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FourScore

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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 8,867

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Side-By-Side Photo Shows Hypocrisy Of Suggesting Women Should Breastfeed In The Bathroom

Side-By-Side Photo Shows Hypocrisy Of Suggesting Women Should Breastfeed In The Bathroom
The Huffington Post | By Caroline Bologna
Posted: 03/10/2015 3:44 pm EDT Updated: 03/10/2015 5:59 pm EDT

When Israeli photographer and mom Tamar Shugert saw 52Frames' "Make A Statement" photo challenge, she knew exactly which topic she wanted to cover for her entry: respect for breastfeeding mothers.

The mom-of-two (and soon-to-be three) told The Huffington Post that although she's never experienced disrespect several friends of hers have been asked to relocate to the bathroom when breastfeeding in public places.

Shugert submitted a side-by-side photo collage -- in one photo, she pretends to breastfeed in her bathroom, and in the other, her husband poses eating spaghetti in the same bathroom. The caption reads in part, "If you are not willing to eat your lunch in the bathroom, then don't expect me to feed my kid there!"...



...Still, the mom hopes viewers can agree with the photo's main message. "Women should not be asked to go feed their children in bathrooms," she said, adding. "Nobody wants to be eating in bathroom. I wouldn't breastfeed in a bathroom even if I was asked to."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/10/tamar-shugert-breastfeeding-in-bathroom-photo_n_6816086.html?cps=gravity_1787_7707684930037032211

AP: 75%-90% of Deaths from Israel's "Precision" Air Strikes Last Summer were Civilians

Fri Mar 13, 2015 at 05:37 AM PDT
AP: 75%-90% of Deaths from Israel's "Precision" Air Strikes Last Summer were Civilians
by Assaf

In my last diary a couple of weeks ago, I promised to be more "in your face", writing more regularly about Gaza rather than wait for the next round of mayhem or warfare. Since then I've been a bit under the weather. Still, it's important to me to put in a Gaza diary before the much-hyped Israeli election completely takes over (I will likely write about it as well). It will be short.

I'm following up on the AP investigative report briefly mentioned last diary. AP looked into Palestinian deaths from air bombings during the summer 2014 war. What they found is sobering (emphases mine).


Manar Majed al-Batsh, 13 years old, was killed on Sunday, July 12, 2014 in Shujaiyya. She was killed along with 17 other members of the al-Batsh family, by an Israeli warplane that hit their house, without prior warning.

The youngest to die was a 4-day-old girl, the oldest a 92-year-old man.

They were among at least 844 Palestinians killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel's summer war with the Islamic militant group, Hamas.

Under the rules of war, homes are considered protected civilian sites unless used for military purposes. Israel says it attacked only legitimate targets, alleging militants used the houses to hide weapons, fighters and command centers. Palestinians say Israel's warplanes often struck without regard for civilians.

The Associated Press examined 247 airstrikes on homes, interviewing witnesses, visiting attack sites and compiling a detailed casualty count. The review found that 508 of the dead — just over 60 percent — were children, women and older men, all presumed to be civilians. Hamas says it did not use women as fighters in the war, and an Israel-based research group tracking militants among the dead said it has no evidence women participated in combat.

The AP count also showed that:

— Children younger than 16 made up one-third of the total: 280 killed, including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5.

— In 83 strikes, three or more members of one family died.

— Among those killed were 96 confirmed or suspected militants — or just over 11 percent of the total — though the actual number could be higher since armed groups have not released detailed casualty lists.

The remainder of the 240 dead were males between the ages of 16 and 59 whose names did not appear in connection with militant groups on searches of websites or on street posters honoring fighters.

The review was the most painstaking attempt to date to determine who was killed in strikes on homes in the Gaza war even as Israel's army and Gaza militants have refused to release information about targets and casualties. The count tracked all known airstrikes, but not all strikes had witnesses and damage at sites inspected by the AP wasn't always conclusive.


Making the conservative assumption that in the tight-knit, everybody-knows-everybody Gaza Strip at least half of males aged 16-59 who were not mentioned anywhere as militant-related, were indeed civilians, this means 75%-90% of the air-bombing deaths were civilians. And this is the more precise part of Israel's bombing campaign. The civilian damage from the far less precise ground artillery, used heavily once the ground assault started, was likely worse.

All around the world, armies prefer not to be scrutinized after killing civilians. The governments who sent them will do everything to perpetuate the fog of war, and throw spins of doubt and ridicule at reports like this, until the world forgets.

As my previous post stated, sadly, seems like Israel is in a "great" position to once again completely escape accountability for yet another deluge of civilian deaths. Much of the region is mired in far bloodier mayhem; geopolitically the Palestinians are as weak as ever; Israel itself is obsessed with its election campaign, in which - as I wrote there - Gaza is rarely mentioned, and even when it does it's from a militarist perspective; and the Western press (AP's surprisingly honorable effort notwithstanding) is focusing on other topics.

But these people really did die, at least 1500 civilian deaths from this war that were completely needless.


Summer 2014: 3-week-old twins Mustafa and Ibrahim Al-Ghoul of Rafah. Mustafa was killed shortly thereafter by an Israeli airstrike, together with his dad, grandparents, 2 brothers and 3 uncles and aunts.

9 members of the Al-Ghoul family were killed on Sunday August 3, 2014 in an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Yibna neighborhood of Rafah refugee camp, around 6:20 AM. They were targeted by two F-16 missiles.

1. Ismail Al-Ghoul, 60 years old, was the father of Asmaa, Hanadi, Muhammad, and Wael
2. Khadra Al-Ghoul, 62 years old, was Ismail’s wife and the mother of Asmaa, Hanadi, Muhammad, and Wael
3. Asmaa Al-Ghoul, 22 years old
4. Hanadi Al-Ghoul, 28 years old
5. Muhammad Al-Ghoul, 32 years old
6. Wael Al-Ghoul, 35 years old, was the father of Ismail, Malak, Mustafa and Ibrahim
7. Ismail Wael Al-Ghoul, 11 years old
8. Malak Wael Al-Ghoul, 5 years old
9. Mustafa Wael Al-Ghoul, 24 days old

3-week old twins Mustafa and Ibrahim were born during Israel’s offensive on Gaza in Summer 2014. When the twins were born, a family member wrote: “In Gaza, there is always hope and new life. A door of light and happiness in the middle of this war.” They were described as “two tiny angels, harbingers of hope and joy.”

Following their death, extended family member Asmaa Al-Ghoul wrote

“Endings are so strange, as are living moments that suddenly become relegated to the past. We will never see them again, and the pictures that I took of the twins are now so precious, as one of them, Mustafa, was killed, while the other, Ibrahim, remained alive.

I wonder how they could differentiate between them, for they looked so much alike. Who identified them when their father died and their mother lay wounded in intensive care? Who was Mustafa, and who was Ibrahim? It was as if they had merged upon one twin’s death.”


For much of the war, Israeli propaganda was very busy boasting its superb intelligence services and precision bombing technology, and its meticulous warnings to affected civilians ahead of airstrikes. Then, as it became impossible to deny that the vast majority of deaths are civilians, the very same propaganda turned around and whined that Hamas is hiding among the civilians, and is therefore at fault.

Excuse me? This second spin is admission that

1. Israel's intelligence indicating where and when to bomb, and its warning system, were an abject failure.
2. If indeed, the bombing's sole purpose was to take out Hamas military capabilities, then not only was the bombing itself a failure - but Israel's military has zero mechanisms of professional inspection and self-correction in real time. Envision this: the air bombing campaign - using, let us not forget, US-made warplanes and US-made bombs bought with billions of US taxpayer dollars - lasted 50 days, killing mostly civilians while Hamas retained its ability to launch rockets and mortars and carry out other military operations. And the geniuses of the Israeli military never caught onto their futility and tried to correct it?
3. This of course means that the Israeli propaganda during most of the war, about "precision" and "superb intelligence" was all lies.

Either that, or perhaps avoiding the killing of Palestinian civilians was nowhere near the top of the military's priorities list. Still means the intelligence operations were largely a sham, but at least a sham consistent with the war's actual directives, namely to perpetrate some perverse version of "Shock and Awe".

Given the rhetoric and mindset that accompanied this war's prosecution, unless your head is still buried in the sand this conclusion should come and no surprise.

You can see personal stories of many of the war's dead, on HumanizePalestine, where the pictures and text above are taken from.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/13/1370609/-AP-75-90-of-Deaths-from-Israel-s-Precision-Air-Strikes-Last-Summer-were-Civilians

GOP+SAE=Racism (AMAZING editorial cartoon)

Thu Mar 12, 2015 at 08:38 PM PDT
GOP+SAE=Racism (AMAZING editorial cartoon)
by Miscweant

I literally (really literally, not Lindsey Graham "literally") gasped at this cartoon from the Salt Lake City Tribune:



attribution: Salt Lake City Tribune
On a bus ride to hell


In one image, the cartoonist Bagley connects two contemporaneous, seemingly different but intimately connected events and reveals the true, diseased soul of the modern Republican Party.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/12/1370586/-AMAZING-editorial-cartoon

Inspiring images of over 1000 Muslims forming 'ring of peace' around Oslo synagogue

Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 03:16 PM PST
Inspiring images of over 1000 Muslims forming 'ring of peace' around Oslo synagogue
by Ian ReifowitzFollow


If ever a photo was worth a thousand words


That is a beautiful image. Over the weekend, more than 1000 Muslims gathered to form a ring of peace around a synagogue in Oslo, Norway. They both offered a human shield—in the best sense of the term—protecting one of the most visibly Jewish locations in their city, and condemned the murder last week of Dan Uzan, a Danish Jew, at a Copenhagen synagogue. That murder was committed by Omar El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, as part of an attack that also included shooting up a forum discussing free speech that featured Lars Vilks, who has been the subject of death threats and even assassination plots for having published cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Although Vilks escaped unharmed, one person attending the forum died. El-Hussein was pursued, shot, and killed by Danish police.

These Oslo Muslims brought a message of peace and tolerance, one that rejects hate. They chanted: "No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia." Zeeshan Abdullah, who helped organize the event, told the Muslims and Jews gathered together outside the synagogue:

"Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that. There are many more peace mongers than warmongers. There’s still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."


Seeing these images, I can't help but agree...More photos from the event.







Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 03:16 PM PST.
Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/22/1366149/-Inspiring-images-of-over-1000-Muslims-forming-ring-of-peace-around-Oslo-synagogue

The Daily Show - Congressman turns THUG - a thing of BEAUTY!!!

(Sorry if this is a dupe. It is a few days old. I haven't had much time for the internet lately, so it may have already made the rounds. Enjoy.)

Florida Representative Turns Thug And DESTROYS Texas During Congress Hearing! Fun
Feb 6, 2015

Alcee Lamar Hastings is the U.S. Representative for Florida. During a recent congress hearing, things between him and a representative from Texas got a little heated and Alcee went total thug. He laid into the Lone Star State, calling it ‘crazy’ and saying he’d never live there and all sorts. And when he’s asked to apologize, he flat out refuses. He might just be the coolest politician you’ve ever seen…



http://fun.boredombash.com/alcee-hastings-thug-life/

Cenk Uygur: My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams

Mon Feb 09, 2015 at 08:13 PM PST
My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams
by Cenk Uygur

First, let me say very clearly from the beginning that I am biased in this case because I know Brian Williams a tiny bit and he has always been fundamentally decent to me.

On the other hand, I'm the guy who wrote the piece Why Brian Williams is Irrelevant. The current controversy surrounding him ties in well with that article I wrote many years ago. People think that Brian Williams is the problem because he exaggerated a war story about Iraq? Are you kidding me? The whole war was based on a monstrous lie that almost the entire media enabled and perpetuated. That's the real problem.

If the rest of the press scapegoat Williams and feign righteous indignation over his lie, as they are in the middle of doing now, it will be unbearable. Where were all of those people when we were being sold a bill of goods on Iraq? Oh I know, on air. They sold us those lies en masse. So, please don't pretend you have integrity now. Please don't pretend that the real problem is an exaggeration about a tiny story in the middle of the war.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11 when we invaded Iraq. That is the biggest failure of the media I have ever seen. Has anyone apologized for that yet? Has anyone been fired for that yet? If you want to fire all of the executives and editors who let that lie be sold to the American people through their media outlets, then I'm a 100% with you. Then we can also fire Brian Williams.

Don't get me wrong, Williams was definitely part of that media machine. His much bigger issue is that he never told his audience that he had generals on the air who are being paid by defense contractors to push more war while they pretended to be objective analysts. That's a firing offense! But then you'd have to fire almost everyone at NBC, wouldn't you?

While we're firing people, find me the MSNBC executives who got rid of Phil Donahue and Ashleigh Banfield for speaking out against the war. You fire those guys and Brian Williams at the same time and you've got a deal. But their offense was a thousand percent worse and there was never even a discussion about firing them.

The American people are allowed to be outraged at what Brian Williams said; the people who fought against the lies that got us into the Iraq War are allowed to be outraged; but the establishment press who are part and parcel of that system can go ahead and spare me their contrived, bullshit outrage.

This is how the system covers up for their gross failures. Every once in awhile we are offered a sacrificial lamb on a small issue that is a distraction rather than the heart of the matter. Then the media gets to walk away self-satisfied, with an unbearable smug look on their face -- as if they have ethics. Your ethics amuse me. Your faux concern over this issue is vomitous.

If there is someone in the mainstream media that didn't cheerlead for far more egregious lies that got us into the Iraq War, let them be the first to pick up a stone. The rest of you sitting in your giant glass house, either fire yourselves or shut the fuck up.

Watch The Young Turks Here

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363481/-My-Ironic-Defense-of-Brian-Williams

Blurring the Lines of News and Entertainment, Fact and Fiction

Mon Feb 09, 2015 at 10:50 AM PST
Blurring the Lines of News and Entertainment, Fact and Fiction
by AmBushed

Salon.com published an excellent article today, written by Steve Almond, titled "Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own". It is by far the best analysis I have read regarding the Williams saga because Almond actually goes to the heart of the problem by exploring the responsibility we, the people, bear.

...the national chorus of indignation over the vain, clumsy lies that Williams told is, in fact, a direct measure of our own neurotic impulses. Americans consume more violence—both real and imagined—than any other nation on earth. Yet as a population, we move about our daily lives with almost no threat of actual violence from enemies abroad.


Almond argues that Williams was not the only one to sell us a war as entertainment, yet now that the curtain has been lifted on Williams and his stories have been exposed as fraudulent, we are all shocked, shocked by the betrayal. Yet, we knew it all along; we knew the whole thing was one great, big lie. Not just the basis for war (although that as well), but also in the daily coverage - we were shown a war with no visible dead bodies, no combat footage, no coffins. There was no prime time news outlet questioning the wisdom of war, no real journalistic exploration of the actual cost - neither financial nor human - nor the problems we'd face in the aftermath. It was sold as just and moral; we were the liberators! It was entertainment.

To howl about how Brian Williams has a “credibility problem” because of his famous fibs is to miss the true nature of his fraudulence: that he and his team were happy to render the Iraq War as a form of entertainment, a righteous crusade in which badass high-tech G.I. Joes defend the holy Christian homeland by slaughtering and eventually civilizing Islamic savages.

I don’t mean to single Williams or NBC out. With a few notable exceptions, the television coverage of the war was carefully stage-managed by Department of Defense. We were shown approved footage of rolling tanks and magical bombs, and precious little in the way of dead bodies, American or Iraqi.


Almond comes to the heart of his argument in his conclusion:

But what happens when we define physical courage—in the absence of moral consideration—as our highest good is that we deplete our capacities for mercy. This, in turn, allows our leaders to peddle any invasion or torture program or drone strike, no matter how ill-conceived, no matter how destructive to other human beings, no matter how degrading to our basic sense of decency, as necessary to “the national interest.”

Does America’s civilian culture even understand what war is anymore? That it’s not just some proving ground for the masculine ego, but an experience by which thousands of human beings—many of them women and children—are systematically killed, maimed, traumatized, and displaced? Is Brian Williams really the only American confused on this point? Or is he just the most famous one?


Due to fair use, the quotes must remain limited, so I encourage everyone to follow the link. Almond's article is a must-read, and I think he is absolutely correct in his analysis, but I would venture to take it even further. The blurring of fact vs fiction and entertainment vs news has had a profound effect on our country. Science is rejected and "experts" with clear financial ties are given a stage to voice their fantasies unimpeded as if they were fact. Global warming, vaccinations, torture, death panels...the list is endless. One would expect Hollywood to blur the lines of truth with entertainment, they do it all the time. Still, at what point is it propaganda? That is the question that continues to swirl around the portrayal of Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood's film "American Sniper."

I don't have the answer. I have watched this phenomenon with horror for years now, and worried about the effects such blurring has on a society. There are websites, of course, that work toward combating the misinformation. Although, for every good website, there is a bad one peddling more lies. If any good were to come from Brian William's fall from grace, it would be for journalists to wake up and start doing their job, for news outlets to demand they do their job, and for Americans to insist on it. Sadly, I don't think that's going to happen.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363319/-Blurring-the-Lines-of-News-and-Entertainment-Fact-and-Fiction

Excellent article -- Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 07:00 AM EST
Our dangerous macho delusions: Brian Williams’ fraudulence — and our own
The NBC anchor's fibs run deeper: He sold us war as entertainment, chicken-hawk fools as heroes. We all bought it.

Steve Almond

...If Brian Williams wanted to display genuine courage—if he was interested in actual journalism, as opposed to the elaborate construction of war propaganda—he might have spent his time in Iraq questioning the motives, costs, and intended goals of our invasion. In fact, as the bright public face of a huge journalistic army, Williams might have questioned the unctuous and ultimately bogus justifications our leaders offered for invading Iraq in the first place.

To howl about how Brian Williams has a “credibility problem” because of his famous fibs is to miss the true nature of his fraudulence: that he and his team were happy to render the Iraq War as a form of entertainment, a righteous crusade in which badass high-tech G.I. Joes defend the holy Christian homeland by slaughtering and eventually civilizing Islamic savages.

I don’t mean to single Williams or NBC out. With a few notable exceptions, the television coverage of the war was carefully stage-managed by Department of Defense. We were shown approved footage of rolling tanks and magical bombs, and precious little in the way of dead bodies, American or Iraqi. Our leaders made promise after promise about how the occupation would proceed, nearly all of which proved false...

SNIP

...Does America’s civilian culture even understand what war is anymore? That it’s not just some proving ground for the masculine ego, but an experience by which thousands of human beings—many of them women and children—are systematically killed, maimed, traumatized, and displaced? Is Brian Williams really the only American confused on this point? Or is he just the most famous one?

http://www.salon.com/2015/02/09/our_dangerous_macho_delusions_brian_williams_fraudulence_and_our_own/

GOP Releases Health Care Plan to Replace Obamacare

As a veteran, I see ‘American Sniper’ as dangerous, but not for the reasons you’d think

As a veteran, I see ‘American Sniper’ as dangerous, but not for the reasons you’d think
Brock McIntosh
February 3, 2015


Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” (Warner Brothers)

After watching the movie “American Sniper,” I called a friend named Garett Reppenhagen who was an American sniper in Iraq. He deployed with a cavalry scout unit from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed near FOB Warhorse. I asked him if he thought this movie really mattered. “Every portrayal of a historical event should be historically accurate,” he explained. ”A movie like this is a cultural symbol that influences the way people remember history and feel about war.”

Garett and I met through our antiwar and veteran support work, which he’s been involved with for almost a decade. He served in Iraq. I served in Afghanistan. But both of us know how powerful mass media and mass culture are. They shaped how we thought of the wars when we joined, so we felt it was important to tell our stories when we came home and spoke out.

I commend Chris Kyle for telling his story in his book “American Sniper.” The scariest thing I did while in the military was come home and tell my story to the public — the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel that veterans owe it to society to tell their stories, and civilians owe it to veterans to actively listen. Dr. Ed Tick, a psychotherapist who has specialized in veteran care for four decades, explains, “In all traditional and classical societies, returned warriors served many important psychosocial functions. They were keepers of dark wisdom for their cultures, witnesses to war’s horrors from personal experience who protected and discouraged, rather than encouraged, its outbreak again.”

Chris Kyle didn’t view Iraq like me and Garett, but neither of us have attacked him for it. He’s not the problem. We don’t care about the lies that Chris Kyle may or may not have told. They don’t matter. We care about the lies that Chris Kyle believed. The lie that Iraq was culpable for September 11. The lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The lie that people do evil things because they are evil...

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/focus-chris-kyle-distracts-real-problems-american-sniper/
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