HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » sabrina 1 » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next »

sabrina 1

Profile Information

Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 47,553

Journal Archives

Palestinians Have a Right to Defend Themselves!

I just wanted to point that out. Because I have listened to our elected officials and I may be wrong, I could have missed it, but I hear them say, correctly, that Israelis have a right to defend themselves.

Then I wait to hear them say that Palestinians also have a right to defend themselves but I never hear that.

So I wanted to say it because I believe everyone has a right to defend themselves.

If any of our elected officials have said it and I missed it, then someone can correct me and I will be happy to hear it.

The Western Corporate Media Cannot Be Trusted.

I remember Judith Miller and the New York Times.

I remember Curveball.

I remember MSNBC firing Donohue the day his show covered the evidence from the UN Inspectors that Iraq had no WMDS. The most highly rated show on MSNBC.

Judith Miller was convincing. She was respected as a Journalist AND she worked for the NYT.

I also remember the Rendon Group.

I remember too what they did to Ashley Banfield.

And I stopped watching them and turned to International News.

I discovered Al Jazeera and was impressed with their courageous coverage of the Iraq War.

I remember that two foreign reporters were killed in the Bethlehem Hotel at the very beginning of the Iraq War.

And I remember Al Jazeera's headquarters in Iraq and Afghanistan were bombed.

I also remember being called a Saddam Lover for watching 'that Terrorist Government owned foreign news media'.

The Government of Qatar owned Al Jazeera.

Of course they have been vindicated now while the Corporate Media, so much of it owned by Murdoch, was exposed as pushing the lies through people like Judith Miller, who was funneled information from the Rendon Group.

And I remember the Valerie Plame Affair, Libby, Miller, who went to jail to protect Libby and of course the arch criminal Cheney.

Thankfully now we have so many other sources from all over the world.

I also remember what happened at the BBC when a reporter published a story from an anonymous source regarding Iraq.

The UK Govt, Tony Blair, forced the BBC into revealing the identity of the Whistle Blower, That Whistle Blower ended up dead, suicide they claimed, but few believed it. The BBC, state sponsored btw, has never been the same.

If you don't recall any of this, then this OP isn't for you as I don't have time to document it all again. But for those who do, perhaps you remember how we could not even watch the Corporate Media anymore, as we could not tolerate the lockstep propaganda they were pushing.

Thank You President Obama For Listening!

For appointing the panel to look into the Snowden leaks in the first place, and for listening to their findings.

I and many others have been very critical of the Obama Administration on the NSA leaks, mainly of the meta data collection and storage of the people's personal communications.

So it's only fair to thank the President now for his proposal to end this egregious violation of the 4th Amendment, apparently agreeing with Civil Rights Advocates and other citizens who have expressed serious concerns about this invasion of the privacy of all Americans.

While not perfect it is a big step in the right direction

First it is an acknowledgement that this was never necessary in the first place and a positive response to the Snowden leaks which was absolutely necessary if the rights of the people are to be protected. It signifies that the administration has taken those leaks seriously, as they should.

This proposal doesn't address the CIA's role in data collecting however, but if this proposal passes it should make the next steps a little easier:

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.

Turning this gigantic, Bush/Cheney disaster around probably won't be easy, which is why I believe people need to show their support for every step taken to begin the process.

Commenting on the proposal privacy advocates are generally pleased to see the beginning of real reforms long overdue:

Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called the administration’s proposal a “sensible outcome, given that the 215 program likely exceeded current legal authority and has not proved to be effective.” While he said that he would like to see more overhauls to other surveillance authorities, he said the proposal was “significant” and addressed the major concerns with the N.S.A.’s bulk records program.

Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “We have many questions about the details, but we agree with the administration that the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of call records should end.” He added, “As we’ve argued since the program was disclosed, the government can track suspected terrorists without placing millions of people under permanent surveillance.”

No doubt the findings of the President's Panel that these Constitutional Violations have never stopped one terrorist, had a lot to do with this proposal.

To those who called the Snowden revelations 'old news' and 'irrelevant' it appears the administration doesn't agree.

So a BIG THANK YOU to Edward Snowden also.

As the article points out:

The existence of the N.S.A. program was disclosed and then declassified last year following leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. The disclosure set off a controversy that scrambled the usual partisan lines in Congress.

The Constitutional Rights of the American people should never be a Partisan issue.

Pete Seeger at Occupy Wall Street in NYC:

I remember that day when Pete Seeger came to support the Occupiers in NY. It was wonderful to see him there, still protesting at age 92! He was an inspiration to everyone.

Remembering Pete Seeger, From Woody Guthrie to Occupy Wall Street

Seeger, Guthrie join Occupy Wall Street rally

NEW YORK -- Folk music legend Pete Seeger and '60s folk singer Arlo Guthrie joined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in their campaign against corporate greed while residents near the protest park encampment pushed to regain some peace and quiet in their neighborhood.

Seeger joined in the Occupy Wall Street protest Friday night, replacing his banjo with two canes as he marched with throngs of people in New York City's tony Upper West Side past banks and shiny department stores.

The 92-year-old Seeger, accompanied by musician-grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger, composer David Amram and bluesman Guy Davis, shouted out the verses of protest anthems as the crowd of about 1,000 people sang and chanted.

They marched peacefully over more than 30 blocks from Symphony Space, where the Seegers and other musicians performed, to Columbus Circle. Police watched from the sidelines.

A few more photos

All the best people showed up at Occupy Wall Street!

RIP to a great American hero!

Raise Social Security Benefits. Stimulate the Economy!

Social Security is still one of the most popular and successful fiscal programs among Americans across political lines.

A recent poll shows that:

Americans Will Pay to Shore Up Social Security: Poll

Most Americans think it's important to preserve adequate Social Security benefits for younger generations — and they may even be willing to pay more taxes to get that assurance, a new survey finds.

The survey, released Thursday by the nonprofit National Academy of Social Insurance, found that about eight in 10 Americans think it is critical to support Social Security even if it means that working Americans have to pay more in taxes. A slightly higher percentage of the 2,000 people surveyed said they think it's critical to save Social Security even if wealthy people have to pay more.

Social Security had nothing to do with the Deficit, it didn't create or contribute to it. Yet we still hear the words 'SS and the Deficit' linked together each time politicians talk about the DEFICIT. The effort to create the impression that SS had something to do with the Deficit is obvious. And false.

The CPI is a cut in benefits to SS and is being used to sell the lie that SS had something to do with the Deficit.

None of this makes sense because SS has its OWN fund paid for by the people for their retirement.

The SS Fund has a two trillion dollar surplus.

People who are dependent on the benefits THEY PAID FOR are spending those benefits, putting their money into the Economy.

Increasing benefits means more money goes into the economy and doesn't have to come from the General Fund.

It also means that Republicans cannot claim that we 'cannot afford a Stimulus Package'. Maybe the Federal Budget can't, but the SS Fund can.

Elizabeth Warren: Don't Cut Social Security Benefits Expand Them

“Over the past generation, working families have been hacked at, chipped, and hammered. If we want a real middle class — a middle class that continues to serve as the backbone of our country — then we must take the retirement crisis seriously. Seniors have worked their entire lives and have paid into the system, but right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse.

“That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them. Senator Harkin from Iowa, Senator Begich from Alaska, Senator Sanders from Vermont, and others have been pushing hard in that direction. Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”

As Noam Scheiber detailed in his big cover story on why Warren is a threat to Hillary Clinton in 2016, many of the issues that Warren has been championing for years now — Wall Street accountability and oversight of the big banks; stagnating middle class wages; the need for financial reforms designed to address the ways the economy is rigged in favor of the financial sector and against working Americans — are emerging as central to a larger argument over what the Democratic Party should stand for and who it really represents.

By planting a flag on the need to expand Social Security, Warren may have just added this issue to the pantheon of preoccupations that are driving those who want to see the party embrace a more economically populist posture going forward. Liberal bloggers such as Atrios and liberal groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, have been pushing for a Social Security expansion, arguing that Democratic priorities should be centered on the idea that declining pensions and wages (and savings) are undermining retirement security, and that the party should above all stand against undermining the social insurance system.

So why is this not happening?

We KNOW that when there is a surplus in the SS Fund, the Govt can't keep their hands off it. They spend it on Wars and Tax Cuts for the Wealthy who hoard it in offshore accounts depriving the US economy of money it badly needs.

Congress should EXPAND Social Security benefits, not cut them

In 2013, we made "expand Social Security -- don't cut it" a mainstream opinion in American politics.

Polls show that expanding Social Security is even popular by 2 to 1 in Kentucky and 3 to 1 in Texas! In 2014, we'll make this a campaign issue.

Join over 650,000 Americans who are going on offense on Social Security. Sign on the right.

SIGN THE PETITION TO CONGRESS: With corporations cutting worker pensions, Americans rely on Social Security more than ever. Congress should expand Social Security -- not cut it.

There is a good video of Rachel and Warren at the link also.

There is NO reason not to raise SS benefits. There is every reason why they should.

AND once again: Social Security had Zero to do with the Deficit!

Remember the so-called 'NATO 3'? On Their Trial:'Most Alarming Revelations Aren't About Defendants'

I know I've been told on DU that our Govt would not charge protesters under the 'terror' laws. So just in case anyone is still interested, our Govt most definitely would and has charged protesters under those atrocious laws.

The trial of those protesters has already begun with the Govt, using undercover cops as witnesses, claiming these three protesters were out to commit terrorist acts, several of them in fact.

The defense says that it was the undercover cops who were instigating people to try to get them to plot these acts. I have followed it a little over the past few days and can only hope that the Defense prevails, which in a sane society, would be a foregone conclusion.

But, as we all know, 'everything changed after 9/11' and even a few tough talking college students who in the past, would have grown up by now, since their arrest I mean, and moved on with their lives, especially if they are 'left leaning' or 'socialist' in their views, are a dangerous threat to our 'security'.

Apparently the cops believed that Rock Concerts were a good place to find 'terrorists' so they pretended to be 'fans' and spent a good deal of time at Rock Concerts. They also posed as OWS protesters. Peaceful protesters are also on the 'terrorist' list as we now know.

In this article from the Chicago Sun Times, the author, Mark Brown, shares his opinion of what he has so far witnessed at the trial.

Nato 3 Trials Most Alarming Revelations Are Not About The Defendants

For all these years, I just thought the Heartland Café was a place to find old hippies, but thanks to the NATO 3 trial, we now know that the Chicago police also consider it a hotbed of anarchists.

It turns out the Heartland is one of untold locations Chicago police deployed members of a 17-person undercover unit over a several month period in the spring of 2012 while trolling for anarchists planning to cause trouble at the NATO summit.


The next day, Chikko went to another undercover assignment at Permanent Records, 1914 W. Division, where another suspicious band was going to be playing, then on to another punk rock concert that night at 2966 S. Archer, where more license plate numbers were collected.

Two weeks later, Chikko’s assignment took her to Occupy Chicago headquarters, where a woman was giving a speech about tactics used by police against demonstrators during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. There was no mention of whether the speaker talked about police spying.

One of Chikko’s fellow undercover officers made a big find that day: a Ford conversion van parked outside with a flyer on which he could make out the word “anarchy.”

Sadly I agree with the author when he says:

But in all honesty, I think defense attorneys for the NATO 3 are kidding themselves if they think First Amendment concerns are going to sway a jury in a terrorism trial in a post-9/11 environment, even after the uproar over the NSA eavesdropping excesses.

What a waste of lives and resources for nothing. Well, other than protecting the top 1%. Still, hoping at least one juror will put an end to this travest.

Below, tweet of excerpts from Brown's article, from Occupy Chicago:

Occupy Chicago ‏@OccupyChicago 1h
"@plussone: Chicago Sun-Times: #NATO3 trial’s most alarming revelations aren’t about the defendants | @suntimes | pic.twitter.com/hwnQzIW6Ff"

Thank you Anderson Cooper. 'No evidence that we could find that Snowden is a Russian Spy'!

When Republican Rep. Mike Rogers made the claim that Snowden might be a Russian spy without offering a shred of evidence, it didn't go over quite the way he expected.

Anderson Cooper did something that has become very unusual for US Journalists today, he announced that CNN wanted to make it clear that, other than the Republican's statements, CNN could find no evidence that Snowden was a spy.

He also stated that CNN had tried to get a statement from Rep Rogers today but were unable to do so.

Anderson Cooper explained the unusual public questioning of a US Senator by a US Journalist by stating that the news media has been lied to before BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

He then played footage of Sen. Ron Wyden's questioning of Clapper during which, we now know, Clapper lied!

Senator Diane Feinstein (D) and Rep Mike Rogers (R)

Diane Feinstein was with Rogers when he attempted to smear Snowden on National TV. She made no attempt to correct him.

CNN also stated that they did not know why Rogers made the claim, 'perhaps he received some information' from, well SOMEWHERE!

Well, we do know where these smear campaigns come from now.

We saw, in HB Gary's exposed emails, how a smear campaign is born.

Apparently creating smear campaigns is big business. Even a relatively obscure blogger, as Glenn Greenwald was at the time a bid on a contract to smear him was being presented to BOA, can become the target of an expensive contract for a smear campaign.

Cooper did not go into how Snowden came to be in Russia in the first place, YET.

Snowden did not flee to Russia! Snowden was on his way to South America, stopping over in Russia which he would have left in a couple of hours, when he found himself without a passport, making it impossible for him to leave that country.

I hope if the Republican, Rogers ever comes out of hiding, that Anderson Cooper will ask him WHY the US Government forced Snowden to stay in a country which they thought might want to have access to him. Of course it makes no logical sense, but I would love to hear Roger's response.

I have to admit I am more surprised to see a prominent CNN Reporter actually dispute an unsubstantiated statement about a well known controversial figure, from a powerful Senator than I am that the Republican tried to create a false impression without having to prove it about a Whistle Blower. That would be old news.

We became so used to Cheney, Bush, Condie and so many others, lying blatantly and with impunity while the 'press' became nothing more than, (thank you Steven Colbert) 'stenographers', that seeing this tiny bit of evidence that maybe the Press have finally been shamed into doing the job they are obligated to do was exciting.

We got a faint glimpse of real journalism from Anderson Cooper today and that is really the story here imo. Unsubstantiated statements or outright lies from politicians, is old news.

But imagine if this were to become a trend? Real journalism where public officials don't just get to use our airwaves for their own agendas without questioning from a compliant press. Imagine if they actually have to fear lying to the public again because of a free and Independent media they KNOW will question them!

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Thomas Jefferson

I'm not going to get my hopes up, but it's a nice dream ....

Edited to correct Rogers' title, thanks to DUer Liberal Dog for the correction.

Thank You Bernie Sanders: 'The Devil Will Be In The Details' .. 'I Do Not Agree With The President'

The direct quote ""I do not overall agree with the President on that issue" at 4:14.

Thanks DUers Autumn and Eomer ..

he was referring to the storage of people's data in response to a question regarding the President's statement that he would have to find some other entity to 'store all that data. Sanders stated, 'the question is not WHO will store it, but SHOULD it be stored at all.'

In the same CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Sanders was asked what he thought about the NSA reforms as described by President Obama in his speech.

Sen Sanders on NSA Reforms

Video at link.

Bernie was excellent as always as he continues to defend our Constitutional Rights.

'It's a start' he stated but 'the Devil will be in the Details'.

He expressed serious concerns about the statement by the President regarding 'who will store the data'. He was very clear that this was a violation of Constitution and believes that the data should not be stored at all. He went into detail about the chilling effect of these violations on people, including young people, students etc regarding 'going to a library and fearing to ask for a book, in case they might be viewed as a 'terrorist'. Very good responses from him on this.

He was asked by Wolf Blitzer if he had a received an answer to his question, 'Is the NSA spying Congress'. Blitzer stated that he had heard the Senator had received some responses. Sen. Sanders pointed out the enormous danger of such a practice, the potential for bribery etc and when asked what he had meant regarding Nixon (apparently referring to earlier statements) he responded: 'If Nixon had had this technology, can you imagine what he would have done with it'.

Worth listening to the whole interview. He was excellent as always.

Thank YOU Bernie. Never sells out the interests of the American People. Never prevaricates when it comes to our Constitutional Rights, while always given credit where it is due.

He expects a lot more reforms before this issue is resolved.

Note: I paraphrased his comments from the interview, they are not direct quotes ...

Rolling Jubilee: A Bailout by The People for The People. $15, 000,000 bought and disposed of!

I think it would be hard to disagree that this is one of the most brilliant programs so far. Too bad that Congress saw fit to force the people to bail out the Wall St Bankers and left the People to fend for themselves.


Maybe they just couldn't figure out a way to help the victims of those they bailed out. They are hopefully paying attention to OWS' Strike Debt which, according to Andrew Ross, a member of Strike Debt, was intended to be a 'public education' program regarding something known as the 'secondary debt market':

Occupy Wall St. Activists Buy $15 Million Personal Debt

"Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there's certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market."

So far, and according to Rolling Jubilee, they bought all that debt for 'pennies on the dollar' and have relieved over 2,600 people of crushing debt. The cost to them for doing this was approximately $400,000. Imagine the profit there is in this secondary debt market. I'm there is insurance involved also, to cover the creditors.

Apparently buying people's debt really is big business.

The group has focussed on buying medical debt, and has acquired the $14.7m in three separate purchases, most recently purchasing the value of $13.5m on medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and Puerto Rico, Rolling Jubilee said in a press release.

“No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organiser with the group. Hanna said 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.

The way it works apparently, when people do not or cannot pay their debts, companies sell the debt VERY CHEAPLY to a 'secondary debt market'. Much more cheaply, according to Ross, than even he realized. The purchasers of the debt then attempt to collect all of it from the debtors, pressuring them with calls and threats etc.

Rolling Jubilee buys the debt, but rather than try to collect it, they forgive it, contacting the debtors to let them know 'you are off the hook'. Imagine the joy for people when they learn their debt has been paid?

Here's the reaction of one of those people:

Occupy Activists Buy Up People's Personal Debt

Washington — For a year and a half, 80-year-old Kentucky resident Shirley Logsdon received repeated calls from a debt collection agency over an unpaid medical bill.

Then one day, out of the blue, she received a letter saying the $983 debt had been handled -- purchased by Rolling Jubilee, a group linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"I was dumbfounded but delighted, of course," Logsdon, who is retired along with her husband of 62 years, told AFP.

"We got a letter saying that everything had been resolved -- finally it is over, you don't have to worry, you don't owe us anything. (...) I didn't know these people. It was a godsend."

If a bunch of OWS activists could be this creative in finding a way to bail out the people, surely Congress, if they put their minds to it, could come up with something at least as creative. And although, as Strike Debt admits, what they have done so far is simply a drop in the bucket in terms of helping people like this, imagine what Congress could do with all the money and power THEY have?

There is something very wrong with a country when being sick plunges you into massive debt or trying to get an education. And when this happens, that predatory profiteers can extract huge profits by buying that debt and then persecuting people already mired in problems they cannot handle.

And worse, how differently the corrupt Wall St Bankers' debt is handled by contrast.

Thanks Occupiers, for removing the notion that 'nothing can be done' for the people. And for providing those burdened with debt with information on how cheaply their debt has been purchased. As Andrew Ross says:

“So when you get called up by the debt collector, and you're being asked to pay the full amount of your debt, you now know that the debt collector has bought your debt very, very cheaply. As cheaply as we bought it. And that gives you moral ammunition to have a different conversation with the debt collector."

Btw, Rolling Jubilee got the money to purchase the debt from donors. So thanks to all those great people who actually DO care. People can donate at the first link, I believe, if they can.

Occupy Madison To Permanently Occupy For Homeless. Right Wingers Not Happy.

You can always count on Right Wingers to become enraged when anyone tries to do something for the less fortunate. There's just something in the psyche of the far right that makes it impossible for them to have any empathy for their fellow human beings.

I'm not sure if anyone has been following Occupy Madison over the past year or so but Brenda Konkel, a former Madison Council Woman and OWS member has been working hard trying to provide shelter for the Homeless.

Many homeless people joined Occupy encampments across the country and when the crackdown broke up their encampments and State Officials provided nothing for them, OWS did not desert them.

Occupy Madison, eg, has become a non profit, with the intention of buying property to build 'tiny houses' so that the Homeless can feel more secure than they are in shelters or in other temporary places.

After visiting other 'tiny house' villages for the Homeless, in Ore and Washington eg, Brenda Konkel felt this could be a solution for Madison's homeless:

Homeless Advocates Hope Tiny Houses Villages Can Work For Madison Homeless

One impression Konkel says she is taking away from the tour is the role of fences. “Fences are important — it gives the community a sense of security and personal responsibility — and that gives people the right to govern what goes on there,” she wrote.

Konkel also remarks that “people have been able to make the model very successful with minimal intervention from the outside and it has resulted in very few problems in the surrounding community.”

So now, OMBuild Inc. (OccupyMadisonBuild) has raised enough money to make an offer on a piece of land where they would place 11 tiny houses. The homeless will help build them themselves:

Occupy Madison picks east side site for village of little houses

Occupy Madison is preparing to build a village of “little houses” for homeless people on the site of an auto body shop at the intersection of East Johnson and Third Streets. Plans call for the shop to be converted to a workshop where houses would be built and parked on the surrounding property.

Occupy Madison, which has organized as a nonprofit corporation, had an offer to purchase the property for $110,000 accepted, said Brenda Konkel, a member of the Occupy board of directors and well-known affordable housing and homeless services advocate. The property, at 2046-2050 E. Johnson Street, is currently home to Sanchez Motors.

“It’s almost perfect for our use,” Konkel said Wednesday.

Click on the comments after the article to see the reaction to this project.

There are issues that have to be resolved, but for the Far Right, attack, criticize and insult those who try to do some good, is all they know. Imagine if they were willing to help, to find alternatives if they don't like this one, to work WITH people who are trying to do some good. But all they can do is criticize.

One of them stupidly challenged Ms. Konkel to invite the Homeless into her own home if she wants to help them. She explained that she HAS had the Homeless in her home for over a year. No response to that from the smart ass.

Anyhow, she is doing great work along with all those who are working with her and I hope they can get started as soon as possible. People are wonderful sometimes, and OWS proves it every day!

There is a video of one of the houses already built but not on permanent property at this link. They really are a blessing for people who need to get off the street, to be warm and safe.

Group Builds Tiny Homes For Local Homeless

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next »