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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
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 Truth To Power: The Anti-Empire Report #137 February 2015

InternationalBy William Blum

The Greek Tragedy: Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not.

American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”

The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).

In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, February 26 @ 20:41:05 EST (131 reads)
(Read More... | 18791 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: A Mythical Right to Discriminate

Spirituality
Anti-LGBT activists are masking their bigotry as a quest to protect "religious freedom."

By Peter Montgomery

The Supreme Court is now considering cases that could usher in nationwide marriage equality, and state-level gay marriage bans are falling faster than you can say “equal protection under the law.”

People who want to turn back the clock on rights for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) neighbors are struggling to find new ways to do so. Public opinion is turning against them, and the courts have followed.

Facing one legal defeat after another, anti-LGBT forces have latched onto a troubling new approach: cloaking discrimination in the language of religious liberty.

In states across the country — including Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming — right-wing legislators have introduced bills that could let business owners and others ignore anti-discrimination laws in the name of religion. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, February 22 @ 17:11:14 EST (282 reads)
(Read More... | 5119 bytes more | Comments? | History/Culture | Score: 0)

 Politics: President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets

The NewsBy Robert Parry

President Barack Obama promised a “transparent” administration, reviving democracy by letting Americans see into the inner workings of their government as much as possible, an implicit criticism of the excessive secrecy of his predecessor, George W. Bush. But instead Obama’s presidency has been one of the most opaque and deceptive in modern history.

Not only has Obama continued to wrap the carry-over anti-terrorism wars in maximum secrecy but he has taken unprecedented steps to shut down leaks by prosecuting whistleblowers who talk to the press. And, he has left standing his administration’s misleading rushes to judgment on key issues after U.S. intelligence analysts have refined or reversed the first impressions.

Whether on the Syrian sarin attack in 2013 or pivotal incidents in the Ukraine crisis – who was behind the sniper attacks in Kiev last Feb. 20 and who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last July 17 – Obama has withheld evidence developed by U.S. government analysts rather than undercut the propaganda value of the initial accusations. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, February 17 @ 23:39:53 EST (437 reads)
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 Opinion: A Sweet Spot

Holidays
Chocolate is a food group in my home.

By Emily Schwartz Greco

I don’t have any cute photos of my daughter’s chubby face smeared with frosting from her first birthday party. Already pregnant with my son, I’d become a child nutrition zealot in response to my double dose of motherhood.

Instead of wrecking a big sugary cake, my bald beauty reduced a naked square of homemade carrot cake to a hill of crumbs. In accordance with her obnoxiously wholesome diet, the kid probably nibbled on some organic barley and kale first. The guests looked perplexed.

Eventually, I compromised.

My daughter still downs garbanzos by the bowl. But she also helps me bake the snickerdoodles she shares with her classmates as a birthday treat. I’ve mastered topping my crowd-pleasing cupcakes with chocolate ganache. And after I sneak flaxseed, ground nuts, and spelt flour into our pancake batter, my son adds his favorite ingredient: chocolate chips. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 09 @ 20:16:52 EST (720 reads)
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 Truth To Power: Enhanced Misinformation Techniques

The News
Torture supporters outnumbered opponents 2-to-1 on major news shows.

By Aldo Guerrero

When the Senate released its shocking report on CIA torture late last year, it renewed a debate from the Bush years about the merits of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Polls released afterward suggested that most Americans thought that torture was effective and, in some cases, justified. Yet the report was very clear: Torture produced virtually no valuable intelligence.

So why did so many people get the wrong idea? One possible explanation is that they heard it over and over again on TV.

In a new study, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting found that major news programs interviewed twice as many torture defenders as torture critics in their coverage of the Senate’s report. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, January 28 @ 16:49:59 EST (1053 reads)
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 Opinion: Paris Charlie: The “Shock Doctrine” par Excellence

War NewsBy Peter Koenig

On 12 January the French Parliament approved with almost unanimity – with one abstention only – the budget for France’s continuous and enlarged involvement in the new war on Iraq, a new war engagement led by Washington and supported by its vassals, UK, Canada, Australia and France. Aircraft carriers and troops were immediately mobilized, not even losing a day. Doesn’t that conspicuously smell of an earlier preparation, just waiting for that crucial and appropriate event, prompting parliamentary approval?

At the same time France lawmakers agreed to display 10,000 troops throughout the country to protect ‘vulnerable places’; spying on citizens, for their protection takes on new forms and formats. A direct reaction to the attack on Charlie Hebdo on January 7 and the assault on a kosher supermarket on January 9? – Killing 17 people in all? Is that it?

French Ministers of the Interior and of Defense have advanced their wish of substantially increased respective police and defense budgets, when the 2016-2017 allocations are being discussed later this year. No doubt they will get their way.

And – no doubt, this is the shock doctrine at its best. People are in awe and shock after the assault on the satirical and Moslem insulting Charlie Hebdo. A million and a half took to the streets in Paris this past weekend, the largest manifestation since the liberation of Paris after WWII in 1945. Some media report more than 6 million people marching throughout Europe. Almost all waving signs “I am Charlie” – Solidarity or stupidity? Hard to say. Most likely just sheer ignorance.

It’s ignorance that kills our democracies, our human values; public ignorance allows leaders (sic) to wage wars, to aggress nations that refuse to submit, to fall to their knees. It’s ignorance perpetuated daily by our mainstream media and swallowed without question, day-in-day-out like breakfast coffee. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, January 19 @ 19:19:05 EST (1149 reads)
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 Truth To Power: A History of America’s War on Whistleblowers and Journalists Since 9/11

History / CultureBy Joachim Hagopian

With 2014 fresh in our rear view mirror, an honest examination of events and developments of what’s been happening in America to whistleblowers and journalists since 9/11 under the Bush-Obama regime seems a worthwhile review, however disturbing ands foreboding. By definition a whistleblower is an individual who reports an employer’s misconduct. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring within a government organization. Yet despite these supposed legal protections in place, those who have gone public disclosing illicit and immoral behavior by the federal government have been consistently singled out for discrimination and excessive punishment.

In fact, more American citizens have been indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 under the current president than all other previous presidents combined. Though the law was designed to punish WWI German spies, and rarely used since for indicting those selling secrets to the enemy or efforts to undermine the American way of life, it is completely obsolete. Yet it is being misused by Obama for purely political purposes to shut down the truth. The Obama administration has also turned down more Freedom of Information Act requests than any other prior presidency with each year the denial rate rising. 2013 was 57% more than the year before, with over half the total requests rejected. Of course Obama’s mantra excuse is always using the “national security” card. He has also jailed more whistleblowers and journalists than any other president. By his over the top, punitive methods, Obama has declared war on the first amendment right to a free press in America, threatening, harassing, indicting and imprisoning those brave enough to speak the truth, accusing them of treason when the president through his administration has repeatedly violated the very Constitution that he has sworn to protect and uphold as the so called leader of the free world. His malevolent attack on free speech is even more incriminating and inexcusable as a Harvard educated lawyer who once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.

With their war policies both domestic and abroad one and the same, Obama has carried the totalitarian torch handed him by the Bush-Cheney administration making the United States the world’s worst human rights violator. But then they’re all cast from the same psychopathic mold as mere public front men simply following orders from their oligarch puppet masters who own and control them along with virtually everything else on this planet.

The man who after the Bush nightmare exploited Americans’ desperate need for hope and change campaigned on false promises that his administration would be far more open and transparent than his war criminal predecessor, pledging to be the most open and honest in US history. Instead Obama has only proven to be the most guarded, vindictive and secretive president in US history. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, January 08 @ 18:16:27 EST (1291 reads)
(Read More... | 61657 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 5)

 Opinion: Four Ways 2014 Was a Pivotal Year for the Internet

The NewsAt stake is whether the Internet remains a democratic, user-powered network.

By Timothy Karr

The death of the Internet is at hand.

Sound familiar? That’s what Internet pioneer Robert Metcalfe predicted in 1995 when he wrote that spiraling demands on the fledgling network would cause the Internet to “catastrophically collapse” by 1996.

Metcalfe, of course, was dead wrong: The Internet is still chugging along, with a predicted 3 billion users by year’s end.

Still, the Internet’s fate feels distinctly uncertain as 2014 draws to a close. At stake is whether the Internet remains a democratic, user-powered network — or falls under the control of a few powerful entities.

Here are the four Internet issues that played leading roles this year:

1. Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is hard-wired into the Internet as we know it. In a neutral network, users control their experience without their Internet service providers interfering, filtering, or censoring. This revolutionary principle is under attack from the phone and cable companies that control access in the United States. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, December 29 @ 20:03:47 EST (1170 reads)
(Read More... | 6132 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 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 @ 17:53:33 EST (1189 reads)
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 Opinion: Architects of Atrocity Remain at Large, and Unrepentant

War NewsBy William Boardman

By analogy, blaming it all on Eichmann while giving Hitler a pass

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has been taking bows for being the guardian of American law, decency, and character. It’s not. It’s not even close. American law, decency, and character have yet to be redeemed. Worse, only a small percentage of Americans in or out of power seem to care enough to act against the pall of moral failure still spreading through the culture.

The intelligence committee has done a good, small thing in its effort to make some partial truth somewhat better known, but its report is fundamentally short on meaningful intelligence. This is a committee divided against itself that nevertheless managed to exceed expectation by a bit. But this committee is no truth commission. The committee’s report is a negotiated settlement in which the perpetrators exercised too much control over the content.

Without doubt, committee chair Diane Feinstein and the committee majority needed courage to see even the limited, redacted summary of national criminality through to this much daylight. But there’s the deeper problem, ignored in plain sight by most observers: it’s a measure of our corrupted government that it takes such courage to tell the truth about torture that every honest, conscious person already knows was done in our name.

With its 524-page CIA Torture Summary, the Senate Intelligence Committee becomes both a witness against government crimes and, at the same time, an accomplice to these crimes against humanity by way of mitigation after the fact, and long after the fact at that. Some of these senators and staffers have known about official depravity since it started. Only now, more than a decade of guilty knowledge later, are they telling us only some of what they know. The shame of Washington “leadership” today is that the bipartisan consensus takes pride in throwing the CIA under the bus and all but exonerates the frat boy cheerleaders and draft dodgers who demanded torture and other crimes in the first place.

CIA personnel, or some of them, certainly belong under the bus, but that’s only the Eichmann part. The torture problem is a mirror image of the Blackwater contractors killing civilians problem – government contractors out of control and making millions. That’s a policy from the top, as expensive as it is corrupt. Without Hitler there is no Third Reich. Without Bush-Cheney and five Justices, there is no degraded America, not like this, not still crowing over and proudly defending its atrocities. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, December 16 @ 16:38:12 EST (1212 reads)
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 The News: Senate Torture Report Shows Need for Accountability

War Newsfrom: aclu.org

WASHINGTON – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today [09 December 2014] released the executive summary and findings of its landmark report on the CIA’s rendition, secret detention, and torture program.

The full report was adopted in December 2012 by a bipartisan majority of the committee after nearly five years of investigation. Today’s release comes after long negotiations between the committee and the White House over redactions requested by the CIA.

Responding to the report, the American Civil LibertiesUnion released a detailed plan for full accountability, and ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero had this reaction:

"This is a shocking report, and it is impossible to read it without feeling immense outrage that our government engaged in these terrible crimes. This report definitively drags into the light the horrific details of illegal torture, details that both the Bush and Obama administrations have worked hard to sweep under the rug. The government officials who authorized illegal activity need to be held accountable. The administration’s current position – doing absolutely nothing – is tantamount to issuing tacit pardons. Tacit pardons are worse than formal ones because they undermine the rule of law. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, December 10 @ 21:08:50 EST (1074 reads)
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 The News: U.N. Criticizes U.S. on Torture, Police Practices, Immigration Detention

Press Releasefrom: aclu.org

GENEVA – The United Nations Committee Against Torture issued a report today [11/28/14] castigating the United States’ record on a wide range of issues, including lack of accountability for torture, immigration detention, and abusive criminal justice practices such as solitary confinement and excessive use of force by law enforcement.

The “Concluding Observations” from the committee come after this month’s hearings reviewing U.S. compliance with a major human rights treaty, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the U.S. ratified in 1994. It was this first such review since 2006.

The report took the Obama administration to task about the lack of consequences for the officials responsible for torture during the Bush administration and failing to provide redress for victims. It also called for the swift release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program with minimal redactions, which the White House and senators have been fighting over. In addition, the report urged an end to unfair military commissions and indefinite detention at Guantánamo as well as a halt to the force feedings there. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, November 30 @ 20:39:43 EST (988 reads)
(Read More... | 4256 bytes more | Comments? | The News | Score: 0)

 Business/Economy: The Fracking Rush Hits a Pothole

EnvironmentOil and natural gas gluts are driving prices so low that drill-baby-drillers may have to hit the brakes.

By Emily Schwartz Greco

Ever heard of Bryan Sheffield? The baby-faced tycoon enjoyed a brief blast of fame a few months ago when he became one of those rare non-tech billionaires under 40.

What ignited his rise to the ranks of Americans with money to burn? He owns a company called Parsley Energy Inc. that extracts oil and natural gas using the highly polluting technique known as fracking. Sheffield’s fortune hit the billion-dollar milestone when Parsley went public in May.

But a sudden plunge in oil prices quickly spiked the young Texan’s newfound status, trimming Sheffield’s fortune to a more modest $750 million.

You see, domestic oil production could hit 9.4 million barrels a day next year. This 42-year high, sparked by a fracking bonanza, is feeding a global glut that’s pushing oil prices down to levels not seen since 2010. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, November 30 @ 20:22:26 EST (848 reads)
(Read More... | 5298 bytes more | Comments? | Business/Economy | Score: 0)

 Opinion: US Prepares to Sell Warships to Saudi Arabia to Help “Take Down Iran”

War NewsBy Bruce Gagnon

The American revolution was supposed to have happened because of the revulsion our ‘founding fathers’ had with the institution of ‘divine right of kings’ or monarchy. Supposedly the new American nation went to war with England because a revolutionary ‘democracy’ was the preferred way of organizing our new nation. (Of course the truth was that the American ‘founding fathers’ had their own dreams of empire which is just what has sadly turned out for this country. But the mythology of America is all about our rejection of monarchy.)

Fast forward to today and we see the headlines on November 20 in the Portland Press Herald newspaper: Bath Iron Works may get Saudi ship contract worth billions.

The article reads in part:

Saudi Arabian officials say they are preparing to move forward with an upgrade to the country’s navy that could include a multibillion-dollar contract for Bath Iron Works, the Reuters news service reported Wednesday.

BIW’s DDG-51 destroyer is one of at least two ship designs being considered for the long-discussed Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, or SNEP, which has an estimated value of roughly $20 billion, Reuters said.

Patrick Dewar, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, told the news service that Saudi officials were planning to release new information over the next several months about how the country plans to proceed with SNEP. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, November 24 @ 20:18:16 EST (614 reads)
(Read More... | 5975 bytes more | 1 comment | Opinion | Score: 5)

 Politics: Leave No Generation Behind

Opinion
A tax on inherited wealth could eliminate student debt while reducing growing inequality.

By Chuck Collins

Over a decade ago, I got a call from Bill Gates.

Not the Bill Gates you’re probably thinking of. It was Bill Gates Sr., the Microsoft founder’s dad. He was eager to speak out in support of the federal estate tax, our nation’s only levy on inherited wealth.

He called it the “gratitude tax.” If you were fortunate enough to make millions, he believed, then you should “recycle your opportunity” for the next generation.

How might that work?

Bill Gates Sr. served in the Army in World War II. When he returned, the GI Bill enabled him to attend college and law school for free. His debt-free education propelled him to a career as an attorney and allowed him to provide excellent educational opportunities to his three children — one of whom is one of the two richest people on the planet.

For today’s college-age youth, talk of a debt-free education sounds like science fiction. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, November 20 @ 22:48:28 EST (349 reads)
(Read More... | 5145 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)


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Monday, November 10
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Wednesday, November 05
· The 0.01 Percent’s ‘I Reap All’ Accounts
Wednesday, October 29
· Twelve Nobel Peace Laureates Call on President Obama
Thursday, October 23
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Tuesday, October 21
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Monday, October 13
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Friday, October 10
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Thursday, October 02
· An Open Letter By Peter Drew
Friday, September 26
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Friday, September 19
· The Anti-Empire Report #132 - September 2014
Thursday, September 11
· PA City Agrees to Repeal Law that Jeopardizes Safety
Sunday, September 07
· Golden Weapons of Destruction Take Aim at El Salvador
Sunday, August 31
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· Ferguson Exposes the Creeping Militarization of Police Forces
Friday, August 15
· The Anti-Empire Report #131 - August 2014
Sunday, August 10
· India: Selling Out To Monsanto. GMOs and the Bigger Picture
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