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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 02/27/2011 - 03/06/2011
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, March 05, 2011

More Glenn on Bradley Manning

because it's so important that the behavior of our government be exposed for the horror it's wreaking on one young whistleblower, i'm taking the liberty of re-posting glenn's latest in its entirety...

To follow-up on yesterday's observations about the prolonged forced nudity to which Bradley Manning has been subjected the last two days: brig officials now confirm to The New York Times that Manning will be forced to be nude every night from now on for the indefinite future -- not only when he sleeps, but also when he stands outside his cell for morning inspection along with the other brig detainees. They claim that it is being done "as a 'precautionary measure' to prevent him from injuring himself."

Has anyone before successfully committed suicide using a pair of briefs -- especially when under constant video and in-person monitoring? There's no underwear that can be issued that is useless for killing oneself? And if this is truly such a threat, why isn't he on "suicide watch" (the NYT article confirms he's not)? And why is this restriction confined to the night; can't he also off himself using his briefs during the day?

Let's review Manning's detention over the last nine straight months: 23-hour/day solitary confinement; barred even from exercising in his cell; one hour total outside his cell per day where he's allowed to walk around in circles in a room alone while shackled, and is returned to his cell the minute he stops walking; forced to respond to guards' inquiries literally every 5 minutes, all day, everyday; and awakened at night each time he is curled up in the corner of his bed or otherwise outside the guards' full view. Is there anyone who doubts that these measures -- and especially this prolonged forced nudity -- are punitive and designed to further erode his mental health, physical health and will? As The Guardian reported last year, forced nudity is almost certainly a breach of the Geneva Conventions; the Conventions do not technically apply to Manning, as he is not a prisoner of war, but they certainly establish the minimal protections to which all detainees -- let alone citizens convicted of nothing -- are entitled.

The treatment of Manning is now so repulsive that it even lies beyond what at least some of the most devoted Obama admirers are willing to defend. For instance, UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman -- who last year hailed Barack Obama as, and I quote, "the greatest moral leader of our lifetime" -- wrote last night:

The United States Army is so concerned about Bradley Manning’s health that it is subjecting him to a regime designed to drive him insane. . . . This is a total disgrace. It shouldn't be happening in this country. You can't be unaware of this, Mr. President. Silence gives consent.

The entire Manning controversy has received substantial media attention. It's being carried out by the military of which Barack Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. Yes, the Greatest Moral Leader of Our Lifetime and Nobel Peace Prize winner is well aware of what's being done and obviously has been for quite some time. It is his administration which is obsessed with destroying and deterring any remnants of whistle-blowing and breaches of the secrecy regime behind which the National Security and Surveillance States function. This is all perfectly consistent with his actions in office, as painful as that might be for some to accept (The American Prospect, which has fairly consistently criticized Obama's civil liberties abuses, yesterday called the treatment of Manning "torture" and denounced it as a "disgrace"). As former Army officer James Joyner (and emphatic critic of WikiLeaks and Manning) writes:

Obama promised to close Gitmo because he was embarrassed that we were doing this kind of thing to accused terrorists. But he's allowing it to happen to an American soldier under his command?

And I'll say this again: just fathom the contrived, shrieking uproar from opportunistic Democratic politicians and their loyalists if it had been George Bush and Dick Cheney -- on U.S. soil -- subjecting a whistle-blowing member of the U.S. military to these repressive conditions without being convicted of anything, charging him with a capital offense that statutorily carries the death penalty, and then forcing him to remain nude every night and stand naked for inspection outside his cell. Feigning concern over detainee abuse for partisan gain is only slightly less repellent than the treatment to which Manning is being subjected.

"repellent" may be an accurate term but it's also a gross understatement... can any one of us imagine being exposed - no pun intended - to this kind of treatment...? bradley manning could be my son, my next-door neighbor, a student in my mba class, a professional colleague... and, just think how many "detainees" have suffered similar degradation, human beings that we don't even know or at least can't identify with as closely as we can mr. manning... it doesn't matter who or where or why... this is wrong on every level...

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The Israeli-occupied West Bank

they say a picture is worth a thousand words... well, this one is worth about a million...

(click on image for interactive version)
The map lays out the presence of thousands of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, each of which is connected to each other by Israeli-only roads guarded by numerous Israeli military battalions and many more checkpoints. In the [above] map, each blue house represents an Israeli settlement.

(thanks to americans for peace now - apn - via think progress...)

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Here's a novel thought: the well-being of other people is hardwired into humanity

actually, it's novel only in the context of our present-day society, brainwashed as it is in ayn randian, social darwinian concepts...

read lisa dodson's account of her first-person experiences in community altruism and empathy...

The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Glenn has more on the utter degradation being suffered by Bradley Manning

and the jaw-dropping lies that the obama administration is using to try to cover it up...

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So sad... So pathetic... So hate-filled... So disgusting...

i'm speechless...

hate in orange county (courtesy of glenn greenwald)...

ya know what particularly disgusts me...? i met with congressman ed royce in his office in d.c. a year and a half ago in the company of a friend and colleague, an afghan muslim and here he is, participating in this horror show... god help us all...

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Is Wikileaks the "enemy" Bradley Manning is charged with "aiding"

good god, we have sunk so low in my country...


In light of the implicit allegation that Manning transmitted this material to WikiLeaks, it is quite possible that WikiLeaks is the "enemy" referenced by Article 104, i.e., that the U.S. military now openly decrees (as opposed to secretly declaring) that the whistle-blowing group is an "enemy" of the U.S. More likely, the Army will contend that by transmitting classified documents to WikiLeaks for intended publication, Manning "indirectly" furnished those documents to Al Qaeda and the Taliban by enabling those groups to learn their contents.


The dangers of such a theory are obvious. Indeed, even the military itself recognizes those dangers, as the Military Judges' Handbook specifically requires that if this theory is used -- that one has "aided the enemy" through "indirect" transmission via leaks to a newspaper -- then it must be proven that the "communication was intended to reach the enemy." None of the other ways of violating this provision contain an intent element; recognizing how extreme it is to prosecute someone for "aiding the enemy" who does nothing more than leak to a media outlet, this is the only means of violating Article 104 that imposes an intent requirement.

But does anyone actually believe that Manning's intent was to ensure receipt of this material by the Taliban, as opposed to exposing for the public what he believed to be serious American wrongdoing and to trigger reforms?

and as if to underscore the horrors that manning's charges demonstrate, glenn posted this late-breaking update...
Lt. Col. David Coombs, Manning's counsel, just posted the following:

Last night, PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico Brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell.

The Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) arrived shortly after 5:00 a.m. When he arrived, PFC Manning was called to attention. The DBS walked through the facility to conduct his detainee count. Afterwards, PFC Manning was told to sit on his bed. About ten minutes later, a guard came to his cell to return his clothing.

This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification. It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. PFC Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.

we are SO far off the track...

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A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies

the only part of the following i have a quarrel with is where he says, "our military spending grabs 11 cookies"... it may seem like a small thing, but all of the money that nominally goes to the military actually doesn't... it goes to the defense contractors who are headed - mostly behind the scenes, of course - by our super-rich elites who are highly motivated to keep the rivers of cash flowing...
A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO grabs 11, turns to the Tea Partier and says “The Union's out to take your cookie!”

I've been thinking that the joke applies pretty well to another situation. For instance, the military. Our military spending grabs 11 cookies and leaves us all battling over the 12th.

Christopher Hellman at TomDispatch added up all the military-related spending in the budget and came to a startling number: for fiscal year 2012, the actual military budget is something like $1.2 trillion dollars.

Trillion with a T.

Just to put that in perspective for a second, a million seconds is 12 days. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

So after all that cash is gone, what are we left with? Not a whole heck of a lot for the rest of us. “Discretionary” spending is nearly 40% of the budget, but if Hellman's numbers are accurate, that $1.2 trillion eats up nearly 90% of discretionary funds, leaving just 10% for the rest of us. (That doesn't include mandatory spending on things like Social Security and Medicare, which are separate.)

on the plus side, i think it's critical for us to understand that the current fiscal dilemma that the federal government, states and municipalities find themselves in (to say nothing of the fiscal dilemma most of us average peasants find OURSELVES in) is a direct result of our slavish devotion to insuring those rivers of cash keep flowing to those already super-rich elites whether they be defense contractors, bankers or hedge fund managers... the full extent of the nasty picture is only beginning to dawn on the american people but, ya know, it ain't that difficult to see if you only bother to look...

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Big news from SCOTUS: "We trust that AT&T will not take it personally"

this is going to have far-reaching and - imho - very positive implications...
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday that AT&T and other corporations do not have personal privacy rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to make documents publicly available upon request, but contains an exemption for documents that "constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Claiming they were a "corporation citizen," AT&T tried to use the personal privacy exemption to prevent the disclosure of federal government documents about the company.

The unanimous decision in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc. reversed a ruling by a US appeals court in favor the telecommunications company.

"Personal' in the phrase 'personal privacy' conveys more than just 'of a person,'" Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his decision. "It suggest a type of privacy evocative of human concerns—not the sort usually associated with an entity like, say, AT&T."

"We reject the argument that because 'person' is defined for purposes of FOIA to include a corporation, the phrase 'personal privacy' in Exemption 7(C) reaches corporations as well," he said.

"The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations."

"We trust that AT&T will not take it personally," Roberts added. "The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed."

personally, i don't see how the court can square this decision with the citizens united decision but, hey, i'm not a supreme court justice...

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Now, HERE'S a speech...!

california congressional representative george miller offers a damning indictment of those who seek to destroy the u.s. middle class along with most of the values our country stands for...

from the transcript (thanks to daily kos)...
How do you build a strong middle class community on the back of lower-wage workers? You can't do it. Many years ago in America we wanted to add a strong, vibrant middle class and we did that by forming the union and giving people the right to have a say at work. Study after study where workers have a say in the workplace, they work harder, more productive, more open to new ideas.

But what do we say to workers with the governors of Wisconsin and Ohio and Indiana? Do what we tell you to do, do it for less pay, do it for less benefit, and do it because we told you so. That doesn't sound like America to me. It doesn't sound like a powerful country that has the best and most productive workers in the history of the world. That sounds like something that we are not familiar with in this country.

That sounds like an autocratic system that just demands and takes but never gives.

wow...! an elected official who actually takes his duty to defend and represent the common good of his nation seriously...! who woulda thunk it...?

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A call for a direct focus on our super-rich elites, the ones who are calling the shots

one of the real benefits of the "global awakening," particularly as it's being played out currently in the u.s. (in places like madison, wisconsin), is that it's drawing back the curtain on those behind those they have installed as their puppets... case in point: it's not scott walker, the wisconsin governor, we should be focusing on, it's charles and david koch, the super-rich elite money-men who finance and enable people like walker...

george goehl writing in the nation...

We need to get to the root of the issue of budgets—we’re facing a revenue crisis. There is simply not enough money in our cities and states to support the investments needed to rebuild the American middle class. The good news is this: we know where the money is. And though politicians might tell you differently, it’s not in Grandma’s pension. It’s not in the homes of families fighting off foreclosure. And it’s not in the pockets of American schoolchildren or schoolteachers. It’s on Wall Street.

Jacob Lew, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told the New York Times that the “easy cuts” are behind us. “Easy cuts” are those that impact the poor and less powerful. The hard cuts—the ones that are so hard that few in statehouses or Washington are talking about them—would mean ending tax breaks and free rides for Wall Street and the corporations they finance. These cuts are hard not because they hurt everyday people but because they would force elected officials to go toe-to-toe with the economic elites who finance their campaigns. And because too few politicians have the stomach for this fight, it’s clear we’ll have to lead it ourselves.

To do this, we need to hold elected officials accountable and directly challenge the moral abuses of major corporate powers. We get in trouble when we're doing only one or the other and missing half the fight. Right now the mix is uneven. That’s why we need to move from directing most of our energy toward the pawns of the corporate class to going directly to those calling the shots. Imagine if every time we organized a protest at a statehouse or on Capitol Hill we also marched on a bank or the headquarters of a corporation that is impeding an economic recovery for American families. It’s critical that we make this shift, because if this battle simply pits people against politicians, it allows those with the most power to be absent from the story and therefore absent from any real accountability. [emphases added]

david korten describes the unholy alliances that have been manipulated by those elites to bring us to the ugliness of today...
In the 1970s, an alliance of elite interests began preparing to roll back the measures that created the American middle class and launched a full-scale class war during the 1980s under the banner of the Reagan revolution.Corporate interests provided the money and controlled the real agenda. Religious fundamentalists provided votes in return for lip service to a conservative social agenda opposing abortion, family planning, and gay marriage. Libertarians provided an ideological framework removing constraints to the unlimited concentration of wealth in the name of market freedom. Neo-conservatives provided justification for wars and outsized military expenditures to swell the profits of the defense industry and secure corporate access to the world’s resources and markets.

you've gotta admit, those wealthy elites have done one hell of a job...

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The ripple effects of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya continue to spread

in addition to what's happening in northern africa, the near east and the u.s., we're starting to see tremors in the balkans (croatia and albania, specifically) and southern africa (zimbabwe)... having just been in zimbabwe last week and had a member of mugabe's secret police join the second day of our conference to make sure we weren't plotting against the government, i'm not surprised to see things being stirred up against yet another corrupt dictator...


Croatian police clashed with about 15,000 anti-government protesters who rallied in Zagreb on Saturday, with 33 people injured and 58 protesters taken into custody, according to reports of the Croatian news agency HINA. The protesters, among whom were masked members of the Bad Blue Boys group of football supporters, demanded protection of war veterans from prosecution. They clashed with the police in an attempt to reach St. Mark's Square, where the government is located. The police were forced to use force as some protesters acted violently and tried to break police cordons, Zagreb police chief Tomislav Buterin was quoted as saying at a news conference, adding that 33 people were injured in the process, including journalists. A great number of policemen were guarding the downtown area and helicopters were seen flying over the city. The situation calmed down around 4 p.m. local time (1500 GMT). At another Zagreb square Bana Jelacica, thousands protested peacefully against the government and in support of a Croat war veteran awaiting extradition to Serbia in a Bosnian prison. A similar protest was also organized in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek. Croatian police clashed with about 15,000 anti-government protesters who rallied in Zagreb on Saturday, with 33 people injured and 58 protesters taken into custody, according to reports of the Croatian news agency HINA.

The protesters, among whom were masked members of the Bad Blue Boys group of football supporters, demanded protection of war veterans from prosecution. They clashed with the police in an attempt to reach St. Mark's Square, where the government is located.

The police were forced to use force as some protesters acted violently and tried to break police cordons, Zagreb police chief Tomislav Buterin was quoted as saying at a news conference, adding that 33 people were injured in the process, including journalists.

A great number of policemen were guarding the downtown area and helicopters were seen flying over the city. The situation calmed down around 4 p.m. local time (1500 GMT).

At another Zagreb square Bana Jelacica, thousands protested peacefully against the government and in support of a Croat war veteran awaiting extradition to Serbia in a Bosnian prison.

A similar protest was also organized in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek.

croatia isn't the only balkan country ripe for political upheaval... only a month ago, i was in kosovo and i can tell you, the corruption there is on a par with the worst of them... in fact, there has already been uprising and unrest in albania, kosovo's close neighbor, as recently as late january...

zimbabwe's mugabe is still managing to keep his heel on the throat of his people but, once the ball gets rolling, that might change quickly...

Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, remained tense Tuesday as military and police maintained a show of force though protests against President Robert Mugabe called for by a group on the Internet social media site Facebook failed to materialize.

A Facebook page called "Zimbabwe Million Citizen March" called for protests in Harare, Bulawayo and other major cities to “demand the end of the 31-year rule of the iron-fisted and corrupt dictator Robert Mugabe."

Zimbabwean authorities for weeks have warned against any attempt to emulate the mass protests seen across North Africa and the Middle East, and recently arrested 45 people on charges of treason alleging they were conspiring to topple the government.

Those arrests and a general crackdown has been condemned by the United Nations and other human rights groups. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the arrest and alleged torture of activists and said the arrests “appear to be part of a growing crackdown on civil society and members of the political opposition."

we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg... i predict when we hit june, we might not recognize a lot of the world we thought we knew - and that will be a very good thing...

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Henry Giroux, among others, characterizes what's happening as an outpouring of student protest

yes, but that's not all it is...
Left Behind? American Youth and the Global Fight for Democracy

Within the last few months, we have seen an outpouring of student protests from all over the globe.


Counterpublic spheres and modes of resistance that we once did not think young people could mount have erupted in a rush of emotional and political expressions and scattered demonstrations. Mass demonstrations have been organized through the emergent screen cultures of a generation well versed in new technologically assisted forms of social networking and political exchange.


Signaling a generational crisis that is global in scope, young people have sent a message to the world that they refuse to live any longer under repressive political regimes sustained by a morally bankrupt neoliberal world.

while there's a tremendous number of youth involved in the protests (which is very welcome and long overdue), i think there's also a significant number of my own baby-boomer generation who are equally energized, and many of us have either taken to the streets right along with the young - or would if we weren't tied up in other circumstances... being on a work assignment in southern africa at the moment doesn't offer much of an opportunity to get involved but, believe me, this is one thing i would put my body on the street for in a heartbeat...

i was speaking with my daughter in the twin cities last evening and she's been considering making the trip to madison and, if she does, my heart will be with her... i've been waiting for this kind of tectonic shift all of my life and i won't be relegated to the dustbin of the "elders"...

as a case in point, here's a 60-something who isn't sitting there watching "law and order" re-runs...

Anna Becker looks tired. Becker is leaning against the brick wall beside the entrance to Bank of America's Pearl District branch in Portland, Oregon, where one of over 50 nationwide protests by US Uncut has been underway for nearly two hours.

But Becker, a retired teacher, is just as energized as the protesters at the front of the crowd of about 60, who spill into the street and draw long, loud honks from the stream of cars driving toward the Willamette River.

"I have been waiting for 20 years for something like this to happen in America," says Becker. The words she has spoken in private for years are now plastered onto the canary yellow poster board she holds up like a shield: "B of A is al-Qaeda: financial terrorists."

Bank of America (BofA) is the first corporation to be targeted by US Uncut, the transatlantic offspring of the United Kingdom-based anti-austerity group UK Uncut, which held its first demonstration to protest corporate tax evasion in late 2010.

As a voice at the megaphone of the Portland protest said, "The United States does not have a deficit problem. The United States has a revenue problem." According to a 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office, 25 percent of the biggest corporations pay no federal income tax. BofA, the recipient of $45 billion in bailout funds, shuttles its would-be tax dollars into 115 offshore tax havens. Meanwhile, budget deficits are cited as justification for pay freezes for public workers and cuts to heating assistance programs, Social Security, and other social safety nets.

good stuff, people... keep on wakin' up...!

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AnonNews: David and Charles Koch have long attempted to usurp American Democracy

this is good...
Dear Citizens of the United States of America,

It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch--the billionaire owners of Koch Industries--have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker's union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch's have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state's power supplies.

The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating 'grassroots' organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America's broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers' political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.

it does my heart good to know there are folks like this operating out there... i'm energized to know there's an active resistance to the insidious, creeping takeover by our super-rich elites...

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YES, let's have another war for oil, the only thing that gives these bastards wet dreams

whether they're operating under the umbrella of PNAC or the FPI, these are truly evil people who, as sincere in their beliefs as i'm sure they are, wouldn't hesitate to kill a few thousand more people in libya than gaddafi has already killed in order to get their greedy hands on libya's oil resources... the fact that they would do it in the name of avoiding a "moral and humanitarian catastrophe" is all the more nauseatingly hypocritical...
U.S.:Neo-Con Hawks Take Flight over Libya

In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage U.S. intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week.

The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40 policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush, was organized and released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old neo-conservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous – or infamous – Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

Warning that Libya stood "on the threshold of a moral and humanitarian catastrophe", the letter, which was addressed to President Barack Obama, called for specific immediate steps involving military action, in addition to the imposition of a number of diplomatic and economic sanctions to bring "an end to the murderous Libyan regime".

In particular, it called for Washington to press NATO to "develop operational plans to urgently deploy warplanes to prevent the regime from using fighter jets and helicopter gunships against civilians and carry out other missions as required; (and) move naval assets into Libyan waters" to "aid evacuation efforts and prepare for possible contingencies;" as well as "(e)stablish the capability to disable Libyan naval vessels used to attack civilians."

Among the letter's signers were former Bush Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Bush's top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice President Dick Cheney's former deputy national security adviser, John Hannah, as well as FPI's four directors: Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.

paul craig roberts sums it up nicely...
The United States government cannot get enough of war. With Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime falling to a rebelling population, CNN reports that a Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. is looking at all options from the military side.

Allegedly, the Pentagon, which is responsible for one million dead Iraqis and an unknown number of dead Afghans and Pakistanis, is concerned about the deaths of 1,000 Libyan protesters.

oh, yeah, we're SO-O-O-OOO concerned about the deaths of libyan protesters...

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

"People here have acted lawfully and responsibly. There's no reason to consider arrests."

this is extremely cool...
The occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

Roughly three hours after a deadline to vacate the building had passed and as police officers continued to look on quietly, protest coordinator Erika Wolf took to a microphone and announced: "There's really awesomely good news — that we're going to be able to stay here tonight."

A cheer went up from the several hundred protesters who had ignored a request from the state agency that oversees the Capitol to leave by 4 p.m. so that the normally immaculate building could get a thorough cleaning.


Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said demonstrators who had occupied all three floors of the Capitol would have to relocate to the ground floor overnight. Anyone who left the building was barred from returning until Monday morning, although police did allow union officials to bring food into the building for the protesters.

No demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law, Tubbs said. By late evening, the air smelled of pizza and lemon-scented disinfectant as demonstrators quietly ate dinner and several janitors worked around them to clean the Capitol's marble floors.

"People here have acted lawfully and responsibly," Tubbs said. "There's no reason to consider arrests."

simple, quiet, peaceful determination... gives me goose-bumps...

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Why should our super-rich elites keep sucking us dry and refusing to pay their fair share...?

robert parry writing in consortium news via alternet...
The Solution to Our Budget Problems Is So Obvious: We Need to Raise Taxes on the Rich, ASAP

The answer to many of our country’s domestic problems is obvious -- the rich need to pay their fair share.


[I]t would seem both fair and logical for the U.S. government to restore the marginal income tax rates on the wealthiest taxpayers at least to levels that existed prior to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. That way the rich could pay back the country for all it has done for them.

fair and logical are not terms that mean the same to our overlords that they do to you and me... fair and logical to them means that they want it all, no if's, and's or but's...

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