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TBR News March 13, 2016

Mar 13 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., March 13, 2016: “As usual, the bloggers are having a field day with the successful Trump campaign. His rivals instigated scenes of quasi-violence at his Chicago speech and rumors were started that his “peaceful and concerned” agitators were brutally attacked by the police and Trump’s own guards. People shot, beaten and left to die in the streets were seen on obscure but very self-important sites. Next, the public would be shown still pictures of the bodies lying on the ground after the kindly Turkish government had finished its latest massacre of Kurdish civilians with the claim that these were the poor souls who were protesting against Trump and his attacks on a peaceful and concerned government. The problem is that Trump is clearly resonating with a large number of American voters and those now in power who wish to keep it, and benefit from it, want to shut him up. He has more money than they do so in the end, their alarms and excursions and fake media hype will prove to be sound and fury, signifying nothing.”


Conversations with the Crow

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.
After Corson’s death, Trento and his Washington lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

Douglas had been in close contact with Crowley and had long phone conversations with him. He found this so interesting and informative that he taped  and later transcribed them.

These conversations have been published in a book: ‘Conversations with the Crow” and this is an excerpt.




Conversation No. 63

Date: Friday, February 7, 1997

Commenced:  11:55 AM CST

Concluded:  12:35 PM CST


RTC: Hello there, Gregory. I hope you’re feeling better than I am.

GD: You have a cold?

RTC: No, getting old. Some advice, Gregory. Don’t get old. The worst part isn’t forgetting things, it’s remembering. And knowing you are helpless to correct the present. But there still is correcting the past.

GD: Historians do that all the time. Hitler lost so Hitler was always wrong. Roosevelt won so Roosevelt was always right. Saints and sinners. It depends entirely on who wins.

RTC: True. I told you I once met Roosevelt, didn’t I? My father got me in to see him. Old and shaky, but still clever. Phony old bastard, one thing to the face and another to the back, but very shrewd in political circles. He set up a powerful movement, but as soon as he hit the floor, they started to dismantle it.

GD: Müller was filling me in on the anti-Communist activities he was involved in. McCarthy and all of that.

RTC: Well, Franklin put them all in, and Truman threw them all out. Most of them were Jewish so we were all accused of anti-Semitism, but we held all the cards then and they knew it, so criticism was muted. It wouldn’t be that way now, but times change.

GD: They always do and a smart man changes with them.

RTC: Sometimes the older forms are better.

GD: Yes, but people grow tired of old forms and want new ones. A revolution might mean more money and power for some and death or disgrace for others. The wheel does turn.

RTC: So it does. I wanted to give you a little background here, Gregory, about you. You see, at one time, these others wanted to set up a sort of private think tank. They wanted to call it after the oracle of Delphi. Tom Kimmel, Bill Corson, the Trento ménage, Critchfield and others. But they wanted me to be the honcho.

GD: And why you?

RTC: I have the connections with the business community. I could get big money people behind the idea. It was a sort of miniature Company if you will. Money and power. We always called it the Company because it was a huge business conglomerate. But anyway, this think tank would bring all of us lots of money. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel too happy with the makeup of it. Kimmel is pompous and entirely too much obsessed with his late Grandfather; the Trentos are very lightweight, but aren’t really aware of it; and poor Bill is a perpetual wannabe, running around trying to sound like a great keeper of various unknown secrets. We tried Costello. Tom liked him because of his Pearl Harbor writings, but I never liked him. There was a screw loose in his brain somewhere. And of course being a fairy didn’t improve his objectivity. I gave up on John after his trip to Reno. He hated you, you know.

GD: My heart is breaking. I should have given him some of my old shorts to chew on.

RTC: Now do let’s be serious, Gregory. John was a spiteful person but I got the impression he thought you were much worse than he was and since he was hiding his perversions, he probably thought you could see through him. I think people get that impression: That you watch and see too much. Of course, it doesn’t help that you run your mouth and say terrible things about self-made saints. Anyway, I didn’t want John involved and then I began to have some interest in you. Of course, I couldn’t put you forward for the group because Kimmel detested you and Bill didn’t know where to turn. He liked you but always listened to others in making up his mind. When I ditched Costello and Bill knew you and I were talking, Kimmel went through the roof. He didn’t like me talking to you and spent much time getting his oafs at Justice to ring me up and tell me how terrible you were. Tom likes to get others to do his dirty work, I noticed long ago. The Trento family didn’t know you and Bill is actually afraid of you. So the private study group for profit more or less died a natural death. I wanted to include you but they did not so there it ended.

GD: I would have had no problem working with you but not with the others. Bill is a lightweight, Kimmel a gasbag and the one Trento book I tried to read was hopeless.

RTC: Yes.

GD: ‘And slime had they for mortar.’—Genesis 11:3.

RTC: Citing Scripture, Gregory? I thought the Devil did that.

GD: He does. Daily. Now we call him Pat Robertson.

RTC: Where’s your Christian charity?

GD: I sold it to buy a gun.

RTC: Yes. Well, to get back to the subject here, which is the fact that these gentlemen do not like you, but I do. They have stopped yapping about you because I told them to shut up, but no doubt they still run around behind my back and try to stab you in the back. Never to the face, but in the back.

GD: Not to change the subject, Robert, but why do you really call it the Company?

RTC: Because it’s a huge business. We are one of the most powerful businesses on the planet, Gregory. We make enormous sums of money, have established a tight and very complete control over the media, have the White House doing as we tell them to, overturn foreign governments if they dare to thwart our business ventures, and so on.

GD: Business ventures?

RTC: A generalized case in point. A left-wing nigger gets into power in the Congo. The Congo has huge uranium deposits. Will Moscow get the uranium? The Belgian businessmen come to us for help. We agree to help them and we get into a civil war and murder Lumumba. One of our men drove around with his rotting corpse in his trunk. The head of the UN starts to interfere in matters, so we have an aircraft accident that kills him very dead and stops the interference. We tell the President about the uppity nigger but not about poor dead Dag. We tell them what we want them to hear and nothing more.

GD: And the business aspect?

RTC: The drugs, of course, bring in astronomical amounts of loose money. And if some rival group cuts into the business, we get them removed. Ever read about huge heroin busts somewhere? Our rivals going down for the third time. All of this is part and parcel of the Plan.

GD: Sounds like the Templar’s Plan.

RTC: Ah, you know about this, do you? Which one of the seven dwarves enlightened you? Not Kimmel, but probably Bill.

GD: Actually no. I was speaking of the Plan of the Templars…

RTC: Ah, you see, you do know that. You knew Allen was an initiate, didn’t you?

GD: Well, not in so many words. Didn’t the Templars get disbanded for having too much money? I think they killed DeMolay…

RTC: Now don’t change the subject here. They were never really disbanded, but they went underground. Do you know how much money they had? The French only got a little bit of it. Now let me know, who told you?

GD: You did, actually. Just now. I was thinking of Umberto Eco’s excellent Foucault’s Pendulum and his discussion of the survival of the Templars.

RTC: I missed that one. Is that an old book?

GD: No. Late ‘80s, if I remember. Brilliant historical pastiche. Eco’s an Italian scholar and the book is wonderful, although I doubt very few people in America would understand a word of it. They don’t teach history in our public schools, only political correctness. You can no longer look for the chink in someone’s armor anymore because Asians are terribly offended and you dare not call a spade a spade.

RTC: Yes, yes, I know all that. Stunts the mind.

GD: It’s my impression, based on my visits to your town, that they don’t have any minds to stunt.

RTC: Don’t forget, Gregory,that I was in government service as well.

GD: There are always exceptions, Robert.

RTC: Many thanks for your kindness, Gregory. The Templars have always had money but they have been an underground power for so long, they are set in their ways. We are public and they are not, so there is a sort of joint partnership here. As I said, Dulles was taken in when he was in Switzerland. One of the Jung people, as I remember. They can open doors, Gregory, don’t ever think they can’t, but they are always out of the sunlight.

GD: Like the mythic vampires.

RTC: Custom and usage, as they say. We have common interests, believe me.

GD: Catholic group?

RTC: Not anymore.

GD: Well, I had an ancestor in the Teutonic Knights, and they really never went away. And the Knights of Malta still have some influence in Papal matters. Interesting about the Templars, though. I thought Eco was just a good story teller. Could be. Secret societies have always intrigued parts of the public. The dread Masons, for example. Of course, before the French Revolution, they had a great deal of clandestine power in France, but now I think they’re just a high class fraternal organization. Müller told me that the Nazis were obsessed with the Masons, but when the Gestapo got around to really investigating them, they found nothing sinister at all. Just a social organization and nothing more.

RTC: You know quite a bit about so many interesting things. I can see why you got on with the kraut and why the rat pack here hates you. I must ask you please not to discuss this business with anyone. I would also ask you not to put it into anything you write concerning me. The Kennedy business is bad enough, but no one would believe a word of the other business.

GD: I agree, Robert. But if I have to give up a really interesting story, can I get more information on Kennedy?

RTC: Yes, I can send you more. I did give Bill a copy of the Russian report, but nothing more. He started bragging about this, so I basically shut him down. Of course, it doesn’t really say anything, but once is enough when someone starts to leak out material they have sworn to keep silent about.

GD: And have you tested me?

RTC: I don’t need to. You aren’t trying to make points with the bosses like they are. I hate to say it because I am friendly with all of them, but they are just a bunch of useless ass kissers. You certainly are not.

GD: No, I am not. I don’t trust anyone in the establishment. My God, you ought to listen to what the Landreth people were telling me, [I want to wet myself,] that they can put me on the cover of Time magazine. Of course I really believe them and I would like nothing better than to have my picture on the cover of Time magazine. It used to be a good news magazine but now it’s worse than People Magazine which sells very well in the supermarket checkout lines. And right next to the National Enquirer which is probably written by the same people.

RTC: I think the day of the printed paper or magazine is dying. We still have our hand in on that game. We moved to television, but that is also losing out, so we are moving into the Internet. But don’t ask me about that, because I know nothing about it. We view the Internet as very dangerous because we can’t begin to control it. Set up a few people with money and push them. Hope for the best, you know. but doubtful.

GD: The Templars story is interesting, mainly because I read Eco and know something about their early days.

RTC: When the conspiracy idiots babble on about secret societies, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. They go on about the CFR and the Masons but they don’t know the half of it.

GD: Did you ever read Mills’ The Power Elite? Came out in ’54 and is a little out of date but very good.

RTC: Can’t say as I have. Didn’t you mention this once? No matter. I might have but years ago. Speculative?

GD: Concrete, realistic and so on. The reason why the American public is so wrapped up in conspiracy theories is because they have lost all faith in their government and most of our major institutions such as banks, the press, mainline religion and so on. I remember the so-called OPEC panic when the price of gas at the pump went up every ten minutes. There was no OPEC crisis, but just the oil companies creating a panic so they could make huge profits. Ever notice, Robert, how the price of gas at the pump soars just at the beginning of summer when everyone drives on trips and then comes down in winter when no one drives? And how the price of fuel oil drops off in summer when no one needs it but then shoots up every winter when everyone does? Tell me, are these accidents?

RTC: Of course not, Gregory, of course not.

GD: I’m surprised that people don’t pick up on this.

RTC: They won’t pick up on anything at all and what if they did? A little talk here and there and they pay the bills.

GD: And the sheep get shorn again.

RTC: Yes, if you want to put it that way. That’s why they’re there, isn’t it?


(Conclusion at 12:35 PM CST)

Mosquitoes’ rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika

March 13, 2016

by Ben Hirschler


As the world focuses on Zika’s rapid advance in the Americas, experts warn the virus that originated in Africa is just one of a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity.

The battle against the insects on the streets of Brazil is the latest in an ancient war between humankind and the Culicidae, or mosquito, family which the pests frequently win.

Today, mosquito invaders are turning up with increasing regularity from Washington DC to Strasbourg, challenging the notion that the diseases they carry will remain confined to the tropics, scientists documenting the cases told Reuters.

Ironically, humans have rolled out the red carpet for the invaders by transporting them around the world and providing a trash-strewn urban landscape that suits them to perfection.

The Aedes aegypti species blamed for transmitting Zika breeds in car tires, tin cans, dog bowls and cemetery flower vases. And its females are great at spreading disease as they take multiple bites to satisfy their hunger for the protein in human blood they need to develop their eggs.

Around the world, disease-carrying mosquitoes are advancing at speed, taking viruses such as dengue and Zika, plus a host of lesser-known ills such as chikungunya and St. Louis encephalitis, into new territories from Europe to the Pacific.

“The concern is that we have these species spreading everywhere. Today the focus is on Zika but they can carry many different viruses and pathogens,” said Anna-Bella Failloux, head of the department that tracks mosquito viruses at France’s Institut Pasteur.

In 2014, there was a large outbreak of chikungunya, which causes fever and joint pains, in the Caribbean, where it had not been seen before, while the same virus sickened Italians in 2007 in a wake-up call for public health officials.

Europe has seen the re-emergence of malaria in Greece for the first time in decades and the appearance of West Nile fever in eastern parts of the continent.

Out in the Atlantic, the Madeira archipelago reported more than 2,000 cases of dengue in 2012, in a sign of the northerly advance of what – at least until Zika – has been the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease.

In the past 40 years, six new invasive mosquito species have become established in Europe, with five arriving since 1990, driven in large part by the international trade in used vehicle tires. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the tires and they hatch when rain moistens them at their destination.

North American health experts are also racing to keep up, with the first appearance of Aedes japonicus, an invasive mosquito, in western Canada last November and Aedes aegypti found in Washington DC, apparently after spending the winter in sewers or Metro subway stations.


The speed of change in mosquito-borne diseases since the late 1990s has been unprecedented, according to Jolyon Medlock, a medical entomologist at Public Health England, a government agency.

For many experts, the biggest potential threat is Aedes albopictus, otherwise known as the Asian tiger mosquito, which is expanding its range widely and is capable of spreading more than 25 viruses, including Zika.

“There is strong evidence that Aedes albopictus is now out-competing aegypti in some areas and becoming more dominant,” said Ralph Harbach, an entomologist at London’s Natural History Museum, who has been studying mosquitoes since 1976.

In the United States, Aedes albopictus has been found as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as California. In Europe it has reached Paris and Strasbourg.

Adding to the challenge for public health authorities are the blurred lines between diseases carried by different mosquitoes, as shown by research in Brazil this month that another common mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, may also be able to carry Zika.

Both Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus probably first arrived in the Americas from Africa on slave ships, scientists believe. In the centuries since, commerce has shuttled other species around the world, while air travel has exposed millions of people to new diseases.

“You’ve got a global movement of mosquitoes and a huge increase in human travel. Humans are moving the pathogens around and the mosquitoes are waiting there to transmit them,” said Medlock.

Human incursions into tropical forests have aggravated the problem. Deforestation in Malaysia, for example, is blamed for a steep rise in human cases of a type of malaria usually found in monkeys.


There have been some victories against mosquitoes, thanks to insecticide-treated bed nets and vaccines against viruses like yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, as well as a new one for dengue approved in December.

But mosquitoes still kill around 725,000 people a year, mostly due to malaria, or 50 percent more than are killed by other humans, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Climate change adds a further twist. A 2 to 3 degree Celsius rise in temperature can increase the number of people at risk of malaria by 3 to 5 percent, or more than 100 million, according to the World Health Organization.

Hotter weather also speeds up the mosquito breeding cycle from around two weeks at 25 degrees to 7 to 8 days at 28 degrees, according to the Institut Pasteur’s Failloux.

So is it time to wipe out mosquitoes altogether?

Aggressive action in the 1950s and 1960s, including the use of the pesticide DDT, certainly pushed them back for a while.

Today, genetic modification, radiation and targeted bacteria are being considered.

Trying to eliminate all mosquitoes, however, would make no sense, since there are 3,549 species and fewer than 200 bite humans.

“It might be possible to wipe out a few species but we don’t want to wipe out the good guys because a lot of them serve as food for frogs, fish and bats,” said Harbach. “Many also visit flowers to feed on nectar and may play a role in pollination.”

Some are even our friends. Harbach has a soft spot for the Toxorhynchites genus, which have a convenient penchant for eating Aedes aegypti larvae.

(Editing by Giles Elgood)


US credit card debt skyrockets, approaching $1 trillion

March 11, 2016


A new study from CardHub.com says credit card debt in the US has jumped by about $71 billion to $917.7 billion in 2015. The average American household with credit card debt now owes $7,879, which is the highest figure since the 2008 financial crisis.

CardHub.com says $7,879 is just $500 from an “unsustainable tipping point”, when the risk of mass defaults rises dramatically.

The $71 billion debt ballooning last year is 24 percent higher than in 2014. The fourth quarter of 2015 alone saw credit card debt load surge to $52.4 billion. In the entire 2014 total credit card debt amounted to $57.4 billion.

“With seven of the past 10 quarters reflecting year-over-year regression in consumer performance, evidence is mounting to support the notion that credit card users are reverting to pre-downturn bad habits,” said CardHub.com CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou in a statement. “All of this has us wondering: Is 2016 the next 2008 for credit markets?” the statement added.

According to the Fiscal Times estimates, if credit card debt in the US continues to grow at the current pace, American consumers would have to pay down their debts at a record rate to prevent escalated defaults and tightened credit availability.

“While credit card debt levels are trending significantly upward, charge-off rates remain near historical lows and are, in fact, down on a year-over-year basis. Something clearly has to give, and it does not seem to be our spending habits,” says the report from CardHub.

While some analysts say the rising credit card debt is good, because consumers are spending more money, others say it’s just an indicator that more people are working.

According to CNBC data, the US economy employed an additional 2.45 million people in 2015 with more than 400,000 jobs created as of February this year. The unemployment rate in the US is now 4.9 percent, the lowest level since the end of 2007.

However, wages aren’t growing – the American labor force earned three cents less an hour last month.

“The drop in February [wages] was pretty sharp. The wage situation does not get as much attention as the headline number and the unemployment rate, but it’s evidence that the economy is basically flatlining,” David Santschi, CEO of TrimTabs Investment Research told CNBC.


Want to wrest back some privacy from Mark Zuckerberg?

The Zuck has his eye on 3.5bn social media accounts – that’s a lot of data handed on to advertisers. Here’s how to cover your tracks

March 13, 2016

by David Nield

The Guardian

Mark Zuckerberg has a gargantuan social network. If you add up the number of accounts from the services he owns – Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram – you get a figure of 3.5bn, which is roughly half the world’s population. Granted many people will have multiple accounts and belong to multiple services, but still, that’s a lot of pokes, likes and cat gifs. Especially impressive given the scepticism and the love-hate relationship many have with his empire, particularly the Facebook mothership – or Dark Star, depending on your point of view. Being part of modern society without being involved somehow with the Zuck is increasingly tricky: instant messaging is hard without going via Facebook’s servers; you’ll need Instagram if you want to show off your perfectly arranged avocados and children’s fancy-dress outfits to the world; and if you want to date, no Facebook means no Tinder. Even if you’re one of those refuseniks who proudly claim “I’m not on Facebook”, you probably are – what about that chemically inconvenienced stag weekend in Tallinn that your pals created a Facebook album for? Yes, you’ll have to join to find out.

It’s a Faustian pact: in return for these sometimes useful services we give up our privacy and allow Facebook to mine our lives for data to sell to advertisers – but it’s a deal we can finesse a little to reclaim a bit of our dignity. Here are some suggestions how…

1 Hide your Facebook profile from search engines

If someone should Google (or Bing) your name, the chances are your Facebook profile might be one of the first entries to appear in the list of results. If you would rather this didn’t happen, head into the account settings pages of the Facebook app and choose Privacy. The final option, “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?”, can be disabled with a couple of taps. Note that it may take some time before you disappear from search engine results, and you can still be found in a search inside Facebook.

2 Prevent Facebook from tracking you outside Facebook

Facebook’s technology stretches well beyond Facebook itself, as you will know if you have ever logged into a different site or app using your Facebook credentials. As a result, you might see hotel ads on Facebook if you spend a lot of time on hotel websites. If you’d rather this didn’t happen, go to ads in account settings, select “Can you see online interest-based adverts from Facebook?”, then turn it off. You will still be shown the same number of ads on the social network, but they won’t be based on the browsing you do on non-Facebook sites.

3 Stop Facebook using your likes in ads

You’ve probably seen ads in your newsfeed related to something that one of your friends has liked. If you don’t want your own likes to be exploited in this way, open up the account settings page, tap the ads button, and choose “Who can see your social actions paired with ads?”. By changing the bottom value to No one, you can make sure your Facebook contacts don’t see ads linked to your likes – although they can still be used to influence the ads you see in your own feed.

4 Stop people tagging you

If one of your friends wants to upload an embarrassing photo of you, there’s not much you can do except beg them not to; but you can prevent the picture (or any type of post, from updates to locations) being tagged with your name. From the Facebook apps menu, choose settings menu, settings and timeline and tagging: this screen lets you enable a post-review feature, so that you can block or approve all tags before they’re applied. There are a number of other tag-related settings to play around with on the same screen, too.

5 Disconnect third-party apps

You’ve probably logged into various apps and services using Facebook but you don’t want to give these third-party developers permanent access to your account. Head to account settings and apps, inside the mobile apps you can change the permissions of these external apps and even kick them out altogether – ideally you want to boot out any that you’re not using on a regular basis (you can always add them again later). The fewer connections you have, the safer and more private your account.

6 Stop Facebook automatically playing videos

Your timeline can resemble a cascade of YouTube spam and irrelevant video ads – the latter are important to Facebook as they are a major revenue earner. The YouTube content might not be fit for viewing at your desk and the ads are probably irritating, so you may want to turn the auto-play feature off. Here’s how: from your browser select settings, video, and at auto-play videos, hit the off button. Within the iOS app you take the same route and select “never” for auto‑play video.

7 Mute conversations in Messenger

For particularly busy conversation threads inside the Facebook Messenger app, you may not want to see or hear alerts every time there is a new message – that’s where the mute feature comes in. On Android, tap the info button (top right) inside a conversation and choose notifications to mute alerts for a certain period – anything from 15 minutes to indefinitely. On iOS, tap the title of the conversation rather than the info button. Messages will still come through, but you won’t get any notifications to that effect on your device until they’re enabled again.

8 Block other WhatsApp Users

Unfortunately, there’s always the chance not everyone you chat to has nice things to say, but WhatsApp includes a contact-blocking feature that’s fast and efficient. Blocked contacts can’t send you messages or calls, can’t see when you’ve been online, and can’t see your status or WhatsApp avatar picture. Go to the app menu, choose settings, account, privacy and then select Blocked contacts (Android) or Blocked (iOS): the subsequent screen lets you block and unblock contacts as required. You can also quickly block contacts from inside individual conversation windows by opening up the chat menu.

9 Keep your location to yourself in Instagram

Be wary of adding location information to your Instagram photos, especially if your feed is public and for areas near your home or place of work. If you go to your profile page and tap the location pin, you can see which of your images are linked to a location – to remove the geotag, tap the menu button (on Android), choose edit and tap the photos or groups of photos you want to remove. Remember Instagram also allows you to share pictures (geotagged or otherwise) in private one-to-one conversations rather than your main feed.

10 Prevent contacts seeing when you read their WhatsApp messages

Head to the main settings page inside WhatsApp to the read receipts option – if you untick this setting, people won’t know whether you’ve read their most recent messages. However, the function will be disabled in the other direction, too, so you’ll no longer get any indication whether your messages have been received (those two blue ticks that usually appear after posts). The last seen update (which shows your contacts when you last had the app open) works in the same way and can also be disabled.

11 Enable two-step verification

This is probably the wisest security precaution you can take to prevent your account being hacked. With this feature enabled, each time you or someone else attempts to log into your account from a new computer or device, Facebook will text you a code – which you will need in order to finish the process. Find this feature on the drop-down menu top right: settings, security, login approvals and check the box: “Require a security code to check my account from unknown browsers”.

12 Download all your data

While this isn’t a security measure in itself, downloading all the data that Facebook holds about you is an eye-opening exercise. Go to settings and click on the link “Download a copy of your Facebook data” at the bottom of the page. Once you’ve unstuffed the zip file, you’ll be able to see everything. This includes every message you’ve ever sent or received but not deleted (ie still plenty you’d rather forget); every time you’ve clicked on an ad; every survey you’ve completed; every photo you’ve uploaded; IP addresses you’ve used logging into Facebook (and the locations Facebook infers); the ads they think you’re interested in; and everyone one you’ve ever poked (stop sniggering). You might describe it as surveillance.

13 Choose who can see your posts

Whenever you update your Facebook status through the mobile apps (or indeed anywhere else) you’ll see an audience selector box that most likely has “friends” selected. Tap this to choose who exactly can see your next post: you might want to restrict it to family members, work colleagues, or an even smaller group of people (you can specify contacts one by one if necessary). This is where friend lists come in handy – Facebook makes some for you automatically (close friends and acquaintances for example), but you can create your own through the desktop Facebook site.

14 Delete your account?

If downloading your data freaks you out, the only way to remove it from Facebook’s servers is to delete your account. It takes Facebook up to 90 days to scrub you from their data banks, but be aware that items such as messages you’ve sent and friends’ photos you appear in will remain. The bonus of this tactic is that you’ll never be able to use Tinder again.

15 Deactivate your account

If deleting your account seems too drastic, too cold turkey, you could choose a trial separation from Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe you need a little space to think things through, see if you can survive without the emojis. Deactivation hides your timeline and means aunties, exes, criminals etc won’t be able to find you from a Facebook search. It also requires an iron will – your account will be reactivated any time you log back in – so stay away from the wine. You may also accidentally reactivate your account when you use your Facebook details to log into another site such as Airbnb. Therefore it would be wise to disconnect third-party apps (see above) before deactivating. Another precaution would be to change your password prior to deactivation, which would disrupt any saved logins you have scattered around your devices.


WhatsApp Encryption Said to Stymie Wiretap Order

March 12, 2016

by Matt Apuzzo

New York Times

WASHINGTON — While the Justice Department wages a public fight with Apple over access to a locked iPhone, government officials are privately debating how to resolve a prolonged standoff with another technology company, WhatsApp, over access to its popular instant messaging application, officials and others involved in the case said.

No decision has been made, but a court fight with WhatsApp, the world’s largest mobile messaging service, would open a new front in the Obama administration’s dispute with Silicon Valley over encryption, security and privacy.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, allows customers to send messages and make phone calls over the Internet. In the last year, the company has been adding encryption to those conversations, making it impossible for the Justice Department to read or eavesdrop, even with a judge’s wiretap order.

As recently as this past week, officials said, the Justice Department was discussing how to proceed in a continuing criminal investigation in which a federal judge had approved a wiretap, but investigators were stymied by WhatsApp’s encryption.

The Justice Department and WhatsApp declined to comment. The government officials and others who discussed the dispute did so on condition of anonymity because the wiretap order and all the information associated with it were under seal. The nature of the case was not clear, except that officials said it was not a terrorism investigation. The location of the investigation was also unclear.

To understand the battle lines, consider this imperfect analogy from the predigital world: If the Apple dispute is akin to whether the F.B.I. can unlock your front door and search your house, the issue with WhatsApp is whether it can listen to your phone calls. In the era of encryption, neither question has a clear answer.

Some investigators view the WhatsApp issue as even more significant than the one over locked phones because it goes to the heart of the future of wiretapping. They say the Justice Department should ask a judge to force WhatsApp to help the government get information that has been encrypted. Others are reluctant to escalate the dispute, particularly with senators saying they will soon introduce legislation to help the government get data in a format it can read.

Whether the WhatsApp dispute ends in a court fight that sets precedents, many law enforcement officials and security experts say that such a case may be inevitable because the nation’s wiretapping laws were last updated a generation ago, when people communicated by landline telephones that were easy to tap.

“The F.B.I. and the Justice Department are just choosing the exact circumstance to pick the fight that looks the best for them,” said Peter Eckersley, the chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that focuses on digital rights. “They’re waiting for the case that makes the demand look reasonable.”

A senior law enforcement official disputed the notion that the government was angling for the perfect case, and said that litigation was not inevitable.

This is not the first time that the government’s wiretaps have been thwarted by encryption. And WhatsApp is not the only company to clash with the government over the issue. But with a billion users and a particularly strong international customer base, it is by far the largest.

Last year, a dispute with Apple over encrypted iMessages in an investigation of guns and drugs, for instance, nearly led to a court showdown in Maryland. In that case, as in others, the company helped the government where it was able to, and the Justice Department backed down.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s founder, who was born in Ukraine, has talked about his family members’ fears that the government was eavesdropping on their phone calls. In the company’s early years, WhatsApp had the ability to read messages as they passed through its servers. That meant it could comply with government wiretap orders.

But in late 2014, the company said that it would begin adding sophisticated encoding, known as end-to-end encryption, to its systems. Only the intended recipients would be able to read the messages.

“WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have,” the company said this month when Brazilian police arrested a Facebook executive after the company failed to turn over information about a customer who was the subject of a drug trafficking investigation.

The iPhone case, which revolves around whether Apple can be forced to help the F.B.I. unlock a phone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., massacre, has received worldwide attention for the precedent it might set. But to many in law enforcement, disputes like the one with WhatsApp are of far greater concern.

For more than a half-century, the Justice Department has relied on wiretaps as a fundamental crime-fighting tool. To some in law enforcement, if companies like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram can design unbreakable encryption, then the future of wiretapping is in doubt.

“You’re getting useless data,” said Joseph DeMarco, a former federal prosecutor who now represents law enforcement agencies that filed briefs supporting the Justice Department in its fight with Apple. “The only way to make this not gibberish is if the company helps.”

“As we know from intercepted prisoner wiretaps,” he added, “criminals think that advanced encryption is great.”

Businesses, customers and the United States government also rely on strong encryption to help protect information from hackers, identity thieves and foreign cyberattacks. That is why, in 2013, a White House report said the government should “not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption.”

In a twist, the government helped develop the technology behind WhatsApp’s encryption. To promote civil rights in countries with repressive governments, the Open Technology Fund, which promotes open societies by supporting technology that allows people to communicate without the fear of surveillance, provided $2.2 million to help develop Open Whisper Systems, the encryption backbone behind WhatsApp.

Because of such support for encryption, Obama administration officials disagree over how far they should push companies to accommodate the requests of law enforcement. Senior leaders at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have held out hope that Congress will settle the matter by updating the wiretap laws to address new technology. But the White House has declined to push for such legislation. Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said on Friday that he was skeptical “of Congress’s ability to handle such a complicated policy area.”

James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, told Congress this month that strong encryption was “vital” and acknowledged that “there are undoubtedly international implications” for the United States to try to break encryption, especially for wiretaps, as in the WhatsApp case. But he has called for technology companies and the government to find a middle ground that allows for strong encryption but accommodates law enforcement efforts. President Obama echoed those remarks on Friday, saying technology executives who were “absolutist” on the issue were wrong.

Those who support digital privacy fear that if the Justice Department succeeds in forcing Apple to help break into the iPhone in the San Bernardino case, the government’s next move will be to force companies like WhatsApp to rewrite their software to remove encryption from the accounts of certain customers. “That would be like going to nuclear war with Silicon Valley,” said Chris Soghoian, a technology analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union.

That view is one reason government officials have been hesitant to rush to court in the WhatsApp case and others like it. The legal and policy implications are great. While no immediate resolution is in sight, more and more companies offer encryption. And technology analysts say that WhatsApp’s yearlong effort to add encryption to all one billion of its customer accounts is nearly complete.

Eric Lichtblau contributed reporting from Washington and Katie Benner from San Francisco.


FBI and Access to NSA Data on Americans

March 10, 2016

by Peter Van Buren


Hear that hissing sound? That is the last gasps for air from the Bill of Rights. The Bill is one breath away from hell.

The FBI has quietly revised its rules for searching data involving Americans’ communications collected by the National Security Agency.

The classified revisions were accepted by the secret U.S. FISA court that governs surveillance, under a set of powers colloquially known as Section 702. That is the portion of law that authorizes the NSA’s sweeping PRISM program, among other atrocities.

PRISM, and other surveillance programs, first came to mainstream public attention with the information leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, preceeded by other NSA whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake and Bill Binney.

Since at least 2014 the FBI has been allowed direct access to the NSA’s massive collections of international emails, texts and phone calls – which often include Americans on one end of the conversation, and often “inadvertently” sweep up Americans’ domestic communications as well. FBI officials can search through the NSA data, using Americans’ identifying information, for “routine” queries unrelated to national security.

As of 2014, the FBI has not been required to make note of when it searched NSA-gathered metadata, which includes the “to” or “from” lines of an email. Nor does it record how many of its data searches involve Americans’ identifying details.

So, quick summary: secret surveillance programs enacted in secret ostensibly to protect America from terrorism threats are now turning over data on American citizens to the FBI, fully unrelated to issues of national security. The rules governing all this are secret, decided by a secret court.

If that does not add up to a chilling definition of a police state that would give an old Stasi thug a hard-on, than I don’t know what is.


North Korea claims it could wipe out Manhattan with a hydrogen bomb

Analysts believe Kim Jong Un’s regime is exaggerating its technical capabilities.

March 13,2016

by Anna Fifield

Washington Post

SEOUL — North Korea claimed Sunday that it could wipe out Manhattan by sending a hydrogen bomb on a ballistic missile to the heart of New York, the latest in a string of brazen threats.

Although there are many reasons to believe that Kim Jong Un’s regime is exaggerating its technical capabilities, the near-daily drumbeat of boasts and warnings from Pyongyang underlines the regime’s anger at efforts to thwart its ambitions.

“Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union,” DPRK Today, a state-run outlet that uses the official acronym for North Korea, reported Sunday.

“If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an inter-continental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately and the city would burn down to ashes,” the report said, citing a nuclear scientist named Cho Hyong Il.

The website is a strange choice for issuing such a proclamation, given that it also carried reports about rabbit farming and domestically made school backpacks.

North Korea’s newly developed hydrogen bomb “surpasses our imagination,” Cho is quoted as saying, because it is many times as powerful as anything the Soviet Union had.

“The H-bomb developed by the Soviet Union in the past was able to smash windows of buildings 1,000 kms away and the heat was strong enough to cause third-degree burns 100 kms away,” the report continued.

Kim in January ordered North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and claimed that it was a hydrogen bomb, not a simple atomic one. But most experts are skeptical of the claim, saying the seismic waves caused by the blast were similar to those caused by the North’s three previous tests.

Then in February, Kim oversaw the launch of what North Korea said was a rocket that put a satellite into orbit but that is widely considered part of a long-range ballistic missile program.

North Korea has made advances in its inter-continental ballistic missile program, and experts generally conclude that the United States’ West Coast might now be in reach but that there has been no suggestion that the North would be able to hit the East Coast.

Many experts are also skeptical of the “miniaturized warhead” that Kim showed off last week during a visit to a nuclear weapons plant, saying it doesn’t look right.

But Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, warned against dismissing it too soon.

“It does not look like US devices, to be sure, but it is hard to know if aspects of the model are truly implausible or simply that North Korean nuclear weapons look different than their Soviet and American cousins,” Lewis wrote in an analysis for 38 North, a website devoted to North Korea. “The size, however, is consistent with my expectations for North Korea.”

As international condemnation of the North’s acts mounted, culminating in the toughest U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang yet, Kim’s regime has become increasingly belligerent, firing missiles into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, and issuing a new threat or denunciation almost every day.

The sanctions coincide with annual spring drills between the U.S. and South Korean militaries, which Pyongyang considers a rehearsal for an invasion. The current exercises are particularly antagonistic because special forces are practicing “decapitation strikes” on regime leaders and taking out nuclear and missile sites.

On Friday, North Korea’s state media reported that Kim had ordered more nuclear tests, while the North’s Korean People’s Army warned in a statement Saturday that it would counter the drills by “liberat[ing] the whole of south Korea including Seoul. . . with an ultra-precision blitzkrieg strike of the Korean style.”

South Korea’s Defense Ministry urged Pyongyang to stop its threats and provocations.

“If the North continues to make provocations despite the stern warnings made by our military, it is inevitable for us to roll out a strict response that may lead to the destruction of the Pyongyang regime,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Yoonjung Seo contributed to this report.


1968 and all that: how Donald Trump channels the spirit of a most violent year

To those with long memories, events in Chicago on Friday – like their instigator’s divisive campaign – stoked memories of a chaotic and dangerous time

March 13, 2016

by Charles Kaiser

The Guardian

Younger voters were probably the most shocked by the violent televised scenes at Donald Trump’s canceled Chicago rally on Friday – and the photographs of a bloodied demonstrator which speckled the web. But older Americans know that our politics have never been more than a temporary stranger to violence, since the very beginning of the republic.

For those with long political memories, Chicago was already famous as the scene of some of the most influential political violence of the last 50 years. As Theodore H White wrote in his Making of the President series: “In 1968 the name Chicago won a significance far beyond date and place. It became the title of an episode, like Waterloo, or Versailles, or Munich.”

When the Democrats held their convention in Chicago in August of that year, at the height of the Vietnam war, at least 10,000 anti-war demonstrators clashed with more than 20,000 policemen, national guardsmen and regular soldiers in the streets of Chicago.

And in an echo of the arrest at the Trump rally of CBS newsman Sopan Deb, in 1968, Chicago mayor Richard Daley’s “security” team roughed up reporters inside and outside the hall.

On the convention floor, CBS reporter Dan Rather was punched and wrestled to the ground by a security agent. Moments later, on national television, Rather apologized to CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite: “I’m sorry to be out of breath, Walter, but somebody belted me in the stomach.”

Of course, the events of 1968 were of a greater scale than those of Friday night. After four days of street fighting, there had been more than 600 arrests. The Medical Committee for Human Rights estimated that it had treated at least 1,000 demonstrators. The Chicago police department counted 192 injured officers.

Democratic senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut used his turn at the convention podium to accuse Mayor Daley of using “Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago”. At that moment, the television cameras zoomed in on the Chicago mayor. Daley’s voice could not be heard, but to millions of lip-reading Americans, it was obvious he had replied by screaming: “Fuck you!”

The veteran journalist Haynes Johnson remembered the convention as “a lacerating event, a distillation of a year of heartbreak, assassinations, riots and a breakdown in law and order that made it seem as if the country were coming apart”.

Now, the American political system once again seems to be careening out of control, as Donald Trump actively promotes violence among his supporters – “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.” But it may be useful to remember that we have survived much worse.In 1968, the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy was preceded just two months earlier by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, a catastrophe which provoked race riots in 130 cities, requiring 65,000 soldiers and guardsmen to restore order. In Chicago, Mayor Daley ordered his police force to shoot to kill arsonists and “shoot to maim or cripple looters”; in the nation’s capital, fires and looting spread to within two blocks of the White House. Riot troops took up positions on the president’s lawn and machine gun nests sprouted on the steps of the Capitol. The president’s men worried that if the riots spread any further, the federal government would run out of troops to quell them.

But 1968 offers other echoes. On the Democratic side, Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy played the insurgent role now occupied by Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It was McCarthy’s near-victory in the New Hampshire primary on an anti-Vietnam war platform that convinced Lyndon Johnson not to run for re-election and propelled an initially reluctant Robert Kennedy into the race. The establishment doppler for Hillary Clinton was Vice-President Hubert H Humphrey, chosen to be the nominee by the party establishment even though a large majority of primary voters had gone to Kennedy and McCarthy.

‘No-fault bigotry’

On the other side of the race, segregationist governor George Wallace of Alabama anticipated Trump, embracing America’s favorite (and not-so-secret) political pornography – white supremacy. They also shared the same class consciousness: in Cleveland on Saturday, Trump opened a new line of attack against “those stupid people they call themselves the elite”. For Wallace, the enemies were judges and bureaucrats. “Pointy headed intellectuals”, in his words.

Richard Nixon countered Wallace by choosing Maryland governor Spiro T Agnew as his running mate. Nixon deduced that many Americans craved a subtle stoking of unspoken prejudice that the riots of the spring had done so much to revive. Agnew was the perfect person to do that. A once liberal Republican, he had transformed his image earlier in the year with a rough response to rioting in his state.

And as Trump has violated standards of decency and civility with his attacks on everyone from Muslims and Mexicans to reporters with disabilities, Agnew was famous for his ethnic slurs, referring to Poles as “Polacks” and calling a Japanese American reporter “the fat Jap”.

Nixon’s selection of Agnew was just one prong of the southern strategy which is the clear ancestor of Trump’s much less veiled prejudices. Journalist Bill Grieder called it “no-fault bigotry”, which Nixon conveyed to voters through strong support for “law and order” and “states’ rights” and persistent attacks on the Supreme Court, then led by Chief Justice Earl Warren. All of this was understood as code for allowing southern states to continue to resist school desegregation, a strategy the great liberal cartoonist Herblock later dubbed “all deliberate delay”.

A line runs from 1968 to the present. Ronald Reagan continued this scheme, opening his 1980 presidential campaign with a speech extolling “states’ rights” at the Neshoba County fair, just a few miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town made notorious by the brutal murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. It continued in 1988 with George HW Bush’s television ads demonizing Michael Dukakis for being governor of Massachusetts when black convict Willie Horton committed a series of violent crimes during a weekend furlough from jail.

‘Not a race race’

The lineage of Trump’s prejudices is so obvious, any recitation of it in public is guaranteed to produce apoplexy in “mainstream” Republicans. That’s what happened last Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, when Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson began to recall this history, including Reagan’s speech at Neshoba.

“This goes on all the time in coded ways,” said Henderson, who then turned to the ever-eruptive Republican operative Mary Matalin.

“It makes you uncomfortable, too,” he said.

Matalin replied: “No, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It just makes me want to choke you!”

Matalin insisted that 2016 was “not a race race”, but Henderson held his ground.

“I think there’s no question that what [Trump] is doing is appealing to race. And Republicans have done that for a long time.”

1968 was also the year that Richard Nixon invented the idea of “the silent majority” – such poorer, less-educated whites are clearly the group on whom Donald Trump is depending to propel him to the Republican nomination.

Demographic trends, though, are the main reason to remain hopeful that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will be able to stop him reaching the White House. Appealing to white prejudice is clearly a game of diminishing returns; black, hispanic and Asian voting blocs are vastly more important now than they were in 1968. In 2012, with Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket, for the first time there was higher black turnout than white – 66% of eligible blacks voted compared to 64.1% of whites.

Of course, such demographic trends also explain the Republicans’ most anti-democratic impulse: the proliferation of voter ID laws throughout states controlled by GOP governors and legislatures. In the absence of any serious evidence of widespread voter fraud, the only purpose of these laws is the suppression of black and Hispanic voters.

The goal, of course, is to make the voting rolls continue to look as much as possible like they used to – in 1968.


Far right and refugee crisis pile pressure on Angela Merkel

With three German states voting on ‘Super Sunday’, the chancellor’s Christian Democrats are braced for a rough ride

March 12, 2016

by Kate Connolly

The Guardian

Berlin-As a pastor’s daughter whose Protestant ethics are said to be one of the defining characteristics of her more than 10-year-long tenure as chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has made it a strict rule never to drink during Lent.

But in the past few days travelling around Germany to bolster the chances of her embattled Christian Democrats before elections on Sunday, she apparently broke that rule and was seen to sip from a glass or two of some of the country’s best regional beers. Insiders say the tipples offered to her have actually been non-alcoholic. But the message is clear. “I am one of the people,” as she said herself.

It’s a message her advisers have been keen for her to hammer home as she faces one of the most challenging tests yet of her more than 10 years as chancellor. The extent to which Germans will buy the message when one in five of them go to the polls in three separate states remains to be seen.

Many are at worst mildly disgruntled, at best greatly angered by Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, which has seen well over 1.1 million refugees enter the country in the past year or more. Following campaigns that have been dominated by the refugee issue, Merkel is expected to be punished by those who say they have yet to be consulted on a decision that will define Germany’s future for decades to come.

“Super Sunday”, as it’s been dubbed, is the culmination of a dramatic seven months that started on a euphoric note with Germans welcoming refugees with open arms, teddy bears and bottles of water at Munich railway station in September, after Merkel signaled that Syrian refugees would be warmly received. But while tens of thousands of Germans joined in the effort to welcome them, resentment among others soon triggered arson attacks on refugee accommodation and fueled the anti-refugee rallies of the protest movement Pegida.

The nadir of Merkel’s open-door policy was reached during New Year celebrations in Cologne, when hundreds of women were reported as having been sexually harassed and raped by men of largely north African and Arabic background. The repercussions were immense and pressure was put on Merkel to close German borders.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), whose support has eroded across the country as a direct result of the refugee crisis, is expected to take a bashing, struggling to stay in power in Saxony-Anhalt and failing to take back either Rhineland-Palatinate from the Social Democrats (SPD) or Baden-Württemberg from the Greens. The winners are likely to be the rightwing populists whose presence has shifted the tectonic plates of Germany’s political landscape.

Alternative für Deutschland, which used to ride on an anti-EU ticket but which in recent months has switched its focus to refugees, is expected to make considerable gains in all three states, but particularly in Saxony-Anhalt. In the former East German state, it is predicted to gain as much as 20% of the vote, up from around 5% just six months ago. It would be an extraordinary and historic gain for a party that did not exist a little more than three years ago and last year was on the verge of collapse.

The AfD’s 40-year-old leader, Frauke Petry, who did a chemistry degree at Reading University, has set her party the goal of entering the Bundestag in 2017 and the government in 2021. If it gains second place in Saxony-Anhalt ahead of the Social Democrats, as some pollsters predict it will, it would be a huge psychological and political blow to the established parties. It would shatter the CDU coalition with the SPD in the state, significant because it is a precise reflection of the make-up of the federal government, and signal that the AfD is capable of doing the same on the national level at the next general election.

But while the elections will be an important barometer of the political atmosphere, the many political observers around the world who are predicting the demise of Merkel if her party takes a drubbing are unlikely to be proved right. “Everyone [in the CDU] including opponents of Merkel know that there’s no one else so far with whom the party could secure better votes in the federal election than with Merkel,” said Robert Rossmann of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “That, rather than their love of the chancellor’s refugee policy, will be what keeps Merkel in power.”

But neither is Merkel’s prediction, in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung,that the AfD will run out of steam once the government is seen to have the refugee situation under control, necessarily very realistic.

“Even if the numbers of refugees decreases, the refugee question is likely to occupy Germany for a long time. The integration will take years and cost billions,” said Rossmann. “Not only that, but the AfD is an anti-system party whose success feeds off the deep-seated resentments to be found in an alarmingly large proportion of the population against the whole political establishment … that won’t disappear just because the refugee numbers go down.”

At an AfD rally in Magdeburg in the state of Saxony-Anhalt last week, that resentment was tangible. A man nearing retirement, who identified himself only as Björn, said he blamed Merkel for watering down German identity. “Just today I saw a group of schoolchildren. They were all dark-skinned, except for the little girl with blond-brown hair walking at the very back,” he said. “Now 54% of over-six-year-olds have an immigrant background. It’s really alarming.”

Another AfD supporter, 25-year-old Till, said he had been teaching refugees German but had quickly lost heart. “The disrespectful attitudes of the Muslim men towards the women was really disturbing,” he said. “I preferred to teach Russians and Brazilians instead. I worry that Merkel has opened the floodgates and Germany will never be the same again.”

A taxi driver from the city, who said for decades he had voted CDU and would now be voting AfD, said: “The problem is I don’t feel any of the issues being discussed have relevance for ordinary working people. Those who struggle on a wage of €1,200 (£930) a month which never goes up, while other costs of living do – what has the refugee crisis or the state of Europe got to do with us?”


911 Revisited

by Harry von Johnston, PhD


You must understand that because of the real issues behind 9/11, it has not hitherto been considered either a good or a safe idea to enter into any kind of public commentary about certain aspects of it. Now that Bush has left the White House and his power structure has crumbled, the time has come to expose what can only be called the Grand Plot. The entire Bush administration was a fraud from the beginning. Bush, a pliable tool of interlocking power groups, was put into office by trickery and fraud which became the hallmark of what will certainly prove to be the worst presidential administration in the history of the United States.

The whole Iraq episode, which grew directly from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was planned before Bush was put into office via a plot involving major oil people, the top-level business community, the Christian Right and Israel. These Saudi attacks were known about months in advance and nothing was done about it….it was allowed to happen and over 3,000 Americans died to give Bush his Pearl Harbor and a manufactured casus belli.. The Israelis were in on it from the beginning and down in Florida, they had gotten in with the Saudis and knew to the day when the attack was coming.

Bush was on the best of personal terms with the Saudi-based bin Laden family, all of whom were allowed to go back to Saudi Arabia under official escort. Notice that in Stuttgart, Toronto and New York, Israeli businessmen sold important airline and other stock short just before the attack. Of course, they had inside information but they just had to make money out of the slaughter. Iraq?

Hussein had nothing to do with the attack but the oil people and the Cheney gang wanted to get their hands on the huge untapped Iraqi oil fields and Israel wanted a large number of American troops nearby to protect them and help them attack Iran.

Bush, Cheney, Rove and others, were  planning to establish a military law state in this country but we just found out about it a few weeks ago when official papers were publicly released. Cheney and Bush made millions via Halliburton and other crooked companies. The American press is controlled by a handful of Israeli supporters so the truth is not published and the government, to include the CIA have major interests in the blogs so that all we get from most of them is official propaganda. The DoD set up the Lincoln Group (and the CIA has the New York Times, AP and the Washington Post right in their pockets) to plant fake stories in the media. The DoD hid the real casualty totals (ca 14,000 dead instead of 4,000)  I have heard they want to kill Obama because he is not friendly enough to Israel and wants to get out of Iraq and the oil people will lose the oil fields there. The CIA have virtual control of Wikipedia and the DHS practically owns Google. If you look up the wrong subject on Google, like certain Arab groups or how to make bombs, your name, IP address and other information is automatically forwarded to the DHS and not only would you have showed up on the NOFLY list but on the long, long lists of suspected anti-government people who would be instantly rounded up and internet if the top people order it. If you think I am inventing any of this, believe me, I am not. I do not want to end up in a ditch somewhere so none of us say anything. Now, however with a shift in the official wind, all of what we have will be brought out, fact by fact.



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