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Madison a Foretaste of Things to Come: The Next Big Occupation Could be Boomers Taking Over the Capitol Building
By Dave Lindorff
The dramatic occupation of the Wisconsin State House in Madison by angry public workers and their supporters over the past few weeks is an exciting preview of what we can expect to see in the halls of Congress before long, as right-wing forces, funded by corporate lobbies and corporate-funded think-tanks push hard for cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare.
The drive to undermine these two critically important social programs is moving into high gear as the 79-million Baby Boomers this year start to reach eligibility, even as their other assets--their homes and their investment portfolios--are still shriveled by the Wall Street heist known as the “fiscal crisis” and Great Recession.
Our Man in Pakistan - by Stephen Lendman
Raymond A. Davis, CIA agent, is one of many working covertly with assets infesting virtually all countries worldwide, especially ones vital to America's imperial agenda.
On February 21, New York Times writers Mark Mazzetti, Ashley Parket, Jane Perlez and Eric Schmitt headlined, "American Held in Pakistan Worked with CIA."
Correction - worked for the CIA, conducting intelligence covertly, spying on Pakistan for Washington, The Times saying:
On January 27, he was arrested and detained for shooting two men at a crowded Lahore traffic stop. Washington called it a botched robbery attempt. Pakistan charged him with murder and possession of a concealed, unlicensed gun. Davis said he acted in self-defense. Pakistani authorities knew otherwise when they learned he shot the men 10 times in the back, fled the scene, and was carrying a telescope, a GPS set, bolt cutters, a survival kit, and a long-range radio.
Sweden banned censorship and guaranteed free speech in 1766, 10 years before the Declaration of Independence in the American British colonies, and -- apart from shameful episodes of caving in to dictatorships and Nazis -- has pretty well kept it in place.
Sweden banned the death penalty and has not used it since 1910.
Now, Sweden has an opportunity to punish the speech of a Nobel Peace Prize nominee with the death penalty by extraditing Julian Assange to the United States to be put on trial.
Dear Sweden, what will you do? You've led the way toward civility. You've banned not only the death penalty but violence up to and including spanking. You gave refuge to Denmark's Jews. You gave birth to my grandfather. Usually I look to you for leadership.
That may sound funny to you, coming from a citizen and resident of a nation with more weapons than the rest of the world combined. But I said leadership, not insanely sadistic militarism.
(Reuters) - The U.S. military said it has brought 22 new charges against a soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. government documents that were later published by the website WikiLeaks.
Bradley Manning, a former intelligence analyst suspected of obtaining the documents while serving in Iraq, is being held at a Marine base in Virginia as U.S. officials investigate last year's publication of State Department cables and military documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army's new charges against Manning, the result of a seven-month probe, include 'aiding the enemy' and 'wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet,' the military said in a statement.
Manning, 23, had previously faced a host of charges including downloading and transmitting to an unauthorized person a classified video of a 2007 helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters employees.
Mar 2nd, 2011 - On Friday, the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) gave hope to those seeking to hold accountable the Bush administration officials and lawyers who authorized torture by agreeing to continue investigating allegations made by a Moroccan-born Spanish resident, Lahcen Ikassrien, that he was tortured at Guantánamo, where he was held from 2002 to 2005.
March 2, 2011 - In an effort to hold Libya accountable  for its violent crackdown on protesters, the U.S. and other members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of a resolution  asking the International Criminal Court to investigate whether the Libyan government has committed crimes against humanity. The ICC announced today that an investigation was found to be warranted and would proceed.
As the Associated Press has noted, it’s the first time that the U.S. has voted in favor of the war crimes court but in keeping with its longtime fear of being prosecuted by the ICC, the U.S also included in the resolution a carve-out  for itself. The AP reports that the provision was a "deal breaker" for the U.S.:
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Philadelphia--Charlene Scott cheered and chanted with the hundreds thronging Philadelphia’s Love Park during Saturday's protest against conservative Republican onslaughts seeking to slaughter what remains of the living-standard comforts enjoyed by middle and working-class Americans.
But Scott had a different perspective than most attending that demonstration, which had been organized largely to voice solidarity with public workers in Wisconsin now confronting calculated attacks against their collective bargaining rights from that state’s Tea Party-aligned Republican governor.
Scott said she had seen this onslaught coming ten years ago.
“When I saw jobs moving off-shore, banks lowering interest rates on personal accounts and governments passing more charges onto taxpayers I knew this was coming,” Scott said.
A unionized public employee, an ill-informed citizen, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the ill-informed citizen and says, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."
The above bad joke coupled with the three week stand-off in neighboring Wisconsin and the nine pictures of the current extreme wealth/income gap led my friend Tom D. to repeat Pete Seeger's timeless question:
As you can see, we've gotten lots of opportunities to put our new yellow "W. A. R." banner up in snow banks in both Wisconsin and Minnesota these last few weeks!
A power plant in Pinghu. To fuel the growth in GDP, China’s energy demand has surged by 220%. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
28 February 2011 - China will try to slow GDP growth to ease pressure on the environment following a series of unusually stark warnings from senior ministers about the country's current mode of development.
March 1, 2011 - It was a long way from a machinegun mount in a military convoy in Baghdad. Robynn Murray’s getup was very elegant on Sunday at the Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California. What made her stand out from the famous movie stars at Hollywood’s gala event was the brace of tattooed pistols perched on her chest atop a stunning black and gray dress.
The ease of U.S. Weapons being bought here and sent to the Drug Lords in Mexico just so the drug induced society here has it's much needed highs!!
Pair are among 21 who face conspiracy charges.
March 1, 2011 - The guns Jose Lira wanted, that he would give to his mother to sell in Mexico, were "exclusively assault style 'AR 15' and 'AK 47' style firearms" the weapons preferred by the Mexican drug cartels, according to a federal affidavit.
Lira, 34, is a convicted felon and may not legally buy guns himself, so he paid family members, their friends and others to make the purchases from gun shows and gun shops across Central Texas in recent months, the affidavit said.
Seventh Annual Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week - by Stephen Lendman
The web site apartheidweek.com announced it in over 60 cities worldwide, including:
Adelaide, Al Quds, Amman, Amsterdam, Bard (NY), Basel, Beirut, Belfast, Berkeley, Bern, Bethlehem, Bilbao, Birzeit, Bordeaux, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Cape Town, Cleveland, Denver, Dublin, Dundee, Durban, Edmonton, Gainesville, Gaza, Geneva, Grahamstown, Haifa, Houston, Ireland, Johannesburg, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Mans, Lille, Lillehammer, London (Ontario), Lyon, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Midwest, Montreal, Nablus, Naples, Nazereth, Neuchatel, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, Peterborough, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Providence, Regina, St. Louis, Stellenbosch, Sudbury, Toronto, Utrecht, Yaffa, and Zurich.
Other cities not officially part of IAW may also participate, including major ones involved before.
Major Media Promote War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
When imperial America wants war, peace advocates are shut out by official rhetoric and hawkish media reports supporting militarism, not diplomatic efforts to achieve peace. Those for it aren't heard. Hugo Chavez's government is one. On February 28, Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro, warned against belligerence saying:
"We would be against any military intervention against the Arabic people of Libya, and I'm sure that all peoples of the world would support a struggle against any interventionism that some powerful countries would commit against it....Arabic people who are in a process of rebellion, seeking a better destiny, (can) find their way to peace. (Venezuelans understand) very difficult times, (but have) gone about finding our ways to independence, democracy, and freedom, which in our case" is Bolarivarianism.
There's a video available online that has created quite a scandal this week. It shows a fashion designer in Paris telling someone he loves Hitler and that their mothers and forefathers would have all been gassed to death.
I think the staying power of Hitlerian madness is more easily understood when we properly understand that Hitler and the Nazis didn't invent it out of whole cloth but built on a deep tradition that had long dominated European and U.S. culture. I wrote about U.S. influences on Hitler in "War Is A Lie." Another book that should be required reading is "Exterminate the Brutes," by Sven Lindqvist.
By Dave Lindorff
The ongoing case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor facing murder charges in Lahore for the execution-style slaying of two apparent agents of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, is apparently leading to a roll-back of America’s espionage and Special Operations activities in Pakistan.
A few days ago, Pakistan’s Interior Department, which is reportedly conducting a careful review of the hundreds of private contractors who flooded into Pakistan over the last two years, many with “diplomatic passports,” and many others, like Davis, linked to shady “security” firms, arrested an American security contractor named Aaron DeHaven, a Virginia native who claims to work for a company called Catalyst Services LLC.
$1.2 Trillion: The National Security Figure No One Wants You To See
by Chris Hellman
Published on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by TomDispatch.com
What if you went to a restaurant and found it rather pricey? Still, you ordered your meal and, when done, picked up the check only to discover that it was almost twice the menu price.
Welcome to the world of the real U.S. national security budget. Normally, in media accounts, you hear about the Pentagon budget and the war-fighting supplementary funds passed by Congress for our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. That already gets you into a startling price range -- close to $700 billion for 2012 -- but that’s barely more than half of it. If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.
US Military Spending Marches On
How on earth do you get a bipartisan consensus against cuts and for stimulus? Call it the defence budget
by Mark Engler
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by The Guardian/UK
With a new Congress with a House controlled by Republicans who have trumpeted deficit reduction as one of their central priorities, it would be logical to expect that there might be trimming in one of the largest and most bloated areas of US government spending: the nation's $700bn military budget. However, the realities of Washington, DC are different than the rhetoric. While spending for the Iraq war should be decreasing, as planned, in coming years, recently released budget proposals by both Democrats and Republicans show that base levels for Pentagon funding continue to rise.
How You Can Boycott the Kochs
By Lauren Kelley
February 28, 2011
Over the past few weeks, the billionaire Koch brothers and their front groups have steadily increased their involvement in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights. The Kochs' outsized wealth and influence are forces to be reckoned with; that's why we should all be grateful that a Koch backlash, including a boycott of Koch Industries' products, has started picking up steam.
Wisconsin Is Making the Battle Lines Clear in America's Hidden Class War
The brazen choices of the Republican governor shows the real ideology behind attacks on unions – in the US and beyond
by Gary Younge
Monday, February 28, 2011 by The Guardian/UK
You can tell a great deal about a nation's anxieties and aspirations by the discrepancy between reality and popular perception. Polls last year showed that in the US 61% think the country spends too much on foreign aid. This makes sense once you understand that the average American is under the illusion that 25% of the federal budget goes on foreign aid (the real figure is 1%).
Similarly, a Mori poll in Britain in 2002 revealed that more than a third of the country thought there were too many immigrants. Little wonder. The mean estimate was that immigrants comprise 23% of the country; the actual number was about 4%.
Anatomy of a Protest: From a Simple March to a National Fight
by Dan Simmons
Published on Monday, February 28, 2011 by The Capital Times (Wisconsin)
MADISON, WI - On Feb. 7, with Wisconsin united in the afterglow of a Green Bay Packers victory in the Super Bowl, brand-new Gov. Scott Walker convened a dinner meeting of his Cabinet at the Governor's Mansion.
Walker held up a photo of President Ronald Reagan, who had famously fired striking air-traffic controllers, and said his plan to sweep away decades of protections for state public employees in a stop-gap budget bill represented "our time to change the course of history."
"It was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb," he said.
The budget-repair bill, which would strip most collective-bargaining rights from 175,000 public-sector workers while imposing immediate benefits concessions, went public four days later. Walker, a Republican, called for passage in the GOP-controlled Legislature within a week.
Anger After a Day of Lockdown in Madison
by David Dayen
Published on Monday, February 28, 2011 by FireDogLake
With a lot of the media pulling up stakes yesterday in Madison as protests entered their third week, and with one day until Governor Walker’s budget presentation to a joint session of the legislature, it was an opportune time for a serious crackdown on access to the Capitol. And that’s what happened today. Capitol police only allowed in constituents with appointments with members of the legislature, and refused access for anyone who wouldn’t show ID, including a state Representative.
State Rep Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, says she was denied access to the Capitol at several entrances this morning because she refused to show her Capitol ID card.
Nurses Offer to Buy President's Shoes to March With Workers
by Rose Ann DeMoro, National Nurses United
Tuesday, March 1, 2011, www.CommonDreams.org
The past two weeks have been a "Where's Waldo" moment for President Obama.
He's been largely a bystander while tens of thousands of American workers, joined by students, and community allies, marched in Madison's snow and freezing temperatures, and slept on the floors of the capitol to defend their most fundamental right to freedom of assembly and a collective voice.
On Monday, the President told U.S. governors, "I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon."
Many discussions of lies that launch wars quickly come around to the question "Well then why did they want the war?" There is usually more than one single motive involved, but the motives are not terribly hard to find.
Unlike many soldiers who have been lied to, most of the key war deciders, the masters of war who determine whether or not wars happen, do not in any sense have noble motives for what they do. Though noble motives can be found in the reasoning of some of those involved, even in some of those at the highest levels of decision making, it is very doubtful that such noble intentions alone would ever generate wars.
At a time when the issue of civilian casualties in Libya has been dominating the international agenda, our Recording Casualties of Armed Conflict programme has launched Every Casualty.org, a website aiming to raise the profile of casualty recording worldwide and the organisations that undertake it. The site is a one-stop shop for information on casualties of conflict worldwide. It engages 22 of the organisations that record them in the International Practitioner Network convened by ORG.
Obstructing and Delaying Aristide's Return - by Stephen Lendman
He's lived in exile since US marines forcefully ousted him at gunpoint on February 29, 2004. Efforts to help him return followed, what he's wanted for eight years today, the anniversary of his abduction.
On February 25, San Francisco's Bay View and other publications ran attorney Walter Riley's article titled, "Prominent anti-apartheid movement veterans call on South African government to assist Aristide in returning to Haiti now," saying:
Noted figures wrote "South African President Jacob Zuma an open letter 'in hopes that (he'll) assist' former (President) Aristide and his family (return) to Haiti 'as soon as possible.' " Among them were:
-- Randall Robinson, Trans Africa Forum's founder;
-- Jesse Jackson;
-- Danny Glover;
-- British MP John McDonnell;
-- Dick Gregory;
-- Jack Healey, Human Rights Action Center's founder and director;
Unverified Misreporting on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
America's media, Britain's state-controlled BBC, other Western sources, and Al Jazeera are spreading unverified or false reports on Libya's uprising.
On February 25, writer Madhi Darius Nazemroaya, a Middle East/Central Asian specialist, based on reliable in-country contacts, headlined an important article, "Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?"
Access it through the following link:
For greater readership, this article covers key information in it. Its entirety explains much about what's ongoing - what major media accounts misreport or suppress, especially television reaching large audiences, presenting distorted managed news. It shouldn't surprise. Representing powerful interests, carefully filtered sanitized reporting substitutes for the real kind.
You have failed to keep your oath to represent the wishes of the Palestinian people, so…
We the Palestinian People
hereby issue you a notice of termination, and demand the following:
Suspend and terminate the Oslo Accords
Dissolve the Palestinian Authority – Abbas must resign
End the blockade of Gaza
End all security arrangements with Israel
Release Palestinian political prisoners from Palestinian jails
Unify the resistance – Build a national platform upon which to coalesce Palestinian political parties and formations in their resistance to apartheid, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing
Notice of termination served on February 28, 2011 4:00-6:00 p.m.
at the General Delegation of the PLO Mission to the U.S.
1320 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Issued by the United States Palestinian Community Network