Thursday 23rd of January 2020

liberty, freedom, whatever, twitter, google...


Statue of Liberty will be dismantled when US imposes sanctions on all countries of the world

Predictably, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech, in which he once again positioned the United States of America as navel of the Earth, the exceptional center of everything. This is not news to anyone.

Trump put special emphasis on Iran - this is the most popular topic after the DPRK and the anticipation of another meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. Having obtained a new and probably the only friend among world leaders, Trump has become a little bit of Kim Jong-un himself, at least, to a certain extent.

The sanctions policy of the United States has affected many countries, including Washington's allies. Obviously, the toppling of the ayatollah regime that the Americans had brought to power in Iran a while back is only a cover for the general public. Washington can only care less about any regime, if it comes in line with American exceptionalism.

Iran is more like a tool for manipulating Europe and the Gulf States rather than a real threat. The US has done its best to drive a wedge between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other oil-rich countries of the region.

When Europe decided not to obey the United States in economic matters, it became a real challenge to the American supremacy. Germany - the strongest European economy - even dared to develop business with Russia, dodging Washington's sweaty open arms.

How can the USA put the Europeans in place? The first thing that comes to mind is to point at the enemy of mankind and continue putting the pressure of sanctions to achieve the desired level of obedience.

As for Russia, the country does not look like "in tatters." The sanctions that the European Union imposed at Washington's behest on Russian private business and state-owned companies have affected Europe at a much greater extent.

The trade war with China, which began with the introduction of tariffs on Chinese goods, is likely to continue for years to come. The process has already begun with the introduction of restrictions for the Chinese military because of the acquisition of Russian arms.

Sanctions against Iran have affected China, Russia, and the EU. Having confirmed Iran's compliance with the provisions of the agreement on its nuclear program, Russia, the UK, France, Germany and China actually ignored the view from the United States. The president of France even spoke about the agony of G7 - the club of America's die-hard fans.

The announcement from the head of EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, about the creation of a special mechanism that will give the EU a possibility to circumvent US sanctions against the European companies cooperating with Iran, looks like an open challenge to the citadel of global democracy.

John Bolton, an adviser to US President, warned the EU and other countries that still maintain their sovereignty that Washington would not let the mechanism work. Most likely, the USA will come up with new methods to punish the EU, so the current situation comes ans a test of independence for the European Union.

Europe used to be independent before Brussels started establishing EU structures and appointing European commissioners. Having renounced their sovereignty to the benefit of union organizations, the EU can go even farther and renounce political identity.

The Americans had invested a lot in the work to create an illusion of free European citizen who does not have the feeling of national identity and patriotism.

John Bolton stated at the anti-Iranian conference in New York that the US would be aggressive and unwavering on Iran sanctions. Mr. Bolton even called on the IAEA to inspect a number of Iranian facilities on the basis of reports from Israeli intelligence services. Why not inspect Israeli facilities to finally find out if there are any nuclear ones?

This way or other, the campaign to struggle against all those "bloody regimes" is based on money issues, rather than on ideals of democracy. One may assume that the Statue of Liberty will have to be dismantled when the USA imposes sanctions on all countries of the world in an effort to counter its adversaries.

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security measures used in combat...

How to apply a total no fly zone in Syria?

Military science used the expression “security measures used in combat”. The United States has applied extremely sophisticated security measures of combat in all theatres in which they operate to protect their soldiers. As Russia did not want to get on the wrong side of Israel, Turkey and the United States, did not want to take this type of measure. They told themselves: “everything’s fine”. But this policy has not worked. They have lost 15 officers, who died when the Russian reconnaissance plan, IL-20, was brought down. All these officers were highly qualified in a very sensitive sector. Russia will need 5 to 6 years before they can be replaced.

The consequence of this drama is that Moscow is going to take very tough security measures in Syria, regardless of what the reaction of Washington may be.

Thus the Russian Minister of Defense has declared that in two weeks’ time he would provide Syria with modern systems of anti-air (AA) missiles: S-300 / PMU2, with a 250 km range. But it is not these missiles that will guarantee the security of the planes and the Russian and Syrian land targets. This is why they are not the most important element. The true importance is the global architecture created by Russia around the Syrian air space.

In addition to the AA systems S-300 / PMU2, Russia is going to deliver the most modern system in the world for air-management. This is called C3I which ensures automated management. This represents a giant step for the Syrian army, increasing precision by 50 times. Thus the launch of the oldest missiles belonging to the Soviet period (the S-200, S-75, S-125, etc.) will no longer be a risk-ladened venture; in fact, it will be almost as precise as the S-300.

The role of the systems of automated management is an interface that is necessary to enable the Syrian air and defense units to work at the same time, now with the Russians as well.

1. Once a radar in Syria detects an air target in Syria, the automated system will display the information on all the radars for recognizing and controlling the air force and the Syrian and Russian missiles and AA artillery.

2. All the units of AA missiles and the Syrian inceptor planes will be stored in the memory of the Russian integrated computer servers that store the radar print of all the air targets and include cruise missiles and the F35.

3. Once identified, the air targets are recorded and their data re-dispatched from the central automated system towards the command of the Syrian Armed Forces. The entire process is automatically supervised by the Head of the Russian Contingency in Syria.

4. All air targets (civil planes, Russian, Syrian and foreign military planes) are symbolized by coloured buttons, ranging from blue, green, yellow, orange and red according to the degree of risk. This also creates an order of priority for responding to enemy attack. In the second screen shot (see image) the automated management system observed how the Israeli F-16 manoeuvred so as to put the Russian IL-20 plane between it and the s-200 missile.

5. The Russian IT system then puts in a position of combat, all the units of Syrian Air Force and the Syrian missiles that extrapolate the trajectory of the targets assigned, by predicting the land targets of the enemy, by calculating the number and type of fighter planes available and the AA missiles that have to enter into action.

6. The Syrian planes and missiles are controlled by a channel of data flow, impossible to mess with.

7. The automated systems of management have also equipment that makes any interference impossible. It calculates, by a method of triangulation, the coordinates of the air target, that generates the interference. The Syrian Army will also receive from Russia specialized material in this domain. The result is a precise following of the evolution of the generators of interference and the elimination of false targets.

8. Russia will deploy equipment that permits to interfere the navigation teams by satellite (GPS), naval or air transported radars, the data and communications for all means of attack against Syria from the Mediterranean. This interference equipment will operate under the coordination of the management system of the Syrian air space. The British “invisible” cruise missiles Storm Shadow, the French Scalp, the US JASMM missiles and the invisible Tomahawk launched last April, are guided by GPS. Fortune no longer favours them, for no longer will they be able to touch any more any targets in Syria. And all this due to the operation by which the Israelis provoked the destruction of the Russian plane IL 20, with the participation of a French frigate and a British Tornado plane.

9. It is very probable that the system of automatisation deployed will be Polyana D4M1. It can: 
• cover an area of 800 km2 (the equivalent of the entire area of France) 
• follow 500 air targets and ballistic missiles at the same time and act at the same time against 250 of them. 
• integrate more than 14 divisions of the long range AA missiles S-300, short range and medium range AA missiles, of whatever generation. The reaction time is 1-3 seconds.

10. Once the Syrian Army will be integrated in this system of air space management, its system will be similar to those of the Russian, US, British, French and Israeli armies. The Syrian Arab Army will then be able to unleash an offensive against the terrorists in the province of Idleb, without fearing US, British, Israeli and French reprisals. And from this point of view, the external aggression waged in Syria, masked by the expression “civil war” will soon end.

Contrary to Syria, which received this system from Russia without having to pay a cent, Romania, a Nato member state, has bought 7 US Patriot anti air batteries, 3.6 billion euro….. without the system of automatization of management. If war breaks out, hundreds of Patriots missiles will be launched against false air targets.

Valentin Vasilescu

Anoosha Boralessa


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Donald Trump chaired the UN Security Council this week to deliver a thuggish ultimatum to the world to obey American orders on Iran or face retribution for not kowtowing to Washington’s diktat.

The world’s highest forum for maintaining global security and peace was thus turned into a platform for brazen, criminal American rhetoric.

The 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York this week was a head-spinning spectacle of American bullying and arrogance – to the point where delegates couldn’t contain their laughter at one stage over Trump’s ridiculously self-righteous speech.

In his address to the assembly, Trump repeated the hackneyed accusations against Iran as being “the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.” Nothing new in that, but what this US president is doing is putting Iran on notice that it either capitulates or faces violent aggression.


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Note: the world sponsor of terrorism is SAUDI ARABIA and the USA know this.






Addressing the UN General Assembly at its 73rd Session, the Syrian Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Walid Al-Moallem, has called for the immediate withdrawal of US, Turkish and French forces whose boots have illegally set foot on Syrian ground [1].

This declaration of the Syrian Arab Republic follows the joint British-French-Israeli attack on the Syrian region of Latkia and the destruction of the Russian reconnaissance plane, triggered by the Israeli Air Force during this new aggression recorded on 17 September.

As a result of this incident, the Russian Federation has begun to deliver to Syria resources to strengthen its defence of the Syrian Arab Republic air space: 
• state of the art e war material for interference and surveillance 
• S-300 anti-air missiles.

At the same time, the U.S.A is withdrawing its Patriot missiles from several countries in the region.

The presence of French troops from the beginning of the conflict (bar the last three months of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate) is the worst kept secret. While French officials and the French media always deny their presence, you can easily spot them on the ground.

Anoosha Boralessa


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feathering the counterpunch of reality...

By Steve Church

Patrick Cockburn’s recent article is one example of why I read CounterPunch less often than I used to. Or, at the least, why I have become more critical of their editorial stance. With this article, I have the impression I’m reading a Bernie Sanders speech, of being Judas-goated into the camp of what I consider a kind of useless caviar Left. While maybe not as bad as The Guardian (I prefer OffGuardian), there are too many weasel words, phrases, and statements that reek of Establishment consensus. That if you’re going to refer to the head-chopping proxies, armed and funded by the US and its good buddies, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and other assorted vassals, as “rebels” rather than the paid lieutenants of the criminal gang in DC, London, Riyadh or Paris, you’re basically saying it’s okay to murder at arm’s length, to somehow plausibly deny any real, true, strong connection to the crime or the perpetrators. Plausible Deniability being spook-speak for basically lying, when timidly asked, about any crime they’ve just committed.

Here’s one example:

Pundits are predictably sceptical about the agreement reached by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Monday to head off an imminent offensive by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces directed against rebels in Idlib province 

See what I mean? No qualifications or explanations of who these “rebels” are or why they are there. If they’re “rebels”, they must be the good guys, right? We all love a “rebel” when he’s creating mayhem in another country or in some movie theatre.That statement is also a subliminal reminder that if they’re “rebels”, they must be “rebelling” against something, and that “something” must be bad, hinting that Assad must be bad, even though words like “brutal dictator” or “thug” weren’t used. This time.

And speaking of “brutal dictators” or “thugs”, it’s pretty obvious that the US is now, as has been for quite a while, a dictatorship, and a brutal one, at that.As are most of its allies/vassals in the West and elsewhere to differing degrees. We’ve even got our own murderous “proxy army” right here, in the “Homeland”. It’s called the Police, who go around murdering with impunity, armed with surplus military gear. How many homeless, uninsured, hungry, and dubiously incarcerated (modern day slaves, working in private prisons) do we have? Do you think that minuscule percentage of the people (or their paid hitmen/women in Congress – Oligarch money put them there in the first place) who actually run things give a rat’s ass about any of this? That’s what they do. All of them. They look around the entire planet to find (or create the necessary conditions for creating) the weakest possible “enemies”: People who just want to be left alone to figure out their own futures, on their own terms, who don’t have imperial aspirations or the military means of carrying them forward even if they wanted to, but, for most part, don’t. They’d rather spend what means they have on their own populations. Call that behaviour what you will, but it certainly doesn’t include a blind obedience to the diktats of the Money Men and their military enforcers.

But our “Left” editors at CP have a difficult time of saying that up front.The term “rebel” also supports the claim/point of view that the conflict in Syria is a “civil” war. It’s total nonsense, but here it is:

The Syrian civil war long ago ceased to be a struggle fought out by local participants. Syria has become an arena where foreign states confront each other, fight proxy wars and put their strength and influence to the test.

“Long ago”, Patrick? It was never a “civil” war. In fact no wars are “civil”, but that’s kind of beside the point here. The conflict in Syria was aided and abetted, if not instigated, by the US and its local (and not so local, but closer to the scene, allies, ie, France and the UK, the FUK of FUKUS) allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, two theocratic states who hate the idea of having a secular, tolerant, independent state in their neighbourhood, especially one friendly to/allied with other independent states like Russia and Iran.


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Yes... CounterPunch is loosing its teeth, its bite, its value, its vision... 


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fighting morrison's encryption bill for different reasons...

Tech heavyweights Google and Facebook have joined civil and digital rights groups in an unusual alliance aimed at defeating Australia’s planned encryption laws.

The Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet brings together the disparate groups in a plea for the government to “slow down” and listen to “legitimate concerns” about its encryption bill.

The alliance includes rights groups such as the Human Rights Law Centre, Digital Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as the Communications Alliance – an industry group featuring telcos Optus and Telstra. It also features the Digital Industry Group Inc (Digi), an industry body including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon as members.


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a cartoon from the best...



Though the botton of this image has been crop from the source, I guess this cartoon from Cathy Wilcox, a cartoonist in par with the best of the best...

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still the best cartoonist...

our wars, their deaths, our refugees...


Bruno Guigue

What is known as the “migrant crisis” is a phenomenon with multiple facets, but it is rarely studied in-depth. The dominant comment describes the flow of the population and the dilemmas that are caused, but people avoid indicating the power of the mechanisms that produce them. There is a preference of commenting on the situation rather than analysing the structures. As if there is a need to bury one’s head in the sand, the causal relationship between poverty and migration received poor attention in the media coverage of the crisis, which favours the Franco-French quarrels between “globalists” and “populists”. If one takes the time to dwell on it, one sees that this crisis is the result of the condition of the world in which the rich countries are the beneficiaries, and that it is the visible effect of unequal exchange, and one won’t understand anything if one ignore’s the weight of the structures.

In order to start the analysis, we can proceed from a paradox: curiously, those who resent the “invasion of migration” on French soil do not see any downside in the fact that France is militarily present in 11 African countries and that its companies are calling the shots. There is something fascinating about this attitude, because it captures a vision of the world where certain people enjoy privileges, making us wonder if they are determined by race, climate, or latitude. The relations between France and its former African colonies, in fact, have nothing to do with idyllic collaboration between sovereign nations, and colonial history has woven a multiform network of dependencies which Africans would have gladly gone without if they had been asked their opinion before being colonised.


Since they belong to structures, these multiple dependencies, unlike some neocolonial doxa, are always exercised in the present. Their main effect is to drain from their substance the national independence dearly acquired during the battles for decolonisation. A country whose GDP is lower than the turnover of a French company, for example, enjoys nominal sovereignty, and not real sovereignty. And when there is a need to negotiate a mining contract, the long-time metropole exerts an exorbitant influence on local political decisions. We will be told that France defends its interests, and that this is very natural. But the question arises as to whether French influence is respectful of the interests of its partners. Edouard Philippe knows something about this. The contract between the Areva nuclear consortium and the Niger government was signed while he was in charge of the group’s public relations. Considered scandalously leonine – in favor of Areva, this agreement was denounced by many Nigerian organisations and it contributed to the effervescence that led to a new Tuareg revolt in 2012 throughout the Sahel region.

This revolt provoked the decomposition of the Malian power to the extent of a military coup, which was the prelude to the military intervention of France in the framework of Operation Serval, in January 2013. Since that date, French military presence in the Sahel has generated two perverse effects: the discrediting of local governments that are unable to ensure the security of populations, and the exponential growth of terrorist attacks throughout the region. In theory, the French military presence was supposed to curb terror. In fact, it has progressed at the same pace, one justifying another. This is why many Africans rightly wonder if France’s intervention is the problem instead of being the solution, and if terror is an excuse for an armed presence that strangely coincides with strong mining interests.

In short, official speeches may well repeat that we are no longer in the days of colonies, but there are more French soldiers in Africa in 2018 than in the aftermath of independence in 1960. This return to a quasi-colonial situation took place like a knife through butter in Metropolitan France. Its coincidence with the migrant crisis, however, is puzzling, especially since it is accompanied by a singular correlation that no one has noted: the poorest countries in today’s Africa are those where the French army is the most present. Currently, France is conducting military operations in four African countries: Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic. Yet three of these countries have the lowest human development index (HDI) on the continent. It stands at 0.352 for the Central African Republic, 0.353 for Niger, and 0.396 for Chad. As for Mali, with 0.442, its HDI is higher than that of the aforementioned countries, but it is much lower than that of most African countries.

It should be recalled that the human development index is a synthetic index combining GDP per capita, the schooling rate, and life expectancy. Invented for the UN by the Indian economist Amartya Sen, it makes it possible to measure the overall level of development of a country. For example, the highest HDI on the African continent is that of Algeria (0.745), a country that won its sovereignty by intensely fighting the French army during the war of liberation (1954-1962). In contrast, the country with the lowest HDI (0.352) is the Central African Republic, where the French army is omnipresent. Although the correlation is striking, the presence of French troops does not explain poverty. But the African countries of the Francophone area that fail to take off, obviously, are the playground of a neo-colonial power that keeps them in dependence and corrupts their leaders in order to exploit their mineral resources. The French military presence is at the same time the symbol of this dependence and the tool of its perpetuation.

Opponents of the reception of migrants in France – and in Europe – stress that these asylum seekers are not political refugees at all, and that they flee misery. This is not false, but we must add that the politics of European countries – including France – is not alien to this misery. We have known since the works of the late Samir Amin how much the mechanisms of unequal exchange shaped during colonisation were cynically perpetuated in the aftermath of independence. Be it the extraversion of the economy of the countries in the south [Africa – ed] – doomed to the mono-exportation of raw materials or agricultural products – or the submission of States to the ruthless yoke of state debt – rightly denounced by Thomas Sankara, these deadly mechanisms have not disappeared. On the contrary, they have grown and been refined over time. For the developed world – and for France, which has preserved its “meadow” in Africa – the Ivory Coast is a reservoir of cocoa and Niger is a reservoir of uranium. The price of these commodities is determined by the international balance of power – the so-called “market laws” – and not by the philanthropy of the Western powers, and even less by the authorities of the two states concerned.

To claim that French troops are stationed in the Sahel countries for chivalrous reasons – to “save democracy” or to “curb obscurantism” – is perfectly laughable. French leaders don’t care much about the plight of the thousands of African children forced to work in cocoa plantations for growers who were grabbed by the throats by traders, who, in turn, impose the tariffs demanded by the three multinationals who share the global chocolate market. They are no more worried about the fragile equilibrium of the Sahelian society, where the shameless exploitation of uranium deposits on territories used by the Tuareg has sown the seeds of civil war, not to mention the catastrophic effects of the deliberate destruction of the Libyan state. The structures of unequal exchange weigh down on African people like damnation and pushes them into exile in order to escape the misery. And it is by refusing to see this blinding reality and ignoring the weight of the structures inherited from the colonial era that people refrain from understanding the economic forces of the migration question.

The tragedy is that these economic sources, alas, are not the only ones. Not only are southern [African – ed] countries suffering from the terms of unequal exchange, but they also are paying the price for foreign interference. The most flagrant case is Syria, where a proxy war is being orchestrated by the Western powers allied to the Gulf petro-monarchies. Before the war, Syria was self-sufficient in terms of food and an industrialising country, with an educated population benefiting from a modern healthcare system. The “strategy of chaos” has imported hordes of mercenaries there, which the Syrian government, after eight years of war (2011-2018), can barely get rid of. Intended to bring down a state that refused to obey, imperialist intervention sentenced five million people to exile. In France, those who grieve this mass exodus themselves bear responsibility for the interference that is the cause go this. With variations, of course: on the right, people are indignant at the migratory invasion; on the left, people play the humanitarian violin.

But Syria is not an isolated case. Countries threatened by a famine are where most refugees come from. But hunger is not a fatality that would weigh down countries abandoned by gods. Made by the UN, the list of countries where the food situation is most critical speaks for itself: Yemen, Nigeria, and South Sudan. In these countries it is foreign intervention that caused chaos. Civil war and terrorism have ruined state structures there, trivialising endemic violence and causing the exodus of people. In Yemen, Western-sponsored Saudi aggression has claimed 10,000 lives since March 2015. It has unleashed a monstrous outbreak of cholera and threatens to starve 8 million people. This unprecedented humanitarian disaster is nothing like a natural disaster: like the Syrian tragedy, it is a co-production of the Western powers and the petro-monarchies of the Gulf.

In Nigeria, the chaotic situation that the north-east of the country was plunged into “gangrenises” the whole region. Millions of people, fleeing the violence of the Boko Haram group, pile up in refugee camps. Fuelled by Saudi propaganda, terrorism defies this state, the most populous on the continent, which will have 440 million inhabitants in 2050. Since the calamitous destruction of Libya by NATO, sub-Saharan Africa – including Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic – is the favourite hunting ground for jihadists. In South Sudan, the declaration of independence in 2011 led to a civil war in which two rival camps vie for control over energy wealth. This secessionist enclaved state, cut off from the North and opposed by an interminable civil war, is the fruit of the American strategy in the region. This artificial creation aimed to thwart the influence of Sudan, added by Washington to the list of “rogue states”. Today, South Sudan is a field of ruins: tens of thousands of deaths, three million refugees, and five million people suffering from malnutrition.

In order complete this sinister picture, it would be necessary to add, of course, the catastrophic results of the invasions of Somalia (1992), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003) by the troops of Uncle Sam, with their harvest of large-scale massacres and destruction in the name of “democracy” and “human rights”. We should also take stock of the deadly embargoes decreed by a West vassalised by Washington against countries that refuse to obey it – from Cuba to Iraq, from Syria to Iran, and Venezuela. The embargo is the weapon of the rich against the poor, a cynical tool of developed countries that prohibit others from developing in turn by cutting off international trade and financial channels. Along with military destruction and destabilisation by imported terror, economic strangulation by embargo is the third weapon in the panoply of Western interference. The thousands of Venezuelans today fleeing their country, attacked by the Western powers with the complicity of the local bourgeoisie, are the latest victims of the economic war waged by the rulers of the rich countries against the populations of the poor countries.

It’s enough to look at a map to see that the exodus of the world’s poor is the bitter fruit of Western politics. The “migrant crisis” that the media feeds on is a co-production involving three sets of actors: the neo-colonial predators of the host countries, the corrupt elites of the countries of origin, and the slave-holding mafias of transit countries. No mono-causal explanation will be able to exonerate one or the other from their responsibility. But as long as unequal exchange is rampant, the weight of the structures will help to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. It is generally preferred to ignore the submerged part of the iceberg, but it is time to take an interest in it. Migrants are those who are left to fate in an unequal world, and the only solution to the problem is to make it less and less. The migration crisis is a wake-up call. It offers a remind about the urgency of development for countries that are lagging behind because they are poorly governed, because rich countries are plundering their resources, and because they exercise only fictitious sovereignty. China, India, and many Asian countries are dealing with this, on the contrary, because they broke free from the chains of dependence.

In Europe neither the rejection of migrants who a certain right-wing made its business, nor their welcome with open arms claimed by the humanitarian left-wing constitutes a solution to the problem. Identity ideology and humanitarian ideology are the two faces of the god Janus, and they express twin blindness. They mutually reinforce each other, feeding a sterile outbidding that leads everyone into a dead-end. The media connotation between “globalists” and “populists” is a shadow play designed to mask the true stakes of the crisis and obscure the weight of structures. Promoters of identity politics ignore the causes of global inequality, while humanitarians do not see that they are content with managing the effects. But an addition of partial views rarely allows to see clearly, and it is indeed urgent to overcome this false alternative.

In order to counter this double blindness, there is a need to recall the formula of Spinoza: “neither to laugh nor to cry, but to understand”. Being nothing more than egoism, compassion isn’t enough to understand what unfolds before our eyes. Stimulated by the spur of misery, mass immigration is in no one’s interest. This is neither a chance nor a calamity, but a problem that the North [of the world – ed] and the South [of the world – ed] are co-responsible for, and which must be confronted by ceasing to ignore the causes. The question of rescuing shipwrecked people should not even arise, since the answer is obvious. But the ethics of responsibility must relay the ethics of conviction. The best thing we can wish for those who cross the Mediterranean by giving in to the Western mirage is to contribute to the development of their own country. We know very well which interests the “without borders” discourse serves: those who demand the massive reception of migrants intend to greatly profit from the unequal exchange with the countries of the South [African countries – ed]. The German patrons, to name only them, rejoice at the arrival of a malleable workforce that constitutes, according to the formula of Marx, “the reserve army of labour”.

It’s not that the ideal society is a closed society and that closing the borders is a solution to the problem. But sovereignty can not be exchanged. The aspiration of a State to maintain control over its borders is perfectly legitimate, and it is, by the way, what all States do, except those of the European Union, which accepted in the framework of the Schengen zone “to push this control away towards the Union’s external borders” – a contradiction that has today become explosive, and it’s not for certain that the EU will come out of it unscathed. We cannot get away with stigmatising those in Italy or Hungary who decided to restrict access to the national territory. As Aristotle said, “we are not going to deliberate in order to administer the affairs of the Scythians”, this distant people who the Greeks would have found ridiculous to want to impose anything on. If we are in favour of sovereignty, then we must be in favour of it to the very end, and admit that a State decides its affairs in its own way, even if it is not our way. Let everyone take responsibility, and the cows will be well guarded. It is not Italy that decided to destroy Libya, nor to support terrorists in Syria. The migrant crisis is the mirror of Western turpitude, but we must recognise that Paris, London, and Washington carve the lion’s share. “Our wars, their deaths,” the saying goes, and this is not false. “Our wars, their refugees” should be added. Or better still: “Our wars, our refugees”, because it is our country that they come to in the vain hope for a better future.


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See also: the looting of africa...

liberty memes...

Could one's perception of truth and prejudice be influenced and even shaped by the reaction to a meme — something as simple as a few words and a picture used to spread an idea on social media?

Key points:
  • The ANU study looked at how Republicans and Democrats perceive a meme about Muslim immigration
  • People were more likely to believe the message if it had lots of "likes" from their own political party and saw it as prejudiced if it was popular among the other group
  • Researchers say the findings suggests people's idea of truth can be easily manipulated by how "like-minded" people react to memes


That is the question Australian National University researchers set off to answer when they created memes and altered the number and sources of likes to see how people would respond.

They concluded the answer was yes, it could.

Lead researcher Emily Read used Democrat and Republican participants to look at prejudice towards Muslim migrants in the United States.

She created a Facebook meme with two images of the Statue of Liberty, one wearing a burka, along with the words, "Immigrants are welcome as long as they accept our values".

People in the study would see different versions of the meme with a varying numbers of likes, which showed whether the users were Democrats or Republicans.


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quiet please...

Google has issued new community rules barring employees from political discussions on internal message boards, and seeking to curb leaks that could “undermine trust” in the tech titan, amid swirling accusations of endemic bias.

The company released its updated guidelines on Friday, which remind employees to “be responsible,”“helpful” and “thoughtful” in all internal communications, but the new rules go further in discouraging talk of politics.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the new guidelines say.

Though it’s natural for a company to expect its employees to actually work rather than do battle over this week’s political controversies, Google also appears to have its own public image in mind, urging workers to only speak about the firm “with good information,” warning that they could “undermine trust in our products.”

As a Googler, your comments –wherever you make them– can have a serious impact on other Googlers, yourself and our company.

A series of recent leaks by current and former Google employees has prompted accusations of political bias and censorship at the company – from website blacklists that disproportionately target voices right-of-center, to “machine learning fairness” projects which nudge search engine results in a certain political direction. President Donald Trump waded into the fray earlier this week, accusing Google of “manipulating” voter decisions in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the 2016 election, by way of slanted search results. The tech giant has also faced charges of poorly handling reports of sexual harassment in the workplace, prompting an employee walkout in protest.



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quiet please... we're taking over the world...

Google has issued new community rules barring employees from political discussions on internal message boards, and seeking to curb leaks that could “undermine trust” in the tech titan, amid swirling accusations of endemic bias.

The company released its updated guidelines on Friday, which remind employees to “be responsible,”“helpful” and “thoughtful” in all internal communications, but the new rules go further in discouraging talk of politics.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the new guidelines say.

Though it’s natural for a company to expect its employees to actually work rather than do battle over this week’s political controversies, Google also appears to have its own public image in mind, urging workers to only speak about the firm “with good information,” warning that they could “undermine trust in our products.”

As a Googler, your comments –wherever you make them– can have a serious impact on other Googlers, yourself and our company.

A series of recent leaks by current and former Google employees has prompted accusations of political bias and censorship at the company – from website blacklists that disproportionately target voices right-of-center, to “machine learning fairness” projects which nudge search engine results in a certain political direction. President Donald Trump waded into the fray earlier this week, accusing Google of “manipulating” voter decisions in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the 2016 election, by way of slanted search results. The tech giant has also faced charges of poorly handling reports of sexual harassment in the workplace, prompting an employee walkout in protest.



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a mysterious server error ...

A Google search outage had users panicked around the world as their search queries returned “internal server errors,” forcing them to use DuckDuckGo or (shudder) Bing – or take to social media to complain.

Internet users worldwide found themselves plunged into unexpected darkness as their Google queries returned…nothing. Only a mysterious server error where once there had been answers.

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The alternative not mentioned by this article is the German search engine Ecosia... It's not yet as good as Google was in its heydays, (Google has gone crap in order to filter "undesirable results") but Ecosia is improving remarkably. I use it first, then move onto Bing, then to Google in desperation. But even then, from time to time, I have to do a search of my own catalogue of news items pdfs.



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