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Koch Brothers-Style Free Society

April 24th, 2014



by Stephen Lendman

Charles and David Koch are modern-day robber barons. They're multi-billionaires. Forbes estimates their April 2014 net worth at $40.3 billion each.

Charles is Koch Industries (KI) chairman and CEO. David is executive vice president.

They're $6 billion richer this year than last. They make money the old fashioned way. Behind every fortune lies a great crime, said Balzac. Maybe he was thinking of Charles and David.

KI is America's second largest private company. Agribusiness giant Cargill holds top spot. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $136.7 billion.

KI's are an estimated $115 billion. Both companies way outdistance number three ranked Dell. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $56.94 billion.

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Israel Wants Temple Mount Control

April 24th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank third in Islamic importance. They do so after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and Madina's Mosque of the Prophet.

Israel wants control. Naftali Bennett is Israel's Jewish Home Party leader, Economy minister, and Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs minister.

In February, he told the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of plans for greater Israeli control over East Jerusalem.

"Unfortunately, the Temple Mount today doesn't allow for the full exercise of freedom of religion, and there is discrimination against Jews there," he said.

Knesset members debated establishing greater Temple Mount sovereignty. Arab world criticism followed.

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PLO/Hamas Detente?

April 24th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Reports announced it. Previous efforts failed. We've been here, done that several several times before. Is this time different?

It remains to be seen. On April 23, Haaretz headlined "Palestinian factions prepare to implement reconciliation deal."

Mounib Al-Masri headed Abbas' negotiating team. "There has been great progress, and we are near ready to sign a deal at 11AM" local time, he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahawiri issued a similar statement. A formal announcement followed. Maan News headlined "PLO/Hamas announce agreement to end political division," saying:

"PLO and Hamas representatives announced an historic unity deal on Wednesday to bring to an end more than seven years of political division between the main Palestinian political parties."

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The United States Democracy Is Illegitimate. Time for the American Awakening

April 24th, 2014

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

What should we do when we know the government does not represent us?

Two weeks ago in reaction to the McCutcheon decision we touched on an issue that will become central to our movement: Has the democratic legitimacy of the US government been lost?

We raised this issue by quoting a Supreme Court Justice, former US president and a sitting US Senator:

“The legitimacy of the US government is now in question. By illegitimate we mean it is ruled by the 1%, not a democracy ‘of, by and for the people.’ The US has become a carefully designed plutocracy that creates laws to favor the few. As Stephen Breyer wrote in his dissenting opinion, American law is now ‘incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy.’ Or, as former president, Jimmy Carter said on July 16, 2013 “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”

“Even members of Congress admit there is a problem. Long before the McCutcheon decision Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) described the impact of the big banks on the government saying: ‘They own the place.’ We have moved into an era of a predatory form of capitalism rooted in big finance where profits are more important than people’s needs or protection of the planet.”

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Cold War 2.0

April 23rd, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article said welcome to Cold War 2.0. The first one never ended. Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place.

Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites. They're world's apart. Their ideologies clash. They represent conflicting values.

Putin defends Russian sovereignty. He opposes US imperial lawlessness. He affirms UN Charter and other rule of law principles.

Obama claims a divine right to pursue unchallenged global hegemony. Washington considers Putin public enemy number one. At risk is potential East/West confrontation.

Russia bashing persists. It's intense. It rages daily. It exceeds the worst of Soviet era levels.

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Marwan Barghouti on Sham Peace Talks

April 23rd, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

In May 2004, he was lawlessly convicted of three attacks killing five people. A three-judge panel admitted he had no involvement.

He said through year end. Perhaps well into 2015. In return, he demands concessions too minor to matter.

Why he'll have to explain. On April 18, Maan News headlined " 'No breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks," saying:

On April 17, five hours of "very difficult discussions" ended with no agreement. An unnamed Palestinian source said:

"The gap (between both sides) is still wide.

It didn't matter. Weeks later, he got five life sentences plus 40 years imprisonment. He's a prisoner of conscience.

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Is the PA reaching the moment of truth?

April 23rd, 2014

By Khalid Amayreh

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has warned that it may pass responsibility for the Occupied Palestinian territories back to occupying power Israel if peace talks remain stalled.

An unnamed PA official said the Palestinians told American envoy Martin Indyk on Friday that unless Israel releases Palestinian prisoners as agreed in American –mediated talks and freezes settlement building, they could dismantle the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) of Chairman Mahmud Abbas."The Palestinians informed Indyk that if this Israeli intransigence continues, they have several options to resort to," the Palestinian official told a western news agency on condition of anonymity.

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US Threatens Russia

April 23rd, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Washington bears full responsibility for elevating illegitimate fascist putschists to power. Doing so reflects another sordid chapter in US history. For sure, it won't be the last.

Bullying, bluster and threatening ultimatums define US policy. John Kerry warned Sergei Lavrov.

Moscow has "days, not weeks," to assure Ukrainian four-part agreement terms are implemented. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeated his threat, saying:

"The secretary urged Russia to take concrete steps to help implement the Geneva agreement, including publicly calling on separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and address their grievances politically."

"He also called on Russia to assign a senior diplomat to work with the OSCE mission in eastern Ukraine to make absolutely clear to the separatists that Russia supports the agreement and wants de-escalation."

"The Secretary also made clear that Russia’s recent public statement casting doubt on Ukraine's commitment to the Geneva agreement flies in the face of the facts."

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Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed

April 23rd, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Haaretz editors published it. They know better. They shame their US counterparts. They feature writers excluded from their pages.

Western ones substitute propagandists. They're illegitimate. They lack credibility. They masquerade as journalists. US media feature them prominently. Readers are systematically lied to.

Hennadi Nadolenko is Kiev's ambassador to Israel. He represents illegitimate fascist putschists.

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US drone strikes in Yemen shameful: American activist - Audio

April 23rd, 2014

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/22/359672/us-drone-strikes-in-yemen-shameful/

Daniel Patrick Welch, Press TV

An American activist says the Obama administration’s drone strikes in Yemen targeting civilians in the country are “shameful and sad.”

“It’s just quite shameful and sad,” Daniel Patrick Welch said in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

“It’s really sad that they don’t seem to be coming up with any plausible excuses any more. They just feel that they can go around the world and do this as they please,” he added.

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