Monday, December 05, 2016

Fidel Laid to Rest


Fidel Laid to Rest

by Stephen Lendman

After nine official days of mourning, following his November 25 passing, along with moving tributes to an anti-imperial revolutionary giant, Fidel was laid to rest Sunday in a private ceremony in Santiago’s Ifigenia cemetery beside “Apostle of Cuban Independence” Jose Marti.

A wooden box containing his ashes was interred, Sunday’s early morning ceremony attended by family members, Cuban political officials and Latin American leaders.

At 6:39 AM, a military caravan bearing his remains in a flag-draped coffin left Santiago’s Plaza de la Revolucion for his simple ceremonial burial.

Thousands lined the two-mile route, waving Cuban flags and chanting “Long live Fidel!” He’s interred in a granite boulder, identified with the name “Fidel” in gold letters on a green marble plaque, the only official monument to his memory - in recognition of decades of service to his country and humanity.

His interment was simple and private with no speeches, a quiet ceremonial tribute.

His flesh is gone. His spirit remains eternal.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Italy's Constitutional Referendum Rejected


Italy’s Constitutional Referendum Rejected

by Stephen Lendman

Nearly 60% of Italian voters rejected Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s attempted constitutional power grab by referendum endorsement.

Following defeat, he announced his resignation on national television, “accept(ing) full responsibility,” adding he’ll officially resign on Monday.

The referendum, supported by Renzi and his Democrat Party, was first introduced in April 2014. It was approved by Italy’s Senate and lower house Chamber of Deputies in October 2015 - followed by subsequent approvals with amendments in January and April 2016.

It called for the popularly elected Senate, comprised of 315 members plus five lifetime ones, to be replaced by a 100-member body - 95 selected from regional councils, five appointed by Italy’s president, currently Sergio Mattarella.

A referendum was held because a constitutionally required two-thirds majority in each house of parliament wasn’t achieved. A majority popular vote was required for it to become law.

Approval would have granted Renzi’s government authoritarian powers, including denying senators the right to replace a sitting prime minister with another  leader of their choice.

Much like Brits voting for Brexit, the will of the people may not matter, ruling authorities in Italy and the UK perhaps ignoring it, continuing to govern as they wish.

Brexit’s vote was advisory, not mandatory. Parliament has final say, MPs able to disregard the public will, alone empowered to choose Britain’s path.

Its referendum was held last June. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after its outcome, Theresa May replacing him.

Despite saying “Brexit means Brexit,” she’s done nothing to begin the process for Britain to leave the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, leaving in doubt whether she meant what she said.

Italian referendum results followed by Renzi’s resignation doesn’t automatically mean new elections will be held, likely not. Expect a ruling party loyalist to replace him, general elections for both houses of parliament not scheduled until May 23, 2018.

Business as usual will likely continue for now. It remains to be seen if responsible change follows the next general election whenever it’s held. Given Italy’s modern history, don’t bet on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Putin on Uni-Polarity's Failure


Putin on Uni-Polarity’s Failure

by Stephen Lendman

I can’t hide my admiration for a leader abhorring war, wanting global peace and stability, respect for rule of law principles, mutual cooperation among all nations and multi-world polarity.

Putin seeks no country dominating others, exploiting them ruthlessly, wanting dominion over planet earth, a prescription for endless wars of aggression, the American way, not his way.

If that makes me a Russophile, a Kremlin agent, I accept the characterization proudly. I condemn the horrors my country inflicts on others - so much human misery for so long.

Putin’s remarks are always straightforward, saying what he means and meaning what he says. Interviewed on Russia’s NTV channel, he said the following:

The situation is changing. I think, it is not a secret now. Everyone can see many our counterparts prefer using norms of the international law, as the balance in the world is restoring gradually.”

“The attempts to establish the uni-polar world have failed. We now live in a different dimension.”

“We, I mean Russia, always followed the understanding that while protecting own national interests we should respect interests of others. This is how we shall develop our relations with all our counterparts.”

Today, people “listen to those, whose voice is loud enough to be heard. But if this is a minor element in the international relations, then, of course, a good face is possible, but the game anyway won’t be good towards those who are not considered sufficiently big partners.”

Academic, diplomat, former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov’s “knowledge about the (Middle East let him) foresee…negative consequences from the…Arab Spring” before its emergence.

“We could not influence directly and practically development of events, or our opportunities to influence those events were rather limited.”

“Especially since key players on the international arena preferred already not to observe norms of the international law, but preferred to follow their own geopolitical interests and those were cornerstones of their practical activities on the international arena.”

Given America’s rage for dominance, and a new administration about to assume power, its agenda unknown, Putin’s view of uni-polarity’s demise may be premature, at least any time soon.

It clearly failed, its obituary yet to be written, its demise unlikely soon enough to suit millions yearning to be freed from its scourge.

I dream of living long enough to see US supremacy, its self-styled exceptionalism, its indispensable nation nonsense vanish from the landscape like a bad dream - its endless wars of aggression with it, an era of peace and stability replacing it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

DAPL Construction Completion Permit Denied


DAPL Construction Completion Permit Denied

by Stephen Lendman

After months of peaceful protests, withstanding militarized police state viciousness, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters won a glorious, though perhaps temporary, victory.

On Sunday, the US Army Corp of Engineers announced it “will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing…under Lake Oahe in North Dakota…”

Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy based her decision “on a need to explore alternate routes for the (DAPL) crossing,” adding:

Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do.”

“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing” - through an environmental assessment with public involvement.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II released a statement, saying in part:

“We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause” - including Sioux Tribe members, millions of global supporters, thousands coming to Standing Rock, and many others “donat(ing) time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water” and sacred ancestral land.

Separately, he said “(t)his is something that will go down in history and is a blessing for all indigenous people.”

Given Washington’s deplorable history of saying one thing and doing another, including consistently betraying Native Americans since the republic’s inception, it’s too early to declare victory.

The struggle for justice in Standing Rock and for all abused and exploited Americans continues. 

As long as wealth, power and privilege alone is served, ordinary people will be denied their fundamental rights, especially the nation’s most vulnerable.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

A NYT Opinion I Agree With

A NYT Opinion I Agree With

by Stephen Lendman

Honest. I’m not kidding. Pushing for new subscribers, The Times headlined “Independent journalism. More essential than ever” - while omitting the punchline.

Getting it means avoiding what the late Gore Vidal called the “Typhoid Mary of American journalism,” The Times more laughing stock than source for real news, information and opinion.

Administration and Pentagon handouts substitute for all the news fit to print. Monied interests are supported over popular ones, vital truths systematically suppressed.

The Times supports Wall Street and other predatory corporate interests. It’s comfortable with police state laws and militarized police harshness.

It endorses all US imperial wars - past, present and whatever new ones are planned, its editorial policy spurning peace and stability. Beneficial social change is considered heresy.

Unprecedented corporate and government corruption is ignored. So is government of, by and for America’s privileged few alone, most others exploited.

During America’s political season concluded last month, The Times served as a virtual Hillary press agent, ignoring her high crimes, its reporting and editorial policy entirely one-sided - other media scoundrels just as dishonest.

At the same time, they disgracefully denigrated Trump, inventing reasons to bash him, despite no public record on which to judge him - a daily onslaught, continuing post-election in more subdued form.

The best way to stay uninformed is by following The Times and other media scoundrels daily, especially what passes for TV news, deplorable enough to make a grown man cry. 

Staying well-informed requires turning exclusively to alternative independent sources, largely online, ones proven reliable, banishing mainstream ones entirely - unless you prefer being lied to and otherwise deceived.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Fox News Host Chris Wallace Interviews Jill Stein

Fox News Host Chris Wallace Interviews Jill Stein

by Stephen Lendman

My comments follow at the end.

WALLACE: A look outside the beltway at Des Moines, Iowa, where President-elect Trump is set to take his thank you tour next Thursday.

Well, the election cycle that seemed like it would never end technically still hasn't. A recount is currently underway in Wisconsin, with additional challenges in Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

Joining us now to discuss her push for the recounts is Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein.

Dr. Stein, you say that your goal here is not to change the results of the election, but to ensure the accuracy of the count. My question is, why then did you choose three states that Mr. Trump won narrowly but not a state that Secretary Clinton won much more narrowly, New Hampshire, which she won by only 3,000 votes?

STEIN: We didn't go into New Hampshire mainly because the deadline for filing a recount had passed. But, in fact, at the time that we launched the recount, two of the states had gone to Donald Trump. 

Michigan was still uncertain as to which direction it would go. And as far as I’m concerned, if we do find evidence that there's a systemic problem here with these machines, which are extremely unreliable, prone to error, and -- and human error and machine error, as well as to hacking and security breaches, if we find evidence that there is a systemic problem, we need to expand the recount, in my view. That's what the American voters are calling for, an election result and a voting system that we can have confidence in.

WALLACE:  Let me ask -- let me ask you a question, Dr. Stein. Do you know the largest switch of votes in a recount in American political history?

STEIN: Well, I can tell you one, for example, in Toledo, in 2004, there were 90,000 votes that were marked blank, which were discovered actually not to be blank at all. And those -- when the -- when a hand recount was done. 

That would have been enough to have changed the outcome in Ohio. Unfortunately, that wasn't found until after the election was already called.

WALLACE:  But -- but let me tell you the -- the -- the -- the biggest actual switch of votes in any election in U.S. history was back in 2000 when roughly 1,200 votes were switched from Bush to Gore. 

We're talking about three states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, that Donald Trump won by more than 10,000 votes. So there's not a chance in the world here, Dr. Stein, that the -- that the vote change is going to -- that the vote is going to change in those three states.

STEIN: Actually -- actually, in Michigan -- Chris, actually, in Michigan, there are 75,000 votes which are blank, which are sky high compared to all other past elections. They are concentrated in Detroit. That's 75,000 votes which may very well be machine error or human error. 

That is about seven times the margin of difference in Michigan. So these results could, in fact, change the outcome, but we don't know that until we actually examine the evidence. That means a hand recount of the ballots. That is going forward in Wisconsin --

WALLACE:  But it’s never -- it’s never happened. There's never been a 70,000-vote switch. The most there's ever been is 1,247.
Let me ask you --

STEIN: That -- that's actually not true. If the recounts were done in time, they could affect 90,000. And, in fact, in Detroit, there could very well be 75,000.

WALLACE:  I’m -- I’m asking -- I’m talking about -- look, I’m talking, Dr. Stein, about recounts that actually happened, not ones that could have happened.

STEIN: That's because we don't -- that’s because we don’t do them. And, in fact, we should do them. That's how we ensure that we have a system we can trust. And right now, as you know, Chris --

WALLACE:  Let -- let me ask you, Dr. Stein --

STEIN: Cynicism and distrust is running wild. We need to address the fundamental concerns that the American voters are expressing.

WALLACE:  Dr. Stein, let's talk about what a lot of people think is the real point here, and that is, let’s take a look at how much money you raised in your presidential runs. 

In 2012 you raised $893,000 in your presidential campaign. In 2016, $3.5 million. But for this recount, you've raised more than $6.5 million from almost 140,000 donors. Isn't that what this is really about, Dr. Stein, using the recount it raise lots of money and build your list of supporters?

STEIN: Let me be very clear, this money is going strictly into a segregated account which can only be spent on the recount. So this -- this money is entirely -- will be completely used, and we'll be lucky if we can cover the cost at the rate that there is a bait and switch going on here. 

In Wisconsin, we just saw this cost triple. So, to my mind, it’s -- it really underscores why we need a fundamentally secure voting system that has built-in safeguards that should have automatic audits, recounts. 

We need to get rid of these voting machines, these electronic touch screens which have been proven highly vulnerable to tampering, to hacking, to human and machine errors. This is an -- this is an abuse of the American vote.

WALLACE:  So -- so the fact that you have 140,000 donors is purely coincidental, Dr. Stein?

STEIN: Well, put it this way, the American people have made it very clear what they want done here. Chris, coming out of this election, 80 percent of Americans --
WALLACE:  I -- wait, wait, wait, I don’t think the American people --

STEIN: Eighty percent.

WALLACE:  Wait, where do you -- where do you get off saying the American people --

STEIN: Eighty percent of Americans said they were disgusted.

WALLACE:  Where do you get off saying that the American people are calling for this? I think the vast majority of the American people think we should accept the result of the election.

STEIN: Eighty percent of Americans said that they were disgusted with this election --

WALLACE:  I don’t think that was -- I don’t -- it may have been the choice they had. I don’t think it was the system that the -- or a demand for a recount.

STEIN: And we know that about 90 percent of Americans do not have faith. This is a time that people do not have faith -- this is a time that people have an entire loss of faith in our political institutions. The way that the money is coming in from small donors makes it very clear. And, in fact, poll. A poll just last week showed the American people support the recount and that they feel that if Donald Trump was in the reverse position, he would be doing exactly the same thing. Remember, he said that it was a rigged system and that he was not going to accept the result.

WALLACE:  You’ve -- I mean that --
STEIN: So he has articulated what many Americans feel. It's time to respect the views of the American voter and ensure that we have a voting system that we can trust.
WALLACE:  Well, some would say that the views of the American voter were that Donald Trump was elected president. You've now decided to --

STEIN: Well, remember what the voters said by the Electoral College, not by the national popular vote.

WALLACE:  If -- if I may ask my -- if I may ask my question -- if I may ask my question, Dr. Stein, you've now decided to go to the federal court to try to get a recount in Pennsylvania after the state court said that you would have to post, or your supporters would have to post a million-dollar bond and you said they can't afford that. 

You're going to hold a news conference tomorrow in front of Trump Tower. What's he got to do with it?

STEIN: We want to hold this conference where America will see that we are standing up for everyday Americans who do not have confidence in this election system, who have lost confidence actually in our political system. And we're standing up loud and strong to say that we will not be intimidated, we will not be frightened by having to jump through all these legal hoops. We say, what is Donald Trump frightened of because he is obstructing --

WALLACE:  Well, wait -- wait --

STEIN: He is delaying these cases where the decisions have already --

WALLACE:  He got -- he got -- how many votes did you get in -- Dr. Stein, how many votes did you get in this election?

STEIN: Excuse me -- excuse me, how many votes did Donald Trump get? He got about 2.5 million less votes --

WALLACE:  He got -- he got 62.5 -- he got 62.5 million votes.

STEIN: He got about 2.5 million less votes than Hillary Clinton.

WALLACE:  He got 62.5 million votes. How many votes did you get, Dr. Stein?

STEIN: So I think the American people are owed an actual explanation here --

WALLACE:  Dr. --

STEIN: Of what is going on.

WALLACE:  Dr. Stein, could you answer the question?

STEIN: And you do not know until you look at the evidence.

WALLACE:  How many -- how many votes did you get?

STEIN: I am not the -- I am not going to be the beneficiary of this one way or the other. That's why I can do this because I’m a non-partisan in this fight.

WALLACE:  But he got 62.5 million votes. How many did you get? I mean the question really is, who's speaking for American voters, him or you?

STEIN: It’s not about me. This is about -- this is not about -- this is not about Donald Trump. It's not about Hillary Clinton. It's not about my campaign. It's not about Gary Johnson. This is about the American voters who deserve to have a voting system we can trust. When something like 75,000 votes in Detroit may, in fact, be an error because they are -- why would people come out in Detroit, fill in all the other positions but not vote for president?

WALLACE:  Let me -- Dr. -- Dr. Stein, let me ask you --

STEIN: This is a little bit suspicious. We deserve to know what's going on because that, could, in fact, change the outcome of the vote in Michigan.

WALLACE:  In the third presidential debate, Dr. Stein, I asked Donald Trump whether he would accept the result of the election and the principle of the peaceful transfer of power. Here’s what he said.

WALLACE:  Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK.

HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, Chris, let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him.

WALLACE:  Dr. Stein, at that time, a lot of liberals' heads exploded because Donald Trump wouldn't accept the results of the election. Aren't you doing precisely that right now? Aren't you doing exactly what Hillary Clinton called "horrifying"?

STEIN: I am not here to help Hillary Clinton or to express her point of view. In my view, the recount should have happened in the Democratic primary as well, where there were also very suspicious results, where voters appeared to be stripped from the rolls in Brooklyn, where hundreds of thousands of votes went uncounted in California. 

This is not about helping Democrats. It's not about helping Republicans. It’s not about helping Green. I -- you know, this is the question, though, that the Americans care about.

WALLACE:  I didn't ask you that. I asked you what -- I -- that’s not the question asked you, Dr. Stein. I asked you, why not accept the results of the election because what you're going is exactly what Hillary Clinton said was horrifying?

STEIN: I'm not -- I don't care what Hillary Clinton thinks about this and I don't care -- I care what the voters think about this, not what the politicians or the pundits or the party operatives think about this. This is about responding to the American voters who are standing up and saying, we deserve an election system that we can trust and that is accurate, that is secure against hacking, against human error, against machine error, and that in which the votes are being counted, because right now it's not clear that all the votes are being counted. We deserve that so we can go forward with an election system that we can trust.

WALLACE:  Dr. Stein -- Dr. Stein, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. And we'll stay on top of the recount.

My Comments

Throughout her campaign and on Fox News Sunday, Stein’s comments rang hollow. She’s in bed with the devil, her recount scam an attempted coup to deny Trump the presidency he won, wanting it handed to Hillary, despite her claim otherwise.

Saying “we deserve some confidence in the outcome of this election” misses the key point. Hillary as president and commander-in-chief of America’s military risks possible cataclysmic nuclear war with Russia.

Trump’s election dodged a bullet, providing he follows through on normalizing ties with Russia, both countries cooperating in combating terrorism.

Stein knows nothing about real democracy, nothing about America’s political system, nothing about its deplorable history from inception - nothing about fantasy democracy, duopoly power, a one-party state with two right wings, we the people entirely left out, a system too debauched to fix.

Scores of Green Party members oppose her recount scam. A letter they wrote said in part “(w)hile we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein.”

“The decision to pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).”

“(S)tates chosen for the recount are only states in which Hillary Clinton lost. There were close races in other states (she) won, but which were not part of the recount.”

Stein’s scam tarnished herself irreparably, her credibility destroyed, her political career ended.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Disgraceful US Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

Disgraceful US Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

by Stephen Lendman

Long ago, anti-Semitism was an issue in America, very much so when I grew up. No longer. Today it’s in vogue to be Jewish. 

As a Jew, I’m fiercely critical of Israeli ruthlessness, a state run by fascists, Zionist ideologues and religious fundamentalists. I intend no letup in my activism.

Unanimous Senate passage of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is a bone to Israel and AIPAC, its main US lobby. House passage followed by Obama signing it into law is virtually certain.

The measure has nothing to do with addressing a growing number of “religiously motivated hate crimes” - everything to do with targeting vitally needed Israeli criticism and BDS support, especially on college campuses.

The measure aims to “codify the definition as one adopted by the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”

It disgracefully conflates justifiable criticism of Israel with attempts to “delegitimize” its status as a Jewish state, along with wanting it held accountable for crimes of war, against humanity and other human rights abuses.

America and Israel partner in each other’s high crimes. Each fascist regime supports the other. 

The measure requires the Department of Education to redefine Title VI rules of alleged discrimination violations - to suppress pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses.

Is it anti-Semitic to criticize Israeli ruthlessness? At its core, Zionism is fundamentally racist, extremist, undemocratic and militant.

It espouses Jewish supremacy, exceptionalism and uniqueness as God’s “chosen people.” It relies on occupation, oppression, violence and dispossession.

It justifies Jewish ethnocracy based on structural inequalities. It rules by force, not coexistence. It chooses confrontation over diplomacy and the rule of law.

It’s viciously undemocratic, denying Arabs the same rights as Jews, committing slow-motion genocide against millions of Palestinians - with full US support and encouragement.

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is one of many examples of governance in America off-the-rails - a nation doing more harm to more people over a longer duration than any other in history.

Students nationwide should ignore the new measure aimed solely at supporting Israeli ruthlessness. The time for dissent and civil disobedience is now- needed more than any previous time in my memory.

Either we confront growing tyranny in America or face losing all fundamental rights - ruled by bipartisan tinpot officials infesting Washington.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

When Truth-Telling Becomes Russian Propaganda

When Truth-Telling Becomes Russian Propaganda

by Stephen Lendman

Fake news is a US government, scoundrel media specialty - proliferating managed news misinformation agitprop, truth-telling suppressed on issues mattering most.

Propaganda wars precede hot ones. Deception, popular fiction and Big Lies launch them. Intense Russia bashing risks world peace, stability and security.

Washington’s imperial war machine is humanity’s greatest threat. Is Trump up to taming it? Will he try once in office? 

Or were his campaign pledges just bluster? World peace and stability depends on which way he goes - along with whether he’ll defend waning freedoms or eliminate ones left, making America more of a police state than already.

A previous article discussed House passage of the draconian US Intelligence Authorization Act, calling it a huge leap backwards, Senate passage and Obama signing it into law virtually certain.

It aims to counter nonexistent “measures by Russia to exert covert influence, including exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.”

It calls truth-telling by writers like myself and many others “fake news.” It threatens speech, independent media (especially online) and academic freedoms - the hallmark of a fascist dictatorship, wanting information and views contrary to official ones suppressed.

Does supporting Russia’s good faith efforts to resolve conflicts in Syria and Ukraine equitably make me a Kremlin agent or propagandist? Does praising Putin for wanting peace, not war, multi-world polarity, and mutual cooperation among all nations?

Does opposing Washington’s imperial war machine mean I’m unpatriotic? Does patriotism require supporting lawless government policies?

Does opposing might makes right make me an enemy of the state? Does wanting real democracy, not America’s fantasy version? Does believing in the inviolability of international and constitutional law principles?

Does wanting peace and security, imperial wars ended? Does believing in equity and justice for everyone, not just America’s privileged few?

Am I and many others like me endangered if we pursue truth-telling? In 1893, Finley Peter Dunne (1867 - 1936) said “(t)he job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

He said it before the electronic media age, including the Internet, letting activist writers express views freely.

Will the US Intelligence Authorization Act change things? Are First Amendment rights threatened with annulment? 

Will fascist tyranny replace remaining freedoms? Will truth-telling be criminalized? 

Are my days able to write and speak freely numbered - despite committing no wrongdoing now or earlier? Just truth-telling on vital domestic and geopolitical issues, what journalism is supposed to be all about.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hillary Supporter Stein Abandons Statewide PA Recount Scam

Hillary Supporter Stein Abandons Statewide PA Recount Scam

by Stephen Lendman

One almost down. Two states to go. Stein’s recount scam is all about trying to change electoral results for Hillary - a disgraceful coup d’etat attempt, destroying her credibility, rendering her politically dead, harming the Green Party and what it stands for, perhaps irreparably.

She should be expelled, thoroughly denounced and barred from future party participation in any capacity. Betrayal is unforgivable.

Claiming to seek “electoral integrity,” she failed to provide evidence of hacking or other irregularities. 

She only sought recounts in states Trump narrowly won, excluding others he narrowly lost - further exposure of her scam. Financed largely by George Soros money proved it - raised almost overnight, more than amounts throughout months of campaigning since last year.

Late Saturday media reports, including from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, explained the latest as follows:

Unable to post a $1 million bond to pursue her scam, she abandoned her attempt for a statewide PA recount.

Instead, she’ll seek them in densely populated Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware counties, perhaps in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh its seat, according to attorney Lawrence Otter.

In front of Trump Tower on Monday, she’ll have more to say, she announced. Her legal team appears headed for federal court, seeking an emergency order to proceed statewide - claiming Pennsylvania courts aren’t addressing state recount barriers.

Late Saturday evening, her lead attorney, Jonathan Abady, said “on Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”

A Wisconsin recount began on Thursday, not the hand process she wanted, while a federal court is considering a request to halt it. 

Michigan’s recount may or may not proceed this week, Attorney General Bill Schuette asking state Supreme Court justices to halt it before it begins, saying:

Stein isn’t an “aggrieved” candidate entitled to a recount - and there’s no time to complete one.

“If allowed to proceed, the statewide hand recount could cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would put Michigan voters at risk of being disenfranchised in the electoral college.”

“Even though Stein could have petitioned for the recount weeks ago, she waited until the last possible moment under state law to do so.”

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Stein faces enormous challenges in the state. “In a Dec. 2 order, the campaign was told it would have to address concerns about the filing at a Monday hearing.” 

“Among the hurdles: whether the court could hear the case without affidavits from at least five voters specifically saying ‘the election was undue or illegal’ and that the petition to contest it was ‘made in good faith.’ “ 

“In 1925, the state Supreme Court ruled that unless affidavits explicitly made those allegations -even if they were contained in the underlying complaint - the effort to contest the results was fatally flawed.”

Trump won Pennsylvania with a 49,000 vote margin over Hillary. The state Republican party said the election “produced a clear winner, Donald Trump, and the actions of Ms. Stein and her supporters to create the fear of chaos by making baseless accusations of the hacking of voting machines in Pennsylvania were an insult to all Pennsylvania voters.”

Recounts in all three states face a December 13 deadline to resolve contested issues. The Electoral College votes on December 19 - Trump certain to be affirmed as America’s 45th president. On January 20, he’ll be inaugurated to succeed Obama.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Syria Crushing US-Supported Terrorists in Aleppo

Syria Crushing US-Supported Terrorists in Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

Perhaps by yearend, Aleppo will be entirely freed from the scourge of US-backed terrorists - 60% of eastern parts of the city so far liberated, according to various reports.

On December 4, AMN News reported “major advance(s)…jihadists struggl(ing) to hold ground.”

Led by elite Tiger Forces and Republican Guard troops “the Syrian Arab Army stormed the Tariq Al-Bab, Karm al-Tarrab, and Al-Jazmati quarters of east Aleppo, striking the jihadist defenses from several axes, while the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAYF) provided aerial support.”

“In a matter of hours, the Syrian Arab Army managed to break-through Fatah Halab'a defenses at Tariq Al-Bab, resulting in a major advance across this important quarter.”

Other neighborhoods are liberated daily, leaving US-backed terrorists “in a poor position around the remaining districts.”

US-supported Jaish al-Fatah (so-called religious leader) terrorist Abdullah Muhammad al-Muhaysini acknowledged “crushing defeat(s)” at the hands of Syrian and allied forces in eastern Aleppo - calling it fruitless to mount new offensives.

In the past two days, hundreds of families returned to liberated parts of the city after Syria’s General Command of the Army and Armed Forces urged them go home to areas where security and stability were restored.

Rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts began, including restoration of essential services. Syria’s Defense Minister General Fahd Jassem al-Freij visited several liberated neighborhoods.

Briefed by field commanders, plans for upcoming operations were discussed, continued efforts to liberate remaining parts of eastern Aleppo in US-backed terrorists’ hands.

Various jihadist elements vow to keep fighting, one commander saying “we will not surrender. The military commanders in Aleppo said (they won’t) leave the city.”

They’ll either go voluntarily, surrender or die - their choice. According to a Syrian military source, “Syrian Arab Army and Syrian Armed Forces Units on Saturday continued to launch wide-scale military operations against dens and positions of the mercenary-terrorist organizations in different areas across the country, inflicting heavy losses upon them in the arms and personnel.”

With his tenure weeks from ending, Obama’s imperial project in Syria appears doomed. Russia’s intervention last year made the difference, heading toward handing Washington a stunning defeat.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.