Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pepsi admits its Aquafina bottled water is just tap water

Bottled-Water.jpg (NaturalNews) One of the world's biggest bottled water brands, Aquafina, has admitted that its bottled water comes from the exact same source as the water from your kitchen tap. A few years ago, the Pepsi corporation was forced by an advocacy group called, "Corporate Accountability...


Flouride Still Officially Classified As A Dangerous Neurotoxin In Prestigious Medical Journal: Why Is It Still In Our Water?


A couple of years ago, a ground breaking publication in one of the top main-stream medical journals added six additional substances into its classification of neurotoxicants, and one of them was  fluoride.Fluoride is commonly used in dental products, and still remains as an additive in the drinking water supply of numerous communities all over the world. Although activism has been successful in removing it in many countries, cities and communities, some still remain who have yet to take action, one for example, is Toronto, a city of five million plus people.

The abstract reads as follows:

“Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methyl mercury (common in vaccines), polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants – manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated dihenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse”

It’s quickly becoming a known fact that the fluoride in our drinking water is harmful, it’s not even the natural element of fluoride, it’s industrial toxic waste. The publication cites research from the Harvard Medical School of Public Health that found links between fluoridated water, ADHD and mental disorders, you can read more about that here. 

There’s a reason multiple countries and communities all over the world are putting an end to water fluoridation.

“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer deaths than any other chemical. When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that’s been working in this world for generations. There are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions. Fluoride amounts to public murder on a grand scale. It is some of the most conclusive scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research.”   – Dr. Dean Burk, Biochemist, Founder of Biotin, and Former Chief Chemist at the National Cancer Institute of Health.

What Exactly Are We Drinking? 

So what exactly are we drinking? The substance added to our drinking water is called hydrofluorosilicic acid. It is a toxic waste substance created from the production of aluminum, fertilizer, steel and nuclear industries. It’s not the natural element of fluoride, again, it’s industrial toxic waste.

For example, in the Phosphate Mining & Production Industry, much of the hydrofluorosilicic acid occurs from strip-mined rock. The rock is broken up, placed in giant vats where sulfuric acid is also added to get rid of whatever phosphate (and other contaminants) are in the rock. While the phosphate is extracted, the contaminants used to be released into the atmosphere. This was creating more pollution, and killing animal and plant life.

Against Environmental Regulations

 Environmental regulations were put in place where pollution control devices were set up in order to capture the contaminants, like arsenic, lead, mercury, silicofluoride and more. Included in the pollution control device is hydrofluorosilicic acid, so toxic that one needs to wear a full body suit and mask to be around it. These contaminants are then taken out of the chimneys (scrubbed off with the acid) and stored in “open-air cooling lakes,” which are further exposed to airborne contaminants. (See video below)

In regard to the use of fluorosilicic acid as a source of fluoride for fluoridation, this agency regards such use as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering byproduct fluorosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized (source)(source) Rebecca Hanmer – Former Deputy Assistant Administrator For Water, US Environmental Protection Agency

Industrial practices produce millions and millions of gallons of this liquid hazardous waste. Because it costs these corporations thousands and thousands of dollars per ton to neutralize and dispose of (hydrofluorosilicic acid), they instead sell it to the population as a ‘product.’ How ridiculous is that? Hydrofluorosilicic acid is shipped to your local drinking water supplier.

If this stuff gets out into the air, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the river, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the lake, it’s a pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, it’s not a pollutant. That’s amazing. – Dr. J. William Hirzy, Senior Chemist at the US EPA headquarters (source)

 Below is a video by Abby Martin, a former Journalist at RT news going into more detail about Fluoride.

 97 Percent of Europe Doesn’t Fluoridate Their Water

Examples in Europe include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, 90 percent of the UK, Spain, Scotland, Norway, Switzerland and many more. It’s become more obvious everyday that industrial byproducts do not belong in our water. (source)(related article)

It’s not just Europe, multiple communities and cities all over the world have also banned it. Some examples include Windsor, Waterloo,  and multiple communities in Australia. The list continues to grow.


Our world is currently experiencing great changes on multiple levels, and one of them is health. People all across the globe are becoming more conscious about their health, and are starting to notice the many problems that are associated with the global health industry. A great example of this over the past few years has been the emergence of studies that shed light on the dangers of pesticides and non-organic food, and the fact that genetically modified food might not be safe as we thought. You can read more about that HERE. Another great example were the “Marches AgainstMonsanto“, which saw millions of people gather all over the world to oppose the bio-tech giant. Fluoride however, is arguably the biggest indication that the world of health is changing for the better as so many communities and cities all over the world have removed it. Contrary to popular belief, we do have the ability to create the changes that are greatly needed at this time.




"How Is This Not Classified?"- Obama Used A Pseudonym In Emails With Hillary, FBI Data Dump Reveals


Following Ted Cruz's endorsement of Donald Trump and president Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, aka the "Sept 11" bill allowing victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US court, the trifecta of Friday afternoon data dumps was completed by the FBI, when the agency released 189 pages of notes from its investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server, just three days before she squares off against Donald Trump in the first presidential debate.

The notes are from FBI's interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and Marcel Lazar, also known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer." A summary of the interviews had been released in the overall FBI report. Politically, Friday's release helps keep the issue relevant before Obama and Hillary hit the debate stage on Monday in what is set to be the most watched presidential debate in history with some 100 million expected to watch. The release also came hours after news that top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills had obtained a limited immunity deal from the FBI in order to cooperate with its investigation.

Much of the released information had already been made public. One notable exchange from the FBI's June 7, 2016 interview with "Guccifer" supposedly confirms FBI Director Comey's claim that Lazar falsely asserted to Fox News that he'd accessed Clinton's server.  "Lazar began by stating that he had never claimed to hack the Clinton server. [An FBI agent] then advised that Fox News had recently published an article which reported that Lazar had claimed to have to Clinton server. Lazar then stated that he recalled the interview with Fox News, and that he had lied to them about hacking the Clinton server." It remains unclear why he would have lied.


Among the other FBI interviewees whose reports were made public Friday included Jake Sullivan, Clinton's policy planning director; Bryan Pagliano, a former Clinton technology aide; Monica Hanley, a veteran Clinton aide who worked for her in the Senate and at State; and Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton’s longtime confidant.

In other interviews released Friday evening, Clinton aides seemed generally unconcerned about her use of a private email server and said she adhered to standard security measures - arguments they have made extensively in public. As CNN reported, one IT worker took a somewhat cavalier attitude, joking in one interview that a new 60-day retention policy was a "Hillary coverup operation" - which sparked the Trump campaign's anger.

"The fact an IT staffer maintaining Clinton's secret server called a new retention policy designed to delete emails after 60 days a 'Hillary coverup operation' suggests there was a concerted effort to systematically destroy potentially incriminating information," Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement. "It's no wonder that at least five individuals tied to the email scandal, including Clinton's top State Department aide and attorney Cheryl Mills, secured immunity deals from the Obama Justice Department to avoid prosecution."

But perhaps the most interesting finding emerged from the "Miscellaneous" section in the Huma Abedin interview, in which it was revealed that none other than president Barack Obama had used a pseudonym in his communication with Hillary. In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was presented an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, dated June 28, 2012 with the subject "Re: Congratulations", Clinton's aide did not recognize the name of the sender.

"Once informed that the sender's name is believed to be pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: 'How is this not classified?'" the report says. "Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president's use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email."


According to Politico, the State Department has refused to make public that and other emails Clinton exchanged with Obama. Lawyers have cited the "presidential communications privilege," a variation of executive privilege, in order to withhold the messages under the Freedom of Information Act. It is therefore unknown what the president's "alternative" email account was, or who hosted it.

Another curious discovery is the admission the Huma Abedin may have forward most if not all of her internal emails to her Yahoo email account "if she needed to print an email or document." In light of the recent revelation that half a billion Yahoo user accounts have been hacked definitively as of 2014 - and perhaps sooner - a quick scan through the dark web may reveal countless state department emails floating around in the hacked cloud, some perhaps originating from the president himself.


But going back to Obama's use of a psudonym to communicate with Hillary, this is especially notable because in a March 2015 interview with CBS, just after the NYT reported of Hillary's use of a private email server, the president said he had only learned about this from the press: in retrospect he may have known all along.

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Mr. Obama when he learned about her private email system after his Saturday appearance in Selma, Alabama. "The same time everybody else learned it through news reports," the president told Plante. "The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails, the BlackBerry I carry around, all those records are available and archived," Mr. Obama said. "I'm glad that Hillary's instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed."

The president apparently had no problem that hillary would also delete some 15,000 emails despite a retention order, over which over 5,000 were work related.

At the time Hillary Clinton tweeted that "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible." The president reiterated his support of these actions. Only later would it emerge that she deleted thousands of work-related and potentially confidential emails as part of the following infamous BleachBit purge.

As CBS quoted Obama then, "despite widespread criticism from Republicans who believe Clinton acted inappropriately, the president continued to defend his former Cabinet member's record. "Let me just say that Hillary Clinton is and has been an outstanding public servant. She was a great secretary of state for me," Mr. Obama said.

As it now emerges that Obama himself may have "stretched the truth" in saying he did not know about Hillary's email server, one can see why Obama thought Hillary was an outstanding public servant.

* * *

The full notes from Huma Abedin's interview with the FBI are below:


Friday, September 23, 2016

Media Blackout: ABC, NBC Still Refuse to Air Single Word About Dakota Access Protests

dakota accessThis is despicable.


Disabling the male gaze: “Longing” to be objectified won’t help shatter narrow beauty standards




A photo of the author. (Credit: Folke Lehr)

“So do you think the fact that you haven’t had a boyfriend yet is because of your dwarfism?” the interviewer asked with a smile.

What a fun thing to ask a teenager on national television, I groaned to myself. I was born with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. Physical markers include a sway-back, a comparatively large skull, short but wide hands and feet, and hip joints that swing when I walk. More than 60 scars from limb-lengthening procedures traverse my arms and legs. I opted against any procedures to remove them, seeing them as merit badges I earned rather than deformities to expunge.

Returning to the reporter’s question, I wondered, could one answer possibly be better than the other? “Yes, the boys I’ve liked are that superficial?” “No, it must be my personality?” I finally admitted that the possibility had crossed my mind more than once, but then emphasized that I didn’t like to think of either my dating history or my dwarfism that way.

This week, however, the New York Times touts this precise line of thinking in its series on disability with Jennifer Bartlett’s piece “Longing for the Male Gaze.” In it Bartlett explores the ways in which she believes her cerebral palsy has cost her catcalls and compliments from construction workers. She paints this experience as lonely, contrasting it to Jessica Valenti’s recent autobiography of frequent street harassment, saying ultimately: “I still would much rather have a man make an inappropriate sexual comment than [as a disabled person] be referred to in the third person or have someone express surprise over the fact that I have a career.”

Is it safe to assume she is discounting inappropriate sexual comments by abusers and fetishists, both of which disabled people endure at rates far higher than the general population?

Abuse and fetishism are the covert side of the macho male gaze. In public, Bartlett is right that the male gaze does indeed blind itself to the existence of women who don’t meet mainstream beauty standards. This is why it claims that women are picky while men will jump anything they see — the desires of women who are not conventionally attractive simply do not enter into the equation. Rarely are filmgoers asked to follow a visibly disabled heroine on a romantic journey pulsing with passion. Dustin Hoffman explained the problem perfectly — and tearfully — to the American Film Institute in an interview about his performance as a woman in “Tootsie”:

I thought I should be beautiful. If was going to be a woman, I wanted to be as beautiful as possible. And [the makeup artists] said to me, “That’s as good as it gets. That’s as beautiful as we can get ya, Charlie.” And it was at that moment that I had an epiphany. And I went home and started crying. Talking to my wife… I said, “I think that I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have for us to ask them out.” She says, “What are you saying?” I said, “There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.”

In my 15 years of working to broaden beauty standards and find the key to healthy body image for all, I’ve encountered those who echo Bartlett’s longing. They consider themselves unlucky in love and sex because our culture does not deem their bodies to have broad appeal, and they wish ever so much that they did. When this longing devolves into jealousy of the beauty queens, they often seek solace in finding bodies that could be rated below their own rather than in resisting the temptation to compete at all. And that way meanness lies.

Calling out the male gaze for erasing certain body types is crucially important. Pop culture loves to forget that being conventionally attractive — like being disabled — is neither your fault nor your achievement. But basing your body image activism on your personal insecurities earns you at best political solidarity and at worst pity. It doesn’t make people find you attractive.

Being told you’re beautiful can feel fantastic. I’ve heard it from both lovers and strangers on the street. But the street version is at best a cheap high compared to the profound and lasting joy generated by someone who’s come to love you more the more they’ve gotten to know you.

And is the cheap high from strangers worth the fall that will invariably come from being ignored — or insulted — on a day that you look heavier, older or more disabled? Is the possibility of feeling praised worth the risk of feeling threatened? Even the one exchange with a stranger that left me smiling was spent mostly feeling cagey, as I was haunted by memories of the worst experiences I’ve had in public. And those were mild compared to Valenti’s — I’ve never been ejaculated on in the subway.

Bartlett acknowledges this, writing, “I also do understand what it feels like to get attention from the wrong man. It’s gross. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary and tedious. And in certain cases, traumatic.” By “the wrong man,” does she mean someone who is particularly aggressive? Someone she simply doesn’t connect with? Or someone she deems unattractive?

Throughout her piece, Bartlett questions mainstream beauty standards while continuing to use the language that upholds them. “When I was younger, in my 20s,” she writes, “I was a thin, slight woman. I have also always been beautiful and a nice dresser.” In other words, if it weren’t for her cerebral palsy, she would get catcalled with the best of them. While it’s important she can see her own beauty, her self-praise carries with it the implication that not thin and not beautiful women should expect to be overlooked. Which should make anyone who genuinely believes in Liberty and Healthy Body Image for All uncomfortable.

The most interesting part of Bartlett’s piece is when she describes online dating. Her shift from hiding to divulging her disability evoked a shift in both the quantity and quality of the attention she got. “This all feels like a political act, and in some ways it is,” she notes. “Strangely, my disability makes me feel as if I have license to play with and deconstruct sexuality in ways I might not have the bravery to do as an able-bodied woman. One of the privileges of being an outsider is that you are not expected to play by the insiders’ rules.”

But does she not play by them by longing for the same superficial prize? A society that rewards people for the achievement of meeting mainstream beauty standards is doomed to punish others for the offense of not meeting them. For every potentially pleasing catcall, there’s a slimy joke about which bodies deserve to be called ugly. For every chauvinist comment a woman chooses to interpret as a compliment, there’s a woman pressured to obsess over how she should interpret silence. For every beauty pageant where the viewers feel better about themselves by living vicariously through the winners, there’s a reality show where the viewers feel better about themselves by gawking at the freaks. Google “dwarf” or “little people” and you’re a lot likelier to see the latter rather than the former.

We would do well to abandon the modes of thinking that fuel either.

I’ve spent the time since that awkward interview in my teens trying to question the rules of the dating game instead of questioning my body. And my experiences have justified this endeavor. After all, people too myopic to handle exceptional bodies should be the ones crying — like Dustin Hoffman. Having broad appeal is no guarantee of lasting love. Dating scorecards are for those who believe in quantity over quality. Virginity is a social construct. The phrase “out of my league” is by far one of the most useless to me, having witnessed plenty of conventionally attractive friends drop to their knees in awe over those who are anything but. And no number of Facebook likes will ever come close to eliciting the thrill that you get from someone who loves you saying something particularly wonderful about their favorite photo of you.

No matter what I look like to others, I’d rather be one person’s work of art than a million people’s piece of meat. By virtue of having a rare disability, my body has been sliced up enough already.


The Secret Tool the FDA Uses to Control News Reports About Its Decisions


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), apparently not satisfied with exerting a considerable and often wildly inappropriate amount of control over what people can put in their bodies, has also taken extraordinary and secretive steps to control what sorts of information people can read about the agency's decisions.

To understand how the FDA controls news about its policies, you have to understand news embargoes, in which a source agrees to provide information if reporters agree to hold the news until a specific time.

Embargoes are a widely employed and often useful part of journalism: They can help give reporters time to go over stories—especially those with complex, technical aspects—carefully, and can help ensure that critics and opinion writers don't feel pressured to rush to judgment. Embargoes, in other words, give reporters the opportunity to think, clarify, and work through a story without worrying about getting scooped. And in the process, they can help create better journalism. Or at least that's the hope.

The flip side, of course, is that embargoes can also be used by sources to control stories, at least to some extent. By forcing every outlet to agree to the same embargo, PR operators can ensure that there's a flood of stories all at once, making it seem like something—usually a product that someone is trying to sell—is suddenly everywhere in the news. Embargoes can also be used to keep negative news and reviews from leaking before a product hits the market. In at least one case I'm aware of, video game critics, in exchange for early access to a game, were forced to agree to an embargo that didn't lift until 12 hours after the game was available to buy online.

Traditionally, the limiting factor on embargoes stories is just time. But according to scathing report in Scientific American, the FDA has recently been adding another factor for sharing news with early reporters: No outside sourcing. This turns into what is called a "close-hold embargo."

The FDA initially attempted to impose a close-hold embargo in 2011, according to the story, but updated its official embargo policy to allow reporters to contact third parties following complaints by journalists. Except that apparently the FDA secretly went ahead with a close-hold embargo strategy anyway, despite its own publicly posted rules. And according to snippets from an agency memo published by Scientific American, the explicit goal is to shape and control news coverage:

The FDA, too, quietly held close-hold embargoed briefings, even though its official media policy forbids it. Without a source willing to talk, it is impossible to tell for sure when or why FDA started violating its own rules. A document from January 2014, however, describes the FDA's strategy for getting media coverage of the launch of a new public health ad campaign. It lays out a plan for the agency to host a "media briefing for select, top-tier reporters who will have a major influence on coverage and public opinion of the campaigns.… Media who attend the briefing will be instructed that there is a strict, close-hold embargo that does not allow for contact with those outside of the FDA for comment on the campaign."

Why? The document gives a glimpse: "Media coverage of the campaign is guaranteed; however, we want to ensure outlets provide quality coverage of the launch," the document explains. "The media briefing will give us an opportunity to shape the news stories, conduct embargoed interviews with the major outlets ahead of the launch and give media outlets opportunities to prepare more in-depth coverage of the campaign launch."

The FDA has apparently relied on this practice not only to control when news is published, and who reporters talk to for their stories, but which news organizations get access to information. As the Scientific American story notes, major outlets such as Fox News and National Journal sometimes didn't receive invites to pre-release press briefings at all. In one case documented in the story, an FDA spokesperson told a National Journal reporter that the agency could not confirm or speculate on the timing for the of new rules regarding e-cigarettes—despite having already scheduled a release date and set up a briefing with other news outlets. In another, an FDA spokesperson claimed not to have contacted Fox News because of a lack of a good press contact.

The FDA, for its part, doesn't like it when reporters acknowledge that close-held embargoes even exist. After The New York Times noted in a story that the FDA had provided information on the condition that they "not talk to industry or public health groups" until after the news was public, an FDA official sent the Times reporter responsible for the story an email complaining about the mention, and noting that no other outlet had shared the details of the embargo. The very fact that a close-held embargo is in place is supposed to remain secret.

The FDA is not alone in its use of close-hold embargoes. For example, early details about a 2012 paper, which was eventually retracted, claiming a connection between genetically modified foods and rat cancer, were also provided under similar rules. But the story focuses on the ways in which the FDA has used the practice, despite its official policy saying otherwise.

This whole thing is appalling, especially given that it's an arm of the federal government using it to prevent the public from seeing outside opinions on its decisions.

Unfortunately, the strategy seems to work much of the time, as the story notes that reporters from major news outlets, including all the broadcast TV networks, CNN, and the Associated Press, have participated in such embargoes, and published stories without any critical comment.

At that point, why not just become an FDA press officer? In fact, as the story notes, one former reporter for the AP did just that. When Scientific American asked for comment on the his work as a reporter, he responded: "I'm not really sure whether I'm comfortable discussing that at this point."


Brazil’s Big Media Ignores Temer’s Confession — Except Estadão Columnist Who Falsely Claimed Video Was Altered


The Intercept Brasil’s Inacio Vieira yesterday reported one of the most significant pieces of evidence yet about the real reason for the impeachment of Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff. Speaking to a group of U.S. business and foreign policy elites, the country’s installed president, Michel Temer, admitted that what triggered the impeachment process was not any supposed “budgetary crimes,” but rather Dilma’s opposition to the neoliberal platform of social program cuts and privatization demanded by Temer’s party and the big-business interests that fund it.

But what’s as revealing as Temer’s casual acknowledgement of coup-type motives is how Brazil’s large media — which is united in favor of impeachment — has completely ignored his comments. Literally not one of Globo’s countless media properties, nor the nation’s largest newspaper, Folha, nor any of the nation’s large political magazines have even mentioned these stunning and incriminating remarks from the country’s president. They’ve imposed a total blackout. While numerous independent journalists and websites have reported Temer’s admission, none of Brazil’s major media outlets have uttered a word about it.

The only exception to this wall of silence was a columnist from the right-wing newspaper Estadão, Lúcia Guimarães, who spent several hours on Twitter yesterday completely humiliating herself in a spirited attempt to deny that Temer actually said this. She began by insinuating that The Intercept Brasil made a suspicious “cut” in the video that altered reality — basically accusing Vieira of committing fraud without the slightest evidence, all to protect Temer.

Then, after a Folha columnist sent her a link to the full video showing that nothing was distorted, she nonetheless announced that she would only believe Temer said this once she saw the drives from each camera simultaneously played, and she added that what made the story so suspicious was that President Temer is a best-selling author of a book on constitutional law who would not say such a thing about impeachment. Only once the full transcript of Temer’s remarks was posted would she finally admit that he really said it, but rather than retract her false accusations or apologize to Vieira and The Intercept Brasil for having implied the video was fraudulently edited, she instead simply posted the relevant part of Temer’s remarks without reference to her prior efforts to smear Vieira, as though she were the one who discovered and was reporting these comments for the first time. Even once she did finally admit the truth about Temer’s remarks, she bitterly claimed that impeachment opponents were turning the story into a “carnival” and celebrating the revelation.

Although she was forced into it by virtue of having embarrassed herself, all to defend Temer, at least this Estadão columnist acknowledged the existence of this obviously big story. The rest of the large Brazilian media has completely ignored it. Just contemplate that: The installed president of the country admits to a room full of oligarchs and imperialists in New York that he and his party impeached the elected president for ideological and policy reasons, not because of the stated reasons, and the entire big Brazilian press pretends that it never happened, refuses to inform Brazilians about what the installed president admitted, and ignores the huge implications for what this illuminates about Dilma’s removal.

There’s a reason Reporters Without Borders dropped Brazil to 104th in its world press freedom rankings and denounced the country’s large corporate media as a threat to democracy and a free press. As the Brazilian activist Milly Lacombe put it this morning: “Temer confesses to the coup, there exists a recording of the confession, and our corporate media hides what he said. Is that sufficient, or do you need more?” Through their disgraceful silence, they just provided one of the most vivid examples yet of the truth of RSF’s denunciations.

Sign up for The Intercept Newsletter here.

The post Brazil’s Big Media Ignores Temer’s Confession — Except Estadão Columnist Who Falsely Claimed Video Was Altered appeared first on The Intercept.


Ian Welsh – The Wells Fargo Scandal Was By Design


Some years ago I worked for a mid-sized financial multinational.  Towards the end of my tenure my employer merged with another company, and the senior executives in my department were replaced with Americans.  (It was the smallest department in the division, and they felt they should give the Americans something.) There had been some… dubious… practices before, stuff that skirted ...

The post Ian Welsh – The Wells Fargo Scandal Was By Design appeared first on Progressive Radio Network.


"This Is An Absolutely Corrupt Process" - Clinton's Deleted Emails Won't Be Released Until After The Election


One month ago, we reported that the State Department announced some good and some bad news for transparency advocates was disclosed, when Hillary Clinton's former employer said it would release all of the deleted work-related emails that the FBI recovered from Hillary Clinton’s private system, eliminating the possibility that the messages will remain secret. The State Dept had "voluntarily" agreed to produce non-exempt agency records responsive to Judicial Watch's FOIA request. That was the good news. The bad news was that as we said, it remains unclear if the full set of emails would be released by the presidential election on Nov. 8.

Now we know the answer: no, it won't.

According to a new timetable set Friday by a federal judge, most of Hillary Clinton’s deleted, and then recovered, emails won’t be made public until after Election Day. As the WSJ reports, Judge James Boasberg on Friday ordered the State Department to finish processing 1,050 pages of material for release by Nov. 4—just a fraction of what could be as much as 10,000 pages of material. 

The farcical development, and latest confirmation of corruption at all echelons of US government, was revealed when the judge set the new timetable, which previously was expected to play out in the coming weeks, after acknowledging that the State Department was struggling to manage the burden of dozens of lawsuits and thousands of requests for records from Mrs. Clinton’s time in office.

In other words, because Clinton has been sued so many times for non-compliance with subpoenas, for destroying evidence, for purging servers, for crushing cell phones with hammers, and generally for hiding information, the State Department - with its thousands of government employees - is unable to provide the public with what may be the most important glimpse into Hillary's allegedly criminal activities: the not so arbitrary deletion of up to 15,000 emails.

According to the WSJ, the new schedule would push the release of most of the newly discovered emails past Election Day, at which point not even the most scandalous revelations would have any impact on the outcome of who is America's next president.

To be sure, some emails will be made public: the first batch, appropriately filtered to exclude any sensitive topics, is due to be released on Oct. 7, with two other pre-Election Day releases scheduled for Oct. 21 and Nov. 4. After that, the State Department has committed processing 500 pages a month.

The State Department says it has identified roughly 15,000 email messages to or from Mrs. Clinton that the FBI recovered and turned over to the State Department. Of those 15,000, about 9,400 have been deemed purely personal and will be excluded from release, according to lawyers representing the Department.  Another 5,600 emails were deemed work-related but State Department attorneys warned that up to 50% of those are duplicates of emails that Mrs. Clinton already turned over.

It is worth repeating: nearly 6,000 work-related emails were deleted by the same person who assured Congress that none such emails were purged, and only personal stuff was "BitBleached."

As the WSJ adds, department lawyers said they aren’t sure how many total pages the newly discovered emails comprise but that each email comprised on average about 1.8 pages, they said.

But while this legal travesty should infuriate all Americans, no matter if on the left or right, the one person most outraged was Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, the man single-handedly responsible for the countless of Clinton emails revealed in the past year (whatever happened to independent, investigative media), who said that “the American people could be deprived of this information at this essential time."

"this is an absolutely corrupt process the State Department has come up with,” Fitton said, blaming the department for the continuing delays.

As a reminder the either blatantly corrupt, criminal or merely grossly incompetent FBI closed its investigation into Hillary without recommending any charges, although recent Reddit revelations that Hillary's tech aide had sought outside assistance to purge her email server, provides some hope that some less corrupt government organization, clearly not the FBI, may actually get to the bottom of Hillary's ongoing email scandal. That said, having seen how the US legal system works, we are not holding our breath.


Siding With Saudi Arabia, Obama Vetoes Sept 11 Bill Passed Unanimously In Congress


It has been a day of Friday afternoon surprises: just one hour after Ted Cruz pretended to endorse Donald Trump when he really meant don't vote for Hillary, president Obama denied what all American citizens demanded - and got - after both chambers unanimously passed the Sept 11 law several weeks ago, when he decided to veto the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act bill.


As The Hill reports, Obama on Friday vetoed legislation that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S courts, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Congress.  Obama’s move opens up the possibility that lawmakers could override his veto for the first time with a two-thirds vote in both chambers. Worse, it now appears - with reason  - that Obama has now sided not with the US population but with a small minority of Saudi emirs.

Republican and Democratic leaders have said they are committed to holding an override vote, and the bill’s drafters say they have the support to force the bill to become law.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) unanimously passed through both chambers by voice vote. 

But the timing of the president’s veto is designed to erode congressional support for the bill and put off a politically damaging override vote until after the November elections.  Obama waited until the very end of the 10-day period he had to issue a veto, hoping to buy time to lobby members of Congress against the measure. 

More details:

White House officials also hope congressional leaders will leave Washington to hit the campaign trail before trying for an override, kicking a vote to the lame-duck session after the election.


But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said the upper chamber will remain in session until the veto override vote is done. Under current law, 9/11 victims' families may sue a country designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, such as Iran. JASTA would allow U.S. citizens to sue countries without that designation, including Saudi Arabia.

The measure has touched a political nerve ahead of an election in which terrorism has emerged as a central issue. It has strong bipartisan support and is backed by 9/11 families’ organizations. 

Those families have sought damages from Saudi Arabia, since 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001 hailed from that country.  Critics have long been accused the Saudi government of directly or indirectly supporting the attacks, though a concrete link has never been proven.  

* * *

Obama has strongly opposed the legislation, arguing it would undermine sovereign immunity and open up U.S. diplomats and military service members to legal action overseas if foreign countries pass reciprocal laws.

But most of all, the administration is also wary of angering Saudi Arabia - one of the most generous donors to the Clinton Foundation and an alleged sponsor of Hillary's presidential campaign - which is forcefully lobbying against the measure.


Savings Guarantee? U.N. Warns Next Financial Crisis Imminent


Savings Guarantee? U.N. Warns Next Financial Crisis Seems Imminent

“There remains a risk of deflationary spirals in which capital flight, currency devaluations and collapsing asset prices would stymie growth and shrink government revenues. As capital begins to flow out, there is now a real danger of entering a third phase of the financial crisis ...”

UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Annual Report (UNCTAD), September 22, 2016

image (5)Image from "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay - Wikipedia

This hard hitting critique in the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Annual Report, released this week, is suggesting that the ‘third leg of the world's intractable depression is yet to come.’

"Alarm bells have been ringing over the explosion of corporate debt levels in emerging economies, which now exceed $25 trillion. Damaging deflationary spirals cannot be ruled out," said the annual report of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

But what does these grand, scary predictions really mean for us? Bankruptcy? Economic collapse? Apocalypse now? End of the world as we know it?

The UN economists certainly think that a la 2007/2008, we are on the verge of the third leg of the global financial crisis - with prospect of epic debt defaults.

We may soon experience the end of the financial world as we know it … but investors and savers feel fine! Many bond and stock markets, including the S&P 500, continue on their merry way to all time record highs.

Few know, or (it seems) care anymore. As we end yet another week with yet another anticlimactic announcement from the "all powerful" Fed, it is understandable that many of us are feeling some cognitive dissonance when it comes to the real impact of central bank announcements, economic forecasts and political changes.

Bail-In Regime Cometh

There was one major ‘solution’ to the crisis that was announced in recent years with so much spin you would be forgiven for thinking it has little to do with you. When in truth you are the one who could be most affected.

In 2012 the release of a joint paper from the US Federal Deposit Scheme and the Bank of England included the words; “deposit schemes may have to contribute to the recapitalisation of a failed bank”. Bail-ins in the UK banking system had become a possibility.

This was made official by a “watershed” moment in 2014 when Mark Carney announced the end of the bail-out era, he was calling time on ‘too big to fail’ for banks.

“Let’s face it, the system we’ve had up until now has been totally unfair…The banks and their shareholders and their creditors got the benefit when things went well. But when they went wrong, the British public and subsequent generations picked up the bill – and that’s going to end.”

The media, politicians and until now, the general public fell for this. The promise of no more bailouts has resulted in feelings of reassurance that the taxpayer won’t be asked to foot the bill when irresponsible bankers mess up.

But this is fundamentally wrong. As we outline in a forthcoming report on bail-ins, the British public and subsequent generations are still going to be ‘picking up the bill’.

For the first time depositors in the form of retail savers and companies with capital, (who also happen to be taxpayers) will also be exposed in the event of governments bailing out banks again.

But what about the much supported Deposit Guarantee Scheme? It’s unlikely to last, or mean much when crunch time comes.

“It is not enough to have just a Deposit Guarantee Scheme [for a major bank rescue] if the losses are vast enough, then the haircuts imposed by the resolution authority can in principle permeate to any level of the creditor stack. In the case of insured deposits, that means Deposit Guarantee Schemes suffering losses …”

Paul Tucker, Deputy Governor Financial Stability of the Bank of England, October 2013

In the EU depositors are protected by some form of a deposit guarantee scheme, EUR100,000 or £75,000 for UK depositors, is protected in the event of bank failure. However, as we outline in our forthcoming report this amount or even any kind of insurance, is not guaranteed. Some politicians and think tanks are even recommending that deposit guarantee schemes be removed.

What does this mean in the context of a forthcoming third financial crisis and are your savings"guaranteed"?

Next week Our Guide to Bail-ins will outline how likely UK depositors are to being subject to bail-ins and how they can set about protecting themselves from bail-ins.


Gold and Silver Bullion - News and Commentary

Gold steady, set for biggest weekly gain in two months (Reuters)

Gold shines as dollar slips after Fed decision (Reuters)

Manufacturing behind decline in leading indicators in August (MarketWatch)

Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Declined in August (Bloomberg)

Russia Targets China for Gold Sales as VTB, Sberbank Expan (Bloomberg)


Gold Sparkles as Central Bank Largesse Burnishes Investor Demand (Bloomberg)

Bank of Japan: we have complete control of the bond market (MoneyWeek)

Pension survival: in the worst case, your pot could fall 60pc in 15 years (Telegraph)

$195 Billion Asset Manager: "The Time Has Come To Leave The Dance Floor" (ZeroHedge)

America Is Not the Greatest Country on Earth. It’s No. 28 (Bloomberg)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

23 Sep: USD 1,335.90, GBP 1,027.17 & EUR 1,192.16 per ounce
22 Sep: USD 1,332.45, GBP 1,019.59 & EUR 1,186.68 per ounce
21 Sep: USD 1,319.60, GBP 1,015.96 & EUR 1,183.81 per ounce
20 Sep: USD 1,315.40, GBP 1,011.02 & EUR 1,175.84 per ounce
19 Sep: USD 1,315.05, GBP 1,007.99 & EUR 1,177.36 per ounce
16 Sep: USD 1,314.25, GBP 995.68 & EUR 1,170.08 per ounce
15 Sep: USD 1,320.10, GBP 998.26 & EUR 1,174.23 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

23 Sep: USD 19.82, GBP 15.28 & EUR 17.66 per ounce
22 Sep: USD 19.88, GBP 15.22 & EUR 17.69 per ounce
21 Sep: USD 19.43, GBP 14.95 & EUR 17.43 per ounce
20 Sep: USD 19.17, GBP 14.78 & EUR 17.15 per ounce
19 Sep: USD 19.12, GBP 14.65 & EUR 17.13 per ounce
16 Sep: USD 18.91, GBP 14.36 & EUR 16.85 per ounce
15 Sep: USD 18.96, GBP 14.32 & EUR 16.87 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

- Gold Up 1.5%, Silver Surges 3% – Yellen Stays Ultra Loose At 0.25%
- Trump and Clinton Are “Positive For Gold” – $1,900/oz by End of Year
- Gold Bugs Rejoice – Central Banks Think You’re On To Something
- ‘Hard’ Brexit Looms For Ireland
- EU Bail In Rules Ignored By Italy – Mother Of All Systemic Threats and World 
- War?– Buy Gold – Bonds Are ‘Biggest Bubble In World’ – Billionaire Singer Warns
- Silver Bullion Market – “Most Bullish Story Ever Told?”
- “Sorry, You Can’t Have Your Gold Bullion”
- Global Stocks, Bonds Fall Sharply – Gold Consolidates After Two Weeks Of Gains
- Gold, Silver, Blockchain and Fintech – Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Cash Confiscations and Cashless Society
- Jan Skoyles Appointed Research Executive At GoldCore
- Silver Bullion Surges 3.5% To Over $20/oz
- Ireland “Especially Exposed” To “International Shocks” Warns Central Bank


ACLU Urges Mass. Court to Vacate 24,000 Drug Cases Based on Tainted Lab Evidence


A single bad chemist corrupted an estimated one in six drug convictions in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2012, throwing the state's legal system into havoc. The only way to properly fix it, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in a brief to the state's high court on Friday, is to vacate thousands of convictions based on her work.

The ACLU is asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to vacate more than 24,000 drug convictions based on tainted evidence from one of the biggest drug lab scandals in the country. When state chemist Annie Dookhan pled guilty in 2012 to falsifying positive results in thousands of drug samples over a nine-year period, it set off a massive review of possibly compromised cases, as well as state investigations into the misconduct that ultimately led to the closing of the drug lab where Dookhan worked.

While the Dookhan affair is one of the largest drug lab scandals, it is far from the only one. Junk science and lack of independent labs plague the criminal justice system. In July, Houston officials announced they had identified 298 wrongful convictions based on faulty roadside drug tests. In March, New Jersey state officials said a lab technician for the state police allegedly falsified drug test results, possibly affecting 7,827 cases.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in July that so-called Dookhan defendants could rescind their guilty pleas and seek a new trial without facing additional charges or harsher sentences. However, the ACLU argues that there is no feasible way to individually review the drug cases tainted by the scandal. According to the ACLU and local public defenders service, it would take 48 years to assign public defenders to each of the 24,483 defendants potentially harmed by the lab's dirty work.

"The Commonwealth's indigent defense system has no more capacity to litigate all these cases than it does to build a rocket ship and fly it to Jupiter," the groups argue in the brief.

The state says that the vast majority of these cases never went to trial as a result of guilty pleas, limiting the impact of the court system. "Given the speed and efficiency with which we've tackled the [Dookhan] crisis, we're confident it will present a minimal disruption'' to the court system, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney told The Boston Globe earlier this year.

However, the civil liberties groups say that without sweeping action, thousands of potentially tainted convictions will go unchallenged. According to the ACLU, more than 60 percent of the the drug charges against the Dookhan defendants were for simple possession, not drug dealing. Felons are barred from voting and owning guns in Massachusetts. Convicted defendants may have also faced lost jobs, lost custody of their children, being kicked out of or rejected for public housing, and deportation. One defendant whose case has already been vacated by the court is Daniel Francis, who served more than five years in state prison before being deported to Jamaica.

"If this status quo prevails, the Dookhan crisis will come to a close by allowing thousands of tainted convictions to stand unaddressed. That is not justice," the brief says. "There is only one way to vindicate the due process rights of Dookhan defendants and to restore the integrity of the justice system. Their convictions should be vacated and dismissed."

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health called Dookhan a "rogue chemist" when news of her misconduct first broke, but less than a year later, it was revealed that another staffer in the same lab, Sonja Farak, was regularly high on a galaxy of drugs—crack, methamphetamines, ketamine, and LSD, among others—that she pilfered from the lab. Farak's actions may have tainted an additional 18,000 cases over the eight years she was at the drug lab.


"Don't Shoot Him": Wife's Cellphone Video of Fatal Police Shooting Released | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

"Don't Shoot Him": Wife's Cellphone Video of Fatal Police Shooting Released | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

'via Blog this'

Education Department Terminates Agency That Allowed Predatory For-profit Colleges to Thrive



by Annie Waldman

The Education Department announced today that it is stripping the powers of one of the nation’s largest accreditors of for-profit schools.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or ACICS, has been under scrutiny for continuing to accredit colleges whose students had strikingly poor outcomes.

As ProPublica has reported, schools accredited by the agency on average have the lowest graduation rates in the country and their students have the lowest loan repayment rates.

Accreditors are supposed to ensure college quality, and their seal of approval gives schools access to billions of federal student aid dollars.

As we have also reported, two-thirds of ACICS commissioners — who make the ultimate decisions about accreditation for schools — were executives at for-profit colleges. Many of the commissioners worked at colleges that were under investigation.

Critics who’ve pointed to abuses by for-profit colleges celebrated today’s action.

“The rot from poor behavior spread beyond just the for-profit schools to the people who were supposed to be looking over them,” said Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress. “This is an extremely important decision both in protecting students and taxpayers.”

ACICS accredits over 200 colleges, which enroll an estimated 600,000 students. Schools accredited by ACICS received around $5 billion in federal student aid last year.

Two of the nation’s largest chains of for-profit colleges — Corinthian Colleges and ITT Educational Services — both remained accredited by ACICS while facing multiple investigations from government agencies before they shut down.

“ACICS’s track record does not inspire confidence,” wrote Education Department Chief of Staff Emma Vadehra in a letter to the agency’s chief executive today.

Who Keeps Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Flowing to For-Profit Colleges? These Guys

Accreditation agencies are supposed to make sure that colleges are putting students in a position to succeed. That’s not happening at schools overseen by one accreditor in particular. Read the story.

Over the past few months, a growing chorus of critics have called on the Education Department to take action, including more than a dozen state attorneys general, over 20 consumer protection and advocacy groups, and members of Congress.

In June, the Education Department released a report on ACICS that raised 21 red flags, including about the agency’s reticence to sanction bad schools and even to verify the accuracy of schools’ metrics. The report also highlighted the agency’s lack of policing potential conflict-of-interest issues of its own board.

ACICS has said it plans to appeal today’s decision to Education Secretary John King.

“While we are disappointed in this decision, ACICS plans to continue diligent efforts to renew and strengthen its policies and practices necessary to demonstrate this agency’s determination to come into full compliance,” said the agency’s chief executive Roger Williams in a statement posted on the agency’s website.



What If We're in a Depression But Don't Know It?

If it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.
Just for the sake of argument, let's ask: what if we're in a Depression but don't know it? How could we possibly be in a Depression and not know it, you ask? Well, there are several ways we could be in a Depression and not know it:
1. The official statistics for "growth" (GDP), inflation, unemployment, and household income/ wealth have been engineered to mask the reality
2. The top 5% of households that dominate government, Corporate America, finance, the Deep State and the media have been doing extraordinarily well during the past eight years of stock market bubble (oops, I mean boom) and "recovery," and so they report that the economy is doing splendidly because they've done splendidly.
I have explained exactly how official metrics are engineered to reflect a rosy picture that is far from reality.:
I also also asked a series of questions that sought experiential evidence rather than easily gamed statistics for the notion that this "recovery" is more like a recession or Depression than an actual expansion:
Rather than accept official assurances that we're in the eighth year of a "recovery," let's look at a few charts and reach our own conclusion. Let's start with the civilian labor force participation rate--the percentage of the civilian work force that is employed (realizing that many of the jobs are low-paying gigs or part-time work).
Does the participation rate today look anything like the dot-com boom that actually raised almost everyone's boat at least a bit? Short answer: No., it doesn't. Today's labor force participation rate is a complete catastrophe that can only be described by one word: Depression.
Wages as a percentage of GDP has been in a 45-year freefall that can only be described as Depression for wage earners:
Notice what happened when the Federal Reserve started blowing serial asset bubbles in 2000: GDP went up but wages went down. Is this a recession or depression? It's your call, but if you're the recipient of the stagnating wages, it's depressing.
Meanwhile, the top 5% who own most of the assets that have been bubbling higher have been doing great. The Depression is only a phenomenon of the bottom 95%:
Look at the rocket ship of corporate profits. What happened around 2001 to send corporate profits on a rocket ride higher? The Fed happened, that's what:
Here's the Fed balance sheet: to the moon!
Free money for financiers and corporations fueled the stock market buyback boom:
Which fueled the stock market bubble:
Is the economy in a Depression? Not if you're a corporate bigwig skimming vast gains from corporate buybacks funded by the Fed's free money for financiers.
But if you're a wage earner who's seen your pay, hours and benefits cut while your healthcare costs have skyrocketed--well, if it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.
Recent interviews:
Optimizing Bad Policy Guaranteed to Fail (Financial Sense Newshour podcast) (24:35 min)

Stick it to the Establishment by becoming a $1/month patron of this wild and crazy site via
My new book is #6 on Kindle short reads -> politics and social science: Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition)For more, please visit the book's website.

NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.
Thank you, Christine W. ($5/month), for your splendidly generous Patreon pledge to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.
Go to my main site at for the full posts and archives.