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De profundis clamavi

De profundis clamavi, or why we can talk till we’re blue in the face but until we put our money where our mouth is we won’t get rid of the TSA

Read the rest at TSA News.

Should More of the Blood Be on the Train Tracks?

At this year's Veterans For Peace convention in Miami, VFP President Leah Bolger challenged members to take risks: "Many of you have risked a lot for war.  What will you risk for peace?"

One VFP member, S. Brian Willson, gave his legs and part of his skull for peace.  It was 1987, and the U.S. military was shipping weapons to port, in order to ship them to El Salvador and Nicaragua, where they would be used to slaughter the people of those nations, where, in Willson's words "In one country, we supported a puppet government against a people's revolution; in the other, we supported a puppet revolution against a people's government." 

Willson had decided that his own life was not worth more than the lives of non-Americans, that they were losing their lives and limbs as a direct result of our inaction, and that he had a moral responsibility to act.  Willson and others sat down on a train track in front of a train full of weapons.  The train usually traveled at 5 miles per hour.  The train would stop.  The protesters would be removed from the tracks.  That was the standard practice, and that was the law.  But that's not what happened the day Willson lost his legs.

It seems that the military had decided that nonviolent protesters did not exist, that everywhere in the world the only tool available was violence.  Therefore, Wilson must be a violent terrorist.  Therefore, he and his companions must be planning to jump aboard the train.  Therefore, the train must speed up and stop for nothing and nobody.  That was the order given.  The other protesters moved out of the way in time.  Willson, sitting cross-legged, could not.  The train ran him over.  And then the men driving the train sued Willson for causing them to suffer post traumatic stress. 

But something else happened too.  Hundreds of people ripped up the track and built a monument out of the railroad ties.  People formed blockades of trains on that track for years to come.  Every train and nearly every truck was blocked until January 1990.  Celebrities showed up and held rallies.  Ronald Reagan's daughter wrote a kind letter to Wilson, as did professional sports teams and other big whigs congratulating him on his courageous stand.  And similar actions sprang up around the country.  Visiting Nicaragua, Willson was treated as a national hero. 

But Willson is from our nation, and he's a global hero.  Probably his most valuable act, however, has been performed behind a keyboard.  "Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson," with an introduction by Daniel Ellsberg, is an epic.  This is the long and careful transformation from an eager soldier accepting of rightwing dogma to a principled and courageous advocate for peace and ecological justice.  Willson now strives to live sustainably, and brings the reader to question not only the paying of war taxes but the consumption of corporate products generated by the cruel threat of force in foreign lands. 

"One day," Willson writes, "the corporations that allow and often enable terrorism in countries like Colombia will be pushed out of those countries.  We will no longer be able to buy one-dollar Cokes or ninety-nine-cent-a-pound bananas.  Maybe when that day comes, we will finally realize that we do not even desire cheap goods at the cost of others' lives.  Maybe we will finally realize that we all share a common humanity."

Willson's book is a tour, with him, of much of the world, from the killing he participated in in Viet Nam, to that he has tried to prevent in Latin America, Palestine, and elsewhere.  It’s a philosophical journey, through the course of which Willson learns much from the people he is trying to help.  The Zapatistas, the Cubans, and others are not just victims of imperialism, but pioneers in sustainable (and enjoyable!) living.  If that idea strikes you as crazy but you're willing to consider a careful argument from someone who began far to your right and doesn't change easily … or if the idea strikes you as plausible and you like to see it laid out in a very human story … either way, you can't do better than to read "Blood on the Tracks," and perhaps we as a people -- and I mean the human people, not the people of some nation -- would be better off if a little more of the blood we are still spilling in such great quantities were spilled on railroad tracks for peace. 

 

Vets & Activists Hold Sit-In for Bradley Manning in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — Six out of seven protesters were arrested Thursday night after they held a peaceful sit-in inside President Obama's campaign headquarters and refused to leave.

The protesters marched to the headquarters after a 5 p.m. rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza in support of Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.

Entrepreneur in Empire State Saves World Economy

No joke.  A little innovative thinking and economic calculation, and someone has come up with a model in Niagara Falls that could restore the U.S. economy and every economy influenced by it, not to mention the natural environment and what's left of our miserable souls.

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station has long been an economic drain (military spending produces fewer jobs than energy or education or infrastructure spending or even tax cuts), an environmental disaster (with the ground poisoned, what can replace this airport?), and a symbol of corruption (with the military trying to get rid of it, Congress members have insisted on keeping the base around as a make-work jobs program protected from charges of Socialism purely by its connection to war).

Charley Bowman of the Western New York Peace Center has come up with an idea that could generate jobs, increase the area's clean energy production by 60% (and that's saying something in a place already benefitting from a fairly largish waterfall), avoid killing anybody anywhere in the world, and last as long as the sun shines, rather than as long as the Pentagon pigs out.  (Playing along with the general pretense that the Pentagon is already facing big cuts may be a strategic move in getting these sorts of projects going, but the Pentagon is almost guaranteed to really face enormous cuts before the sun does.) 

Bowman's idea is to cover the airport with solar panels.  Covering 8 million square meters would produce 546 ongoing jobs maintaining the panels, plus power for 110,000 homes.  Bowman has laid out various options and their costs and savings.  The cost to the public would be no more than we now spend.  Instead of one more military airport, we'd have all that clean energy and a model for the country showing how to develop a local economy.  (What locality in this country doesn't have a military boondoggle that could be put to better use?)  And if we kill fewer Pakistanis and Yemenis and Afghans and Iranians and Somalis in the process, generating a bit less hatred for our country, who's going to complain?  The newly employed?  I doubt it.  Those benefitting from the clean electricity?  We're talking about much of Western New York being powered by sunshine via panels that make a lot less noise and air pollution than military jets.  We could try this in Eastern New York and Northern Pennsylvania and Southern Massachusetts, and … 110,000 houses here, 110,000 houses there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.

Does this solution make sense?  Does it in fact make so much sense as to threaten the Pentagon's bureaucrats?  "Bureaucrat" is, of course, a French term meaning "We'll do things the way we've always done things even if it kills you."  Never fear, bureaucrats!  The Secretary of War is on the case.  Leon Panetta, who 20 years ago favored exactly the kind of conversion proposed by Bowman, swooped in to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on August 9th waving around giant bags of cash.   "We're committed to maintaining this base for the future," Panetta said. "It's important geographically, it's important to our mission going forward."  Aha! Bet you didn't see that coming!  We need an Air Reserve base in Niagara Falls to hold off the Canadian menace and suppress the growing violence between New York and Ohio.  It's the geographic importance!  Or Congresswoman Kathleen Hochul is a Democrat.  One or the other.  The solar lobby just doesn't buy campaigns the way war and oil profiteers do.  Bowman is proposing 546 jobs at $50,000 each, but for a mere $52,950 total dumped into Hochul's campaigns (according to OpenSecrets.org), the "defense" industry seems to have out-bid him.

Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., ($194,403) has come to the principled conclusion that the base should remain a military base, and the Pentagon should figure out some way to waste money on it.  Schumer assures us that Panetta is a "thoughtful, perceptive and caring" man who understands the base's importance to the Western New York economy, according to the Buffalo News.  But, Panetta warns, if Congress doesn't undo by next January the "cuts" to the military that it passed last year, heads will roll, jobs will be axed, and Western New York will be forced to employ more people at a lower cost while generating clean energy for its residents.  Are you scared yet?  Panetta's dire warning of $487 billion in cuts is, as he sometimes mentions, "over 10 years."  This means that the cuts sound bigger if you multiply them by 10.  That's all it means.  The annual cuts are $48 billion.  But not really, because the cuts are smaller while Panetta and his boss are actually around, with most of the cuts pushed off into the latter part of the 10-year period.  On top of which, the cuts are to dream budgets, not to actual budgets.  Panetta's teasing of the people of Niagara Falls (You'll lose your jobs! You'll keep your jobs!  You'll lose your jobs!) is the equivalent of Lockheed Martin's sending out phony pink slips to scare its workers, and both are the equivalent of a hot steaming pile of what comes out the far side of a well-fed bull.

Following Panetta's shakedown of Western New York for the war profiteers in Northern Virginia, Charley Bowman responded:

"The August 9 performance at the Niagara Falls Air Base by our elected representatives -- and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta -- can be summed up: jobs at the air base are only available through war or military research.  They should know better.  Following a 'lengthy' speech about the need for defense cuts, Panetta promised the frantic search will continue to discover a new military mission for the air base.  His intended message was: no third world country is off limits, as we continue  our struggle in the war on terror. With serious expressions on their faces, Schumer, Hochul and [Congressman Brian ($52,500)] Higgins nodded in agreement.  Secretary Panetta did bring $6 million with him saying a flight simulator will be built at the air base. None of our elected leaders brought up the fact that flight simulation does not need a functioning airport. Such simulation could be done just as well in an urban setting, such as Buffalo's East Side or downtown Niagara Falls. (During the 2.5 hour long vigil outside the Niagara Falls Air Base that day, I counted 3 planes landing -- barely surpassing the flight activity at grass landing strips in rural Western N.Y.)"

War of Words on Iran

 

War of Words on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

If words could kill, imperial Washington long ago would have returned Iran to its nightmarish Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi days.

 

Propaganda wars rage daily. Tehran is wrongfully called an existential threat. Imagine a country wanting peace accused of belligerent intents. Repeating it enough times gets people to believe it. Big lies have impact.

Saving a Failed System

 

Saving a Failed System

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Combining 17 dissimilar countries under one monetary/fiscal system assured disaster waiting to happen. One size fits all rules don't work. Euro expert Bernard Connolly knew it before the euro's 1998 introduction. 

 

Syria News - Aug 23

 

 

 

Pentagon has plans sending U.S. special forces into Syria to secure chemical arms - latimes.com

U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier Back to Gulf to Face Iran and Syria - NYTimes.com

Russia: We have Syrian guarantees on chemical arms | Fox News

French defense minister open to Syria buffer zones without UN mandate - Yahoo! News

Cyprus displeased at reports that British bases provide help to Syrian rebels - Xinhua | English.news.cn

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Syrian army retakes Aleppo's Christian areas, Residents took to the streets to celebrate and express their support for the Syrian army - AFP

VIDEO: Aleppo, the FSA and the reality on the ground, Rebel: "It is a shame that no Aleppo resident has joined the fight against Assad" - Al Jazeera

VIDEO: Aleppo Residents Celebrating Cleansing Their Neighborhoods From FSA - YouTube

VIDEO: Exclusive Interview of Lebanese tribe chief holding Syrians hostage, In retaliation for the FSA kidnapping of a tribe member - YouTube

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Cut the Throats of 16 Civilian Prisoners in Douma - YouTube

VIDEO: Civilians Executed by Radical Terrorists in Al Ghor, Homs Province - YouTube

VIDEO: Al Qaeda Terrorists blow up a mosque and blame the Syrian Security Forces - YouTube

VIDEO: Salafist Insurgents Indoctrinate Children in Idlib - YouTube

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VIDEO: BBC Censors Video Showing Syrian Rebels Using Prisoner as Suicide Bomber - Prison Planet.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Stop Imperialism: Eric Draitser and David Swanson


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INTERVIEW by Eric Draitser at http://stopimperialism.com


David_Swanson_Interview_img.jpg

Eric has the pleasure of interviewing renowned author and activist David Swanson. Eric and David discuss the relationship between war and morality and the way in which media and the establishment normalize the concept of war. In addition, they examine the willingness of the mainstream Left to line up behind war, the subservience of the foundation-funded organizations and media to the imperialist ruling class, and the insidious doctrine of "humanitarian intervention" (R2P). Eric and David also try to envision a way to unite anti-war voices from all over the political spectrum in the struggle against the imperialist war machine.

What my father would have said about the TSA by Philip Weber

My father fathered the way they did on black-and-white TV, though not so much Ward Cleaver as Ralph Kramden (if he and Alice had had kids). He went to work, Mom stayed home. Every night we ate dinner together, but I don’t remember Dad ever saying much. When he did, it was so unusual that it stuck with you.

Romney's Albatross

Michael Collins

The public is just beginning to pay attention to the key issues of the 2012 presidential campaign. Even at this early stage, there is a clear trend in opinion against vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher program. On this and other key issues, Ryan's very explicit positions and legislative proposals spell doom for the Romney campaign. Ryan's record and a Republican platform endorsing those extreme views are Romney's albatross.

A Pew Research poll, August 23, exposes the impact of one key campaign. Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular captures the impact of timing for Ryan's exposure as a hard core, right wing extremist.

Basically, Ryan destroys Medicare by turning it into a voucher system. Seniors would receive a grant from the Federal government to purchase their own coverage (on those useless exchanges Obama created, perhaps). The additional costs represent 35% of median senior income in 2022 and go up from there to 50% of median income by 2050. A Republican death panel, this approach will deny a major portion of seniors of part of all of their medical services.

Troubling Israeli Religious Fundamentalism

 

Troubling Israeli Religious Fundamentalism

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Islamic fundamentalism is vilified in the West. Extremist Jews are largely ignored. In Israel they're dangerous. They influence  government policy. They seek control of Israel's rabbinical system.

 

New York Times Pro-Israeli Bias

 

New York Times Pro-Israeli Bias

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The New York Times has a longstanding history of pro-Israeli bias. An earlier If Americans Knew report explained "highly disturbing patterns" of distorted, one-sided coverage.

 

Syria News - Aug 22

 

Sayda: Syria solution will not go through UN, "I believe a no-fly zone has to be created soon" - Kurdpress News Aganecy

SNC: Jamil’s statement on Assad resignation “not worthy of attention” -  Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Free Syrian Army Military Council Commanders To Formally Request No Fly Zone - PRNewswire-USNewswire

The cost of establishing a  no-fly zone in Syria, While the operation is feasible, mitigating its significant risks would require a major campaign - U.S. Naval Institute

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Syria tells Russia it will not use chemical arms: report - chicagotribune.com

Report: West in cooperation with Arab states bribed Syrian officials to defect - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Syrian rebels' allegiance to anyone with a gun for sale, "You must look a religious Islamic fighter if you want the money or the guns from the Saudis" - The Times

VIDEO: Free Syrian Army uses prisoner for suicide bombing - BBC News

VIDEO: Saudi guy fighting in Syria with the FSA - LiveLeak.com

Former Chechen warlord's son killed in Syria: Report - REUTERS

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

Syria Christian refugees in Lebanon fear Islamist rebels - latimes.com

Can Syria's Christians Survive?: Saudi Wahabi Funded Rebels Pouring Into Syria - Babak Darvish

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Hey, neighbor! Can I borrow your Stowaway Detector? by Philip Weber

It’s a fact: guys love gadgets, and TSA Administrator John Pistole is no exception. If it beeps or buzzes, John wants one.

READ THE REST AT TSA NEWS.

Welcoming a Warmonger to Town on Wednesday

Wow, it's been a while, but protests of war makers in Charlottesville will be back big time next Wednesday. It seems like ages since we protested John Yoo, or even since our threatened protest of Dick Cheney scared him out of coming to town. But opportunity is knocking and a massive nonviolent protest is sure to answer.

How could it not? On Wednesday, Charlottesville will host a man who has escalated war in Afghanistan and continued it in the face of overwhelming public opposition. He's invented a new kind of war using drones and launched such wars in numerous nations, building intense hostility toward the United States. He keeps a list of "nominees" for murder. On the list are adults and children, Americans and non-Americans. He holds meetings with his staff on Tuesdays to decide whom to kill next, and then kills them. He'll have one of these Terror Tuesday meetings the day before his visit to our town.

Syrian False Flag Planned?

 

Syrian False Flag Planned?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Never bet against Washington's imperial plans. New tactics follow failed ones. Efforts to oust Assad continue. Proxy killers can't do it alone. They're no match against Syria's superior military strength. It's committed to rout them.

 

Lawless National Security Letters

 

Lawless National Security Letters

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

American freedom always was weak. It's now on life support. Numerous police state laws followed 9/11. Rights most people take for granted are on the chopping block for elimination.

 

Big Brother spying alone eroded them. It's ongoing lawlessly in many forms. 

 

Talk Nation Radio: The War on Whistleblowers With Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack

Jesselyn Radack and Thomas Drake discuss their experiences as government whistleblowers, the retribution they've endured, and the currently worsening pattern of secrecy, intimidation, and persecution of whistleblowers in Washington, D.C.

Jesselyn Radack is a former ethics adviser to the U.S. Department of Justice who came to prominence as a whistleblower after she disclosed that the FBI committed an ethics violation in its interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the "American Taliban") without an attorney present, and that the Department of Justice attempted to suppress that information. Her experience is chronicled in her memoir, TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban". Radack was this past year's co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award.

Jesselyn Radack is the Government Accountability Project's National Security & Human Rights Director. In her role, she works primarily with national security and intelligence community whistleblowers, including those from the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, NSA and CIA – with a special focus on torture, secret surveillance, secrecy, and political discrimination. See http://whistleblower.org

She recently represented former NSA official Thomas Drake on whistleblower matters stemming from the government's unsuccessful prosecution of him under the Espionage Act.

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, computer software expert, and whistleblower. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling and co-recipient of the Sam Adams award. The government's retribution against Drake, for exposing waste, abuse, and incompetence, included charging him under the Espionage Act.  The charges fell apart.

Total run time: 29:00

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Producer: David Swanson.
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Music by Duke Ellington.

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Dumb enough to work for the TSA, too dumb to understand satire by Amy Alkon

Wearing the above shirt, designed by BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow, caused a “brown” man to be abused (even more than the rest of us usually are) by TSA thugs and then yanked off a plane.

READ THE REST AT TSA NEWS.

Was Mary of Nazareth a "Hooligan?"

Pussy Riot’s Appeal for Justice

August 20, 2012

Editor Note: A Russian judge has sentenced three female “punk” rockers from the group “Pussy Riot” to two years in prison for performing a protest song at a Moscow cathedral, what the judge called anti-religious “hooliganism.” But Ray McGovern sees the protest as in the spirit of Mary, mother of Jesus.

By Ray McGovern

The song to which the punk band “Pussy Riot” danced on Feb. 21 in Russia’s iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral ends with a prayer asking Jesus’s mother Mary to “become a feminist,” but Mary always was a feminist through and through, with a voice speaking strongly for justice.

Centuries of saccharine portraits and iconography have obscured a more reality-based appreciation of this gutsy young woman. But recent scripture study throws light on how Mary implanted a vision of inclusive justice into the heart of Jesus.

“Behavior detection”: still a bad idea by Deborah Pierce

John Pistole, who heads the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), posted an op-ed in USA Today on August 17, 2012 in an attempt to shore up support for and justify the existence of his “behavior detection” program.

READ THE REST AT TSA NEWS.

Japan: America's Imperial Proxy

 

Japan: America's Imperial Proxy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On August 15, 1945, Japan announced its surrender. On September 2, WW II officially ended. Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu's formalized it aboard the USS Missouri. Both dates signify VJ (Victory over Japan) or VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day.

 

End of war meant occupation. General Douglas MacArthur became military governor. He ruled a conquered state.

Anti-Iranian Hysteria

 

Anti-Iranian Hysteria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Western media, hard right commentators, and pro-Israeli groups feature regular anti-Iranian denigration, slander, misinformation and lies.

 

Respecting its sovereignty is verboten. Regime change is prioritized. All means are OK, including war, mass killing and destruction. Warmongers relish it. Rhetoric tries justifying it.

 

A tale of two agencies by Philip Weber

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

READ THE REST AT TSA NEWS.

You Say You Want a Revolution of Values?

I spoke this past weekend at the Kateri Peace Conference in upstate New York ( http://kateripeaceconference.org ) along with Kathy Kelly, John Horgan, Ellen Grady, James Ricks, Matt Southworth, Walt Chura, and many others.  Watch for the video, because a terrific discussion took place around a series of questions posed by the event organizers.  The following are some of the initial responses I had prepared beforehand.

Why Work Against War

War engages me because of its unique relationship to morality.  Killing is a long-standing taboo.  Killing is often if not always the worst thing that can be done to someone.  But killing on a larger scale, organizing numerous people to kill numerous other people is often treated very differently.  When a government kills its own people, that's generally considered an outrage.  But when a government kills another nation's people, that's not always viewed as a moral problem. In fact a government killing its own people is often used as a justification for another nation to come in and kill more of the first nation's people.  Killing in war, and lesser crimes in war, are given a moral pass or even praised.  A U.S. military sniper bragged on the debut episode this week of NBC's war reality show "Stars Earn Stripes" that he had "160 kills."  Not that he killed 160 people.  The people are erased in his language. "I have 160 kills."  And the show itself is a dramatization of U.S. news coverage of U.S. wars, in which the only participants are Americans.  The 95% of victims in our one-sided slaughters are rarely mentioned in U.S. news coverage, and on this new war-o-tainment show the heroic warriors attack empty fields, blow up guard towers with no guards, kick in doors of uninhabited houses, and spend so much time talking about how "real" it all is that none of them seem to notice that there are no enemies or victims to be found.

AIPAC Wants War on Iran

 

AIPAC Wants War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

AIPAC is an unregistered foreign agent. It calls itself "America's Pro-Israeli Lobby." It's represented Israeli interests since 1953. 

 

Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. It has enormous influence over US Middle East policies affecting Israel, including war and peace.

 

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