Tag Archives: Bahamas

WikiLeaks Reveals the Other “Mystery” Country Under Total NSA Phone Surveillance: Afghanistan

This past Tuesday, The Higher Learning reported on an article from The Intercept which revealed (via documents released to them by Edward Snowden) that the NSA has been monitoring and recording virtually every single phone conversation in the Bahamas.

In their article, The Intercept admitted that the documents named another country as also being monitored under this extremely invasive program, but chose not to release the identity of the country because they worried that the revelation would almost certainly cause deaths.

Despite their worries, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed that his organization would reveal the identity of the mystery country. Yesterday, he delivered on his promise:

The revelation has sparked worry amongst the intelligence community, who don’t believe that WikiLeaks has full access to the Snowden documents.

It’s still unclear whether someone sent them a copy of the documents or whether they just got a tip from someone working with The Intercept. The leak site Cryptome even suggested that WikiLeaks may have just assumed that Afghanistan was the mystery country based off other already public information.

The MYSTIC Program was also collecting metadata from Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines

I must say I don’t think many people will be shocked to hear that the NSA has Afghanistan under heavy surveillance. Personally, I think the surveillance in the Bahamas is much more odd and unwarranted.

However, I do understand why The Intercept and Edward Snowden were worried about revealing Afghanistan. It’s highly likely that this revelation will be used to help fuel anti-American sentiment in the already unstable country. Whether or not that leads to violence remains to be seen.

Read more from Time here.

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Minneapolis Just Replaced Columbus Day With Indigenous People’s Day. Good Idea? (Poll)

It’s no secret that Christopher Columbus was a liar, a bigot, and just an all around crappy person. He wasn’t the first European to “discover” America (Viking Lief Erikson founded a Norse village in Newfoundland almost 500 years earlier), and he also had quite the track record of totally screwing over and exploiting any natives he came in contact with.

For example, when he landed in the Bahamas, Columbus found that the islands were inhabited by the peaceful and friendly Lucayans, Taínos and Arawaks tribes. In his diary, he describes these people as being very smart and kind, as well as saying,

“They offered to share with anyone and when you ask for something, they never say no.”

The voyages of Christopher Columbus. Click to enlarge (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

When Columbus’s ship wrecked on their shores, the natives spent hours laboring to save his crew and their cargo, without asking for anything in return. How did he repay them?

He proclaimed the island to be Spanish property and enslaved the locals to work in gold mines, mining gold which would then be sent back to Spain. Within two years, half of the native population (125,000 people) had died.

Columbus also supervised the sale of young native girls (usually around the ages of 9 or 10) into sexual slavery. Another excerpt from his diary:

“A hundred castellanoes [Spanish currency at the time] are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

In Hispaniola, Columbus set gold collection quotas for any native over the age of 13. If they failed to bring back their quota, their hands were chopped off and they were left to bleed to death

For years, Native Americans have been protesting against the celebration of this vile man. The idea for an Indigenous People’s Day was first proposed 37 years ago by a Native Nations delegation during a meeting of the United Nations. It was proposed again by a coalition of 120 indigenous nations at a conference commemorating 500 years of Indian Resistance.

Minneapolis has been really trying to celebrate their native peoples in recent years. Just last year, their City Council approved a measure called “The Year of the Dakota:  Remembering, Honoring and Truth Telling”, to bring attention to all of the contributions Native Americans have made to the city.

Just this past week, Minneapolis’s proposal to create Indigenous People’s Day on Columbus Day was unanimously and enthusiastically approved in front of a packed crowd in City Hall. The resolution creating the holiday explains,

“Indigenous People’s Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwa and other indigenous nations add to our city.”

The Minneapolis City Hall meeting that officially established Indigenous People’s Day (Photo: Karen Boros/MinnPost)

Although this particular measure does not eliminate Columbus Day, it is possible that the old holiday will be removed from the city ordinances in future years. Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District had this to say:

“Now that we have established Indigenous People’s Day, every child — whether that child is native or whether that child is not — will learn the truth about where America really comes from. This is so important because it’s difficult to imagine, if you are from the mainstream experience, how it feels to sit in a classroom and be told there was darkness and then Columbus came and then there was light.”

Read the full article about the establishment of Indigenous People’s Day from the Minneapolis Post here.

Read more about the true history of Columbus and Columbus Day in this Huffington Post article.

Underwater Pyramids: Mysterious Ancient Man-Made Structures Found Underwater (Video)

A structure known as the Yonaguni monument or “Japan’s Atlantis” is located underwater in the Yaeyama Islands off the westernmost point of Japan. The tiny island of Yonaguni is difficult to reach but has remained popular due to the discovery of the Yonaguni monument in 1986.

According to CNN

Exactly how the underwater pyramid structure, known as the Yonaguni monument, was formed is still under debate. Some claim the ruins to be evidence of a long lost city, while others are convinced it is a geological phenomenon. There are even a few who believe the site to be the work of architecturally-ambitious aliens. Whatever its origin, it’s an impressive site. Estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 years old, the stepped structures — with smooth platform steps and right angles — appear as though they were carved out of the rock.”

The structure is believed by Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyus in Japan who has been diving at the site to measure and map its formations for more than 15 years, to be a city that is 5,000 years old that submerged into the sea by an earthquake around 2,000 years ago. It seems that the structures are in fact made by man, but what do you think?

 

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