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Solly Mack

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Current location: Back of Beyond
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 76,887

About Me

Busy observing the group dynamics of dust bunnies.

Journal Archives

Of course he does.

Now. It's kinda out of fashion now so it's OK to be against it. And, golly, don't he look just so righteous in the doing!

But there was a time not so long ago...


"...
asked Comey to square his personal beliefs on the torture practice with his approval of 2005 memos authorizing the practice during his tenure as U.S. deputy attorney general.


"Do you agree that waterboarding is torture and is illegal?" Leahy asked bluntly.

"Yes," Comey replied.






But the president is reportedly poised to sign off on the nomination of the former number two official in the Bush Justice Department, who twice signed off on torture memos okaying waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture.

Comey gave a second thumbs-up to waterboarding in signing off on the May 2005 rewrite of Bybee II. He reportedly wrote an email to a colleague at the time, in which he said he "concurred" with the new torture memo. At the same time, he strenuously opposed the approval of the second memo combining torture tactics. Waterboarding was okay, as long as it was done the "right" way.




Smell that? It is the smell of the expedient coated with bullshit.


Prosecutions? Hello? Hello? Prosecutions?????????


Silly me. Who needs to prosecute war crimes when everything is made all better by admitting that torture is torture.....now.


Until the next time.

They Got Away With It.



(and not just them)














Come walk with me



to my walk.


Where the Cherry Blossoms were blooming



and the bees were buzzing



and the White Tails were roaming



and the Red-bellied Woodpecker was building



and the Common Grackle was stealing



and the Peacock was roosting





and the Black Swan was grooming



and the Green Heron was profiling



and the Redhead (diving duck) was cruising



and the Raccoon was picnicking (albeit rudely)





where the Beaver was waving



and the turtles were sunning (one's an albino)





and the sky was beautiful



where even the Black Crowned Crane made an appearance



and the Great White Egret reigned supreme.

Shortly after 7 A.M.

I was outside with my doggies and saw a great mass of birds in the sky. The flock landed in a tree several houses down and I knew what they were. The Cedar Waxwings have been rather elusive this year, choosing to feed from berry shrubs other than my own. I grabbed my camera and in my flip-flops I walked through the cold, wet grass in hopes of getting close enough to snag a few photos.

I didn't want to get too close and cause them to fly away. Against the backdrop of a still rising sun I was able to get a few shots before they took off again.























Just a few shots from my bird count.

I know I do a lot of birds. Sorry!


The much hated House Sparrow.




The cute and adorable Red Breasted Nuthatch.




The very fast and tiny Carolina Chickadee




The neurotic Eurasian Collared Dove.




The curious Purple Finch (Female)



Great Backyard Bird Count: Feb. 15-18, 2013

Just a reminder.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up this weekend.


Why count birds?
Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

• How will the weather influence bird populations?

• Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

How to participate.



And just think of all the bird photos you can share! They also host a photo contest!


















When will the "(Global) War on Terror"/"Overseas Contingency Operations" be over?

Will a "state of emergency" continue to exist that will require certain actions by the government?

As long as the AUMF is cited as the reason behind the authority of a certain action or actions, it can be said that a state of emergency exist. The AUMF has been cited as the authority behind warrantless wiretapping/electronic surveillance, detentions/indefinite detentions, "enhanced interrogation techniques" (torture), and drones/targeted killings.

There was a time when a state of emergency passed and all the powers that went with it ended.

Is that time over?







I think FDR should have been held accountable for that.

I've said the same before on DU.

Matters not to me who decided it was Constitutional, thereby legal. Read Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. Declaring something legal is one way to legitimize a host of horrors and abuses.


I think Bush (and all the rest) should be held accountable for war crimes. This isn't going to happen because America likes to pretend it is something it isn't. A country that cares about human rights. Oh, we give lip service to it, and we always promise to do better (As if before Bush we didn't know torture was wrong), and we most certainly chastise other countries over their human rights abuses - but let something bad happen to us and we're right back to committing abuses and declaring those abuses legal.


I don't support the "war on terror". Prior to Bush, acts of terror were handled as criminal acts. Many, many Americans, have allowed themselves to be swept up in the Bush/Cheney idea of a global battlefield, where enemies lurk in every corner, so we must bomb those corners into oblivion to feel safe. With each passing year the battlefield has grown, the enemies have multiplied - do we feel safe yet?

I've witnessed a change over the last 12 years and it has been an ugly change. More and more people are willing to accept almost anything as long as someone tells them it is legal (Thanks to the superb conditioning of the last 12 years). People have always been susceptible to the declarations of authority but I swear there was a time when more people fought against it: they questioned it - loudly. A small minority to be sure - but that minority has gotten even smaller. Sad.


I'm a registered Democrat and likely to remain so. But I was born a human. I can't just switch that on and off.




William Todd Akin: The company he keeps.

In a LBN post by Adenoid_Hynkel, from Think Progress, you can read about William Todd Akin's multiple arrests for physically blocking access to clinics that perform abortions. The articles ties him to Tim Dreste. This happened in the 1980's.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) — who came under fire after asserting that “legitimate rapes” don’t often result in pregnancy — was arrested multiple times in the 1980s for protesting outside of abortion clinics in St. Louis. Between 1985 and 1987, Akin worked with other anti-choice activists to physically block women’s access to reproductive health clinics in the city, during what RH Reality Check describes as a “hotbed of anti-choice violence and harassment” in St. Louis. At that time, Akin went by his given first name, William, rather than the middle name he currently uses.



(From Salon) Tim Dreste is linked to both Randall Terry and William Todd Akin.

At the time of Akin’s arrest, Pro-Life Direct Action was headed by a radical anti-abortion activist named John Ryan, who was accused of leading a “reign of terror” against abortion clinics nationwide and who bragged of being arrested almost 350 times. But after it came out later in 1987 that Ryan was having an extramarital affair, Tim Dreste pushed Ryan aside and took over the group. Shortly thereafter, Dreste started an even more radical new group affiliated with Randall Terry’s Operation Rescue called Whole Life Ministries. “Whole Life Ministries soon became the paramount anti-abortion activist group in St. Louis,” journalists James Risen and Judy Thomas wrote in their 1998 book about the pro-life movement, Wrath of Angels.

The next year, Akin addressed Dreste’s new group. In late October of 1988, Whole Life Ministries planned to blockade an abortion clinic as part of a national protest organized by Operation Rescue. Akin rallied Dreste’s troops in a church the night before. “As far as I am concerned, you are the freedom fighters of America… My hat is off to you,” Akin said, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. Dreste told the paper that night that he expected to get arrested, explaining, ”We will tell (police) we will obey God’s law before we obey man’s law.

In 1990, Akin endorsed a new, more mainstream pro-life initiative called Life Chain. Akin “religiously attended” its events until this year, BuzzFeed reported. Filings on record with the Missouri Secretary of State show that Dreste was the group’s longtime president and registered agent – the group was registered to his home address — until 2000.


(Also, note the ties of almost everyone involved to militia groups)





(also from Salon) Akin tied to domestic terrorist

New documents show Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin donated to the political campaign of a violent antiabortion activist named Tim Dreste, whose ties to Akin we reported on earlier this week.]



Tim Dreste, Michael Bray and the posting of the "Deadly Dozen" posters.

The so-called "Deadly Dozen" were posters of doctors who performed abortions and were targeted by anti-abortion groups. Those targeted include the late Dr George Tiller, who was murdered by Scott Roeder in 2009. Roeder was an acquaintance of Regina Dinwiddie. (Soldiers in the Army of God) Also, the cell phone number for Operation Rescue's senior policy advisor, Cheryl Sullenger, was found on the dashboard of Scott Roeder's car. Sullenger was convicted of plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.






Court case


I. The Threats

A. The "Deadly Dozen" Poster

1. The Deadly Dozen poster, trial exhibit 1, is a true threat to bodily harm, assault, or kill one or more of the plaintiffs.

2. The Deadly Dozen poster was created by the American Coalition of Life Activists ("ACLA" and first published in or around Washington, D.C. on January 22, 1995. (Ex. 1; Tr. 1352, 1385)

3. Defendants Michael Bray, Andrew Burnett, David Crane, Michael Dodds, Joseph Foreman, C. Roy McMillan, Bruce Murch, Catherine Ramey, Dawn Stover,� [*1132]� Donald Treshman and Charles Wysong attended the ACLA event where the Deadly Dozen poster was unveiled. (Answer of defendants American Coalition of Life Activists, Advocates for Life Ministries, Michael Bray, Andrew Burnett, David Crane, Timothy Dreste, C. Roy McMillan, Bruce Murch, Catherine Ramey, Dawn Stover and Charles Wysong ("ACLA Answer" P 40; Tr. 1254, 1356, 1493-94) Defendant [**5]� Dreste ratified the poster's release. (Tr. 1170, 2486) Defendant Advocates for Life Ministries ("ALM" republished the poster in its magazine Life Advocate. (Ex. 3) Defendant Murch republished the poster in his publication, Salt & Light. (Ex. 2) Defendants also republished the poster at later ACLA events.

10. The day after the Deadly Dozen poster was released, the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted the doctors named on the list, notified them of their need to take safety measures and offered 24-hour personal protection of [**7]� the U.S. Marshal Service for the doctors and their families. (Tr. 568-69) Calls from the U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement followed. (Tr. 236, 624) Plaintiffs heeded these warnings.

B. The Poster of Dr. Robert Crist

11. The Poster of Dr. Robert Crist, trial exhibit 5, is a true threat to bodily harm, assault or kill one or more of the plaintiffs.

12. The Poster of Dr. Robert Crist displays a photograph of Dr. Crist, and his home and business addresses. (ACLA Answer P 48b; Ex. 5; Tr. 1257)

13. The Poster of Dr. Crist was created and first published by ACLA during its event in St. Louis, Missouri in August 1995. (ACLA Answer P 48b; Ex. 5; Tr. 608, 899, 1257)

14. Defendants Andrew Burnett, David Crane, Timothy Dreste, C. Roy McMillan, Catherine Ramey, Dawn Stover and Charles Wysong attended the ACLA event where the Poster of Dr. Crist was unveiled. The other defendants assisted in planning the event and the poster and/or� [*1133]� ratified its release. (ACLA Answer P 47c; Tr. 1228, 1257, 1494-95)

15. Immediately after the poster was released, Dr. Crist was informed by the St. Louis police that he should take additional security precautions. (Tr. 1104) Dr. Crist followed that advice.� [**8]� (Tr. 1110)


32. Soon after the January 1996 ACLA event, Neal Horsley received hard copy� [*1134]� Nuremberg Files from Paul deParrie. (Ex. 4; Tr. 424, 2245) Horsley received two shipments of at least 22 hard copy files to be posted on the Internet. (Tr. 2329) These files included the files of Dr. Prohaska and Ms. Hanzo. The defendants have not identified by name the other hard copy files that [**11]� existed but have since been destroyed.

33. The cover letter on the first shipment of files bore ACLA's name and P.O. box and summarized the Nuremberg Files project. (Tr. 2331) Horsley copied that information when he placed the Nuremberg Files on the Internet.

34. ACLA's name appeared on the Nuremberg Files Internet website in its initial format. (Ex. 7B)

35. The Nuremberg Files website makes it clear that any information kept by ACLA and/or Neal Horsley will be kept away from legal authorities. The website declares: "the evidence collected will be forwarded to several secure locations so that pro-abortion forces will not be able to destroy the evidence and prevent its future use." (Ex. 7B) This statement remained on later versions of the website. (Ex. 7A)

36. After Horsley published the ACLA Nuremberg Files on the Internet, Horsley shipped the hard copy files to an undisclosed location at the request of Paul deParrie. (Tr. 2371)

37. None of the defendants produced any Nuremberg Files during the course of discovery in this lawsuit, despite the fact that they were in defendants possession after this lawsuit was filed in October 1995 and were called for by discovery requests. Neither [**12]� Horsley nor deParrie produced any Nuremberg Files pursuant to the subpoenas served on them. (Tr. 2374, 2875-76)

II. Defendants Released Their Threats into a Known Atmosphere of Violence Against Abortion Providers

38. On March 10, 1993, Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed outside of the Pensacola, Florida clinic where he performed abortions. (ACLA Answer P 55a; Tr. 1258, 2474) Michael Griffin has been convicted of this murder.

39. Prior to his murder, Dr. Gunn's name, photograph and other personal identifying information appeared on WANTED posters. (ACLA Answer P 53; Exs. 11, 12, 13; Tr. 939, 1257, 1497)

40. By January 1995, plaintiffs were aware of this murder and the posters that preceded it. (Exs. 133, 144; Tr. 365, 1508)

41. By January 1995, defendants knew of the murder of Dr. David Gunn and of the posters that preceded his death. (Exs. 57, 133, 144; Tr. 1508)

42. Defendants Michael Bray, Andrew Burnett, David Crane, Michael Dodds, Joseph Foreman, C. Roy McMillan, Catherine Ramey and Dawn Stover signed a "Defensive Action" petition circulated by Paul Hill declaring the murder of Dr. Gunn justifiable and calling for Griffin's acquittal. (Ex. 41A-41D)


Dr. George Tiller was also listed. "Also listed on the Deadly Dozen poster is the name and address of Dr. George Tiller of Kansas. Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms in August 1993 by Shelley Shannon of Grants Pass, Oregon."


The Conviction of Tim Dreste

Long article that shows the various links of Dreste and other extremists.


Army of God and Michael Bray

Michael Bray - Bray has been called the Chaplain of the Army of God. He was the host of the annual White Rose Banquets. Bray is the author of a book called A Time to Kill, which attempts to give a biblical justification for the use of force against abortion providers. Bray frequently and publicly applauds the use of violence to stop abortion and has been jailed for bombing abortion clinics.

"Justifiable Homicide" petitions signed by:

Michael Bray - Bowie, MD, I and II
C. Roy McMillan - Jackson, MS, I and II
Andrew Burnett - Portland, OR, I and II
Cathy Ramey - Portland, OR, I and II
Matt Trewhella - Milwaukee, WI, I
Paul J. Hill - Pensacola, FL, I
Paul deParrie - Portland, OR, I and II
Regina Dinwiddie - MO, I and II
Michael Dodds - Wichita, KS, I
Henry Felisone - Queens, NY, I and II
Tony Piso - Forest Hill, NY, I
Jacob Miller - Tampa, FL, I
Dan Bray - Bowie, MD, I
David Crane - Norfolk, VA, I
Donald Spitz - Norfolk, VA, I and II
Michael Jarecki - Brushton, NY, I
Bill Koehler - North Bergen, NJ, I and II
Kenneth Arndt - Windham, NH, I
Dave Leach - Des Moines, IA, I and II
Mike Walker - AL, I
Thomas Carleton - Billerica, MA, I and II
Valerie Zvskowski - Pittsburgh, PA, I
Joseph F. O'Hara, Wilkes-Barre, PA, I and II
David Graham - Olathe, KS, I and II
David Trosch - Mobile, AL, I and II
Rev. Dr. Michael Colvin - Bowie, MD, II
Thomas G. Hammond - Senatobia, MS, II
Betty L. Hammond - Senatobia, MS, II
Dr. Ronald Graeser - Freemont, MI, II
Dawn Stover - Portland, OR, II
Fr. Robert Pearson - West Long Banch, NJ, II


(Note how the same names keep appearing together - in the court case, on the petition, and associated with those convicted of murder and clinic bombings)










Me: There is NO way Akin didn't know who he was associating with. There is NO way Akin didn't know about the violence. And from his own words, “As far as I am concerned, you are the freedom fighters of America… My hat is off to you,” Akin condoned it. And from his past arrests, we know he wasn't above engaging in harassment and physical assault. To physically prevent someone from entering a clinic you have to use your body or hands on another person - and that's assault.



Also:

Ashcroft and Anti-Abortion Extremism: Widow of Dr. Barnett Slepian and Others Question Whether Ashcroft Would Protect Abortion Providers

On Jan. 21 in Bowie, Maryland, the Army of God and other extremists who openly advocate violence against abortion providers held their annual national meeting. While FBI agents checked license plates outside, Ashcroft won praise inside. A participant at the meeting was Tim Dreste, a Missourian known for distributing \”Wanted\” posters and other materials threatening abortion providers. [See John Yewell\'s \"Guns and Roses\"] From 1996 until 1999, while Ashcroft was a leader of the Missouri Republican party, Dreste was a member of the Republican state central committee. In 1996, according to the Riverfront Times, Dreste proposed that a death penalty for abortion providers be added to the state\’s GOP platform. It wasn\’t until a court ordered Dreste and colleagues to pay $107 million in damages for unlawfully threatening abortion providers — and after local protests — that Dreste was removed from the party committee. At last week\’s meeting, Dreste told news photographer Jenny Warburg that he keeps a photo of Ashcroft on his wall.


More

Among the prominent anti-abortion extremists at the White Rose conference and banquet is Tim Dreste, a militia member from Ashcroft's home state of Missouri. Dreste was a member of the Republican State Central Committee while Ashcroft was in the U.S. Senate. He was also one of the defendants, along with Bray, found liable in 1999 in the ACLA suit brought by Planned Parenthood. Dreste was ousted from the Missouri Republican Central Committee after the $107 million judgment was handed down. Pro-choice activists have accused Ashcroft of being slow to oppose Dreste, who has a history of supporting the use of violence against abortion providers.

NY judge strikes down terror law scholars fear

An anti-terrorism law was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge who said she saw legitimate fears in claims by journalists, scholars and political activists that they could face indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said the government has softened its position toward those who filed suit challenging the law, but she said the "shifting view" could not erase the threat of indefinite military detention. She urged Congress to make the law more specific or consider whether it is needed at all.

"First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away," Forrest wrote. "This Court rejects the Government's suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention."



Judge Rules Against Law on Indefinite Detention

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the government from enforcing a controversial statute about the indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects. Congress enacted the measure last year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.


In the detention case, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a permanent injunction barring the government from relying on the defense authorization law to hold people in indefinite military detention on suspicion that they “substantially supported” Al Qaeda or its allies — at least if they had no connection to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The United States has been detaining terrorism suspects indefinitely since 2001, relying on an authorization by Congress to use military force against perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks and those who helped them. Last year, Congress decided to create a federal statute that codified authority for such detentions.

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