Yemen: Another Impoverished Country Crushed by US Bombs

By Debra Sweet           Six weeks of bombing by U.S. close ally Saudi Arabia has brought about a desperate situation in Yemen. The Saudi government said weeks ago it would reduce bombing, but instead has increased it. Reports that hospitals are shutting down for lack of fuel, and the expected loss of the whole telecommunications system will bring more danger for the people.

Larry Everest writes in Obama & U.S. Imperialism: Pushing Yemen Deeper into Hell:

Lessons Learnt from the American War on Vietnam

By Debra Sweet      It's worth thinking about how imperialist wars start; how they can end up; how opposition develops externally and domestically. Sometimes waging wars make the aggressor less stable. Sometimes they lose legitimacy. A lot depends on what the opposition does. In this week of anniversaries, let's look back.

New poem: Manure Cannon

BAM!

Echo, like thunder off the shell of the sky-dome.

We, all on the terrace, glance at each other,

Jump to action.

Everyone knows what to do.

Grab something quick,

Fast Track the Good Stuff

The U.S. Senate has been very concerned not to let peace with Iran slip into place too easily, even while a new war in Iraq and Syria proceeds without the formal pretense of Congress "authorizing" or rejecting it.

Both houses of Congress are interested in ramming through the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) on a fast track. The fast track procedure of rushing things through Congress or creating them without Congress seems to be reserved for the least popular ideas our government produces.

What if, instead, a fast track were set up for those items favored by a vast majority of the public, or required for the future habitability of the planet, but which meet resistance from campaign funders, lobbyists, and the corporate media?

Of course I'd rather have clean elections and a publicly accountable Congress if we can't have public initiatives and direct democracy. But in the absence of such utopias, why not use extreme anti-democratic measures to ram through the things people want rather than the things we'd protest if we found out about them? Why not slip one past the plutocrats rather than slipping one past the people? Why not go with voice votes, no debate, and no time to read the details on measures to demilitarize and protect the planet rather than on "trade" agreements that empower corporate lawyers to overturn laws?

I recently read this in an email newsletter from peace advocate Michael Nagler: "The other day I went to test-drive an electric car. When we got through some of the technicalities and were waiting for a red light the salesperson coming with me said, 'So what do you do?' Here it comes, I thought: 'I work with a nonprofit; (gulp, and) we're promoting nonviolence.' After a reflective pause she said quietly, 'Thank you.'"

I've often had that same experience, but increasingly I eagerly reply: "I work on abolishing war." That's what I replied recently in a sandwich shop here in Charlottesville called Baggby's. I didn't get a "thank you," but I got a question as to whether I had known Jack Kidd. I had never heard of Jack Kidd, but Jack Kidd, a retired two-star Air Force general who lived in Charlottesville, had been in Baggby's in the past debating the need to abolish war with some other bigwig general who favored keeping war and militarism going.

So, I read Kidd's book, Prevent War: A New Strategy for America. Of course, I think we need a strategy for earth, not for the United States, if we are going to end war. Kidd, who died in 2013, believed in 2000, when the book was published, that only the United States could lead the way toward peace, that the United States had always meant well, that war could be used to end war, and all sorts of things I can't bring myself to take seriously. And yet, believing everything he still believed, after "waking up" in the early 1980s, as he describes it, Kidd came to recognize the insanity of failing to work for the abolition of war.

This was a man who had bombed German cities in World War II; who believed he'd survived a particularly difficult mission during which he'd shot down lots of German planes, because he'd prayed to God who'd answered his prayer; who'd flown secret nuclear attack plans from Washington to Korea during the Korean war; who'd "served" as Chief of the Joint War Plans Branch and worked on plans for World War III; who believed in the Gulf of Tonkin attack; who had obeyed orders to knowingly fly his plane through nuclear clouds moments after bomb tests -- as self-human experimentation; and yet . . . and yet! And yet Jack Kidd organized retired U.S. and Soviet generals to work for disarmament at the height of the Cold War.

Kidd's book contains numerous proposals to move us away from war. One of them is to fast track disarmament agreements. For that idea alone, his book is worth reading. It's also worth giving to the most hard-core war supporters as a sort of a gentle nudge. It's also worth asking, I think, why Charlottesville has no memorial to this former General who's layed out a plan for peace when it has so many to those whose only accomplishment was losing the U.S. Civil War.

See You in New Jersey This Weekend

Friday, May 8 – Sunday, May 10, 2015

Empire Meadows (Clarion) Hotel
Secaucus, New Jersey

(30 minutes from New York City)

Learn more: http://www.unacconference2015.org

I'll be speaking there Friday evening, May 8, and hope to see you!

—David Swanson

Mother's Day

 

By Kristin Christman

 

If we could see a Mother’s Day

All around the world,

Where mothers lived a day of joy,

Where mothers felt their worth,

 

Then what exactly would we see

So moms could realize

That their lives are important and

Their own perspectives wise?

 

The women in Sudan would not

Be flogged for wearing pants.

Their spirits wouldn’t be constrained;

They’d run, skip, sing, and dance.

 

In Arabia we’d celebrate

No groping of the girls;

They’d drive their cars with elbows bare,

Show ankles under skirts.

 

As golden rays of morning light

Touched arms tan from the sun,

Brown locks of hair blown by the breeze

From scarves could come undone.

 

And no false blame on women for

Attracting hands of men,

As if the hands were victims of

The evil feminine.

 

Instead of yoking women, telling

Them they have to hide,

The men without firm self-control

Would wear handcuffs outside.

 

And stiff Wahhabi thoughts of us

As temptresses dirt-smeared

Would turn around, go upside down

Til women were revered.

 

We’d hear collapse beliefs that virgins

Wait up in the sky

To welcome men who’ve torn apart

The hearts of countless lives.

 

For woman would not see the sense

In violence or the use

Of bombs, explosions, grief, and death

With God as an excuse.

 

And over in Afghanistan

Car bombings and grenades

Against the women working for

Their rights would quickly fade.

 

Iranians for their part would

forbid torture and rapes

Of prisoners and end abuse

Of wives, victims of hate.

 

And Pakistani mothers giving

Birth would have the aid

Of female nurses from their land

Who’ve been to school and trained.

 

Then as their infants grew in age

They’d find joy escalate

From playgrounds, slides, and jungle gyms,

From swimming, roller blades.

 

As youth needing adventure they’d

Not turn to violent games;

Instead they’d learn gymnastics,

Parachute, ski, climb, and skate.

 

And as adults out searching for

High purpose, noble life,

They’d tie their passion to non-violent

Action without strife.

 

Down south in Congo women would

Be safe from savage harm;

Their sons and husbands never forced

To kidnap, kill, bear arms.

 

Traditions that insist a wife

Accept pain from her mate

Would be replaced by cell phones to

Report him and escape.

 

And food crops would replace cash crops

So families could eat,

And women would not eat what’s left

From men but with them feast.

 

Cold darkness that compels some men

To kill for treasured mines

Would change to light so they could see

that deadly greed’s unkind.

 

And what use is the gain of wealth

When all that it’s used for

Is purchasing more guns to fuel

A war for wealth for war?

 

The violence in Nigeria,

The suffering on all sides

From lack of prosecution, no

Defense of human rights;

 

The oil spills from old pipelines that

The owners won’t clean up,

Polluting land and water leaving

Natives without much;

 

The poverty and homelessness

And baseless cruel arrests

That place one thousand on death row,

No fair trials or defense;

 

On Mother’s Day if this could all

Completely change around,

We might set up good habits and

Not spirals going down.

 

In India no woman would

Get acid on her face

From men who feel superior

But are debased by hate.

 

And South Koreans would not let

A thirst for alcohol

Fuel murder, rape, and robbery

And take a morbid toll.

 

High in Nepal the women who

Have skills to mediate

Would not be kept from peace talks led

By men who just debate.

 

And women healers never would

Be stoned for their witchcraft.

Holistic ways cure even without

Numbers, charts, and graphs.

 

While medicalized knowledge of

The body may be right,

The inattention to the whole

Leaves gaps in our insight.

 

Just as the mediator should

Not solve our problems by

Descending bombs and missiles down

To quench unfriendly fire,

 

The healer cannot fix sickness

By simply cutting out

The portion of the body that

Has fever, fat, or gout.

 

For problems in the world cannot

Be fixed by killing lives,

And problems in our bodies need

Much more than drugs and knives.

 

Frustrations and relations, time

In nature or at jobs,

The feeling that we’re trapped somehow,

Our life dreams have been robbed:

 

How are these matters making us

Unhealthy or unkind?

Do they bring out the worst in us

Or bring us peace of mind?

 

The system whole must be observed

To see what causes what

Or else the complications will

Remain all tangled up.

 

For enemies, just like disease,

Are symptoms:  something’s wrong.

Repair what does provoke them and

You’ll build a friendship strong.

 

Across the sea in Mexico

No woman would depend

Upon her husband for her wealth

Nor for her self-respect.

 

Each woman could afford to hire

Help within the home.

Poor moms need not tend children of

The rich but raise their own.

 

The Wayuu of Colombia

Could live without alarm

That families will be massacred

With holes from bullet swarms.

 

By men who from the government,

Police and private thugs,

Seize for themselves the coast for fossil

Fuels and smuggling drugs. 

 

And work for human rights in countries

Like El Salvador

Would not be targeted by groups

Who profit more from war.

 

Then in the mid-Pacific where

The natives are in grief,

Kept out of sacred land that is

now navy property,

 

Hawaiian native women would

Return to visit land

Of ancient gods and goddesses

Test-bombed by US planes.

 

The toxins in Pearl Harbor dumped

As military waste

Would all be cleaned so fish could breathe

And beauty not erased.

 

In US stores we’d witness rows

Of magazines on racks

Of women not in swimsuits showing

pubic bones and breasts.

 

We wouldn’t cover woman and

Reveal only her eyes,

Nor lay her bare for all to see,

Cheap flesh, demeaning lives. 

 

And all strip clubs would be stripped down,

Their women given jobs,

Positions of great dignity,

Not work for two-faced slobs.

 

We’d recognize that women whether

Shrouded or displayed

Have hearts and minds that are submerged

In cultures’ one-track ways.

 

And shackled wisdom of our land

From cultures that were free

Would resurrect itself, a gift

For all humanity.

 

Lakota mothers and Diné

Would finally realize

A family life without despair,

Depression, suicide.

 

Full bonds with nature, spirit sparked,

Again community,

No disconnection with the heart,

The spirit, mind, body. 

 

With hunger gone, no poverty,

The chance to regain rights,

No need to turn to drink and drugs

When meaning’s back in life.

 

∞∞∞

 

On Mother’s Day we’d recognize,

Confirm equality

Between the genders, age, and class,

At work, in families.

 

We’d pay the waitress, teacher, nurse,

And secretary, too,

A wage much higher than those who

Sell weapons, drugs, and fuel.

 

For weapons sales would be exposed

As selfish business games

To not resolve but push for war

With profits as the aim.

 

And alcohol’s dark role in death,

So many homicides,

Would firmly be acknowledged and

Its sale not be advised.

 

We’d help the homeless, feed the poor,

And not expect one class

To serve the needs of higher-ups

While their needs pass unmet.

 

Our presidents, their spouses would

Not sport designer dress;

Instead they’d pay a good wage to

A hungry, poor seamstress.

 

And males and females would maintain

Reciprocal respect.

Girls would not hurt and put down boys;

Boys would not girls reject.

 

The women wouldn’t serve beneath

The men in any church

Or mosque or synagogue as if

Their spirits had less worth.

 

Yet women who are leaders would

Gain power not because

Their vicious qualities have replaced

Caring, joy, and love.

 

For in the workforce people would

Lead democratic lives

And not be trampled by a boss:

Cold tyrant, warm disguise.

 

For if we’re a democracy

But plod to work each day

In fiefdoms of a monarchy

With meager voice and pay,

 

How can we then experience

The feeling that we’re free,

Where each voice is of value and

We’re cared for equally?

 

∞∞∞

 

On Mother’s Day our care for kids

Would not be thrown between

The cooking, dishes, laundry, but

Receive deserved esteem.

 

And raising children would be viewed

As life’s most precious role,

Requiring endless love and time,

A giving of the soul. 

 

We wouldn’t raise our children to

Crave power more than love,

Beat, scold, and dominate them to

Instill a fear of us.

 

For how we treat them now will lead

To future consequence;

If we want loving adults then

To start with us makes sense.

 

If we want men to love their wives

We’d better love our sons,

And not raise them to hate themselves

Without love, joy, and fun.

 

For if a boy learns to relate

In terms of fear’s control,

He’ll see no other choice but

Domination when he’s old.

 

Over his wife, over his friends,

The pattern will run deep;

He’ll dominate all foreigners

And those of other creeds.

 

If he learns that his status and

His wealth are paramount,

He’ll only strive for power thinking

Love and joy don’t count.

 

∞∞∞

 

On Mother’s Day life would be more

Than time for work and chores:

We’d all have time for hobbies, pets,

And for the wild outdoors. 

 

We wouldn’t split the family with

Each member heading for

A different job, a school, and

Reuniting not before

 

The gloaming when at last they come

Fatigued from weary days,

With little energy for love,

No spark to laugh or play.

 

The schools would open later and

Give children needed sleep,

Instead of living days fatigued

Like uncharged batteries.

 

Instead of tests and punishments

Class sizes would be small,

For learning grows when love has time

To help scared kids feel tall.

 

With so much sadness, so much hate,

The question should not cease:

Should needs for academics so

Eclipse our need for peace?

 

For while a core of knowledge can

Do wonders for our world,

There comes a point where more classtime

And homework are absurd.

 

So classtime would be cut in half;

The children could unwind

And wade in brooks and skip some stones,

Ride horses, jump, and climb.

 

And those kids who prefer more school

Could happily remain

For teachers’ help, class, clubs, and gym,

A half-day freely gained.

 

But if the light of freedom is

Snuffed out from children’s days,

Before too long the zest to care

For learning fades away.

 

For while those lacking schools may have

Much thirst to learn at will,

When schools are overwhelming

Overload can make us ill.

 

And while we pay much money to insurance industries,

We’d probably have better health

If things like this could be.

 

On Mother’s Day life would not be

A selfish race for pay,

For grades, for profits, numbers, but

A time to care and play.

 

And on that day our children would

Be more than cogs in wheels

That turn the global marketplace

And work for others’ deals.

 

Pursuing values that should never

Be priorities,

of militarized space, control,

greed, wealth, and vanity. 

 

For when demands on children and

adults do prove too much

and replace joy and love with stress

our wisdom’s turned to dust.

 

And while the bell curve’s going up

Our culture may seem sound,

But when the excess leads to grief

We plummet to the ground.

 

∞∞∞

 

Then suddenly in Europe all

The ancient toppled shrines

Of Mother Earth the Goddess would

Be righted, unconfined.

 

And Mother Earth would take her place

Above all human beings,

Not subject to harsh vagaries

Of man-made deities.

 

We’d recognize the beauty of

The Earth without the stains

Of human excavation, mines,

And highways multi-laned.

 

We’d shun atomic energy

And fuels of fossils, too,

Abhor their deathly toxins and

Their ugly residues.

 

Before invading Arctic lands

They’d ask us if it’s wise

To drill for fossil fuels that are

The cause of melting ice.

 

Before constructing one new road

Or store or parking lot,

They’d ask us if we mind yet one

More shattered habitat.

 

The population we’d reverse

The growth to smaller size:

No Goddess would intend for us

To live while all else dies.

 

With Mother Earth as Goddess we

Would fervently exclaim

That land is much too beautiful

To spoil and profane

 

With bombs and blood of those who in

War’s unholy pursuit,

Believe their cause is nobler than

The Earth that they pollute.

 

The painting of the mother with

Tears streaming down her cheeks,

Who bravely hugs her son goodbye

To play war’s drumming beat,

 

We’d paint that over to reveal

The wisdom of her heart

In knowing that her child should stay

And not for war depart. 

 

Sons would not be conscripted nor

Be registered for war

to lose the very freedom they

allegedly fight for.

 

To serve in war by force within

A nation labeled free,

Enticed to register with offers

of college degrees,

 

Is lower than a nation proud

Should shamelessly descend

While undermining promises

Of freedom in the end. 

 

For what true good can come of war

If it recycles hate

And falsely teaches lessons that

Our foes deserve their fate?

 

If we learn that the enemies

Are lacking in remorse,

Our conscience never pricks us when

We kill with total force. 

 

If we learn that the enemies

Cannot be understood

And that we would not be like them

If in their shoes we stood,

 

Then we won’t know a Mother’s love

For all her children round. 

We’ll never learn the view from in

The sky when looking down:

 

Upon us all, our faults and strengths,

how we antagonize

Each other and then claim we’re right,

The other misaligned;

 

To see all of our weaknesses

As faults to meet with love,

To see through hatred to the fear,

And through that to distrust.

 

If children cheat, use drugs, or lie

A mother still can see

The goodness in them and just why

Such problems are conceived.

 

To kill or stun with taser guns

Just escalates the stress,

When what the victim needs the most

Is love and peacefulness.

 

To bomb them, hate them, does no good;

It’s better patiently

To kindly guide them to the sun,

For they have faults like we.

 

To bolster war, believe in hate

Is blasphemy to Her,

The Mother Earth the Goddess who’s

Now crushed beyond all words.

 

Yes, cards and flowers mean so much,

But it would mean much more

To share a planet where love reigned

And beauty, joy, not war.

 

Until events like these arise

I’ll know that Mother’s Day

Is shallow consolation for

A world not gone Her way.


Kristin Y. Christman is author of The Taxonomy of Peace.  She has degrees in Russian and public administration from Dartmouth, Brown, and the University at Albany. https://sites.google.com/site/paradigmforpeace

 

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 6, 2015


Hillary Clinton's Campaign Declares War Against 'Clinton Cash', with new website and a 42-page report - NationalJournal.com


VIDEO: New Clinton-Backed Web Site Called 'The Briefing': Fact-Checking "Clinton Cash" - YouTube


VIDEO: Media Matters' David Brock Calls "Clinton Cash" Allegations A Classic Smear Based On A 100 Percent Innuendo - MSNBC


Pro-Clinton group called Correct the Record: “Clinton Cash” Debunked - Correct The Record


Bill Clinton defends foundation dismissing the suggestion that  foreign donations influenced American policy - yahoo.com


VIDEO: Bill Clinton Defends Clinton Foundation's Foreign Money - NBC Nightly News


State Department Says No Evidence Donations Influenced Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada - The Washington Post


The Clintons Pressured Kazakhs To OK Uranium Deal - The Daily Caller


Clinton helped companies that donated to foundation profit off Africa - WashingtonExaminer.com


Boeing gave to Clinton causes after Hillary steered its Russian contract - WashingtonExaminer.com


Billionaire Tied to Russian Mob to Hold Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton - Washington Free Beacon


Hillary Clinton's final trip as secretary of state highlighted conflicts - WashingtonExaminer.com


Bill Clinton Amassed $104.9 Million From 542 Speeches - bayoubuzz.com


The Clintons Incurred Up To $7.4 Million In Capital Gains - The Daily Caller


The Clinton Foundation isn’t a “charity” in any normal sense of the word - Hot Air


New Judicial Watch Lawsuit over Clinton Cover-Up - Breitbart


VIDEO: Fact-Checking Hillary Clinton's Fact-Check Video - Bloomberg


Clinton Cash author: I like Marco Rubio (Audio interview with Peter Schweizer) - POLITICO


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

NBC/WSJ POLL: Hillary's unfavorable rating has increased 6% and just 25% of voters give her high marks for being honest - MSNBC


NBC/WSJ POLL: A detailed analysis of Clinton's numbers - NBC News.com


Times/CBS News POLL: Hillary Clinton’s Appeal Survives Scrutiny, her favorability rating has improved by 9% - NYTimes.com


POLLS: Hillary Clinton up or down? Two political surveys with opposite headlines - LA Times


IBD/TIPP POLL: Hillary Clinton Dogged By Trust Issues - Investors.com


WMUR Granite State POLL: Clinton leads but some Democrats looking for alternative, One-third of likely primary voters prefer Warren or Sanders - WMUR Home


Carly Fiorina: Hillary Clinton 'clearly is not trustworthy' - WashingtonExaminer.com


Hillary Clinton agrees to testify before Benghazi committee on attacks, personal email - Washington Times


Text of Clinton attorney David Kendall's letter to chairman of the Benghazi committee Trey Gowdy - scribd.com


Watchdog blows ethics whistle on Clinton, Reid, Senate Democrat meetings - WashingtonExaminer.com


Hillary monetizes Mother’s Day with call-from-Clinton contest - New York Post

 

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

 

To unsubscribe reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

DISSOLVING FASCISM - Reflections 70 Years After the Fall of Nazi Germany

"The fascist madman cannot be made innocuous if [...] he is not tracked down in oneself; if we are not conversant with the social institutions that hatch him daily.”  (1)
-- Wilhelm Reich

With the conquest of Berlin carried out by the Red Army, the Third Reich and the Second World War ended in Europe on May 8th 1945. With the unconditional capitulation of Germany, one of the worst massacres in human history came to its end. What happened under Hitler breaks the categories of conventional thinking in such a way that it has not been possible to really grasp or work through this history to this day. The trauma of National Socialism lies undigested and unresolved in the suppressed psychological underground of the German society and its ramifications persist to this day.

Black man warns his young grandson about the police: A Black Child Fears Cops more than Criminals

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

I was seething inside as I watched the live television coverage of the recent rebellion/riot in Baltimore as we witnessed yet another explosion caused by America’s historic failures to reign in abusive police. Then I received a text message that lead to a conversation that absolutely broke my heart.

The conversation was with my 11-year-old grandson, who himself was seething from what he saw going on in his hometown of Baltimore.

My grandson told me he was mad…mad because police “keep killing black men.”

When I probed further into his anger he said he feared for his own life -– not because of what might happen when he gets older because of what could happen even now if he encountered a police officer.

Michael Gould-Wartofsky: The New Age of Counterinsurgency Policing

In the part of Baltimore hardest hit by the recent riots and arson, more than a third of families live in  poverty, median income is $24,000, the unemployment rate is over 50%, some areas burnt out in the riots of 1968 have never been rebuilt, 

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

What to say to people who drone on about how good drones are

by Debra Sweet    A few points on the U.S. drone war which will not surprise you, but should be in your arsenal of arguments for people who think drones are an acceptable form of mass murder:

Speaking Truth to Empire with Dan Yaseen

Every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 3:30 pm, Dan Yaseen hosts Speaking Truth to Empire on KFCF 88.1 FM Free Speech Radio for Central California. He interviews authors, scholars, bloggers, columnists and activists who help us look at our world through the prism of American Imperialism. The show focuses on U.S. foreign and domestic policies and the actions of the military, industrial, surveillance, security.

April 15, 2015 – Ronnie Barkan
On “Speaking Truth to Empire” Dan Yaseen interviews Ronnie Barkan, an Israeli activist, a conscientious objector and co-founder of Boycott from Within - a group of conscientious Israelis who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

March 18, 2015 – Murtaza Hussain

February 18, 2015 – Cindy Sheehan

January 21, 2015 - Andre Vltchek

Syria News - May 5, 2015


Nusra-led militants pound Hezbollah, Syria army posts near Lebanon border - THE DAILY STAR


Hezbollah and Syrian army determined to cut off access of ISIS and Nusra Front to any towns near the border - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun - Naharnet


Lebanon Speaker Berri backs Qalamoun fight to oust jihadists - THE DAILY STAR


Sources: al-Nusra evacuates its positions in Qalamoun hills that are difficult to defend to avoid paying a high price - Al-Monitor


Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle - Islam Times


PHOTO: Jabhat al-Nusra is giving training in the use of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the Qalamoun - Charles Lister on Twitter


'We’ll Die Before They Make Us Leave': Lebanese Christians Are Ready to Face the Islamic State on Syria's Border - VICE News


Specter of assassinations by jihadist groups revived in Lebanon - THE DAILY STAR


Relatives visit Lebanese captive on Arsal outskirts, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August - THE DAILY STAR


Qatar about to seal deal with Nusra to release Lebanese security officers in exchange for prisoners in Roumieh - An-Nahar


ISIS returns bodies of Lebanon soldier, civilian - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir - THE DAILY STAR


How Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Jabhat al Nusra Is Trying To Take Northern Lebanon - ibtimes.com


Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion Latakia - Middle East Online


Pro-Assad forces strive for control of Southern Syria - ARA News


Assad army tightens siege of rebel bastion Goutha near Damascus - ZAMAN ALWSL


Syria: Assad regime accused of chlorine gas attack in Idib - ibtimes.co.uk


Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimes responsibility for a suicide attack in Damascus - Yahoo News


Inside Aleppo: Syrian activists reveal kidnap and torture at hands of al-Nusra extremists - The Independent


VIDEO: Activists Reveal Torture At The Hands of Al-Nusra - LiveLeak.com


Syria moves to stabilize its ailing currency - The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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

De Mistura to kick off separate talks with rival Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR


Iran will take part in new Syria consultations, UN says - Fox News


US not opposed to Iranian participation in Syria talks, supports a political solution - middleeastmonitor.com


EU's Mogherini sees 'major role' for Iran in Syria talks - Yahoo News


Syrian Opposition Coalition: Participation in the Geneva Talks to Consider How To Get Rid of Assad - etilaf.org


Report: Iran Spends $35 Billion a Year to Prop Up Assad - Arutz Sheva


Syria's defense minister in Iran to step up fight against 'terrorists' - THE DAILY STAR


Iran to launch maritime shipping line with Syria - ARA News


CIA-Backed Rebels Fight Alongside al-Qaeda Wing in Northern Syria - Reuters


VIDEO: ICP Asks Syrian Coalition's Khoja of FSA Working With Nusra, He Says “Tactical Alliance" - YouTube


Army of Conquest backed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Coalition comprises mostly Islamist groups, the most prominent being Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham - AFP


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Hit Syrian Army Vehicle With TOW ATGM In Idlib - YouTube


The U.S. $500-million program to train anti-Islamic State fighters appears stalled - LA Times


VIDEO: Activists: 52 killed civilians in U.S.-led airstrike in Syria - YouTube


Pentagon: US Military Says Coalition Airstrikes Killed ISIS Fighters, Not Syrian Civilians - breitbart.com


Syrian Archbishop: Obama Must Stop ISIS' Slaughter of Christians (VIDEO) - Newsmax


Syria accuses Turkey of providing supporting fire and logistical help enabling "terrorist groups" to capture the Syrian city of Idlib - Reuters


Turkey May Have Found Syrian Horse To Back In Ahrar al Sham, But US Disagrees - ibtimes.com


Turkistan Islamic Party had significant role in recent Idlib offensive - The Long War Journal


Turkey Opposition Puts $16B Price Tag on Neighborhood Wars - VOA


Turkish military puts brakes on a Syrian intervention - Al-Monitor


Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey - NYTimes.com


Syria crisis: Spooked by rebel gains, Jordan doubles down vs. Islamic State - CSMonitor.com


Palestinian Delegation to Meet With Syrian Government in Damascus - syrianobserver.com


The Defenders of Yarmouk, Pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy

 

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Talk Nation Radio: Kathy Kelly: Fog of War Is Not the Problem

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-kathy-kelly-fog-of-war-is-not-the-problem

Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( http://vcnv.org ) a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. During each of fourteen trips to Afghanistan, since 2010, Kathy Kelly, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She is just out of prison for having protested drone murders at Whiteman Airforce Base in Missouri. Kelly discusses the state of peace and war.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

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https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

The U.S. Bill of Rights Rewritten to Match Reality

There just might be a big boost in government honesty soon, as both houses of Congress have now passed with two-thirds votes and sent to the states for ratification a potential 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution bearing the unofficial title "The Truth in Advertising Amendment." This is the text as passed by Congress:

Amendment 28

Preamble: The first through tenth articles of amendment to the Constitution of the United States are hereby repealed.

1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, apart from tax breaks for churches, and other than appropriate surveillance, entrapment, and drone strikes for members of any non-established religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof except where that exercise withholds taxes that fund war; or abridging the freedom of campaign bribery in any way or the freedom of speech from within adequate caged areas at an appropriate distance from potential listeners, unless that speech reveals wrongdoing by the government; or of the press cartel or of its right to propagandize for war; or the right of white people peaceably to assemble when not organizing a union, opposing a war, or protesting injustice, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and to peaceably contemplate the Government's wisdom in ignoring any demands.

2. A well-armed world, being necessary to the profits of the weapons makers, the right of the people, police, government, and foreign nations to keep and bear any weapon they can afford to purchase, shall not be infringed, nor facts about the damage done be openly discussed.

3. No soldier shall, in time of peace be educated in the optional, unnecessary, counterproductive, uncontrollable, murderous, and trauma-inducing nature of war, nor any war veteran be quartered in any house without the proper funding or loan to purchase or rent that house in a manner to be prescribed by law.

4. The right of white people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated much, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, unless the Government deems it appropriate to collect any electronic or other communication, or to record or film any behavior, or to kidnap, imprison, torture, or murder any person.

5. No police officer shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger, in which cases fuggedaboutit; nor shall any white person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any high-ranking official be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor any non-whistleblower be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, except as stipulated in section 4; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation, unless someone has smoked marijuana.

6. In all criminal prosecutions of extremely wealthy defendants, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty million dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the White House Office of Legal Counsel.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required of white people, nor excessive fines imposed on high-ranking officials, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted on non-whistleblowers, nor on anyone who has not been designated a military-aged male.

9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, including the right to shop.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people, at the discretion of the President.

Watching Shadows of Liberty

A powerful new film on what's wrong with the U.S. media is now being screened around the country. It's called Shadows of Liberty and you can set up a screening of it as part of an upcoming international week of actions for whistleblowers called Stand Up For Truth. Or you can buy the DVD or catch it on Link TV. (Here in Charlottesville I'll be speaking at the event, May 19, 7 p.m. at The Bridge.)

Judith Miller is on a rehabilitative book tour; the Washington Post recently reported that a victim of Baltimore police murder broke his own spine; and recently leaked emails from the State Department asked Sony to entertain us into proper war support. The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner was just blocked, for now, but the existence of those mega-monopolies in their current form is at the root of the problem, according to Shadows of Liberty.

Allowing for-profit companies to decide what we learn about the world and our government, allowing those companies to consolidate into a tiny cartel controlling the formerly public airwaves, allowing them to be owned by much larger companies that rely on the government for weapons contracts, and allowing them to determine politicians' access to the public and to bribe politicians with "campaign contributions" -- this, in the analysis of Shadows of Liberty, this subservience of public space to private profit is what creates news that misinforms, that takes no interest in the poor, that propagandizes for wars, and that shuts out any journalist who steps out of line.

The film is not primarily analysis, but example. The first example is of Roberta Baskin's reports for CBS on Nike's labor abuses in Asia. CBS killed her big story in exchange for Nike paying CBS so much money that CBS agreed to have all of its "journalists" wear Nike logos during their olympics "coverage."

Another example from CBS in the film is the shooting down of TWA flight 800 by the U.S. Navy, a case of media cowardice and government intimidation, which I wrote about here. As Shadows of Liberty points out, CBS was at the time owned by Westinghouse which had big military contracts. As a for-profit business, there was no question where it would side between one good reporter and the Pentagon. (This is exactly why the owner of the Washington Post shouldn't be someone with much larger funding flowing in from the CIA.)

The New York Timesseemed impressed by an earlier film devoted entirely to the TWA flight 800 mass-killing. The Times favored a new investigation but lamented the supposed lack of any entity that could credibly perform an investigation. The U.S. government comes off as so untrustworthy in the film that it can't be trusted to re-investigate itself. So a leading newspaper, whose job it ought to be to investigate the government, feels at a loss for what to do without a government that can credibly and voluntarily perform the media's own job for it and hold itself accountable. Pathetic. If only Nike were offering to pay the New York Times to investigate the government!

Another example in the bad media highlight reel in Shadows of Liberty is the case of Gary Webb's reporting on the CIA and crack cocaine, also the subject of a recent movie. Another is, inevitably, the propaganda that launched the 2003 attack on Iraq. I just read an analysis of Judith Miller's role that blamed her principally for not correcting her "mistakes" when the lies were exposed. I disagree. I blame her principally for publishing claims that were ludicrous at the time and which she never would have published if made by any non-governmental entity or any of 199 of the 200 national governments on earth. Only the U.S. government gets that treatment from its U.S. media partners in crime -- and in fact only certain elements within the U.S. government. While Colin Powell lied to the world and much of the world laughed, but the U.S. media bowed down, his son pushed through yet more media consolidation. I agree with the recommendation of Shadows of Liberty to blame the media owners, but that doesn't subtract any blame from the employees.

To the credit of Shadows of Liberty it includes among the stories it tells some examples of complete media silence. The story of Sibel Edmonds, for example, was totally whited out by the U.S. mega-media, although not abroad. Another example would be Operation Merlin (the CIA's giving of nuclear plans to Iran), not to mention the extension of Operation Merlin to Iraq. Dan Ellsberg says in the film that a government official will tell the big newspapers to leave a story alone, and the other outlets will "follow the lead of silence."

The U.S. public airwaves were given to private companies in 1934 with big limits on monopolies later stripped out by Reagan and Clinton and the Congresses that worked with them. The 1996 Telecom Act signed by Clinton created the mega-monopolies that have destroyed local news and already guaranteed his wife a 2016 presidential nomination on the basis of the money she'll spend on TV ads.

The bad media's greatest hits are finding a miniature progressive echo-chamber but are not, in fact, isolated cases. Rather they are extreme examples that have taught lessons to countless other "journalists" who have sought to keep their jobs by never stepping out of line in the first place.

The problem with the corporate media is not particular incidents, but how it always reports on everything including the government (which always means well) and wars (there must always be more) and the economy (it must grow and enrich investors) and people (they are helpless and powerless). The particular story lines that do the most damage are not always inherently the worst. Rather, they are those that make it into the general corporate echo-chamber.

The Washington Post sometimes admits exactly what it does wrong but counts on most people never to notice, because such articles will not be repeated and discussed in all the papers and on all the shows.

According to Shadows of Liberty, 40-70% of "news" is based on ideas that come from corporate PR departments. Another good chunk, I suspect, comes from government PR departments. A plurality in the U.S. in the last poll I saw believed Iraq had benefitted from the war on Iraq and was grateful. A Gallup poll of 65 countries at the end of 2013 found the U.S. widely believed the be the greatest threat to peace on earth, but within the U.S., as a glaring result of nothing but ludicrous propaganda, Iran was deemed worthy of that honor.

The Tonight Show regularly asks people if they can name a senator and then if they can name some cartoon character, etc., showing that people know stupid stuff. Ha ha. But that's how the corporate media shapes people, and clearly the U.S. government doesn't object enough to do anything about it. If nobody knows your name, they won't be protesting you anytime soon. And there's never any need to worry about being reelected.

Shadows of Liberty is long on problem and short on solution, but its value is in exposing people to an understanding of the problem. And the solution offered is just right, as far as it goes. The solution offered is to keep the internet open and use it. I agree. And one of the ways in which we ought to use it is to popularize foreign reporting on the United States that outdoes domestic reporting. If media tends to report well only on nations in which it is not based, and yet it's all equally accessible online, we need to start finding and reading the media about our country produced in others. In the process, perhaps we can develop some sense of caring what 95% of humanity thinks about this 5%. And in that process perhaps we can weaken nationalism just a bit.

Independent media is the solution proposed, not public media, and not a restoration of the corporate media to its earlier not-quite-so-awful form. The shrinking of newsrooms is to be lamented, of course, but perhaps the recruitment of foreign news rooms and independent bloggers can mitigate that loss in a way that imploring the monopolists to do better won't achieve. I think that part of the solution is creating better independent media, but part of it is finding, reading, appreciating, and using independent and foreign media. And part of that shift in attitude should be dropping the absurd idea of "objectivity," understood as point-of-viewlessness. Another part should be redefining our reality to exist without the blessing of the corporate media, so that we can be inspired to build activist movements whether or not they are on corporate TV. This includes, of course, persuading independent media to invest in stories that are ignored by corporations, not just focus on retelling in a better way the stories the corporations tell wrong.

Independent media has long been the most bang we could get for a buck donated to a useful cause. The next year-and-a-half is a real opportunity, because a completely broken U.S. election system expects hundreds of millions of dollars from well-meaning people to be given to candidates to give to the TV networks to whom we gave our airwaves. What if we withheld some of that money and built up our own media and activism structures? And why think of the two (media and activism) as separate? I think the jury is still out on The Intercept as new independent media, but it's already far superior to the Washington Post.

No independent media will be perfect. I wish Shadows of Liberty didn't glorify the American revolution to sounds of cannon fire. Later we hear President Reagan calling the Contras "the moral equivalent of our founding fathers" while the film shows dead bodies -- as if the American revolution produced none of those. But the point that free press, as theoretically provided by the first amendment, is critical to self-governance is right on. The first step in creating freedom of the press is publicly identifying its absence and the causes.

Engelhardt: Counting Bodies, Then and Now

Who Counts? 

Body Counts, Drones, and “Collateral Damage” (aka “Bug Splat”)

By Tom Engelhardt

The Ugly Myth of U.S. Exceptionalism

      For inexplicable reasons, the United States citizenry clings to the idea of 'exceptionalism', that heady concept that says that the U.S. is different from and better than all the rest of the world, and therefore has a sacred obligation to spread its goodness around the globe. In 2014, President Barack Obama said this: "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being."

Arresting the Wrong Suspects

By John LaForge

NEW YORK, NY – Here at the United Nations, talk is focused on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (N-P.T.). At about 11 a.m. Apr. 28, I was handcuffed with 21 other nuclear realists after blocking an entrance to the US Mission. I say “realists” because US media won’t pay much attention to US violations of nuclear weapons treaties unless somebody is taken off to jail.

Barrels of ink are used detailing Iran’s non-existent nuclear arsenal. The US has about 2,000 nuclear weapons ready to launch and used as ticking time bombs every day by presidents -- the way gunslingers can get the dough without ever pulling the trigger. Deterrence it is not.

When we were ordered to leave or face arrest, we called ourselves crime-stoppers and asked the officers to arrest the real scofflaws. We were packed into vans and driven to the 17th Precinct. Our band of nuclear abolitionists concluded long ago that US nuclear banditry and pollutionism was worth dramatizing for a day, or a month, or a lifetime.

We talked while the cops worked through the booking routine. David McReynolds, 85, the long-time staff member of War Resisters League (Ret.), asked us all to watch when he exited the van to see that he didn’t lose his balance. I wondered if I’d have the guts to keep doing these actions if I get to the wobbly decades.

The day before, Sec. of State John Kerry double-spoke to the Gen. Assembly, promising both to continue with US nuclear posturing and to dream of a nuclear-free world. I skipped his puffery and went to hear Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico explain the US government’s plans for three new H-bomb factories (one each in Tenn., Kansas and New Mexico), and plans for building 80 new plutonium warheads every year until 2027. In 1996, the World Court declared the N-P.T.’s pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons to be a binding, unequivocal and unambiguous legal obligation. Our arrest citation is ironic because it’s the US that has “refused a lawful order.”

Back in the police truck, time dragged. Somebody said we should share a few political jokes. Q: “Why are statistics just like prison inmates?” A: “If you torture them enough, they’ll tell you anything you want to hear.” Bad prison puns are easy to come by among political dissidents.

Finally inside the precinct, I sat in the holding cell next to Jerry Goralnick, a playwright with The Living Theatre, who is trying to get a script staged involving the jail-house relationship between Dorothy Day and a colleague who shared a cell for 90 days. Day, a founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and her friend were jailed in New York City for refusing to obey civil defense officers and go down into fallout shelters. It was during the delusional era of “winnable” nuclear war. Their defiance was a simple case of refusing to lie about nuclear weapons. They were realists who knew that the 10-square-mile firestorms ignited by H-bombs suck all the air out of fallout shelters where the huddled then suffocate. They knew there is no defense under such nuclear conflagration, that survivors would envy the dead.

These days, nuclear war planning goes on 6 stories below Strategic Command HQ at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha. Deep in Strat-Com’s sub-basements, technicians with the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff select people and places to be incinerated if need be. The targets are lands belonging to US trading partners, allies and friends that have the Bomb -- China, Russia, India, Pakistan -- and non-nuclear countries like Iran and North Korea (which may have 3 nukes but have no way to deliver them).

This target planning has been going on for decades. A few thousand hard-bitten, nuclear-obsessed optimists have been crying “foul” about it the whole while. I was in custody with 21 of them for a few hours. It was a relief to be there.

Our complaint, which should be on display at the June 24 court arraignment, is that nuclear weapons producers, deployers and trigger men in the US (the ones we’re responsible for), are criminal gangsters, dangerous sociopaths, members of a global terror cell making non-stop bomb threats that they disguise with a theatrical hoax called “deterrence.”

I’ve seen this legal argument succeed in court only twice, but those two not-guilty verdicts convince me that the law is on our side. Dum-dum bullets, nerve gas, landmines, cluster bombs, chemical agents, biological weapons and poison are all illegal -- banned by Treaties. Nuclear warheads do all the harm of these outlawed weapons combined -- plus mutagenic and teratogenic damage to multiple generations. Our State Department man says the Bomb is unfortunate and legal -- but the Secretary Has No Clothes.

While UN member states argue over whether the possession of H-bombs violates the N-P.T., I’ll stay with the realists just out of handcuffs -- at least until the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff and Mr. Kerry are charged with disturbing the peace.

 

-- John LaForge works for Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog group in Wisconsin, edits its Quarterly newsletter, and is syndicated through PeaceVoice.

Too Little Whistleblowing on Vietman

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

May 1, 2015

Editor Note:  Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

By Ray McGovern

Ecclesiastessays there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. The fortieth anniversary of the ugly end of the U.S. adventure in Vietnam is a time to speak – and especially of the squandered opportunities that existed earlier in the war to blow the whistle and stop the killing.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 2, 2015


VIDEO: 'Clinton Cash’ author Peter Schweize responds to criticism - MSNBC


VIDEO: 'Clinton Cash’ author Peter Schweize defends book - Fox News


Charges fly over alleged Indian money to Clintons to push nuclear deal - The Times of India


Hotelier Alleges He Paid Off Hillary Clinton to push India nuclear deal - Oyster.com


Indian Congress Wants Inquiry Into 'Clinton Cash' Donations Of Party Leader - Breitbart


VIDEO: White House on Clinton Foundation: No evidence to indicate that those contributions had any impact on any policy decisions - ijreview


Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal - NYTimes.com


Canadian Charity's Revenue Dropped Substantially the Year Hillary Clinton Resigned as Secretary of State - Breitbart


Uranium Company's Lobbyist Podesta Has Clinton Ties - The Daily Caller


Brother of Hillary Clinton's Top Campaign Aide Podesta Lobbied for Fracked Gas Export Terminal Co-Owned by Qatar - Steve Horn


Bill Clinton paid $2.5 million in speaking fees by firms that lobbied Hillary - ibtimes


181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied Hillary's State Department - Vox


Goldman Paid Bill Clinton $200,000 For Speech Before Bank Lobbied Hillary Clinton - ibtimes


Clinton cash — the GE-Algeria connection - Power Line


GE CEO: I will not release the Hillary emails during the period in which GE was donating to the Clinton Foundation - The Daily Caller


Inside Morocco’s Campaign To Influence Hillary Clinton and Other U.S. Leaders - The Intercept


Firms tied to Clintons profited in post-quake Haiti - Fox News


VIDEO (Full Report): The Tangled Clinton Web – Fox News Reporting


11 Explosive Clinton Cash Facts Mainstream Media Confirm are Accurate - Government Accountability Institute


Twenty-Plus Errors, Fabrications, And Distortions In Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash - Media Matters for America


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

Canadian Partnership Shielded Identities of 1,100 Donors to Clinton Foundation - NYTimes.com

 

Clinton charity never provided foreign donor data as required under White House agreement, Boston group admits to mistakes - Boston Globe


Clinton charities will refile tax returns after Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments - Reuters


VIDEO: Clinton Broke Confirmation Hearing Promise To Disclose Foreign Donations - CBS


VIDEO: State Department Spokeswoman: I Don't 'Automatically Assume Problematic' Hillary Broke White House Disclosure Agreement - Breitbart


Common Cause Urges Independent Audit of Donations to Clinton Foundation - Common Cause


Watchdog: Clinton foundation got $140 million in cash and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid, bulk of windfall spent on administration, travel, salaries and bonuses - New York Post


VIDEO: Report: Clinton Foundation gives only 10 percent to charity - Fox News


Clinton Foundation in tailspin, Donors are having second thoughts about big giving as accusations fly about Hillary Clinton’s role - POLITICO


Clinton Charities Raked in Millions of Taxpayer Dollars - Washington Free Beacon


Clinton Foundation distributed useless drugs to AIDS patients - wnd.com

 

JW Sues State Dept for Clinton's iPad and iPhone Records - judicialwatch.org


Watchdog blasts State Dept., Clintons after four-year battle for documents - Fox News


State Department allowing Clinton Foundation to approve emails for release - WashingtonExaminer.com


Trey Gowdy: I might take Hillary Clinton's word on emails if it’s under oath - Washington Times


Boehner on Hillary emails: 'These things just don't go away' - WashingtonExaminer.com


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

POLL: Americans doubt Clinton's honesty after emails - AP


POLL: 63% Think Hillary Clinton May Have Helped Foreign Donors As Secretary of State - Rasmussen Reports


POLL: In Virginia Republicans gaining on Clinton - The Washington Post


POLL: Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul closest Republicans to Hillary Clinton in Iowa - Washington Times


Want to know what sets Bernie Sanders apart from Hillary Clinton? Look at their donors - Vox


Hillary Clinton a Free Trader, or Not, Depending on the Moment - Bloomberg Politics


Why Larry Flynt Is Endorsing Hillary Clinton (VIDEO) - Bloomberg Politics

 

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22 Arrested at U.S. Mission to UN Calling For Nuclear Abolition

By Art Laffin
 
On April 28, as the United Nations sponsored Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review conference was beginning its second day, 22 peacemakers from around the U.S. were arrested in a "Shadows and Ashes" nonviolent blockade at the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York City, calling on the U.S. to abolish its nuclear arsenal and on all other nuclear weapons states to do the same. Two main entrances to the U.S. Mission were blocked before arrests were made. We sang, and held a large banner reading: "Shadows and Ashes--All That Remain," as well as other disarmament signs. After being placed under arrest, we were taken to the 17th Precinct where we were processed and charged with "failure to obey a lawful order" and "blocking pedestrian traffic." We were all released and given a summons to return to court on June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist.
 
 
In participating in this nonviolent witness, organized by members of the War Resisters League, I've come full circle in my journey of peacemaking and nonviolent resistance. Thirty-seven years ago marked my first arrest at the same U.S. Mission during the First U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. Thirty-seven years later, I returned to the same site to call upon the U.S., the only country to have used the Bomb, to repent for the nuclear sin and to disarm.
 
While there have been reductions in the nuclear arsenal over the last thirty-seven years, nuclear weapons are still the centerpiece of the U.S. Empire's war machine. Talks continue. Non-aligned and non-nuclear nations and numerous NGO's plead with the nuclear powers to disarm, but to no avail! The nuclear danger remains ever-present. On January 22, 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists turned the "Doomsday Clock" to three minutes before midnight. Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, explained: "Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday...It is now three minutes to midnight...Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity...And world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.'"
 
In decrying the colossal nuclear violence that imperils all life and our sacred earth, I prayed during our witness for the countless victims of the Nuclear Age, now in its 70th year, and all victims of war--past and present. I thought about the immeasurable environmental destruction that has resulted from  decades of uranium mining, nuclear testing, and the production and maintenance of a lethal radioactive nuclear arsenal. I pondered the stark reality that, since 1940, some $9 trillion has been squandered to finance the U.S nuclear weapons program. And to make matters worse, the Obama Administration is proposing a projected $1 trillion over the next 30 years to modernize and upgrade the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal.  As the public treasury has, in effect, been looted to fund the Bomb and warmaking, a massive national debt has been incurred, vitally needed social programs have been defunded and a litany of human needs go unmet. These exorbitant nuclear expenditures have directly contributed to the dramatic social and economic upheaval in our society today.Thus we see blighted cities, rampant poverty, high unemployment, lack of affordable housing, inadequate health care, underfunded schools, and a mass incarceration system. 
 
While in police custody, I also remembered and prayed for Freddie Gray who died in such custody, as well as for the numerous Black citizens who have been killed by police across our land. I prayed for an end to police brutality against all people of color. In the name of God who calls us to love and not to kill, I pray for an end to all racial violence. I stand with all who are demanding accountability for those police officers responsible for killing Blacks and for an end to racial profiling. All Life is Sacred! No Life is Expendable! Black Lives Matter!
 
Yesterday afternoon, I had the great opportunity to be with some of the Hibakusha (A-Bomb survivors from Japan) as they gathered in front of the White House to collect signatures for a petition to abolish nuclear weapons. The Hibakusha have been relentless in their heroic efforts to appeal to the nuclear powers who have gathered for the NPT Review Conference at the UN, and in their travels to different places in the U.S., to plead for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. These courageous peacemakers are living reminders of the unspeakable horror of nuclear war. Their message is clear: "Humankind can't coexist with nuclear weapons." The voice of the Hibakusha must be heard and acted on by all people of goodwill. 
 
Dr. King declared that in the Nuclear Age the "choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Now, more than ever, we need to heed Dr. King's clarion call for nonviolence, work to eradicate what he called "the triple evils of racism, poverty and militarism," and strive to create the Beloved Community and a disarmed world.
 
Those Arrested:
 
Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert, Art Laffin, Bill Ofenloch, Ed Hedemann, Jerry Goralnick, Jim Clune, Joan Pleune, John LaForge, Martha Hennessy, Ruth Benn, Trudy Silver, Vicki Rovere, Walter Goodman, David McReynolds, Sally Jones, Mike Levinson, Florindo Troncelliti, Helga Moor, Alice Sutter, Bud Courtneyand Tarak Kauff.
 


 

Anti-Nuke Demonstrators Planning Blockade of U.S. Mission

On Tuesday, April 28, members from several peace and anti-nuclear organizations, calling themselves Shadows and Ashes--Direct Action for Nuclear Disarmament will gather at 9:30 am near the United Nations for a legal vigil at the Isaiah Wall, First Avenue and 43rd Street, calling for the immediate elimination of all nuclear weapons world-wide.

Following a short theatre piece and reading of a few statements, several from that group will continue up First Avenue to 45th Street to participate in a nonviolent blockade of the United States Mission to the UN, in an effort to call attention to the U.S.’s role in unending the nuclear arms race, despite U.S. pledges to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

This demonstration was organized to coincide with the opening of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review conference, which will run from April 27 to May 22 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The NPT is an international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology. Conferences to review the operation of the Treaty have been held at five-year intervals since the Treaty went into effect in 1970.

Since the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 -- killing more than 300,000 people -- world leaders have met 15 times over several decades to discuss nuclear disarmament. Yet more than 16,000 nuclear weapons still threaten the world.

In 2009 President Barack Obama pledged that the United States would seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons. Instead his administration has budgeted $350 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade and modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

“The abolition of nuclear weapons will never happen if we just wait for the leaders who gather at the East River to do it,” explained Ruth Benn of War Resisters League, one of the demonstration organizers. “We need to make a more dramatic statement beyond marches, rallies, and petitions,” continued Benn, echoing Martin Luther King’s statement from Birmingham jail, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.”

Florindo Troncelliti, a Peace Action organizer, said he planned to participate in the blockade so he can directly tell the United States “We began the nuclear arms race and, to our eternal shame, are the only country to have used them, so it’s time for we and other nuclear powers to just shut up and disarm.”

Shadows and Ashes is sponsored by War Resisters League, Brooklyn For Peace, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Codepink, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace, Global Network against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space, Granny Peace Brigade, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Jonah House, Kairos Community, Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, Manhattan Green Party, Nodutol, North Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice, Nuclear Peace Foundation, Nuclear Resister, NY Metro Raging Grannies, Pax Christi Metro New York, Peace Action (National), Peace Action Manhattan, Peace Action NYS, Peace Action of Staten Island, Roots Action, Shut Down Indian Point Now, United for Peace and Justice, US Peace Council, War Is a Crime, World Can’t Wait.

Brother of Hillary Clinton's Top Campaign Aide Lobbied for Fracked Gas Export Terminal Co-Owned by Qatar

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Anthony "Tony" Podesta began lobbying in late 2013 on behalf of a company co-owned by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum aiming to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the global market. Tony is the brother of John Podesta, former top climate change adviser to President Barack Obama and current top campaign aide for Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid for president

Tony Podesta Golden Pass LNG

Brother of Hillary Clinton's Top Campaign Aide Lobbied for Fracked Gas Export Terminal Co-Owned by Qatar

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Anthony "Tony" Podesta began lobbying in late 2013 on behalf of a company co-owned by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum aiming to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the global market. Tony is the brother of John Podesta, former top climate change adviser to President Barack Obama and current top campaign aide for Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid for president

Tony Podesta Golden Pass LNG

VETERANS GROUPS CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF NATIONAL GUARD FROM BALTIMORE

National Guard Members Encouraged to “Listen to Community”

Two national veterans organizations, Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, are calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Maryland National Guard from the streets of Baltimore.

“We are horrified to see military weapons, vehicles and equipment deployed in U.S. cities against U.S. citizens who are reacting to a long history of state-sanctioned violence and appalling economic and social conditions,” said Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace.

“We are highly concerned, as we approach the 45th anniversary of Kent State this May 4th and Jackson State this May 15th, that we will see another example of nervous and fearful National Guard troops shooting and possibly killing people in the streets of this nation,” continued Michael McPhearson, reading from a statement for Veterans For Peace.

A statement issued by Iraq Veterans Against the War directly addresses their fellow soldiers in the National Guard: “As veterans who have deployed to and served in support of occupations abroad, we see some of the same tactics and military equipment being used by police against the people of Baltimore, just as it was used against the people of Ferguson and Oakland. The increased militarization of our foreign policy and our domestic policing, coupled with racist violence perpetuated by our government, has to stop. The people of Baltimore who are demanding systemic change should be responded to with dialogue not an escalation of force.

“We encourage National Guard members across the country, many of whom we have served with, to begin a conversation on how they will respond when it becomes their turn to be mobilized against their own communities,” continues the statement from Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Both veterans organizations also addressed the underlying cause of the violence in Baltimore, and pointed the way toward a peaceful resolution.

From the Statement by Veterans For Peace: “We call on our nation to hold police accountable for lawless violence against communities, and we call on the rich and powerful to end global wars, to end their indifference and pursuit of profit over humanity and to use the trillions devoted to Pentagon war spending to invest in human needs here at home. The quickest path to end violence is to provide a path to a bright future. Education, jobs and opportunity will lead to stable families and prosperity.”

Click HERE for Complete Statement from Veterans For Peace

 

From the Statement by Iraq Veterans Against the War: “As 1,000 soldiers currently deploy to put down an uprising of exploited people who have been terrorized by a consistently racist police department, we stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and encourage service members and veterans to listen to their fellow community members and to stand on the right side of history.”

Click HERE for Complete Statement from Iraq Veterans Against the War

Invest in Activism, Not Bernie Sanders

Yes, Bernie Sanders would be a far superior president to Hillary Clinton.

That requires a bit of elaboration. Something I just scraped off my shoe would be a far superior president to Hillary Clinton, but Sanders would actually be good in a whole lot of ways. He has numerous imperfections, but the contrast with Clinton is like day to night.

I'd rather have him running than not.

But please do not give him or Hillary or the wonderful Jill Stein or any other candidate a dime or a moment of your life. Instead, join the movement that's in the streets of Baltimore opposing police murder, that's in the halls of the United Nations pushing to abolish nukes, that's blocking mountaintop removal, divesting from Israel, advancing renewable energy, and struggling to create fair elections through steps like automatic registration in Oregon, and pushing legislation to provide free media, match small donors, give each voter a tax credit to contribute, or take the power to establish plutocracy away from the Supreme Court. 

I'm not against elections. I think we should have one some day. At the presidential level we do not currently have elections. That office is not up for election; it is up for sale.

The point is not that we should abandon all hope or that when the going gets tough we should just give up. The point is that there is a huge opportunity here. Hillary Clinton expects to bring in billions (with a B) in bribery for her campaign (primary and general). To begin to compete with Hillary, Sanders would have to bring in a big chunk of that, at least some hundreds of millions of dollars.

For that kind of money we could create a television network dedicated to peace and justice and democracy from here on out. Or we could open a counter-recruiting office next-door to every military recruitment office in the United States. Or we could organize and bus people in for the largest and longest march on Washington against racism, militarism, extreme materialism, and the corruption of our elections ever seen, complete with food supplies and bail funds for as long as it takes. Instead of a march for nothing, how about an occupation for no more Bushes or Clintons or anyone like them?

The complete breakdown of the presidential election system is made obvious to some by the pairing of another Clinton against another Bush. Sanders muddies that clear picture, but only if you imagine he actually has a chance. On that basis, some will now propose to take a year away from policy-based principled activism, after which, the thinking will go, what's another half a year for hold-your-nose lesserevilist Clinton campaigning? And, please understand, by entering the Democratic primaries, Sanders has committed to supporting the Democratic Party nominee and to encouraging his supporters to support her.

Activism gave women the right to vote. Activism got kids out of factories. Activism got the Navy out of Vieques. Activism won the last civil rights movement. Activism has always been the driving force for change. Two years of "registering voters" busy work out of every four years, and the reliance on corrupt figures that it creates, drains away our activism. It was activism that forced President Bush in 2008 to end the war on Iraq as of 2011 in a treaty signed by himself and Iraqi President Maliki. It was the antiwar uproar of the Bush years that led Congress members to think twice about voting for a new war in 2013 and has left them incapable of formally supporting the new war in Iraq that President Obama launched in 2014 despite the feelings of any number of people who believed that voting for him was somehow a significant act.

I worked as press secretary for Dennis Kucinich for president in 2004. I watched him make all the right points and win the most standing ovations in debates with the other Democrats. The reports the next day tended to mention him in the last paragraph as having also been there. And if you asked people in the room cheering for him they'd say "Yeah, I'd vote for him if he had a chance." And inwardly, and sometimes outwardly, I'd rage at them: "Imagine the chance he'd have if all you morons weren't bowing down to your televisions? Why show up and act as if you have an independent brain if you're just going to do what your television told you to do?"

So, here I am in the role of "that jerk" telling Bernie Sanders fanatics that it's hopeless -- a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom if ever there was one. But we have limited time, energy, and money. I don't think saving the planet is hopeless. I just think the best place to put our resources is into uncorrupted, principled, policy-driven, nonviolent, creative activism -- including the activism needed to create fair, open, verifiable elections.

Sure, we now have the internet in a slightly larger way than a decade ago. Sure, a few more people are disgusted enough with Clinton without yet being disgusted with the whole broken system. Sanders is coming to speak in a very small church in my town next week and I'll probably go listen. Any tiny influence the corporate media will allow him on the conversation, so much the better. Maybe with only two Democrats running they'll be forced to allow him a few seconds here and there. Maybe he'll point out that a corrupt corporate hack who voted for the war on Iraq was unacceptable last time and should be again. And yet, she'll be accepted.

The price has been rising. The media has been worsening. Sanders will be skillfully marginalized and mocked. Hillary will avoid debating him. And the election will place either a Democratic or a Republican catastrophe in the White House. Not because I have some sort of wisdom due to having been around a few years. Not because I'm in a bad mood. But because the media monopolies that Clinton's husband facilitated have demonstrably grown more powerful than ever, and elections have grown more corrupted by money -- Just ask Hillary who pretends to oppose it.

Now anything is technically possible. But considering the scandals already known about Hillary Clinton, what sort of new one could make a difference? None that I can even imagine. She could suffer some unfortunate sudden illness or accident, but in that unlikely and undesirable scenario, the media would hand the election to the Republican, even blame Sanders for Clinton's illness or death. You think I'm kidding? The Washington Post just suggested that a victim of Baltimore Police murder broke his own spine.

There's no need for any hard feelings at all among those who mean well. You think the smartest strategy is raising funds for Bernie, we can still be the best of friends. I just happen to disagree. The real question is not whether the next President will be a walking disaster, but what sort of popular movement will have been developed to resist it.

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