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Israel's Secret

Here in Virginia, U.S.A., I'm aware that the native people were murdered, driven out, and moved westward. But my personal connection to that crime is weak, and frankly I'm too busy trying to rein in my government's current abuses to focus on the distant past. Pocahontas is a cartoon, the Redskins a football team, and remaining Native Americans almost invisible. Protests of the European occupation of Virginia are virtually unheard of.

But what if it had just happened a moment ago, historically speaking? What if my parents had been children or teenagers? What if my grandparents and their generation had conceived and executed the genocide? What if a large population of survivors and refugees were still here and just outside? What if they were protesting, nonviolently and violently -- including with suicide bombings and homemade rockets launched out of West Virginia? What if they marked the Fourth of July as the Great Catastrophe and made it a day of mourning? What if they were organizing nations and institutions all over the world to boycott, divest, and sanction the United States and seek its prosecution in court? What if, before being driven out, the Native Americans had built hundreds of towns with buildings of masonry, hard to make simply disappear?

In that case, it would be more difficult for those unwilling to face the injustice not to notice. We would have to notice, but tell ourselves something comforting, if we refused to deal with the truth. The lies we tell ourselves would need to be much stronger than they are. A rich mythology would be necessary. Everyone would have to be taught from childhood onward that the native people didn't exist, left voluntarily, attempted vicious crimes justifying their punishment, and were not really people at all but irrational killers still trying to kill us for no reason. I'm aware that some of those excuses conflict with others, but propaganda generally works better with multiple claims, even when they can't all be true at the same time. Our government might even have to make questioning the official story of the creation of the United States an act of treason.

Israel is that imagined United States, just formed in our grandparents' day, two-thirds of the people driven out or killed, one-third remaining but treated as sub-human. Israel is that place that must tell forceful lies to erase a past that is never really past. Kids grow up in Israel not knowing. We in the United States, whose government gives Israel billions of dollars worth of free weapons every year with which to continue the killing (weapons with names like Apache and Black Hawk), grow up not knowing. We all look at the "peace process," this endless charade of decades, and deem it inscrutable, because we've been educated to be incapable of knowing what the Palestinians want even as they shout it and sing it and chant it: they want to return to their homes.

But the people who did the deed are, in many cases, still alive. Men and women who, in 1948, massacred and evicted Palestinians from their villages can be put on camera recounting what they did. Photographs of what was done and accounts of what life was like before the Nakba (the Catastrophe) exist in great volume. Towns that were taken over still stand. Families know that they live in stolen houses. Palestinians still have keys to those houses. Villages that were destroyed still remain visible in outline on Google Earth, the trees still standing, the stones of demolished houses still nearby.

Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Canadian journalist who covers Israel and Palestine for the Real News Network. She was born in Kiev, Ukraine, the Soviet Union. When she was a child, her family moved to a settlement in the West Bank, part of the ongoing continuation of the process begun in 1948. She had a good childhood with a real sense of community in that "settlement," or what we would call a housing subdivision built on native farm land in violation of a treaty made with savages. She grew up not knowing. People pretended nothing had been there before. Then she found out. Then she made a movie to tell the world.

The film is called On the Side of the Road and it tells the story of the founding of Israel in 1948 through the memories of those who killed and expelled the people of Palestine, through the memories of survivors, and through the perspectives of those who have grown up since. 1948 was a 1984 year, a year of doublespeak. Israel was created in blood. Two-thirds of the people of that land were made refugees. Most of them and their descendants are refugees still. Those who remained in Israel were made second-class citizens and forbidden to mourn the dead. But the crime is referred to as liberation and independence. Israel celebrates its Independence Day while Palestinians mourn the Nakba.

The film takes us to the sites of vanished villages destroyed in 1948 and in 1967. In some cases, villages have been replaced with woods and made into national parks. The imagery is suggestive of what the earth might do if humanity departed. But this is the work of part of humanity attempting to erase another human group. If you put up a sign commemorating the village, the government removes it quickly.

The film shows us those who participated in the Nakba. They recall shooting the people they called Arabs and whom they'd been told were primitive and worthless, but who they knew had a modern literate society with some 20 newspapers in Jaffa, with feminist groups, with everything then thought of as modern. "Go to Gaza!" they told the people whose homes and land they were stealing and destroying. One man recalling what he did begins with an attitude almost bordering on the carefree heartlessness one sees in former killers in the Indonesian film The Act of Killing, but eventually he's explaining that what he's done has been eating away at him for decades.

In On the Side of the Road we meet a young Palestinian man from a permanent refugee camp who calls a place his home although he's never been there, and who says that his children and grandchildren will do likewise. We see him obtain a 12-hour pass to visit the place his grandparents lived. He spends half the 12 hours getting through check points. The place he visits is a National Park. He sits and talks about what he wants. He wants nothing related to revenge. He wants no harm done to Jews. He wants no people evicted from anywhere. He says that, according to his grandparents, Jews and Muslims lived together amicably before 1948. That, he says, is what he wants -- that and to return home.

Israelis concerned by their nation's open secret take some inspiration in the film from an art project in Berlin. There people posted signs with images on one side and words on the other. For example: a cat on one side, and this on the other: "Jews are no longer allowed to own pets." So, in Israel, they made signs of a similar nature. For example: a man with a key on one side, and on the other, in German: "It is forbidden to mourn on the Day of Independence." The signs are greeted by vandalism and angry, racist threats. The police accuse those who posted the signs of "disturbing law and order," and forbid them in the future.

At Tel Aviv University we see students, Palestinian and Jewish, hold an event to read out the names of villages that were destroyed. Nationalists waving flags come to try to shout them down. These properly educated Israelis describe cities as having been "liberated." They advocate expelling all Arabs. A member of the Israeli parliament tells the camera that Arabs want to exterminate Jews and rape their daughters, that the Arabs threaten a "holocaust."

The filmmaker asks an angry Israeli woman, "If you were an Arab, would you celebrate the state of Israel?" She refuses to allow the possibility of seeing things from someone else's point of view to enter her head. She replies, "I'm not an Arab, thank God!"

A Palestinian challenges a nationalist very politely and civilly, asking him to explain his views, and he swiftly walks away. I was reminded of a talk I gave last month at a university in New York at which I criticized the Israeli government, and a professor angrily walked out -- a professor who'd been eager to debate other topics on which we disagreed.

A woman who participated in the Nakba says in the film, in an effort to excuse her past actions, "We didn't know it was a society." She clearly believes that killing and evicting people who seem "modern" or "civilized" is unacceptable. Then she goes on to explain that pre-1948 Palestine was just what she says mustn't be destroyed. "But you lived here," says the filmmaker. "How could you not know?" The woman replies simply, "We knew. We knew."

A man who took part in killing Palestinians in 1948 excuses himself as having been only 19. And "there will always be new 19-year-olds," he says. Of course there are also 50-year-olds who will follow evil orders. Happily, there are also 19-year-olds who will not.

Catch a screening of On the Side of the Road:

Dec 3, 2014 NYU, NY
Dec 4, 2014 Philadelphia, PA
Dec 5, 2014 Baltimore, MD
Dec 7, 2014 Baltimore, MD
Dec 9, 2014 Washington DC
Dec 10, 2014 Washington DC
Dec 10, 2014 American University
Dec 13, 2014 Washington DC
Dec 15, 2014 Washington DC

Ukraine News - Dec 3, 2014

 

NATO foreign ministers meeting condemns Russia over Ukraine - The Globe and Mail


Official text: Joint statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission - NATO


NATO to Create Interim Rapid Response Force to Counter Russia - NYTimes.com


NATO Chief Warns Ukraine Risks Spinning ‘Out of Control’ - Bloomberg


VIDEO: NATO Chief Says Russia Violating Ukraine Cease-Fire - rferl.org


TRANSCRIPT: Press conference by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission - NATO


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General - Doorstep Statement, Foreign Ministers Meeting - YouTube

 

NATO scrambles jets 400 times this year amid increased Russian air activity - TASS

 

Russian Military Aircraft Endanger Civilian Planes, Turn Off Transponders, US Ambassador To NATO Says - ibtimes.com

 

Norway Releases Video Showing Close Aviation Encounter Of Norwegian F-16 With Russian Fighter Jet (VIDEO) - International Business Times

 

Russia Should Conduct Reconnaissance Flights in More Responsible Way: NATO - Sputnik International

 

Germany wants NATO-Russia channel to avoid accidental escalation - Reuters

 

The US Army Plans to Send Abrams Tanks and Bradleys to Eastern Europe - Business Insider

 

Ukraine urges greater military aid from Europe, U.S.: minister - APA

 

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Russia Accuses NATO of 'Destabilizing' Northern Europe - The Moscow Times


Russia Criticizes NATO for Military Drills in Baltics, Says Will Conduct 4,000 Exercises Itself in 2015 - hngn.com


Russia launches ‘wartime government’ HQ in major military upgrade - RT News


Russia's new military command center in the Arctic became operational Monday - Business Insider


Russia's Black Sea Fleet to Develop Bases in Crimea in 2015 - Sputnik International


Russian Air Force Sends 14 Advanced Su-27 And Su-30 Warplanes To Belbek Air Base In Crimea - ibtimes.com


NATO ‘very concerned' by Russian military build-up in Crimea, it would have an effect on "almost the entire Black Sea” - Defense News


After Ukraine, Black Sea Becomes Contested Zone for Russia, NATO - worldpoliticsreview

 

Crimea's New Russian Overlords Are Seizing Thousands Of Businesses - Business Insider

 

VIDEO: Ukrainian Businesses Seized by Crimea Government - YouTube

 

Russia preparing new batch of humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine - TASS

 

NATO's top military officer questions Russian convoys to eastern Ukraine - Channel NewsAsia

 

Russian Foreign Ministry Sees 'No Need' For OSCE To Monitor Entire Border With Ukraine - Interpreter_Mag

 

Ukrainian Rebel Leader's Claim Of FSB Ties Omitted By Russian Media - rferl.org

 

25 Detained in Moscow for Attending Lecture on Ukraine's Maidan Movement - Democratic Underground

 

VIDEO: Video of Russian police arresting peaceful attendees at a Moscow lecture about Maidan - Ukraine Reporter on Twitter: 

 

Gorbachev warns of new cold war, calls to stop building fences around Russia - TASS

 

TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Gorbachev - Komsomolskaya Pravda

 

Russia abandons South Stream gas pipeline but not goal of bypassing Ukraine - Reuters

 

Russia Warns Of Recession In 2015 Amid Sanctions And Low Oil Prices - huffingtonpost

 

Ruble Sinks to Record as Auction Axed After Recession Warning - Bloomberg

 

Russia is experiencing another major brain drain - Business Insider

 

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Kiev and Eastern Ukraine Rebels Agree to Truce Again, Amid Continued Violence - VICE News


Reporters See No Truce In Northern Donetsk - Interpreter_Mag


Ukraine crisis: Donetsk shelling dashes ceasefire hopes - BBC News


VIDEO: "There is no ceasefire in Donetsk. It's an illusion" - BBC Nees


Ukraine says Russian special forces involved in attacks on airport in east - Reuters


Civilians Film Grad Rocket Launch Across The Street From Their Apartments (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


Another Video Shows Russian-Backed Militants Firing Grad Rockets In Residential Neighborhood of Donetsk (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag

 

Report Analyzes Evidence Of Cross-Border Shelling Visible On Google Maps - Interpreter_Mag

 

How Ukraine’s arsenal matches up against the Russian-backed separatists’ - Reuters

 

Ukraine hands foreigners top government posts - Yahoo News UK

 

Saakashvili Says Rejects a deputy prime minister’s post in Ukraine - rferl.org

 

New 'Information Ministry' Another In a Series of Stumbles For New Government In Kiev - Interpreter_Mag

 

Ukrainian Journalist Declaration against establishing "The Ministry of Information Policy" - facebook.com

 

Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Committee of Maidan found dead in his flat in Kyiv - Life in Ukraine

 

Award winning journalist says truth is under fire in Ukraine, he narrowly escaped death after his muckraking reports revealed corruption and embezzlement in government circles - Toronto Star

 

One Year After Defying Putin, Ukraine Is Choking on Its Own Red Tape, Corruption - Businessweek

 

Why the Ukrainian economy is in deep trouble - The Economist

 

Yatsenyuk: Ukraine to Continue Budget Cuts on Welfare Spending, Army Funding to Increase - Sputnik International

 

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

Talk Nation Radio: Stephen Nash on Climate Disruption in Virginia

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-stephen-nash-on-climate-disruption-in-virginia

Science now allows studies of climate change thus far and predictions of what is to come in specific areas. Stephen Nash's new book Virginia Climate Fever looks at the state of Virginia, and unless we radically change our ways it doesn't look good. Nash has reported on science, the environment, and other topics for The New York Times, The Washington Post, BioScience Magazine, The Scientist, The New Republic, and Archaeology. He is Visiting Senior Research Scholar at the University of Richmond, where he has taught in the journalism and environmental studies programs since 1980. He is the author of Blue Ridge 2020: An Owner’s Manual and Millipedes and Moon Tigers: Science and Policy in an Age of Extinction. More here: http://virginiaclimatefever.com

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Monday 12/1 #HandsUpWalkOut

by Debra Sweet      Years & thousands of miles apart, the same message sent to a government which brings death.

Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression

In a recent article, full of insight, Professor Bill Quigley identified ten different illegal actions police often take ‘to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights’ to take nonviolent action to address a grievance. He noted that these police tactics are commonly used by law enforcement agencies in big protests across the US. See ‘10 Illegal Police Actions to Watch for in Ferguson’.

Syria News - Dec 1, 2014

 

ISIS Launches Attack On Syria's Kobani From Turkey: Activists - AP


VIDEO: An Islamic State sniper is seen shooting from a grain depot on the Turkish side of the border with Syria - Daily Mail Online


Witnesses: ISIS vehicle and members came from Turkish side - ANF


Kurdish forces call for Turkish investigation into ISIS Kobani attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


YPG statement on attack staged from Turkey by ISIS, and cross-border defensive actions taken - twitter.com


Geolocation of IS Attack on Kobane from Turkey: Open Source Analysis - Turkey Wonk


VIDEO (Arabic): FSA fighters fighting in Kobane border blame Turkey - LiveLeak.com


Rally in Turkish town of Suruc denounces ISIL attack on Kobani from Turkey (VIDEO) - PressTV


“Under the pretense of stopping an ISIS attack on Turkey the Turkish army bombarded the center of Kobane with tanks and artillery”: co-chair of the Kobane canton - Rudaw

 

Female Canadian-Israeli fighter said abducted by Islamic State near Kobane - The Times of Israel

 

VIDEO: Female Canadian-Israeli Fighter Allegedly Captured in Syria by ISIS - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Footage of clashes in Mürşitpınar area of Kobane - ANF

 

Belgian fighter admits that Islamic State is lacking manpower - emmejihad

 

Peshmerga Commander: ‘ISIS severely debilitated in Kobane’ - Kurdish Question

 

Iraqi Kurds to send Peshmerga replacement troops to Kobani - Worldbulletin News

 

Turkey's Erdogan calls for ground operation against Islamic State - Vestnik Kavkaza

 

Pope Francis fails to find common ground with Erdogan (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com

 

Pope Francis in Istanbul condemns ‘barbaric violence’ of Islamic State, says fighting hunger and poverty, rather than military intervention alone, are key to stopping it - Reuters

 

Pope calls on Muslim leaders worldwide to condemn terrorism - Yahoo News UK

 

30 coalition airstrikes pound IS stronghold Raqqa in Syria - The Seattle Times

 

Inside Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital: Red Bull-drinking jihadists, hungry civilians, crucifixions and air strikes - The Guardian

 

US flies roughly 85 percent of airstrikes against Islamic State, in complex mix of tactics, politics - Fox News

 

Islamic State has a 'dirty bomb' says British jihadi - Daily Mail Online

 

Islamists come out on top in new effort to unify Syrian rebel groups - McClatchy DC

 

Al Qaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra losing influence in southern Syria - The National

 

Al- Nusra Front kills 13 fighters from al- Ansar brigades in Idlib - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

 

VIDEO: Jabhat al-Nusra Move Into Southern Idlib Village After Reported Clash with Free Syrian Army Unit - YouTube

 

Flesh-eating maggot disease surfaces in Syria - Al Arabiya News

 

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

Coming next -- Year-round worker protests at Walmart: Walmart Black Friday Strikes Become a Thanksgiving Holiday Tradition

By Jess Guh


Yesterday marked the third annual Black Friday protests and strikes at Walmart, the largest private employer in this country.  The Walton family, controlling owners of the company, is America’s richest family, with holdings valued at almost $150 billion dollars.  For decades, Walmart has remained an employer powerhouse based upon a business model of low wages, poor benefits and union busting.


Lawless Law Enforcer: Robert P. McColloch Personifies Misconduct by Prosecutors

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

When discredited Missouri prosecutor Robert P. McColloch recently defended his calculated manipulation of a grand jury which led jurors to free the policeman who fatally shot Michael Brown last summer, McColloch declared piously that eyewitness accounts must “always match physical evidence.”

McColloch, however, did not apply that ‘always match’ standard in the case of Antonio Beaver, a St. Louis man wrongfully convicted by in 1997 of a violent carjacking case tried by McColloch.

Campaign to Save Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo

by Debra Sweet     We Stand With Shaker is a new campaign calling for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, a legal British resident, with a British wife and 4 British children, who is still held at Guantánamo, even though he has twice been approved for release by the US authorities under President Bush in 2007 & 

Obama Expands U.S. Military Plans in Afghanistan

by Debra Sweet      Today Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was sacked. News analysts on MSNBC explained that the Obama administration feels they need a more “war-prepared” secretary to lead the mission, which has changed from a draw-down in Iraq & Afghanistan to a new expansion of bombing and increased troop deployments.  What has been secret and operational at least since summer 2014, is no longer secret.

Stand with the Ferguson Protesters

OUTRAGEOUS — the Grand Jury announces: no indictment on any of the possible charges against the cop who shot Michael Brown to death this summer. Protesters, we are with you! We need standards in our movement; no turning in or on protesters. We WILL defend your right to protest; and your just demands. We'll give you a platform to speak, and support your right to be on the scene of the state's crimes. 

Iraq/Syria News - Nov 27, 2014

 

Iraqi forces battle IS jihadists in Ramadi, Kirkuk - AP


Local Officials Say Iraqi Forces In Ramadi Repel 'Fiercest, Most Violent Attack Yet' From IS - rferl.org


Iraq says airstrikes are critical in the shifting battle for Ramadi  - CNN


ISIS “emir” of the western Anbar province killed in Iraq’s Hit - Al Arabiya News


ISIS Militants Kills 25 Members Iraqi Tribesmen Near Ramadi - Daily Times


U.S. plans to arm Iraq’s Anbar tribesmen - Al Arabiya News


Iraq: Head of Anbar tribe calls on government to fulfil promises of providing weapons in fight against ISIS - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Controversy Over Supporting Iraq’s Tribes In Anbar - MUSINGS ON IRAQ

 

Islamic State releases images from recent fighting in Ramadi (PHOTOS) - Threat Matrix

 

VIDEO: Iraqi MOD Releases Video of Counter Offensive Against Islamic State in Anbar - Yahoo

 

Iraqi officials say 2 bombings kill 10 people in Baghdad - Fox News

 

Islamic State attacks Iraqi border crossing with Jordan - Threat Matrix

 

TSG IntelBrief: War Against All: The Islamic State in Anbar - The Soufan Group

 

ISIS in the Southwest Baghdad Belts - Institute for the Study of War

 

The Islamic State’s Stalled Offensive in Anbar Province - warontherocks.com

 

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ISIS attack fails to take Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk, "they want to control the oil sites” says peshmerga general - Al Arabiya News


Australian Airstrikes Pound ISIS Underground Caves And Bunkers, Kill 100 ISIS Members Near Kirkuk - International Business Times


VIDEO: IS Attacks Close to Iraq's Oil City of Kirkuk - YouTube


IS poses threat to Iraq oil investment - FT.com


At least 43 ISIS jihadists killed in a failed bid to regain control of the Mosul dam - Latin American Herald Tribune


ISIS Militants Execute Two Female Parliamentary Candidates in Mosul - ibtimes.co.uk


IS Moves Prisoners from Iraq to Syria Fearing Attack on Mosul - Latin American Herald Tribune

 

Reports: ISIS militants causing massive damage of the convent in Mosul - CatholicHerald.co.uk

 

VIDEO: ISIS Blows Up Nun Monastery Jesus Heart in Mosul - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Islamic State releases footage showing fighters destroying a number of Shia Muslim shrines in Iraq,The video is titled Demolishing Idols - Yahoo UK

 

Islamic State imposes a reign of fear in Iraqi hospitals - The Washington Post

 

Iraqi generals Who Abandoned Mosul may be Executed - Bas

 

U.S. Central Command News Release: Airstrikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov

 

Hezbollah arrives in Iraq - Al-Monitor

 

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Islamic State beheads Ismaili man for 'apostasy' - THE DAILY STAR


PHOTOS: Onlookers in Homs, including children, watch as ISIS beheads an old man it says he was Ismaili “apostate” - Hassan Hassan on Twitter


Nusra Front executes Syrian for 'insulting prophet' - THE DAILY STAR


ISIS Video 'Blood Of Jihad 2' Trains Child Soldiers On How To Kill Infidels (VIDEO) - breitbart.com 


More jihadist training camps identified in Syria and Iraq - The Long War Journal


In New ISIS Video British Hostage John Cantlie Says He Will Likely Be Executed (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


ISIS selling villages in Kobanê - ANF

 

Thousands of women gathered at border for Kobanê in solidarity with Kurdish fighters - ANF

 

Control of Syrian Oil Fuels War Between Kurds and Islamic State - WSJ

 

VIDEO: Christian militia fights Islamic State in northern Syria - DW.DE

 

UN: Islamic State group got up to $45M in ransoms - Stripes

 

Activists Say Syrian Airstrikes on Raqqa Kill 95 - VOA

 

As Syrian army closes in, Douma residents turn against rebels - Al-Monitor

 

Syria 'no-fly zone' not being considered: NATO general - THE DAILY STAR

 

Putin meets with Syria foreign minister for the first time - THE DAILY STAR

 

Syrian FM: Russia to Boost Relations With Assad - ABC News

 

Russia dispatched 30 planeloads of humanitarian aid to Syria over 18 months: Lavrov - TASS

 

Erdogan slams US 'impertinence' over Kobane - Al Jazeera English

 

CIA operation in eastern Libya was tracking the movement of weapons to Syria: Benghazi report - Fox News

 

Qatar runs covert desert training camp for Syrian rebels - Reuters

 

Pope Francis: Don't shut door to dialogue with Islamic State - theage.com

 

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

In combat, the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson would have been called a war crime

By Dave Lindorff

 

What’s wrong Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of the unarmed 18-year-old black teenager, Michael Brown, and with a Grand Jury decision not to indict him for that outrageous slaying, is what is wrong with American law enforcement and American “justice” in general. 

 

Both actions were permeated not only with racism, which clearly played a huge rule in both the verdict rendered by a Grand Jury composed of nine whites and only three blacks, and in this tragic police killing by a white cop of a black child, but also by a mentality on the part of police -- and apparently by at least a majority of the citizen jurors on a panel evaluating Wilson’s actions -- that cops are authorities who must be obeyed without question, on pain of death.

 

There Goes Virginia's Climate

A snowstorm is the ideal time to write about climate disruption, as it allows us to immediately set-aside the cartoonish claim that if any spot on earth isn't warmer than it was yesterday then all is well. The following things we know:

There are giant snowflakes falling outside my window.

Five-year averages of temperature in Virginia began a significant and steady increase in the early 1970s, rising from 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit then to 56.2 degrees F in 2012.

The Piedmont area, where I live, has seen the temperature rise at a rate of 0.53 degrees F per decade.

At this rate, Virginia will be as hot as South Carolina by 2050 and as northern Florida by 2100, and continuing at a steady or increasing pace from there.

Sixty percent of Virginia is forest, and forests cannot evolve or switch over to warmer-weather species at anything like that fast a pace. The most likely future is not pines or palm trees but wasteland.

From 1979 to 2003, excessive heat exposure contributed to over 8,000 premature deaths in the United States, more than all deaths from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined, and dramatically more than all deaths from terrorism.

Between 1948 and 2006 "extreme precipitation events" have increased 25% in Virginia. Precipitation in Virginia is likely to increase or decrease dramatically overall, and is extremely likely to continue the trend of arriving in ever more intense bursts of storms interrupting droughts. This will be devastating to agriculture.

Acidity in the ocean has already increased by 30 percent and if current trends continue will hit a 100 to 150 percent increase by 2100 and continue to spiral upward from there. Oysters' shells in the Chesapeake Bay have grown thinner as a result. The oyster population is 98 percent gone. Shell fish are becoming and will entirely become extinct, if current trends remain unaltered. By 2100 we can expect 60 to 100 percent of the world's coral reefs to be gone.

Fish off the Virginia coast are moving north and east to survive, some species having already vanished from Virginia waters either by migrating or dying out. In Virginia 46 percent of fish species, 25 percent of birds, 46 percent of reptiles, 43 percent of amphibians, and 28 percent of mammals are listed as threatened or endangered.

Seventy-eight percent of Virginians live within 20 miles of the Chesapeake, the Atlantic, or tidal rivers. On the Eastern Shore and in the Hampton Roads-Norfolk area, flooding has already become routine. The sea level will rise, if current trends continue, between 3 and 18 feet by 2100. Already it has risen an inch every 7 or 8 years -- 12 inches in the last century. Some 628,000 Virginians live within 6.5 feet of sea level. Paul Fraim, Mayor of Norfolk since 1994, says the city may need to soon establish "retreat zones" and abandon sections of the city as too costly to protect. Real estate agents are discussing the need to require disclosure of sea level as well as lead paint and other defects when selling property.

The famous ponies of Chincoteague live among trees killed and grasses weakened by risen saltwater, and will not live there much longer.

The U.S. military, headquartered largely in Virginia, the world's largest Navy base in Norfolk, and the swamp-built Capital of the United States in Washington, D.C., face potential devastation directly contributed to by the endless wars for oil, and the consumption of that oil, despite the widespread belief that the results of the wars are distant. Just as ice melting in Greenland lifts water onto the streets of Norfolk, investment of trillions of dollars in pointless death and destruction not only diverts resources from addressing climate damage but heavily contributes to that damage. The U.S. military would rank 38th in oil consumption if it were a nation.

If any image can wallop someone with the need to adjust our priorities it is one of Wallops Island just south of Chincoteague but protected for the moment by a $34 million rock wall.  Wallops Island hosts tests for the $4 billion crash-prone Osprey helicopter, and all sorts of war training, plus a space port from which multi-billionaires can blow themselves up or launch themselves into space to starve in tin cans literally as well as subjectively above the rest of us.

There is no Planet B. Nobody has found anywhere for humans to live apart from earth, at least not remotely in the time frame of the current crisis.

Virginia has taken in thousands of refugees from Hurricane Katrina and can expect to take in many more and to create many refugees itself. The only thinking that says every future Hurricane Sandy will miss Virginia is wishful thinking.

The warming will bring the mosquito varieties (already arriving) and diseases. Serious risks include malaria, Chagas disease, chikungunya virus, and dengue virus. Look them up. The television won't explain them until they're here.

Virginians, like others in the United States, consume vastly more energy and produce vastly more warming per capita than do people in other countries, including countries in Europe that they don't look down on. Proposals to actually halt the climate catastrophe generally call for Americans to start living like Europeans (the horror!).

Virginia's Constitution requires the state to "protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment and general welfare of the people." In a decent court system, any member of the public could have that enforced through a massive emergency Marshall-Plan effort to preserve our climate.

Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality does not concern itself with climate change.

Virginia lags significantly behind Maryland and North Carolina in addressing climate change.

Numerous reasonable steps can be quite easily taken if the political will is found, but they get harder with each passing year.

The financial corruption of state governments is not nearly as advanced as at the federal level, although some states lag behind the national average in intellectual awareness and enlightenment. The possibility certainly exists for Virginia to compete with Germany and Scandinavia in renewable energy, recycling, and reduced consumption.

If the day after being thankful for things, Virginians rush out to stores and buy crap, rather than rushing out to organize actions to save the climate, we will need to all be thankful we are not our kids or our grandkids. "Here's a plastic toy. Glad I'm not you!"

Apart from the snow outside my window and a few odd remarks like "stop shopping!" everything stated above is well documented in a new book called Virginia Climate Fever by Stephen Nash, for which I am thankful and which I hope every Virginian reads before New Year's resolution time.

"I Hate That Oil's Dropping": Why Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant Wants High Oil Prices for Fracking

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Outgoing Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) chairman Phil Bryant — Mississippi's Republican Governor — started his farewell address with a college football joke at IOGCC's recent annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"As you know, I love SEC football. Number one in the nation Mississippi State, number three in the nation Ole Miss, got a lot of energy behind those two teams," Bryant said in opening his October 21 speech. "I try to go to a lot of ball games. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it and somebody's gotta be there."

Seconds later, things got more serious, as Bryant spoke to an audience of oil and gas industry executives and lobbyists, as well as state-level regulators. 

At the industry-sponsored convening, which I attended on behalf of DeSmogBlog, it was hard to tell the difference between industry lobbyists and regulators. The more money pledged by corporations, the more lobbyists invited into IOGCC's meeting.

Perhaps this is why Bryant framed his presentation around "where we are headed as an industry," even though officially a statesman and not an industrialist, before turning to his more stern remarks.

"I know it's a mixed blessing, but if you look at some of the pumps in Mississippi, gasoline is about $2.68 and people are amazed that it's below $3 per gallon," he said.

"And it's a good thing for industry, it's a good thing for truckers, it's a good thing for those who move goods and services and products across the waters and across the lands and we're excited about where that's headed."

Bryant then discussed the flip side of the "mixed blessing" coin.

"Of course the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has a little problem with that, so as with most things in life, it's a give and take," Bryant stated. "It's very good at one point and it's helping a lot of people, but on the other side there's a part of me that goes, 'Darn! I hate that oil's dropping, I hate that it's going down.' I don't say that out-loud, but just to those in this room."

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale's "little problem" reflects a big problem the oil and gas industry faces — particularly smaller operators involved with hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")  going forward.

That is, fracking is expensive and relies on a high global price of oil. A plummeting price of oil could portend the plummeting of many smaller oil and gas companies, particularly those of the sort operating in the Tuscaloosa Marine.

Oh no! The American jihadis are coming!: Stoking Fear as the US Prepares for the Nest War in the Middle East

By Dave Lindorff


You read it in USA Today: The latest “threat to America” is “thousands of jihadis” with Western passports,” returning from battle in Syria and Iraq to wreak havoc and destruction in the “US homeland.”


It’s a nightmare profoundly hoped for by the US Department of Homeland Security, that massive security-state bureaucracy looking for a raison d’être

Talk Nation Radio: Mike Gravel Advises Mark Udall on How to Make Torture Report Public

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-mike-gravel-advises-mark-udall-on-how-to-make-torture-report-public

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel explains how he put the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and gave them to the media in 1971, and how outgoing Senator Mark Udall could answer the growing public demand and do the same with the long-censored torture report. A petition urging Udall to act is here.

Total run time: 29:00

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

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It’s not about justice, it’s winning convictions: Prosecutors Falsely Push Prison Term for Innocent Teen

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

Nasheeba Adams was both ecstatic and sad as she stood outside of Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center courthouse recently hugging her son Tomayo McDuffy.

Ukraine News - Nov 24, 2014

 

Putin: We’re stronger because we’re right, actions in Crimea and afterwards are a strategic decision - Business Insider


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Vladimir Putin - TASS


Putin Tells New U.S. Envoy Ties Must Be Based On Equality - rferl.org


Western sanctions are aimed at regime change in Russia: Lavrov - RT News


VIDEO: Lavrov Press Conference on Ukraine (Part 1) - CNN


VIDEO: Lavrov Press Conference on Ukraine (Part 2) - RT News


Russia Warns U.S. Against Arming Ukraine - The Moscow Times


Russian Weapons Separatists Using In Ukraine - Business Insider

 

Merkel's spokesman raps Russia after report on aid to Ukraine rebels, helping to finance public services and state pay and pensions - The Moscow Times

 

Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident  - International Business Times

 

The Russia-France Warship Deal Is Turning Into a Total Mess - VICE News

 

Moscow to Replace Western Companies if They Quit Energy Projects in Russia - Sputnik International

 

British anti-Putin campaigner claims Russians plan to kidnap him - The Guardian

 

Russia says to tighten ties with Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia - Reuters

 

Comment by Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich on the provocative remarks by the President of Lithuania - MFA of Russia

 

Moldova, eyeing Ukraine, divided on Europe integration as election nears - Reuters

 

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

Despite Biden's Visit, US Will Not Provide Lethal Aid To Ukraine - Interpreter_Mag


US delivers anti-mortar radars to Ukraine: Pentagon - Yahoo News


Statement of the US Defense Department: U.S. Delivers Radar Systems to Ukraine - Defense.gov


US to Keep Sending Military Advisors to Ukraine: State Department - Sputnik International


US troops to remain in Baltics, Poland next year amid Moscow tensions - Reuters


US Congress pro-Ukraine lobby may press through for weapons to Ukraine soon - TASS


McCain slams Obama for not providing weapons to Ukraine - UNIAN news

 

Statement of Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham on Ukraine - mccain.senate.senate.gov

 

VIDEO: McCain: Russia 'a Gas Station Masquerading as a Country' - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions Leaders in Washington: Newly elected MPs ask US lawmakers for weapons -LiveLeak.com

 

U.S. should look at giving weapons to Ukraine: top Obama adviser - Reuters

 

VIDEO: State Department: Ukraine Lethal Aid On Table - YouTube

 

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO As Priority - rferl.org

 

Washington does not object to Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership: U.S. State Department - rickrozoff

 

German foreign minister speaks out against Ukraine joining NATO, "it is possible for NATO to have a partnership with Ukraine, but not membership” - RT News

 

NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session Focuses on Ukraine - NATO PA

 

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

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports heavier fighting over the last 24 hours - Interpreter_Mag


Four Ukrainian Soldiers Killed As Violence Continues Near Russian Border - ibtimes.co.uk


Separatists to Lay Claims Over Whole Donetsk Region's Territory: Deputy PM - Sputnik International


Donetsk separatists ask Russia to recognise republican independence - TASS


Ukraine's field army digs in for separatist offensive - Telegraph


With Borscht and Rifle Scopes, Volunteers Power Ukraine Forces - NYTimes.com

 

VIDEO (Eng subs): Debaltsevo resident speaks to Euromaidan, reveals that people are afraid of Ukrainian Army that shelled their town with “Grads” - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: (Eng subs):  "Poroshenko will choke with blood”: Interview with residents of houses ruined by Ukrainian Army - LiveLeak.com

 

Donetsk Airport drone footage shows how it has been destroyed by conflict (VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online

 

Main Points of the Coalition Agreement in Ukrainian Parliament - Interpreter_Mag

 

Poroshenko Heckled At Maidan Memorial, Biden Forced To Avoid Protests - Interpreter_Mag

 

VIDEO: 'Shame!' Protesters heckle Poroshenko at Maidan memorial - YouTube

 

Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine, Poroshenko Compares It With Separatist War In East (VIDEO) - VOA

 

Germany alarmed over government appointments in Ukraine - Ukraina.ru

 

ARCHIVE: Kiev regional police head accused of neo-Nazi ties - jpost.com

 

Ukraine slashed gold holdings in October, the hryvnia has lost 83 percent of its value against the dollar this year - Reuters

 

Shadow currency trade points to new Ukraine financial crisis - FT.com

 

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

Split the CIA in Two

 

 


CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture

 

 

Editor Note: The CIA is fighting congressional demands to release a report on its covert program for torturing “war on terror” suspects, even as the spy agency contemplates a reorganization that could give the covert-action side more ways to bend the truth.  Is this a great country, or what?

By Ray McGovern

Ransom Payment for Beau Bergdahl

A few thoughts on this.

Bergdahl had a legal responsibility to walk away from an illegal war. It's not completely confirmed that he did so, but he's blamed for it, when he should be praised for it.

His father read my book War Is A Lie and had it on his desk for interviews earlier this year. Bergdahl wrote a last note to his father before disappearing, which he began: "The future is too good to waste on lies." He went on to describe the murderous assault of an arrogant, ignorant occupation in which soldiers chatted about running over children and openly insluted Afghans to their faces and treated them as dirt.

Did attempts to rescue Bergdahl result in U.S. deaths? Probably Afghan deaths to. The whole war has resulted and will continue to result in many thousands of innocent deaths and deaths of occupying troops. Amont the latter, the top killer is suicide. How do you pick a low-ranking scapegoat to blame for the suicides? You have to blame the war chiefly on those in Washington and other capitals waging it, and secondarily on those taking part, not on someone who chose to cease being part of something criminal and evil.

Payments to kidnappers -- and to drone victims' and other war victims' families -- are often hushed up. Are they made incompetently in a nation the occupiers do not know? Undoubtedly. But the CIA paid an American con-man in recenty years who claimed to see secret messages in Al Jazeera. The root of the incompetence may be arrogant unacountability. 

But should such payments be made? Yes. And I would radically enlarge them by paying 10% of war costs to transform regions of the globe for the better, cancel the wars, and use the other 90 percent for something useful.

Audio of Katherine Gun on What People Can Do About War

Here is audio (mp3) of Katherine Gun answering a question at a forum in London. She was asked what people should do. Of course, we love her answer. We also recommend listening to the entire forum which included some great friends and heroes:

  • Matthew Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and former US embassy representative in Afghanistan who became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce policy in Afghanistan in 2009.
  • Coleen Rowley, an attorney and former FBI special agent who was among the first to expose some of the agency’s pre-9/11 failures, and was one of three whistleblowers named as Time Magazine’s persons of the year in 2002.
  • Norman Solomon is the coordinator of ExposeFacts.org and the author of a dozen books on media and public policy including *War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death*.
  • J. Kirk Wiebe is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for 36 years until October 2001. Since then, he has made several key public disclosures regarding the NSA’s massive surveillance programmes.
  • Katharine Gun is a former translator for the GCHQ who leaked a top secret memo in 2003 revealing NSA spying operations at the UN. Gun was subsequently charged under the Official Secrets Act but the case was dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence. Given the backdrop of impending war with Iraq at the time, Daniel Ellsberg called Gun’s leak “the most important and courageous” he had ever seen.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Mark Udall and the Unspeakable

President Obama, who is just now un-ending again the ending of the endless war on Afghanistan, has never made a secret of taking direction from the military, CIA, and NSA. He's escalated wars that generals had publicly insisted he escalate. He's committed to not prosecuting torturers after seven former heads of the CIA publicly told him not to. He's gone after whistleblowers with a vengeance and is struggling to keep this Bush-era torture report, or parts of it, secret in a manner that should confuse his partisan supporters.

But the depth of elected officials' obedience to a permanent war machine is usually a topic avoided in polite company -- usually, not always. Back in 2011, the dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, a member of Obama's transition team in 2009, said publicly that Obama had decided in 2009 to block prosecutions of Bush-era criminals in part because the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt. Ray McGovern says he has a trustworthy witness to Obama saying he would leave the crimes unpunished because, in Obama's words, "Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King?" Neither of those incidents has interested major media outlets in the slightest.

As we pass the 51st anniversary of the murder of President John F. Kennedy, many of us are urging Senator Mark Udall to make the torture report public by placing it into the Congressional Record, as Senator Mike Gravel did with the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Gravel is alive and well, and there's every reason to believe that Udall would go on to live many years deeply appreciated for his action. But there is -- let us be honest for a moment -- a reason Udall might hesitate that we don't want to speak about.

The general thinking is that because Udall's term ends this month, he doesn't have to please those who fund his election campaigns through the U.S. system of legalized bribery, and he doesn't have to please his fellow corrupt senators because he won't be working with them any longer. Both of those points may be false. Udall may intend to run for the Senate again, or -- like most senators, I suspect -- he may secretly plan on running for president some day. And the big payoffs for elected officials who work to please plutocracy always come after they leave office. But there is another consideration. The need to please the permanent war machine ends only when one is willing to die for something -- what Dr. King said one must be willing to do to have a life worth living -- not when one leaves office.

Presidents and Congress members send large numbers of people to risk their lives murdering much larger numbers of people in wars all the time. They have taken on jobs -- particularly the presidency -- in which they know they will be in danger no matter what they do.  And yet everyone in Washington knows (and no one says) that making an enemy of the CIA is just not done and has not been done since the last man to do it died in a convertible in Dallas. We've seen progressive members of Congress like Dennis Kucinich leave without putting crucial documents that they thought should be public into the Congressional Record. Any member of Congress, newly reelected or not, could give the public the torture report. A group of 10 of them could do it collectively for the good of humanity. But nobody thinks they will. Challenging a president who does not challenge the CIA is just not something that's done.

To understand why, I recommend reading Jim Douglass' book JFK and the Unspeakable. Douglass is currently writing about three other murders, those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Distant history? Something that doesn't happen anymore? Perhaps, but is that because we've run out of lone nuts with guns? Clearly not. Is it because the permanent war machine has stopped killing its enemies? Or is it, rather, because no one has presented the same challenge to the permanent war machine that those people did? Peace voices are no longer allowed in the U.S. media. Both political parties favor widespread war. War has become a matter of routine. Enforcement has become unnecessary, because the threat, or other influences that align with it, has been so successful.

I recommend checking out ProjectUnspeakable.com, the website of a play by Court Dorsey that recounts the killing of JFK, Malcolm, Martin, and RFK. (Or check out a performance in Harlem planned for February 21.)

The play consists almost entirely of actual quotes by public figures. While no attempt is made, of course, at including a comprehensive collection of information, enough evidence is included in the play to completely erase belief in the official stories of how those four men died. And evidence is included showing who actually killed them, how, and why.

As if that weren't enough to persuade the viewer that our society is mentally blocking out something uncomfortable, the glaring obviousness of what happened in those years of assassinations is highlighted. President Kennedy was publicly asked if he might be murdered exactly as he was, and he publicly replied that it could certainly happen. His brother discussed the likelihood of it with Khrushchev for godsake. The killing of Malcolm X was not the war machine's first attempt on his life. He and King both saw what was coming quite clearly and said so. Bobby Kennedy knew too, did not believe the official account of his brother's murder. King's family rejects the claim that James Earl Ray killed MLK, pointing instead to the CIA killer shown in the photographs of the assassination but never questioned as a witness. A jury has unanimously agreed with King's family against the government and the history books.

The attention to President Kennedy has always been so intense that fear and suppression have been required. The doctors said he was shot from the front. Everyone agreed there were more bullets shot than left the gun of the official suspect, who was positioned behind the target. But investigators and witnesses have died in very suspect circumstances. The other deaths have not been in exactly the same glaring spotlight. New evidence in the killing of Robert Kennedy emerges every few years and is chatted about as a curiosity for a moment before simply being ignored. After all, the man is dead.

Let's try an analogy. I live in Charlottesville, Va., where the University of Virginia is. This week, Rolling Stone published an article about violent gang rapes of female students in a fraternity house. I had known that rape victims are often reluctant to come forward. I had known that rape can be a hard charge to prove. But I had also known that young women sometimes regret sex and falsely accuse nonviolent well-meaning young men of rape, and that UVA held rallies against date rape, and that opposition to sexual assault and harassment was all over the news and widely accepted as the proper progressive position. With California passing a law to clarify what consent is, I had assumed everyone knew violent assault had nothing to do with consent. I had assumed brutal gang attacks by students who are expelled if they cheat on a test or write a bad check could not go unknown. And now it seems there's something of a widely known unspoken epidemic. In the analysis of the Rolling Stone article, women deny rape goes on to shield themselves from the fear, while men deny it in order to shield themselves from any discomfort about their party-going fun-loving carelessness. And yet some significant number of students knew and stayed silent until one brave victim spoke, just as every whistleblower in Washington exists alongside thousands of people who keep their mouths shut.

What if someone in Washington were to speak? What if the unspeakable were made speakable?

 

David Swanson to Speak in Michigan


PCM_logo
 Coming Events!
Announcing our 2015 Annual State Conference
WAR NO MORE,
 
WAR NEVER AGAIN!:

PEACE AS POLICY
featuring

DAVID SWANSON

 Author and activist

 

David Swanson has written several books, including War Is a Lie (2010), When the World Outlawed War (2011) and War No More: The Case for Abolition (2013).  He serves as the director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org

 

                                      

Saturday April 11, 2015 

St. John Fisher in Auburn Hills

 
Don't Miss It!!!

SAVE THE DATE!
 
 

US news organizations dispense propaganda, not news: Forget ‘Fair and Balanced,’ US Corporate Media Give Only the Government’s

By Dave Lindorff


One searches almost in vain for honest reporting on the Ukraine conflict in the US corporate media, which is simply parroting the US government position, which is that the rebels in eastern Ukraine are simply tools of Russian aggression against Ukraine.


Saving The Internet: How the Impossible Shifted to the Inevitable

Originally posted a AcronymTV

When President Barack Obama appointed venture capitalist and former Verizon and ATT lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it sent shudders down the spines of anyone concerned with the concept of net neutrality.

Last spring, it may have seemed an impossible task for activists and the Internet itself to defend net neutrality, but to date, they have.

Gloriously so.

Dear White People: Our State of Emergency

Originally posted at AcronymTV

As you know, a pre-emptive State of Emergency has been called in Ferguson, Missouri as the country waits to hear if officer Darren Wilson will be charged with the murder of Michael Brown.

Let’s focus on another State of Emergency for a moment.

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