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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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A “Prophetic” Rolling Stone Article From Michael Hastings (2012): America's Last Prisoner of War

Rolling Stone Magazine
June 7, 2012 8:00AM

America's Last Prisoner of War
Three years ago, a 23-year-old soldier walked off his base in Afghanistan and into the hands of the Taliban. Now he’s a crucial pawn in negotiations to end the war. Will the Pentagon leave a man behind?

In June 2012, fearless Rolling Stone contributing edtior Michael Hastings wrote the definitive first account of Bowe Bergdahl — the young American soldier who was captured by the Taliban and became the last American prisoner of war. Hastings, the journalist who brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal in these pages, died in a car accident one year later. Bergdahl was freed this weekend. Hastings' incredible story is available in full here:

(some snippets):

…In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

Bowe returned to his barracks, a roughly built bunker of plywood and sandbags. He gathered up water, a knife, his digital camera and his diary. Then he slipped off the outpost…

…By 11:37 a.m., a Predator drone was on station, monitoring the area with a call sign of VOODOO. At 2:10 p.m., a Pathfinder and a team of tracking dogs arrived at the small outpost. Five minutes later, another Predator drone began circling the area. At 2:42, Guardrail – an electronic intercept plane run by the same clandestine Army agency that killed Pablo Escobar – captured low-level voice intercepts picked up from radio or cellphone traffic. An American soldier with a camera was reportedly looking for someone who spoke English.

The search quickly escalated. No one knew whether Bowe was a deserter,¬ a prisoner or a casualty. At that point he was simply listed as DUSTWUN – short for "Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown." But either way, the Army wanted him back, fast….

…Officially, Bowe remains a soldier in good standing in the United States Army. He has continued to receive promotions over the past three years, based on his time in uniform, and he now holds the rank of sergeant. Unofficially, however, his status within the military is sharply contested. According to officials familiar with the internal debate, there are those in both Congress and the Pentagon who view Bowe as a deserter, and perhaps even a traitor. As with everything in Washington these days, the sharp political discord has complicated efforts to secure his release.

"The Hill is giving State and the White House shit," says one senior administration source. "The political consequences¬ are being used as leverage in the policy debate."...

..."Frankly, we don't give a shit why he left," says one White House official. "He's an American soldier. We want to bring him home"…

This one quote said it all for me:

In a sense, Bowe represents a threat to anyone who wants to see the war continue – be they Taliban militants or Pentagon generals. Once the last American POW is released, there will be few obstacles standing in the way of a negotiated settlement. "It's the hard-liners on both sides who want to keep this thing going," says a White House official. "The Taliban is struggling with its own hard-liners. They need space, and this confidence-building measure could give them space."



2014: `white people only.’

Worker records ‘racist’ supervisor in cotton gin:

He recorded his attempt to drink water from a water fountain in the warehouse office.

“Hey!” says the supervisor in the recording.

“What?” asked Harris.

“I need to put a sign here that says `white people only.’”

Harris also recorded his attempt to use the microwave:

“I am going to use the microwave,” said Harris in the recording.

“Hell no!” said the supervisor.

“Why can’t I use the microwave, man?”

“Because you are not white.”

“For real?”

“As a white man, we don`t even let Larry use it.”


Neil deGrasse Tyson: When the rich start losing money, they’ll take climate change seriously

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson characterized the naysaying surrounding climate change as par for the course in footage aired on Monday from his interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes,

“The evidence will show up when they need more evidence,” deGrasse Tyson told Hayes. “More storms, more coastlines getting lost. People beginning to lose their wealth. People, if they begin to lose their wealth, they change their mind real fast, I’ve found — particularly in a capitalist culture.”

In the interview, which was filmed last week in New York City, the Cosmos host said that denial of scientific truths generally goes through three stages: First, skeptics say it can’t be true. Then, they say it contradicts the Bible. Finally, they admit the clues were there all along.


Gun Activists Cut Up NRA Member Cards Over Criticism Of AR-15s In Restaurants



Gun lovers in Texas are furious at the National Rifle Association right now.

In response to the NRA's statement on Friday criticizing Texas activists' recent tactics, members of the pro-gun group Open Carry Texas have been cutting up their NRA membership cards, and the group has issued a statement demanding a retraction of the NRA's "disgusting and disrespectful comments." Or else.

"The more the NRA continues to divide its members by attacking some aspects of gun rights instead of supporting all gun rights, the more support it will lose," Open Carry Texas said in a statement published Monday on its Facebook page.

In its statement last week, the NRA said that activists in Texas had recently "crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness" with their attempts to bring semi-automatic rifles into fast food restaurants. Open Carry Texas -- the most prominent group involved in the Texas demonstrations -- responded Monday by saying it was "unfortunate that an organization that claims to be dedicated to the preservation of gun rights would attack another organization fighting so hard for those rights in Texas."

"Already, OCT members are posting pictures of themselves cutting up their life membership cards," the group said. "If they do not retract their disgusting and disrespectful comments, OCT will have no choice but to withdraw its full support of the NRA and establish relationships with other gun rights organizations that fight for ALL gun rights, instead of just paying them lip service the way the NRA appears to be doing."


Seattle set to approve $15 minimum wage in 'historic victory' for workers more

Source: The Guardian

Seattle set to approve $15 minimum wage in 'historic victory' for workers
• Plan would more than double federal minimum wage
• Move will benefit 100,000 working people in Seattle

Seattle council is expected to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour on Monday, the highest in the US. The move will benefit about one quarter of the city’s workforce, particularly women and minorities, as it lifts the lowest paid to more than double the federal minimum wage over the coming years.

It is also likely to boost local campaigns across the US, from San Francisco and Chicago to New York state, to raise the incomes of minimum wage workers after Republicans in Congress blocked President Obama’s proposal for a national increase.

But Seattle’s law will be closely watched for its economic impact and for threatened legal action by local franchises of fast-food corporations, such as McDonald’s and Subway, some of the largest employers of low-paid workers in the city, seeking to be classified as small businesses in order to win more years to implement the increases.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/02/seattle-plan-minimum-wage-hike-workers

KRUGMAN: I’m liking Obama more and more as he slogs through his second term. (Me Too!)

Coal Comfort
I just hope the president sticks to his guns — and the good news is that I’m starting to believe that he will.
Paul Krugman

I recently had a discussion with someone who felt disappointed in Obama; he had not, this person complained, lived up to the high hopes of his supporters. My response apparently came as a surprise: I’m liking Obama more and more as he slogs through his second term.

Of course you’re disappointed if you believed that soaring rhetoric could transform our political life, or if you believed that Obama could, by sheer force of will, turn crazy right-wingers into centrists. But I never bought into all of that. In fact, I was always exasperated by the inspiring speeches, which suggested to me that Obama didn’t understand what he was facing.

What mattered instead were concrete achievements, things that would shape America for the better over time. And in the end, Obama has delivered. Health reform is working, and the repeal crowd is slinking slowly away. And now, the environment.

The power-plant proposal isn’t enough, by itself, to save the planet; and like heath reform, it could be undone if enough justices on the Supreme Court decide that their partisan loyalty trumps the law and sound policy. But if the plan does go into effect, it could have huge implications. Climate diplomacy could resume; and if something like cap and trade is actually implemented, it will prove far cheaper than the doomsayers claim, undermining anti-environmentalists in much the way that the success of the ACA has undermined enemies of universal coverage.



CA Baptist congregation changes view on homosexuality after pastor’s son comes out

CA Baptist congregation changes view on homosexuality after pastor’s son comes out
By David Edwards
Monday, June 2, 2014 11:56 EDT

A church in California has decided to reject the Southern Baptist Convention’s official position on homosexuality after a pastor told members that his son was gay.


“I couldn’t help but think that my 15 year journey was in preparation for that moment,” he wrote. “If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.”

After telling his congregation that he no longer believed homosexuality was a sin, the congregation voted on May 19 not to dismiss Cortez. Instead, the church members elected to become a “Third Way” church that withholds judgement against LGBT members.

“So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship,” he explained. “We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgement. We will work towards graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences.”


The lethal confluence - by Tom Tomorrow


please keep this thread respectable,

They hate this President more than they love the troops.

Every Time the Sun Comes Up, I’m In Trouble
Posted by constitutional mistermix at 8:48 am
Jun 02 2014

So let me get this straight. A young soldier who was clearly having a hard time with the most awful thing human beings do, war, should not be rescued because: (a) it’s not crystal clear how he was captured, or (b) he sent a few emails home questioning the war, or (c) the people we are fighting are “terrorists” so we can’t negotiate with them as we would in any other POW situation, even though we call what we’re doing a “War on Terror”?

And this is coming from the people who still support a war where we wasted, squandered, frittered away and otherwise burned up $6 trillion?


"no, you're wrong and this is why" ...

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