She cannot look at images of war, of destruction, of refugees, won’t watch any war films or the news. They trigger her wailing memories […]
A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention indicates that women who are long-term users of statin drugs have between 83-143% increased risk of breast cancer. The population-based case-control study utilized data from women in the Seattle-Puget Sound region, which included 916 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and 1,068 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) ...
US spying is institutionalized – on anyone, anywhere for any reason or none at all. Invented national security threats, targeting dissent and whistleblowers, along with challenging press freedom undermine fundamental rights. In Palko v. Connecticut (1937), the Supreme Court called “(f)reedom of thought the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.” ...
The 24 Mega Green City infrastructure project in India will connect Delhi with Mumbai, creating a commerce corridor incorporating 21st century technologies and amenities. – Interview with ZincOne Resources’ Jim Walchuck, The Daily Coin It seems absurd that Asia is willing and able to build high-speed “bullet” trains to connect large population centers while the United States ...
By: The Voice of Reason | While the mainstream media has been trying to keep the public distracted with yet more stories about Russian conspiracies, the crackdown against high level pedophiles has begun. We have previously reported that many pedophiles are far from the image of a stereotypical loser; in fact they are often placed ...
Most people want to lose weight to experience the benefits of having a healthy body and avoid the problems of not. The stresses of excessive weight include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the spectrum of problems caused by toxins are experiences we’re better off to avoid. One of the cornerstones to achieving and maintaining a healthy ...
It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's "art of the deal" collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback.
In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity".
In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate, quoted by the EU Observer.
"I trust the EU," he said, defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete".
The reader, who has followed me this far may wonder; if Marduk and his Anunnaki stayed here on Earth and Marduk is still, after thousands of years, King of Earth (in that sense could perhaps been seen as the Biblical Satan), left here to rule for another 3,600 years by "God" (Anu/Enlil) after been cast him down from "Heaven",
— Why all those wars? — Can't he just rule all the Nations with an iron fist and thus bring peace, although it's an oppressive peace?
The US and Turkey continue to hold on to diametrically opposite opinions on the status of Kurdish military and political entities in Syria, threatening to drive a wedge between Ankara and its Western allies.
Only international cooperation and joint efforts of all countries fighting against the underlying causes of people becoming terrorists can prevent further terrorist attacks and ensure security, Cyprus Ambassador to Russia George Kasoulides told Sputnik, commenting on the recent terror attack in London.
Singaporean Amos Yee fits the description of virtually every foreign-backed agitator used to target and undermine political orders worldwide as part of Washington’s “soft power” toolkit. He is a young individual who, at 18 years old, was not particularly bright in school and possesses no practical talent or skill with which to contribute to society. […]
As regular as it may sound, one is bound to note that there’s a rapid acceleration of political processes that can be observed in the world today in general and in the Asia-Pacific region in particular. It seems that only yesterday NEO was reporting on the chances of a possible aggravation between the leading regional […]
Over the past decades, we’ve all witnessed how China transformed itself in a world’s workshop due to the extensive amount of cheap labor that it has had. However, in recent years, there’s been reports pointing out that the wages of regular workers in China have exceeded the average payment rate that can be observed throughout […]
The death of David Rockefeller, the de facto Patriarch of the American establishment, at age 101, is being greeted by establishment media with praise for his alleged philanthropy. I would like to contribute to a more honest picture of the person. The Rockefeller American Century In 1939, along with his four brothers–Nelson, John D. III, […]
“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” – Ernest Hemingway Spring offensives are in the air, and so it seems for political assassinations, also. The throwaway assassin who killed ex-Russian MP Denis Voronenkov on a Kiev street must have skipped a class in his basic training program. When tasked […]