Category Archives: Uncategorized

France: No-Go Zones Now in Heart of Big Cities, by Yves Mamou

The “there are no no-go zones in Paris” (or other cities and towns) mantra can always be challenged by asking those who so maintain to walk through those supposedly faux no-go zones by themselves after dark. Now ever the no no-go zoners are admitting that there might be a few in Paris. From Yves Mamou at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • “There are several hundred square meters of pavement abandoned to men alone; women are no longer considered entitled to be there. Cafés, bars and restaurants are prohibited to them, as are the sidewalks, the subway station and the public squares.” – Le Parisien.
  • “For more than a year, the Chapelle-Pajol district (10th-18th arrondissements) has completely changed its face: groups of dozens of lone men, street vendors, aliens, migrants and smugglers harass women and hold the streets.” – Le Parisien.
  • In the heart of Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Grenoble, Avignon, districts here and there have been “privatized” by a mix of drug traffickers, Salafist zealots and Islamic youth gangs. The main victims are women. They are – Muslim and non-Muslim — sexually harassed; some are sexually assaulted. The politicians, as usual, are fully informed of the situation imposed upon women.

In January, 2015, a week after the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the American television channel Fox News created a scandal in France by claiming that Islamic “no-go zones” were established in the heart of Paris. For the French media, the existence of no-go zones — where non-Muslims are unwelcome and Islamic law, sharia, holds sway — in the heart of the capital was pure nonsense and horrifying “fake news.” Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said she planned to sue Fox News and that the “honor of Paris” was at stake.

By May 2017, however, the tone had changed. The French daily, Le Parisien, disclosed that, in fact, no-go zones are in the heart of the capital. It seems that the district of Chapelle-Pajol, in the east of Paris, has become very much a no-go zone. Hundreds of Muslim migrants and drug dealers crowd the streets, and harass women for wearing what many of these migrants apparently regard as immodest clothing:

“Women in this part of eastern Paris complain that they cannot move about without being subjected to comments and insults from men.

“There are several hundred square meters of pavement abandoned to men alone; women are no longer considered entitled to be there. Cafés, bars and restaurants are prohibited to them, as are the sidewalks, the subway station and the public squares. For more than a year, the Chapelle-Pajol district (10th-18th arrondissements) has completely changed its face: groups of dozens of lone men, street vendors, aliens, migrants and smugglers harass women and hold the streets.”

Natalie, a 50-year-old resident of the area said: “The atmosphere is agonizing, to the point of having to modify our routes and our clothing. Some [women] even gave up going out.”

To continue reading: France: No-Go Zones Now in Heart of Big Cities

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Will the Trump Administration Overdose on Authoritarianism? by Ron Paul

The Trump administration has come up with a strategy in the losing War on Drugs: lose harder! From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors in drug cases to seek the maximum penalty authorized by federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Sessions’ order represents a setback to the progress made toward restoring compassion and common sense to the sentencing process over the past few years. Sessions’ action also guarantees that many nonviolent drug law offenders will continue spending more time in prison than murderers.

Sessions’ support for mandatory minimums is no surprise, as he has a history of fanatical devotion to the drug war. Sessions’ pro-drug war stance is at odds with the reality of the drug war’s failure. Over forty years after President Nixon declared war on drugs, the government cannot even keep drugs out of prisons!

As was the case with alcohol prohibition, the drug war has empowered criminal gangs and even terrorists to take advantage of the opportunity presented by prohibition to profit by meeting the continued demand for drugs. Drug prohibition enables these criminal enterprises to make profits far above the potential profits if drugs where legalized. Ironically, the so-called “law-and-order” politicians who support the drug war are helping enrich the very criminals they claim to oppose!

The war on drugs also makes street drugs more lethal by incentivizing the creation of more potent and, thus, more dangerous drugs. Of course, even as Sessions himself admits, the war on drugs also leads to increased violence, as drug dealers cannot go to the courts to settle disputes among themselves or with their customers.

Before 9/11, the war on drugs was the go-to excuse used to justify new infringements on liberty. For example, laws limiting our ability to withdraw, or even carry, large sums of cash and laws authorizing civil asset forfeiture were justified by the need to crack down on drug dealers and users. The war on drugs is also the root cause of the criminal justice system’s disparate treatment of minorities and the militarization of local police.

The war on drugs is a war on the Constitution as well. The Constitution does not give the federal government authority to regulate, much less ban, drugs. People who doubt this should ask themselves why it was necessary to amend the Constitution to allow the federal government to criminalize drinking alcohol but not necessary to amend the Constitution to criminalize drug use.

To continue reading: Will the Trump Administration Overdose on Authoritarianism?

America Has Become a Total Joke, by Michael Krieger

The below picture of Trump with his hands on the orb of oleaginous homage honoring ostentatous oil oligarchs is worth a million words and a billion laughs. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

I’ve stopped calling what our government has done a cover-up. Cover-up suggests a passive activity. What they’re doing now I call aggressive deception.

– Former Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of Congress’s 9/11 Joint Inquiry

This country is becoming a total joke and it’s not merely because of Donald Trump. While he’s certainly becoming a key player in our national embarrassment, this country’s decent into a reckless Banana Republic has been a long time coming.

Let’s take stock of where things stand in mid-2017. Our opposition Democratic Party (Hillary in a leather jacket yelling about Russia) is a joke. Our corporate media is a joke. Our foreign policy is a joke. Our economy is a joke. Our justice system is a joke. It’s all a joke, and it might even be somewhat humorous if it wasn’t so incredibly dangerous.

Today’s post will focus on Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a revolting spectacle which I could barely bring myself to follow. It all started Saturday morning as I tried to enjoy a beautiful day with my growing family and parents who were in town for a visit. My day was more or less ruined upon witnessing the appalling scene of Trump and his top advisors dancing with the rulers of the terrorist sponsoring state of Saudi Arabia while clutching swords. I’m sorry for doing this to you, but in case you missed it.

Then there was the speech. It was an inspiring display of soaring oratory if empty platitudes and belligerent neocon foreign policy is your thing. On various occasions Mr. Trump alluded to the fact that the U.S.-Saudi alliance was a “partnership based on shared interests and values.” Which got me thinking…which of the following was he referring to exactly.

 

Or perhaps it’s just a partnership based on oil and imperial ambitions. Nah, don’t be a conspiracy theorist.

To continue reading: America Has Become a Total Joke

Full Circle: An Encore Performance, New Venue, Fresh Actors, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

People make the same mistakes over and over and thus, history repeats itself. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform:

History is written by the victors.

Winston Churchill

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Proverbs 22:7

The Wheel of Time is a notion shared by many religions and philosophies.  In modern paganistic traditions, like those celebrated by Wiccans today, annual festivals are arranged into what is called the Wheel of the Year and marked by various equinoxes, solstices, and the dates in between. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered destiny as spinning like “yarn” on a wheel; and the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, once wrote how the universe is “change”, life is what “our thoughts make it”, and of time’s cycling to and from infinity while aligned into a succession of finite periods.  From the days of the earliest Druids through the life of the Viking Leif Ericson, the most commonly used nomenclature for Wheel of the Yearfestivals are descended from the Celtic and Germanic cultures.

When the Roman emperor Constantine the Great proclaimed his Edict of Milan, in AD 313, it eventually allowed the pagan festivals-of-old to be later claimed by the Christians.  The Roman Saturnalia, and the Germanic Yule, became Christmastide; and the spring celebrations of rebirth and fertility combined with the resurrection of Jesus Christ into what was henceforth known as Easter Sunday.  Today, the two-faced, Janus, the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings, is celebrated worldwide as New Year’s Eve and Day;  the wine-infused, Cupid pierced, bacchanalian, ancient Roman fertility orgies of Lupercalia are now acknowledged as Saint Valentine’s Day; and the ancient Roman festivals of Lemuria, Parentalia, and the Celtic Samhain, are today commemorated as Halloween.  Just as the hands rotate around a clock, so are the holidays repeated within the turning of seasons, year after year.

The Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, once said:

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

The Spaniard author, essayist, and philosopher George Santayana, claimed “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and the American author, Mark Twain, believed history “rhymes” instead of actually repeating.   In the more recent past, however, it was the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe who in their books, Generations (1992) and The Fourth Turning (1997), identified twenty-year generational cycles spinning as the four seasons while stamping their impressions upon the flux of linear time.

To continue reading: Full Circle: An Encore Performance, New Venue, Fresh Actors

Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle, by Justin Raimondo

It‘s hard to argue with Justin Raimondo on this one. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

This is the worst yet

Has there been a more disgusting spectacle during the four months of this presidency than the sight of Donald Trump slobbering all over the barbarous Saudi monarch and his murderous family of petty princelings? It’s enough to make any normal American retch, especially when one remembers what Trump said about them during the election:

“Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”

And then there was this tweet:

“Tell Saudi Arabia and others that we want (demand!) free oil for the next ten years or we will not protect their private Boeing 747s. Pay up!”

Now Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is calling up Lockheed-Martin to get a discount for the Saudis, personally brokering the biggest arms deal in US history. What a difference a presidency makes!

The old Trump told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS,” but now they’re our partners in the “war on terrorism.” Why it seems like only yesterday that he was calling out Saudi princes like Alwaleed bin Talal for thinking they can “control our US politicians” – today he’s kowtowing to them.

Most tellingly, it was Trump who made a campaign issue out of the missing 28 pages redacted from the Joint congressional report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In calling for their release, he painted a scenario in which the Saudi royals assisted the hijackers and said:

“You know, it’s sort of nice to know who your friends are, and perhaps who your enemies are.”

Does Trump know who are our friends and who are our enemies?

While the US government, under both Trump and Obama, has routinely maintained that Iran is the biggest exporter of terrorism, that is utter nonsense: the Saudis easily outdo the mullahs of Tehran. Riyadh funds radical madrassas throughout the world that preach pure hatred of the West: they are incubators of terrorism, and have been wreaking havoc from one end of the globe to the other for decades. The terrorist groups that have destroyed Syria are the progeny of the Saudis, and their allies among the Gulf states.

To continue reading: Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle

TINA’s Legacy: Free Money, Bread and Circuses and Collapse, by Charles Hugh Smith

We borrow, therefore we are seems to be the motto of modern governments. But sooner or later, the credit line gets revoked. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

TINA’s legacy is revealed in this chart of the Venezuelan Bolivar, which has plummeted from 10 to the US dollar to 5,800 to the USD in a few years of rampant money-emission.
Every conventional “solution” to the systemic ills of our economy and society boils down to some version of free money: Universal Basic Income (UBI) schemes– free money for everyone, funded by borrowing from future taxpayers (robots, people, Martians, any fantasy will do); debt jubilees funded by central banks creating trillions out of thin air, a.k.a. free money, and so on.
Free money is compelling because, well, it’s free, and it solves all the problems created by burdensome debt and declining incomes for the bottom 95%. Just give every household $100,000 of free money that must be devoted to reducing interest, then give every household $20,000 annually for being among the living, and hey, a lot of problems go away.
But is creating money out of thin air really truly free? There are two appealing answers: yes and yes. If the Treasury literally prints money, it’s almost “free,” and if the Federal Reserve creates money and buys bonds paying near-zero yields, the money that is borrowed into existence is almost free because the interest due is so minimal.
The problem, of course, is that creating free money is not quite the same as creating new wealth. New wealth is a new gas/oil field that comes online, new cropland that produces a new source of food, new goods and services, etc.
In effect, every dollar of free money reduces the purchasing power of all existing units of currency unless the expansion of output (additional goods and services) matches or exceeds the added dollar.
This line of thinking is driven by two realities: governments have issued many promises to their citizens, employees, corporations, etc. These include pensions, medical care, backstops against losses, tax breaks, subsidies, and on and on in an endless profusion.

 

US Journalism’s New ‘Golden Age’? by Robert Parry

The mainstream media sees itself as entitled to take sides in political disputes, rather than just report on them. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: The Washington Post and other big media are hailing a new journalistic “golden age” as they punish President Trump for disparaging them, but is this media bias a sign of good journalism or itself a scandal, asks Robert Parry.

The mainstream U.S. media is congratulating itself on its courageous defiance of President Trump and its hard-hitting condemnations of Russia, but the press seems to have forgotten that its proper role within the U.S. democratic structure is not to slant stories one way or another but to provide objective information for the American people.

By that standard – of respecting that the people are the nation’s true sovereigns – the mainstream media is failing again. Indeed, the chasm between what America’s elites are thinking these days and what many working-class Americans are feeling is underscored by the high-fiving that’s going on inside the elite mainstream news media, which is celebrating its Trump- and Russia-bashing as the “new golden age of American journalism.”

The New York Times and The Washington Post, in particular, view themselves as embattled victims of a tyrannical abuser. The Times presents itself as the brave guardian of “truth” and the Post added a new slogan: “Democracy dies in darkness.” In doing so, they have moved beyond the normal constraints of professional, objective journalism into political advocacy – and they are deeply proud of themselves.

In a Sunday column entitled “How Trump inspired a golden age,” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote that Trump “took on the institution of a free press – and it fought back. Trump came to office after intimidating publishers, barring journalists from covering him and threatening to rewrite press laws, and he has sought to discredit the ‘fake news’ media at every chance. Instead, he wound up inspiring a new golden age in American journalism.

“Trump provoked the extraordinary work of reporters on the intelligence, justice and national security beats, who blew wide open the Russia election scandal, the contacts between Russia and top Trump officials, and interference by Trump in the FBI investigation. Last week’s appointment of a special prosecutor – a crucial check on a president who lacks self-restraint – is a direct result of their work.”

To continue reading: US Journalism’s New ‘Golden Age’?