31 Jul 2015

Death of 18-month-old in arson attack heightens tensions in West Bank

The slumbering Dawabsheh family never stood a chance when a pair of arsonists crept into their home in a village in the West Bank in the early hours of Friday. A smashed window, a flaming molotov cocktail, a whoosh of fire and piercing screams followed. Within minutes, the parents had crawled from the house with life-threatening third degree burns covering most of their bodies. Inside, four-year-old Ahmad was shrieking in fear and pain; his infant brother, Ali, just 18 months old, was dead or dying, his body burned beyond recognition.

Palestinian child dead in suspected Jewish extremist arson attack on home

Within hours, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, condemned the attack – quickly attributed to extremist Israeli settlers – as an “act of terrorism”, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, denounced it as a “war crime”, and the European Union and United Nations had demanded swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice. Thousands of Palestinians attended Ali’s funeral and other protests in the West Bank, their anger fuelled by a litany of settler violence and intimidation. The family’s home in Duma, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, was left blackened with soot and coated in ash, although graffiti left by the arsonists was still visible: “revenge”, “price tag” and “long live the Messiah” were scrawled in Hebrew letters.

More at The Guardian

Refugees from Syria claim racism in Germany is so bad they want to GO HOME

asylum_seekers_germany

Refugees from war-torn Syria claim racism in Germany has become so extreme they want to go home as a growing anti-Muslim movement sees soaring attacks on foreigners. The nation has been gripped by a spate of anti-foreigners rallies, violence and arson attacks against refugee homes or would-be shelters as hundreds of thousands seek refuge in the country. This year has already seen about 200 arson and other attacks against refugee housing while support for anti-Muslim movement, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), has been growing. The growing tensions between citizens and refugees mean some asylum seekers are so scared of attacks they are considering going home.

PEGIDA

Germany is currently struggling to cope with a record influx of refugees with 500,000 expected this year, fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, African nations and recession-stricken Balkan countries. The country has a generous asylum system originally meant to help atone for its Nazi past which has opened the gates to Europe's biggest influx of refugees - sparking ugly reactions that recall Germany's darkest days. At the end of last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to call on Germans to turn their backs on the growing anti-Muslim movement which she condemned as racist and full of hatred, and said Europe's biggest economy must welcome people fleeing conflict and war.

Read more at the Daily Mail Online

30 Jul 2015

Why Is America Outraged For Cecil The Lion, But Not For Sandra Bland?

Can someone – anyone – please explain why America is near-universally outraged over the death of Cecil the Lion, the 13-year-old protected African lion who was recently illegally poached, but not over the death of Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose and so many other recent victims of police brutality, injustice and murder? Cecil the Lion was shot and killed by wealthy Midwestern dentist Walter Palmer last week. Personally, I’m not happy about this. But then again, I’ve rightly been accused of being a “tree hugger” (to say the least).

cecil-the-lion-sandra-bland

When Cecil the Lion was killed, a number of news and alternative media sites ran pieces on the poaching. Each article easily got thousands of shares throughout social media. But Sandra Bland, by comparison, has received far less universal support. While there is outrage, for many it is quite conditional. While many say the police should have done things differently, Sandra Bland is also the recipient of their criticism.

But Cecil the Lion? Nearly everyone defends his right not to be shot. Even people who might not care one bit about what happened to him if he were a different species. Perhaps it’s because he is so rare and Americans want to hold on to him as something of an exhibit. His life is valuable not because it holds intrinsic value; not because it is valuable to him as a sentient being; not because it is anything other than a commodity of human intrigue. It is valuable because the dominant class in human society has decided it has value.

Article by M. David at Counter Current News

28 Jul 2015

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

spikes

These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound. As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful. The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.Of course, these designs do nothing to fight the cause or problem of homelessness. They're just a way of saying to homeless people, "Go somewhere else. We don't want to look at you," basically.

One particular set of spikes was outside a former night club in London. And a local group got sick of staring at them. Leah Borromeo is part of the art collective "Space, Not Spikes" — a group that's fed up with what she describes as "hostile architecture.Spikes do nothing more than shoo the realities of poverty and inequality away from your backyard — so you don't have to see it or confront what you can do to make things more equal," Borromeo told Upworthy. "And that is really selfish. Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

More at upworthy.com

27 Jul 2015

Special Olympics Athletes Forced To Sleep On A Gym Floor And Fight Over Food

Hundreds of athletes arriving for the Special Olympics received a rather uncomfortable welcome to Los Angeles. Around 1,500 Special Olympics delegates spent last night sleeping on a gym floor at Loyola Marymount University, after delayed flights and buses left them stranded. The athletes had traveled from Norway, Mexico, Venezuela, Kenya and the Cayman Islands. Esmeralda Brockhurst, a delegation liaison for Portugal, tells ABC7, "They were sleeping on the floor, they were sleeping on cardboard boxes, things like that."

special olympics

The Red Cross was called in late last night and provided the athletes with 1,200 blankets, 3,000 bottles of water and snacks. Before that, the became situation a bit chaotic, as one member of the British delegation told KNX 1070, “It’s a bit like carnage in there, nobody really knows what’s going on,” he said. “Fighting over food, it’s a terrible situation.”

More at LAist

26 Jul 2015

The People Who Live On This Island Will Kill Anyone Who Tries To Come Ashore

North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal, between Myanmar and Indonesia, is home to an isolated tribe that has never been colonized or even made contact with. These people are one of the last Stone Age tribes on Earth whose culture has been completely untouched by modern civilization. Despite the fact that the island formally belongs to India, no one dares to visit it and approach the Sentinelese tribe. The reason is their extreme violence and hostility – anyone who has ever tried to come ashore the island was attacked or even killed.

Sentinelese-tribe

The Sentinelese are believed to have lived on the island for 60,000 years! After this unthinkable period of time in isolation, it’s no surprise that they are so hostile to outsiders, which may be due to past conflicts with the outside world. In order to protect the Tribe and prevent unnecessary violence, the Indian government has also made it illegal to approach it closer than three miles. Due to the inability to study the tribe and the island, we don’t know much about them.

sentinell

It is estimated that the tribe counts between 50 and 400 members and lives exclusively by hunting and gathering. Though it is difficult to observe the island from the air because of the dense tree cover, it is established that the Sentinelese are not familiar with agriculture. Their drive to protect their culture from the outside world is probably the reason they have survived in isolation for so many years. Who knows how long they will manage to live in the middle of the ocean without having the slightest interest in the “civilized” rest of the world. And perhaps being without contact with us is a good thing.

More at The Mind Unleashed, survivalinternational.org and dailymail.co.uk

25 Jul 2015

American Holocaust

The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust which claimed, according to conservative estimates, 19 million Indigenous People.

24 Jul 2015

Welcome to Parowdise

Jack Parow - A Journey through the last 4 years of my dangerous life. From Russia to Holland, England to Elsierevier, It is all here. Backstage danger, Onstage Shenanigans, Areoplanes to speedboats, drunk to drunker and all my mad fans and friends mixed in with a live show that exists out of Oppikoppi, Hatfield Square and The Assembly, interviews in my bathroom robe and all my music videos with English subtitles "vir die Souties". So Enjoy it and chex if you can spot yourself at one of the shows. HOS JA!!

Jack Parow

Scientists Discover Another Earth

22 Jul 2015

The Russians Are Coming

In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — and attempted to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. In June, VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the "Very High Readiness Joint Task Force."
According to the premise of the exercise, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy, and quickly, to Poland.
While in Poland, we filmed with non-governmental paramilitary groups, which are training young Polish people to defend their towns and cities in the event of a foreign-backed assault. Participation in paramilitaries has reportedly increased since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula. We also traveled north, to visit the border that Poland shares with the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad. This spring, Poland built six high-tech watchtowers along the 125-mile border.
At the end of our trip, VICE News sat down with NATO’s top diplomat, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He told us that NATO was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”
Watch "The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania's Operation Lightning Strike"

VICE News

21 Jul 2015

General Wesley Clark: ‘Disloyal Americans Need To Be Put Into Camps’

Retired Four-Star General Wesley Clark thinks “disloyal Americans” need to be sent away to special camps to “segregate them from society.” He’s referring to people like the Chattanooga shooter, who just shot and killed four Marines and One Navy sailor. What makes his comments so appalling, though, is there’s simply no evidence that the shooter, who happens to be Muslim, did this because of his religion or that he was even “radicalized.”

In fact, Mohammod Abdulazeez showed no outward signs of radicalization at all and even struggled with being a devout Muslim. The FBI has devoted a significant amount of resources to the case, but so far they have produced very little to warrant General Clark’s claims.  All they can seem to find out about Mohammod is that he was suffering many of the same problems a lot of Americans face on a continual basis, i.e., debt problems, and drug and alcohol abuse.

More at Addicting Info

20 Jul 2015

Worlds in Collision

1972 Horizon documentary on the controversial theories of Immanuel Velikovsky

Immanuel Velikovsky was a controversial author, his views on astronomical and historical events have been widely rejected by the academic community, despite some of his ideas to be later proven true.
His books use comparative mythology and ancient literary sources to argue that Earth suffered

Challenging Truths 1964

Outrage Grows After Mysterious Death of US #BlackLivesMatter Activist

Last Friday, an African-American woman was returning home from a job interview in Waller County, Texas, when she was stopped by police. Apparently, she had improperly signaled a lane change. Two days later, the woman, Sandy Bland, was found dead in a jail cell. A video taken by a bystander during the arrest shows Bland shouting that the officer had slammed her head into the ground. According to police, Sandra Bland was taken into custody and charged with "assault of a public servant." On Monday, police say Bland was "found in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation." The announcement was made by Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith. Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Smith was fired from his previous post as chief of police of Hempstead, Texas, amidst accusations of racism. Bland’s friends and family contest Smith’s account, saying the thought of her committing suicide by hanging is "unfathomable." Social media is now ablaze with people demanding answers about Sandra Bland’s death. The hashtag #SandraBland is now trending on Twitter, edging out the Emmys as a topic of discussion. We speak to Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of Truthout and author of "Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better."

http://democracynow.org

15 Jul 2015

Why Is The Child In Hands of The Beggar Always Sleeping?

“Near the metro station sits a woman of uncertain age. Women’s hair is confused and dirty, her head bowed in grief. The woman sits on the dirty floor and next to her lies a bag. In that bag people throw money. On the hands of a woman, asleep, is a two year old baby. He’s in a dirty hat and dirty clothes. “Madonna with baby” – numerous passers-by will donate money. The people of our kind- we always feel sorry for less fortunate. We are ready to give unfortunate people the last shirt, the last penny out of your pocket and never think another issue. Helping, seems like. “Good job done”…

beggar with child

Next day I called a friend. It was a funny man with eyes like olives Romanian nationality. He only managed to complete three and a half years of education. The complete lack of education does not prevent him from moving around the City streets on very expensive foreign cars and live in a “small” house with countless number of windows and balconies. From my friend I managed to find out that this business, despite the apparent spontaneity, clearly organized. Its supervised by begging organized crime rings. The children used are in “rent” from families of alcoholics, or simply stolen.

another beggar with child

I needed to get the answer to the question – why is the baby sleeping? And I received it. My friend Gypsy said the phrase, completely ordinary with calm voice that twisted me in shock, just like he was talking about weather report: -They are on heroin, or vodka … I was dumbfounded. “Who is on heroin? Whom – under vodka?! ” He answered -The Child, so he doesn’t scream. The women will be sitting whole day with him, imagine how he might get bored?

indian beggar with child

In order to make the baby slept the whole day, it pumped up with vodka or drugs. Of course, children’s bodies are not able to cope with such a shock. And children often die. The most terrible thing – sometimes children die during the “working day”. And imaginary mother must hold another dead child on her hands until the evening. These are the rules. And the by passers-by will throw some money in the bag, and believe that they are moral. Helping “mother alone” …

More at World Truth.TV

14 Jul 2015

GOP's Trump problem a monster of their own creation

Rachel Maddow reports on how Donald Trump has been reinforced and legitimized as a political figure by Republican politicians and media outlets, making it difficult to distance themselves from his presidential campaign. Today it was revealed that people attending Trump's campaign announcement included actors paid to attend.

13 Jul 2015

ISIS sex slaves subjected to rape freed by secret resistance network

Women and young girls held as sex slaves by depraved Islamic State militants are fleeing their captors with the help of a heroic underground network of resistance fighters. Risking certain death and torture in a bid to flee their brutal oppressors, many spend several days making their way through Syria and Iraq to the safety of government-controlled territory. Many of them have been subjected to appalling violence, rape and sexual abuse at the hands of ISIS fighters and commanders.

A resistance fighter in Syria carries a girl once held captive as a sex slave to safety across the Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq

ISIS has carried out 'systematic sexual crimes' against girls from the Yazidi community since kidnapping more than 3,000 girls from their homes in northern Iraq last August. Unjustly regarded as ‘devil worshippers’ on account of their unusual beliefs, the Yazidi have for centuries been one of the most persecuted minorities of the Middle East. Islamic extremists regard them as infidels, worthy only of being killed. Those considered the 'most beautiful' by ISIS leaders are sent to horrendous auction houses where they are stripped naked and sold to the highest bidder.

More at Daily Mail Online

Get ready for TTIP

The Trouble With TTIP  - A documentary about the dangers of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade talks being held between the European Union and the United States of America.

Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Would Make a Controversial President

12 Jul 2015

Full Metal Playmobil: The police state comes to kids’ toys

According to Playmobil’s marketing manager: “The whole premise behind Playmobil toys is to familiarize the child with the realities of life through play.” They’ve shown us that it’s a brutal reality, where our rights are shorn away by state employees wearing smiling plastic faces. The following three toys show us just how militarized our society has become. The customer reviews of these toys are priceless.

playmobil-city-action

Playmobil’s Militarized Police Toy

Playmobil’s Tactical Unit Team allows kids to play an updated version of cowboys versus indians, modernized into police officers versus civilians. How could you not love drug-sniffing dogs, swat teams, and black helicopters when you get to hold them in your little hands? Playmobil lets you decide whether black lives matter, and which poor people go to prison for selling $20 worth of weed. Playmobil has had a reputation for realism, especially when it comes to weapons and vehicles. Like it or not, modern police forces have become military forces, and civilians have become enemy combatants. Playmobil toys merely reflect that reality.

Resistance comes in the form of internet comments. The reviews at Amazon are notably libertarian:

“Finally we have the right kind of toy to teach children how to be completely subservient to authority…”

“Perfect for cops to pretend they’re soldiers!”

More toys at libertyupward.com

8 US Right-wing Lunacies This Week

Marco Rubio will not rest until women all over the world no longer have the right to choose abortion.  As president, he would see to it that women in other countries were just as oppressed and pregnant as the ones right here at home. He made this vow during a speech before the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention in New Orleans on Friday. He even compared the fight against abortion rights to the fights to end slavery and for women’s suffrage.

Marco_Rubio_announces_presidential_bid

This is some seriously messed up thinking, which Rubio nonetheless seems to fervently believe in. During his speech, Rubio called the historic Roe v. Wade decision “historically and egregiously flawed.” He did not explain that one, but with this crowd, he did not have to. He talked about how the current occupant of the White House has sought to expand women’s right to choose (and access to birth control), which is just awful. He hoped the crowd would help send him to the White House so he can reverse any progress that might have been made under said occcupant. Finally he commended the crowd for fighting the most important battle in the whole wide world: to deprive women of this measure of control over their reproductive life.

7 More Right-wing Lunacies On Alternet

11 Jul 2015

The Pretender

Foo Fighters

Over 20 Chinese Human Rights Lawyers & Staff Arrested, Kidnapped or Missing

The mass arrests started since lawyer Wang Yu, her husband Bao Longjun and their young son were kidnapped on July 9 (Wang Yu’s arrest, Radio Free Asia). Their son has been released, according to information on WeChat. Her colleague at Fengrui Law Firm,  Beijing lawyer Zhou Shifeng was abducted from his hotel room on July 9, after he picked up Zhang Miao, Chinese news assistant to German magazine Die Zeit since last October for her support to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution.

About a dozen lawyers throughout China were summoned to police station on late July 10 for interrogation, including Lu Fangzhi, Wen Donghai, Yang Jinzhu of Hunan province, Zeng Weixu of Shangdong, Xue Rongmin of Shanghai, Fu Jianbo of Chongqing, Wang Cheng of Zhejiang province, Ji Laisong of Henan province. Lawyers Zou Lihui of Fujiang province, Jiang Yongji of Gansu province have been allowed to returned home after police interrogations. Activist Ou Biaofeng @oubiaofeng Tweeted around 2:50am quoting Yang Jinzhu who’s under interrogation at a police station in Hunan province as saying the Domestic Security officers told him lawyer Zhou Shifeng has committed “severe criminal offence”, according to a decree issued by Beijing.

Wang YuHuman RIghts Lawyer Wang Yu

Renowned legal scholar and lawyer Zhang Xuezhong is suspected to have been detained. The police broke into Zhang’s home, and homes of lawyer Li Dawei in Gansu province, lawyer Guo Xiongwei in Hunan province. Police ransacked a dozen lawyers’ homes in Chongqing city, Yunnan, Hunan, Shangdong, Zhejiang, Henan provinces. According to New York-based activist Wen Yunchaos Tweet @wenyunchao, Chongqing human rights lawyer You Feizhu wrote: “There’re guests outside the door…I firmly believe I’m innocent. You need to firmly believe that, too! I love this country and the people on this land deeply. What I’ve been doing, is just trying to make this country and lives of ordinary people a bit better.”

The mass arrests and kidnapping by Chinese police followed last Wednesday’s passing of National Security Law which lawyers and scholars say gives Beijing more legitimacy to create a garrison state. “This law will legitimize the abuse of power by state and public security bureaus,” said prominent human rights lawyer Teng Biao, who was detained before.

revolution-news.com

10 Jul 2015

Swearing off bad language: Russia bans cussing in films, books, music

Thinking about making a film? Better leave out the foul language if you want it to be seen in Russia. The same goes for plays. Even rock stars will need to leave their potty mouths at home. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law Monday that bans swearing at arts, cultural and entertainment events in the country.

PUTIN-YELLS

Any new film containing obscene language won't be granted a distribution certificate, so there's no chance of seeing it at the movie theater. And copies of books, CDs or films containing swearing can only be distributed in a sealed package labelled "Contains obscene language," a Kremlin statement said.

According to state news agency ITAR-Tass, individuals caught using foul language face a fine of up to $70, while officials can be fined up to $40 and businesses nearly $1,400. They face a higher fine and a three-month suspension of business for repeated offenses.

More at CNN.com

8 Jul 2015

TTIP: How multinationals try to fool civilians, again!

Hillary Clinton Tells Israeli Billionaire and Mega-Donor She Will Support Israel, Fight Palestinian Movement

Israeli-American Haim Saban is one of America's richest men, the owner of numerous media and entertainment outlets — and a big Democratic donor. When the Democratic National Committee needed a new building, he coughed up $7 million to fund it, “one of the largest known donations ever made to an American political party.” What does Saban want for all that money? “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” he said.

Haim-Saban-and-Hillary-Clinton

In order to pursue this objective, Saban has been pouring money into Hillary Clinton's super PAC, $2 million by one estimate. This week, Hillary returned the favor. She wrote a long letter to Saban praising Israel and pledging to fight the Palestinian-led boycott movement, which seeks to use economic pressures to end the occupation of their territories. Saban was so proud of the letter he took the rare step of publishing it in full through a public relations firm, broadcasting it to the world. Here it is.

Click to enlarge

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In the letter, Clinton clearly links the boycott movement to anti-semitism, even raising the terrorist attack in Paris. She also condemns the increasingly popular apartheid analogy, one that current Secretary of State John Kerry used. This is likely intentional messaging, distancing herself from Obama so as to tell pro-Israel donors like Saban that she's on their team.

More at Alternet

6 Jul 2015

Chappie

Crazy Right-Wing American Preacher Says Confederates Will March On The North And Win This Time

Oh, Pastor James Manning, you’re the gift that just keeps on giving. This guy is the one who put up a sign telling black women that gays would take their men. That Obama has released the “homo demons.” That Starbucks was putting semen in their lattes. I seriously worry about this man’s mental state. Perhaps if he acted on those gay urges he’s admitted to, he’d get it all out of his system.

This time the head of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in the Harlem area of New York City is gearing up for a new Civil War. Not metaphorically. No, he means a real, honest-to-god, marching-Confederate-troops-in-uniforms Civil War. To “rescue the North.” Yeah.

“Surely the Confederates and the South will win this time. There’s no doubt about it. They will win this time. Now the nation must be rescued from the liberal God-haters and Constitution-haters and those that are pushing this sodomy agenda. America will be rescued and the rescuers will be the Confederates, the Southerners, those that have been the blood-washed, Bible-believing, locked-and-loaded. I’m James David Manning and I want to be one of them. I’m the Lord’s servant.”

Addicting Info

The Greek No Vote Marks a Victory for Humanity

You could almost hear the collective sound of hearts being lifted across Europe in response to the Greek No ('Oxi') vote to the Troika's bailout demands, making it a moment to savour in itself. The hope that resonates with the defiance shown by the Greek people has been a long time coming for people suffering the weight of austerity, measured in the lack of fight to what has seemed a juggernaut of despair rolling over the lives of millions without respite.
Not anymore.

oxi

What this unfolding Greek crisis has exposed is that austerity is not so much an economic theory as an ideological concept - a code for class war, waged by the rich and their political servants against working people and the poor in order to maintain the wealth, privileges and profits of those who crashed the global economy with their unfettered greed and recklessness in the first place.

The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras

In calling this referendum, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his Syriza government delivered a masterstroke, counterposing democracy to the tyranny of global capital, specifically the European Central Bank, IMF, and the European Commission, otherwise known as the Troika. The pressure arrayed against them in the process, both from without and within Greece by the country's privately owned media was inordinate and unprecedented. Yet despite this the people delivered a resounding No, thus plunging the Troika into crisis as Greece teeters on the edge of bankruptcy and exit from the EU.

More by John Wight on Huff. Post.

4 Jul 2015

Millions of Americans Have Nothing to Celebrate on the Fourth of July

To ring in another July Fourth, most Americans will kick off celebrations with beer, BBQ and fireworks. Most, but not all.

three_young_native_american_men

On Independence Day, the stirring words of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, promising "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," set the tone. Buried a bit further down, however, is another passage that is somewhat less well-known:

"...the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." 

That line, and America's subsequent history with Native Americans, goes a long way toward explaining why the holiday largely does not resonate with the United States' roughly 5.2 million indigenous peoples. 

geronimo

"Any holiday that would refer to my people in such a repugnant, racist manner is certainly not worth celebrating," Simon Moya-Smith, a culture editor at Indian Country Today told Mic. "[July Fourth] is a day we celebrate our resiliency, our culture, our languages, our children and we mourn the millions — literally millions — of indigenous people who have died as a consequence of American imperialism." For him, Independence Day is a celebration of genocide. A number of tribes and nations contacted for this story expressed various levels of discomfort with the holiday.

More at mic.com

What do you think of Israeli settlers forcing Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem

Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about The United Nations, the United States and the European Union have all called on Israel to stop the illegal eviction of Palestinians and the demolition of their houses.
Israelis: What do you think of settlers forcing Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem?

3 Jul 2015

The Church of Neurotology Music Video

10 People Who Turned Against Scientology and Revealed Its Bizarre Secrets

The Church of Scientology, which the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard founded in 1952, has experienced more than its share of criticism along the way. But criticism has escalated in recent years, from Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear (aired on HBO earlier this year, watch here) to books by ex-members such as Jenna Miscavige Hill’s Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape in 2013 and Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology in 2009. All of these works paint a disturbing picture of the organization, which has been accused of everything from forced child labour to coercive mind control to breaking up families.

scientology

Screenwriter/director Paul Haggis, who is known for his work in Million Dollar Baby, Crash and other Hollywood films, spent more than half his life in the Church of Scientology. But in 2009, Haggis (who is now 62), left the cult after 35 years because of its homophobic ways. That year, the cult’s San Diego branch came out in support of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in California. Haggis, who has two lesbian daughters, refused to keep quiet. In an open letter to Scientologist official Tommy Davis explaining his reasons for leaving, Haggis asserted that he could not be a part of a group that would “support a bill that strips a group of its civil rights.” Haggis was also quite critical of “disconnection,” a practice in which Scientologists are encouraged to discontinue all contact with relatives and friends who are deemed hostile to the cult.

9 More People Who Turned Against Scientology and Revealed Its Bizarre Secrets at Alternet

300,000 Babies Stolen & Sold for Adoption by The Catholic Church in Spain

Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals. The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

General-Francisco-Franco

Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal.
Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth. But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.

spanish nurses

In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents. Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.

More at Occupy The Vatican
(facebook: www.fb.com/occupythevatican)

Lost children of Francoism (Wikipedia)

2 Jul 2015

This Is Not A Love Song

Public Image Limited

Syrian children 'increasingly exploited' for labour

The conflict in Syria is pushing an ever increasing number of children into exploitation in the labour market, a new report revealed.

Children in the country were now contributing to the family income in more than three quarters of surveyed households, according the report released by Save the Children and UNICEF. Thursday's report (PDF) also showed that close to half of all Syrian refugee children in neighbouring Jordan were now the joint or sole family breadwinners in surveyed households.

working syrian children

In Lebanon, children as young as six years old are reportedly working, the report said. "As families become increasingly desperate, children are working primarily for their survival. Whether in Syria or neighbouring countries, they are becoming main economic players," Roger Hearn, regional Director for Save the Children in the Middle East and Eurasia, said.

Full story at Al Jazeera English

Save the Children/UNICEF report

1 Jul 2015

Orthodox Jews Can’t Protest Gay Pride Parade, Hire Mexicans Instead

Some of the most curious costumes worn along the parade route belonged to protesters. Behind a barricade, a group of men wore the fringed Jewish prayer garment known as the tzitzit and held up anti-gay signs bearing the logo of a group calling itself the Jewish Political Action Committee. “Judaism prohibits homosexuality,” one sign read.

hired mexicans posing as jews

But the men were not Jewish. They were Mexican laborers, protesting because they were paid to protest, said one of the men, who would not give his name. Heshie Freed, a member of the political action committee, an Orthodox Jewish group based in Brooklyn, said that the men were supplementary troops, filling in for the Jewish students who would normally be called upon to demonstrate.

“The rabbis said that the yeshiva boys shouldn’t come out for this because of what they would see at the parade,” Mr. Freed said.

The New York Times