Doorgaan naar hoofdcontent


Posts uit januari 29, 2017 weergeven

Land of the Free?

February 4 2017, 3:19 p.m. THE FBI’S RAP BACK program is quietly transforming the way employers conduct background checks. While routine background checks provide employers with a one-time “snapshot” of their employee’s past criminal history, employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. (“Rap” is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; ”Back” is short for background). Testifying before Congress about the program in 2015, FBI Director James Comey explained some limits of regular background checks: “People are clean when they first go in, then they get in trouble five years down the road [and] never tell the daycare about this.” A majority of states already have their own databases that…

Dark Arts

Dark Arts Posted: 03 Feb 2017 11:54 PM PST
How a dark money network is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 3rd February 2017

It took corporate America a while to warm to Donald Trump. Some of his positions, especially on trade, horrified business leaders. Many of them favoured Ted Cruz or Scott Walker. But once he had secured the nomination, the big money began to recognise an unprecedented opportunity.
Trump was prepared not only to promote the cause of corporations in government, but to turn government into a kind of corporation, staffed and run by executives and lobbyists. His incoherence was not a liability but an opening: his agenda could be shaped. And the dark money network that some American corporations had already developed was perfectly positioned to shape it.
Dark money is the term used in the US for the undisclosed funding of organisations involved in political advocacy. Few people would see a tobacco company as a credible so…

Operation Chaos

Operation Chaos: Trump Will Ignite a Powder Keg in the Middle East
By Ramzy Baroud
February 02, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump is about to do just that, reversing an historical course that has been in the making for one hundred years. The inexperienced, demagogic politician hardly understands the danger that lies in his decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If he goes through with this, he is likely to unleash an episode of chaos in an already volatile region. The move, which is now reportedly in the ‘beginning stages’, is not a mere symbolic one, as some naively reported in western mainstream media. True, American foreign policy has been centered mostly on military power, rarely historical fact. But Trump, known for his thoughtlessness and impulsive nature, is threatening to eradicate even the little common sense that governed US foreign pol…

Trump and Iran

What Flynn Could Learn From Kerry About Iran
By Trita Parsi
February 02, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Even the most inexperienced commander knows not to escalate without having de-escalatory options at hand. That is the most troubling issue with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s harsh “notice” to Iran yesterday in response to Tehran’s ill-advised missile test. Flynn’s statement may have been bluster. The Donald J. Trump presidency is only a few days old and there is pressure to signal its firmness and the approach it will take in the Middle East. But bluster without having established a channel for de-escalation is profoundly dangerous, and it is likely to increase rather than decrease the administration’s challenges with Iran. Most pundits and journalists have pressed the White House to specify what it would do in case Iran continues testing ballistic missiles or aiding Houthi rebels in Yemen (a connection that Flynn greatly exaggerated in his statement). Will t…

White Helmet ‘War Porn’ Stars

White Helmet ‘War Porn’ Stars Banned from Oscars CeremonyFEBRUARY 3, 2017 BY 2 COMMENTS 21st Century Wire says… An unexpected silver lining to the cloud of Trump’s visa ban, came to light a few days ago when it was announced that the White Helmet representatives would not be permitted entry into the US, under the new legislation that will be enforced for the next ninety days. The multi million dollar, NATO and Gulf state funded, pseudo humanitarian, Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda “civil defence” group, has, yet again, been thwarted, in its quest for red carpet honour and recognition. The following is a report from RT: Two members of the controversial White Helmets organization that operates in Syria have been barred from attending the Academy Awards, the producer of a documentary featuring the NGO said. The film has been nominated for an Oscar. White Helmets leader Raed Saleh and cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, both Syrian, were invited to the 2017 Academy Awards by Joanna Natase…