Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Not only the end of a tumultuous year but the last day of a bellicose decade in much of our world. War escalated in countries labelled as "conflict zones" and the most horrific brutality against civilians since the times of Ghenghis Khan was at it's peak this past decade, with the Islamic "caliphate" of ISIS/Daesh and it's tentacles in Africa, Central and South Asia continuing in the Middle/Near East.
Political repression and civilian expression were part of a see saw action by governments against their own citizens in Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, Venezuela and Hong Kong. Earlier in the decade civilians were also targeted by snipers from outside their nation in Ukraine, Syria and Nigeria.
Violence escalated among citizens in the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the USA. Criminal networks, cartels and gangs killed thousands of people of all ages in Mexico, Honduras, Belize, in Pakistan and the USA.
The weapons/armament industry prospered, expanded and produced more "instruments of death and destruction" during the last ten years. (See graphs below)
Millions of children have been injured both physically and emotionally by the violence they had to live through, and tens of thousands were permanently injured, killed, endured torture, rape and unjust imprisonment. Moreover, the violence of sexual abuse, exploitation and child sex trafficking surged, and child slavery increased in the past decade. Child sex trafficking has become a multi billion dollar "business" and the United States has the despicable distinction of the being #1 in the world for child sex trafficking profits within it's borders. www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/07/29/12-trafficking-statistics-enormity-global-sex-trade/1755192001/
Noble sounding names were given to the actions taken by other countries to attack Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya in the past decade. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" "Operation Enduring Freedom" neither of which provided real or lasting freedom to either country. Both countries endure rampant corruption, resurgence of insurgent groups (Taliban, Iranian militias, Daesh) loss of life, income, infrastructure and security.
"Operation Inherent Resolve" was one of the most vacillating and confused missions which changed from year to year and supported/allowed some of the worst terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL and Hezbollah to run rampage over Syria and promote a civil war in which it is estimated over 570,00 were killed, over 3 million externally displaced and over 6 million internally displaced. 200,000 maimed, injured or suffering effects from chemical attacks. www.statista.com/topics/4216/the-syrian-civil-war/
The "vultures" in the form of supposedly humanitarian non-governmental organizations such as the "White Helmets" proved to be predatory, participating in organ trafficking, kidnapping, child sex trafficking and fraud in Syria, Iraq and Turkey: "A recent panel at the UN Security Council in New York revealed the shocking evidence of White Helmet involvement in organ trafficking in Syria. The lucrative trade of human body parts, bones, blood and organs is one of the most protected and hidden harvests of war." www.rt.com/op-ed/449431-syria-white-helmets-organ-traders/
This was also the decade that finally, abuses committed by those who were supposed to be "peace keeping" and upholding "human rights" in conflict and natural disaster areas, were revealed. The United Nations Peace Keepers were involved in some of the worst abuses of the local population.
In Haiti, (for example) the UN’s longest peacekeeping mission resulted in girls as young as 11 forced to trade sex for food. Instead of peacekeeping, it appears that it was UN sanctioned pedophilia. Hundreds of babies have been born who were fathered and abandoned by UN Peace Keepers. deepclips.com/clip/3226/sick-un-peacekeepers-in-haiti-fathered-hundreds-of-babies-traded-food-for-sex-with-girls-as-young-as-11
"The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights released a list of countries—Bangladesh, the DRC, Morocco, Niger, and Senegal—whose foreign troops have been accused of sexually assaulting six minors during peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic in 2014. The U.N. has launched investigations into both sets of allegations and announced today that the remaining DRC troops were confined to their barracks and would be sent home once the investigations are complete. Numerous similar allegations of sexual assault involving officers from Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Morocco, Cameroon and Rwanda in recent years that have gone for the most part undisciplined." Up until just recently, those that tried to report or "whistleblow" on the UN corruption, pedophilia, rape, fraud and illegal weapons sales-were the ones who were disciplined and terminated from their posts. www.businessinsider.com/ap-exclusive-un-whistleblower-targeted-in-misconduct-probe-2019-4
As a new year, a new decade and the possibilities of new directions opens up for us=let us not forget those who gave their lives for what they believed was a road toward peace, justice and freedom. They carried the torch for these ideals and pass it onto us.
In particular I am including two short video tributes to female/women in the military and militias from the coalitions and from the Peshmerga units. All the faces you see spotlighted, including entire "Squads" of the Peshmerga (sometimes with young men) were killed in the past few years fighting ISIS/Daesh and their followers. Some suffered horribly before dying and their bodies were used in "propaganda" videos and photos online by terrorist/jihadi sites.
I am asking you to take a few minutes to watch and remember them and those women who died investigating child trafficking, fraud, abuses of children in many parts of the world. Some who are known such as Jennifer Moore (aka Task Force) in Washington, D.C.- Monica Petersen in Haiti-Lisa Marie Akbari in Afghanistan, to name just a few. Most will never be known but may they be remembered in our prayers for their courage and commitment.
Here is the link to the Kurdish/Pershmerga tribute with music: www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Rtcrr1jUs
"De zu were hevale" roughly translated...means "I am for you comrade/friend"
Here is the tribute to female fallen warriors from the USA and other countries working with the US in Afghanistan and Iraq:
Enjoy your celebrations and a very Happy, Hopeful New Year and New Decade!
As the end of the year and the decade runs toward us, in advertising, tech, government pronouncements-machines in various forms-be they robots, drones, AI, are proclaimed as problem solvers, labor replacements and cost cutters throughout the world. In a number of fields this is and will be true. However, fortunately in the arts, machines cannot compare and will never be able to spontaneously create or even re-create actual human beings playing instruments, dancing in diverse styles, painting with expression or singing in an authentic, unique voice. Machines can never exchange the human touch or elicit reconciliation of emotions as human to human contact may given the "right" environment and time.
Throughout history music has been used to drum up emotions and resolve for battle as well as stirring crowds to celebrate victories or wail against defeat. There is some form/style of music for every culture, every occasion and every emotion. The 'language' of music, particularly written music, is easily read. It requires few words and the "notes" are translatable to every instrument for anyone who takes the time to learn. How they are interpreted is entirely individual. The braver an individual is infusing their instrument with their own experience, skill and humanity-the more depth and resonance the music will project as a soloist or as part of an ensemble.
Musical traditions which require mastery of the instrument (including the human voice) discipline in listening to others, following a "leader" or conductor, recognizing harmonies, sensing rhythm, pitch, certain physical postures, breath control, tuning/tone and stamina; are ones which elevate the human being and potentially our human condition.
Music, more than any other of the performing arts-is able to bring people of all "sizes, colors, shapes and backgrounds" together. If children are taught well and/or encouraged in their natural abilities in music-this foundation can last for their lifetime and serve as a means of communication and rapport building wherever they live or travel. Often by attempting to sing, play music and dance from different traditions/cultures-one gains a kinesthetic understanding more profound than from speech or documents. Music and dance exchange energy in a uniquely human realm. These arts also have the effect of releasing emotions including "joy", "harmony", "hope" and "wonder".
In terms of sheer numbers, the United States of America has many and diverse "youth music programs and organizations" (from orchestras, to jazz ensembles, drumming and choral groups) . However, in terms of importance placed on music education and teacher's training in music the USA, Canada and the UK are not in the lead.
"Many countries have strong, well-funded music programmes that are supported by a national belief in the value of music (and arts) education. For example, music education thrives in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, where it often extends beyond the classroom to include extra-curricular musical instruction that is publicly subsidised.
350 hours in music for trainee teachers in Finland, and 160 hours in South Korea which is in contrast with less than 20 hours in Canada, England and the USA.
In Canada, England and the United States, music education is less consistent; varying from district to district and, indeed, from school to school. In Canada, 38 per cent of respondents to a recent survey reported that music is either taught by teachers with no musical background or not taught at all.
In the United States, music programmes, particularly in public schools, are often underfunded or abandoned altogether under budgetary pressure. While funding is still an issue for music education in England, a network of 123 music hubs was set up by the government across the country in 2012; enabling access to a musical instrument for more than 1 million children." musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/music-education-compared-in-countries-around-the-world/
Extensive research has proved the benefit of music/music education on health, on expanding human capabilities including cognitive function, social skills and motor/task competencies. Yet, school systems (in most of the world) continue to push computer/tech education and cut funding to music and arts programs, even physical education/movement programs...consistently.
There is no substitute for human interaction in terms of reconciliation. When words fail to reach another human being, music and/or art may be a more "open hand". Music has proved to have healing qualities for the body, mind and spirit. Music can open repressed memories, soothe wounded souls and stimulate "movement" on all levels.
Music can support reconciling the "self" and reconciliation between human beings. After experiencing grief, trauma, violence, torture, rape, imprisonment, displacement, addiction-music can be one tool for recovery-especially for children. Music is used to "program" children and "recruits" (from government military units to terrorist and criminal groups) and can be utilized to "re-program" rewire neural circuits to de-escalate rather than charge aggressive actions and decision making.
"Music and art therapy can be implemented anywhere, from counseling offices to classrooms. For example, one common technique is to incorporate art therapy into primary school classrooms to help children access and process their emotions. By bringing safe art supplies into the classroom, art therapy can be used to encourage both healing and learning without feeling the need to micromanage, which might have the opposite effect.
Music therapy can also be used in hospitals to aid in healing for people of all ages. Whether utilized in a children’s ward play area or in a group of elderly people, using music to heal is an effective therapy that could really make a difference for someone suffering from trauma.
Music and art therapy can also be combined with journaling or painting to music. These techniques can help people affected by trauma learn to create more and express emotions that otherwise might overwhelm them." www.musicthinktank.com/blog/music-therapy-as-a-way-to-process-trauma.html
“When I paint, I become more comfortable, my dreams become stronger,” reports one young Yezidi refugee in the Bajed Kandala refugee camp in Iraq. www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/14122019
Machines and AI don't dream. Don't let them crush or replace our human ones, our humanity.
Last year at this time I was in Henan province just before the Chinese President declared Christmas "forbidden", but we had a Christmas concert up in the Yuntai mountains and I taught the children "Jingle bells" at their teachers' request. It brought smiles to all our faces whilst learning and singing.
Closing with scenes most media won't show you of Christmas celebrations in Syria openly practiced after the first "defeat of Daesh/ISIS" in December 2017-2018. Music, artistic decorations and celebrations can be seen from Damascus to Homs to Aleppo. The common song here is the American "Jingle Bells".
Please watch this short video with open eyes, heart and mind:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka, Happy Holidays to you and yours!
All my life I have had to fight. As a child in a family that constantly moved and changed schools, I had to fight to defend myself and my younger siblings in the days when school yard and neighborhood fights were just part of life. Since I was always one of the shortest and skinniest kids, I could not rely on strength or height but needed to learn strategy, tactics...especially evasion techniques...as well as how to ignore insults and "de-escalate" if possible. My father taught me to run fast, jump hurdles and endure tackling. I learned how to use humor, wild and unexpected physical as well as mental moves, and fight verbally. Soon I realized how to buddy up with stronger, bigger friends=mates=and how to back off, fight "dirty" and "live to fight another day". I became a fierce fighter, but I wasn't yet a warrior.
A true "warrior" trains and fights for peace. It may seem a contradiction and counter intuitive but those who relish disruption, discord, criminal exploits, who revel in creating chaos, cruelty and destruction seek out individuals, communities, tribes and nations who are not well defended, are not "warriors". They are the predators and they lust for prey. They have their own rules. They deviate from what is considered a code of "honor" but do not underestimate their strength.
Peace is only achieved and kept through strength. Strength must be cultivated, trained, practiced and combined with other means to expand and endure. Noble peace is founded on principles and virtuous ideals as well as action.
I suppose most people think those in the military (of any nation) are de facto "warriors" since they are taught to use weapons, to defend and to kill. However, throughout human history, we know because of written and illustrated historical texts and drawings; the most successful "warriors" are those who have a rigorous, disciplined, continual relentless training, who pledge to a cause and a higher purpose than themselves, and who commit to a code of honor within their cadre with severe consequences for disobedience. There are warriors who pledge to a ruler, a commander and there are spiritual warriors-warrior monks, warrior societies within tribes. There are human beings who war with the dark forces outside and inside themselves. There are warriors who "fight" to defend the land and all the creatures and natural resources therein, as part of their community. These are some of the significant differences between a true "warrior" and a member of the military.
There is a foundation of reverence in a warrior culture, a nation which values it's warriors and nations who limit their "fighting class". Warriors are not living just to fight but to keep the peace and protect their loved ones. Peace requires restraint, compromise, commitment, respect, trust, honor and protection.
It is my opinion that peace also requires "love". Warriors may love the act of fighting but more, they "love" the code, the ideals and way of life for which they fight. They "love" each other most when having to fight an outside force. You can sense this feeling most acutely when you are preparing and in the midst of a fight/battle. It is a bonding sensation almost as strong as when you give birth to your children and first hold him/her to your own skin. Poets describe these phenomena, yet no amount or careful choice of words can actually describe this energy. It would be like trying to describe swimming in the ocean to someone who has never seen nor swum in an ocean. You can only approximate. You have to experience "the fight" to actually know what the historians, poets, singers and soldiers are speaking about when they attempt to recount the feats of a "warrior".
The warrior culture within most of the over 500 Native American tribes in North America are the longest living line of warriors on the planet. Their codes, feats, ceremonies can be dated back tens of thousands of years. We have the scientific knowledge to understand that when certain people say that they have "warrior blood" or that certain attributes are "in their DNA" they are correct in terms of epigenetics. www.geneticsdigest.com/epigenetics-a-beginners-guide-to-how-it-works-examples/ The behavior, thought patterns and muscle memories can be transferred down generations. See a short documentary about Native American warrior culture for men and women throughout US history, entitled "The Warrior Tradition" at this link: www.spiritalk.net/
What is left out of historical accounts of battles and training, is the root of Native American warrior societies, which is "ceremony". The spiritual component to becoming a warrior is integral although specific rituals and the way ceremonies are conducted are unique to each tribe. . Only in the last hundred years or so, have inter tribal ceremonies been created to include those who may have lost their traditions through genocidal actions. The true warrior does not act only because of a paycheck, in fact they should not expect any "reward" in return for a noble or heroic feat. There are usual celebrations for victory and return but these are also part of "ceremonial warrior culture".
There are no short cuts for traditional ceremonies if conducted by an actual tribal elder, "Medicine" man/woman who has undergone the trials, lessons and ceremonies over many years and been known to have the "power" necessary to be an intercessor. You cannot just "sign up" to be a "warrior" there are a number of signs you need to receive and you have to be selected/chosen to undertake the grueling training and be humble enough to accept correction and even be told "you are not ready" or "this is not for you". This process takes years, not weeks or months.
The Shaolin warriors of China are arguably the second longest line of living warrior societies tracing their ancestry in what is now the Henan province of China, back over 4,000 years. Their powers, discipline and successes have been written in history and legend for over 2,500 years in the East. Only in the 20th century was the West introduced to a few of the Shaolin fighters, warrior monks, philosophy and "exercises". American television and film both demonized and mythologized Kung Fu and Shaolin training. Bruce Lee became and still is a worldwide martial arts icon, however there are tens of thousands of Shaolin over the last hundred years and most keep a low profile especially in the new surveillance/social "credit" system in place in communist China.
Shaolin have a sad history of being betrayed by Chinese emperors, foreign "allies" and their own governments. They still maintain their traditions and vows although the Chinese government has made Dengfeng (sacred Shaolin/Kung Fu training center) more like a theme park similar to what happened to some Native American tribal members who were put on display and in rodeo/clown and "western traveling shows" as a not so subtle way to denigrate them and make a profit off them. More restrictions and scrutiny are put on Shaolin monasteries and training schools and Shaolin keep having to go further up into their mountains. Shaolin need their privacy and certain traditions are not written down but only passed on from Shifu (masters) to student and in person. Not everyone is meant to train Shaolin or become a Shaolin "warrior" or "monk" it takes years of rigorous training, observation by the Shifu and/or monks, dedication and destiny. There are certain physical requirements which have proven to be necessary and should not be overlooked. The Shaolin in Dengfeng "theme park" area in Henan province is open to tourists. They have had to lower their standards because of the communist government interference. Because of this, the acrobatics and physical endurance are "performance" oriented but as my Shifu's pointed out when we visited there....they have "no power". They have lost the "qi" and they are trained as if in a factory, not individually.
Shaolin vow never to murder/kill. They vow to protect, defend and if necessary restrain those trying to harm them or any in their communities, or anyone who is vulnerable, weak and in need of help. They are not to deliberately kill. They have their own strict form of Buddhism which is often seen as antithetical to government aims. Communist governments demand atheism and subservience to "the state". Reverence for "masters", family, ancestors is actively and insidiously disparaged. The silence used in training is being replaced by mandatory, government approved patriotic songs, chants and political sayings blasted into training centers and schoolyards continuously combined with surveillance cameras and large screens displaying the "President for Life" photos, videos and admonitions. This is done to supplant/replace the centuries of Shaolin wisdom, codes of honor and loyalty. It is heart breaking to behold.
Throughout human history we have records of warrior societies such as the Assyrians, Spartans, the Romans, Vikings, Mongols, Samurai, Zulu, Aztec, the Knights, Nepalese Gurkas, the Diyak (wild men) of Borneo and Maori. Most of these warrior cultures and societies have died out. A few have their traditions partially intact but the majority of their ancestral lines are mixed and their training has been watered down and redirected toward entertainment as a means of income. Weapons and gear have changed significantly. Training the whole human being in all aspects-physical, emotional, spiritual-needs complete support and isolation from the wider world. Few can afford to keep such cultures in contemporary society. (see photos below)
Unfortunately, there are "fighting" societies which train and maintain their "legions" for criminal purposes. They use some of the same exercises as ancient warrior cultures have used successfully, but combine their inculcation with fear, terror, cruel punishments, ruthless competition and excesses as rewards. Did you know the Assyrians created many of the strategies used in modern armies and by Daesh/ISIS including psyops, slavery, torture/interogation? They also recounted what is known now as Post Trauma reactions. Watch this clip for more specifics: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c5Wip0STNI
In their own minds, their leaders consider themselves as warriors and will even preach to their captive audiences that they are part of a "war" on another religion, another ideology, another group of people who are "infidels", "inferior", "capitalists", etc. They will twist their "codes" to require killing, stealing, raping, torturing, kidnapping, destroying property of their "tribe". They will recruit people who are easy to manipulate, who are psychopaths and who can supply them with any skills they need and who have money and resources. They exploit children as "product", "weapons" and "exchange". They have the most sophisticated recruitment tactics, IT, communication methods and they know how to break rules, codes and spirits. I suggest you read this recent report and watch the embedded video to be reminded of how present these threats are: www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/12/15/cubs-of-the-caliphate-isis-boy-tells-reporter-we-will-slaughter-you/
This is not new. The Hashshashins of Persia and Syria, (where the word "assassin" is derived) the Ninjas of Japan, the Mamluks, the mercenaries of the Foreign Legion, and criminal organizations of La Cosa Nostra to Vor v Zakone, prison gangs and cartels have a fierce and bloody history which continues to this day. Their existence is a compelling reason why the "warrior ethos" needs to be maintained and nurtured through the next generations. They adapt their methods and refine their tactics-we must never be behind. Remaining vigilant must be an integral part of the warrior's life and essential component of a "free society".
Signing off with a video from Dengfeng at the Fawang Shaolin temple in Henan province. It is for advertising, but you do get a glimpse of a part of the morning training for older children. Training is usually 5 hours a day six days a week. Some days training is hours longer depending on the season. www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIpXjISZtZ8
The training center I was at last winter (November-April) was not in the commercial part of Dengfeng and was "rougher" in terms of facilities, but the natural beauty of the mountains, and the deeply good hearts of the Shifus and their authentic training was a privilege to participate in with over 500 Chinese children. For their privacy I will not include any photos here, but do intend to describe my time there in my next book.
Happy Holidays wherever you may be...
Last week an armed shooter planned, carried out, killed and had his nefarious actions filmed on a major US Military base. He was stalled by unarmed military members and finally by law enforcement. He met the end he hoped for...death as a "martyr". This shooter was supposedly a "vetted" i.e. thoroughly checked foreign national from a country with strict Sharia law. A Saudi Arabian Air Force member who had an all expense paid few years to learn in the United States of America. In theory, he was to return to his homeland, Saudi Arabia, to use the knowledge and skills in aviation for his own nation and his own military unit. But why is the USA Department of Defense hosting thousands of military members from other countries, many of which are not "official allies", in fact are from countries where US military are still fighting against their fellow citizens?
When you read reports from main stream media that the foreign nationals are "vetted"-what exactly does that mean? Is there a "standard" for "vetting" from countries which have a significant percentage of their population involved in violent extremism and terrorism? Are universities (public and private) vetting prospective students from adversarial nations such as China, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran? From first hand experience, the answer is a definite "No".
According to a recent investigative report: "U.S. officials rushed to assure the public that none of these men posed a security threat. The Pentagon said “they were vetted” by the State Department through its so-called “Leahy vetting process.” This so-called process has been under fire for years because of shoddy or unavailable records, as well as inconsistency across programs and agencies. “We generally don’t know who we are training. We have little reliable information,” one U.S. official told RAND Corp. researchers. Their study “found significant problems with current U.S. vetting practices in relation to security assistance.” According to ICE, limited biographical and background information can make it difficult to locate trainees once they have gone AWOL.
The United States has been/is risking "trojan horses", sleeper cells, insurgents, jihadi returnees, communist party members through immigration, education (student visas) and formal training programs. This is mostly at US taxpayer expense although military "Train, Advise, Assist Command"/TAAC programs, universities which are part of the Fulbright and other US government scholarship/exchange programs, and 'refugee assist' programs, do collect a portion of their funds from other sources including religious organizations, non-governmental organizations, corporation sponsorship as well as other governments (host countries) paying to have their military or "students" trained and educated in the US. Governments which have paid for selected citizens to be "educated" in the USA include: China, Libya, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Denmark, Russia, Turkey and India. globaledge.msu.edu/blog/post/55638/why-governments-sponsor-students-to-study-abroad
There are steps to the process of obtaining a "student visa" and scholarship from the USA government-Fulbright fellowships, MENA scholarships, Humphrey Fellowships, AAUW grants, etc. However, these are not as difficult to obtain as one may assume. Did you know that an "in person interview" is not required for A-2 visa applicants. The requirement can be and is often, waived.
It is statistically more difficult for an American student, from what is considered to be a "middle class, middle income family" to obtain a scholarship in her/his own country-the USA.
The education/training sectors in the USA for students over eighteen are profit driven. There is more scrutiny in terms of a prospective student meeting financial obligations than actual checking into their political activities, criminal background, known personal and family associations, literacy foundation including an accurate assessment of their abilities in reading, writing, speaking and understanding English at an academic/higher education level.
There is little coordination with foreign law enforcement especially in "non-western" countries. While social media accounts were randomly perused, accounts could easily be doubled so the US government programs were given one Facebook account (required by some programs as a way to check in) but in their own language they had their "real" social media accounts.
Documentation is easily forged, references faked, exam results altered and documents incorrectly transcribed and translated. Bribes are the "fee" for "getting on the list" for sponsorship, for visas, and for enrollment in certain universities. Corruption works on both ends-from the host national country and from corrupt US government officials in country, and in the USA.
I have seen this first hand in programs sponsored by the US DOS, USAID and DOD. When I reported cheating on entrance/language exams, suspected criminal and terrorist activities and associations, mental health/medical conditions not noted on applications...I was the one told to "stand down", "mind my own business" or told "it has already been arranged". This happened in Pakistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This happened for medical students - I saw unqualified, suspect students put at the top of the list and some of the best students cut from the list to go to the USA. For DOD programs for Afghan Air force students, for prospective Education/Pedagogical students and teacher exchanges from Pakistan-the same injustices; and Assyrian/Chaldean Christian students were deliberately taken off the list and Iraqi and Kurdish Muslim students substituted for the MENA scholarships to America, by US DOS foreign service personnel in country. (Kurdistan/Iraq)
I listened first hand to accounts from prospective, deserving students who were being squeezed for money to "keep their place" they had already earned. Under the table (off the books/illegal) money in cash would be demanded from students and families who were already impoverished. SIVs (Special Immigrant Visas) could be bought in Kabul in 2015 (for example) for a minimum of $10,000 USD cash. A corrupt US foreign service officer working at the desk/visa section could make quite a tidy sum of extra money with her/his "side business" with virtually no consequences or investigation, and then "rotate out" of country. It did happen. Those complicit in these rackets only hired those who would participate and found a way to edge out those staff who would not collaborate, or who tried to report corruption, fraud and/or abuse of the processes.
US policy makers and US taxpayers should be demanding accountability and results from "training/education" programs which have been in place for decades. Many countries, especially "conflict zones" or "fragile states" i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq or those who are considered "pivotal" such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, South Korea - have been sending military members and "students" in higher education over to the USA for over twenty years, and trainers/educators were sent to their countries for over twenty years. More than 60% of the costs are funded by the US taxpayer through US government funding channels:
"Eligible foreign governments or international organizations may purchase training with their national funds through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. They may also obtain training using USG funds provided by Security Assistance (SA) appropriations such as the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). SA Programs are further defined in Section C126.96.36.199."
C10.1.5.1. Eligible foreign governments or international organizations may also receive training through Security Cooperation (SC) programs authorized in Title 10 of the USC and funded through Defense appropriations, such as the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) or other Building Partner Capacity (BPC) programs. SC Programs are further defined in Section C188.8.131.52. See Chapter 15 for more detailed information on individual programs."
There should be enough nationals of their own countries trained by 2020. If not, evidently those training programs were not effective or sustainable. Why continue them? Why "contract out" on US military bases when military personnel could gain practical experience doing the training themselves, assessing and vetting (CI, CT units) as well as observing the candidates, instead of leaving it to profit motivated business? What is the incentive for large defense contracting companies to train effectively, making the training programs by US personnel no longer necessary? I think you know the answer.
Why have large corporations such as: Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grummond, Dyncorp, Academi, Raytheon, Leidos, BAE, L3, CACI-producing military equipment, weapons, surveillance systems and training programs-hiring American citizens, local nationals and other foreign nationals, gaining huge government contracts year after year and making enormous profits - not been held accountable for:
Here is one program which just recently was discontinued but only after years of reported "problems". www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2019/05/02/afghan-pilot-training-ends-after-almost-half-went-awol-in-america/
Here are statistics that should cause us to ask what is happening to our security on our military bases and in these training programs:
"Of the 320 total foreign trainees who abandoned their U.S. posts, 27 were from Yemen; 16 came from Turkey; 9 from Saudi Arabia; and 22 were from Iraq. Another 94 came from other countries, including Burundi, Ethiopia, and Tunisia. 83 Afghans who went AWOL still unaccounted for.
These foreign military soldiers, pilots, and other personnel are granted special A-2 visas to receive training on American soil. There are currently (2019) more than 5,100 foreign military personnel here on Pentagon-sponsored security cooperation training programs, including 852 from Saudi Arabia." michellemalkin.com/2019/12/08/where-are-all-the-awol-muslim-military-trainees/
Sadly, because of young Americans dying there is a fluster by the media and shock interest by politicians who publicly call for "review" of the military training programs for foreign nationals. Let's pray there are significant changes as a result.
“Today, I’m calling for a full review of the U.S. military programs to train foreign nationals on American soil. There is no reason we should be providing state-of-the-art military training to people who wish us harm,” Florida Republican Senator Scott said in his statement.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement released Friday evening that he had spoken with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Navy secretary and Deputy Secretary David Norquist, and said that he was “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.”
There are a number of grieving families who have had loved ones harmed or killed because of the slackness of the US "vetting" systems. It is better to err on the side of caution, in this realm.
Closing this week with "Hymn to the Fallen" by John Williams. This past weekend was also the anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
May those who grieve be comforted...wherever you are,
Thank goodness for real whistle blowers-those who have righteous intentions, who are truly courageous, who therefore suffer loss of income, leave their jobs for reasons of conscience and must brave the slings and arrows from all sides. There are only a few of them you know about and this week I call your attention to one from the multinational tech octopus...Google.
His name is Mr. Zach Vorhies and he was an insider, a senior software engineer for over eight years, invited to work on projects which included creating algorithms to "de-rank" and de-platform small businesses and e-commerce and push Amazon to the top. He was able to procure Google inside presentations proving their aim was to "program people" to have bias against President Trump, affect/interfere in US elections, "prediction keys" to sway search results by "auto suggestion" only showing "liberal/democrat" oriented results and hiding "damaging" reports on certain personalities (Clintons, Ghislaine Maxwell, Ilhan Omar, Bidens, etc) concealing or "erasing" alternative health sites and deliberately altering perceptions by omission, lies, manipulations and contrived trends, peer pressure and manufactured "consensus". He witnessed firsthand these dictatorial power trips and decided to collect evidence, resign and reveal.
Zach was threatened, investigated and continues to be stalked and harassed, but he perseveres. This is a true "whistle blower" unlike those who simply manipulate and leak information for attention and possibly financial and social capital gains. You can watch Zach present internal documents/evidence on this video and others on the net. www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xZLvBev730&feature=emb_logo
I suggest you switch search engines, too. Try Qwant.com or Duckduckgo or Gibiru. None of them have ads, FYI. Here is another discussion with Zach Vorhies:
In discussing the future of "free speech" it is important to bring up what is happening in Germany this week - hearkening back to the rise of the German Democratic Socialist Party in the 1930s (real Nazis) - the German leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, just announced that "freedom of expression must be curtailed in order to keep society free."
"The debate over free speech in Germany has intensified since the country accepted over a million migrants from the Middle East and North Africa from 2015 onwards. Many Germans have found themselves hit with charges of hate speech for pointing out ‘hate facts’ like migrants being responsible for crimes and sexual assaults. This happened despite the German government’s own numbers showing violent crime in Germany rose by 10 per cent between 2015 and 2016 and that more than 90 per cent of the rise was attributable to young male “refugees.” Lawmakers in one area of Germany even attempted to pass a law that would have jailed people for insulting the EU anthem or burning the EU flag. www.zerohedge.com/political/angela-merkel-says-freedom-speech-must-be-curtailed-keep-society-free
Up to the present day, governments imposing new "orders" for societal conduct and implementing new laws, would utilize law enforcement, military and even mercenaries to enforce the new (and often unpopular and un-legislated) changes. This is happening right now in Iraq, Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Iran and Brazil.
Yet more sinister and crippling is the fact that multinational tech companies - such as Alphabet (Google) and social media companies (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) which are wielding their monopolistic and financial leverage over the entire world by limiting, skewing, erasing and fabricating information and access; are influencing entire societies, national, regional and local elections, small businesses and reputations across the board. They have no accountability yet, since they have successfully deterred any effective political or legislative actions to restrict them.
Instead of having to use military and law enforcement resources and/or personnel-these gargantuan companies use artificial intelligence (AI) cyber crime, stealth platforms, rankings, visibility and deletion/de-platforming as their storm trooper tactics. These companies own the most sophisticated surveillance technologies and the patents on the planet. They make a huge profit on data collection, predictive analytics (what you will watch, what you will buy, who you will contact, how you will vote) but have no allegiance to any particular country or belief. Their goal is to control the "target population" for the maximum profit, maximum consumption of their products with the least competition or interference.
Social engineering is one of their prime directives...engineering to their (the companies) idea of "utopia". These are a very few people at the senior executive level making decisions on how billions of people "should behave and live". These companies have heretofore been "hacking democracies" with impunity. They are aggressive and will use any methods necessary to "go after anyone, any group, any strategy" which hinders their progress in any way.
The results for individuals "black listed" by these companies- and yes they do keep "black lists"- can be loss of income, of possible employment, of shelter, of reputation, of livelihood...of existence in contemporary society. Their example will serve to deter others. Express a "non-conforming opinion" or what they determine as "hate speech" or even "hate facts" or whistle blow on their company, and you will be identified, harassed, discredited and soon....like the "social credit system" already in place in China and the Gulf states..categorized as "unsatisfactory" or worse.
There is no "appeal for redress" at Google. You will probably never know if you are on a "black list" until some of these adverse events transpire in your or your business's life. Like the "no fly list" once you are on, it is almost impossible to navigate through the spider web of bureaucracy to get off, or know why you were put on this list in the first place. Bots, AI, Machine Learning censorship will be responsible. No humans need be involved. No humans can be approached to correct their "errors". These "operators" have plausible deniability..."it's not my/our fault...it's the algorithm/program". A 21st century excuse similar to "the devil made me do it!" www.wired.com/story/tainted-data-teach-algorithms-wrong-lessons/
The decision by Google and Facebook to de-platform alternative medical sites, complementary medical news and "top rank" major pharmaceutical companies adversely affects the possibilities for individuals to have informed choice for their medical treatments and medical providers.
"When choices are removed, information is suppressed, and falsifications are pushed to the forefront, simply put, that is mind control. Google has literally altered millions of minds by weaponizing their technology for psychological warfare, and this should not be taken lightly." www.coreysdigs.com/big-tech/controlling-minds-narratives-elections-google-youtube-facebook-twitter/
The United States is home base to most of the world's major tech companies. Legislation to investigate and possibly "break up" and re-categorize certain media sites as "publishers" (giving more recourse and accountability to the public and the courts) has not been forthcoming. Google (for example) contributes millions of US dollars to various politicians, political campaigns, foundations (Clinton Foundation) which receive money and benefits. Google was one of Hillary Clinton’s top campaign donors in her 2016 presidential run, Eric Schmidt offered to setup her tech campaign, and Google’s autocomplete feature impacted 2.6 – 10.4 million votes in Hillary Clinton’s favor. In return, no legislation was proposed, no fines imposed and overseas, Google was free to "experiment" with it's new policies and programs away from scrutiny.
However, the tide may be turning as more and more people are adversely affected by these tech giants whimsical policies. Alternatives will arise and legislation will be drafted. This is already happening outside the United States-in Europe and in Russia.
"The European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union (EU), has launched an anti-trust investigation into Google. It follows allegations from competitors that Google manipulated search results unfairly and rigged the online advertising market." www.computerworld.com/article/2469754/europe-investigates-google--rigged-search-rankings-.html
More needs to be done now, in the American political/legal system, to counter the growth, influence and indoctrination by these large tech and social media companies. The slow turns of the American Congress are stymied by the "circus of impeachment hearings" distracting from more important work such as creating laws which match up and catch up to the leviathan tech reach Google, Youtube Facebook/Instagram and Twitter - enjoy. One way to weaken their invasion is to withhold your patronage of these platforms and partner to create new competitive platforms.
As always, be discerning. Including a song covered by a Finnish band. Open your mind, ears and eyes to their version. Mix it up! Check your prejudices-yourself. 'Thunderstruck' by Steve'n'Seagulls (LIVE)
Until next Tuesday-God willing,