Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Journalist's murder turns spotlight on 'mafia island' Malta

The son of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of being complicit in his mother's death as the shockwaves from a grisly car bomb killing reverberated across Europe.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, also an investigative journalist, described the pain of finding his mother's body blown to pieces and said he believed she had been assassinated for her whistleblowing activity.

In an emotional post on his Facebook page, the son accused Muscat of filling his office with crooks and creating a culture of impunity that had turned Malta into a "mafia island".

The centre-left premier denies any wrongdoing. But the case looks set to increase scrutiny of Malta by its partners in the European Union.

Some members of the bloc have already expressed concern over the island's light-touch regulation of financial services and company registrations, and a controversial scheme that offers an EU passport to wealthy investors.  (more...)


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jared Kushner Isn’t Alone: Universities Still Give Rich and Connected Applicants a Leg Up

When Georgetown University announced plans in September to make amends for its historical participation in the slave trade, President John J. DeGioia drew a curious parallel. The descendants of 272 slaves sold by the university in 1838 to pay off debts, he said, would receive the same advantage in admissions as the children of its alumni.

He seemed unaware of the irony. Alumni children at prestigious universities like Georgetown tend to be white and to come from affluent families. In other words, DeGioia was equating a remedy for past racism with a policy, known as legacy preference, that itself discriminates against low-income and minority students.

“If Georgetown really wants to come to grips with its discriminatory past and present, it would also end admissions policies like legacy preference that unconscionably favor the already privileged,” said Michael Dannenberg, director of strategic initiatives for policy at Education Reform Now, a think tank affiliated with the advocacy group Democrats for Education Reform. As a U.S. Senate staffer in the early 2000’s, Dannenberg pushed unsuccessfully for legislation restricting admissions preference for alumni children.

DeGioia’s comparison underscores the staying power of legacy preference — despite critics like Dannenberg and me. My 2006 book, “The Price of Admission,” documented that colleges exploit admissions as a fundraising tool, lowering their standards by hundreds of SAT points to let in children of well-heeled alumni, business tycoons, politicians and celebrities. Using students’ names, class ranks and test scores, I challenged the colleges’ propaganda that they either don’t consider family wealth and background in admissions, or just use it to break ties between equally qualified candidates. By exposing these practices, I hoped to spur both transparency and reform.

“The Price of Admission” stirred attention, controversy and outrage. I decried what I called the “preferences of privilege” in appearances on Ivy League campuses and on television shows from “The Colbert Report” to “Nightline.” I even testified before a U.S. Senate committee. My findings could not be dismissed as merely anecdotal, because a mounting stack of academic studies corroborated them. One put the advantage of being an alumni child at 160 points on the 400-1600 SAT scale. Another examined admissions decisions at 30 highly selective colleges and universities and concluded that the odds of a legacy being accepted at his or her parent’s alma mater are more than seven times better than an ordinary applicant’s.  (more...)


Spies on Campus: The CIA and the FBI from the Indochina Wars to the “War on Terror”

A deal with the devil: Graham Spanier
On the crisp autumn afternoon of November 26, 2007, a black car picked up Graham Spanier, then president of Pennsylvania State University, at Dulles International Airport and whisked him to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. Using his identification card — embedded with a hologram and computer chip — he checked in at security and was greeted by the chief of staff of the National Resources Division, the CIA’s clandestine domestic service. They proceeded to a conference room, where about two dozen chiefs of station and other senior CIA intelligence officers awaited them.

Spanier was expecting to brief them on the work of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, an organization he chaired and had helped create, which fostered dialogue between intelligence agencies and universities. First, though, the CIA surprised him. In a brief ceremony, it presented him with the Warren Medal, said to be the agency’s highest honor for nonemployees.

The honor recognized Spanier’s dedication to alerting college administrators to the threat of human and cyber-espionage, and to opening doors for the agency at campuses nationwide. A former family therapist and television talk-show host with an unruffled, empathetic manner and features — round face, white hair, blue eyes—reminiscent of Phil Donahue, Spanier soothed many an academic’s anxieties about dealing with the CIA and the FBI.

Since the intelligence agencies were going to meddle anyway, Spanier reasoned, they should do so with the knowledge and consent of college presidents. “My feeling was, If there’s a spy on my campus, a potential terrorist, or a visiting faculty member you believe is up to no good, I know you’ll be pursuing it,” he told me in April 2016. “Here’s the deal. Rather than break into his office, come to me — I have top-secret clearance — show me your FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] order, and I’ll have someone unlock the door.”

Spanier’s CIA medal, and a similar FBI award a year later, symbolized a reconciliation between the intelligence services and the academy. The relationship has come full circle: from chumminess in the 1940s and 1950s, to animosity during the Vietnam War and civil-rights era, and back to cooperation after the September 11, 2001, attacks.  (more...)


My school years were timed with some of the worst relations between intelligence and academia. There were many rumors on campus concerning our faculty and dons. My own experience was not a happy one. Although I eventually graduated with a marketable degree, I learned considerably more than was on the curriculum.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hey, Patrickbhai: Violent Persecution of Christians Rises in India, 'An Attack Being Recorded Every 40 Hours': Report

Christians protest for their rights in India
A new report says that violent attacks on the Christian minority in India are increasing at an alarming rate, as the emboldened members of groups close to the governing Hindu nationalist party seek to create a "Hindu nation." There's an anti-Christian attack every 40 hours, the report highlights.

The report by the All India Christian Council says attacks against Christians increased by about 20 percent in 2016, and physical violence against Christians was up by as much as 40 percent. A fresh attack is being reported every 40 hours, it added.

"The attacks have become severe and more frequent. Incidents used to be confined to a few states. Now the violence has spread to 23 states," the report notes, pointing out that the sharpest rise has been recorded in the northern Uttar Pradesh state and the southern state of Telangana.

The attacks involve physical beating, vandalism and torching of churches, burning of Bibles, death threats, forcing Christians to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism, and disruption of and attacks on church services and prayer meetings.

In one case, Hindu nationalists beat an evangelist with chains, stripped him and forced him to drink urine, the report says. In another incident, a Christian cemetery was desecrated and skeletons dug up and strewn across the graveyard, it adds.

Attacks on Christians have been on the rise since the Hindu national Bharatiya Janata Party won the national election in 2014. The BJP believes in and propagates the Hindutva ideology, which envisions an India where Hindus and the Hindu culture will dominate. The BJP is believed to be the political wing of the chief Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).  (more...)


Our serene man in India is unperturbed:

It's just a cost of doing business to him. Offshoring our jobs is what the Bay Street Brahmans pays him to do:

So, what about Paddy's evolution on sex ed, economics, and who knows what else????
Christians are just Dalits in the pack Patrickbhai runs with.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Patrickbhai? Who is anti-socon Patrick Brown, really?

Gujarati Uber: Offshoring Ontario jobs
Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have given his Indian counterpart a welcome fit for a king, but a Conservative backbencher is the one Narendra Modi calls “brother.”

Patrick Brown, a Barrie, Ont., MP who is running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario, forged a friendship with Modi years ago, during a difficult time for the Indian leader.

The red carpet is now being rolled out for Modi everywhere he goes during his three-day visit to Canada, but he has not forgotten Canadians’ support all those years ago...

Brown met Modi more than five years ago at a trade conference in Gujarat, a state in western India. At that time, Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat and an international pariah. He was accused of being complicit in the deadly 2002 riots that killed more than a thousand people in the state, most of them Muslims.

Even though the courts refused to prosecute Modi, the U.S. refused to issue him a visa and other countries imposed diplomatic boycotts.

That’s when some of Modi’s friends in Gujarat asked “if a Canadian politician could come to speak at his trade conference to try to rebuild this brand of his of being a person who’s going to bring investment to India,” Brown said.

“So I went, I got to know him, I spoke at his conference and we hit it off, so he kept on inviting me back.”

Brown, who has been counting on political support from Indo-Canadians, said Canada was one of only two foreign countries represented at that conference.

He remembers Modi telling him: “I will never forget who was here during our most difficult days.”  (more...)

Some more:

OK, so Patrickbhai can afford to thumb his nose at social conservatives, thanks to the Gujarati vote. What will the Modi-fied Ontario look like?

Bad, very bad. Say hello to child labor and slavery to the Bay Street Brahmans.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Political Murder, Klan/Nazi Style

 A comprehensive look at the Klan and Nazi killings of union organizers during an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro, N.C., and the subsequent acquittal of the assassins. Highlighting the program is a replay of the video footage which was taken at the murder scene by TV reporters. Lewis Pitts, prominent civil rights attorney who has assisted the American Indian Movement and worked in the Karen Silkwood case, presents the shocking facts of the comprehensive, continuous complicity of the local and federal police forces on the side of the Klan and Nazis. Pitts also discusses the gross violations of justice occurring during the trial.

In the concluding program Lewis Pitts places the Greensboro murders in a national perspective in relation to other serious attacks on our constitutional rights by the Klan, police, Congress, courts, FBI and the other intelligence agencies -- public and private -- in the country. Pitts recalls the FBI's COINTELPRO program, CIA abuses, the Karen Silkwood case, and the maltreatment and exploitation of the American Indians, and he notices an extremely dangerous trend in this country towards fascism. Also featured are videotapes made during the Greensboro massacre and replays of sections of previous programs in which attacks on civil rights are recounted.


How Ukraine Turned into An Arms Dealer? Supplying Weapons to Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) together with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network revealed a scheme of weapons supply to the terrorists of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

There is no secret that the U.S. provides the so-called moderate opposition and Kurdish militia in Syria with arms and ammunition most of which are the weapons remained after the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact disbanded.

The U.S. DOD, through U.S. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as well as Picatinny Arsenal, American military research, and manufacturing facility located in Dover, New Jersey, acquired arms in some Eastern European countries including Ukraine for their further sending to Syria. The procurement volume has already exceeded $700 billion.

Kiev used the logistical scheme elaborated by Washington to export arms and weapons from the Ukrainian armed forces weapons depots. The deal is estimated at $110 billion.

Between June 5 and September 15, the United States sent 1,421 trucks loaded with weaponry to the “moderate” opposition, including 596 trucks (more than 40 %) from Ukraine. Most of them ended up in ISIS’ hands.  (more...)