News Articles – December 12, 2021

9/11, Afghanistan, Biden, China, education, Global Warming, government, julian assange, methane, military, military industrial complex, NATO, pollution, Putin, Russia, social media, strike, Ukraine, Uncategorized, unions, War

Perhaps the barbarians laying siege to cities of the Roman Empire were the first to figure out that the way to bring the Romans to their knees (or onto their butts on their fancy latrines) was to throw shit in their aqueducts. (Now Graeber and Wengrow might say that life might have been OK under barbarian rule, but the shit-chuckers were kind of cold, I’d say.)

The U.S. military has been very effective in destroying water infrastructure when they want to kill the enemy. It bombed dams in Korea during the Korean War to drown the people who lived in villages downstream. READ MORE

It took the contamination of water in the homes of  military families to bring to a head the dangers of the U.S. Navy’s 80-year-old massive, leaking Red Hill jet-fuel tanks.

On Dec. 6, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige issued an order to the Navy to suspend the operation of the massive jet fuel tanks and within 30 days “defuel” or remove the fuel out of the tanks.  After five town hall meetings held over several previous days by the U.S. Navy to try to calm military families who have been drinking and bathing in fuel contaminated water, Ige said the public had lost confidence in the Navy. READ MORE

Kellogg has announced that it is planning to permanently replace 1,400 workers who have been striking since October, after failing to offer a satisfactory deal to the union.

Earlier this week, workers rejected a five-year deal that offered 3 percent raises and cost of living adjustments further along in the contract. The deal failed to remedy problems created by the two-tiered wage system that allows the company to offer less pay and worse benefits to newer hires, a tier that currently applies to about 30 percent of the cereal plants’ employees. READ MORE

In a historic victory for the labor movement, workers at one of Starbucks’s 9,000 corporate-owned locations have voted to form the first-ever Starbucks union in the country, after facing tough opposition and union-busting efforts from the company.

Workers at the Elmwood location in Buffalo voted 19 to 8 in favor of unionizing under Starbucks Workers United, which is under the Service Employees International Union. Camp Road, the second store whose votes were being counted on Thursday, voted against the union 12 to 8. READ MORE

Baristas with Starbucks Workers United’s organizing committee are cautiously optimistic one or more stores will soon become the first of the corporation’s locations to unionize in the United States. Results are expected tomorrow for three of six Starbucks stores in the Buffalo, New York, area that have filed for union elections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). READ MORE

After the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded in 2010, environmentalists surveying the damage in the Gulf of Mexico came upon a mystery. The water had oil slicks that, because of the currents, couldn’t have originated from the site of the notorious accident.

With the help of satellite imagery, they figured out that oil was leaking from a different spill, a six-year-old disaster the public knew almost nothing about. In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan had swept the legs out from under a 40-story oil-drilling platform operated by a company called Taylor Energy, causing a leak that continues to this day. It is the longest-running — and by one estimate, the largest — U.S. oil spill ever recorded, a contentious saga that prompted a recent 60 Minutes segment. READ MORE

As August ended, American troops completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan almost 20 years after they first arrived. On the formal date of withdrawal, however, President Biden insisted that "over-the-horizon capabilities" (airpower and Special Operations forces, for example) would remain available for use anytime. "[W]e can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground, very few if needed," he explained, dispensing immediately with any notion of a true peace. But beyond expectations of continued violence in Afghanistan, there was an even greater obstacle to officially ending the war there: the fact that it was part of a never-ending, far larger conflict originally called the Global War on Terror (in caps), then the plain-old lower-cased war on terror, and finally—as public opinion here soured on it—America's "forever wars." READ MORE

"The overreach and abuses of the last administration exposed a series of loopholes and problems that urgently need to be addressed."

As the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday almost entirely along party lines in favor of proposed legislation to curb executive power and bolster transparency, proponents of the bill urged the Senate to pass the measure to help "restore the balance of powers and fix our democracy."

House lawmakers voted 220-208 in favor of H.R. 5314, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, with just one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, joining every Democrat except two who did not vote in approving the measure (the full roll call is here). READ MORE

It’s easy to forget about garbage. We put it out on the curb and it goes away, thanks to some of the hardest-working people around. But garbage continues impacting us — and the planet — long after it leaves our dumpsters. When all of our trash combines in a landfill, it becomes a serious source of climate-warming pollution.

Municipal solid waste landfills are the nation’s largest source of methane emitted by human sources after fossil fuels and agriculture, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. We send our garbage to as many as 2,000 such dumps nationwide. READ MORE

President Joe Biden’s ill-conceived virtual “Summit for Democracy” on December 9-10 is really a public relations extravaganza that’s likely to backfire on the United States, because democracy is not a commodity, nor is it a Kalashnikov to be aimed at geopolitical rivals. President Biden is using an obsolete playbook, and his advisers should have told him that the stunt will convince only those who already believe in the myth of U.S. democracy. It will not gain the U.S. any new friends. READ MORE

Some campaign promises, it turns out, should not be kept. In a major foreign policy address delivered on July 11, 2020, then-candidate Joe Biden declared that, if elected,

“I will ensure that democracy is once more the watchword of U.S. foreign policy — not to launch some moral crusade, but because it is in our enlightened self-interest. We must restore our ability to rally the Free World — so we can once more make our stand upon new fields of action and together face new challenges.”

To this end, Biden promised that “We will organize and host in the United States, during the first year of my administration, a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the Free World.”  READ MORE

President Biden’s virtual Summit for Democracy on December 9-10 is part of a campaign to restore the United States’ standing in the world, which took such a beating under President Trump’s erratic foreign policies. Biden hopes to secure his place at the head of the “Free World” table by coming out as a champion for human rights and democratic practices worldwide.

The greater possible value of this gathering of 111 countries is that it could instead serve as an “intervention,” or an opportunity for people and governments around the world to express their concerns about the flaws in U.S. democracy and the undemocratic way the United States deals with the rest of the world. Here are just a few issues that should be considered: READ MORE

“Let us look at ourselves, if we have the courage, to see what is happening to us”

– Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre’s words should echo in all our minds following the grotesque decision of Britain’s High Court to extradite Julian Assange to the United States where he faces “a living death”. This is his punishment for the crime of authentic, accurate, courageous, vital journalism.

Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes last Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life. READ MORE

ABritish court ruled Friday that WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act, a decision that rights groups say poses a profound threat to global press freedoms.

“This is an utterly shameful development that has alarming implications not only for Assange’s mental health, but also for journalism and press freedom around the world,” Rebecca Vincent, director of international campaigns for Reporters Without Borders, said in response to the ruling. READ MORE

The U.S. government has won its appeal against a lower British court’s rejection of its extradition request to prosecute Julian Assange for journalistic activity under the Espionage Act. Rather than going free, the WikiLeaks founder will continue to languish in Belmarsh Prison where he has already spent over two and a half years despite having been convicted of no crime.

“As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government’s long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it,” writes Glenn Greenwald. “Assange’s representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today’s victory for the U.S. means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances.” READ MORE

It is a very dark day indeed for the future of press freedom. If Julian Assange does not find relief at the U.K. Supreme Court, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that democracy, already on life support, is done for. The U.S., and its best ally Britain, have behaved in this affair no better than any tinpot dictator tossing a critical reporter into a dungeon.

The judgement by the High Court on Friday to allow Assange’s extradition to the U.S. comes on U.N. Human Rights Day; the day that Washington concluded its so-called Democracy Summit and the day when the Nobel Prize was awarded to two journalists, one of whom dismissed Julian Assange and said the purpose of journalism is to support national security. READ MORE

The future of democracy in the United States will not be determined by the malignant decisions made by a reactionary group of Supreme Court Justices. Nor will it be decided by the existence of voter suppression laws, the ubiquity of the big lie, massive structural inequality, or the rise of white nationalism to the centers of power, and a politics dominated by white supremacist ideology. Nor will it be decided by the rhetorical accelerant endlessly produced by former President Trump with his frequent allusions to violence and armed revolt.[i] It will be decided by the increasing collapse of conscience, the undermining of truth, and a mass consciousness that supports violence as a central weapon for social change. To the degree that the public can be convinced, as Judith Butler argues, that the “call for democracy is interpreted as sedition [and] the call for freedom is taken to be a call to violence” democracy will suffer from a legitimation crisis and will disintegrate. Under such circumstances, it will be easier for the abyss of fascist politics to gain more legitimacy and prevail in the United States. READ MORE

Last spring the hoopla about Russia invading Ukraine died an ignominious death when nothing happened. This autumn, the latest Russia-will-invade boogeyman was already on life-support when the pro-western Ukrainian president decided to goose it November 26 with the breathless proclamation that Moscow intended to overthrow him “next week.” When that didn’t happen, on December 4, the Washington Post hyperventilated about Russia igniting a war, like, any day, in an anonymously sourced piece of exemplary CIA stenography, worthy of the fantasies published in the run-up to the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq. READ MORE

The US war on the people of Afghanistan is supposedly over. At the least, the ground troops are gone, the mercenaries have left, and only the CIA remains. Unfortunately, US aircraft—manned and otherwise—remain nearby ready to launch deadly assaults on command. The modern Taliban are currently in control of Kabul and much of the rest of the countryside. The government they are putting together struggles to take care of those Afghans left in the devastation forty years of conflict brought to their land. Meanwhile, in the capitals of the west, it seems only armchair warriors, angry veterans, a few politicians and media mouthpieces even think about what was done in that Himalayan nation. READ MORE

The largest undercover force the world has ever known is the one created by the Pentagon over the past decade. Some 60,000 people now belong to this secret army, many working under masked identities and in low profile, all part of a broad program called "signature reduction." The force, more than ten times the size of the clandestine elements of the CIA, carries out domestic and foreign assignments, both in military uniforms and under civilian cover, in real life and online, sometimes hiding in private businesses and consultancies, some of them household name companies. READ MORE

Franz Kafka would be proud of this mess. Yesterday, my colleague Noah Kim wrote about what appeared to be a stunning confession: Donald Trump received a positive COVID-19 test before his first debate with Joe Biden, last September. Relying on a pre-release copy of a book by Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, the Guardian reported that the positive result, three days before the event, was followed by a negative result from a different test, but Trump pressed on, regardless.

What a hero! seems to be Meadows’ moral of the story—never mind the fact that Trump could have infected countless people, including his 77-year-old opponent. At any rate, Trump was indeed soon terribly ill with COVID-19. When exactly Trump began to test positive—who knew what and when?—has been the subject of intense scrutiny ever since. READ MORE

A weapons industry trade group that represents companies including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon is thrilled about President Joe Biden’s nominee for the role of lead weapons buyer for the U.S. military. In a statement released November 30, Arnold Punaro, board chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), which calls itself a trade association for the ​defense industrial base,” proclaimed that the president ​made the superb choice of nominating Dr. Bill LaPlante to be the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment.”

LaPlante is being poached directly from the military industry that is praising him, which he entered after serving in an acquisitions role under the Obama administration, where he was known for shepherding through major (and controversial) programs, such as the acquisition of the F‑35 fighter jet. READ MORE

So Russian President Vladimir Putin, by himself, and United States President Joe Biden, surrounded by aides, finally had their secret video link conference for two hours and two minutes – with translators placed in different rooms. 

That was their first serious exchange since they met in person in Geneva last June – the first Russia-US summit since 2018. For global public opinion, led to believe a “war” in Ukraine was all but imminent, what’s left is essentially a torrent of spin.

So let’s start with a simple exercise focusing on the key issue of the video link – Ukraine – contrasting the White House and Kremlin versions of what transpired. READ MORE

Russia’s plans and positioning of assets also include the means to destabilize Ukraine from within, and aggressive information operations in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian stability and social cohesion, and to pin blame for any potential escalation on Kyiv and NATO nations.

We don’t know whether Russian President Putin has made a decision to attack Ukraine or overthrow its government but we do know he is building the capacity to do so. Much of this comes right out of Putin’s 2014 playbook but this time, it is on a much larger and more lethal scale…. READ MORE

Once again, NATO is endorsing anti-Russian paranoia and building defense plans for Ukraine based on a possible “imminent threat” from Moscow. According to a report by an important official of the Western Military Alliance, there is concrete information in the organization’s intelligence data pointing to the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory in the first days of next year. As a result, it is expected that Ukraine will not only adopt the speech as a true premise, but also accept that NATO build an entire defense plan in order to deal with the situation. READ MORE

“Do you know we don’t rule out first-use nuclear action?” So said Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) while outlining what measures the U.S. could take against Russia over Ukraine, at whose border Moscow has been massing troops. The senator’s office later clarified that this comment related to American policy in general and not specifically to Russia. While this is actually believable (Wicker made a loose comment), what’s unbelievable is that we’re even considering a military confrontation with Moscow over something that does not at all involve a U.S. national interest. READ MORE

Eighty years ago today—what President Franklin Roosevelt termed a “date which will live in infamy”—Japanese forces attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor off the coast of Hawaii, triggering U.S. intervention in World War II.

Historian Samuel Elliot Morrison wrote that one could “search military history in vain for an operation more fatal to the aggressor.”[3] 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,143 were wounded. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships.

Of the American fatalities, nearly half were due to the explosion of the USS Arizona’s forward magazine after it was hit by a modified 16-inch (410 mm) shell.[4]

In his address to the nation following the attacks, President Roosevelt stated that “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the empire of Japan.” READ MORE

In a November 9, 2021, interview with Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe, Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla claimed “a small part of professionals” intentionally circulate “misinformation … so that they will mislead those that have concerns.” Such medical professionals are not just bad people, Bourla said, “they’re criminals, because they have literally cost millions of lives”

The criminals’ playbook includes the dictum to always blame the other side for what they themselves are guilty of

Pfizer has a long history of criminal activity. The company has been sued in multiple venues over unethical drug testing, illegal marketing practices, bribery in multiple countries, environmental violations — including illegal dumping of PCBs and other toxic waste — labor and worker safety violations and more. It’s also been criticized for price gouging that threatens the lives of patients with chronic diseases such as epilepsy. READ MORE

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) on Thursday introduced legislation to require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release, within 100 days, all records of information related to Pfizer COVID vaccines. The FDA had asked to be allowed to take up to 55 years to release the documents.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) on Thursday introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release, within 100 days, all records of information submitted to the agency regarding the Emergency Use Authorization of, or licensing of all Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

The legislation stems from the FDA’s appeal to delay — by up to 55 years — the release of documents requested in August, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), by the Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT). READ MORE

Australian Woman Describes Two Weeks in Quarantine Camp

A 26-year-old woman from Australia, Hayley Hodgson, was forced into a quarantine camp when one of her friends tested positive for COVID.

Hayley was threatened by police with a $5,000 fine if she didn’t “voluntarily” go to the camp for two weeks of isolation.

She spent 14 days in the camp, despite testing negative for COVID three times; she has still never caught COVID.

During her time in the camp, she was threatened with another $5,000 fine for leaving her small outdoor deck to take her trash out without a mask on. READ MORE

We Are Warriors. We Will Not Be Silenced.

By Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen

For all those out there who refuse to be silent.

For all the warriors fighting against tyranny.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a public school’s punishment of students for speech posted on social media. It was unclear from the lower court proceedings whether the students had posted to social media while on campus or off campus. EFF had urged the court to draw a distinction between on- and off-campus social media speech, and to make clear that schools cannot reach into students’ private lives to punish them for speech that they utter outside of school, even if it’s online. Although the court declined to do that in light of a recent Supreme Court decision, the First Circuit’s ruling is limited to a narrow class of speech that schools have a heightened interest in policing: speech that infringes on the rights of others, such as “serious or severe bullying or harassment.” READ MORE

A North Carolina man who spent decades in prison was awarded $6 million in damages by a federal jury after it was found that he was wrongfully convicted thanks to evidence fabricated by a detective.

Darryl Howard languished in prison for over 20 years on double murder and arson charges in 1995 for killing a woman and her teen daughter in 1991. Last Wednesday, a jury in Winston-Salem found that former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy simply faked the evidence that resulted in his conviction. READ MORE

While the government reminds Americans every September to “never forget” what happened on September 11, 2001, what they really want you to do is remember the government’s version of events that day, and forget everything else that has come out since then.

To be clear, no one here is claiming to know exactly how 9/11 unfolded; however, the revelations which have come forth since that tragic day certainly illustrate that the government and their Praetorian guard that is the mainstream media, haven’t been entirely transparent about what happened that day and the years following. READ MORE

Twitter has quietly updated its “COVID-19 misleading information policy” to impose new sanctions on tweets about vaccines, PCR tests, and health authorities. These sanctions include removing and labeling tweets. Both types of sanctions also result in Twitter users accruing strikes on their account which can lead to a permanent suspension.

While the top of Twitter’s COVID-19 misleading information policy page currently states “Overview November 2021,” a December 2 archive of the page shows that the page was updated and the “Overview November 2021” text was added after December 2. READ MORE

“We are simply talking about the very life support system of this planet.”
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Germany’s former chief climate scientist (2009)

“Burning all fossil fuels would create a very different planet than the one that humanity knows. The palaeoclimate record and ongoing climate change make it clear that the climate system would be pushed beyond tipping points, setting in motion irreversible changes, including ice sheet disintegration with a continually adjusting shoreline, extermination of a substantial fraction of species on the planet, and increasingly devastating regional climate extremes” and “this equates 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year” James Hansen et al. 2012 and James Hansen 2012. READ MORE

The Biden administration released its first Global Posture Review, with the continuation of a Cold War stance toward China and Russia.

AFTER TWO DECADES of unceasing warfare in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Biden administration has unveiled its first comprehensive review of the deployment of U.S. forces globally — and it envisions a virtually unchanged military footprint, with a sharpened commitment to the bipartisan policy of Cold War-style hostility toward Russia and China. READ MORE

The EPA said that it would begin monitoring for DINP, a phthalate that causes birth defects and cancer, more than 20 years ago. It still hasn’t.

LAURIE VALERIANO FIRST heard about DINP decades ago when she was planning to start a family. An environmental activist, she was working on plastics at the time. “I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics,” she said recently. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. But no one knew how much of the chemical was emitted into the environment — or where. So in February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. READ MORE


(November 30, 2021)

00:00:10 - Preview
00:02:32 - Intro
00:06:59 - Dr. Peter McCullough
01:04:32 - Del Bigtree
01:44:28 - Dr. Robert Malone
02:19:08 - Patient Stories


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