Tag Archives: US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Commits Suicide

It really wouldn’t surprise me if Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is found on the roadside dead shortly. “Shot by a drug dealer” will read the headline. Now he is messing with the money of the country’s businesses.

The country’s President is very much what America would look like if the Chumph wins.

Philippine President Duterte announces separation from U.S.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared Thursday that he’s breaking from the United States, saying that he is strengthening ties with China and that America “lost.”

“I announce my separation from the United States,” said Duterte in Beijing, where he’s meeting with business leaders and elected official. “I have separated from them. So I will be dependent on you for all time. But do not worry. We will also help as you help us.”

Story Continued Below

China and the Philippines will sign $13.5 billion in deals this week and the two sides agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, officials also said Thursday.

The move for bilateral talks was a diplomatic victory for Beijing several months after an arbitration tribunal invalidated China’s expansive territorial claims over the resource-rich waters in a case put forward by the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as part of a charm offensive aimed at seeking trade and support from the Asian giant by setting aside the thorny territorial dispute.

Duterte hailed a warming of relations with China and said ties between them go back centuries.

“China has been a friend of the Philippines and the roots of our bonds are very deep and not easily severed,” he told Xi in his opening remarks. “Even as we arrive in Beijing, close to winter, this is a springtime of our relationship,” he added.

Xi said the meeting had “milestone significance.” In a reference to the South China Sea tensions, Xi said that “although we have weathered storms, the basis of our friendship and our desire for cooperation has not changed.”

Following the talks, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters that the leaders only touched on the topic briefly during their talks.

“Both sides agreed that the South China Sea issue is not the sum total of the bilateral relationship,” Liu said.

The two sides agreed to return to the approach used five years ago of seeking a settlement through bilateral dialogue, he said.

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Posted by on October 20, 2016 in International Terrorism


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Speaking of Failing Systems

In Europe and probably China – the train system has a number of safety controls which prevent operators from…Driving a train into a platform. Or, as in the case of the wreck in Philadelphia last year, going around a turn at speeds in excess of what the train can handle.

This is all accomplished by the existence of a digital radio system, which monitors and manages the train for unsafe conditions.

The reason we don’t have this is in part the FCC, and in second part Congress, which is often paid by special interests to suppress technology.

So we just get along with what happened today…Again

So far in 2016 – 11 of the rail crashes in the entire world have been in the United States. That’s 22% of all the crashes.

Train Crashes Into Hoboken Terminal, Killing 1, Injuring Scores Of People

A commuter train in New Jersey crashed into Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey on Thursday morning, resulting in multiple injuries and visible structural damage.

One person was killed and at least 65 people were injured, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. New Jersey transit officials said at least 100 people were hurt, Stephen Nessen of WNYC reports.

Joseph Scott, the CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, said the hospital had admitted some victims in critical or serious condition.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told MSNBC and CNN shortly before noon Eastern that everyone trapped on the train has been rescued or removed, and that there was no indication that the crash was anything but an accident.

The train that crashed originated in Spring Valley, N.Y., and “collided with the platform” at Hoboken Terminal at around 8:45 a.m. Eastern, Cuomo said in a statement.

Nessen reports that passengers on from the train that crashed say it approached the station at “full speed” before slamming into the barrier at the end of the track, with the impact throwing riders onto the floor.

WNYC’s Nancy Solomon arrived on the scene shortly after the crash, and says she personally saw 20 to 30 injured people, including at least four who were unable to walk.

She says a train had traveled “all the way into the station — not into the waiting room but into the outdoor part where people transfer.”

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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in American Greed


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Half of America’s 330 Million+ Guns Owned By 3% of the Population

Hard to believe isn’t it?

A very small group of “Gun Nuts” who own each over 17 guns apiece, owns over half the guns in the country.

Not surprisingly, many of the folks who own multiple guns live in the country. That is because they are hunters, and hunting different types of game require different types of guns.  A guy who hunts Birds is going to have a shotgun. If he hunts deer, in many areas he will have a rifle. Rabbits and squirrels? Generally a smaller shotgun, or a small caliber rifle. So – having 6 or 8 long guns around the house isn’t at all unusual. Kind of silly to have a pistol in the country, especially in a lace like I live in, where most folks don’t even lock their front door or cars. But – never underestimate the fear-mongering of Faux News and the NRA… They are coming to get you!

Now – most of the gun deaths in the US are actually Suicide… By a ratio of well over 2-1. And the majority of those gun suicide victims…

Are white males.

50% of American guns owned by 3% of population – study

Half of America’s guns are owned by just 3 percent of the population – and those people own an average of 17 firearms each, a new survey says. It also found that the number of male gun owners is decreasing, while female ownership is on the rise.

The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey – which was obtained by the Guardian and the Trace – estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70 million guns since 1994, with the current number totaling 265 million.

However, the rise in guns hasn’t come with a rise in owners. In fact, the number of people owning guns has actually decreased from 25 percent to 22 percent.

Females v males

The 3 percent drop in gun owners was heavily influenced by a dramatic decrease among men. In 1994, 42 percent of American men described themselves as gun owners, compared to 32% of in the new study.

Meanwhile, female gun ownership is on the rise, with 12 percent saying they own guns in the new survey, versus 9 percent in 1994. Females were also most likely to be in the category of those who only owned handguns.

However, the researchers were quick to stress that the jump is not significant, as female gun ownership has fluctuated between 9 percent and 14 percent in various surveys since the 1980s.

But the numbers do align with the National Rifle Association (NRA) figures which claim that the number of women enrolling in its pistol course almost doubled from 2011 to 2014, from about 25,000 a year to nearly 46,000 a year.

Political & racial trends

Despite any increase in female gun owners, the majority of owners tend to be white, male, conservative and live in rural areas.

Thirty percent of conservatives said they were gun owners, compared to just 19 percent of moderates and 14 percent of liberals. The strongest predictor of ownership was military service, with 44 percent of veterans saying they owned a gun.

Twenty-five percent of white and multi-racial Americans said they owned a gun, compared with just 16 percent of Hispanics and 14 percent of African-Americans.

Those most likely to only own handguns were African-American (44 percent) and Hispanic (33 percent). People in the“handgun only” category were also more likely to live in an urban area, and were less likely to have grown up in a house with a gun. Only 21 percent of whites fell into the “handgun only” category.

What fuels gun ownership?

Lead author Dr. Deborah Azrael, a Harvard School of Public Health firearms researcher, said the data points to gun ownership being driven by “increasing fearfulness” which must be addressed.

“If we hope to reduce firearm suicide, if we hope to reduce the other potential dangers of guns, my gut is, we have to speak to that fear,”Azrael said.

She went on to state that the answer is not to focus on the gun owners with dozens of weapons, but on the nearly 50 percent of gun owners who have just one or two firearms.

“To change their behavior with respect to guns, and the ways in which they store them, or their decision-making – we could have a really big impact on suicide,” she said.

Azrael also noted that she doesn’t “know anybody who thinks or talks seriously about confiscating guns,” but went on to compare the situation to that of cigarettes.

“From a public health perspective – you don’t seize cigarettes.” But, she said, “You do try to make good science available. You do try to help people think about the risks and benefits of the behavior they choose to undertake.”

Approximately 20,000 of America’s more than 30,000 annual gun deaths are suicides.

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism


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US Collects Taxes on Those Olympic Gold Medals

Go to the Olympics representing the United States and win a Gold, Silver, or Bronze?

Well…There’s a tax for that.

For US Olympians, gold medals come with a hefty tax bill

She has flipped, tumbled and leapt her way into the hearts of millions over the course of the Olympic games. But when Simone Biles returns home she will be in for not just a major celebration but also a hefty tax bill.

The 19-year-old has won five Olympic medals – four gold and one bronze. She has cemented her title as the world’s best gymnast by taking home the gold in the all-around after three successive world championship titles – a feat only accomplished by three others in history.

But all that winning will cost her. On 21 August, Biles could be slapped with a tax bill close to $43,560 (£33,479)

That estimate is based on the $2m that she has accumulated in endorsement deals and assuming she is charged in the highest income tax bracket in the US – 39.6%.

Biles is not alone, her fellow US medallists will be slapped with tax bills for their victories as well.

American Olympians are subject to a so-called “victory tax” – a tax on both the money they receive from the Olympic committee for winning and on the value of the Olympic medal.

What are they taxed on?

US athletes who win a medal at the Rio games will take home the hardware and a cash bonus from the US Olympic Committee.

Gold medallists will receive $25,000, silver medallists get $15,000, and bronze winners earn $10,000.

Those winnings are taxed as income, the same way Americans are taxed on other prize money, like lottery winnings. Most countries exempt their athletes from these taxes.

But there’s more, the medals are also given a value and taxed. The value is based on the value of the materials the medals are made of.

Gold medals – which are mostly made of silver with a gold plating – are worth roughly $600 based on current commodity prices, silver medals are worth close to $300, bronze medals – which consist mostly of copper – have barely any monetary value, approximately $4.

How much is the tax?

Assuming the athlete was already a high-income earner, paying the top bracket of US taxes, they would be paying 39.6% on the combined value of the medal and cash payout.

Americans for Tax Reform calculated the bills to be: for a gold medallist $9,900, for silver $5,940, and for bronze $3,960.

That’s also assuming the athlete only won one medal.

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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Giant Negros, Great American Rip-Off


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Slavery’s Legacy Remembered

It has been 150 years, but the legacy lives on…

How close we are to slavery: America’s horrible legacy still deeply runs through the nation’s veins

For Lula Williams, America’s worst period isn’t ancient history — her grandmother was a slave

How close we are to slavery: America's horrible legacy still deeply runs through the nation's veinsAs a child growing up in South Carolina, I was keenly aware of how close I was to the history of slavery. It was all around me — in the fact of my ancestors owning slaves and fighting for the Confederacy, in the presence of black people who shared my last name, and in the Confederate battle flag that flew on my state’s capitol.

In many ways, the war for white supremacy was not over. It was simply being fought by other means.

I’ve been trying to understand and account for this history and my own privilege as a white male by writing and teaching about the nexus of race and violence in America. I mostly encounter white people who are embarrassed and angered by the violence of slavery and lynching or white people who don’t think it has any relation to them or to the present.

When Dylann Roof murdered nine black people last June at Emmanuel A.M.E., a church with deep roots in the freedom struggle, the proximity of our present lives to our nation’s slaving past resonated once again especially as photos surfaced of Roof posing before the Confederate flag.

Then Nikki Haley, the governor of my home state, did something I never imagined happening in my lifetime—she signed the order to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s state house grounds.

The backlash from the pro-flag contingent was swift. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 346 pro-flag rallies in the months after South Carolina furled the flag.

Even in Ohio, where I live now, I noticed a spike in Confederate flags. Giant Confederate battle flags, fluttering in the wake of jacked-up trucks. Just two weeks ago, I saw one on a red GMC the very same day I interviewed a woman named Lula Williams who will turn 95 years old this month.

Lula’s grandmother, Eliza Jane Smiley, was a slave.

In a story that is in step with the terrifying realities of slavery, Eliza Jane’s father was also her master. As she grew up, Eliza Jane became the personal slave of her master/father’s young daughter. In fact, Eliza Jane slept on the floor next to her bed.

I repeated aloud what Lula said just be clear. “So she was a slave to her sister?”

Lula looked at me knowingly and said, “Weird. Sick minds.”

After Emancipation, Eliza Jane remained on the plantation, either because she lacked better opportunities or because she was coerced. Then she met a man named Charles Smiley who had been born a “free black.” Charles worked on a riverboat and the captain was friends with Eliza Jane’s father/master.

Charles took her away from the plantation and the two were married in 1873.  Charles, Lula’s grandfather, founded Hill Street Baptist Church in Louisville in 1895 and pastored there for over forty years. When Eliza Jane died, he came to live with Lula and her mother in Coshocton, Ohio.

Lula has fond memories of her childhood and her “loving close family,” but those memories are framed by stories of violence and barriers erected by both personal and institutional racism. She grew up knowing that the Klan was in her community, that a black man named Henry Howard was lynched on the courthouse square in 1885, and that a local jeweler kept one of Howard’s toes on display in his store.

There weren’t many black people, but the town, situated in the Appalachian foothills, was small enough that “most everybody knew everybody.” And yet some businesses still wouldn’t serve black people. Barbers wouldn’t cut their hair. Restaurants wouldn’t serve them. And some area towns were off limits to black people after sunset.

Lula said that some of her siblings had trouble in school because of their race. “They would call us names, and then we’d fight them,” she said. “But the others who were raised a little better, they ignored us, but at least they didn’t call us names.”

When her grandfather died, Lula traveled with her mother to Louisville for his burial. Once there her mother’s white aunt—Eliza Jane’s sister — contacted her and asked to see her. She was living in the Brown Hotel in Louisville.  Lula accompanied her mother to this meeting, but when she got there was told that she would have to sit in the hallway. Lula never did meet her.

“Is there any part of you that’s ever wanted to meet those people?” I asked.

“Not really. I was always kind of bitter about it. I can’t say that I hated them, but to me they just didn’t exist.”

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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Black History


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Republikcans Kill Babies Stalling Zika Funds

There are now over 300 cases of pregnant women who have the Zika virus in the United States. The Senate and President Obama have approved and requested emergency funding to stem the fast growing epidemic.

House Republicans have stalled funding for over 3 months now, as more and more Americans contract the virus.

Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in infants, a condition that causes unusually small skulls and brains, and could lead to death or disability.

How a deadly tropical virus became another Washington mess

Democrats say Republicans are risking an outbreak of Zika, a disease that threatens the developing brains of fetuses.

Even pregnant women have become fodder for partisan Washington funding fights.

With nearly 300 pregnant women in the United States already infected with the Zika virus and the summer mosquito season looming after a soggy spring, Congress has yet to approve the Obama administration’s three-month old, $1.9 billion request for emergency funding.

The bipartisan response to previous public health crises, such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak and the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, is not evident in the months-long congressional debates about Zika, despite its huge human costs. The virus in pregnant women has been closely linked to severe brain abnormalities in fetuses.

“A disease that destroys babies’ brains in utero is everyone’s worst nightmare — I’m not sure what could be much worse than that,” said Cindy Pellegrini, a senior vice president at March of Dimes, which is lobbying for the Zika funding. “But there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency on Capitol Hill.”

The Zika debate is caught up in election year politics and general GOP opposition to emergency spending. But there is another huge factor at play with Zika. Many congressional Republicans say they feel burned by the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. In hindsight, the emergency response to that crisis was overfunded, they say, and now the White House is reluctant to reallocate all of the leftover money. Congress doesn’t want to give another blank check on Zika.

“Looked at what happened with Ebola — it looks like they asked for more than they needed,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who backed the Senate’s $1.1 billion deal on Zika and is perhaps the most prominent Republican defender of public health and emergency preparedness.

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats say that by refusing to put up the money, Republicans are recklessly playing with fire on a health crisis that threatens the developing brains of fetuses.

“I listen to all of the really well-meaning people talking about the rights of the unborn and here we have a health crisis that dramatically impacts the unborn,” said Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “It seems to me we should be doing a much more aggressive job of making sure the resources that our health experts say that we need are in place.”

Already, there are 157 pregnant women in the continental United States and 122 in the U.S. territories — mostly Puerto Rico — with a confirmed Zika diagnosis who risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is unusually small and the brain is underdeveloped, according to a CDC report issued Friday.

President Barack Obama was briefed on Zika developments Friday and warned the crisis is “something we need to take seriously.”

“This is not something where you can build a wall to prevent,”he said. “Congress needs to get me a bill. It needs to get me a bill that has sufficient funds to do the job.”

So far, all the cases in pregnant women in the continental United States involve women who traveled abroad or more rarely, who were infected by men who traveled to Zika hot spots. The virus is being transmitted locally by mosquitoes in the territories.

But public health experts expect that local transmission of the virus through mosquitoes will spread to the continental United States — mostly the southern states — this summer.




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CIA Dropped the Dime on Mandela’s Location During Apartheid

Turns out the CIA assisted in the capture of Nelson Mandela in 1962, providing the Apartheid Government his location. This led to Mandela being imprisoned at the infamous Robbins Island Prison for 27 years…

Gotta love the BBC Report about “no formal link to the CIA”…

Even the folks who work in CIA Headquarters have no “formal link” with the Agency. If everybody knew who the CIA people were…

They would make pretty crappy spies.


A CIA agent gave the tip-off to South African authorities that led to the arrest of Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era, according to a filmmaker’s interview with the agent on his deathbed.

British film director John Irvin’s interview with former CIA agent Donald Rickard about Mandela’s arrest in 1962 is to be used as part of Irvin’s new film, Mandela’s Gun, which is set to be screened at Cannes Film Festival this week.

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said, accordingly to The Sunday Times.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Mandela’s arrest led to his infamous 27-year stint in incarceration on Robben Island before authorities released him in 1990. Police stopped Mandela at a roadblock while he posed as a chauffeur; Rickard said that he was the informer that gave authorities information of Mandela’s plans on the day of the arrest.

“I found out when he was coming down and how he was coming,” Rickard said. “That’s where I was involved and that’s where Mandela was caught.”

A friend and co-defendant of Mandela’s, Denis Goldberg, told The Sunday Times that the former South African president, the country’s first-ever black leader, “always knew” about the CIA’s role in his arrest but upon his release believed that it no longer mattered.

The South African government criticized the U.S. following the revelation and said that Washington is still working against the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party. “We have recently observed that there are efforts to undermine the democratically elected ANC government,” Zizi Kodwa told Fox News. “They never stopped operating here.”

Mandela’s Gun is about Mandela’s brief period as a rebel before his incarceration. Rickard died in 2015 and worked as a diplomat in South Africa, with no formal link to the CIA, according to the BBC. Mandela died at the age of 95 in 2013.


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