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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 17,332
Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 17,332
The Death of Truth by Chris Hedges (Interview with Julian Assange)
by Chris Hedges
Writer, Dandelion Salad
May 6, 2013
“His alleged actions are a rare event,” Assange went on. “And why does a rare event happen? What do we know about him? What do we know about Bradley Manning? We know that he won three science fairs. We know the guy is bright. We know that he was interested in politics early on. We know he’s very articulate and outspoken. We know he didn’t like lies. We know he was interested in politics. We know he was skilled at his job of being an intelligence analyst. If the media was looking for an explanation they could point to this combination of his abilities and motivations. They could point to his talents and virtues. They should not point to him being gay, or from a broken home, except perhaps in passing. Ten percent of the U.S. military is gay. Well over 50 percent are from broken homes. Take those two factors together. That gets you down to, say, 5 percent—5 percent on the outside. There are 5 million people with active security clearances, so now you’re down to 250,000 people. You still have to get from 250,000 to one. You can only explain Bradley Manning by his virtues. Virtues others can learn from.”
The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon May 6, 2013, 12:47 PM (19 replies)
Whistleblower Bradely Manning faces life in prison for exposing war crimes and corruption.
Contrast that motive with Bradley Manning’s. In chat logs with government informant Adrian Lamo, Manning hypothesized, “what if i were someone more malicious…i could’ve sold to russia or china, and made bank?”
“Why didn’t you?” Lamo asked.
“Because it’s public data,” he said. “It belongs in the public domain…information should be free…because another state would just take advantage of the information… try and get some edge…if its out in the open… it should be a public good.”
Manning expounded on his reasons for passing to WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of documents chronicling U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. diplomacy worldwide, in a statement earlier this year,
I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
That statement accompanied a guilty plea to lesser offenses, including communicating information to someone not entitled to receive it. That plea could have put Manning in jail for up to twenty years. But that wasn’t sufficient for military prosecutors, who immediately succeeded that statement with the announcement that they’ll continue to pursue all 22 charges against Manning, seeking life in jail without parole.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Sun Apr 28, 2013, 01:26 AM (26 replies)
during the 2007 primaries and the use of the word against Hillary Clinton:
By Andi Zeisler
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So here goes: Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's catcalls or smile when they say, "Cheer up, baby, it can't be that bad." We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back down from a confrontation.
So let's not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we've done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine -- and sees uncompromising speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world.
So the word remains as incendiary as ever. (Sorry, Sen. McCain.) Back in 1996, a time when the word was just barely squeaking past the censors on network TV, I would never have thought it could get any more loaded. (Same for the word "feminism," but that's a whole other story.) But the rise of the first serious female front-runner for the presidency has proved me wrong.
On the street, in music and in the boardroom, it's the word that won't go away. Isiah Thomas's somewhat bumbling claim during his sexual harassment trial that casual, off-the-cuff usage makes the term less problematic when done within the black community didn't fly with the judge, and it doesn't fly with plenty of other folks.
A few years ago, the New York Times reported on the phenomenon of men using the term to describe other men, a use that has roots in the social dynamics of prison populations but has since spread to the realms of sports, rap music and junior high schools everywhere. The article reasoned that the term was becoming, if not respectable, then increasingly no big deal. I disagree -- it's simply another way to denigrate women.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon Mar 4, 2013, 01:20 PM (3 replies)
gunfight when the cops burned down the building.
In an initial dispatch, a deputy reported seeing “blood spatter” inside the cabins. Dorner, who had just engaged in a firefight with deputies that killed one officer and wounded another, may have been wounded in the exchange. There was no sign of his presence, let alone his resistance, according to police dispatches.
It was then that the deputies decided to burn the cabin down.
“We’re gonna go ahead with the plan with the burner,” one sheriff’s deputy told another. “Like we talked about.” Minutes later, another deputy’s voice crackled across the radio: “The burner’s deployed and we have a fire.”
Next, a sheriff reported a “single shot” heard from inside the house. This was before the fire had penetrated deeply into the cabin’s interior, and may have signaled Dorner’s suicide. At that point, an experienced ex-cop like him would have known he was finished.
Over the course of the next hour, I listened as the sheriffs carefully managed the fire, ensuring that it burned the cabin thoroughly. Dorner, a former member of the LAPD who had accused his ex-colleagues of abuse and racism in a lengthy, detailed manifesto, was inside. The cops seemed to have little interest in taking him alive.
It really is a good idea to read the entire thing. It pretty much matches the tweets that were being sent by other reporters on the ground. The main stream media has scrubbed those tweets.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:50 PM (1 replies)
Washington, D.C.- A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that modest increases in the minimum wage – such as the one proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union address - have little impact on employment, due to adjustments by employers and workers. The paper, “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?” by economist John Schmitt reviews evidence on eleven possible adjustments to minimum-wage increases that may help to explain why the measured employment effects are so consistently small. It finds that the strongest evidence suggests the most important adjustments are: reductions in labor turnover; improvements in organizational efficiency; reductions in wages of higher earners ("wage compression"); and small price increases.
“This is one of the most studied topics in economics, and the evidence is clear: modest minimum wage increases don’t have much impact on employment,” Schmitt said. “An increase to $9.00 per hour would be hugely important for the workers getting it, but the idea that this would lead to less employment is just not supported by the evidence.”
President Obama’s call for a minimum wage rise to $9.00 an hour would be a modest increase, and would keep the minimum wage below its peak, when adjusting for inflation. As CEPR’s Dean Baker and Will Kimball noted in a blog post yesterday, “The purchasing power of the minimum wage peaked in the late 1960s at $9.22 an hour in 2012 dollars. That is almost two dollars above the current level of $7.25 an hour.” They also noted that the minimum wage has not kept pace with productivity increases over the past 44 years, as it had from 1947-1969 – a period when economic “rowth averaged 4.0 percent annually” and “the unemployment rate for the year 1969 averaged less than 4.0 percent.” But the link between productivity growth and minimum wage ended in the 1970s.
Baker and Kimball note that “If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity growth it would be $16.54 in 2012 dollars.”
Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:01 PM (0 replies)
The Obama Administration recently underwent its first U.N. treaty body review, and the resulting concluding observations made public yesterday should be a cause for alarm. The observations, issued by independent U.N. experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the international treaty on the rights of children in armed conflict (formally known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict or "OPAC"), paint a dark picture of the treatment of juveniles by the U.S. military in Afghanistan: one where hundreds of children have been killed in attacks and air strikes by U.S. military forces, and those responsible for the killings have not been held to account even as the number of children killed doubled from 2010 to 2011; where children under 18 languish in detention facilities without access to legal or full humanitarian assistance, or adequate resources to aid in their recovery and reintegration as required under international law. Some children were abused in U.S. detention facilities, and others are faced with the prospect of torture and ill-treatment if they are transferred to Afghan custody.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:54 AM (3 replies)
But let's apply the government's theory in the Manning case to one of the most revered journalists in Washington: Bob Woodward, who has become one of America's richest reporters, if not the richest, by obtaining and publishing classified information far more sensitive than anything WikiLeaks has ever published. For that reason, one of Woodward's most enthusiastic readers was Osama bin Laden, as this 2011 report from AFP demonstrates:
If bin Laden's interest in the WikiLeaks cables proves that Manning aided al-Qaida, why isn't bin Laden's enthusaism for Woodward's book proof that Woodwood's leakers - and Woodward himself - are guilty of the same capital offense? This question is even more compelling given that Woodward has repeatedly published some of the nation's most sensitive secrets, including information designated "Top Secret" - unlike WikiLeaks and Manning, which never did.
In 2010, NBC News' Mike Isikoff wrote an excellent article about Obama's war on whistleblowers that made exactly this point. Writing under the headline "Obama administration cracks down on mid-level leakers, despite high-level officials dishing far more sensitive secrets to Bob Woodward", the long-time Washington reporter wrote:
Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:06 PM (20 replies)
The three scenarios presented below include incomes that would all fall into the 25% bracket on ordinary income. None actually pay 25%. The highest in that bracket comes close when adding SS and MED FICA but considering federal income taxes alone, the lowest will end up paying 11% federal income taxes and the highest will end up paying 18% federal income taxes. (The percentage tax computation chart that I used comes from the IRS 1040 handbook.)
This pattern holds true for every bracket. The lowest ordinary income in a bracket will pay a smaller percentage of federal income tax than the highest income in the same bracket.
What skews the percentage for the wealthy is that they rarely take the standard deductions because their mortgage, property tax, and charitable contributions combined will be much huger than the standard. Also, long term capital gains are taxed at 15% and the wealthy can take advantage off off-shore tax shelters. And keep in mind that SS FICA is only assessed on the first $106,000 in income.
That is why people like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet are able to pay a lower percentage of their income than someone in the 25% tax bracket.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:29 PM (1 replies)
You Hate "Right To Work" Laws More Than You Know. Here's Why
Vance Muse was a racist political operative and lobbyist from the state of Texas — the native habitat for all America’s vermin —as Satanically vile as “Turd Blossom” Rove, a racist smear-peddler like Andrew Breitbart, only without Breitbart’s degenerate heart and fondness for blow.
Among Vance Muse’s “reactionary enterprises”: He lobbied against women’s suffrage, against the child-labor amendment, against the 8-hour workday, and in 1936, Muse engineered the first split in the South’s Democratic Party by peeling off the segregationists and racists from the New Deal party, a political maneuver that eventually led to Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, and at last a Republican right-wing takeover of the South, and with it, the collapse of the old New Deal coalition. Which worked out fine for Vance Muse, since he was a covert Republican himself, serving “for years” as the Republican Party state treasurer in Texas.
That first attempt at splitting the Democratic party by peeling away the Southern segregationist-fascists took place in 1936, when Georgia’s brutal white supremacist governor, Eugene Talmadge, organized a “grassroots” convention with Vance Muse’s help. To stir up anti-FDR and anti-New Deal hate in the South, Vance Muse used photographs he acquired showing First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt being escorted by two African-American professors at Howard University. Muse used that photo to stir up the white supremacists in Georgia, he leaked it to as many newspapers as he could, and he even brandished it around a Senate hearing he was called before in 1936. Those hearings revealed that the anti-FDR “convention” that Vance Muse put on, through his “Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution”— which featured guests of honor like Gerald L K Smith, America’s leading anti-Semite and godfather to the modern American Nazi movement — was financed not only by Confederate sponsors like Texan Will Clayton, owner of the world’s largest cotton broker, but also reactionary northeast Republican money: the DuPont brothers, J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil, Alfred Sloan of General Motors... That unholy alliance of Northeastern and Confederate plutocrat money financed the first serious attempt at splitting the Southern Democrats off by exploiting white supremacism, all in order to break labor power and return to the world before the New Deal — and to the open shop.
The article is chocked full of useful information and well worth reading in its entirety.
I'll end this with a quote from Vance Muse the opens the linked article.
“From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.”
— Vance Muse, founder of the “right to work” anti-labor campaign
Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:10 PM (5 replies)
Day 1: Defense questions Quantico base commander Col. Daniel Choike.
When the former Security Battalion Commander in charge of Quantico, Col. Robert G. Oltman, and Col. Choike discussed an independent mental health professional’s impending visit to the Marine brig, the two expressed reservations about what the review would conclude. Col. Choike asked if the visit could be blocked or pushed back, and Col. Oltman assured him that this could be “easily done with an email.”
In emails, Col. Choike attempted to justify this position, saying, “armchair quarterbacks are not welcome,” and that whoever reviewed the confinement would need “expertise” to understand the command structure and why the military needed to keep Bradley on Prevention of Injury watch. When Bradley’s defense brought an Article 138 Complaint (a complaint any member of the Armed Forces can make against his or her commanding officer), the military assigned the Marines’ own Chief Warrant Officer 5 Abel Galaviz to investigate the conditions, despite the fact that Galaviz and his superior officers had already been involved with and approved of Bradley’s confinement status.
Col. Choike testified at length about his specific role in reviewing and maintaining Bradley’s maximum security, the collective refusal to listen to brig psychiatrists’ recommendations for medium security, and just how involved three-star General George Flynn was in directing Bradley’s confinement.
The article also reports that mocked taking away Manning's underwear with a Dr. Seuss-like poem.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:56 PM (7 replies)