Federal Court Gives Blessing to Covertly Approved Enbridge Cross-Border Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A federal court has ruled that the Enbridge Alberta Clipper (Line 67) cross-border tar sands pipeline expansion project, permitted covertly and behind closed doors by the Obama Administration, got its greenlight in a legal manner. 

Groups Ask Columbia University To Reveal Funding Behind Exxon-Tied Center on Global Energy Policy

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Final exams and winter break loom large for students at Columbia University, but at the upper echelons of the university's administration, new calls for transparency about the funding of a university affiliated center are likely to create plenty of homework as well. 

Has the Time Come for Democratization of the Economy?

A study released at the beginning of December by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reported that America’s 20 wealthiest individuals own more wealth than roughly half the American population combined—152 million people.  The startling level of economic inequality in the United States  is also highlighted by Forbes, which recently observed that the richest 400 Americans possess more wealth than 62 percent of the American public—192 million people.  Furthermore, these studies apparently underestimate the concentration of wealth in the United States, for the use of offshore tax havens and legal trusts conceals trillions of dollars that the richest Americans have amassed for themselves and their families.

Judge rejects state’s arguments to reject case: Abu-Jamal Gets Federal Court Hearing Seeking Order to Treat His Hepatitis-C Inf

By Dave Lindorff

 

The second in a three-part series on Mumia Abu-Jamal's fight to force the Pennsylvania prison system to treat his active Hep-C infection, and that of thousands of other infected state inmates, and on the raging Hepatitis C epidemic in the nation's prisons

 

Focus: Democratic Presidential Debate - Dec 20, 2015

 

I urge Sen. Sanders to be friendly and accommodating with Hillary Clinton during the presidential debate regarding the data breach. He should admit that a serious mistake was done by his campaign staff and say that he will do everything to remedy the damage done to the Clinton campaign including an investigation and disclosure of the incident. This way he will avoid arguing with Clinton and spending debate time on this issue. Clearly the wrong is on the Sanders camp who should have not search and retrieve the Clinton campaign data. At stake is not only Sanders reputation as honest and trustworthy but also as a leader who can manage a crisis situation in a balanced and objective manner.


During the debate, Hillary Clinton hawkish foreign policy should be denounced as posing a great danger for US and the world as demonstrated on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Russia and Ukraine. On the other hand her domestic policy of limited reforms is weak and inadequate. Sen. Sanders should emphatically call for adding more Democratic debates and on TV prime time to give the voters essential information on the candidates’ reactions to the fast breaking pace of evolving US and world events. Today's debate, running against Christmas shopping, an NFL game and the opening weekend of the new "Star Wars” movie, will limit the number of potential viewers. The Hill reports that with current averages the 12 Republican debates will reach about 200 million viewers  compared to about 75 million for the 6 Democratic events. The current DNC debate schedule clearly favors frontrunner Hillary Clinton shielding her from more challenging questions and answers. In general limiting debates is a detriment to the national discussion and hampers Democrats’ ability to build excitement for their issues. 

 

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

Mumia Abu-Jamal Battles for His Life...Again

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

The big courthouse news in Pennsylvania this week does not involve yet another sordid revelation in the sleazy racist-pornographic email scandal now soiling top justice system officials in the Keystone State that include a state supreme court justice and ranking prosecutors.

Focus: Sanders and the Clinton Data Breach - Dec 19, 2015


According to news reports listed below, Sanders campaign staff conducted searches of data stored by Hillary Clinton's campaign and saved some of the files related to 10 early primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. "The staffers who secured access to the Clinton data included national data director Josh Uretsky, who was fired on Thursday, and his deputy, Russell Drapkin. The two other usernames that viewed Clinton information were “talani" and "csmith_bernie," created by Uretsky's account after the breach began. Though the Sanders campaign initially claimed that it had not saved Clinton data, the logs show that the Vermont senator’s team created at least 24 lists during the 40-minute breach, which started at 10:40 a.m., and saved those lists to their personal folders. The Sanders searches included New Hampshire lists related to likely voters, "HFA Turnout 60-100" and "HFA Support 50-100," that were conducted and saved by Uretsky. Drapkin's account searched for and saved lists including less likely Clinton voters, "HFA Support <30" in Iowa, and "HFA Turnout 30-70"' in New Hampshire.”


If this is true, Sen. Sanders owns an apology to the Democratic National Committee and to Hillary Clinton. Sen. Sanders should order a full investigation. All the staff involved should be removed from their jobs, fired or disciplined. It is possible that Sanders was unaware of the Clinton data breach and the staff members involved acted on their own without orders or knowledge from above. Sanders should abide by the DNC recommendations that, in order to regain access to the his voter file, he should provide "a full accounting of whether or not this information was used and the way in which it was disposed.”


Reports: 4 Sanders Staffers Searched Clinton Data And Saved Files - talkingpointsmemo.com


More on the Clinton Data Breach and Theft by the Sanders campaign staff - Democratic Underground


DNC's full statement on the voter data breach by the Sanders Camp - talkingpointsmemo.com


VIDEO: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Defends Suspending Sanders Access To DNC Data System - RealClearPolitics


Statement by IT company NGP VAN on DNC data security and privacy - blog.ngpvan.com


Sanders campaign manager Weaver threatens to sue DNC - TheHill


Statement by Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign Manager - Bernie Sanders


VIDEO: Bernie Sanders campaign manager Weaver threatens to DNC to court if data access not restored - YouTube

 

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

Where will that money go?: The Zuckerberg Family Donation and a Legacy of Control

By Alfredo Lopez

 

When I was very young, my parents used to tell me why having "lots of toys" wasn't a good idea. "The more you have, the more you want," they would say. I didn't have many toys -- we were poor -- so the idea of possessions feeding greed didn't make much sense to me then.

Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Shadow War and an American Drone Unit Under Wraps

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

A Quiz to See if U.S. Schools Taught You State Propaganda

U.S. schools provide a great deal of useful information, but also leave out a great deal. Please see whether you can answer the following questions before scrolling down and clicking a link at the bottom for the answers. How many can your kids answer? Can your kids' teachers answer them? Can your parents answer them? Can your uncle who tells you whom to vote for and what to think answer them?

These questions are not intended to comprise an ideal comprehensive course in U.S. or world history. They are intended as a quick sampling of the sort of material that would be included, along with other material, in a basic education that wasn't twisted by the interests of the U.S. government. There might be many questions I would have chosen to include in the place of some of these if I knew more. I was educated in public schools in Fairfax Country, Va., where the schools were ranked among the best in the country. I have a Master's in philosophy from the University of Virginia. I didn't learn the answer to a single one of these questions in any school.

If you can give a generally accurate response to most of these questions, you have almost certainly gone out of your way to learn things not taught in U.S. schools. If you find most of them difficult to answer, I would urge you not to quickly conclude that this is because the topics asked about are of minor importance. Please consider with an open mind whether these questions are not in fact central and vital to the education of a citizen of the United States. And please consider how they relate to what you would expect people in other countries to learn about their own histories.  

1.     Should German schools teach how many people Germany killed in World War II?

2.     How many was it?

3.     Should U.S. schools teach how many people the United States killed in wars on Native Americans, in the Philippines, in Vietnam, or in Iraq?

4.     How many was it?

5.     How many Africans were put on ships to the United States in chains?

6.     How many made it there alive?

7.     How many people lived enslaved in the United States before slavery was officially ended?

8.     How many after that?

9.     Who was Olaudah Equiano?

10.What percentage of deaths in wars of the past half-century have been civilian?

11.How many people has the United States killed in wars, large and small, since 1950?

12.How many democratic governments has the U.S. government overthrown?

13.If you persistently asked for money for a trip, finally got some, went on the trip to a foreign country, and then murdered anyone you met there who failed to give you lots of gold, would a good teacher praise your persistence in asking for the money for the trip?

14.Would they praise Christopher Columbus' persistence?

15.Can you name some Virginians who chose to free everyone they had enslaved while Thomas Jefferson was enslaving more people?

16.What is the appropriate justification for Jefferson enslaving people?

17.What percentage of people in the world are in the United States?

18.What percentage of prisoners in the world are in the United States?

19.What percentage of military spending in the world is by the U.S. government?

20.What percentage is by the U.S. government and its close allies?

21.What percentage of foreign military troops stationed in nations around the world are U.S. troops?

22.What percentage of the world's nations have U.S. troops in them?

23.In what nations of the world do people have the longest life expectancy? Name 3 of the top 10.

24.What nations of the world poll highest for happiness? Name 3 of the top 10.

25.What nations of the world have the highest inequality of wealth? Name 3 of the top 10.

26.What nations of the world have the greatest economic opportunity and mobility? Name 3 of the top 10.

27.What nations' students score highest in academic tests? Name 3 of the top 10.

28.How many of the world's 50 wealthiest nations provide free and universal health coverage?

29.Which countries provide the best retirement security? Name 3 of the top 10.

30.How much does it cost to attend college in Brazil, Germany, Finland, France, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden?

31.In which nations do people average the shortest working hours? Name 3 of the top 10.

32.How many wealthy nations guarantee no paid parental leave?

33.Which nations have the highest labor union representation? Name 3 of the top 10.

34.In which nations of the world does one face the lowest risk of violent crime? Name 3 of the top 10.

35.Approximately how much money does the U.S. government spend every year?

36.Where does that money come from?

37.How much of that money is in dedicated permanent funds separate from the rest of the budget or otherwise mandatory, and how much is subject to the discretion of the Congress?

38.What percentage of discretionary spending is for war preparations?

39.What percentage is for foreign aid, education, or environmental protection?

40.What is the correlation between Congress members' actions and their sources of funding?

41.What is the correlation between greatest campaign funding and electoral victory?

42.What is the success rate in Congressional reelection campaigns by incumbents?

43.Does the U.S. government subsidize fossil fuels?

44.Does the U.S. government subsidize nuclear energy?

45.How many private insurance companies insure nuclear power plants?

46.Is the United States a democracy, republic, communist collective, dictatorship, or oligarchy?

47.Which nations are the world's top weapons exporters?

48.Name at least three recent wars in which weapons from the same nation were used on both sides.

49.Explain, by comparison to Canada, how the United States benefitted from its revolution against England.

50.How did the U.S. revolution benefit Native Americans, farmers, enslaved people, and women?

51.Were there more or fewer popular rebellions in the United States after the revolution?

52.What nation did Congress members predict would welcome invaders as liberators in 1812?

53.Did it?

54.What nation did the United States steal the northern half of in the 1840s through a bloody war despite that nation's willingness to negotiate a nonviolent sale of the land?

55.What was the one condition the United States insisted on in acquiring that land?

56.What President lied to start that war?

57.What Congressman denounced his lies?

58.What hero of that war and future president denounced the war as an immoral outrage?

59.What percentage of nations that abolished slavery fought civil wars before doing so?

60.Why did Mississippi say it was seceding from the United States?

61.How was slavery ended in Washington DC?

62.How many years since 1776 has the United States gone without any wars?

63.What evidence was there that Spain blew up theMaine?

64.What did Spain propose instead of the Spanish-American war?

65.Name three reasons President McKinley gave for occupying the Philippines.

66.Name three good reasons for World War I.

67.What was the general theme of the most common lies of the Four-Minute Men?

68.What was the Lusitania carrying on its fateful voyage, and what advertisement had Germany placed in U.S. newspapers prior to its sailing?

69.What U.S. Secretary of State resigned over President Woodrow Wilson's position regarding the Lusitania?

70.What were the Greer and the Kerney and which U.S. President lied about them?

71.Is the Monroe Doctrine popular in Latin America?

72.What U.S. President encouraged Japanese imperialism, promising them a Monroe Doctrine for Asia?

73.Name one or more observers who predicted at the time of the Treaty of Versailles that it would lead to World War II. Why did they say that?

74.Would a stalemate in World War I, rather than a lopsided victory, have led to the same future?

75.How many right-wing coups were seriously planned against President Franklin Roosevelt?

76.Who was Smedley Butler and what did he conclude about the institution of war?

77.Why was Butler locked up in Quantico?

78.What U.S. whistleblower was later locked up in Quantico and kept naked in a tiny cell?

79.What had she exposed?

80.During the 1930s and early 1940s U.S. peace activists held demonstrations against growing U.S. hostility and war preparations against what nation?

81.Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, what did Winston Churchill tell his cabinet that President Franklin Roosevelt had promised to do in order to bring the United States into the war in Europe?

82.What did FDR use a forged Nazi map to lie to the U.S. public about, and who forged the map?

83.What was the Ludlow Amendment?

84.Prior to Pearl Harbor, in the diary of the U.S. Secretary of War, when did he say FDR expected a Japanese attack?

85.Did the United States begin supporting China in its war against Japanese aggression before or after Pearl Harbor?

86.What was President Roosevelt's approach to Jewish refugees?

87.What percentage of World War II propaganda posters in the United States included mention of the need to rescue Jews?

88.Why did the New York Times downplay the story of the holocaust?

89.Why did Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin say she voted against U.S. entry into World War II?

90.During the rise of Nazism, did Wall Street investment in Germany decrease, stay the same, or increase?

91.How many people died in World War II?

92.What percentage of them died in German concentration camps?

93.Who said "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word"?

94.What future director of the CIA rescued numerous top Nazis from prosecution and employed some of them for the United States?

95.How many former Nazis were employed by the U.S. military in Operation Paperclip?

96.What U.S. space agency's first director was a former Nazi who had employed slave labor?

97.Who remarked in 1937, "I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place"?

98.Within hours of Germany's surrender in World War II, Winston Churchill proposed a new war using what troops against what nation?

99.When did Japan first express willingness to surrender on the terms that actually ended World War II, before or after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

100.       When President Truman announced the bombing of Hiroshima what did he lie that Hiroshima was?

101.       What nations of the world have nuclear weapons, and how many do they have?

102.       What nations have official policies of potentially using nuclear weapons first?

103.       What does the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty require nations with nuclear weapons to do?

104.       How has Iran violated that treaty?

105.       What do the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and a virgin birth have in common?

106.       What was Operation Northwoods?

107.       Who was Mohammad Mossadegh?

108.       What nation proposed to abandon its nuclear energy program in 2003 until the U.S. dismissed the proposal?

109.       What nation proposed peace negotiations before the Korean War?

110.       What nation tried to spread bubonic plague in North Korea?

111.       What U.S. presidential candidate secretly sabotaged peace talks for Vietnam?

112.       Did the United States begin arming Islamic radicals in Afghanistan, who would develop into al Qaeda, before or after the Soviet invasion?

113.       During the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan that began in 2001, what were the primary sources of funding for the other, or Taliban, side of the war?

114.       Prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, whom did the Taliban offer to turn over to a neutral country to have put on trial?

115.       How large has the al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan been during the war that began in 2001?

116.       How large was the al Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion?

117.       Has international terrorism decreased, stayed the same, or increased during the Global War on Terrorism?

118.       The U.S. government originally announced that a mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden had succeeded despite his armed resistance. What did numerous people involved in that mission later change about that story?

119.       When Germany reunited and the Cold War ended, what promise did the United States make to Russia regarding NATO expansion?

120.       Was the promise kept?

121.       What nation's army in 1990 took babies out of incubators and left them on the floor to die?

122.       Prior to the Persian Gulf War, what nation offered to peacefully withdraw from Kuwait?

123.       Prior to September 11, 2001, what did a CIA memo warn President George W. Bush might happen?

124.       What nation was behind anthrax attacks in 2001 in the United States?

125.       Who in January 2003 proposed that a means of starting a war on Iraq would be to paint an airplane with United Nations colors and fly it low over Iraq until it was shot at?

126.       What portion of the nation of Iraq did the Iraqi government offer to let U.S. troops search prior to the 2003 U.S. attack?

127.       In 2003, how quickly did Iraq promise to hold internationally monitored elections if it were not attacked?

128.       Who offered to leave Iraq in 2003 if he could keep $1 billion and if Iraq would not be attacked?

129.       Whose 2003 testimony at the United Nations in favor of attacking Iraq included fabricated dialogue from supposedly wiretapped conversations and numerous claims that his own staff had warned him would not even seem plausible?

130.       What war's aftermath gave birth to a new al Qaeda spin-off called ISIS or ISIL or Islamic State or Daesh?

131.       Where did ISIS get most of its weapons?

132.       What have been top sources of ISIS funding?

133.       What did ISIS ask the U.S. to do in order to boost its recruiting?

134.       Did the U.S. do it?

135.       Did it boost ISIS recruiting?

136.       Did the U.S. drone war on Yemen replace a worse form of war or help create one?

137.       Who supplied Saudi Arabia with its weapons for its 2015 war on Yemen?

138.       Does the U.S. know the names of most of the people it targets with missiles from drones?

139.       Does the U.S. target with drones only people it cannot arrest and put on trial?

140.       Name three former top U.S. officials who have warned that drone wars produce more enemies than they kill.

141.       Name three current or former top U.S. officials who maintain that every nation must have equal and identical rights in the use of drones.

142.       Which nations did former NATO commander Wesley Clark say the Pentagon wanted to overthrow in 2003, and which nations did former Prime Minister of the U.K. Tony Blair say that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to overthrow at the same time? What has happened to those nations?

143.       In which nations of the world do the highest percentages of people say they would go to war for their nation?

144.       In which nations of the world are the highest percentages of the people religious?

145.       What percentage of human beings who have ever lived, and of human societies that have ever existed, have experienced or participated in war?

146.       In which nations of the world are children regularly told to pledge allegiance to a flag?

147.       If you read that peace activists many years before your birth helped to end a war or halt the production of a weapon, would a good teacher expect you to write about that activism in the first person, using the word "we"?

148.       If you read about the United States invading a Central American nation before your birth, would a good teacher allow you to write about it in the first person, using the word "we"?

149.       Which nations of the world have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Why haven't they?

150.       Which major military nations have not joined the International Criminal Court, or the treaties banning land mines, cluster bombs, racial discrimination, discrimination against women, or weapons in space, or those establishing rights of migrant workers, regulating the arms trade, providing protection from disappearances, defending the rights of people with disabilities, or the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?

151.       Which nation has used the power of its veto at the United Nations most frequently and for what purpose?

152.       How many people were killed or driven out of their homes during the 1948 creation of Israel?

153.       Who was the last president to propose abolishing the CIA?

154.       What president created the CIA and came to regret it?

155.       What was the Safari Club?

156.       Which article of the U.S. Constitution sanctions secret agencies?

157.       How does war preparation and weapons testing benefit human and environmental health?

158.       Have more U.S. citizens been killed by working on nuclear weapons, fighting in wars, being victimized by foreign terrorists, or by domestic gun violence, or smoking cigarettes? What are the numbers?

159.       How many U.S. wars has the U.S. Institute for Peace opposed since its creation?

160.       What do the people of Diego Garcia, Koho'alawe, the Aleutian Islands, Bikini Atoll, Kwajalein Atoll, Culebra, Vieques, Okinawa, Thule, the Aetas, the Cherokee, and most native peoples of the United States have in common?

161.       What percentage of U.S. wars are marketed as promoting freedom?

162.       During what percentage of U.S. wars are civil liberties in the United States curtailed?

163.       How many average Europeans, Asians, Africans, or Latin Americans would it take to damage the natural environment as much as the average person in the United States?

164.       What single institution creates the most environmental destruction?

165.       How did women in the United States and around the world vote themselves the right to vote?

166.       What did it take to win children's rights in the United States?

167.       What is the Vietnam Syndrome?

168.       What were the most successful tactics of the Civil Rights movement?

169.       How many corporations control most major U.S. media outlets?

170.       How was Apartheid officially ended in South Africa?

171.       What happened on Rosenstrasse?

172.       Which have succeeded more often and with longer lasting successes in struggles against tyranny during the past 100 years, violent or nonviolent revolutions?

173.       Who were the Wobblies?

174.       What was the Prague Spring?

175.       Who was A.J. Muste?

176.       What percentage of prisoners ever kept in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo had been convicted of terrorism?

177.       What three interlocking evils did Martin Luther King Jr. say needed to be ended?

178.       When did the people of Hawaii vote to join the United States?

179.       Why did the United States bomb West Virginia?

180.       Why did the United States drop nuclear bombs on North Carolina?

181.       Why did the British end the occupation of India?

182.       Who was Abdul Ghaffar Khan?

183.       When was the damage from Agent Orange finally cleaned up in Vietnam?

184.       How did Norwegian teachers have to teach under Nazi occupation?

185.       Which nations resisted Nazi orders to kill Jews most successfully?

186.       Why did duelling end?

187.       Why did Marcos' rule of the Philippines end?

188.       Who kidnapped the President of Haiti in 2004?

189.       Who was Claudette Colvin?

190.       What was the income tax created to pay for?

191.       How did the United States prevent the Three Mile Island accident from killing anyone?

192.       Did more U.S. troops die in Vietnam or from suicide after returning home?

193.       What is the leading cause of death for U.S. troops sent to U.S. wars in recent years?

194.       Why did Congresswoman Barbara Lee say she was voting against the Global War on Terrorism in 2001?

195.       Who did the U.S. attack with chemical weapons in 1932?

196.       How did a ban on war get into the Japanese Constitution and who has been trying to remove it ever since?

197.       Who assassinated the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994?

198.       Who killed Paul Robeson, Ernest Hemingway, and John Wayne?

199.       How do U.S. gun laws reduce gun violence better than Australia's?

200.       Who overthrew the government of Honduras in 2009?

201.       How many people were killed in the recent Russian military invasion of Ukraine?

202.       Why do the people of Okinawa so strongly support the presence of U.S. military bases on their island?

203.       What was the anti-imperialist league?

204.       What was the outlawry movement?

205.       What law was General Custer enforcing when he died?

206.       Who urged all scientists to refuse any military work in 1931?

207.       Who was Garry Davis?

208.       Who was Jane Addams?

209.       What was the New England Non-Resistance Society?

210.       What ended friendly relations between Eisenhower and Khrushchev?

211.       When did Armistice Day become Veterans Day and why?

212.       What was the Iran-Contra scandal?

213.       What is the Kellogg-Briand Pact?

214.       Which recent wars have complied with the Kellogg-Briand Pact?

215.       Which recent wars have complied with the United Nations Charter?

216.       Which recent wars have complied with the separation of powers stipulated in the U.S. Constitution?

217.       If the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed the state of Florida to count all its votes in 2000, who would have become president of the United States in 2001?

218.       What thwarted efforts by the African Union to negotiate peace in Libya in 2011?

219.       Who proposed a peace process for Syria in 2012 that would have included a change of government?

220.       Who dismissed it out of hand?

221.       What did the U.S. military / White House plan for Syria in 2013 before being blocked by public, international, and Congressional pressure?

222.       When the CIA produced a report in 2013 on past successes of arming local proxy armies, what was missing from the report?

223.       Which nations still use the death penalty?

224.       In how many nations in history have the majority of rape victims been male?

225.       How many unarmed people do U.S. police kill each year?

226.       Which stages of the criminal justice process in the United States are racially biased?

227.       How much wealth do the average white, black, and Latino households have in the U.S.?

228.       What percentage of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth?

229.       What percentage could provide the world with clean drinking water?

230.       What percentage could double U.S. investment in clean energy?

231.       Is clean coal clean?

232.       Is natural gas natural?

233.       Is safe nuclear power safe?

234.       Which nations are getting the highest percentage of their energy from sustainable sources?

235.       Which nation did people in the most countries around the world view as the greatest threat to peace on earth in a 2013 Gallup poll?

236.       Is terrorism among the top 100 causes of death in the United States?

237.       What are 10 of them?

238.       Does domestic terrorism in the United States kill more or fewer people than foreign terrorism?

239.       What percentage of foreign terrorists in the United States provide a clear explanation of their motives?

240.       What do they say?

 

Click here for the answers only after trying to answer the questions to the best of your ability.

New TCBH! poem: 'Bestiary: The old gang'

Mouse (who never had an evil thought)

Asked penguin (who never raped or pillaged),

Have you seen caterpillar

(that one who never held anyone at gunpoint)?

Killer Drone Protesters' Charges Dismissed in Upstate New York

This afternoon, December 16, town of DeWitt (NY) judge Robert Jokl dismissed the charges against the five anti-Reaper drone protesters arrested on September 21, 2015. The protesters had blocked the main entrance of Hancock Air Force Base near Syracuse with three long one-word banners reading DRONES  KILL  CHILDREN. Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State National Guard.
 
The five Central New Yorkers  are from Syracuse and Ithaca, and are each active in the Upstate Drone Action Coalition.
 
That Coalition alleges that the 174th Attack Wing commits ongoing war crime for its weaponized Reaper drone missions over Afghanistan. The robotic unmanned Reapers operated by remote control notoriously kill many civilians both within and beyond war zones through the Middle East and West Asia.
 
Pro bono attorney Jonathan Wallace argued before Judge Jokl  that the prosecution’s paperwork was woefully inadequate. That the prosecutor failed to even appear in court probably did not help his case.
 
The five – along with many others -- have each been arrested and incarcerated for previous nonviolent anti-drone protests at Hancock:
    Dan Burgevin
    Ed Kinane
    Bonny Mahoney
    Julienne Oldfield
    James Ricks.
 
Since 2010 scores of Upstate Drone Action members have been arrested for their nonviolent protests at Hancock.###

Meet the Lobbyists and Big Money Interests Pushing to End the Oil Exports Ban

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The ongoing push to lift the ban on exports of U.S.-produced crude oil appears to be coming to a close, with Congress agreeing to a budget deal with a provision to end the decades-old embargo

Blacks to be treated differently with blood pressure meds: Racism Alive and Well in New Medical Guidelines

By Jess Guh

 

With this article, ThisCantBeHappening! welcomes Dr. Jess Guh to our collective. You can read about her background by clicking on the "Who, and What, Are We?" button just below our masthead.

Syria News - Dec 16, 2015


In major policy shift Kerry says US not seeking ‘regime change' in Syria, U.S. and Russia see the conflict 'fundamentally very similarly' - ABC


VIDEO: Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov Hold a Press Conference in Moscow (Kerry speech starts at 4:10 min) - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov Hold a Press Conference in Moscow - state.gov


Syria conflict: US and Russia signal new push at UN, to pass a resolution endorsing the Syria peace process - BBC News


Russia, US military chiefs discuss Syria air space cooperation: agencies - THE DAILY STAR


US defense chief urges Turkey to do more in anti-ISIL fight, says most significant contribution would be sealing its border with Syria - Hurriyet


EXCLUSIVE: Sarin materials brought via Turkey & mixed in Syrian camps of ISIS which was known as Iraqi Al Qaeda during that time: Turkish MP to RT - RT News


Obama: ISIS Has Lost 40 Percent of Iraq Territory, and More in Syria - WTXF


U.S. Bombing of ISIS Oil Facilities Showing Progress - TIME


US-backed Free Syrian Army groups on verge of collapse - Stripes


Russia Names Four Free Syrian Army Groups It Supports with Air Cover in Fight Against ISIS - Haaretz


Syrian opposition provides Russian Air Force with coordinates to target terrorists: MoD - RT News


Russia supplies weapons only to Syrian government army, not to Free Syrian Army: Kremlin - TASS


Russia is bringing its big guns to Syria. Literally. - theweek.com


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Putin: Any forces that threaten Russian militaries in Syria should be exterminated - YouTube


Russian warplanes destroy 6 terrorists’ oil production facilities in Syria - TASS


Syrian troops liberate 9 settlements in Aleppo province: Russian General Staff - TASS

 

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

Saudi Arabia creates 34 State Islamic military bloc to fight terror groups - Yahoo News


Saudi Arabia says sending special forces to Syria under discussion by Gulf States - Yahoo News


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Saudi Arabia’s crown prince announces military alliance to fight terrorism - YouTube


VIDEO (Longer version in Arabic): Saudi Arabia’s crown prince announces military alliance to fight terrorism - YouTube


VIDEO (English): Saudi Arabia FM announces new military coalition to fight terrorism - YouTube


Pentagon chief Carter wants more details on new Saudi alliance, senior defense official says the U.S. did not know in advance about it - News-Sentinel.com


No comment from Kremlin on newly-created Islamic coalition: 'It will take some time to analyze this decision. We don’t have detailed information at this point' - TASS

 

Saudi-led Islamic coalition role leaves Lebanon govt in shreds, PM hails move while FM oppose it  - THE DAILY STAR


Interview with the rebel commander of Damascus Zahran Alloush, head of the Army of Islam - The Daily Beast


VIDEO (full version in Arabic): Jabhat a-Nusra leader al-Jolani criticizes the Riyadh conference of the Syrian opposition in an interview, denounces participating rebel factions as ‘treasonous’ - YouTube


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

Tomgram: Engelhardt, World Without Context

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

Sometimes what matters most takes up every inch of space in the room and somehow we still don't see it. That's how I feel about our present media moment.

Talk Nation Radio: Jon Schwarz on Secret Unaccountable Government

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jon-schwarz-on-secret-unaccountable-government 

Jon Schwarz's new job is with The Intercept. He previously worked for Michael Moore's Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. He's contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.” In 2003 he collected on a $1,000 bet that Iraq would have no weapons of mass destruction. See:
https://theintercept.com/staff/jonschwarz

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In Midst of ExxonMobil Climate Denial Scandal, Company Hiring Climate Change Researcher

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Caught in the crosshairs of an ongoing New York Attorney General investigation exploring its role in studying the damage climate change could cause since the 1970's and then proceeding to fund climate science denial campaigns, ExxonMobil has announced an interesting job opening. 

Extinction is Forever

What do the Pyrenean ibex, St. Helena olive, Baiji dolphin, Liverpool pigeon, Eastern cougar, West African black rhinoceros, Formosan clouded leopard, Chinese Paddlefish, the Golden Toad and the Rockland grass skipper butterfly all have in common but which is different from the Dodo?

 

The answer is that these species all became extinct since the year 2000, that is, in the last fifteen years. The Dodo became extinct in 1662.

What will it take to close it?: Indian Point Nuke Plant Emergency Shutdown Follows Power Loss

By Paul DeRienzo

The latest in a series of troubling mishaps at the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant a week ago Saturday prompted a shutdown or “trip” of one of the two operating reactor units on the site and the dispatch of inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Focus: Terrorism and the U.S. Presidential Campaign - Dec 13, 2015

 

NYT/CBS poll shows that terrorism is voters' top pick for the biggest issue facing America. It may be a temporary trend due to the shocks of the San Bernardino and Paris tragedies. "Last month only 4% of Americans said terrorism was the most important problem.... Now nearly one in five -- 19% -- believe it is. Previous recent NYT/CBS polls found the economy was the top challenge." Terrorism is taking center stage in the presidential campaigns. Hillary Clinton vows to defeat Islamic State if elected and will outline her strategy for homeland security next week. The Independent reports today that Islamic State has released a new video; digitally altered footage shows IS tanks advancing towards the Colosseum in Rome and St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is also filmed.

 

To be successful against terrorism, U.S. and Europe must forge a new partnership with Russia on equal terms to address the world conflicts and security threats. Russia should not be treated as an adversary or worse as an enemy. Putin should be respected as world leader, not disparaged. The new partnership could involve also China which usually teams up with Russia on foreign affairs. The Bernie Sanders proposal to create a new international organization like NATO, that will include Russia and Arab nations, may be the way forward securing world stability and peace. Sanders says: "We must create an organization like NATO to confront the security threats of the 21st century, an organization that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration to defeat the rise of violent extremism and importantly to address the root causes underlying these brutal acts. We must work with our NATO partners, and expand our coalition to include Russia and members of the Arab League.”

 

Next January talks between the Assad government and the Syrian opposition may take place if the parties agree. A Nov 13 statement from the International Syria Support Group, which includes among others U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, calls for a Syria constitutional reform process leading to presidential elections under U.N. supervision within 18 months. Opposition groups, meeting this week in Saudi Arabia, insist as a precondition for talks that Assad and his aides quit power "with the start of the transition period." This is a non-starter because Russia and Iran do not accept the removal of Assad from power before the new presidential elections. The balance of power in Syria favors Russia and Iran. Russian massive military intervention in Syria is a game changer. Its top priority is to defend its historical ally, to preserve the Syrian state institutions from collapsing and avoid an Iraq and Libya scenarios. It sends a message to those who want regime change by military means that they will not succeed.

 

According to some reports State institutions and private donors in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf nations provide weapons supplies and cash flows to the jihadi terrorists in Syria, allow oil trade with them and influx of foreign fighters. They may also provide training, transport, logistical support and medical assistance. This is in the contest of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran which fuels the conflict between the Sunni and the Shia. It is also a struggle for the control and distribution of oil and gas. In addition Turkey opposes the formation an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria which could be replicated within its own land. Until these nations aid and abet jihadi terrorism, there will always be security risks in the Middle East and beyond. References:

State Sponsors Of The Islamic State: The Turkey, Saudi, Qatar Connection

America's Allies Are Funding ISIS

Report: Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State

ISIS gets men and $800 million from Turkey

 

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

 

Whistleblowing Is Contagious


The Courage from Whistle-blowing

Editor Note: Courage, like cowardice, can grow as an action when one person influences decisions by others, either toward bravery or fear. Thus, the gutsy whistle-blowing by some NSA officials inspired Edward Snowden to expose mass data collection on all Americans, recalls ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

When Edward Snowden in early June 2013 began to reveal classified data showing criminal collect-it-all surveillance programs operated by the U.S. government’s National Security Agency, former NSA professionals became freer to spell out the liberties taken with the Bill of Rights, as well as the feckless, counterproductive nature of bulk electronic data collection.

Focus: Bernie Sanders, gun control and hunting - Dec 11, 2015

 

I urge Bernie Sanders to stop talking about hunting in the framework of his gun control plan. He comes from rural Vermont where hunting is common. He says, "In Vermont, New Hampshire and all over this country we have a lot of people who hunt. I support people's rights to hunt, it's part of our cultural heritage. But people do not go hunting with assault weapons.” He adds, "I can understand if some Democrats or Republicans represent an urban area where people don't hunt, don't do target practice, they're not into guns. But in my state, people go hunting and do target practice.” He could just avoid this reference to hunting altogether while talking about gun control. Video of Sanders speech which calls for gun safety legislation after the San Bernardino massacre and does not mention hunting. 


Hunting hurts of the feelings animal rights supporters and in general of pet owners who amount to great numbers. Besides the ethical question of killing animals for recreation, it is also politically convenient not to alienate these voters. According to a poll, more than three in five Americans (62%) have at least one pet in their household, with ownership highest among the two youngest generations tested (65% among Millennials, 71% among Gen X). What's more, 95% of pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family. In addition growing percentages of pet owners frequently or occasionally buy birthday presents for their pets (45%) and cook for them (31%), let their pets sleep in bed with them (71%) and buy them holiday presents (64%).


Animal rights is now a mainstream movement like civil and human rights, environmentalism, feminism, etc. This is an article by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel and Unnecessary.


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

US Journalists Duck the Big Climate Question: Can Capitalism and Mankind Both Survive?

By Dave Lindorff


             Scientists have for decades recognized climate change as an existential crisis facing mankind, but the US media, hamstrung by a self-inflicted obsession with presenting “both sides” of every story even when there is only one, have only begun recognizing its gravity. And a huge barrier still prevents climate change from being honestly reported.

Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Who Will Fight the Islamic State?

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

Speaking Events

2016

 

March 24, Boone, NC.

 

March 25, Asheville, NC
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War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
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April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
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April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
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April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
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April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
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April 16 Portland, OR

 

April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
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May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
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May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
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May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
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May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event

 


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
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June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
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