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Thursday, 21 June 2018

‘Big as cats’: Huge rats flood Swedish city as authorities urge people to keep children indoors

RT 

A Swedish city is battling a merciless enemy, rats 'the size of cats', prompting authorities to call on residents to keep doors and windows closed and pre-schoolchildren inside during breaks. 
"There aren't the normal rats you see in the forest. They're as big as cats," Benny Sagmo from the planning office of Sundsvall city in northern Sweden, explained to the national TT news agency.

The rats have already spread out towards a residential area, according to Sagmo. "If we don't put a stop to it, they can get bigger and bigger…Those who live there can't even have their front doors or balcony doors open. I've told pest control that we're going all in!” he added.

Residents were told to keep doors and windows closed to prevent rats from getting access to food. They were also told to avoid having food for pets outdoors.

“Remember a rat can fit through a hole that is only 20 millimeters - a five-krone coin!” the warning from the city said

In the meantime, local Trädet preschool has temporarily banned children from eating or taking their naps outside. "I decided that the children should sleep inside, because we can't risk rats jumping into the pushchairs," headteacher Mia Löfgren told SVT Västernorrland. 

The majority of rats were spotted in Johannedal area of the city. The authorities suggest that the rats may come from the near-by recycling center which is in the process of moving, meaning that the rats' habitat is disappearing.
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Rwanda Joins France and Outlaws the Use of Cell Phones in Schools So Students Can Concentrate on Education

B.N. Frank
Activist Post

Announced last week in Rwanda, The Ministry of Education decided that primary and secondary schools students will no longer be allowed to own or use a cell phone at school, citing distraction.

According to Education Minister, Dr Eugène Mutimura, “…a study conducted by the ministry revealed that when students use phones at school, it affects their studies as they spend most of their time on them and forget about their core duty of studying.”

Gender and Family Promotion minister, Espérance Nyirasafari stated. “How can a student follow classes while chatting on social media, share photos and everything else?”

France has also decided to take the same approach citing the same reasons.

Many schools in the U.S. and around the world have already done this as well.

Research and media reports continue to confirm that we can’t expect all children to practice discipline with their phones and other digital devices.  We can’t expect it from all adults either.  These devices and their software was deliberately designed to be addictive.  Many tech inventors have expressed remorse for their role in this.

Research has also confirmed that cell phone and other sources of wireless WiFi radiation exposure can cause a multitude of health issues including increased cancer risk and disrupting the blood-brain barrier which can cause it to leak.  Exposure is especially hard on children.  No safe level of exposure has yet been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. 

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Pity The Russophobe Journos Whom No One Believes

Moon of Alabama

The "western" reporting on the World Cup in Russia is a stream of continuous Russia bashing. Some positive remarks are made about the obviously excellent atmosphere and organization. But no piece gets published that does not include a reinforcement of the official anti-Russian propaganda lines.

Alec Luhn is the "Russia correspondent for The @Telegraph". Shaun Walker is a correspondent for the British Guardian who is "Covering central and eastern Europe for The Guardian." This week both were in Volgograd, the former Stalingrad, to report on the World Cup game between England and Tunisia.

On Monday Alec Luhn wrote about the excellent welcome the English fans received:
It’s been brilliant,” said Adam Haimes, 29, a geologist and Plymouth Argyle supporter drinking in the fan zone, set up on the west bank of the mighty Volga River. “I have had absolutely zero problems. All sorts of Russians have come up to us and are being friendly and just wanting to have drinks with us. I didn’t expect it but they are so lovely.
That positive picture of Russia can of course can not stand alone. Luhn thus mentions: the "threat of violence", the "attempted assassination of the Russian spy Sergei Skripal", "ratcheted up tensions", "Russian Ultras" and "Volgograd’s local hoodlums".

On Tuesday evening Shaun Walker wrote a piece for the Guardian which followed a similar scheme:
[T]hose who came were almost uniformly positive about the experience so far. At a central Volgograd bar in the early hours of Tuesday, Craig and Tommy, two Sunderland fans, were practising Russian phrases with obliging locals and said they had spent three days in “fantastic” Volgograd, bonding with the locals and taking military history tours. “We’re sick of people talking about trouble. If you’re respectful there won’t be any problems,” said Tommy.
Reading Walker's piece would make Tommy even sicker. It repeats all the usual propaganda points: "unprecedented tension", "strongly critical of Russian authorities", "poisoning of Sergei Skripal", "1936 Olympics, held in Nazi Germany" and "safety of LGBT fans".

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The Baton Rouge Gunman and “Targeted Individuals”: US Naval Academy Graduate Educates Americans on Non-Consensual Neuro-Experimentation

Comment: This article is a couple of years old but worth digging out for its relevance to the rising awareness of targeted individuals and its relationship to false flag events.

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Ramola D
The Everyday Concerned Citizen

Whistleblower David Voigts, former Naval Officer and systems engineer with a background in Surface Warfare, Electronic Warfare, and Nuclear Engineering, who has been walking cross-country for “Targeted Individuals” since mid-spring this year, spoke out recently, both in a Wheel of Freedom interview, and on Facebook (covered here)  to condemn the hidden Military/Intelligence programs of non-consensual neuro-experimentation currently underway in the United States of America and worldwide, which he suspects has been operative in the case of the Baton Rouge shooter, Gavin Long.

In a Facebook post on July 18, David Voigts, who is currently in Seymour, Indiana, wrote: 

“This is why I’m walking across the country with a huge sign on my back. The US has developed a human-machine interface weapon that spoofs the nervous system. It is being misused to torture American citizens. This shooting in Baton Rouge is one of the outcomes.”

Gavin Long, who adopted the name Cosmo Setepenra, and wrote books on self-improvement, was the young 29-year-old ex-Marine and Iraq war veteran reportedly killed by police in Baton Rouge after he reportedly shot at six police officers, killing three and wounding the others, following the recent reported deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile at the hands of police.

News reports on investigations into his background as well as recordings of talk show interviews reveal that he had mentioned being targeted and was a member of Freedom from Covert Harassment and Surveillance, a group advocating for those being covertly targeted, assaulted, non-consensually experimented on, and hyper-surveilled in a variety of ways in their communities, including with experimental military directed-energy weapons, biometric and physical surveillance devices, synthetic telepathy, and remote bio-hacking neuroweapons. 

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Princeton course will teach students to 'read queerly'

Comment: This is plain ridiculous.

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 "Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty."


Campus Reform
 

  • Princeton University is offering a course next semester that aims to teach students to "read queerly" by examining "the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told."
  • The "Queer Literatures" course will explore several texts, including a memoir whose author asserts that "Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty."

  • Princeton University is offering a new course this fall that will teach students about the "theory, narrative, and aesthetics" of "queer literatures."

    According to the official course description posted on the school's website, students will "both read from various trajectories of queer literature and engage what it means to read queerly" as part of the “Queer Literatures: Theory, Narrative, and Aesthetics” course.

    "We will consider the historical etymology of the term queer and think through its affiliate terms and acronyms: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans," the description continues. "We will investigate how discourses of power and institutions of normativity have come up against queer bodies, narratives, and politic—and how such encounters are historically situated."

    The university goes on to explain that the throughout the course, students will be urged to "pay close attention to the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told."

    The upcoming class is cross-listed in the Department of English, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Program in American Studies, and will feature readings by several authors and poets, including Eli Claire, Michel Foucault, James Baldwin, and others. 

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    Israel’s IDF Snipers: Choosing Who to Shoot

    Stephen Shenfield
    Mondoweiss

    Snipers (sharpshooters) constitute about a quarter of all soldiers in the IDF’s combat units. The standard course for the training of snipers lasts five weeks. The best snipers, however, are Russian immigrants who fought in Chechnya. 

    Snipers are organized in teams that form part of infantry battalions. Snipers are equipped with special rifles of various makes. Since 2010 the best rifle at their disposal has been the HTR 2000, which has a range of over 1,000 meters. Older makes have somewhat shorter ranges — several hundred meters.



    The locator 

    Each team of snipers contains a specialist called the locator, who plays a key role in choosing targets. On April 10 a former locator by the name of Nadav Weiman talked on Israeli television to Channel 10 about his experience in a sniper team of the Nahal Reconnaissance Platoon on the Gaza border. (He now works for the organization Breaking the Silence as head of its education department.)

    Here is how Weiman describes his work as a locator:
    “I would sit with binoculars and an electro-optic lens during the day and a thermal lens at night. I would identify a figure, see if he was armed, then I would measure the distance with a laser meter and check the wind with an electronic weather vane. Then I would give the snipers correction data and count down 3, 2, 1, fire!”
    It is of interest to compare this account of the pre-firing procedure with that given on April 1 by Major General Haim Cohen, commander of the Shaked Battalion near the southern end of the Gaza Strip, on the Galatz military radio station. Cohen omits the technical detail provided by Weiman but emphasizes two steps that Weiman fails to mention: (1) obtaining authorization to fire from a commander; and (2) warning the targeted individual by means of a PA system. According to Cohen, there was a commander next to each sniper team and it was he who gave the order to fire. But Weiman says that when he was in the army it was he, the locator of the team, who gave the order. 

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    You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you...

    Comment: Simply superb. Click on the image to go to a great visual treat about beliefs.

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    The Oatmeal

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe


    The Myths We Tell Ourselves

    Michael Krieger 
    Liberty Blitzkrieg

    We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”

    Your average mass media pundit regularly decries the fact Americans no longer have trust in the country’s institutions, yet simultaneously refuse to take any sort of responsibility for the situation. Government bureaucrats and other assorted supporters of our decrepit status quo tend to do the same thing. As is typically the case, I’ll take the other side.

    Not only do I think it’s completely sane for Americans to have zero faith in their institutions, including but certainly not limited to the three-letter agencies, Congress and the Federal Reserve, I’ll take it a step further and argue we as citizens remain far too naive and trusting for our own good. If nothing else, the recent Justice Department Inspector General’s (IG) report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server should underscore the point.

    First, there’s the now infamous text exchange between between Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page. The following excerpt is from the Executive Summary of the IG report:
    We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.
    This isn’t merely an expression of bias from some low-level agent, these are the words of a very senior employee of the FBI (who played a leading role in the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe) implying that he, and presumably others, were willing to interfere in the political process to ensure Trump wouldn’t become president.

    Things get even more interesting when you take a look at some additional texts between Strzok and Page highlighted in the IG report: 

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    FBI Agent Strzok Was Escorted Out Of FBI Building

    Zero Hedge

    In the aftermath of the publication of the Inspector General's report on FBI abuse, if there was one thing that was made abundantly clear, it was that FBI special agent Peter Strzok - who was in charge of the Clinton email investigation and then probed Trump for "Russian collusion" while texting his lover Lisa Page that "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president - was acting out of pure, political bias and anger at Clinton's loss. It was certainly not lost on Trump, who made his feelings on the subject abundantly clear on twitter:
    • Comey gave Strozk his marching orders. Mueller is Comey’s best friend. Witch Hunt! (source)
    • “The highest level of bias I’ve ever witnessed in any law enforcement officer.” Trey Gowdy on the FBI’s own, Peter Strzok. Also remember that they all worked for Slippery James Comey and that Comey is best friends with Robert Mueller. A really sick deal, isn’t it? (source)
    • The IG Report totally destroys James Comey and all of his minions including the great lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who started the disgraceful Witch Hunt against so many innocent people. It will go down as a dark and dangerous period in American History! (source)
    • FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who headed the Clinton & Russia investigations, texted to his lover Lisa Page, in the IG Report, that “we’ll stop” candidate Trump from becoming President. Doesn’t get any lower than that! (source)
    And while Lisa Page had the wits to quit shortly before the publication of the OIG report, Strzok did not and in fact was still employed at the time of the report's publication last Thursday. But maybe not much longer because as CNN first reported, Strzok was escorted out of the FBI building on Friday, even though he is still technically employed and, as we reported some time ago, he has been stationed in Human Resources since dismissal from Mueller team.

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    After Two Decades, A Suspect In The Murder of JonBenet Ramsey Has Been Announced (Video)

    awarenessact.com

    It’s a case that has both captivated and haunted the American public for over 20 years. The tragic story of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay continues to make headlines today, as investigators and crime enthusiasts continue to filter through the available information in the hope that they will discover something vital that was previously overlooked.
    On Christmas morning 1996, JonBenet Ramsey’s parents reported the young girl missing, a lengthy ransom note discovered in their house. Approximately 8 hours after the report, Ramsey’s father John Ramsey discovered her body in the basement of their Boulder, Colorado home. The official cause of death, according to the autopsy, was asphyxiation due to strangulation, and her death was ruled a homicide.

    Initially, law enforcement believed that the body had been staged by her parents, with her mother writing the ransom note in order to cover up their crime, however, this theory was dismissed when DNA analysis in 1998 cleared all immediate family members. While her parents gave a number of television interviews, there were no breaks in the case for a significant period of time, with the case passing to a new DA successor in 2002. In 2003, DNA testing on the samples from JonBenet’s clothing were discovered to belong to an unknown male. This led to a 2008 letter of apology to the family, apologizing for accusing them of fault, and in February 2009 the local law enforcement reopened the investigation.

    There hasn’t been much change in the investigation in the years that followed. In 2016, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the crime, CBS released the documentary miniseries ‘The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey.’ In this documentary, an investigative team including former FBI agent Jim Clemente, Dr. Henry Lee, forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, James Fitzgerald, former chief investigator for the Boulder District Attorney James Kolar, Stan Burke and former Scotland Yard criminal behavior analyst Laura Richards, analyzed every piece of the case form the ransom note, the 911 call, etc. all while using re-created rooms of the Ramsay’s house to put everything into perspective.

    The team came to a startling conclusion – that JonBenet’s young brother Burke, 9 at the time of her death, may have killed her accidentally, and her parents made an effort to hide this fact. Having previously exhibited violence towards his sister, they argued that this tragedy was part of a pre-existing pattern of behavior. 

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    It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old

    Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramall
    The Most Revolutionary Act

    The gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. High child mortality from vaccination provoked massive opposition from parents as early as 100 years ago.


    In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled "Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History" Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine "landscape" that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:
    Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as "unscientific."
    It was a received "article of faith" for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so…

    New Theory Says Multiple Personality Disorder Could Solve the Mystery of Consciousness

    Chris Mahon
    Outer Places

    Ready to have your mind blown?

    A new paper published in The Journal of Consciousness Studies claims that consciousness isn't a unique property of humans—rather, the entire universe is conscious, and humans are all manifestations of its multiple personalities.

    The proposition, based on research into dissociative identity disorder in humans, is meant to solve a perennial problem in philosophy: the "hard problem" of finding where consciousness comes from and understanding its true nature.

    The hard problem of consciousness can be summed up like this:


    Humans are made up of a bunch of matter (atoms) that organizes itself into biological systems (sensory organs, the brain, etc.), but if humans are just assemblies of various systems, why are we able to reflect on those systems and have individual, subjective experiences?

    Why aren't we unthinking automatons?

    Of course, the question of where human consciousness comes from is made even more difficult by the fuzzy definition of what actually constitutes "consciousness."

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    People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more

    Tom Stafford
    Research Digest 

    We all know someone who is convinced their opinion is better than everyone else’s on a topic – perhaps, even, that it is the only correct opinion to have. Maybe, on some topics, you are that person. No psychologist would be surprised that people who are convinced their beliefs are superior think they are better informed than others, but this fact leads to a follow on question: are people actually better informed on the topics for which they are convinced their opinion is superior? This is what Michael Hall and Kaitlin Raimi set out to check in a series of experiments in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

    The researchers distinguish “belief superiority” from “belief confidence” (thinking your opinion is correct). Belief superiority is relative – it is when you think your opinion is more correct than other people’s; the top end of their belief superiority scale is to indicate that your belief is “Totally correct (mine is the only correct view)”.

    The pair set out to find people who felt their beliefs on a variety of controversial political issues (things like terrorism and civil liberties, or wealth redistribution) were superior, and to check – using multiple choice quizzes – how well they were informed on the topics about which they held these superiority beliefs. 

    Across five studies Hall and Raimi found that those people with the highest belief superiority also tended to have the largest gap between their perceived and actual knowledge – the belief superior consistently suffered from the illusion that they were better informed than they were. As you might expect, those with the lowest belief superiority tended to underestimate how much they knew. 

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    New literature review warns that current sexual assault interventions might actually increase offending among high-risk men

    Comment: Yet more evidence that good intentions and attempts to change societies en masse with faulty social science doesn't work. Moreover, by "high risk" men they mean sociopaths and psychopaths. Such interventions only serve to incite them. Again, social psychology needs to expand its research into ponerology.

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    Alex Fradera
    Research Digest

    Psychology can help people one person at a time, but it also holds the promise of changing society at a mass scale, through campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour. One such endeavour is the development of programmes to reduce the rates of sexual assault of women on university campuses. But in a literature review in Aggression and Violent Behavior, researchers from the University of California make the case that such programmes may not just be ineffective, but counterproductive.

    In 2013 the US passed its Violence Against Women Act; in response most US university campuses launched programmes that aimed to reduce sexual assault by raising awareness, changing attitudes and behaviours and encouraging bystanders to take a stand. But there has been little systematic evaluation of these programmes, and the evidence for any benefits is thus far thin. Of the 140 college-based behaviour change programmes studied by the Center for Disease Control, it recommended only three on the balance of evidence; all three focused on changing bystander action and two of the three merely showed “promise of effectiveness”. Other reviews have produced slightly more positive conclusions but often with weak effects or without evidence of actual behaviour change.

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    Marcus Aurelius on How Meeting Reality on Its Own Terms Helps Us Live Through Our Difficulties

    “Accept everything which happens, even if it seem disagreeable, because it leads to this, the health of the universe.”


    Maria Popova
    Brain Pickings

    “At bottom the whole concern of both morality,” William James wrote in contemplating the human search for meaning, “is with the manner of our acceptance of the universe. Do we accept it only in part and grudgingly, or heartily and altogether? … If we accept the whole, shall we do so as if stunned into submission… or shall we do so with enthusiastic assent?” The pioneering psychologist and philosopher was reaching across time, space, and cultures to perch on the shoulders of another giant of thought: the Roman emperor and great Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius (April 26, 121–March 17, 180), who had articulated this selfsame idea nearly eighteen centuries earlier. 

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    Tuesday, 19 June 2018

    New Meta-Analysis Reveals Extensive Phenotypic Differences Between GMO and Non-GMO Cultivated Plants

    Green Med Info

    Claims of "substantial equivalence" of GM plants again shown to be false

    The myth of “substantial equivalence” between GM crops and their closest non-GM relatives (called “isolines”) has taken yet another scientific hit, this time from a new peer-reviewed paper discussed in an article on the website Hygeia Analytics.

    The researchers from Mexico City published their meta-analysis of genetic data on rice, canola, maize, sunflower, and pumpkin. They looked at wild, GMO, and non-GMO cultivated varieties of these five crops, analyzing phenotypic change.

    The phenotype of a crop is defined by a set of characteristics expressed by the crop’s genetic code (DNA). In theory, genetically engineered plants will show phenotypic changes only linked to the traits that scientists added to the GMO in the hope that they will be expressed. For example, a corn plant engineered to express the Bt toxin should not be different from normal corn in other ways.

    However, the Hygeia article says, "Genetics are complicated and unintended consequences often occur." Of the five crops analyzed in the new study, maize, pumpkin and rice showed the most variation between GMO and non-GMO cultivars. These three crops demonstrated wide variation for traits related to days to flowering, number of seeds/fruit, plant height, and pollen viability. In fact, the researchers report that for non-GMO and GMO cultivars of maize, pumpkin and rice, “almost all analyzed traits differ statistically".

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    'Where are the Girls?': Child Trafficking Feared as DHS Can't Say Where Immigrant Girls are Being Held

    The Free Thought Project

    (Support Free Thought) - As the debate swarms over illegal immigration, Americans on both the left and the right are at each other’s throats pointing fingers over who’s responsible. In the meantime, what was a “conspiracy theory” a month ago is now being confirmed by the very people accused of keeping people in cages. One question, however, has just been raised which gives one a dark and sickly feeling inside when thinking about the potential answers to it: “Where are the girls?”

    There is something particularly disturbing about the minuscule amount of footage recently released by HHS last week—it only shows boys, and only boys age 10 and up. Where are the girls? Where are the toddlers? Where are the babies?

    Could it be that HHS is only releasing footage of these older boys to portray an image of less suffering and compliant young men in order to keep the public happy? Are the places where girls are kept so disturbing that none of this footage cam be released?

    According to official policy, the government does not remove toddlers and babies from their mothers. However, as TFTP reported, a mother from Honduras who came to the U.S. seeking asylum with her family said she was breastfeeding her infant at a detention center when her baby was suddenly taken from her with no warning and no explanation.

    Now, the question of “where are the girls?” has become such an issue that it made its way to the White House and a reporter asked Department of Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen.

    Monday afternoon, during a White House press briefing, a reporter asked, “Why is the government only releasing images of the boys being held? Where are the girls & toddlers?” 

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    Latin America Embraces BDS as Chilean City Becomes First to Join Boycott of Israel

    Whitney Webb
    Mint Press News

    ALDIVIA, CHILELast Tuesday, in the wake of recent victories for the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement elsewhere in Latin America, Valdivia, a relatively small city in southern Chile, became the first city in all of Latin America to officially join the boycott against Israel for its apartheid policies, military occupation of the West Bank and illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. The vote to adopt the boycott at the city level was taken unanimously by the local government after the initiative was personally introduced by the city’s mayor, Omar Sabat, who is of Palestinian descent.
     
    The measure adopted by the city specifically declares the municipality as an “Apartheid Free Zone” and prohibits the city from working with any business that benefits or is linked to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and/or Israel’s apartheid policy that targets Palestinians. According to the text of the declaration, the ban on working with such businesses will remain in effect until Israel ends its occupation of Palestine and dismantles the border wall; until Palestinians are granted fundamental human rights by the Israeli state and are treated as equals under Israeli law; and until the right of return of Palestinian refugees is granted, as stipulated by UN Resolution 194.

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    Prof blames mathematics for 'global disparities in wealth'

    Toni Airaksinen
    campusreform.org
    • In a chapter for a new textbook, University of Exeter professor Paul Ernest warns that mathematics education can cause "collateral damage" to society by training students in "ethics-free thought."
    • He even argues that since money involves mathematics, math is "implicated in the global disparities of wealth" because math students are taught to value "detached" and "calculative" reasoning.
    professor at the University of Exeter claims in a new textbook that learning mathematics can cause “collateral damage” to society by training students in "ethics-free thought."

    The Ethics of Mathematics: Is Mathematics Harmful” was written by University of Exeter Professor Paul Ernest, and published as a chapter in a 2018 textbook he edited called The Philosophy of Mathematics Education Today.

    Despite the myriad benefits math offers to society—such as increased scientific knowledge and improved healthcare, allowing us to live longer and happier lives—Ernest warns of three ways mathematics education causes “collateral damage” to society.

    First, Ernest asserts that “the nature of pure of mathematics itself leads to styles of thinking that can be damaging when applied beyond mathematics to social and human issues,” since math facilitates “detached” and “calculative” reasoning.

    “Reasoning without meanings provides a training in ethics-free thought,” he writes, fretting that this “masculine” paradigm “valorises rules, abstraction, objectification, impersonality, unfeelingness, dispassionate reason, and analysis.”

    Second, he argues that the “applications of mathematics in society can be deleterious to our humanity unless very carefully monitored and checked,” worrying particularly about how math facilitates transactions of money and finance.

    “Money and thus mathematics is the tool for the distribution of wealth,” he states. “It can therefore be argued that as the key underpinning conceptual tool mathematics is implicated in the global disparities in wealth.”

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    IBM’s machine argues, pretty convincingly, with humans

    BBC News

    On a stage in San Francisco, IBM’s Project Debater spoke, listened and rebutted a human’s arguments in what was described as a groundbreaking display of artificial intelligence.

    The machine drew from a library of “hundreds of millions” of documents - mostly newspaper articles and academic journals - to form its responses to a topic it was not prepared for beforehand.

    Its performance was not without slip-ups, but those in attendance made clear their thoughts when voting on who did best. 

    While the humans had better delivery, the group agreed, the machine offered greater substance in its arguments. 

    That, IBM said, spoke to the heart of its goal: augmenting human beings to make decisions quickly and with more data than ever before.

    “I think it says actually very optimistic things about how humans respond to facts and figures,” said Noa Ovadia, one of the human debaters at the event. 

    “I think they are important, but they’re not everything when we make up our argumentation.”

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    American children systematically terrorized by Child Protective Services

    Megan Fox
    PJ Media


    Americans are in an uproar about illegal immigrant parents and children separated at the border. The level of hysteria surrounding this topic has reached a fever pitch with senators like Chuck Schumer mugging distraught for the cameras at every opportunity. While the shrill voices shriek loudly about the rights of Mexicans and other assorted border jumpers, American parental rights are being stripped from them, unconstitutionally, every single day. (Chuck Schumer has yet to freak out about it on national television.) American parents have lost their due process and Fourth Amendment rights, and most of them don't even know it. Most anyone who has been visited by Child Protective Services can testify to the absolute terror that the state can inflict on a family for very little or no reason at all.

    Right now in the state of Mississippi, Michael Chambers is missing his little girl, Belle. When Belle was around two years old her mother abandoned her in the care of her grandmother. Chambers took custody of her after that. Lacking resources and the ability to track down his ex to serve her with custody papers, Chambers just took care of his daughter like a father should. Like many single parents, personal disputes often result in one parent harassing the other through any means possible. Belle's mother would occasionally call Chambers and shortly after the calls CPS would show up knocking on his door. The social workers where he lived understood the nature of the calls but when he moved to Warren county, things changed.

    His nightmare began when a Mississippi social worker, Kyra Reed (who also goes by Kyra Carson), knocked on his door demanding entrance without a warrant. Chambers was never told what the charges were. "She didn't tell me what I was accused of and demanded to interview my 6-year-old daughter without my presence," Chambers told PJM. "I told her that was unacceptable, but she was more than welcome to talk to her with me there without me interfering. She seemed perturbed, but accepted that. She then told me she wanted to search my house," said Chambers. "I told her I had no problem with that, but wanted her to get a court order or a warrant as I am a bit of a constitutionalist and would just feel better having that respected. She was immediately angry. She hopped in her car without another word and drove off."

    An American asking for a proper warrant signed by a judge to search his private property is 100 percent within his rights to do, or so we thought. "The next day, I got my daughter early from school and went to the CPS office with her to speak to a supervisor to make sure they understood that I wasn't hiding or attempting elusiveness of any sort," said Chambers. "I allowed the supervisor to look her over and explained my concerns about my insistence on a warrant before the search. I was told that the warrant wasn't a problem to get and that they would do that so we could close the case and finish out the interaction."

    But that's not what happened.
     

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    See also: Police State Amerika I: Facebook Thought Police and CPS Blues

    Monday, 18 June 2018

    Where have all our insects gone?

    Robin Mckie
    The Guardian UK

    When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

    But it is not a vision that he has experienced in recent years. Those tiger moths have almost disappeared. “You hardly see any, although there used to be thousands in summer and that was just a couple of villages.”

    It is an intriguing story and it is likely to be repeated over the next few weeks. The start of summer is the time of year when the nation’s insects should make their presence known by coating countryside windows with their fluttering presence, and splattering themselves on car windscreens. But they are spectacularly failing to do so. Instead they are making themselves newsworthy through their absence. Britain’s insects, it seems, are disappearing.

    This point was underlined last week when tweets from the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham went viral after he commented on the absence of insects during a weekend at his home in the New Forest. Packham said he had not seen a single butterfly in his garden, and added that he sleeps with his windows open but rarely finds craneflies or moths in his room in the morning. By contrast, they were commonplace when he was a boy. “Our generation is presiding over an ecological apocalypse and we’ve somehow or other normalised it,” he later said. 

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