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Racist School Closings Are The Fruit Of Pentagon Greed

 

Infographic by Katie Falkenberg, CODEPINK Denver

Like Madoff telling a bum to get a job: After Running from his Anti-War Past, Kerry Tells Snowden ‘Man Up’ and Face Trial in US

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Our prissy Secretary of State John Kerry, hair carefully coiffed for his interview, told NBC’s Brian Williams last week that fugitive National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden should “man up” and return to the US to “stand in our system of justice and make his case.”

ND Treasurer: Red Carpet Rollout for Gen. Petraeus Fracking Field Trip "Not Unusual"

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt has responded to DeSmogBlog's investigation of the Bakken Shale basin fracking field trip her office facilitated for former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, who now works at the Manhattan-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)

David Petraeus Kelly Schmidt

Just Say Yes: Amber Lyon on Radical Transformation Through Psychedelics

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Discussed in this episode:Ayahuasca as a Cure for Amber Lyon’s PTSD, Psilocybin as a Possible Cure for Dennis Trainor Jr.’s ‘Anger Issues’, Reset.Me, Corruption at CNN, BP Oil Spill, Saving the World Through Self Improvement, DMT, LSD, Indie Media, The Healing Power of Psychedelics

http://youtu.be/j91CMGdIz94

Libya News - May 30, 2014


Rogue Libyan General Resumes Airstrikes Near Benghazi Against Islamist Militants (VIDEO) - VOA


Libya standoff emerges as premier refuses to yield to successor - Reuters


Rival cabinets meet in Libya political chaos, polls to be held June 25 as planned - Yahoo News


Analysis: GNC,-Maetig-versus-Haftar - Al-Ahram Weekly


Current alignment of Libyan militias in response to Haftar - TRAC


Pro-Islamist militia attack Libya interior ministry unit as chaos deepens - unyanews.tv


Head of the militants controlling oil ports: We will not recognise the government of Meitik - middleeastmonitor


Thousands across Libya march in support of a renegade general’s campaign against Islamist militias - The Washington Post


Libya's Haftar hails electoral win by Egypt's Sisi - Anadolu Agency


Statement (English): Declaration by the Conference of Tribes of Libya - tortillaconsal.com


VIDEO (Arabic): Al-Azizia conference of Libyan tribes and cities releases 15 points road map for Future Libya - thevoiceoflibya.com


Oil Outages Cost Libya $17.8 Billion, Rebels seeking more regional autonomy have kept the majority of oil exports shut in Eastern Libya -  NASDAQ.com


Libya Disorder Dealing Harmful Blow to Oil and Gas Exploration - ibtimes.co.uk


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Obama’s $5 Billion Counterterrorism Fund Already in Trouble in Congress - The Daily Beast


Terror’s Front: Obama says local groups pose “the most direct threat” to the United States and its interests, especially abroad  - NYTimes.com


French, American and Algerian special forces sent to the south of Libya to attack terrorist networks - The Times


Africa: Laboratory and Battleground for Pentagon's 21st Century Warfare - RIA Novosti


Pentagon to use drones to speed response times in sensitive hot spots like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - Washington Times


Libya, Mali chaos alarms neighbours, Experts and military officers from eight African countries wrap up a five-day conference in Algiers focused on Sahel-Saharan security - Magharebia


AU to cooperate with Arab League to resolve Libyan crisis - 4-Traders


Egypt's FM dicusses Libyan and Syrian crises with Algerian PM - Ahram Online


Statement: Fahmy Calls the Foreign Ministers of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League to discuss the latest developments in Libya - Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Crisis alert level 3 raised in Libya urging Filipinos to leave - philstar.com


10 Chadians killed in southern Libya - GlobalPost


Islamist Gunmen in West Tunisia Attack Interior Minister’s Home, Killing 4 Guards - NYTimes.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Don’t Be Fooled By “Conspiracy Theory” Smears

Don’t Be Fooled By “Conspiracy Theory” Smears

US “Dirty” Wars, Targeted Killing & Secret Operations Supercede Military Occupations – But Are Still Illegitimate

 Join us at the Left Forum, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th St, New York City on Sunday, June 1, 10:00 - 11:50 am to hear this panel on US dirty wars, especially drone warfare. It not only will provide historical background and context to the issues facing us and the world today, it is action-oriented, grappling with how to challenge how people think. Come, participate and help plan mass action to stop the crimes of your government.

Vast Surveillance of Whole Populations: The NSA Revelations One Year Out

 Join us at the Left Forum, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th St, New York City on Saturday 5/31/2014, 12:00 - 1:50 pm to hear hear this panel on vast surveillance. The US government collects billions of bytes of “metadata” on phone calls, emails, bank traffic, text messaging, chats -- content, recipients, etc. – storing everything for future use, if not needed immediately. Edward Snowden and others in the field say the amount of data collected doubles every two years. The ramifications of this data collection and storage process goes beyond issues of civil liberties and abstract rights.

Imperialist Wars & Global Ecological Degradation

Join us at the Left Forum, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th St, New York City on Saturday 5/31/2014 at 5:00 to 6:45pm to hear this panel on imperialism and ecological devastation. It not only will provide historical background and context to these issues facing us and the world today, it is action-oriented, grappling with how to challenge how people think. Share this with your friends, family, and colleagues!

Bringing CUNY into the US War Machine – Students and Faculty Rise Up

Come to the Left Forum -5/31 & 6/1/2014 -in New York City to hear World Can't Wait/War Criminals Watch empowering 4 panels. Share this widely and invite all your friends, fellow & sister workers and family! Our first panel, Sat. 5/31- 3:20-4:50 pm is on CUNY students present struggle to shut down its restored ROTC after 40 years off campus & end Gen David Petraeus' tenure at CUNY. 

Global Protests Say Shut Down Guantanamo - End Indefinite Detention

By Debra Sweet       ALERT:  Ominous action taken in the U.S. is a Senate vote this week to authorize Obama to move all the 154 prisoners to prisons in the   would allow Obama the claim that he has “closed” Guantanamo, while creating a terrible precedent of holding prisoners indefinitely and without charge, and possibly trying those few they have charged in sham military commission trials, within the U.S. Some of the prisoners' attorneys say that disappearing them into the hellhole of mass incarceration here would make it even harder to get them freed, even though many have already been cleared for release.

Ukraine News - May 29, 2014


VIDEO: The battle for Donetsk airport: Ukrainian separatists suffer heavy losses - euronews


VIDEO: Donetsk morgue overflowing after Ukrainian military offensive - RT


VIDEO: A truck carrying corpses to the Donetsk morgue - YouTube


VIDEO: Separatists in Donetsk refuse to concede - euronews


VIDEO: Pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk fear government troops will launch attack on city, prepare for assault - euronews


Miners rally in favour of separatists in eastern Ukraine - Reuters


VIDEO: Donetsk miners call on Ukranian ‘occupiers’ to leave region - euronews


Luhansk Rebels Send Reinforcements to Donetsk - The Moscow Times


Ukraine forces suffer new losses in a rebel raid on their barracks in the flashpoint Lugansk region - Sky News


80 Ukrainian soldiers surrender to self-defense forces in Lugansk - RT News


Lugansk Republic institutes commission for compensating damage to victims of operation - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's Lugansk plans to hold parliamentary elections in Sept. - GlobalPost


In east Ukraine, arms maker walks fine line between Kiev and Moscow - The Globe and Mail


Ukraine crisis: who commited murder at the Maidan? Parliamentary Commission in Kiev rejects claims that Yanukovych police unit was to blame for killings that led to change of power - Telegraph


After the Ukrainian Elections, a Look at Far-Right Political Movements - The Blue Review


Right Sector militants ask Kiev to arm them with heavy weapons - The Voice of Russia


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Obama signals reset in US foreign policy, urges against 'military adventures' - Fox News


VIDEO: President Obama Speaks to West Point Graduates - The White House


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Commencement Address at West Point - NYTimes.com


Russia to help Kiev establish dialogue with southeast if it ends military op: UN envoy - RT News


Ukraine PM calls on Russia to block guerrillas crossing the Russian border into Ukraine" - Reuters


Chechen fighters among ranks of rebel militants in Ukraine, self-appointed mayor says - Fox News


VIDEO: Battalion Vostok convoy moves in Donetsk, said to include fighters from the northern Caucasus - YouTube


VIDEO: Russian Mercenaries in Donetsk: Chechen leader Kadyrov denies sending troops to Ukraine - YouTube


Kiev adopts draft agreement on Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian brigade of armed forces - ITAR-TASS


Ischinger mulls OSCE Ukraine pullout, Poroshenko sees 'state of war' - DW.DE


Russia's Gazprom says Ukraine will owe $5.2 billion as of June 7 - chicagotribune.com


Russia may grant gas price discount to Ukraine, but contract revision not on agenda - ITAR-TASS


EU to help Ukraine find $10 bln to pay Russia for gas: newspaper - The Voice of Russia


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Afghan Elections: Pick Your Poison

No human being wants to be ruled by their people's murderers. Forgiveness through restorative justice may be possible, but being ruled by murderers is asking for too much.

Yet, that seems to be the Hobson's choice behind the Afghan presidential election, which is into its run-off between Dr. Abdullah / Mohaqiq's team and Dr. Ashraf Ghani / General Dostum's team, neither team having won more than 50% of balloted votes in the first round.

Both teams have members who are warlords accused of human rights abuses, as reported by the New York Times, including Dr. Abdullah Abdullah's running mate, Mohammed Mohaqiq, and General Dostum, who is Dr. Ashraf Ghani's vice-presidential candidate.  

General Dostum, allegedly on the CIA's payroll in the past, apologized for his past war crimes when he registered as Dr. Ashraf Ghani's vice-presidential candidate. One of those crimes is the Dasht-e-Leili massacre which occurred in the fall of 2001. New York Times and Newsweek investigations alleged that hundreds or even thousands of surrendering pro-Taliban prisoners died of thirst, hunger and gunshots when they were stuffed into shipping containers for transport to an Afghan prison.

Both presidential hopefuls in the run-off elections on June 14th have already vowed to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, which President Obama mentioned in his surprise visit to Bagram Air Base in Kabul, not even bothering to visit President Karzai who declined to visit him at Bagram.

Article 7 of the Bilateral Security Agreement, states that, "Afghanistan hereby authorizes United States forces to control entry to agreed facilities and areas that have been provided for United States forces' exclusive use…" and also that "Afghanistan shall provide all agreed facilities and areas without charge to United States forces."

Article 13 includes this: "Afghanistan ... agrees that the United States shall have the exclusive right to exercise jurisdiction over such persons in respect of any criminal or civil offenses committed in the territory of Afghanistan."

It is understandable that President Karzai isn't willing to sign the agreement. It may leave a disastrous legacy.

I asked an activist who has been working in Afghanistan for ten years what he thought about the run-off in Afghanistan's elections. "Many Afghans, and people all over the world, are getting more and more cynical about elections," he told me. "And they should be, because how did our psyche become conditioned to accept that by electing corrupt, selfish, proud, wealthy and violent elites every four or five years, our ordinary lives will be changed? Our planet is exasperatingly unequal and militarized. To place in power the ones who continue this status quo is bizarre."

Bizarre, yet disturbingly familiar.

Mess in Ukraine is Catalyst for Closer Sino-Russian Ties: a BIG DEAL

Premature US Victory-Dancing on Ukraine

May 28, 2014

Editor Comment:  The post-coup election of a pro-Western politician as president of Ukraine – and the escalating slaughter of lightly armed anti-coup rebels in the east – have created a celebratory mood in Official Washington, but the victory dance may be premature, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Washington’s role in the coup d’etat in Kiev on Feb. 22 has brought the U.S. a Pyrrhic victory, with the West claiming control of Ukraine albeit with a shaky grip that still requires the crushing of anti-coup rebels in the east. But the high-fiving may be short-lived once the full consequences of the putsch become clear.

Talk Nation Radio: Peace Movement to Gather in Sarajevo

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-peace-movement-to-gather-in-sarajevo

From June 6 to 9, the peace movement from around the world will gather in Sarajevo. See http://PeaceEventSarajevo2014.eu We speak with one of the planners of this event, Reiner Braun.

Reiner Braun is based in Berlin, Germany. He is the Executive Director of Scientists for Peace and Sustainability and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility. Since 2004 Reiner Braun has been working for various projects related to the Einstein year at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and for the Max Planck Society. Since 2006 he has been the Executive Director of the German branch and since 2012 of the full International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. He is project manager of the Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (or Federation of German Scientists), the German Pugwash group.  And since Septmber 2013 he has been Co-president of the International Peace Bureau and one of the speakers of the German peace mouvement.

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
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

How Psychedelic Drugs Can Cure Our Collective Insanity

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

note: This is an episode clip. The full episode, The Healing Power of Psychedelics, will publish at Acronym TV on Thursday, May 29.

Amber Lyon, 3-time Emmy award winning journalist, describes how her work as a journalist covering social justice issues lead to her suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and how experience with Ayahuasca cured her of the disorder and led to a radical spiritual and career shift.

Obama to Outline How He'll Keep International Order

by Debra Sweet       Press reports say Obama will make a major address at West Point’s commencement Wednesday morning on US foreign policy objectives, and portray the US as “the ultimate guarantor of international order” according to The New York Times. Days after his “surprise visit” to Afghanistan to announce that whoever is president after Karzai will allow occupation troops to stay past this year, we speculate on this vision of international order...

Libya News - May 28, 2014


New Libya PM's home attacked as unrest over his rule grows - AFP


Renegade former Libyan general says PM must go, vote must wait - AFP


Libyan Journalist Outspoken Critic of Islamists Shot Dead In Benghazi - AP


Prominent journalist Abu Zeid killed in Libya - Committee to Protect Journalists


Libya: Investigate Killing of Benghazi Editor Abu Zeid - Human Rights Watch


VIDEO: Hndreds of journalists and activists demonstrated on Monday in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli protesting Abu Zeid's murder - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Abu Zeid TV appearance on Sunday on which he discussed his recent meeting with Gen. Hifter and the threat of civil war - YouTube


Libya: Police officer guarding diplomats killed in Tripoli - panapress.com


Libya: Ansar Asharia calls for institution of Sharia law in Libya - panapress.com


Eastern Libya oil rebel rejects new government - Reuters


Libya Oil Disruption Worsens Amid Anti-Government Protest - Bloomberg


Libyan Oil May Suffer More Disruption, General Says - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Libyans express little optimism with new PM - Al Jazeera


VIDEO: Libya, where militias reign - France 24


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State Dept. Issues Warning For Americans To Leave Libya Immediately - NPR


US deploys warship off Libya with about 1000 marines in case the US embassy has to be evacuated - Sky News


Libyan Islamists to U.S.: Don't interfere or face worse than Iraq - Reuters


U.S. Training Elite Antiterror Troops in Four African Nations - NYTimes.com


Report: Libya Militia Stole US Weapons in Raid - AFP


Sisi says Egypt will not allow threats to security from Libya - Reuters


Once a U.S. asset, Gen. Hafter recruited Libya’s entire military command with Egypt’s backing - SHOAH


In lawless Libya, Egypt's Sisi becomes a star - Reuters


Algeria 'not ready' to coordinate with Libya's Haftar - Worldbulletin News


Tunisian officials divided over Libya crisis - Al-Monitor


Tunisia economy set to suffer blow from Libya violence - Al-Monitor


Maghreb ministers arrange 'urgent' talks on Libya - Magharebia


Failed security cooperation leads to border problems in Sahel - Al-Monitor


The terrorist threat to energy infrastructure in North Africa - polity.org.za

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

TSA forces woman to disrobe at checkpoint

I've been meaning to post this woman's account for a while, but with so many TSA stories to keep track of (and more in the pipeline), it got away from me. 

Why War Is Not Inevitable

By World Beyond War

migration

If war were inevitable, there would be little point in trying to end it. If war were inevitable, a moral case might be made for trying to lessen its damage while it continued. And numerous parochial cases could be made for being prepared to win inevitable wars for this side or that side.

Developing ways to avoid generating conflicts is part of the answer, but some occurrence of conflict (or major disagreement) is inevitable, which is why we must use more effective and less destructive tools to resolve conflicts and to achieve security. But there is nothing inevitable about war. It is not made necessary by our genes, by other inevitable forces in our culture, or by crises beyond our control.
 
Our Genes:

War has only been around for the most recent fraction of the existence of our species. We did not evolve with it.During this most recent 10,000 years, war has been sporadic. Some societies have not known war. Some have known it and then abandoned it.Just as some of us find it hard to imagine a world without war or murder, some human societies have found it hard to imagine a world with those things. A man in Malaysia, asked why he wouldn’t shoot an arrow at slave raiders, replied “Because it would kill them.” He was unable to comprehend that anyone could choose to kill. It’s easy to suspect him of lacking imagination, but how easy is it for us to imagine a culture in which virtually nobody would ever choose to kill and war would be unknown? Whether easy or hard to imagine, or to create, this is decidedly a matter of culture and not of DNA.According to myth, war is “natural.” Yet a great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental suffering is common among those who have taken part. In contrast, not a single person is known to have suffered deep moral regret or post-traumatic stress disorder from war deprivation.

In some societies women have been virtually excluded from war making for centuries and then included. Clearly, this is a question of culture, not of genetic makeup. War is optional, not inevitable, for women and men alike.

Some nations invest much more heavily in militarism than most and take part in many more wars. Some nations, under coercion, play minor parts in the wars of others. Some nations have completely abandoned war. Some have not attacked another country for centuries. Some have put their military in a museum.

Forces in Our Culture:

War long predates capitalism, and surely Switzerland is a type of capitalist nation just as the United States is. But there is a widespread belief that a culture of capitalism — or of a particular type and degree of greed and destruction and short-sightedness — necessitates war. One answer to this concern is the following: any feature of a society that necessitates war can be changed and is not itself inevitable. The military-industrial complex is not an eternal and invincible force. Environmental destructiveness and economic structures based on greed are not immutable.

There is a sense in which this is unimportant; namely, we need to halt environmental destruction and reform corrupt government just as we need to end war, regardless of whether any of these changes depends on the others to succeed. Moreover, by uniting such campaigns into a comprehensive movement for change, strength in numbers will make each more likely to succeed.

But there is another sense in which this is important; namely, we need to understand war as the cultural creation that it is and stop imagining it as something imposed on us by forces beyond our control. In that sense it is important to recognize that no law of physics or sociology requires us to have war because we have some other institution. In fact, war is not required by a particular lifestyle or standard of living because any lifestyle can be changed, because unsustainable practices must end by definition with or without war, and because war actually impoverishes societies that use it.

Crises Beyond Our Control:

War in human history up to this point has not correlated with population density or resource scarcity. The idea that climate change and the resulting catastrophes will inevitably generate wars could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is not a prediction based on facts.

The growing and looming climate crisis is a good reason for us to outgrow our culture of war, so that we are prepared to handle crises by other, less destructive means. And redirecting some or all of the vast sums of money and energy that go into war and war preparation to the urgent work of protecting the climate could make a significant difference, both by ending one of our mostenvironmentally destructive activities and by funding a transition to sustainable practices.

In contrast, the mistaken belief that wars must follow climate chaos will encourage investment in military preparedness, thus exacerbating the climate crisis and making more likely the compounding of one type of catastrophe with another.

Ending War Is Possible:

duel

Human societies have been known to abolish institutions that were widely considered permanent. These have included human sacrifice, blood feuds, duelling, slavery, the death penalty, and many others. In some societies some of these practices have been largely eradicated, but remain illicitly in the shadows and on the margins. Those exceptions don’t tend to convince most people that complete eradication is impossible, only that it hasn’t yet been achieved in that society. The idea of eliminating hunger from the globe was once considered ludicrous. Now it is widely understood that hunger could be abolished — and for a tiny fraction of what is spent on war. While nuclear weapons have not all been dismantled and eliminated, there exists a popular movement working to do just that.

Ending all war is an idea that has found great acceptance in various times and places. It was more popular in the United States, for example, in the 1920s and 1930s. In recent decades, the notion has been propogated that war is permanent. That notion is new, radical, and without basis in fact.


David Swansons wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook


Krauthammer is right: The US Empire is in Decline

By Dave Lindorff


I was shocked to find myself in almost perfect agreement today with a recent column by the neoconservative pundit Charles Krauthammer. 


Usually Krauthammer has me groaning, but yesterday his column nailed it.


Ukraine News - May 27, 2014


VIDEO: Newly Elected Ukraine President Poroshenko Claims Victory, Wants to Visit East - AP


VIDEO: Top priority is peace, says Ukraine’s Poroshenko - cnbc.com


Kremlin Says Russia Respects Poroshenko's Election - The Moscow Times


Poroshenko, Lavrov call for Russia-Ukraine talks to end crisis - Los Angeles Times


Poroshenko Plans to Visit Russia in June to Discuss Ukrainian Crisis - RIA Novosti


Yatsenyuk to Retain His Post as Prime Minister: Ukraine’s Poroshenko - RIA Novosti


Ukraine's Poroshenko to sell all his business in order to become President - The Voice of Russia


Self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic to cooperate with Poroshenko only with Russia’s mediation - ITAR-TASS


In East, Separatists and Fear Stop Voters - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Russian separatists disrupt presidential vote in Ukraine’s eastern regions - euronews


20% of polling stations open in Donetsk, Luhansk regions: observers - ITAR-TASS


Report: Kharkiv Jewish Mayor Kernes Casts Vote For Ukrainian President From Hospital Bed - JP Updates


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Ukraine launches air strike against rebels who seized Donetsk airport - Telegraph


VIDEO: Battle to control Donetsk airport - BBC


VIDEO: Jet attack on Donetsk Airport area - YouTube


Leader of the DNR: self-defence units bring down 2 helicopters of Ukraine’s Armed Forces - ITAR-TASS


Ukrainian army grenade hits truck carrying wounded in Donetsk: reports - RT News


Ukrainian army shells Slavyansk residential area, 3 civilians killed (GRAPHIC VIDEO) - RT News


Italian Andrea Rocchelli becomes first journalist killed in eastern Ukraine conflict - GlobalPost


'Torn to pieces': Ghastly details emerge of Italian reporter and his Russian interpreter’s killing in E. Ukraine - RT News


Donetsk People’s Republic switching over to Russian laws - ITAR-TASS


Lugansk republic leader bans sale of corporate rights - The Voice of Russia


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Tentative deal in Ukraine-Russia gas dispute, EU says - Fox News


Kiev negotiators agree to pay $2 billion to Gazprom to cover part of gas debt - RT Business


Kiev Calls on Naftogaz to Hire Top Lawyers for Gas Row With Gazprom - RIA Novosti


Avoiding Ukraine Pipelines Would Hurt Gazprom: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg


Gazprom Faces $800 Million in Taxes as Ukraine Rejects Gas Price - Bloomberg


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

This Memorial Day, we honor all soldiers who:


  • Fought to protect corporate America’s $50,000,000.00 investment in Cuba during the Spanish-American War;

  • Died on foreign shores during World War I in what President Woodrow Wilson, who involved the U.S. in that war, later said  “…in its inception, was a commercial and industrial war;”

  • Sacrificed so much in World War II while U.S. companies, with U.S. government approval,  continually supplied the Axis powers with goods that U.S. citizens had to ration, including materials used to help kill Allied soldiers;

  • Suffered and died in Korea, to safeguard and ensure the expansion of U.S. trade throughout the region;

  • Endured the hell of  the Vietnam War to satisfy the egos of three presidents, and help ensure their elections and re-elections;

  • Fought in the heat of the Iraqi and Kuwaiti deserts to protect Western oil sources;

Police Investigating Use of Scottish Airports by CIA “Rendition” Torture Flights

by Reprieve

 

Legal charity Reprieve has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that police investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA ‘torture flights’ have access to a major US Senate report on the spy agency’s secret ‘rendition’ programme.

 

Last year, Scotland’s chief legal officer asked Police Scotland to investigate the use of Scottish airports by CIA aircraft involved in the agency’s programme of ‘renditions’ – in which suspects are kidnapped and flown to third countries in order to be tortured.

 

An Open Letter to Cecily McMillan

Dear Cecily

I have been reading accounts of your recent trial and conviction following your arrest at the Occupy Wall Street celebration at Zuccotti Park in 2012.

Neocon WaPo Still Lusting After Syria, Ukraine

 

WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

May 25, 2014

Editor Comment:  Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria.

By Ray McGovern

The Washington Post’s neocon editors have made another strident appeal for President Barack Obama to “abandon his passivity and do something to help” the rebels in Syria, complaining that they “continue to receive far too little help from the United States.”

The Post ups the ante by boldly asserting that “Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad … continues to launch chemical attacks … in rebel-controlled neighborhoods.” Yet, even premier Bashar-basher John Kerry has been more discreet in inching that dubious claim into the public arena.

Inequality Deepens on University Campuses

Is economic inequality growing in American higher education?

A report just issued by the Institute for Policy Studies―The One Percent at State U―indicates that it is.  Surveying public universities, the report finds that the 25 highest-paid presidents increased their income by a third between fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2012, bringing their average total compensation to nearly a million dollars each. Also, the number of these chief executives earning over a million dollars in 2012 more than doubled over the previous year.  In 2013, the best-paid among them was E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University, who raked in $6,057,615 from this employment.

The Limits of MSNBC

Michael Arria's new book Medium Blue: The Politics of MSNBC is a nice summary of how a liberal corporate or liberal partisan television network falls short -- something of an update from Jeff Cohen's Cable News Confidential and the bad old days when MSNBC dumped Cohen and Phil Donahue for being anti-war. It turns out the good new days of MSNBC-gone-liberal are seriously flawed as well.

The flaws do a disservice to a large section of the population, many majority perspectives, and large numbers of people whose opinions would improve if their information did.

Yes, of course, it's nice to have a 24/7 channel that everybody receives making fun of Republicans. But the Comedy Channel (Comedy Central) does that too.  The comedy fake news shows also make fun of Democrats and anyone else they can identify; they build cynicism and disgust without offering any better course of action than a mass Rally-for-Nothing to give people too smart to attend other rallies a chance to rally ironically.

But what does MSNBC offer? Beyond its mocking of Republicans, it gives a significant pass to Democrats, resulting in dishonest presentations of facts and a proposed course of action that's doomed to fail. There are many exceptions, of course, and MSNBC easily soars over the low bar of producing more honest and useful commentary than CNN or Fox. In fact, a book that collected the highlights of MSNBC would be quite interesting as well.  It would feature a good bit of Chris Hayes, of honesty about climate, even a bit of reckoning with Israel.  (In fact, I make no claim to know what all it would include, which is why I'd find it useful.) Such a collection might encourage networks, including MSNBC, to realize what can be done without the sky falling. But the lowlights, and the lines of limitation that are not crossed without corporate penalty are crucial and are the focus of Arria's book.

MSNBC gives voice to one side in a series of narrow debates, the side previously represented by the likes of Alan Colmes.  But the change is basically one to a larger microphone, rather than to a wider range of opinion.  The debate remains framed within the same limitations.  A prime example is war and militarism.  MSNBC is in favor of wars with a different wrapper, rather than of eliminating wars from U.S. foreign policy. 

Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Chris Hayes (not at first, but he came around), and other MSNBC voices were all in favor of bombing Libya, and as far as I know are not particularly focused on the horrendous results.

Maddow declares Iran a dictatorship, and dates that dictatorship to 1979, never 1953. She's lied that Ahmadinejad was known for publicly defending Iran's "pursuit of nuclear weapons." And she grotesquely distorts the history of Palestine and Israel, claiming that Israel innocently declared independence and was attacked the next day by five nations. As Obama pushed for missile strikes on Syria, Maddow did a story on how many nations she believed a President John McCain would have attacked.

Ezra Klein finally turned against the war on Iraq, years too late, because "the odds were high we couldn't do it right" -- using "we" in the usual way for a media outlet that identifies with the government, and maintaining the important pretense that attacking foreign nations can be done correctly or incorrectly.

Touré defended the drone murder of Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki. Martin Bashir insisted that a guest not doubt the integrity of "a senior military officer." Adam Serwer demanded that "service members" all be "supported" "unconditionally."

Are these unfairly handpicked examples of military-worship on MSNBC? I doubt it. When Chris Hayes questioned whether every dead U.S. soldier is necessarily a hero, he was then apparently faced with the choice of taking a stand and losing his job or doing what he did instead: apologize for the outburst of honesty. Cenk Uygur, in contrast, took a stand for critical coverage of the Obama administration and was fired by MSNBC President Phil Griffin, who told him, "We're insiders. We're the establishment."

Was Hayes right to apologize in order to maintain his voice on the air, a voice that's better than some of the other ones? I don't have a strong opinion on that question. My interest here is in pointing out, along with Arria, that a voice willing to question whether every hired killer in every popular and unpopular and illegal war is without question a hero is not permitted on MSNBC.

When I say that the best of MSNBC is its coverage of Republicans, I don't mean to give a blanket endorsement to all such coverage.  The over-obsession with the right wing gives prominence to much that would better be treated with silence -- silence that instead is reserved for the left.

MSNBC follows the lead of the party and politicians it has given its loyalty to.  And it doesn't just follow their lead.  MSNBC has hired Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, among others who can bring the Obama line straight to the viewers of a network that has more than once debated whether Obama should be added to Mount Rushmore. "My President Obama? Is he your President too?" Ed Schultz demanded of a guest while insisting that Libya be bombed as Obama desired.

Schultz even ignorantly claimed that Obama couldn't have been elected if he'd campaigned on increasing troops in Afghanistan -- as of course Obama had very prominently done. But think about Schultz's defense of Obama, rather than his ignorance of basic facts. Schultz is claiming that Obama lied about ending a war in order to get elected, and then escalated the war once in office.  That's the good Obama of Schultz's imagination.  That's Obama on the model of Wilson and Roosevelt.  There's a reason Bill Clinton calls MSNBC "our version of Fox."

I said MSNBC promotes a program of action that Comedy Central does not.  But its program of action is not principled issue-based nonviolent engagement; it's voting for one political party as a path to progress.  Anything else is unrealistic, MSNBC ridiculously maintains. Melissa Harris-Perry claims that supporting Obama despite any failings is "realist." She says that critics of Obama from the left are, in fact, not just unrealistic but racist.  She dismissed the Chicago teachers' strike and proposed that they solve their problems by voting in public elections.  She also insisted that Edward Snowden should have worked within the system. How realistic is that, exactly?

The MSNBC worldview generally pretends that everything was good in 1999 and easily can be again.  Says Rachel Maddow: "I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-Era Republican Party platform." So, maybe a bit earlier than 1999. 

The perspective that MSNBC believes its viewers hold, and which it relentlessly instructs them to hold was exemplified by a recent comment that Chris Hayes made to Glenn Greenwald: "People feel they have to choose between Barack Obama and Glenn Greenwald and there are millions of people in this country who are like if that is a choice I choose Barack Obama." Hayes then gave reasons to choose Obama.  No doubt Hayes believes he was simply articulating the spontaneously generated view of the masses, of which a good organizer must be aware for better or worse.  But he never suggested the slightest critique of the way of thinking that he was in fact modeling on national TV.  He demanded that Greenwald alter his "tone" to accommodate such a idiotic perspective, but he never hinted at the possibility that people might alter their idiocy, that they might stop choosing between personalities and deal with facts, that they might vote for politicians and simultaneously critique their failings, that they might view elected officials as representatives rather than deities.

Of course, Hayes wasn't just referring to the unknown unwashed masses when he claimed that millions of people place loyalty to a president above their duty to know what their government is doing and hold it accountable for its abuses; he was referring to his colleagues and the official policy of his employer.  And that is the limit of a partisan, corporate, insider media outlet of any flavor.

Now, we have alternatives, including Democracy Now, Free Speech TV, Dennis Trainor, the RealNews.com, RT, Youtube, etc., and the written word.  We may manage to replace MSNBC or circumvent it.  We may manage to come up with media outlet(s) that will produce an Occupy movement and sustain it. But I think it's an open question whether improving MSNBC would actually be bad for its profitability.  For years, TV executives seemed to believe that creating a Democratic Fox would not succeed as well as creating a second lesser Fox.  They eventually proved themselves wrong.  Now, they are clearly convinced that creating an independent populist challenge to a government that 80% of the country believes is broken wouldn't succeed outside of Comedy Central.

It's possible they're wrong.  It's possible that going where the majority is on corporate trade pacts and single-payer healthcare and wars would increase viewership.  It's possible that access to such viewers would attract politicians and advertisers as well or nearly as well as softball interviews and corporate friendly views.  We'll never know unless someone gives it a try.

Ukraine News - May 25, 2014


At least a dozen people reportedly killed in Eastern Ukraine as fighting flared between separatists and nationalist paramilitary groups - VICE


Leader of the nationalist Donbass Battalion reports the ongoing conflict near Karlivka - Ukraine Investigation


Donbass Battalion: Ukrainian Civilian Militias Face Pro-Russian Foes (VIDEO)- NYTimes.com


Kiev lets loose Men in Black nationalist paramilitary forces - The Sunday Times


Ukraine's Azov Battalion 'Ready To Take On Separatists' (VIDEO) - Sky News


Kiev pins hopes on Dnipropetrovsk oligarch in battle against separatists, nationalist fighters co-funded and organized by Kolomoisky - Reuters


Dnipropetrovsk defies East Ukraine stereotypes; It has become a hub of anti-separatist groups - rferl.org


Ultra-nationalists united: Football fans rally for Ukraine's sake - BBC News


In Ukraine, women militants are taking up weapons on both sides of the barricades - foreignpolicy.com


Ukraine crisis: Polling booths deserted in east of the country - The Independent


Polling stations sit next to rebel barricades in Ukraine's Mariupol - Yahoo News


Donetsk, Lugansk republics unite in “Novorossiya” state - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Ukrainian Volunteer Donbass Battalion Lost Many In A Fight By Karlivka, Eastern Ukraine - YouTube


VIDEO: Pro-Russia Separatist Vostok Battalion After Gunfight In Karlivka - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukraine: Bodies lie among charred buildings in Karlivka - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO (Ukrainian): Full interview of Right Sector leader - YouTube


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

Russia says to complete troop pullback from Ukraine border 'within days' - Reuters


Putin Indicates He’ll Respect Result of Ukrainian Election - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Russia will respect Ukraine vote results: Putin - AP


Putin: I don’t think new Cold War will start, no one wants it - RT News


Putin: I’m concerned Ukraine radicals can disrupt gas transit - RT Business


Ruble Rises After Putin's Statement About Respect for Ukrainian People's Choice - RIA Novosti


Ukraine Crisis Drives a Quiet Lobbying Boom in U.S. - Bloomberg


Ukraine is a Prize Neither Russia Nor the West Can Afford to Win - Brookings Institution


REPORT (Full): Beyond the Sanctions: Russia, the West, and Ukraine - Brookings Institution


Ukraine media freedom under attack: OSCE - Yahoo News


REPORT (Full) : Media Freedom under siege in Ukraine - OSCE

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

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