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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,108

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LUNCH?

ACTUAL HEADLINE (WAPO OP-ED) : End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.

End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.
We make such trade-offs all the time.


Consider this question: Should society have as its goal that the government prevents all deaths from any health-related ailment other than natural causes associated with ripe old age? The notion is absurd — to both conservatives and liberals. There are limits to the proper amount of scarce resources, funded by taxpayers, that Washington should redirect toward health care


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/end-obamacare-and-people-could-die-thats-okay/2015/01/23/f436df30-a1c4-11e4-903f-9f2faf7cd9fe_story.html?hpid=z2
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/26/1360233/-Actual-op-ed-headline-End-Obamacare-and-people-could-die-That-s-okay

Say what you like about the film American Sniper, you have to admire its clarity. I's about killing.

American Sniper illustrates the west’s morality blind spots

........

Say what you like about the film American Sniper, and people have, you have to admire its clarity. It’s about killing. There is no moral arc; no anguish about whether the killing is necessary or whether those who are killed are guilty of anything. “I’m prepared to meet my maker and answer for every shot I took,” says Bradley Cooper, who plays the late Chris Kyle, a navy Seal who was reputedly the deadliest sniper in American history. There is certainly no discursive quandary about whether the Iraq war, in which the killing takes place, is either legal or justified. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” wrote Kyle in his memoir, where he refers to the local people as “savages”.

The film celebrates a man who has a talent for shooting people dead when they are not looking and who, apparently, likes his job. “After the first kill, the others come easy,” writes Kyle. “I don’t have to psych myself up, or do anything special mentally. I look through the scope, get my target in the crosshairs, and kill my enemy before he kills one of my people.”

Americans are celebrating the film. It has been nominated for six Oscars and enjoyed the highest January debut ever. When Kyle kills his rival, a Syrian sniper named Mustafa, with a mile-long shot, audiences cheer. It has done particularly well with men and in southern and midwestern markets where the film industry does not expect to win big. And while its appeal is strong in the heartland it has travelled well too, providing career-best opening weekends for Clint Eastwood in the UK, Taiwan, New Zealand, Peru and Italy.

And so it is that within a few weeks of the developed world uniting to defend western culture and Enlightenment values, it produces a popular celluloid hero who is tasked not with satirising Islam, but killing Muslims. Threats to Arab and Muslim Americans have tripled since the film came out, according to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. It’s not difficult to see why. “If you see anyone from about 16 to 65 and they’re male, shoot ’em,” wrote Kyle, describing his understanding of the rules of engagement in Iraq. “Kill every male you see. That wasn’t the official language, but that was the idea.”



more:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/26/america-morality-blind-spots-guantanamo-bay-king-abdullah-hypocrisy-civilisation

US Dept Of Fear: What A Coincidence-"Greece is an Emerging Hub For Terrorists"


U.S. Dept. of Fear @FearDept · 9h 9 hours ago
What a coincidence! What convenient timing! > Greece is an Emerging Hub for Terrorists http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/25/europe/greece-terrorism-hub/index.html?eref=edition
https://twitter.com/FearDept/status/559572313343942656



News of #Syriza's victory in #Greece is 13 hours old. The CNN story on the right was published 11 hours ago.
:large
https://twitter.com/FearDept/status/559689077411160064



FROM CNN:

Add this to Greece's list of problems: It's an emerging hub for terrorists

CNN)The new Greek government has plenty of challenges ahead of it: A towering debt, chronic unemployment and relations with the rest of Europe. But it also has an urgent security problem.

Greece has become an unwitting crossroads -- both for jihadists trying to reach Iraq and Syria from Europe, and for fighters returning home from the Middle East.

Greece's long land and maritime boundaries, its proximity to Turkey, the explosion of illegal migration from Syria and the country's dire financial situation make it an inviting hub for jihadist groups, according to multiple counterterrorism sources.

One source close to the Greek intelligence services told CNN there may be some 200 people in the country with links to jihadist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the al Nusra Front -- the two groups that most Europeans join.

more WAR propaganda:
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/25/europe/greece-terrorism-hub/index.html?eref=edition

Chris Hedges: Killing Ragheads for Jesus

There is no shortage of simpletons whose minds are warped by this belief system. We elected one of them, George W. Bush, as president. They populate the armed forces and the Christian right. They watch Fox News and believe it. They have little understanding or curiosity about the world outside their insular communities. They are proud of their ignorance and anti-intellectualism. They prefer drinking beer and watching football to reading a book. And when they get into power—they already control the Congress, the corporate world, most of the media and the war machine—their binary vision of good and evil and their myopic self-adulation cause severe trouble for their country. “American Sniper,” like the big-budget feature films pumped out in Germany during the Nazi era to exalt deformed values of militarism, racial self-glorification and state violence, is a piece of propaganda, a tawdry commercial for the crimes of empire. That it made a record-breaking $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday long weekend is a symptom of the United States’ dark malaise.

“The movie never asks the seminal question as to why the people of Iraq are fighting back against us in the very first place,” said Mikey Weinstein, whom I reached by phone in New Mexico. Weinstein, who worked in the Reagan White House and is a former Air Force officer, is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which challenges the growing Christian fundamentalism within the U.S. military. “It made me physically ill with its twisted, totally one-sided distortions of wartime combat ethics and justice woven into the fabric of Chris Kyle’s personal and primal justification mantra of ‘God-Country-Family.’ It is nothing less than an odious homage, indeed a literal horrific hagiography to wholesale slaughter.”



...............

Kyle insisted that every person he shot deserved to die. His inability to be self-reflective allowed him to deny the fact that during the U.S. occupation many, many innocent Iraqis were killed, including some shot by snipers. Snipers are used primarily to sow terror and fear among enemy combatants. And in his denial of reality, something former slaveholders and former Nazis perfected to an art after overseeing their own atrocities, Kyle was able to cling to childish myth rather than examine the darkness of his own soul and his contribution to the war crimes we carried out in Iraq. He justified his killing with a cloying sentimentality about his family, his Christian faith, his fellow SEALs and his nation. But sentimentality is not love. It is not empathy. It is, at its core, about self-pity and self-adulation. That the film, like the book, swings between cruelty and sentimentality is not accidental.

.........


The culture of war banishes the capacity for pity. It glorifies self-sacrifice and death. It sees pain, ritual humiliation and violence as part of an initiation into manhood. Brutal hazing, as Kyle noted in his book, was an integral part of becoming a Navy SEAL. New SEALs would be held down and choked by senior members of the platoon until they passed out. The culture of war idealizes only the warrior. It belittles those who do not exhibit the warrior’s “manly” virtues. It places a premium on obedience and loyalty. It punishes those who engage in independent thought and demands total conformity. It elevates cruelty and killing to a virtue. This culture, once it infects wider society, destroys all that makes the heights of human civilization and democracy possible. The capacity for empathy, the cultivation of wisdom and understanding, the tolerance and respect for difference and even love are ruthlessly crushed. The innate barbarity that war and violence breed is justified by a saccharine sentimentality about the nation, the flag and a perverted Christianity that blesses its armed crusaders. This sentimentality, as Baldwin wrote, masks a terrifying numbness. It fosters an unchecked narcissism. Facts and historical truths, when they do not fit into the mythic vision of the nation and the tribe, are discarded. Dissent becomes treason. All opponents are godless and subhuman. “American Sniper” caters to a deep sickness rippling through our society. It holds up the dangerous belief that we can recover our equilibrium and our lost glory by embracing an American fascism.

.......


3 pages & the best arguments i have read on this disgusting crap of propaganda:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/killing_ragheads_for_jesus_20150125

Charles M. Blow: "The Scenario I Have Always Dreaded - Yale Police Stopped My Son At Gunpoint"

Saturday evening, I got a call that no parent wants to get. It was my son calling from college — he’s a third-year student at Yale. He had been accosted by a campus police officer, at gunpoint!

..........

This is the scenario I have always dreaded: my son at the wrong end of a gun barrel, face down on the concrete. I had always dreaded the moment that we would share stories about encounters with the police in which our lives hung in the balance, intergenerational stories of joining the inglorious “club.”

When that moment came, I was exceedingly happy I had talked to him about how to conduct himself if a situation like this ever occurred. Yet I was brewing with sadness and anger that he had to use that advice.

I am reminded of what I have always known, but what some would choose to deny: that there is no way to work your way out — earn your way out — of this sort of crisis. In these moments, what you’ve done matters less than how you look.



the rest:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/charles-m-blow-says-yale-police-held-son-gunpoint
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/opinion/charles-blow-at-yale-the-police-detained-my-son.html?smid=tw-share

"Who Are We?" - New culture war about ethnic, racial identity emerges - by E.J. Dionne

House Republicans were able to pass without much difficulty a remarkably restrictive bill that would overturn Obama's executive actions on immigration. It was aimed not only at his measures to keep families together but also at a highly popular provision for the "Dreamers" brought to the United States as children.

This is the new culture war. It is about national identity rather than religion and "transcendent authority." It focuses on which groups the United States will formally admit to residence and citizenship. It asks the same question as the old culture war: "Who are we?" But the earlier query was primarily about how we define ourselves morally. The new question is about how we define ourselves ethnically, racially and linguistically. It is, in truth, one of the oldest questions in our history, going back to our earliest immigration battles of the 1840s and 1850s.

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/01/new_culture_war_about_ethnic_r.html

Boehner!!!!

KING FOR A DAY: THE IOWA FREEDOM SUMMIT - By Charles P. Pierce

Mr. Pierce, in Esquire, on “King for A Day“:

… The event itself was a measure of how politics in the country have changed over the past 25 years. It was organized by Congressman Steve King, defender of conventional light-bulbs, flush toilets, and the southern border, and it was run by Citizens United, the brainchild of David Bossie who, in 1991, was nothing more than a low-rent ratf_cker chasing Bill Clinton’s penis all over Arkansas but who now is the overlord of a large and lucrative propaganda operation, an independent base of considerable power beyond the reach and influence of the Republican party, which is why Bossie could provide a platform for presidential wannabes on which they were free to rail against the “Republican establishment.”…

.................

So far, the pandering to the xenophobes – Hi, Steve King! Thanks for having us over! – has been sanctified to a certain extent because it can be swathed in rhetoric about “the rule of law,” which immunizes the hardcore anti-immigrant Right by allowing it to say how much it loves legal immigrants who do things the right way. If Santorum can energize the debate by arguing that legal immigrants are taking jobs away from “American workers,” then that loophole closes, and the party finds itself with an internal debate over whether it wants to limit all immigration, legal and not. And then we’ve got a real show on our hands, and I shall despair even more profoundly about the rebranding.


http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/King_For_A_Day_In_Iowa

"He died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality"

Where’s the Empathy?
JAN. 24, 2015
Nicholas Kristof


Kevin Green, left, and Nicholas Kristof in 1977. Credit Yamhill - Carlton Union High School



YAMHILL, Ore. — THE funeral for my high school buddy Kevin Green is Saturday, near this town where we both grew up.

The doctors say he died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.

Lots of Americans would have seen Kevin — obese with a huge gray beard, surviving on disability and food stamps — as a moocher. They would have been harshly judgmental: Why don’t you look after your health? Why did you father two kids outside of marriage?

That acerbic condescension reflects one of this country’s fundamental problems: an empathy gap. It reflects the delusion on the part of many affluent Americans that those like Kevin are lazy or living cushy lives. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found that wealthy Americans mostly agree that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.”



the rest (beautiful tribute to his friend):
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-wheres-the-empathy.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion%C2%AEion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=article
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