This is What Government Sponsored Mass Surveillance is Doing to Your Mind

surveillance_mind_By Alex Pietrowski

Big Brother is watching you and he wants you to believe that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

This is a lie, of course, and as we move deeper into the era of State-sponsored technological surveillance, we see more evidence that the loss of privacy and confidence in interpersonal communications is transforming the individual into a compliant, self-policing ward of the State.

In one of the first empirical scientific studies to provide concrete evidence of the ‘chilling effects’ that government surveillance has on Internet users, Oxford University professor Jon Penney looked at Wikipedia search data and traffic patterns before and after the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden regarding widespread NSA surveillance of the Internet. The results demonstrated an immediate trend towards self-censorship, as traffic and searches for terms like ‘Al Qaeda,’ ‘car bomb,’ and ‘Taliban’ showed nearly instant and mentionable decline.

The changes were statistically significant enough to indicate that many people automatically alter their own behavior upon realizing that a punitive authoritarian organization is monitoring them for legitimate or perceived wrongdoings.

If people are spooked or deterred from learning about important policy matters like terrorism and national security, this is a real threat to proper democratic debate. – Jon Penney

In 2013, the organization Pen America conducted a survey of writers in the United States showing that many were already self-censoring themselves in an increasingly oppressive atmosphere of government surveillance. The fear of being caught up in a dragnet of legal and financial problems was sufficient enough for many to change their tone and content, even though no direct physical threat existed.

The results of this survey—the beginning of a broader investigation into the harms of surveillance—substantiate PEN’s concerns: writers are not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.[Source]

Commenting on the effects of authoritarian governments which heavily surveil their citizens, Pen America also notes that, “historically, from writers and intellectuals in the Soviet Bloc, and contemporaneously from writers, thinkers, and artists in China, Iran, and elsewhere—aggressive surveillance regimes limit discourse and distort the flow of information and ideas.” This is without question the intended aim of such programs.

That study also included data which indicated how people curtail their online behavior and interactions with other people out of fear of being persecuted by the nanny state:

Smaller percentages of those surveyed described already changing their day-to-day behavior: 28 percent said they had “curtailed or avoided activities on social media,” with another 12 percent saying they had seriously considered doing it; similar percentages said they had steered clear of certain topics in phone calls or email (24 percent had done so; 9 percent had seriously considered it). [Source]

Furthermore, in a 2015 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) examining how awareness of government surveillance affected people’s use of Google, the world’s most widely used Internet search engine, researchers concluded that, “users were less likely to search using search terms that they believed might get them in trouble with the US government.”

In general, people’s behavior also changes in ways more favorable to an authoritarian government when surveillance both online and in the real world is as ubiquitous as it already is in American society. The State draws power from a compliant, acquiescent, and self-policing public, and when mass surveillance is applied to the citizenry, with the predictable result of creating a more submissive and conformist citizenry.

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This idea was effectively brought to life in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, where the primary surveillance device of the individual was the telescreen, a digital device located in every home that could receive and transmit audio and video, giving individuals zero privacy in their own homes. The beauty of omnipotent surveillance such as this was that the government did not even have to actually be monitoring an individual, because the simple fact that they could be listening and watching was enough to frighten a person into voluntary compliance and self-censorship.

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You have to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. – George Orwell, 1984

This principle is coming to fruition in our modern world in the form of the internet and social media. Couple this with the creation and publication of government watch lists of all flavors, where people can be arbitrarily restricted from travel, or worse, and we are marching headlong into a brave new world where freedom is tightly constricted not by law, but by a creeping ambiguous fear of what may happen to us if we step out of line. We are creating a society where people may have legally protected free speech, but they dare not use it.

There is a reason governments, corporations, and multiple other entities of authority crave surveillance. It’s precisely because the possibility of being monitored radically changes individual and collective behavior. Specifically, that possibility breeds fear and fosters collective conformity. That’s always been intuitively clear. Now, there is mounting empirical evidence proving it. – Glen Greenwald

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

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This article (This is What Government Sponsored Mass Surveillance is Doing to Your Mind) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Original Article: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/04/this-is-what-government-sponsored-mass-surveillance-is-doing-to-your-mind.html

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OMG! It Is Multiculturalism!

What can we do?  This country is slowly eroding away by the influx of “undesirables”….(not my idea…this is some of the mindless dribble that is being floated on Right wing sites)…..What can we do?

The country’s demise is just days away!

Right wing people are using the term “multiculturalism” as a way to explain the violence around the world….especially today and their extreme hatred of the possibility of refugees coming to this country and what it would mean to our near perfect society……

But for those that are not paying very much attention….about here they are asking….what the Hell is all this multiculturalism all about?

First, a definition…….”the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation.”

Sounds innocent enough, huh?

It is an easily defined term….under normal circumstances….but these days normal is out the window……

………(Insert a historical context here)………

Cultural diversity has been present in societies for a very long time. In Ancient Greece, there were various small regions with different costumes, traditions, dialects and identities, for example, those from Aetolia, Locris, Doris and Epirus. In the Ottoman Empire, Muslims were the majority, but there were also Christians, Jews, pagan Arabs, and other religious groups. In the 21st century, societies remain culturally diverse, with most countries having a mixture of individuals from different races, linguistic backgrounds, religious affiliations, and so forth. Contemporary political theorists have labeled this phenomenon of the coexistence of different cultures in the same geographical space multiculturalism. That is, one of the meanings of multiculturalism is the coexistence of different cultures.

The term ‘multiculturalism’, however, has not been used only to describe a culturally diverse society, but also to refer to a kind of policy that aims at protecting cultural diversity. Although multiculturalism is a phenomenon with a long history and there have been countries historically that did adopt multicultural policies, like the Ottoman Empire, the systematic study of multiculturalism in philosophy has only flourished in the late twentieth century, when it began to receive special attention, especially from liberal philosophers. The philosophers who initially dedicated more time to the topic were mainly Canadian, but in the 21st century it is a widespread topic in contemporary political philosophy. Before multiculturalism became a topic in political philosophy, most literature in this area focused on topics related to the fair redistribution of resources; conversely, the topic of multiculturalism in the realm of political philosophy highlights the idea that cultural identities are also normatively relevant and that policies ought to take these identities into consideration.

(Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

That was what one would learn about the term if studying philosophy….but that was yesteryear……today it is more of a political insult than an actual field of study……..

Multiculturalism is the phenomenon of multiple groups of cultures existing within one society, largely due to the arrival of immigrant communities, or the acceptance and advocation of this phenomenon. Supporters of multiculturalism claim that different traditions and cultures can enrich society; however, the concept also has its critics, to the point where the term “multiculturalism” may well be used more by critics than by supporters. It could, indeed, be classified as a snarl word or a buzzword, depending on the audience.

Multiculturalism occurs naturally when a society is willing to accept the culture of immigrants (with, ideally, immigrants also willing to accept the culture of the land to which they have come). A distinction should be drawn between multiculturalism that occurs simply due to the absence of a single enforced culture, and multiculturalism which is endorsed and actively encouraged by the government; this is often referred to as state multiculturalism.

Like I said before….all that is out the door.

Today the term is an insult by the Radical Right and the nationalistic crazies as a catch all term to emphasize their extreme positions that promote their white interests…..these days it is immigrants and those ever dangerous refugees……their, the Right’s, biggest concern is that they will not assimilate into American society (well that is the cover they use for their dislike of these people)……..Critics claim that multiculturalism promotes a tolerance of moral relativism and results in a loss of national identity. There is also the unfortunate fact that some cultures simply don’t mix, and multiculturalism can sometimes lead to the development of souring subcultures (there it is those damn subcultures)……..

This is a silly argument…..the US is founded on multiculturalism and has been that way ever since……there have been times in our history where this same type of argument was made against new residents….the Irish, Italians, Chinese, Cubans, Haitians, Vietnamese …..and each time the argument has been proven to be false and complete hysteria….but why let facts stand in the way, right?

The Argument Of Assimilation

We have been having a conversation (if it can be called that) on immigration….all the pros and cons have been aired….but in light of the recent refugee crisis in the Middle East it has flared up again…..and as usual things have gotten really nasty at times…..the problem is that usually an isolated occurrence is used to make the case that “immigrants” will not assimilate….usually it is a situation in Europe and it often about people that have lived in the said country for years if not decades….not many, if any,  of the fresh round of refugees……

Source: Pros and Cons of Immigration

But the debate has turned to the refugees that may be coming to America……and because of the situation in Syria and the Middle East the biggest concerns is that these immigrants will group together and not assimilate…..

Yeah we would not want a Little Tokyo or a Little Havana or a Chinatown or Irish Hill or a Little Saigon…..my point is that immigrants will seek out people of their own culture……they have common interests food, language, music, etc……this will make them at ease and they will eventually assimilate….makes the process easier.

Every immigrant that has come to this country has group together for a feeling of safety among “their own kind”…..this is nothing new….it happens wherever you find American ex-pats also and for all the same reasons……

To me this argument against immigrants is just a cover for any bigotry that critics may have toward the immigrants and their ways….nothing they say is any thing new….it has all been said with every influx of new immigrants to this country……

Of course there is the anti-multiculturalism movement….these people are scared to death that the US will be changed in some way….again nothing new.

The US is a multi-cultural society that is what it started out as and has not changed in its 200+ years……it is what has made this a great country and they envy of the world……

The critics will employ whatever is handy to make the case against these immigrants….these days it is terrorism….in the past it was the fear of sabotage or the spread of Communism or…….well you get the idea…..for all the dire warnings…..nothing occurred to validate their fears…….and I believe they will once again be proven wrong…..

This will not calm any fears and will not force any Americans to think before they speak…..and that is the sad part of this tale…..children of immigrants hating immigrants……the great American Way!

I know somewhere someone will be saying….”he will not be so smug when they are running down Main Street chopping off heads”…..

Think it is confusing now…..just wait….it ain’t over yet!

Chuqs News

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Climate Change ! / Hypocrites.

Most incompetent liberal politicians , Hollywood actors like Leonardo DiCaprio ,false scientists are crying and mourning about Climate Change.

.These hypocrites are ignoring the most devastating reality which threatens

The humans today.Merciless hunger is killing millions.Epidemics ,diseases,

Are annihilating millions of people every year. Islamic terrorism ,ISIS,

Committing vicious genocides since June , 2014 and world leaders are clueless.

These hypocrites L I V E in mansions of 20 -30 rooms using all the energy they want.

Human trafficking enslaving women little boys and girls as sex slaves .sold and bought.

Women’s lives systematically been destroyed every minute in the 3rd. world countries ,

Being treated as objects and less than second class citizens.

Drugs are killing our young people ,here in America beside Hate, Division and Racism..

These hallucinating individuals are out of touch with reality.They live a stone stillness.

(( Deceiving Tongues Have Killed More Innocent People Than Double Edged Swords . ))

Jalal Michael Sabbagh

Original Article: https://mysuccessisyoursuccess.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/climate-change-hypocrites-post-777/

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Displaced by Violence, Columbian Women build their own City

Traditionally women have been seen as and forced to be second class citizens. All throughout written history, they have been expected to obey their husbands, accept any and all violence. They have been supposed to tolerate adultery. They have been made to feed their families with little or no help from their man. Marriage was a business arrangement to solidify relations between countries, as a mediation between warring clans or families. Marriage also used to require a bride price. Marry my daughter and I will give you 10 horses, 12 goats, and 6 bracelets of silver. We like to think times have changed but women continue to cook, clean, have babies and never speak about anything important.

Violence is happening around the world to men, women and children, but the women and children carry the brunt of the scars of the violence. Women may not look strong, but millions are strong. This is the story of such women and what they chose to do when violence drove them from their villages.

To the bravery and strength of every woman who surmounts her poverty, illiteracy, and homelessness and carves out for herself and her children a better life: I say you are heroines. Be proud of yourselves and children be proud of your Moms. Their strength keeps you all alive. Their bravery has shown the people of Colombia that women and children do matter. It shows that violence does not always win.

Displaced by violence, Colombian women build their own city

WITW STAFF
04.21.16

Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas. (Facebook)

LIGA DE MUJERES DESPLAZADAS.

Some 6 million Colombians, more than half of them women, have been forced out of their homes due to a decades-long conflict between leftist guerrilla groups and parliamentary forces. On a plot of land outside the municipality of Turbaco, a group of displaced women have convened to build themselves a new home. They call themselves “The League of Displaced Women,” and their village the “City of Women.”

According to a feature in The Guardian, the idea for a female-fronted village was first conceived by displaced women living in El Pozón, an impoverished neighborhood of Cartagena. “We realized we had so many things in common that were affecting us,” said Yajaira Mejía, whose husband was murdered in 2001. “We were in a critically vulnerable state.” With the help of Patricia Guerrero, a lawyer from Bogotá, the women lobbied government agencies and eventually were granted enough money to buy land on the outskirts of Turbaco. The League of Displaced Women trained in construction, and began building houses. There are now 102 homes in the City of Women.

The League’s path to independence has not been easy. Because they were labeled as leftist guerillas, they have been susceptible to violence by right wing forces. Unidentified men once set fire to the City of Women’s communal hall, and the daughter of a founding League member was murdered. The partner of another League member was killed and dismembered.

But the women have not been deterred from their mission to empower female victims of internecine violence. The League has submitted a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, claiming that the Colombian government failed to protect them from gender-based violence. And Patricia Guerrero, who is now the director of the League, has been pressing the government to expand the City of Women. “We built 100 houses,” she told The Guardian. “The government should build 100 more for other members of the organization.”

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Colombia’s City of Women: a haven from violence

Women who had lost everything to conflict came together in their struggle for survival, learning the skills to build a neighbourhood of 102 homes

The headquarters of the Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas in Colombia.

Sibylla Brodzinsky in Turbaco

Wednesday 20 April 2016 06.01 EDT

As with most Colombian cities, the roads of the busy northern town of Turbaco are laid out in a grid of numbered streets and avenues. But in one particular neighbourhood the main thoroughfare has a special name: Street of the Women Warriors.

The designation is a fitting tribute to the indomitable spirit of the women – all victims of Colombia’s decades-long internal conflict – who came together, organised themselves and built the neighbourhood of 102 homes with their own hands.

The community, known as the City of Women, has been an experiment in empowering women who had lost everything to the country’s rampant violence. It could prove a model for the future as Colombia prepares to sign a peace deal with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), who have been fighting the state for more than 50 years.

The idea for the City of Women was born in El Pozón, a poor, crowded and impoverished neighbourhood of Cartagena, far from the stunning colonial architecture that draws tourists from around the world. The city’s marginal neighbourhoods instead attract hundreds of thousands of people forcibly displaced from other areas of the country.

2048.jpg?w=460&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=5f4c11eff6de1e6ab0ea8576d930d8d2

Kary Stewart meets women who experienced rape and violence during Colombia’s years of conflict, who came together and built their own community

Listen

Nationally, more than 6 million Colombians have been forced from their homes since 1985, when records began. More than half of those displaced are women, many of whom were widowed by the war and face raising their children alone.

Yajaira Mejía, 45, was forced from her home twice. First, in 1998, she and her family fled the town of Plato, Magdalena, for Valledupar when one of her brothers-in-law was killed and another disappeared. Then, in 2001, her husband – who sold fruit and vegetables on Valledupar’s streets – was shot dead.

By the time Mejía arrived in El Pozón with her two small children, joining thousands of other displaced people, women there had already started organising. They would meet in the yards of their homes, precariously built from plastic tarp.

They were victims of the warring factions, including leftist guerrilla groups, rightwing paramilitary armies and even government forces. But what brought them together was their new struggle to survive.

Deyanira Reyes left, Eidanis La Madrid, Paula Castro, and Yajaira Mejía at the offices of the League of Displaced Women in the City of Women, Turbaco.

Deyanira Reyes left, Eidanis La Madrid, Paula Castro, and Yajaira Mejía at the offices of the League of Displaced Women in the City of Women, Turbaco. Photograph: Sibylla Brodzinsky

“We realised we had so many things in common that were affecting us,” says Mejía. “We were in a critically vulnerable state.”

Patricia Guerrero, a lawyer from the Colombian capital Bogotá, encouraged and guided them. They called themselves the League of Displaced Women.

“She told us about our rights and helped us identify our needs,” says Mejía, noting that most of the women were unaware that as victims of the conflict they were entitled to aid and support from the government.

“Patricia made us realise that we needed to demand our rights, not ask for handouts,” she says.

They were labelled leftist guerrillas, which put them at risk of retaliation by rightwing paramilitary militias that had a strong and growing presence in the area. When one member of the group was raped, the league took it as a warning for all of them.

Still, they continued meeting, organising, planning.

One of the most pressing needs for the women was safe and stable housing for them and their families. After years of lobbying and knocking on the doors of aid agencies and government offices, they secured enough money through grants and subsidies to buy land on the outskirts of Turbaco.

The women trained in construction, and set out to build their own homes.

“We wanted to do it ourselves, to make these houses really ours,” says Deyanira Reyes, 48, another member of the league who lives in the City of Women.

In the darkest days of her displacement, when she lived in a squatter village, Reyes had a recurrent dream of walking up to a house and opening the door with a key. “It wasn’t a mansion, but it was my home,” she says.

Her dream became reality in 2006 when the league completed the 102 houses comprising the City of Women, each 78 sq m with a combined living/dining room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a small backyard and a front porch.

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Things didn’t always go smoothly, Mejía and Reyes recall. In 2004, the partner of one woman disappeared. He was a security guard at the breezeblock factory run by the league.

When his dismembered body was found several days later, construction work was halted and several women decided to pull out from the project.

“We panicked,” says Mejía. “We were afraid to go out on to the streets.”

But the man’s widow begged the women to continue. “She gave us the strength to carry on,” says Reyes.

In 2006, unidentified men set fire to the thatched roof of the communal hall where the women held their meetings. They rebuilt it.

And in 2011 the adult daughter of one of the founding women of the league, who was living in the city, was murdered.

“We make some people angry with our persistence,” says Mejía.

Guerrero, the director of the league, says she is now pressing the government to build more homes. “We built 100 houses – the government should build 100 more for other members of the organisation,” she says.

But the league is not just about building homes. It is also about creating female leaders.

Throughout the process of discovering and demanding their rights, the women have become more confident. “When we started off, these women couldn’t look a mayor in the eye. Now they’re not afraid of anything,” she says.

Guerrero is turning her attention to demanding justice and reparations for the crimes committed against the women and against the league as an organisation.

Not one of the 144 individual cases of crimes against the women, which include murder, rape and forced disappearances, has been resolved. No one has been held to account.

League of Displaced Women members Paula Castro, left, and Yajaira Mejía
League of Displaced Women members Paula Castro, left, and Yajaira Mejía stand by a plaque on the Street of Women Warriors honouring lawyer Patricia Guerrero, who helped found the group. Photograph: Sibylla Brodzinsky

The same is true for the crimes against the organisation.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is studying the admissibility of a complaint the league brought against the Colombian government for a failure to provide access to justice and prevent gender-based violence.

This comes as the government is preparing itself for a post-conflict scenario if a final peace deal is signed with the Farc, which could happen soon.

A study of the league’s experience by the University of Los Andes in Bogotá recommended that the group’s work be studied and replicated by other organisations.

“In particular we would like to underscore the surprising combination of concrete projects to relieve poverty with strategies of long and short-term legal challenges and lobbying efforts on both a national and international level,” the study’s authors wrote.

As a successful organisation, the League of Displaced Women is preparing the next generation to continue to fight for women’s rights.

“Boys and girls who are growing up in the City of Women suckled the breasts of women becoming aware of their rights, demanding them. They have grown up with it,” says Guerrero.

“And they will continue our fight.”

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Let us all help them continue the fight, the work, the sacrifices. Let us lift up our voices and declare that all violence must stop in this world. Let us support all of their brave efforts.

Namaste,

Barbara

Original Article: https://idealisticrebel.com/2016/04/23/displaced-by-violence-columbian-women-build-their-own-city/

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Croatia: Holocaust Memorial At Jasenovac Joined By Wreaths For Victims of Communist Crimes

Croatian government leadership and members of parliament officially hold memorial service at Jasenovac for victims of the Holocaust Friday 22 April 2016 Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Croatian government leadership
and members of parliament
officially hold memorial service
at Jasenovac for victims of the Holocaust
Friday 22 April 2016
Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Some politically inclined Jews and Serbs in Croatia and outside will understandably keep telling you that Jasenovac camp was a death camp where Croatian WWII Ustashi regime exterminated many thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-regime Croats. That has been the official history so far, written by WWII victors and communists of Yugoslavia. The same people will tell you that anyone pointing to and attempting to get justice for the victims of communist crimes at the same place after WWII ended is acting badly, is attempting to relativise the crime of Holocaust, water it down, unacceptably revise history…

On the other hand, a number of historians, witnesses and researchers of post-WWII Jasenovac camp will keep telling you that Jasenovac camp was also a camp of communist purges and exterminations, which was kept open as such until 1951, well beyond the end of WWII in 1945 and well hidden from “world’s eyes” as such, behind the closed borders of Tito’s Yugoslavia for several years after the war had ended.

These historians, witnesses and researchers stand for the truth for all victims but sadly, with politically motivated agendas, are often labeled as neo-fascists, historical revisionists…I have become tired from repeating this sad fact over and over again, but, it must be done if truth and justice are to eventually win the adoration of most.

Jasenovac 22 April 2016 President of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Reiner lays a wreath to honour te memory of victims of the Holocaust Those perished in the camp betweek 1941-1945 Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Jasenovac 22 April 2016
President of Croatian Parliament
Zeljko Reiner
lays a wreath to honour the memory
of victims of the Holocaust
Those perished in the camp betweek 1941-1945
Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Most, if not all, major world media outlets will tell you that on Friday 22 April 2016 Croatia has held the official memorial service, sponsored by the Croatian parliament, at WWII Jasenovac death camp for tens of thousands of people murdered by Nazi Germany’s allies. That, officials laid wreaths to victims of the Ustashe regime, which incarcerated Jews, Serbs and others in brutal conditions. That the official memorial service was boycotted by Jewish and Serb groups because, they say, the Croatian government has not acted against use of Ustashe salutes by individual nationalists etc.

However, these leading world media outlets will not tell you that there were, nevertheless, representatives of the Croatian Jewish community at the memorial in Jasenovac on Friday 22 April, e,g. Jewish Community Zagreb, Vladimir Bogdanic and that Branko Lustig, the renowned Hollywood film Director (Schindler’s List), an Auschwitz camp survivor, was there representing the president of Croatia who was abroad at the time of the memorial. These leading media outlets will not tell you that the Roma organisations representatives attended the official memorial of 22 April in numbers. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic led a silent column of officials who laid wreaths at the memorial to the victims on the 71st anniversary of a mass break-out from the camp at the end of the war, among the attendees were a large number of parliamentarians of Croatia and therefore any boycott of this official memorial can only serve as an embarrassment for the boycotters.

Representatives of Croatian National Platform lay a wreath at Jasenovac for victims of communist crimes as well on Friday22 April 2016 for the first time ever in this place of piety. Photo: Maxportal

Representatives of
Croatian National Platform
lay a wreath at Jasenovac
for victims of communist crimes as well
on Friday22 April 2016
for the first time ever in this
place of piety.
Photo: Maxportal

More telling of the bias of these main world media outlets is that they will not tell you that for the first time since its existence this year’s memorial at Jasenovac did not mark piety just for the victims of the Holocaust – it marked the victims that are said are there mixed up with Holocsaust victims but are victims of Yugoslav communist crimes. Murdered there, buried there and counted as victims of the Holocaust! So claim historians and researchers. On Friday 22 April 2016, representatives of the Croatian National Platform (HNP) organisation laid a wreath at Jasenovac for the victims of “1941 – 1951” at Jasenovac. This was a bold and courageous move and its consequences, if any, will be interesting to follow. World history records that Jasenovac camp closed in 1945 but this strongly claims it did not!

For all those that perished here at Jasenovac between 1941 and 1951 Ribbon on wreath laid 22 April 2016 Photo: Maxportal

For all those that perished
here at Jasenovac
between 1941 and 1951
Ribbon on wreath laid
22 April 2016
Photo: Maxportal

According to sources, between 1945 and 1951 communist Partisans brought some 50,000 mostly Croatian soldiers POW’s, to Jasenovac, many of whom were murdered there. This truth was forbidden during communist Yugoslav regime and it has only been since 1990’s that serious research has been undertaken on the matter. The HNP representatives bearing the said wreath at Jasenovac on Friday 22 April did not get a warm reception – in a resistance to their wreath they were sent to seek permission from the director of Jasenovac Memorial Centre, Natasa Jovicic, who responded by asking them not to worry about Curator Pejakovic’s attempt to ban the wreath, to just lay the wreath as everyone has the right to lay wreaths for the dead. When her attention was drawn to what was written on the wreath – “For all those that perished here between 1941 and 1951” she shrugged her shoulders and indicated to the direction where wreaths were being laid.
Jasenovac is a place of great pain and sadness, of remembering and warning,” wrote the eldest Jasenovac Holocaust survivor, Peta Molnar, and emphasised “it must not be a place of hatred!” How potent will these words be for some of the evidently pro-communist Jewish and Serb lobby in Croatia, who had chosen to boycott this year’s official memorial at Jasenovac, is anyone’s guess. Whether they or others will interpret the wreath for the victims of communist crimes at Jasenovac as relativisation of the crime of Holocaust seems no longer important for the truth as, it, the truth of communist crimes is breaking through for us. Restless times on these issues are ahead and no doubt much resistance towards further unraveling of communist crimes. Keeping my ears to the ground on this one – as always, for the victims. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/04/24/croatia-holocaust-memorial-at-jasenovac-joined-by-wreaths-for-victims-of-communist-crimes/

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Denver Schools To Patrol Students With Military Style Rifles

denver_schools_rifleBy Mac Slavo

Are children safe in public schools?

If the answer seems pretty obvious, it is confirmation that society has definitely gone to extremes that would not have been recognizable in past decades of American history.

Now Denver-area schools are becoming the first to guard their student populations with military-style semiautomatic rifles, and things certainly appear to be escalating.

via NBC News/AP:

A suburban Denver school district is arming its security staff with military-style semiautomatic rifles in case of a school shooting or other violent attack, a move that appears unprecedented even as more schools arm employees in response to mass violence elsewhere.

The guards, who are not law enforcement officers, already carry handguns.

….

The move raised new questions about how far school officials should go in arming employees, a practice that has become standard in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

One can only hope that these weapons would stop a shooter before they could hurt anyone, but there isn’t any guarantee.

Active shooters, mass killings and militarized police and security now haunt the halls where education and learning is supposed to be taking place. More children than ever before are on pharmaceutical medications, despite the known links to suicide and homicide. Between Common Core and politically-correct policies, these institutions are teaching that up-is-down, and down-is-up like never before.

One school in Florida even punished a 16-year-old student for wrestling a gunman threatening other students to the ground and preventing a shooting. Active shooter and martial law drills have become commonplace, and many of them have been unannounced, causing terror and panic in students and teachers.

While most schools remain “gun-free zones” and have been reluctant to allow teachers to be armed in the case of the worst incidents, many have readily invested in armed security, surveillance technology and counter-terrorism approaches to “safety” in schools.

The result has been a heightened atmosphere that is increasingly paranoid, and ready to treat anyone and everyone as potential suspects – including children:

Ken Trump, a school safety consultant in Cleveland, said the Douglas County case may mark the first time a district has equipped its in-house security officers with semiautomatic rifles.

“Taking this step certainly ratchets up a notch the whole idea, the question of what’s reasonable, what’s necessary in terms of arming officers,” Trump said.

But are they being protected from potential violence, or indoctrinated in a police state society where even children are under sharp suspicion, and misbehavior is criminalized? Can we see down the road as to whether this is likely to tend towards more freedom, or less? More armed citizens is positive, but more guns only in the hands of police, but private and public, may prove not be.

Regardless, it is a precedent for the growing police state society that expects individuals to conform to the masses, and obey authorities at all costs. Michael Snyder argued that public schools are purposely preparing students to live in such a society:

Our children are the future of America, and our public schools are systematically training them to become accustomed to living in a “Big Brother” police state. All across the United States today, public schools have essentially become “prison grids” that are run by control freaks that are absolutely obsessed with micromanaging the lives of their students down to the smallest detail. As you will read about below, students all over the country are now being monitored by RFID microchips, their lunches are being inspected on a daily basis by school administrators, and the social media accounts of students are being constantly monitored even when they are at home.

[…] One thing that was unheard of back when I was in high school was “active shooter drills”. They are being held in school districts all over the nation today, and they often involve the firing of blanks and the use of fake blood.

In typical fashion, Snyder goes on to make a long list of bizarre school practices that will make your head spin, and are, frankly, teaching the future members of society how to become helpless slaves.

Everyone can see that there is a problem, but nobody seems to know the way to fix it.

There is a fine line somewhere in there…

Original Article: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/04/denver-schools-to-patrol-students-with-military-style-rifles.html

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Australian Croat And His Brilliant Legacies Since Port Arthur Massacre

Walter Mikac and lost daughters: Alannah and Madeline Photo: Screenshot Alannah and Madeline Foundation https://www.amf.org.au/gun-violence-petition/

Walter Mikac and
lost daughters: Alannah and Madeline
Photo: Screenshot
Alannah and Madeline Foundation
https://www.amf.org.au/gun-violence-petition/

April 2016 marks the month of the 20th anniversary of Australia’s worst massacre by a single gunman (at Port Arthur, Tasmania) – and the 20th anniversary when the son of Croatian immigrants in Australia, Walter Mikac, became widely known, a household name and the national symbol of the Port Arthur Massacre. Walter Mikac lost his wife and two daughters on that 28th day of April 1996 at Port Arthur when a deranged gunman (whose name I will not mention here out of respect for the victims and their loved ones) went on a killing spree armed with semi-automatic assault rifles and killed 35 people and wounded 18. Out of that tragedy, out of Walter Mikac’s profound grief arose giant and brilliant legacies of tight gun ownership control laws, of love and remembering through a charitable foundation he set up that has so far helped more than 1.5 million children who are victims to violence worldwide.

Walter Mikac , born in 1962 Melbourne, the son of Croatian immigrants, married nursing sister, Nanette ‘Netty’ Patricia Mikac (nee Moulton, born 1960 Shepparton, Victoria) in 1985 in Melbourne. After Alannah ‘Lani’ and Madeline ‘Maddie’ were born, the family moved in 1994 to the town of Koonya, near Nubeena in Tasmania, where Walter became the local pharmacist and Nanette occasionally helped behind the counter. On Sunday morning 28 April1996, Nanette and her two daughters went to picnic at the picturesque Port Arthur Historical Site, only ten minutes by car from their home, while Walter went to play golf nearby. In the early afternoon, Walter and his golf friend heard gunshots from the Port Arthur site but continued playing their game, thinking that the gunfire was due to a re-enactment of some historical event.

Family photo of Port Arthur massacre victims, Nanette, Alannah (left) and Madeline Mikac, with Walter Mikac. Source:News Limited

Family photo of Port Arthur massacre victims,
Nanette, Alannah (left) and Madeline Mikac,
with Walter Mikac.
Source:News Limited

Not long after, our family friend and local GP, Dr Pam Ireland, came and told me what had happened. She took me to the site, insisted the police let us through, and took me to see my family. For acceptance, that was very important. It meant there was no need for someone to describe or hide the details. I was able to hold each of them. The police didn’t cope with that very well, but Pam’s insistence made that happen, “ Walter said during a recent interview.
I truly believe the power of love and creation will always triumph over the power of destruction and revenge,” he said.

Mikac struggled hard and no matter how hard he tried he could not understand what allowed someone to kill that many people at the same time without being stopped! This terrifying puzzle led him to write a letter to the then-Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard focusing on the need to prevent such carnage in the future, highlighting the need for tough gun controls. If people didn’t have such powerful guns in their possession or easy access then such massacres would not have a chance of occurring. Prime Minister Howard phoned Mikac the next day after receiving the letter and subsequently read it to a police ministers’ meeting to get some resolution about changing Australia’s gun laws.

Walter Mikac (centre) with family and friends at Memorial service after Port Arthur massacre Photo: Rick Stevens

Walter Mikac (centre)
with family and friends
at Memorial service
after Port Arthur massacre
Photo: Rick Stevens

The resulting gun reforms were a big thing. The laws were changed across Australia and many different types of guns were banned from civilian ownership and over 640,000 weapons were bought back by the Australian Federal Government and destroyed. It became harder to apply for a licence to own a firearm and difficult to own more than one. Prior to this legislative change, prior to prior to Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass killings/shootings in Australia in 10 years – since then not a single one.
Around this 20th anniversary of Port Arthur massacre there have been some moves to relax Australia’s gun ownership laws somewhat. At times of terror attacks and “ingrown IS terrorist cells” and increased violence in the streets why would anyone want to change the laws that have been keeping Australians safe for the past twenty years. But, regretfully, like it or not, lunatics and those who want to make money in gun sales – do exist. Hence, Mikac is currently very active and has started a petition for Australia to keep its tight gun laws. The legacy of tight gun laws that arose form Mikac soon after the Port Arthur mass killings two decades ago – lives today. Petition link click HERE.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Walter Mikac 2011 Photo: EPA/William West/Alamy stock photo

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
and Walter Mikac 2011
Photo: EPA/William West/Alamy stock photo

Alannah and Madeline (Mikac) Foundation was set up in 1997, a year after the Port Arthur massacre, and with Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (an Australian, a Tasmanian) as its ambassador the charity has spread to help children victims of violence and bullying beyond the shores of Australia. This too is a legacy, which arose out of the Port Arthur massacre, and the terrible grief it caused.

Walter Mikac 2016 Photo: Jay Town

Walter Mikac 2016
Photo: Jay Town

In 2001 Mikac married again and has a new family but the one so tragically lost at Port Arthur twenty years ago still lives and shines in his legacies and daily existence: in tough gun laws and in the Alannah and Madeline Foundation that helps so many children who suffer violence and works at preventing bullying as well as initiating programs that prevent violence. Furthermore, Mikac has written a book “A Circle of Life: replacing hardship with love” and is a motivational speaker of note. “A Circle of Life” is a collection of reflections on love and loss that focuses on the power of love to overcome obstacles, to heal suffering and to provide hope for the future. He also published “To Have and to Hold”, telling of the loss of his family in the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
Upon setting up the petition for tough gun laws Mikac recently said there was no reason for Australians to own semi-automatic or automatic guns as legalising these weapons would only raise the risk of danger and death for more Australians. He said it was his own personal goal, as well as the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s, to ensure no one else experienced the trauma that he went through 20 years ago.

A significant legacy and one of the only good things to come of the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy, the day I lost my wife and children, was the establishment of the National Firearms Agreement 1996,” Mikac said.

Could not agree more and trust this legacy will hold its ground, for the safety of all, for many many decades to come. Respectfully I bow in respectful memory of all those who perished at Port Arthur in April 1996. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/04/13/australian-croat-and-his-brilliant-legacies-since-port-arthur-massacre/

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Syria: Just How Confusing Can One Conflict Be?

I thought at the very beginning of the civil war in Syria that the situation was confusing…..we had 34+ factions fighting the Syrians, the US, ISIS, each other and God knows what else.  And then there were these so-called “moderate” rebels….to this day that term has NOT been defined accurately.

I am a fairly rational and intelligent person with a background in international relations but I will be damned if I can figure out what the Hell is going on with this ceasefire and these negotiations.  Can you?

Back during the Arab Spring when all this began…the Syrian people demonstrated for a regime change and now there is talk of turning Syria into a federal state of some sort…..

Proposing federalism is a bid to resolve the dilemma of divisions among external powers over Syria, and not for fulfilling a Syrian demand

Source: Syria’s uprising was to topple dictatorship, not divide the country | Middle East Eye

I do not believe this is what the Syrian people had in mind….the destruction of their country…they have watched it deteriorate for years now and see that the division would make matters worse….not better.

Syrian forces are making great headway against the “bad guys”…they have even taken back control of the historic site of Palmyra…..could this turn of events be a good thing?

Syrian army successes will help accelerate a political settlement to the country’s civil war, President Bashar al-Assad said, because they weaken the position of international opponents who he accused of hindering any agreement.

In an interview published as government forces, backed by heavy Russian air power, maintained an offensive against Islamic State militants, Assad said his government “continue to be flexible” in its approach to talks aimed at ending the war.

“However at the same time, these victories will have an impact on the forces and nations which hinder a settlement because those states, first of all, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and Great Britain, are betting on our defeat on the battlefield in order to enforce their terms during the talks,” he said

(Reuters)

Like any world leader, Assad is trying to keep the reins of power in his hands…..

President Bashar Assad said Wednesday that any transitional government in Syria should include both the regime and opposition, as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged greater efforts to tackle the country’s refugee crisis.

In an interview published Wednesday, Assad told Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency it would be “logical for there to be independent forces, opposition forces and forces loyal to the government represented” in any transitional body.

Assad did not specify which opposition groups should be included in the government but the statement comes as Damascus faces international pressure to compromise at U.N.-mediated talks aimed at ending the five-year conflict that has killed some 270,000 people.

In a sign of how high the stakes are, the U.N. chief exhorted a conference in Geneva “to address the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time” which has seen an estimated 4.8 million Syrians fleeing their homeland.

(Haranet)

The political dance is going on in the background…..US wants Assad to go as an outcome of this conflict…..Russian want him, Assad,  to stay……but NO one has asked the Syrian people what they want…..should he go or should he stay?

Obama is facing pressure to make a decision about Assad……

The Obama administration, buoyed by a rare measure of good news from Syria, now faces increasing pressure to prove it is serious about pushing Bashar Assad out of power.

A cease-fire has held for more than a month, and humanitarian aid is reaching Syrian areas long under siege, developments that a senior U.S. official said have “pleasantly surprised” the administration. But despite an ongoing peace process, little progress has been made on a political settlement among the parties involved.

U.S.-backed Syrian opposition leaders want President Barack Obama to push harder for an agreement that bids farewell to Assad, the Syrian dictator they blame for the past five years of bloodshed. Some worry that if a deal on a political transition isn’t reached soon, the U.S. presidential election could distract the administration and sap its resolve.

(Politico)

Again….what do the Syrian people think?

The US us running around worried……the peace talks are progressing at a slow speed but are progressing and now there is something else the US is afraid of for Syria…..a “what it”…..could Assad sign a deal with opposition groups to stay in power?

The US has reacting to that possibility…..

With some progress apparently being made in the peace talks, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he believes a new constitution could be ready in a matter of weeks and a new unity government, including both the existing government and rebel factions, could be formed with little difficulty.

Convincing the rebels, such as they are, may not be the tough part, however, as the White House was quick to condemn Assad’s comments, and to warn that the US will never recognize any Syrian government that includes Assad.

The US has made regime change their stated goal in Syria for years, and has been bankrolling a series of not particularly successful rebel outfits to try to see that happen. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted a government including Assad is an “obvious” non-starter.

Assad suggested the new government would include a cabinet primarily of technocrats, and gave the impression that the draft constitution would give way to free elections, something Russia has advocated as a route to ending the civil war, and which the US has insisted they would condition on banning Assad and certain of his allies from participation.

( antiwar.com )

Now ask……what can the US do if such a deal is struck?

There options are limited….they can pout and throw a hissy fit or they can continue the death and destruction in Syria…..any idea what their choice will be?

Finally, the US stands for democracy and the “will of the people”, right?

If that is a true desire of the US explain what the Hell this is…….

Syrians are free to choose their leaders as long as they choose the leaders Washington has chosen for them.

Over and over again the White House has reiterated its position that the Syrian people are forbidden from choosing Assad as their president after ISIS and al-Qaeda are defeated. The latest example of Washington’s anti-democratic “democracy promotion” came today, after Assad signaled his flexibility in forming a transitional government that might include the opposition, independents, and loyalists.

Source: White House To Syrians: Don’t Dare Vote For Bashar al Assad!

Please…….explain to me again how this democracy thing works…..

Apparently No one is listening to the White House…..

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected in a landslide, officials said on Wednesday, capturing another seven-year term in the middle of a bloody three-year-old uprising against his rule that has devastated the country.

Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad Lahan, announced the final results from Tuesday’s election, saying Assad garnered 10,319,723 votes, or 88.7%. Laham said Assad’s two challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3% and 3.2% respectively. The supreme constitutional court put turnout at 73.42%.

Think it is confusing now…..just wait….it ain’t over yet!

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Fair Reporting Would Make A Difference

It is no secret that I have zero tolerance for the Western media when it comes to the conflict in and around the Holy Land…..Americans have a blind spot when it comes to Israel…..this is because the media will not report the situation with a neutral eye…..it is always horrible when an Israeli is attacked and when numerous Palestinians are suffering there is nothing in the media….

Americans are not stupid (well I would like to believe that) but with a true picture of the situation the one sided reporting makes Israel look like a victim to the Palestinian aggressor.  NOTHING is further fro  the truth…..

There is so much that “falls through the cracks” in Western reporting…..

These are facts that are seldom reported……

Olive oil is a key product of the Palestinian national economy, and olives are the main crop in terms of total agricultural production, making up 25% of the total agricultural production in the West Bank.

Palestinians plant around 10,000 new olive trees in the West Bank every year. Most of the new plants are of the oil-producing variety. Olive oil is the second major export item in Palestine.

For the last 40 years, over a million olive trees and hundreds of thousands of fruit trees have been destroyed in Palestinian lands. The Israel Defense Forces have been accused of uprooting olive trees to facilitate the building of settlements, expand roads and build infrastructure.

The uprooting of centuries-old olive trees has caused tremendous losses to farmers and their families. At the same time, restrictions to harvesting have come through curfews, security closures and attacks by settlers.

Then there are the Palestinian homes that are destroyed…….

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians,
and over 28,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished
by Israel since 1967.

In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that during Israel’s Operation ‘Cast Lead’ assault on Gaza from Decemeber 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009,

“3,540 homes were destroyed in the course of the hostilities, 2,870 homes were severely damaged and 52,900 homes sustained minor damage. Some 2,618 homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair during ‘Cast Lead’ await rebuilding, primarily due to the blockade and restrictions on the entry of construction materials through the Kerem Shalom crossing.”

While Palestinians have not demolished any Israeli homes, there is one known case of a Palestinian destroying an Israeli home in an explosion.

If Americans had access to this information then their outlook on the conflict would be very different…..every American can understand the destruction of their livelihood or the taking and destruction of their home……then they could understand why someone would take to the streets in protests…..

Many Americans cannot understand why the Palestinians cannot rebuild their losses…after all they receive lots of foreign cash to make it happen…..if they knew what was really happening to all these donations they would be up in arms……

Shir Hever, an Israeli economist who has spent years piecing together the murky economics of the occupation, recently published a report that makes shocking reading.

His astonishing conclusion – one that may surprise Israel’s settlers – is that at least 78 per cent of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israel’s coffers.

The sums involved are huge. The Palestinians under occupation are among the most aid-dependent in the world, receiving more than $2bn from the international community a year. According to Hever, donors could be directly subsidizing up to a third of the occupation’s costs.

Other forms of Israeli profiteering have been identified in previous studies.

In 2013 the World Bank very conservatively estimated that the Palestinians lose at least $3.4bn a year in resources plundered by Israel.

Further, Israel’s refusal to make peace with the Palestinians, and as a consequence the rest of the region, is used to justify Washington’s annual $3bn in military aid.

Israel also uses the occupied territories as laboratories for testing weapons and surveillance systems on Palestinians – and then exports its expertise. Israel’s military and cyber industries are hugely profitable, generating many billions of dollars of income each year.

Significant segments of Israeli society, aside from those in the security industries, are lining their pockets from the occupation. Paradoxically, the label “the most aid-dependent people in the world” – usually affixed to the Palestinians – might be better used to describe Israelis.

These are just a couple incidents where the American people knew the situation would have no problem condemning Israel for their actions…

Israel depends on the Western media to do their bidding and to keep their outrageous actions to a minimum in the reporting…..by doing so the media is a co-conspirator to the theft that Israel carries out daily.

The MSM will NOT report to the fact that Israel will NOT give Arab-Israelis equal rights, will NOT report on the land theft that occurs daily….just to mention 2 points.

Another example is just recently an attack occurred in the West Bank……and this is what the western media had to report…..

A 29-year-old American tourist in Israel was killed in a series of attacks that coincided with vice president Joe Biden’s visit to the country on Tuesday, the Times of Israel reports. The man’s wife was “severely injured.” A Palestinian man armed with a knife stabbed multiple people during a 20-minute attack across three locations in the city of Jaffa. Ten people were wounded, some critically, but the American tourist—identified by the AP as Taylor Force—was the only death. “He attacked a tourist couple,” one witness tells the Guardian. “The woman was stabbed several times, tried to flee, and fell. The terrorist then continued to stab the man.” Force was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University and was on a school trip to Tel Aviv. The injured victims include a pregnant Israeli woman, a Palestinian man, and an Arab Israeli.

And then the US VP had this to say on a visit to Israel……..

“The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts,” Biden said while meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop.”

This is the typical hypocrisy of the US politicians….condemn the Arab act but NOTHING to say about the massive amounts of protesters killed, detained, jailed and mistreated by the IDF….

Slowly but slowly the American society is beginning to see Israel for what it is….an authoritarian state attempting to erase a people’s way of life and culture.

More unreported news……..

For those that may want to get involved then may I suggest to start with the BDS movement…… http://bdsmovement.net/

Time for Americans to remove their heads from the sand….Israel is NOT a good faith partner in democracy.

One closing thought……..

On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 7:19 AM, Chuq Streuly < chuqalam > wrote:

Another post for your consideration……hope it is acceptable….

How Religious Are They?

This post should prompt all kinds of responses……most of which will have nothing to do with the link or the premise of the piece but rather rants about the terrorists are coming for your head or your children or they all want you to live under some law or another……which is a pathetic argument because these very people are attempting to force their beliefs on others….the very same thing as they are accusing others of wanting to do…..

Sorry I digress……

Everyone seems to believe that these extremists in ISIS and AQ are somehow a form of radical religious belief….but in reality just how religious are they?

This is a short video that answers that question……

“Islam has a problem.” that’s the often repeated phrase following attacks carried out by those who claim to be doing so in the name of religion.

A look at some of the attackers, however, shows that many may actually not have been motivated by religion at all.

In this week’s Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan challenges the common view that the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and al-Qaeda attackers are devout Muslims.

Source: How religious are ‘Islamic terrorists’ like ISIL? – Al Jazeera English

I realize that this will not sway any of the hardcore haters……but it does explain it simply and clearly……

And there are those people that complain the if Muslims were truly not like ISIS or Aq that they would do more to show their disgust for the barbarians……they do but NO one will give them a chance or even acknowledge their condemnations……

Following every Islamist terror attack on a Western soft target, like the recent one in Brussels, we hear the same refrain from certain corners: “Why won’t Muslims stand up to Islamic extremism?” The rhetorical question is meant to imply its own answer: that Islam is unavoidably a religion of violence which impels its adherents to at least sanction terrorism, if not partake in it.

But the argument contains a false premise. Plenty of Muslims are standing up to Islamic extremism, both in word and deed. In fact, it is Muslims who are doing all the heavy lifting in this regard, while the chief contribution of the self-righteous Western powers has been to add to their burden.

Source: Muslims Are Standing Up To Extremism – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Islam is like any other religion…..there are differences in their interpretation…..to be honest it is similar to Christianity and the variations within the belief…..

The Business Insider ahs done a good job at trying to explain the differences and in doing so attempting to spread understanding…..

No religion is unified. How Catholicism, for example, is practiced in rural Italy differs from the way this is done, say, in New York city. Language, culture, tradition, the political and social contexts, and even food is different in these two places.

Such geographic differences are certainly important in Islam. But also important are the numerous legal schools and their interpretations. Since Islam is a religion predicated on law (sharia), variations in the interpretation of that law have contributed to regional differences.

Source: Why Islam is different country to country – Business Insider

I know this will fall in many deaf ears….but I hope that it will help calm some of the hysteria that is being whipped up in some circles…..

Chuqs News

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St Leonards Childrens Home, Hornchurch, Essex

The purpose of this article is two fold. The first is to is shine a bit of a spotlight on the abuse at St Leonards Childrens Home. The second is to publish some more police corruption relevant to child abuse and this will come in the second half of the article.

St Leonards was a childrens home in Hornchurch Essex around 1950 until 1985, when it was closed down. It was run for part of this time by Tower Hamlets Borough of London. It was also known as Cottage Homes as it was divided into separate homes of about 30 children looked after by two house parents.

Much of the information in this post is from Paul Connolly’s first book in his autobiography Against All Odds [1] from 2010. The second book Beating the Odds was published in 2014 [2]. For reviews see Goodreads [7]. Paul is now a successful fitness trainer and has a website [3]. There are also articles on him in the press, about publishing his book despite not being able to read until the age of 25, [6] and topping the amazon downloads chart [8]

There is also information on St Leonards on Operation Greenlight [5] Needleblog [4]. St. Leonards deserves a great deal more time than I can spend on it.

Paul Connolly was brought up from the age of 8 in St Leonards Childrens Home notorious for its abuse meted out to children. People were sent there in Pauls time mainly from Tower Hamlets London Borough, there were also children from other Councils one being Hammersmith. There was a mixture of reasons for children being sent there. Some children Paul says were “saved” from the street as rent boys in teenage years. Many were Irish or black, both out of place in the Essex countryside, as it was then.

When Paul was there, Alan Prescott was the Head. Pauls house parents were Bill Starling, and Auntie “Coral” which is a pseudonym. All these were child abusers physically, sexually and emotionally. Paul himself was not sexually assaulted, perhaps because of his aggressiveness to the people concerned, but he did suffer physical and emotional abuse.

Alan Prescott Superintendent (Head) of St Leonards Home was a JP, Labour councillor, assistant director of social services in Tower Hamlets and, later, chief executive of East end charity Toynbee Hall.

Seamus Carroll, was the man who prompted the police investigation, called Operation Mapperton, when he made a complaint to Tower Hamlets about the abuse he says he suffered from four to 15. In the court case in 2001, it showed Prescott had indecently assaulted four teenage boys at various points throughout the 1970s [4]. However he only got 2 years jail.

Bill Starling, had indecently assaulted, raped or buggered 11 victims – aged from just five to 14 – over a 20-year period. He was sentenced to 14 years.

A third social worker, Haydn Davies – who already had a 1981 conviction for buggering a teenage boy and who originally faced 37 charges of indecent assault, rape and buggery – had proceedings against him dropped after the judge ruled the loss of video [from police custody] and other evidence from an aborted investigation meant a fair trial was not possible. He was acquitted of 12 charges.

Auntie Coral was never charged.

Paul describes the Operation Mapperton case, which was the investigation into St Leonards. He claims some of the police admitted that the investigation had been messed up and that the police had lost evidence [p233]. Some parts illustrate the life in St Leonards and abuse by male and female staff.

connolly6 connolly7 connolly8 connolly9 connolly10

However the abuse was obviously much more widespread. Even Daniel O’Malley, the Detective Inspector who headed the investigation, suggested there may have been as many as 70 victims – with 30 abused by Starling alone [4], but the figures will be far higher, and as well, I have been told that the sexual abuse was happening in the 50’s and 60’s.

Prescott was the Assistant director of Tower Hamlets Social Services, a Magistrate and a Labour Councillor and was a child abuser at St Leonards. Did he visit other homes and abuse? What action did Tower Hamlets take after the court case? What did his Labour colleagues know? Why did he get such a light sentence? How did the Police lose a video tape and other evidence and what was done about this? Did the Police investigate the 50’s and 60’s abuse?

All I can recommend to the ex pupils of St Leonards is to

  • Apply for any of your records that may still exist with a Subject Data Access Request from the Data Protection Act
  • Form a suvivors group
  • Write Freedom of Information requests to Met Police about Operation Mapperton and to Tower Hamlets about what action they took after the court case to safeguard children, any reports commissioned, which is usually found in Social Services Committee and full council minutes

It is only by being part of a group that you may get the strength and recognition and representation that you deserve. Nottingham and Shirley Oaks have blazed a trail of forming survivors groups and both achieved an investigation by the Goddard inquiry. Help in forming group meetings is available from Voicing CSA [12] eg Voicing CSA Nottingham Meeting [13]

Later in life, Paul Connolly worked as security in brothels. Paul contrasts the East End brothels which were at risk of being shut down, with West End brothels in which the Police either participated or were given backhanders [p147]. He describes some of the clientele of minor royals and MPs, as well as their sexual preferences [p141-6].

The following extracts from the book illustrate police corruption in the West End brothels, the inadequacy of Operation Mapperton.

connolly1 connolly2 connolly3 connolly4 connolly5

The Police have alot of questions to answer about botched investigations into child abuse.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F]blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]

Links

For the books I provide Amazon links to show details. Personally I try and use Amazon as little as possible due to poor moral and ethical choices the company makes.

[1] 2010 Paul Connolly Against All Odds ISBN 978 1 84454 905 4 http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00603Y6IS/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=essetrai-21&camp=1406&creative=6394&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B00603Y6IS&adid=1VEMV3N7N4PMJ7D9HFQJ&&ref-refURL=http%3A//www.essextraining.com/www/index.htm%20target=

[2] 2015 Paul Connolly Beating the Odds – From shocking childhood abuse to the embrace of a loving family, one man’s true story of courage and redemption http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beating-Odds-shocking-childhood-redemption-ebook/dp/B00KVFTADM/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51H%2BaPAa-uL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_OU02_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=03183MWZ3VJ2ZSCPD9P3

[3] Paul Connollys website Essex Training http://www.essextraining.com/

[4] Operation Greenlight St Leonard’s Children’s Home https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/operation-greenlight/east-england/essex/st-leonards-childrens-home/

[5] Operation Greenlight Brain https://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/0FE31538-2121-8495-33A5-86073BE95DE1/thought/918#-835

[6] 2012 Jan 9 Daily Mail Against All Odds: The debut author who didn’t learn to read until he was 25 tops e-book charts http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080829/Against-All-Odds-Paul-Connolly-didnt-learn-read-25-tops-e-book-charts.html

[7] Goodreads – reviews of “Against all Odds” http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6685881-against-all-odds

[8] 2012 Jan 5 Evening Standard I couldn’t read until I was 25, now I’m a best-selling author, says trainer to the stars http://www.standard.co.uk/news/get-london-reading/i-couldnt-read-until-i-was-25-now-im-a-best-selling-author-says-trainer-to-the-stars-7304506.html

[9] 2015 Sept 20 Brentwood Gazette Billericay dad’s tale of turning life around is now set for TV http://www.brentwoodgazette.co.uk/Dad-s-tale-turning-life-set-TV/story-27800959-detail/story.html

[10] @PaulConnolly11

[11] Hornchurch Cottage Homes https://www.facebook.com/hornchurch.cottagehomes?fref=ts

[12] Voicing CSA http://voicingcsa.uk/

[13] Voicing CSA Nottingham Meeting https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/voicing-csa-nottingham/

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

[J] 2016 Jan 5 Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma https://hwaairfan.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/an-indigenous-australian-approach-to-healing-trauma/

[K] Survivors UK website for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men https://www.survivorsuk.org/ and twitter https://twitter.com/SurvivorsUK

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email StLeonards

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

“He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” Charles Peguy

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Original Article: https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/st-leonards-childrens-home/

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