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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 06/07/2009 - 06/14/2009
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Friday, June 12, 2009

The ongoing tragedy that is Afghanistan


brave new films via information clearing house...

and the reason that this is news you won't see on traditional news media is because it's truth that those who think they are in the best position to decide what we should and should not know have decided that we SHOULDN'T know about it...

glenn greenwald in salon, again via information clearing house...

The Bush-defending Right continues to insist, and huge numbers of Americans continue to believe, that the brutal abuses of Abu Ghraib were isolated and aberrational, the rogue crimes of a few low-level soldiers who were punished. These photos would prove that to be a lie. But no matter. For exactly that reason -- because they would expose the horrible truth of what we actually did -- these photos must be suppressed in the name of containing anti-American anger. Why should that reasoning be confined to suppression of the photos? Shouldn't it extend to information that is far more likely to inflame anti-American hatred, such as what we are really doing in Afghanistan? Isn't it best if the truth is just kept from us and the government suppresses it all so that we don't look bad in the eyes of the world? Isn't that obviously where this mentality leads -- and is already leading?

oh, and btw, evidently the worst revelations are yet to come...

raw story, AGAIN via information clearing house...

A crucial CIA Inspector General’s report from May 2004 is expected to reveal some long-hidden truths about the Bush administration’s use of torture.


MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow [interviewed] Newsweek's Michael Isikoff . . .


“There are three key questions to look for,” Isikoff explained. “Were there harsh interrogations that began before the … legal authorizations? … Did they go beyond what was authorized? … Did it go beyond just finding out about possible plots against the United States to provide other information, such as supplying possible evidence that could be used to justify the war in Iraq?”

Isikoff noted that there are footnotes in the torture memos already released which “quote from the Inspector General’s report that what was actually done went beyond what was authorized — that how waterboarding was conducted, the frequency with which it was conducted, and the manner in which it was conducted was beyond what the CIA told the Justice Department it was going to do when the Justice Department authorized the technique.”

Isikoff emphasized, however, that almost none of this information is being released voluntarily. It’s being slowly pried out through Freedom of Information Act requests, most of them filed by the ACLU, and “it’s become trench warfare — document by document.”

“The CIA and the intelligence community has pushed back hard,” Isikoff stressed. “People in the intelligence community never wanted this stuff out to begin with.”

can't we get going on war crimes trials for the criminals who perpetrated this mess...? oh, i forgot... we now have NEW criminals continuing to perpetrate the same goddam mess...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Consider adding your voice in support of one Jewish man who's trying to stop the Israeli effort to exterminate Palestinians

His crime? He tried to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the South Hebron region.

Ezra Nawi, a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent, is a threat to the settlers and the Israeli government because he has brought international attention to efforts to illegally remove Palestinians from the Hebron region. He will be sentenced in July.

from you tube...
Ezra Nawi is seen trying to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins from Um El Hir in the South Hebron region. These Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for almost 42 years. They still live without electricity, running water and other basic services, and are continuously harassed by the Jewish settlers and the military who are working hand-in-hand in order to seize their land. Notwithstanding the evidence in the film, Nawi has been found guilty by an Israeli court of assaulting an officer. Please support Nawi by sending emails protesting his imminent imprisonment to the Israeli embassy in your country.

i think it's stunning that the world, strongly aided and abetted by u.s. dollars and political support, continues to allow israel to engage in its 60+ year campaign to wipe palestinians off the map... i was right across the border from israel in jordan during the most recent gaza horror show and i could hardly believe the extent of what can only be described as the worst sort of war crimes that were being perpetrated against an entire population with no regard for women, children, the elderly, the sick, or the disabled... it was, simply, wholesale death and destruction both preceded and followed by an unending blockade of any and all goods and services necessary to even sustain life... what's happening in palestine is inexcusable and must be stopped and to support the efforts of a jewish-israeli mensch like ezra nawi is the very least we can do...

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

110mpg engine to enter production

lookout... here it comes... and about goddam time too...!
The man who drove his 20-year-old Mustang from Napoleon, Ohio, to Las Vegas and back last year on 39 gallons of fuel will open his first manufacturing facility Monday to allow others to get 110 miles per gallon.

Doug Pelmear, owner of Horse Power Inc. and Hp2G LLC, will hold an open house Monday morning in the idle 100,000-square-foot factory he has leased in Wauseon [Ohio] to begin manufacturing his revolutionary engine.

The factory, on the Fulton Industries Inc. campus in Wauseon, will be tooled to initially turn out 20 of Mr. Pelmear's custom engines per day with one shift of 25 workers.

A Decatur, Ind., specialty car company, Revenge Designs Inc., has contracted with Mr. Pelmear to purchase 2,000 engines for use in a new vehicle it plans to unveil at the end of this year at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The vehicle is to be called the Revenge Verde Super Car, which will use Mr. Pelmear's 400-horsepower engine and its 500 foot-pounds of torque to travel up to 200 mph and get 110 mpg - though admittedly not at the same time.

"The engine is going to be a really great partnership with the car," explained Emily Levault, a spokesman for Revenge Design. "The idea behind this was to give people what they want while putting people back in their jobs."

Ms. Levault said the Verde will be introduced as both a left and right-hand drive, so that it can be marketed around the world. She said details of its pricing have not been released.


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It's always interesting to see how people REALLY behave in unguarded moments

from haaretz via information clearing house...
As someone who lives on and off in the American bubble in Tel Aviv and came to Israel on a Birthright tour like some of the kids in the video, this is embarrassing, shocking, bizarre, but familiar. And as someone who spent many nights grimacing at similar overheard conversations from American Jews in town for the week from Long Island, the booze-fueled hubris and uber-Zionism is not so strange at all. In the Jewish homeland for the first time, on a free trip, fleetingly experiencing a place gripped by a visceral realism and powerful sense of purpose, it's easy to let the beer overtake you.

While documentary filmmaker Max Blumenthal rejects this argument ("No amount of alcohol could make me express opinions that were not authentically mine," he says. "If anything, alcohol is a crude form of truth serum that lubricates the release of closely held opinions and encourages confessional talk."), many American Jews understand how hubris and chutzpah can flow much freer in Israel. Spared the political correctness, decorum and social morays of America (or Britain, South Africa or Australia), many find that they walk taller, step louder, and even sprinkle their speech with words they'd never say back home.

Not to excuse the behavior of those in the video, I don't believe this idiocy reflects the values of young American Jews or their opinions on Obama, but rather the way that Israel, in particular Jerusalem, can radicalize the young to the left or the right. It also proves (once again), that fools and alcohol and camcorders do not make a good match.

Coincidentally, the video comes about a week after Haaretz reported on the campaign launched by far-right Israelis called "No, you can't," meant to persuade their countrymen of the dangers of the "anti-Semitic" Barack Hussein Obama - with the emphasis on "Hussein." So far, the campaign appears to consist of sparsely attended rallies and posters of Obama in a kaffiyeh, much like those of Yitzhak Rabin before his 1995 assassination.

For many, the video is shocking because they think Jews aren't supposed to be racist. Especially not nice Jewish boys like those in the video, showing off the hip hop gear bought on the mean streets of Great Neck, their hats cocked sideways as they survey the city they profess to own after five days.

There are really only two types of young American Jews in Israel: the ones who head for Jerusalem, and the ones who go to Tel Aviv. I hope Blumenthal films his next segment in Tel Aviv, though the results would probably be far less salacious. On a balcony in Florentin, he would ask the drum circle what they think of Obama and through the purple haze would hear only praise for the president, before being forced to listen to a 30-minute account of a recent trip to Nepal.

This video either proves that drunk Americans are starting to resemble Kahanists, or Israeli far-rightists have achieved the rhetorical brilliance of drunk American Jewish yahoos in town for a week. Talking to drunken Birthrighters to gauge Israeli opinion on Obama is like using Mormons to measure American public opinion on gay marriage. You're speaking to the wrong crowd and at the wrong time of night, only in a country where there is no closing time or public drinking ordinances. One can only imagine what would be caught on film in an American college town under these circumstances.

See Max Blumenthal's shocking footage of the reaction by some Israelis and American Jews in Jerusalem to Obama's speech to the Muslim world. Co-produced by Joseph Dana, aka Ibn Ezra: and Mondoweiss, a blog that covers the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Middle East from a progressive Jewish perspective.

well, we know for damn sure that this kind of deplorable behavior coming from people who think they're in their zone of safety ain't at all unusual... you can bet your boots there's plenty of it right here in the u.s. of a. from coast to coast being dispensed by bigots, intolerant bastards, skinheads, hate-mongers, and extremists of every stripe be they christian, muslim OR jewish... what i want to know is when we can dispense with this hateful shit and get on with living together and treating each other like genuine human beings...

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Here's a story presented as a "gee-whiz" technology piece that should make your blood run cold

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times

imagine looking up and seeing one of these circling your neighborhood... imagine knowing what it can do... imagine living with that kind of terror day in and day out...

this article reminds me of the public-service ads praising the brave men and women who proudly defend our country using only the very latest technology selflessly dished up by our glorious defense establishment that you'd see on tv in the late 50s and early 60s... what it really is, of course, is a continuing glorification of death and destruction, only rendered more horrifyingly anonymous with the shift to hapless paid assassins raining death from the skies as they sit comfortably in barcaloungers in the nevada desert many thousands of miles from their victims... then, after a hard day at the "office," they go home to the wife and kids for dinner and a night in front of the tv...

The Pentagon is preparing to graduate its first pilots of unmanned drones from the elite U.S. Air Force Weapons School -- a version of the Navy's Top Gun program -- in a bid to elevate the skills and status of the officers who fly Predators, one of the military's fastest growing aircraft programs.

The elite flight schools of the Air Force and Navy are most closely associated with smart, tough fighter jocks. But over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the MQ-1 Predator and more heavily armed MQ-9 Reaper craft have become, to many in the Pentagon, the most important aircraft the U.S. has deployed.


The Predator and Reaper pilots do their debriefings and classroom work at Nellis with weapons school students specializing in other aircraft. They fly the drones from nearby Creech Air Force Base, the control station used to fly drones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

since we're so hot on this new method of killing and destroying, how about using those new teeny-tiny robot drones to film what happens on the ground and then making that required viewing at the conclusion of each pilot's mission...? maybe watching children screaming and dying, bodies being blasted into raw, bloody bits, and buildings collapsing on and crushing their occupants would bring a better sense of reality to the whole affair...

while we're at it, why not include a slaughter-house photo gallery with each neat, shrink-wrapped package of meat in the supermarket butcher case as a reminder of how it came to be there...?

just sayin'...

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