If you don’t read anything else……….you need to read this

16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet

Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.

In 1992, 1,700 independent scientists signed the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” The letter warned that “human beings and the natural world are on a collision course” and if environmental damage was not stopped, our future was at risk.

That letter made headlines 25 years ago, but the world still faces daunting environmental challenges. So environmental scientist William Ripple and his colleagues decided to create a new letter that has also struck a nerve. Since it was published in the journal BioScience on Monday, hundreds more scientists have signed on to the letter.

The letter essentially says that if there is not a groundswell of public pressure to change human behavior, the planet will sustain “substantial and irreversible” harm.

“This is not about some natural phenomenon that is removed from humans,” said Ripple, a distinguished professor of ecology at Oregon State University. “If we don’t have a healthy biosphere, as it is called, if we continue to have major environmental problems and climate change problems, then this goes directly to the welfare of humans. People need to understand that we are trying to save ourselves from catastrophic huge misery.”

Though there have been a handful of positive changes, current data show that many environmental problems have gotten “alarmingly” worse since the last letter was penned.

Since 1970, carbon dioxide emissions have increased sharply, by about 90%. About 78% of that comes from fossil fuel combustion, such as through the use of coal to heat our homes and driving cars that use gas, and through basic industrial processes and human activity which accounts for the majority of the total greenhouse gas emissions increase from 1970 to 2011, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

That human activity has helped raise the global average temperature. 2016 was the warmest year on record, according to NASA. In fact, the 10 warmest years on the 136-year record have occurred since 1998, according to the most recent data available.

Though the Trump administration has said climate change programs are a “waste of your money” and that climate change itself is an “expensive hoax,” the data suggest that temperature increases will probably cause a shortage in the world’s food crops. The weather will become more damaging, with more intense storms. Sea levels will rise and threaten coastal cities like Miami and New Orleans.

The new letter lists data showing a 75% increase in the number of ocean dead zones since the publication of the first letter. Dead zones are the areas in oceans, large lakes and rivers where marine life either dies or is driven away because the zone lacks sufficient oxygen.

Although dead zones can occur naturally, they are created largely by excessive nutrient pollution from human activities like farming and industrial pollution, according to the National Ocean Service. There are many along the US East Coast and in the Great Lakes, and the second largest in the world is in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists believe there are at least 405 dead zones worldwide, including near South America, Japan, China and southeast Australia.

That’s not merely bad news for the fish that live there; it is bad news for the humans who eat the fish and other seafood that need the fish to survive. The dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay, for instance — which measures 1.89 cubic miles, or nearly the volume of 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools — results in the loss of tens of millions of fish, which both humans and crabs eat. It threatens the oysters there, too.

Despite the challenges there, the proposed Trump budget would cut cleanup funds for the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and other bodies of water with dead zones.

There has been an increasing appetite for fish, but it is getting harder to catch them. The recent revision of the US dietary guidelines urged Americans to eat more fish for heart health and weight control. More people have started to see the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which also emphasizes fish over meat.

The fishing industry has upped its efforts, but there has been a large drop in the harvest of wild-caught fish. In fact, a 2006 study found that all species of wild seafood could collapse within the next 50 years if more isn’t done to protect these populations. About 2,300 species of fish are listed as endangered or threatened according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In earlier research, scientists also predicted that this drop could compromise people’s need for protein and for micronutrients, particularly in developing nations. Already, 45% of deaths among children under age 5 is due largely to health problems caused by undernutrition according to a 2013 study.

Earth has seen a 26% reduction in the amount of fresh water available per capita since the 1992 letter. If conservation efforts and industry levels of pollution don’t change, UNESCO predicts that the world will face a 40% global water deficit by 2030.

Population growth, industrialization, urbanization and an increase in water consumption have threatened our freshwater sources significantly, research shows.

Currently, 20% of the world’s aquifers are being over-exploited.

Investment in water infrastructure has gone up globally and in the US, but some scientists question whether that investment will be enough.

Between 1990 and 2015, the world has lost 129 million hectares of forest land — an area about the size of South Africa.

Most deforestation has happened in tropical areas, but the US has also lost significant forest land. Studies have projected that with US population growth continuing as predicted, the country could lose 50 million more acres by 2050.

Trees aren’t merely pretty; they help clean the air and water, provide lumber for construction, create habitats for animals and help mitigate the impact of climate change.

There is some hope when it comes to forests though, as studies have shown that deforestation has slowed and more forests are better managed globally, suggesting that if humans put their minds to it, negative environmental trends can change.

There has been a 35% increase in the human population since the 1992 letter, putting a strain on the increasingly limited number of available natural resources. That trend is not expected to change anytime soon.

Researchers predict that there will be nearly 10 billion people living on Earth by 2050, according to the United Nations, with much of the population growth occurring in developing nations with the highest fertility rates but also the lowest food security.

Progress has also been seen when it comes to slowing growth, in the form of increasing education for women and girls and concentrated family planning efforts.

There has been a nearly 29% collective reduction in the number of animals in the world since the 1992 letter. Scientists say we are living in the sixth mass-extinction event, which means three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries.

A 2017 publication also looked at a well-studied group of 177 mammal species and found that all of them had lost at least 30% of their territory between 1900 and 2015; more than 40% of those species “experienced severe population declines,” meaning they lost at least 80% of their geographic range during that time. Put another way: This particular extinction is “more severe” than previously thought.

n the past 25 years, ozone depletion is the one significant positive trend.

There had been a steady decline in the Earth’s ozone layer, caused in part by gasses released by aerosol spray cans and refrigerants, reducing the ozone layer’s ability to absorb ultraviolet radiation.

After 1987, when the world’s governments came together to craft the United Nations Montreal Protocol, emissions of ozone-depleting gasses decreased significantly. The ozone is expected to see a significant recovery by the middle of the century.

The effort to help the ozone is one example, Ripple said, that when people come together to work on something, they can make a huge impact. That’s what he hopes the new letter will accomplish.

In addition to seeing more scientists sign the letter after its publication, Ripple has been overwhelmed by the number of other people who have reached out, some sending poems and songs that they have created about the environment, and pledged to help.

Ripple and his co-authors aren’t sure what the next steps will be, but like many a manifesto writer before him, he is hopeful, despite the dire tone of the letter.

“I’m an optimist,” he said. “My hope is that this letter triggers a worldwide conversation about these environmental and climate trends and perhaps more fundamentally that it can raise people’s awareness of the seriousness of global environmental problems so we can come together. It is so important to work together as a human race to make a sustainable future on planet Earth.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/health/scientists-warn-humanity/index.html

End of the world? THOUSANDS of Scientists issue bleak warning about future of mankind

16000 Scientists Sign Dire Warning to Humanity Over Health of Planet

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice | BioScience | Oxford Academic

Advertisements

Trump Jr coordinated with Kremlin-linked “known hostile non-state actor” oops!

Donald Trump Jr. seems to think that the direct messages he exchanged with WikiLeaks aren’t particularly incriminating. On Monday night, Trump Jr. tweeted out what he claims were his “entire chain of messages” with WikiLeaks, and he dismissively wrote that his messages consisted of a “whopping 3 responses.”

According to those direct messages, Trump Jr.’s last message to Wikileaks was sent on October 3, 2016 — four days before the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security released a joint statement publicly accusing WikiLeaks of being a Kremlin front.

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the statement said. “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process… We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

While Trump Jr. could argue he stopped sending messages to WikiLeaks as soon as U.S. intelligence agencies publicly accused it of being a Kremlin front, his willingness to collaborate with WikiLeaks seems to have extended past the statement’s release on October 7.

On October 12, WikiLeaks sent Trump Jr. a message lauding Trump Sr. for “talking about our publications” during campaign rallies, and suggested, “your dad tweets this link if he mentions us.”

Fifteen minutes later, Trump Sr. posted a tweet complaining that there was “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”

Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system! 5:46 AM – Oct 12, 2016 · United States

And two days later, Trump Jr. tweeted out the very link WikiLeaks suggested.

Donald Trump Jr. ✔@DonaldJTrumpJr For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/ 5:34 AM – Oct 14, 2016

During the last month of the campaign, Trump Sr. mentioned WikiLeaks 164 times, with many of them occurring after the intelligence agencies released their joint statement. Despite the fact that stolen emails published by WikiLeaks were a central part of his closing message, Trump later insisted that WikiLeaks had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

On Tuesday morning, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski went on CNN and tried to rewrite history in a manner favorable to the Trumps.

Asked how Trump Jr. could have thought it was a good idea to communicate with Kremlin-linked “known hostile non-state actor,” Lewandowski suggested Trump Jr. might not have known “what WikiLeaks was about” in October of last year.

“I don’t know if we knew back in October that WikiLeaks had that same type of notion behind them,” Lewandowski said. “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that looking back a year ago that we would have known what WikiLeaks was about.”

Lewandowski did not mention the intelligence community statement that was released early that month and received significant media attention.

During another part of the interview, Lewandowski tried to distance the president from his eldest son, saying that “Don Jr. is a private citizen, he can tweet or retweet anything he wants to, and it doesn’t have a material effect on the outcome of the campaign.”

Tuesday night wasn’t the first time Trump Jr. has published incriminating private correspondence under duress. Last July, Trump Jr. tweeted out emails showing that the Trump campaign was eager to collude with individuals connected to the Russian government in an effort to bring down Clinton.

https://thinkprogress.org/the-big-problem-with-donald-trump-jr-s-excuse-for-collaborating-with-wikileaks-f2ee3759c73d/

 

What’s Trump’s other “bestie tyrant” Recep Tayyip Erdogan up to?

Henri Barkey coup leader???

On July 15, 2016, an American college professor named Henri Barkey convened an academic workshop about Iran at a hotel on an island near Istanbul. That night, elements of the Turkish military attempted a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that quickly failed but triggered a massive campaign of repression which continues to this day. Barkey went through with his conference, spent a couple of days in Istanbul and flew home.

To Barkey’s astonishment, he soon became a target of the world’s newest political weapon: fake news, in the form of a feverish, government-sponsored campaign. Pro-Erdogan media claimed that Barkey was on the island of Buyukada not to discuss Iran’s foreign relations with fellow academics but to direct the coup operation on behalf of the CIA.

To those who know the professor, a stereotypically tweedy 63-year-old intellectual who has combined teaching at Lehigh University with stints at Washington think tanks and the State Department policy planning staff, the claims were literally laughable. But the real-world consequences have not been. The five Turkish scholars who attended the conference have been defamed and stripped of their passports; one was detained for two weeks.

On Friday, the Turkish press reported that a prosecutor had issued a warrant for Barkey’s arrest. The indictment also charges Metin Topuz, a U.S. consular employee whose detention several weeks ago triggered a diplomatic spat in which both countries temporarily suspended the issuance of visas. Topuz did not attend the conference, and Barkey says he has never met him.

Turkey’s best-known philanthropists and liberal activists, Osman Kavala

Last month, one of Turkey’s best-known philanthropists and liberal activists, Osman Kavala, was arrested and jailed. One of the two charges against him is “contact with Henri Jak Barkey and foreigners who were among the organizers of the [July 15, 2016] coup attempt,” according to court papers. Kavala was also not at the conference, but Barkey says they spoke briefly at a restaurant in Istanbul. “Knowing me,” the professor ruefully told me, “is enough to send someone to jail for life.”

Kavala, Topuz and Barkey are just three among some 150,000 people imprisoned, fired or sanctioned by Erdogan’s government in the past 16 months, including 150 journalists and 6,000 university employees. But the case is a good example of how fake news has become a tool for authoritarian governments that have watched closely how Russia — and President Trump — have used it.

The first lesson is that not just facts but basic plausibility are unimportant when concocting charges. Social media can be used to make anything sound convincing to the followers of a Trump or Erdogan. The Turkish ruler’s propagandists claimed, for example, that Barkey enlisted the notorious convicted murderer Scott Peterson as muscle. Peterson is imprisoned in California. But no matter: An American journalist also named Scott Peterson happened to be at the meeting.

Once the fake news is floated, political leaders can demand investigations while claiming they only want to learn the facts. Their main objective is not prosecutions, but advancing a political narrative. In Erdogan’s case, the point is to suggest that the United States is responsible for the coup attempt — a lie that he is attempting to leverage into concessions from Washington. Above all, he wants the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based cleric accused of masterminding the coup. Erdogan may also be trying to fend off charges that his government offered millions of dollars to former national security adviser Michael Flynn in exchange for Gulen.

Hence the warrant for Barkey and arrests of Topuz and Kavala, an internationally admired secular activist. Erdogan has referred to him as “Turkey’s [George] Soros,” in reference to the liberal U.S. financier; he also claimed that Kavala and Topuz are connected, without further explanation.

That’s the trick: to use fake news without accepting responsibility for it. Erdogan’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, offered me another demonstration of that last week when I asked him, during his visit to Washington, whether the Turkish government really believed that Barkey directed the coup. “Whether Henri Barkey managed the coup or not, I don’t know,” he replied, claiming that he was unaware of the allegation.

He then said that Turks were inclined to believe that the United States must have something to do with the coup because of Washington’s failure to hand over Gulen. “Sometimes perception becomes more important than facts,” he concluded.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

That, of course, is exactly Erdogan’s objective. And if his repression seems far removed from the tactics of Trump, it’s worth recalling that the president and the media that support him are even now promoting the manifestly false story that Hillary Clinton corruptly influenced the sale of a uranium company to Russia and are demanding a criminal investigation. No wonder Trump said as he met the Turkish strongman in September, “We’re as close as we have ever been.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/a-fake-news-campaign-blames-an-innocent-american-for-a-coup-attempt-in-turkey/2017/11/12/e4e54ad8-c559-11e7-aae0-cb18a8c29c65_story.html?utm_term=.a215b3ad8553

Trump is being seriously worked by Russian President Vladimir Putin; “no, you’re the puppet”

Two top former U.S. intelligence officials said Sunday that President Trump is being “played” by President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and accused him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego.

“By not confronting the issue directly and not acknowledging to Putin that we know you’re responsible for this, I think he’s giving Putin a pass,” former CIA director John Brennan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint.”

Appearing on the same program, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said he agrees with that assessment.

“He seems very susceptible to rolling out the red carpet and honor guards and all the trappings and pomp and circumstance that come with the office, and I think that appeals to him, and I think it plays to his insecurities,” Clapper said.

Trump told reporters traveling with him in Asia that Putin had assured him at a conference in Danang, Vietnam, on Saturday that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, and he indicated that he believed Putin was sincere.

Later, in a news conference Sunday in Hanoi with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Trump appeared to be trying to parse his earlier remarks, saying, “What I said is that I believe [Putin] believes that.”

In his earlier remarks to reporters, Trump also referred to Brennan and Clapper as “political hacks.” Brennan said Sunday that he considers Trump’s characterization “a badge of honor.”

Both men were highly critical of Trump for not saying more definitively that Putin was behind the Russian interference in the U.S. election, a conclusion strongly endorsed by the U.S. intelligence community.

“I don’t know why the ambiguity about this,” Brennan said. “Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process. And to try paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and, in fact, poses a peril to this country.”

Clapper said, “It’s very clear that the Russians interfered in the election, and it’s still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it and also push hard against Mr. Putin.”

Appearing later on CNN, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came to Trump’s defense, brushing aside the comments of Brennan and Clapper.

“Those were the most ridiculous statements,” Mnuchin said. “President Trump is not getting played by anybody.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/11/12/former-u-s-intelligence-officials-trump-being-played-by-putin/

From CNN:

In polling, Americans increasingly see the Russian meddling as a grave issue. In a CNN survey conducted this month, about two-thirds (64%) now say the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election in 2016 is a serious matter that should be fully investigated, while just 32% see it as an effort to discredit Trump’s presidency.

The percentage who say it’s a “crisis” for the United States if the Russian government did attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election now stands at 22%.

Trump’s willingness to confront Putin will be tested in the coming months. Trump is required to impose new sanctions on Russian entities by January 29 under a law passed by Congress over the summer. The same law required the administration to identify targets for the sanctions by the beginning of last month; the roster of targets arrived three weeks late.

New Trump talking point: Russian investigation insults Putin and may cost “millions of lives”

Trump believes Putin on Russia meddling and says Mueller may cost lives

Trump with his “bestie” at APEC

Donald Trump said on Saturday he believes Vladmir Putin’s denials of Russian involvement in the manipulation of the 2016 presidential election.

After a brief meeting with the Russian leader on the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, Trump launched a tirade against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.

The investigation could cost “millions and millions of lives”, Trump claimed, by hindering agreement with Moscow over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and a looming confrontation with North Korea.

The president’s remarks, made to reporters as Air Force One flew to Hanoi from Da Nang, represented his open disregard for the views of US intelligence agencies. They have concluded that Russia did interfere in multiple ways in the 2016 election, with the aim of helping Trump’s candidacy.

The president suggested he put more faith in Putin’s word.

“Every time he sees me he says ‘I didn’t do that’ and I really believe that when he tells me that,” Trump said. “He really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn’t do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that.”

The president described the investigation led by Mueller, a former FBI director appointed by Trump’s own justice department, as “Democrat-inspired” and a “hit job”.

Trump also claimed the investigation was preventing a normalisation of relations with Putin and therefore could cost countless lives around the world. He suggested Russia was not helping more to persuade Pyongyang to disarm “because of the lack of the relationship that we have with Russia, because of this artificial thing that’s happening with this Democratic-inspired thing”.

“I think [Putin] is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. Because again, if we had a relationship with Russia, North Korea which is our single biggest problem right now, it would help a lot,” he said.

“You know you are talking about millions and millions of lives,” Trump said, adding that good relations with Moscow were also vital to resolving other conflicts.

“When we can save many, many, many lives by making a deal with Russia having to do with Syria, and then ultimately getting Syria solved, and getting Ukraine solved, and doing other things, having a good relationship with Russia is a great, great thing. And this artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way. It gets in the way. And that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it, and it’s a pure hit job, and it’s artificially induced and that’s shame.”

After Trump’s comments, Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, posted a tweet saying current CIA leadership agreed with the general intelligence community assessment about Russian interference in the election.

“CIA just told me: the [director] stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” he wrote. “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.

Trump met Putin briefly on three occasions at Da Nang, having scheduled no formal meetings with him during the summit. The two exchanged a jovial handshake at the gala dinner on Friday and stood next to one another in a “family photo” of leaders on Saturday.

The US press pool including photographers were blocked from covering the day’s events, including the Trump-Putin meetings. Only Fox News and the official White House photographer were granted access.

Putin dismissed accusations Moscow meddled in the US election as “fantasies” intended to undermine Trump. “Everything about the so-called Russian dossier in the US is a manifestation of continuing domestic political struggle,” he said.

Putin was asked if he had followed the mounting investigation into alleged contacts between Trump’s campaign team and Russians, including a woman who claimed to be Putin’s niece.

“Regarding some sort of connections of my relatives with members of the administration or some officials,” he said, “I only found out about that yesterday from [his spokesman Dmitry] Peskov.”

He also said: “I don’t know anything about [the investigation]. I think these are some sort of fantasies.”

The two leaders produced a joint statement on Syria, restating their determination to defeat Islamic State and their desire for a United Nations-brokered solution.

“It’s going to save tremendous numbers of lives and we did it very quickly, we agreed very quickly,” Trump said.

The statement lists longstanding areas of agreement between the US and Russia on the importance of reviving mostly dormant UN-mediated negotiations known as the Geneva process, which envisages constitutional reform and free elections. In the past, Washington has disagreed with Moscow on how the process should be carried out and what role Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad would play.

Assad’s forces, with Russian and Iranian support, have been gaining ground. The Syrian president has consequently shown little real interest in a peace deal. Asked if Russia would be able to bring Assad to the table, a state department official, quoted on CNN, said: “We’re going to be testing that, we’re going to find out.”

Trump renewed his assault on the Mueller investigation at a time when it is making significant advances, each time a step closer to the president. His former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and a senior fundraiser have been indicted for money laundering and conspiring to defraud the authorities.

Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is under investigation. His lawyer on Friday denied a report that he had negotiations with Turkish representatives about kidnapping a dissident cleric living in the US.

A former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to perjury about his contacts with Russian surrogates and officials. Although he personally announced Papadopoulos’s hiring in March 2016, describing him as “an excellent guy”, since the guilty plea was made public the president has said he was a “young, low-level volunteer” who “few people knew”.

However, court papers show Papadopoulos was in frequent contact with senior campaign staff, mostly about plans to bring Trump and Putin together. He met a UK foreign office minister, Tobias Ellwood, at the UN in September 2016. The New York Times reported on Saturday that Papadopoulos helped edit a major foreign policy speech in April of that year, and that one of the officials he was in touch with was Stephen Miller, still one of Trump’s closest advisers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/11/putin-and-trump-want-political-solution-to-syria-conflict-kremlin-says

Trump silent on white supremacist terror attack in last week in Denver

There was a white supremacist terror attack in Colorado last week 

“Racist towards Hispanics” accused gunman Scott Ostrem (Adams County Sheriff’s Office)

Scott Ostrem, a 47-year-old, white man, walked into a Walmart north of Denver on Nov. 1 and opened fire. Eyewitnesses described him as “nonchalantly” shooting shoppers with a handgun, killing three.

Police captured Ostrem alive the next day. They said they had “no possible motive for the shooting other than to say there was nothing to suggest it was related to terrorism.”

The incident meets the FBI definition of a mass killing: Three or more people who died in a public place. But sandwiched between a Halloween day attack that killed eight in Manhattan and the slaughter of 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the Walmart killings have faded into the background.

That’s a mistake. Ostrem’s rampage deserves far more attention because it represents the foremost terrorist threat in America today: White supremacist violence unleashed and encouraged by President Donald J. Trump.

Ostrem killed three Hispanic people, Pam Marques, Victor Vasquez, and Carlos Moreno, all parents. In the apartment complex where Ostrem lived, neighbors described him as “a bizarre, angry man who lived alone in an apartment with a stack of Bibles and virtually no furniture.” He was a “loner who would walk around carrying weapons” like a shotgun or bow and arrows.

When it came to relations with neighbors, Ostrem “was very racist towards Hispanics.” Another said he was “verbally abusive towards Hispanics.”

The local CBS affiliate reported Ostrem “often expressed dislike for Hispanics to their faces.” A Hispanic employee at the building said, “If he saw a Hispanic person, he would tell them to get out of his way.” One neighbor said Ostrem would say, “’This is America. You shouldn’t be here.”

That sentiment could have come right out of Donald Trump’s mouth.

Is there any doubt how Trump would have reacted if a Muslim carried around weapons, kept a stack of Korans in his apartment, verbally abused Christians, and then killed three people? Trump would have lit up Twitter, calling for “much tougher Extreme Vetting Procedures,” decrying Democrats who let the “terrorist” slip across our borders, and condemning the “truly evil” people coming in because of broken immigration policies.

Compare this to the Manhattan attack. Two hours after it happened, before the name of the perpetrator was released, officials designated it an act of terrorism. That assessment was apparently based on nothing more than the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, yelling “God is great” in Arabic after he mowed down cyclists and pedestrians with a truck. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Saipov one of “these lone wolves who commit an act of terror,” linking him to ISIS. A day later, Saipov was hit with federal terrorism charges.

What officials said of Saipov — a lone wolf “consumed by hate and a twisted ideology” — applies as much to Scott Ostrem and the other white supremacists who have murdered at least nine people since Trump was elected.

The killers attack the same people Trump demonized during his campaign — Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics, immigrants — and they are motivated by Trump’s words and ideology.

In February, U.S. Navy vet Adam Purinton confronted two Indian men in a bar in Kansas, asking if they were in the country legally, and yelled “Get out of my country,” before killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding two others. Purinton believed he had shot Iranians, another community scapegoated by Trump.

In May, Sean Urbanski, who liked “memes about Donald Trump, white supremacy, and the alt-right,” stabbed to death Richard Collins III, a black second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. The killing echoed a case in March when Army vet James Jackson stabbed to death Timothy Caughman. Jackson murdered the 66-year-old Black man because “The white race is being eroded. … No one cares about you. The Chinese don’t care about you, the Blacks don’t care about you.”

Also in May, Jeremy Christian stabbed to death Ricky John Best, father of four, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, a recent college graduate, on a train in Portland, Oregon, after they defended two black women, one wearing a hijab, being threatened by Christian. Weeks earlier, Christian had attended a pro-Trump alt-right rally in Portland where he yelled “Die Muslims.”

Most notorious is the neo-Nazi murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in August during an orgy of violence by white supremacists. Days later Trump praised the extremists as “very fine people.”

Many other white supremacist attacks have garnered little attention because the plots were busted, police looked the other way, or people were injured, sometimes severely, but not killed.

Because Trump hits the mute button following white supremacist violence, news outlets chastise him for turning a blind eye. That misses the real story. A recent FBI-DHS report determined white supremacists were the most dangerous domestic extremists.

Rather than counter right-wing terrorism, Trump is enabling it by reducing scrutiny and cutting funds to help “right-wing extremists move away from radical ideas.” Additionally, he’s engaged in a bait-and-switch to divert attention from his brand of terrorism. His administration has fabricated threats such as “Black Identity Extremists,” and he warns MS-13 gangs have “literally taken over” U.S. towns and cities, a notion completely undermined by FBI data.

Trump also hypes “Islamist terrorism” like the San Bernardino couple who killed 14 people in 2015. He exploited those deaths to call for a Muslim ban despite the fact police “never established the motive.” Trump portrays Saipov and Omar Mateen of the Pulse nightclub slaughter as super-soldiers in a global jihad that can only be stopped by bans on Muslims, refugees, and various immigrants. But each one was simply “an aspiring violent criminal searching for a larger justification for the acts he’s desperate to commit.” They are blood brothers with white mass murderers like Stephen Paddock.

Trump’s complicity with right-wing terrorism goes further. He’s courted white supremacists and propagated their beliefs for years. A former DHS intelligence official says Trump empowers white supremacists because they see “an administration in place today that is supportive of their ideological agenda.”

Those storm clouds were brewing before Trump’s election. In October 2016 the FBI foiled a plot by a Kansas militia called “the Crusaders” to wipe out a Somali-American community in Garden City. They called the immigrants “cockroaches” and planned to perpetrate an Oklahoma City-style massacre, the 1995 bombing by right-wing militiamen that killed 168 people and stands as deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in modern U.S. history.

Sounding like Trump, the Kansas militiamen said the Somalis were “a threat to American society” and hoped a bloodbath would “wake up” a lot more people to “decide they want this country back.”

With a president who uses the Bully Pulpit as a recruiting tool for right-wing terrorism, it’s only a matter of time before some of his followers try a slaughter on this scale again. And no one can see we didn’t see it coming.

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/there-was-a-terror-attack-in-colorado-last-week-but-no-one-is-talking-about-it/

Russians here and Russians there, more confirmation of the Steele dossier

Carter Page’s bizarre testimony before the House Intelligence Committee supported some key elements of the infamous dossier compiled by a former British spy.

The former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign told lawmakers last week about his visits to Russia before and after the election, when he met with government and business leaders, reported Business Insider.

Page confirmed he had emailed campaign adviser J.D. Gordon July 8, 2016, from Moscow — on a trip approved by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — to say he had gotten “incredible insights and outreach from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.”

That seems to confirm findings by former British spy Christopher Steele, who reported in his dossier that “official close to Presidential Administration Head, S. Ivanov, confided in a compatriot that a senior colleague in the Internal Political Department of the PA, Divyekin (nfd) also had met secretly with Page on his recent visit.”

According to Steele’s source, Diveykin told Page the Kremlin had damaging information on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to turn over to the Trump campaign.

Page denied meeting with Diveykin and told the committee that “senior members of the presidential administration,” as described in his email, was actually just a brief chat with deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich.

He also claimed his reference to legislators meant only a few people shaking his hands in passing during the trip.

Page also confirmed that he “possibly” had contacted the head of investor relations at the Russian oil company Rosneft in advance of his July 2016 visit.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the committee’s ranking Democrat, pointed out that Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, was under U.S. sanctions as part of the Magnitsky Act.

A U.S. intelligence source claimed in September 2016 that Page met with Sechin, who raised the issue of lifting those sanctions after the election.

A Russian source told Steele that Sechin and Page held a secret meeting to discuss “the issues of future bilateral energy cooperation and prospects for an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.”

Steele alleged that Sechin offered Page the brokerage of a 19 percent stake in Rosneft in exchange for getting U.S. sanctions lifted against oligarchs close to Russian president Vladmir Putin.

Page denied “directly” expressing support for lifting sanctions, but he admitted

that Andrey Baranov, the head of investor relations, “may have briefly mentioned” the sale of a significant percentage of Rosneft in July.

A 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft changed hands in December under mysterious circumstances, and Page returned to Moscow the day after the deal was signed to meet with “some top managers” at the company.

He has denied meeting with Sechin while there, but agrees it would have been “a great honor.”

also

J.D. Gordon Quote from NBC news “ I discouraged Carter from taking the trip to Moscow in the first place because it was a bad idea. Since I refused to forward his speech request form for approval, he eventually went around me directly to campaign leadership