The analysis in the following paper was written by Stewart Rhodes while at Yale Law School and was the winner of Yale’s Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. Rhodes is the founder of Oath Keepers which on Christmas Day announced its participation in a bi-partisan drive to recall all three of Montana's congressional delegation for "violation of the oath of office," by voting for the blatantly unconstitutional NDAA National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. Violation of the oath is one of the five narrow and specific grounds on which a recall in MT may be initiated.
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Across the country in the next two weeks, we will be marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. prison at Guantánamo with protests, film showings, talks, and benefits. We do this for:
171 prisoners still in Guantánamo, even though most were cleared for release by the Bush regime. Read about one: Holiday Thoughts for Omar Khadr, Still Held at Guantanamo by Andy Worthington.
I'm torn between the pleasure of having just read a brilliant and moving first-person stream-of-consciousness account of a true story of one woman's childhood, and the deep sadness that comes from learning about the absolutely horrific hell that this woman is extremely lucky to have survived — a hell that many others have known and will know, despite the ease with which it might be prevented.
The Christmas Truce of 1914 is only the most widely known impromptu truce. But anecdotal accounts abound of other truces, trades and temporary accommodations.
This from Walter Lord's account of the sinking of the light cruiser USS Helena contained in Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons.
Soon more planes arrived-but this time they were Zeros. Watching them approach, Major Kelly recalled the recent Bismarck Sea affair, where Allied aircraft strafed the Japanese life rafts after sinking their transports. This was no gentleman's war, and he steeled himself for the worst.
But the Zeros didn't shoot. The nearest pilot simply pulled back his canopy and looked at them closely. Circling, the planes made a second run, and again held their fire. As they circled for a third run, they got off a few short bursts, and Kelly felt sure that this time would be "it". As they roared by, practically touching the water, the lead pilot grinned, waved, waggled his wings…and then they were gone.
The Zero pilots could have machine gunned the survivors, but didn't. Perhaps they thought "Why waste ammunition?" But, then why wave and waggle?
This Land is Your Land...Or is It?: Occupy Oklahoma City Sues in Federal Court to Fight to Keep the Commons
By Lori Spencer
Having spent the better part of two months as an embedded reporter with Occupy OKC's camp in Kerr Park (aka Poet's Park) I have often praised both the city and police department. Oklahoma City's occupation has so far managed to avoid the mass arrests and police brutality seen in other cities around the nation. In my opinion, this is largely due to the group's respect for the park and city ordinances, as well as the city's respect for the First Amendment. I frequently pointed to OKC as a model city, setting an example for how a local government and occupiers can peacefully coexist.
Escalating Anti-Iranian Tensions - by Stephen Lendman
Whether or not anti-Iranian rhetoric, saber rattling, sanctions, other policy measures, and recent events signal war isn't known. Growing dangers though mount.
America targets all independent regimes. At issue is replacing them with client ones.
Grim 2012 Economic Outlook - by Stephen Lendman
Yearend isn't just about holiday season binge shopping, parties, and over-indulgence. It's also when economic predictions surface.
The Wall Street Journal publishes consensus views. On December 23, it headlined, "Risks Cloud Outlook for Economy in 2012," saying:
Wrecking America's Postal Service - by Stephen Lendman
At a time of open-checkbook military spending, multiple imperial wars, Wall Street bailouts, handouts to other corporate favorites, transferring unprecedented wealth to America's rich, and preserving their tax cuts and other benefits for more, austerity is impoverishing millions, destroying their futures, and wrecking America's Postal Service (USPS).
Gaza: Remembering Cast Lead - by Stephen Lendman
December 27 marks the third anniversary of Israel's lawless war on Gaza. Without provocation, three weeks of terror bombing and invasion devastated the Strip.
Missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons were used against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction followed.
1. Toilet Paper. Instead of hoarding toilet paper for the coming disaster and anarchy that should never be out of your mind if you want to remain easily manipulable by cynical demagogues, invest in providing clean and accessible bathrooms for the homeless. This will radically improve the lives of millions of Americans and, as a happy side effect, make it much easier for us to engage in long-term demonstrations and nonviolent resistance actions in public places.
2. Paper Towels. Rather than quietly stocking up on paper towels before the riff raff figure out your secrets and buy out the entire endangered national supply of this critical survival tool, bring all of your paper towels and all of your friends to a community clean-up of every scrubable surface surrounding a nearby fossil fuel burning facility. As a bonus, you'll get to meet some people and together you'll feel less terrified.
By Dave Lindorff
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.
Responsible New York Banking - by Stephen Lendman
Founded in 1882, the Bank of Cattaraugus (B of C) exception proves the rule. Located in Western New York, it's miles from Wall Street's cesspool of fraud, market manipulation, grand theft, bailouts, and influence peddling in league with corrupt politicians getting generous campaign contribution bribes in return.
Netanyahu Rejects Peace - by Stephen Lendman
Sham Israeli peace negotiations were stillborn from inception. Writer Henry Siegman once called them "the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history."
Netanyahu once said they're "a waste of time." Previous Israeli officials called occupation and status quo conditions "permanent."
I stopped by a corporate chain bookstore this week and checked out the "Current Affairs" section. I was a little surprised to discover that according to a dozen or more books dominating the display we are all under a vicious life-and-death assault from a raving, drooling mob of communist devils led by that well-known pinko guerrilla Barack Obama.
Obama Year Three: Continuing His Rogue Agenda - by Stephen Lendman
In 2011, Obama continued the destructive pattern he followed in years one and two. Throughout his tenure, he's done what supporters thought impossible.
Russian v. US Elections - by Stephen Lendman
Russia's December 4 elections filled 450 State Duma seats, Russia's Federal Assembly lower house.
Claims of electoral fraud followed. All elections have irregularities. At issue is whether results are comprised. Election monitor Golos accusations were spurious. America's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds it. It supports regime change in non-US client states.
Montanans Launch Recall of Senators Who Approved NDAA Military Detention. Merry Christmas, US Senate.
Disclaimer: I am now a volunteer press contact for this campaign.
From the press release (last revised 12/28/2011):
Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, and Congressman Denny Reberg, who all voted for the bill.
Spoiling for a Fight with Syria and Iran - by Stephen Lendman
Syria remains the region's only independent secular state. Washington aims to replace its regime with a client one.
Libya's model was replicated. Months of externally generated violence followed. So far it's short of war. For how long is uncertain. Obama can't wait to wage another one to keep ravaging the world one country at a time.
Israel's Repressive Permit System - by Stephen Lendman
Under South African apartheid, pass laws segregated blacks from whites, restricted their movements, required pass books be carried at all times, and be produced on demand or face arrest and prosecution.
Evolving from the 18th and 19th century until their 1986 repeal, they restricted entry to cities, forcibly relocated blacks, denied them most public amenities, many forms of employment, and became apartheid's most hated symbol.
Holiday Season Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman
Most Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25. For Eastern Orthodox faith adherents, it's January 7. It commemorates Christ's birthday, even though it's widely acknowledged not to be that day.
EU Protests Israeli Occupation Policies - by Stephen Lendman
On December 23, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "EU voices protest over Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, West Bank," saying:
As you know if you've been awake the past several years, Bush began the unconstitutional practice of rewriting laws with signing statements, there was a little scandal when people found out, candidate Obama promised not to do it, Obama did it, Obama declared it OK in an executive order, and now it's all perfectly fine.
As you know if you give a damn about the future of this country, it isn't really perfectly fine. Here's Obama's latest. This is from a signing statement on a spending bill, not the "Defense" Authorization Act which is yet to come (perhaps on Christmas just to rub it in):
Medicare Privatization Plans - by Stephen Lendman
The idea's been around for years. More recently, bipartisan support's been growing. Various plans have circulated.
A 2006 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study assessed "Designing a Premium Support System (PSS) for Medicare." It discussed pros, cons, other choices and implications in terms of costs and recipient benefits.
Deepening Global Financial Trouble - by Stephen Lendman
Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially for troubled Eurozone economies.
Trapped under euro straightjacket rules, everything tried so far failed, despite hooplas announcing each new plan.
Sandy Davies tells me, regarding the WWI Christmas truce on Christmas Day:
"When I was growing up, my godmother had a German helmet that was given to her father by a German officer after a soccer match in no-man's land that day. I also knew a South African former soldier who was on the front line in the desert near Cairo in 1942. He and his buddies became good friends with the Germans in the line across from them and used to pick up booze, hashish and other goodies for them whenever they went into Cairo. There was a sort of truce for a few months at that point, so they weren't shooting at each other. When a British Spitfire flew over and did start shooting at the Germans, Tony claimed it was the South Africans who shot it down!"
Does anybody know about this or have similar stories?
I recently engaged in a friendly but rather unsettling conversation with a man from Algeria who became visibly upset when I told him about NDAA, the new law allowing indefinite military detention of US citizens without charge or trial. He said he had come here to get away from that sort of thing, which had happened in his country and was fresh in his mind. His description of what happened in Algeria during its equivalent of Argentina's "Dirty War" was chilling and he kept shaking his head about the new law here, visibly distressed.
Cheers to the thousands of women of Egypt who marched through Cairo yesterday demanding the end of military rule in light of their systematic sexual violence against women, including the stripping & beating of a woman in Tahrir Square whose assault has gone viral and acted as a catalyst to the demonstration. According to CNN this woman, Aza, suffered a fractured skull and was struck 20 times with batons by the military police officers. The people of Egypt did not fight so courageously to end the Mubarak regime for this! Read more, including Twitter exchange with the US embassy in Cairo...
By Dan DeWalt
Predator Odrona is about to sign a military authorization bill [Carl Levin's S-1867] that puts every one of us at risk of being detained by our own military. If the government decides that you are a terrorist threat, the military will be able to kidnap you and deny you the right to a trial or even the right to know why you're being held.