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AlienLove: Politics

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 Screwed Again: Government Continues To Deny Manning Access To Health Care

Politics
CHELSEA MANNING FACES NEW CHARGES, INDEFINITE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT RELATED TO SUICIDE ATTEMPT

Press Release: ACLU.org

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning received a document from Army officials today [July 28, 2016] informing her that she is being investigated for serious new charges related to her July 5th attempt to take her own life.

If convicted of these “administrative offenses,” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence.

“It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio. “Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, August 04 @ 19:32:34 EDT (1321 reads)
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 Opinion: Trump’s America: A Shining Outhouse on a Hill

Politics
I give up.

By Donald Kaul

When Donald Trump announced he was running for president, I mocked him. “Of the United States?” I asked. (I got a C- in Mockery when I was in college, unfortunately.)

When he jumped into the lead almost immediately, I laughed. “The higher the climb, the harder the fall,” I said. (I did better in Pithy Quotations.)

When the early campaigning found him doing well in such disparate states as Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, I fell into denial. “He’ll never, ever be the Republican nominee,” I said. “Republicans are too sensible.”

Then Super Tuesday happened and Trump basically wiped the floor with his opponents, who finally paused their fights with each other to join in a pathetic mass spitball attack on Trump. They were joined by the ghostly reappearance of Mitt Romney, who as usual was a day late and a dollar short.

So I give up. I’m now convinced that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for the presidency. Yes, of the United States. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, March 13 @ 17:42:35 EDT (1294 reads)
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 Screwed Again: DOJ Wants to Arrest You for Terrorism for Not Liking Them

PoliticsBy Larken Rose

Propagandists for the U.S. ruling class—I mean, “spokespersons for the United States government”—usually choose their words carefully, trying to use insinuation to demonize their opponents, euphemisms to deify themselves, and other spin and lies to make freedom sound bad and authoritarian power sound good. But they’re not usually stupid enough to come right out and say, “war is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength” (see George Orwell’s “1984”). In most cases, to see their true agenda, you need to read between the lines. Sometimes, however, their totalitarian mentality is put on display for all to see.

Consider, for example, this CNN article, talking about how the DOJ wants to shift its focus more to domestic “terror groups.”

Just so we’re clear, I’m a voluntaryist myself, who believes in the non-aggression principle. I abhor actual assault, murder and terrorism (which, as it happens, is committed by agents of “government” far more often than by anyone else). So if someone is actually harming or endangering innocents, I hope someone stops them, using whatever it takes. Whether or not the aggressor, or the protector, wears a badge is totally morally irrelevant. Ain’t I just an extreme, dangerous kook? Anyway, back to the story.

The CNN article starts by quoting “government” officials saying that “domestic terror groups” are a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda. Well, since those (sometimes fictional) groups are no threat at all to America, that isn’t saying much. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 29 @ 16:23:09 EDT (1033 reads)
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 Humor/Satire: Bombs of love

Politics
Bombs of love

by: Gary Lindorff


Let us bomb your neighborhood
Guided by our intelligence.
Let us erase your neighbor
Out of love.

Not you, not your children.
Bombs of love!
You should be grateful
After the dust clears
After the evil has been exploded,
After the crater
Has been filled and paved;
We will explode our way into your hearts.


Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, October 16 @ 19:14:09 EDT (1040 reads)
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 Opinion: Hillary-Bernie Skirmishes Begin, Can All-Out War Be Far Behind?

PoliticsBy William Boardman

Hillaryite Senator McCaskill shoots from her hip, hits her foot

A month after attacking Game of Thrones, Democratic senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri shifted her attack from fiction to her very real fellow senator, Bernie Sanders. She took the Independent senator from Vermont to task for having the temerity to challenge Hillary Clinton’s divine right to ascend to the American political throne of the presidency. Or as McCaskill put it on MSNBC June 25:

Any other candidate that had the numbers that Hillary Clinton had right now would be talked about as absolutely untouchable….

That’s the first line of Hillary Clinton’s defense, her inevitability, based on polls taken when she was the only Democratic candidate in the race. The argument is more monarchist than democratic and should be offensive to anyone who thinks elections should be about substantive issues.

Team Clinton’s basic tactic of ignoring the Sanders campaign ended with the sacrifice of surrogate pawn McCaskill’s attack on Sanders on MSNBC when she said, quite falsely:

The media is giving Bernie a pass right now, I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he is a socialist.

This is evidence that McCaskill doesn’t read much coverage of Bernie, since he regularly self-identifies as a “democratic socialist” and most media coverage follows suit. By implication, McCaskill is calling Sanders out for his policy positions, such as universal health care, universal college education, a living wage, good, affordable childcare, and other policy choices that have been sacrificed to “outrageous tax loopholes for billionaires and large corporations.” (The Hill notes that “Sanders’s ‘socialist’ policies sound a lot like Teddy Roosevelt’s and Reagan’s,” and later adds President Taft.)

These days, the “socialist” label is more meaningless than ever, though for some it serves as a pallid form of Red-baiting (call it Pink-baiting). Calling Sanders a “socialist” is not only redundant and irrelevant, it’s an intellectually dishonest tactic for avoiding the substance of the issues Sanders is running on. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 06 @ 21:59:48 EDT (2062 reads)
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 Screwed Again: Robin Hood in Reverse

Politics
The gap between the rich and the rest is growing partly because we keep electing politicians who promise nothing less.

By Donald Kaul

One of the biggest questions of the day is: Why do the rich keep getting richer and the middle class keep getting poorer?

This also ranks as the dumbest question of the day, week, month, or year. To anyone who’s been paying attention, it’s obvious why economic inequality in our land is growing:

That’s what we asked for.

For at least 35 years, since the reign of King Ronald the Reagan, our democratic society has waged relentless economic war on the middle class and the poor, giving their share of the pie to the rich and the well-to-do.

It didn’t happen in secret. The Republican Party is built on the reverse Robin Hood principle of taking from the less affluent so the rich can have what they think they need — a word that not coincidentally rhymes with “greed.”

Democrats follow the same principle too, but not as openly. Only they throw more scraps to the “disadvantaged” every once in a while than the GOP. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, June 20 @ 17:10:16 EDT (1711 reads)
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 The News: The Anti-Empire Report #139

PoliticsBy William Blum

Their precious young minds and our precious young minds

She was a redheaded rebel, the singer in the family, a trash-talking, tattooed 21-year-old wrapped up in a hip-hop dream of becoming Holland’s Eminem. Then Betsy found Allah. After her sudden conversion to Islam last summer, Betsy began dressing in full Muslim robes. By January, the once-agnostic Dutch woman, raised in a home where the only sign of religion was a dusty Bible on a shelf, began defending homegrown terrorists. … Denis Cuspert, a German hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg who converted in 2010 and later joined The Islamic State [ISIS], delivers a rap-like chant portraying the path to jihad as a chance for empowerment, spiritual fulfillment, vengeance and adventure. … ‘The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you,’ says a Swedish convert to Islam in a video. ‘It is the fastest way to paradise.’ [1]

Tales told many times in recent years, all over Europe, at times in the United States. Parents and authorities are deeply distressed and perplexed. How can young people raised in the West – the freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled West – join the Islamic State and support the public cutting off of the heads of breathing, living human beings? Each of us in our own way are lost souls searching for answers to the awful mysteries of life. But THIS? What life-quest does The Islamic State satisfy that our beloved West can’t satisfy? ISIS is unique in the world in making US foreign policy look good. The Defense Department and the State Department have special task forces studying the new enemy; the latter regularly puts out videos to counteract the many Islamic State videos.

I hope those researching the question look inwardly as well as at ISIS. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, May 29 @ 09:29:48 EDT (2276 reads)
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 Truth To Power: The Latest Victim in the War on Whistleblowers

Politics
Jeffrey Sterling learned the hard way that the feds will throw the book at anyone who embarrasses them.

By John Kiriakou

Jeffrey Sterling recently stood before a judge as his sentence was read. The former CIA officer, the judge declared, would spend 42 months — that’s three and half years — behind bars. The feds had convicted Sterling on nine felony charges, including seven counts of espionage.

He didn’t sell secrets to the Russians. He didn’t trade intelligence for personal gain. He made no attempt to disrupt the American way of life.

What did he do, then?

He reported to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the CIA had botched an operation to feed false information about nuclear technology to Iran — and may have actually helped Iran’s enrichment program instead.

Largely based on this, the government accused Sterling of leaking details about the program to journalist James Risen, who wrote about it in his book State of War.

Even worse, the feds claimed that Sterling, who is black, did it out of resentment over a failed racial discrimination lawsuit against the agency — in effect using Sterling’s willingness to stand up for his rights against him.

There was no actual proof, though, that Sterling was Risen’s source. The only evidence the prosecution had against Sterling was metadata that showed he had spoken to Risen by phone. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, May 21 @ 23:27:57 EDT (2121 reads)
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 Opinion: Send in the Clowns

Politics
As the 2016 presidential candidates belatedly get worked up about inequality, they're losing touch with reality.

By Donald Kaul

Hardly a day goes by that another candidate doesn’t announce his or her intention to run for the presidency. One day it’s Carly Fiorina, the next it’s Mike Huckabee, Bernie Sanders, or Hillary Clinton, even.

It’s like the circus — when the little car rolls into the center ring and a clown gets out, then another, then two more, and on and on until the ring is overflowing with 1,000 clowns, or so it seems.

We won’t get up to 1,000 politicians yearning to lead the “free world,” or what’s left of it. But we should reach two dozen presidential aspirants who are asking us voters to take them seriously before we’re done.

It’s still early, but it looks as though the major message of this election is going to be about closing the cavernous gaps between the rich and the poor. Democrats have always suspected that the poor are being victimized by our economic system, but now it seems that the Republicans are singing that song too.

Former First Brother Jeb Bush, whose family has been rich ever since his grandfathers got into oil and weapons 100 years ago, is now excoriating the “elites” who’ve stifled growth and left the middle class to twist slowly in the wind. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, May 16 @ 00:12:12 EDT (2348 reads)
(Read More... | 5499 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 5)

 Truth To Power: The Anti-Empire Report #138

PoliticsBy William Blum

Cold War 2.0, part I

In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”

On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Press writer Matthew Lee:

Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to - and not wanting them to allow - you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?

Psaki: Well, just to be clear - and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again - it’s - our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]

Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?

Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it - as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.

Lee: Okay. Well, you - I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, April 14 @ 18:06:49 EDT (2531 reads)
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 Opinion: Why 47 Republican Senators Should NOT Be Viewed as Traitors

PoliticsBy William Boardman

You don’t get to be a traitor just by acting treasonously

Just because 47 Republican Senators want to redefine the Constitution and establish their own redoubt of lawlessness doesn’t make them traitors, even if tweets at #47Traitors suggest otherwise. Maybe it makes them individually impeachable, or recallable, or otherwise removable from office, but who has the time and energy to make the effort to do that? After all, the offense committed by the 47 Republican Senators was only a one-page open letter to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” as a generic category, not by individual name (the only one named in the body of the letter is reportedly near death).

The 47 Republican Senators make sure their own names appear on the three pages following the one-page letter drafted by freshman senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, whose 2014 election cost him $13.9 million, much of it coming from Israeli-hardline sources. Given that Cotton is on record claiming falsely that Mexican drug gangs are allied with ISIS (the Islamic State), lying about food stamps, and calling for keeping Guantanamo open and adding prisoners, it’s not surprising there’s a far right boomlet to run Cotton for president. In 2013, Cotton proposed anti-Iranian legislation that would punish sons and daughters for the merely alleged sins of fathers, no proof needed. That’s a “Corruption of Blood” measure that the Constitution explicitly forbids in cases of treason by Americans. In this context, Cotton’s threatening letter to unnamed Iranian leaders hardly seems extreme.

If demagoguery and fear-mongering were treason, there would be almost no one left in Congress. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, March 21 @ 11:12:27 EDT (2395 reads)
(Read More... | 10063 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 5)

 Stories/Poems: I Can't Breathe

Politics


I Can't Breathe

By Gary Lindorff


I’m white.
But I can’t breathe.
I’m suffocating.
Maybe I’m dying.



Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, December 16 @ 16:53:33 EST (2402 reads)
(Read More... | 2375 bytes more | Comments? | Stories/Poems | Score: 0)

 Opinion: The Anti-Empire Report #132 - September 2014

PoliticsBy William Blum

Ukraine and neo-Nazis

Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.

On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet. [1]

On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.

Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, September 19 @ 20:01:54 EDT (1524 reads)
(Read More... | 19031 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 Truth To Power: Whoops! What crisis?

Politics
Time to Go on the Offensive to Improve, Not Just Save Social Security and Medicare

by: Dave Lindorff

The wind has suddenly been knocked out of sails of those critics of Social Security and Medicare in Washington -- Republican and Democrat -- who have for years been warning direly that the two programs were going bust. Suddenly their favored “rescue” plans for these crucial programs -- turning to a stingier way of calculating the annual inflation adjustment, raising the retirement age, and even reducing benefits for Social Security, and cutting benefits for Medicare -- don’t make sense to anyone.

Thanks to an improved jobs picture, a marked slowdown in health care cost inflation and other factors, the latest annual Trustees Report from the Social Security Administration paints a picture of a much improved situation. As things stand now, this report says the Trust Fund that was built up, starting back in the early 1980s, to cover the anticipated increase in benefit payments to the wave of Baby Boomer retirees, will not be exhausted until 2033, which happens to be about the time that the last Baby Boomers born in 1964 will be retiring, and when the wave of 78 million Boomer retirees will be starting to shrink as early boomers born in the late 1940s and 1950s begin to die off (the oldest Boomers, born in 1946, will be 87 in 2033).

The Medicare Trust Fund, too, is looking much better. As recently as last year, it was being projected to run out in 2026, but now it looks like it will still have a positive balance in 2030. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, August 03 @ 20:49:40 EDT (1879 reads)
(Read More... | 9135 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 Opinion: The Anti-Empire Report #130 - July 2014

PoliticsBy William Blum

What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?

US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and keep us admired throughout the world.”

Paul Ryan, Congressman, Republican Party candidate for Vice President, September 12, 2012:
“We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.”

John McCain, Senator, September 9, 2012:
“The situation in Syria and elsewhere ‘cries out for American leadership’.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 14 @ 21:16:42 EDT (1752 reads)
(Read More... | 17072 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)


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