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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 42,589

Journal Archives

CIA torture architect • Interview: 'I'm just a guy who got asked to do something for his country'

CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend 'enhanced interrogation'



• Interview:

James Mitchell: '"I'm just a guy who got asked to do something for his country by people at the highest level of government, and I did the best that I could."

Psychologist who designed CIA's post-9/11 torture program insists he has nothing to apologise for – and attacks 'people with a Jack Bauer mentality who don't understand how intel works'

The committee’s report found that the interrogation techniques devised by Mitchell, a retired air force psychologist, were far more brutal than disclosed at the time, and did not yield useful intelligence. These included waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation for days at a time, confinement in a box and being slammed into walls.

But Mitchell, who was reported to have personally waterboarded accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains unrepentant. “The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can't ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”

.............

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/18/james-mitchell-cia-torture-interview

Chris Christie’s $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption laws

Source: Pando Daily

Chris Christie’s $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption laws (And now the intended recipient threatens to sue Pando)

A PandoDaily investigation has discovered evidence that Gov. Chris Christie’s pending deal to award a $300 million pension management contract to a controversial hedge fund is in violation of state anti-corruption laws.

New Jersey state pay-to-play statutes prohibit state contractors from directly or indirectly financially supporting the election campaigns of state officials. Those statutes also explicitly prohibit the use of outside groups or family members to circumvent that ban.

Additionally, separate Department of Treasury rules appear to prohibit public pension contracts from being awarded to investment firms whose employees have made significant financial contributions to political entities organized to operate in New Jersey state elections. Those laws also bar investment firms doing business with the state from making contributions “for the purpose of influencing any election for State office.”

Yet, late last month, the New Jersey State Investment Council moved to award a controversial $300 million investment contract to Chatham Asset Management, despite the fact that Chatham’s principal, and a woman living at his address and sharing his surname, donated more than $50,000 to a Republican election group that oversaw major portions of Gov. Christie’s 2013 re-election operation. The proposed investment is already highly controversial given the hedge fund also reportedly owns a stake in the Atlantic City casino, Revel.

Read more: http://pando.com/2014/04/18/chris-christies-300m-pension-proposal-broke-state-anti-corruption-laws-and-now-the-intended-recipient-threatens-to-sue-pando/

“…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.”

“…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.”

– Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

The Selling of Christ

Banksy making a valid point about society and its treatment of holidays such as Christmas and Easter.



When you look at this image, you automatically notice three things: the image is mostly black and white, the gifts are the only things that have color, and there is no cross. If you are familiar with Banksy, you should not be surprised to see that the picture is almost colorless. Most of Banksy’s works are in black, white, and one other random color. The black and white is used to bring the audience’s attention to the colored parts of the image. In this case the third color is pink, which brings the viewer’s attention to the gifts. Banksy wants you to focus on the gifts because he wants you to see how Jesus and them clash together; they don’t go together. This is attacking the materialism that has taken over Christian holidays by illustrating that the two do not belong together. The exclusion of the cross symbolizes the exclusion of religious meaning behind the holidays. The combination of the presents and lack of cross basically tells the viewer that materialism has replaced the role of religion in Christmas and Easter, which means that the holidays lost their meaning in today’s culture. Though I may not agree with Banksy’s use of the Crucifixion, he makes a pretty convincing argument about today’s society and consumer holidays.

http://rcldhs.blogspot.com/2012/02/graffiti-jesus.html

Military Judge Orders CIA To Turn Over Details On 'Black Site' Prisons


A military judge at Guantanamo Bay has ordered the US government to turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers connected to the trial of the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing.

Judge James Pohl instructed the government to reveal names, dates and locations of "black sites" where Saudi suspect Abd Rahim al-Nashiri was held between his arrest in 2002 and his transfer to the notorious Guantanamo detention center in 2006.

Pohl's order was first reported by the Miami Herald newspaper.

Nashiri's lawyer Rick Kammen told AFP in an email that the order "directs the government to provide a huge amount of material pertaining to the RDI (Rendition, Detention, Interrogation) program."




Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/cia-black-site-2014-4#ixzz2zFHCZuQR

"It’s something she wants more than she wanted to be president.”


Congrats to Chelsea Clinton and Husband Marc & the entire Clinton Family

“I’d like to be a grandfather,” the 42nd president told a Davos audience in 2011. “I would like to have a happy wife, and she won’t be unless she’s a grandmother. It’s something she wants more than she wanted to be president.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/hillary-clinton-chelsea-clinton-pregnancy-105808.html#ixzz2zCwTEdyc


Hillary ClintonVerified account
‏@HillaryClinton
My most exciting title yet: Grandmother-To-Be! @billclinton and I are thrilled that Chelsea and Marc are expecting their first child!
https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/456903198834700288


via:
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2014/4/17/213120/153/otherpolitics/Congrats-to-Chelsea-Clinton-and-Husband-Marc

TN Says Yes To Free Higher-Education Tuition (free tuition for incoming freshmen)

Source: Alternet

Tennessee Says Yes To Free Higher-Education Tuition
The measure will provide free tuition for incoming freshmen enrolling in two-year schools.


April 17, 2014 |

The Tennessee House and Senate have approved a measure that allows for two free years of tuition at community colleges or technical schools for all all the state's high school graduates. The proposal not only has the backing of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, it was based on his idea.

Moreover, the legislation passed by an overwhelming majority. The state's House of Representatives voted in favor of the legislation with a 87-8 margin.

When the plan, called Tennessee Promise, becomes law, should provide free higher education for about 25,000 students in the state beginning in 2015. It will only benefit incoming freshmen. College sophomores attending two year schools in 2015 will not be able to participate in the plan, but will still be eligible for other state financial aid programs.

The estimated cost of the program is $34 annually. Money will be transferred from the proceeds of the Tennessee Lottery to create an endowment for the program.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/education/tennessee-education

Open Letter to Phyllis Schlafly From 12 Year-Old Madison Kimrey

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Dear Ms. Schlafly,

I’m a teenage girl who has been reading about you quite a bit in the news lately. It seems to me that you have absolutely no idea what women of my generation are all about. I can understand that because I often deal with older people who think that their generation is superior and my generation is the worst thing ever just because we’re different. Really though, I think since you want to be all up in the public eye, it would really do you a lot of good to understand things from the perspective of one of the young women who will be taking over this country soon.

I’ve been thinking about how I can explain what feminism means to my generation in a way you might not have thought of before. I wanted to try to work from something we have in common, and it’s been kind of hard to find something I have in common with you. Then, it came to me. I bet you wear a bra.

I was reading recently about a company called Yellowberry that was started by a young woman because she took her younger sister bra shopping and her sister didn’t like any of the choices. None of the bras fit her, and she felt the selections were too sexual. So she started a line of bras so that girls would have more options. As for myself, I shop at Victoria’s Secret. It’s not because I want to be sexy or have any grand delusions of looking like one of their models. I shop there because they have different styles of bras so I can find something I think is pretty that fits me. I don’t know where you shop for your bras, but I bet you have a favorite one. I bet you have that one bra that’s comfortable and goes with just about everything. I bet the last thing you were thinking about when you bought that bra was what a man would think about it.

Well, making choices in our lives as young women is kind of like finding that favorite bra. Not all of us are going to fit into the same kind and not all of us are going to find the same style attractive. We all deserve to have as many choices as possible, and as women, we shouldn’t be judging the choices made by other women. Choosing a bra is a very personal choice and is none of anyone else’s business. We should be, as women, looking for ways we can expand the choices both for ourselves and other women, just as Megan Grassell did when she started Yellowberry. Equality doesn’t mean women will all make the same choice. It means women will be treated the same no matter what choices they make.

This brings us to the idea you have that women shouldn’t have equal pay because it will make it more difficult for them to find husbands. What you’re doing is attempting to limit my choices, and I don’t appreciate that. Let’s get one thing straight here. When I’m thinking about what kind of career I want to have, it’s a lot like shopping for a bra. I want to find something that fits me and appeals to me, and I’m not thinking about pleasing a man. Anyone who wants to be my partner in life is going to have to truly respect me, appreciate me for who I am, and honor the choices I make.

What you’re doing, Ms. Schlafly, is contributing to something very disturbing I see happening with some of the teenage girls I know. At a time in their lives when they should be free, independent, and exploring and preparing for the possibilities they have in the future, many of them are worried about getting or keeping a boyfriend. There are young women my age who are extremely smart but they hide it because they get messages from women like you that if they are too smart or successful, boys won’t like them. They get messages from women like you that pleasing a man should be their number one goal. You’re contributing to making young women uncomfortable when they go bra shopping because they’ve learned to analyze every choice based on what other people will think instead of having the freedom and confidence to choose what’s best for them.

I’m going to continue the work my mother and my grandmothers started, the work you have fought so hard against. I’m going to work to help get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified in my lifetime. Once this is done, it’s going to take some time to undo a lot of the damage women like you have caused. It’s going to take time for society to evolve once women finally have the equality we deserve. But I believe that my daughters will look at history and see women like you the same way I see women who tried to prevent us from getting the right to vote. I believe that bra shopping is going to be a lot easier for my daughters than it is for girls today.
Sincerely,

Madison Kimrey


Madison Kimrey is student, actress, aspiring writer and activist who fights for LGBT rights, humane treatment of animals, women’s rights and promotes youth activism and participation in democracy.
http://samuel-warde.com/2014/04/open-letter-phyllis-schlafly-12-year-old-madison-kimrey-guest-post/

If only our politicians would talk like this.

If only our politicians would talk like this.


Sen. Bernie Sanders
Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont
Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

Posted: 04/17/2014 8:40 am EDT Updated: 04/17/2014 11:59 am EDT

.......................

Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about. The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party. And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.

And let's be very clear. Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education. Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that. They want to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick and the most vulnerable in this country. Every piece of legislation!

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families. Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.

..................



The Rest:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/who-are-the-koch-brothers_b_5165995.html?utm_hp_ref=denver&ir=Denver

Whoopi Goldberg: My vape pen and I, a love story



Whoopi Goldberg: My vape pen and I, a love story

"I took a sip. It was beautiful. And my pen and I have been together ever since."


PUBLISHED: APR 17, 2014, 7:40 AM
By Whoopi Goldberg, The Cannabist Staff

My vape pen and I maintain a mostly private relationship. Sure, I’ll sometimes show my pen to a friend or share her with a close confidant. But mostly it’s just she and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the more important figures in my day to day.

When I show her to a friend, the reaction 99 percent of the time is: “Holy shit, where did you get this and how can I get me one?” They’re seriously that blown away by my vape pen. And they should be. She’s that amazing.

As I write my debut column for The Cannabist, talking about this newly legal weed and admiring the states that have had the foresight to legalize medical marijuana, I’m most tempted to extol the virtues of the vape pen. I didn’t anticipate this first column to be such a love story, some sort of semi-romantic comedy. But it works, and it’s true, and so here we go.

The vape pen has changed my life. No, I’m not exaggerating. In fact, her name is Sippy. Yes, she’s a she. And yes, I named her Sippy because I take tiny, little sips — sassy sips, even — from her. And with each sip comes relief — from pressure, pain, stress, discomfort. But I’m getting ahead of myself.



more please:
http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/04/17/whoopi-vape-pen-love-story-column/9571/
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