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Scratches on the Blackboard of Animal Cruelty

by Walter Brasch

Take a pigeon.

Now put that pigeon, along with thousands of others, into small coops that don't give the bird much freedom to move.

Don't worry about food or water. It won't matter.

Take some of the pigeons—who are already disoriented from hours, maybe days, of confinement—and place a couple of them each into spring-loaded box traps on a field.

About 20 yards behind the traps have people with 12-gauge shotguns line up.

Release the pigeons and watch juveniles disguised in the bodies of adults shoot these non-threatening birds. Most of the birds will be shot five to ten feet from the traps; many, dazed and confused, are shot while standing on the ground or on the tops of cages. Each shooter will have the opportunity to shoot at 25 birds, five birds each in five separate rounds.

Earth Day 2011

Well Welcome To

 

 

One of the many Earth Day sites this one with a A Billion Acts of Green, where you can add your own.

In this I will just add a few reports I've come across this morning while waking up, might add some more as they trickle in.

2010 State Department Human Rights Report on Egypt

2010 State Department Human Rights Report on Egypt - by Stephen Lendman

In her book, "Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law," Marjorie Cohn quoted a former CIA agent saying:

"If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear....you send them to Egypt."

In fact, Egypt under Mubarak and current military leadership is proficient in all of the above. These practices go on daily but unmentioned in US media reports, claiming September elections promise democracy, when, in fact, everything changed but stayed the same.

Each year, the State Department publishes human rights reports on over 190 countries. Its complete one on Egypt can be accessed through the following link:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/160456.pdf

Poisoning Mother Earth: Fukushima and America's Gulf

Poisoning Mother Earth: America's Gulf and Fukushima - by Stephen Lendman

As best we know it, the shocking truth is that preventable disasters keep proliferating life destroying contamination globally. Yet news about them is suppressed, so few people everywhere are unaware how calamitously they're being harmed.

As a result, distinguished environmental researcher, Dr. Ilya Perlingieri, now warns to stay out of rain because it's likely radioactive. So is drinking water, food and air with unknown levels because governments like America and Japan won't say.

However, Norwegian Institute for Air Research static and dynamic maps show radiation contamination across the Northern Hemisphere with estimates of potential releases, increasing daily. Access them through the following link:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24411

Also, Radiation Network.com gives levels across America, accessed through the following link:

http://www.radiationnetwork.com/

Cal State Students Stage Sit-In to Protest Budget Cuts

by Allison Kilkenny | April 21, 2011
www.thenation.com

Many people assume Americans are prone to apathy and oftentimes diffident to hit the streets in protest. To this, I reply that labeling US citizens as impassive requires completely overlooking the rich tradition of activism on campuses nationwide. Particularly, students in California could run clinics on how exactly civil disobedience should be done, so it’s no surprise that the students at California State University, Fullerton [1], spent a second night in the school’s administration building last night in protest over cuts to the university’s system budget.

The sit-in began Monday night after CSUP President Milton Gordon refused to sign a symbolic declaration in defense of public education. (Photos of the occupation can be viewed here [2]). Cal State faces at least $500 million in cuts during the next fiscal year.

Libya: another neocon war

By David Swanson, The Guardian

Liberal supporters of this 'humanitarian intervention' have merely become useful idiots of the same old nefarious purposes

When A Vet Is Left Homeless

Dishonored Americans: That's All of Us When A Vet Is Left Homeless

April 20, 2011 - L. Tammy Duckworth came to Hartford on Monday and told a sad story.

Duckworth was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in 2004 when she lost both legs and the partial use of one arm in combat. Now, she's assistant secretary of veterans affairs in D.C., and recently, she was in Vermont talking to a man who was staying with his family at a homeless shelter.

That's sad enough, but the man was excited. A member of the Vermont National Guard, he was getting ready to deploy, and his family had received permission to stay in the shelter for the duration of his tour overseas.

Imagine. Excitement that your family could stay in a homeless shelter.

Afghan Displacement: Refugee's/IDPs

Analysis: Conflict leads to Afghan displacement, but which side most to blame?

Displaced families head out of the conflict-hit Orakzai Agency in Afghanistan

21 April 2011 (IRIN) - One irony of the current security situation in Afghanistan is that foreign forces, whose ostensible aim is to protect civilians while fighting the Taliban, may be responsible - directly or indirectly - for the bulk of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, whose number is rising.

About 400 individuals were displaced each day in 2006-2010 - 730,000 in total - mostly due to military operations by US/NATO forces, according to the Oslo-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), an affiliate of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Labor Movement: Ludlow Colorado Massacre

April 20, 2011 97th Anniversary of the Ludlow Colorado Massacre

Under the command of the Rockefeller family, the National Guard fires at strikers and their families to suppress a strike of twelve thousand workers

 

Mission Creep in Libya

Mission Creep in Libya - by Stephen Lendman

Escalated intervention keeps incrementally building toward sending combat troops against Gaddafi, French and UK leaders signaling what may, in fact, have been planned all along, perhaps including US marines. More on that below.

On April 16, New York Times writer Rod Nordland admitted what's already known headlining, "Libyan Rebels Say They're Being Sent Weapons," saying:

Interviewed by Al Arabiya on Saturday, rebel military leader General Abdel Gattah Younas said "his forces had received weapons supplies from unidentified nations that supported their uprising." National Transitional Council spokesman Mustafa Gheriani confirmed it without naming sources thought to be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and NATO members directly.

Gheriani also said that rebels had "professional training centers," adding:

"We have a lot of people being trained, real professional training, that we don't talk to the world about."

Beyond ForeclosureGate - It Gets Uglier

Michael Collins

The ForeclosureGate scandal poses a threat to Wall Street, the big banks, and the political establishment. If the public ever gets a complete picture of the personal, financial, and legal assault on citizens at their most vulnerable, the outrage will be endless. (Image)

U.S. Empire Islamic Fundamentalism Both Deadly. Is There Another Way?

Wednesday, April 27 6:30 pm
Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 W. 12th Street, New York City

Co-sponsors: The Platypus Affiliated Society & World Can’t Wait
Participants: Sinan Antoon, Wafaa Bilal, Laura Lee Schmidt, Sunsara Taylor

“If you are troubled about the state and direction of the world…if you are repelled by both the arrogant assertion of empire by the government and leaders of the U.S. and the fanatical backwardness of Islamic fundamentalism, what should you be doing?”

The U.S. government has arrogated to itself the right to rain down death on countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa...to continue to hold thousands in prisons all over the world without trial and utilizing torture...to step up repression against those who within the U.S. attempt to organize against this…and, now, under the cover of “humanitarianism,” to carry out military intervention, with European allies, in Libya to reassert its dominance.

"War Is A Lie" British Version Published in London Just as UK Troops Sent to Libya

http://www.bitebackpublishing.com

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN HONEST WAR

ISBN: 9781849540926
368pp paperback
£12.99
PUBLISHED: 19 May 2011

Every war ever fought has been sold to both sides as a fight between the forces of good and evil. Politicians are willing to tell any lie to ensure the public believe they were in the right and the enemy undeniably in the wrong.

In War is a Lie, anti-war activist David Swanson deconstructs virtually every argument ever put forward in favour of war. Drawing on examples throughout history, including the Second World War and the Iraq War, he shows how politicians will use any excuse not simply to justify war but to continue it after the death toll has long since shown the utter futility of continuing with the bloodshed. and showing how politicians will use any excuse not simply to justify war but to continue it after the death toll have long since shown the utter futility of continuing with the bloodshed.

‘David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.’ Jeff Cohen, founder of Fair and author of Cable News Confidential

David Swanson is the author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. Swanson holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He is cofounder of WarIsACrime.org (formerly afterDowningStreet.org). Swanson was instrumental in exposing the Downing Street Minutes and other evidence of Iraq war lies. He served as press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign.

For press, publicity, review copies and interview requests, please contact katy.scholes@bitebackpublishing.com 02070911264

http://www.bitebackpublishing.com

U.S. Military, State Department and White House Trapped in Bradley Manning Quagmire

Continued Prosecution of Manning Will Embarrass U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment

By Kevin Zeese

After months of pressure, the Obama administration is finally transferring PFC Bradley Manning to a military prison appropriately designed for pre-trial detention in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. While the transfer of Manning away from the abusive Quantico Marine Corps Brig may be a positive step, the U.S. government remains trapped in a Manning Quagmire. If they proceed their embarrassment will continue to grow as the truth about U.S. foreign policy is reviewed under a microscope.

Hedging, Delusion and Dishonesty in Afghanistan

By John Grant

“The Americans have not been honest about this, even among themselves.”

That’s how Mullah Attullah Lodin, deputy chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan sees our nation and its government as it relates to the question of permanent bases in Afghanistan and to his specific portfolio, the establishment of peace in Afghanistan.

Lodin is a former Hizb-e Islami militia commander (they fought the Russians), and he's now in the Karzai government. Some might suggest he has an agenda, which generally means he's not in synch with US policy. Americans don't have "agendas." The presumption is Afghans are backward and corrupt and somehow not as worthy of trust as a westerner or an American. And he's all for talking peace with the Taliban, which makes him radioactive.

The Cure for Plutocracy: Strike!

How do you get politicians living off legalized bribery to criminalize bribery? How do you persuade the corporate media to report on the interests of flesh-and-blood, non-corporate people? How do you take over a political party when the only other one allowed to compete is worse? These are not koans, but actual problems with a single solution.

It might seem like there are a million solutions: pass state-level clean election laws, build independent media, build a new party, etc. But the fundamental answer is that when the deck is stacked against you, you insist on a new deck. Power, as Frederick Douglas told us, concedes nothing without a demand. We cannot legislate our way out of plutocracy. Instead, we the people must seize power.

S & P's Downgrade Targets Entitlements

S & P's Downgrade Targets Entitlements - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed the dirty game, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/republican-plan-to-end-social-secu...

It explained bipartisan support for incrementally ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, no matter that:

-- Medicaid provides essential healthcare for low-income beneficiaries, jointly funded by the states and Washington, managed at the state level.

-- In contrast, Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify.

Link Between Oil Firms and Invasion of Iraq

Can't say Nobody told them so!!!!

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

Reuters: A British Army soldier investigates a large fire near Basra's Shuiba refinery

19 April 2011 - Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.

The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain's involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair's cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

TV, Newspapers, Congress Apologize for Claiming War Not About Oil

In the wake of the latest revelations of what everyone always knew, the largest press conference in the history of the United States has been planned for tomorrow in the Nationals Park baseball stadium in Washington, D.C. The powerful people lining up to apologize for having claimed the ongoing War on Iraq has had nothing to do with oil were deemed too numerous to gather in any indoor facility.

Former Congressman David Obey, who screamed at Congressman Dennis Kucinich in a Democratic caucus meeting for suggesting that oil might be one factor in the war, is currenly on a plane back to Washington to MC the mass apology. The line-up includes each major television, radio, and print news outlet in the United States. Select commentators, columnists, cartoonists, and talking heads of all varieties will represent each organization apologizing.

BP Is Messing With the Wrong Woman

A year ago BP began filling the Gulf of Mexico with oil.

Last week BP blocked a woman from entering its annual meeting.

Which will prove the bigger mistake?

BP may have chosen the right country to hit with the worst oil disaster in world history. If there's any population that will take seeing its land and water destroyed for corporate profit lying down, it's got to be us. We're split between gratitude and indifference: should we thank BP or just stay out of its way?

What Next in Libya?

What Next in Libya? - by Stephen Lendman

So far, weeks of conflict produced more stalemate than resolution, policy disagreement among NATO partners, and hawkish US broadsheets like The New York Times and Washington Post calling for escalated conflict to oust Gaddafi.

In its April 14 editorial headlined, "Stop the Blame Game," The Times called for stepped up bombing, arming so-called rebels, and saying, "No political settlement in which the dictator remains in place will work. The West and its partners must be ready to maintain political, economic and military pressure until (he's) gone."

On April 16, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "The Libya stalemate," saying:

"THE CONTRADICTIONS at the heart of US policy in Libya are becoming more acute." On the one hand, Obama, France's Sarkozy, and Britain's Cameron said bombing will continue until Gaddafi's gone. On the other, Obama "acknowledged that the war between rebels and (Gaddafi's forces) is stalemated."

The Israeli Lobby's Poisonous Influence on US Policy

The Israeli Lobby's Poisonous Influence on US Policy - by Stephen Lendman

In his powerful 2006 book titled, "The Power of Israel in the United States," James Petras explained the enormous Jewish Lobby influence on US Middle East policies. Often harming American interests, they're pursued anyway because of its grassroots and high-level control over government, business leaders, academia, the clergy and mass media since at least the 1960s.

As a result, anyone challenging Israeli policy risks being intimidated, blackmailed, smeared, pressured, removed from positions of authority, or called a national security or terrorist threat, leaving them vulnerable to unprincipled ostracization, persecution or worse.

Among America's 52 Conference of Major American Jewish Organization(s) (CPMAJO), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest, founded in 1897.

Established by B'nai Brith in 1913, perhaps the Anti-Definition League is best known.

An 'Oh Please!' Moment; Is S&P Running Interference for the Right to Help Crush Social Security and Medicare?

By Dave Lindorff

Today’sbreathless anxiety-inducing headline was that Standard & Poors, the rating agency, has issued a “negative outlook” warning on US sovereign debt, claiming that the US, in comparison with other countries with a top AAA credit rating, has "very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us". S&P warned that there was a “a one in three chance that the US could lose its AAA rating in two years because of its mounting debt.”

The ratings firm--one of three global companies that Wall Street relies upon to establish the credit ratings of companies and nations around the world--said its analysts had “little confidence” that the Obama administration and the divided Congress would reach any agreement on a deficit-reduction plan before the next national election in the fall of 2012, and that they doubted that any such plan would be adopted until after 2014, two whole Congressional elections away.

Count ALL the Votes in WI

Please sign this petition.

Target: To WI citizens & all citizens in USA concerned with justice
Sponsored by: Buzz Davis, Stoughton, WI - Progressive activist & advocate for candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg
WI Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg has until close of business on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, to request a statewide, full recount of all ballots cast in the April 5th Supreme Court election.

The race was close. With a total of approximately 1.5 million votes cast, Mr. Prosser, the conservative, pro-business incumbent, is in the lead by less than half of one percent of the vote (0.5%).

The suspicious handling of votes in conservative Waukesha county is one matter of concern to all who fight for fair elections. But the other issue is this: people do make mistakes in filling out their ballots. When a race is this close the only way to determine who absolutely won is to review all ballots cast with human eyes and resolve any disputes over ballots that are questionable.

Informed Activist

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