Saturday, February 24, 2018

ACLU's Identity Politics Greatest Threat to our Bill of Rights

There are many signs of American collapse. One of the most scary is the fact that the American Civil Liberties Union no longer knows what are the civil liberties it purports to defend. Identity Politics has transformed civil rights into privileges for victim groups.

Yesterday (February 22, 2018) I received a 50-state survey from the ACLU. The envelope in which the questionnaire arrived said the survey was about how “to protect civil liberties during the Trump Presidency.” However, the survey (essentially a fundraiser) did not mention a single civil liberty contained in the Bill of Rights and added as amendments to the US Constitution.

Nothing about the sweeping away by the criminal Bush regime of habeas corpus with indefinite detention. No mention of the criminal Obama regime’s kill list, which swept away due process by executing US citizens on allegation alone without trial, evidence, and conviction. Nothing about the sweeping away by both criminal regimes of the prohibition against spying on citizens without warrants. No mention of the shutdown of free speech and protest or of the destruction of civil liberties by unaccountable police who brutalize, rob, and murder Americans at will.

In place of civil liberties, the ACLU has Identity Politics. The ACLU “civil rights” survey is concerned with the civil rights of illegal aliens, of women to have abortions and publicly financed birth control, the “fundamental rights of LGBT people,” and Muslim bans. The civil liberties listed in the Constitution do not qualify for concern; only invented rights that are not listed in the Bill of Rights.

The letter accompanying the questionnaire does mention the First Amendment and suppression of free speech “emanating from the White House.” I mean, really, the Bush and Obama regimes decimated free speech and imprisoned whistleblowers. Julian Assange has been imprisoned for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for publishing leaked material revealing criminal and deceitful behavior of the US government. By the time of Trump’s election, the First Amendment was a dead letter civil right.

In the ACLU’s Identity Politics, white people, especially white heterosexual males, have no rights. They are not protected by quotas, political correctness, or hate speech prohibitions. No one has to worry about offending a white by destroying statues of white males or church plaques commemorating George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Try destroying a statue of Martin Luther King. A white person can be called every name in the book, and is. White DNA is said to be an abomination. Anyone who said black DNA or homosexual DNA was an abomination would face hate crime charges.

Even men-hating white feminists jump on the anti-white bandwagon, denouncing white heterosexual–not homosexual–males as misogynist. The feminists reserve their hate for the men attracted to women.

War is the greatest destroyer of civil liberty. Indefinite detention, execution without due process, spying without warrants, suppression of the First Amendment are all consequences of the use of 9/11 to put the US on a war basis. The replacement of civil liberty with a police state is said to be necessary in order to protect us from Muslim terrorists, expanded to include undefined “domestic extremists.” Currently the US is being put on an even greater war basis with Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and even Venezuela declared as threats to America.

The ACLU shares responsibility for the explosion of the threat level from al Qaeda to every country that “threatens” America by having its own independent foreign policy and insisting on its sovereignty. It was Trump who said he was going to normalize relations with Russia, and it was the ACLU and the entirety of the liberal/progressive/left who jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon and went after him with the orchestrated conspiracy of Russiagate. What the liberal/progressive/left did was to drive Trump into the arms of the military/security complex.

Clearly, the liberal/progressive/left and the ACLU are a greater menace to the Bill of Rights than Donald Trump.

Pesticides Found in Three-Quarters of Non-Organic Fruit in France

Sustainable Pulse | Feb 23, 2018

A recent study published by the French NGO Générations Future revealed that 72.6% of non-organic fruit contained pesticide residues EURACTIV reports.

The report, based on official data from the French General Directorate for Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), looks at the presence of pesticide residues in samples from 19 fruit and 33 vegetables in France.

From 2012 to 2016, 72.6% of non-organic fruit and 41.1% of non-organic vegetables were contaminated by pesticides. Worryingly enough, 2.7% of fruit samples and 3.5% of vegetable samples displayed pesticide levels above the maximum residue limit (MRL).

The most contaminated fruit are grapes (89% of samples), clementines and tangerines (88.4%), and cherries (87.7%). Furthermore, 6.6% of cherry samples and 4.8% of mango samples exceed the maximum residue level.

The most contaminated vegetables are: celery (84.6%), fresh herbs (74.5%), and endives (72.7%), 29.4% of the fresh herbs sample exceeded MRL (excluding parsley, chives and basil).

“Bearing in mind the effects of pesticides on human health, these figures highlight the absolute necessity of changing the agricultural model,” said S&D MEP, Eric Andrieu. “We need to support our farmers in the transition to production methods that are more environmentally, and consumer health friendly.”

The secretary of state at the ecological transition ministry, Brune Poirson, stated in a tweet that the report “stressed the need to stop the uncontrolled use of agrochemical products such as glyphosate”.

Glyphosate, the main active ingredient in RoundUp, Monsanto’s famous herbicide is considered “probably carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organisation (WHO) agency.

However, in December 2017, following a month-long debate and fierce opposition from citizens, the Commission decided to renew the glyphosate marketing licence for five years.

As a follow-up, the Parliament set up a special committee on pesticides (PEST) to look into the EU’s authorisation procedure for pesticides, as well as the “potential failures in how substances are scientifically evaluated and approved”.

At a European level, the current approval procedure does not allow for the rapid removal of dangerous substances from the market, as they are still sold while awaiting a renewal of their licence, as was the case for glyphosate.

Furthermore, the 2009 directive only allows the ban on dangerous substances that have been approved after the implementation of the regulation.

“Our PEST committee will take advantage of all the procedural possibilities to guarantee access to healthy food to our citizens. The link between health and food will be a common thread running through our work”, said Eric Andrieu.

Comment: Remember that pesticides are INSIDE the fruit and cannot be washed off. It is best to buy only organically derived fruit.

BOMBSHELL: Florida mass shooting was ALLOWED to happen: Four deputies stood down, led by egomaniacal sheriff exposed as an anti-gun Democrat operative seeking fame

Natural News | Feb 23, 2018 | Mike Adams

With each passing day, the official story of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting continues to unravel. In its place is emerging an increasingly horrifying conspiracy involving Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose four deputies appear to have been ordered to stand down and allow the shooting to unfold in order to achieve a higher body count (for political gain).

Astonishing, CNN is accidentally confirming a shocking revelation that adds additional evidence to this conspiracy. In a Feb. 23, 2018 story by the fake news propagandist known as Jake Tapper, CNN admits that four Broward County sheriff’s deputies stood by and watched the shooting take place, refusing to enter the building and stop the shooter. As Tapper writes:

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school.
…Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school, Coral Springs sources tell CNN.

Until this report, we were all aware that one deputy stood by and did nothing while the shooting took place, but this report from CNN raises that number to four, pointing to the likelihood that this was a coordinated stand down order.

Who gave the order? Most likely the deputies’ boss: An anti-gun sheriff, registered as a Democrat, who is said to be “best friends” with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the same Clintonista operative who helped engineer numerous election conspiracies of fraud, destruction of evidence and lying to the government.  Schultz, in case you didn’t remember, is that same Democrat operative who threatened the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for refusing to turn over a laptop that contained incriminating evidence against Imran Awan, a foreign national widely outed for involvement in data theft and national security breaches. As The Daily Caller reports:

 Imran Awan, his wife, his two brothers Abid and Jamal, and a friend all worked as IT aides for dozens of Democratic members of Congress. Shortly after WikiLeaks published the Democratic National Committee’s emails and during the lead up to the 2016 election, investigators discovered indications that they were using a server “for nefarious purposes” and “could be reading and/or removing information,” according to a briefing. They were banned from the House network in February 2017, but Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, refused to fire Awan.

Sheriff Scott Israel outed as an anti-gun Democrat operative

Sheriff Scott Israel, the sheriff of Broward County where the shooting took place, is widely known to be an anti-gun Democrat operative. For example, during a recent Sean Hannity broadcast entitled “Defending Our Schools,” aired Feb. 22, 2018, a caller outed Israel for colluding with Democrat anti-gun schemers, saying:

I graduated from Stoneman-Douglas in 2004, … the sheriff of my county down here Scott Israel is a politician. He’s a Leftist. He is best friends with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch. He’s not a sheriff. So when people look at our community now because it’s been thrust into the spotlight and they talk about the sheriff’s department, let’s just be real clear… he is not a sheriff, he’s a politician who masquerades behind a badge. The first thing out of his mouth last week… was gun control. (Unintelligible)… Didn’t say hi to our governor  at the press conference, and talked about defeating people who take money from the NRA.

Scott Israel, it turns out, was accused of public corruption long before this shooting. As reported by the Florida Sun Sentinel:

Since winning one of the most powerful elected posts in Broward, Sheriff Scott Israel has hired from the ranks of his political supporters, building a community outreach wing his critics say doubles as a re-election team… A log of employees hired by the sheriff shows 10 workers were hired since 2013 into “outreach” roles, their salaries totalling $634,479… Israel’s opponents say he’s built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office. They say the money could be better spent, particularly after the sheriff complained about not having enough funding to secure the county courthouse, where a murder suspect recently escaped.

In other words, Sheriff Scott Israel uses taxpayer money to fund his own political re-election “outreach” scheme, shoring up his public image while failing to invest financial resources on stopping murderers.

And what better way to steal the limelight for a re-election than to order a “stand down” during a school shooting, then claim to be the savior?

“What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Ghandi?” Israel asked critics, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Sheriff Israel’s department had logged 20 calls on the school shooter before the mass murder event… they KNEW he was about to commit murder

Adding to the damning evidence against Sheriff Israel, his department had received 20 calls warning about Nikolas Cruz before he carried out the mass shooting. Yet Israel’s office did nothing. Were they ordered to stand down and let the massacre take place, then ordered to allow the shooting to be carried out, without interference?

“Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Friday that his office found that it had received approximately 20 calls related to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspected of carrying out Florida’s deadliest high school shooting that left 17 people dead,” reports The Washington Examiner:

CNN reported that the sheriff’s department had been called to Cruz’s house more than 30 times since 2010. According to one incident report unearthed by the news network, professionals and officers wrote that Cruz suffers from mental illness and had mentioned he was interested in purchasing a gun.
Even more alarmingly, Israel’s office had been specifically warned that Cruz was poised to carry out a mass shooting. As reported by Zero Hedge:

…the most serious warning came on November 30, 2017, when a caller located in Massachusetts advised that Cruz was collecting knives and was likely to conduct a school shooting. The caller was concerned Cruz would kill himself and “be a school shooter in the making.” They believed that Cruz’s weapons were kept at a friend’s house.

Listen the Sheriff Scott Israel regurgitate Democrat anti-gun talking points in this Laura Loomer video clip (note, the audio is very poor quality):

Here’s the picture that’s shaping up of a dark conspiracy to sacrifice innocent children in order to target the Second Amendment

What does this all mean? Increasingly, it looks like the school shooting massacre was allowed to take place by Scott Israel, making sure the disturbed, deranged teen was never arrested or even detained for a mental health evaluation. They knew he would eventually pop off on a deadly rampage, and they did nothing to stop it.

Once the shooting began, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Israel’s deputies were ordered to stand down, making sure the shooter had sufficient time to achieve a high enough body count that would catapult Scott Israel into the national spotlight, gaining him political points while launching a new, nationwide anti-gun initiative that has always been the “end game” goal of Democrat operatives like Obama, Clinton and Schultz.

Consider: Who gains from this mass shooting? Who had the motive?

Clearly, the Democrats raked in huge gains. Not only did they immediately start fundraising off the tragedy, they are also exploiting the dead and traumatized children as weapons to target their political enemies (conservatives and the NRA). CNN also chalked up huge gains from the event, gaining a huge, nationwide audience for its 100% fake, staged “town hall” circus that looked more like an episode of Jerry Springer than anything resembling a serious news event.

Even more importantly, the school shooting shifted the news narrative away from the uncovering of criminal conspiracies involving FBI traitors James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and other deep state operatives who are being increasingly outed by congressional investigations.

None of this would have been possible of even one of Israel’s deputies had entered the school and engaged Nikolas Cruz with return fire. Such an action — for which these deputies are well trained, by the way — would have immediately halted the casualties and ended the bloodshed. Yet there wasn’t a single Broward County sheriff’s deputy who entered the building during the mass shooting.
They literally stood by and did nothing while gunshots rang out and children were slaughtered.

That this happened is not in dispute. Even the Coral Springs police — who rushed to the scene, entered the building and ended the slaughter — are fully aware that Sheriff Israel and his deputies were deliberately engaged in what can only be called “dereliction of duty.” As reported by CNN, authored by none other than Jake Tapper:

The resentment among Coral Springs officials toward Broward County officials about what they perceived to be a dereliction of duty may have reached a boiling point at a vigil the night of February 15, where, in front of dozens of others, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. A source familiar with the conversation tells CNN that Goodrum was upset that the Broward deputies had remained outside the school while kids inside could have been bleeding out, among other reasons.

“Instead of rushing in, several Broward sheriff’s deputies waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while a killer gunned down schoolchildren, according to other officers on the scene,” reports The Sun Sentinel. “In all, at least three deputies waited outside, including School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, police sources told the Sun Sentinel.”

My assessment as an award-winning independent journalist and investigator

In my assessment, none of this was an accident. There are no coincidences in the “no holds barred” bloodsport of politics and gun control. The Left learned very well from Sandy Hook that if enough children are murdered, Democrats can gain tremendous traction on their anti-Second Amendment narrative. Have no doubt that Democrats would easily sacrifice a few dozen children of it means winning the 2018 mid-terms and impeaching President Trump.

Here’s what I believe actually happened:
  1. Over the last two years, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel became aware of a deranged teen and his threats to carry out mass murder, then realized he could exploit the situation for his own political gain.
  2. In order to exploit the situation, when the mass shooting event began, Israel ordered his deputies to stand down, ensuring a large body count. His deputies stood by and intentionally did nothing. The shooting would have been even worse if not for the Coral Springs Police who rushed to the scene, breached the building and halted the violence.
  3. Immediately after the mass shooting took place, Scott Israel sought out the TV cameras and claimed credit for halting the shooting, immediately framing himself as a “savior” character — remember, he likens himself to Abraham Lincoln — while calling for anti-gun legislation to “save the children.” (Wow, what a God-like savior!)
  4. His actions also gain major points with his Democrat operative friends like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has been at the center of every major political scam and scandal over the last two years, including the DNC’s fraudulent vote rigging against Bernie Sanders.
It’s clear to me that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is an anti-gun political hack, a Democrat operative, a schemer and a liar. One thing I’ve learned over all the years of working as an award-winning independent journalist and investigator is that Democrats will easily sacrifice children to achieve sufficient political gain. In exactly the same way that Eric Holder and Barack Obama ran Operation Fast & Furious to have Americans murdered in the quest for gun control, it looks like Sheriff Scott Israel oversaw the “allowed mass killing” of schoolchildren in Florida in order to elevate his own fame and fortune while furthering his political party’s gun control agenda, built on the dead bodies of innocent children who didn’t have to die that day… if only just one of Israel’s deputies would have entered the building and engaged the killer.

That’s why today, I call on President Trump to initiate a federal investigation into Sheriff Scott Israel’s department to determine why his deputies were ordered to stand down while this shooting was under way. There’s no question in my mind that any sufficiently rigorous investigation will turn up convincing evidence that Sheriff Israel was complicit in the deaths of those high school children and teachers who were killed.

And yes, for the record, I am claiming that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is complicit in the deaths of those children. The evidence is obvious, and the pattern is clear. This is the way Democrats routinely operate to achieve their political goals or cover their tracks. (Yes, Seth Rich was murdered by DNC operatives.)

Palestinians Slam Planned US Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Anti War | Feb 24, 2018 | Jason Ditz

Palestinian officials have issued statements today slamming the US for the announcement that the US Embassy in Israel will be relocated into Jerusalem in May. The move follows the US having recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator on the peace process was particularly pointed in his comments, saying that the US was destroying the two-state solution and “provoking the feelings of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Christians around the globe.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office said the move was “unacceptable” and that it was creating a new obstacle to attempts to reach a peace deal. Palestinian officials have broadly been clear they don’t view the US as a suitable arbiter for the peace process anymore.

Rather, Abbas and others have suggested the UN should try to start peace talks through some alternative avenue using multiple nations as mediators, reiterating that they don’t feel the US is able to be impartial in such efforts.

Trump’s Federal Reserve Pick Wants to Put Metal Chips in Cash to Track Every Dollar and Tax It

In the state’s relentless pursuit to scrutinize and control every citizen, including monitoring, tracking, and especially taxing their income, untraceable physical cash has long been a shield against such tyranny. However, thanks to Donald Trump’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, anonymous purchases, deposits, and savings with cash could soon be a thing of the past.

In November 2017, central banking proponent and Keynesian economist Marvin Goodfriend was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill one of the vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He was then confirmed by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to advance.

Goodfriend is a central banking insider who’s spent decades moving in and out of government and central banks and his ideas are nothing short of Orwellian.

While his resume may make him seem like a qualified member of the corrupt and insidious Federal Reserve System, he’s proposed and openly advocated for one of the most horrific plans a free society (somewhat) has ever seen—tracking cash.

Reuters reports:
Goodfriend’s idea was to insert magnetic strips into the bills. Each time the cash was returned to a bank, the money would be taxed at a pre-determined rate. That would discourage individuals from hoarding cash and remove one obstacle for central bankers in setting negative rates.
Negative interest rates are employed to incentivize banks to lend money more freely and businesses and individuals to invest, lend, and spend money rather than pay a fee to keep it safe.

However, it is little more than theft. Instead of paying you interest on the money you give them to store and subsequently use as reserves to make these loans, when banks are strapped for cash, they call the theft of your money “negative interest.”

Goodfriend is an advocate for both negative interest rates and tracking your cash—and this person is about to have a leadership position inside America’s central bank.

Under the ostensible idea of reducing quantitative easing, Goodfriend would apply a tax directly to cash—stealing money from already taxed dollars—by tracking who is using it. According to Goodfriend, US currency should include tracking devices that let the government tax private possession of dollar bills—for your own good, of course.

“The magnetic strip could visibly record when a bill was last withdrawn from the banking system. A carry tax could be deducted from each bill upon deposit according to how long the bill was in circulation,” Goodfriend wrote in his proposal.

What could possibly go wrong?

The idea of tracking cash with magnetic strips or RFID chips is such a horrific idea that two unlikely senators from opposite sides of the aisle have come forward to vehemently oppose the Goodfriend appointment.

As Reuters notes again, the idea of a tax on cash is politically toxic. Senators Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren – two lawmakers often on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum – have denounced Goodfriend’s idea, and may now put his nomination in jeopardy.

We think that is a good idea.

Rand Paul’s father, the esteemed Dr. Ron Paul has been a long-time advocate against such Orwellian moves to track cash and has been fighting them for decades.

“The whole idea is preposterous. The notion that we’re going to tax somebody because they decide to be frugal and hold a couple of dollars is economic planning at its worst,” then-Congressman Ron Paul said. “This idea that you can correct some of the evil they’ve (the Federal Reserve) already created with another tax is just ridiculous.”

Four years after ‘Euromaidan,’ corruption is still king in Ukraine

RT | Feb 22, 2018 | Bryan MacDonald

Four years ago this weekend, Ukraine’s democratically-elected, albeit deeply corrupt, government was overthrown in a Western-backed coup which set off a chain reaction of events, tearing one of Europe’s largest countries asunder.

The “EuroMaidan” movement pledged to wipe out corruption, improve living standards and integrate Ukraine into the west. On all counts, it has failed miserably.

In 2014, Ukrainian incomes were already paltry. But today, not only does the country compete with Moldova for the dubious distinction of having the lowest salaries in Europe, its GDP per capita is now below El Salvador and Libya and wedged between Laos and Vietnam in raw dollar terms. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, it did manage to rise four places in the Doing Business 2018 ranking of the World Bank.

At the same time, the European Union is increasingly frustrated at Ukraine’s failure to reform. Indeed, only this week, Brussels scrapped a €29 billion border checkpoint scheme amid rancor over Kiev’s failure to deliver on certain promises. The move came after it emerged that a firm specializing in installing ventilation units had been given the contract, for reasons unknown.

Steal Liberally

And this brings us to Ukraine’s main problem: Corruption. Maidan promised to usher in a new era of transparency. But, in reality, the resultant financial collapse didn’t curb the hunger of its ravenous officials and business leaders. Instead, after a brief interregnum following the change of power, they simply took a larger share of the smaller pie. Thus, the pain has been inflicted on ordinary citizens, while the elite continue to enjoy the high living standards to which they’ve become accustomed.

For instance, at New Year’s, while the average Ukrainian struggled to put together a celebration on their meagre salaries, the elite partied in style. Instead of showing empathy towards victims of the economic disaster he has helped to create, President Petro Poroshenko “took a secret, vastly expensive, week-long Christmas vacation in the Maldives,according to the Kiev Post. The newspaper alleged that the Oligarch dropped $500,000 on the seven-day vacation for ten people. An amount equivalent to over 189 years pay for the typical worker in his country.

They say a fish rots from the head and Poroshenko’s poor example swiftly trickled down, with Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko reported to have paid at least $65,000 for a Seychelles trip around the same time. To the astonishment of observers, Lutsenko then claimed his holiday “was nothing excessive,” adding “this is something a typical middle-class Ukrainian can afford.” Also, as it happens, the cost of Lutsenko’s trip amounted to almost double his $36,000 annual declared income.
Of course, the extravagance of the Ukrainian elite is nothing new. And it’s been well documented how ousted President Viktor Yanukovich built a palace near Kiev, complete with pet Ostriches and a golf course.

But Maidan was supposed to change this. And the entire movement was based on an almost messianic belief that it would end Ukraine’s original sin of corruption. Yet, despite these lofty ideals, the leaders it spawned have more in common with the Borgias than with Saint Francis of Assisi.

Counting Horror

The human toll of Maidan has also been extraordinary. Given the post-coup/revolution regime was dominated by western Ukrainians, an insurgency kicked off in the east and south, with ethnic-Russian locals fearful their culture would fall victim to nationalists. Thus, backed by varying degrees of Moscow support, Crimea, and parts of Lugansk and the Donbas separated from Ukraine. And while the former (where thousands of Russian troops were already legally stationed) enjoyed a smooth divorce, the latter pair have endured a horrible war, with over 10,000 deaths so far. No end appears to be in sight, as Kiev refuses to fulfil its obligations under the Minsk peace agreements, and Moscow shows few signs of softening its stance on how the deal must be implemented in full.

The chaos has brought disillusion and hardship. Today, around 60% of Ukrainians live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, over one million (mostly young people) have moved to Poland since Maidan and, as of last November, 427,240 were seeking asylum in Russia. That is in addition to the 2.6 million Ukrainians already in Russia, half of them ‘guest workers.’

On an absurd note, Vice News reported three years ago that many of the leading activists who inflicted Maidan on the Ukrainian people had already left the country within twelve months of the disaster they wrought. Evidently not willing to pay for what they had helped to break.

Sad Truth

Yet, if we are looking for the root causes of Maidan, and the political turmoil that still grips Ukraine (opposition activist Mikhail Saakashvili was banned from the country for three years this week, we need to look beyond labels like pro-Western or pro-Russian. Firstly, because Poroshenko, Yanukovich and company are more pro-themselves than anything else, and because most ordinary Ukrainians don't really care whether their rulers suck up to Moscow, Washington or Brussels, or all three.

Put simply, the central reason for Ukraine’s turmoil lies in the disintegration of living standards since independence. According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, every single Ukrainian worker is worse off today than they were under Soviet communism in 1989. Until that changes, the country will hurtle from anarchy to meltdown and back again.

Many naive westerners believe how ‘reform,’ glacial as it may be, will eventually transform Ukraine into an oasis of transparency. However, these, mostly well-meaning dunces are too ideologically blinkered to fathom the reality: corruption is not just the problem in Ukraine, it is the system itself. The entire social order is based on patronage, back-handers and ‘a nod and a wink’. And the only possible chance for rehabilitation would be to smash the entire set-up and start again from scratch.

This was where Maidan, predictably failed. The movement's American ‘friends’ selected leaders who were previously embedded in the old regime and the current President was himself a member of Yanukovich’s cabinet (first as Foreign minister, before moving to Trade).

Maidan was a mistake. But so too has been almost every move Ukraine has made since 1991. Expect plenty more missteps to come.