The Evening Blues - 9-9-15

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Piedmont blues and gospel singer Rev. Gary Davis. Enjoy!

Rev. Gary Davis - Slow Drag / Cincinnati Flow Rag

“I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas.”

-― Charles Bukowski

News and Opinion

Drone strikes by UK and Pakistan point to Obama's counter-terror legacy

Countries’ attacks on their own citizens vindicate those who warned that the US president’s signature practice would echo around the world as the British and Pakistani strikes look unlikely to be their last

Two drone strikes by two different countries nearly 3,000km apart this week represent the proliferation of Barack Obama’s signature mode of counter-terrorism.

When the UK and Pakistan announced on Monday that they had each carried out lethal drone strikes against their own citizens, they followed a template sketched by Obama over the past seven years – one that critics have warned risks greater destabilization and legal abuse.

While a few other nations, particularly Israel, have conducted drone strikes in the past, experts have long warned that the proliferation of drone strikes would be inevitable after the US embraced them so enthusiastically early in Obama’s presidency. ...

“The US has already set a troubling precedent by violating international law in many instances through targeted killings; that the UK is now also willing to deliberately kill people outside of an armed conflict, and obfuscate the legal basis behind such killings, simply compounds the problem,” observed Andrea Prasow of Human Rights Watch.

“The law hasn’t changed, but US allies’ willingness to accept violations of the law may have, and it is a scary world for all of us if rules that govern lethal force can simply be tossed out the window.”

Monster of FOIA, Jason Leopold brings home the bacon again. There's a lot here, this is just a taste:

Tequila, Painted Pearls, and Prada: How the CIA Helped Produce 'Zero Dark Thirty'

On April 21, 2011, Mark Boal called the CIA to tell them he was going to Afghanistan.

The previous year, the screenwriter had been at a dinner when CIA director Leon Panetta asked Boal to alert the agency if he ever traveled to the country. ... The previously undisclosed detail about Boal's phone call to the CIA was included in more than 100 pages of internal CIA documents obtained exclusively by VICE News in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The documents contain the most detailed information to date about the controversial role the CIA played in the production of Zero Dark Thirty (ZDT).

Included in the trove of redacted agency records is a March 2014 CIA Office of Inspector General report titled "Alleged Disclosure of Classified Information by Former D/CIA" — D/CIA refers to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta — and a separate September 2013 report from the inspector general's office titled "Potential Ethics Violations Involving Film Producers."

The ethics report contains remarkable details about how Bigelow and Boal gave CIA officers gifts and bought them meals at hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles and Washington, DC — much of which initially went unreported by the CIA officers — how they won unprecedented access to secret details about the bin Laden operation, and how they got agency officers and officials to review and critique the ZDT script.

Representative Peter King, the Republican congressman from New York and the former chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, had pressed the inspectors general at CIA and Department of Defense in August 2011, a month after Panetta left the CIA to serve as secretary of defense, to investigate the alleged disclosures to Boal and Bigelow. This came after news reports claimed that high-ranking Obama administration officials granted the filmmakers extraordinary access to classified details about the bin Laden operation, and that the disclosures led to the arrests of Pakistanis who assisted the CIA in the operation. ...

The CIA worked with Bigelow and Boal at a time when the agency's so-called enhanced interrogation program was under scrutiny by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. They were working on what came to be known as the Senate torture report, about the efficacy of the techniques to which CIA captives were subjected. The report concluding that those techniques did not yield unique or actionable intelligence and had nothing to do with tracking down bin Laden. ZDT, however, strongly suggested that the use of torture led the agency to bin Laden, a narrative that current and former CIA officials promoted in numerous op-eds and interviews after bin Laden was killed. That the narrative was so prominently featured in ZDT angered Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who fired off a letter to the president of Sony Pictures objecting to what she called a "false narrative."

As Ari Fleischer warned the world, "Watch what you say, watch what you do," Big Brother is watching and preparing his drones.

Debate Among US Officials Over Whether to Kill People Over Twitter Accounts

If there was ever any doubt that the US doesn’t have a good handle on who the ISIS leadership is, it should be exemplified by the new reports of US officials openly talking about, in their effort to “destroy ISIS,” assassinating people whose Twitter accounts are seen as too pro-ISIS.

There appears, at the very least, to be some debate among counter-terror officials on the matter, though none seem to be questioning whether or not it’s appropriate to assassinate people on the basis of speech, and are simply arguing over whether or not it’s worthwhile. ...

Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero was also a proponent of assassinating people on social media, saying ISIS has a “huge competitive advantage” on Twitter and that with little intelligence on the actual leadership of ISIS, you “attack what you can,” which means people on Twitter.

German Lawmaker: At the Root of Refugee Crisis are Wars Led by the United States in the Middle East

This pathetic display of American military "prowess" would be hilarious if it wasn't being funded by hundreds of millions of our tax dollars.

Pentagon: US Looking to ‘Fix’ Syria Rebel Force

A solid year after Congress authorized $500 million for the training and creation of a brand new pro-US Syrian rebel force, the first class of trainees was deployed into Syria. What was initially expected to be tens of thousands of fighters ended up being 54, and they were quickly routed by al-Qaeda.

It’s just now that the Pentagon is finally admitting to there being “flaws” in their plan, and they are now talking about “tweaks” so that their future efforts are a little less disastrous than what they’ve accomplished so far.

The admission itself is a leap forward for the Pentagon, which has been insisting the 54 troops were going to do just fine, despite there only being 54 of them. ... Officials say there are two more classes of rebels, about 200 more of them, being trained right now, meaning they could have a four-fold increase in the number of fighters on the ground in Syria, though they will still be by far the smallest independent faction inside Syria.

French President Considers Bombing Islamic State Positions in Syria

France carried out its first reconnaissance flights over Syria Tuesday to identify potential Islamic State (IS) targets for airstrikes.

"The mission on September 8 lasted over six and a half hours," France's ministry of defense said in a statement. The Rafale jets used for the mission "were able to gather intelligence on the terrorist group IS, and reinforce the autonomous assessment capacity of France," the statement read.

French president François Hollande announced Monday that France would conduct reconnaissance flights over Syria with the aim of gathering intelligence for possible airstrikes against IS positions.

Speaking at a special press conference on Monday — the sixth in his presidency — Hollande dismissed the idea of sending ground troops into the country as "inconsequential and unrealistic."

Turkish Police Snipers Killing Kurdish Civilians in Southeast

When the resumption of the Turkish war against the Kurdish PKK fueled protests among Kurdish civilians, parliament was quick to pass a law authorizing police to use live ammunition to quell protests, after police complained the heavy use of teargas against Kurds was no longer enough.

Opponents warned this would turn Kurdish towns into live-fire areas, and this appears to be exactly what is happening, as locals report police sealing off Kurdish towns and snipers setting up shop on top of roofs, firing at people as they pass by.

Some of these towns are seeing thousands of police deployed with non-specific orders to tamp down Kurdish unrest, which mostly involves shutting down pro-Kurdish news outlets and shooting up the towns willy-nilly. One might call this excessive police overreach, but all indications are that this is exactly what the police were being ordered to do.

"Open Up, Europe! Let Migrants In": Former EU Adviser Urges Opening of Borders

EU Head Says Continent Must Welcome Refugees
"Europe today... represents a place of hope. This is something to be proud of and not something to fear." In a passionate 80-minute speech on Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged countries across the continent to remember its history and humanity, laying out an emergency plan for the compulsory distribution of 160,000 refugees.

As chaotic scenes continued on Hungary's border with Serbia, Juncker said Europeans should not be afraid but should welcome refugees. Europe was a continent where almost everyone had been a refugee at some time or another, he said, and it was rich enough to cope with a challenge far smaller than the one facing Syria's neighbors — Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.

"The Europe I want to live in is illustrated by those who want to help," he added, denouncing calls to discriminate among refugees according to religion. "Europe has made make the mistake in the past of distinguishing between Jews, Christians, Muslims. There is no religion, no belief, no philosophy when it comes to refugees."

The former Luxembourg prime minister, whose proposals face opposition from several governments whose interior ministers will meet on Monday, outlined the system by which 160,000 migrants currently in Italy, Greece, Hungary, who are in clear need of international protection, would be divided up between 28 European Union (EU) member states.

The number each country would receive would be calculated according to a formula using objective and quantifiable criteria: 40 percent of the size of the population, 40 percent of GDP, 10 percent of the average number of past asylum applications, and 10 percent of the unemployment rate.

Backlogs and bureaucracy are no excuse for the US to fail asylum seekers

The current migration crisis is the worst global refugee emergency since the second world war, according to the United Nations. Four million displaced Syrians are concentrated in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and, more recently, are trickling into Europe. The US is shielded from the humanitarian dilemma by a stroke of geographic luck, but the country could do more to assist refugees – if it had the political will to fix its broken domestic asylum system.

Immigration in the US is in dire need of reform as the courts are grossly under-staffed and under-funded. Congress tries to safeguard borders by spending more money on enforcement, but it has yet to provide the immigration courts commensurate funding to handle the hundreds of thousands of new removal cases the court receives each year. A miles-long backlog – US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) had 82,175 pending asylum cases as of March – continues to plague immigration judges and keeps asylum seekers in limbo. The New York asylum office, for example, scheduled interviews in July 2015 for people who filed applications two years ago in 2013.

Limited resources forced immigration courts to re-prioritize caseloads last summer, when roughly 68,000 unaccompanied minors and 65,000 families came to the US-Mexico border from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The young people are detained upon arrival, given a credible fear interview – a necessary step for asylum – before they are referred to an immigration court to have their applications processed. Given the sensitive nature of detaining minors, “rocket dockets” were created whereby judges could work speedily through large caseloads often at the expense of fairness.

And the numbers show no signs of waning. Widespread gang-related violence and poverty continues to push children with asylum claims to seek safety on US soil. Meanwhile, other (non-detained) asylum seekers, including Syrians fleeing war, are put on the back-burner.

Help My People, Let More War Refugees Settle Here: A Syrian American’s Message to Washington

Latin American countries welcome Syrian refugees

Latin American countries are opening their doors to Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country, as Europe struggles with a growing refugee crisis.

Chile and Venezuela have this week both offered to take in Syrian refugees , and Brazil said it would continue to welcome people escaping the country’s brutal conflict. Argentina and Uruguay have also created special programs to resettle Syrian refugees since the war started in 2011.

Chile’s government said on Tuesday that it would take 100 families seeking refuge “to address the grave humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of Syrian citizens”.

“The decision has already been made by the president and it will happen as soon as possible,” said the foreign minister, Heraldo Muñoz.

On Monday, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro said that his country would accept 20,000 refugees from Syria – while at the same time reiterating his support for the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, whom he described as “the only leader with authority in Syria”.

Assange on 'US Empire', Assad govt overthrow plans & new book 'The WikiLeaks Files'

Chris Hedges: The Real Enemy Is Within

If you are not dedicated to the destruction of empire and the dismantling of American militarism, then you cannot count yourself as a member of the left. It is not a side issue. It is the issue. It is why I refuse to give a pass in this presidential election campaign to Bernie Sanders, who refuses to confront the war industry or the crimes of empire, including U.S. support for the slow genocide carried out by Israel against the Palestinians. There will be no genuine democratic, social, economic or political reform until we destroy our permanent war machine.

Militarists and war profiteers are our greatest enemy. They use fear, bolstered by racism, as a tool in their efforts to abolish civil liberties, crush dissent and ultimately extinguish democracy. To produce weapons and finance military expansion, they ruin the domestic economy by diverting resources, scientific and technical expertise and a disproportionate share of government funds. They use the military to carry out futile, decades-long wars to enrich corporations such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. War is a business. And when the generals retire, guess where they go to work? Profits swell. War never stops. Whole sections of the earth live in terror. And our nation is disemboweled and left to live under what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism.” Libertarians seem to get this. It is time the left woke up.

“Bourgeois society faces a dilemma,” socialist Rosa Luxemburg writes, “either a transition to Socialism, or a return to barbarism ... we face the choice: either the victory of imperialism and the decline of all culture, as in ancient Rome—annihilation, devastation, degeneration, a yawning graveyard; or the victory of Socialism—the victory of the international working class consciously assaulting imperialism and its method: war. This is the dilemma of world history, either-or; the die will be cast by the class-conscious proletariat.”

Too bad we can't get the UN to organize such an organization to round up and prosecute our own brutal American war criminals and corrupt, self-dealing political and military elites.

Guatemalan president's downfall marks success for corruption investigators

The spectacular fall from grace [of Otto Pérez Molina] was a remarkable victory for a UN-backed investigative commission established to dismantle criminal networks with ties to politicians and the security forces, and has prompted growing calls for similar independent crime-fighting bodies to be established in other Central American countries wrestling with endemic corruption.

Evidence collected by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) triggered weeks of unprecedented public protests that eventually forced Pérez Molina to step down last week. He was identified as a flight risk, and ordered to await trial in small cell at a military barracks.

CICIG was established in 2007 to help tackle organised crime that first emerged during Guatemala’s brutal 36-year civil war when corrupt security officials with political ties became involved in drug trafficking and contraband.

A 1996 peace deal ended the conflict but not the criminality. Instead, new groups infiltrated politics, security forces and the criminal justice system, operating with almost total impunity.

Over the past eight years, CICIG has investigated around 200 complex cases to help bring charges against a dozen criminal networks and almost 200 current and former government officials – including two former presidents, several ministers, police chiefs and military officers. It has helped to weed out hundreds of corrupt police, prosecutors and judges.

Greek election: televised leaders' debate could prove crucial

Greece’s snap election campaign heats up on Wednesday with a televised debate between the main party leaders, the first since 2009.

With just 11 days until the country heads to the polls, seven leaders including former prime minister Alexis Tsipras and conservative challenger Vangelis Meimarakis will cross swords in a debate that will be shown at 9pm local time on state broadcaster ERT.

Tsipras is hoping to pull ahead in a neck-and-neck race between his leftwing Syriza party and Meimarakis’s New Democracy party.

In addition to a challenge from the right, the 41-year-old will also be under pressure from Popular Unity, a breakaway party made up of former Syriza colleagues who rebelled when Tsipras’s government signed an unpopular third EU bailout in July. ...

In addition to Greece’s economic crisis and the bailout, migration is turning into a key campaign issue, with the Greek islands struggling with a huge influx of refugees from war-torn Syria.

Baltimore to pay Freddie Gray's family $6.4 million to settle civil claims

The Rawlings-Blake administration plans to pay Freddie Gray's family $6.4 million as a settlement for civil claims in his arrest and death — an extraordinary payment in a lawsuit against city police.

The settlement — which is expected to be approved at Wednesday's meeting of the city's spending panel — will be paid out over two years, according to the mayor's office. The five-member board is controlled by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The payment is larger than the total of more than 120 other lawsuits brought against the police department for alleged brutality and misconduct since 2011. ...

The city is accepting all civil liability in Gray's arrest and death, but does not acknowledge any wrongdoing by the police, according to a statement from Rawlings-Blake's administration.

Warren Increases the Pain Factor for Choosing Corporate-Friendly Democrats

A little-noticed report on candidates for an open spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reaffirms that the reformist wing of the Democratic Party is winning the tactical battle over financial regulatory personnel.

Luis Aguilar, one of three Democratic SEC commissioners on the five-member panel, announced he would step down in May. Initially, the White House floated as a replacement Keir Gumbs, who has passed through the revolving door, from SEC staff to the white-collar corporate law firm Covington & Burling. ...

But months of criticism of both Gumbs and the SEC’s bank-friendly practices created a delay, with the White House agreeing to vet additional candidates who didn’t have ties to corporate America. Last week, word leaked that administration officials were considering Lisa Fairfax, a law professor at George Washington University. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., listed Fairfax as one of her top candidates for the SEC position. ...

The Obama administration, despite a clear preference for moderates with Wall Street ties for financial regulatory positions, now must consider a far broader range of personnel. Warren and company have prioritized this, believing that personnel affects policy when regulators must implement and enforce laws, or exercise independent judgment. Reducing Wall Street’s influence inside those agencies will have a salutary effect on outcomes.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Rise of the Labour Left in the UK

I've been saying this for years:

The first task for prosperity is ending artificial scarcity

We have more empty homes than homeless people.

We have more food than necessary to feed everyone in the world.

This is not an era of actual scarcity. It is an era of artificial scarcity.

We either already have excess capacity or we have the ability to create more than people need of all necessities. ...

Most scarcity is artificial. It is imposed through a money system where a few people have the right to create money and everyone else has to get it from them. That money is nothing more or less, in this context, than permission to use society’s resources, whether people’s labor or the results of that labor. ...

By centralizing production of various items (including ideological/intellectual ones) in a few areas and to a few people, we have pooled necessities in places they aren’t needed and denied it to other people.

These are social problems, with social solutions.

the horse race

A "spontaneity" makeover for Hillary

Top advisers to Al Gore were so worried that he would come across as wooden in the 2000 presidential debates that they set up a training facility at an aquatic center in Florida featuring a replica stage at a cost of $400,000.

It didn’t work.

This year Hillary Clinton’s advisers have embarked on a subtler strategy for fine-tuning the presidential candidate, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday. The plan amounts to a blueprint for spontaneity, to include more self-effacing humor, more empathy and more backyard parties. ...

Renewed reports that she is trying for yet another image makeover, however, indicate the seriousness with which the Clinton camp is handling their candidate’s slipping popularity and other concerns. A major poll last week measured Clinton’s favorability at near historic lows among all voters – although it remains sky-high among Democrats.

The Evening Greens

Fracking on University of Texas Land Is Poisoning the Air, Soil, and Water

The University of Texas has seen 1.6 million gallons of oil, waste water, and pollutants spilling from fracking sites into the ground and groundwater on lands that it leases to oil and gas companies in West Texas, according to a report from two environmental groups released today.

The university owns some 2 million acres of land in West Texas that it leases for oil and gas exploration as well as agricultural use. The report from the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group criticized the university for failing to enforce more stringent standards on fracking with the companies leasing its lands. 

Luke Metzger, from the ETRPC, said that about 4,100 wells have been fracked on University of Texas (UT) lands since 2005, which has led to a "significant impact" on the environment. He cited six billion gallons of water that were used amid a drought in Texas while state and local leaders were calling for Texans to reduce their water consumption, 270 million gallons of chemicals that were pumped into the ground including hydrochloric acid and methanol, and the release of enough methane to rival the pollution of between 50,000 and 1.5 million cars per year.

He also said that of the 1.6 million gallons of oil, salt water, and other pollutants spilled from the wells on UT land, five spill sites were still being cleaned up.

"We think that it's alarming how much damage has been done to the environment on UT lands, and we think that if UT is going to continue to allow fracking on their lands, at the very least they need to work to end the very worst practices by oil and gas companies and write important protections into leases they sign," Metzger said.

Learning 'Inside the Blast Zone': Oil Trains Put Millions of Children at Risk

As children across the country head back to school this week, a new report from public interest group ForestEthics reveals that 14,800 schools and 5.7 million students are within the "oil train blast zone"—the area that must be evacuated in case of a derailment or fire from an oil train.

Using its Blast Zone map, released last year, and data from the Department of Education, ForestEthics identified the five U.S. cities with the greatest numbers of students at risk from a potential oil train derailment and explosion: Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and El Paso.

"The federal government needs to protect the millions of students sitting in classrooms inside the blast zone," said Matt Krogh, extreme oil campaign director for ForestEthics, which is calling for a moratorium on oil trains in the absence of publicly available information about their routes, their contents, and their safety.

Massive growth of oil train traffic—over 5,000 percent since 2008 in the U.S.—has led to more derailments, oil spills into waterways, and massive explosions. This year alone has seen five explosive derailments in the U.S. and Canada. In 2013, 47 people died when an oil train crashed and exploded in the small Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic. ...

A separate analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) showed that more than 1 million California students attend school within a mile of confirmed oil train routes, and of those, roughly 521,000 go to school within a half-mile of oil train routes—the area that federal officials say should be initially evacuated in all directions in case of a single tanker on fire.

World's Leading Polluters Have Racked Up a $10 Trillion Carbon Debt

The countries most responsible for global warming owe the rest of the world a tremendous debt, with the author of a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change putting the figure at $10 trillion.

The author came up with that number by calculating how much CO2 each country emitted per capita since 1960, generally recognized as the onset of the worst of human-caused global warming. Countries with high per capita emissions carry a carbon debt while countries with lower per capita emissions have a carbon credit. ...

The United States is responsible for about 40 percent of the debt.

The study concludes the carbon debt of high-emitting countries totals 250 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide since 1990. The U.S. government calculates the social cost of CO2 emissions --including property damage from increased flooding, reduced agricultural productivity and adverse effects on human health-- is about $40 per metric ton of CO2. ...

"The biggest polluters in absolute terms are not necessarily countries but entities within countries, that is very often large corporations," Liane Schalatek of the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, said. "If you put their pollution together [they] actually make up the majority of the pollution."

A 2013 study funded in part by the Böll Foundation found nearly two-thirds of carbon dioxide emitted since the 1750s can be traced to the 90 largest fossil fuel and cement producers, most of which are still operating. 

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some of which defied fair-use abstraction.

Vonnegut and Labor

The US's insistence on weaker encryption puts citizens in harm's way

'Everyone wants to leave': death of hope drives young Syrians to Europe

Dark Waters: Hurricane Katrina, the Politics of Disposability and the Racism of Malcolm Gladwell

Lawsuit Aims To Uncover Why Clinton Lawyer Received Special Treatment To Keep Classified Emails

A Little Night Music

Reverend Gary Davis - If I Had My Way

Grateful Dead - Samson and Delilah

Rev. Gary Davis - Candyman

Roy Bookbinder - Candy Man

Rev. Gary Davis - I Am The Light

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff - I Am The Light Of This World

Rev. Gary Davis - Cocaine Blues

Rev. Gary Davis - Twelve Gates To The City

Robert Plant & Band of Joy - Twelve gates to the city / I bid you goodnight

Rev. Gary Davis - Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Jorma Kaukonen w/ David Bromberg - Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Rev. Gary Davis - Death Don't Have No Mercy

Rev Gary Davis w/ Sonny Terry - You've Got To Move

Rev. Gary Davis - You Got To Go Down

Rev. Gary Davis - Hesitation Blues

Reverend Gary Davis - How Happy I Am

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Despite critics often snidely proclaiming to civil liberties activists that “privacy is dead,” the opposite is true. In the past two years, digital privacy rights in the US have markedly improved and the stingray case is only the latest example.

Two years ago, the cops could look at the contents of your cell phone without a warrant if they arrested you, the NSA could track your calls and map all our contacts without an individual court order, and the FBI could use stingrays to suck up the cell phone data of hundreds of innocent people at the same time.

Now all of those activities are forbidden. The Supreme Court ruled police need a warrant to get into the cell phone of the approximately 12 million people that are arrested each year. Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which will force the NSA to go to the Fisa court each time it wants to data mine an American’s cell phone records. And now, stingrays require a warrant.

That’s not all: Since the Snowden revelations, judges have gotten more discerning of law enforcement surveillance requests (the Washington Post called it “the magistrate’s revolt”) and large tech companies have also gotten a lot more skeptical when dealing with the government, pushing back on spying requests, challenging them more in court and beefing up their encryption.

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shaharazade's picture

to arrest each year. If I didn't know better I'd say were living in a police state. I was arrested for contempt of court and about 90% of the other prisoners in Sybil Brand, the LA women's jail, were not criminals at all. They were at the wrong place at the right time. Lot's of minority women who were arrested for no damn good reason.

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joe shikspack's picture

that any reasonable interpretation of the 4th amendment would have precluded these sorts of searches in the first place. it is my contention that they were already illegal. what these new laws represent are patches placed upon a body of verbiage that has been much twisted, folded, spindled and mutilated by government lawyers who have tortured the plain language of the law until the poor, anguished english screams for mercy from an undisclosed location where these secret tortures were carried out.

since the rationales for these bizarre legal interpretations are protected by the cloak of state secrecy, there is no telling what other powers the government may have arrogated unto itself, nor any predicting how long it will take these clever fellows to open loopholes or dodges that render these current patches moot and re-authorize the awful behavior of government.

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MarilynW's picture

Also, I understand the police can't seize cell phones from demonstrators anymore. I hope that's right.

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mimi's picture

by Democracy Now and some more articles in today's list. So glad to find it here.

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Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.

joe shikspack's picture

thanks! it is a compelling and fascinating story, i certainly hope that it brings out the better angels of human nature that seem to be so absent in our american governing elites.

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next week in the context of Catholic Social Teaching. Pope Francis is urging European churches to give shelter to the refugees. It should make for a lively discussion!

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gulfgal98's picture

I know you are very busy, but if you can find time, I think this would make a wonderful diary.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

joe shikspack's picture

the catholic church has generally been pretty good on refugee issues, here in the us there is considerable church backing for supporting migrants from south of the border, much to the chagrin of conservatives.

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joe shikspack's picture

except when she's a worm.

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mimi's picture

resentful against her. I think something snapped in her. When she was asked in ABC lately, why she is doing all this and running again, she said, because her mom was a poor woman, who struggled all her life taking care for her and supporting the family through her nanny work. It was the influence of her mom, who told her always that one has to fight for the rights of the poor people and not forget them and their plight. She sounded exhausted and was almost welling up. If she has so much social and humanity related passion on the one side and can probably produce some tears to make it more convincing (she did this in her first campaign too in a coffeehouse where she had a talk with the townfolks, she was exhausted and almost cried) why then is she not having same compassion, why has she no heart for all the civilians that die in the middle East because of US interventions and military actions? If Blumenthal even sends his son's articles to her that tells you something is not working as it should in her brain.

All of that doesn't fit with her really hawkish and dangerous foreign policies she engaged in and promised loudly to continue. So sad, can only pray she snaps out of that condition. If not, God help us (and bless her soul too ... of course - I try to imitate Southerners, who I learned bless the souls of their fiercest enemies. Such polite folks...).

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Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.

shaharazade's picture

she's not even a Southerner. Goddamn her nasty war criminal fascist killer soul. Seems to me maybe you should stop reading the biography's and personal scripted, ghost written, marketing pieces of propaganda from the pols. I don't give a rats ass about Obama's hard (yeah right) childhood with his white grandma bank president or Hillary's middle class Methodist conservative back story. Lot's of powerful psycho's who want to rule the world have tragic back stories. These backstories are not tragic their run of the mill. What the fuck does this have to do with giving them power or even empathy. Power like this should not rest on sympathy for the devil.

I mean come on she has no compassion for the people in the ME for the same reason she was a Goldwater (lets drop the big one) girl. Her background/story is better then most of us had to live through and we managed to retain our humanity. Nothing snapped she was the brains behind Poppy's Other Son. Her mom's liberalism is irrelevant. She is what she is. She did not grow up in poverty but in a conservative middle class family and she has always been a 'bad ass' bad news piece of work. She like Bush or Obama may have backstories but really who cares, we all have backstories and most of us do not end up ruling the world and clacking about killing people or setting the world on fire. check out her connections to Doug Coe instead of reading about her bs. propoganda biography. Same with Obama's I read it after I voted and worked my butt off to get him elected and man o man what a pile of psychobabble shit.

Hey how about you stop thinking of them on a persona/celebrity level and take a good hard look at what they are about. Success at what price? And really what does it matter what motivates these freaking insane criminal pols. They are what they are and what's important is what they do and what they represent. So what if her mother liked MLK or so what if Obama learned blab blab blab from his absent father. They are the last people who should rule the world. I'm sure Attila the Hun had a bad childhood and maybe his mother was a liberal. Who cares! We need to get these psycho assholes off the stage and quit empowering them. How can you feel such empathy for truly evil people who kill with the drop of a hat and believe that they are chosen to rule the world.

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mimi's picture

and from Obama only once his first book. I also don't see them as celebrities and am pretty immune to propaganda. Remember I am not grown up in the US. I come from somewhere else, where propaganda used to be easily detected and trashed as such. If at all I was overwhelmed with the production of celebrity campaign events in 2007, the first time I followed those events at my job. You misunderstand me describing HRC's or Obama's efforts to show empathy and compassion with me falling for it unconditionally. I didn't. I don't think that any influence from parents have any importance when it relates to candidates in political power positions especially the ones like the US Presidency. I am reading here and other more leftist publications for a reason. With Obama it's different to me than with Hillary, though also her case is special to me too, as she is a woman, like Obama is special as he is black man.

You are pretty much beaten up to be either against HRC (you are not defending feminists, you.loser..) or against Obama (you are not defending the rights and fights of Afro-Americans closet racist) in this country. Try that even as a dummy German, who has been dropped off in the US like a hot potato as overweight luggage. I have read too many comments on dailykos. They had an effect on me. And not good ones. They took something out of me. Unfortunately. It would have been better I had never read the gos site's comments and most of their diaries. If it were not for some real good political and environmental and native American issue reporting, I would say that not reading the rest, would have been better for my emotional health. But helas. I am a slow learner.

With Obama I simply had some hopes, which is no wonder. My son had too, because we both can relate to the specific Obama childhood experience and we happened to have close exposure to African political thinking and attitudes. I introduced my son to political campaigning and canvassing, when Obama ran for Presidency, and we both believed that Obama was supposedly knowing something of Africans. It was a reason for me to get my son involved. I was also very curious how Obama would handle his African policies and relations to those countries. My cold shower awakening of seeing the reality started when people were asking if Obama is "black enough" or on the other side with questions about me not being enough of a feminist, because I can criticize a feminist's misdeeds as much as any male politician's, black and white. Period.

And mind you, it seems you all read everything all the time, I have read less than 10 percent of dailykos diaries. I didn't read any books and didn't watch TV, even not the most famous of PBS documentaries and rarely watched Hollywood movies during the last 20 years.. I was a single working woman in fields not related to politics for very low salaries. I worked and slept. That's my background. My head was somewhere else like probably most of the 99 percenter's heads are, though they are at least Americans in their own country and grown up here and went through college here, not foreigners like me and my son.

My "empathy" is basically the same for all humans, the jerks included. I am more interested in understanding why someone is a jerk than in figuring out how to get rid of them. Of course I like too to find out if somebody IS a jerk or not. My bad. Heh, may be it's in my genes, the Germans you know they fall for the wrong guys and remain silent... or so at least it is said so and/or believed. I would say I feel more in conflict over issues than others, who always know exactly where the wrong and where the right side is. Lucky them. Let's wait how they feel when they are challenged.

Ok. I hope I don't sound too defensive or offensive. I just feel a little misunderstood, which is normal, I am not American. Don't you worry, Shaharazade, I think I can detect propaganda pretty well, I have no clue about legal and political underpinnings of what is going on in politics in the US or worldwide. Sorry for that and bare with me.

Have a good night sleep all.

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Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.

Big Al's picture

is the sign of a true sociopath. It's like Hollande shedding a tear over the Syrian boy or Obama
welling up about something. It's impossible to reconcile, you simply can't be responsible, make decisions
and take actions that result in the deaths and displacement of massive numbers of people while on the other
hand acting like you want to help people.

It's just not normal, which is why someone invented the term sociopath.

Or it's like Madeleine Albright saying with a slight look of anguish,
"well it's a tough choice, but we think it was worth it", when referring to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi
children. Clinton is made form the same cloth, the evidence is conclusive.

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snoopydawg's picture

When they talk about Hillary standing up for women and children. It's a load of bs.
How was she standing up for them when she helped Bill write his welfare reform bill that kicked so many people off of it?

Here's an excellent article about how much pain and suffering that bill cost women and children.

And I ask them if she's concerned about all of the women and children in the Middle East that have been killed, injured, or lost their homes?
Haven't heard a word from either Obama or Hillary about that little boy that drowned when their boat capsized while they were trying to flee from the carnage their policies of wars brought.
Addressing the poster down link (forget who) speaking about Obama's childhood while he was raised by his well to do grandparents.
Remember when he brought up the sob story about his mom having to fight with the insurance company while she was dying from cancer during his campaign when he was promising us single payer healthcare?
And what happened? He made back room deals with the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, wouldn't meet with single payer advocates, and then gave Baucus most of the power to come up with most of the bill knowing full well that Liz Fowler from WellPoint was on his staff.
Sure, many people now have 'health insurance', but many can hardly pay their premiums and don't have the money to pay the doctor because of the high deductibles.

Now we have Hillary showing how hawkish she will be, even though most of us already knew that.
And her defenders have another diary up defending her.
Funny, during the Bush years, DK used to be anti war. But since Obama was elected, silence.
At least 7 countries being bombed, Afghanistan war still going on, we're back in Iraq, Libya and Syria have been blown to hell, two coups in Honduras and Ukraine and less than 10 members on kos has a problem with it.

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In a free country civil liberties not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

snoopydawg's picture

It starts out with how there weren't any refugees coming from the Middle East until the U.S. invade first Iraq, then moved on to overthrowing Egypt, Libya, Syria and all of the other countries were bombing.

It also talks about the refugees from Mexico and other countries because of the trade agreements that destroyed so many people's farms and livelihoods.

There is a good reason why other countries and people call the U.S. The Great Satan. It has destroyed millions of lives and countless countries by invading or overthrowing elected governments and installing brutal dictators and then just watching as they torture and murder their citizens.
And why are people who fight against the invading country called terrorists? If another country invaded the U.S., would we be called the same? Of course not, were EXCEPTIONAL.

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In a free country civil liberties not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

MarilynW's picture

I remember Joanne & I discussing that movie before we had all the facts. The first publicity interviews with Bigelow & Boal made us suspicious because they used the whitewash term "enhanced interrogation" which was also used by Bush/Cheney. I'm glad all the facts are coming out.

A sad day in the neighbourhood two very tall fir trees were cut down by the Catholic Church. The stumps look healthy and fir trees do not have deep roots. It looks like a stupid decision to me at this point. When I moved here there was a raven's nest in one of the trees and a Nature store across the street was keeping tabs on it and displaying photos in their window. Those were the days
Tree work, alright.

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gulfgal98's picture

Trees should always be considered something of value (not monetary) that enhances our lives.

I wish Joanne would consider coming here. I sorely miss her intellect.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

joe shikspack's picture

joanne's instincts were quite good, zero dark thirty is quite plainly a propaganda platform - and jason leopold's foia finds indicate that the process by which it was created is very far from anything that might be called journalism or documentary.

sorry to hear about the march of "progress" in your town.

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Azazello's picture

Hope everybody's having a good night. Here's anther Gary Davis cover:

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

it's a pretty good evening here. we're waiting on a rainstorm that's supposed to come along and cool things down. it was up in the 90's today with high humidity, so i'll be delighted for some cool.

hope everything is going well for you, thanks for the keith.

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Crider's picture

This Reverend Gary cover crossed my mind.

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joe shikspack's picture

the rev. davis' house was often referred to as the house that peter, paul and mary built, due to the royalties the rev. received from their recordings of his songs.

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Turkey is heading into civil war as Erdogan many moves include attacking PKK.

Dan Froomkin ‏@froomkin 5h5 hours ago

US presumably gave Turks green light to attack Kurds in return for access to air bases. Look how well that’s going:

Dan does not give a link to the claim, but a link to the turmoil in Turkey as people are attacking Kurdish facilities.

in a column

In short, Turkey is gripped by a destructive, evil, diabolical mindset.

the subtitle for another column

Any attempt to predict the short term in Turkey requires focusing on the thought processes of one man: the president of the republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A quick look at how Erdoğan handled the result of the June 7 general election will clearly show that he is single-handedly responsible for the bloody chaos the country is currently engulfed in. Shortly after the June 7 election, as everyone began speculating on possible coalition scenarios, Erdoğan had a different game plan.

and a third column

History will record the incredible lack of good judgment and the consequent loss of an invaluable opportunity to solve Turkey's most important political problem. History will record the loss of common sense and moderation at a time when we lose our soldiers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has failed to call the nation to moderation at a critical time. He has failed to instruct our security forces to be resolute and firm with those who loot and burn ordinary citizens' houses and shops. He has not come out against the mob that is now attacking major newspapers, threatening journalists and openly challenging law and order. The psychological bond between Turks and Kurds is growing thin. This is exactly what the PKK wants. Is it not the greatest irony that the mob who is supposedly out there to protest the atrocities of the PKK are playing into the hands they very organization they so detest?

can find these columns at

scroll down the main page and there are several comments listed at the right hand side of the page

and we are going to spend a couple of days there at the end of the month .....

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joe shikspack's picture

i think that the third article overstates the desire of pkk for conflict. they were abiding by the terms of the truce that was arranged a couple of years ago and by all measures, kurdish civil society was quite happy to use the levers of democracy to achieve the needs of their people.

on the other hand, from what i've been reading, it won't be long now before erdogan gets the civil war that he appears to want.

i suspect that history will record erdogan's name in the despicable tyrant column.

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I have very little information on this.

But over the last 3 years, Erdogan has been getting worse and worse.

The truce with PKK was an important step and celebrated but

last year when all the indictments were handed down to Erdogan's followers and others

and Erdogan fired 40,000 police, prosecutors, judges, etc

and Erdogan has continued to use the state media for propaganda and to attack other media and other groups (e.g., Gulen followers)

and after the recent June election where Erdogan didn't get a majority and events showed that he didn't want to form a coalition government - wants power, and with that, the power to avoid prosecution

and if he can lower the Kurdish vote to below 10% so Erdogan's AKP could have a majority

he will risk civil war, attack Kurds and stir the pot

Erdogan thinks that a stirred pot will lead people back to him, rather than flee from him

meanwhile, the PKK has been watching and waiting

and when they see the game, why wait any longer and attack

and if the Erdogan government is as corrupt in its military efforts as it is with the media and spying operations

then PKK can win some things

What does PKK have to loose?

are they remembering the massacre of the Armenians? And going to be sure that it does not happen to them?

so, for what it is worth, some thoughts

Recently read fascinating book "Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide" how Armenians assassinated the main leaders of the genocide

well written, easy read, a view into a dark corner and the little ones fighting back

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there is the fear of economic disaster for sure for many

but there is the fear of the bad guys

Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 25m25 minutes ago

Glenn Greenwald retweeted Megyn Kelly
Be scared. Hide under your beds. The Iranians are coming for you..... Glenn Greenwald added,

Megyn Kelly @megynkelly
Iraq War vet Robert Bartlett on #IranDeal: “They want to kill us. They’re gonna kill us. They’re preaching it in their streets.” #KellyFile

And here is Glenn's article on Hillary's war mongering talk at Brookings Institute - and the support of Israel - so can be for the Iran deal, but support to Israel to continue their genocide of the Palestinians

and can't believe that they can't see the cause effect of wars leading to migrants .......

and more and more stuff going on that we are not even listing here


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Far, far too real

A Fox News television presenter is suing toy maker Hasbro for $5m for the "demeaning and insulting" personification of her as a rodent.
Award-winning journalist Harris Faulkner says she suffered "commercial and emotional damage" after the company gave her full name to a toy in their Littlest Pet Shop line.


They said: "Harris Faulkner, the uniquely named, acclaimed veteran journalist and author, has worked for decades to establish and maintain her personal brand and laudable professional reputation.

"(Hasbro) willfully and wrongfully appropriated Faulkner's unique and valuable name and distinctive persona for its own financial gain."

As well as her name, court papers allege that the doll bears a physical resemblance to Faulkner, specifically its complexion, eye shape and make-up design.

The documents also claim the television host is "extremely distressed" due to the "choking hazard" risk her namesake poses to small children.

You are now free to bang your head.

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joe shikspack's picture

this does not compute. B)

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enhydra lutris's picture

We've never really believed in free speech, not even for citizens at home. Killing is perhaps extreme, but furriners, or those of questionable loyalty demonstrated by the urge to wander abroad sort of aren't entitled to the rights of good stay at home go along to get along citizens. Fascists, fascists, fascists. People holler and whine about my use of that word, but, damn it, that's what they are.

Meanwhile, yes, we don't have a scarcity problem, we have a distribution problem. That's been the case as long as I can remember, which takes us back a pretty fair distance. I've never seen anybody really try to ameliorate that problem, especially on a global scale, though Cuba has consistently seemed to be more than ready to do more than its fair share ever since the revolution.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

apparently the powers that be don't know that "sticks and stones..." thing. i guess they don't teach that in elite prep schools.

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MarilynW's picture

They appear to be from middle age down to infants. Where are all the old people? Sad to say, as an old person I could not endure one day as a refugee and I'm pretty healthy and used to walking. I think the old people are left behind in the refugee camps or the shells of cities and villages. The death toll must be heavy because many would not want to go on living without their families and without their way of life.

Just a sad note to end on.

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joe shikspack's picture

is that generally speaking the demographic of most middle eastern countries skews toward younger people. in places like syria and libya, life expectancy has dropped pretty dramatically recently, too.

i think, too, that younger folks are more likely to take up the rigors of migrating, especially those young men who feel that it is likely that they will be pressed into military service if they stay.

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Joe posted the series of talks as they came out on Snowden by the Columbia Univ Law Prof Eben Moglen. They are titled "Snowden and the Future." I watched the last lecture live and he took some questions. The posted versions and the text are what was prepared. He said that when he started with these he would not have been surprised if they only went to a very few people. Amazed at the response. You can find the talks on line and the text.

But that is not the same as using the Snowden documents in dissertations and professional journals. I don't have any information on that.

But here is a case where a woman used wikileaks documents in a dissertation and had to delete them to avoid troubles, or possible prosecution. If what she says is true, that means that academia has been further muted from critique of the totalitarian government. Clear that they have been bought out, but have they been blocked, like US govnt employees who are forbidden to look at wikileaks documents at work or at home?

One big problem I have with the video - she says COINTELPRO which was the Hoover project outed in 1971 by the break in of the FBI office - similar and worse things happening now, but the information from that old FBI operation couldn't be suspect for her dissertation today???

Here’s What Happened When Cynthia McKinney Tried to Use WikiLeaks Information in Her Dissertation

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Who culda guessed?

In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize the Iraq War six years before haunted her on the campaign trail. It put her in stark contrast with then-Senator Barack Obama, who touted his foresight in opposing the ill-fated war. But if Clinton was scarred by the perception that her foreign policy agenda is too hawkish for the Democratic Party, she showed no signs of it Wednesday morning in a speech detailing her plan to counter Iran after the implementation of the nuclear deal.
While the speech focused on Iran, Clinton also addressed foreign policy elsewhere, highlighting areas in which she thought Obama was too hesitant to use military might to exert American influence abroad.

The administration’s decision to back down from threats to bomb Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2013 for his use of chemical weapons, an operation Clinton actively supported, “cost us,” she said -- though she conceded that the trade-off of getting Russian assistance to transfer the bulk of Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal out of the country was a worthy endeavor.

As secretary of state, Clinton was an early supporter of arming and training members of the Syrian opposition to fight Assad, a plan that faced resistance out of concern that it would be difficult to appropriately vet fighters and ensure that weapons didn’t fall into the hands of extremists. Today, the program is off to a slow start, with only 54 graduates from the first class, several of whom scattered after coming under attack by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. As commander-in-chief, Clinton would dramatically escalate the program, she said.

Clinton also criticized the Obama administration’s minimal efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist efforts in Ukraine since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. She put herself “in the category of people who wanted to do more in reaction to the annexation of Crimea," adding that the Russian government's objective is "to stymie, to confront, to undermine American power whenever and wherever they can."

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MarilynW's picture

From the article

That movie, which Boal would work on with director Kathryn Bigelow, would become the 2012 Oscar-winning film Zero Dark Thirty. And the CIA would play a huge role in the creation of the script.

I think he meant Oscar nominated movie. It was said to be snubbed by the Academy.

The film, which has sparked outrage among both Democrats and Republicans in Washington over its depiction of torture, and allegations that the Obama administration leaked classified intelligence to help the making of the film, won no major Oscars on Sunday and only one award overall.

Just three months ago, the thriller, which culminates in Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. Navy Seals, was a strong contender to pick up the biggest prize of Best Picture, as well as the Best Actress and Original Screenplay awards.

By the end of Sunday night, however, it had picked up just one award - a shared Oscar for Sound Editing, which was a tie.

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MarilynW's picture

showing the cozy relationship between the CIA and the movie makers. The CIA virtually wrote the script for the movie.

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This hasn't happened since maybe 2002, or 2006

More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military's Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.

Two senior analysts at CENTCOM signed a written complaint sent to the Defense Department inspector general in July alleging that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are. The reports were changed by CENTCOM higher-ups to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the analysts claim.

That complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, some of whom have complained about politicizing of intelligence reports for months. That’s according to 11 individuals who are knowledgeable about the details of the report and who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.

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Not the preamble, but the list of grievances contained in it?

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

Hmmm. Familiar

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Big Al's picture

It's the New World Order.

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mimi's picture

"Now listen you, people of NATO. You’re bombing a wall which stood in the way of African migration to Europe, and in the way of Al-Qaeda terrorists. This wall was Libya. You‘re breaking it. You’re idiots, and you will burn in Hell for thousands of migrants from Africa and for supporting Al-Qaeda. It will be so. I never lie. And I do not lie now," said Gaddafi in an open letter obtained by the Russian daily Zavtra and published in May 2011 several months before the Lybian leader was killed.

Like always people are so arrogant to not listen. Gaddafi didn't lie. At least that's what I believe.

"That the refugee crisis is an outcome of US-European policies is clear to the naked eye," says senior research fellow Boris Dolgov, of the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences. "The destruction of Iraq, the destruction of Libya and attempts to topple Bashar Assad in Syria with the hands of Islamic radicals — that’s what EU and US policies are all about, and the hundreds of refugees are a result of that policy," he told TASS.

I believe that to be true. Agree with it.

"Angela Merkel vows modern German society and Europe are prepared for problems… That’s a lie and nonsense! I am certain that many of those in France, Italy and Germany, who are pretending compassion and shaking their heads in bewilderment at the news more migrants have drowned or died of suffocation or fatigue on the way, in reality are saying to themselves something like this: ‘This serves them right! That will teach others a lesson!" says Grishkovets.

That's a small group of people in the government who react like that (doesn't mean that many German civilians would buy into that argument and support it). Merkel's character is not part of this.

Columnist and blogger Vitaly Tretyakov wonders why the European Union has walked into this trap which it will never be able to get out of.
"The reasons are many, but all of them are confined to arrogance and exaggerated self-confidence. In most cases this high-handedness is never expressed aloud, but the ‘Europeans’ always feel superiority over everybody else in this world."
"It remains to be seen whether the European Union succumbed to Washington’s pressures or preferred to manifest solidarity with the United States when it decided to speed up the so-called ‘process of democratization’ in North Africa and the Middle East. Whatever the case, by doing so it helped thrust open Pandora’s Box.

Seems to be right on that one too. Though the 'Americans' always feel superiority over everybody else in the world as well. So. ... you pick either of the two - same bullshit on both sides of Atlantic.

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Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.

mimi's picture

That's a small group of people in the government who react like (that doesn't mean that many German civilians would NOT buy into that argument and rather support it). Merkel's character is not part of this.

I wanted to say that parts of the general population is worse than the elite, who think along the lines that "‘This serves them right! That will teach others a lesson!".
Sorry for that.

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Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.


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The Brazilian government’s sovereign debt rating has been cut to junk status by one of the major credit agencies, ratcheting up pressure on President Dilma Rousseff to find a way out of the country’s economic and political crisis.

Standard & Poor’s said in a note on Wednesday night that Brazil’s hard-fought investment-grade status was gone and that its outlook on the country was negative, just as the nation entered recession and was expected to see an even worse 2016.

And in response

Brazil canceled an auction of local bonds for the second time in a week as the cut in the nation’s credit rating to junk by Standard & Poor’s pushed yields to a six-year high.

It's stock market and currency are also dropping fast. Brazil could be a real mess before the Olympics open.

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