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It is difficult to watch this video without both crying and being inspired. Ashley Joppa-Hagemann recounts her husband's struggles before he killed himself to avoid an eighth or ninth tour in the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. Ashley confronted Donald Rumsfeld last week over the lies that led her husband to enlist. This led to her appearing on Democracy Now on Tuesday and being featured in Amy Goodman's column:
"One person convinced by Rumsfeld’s rhetoric was Jared August Hagemann.
By John Grant
It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.
Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.
Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.
By Michael Collins
Monday was the day we heard that the "US believes al-Qa'ida is on the verge of defeat after deputy leader's death" as The Independent headlined the story. It stood out as a sequel to the recent United States action in Pakistan, which brought us the news (but not the body) of a dead Osama bin Laden. It appears that a US operated drone killed Al Qaeda's top deputy, one Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan citizen. After decades as a jihadist, Rahman is no more. But is that the end of al Qaeda?
On Tuesday, foreign affairs columnist for the Asia Times, Pepe Escobar, published a remarkable column outlining the command structure of the victorious NATO backed military leaders. Abdelhakim Belhaj, the lead commander of the rebels, and the two top regional commanders were once affiliated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LGIF). In fact, commander Belhaj was once the subject of a US led extraordinary rendition (aka torture) in Thailand. About the time the US planned to send Belhaj to Guantanamo Bay, the Gaddafi's government requested his return to Libya.
An upcoming Charlottesville conference highlights the importance of whistleblowers when addressing the corruption present in military contracting
YOU MAY have heard something about a budget crisis in Washington this summer. Were you aware that in the midst of it the House of Representatives passed a military spending bill larger than ever before?
U.S. military spending across numerous departments has increased dramatically during the past decade and now makes up about half of federal discretionary spending. Yet the Defense Department has not been fully audited in 20 years, and as of 2001 it could not account for $2.3 trillion out of the $10 trillion or so it had been given during that time. More recently, President Obama has been waging his “days, not weeks” war in Libya for months without a dime appropriated by Congress, relying instead on the loose change lying around at the Pentagon.
The United States could reduce its military spending by at least 80 percent and still be the world’s top military spender. If the purpose of all this profligacy were truly defensive, wouldn’t a military merely as large as any other country’s do the job? When little cuts around the edges were forced into the discussion, wouldn’t the top priorities for elimination be unpopular wars, foreign bases, nuclear weapons and space weapons rather than health care for veterans? If something shameful were not motivating our self-destructive imperial overreach, wouldn’t the wonders of market competition be given a chance, instead of the current practice of handing out cost-plus contracts to cronies for jobs they are never expected to complete?
Israel's Operation Summer Seeds - by Stephen Lendman
Ahead of the General Assembly's likely granting Palestine statehood recognition and full de jure UN membership in September or early October, Israel is preparing its army and arming settlers for disruptive protests.
NATO's Genocidal Rape of Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Continuing NATO atrocities on Libyan civilians gave naked aggression a new name.
Call it what it is: Lawless, Willful, Malevolent Genocidal Gang Rape, the new supreme international crime against peace ongoing at this time.
Alan Grayson says "This is a textbook for a college-level course on what it means to be a thinking, feeling American. I recommend it to everyone with a head and heart."
He's talking about this book: http://planamerica.org It's called "Fix America! How Each of Us Can Help All of Us."
I'm proud to have contributed two chapters to it, but even gladder to have read it. What a wealth of information and inspiration. This is a collection of the best recent blogging from the perspective of some truly progressive editors looking for guidance in how we should be thinking, talking, strategizing, and organizing. Contributors include friends of mine, authors I knew I'd benefit from, and others relatively new to me.
They include: Robert Abston, Linda Beale, Beth Becker, Denis Campbell, Cory Doctorow, Barry Eisler, Al Franken, Joshua Holland, Karoli Kuns, George Lakoff, Jon Nichols, Matt Osborne, Ralph Paine, Lee Papa, Robert Pollin, Kenneth Quinnell, Jennie Rigg, Coleen Rowley, Linda Salter, Richard Spisak Jr., The Punk Patriot, Joan Walsh, and Cassandra Vert.
Cassandra Vert edited the book along with Abston and Spisak, and Vert contributed the greatest number of chapters, each of them extremely informative and inspiring. True to the name Cassandra, Vert predicts the future. But she predicts multiple possible futures, depending on what actions we choose to take. I'm hoping that this Cassandra is listened to.
NATO Style Liberation - by Stephen Lendman
Wherever it goes, NATO slaughters, ravages, lays waste, incinerates, contaminates, devastates, conquers, colonizes, plunders, exploits, impoverishes and immiserates.
Libya is its latest victim.
A coalition of community organizers, peace activists, left, liberal, progressive groupsand supporting organizations are calling on volunteers to join them October 6, 2011, for an "occupation" of Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C.
U.S.author, blogger, and activist David Swanson says the event is being organized to take over Freedom Plaza to "nonviolently resist what our government is doing."
Swanson told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Monday that "we are going to occupy Freedom Plaza in the middle of Washington D.C., the name of which is very similar of course to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, and from there we are going to expand to shut down offices, buildings, streets, hallways, to nonviolently, strictly nonviolently resist what our government is doing."
This was forwarded to me by a trusted friend from another trusted friend who spoke with someone whose neighbor's daughter works at North Anna, the nuclear plant in Virginia, not far from last week's earthquake.
No, that's not three confirmed sources, but I am writing a book, working jobs, and organizing a conference. Take the following for what it's worth, and please do the reporting.
"During the quake the administration building buckled. White steam began pouring our of the stacks. There is chaos at the power station. __________ said that two NY Times reporters are investigating - ________ and ____________. He wants to get a Geiger counter and take readings near the plant. He also said that when they were first building the plant some W & M professors told them it was not safe to build it on the fault. I will let you know what else I hear."
Our current wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Somalia, and our smaller military operations in over 100 other countries are part of what President Eisenhower warned of 50 years ago in speaking of the Military Industrial Complex. We spend over half our federal budget on the military. We could cut it by 85% and still have the world's largest. No nation has tried anything like this before, and it's not clear we can survive it. We're shortchanging everything else to fund wars and overseas bases that make us less safe. There's a crisis in our towns, but in the midst of a phony budget crisis in Washington, the House passed the largest military budget ever. It's time for us to rein in the military insustrial complex after 50 years. If you go to MIC50 dot org you can sign up for a conference in Charlottesville that will host over 20 prominent speakers from around the country. MIC50 dot org. That's M I C five zero dot org. See you there. Peace.
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait
Sunday 9/11 1:00 pm City Hall Park, New York City and virtually on 911globalmemorial.net Your participation in this global memorial through your art work is crucial. How You Can Participate.
We are asking artists and anyone else who would like to participate in this global memorial to please submit your content for this website. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait
The Rise of Another CIA Yes Man
By Ray McGovern
August 29, 2011
Editor’s Note(Consortiumnews.com): The gross manipulation of CIA analysis under George W. Bush pushed a new generation of “yes men” into the agency’s top ranks. Now one of those aspiring bureaucrats will be Gen. David Petraeus’s right-hand man, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. (Also, at end of article, see special comments from several former CIA insiders.)
As Gen. David Petraeus prepares to take the helm at CIA in September, he can expect unswerving loyalty from his likely deputy, Michael Morell, who has been acting director since July when Leon Panetta left to become Secretary of Defense.
Like many senior CIA officials in recent years, Morell’s record is checkered, at best. He held key jobs in intelligence analysis over the past decade as the CIA often served as a handmaiden to the war propagandists.
While the evidence suggests that President Obama is not terribly bright and has just benefited from succeeding a downright moron, and while voluminous evidence to which I am privileged suggests that my 9-year-old niece Hallie is extremely intelligent, consider just this one way in which Hallie would make a wiser president than Barack.
Infants live in the moment, and toddlers can't plan much beyond the next day or so, but as we grow we become able to consider longer periods of time. Obama seems able to manage consideration of the next funding cycle, for example. Hallie seems to do considerably better than that:
"August 28, 2011
"President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
"Dear President Obama,
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait
Last Friday, I joined 53 others in getting hand-cuffed by Park Police after we sat in front of the White House for a few minutes in protest of the Keystone oil pipeline proposed to run from Alberta Canada down to Texas refineries. Before Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina a day later, it was hot and still in Washington, and sweaty sitting on the pavement in front of the White House. I realized that most often it’s been cold or rainy when we stood or laid down there in protest against U.S. wars and torture.
Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid - by Stephen Lendman
Washington wages wars multiple ways, including militarily, financially, and politically by supporting wrong over right each time.
For decades, it subverted peace negotiations and Palestine's bid for statehood. The Obama administration's now doing it again, besides waging multiple wars and undermining freedom wherever it surfaces, abroad and at home.
NATO's Ugly Face - by Stephen Lendman
View it yourself!
Images don't lie, except NATO's fake ones produced in Doha, Qatar and perhaps elsewhere on Hollywood sound stages.
by Ron Ridenour
Leading black-skinned representatives of the “hegemon”, as Cynthia McKinney calls President Barack Obama and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, could hardly expect to win any votes from the standing-room-only crowd at her anti-war tour Friday night at Calvary Church in Philadelphia.
Speaking before nearly 300 people--two-thirds of them black, the remainder white and hispanic--in her T-shirt proclaiming that “war kills”, the former U.S. congresswoman said:
“We need someone in the White House who thinks like us and not just one who looks like us. We have to act like we’re free if we want to be free. We have to liberate ourselves from war-mongering political parties.”
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump
Never Forgive, Never Forget - by Stephen Lendman
After covering Libya's rape since last winter in dozens of articles, no forgiving or forgetting is possible for one of history's great crimes.
Nor is ignoring those responsible, condemning them forthrightly, and explaining why all wars are waged.
"Shrinking government" in American political discourse has, for decades now, meant the following. We enlarge the government's budget through taxation and penalties on working people and through borrowing and printing money. We not only tax the wealthy and corporations less, but we massively subsidize them with public funds. We move away from taxes and fees meant to limit the damage greed can do to the world, and we defund regulation of and law enforcement against the oligarchy. We transfer an ever greater share of the budget to the military. We expand the domestic and international surveillance-police states while merging the two. This, again, we call "shrinking government."
Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!