Why the best candidate can’t win the support of People of Color: Where the Bern is Fizzling

By Alfredo Lopez

 

In the recent New York primaries, Bernie Sanders experienced some very cold water thrown in his face. Not only did he lose, and soundly, but he was served a major lesson about one of the primary deficiencies in his campaign.

New TCBH! poem: 'Sucking the bones of bees'

We are

breaking the little bones of earth

(bones of coral, bones of red wolf,

bones of bat and bee,

Talk Nation Radio: John Dear on Catholic Church Rejecting "Just War" Theory

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john-dear-on-catholic-church-rejecting-just-war-theory

After 1700 years, the Catholic Church is turning against the idea that there can be a "just war." We speak with John Dear.

John Dear is an internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, retreat leader, and author, he served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S. After September 11, 2001, he was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Center in New York, and counseled thousands of relatives and rescue workers. John has traveled the war zones of the world, been arrested some 75 times for peace, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, recently visited Afghanistan, given thousands of lectures on peace across the U.S., and served as a pastor of several churches in New Mexico.

His many books include: The Nonviolent Life; Walking the Way; Thomas Merton Peacemaker; A Persistent Peace; Transfiguration;  You Will Be My Witnesses;   Living Peace;  The Questions of Jesus;   The God of Peace;  Jesus the Rebel;   Peace Behind Bars;  and Disarming the Heart.  He has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sen Barbara Mikulski. He works for www.campaignnonviolence.org, is a priest of the Diocese of Monterey, Cal., and lives in New Mexico. See: www.johndear.org

Statement from April 11-13 Vatican Meeting:
http://www.paxchristi.net/news/appeal-catholic-church-recommit-centrality-gospel-nonviolence/5855#sthash.gBLNmWLZ.Ko153230.dpbs

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Focus: Bernie Sanders and the independent voters - Apr 25, 2016

 

POLL: : 44% of Americans describe themselves as independents in April, up from 38% in March. Democrats are 31% and Republicans 25%  - Gallup


No candidate has benefited more from the surge of independents than Bernie Sanders - The Washington Post


Why Sanders does better with independents. They are driven not by their ideology so much as their dislike of partisan politics - FiveThirtyEight


In New Jersey Sanders is at 51% and Clinton at 40% among independents who are 48% of the electorate (but NJ primary is closed) - NJTV


POLL (YouGov): In NY Clinton led Sanders 57% to 38% among Democrats but Sanders led Clinton 72% to 26% among independents (who in large majority did not vote because of closed primary) - YouGov


New York voters sue the state, claiming mass voter roll purges - The Liberty Beacon


500,000 California independents could be shut out of the primary - usuncut.com


Who will tap R.I.'s independent streak in Tuesday's primaries? - providencejournal.com


Effort in South Dakota aims to drop parties, voters to consider initiative to set up open primaries - WSJ


Editorial: Restore open presidential primary in Colorado, include independents - GJSentinel.com


Who says that America is a democracy? The selection of presidential candidates is not driven by a truly representative system – The Moderate Voice


American democracy is rigged - Common Dreams


Democracy Spring and the US voting matrix: How much of the electoral process is illusory? - truth-out.org


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Their Mouths Are Moving, or How Can You Tell a Politician Is Lying About War?

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Stop Bombing Syria 4ad41

Someone asked me to find war lies during the past few years. Perhaps they had in mind the humanitarian pretenses around attacking Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 2014, or the false claims about chemical weapons in 2013, or the lies about an airplane in Ukraine or the endlessly reported Russian invasions of Ukraine. Maybe they were thinking of the "ISIS Is In Brooklyn" headlines or the routine false claims about the identities of drone victims or the supposedly imminent victory in Afghanistan or in one of the other wars. The lies seem far too numerous for me to fit into an essay, though I've tried many times, and they are layered over a bedrock of more general lies about what works, what is legal, and what is moral. Just a Prince Tribute selection of lies could include Qadaffi's viagra for the troops and CNN's sex-toys flag as evidence of ISIS in Europe. It's hard to scrape the surface of all U.S. war lies in something less than a book, which is why I wrote a book.

So, I replied that I would look for war lies just in 2016. But that was way too big as well, of course. I once tried to find all the lies in one speech by Obama and ended up just writing about the top 45. So, I've taken a glance at two of the most recent speeches on the White House website, one by Obama and one by Susan Rice. I think they provide ample evidence of how we're being lied to.

Visiting Refugee Camps in Athens and Facilities in Germany

By Ann Wright

Inline image 2

Our small three person delegation from CODEPINK: Women for Peace (Leslie Harris of Dallas, TX, Barbara Briggs-Letson of Sebastopol, CA and Ann Wright of Honolulu, HI)  travelled to Greece to volunteer in refugee camps.  We spent our first day in Athens at the refugee camp on the piers of Piraeus harbor known as E1 and E1.5 for the piers on which they are located-away from the busiest piers from which the ferry boats take travelers out to the Greek islands.  Camp E2 that held 500 people was closed over the weekend and the 500 person in that location moved to Camp E1.5.

The camp has been on the piers of Piraeus for several months when ferryboats began moving refugees from the islands off the coast of Turkey to Athens.  Many of the boats arrived at the piers at night and the travelers had no place to go so they just camped out on the piers.  Gradually, the Greek authorities designated piers E1 and E2 for refugee camps.  But, with the tourist season arriving, the authorities want the space for the increased tourist business.

Rumors are that both of the remaining camps of about 2500 will be closed over this weekend and everyone moved to a camp at Scaramonga being built about 15 minutes outside of Athens.

Some of the refugees left the Piraeus piers to check out other refugee facilities, but have returned to the piers as the concrete rather than dirt floors, fresh ocean breezes and easy access to the city of Athens by public transport are seen as better than being in a formal camp in an isolated location with more stringent entry and exit rules.

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We were at Piraeus yesterday all day helping in the clothing warehouse and talking to refugees as they wait in lines—for the toilets, showers, food, clothing—lines for anything and everything—and being invited to sit inside the family tents to chat.  We met Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and Pakistanis.

The pier camps are informal, not official refugee camps operated by any one group.  But the Greek government is helping with some of the logistics such as toilets and food. There seems to be no camp administrator or central coordinator but everyone seems to know the daily drill of food, water, tiolets.  Refugee registration for their future is a process we have not figured out, but many we have spoken with have been in Athens for over 2 months and do not want to be moved to a formal facility where they will have less freedom and access to the local communities.

The toilets are a mess, long lines for showers with a 10 minute max for moms to shower the kids. Most live in small tents with large families connecting several tents to form a “sitting room” and bedrooms.  Kids race around the area with small toys.  The Norwegian NGO “A drop In the Ocean” has a space under a tent for providing a space for art, coloring and drawing for kids.   A Spanish NGO has hot tea and water available 24 hours a day.  The clothing warehouse is stacked with boxes of used clothes that must be sorted into logical piles for distribution.  As there are no clothes washing machines, some women attempt to wash out clothes in buckets and hang clothes on lines, while others have found that throwing away dirty clothes and getting “new” ones from the warehouse is the most efficient way to stay clean.  UNHCR provides blankets that are used as carpets in tents.

We met international volunteers from Spain, the Netherlands, the U.S., France and many Greek volunteers.  The volunteers who have been there the longest pass on the routine to the newcomers.  The previous system of a daily orientation for the new volunteers has not been reestablished since camp E2 was closed.

The tent living areas are remarkably clean considering how long people have been there.  The hospitality of the refugees toward those who have come to the camp in solidarity is heartwarming. We were invited into the three tent home of a family from Iraq.  They have five children, 4 girls and one boy.  They had just brought to their tents the lunch provided at 3pm, a lunch of hot stew, bread, cheese and an orange.  They had all the family seated for a formal meal no doubt to remind the children of home.

In the typical Middle Eastern courtesy to strangers, they asked us to come into the tent and offered to share their meal with us. We sat and talked as they ate.  The father who appeared to be about 40 years old is a pharmacist and the mother is a teacher of Arabic.  The father said he had to bring his family out of Iraq because if he were killed, as many of his friends have been, how would his wife take care of the family?

In a refugee facility we visited in Munich, Germany, we found the same hospitality. The facility is a building left vacant by the Siemens corporation.  800 persons live in the 5 story building.  21,000 refugees are in various facilities in Munich. A family from Syria with six children came into the hallway to offer us pieces of raw vegetables and another family from Armenia offered us pieces of candy.  The hospitality of the Middle East continues with the families as they travel under extraordinarily difficult conditions to other parts of the world.

In Berlin, we went to a refugee facility at Templehof Airport in which the hangers have been turned into accommodations for 4,000. The refugee facilities in Berlin and Munich are operated by private companies rather directly by the German government.  Each German region has been given quotas for the numbers of refugees they must accommodate and each region has made its own standards for assistance.

While the United States has closed its borders to person fleeing the chaos caused in great measure by its war on Iraq, the countries of Europe deal with the human crisis as best they can---not perfectly, but certainly with more humanity than the government of the United States.

About the Author:  Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and 16 years as a U.S. diplomat.  She resigned in 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.  She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

Focus: Bernie Sanders and the Closed Primaries on Tuesday - Apr 23, 2016


Bernie Sanders condemns closed primaries but facing 4 of them next week - ABC News


No voice for Pennsylvania independents: About 15 percent of eligible voters will have no say in presidential primaries - Times News Online


Can you vote In Maryland's primary if you're an independent? Those voters won't be happy - Bustle


Can independents vote in the Connecticut primary? 42 percent of voters, who are unaffiliated, must registered as Democrat or Republican - Bustle


Can independents vote in the Delaware primary? Only if they registered as Democrat or Republican by April 2 - Bustle


Rhode Island voters ‘caught off guard' by poll closures and voter ID law, only 144 of 419 polling places will be open on Tuesday - ThinkProgress


Bombshell: Arizona Secretary Of State admits election fraud took place - Nwo Report


The story of the great Brooklyn voter purge keeps getting weirder - Mother Jones


Clinton delegate Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller, will oversee primary audit - dpreview.com


NY Board Of Elections suspends one employee for primary day debacle - Gothamist


One statistic shows how badly New York screwed up its primary: A mere 19.7% of eligible New Yorkers voted in the state's primary on Tuesday - Yahoo News


There's a long list of voting reforms New York can pass - gothamgazette.com


The New York Primary was a Sh*tshow. Here’s Why. - 34justice


Chicago Election Board Scandal: 21 Bernie votes were erased and 49 Hillary votes added to audit tally, group declares (VIDEO) - inquisitr.com


CO lawmakers wrangle over open primary plan - 9news.com


Voter suppression charged in almost every state – 2016 Election Central


Why are our elections such a mess? - Care2 Causes


POLL (Rasmussen): Only 24% Say U.S. heading in right direction - Rasmussen Reports


POLL (Rasmussen): 51% of Democrats oppose their party’s superdelegate system, 30% favor it - Rasmussen Reports


POLL: 36% of U.S. voters believe it’s at least somewhat likely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency in the next 10 years - Rasmussen Reports


Petition: Encourage Bernie Sanders to run as an independent candidate in the 2016 Presidential Elections - Change.org


VotePact.org: Whereby 'disenchanted Democrats' and 'disenchanted Republicans' pair up and both vote for the third party or independent candidates of their choice - huffingtonpost.com


Stein, Green for President, sends letter to Sanders, invite him to cooperate on political revolution & real democracy - Independent Political Report


Sanders still registered as independent despite claims he’s a ‘Democrat for life’ - freebeacon.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Fear of ISIS Used to Justify Continued Military Intervention in Middle East

By David Swanson, Just World Books | Book Excerpt

Why was the US public willing to tolerate new US war-making in Iraq and Syria in 2014–2015, after having opposed it in 2013? This time the advertised enemy was not the Syrian government, but terrorists scarier than al Qaeda, called ISIS. And ISIS was shown to be cutting the throats of Americans on videos. And something switched off in people's brains and they stopped thinking -- with a few exceptions. A few journalists pointed out that the Iraqi government bombing Iraqi Sunnis was in fact driving the latter to support ISIS. As if to hammer this point home, ISIS produced a 60-minute movie depicting itself as the leading enemy of the United States and virtually begging the United States to attack it. (When the United States did attack, recruitment soared, just as ISIS had expected.) Even Newsweek published a clear-eyed warning that ISIS would not last long unless the United States saved it by bombing it. Matthew Hoh warned that the beheadings were bait not to be taken. And of course I shouted the warnings of this book everywhere I could. But the US government and much of the public took the bait.

READ THE REST AT Truthout.org.

Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, Inside the Devastation of America's Drone Wars

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Documents: How IOGCC Created Loophole Ushering in Frackquakes and Allowing Methane Leakage

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Earthquakes caused by injection of shale oil and gas production wastes — and methane leakage from shale gas pipelines — have proliferated in recent years, with both issues well-studied in the scientific literature and grabbing headlines in newspapers nationwide.

Focus: New York and the Closed Primary System - Apr 21, 2016


New York's Attorney General will investigate alleged voter suppression in state's primary, Board of Elections audited - VICE News


Sanders campaign, New York officials cry foul after New York voters report issues - CNN


Some New Yorkers feel disenfranchised by the primary. They are taking the fight to court. - Vox


N.Y. voter hotline swamped with complaints - democratandchronicle.com


I’m one of NYC’s 125,000 ‘ghosts’ who couldn’t cast their vote - New York Post


Purged registrations cost this NY primary voter 5 hours - ABC News


Failure, fraud and more in New York’s punk rock voting disaster - The Daily Beast


VIDEO: NY Elections Board director denies claims that thousands of voters were disenfranchised - LawNewz

 

---------------------------------------------

New York's strict voter registration rules frustrate Sanders supporters - The Guardian


Judge denied request to immediately open up New York primary to independent voters - ThinkProgress


Five states have primaries next week. Will they face the same problems New York did? - ThinkProgress


No voice for some Pennsylvania independent voters - Times News Online


Editorial: 1 in 4 NY voters prohibited from casting ballots because they do not belong to either party. Same fate will befall independents in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Sanders: New York voter rules ‘absurd and wrong’ - The Guardian


VIDEO: Why did 3.2 million New Yorkers lose their voting rights? Thom Hartmann talks with Shyla Nelson, spokesperson-Election Justice USA - Democratic Underground


VIDEO: What is wrong with New York’s voting system and how can it be fixed? Interview with Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law - Democracy Now!


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Hillary Clinton and Campaign Finance - Apr 20, 2016


Sanders slams Clinton-DNC fundraising agreement, says it benefits Hillary’s presidential campaign - POLITICO


Press Release: Clinton-DNC joint fundraising raises serious campaign finance concerns - Bernie Sanders


Joint Clinton-DNC committee raised $33 million in first quarter, helped state parties but spent most of its cash boosting Hillary - POLITICO


Sanders aide: Clinton gets two thirds of all of the money from Clooney and others' fundraisers - TheHill


FEC Disclosure Form 3X for Hillary Victory Fund - docquery.fec.gov


Does Sanders' accusation against the DNC hold water? Experts find Clinton’s activities unethical, likely not illegal - ThinkProgress

 

How Hillary Clinton bought the loyalty of the Democratic party establishment and superdelegates: Tracing the trail of money - kavips


Case study: Democratic Party of Wisconsin helps billionaires channel donations to Clinton campaign - Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative


Case study: Meet the Clinton campaign money makers funneling money through the Wisconsin Democratic Party - Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative


VIDEO: Hillary donors use state loopholes to launder millions - Young Turks Network


K Street cash helps boost Clinton's White House bid - rollcall.com


Meet the wealthy donors who are funneling millions into the 2016 elections - Washington Post

 

-----------------------------------------------------

Thousands gather at U.S. Capitol for 'Democracy Awakening' rally, protest voting laws and the role money plays in the political system - USA TODAY


Capitol Hill arrests in campaign finance protest hit 1,240 - TheHill


Democracy Spring: why thousands of demonstrators protested in Washington, DC - Vox


VIDEO: Democracy Awakening protest - YouTube


VIDEO: More on Democracy Awakening protest - YouTube


VIDEO: Ben and Jerry explain why they got arrested at Democracy Awakening - YouTube


Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy - BBC News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Sue Saudi for 9/11 and U.S. for all its wars

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

saudi obama 8fbf2

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry say that allowing family members of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its complicity in that crime would set a terrible precedent that would open the United States up to lawsuits from abroad.

Wonderful! Let the lawsuits rain down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!

Suing Saudis over 9/11 will only set a precedent if it succeeds, which is to say if there is evidence of Saudi complicity. We know that there is, according to former Senator Bob Graham and others who have read 28 pages censored from a U.S. Senate report. Pressure is building in Congress both to reveal those 28 pages and to allow lawsuits. And yet another Senate bill gaining support would block further U.S. arming of Saudi Arabia.

The precedent of allowing international victims to sue those complicit in murder would not place you, dear reader, or I at risk of any lawsuits. It would, however, put numerous top U.S. officials and former officials at risk of suits from many corners of the globe, including from the seven nations that President Obama has bragged about bombing: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya. It's not as if any of these wars is legal under Kellogg-Briand or the U.N. Charter.

Combined with the possible precedent of allowing victims of U.S. domestic gun violence to sue gun manufacturers, the possibility could emerge for countless parents, children, and siblings of U.S. killings in countless countries to begin suing Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, etc.  

Even just the precedent of allowing suits against Saudi Arabia could have far-reaching consequences before expanding it to other countries. Imagine if Yemenis could sue Saudis for the current slaughter from the air? If they could, then what about Boeing? And what about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who allowed Boeing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia after Boeing gave her family foundation $900,000 and Saudi Arabia gave over $10 million?

In her last ditch effort at the presidency, Clinton has joined Senator Bernie Sanders in claiming that she supports allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia -- something she is highly unlikely to take any other steps to advance.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell off $750 billion worth of U.S. properties. (No word on whether Hillary Clinton is listed among those properties.) I say let the sales commence! Let the U.S. government take three-quarter's of one-year's military spending, buy those properties, and give them to the public or use them to compensate the people of Yemen. Or freeze those assets now without buying them, and give them to the U.S. and Yemeni people.

Of course, Obama and Kerry may be raising the notion of a precedent for suing the U.S. mostly as cover for the fact that they are showing greater loyalty to the Saudi royalty than to 9/11 victims. The U.S. public needs only the slightest excuse to avoid recognizing where its rulers true loyalties lie. Italy has convicted CIA agents of kidnapping to torture, and never sought their extradition. Pakistani courts have already ruled against U.S. drone murders, and the U.S. has failed to so much as yawn in response. The U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court, and claims a unique status outside the rule of law -- a rogue status for which it would urge sanctions on any other nation claiming something similar while possessing too much oil or not enough U.S. weaponry.

Still, precedents can be set politically and legally, even against the will of one of the parties involved. For U.S. foreign policy to be compelled to treat 9/11 as the crime that it was, a crime committed by certain individuals, could mean a few important things: (1) a serious investigation of 9/11, (2) rejection of the idea that 9/11 was part of a war launched by the entire world, or the Muslim portion of the world, and in which the United States is entitled to seek revenge thousands of times over and without limits in time or space, (3) greater understanding that U.S. terrorism, just like 9/11 but on a larger scale, is criminal activity for which particular individuals can be held accountable.

What could answer the deepest needs of the 9/11 victims and family members could also answer many needs of U.S. victims in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, etc., and that is a truth and reconciliation commission. Getting to that will be accomplished by precedents and changes in thinking in our culture, not by any particular legal development. Such a procedure would be a success if afterwards the U.S. and Saudi and other governments began paying reparations in the form of humanitarian aid, costing them far less than they are now putting into wars, but doing a world of good for people rather than the criminal harm being done right now and for years past.

Did the Vatican Just Throw Out Its Just War Doctrine?

By Erica Chenoweth

Last week, the Vatican hosted a conference on the theme of “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace along with the global Catholic peace network Pax Christi International. In their concluding appeal to Pope Francis, the 80 conference participants recommended that he reject Just War Doctrine as a viable or productive Catholic tradition. They also recommended that he write a new encyclical laying out the Catholic Church’s commitment to nonviolence in all of its manifestations—including nonviolent action as a means of engaging in conflict, nonviolent conflict resolution as a way of resolving conflict, and nonviolence as the principle doctrine of the Catholic Church.

If such an encyclical follows, this is a big deal. The just war tradition—which contains numerous doctrines morally justifying violence and war, as well as defining appropriate conduct during war—has served for the past 1500 years as the primary normative basis politicians have evoked (correctly or incorrectly) to validate their waging of war. Because the Catholic Church developed the doctrine between the 4th and 13th centuries, the just war canon has had a monopolistic influence on the way people in the West think about war and violence—whether they know it or not. Consequently, many people now take for granted concepts like the right to self-defense, the importance of weighing the goals of war against its potential human costs, the need to exhaust other options before going to war, and the necessity of only fighting wars you think you can win. Whether you’re the President of the United States in D.C., a police officer on the beat in Denver, or a student in a self-defense class in L.A., these moral concepts have probably had a deep impact on your thinking and your experience when it comes to the proper uses of violence.

Conference participants acknowledged the main sticking point for many skeptics of nonviolence—that promoting (or using) nonviolence can be difficult in the face of armed aggression. Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International and a participant at the conference, claimed that the group fully considered this challenge. Yet she argued that the international community hasn’t yet devoted resources to developing or discovering nonviolent alternatives to armed aggression because of our reflexive turn to violence as the only possible response. In her words, “as long as we keep saying we can do it with military force, we will not invest the creative energy, the deep thinking, the financial and human resources in creating or identifying the alternatives that actually could make a difference.”

So—why is the Catholic Church reconsidering now? Reporter Terrence Lynne argues that there are five primary reasons for this—among them the fact that contemporary weapons of war render obsolete any positive impacts that war might have; and what he calls “the compelling, thrilling saga of nonviolent action over the 60 years since Gandhi.” Indeed, among the arguments Pope Francis used to encourage the conference participants was the dramatic rise in the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance over the past century—a trend we hear a lot around the halls of the Korbel School. In fact, one of the participants in this landmark conference was my colleague Maria J. Stephan, whose work on civil resistance in a variety of struggles around the world helped to provide a strong empirical basis for this conference.

How’s that for engaged scholarship?

Erica Chenoweth is Professor & Associate Dean for Research | Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of DenverOriginally published at Political Violence at a Glance, republishing permitted.

Talk Nation Radio: John Hanrahan on Avaaz's Warmongering

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john-hanrahan-on-avaazs-warmongering

John Hanrahan, currently on the editorial board of ExposeFacts, is a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for  The Washington Post, The Washington Star, UPI and other news organizations. He also has extensive experience as a legal investigator. Hanrahan is the author of Government by Contract and co-author of Lost Frontier: The Marketing of Alaska. He has written extensively for NiemanWatchdog.org, a project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

We discuss these articles by Hanrahan at Truthout.org:

As in Libya, Avaaz Campaigned for Syria No-Fly Zone That Even Top Generals Opposed

***

Avaaz Ignored Libya Lessons When Advocating for Syria No-Fly Zone

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, No Justice at Gitmo

 This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

Guinness Book of Warmongering

My son left a 2015 Guinness Book of World Records lying around. It's largely a mix of athletic feats, extravagant spending, freakish body conditions and diseases, and people who do dumb stuff in order to get into the book. It also features two sections focused on mass-murder. One celebrates the technology used to kill people. In that section, the United States is featured almost exclusively. The other section looks more at the wars, killing, and dying. In that section, the United States could not be avoided, but every effort was made.

Starting with the celebration of the tools of death, Guinness chooses to include these awards for the United States of America:

Most sea craft.

Most aircraft.

Most total firepower.

Most expensive super carrier.

Longest range stealth mini-sub.

Most expensive drone.

Most expensive military aircraft program.

Largest air force.

Most common fighter aircraft.

Longest "serving" bomber.

Largest anti-mine naval exercise.

Largest aerial assault using poisoned mice.

First successful combat submarine.

First air-to-air refueling.

First pilotless aircraft to cross the Pacific.

First drone launched from a submerged submarine.

Highest number of firearms per person.

First 3-D printed pistol.

 

Wow! Cool! Exciting! Go, Science!

Now, flip to the pages with wars, and the U.S. role seems to shrink a bit. Lots of other nations emerge from the shadows. The United States is listed as spending the most money on militarism and launching the most drone strikes. And if you're paying attention, you'll notice that the "least peaceful" nations (Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria) are all nations that the United States is bombing, and that the nation from which the most refugees have fled (Afghanistan) has seen that happen during a U.S. "liberation" or occupation. But every effort is made to depict war as emerging from somewhere other than the Pentagon.

The deadliest conflict for children is supposedly in Syria, with no mention of Iraq. The list of wars with the highest death tolls since 1955 includes the war on Vietnam, but no mention of Iraq at all. The highest number of civilian deaths in an undeclared war is supposedly Syria, perhaps because somebody is thinking that somebody else "declared" "War!" before destroying Iraq. The "least secure" nukes are supposedly in North Korea. Etc.

A serious look at world records would be a little different. It might look something like this:

 

Nation fighting greatest number of simultaneous wars: United States.

Nation with greatest number of troops stationed abroad: United States.

Nation with greatest number of foreign bases: United States.

Nation with troops in greatest number of nations: United States.

Nation with greatest number of troops at sea: United States.

Nation with greatest military use of outerspace: United States.

Nation selling the greatest quantity of weaponry to the world: United States.

Nation selling the greatest quantity of weaponry to the Middle East: United States.

Nation selling the greatest quantity of weaponry to poor nations: United States.

Nation giving the greatest quantity of weaponry to other nations: United States.

Nation giving the greatest quantity of weaponry to proxy fighters abroad: United States.

Nation whose weaponry is used on both sides of the greatest number of wars: United States.

Nation whose military most often trains two sets of troops to fight against each other: United States.

Nation holding out on ratifying the greatest number of treaties restricting weaponry and war-making: United States.

Only nation that has dropped nuclear bombs on cities: United States.

Nation using and selling the most cluster bombs, depleted uranium weapons, white phosphorus, and napalm: United States.

Nation whose military consumes the most petroleum: United States.

Nation that has overthrown the most other governments: United States.

Nation that has participated in the most wars since World War II: United States.

Nation that has dropped the most bombs since World War II: United States.

Nation that has killed the most people since World War II: United States.

Only nation in which a presidential candidate has been asked in a televised debate if he will be willing to kill thousands of innocent children as part of his basic duties if elected: United States.

Denying discrimination: Clintonian Political Calculus and the Culture of Hooey

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

Hooey –- silly talk/nonsense –- frequently has slimy characteristics and slime is slippery.

Former President Bill Clinton recently slipped on some silly talk when trying to dance around a slime trail oozing from his presidency during the 1990s.

The Really Strangest Dream

Watch the video:

What in the world is he singing about? This: http://davidswanson.org/outlawry

Is Afghanistan the New Old West for Claim-Jumping?

By Bill Distler

"Privatization of Afghanistan's state-owned companies, which controlled many of the country's mineral resources, was ongoing but not complete."  (From the 2011 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey's Minerals Yearbook)

We have been at war in Afghanistan for over 14 years.  This answers the first four journalistic questions of who, what, where, and when, but it doesn’t answer the most important question.  Why?

To understand U.S. involvement in Afghanistan today it might help if we re-learn a common term from the Old West.  The term is “claim-jumping”.  In the history of the Old West, as taught to us by Hollywood movies of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, claim-jumpers were right up there with the bushwackers, dry-gulchers, cattle rustlers, and horse thieves who played the necessary villains of the story.  Some of our greatest Hollywood heroes, including Audie Murphy (a World War II hero in real life), the Lone Ranger, Gabby Hayes, and John Wayne, had run-ins with these varmints.

Focus: New York and the Closed Primary System - Apr 18, 2016


NY voters file lawsuit over alleged election fraud claiming party affiliation changed without their consent, calls for an open primary - NY Daily News


Election fraud: Why are voter registrations changing? - Heavy.com


As registration mix-ups are reported, should NY Democrats switch to open primaries? - inquisitr.com


Discussion: NY voters to file suit calling closed primary 'a threat to our democratic system', claim party affiliation mysteriously changed - Reddit


Voter registration problem: Help us file an emergency injunction by describing your voter registration issue! - Election Justice USA


Independent voters could make polling sites a nightmare, officials bracing for a mess because they expect many Sanders voters will show up who can’t vote - New York Post


Independents may feel the Bern, but they can’t vote in New York’s closed primary - The Washington Post


Meet the people barred from voting In New York's presidential primary - ThinkProgress


N.Y. must do more to reverse state’s bad voter rate - NY Daily News


Primary rules test American democracy, How convoluted has the presidential selection process become? - CNN


Trumps closest confidants can’t vote for him because they’re still Democrats - World News Highlights


Donald Trump couldn’t vote in 2012 Republican primary - NY Daily News

 

----------------------------------------------------

Trump to RNC: Reform nomination system or ‘have a rough July at that convention’ - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Trump to RNC: Change rules or you’re going to have a rough Convention. People want their vote, to be represented properly - Grabien


Trump op-ed: Let me ask America a question: How has the electoral ‘system’ been working out for you and your family? - WSJ


Trump Convention Manager Manafort: We're trying to let voters decide who the nominee should be, not the party bosses -  RealClearPolitics


VIDEO: Trump convention manager Paul Manafort: "This Week" ABC full Interview - YouTube


Republican leaders consider rewriting convention rules - POLITICO


RNC Chair Preibus urges against changing convention rules before Cleveland - usatoday.com


Priebus blasted for 'major breach of trust' by top RNC officials - Washington Times


Trump supporters take American flag and walk out of GOP convention in Georgia as Cruz backers are chosen as delegates despite the Donald's primary victory - Daily Mail Online


Donald Trump: Cruz staged ‘attack' in Georgia to steal delegates - breitbart.com


Donald Trump fans protest as Miami Republicans pick convention delegates - Miami Herald


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

What's the Truth Hidden by the "Super Predators" Lie?

The desire to punish for the joy of punishing, for revenge, or for racist or sadistic domination has always had certain difficulties hiding behind the pretense of punishing for protection from danger. Creating fear of (young, black, male) "super predators" was a propaganda tactic for politicians like Hillary Clinton that bore some similarity to the efforts by politicians like Hillary Clinton to create fear of Iraqi weapons that didn't exist. The latter was meant to hide U.S. aggression toward Iraq. The former was meant to hide mad, raging punitive vindictiveness that sought to put lots of people in cages for lots of time regardless of the damage done.

One of the difficulties that pretending to punish people for public safety has in hiding real motives for mass incarceration is that the people whom the punishers most want to lock up for the longest time (or execute) are generally the least likely people to commit another crime (even if guilty of the first one). A 2009 study cited in the remarkable new book, Boy With a Knife, found that those who had been incarcerated for homicide were the very least likely to commit any kind of crime. In California in 2011 almost 49% of prisoners released later returned to prison for new criminal convictions, but that figure was less than 1% for those released who had been convicted of murder.

Part of the explanation for this may be that those convicted of murder were kept longer in prison and that older people are less likely to murder than younger people. But many studies have also found that prison has the opposite effect of rehabilitation, that people who learn to survive in prison are learning how not to survive when released, and that being released with the label of "felon" and little to no assistance in finding employment or income makes rehabilitation less likely. But even the theory that age is a factor or a theory that prison actually rehabilitates people cuts against the theory of the "super predator," of the subhuman monster incapable of reform.

There's also overwhelming evidence that locking up children makes them more likely to commit crimes as adults. This is true in general, and most children who are locked up are locked up for minor, non-violent crimes, the sorts of crimes that tend to be repeated a lot more than murder does. Yet, the United States, now the only nation on earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which would put an end to such practices, locks up children in adult prisons and tells itself this outrage is justified by the need to protect the public from what Hillary Clinton used to call "super predators." The U.S. tries about 250,000 children in adult courts each year, not because this serves the children or adults or society, but because of a general sense of hatred of and fear of those children. Wildly out of proportion to actual levels of crime, 62% of the children tried in adult courts are African American.

Boy With a Knife provides this context but principally tells the true account of a crime and its punishment. In 1993 in Massachusetts a white boy named Karter Reed fatally stabbed another boy. Nothing excuses that action anymore than anything excuses flying an airplane into the World Trade Center. But learning the events that led up to it explains it, just as learning what U.S. foreign policy was during the 1990s explains 9/11. Reed was denied a father by incarceration. Reed grew up in a culture of violence and danger. Reed believed, just like the Pentagon, that being armed with deadly weaponry would keep him safe. Reed panicked and lashed out, not bombing Libya but sticking a knife into another boy's stomach. He did so not imagining the boy would die. Nobody dies from such things on television, after all. He did so in a crowded school classroom full of adults there to break up a fight, adults who were guaranteed to witness his action and to apprehend him.

Karter was tried in adult court and sent away to adult prison following a trial in which he was falsely presented as a monster who had killed joyfully. Beyond the actual crime, which was indeed monstrous, Karter was prosecuted for supposedly being rebellious, anti-social, cool and calculating, enjoying murder and reveling in it -- all of which happened not to be true, but none of which had anything to do with the suffering of the victim, the victim's loved-ones, the witnesses, or the community. How many decades should be added to a child's sentence in hell for having smiled or for having broken trivial prison rules since being locked up pre-trial? How is restitution made or justice restored by locking a child in a cage until he's old?

The answer, it seems, is: with great difficulty and struggle and rarity. Karter Reed's story is one of redemption, of beating the odds, of rehabilitating himself despite prison, not because of it. It's one of the better stories from among the thousands of stories that we know so little of and that should not have to exist.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

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