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Talk Nation Radio: Slow Democracy Is Better Democracy

Susan Clark discusses her new book, authored with Woden Teachout, "Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home."  It's a rich and persuasive argument against centralization and privatization, and for the advantages of local democracy with real powers of self governance.

Here's a review.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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Philly DA Scored for Defending Prosecutorial Misconduct

 

By Linn Washington Jr.


The recent outrage in Pennsylvania over the scheduled October 3 execution of a man who killed two men who had sexually abused him during his childhood has tarnished the reformer image of Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, exposing him as just another prosecutor willing to trample justice to preserve a death penalty.

Loews hotels partner with TSA

As we’ve noted repeatedly about the TSA program called Pre-Check, not only is it the embodiment of “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” but it doesn’t guarantee participants expedited screening. Nor scan-free nor grope-free nor hassle-free travel.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Inciting Unrest in Venezuela

 

Inciting Unrest in Venezuela

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Last month, Duke University's Patrick Duddy published a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) paper titled "Political Unrest in Venezuela." 

 

From August 2007 - July 2010, he was Washington's Venezuelan ambassador. He represents imperial, not popular interests.

Palestine: One or Two State Solution

 

Palestine: One or Two State Solution

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Opinions vary. Why isn't clear. Years ago, two states were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily. 

 

When completed, the apartheid wall will control over 10% of Palestine. Isolated ghettoized bantustans on worthless scrubland won't work. Under those conditions, sovereign viability is impossible.

After Years-Long Media Black-Out, The Prosecution of an American President Opens at US Theaters

After a years-long media black-out and a grueling battle to get the film shown in the US, The Prosecution of an American President, the brainchild of the Los Angeles County prosecutor who prosecuted Charles Manson, opens at theaters this week.  In its long trek to the American big screen, the movie was originally scheduled to be run on HBO before the channel dropped it at the last minute.  Bugliosi then had to go outside the country to find a producer, Windsor Ontario NAFTC Studios.

Yahoo News:

But the Police State Marches On: Protestors Win in 2004 RNC Protest Mass Arrest Case in NYC

 

By Dave Lindorff


On the morning of the big march through midtown Manhattan on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004, I and a few friends were having breakfast at a little coffee shop near 96th Street on the Upper West Side. We had a few homemade signs and were clearly headed for a political action. Across from us were three New York City cops, carrying riot helmets, having their breakfast. They were clearly headed to the same place we were.

Octobr 2012 Appearances/Protests of U.S. War Criminals

Here's the October list of U.S. war criminals appearances and protests. Let us know if you are planning something in your area so we may help promote it or assist you in any way.

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In January 2009, Obama succeeded Bush. Neocons stuck around. They infest Washington. War gets their juices flowing. They urge it on Syria and Iran.

 

Potential catastrophic consequences don't matter. Uber-hawks don't worry about them. It's someone else's problem.

 

Living with the Enemy

 

Living with the Enemy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

How do Palestinians manage every day? How do they deal with state-sponsored denial of their rights? How do they survive under suffocating conditions?

 

Where will they live once Israel steals all parts of Judea and Samaria it wants? It's grabbing it durum by dunum. What Palestinians lived on peacefully for centuries is fast disappearing.

The Buzz on Drones

Civilian Casualties From Drone Attacks in Afghanistan

October 1, 2012

Editor Note: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through drone aircraft. What is less known is the full human and political costs.

By Ray McGovern

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker friends like to say, and will now try to do my part in what follows to put this dangerous journey in perspective.

Veterans For Peace Now in Pakistan Opposing Drone War

Seven Members of Veterans For Peace are part of a 40-member delegation organized by Code Pink now in Pakistan through October 10th. VFP members Leah Bolger, Dave Dittemore, Bill Kelly, Jody Mackey, Rob Mulford, and Ann Wright are meeting with drone victims' families, elected officials, tribal elders, and residents of South Waziristan, where U.S. drone strikes have killed thousands, while injuring and making refugees of many more. Code Pink's Medea Benjamin is an associate member of VFP.

The relentless drone war continued with a U.S. drone strike in the Mir Ali area on Monday, reportedly killing three unidentified people.

At the same time, the Pakistani media is full of accounts of the U.S. delegation and their planned participation in a march to the heaviest hit areas, a story also appearing in British and other world media.  The English language Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports:

"ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said that a 30-member foreign delegation had reached Islamabad on Sunday which would participate in PTI’s 'peace rally' in South Waziristan, DawnNews reported.

"The PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that people who do not want peace are against PTI peace rally.

"Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Khan said Mehsud, Burki and Bhittani tribes of  Waziristan have welcomed the peace rally. The tribal leaders had also assured the security of the participants of the rally, he added.

"He complained that the government was not issuing visas to the foreign journalists and human right’s activists who wanted to attend the rally.

"Speaking on the occasion, US citizen Ann Wright, who is a former diplomat and military woman, said most of the American people were against drone attacks.

“'Drone attacks are illegal and criminal. We request the people of Pakistan to raise their voice against them. We will go to Waziristan to apologise to the relatives of those killed by drones,' said Ms Wright, who is also the spokesperson for the Anti-War Movement.
"She said the US had been violating the sovereignty of Pakistan. 'There is travel warning for the US citizens but we have come here and will go to the places where our government does not want us to go,' she said.

Other US citizens who have reached here to take part in the PTI rally include Paki Wieland, a social worker (Massachusetts); Linda Wenning, a graduate from the University of Utah; Lorna Vander Zanden and Pam Bailey (Virginia); Jolie Terrazas, Judy Bello, Katie Falkenberg, Daniel Burns and Joe Lombardo (New York); Barbara Briggs, Tighe Barry, Sushila Cherian, Dianne Budd and Toby Blome (California); Leah Bolger, Tudy Cooper and Michael Gaskill (Oregon); Medea Benjamin, Jody Tiller and Alli McCracken (Washington DC); Anam Eljabali (Illinois), Patricia Chaffee (Wisconsin), Joan Nicholson (Pennsylvania), Robert Naiman and JoAnne Lingle (Indiana); Rob Mulford (Alaska), Lois Mastrangelo (Massachusetts) and Billy Kelly (New Jersey).

"Meanwhile explaining the route of the rally, the PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said  thet the march will start from Islamabad’s Blue Area and will proceed towards Balkasar, Talagang, Mianwali and DI Khan on October 6.

"On October 7, the rally will gather at Tank and then head towards South Waziristan where a public meeting will be held at Kot Kai, he added."

 

Veterans For Peace President Leah Bolger reports that, in addition to Ann Wright, Bill Kelly, Rob Mulford, and herself took part in the press conference representing VFP.  Wright was introduced by Khan and spoke about the purpose of the delegation, and answered questions from the press.  Bolger reounts:

 

"Ann did a fantastic job of describing the purpose of the delegation and responding to reporters' questions which included asking us if we were concerned for our own safety, given the strong anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.  She was very candid in saying that we were opposed to the policies of our own government which we consider to be illegal and immoral, and that as citizens of the United States we apologized for the deaths of Pakistanis because of the drone strikes.  She went on to say that the U.S. government does not want us to be here in Pakistan, but that despite official State Department warnings not to travel here, we are determined to meet with the people who have been harmed by our government, and in our name."

Rob Mulford sent in this comment:

 

"Love is the seed from which the flower of peace grows. Prior to coming to Pakistan, I was often asked by friends, family, loved ones the rhetorical question: why, what do you hope to accomplish, what is the efficacy? Sometimes when put on the spot I struggle for answers grounded in the technical without seeing the ubiquitous truth. I am here to say 'I love you' to a people who have for too long and too often been wrongly vilified. But words are empty without action. The warmth of tacit contact, the handshake, the hug, the reflection of an other's beauty in ones own eyes, and openly sharing one's own vulnerability. This is peace.

"Peace requires courage. Saturday we met with the anthropologist / filmmaker Samar Miniallah Khan. Samar, a Pashtun, tirelessly and courageously works to comfort and protect some of the most venerable people on the face of the earth, women and children who have had no part in the making of a world where they suffer. Her documentary 'Women Behind the Burqa' may just be the most powerful statement that I have ever seen in opposition to war. It needs to be seen by everyone in the United States, shown in schools, to those who govern, and on the popular media. It lays bare the lie that 'we' (US military forces) are involved involved in protecting women.

"Drones are robot assassins, murders. They are not tools of the just."

Pam Bailey reports on her blog:

"Monday evening, I will fly from New York City to Abu Dhabi, and then on to Islamabad. On Oct. 6, I and about 30 others from the United States and the UK will join PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or 'Movement for Justice') Chairman Imran Khan on a convoy into South Waziristan, the 'no-man’s land' along the border with Afghanistan where extremists hide and U.S. drones most often strike.
"Before founding the PTI party in 1996, Khan played international cricket for two decades (at 39, Khan led his teammates to Pakistan’s first and only World Cup victory in 1992) and became a much-beloved philanthropist, including the founding of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre. Foreign Policy magazine described him as 'Pakistan’s Ron Paul.'
"The original plan was for the convoy to penetrate deep into North Waziristan, the heart of the unrest and military response, allowing us to visit the families caught in the crossfire at 'Ground Zero.'
"However, after threats of suicide attacks were received, the plan was revised to limit the convoy to South Waziristan – a path that the Hakimullah Mahsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, or the Pakistani Taliban) has pledged to protect. The question now is whether the Pakistani government will allow the convoy to go ahead. In light of Khan’s criticism of the Pakistani government’s tacit complicity with the U.S. drone attacks, several international journalists already have been denied visas. Stay tuned."

Veterans For Peace member Ray McGovern, not on the trip, provides context here.

VFP is part of a coalition organizing an online petition in support of banning weaponized drones.  VFP members are delivering over 16,000 signatures on the petition to those they meet with in Pakistan: PDF.

In addition, Veterans For Peace is a member organization of UNAC (the United National Antiwar Coalition, a U.S. group), and Leah Bolger represents VFP on the UNAC Administrative Committee.  Joe Lombardo and Judi Bello, also part of the delegation to Pakistan, are also UNAC Administrative Committee members.  UNAC has just released a statement opposing the use of drones: PDF.

Participants are available for interviews by email and phone, and in-person after the trip.

Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.

##

An Urgent Call for RTTV to schedule alternative Third-Party Presidential Debates!

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a simple answer to the refusal of the Two Party-Controlled Presidential Debate Commission's refusal to include third party candidates in its three debates: An alternative televised debate that would include the third party candidates, and that would air right after the corrupt and largely meaningless debate between Obama and Romney ends.

Nothing More Evil

A writer at the Atlantic named Conor Friedersdorf recently noted the level of evil many have been brought to support:

"Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can't bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution, and they'll nod along. Say that you'd never vote for a politician caught using the 'n'-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney's flaws, which I've chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama. Don't they see that Obama's transgressions are worse than any I've mentioned? I don't see how anyone who confronts Obama's record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I'd have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers."

Not long ago, I attended a speech by Obama, along with thousands of his adoring cheerleaders formerly known as citizens.  I asked him to stop killing people in Afghanistan, and the Secret Service asked me to leave.  But, just now, I got a phone call from the local Obama office.  They had my name because I'd picked up a ticket to attend the speech.  The young woman wanted to know if I would come help phone other people.  I asked if she was familiar with the president's kill list and his policy of killing men, women, and children with drones.  She said she knew nothing about that but "respected my opinion."  She hung up.  Objecting to presidential murder is now an opinion, and willingness to be aware of its existence is an appendage to the opinion.  If you don't object to presidential murder by Democrat, then you simply arrange not to know about it.  Thus, in your opinion, it doesn't exist.

Some of my friends at this moment are in Pakistan apologizing to its government and its people for the endless murderous drone war fought there by our country.  They're meeting with victims' families.  They're speaking publicly in opposition to the crimes of our government.  And my neighbors, living in some other universe, believe most fundamentally, not that one candidate will save us, not that the two parties are fundamentally opposed, not that a citizen's job is to vote, not that war is all right if it's meant well -- although they clearly believe all of those things -- but, most fundamentally, they believe that unpleasant facts should simply be avoided.  So, in a spirit of afflicting the comfortable to comfort the afflicted, here are a few from recent days:

WAR IS A LIE

We know that in the past "defensive" wars have been intentionally launched by fraud or provocation.  We know that many in our government want a war with Iran.  We know that several years ago then-Vice President Dick Cheney proposed disguising U.S. ships as Iranian and attacking other U.S. ships with them.  We know that then-President George W. Bush proposed disguising a plane as belonging to the United Nations, flying it low, and trying to get Iraq to shoot at it.  We know that there was no Gulf of Tonkin incident, no evidence that Spain attacked the Maine, no doubt that the weapons and troops on board the Lusitania were public knowledge, no question that FDR worked hard to provoke an attack by Japan, and so on.  And we know that Iran has not attacked another nation in centuries.  So, it almost goes without saying that Washington warmongers are contemplating ways to get Iran to make the "first move."  Assassinating scientists hasn't worked, blowing up buildings doesn't seem to do it, cyber-war isn't blossoming into real war, sanctions are not sanctioning armed resistance, and dubious accusations of Iranian terrorism aren't sticking.  Exactly what do we have to do to get ourselves innocently attacked by the forces of evil?

The Israel Lobby to the rescue!  Patrick Clawson, Director of Research at the Washington Institute Of Near East Policy, blurted out the following on video this week:


"Crisis initiation is really tough.  And it's very hard for me to see how the United States president can get us to war with Iran. . . . The traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.  Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II . . . . You may recall, we had to wait for Pearl Harbor.  Some people might think Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War I.  You may recall that he had to wait for the Lusitania episode.  Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam.  You may recall he had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode.  We didn't go to war with Spain until the Maine exploded.  And Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked, which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.  So, if in fact the Iranians aren't going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war. . . . I mentioned that explosion on August 17th.  We could step up the pressure.  I mean, look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down.  Someday one of them might not come up.  Who would know why? [LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE] . . . . We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians.  We could get nastier."

This is serious advocacy for manufacturing a "defensive" and "humanitarian" war.  This is not a war critic or a Yes Men prankster.  The position of most elected officials in Washington, including the President, fits well with this.  That position includes the ultimatum that Iran must cease doing what U.S. National Intelligence Estimates say it is not doing, namely building nuclear weapons.  The goal at the bottom of all of this is war.  The purpose of the war is not related to any of the excuses for it.  The purpose is something else entirely.  But it's ugly, so it's easier not to look.

HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION

We often forget that war is the worst thing there is. Hence our government's shift in policy back to outsourcing a lot of the torture and insourcing the "cleaner" approach of assassination without torture.  Hence, also, our common fantasy that war can be used to solve a problem that is somehow worse than war.

We also forget that torturing people can be crueler than experimenting on them.  Torture has been given an acceptance in the United States during the past decade that "human experimentation" has not.  So, we are still capable of a bit of shock when a story comes out like this one: During the 1950s and 1960s the U.S. Army sprayed zinc cadmium sulfide, apparently including radioactive particles, in poor neighborhoods in St. Louis and other cities, to test the results on the people who unknowingly breathed it.

At the end of World War II, the U.S. military's Operation Paperclip brought nearly 500 Nazi scientists to the United States to work on U.S. weaponry.  Many view their influence on the nascent military industrial complex as critical to its sadistic and sociopathic tendencies ever since.  In fairness to the Nazis, it's possible that they simply fit in well, serving the military of a nation with a long history of genocide, slavery, torture, and public deception. 

I came across a member of Veterans For Peace this week who's been struggling many years as a result of experimental vaccines and drugs given to hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers during the Gulf War.  We also learned this week that every prisoner in the Guantanamo death camp has been given experimental drugs without their knowledge or at least without their consent.

And then there's this: "Congressional Probe Reveals Cover-Up of 'Auschwitz-Like' Conditions at US-Funded Afghan Hospital":

"A congressional investigation has revealed a top U.S. general in Afghanistan sought to stall an investigation into abuse at a U.S.-funded hospital in Kabul that kept patients in, quote, 'Auschwitz-like' conditions. Army whistleblowers revealed photographs taken in 2010 which show severely neglected, starving patients at Dawood Hospital, considered the crown jewel of the Afghan medical system, where the country's military personnel are treated. The photos show severely emaciated patients, some suffering from gangrene and maggot-infested wounds. For TV viewers of Democracy Now!, please be warned: these images are extremely graphic and may be disturbing."

NOTHING MORE EVIL

Here's what I'm trying to get at.  If you try to think of something more evil than what we are now doing, you'll fail.  Name your evil: destroying the earth's climate?  President Barack Obama flew to Copenhagen to single-handedly derail any process for protecting the earth's atmosphere.  The only way in which to fantasize about greater evil is quantitative, not qualitative.  We could drop more bombs.  We could starve more children.  We could experiment on more prisoners.  In fact, this is what Lesser Evilism amounts to.  A Lesser Evilist today is not choosing less evil policies, but the same policies in what he or she hopes will be lesser amounts. 

That might be a rational calculation within a polling place.  But living it prior to and after an election, apologizing and cheering for one of two teams, as if self-governance were a spectator sport, is nothing other than complicity in the most hideous forms of cruelty and murder.  That complicity is insidious.  Evil begins to look like something else, because the Lesser Evilist, within his or her own mind, comes to view the Lesser Evil forces as good, if not glorious, if not saintly.

Lakota Nation Leaves America

 

Lakota Sioux Nation Leaves America

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America betrayed them and all Native Peoples. Throughout US history and earlier, genocide was policy. 

 

Historian Ward Churchill explained four centuries of systematic slaughter. It went on from 1492 - 1892. It continues today against Native culture.

 

Pressure Builds for Full-Scale War on Syria

 

Pressure Builds for Full-Scale War on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Rhetoric hides intent. Turkey wants safe zones, and perhaps a no-fly zone. Britain and France both said no options are ruled out, including a no-fly zone. Ahead of US November elections, Washington is more low key, but not entirely.

 

Iran War Weekly - September 30, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 30, 2012

 

What TSA’s iPad theft problem means for your next flight by Christopher Elliott

TSA agents seem to have a thing for iPads. Apple’s tablet computers are easy to swipe from unwitting airline passengers and can be sold quickly online, as I noted earlier this year. You’d think the TSA would do something about the wave of thefts reported this spring. But instead, it has apparently done nothing.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Julian Assange Declared Enemy of the State

 

Julian Assange Declared Enemy of the State

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America is Exhibit A on how democracies aren't supposed to work. Of course, the US isn't one now and never was. 

 

Contrary to popular myth, it wasn't established as one. America's founders had other ideas. From May to September 1787, 55 self-serving wheeler-dealers met in Philadelphia. Today we'd call them a Wall Street crowd. What they designed fell far short of common beliefs.

Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

 

Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article discussed Terry's fight for life. He was scheduled to die on October 3. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina spared him for now. More on her ruling and what's next below.

 

Israel is not Calling the Shots in this US Election

 

By Dave Lindorff


Netanyahu blinked.


That’s the takeaway from the goofy address by the right-wing, Cheltenham,PA-raised, MIT-educated Israeli prime minister to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday.

Warmonger Netanyahu at UN

 

Warmonger Netanyahu at UN

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Some Israeli officials around him think he's deranged for good reason. His satanic eyes alone give him away. He's a world class thug, a menace. He heads Israel's most extremist ever government.

 

Chavez Opposition Disintegrating

 

Chavez Opposition Disintegrating

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On October 7, voters get to choose Venezuela's next president. It's all over but the cheers, postmortems, and perhaps opposition planned disruptions. 

 

Chavez remains overwhelmingly popular for good reason. He's a shoe in for reelection.

 

Netanyahu's Science-Project Poster Disguises Backdown on Iran

 

Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran

September 28, 2012

Editor Note: While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was belligerent in tone at the UN, he signaled a retreat on substance, postponing his threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. That suggests he is reading the U.S. polls and thinks he may have to deal with President Obama in a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

The main takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.N. speech was the inference that he has been forced to relent on the possibility of military action against Iran, with his threats deferred past the U.S. election on Nov. 6 and off into next spring and beyond.

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