We Are Change http://wearechange.org Be the Change You Wish to See in the World. Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:32:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jim Carrey On California’s Mandatory Vaccines: “corporate fascists” http://wearechange.org/jim-carry-on-californias-mandatory-vaccines-corporate-fascists/ http://wearechange.org/jim-carry-on-californias-mandatory-vaccines-corporate-fascists/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:31:27 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36099 We Are Change

Source: Natural News Actor and comedian Jim Carrey has […]

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Source: Natural News

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey has some strong words for California Gov. Jerry Brown: “corporate fascist.”

In a major Twitter rant, Carrey – a Golden Globe winner – slammed Brown on Twitter, labeling him a “corporate fascist” who was poisoning children by signing into law the vaccination requirements, the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter (THR) noted.

“California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in [mandatory] vaccines,” he said. “This corporate fascist must be stopped.”

Carrey went on to accuse the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of ineptitude and corruption because the federal agency “can’t solve a problem they helped start.”

Los Angeles-based Carrey says he doesn’t oppose all vaccines, per se, but rather is “anti-neurotoxin.” He says he believes that vaccines should be free of chemicals and compounds that make them inherently dangerous, such as mercury and thimerosal.

“All we are saying is, ‘Take the neurotoxins out of the vaccines.’ Make them toxin free.History [sic] will show that that was a reasonable request,” he tweeted.

“If you really care about the kids…”

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Jail time for israeli sniper who bragged about shooting children http://wearechange.org/jail-time-for-israeli-sniper-who-bragged-about-shooting-children/ http://wearechange.org/jail-time-for-israeli-sniper-who-bragged-about-shooting-children/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:52:50 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36094 We Are Change

  (CounterCurrentNews.com)It’s been several days s […]

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Untitled-1(CounterCurrentNews.com)It’s been several days since we first screen captured the Instagram account of Israel Defense Forces sniper David D. Ovadia, and his cached comments on the account of Palestinian Sherrii ElKaderi.

Many dozens of news sites tripped over themselves to copy and paste our report, even without having access to the sources that brought it to us. Free of the burden of citation, they noted the details we had relayed publicly, but when pressed, they could not elaborate. This led to many to suspect that the post from Ovadia was a hoax, that he had never in fact posted such comments.

For her part, ElKaderi has tirelessly confirmed the post by the IDF soldier, even who boasted of murdering 13 Gazan children in one day. An IDF Combat Engineering Corps Soldier, specifically, Ovadia posed with a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, taunting the Palestinian ElKaderi with the now famous screen captured post.

As we said from the beginning, it was unclear and perhaps unlikely that the Barrett was used in the commission of such crimes, as this weapon is usually reserved for the best of the best marksmen. But Ovadia’s posting of himself with the .50 caliber rifle was obviously meant to be visually intimidating to Palestinians.

As Israeli, Iranian, European and pretty much everyone but U.S. media outlets (save the International Business Times), took our report seriously, the IDF began doing an investigation of their own. Ovadia’s initial plea was that his account had been “hacked”, a claim which many proponents of the IDF incursion into Gaza quickly jumped on, as we had reported the “hacktivist” group “Anonymous” took control of his Instagram account, deleting it entirely after our report first broke.

Ovadia thought that would be the end of it. Within hours, armies of self-described “debunkers” flooded social media, claiming that this was a “hoax”. But the IDF investigators still smelled something funny about Ovadia’s professions of innocence. They pressed on with their questioning, only to catch him in a number of lies. Finally, Ovadia confessed to having made the post, and quickly deleting it once it was clear he was going to get in trouble for his hateful comments.

Now, the IDF has announced that Ovadia is being sentenced to 30 days in jail. They assert that he did not actually shoot 13 children, but was instead using the claim to harass and terrorize Palestinians on social media. As we suspected, Ovadia has not even qualified for the .50 caliber rifle, but had posed with it to look intimidating.

Before finally confessing, Ovadia’s hateful claims of proudly carrying out war crimes led to Anonymous hacking the websites of the Mossad intelligence agency in Israel “for the brave IDF Sniper”, in reference to Ovadia, and following up by taking down the Israeli Ministry of Defense as well, similarly attributing attack to Ovadia’s online claims.

Meanwhile, there are still people who believe they are “debunking” this story, which is now headline news in Israel. On the contrary, however, this story has been investigated, confirmed, and led to Ovadia doing some (though not enough) jail time.

(Article by Ari Simeon, M.B. David, and Isa Abu Jamal)

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Do Americans Think We Face Tyranny? http://wearechange.org/do-americans-think-we-face-tyranny-2/ http://wearechange.org/do-americans-think-we-face-tyranny-2/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:33:13 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36087 We Are Change

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The Ghosts of Gaza: Israel’s Soldier Suicides http://wearechange.org/the-ghosts-of-gaza-israels-soldier-suicides/ http://wearechange.org/the-ghosts-of-gaza-israels-soldier-suicides/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 01:30:33 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36077 We Are Change

(theDailyBeast) Were Israeli soldiers so haunted by wha […]

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(theDailyBeast) Were Israeli soldiers so haunted by what they saw and did in the last Gaza war that they took their own lives? What role did their zealous commander play?
HAIFA, Israel—More than two months after the end of Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, its consequences are still being felt in Israeli society. While the Palestinian territory where the war was waged lies in ruins, for some of the Israelis who fought there the devastation that lingers is in the mind.

In the weeks after Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire, three Israeli soldiers decided to end their lives with their own weapons. And what was especially striking about their suicides was that all served in the same unit, the Givati Brigade, which had a reputation for its ruthless ferocity, considerable bravery, and the use of Old Testament religiosity to justify the merciless operations of its commander, Colonel Ofer Winter.

The unit spent most of its time in Gaza close to the border with Israel in an area the Israel Defense Forces set out to make a wide buffer zone consuming more than 40 percent of Gaza’s territory. Fighters from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other groups did not fall back. Instead they operated out of a vast network of tunnels, and the combat was as ferocious as any the IDF has seen for many years. But the Givati Brigade drew particular attention because of its alleged responsibility for widespread civilian casualties.

On July 21, the Givati was the main infantry force in the assault on Khuzaa, a town in south-central Gaza right on the border with Israel. Human Rights Watch reported afterward, without specifying the unit, that IDF troops there were responsible for “repeated shelling that struck apparent civilian structures, lack of access to necessary medical care, and the threat of attack from Israeli forces as [civilians] tried to leave the area.”

Humanitarian organizations were denied entry to Khuzaa, leaving medics unable to tend the wounded or collect corpses. Residents fortunate enough to have escaped began returning to the destroyed village at the beginning of August.

On Aug. 1, The Daily Beast reported what appeared to have been a summary execution of six men inside an abandoned home full of IDF bullet casings.

In a follow-up report, an Islamic Jihad member under the alias Abu Muhammad, who claimed to have fought in the battle of Khuzaa, alleged that the Palestinians killed were members of his organization, that they had come out of a tunnel to try to ambush IDF soldiers but had been ambushed themselves, were cornered in a nearby house, ran out of ammunition, and then were executed.

He claims that during an early morning operation in Khuzaa, God sent “clouds of glory” to protect his troops.
When asked about the event, and about the possibility that the three soldiers who committed suicide might have been involved, an IDF spokesperson declined to comment and said the matter was still under investigation.

By the time villagers returned to the ruins of Khuzaa in early August, the Givatis had moved south. Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of the Givati Brigade was believed to have been captured by Hamas fighters during a battle in Rafah on Aug. 1.

In response, the IDF appears to have initiated what is known as the Hannibal Directive or Protocol, a procedure that aims to free a captured soldier—or risk ending his life along with that of his abductors, if that’s what it takes—in order to avoid protracted negotiations with militants that may free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The directive dates back to 1986, was kept secret and reportedly was abolished. But on Aug. 3, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Hannibal Directive was still very much in effect:

“On Friday morning, when the IDF still believed that Lt. Hadar Goldin may have been taken alive by Hamas into an attack tunnel beneath Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Hannibal Directive was activated to its most devastating extent yet—including massive artillery bombardments and airstrikes on possible escape routes. At least 40 Palestinians were killed in Rafah.”

Gaza officials place the number of innocent lives lost at 130. The IDF now places the number of dead at 41, of whom 12 are said to have been militants.
“What stands out is what we saw in Khuzaa, including attacks on homes with families in them, and Rafah, with indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas,” a human-rights researcher for Amnesty International, Saleh Hijazi, told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview. “It seems there was a complete disregard for civilian lives and property. It seems like war crimes were committed.”
Ahron Bregman, professor of War Studies at King’s College in London and a former IDF major, told The Daily Beast, “Some of the practices employed by the IDF should be banned altogether—just thrown out of the window. Activating the Hannibal Protocol in Rafah led to the killing of more than 150 innocent people.” In the Aug. 15 edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli newspaper with the highest circulation, Winter openly admitted carrying out the protocol. Anyone who abducts an Israeli soldier should know that “he will pay the price,” said Winter. “It was not revenge. They just messed with the wrong division.”

Investigators later determined that Lt. Goldin had been killed in action prior to the bombing.

Before all this carnage, Col. Winter first made headlines over the summer with a letter he penned to his troops, in which he asked for heavenly assistance to “spearhead the fighting [against] the terrorist ‘Gazan’ enemy which abuses, blasphemes, and curses the God of Israel’s [defense] forces.”

This showing of religious fervor was not an isolated incident.

In an interview with the Hebrew press, he praised the miracles he experienced on the battlefield. He claimed that during an early-morning operation in Khuzaa, God sent “clouds of glory” to protect his troops, and they remained unseen until “the houses were blown up… and no longer posed any danger… It [was] like the Lord your God is walking with you to save you.”

At one point, the article on the news website Kooker describes Winter speaking as some of his subordinates come into his office. “My soldiers killed five terrorists out of the tunnel shaft,” he declares without specifying the location in Gaza. He raises his hands to the heaven. “Thank God, thank you God,” he says.

Winter’s strong religious foundation has a specific focus. He studied at the Bnei David yeshiva, built as part of the Eli settlement deep inside the occupied West Bank. Bnei David’s courses prepare its pupils for service in the Israeli military, specializing in leadership roles.

Indeed, settler influence in the Israeli military establishment is growing, thanks in part to the efforts of academies like Bnei David. The yeshiva’s website says that 24 classes have completed coursework (Winter was a graduate of the second) and as a result it has “2,500 enlistees” in the IDF; 50 percent became commissioned officers and “100 have chosen the army as their life-career and are steadily rising up the ranks of command.”

A contributing factor, according to Staff Sergeant J., who served in the Givati Brigade in the middle of the last decade, and does not want to be named, is that secular Israelis are now avoiding the military or declining to continue after mandatory service. “Those who do continue feel a religious and political duty,” he says. This has been discussed as a concern by Israeli academics and analysts for years.

The staff sergeant said that when he was in the Givati Brigade in 2007 or so, it was “openly secular.” He recalls “there was a group who had come from the yeshiva,” but “often they were uncomfortable… they felt sidelined.” As secular Israelis left, however, the vacancies were filled by settlers, he said.

Could any of this, or some of this, or none of this have affected the decision of three Givati soldiers to take their own lives? The Daily Beast reached out to several post-traumatic stress disorder specialists for their analysis.

“It is strange that they hadn’t seen a mental-health counselor,” said Mooli Lahad, an Israeli psychiatrist and psychotrauma specialist with over three decades of experience. He was citing reports that the Givati soldiers hadn’t received treatment. “This isn’t common for the IDF,” he said.

Lahad stressed that suicide usually has to do with pre-existing issues, such as depression, and an accumulation of factors can lead to a sense of hopelessness, which counseling helps to prevent.

“Sometimes, if there is a particularly macho culture, seeking help for depression or PTSD is seen as showing weakness, which is discouraged,” Lahad said. “If there’s a commander who thinks God is whispering in his ear, this can make things even more difficult.”

When asked about the similarities among the suicides—particularly the use of IDF weapons and the short time span—William Nash, a psychiatrist and former U.S. Navy captain who embedded with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq, said it could be attributed to a “copycat” phenomenon which is known to take place when there are outbreaks of multiple suicides.

“However, it doesn’t explain why they chose to do it,” said Nash. “It’s a stretch, but if it’s true that these suicides were motivated by… participation in these alleged atrocities, there must be hundreds more soldiers suffering.”

Col. Winter recently was replaced by Col. Yaron Finkleman, the commander of the Gaza North Brigade, in the latest round of appointments by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

According to the news service Ynet, Finkleman’s appointment is out of character for the military: This is the first time in 10 years that the commander of the Givatis doesn’t come from the brigade itself.

When asked previously if these controversies, including the suicides, were a factor in Winter being passed over for promotion, IDF spokesperson Libby Weiss responded that these decisions “come as a result of a thorough process which evaluates various factors.” The events in Gaza had “no bearing” on the decision and “Col. Winter played a crucial role in restoring security to the residents of Israel’s south.”

She went on to say that “preventing suicides during military service and dealing with issues of PTSD are of utmost importance to [us], and a large staff is dedicated to these matters.”


check out the original story here

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Clashes erupt between Israeli forces & Ethiopian Jews http://wearechange.org/clashes-erupt-between-israeli-forces-ethiopian-jews/ http://wearechange.org/clashes-erupt-between-israeli-forces-ethiopian-jews/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:18:38 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36073 We Are Change

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Why Is The U.S. Desperate To OK Slavery In Malaysia? http://wearechange.org/why-is-the-u-s-desperate-to-ok-slavery-in-malaysia/ http://wearechange.org/why-is-the-u-s-desperate-to-ok-slavery-in-malaysia/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:10:18 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36070 We Are Change

(HuffingtonPost) WASHINGTON — On Friday night, in […]

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(HuffingtonPost) WASHINGTON — On Friday night, in an impressive display of dysfunction, the U.S. Senate approved a controversial trade bill with a provision that the White House, Senate leadership and the author of the language himself wanted taken out.

The provision, which bars countries that engage in slavery from being part of major trade deals with the U.S., was written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). At the insistence of the White House, Menendez agreed to modify his language to say that as long as a country is taking “concrete” steps toward reducing human trafficking and forced labor, it can be part of a trade deal. Under the original language, the country that would be excluded from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is Malaysia.

But because the Senate is the Senate, it was unable to swap out the original language for the modification. (The chamber needed unanimous consent to make the legislative move, and an unknown senator or senators objected.) So the trade promotion authority bill that passed Friday includes the strong anti-slavery language, which the House will now work to take out to ensure that Malaysia (and, potentially, other countries in the future) can be part of the deal.
Observers are left with a deeper question: Why, in the year 2015, is the White House teaming up with Republican leaders essentially to defend the practice of slavery?

Understanding this is key to understanding why President Barack Obama has been pushing so aggressively for a trade deal that so many of his allies insist will harm American workers. It’s about global power, geopolitics and pushing back against the rise of China. And that starts with Malaysia.

How bad is Malaysia?

Unfortunately for Obama, Malaysia is a hub of human trafficking comparable, according to the State Department, to North Korea and Saudi Arabia. It falls in Tier 3, the lowest ranking a country can have in the State Department’s annual human trafficking report, which gauges a country’s actions against modern-day slavery.

Why is Malaysia so important?

A century ago, U.S. foreign policy focused on the brand-new country of Panama. Wars were started, coups were plotted, deals were struck, all toward the end of controlling access to its just-completed canal. Today the Panama Canal is still a global trade “chokepoint” that shipping must pass through. Another chokepoint, equally if not more important, is the Strait of Malacca, which lies between the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.


Unlike Senate Democrats and labor leaders, many experts on U.S.-China relations consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership essential. They argue that the deal, which the Obama administration is forging with 11 other Pacific nations, will show that Washington is not going to allow an expansionist Beijing to dominate the region with tactics ranging from bullying smaller nations to building island fortresses in disputed waters. A March 2015 report from the Council on Foreign Relations lists granting Obama trade promotion authority — which will grease the skids for the TPP to pass Congress — as the top way in which the legislators can ensure a smart U.S. response to China’s rise.

Malaysia, and the Strait of Malacca, is the lynchpin of that kind of thinking.

Why is the Strait of Malacca so critical?

That thin waterway links the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Through it last year passed 85 percent of China’s imported oil, according to the latest U.S. Department of Defense estimates. Imports provide 60 percent of the oil that China’s growing economy needs. (Note that the Defense Department is keeping this information.)

The U.S. Navy currently dominates this vital strait courtesy of warships that are based in Singapore (at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula) and tacitly welcomed by Malaysia. Both of those nations are perturbed and directly threatened by China’s muscular actions in their neighborhood. In a sign of its concern, Malaysia has even offered to expand the American military footprint in the region by hosting U.S. Navy aircraft.

For the Malaysians, the worry is not simply the Strait of Malacca. It is the idea that China may become a hegemon in the South China Sea. Beijing’s expansion there has directly infringed on waters claimed by Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan.

That region is already vital for global trade — 60 percent of international commerce travels through it — and potentially the future of energy because of its oil and gas deposits. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2010 that the U.S. had a national interest in maintaining free passage through the South China Sea. CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto revealed Tuesday that the U.S. may soon send aircraft and warships even closer to the contested islands being fortified by China.

By reaffirming ties to Malaysia through the TPP, the U.S. would secure its ability to pressure China — and punish it for disruptive behavior in the South China Sea and elsewhere– courtesy of the Strait of Malacca.

China has tried to diversify its supply of energy, through measures like building overland oil pipelines, including a pipeline to a Burmese port that lets ships bringing oil to China bypass the Strait of Malacca. But the just-released Pentagon report concludes that the strait and other sea lines will only become more important as China’s energy demand grows.

All of this makes a TPP without Malaysia a TPP that is far less strategically valuable to the U.S. — and that sends a much weaker signal to China.

Where’s this headed?

Yet congressional opponents are sticking to their guns as they argue that Malaysia should not be included in the deal at all. The U.S. has tacitly controlled the Strait of Malacca for decades, yet the American middle class has eroded nonetheless, with gains flowing to the top one percent instead. Critics of the deal ask why the American worker should be asked to suffer further simply to prop up a global system from which they don’t see the benefit.

While the modified language in the trade bill would require Malaysia (and other potential trade partners) to set forth plans to combat human trafficking, Democrats insist that isn’t enough. They argue that the U.S. has other leverage it should use: Malaysia would prefer to partner with the U.S., as China is more likely to make significant demands when it comes to control of the smaller nation, whereas the U.S. is largely content with control of shipping. That gives Malaysia an incentive to improve its record on human trafficking to become part of the TPP, rather than be pushed into China’s arms.

“If nothing changes, Malaysia should not be in this agreement,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told The Huffington Post after the Senate passed the trade promotion bill on Friday night.

Brown added that “no country should get in with that designation,” referring to Malaysia’s Tier 3 ranking. He said he plans to try to build momentum in the House against granting the president trade promotion authority and is hopeful that Republicans will be unable to tweak the anti-slavery language in the Senate bill.

If the House isn’t able to modify the anti-slavery language and thereby secure the U.S.’s chance to sign a deal with Malaysia, Brown’s goals could be accomplished — and Obama’s vision of a strong TPP and U.S. authority across the Pacific could be shattered.

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Shot down Spitfire pilot returning to lines with German prisoners; Peter During http://wearechange.org/shot-down-spitfire-pilot-returning-to-lines-with-german-prisoners-peter-during/ http://wearechange.org/shot-down-spitfire-pilot-returning-to-lines-with-german-prisoners-peter-during/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:00:40 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36066 We Are Change

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Chris Christie’s nothing-left-to-lose campaign http://wearechange.org/chris-christies-nothing-left-to-lose-campaign/ http://wearechange.org/chris-christies-nothing-left-to-lose-campaign/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:25:41 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36058 We Are Change

The New Jersey governor’s campaign is far less ambitiou […]

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall meeting at the Galley Hatch Restaurant in Hampton, N.H., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Christie is testing the waters as he considers a run for the Republican nomination for president in the nation's earliest presidential primary state. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall meeting at the Galley Hatch Restaurant in Hampton, N.H., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Christie is testing the waters as he considers a run for the Republican nomination for president in the nation’s earliest presidential primary state. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The New Jersey governor’s campaign is far less ambitious than anyone could have predicted a year ago. But that also makes him an unpredictable force in the GOP presidential primary.
By Alex Isenstad

When Chris Christie launches his presidential campaign Tuesday, it won’t look anything like the one he once envisioned.

Gone is the idea of an expansive, state-by-state primary election strategy. Iowa, despite the early visits and Christie’s cultivation of a relationship with Gov. Terry Branstad, is probably out the window, too. And forget about the prospect of a cash-flush campaign: The New Jersey governor is now expected to raise just a fraction of what his top opponents will rake in.
In a sign of how far Christie’s fortunes have fallen, he spent part of this weekend personally calling around to home state Republican legislators to nail down their support for his now long-shot presidential bid.

In place of the original plan — the one in place before the governor was battered by Bridgegate and the bottom fell out of his poll numbers — is a bank-shot strategy, a narrowly tailored approach that leaves Christie with little room for error.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks to reporters during a news conference following his signing of the state’s 2016 budget, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Trenton, N.J. Christie vetoed more than $1.6 billion from the 2016 budget approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed a roughly $34 billion budget into law. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The hope, according to advisers — who spent the weekend in a flurry of last-minute planning meetings — is that by exceeding expectations in debates and town hall events, and by performing well in a few select primary contests, he can re-establish himself as a top-tier candidate.

“Once he gets that momentum,” said Dale Florio, a leading Republican lobbyist in New Jersey and a staunch Christie ally, “you’ll see the whole dynamic of the race change.”

There is no state more central to the governor’s strategy than New Hampshire. It’s famous for its tradition of town hall meetings, which happen to be the governor’s signature event back home — and the preferred format he’s used throughout his two terms to promote his agenda. The state’s politics also work in Christie’s favor: It’s a Northeastern locale with a long history of favoring more moderate, independent-minded Republicans like Christie, and also has an open primary system, allowing independents and members from other parties to vote in the GOP primary.

To underscore the state’s importance to his prospects, Christie will hold a campaign event there on Tuesday evening, just hours after formally announcing his bid in New Jersey. He will remain in New Hampshire for most of the remainder of the week. Christie, who has dispatched a trusted aide, Matt Mowers, to run his New Hampshire campaign, has visited the state more than any other Republican candidate with the exception of former New York Gov. George Pataki, according to a count compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

“He’s been very popular in New Hampshire, and he’s going to spend a lot of time there,” said Ray Washburne, Christie’s finance chairman.

“I think this is where he’s going to cut his teeth, and be a state that, I believe, will be make or break for him,” said Walt Havenstein, a New Hampshire Republican who as the 2014 gubernatorial nominee developed a friendship with Christie.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves a policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The Senate pushed bipartisan trade legislation to the brink of final approval in a combined effort by President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders to rescue a measure that appeared all but dead less than two weeks ago.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

After New Hampshire holds its primary in early February, Christie’s advisers are hoping for a strong showing in a trifecta of blue states — Vermont, Massachusetts and Illinois — an unorthodox path that reflects his dire circumstances. Though at one time it was thought his plainspoken political style would win over Republicans across the nation, he’s fallen far behind in the polls in Iowa, which those close to Christie increasingly consider a reach. He’s also expected to tread lightly in Florida, which is likely to be dominated by two favorite sons, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Christie’s team believes he could yet surprise in some conservative parts of the country. A strong finish in New Hampshire, they argue, could position him to compete several days later in South Carolina, a state rich with Northeastern transplants. There, he’s maintained a relationship with the Republican governor, Nikki Haley, with whom he occasionally texts.

At the same time Christie is narrowing his political map, he’s preparing a campaign that will be more tightly budgeted than previously thought. Once a national fundraising powerhouse who hoped to convert his Republican Governors Association chairmanship into a financial launching pad for a presidential bid, Christie’s camp now estimates that he will raise only $20 million to $30 million by the end of the year, according to several sources briefed on the plans — an amount that is expected to pale in comparison to what Bush, Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are expected to raise. Already, Bush is believed to have taken in around $100 million; Rubio, Walker and Cruz are said to have banked around $20 million to $30 million apiece.

In the weeks leading up to the launch, Christie’s aides have been scrambling to fill his coffers. Last week, they sent supporters a fundraising solicitation asking them to raise up to $54,000 by July 17, and offering rewards such as invitations to a debate watch party, a fall retreat and a private, Christie-hosted reception. Much of the funding for Christie’s campaign is expected to come in the form of large contributions from such benefactors as Ken Langone, the Home Depot co-founder, and Paul Fireman, the former Reebok CEO.

US Vice President Joe Biden looks on as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US President Barack Obama speak to the press after a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Christie has turned to an assortment of tactics to address his fundraising struggles. In some meetings with top donors, said a source close to Christie, he’s sought to slow Bush’s momentum by pointing out that the former Florida governor had endured a rocky rollout. He’s also turned to his wife, Mary Pat, a former Wall Street bond trader who’s been wooing prospective donors. On Saturday morning, some supporters received emails from the New Jersey first lady informing them that a campaign website had been established.

Christie’s team doesn’t deny that he’ll be financially outgunned, and they acknowledge that his political operation will be considerably leaner than those of his rivals. But they note that the governor, a scrappy campaigner, has been in this position before: In his successful 2009 unseating of Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, a self-funding former investment banker, he won despite being outspent by $12 million in a strongly Democratic state.

“He had a message, and he had the discipline to get the message out. I think you’ll see him do the same thing nationally,” said George Gilmore, the influential chairman of New Jersey’s Ocean County Republican Party and a Christie loyalist.

The governor retains a tight grip on his state’s GOP, but he’s also watched some power players drift away. Two longtime Christie friends, Joe Kyrillos, a state senator who chaired Christie’s 2009 campaign, and Woody Johnson, the New York Jets owner, have endorsed Bush, who will host two fundraising events in New Jersey in July. Another former Christie ally, investment manager Joe Schmuckler, recently gave his support to Carly Fiorina.

In the final days leading up to his campaign launch, Christie has had to work to get his state’s political establishment behind him. During one meeting with Republican legislators about the state’s budget last week, the governor said that he’d love to have their endorsements; over the weekend, Christie and his top aides followed up with phone calls asking them to get on board. Many, however, have remained undecided.

With so little to lose, the governor is something of an unpredictable force. As Christie — who even by the standards of New Jersey’s rough-and tumble political culture has distinguished himself for his willingness to go negative — tries to make up ground in polls, advisers say he’s prepared to attack his rivals. Earlier this month, during an appearance at a Republican cattle call in Utah, the New Jersey governor castigated his senatorial rivals for knowing little about how to govern — especially Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. “He’s made America weaker and more vulnerable,” Christie said, ripping into Paul’s opposition to the PATRIOT Act, “and he’s done it for his own personal and political gain.”

Even with the odds stacked against him, Christie’s allies are fond of pointing something out: He’s a political warrior.

“Never,” said Gilmore, “underestimate Chris Christie.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/chris-christies-nothing-left-to-lose-campaign-119521.html#ixzz3eYzVjdex

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New WikiLeaks Documents Reveal NSA Spied On Top French Companies http://wearechange.org/new-wikileaks-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-top-french-companies/ http://wearechange.org/new-wikileaks-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-top-french-companies/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:21:34 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36055 We Are Change

(techCrunch.com) Following last week’s eavesdropping re […]

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(techCrunch.com) Following last week’s eavesdropping reports, WikiLeaks shared new documents with Libération and Mediapart. This time, the new documents reveal that the NSA was spying on France’s best performing companies for economic intelligence purposes.

In addition to eavesdropping French Economy Ministers François Baroin and Pierre Moscovici between 2004 and 2012, the NSA gathered as much data as possible on big French companies. In particular, the agency wanted to know more about the companies that signed expensive export contracts for industrial goods, such as nuclear power plants, planes, high speed trains, etc.

According to an economic espionage order, the NSA intercepted all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million in many different industries, such as telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and environmental and healthcare technologies.

A second economic espionage order called “France: Economic Developments” shows that information was then shared with other U.S. agencies and secretaries, including the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Commerce, the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of Treasury. Eventually, this data could have been used to help sign export deals.

According to France’s IT security agency Anssi, the NSA could have spied on at least a hundred French companies, including most public CAC40 companies. Airbus filed a complaint for intelligence gathering earlier today.

The second document also states that the NSA could share this information with its closest allies — the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It’s unclear whether the NSA is still actively spying on French companies. Today’s news is particularly interesting as it proves that the NSA is not only a geopolitical intelligence agency. It also plays an important role when it comes to economic intelligence.

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