February 13, 2014 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Ohio Republican State Rep. Ripped Off Investors to Fund Campaign and Friend’s Church

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

An Ohio Republican already facing more than 100 years in prison on 16 felony charges was slapped Thursday with 53 additional counts.

Rep. Peter Beck, of Mason, has already pleaded not guilty to the previous charges, but the new charges handed up by a grand jury cover a longer period of time.

The charges are related to a startup software company, Christopher Technologies, where the 63-year-old Beck served as the chief financial officer.

Also indicted on nine counts each in the case was Janet Combs, of Cincinnati, and the church where she served as pastor, Ark by the River Fellowship Ministries, and Beck performed accounting.

The grand jury indicted TML Consulting on eight counts.

House Speaker William Bathchelder initially said he would ask Beck, who serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to resign but later changed his mind, saying he was just making a suggestion.

The state’s Republican Party chairman, Matt Borges, also called for Beck’s resignation at the time.

Authorities said Beck and others cheated investors out of $1.2 million that was used to help fund the lawmaker’s political campaign and donated to the Ark by the River.

A lawsuit was filed in January 2013 against Beck and others in connection with the case, and the lawmaker was sued by his former partners in an accounting firm who said he deprived the business of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most serious charge against Beck is the engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/13/authorities-ohio-republican-ripped-off-investors-to-fund-campaign-and-friends-church/

JNS.org – The new George Clooney film, “The Monuments Men,” tells the thrilling story of U.S. military personnel who during World War II risked their lives to rescue paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Chagall that the Nazis had stolen. But for Connecticut civil rights attorney Bill Bingham, the story is one of tragic irony. His father, Hiram Bingham IV, was a dissident U.S. diplomat who helped rescue Marc Chagall after the Roosevelt administration abandoned the painter—the same administration that later made such efforts to recover Chagall’s paintings. Save the artwork, abandon the artist? It’s a peculiar legacy, as Bingham explains in this exclusive interview.

JNS: Is it true that Chagall was initially reluctant to leave Europe?

Bingham: “Chagall had lived in France for most of the previous two decades. Like many Jews, he felt bound to it by family ties, by the familiar sights and sounds and pleasures, and of course by the general uncertainty that goes with starting a new life halfway across the world. So when the pro-Nazi Vichy government took over in 1940, he wasn’t immediately ready to make the break.”

JNS: How did your father come into contact with him?

Bingham: “Dad was a vice-consul at the American consulate in Marseilles. Officially he was supposed to implement the Roosevelt administration’s visa policy, which was basically to look for reasons to reject visa applications from Jewish refugees. But unofficially, Dad was actively helping Varian Fry, an American journalist who came to France in 1940 to rescue refugees.”

JNS: How did the U.S. government respond to Fry’s mission?

Bingham: “Under pressure from Eleanor Roosevelt, the president very reluctantly agreed to let Fry rescue a few hundred prominent European intellectuals and artists. FDR could accept the idea of saving the ‘cream of European civilization.’ Helping ordinary Jewish refugees was a different story, unfortunately.”

JNS: What exactly did your father do to help Fry?

Bingham: “He surreptitiously issued travel documents for refugees—documents that the other consular officials refused to approve. He hid refugees in his home when they were fleeing from the Nazis. He even helped smuggle the famous novelist Lion Feuchtwanger out of a French forced-labor camp—he had Feuchtwanger dress in women’s clothes and pretend to be my dad’s mother-in-law. It wasn’t just Fry and Bingham—Fry built a network of several-dozen rescue activists, some of them French, some of them American expats who were living in Europe.”

JNS: So what happened to Chagall?

Bingham: “In the fall of 1940, the Museum of Modern Art applied to the State Department for a visa for Chagall. The museum promised that it would have exhibits of Chagall’s paintings and would make sure that he could support himself. But that wasn’t enough, apparently. The administration stalled and stalled on the application. Months went by. Finally Fry took Chagall to see my father. Fry wrote in his diary that on the spot, my father ‘got him an immigration visa with no affidavits at all. In fact, all he had in his dossier was a letter from me [Fry].’

“The delays were almost fatal. Because of all the stalling, Chagall was still in France when the Vichy police carried out a huge roundup of Jews in April 1941, and Chagall was imprisoned.

“Fry and my father personally intervened to get him out. Chagall and his wife, Bella, left Spain on May 7, 1941. If it had been left up to the Roosevelt administration, he might never have gotten out.”

JNS: And his paintings?

Bingham: “The Chagalls managed to take some of the artwork with them. But some of it was left behind. And of course some of it was in museums or private collections in Europe—which is how the Monuments Men ended up finding some of it, three years later.”

JNS: Why did Fry’s rescue mission come to an end?

Bingham: “The Nazis and the Vichy French complained to the Roosevelt administration about what Fry was doing. The United States wasn’t yet in the war and it still maintained relations with Nazi Germany. So Secretary of State Cordell Hull sent a cable to all the American consuls in France, ordering them to refrain from helping Fry, since he was trying to ‘evade the laws of governments with which this country maintains friendly relations.’ Hull also sent a cable directly to Fry, demanding that he immediately return to the U.S. Fry and my father ignored Hull. So the administration canceled Fry’s passport, forcing him to leave France. And it transferred my father out of Marseilles—first to Portugal, then to South America. That ensured he would be far away from any more opportunities to help Jewish refugees get to the United States. Altogether, they saved about two thousand refugees.  They could have saved many more if the administration had just left them alone.”

JNS: How do you feel about the work that the “Monuments Men” carried out?

Bingham: “They deserve credit for what they did. I’m glad they rescued all those precious paintings and artifacts. But I’m troubled that in a case like that of Chagall, the Roosevelt administration was so interested in saving the artwork and not very concerned about saving the artist.

“And the other irony is this—they were so interested in saving artwork, but if their abandonment of Chagall had led to his death, think of all the great works of art that never would have come into being—from the Chagall murals in Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House, to the stained glass windows at the Hadassah hospital, in Jerusalem. So in a sense, Fry and my father and their comrades not only saved lives but did a great service for the art world, and all of humanity, for generations to come.”

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C., and author of 15 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust. The latest is “FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/02/13/%E2%80%98monuments-men%E2%80%99-rescuing-chagall%E2%80%99s-paintings-abandoning-chagall-interview/

“… Dr. Donald Belsito and the contact dermatitis group at the University of Kansas reported an eyelid rash that was linked to aspartame. Since then, several journal articles have examined the connection. Researchers now believe that this rash is caused by formaldehyde, which is a derivative of aspartame. …”

February 12, 2014

Artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda are getting a lot of attention these days, thanks to some studies that have found they have long-term negative effects on our health. But on the flip side these sugar alternatives have proved to help those looking to control their weight as well as medical conditions like diabetes.

How you sweeten your coffee, tea and foods is up to you, but if you have a persistent rash on your eyelids, there may be a connection to aspartame, which is the main ingredient in NutraSweet and Equal.

This possibly cause-and-effect first came to light in 2003, when Dr. Donald Belsito and the contact dermatitis group at the University of Kansas reported an eyelid rash that was linked to aspartame. Since then, several journal articles have examined the connection.

Researchers now believe that this rash is caused by formaldehyde, which is a derivative of aspartame. Formaldehyde is a very common allergen, and it’s found in nail polish, hair products and many other substances we come into contact with every day. Formaldehyde is only second to fragrance as the most common cause of skin reactions.

images (1)However, a formaldehyde allergy can be difficult to pinpoint because there are many names for compounds that contain it. In order to lower the concentration of formaldehyde in their products, many companies use formaldehyde-releasing-preservatives (FRPs) instead.

Among the most common are quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, bromonitropropane and DMDM hydantoin.

While you can certainly scan your product labels for FRPs, aspartame can be found in many foods you might not suspect. Beyond those packets you find on restaurant tables, it’s also in diet sodas, breath mints, cereal, chewing gum, flavored water, ice cream, jellies, powdered ice tea and so much more.

You probably never thought the foods you’re eating could lead to that rash on your eyelids, so first, scan your skincare and haircare products for the ingredients listed above. Then, if you use artificial sweetener, try switching to one without aspartame. From there, start reading food labels carefully. If you don’t get relief after following this advice, see your dermatologist for other possible causes.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.

 http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/03/3910526/is-your-sweetener-causing-itchy.html#storylink=cpy

 

“… Ukraine and the rise of right wing extremism there cannot be seen, let alone understood, in isolation. Rather, it must be examined as part of a growing trend throughout Europe (and indeed the world) – a trend which threatens the very foundations of democracy. …”

By ERIC DRAITSER

The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government. Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich.

Recent months have seen regular protests by the Ukrainian political opposition and its supporters – protests ostensibly in response to Ukrainian President Yanukovich’s refusal to sign a trade agreement with the European Union that was seen by many political observers as the first step towards European integration. The protests remained largely peaceful until January 17th when protesters armed with clubs, helmets, and improvised bombs unleashed brutal violence on the police, storming government buildings, beating anyone suspected of pro-government sympathies, and generally wreaking havoc on the streets of Kiev. But who are these violent extremists and what is their ideology?

The political formation is known as “Pravy Sektor” (Right Sector), which is essentially an umbrella organization for a number of ultra-nationalist (read fascist) right wing groups including supporters of the “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense” (UNA-UNSO), and “Trizub”. All of these organizations share a common ideology that is vehemently anti-Russian, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things. In addition they share a common reverence for the so called “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” led by Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborators who actively fought against the Soviet Union and engaged in some of the worst atrocities committed by any side in World War II.

While Ukrainian political forces, opposition and government, continue to negotiate, a very different battle is being waged in the streets. Using intimidation and brute force more typical of Hitler’s “Brownshirts” or Mussolini’s “Blackshirts” than a contemporary political movement, these groups have managed to turn a conflict over economic policy and the political allegiances of the country into an existential struggle for the very survival of the nation that these so called “nationalists” claim to love so dearly. The images of Kiev burning, Lviv streets filled with thugs, and other chilling examples of the chaos in the country, illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the political negotiation with the Maidan (Kiev’s central square and center of the protests) opposition is now no longer the central issue. Rather, it is the question of Ukrainian fascism and whether it is to be supported or rejected.

For its part, the United States has strongly come down on the side of the opposition, regardless of its political character. In early December, members of the US ruling establishment such as John McCain and Victoria Nuland were seen at Maidan lending their support to the protesters. However, as the character of the opposition has become apparent in recent days, the US and Western ruling class and its media machine have done little to condemn the fascist upsurge. Instead, their representatives have met with representatives of Right Sector and deemed them to be “no threat.” In other words, the US and its allies have given their tacit approval for the continuation and proliferation of the violence in the name of their ultimate goal: regime change.

In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists. Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States. The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia. And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel. There is a disturbing pattern here that has never been lost on keen political observers: the United States always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.

The situation in Ukraine is deeply troubling because it represents a political conflagration that could very easily tear the country apart less than 25 years after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. However, there is another equally disturbing aspect to the rise of fascism in that country – it is not alone.

The Fascist Menace Across the Continent

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Ukrainian football fans 

Ukraine and the rise of right wing extremism there cannot be seen, let alone understood, in isolation. Rather, it must be examined as part of a growing trend throughout Europe (and indeed the world) – a trend which threatens the very foundations of democracy.

In Greece, savage austerity imposed by the troika (IMF, ECB, and European Commission) has crippled the country’s economy, leading to a depression as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression in the United States. It is against this backdrop of economic collapse that the Golden Dawn party has grown to become the third most popular political party in the country. Espousing an ideology of hate, the Golden Dawn – in effect a Nazi party that promotes anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant, anti-women chauvinism – is a political force that the government in Athens has understood to be a serious threat to the very fabric of society. It is this threat which led the government to arrest the party’s leadership after a Golden Dawn Nazi fatally stabbed an anti-fascist rapper. Athens has launched an investigation into the party, though the results of this investigation and trial remain somewhat unclear.

What makes Golden Dawn such an insidious threat is the fact that, despite their central ideology of Nazism, their anti-EU, anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many in the economically devastated Greece. As with many fascist movements in the 20th Century, Golden Dawn scapegoats immigrants, Muslim and African primarily, for many of the problems facing Greeks. In dire economic circumstances, such irrational hate becomes appealing; an answer to the question of how to solve society’s problems. Indeed, despite Golden Dawn’s leaders being jailed, other party members are still in parliament, still running for major offices including mayor of Athens. Though an electoral victory is unlikely, another strong showing at the polls will make the eradication of fascism in Greece that much harder.

Were this phenomenon confined to Greece and Ukraine, it would not constitute a continental trend. Sadly however, we see the rise of similar, albeit slightly less overtly fascist, political parties all over Europe. In Spain, the ruling pro-austerity People’s Party has moved to establish draconian laws restricting protest and free speech, and empowering and sanctioning repressive police tactics. In France, the National Front Party of Marine Le Pen, which vehemently scapegoats Muslim and African immigrants, won nearly twenty percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections. Similarly, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands – which promotes anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policies – has grown to be the third largest in parliament. Throughout Scandinavia, ultra nationalist parties which once toiled in complete irrelevance and obscurity are now significant players in elections. These trends are worrying to say the least.

It should be noted too that, beyond Europe, there are a number of quasi-fascist political formations which are, in one way or another, supported by the United States. The right wing coups that overthrew the governments of Paraguay and Honduras were tacitly and/or overtly supported by Washington in their seemingly endless quest to suppress the Left in Latin America. Of course, one should also remember that the protest movement in Russia was spearheaded by Alexei Navalny and his nationalist followers who espouse a virulently anti-Muslim, racist ideology that views immigrants from the Russian Caucasus and former Soviet republics as beneath “European Russians”. These and other examples begin to paint a very ugly portrait of a US foreign policy that attempts to use economic hardship and political upheaval to extend US hegemony around the world.

In Ukraine, the “Right Sector” has taken the fight from the negotiating table to the streets in an attempt to fulfill the dream of Stepan Bandera – a Ukraine free of Russia, Jews, and all other “undesirables” as they see it. Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could. If Europe and the United States don’t recognize this threat in its infancy, by the time they finally do, it might just be too late.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/29/ukraine-and-the-rebirth-of-fascism/

“… ‘This whole 12 years was one of constant pleading with America to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people,’ Karzai stated, continuing his denunciation of the terror of anti-terrorism exemplified by George W. Bush’s orgy of torture followed by Barack Obama’s drone attacks that traumatize the Afghan countryside. …”

By ROBERT SCHEER

A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most joyous homecoming for a U.S. veteran of the Afghan War. It was a fitting tribute to the fact that he survived, but you would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice that the three decades since the United States first meddled in Afghanistan have been an unequivocal disaster and that those who did not survive — NATO combatants and far larger number of Afghan natives — died in vain.

This was a point made clearly but largely unnoticed on that day of obligatory patriotic flag waving in an interview with Hamid Karzai, the U.S. anointed leader of Afghanistan, who told British newspaper The Sunday Times of London that “I saw no good” resulting from yet another American adventure in imperial democracy:

“This whole 12 years was one of constant pleading with America to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people,” Karzai stated, continuing his denunciation of the terror of anti-terrorism exemplified by George W. Bush’s orgy of torture followed by Barack Obama’s drone attacks that traumatize the Afghan countryside. Karzai, no stranger to corruption and contradiction, has refused to sign a pact authorizing a continued and much reduced U.S. presence in his country unless all such unilateral military attacks on his people are ended. As for the Taliban enemy that the U.S. invasion had temporarily deposed, Karzai referred to them as “brothers” while he dismissed his erstwhile American sponsors as “rivals,” indicating that Obama now has his own “mission accomplished” embarrassment.

Maybe that dismal outcome of the Obama-ordered surge, comparable to the ultimate failure of Bush’s in Iraq, is why Karzai observed that he and Obama have not spoken directly since June. For the Democratic hawks, Afghanistan was going to be the good war, but Obama has learned, as did then-President Jimmy Carter more than 30 years ago, that the Afghans are not to be toyed with.

In Carter’s case back in the late 1970s, he was convinced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the president’s terminally confident national security adviser, that supporting Muslim extremists to overthrow a secular pro-Soviet government in power in Kabul would draw our main international adversary into its version of our Vietnam quagmire. What fun but the strategy failed, and the Soviets didn’t invade until the U.S. imported sufficient foreign fighters to destabilize a country on their border.

When Obama, back in December 2009, launched a troop “surge” in Afghanistan, he argued that “we did not ask for this fight,” but of course we did. To know that, all he had to do was ask his then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who had been an adviser to Carter and, in a 1996 memoir, exposed “Carter’s never-before-revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen six months before the Soviets invaded.”

After Gates’ admission, French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur asked Brzezinski whether he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” and he replied: “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

He said that in 1998, and three years later, “some stirred up Muslims” flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The eradication of their movement became our national obsession, one that justified raising U.S. military expenditures back to the highest levels of the Cold War, even though there was no technologically significant enemy to justify this restoration of the power and the glory of the military-industrial complex.

In the process, we have come to sacrifice the basic rights of the individual enshrined in our Constitution in the name of finding what our last president, in his comic book lingo, termed the “evildoers,” without ever conceding that they were once, as President Reagan defined them, our “freedom fighters.” Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, a former top exec at defense contractor Halliburton, must have chuckled at that one, knowing full well that a primitive enemy holed up in mountain caves could not justify blowing trillions on the most sophisticated oceangoing aircraft carriers, stealth fighters and other relics of an era when we had a militarily significant enemy.

It seemed to make sense only when both Republican Bush and Democrat Obama, in Afghanistan and Iraq, invoked the imagery of democratic nation building but instead exploited sectarian and tribal differences. Those efforts succeeded only in upending what remained of the stabilizing social order in both countries and have unleashed a never-ending cycle of violence providing invaluable propaganda for the al-Qaida elements we claimed to be eradicating.

“The money they should have paid to the police,” Karzai said, “they paid to private security firms and creating militias who caused lawlessness, corruption and highway robbery. What they did was create pockets of wealth and a vast countryside of deprivation and anger.”

Hey no problem, war is just another violent game we love to play. America, this Bud’s for you.

Scheer is editor of TruthDig.com, where this column originally appeared. Email him at rscheer@truthdig.com.