Quote Via: theamericanbear - thnx
“Be clear about this: what we are witnessing — and are about to witness — in Gaza, as in Afghanistan, and in the drone-pocked regions of Pakistan, and in Yemen, Somalia, Mali and in other areas around the world: all of this, in every instance, represents a vast, irreparable, unspeakably tragic defeat for humankind — and incredible, unspeakable pain for real human beings. It is a defeat, in every instance, a failure — of nerve, of spirit, of intellect, of empathy; it is a show of weakness — no matter how many of the “enemy” you kill; it is a display of ignorance, fear and barbarity. Again, just be clear: if you support it — or support those who support it — this is what you are supporting.”
— Chris Floyd, On the Eve: Last Thoughts Before the Latest Invasion of Gaza
photo credit: tomblanton1957
6 months agoNovember 18, 2012 17 notes Reblog
The United States Army is developing a weapon that can reach — and destroy — any location on Earth within an hour. At the same time, power lines held up by wooden poles dangle over the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey.Hurricane Sandy ripped them apart there and in communities across the East Coast last week, and many places remain without electricity. That’s America, where high-tech options are available only to the elite, and the rest live under conditions comparable to a those of a developing nation. No country has produced more Nobel Prize winners, yet in New York City hospitals had to be evacuated during the storm because their emergency generators didn’t work properly.
Anyone who sees this as a contradiction has failed to grasp the fact that America is a country of total capitalism. Its functionaries have no need of public hospitals or of a reliable power supply to private homes. The elite have their own infrastructure. Total capitalism, however, has left American society in ruins and crippled the government. America’s fate is not just an accident produced by the system. It is a consequence of that system.
Obama couldn’t change this, and Romney wouldn’t be able to either. Europe is mistaken if it views the election as a choice between the forces of good and evil. And it certainly doesn’t amount to a potential change in political direction as some newspapers on the Continent would have us believe.
6 months agoNovember 5, 2012 30 notes Reblog
Veterans won’t be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order — he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year. The bill’s sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn’t matter, since the bill’s cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.
The vote was 58-40; the bill needed 60 votes to proceed.
It would be easier to admire the Republicans’ late-breaking fiscal scrupulosity if their motives — denying the Obama administration any kind of victory this year, whatever the cost to jobless vets — weren’t so transparent. It’s probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a “nay” on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren’t a fact of nature. They’re a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.
“It’s unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war, many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war,” Ms. Murray said in a statement after the vote.
I am a veteran, I vote, I remember.
8 months agoSeptember 19, 2012 22 notes Reblog
Via: Guardian UK
By Helena Smith in Athens, Friday 18 May 201
Greece’s eurozone fate may now be in the hands of the 37-year-old political firebrand and his Syriza party
I don’t believe in heroes or saviours,” says Alexis Tsipras, “but I do believe in fighting for rights … no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity.”
The man who holds the fate of the euro in his hands – as the leader of the Greek party willing to tear up the country’s €130bn (£100bn) bailout agreement – says Greece is on the frontline of a war that is engulfing Europe.
A long bombardment of “neo-liberal shock” – draconian tax rises and remorseless spending cuts – has left immense collateral damage. “We have never been in such a bad place,” he says, sleeves rolled up, staring hard into the middle distance, from behind the desk that he shares in his small parliamentary office. “After two and a half years of catastrophe, Greeks are on their knees. The social state has collapsed, one in two youngsters is out of work, there are people leaving en masse, the climate psychologically is one of pessimism, depression, mass suicides.”
1 year agoMay 19, 2012 24 notes Reblog
Columbia Journalism Review — May / June 2012
How a filmmaker accidentally gave up his sources to Syrian spooks
By Matthieu Aikins
This is Serious Business
1 year agoMay 5, 2012 1 note Reblog
This is the weapon that killed Mark Duggan at close range
Some facts about Mark Duggan’s death via wikipedia:
The Metropolitan Police stopped a minicab which was carrying Duggan as a passenger at about 18:15 BST on 4 August 2011 to carry out his arrest as part of a pre-planned operation, and shots were fired. Duggan was killed by a single gunshot to the chest. He was pronounced dead at 18:41 BST.
Early remarks by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) implied that a police officer had been shot, and police had returned fire. A bullet was found embedded in a radio worn by a policeman. Initial ballistics tests on the bullet recovered from the police radio indicate it was a “jacketed round”, a police issue bullet, consistent with having been fired from a Heckler & Koch MP5 semi-automatic carbine, as used by the police. Its presence may have been due to a ricochet or overpenetration.
Friends and relatives of Duggan claimed that he was unarmed, but a loaded Bruni BBM blank-firing self-loading (semi-automatic) pistol, illegally converted to fire live ammunition, was recovered from the scene. The IPCC announced on 9 August that there was no evidence that this weapon had been fired, but that this had not been ruled out and further tests were being conducted.
According to one witness, the police shot Duggan at close range after they had pinned him to the ground. A police union representative asserted that the officer who killed Duggan had “an honest-held belief that he was in imminent danger of him and his colleagues being shot”. An unnamed police source insisted that the police never claimed Duggan had opened fire. The police who shot Duggan were part of the Specialist Firearms Command (CO19), accompanying officers from Operation Trident, a London Metropolitan police unit which deals with gun crime committed by and on black people.
LINK - articles references and links to background material
1 year agoAugust 14, 2011 14 notes Reblog
Imagine what would happen if Boehner stepped aside and let Michele Bachmann be the new Speaker. Or Ron Paul. You’d probably find the remaining Republicans (not a majority of the House, but a majority of the Republicans in the House) voting with the Democrats more often than they would vote with the Tea Party Republicans.
So the net-net is that we’re seeing the death throes of the Republican Party.
On tomorrow’s shows, reporters should ask the Republicans about that. Is Boehner really the leader of your party? If not, who is?
1 year agoJuly 30, 2011 3 notes Reblog
“Rebellion Against Pluralism,” n+1:
If we are to make sense of the horrific terror attack that shook Norway this past Friday, we must try to place it in the context of recent European politics. That context, in turn, points to one fact more than any other: over the last decade, Europeans have grown increasingly obsessed with the threat supposedly posed by foreigners, immigrants, and Muslims.
All over the continent, far-right parties have been celebrating remarkable successes. Establishment politicians, once keen to display their enlightened attitudes towards outsiders, have honed their populist rhetoric against foreigners. Books about the doom that would ensue if ethnic Europeans should become minorities in their own countries—like Germany Does Away with Itself, Thilo Sarrazin’s runaway success last year—have topped bestseller lists week in and week out.
Naturally, some commentators have expressed concern about these developments. But both in newsrooms and on the streets they mostly have been decried as fools whose obsession with multiculturalism is a naïve remnant of a more innocent era. Nothing wrong with their good intentions, Europeans of all nationalities and social strata intone, but they are sadly inapplicable to the 21st century, when islamofascism in general, and hordes of unwashed Muslims in particular, are threatening the European way of life.
Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted responsibility for the death of seventy six innocents, is undoubtedly a madman. But madmen can be spurred on by anything in their environment they are able to construe as legitimation or encouragement—and, in recent years, there was plenty of that to go around in Europe.
1 year agoJuly 30, 2011 12 notes Reblog
There has been an explosion in a government building in Oslo, Norway the building is said to contain the Prime Minister’s office, there are reports that the explosion was caused by a bomb LINK
1 year agoJuly 22, 2011 3 notes Reblog
Serving with my unit 2nd battalion 16th infantry in New Baghdad Iraq, I vividly remember the moment in 2007, when our Battalion Commander walked into the room and announced our new rules of engagement:
“Listen up, new battalion SOP (standing operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED, I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every [expletive] in the street!”
We weren’t trained extensively to recognize an unlawful order, or how to report one. But many of us could not believe what we had just been told to do. Those of us who knew it was morally wrong struggled to figure out a way to avoid shooting innocent civilians, while also dodging repercussions from the non-commissioned officers who enforced the policy. In such situations, we determined to fire our weapons, but into rooftops or abandoned vehicles, giving the impression that we were following procedure.
On April 5, 2010 American citizens and people around the world got a taste of the fruits of this standing operating procedure when WikiLeaks released the now-famous Collateral Murder video. This video showed the horrific and wholly unnecessary killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists.
I was part of the unit that was responsible for this atrocity. In the video, I can be seen attempting to carry wounded children to safety in the aftermath.
The video released by WikiLeaks belongs in the public record. Covering up this incident is a matter deserving of criminal inquiry. Whoever revealed it is an American hero in my book.
(Source: azspot, via soupsoup)
1 year agoJuly 13, 2011 143 notes Reblog
This 107-page report presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of Bush and senior administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet, for ordering practices such as “waterboarding,” the use of secret CIA prisons, and the transfer of detainees to countries where they were tortured.
1 year agoJuly 12, 2011 4 notes Reblog
Via: Electronic Intifada
Ms. Clinton “it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.” source
Clinton must know that Gaza is not part of what any country recognizes as “sovereign” Israeli territory, and therefore neither are Gaza’s territorial waters. Any boats entering Gaza’s waters would not in fact be entering “Israeli waters” as Clinton claimed. Clinton also, presuming she is properly briefed rather than misled, must also know that last year Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla when it was in international waters and GPS data showed that it was actually heading away from Israel.
By invoking Israel’s supposed “right to self-defense” against civilian boats trying to reach Gaza, we must understand that Clinton is telling Israel the United States will not stand in the way of another military attack.
1 year agoJune 25, 2011 6 notes Reblog