Wednesday 20th of February 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 12:50

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has said he didn't notice that he hadn't been charged more than $2,700 in flights for a January 2018 family holiday to Singapore — an amount he repaid yesterday after being contacted by the media.

Key points:

  • Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and his family travelled to Singapore in January 2018
  • He says he didn't realise he hadn't been charged for the flights until contacted by the media
  • Senator Cormann insists there's no link between his flights and the booking company receiving a government contract

 

Senator Cormann booked the January 2018 return flights for himself, his wife and two children through travel company Helloworld in July 2017.

He said an administrative error led to the company failing to charge his credit card, and only followed it up yesterday after the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age raised it with his office.

"At no point, until approached by the media yesterday, did I receive any reminders that the payment due remained outstanding, even though I now understand it appeared as outstanding and unresolved on the internal Helloworld system since that time," Senator Cormann said in a statement.

"The payment was processed immediately once it became apparent to me that it remained outstanding."

He said he thought his credit card had been charged when he booked the economy flights.

Liberal Party treasurer is Helloworld CEO

Senator Cormann released a letter he received from Helloworld, dated February 19, 2019, in which chief financial officer Michael Burnett said reminder payment notices had not been sent to the Finance Minister despite the payment being listed as "outstanding".

"The flights were never 'free' and they were never intended to be free," Mr Burnett said in the letter.

The chief executive of Helloworld is federal Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Burnes.

Senator Cormann denied there was any link between the flights and a subsidiary of Helloworld being awarded a government travel contract.

"At no point did I influence or seek to influence the outcome of that tender process," he said.

"I had absolutely no role in the awarding of this tender or during the subsequent contract negotiations with the preferred tenderer."

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-19/mathias-cormann-singapore-family-flights-payment/10824200

 

 

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Note the item at top was way BEFORE the recent Royal COMMISSION INTO BANKING that revealed a lot of banks dirty tricks...

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 08:05

The drastic measure may have been spurred by Sputnik's dogged investigations.

The Integrity Initiative — an international anti-Russian information warfare effort funded by NATO and British state organs the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense — has "temporarily removed" all content from its website.

READ MORE: Anonymous Reveals Covert UK Special Ops on Hybrid Warfare in EU

Visitors to the site are now presented with a brief statement, which says "all content" has been removed "pending an investigation into the theft of data" from the Initiative and its parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft.

"Initial findings indicate the theft was part of a campaign to undermine the work of the Integrity Initiative in researching, publicising and countering the threat to European democracies from disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare. The website will be relaunched shortly. In the meantime, we expect to be able to publish an analysis of the hack and its significance in the near future. We are keen to trace both the source of the hack and the use to which our data — some genuine, some falsified — has been put. If you have any information you think may be of relevance, please contact us," the statement reads.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201901221071717178-integrity-initiative-website-delete/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 08:04
German Chancellor Angela Merkel enraged local activists after she appeared to suggest that the Kremlin was pulling the strings behind student climate protests. But her spokesman later said that she supported the demonstrations.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert was left to do some urgent damage control after the chancellor appeared to pin the blame for schoolchildren-led environmental protests across Europe on the long arm of Moscow.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Merkel highlighted the threat of Russian “hybrid warfare” – a mix of cyberwar and cunning disinformation campaigns – that, according to the German PM, “can be felt every day in every European country.”

Warning of the omnipotent threat to Europe’s security from Russia, Merkel noted that such warfare is “hard to detect, because you suddenly have movements that you wouldn’t have thought would appear.”

Seemingly citing an example of such an artificially concocted movement, Merkel mentioned the mass student demonstrations that see German schoolchildren skipping their lessons every Friday to protest against the government’s lukewarm response to climate change.

“In Germany now, children are protesting for climate protection,” she said. While conceding that it was “a really important issue,” Merkel appeared to cast doubt on its grassroot origins.

“But you can’t imagine that all German children, after years, and without any outside influence, suddenly hit on the idea that they have to take part in this process,” she said.

Merkel’s innuendo is not uncommon, as Moscow has been blamed for a range of international interferences by media and foreign governments, from Brexit in the UK, Yellow Vests in France, and – most recently – the global measles outbreak.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/451656-merkel-russia-climate-protest/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 07:56

Lawyers for mining firm Adani proposed waging "war" on opponents of its controversial Queensland mine by using the legal system to pressure government, silence critics and financially cripple activists, according to documents obtained by the ABC.

Key points:

  • Law firm AJ & Co promised to be Adani's "trained attack dog"
  • The firm launched bankruptcy proceedings against an Indigenous mine opponent
  • Head of commercial litigation Alex Moriarty quit after a falling out over strategy

 

The draft copy of Adani's new law firm's aggressive strategy to bring the Carmichael mine to life is labelled "Taking the Gloves Off" and outlines a commercial proposal by AJ & Co to win a multi-million-dollar legal contract with the Indian mining giant. 

In the document, the Brisbane firm promised to be Adani's "trained attack dog".

The strategy recommended bankrupting individuals who unsuccessfully challenge Adani in court, using lawsuits to pressure the Queensland Government and social media "bias" as a tool to discredit decisionmakers.

In a section called "Play the Man", it recommended "where activists and commentators spread untruths, use the legal system to silence them".

It also urged Adani to hire private investigators to target activists and work "with police and a criminal lawyer to ensure appropriate police action is taken against protesters".

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-19/adani-law-firm-put-forward-trained-attack-dog-strategy/10821470

 

 

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There is one truth: Coal is contributing to global warming. It is URGENT that no new coal mine be opened and that the old ones be phased out. Adani should shove out of this country. But this is a case of massive greed (nothing to do with feeding starving Indians), in which should Adani mine go ahead at full speed then Gina and Clive will come in also with their big super-shovels...

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 07:45

EXCLUSIVE: Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars missing. Bribes. Money Laundering. Mercenaries, Military, Militias. Gina Rinehart’s dead family bodyguard. Swiss bank accounts. Senior politicians and officials in both Australia and PNG involved, or turning a blind eye for years. While one thousand refugees remain trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare. That’s the cost of doing business on Manus Island. Thanks to this terminal Federal Government and Peter Dutton’s shady Paladin. Serkan Ozturk with this deep investigation.

It’s the fast-moving fiasco that could arguably become one of the greatest political and military scandals in Australian history. Regardless, it will go down as yet another deep, dark stain on this country’s failure to provide adequately for the vulnerable. In a special forensic investigation, True Crime News Weekly will help join the dots of what has already become known as the #PaladinAffair. The widening scandal could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Scott Morrison’s deeply unpopular government, as well as perhaps leading to the end of a few careers, starting with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Our investigation will show how a privatised quasi-version of the ADF with links to controversial and maligned mercenary groups such as Blackwater and Sandline International is – along with senior levels of the Australian Government – highly involved in the bribery of foreign officials as well as the laundering of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars meant to provide basic services for refugees.

WHAT’S THE DEAL

Over the space of the last two years, the Federal Government under the direction of Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs ministerial superagency has quietly awarded almost half-a-billion dollars worth of contracts without tender to one small company led by a man with a string of bad businesses and unpaid debts. The beneficiary has been the little-known Paladin Group. $423 million has been handed over to the private security contracting firm to provide security and other services at the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers. They even got a generous helping hand to get things going, with the thinly capitalised company given $10 million from the public purse as Paladin didn’t have any funds itself. For the first five months of the deal, Paladin were operating without a contract for five months. Instead, they just had a letter of intent. 

Almost $110 million of taxpayers funds was given to Paladin on January 3 just after the New Year despite the Federal Government being aware of a serious legal case launched against two of its directors alleging deceptive practices. Meanwhile, one of Paladin’s directors has been banned from entering PNG. While another was arrested just a fortnight ago for his involvement in fraud and money laundering. A former senior employee alleges large “ex-gratia payments” are being made by the company, and that it also lacks the resources to actually fulfil the government’s contract. Before greater media scrutiny over the past few days forced the company into some hasty moves, Paladin’s registered principal place of business was an isolated beach shack on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, with no phone number or mailing address listed. The beach shack remains the company’s registered address.

SEE THE CONTRACT WITH PALADIN HERE

An investigation by The Australian Financial Review has found Paladin is likely receiving more than $20 million a month from Dutton’s ministry, despite experts estimating the true cost to provide the required services being closer to $3 million each month. That means a clean $17 million each month is basically unaccounted for. Over 18 months, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars. Where is all that money going to?

 

Read more:

https://truecrimenewsweekly.com/the-dark-knights-of-paladin-mercenaries-missing-millions-money-laundering-the-minister-responsible-for-one-of-australias-biggest-scandals/

 

I guess the MSM (mediocre "state" media) will be too afraid of tackling the whole lot of this crookery going on. They will poke at it with a long fork as if the beast was dead and write as if there will be better tomorrows, under Scummo... Scummo and Peter Dutton should resign. Dutton should have gone a long time ago. It's time for Malcolm to come clean as well, because this whole mess started under his watch.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 06:29

As you know, Aussie Telcos have to keep your records of your transmission of insane emails, naked pics, tricks to con old ladies to give up their cash and your boring e-conversations for at least two years for the government to study the stuff you drop in your toilet bowl in detail. 

Overall this could seem like hard work. Fear not. Not only the Telcos can easily keep the record of your outgoing and incoming emails, they can also record YOUR DRAFTS. How do they do that? Simple. Instead of the old protocols that used to work well in doing "secrecy", they have created a new "protocol" between their storage and your computer. Whatever you do, the new protocol steals from your desktop "secretly". No need for anyone watching — it's done automatically. 

 

I won't tell you how to bypass this abomination (this would reveal the loopholes), but it's possible... Find your own way. Good luck.

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-19 05:41

 

How America’s Dictatorship Works

Eric Zuesse

Trump could not have become America’s President if he had not won the “vote” of his nation’s second-largest political donor in 2016, casinos-owner Sheldon Adelson.

In publicly recorded donations, as of 25 December 2018, Adelson and his wife donated $82,522,800 to Republican candidates in 2016, and this amount doesn’t include any of the secret money. Of that sum, it’s virtually impossible to find out how much went specifically to Trump’s campaign for President, but, as of 9 May 2017, the Adelsons were publicly recorded as having donated $20.4 million to Trump’s campaign.

Their impact on the Presidential contest was actually much bigger than that, however, because even the Adelsons’ non-Trump-campaign donations went to the Republican Party, and the rest went to Republican pro-Trump candidates, and the rest went to Republican PACS — and, so, a large percentage (if not all) of that approximately $60 million non-Trump-campaign political expenditure by the Adelsons was boosting Trump’s Presidential vote.

The second-largest Republican donor in 2016 was the hedge fund manager Paul Singer, at $26,114,653. It was less than a third, 31.6%, as large as the Adelsons’ contribution. Singer is the libertarian who proudly invests in weak entities that have been sucked dry by the aristocracy and who almost always extracts thereby, in the courts, far larger returns-on-investment than do other investors, who have simply settled to take a haircut on their failing high-interest-rate loans to that given weak entity.

Singer hires the rest of his family to run his asset-stripping firm, which is named after his own middle name, “Elliott Advisors,” and he despises any wealthy person who won’t (like he does) fight tooth-and-nail to extract, from any weak entity, everything that can possibly be stripped from it. His Elliott Advisors is called a “vulture fund,” but that’s an insult to vultures, who instead eat corpses. They don’t actually attack and rip apart vulnerable struggling animals, like Singer’s operation does.

So, that’s the top two, on the Republican Party side.

On the Democratic Party side, the largest 2016 donor was the largest of all political donors in 2016, the hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer, $91,069,795. The second-largest was hedge fund manager Donald S. Sussman, $41,841,000. Both of them supported Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, and then against Donald Trump.

As of 23 January 2019, the record shows that Trump received $46,873,083in donations larger than $200, and $86,749,927 in donations smaller than $200. Plus, he got $144,764 in PAC contributions. Hillary Clinton received $300,111,643 in over-$200 donations, and $105,552,584 in under-$200 donations. Plus, she got $1,785,190 in PAC donations. She received 6.4 times as much in $200+ donations as Trump did. She received 1.2 times as much in under-$200 donations as he did. Clearly, billionaires strongly preferred Hillary.

So, it’s understandable why not only America’s Democratic Party billionaires but also many of America’s Republican Party billionaires want President Trump to become replaced ASAP by his V.P., President Pence, who has a solid record of doing only whatever his big donors want him to do. For them, the wet dream would be a 2020 contest between Mike Pence or a clone, versus Hillary Clinton or a clone (such as Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke). That would be their standard fixed game, America’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose ‘democracy’.

On 18 January 2018 was reported that, “Trump pulled in $107 million in individual contributions, nearly doubling President Barack Obama’s 2009 record of $53 million.”

However, in both of those cases, the figures which were being compared were actually donations to fund the inaugural festivities, not the actual campaigns. But Adelson led there, too: “Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was [the] most generous [donor], giving $5 million to the inaugural committee.”

The second-biggest donor to that was Hushang Ansary of Stewart & Stevenson, at $2 million. He had previously been the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company until the CIA-appointed dictator, the brutal and widely hated Shah, was overthrown in 1979 and replaced by Iran’s now theocratically overseen limited democracy. The US aristocracy, whose CIA had overthrown Iran’s popular and democratically elected Prime Minister in 1953, installed the Shah to replace that elected head-of-state, and they then denationalized and privatized Iran’s oil company, so as to cut America’s aristocrats in on Iran’s oil.

Basically, America’s aristocracy stole Iran in 1953, and Iranians grabbed their country back in 1979, and US billionaires have been trying to get it back ever since. Ansary’s net worth is estimated at “over $2 billion,” and, “By the 1970s, the CIA considered Ansary to be one of seventeen members of ‘the Shah’s Inner Circle’ and he was one of the Shah’s top two choices to succeed Amir Abbas Hoveyda as Prime Minister.”

But, that just happened to be the time when the Shah became replaced in an authentic revolution against America’s dictatorship. Iran’s revolution produced the country’s current partially democratic Government. So, this would-be US stooge Ansary fled to America, which had been Iran’s master during 1953-79, and he was welcomed with open arms by Amerca’s and allied aristocracies.

Other than the Adelsons, the chief proponents of regime-change in Iran since 1979 are the US-billionaires-controlled CIA, and ‘news’-media, and Government, and the Shah’s family, and the Saud family, and Israel’s apartheid regime headed by the Adelsons’ protégé in Israel, Netanyahu. America’s billionaires want Iran back, and the CIA represents them (the Deep State) — not the American public — precisely as it did in 1953, when the CIA seized Iran for America’s billionaires.

In the current election-cycle, 2018, the Adelsons have thus far invested $123,208,200, all in Republicans, and this tops the entire field. The second-largest political investor, for this cycle, is the former Republican Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, at $90,282,515, all to Democrats. Is he a Republican, or is he a Democrat? Does it actually make any difference? He is consistently a promoter of Wall Street. The third-largest donor now is Tom Steyer, at $70,743,864, all to Democrats. The fourth-largest is a Wisconsin libertarian-conservative billionaire, Richard Uihlein, at $39,756,996.

Back on 19 March 2018, Politico reported that “Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, are currently the biggest Republican donors of the 2018 midterm elections, having given $21 million to candidates for federal office and super PACs that will support them. And that doesn’t include their funding of state candidates.” On 1 October 2016, International Business Times had listed the top ten donors to each of the two Parties, and the Uihleins at that time were #4 on the Republican side, at $21.5 million.

Of course, all of the top donors are among the 585 US billionaires, and therefore they can afford to spend lots on the Republican and/or Democratic nominees. Open Secrets reported on 31 March 2017 that “Of the world’s 100 richest billionaires, 36 are US citizens and thus eligible to donate to candidates and other political committees here. OpenSecrets Blog found that 30 of those [36] [or five sixths of the total 36 wealthiest Americans] actually did so, contributing a total of $184.4 million — with 58 percent [of their money] going to Republican efforts.” Democratic Party nominees thus got 42%; and, though it’s not as much as Republican ones get, it’s usually enough so that if a Democrat becomes elected, that person too will be controlled by billionaires.

For example, in the West Virginia Democratic Presidential primary in 2016, Bernie Sanders won all 55 counties in the state but that state’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention handed 19 of the state’s 37 votes at the Convention to his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who got more money from billionaires than all other US Presidential candidates combined. The millions of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton were voting for the billionaires’ favorite, and she and her DNC stole the Party’s nomination from Sanders, who was the nation’s most-preferred Presidential candidate in 2016; and, yet, most of those voters still happily voted, yet again, for her, in the general election — as if she hadn’t practically destroyed the Party by prostituting it to its billionaires even more than Obama had already done.

Of course, she ran against Trump, and, for once, the billionaires were shocked to find that their enormous investment in a candidate had been for naught. That’s how incompetent she was. But they still kept control over both of the political Parties, and the Sanders choice to head the DNC (the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party itself) lost out to the Obama-Clinton choice, so that today’s Democratic Party is still the same: winning is less important to them than serving their top donors is.

This means that America’s winners of federal elections represent almost entirely America’s 585 billionaires, and not the 328,335,647 Americans (as of noon on 23 January 2019). Of course, there is a slight crossover of interests between those two economic classes, since 0.000002 of those 328,335,647, or 0.0002% of them, are billionaires. However, if 0.0002% of federal office-holders represent the public, and the remaining 99.9998% represent the billionaires, then is that actually a bipartisan Government? If instead 99.9998% represented 328,335,062 Americans, and 0.0002% represented the 585 billionaires; then, that, too, wouldn’t be bipartisan, but would it be a democratic (small “d”) government? So, America is not a democracy (regardless of whether it’s bipartisan); it is instead an aristocracy, just like ancient France was, and the British empire, etc. The rest of America’s population (the 328,335,062 other Americans) are mere subjects, though we are officially called ‘citizens’, of this actual aristocracy.

The same is true in Israel, the land that the Adelsons (the individuals who largely control America) are so especially devoted to. On 8 November 2016, Israel’s pro-Hillary-Clinton and anti-Netanyahu Ha’aretz newspaper headlined “The Collapsing Political Triangle Linking Adelson, Netanyahu and Trump”, and reported that Ha’aretz’s bane and top competitor was the freely distributed daily Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, and:

 

Israel Hayom was founded by Adelson nine years ago, in order to give Netanyahu – who has been rather harshly treated by the Israeli media throughout his political career – a friendly newspaper. Under Israeli law, the total sum an individual can donate to a politician or party is very limited, and corporate donations are not allowed.

Israel Hayom has been a convenient loophole, allowing Adelson to invest the sort of money he normally gives American politicians on Netanyahu’s behalf. It has no business model and carries far fewer ads than most daily newspapers. While the privately owned company does not publish financial reports, industry insiders estimate that Adelson must spend around $50 million annually on the large team of journalists and the printing and distribution operations.

Distributed for free, in hundreds of thousands of copies the length and breadth of the country, Israel Hayom … clings slavishly to the line from Netanyahu’s office – praising him and his family to the heavens while smearing his political rivals, both on the left and the right.

 

A billionaire can afford to use his or her ‘news’-media in lieu of political campaign donations. Lots of billionaires do that. They don’t need to make direct political donations. And ‘making money’ by owning a ‘news’-medium can even be irrelevant, for them. Instead, owning an important ’news’-medium can be, for them, just another way, or sometimes their only way, to buy control over the government. It certainly works. It’s very effective in Israel.

Adelson is #14 on the 2018 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, all having net worths of $2.1 billion or more, his being $38.4 billion, just one-third as large as that of Jeff Bezos. Bezos is the owner of around 15% of Amazon Corporation, whose profits are derived almost entirely from the Amazon Web Services that are supplied to the US Pentagon, NSA, and CIA. So, he’s basically a ‘defense’ contractor.

Bezos’s directly owned Washington Post is one of America’s leading neoconservative and neoliberal, or pro-invasion and pro-Democratic Party, media; and, so, his personal ownership of that newspaper is much like his owning a one-person national political PAC to promote whatever national policies will increase his fortune. The more that goes to the military and the less that goes to everything else, the wealthier he will become. His newspaper pumps the ‘national security threats’ to America.

Adelson controls Israel’s Government. Whereas he might be a major force in America’s Government, that’s actually much more controlled by the world’s wealthiest person, the only trillionaire, the King of Saudi Arabia. He has enough wealth so that he can buy almost anybody he wants — and he does, through his numerous agents. But, of course, both Israel’s Government and Saudi Arabia’s Government hate Iran’s Government at least as much as America’s Government does.

In fact, if Russia’s Government weren’t likely to defend Iran’s Government from an invasion, then probably Iran would already have been invaded. Supporters of America’s Government are supporters of a world government by America’s billionaires, because that’s what the US Government, in all of its international functions (military, diplomatic, etc.) actually represents: it’s America’s global dictatorship.

They throw crumbs to America’s poor so as to make it a ‘two-party’ and not merely a ‘one-party’ government and so that one of the Parties can call itself ‘the Democratic Party’, but America’s is actually a one-party government, and it represents only the very wealthiest, in both Parties. The aristocracy’s two separate party-organizations compete against each other. But their real audience is the aristocracy’s dollars, not the public’s voters. This “two-Party” dictatorship (by the aristocracy) is a different governing model than in China and some other countries.

The great investigative journalist Wayne Madsen headlined on January 24th “Trump Recognition of Rival Venezuelan Government Will Set Off a Diplomatic Avalanche” and he reported the possibility of a war developing between the US and Russia over America’s aggression against Venezuela. US media even have pretended that the US Government isn’t the one that customarily perpetrates coups in Latin America, and pretended that Russia’s and Cuba’s Governments are simply blocking ‘democracy’ from blossoming in Venezuela.

On January 24th, Middle East Eye reported that Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman had just told the World Economic Forum, in Davos, that the torture-murder of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s critic and Washington Postcolumnist Jamal Khashoggi was “unacceptable,” “But what do you do? What part do you play in the process of economic and social change?” and the report continued: “Gorman said he did not judge any country’s attempts to root out corruption,” and Gorman and a French tycoon joined in throwing their “weight behind Riyadh’s economic and social direction, by saying, ‘it is quite difficult and brave what the kingdom is doing’,” by its ‘reforms’. It was all being done to ‘root out corruption, and to spread democracy’. Sure.

There’s “a sucker born every minute,” except now it’s every second. That seems to be the main way to win votes.

On January 26th, Trump appointed the fascist Elliott Abrams to lead this ‘democratization of Venezuela’, by overthrowing and replacing the elected President by the second-in-line-of succession (comparable in Venezuela to removing Trump and skipping over the Vice President and appointing Nancy Pelosi as America’s President, and also violating the Venezuelan Constitution’s requirement that the Supreme Judicial Trbunal must first approve before there can be ANY change of the President without an election by the voters).

It’s clearly another US coup that is being attempted here. Trump, by international dictat, says that this Venezuelan traitor whom the US claims to be installing is now officially recognized by the US Government to be the President of Venezuela. Bloomberg News reported that Abrams would join Trump’s neocon Secretary of State on January 26th at the UN to lobby there for the UN to authorize Trump’s intended Venezuelan coup. The EU seemed strongly inclined to follow America’s lead. On the decisive U.N. body, the Permanent Security Council, of China, France, Russia, UK, and US, the US position was backed by three: US, France, and UK. Russia and China were opposed.

In the EU, only France, Germany, Spain, and UK, came out immediately backing the US position. On January 25th, Russia’s Tass news agency was the first to report on the delicate strategic situation inside Venezuela. It sounded like the buildup to Obama’s successful coup in Ukraine in February 2014, but in Venezuela and under Trump. In fact, at least two commentaors other than I have noted the apparent similarities: Whitney Webb at “Washington Follows Ukraine, Syria Roadmap in Push for Venezuela Regime Change” and RT at “‘Venezuela gets its Maidan’: Ukrainian minister makes connection between regime change ops”.

Abrams’s career has been devoted to “regime-change,” and is as unapologetic about it as is John Bolton. Also like Bolton, he’s an impassioned supporter of Jewish apartheid. He wrote in his 1997 book Faith or Fear, that “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population.” 

Israel is, in this and the view of many billionaires, the whole world’s ghetto, and ‘real’ Jews don’t belong anywhere else than there. And, according to that, nobody else does belong there, except people who accept being ruled by Jewish Law — the Torah. So, on 25 June 2001, George W. Bush, as the main representative of America’s billionaires, made Abrams the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations at the National Security Council.

Of course, Abrams was gung-ho for Americans to conquer Iraq, because Iraqis didn’t like Israel. And the current US President hires that same agent of Israel, Abrams, now to sell internationally America’s current coup to grab Venezuela for America’s billionaires. Abrams, for years, had been courting Trump’s favor by having declined to include himself among the many Republican neoconservatives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. He thereby has now won his new job, on the real-world sequel to The Apprentice, which is known as President Trump’s Administration. Another such winner, of course, is John Bolton, who likewise had declined to endorse Hillary.

Perhaps the US regime thinks that testing the resolve of Russia’s Government, regarding Venezuela, would be less dangerous than testing it over the issue of Iran. But Big Brother says that this imposition of America’s corruption is instead merely a part of rooting out corruption and spreading democracy and human rights, throughout the world.

The US has managed to get Venezuela in play, to control again. Some American billionaires think it’s a big prize, which must be retaken. The largest oil-and-gas producers — and with the highest reserves of oil-and-gas in the ground — right now, happen to be Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela, and US. So, for example, Venezuela is a much bigger prize than Brazil.

All of those countries have an interest in denying the existence of human-produced global warming, and in selling as much of their product as quickly as possible before the world turns away from fossil fuels altogether. High-tech doesn’t drive today’s big-power competition nearly so much as does the fossil-fuels competition — to sell as much of it as they can, as fast as they can. The result of this competition could turn out to be a nuclear winter that produces a lifeless planet and thus prevents the planet from becoming lifeless more slowly from global burnout — the alternative outcome, which would be produced by the burnt fossil fuels themselves. Either way, the future looks bleak, no matter what high-tech produces (unless high-tech produces quickly a total replacement of fossil fuels, and, in the process, bankrupts many of the billionaires who are so active in the current desperate and psychopathic global competition).

This is what happens when wealth worldwide is so unequally distributed that the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”. According to economic theory (which has always been written by agents for the aristocracy), the distribution of wealth is irrelevant. This belief was formalized by a key founder of today’s mathematized economic theory, Vilfredo Pareto, who, for example, in his main work, the 1912 Trattato di Sociologia Generale, wrote (# 2135), that, though “the lover of equality will assign a high coefficient to the utility of the lower classes and get a point of equilibrium very close to the equalitarian condition, there is no criterion save sentiment for choosing between the one [such equality of wealth] and the other [a single person — whom he called “superman” — owning everything].”

The article on Pareto in the CIA’s Wikipedia doesn’t even so much as mention this central feature of Pareto’s thinking, the feature that’s foundational in all of the theory of “welfare” in economics. Pareto was also the main theoretician of fascism, and the teacher of Mussolini. This belief is at the foundation of capitalism as we know it, and as it has been in economic theory ever since, actually, the 1760s. Pareto didn’t invent it; he merely mathematized it.

So, we’ve long been in 1984, or at least building toward it. But US-allied billionaires wrote this particular version of it; George Orwell didn’t. And it’s not a novel. It’s the real thing. And it is now becoming increasingly desperate.

If, in recognizing this, you feel like a hog on a factory-farm, then you’ve got the general idea of this reality. It’s the problem that the public faces. But the publics in the US and its allied regimes are far less miserable than the publics in the countries that the US and its allied regimes are trying to take over — the targeted countries (such as Syria). To describe any realistic solution to this systematic global exploitation would require an entire book, at the very least — no mere article, such as here. The aristocracy anywhere wouldn’t publish such a book. Nobody would likely derive any significant income from writing it. That’s part of the reality, which such a book would be describing.

However, a key part of this reality is that for the billionaires — the people who control international corporations or corporations that even are aspiring to grow beyond their national market — their nation’s international policies are even more important to them than its domestic affairs (such as the toxic water in Flint, Michigan; or single-payer health insurance — matters that are relatively unimportant to billionaires), and, therefore, the most-censored and least-honestly reported realities on the part of the aristocracy’s ‘news’-media are the international ones. And, so, this is the field where there is the most lying, such as about “Saddam’s WMD,” and about all foreign countries.

However, when a person is in an aristocracy’s military, deception of that person is even more essential, especially in the lower ranks, the troops, because killing and dying for one’s aristocracy is far less attractive than killing or dying in order honestly to serve and protect an authentic democracy. Propagandizing for the myth that the nation is a democracy is therefore extremely important in any aristocracy.

Perhaps this is the reason why, in the United States, the military is consistently the institution that leads above all others in the public’s respect. It’s especially necessary to do that, in the nation that President Barack Obama repeatedly said is “the one indispensable nation”. This, of course, means that every other nation is “dispensable.” Any imperial nation, at least since ancient Rome, claimed the same thing, and invaded more nations than any other in the world when it was the leading imperial nation, because this is what it means to be an empire, or even to aspire to being one: imposing that given nation’s will upon other nations — colonies, vassal states, or whatever they are called.

When soldiers know that they are the invaders, not the actual defenders, their motivation to kill and die is enormously reduced. This is the main reason why the ‘news’-media in an imperial nation need to lie constantly to their public. If a news-reporting organization doesn’t do that, no aristocrat will even buy it. And virtually none will advertise in it or otherwise donate to it. It will be doomed to remain very small and unprofitable in every way (because the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”). Billionaires donate to ‘news’-organizations that might report accurately about domestic US problems, but not to ones that report accurately about international affairs, especially about important international affairs. Even liberal ‘news’-media are neoconservative, or favorable toward American invasions and coups. In order to be a significant player in the ‘news’-business in the United States, one has to be.

So: this is how America’s dictatorship works. This is not America’s exceptionalism: it is America’s ordinariness. America’s Founders had wanted to produce something not just exceptional but unique in its time: a democratic republic. But what now exists here is instead a dictatorial global empire, and it constitutes the biggest threat to the very existence of the United Nations ever since that body’s founding in 1945. If that body accepts as constituting the leader of Venezuela the person that America’s President declares to be Venezuela’s leader, then the U.N. is effectively dead.

This would be an immense breakthrough for all of the US regime’s billionaires, both domestically and throughout its allied countries (such as in France, Germany, Spain, and UK). It would be historic, if they win. It would be extremely grim, and then the U.N. would immediately need to be replaced. The US and its allies would refuse to join the replacement organization. That organization would then authorize economic sanctions against the US and its allies. These will be reciprocated. The world would break clearly into two trading-blocs. In a sense, the UN’s capitulation to the US on this matter would create another world war, WW III. It would be even worse than when Neville Chamberlain accepted Hitler’s offer regarding the Sudetenland. We’d be back to the start of WW II, with no lessons learned since then. And with nuclear weapons.

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org

 

 

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https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/18/how-americas-dictatorship-works/

 

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2019-02-18 19:11

Both human and machine have 10 seconds per plant. They must find the ripe strawberries in the leaves, gently twist them off the stems and tuck them into a plastic clamshell. Repeat, repeat, repeat, before the fruit spoils.

One February afternoon, they work about an acre apart on a farm the size of 454 football fields: dozens of pickers collecting produce the way people have for centuries — and a robot that engineers say could replace most of them as soon as next year.

The future of agricultural work has arrived here in Florida, promising to ease labor shortages and reduce the cost of food, or so says the team behind Harv, a nickname for the latest model from automation company Harvest CROO Robotics.

Harv is on the leading edge of a national push to automate the way we gather goods that bruise and squish, a challenge that has long flummoxed engineers.

Designing a robot with a gentle touch is among the biggest technical obstacles to automating the American farm. Reasonably priced fruits and vegetables are at risk without it, growers say, because of a dwindling pool of workers.

“The labor force keeps shrinking,” said Gary Wishnatzki, a third-generation strawberry farmer. “If we don’t solve this with automation, fresh fruits and veggies won’t be affordable or even available to the average person.”

The problem is so pressing that competitors are banding together to fund Harv, which has raised approximately $9 million from corporate behemoths like Driscoll’s and Naturipe Farms, as well as local farmers.

Wishnatzki, who created Harv with former Intel engineer Bob Pitzer, one of the minds behind the television hit “BattleBots,” has invested $3 million of his own money.

 

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2019/02/17/feature/inside-the-race-to-replace-farmworkers-with-robots/?utm_term=.e875f435062e

 

 

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2019-02-18 18:55

 

 

...

And what about the humanitarian aid and blocked bridge story featured prominently over this last week? You have surely seen it across all the networks worldwide. The metal fencing and lorry containers strategically placed on the bridge leading from Colombia to Venezuela denying American sent humanitarian aid to the poor Venezuelans. Nicolas Maduro is a heartless and brutal tyrant to deny his people this aid is the uniform media narrative.

 

Yet that story has also now been exposed as another manufactured pack of lies parroted by the Western media intent on trying to undermine the democratically elected President of Venezuela. The bridge in all the news bulletins is the Tienditas Bridge. It was not blockaded and closed the other day to prevent humanitarian aid entering Venezuela from Colombia it was blockaded and closed 18 months ago in response to rising security tensions between Colombia and Venezuela.

And the Tienditas bridge was NOT blockaded and closed by Venezuela it was blockaded and closed by COLOMBIA…..

There are many more examples of media lies and disinformation which I hope to bring to your attention in future columns but hopefully the evidence and examples provided thus far are enough to convince you to reject the constant bias, distortions and lies pedalled by the mainstream media. Until there is greater plurality in ownership, stricter regulations to ensure accuracy and fundamental democratisation to widen access the mainstream media deserves to be treated with utter disdain and suspicion at all times.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201902151072450177-lies-mainstrem-media/

 

 

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