Yahoo News: The head of Italy’s anti-discrimination office resigned on Monday after accusations that government funds meant to promote diversity projects and tackle racism had been earmarked for gay sex clubs masquerading as cultural centers.

Francesco Spano quit just hours after an investigative TV program showed his department had authorized funding of up to 55,000 euros ($58,400) each for at least three such clubs.

The TV show, called The Hyenas, visited the three businesses and found they housed male prostitutes and offered their members so-called “dark rooms” for sexual encounters.

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What a pity that they didn’t out all the homo pigs involved in these clubs – at least that’s what assuming.

And money is so needed to fight racism – but  it has to be stolen by homo pigs for their debaucheries. And these “anti-discrimination” bodies usually do everything but fight racism. I guess they have all be colonized by the LGBT pigs who quickly understood they could get their hands on public money to fund their nasty homosexual agenda.

Well, you know something is official if it happens on Facebook. And so here it is: the Bible has been declared hate speech and banned from Facebook – at least temporarily.

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Facebook Suspends Christian Homeschool Mom’s Account Over Posts Citing Bible on Homosexuality

Elizabeth Johnston, an Ohio homeschooling mother of 10 who runs the popular conservative blog “The Activist Mommy,” told The Christian Post on Tuesday that Facebook suspended her account earlier this month because she wrote about how Leviticus condemns homosexuality as “detestable” and an “abomination.”

Johnston said the comment in question was posted over six months ago in a long thread of comments that was in response to another Facebook user who claimed that Christians are hypocrites for condemning homosexuality but being willing to eat shellfish and pork.

The post was removed on Feb. 9 and Johnston’s public “The Activist Mommy” Facebook page, which has over 76,000 followers, was frozen for a period of three days. She was alerted that her comment on homosexuality was removed because “it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards.”

“Someone had commented underneath one of my videos and were commenting under the thread and said something about how Old Testament law prohibits the eating of pork — one of the homosexuals’ favorite arguments to make. I responded with just scriptural commentary and that is considered ‘hate speech’ by Facebook,” Johnston explained. “It was just very intellectual and it was just a commentary on what the Bible says. There was no name calling or anything like that.”

After her account was unfrozen on Feb. 12, Johnston said that she re-posted her thoughts on the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality only to have Facebook remove the post again and freeze her account for an additional seven days.

“Last Sunday, I posted something about the ban, explaining to my followers where I had been the last three days and reposted the screenshot and wrote #FacebookCensorship,” Johnston said. “That ticked them off and they didn’t like that at all. It was going viral. Just within a few hours, they had banned me again and they were going to make it more painful.”
Facebook has yet to provide a concrete reason as for why Johnston’s posts were removed and her account was suspended. But the organization’s community standards explain that Facebook removes various forms of “hate speech” — a term LGBT activists have used to label traditional biblical teachings on homosexuality.

The community standards state: “Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their: race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.”

Johnston’s post only cited Scripture and did not directly attack any person.

The Ohio mother contended that with the way the Facebook algorithm is set up is that all that is needed for her account to be frozen is for liberal trolls and LGBT activists to report her account.

This is not the first time that Facebook has tried to censor somebody who posted about their opposition to the LGBT movement.

Well. It was amazing. It was mind-blowing. Nobody thought it could happen. Yet he pulled it off.

What a lesson, what a beautiful example of “nothing is impossible”.

I went to bed early on Tuesday – why torture oneself with the slow incoming counting of a Clinton win? – and fully prepared for the awful news of Hillary’s win the next morning, already detaching myself from the whole election affair. Life goes on and all that. Millions of errands and things to do the next morning, the election will be over, back to the normal drudgery of everyday life, let’s think about other things already.

Of course, when I got up the next morning, I went to check the news for the awful acknowledgement of Hillary’s win and just to see how bad it had been.

And then I was speechless. Stunned. Overjoyed.

And even though the witch keeps flying around, circling on her broom, still meddling obviously in the high circles of power that she has attained, she lost.

She lost like no one could, crashing from the highest pedestal that she had built for herself, with her mountains of lies and all that corrupt money the Clinton crime syndicate has amassed.

And every little tiny tinsy bit of news about her loss, her disappointment, the knife in her stomach, her resounding vertical crash was just savored. How it came from nowhere and just whipped her repugnant smug face. A lifetime of grotesque crimes, all that highest level corruption, a billion thrown to oil that horrible Hillary electing machine, and Trump just grabbed the win right out of her slimy hard clutching hands. Without much effort, it can also be added.

Trump was very smart – we all have to hand it to him. Talking to millions of dumb Americans, selfish and low-info as they are, takes talent. I never thought he had it, but he does.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Trump means more of the same horrible criminal US of A – wars, torture, horrendous foreign policy, arms sales to barbarians abroad to commit relentless repression and mass murder, just to mention a few of the gravest international issues. He is not ethical and his number one priority is himself. I think he is poised to become richer than the Bushes and the Clintons. Only time will tell.

But he won. And that means Hillary lost. Her only chance and he smashed it.

And that is a lesson.

I’m still savoring that she lost her only chance and I’ll be savoring it for some time. What she most wanted and No. You can’t have it. Hard to know how many people the Clintons have gotten rid of, how many careers they have destroyed, how many people in Haiti are suffering because the Clintons robbed them of their resources (including Hillary’s brother and that Haitian gold mine plunder of his), how many masses of human beings have been murdered or starved because of the arms sales and foreign policies and deals orchestrated by Bill and Hillary, but she lost. In this world without justice, this is about the only thing we can get.

We’ll take it and savor it.

Good article on TAC:

The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy

How long will the people permit it?

 

 

The contemporary mission of the US armed forces is to make military contractors rich. As an addendum the foreign policy elite use the military to scare the world into political alignment with the US. How did this happen? The American people flat out don’t care and therefore the media just goes along with the corrupt government on this endless gravy train. At no time has it been more true that “war is a racket” as Gen. Smedley Butler noted long ago. In my view, the National Security State is our largest unit of organized crime.

[Amen.]

This comment is actually priceless in the bolded parts:

TG says:

Ah, but Hillary Clinton is ‘qualified’ to be president, and Donald Trump is ‘unqualified.’ Why? Because Clinton has been deemed ‘qualified’ by the New York Times, and she has been engaged with echo-chamber think tanks for decades that keep telling her how great she is, and she has been mucking about in government for over two decades, and anyhow she’s a woman. So even though Trump says a lot of sensible things, and has a track record of (mostly) succeeding with large complex projects in a very competitive business environment (and even when he fails he knows how to cut his losses), and he appears to care more about the national interest than selling out for personal gain, obviously we can’t vote for him, because racism.

[ 🙂 Well, since Trump is running on a Republican ticket, he’ll just end up being another neo-con just like Hillary. The fools wanting to vote for him are just as clueless as the Hillary fans.]

Karl R Kaiser says:

It’s only a failure if you believe the government’s STATED strategic purposes.

But if the purpose of our foreign policy is to enrich the military industry, bankers, oil barons, and opium importers, to empower Israel, and to frighten Americans into accepting a paramilitary surveillance state, then voila, American foreign policy is an unqualified success.

Douglas K. says:

I echo other comments here. Current policy is a failure only if you’re concerned about American lives, civil liberties, security, prestige, international reputation, military preparedness … stuff like that. You know, the metrics of success that normal people use.

But if the actual goal is to maintain permanent low-level foreign and domestic threats to justify continued massive military expenditures and the perpetual expansion of the security state, then it’s all working perfectly. The “war on terror” is like the “war on drugs” in that the point is to fight it forever, not to win. After all, the money is in the fighting. “Victory” — perpetually undefined and therefore unachievable — would end the gravy train.

Anarcissie says:

The US leadership/elite/ruling class decided that it had to rule the world, to make the world safe for itself and its interests, back during World War 2, and created a system to do that. It is now generally referred to as ’empire’. All arrangements eventually come to an end, and we are now coming to the end of this particular arrangement. It might be objectively possible for our leaders to try to work up a new arrangement, but my guess is that in their sentimental attachment to power and glory, they will just keep doing the same things until some catastrophe brings the sad game to an end. The present election seems to bear out this pessimistic view.

There was an excellent article on Tom Dispatch on this very question.

Excerpt below:

What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, “Never Trump”?
The Enemies of My Enemy May Be War Criminals
By Rebecca Gordon

…we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men — and a few women — who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.

They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer “lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.”

That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. The letter’s signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice’s legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush’s CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the “global war on terror,” this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.

Their letter continues, “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.”

There’s a sentence that could use some unpacking.

What Is The “Free World”?

Let’s start with the last bit: “the leader of the free world.” That’s what journalists used to call the U.S. president, and occasionally the country as a whole, during the Cold War. Between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “free world” included all the English-speaking countries outside Africa, along with western Europe, North America, some South American dictatorships, and nations like the Philippines that had a neocolonial relationship with the United States.

The U.S.S.R. led what, by this logic, was the un-free world, including the Warsaw Pact countries in eastern Europe, the “captive” Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, the People’s Republic of China (for part of the period), North Korea, and of course Cuba. Americans who grew up in these years knew that the people living behind the “Iron Curtain” were not free. We’d seen the bus ads and public service announcements on television requesting donations for Radio Free Europe, sometimes illustrated with footage of a pale adolescent man, his head crowned with chains.

I have absolutely no doubt that he and his eastern European countrymen were far from free. I do wonder, however, how free his counterparts in the American-backed Brazilian, Argentinian, Chilean, and Philippine dictatorships felt.

The two great adversaries, together with the countries in their spheres of influence, were often called the First and Second Worlds. Their rulers treated the rest of the planet — the Third World — as a chessboard across which they moved their proxy armies and onto which they sometimes targeted their missiles. Some countries in the Third World refused to be pawns in the superpower game, and created a non-aligned movement, which sought to thread a way between the Scylla and Charybdis of the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Among its founders were some of the great Third World nationalists: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, along with Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito.

Other countries weren’t so lucky. When the United States took over from France the (unsuccessful) project of defeating Vietnam’s anti-colonial struggle, people in the U.S. were assured that the war that followed with its massive bombing, napalming, and Agent-Oranging of a peasant society represented the advance of freedom against the forces of communist enslavement. Central America also served as a Cold War battlefield, with Washington fighting proxy wars during the 1980s in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, where poor campesinos had insisted on being treated as human beings and were often brutally murdered for their trouble. In addition, the U.S. funded, trained, and armed a military dictatorship in Honduras, where John Negroponte — one of the anti-Trump letter signers — was the U.S. ambassador from 1981 to 1985.

The Soviet Union is, of course, long gone, but the “free world,” it seems, remains, and so American officials still sometimes refer to us as its leader — an expression that only makes sense, of course, in the context of dual (and dueling) worlds. On a post-Soviet planet, however, it’s hard to know just what national or geographic configuration constitutes today’s “un-free world.” Is it (as Donald Trump might have it) everyone living under Arab or Muslim rule? Or could it be that amorphous phenomenon we call “terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism” that can sometimes reach into the “free world” and slaughter innocents as in San Bernardino, California, Orlando, Florida, or Nice, France? Or could it be the old Soviet Union reincarnated in Vladimir Putin’s Russia or even a rising capitalist China still controlled by a Communist Party?

Faced with the loss of a primary antagonist and the confusion on our planet, George W. Bush was forced to downsize the perennial enemy of freedom from Reagan’s old “evil empire” (the Soviet Union) to three “rogue states,” Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, which in an address to Congress he so memorably labeled the “axis of evil.” The first of these lies in near ruins; the second we’ve recently signed a nuclear treaty with; and the third seems incapable of even feeding its own population. Fortunately for the free world, the Bush administration also had some second-string enemies to draw on. In 2002, John Bolton, then an undersecretary of state (and later ambassador to the U.N.), added another group “beyond the axis of evil” — Libya, Syria, and Cuba. Of the three, only Cuba is still a functioning nation.

And by the way, the 50 Republican national security stars who denounced Donald Trump in Cold War terms turn out to be in remarkably good company — that of Donald Trump himself (who recently gave a speech invoking American Cold War practices as the basis for his future foreign policy).

“He Weakens U.S. Moral Authority…”

After its twenty-first century wars, its “black sites,” and Guantánamo, among other developments of the age, it’s hard to imagine a much weaker “moral authority” than what’s presently left to the United States. First, we gave the world eight years of George W. Bush’s illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as CIA torture sites, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and a program of quite illegal global kidnappings of terror suspects (some of whom proved innocent of anything).  Under President Obama, it seems we’ve traded enhanced interrogation techniques for an “enhanced” use of assassination by drone (again outside any “law” of war, other than the legal documents that the Justice Department has produced to justify such acts).

When Barack Obama took office in January 2009 his first executive order outlawed the CIA’s torture program and closed those black sites. It then looked as if the country’s moral fiber might be stiffening. But when it came to holding the torturers accountable, Obama insisted that the country should “look forward as opposed to looking backwards” and the Justice Department declined to prosecute any of them. It’s hard for a country to maintain its moral authority in the world when it refuses to exert that authority at home.

Two of the letter signers who are so concerned about Trump’s effect on U.S. moral authority themselves played special roles in “weakening” U.S. moral authority through their involvement with the CIA torture program: John Bellinger III and Michael Hayden.

June 26th is the U.N.’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. To mark that day in 2003, President Bush issued a statement declaring, “Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example.”

The Washington Post story on the president’s speech also carried a quote from Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to the effect that all prisoners being held by the U.S. government were being treated “humanely.” John Rizzo, who was then the CIA’s deputy general counsel, called John Bellinger, Condoleezza Rice’s legal counsel at the National Security Council, to express his concern about what both the president and McClellan had said.

The problem was that — as Rizzo and his boss, CIA director George Tenet, well knew — many detainees then held by the CIA were not being treated humanely. They were being tortured or mistreated in various ways. The CIA wanted to be sure that they still had White House backing and approval for their “enhanced interrogation” program, because they didn’t want to be left holding the bag if the truth came out. They also wanted the White House to stop talking about the humane treatment of prisoners.

According to an internal CIA memo, George Tenet convened a July 29, 2003, meeting in Condoleezza Rice’s office to get the necessary reassurance that the CIA would be covered if the truth about torture came out. There, Bellinger reportedly apologized on behalf of the administration, explaining that the White House press secretary had “gone off script,” mistakenly reverting to “old talking points.” He also “undertook to [e]nsure that the White House press office ceases to make statements on the subject other than [to say] that the U.S. is complying with its obligations under U.S. law.”

At that same meeting, Tenet’s chief counsel, Scott Muller, passed out packets of printed PowerPoint slides detailing those enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, so that Bellinger and the others present, including Rice, would understand exactly what he was covering up.

So much for the “moral authority” of John Bellinger III.

As for Michael Hayden (who has held several offices in the national security apparatus), one of his signature acts as CIA Director was to approve in 2005 the destruction of videotapes of the agency’s waterboarding sessions. In a letter to CIA employees, he wrote that the tapes were destroyed “only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries.”

Of course destroying those tapes also meant that they’d never be available for any future legislative or judicial inquiry. The letter continued,

“Beyond their lack of intelligence value… the tapes posed a serious security risk. Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and its sympathizers.”

One has to wonder whether Hayden was more concerned with his CIA colleagues’ “security” from al-Qaeda or from prosecution. In any case, he deprived the public — and any hypothetical future prosecutor — of crucial evidence of wrongdoing.

Hayden also perpetuated the lie that the Agency’s first waterboarding victim, Abu Zubaydah — waterboarded a staggering 83 times — was a crucial al-Qaeda operative and had provided a quarter of all the information that the CIA gathered from human subjects about al-Qaeda.  He was, in fact, never a member of al-Qaeda at all. In the 1980s, he ran a training camp in Afghanistan for the mujahedin, the force the U.S. supported against the Soviet occupation of that country; he was, that is, one of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.”

Bellinger later chimed in, keeping the Abu Zubaydah lie alive by arguing in 2007 on behalf of his boss Condoleezza Rice that Guantánamo should remain open. That prison, he said, “serves a very important purpose, to hold and detain individuals who are extremely dangerous [like] Abu Zubaydah, people who have been planners of 9/11.”

“He Appears to Lack Basic Knowledge About and Belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Laws, and U.S. Institutions…”

That’s the next line of the open letter, and it’s certainly a fair assessment of Donald Trump. But it’s more than a little ironic that it was signed by Michael Hayden who, in addition to supporting CIA’s torture project, oversaw the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 secret surveillance program. Under that program, the government recorded the phone, text, and Internet communications of an unknown number of people inside and outside of the United States — all without warrants.

Perhaps Hayden believes in the Constitution, but at best it’s a selective belief. There’s that pesky 4th Amendment, for example, which guarantees that

“[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Nor does Hayden appear to believe in U.S. laws and institutions, at least when it comes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established the secret courts that are supposed to issue exactly the sort of warrant Hayden’s program never requested.

John Negroponte is another of the signers who has a history of skirting U.S. laws and the congress that passes them. While ambassador to Honduras, he helped develop a murderouscontra” army, which the United States armed and trained to overthrow the government of neighboring Nicaragua. During those years, however, aid to the contras was actually illegal under U.S. law.  It was explicitly prohibited under the so-called Boland Amendments to various appropriations bills, but no matter.  “National security” was at stake.

Speaking of the Constitution, it’s instructive to take a look at Article 6, which states in part that “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” Such treaties include, for example, the 1928 Kellogg-Briand non-aggression pact (whose violation was the first charge brought against the Nazi officials tried at Nuremberg) and Article 51 of the U.N. charter, which permits military action only “if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.”

In 1998, Robert Zoellick, another of those 50 Republicans openly denouncing Trump, signed a different letter, which advocated abrogating those treaties. As an associate of the Project for a New American Century, he was among those who urged then-President Bill Clinton to direct “a full complement of diplomatic, political, and military efforts” to “remove Saddam Hussein from power.” This was to be just the first step in a larger campaign to create a Pax Americana in the Middle East. The letter specifically urged Clinton not to worry about getting a Security Council resolution, arguing that “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.”

“He Is Unable or Unwilling to Separate Truth From Falsehood…” 

So says the letter, and that, too, offers a fair characterization of Trump, who has often contended that President Obama has never proved he was born in the U.S.A., and has more than once repeated the long-disproved legend that, during the 1899-1913 Morro Rebellion in the Philippines, General John J. Pershing used bullets dipped in pig’s blood to execute Muslim insurgents. (And that’s barely to scratch the surface of Donald Trump’s remarkable unwillingness to separate truth from falsehood.) What, then, about the truthfulness of the letter signers?

Clinton never bit on the PNAC proposal, but a few years later, George W. Bush did. And the officials of his administration began their campaign of lies about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, yellow cake uranium from Niger, and “smoking guns” that might turn out to be “mushroom clouds” (assumedly over American cities), all of which would provide the pretext for that administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

The Bush administration didn’t limit itself to lying to the American people. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte was dispatched to the Security Council to lie, too. Security Council Resolution 1441 was the last of several requiring Iraq to comply with weapons inspections by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Some members of the Council, especially Russia and France, were hesitant to approve 1441, fearing that the U.S. might interpret it as a license to invade. So, in the discussions before the vote, Negroponte assured the Security Council that “this resolution contains no ‘hidden triggers’ and no ‘automaticity’ with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions.” The British ambassador used almost identical words to reassure the Council that, before attacking Iraq, the United States and Britain would seek its blessing.

That, of course, is hardly what happened. On February 24, 2003, Washington and London did bring a resolution for war to the Security Council.  When it became apparent that two of its permanent members, France and Russia, would veto that resolution if it came to a vote, Bush (in consultation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair) decided to withdraw it. “We all agreed,” he wrote in his memoir, that “the diplomatic track had reached its end.”

And so the U.S. was on its foreordained path to war and disaster in Iraq, the path that after much winding, much failure, and much destruction would lead to Donald Trump.

So much for keeping promises and separating “truth from falsehood.”

====end of excerpt====

Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books). Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

At least in terms of scale. Of course, in terms of widespread lack of character, it’s like all of the worse offenders in history, current and past.

Reuters: The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

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And did you notice how this information was worded?

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled

Jumbled? The proper word is corrupt. To the core. And what would “materially misstated” really mean in ‘As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded’? Perjury?

The abject failure that is this co-called democracy and its capitalist system.

 

 

 

 

Wikileaks had published two short CIA manuals for guidance on committing crimes of false identity intended for its operatives traveling through Europe.

In other words, below is a crime manual. And as I have been pointing out in recent posts, the US, France, and the UK are just organized mafias where people wear suits.

There is no rule of law – just the rule of power without oversight. Which means we live in democracies with no rule of law. How’s that for a system? As long as material wealth trickles down to certain sectors of society, people support it.

CIA Advice for Operatives Infiltrating Schengen

I came across a report from a couple that traveled to Cuba that offered their experience. I have a similar expectation that this is what one could very well see in Cuba – particularly as a tourist.

Castro and his supporters achieved tremendous progress for Cuba, and he outsmarted the US’s evil desire to destroy this progress, and bring it under its heel of corruption and exploitation as it has done to dozens of other countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Caitlin Causey:

When my husband and I started telling others that we had begun making plans to travel to Cuba this summer, their reactions ranged from curiosity to something like thinly veiled horror: Cuba, of all places? Fidel Castro, communists, the missile crisis in the ‘60s — why Cuba?

For us, the answer was simple: Cuba today is at a pivotal moment in its history, and has not been this accessible to regular Americans in more than 50 years. It is also one of the most interesting, culturally rich, and astoundingly gorgeous natural areas on Earth. When Christopher Columbus landed on Cuba’s northeastern shore in October 1492, he wrote that he “never beheld such a beautiful place.”

This we had to see.

But first, we needed to figure out how to get there. U.S. travel restrictions had been locked in place for decades, embedded in our country’s 1961 trade embargo and loosened only in late 2014. With additional lightening of limitations in March of this year, travelers like us could plan our trip without needing to apply for a visa with the federal government so long as our trip’s purpose fit into one of 12 pre-approved categories. These include humanitarian work, academic research, sport competitions and journalistic activities (hint, hint: this article’s for you, feds!). Purely touristic travel, however, is still technically prohibited under U.S. law.

Once the legal details were ironed out, we booked two flights: one to Mexico, and one from Mexico to Havana. The good news is that this type of roundabout entry into the country will soon be unnecessary, with direct flights from the States to several Cuban cities scheduled to resume this fall. Denver’s own Frontier Airlines has even been awarded a number of daily trips by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Soon, we were stuffing last-minute snacks and sunblock into our backpacks and locking the door to our Glenwood home behind us. As we exited customs in the Havana airport about 24 hours later, a blast of infernal tropical heat pummeled us — and I knew we had arrived.

For the next three weeks we drove across the island from east to west in a small Chinese rental car, beginning in the eastern metropolis of Santiago de Cuba and eventually making our way back to Havana. Santiago was a fascinating introduction to the country, a vivacious city pulsing with music, dance and youthful energy. Here we stayed in the first of several Airbnb’s throughout the trip, booked online before we ever left home. Airbnb has taken off since beginning operations in Cuba last year partly because private homestays, or casas particulares, are one of a few limited forms of private enterprise allowed by the government.

After Santiago we drove northeast through Guantanamo province, stopping near the top of its eponymous bay to see if we could squint hard enough to spot our infamous U.S. base at the other end. The road then took us to lush, secluded Baracoa — arguably the most lovely town we visited in all of Cuba. Accessible only by sea for centuries before a single road was constructed in the 1960s to connect it with the rest of the country, Baracoa maintains its own unique atmosphere, culture and food traditions today. The heaping plate of spiced tetí we ate there — tiny fish the size of rice grains, native to the region — was the most unusual culinary experience of our trip.

From Baracoa we went west along Cuba’s northern shore, with stops in the sleepy colonial towns of Banes and Gibara. Further inland we visited stunning Camagüey and roamed its labyrinthine streets, which were reportedly designed to confuse pillaging bands of pirates a few centuries ago. Afterward we continued to Trinidad, a cobblestoned village surrounded by ghostly old sugarcane plantations, and then skirted the south coast until hitting the Bay of Pigs.

Would anyone believe that the Bay of Pigs, once the gruesome site of the U.S. government’s doomed 1961 attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro, is now a bona fide adventure destination attracting snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world? Well, it is — and for good reason. Along the bay’s eastern edge is a wild and uncorrupted 22-mile stretch of coral reef and gentle crystalline waters. What an odd place for us to spend the Fourth of July this year.

For our final few days in Cuba, we saved the biggest sight for last: Havana. At once grand and decrepit, Havana was everything we had seen in pictures and more. Vintage cars the color of bubble gum and banana cream, crumbling colonial architecture, horse drawn carts full of papayas, children playing handball in the street, daiquiris, dancing, music pouring from open doors, sunsets over the sea wall: as our Lonely Planet guidebook put it, “No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and — despite 50 years of withering neglect — too damned beautiful.”

The same, I think, could be said of the entire country. The fascinating thing about Cuba in 2016 is that all of its glorious contradictions are coming to a head. It is obvious that change is happening — but what exactly that change might bring is anyone’s guess.

Cuba surprised me in ways that I did not expect. At every turn, something or someone was waiting to dismantle the old Castro-Communist-Missile Crisis narrative of Cuba that I (and most other Americans) had grown up with. Where I anticipated animosity, I was granted kindness; where I assumed danger, I felt safety; and where I expected ugliness, I found beauty. Cuba is not what it was in the 1960s, or the 1990s, or even what it was five years ago — and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Of course, everyone could have overestimated Sanders as a leader that stands firm, myself included. Of course, he could have just sold out and merely folded to Clinton after working his behind off competing against her, not only abandoning his supporters and most things he fought for, but literally throwing them all under the Hillary neocon Wall Street bus. Of course, this election could have been just a game to him, a nice little ego trip, a symbolic medal for all the years he has fought for his ideals as a minority in Congress. Finally public acknowledgement and support – a chance to be heard and to lead. A chance that came to what still feels like a very abrupt end today.

But why am I getting the feeling, now, after all this, after nominating Hillary, that he is up to something?

Wishful thinking? Definitely. But he might know something he ain’t telling. Just setting it up for now. I turned off youtube in the middle of the DNC roll call today because it was just too awful to watch. It was about 1100 votes to 700 then, Hillary-Sanders. And yet Sanders wanted the roll call. He set his foot down to have it happen today. He also organized with his brother, of his utmost trust and confidence, for the latter to nominate him. Then, after all this, he hands it over to Hillary, folding.

Now it had occurred to me in the past the simple fact that if anything were to happen to Hillary, it’s him for the Dems. Anything as in an indictment or wikileaks. With the Clintons having bought off the Justice System and the FBI, wikileaks is all that’s left.

And now I am getting the feeling that Sanders’ plan isn’t just to ride off into the sunset, head sunken, and write his little book on his (defeated and deflated) revolution, as he has announced. He looked almost ebullient as he announced his nomination of Clinton.  Does that make any sense at all? What’s all the happiness about, just the symbolic fact that he still got many delegate votes?

For the life of me, I can’t find the final tally of the DNC’s roll call today anywhere on the Net. I suppose tomorrow it will be easier.

To finish, then, are all these little tidbits and clues about Sanders just mirages in the current political wasteland of American politics? Was Sanders bought off, did he quit, fold, or is something actually up?

=================

Updated August 1st, 2016:

OK, so I read that Sanders didn’t give Hillary his database of millions of supporters! And that he hasn’t denied he might run for president in 2020. Aha. So I think that’s his game. Fold now to work the bases so that he can run in 2020.

In any case, shameful. He could have run now. It doesn’t do much, but he’s helping Canova beat Debbie in Florida. Ha.

 

 

 

This is a really smart comment:

The man made an arena full of Republicans stand up and cheer as he pledged to protect the LGBTQ community.
The Republican party voted for a former Democrat liberal businesses man as their candidate.And the Democratic party picked a neo con big business backed hawk.

Indeed – and that just goes to show what a failure the US is as a country and as a political system. But you must be getting tired of hearing me saying it. Still, I find it rather bizarre. So again it’s this weird center that congregates most of the American voting public. Whether it’s more neocon (Hillary) or more anti-globalist but pro-military (Trump), you see that all the candidates that were very left on geopolitics/Wall Street (Bernie and Stein)  or very right on culture war issues (Cruz, Carson, Rubio, etc.) lost badly.

Although Pence is really conservative and Kaine is somewhat conservative.

My comment left at Lionel Media’s video on Trump’s 60 minute interview:

Lionel is to his stupid support of LGBT “rights” what Hillary is to Wall Street and war. Shills who don’t have any decency or knowledge about what is a world with human rights. Just as we can’t expect Hillary to be honest about the damage that her agenda brings, we can’t expect Lionel to realize the problems with his homosexual agenda. He mentions he deplores the fact that today language has become crude and vulgar, along with the ideas expressed (or maybe he’s jumped on the “vulgarity is OK” bandwagon) – and who do we have to thank for that? Liberals (which includes the LGBT) – the people normalizing homosexuality, porn, and promiscuity, abortion on demand, adultery, and who are responsible for a lot of sexual harassment and sexual violence in society – as it couldn’t be otherwise.

In an exchange with a liberal troll the other day, he kept asking why Christians “hate women” because of the several passages in the Bible where women are mistreated, raped, etc. And I told him his question was rich given it came from a liberal that supports pornography (and I’m sure many more evil things), since there is nothing that contains more material that degrades and does violence to women than porn. Not just to women, because it’s one of the main venues for homosexual pigs to present themselves. The Bible is particularly tame compared to the extreme debasing of sex and women that all kinds of porn present. In short, that’s what the two sides of American society give us – either they are war perverts or sexual perverts – or both, such as the Clintons and also Trump, although I do agree with Lionel that Trump seems like a Clinton lite. My prediction is he will act quite similarly to Clinton if elected though.

All these idiots who are saying, “We know how repugnant Clinton is, but we don’t know what Trump will be like” are leading themselves into playing the role of Charlie Brown in Lucy holds the football.

And to this comment from One Man 1970:

This whole show (our country) ..has completely gone off the rails…
I agree – and a testament to the failure of the US public education system. It produces a country of war and sexual perverts who want to shove their wars, porn, and homosexuality agenda of death and destruction wherever they go.

 

 

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