Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home.
In a blog post this week on Google’s DoubleClick Search site, the Silicon Valley giant says that targeting consumers based off online information only allows advertisers to learn so much. “Conversions,” tech-speak for the digital metric made by every action a user makes online, are incomplete until coupled with real life data, Google says.
“We understand that online advertising also fuels offline conversions,” the blog post reads. Thus, Google says, “To capture these lost conversions and bring offline into your online world, we’re announcing the open beta of our Conversions API for uploading offline conversion automatically.”
The blog goes on to explain that in-store transactions, call-tracking and other online activities can be inputted into Google to be combined with other information “to optimize your campaigns based on even more of your business data.”
Google is all but certain to ensure that all user data collected off- and online will be cloaked through safeguards that will allow for complete and total anonymity for customers. When on-the-Web interactions start mirroring real life activity, though, even a certain degree of privacy doesn’t make Conversions API any less creepy. As Jim Edwards writes for Business Insider, “If you bought a T shirt at The Gap in the mall with your credit card, you could start seeing a lot more Gap ads online later, suggesting jeans that go with that shirt.”
Of course, there is always the possibility that all of this information can be unencrypted and, in some cases, obtained by third-parties that you might not want prying into your personal business. Edwards notes in his report that Google does not explicitly note that intelligence used in Conversions API will be anonymized, but the blowback from not doing as much would sure be enough to start a colossal uproar. Meanwhile, however, all of the information being collected by Google — estimated to be on millions of servers around the globe — is being handed over to more than just advertising companies. Last month Google reported that the US government requested personal information from roughly 8,000 individual users during just the first few months of 2012.
“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise,” Google admitted with their report.
Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.”
“He has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them,” Stone told RT. “It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.”
Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone (right) and historian Peter Kuznick
According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.”
RT’s Abby Martin in the program Breaking the Set discusses the Showtime film series and book titled The Untold History of the United States co-authored by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
“Obama was a great hope for change”
RT:It took both of you almost five years to produce this series. And in it you have a chapter called Obama: Management of a Wounded Empire. You give a harsh critique of the Obama administration. What in your eyes has been the most troubling aspect of his presidency, Oliver?
Oliver Stone: I think under the disguise of sheep’s clothing he has been a wolf. That because of the nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him, people forgave him a lot. He was a great hope for change. The color of his skin, the upbringing, the internationalism, the globalism, seemed all evident. And he is an intelligent man. He has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them. That is what is sad. So we are going into the second administration that is living outside the law and does not respect the law and foundations of our system and he is a constitutional lawyer, you know. Without the law, it is the law of the jungle. Nuremburg existed for a reason and there was a reason to have trials, there is a reason for due process – ‘habeas corpus’ as they call it in the United States.
RT:Do you agree Peter?
Peter Kuznick: I agree, if you look at his domestic policy, he did not break with the Bush administration’s policies. If you look at his transparency – he claimed to be the transparency president when he was running for office. There has not been transparency. We have been actually classifying more documents under Obama than we did under Bush. All previous presidents between 1970 and 2008 indicted three people total under Espionage Act. Obama has already indicted six people under the Espionage Act. The surveillance has not stopped, the incarceration without bringing people to trial has not stopped. So those policies have continued.
Then there are war policies, militarization policies. We are maintaining that. We are fighting wars now in Yemen, Afghanistan, we are keeping troops in Afghanistan. We have not cut back the things that we all found so odious about the Bush administration and Obama added some of his own. The drones policy – Obama had more drone attack in the first eight months than Bush had his entire presidency. And these have very dubious international legality.
OS: Peter was hopeful that the in the second term there will be some more flexibility, we hope so. But, there is a system in place, which is enormous – the Pentagon system.
RT:It almost seems that they took the odious CIA policies and just branded them, so it is now acceptable – the assassinations, the extrajudicial executioner without the due process. It is fascinating.
“We are all ultimately watching ourselves”
PK: We complained during Bush years that Bush was actually conducting surveillance without judiciary review. Obama is killing people, targeted assassinations without judiciary review. That to us is obviously much more serious.
RT:You also cover Pearl Harbor, which of course led to the internment of Japanese American citizens. I do not think a lot of people acknowledge that once again underreported aspect of really what that meant. When you look at the surveillance grid in America today it almost seems like it is an open-air internment camp, where they do not need to intern people anymore because we have this grid set up in place. What do you guys think about that?
PK: The US government now intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day from American citizens. That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication. Can you imagine: 1.7 billion? We’ve got this apparatus set up now with hundreds of thousands of people, over a million of people with top security clearances in this kind of nightmarish state, this 1984 kind of state.
OS: One million top security clearances. That is a pretty heavy number. In other words, we are living in a fish pond and I think the sad part is that the younger people accept that. They are used to the invasion. And that is true, how can we follow the lives of everybody? But the truth is that we are all ultimately watching ourselves. It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.
“US fears things,we fear the rest of the world”
PK: And it can be oppressive on the surface. One of the things we feared after 9/11 was that if there was a second serious attack like 9/11 then the constitution would be gone. The crackdown would be so outrageous at that point. And there is still this obsessive fear. The US fears things, we fear the rest of the world. We spend as much money on our military security intelligence as the rest of the world combined. Do we have enemies that we feel so threatened by? Do we really need this anymore? Is this what our priorities should be? No we think not, we want to turn that around.
RT:The evisceration of the rule of law, especially the National Defense Authorization Act, which eradicates due process – our basic fundamental freedom in this country. I wanted to bring up another interesting point that really struck me in the film series, which are the kamikaze pilots. They were brave, that was the bravest act that you could do and then I can’t help but think of suicide bombers today and Bill Maher, he goes out and loses his show for saying these people are brave. And you have people like Ron Paul get up there and talk about blowback as a reality and he is ridiculed. How did we get here, where the discourse is just so tongued down when we can’t even acknowledge the truths such as that?
OS: Primitive of course. There has been a blind worship of the military and patriotism. I strongly believe in the strong military, but to defend our country, not to invade other countries and to conquer the world. I think there is a huge difference that has been forgotten: morality. Once you take the laws away, as Einstein once said famously, the country does not obey its laws, the laws would be disrespected. So it seems that the fundamental morality has been lost on us somewhere on the way recently and now it is what is effective. Can we kill Bin Laden without having to bring him to trial, can we just get it done? And that ‘get it down’ mentality justifies the ends and that is where countries go wrong, and people go wrong. All of our lives are moral equations. Does the end justify the means? No, it never did.
PK: And the other side of what you are asking is about the constraints upon political discourse in this country. Why are people so uninformed? That is what we are to deal with in the series. If people don’t understand their history, then they don’t have any vision of the future and what is possible. If they think what exists now – the tyranny of now – is all that is possible, then they can’t dream about the future. They can’t imagine the future that is different from the present. That is what I am saying – people have to understand the past because if you study the past then you can envision a future that is very different.
We came really close on many occasions to going into very different direction in the future. We came very close in 1944-1945 to avoiding atomic bombing and potentially not having the kind of Cold War that we had. We came very close in 1953 upon Stalin’s death to ending the Cold War. We came close in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated to ending the war in Vietnam, to ending the Cold War, to heading into a very different direction. Then there were the Carter years, again a possibility of a different direction. And at the end of the Cold War in 1989 Gorbachev was reaching out to Bush. Did Bush take that olive branch that Gorbachev was giving him? No, very much different. What did we do instead? We applaud the Soviets for not invading when countries were liberating themselves from the Soviet Union and then we immediately go and invade Panama and then we invade Iraq.
So we are saying that “it is great that you are showing restraint, but we are not going to because we are the hegemon.” As Madeline Albright, Secretary of State under [Bill] Clinton, says “if the US uses force it’s because we are the United States of America; we are the indispensable nation. We see further and stand taller than other nations.” That is the attitude that Oliver and I are challenging. This sense of American exceptionalism that the US is a city on the hill, God’s gift to humanity, if we do it, it is right. And that is not acceptable.
“We want the country to begin thinking about the big questions again”
OS: It is very funny because the book has been out a few weeks, series have been playing for the fifth week now. We go to TV shows, we sit in these beautiful sets and they are always rushing and rushing. They got news in Gaza, they got Obama. And they ask us what are you talking about? History? What does it have to do with today? What is your point? We sit there very patiently and it is very bizarre to me that they say the past is prologue, that is all happened before and if we are smart you will see it more calmly and won’t overreact. We also argue that this kind of media is driven by dollars, the greed. You have a show and it is really not a news show, it is about rating and how you can get that – with a lot of speed, a lot of zoom and a lot of fancy sets and people watch. Goal is to keep it moving, don’t think, just keep it moving.
PK: A show like this, we can actually discuss the issues at a little more depth, a little more critically.
RT: If both of you are to make a film about this generation right now, what is one facet that you think is the most underreported or misrepresented?
OS: I don’t know about the younger generation, I have three children. I think it is an eternal story in some degree. People no matter what have a similar morality and consciousness, patterns re-emerge again and again. The young men and young women want to make their way into the world. And it is not that far off from what we went through. So I believe in cyclical history and I think my children are going through what I and my father and mother went through. I always look for those patterns first beyond the superficiality.
PK: I find that my students care very passionately about what is going on in the world. They are all doing lots of volunteer work. But what I find in this generation, like Oliver’s and my generation, is that they treat the symptoms. They are not asking the questions about the root cause of all of these problems. They care, they try to change things, but it is more superficial.
What we are challenging them to do is look at the patterns. Look at what has happened from the 1890s all the way through to today. Look at the consistency of the wars, interventions, the military expenditures, the paranoia, they fear of outsiders, the oppression. And get it to the root, what is making the system as a whole sick in a certain ways and how can we root out those deeper causes.
Now that we understand that, we can begin to change that. The Occupy movement did some of that there have been times in the 1930s, 1970-80s, 1960s when people were challenging on that scale. We want the country to begin thinking about these big questions again. What is our past, how did we get here, what are the possibilities for the future, what have we done wrong and what can we get right?
RT:Do you think these superficialities in the conventional wisdom that we hear are perpetuated to keep us in a perpetual state of war?
PK: I don’t know if it is quite so deliberate, but that seems to be the effect – dumbing down the population to the point where they cannot think critically and then you can pull anything over their eyes. They have a five-minute attention span and a five-minute memory of what happened in the past. We are saying learn your history, study it and think about what the alternatives are, think in utopian ways how different the world could be, how better it could be if we start to organize it rationally in the interest of people, not in the interest of profit, not in the interest of Wall Street, not in the interest of military, in the interest of our common humanity, the six billion of us who occupy this planet.
OS: The model of the series of The World at War, which was made by the BBC in the 1970s about WWII. Ours are 10 feature films, cut with care, an hour each, pure narration, music, and sometimes clips of films that make our point or don’t make our point. Either way we try to keep it flowing like a young person could enjoy it like a movie, I am glad you did.
ZM Global Radio is a weekly radio show presented by various active coordinators of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. These broadcasts discuss the developments and aims of The Zeitgeist Movement.
The Zeitgeist Movement is a global sustainability activist group working to bring the world together for the common goal of species sustainability before it is too late. It is a social movement, not a political one, with over 1100 chapters across nearly all countries. Divisive notions such as nations, governments, races, political parties, religions, creeds or class are non-operational distinctions in the view of The Movement. Rather, we recognize the world as one system and the human species as a singular unit, sharing a common habitat. Our overarching intent could be summarized as “the application of the scientific method for social concern.”
“The government bailed out the people and imprisoned the banksters — the opposite of what America and the rest of Europe did.”
The man who forced the government of Iceland to resign and kicked out the IMF representatives from his country, Hordur Torfarson, is now teaching meta-modern democracy throughout Europe. The rest of the world would benefit from following the example set by Iceland: Arresting the corrupt bankers who are responsible for the current economic turmoil.
ICELAND. No news from the Icelandic Revolution?
The true measure of the leader is not how many follower he has, but how many leaders he creates. Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. The general public hasn't been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison. The difference between bankers and the mafia is becoming increasingly indistinguishable.
Control Your Money or Your Money Will Control You. Change your attitude toward debt. Every time you use credit for a purchase think, “Debt is slavery; I am making myself a slave.”
“Manipulators rarely advise you to seek new and diverse information or to 'learn and research for yourself,' it tends to be safer for exploitative and irresponsible leaders to keep their citizens in the dark; in their view less independent thought is better. Independent thought leads to an inquiring mind, a mindset that eventually leads to the questioning of authority figures, and that is the one thing that inadequate leaders do not want.”
Governments have never existed to solve problems domestic or international. Governments and their institutions exist merely to further and secure the interests of favored groups, but We the People are never the favored group.
The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.
But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.
The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012", said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."
Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."
The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.
The IHEU - which links over 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries - said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day.
According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.
In a range of other countries - such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan - publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy".
In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions -- which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.
Atheists and humanists are thereby forced to lie to obtain their official documents without which it is impossible to go to university, receive medical treatment, travel abroad or drive.
In Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and North America, countries which identify themselves secular give privileges to or favor Christian churches in providing education and other public services, the IHEU said.
In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is fiercely protected from criticism and is given pride of place on state occasions, while in Britain bishops of the Church of England have automatic seats in the upper house of parliament.
While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans."
In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.
Colony Collapse Disorder is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin. Clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer, has been clearly linked to die offs in Germany and France.
Although the bee die offs that have occurred recently are more severe, there have been many in the past from the same and similar products. In North Dakota, a lawsuit is pending against Bayer for the loss of their bees in 1995, the result of spraying rapeseed with Imidacloprid. In 1999, the same product was banned in France for use as a seed dressing for sunflowers when they lost one-third of their hives after widespread spraying. In 2004, it was banned for use on corn. Recently, France refused to approve Bayer's request to sell Clothianidin.
Clothianidin and Imidacloprid are both members of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. They are well known as insect neurotoxins, especially with regard to bees. The spokesperson for the Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, based in Germany, stated, "We have been pointing out the risks of neonicotinoids for almost 10 years now. This proves without a doubt that the chemicals can come into contact with bees and kill them. These pesticides shouldn't be on the market."
Not a Surprise
That neonicotinoids are potent neurotoxins, especially in insects, is unsurprising. They were developed for precisely that purpose. Bayer says that their use is safe for bees, when used according to instructions. This involves using a glue that keeps the pesticides stuck to the seeds on which they're used.
There are many problems with this. Agribusiness corporations are known to evade anything that costs them money. The glue costs money. The equipment and personnel required to apply it costs money. More careful pesticide application to try to keep it from becoming airborne costs money. Obviously, both unscrupulous agribusiness farmers and unknowing small farmers -- not to mention home gardeners -- will, at least occasionally, not use the glue.
Even then, it's impossible to believe that a fair amount of these pesticides won't become airborne. Further, their residue will poison the soil. It will be passed on into foods, which means that insects will come into contact with it there.
Isn't it interesting that a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, Bayer, also makes a product that is a poison by design? Bayer is not an exception. Many, if not most, do business in both arenas. That alone should give pause for thought.
Here's a list of corporations -- not expected to be complete -- that profit in both pharmaceuticals and pesticides:
* American Home Products
* Astra Zeneca
* Dow Chemical
* Dupont Chemical
Is it an accident that most of Big Pharma also manufactures pesticides? Is there a connection between the two types of products? Do the pharmaceutical arms of these corporations profit on the illness caused by the pesticide arms? These questions are rhetorical. We'll let the reader decide.
Mike Adams has humorously shown with his Disease-Mongering Engine (naturalnews.com), which creates new diseases at the push of a mouse button, how easily phony diseases can be created to sell pharmaceuticals and fatten the pocketbooks of the medical world. The same technique has been used to cloak massive bee die-offs with an air of mystery.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a false name that serves to mislead the public into believing that there's a new, mystery disorder, probably something very complex, that needs tons of money to be thrown at it so that every possible angle can be studied. The reason is simple. By misdirecting the public, and apparently many professionals too, the real reason for bee die-offs is obscured.
This is very much like the misleading pseudoscience that supposedly debunks global climate change by giving a false impression that there is no consensus among scientists. By stirring pesticides into a mix of other supposedly possible causes, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, and environmental stress, a false controversy is created. That results in precious time being wasted, while we really do move into a world without bees. At the same time, money is being thrown at scientists, who should know better, but being just as human as the rest of us, they're tempted.
Eventually, the real cause starts to become obvious, as is happening now in bee die-offs. However, the guilty party, the one making obscene profits by selling neurotoxic poisons that destroy the earth, launches a campaign of disingenuous lies, misdirection, and lawsuits to continue to sell their contaminants as long as possible.
Meanwhile, we're being told that we must prepare to live in a world without bees, as if it's inevitable. All because of Colony Collapse Disorder, a cleverly marketed nonexistent disease. We live in fear of the implications of no bees, when the real threat is poisons manufactured for the sole benefit of obscene profits.
How to Avoid These Pesticides
Neonicotinoids are used in agribusiness and home gardens. To help the reader avoid these products, we are providing their generic names, along with as many brand names as could be found.
The neonicotinoids include: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam.
Acetamiprid and dinotefuran are manufactured by many companies. Thiamethoxam is made by Syngenta. Only Bayer makes clothianidin and imidacloprid.
Brand names for imidacloprid include: Kohinor, Admire, Advantage, Gaucho, Merit, Confidor, Hachikusan, Premise, Prothor, and Winner.
Brand names for clothianidin include: Gaucho, Titan, Clutch, Belay, Arena.
Brand names for acetamiprid include: Assail, Intruder, Adjust.
Brand names for thiacloprid include: Calypso.
Brand names for thiamethoxam include: Actara, Cruiser, Helix, Platinum, Centric.
Guardian, "Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation", by Alison Benjamin, (guardian.co.uk)
"Poison for Profit -- What A Business Plan!", by Ashley Simmons Hotz
Institute of Science in Society, "Requiem for the Honeybee", by Professor Joe Cummins
About the author:
* Heidi Stevenson, BSc, DIHom, FBIH * Fellow, British Institute of Homeopathy * Gaia Health (http://www.gaia-health.com/) * * The author is a homeopath who became concerned with medically-induced harm as a result of her own experiences and those of family members. She says that allopathic medicine is the arena that best describes the motto, "Buyer beware." * * * Heidi Stevenson provides information about medically-induced disease and disability, along with incisive well-researched articles on major issues in the modern world, so members of the public can protect themselves. * She can be reached through her website: http://www.gaia-health.com/
Hours before the historic vote at the General Assembly on the upgrade status on Thurday, four senators presented legislation, threatening to stop the million-dollar assistance.
The 193-member General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions at the United Nations for a resolution approving the upgrade. Nine countries, including Canada, Israel, and the United States, voted against it.
Having earned the observer non-member status, Palestinians will enjoy access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC) where they could file complaints against Israel.
“The biggest fear I have is that the Palestinians achieve this status it won’t be very long before the Palestinians use the United Nations as a club against Israel,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
The legislation to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority would reportedly come into effect once Palestinians file war crime charges against Israel at the ICC. The Senate could wrap up the legislation by the week’s end.
Proponents of the measure, including Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said they expect it to win overwhelming approval.
Peace, nonviolence, diplomacy, human and civil rights, as well as fundamental rule of law principles are systematically spurned. That's now rogue states operate.
Pillar of Cloud raged from November 14 - 21. Memorandum of understand terms ended eight terror bombing days. Israel violated its pledge multiple times. Its word isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Less than 24 hours after conflict ended, Israeli soldiers killed one Palestinian. Another 19 were injured.
On November 25, three more Palestinians were shot. They were wounded, not killed. On November 26, another four Palestinians were injured. Soldiers opened fire on them. They threatened no one.
Since November 22, 15 fishermen were accosted at sea. Naval vessels used live fire. Israel claimed they exceeded a recently expanded zone. Believe nothing Israeli authorities say. They systematically lie.
Boats were damaged and confiscated or destroyed. Fishermen on board were arrested, detained, and interrogated. At least most were released.
No one assaulted did anything improper. Israeli claims were lies. Expect continued land and sea incidents ahead.
On November 28, seven Palestinians were shot and injured. At least one is in serious condition. Israel said "rioters" damaged a border fence trying to enter Israel.
Israeli authorities make this stuff up. They do it to justify persecution and at times murder.
Nonviolent Palestinians are called threats to Israeli security. These type claims are baseless. Israel pledged attacking Gazans would stop.
Similar promises were made before. Horrific oppression continues. Truce terms changed nothing. Believing otherwise is wishful thinking.
West Bank Palestinians are attacked, beaten and arrested. Apartheid is a way of life. Settlements exclude Arabs. Jews only roads exist. Segregated bus lines appear next.
Palestinian workers with legal permits are being ordered off buses. Settlers claim they pose a security risk. Israel's Transport Ministry may exclude Arabs. Buses henceforth may be for Jews only.
Jim Crow America relegated Blacks to the back of buses. Israel perhaps wants Arabs excluded entirely.
On November 27, B'Tselem headlined "Attempt at bus segregation appalling," saying:
Disclosure about possible segregated bus lines is uncalled for. Services "must be available on an equal basis to all and any who require them."
B'Tselem's executive director Jessica Montell said:
"The attempt at bus segregation is appalling, and the current arguments about ‘security needs’ and ‘overcrowding’ must not be allowed to camouflage the blatant racism of the demand to remove Palestinians from buses."
Israel plans greater occupation harshness. Conditions for besieged Gazans persist. Truce terms changed nothing.
December 10 is International Human Rights Day. It commemorates the General Assembly adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.
World leaders pledged to "complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere."
In 1946, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was discussed at the General Assembly's first session.
Member States submitted the UNHR to the Economic and Social Council "for reference to the Commission on Human Rights for consideration....in its preparation of an international bill of rights."
On December 10, 1948, UN Resolution 217 A (III) adopted UNHR. No members dissented. Eight abstained. Despite emerging Cold War tensions, common ground was found.
UNHR's 30 articles pledged "to promote respect for (fundamental human) rights and freedoms....both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
They affirmed life, liberty, security and dignity. They said no one should be held in bondage or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. They scorned arbitrary arrests, detention, exile, and other human rights violations.
They said everyone may leave any country and return freely. Discrimination of any kind was deplored. Free expression, assembly, movement, thought, opinion and religion were championed.
Everyone has the right to work and receive equal pay for equal employment. Essential rights to healthcare, food, clothing, housing, and education were supported.
Articles affirmed that "(n)othing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for the State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein."
Since 1945, the UN failed to uphold fundamental Charter and other international law principles. America, Israel, and other imperial partners bear full responsibility.
On Friday, December 7, human rights supporters will march in Tel Aviv. In solidarity, they'll express support for equality, democracy, peace, and social justice.
Arabs will march with Jews. A midday concert will be held. An official song is titled "Being Human." Avihu Medina wrote it. A special version called "Being a Woman, Being Human" will be performed.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) sponsors this year's march. Hundreds of organizations, activists, and others will participate. Together they say: "It's our right, to all human rights, for every human being." Jews, Arabs and all others.
It comes after Pillar of Cloud. It's when Israel plans greater occupation harshness. It follows multiple truce violations.
It's after Kairo USA's press advisory headlined "Christians and Jews Gather to Support Churches' Call to Investigate Unconditional Military Support of Israel," saying:
On November 29, they met in Washington. They demanded US support for Israel be contingent on its compliance with US laws and policies. Participating groups included:
Jewish Voice for Peace, Kairos USA, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, United Methodist Kairos Response, Friends of Sabeel North America, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, The Palestine Israel Network of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and others.
Thousands of signatures were obtained. They seek justice for occupied Palestinians. Stopping the Israeli beast is crucial. It threatens humanity.
Violence in Gaza continues. Palestinians are isolated. They're trapped in concentration camp hell. They're on their own. They suffer horrendously out of sight and mind.
Israeli repression is relentless. Civilian deaths are commonplace. From January through October 2012, Israel killed 79 Palestinians. Eleven were in the West Bank. Others were Gazans.
UN and EU officials do nothing to help. They allow grave crimes against humanity. They ignore Palestinian suffering. Naked Israeli aggression and cold-blooded murder are called Israel's right to self-defense.
Palestinian rights are systematically spurned. It's been that way for decades.
Official Israeli policy reflects perpetual conflict, daily violence, intimidation, and repression. Children and infants are harmed most. A Gaza psychiatrist said:
"Children exposed to so much violence have no option but to terminate their childhood and move into a different frame. The likelihood is that they will never stabilize."
Their parents, siblings and friends are killed. Many don't expect to reach adulthood. Trauma devastates them. There's no place to hide.
No one helps. Israel attacks when it wishes. It's vicious and relentless. Violence never ends. Conflict prevents peace, security and freedom. Palestinians deserve better. They hope for what doesn't come.
Alia Kalajar said her seven-year old daughter, Nisma, "stopped talking, and we don't know if she will ever talk again." Israel bombed their home. Nisma sustained a head fracture and internal bleeding.
Dozens of other children and infants were killed or injured. Some won't ever recover. Many don't understand. Will war on Iran follow? More on that below.
James Petras called Israel's strategic goal "Genocide (for a) Greater Israel - the bloody purge of 5 million Palestinians, the creation of a 100 percent 'pure' Jewish State."
It's that and more. Israel wants Middle East hegemony. It wants rivals balkanized or eliminated. It wants Syria, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, and Iran replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes.
It threatens regional war for dominance. Washington provides support. Together they threaten humanity. Media scoundrels cheerlead them. They endorse what they should condemn.
Syria tops their target list. Conflict rages daily. Civilians suffer most. Perhaps Lebanon is next. Strategy calls for isolating Iran. Plans call for replacing its independent government with subservient pro-Western puppet leaders. War may be prioritized. Israel urges it.
Propaganda wars precede hot ones. Conflicts and other forms of violence are glorified in the name of peace. Code language conceals policies.
War is humanitarian intervention. Invasions, slaughter, mass destruction and occupations are liberation. Plunder is economic development. Exploitation and dominance are called democracy.
Managed news mind manipulation inverts truth for public support. Big Lies suppress it. Terrorism is what they do, not us. Iran's moment of truth awaits. Washington vilified the Islamic Republic for decades.
Israel wants war. Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) called Pillar of Cloud "Less a War than an Anti-Iran Coup." It claimed Washington, Turkey, and Qatar were involved.
Aborting Tehran's military ties to Hamas was planned, said DF. "In the short term, the Israeli miniwar was meant as a vivid lesson for Tehran about the fate awaiting its Arab allies. Hizballah is advised" to beware.
Washington and Egypt are involved in preventing Iranian arms from reaching Gaza. Propaganda wars continue.
Haaretz published a spurious AP report. It headlined "Iran allegedly planning nuclear weapon stronger than bomb used on Hiroshima."
It bears repeating. Annual US intelligence reports say no evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Israeli, US, and EU officials know it. They pretend otherwise.
Iran threatens no one. Alleging a nuclear threat is red herring cover for regime change. Haaretz/AP claim a "leaked diagram." The source was unnamed.
Concealed ones lack credibility. Claims about Iranian scientists running nuclear weapon computer simulations able to produce "triple the explosive force" that destroyed Hiroshima are meaningless.
Without proof, they're baseless. Haaretz/AP said an unnamed "country critical of Iran's atomic program" leaked information to help shut it down.
IAEA made similar claims last year. Proof was absent. It reported alleged diagrams showing Iran was calculating the "nuclear explosive yield" of potential weapons.
An unnamed senior diplomat said Haaretz/AP used old IAEA information. Israel and Washington fabricated it. It was proved baseless. Anti-Iranian pseudo-experts called it credible.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) weighed in. It called AP's diagram "nothing more than either shoddy sources or shoddy science. In either case, the world can keep calm and carry on."
AP embarrassed itself. So did Haaretz for publishing its rubbish. BAS added:
"The graphic has not yet been authenticated; however, even if authentic, it would not qualify as proof of a nuclear weapons program."
"Besides the issue of authenticity, the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level."
AP's diagram "shows two curves: one that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device."
"But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower - around 300 million ( 3x108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second."
"As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error. This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax."
"In any case, the level of scientific sophistication needed to produce such a graph corresponds to that typically found in graduate or advanced undergraduate-level nuclear physics courses."
Iran denies interest in developing nuclear weapons. No evidence proves otherwise. Bogus claims hype tensions. They surface repeatedly. Expect more next year, especially after Israel's January elections.
Rogue states never quit. America and Israel reflect the worst of what they represent.
In early summer, NATO had attempted to overwhelm Damascus and Aleppo with a torrent of psychological operations, communication disruptions, foreign terrorists crossing Syria's borders, and a devastating assassination of top Syrian officials in the heart of Damascus. The idea was to cause panic, division, mass defections and fold the Syrian state when in reality, it was more than able to fight on. Syria called the bluff and here it still stands.
With the Israel-Gaza charade concluded, it was reported that NATO would pivot back toward Syria - and it has. It has handpicked a new proxy-regime to act as the face of the terrorists battling Syrian civilians and soldiers alike within the country, while it has been conducting a concerted and refocused propaganda campaign to paint the Syrian government as once again, "imminently about to fall."
Reports are now trickling in that communications are failing across the country and another attempt at a Libyan-style "Mermaid Dawn" is being made by NATO and its terrorist proxies inside Syria. The hope is, that after several months more of terrorism, threats, sanctions, and pressure put on the border by both Israel on the Golan Heights, and Turkey along Syria's north, that this time the trick might work.
If operations are not already in progress, they will be soon, and one must recall historical instances when this tactic has been used before so as to recognize it when it is tried again.
Reposted below, is Thierry Meyssan's June 2012 warning regarding NATO psychological operations - and the information is as relevant now as ever. Inside Syria, unity and resilience is more important now than ever.
In a few days, perhaps as early as Friday, June 15, at noon, the Syrians wanting to watch their national TV stations will see them replaced on their screens by TV programs created by the CIA. Studio-shot images will show massacres that are blamed on the Syrian Government, people demonstrating, ministers and generals resigning from their posts, President Al-Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.
This operation of disinformation, directly managed from Washington by Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, aims at demoralizing the Syrians in order to pave the way for a coup d’etat. NATO, discontent about the double veto of Russia and China, will thus succeed in conquering Syria without attacking the country illegally. Whichever judgment you might have formed on the actual events in Syria, a coup d’etat will end all hopes of democratization.
The Arab League has officially asked the satellite operators Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian media, either public or private (Syria TV, Al-Ekbariya, Ad-Dounia, Cham TV, etc.) A precedent already exists because the Arab League had managed to censure Libyan TV in order to keep the leaders of the Jamahiriya from communicating with their people. There is no Hertz network in Syria, where TV works exclusively with satellites. The cut, however, will not leave the screens black.
Actually, this public decision is only the tip of the iceberg. According to our information several international meetings were organized during the past week to coordinate the disinformation campaign. The first two were technical meetings, held in Doha (Qatar); the third was a political meeting and took place in Riyad (Saudi Arabia).
The first meeting assembled PSYOP officers, embedded in the satellite TV channels of Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Fox, France 24, Future TV and MTV. It is known that since 1998, the officers of the US Army Psychological Operations Unit (PSYOP) have been incorporated in CNN. Since then this practice has been extended by NATO to other strategic media as well.
They fabricated false information in advance, on the basis of a “story-telling” script devised by Ben Rhodes’s team at the White House. A procedure of reciprocal validation was installed, with each media quoting the lies of the other media to render them plausible for TV spectators. The participants also decided not only to requisition the TV channels of the CIA for Syria and Lebanon (Barada, Future TV, MTV, Orient News, Syria Chaab, Syria Alghad) but also about 40 religious Wahhabi TV channels to call for confessional massacres to the cry of “Christians to Beyrouth, Alawites into the grave!”.
The second meeting was held for engineers and technicians to fabricate fictitious images, mixing one part in an outdoor studio, the other part with computer generated images. During the past weeks, studios in Saudi Arabia have been set up to build replicas of the two presidential palaces in Syria and the main squares of Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. Studios of this type already exist in Doha (Qatar), but they are not sufficient.
The third meeting was held by General James B. Smith, the US ambassador, a representative of the UK, prince Bandar Bin Sultan (whom former U.S. president George Bush named his adopted son so that the U.S. press called him “Bandar Bush”). In this meeting the media actions were coordinated with those of the Free "Syrian" Army, in which prince Bandar’s mercenaries play a decisive role.
The operation had been in the making for several months, but the U.S. National Security Council decided to accelerate the action after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, notified the White House that he would oppose by all means, even by force, any illegal NATO military intervention in Syria.
The operation has a double intent: the first is to spread false information, the second aims at censuring all possible responses.
The hampering of TV satellites for military purposes is not new. Under pressure from Israel, the USA and the EU blocked Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian TV channels, one after the other. However, no satellite channels from other parts of the world were censured.
The broadcast of false news is also not new, but four significant steps have been taken in the art of propaganda during the last decade.
• In 1994, a pop music station named “Free Radio of the Thousand Hills” (RTML) gave the signal for genocide in Rwanda with the cry, “Kill the cockroaches!”
• In 2001, NATO used the media to impose an interpretation of the 9/11 attacks and to justify its own aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq. At that time already, it was Ben Rhodes who had been commissioned by the Bush administration to concoct the Kean/Hamilton Commission report on the attacks.
• In 2002, the CIA used five TV channels (Televen, Globovision, ValeTV and CMT) to make the public in Venezuela believe that phantom demonstrators had captured the elected president, Hugo Chávez, forcing him to resign. In reality he was the victim of a military coup d’etat.
• In 2011, France 24 served as information ministry for the Libyan CNT, according to a signed contract. During the battle of Tripoli, NATO produced fake studio films, then transmitted them via Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, showing phantom images of Libyan rebels on the central square of the capital city, while in reality they were still far away. As a consequence, the inhabitants of Tripoli were persuaded that the war was lost and gave up all resistance.
Nowadays the media do not only support a war, they produce it themselves.
This procedure violates the principles of International Law, first of all Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to the fact of receiving and imparting information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ”Above all, the procedure violates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, adopted after the end of World War II, to prevent further wars. Resolutions 110, 381 and 819 forbid “to set obstacles to free exchange of information and ideas” (like cutting off Syrian TV channels) and “all propaganda provoking or encouraging threats to peace, breaking peace, and all acts of aggression”. By law, war propaganda is a crime against peace, the worst of crimes, because it facilitates war crimes and genocide.
The name "United Mexican States," or "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," was adopted in 1824 after independence from Spain in imitation of Mexico's democratic northern neighbor, but it is rarely used except on official documents, money and other government material.
Still, President Felipe Calderon called a news conference Thursday to announce that he wants to make the name simply "Mexico." His country doesn't need to copy anyone, he said.
Calderon first proposed the name change as a congressman in 2003 but the bill did not make it to a vote. The new constitutional reform he proposed would have to be approved by both houses of Congress and a majority of Mexico's 31 state legislatures.
However, Calderon leaves office on Dec. 1, raising the question of whether his proposal is a largely symbolic gesture. His proposal was widely mocked on Twitter as a ridiculous parting shot from a lame-duck president.
Calderon said that while the name change "doesn't have the urgency of other reforms," it should be seen as a relevant issue. "Mexico doesn't need a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis," he said.
The United States looms larger than perhaps any other country in the Mexican cultural imagination: Mexicans follow U.S. sports teams, watch U.S. television shows and buy U.S.-made products. For many, however, there is also resentment of a larger and more powerful northern neighbor that's often seen as ignoring or looking down its nose at Mexico.
Calderon has tried to keep Mexico's international image, and its vital tourism industry, from being tarred by the waves of violence set off by his six-year, militarized offensive against drug cartels. At least 47,500 people have died in cartel-related violence during his term in office, although the number is believed to be far higher, since his administration stopped releasing an official count last year.
A poll released this week by the Vianovo consulting firm said that half of all Americans view Mexico unfavorably and more than 70 percent believe it's unsafe to travel south of the border. The poll of 1,000 adults had a margin of error of four percentage points.
"It's time for Mexicans to return to the beauty and simplicity of the name of our country, Mexico," Calderon said. "A name that we chant, that we sing, that makes us happy, that we identify with, that fills us with pride."