American storm troops.

“He sent what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called his “unidentified storm troopers” togged out like soldiers in a war zone onto streets filled with protesters in Portland, Oregon. Those camouflage-clad federal law enforcement agents were evidently from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service and the Customs and Border Protection agency. Soon, hundreds of …

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The shame Americans should feel: corona virus and the big donations

Why is the US corona virus situation such a disgraceful mess? All politicians in America depend on big donors for their elections. That is a given. But some governors, (mainly in the South) are more than ever in the pockets of the super-rich in a country of obscene disparities of wealth. Having donated handsomely, the …

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Annexation of the occupied West Bank

(This post is a bit longer than usual, but the injustice is so troublesome that I wanted to reproduce it;  one won’t find it easily in the American media): Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) decries the Israeli government’s intended annexation of significant parts of the occupied West Bank (to start this coming Wednesday), for the …

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US voting data being traded on the dark web

Data on millions of US voters is being illegally traded on the dark web as the US is gearing up for the 2020 presidential election. The data could be used to attempt to influence voters. The dark web is a part of the internet not searchable using normal means. It is encrypted and visible only through …

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Epicurus loathed politics then, and would do so today

Modern politics is impossible to understand unless one understands the so-called pollution paradox – the greater the risk to public health and wellbeing a company is the more it has to spend on politics, to ensure it isn’t regulated out of existence.  The result is that politics is dominated by the most anti-social companies and …

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Something I don’t think we have been told about

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tried to plug a crucial hole in its preparations for a global pandemic, signing a $13.8 million contract with a Pennsylvania manufacturer to create a low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ventilator that could be stockpiled for emergencies. This past September, with the design of the new …

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1.2 billion dollars couldn’t do it

”Michael Bloomberg spent $1.2 billion on his failed presidential bid making it the most expensive in history, according to campaign finance filings. ”Bloomberg self-funded his 104-day attempt to secure the Democratic nomination, but only one primary contest: the tiny territory of American Samoa. Arguably, He entered the contest too late. He was not on the …

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Re-writing history: revanchist Russia

”Second World War commemorations were once characterised by gestures of reconciliation, but Vladimir Putin is changing that. The atmosphere ahead of May’s 75th anniversary of VE Day is becoming “poisonous”, not least where Poland is concerned. The country is generally regarded as the first victim of Nazi expansionism, but in a speech in December, Russia’s …

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The truth about Dutch resistance to the Nazis

“It is high time our country showed contrition for its failure to protect Jews in the Second World War. “In a historic apology, Dutch. Prime Minister Mark Rutte finally acknowledged that too many Dutch officials supinely obeyed Nazi orders after their country was occupied. In total, 102,000 of the six million Jews killed in the …

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It seems the mafia are everywhere

Organized crime is operating in every sector of Italy’s society  (including our Italian) government,  That’s the grim take-away from the most recent police report by the police anti-Mafia investigation division, the DIA. The dreaded Calabrian ’Ndrangheta has spread “everywhere” in the north and is now being emulated by other clans. A gang in the southeastern …

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Shutting down the internet

Authoritarian governments all over the world have latched onto a great way of stopping unwelcome criticism and subversive thought – suspending data services, phone calls, texting and participation in social media.  As internet penetration has surged during the past decade, especially in the developing world, so have attempts to switch off the flow of information.  …

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Golden passports for a corrupt elite

For years people have been complaining about Cyprus’s “golden passport” scheme.  Launched in 2013, it offers citizenship to anyone investing €2m in Cypriot property, giving 4,000 members of the global mega-rich residency, voting rights and a back door into Europe. Earlier this year, President Nicos Anastasiades reacted angrily to claims Cyprus was abusing the practice …

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Graves destroyed

Xinjiang, China China has destroyed and built over scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to the Uighur people in the northwestern Xinjiang province, as part of what critics claim is a ruthless campaign to wipe out the history and cultural identity of the region’s indigenous Muslim population. Satellite images published last week showed flattened earth …

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Lawlessness in Mexico

 From The Guardian Last year Mexico registered 35,964 murders, an increase of three times the previous year. Only a tiny fraction of crimes committed are solved, and increasingly ordinary people are taking the law into their own hands, specifically, 174 times last year, lynching suspects wherever they can find them.  Citizens are frustrated by incompetent …

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The ultra-costly, underwhelming F-35 Fighter

From Tomgram, the site that comments on the  defence industry: “Lockheed Martin Remains Top Gun in the Pentagon’s Cockpit “How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens …

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Kashmir: what happened

Indian-administered Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown, subject to a curfew and without phone and internet links. It followed the announcement that India’s only Muslim-majority state would lose its autonomous status. Article 370 of India’s constitution, in force since 1949, guaranteed Jammu and Kashmir the right to make its own laws in all internal matters, …

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A hard border is simply unworkable

The Guardian, on 7 August,  ran an interesting article on the “border” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The hard border is not currently there because of the terms of the Good Friday agreement, underpinned by the fact that both the UK and Ireland are EU states. If Britain leaves the EU with no …

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A humiliating way to treat an old warmonger

From the New York Times: Many of the people who have worked for President Trump have ended up “diminished” or humiliated in some way. To that long list we can now add a new name: John Bolton. Trump’s national security adviser won the role by impressing the president with his regular bellicose contributions to Fox …

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