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FourScore

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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Inspiring images of over 1000 Muslims forming 'ring of peace' around Oslo synagogue

Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 03:16 PM PST
Inspiring images of over 1000 Muslims forming 'ring of peace' around Oslo synagogue
by Ian ReifowitzFollow


If ever a photo was worth a thousand words


That is a beautiful image. Over the weekend, more than 1000 Muslims gathered to form a ring of peace around a synagogue in Oslo, Norway. They both offered a human shield—in the best sense of the term—protecting one of the most visibly Jewish locations in their city, and condemned the murder last week of Dan Uzan, a Danish Jew, at a Copenhagen synagogue. That murder was committed by Omar El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, as part of an attack that also included shooting up a forum discussing free speech that featured Lars Vilks, who has been the subject of death threats and even assassination plots for having published cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Although Vilks escaped unharmed, one person attending the forum died. El-Hussein was pursued, shot, and killed by Danish police.

These Oslo Muslims brought a message of peace and tolerance, one that rejects hate. They chanted: "No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia." Zeeshan Abdullah, who helped organize the event, told the Muslims and Jews gathered together outside the synagogue:

"Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that. There are many more peace mongers than warmongers. There’s still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."


Seeing these images, I can't help but agree...More photos from the event.







Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 03:16 PM PST.
Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/22/1366149/-Inspiring-images-of-over-1000-Muslims-forming-ring-of-peace-around-Oslo-synagogue

The Daily Show - Congressman turns THUG - a thing of BEAUTY!!!

(Sorry if this is a dupe. It is a few days old. I haven't had much time for the internet lately, so it may have already made the rounds. Enjoy.)

Florida Representative Turns Thug And DESTROYS Texas During Congress Hearing! Fun
Feb 6, 2015

Alcee Lamar Hastings is the U.S. Representative for Florida. During a recent congress hearing, things between him and a representative from Texas got a little heated and Alcee went total thug. He laid into the Lone Star State, calling it ‘crazy’ and saying he’d never live there and all sorts. And when he’s asked to apologize, he flat out refuses. He might just be the coolest politician you’ve ever seen…



http://fun.boredombash.com/alcee-hastings-thug-life/

Cenk Uygur: My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams

Mon Feb 09, 2015 at 08:13 PM PST
My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams
by Cenk Uygur

First, let me say very clearly from the beginning that I am biased in this case because I know Brian Williams a tiny bit and he has always been fundamentally decent to me.

On the other hand, I'm the guy who wrote the piece Why Brian Williams is Irrelevant. The current controversy surrounding him ties in well with that article I wrote many years ago. People think that Brian Williams is the problem because he exaggerated a war story about Iraq? Are you kidding me? The whole war was based on a monstrous lie that almost the entire media enabled and perpetuated. That's the real problem.

If the rest of the press scapegoat Williams and feign righteous indignation over his lie, as they are in the middle of doing now, it will be unbearable. Where were all of those people when we were being sold a bill of goods on Iraq? Oh I know, on air. They sold us those lies en masse. So, please don't pretend you have integrity now. Please don't pretend that the real problem is an exaggeration about a tiny story in the middle of the war.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11 when we invaded Iraq. That is the biggest failure of the media I have ever seen. Has anyone apologized for that yet? Has anyone been fired for that yet? If you want to fire all of the executives and editors who let that lie be sold to the American people through their media outlets, then I'm a 100% with you. Then we can also fire Brian Williams.

Don't get me wrong, Williams was definitely part of that media machine. His much bigger issue is that he never told his audience that he had generals on the air who are being paid by defense contractors to push more war while they pretended to be objective analysts. That's a firing offense! But then you'd have to fire almost everyone at NBC, wouldn't you?

While we're firing people, find me the MSNBC executives who got rid of Phil Donahue and Ashleigh Banfield for speaking out against the war. You fire those guys and Brian Williams at the same time and you've got a deal. But their offense was a thousand percent worse and there was never even a discussion about firing them.

The American people are allowed to be outraged at what Brian Williams said; the people who fought against the lies that got us into the Iraq War are allowed to be outraged; but the establishment press who are part and parcel of that system can go ahead and spare me their contrived, bullshit outrage.

This is how the system covers up for their gross failures. Every once in awhile we are offered a sacrificial lamb on a small issue that is a distraction rather than the heart of the matter. Then the media gets to walk away self-satisfied, with an unbearable smug look on their face -- as if they have ethics. Your ethics amuse me. Your faux concern over this issue is vomitous.

If there is someone in the mainstream media that didn't cheerlead for far more egregious lies that got us into the Iraq War, let them be the first to pick up a stone. The rest of you sitting in your giant glass house, either fire yourselves or shut the fuck up.

Watch The Young Turks Here

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363481/-My-Ironic-Defense-of-Brian-Williams

Blurring the Lines of News and Entertainment, Fact and Fiction

Mon Feb 09, 2015 at 10:50 AM PST
Blurring the Lines of News and Entertainment, Fact and Fiction
by AmBushed

Salon.com published an excellent article today, written by Steve Almond, titled "Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own". It is by far the best analysis I have read regarding the Williams saga because Almond actually goes to the heart of the problem by exploring the responsibility we, the people, bear.

...the national chorus of indignation over the vain, clumsy lies that Williams told is, in fact, a direct measure of our own neurotic impulses. Americans consume more violence—both real and imagined—than any other nation on earth. Yet as a population, we move about our daily lives with almost no threat of actual violence from enemies abroad.


Almond argues that Williams was not the only one to sell us a war as entertainment, yet now that the curtain has been lifted on Williams and his stories have been exposed as fraudulent, we are all shocked, shocked by the betrayal. Yet, we knew it all along; we knew the whole thing was one great, big lie. Not just the basis for war (although that as well), but also in the daily coverage - we were shown a war with no visible dead bodies, no combat footage, no coffins. There was no prime time news outlet questioning the wisdom of war, no real journalistic exploration of the actual cost - neither financial nor human - nor the problems we'd face in the aftermath. It was sold as just and moral; we were the liberators! It was entertainment.

To howl about how Brian Williams has a “credibility problem” because of his famous fibs is to miss the true nature of his fraudulence: that he and his team were happy to render the Iraq War as a form of entertainment, a righteous crusade in which badass high-tech G.I. Joes defend the holy Christian homeland by slaughtering and eventually civilizing Islamic savages.

I don’t mean to single Williams or NBC out. With a few notable exceptions, the television coverage of the war was carefully stage-managed by Department of Defense. We were shown approved footage of rolling tanks and magical bombs, and precious little in the way of dead bodies, American or Iraqi.


Almond comes to the heart of his argument in his conclusion:

But what happens when we define physical courage—in the absence of moral consideration—as our highest good is that we deplete our capacities for mercy. This, in turn, allows our leaders to peddle any invasion or torture program or drone strike, no matter how ill-conceived, no matter how destructive to other human beings, no matter how degrading to our basic sense of decency, as necessary to “the national interest.”

Does America’s civilian culture even understand what war is anymore? That it’s not just some proving ground for the masculine ego, but an experience by which thousands of human beings—many of them women and children—are systematically killed, maimed, traumatized, and displaced? Is Brian Williams really the only American confused on this point? Or is he just the most famous one?


Due to fair use, the quotes must remain limited, so I encourage everyone to follow the link. Almond's article is a must-read, and I think he is absolutely correct in his analysis, but I would venture to take it even further. The blurring of fact vs fiction and entertainment vs news has had a profound effect on our country. Science is rejected and "experts" with clear financial ties are given a stage to voice their fantasies unimpeded as if they were fact. Global warming, vaccinations, torture, death panels...the list is endless. One would expect Hollywood to blur the lines of truth with entertainment, they do it all the time. Still, at what point is it propaganda? That is the question that continues to swirl around the portrayal of Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood's film "American Sniper."

I don't have the answer. I have watched this phenomenon with horror for years now, and worried about the effects such blurring has on a society. There are websites, of course, that work toward combating the misinformation. Although, for every good website, there is a bad one peddling more lies. If any good were to come from Brian William's fall from grace, it would be for journalists to wake up and start doing their job, for news outlets to demand they do their job, and for Americans to insist on it. Sadly, I don't think that's going to happen.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363319/-Blurring-the-Lines-of-News-and-Entertainment-Fact-and-Fiction

Excellent article -- Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 07:00 AM EST
Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own
The NBC anchor's fibs run deeper: He sold us war as entertainment, chicken-hawk fools as heroes. We all bought it.

Steve Almond

...If Brian Williams wanted to display genuine courage—if he was interested in actual journalism, as opposed to the elaborate construction of war propaganda—he might have spent his time in Iraq questioning the motives, costs, and intended goals of our invasion. In fact, as the bright public face of a huge journalistic army, Williams might have questioned the unctuous and ultimately bogus justifications our leaders offered for invading Iraq in the first place.

To howl about how Brian Williams has a “credibility problem” because of his famous fibs is to miss the true nature of his fraudulence: that he and his team were happy to render the Iraq War as a form of entertainment, a righteous crusade in which badass high-tech G.I. Joes defend the holy Christian homeland by slaughtering and eventually civilizing Islamic savages.

I don’t mean to single Williams or NBC out. With a few notable exceptions, the television coverage of the war was carefully stage-managed by Department of Defense. We were shown approved footage of rolling tanks and magical bombs, and precious little in the way of dead bodies, American or Iraqi. Our leaders made promise after promise about how the occupation would proceed, nearly all of which proved false...

SNIP

...Does America’s civilian culture even understand what war is anymore? That it’s not just some proving ground for the masculine ego, but an experience by which thousands of human beings—many of them women and children—are systematically killed, maimed, traumatized, and displaced? Is Brian Williams really the only American confused on this point? Or is he just the most famous one?

http://www.salon.com/2015/02/09/our_dangerous_macho_delusions_brian_williams_fraudulence_and_our_own/

GOP Releases Health Care Plan to Replace Obamacare

As a veteran, I see ‘American Sniper’ as dangerous, but not for the reasons you’d think

As a veteran, I see ‘American Sniper’ as dangerous, but not for the reasons you’d think
Brock McIntosh
February 3, 2015


Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” (Warner Brothers)

After watching the movie “American Sniper,” I called a friend named Garett Reppenhagen who was an American sniper in Iraq. He deployed with a cavalry scout unit from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed near FOB Warhorse. I asked him if he thought this movie really mattered. “Every portrayal of a historical event should be historically accurate,” he explained. ”A movie like this is a cultural symbol that influences the way people remember history and feel about war.”

Garett and I met through our antiwar and veteran support work, which he’s been involved with for almost a decade. He served in Iraq. I served in Afghanistan. But both of us know how powerful mass media and mass culture are. They shaped how we thought of the wars when we joined, so we felt it was important to tell our stories when we came home and spoke out.

I commend Chris Kyle for telling his story in his book “American Sniper.” The scariest thing I did while in the military was come home and tell my story to the public — the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel that veterans owe it to society to tell their stories, and civilians owe it to veterans to actively listen. Dr. Ed Tick, a psychotherapist who has specialized in veteran care for four decades, explains, “In all traditional and classical societies, returned warriors served many important psychosocial functions. They were keepers of dark wisdom for their cultures, witnesses to war’s horrors from personal experience who protected and discouraged, rather than encouraged, its outbreak again.”

Chris Kyle didn’t view Iraq like me and Garett, but neither of us have attacked him for it. He’s not the problem. We don’t care about the lies that Chris Kyle may or may not have told. They don’t matter. We care about the lies that Chris Kyle believed. The lie that Iraq was culpable for September 11. The lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The lie that people do evil things because they are evil...

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/focus-chris-kyle-distracts-real-problems-american-sniper/

"This pediatrician is not putting up with it."

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