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A new conservative manifesto for the 21st century

This is a helpful intellectual exercise that many could benefit from participating in. People ought to write their own ideal political manifesto and send it to their existing political representatives as a source of inspiration and ideas.

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With definitions of left and right in flux, even among those who understood the historic definitions, it has become necessary to offer one possible solution to the crisis. This exercise is not meant to produce a document that everyone will agree upon, but rather it is designed to encourage others to peacefully contribute to the wider debate.

These solutions could be easily applied to the domestic affairs and international relations of almost any secular republic which respects mainstream religious traditions and cultures.

I. A Commitment To Sovereignty

 The sovereignty of all states is absolute. No state has the right to interfere in any way with the affairs of another state, up to and including the threat or execution of war. Any state that illegally invades another will not be able to take recourse to international law if vengeance of any kind is extracted on the aggressor state by the wider international community. The sole exceptions for this provision are as follows,

a. The Reunification of Peoples 

If a people who are stateless or living inside of borders they do not consider their mother country, they may conduct a democratic referendum or exercise a similar legal apparatus in order to vote to re-join the mother country. In all circumstances unilateral declarations of independence will be illegal. All such countries must vote to re-join an existing state with whom the peoples can prove an unalienable historic or otherwise compelling connection.

Under new provisions of international law, the mother country shall be forced to adhere to the results of such a decision by a displaced people except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

The state from which a people’s decide to withdraw must in all circumstances refrain from stopping the people from peacefully exercising their right to self-determination under the penalty of international law.

b. A Vote By The United Nations 

As currently inscribed in International Law, in the most extraordinary of circumstances, the United Nations can agree to send or authorise a limited military contingent to a country in order to correct certain violations of the norms of humanity. This must only be exercised in the most limited of circumstances.

c. The Caroline Test 

If a nation feels inexorably threatened by a nearby state, the Caroline Test provides for a limited action in order to correct this security threat. If a nation’s actions do not conform to this test, the United Nations must immediately react to restrain any further such actions.

II. Recognition of International Bodies 

The United Nations must recognise major international bodies and bring their activities under its jurisdiction in certain circumstances. These international bodies form an important core of global economic, military, security and cultural exchange.

If one of these bodies acts in violation of international law, it must be subject to the same penalties as individual states.

Such bodies include but are not limited to: NATO, EU,  SCO, ASEAN, OPEC, CIS, BRICS, AU, WTO, World Bank etc…

The United  Nations must supervise and allow for any nation’s withdrawal from such a group in the event of a confrontation. The United Nations must furthermore protect the right for any nation to withdraw from any such body in peace and without intimidation.

III. Nuclear Weapons 

No nation shall take it upon itself to encourage the proliferation of, nor threatened against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any state.

All states will be allowed to peacefully develop nuclear technology including weapons and all such states shall be forced to declare the status and nature of such a nuclear arsenal to the United Nations under penalty of sanctions or limited military action.

IV. Free Speech and Political Parties 

It is the duty of every responsible government to protect the rights of political free speech among its citizens. A nation does not have the right to prohibit the formation of any political party unless it openly glorifies fascism or religious sectarianism. It shall be henceforth understood that appealing to a particular segment of a region or state is different than an outwardly sectarian political organisation.

V. Limits On Non Political Free Speech 

The publication and/or public display of any and all obscene materials must be strictly prohibited. The penalty for violating this provision shall be life imprisonment with a special circumstance of capital punishment as a sentence for those who aim to corrupt the minds of children.

Wilfully insulting a state recognised religion will be prosecuted under obscenity laws.

The practice of the occult shall be prohibited under obscenity laws.

The wider definition of obscene materials is to be determined by a broad range of experts and ordinary citizens taken from a cross section of society with a doctor of jurisprudence to make the final decision.

VI. Human Rights 

The following shall be considered human rights which no state or private body has the right to prohibit or infringe upon. When such rights are not obtained on a voluntary basis in the private sector, the state must insure the provision of such rights for all citizens and their families:

–Housing

–Water

–Basic foodstuffs

–Basic medical care

–Telephone and internet access

–Basic transportation

–Education until the age of 15 with certain provisions for free higher education to those who qualify based on merit

–The right to common access to sporting and arts/cultural facilities

–The right to a clean natural environment

–The right to a productive daily activity in the event of unemployment

The definitions inscribed above shall not under any circumstances be expanded.

VII. Capital Punishment

Those found guilty of the following shall be executed by firing squad:

–Crimes against humanity

–War crimes

–Genocide

–Murder without provocation

–Rape when combined with common assault

–Child molestation

–Kidnapping

–Making a false accusation against a fellow citizen

–Burglary

–Any act of theft which involves common assault or the threat of common assault

–Appearing in public when under the influence of narcotics

–The theft or vandalism of property worth more than $25,000

VIII: Medical Regulations

The state shall not regulate the practice of qualified physicians and nurses, but shall regulate the production,provision and distribution of all prescription medications and narcotics by statute.

Any doctor who is asked by an adult to perform a cruel or unusual operation shall be obliged to recommend the patient for psychoanalytic evaluation which may or may not result in said individual’s incarceration in a correctional facility for the mentally ill.

The law will provide harsh penalties for any and all medically unnecessary operations on individuals under the age of 15.

IX: The Family 

The state shall allow responsible, registered religious organisations to regulate provisions of family life in most circumstances. This includes but is not limited to, ordaining marriages, confirming divorces, registering a birth, procuring non-violent rites of passage for children, making funeral arrangements.

Non-religious people will be able to enter such agreements via a legally recognised written or implied contract conducted by private parties with the oversight of a qualified lawyer should both parties seek such legal advice.

If in any case the state is made aware of a religious body engaging in practices that are harmful to children or society at large, those found guilty shall be sentenced to life imprisonment and their organisations shall be outlawed.

X: The Right To Bear Arms 

The legal right to own a firearm for defensive purposes shall not be infringed upon by the state except in the cases where one one has been convicted of a crime or is deemed to be mentally unsound.

XI: Tax and Business

The state shall regulate and monitor the activities of all corporations whose annual net income is over $200,000. All small and medium sized businesses who net less than $200,000 per annum shall not be required to pay any tax beyond a basic sales tax and other taxation required by local authorities.

Monopolies of any sort shall be strictly prohibited.

Those who have ownership in a media outlet whose annual net income is over $100,000 shall be prohibited from serving as a director or shareholder of any other company irrespective of the size.

All individuals who own companies which operate in foreign nations must obtain a special certificate from the state.

XII: Individual Taxation 

Individuals earning under $30,000 per annum will not pay any income tax.

Individuals earning between 30,001 and $99,999 will pay a flat rate of 14% on income excluding savings.

Individuals earning over $100,000 will pay a flat rate of 25%.

No local or regional authorities will be allowed to tax income.

XIII: Secret Societies

All secret societies will be outlawed through small private clubs of a non-sectarian nature will be allowed to operate in the private sector. All such private entities shall be forced to publish their full membership list to the public or else force being shut down.

XIV: Equality 

All citizens will be equal before the law. Private sector discrimination of individuals will be prohibited in all cases except in private homes.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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Bercow blocks Brexit vote, May turns to EU for lifeline (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s latest Brexit dilemma, as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, shocked the world by citing a 1604 precedent that now effectively blocks May’s third go around at trying to pass her treacherous Brexit deal through the parliament.

All power now rests with the Brussels, as to how, if and when the UK will be allowed to leave the European Union.

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Via Bloomberg


Theresa May claims Brexit is about taking back control. Ten days before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union, it looks like anything but.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s intervention, citing precedent dating back to 1604, to rule out a repeat vote on May’s already defeated departure deal leaves the prime minister exposed ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels.

Bercow, whose cries of “Orrdurrr! Orrdurrr!’’ to calm rowdy lawmakers have gained him a devoted international following, is now the pivotal figure in the Brexit battle. May’s team privately accuse him of trying to frustrate the U.K.’s exit from the EU, while the speaker’s admirers say he’s standing up for the rights of parliament against the executive.

If just one of the 27 other states declines May’s summit appeal to extend the divorce timetable, then the no-deal cliff edge looms for Britain’s departure on March 29. If they consent, it’s unclear how May can meet Bercow’s test that only a substantially different Brexit agreement merits another vote in parliament, since the EU insists it won’t reopen negotiations.

Caught between Bercow and Brussels, May’s room for maneuver is shrinking. Amid rumblings that their patience with the U.K. is near exhaustion, EU leaders are girding for the worst.

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President Putin signs law blocking fake news, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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