HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal

marmar

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 67,570

Journal Archives

The 25th Hour: Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World


from TomDispatch:


The 25th Hour
Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World

By Rebecca Gordon


Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes. From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living in a post-9/11 world, we’re stuck with Jack Bauer in the 25th hour.

In 2002, Cofer Black, the former Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, told a Senate committee, “All I want to say is that there was ‘before’ 9/11 and ‘after’ 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off.” He wanted them to understand that Americans now live in a changed world, where, from the point of view of the national security state, anything goes. It was, as he and various top officials in the Bush administration saw it, a dangerous place in which terrorists might be lurking in any airport security line and who knew where else.

Dark-skinned foreigners promoting disturbing religions were driven to destroy us because, as President George W. Bush said more than once, “they hate our freedoms.” It was "them or us." In such a frightening new world, we were assured, our survival depended in part on brave men and women willing to break precedent and torture some of our enemies for information that would save civilization itself. As part of a new American creed, we learned that torture was the price of security.

These were the ruling fantasies of the era, onscreen and off. But didn’t that sorry phase of our national life end when Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney departed? Wasn’t it over once Barack Obama entered the Oval Office and issued an executive order closing the CIA black sites that the Bush administration had set up across the planet, forbidding what had euphemistically come to be called “enhanced interrogation techniques?” As it happens, no. Though it’s seldom commented upon, the infrastructure for, the capacity for, and the personnel to staff a system of institutionalized state torture remain in place, ready to bloom like a desert plant in a rain shower the next time fear shakes the United States. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175866/tomgram%3A_rebecca_gordon%2C_a_nation_of_cowards/



Chris Hedges: Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War


from truthdig:


Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War

Posted on Jul 7, 2014
By Chris Hedges


BOSTON—On Saturday I went to one of the massive temples across the country where we celebrate our state religion. The temple I visited was Boston’s Fenway Park. I was inspired to go by reading Andrew Bacevich’s thoughtful book “Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country,” which opens with a scene at Fenway from July 4, 2011. The Fourth of July worship service that I attended last week—a game between the Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles—was a day late because of a rescheduling caused by Tropical Storm Arthur. When the crowd sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” a gargantuan American flag descended to cover “the Green Monster,” the 37-foot, 2-inch-high wall in left field. Patriotic music blasted from loudspeakers. Col. Lester A. Weilacher, commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base, wearing a light blue short-sleeved Air Force shirt and dark blue pants, threw the ceremonial first pitch. A line of Air Force personnel stood along the left field wall. The fighter jets—our angels of death—that usually roar over the stadium on the Fourth were absent. But the face of Fernard Frechette, a 93-year-old World War II veteran who was attending, appeared on the 38-by-100-foot Jumbotron above the center-field seats as part of Fenway’s “Hats Off to Heroes” program, which honors military veterans or active-duty members at every game. The crowd stood and applauded. Army National Guard Sgt. Ben Arnold had been honored at the previous game, on Wednesday. Arnold said his favorite Red Sox player was Mike Napoli. Arnold, who fought in Afghanistan, makes about $27,000 a year. Napoli makes $16 million. The owners of the Red Sox clear about $60 million annually. God bless America.

The religious reverie—repeated in sports arenas throughout the United States—is used to justify our bloated war budget and endless wars. Schools and libraries are closing. Unemployment and underemployment are chronic. Our infrastructure is broken and decrepit. And we will have paid a crippling $4 trillion for the useless and futile wars we waged over the last 13 years in the Middle East. But the military remains as unassailable as Jesus, or, among those who have season tickets at Fenway Park, the Red Sox. The military is the repository of our honor and patriotism. No public official dares criticize the armed forces or challenge their divine right to more than half of all the nation’s discretionary spending. And although we may be distrustful of government, the military—in the twisted logic of the American mind—is somehow separate.

The heroes of war and the heroes of sport are indistinguishable in militarized societies. War is sold to a gullible public as a noble game. Few have the athletic prowess to play professional sports, but almost any young man or woman can go to a recruiter and sign up to be a military hero. The fusion of the military with baseball, along with the recruitment ads that appeared intermittently Saturday on the television screens mounted on green iron pillars throughout Fenway Park, caters to this illusion: Sign up. You will be part of a professional team. We will show you in your uniform on the Jumbotron in Fenway Park. You will be a hero like Mike Napoli.

Saturday’s crowd of some 37,000, which paid on average about $70 for a ticket, dutifully sang hosannas—including “God Bless America” in the seventh inning—to the flag and the instruments of death and war. It blessed and applauded a military machine that, ironically, oversees the wholesale surveillance of everyone in the ballpark and has the power under the National Defense Authorization Act to snatch anyone in the stands and hold him or her indefinitely in a military facility. There was no mention of targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens, kill lists or those lost or crippled in the wars. The crowd roared its approval every time the military was mentioned. It cheered its own enslavement. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/kneeling_in_fenway_park_to_the_gods_of_war_20140707



Robert Scheer: Hillary Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance State Baggage

from truthdig:


Hillary Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance State Baggage

Posted on Jul 7, 2014
By Robert Scheer


Who is the true patriot, Hillary Clinton or Edward Snowden? The question comes up because Clinton has gone all out in attacking Snowden as a means of burnishing her hawkish credentials, eliciting Glenn Greenwald’s comment that she is “like a neocon, practically.”

On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American Thatcher? In that same interview with the Guardian she also managed to get in yet another shot against Snowden for taking refuge in Russia “apparently under Putin’s protection,” unless, she taunted, “he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable.”

Accountable for telling the truth that Clinton concealed during her tenure as secretary of state in the Obama Administration? Did she approve of the systematic spying on the American people as well as of others around the world, including the leaders of Germany and Brazil, or did she first learn of all this from the Snowden revelations?

On Saturday, a carefully vetted four-month investigation by the Washington Post based on material made available by Snowden revealed that while Clinton was in the government, the NSA had collected a vast trove of often intimate Internet correspondence and photos of innocent Americans, including many users of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other leading Internet companies. The Post reported many files “described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained ... have a voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes.” .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_flaunts_her_surveillance_state_baggage_20140707



Terminal Cancer Patient Rushed To Hospital During Felony Trial For Medical Pot


from HuffPost:



A 48-year-old terminal cancer patient was rushed to the hospital from an Iowa courthouse Monday during his trial over felony charges for growing marijuana he uses as a treatment for his rare condition.

Brian Wellner of Iowa's Quad-City Times' first reported that paramedics took Benton Mackenzie, who was expected to take the stand in his trial in Scott County District Court on Monday, from the courtroom to a local hospital after he complained of extreme pain and hallucinations related to his angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the blood vessels which has produced large lesions on Mackenzie's skin.

Despite Mackenzie's deteriorating condition, his trial is expected to be completed Friday, Linda Bowman, the judicial trial court supervisor at the Scott County Clerk's Office, told The Huffington Post. If Mackenzie is found guilty, he faces at least three years in prison -- a punishment that he's said equates to a death sentence.

"If I'm found guilty at all, I'm a dead man," Mackenzie told Quad-City in May. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/07/benton-mackenzie-marijuana_n_5564552.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013



Bill Moyers and Jim Hightower: Grass Roots Grow Against Greed




Full Show: Grass Roots Grow Against Greed
July 2, 2014


This Fourth of July weekend, as we celebrate our independence and democracy, we pay tribute to the champions of grassroots action fighting against the moneyed interests trying to buy and control government.

One of their most articulate spokesmen is writer and commentator Jim Hightower who travels the country preaching the gospel of populism. A former congressional aide and two-term agriculture commissioner of his native Texas, he is the author of several books and edits a newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

Hightower tells Bill, “There is a growing rebellion and an increasing awareness among different groups fighting different battles that they are connected… People are beginning to get together and see their common interest.” ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-grass-roots-grow-against-greed/



Noam Chomsky | The Sledgehammer Worldview


Noam Chomsky | The Sledgehammer Worldview

Monday, 07 July 2014 00:00
By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed


The front page of The New York Times on June 26 featured a photo of women mourning a murdered Iraqi.

He is one of the innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history.

Right above the picture is the newspaper's famous motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print."

There is a crucial omission. The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg judgment of prominent Nazis - words that must be repeated until they penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24796-noam-chomsky-the-sledgehammer-worldview



How Much Wealth Are Our Wealthiest Hiding?


from Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality:


How Much Wealth Are Our Wealthiest Hiding?
JULY 5, 2014

More than enough, the latest statistical evidence suggests, to warrant a full-fledged federal search. A new banking law in effect this month could start that search in the right direction.


By Sam Pizzigati


Almost everyone knows how Al Capone went down. We’ve seen the movies.

The biggest and baddest gangster in American history extorted and murdered for years. But the feds could never convict him on anything, until the green eyeshade guys went to work. They finally nabbed Capone — on income tax evasion.

The moral of this story? Even the most ruthless of our richest can’t hide what the federal government really wants to find.

We need the green eyeshades back on the job. Today’s wealthy have taken tax evasion to a level that old Scarface never dared imagine. Their network of offshore tax havens is now hiding a significant share of the world’s wealth.

How much are the mega rich hiding offshore? Independent analysts have been working to pin that figure down. The most recent — and statistically robust — of these estimates comes from the young London School of Economics analyst Gabriel Zucman, a protégé of the widely heralded French economist Thomas Piketty.

Zucman has zeroed in on what he calls the “anomalies” of international financial record-keeping. His prime example: the “residence principle.” .................(more)

- See more at: http://toomuchonline.org/how-much-wealth-are-our-wealthiest-hiding/#sthash.Nsul9usv.dpuf



Hospitals Are Mining Patients' Credit Card Data to Predict Who Will Get Sick


(Bloomberg Businessweek) University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which operates more than 20 hospitals in Pennsylvania and a health insurance plan, is using demographic and household data to try to improve patients’ health as well as its bottom line. It says it doesn’t obtain details on individual credit card transactions, but more general data such as whether a patient owns her home, shops online, or lives with an elderly relative.

The UPMC Insurance Services Division, the health system’s insurance provider, bought data on more than 2 million of its members to make predictions about which individuals are most likely to use the emergency room or an urgent care center, says Pamela Peele, the system’s chief analytics officer.

Studies show that people with no children in the home who make less than $50,000 a year are more likely to use the ER rather than a private doctor, Peele says. UPMC wants to make sure those patients have access to a primary care physician or nurse practitioner they can contact before heading to the ER, she says. UPMC is also interested in knowing which patients don’t own a car, which could indicate they’ll have trouble getting routine, preventative care. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-03/hospitals-are-mining-patients-credit-card-data-to-predict-who-will-get-sick#p2



Corporations Making a Killing As Billions Are Poured Into Border Enforcement





Published on Jul 2, 2014

Author Todd Miller discusses how defense contractors look to cash
in on President Obama's expected $2 billion proposal in additional funding for border security


Reclaim Our Economy from Wall Street Public Banking: Funding the New Economy




Published on Jul 4, 2014

Birgitta Jonsdottir, Matt Taibbi, Ellen Brown and Gar Alperovitz have a conversation about Reclaiming Our Economy from Wall Street with Public Banking.


Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 ... 999 Next »