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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,669

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ROBERT REICH: Syria is a Distraction From Our Moral Choices At Home

Syria is a Distraction From Our Moral Choices At Home
By Robert Reich
......................................

The use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens is abominable, and if Assad’s regime is responsible he should be treated as an international criminal and pariah.

But have we learned nothing from our mistakes in the past? Time and again over the last half century American presidents have justified so-called “surgical strikes” because the nation’s “credibility” is at stake, and because we have to take some action to show our “strength and resolve” — only to learn years later that our credibility suffered more from our brazen bellicosity, that the surgical strikes only intensified hostilities and made us captive to forces beyond our control, and that our resolve eventually disappears in the face of mounting casualties of Americans and innocent civilians — and in the absence of clearly-defined goals or even clear exit strategies. We and others have paid an incalculable price.

We should instead be testing the nation’s resolve to provide good jobs at good wages to all Americans who need them, and measuring our credibility by the yardstick of equal opportunity. And we should strike (and join striking workers) against big employers who won’t provide their employees with minimally-decent wages. We need to commit ourselves to a living wage, and to providing more economic security to the millions of Americans now working harder but getting nowhere.

Mr. President, a lot of Americans do think something should be done — about these mounting problems at our doorstep here in America. We can have more influence on the rest of the world by showing the rest of the world our resolve to live by our ideals here in America, than by using brute force to prove our resolve elsewhere.

http://www.alternet.org/world/syria-distraction-our-moral-choices-home






update to incl:

Death Of The Middle Class

This Modern World: And Away We Go -- - Nothing Says "We Care" Like A Tomahawk Missile Strike

?1377889701

Mary Cheney: My Sister Is ‘Dead Wrong’ On Gay Marriage

Mary Cheney, who is openly gay and married her longtime partner last year, posted Friday evening: “For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage.”

“Freedom means freedom for everyone,” she added, according to the NYT. “That means that all families — regardless of how they look or how they are made — all families are entitled to the same rights, privileges and protections as every other.”

Their father, Dick Cheney, supports same-sex marriage.

"I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage," Liz Cheney said a statement released earlier Friday. "I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves."



http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/mary-cheney-my-sister-is-dead-wrong-on?ref=fpb

Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.’s (Gov pays AT&T employees-drug fighting units)

Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.’s
By SCOTT SHANE and COLIN MOYNIHAN
Published: September 1, 2013 79 Comments

For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls — parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs.

The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant.

The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.

The project comes to light at a time of vigorous public debate over the proper limits on government surveillance and on the relationship between government agencies and communications companies. It offers the most significant look to date at the use of such large-scale data for law enforcement, rather than for national security.


MORE:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/us/drug-agents-use-vast-phone-trove-eclipsing-nsas.html?hp

KRUGMAN: Love for Labor Lost---It wasn’t always about the hot dogs.

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Love for Labor Lost
By PAUL KRUGMAN

It wasn’t always about the hot dogs. Originally, believe it or not, Labor Day actually had something to do with showing respect for labor.

Here’s how it happened: In 1894 Pullman workers, facing wage cuts in the wake of a financial crisis, went on strike — and Grover Cleveland deployed 12,000 soldiers to break the union. He succeeded, but using armed force to protect the interests of property was so blatant that even the Gilded Age was shocked. So Congress, in a lame attempt at appeasement, unanimously passed legislation symbolically honoring the nation’s workers.

It’s all hard to imagine now. Not the bit about financial crisis and wage cuts — that’s going on all around us. Not the bit about the state serving the interests of the wealthy — look at who got bailed out, and who didn’t, after our latter-day version of the Panic of 1893. No, what’s unimaginable now is that Congress would unanimously offer even an empty gesture of support for workers’ dignity. For the fact is that many of today’s politicians can’t even bring themselves to fake respect for ordinary working Americans.

Consider, for example, how Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, marked Labor Day last year: with a Twitter post declaring “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yep, he saw Labor Day as an occasion to honor business owners.




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MORE:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/opinion/krugman-love-for-labor-lost.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130902&_r=0

'Hello, NSA? I have lost an email, can you help me find it?'

'Hello, NSA? I have lost an email, can you help me find it?'--Dutch-Iranian filmmaker trolls NSA

--"I understand you keep track of lots of emails and internet data, can you help me? No? So you don't keep track of emails of people?"

--No, we wouldn't be able to help you. Can I take down some of your personal information, please?

Slow clap, sir. Slow clap. The epic troll in this video is Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Bahram Sadeghi.



The Washington Post tracked him down and interviewed him.



&feature=youtu.be

When you were talking to the NSA by phone, how much of it went according to plan and how much of it required improvising?

I almost get through the main scenario. I know they are not going to help me. That’s why I had the build-up with extra information, where I say, ‘By the way, I’m from Iran!’ But I was surprised that they asked for my contact information and asked for my provider —

You mean your e-mail provider?

— Yes. So that’s when I thought, ‘What the heck, let’s play the game.’ When I am calling them to help me and they ask for information, I have to give them the information — otherwise I don’t have to call them. By the way, I should also mention that all my friends and ex-colleagues, they all loved the video, but all of them were afraid that I would be followed or even maybe bothered or harassed by the NSA in the future.

Are you worried about that?

I don’t want to worry about that, because in one way or another, NSA is a governmental organization. If I would be afraid of government even when it comes to such an innocent phone call, then we are really lost. You know what I mean?


http://boingboing.net/2013/09/01/hello-nsa-i-have-lost-an-e.html

Margaret Thatcher entered the House of Commons as result of a well-meaning act of "electoral fraud"

… When, after several unsuccessful attempts elsewhere, she presented herself as a potential parliamentary candidate before Conservative Party members in Finchley in 1958, she expected “that the usual prejudice against women will prevail and that I shall probably come the inevitable ‘close second.’ ” When she was selected to stand for the seat, the outgoing member of Parliament, Sir John Crowder, was reported as complaining that the Conservative Central Office had “ a choice on the constituency between ‘a bloody Jew and a bloody woman.’” But it was in Finchley that Thatcher benefited from the smile of fortune that would accompany several formative moments in her career. Appearing alone, since Denis (whom she had married in December 1951) was in Africa on business, the thirty-two-year-old Thatcher cut a striking figure. Speaking with force and confidence, she impressed the local party chairman so much that he misreported the final vote on her candidacy. “She didn’t actually win,” he told his son on the night. “The man did, but I thought, ‘He’s got a silver spoon in his mouth. He’ll get another seat.’ So I ‘lost’ two of the votes and gave them to her.” Unknowingly, Thatcher entered the House of Commons as the result of a well-meaning act of electoral fraud….

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114223/margaret-thatcher-reviewed-john-gray

sometimes, when I am feeling low about elections & my vote, I watch this:

&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DTCm9788Tb5g&nomobile=1

and feel, just a little, wee bit better

peace,
and a little smile TODAY
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57600898/obamas-request-for-congressional-approval-on-a-syria-strike-marks-retreat-syrian-state-media-says/
kpete

did someone say something about Doves?

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