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Our quadrennial reality TV show: Sorting Through the Bullshit in America

By John Grant

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. ... The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept.”

Focus: Clinton, Biden - Aug 28, 2015

POLL: Hillary declines sharply in Quinnipiac poll, 45% down from 55% a month ago, Sanders has 22% and Biden 18% -

POLL: Joe Biden polls better than Hillary Clinton against all Republicans, beating them by a larger margin - New York Post

POLL: The top three words voters think of to describe Hillary are 'liar', 'dishonest' and 'untrustworthy' - Washington Examiner

POLL: List of 50 Words Americans Used to Describe Hillary Clinton - Breitbart

POLL: Full results of the Quinnipiac Poll - Quinnipiac Poll

POLL: Biden 'Honest,' 'Genuine' in Reuters/Ipsos poll - The Times

POLL: Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in Utah, BYU poll says - The Salt Lake Tribune

Biden to meet with AFL-CIO chief as he weighs White House run - TheHill

Biden to Meet With Jewish Leaders to Make Case for Iran Nuclear Deal - WSJ

Possible Biden run puts Obama fundraising network on high alert - The Washington Post

DNC chair: Biden 'would be welcomed' to presidential race - POLITICO

DNC to honor Beau Biden - TheHill

DNC announces fundraising agreement with Clinton, says it’s pursuing similar agreements with the other Democratic primary campaigns - POLITICO

O'Malley: Rallying around Clinton a 'big mistake' - TheHill

Christie: Hillary Clinton should quit presidential race -

Obituaries Keep Requesting Loved Ones Not Vote for Hillary - Washington Free Beacon

Progressive groups press Hillary on Wall Street's golden parachutes, Two former Clinton aides received bonuses from banks when they left to join her at the State Dept -

VIDEO: Clinton equates GOP stance on women to terrorists - TheHill

Clinton, Sanders united in call for more federal spending on higher ed, vary on college affordability approach - InsideHigherEd

Hamptons home rented by the Clintons could be yours for $32.5M - New York Post

How Chronic Disease Could End Hillary Clinton’s White House Run - The National Enquirer



Clinton Data Went Unsecured For Over a Month After ‘Classified’ Data Discovered - Washington Free Beacon

Clinton's attorney got security clearance just before handling emails - Washington Examiner

GOP senator accuses Clinton of improperly passing state secrets to her lawyer - McClatchy DC

Hillary Clinton emails: Chuck Grassley questions lack of permanent IG at State Department - Washington Times

Hillary Clinton’s State Department IG Was More Lapdog than Watchdog, Its Oversight Was Toothless, Lax - National Review Online

Top senator presses State on whether Clinton has security clearance despite FBI probe - Fox News

Group: Hillary Clinton mixed State, foundation business -

Clinton ally accused of running interference on email scandal - Washington Examiner

How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe - The Washington Post

Former AG Mukasey says he was wrong to suggest that if Clinton was ever convicted of destroying government records by erasing her server, she would be legally unqualified for the presidency - NBC

Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders - The New York Times

Dems: Grassley's probe of Clinton's email gives Biden wide opening - Washington Examiner

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

War: Legal to Criminal and Back Again

Remarks in Chicago on the 87th anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, August 27, 2015.

Thank you very much for inviting me here and thank you to Kathy Kelly for everything she does and thank you to Frank Goetz and everyone involved in creating this essay contest and keeping it going. This contest is far and away the best thing that has come out of my book When the World Outlawed War.

I proposed making August 27th a holiday everywhere, and that hasn't yet happened, but it's begun. The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, has done it. Frank Kellogg, for whom the Kellogg-Briand Pact is named, was from there. A group in Albuquerque is holding an event today, as are groups in other cities today and in recent years. A Congress member has recognized the occasion in the Congressional Record.

But the responses offered to some of the essays from various readers and included in the booklet are typical, and their failings should not reflect poorly on the essays. Virtually everyone has no idea that there is a law on the books banning all war. And when a person finds out, he or she typically takes no more than a few minutes to dismiss the fact as meaningless. Read the responses to the essays. None of the responders who were dismissive considered the essays carefully or read additional sources; clearly none of them read a word of my book.

Wall Street reporting is a joke: The Stock Market is Getting Harder to Rig

By Dave Lindorff

It’s entertaining to watch and to read reports in the corporate media about the current stock market decline, which over the course of the last six business days erased $2.1 trillion in the market value of stocks of publicly-traded US corporations (and in a lot of ordinary Americans’ retirement savings). 

Focus: Clinton, Biden, Sanders - Aug 26, 2015

Exclusive: State Dept.-released Clinton email had classified intel from 3 agencies, possibly violating Obama order (VIDEO) - Fox News

DHS has no record of State Dept. giving info for Clinton server audit, despite rules - Fox News

Trey Gowdy frustrated by State Dept stonewalling on Clinton and her aides - Washington Examiner

Clinton's emails discuss conversations with foreign diplomats, embassy security and countries from Russia to China - Washington Examiner

POLL: 46 percent of voters believe Clinton should suspend her campaign amid email scandal, 44 percent disagree -  Washington Free Beacon

POLL: Should Hillary Clinton Suspend Her Campaign? - Rasmussen Reports

Former attorney general says classified email scandal 'disqualifies' Hillary Clinton from serving as president – IF she's broke federal law - Daily Mail Online

Memo Analyzes Possibility Hillary Clinton Prohibited From Holding Office -

President Bill Clinton's top spy blasts alleged Hillary email cover up -

Hillary Clinton’s lawyer had 'top secret' clearance - POLITICO

Hillary Clinton Used Email-Monitor Linked to Personal Tax Lawyer -

Hillary Server Firm Employs Top Clinton Operative -

Questions arise about existence of second, private Clinton email server - Fox News

Hillary Clinton E-mails Reveal Inner Circle of Yes Men - National Review Online

Emails Draw Huma Abedin, a Clinton Aide, Back Into the Spotlight - The New York Times

Occupy Argues Clinton Unfit To Run For President - The Moderate Voice

4 State Parties Sign Fund-Raising Pacts With Clinton Campaign - The New York Times

Maserati, Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche at Hillary Clinton fundraiser - Daily Mail Online

POLL: Hillary Clinton lagging against Republicans in summer target state polls - Washington Examiner

POLL: Michigan poll shows Hillary Clinton trails Jeb Bush; barely leads Donald Trump -

POLL: Clinton trouncing Trump, edging rest of GOP in Virginia - Washington Examiner

POLL: Hillary Clinton still a strong frontrunner in Iowa - CBS News



Obama gives Joe Biden 'blessing' for 2016 bid -


POLL: Yes He Can! 64% of Dems say VP Biden can win presidency in the  Economist/YouGov Poll - Washington Examiner

Joe Biden to Hold Unusual Conference Call With Hundreds of DNC Members - The New York Times

Joe Biden 2016: Draft Biden group circulates pro-Joe memo to DNC members - POLITICO

Draft Biden on track to be up in 50 States by next week, the super-PAC hopes to raise $3 million by the end of September - Bloomberg

Top Democratic fundraisers invited to meet with Joe Biden at Naval Observatory - The Washington Post

Joe Biden 2016: Big donors being courted by advisers - POLITICO

Hedge funder asked to host Joe Biden luncheon - Page Six

CBS: Citing Email Scandal, Major Clinton Donor Would Flip Support to Biden If He Ran (VIDEO) - Washington Free Beacon

More Democrats crack open door for Biden presidential run - Reuters

Joe Biden hires communications chief with campaign experience, she comes to the White House from the Motion Picture Association of America - Washington Examiner



POLL: Bernie Sanders surges ahead of Hillary Clinton in second striking New Hampshire poll - Business Insider

POLL: Sanders is gaining ground on Clinton, but he has little support among non-white Democrats - Economist/YouGov Poll

Bernie Sanders Grassroots Planning Huge March on Washington in October, this Facebook RSVP movement has garnered so far over 87,000 signatures - Observer

Bernie Sanders Gets Stamp of Approval From Cornel West - The New York Times

Bernie Sanders’s Success in Attracting Small Donors Tests Importance of ‘Super PACs’ - The New York Times

Deez Nuts endorses Bernie Sanders and John Kasich for presidential nomination, meet the 15-year-old presidential candidate (VIDEO) -

Talk Nation Radio: Salt Rebellion in U.S. Colonies and Sailing Food from Maine to Boston

Why sail food from Maine to Boston, and what do salt and the British colonies in North America have in common with Gandhi's India?

Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, Billionaire Buddha, and Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, the cohost of Occupy Radio, and the cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network. She tours nationally speaking and educating in nonviolent civil resistance. Her essays on social justice movements appear in Truthout and Popular Resistance. See

Marada Cook is a food entrepreneur who can be found at Crown O'Maine Organic Cooperative, Northern Girl, and Fiddler's Green Farm.

Read Rivera Sun's article "Maine Sail Freight Revives: A Salty History of Revolution, Independence."

Find the Maine Sail Freight at

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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The Rise of the Permanent Prisoners of War

If someone has had the good fortune not to encounter the world of U.S. police and prisons, and the misfortune to learn about the world from U.S. schools, entertainment, and "news" media, a great place to start understanding one of the worst self-inflicted tragedies of our era would be with James Kilgore's short new book, Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time, followed up by Radley Balko's longer Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.

Both books tell a story of gradual change over the past half-century that has resulted in the police going to war against people they were supposed to serve (call it a war on crime, a war on drugs, a war on terror, it's always in fact a war on people). And what do you do with people captured alive during a war? You lock them away as prisoners of war until the war ends. And if the war never ends? Well, then you bring back the death penalty, create life sentences for lots of crimes including for kids, impose mandatory minimums and three-strikes, and transform parole and probation from rehabilitation to reincarceration services.

The story of this gradual change is one of legal changes (court rulings and legislation), behavior, and popular belief -- with each of these influencing the other two in a vicious cycle. You can't quadruple a prison population in 40 years without instituting a different belief system. You can't ship black prisoners to be guarded by rural whites employed by for-profit companies, or lock up immigrants indefinitely while they await hearings, and not alter the belief system further. You can't run several successive election campaigns as contests in meanness and not see changes in policy and behavior. You can't give police military weapons and not expect them to adopt military attitudes, or give them military training and expect them not to want military weapons. You can't give crime 10 times the coverage on the "news" and not expect people to imagine crime is increasing. You can't start smashing in doors without alienating the police and the people from each other.

Kilgore reminds us that the popular movements of the 1960s had an impact on popular thought. Opposition to the death penalty peaked in 1965 and was over 50% from 1957 to 1972, dropping to 20% in 1990. In 1977 only 37% of people polled rated police officers' ethics as high, a number that rose to 78% in 2001 for no apparent substantive reason. As late as 1981 most Americans thought unemployment was the main cause of crime. We've since learned of course that crime is caused by evil demonic forces that possess the bad people of the earth.

The creation of the world's largest ever collection of permanent prisoners of war -- a trend that would translate perfectly to the war "on terror" abroad -- developed through cycles, including partisan cycles. That is to say, Nixon had a horrible impact, Carter briefly slowed the mad rush to prisonville, and Reagan and Bush built on Nixon's policies. The war on drugs was created as a means to militarize the police and involve the federal government in more local law enforcement, not the other war around. Reagan's attorney general announced early on that, "the Justice Department is not a domestic agency. It is the internal arm of the national defense." The end of the Cold War saw the military looking for new excuses to exist, and one of them would be the war on drugs.

When Clinton came along it again made a difference to have a Democrat in the White House, only this time for the worse. Bill Clinton and his would-be president wife and allies such as would-be president Joe Biden accelerated the march to suburban Siberia rather than slowing it. Under Clinton it became possible to throw people out of public housing for a single drug offense of any kind by anyone in the house. And yet Clinton was never evicted from his public housing despite the near certainty that someone in the White House used some kind of drug. Clinton brought us huge increases in incarceration, war weapons for police, and the shredding of social supports.

When the War on Terra began in 2001 whole new pathways to profit and police militarization opened up, including the beloved Fatherland's Department of Homeland Security, which has handed out tens of billions of dollars in "terror grants" that fund the terrorizing of the U.S. public. In 2006 the Buffalo, NY, police staged a series of drug raids they called "Operation Shock and Awe." Adding truly military grade incompetence to meanness, the New York Police Department raided an elderly couple's home over 50 times between 2002 and 2010 because their address had randomly been used as a placeholder in a computer system and remained in any report that had failed to include an address.

The arrival of Captain Peace Prize at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue continued the trends and added an escalation of the war on immigrants, as well as of the war weapons for the police programs.

But the partisan cycles are more subtle as well. As Balko recounts, Congress members and others opposed police militarization when the president was of the other party and supported it when he was from theirs, or opposed it when the discussion focused on drugs but supported it in matters of gun-control (or vice versa). Yet, each acceptance was two steps forward and each resistance one step back, so that what was outrageous one decade became the norm in the next.

National partisan tides and vicious cycles of ever increasing militarization interacted over the years with local advances. Los Angeles, and the leadership of Darryl Gates, brought SWAT teams to U.S. policing. The name originally stood for Special Weapons Attack Teams and the tactics were literally a bringing of the war on Vietnam home as Gates consulted with the military to learn what was supposedly working in Vietnam.

Let me close with the question with which Balko begins his book: Are police constitutional? The police, prisons, parole, and probation did not exist when the U.S. Constitution was created any more than did drones or the internet. The first thing in the United States like police was the slave patrol. The first modern police force in the United States was begun in New York City in 1845. I've argued at length elsewhere that drones are incompatible with the Bill of Rights. What about police?

The Third Amendment grew out of resistance to allowing soldiers to engage in any of the abuses that constitute the work of police. Need we accept those abuses? I think we can at the very least radically reduce them. To do so we will have to declare an end to the wars abroad and the wars at home. Balko quotes former Maryland police officer Neill Franklin on what changing police attitudes will require:

"Number one, you've signed on to a dangerous job. That means that you've agreed to a certain amount of risk. You don't get to start stepping on others' rights to minimize that risk you agreed to take on. And number two, your first priority is not to protect yourself, it's to protect those you've sworn to protect." But that would mean not being at war with people.

Which U.S. Senators Really Want War on Iran -- An Update


Stabenow Yes takes potential No list down to 14. But Blumenthal is still undecided, so it's 15.


This is an update to "Which U.S. Senators Want War on Iran." But Blumenthal is still undecided, so it's 15.

I've found there isn't really any way to touch on this topic without misunderstanding, but here's a try. Iran has never had a nuclear weapons program or threatened to launch a war against the U.S. or Israel. Many opponents of the Iran deal in the U.S. Congress and nearly every, if not every single, proponent of the agreement in the U.S. Congress has proposed war as the alternative. Some examples are here. The White House is even telling Congress that the agreement will make a future war easier -- as a selling point in favor of the deal.

Of course, war is NOT the only alternative to the agreement. The threat of war comes from the U.S. An alternative to that would be to simply stop threatening it. No deal is actually needed. The purpose it serves is to slow down a U.S. push for war.

Of course, many ordinary supporters and opponents of the agreement do not want a war. But with Washington offering two courses of action toward Iran: a deal that imposes tougher inspections than anyone else has to deal with, or bombs, one has to choose the inspections.

That is, a moral person does. The "I want a better deal" argument is cynically put forward by people who want no deal at all, even if supported by well-meaning people who have the misfortune to own televisions or read newspapers.

Of course, the Iranian government can be criticized in many areas, none of which are subject to improvement by bombing.

Here are people who have said they oppose the agreement or can't make up their mind about it yet:

Every Republican in the U.S. Senate plus these Democrats (the first two have said No, the rest Undecided):
Menendez (NJ)
Schumer (NY)
Wyden (OR)
Bennet (CO)
Booker (NJ)
Cantwell (WA)
Cardin (MD)
Casey (PA)
Coons (DE)
Heitkamp (ND)
Mikulski (MD)
Murray (WA)
Peters (MI)
Stabenow (MI)
Warner (VA)

This is a much shorter list than what it was when I previously wrote on this topic. In fact, it's at 15, which is almost down to the 13 needed to kill the agreement. Get it down to 12 and the agreement survives. That means two more Democratic senators can come around to the Yes position on the Iran deal and the deal still die. Almost certainly at least those two will. Whether a third does, or more do, is the real question.

When measures voted on are popular with funders but unpopular with the public, they very often pass with no more than exactly the votes needed. Sometimes word leaks out about the deals that have been cut. Senators and House members take their turns giving the unpopular votes demanded by funders and "leadership." The trick here is that the "leadership" is split between Obama's and Biden's YES and (would be Senate leader) Schumer's NO.

The fifteen people named above have had PLENTY of time to conclude that many of their colleagues want to risk a war and to understand that the agreement is preferable to that. It's time for us to let them know we will not stand for them getting this wrong and will never forget it if they do. Here's what I'm asking about my senator, Mark Warner:

Here's what World Beyond War is doing to try to correct the myth that Iran is the origin of the threat of war in this affair:


We must uphold the Iran agreement, but upholding it while pretending that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, or is threatening anyone, will not create a stable and lasting foundation for peace. Upholding an agreement with both proponents and opponents threatening war as an alternative is perilous as well as immoral, illegal, and — given the outcome of similar recent wars based on similar recent propaganda — insane.

You can spread the above message on Facebook here, Twitter here, Instagram here, Tumblr here, and Google+ here.

In the U.S. sign these petitions: one, two, and join these events.

More events all over the world, and tools for creating your own are here.

Outside the U.S., people can contact the nearest U.S. Embassy.

Environmentalist Writer Claims Military Saves Lives

Jeremy Deaton seems to be a fine writer on the subject of climate change right up until he stumbles across the propaganda of the U.S. military. I highlight this as the latest example of something that is so typical as to be nearly universal. This is a pattern across major environmental groups, environmental books, and environmentalists by the thousands. In fact, it's in no way limited to environmentalists, it's just that in the case of environmentalism, blindness to the damage done by the U.S. military is particularly dramatic in its impact.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 22, 2015

Exclusive: Dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest - Reuters

Declassify Dates of Some Clinton's Emails Raise Questions - VOA

Snipers, vehicle moves among classified data emailed to Clinton - Bloomberg

U.S. said to probe how classified data got on Clinton’s Server, blending info from multiple sources that included classified content - Bloomberg

Court says Clinton emails broke 'government policy', orders State Department to get FBI findings on Clinton e-mails - Washington Times

State Department did nothing to protect Clinton emails after hack - McClatchy DC

Critics say new State Department guidelines meant to 'chill' employee speech - Fox News

Denver-based Platte River Networks questioned by U.S. Senate over Hillary Clinton email server - 7NEWS Denver

Clinton’s Email Server Firm Scrubs ‘Data-Disposal’ References from Website, Hiding a Partnership with a Company Specialized in '100 Percent Data Destruction' - Washington Free Beacon

VIDEO: The IT Firm That Managed Hillary Clinton's Private Server Speaks Out - Fox News

Clinton Blames The Fed's 'Ridiculous Classification Rules' - The Daily Caller

The Real Clinton Email Scandal: Our Ridiculous Classification Rules - POLITICO Magazine

Intel, Military Officials Fire Back At Hillary’s Over-Classification Tweet - The Daily Caller

Watchdog: Two National Security Laws Appear Broken in Clinton Email Scandal - Washington Free Beacon

Everything you need to know about how the State Department classifies information - The Washington Post

VIDEO: Hillary For America's campaign Press Secretary, Brian Fallon, is here to fact check tweets about the emails controversy - YouTube

Déjà Vu: When Bill Clinton Pardoned His Former CIA Director over Classified Documents on His Home Computer - National Review Online



Decision nearing, Biden games out mechanics of a 2016 run - Chicago Tribune

Biden buzz grows amid new polling, ‘draft’ movement picks up key adviser - Fox News

VIDEO: Draft Biden movement gains momentum, Interview with former Obama campaign adviser Steve Schale - MSNBC

Hollywood Panic: Hillary Clinton's Email Scandal Has Some Donors Whispering, 'Joe Biden' -

Swing-State Quinnipiac Poll Suggests Joe Biden Opening - Bloomberg Politics

POLL: Quinnipiac: Clinton Has Nearly 2-to-1 Dishonesty Ratings in Key Swing States - Washington Free Beacon

Full text of results of the 2016 Presidential Swing State Polls Poll - Quinnipiac University 


POLL: A Fox 2 Detroit/Mitchell Research poll shows Republicans beating Clinton in Michigan - Washington Examiner

Democrats urge Clinton to offer better explanation of emails - AP

NBC: Democrats Think the Clinton Campaign Is ‘In Denial’ Over Email Scandal (VIDEO) - Washington Free Beacon


Fellow diplomats question Clinton's email defense - POLITICO

VIDEO: Email controversy sheds lights on Clinton's confidante Huma Abedin - CNN

Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin tried to force past Secret Service without ID - Daily Mail Online

Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowds to His ‘Political Revolution’ - The New York Times

Martin O’Malley puts pressure on Clinton with new Social Security plan - POLITICO

Clinton Campaign On Alert For Undercover Conservative Sting -

The Hamptons where Hillary feels at home, Clintons prefer to vacation next to the rich one percent - POLITICO

The joke third-party presidential candidate Deez Nuts tops Trump, Clinton in Internet traffic - TheHill

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

When $8.5 Trillion is Chump Change

Three cheers for Reuters pointing out that the Pentagon can't explain what it did with $8.5 trillion that taxpayers gave it between 1996 and 2013.

Three trillion cheers for a blogger who is pointing out that this fact renders many other concerns ludicrous, and recommending that people bring it up at every opportunity:

"What's that? Body cameras for all cops will be too expensive? How about we find 1/10,000th of the money we sent to the Pentagon."

"Oh really? There's 500 million in provable food stamp fraud going to poor people how about the $8.5 TRILLION the pentagon can't account for?"

"Oh really? You think Obamacare is going to cost us almost a trillion dollars over 15 years? How about the 8.5 Trillion that just disappeared into the ether at the Pentagon? What's your take on that?"

"Oh really, you're concerned about deficit spending and the debt? Fully 1/3 of the national debt is money we sent the Pentagon and they can't tell us where it went. It's just gone."

"College for everyone will cost too much? You must be really pissed at the 8.5 Trillion, with a 't', dollars the pentagon's spent and can't tell us where it went."

This is all very good as far as it goes, whether you like the body cameras or corporate health insurance or other items or not. We could add an unlimited number of items including some expressing our concern for the other 96% of humanity:

"You can end starvation and unclean water for tens of billions of dollars; what about that $8.5 trillion?"

Et cetera.

But here's my real concern. The $8.5 trillion is just the bit that the Pentagon can't account for. That's far from all the money it was given. U.S. military spending, spread across several departments with the biggest chunk of it to the Department of so-called Defense, is upwards of $1 trillion every year. Over 17 years at the current rate, which rose sharply after 2001, that's upwards of $17 trillion.

Imagine that the Pentagon accounted for every dime of that missing $8.5 trillion, named every profiteer, documented the life history of every man, woman, and child killed, and passed the strictest audit by an independent team of 1,000 accountants reporting to 35 Nobel Laureates -- if that happened, I ask you, exactly what difference would it make?

Why is the $8.5 trillion that went to unknown purposes worse than the other trillions that went to known and named weapons and dictators and militants and recruitment campaigns? The documented and accounted for spending all went to evil purposes. Presumably the unaccounted for "waste" did the same. What's the difference between the two?

As World Beyond War points out, war has a huge direct financial cost, the vast majority of which is in funds spent on the preparation for war — or what's thought of as ordinary, non-war military spending. Very roughly, the world spends $2 trillion every year on militarism, of which the United States spends about half, or $1 trillion. This U.S. spending also accounts for roughly half of the U.S. government's discretionary budget each year and is distributed through several departments and agencies. Much of the rest of world spending is by members of NATO and other allies of the United States, although China ranks second in the world.

Wars can cost even an aggressor nation that fights wars far from its shores twice as much in indirect expenses as in direct expenditures. The costs to the aggressor, enormous as they are, can be small in comparison to those of the nation attacked.

It is common to think that, because many people have jobs in the war industry, spending on war and preparations for war benefits an economy. In reality, spending those same dollars on peaceful industries, on education, on infrastructure, or even on tax cuts for working people would produce more jobs and in most cases better paying jobs — with enough savings to help everyone make the transition from war work to peace work.

Military spending diverts public funds into increasingly privatized industries through the least accountable public enterprise and one that is hugely profitable for the owners and directors of the corporations involved -- thus concentrating wealth.

While war impoverishes the war making nation, can it nonetheless enrich that nation more substantially by facilitating the exploitation of other nations? Not in a manner that can be sustained.

Green energy and infrastructure would surpass their advocates’ wildest fantasies if the funds now invested in war were transferred there.

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Rogue States and Nuclear Dangers

 This article originally appeared at

Most Disgusting Game Ever

IMG_3703-v01No, I’m not referring to the U.S. election. I’m referring to “Bycatch.” The name refers not to fish accidentally caught and killed while trying to catch and kill other fish, but to humans murdered in a game in which the player hopes to murder certain other humans but knows that he or she stands a good chance of murdering some bycatch.

The Nazis never reached this height of banality in the general German public, but had they done so it would be a sinister feature of tens of thousands of Hollywood movies. If Russians sat around playing a board game that involved blowing up Ukrainian children, the Washington Post would have already published several front-page articles.

This is a game that puts you in the shoes of one particular human being, thus far, but imagines several engaging in the same activity in competition. In Bycatch you become Barack Obama going through his Tuesday murder list. But Bycatch imagines as many nations as people playing the game, each engaging in a drone murder spree against the others. Here’s an excerpt from the rules:

“How to strike

“Suspects hiding in other nations can be eliminated by means of a strike. You choose the opponent you wish to target and go through these steps:

“Discard two identical citizens who are not suspects from your hand.

“Remove three consecutive citizens from your chosen opponent’s hand.

“Show these cards to the other players.

“Place them face down in front of you.

“Failed Strike: If none of the eliminated citizens are suspects, they are all collateral damage.

“Successful Strike: If at least one eliminated citizen is a suspect, do the following:

  • Place the current intelligence card face 
down on top of the eliminated citizens.
  • Reveal a new intelligence card.

“The remaining citizens are collateral damage.”

IMG_3688-v01Thrilling! I wonder how one wins such a game of easy murder?

“Add 100 points for each suspect eliminated by a strike. Use the intelligence cards to identify eliminated suspects.

“Collateral Damage: Detract 10 points for each citizen in a strike who was not a suspect.”

So, if you casually murder three “wrong” people, you lose 30 points. But if you only murder two “wrong” people and murder one “right” person, you gain 80 points. I wonder what people will do?

This is a game to be played by well-off people who can afford to purchase such crap and to sit around playing with it. And it’s being marketed to them with a wink by people who know better. The game’s would-be profiteers have this to say about it:

“Appealing artwork helps you empathize with your citizens and the horrors of drone strikes and collateral damage.”

Right. Because tossing lives around on playing cards and making more points the more you murder is a well-established path to empathy.

I thought I couldn’t grow any more disgusted with the human race. I was wrong.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton Email Scandal: State Department Allowed Clinton to Use Personal Device - National Review Online

Judicial Watch Statement: State Department Did Not Provide Secure BlackBerry to Hillary Clinton - Judicial Watch

State Department admits it wiped clean and likely DESTROYED Blackberry devices used by top Hillary Clinton aides - Daily Mail Online

Hillary Clinton E-Mail Scandal: Federal Judge Expresses Frustration with State Department - National Review Online

Judicial Watch Statement: Federal Judge Orders State Department Early Hearing for Hillary Email Case - Judicial Watch

Attorney overseeing the State Dept's handling of Hillary emails worked for law firm representing Hillary over her same emails - Washington Examiner

State Department issuing new policy designed to keep employees from freely speaking to Congress or press? -

FBI optimistic it can recover some deleted data from Clinton server - MSNBC

Besides emails, forensic exam of Clinton's server may yield security, access clues - AP

Records of Clinton aides' travel to Chappaqua, Denver sought - Washington Examiner

Hillary Clinton's email firm Platte River Networks was run from a loft in Denver with its servers in the BATHROOM closet - Daily Mail Online

With unsecured Hillary emails, hackers worry Senate Homeland Security Chairman - The Daily Caller

As the intelligence community officials pour over thousands of Clinton unreleased emails, the overclassification issue could become a political problem -

VIDEO: Former CIA Director: Clinton Server ‘Dangerous to the Republic and to State Secrets’ - Washington Free Beacon

VIDEO: This Aspect of Hillary Clinton Email Scandal That Has Left Even Former NSA Director Stunned: ‘I Don’t Even Think It Was Legal’ -

VIDEO: Giuliani: Hillary Should Be the Subject of a Criminal Investigation - Fox News Insider

VIDEO: Clinton pulls plug on testy presser over emails questions - TheHill

James Carville Blames Email Scandal on 'Stupid Media People’ (VIDEO) - Mediaite



POLL: Hillary Clinton losing ground to Bernie Sanders, Trump trails her by just 6 points in CNN poll - POLITICO

POLL: More on the CNN Democratic polling -

POLL: Full text of the results for CNN Democratic polling -

POLL: Hillary Clinton's Mentions Online Are Running 75% Negative -

POLL: Hillary trails Trump in North Carolina - TheHill

Some Hillary Clinton supporters in South Carolina are starting to get nervous - The Washington Post

Has Clinton's email controversy impacted her donors? - CBS News

Clinton camp warns Democrat donors: keep checkbook closed for Joe Biden - Boston Herald

Hillary Clinton Wants Donors to Pay for Food and Drinks at Her Fund-Raisers - The Washington Post

Huma Abedin Received Over $40K From Hillary’s Former Leadership PAC - Washington Free Beacon

Donald Trump Blasts Hillary Clinton 'Deleter of the Free World' in New Attack Ad over Email Issues (VIDEO) -

VIDEO: Trump: Hillary emails 'devastating' for election -

Black Lives Matter Activist Tells Hillary to Her Face That She's Responsible for Mass Incarceration -

Hillary Clinton Addresses Her Husband's Crime Policies And Mass Incarceration -

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Talks With BlackLivesMatter (Part 1) - YouTube

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Talks With BlackLivesMatter (Part 2) - YouTube

'Do not vote for Hillary': NJ woman makes last request in obit - Fox News

How Hillary Clinton plans to spend campaign break in $50k-a-week Hamptons home - Daily Mail Online

Hillary Clinton Is Hiding Multiple Sclerosis And A Series Of Strokes, The National Enquirer Claims - Radar Online

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Redemption Remains

It is possible for people to behave well in a crisis. It is possible for people to maintain their dedication to good and kindness in the face of fear and horrific loss. The loved one of a murder victim can love and comfort the murderer. This fact is going to become ever more crucial to understand and demonstrate as the crises of a collapsing climate engulf us.

In 1943 six residents of Coventry, England, bombed by Germany, wrote a public letter condemning the bombing of German cities. Imagine if they — and what they asserted was the general view of their neighbors — had been listened to. We’ve had seven decades of endless revenge, including a particular new burst of it that began around September 12, 2001. But some have pushed back.

A new film called In Our Son’s Name provides a powerful example. Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, whose story the film tells, published a letter shortly after September 11, 2001, that read:

“Our son Greg is among the many missing from the World Trade Center attack. Since we first heard the news, we have shared moments of grief, comfort, hope, despair, fond memories with his wife, the two families, our friends and neighbors, his loving colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald/ESpeed, and all the grieving families that daily meet at the Pierre Hotel.

“We see our hurt and anger reflected among everybody we meet. We cannot pay attention to the daily flow of news about this disaster. But we read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands, dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son’s death. Not in our son’s name.

“Our son died a victim of an inhuman ideology. Our actions should not serve the same purpose. Let us grieve. Let us reflect and pray. Let us think about a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world. But let us not as a nation add to the inhumanity of our times.”

That was their immediate response when it mattered, and of course it ought to have been heeded. Orlando Rodriguez taught a course on terrorism at Fordham University after the death of his son, trying to reach at least a small number of people drowning in the sea of patriotism and militarism.

Phyllis Rodriguez wanted to meet Aicha el-Wafi, the suffering mother of the indicted Zacarias Moussaoui; and when they met they helped each other through their grief. Phyllis comforted Aicha during her son’s trial, at which Orlando and a dozen others testified for the defense.

“Our son’s life is not worth more than her son’s life,” said Phyllis, articulating both an obvious truth and an idea that millions of people would find incomprehensible, due to the power of nationalism and hatred.

The Rodriguezes began speaking publicly. Phyllis and Aicha spoke at events together.

Zacarias Moussaoui was reportedly amazed that any American would speak up for him. If he were to meet with and get to know people like Orlando and Phyllis he might come to oppose the ideology he had embraced. But that might not happen any time soon. He’s locked away for life, and the judge reportedly told him as he left court that he would “die with a whimper” and “never get a chance to speak again.”

As a substitute for meeting with people responsible for their son’s death, the Rodriguezes met at Sing Sing prison with five men convicted of kidnapping and murder. The men expressed their desire to meet with their victims and apologize, something they are denied the right to do. They also expressed the need to tell their stories and have someone listen. Phyllis and Orlando understood this perfectly, going into the meeting with the belief that while they had had ample opportunity to tell their story, these men hadn’t.

Orlando said the meeting with prisoners helped release some of his anger. He began teaching in prison, wishing he could teach the people who killed his son, wishing he could teach them not to do it. Of course that’s not really possible, but we can collectively compel the U.S. government to end policies that “create further grievances against us.”

What if every dead child were, in some sense, our son or daughter? Can we allow ourselves to think like that? Can we understand the grief and pain? Can we respond collectively with the wisdom and magnanimity that we long to see and occasionally do see in individuals.

Here’s a way to start. Buy a giant popcorn to share and show In Our Son’s Name to everyone you can.

The Mystery of Maylasian Airlines Flight MH17



Propaganda, Intelligence and MH-17



Editor Note: Propaganda is the life-blood of life-destroying wars, and the U.S. government has reached new heights (or depths) in this art of perception management. A case in point is the media manipulation around last year’s Malaysia Airlines shoot-down over Ukraine.

By Ray McGovern

During a recent interview, I was asked to express my conclusions about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, prompting me to take another hard look at Official Washington’s dubious claims – pointing the finger of blame at eastern Ukrainian rebels and Moscow – based on shaky evidence regarding who was responsible for this terrible tragedy.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 18, 2015


60 Clinton emails reportedly containing classified data - Fox News

Official: More than 300 Clinton emails flagged for potentially classified info - Fox News

Text of the State Department status report on Clinton emails to a federal court -

State Dept.: 'No doubt' more Clinton emails will be classified - Washington Examiner

Report: State officials hiding extent of classified info on Clinton servers - Washington Examiner

VIDEO: State Dept. Undermines The Importance Of The Classified Emails On Clinton Server - YouTube

Hillary Clinton emails: Safe provided to lawyer among irregularities seen in review - Washington Times

VIDEO: State Dept. Unable To Answer Whether Clinton Aides Devices Were Secure - YouTube

Hillary Clinton IT firm Platte River says email backups are likely - Business Insider

Clinton’s IT Email Contractor: The Unraveling Continues - Breitbart

State Department Finds Thousands of Clinton Aide Philippe Reines Emails It Claimed Did Not Exist -

POLL: Only 2% of Americans Think Hillary Clinton Told the Truth About Her Emails Not Containing Classified Information - The American Spectator



GOP senator Grassley questions Clinton attorney on security clearance - TheHill

Text of GOP senator Grassly’ letter to Clinton attorney on security clearance -

VIDEO: Gowdy: Clinton to testify in October before Benghazi panel, all questions ‘asked’ and ‘answered’ - Fox News

GOP group releases video blasting Clinton for classified email controversy (VIDEO) - Washington Examiner

Former U.S. Attorney General Mukasey: Clinton Defies the Law and Common Sense - WSJ

Hillary Clinton email scandal prompts Chris Christie to call for criminal investigation - POLITICO

VIDEO: Chris Christie on Clinton: What if I'd deleted Bridgegate emails? -

VIDEO: Bob Woodward compares Clinton emails to Nixon tapes - TheHill

Ex-officials prosecuted for mishandling gov’t info see ‘double standard’ in Clinton case - Fox News

Hero Marine Nailed for Secret Email: What Did He Do That Hillary Didn’t? - The Daily Beast



POLL: Hillary Clinton loses ground to Sanders nationally, trails Bush and Rubio in head-to-head match-ups - Washington Times

POLL: Iowa State Fair attendees pick Sanders over Clinton - TheHill

POLL: Clinton’s Lead Slips as Voters Question Email Server Explanations - Morning Consult

Advisers prepare a campaign strategy and tell Biden: Decide by October 1 - CNN

South Carolina in Focus as ‘Draft Biden’ Gains Steam - Bloomberg Politics

Facing Money Gap, Hillary Clinton Slowly Warms to ‘Super PAC’ Gifts - The New York Times

Pro-Clinton super PAC gets $1 million secret contribution - CBS News

CNN Forgets to Mention Op-Ed Writer Is a Million Dollar Bundler For Hillary - Power Line

Bernie Sanders Campaign Calls Out Hillary's College Plan: 'Disappointment' - Alternet

Hypocrisy: Hillary Clinton offers free coffee to campaign interns, no pay -

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Take No War Message to Senator Warner Today in VA Beach


WHERE: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Forum
               FOUNDERS INN and SPA
               5641 Indian River Road
               Virginia Beach, VA 23464

WHEN: Noon until 2pm

WHY: Warner is ON THE FENCE. Obama needs  his support. Without this agreement, we are headed into WAR WITH IRAN. The warmongers are pouring millions into defeating diplomacy.

Sen. Kaine will also attend the forum. He already announces he will support the plan. We can thank him.

HOW: Non-violent peaceful presence outside the forum.

BRING: Signs saying "No War With Iran!", "Thank You, Sen. Kaine!", "Sen. Warner: Do You Want Another War?"

Kim Williams for Norfolk Catholic Worker/

Talk Nation Radio: Inder Comar on Prosecuting Bush for War

D. Inder Comar is legal director at Comar Law, a boutique law firm in San Francisco. We discuss the case of Saleh v. Bush in which he is lead counsel, currently in the 9th Circuit, seeking to hold George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and others responsible under the laws of Nuremberg for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. See:

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at

and at

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 15, 2015


Hillary's IT Firm Lacked Security Clearance, Gov't Confirms - The Daily Caller

Hillary Clinton's servergate IT company accused of illegal actions - Daily Mail Online

Executive at Hillary Clinton's IT company sued after getting money from Backstreet Boys' Ponzi scheme - Daily Mail

IT company That Stored Hillary Clinton's Email Server Shared Confidential Info - Breitbart

FBI to start recovery of Hillary Clinton's email server - Washington Times

FBI Said to Examine Whether Hillary Clinton E-Mail Was Backed Up - Bloomberg Politics

David Petraeus Prosecutor on Hillary Clinton's Tail - Breitbart

If Hillary's Server Was 'Blank,' Why Did She Keep It? - The Daily Caller

Where did Hillary's personal emails go? - Washington Examiner

State Dept Gave a Safe to Hillary Clinton's Attorney for Emails - Breitbart

Judge Orders State Department to Report on Hillary Server Search -

State Department Tells Judge: Not Our Job to Search Hillary Clinton's Server - National Review Online

Bryan Pagliano: Man Who Ran Clinton’s Personal Email Server Worked for State Department - Peter Van Buren

RNC Releases Statement on Hillary Clinton Turning Over Her Private Email Server to DOJ -

POLL: Voters say Clinton lied about emails, put US at risk - Fox News

Tips on Deleting Emails From Email Book Hillary Clinton Wanted to Read - ABC News

The Hillary Clinton Email Investigation May Offer a Crash Course in Computer Forensics -



Clinton aides agree to preserve emails after judge's order - The Denver Post

Hillary Clinton aides had other unreported email accounts: State Dept. - Washington Times

Hillary Clinton email probe turns to her aide Huma - POLITICO

Official: Clinton ‘inner circle’ may have stripped email classification markings - Fox News

State Dept. Shuts Down Fox's Anonymous Speculation Of Clinton Aides Stripping Email Classification Markings - Media Matters for America

Classified data found on emails in May; Clinton camp slow to protect secrets - McClatchy DC

Influential people worldwide wrote Clinton on her personal email address - The State

Lindsey Graham: 'Impossible' That Hillary Had No Benghazi Emails -

VIDEO: Lindsey Graham: Where are Clinton's Benghazi emails? - Fox News Video

Feinstein Statement Defending Clinton Email Practices - Senator Dianne Feinstein

Hillary Clinton emails: Intelligence community wants security clearance suspended - Washington Times

POLL: 60% don't trust Hillary, 62% say she'll 'do anything' to be president - Washington Examiner

POLL: Hillary way under water in swing states - Fox News

As Clinton touts student debt bailout plan, critics point to $2M in college speaking fees - Fox News

Clintons Spend $110K for Two Weeks 'Working Vacation' in the Hamptons -

Clinton Endorser Former Senator Tom Harkin Sought Out State Department Job For His Kid While HIlary Was Secretary Of State - The Daily Caller

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Nobel Peace Laureates Endorse Violence

In a recent letter to US President Barack Obama twelve Nobel Peace laureates declared their support for the long history of US elite violence against Native Americans and enslaved Africans, as well as the US imperial violence around the world that has butchered tens of millions of people over the past 200 years. See ‘US: An End to Torture: Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates write to President Barack Obama asking the US to close the dark chapter on torture once and for all. Obama responds’.

Judges Nixing Keystone XL South Cases Had Tar Sands-Related Oil Investments

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On August 4, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 10th Circuit shot down the Sierra Club's petition for rehearing motion for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. The decision effectively writes the final chapter of a years-long legal battle in federal courts. 

Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

(Invite David Swanson to your town!)


April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.


April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.



April 14, Bellingham, WA, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, evening

April 15, Seattle, WA

April 16 Portland, OR




Other Events Here.


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