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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 63,593

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Oh, yeah. I'm going there. An Open Letter to President Obama

Oh, yeah. I'm going there. An Open Letter to President Obama
by: Lily O Lady (File this under hubris. I know I'm no genius. But you've been given advice by people who are apparently way more stupid than I am.)


Dear President Obama,

I know that when you were first elected President of the United States, you pledged to be president of all the people. But that does not mean that you have to follow the advice of stupid people. You just have to look out for their welfare.

It is a very, very bad idea to intervene in Syria. Now people at FOX News and in Congress will tell you that we are morally obligated to intervene in Syria. Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people. Another Middle East dictator used chemical weapons against his people. You remember how the war in Iraq turned out, right? Not such a good idea after all. Tens of thousands, maybe more than a million have died due to the Iraq War and people are still dying as a result of it. And the region is far less stable than it was before we invaded. War did not increase political stability.

There were plenty of articles by people with cooler heads in the media detailing the history of the region before the US invaded Iraq the second time. Those sane voices were drowned out by people waving the infamous bloody shirt and it's being used again to get us into Syria. Do not be fooled. As soon as something goes wrong, it will be all your fault.

So according to your critics, it will be all your fault if we act in Syria, and it will be all your fault if we don't. People will suffer either way. You cannot stop that. What you can stop is our part in that suffering. The US is not responsible for everything that happens in the world. That is hubris as well.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/30/1235018/-Oh-yeah-I-m-going-there-An-Open-Letter-to-President-Obama

ET Tu, Pelosi?

Pelosi Expresses Support For Military Action In Syria

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

"What Assad has done is outside the realm of basic human rights. On this evening’s call, I expressed my appreciation for the measured, targeted and limited approach the President may be considering," Pelosi said in the written statement.

Pelosi also said in the statement that those members of Congress on the call were "assured during the call there would be ongoing consultation with Congress."

"On the call, I agreed with Speaker Boehner and other Members who stated that there needs to be more consultation with all Members of Congress and additional transparency into the decision making process and timing, and that the case needs to be made to the American people," she added.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/pelosi-expresses-support-for-military-intervention-in-syria?ref=fpb

After all these years I still don't get it.

What's It All About Then

Leaving aside the specific question of Syria, just what does motivate the "only way to help people is by bombing them" crowd. They aren't all on the payroll of military-industrial complex. So many of them are the types who would object to the government giving a hungry person a piece of bread, but who nonetheless are happy to spend hundreds of billions to "help" people all across the world.

by Atrios:
http://www.eschatonblog.com/2013/08/whats-it-all-about-then.html#disqus_thread

Academy Fight Song---We forgot that maybe the market wasn’t the solution to all things.

Academy Fight Song





...............when that fat acceptance letter comes—oh, it is the greatest moment of personal vindication most of us have experienced. Our hard work has paid off. We have been chosen.

Then several years pass, and one day we wake up to discover there is no Santa Claus. Somehow, we have been had. We are a hundred thousand dollars in debt, and there is no clear way to escape it. We have no prospects to speak of. And if those damned dreams of ours happened to have taken a particularly fantastic turn and urged us to get a PhD, then the learning really begins.

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

The disaster that the university has proceeded to inflict on the youth of America, I submit, is the direct and inescapable outcome of this grim equation. Yes, in certain reaches of the system the variables are different and the yield isn’t quite as dreadful as in others. But by and large, once all the factors I have described were in place, it was a matter of simple math. Grant to an industry control over access to the good things in life; insist that it transform itself into a throat-cutting, market-minded mercenary; get thought leaders to declare it to be the answer to every problem; mute any reservations the nation might have about it—and, lastly, send it your unsuspecting kids, armed with a blank check drawn on their own futures.

Was it not inevitable? Put these four pieces together, and of course attendance costs will ascend at a head-swimming clip, reaching $60,000 a year now at some private schools. Of course young people will be saddled with life-crushing amounts of debt; of course the university will use its knowledge of them—their list of college choices, their campus visits, their hopes for the future—to extract every last possible dollar from the teenage mark and her family. It is lambs trotting blithely to the slaughter. It is the utterly predictable fruits of our simultaneous love affairs with College and the Market. It is the same lesson taught us by so many other disastrous privatizations: in our passion for entrepreneurship and meritocracy, we forgot that maybe the market wasn’t the solution to all things.

Al Jazeera: Syrian civilians in desperate need, as threat of US strike looms

"In large parts of rural Damascus for example, people are dying because they lack medical supplies and because there are not enough medical personnel to attend to them," said Magne Barth, head of the ICRC's delegation in the country. "They also go hungry because aid can't get through to them on a regular basis."

The United Nations says that in the besieged areas of Damascus and its outskirts, 600,000 people are believed to be in a critical situation due to frequent power cuts, lack of water supplies and shortages of basic goods.
In response to water needs, ICRC water engineers are trying to repair a damaged pipeline in Hama that serves some 1.3 million people, spokeswoman Dibeh Fakhr said. The pipeline in al-Waar, damaged in heavy clashes about two weeks ago, brings water from Homs to Hama.

The Geneva-based ICRC has tried to reach civilians trapped in the old city of Homs since early July, but it says it has been blocked by Syrian government authorities.



http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/8/30/icrc-military-strikeswillworsensyrianciviliansuffering.html

"The Black Budget Is Bigger Than Head Start, Justice & the Park Service Combined."



CLICK HERE FOR GRAPHIC: http://cdn-media.nationaljournal.com/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=30742

The Black Budget Is...

1.6 times larger than The National Institutes of Health budget: Obama is asking Congress for $31.3 billion in 2014 for the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's premier medical-research organization.

1.9 times larger than the Justice Department's budget: The Obama administration has proposed a fiscal 2014 budget of $27.6 billion for the Justice Department. Justice does, however, get a 6 percent taste of the black budget. Still, the 2013 CIA budget alone is equal to more than half of the department's total 2014 request.

5 times larger than the Head Start budget: Obama's proposed 2014 budget for the Health and Human Services Department requests $9.6 billion for Head Start, an early-education program aimed at infants and toddlers from low-income backgrounds.

6 times larger than the budget for high-speed and other passenger-rail programs: The Transportation Department's 2014 request includes an average of $8 billion per year over the next five years for freight, high-speed, and intercity passenger rail, part of the administration's aim to give four of five Americans access to the nation's high-speed rail network within 25 years.

20 times larger than the National Park Service budget: The 2014 Interior Department budget request includes $2.6 billion for the National Park Service, the agency in charge of protecting the nation's 400-plus national parks and managing 84 million acres of public land.

31 times larger than the Securities and Exchange Commission budget: Obama is asking for $1.674 billion for the SEC, an independent board in charge enforcing many of the anti-financial-fraud and—since 2010—partially overseeing the regulatory overhaul mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law.

34 times larger than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget: The 2014 Interior request includes $1.55 billion for the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency tasked with protecting most of the 1484 domestic species on the Endangered Species List, as well as managing 500-plus National Wildlife Refuges.

106 times larger than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau budget: The CFPB—the Elizabeth Warren-designed consumer watchdog—says it plans to spend $497 million in 2014. The agency, which was born out of Dodd-Frank and charged with protecting consumers from predatory lending and other threats, has been a political flashpoint since it was created in 2010 and is a frequent feature of Obama's stump speeches on protecting the middle class.

http://www.govexec.com/management/2013/08/black-budget-bigger-head-start-justice-and-park-service-combined/69695/?oref=ge-flyin

"The British Aren't Coming": David Cameron Humiliated as MPs Veto Missile Strikes On Syria

THE BRITISH AREN'T COMING

David Cameron humiliated - the newspaper reaction to his defeat
What the national newspapers thought of the commons vote against a military strike on Syria

"British prime ministers are just not supposed to lose votes on issues as fundamental as war and peace. This represents not just an extraordinary defeat, but a catastrophic political misjudgment."






That opinion was reflected also by the Times's sketch writer, Ann Treneman: "No one could believe it when it happened." Least of all, of course, the prime minister.

No one could believe it when it happened. The whole debate, taking place with MPs recalled from holiday so abruptly that they still smelt of suntan oil, had felt moribund. It had seemed like a pre-game debate about Syria and the post-game analysis about Iraq. Then, at the very end, eight hours after it had begun, all that changed.



And one American newspaper has weighed in with a critical report. The headline on the front page of the New York Daily News says: "The British aren't coming!" Indeed, echoing the famous song about the city - New York, New York: so good they named it twice - the paper thinks its headline so good they run it twice in two different sized typefaces.

The article begins: "President Obama's attempts to form a coalition of nations willing to attack Syria appear to be splintering. The biggest blow was dealt by the normally reliable Brits, whose parliament stunned Obama on Thursday by voting down prime minister David Cameron's proposal to join the attack on Bashar Assad's government."

hint hint, mr. president:
http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/aug/30/davidcameron-syria

George Zimmerman’s wife reveals she’d left him the night before he killed Trayvon Martin

Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was found not guilty of second degree murder in the slaying of teenager Trayvon Martin, told ABC News that she does not know if she will stay married to her husband. In an interview with reporter Christi O’Connor, Shellie Zimmerman said that she will have to think carefully about whether she plans to stay married to George Zimmerman, and that she had walked out on him after a particularly nasty argument on the night before he shot Martin.

“I was staying at my father’s house,” Zimmerman said. “We had gotten into an argument the night before and I left.”

On Wednesday, Shellie Zimmerman pleaded guilty to perjury in the same courtroom where her husband was acquitted of murder. Unlike her appearances at his trial, however, George Zimmerman was not in attendance, leaving her feeling “very much alone.”


She declined to say whether or not her husband has a violent temper when O’Connor asked about the argument that caused her to walk out on him in 2012.


....................
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/30/george-zimmermans-wife-reveals-shed-left-him-the-night-before-he-killed-trayvon-martin/

Glenn Greenwald's Partner Was Carrying A Stunning Amount Of Sensitive Documents When He Was Detained

Source: Business Insider

Glenn Greenwald's Partner Was Carrying A Stunning Amount Of Sensitive Documents When He Was Detained



Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, was carrying a stunning amount of government documents when he was detained by British authorities for nine hours earlier this month.

And a UK national security adviser said Friday that some of those 58,000 documents were extremely sensitive to national security.

The Daily Telegraph's David Barrett tweeted (***) out some of the details from the statement made Friday by Oliver Robbins, deputy national security adviser for intelligence, before UK judges.

Robbins was making the case that national security teams and police needed to investigate the material, which they seized earlier this month.




Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/david-miranda-glenn-greenwald-documents-national-security-2013-8#ixzz2dSYHyHYl

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/david-miranda-glenn-greenwald-documents-national-security-2013-8



***UK Government: Greenwald’s Partner Had a Password Written on a Piece of Paper

David Barrett @davidbarrett

Statement from senior Cabinet Office civil servant to #miranda case says material was 58000 'highly classified UK intelligence documents'

2:58 AM - 30 Aug 2013


David Barrett @davidbarrett

Police who seized documents from #miranda found among them a piece of paper with the decryption password, the statement says

3:03 AM - 30 Aug 2013

David Barrett @davidbarrett

This password allowed them to decrypt one file on his seized hard drive, adds Oliver Robbins, Cabinet Office security adviser #miranda
3:05 AM - 30 Aug 2013
David Barrett @davidbarrett


The material contains personal information that would allow British intelligence staff to be identified, inc some overseas, it adds #miranda
3:09 AM - 30 Aug 2013


http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42458_UK_Government-_Greenwalds_Partner_Had_a_Password_Written_on_a_Piece_of_Paper

Food, water, shelter and sanitation for refugees is nowhere near as sexy as war...

Food, water, shelter and sanitation for refugees is nowhere near as sexy as war, so this is getting little attention. If, as Juan Cole recommends, Obama decides to pivot and move to diplomacy after losing British support, focusing on the plight of refugees and using our airlift to send them aid would be smart politics as well as good policy.
http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/08/30/follow-ups-on-syria/


Life for the 40,000 people who crossed the border from Syria into northern Iraq over the past two weeks will be extremely difficult.

After being closed for three months, the Peshkhabour crossing between Syria and Iraq reopened on 15 August. Tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians who had been stuck on the border were finally able to reach safety, with more continuing to cross each day.

Unfortunately, these new arrivals will feel the ill-effects of the lack of funding for refugee aid in northern Iraq. Before the reopening of the crossing, Iraq was home to 9% of the Syrian refugee population yet had received only 6% of the funding, according to the UN. Without urgent assistance from governments around the world, a dire situation will become far worse.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/aug/30/syrian-refugees-iraq
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