Saturday, August 17, 2019

America's Looming Farm Crisis: It Is All About the Benjamins

The Average U.S. Farm Is $1,300,000 In Debt, And Now The Worst Farming Crisis In Modern History Is Upon Us

by Michael Snyder - 

via Popular Resistance

August 16, 2019

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Leading up to this year, farm incomes had been trending lower for most of the past decade, and meanwhile farm debt levels have been absolutely exploding. So U.S. farmers were desperate for a really good year, but instead 2019 has been a total disaster.

As I have been carefully documenting, due to endless rain and catastrophic flooding millions of acres of prime farmland didn’t get planted at all this year, and the yields on tens of millions of other acres are expected to be way, way below normal. As a result, we are facing the worst farming crisis in modern American history, and this comes at a time when U.S. farms are drowning in more debt than ever before.

In fact, the latest numbers we have show the average U.S. farm is 1.3 million dollars in debt

Big Media Blackout on Brazilian Resistance

Media Blackout on Brazil’s Anti-Bolsonaro Protests: Why are New York Times and Guardian downplaying resistance to Brazil’s far-right president?

by Brian Mier - FAIR

August 17, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system.

August 13 protest against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Belo Horizonte, one of 211 cities where demonstrations took place
(photo: Dowglas Silva).

It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions affiliated with the Central Ùnica de Trabalhadores (Unified Workers Central/CUT)—the second-largest labor union confederation in the Americas.

The Friends of Jeffrey: Epstein Did Not Act Alone

Epstein May Be Just One Part of an Intricate Network of Sex and Power


August 15, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein is at the top of every news cycle, and dominates our digital social media world. His trafficking of young girls, children to satisfy his and the sexual preferences of so many of the rich and powerful, are at the center of all this, as are his connections to that dark world of the unseemly side of the interaction between government, business, and the intelligence world allegedly.

Using sex as blackmail is nothing new. It goes back to the early mob, the CIA, and seems to connect the dots to Epstein. That was the story we’re going tell today written by our guest, who wrote this for Mint Press in the three-part series called “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail.”

Journalist Whitney Webb's series looks at the sordid history tying together mobsters, oligarchs, and government intelligence agencies in a web of blackmail, exploitation, and profit.

UN Fails to Censure India's Military Cordon of Kashmir

UN Security Council discusses Kashmir, China urges India and Pakistan to ease tensions

by Nimisha Jaiswal - IRIN

16 August 2019 

The Security Council considered the volatile situation surrounding Kashmir on Friday, addressing the issue in a meeting focused solely on the dispute, within the UN body dedicated to resolving matters of international peace and security, for the first time since 1965.

Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the chamber following deliberations, urging both India and Pakistan to “refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate” what was an already “tense and very dangerous” situation.

The Indian-administered part of the majority-Muslim region, known as Jammu and Kashmir had its special status within the constitution revoked by the Indian Government on 5 August, placing it under tighter central control. Pakistan has argued that the move violates international law.

       UN head, Guterres "concerned".

The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area, which both countries claim in its entirety, with the areas under separate administration, divided by a so-called Line of Control. The UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on any ceasefire violations.

In a statement issued on 8 August, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he had been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir “with concern”, making an appeal for “maximum restraint”.

“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter...and applicable Security Council resolutions”, said the statement. 
“The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means”, in accordance with the UN Charter.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

L'Affaire Epstein: Ten Lines We're Meant to Swallow

Ten Things We are Asked to Believe about Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

by Gary Leupp - Dissident Voice

August 15th, 2019

We are asked to believe the following basic “facts” about the pedophile [Strictly speaking, pedophilia is sex with prepubescent children, generally before age 13 — DV Editor] philanthropist’s death, some more credible than others:

1. On August 23, Jeffrey Epstein attempted suicide in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. (But it was reported at the time that Epstein may have been attacked by a fellow inmate in jail, and the matter was not well covered in the press.) The coroner handling Epstein’s autopsy notes that this attempt has “never been definitively explained.”

2. Epstein was consequently placed on suicide watch, subject to intensified monitoring.

3. On August 29, he was for some reason removed from that suicide watch, although still subject to monitoring every half hour; and the rules called for him to have a cell-mate. Pundits have suggested that he protested the increased intrusiveness and asked to be removed, but I have seen no evidence of this.

4. At some point–the day before by one report–for some reason the cell-mate was removed, in violation of the rules. One report says he was released from jail.

5. On the night of August 10, Epstein hung himself with a sheet attached to the upper bunk of a bunk bed, by leaning forward on his knees. (He was not supposed to have shred-able material in his cell.) The autopsy shows two broken bones in his neck consistent with strangulation–but more common in homicidal strangulation than those self-performed.

6. The corporate press suggests that Epstein wanted to kill himself. (But he had been spending a lot of time with his lawyers possibly discussing how to minimize his likely sentence by spilling the beans on his friends. He had been avoiding contact with other prisoners, possibly fearing attack; see point 1 above.)

7. Epstein was able to commit suicide while not one but two different guards were sleeping on the job, during an interval currently reported as three hours, and then tried to cover up by falsifying the record. A colossal failure, especially when combined with the lack of cell-mate and availability of material that could be used in a suicide. But surely not willful or planned; it was due to under-staffing, under-funding, too much overtime, prison workers sleeping in their cars, recruitment of unqualified prison guards…

8. The Justice Department is responding to Epstein’s death responsibly. The warden of the MCC has been “reassigned” within the Bureau of Prisons and two unidentified guards have been placed on administrative leave, following Attorney General William Barr’s expression of displeasure at Epstein’s death.

9. The truth will be revealed by the FBI investigation. (But what a peculiar irony that the Justice Department that controls the FBI is headed by Barr, whose own father Donald Barr hired Epstein for his first job, teaching at a Manhattan high school where he got a reputation for paying inordinate attention to his girl students in the 1970s. And recall that Barr became a member of the law firm in Florida that arranged Epstein’s 2007 plea-bargain.)

10. To think that the demise of Epstein is anything other than what the MCC has reported, and echoed by the mainstream press–as a suicide–is to engage in wild-eyed “conspiracy theory.” 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Killing the Messenger: The Slow Motion Execution of Julian Assange

Killing Julian Assange Slowly

by Stephen Lendman - 

August 13, 2019

Since April 11 when unlawfully dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy to captivity, Assange has languished under draconian conditions in a UK dungeon at the behest of the Trump regime, wanting him tried in the US for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism. More on this below.

Dark forces in the US, other Western states, Israel, and most everywhere else greatly fear widespread public knowledge of their wrongdoing against ordinary people to benefit privileged ones. They want it kept out of the mainstream, notably not on television and in print publications with widespread readership.

If the fourth estate gave news consumers a daily diet of what’s vital to know about domestic and geopolitical issues, another world would be possible — plowshares replacing swords, social justice over neoliberal harshness, equity and justice for all, nations fit and safe to live in for all their citizens and residents.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, "A Shopkeeper from Tamil Nadu", John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft August 15, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

August 15, 2019

Last week the Indian government officially abrogated the agreement the founders of the modern state signed guaranteeing Kashmiris the right to form an independent nation. With the stroke of a pen, prime minister Narendra Modi repealed Article 370, a provision of the Indian constitution granting special autonomous status to what was the northern state of Jammu & Kashmir, including the Ladakh region.

370 was specifically created to entice the majority Muslim region into the India fold during the partition of 1947.

Worse though than Modi's unilateral declaration, something provoking condemnation throughout the region and beyond, are measures employed by the Indian government; the locking down and cutting off of Kashmir from the rest of the World.

Listen. Hear.

Modi's draconian actions from the perspective of India's Kashmiri diaspora in the first half.

[Update Kashmir blockade video: August 28, 2019 -]

And; Summer is for leisurely idylls; supposed to be spent languidly lolling among the shade trees considering the great eternal, while enjoying the corporeal fruits life has to offer. It is certainly not meant for that basest of all human pursuits, politics. But these are strange and unnatural days. As Helius arcs his golden chariot across the azure waters of the Greek islands, far below schemes are afoot, evil machinations whose bitter fulfillment may soon see Europe, from the Mediterranean cradle of its democratic tradition to the nethermost tips of its social liberal northern expanse, revisited by the refugee crisis, as per 2016.

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, broadcaster and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Some of John’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, (with Claudia Wright) ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ and his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

He's also a former adivsor to Greek prime minister, Andreas Papandreou and his recent article, ‘Turkey's War in the West - Cyprus is Now Surrounded by Drill-Ships and Warships; Cannon Ready to Fire at Europe - 150,000 People per Month' spotlights Europe's next crisis in the making.

John Helmer and Turkey's all stick no carrot Mediterranean gambit in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Sunday, August 11, 2019

First Tear in a Fragile Fabric: 'Indianising' Kashmir

Indianising Kashmir, at Gunpoint in India 

by Aijaz Zaka Syed  - Counter Currents

August 10, 2019

“Maine aisa Hindustan kabhi nahin dekha!”

In six words, Farooq Abdullah may have captured the trauma and acute sense of betrayal of his people. The three-time chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir broke down like a child during a media interaction at his Srinagar residence.

The National Conference leader and son of the late Sheikh Abdullah, the Lion of Kashmir, has every reason to feel betrayed. After all, three generations of the Abdullahs have spent their lives batting for India.

Indeed, if it had not been for the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah, Kashmir in all likelihood would have been part of Pakistan in its entirety.

WIRED: Putting the Whiz in the Military's Bang

Wired’s Gee-Whiz High-Tech Militarism

by Julianne Tveten - FAIR

August 7, 2019

A deluge of major Western publications stated last month that the US destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman (e.g., New York Times, 7/18/19; NPR, 7/19/19; NBC News, 7/18/19). Citing unproven reports from Donald Trump and the US Department of Defense, the outlets stated that the drone came within 1,000 yards of a US Navy warship, after ignoring “multiple calls to stand down.”

Iran denied the accusations, providing a time-stamped video meant to demonstrate that the drone remained airborne “before and even after the time Americans claim” (BBC, 7/19/19). The US, meanwhile, provided a dubious series of photos, with no indication of when they were taken or their relationship to each other.

Wired article (7/22/19) celebrates “the
first-ever ‘kill’ by a US directed-energy weapon.”

Most of the aforementioned media noted Iran’s denial. Wired’s take, however—entitled “The Marines’ New Drone-Killer Aces Its First Real World Test” (7/22/19)—ignored Iran’s response entirely. Instead, Wired accepted the US’s warmongering narrative fully, even cheerleading the military for its engineering prowess.

Dead Men Can Still Tell Tales: A Spy Story at the Heart of the Epstein Scandal

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News

Part III

August 07th, 2019

The picture painted by the evidence is not a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

As billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians.

While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”