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TomClash

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Member since: Sat Sep 4, 2004, 10:01 PM
Number of posts: 11,344

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Ed nails Gretchen Carlson of Fox

Priceless. Just great stuff.

Here's my campaign slogan to counter "Obama's Not Working"

It's really simple.

"ROMNEY - HE'S NOT ONE OF US."

with special thanks to EarlG and Hissyspit, who posted stories highlighting Romney's d'un joyeux moment a Paris.


Iran starts cloning of American spy drone

Source: RT

Iran has completed reverse-engineering of the captured US spy drone and has started building its own copy, Iranian media reports.

The Revolutionary Guard is yet to decode parts of the software the Sentinel aircraft uses, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the force’s aerospace division, said on Sunday.

"The Americans should be aware to what extent we have infiltrated the plane," Iranian Fars news agency quoted the general as saying. "Our experts have a full understanding of its components and programs."

The Pentagon stated that the drone’s security will prevent Iranian engineers from cracking its technology.
Tehran has already copied the Sentinel – as a toy, and sent one to the US as a mocking response to America’s request to hand over the aircraft.

Iran announced capturing RQ-170 Sentinel surveillance UAV in December 2011. The US believed that the aircraft crashed in Iran’s desolate mountainous area, but apparently Iranian military managed to hack into the drone’s control system and bring it down.

Earlier this week Tehran said a number of nations approached Iran over possible sharing of military technology it may have developed through studying its drone prize. China and Russia reportedly showed the most interest.

Read more: http://rt.com/news/iran-spy-drone-copy-667/

Voting begins in France, economy may sink Sarkozy

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - French voters headed to the polls on Sunday in round one of a presidential ballot, with economic despair on course to make Nicolas Sarkozy the first president to lose a fight for re-election in more than 30 years.

In a contest driven as much by a dislike of Sarkozy's showy style and his failure to bring down unemployment as by policy differences, Sarkozy and his Socialist rival Francois Hollande are pegged to beat eight other candidates to go through to a May 6 runoff, where polls give Hollande a double-digit lead.

Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million).

He would be only France's second left-wing leader since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, and its first since Francois Mitterrand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-d'Estaing in 1981.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/22/us-france-election-idUSBRE83I0EZ20120422

Surveillance State evils

Yesterday, Democracy Now had an extraordinary program devoted to America’s Surveillance State. The show had three guests, each of whose treatment by the U.S. Government reflects how invasive, dangerous and out-of-control America’s Surveillance State has become:

William Binney: he worked at the NSA for almost 40 years, and resigned in October, 2001, in protest of the NSA’s turn to domestic spying. Binney immediately went to the House Intelligence Committee to warn them of the illegal spying the NSA was doing, and that resulted in nothing. In July, 2007 — while then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was testifying before the Senate about Bush’s warrantless NSA spying program — Binney’s home was invaded by a dozen FBI agents, who pointed guns at him, in an obvious effort to intimidate him out of telling the Senate the falsehoods and omissions in Gonzales’ testimony about NSA domestic spying (another NSA whistleblower, Thomas Drake, had his home searched several months later, and was subsequently prosecuted by the Obama DOJ — unsuccessfully — for his whistleblowing).

Jacob Appelbaum: an Internet security expert and hacker, he is currently at the University of Washington and engaged in some of the world’s most important work in the fight for Internet freedom. He’s a key member of the Tor Project, which is devoted to enabling people around the world to use the Internet with complete anonymity: so as to thwart government surveillance and to prevent nation-based Internet censorship. In 2010, he was also identified as a spokesman for WikiLeaks. Rolling Stone dubbed him “The Most Dangerous Man in Cyberspace,” writing: “In a sense, he’s a bizarro version of Mark Zuckerberg: If Facebook’s ambition is to ‘make the world more open and connected,’ Appelbaum has dedicated his life to fighting for anonymity and privacy. . . . ’I don’t want to live in a world where everyone is watched all the time,’ he says. ‘I want to be left alone as much as possible. I don’t want a data trail to tell a story that isn’t true’.”

For the last two years, Appelbaum has been repeatedly detained and harassed at American airports upon his return to the country, including having his laptops and cellphone seized — all without a search warrant, of course — and never returned. The U.S. Government has issued secret orders to Internet providers demanding they provide information about his email communications and social networking activities. He’s never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime.

Laura Poitras: she is the filmmaker about whom I wrote two weeks ago. After producing an Oscar-nominated film on the American occupation of Iraq, followed by a documentary about U.S. treatment of Islamic radicals in Yemen, she has been detained, searched, and interrogated every time she has returned to the U.S. She, too, has had her laptop and cell phone seized without a search warrant, and her reporters’ notes repeatedly copied. This harassment has intensified as she works on her latest film about America’s Surveillance State and the war on whistleblowers, which includes — among other things — interviews with NSA whistleblowers such as Binney and Drake.


http://www.salon.com/2012/04/21/e_2/singleton/

Mitt Romney's BIG LIE: Obama made the recession worse and last longer

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

http://m.npr.org/news/U.S./150732473



Apparently his friends in his own financial playpen don't think so.

Dow Jones Industrial Average - 7,949 at the close on January 20, 2009.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/20/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm

Dow Jones Industrial Average - 12,921 at the close on April 16, 2012.

http://www.bloomberg.com/



Oh, and there's this -

GDP declined by 5.7% in the 1st Quarter 2009.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2009/gdp109p.htm

GDP grew by 3.0% in the 4th Quarter of 2011.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2012/gdp4q11_3rd.htm



Oh, yeah, and there's this too -

Job losses January 2009 - 598,000 http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/06/news/economy/jobs_january/

Job gains -

January 2012 243,000 http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72409.html

February 2012 227,000 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/business/economy/us-added-227000-jobs-last-month-rate-at-8-3.html?pagewanted=all

March 2012 120,000 http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/04/jobs_gain.html



The economy has a long way to go, but there's no way Barack Obama made the economy "worse."

I know one thing about this election

They will try to take it by any means necessary. They will give no quarter and we shouldn't either.

Israeli settlers, Palestinians skirmish near Itamar

Israeli settlers, Palestinians skirmish near Itamar

By JPOST.COM STAFF04/12/2012 15:38

Matan Fogel, brother of murdered Udi Fogel of infamous Itamar killings, lightly injured in altercation.


The brother of Udi Fogel was one of two settlers lightly injured Thurdsay in an altercation with Palestinians on Hill 777, an outpost near Itamar in the West Bank. Mattan is the younger brother of Udi, who two adolescent Palestinians killed along with his wife and three of his children 13 months ago.

The settlers claim that Fogel and the second injured settler were herding sheep when a group of Palestinians began stoning them and beating them with clubs.

Following the incident, Matan and his companion were taken to the hospital by Magen David Adom paramedics on the scene.

In contrast, the Palestinians involved claim that the two settlers attacked them first while they were farming near Kfar Yanoun near Itamar.

According to the Palestinian account, three Palestinians were wounded in the fight and five were subsequently arrested by security forces.

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=265848

This JP article - hardly a Pro-Palestinian publication - is far more objective than the propaganda posted previously from "israelnationalnews."

Zimmerman to be indicted

Source: MSNBC

Updated at 2:57 p.m. ET: The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case will announce criminal charges against George Zimmerman on Wednesday, a law enforcement official told NBC News.

The nature of the charges wasn't immediately known, the official told NBC News Justice Department correspondent Pete Williams, speaking on condition of anonymity. But because Angela Corey — the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to re-examine the case — previously announced that she wouldn't take the case to a grand jury, first-degree murder is not an option.

Corey's office confirmed that a news conference would be at 6 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, Fla.

Read more: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/11/11144255-nbc-george-zimmerman-to-be-charged-in-trayvon-martin-case?lite

America’s forgotten P.O.W.: Bowe Bergdahl

By Murtaza Hussain

The decision to send young men and women to kill and die in foreign lands is one which is often taken without much real thought for the welfare of these individuals, often barely past the age of adulthood, despite the massive amount of rhetoric and jingoism which surrounds their deployments. Soldiers are killed and maimed with depressing regularity, registering as a brief news story and then in most cases disappearing from the public consciousness forever. Perhaps even more painful psychologically is the plight of soldiers in conflict who disappear into the hands of those they have been sent to fight, continuing to exist in a state of living death, often mistreated and without means of contacting their loved ones or a clear prospect of when, or if, they may ever safely return home again. During the years of his detention in the Gaza Strip, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit became a symbolic figure in his country whose name was known to every citizen. Through his suffering he became an iconic figure in Israel, where concern about his fate was almost universal and public pressure eventually forced the government to make his status a priority in its policy decisions. Similarly, most every Palestinian knows the plight of their own prisoners languishing behind enemy lines and popular opinion ensures that their fates are front and centre in every political negotiation carried out by their leaders.

Those in the United States who advocate war often cite the need to Support the Troops, ostensibly to show them legitimate support, but in practice usually as a means to stifle debate in order to further their own agendas. “Supporting the Troops” is an end-all response and bludgeon to any criticism of the massive, opaque wars being fought around the world; but how much does it really correspond to reality? What would be the reaction of Americans and American politicians, especially those continue to support military intervention, to their own captured soldier? Who is the American Gilad Schalit, the iconic figure of sacrifice whose fate is the concern of every one of his compatriots?

There is no figure who occupies such a place in the American imagination, but if there were to be one it would rightly be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. For nearly three years Bergdahl, a 26-year old from Sun Valley, Idaho has been held captive by the Afghan Taliban. Captured in an attack on his unit in Paktia province in Eastern Afghanistan, the only glimpses his family and the outside world have seen of him over the past several years have come through intermittent video transmissions released by his captors to confirm his continued detention. In the first of these videos released in 2009, Bergdahl can be seen visibly choking back tears as he describes his life in detention, “Well, I’m scared,” he says. “It’s very unnerving to be a prisoner.” From what little intelligence that has come out about his life in captivity since, it is known that as recently as 2011 he made an escape attempt from his captors only to be recaptured and confined permanently in shackles to prevent any further attempts. The last video footage released of him, also in 2011, shows a young man who appears haggard and scared, a far cry from the smiling military photograph of him before his deployment to the Afghan battlefield.

Despite his nearly unfathomable suffering, Bergdahl is as out of sight and out of mind to the average American as the average Afghan, Iraqi, Somali, Pakistani and Yemeni victim of the past decade of war. One person who has not forgotten about him however is his father, who last year released a heart-wrenching video appeal for his release which should be mandatory viewing for all those who make a point of sloganeering about Supporting the Troops, or who advocate for them to continue to be sent on “interventions” into foreign lands without enunciating what clear, pressing national interest they will be serving. Bound by suffering with others who have had their lives torn apart by these wars, Bergdahl and his family are as much the victims of the cynical maneuvering of politicians and the lobbying of special interest groups as are the Afghans being killed and imprisoned over this war today. In his video Bergdahl’s father appeals to the Taliban to sympathize with his son’s plight by citing his empathy with Afghans presently being detained by NATO forces, “No family in the United States understands the detainee issue like ours. Our son’s safe return will only heighten public awareness of this.”

Perhaps that may be true, but where is the public awareness in the U.S. over the plight of its own captured soldier? Among those who advocated sending young people such as Bergdahl to kill, die, and be captured on an Afghan battlefield, who is advocating on his behalf and campaigning to make his safe passage home a priority? Sgt. Bergdahl has been detained for nearly three years, yet his image is unknown to the average American, his name is obscure, and his fate is seldom brought up in public discussions of the conflict. Unlike Gilad Schalit, he has not become a cause celebre in his society, despite widespread insistence that military service-members are sincerely revered and supported. Like an untold number of nameless Afghans and Iraqis who have been detained, tortured and killed, he remains an expendable pawn to those whose interests have been served by these conflicts and who continue to campaign for their expansion to new fronts.



http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/
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