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Israeli settlers reportedly destroy Palestinian-owned water well near Bethlehem

Ma’an – May 3, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli settlers destroyed a Palestinian-owned water well on Tuesday in the town of al-Khader south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinians news agency Wafa.

Hasan Brijiyeh, a local activist from the separation wall and settlements’ committee in Bethlehem, told Wafa that a group of Israeli settlers destroyed the well under the protection of Israeli forces, identifying the owner of the well as Ahmad Ghnaim.

The 100-square-meter well was built almost 250 years ago, according to the report, and is located near the illegal settlement outpost of Sde Boaz, built on Palestinian-owned land.

Two weeks ago, Wafa reported that Israeli settlers from Sde Boaz razed privately-owned Palestinian land in the Wadi al-Ghawit area in the western outskirts of al-Khader, and physically assaulted the Palestinian landowner.

Sde Boaz, also known as Nevi Daniel North, was established in 2002 when settlers from the established illegal Nevi Daniel settlement took over a hilltop about 1.5 kilometers north of Nevi Daniel.

Israeli settlers from Sde Boaz destroyed over 300 newly planted grape vines belonging to the Sbeihs in 2014.

Some 600,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The international community regards all settlements built on occupied Palestinian land to be illegal, though the Israeli government distinguishes between the state-sponsored settlements and dozens of unauthorized outposts like Sde Boaz.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the outpost “Regularization law” in February, which could grant official Israeli governmental recognition to more than a dozen illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank established on private Palestinian lands.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli terrorists incite murder of Arabs south of Nablus

Palestine Information Center – May 3, 2017

NABLUS – Israeli settlers at predawn Wednesday preformed sacrilegious rituals and yelled “death to Arabs” at Yitzhar crossroads, south of Nablus.

Palestinians driving in the area said over 100 Israeli settlers, escorted by heavily-armed soldiers, flocked to the northern entrance to Hawara town, south of Nablus, and yelled anti-Arab chants.

The Israeli settlers further called for revenge against the Palestinians, shouting “Death to Arabs and Muslims.”

On Tuesday evening, a horde of Israeli fanatics showed up at Hawara checkpoint and on the access road to Bracha settlement, illegally built on Palestinian land in Kafr Kalil and Irak Burin, to mark Israel’s establishment anniversary on the land of Palestine.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Killer Cops Get Immunity, No Matter Who’s in the White House

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | May 3, 2017

Two courtroom events this week serve to remind us that, no matter which party’s president is in the White House, the right to life and liberty does not apply on the streets of Black America, where the police enjoy effective immunity from prosecution. On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would not file charges in the death of Alton Sterling, the 37 year-old Black man who was shot to death by cops while helpless on the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last year. Also on Tuesday, the Justice Department and South Carolina officials accepted a former cop’s guilty plea to the charge of using excessive force when he shot 50 year-old Walter Scott five times, while he was running away after a traffic stop, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both killings were recorded in gruesome detail on video. But, when it comes to killer cops, the best of evidence is never enough.

The police that killed Alton Sterling, in Baton Rouge, got away with murder, and then proceeded to brutalize and abuse the entire Black community, violently suppressing waves of protest. But, other cops would pay with their lives for the crimes of their brothers in blue. Two days after Alton Sterling was slaughtered, 25 year-old Michah Xavier Johnson launched his one-man war against the Dallas, Texas, police, killing five of them and wounding seven before they blew him up with a robotic bomb — a first in U.S. urban counter-insurgency warfare. Johnson was avenging both Sterling’s death in Louisiana and the police murder of Philando Castile, near Minneapolis, the same week. Castile’s girlfriend, displaying heroic calm in the face of police terror, went on Facebook Live while the cop was still pointing his weapon, with Castile’s body beside her and her young daughter in the back seat – another first in the annals of the one-sided police war against Black people in the United States. The cop that killed Castile has only been charged with manslaughter – by the state of Minnesota, not the feds — and has not yet gone to trial.

Ten days after Michael Xavier Johnson conducted his live ammunition protest in Dallas, former Marine Gavin Eugene Long ambushed six cops in Baton Rouge, killing three and wounding three others, before he was killed.

Sham Investigations

Walter Scott had his fatal encounter with a killer cop in April of 2016. A young immigrant, just passing by, had the presence of mind to video Officer Michael Slager pumping five bullets into Scott as he ran across a field. The Scott case is unique, because it is the only cop killing where the Obama Justice Department actually brought charges. Obama frequently announced that he was “investigating” police killings of Blacks, but nothing would ever come of it, and the case would finally be dropped. Which is what happened this week with the Alton Sterling case from Baton Rouge. You can expect the same result from the Justice Department’s ongoing “investigation” of the police killing of 12 year-old Tamir Rice, in Cleveland, back in November of 2014. It will fall to the Trump Justice Department to finally drop the case. But, make no mistake about it; when it comes to maintaining the police army of occupation in Black America, the Democrats and the Republicans are in complete agreement. There is no such thing as a sanctuary city for Black people in the U.S.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Iran calls on international community to force Israel to join NPT

Press TV – May 3, 2017

A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official says the international community must mount pressure on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) unconditionally and put its nuclear activities under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Gholam-Hossein Dehqani, the director-general for political and international security affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, made the remarks while addressing the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on Wednesday.

The Iranian official expressed concern about Israel’s nuclear arsenal, saying the Tel Aviv regime’s nuclear weapons posed a threat to peace and security in the region and the world.

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

Dehqani also criticized nuclear-armed countries for their failure to comply with their commitments to dismantle their nuclear arsenals.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official described nuclear-armed countries’ refusal to “fulfill their nuclear disarmament commitments over the past 47 years” as “the main challenge to the implementation of the NPT.”

He underlined the need for countries to meet their obligations under Article VI of the NPT, saying the fulfillment of countries’ nuclear commitments was neither arbitrary nor conditional.

Under Article VI of the NPT, all parties to the treaty undertake to pursue good-faith negotiations on effective measures related to nuclear disarmament and the cessation of nuclear arms race.

The preparatory committee, which opened in Austria on May 2 and will conclude on May 12, is responsible for addressing substantive and procedural issues related to the NPT.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

Nye’s Quadrant

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | May 2, 2017

The scary emergence of Nye’s Quadrant in dominating the public discourse on climate change.

If you are unfamiliar with Pasteur’s Quadrant, read my previous post [link].  The focus of my previous post was on use-inspired basic research. I struggled with the 4th quadrant (lower left), which is sometimes referred to as ‘taxonomy’. In the context of climate science, I interpreted this as climate model taxonomy, which analyzed the results of climate model simulations to identify alarming future possibilities.

Nye’s Quadrant

In response to my previous post on the Science March, which mentioned Pasteur’s Quadrant, Peter Deeble tweeted this version of the Quadrant diagram:

Besides being hysterically funny, the more I thought about it, I realized how profound this is.

Apart from the twitter aspect, here are other attributes of this quadrant:

  • Second order belief – allegiance to consensus. Individual has not done primary research on the relevant topic or has not conducted an independent assessment of the evidence and research.
  • Shutting down scientific debate; science as dogma
  • Alarmism as a tactic to influence the public debate
  • Political activism and advocacy for particular policy solutions
  • Scientism: a demand that science dictate public policy
  • Advocacy research

Some recent articles on Bill Nye’s pernicious influence on the scientific debate:

And then there is Neil DeGrasse Tyson (sorry Neil, you don’t get a Quadrant named after you)

The scariest thing about this quadrant is that this is the quadrant of science that is driving the media and public debate.

Within the field of climate research itself, the quickest litmus test for the Nye Quadrant is twitter addiction (~100 tweets per day)

The group of scientists operating in the Nye Quadrant are getting really political. Unfortunately (or fortunately), they are lousy at politics.

Blair King has a very good post on this:  The climate crew: alienating allies and fighting the wrong fights.

See also:  Climate change activists are the real science deniers.

Litmus test: Bret Stephen’s recent op-ed

NYTimes recently hired an op-ed writer by the name of Bret Stephens. Mr. Stephens is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who specializes in international affairs but has also written some controversial articles about climate change.

His first op-ed was Climate of Complete Certainty.  Its actually very good. Blair King’s article provides the following summary:

Any reasonable read of Mr. Stephen’s first piece identifies some very important arguments that the climate activists have failed to address. The unrealistic confidence the climate activists have placed in their models even though those models are barely able to hindcast, let alone forecast. The growing divide between what climate scientists are saying about climate change and what the climate activists claim they are saying. Most importantly the growing disconnect between what the scientists are saying about the risks of climate change and public sentiment about the topic.

The Climatariat was not pleased. From an article by Julie Kelly:

Gavin Schmidt, a leading climate scientist and head of realclimate.org, has been on a Twitter bender since Friday, calling the column “pathetic. If you want ‘real conversations’ have it w/real people (& scientists) instead of cardboard cutout caricatures.” Stephens was even slammed by Andy Revkin, a climate journalist Stephens favorably cites in his column: “The column also features the kind of straw men and other familiar foils used by those more wedded to a world view or policy position than committed to a deep examination of a complex and consequential problem.” Hundreds of climate activists and science journalists slammed the Times, cancelling their subscriptions and comparing the Times to flat-earthers, creationists, and anti-vaxxers.

Many NYTimes readers are canceling their subscription over Stephens’ op-ed [link].  Stefan Rahmstorf and Ken Caldeira are canceling their subscription to the NYTimes [link]. Michael Mann also.

The NYPost has a good roundup of the hysterical responses.

Even the relatively moderate green journalists are up in arms:

And finally, a philosophical basis for canceling your NYTimes subscription over this: The righteous folly of canceling your NYTimes subscription.

Yes, of course it is fine to disagree with an op-ed, preferably with carefully formulated critiques and arguments. But trying to silence that person’s voice — a very serious journalist — over statements about climate change that don’t hew to the ‘party line’ sends you to Nye’s quadrant.
.
Michael Mann, Ken Caldeira, Stefan Rahmstorf, Dave Roberts, Nate Silver — welcome to Nye’s Quadrant.
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JC reflections

How much do the shenanigans in Nye’s Quadrant in the name of science actually ‘matter’? Well fortunately, I don’t think these folks are very good politicians.

The issue of greatest concern is the impact all this has on the scientific community. The fame and fortune of Michael Mann — derived from Nye Quadrant tactics — is going to be tempting to some young scientists to emulate. I am already seeing hints of a few mid career climate scientists that seem ready to go full Nye.

Can we get back to the top half of the quadrant diagram, please.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments

UK ‘terrorist’ gets 8yrs behind bars for ‘aiding ISIS’ online


© met.police.uk
RT | May 3, 2017

A British man who kept Islamic State publications concealed, James Bond-style, in memory cards inside cufflinks and created a “one-stop shop” for terrorists online has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to five terrorism charges.

Samata Ullah, 34, an unemployed man from Wales, was sentenced to eight years in prison with a five-year extension period on Tuesday after pleading guilty to five charges of terrorism in a British court, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The court at the Old Bailey in London heard how Ullah created an online hub for terrorists from his bedroom, where he uploaded instructional videos and other information to aid terrorists.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Ullah was a part of a global network of terrorists who were using their cyber skills to aid Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Ullah provided instructional videos on how to use encryption programs to hide terrorist activities online and helped IS develop their capabilities and spread propaganda through the Dark Web.

“It is the first time we have seen anything on this scale,” Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit, said, according to the BBC. “He had set up a self-help library for terrorists around the world and they were using his library.”

Haydon described Ullah’s online library as “a one-stop shop for terrorists,” with “guidance on encryption, ways to avoid detection from police and security services, expert tuition around missile systems, and a vast amount of propaganda.”

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC described Ullah as a “new and dangerous breed of terrorist,” according to the BBC.

In March, Ullah admitted to being a member of IS as well as aiding the group in terrorist training, preparing terrorist attacks and possessing articles connected with terrorism.

Ullah was arrested at his home in Wales last September after an international sting operation monitored conversations he had with a Kenyan contact who planned anthrax attacks in the East African nation.

Upon Ullah’s arrest in September, police seized around 200 pieces of evidence, including 150 digital devices with eight terabytes of data, which the Metropolitan Police described as “equivalent of more than 2.2 million copies of the War and Peace e-book.”

Police also found around 30 USB memory cards disguised as cufflinks, which contained “infamous ISIS publications,” according to the Met.

The Metropolitan Police said the evidence they found established Ullah as an active member of IS and “revealed his radical mindset.”

“Just because Ullah’s activity was in the virtual world we never underestimated how dangerous his activity was,” Haydon said. “He sat in his bedroom in Wales and created online content with the sole intention of aiding people who wanted to actively support ISIS and avoid getting caught by the authorities.”

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment