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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 51,790

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"American Sharpshooters"

Socrates: First, shouldn't we explain how a democracy becomes an oligarchy?

Adeimantus: Yes.

Socrates: The crutical step is that the rich figure out how to manipulate politics so the laws benefit them instead of the public.

Adeimantus: So it seems.

Translated by the author of the outstanding book, Keith Quincy

His book is “Worse than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington’s Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go From Here”

Loretta Lynch confirmed that waterboarding is torture. She should prosecute those who did it.

President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, in her first Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, admitted that certain actions taken by the CIA constituted torture and were illegal. In an exchange with Senator Patrick Leahy in which he asked her if waterboarding was torture, she responded:

Lynch: “Waterboarding is torture, Senator.”

Leahy: “And thus illegal?”

Lynch: “And thus illegal.”

Given her comments, Lynch should immediately appoint a special prosecutor to seek charges against the CIA for waterboarding three detainees (and likely many more) as soon as she’s confirmed. Since there is no statute of limitations on torture, and the UN Convention Against Torture – ratified by the Senate and signed by President Reagan – requires that the United States prosecute violators, this should be an open and shut case for Lynch.

Lynch did not indicate if she’d read the recently-released executive summary of the CIA torture report, and was not asked if she considered many of the other barbaric and sadistic actions described in the report – such as extended sleep deprivation, beatings, and anal rape – as torture, but she could certainly direct a prosecutor to investigate those claims as well.

More (still holding breath):

"Branches Of Government"

Obama Wants To End The Era Of Sequestration

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will propose a budget on Monday that calls for an estimated 6.8 percent increase in discretionary spending -- an approach diametrically different from the last time Democrats sustained major midterm election losses.

The spending proposal will almost assuredly get strong pushback from Republicans in Congress, who now control both the House and the Senate and wield even more power than they did four years ago. For that reason alone, the budget is another sign of a president feeling unhindered in his final years of office and eager to take advantage of an improving economy.

Details of the budget have been guarded closely by administration and Capitol Hill officials. But sources on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue said Obama will propose increasing discretionary spending by about $70 billion (several sources cautioned the proposed increase likely will be slightly less). The money would be divided equally between defense and non-defense accounts.


“The President will propose to end the across-the-board sequester cuts that threaten our economy and our military," a White House official said. "The President’s budget will fully reverse those cuts for domestic priorities, and match those investments dollar-for-dollar with the resources our troops need to keep America safe.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29/obama-sequestration-budget-2016_n_6567816.html

Imagine - Clint Eastwood's "Abu Ghraib" Opening to rave reviews

American's would love it....

Let’s not kid ourselves: Most Americans are fine with torture, even when you call it “torture”

I wonder what blue-eyed wonder will play the starring role?

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . .

How Snipers are Viewed by Soldiers: "Unacceptable to ordinary footsoldiers"

How Snipers are Viewed by Soldiers
by mmankoff

I think it might be of interest to those attentive to the heated discussion regarding Clint Eastwood's film, American Sniper, and the varied responses to the protagonist to quote from Max Hastings' Armageddon on the perception of snipers from the perspective of the infantryman. Hastings, the pre-eminent military journalist/historian of WWII, author of many books on that conflict, focuses on the last year of the war in the European theatre and carefully examines the experiences and thoughts of those fighting on the ground for the American, British, Russian and German armies.

The following quotation is from page 88.

"Almost every soldier on both sides shared a hatred of snipers, which frequently caused them to be shot out of hand if captured. There was no logic or provision of the Geneva Convention to justify such action. Sniping merely represented the highest refinement of the infantry soldier's art. Its exercise required courage and skill. Yet, sniping made the random business of killing, in which they were all engaged, become somehow personal and thus unacceptable to ordinary footsoldiers."

The sniper is perceived as a different sort of person, even by fellow soldiers. That difference is not one which is admired, but produces a revulsion that crosses national boundaries.

If Hasting's observations from WWII still hold, when the infantrymen are volunteers and not simply conscripts, it may be that those who lionize the American sniper Eastwood depicts, only do so because they have not experienced him close and personal. If they did, they might have second thoughts.


btw, , sit down mr. eastwood, your chair is ready
mr pete read the book - says you left the TRUTH out.
He adds that it is also quite juvenile: "duck hunt with arabs".

from last year:

LOL: A "Puzzled" Sean Hannity quizzes Sarah Palin on Iowa speech

Sean Hannity, puzzled, quizzes Sarah Palin on Iowa speech

Even Fox News host Sean Hannity found Sarah Palin’s speech at the recent Iowa Freedom Summit bizarre, asking the former Alaska governor if her teleprompter had broken.

“Did the teleprompter go down, did you have trouble with the copy, was there any moment in the speech where you had any difficulty because people had been so critical?”

he asked the former 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Tuesday on his Fox News program “Hannity.”

Hannity noted that “a lot of people” — even her strongest supporters — had criticized Palin’s performance. Palin spoke at the conservative summit Saturday and rambled through what many saw as disjointed and odd remarks.

(A sample: “GOP leaders, by the way, y’know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent. So strengthen it. Then the man can’t ride ya, America won’t be taken for a ride.”)

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/sean-hannity-sarah-palin-speech-iowa-114675.html#ixzz3Q8DJKjZh

"It's snowing" Therefore "Global warming isn't real."


New Study Shows Why It Makes Absolutely No Sense to Blame the Poor for the Financial Crisis

Despite efforts to blame the housing crisis on lower-income buyers, the truth is that the rich had a greater impact on the economy by defaulting on significantly larger mortgages.

The Washington Post:

Irresponsible lending might have been one of the many causes of the financial crisis—but not just irresponsible lending to poor people, according to a new study.

“The large majority of mortgage dollars originated between 2002 and 2006 are obtained by middle- and high-income borrowers (not the poor),” the authors write. “In addition, borrowers in the middle and top of the distribution are the ones that contributed most significantly to the increase in mortgages in default after 2007.” Rich people tend to take out larger mortgages, of course, but the fact is that the amount of money poor borrowers failed to pay back was just never that significant, as this chart from the paper shows. In case you have a hard time believing that so many larger mortgages could have gone into default, The Washington Post just published a series of stories on subprime, sometimes predatory lending in relatively affluent places such as Prince George’s County, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

Read More.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

'We Were Arrogant': New York Times editor Dean Baquet: We failed to do our job after 9/11

Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, is unusually self-critical. In an interview, he admits that it pained him to see Edward Snowden give his story to others and explains why his paper chose not to run Charlie Hebdo caricatures of Muhammad.

(some snippets):


SPIEGEL: In August, you announced a major shift in the New York Times coverage of the CIA scandal. You began calling some interrogation techniques "torture". For years the newspaper had used terms like "harsh interrogation techniques". Why did it take you so long to make that decision?

I wasn't here when the original decision was made not to use "torture," but I understand the decision. At that time, we didn't know much about what was done to these guys. Nobody knew how many times Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed had been waterboarded. We then waited too long as we started learning more about what was done. As soon as we learned that, we should have said: Let's start using the word "torture".

SPIEGEL: Was that because you followed the government's definition, which did not view it as falling under the legal definition of torture?

Baquet: The government shouldn't get to define what "torture" is. We should have started using the word a long time ago. I started using the word a few months ago, not long after I became editor. Mark Mazzetti who covers the CIA for us, called me up and he said, "This report is coming out in a few months. We should revisit the New York Times' policy on using the word 'torture.'" I got him and a couple of the reporters on the phone, and they said, "Okay. Here is what we now know and what we have reported," and they recounted things we have reported before. And I said, "Of course, this is torture." Sometimes we make decisions, because we're too slow, we're human, we don't think of things in time, things fall under the radar. Sometimes we're really dumb, to be frank.

SPIEGEL: One of your best reporters, James Risen, said in a speech that the mainstream "failed after 9/11." Do you agree?

Baquet: Yes, absolutely. The mainstream press was not aggressive enough after 9/11, was not aggressive enough in asking questions about a decision to go to war in Iraq, was not aggresive enough in asking the hard questions about the War on Terror. I accept that for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.


very revealing interview (a little late):
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