TBR News March 28, 2016

Mar 28 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2016: “The current American economic decline has been slow in coming but coming it has. Unlike the sudden collapse in ’29-’33, the current slumping has been papered over by politicians and the American press but evidences of it keep breaking through the paper and leering at you. Massive and growing unemployment, diminution of the industrial production, an enormous national deficit, frustrations and rejections of American imperial power world-wide can be seen in the foreign, but not domestic, press. The current political activities in the United States are a pathetic sham and remind me of a puppet show put on by spastic drunks. Where these candidates come from is a mystery. I think the various political parties find their champions in out-patient clinics or under highway bridges. You get what you pay for, I suppose, and just look what shabby failures the K Street purchasing agents have found.”

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. 104

Date: Monday, September 15, 1997

Commenced: 1:38 PM CST

Concluded: 1:55 PM CST

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. Did you, by any chance, get the packet I sent you?

GD: The one on weird conspiracy crap?

RTC: Yes, the same.

GD: I did and I am still laughing. My God, when Reagan closed the nut houses in California, these things really took off. Actually, to be fair, that sort of lunacy has been around for years. But how the CIA could get tied up with some of them boggles the imagination.

RTC: Well, there were indeed very strange people in our ranks, I’ll grant you that. We had Gottleib, Cameron and other odd ones. The Swann person was another one. You know, the Remote Viewing insanity.

GD: Oh yes, indeed. I lived near SRI in Menlo Park and I heard hysterically funny stories about this at the time. Leaving the astral body to float around in space and then down to old Mother Russia to slip into the KGB headquarters to spy on the workings. Or float off to China to see what Mao was doing. The thought that taxpayer’s money went into such things is really not very funny. Tell me, although I only saw a brief mention of it, were you tied up with the Scientology nutties? The planet Xenu? The bringing of the Thetan master race to Montana by DC3s? Jesus, I know Hubbard spent some time in a ‘Frisco nut house but how, or I mean why, do sane people believe such shit?

RTC: From a poor, very bad science fiction writer to cult leader is quite a step but L. Ron made it.

GD: My God, I know about him and I met some of his drooling acolytes once. And had to listen to hours of psycho-babble about being clear or their fake emeters. All they do is rope in rich fools and skin them to the bone. But please tell me the CIA wasn’t tied up with these nutties.

RTC: No, Hubbard hated us. We were asked by DoS to investigate him when he was running all over the Med, getting the police of various countries after him. We concluded that all of them were crazy as hell and that Hubbard was either an inspired paranoid idiot or a total fraud. I rather suspect he was both. I hear he got so crazy out in California that his people killed him.

GD: I have heard the same. And cremated him and dumped the ashes into the ocean off the stern of an old sardine boat. Well, now Lafayette is up on Xenu, running the pay toilets in the Imperial Palace there. God, I thought that once we got rid of the Christian Scientists, the fake churches were done for.

RTC: Well, Gottleib was crazy and Cameron was crazier what with their experiments but at least Hubbard had a run for everyone’s money and enjoyed lots of teen-aged pussy before they offed him. Gottleib fucked goats and we had to off Cameron for everyone’s welfare. No, we had nothing to do with the Hubbard business.

GD: Ah, but you did get into the Remote Viewing business. Did you do crystals too?

RTC: What?

GD: No, just some New Age nonsense. I know if I had an out of body experience, I would want to visit the girl’s gym shower room at a local high school. Not too young and before the bodies turn to rubber and the tits topple. High school girls were OK for Hubbard to play stink finger with but they really aren’t too smart. Some of them are nice to look at, though. Go to any beach, Robert, and look at the flab and sag. Oh and men too. Must be democratic here. Guys get sagging tits and jelly bellies as well. But in the old days, young people kept their shapes longer but now, they bag, sag and drag at ten or eleven.

RTC: (Laughter) We all get there, Gregory.

GD: Yes, we do but I would rather look at the cat box than the blubber guts strutting their stuff. Ah, well, so much for Remote Viewing.

RTC: Mr. Swann conned some of our less intelligent people out of millions.

GD: Maybe they can start their own church, Robert. Like Hubbard, the ebox king. Former Xenu Imperial Chancellor. Oh, and don’t forget the Illuminati. Robert, they rule the world now. Tens of thousands of them wearing soiled underwear, sitting in their own dung at their underground headquarters in Des Moines and controlling the world. And the New World Order! Robert, we are both getting old so maybe the Order will give birth after we are gone. Isn’t it amazing, the hysterically funny fictions that bipeds actually believe? The Easter Bunny now has become legend. I look for a Book of the Bunny any day now and frantic worshippers holding Bunny Meets on high school football fields, buck naked and jumping up and down. My God, what a disgusting image. And the Remote Viewing people can all gather in the stands and soil themselves in sexual frenzies while caressing their crystals and smoking pot. Malthus had the right idea but why do we have to wait? How about starting a plague somewhere and getting rid of the nutties in the process?

RTC: Utterly futile, Gregory. When the human race regenerated, the types would emerge again.

GD: Yes, along with piles and chronic skin diseases. I had to listen to more unadulterated crap back in the ’70s that you can imagine that the Remote Viewing and Scientology shit fits right in with bong dreams.

RTC: Bong?

GD: A water pipe for smoking hash. But most of these lunatics don’t need drugs to hallucinate. Imagine Thetans or superior people and by that, I mean those who have read the really terrible Hubbard sci-fi stories, Thetans are flown to this planet on DC3s. Of course space is a vacuum so no plane could fly between here and Xenu. And where, pray tell, is Xenu? Somewhere in the Cornflakes galaxy, right near the planet Vulva. And if you pay the Scientologists enough money, they’ll suddenly discover you are a Thetan and get to the head of the contributing class. Oh well, just because the CIA went for the out of body nonsense is no reason to link it with the Hubbard freaks. I shouldn’t have even brought it up. Dealing with fatties and space cases are so debilitating. And then we can contemplate getting it on with an epileptic whore. Just as enlightening and thrilling.

RTC: Well, I sent you what I had on all of that.

GD: And I thank you but if I tried to get any of it published, they’d lock me up in a rubber room. You know it’s true and I believe it’s true but I doubt if normal people would believe a word of it. Listen, let’s send Corson to Xenu! Great! He could tell them he was an American field marshal and take over the Xenuvian army and invade Mars next month. Bill would have a wonderful time out at the L. Ron Hubbard Theme Park where all the Thetans love to visit. Enough, enough. I ought to get back to throwing roofing nails out on the freeway and watching the accidents.


(Concluded 1:55 PM CST)

100 years since 1916: Time for England to apologize to Ireland

March 27, 2016

by Bryan MacDonald


For centuries, England did most bitter wrong to Ireland. Today, most Brits are completely oblivious to the pain their country wrought. That needs to change.

“For England may keep faith

For all that is done and said.

We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead;”

– WB Yeats, Easter 1916

On Easter Monday 1916, around 1,200 rebels fanned out across Dublin in a brave, if obviously doomed, attempt to strike for freedom. Disorganized and without a clear leader and proper munitions, they faced the most powerful empire the world had ever known. The fact that they held out for almost a week was a miracle.

Conflicting orders didn’t help. Preparations were so haphazard that the Irish Volunteers’ Chief of Staff, Eoin McNeill, published an order the previous day for his troops to stay at home. Nevertheless, after seizing Dublin’s General Post Office (GPO), the insurgents hoisted two republican flags over the building and Patrick Pearse read a proclamation of Irish Independence. With that, modern Ireland was born.

The roots of the insurrection lay in the Act Of Union, 116 years earlier, which created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Irish puppet parliament, which sanctioned the legislation, was completely unrepresentative of the country. Only Protestants could sit in the chamber and only land-owning men could vote. The vast majority of the Irish people were Catholics of no property.

Thus, began a tumultuous 19th century which featured genocide through forced starvation, numerous attempts at violent rebellion and mass political movements led by Daniel O’Connell and Charles Parnell. While Ireland endured terrible poverty and massive depopulation Britain thrived. By 1912, London controlled about a quarter of the world’s land area and around a fifth of the globe’s total population. King George’s realm was known as “the empire on which the sun never sets.” In Ireland, it rarely shined.

Exhausting the System

In 1886, Parnell’s efforts saw a Home Rule Bill introduced, but it was defeated at Westminster. Seven years later another attempt was passed by parliament, but vetoed by the unelected House of Lords, an institution that exists, proud as a peacock, to this day. After this outrage, a new generation of Irish nationalists were radicalized to advocate more extreme methods to end English domination. Until 1912, constitutional politicians marginally held sway and that year they succeeded in forcing another Home Rule act.

Protestant Unionists, led by Edward Carson, fearing Catholic control of a semi-autonomous Ireland, established the Ulster Volunteers in Belfast to resist Dublin governance. In response, the Irish Volunteers were formed in Dublin. Ireland was heading for Civil War, with the Crown obviously biased in favor of Belfast loyalists. Then, the First World War intervened.

London announced that Home Rule would be postponed until the cessation of hostilities, placating Belfast. Yet, Dublin was less enthusiastic. Republicans began to solicit assistance from Germany, Britain’s opponent in the conflict. After Westminster began talk of introducing mandatory army conscription in Ireland, attitudes hardened and the rising was launched.

The rebellion was a military disaster.

Outnumbered and outgunned, the Republicans had no chance. They also lacked popular support in Dublin, the most British city in Ireland. Instead of rallying to the flag, more Dubliners – many who had family members serving in the British army – engaged in looting than supporting the rebels.

In the aftermath, the British, through sheer arrogance and stupidity, shot themselves in the foot. If they’d left the rising’s leaders to rot in prison camps, it’s likely the whole affair would have fizzled out. Despite warnings from prominent thinkers, like the Irish writer Bernard Shaw, that they risked making martyrs, the authorities sentenced 90 people to death. Fifteen of them had their penalties confirmed and were shot between the 3rd and 12th of May. They included the seven signatories of the proclamation.

“I write it out in a verse –

McDonagh and Bride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.”

– WB Yeats, 1916

Fighting For Freedom

From that moment, relations between Ireland and Britain were doomed. Three years later, a violent War of Independence commenced. This time, it had huge support across Irish society. In 1922, the Irish Free State was formed and in 1949, it became a Republic, severing all links with the British Commonwealth. In practice, it behaved like a completely independent nation from the outset. During the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral and successive Irish governments were openly belligerent to British interests.

Approximately a sixth of Irish territory remained in the UK. For almost a century, the Northern Ireland statelet has been stricken with sectarianism and economic stagnation. A vicious civil war raged there from 1968 to 1998, occasionally spilling over to England and the Irish Republic. One hundred years ago, Belfast was almost the same size as Dublin, and significantly wealthier. Today, greater Dublin has over three times the population and is substantially more prosperous.

Since the Belfast agreement, enacted in 1999, Irish attitudes to England have softened. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 2011 that Queen Elizabeth finally made it to southern Ireland. Even then, her protection was guaranteed by the biggest security operation in the history of the state.

To a great extent, the British public remains blissfully unaware of Irish history and their own nation’s role in it. Irish people living there often express exasperation at English ignorance of Ireland’s treatment.

This silently divides us. Frustratingly, Germans have successfully dealt with the ghosts of their past. Americans are reasonably well educated about their crimes against the continent’s native population. Even Russians have an appreciation of Stalin and Lenin’s monstrous deeds.

Ignorance is Bliss?

Meanwhile, the English just don’t get it. Winston Churchill celebrated the murder of 28,000 Boers in South African concentration camps. After that, he demanded more conquests, based on his belief that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph”. In the 1920’s, he unleashed the Black and Tans, a notorious group of criminal thugs, on Ireland’s civilians. After Ghandi began his campaign of non-violent resistance to British occupation, Churchill commented: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” When, in 1943, a famine began in Bengal, three million people starved to death while Churchill refused to send food supplies there. He announced that it was their own fault for “breeding like rabbits”.

Despite this, in 2002, over a million BBC viewers voted for Winston Churchill as the greatest Briton of all time. Guess who came in tenth? One Oliver Cromwell.

While September 11 has been sacred to Americans for fifteen years, its been notorious in Ireland for centuries. On that day in 1649, Cromwell’s forces butchered around 4,000 civilians in the north-eastern town of Drogheda. Contemporary reports denounced the crime as “unparalleled savagery and treachery beyond any slaughterhouse”. In total, Cromwell killed about 41 percent of the Irish population during his ethnic cleansing campaign in Ireland. On top of that, it’s alleged that he sold about 300,000 Irish as slaves to the new world.

How do British people think their Irish neighbors feel when they see such barbarians lionized as national heroes in the United Kingdom?

The Great Hunger

Then there’s the famine genocide of the 19th century. From 1845 to 1852, under English rule, approximately one million people died from starvation in Ireland. Another million emigrated, largely to the United States. The island’s population dropped by around 25 percent in less than a decade. All this while Ireland was a constituent part of the United Kingdom. London’s reaction was to essentially do nothing. Nothing, that is, except export vast quantities of grain, which could have fed the hungry.

The sad thing is that Irish people know that the British are broadly decent. They have given the world much of its high culture and great literature. They’ve created a generally inclusive modern country, which is the envy of much of the world. The problem is that they are largely blind to how they got there.

They are proud of their empire, a barbarous and cruel entity which caused misery across the world. Today, they worship mass murders like Cromwell and Churchill. This Easter 1916, wouldn’t it make sense for the London government to finally apologize to Ireland? Maybe the Queen could be dispatched to solemnly visit the Irish embassy in London and express her remorse for the brutality of her ancestors? However, it’s more likely they’ll sit quietly and gape at the play. Undisturbed, indifferent and without disquiet.

“They weighed so lightly what they gave.

But let them be, they’re dead and gone,

They’re with O’Leary in the grave”

– WB Yeats, September 1913


The Casement Diaries

by Gregory Douglas


Sir Roger David Casement was born on September 1, 1864 in Dublin County, Ireland. Although from an Ulster Protestant family, Casement was sympathetic to the cause of the Irish nationalist movement which sought to establish an Irish state free of British political and military control.

As a diplomat in the service of the British government, Casement gained great recognition for exposing the numerous atrocities practiced by the Belgians against the natives in their Congo colony, an endeavor that forced the Belgians to reform their administration.

While posted to Brazil, Casement uncovered similar murderous activity by Brazilians in the Putymayo River area. This activity gained him a knighthood in 1912.

At the end of 1913, retired from the Foreign Service for health reasons, Casement became involved with the Irish nationalist movement and formed the Irish National Volunteers.

After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Casement went to Germany in November of that year and attempted to secure German aid for an Irish rising against the British. The Germans proved to be unwilling to participate in this venture and Casement went back to Ireland in a German submarine on April 12, 1916.

It was his intention to persuade the Irish nationalists to halt their impending Easter rising but he was captured in Ireland by the British a week later, removed to London where he was imprisoned in conditions of considerable barbarity and brutally treated until such time as he was put on trial for treason, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

International attempts to secure a reprieve for Casement because of his previous humanitarian activities were nullified by the sudden release by British intelligence of diaries purporting to have been written by Casement which detailed alleged homosexual activities. Casement was duly hanged on August 3, 1916.1

The Easter rising was eventually suppressed by the British Army under circumstances of singular atrocity against the participants in particular and the population of Dublin in general.

Boys as young as twelve were hanged for curfew violations and unarmed civilians, including women, were shot and bayonetted in the streets by the occupying forces. One of the leaders of the rising, though dying of untreated gangrene, was dragged from his cell and tied to a stretcher before being shot by a firing squad.

This was a strikingly ugly episode in the history of a country with an official policy that resulted in countless historical examples of similar oppressive actions but noteworthy in that it was performed, not in some remote and unobserved area of Africa or India but within the borders of ostensibly civilized England and directed against white Christians.

The question of the authenticity of the diaries immediately arose and has attracted strong partisanship on both sides of the issue. In 1959, the British government released the diaries for inspection by scholars. Predictably, sympathetic British academics proclaimed them original while others held opposite views.

In February of 1965, Casement’s remains were finally returned to Ireland and given a state funeral. The funeral oration was read by Irish President Eamon de Valera.

Admiral Hall’s activities during his tenure as Director of Naval Intelligence, arfe such that the question of the forgery of the Casement diaries would no longer seem to be in doubt.


Sources: “The Accusing Ghost: or Justice for Casement,”  Alfred Noyes, 1957; “The Black Diaries,”  Peter Singleton-Gates & Maurice Girodias, 1960; “Lusitania,” Colin Simpson, 1972; “Rebels,” Peter de Rosa, 1990.


1 Captain, later Rear Admiral, Reginald Hall, had been appointed Director of British Naval Intelligence in October of 1914. He was a brilliant but completely amoral intelligence officer and as the war progressed, virtually dictated British naval policy. Unscrupulous to a degree, Hall has long been suspected as being the moving force behind the forgery of the Casement diaries. He also was involved with the sinking of the Lusitania and the HMS Hampshire with the detested Lord H.H. Kitchener drowned as a result,


Criticism of IDF ‘outrageous’ – Netanyahu after soldier finishes off wounded Palestinian stabber

March 28, 2016


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out against any criticism of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), despite the outrage over footage that emerged of an IDF soldier seemingly executing a prone and wounded Palestinian attacker.

“The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions. We must all support the IDF Chief-of-Staff, the IDF, and our soldiers, who safeguard our security,” Netanyahu said, as quoted by AP.

Netanyahu’s comments follow a lethal incident that took place in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday. Two Palestinians allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier, injuring him. The Israeli military said the two were then shot and killed.

However, a video later released by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, revealed a more gruesome picture. It showed an alleged Palestinian stabber that had already been shot and detained lying on the ground.

Twenty-one-year-old Abdul Fatah al-Sharif appears to be alive as he slowly moves his head.

However, an Israeli fighter then raises his weapon and shoots the wounded Palestinian in the head almost point-blank without any apparent provocation.

The Israeli soldier who fired the fatal shot was detained for committing a “grave breach” of the military’s values. He has argued, however, that he thought that the Palestinian was reaching for an explosive.

While the soldier’s actions came under fire, Netanyahu branded any criticism of the IDF as “outrageous and unacceptable,” saying the conduct of one soldier doesn’t reflect the military’s standards in general.


Israel urges citizens to leave Turkey amid attack risk

Israel’s government cited a “high concrete threat” of a terror attack in Turkey and told citizens to leave immediately. Tourists have also been urged to postpone upcoming trips to the country.

March 28, 2016


The second warning in just over a week comes after three Israelis were among four people killed during a suicide bombing in Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, on March 19.

In a statement issued Monday, Israel’s Counter-terrorism Bureau said: “It has been decided to upgrade the existing travel warning vis-a-vis Turkey from a basic concrete threat to a high concrete threat.”

The Bureau added that Turkish tourist sites were at risk from the self-declared “Islamic State” (IS) group, which it said had “high capabilities of carrying out further attacks.”

The statement added that officials wanted to “reiterate our recommendation to the public to avoid visiting the country and – for Israelis currently in Turkey – to leave as soon as possible.”

Ankara blast

Turkey has seen four bomb attacks over the past 8 months

Despite strained diplomatic relations between the two countries, tens of thousands of Israelis visit Turkey each year.

Repeated attacks

The Istanbul blast on March 19, happened at a famous shopping street, and left dozens of others injured. The Turkish government said the bomber had links to IS.

Immediately after the bombing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a generalized “level 3” warning against travel to Turkey.

But on Monday, this was raised to “level 2.” If a “level 1” alert were by issued, that would urge citizens to leave the country immediately.

IS and Kurdish militants have been blamed for four bombings that have rocked Turkey over the past eight months, including a massacre at a peace rally in the capital Ankara in October that claimed 103 lives.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that security forces had blocked other attacks in recent weeks, including planned suicide bombings.


Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response

March 28, 2016

by Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly


Yonaguni, Japan-Japan on Monday switched on a radar station in the East China Sea, giving it a permanent intelligence gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China, drawing an angry response from Beijing.

The new Self Defence Force base on the island of Yonaguni is at the western extreme of a string of Japanese islands in the East China Sea, 150 km (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

China has raised concerns with its neighbors and in the West with its assertive claim to most of the South China Sea where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. Japan has long been mired in a territorial dispute with China over the East China Sea islands.

“Until yesterday, there was no coastal observation unit west of the main Okinawa island. It was a vacuum we needed to fill,” said Daigo Shiomitsu, a Ground Self Defence Force lieutenant colonel who commands the new base on Yonaguni.

“It means we can keep watch on territory surrounding Japan and respond to all situations.”

Shiomitsu on Monday attended a ceremony at the base with 160 military personnel and around 50 dignitaries. Construction of some buildings, which feature white walls and traditional Okinawan red-tiled roofs, is still unfinished.

The 30-sq-km (11-sq-mile) island is home to 1,500 people, who mostly raise cattle and grow sugar cane. The Self Defence Force contingent and family members will increase the population by a fifth.

“This radar station is going to irritate China,” said Nozomu Yoshitomi, a professor at Nihon University and a retired major general in the Self Defence Force.

In addition to being a listening post, the facility could be used a base for military operations in the region, he added.

China’s defense ministry, in a statement sent to Reuters about the radar station, said the international community needed to be on high alert to Japan’s military expansion.

“The Diaoyu Islands are China’s inherent territory. We are resolutely opposed to any provocative behavior by Japan aimed at Chinese territory,” it said.

“The activities of Chinese ships and aircraft in the relevant waters and airspace are completely appropriate and legal.”

The listening post fits into a wider military build-up along the island chain, which stretches 1,400 km (870 miles) from the Japanese mainland.

Policy makers last year told Reuters it was part of a strategy to keep China at bay in the Western Pacific as Beijing gains control of the South China Sea.

Toshi Yoshihara, a U.S. Naval War College professor, said Yonaguni sits next to two potential flashpoints in Asia – Taiwan and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

“A network of overlapping radar sites along the island chain would boost Japan’s ability to monitor the East China Sea,” he added.

Yonaguni is only around 100 km (62 miles) east of Taiwan, near the edge of a controversial air defense identification zone set up by China in 2013.

Over the next five years, Japan will increase its Self Defence Force in the East China Sea by about a fifth to almost 10,000 personnel, including missile batteries that will help Japan draw a defensive curtain along the island chain.

Chinese ships sailing from their eastern seaboard must pass through this barrier to reach the Western Pacific, access to which Beijing needs both as a supply line to the rest of the world’s oceans and for naval power projection.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie)


Entering Uncharted Territory in Washington

Are We in a New American World?

by Tom Engelhardt


The other week, feeling sick, I spent a day on my couch with the TV on and was reminded of an odd fact of American life. More than seven months before Election Day, you can watch the 2016 campaign for the presidency at any moment of your choosing, and that’s been true since at least late last year. There is essentially never a time when some network or news channel isn’t reporting on, discussing, debating, analyzing, speculating about, or simply drooling over some aspect of the primary campaign, of Hillary, Bernie, Ted, and above all — a million times above all — The Donald (from the violence at his rallies to the size of his hands). In case you’re young and think this is more or less the American norm, it isn’t. Or wasn’t.

Truly, there is something new under the sun. Of course, in 1994 with O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco chase (95 million viewers!), the 24/7 media event arrived full blown in American life and something changed when it came to the way we focused on our world and the media focused on us. But you can be sure of one thing: never in the history of television, or any other form of media, has a single figure garnered the amount of attention — hour after hour, day after day, week after week — as Donald Trump. If he’s the O.J. Simpson of twenty-first-century American politics and his run for the presidency is the eternal white Ford Bronco chase of our moment, then we’re in a truly strange world.

Or let me put it another way: this is not an election. I know the word “election” is being used every five seconds and somewhere along the line significant numbers of Americans (particularly, this season, Republicans) continue to enter voting booths or in the case of primary caucuses, school gyms and the like, to choose among various candidates, so it’s all still election-like. But take my word for it as a 71-year-old guy who’s been watching our politics for decades: this is not an election of the kind the textbooks once taught us was so crucial to American democracy. If, however, you’re sitting there waiting for me to tell you what it is, take a breath and don’t be too disappointed. I have no idea, though it’s certainly part bread-and-circuses spectacle, part celebrity obsession, and part media money machine.

Actually, before we go further, let me hedge my bets on the idea that Donald Trump is a twenty-first-century O.J. Simpson. It’s certainly a reasonable enough comparison, but I’ve begun to wonder about the usefulness of just about any comparison in our present situation. Even the most nightmarish of them — Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, or any past extreme demagogue of your choice — may actually prove to be covert gestures of consolation, reassurance, and comfort. Yes, what’s happening in our world is increasingly extreme and could hardly be weirder, we seem to have the urge to say, but it’s still recognizable. It’s something we’ve encountered before, something we’ve made sense of in the past and, in the process, overcome.

Round Up the Usual Suspects

But what if that’s not true? In some ways, the most frightening, least acceptable thing to say about our American world right now — even if Donald Trump’s overwhelming presence all but begs us to say it — is that we’ve entered uncharted territory and, under the circumstances, comparisons might actually impair our ability to come to grips with our new reality. My own suspicion: Donald Trump is only the most obvious instance of this, the example no one can miss.

In these first years of the twenty-first century, we may be witnessing a new world being born inside the hollowed-out shell of the American system. As yet, though we live with this reality every day, we evidently just can’t bear to recognize it for what it might be. When we survey the landscape, what we tend to focus on is that shell — the usual elections (in somewhat heightened form), the usual governmental bodies (a little tarnished) with the usual governmental powers (a little diminished or redistributed), including the usual checks and balances (a little out of whack), and the same old Constitution (much praised in its absence), and yes, we know that none of this is working particularly well, or sometimes at all, but it still feels comfortable to view what we have as a reduced, shabbier, and more dysfunctional version of the known.

Perhaps, however, it’s increasingly a version of the unknown. We say, for instance, that Congress is “paralyzed,” and that little can be done in a country where politics has become so “polarized,” and we wait for something to shake us loose from that “paralysis,” to return us to a Washington closer to what we remember and recognize. But maybe this is it. Maybe even if the Republicans somehow lost control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, we would still be in a situation something like what we’re now labeling paralysis. Maybe in our new American reality, Congress is actually some kind of glorified, well-lobbied, and well-financed version of a peanut gallery.

Of course, I don’t want to deny that much of what is “new” in our world has a long history. The present yawning inequality gap between the 1% and ordinary Americans first began to widen in the 1970s and — as Thomas Frank explains so brilliantly in his new book, Listen, Liberal — was already a powerful and much-discussed reality in the early 1990s, when Bill Clinton ran for president. Yes, that gap is now more like an abyss and looks ever more permanently embedded in the American system, but it has a genuine history, as for instance do 1% elections and the rise and self-organization of the “billionaire class,” even if no one, until this second, imagined that government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, and for the billionaires might devolve into government of the billionaire, by the billionaire, and for the billionaire — that is, just one of them.

Indeed, much of our shape-shifting world can be written about as a set of comparisons and in terms of historical reference points. Inequality has a history. The military-industrial complex and the all-volunteer military, like the warrior corporation, weren’t born yesterday; neither was our state of perpetual war, nor the national security state that now looms over Washington, nor its surveilling urge, the desire to know far too much about the private lives of Americans. (A little bow of remembrance to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover is in order here.)

And yet, true as all that may be, Washington increasingly seems like a new land, sporting something like a new system in the midst of our much-described polarized and paralyzed politics. The national security state doesn’t seem faintly paralyzed or polarized to me. Nor does the Pentagon. On certain days when I catch the news, I can’t believe how strange and yet humdrum this uncharted new territory is. Remind me, for instance, where in the Constitution the Founding Fathers wrote about that national security state? And yet there it is in all its glory, all its powers, an ever more independent force in our nation’s capital. In what way, for instance, did those men of the revolutionary era prepare the ground for the Pentagon to loose its spy drones from our distant war zones over the United States? And yet, so it has. And no one even seems disturbed by the development. The news, barely noticed or noted, was instantly absorbed into what’s becoming the new normal.

Graduation Ceremonies in the Imperium

Let me mention here the almost random piece of news that recently made me wonder just what planet I was actually on. And I know you won’t believe it, but it had absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Given the carnage of America’s wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa, which I’ve been following closely these last years, I’m unsure why this particular moment even got to me. Best guess? Maybe that, of all the once-obscure places — from Afghanistan to Yemen to Libya — in which the U.S. has been fighting recently, Somalia, where this particular little slaughter took place, seems to me like the most obscure of all. Yes, I’ve been half-attending to events there from the 1993 Blackhawk Down moment to the disastrous U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of 2006 to the hardly less disastrous invasion of that country by Kenyan and other African forces. Still, Somalia?

Recently, U.S. Reaper drones and manned aircraft launched a set of strikes against what the Pentagon claimed was a graduation ceremony for “low-level” foot soldiers in the Somali terror group al-Shabab. It was proudly announced that more than 150 Somalis had died in this attack. In a country where, in recent years, U.S. drones and special ops forces had carried out a modest number of strikes against individual al-Shabab leaders, this might be thought of as a distinct escalation of Washington’s endless low-level conflict there (with a raid involving U.S. special ops forces following soon after).

Now, let me try to put this in some personal context. Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked globes and maps. I have a reasonable sense of where most countries on this planet are. Still, Somalia? I have to stop and give that one some thought to truly locate it on a mental map of eastern Africa. Most Americans? Honestly, I doubt they’d have a clue. So the other day, when this news came out, I stopped a moment to take it in. If accurate, we killed 150 more or less nobodies (except to those who knew them) and maybe even a top leader or two in a country most Americans couldn’t locate on a map.

I mean, don’t you find that just a little odd, no matter how horrible the organization they were preparing to fight for? 150 Somalis? Blam!

Remind me: On just what basis was this modest massacre carried out? After all, the U.S. isn’t at war with Somalia or with al-Shabab. Of course, Congress no longer plays any real role in decisions about American war making. It no longer declares war on any group or country we fight. (Paralysis!) War is now purely a matter of executive power or, in reality, the collective power of the national security state and the White House. The essential explanation offered for the Somali strike, for instance, is that the U.S. had a small set of advisers stationed with African Union forces in that country and it was just faintly possible that those guerrilla graduates might soon prepare to attack some of those forces (and hence U.S. military personnel). It seems that if the U.S. puts advisers in place anywhere on the planet — and any day of any year they are now in scores of countries — that’s excuse enough to validate acts of war based on the “imminent” threat of their attack.

Or just think of it this way: a new, informal constitution is being written in these years in Washington. No need for a convention or a new bill of rights. It’s a constitution focused on the use of power, especially military power, and it’s being written in blood.

These days, our government (the unparalyzed one) acts regularly on the basis of that informal constitution-in-the-making, committing Somalia-like acts across significant swathes of the planet. In these years, we’ve been marrying the latest in wonder technology, our Hellfire-missile-armed drones, to executive power and slaughtering people we don’t much like in majority Muslim countries with a certain alacrity. By now, it’s simply accepted that any commander-in-chief is also our assassin-in-chief, and that all of this is part of a wartime-that-isn’t-wartime system, spreading the principle of chaos and dissolution to whole areas of the planet, leaving failed states and terror movements in its wake.

When was it, by the way, that “the people” agreed that the president could appoint himself assassin-in-chief, muster his legal beagles to write new “law” that covered any future acts of his (including the killing of American citizens), and year after year dispatch what essentially is his own private fleet of killer drones to knock off thousands of people across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa? Weirdly enough, after almost 14 years of this sort of behavior, with ample evidence that such strikes don’t suppress the movements Washington loathes (and often only fan the flames of resentment and revenge that help them spread), neither the current president and his top officials, nor any of the candidates for his office have the slightest intention of ever grounding those drones.

And when exactly did the people say that, within the country’s vast standing military, which now garrisons much of the planet, a force of nearly 70,000 Special Operations personnel should be birthed, or that it should conduct covert missions globally, essentially accountable only to the president (if him)? And what I find strangest of all is that few in our world find such developments strange at all.

A Planet in Decline?

In some way, all of this could be said to work. At the very least, it is a functioning new system-in-the-making that we have yet to truly come to grips with, just as we haven’t come to grips with a national security state that surveils the world in a way that even science fiction writers (no less totalitarian rulers) of a previous era could never have imagined, or the strange version of media overkill that we still call an election. All of this is by now both old news and mind-bogglingly new.

Do I understand it? Not for a second.

This is not war as we knew it, nor government as we once understood it, nor are these elections as we once imagined them, nor is this democracy as it used to be conceived of, nor is this journalism of a kind ever taught in a journalism school. This is the definition of uncharted territory. It’s a genuine American terra incognita and yet in some fashion that unknown landscape is already part of our sense of ourselves and our world. In this “election” season, many remain shocked that a leading candidate for the presidency is a demagogue with a visible authoritarian side and what looks like an autocratic bent. All such labels are pinned on Donald Trump, but the new American system that’s been emerging from its chrysalis in these years already has just those tendencies. So don’t blame it all on Donald Trump. He should be far less of a shock to this country than he continues to be. After all, a Trumpian world-in-formation has paved the way for him.

Who knows? Perhaps what we’re watching is the new iteration of a very old story: a twenty-first-century version of an ancient tale of a great imperial power, perhaps the greatest ever — the “lone superpower” — sinking into decline. It’s a tale humanity has experienced often enough in the course of our long history. But lest you think once again that there’s nothing new under the sun, the context for all of this, for everything now happening in our world, is so new as to be quite literally outside of thousands of years of human experience. As the latest heat records indicate, we are, for the first time, on a planet in decline. And if that isn’t uncharted territory, what is?


Parallels in Religion and Politics

by Harry von Johnston PhD


There are strong parallels between the Evangelical Christians and the Holocaust Jewish religious/political movements.

And these parallels are most certainly there.

Both are oriented to gaining political and economic power.

Both have made extensive use of fictional writings. In the case of the Evangelical Christians, the Rapture and the Battle of Armageddon which are recent inventions (ca 1910) by a Charles Parham Fox and are not in the Bible. Parham Fox was a convicted thief and child molester.

Also, note that none of the Gospels were contemporary with the purported career of Jesus and in the ensuing centuries, have been constantly rewritten to suit current political needs. Further, the mainstay of Evangelical Christians is the so-called ‘Book of Revelations’ purported to have been written by John the Devine, Jesus’ most intimate friend. This was certainly not written by someone living at the time of Jesus’ alleged ministry but over fifty years later. The actual author was one John of Patmos who was resident at the Roman lunatic colony located on the island of Patmos. This particular work is beloved of Evangelicals because it is so muddled, obscure and bizarre that any meaning can, and is, attributed to it.

I refer the reader to “Foundations of Christianity” by Karl Kautsky (a Jewish German early Communist and secretary to Engels)

The nationalistic Zionist movement does not have a great body of historical supportive material so, like the early Christians, they have simply invented it. These fictions include, but certainly are not limited to, “The Painted Bird” by Kosinski, (later admitted by its author to be an invented fraud before his suicide, ) and “Fragments” by “Binjimin Wilkomersky” ( A Swiss Protestant named Bruno Dossecker who was born in 1944) that is mostly copied from the Kosinski book and consists of ‘recovered memory,’ and of course the highly-propagandized favorite “Anne Frank Diary” which was proven, beyond a doubt, by the German BKA(Bundes Kriminal Amt, an official German forensic agency) as a forgery, made circa 1949 (ball point ink was used on paper made after 1948 and the handwriting completely different from the original Frank girl’s school papers still extant) All of these frauds have been, and still are, considered as seminal truths by the Holocaust supporters and the discovery of fakery loudly denied by them, and questioners accused of being ‘Nazis.’ This closely parallels the same anger expressed by the Evangelicals when their stories about the Rapture or the Battle of Armageddon are questioned by anyone. Here, doubters are accused of being ‘Satanists’ and ‘Secular Humanists.’

I refer the reader to “The Holocaust Industry” by Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish academic and the son of genuine survivors of the German Concentration Camp system.

When confronted with period and very authentic evidence that the death toll among Jewish prisoners never approached even a million, or that there were no gas chambers in use at any prison camp, the standard, and badly flawed counter argument is that while the accuracy of the period German documents is not in question, as everyone knows that 6 millions of Jews perished, therefore the names are on so-called ‘secret lists.’

When asked where a researcher could view these documents (the actual German SS records, complete, are located in the Russian Central Archives in Moscow) the ludicrous response is that because these lists are secret, no one has ever seen them! This rationale does not even bear comment.

The Christians have their Passion of the Christ, which may or may not have happened, (it was in direct opposition to Roman law which governed Judea at the time,) and the Jews have their long agony of the Holocaust, which is an elaborate and fictional construction based on fragmentary facts. A Jewish supporter, Deborah Lipstadt ( a well-known academic) has said repeatedly that the word holocaust must be capitalized and can only be used to discuss the enormous suffering of the Jewish people. The huge genocidal programs practiced by the Turks against Armenian Christians in 1916 and the even larger massacres by Pol Pot in Southeast Asia may never be likened to the absolutely unique Jewish suffering, according to current Zionist-Holocaust Jewish dogma.

Both stress the suffering and death of their icons, in the former case, the leader of their cult, which initially consisted entirely of very poor Jews, and in the second, an entire people. Both sides have enormous public relations machinery in place which is used constantly to promulgate both faiths and both are hysterically opposed to any questioning or debate on any aspects of their faith.

The issues of suffering, death and prosecution are both used to fortify their positions in society and render it difficult for anyone to attack them. These issues are also used to gain political power (for the Evangelicals) and money (for the Zionist-Holocausters)

Both of these groups seek a high moral ground from which to attack any questioning of their faith and because many of the adherents to both beliefs are aware that their houses are based on sand, fight fiercely lest a storm arise, beat upon both houses and thereby cause a great fall (to be Biblical in expression.)


California looks to set a $15 an hour mininum wage, raising the floor while others add ceilings

The plan would raise the wages of more than 5 million low-paid Californians — about 38 percent of the workforce.

March 28, 2016

by Lydia DePills

The Washington Post

On Monday, California lawmakers are preparing to announce a deal to raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour by 2022, becoming the first state to meet a target that over the past few years has gone from a pie-in-the-sky activist demand to the new baseline for big cities.

The agreement comes as a labor-backed initiative that could also have raised hourly wages qualified for the 2016 ballot. And it follows the lead of Los Angeles and San Francisco, which already had passed $15 minimum wages. Similar dynamics are at play in New York, Washington D.C., Washington state, and Oregon.

According to a quick analysis by the Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, the plan would raise the wages of more than 5 million low-paid Californians — about 38 percent of the workforce — by an average of $4,000 annually, paid for by what the group called “modest” price increases on consumers.

“These large and widespread pay raises will substantially reverse the past three decades of growing wage inequality among California’s low-paid workers,” says the Institute’s Michael Reich.

In most states in the U.S., however, the story is very different.

Instead of raising the floor for wages and working conditions, a growing number of states have been creating ceilings — preventing increasingly active cities and towns from going above the state level maximum. That’s happened a number of times with the minimum wage, most notably Alabama, which in February passed a measure to block Birmingham’s attempt at raising its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, over the state minimum of $7.25.

The tactic is similar to one being used in several states to “pre-empt” their localities from enacting stricter gun laws, and it’s being employed for other kinds of measures, too. Arizona’s legislature is in a war with its cities over whether they have the right to mandate that employers offer paid sick leave to their workers; the state Senate passed a bill denying state funds to any locality that does so. North Carolina just passed a law barring cities from passing their own ordinances against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Perhaps the most thorough example of pre-emption comes in Tennessee, which a few weeks ago finalized a law preventing localities from enforcing ordinances that require a certain number of local residents to be hired on public construction projects. Such requirements are common in cities across the country that wish to provide jobs for people in the neighborhoods most affected by new developments, and in 2015 Nashville’s voters had approved a measure setting a standard of 40 percent local hires on public contracts.

“It’s certainly among the most extreme in terms of the range of local measures that the state is willing to prohibit,” says Ben Beach, legal director of the Partnership for Working Families, a network of progressive groups that have frequently been stymied by state preemption laws. “Tennessee now has the dubious distinction of being the only state to outlaw cities when they want to spend their own money.”

Having done that, the legislature is now looking to torpedo another idea on which discussions had just started in Nashville: An “inclusionary zoning” ordinance that would require a percentage of new apartment buildings to be priced at below market rates, also common in urban areas where rents are rising quickly. Legislators backing the pre-emption measures say that allowing cities to pass their own standards is bad for business, and that the free market is a better way to create jobs and affordable housing.

But the free market hasn’t worked so well for low-income residents in many urban areas, say groups pushing for measures.

“All of these provisions, whether it’s local hire or inclusionary zoning, are all efforts designed to attack the issue of systemic poverty,” says Jason Freeman, an organizer with Nashville Organized for Action and Hope, a coalition of churches and community groups. “And slowly but surely, the state is taking away all the tools that we have to address the problem.”

State legislators who push laws preventing cities and towns from acting on their own often cite a desire to avoid a “patchwork” of regulations that businesses would find difficult to navigate. If lawmakers want to raise standards, the logic goes, they should do so on a statewide basis.

Having uniform labor laws, for example, would prevent businesses from fleeing one jurisdiction for another simply to avoid higher costs. The problem is, states like Alabama that smack down cities’ ability to raise their own minimum wages tend not to have the conversation about doing so statewide at all.

And if the trend continues, the divide between states like California that set floors for cities to rise above and those like Tennessee that set ceilings that everyone must stay below will continue to grow.


‘Billionaire’ tradesman may have used fake banking app to dupe lawyer

March 28, 2016

by Joshua Roberts

The Guardian

A Queensland tradesman who claimed to have a $2bn fortune when fronting court on drug charges could face prosecution for perverting the course of justice after reportedly using a fake banking app to dupe his lawyer.

A duty lawyer acting for Phillip Johnathan Harrison told Brisbane magistrates court he had shared police concerns about his client’s mental health until he logged into an online account showing the bricklayer and carpenter held $596m in cash and $1.56bn in other assets.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t have seen it with my own eyes but I logged on to Commonwealth Bank and it was there,” Nick Hanly told the court on Saturday.

But investigators have since alleged that Harrison used an app available online to simulate the bank’s internet portal and fabricate vast wealth, the Courier-Mail reported.

The Queensland Law Society president, Bill Potts, said this twist in the case, if proven, could give police scope to investigate whether Harrison had attempted to pervert the course of justice.

Harrison would rank on Australia’s rich list above a string of high-profile billionaires should the grandiose claims of his net worth be true. But a search of records shows that Harrison, who lives in a modest rented brick bungalow in Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast, owns no properties.

A search of a government register shows an active Australian business number entry in Harrison’s name and postcode, suggesting an annual income of less than $75,000 as a sole trader who is not registered for the goods and services tax.

The prospect of Harrison having access to hundreds of millions in cash prompted a police prosecutor, Sean Francis, to raise concerns about him being a flight risk, with the magistrate Anthony Gett ordering he surrender his passport before being granted bail.

Potts said Harrison’s lawyer had “acted faultlessly, taking instructions under difficult circumstances in the watchhouse from a person he had never met before”.

“Faced with a story that on its face seems farfetched, the lawyer made proper inquires and behaved ethically,” he said. “In criminal law, truth is often stranger than fiction.

“If it turns out the lawyer has been misled and has placed this material on the record on instruction and in his client’s presence, potentially the police may look at investigating whether Mr Harrison has in fact attempted to pervert the course of justice.”

Harrison told police he had been “set up by the government and was worth $12bn” when he was pulled over in an Audi and allegedly found with 12 grams of ice in Brisbane on Friday, Hanly told the court.

Harrison told the lawyer the government had given him the car, that he controlled Australia’s benchmark stock index the ASX 200 but he was “not at liberty to say” how he had come by his fortune.

“At this point I was considering getting mental health to come in and check [but] he said, ‘No, I won’t do that, I’ll show proof,’” Hanly said.

“So I allowed him to give his net banking details and I logged on to his account and it showed he had a cash balance of $596m and a property value of $1.56bn.”

Hanly said it was “one of the most bizarre cases I’ve ever come across”.

“I can’t say that what he’s saying in relation to the government is true, that certainly does read as something that needs a mental health assessment,” he said. “But all I can say is that when I was shown … and I must admit even standing here making this submission I find it difficult, that I saw it, but I saw it and wrote the figures down.

“It was certainly to a registered Commonwealth Bank account and website … given the user name and then user number and password, I ensured that it was the Commonwealth Bank website, I made sure it was the Commonwealth Bank net banking … beyond that I can’t say whether or not there’s been some glitch that has added $596m into his account.”

Outside court, Harrison accused his lawyer of being “delusional” as he had told him that he held only $1.2m in property, the rest of the $1.56bn being held in shares.

“My lawyer was delusional, I told him not to say it, duty solicitor not very good,” he told the ABC. “I just have to have a bit of a think about what the hell’s gone on here. A lot of wrong has been done here, that’s for sure.”

Harrison said he had made his money through “investments, my ideas in cars, apps trade, I sold them overseas, have been for years”.

His client faced a minimal chance of serving jail time on the drug offences, given he had indicated he was willing to plead guilty and his lack of relevant criminal history, Hanly told the court.

Harrison is due to appear again in Brisbane magistrates court on 18 April on charges including drug possession and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.







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