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By David Swanson, special to the International Labor Communications Association
On July 12th I received an Email from the American Federation of Teachers with a soft pink headline and an image of a heart. It said: "Pink Hearts. Not Pink Slips." That sounded nice. The text continued:
"Now is the time to tell the Senate to put our children first. The House of Representatives approved an emergency spending bill that included $10 billion to save educator jobs and $5 billion for Pell Grants. It is now up to the Senate to do its part and approve the same level of assistance when it returns to Washington, D.C., this week."
A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is deeply depressing. The legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse. The simple truth, that single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans would dramatically reduce costs and save lives, that the for-profit health care system is the problem and must be destroyed, is censored out of the public debate by a media that relies on these corporations as major advertisers and sponsors, as well as a morally bankrupt Democratic Party that is as bought off by corporations as the Republicans.
12 July 2010 Lawyers acting for Iraqi civilians threaten judicial review over failure to ban hooding
The government's interrogation guidelines for intelligence officers are facing their first legal challenge, less than a week after they were published as part of David Cameron's attempt to signal a break with the counter-terrorism practices of the Labour administration.
Lawyers representing dozens of Iraqi civilians who were detained and allegedly mistreated by British troops are threatening to begin judicial review proceedings because the policy fails to outlaw the practice of hooding.
By Linn Washington
Soweto, South Africa – Less than seven miles from the carefully crafted glitter of Soccer City, the host complex for the World Cup, two legendary South African football players told fascinating often fearsome stories that powerful people want suppressed.
Two days before the recent World Cup championship match won by Spain “Smiley” Moosa and Nkosi Molala spoke at a community center in Soweto discussing their lives under apartheid and that ugly era’s lingering legacy on South African society.
Moosa and Molala both made their marks on South African soccer in the 1970s.
Under apartheid’s rigid racial categories Moosa carried the classification of Indian while Molala was African – designations barring these talented players from South Africa’s then whites-only national team.
Moosa holds the distinction of being the first non-white ever to play for an all-white soccer club in South Africa.
ScienceDaily (June 21, 2010) — Veterans with substance use disorders who die by suicide are more likely to use violent means (such as a firearm) rather than nonviolent means (such as a drug overdose), new research suggests.
In a study of more than 5,000 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with substance use disorders, researchers found that, despite having access to potentially lethal substances, 70% of those who died by suicide used violent means. The study was reported in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Dr. Diane West (center), who runs a program for women at U.S. Vets, a nonprofit in Long Beach, Calif., with transitional housing residents Margaret Ortiz (left) and Andrea Guara.
July 11, 2010 More than 240,000 female service members have been deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for many, reintegrating into civilian life and trying to find employment is not within their reach.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has acknowledged that women are nearly four times as likely as men to end up homeless.
In Los Angeles, outreach efforts are under way to get them off the streets and into the VA's transition assistance program.
Jul 9th, 2010 Last week, in the first of two articles examining how “War on Terror”-related complicity in torture is under intense scrutiny in Europe, I ran through the history of Britain’s post-9/11 involvement in US torture, and its extensive forays into holding people without charge or trial in the UK, attempting to send foreign nationals back to countries where they face the risk of torture, using information derived from torture in other countries (sometimes with direct British involvement) and subsequently using this information operationally and even in judicial hearings.
The excuses for our guilty past "Military Necessity" and yet we condemn others while wondering "why do they hate us so?"!!
The following letter was sent yesterday to the Democratic National Committee. As I noted yesterday, a key effect of Woodhouse's attack on Steele is the chilling of Republican dissent on the Afghanistan war - Republican dissent that war critics need in order to end it; and the letter attempts to counteract that effect and to pressure the DNC to not engage in this sort of attack on war critics in the future.
Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director, Democratic National Committee Tim Kaine, National Chair, Democratic National Committee
By Dave Lindorff
The Obama administration and BP have clearly been conspiring to hide the magnitude of the Gulf oil catastrophe from the public. One way they're doing this is by threatening jail terms and $40,000 fines against those who go to document the fiasco.
That is ridiculous. There is not a conceivable justification for banning the media from fully covering this environmental disaster.
From 1991, Dr David Kelly was one of the chief weapons inspectors with the UN in Iraq. He is seen leaving the House of Commons after giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2003. His body was found three days later. Johnny Green / PA Archive
July 10. 2010 It was Brock, a cross-border collie working with the civilian Lowland Search Dogs Association, who found the body, shortly after 8am on July 18, 2003. Slumped against a tree, not far from his home in the Oxfordshire countryside, lay one of the most surprising victims of the West’s invasion of Iraq.
"Had he heard or read nothing of the Pashtun Taliban, of their reputation as insurgents and their obsession with fighting anyone and everyone?"
8 July 2010 Our leaders would rather avoid embarrassment than be honest about the horrific futility of the wars we are fighting
As British troops retreat from the fortress of Sangin in south Afghanistan, a sleepy room in Westminster again plays host to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. The British establishment is strangely dotty. Chilcot is like reviewing Passchendaele during the Battle of Britain, or Boudicca's charioteering after the charge of the Light Brigade. American congressmen tear their generals apart when fighting stupid wars. The British prefer to avoid embarrassment.
cheney and his puppet, Rendition, False Imprisonment, Possible Torture, with No Proof, possible outcome: Created more insurgent fighters as well as possible international criminal terrorist, with the expanding al Qaeda network and others, and not even those held but their countrymen!!
9 July 2010 A federal judge has ordered the release of another Yemeni captive at Guantanamo, the 37th time a war on terror captive in southeast Cuba has won his unlawful detention suit against the U.S. government.
Judge Paul Friedman's order in the case of Hussein Almerfedi at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., instructs the Obama administration to "take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate the release of petitioner forthwith.''
Doesn't bring National Security, now frankly destroyed with the extreme rise of hatreds towards us and other so called Western Powers after the previous decade!!
And not to leave out the huge amount of graft, corruption and political crony-ism embedded with the budgets of each contract!
July 8, 2010 Aided by federal and state tax breaks, solar energy will be cheaper than building new nuclear power plants, according to a North Carolina study released today.
Dr. John Blackburn, the emeritus chair of economics and former chancellor of Duke University, said the costs of new nuclear plants continues to rise while electricity generated from solar voltaic panels is only half the cost of 12 years ago. Continued with More Coming Tomorrow
At least as to this short report that a more in-depth report to be publish tomorrow.
By Dave Lindorff
Looking at the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, where impact of the greed of corporate executives at British Petroleum, TransOcean and Halliburton, not to mention the greed of paid-off regulators in the Minerals Management Service and the members of the House and Senate who took dirty money to water down drilling regulations is evident, I was reminded of a prominent business leader in New York, recently deceased.
Told by his sister of a young woman she knew who had posted a sign on her wall saying, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have,” this executive, who had held a top position in the media, sniffed, “Ugh! That’s terrible. If people thought like that, no one would strive to do anything.”
By David Swanson
The latest hardcopy newsletter from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities opens with an article about poetry about war, which opens with this line: "Many of my favorite poets are soldiers." The author begins with a poet who "has served in the current war in Iraq." Served what we are not told. Then she jumps to Virgil and declares:
"Neither Virgil nor Turner gives us answers to war: they know the questions are more important, and likely answerable only by each of us alone."
So we should each enlist right away in order to answer "the questions"? Or we should all read lots of ambiguous war poetry? Who knows, because this follows:
"What is my responsibility as the gears of human perfidy and greatness grind together?"
Another question that is more important than the answer, no doubt. And yet, what could be more important or - by now - more obvious than the answer?
8.7.10 Human rights campaigners have reacted with cautious optimism to the British government’s official announcement of a judicial inquiry into the involvement of the British security services — MI5 and MI6 — in torture and rendition since the 9/11 attacks, although many pressing questions are, as yet, unanswered.
In its most significant complaint, Reprieve asked why the inquiry will not be held under the Inquiries Act of 2005, noting that the Baha Mousa inquiry (into the murder, in British custody, of a hotel clerk in Iraq) was held under the Act and has been “a model of an inquiry functioning efficiently, including the hearing of secret evidence.” Continued
Gee ya think! that's why we the Brits and others condemn other countries for their Human Rights and much more, then we joined that same gutter thrash and expect to be justified, because well we're the righteous!!
7 July 2010 William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons
The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice.
7 July 2010 David Cameron says there will be an "authoritative" inquiry, led by a judge, to settle once and for all whether MI5 and MI6 were complicit in the torture of terror suspects.
The inquiry is intended to resolve this vexed question, which, the prime minister said, had "overshadowed" the reputation of the security services for the past few years.
I can think of really only two occasions in the past 30 years when the authorities have allowed the failings and misdemeanours of the British intelligence services to be held up to the public light - warts and all.
In the year before the Iraq war, he concluded that two thirds of MI6's intelligence in Iraq had been coming from just two main sources. Continued
AIR DATE: July 7, 2010
Mark Twain's autobiography is set to be published for the first time, 100 years after the famous author and humorist's death. Correspondent Spencer Michels reports on the effort to edit and publish his century-old manuscript.
Rachel Maddow does her show live from Afghanistan, she traveled there last week and the first show was aired last night, 6 July 2010.
We came to Afghanistan because we wanted to understand whether the American war strategy makes sense, whether the continuing and growing presence of U.S. troops is helping us reach our goals there. President Obama's "uplift" strategy for winning in Kandahar is in full swing -- only it's not about blowing things up but rather opening police stations and trying to create a civil society.
As Brigadier General Ben Hodges told us on a drive through Kandahar City this week, that's a tough bar to reach. Kandahar has run on corruption since the days of ancient traders on the Silk Road paying for safe passage. Hodges said coalition forces need to establish trust between local people and the government, at the level of policemen and district officials.
This is the first cut from last nights airing.
By David Swanson
The U.S. corporate media pronounces our nation a "democracy" so frequently that sometimes its spokespeople stumble. They can't be unaware that virtually every act of Congress diverges significantly from what the majority of Americans favor. Yet the assumption that somehow the government must follow public opinion creeps in, creating this sort of comedy:
By James Ridgeway
The way the Washington Post reported the story, Congress has finally pushed through “tougher” off-shore drilling regulations for oil companies.
Two key Senate committees approved legislation before the July 4 holiday that purport to change the way the federal government regulates offshore oil drilling and that penalize companies for oil spills. Both measures passed on bipartisan voice votes. One approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee would raise the civil and criminal penalties for a spill, require more safety equipment redundancies, boost the number of federal safety inspectors and demand additional precautions for deep-water drilling. The other, passed by the Environment and Public Works Committee, would remove a $75 million limit on oil company liability and would retroactively remove the liability cap for BP and the Deepwater Horizon explosion.