Archive | May, 2012

International – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Kill List – The Atlantic

31 May

The US Presidency is governed by a logic that swallows Presidents and spits them out. We are becoming the rogue nation we fear in other states.

The Obama administration considers any military-age male in the vicinity of a bombing to  be a combatant. That is an amazing standard that shares an ugly synergy with the sort of broad-swath logic that we see employed in Stop and Frisk,  with NYPD national spy network, with the killer of Trayvon Martin.

Policy is informed by the morality of a country. I think the repercussions of this unending era of death by silver bird will be profound.

via International – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Kill List – The Atlantic.

International – Robert Wright – Do Obama’s Drone Strikes Imperil America? – The Atlantic

31 May

Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence until May of 2010, gave the Times a simple analysis of Obama’s penchant for drone strikes: “It is the politically advantageous thing to do–low cost, no U.S. casualties, gives the appearance of toughness. It plays well domestically and it is unpopular only in other countries. Any damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long term.”

Tuesday night’s Frontline episode on Al Qaeda in Yemen didn’t add much substance to the Times-Post analysis, but it lent a visual dimension, showing us the craters left by lethal drones and the al Qaeda forces who are energized and expanded by the strikes. ‘We’re at war with America and it’s allies,” says an al Qaeda footsoldier.

via International – Robert Wright – Do Obama’s Drone Strikes Imperil America? – The Atlantic.

Presidential Campaign Breakfast And Vice Presidential Suggestion | Irregular Times

30 May

Obama has $1000+ per head meet and greets; Jill Stein has pot-luck breakfasts.

A presidential campaign potluck – that’s what a genuine grassroots presidential campaign looks like. It’s the way most Americans are living now too. We aren’t attending fundraising events where we pay for our food. We simply share what we have.

This kind of open, easy-going attitude extends into Jill Stein’s search for a Vice Presidential running mate. While other presidential campaigns are hold secret meetings, and making sure that running mates pass focus group and polling tests, the Jill Stein for President campaign is simply asking Americans for their suggestions about who ought to be considered as a Vice Presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket this year.

via Presidential Campaign Breakfast And Vice Presidential Suggestion | Irregular Times.

‘Why Don’t We Try Peace?’: An Interview With Dennis Kucinich | The Nation

30 May

Tell the truth. Peace is the way.

We need to go back to 9/10/2001, before our transit into a world of endless fear. As part of our journey we need to have a very open, honest discussion in the context of a national effort at truth and reconciliation. Because we have proceeded to so distort the meaning in this country as to our choices to defend America, which impacts international policy and domestic policy. A slaughter of innocents abroad, a diminishing of civil rights at home—we need to go back to truth telling in America to talk about what were the precedents of 9/11, how can we recreate America without fear. And the only way we can do that is to really understand what happened, why it happened, the effect that it’s had on the country, the wrong choices that have been made, who’s responsible for those choices, calling them forward to get them to admit that they made a mistake, having those who cashed in on it held accountable—we really need to do that. We will not ever get out of this never-ending war against terror unless we start to tell the truth. Until we do that, whoever’s in the White House may not matter that much.

via 'Why Don't We Try Peace?': An Interview With Dennis Kucinich | The Nation.

28 May

The Chestnut Burr

Listening to David Barton yesterday at Highlands made me feel like Sunday was Memorial Day.  After that good dose of Godly American history, I feel sad today.  Today’s sadness, on Memorial Day proper, isn’t for all the fallen heroes, it’s for all us Americans that have been left behind.

It is so ironic that men and women, in so many military campaigns, have lost their lives defending our freedom, and the rest of us let our politicians take it away after 9/11.  Our Constitution has been so watered down it barely exists.  The Patriot Act, along with other legislation, have taken away many of the rights we all hold dear!

  • Freedom from unreasonable searches… gone!
  • Right to a speedy and public trial… gone!
  • Freedom of association… gone!
  • Right to legal representation… gone!
  • Freedom of speech… gone!
  • Right to liberty… gone!

This is the way it now is – video! …

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The Blog Formerly Known as All Things Counter Terrorism

27 May

This is from a series of posts dealing with the plight of children of parents in jihadi organizations and who do not themselves have jihadi values.

Some may be reading this post wondering why I or they should care if children of militants are dehumanized and labeled, when bin Laden’s and others’ actions have killed or orphaned the children of their fellow countrymen. It is understandable to question why we should care when bin Laden and others have not only harmed so many in their attacks, but are also responsible for putting their own children, family and friends in harm’s way.

But just because something is understandable doesn’t mean it is right. Surely we need to show moral fortitude and do what is right regardless of the actions of the others. And the right thing to do is not to label children and in doing so to dehumanize them. It only reinforces the stereotype of hatred these children have been raised on, and makes it all the harder for them to walk away.

Perhaps you are thinking “but so few of them do walk away?” Here I’d like to share some knowledge I have only gained since putting myself out there and engaging in dialogue. Although there seems to be a widespread assumption that children wish to follow in their parents footsteps and that most have done so, this is not the case. I had for a long time been unaware of this and made the above assumption. But I’ve come to learn that the majority of children born into the Arab-Afghan jihadist milieu and that surrounding al Qaeda more generally have, wherever they could, tried to escape that life and chosen not to follow in their parent’s footsteps. This is particularly true for the children of the first, second and third generation mujahideen and bin Laden’s children.

via The Blog Formerly Known as All Things Counter Terrorism.

The NATO-industrial complex – NATO – Salon.com

24 May

“The Pentagon and defense industry should be thankful,” wrote the magazine, “that politicians don’t make military-spending decisions based on public opinion.”

Missile-defense is one of the oldest boondoggles in defense spending. Now the goodies are being palmed off on NATO, to be paid for by US taxpayers. It’s like shoveling our tax dollars into a high-tech rabbit hole.

Uncertain defense budgets help fill in the context of industry’s push to expand missile defense under the NATO umbrella. In 2012, it is a lonely major transatlantic project on the defense-spending horizon. The new issue of NDIA’s magazine National Defense features an article lamenting the diminishing prospects of “shiny objects” in Allied budgets. “Some contractors might decide to wait for the good times to return,” editorializes the magazine, “but most others are going to be following the money to what is increasingly becoming industry’s more reliable cash cows: Maintenance, repairs and logistics support.”

The “cash cow” of maintenance may help pass the lean times, but it doesn’t launch research labs and production lines that can stay active indefinitely as can a sophisticated and essentially open-ended missile defense system. …

With NATO missile defense, it is the U.S. taxpayer picking up the tab. “A significant European role in financing [NATO missile defense] is unlikely in present circumstances,” says Ian Anthony, research coordinator for nuclear weapons and arms control at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. “I doubt if European countries could find the domestic political support for funding it.” Continue reading

Occupy the PGA

23 May

Do you have any idea how important golf is in the upper reaches of the corporate world?

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 23rd, is the first day of Occupy the PGA in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

If you need camping or hotel accomodations, do not hesitate to call Rev. Pinkney at 269-925-0001.

Occupy The PGA – Finalized Plans

Death March everyday: May 23-27 (big day: Sat. May 26)

We encourage protesters to wear all black if possible, everyday.

Arrive between 10 – 10:30am, Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 E. Wall St.

Sat. & Sun: Bring kites if possible.

Demonstrate in protest of land stolen by Whirlpool Corporation.

http://OccupyThePGA.wordpress.com Twitter HashTag #OccupyThePGA

An outline to fully understand the gravity of the Benton Harbor situation:

Outline of a Travesty

via Occupy the PGA.

It’s time for a Corporate Spring – AlterNet – Salon.com

23 May

Our economy is dominated by a monoculture business model, Kelly says, driven largely by publicly traded corporations that have built in pressure from Wall Street for maximum short-term earnings. But a healthy, living economy needs biodiversity. We can find this if we begin to look around — across the U.S. and the world — where there are businesses designed not for maximum profit, but with a mission-driven social and economic architecture. One of these models is the “social enterprise.”

The Social Enterprise Alliance defines these organizations as “businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.” And one of the defining characteristics is that “The common good is its primary purpose, literally ‘baked into’ the organization’s DNA, and trumping all others.”

Here’s an example. Remember Working Assets? Starting out as a progressive-minded credit card company in the ’80s, it added phone service — first long-distance in the ’90s, then cellular in 2000 — and now it has created the subsidiary CREDO Mobile. The company operates as a for-profit business, which is privately owned, with most of the employees owning the stock, so it doesn’t have to bow to Wall Street pressures. They use their profits to help support causes they believe in — so far the amount of money donated is $70 million and counting.

via It’s time for a Corporate Spring – AlterNet – Salon.com.

After Paul Falters, Backers Push Agenda in Party and Other Races – NYTimes.com

23 May

With their favorite having lost the nomination for president, Mr. Paul’s dedicated band of youthful supporters are setting their sights down-ballot and swarming lightly guarded Republican redoubts like state party conventions in an attempt to infiltrate the top echelons of the party.

“Karl Rove’s fear-and-smear-style Republicans are going to wake up at the end of the year and realize we are now in control of the Republican Party,” said Preston Bates, a Democrat-turned-Paulite who is running Liberty for All for Mr. Ramsey.

via After Paul Falters, Backers Push Agenda in Party and Other Races – NYTimes.com.