TBR News June 20, 2017

Jun 20 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2017:”The last time this planet had global warming, there were no coke-burning factories or cars being driven on goat paths to cause it. Once the planet got warm enough, there was a very sudden cold period that started glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. No one knows what caused all of this but “carbon emissions” had nothing to do with it. But now we are solemnly told that at least a dozen causes for warming exist and more claim that there is no rising sea level and no glacial ice melting. And there are many who believe the earth is flat and that Jesus is coming back very soon. And quite a few citizens in the United States voted for Hillary Clinton and yet others believe the Evil Russians cheated her out of the Oval Office. Soon, no doubt, we will be hearing about the adventures of the Giant Easter Bunny and Fanny the Frog.”

Table of Contents

  • Australia suspends air missions over Syria amid US-Russia tensions
  • How to Think About Vladimir Putin
  • After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?
  • Negative ad hits most expensive US House race ever also seen as ‘Trump referendum’
  • Anti-Muslim hate crime surges after Manchester and London Bridge attacks
  • Jeremy Corbyn Wants to Requisition Homes of the Rich for Fire Survivors — Like Churchill Did in WW2
  • Poll: Most Americans Aren’t Zionists
  • Stargate and Scientology
  • Deadly heat waves set to surge due to climate change
  • Opioid-related hospital visits up 99% in less than a decade, US data shows

Australia suspends air missions over Syria amid US-Russia tensions

Move follows Moscow’s warning coalition planes west of Euphrates will be a potential target after US shot down Syrian fighter jet

June 20, 2017

by Julian Borger

The Guardian

Australia has suspended air combat missions over Syria after Russia threatened that it would treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river as a potential target.

Russia said it was responding to US planes shooting down a Syrian air force jet on Sunday. The US said its planes had acted to defend US-backed forces seeking to capture Raqqa, the Islamic State (Isis) stronghold in north-east Syria.

“As a precautionary measure, Australian defence force strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” the Australian Department of Defence said on Tuesday.

Australia has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.

A spokesman for the Department of Defence told the ABC that the situation would be monitored and sorties over Iraq would continue. “Australian defence force personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course,” he said.

The UK Ministry of Defence said it would continue its operations against Isis as part of the US-led coalition in Syria.

Moscow’s warning on Monday to US-allied warplanes west of the Euphrates escalated the threat of a direct Russian-American confrontation in Syria, following the first US shooting down of a fighter jet belonging to the regime since the start of the civil war six years ago.

Russia stressed it would in future be tracking the coalition’s jets, not shooting them down, but added that “a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that poses a threat to Russian aircraft”.

Moscow’s foreign ministry said: “All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] of the international coalition, detected to the west of the Euphrates river will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets.”

The Russian foreign ministry also said it would respond to the attack by suspending its communications channel with US forces, which is designed to prevent collisions and dangerous incidents in Syrian airspace.

The top US general, Joseph Dunford, sought to play down the repercussions of the incident, insisting the hotline established eight months ago between US central command in Qatar and its Russian equivalent in Syria was still open and functioning.

The Russian military had threatened to close the hotline, known as the “deconfliction channel”, in April after the US president, Donald Trump, ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airbase allegedly involved in a chemical weapons attack.

The growing risk of a confrontation between the US and Russia follows Trump’s decision to grant his military chiefs untrammelled control of military strategy in Syria.

The deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, on Monday said the US strike “has to be seen as a continuation of America’s line to disregard the norms of international law”.

“What is this if not an act of aggression? It is, if you like, help to those terrorists that the US is fighting against, declaring they are carrying out an anti-terrorism policy,” he said.

The Pentagon insisted it was not seeking to escalate the conflict and had acted only after the Syrian jet in question had dropped bombs near US partner forces involved in the fight to wrest Raqqa from Isis control.

“We made every effort to warn those individuals not to come any closer and then the commander made a judgment that it was a threat to the forces that we are supporting and took action,” Dunford said.

Col John Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, said there were no US forces in the immediate vicinity but that the SDF was under threat for more than two hours.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters working alongside western special forces, said it would take action to defend itself from Syrian warplanes if attacks continued.

The tensions between Washington and Moscow over efforts to dislodge Isis from its Raqqa stronghold are a long way from Trump’s plan to work with Russia in Syria to defeat the terror group.

How to Think About Vladimir Putin

March 2017 • Volume 46, Number 3

by Christopher Caldwell Senior Editor,

The Weekly Standard

Vladimir Putin is a powerful ideological symbol and a highly effective ideological litmus test. He is a hero to populist conservatives around the world and anathema to progressives. I don’t want to compare him to our own president, but if you know enough about what a given American thinks of Putin, you can probably tell what he thinks of Donald Trump.

Let me stress at the outset that this is not going to be a talk about what to think about Putin, which is something you are all capable of making up your minds on, but rather how to think about him. And on this, there is one basic truth to remember, although it is often forgotten. Our globalist leaders may have deprecated sovereignty since the end of the Cold War, but that does not mean it has ceased for an instant to be the primary subject of politics.

Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled. His job has been to protect his country’s prerogatives and its sovereignty in an international system that seeks to erode sovereignty in general and views Russia’s sovereignty in particular as a threat.

By American standards, Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best. He has cracked down on peaceful demonstrations. Political opponents have been arrested and jailed throughout his rule. Some have even been murdered—Anna Politkovskaya, the crusading Chechnya correspondent shot in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006; Alexander Litvinenko, the spy poisoned with polonium-210 in London months later; the activist Boris Nemtsov, shot on a bridge in Moscow in early 2015. While the evidence connecting Putin’s own circle to the killings is circumstantial, it merits scrutiny.

Yet if we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the pre-eminent statesman of our time. On the world stage, who can vie with him? Only perhaps Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey.

When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that. In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he rescued a nation-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.

Why are American intellectuals such ideologues when they talk about the “international system”? Probably because American intellectuals devised that system, and because they assume there can never be legitimate historic reasons why a politician would arise in opposition to it. They denied such reasons for the rise of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. They do the same with Donald Trump. And they have done it with Putin. They assume he rose out of the KGB with the sole purpose of embodying an evil for our righteous leaders to stamp out.

Putin did not come out of nowhere. Russian people not only tolerate him, they revere him. You can get a better idea of why he has ruled for 17 years if you remember that, within a few years of Communism’s fall, average life expectancy in Russia had fallen below that of Bangladesh. That is an ignominy that falls on Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin’s reckless opportunism made him an indispensable foe of Communism in the late 1980s. But it made him an inadequate founding father for a modern state. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose writings about Communism give him some claim to be considered the greatest man of the twentieth century, believed the post-Communist leaders had made the country even worse. In the year 2000 Solzhenitsyn wrote: “As a result of the Yeltsin era, all the fundamental sectors of our political, economic, cultural, and moral life have been destroyed or looted. Will we continue looting and destroying Russia until nothing is left?” That was the year Putin came to power. He was the answer to Solzhenitsyn’s question.

There are two things Putin did that cemented the loyalty of Solzhenitsyn and other Russians—he restrained the billionaires who were looting the country, and he restored Russia’s standing abroad. Let us take them in turn.

Russia retains elements of a kleptocracy based on oligarchic control of natural resources. But we must remember that Putin inherited that kleptocracy. He did not found it. The transfer of Russia’s natural resources into the hands of KGB-connected Communists, who called themselves businessmen, was a tragic moment for Russia. It was also a shameful one for the West. Western political scientists provided the theft with ideological cover, presenting it as a “transition to capitalism.” Western corporations, including banks, provided the financing.

Let me stress the point. The oligarchs who turned Russia into an armed plutocracy within half a decade of the downfall in 1991 of Communism called themselves capitalists. But they were mostly men who had been groomed as the next generation of Communist nomenklatura­—people like Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. They were the people who understood the scope and nature of state assets, and they controlled the privatization programs. They had access to Western financing and they were willing to use violence and intimidation. So they took power just as they had planned to back when they were in Communist cadre school—but now as owners, not as bureaucrats. Since the state had owned everything under Communism, this was quite a payout. Yeltsin’s reign was built on these billionaires’ fortunes, and vice-versa.

Khodorkovsky has recently become a symbol of Putin’s misrule, because Putin jailed him for ten years. Khodorkovsky’s trial certainly didn’t meet Western standards. But Khodorkovsky’s was among the most obscene privatizations of all. In his recent biography of Putin, Steven Lee Myers, the former Moscow correspondent for the New York Times, calculates that Khodorkovsky and fellow investors paid $150 million in the 1990s for the main production unit of the oil company Yukos, which came to be valued at about $20 billion by 2004. In other words, they acquired a share of the essential commodity of Russia—its oil—for less than one percent of its value. Putin came to call these people “state-appointed billionaires.” He saw them as a conduit for looting Russia, and sought to restore to the country what had been stolen from it. He also saw that Russia needed to reclaim control of its vast reserves of oil and gas, on which much of Europe depended, because that was the only geopolitical lever it had left.

The other thing Putin did was restore the country’s position abroad. He arrived in power a decade after his country had suffered a Vietnam-like defeat in Afghanistan. Following that defeat, it had failed to halt a bloody Islamist uprising in Chechnya. And worst of all, it had been humiliated by the United States and NATO in the Serbian war of 1999, when the Clinton administration backed a nationalist and Islamist independence movement in Kosovo. This was the last war in which the United States would fight on the same side as Osama Bin Laden, and the U.S. used the opportunity to show Russia its lowly place in the international order, treating it as a nuisance and an afterthought. Putin became president a half a year after Yeltsin was maneuvered into allowing the dismemberment of Russia’s ally, Serbia, and as he entered office Putin said: “We will not tolerate any humiliation to the national pride of Russians, or any threat to the integrity of the country.”

The degradation of Russia’s position represented by the Serbian War is what Putin was alluding to when he famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” This statement is often misunderstood or mischaracterized: he did not mean by it any desire to return to Communism. But when Putin said he’d restore Russia’s strength, he meant it. He beat back the military advance of Islamist armies in Chechnya and Dagestan, and he took a hard line on terrorism—including a decision not to negotiate with hostage-takers, even in secret.

One theme runs through Russian foreign policy, and has for much of its history. There is no country, with the exception of Israel, that has a more dangerous frontier with the Islamic world. You would think that this would be the primary lens through which to view Russian conduct—a good place for the West to begin in trying to explain Russian behavior that, at first glance, does not have an obvious rationale. Yet agitation against Putin in the West has not focused on that at all. It has not focused on Russia’s intervention against ISIS in the war in Syria, or even on Russia’s harboring Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker of U.S. intelligence secrets.

The two episodes of concerted outrage about Putin among Western progressives have both involved issues trivial to the world, but vital to the world of progressivism. The first came in 2014, when the Winter Olympics, which were to be held in Sochi, presented an opportunity to damage Russia economically. Most world leaders attended the games happily, from Mark Rutte (Netherlands) and Enrico Letta (Italy) to Xi Jinping (China) and Shinzo Abe (Japan). But three leaders—David Cameron of Britain, François Hollande of France, and Barack Obama of the United States—sent progressives in their respective countries into a frenzy over a short list of domestic causes. First, there was the jailed oil tycoon, Khodorkovsky; Putin released him before the Olympics began. Second, there were the young women who called themselves Pussy Riot, performance artists who were jailed for violating Russia’s blasphemy laws when they disrupted a religious service with obscene chants about God (translations were almost never shown on Western television); Putin also released them prior to the Olympics. Third, there was Russia’s Article 6.21, which was oddly described in the American press as a law against “so-called gay propaganda.” A more accurate translation of what the law forbids is promoting “non-traditional sexual relations to children.” Now, some Americans might wish that Russia took religion or homosexuality less seriously and still be struck by the fact that these are very local issues. There is something unbalanced about turning them into diplomatic incidents and issuing all kinds of threats because of them.

The second campaign against Putin has been the attempt by the outgoing Obama administration to cast doubt on the legitimacy of last November’s presidential election by implying that the Russian government somehow “hacked” it. This is an extraordinary episode in the history of manufacturing opinion. I certainly will not claim any independent expertise in cyber-espionage. But anyone who has read the public documentation on which the claims rest will find only speculation, arguments from authority, and attempts to make repetition do the work of logic.

In mid-December, the New York Times ran an article entitled “How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election.” Most of the assertions in the piece came from unnamed administration sources and employees of CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the Democrats to investigate a hacked computer at the Democratic National Committee. They quote those who served on the DNC’s secret anti-hacking committee, including the party chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the party lawyer, Michael Sussmann. Then a National Intelligence Council report that the government released in January showed the heart of the case: more than half of the report was devoted to complaints about the bias of RT, the Russian government’s international television network.

Again, we do not know what the intelligence agencies know. But there is no publicly available evidence to justify Arizona Senator John McCain’s calling what the Russians did “an act of war.” If there were, the discussion of the evidence would have continued into the Trump administration, rather than simply evaporating once it ceased to be useful as a political tool.

There were two other imaginary Putin scandals that proved to be nothing. In November, the Washington Post ran a blacklist of news organizations that had published “fake news” in the service of Putin, but the list turned out to have been compiled largely by a fly-by-night political activist group called PropOrNot, which had placed certain outlets on the list only because their views coincided with those of RT on given issues. Then in December, the Obama administration claimed to have found Russian computer code it melodramatically called “Grizzly Steppe” in the Vermont electrical grid. This made front-page headlines. But it was a mistake. The so-called Russian code could be bought commercially, and it was found, according to one journalist, “in a single laptop that was not connected to the electric grid.”

Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to discredit Putin. Why? There really is such a thing as a Zeitgeist or spirit of the times. A given issue will become a passion for all mankind, and certain men will stand as symbols of it. Half a century ago, for instance, the Zeitgeist was about colonial liberation. Think of Martin Luther King, traveling to Norway to collect his Nobel Peace Prize, stopping on the way in London to give a talk about South African apartheid. What did that have to do with him? Practically: Nothing. Symbolically: Everything. It was an opportunity to talk about the moral question of the day.

We have a different Zeitgeist today. Today it is sovereignty and self-determination that are driving passions in the West. The reason for this has a great deal to do with the way the Cold War conflict between the United States and Russia ended. In the 1980s, the two countries were great powers, yes; but at the same time they were constrained. The alliances they led were fractious. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, their fates diverged. The United States was offered the chance to lay out the rules of the world system, and accepted the offer with a vengeance. Russia was offered the role of submitting to that system.

Just how irreconcilable those roles are is seen in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine two years ago. According to the official United States account, Russia invaded its neighbor after a glorious revolution threw out a plutocracy. Russia then annexed Ukrainian naval bases in the Crimea. According to the Russian view, Ukraine’s democratically elected government was overthrown by an armed uprising backed by the United States. To prevent a hostile NATO from establishing its own naval base in the Black Sea, by this account, Russia had to take Crimea, which in any case is historically Russian territory. Both of these accounts are perfectly correct. It is just that one word can mean something different to Americans than it does to Russians. For instance, we say the Russians don’t believe in democracy. But as the great journalist and historian Walter Laqueur put it, “Most Russians have come to believe that democracy is what happened in their country between 1990 and 2000, and they do not want any more of it.”

The point with which I would like to conclude is this: we will get nowhere if we assume that Putin sees the world as we do. One of the more independent thinkers about Russia in Washington, D.C., is the Reaganite California congressman Dana Rohrabacher. I recall seeing him scolded at a dinner in Washington a few years ago. A fellow guest told him he should be ashamed, because Reagan would have idealistically stood up to Putin on human rights. Rohrabacher disagreed. Reagan’s gift  as a foreign policy thinker, he said, was not his idealism. It was his ability to set priorities, to see what constituted the biggest threat. Today’s biggest threat to the U.S. isn’t Vladimir Putin.

So why are people thinking about Putin as much as they do? Because he has become a symbol of national self-determination. Populist conservatives see him the way progressives once saw Fidel Castro, as the one person who says he won’t submit to the world that surrounds him. You didn’t have to be a Communist to appreciate the way Castro, whatever his excesses, was carving out a space of autonomy for his country.

In the same way, Putin’s conduct is bound to win sympathy even from some of Russia’s enemies, the ones who feel the international system is not delivering for them. Generally, if you like that system, you will consider Vladimir Putin a menace. If you don’t like it, you will have some sympathy for him. Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism. That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that’s true even here.

After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

June 20, 2017

by Patrick J. Buchanan


Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war.

Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.

Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt:

“Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

An ABC report appears to back up Moscow’s claims:

“Over the last four weeks, the U.S. has conducted three air strikes on pro-regime forces backed by Iran that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of Tanf in southwestern Syria, where there is a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS.”

Russia has now declared an end to cooperation to prevent air clashes over Syria and asserted an intent to track and target aerial intruders in its area of operations west of the Euphrates.

Such targets would be U.S. planes and surveillance drones.

If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.-Russian collision in Syria.

Sunday’s shoot-down of a hostile aircraft was the first by U.S. planes in this conflict. It follows President Trump’s launch of scores of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in April. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.

We are getting ever deeper into this six-year sectarian and civil war. And what we may be witnessing now are the opening shots of its next phase — the battle for control of the territory and population liberated by the fall of Raqqa and the death of the ISIS “caliphate.”

The army of President Bashar Assad seeks to recapture as much lost territory as possible and they have the backing of Russia, Iranian troops, Shiite militia from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hezbollah.

Assad’s and his allied forces opposing ISIS are now colliding with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces opposing ISIS, which consist of Arab rebels and the Syrian Kurds of the PYD.

But if America has decided to use its air power to shoot down Syrian planes attacking rebels we support, this could lead to a confrontation with Russia and a broader, more dangerous, and deadly war for the United States.

How would we win such a war, without massive intervention?

Is this where we are headed? Is this where we want to go?

For, again, Congress has never authorized such a war, and there seems to be no vital U.S. interest involved in who controls Raqqa and neighboring lands, as long as ISIS is expelled. During the campaign, Trump even spoke of U.S.-Russian cooperation to kill ISIS.

While in Saudi Arabia, however, he seemed to sign on to what is being hyped as an “Arab NATO,” where the U.S. accepts Riyadh as the principal ally and leader of the Gulf Arabs in the regional struggle for hegemony with Shiite Iran.

Following that Trump trip, the Saudis — backed by Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain — sealed their border with Qatar, which maintains ties to Iran. And though Qatar is also host to the largest U.S. air base in the region, al-Udeid, Trump gave the impression its isolation was his idea.

President Trump and his country seem to be at a decision point.

If, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, we are going to use U.S. power and leverage to solidify the position of Syrian rebels and Kurds, at the expense of Damascus, we could find ourselves in a collision with Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran and even Turkey.

For Turkish President Erdogan looks on our Kurdish allies in Syria as Kurdish allies of the terrorist PKK inside his own country.

During the campaign, candidate Trump won support by pledging to work with Russia to defeat our common enemy. But if, after ISIS is gone from Syria, we decide it is in our interests to confront Assad, we are going to find ourselves in a regional confrontation.

In Iraq, the U.S. and Iran have a common foe, ISIS, and a common ally, the government in Baghdad. In Syria, we have a common foe, ISIS. But our allies are opposed by Assad, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

The question before us: After Raqqa and Mosul fall and the caliphate disappears, who inherits the ISIS estate?

The U.S. needs now to delineate the lines of advance for Syria’s Kurds, and to talk to the Russians, Syrians and Iranians.

We cannot allow our friends in the Middle East and Persian Gulf to play our hand for us, for it is all too often in their interests to have us come fight their wars, which are not necessarily our wars.

Negative ad hits most expensive US House race ever also seen as ‘Trump referendum’

June 20, 2017


A surprisingly close race to fill a US House seat in Georgia has the candidates burning the midnight oil. Tens of millions of dollars have fueled the fierce special election campaigns, making this the priciest congressional run in history.

Voters in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which encompasses the suburbs north of Atlanta, take to the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill a vacant US House seat. It had been held by Republican Tom Price, who resigned upon being appointed by President Donald Trump to be the US health and human services secretary this year.

The candidates, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, finished in the top two spots in a previous special election where none of the four Democrats, 11 Republicans or two Independents won 50 percent. Ossoff nearly won, however, with 48.6 percent in the April election.

The district has been controlled by Republicans since 1979, but the run-off election is neck-and-neck. Republicans and Democrats both see the special election as an indicator of where Trump’s administration stands and where it may be heading in the future.

Ossoff, 30, a political newcomer, originally drew national attention to his campaign with the anti-Trump slogan, “Make Trump Furious.” Ossoff and his supporters hope to “flip the 6th,” which they would see as a changing tide in the Democrats’ favor.

“Democrats know the importance of flipping a historically red district, so their thought process is: ‘If they can flip Georgia 6, they can flip anything,’” said Ryan Bakker, an associate professor of political science at the University of Georgia, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance watchdog in Washington, DC. Bakker added that winning the district would give Democrats a boost in the 2018 elections.

Handel, 55, who was Georgia’s secretary of state from 2007 to 2010, has depicted herself as an experienced politician with 25 years of helping her district. Several leaders of the Republican Party have thrown their support behind Handel, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and President Trump.

On Monday, Trump tweeted about the special election several times, saying Ossoff “wants to raise taxes and kill health care” and Democrats want to “stop tax cuts, good healthcare and Border Security” and “raise taxes big!” The president urged Republicans to “Vote ‘R’” on Tuesday.

Trump won the district by 1.5 points in the November election, but his approval ratings in the area have since dwindled, giving Democrats hope that they can flip the district.

On Friday, a WSB poll of 800 likely voters found Ossoff leading Handel 49.7 percent to 48 percent.

The poll also shows 91 percent of Ossoff voters have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, while 78 percent of Handel voters have a favorable opinion.

Both parties have spent more than $56 million on the special election, making it the most expensive congressional race in US history, easily surpassing the 2012 election in Florida’s 18th, which cost $29.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Both candidates have attacked one another during the campaign, but have come together to condemn an ad from a little-known group called the Principled PAC. The ad connects Ossoff to the recent shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) and claims that the “unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”

“When will it stop?” a narrator asks over images of Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher and the sounds of gunshots. “It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”

A spokeswoman for Handel condemned the ad, saying it was “disturbing and disgusting,” according to a statement obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, the Journal notes that Handel did not ask for the ad to be removed.

“The man is fighting for his life,” Ossoff said, according to the Journal. “I think it’s disgraceful to politicize it, and I think Secretary Handel should call for it to come down.”

Anti-Muslim hate crime surges after Manchester and London Bridge attacks

Police record fivefold rise in Islamophobic attacks after arena bombing, with spike in London before Finsbury Park attack

June 20, 2017

by Alan Travis

The Guardian

Police in Manchester and London registered surges in anti-Muslim hate crime in the immediate aftermaths of the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack.

The number of Islamophobic attacks in Manchester went up fivefold in the week after the concert bombing, with 139 incidents reported to Tell Mama, the group recording Islamophobic crimes, compared to 25 incidents the previous week.

Police chiefs said there had also been a short-term spike in London before this week’s Finsbury Park mosque attack – although precise data is not yet available.

Police forces around the country have stepped up protection for Muslim communities in the wake of the Finsbury Park attack, with the home secretary, Amber Rudd, pledging that the extra resource will remain in place “for as long as it is needed”.

In one case, Naveed Yasin, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon who helped save the lives of people injured in the Manchester attack, was racially abused and labelled a “terrorist” on his way to work at Salford Royal hospital. Other incidents around the country included one involving a woman from Southampton whose veil was ripped from her head, and another involving a man struck with a glass bottle.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said both Manchester and the Met police had registered short-term spikes in hate crime. In Manchester, the volume had since returned to the levels seen before the bombing, but the picture in London is still unclear.

“We know that terrorist attacks and other national and global events have the potential to trigger short-term spikes of hate crime,” said Hamilton in a statement before the Finsbury Park attack. “For this reason we have increased the central reporting of hate crimes for police forces so that we can identify trends and assess threats.”

The NPCC are now collecting and monitoring weekly figures of hate crime levels from forces across England and Wales, as they did last summer in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

Rudd has said indicative figures suggest that more than half of those who experience hate because of their religion are Muslim. The limited data available appears to suggest an ever rising level of Islamophobic attacks.

The Met police say the volume of hate crime they record as Islamophobic attacks has increased sharply in the last four years. The force recorded 343 incidents in the 12 months to March 2013, 1,109 in the 12 months to March 2016 and 1,260 in the 12 months to this March.

The Met pointed out that the Finsbury Park attack was not the first act of terrorism against Muslim communities. In 2013 a Ukrainian neo-Nazi, Pavlo Lapshyn, murdered 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem and tried to bomb several West Midlands mosques in the hope of instigating a “race war”. A year later, a neo-Nazi named Ian Forman was jailed for 10 years after plotting to bomb mosques in Merseyside.

The far-right leader Tommy Robinson has been accused of trying to exploit the Finsbury Park attack by referring to it as “a revenge attack”.

There is growing evidence of a rising trend in far-right activity in Britain. A quarter of all referrals to the counter-extremism programme Prevent now involve concerns about individuals involved in far-right groups. The number of far-right extremist suspects referred to the Channel de-radicalisation element of Prevent has more than trebled, from 172 in 2012-13 to 561 in 2015-16.

Last December, National Action became the first far-right extremist group to be banned by the home secretary under counter-terrorist proscription legislation.

The latest Home Office figures for terror-related arrests showed that 113 white people were arrested in the 12 months to March 2017, compared with 68 the previous year – an increase of 66%. The Home Office statistics make no distinction between those involved in far-right groups or white Muslim converts.

The figures show 16% of terror-related arrests were for “domestic terrorism” as opposed to “international terrorism”, as Isis-related attacks are described.

Jeremy Corbyn Wants to Requisition Homes of the Rich for Fire Survivors — Like Churchill Did in WW2

June 20 2017

by Zaid Jilani

The Intercept

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has a bold proposal to house the survivors of a devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower apartment complex in empty luxury homes.

YouGov polling found that Corbyn’s idea is popular among the British public, with 59 percent supporting it. Yet there has been a harsh backlash from the U.K.’s right-wing government and press, which equated his plan with a Marxist plot. “Suggesting requisitioning empty properties when empty student accommodation is available locally is completely in line with his Marxist belief that all private property should belong to the state,” Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said.

But Corbyn’s plan has historical roots not in Marxist literature or state-run economies, but in his country’s own past.

During the Second World War, Great Britain faced one of the most powerful war machines in human history in a conflict with Nazi Germany. Its government responded by asking all of its citizens to contribute to the war effort in different ways.

For some, this included giving up their property. To help bear the brunt of the Nazi war machine, the British government requisitioned both industrial and residential properties to accommodate soldiers and evacuees, run makeshift schools and hospitals, and train the military, among other uses. As the U.K.’s National Archives website notes, “14.5 million acres of land, 25 million square feet of industrial and storage premises and 113,350 non-industrial premises were requisitioned during the Second World War. The War Office alone requisitioned 580,847 acres between 1939 and 1946.”

Architectural historian John Martin Robinson documented much of this requisition process in his book “Requisitioned: The British Country House in the Second World War,” which looked at how large country estates were used to house military personnel and evacuees, the latter mostly being children. Some of the properties that ended up being used to house soldiers or civilians were among the grandest in the country — they included castles, palaces, and abbeys owned by some of the country’s richest citizens.

Residents of one of these large homes requisitioned for the war effort, Spetchley House, are interviewed in the documentary “Stately Homes at War.” The house was originally planned to be a fallback shelter for Prime Minister Winston Churchill in case of a German invasion, but ended up being used as a place for recuperation for American Air Force pilots. The two residents of Spetchley House interviewed were just children at the time, but they understood housing the American soldiers as a patriotic duty.

“There’s no question that those young men did go to hell and back,” Juliet Berkeley, who was just 9 years old when the war began, said of housing the American soldiers.

And there can be no question that the residents of Grenfell Tower have been through hell as well. All Corbyn is asking is that the the United Kingdom show the same compassion and patriotism as its forefathers.

Poll: Most Americans Aren’t Zionists

But Democratic and Republican Party Platforms Are

June 20, 2017

by Grant Smith


An unprecedented poll reveals the gaping void between American identification with Israel and the official positions taken by both major political parties.

A majority of American adults – 70.3 percent – do not consider themselves Zionists when defined as “A Zionist is a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.” Only 24.9 percent say, “I consider myself a Zionist” while 4.8% provided other responses.

The IRmep poll was fielded by Google Consumer Surveys June 15-18 to a representative sample of 1,030 American adult Internet users.

In contrast to their constituents, members of both major US political parties have long operated under overwhelmingly Zionist party platforms. The 2016 Democratic party platform references Israel 9 times. Republican party platform 19. They differ little on the key issues

Other recent polling reveals the enormous divide between the views of Americans and the actions taken by their members of Congress. Americans are strongly opposed to massive, disproportionate, unconditional US foreign aid to Israel. They want Congress to consider Israel’s status as the region’s sole nuclear power. They would renegotiate or cancel the lopsided 1985 trade deal. They oppose relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, as well as the policy of “no-daylight” US coordination with Israel.

Yet most members of Congress strongly support these initiatives, including recent formal condemnations of the United Nations as inherently “anti-Israel” and ongoing attempts to outlaw grassroots boycotts of Israel over its endemic human rights abuses.

What maintains the immense void between the views of most Americans and their elected representatives? The Israel lobby.

Zionism completely took over what were formerly Jewish social welfare organizations during the years leading up to WWII. Since the 1960s, representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which channels the combined political might of hundreds of establishment pro-Israel organizations, has been involved in drafting platform planks for both parties.

The Israel lobby’s nonprofit arm alone employed 14,000 and claimed 350,000 volunteers in 2012. Though not financially relevant, 80 million Christian evangelicals provide a nationwide multiplier at the voting booth, the result of decades of intense Israel lobby cultivation. This is critical to the Israel lobby since according to Pew research, 82% of Jewish Americans do not belong to Jewish organizations, 70% are only somewhat or “not at all” attached to Israel, while 44% think settlement building is a bad idea. This suggests that Jewish supporters involved in the Israel lobby number only around 774,000, a population about the size of Fort Worth or Charlotte, and far from the monolith that major organizations in the lobby attempt to portray.

Many prospective candidates for national office must present position papers on Israel to regional AIPAC officials before being allowed to tap a national network of single issue pro-Israel donors for the seed-funding necessary to launch political campaigns. Any subsequent divergence from an essentially Zionist narrative or voting record can result in loss of this financial support, primary challenges and ousting from office.

This entire system, underpinned by an opaque influence network channeling millions of coordinated single-issue campaign contributions, is strongly opposed by most Americans (71%). Although there is seemingly little they can do about it, organization based on awareness, coupled with demands for overdue law enforcement and private lawsuits, could be the answer.

It is a testament to the lobby’s harmful propaganda campaigns that in 2014, as it battled the Iran nuclear deal, most Americans believed Iran already possessed nuclear weapons. A plurality of Americans – in contrast to much of the world – believe Palestinians occupy Israeli land and not the reverse.

Would Washington policymaking be so unreservedly Zionist if the Israel lobby did not dominate national elections? A recent California Democratic state party resolution suggests it would not. Passed through serious grassroots policy-setting that transcended Israel lobby roadblocks, the resolution covers issues opposed or unmentioned in the national two-party system. Respect for international law and human rights. Working through the UN. Challenging the Israel lobby’s toxic conflation of warranted campus protests and anti-Semitism.

However, national policymaking is only likely to improve to the degree that Zionism itself is legally challenged in the US as robustly as other past waves of foreign ideologies that were seed-funded and spread from abroad. Americans support this. When advised that the US once tried to enforce the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act over Israeli government-influenced public opinion and coordinated lobbying campaigns within the US, 66% of Americans favored a return to the days of challenging the lobby through the legal system.

The Zionist movement – acting through AIPAC – now appears committed to pushing the US into future military confrontations with Iran and Russia, further embroiling the US in other Middle East conflicts that serve no American interest, overturning the JCPOA, and building Israel up for military adventures. Whether Americans can “de-Zionize” Congress and government agencies to a level proportionate with their own identity is a question that could well determine the survival of the country.

Stargate and Scientology

Or how the inmates got to run the asylum and get very rich doing so.

June 20, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), is a American technology applications company headquartered in the United States and who works for a number of U.S. federal, state, and private sector clients. It works extensively with the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the American domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, as well as other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets.From 2001 to 2005, SAIC was the primary contractor for the FBI’s unsuccessful Virtual Case File project. SAIC relocated its corporate headquarters to their existing facilities in Tysons Corner in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near McLean, in September 2009. As part of its outsourcing solution, SAIC has development centers in Noida and Bangalore, India. Scicom Technologies Noida was acquired by SAIC in September 2007.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) transitioned a Remote Viewing Program to SAIC in 1991 and it was renamed Stargate Project. STARGATE was one of a number of “remote viewing programs” conducted under a variety of code names, including SUN STREAK, GRILL FLAME, and CENTER LANE by DIA and INSCOM, and SCANATE by the eccentrics at the CIA. These efforts were initiated to assess foreign programs in the field; contract for basic research into the phenomenon; and to evaluate controlled remote viewing as an intelligence tool.

The program consisted of two separate activities. An operational unit employed remote viewers to train and perform remote viewing intelligence-gathering. The research program was maintained separately from the operational unit.

This effort was initiated in response to CIA concerns about highly unreliable reports of Soviet investigations of ‘psychic phenomena.’ Between 1969 and 1971, US intelligence sources erroneously concluded that the Soviet Union was engaged in “psychotronic” research. By 1970, it was suggested that the Soviets were spending approximately 60 million rubles per year on it, and over 300 million by 1975. The money and personnel devoted to Soviet psychotronics suggested that they had achieved breakthroughs, even though the matter was considered speculative, controversial and “fringy.” Using a declared, but fictional ‘Soviet threat,’ the CIA and other agencies have successfully deluded Congress, and often the White House, into heavily funding project that the agencies consider to be ‘cash cows.’

The initial research program, called SCANATE [scan by coordinate] was funded by CIA beginning in 1970. Remote viewing research began in 1972 at the Stanford Research Institute [SRI] in Menlo Park, CA. This work was conducted by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, once with the NSA and a later-identified Scientologist. The effort initially focused on a few “gifted individuals” such as the very eccentric Ingo Swann, an OT Level VII Scientologist. Many of the SRI “empaths” were from the Church of Scientology. Individuals who appeared to show potential were trained and taught to use talents for “psychic warfare.” The minimum accuracy needed by the clients was said to be 65%, and proponents claim that in the later stages of the training effort, this accuracy level was “often consistently exceeded.”

Ingo Swann born in 1933 in Telluride, Colorado, has been heavily involved with the bizarre Scientology movement from its onset and is best known for his work as a co-creator (according to his frequent collaborators Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff) of what has been called ‘remote viewing,’ specifically the Stargate Project.

Swann has described himself as a “consciousness researcher” who had sometimes experienced “altered states of consciousness.” In other words, Swann actually believed that “special” individuala can leave their body and travel through space..

Swann helped develop the process of remote viewing at the Stanford Research Institute in experiments that caught the attention of the Central Intelligence Agency. He proposed the idea of Coordinate Remote Viewing, a process in which ‘remote viewers’ would see a location given nothing but its geographical coordinates,. This bizarre project, was developed and tested by Puthoff and Targ with CIA funding.. Details and transcripts of the SRI remote viewing experiments themselves were found to be edited and even unobtainable.

A Dr. Silfen and Swann prepared an unofficial report of later out-of-body experiments and circulated it to 500 members of the ASPR, before the ASPR board was aware of it. According to Swann, Dr. Silfen has ‘disappeared’  (or like so many other Scientology stories, never existed) and ‘cannot be located.’ Swann claimed he searched diligently for her and begged help from all his Scientology friends. According to Swann, in April 1972 a move was made at the ASPR in New York to discredit him and throw him out because he was a scientologist

GONDOLA WISH was a 1977 Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) Systems Exploitation Detachment (SED) effort to evaluate potential adversary applications of remote viewing.

Building on GONDOLA WISH, an operational collection project was formalized under Army intelligence as GRILL FLAME in mid-1978. Located in buildings 2560 and 2561 at Fort Meade, MD, GRILL FLAME, (INSCOM “Detachment G”) consisted of soldiers and a few civilians who were believed to possess varying degrees of natural psychic ability. The SRI research program was integrated into GRILL FLAME in early 1979, and hundreds of remote viewing experiments were carried out at SRI through 1986.

In 1983 the program was re-designated the INSCOM CENTER LANE Project (ICLP). Ingo Swann and Harold Puthoff at SRI developed a set of instructions which theoretically allowed anyone to be trained to produce accurate, detailed target data. used this new collection methodology against a wide range of operational and training targets. The existence of this highly classified program was reported by columnist Jack Anderson in April 1984.

In 1984 the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council evaluated the remote viewing program for the Army Research Institute. The results were unfavorable.

When Army funding ended in late 1985, the unit was redesignated SUN STREAK and transferred to DIA’s Scientific and Technical Intelligence Directorate, with the office code DT-S.

Under the auspices of the DIA, the program transitioned to Science Applications International Corporation [SAIC] in 1991 and was renamed STAR GATE. The project, changed from a SAP (Special Access Program) to a LIMDIS (limited dissemination) program, continued with the participation of Edwin May, who presided over 70% of the total contractor budget and 85% of the program’s data collection.

Over a period of more than two decades some $20 million were spent on STAR GATE and related activities, with $11 million budgeted from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990s. Over forty personnel served in the program at various times, including about 23 remote viewers. At its peak during the mid-1980s the program included as many as seven full-time viewers and as many analytical and support personnel. Three psychics were reportedly worked at FT Meade for the CIA from 1990 through July 1995. The psychics were made available to other government agencies which requested their services.

Participants who apparently demonstrated psychic abilities used at least three different techniques various times:

  • Coordinate Remote Viewing (CRV) – the original SRI-developed technique in which viewers were asked what they “saw” at specified geographic coordinates
  • Extended Remote Viewing (ERV) – a hybrid relaxation/meditative-based method
  • Written Remote Viewing (WRV) – a hybrid of both channeling and automatic writing was introduced in 1988, though it proved controversial and was regarded by some as much less reliable.

By 1995 the program had conducted several hundred intelligence collection projects involving thousands of remote viewing sessions. Notable successes were said to be “eight martini” results, so-called because the remote viewing data were so mind-boggling that everyone has to go out and drink eight martinis to recover. It is now believed that they drank the martinis before the sessions.

Reported intelligence gathering failures include:

  • Joe McMoneagle, a retired Special Project Intelligence Officer for SSPD, SSD, and 902d MI Group, claims to have left Stargate in 1984 with a Legion of Merit Award for providing information on 150 targets that were unavailable from other sources. There is no support for the Legion of Merit story and less on the so-called ‘150 targets.’
  • One assignment included locating kidnapped BG James L. Dozier, who had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades in Italy in 1981. He was freed by Italian police after 42 days, without help from the psychics. [according to news reports, Italian police were assisted by “US State and Defense Department specialists” using electronic surveillance equipment, an apparent reference to the Special Collection Service]
  • Another assignment included trying to hunt down Gadhafi before the 1986 bombing of Libya, but Gadhafi was not injured in the bombing. One remote viewer said that the Libyan dictator was in Morocco but he was not. The “target” supplied by another government ‘remote viewer’ was a hospital.
  • In January 1989 DOD asked the SAIC project about Libyan chemical weapons work. A remote viewer reported that ship named either Patua or Potua would sail from Tripoli to transport chemicals to an eastern Libyan port. Subsequent investigation by legitimate agencies disclosed that there was no such ship registered under any flag and that no chemicals has been transported to an eastern Libyan port.
  • During the Gulf War remote-viewers suggested the whereabouts of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, but their information was not accurate and, at best, “confused” and “an obvious attempt to please” the DoD officials.
  • The unit was tasked to find plutonium in North Korea in 1994, but the results were “totally incorrect” and “worthless.”
  • During the US attack on Belgrade, a remote viewer “positively identified” the Chinese Embassy as an ‘important Serbian military headquarters.’ The U.S.immediately attacked it with serious diplomatic repercussions.
  • Remote viewers also vainly attempted to find SCUD missiles and secret biological and chemical warfare projects, and tunnels and extensive underground facilities in Iraq as the justifying evidence for an invasion. None of this material “had the slightest worth” and was “completely delusional.”

The US ‘STARGATE” program was sustained through the support of Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., and Rep. Charles Rose, D-N.C., who were convinced of the program’s effectiveness. However, by the early 1990s the program was plagued by uneven and “often bizarre” management, poor unit morale, divisiveness within the organization, poor performance, and few, if any results that could be considered accurate.

The FY 1995 Defense Appropriations bill directed that the program be transferred to CIA, with CIA instructed to conduct a retrospective review of the program. In 1995 the American Institutes for Research (AIR) was contracted by CIA to evaluate the program. Their 29 September 1995 final report was released to the public 28 November 1995. It was highly negative in nature. The final recommendation by AIR was to terminate the STARGATE effort. CIA concluded that there was not a single case in which ESP had provided data used to guide intelligence operations.

In June 2001 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) paid SAIC $122 million to create a Virtual Case File (VCF) software system to speed up the sharing of information among agents. But the FBI abandoned VCF when it failed to function adequately. Robert Mueller, FBI Director, testified to a congressional committee, “When SAIC delivered the first product in December 2003 we immediately identified a number of deficiencies – 17 at the outset. That soon cascaded to 50 or more and ultimately to 400 problems with that software … We were indeed disappointed.”

Deadly heat waves set to surge due to climate change

Killer heat due to global warming means much of the planet faces rising fatalities, a study shows. By 2100, almost half of people on the planet will be at risk of heat-related illness or death – even if emissions fall.

June 20, 2017

by Melanie Hall


As large swathes of the southwestern United States currently swelter in blistering temperatures, scientists are warning in a new study that thanks to climate change, heat waves like these will only get worse – putting more lives at risk.

With the mercury hitting 47 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii said that in the future, “the United States is going to be an oven.”

Climate change will sharply increase the frequency of lethal heat waves across the world, according to the study published this week in the journal “Nature Climate Change.”

Currently, nearly a third of the planet’s population is already exposed to deadly temperatures. The risk of falling ill or even dying from extreme heat is set to surge such that by the end of this century, it’s estimated almost half of people across the globe will suffer periods of dangerous heat – even if emissions are drastically reduced.

By 2100, the proportion of people at risk worldwide will grow to 48 percent in a scenario where greenhouse gases fall significantly. If emissions aren’t curbed, the proportion of the global population under threat will soar to around three-quarters.

The overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with nearly one in three people globally now experiencing 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels.

“We found that killer heat waves around the world are becoming more common – and that this trend already seems unavoidable,” said Mora, lead author of the study.

“The empirical data suggest it’s getting much worse.”

Little warming needed for tropics to turn ‘deadly’

The study analyzed 1,949 lethal heat waves from around the world since 1980, with heat and humidity during such deadly episodes enabling researchers to calculate the point at which conditions can become fatal.

The team created computer simulations to determine how much more frequent heat waves will become under different carbon dioxide pollution scenarios.

It showed that in the future, the tropics will be hit hardest – regions including Sri Lanka and southern India, most of West Africa, and northern Australia will face more than 300 potentially lethal heat wave days each year under the planet’s current business-as-usual emissions trajectory.

According to Mora, “with high temperatures and humidity, it takes very little warming for conditions to turn deadly in the tropics.”

Like sunburn ‘but inside the body’

Mora said the threshold for deadly conditions varies from place to place, with some people dying in temperatures as low as 23 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels combining with the heat is the crucial factor, explained Mora, as high humidity reduces the human body’s ability to cool via perspiration.

“When it is both very hot and humid outside, heat in the body cannot be expelled,” he said. “This creates a condition called ‘heat citotoxicity,’ that is damaging to many organs.

“Think of it as a sunburn, but inside the body.”

Since the start of the 21st century, heat waves have claimed tens of thousands of lives, even in countries best equipped to help their citizens cope. The blistering heatwave that struck Europe in the summer of 2003 killed as many as 70,000 people.

Higher temperatures and dry conditions have been made worse in urban areas by clearing trees, which provide shade and cooling moisture.

Protection from the heat – for those who can afford it

But a hotter world doesn’t necessarily mean more deaths everywhere across the globe, Mora pointed out. He found that over time, the same sweltering conditions of heat and humidity killed fewer people than in the past – mostly because of air conditioning and governments doing a better job keeping people from dying in the heat.

So the number of “lethal heat days” cannot predict how many people will die, said the study; if everyone is living in air-conditioned environments in the future, they will be shielded. However, that’s only in countries that can afford it – in those that can’t, heat will become even more unbearable in the future.

Professor Dave Reay, chair in carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, told DW: “As we bask in the early summer sun here in Europe, it’s easy to forget the sinister side of the hotter summers that result from climate change.

“Responses such as provision of air conditioning, altered working hours and regular checks on elderly neighbors can all be very effective in reducing the short-term risks,” he said.

“For the longer term though, it is how fast we can cut our greenhouse gas emissions that will ultimately decide how hot things get.”

Simon Bullock, a senior campaigner on climate change at Friends of the Earth, told DW that world leaders “must put far more effort – far faster – into keeping coal, oil and gas in the ground.”

“Burning fossil fuels is the main driver of the heat waves, droughts and floods [that are] putting people’s lives in jeopardy.”

Comment: Rising sea levels, melting ice and an increase in temperatures are blamed on all manner of culprits. Burning fossil fuels, uncontrolled goat and cow farts, ultra violet surges from the sun are all considered villains to blame. And yet others assure us that the sea levels are really not rising but the land everywhere is sinking. Looking at the immensely fat women waddling around the streets of Miami, one can more easily accept this lunatic theory. Ed.

 Opioid-related hospital visits up 99% in less than a decade, US data shows

States see vast differences in rate of inpatient stays, with Georgia seeing biggest increase, while stays are more common among women in most states

June 20, 2017

by Mona Chalabi

The Guardian

Opioid-related hospital visits in the US rose 99% and inpatient stays increased 64% in less than a decade, according to government data released on Tuesday. Each day, US hospitals received 3,500 people for opioid-related issues in 2014, compared with 1,800 in 2005, a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reveals.But that national increase is not equally felt in hospitals across the country – the data also reveals vast state-to-state differences in the opioid epidemic.

Climbing in Georgia, falling in Kansas

Of the 43 states where data was available, Georgia saw the highest increase in opioid related inpatient stays between 2009 and 2014. Hospital stays increased 100% in Georgia, compared with an average rise of 24% across the country. In Kansas, Maryland, Illinois and Louisiana, inpatient stays fell across the six-year time period.

When looking at ER visits rather than inpatient stays, the geographic differences were again vast – increasing 106% in Ohio and falling 16% in Iowa between 2009 and 2015.

More female patients

In most states, opioid-related hospital admissions are more common for women than for men. In Montana, for example, there were 264 inpatient stays for every 100,000 women while there were 163 stays per 100,000 men.

But in some states, men are more affected by the opioid epidemic. This is most noticeable in New York, where men are almost twice as likely as women to stay in hospital.

Rising, regardless of age

Across all age groups, inpatient stays and ER visits have risen since 2005. People ages 25-44 remain the most likely to be seen in hospital for an opioid-related issue.

For other age groups, the numbers are low, but no less shocking. In 2014, there were approximately 340 ER visits for infants under the age of one suffering from opioid-related issues, up from approximately 253 visits in 2005.




One response so far

  1. “Killer heat due to global warming means much of the planet faces rising fatalities, a study shows. By 2100, almost half of people on the planet will be at risk of heat-related illness or death – even if emissions fall.”

    As you said: “Soon, no doubt, we will be hearing about the adventures of the Giant Easter Bunny and Fanny the Frog.”

    The so-called ‘studies’ are garbage. There is plenty of money to be had in promulgating garbage such as the global warming fraud. I hope you get yours. You’d be a fool to miss out on the gravy train since no-one else is. Most of the promoters of the global warming fraud present no truth in their other features and articles. At least you have some truthful, accurate and insightful articles and books(especially books). And that’s why I think there is still hope for you.

    If you want to know what real global warming is like then find out why Greenland is called Greenland.
    There is no global warming, only global lying.


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