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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

‘This is war,’ Ukraine declares as mob ignores ultimatum to surrender, takes police chief prisoner

DONETSK — A pro-Russian mob on Monday seized a police building in yet another city in Russian-leaning eastern Ukraine and took the police chief prisoner, defying government warnings that it was preparing to act against the insurgents.

Dozens of angry men hurled rocks, smashed the windows and broke into a police station in the city of Horlivka not far from the border with Russia, while hundreds of onlookers cheered them on. Thick white smoke rose from the entrance to the building, from which the insurgents hoisted the Russian flag.

The seizure came after Ukraine’s acting president described his country’s confrontation with Russia as a “war” and sent in troops to drive out suspected Russian soldiers from the east of the country.

Oleksandr Turchynov made a televised address in which he told the nation Sunday that it was at war with Russia after pro-Russian forces took over government buildings and a Ukrainian security officer was killed by militia.



Galloway: Gaza is Like the Warsaw Ghetto

British MP George Galloway, who is known for his hatred towards Israel and his backing of the Hamas terrorist group, recently compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, and the residents of the region to the Jews who led the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during World War II.

The comments were made by Galloway on his weekly show on the government-run Iranian English-language Press TV channel on April 12.

The remarks were posted to the internet by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“What else is Gaza but a Warsaw Ghetto? When the people, the heroes, of the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, who decided they'd rather die on their feet, than live on their knees, desperate for food and water, rose up and tackled their besiegers – those who were keeping them in that Warsaw Ghetto – they were rightly hailed and are remembered in history as freedom fighters, as heroes. Yet the Palestinians, when they rise up out of their Warsaw Ghetto, are called terrorists in your country, and in my country, never mind in the country that is doing the besieging,” charged Galloway.


Window opens on secret camp within Guantanamo


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Attorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base.

Connell is allowed to say virtually nothing about what he saw in the secret camp where the most notorious terror suspects in U.S. custody are held except that it is unlike any detention facility he's encountered.

"It's much more isolating than any other facility that I have known," the lawyer says. "I've done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating."

The Camp 7 prison unit is so shrouded in secrecy that its location on the U.S. base in Cuba is classified and officials refuse to discuss it. Now, two separate but related events are forcing it into the limelight.



Where your 2013 Income Tax Dollar Went


Reading Elizabeth Warren


In her new book, Elizabeth Warren tells the story of her life in order to make an argument about America (the middle class is trapped in a vise of debt), which is the sort of thing politicians do when they’re running for office. Warren, who spent most of her career as a law-school professor, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012; she’s not up for reëlection until 2018. “I am not running for President,” she insisted at a press conference in Boston in December, pledging that she will finish her term. But the publication, this month, of her autobiography, “A Fighting Chance” (Metropolitan), ahead of a memoir by Hillary Clinton that is due out this summer, only adds to the speculation that Warren is considering challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016. And, even if Warren doesn’t run, this book is part of that race.

Warren’s book was originally called “Rigged,” a reference to her contention that the American political system places power in the hands of plutocrats and bankers at the expense of ordinary, middle-class Americans. “Big corporations hire armies of lobbyists to get billion-dollar loopholes into the tax system and persuade their friends in Congress to support laws that keep the playing field tilted in their favor,” Warren writes. “Meanwhile, hardworking families are told that they’ll just have to live with smaller dreams for their children.”

“A Fighting Chance” is in many ways heir to a book published a century ago. “Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It,” by Louis Brandeis, appeared in the spring of 1914. Brandeis believed that the country was being run by plutocrats and, especially, by investment bankers, who, by combining, consolidating, and aggregating the functions of banks, trusts, and corporations, controlled both the nation’s credit and the majority of its resources—including the railroads—and yet had not the least accountability to the public or any sense that the functions they had adopted were essentially those of a public utility. “The power and the growth of power of our financial oligarchs comes from wielding the savings and quick capital of others,” Brandeis wrote. “The fetters which bind the people are forged from the people’s own gold.”

Brandeis was concerned with Gilded Age plutocrats’ use of people’s bank savings to build giant, monopolistic conglomerates answerable not to the people but to shareholders. “Other People’s Money,” which originally appeared as a series of essays in Harper’s, is a polemic, but it’s also a huge compilation of facts and figures. Brandeis pointed out, for instance, that J. P. Morgan and the First National and the National City Bank together held “341 directorships in 112 corporations having aggregate resources or capitalization of $22,245,000,000,” a sum that is “nearly three times the assessed value of all the real estate in the City of New York” and “more than the assessed value of all the property in the twenty-two states, north and south, lying west of the Mississippi River.” (Brandeis’s ability to enlist data in the service of a legal argument, a statement known as a “Brandeis brief,” is among his many legacies.) In 1933, Brandeis arranged to have “Other People’s Money” republished—in an edition that cost only fifteen cents—so that it could exert the same influence on F.D.R.’s Administration that it had exerted on Woodrow Wilson’s. In the first decades of the twentieth century, arguments made by writers like Brandeis led to a series of antitrust reforms and financial-industry regulations that, in the middle decades of the century, made possible the growth of the middle class.



GOP Candidate Touts Fake Phone Call From Obama In New Ad

SAHIL KAPUR – APRIL 5, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT25196
Republican Senate candidate Jack Kingston has released a new ad featuring a fake call from President Barack Obama telling him to "back off Obamacare."

The 15-second spot, posted on Georgia Rep. Kingston's YouTube page, includes a voicemail from the faux president, with photos of Obama in the background.

"Uh, Kingston. This is the president," says the voice. "You gotta back off Obamacare. You voted 40 times to defund it, you demanded I sign up. Kingston. Let me be clear. I do not want you in the Senate."

Kingston is trailing in his battle for the state's GOP Senate nomination. He faces fellow Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA), as well as former Reebok CEO David Perdue. He has been criticized by Broun for ostensibly insufficient dedication to destroying Obamacare, although he has voted consistently with House Republicans to repeal or dismantle it.


Jonathan Chait's Teachable Moment: 10 Lessons About White Supremacy in the Age of Obama

by Chauncey DeVega

Jonathan Chait's new essay on race in the Age of Obama is even more poorly reasoned and problematic than its predecessor.

Obama, Racism, and the Presumption of Innocence is a rebuttal to his critics that finds its momentum in a "reasonable" claim that "evidence" must be provided for the "terrifying" accusation that (white) conservatives are racist. Moreover, Chait would like "liberals" to be fair to conservatives by giving them the benefit of the doubt that while the latter's policies may support white supremacy said actors are not in fact racists.

The second claim is easily dismissed. Why presume fairness in the treatment of movement conservatives on matters of race when their political outreach and strategy has, for at least four decades, been predicated on the unfair treatment of people of color, and the use of white racism to mobilize white voters? While they/we may be too generous and forgiving--this is a flaw of ours--black and brown Americans are not that stupid or gullible.

The Republican Party is a white racist organization.

As I alluded to in an earlier essay, by way of metaphor, the post-civil rights era Republican Party is comprised of political arsonists on matters of race and social equality. Because of a fundamental concern for personal and public safety, when I see a white conservative with a can of gasoline, matches, and standing in front of a burning building, I will not for purposes of "fairness" assume that this is just a coincidence.



Carville: If GOP Loses Against Hillary, "The Republican Party Will Be Extinct"

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's going to be the dominant issue. Fast forward to January 2015. The most likely, not the only scenario, is Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Everybody is going to have a poll showing how they fare in the general election against Hillary. That is going to be -- they're not going to not nominate somebody because of common core, just me. The party knows -- and I use this word advisedly -- that if it loses the 2016 presidential election, the Republican Party as we know it today will be extinct, it will...

LAURA INGRAHAM: We heard that in 2008...

CARVILLE: And (inaudible) six out of be the sixth out of seventh election they've lost the popular vote. The Republicans want to win this. And they will do -- that's going to be the biggest issue in January 2016. I can beat Hillary Clinton. We have to win this election.


State GOP To Vote On Affirming Wisconsin's Right To Secede

Wisconsin Republicans will vote at their convention next month on a proposal affirming the state's right to go it alone, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Daniel Bice reported Monday.

The state party's Resolutions Committee has voted in favor of a so-called "state sovereignty" measure stating the party "supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin's right, under extreme circumstances, to secede," according to the Journal-Sentinel. The resolution came out of one of the state party's regional caucuses and was edited and adopted by the committee despite top GOP officials' efforts to quash it.


Republicans- Why do they hate America so much?

Monday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest





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