Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Ballad of Ira Hayes

I've always been a big fan of the Man in Black. This is an especially poignant story in light of the fact that today, battle casualties are no longer the primary reason for soldiers’ deaths. Now, the primary cause of death is suicide.

For those who don't know, Ira Hayes was a Pima Native American and one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph of the victory at Iwo Jima during World War II. He died a couple weeks after his 32nd birthday.



The bitter tears of Johnny Cash

Monday, June 24, 2013

Remote Carjacking

It's stuff like this that almost makes me glad I can't afford a car. From the IntelliHub:

"From listening to your conversations through your vehicle’s OnStar™ system while you drive down the road, to controlling your door locks, steering wheel, breaks, accelerator, capable hackers have capabilities to remotely hijack your vehicle. In fact, they can even track you."


Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Blog!


[From "The Lighter Side of Jody"]

I made a resolution this New Year's Day to focus more on the positive. I've tried, and Lord knows it's helped me get through what would otherwise be a frustrating and very difficult time. The bullshit stream is just as constant and powerful as ever, and the smell is getting worse and worse, and sometimes I wonder if this just isn't a war of attrition. I've seen quite a few fellow bloggers kind of fall by the wayside lately, I think they just shrugged their shoulders and decided, "that's it. I've had my say. No one's doing anything about it anyway."

But really, that's not true. I've seen a genuine awakening amongst the general public lately that it'd be easy to overlook if all you did was run around trying to plug up leaks in the dyke that's seemingly holding back a torrent of chaos. You can exhaust yourself that way. But don't lose sight of the bigger picture! That's just what the bad guys want you to do!

I used to think Twitter was a cesspool for mindless chatter about crap that doesn't matter. Now I see that it's more like the Internet in that, yeah, most people operate at a lower vibration than I'm comfortable with, so that's what the bulk of the content is going to be -- porn and stupidity. But unlike Facebook, which seems to have almost been written by the CIA, I'm starting to think that Twitter can be used as a powerful tool for social good. For one thing, I found there are a bunch of kids out there that haven't lost sight of what should be common sense for everybody. People don't turn into murderous terrorists overnight. Jahar Tsarnaiv had a twitter account, and it's pretty obvious browsing through it that this guy didn't have the mind of a dangerously obsessed, murderous terrorist. He was a friendly, laid-back college kid with a good sense of humor. Plus ... I'll admit if I were 14 and I could buy one I'd probably have a poster of him hanging in my room. Or at least my locker.

So now there's an army of young ladies who would otherwise be obsessed over stupid crap that won't matter in five years who have had their eyes opened to the fact that, hey, authority has been lying to them. Anderson Cooper doesn't always tell the truth. Something's really wrong ...

I've been involved in 9-11 truth for a long time. This is one demographic you hardly ever see in the wonkish truth movement. It's really, really cool to see a fresh, new energy of politically awakened people.

So anyway, there's that ... plus I've got a mystical side that doesn't really mesh with my political blog, in many ways I'm too "woo-woo" to be the most credible political commentator, and I know it. I strongly believe in higher dimensions, and that world consciousness is moving closer in that direction by the day. But if you're slightly ahead of the curve, you're going to look like a flake, even though the news on that side is infinitely less depressing. So this is my solution ... I'll just start a new blog where I can indulge in happier musings and still have my "keepin' it real" political blog meant specifically for exposing the ("ugly") truth. Actually, the real Truth is beautiful, but you have to pass through a mucky, thorny, shitstream to get there. Hope to see you on the other side! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Happy Sandy Hook Actors (video)

Before you call me a cold-hearted cynical witch, watch the video and ask yourself if these are normal reactions for people who've just lost their loved ones. Remember that these guys had websites asking for donations up on the Internet before the shootings ever took place. And now they want special laws to keep certain records (like photos, 911 calls, and security footage) from ever being released (maybe because they don't exist?).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reposted news articles about the Boston Bombings

FBI Director Robert Mueller faces tough questions on Boston bombings
"There have been conflicting reports of whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the gun battle scene by car or on foot. Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts state police, for example, specifically stated that Dzhokhar 'fled on foot...' The New York Times, however, reported that Dzhokhar '...climbed back into the car and drove off, apparently hitting his older brother.' After Tamerlan Tsarnaev was pronounced dead, Dr. Richard Wolfe, head of emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said 'I certainly did not see any tire marks or the usual things we see with someone run over by a car,' as reported by the Boston Herald."

Another gunman was in area when MIT officer Collier was killed
"The description of the armed suspect who robbed the 7-11 at 750 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, is of a 5"11' Hispanic male wearing a black jacket, jeans, and a black cowboy hat. 7-11 corporate spokesperson Margaret Chabris has confirmed that the suspect in the robbery looked nothing like either of the Tsarnaev brothers, the prime suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing."

Crisis Actors Needed For Coming Political Events, Al, Ca, Co, Wi, IIF Data Solutions Now Hiring! [You might want to make a mental note of the dates and locations!]

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Iran gets a new president


Hassan Rouhani has been elected as President of Iran. He will take over from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on August 3rd.
Cleric and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani enjoys the support of many liberal-minded Iranians and moderates and reformists in his bid to become president of the Islamic Republic. Rohani’s credentials include membership in the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council and Supreme National Security Council.

His track record proves his talent for working effectively with various factions, and, more than other candidates, his attitude – at age 64 – for change, both in Iran’s internal policy and internationally.

His degrees in law include a doctorate from Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University.
-- Source: Hassan Rohani liberals’ hope in Iran

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ZERO An Investigation Into 9/11 (FULL documentary)

"Please visit http://zero911movie.com/site/ and purchase the whole movie to help support the people who worked hard to produce such an outstanding film. ZERO: An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis - that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Boston Bombing: Police response training planned, but bombs hit first

by Maria Cramer at the Boston Globe

The scenario had been carefully planned: A terrorist group prepared to hurt vast numbers of people around Boston would leave backpacks filled with explosives at Faneuil Hall, the Seaport District, and in other towns, spreading waves of panic and fear. Detectives would have to catch the culprits.

Months of painstaking planning had gone into the exercise, dubbed “Operation Urban Shield,” meant to train dozens of detectives in the Greater Boston area to work together to thwart a terrorist threat. The hypothetical terrorist group was even given a name: Free America Citizens, a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression, according to a copy of the plans obtained by the Boston Globe.

But two months before the training exercise was to take place, the city was hit with a real terrorist attack executed in a frighteningly similar fashion. The chaos of the Boston Marathon bombings disrupted plans for the exercise, initially scheduled for this weekend, forcing police to postpone. Now officials must retool aspects of the training.

“The real thing happened before we were able to execute,” said a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the planned exercise. “We’ve already been tested.”

This would have been the third year for Urban Shield, a 24-hour federally funded training exercise meant to test the response of police and other public safety personnel in a large-scale emergency, such as a toxic spill or a natural disaster.

Last fall, a slew of agencies including Boston police and other police departments, the Coast Guard, and the MBTA joined forces to confront a simulated armed bank robbery in which the robbers were trying to escape with hostages.

For this year’s training, the agencies wanted to test the investigative skills of their detectives, as well as their ability to work with detectives in other cities, and share intelligence, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the planned exercise were confidential.

The training, funded by a $200,000 Homeland Security grant, will probably be rescheduled to early next year, said Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, whose agency was slated to participate.

He said he anticipates the new training scenario will be similar to the one already planned.

“Why wouldn’t we do it?” MacMillan said. “Just because we had one event doesn’t mean that we might not have another one. And it behooves us to continually work together to investigate these types of incidents.”

Cheryl Fiandaca, spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department, said the agencies had no choice but to postpone this year’s Urban Shield.

“The resources and logistics of putting something of this magnitude together in light of what just happened would be challenging,” she said. “To put together an exercise that would be a really valuable training and teaching tool we need more time.”

Officials from a dozen agencies had been meeting for months to plan the scenario. They behaved much like movie producers, recruiting students from Northeastern University and the Boston Police Academy to play the parts of terrorists and witnesses.

They scouted warehouses and homes around Chelsea and Winthrop that could be used as a terrorist safe house.

The basic plot was this: Half a dozen members of Free America Citizens wanted to gauge police response to a bomb scare. They would plant hoax devices, then stay on the scene to watch and record the bomb squad and detectives as they responded, as a dry run to a larger attack.

The participating detectives, however, would not have known they were being watched. They would only be told that they were responding to an urgent terrorist threat. The goal of the training was for them to figure out the motives of Free America Citizens as they investigated the case, the official said.

The planned exercise has eerie similarities to the police investigation that led to the capture of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose images were caught on video cameras and who were captured after a car chase and shoot-out with police.

In the training scenario, investigators participating in Urban Shield would have to track down footage of the bombers caught by street surveillance cameras and the phones of “witnesses.”

They would have to call on intelligence analysts to figure out which terrorist cell might be threatening the city.

In the scenario, the terrorists would flee police in stolen cars they would dump in cities outside Boston, which would compel detectives from different jurisdictions to cooperate and share intelligence.

One major clue would have been the body of one of the terrorists found near a stolen car, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There were also false leads to keep investigators guessing, the official said.

“We’d have detectives running ragged,” the official said. “The main goal of this was to arrest as many of the people as possible and absolutely identify where the cache of bombs was being kept.”

Fiandaca, the police spokeswoman, declined to say what a new training might look like.

“We can’t talk about what we’re doing for emergency preparedness,” she said. “The people who participate in this don’t know what the scenario is.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Impeach Obama

I admit I've avoided saying this for the past few years (it's been well past time) but for some reason I always want to give the guy a flipping chance that he simply doesn't deserve. Why? I don't know, maybe because I figured the alternative was even worse. But now I'm not so sure.

Believe it or not, Cindy Sheehan was one of the first people to have sussed this guy's catastrophic effect on the Peace and Progressive movements. At the time I was fairly close to Cindy, working at her congressional campaign office nearly every day (this was in late 2008, when she was running against Nancy Pelosi and Obama was running for his first term). Everyone was ecstatic over the idea of Obama breaking the color barrier, it was all "hope and change" for progressive minded people, but Cindy wasn't having any of it. She saw how quickly her former friends shut their mouths about peace and real change to fall in line with Obama's "hopey-changey" bullshit. Obama's election was the death knell for the peace movement and she knew it.

This man is a not only a liar, he is a traitor to the Constitution that he purports to be such an expert about. I don't know what the alternative should be but this administration is criminal and it ought to be removed. There, I said it. Whatcha gonna do about it, Obama? You can't shoot us *all*, you can't imprison us *all* ... and the truth will never die.



[To be fair, another perspective is that Obama is being pressured to attack Syria and he's not complying, which is why all the Big Brother outrage is coming out *now*. I think we need to hold a constitutional convention or something. The entire federal government, all three branches, are corrupt to the core.]

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Innocent Until Proved Dead

[Original link]

If assassinating suspects makes sense overseas, why not at home?

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 4th June 2013

Did the FBI execute Ibragim Todashev? He appears to have been shot seven times while being interviewed at his home in Orlando, Florida about his connection to one of the Boston bombing suspects.. Among the shots was the assassin’s hallmark: a bullet to the back of the head(1). What kind of an interview was it?

An irregular one. There was no lawyer present. It was not recorded(2). By the time Todashev was shot, he had apparently been interrogated by three agents for five hours(3). And then? Who knows? First, we were told, he lunged at them with a knife(4). How he acquired it, five hours into a police interview, was not explained. How he posed such a threat while recovering from a knee operation also remains perplexing.

At first he drew the knife while being interviewed. Then he acquired it during a break from the interview(5). Then it ceased to be a knife and became a sword, then a pipe, then a metal pole, then a broomstick, then a table, then a chair(6,7,8). In one account all the agents were in the room at the time of the attack, in another, all but one had mysteriously departed, leaving the remaining officer to face his assailant alone.

If – and it remains a big if – this was an extrajudicial execution, it was one of hundreds commissioned by US agencies since Barack Obama first took office. The difference in this case is that it took place on American soil. Elsewhere, suspects are bumped off without even the right to the lawyerless interview Ibragim Todashev was given.

In his speech two days after Todashev was killed, President Obama maintained that “our commitment to Constitutional principles has weathered every war”(9). But he failed to explain which Constitutional principles permit him to authorise the killing of people in nations with which the United States is not at war. When his Attorney General, Eric Holder, tried to do so last year, he got himself into a terrible mess, ending with the extraordinary claim that “’due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same … the Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”(10) So what is due process if it doesn’t involve the courts? Whatever the president says it is?

Er, yes. In the same speech Obama admitted for the first time that four US citizens have been killed by US drone strikes in other countries. In the next sentence he said “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen – with a drone, or a shotgun – without due process.”(11) This suggests he believes that the legal rights of those four people had been respected before they were killed.

Given that they might not even have known that they were accused of the alleged crimes for which they were executed, that they had no opportunities to contest the charges, let alone be granted judge or jury, this suggests that the former law professor’s interpretation of constitutional rights is somewhat elastic. If Obama and his nameless advisers say someone is a terrorist, he stands convicted and can be put to death.

Left hanging in his speech is the implication that non-US citizens may be executed without even the pretence of due process. The many hundreds killed by drone strikes (who, civilian or combatant, retrospectively become terrorists by virtue of having been killed in a US anti-terrorism operation) are afforded no rights even in principle(12,13).

As the process of decision-making remains secret, as the US government refuses even to acknowledge – let alone to document or investigate – the killing by its drones of people who patently had nothing to do with terrorism or any other known crime, miscarriages of justice are not just a risk emerging from the deployment of the president’s kill-list. They are an inevitable outcome. Under the Obama doctrine, innocent until proved guilty has mutated to innocent until proved dead.

The president made his rejection of habeas corpus and his assumption of a godlike capacity for judgement explicit later in the speech, while discussing another matter. How, he wondered, should the US deal with detainees in Guantanamo Bay “who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted – for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law”? If the evidence has been compromised or is inadmissable, how can he know that they have participated? He can suspect, he can allege, but he cannot know until his suspicion has been tested in a court of law.

Global powers have an antisocial habit of bringing their work back home. The British government, for example, imported some of the methods it used against its colonial subjects to suppress domestic protests and strikes. Once an administrative class becomes accustomed to treating foreigners as if they have no rights, and once the domestic population broadly accepts their justifications, it is almost inevitable that the habit migrates from one arena into another. If hundreds of people living abroad can be executed by US agents on no more than suspicion, should we be surprised if residents of the United States began to be treated the same way?

George Monbiot’s book Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding is published by Allen Lane.

References:

1. A picture of the head wound has been reproduced here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/30/father-chechen-man-killed-fbi-inquiry

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/us/man-tied-to-boston-suspect-said-to-have-attacked-fbi-agent.html

4. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-05-22/news/os-who-is-ibragim-todashev-20130522_1_boston-marathon-bombings-chechen

5. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/us/officer-involved-in-shooting-of-man-tied-to-tsarnaev.html

6. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/yet-another-explanation-for-the-killing-of-ibragim-todashev/276421/

7. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/us/man-tied-to-boston-suspect-said-to-have-attacked-fbi-agent.html

8. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/06/01/days-later-fbi-shooting-orlando-remains-shrouded-government-secrecy/inhTL8hsidG0Tgy5PGKtnM/story.html

9. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/23/obama-drones-guantanamo-speech-text

10. http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2012/ag-speech-1203051.html

11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/23/obama-drones-guantanamo-speech-text

12. International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School and Global Justice Clinic at NYU School Of Law, September 2012. Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan. http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Stanford-NYU-LIVING-UNDER-DRONES.pdf

13. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/

Evidence that George W. Bush had advanced knowledge of 9-11 (video)

Excellent clip.



Here's the actual video of Bush responding to that question.

That wasn't the only time he told that story about watching the plane go into the first tower, either. Here's what he said at a town hall forum on the economy in California [January 5, 2002] "I was sitting there, and my Chief of Staff -- well, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on..." Check it out.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

[h/t: Zen Gardener]
Original link



To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees. Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation.

They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.

No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.

But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray. They chased the crowds out of the park.

In the evening of May 31st the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.

Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.

They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park:

The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.

They gathered and continued sitting in the park. The riot police set fire to the demonstrators’ tents and attacked them with pressurized water, pepper and tear gas during a night raid. Two young people were run over by the vehicles and were killed. Another young woman, a friend of mine, was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd. After a three hour operation she is still in Intensive Care Unit and in very critical condition. As I write this we don’t know if she is going to make it. This blog is dedicated to her.

These people are my friends. They are my students, my relatives. They have no «hidden agenda» as the state likes to say. Their agenda is out there. It is very clear. The whole country is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against Turkish people’s will.

On top of all that, the government control over its people’s personal lives has become unbearable as of late. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol and even the color of lipstick worn by the airline stewardesses.

People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.

What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.

Yet they still march. Hundreds and thousands of citizens from all walks of life then joined them to support for the protestors. Couple of more thousand passed the Bosporus Bridge on foot to support the people of Taksim. They were met with more water cannons and more pepper spray, more hostility. Four people died, thousands of people were injured.

No newspaper or TV channel was there to report the events. They were busy with broadcasting news about Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.

Police kept chasing people and spraying them with pepper spray to an extent that stray dogs and cats were poisoned and died by it.

Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.

People in Ankara and İzmir gathered on the streets to support the resistance in Istanbul. Demonstations spread to other cities where citizens were faced more brutality and hostiliy from police. Hundred of thousands kept joining.

Mainstream media kept showing Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.

***

I am writing this letter so that you know what is going on in Istanbul. Mass media will not tell you any of this. Not in my country at least. Please post as many as articles as you see on the Internet and spread the word.

I do not belong to a political party. I don’t believe in politics. I don’t defend any ideology and I am not on the side of any regime. Like many others in Turkey I am tired and frustrated from the polarization between Kemalist seculars and the Islamists. I don’t belong to any of them. I believe in moving away from polarization and towards a new way of relating. I know many people who are out on the streets of Istanbul share the way I think and I know we are not the only ones. We just want to live our lives with human dignity.

As I was posting articles that explained what is happening in Istanbul on my Facebook page last night someone asked me the following question:

«What are you hoping to gain by complaining about our country to foreigners?»

This blog is my answer to her.

By so called «complaining» about my country I am hoping to gain:

Freedom of expression and speech,

Respect for human rights,

Control over the decisions I make concerning my on my body,

The right to legally congregate in any part of the city without being considered a terrorist.

But most of all by spreading the word to you, my friends who live in other parts of the world, I am hoping to get your awareness, support and help!

Please spread the word and share this blog.

Thank you!

For futher info and things you can do for help please see Amnesty International’s Call for Urgent Help

-----------
[Turkey has an Indymedia. Here's the English translation.]

Monday, June 3, 2013

Iraq Veteran, Wounded at "Occupy" Protest, Throws Back His Metals

Scott Olsen, who served two terms in Iraq only to be laid low by police playing hired thugs for the "one-percenters" he unknowingly fought for, returns fire at the NATO Summit in Chicago. Here's the report from Amy Goodman.

Glad to see the anti-war movement isn't completely dead. Meanwhile, here's what Cindy Sheehan is doing:
Tour de Peace, a bike ride across the country.