The analysis in the following paper was written by Stewart Rhodes while at Yale Law School and was the winner of Yale’s Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. Rhodes is the founder of Oath Keepers which on Christmas Day announced its participation in a bi-partisan drive to recall all three of Montana's congressional delegation for "violation of the oath of office," by voting for the blatantly unconstitutional NDAA National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. Violation of the oath is one of the five narrow and specific grounds on which a recall in MT may be initiated.
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Proposed FCC Media Consolidation Rules- by Stephen Lendman
In October 2007, then FCC chairman Kevin Martin proposed lifting the 1975 media cross-ownership rule. It forbid owning a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city even though conglomerates like Rupert Murdock's News Corp. and the (Chicago) Tribune Company already did.
From Eric Tisdale:
“All anyone could say is that there had been a U.S. drone attack. The girls were likely hurt in the strike.”
“All anyone could say is that there had been a U.S. drone attack, though it’s not known how the three girls were injured.”
“All anyone could say is that there had been a U.S. drone attack, though U.S. officials say that drones have never struck targets in Swat.”
By Dave Lindorff
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.
By John Grant
Ft. Meade -- Saturday, December 17th was Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday, and at least 300 supporters gathered outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where the military was in its second day of a preliminary hearing process that’s expected to take about a week. Manning worked in military intelligence and is alleged to have released military secrets to WikiLeaks, which released the material publicly.
Friends: Monday morning from 7 to 8 is the last day for our winter fund drive. On CONNECT THE DOT we will offer
David Swanson’s new book WHEN THE WORLD OUTLAWED WAR for a $95 contribution,
Eric Mann’s PLAYBOOK FOR PROGRESSIVES
(16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer) for your $50 pledge, and other goodies. Both Swanson and Mann will be guests. Both do a great job of political analysis as you know. Tune in and pledge if you can. Make this the best mini fund drive possible. Now that our Constitution is virtually shredded by the incomprehensible passage of the Nat’l Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by both houses of Congress with overwhelming “AYE” votes from both Democrats and Republicans, we need KPFK’s voice of reason more than ever.
Here is my opening for CONNECT THE DOTS, MONDAY 7 TO 8AM
Good Monday morning. Welcome to Connect the Dots. I’m your host Lila Garrett beginning to understand our Congress and our President a little better. When is the best time to ram the most punishing bills through the Congress? Not when everybody’s paying attention. Not when groups like the Occupiers are at the height of visibility. Not when we’re watching presidential debates and wondering what asylum they emptied to find these candidates. No. The best time to hit us where it hurts is when we’re feeling merry. Yes Christmas is upon us and our government is filling our stocking with all kinds of goodies. They’re reducing unemployment insurance from 99 weeks to 55, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy for one year, cutting benefits to the elderly, disabled, and poor. They’re guaranteeing that there is only one job for every 4 unemployed….and best of all, with the Defense Authroization Act they have just given absolute power to the President.
So if you are having trouble believing that this year Santa is a tea partier, don’t hesitate to open those gifts early. Then get on the phone fast, call your Senator and your Congressperson and tell them to get rid of that Defense Authorization bill NOW!
The "Defense Authorization" bill puts $600 billion more into the military, impedes nuclear disarmament, builds more nuclear plants despite the fact that they all leak, funds huge production of robotic weapons…known as drones, and not only prevents transfers out of Guantanamo. It re activates the hell hole. But wait, there's more. You might say HR 1540 is the worst bill that passed Congress because of Section 1034. This section gives presidents limitless power to make wars and to lock people in prison-- the worst change ever made to our federal government. It undoes the War Powers Act, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. It gives Presidents the power to declare anyone a terrorist, including citizens, and imprison them…even have them killed without formal charge. For the moment it’s Heil Obama. But by January 2012 it could be Heil Gingrich. And who do we have to thank for this giant step toward fascism. That cuddly looking Democratic Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin. You remember Carl Levin, the Senator who wears his glasses at the end of his nose like granny used to do. Well he and his buddy Republican Senator John McCain, whose bitterness over not winning the presidency becomes more lethal every day, came up with the Defense Authorization Act. In a fit of unbridled paranoia the United States Congress passed it. In one fell swoop they did what the nightmare Bush-Cheney were unable to do in 8 years. The Senate, with a Democratic majority, let’s not forget that, and the Democratic President committed the Constitution to the trash.
You think perhaps I am exaggerating?
With us now is a man who spends his life researching these things, writing great books about them….one of which we’re offering as a premium today…..He’ll give us details on the
this War Authorization Act. And he’ll tell us something most of us never knew; there was a time, not so long ago when war was outlawed. The United States was a signatory to that law and it has never been repealed. The book is WHEN THE WORLD OUTLAWED WAR. The guest is David Swanson. And the subject of the moment is what does the Defense Authorization Act, passed in the Congress on Dec 14th 2011 with half of the Democrats in the Congress voting for it, mean for our Democracy?
David Swanson, welcome to Connect the Dots.
By Gar Smith
I've been dismayed by the recent slew of movie posters advertising the new Sherlock Holmes sequel. Popping up on billboards and buses around the Bay Area, they show a smirking Sherlock and a blank-faced Watson brandishing handguns.
Now call me old-fashioned, but I don't recall watching any of the original Holmes films in which Basil Rathbone walked around waving a pistol. Just when did Holmes decide to swap his meerschaum for a Mauser?
A. Conan Doyle's Holmes used to rely on introspection, intelligence and dazzling powers of observation to solve crimes. Does anyone else find it disturbing that Doyle's "battle of wits" has been replaced by a Hollywood gun-battle of twits? Instead of "Elementary, Dr. Watson," Holmes' modern catchphrase would seem to be: "Hand me a new clip, Watson!"
Instead of "Elementary, Dr. Watson," Holmes' modern catchphrase would seem to be: "Hand me a new clip, Watson!"
Now I'm gracious enough to forgive the filmmakers for the wardrobe decision to drop the deerstalker cap -- but Holmes (as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) in drag? That's really lip-sticking it to us purists.
In response to the encroaching pistolry and pyrotechnics in what passes for "modern cinema," my first thought was to call for a national campaign to ban weapons from our movie screens.
If Hollywood directors can change their ways and show A-list actors to eschew on-screen smoking and start buckling their seatbelts before a car-chase, why not exercise a little restraint when it comes to the overbearing bearing of arms -- at least for the week of the High Holy Holidays?
But since a Holiday Hollywood Handgun Ban looks unlikely, I've decided to take a different approach. Now that Doyle's dudes have been dolled up in Edwardian body armor, maybe it's time for the rest of us to join the trend and up-arm some other movie classics.
Here are a few titles that occurred to me.
Perhaps you can come up with others:
Gun-Slinging in the Rain
To Blast a Mockingbird
Machinegun Muppets Take Manhattan
Hercule Poirot Goes Ballistic
Dora the Explorer: Locked and Loaded
E.T.: The Exterminating Terrestrial
A Gunfight at the Opera (starring the Marksmen Brothers)
Emeryville's Pixar Studios would be expected to join the fray with a holiday feature where Woody, Buzz and the gang return as a team of grenade-tossing mercenaries in Destroy Story.
And, of course, Pixar's next Cars sequel would be called Tanks!
“The Izzy is presented to journalists and independent media that, like Izzy Stone, shine light into the darkness and give voice to the voiceless,” said PCIM director Jeff Cohen. “Our winners demonstrate the importance of independent media organizations in an era when large corporate media are in crisis.”
The inaugural Izzy Award for 2008 was shared by blogger Glenn Greenwald and “Democracy Now!” host/executive producer Amy Goodman. The 2009 award went to investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill and the 2010 award was shared by New York City investigative outlet “City Limits” and author/columnist/“Truthdig” cofounder Robert Scheer.
For more information on the Izzy Award, visit http://www.ithaca.edu/indy/izzy.
In 1953, during the depths of the anti-communist witch hunts, Stone launched “I. F. Stone’s Weekly,” through which he challenged official deception, McCarthyism and racial bigotry. In 1999, a poll of prominent journalists ranked the publication as number 16 among the “Top 100 Works of Journalism in the United States in the 20th Century.” Ithaca College houses a unique collection of mementos from Stone, who died in 1989.
Izzy Award winners are chosen by a panel of judges who have expertise in independent media. Joining Cohen on the panel for the fourth year in a row are communications professor and author Robert W. McChesney and Linda Jue, executive director and editor at the G. W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism.
This year’s Izzy Award will be given for work published, broadcast or posted in 2011 by an independent media outlet, journalist or producer. The award may relate to a single piece or a body of work. Journalists, academics and the public at large — as well as the judges — may submit nominations by the January 12, 2012, deadline. The winner will be announced early next spring, with an award ceremony to follow.
Nominations should be submitted via a brief e-mail that includes supporting Web links and/or attached materials to Brandy Hawley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only if e-mail is not possible, nominations may be mailed to Brandy Hawley, Ithaca College, Park Center for Independent Media, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.
Launched in 2008 and located within Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, the Park Center for Independent Media is a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.
Want to See How Pearl Harbor Is Used to Sell Weapons, Start Wars, and Destroy the Economy? Open a Newspaper.
Start with this one.
Pearl Harbor and World War II brought us together as a nation. We believed we could not be beaten. And we prevailed. But why is Congress now so intent on destroying our feelings of patriotism and decimating our national defense? Many Congress members want to cut our national defense spending in an effort to compensate for their ineptness, for not fulfilling their responsibilities as our representatives and for catering to other groups and politicians for the sake of their pet (pork) projects and the next election. They forget (or don’t know) that their No. 1 priority is the defense of our country, and related to that, the protection of our veterans’ benefits. . . .
Could the fact that America forgot about what happened at Pearl Harbor and let down its guard have helped allow the attacks of 9/11 to happen? And will this forgetfulness and ignorance stoke terrorists’ ambitions to expand their attacks? Because Congress’ “supercommittee” failed to meet its deadline last month to identify $1.2 trillion in savings, spending cut triggers are now set to take effect in 2013, including $600 billion for defense. If Congress is allowed to cut the military budget, another attack becomes more likely.
We must call the president, our congressional leaders, our two state senators and our representatives in the House to tell them to stop their foolishness, renew the military and Veterans Affairs budgets, and even increase them so that we may both strengthen our programs for research and development in order to remain the largest and best-equipped military in the world and to respect and honor our past veteran heroes.
If we allow them to make defense cuts all in the name of getting out of Iraq, and eventually Afghanistan (which is probably a mistake, but that discussion will be for another day), there will be no more research funds to remain No. 1, no upgrades, no new tanks, planes, ships and drones, neither more nor better body armor and vehicles.
Regardless of whether you believe the legend of Pearl Harbor, it is very difficult to deny that this is a different world. The United States does not just have the most expensive military in the world, but one the size of the rest of the world's put together. The United States has bases in most of the world's other countries. The United States dominates the oceans and outerspace. The United States has sliced the planet up into command zones. We're dumping 65% of discretionary spending into the military. While we've roughly doubled this spending, both in real dollars and as a percentage of the federal budget since 9-11, the fact is that the nuclear arsenal and the empire of bases and all the endless spending had nothing to do with 9-11 other than serving to provoke it. Your newspaper is asking you to live in a dream world, and to destroy this one in the process.
No new tanks? No new planes? $600 billion sounds big, but over 10 years it's $60 billion out of an annual "security" budget of well over a trillion, or well under 6%. All that's required to turn that into an increase instead of a cut is to take it out of a "projected" budget that increases by more than 6%. If any actual cutting happens, you can rest assured our misrepresentatives will do everything in their power to take the money out of non-military areas, or at least to cut troop benefits rather than the sacred and profitable tanks and planes etc., almost none of which has anything to do with "defense."
Marking Pearl Harbor Day by re-legalizing the internment of Japanese Americans is bad enough.
The madness of militarism is worse.
Russia Bashing - by Stephen Lendman
On December 4, parliamentary elections were held to fill 450 State Duma seats, Russia's Federal Assembly lower house.
With nearly all votes counted, RIA Novosti said Medvedev/Putin's United Russia party won 238 seats, falling slightly below a majority with 49.67% of the vote.
Full-page ad on 99% Proposal to Create Jobs, Control Spending Will Be in San Francisco Chronicle on December 6
Grassroots group in East Bay uses 'crowdfunding' to raise $8500 for ad that is first of its kind
The effort this week by a group of 99 percenters in the San Francisco East Bay to raise funds for a full-page newspaper ad featuring solutions for jobs and the deficit, which originated with Occupy Washington DC, has succeeded.
The group raised $8500 by the Friday, December 2 deadline using the San Francisco campaign ‘crowdfunding’ firm LoudSauce.com to collect donations from 99 generous fellow 99 percenters.
Their informative and striking ad will be published in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, December 6. It summarizes many Occupy Washington DC proposals, refers readers of the ad to the Occupy site to read the full proposal, and a petition to sign in support of it.
This appears to be the first ad of its kind – under the 99% umbrella, offering solutions, developed by a grassroots group of citizens, and placed in a major US newspaper.
Marti Roach of Moraga, founding member of the group that has come to call itself 99 Percent SOLUTION, on November 22 put out the call on a listserv to which she belongs for likeminded colleagues and friends to join her.
She, along with those who did enthusiastically join, believes that the Occupy Movement offers important and legitimate ideas and solutions to economic issues facing the United States. She found particular solutions of substance in a piece published on the website for Occupy Washington DC (http://bit.ly/tMsahp).
Marti and five others formed a core group that conferenced by telephone and email to develop the content for the ad, worked quickly with a local graphic designer and publicist, and enlisted LoudSauce.com to handle fund collection to buy the ad. A Facebook page (99PercentSOLUTION) was launched to tell the story of how the ad came about and who came forward to support it.
The ad draft is at http://bit.ly/sdlIYt. The final version will be sent to the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, December 5. ####
By Lori Spencer
Oklahoma City – In the early morning hours of Black Friday, 10 members of Occupy OKC discovered that chanting “Buy local!” in a crowded Walmart is an arrestable offense in the United States of America.
By John Grant
Guns in the Home and Suicide
The Star.com reports on something of interest to Americans, or at least it should be.
Suicides. Suicides dropped dramatically in Canada thanks to the federal gun registry. Not only do statistics prove as much, it stands to reason that with improved gun safety comes decreased gun fatalities; with fewer tools-of-choice for suicides available, fewer suicides occur. It just makes sense.Here are the stats. A home where there are firearms is five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide than a home without a gun: Canada Safety Council. The Institut national de sante publique du Québec has assessed that the coming into force of the Firearms Act is associated, on average, with a reduction of 250 suicides (and 50 homicides) each year in Canada. That’s nearly one life saved per day. StatsCan figures are stark: firearm suicides have dropped 48 per cent since the enactment of the very law that the Conservatives seek to repeal.
In The States it's not quite as high as 75%, but the majority of gun deaths here are suicides as well. Do you think that fact is overlooked in gun control discussions? Whenever it does come up the pro-gun crowd comes up with one of their three standard responses. I think they must memorize these inanities.
1. People who want to kill themselves have a right to do so
2. People who want to kill themselves will find another way if no gun is around
3. What about Japan? (this one was debunked here)
What's your opinion? Are suicide rates even a greater reason for strict gun control laws than the traditional gun violence?
My belief, and I'm not alone, is that in most cases suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. One study interviewed survivors of gun suicide attempts. Every one interviewed expressed gratitude to have failed. The absense of gun availability, as proven by the Canadian experience, ensures fewer suicides.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
By Lisa Pease
Each November, the media recalls the assassination of President Kennedy and its attendant controversies. Rarely, however, is a second Kennedy anniversary acknowledged. On Nov. 20, 2011, Robert Kennedy — JFK’s brother and devoted political partner — would have turned 86 years old had he not also been assassinated. Although the mainstream media has been all but silent on this case, the facts scream out for a deeper investigation.
The story of Robert Kennedy’s assassination seems deceptively simple. After winning the California Democratic presidential primary on June 4, 1968, Sen. Robert Kennedy traversed a pantry at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A young Palestinian Christian named Sirhan Sirhan pulled a gun and fired. Kennedy died roughly 25 hours later. Five others were wounded. Sirhan was tried and convicted. End of story, right?
America's Media War on OWS - Stephen Lendman
Early reporting was scant, dismissive, and offensive. Much still belittles, denigrates and marginalizes a significant movement.
Fox News claims protesters don't pay taxes or know what they want, are supported by Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hugo Chavez, and represent the lunatic left wing.
America's Media War on Syria - by Stephen Lendman
Replicating Libya's model, Western generated uprisings began in March. Since then, Syria's been ravaged by violence. Hundreds have been killed, many more injured.
Civilians and state security forces have been affected. Conflict rages daily. Casualties mount. Regime change is planned to establish another US client state.
By Dave Lindorff
The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.
Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
By Dave Lindorff
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.
Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.
Congress Members Engage in Routine Insider Trading; Topic Reduces 60 Minutes to Non-Corporate Media Status
Here is a video by 60 Minutes all about the making of a story by 60 Minutes. The reason is the extreme lengths the show thinks it went to to get comments from a member of Congress: staking out their public events and likely appearances, the same thing everyone else who wants to ask the important questions has always had to do for years. The story here is not exactly as presented. The story is that 60 Minutes has dared to address an unacceptable topic. The topic in this case is Congressional insider trading, a topic upon which — as with most important topics — there is complete bipartisan harmony, and yet somehow no public satisfaction.
The Sheriff’s Department did not come to evict the Roreys that day. A spokesman for the department told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the foreclosure process is still ongoing and that it has not scheduled an eviction. “It’s a good cause,” said Diona Murray, one of the Roreys’ neighbors, about the occupation. “If we don’t take a stand, who will?”
In the near future, you will be seeing more satellite photos of non-descript buildings that experts will say are housing elements of a nuclear bomb factory. There will be more diagrams of supposed nuclear devices. Some of the same talking heads will reappear to interpret this new “evidence.”
You might even recognize some of those familiar faces from the more innocent days of 2002-2003 when they explained, with unnerving confidence, how Iraq’s Saddam Hussein surely had chemical and biological weapons and likely a nuclear weapons program, too.
One of them --- Officer Fred Shavies of the Oakland PD, who was revealed as an undercover infiltrator at Occupy Oakland --- now concedes as much in an extraordinarily moving interview in which he condemns the violence by his fellow cops and says he sees the Occupy movement as a possible "turning point, the tipping point" for our generation.
"NATO has no intention of conducting a legal review of its air operations," she said. "Furthermore, NATO has not received a request to help the (International Criminal Court) with any specific inquiries. If we receive a request for information, NATO is prepared to assist in any way it can."
Under their latest proposal to the deficit reduction super committee, Democrats would agree to undertake comprehensive tax reform that included a pledge to avoid letting Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
Protesters have already made an official request for Shelby to meet with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
EdgeLeft: J. Edgar (directed by Clint Eastwood, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer)
by David McReynolds (an occasional column, which may be distributed, reprinted and otherwise used without permission)
J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) who, depending on your politics, looked much like a toad . . .or
a bulldog. . . was without question a monster of American political life. Since his life is now so
distant to those younger than forty, the film has great value as an historical "look back" at the
life and career of a deeply flawed, remarkably powerful man.
As a fan of the work of Clint Eastwood I wish I could give the film unqualified praise, but
my praise, while real enough, is limited by two regrets. First, while I'd credit the actors with