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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 45,885

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

Why Israel’s Security Experts Support the Iran Deal—and Iran’s Hard-Liners Don’t

Why Israel’s Security Experts Support the Iran Deal—and Iran’s Hard-Liners Don’t
Posted on Aug 7, 2015

By Joe Conason


As Congressional Republicans seek to undermine the nuclear agreement between Iran and the international powers, they assert that hardline Islamists in the Islamic Republic are delighted with the deal while Israelis concerned over their country’s security are appalled. The same theme is now repeated constantly on Fox News Channel and throughout right-wing media.

But that message is largely false—and in very important respects, the opposite is true.


Indeed, while vast throngs of Iranians greeted their government’s negotiators in a joyous welcome, the fanatical reactionaries in the Revolutionary Guard and the paramilitary Basij movement—which have violently repressed democratic currents in Iran—could barely control their outrage. Upon reading the terms, a Basij spokesman said last month, “We quickly realized that what we feared ... had become a reality. If Iran agrees with this, our nuclear industry will be handcuffed for many years to come.”

Hoping and perhaps praying for a veto by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, their supreme leader, the Basijis, the right-wing media in Tehran, and their regime sponsors pointed to “red lines” that the agreement allegedly crossed.

“We will never accept it,” said Mohammed Ali Jafari, a high-ranking Revolutionary Guard commander.

Such shrill expressions of frustration should encourage everyone who understands the agreement’s real value. Iran’s “Death to America, Death to Israel” cohort hates this deal—not only because of its highly restrictive provisions, but because over the long term, it strengthens their democratic opponents and threatens their corrupt control of Iranian society.

In Israel, meanwhile, the alarmist criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—a sage whose confident predictions about Iran, Iraq, and almost everything else are reliably, totally wrong—has obscured support from actual military and intelligence leaders. Like experts in this country and around the world, the best-informed Israelis understand the deal’s imperfections very well—and support it nevertheless.

“There are no ideal agreements,” declared Ami Ayalon, a military veteran who headed the Israeli Navy and later oversaw the Jewish state’s security service, the Shin Bet. But as Ayalon explained to J.J. Goldberg of the Forward, this agreement is “the best possible alternative from Israel’s point of view, given the other available alternatives”—including the most likely alternative which is, as Obama explained, another extremely dangerous Mideast war.

Efraim Halevy, who formerly ran the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, and later headed its National Security Council, concurs with Ayalon (and Obama). Writing in Yedioth Aharonoth, the national daily published in Tel Aviv, Halevy points out a profound contradiction in Netanyahu’s blustering complaints. Having warned that an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose a unique existential threat to Israel, how can Bibi logically reject the agreement that forestalls any bomb development for at least 15 years and increases the “breakout time” from one month to a year—even if Iran ultimately violates its commitments?

Such a deal is far preferable to no deal, the ex-Mossad chief insists, although it won’t necessarily dissuade Tehran from making trouble elsewhere. Halevy also emphasizes that no mythical “better” deal would ever win support from Russia and China, Iran’s main weapons suppliers, whose leaders have endorsed this agreement.

In short, both of these top former officials believe the agreement with Iran will enhance their nation’s security—and contrary to what Fox News Channel’s sages might claim, they represent mainstream opinion in Israel’s military and intelligence circles.

So perhaps we can safely discount the partisan demagogues and feckless opportunists who claim to be protecting the Jewish state from Barack Obama. And when someone like Mike Huckabee—who memorably escaped military service because of his “flat feet”—denounces the president for “marching Israelis to the oven door,” let’s remember the sane and serious response of Israel’s most experienced defenders.

Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 08:07 AM (0 replies)

Rick Perry: Pro Education!

Posted by marble falls | Thu Aug 6, 2015, 08:57 PM (1 replies)

A year after Ferguson, whites are far more likely to admit racism is a problem

A year after Ferguson, whites are far more likely to admit racism is a problem

Tribune Washington Bureau
David Lauter and Matt Pearce
10 hrs ago


Protestors demonstrate during a silent protest in the streets of downtown St. Louis, Missouri on March 14, 2015.© Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images Protestors demonstrate during a silent protest in the streets of downtown St. Louis, Missouri on March 14, 2015. WASHINGTON — After a year of high-profile police shootings of black Americans, many captured on video, racial attitudes among Americans — particularly whites — have undergone a significant shift.

A majority of whites now say the country needs to do more to make equal rights a reality, and a significantly larger number of white Americans say blacks are treated less fairly than others by law enforcement officials, according to several newly released polls.

The share who say racism is a "big problem" in the U.S. has grown significantly as well.

Asked whether the country "needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites" or whether it already has "made the changes needed," Americans by just short of 2-1 now say more change is needed, according to a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

A majority of whites, 53 percent, agrees that more change is needed, according to the Pew survey and a separate poll by The Washington Post and ABC News, which asked the same question.

The polls, both released Wednesday, come as the country approaches the Aug. 9 anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, the black teenager whose shooting by an officer in Ferguson, Mo., focused new attention on police use of force against blacks and other racial minorities.

The shifts are significant. For the last several years, fewer than 4 in 10 whites have said that the country needs more change to achieve equality. Instead, a majority of whites consistently has said that the country already had "made the changes needed."

Some of the activists involved in protests the last year over police shootings took the shift in public opinion as at least a partial vindication.

"Man, that's good, that's huge," said Tony Rice, one of the most prominent of Ferguson's activists.

Rice, who has spent considerable time over the past year on a campaign to persuade white and black voters to recall Ferguson's mayor, said white residents have often told him that the news during the last year has caused them to rethink racial issues.

"They said, 'We had no idea what you guys were being treated like,'" he said. "My thing was, 'Hey, we tried to tell you, you just didn't listen,'" Rice said.

"Now they're starting to listen. That's what it comes down to," he said. "I'll take it."

DeRay Mckesson, a prominent activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, called the shift in attitudes "an acknowledgement of the impact of racism" that black Americans have long experienced. That's a testament to the impact the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere have had, he said.

But a change in attitude is only partial progress, he added. "It will be important," he added, "that knowledge translates into action, that people use their privilege to dismantle racist structures and systems," he said.

Even among African-Americans, the already large number who say the country needs to make more changes has grown in the last year, the polls found, reaching 86 percent in the Pew survey. Latinos also say by large margins that more changes are needed.

Among whites, a big part of the shift in attitudes has come from Republicans.

The GOP remains more conservative on racial issues than either Democrats or Americans who do not identify with either party. A majority of Republicans, for example, say that the country already has made the necessary changes to achieve equality.

But among Republicans, the share who say the country needs to change further has grown 15 points over the last year, Pew found.

By contrast with the partisan splits on racial issues, the numbers, surprisingly, don't vary much between older and younger Americans.

Another measure — the share of Americans who say that racism in the U.S. is a "big problem" — has also shown a significant increase. Today, half of the country says racism is a "big problem," Pew found, up from one-third who said so five years ago and one-quarter who held that view at the time Barack Obama was inaugurated as the nation's first black president.

Among whites, just over 4 in 10 now see racism as a "big problem," up from 1 in 4 when the question was last asked in 2010. A majority of blacks, 73 percent, and Latinos, 58 percent, call racism a big problem.

On that question too, a large share of the change has come from those who identify as Republican. The share in the GOP who say racism is a big problem has grown to 41 percent, up from just 17 percent in 2010.

Among Democrats, just under two-thirds see racism as a big problem, a number that has grown somewhat since 2010.

The percentage of Americans who described racism as a "big problem" fell from the mid-1990s, reaching a low point around the time of Obama's election, which many Americans, including many blacks, took as an indicator that the country had, finally, turned a page on its long history of racial discrimination.

Now, however, the Pew poll, as well as a recent New York Times/CBS News survey, shows a sharp turnaround in attitudes. Americans are less sanguine about racial equality and more aware of tensions, the polls indicate.

The share of white Americans who say that blacks have an "equal chance" of "getting ahead in today's society," for example, has dropped by 10 points since last year and now stands at 51 percent, the New York Times/CBS survey found.

Polls can't explain why attitudes have shifted, but some analysts say social media has had a major impact.

Social media has taken conversations that in the past would have taken place in "private spaces" and made them visible to a wider community, said Meredith Clark, an assistant professor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas who is conducting a research project on the Black Lives Matter movement.

That has made it possible for people to encounter views they might have been too uncomfortable to ask directly about, she said.

"It would be awkward if your co-worker came in and asked how you felt about seeing Mike Brown's body on the ground in Ferguson last year," Clark said. With social media, "you can just survey the information."

That sort of change may have made white Americans more aware of the discrimination that non-whites experience.

A fourth poll, by Gallup, released this week, asked Americans whether they believe blacks are treated less fairly than others in a variety of situations. The poll found notable increases in the share of people who think blacks are discriminated against.

Just over 4 in 10 Americans say blacks are treated less fairly in dealing with the police, the poll found, up 6 points from 2007, when Gallup asked the question previously. A smaller share, about 1 in 4 Americans, say blacks are treated unfairly at stores and shopping malls. The share saying that has grown by 10 points, Gallup found.

Partisan divisions still remain a major factor on racial issues, however. That can be seen clearly in reactions to the decision by South Carolina officials to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of their statehouse.

By 57 percent to 34 percent, a solid majority of Americans say the decision to take down the flag was the right one. Among Republicans, however, 49 percent say the decision to remove the flag was wrong, compared with 43 percent who agreed with it. Democrats overwhelmingly agree with the decision, 74 percent to 19 percent.

The large share of Republicans who disagree with taking down the flag suggests the issue could still be a potent one in GOP primaries. South Carolina holds one of the earliest primaries in the Republican presidential nomination process, and the Confederate flag has been an issue in that contest in previous election years.

The Pew poll was conducted July 14-20 among 2,002 American adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The Washington Post/ABC poll was conducted July 29-Aug. 2 among 1,010 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points. The Gallup poll was conducted June 15-July 10, among 2,296 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus four points.


(Lauter reported from Washington and Pearce from Los Angeles.)

© 2015 Microsoft

I think we might be reaching a tipping point!
Posted by marble falls | Thu Aug 6, 2015, 07:52 AM (1 replies)

From ACLU: Invasion of the Data Snatchers

Posted by marble falls | Tue Aug 4, 2015, 09:08 AM (3 replies)

Not sure where to put this, but I think its a good tool:

Posted by marble falls | Mon Aug 3, 2015, 09:30 AM (5 replies)

Racist women yelling the N word at mother and children all because kids splashed water on her

SC police shoot student in the back

How the Latest Smear Campaign Against Bernie Sanders Collapsed Before It Started

How the Latest Smear Campaign Against Bernie Sanders Collapsed Before It Started

The Vermont senator’s words were completely twisted. Here’s what he actually said.
By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet
July 31, 2015

This week, Bernie Sanders sat down with Vox.com for a lengthy interview on a variety of topics. One of the topics covered was the Vermont independent senator's views on immigration. Sanders' response to a question from Vox's Ezra Klein about whether the United States should have completely “open borders” has caused quite a bit of controversy. Here's the section in question:

KLEIN: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing ....

SANDERS: Open borders? No, that's a Koch brothers proposal.

KLEIN: Really?

SANDERS: Of course. That's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. ...

KLEIN: But it would make ....

SANDERS: Excuse me ....

KLEIN: It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn't it?

SANDERS: It would make everybody in America poorer —you're doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

The first blogger to pick up on this section and use it to bash Sanders was Vox's on Dylan Matthews, a young writer with a history of engaging in poorly researched conjecture. He wrote a post attacking Sanders, tweeting it out under the curious line that the senator “doesn't actually care about inequality” even though Sanders has spent much of his life fighting inequality in every dimension.

But the actual post is even stranger.

Matthews calls Sanders' view “ugly” because it treats American “lives as more valuable than the lives of foreigners,” and says he's “wrong about what the effects of an open-border policy would be on American workers.” Matthews cites a “Libertarian” website that claims the world GDP would increase between 50 to 150 percent and then a bunch of other random statistics to try to make the case that completely unlimited immigration would be positive for the United States.

At one point, he even throws in the example of Russian migration to Israel giving Israelis as a whole a higher standard of living. (He ignores that the influx caused such large social problems in Israel that the country sought billions in loans to assist it and caused a housing crisis that exacerbated the growth of settlements in Palestinian territory.)

The underyling point made by Klein and Matthews is also very strange: that the solution to global inequalities is for the United States and other rich countries to simply eliminate their borders and let everyone in. This ignores the problems that actually create global economic inequality: dysfunctional governing systems, exploitative supply chains and poor distribution of capital.

People don't come to the United States because as soon as they land on its shores, they are granted riches. Historically, they come here for access to jobs. When the jobs don't exist, they don't come here. During the Great Recession, both documented and undocumented immigration fell sharply. One of the practical results of the North American Free Trade Agreement was the collapse of the Mexican agricultural industry, which was flooded with highly subsidized agribusiness from the United States. What actually happened was that migration to the United States from Mexico dramatically increased, as workers tried to find new jobs to the north.

By Matthews' logic, it was good that NAFTA wiped out a section of the Mexican middle class, so they could risk their lives crossing a desert to come to the United States to be exploited for substandard-wage jobs rather than achieve the middle-class lifestyles they had in their own communities.

A number of other outlets joined in the pile-on after Matthews' missive, including ThinkProgress. But what was most interesting was the confirmation of Sanders' thesis that the idea of open borders is an ultra-right-wing Koch brothers idea. After he made his remarks, a number of right-libertarians wrote pieces slamming Sanders, including Daniel Bier of the so-called Foundation for Economic Education.

What's being lost in all of the sniping at Sanders is his actual record on immigration. Sanders is a son of a Polish Jewish migrant, and has spoken in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and ending detention quotas for undocumented immigrants. He vocally supported President Obama's immigration executive order and has called for going even further, such as including the parents of dreamers, putting him to the left of President Obama. Sanders voted in favor of 2013's comprehensive immigration reform bill, the primary piece of legislation immigrant advocates support. In 2003, he had a zero percent rating from the main anti-immigrant advocacy group, FAIR.

Despite all of this, it appears Sanders is being slammed for admitting a core truth about immigration in America: today, the corporate elite are advocates for more immigration not because they care about the hard-working families who risk everything to come here but because they absolutely do want workers to exploit for lower wages. The challenge for progressives is to be able to conduct a fair and humane immigration policy that defends human rights while not simply doing the bidding of Corporate America.

"I don’t think there’s any presidential candidate, none, who thinks we should open up the borders,” explained Sanders at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce later this week.

That's a level of nuance that may be lost on bloggers who were quick to criticize Sanders, but it's one that working people in America and abroad understand. For Vox, however, nuance may not be the most profitable. Moiz Syed, who works at Wikimedia, pointed out on Twitter that Matthews' hit piece on Sanders popped up alongside a sponsorship from Walmart.

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.
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