“Cannabis has hit the headlines recently due to legalisation in many States across the US, however, prior to the legalisation, it was only illegal for a few short decades and was prescribed in many western countries up until the 1970s.” That triggered a huge Global Criminal Industry bigger than Prohibition. ( OD )
Cannabis: A Lost History (FULL DOCUMENTARY)
The mural is a characteristically coy commentary on capitalism, although it is accompanied by a smaller piece that depicts a seal. The pair is located in Midwood, at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue I. The larger one features what looks like a real estate developer (equipped with both a briefcase and a hardhat) brandishing a whip in the shape a rising red line graph, while a procession of children, a woman, an elderly person, and a dog flee. Nearby, a smaller mural whose connection to the theme of gentrification is indecipherable, features a seal balancing a ball — formed by the unpainted circle where a sign used to hang — on its nose.
via Banksy Blitz Continues in NYC with New Murals in Brooklyn
The Israeli army arrested 1,319 Palestinians during the months of January and February, according to a new report released Wednesday by various Palestinian prisoners rights groups. Of the 1,319 arrested, 274 are minors, 23 are women, and four are journalists.
via Israel arrested 1,300 Palestinians in two months, rights groups say | +972 Magazine
Question: Would Trump pass the test is more valid than are polygraph tests valid.
via Stormy Daniels Passed Polygraph Test About Alleged Trump Affair: Report | HuffPost
The way this works is that say you know that someone is an unemployed auto worker and you make up phony internet placards misrepresenting Bill and Hillary Clinton as anti-labor.
And you set it up so that once the person clicks on one such piece of propaganda, they are presented with several more links of the same ilk. And then so are all their Facebook friends. So you create a Matrix world in which auto workers should give Trump a chance because the Democratic Establishment has failed them (which, even if the second part of this proposition is true, is a non sequitur). And you set it up so that that is what people in Detroit and Flint and Ypsilanti are talking about with one another, on line and off line, what they are liking on Facebook, what they are sharing on their timeline.
And then Trump wins Michigan.
AP notes that Chris Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica co-founder, told NBC, “This is based on an idea called ‘informational dominance,’ which is the idea that if you can capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what’s actually happening.” He called it “fake news to the next level.”
via Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News | Informed Comment
Australia ranks 12th in the Open Budget Index, and scores 74, much higher than the global average of 42 and the OECD average of 68. But Australia’s budget could still be more transparent if it included more on the budget’s impact on welfare and tax and by gender.
The Open Budget Index is published every two years and ranks countries using a transparency score, which is based on a survey for each country about publishing of budget documents, budget oversight and public participation.
via New Zealand, US and UK outrank Australia in scores on budget transparency
So let us consider some of Turnbull’s other friends. First, let’s take the case of Myanmar. Turnbull has dismissed accusations of human rights abuses in Cambodia and Myanmar as “sweeping generalisations”. Unlike Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who said he would confront Myanmar about its treatment of the Rohingyans. Turnbull notably refused to use the term Rohingya, the minority the Myanmar government persecutes (whilst also denying that they exist as a group).
via With Friends Like These, Australia Doesn’t Need Enemies – New Matilda
Overall, 80 per cent of Australia’s marine park waters would be opened to commercial fishing, up from 63 percent.
The government believes the regulation protects important marine habitat, maintains sustainable fishing and promotes ecotourism. It argues the changes are needed to reduce the financial effects on commercial fishers of Labor’s plan, and simplify zoning and boundaries to enable better compliance.
via Government winds back marine protections to support fishing industry
Watch John Pilger in this commentary on Russia Tonight on the British Government’s accusations against Russia over the poisoning of the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
via VIDEO: John Pilger On The ‘Carefully Constructed Drama’ Of Skripal Nerve Agent Attack – New Matilda
The alt-right appears to be falling apart. The Traditionalist Workers party disintegrated this week after a lurid interpersonal drama among its leadership. Richard Spencer says his alt-right rallies aren’t “fun” any more, and is rethinking his college tour in the aftermath of his fizzer of an event in East Lansing, Michigan, two weeks ago.
via The alt-right is in decline. Has antifascist activism worked? | World news | The Guardian
Responding to Hope Hicks’ departure and, perhaps subliminally, the rumored future exile of son-in-law Jared Kushner, the president typically half-lamented and half-quipped, “So many people have been leaving the White House. It’s invigorating, since you want turnover. I like chaos. It really is good. Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller or Melania?”
via Jared Kushner: “You’re Fired!”
Over recent decades in Australia union membership has fallen from 40% of the workforce in 1990 to 15% in 2016 and so unions might seem less relevant in making a difference to what we earn. But our research finds that union members do earn higher wages per hour than non-union members.
via Why union members earn higher wages than their non-union colleagues
Murdoch’s opinionated press is on the road to failure in its defence of Defamation against Geoffrey Rush. A reminder of just how loose with the facts it’s writers in fact are. How many times has Andrew Bolt been found guilty in similar cases or required to make an unpublicized settlement. Yet another case of David and Goliath it seems. (OD)
The Daily Telegraph dealt court blow in Geoffrey Rush defamation case
A white woman may make public threats to run down with her car a brown Muslim woman, simply because she disagrees with her. If you are white and have a platform, you can threaten people of colour with violence, injury and death merely for speaking words you don’t like. There are no repercussions for the white woman. Had it been the other way around, there would have been serious consequences. Indeed, Abdel-Magied was horrifically abused by conservative media for many weeks because they did not like her words. Unlike MacSween, she threatened no one.
via Dutton, Sunrise and the invisible system of white privilege
What makes her so special?
Hailing from Ernakulam district of Kerala, P.G Sudha is a potential beat forest officer by trait. She deserves a certificate of excellence for coming up with an initiative of building as many as 497 toilets in the tribal colonies of the Kuttampuzha forest in a bid to get rid of defecation. She chose this activity as her personal interest because she always wanted to make the environment neat and clean.
via Salute this Forest Officer who built 497 Toilets in Kerala’s Tribal Colonies- let’s appreciate her – The Youth
Washington: Republican senators warned US President Donald Trump on Sunday against firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller and said he must let federal investigators looking into Russian meddling in the US election do their jobs.
The Republican President renewed his Twitter attacks on both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Mueller’s probe since the firing on Friday of the bureau’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, days before he was eligible to retire with a full pension.
via Republicans defend Russia probe as Trump openly attacks Mueller
The attempt to bar Arabs from buying land in one of the wealthiest, more liberal towns in Israel is a disturbing reminder of Israel’s colonial past — and present.
Even inside Israel, colonialism is far from over | +972 Magazine
South African revolutionaries call Dutton’s bluff
The Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania has called on Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to “come to our country and collect all his fellow racists who feel that they cannot live together with normal people and go live where they are accepted in that unbecoming society”.
“This follows Dutton’s call to fast-track visa applications by white South African farmers who he said were facing “horrific circumstances” of being murdered and having their land taken away.
He said they deserved to be resettled in a “civilised country”, a clear slur on South Africa.
He said they would be “hard-working and not become dependent on welfare”, a clear slur on non-white refugees accepted into Australia.
He said “They’re the sorts of migrants that we want to bring into our country,” a clear slur on the unfortunates stranded in Nauru and in Papua New Guinea.
He said all of this after only recently stating that Australia should further reduce the number of migrants coming to Australia.”
via South African revolutionaries call Dutton’s bluff
Why Climate Change Deniers are thick as brocks
“We’ve just had major election results that stem directly from mathematical illiteracy, because people don’t have the mathematical wherewithal to understand the statistics they’re being fed,” Mr Woo said.
“They look at them and say, ‘Well OK, sure, I don’t know any better.’ The fact that climate change denial can survive has a direct causal relationship with mathematical illiteracy.”
Mr Woo was a top 10 finalist for this year’s $1 million Global Teacher Prize, which was awarded to British arts and textiles teacher Andria Zafirakou in Dubai on Sunday.
via Maths illiteracy has led to Trump and Brexit: Eddie Woo
His comments on what he termed “the horrific circumstances” relating to white South African farmers, at the urging of white right-wing extremists, has done great harm to finely balanced race relations in South Africa and to the relationship between the two countries.
Had he sought a briefing from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) he would have discovered that the situation relating to the “persecution” of white farmers bears no resemblance to his ill-informed remarks. The Australian High Commission in Pretoria keeps DFAT very well informed.
Peter Dutton’s white SA farmer priorities: Bringing shame on Australia
It has been the great misfit Australian policy since the 1990s: a…
“How did they come to the conclusion about a Russian ‘footprint’ if they didn’t give us those samples? Logically they shouldn’t have this substance. Which samples have they compared with to draw such a conclusion?” she went on. “Questions arise: then, they should have samples, which they conceal, or it is a lie from start to finish.”
“If the UK prime minister and other British experts give the formula, then it will be clear which countries have been developing these agents,” Zakharova said.
Remember the UK Intelligence said Saddam had WMDs and it justified war (OD)
via UK, Slovakia, Sweden, Czech Republic among most probable sources of ‘Novichok’ – Moscow — RT World News
The Israeli Knesset is fast tracking a “nation-state bill” which opposition groups have denounced as “institutionalising the apartheid regime”. Knesset members approved the final draft of the bill defining Israel exclusively as a nation for Jews.
The “Zionism’s flagship bill”, as it’s been described by Israeli politicians, will permit Jewish-only communities and mark a dangerous turning point for Palestinians whose democratic rights will come under greater threat.
Critics say the bill will effectively block any chance for Israel’s large Palestinian minority – 20 per cent of the population – to reform Israel in the future into a normal, Western-style democracy. Palestinian members of the Knesset condemned the move saying the bill “institutionalises an apartheid regime in the most blatant way”.
via Israel’s new Jewish state bill ‘institutionalising the apartheid regime’ | Informed Comment
That gulf in pay comes close to the 59 per cent gap revealed on Thursday by HSBC – the biggest yet reported by a British financial firm according to government data.
Thousands of large UK employers have been ordered to disclose their gender pay gaps by April, almost 50 years on from the passage of Britain’s equal pay act.
Gender gap: Goldman Sachs pays female staff in UK 55% less than men
A tailor pushing $122 million in home loans, gym owners assessing peoples’ finances, paper envelopes filled with cash bribes, and a bank chief executive revealing his own customers are getting a raw deal.
via Banking royal commission hears of cash bribes, conflicts of interest and hidden fees – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Proof positive its Poverty and Systemic inopportunity that creates Homelessness. News Corp is so wrong White Culture and social systems are the cause not Aboriginal Culture (OD)
Gerry Georgatos reveals the unemployment and homeless rates in Australia that we’re not being told.
AUSTRALIA IS FACING homelessness and poverty levels the likes it has never known — nor that it’s prepared to admit.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are more than 116,000 homeless Australians.
At least, that’s how many they’ve identified.
However, the number is closer to 300,000 homeless Australians, with more than 100,000 of them being children. Since the data released from the ABS in 2011, we’ve identified that nearly one in five of Australia’s homeless are children aged 12 years and less.
via Facing the facts: Hundreds of thousands homeless and unemployed
In Yemen, 8.4 million people are on the brink of famine and 11 million children require humanitarian assistance, in a population of 29 million. Those children are not receiving the assistance they need because of a Saudi-led, US, UK and Australia-backed, military blockade, using hunger and disease as a weapon of war, which is a war crime.
While they starve, Yemenis are being bombed from the air, and attacked on the ground in collaboration with Al-Qaeda and Al Qaeda-linked militants. Half of the country’s medical facilities have been destroyed, as a Cholera epidemic sweeps the nation. All this is being perpetrated using US, British and Australian weapons.
Why? Because it’s what Saudi Arabia, keeper of the petro-dollar, wants.
Although the UN’s Humanitarian Chief said on January 6th that the situation in Yemen “looks like apocalypse”, on January 16th, the US Army boasted on its Twitter feed that it would continue to boost the Saudi Military’s “powerful capability”.
“Capability” was a buzzword surrounding Australia’s new fleet of tanks on Wednesday as well. Capability for what? Inflicting apocalypse? Capability to starve and bomb millions of impoverished Yemeni people to death?
via Victoria Is Not The Victim: Historic Queensland Defence Contract Showcases Australian Military-Industrial Propaganda – New Matilda
ask yourself a simple question: What sort of war requires no sacrifice? What sort of war requires that almost no one in the country waging it take the slightest notice of it?
via Can Democracy Survive Trump’s untransparent Forever Wars Abroad?
After U.S. president Donald Trump fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, many analysts have focused on how this high-level ouster took place: unceremoniously, on Twitter, not in a face-to-face meeting.
via Pompeo’s rise at State will make Mideast war more likely
Jailed and Banned Senator Jim Molan’s reference to their videos shows a loose who gives a “F” to the verification of the truth, Ignorance is no excuse. ( OD )
via Far-right group Britain First banned by Facebook
“‘Caucasian race’ is the name of the white minority that sits at the summit of human hierarchy. This christening occurred in 1775 at the hand of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach.” [Emphasis added]. Thank you, Eduardo Galeano, and the word in Italics is quite appropriately emphasised.
Blumenbach was a German physician, naturalist, physiologist and anthropologist, whose teachings in comparative anatomy were applied to his classification of human races, of which he determined there were five.
Five years after Cook’s ‘discovery’, and three before Phillip’s ‘settlement’, Blumenbach “saw humanity as a five-story pyramid. On top, the whites. Over the next three floors, the races of dirty skin marred original purity.”
via The dangers of appeasement (Part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Firstly, Dutton’s hand-picked choice to head his paramilitary Border Force, a colleague from his days as a Queensland copper, was finally sacked for using his position to get his girlfriend a job and for not disclosing the relationship. Roman Quaedvlieg is obviously held to a higher standard than Barnaby Joyce who just took a self-imposed temporary demotion for the same thing.
Then we hear that, after meeting with Bob Katter’s son-in-law, who happens to be one of the largest gun importers in the country, Dutton is considering forming an advisory board where the gun lobbyists decide on the suitability of legislation.
That’s like letting the aluminium smelters advise us on emissions reduction or the cotton farmers advise us on water management. Or letting the mining companies devise a mining tax that costs them nothing.
via A big day for a little man – » The Australian Independent Media Network
“Flipping Ignorance” The Conservative’s technique that they call provocative debate. News Corp’s straight on board no facts, trend, analysis or verification required. Whites need to seek asylum lets find one and kidnap him. That’s our Dutton exceptional isn’t he? News Corp not shy when it’s “flip” is the return to the romance of old Apartheid and the Colonial mindset. But then they are inherently against Native Title and Land Rights here too. ( OD)
Let’s start at the beginning. We knew the Liberals, in concert with their media arm, the Murdoch press, would launch a propaganda scare campaign against Labor’s very sensible, fiscally responsible, wealth-inequality battling policy to no longer give self-funded retirees cash they don’t need. How did we know? Because that’s what the Liberals and their media arm, the Murdoch press, exist to do. The sky is falling. Everyone is ruined. The economy will rise up like an angry god and smite us all for hurting those who have bestowed trickle-down wealth upon us. And so on and so forth.
I must admit, it’s a sad turn of events that the likes of Leigh Sales on ABC’s 730 is also playing this game, seeking out Lyle-we need those dividends to live-Essery, to show their sad sad faces on TV, to tell Labor how naughty and mean they are for hurting Jean and Lyle, who did nothing to deserve this. But that’s the thing. Jean and Lyle did do nothing to deserve this magical cash-back bribe from Howard and Costello, other than possibly considering voting for Pauline Hanson, and no one should be rewarded for that dirty idea.
via We need to talk about Jean – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Here lies the Real News one needs to ask why our Government is in the business of selling Fake News ( OD)
via Labor’s tax plan lays bare the hypocrisy of Canberra
John Bolton, a Fox News contributor, is reportedly under consideration to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, likely because President Donald Trump enjoys his television commentary. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations whose tenure was marred by “his inability to make friends and build alliances,” is a Trump sycophant with a history of warmongering and conspiracy theorizing. He also chairs a think tank that’s been called “anti-Muslim,” and he has connections to anti-Muslim bigots.
via John Bolton, Trump’s rumored pick for national security adviser, has a record of warmongering, bigotry, and pushing conspiracy theories
In Australia The Great Sad started with Tony Abbott in 2009 after we dodged the GFC and News Corp declared that was Bad Bad Bad, “Ditch the Bitch” ( OD )
The World Happiness Index is out this year, and the United States is ranked only 18 for the years 2015-2017– lower than Iceland or Costa Rica, and not much ahead of places with real problems like Mexico and Brazil.
And, the US has fallen 4 spots in recent reports.
The US is still the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, so why isn’t it the happiest?
Because although a good income contributes to happiness, power doesn’t seem to, and wealth is only one of six things that makes a person happy (or else millionaires wouldn’t commit suicide).
It turns out that being generous to others makes you happy. Studies have shown if you just help a challenged person to cross the street or do other acts of random kindness everyday, your happiness increases. The World Happiness survey study finds that being welcoming to immigrants is a factor in a society being happy. The Trump administration is making us positively miserable on that scale.
via Happiness Index: From Immigrants to Health, how Trump & GOP are making America Sad (Sad)
Holmes claims that she agreed to give Matthews $70,000 to help build a retreat center on an unused piece of land, which she did. But Matthews claims that she agreed to give him between $1-2 million, and continued to SUE her for the remaining funds after she refused to pay him more.
via Struggling Mom Wins The Lottery And Donates $700,000 To Local Pastor. Then He Sues Her For More…