Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Socialism Reality - Directly From Venezuela

As Mainstream Media Ignores, Here's How Bad Socialism Really Is in Venezuela

Most Americans are aware of the political and social chaos that has engulfed Venezuela, but how often do we hear the horrifying details about what’s really going on in the collapsing socialist state? How often does the U.S. media promote American socialist politicians like Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders instead of showing what socialism actually looks like and the lives it destroys?

BBC News has published a compelling video that shows the destruction wrought by a six-day blackout on the country, as told by native Venezuelan and journalist Vladimir Hernandez.
“Without any power you can’t buy food. You can’t get fuel for a generator. Hospitals are struggling to keep on working,” Hernandez begins the video.
“It’s a country in darkness. People are dying.”
Text then appears in the video, reading, “This is what a blackout looks like. Venezuela’s had one for six days.”
Hernandez implores viewers to understand this isn’t just a story to him, it’s personal.
“This is like the walking dead. This is like living in the apocalypse.”
“You can’t go to a cash machine. You can’t get on the internet. You cannot go to a shop and buy something you need,” Hernandez says.

Sick and dying children might be suffering the worst.
“I’ve been speaking to doctors in different hospitals and they tell me how much of a struggle it is to keep, for instance, intensive care equipment going,” Hernandez says, heartbreakingly.
“So children with intensive care equipment had to be switched off. But when I asked ‘What happens to them in the meantime?’ She was like, ‘Well, they are in the hands of God.'”

Hernandez says that part of the enduring stress of Venezuela’s collapse is that there is really no way to check on friends and relatives because “the mobile phone systems are down.”
How bad is it? No one really knows. “I still don’t think we know how deep of a problem it still is because some regions are virtually out of reach,” Hernandez says.
The video shows a woman stockpiling water and cooking whatever food she has immediately so it doesn’t go bad.

In 2017, native Venezuelan Andres Malave recounted similar horrors in his home country in an essay at Investor’s Business Daily:
“In practical terms, Venezuela’s misery means that it is not uncommon to see children rummaging through the garbage for food. And as basic medical supplies and medicine run dangerously low, newborns and the elderly die unattended in Venezuelan hospitals.”
“These heartbreaking scenes are difficult for anyone to bear, but for me, it’s personal,” Malave wrote. “I know many Venezuelans who held out hope that this ’21st Century’ form of socialism would turn out better than the 20th century version, but their dreams were quickly dashed.”
Today, prominent Democrats try selling a newer and better socialism to the American people. But there is no such thing. All socialism ends the same way, and it ends badly. We can’t just pretend the 20th century didn’t happen. We can’t pretend the current chaos in South America isn’t happening.
That we must learn from the mistakes of the past so we don’t repeat them is a cliche for a reason.

Amid a historic uprising in Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaidó is attempting to overthrow socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro, some Venezuelan expatriates here in the United States have a dire warning for American socialists: don't do it.

Wanting to know if the people who support socialism had ever heard from people who’ve suffered under it, Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips headed to a Venezuelan Freedom rally in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. It soon became abundantly clear that the Venezuelans in attendance were horrified by the idea of bringing socialism to the United States. Asking them, “What is your message to those who want socialism here,” the attendees were in agreement: don’t do it. “You do not ever want anything close to socialism,” one attendee said, while another added, “people are eating from trash cans in the streets, so how has socialism helped?”Another attendee, whose family is still in Venezuela, said, “No Venezuelan can like socialism, because we’ve seen it put in place very well.”

What else did they have to say? Watch the full video:

Maduro forces riding around in their military vehicle literally plow into a crowd of protesters in the middle of the street, running them over:

This coup appears to be going in full force – it must be if Maduro’s henchmen feel the need to run over protesters in the middle of the street like this. 
You can clearly see that this isn’t some accident either. The vehicle crosses the media for the sole purpose of attacking these people.
It’s Tiananmen square all over again. And it’s horrific.
UPDATE: A few hours ago this video was taking showing massive crowds headed for Maduro’s palace in Caracas:

The Erosion Of Modern Day Life: The World Is Sadder And Angrier Than Ever

The World Is Sadder & Angrier Than Ever

In this day and age when most people have everything they could possibly need and then some, the world is sadder and angrier than ever before. The standard of living around the globe has never been higher, but neither has the discontentment.

According to a major analysis of global well-being, the world really is getting more miserable. Human beings worldwide are sadder, angrier and more fearful than they have ever been before.  
Something just isn’t right on Earth. In Gallup’s annual Global State of Emotions report, all three emotions (sadness, anger, and fear) rose to record levels in 2018, for the second consecutive year.
Chad took the undesirable honor of being the world’s most negative country. Wrought with war, political crisis, and human rights violations, the country is the world’s worst in terms of emotional health, according to CNN.

Futurism reported that the researchers who conducted this study found that the number of people who said they’d experienced anger increased by two percentage points over the previous year, while both worry and sadness increased by one percentage point which is setting new record highs for all three negative emotions.
Research has noted the impact negative feelings can have on a person’s physical health — studies have linked angerto an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, while chronic worry and sadness can be signs of anxiety disorders and depression, which carry an increased risk of heart disease.
If people continue to experience these negative emotions in greater numbers, we could be headed toward a future in which the global population is increasingly unhealthy — a situation that carries its own troubling side effects. –Futurism
Research has indicated that stress and other negative emotions can wear on the body and even manifest in the form of health problems. According to the people living on the Earth, the world is just not that happy of a place. But there are ways to improve our happiness.
Alcoholism and other addictive behaviors and suicides are also on the rise in the United StatesFeelings of hopelessness and despair are overwhelming far too many in the U.S. So much so, that people are turning to alcohol, drugs, and suicide to numb the pain of their lives.  Government enslavement and the stranglehold on the economy are making life even more difficult on those already struggling to get by. And this is seen in new “death” numbers released.

Volume One of Fernand Braudel's oft-recommended (by me) trilogy Civilization & Capitalism, 15th to 18th Century is titled The Structures of Everyday Life. The book describes how life slowly became better and freer as the roots of modern capitalism and liberty spread in western Europe, slowly destabilizing and obsoleting the sclerotic tyrannies of feudalism.
Today I want to discuss the erosion of everyday life as a manifestation of the endgame of the current version of state capitalism, more precisely neofeudal state-cartel financialization, which combines financial predation of the home (core) economy and global exploitation of the Periphery (a.k.a. neocolonialism.)
Unlike the era Braudel describes, our era is characterized by the decline of liberty and the distortion of capitalism to serve the few at the expense of the many.
The over-used analogy of the boiled frog remains apt in understanding the erosion of everyday life: everyday life has become increasingly more difficult, more stressful, less rewarding financially, more deranging and less free for the past two generations. This erosion has gathered momentum in the 21st century as the status quo has ramped up its dysfunctional dynamics to keep the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, power and liberty in place.

Traffic congestion


Loss of purchasing power, a.k.a. inflation

Loss of political agency

Financial insecurity

Nonsensical narratives

I could go on, but you get the picture: everyday life is eroding, getting harder and less free for the bottom 95%.

Gold Rush By More Countries - Is This A Sign That Economic Crisis Is Looming?

Countries Around The World Are Bringing Gold Home

European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi recently announced that the ECB would be required to approve any management of gold reserves within the euro zone countries. The statement was specifically directed at two Italian members.

Why was Italy singled out? According to the Wall Street Journal, Italian citizens are preparing to take control of Italy’s gold reserves. During the past few years, a multitude of small investors lost billions of dollars due to the failure of several Italian banks. The Bank of Italy is seen as an elitist, inefficient entity indifferent to the needs of ordinary people. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio is leading the attack against Italy’s central bank, along with the “5 Star Movement” and the nationalist “League,” all of whom blame the countries financial woes on the incompetence of the central bank.

The 5 Star Movement is asking Italy’s Parliament to approve measures that would allow private banks to sell their share in The Bank of Italy at 1930’s prices. Taking it a step further, they are also demanding that ownership of the Bank of Italy’s 2,451.8 tons of gold be taken over by the country’s citizens and spent on populist policies. The current value of these gold reserves is $102 billion.

If these laws are passed, investors would be able to sell gold and greatly deplete the central bank’s reserves. As Giorgia Meloni of the Brothers of Italy states, “The gold belongs to the Italians, not the bankers.”
Italy’s lawmakers hold a different view and are warning against any action that will upend the sovereignty of the central bank’s policies. Such expropriation of government gold would not be tolerated.
But the 5 Star Movement and the League are determined to return ownership of the country’s gold to the public. Approximately 60 percent of lawmakers support the movement, guarantying the law will be enacted. There is also rumbling about nationalizing the Central Bank of Italy entirely.
In the realm of global commerce, gold has become a most potent weapon.
Italy is not the only country embracing gold.

Romania has plans to repatriate gold reserves currently being held by the Bank of England. Romania currently has around 103.7 tons of gold, valued at $3.84 billion. Sixty-five percent of the yellow metal is being kept in storage at the Bank of England. According to a new law, only 5 percent of the country’s gold may be stored abroad. The rest will be repatriated. While the current leadership approves of the repatriation, the National Bank of Romania does not. Mugur Isarescu, director of the central bank, insists that the gold is for economic emergencies and should remain where it is.
Another European country, Germany, has quietly called back 674 tons of gold from France and the U.S. Federal Reserve to its central bank, the Bundesbank. Ninety-eight percent of Germany’s gold was stored abroad during the height of the Cold War to keep it out of the reach of Russia. With the weakening of the Euro, Germany wants the gold closer to home. The Bundesbank now has half of the country’s gold in safe storage.
Following the trend to keep gold close to home, the National Bank of Hungary will be recalling 100,000 ounces of gold from the Bank of England. Hungary has traditionally kept its gold reserves low, with only 50 tons being held in 1989. The global 2008 financial crisis had Hungary rethinking its approach to gold. Now, it wants its gold reserves home for safekeeping in the event of a geopolitical crisis.
Gold is seen by central banks as a way to maintain financial trust during economic upheaval. The move by global central banks to repatriate their gold may be a sign that an economic crisis could be looming in the near future.

With Gun Ban Not Working, Politicians In Britain Now Want To Ban Knives

With Gun Ban Not Working, Politicians In Britain Now Want To Ban Knives Nationwide

If ever we needed proof of the expression that "guns don’t kill people, people kill people" look no further than Britain, where families may have to start practicing cutting their steak and bread at dinner with a spoon. This is, of course, because Britain's politicians have now made the absurdly ridiculous move to call for the banning of what Reason magazine called "the most useful tool ever invented" - the knife.

Reason reported this morning that British politicians have "declared war on knives" and are moving swiftly to try and ban them, since gun laws aren't working to help stop crime altogether:

Having failed to disarm criminals with gun controls that they defy, British politicians are now turning their attention to implementing something new and different: knife control. Because criminals will be much more respectful of knife laws than of those targeted at firearms, I guess.
"No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law," London's Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted on April 8.
Not to be outdone, his predecessor, Boris Johnson, currently Foreign Secretary, called for increased use of stop-and-search powers by police. "You have got to stop them, you have got to search them and you have got to take the knives out of their possession."
Poundland (the British equivalent of a dollar store) announced last week that it will no longer sell kitchen knives in any of its 850 stores. Similar stores are being slapped with fines for selling knives to minors.
The insanity disguised as regulation continues to get worse:

British politicians propose banning home delivery of knives and police promote street-corner bins for the surrender of knives while also conducting stings against knife vendors. Their goal is to "target not only those who carry and use knives, but also the supply, access and importation of weapons."
It all sounds all so familiar, doesn't it? And yet so utterly pointless. If British authorities have been unable to block criminals' access to firearms—mechanical devices that require some basic mechanical skill to manufacture, or at least a 3D printer—how are they going to cut off the flow of knives, which require nothing more than a piece of hard material that can take an edge?
There are also practical downsides to discouraging the public from possessing knives—one of the oldest and most useful tools ever invented. Poundland, after all, isn't dropping the sale of combat blades; the company's move applies specifically to the tools people use to make their meals. The law looks much more likely to inconvenience peaceful people planning to carve a roast than to put off thugs who, push comes to shove, can find a way to sharpen a piece of rebar against a rock.

This nonsense comes in the wake of a growing number of stabbings since Britain outlawed guns altogether. While Britain can now boast, as Piers Morgan famously did in his interview with Alex Jones, that they were only about 30 gun murders in Britain in the year prior, British politicians failed to notice that crime continues to happen, just through different means. It became clear when Britain's crime stats were put up against those of gun toting New Yorkers. From Reason:

As ridiculous as the idea of the knife ban sounds, it hasn’t stopped its advocates from beating the drum even harder over recent weeks. However, let us tell you how this is going to work out, for those that don’t already know. We think that politicians will be shocked to find that similar circumstances take place with the knife ban as they did with the gun ban. Criminals will find a different method to commit violent crimes and those who don’t obey the law to begin with certainly won’t be deterred by more regulation.
However, if you're a law abiding citizen in Britain preparing dinner for 10 from scratch at your house, you may find things a little more inconvenient in the comfort of your own home. Thanks politicians and regulators!

Jihad Rockets Now Aiming At Israeli Ports - Iran Could Attempt Blockade Of Israel's Two Main Ports

Jihad rocket aimed at Israeli port was Tehran’s first riposte for Trump’s sanctions

The rocket which exploded in the sea off Israel’s southern port-town on Monday night, April 29, was fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from northern Gaza. The IDF admitted as much the next morning, after initially playing down the long-range fire as a Palestinian rocket training test which did not reach Israel – in the same way as the IDF spokesman dismissed the two long-range rockets aimed at the Tel Aviv region a month ago as “errors.”

In its latest communique, the IDF named the Jihad position from which the rocket was launched as Al Atatra in northern Gaza and reported it had come down “several kilometers from the shore and not close by.” He added: “This was a deliberate attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad which is not subject to the authority of Hamas.” DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Jihad and Hamas’ rocket attacks are coordinated through a joint war-room they have established in the Gaza Strip. Israel reacted to the incident by reducing the Palestinian fishing zone off the enclave to 6 miles.

The rocket, whose explosion was heard across southern Israel, was deliberately aimed by the Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian proxy of Tehran, as a threat to the passage of shipping to one of Israel’s two main cargo ports. Its deep-water facilities handle the largest volume of cargo containers of either port, as well as cruise ships. A US Sixth Fleet destroyer visited the port last year.

This southern port is within range of Palestinian rockets from the Gaza Strip, whereas Haifa port in the north can be threatened by Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah. Just as last month, Palestinian terrorist groups acted out their threat to Tel Aviv with high-precision missiles, in April they have shown willing to back Iran up in retaliating for the new round of US oil sanctions that go into effect on May 2. 

Iran’s reprisals do not have to be direct or extreme, such as the closure of the Straits of Hormuz or Bab al-Mandeb to oil shipping. Shutting down Israel’s important southern port would suffice for starters.

Haifa could come next.

Hizballah recently established “resistance militias” comprising Hamas activists enlisted in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps. They too stand at Iran’s disposal. The rocket which exploded harmlessly in the sea on Monday night carried this message: Iran has the resources to blockade Israel’s two main ports, one of which holds an Israel Navy headquarters, and both of which are visited by US Sixth Fleet warships.

Israel and the US Mediterranean fleet are clearly in Tehran’s sights, especially since last Wednesday, April 24, when the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier and its strike group of 10 warships took up position opposite the Syrian coast. Monday’s rocket may be the harbinger of further “events” centering on the Mediterranean shores of Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

Rapidly Escalating Violence In Venezuela: Heavy Gunfire In Caracas

Heavy gunfire in Caracas after Venezuela's Juan Guaido called for uprising against Maduro

Video footage has emerged showing President Nicolas Maduro's troops running over anti-government protesters during clashes with the Venezuelan National Guard.
Armoured vehicles operated by soldiers loyal to the besieged president were seen ploughing into demonstrators in front of La Carlota base in Caracas.
Heavy gunfire crackled through the Venezuelan capital on Tuesday after opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a military uprising to oust President Maduro.

In the clip posted online a group of protesters could be seen throwing missiles at a white armoured vehicle. As they launch the assault as second tank emerged from the left and mounted the central reservation of the highway, mowing down a number of people.

One person could be seen falling under the wheels as both vehicles drove off, leaving crowds to swarm around the injured person. 
Guaido urged protesters and members of the military to join what he called the 'final phase of Operation Liberty' in a video taken at La Carlota airbase in the capital Caracas while surrounded by heavily-armed soldiers.
The troops then set up defensive positions around the base before Maduro's forces arrived and opened fire with teargas followed by live rounds, according to witnesses.
Guaido claimed that Maduro had lost the support of the military, but the President said he had spoken with his officers who had assured him of their 'total loyalty'. 

Anti-government demonstrators clashed with troops loyal to Maduro at the air base in the capital hours after opposition leader Guaido took to the streets in a bold and risky attempt to lead a military uprising against the embattled socialist.
The early-morning rebellion seems to have only limited military support, but it was by far the most-serious challenge yet to Maduro's rule since Guaido, with the backing of the U.S. and dozens of other countries, declared himself the country's interim president in January in rejection of a government he accused of stealing last year's presidential election.

The dramatic events began early Tuesday when Guaido, flanked by a few dozen national guardsmen and some armored crowd control vehicles, released a three-minute video filmed near a Caracas air base in which he called on civilians and others in the armed forces to join a final push to topple Maduro.

In a surprise, standing alongside him was Leopoldo Lopez, his political mentor and the nation's most-prominent opposition activist, who has largely been silent and unseen since he was detained in 2014 for leading a previous round of anti-government unrest. Lopez said he had been released from house arrest by security forces adhering to an order from Guaido.

'I want to tell the Venezuelan people: This is the moment to take to the streets and accompany these patriotic soldiers,' Lopez declared.
As the two allies coordinated actions from vehicles parked on a highway overpass, troops loyal to Maduro sporadically fired tear gas from inside the adjacent Carlota air base.

Guaido said the troops who had taken to the streets were protecting Venezuela's constitution and that in the coming hours he would release a list of top commanders supporting the uprising. Anti-government demonstrators gathered in several other cities, although there were no reports that supporters of Guaido had taken control of any military installations.
'The armed forces have taken the right decision,' said Guaido. 'With the support of the Venezuelan people and the backing of our constitution they are on the right side of history.'

Rising Anti-Semitism All Over The World

Dangerous Rise Of Anti-Semitism All Over The World, Including The Church

There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society, and all of us should be deeply alarmed by how rapidly anti-Semitism is rising across North America, Europe and the Middle East.  

The numbers that I am going to share with you in this article are incredibly disturbing, and many believe that anti-Semitism is now the worst that it has been since the end of World War II.  

After what we witnessed during the 1930s and 1940s, you would think that the world would never want to go down that path ever again, and yet it is happening.  Millions upon millions of people deeply hate the Jewish people just because they are Jewish, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

The lastest example is the New York Times which just days after the Times published an op-ed falsely claiming Jesus was a Palestinian, placed a cartoon on their op-ed page, depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog leading a blind U.S. President Donald Trump.

Imagine if the New York Times cartoon that depicted Israel's Prime Minister as a dog had, instead, depicted the leader of another ethnic or gender group in a similar manner? If you think that is hard to imagine that you are absolutely right. It would be inconceivable for a Times editor to have allowed the portrayal of a Muslim leader as a dog; or the leader of any other ethnic or gender group in so dehumanizing a manner.

What is it then about Jews that allowed such a degrading cartoon about one of its leaders? One would think that in light of the history of the Holocaust, which is being commemorated this week, the last group that a main stream newspaper would demonize by employing a caricature right out of the Nazi playbook, would be the Jews. But, no. Only three quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.

Threats of rising anti-semitism caught the world's attention after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October 2018, where the gunman murdered 12 people and injured 7 during Shabbat morning service.  Now another one has happened...

19-year-old John Earnest was once a quiet piano player that had a seemingly bright future in front of him, but after being infected by the vile anti-Semitism that is rapidly spreading all over the Internet, he decided that it would be a good idea to walk into a synagogue and start shooting people...

One woman was killed and three others were wounded when a man entered a synagogue during Passover services Saturday at the Chabad of Poway temple and opened fire with an AR-style assault weapon shortly before 11:30 a.m.

Poway is about 25 miles northeast of San Diego. The city's mayor, President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom all called the attack a hate crime.

The suspect, 19-year-old John Earnest, was arrested and is being questioned by authorities.

60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye was killed when she stepped in front of the synagogue's rabbi as he rushed to evacuate children.  She will be remembered as a hero, while John Earnest will be remembered as a hate-filled racist that said that Jewish people "deserve nothing but hell".

All over the globe, prominent political leaders are condemning what John Earnest did.  In his statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "an attack on the heart of the Jewish people"...

"I condemn the abhorrent attack on a synagogue in California; this is an attack on the heart of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said in a statement. "We send condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and our best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded. The international community must step up the struggle against anti-Semitism."

Unfortunately, we aren't talking about just a few isolated individuals.

A recent CNN survey that was conducted in Europe discovered that anti-Semitic attitudes are very widespread over there...

Anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade, a sweeping new survey by CNN reveals. More than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.

One in five said they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics.

Other polls have showed the majority of British adults don't know that 6 million Jewish people were murdered in Holocaust, or they believe the number killed to be much less than this.

The European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency study published last year asked European Jews in 12 countries their views on anti-Semitism. Hundreds of Jews polled said they had experienced a physical, anti-Semitic attack in the past year.

According to authorities in France, the number of anti-Semitic attacks in that country rose 74 percent last year.

Of course this is not just a recent trend either.  According to the Anti-Defamation League, there was a huge increase in global anti-Semitic attacks from 2016 to 2017...

The Anti-Defamation League has identified 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents in its 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. That's up from 1,267 in 2016, marking the highest single-year increase since the organization released its first audit in 1979.

Those are deeply chilling numbers.

If you are not Jewish, you may not think about anti-Semitism much.  But for those that must deal with it on a daily basis, it is a nightmare that never ends.

According to another survey of Jewish people living in Europe, 90 percent indicated that they believe that anti-Semitism is growing in the country in which they currently live.  The following comes from the Guardian...

The report found 90% of respondents felt antisemitism was growing in their country and 30% had been harassed. Over a third avoided going to Jewish events or sites because of safety fears, while the same proportion had considered emigrating. Nearly 80% no longer reported minor incidents because they thought "nothing would change".

Even in polite mannered Canada the number of antisemitic incidents in Canada spiked in 2018, according to a new study published on Monday. The 2018 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents commissioned by the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada showed 2,041 incidents of antisemitism took place last year, a 16.5 percent increase from 2017. The study also showed a 28.4-percent jump in antisemitic harassment, a 61.5-percent increase since 2015.

Anti-Semitism At 'Near Historic' High In U.S.

ADL: Assaults on US Jews rise in 2018, anti-Semitism at 'near-historic' high

American Jews experienced “near-historic levels of anti-Semitism” in 2018, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The year saw a more than doubling of the number of anti-Semitic physical assaults compared to 2017, as well as the single deadliest attack against the American Jewish community with the October killing of 11 congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.
Last year saw the third-highest number of overall anti-Semitic incidents since 1979, despite a decrease from the previous year, according to the audit. The highest number was recorded in 1994 and the second highest in 2017. Last year’s figures match the total for 1991, the third highest tally in a single year.

The report counts cases of assault, harassment and vandalism, as reported to ADL by victims, law enforcement and the media.

Though the 1,879 total incidents in 2018 were a decrease from the 1,986 incidents in 2017, the number of anti-Semitic physical assaults more than doubled, to 39 from 17.
In 2016 and 2014, respectively, 36 anti-Semitic physical assaults were listed in the ADL annual audit. In 2015, the figure was as high as 56, though none of the attacks highlighted by the watchdog caused serious injury or fatality.
The 2018 assaults involved 59 victims in 2018, up from 21 in 2017 — an increase of 105 percent. That number includes the 11 people killed and the two injured in the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue last October.
“The remaining 46 victims of anti-Semitic assaults were attacked in or near retail establishments (four), a sports arena (one), college campuses (five), homes (two), Jewish institutions (two), non-Jewish K-12 schools (two) and public areas (30). The assaults included attempted knifings, chokings, punches, thrown items and vehicular rammings. The 11 fatalities in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting were the only deadly anti-Semitic assaults in 2018,” it said.

The report also said 1,066 incidents of anti-Semitic harassment were reported to the watchdog last year, a 5% increase from 1,015 in 2017 and a 48% increase from 721 in 2016.
In addition, there were 774 incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2018, which was down 19% from 952 in 2017, but up 52% from 510 in 2016.
According to the report, the last three months of 2018 were “unusually active” in terms of incidents. The shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue “likely drew more attention to anti-Semitic activities,” the ADL said.
Anti-Semitic incidents took place across the country, but the states with the largest Jewish populations tended to see a larger number of attacks, including California (341); New York (340); New Jersey (200) and Massachusetts (144). Those four states combined saw more than half the total number of incidents in the US, the ADL said.

US-NATO Alliance To Include Georgia - To Encircle Russia - Another Provocation

The US-NATO Alliance Has Georgia on Its Mind

HQ NATO much regrets that its encirclement of Russia does not yet include Georgia or Ukraine. The Brussels sub-office of the Pentagon is trying hard to formally enlist both countries and announced on March 26 that “Georgia is one of the Alliance’s closest partners. It aspires to join the Alliance. The country actively contributes to NATO-led operations and cooperates with the Allies and other partner countries in many other areas. Over time, a broad range of practical cooperation has developed between NATO and Georgia, which supports Georgia’s reform efforts and its goal of Euro-Atlantic integration.”

The day before NATO’s declaration the globe-trotting head of the organisation, Jens Stoltenberg, was in Georgia to attend military exercises. At a meeting with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze he declared it had been “clearly stated that Georgia will become a member of NATO” and “We will continue working together to prepare for Georgia’s NATO membership,” which was first mooted in 2008 but somehow has never come about.

Non-US NATO military spending totals $264 billion a year, four times that of Russia, and the US will splurge $750 billion next year, so Georgia’s 37,000 military personnel, ten Su-25 combat aircraft and military budget of $380 million are not going to make much of a contribution to NATO, but that’s not the point. What the US-NATO grouping wants is to deploy its armed forces even closer to Russia than at present. When Georgia joins, there will be an opportunity to base tanks, aircraft and missiles right up against the Russian border, as in the Baltic states.
The most interesting observation about Georgia by Radio Free Europe in its account of the Stoltenberg visit was that “The country of some 3.7 million people fought a brief war with Russia in August 2008, and Moscow’s continued military presence on the country’s territory adds to tensions in the region.”

It is never mentioned by the Pentagon, Brussels or the Western media that the “brief war” was entirely the fault of Georgia. Nor is it admitted that if Russia had wished to do so, it could have swept through and occupied the whole of Georgia in a few days without interference by NATO or anyone else.

The European Union decided to conduct an inquiry into the conflict, and in 2009 produced a report which, deep down in its 1,000 pages, states that Georgia initiated the war. This was not at all what the Western world wanted to be told, and the paper is full of observations intended to disguise or excuse Georgia’s military antics. The UK’s Independent online newspaper reported that “The first authoritative study of the war over South Ossetia has concluded that Georgia started the conflict with Russia with an attack that was in violation of international law,” but there are very few people in the Western Establishment who will admit that Georgia was to blame, and they steadfastly support Georgia’s foolhardy aggression.

The EU noted that “There were reportedly more than a hundred US military advisers in the Georgian armed forces when the conflict erupted in August 2008, and an even larger number of US specialists and advisors are thought to have been active in different branches of the Georgian power structures and administration. Considerable military support in terms of equipment and to some extent training was provided by a number of other countries led by Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Israel.” In other words, Georgia was considered a prime ally because it opposed Russia, and the US and its allies helped it prepare for its futile attack.

In June 2018, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs said US policy is to “check Russian aggression,” including by “building up the means of self-defence for those states most directly threatened by Russia militarily: Ukraine and Georgia,” which repay US financial patronage not only by sacrificing their soldiers in Washington’s wars (18 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in Iraq), but in more intriguing ways, including in UN forums.

For obvious reasons it has long been thought by most countries that there should be international agreement to ban weapons in space, and a Russian-Chinese draft treaty proposing such legislation was submitted to the UN in February 2008. Washington refused to consider it, and when an amended version was presented at the UN’s First Committee in 2015 it was voted against by the US — along with its well-paid puppets, Israel, Georgia and Ukraine.

The US-NATO alliance is determined to encircle Russia more tightly, and Georgia wants to help it do so. Such provocative cooperation in these endeavours heightens tension between Georgia and Russia, which in the eyes of the western media serves to justify yet more NATO expansion. It is reminiscent of the 1930 song whose last verse is “Whoa, Georgia, Georgia, No peace, no peace I find; Just this old sweet song, Keeps Georgia on my mind…”