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Israel's Netanyahu Claims It Was the Palestinians Who Convinced Hitler to Exterminate the Jews

October 20, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

A new bizarre kind of Holocaust revisionism has arrived.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for his nuance, but his disregard for historical facts themselves took a new turn today as he claimed, in a speech in Israel, that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler actually did not want to exterminate Jews until a Palestinian religious leader convinced him otherwise.

Here's what Netanyahu said:

My grandfather came to this land in 1920 and he landed in Jaffa, and very shortly after he landed he went to the immigration office in Jaffa. And a few months later it was burned down by marauders. These attackers, Arab attackers, murdered several Jews, including our celebrated writer Brenner.

And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they'll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, “Burn them.”

Watch video of the remarks:

This statement is almost too absurd to debunk, but for the record, Haj Amin al-Husseini met Hitler in November 1941. Although the origins of the Final Solution itself have been hotly debated among historians, we do know that by March of that year Hitler was openly talking about a need to make sure the “Jewish-Bolshevik elite” would be killed, as well as “all Jews and card-carrying Communists” in the lands that Germany was taking from the Soviet Union; this order was carried out by  Heinrich Himmler, who delivered these instructions to the Einsatzgruppen on March 13th, 1941. The phrase “complete solution of the Jewish question” was first uttered by Nazi leader Hermann Goering who gave the task to SS General Reinhardt Heydrich on July 31st, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Desperate Financial Regulators Turn to . . . 100% Reserves

October 20, 2015 in Economics

By Joseph T. Salerno

100% Reserves
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Desperate Financial Regulators Turn to . . . 100% Reserves

October 20, 2015

100 percent-reserve banking is being introduced through the backdoor by U.S. regulators who remain queasy about banks runs in a future crisis. Under rules instituted in September 2014 by the Fed and other financial regulators, banks are mandated to hold only high-grade liquid assets against risky large demand deposits in order to cover estimated deposit losses for 30 days. These so-called “hot-money deposits” are those that are most likely to be suddenly withdrawn at the onset of a crisis. The required backing assets consist of bank reserves held at the Fed and short-term U.S. government securities. The new rules require banks to hold up to 40 percent reserves–versus the standard 10 percent–against certain corporate deposits and up to 100 percent reserves for some deposits from hedge funds. The deposits that qualify for such treatment are technically known as “non-operational” deposits, which are not immediately required for the depositor's business and usually exceed the maximum federal deposit insurance limit. Movements of these deposits tend to be volatile and unpredictable especially in times of trouble. Analysts at Credit Suisse Group estimated last August that the four largest U.S. banks held approximately $650 billion of such deposits.

In addition to the heightened reserve requirements, new rules raising capital requirements for large banks and the Fed's low interest rate policy have significantly increased the costs and lowered the benefits to banks of holding large demand deposits. In response, some banks like JP Morgan Chase and State Street of Boston are charging fees to some customers for holding non-operational deposits while others are contemplating doing so on a case by case basis. The unintended consequences of these policies is that banks are being induced, at least in the case of large demand deposits, to begin operating as true custodians of their clients' cash in exchange for storage fees.

But, come to think of …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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After Upset Election, Canada's New Leader Wants to Legalize Marijuana

October 20, 2015 in Blogs

By Phillip Smith, AlterNet

A 180 degree turnaround from the previous right-wing govt, and a seismic shift for North America.


Led by Justin Trudeau, Canada's Liberal Party swept to an impressive victory in Monday's elections.

The party has won enough seats to form a majority government by itself. The Liberals won 184 seats in the lower house of parliament. . They only need 170 seats to form a majority in the 338-seat lower chamber.

The election brings an end to nine years of Conservative rule, which, from a drug policy perspective, was absolutely regressive and reactionary. The Tories not only opposed marijuana legalization; they were committed to rolling out mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses, including pot cultivation, and they fought bitterly (and unsuccessfully) to shut down Vancouver's supervised injection site for hard-core drug users. The Tories rejected harm reduction in favor of failed 20th Century drug policies. 

The Liberal platform included, among other things, marijuana legalization:

“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” the platform states. Marijuana prohibition doesn't prevent youth use, causes socially disruptive and expensive arrests, and supports organized crime, the statement adds. “We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

But don't expect it to happen overnight. The Liberals said they would create a task force with input from experts in public health, substance use, and law enforcement to design a new system of taxed and regulated marijuana sales. Once the task force has done its work, a bill will have to be crafted and then passed in Ottawa.

While marijuana was not the issue in the campaign, it was an issue. The Conservatives attempted drug war-style scare ads, and outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper said marijuana was “infinitely worse than tobacco.”

But the Tories' anti-pot stance didn't fare too well in a country that is ready to leave marijuana prohibition behind. In a CBC Vote Compass poll last month, 56% …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Sunny Side Up in Canada as Justin Trudeau's Light Touch Revives Liberals

October 20, 2015 in Blogs

By John Barber, The Guardian

International observers can expect a sharp change in tone, moving away from the militaristic and climate-denying record of the Harper government.


Friendly old Canada, left for dead after nine years of stern rule under the divisive government of the Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, has returned with a vengeance after voters overwhelmingly turned to a charismatic Liberal named Trudeau in a bid to recapture the glory days that characterized his father’s long and memorable rule.

“Sunny ways!” a hoarse Justin Trudeau exulted as he accepted his striking victory in Canada’s 42nd general election. “This is what positive politics can do.”

The Liberal party’s resounding victory proved that “a positive, optimistic, hopeful vision of public life isn’t a naive dream”, said Trudeau. “It can be a powerful force for change.”

Once mercilessly derided as “just not ready” for the job in persistent Conservative attacks ads, the former drama teacher performed flawlessly throughout the campaign, demonstrating a true populist ease with voters while his party posted videos of the handsome leader sparring with his shirt off or paddling a canoe on a misty river in the manner of his father, the former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Over the course of a 78-day campaign, Trudeau led his party from last place in the polls to a resounding victory, winning 184 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons, according to unofficial results, and the right to form a majority government.

Equally impressive, he won the victory four years after the former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff suffered the worst defeat in party history. That loss led many to question whether the centrist Liberals could even survive as the leftwing New Democratic party rose to fill the vacant space as the official party of opposition.

But by the end of Monday night, Trudeau’s winnings included the heads of both his major rivals, Conservative leader Stephen Harper, and the NDP’s Tom Mulcair. For a campaign that remained relentlessly upbeat and scornful of what Trudeau called “the politics …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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11-Year-Old Rape Victim Who Was Denied Abortion in Paraguay Could Find Justice in Human Rights Court

October 20, 2015 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

Advocates will be in attendance at a convening to be held tomorrow morning.


The story of a 11-year-old rape victim forced to carry a baby to term after her home country of Paraguay denied her an abortion made international headlines and sparked worldwide outrage this August. Now human rights advocates working on behalf of the girl called “Mainumby” (not her real name) have announced that a convening on the girl’s case will happen at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The meeting is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, October 21.

Among the parties expected to attend are Maria Jose Eva of Amnesty International; Elba Núñez of CLADEM, aka the Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense of Women's Rights; and representatives of Equality Now, which fights for the human rights of girls and women around the world. Paraguayan officials were informed they needed to attend but officially declined. Officials from the advocacy organizations involved suggest they may send a representative unannounced at the last minute.

The case of Mainumby, who gave birth late this summer, has helped shine a light on the sexual abuse of young girls in Paraguay. Figures from the Paraguayan government show that 684 girls aged 10 to 14 gave birth last year. Most of those are believed to have been the victims of sexual abuse.

The World Health Organization has found that among young girls in Latin America, “the risk of maternal death is four times higher among adolescents younger than 16 years than among women in their twenties.”

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Source: ALTERNET

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Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

October 20, 2015 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

In Precedent-Setting Case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer Rules Justice Department in Violation of Federal Law and Lifts Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Judge Cites Recent Congressional Reforms, as Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Continues to Grow in Congress

Yesterday, a federal judge lifted an injunction against one of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries. The injunction can no longer be enforced in the wake of a congressional spending amendment passed by Congress last year—the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment—that precluded the Department of Justice from spending funds on prosecuting dispensaries in compliance with state law. Setting significant legal precedent, Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S.

October 20, 2015

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Why Texas Is Wrong in the ‘One Person, One Vote’ Case

October 20, 2015 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

The Supreme Court’s “one person, one vote” case, Evenwel v. Abbott, is theoretically easy because nobody can seriously argue that large disparities in eligible voters is unproblematic. If you have two districts with roughly equal populations but with 10 voters in the first and 100 in the second, that’s a problem: Votes in the first district are worth 10 times those in the second.

It’s the same issue that the Supreme Court faced in Reynolds v. Sims — the 1964 case that established “one person, one vote.” It occurs in other countries as well: The British Parliament had to pass the Reform Act of 1832 to remedy the “rotten borough” situation, in which some members of the House of Commons represented thousands of people while others represented literally nobody.

When you cast a vote, you don’t expect that your vote may count for less than someone else’s merely because of where they live. But that’s what Texas is trying to do: The state drew its districts to equalize total populations, ignoring how many of those people are eligible voters. (This is what nearly all states do, though 10 have constitutional or statutory provisions that exclude particular groups — such as foreigners, military personnel and inmates — from districting calculations.) The result is a plan that would create one Senate district with 388,000 eligible voters and another with 611,000. Those in the first district would have votes that count for double the votes of those in the second.

The 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause — “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” — doesn’t require absolutely equal districts, but surely ratios approaching 2-to-1 go beyond even the constitutional wiggle room allowed by the Reynoldsprecedent. If a state really only has to care about total population, it could theoretically create districts in which only 10 percent, 5 percent or even 1 percent of residents were eligible voters — and those tiny groups of voters would each be able to choose one representative all the same.

When you cast a vote, you don’t expect that your vote may count for less than someone else’s merely because of where they live.”

Texas is arguing that it should be able to draw its voting districts based on total population because that’s how the Constitution apportions seats in the House of Representatives. But that so-called “federal analogy” is the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Guess What? The Top 10 Most Vegetarian and Carnivorous Cities in America Are Not Mutually Exclusive

October 20, 2015 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

Like with everything America is a little schizoid.


Americans love meat. A lot. In surveys, the U.S. consistently lands near the top of the list in meat consumption around the world, beating out known meat-loving countries like Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand. Perhaps as a consequence of that, Americans are also not eating enough vegetables or fruit, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A study conducted by the agency earlier this year found that just 13.1 percent of Americans consume enough fruit, and a paltry 8.5 percent eat enough vegetables. (Californians actually fared best on both.) Maybe the meat and potatoes American diet is a stereotype, but it’s a stereotype that’s not altogether unfounded.

At the same time, we’re eating less meat than in previous years. Since 2012, American consumption of meat in general has dropped almost 10 percent. In the years between 2006 and 2012, Americans ate 14 percent less seafood. While polls show the number of vegetarians has hovered around 5 percent for nearly two decades now, the number of vegans—though still super small—has increased steadily in recent years. And a whole 10 percent of millennials, notably, identify as vegan or vegetarian. (Though, with 84 percent of American vegans and vegetarians eventually going back to eating meat, it might be good to check back in on that number in years to come.)

So there’s no easy trend to cite for how Americans are eating based on the numbers. Anecdotally, though, your perception of how meaty or veggie America looks probably has a lot to do with where you live, and the circles in which you move. Recently, Grubhub compiled a list of the U.S.’ most vegetarian cities. CNN, conversely, compiled a list of cities that might be considered a meat lover’s dream. In both cases, residents’ consumption of vegetarian or meat dishes helped inform the numbers. In a few cases, a single city scored high on both lists, likely the result of a thriving culinary scene overall. In any case, the results of the two surveys are listed …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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10 Things You May Not Know About the Marquis de Lafayette

October 20, 2015 in History

By Christopher Klein

Lafayette leading a charge.

1. His birth name was quite a mouthful.
The future hero of the American Revolution was born Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette in an expansive chateau in Chavaniac, France, on September 6, 1757. “It’s not my fault,” he joked in his autobiography. “I was baptized like a Spaniard, with the name of every conceivable saint who might offer me more protection in battle.”

Lafayette leading a charge.

2. King George III’s brother convinced Lafayette to fight against Great Britain.
In August 1775, Lafayette attended a dinner party at which Great Britain’s Duke of Gloucester, younger brother of King George III, was the guest of honor. The duke, who had been condemned by the king over his recent choice of a bride, hit back at his royal brother’s policies in the American colonies and praised the exploits of liberty-loving Americans at the opening battles of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord months earlier. Lafayette, whose father died in 1759 fighting the British during the Seven Years’ War, received the inspiration he needed to strike back against the empire. “From that hour,” he wrote, “I could think of nothing but this enterprise, and I resolved to go to Paris at once to make further inquiries.”

3. Lafayette was only 19 years old and without combat experience when he arrived in America.
Defying the explicit orders of King Louis XVI, who did not wish to provoke Great Britain, the marquis eluded authorities and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to assist the rebellious Americans in 1777. Although still a teenager who spoke little English and lacked any battle experience, Lafayette convinced the Continental Army to commission him a major general on July 31, 1777.


Wounding of Lafayette at Brandywine. (Credit: Keystone View Company/FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

4. He was shot in the leg during his first battle.
During the Battle of Brandywine, near Philadelphia, on September 11, 1777, Lafayette was shot in the calf. Refusing treatment, the military novice managed to organize a successful retreat. Following a two-month recuperation, Lafayette was given command over his own division for the first time.

5. Lafayette named his only son after George Washington.
As both a “friend and a father,” the commander of the Continental Army held the young Frenchman in high esteem. Lafayette remained at Washington’s side during the harsh winter at Valley Forge in 1777 and through to the …read more

Source: HISTORY