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sabrina 1

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Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 52,237

Journal Archives

The Cost of Walmart's Low Wages to the US Tax-Payer

How about taxing them enough to make it not worth their while to cheat their workers out of a livable wage?

Why does ANYONE shop there?

Don't buy their stuff. Starve the beasts who are eating up America's Working Class.

Why the Left is Different from the Right and why they want to stay that way.

Not all on the Right are bigoted, and not all on the Left are NOT bigoted.

However, when Bush lied this country into war in Iraq it unleased all the bigots who up to then, had to be a bit more careful than in previous times, about being openly displaying their bigotry.

9/11 happened and they got permission to return to the old days, where it was okay to launch disgusting, bigoted verbal, and as everyone surely remembers, even physical attacks at the latest 'other' group, who had tried to 'take away our freedoms'.

You couldn't go anywhere online, or to the Right Wing Noise Machine without seeing such disgusting epithets as 'camel jockeys' and 'ragheads' and much, much worse.

Even our Military Generals got in on the act: 'Treat the Iraqis like dogs'!

MUSLIMS! We had a new word for the old bigotry and every 'Patriot' joined in the action, just like old times again for them.

If ever there was a time I felt grateful to be on the Left, it was during the beginning of this ugly period.

The Left otoh, refused to broad brush an entire group of people because of the actions of a few.

Which to the mindless haters translated to 'the Left are not Patriots!' They were Saddam Lovers, traitors, singing 'Kumbaya with Terrorists'!

The War Machine was fueled by this rabid Nationalism and Muslim Americans were often the target of violence and anger.

Mindless, dangerous bigotry.

Challenges were issued to Muslims: 'Why don't you come out and CONDEMN these terrorists'? I noticed some Muslim owned businesses in our area putting up American flags, trying to show 'we are not the enemy' but irrational hatred doesn't deal in facts.

And near where I lived an Indian family who had owned a Convenience store for decades, known and respected in the area, their children born and raised as Americans, were attacked one day by mindless, ignorant bigots who couldn't tell the difference between an Iraqi and a native of India. It doesn't matter to them, they were not white and they 'all look the same' anyhow'.

I was proud of the people in our area that day. They came to the defense of that family, they held the perps until the police came. The father had tears in his eyes, thanking everyone for standing up for him, for something no one should have had to do if the bigotry had not been fueled by, at that time, mostly the Right.

I am proud to be on the Left right now. I am seeing the same thing happening again. The same arguments against the Left, who apparently should not allow the Right to maintain their role of bigoted, blind blame of an entire group of people for the actions of a few.

We are supposed to jump on that far right wagon, so we can 'win', what exactly?

Murderous fanatics committed a terrible crime, another one, in France. THEY are to blame for that.

I have zero interest in competing with the Right for just about ANYTHING frankly.

I'm more than happy to allow them to 'win' this war game where in order to keep it going, we must have an enemy.

This is the kind of human being I identify with:

Rais Bhuiyan after he was shot in the face on Sept. 21, 2001.


Just 10 days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rais Bhuiyan was working at a gas station in Dallas when he was shot in the face by a man named Mark Stroman.

Stroman was on a shooting spree, targeting people who appeared to be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent. Stroman is due to be executed July 20; Bhuiyan, the only survivor of the attacks, is fighting to save his life.

He wen through years of surgeries and his family, who were in Bangladesh, suffered more tragedy when his dad had a stroke upon hearing the news of his son's shooting.

The perpetrator of the hate crime, (are we all responsible for his crimes btw?) ended up on death row for HIS crimes.

However, Rais Bhuiyan worked with the defense to try to stop the execution.

Despite the difficulties, Bhuiyan looked to his faith in order to find forgiveness.

"According to my faith in Islam, there is no hate, no killing. It doesn't allow anything like that," says Bhuiyan. "Yes, Mark Stroman did a horrible thing, and he brought a lot of pain and disaster, sufferings in my life. But in return I never hated him."

Bhuiyan has created a website called World Without Hate to educate others about hate crimes as a means of preventing them. He's also working with Amnesty International and Stroman's defense attorney, who has filed several appeals on Stroman's death sentence.

"I strongly believe executing him is not a solution. We will just simply lose a human life without dealing with the root cause, which is hate crime," Bhuiyan says. "In Islam it says that saving one human life is the same as saving the entire mankind. Since I forgave him, all those principles encouraged me to go even further, and stop his execution and save another human life."

Revenge and hatred simply continue the vicious cycle we are now in.

I have zero interest or intention of competing with bigots to show how 'patriotic' I am.

I would much rather compete with Rais, though I'm not sure about winning that contest either. However, people like this are who I look to for inspiration to become a better a human being.

Elizabeth Warren: 'People have hearts ......

SHE has heart and courage. She should be joined by every Democrat in Congress when she reminds us that Corporations are not People ... because even some of our Dems appear to believe that most ridiculous fairy tale.

This was her response to a statement by Mitt Romney regarding Corporations being People.

Thanks Elizabeth Warren for saying that ....

"Ahmed Merabet's eulogy is the most important thing you'll read on Charlie Hebdo"

Ahmed Merabet's eulogy is the most important thing you'll read on Charlie Hebdo

Merabet's death soon took on special significance. He was of Algerian heritage and, like eight to ten percent of France's population, Muslim. So were his killers, who ostensibly killed on behalf of Islamist extremism and in retaliation for Charlie Hebdo cartoons lampooning Islam. The attacks provoked debate within France and the Western world, as they were perhaps intended to, over the compatibility of Islam with Western values, aggravated preexisting hostility to Muslim immigrants and to Islam, and provoked a series of "reprisal" attacks on French mosques and Muslims.

These were the things weighing on Malek Merabet when, on Sunday morning, he eulogized his brother Ahmed before a small crowd of mourners and, by way of television cameras, much of the world.

His speech was only two minutes, and it did not draw as much attention as the 44 global leaders marching through Paris, yet along with his comments later that day at a press conference, it placed his brother's life and death within that larger context in a way that powerfully rebuked both the terrorists and the Islamophobes. And it reaffirmed something that has been widely forgotten this week: that the values that France stands for, and that Charlie Hebdo sought to champion, are not incompatible with Islam at all, and in fact are upheld by French Muslims like Ahmed Merabet.

This is a translation of his eulogy for his brother:

Good morning all,

My brother was French, Algerian, and of the Muslim religion. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the French police, and to defend the values of the Republic: liberty, equality and fraternity.

Through his determination, he had just received his judicial police diploma and was shortly due to leave for work in the field. His colleagues describe him as a man of action who was passionate about his job.

Ahmed, a man of commitment, had the will to take care of his mother and his relatives following the death of his father 20 years ago. A pillar of the family, his responsibilities did not prevent him from being a caring son, a teasing brother, a generous uncle, and a loving companion.

Devastated by this barbaric act, we associate ourselves with the pain of the families of the victims.

I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes, and anti-Semites:

One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Madness has neither color nor religion. I want to make another point: stop painting everybody with the same brush, stop burning mosques or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won't bring back our dead, and it won't appease our families.

Thank you.

Video of the Eulogy can be seen here:

So sad, all of it!

Elizabeth Warren's response to Third Way Criticisms: 'Oh Please'

Warren On Third Way Criticisms: 'Oh Please'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Thursday that think tank Third Way is "flatly wrong" about the solvency of Social Security.

"We could make modest adjustments and make the system financially stable for a century, and we could make somewhat larger adjustments and make the system pay more for seniors who rely on it," she told the Huffington Post. "The conversation for too long has been about whether to cut Social Security benefits a little bit or a lot. And that is flatly the wrong debate to have in mind."

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday by Third Way leaders that criticized Warren's beliefs about programs like Social Security caused liberals to issue condemning responses to the progressive Wall Street-backed group. Warren wrote to major banks challenging them to disclose their donations to think tanks. And the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has urged multiple Democrats to cut ties to Third Way.

Third Way responded by agreeing that banks should disclose their donations, but co-founder of the group, Matt Bennett, said that the group still considers Warren's stance on Social Security "magical thinking." He added that JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon's Social Security benefits would increase under a Warren-backed plan.

Warren scoffed at this in the interview with the Huffington Post.

"Oh please. I'm out there working for Jamie Dimon the same way Dick Cheney is out there trying to save the environment," Warren said.

If you haven't read the article written by the two Third Way founders, you can find it here:


Warren is correct about Social Security. A few adjustments will make it good for a century.

The backlash was so great to that article that they tried to explain it, claiming they were not attacking Elizabeth Warren. She had stated that she agreed with Sen. Harkin that SS should be expanded and benefits increased. People liked her and Harkin's suggestions a whole lot better than the Third Way's. . So, here is their response to all the negative reaction they got:

Third Way Co-Founder Explains Op-Ed Criticizing Warren

Third Way Co-Founder Jim Kessler on Friday explained the group's Monday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing a plan backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to expand Social Security.

"That Social Security plan was the final moment for us," he said in an interview on Sirius XM with Ari Rabin-Havt, as recorded by the Huffington Post. "That Social Security plan had been out there but really languishing -- because Senator Warren has such a powerful compelling voice, she started talking about it, and it suddenly it became much more talked about and viable alternative."

Kessler said that the op-ed was not meant as a personal attack on Warren, but that she gave a popular voice to a plan that concerns Third way.

"She is a very compelling elected official and national figure," he said. "Her involvement in that particular bill, we just looked at it and said 'okay, this seems to be starting to get out of hand.'"

And the response they received to their 'explanation' was even more negative backlash with liberal organizations like PCCC starting a campaign to ask Democratic members of Congress to 'cut ties with the Third Way'.

Just WHO do these people think they are?

Who elected them and what gives them the right to feel politicians not agreeing with their DISASTROUS policies are 'getting out of hand'???

Warren is an elected Senator. She has a RIGHT given to her by the people to represent them, and the people WANT SS expanded.

I DARE them to run on cutting SS and privatizing it. On a Dem ticket!!

It's an outrage that these people are playing the role of overseers of our elected Senators!!

They ARE a small group compared to all of us. If people continue to wake up as they appear to be doing we could take care of this problem in no time.

Elizabeth Warren didn't just tear apart the Third Way lies about Social Security, but she also wrote to Wall St Banks asking them to reveal their donations to Think Tanks.

The political world is teeming with these organizations, Think Tanks, Lobbyists, Security Contractors bidding on contracts to smear people, journalists, bloggers, politicians who speak out on corruption in our large institutions. Seemingly having more influence over Congress than the people who hired them.

This whole mess needs to be exposed and cleaned up so politics is free of these deceptions and shadow operations out to destroy anyone who tells the truth about Big Banks and their corrupt influence on our government.

'Okay, this is getting out of hand!'

Iow 'Bad girl, Elizabeth! You will have to be reined in!'

Are they for REAL??

Sorry, I'm still almost speechless at what we are learning regarding who has been running things in our party!

The Third Way: 'Why are Democrats affiliated with this group that wants to gut Democratic Programs?'

In this article from Richard (RJ) Eskow , some very pertinent questions now about the presence of this Wall St backed Think Tank in the Democratic Party.

Questions that are growing by the day as their control over the Dem Party shows signs of crumbling, finally.

The Democrats' 'Third Way' Quarrel Could Change Your Future

There was a big dust-up in the Democratic Party last week, triggered by a somewhat incoherent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal from the leaders of a Wall Street-funded "think tank"/lobbying group called Third Way. Many of the responses dealt with the op-ed's attack on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but don't be distracted by that. As Sen. Warren would undoubtedly agree, the issues involved are much more important than the personalities.

As politicians affiliated with Third Way hasten to distance themselves from the op-ed, the question remains: Why are Democrats affiliated with a group which works so strenuously to gut Democratic programs? Voters deserve more than platitudes from these politicians. They deserve clear answers about the issues.

Eskow is referring to the article written by two of the Third Way's founders, Jon Cowen and Jim Kessler in the WSJ in December.

If you have not read it, you can find it here:

Third Way Founders Jon Cowen and Jim Kessler tell us Economic Populism is a Dead End for Democrats

Out of Hand:

Clearly Jonathan Cowan and Jim Kessler blundered in writing this editorial. It's badly written and its arguments are poorly constructed -- unlike other, much slicker Third Way materials. Worse, it's misleading. (We discussed the content here. Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times did an excellent analysis.)

At times the op-ed descends into vituperation and becomes, as Rep. Keith Ellison noted, "out of line" and "really ugly." We said there seemed to be "an almost palpable air of desperation" to it as well. That suspicion seems to be borne out in later remarks by co-author Jim Kessler, who said they wrote it because of Sen. Warren's support for a bill to expand Social Security. Said Kessler:
"She is a very compelling elected official and national figure. Her involvement in that particular bill, we just looked at it and said 'okay, this seems to be starting to get out of hand.'"

"Out of hand" is a telling phrase for a corporate-backed faction which has tried to keep the leftmost limits of debate very much in hand and under tight control. It has done so with striking success for decades, thanks in large part to its ability to influence politicians like Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Many people certainly agree that they have tried to keep the 'Left' under tight control, and as Black says, have succeeded for various reasons, Bush was one of them imo, 'anyone but Bush' and, as he says, its influence over two Dem presidents.

The article is long but definitely worth reading. There is SOMETHING going on, something is shifting and the Third Way IS getting desperate, showing their hand more than they ever did, making that error of attacking Elizabeth Warren eeg. The backlash to that article was probably a shock to them.

It shouldn't have been. But having become accustomed to being treated so well by the Dem Party itself, or at least by the leadership, they took the voters for granted.

Oops, underestimating voters, BLAMING them when it was their policies that cost Dems two elections so far. That is never a good idea especially when voters have discovered what the problem with THEIR party is.

And we know now that the problem is the Third Way.

They are lying about polls, something that is foolish since polls are available and show how much support SS, Medicare and Medicaid have among the voters, across the political spectrum.

Who in their right mind thinks that Democratic Voters will continue to vote for a party whose policies are so similar to the Republican Party's on their favorite issues?

Policies like this:

One of this faction's key goals is to roll back three of the Democratic Party's signature achievements: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is a measure of their power and influence that they've been able to get so many Democratic politicians to support Social Security cuts when public opinion is so strongly against them.

Putting SS on the Deficit Table, was SHAMEFUL. And I suppose they never expected the voters would be as outraged as they were/are.

It is encouraging to see them under fire as they should have been a long time ago.

Today we heard from another Democrat outraged that some Dems' support for non-Democratic issues 'causes us to wonder if they don't belong in the Republican party', he said.

It has certainly caused US to wonder the same thing.

Burned by the reaction to their article attacking Warren, they are now writing articles about the horrors of 'populism'. We KNOW they are referring to her, however.

I think we are at a turning point in the Democratic Party. As Black said, the Third Way's policies were completely discredited by the Economic meltdown in 2008.

With populism spreading like wildfire, and Warren in the role of speaking for all those who DID see the problem but were silenced by the Third Way, maybe there is hope after all!

Edited to correct wrong attribution of the article to William Black. Thanks to DUer Eomer for pointing out the error. The article was written by Richard (RJ) Eskow

NYPD Keep up the good work!

Why NYPD Work Slowdown May Not Be Such A Bad Thing

Maybe minority communities will finally get a break from over-policing.

Have the talked themselves into major cuts in that Police Department?

Let's hope so. The taxes saved on their salaries will make up for their other sources of income, unnecessary (their word) arrests and fines.

"Norway Didn't Give in to Islamophobia, nor should France"

Norway Didn't Give in to Islamophobia, nor should France

Three and a half years ago, the far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik bombed Oslo, and then gunned down dozens of young people on the island of Utøya. His rationalisation for the atrocity was to stop the “Islamisation” of Norway: that the Norwegian left had opened the country’s doors to Muslims and diluted its Christian heritage. But Norway’s response was not retribution, revenge, clampdowns. “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity,” declared the prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. When Breivik was put on trial, Norway played it by the book. The backlash he surely craved never came.

Here’s how the murderers who despicably gunned down the journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo do not want us to respond. Vengeance and hatred directed at Muslims as a whole serves Islamic fundamentalists well. They want Muslims to feel hated, targeted and discriminated against, because it increases the potential well of support for their cause. Already, there are multiple reports of attacks in France against mosques, and even a “criminal explosion” in a kebab shop. These are not just disgraceful, hateful acts. Those responsible are sticking to the script of the perpetrators. They are themselves de facto recruiting sergeants for terrorists.

Social media abounds with Islamophobes seizing this atrocity to advance their hatred. Islam as an entire religion is responsible, they cry: it is incompatible with “western values”. They wish to homogenise Muslims, as though Malala and Mo Farah have anything in common with the sectarian murderers of Isis. Most victims of Islamic extremists are of course themselves Muslims: including Ahmed Merabet, the French police officer killed at close range by the terrorists in Paris yesterday.

This is a dangerous moment. Anti-Muslim prejudice is rampant in Europe. The favoured target of Europe’s far-right – like France’s Front National, which currently leads in the opinion polls – is Muslims. France is home to around 5 million Muslims, who disproportionately live in poverty and unemployment, often in ghettoised banlieues. This incident should rightfully horrify, but it will now undoubtedly fuel an already ascendant far-right.

It is totally irresponsible for anyone to blame all Muslims for this terrible act. Feeding the Far Right hatred for Muslims in Europe.

As the article says, already their have been stupid, violent retaliatory acts against innocent Muslims fueled by Islamophobics.

Norway handled it the right way. Not giving the Far Right Terrorist what he had hoped for. And not seeking revenge. I do remember their PM telling the world they would not react with fear. That was such a refreshing thing to hear in our fearful world.

Why is the Word 'Terrorism' reserved only for Muslims?

A terror attack took place at the NAACP offices this week where a bomb was placed outside the building. Fortunately this time, no one was harmed.

The story received little if any coverage until one day after the attack and it was not referred to as an act of Terrorism. By the standards we now use, why was it NOT called an 'Act of Terrorism'?

US Mass Shootings Map

I looked at this map from Mother Jones of mass murders in the US. It covers the period from 1982 - 2012. More have occurred since then.

The killers: More than half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 20, respectively); the other 30 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, and religious and government buildings. Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) A majority were mentally troubled—and many displayed signs of it before setting out to kill. Explore the map for further details—we do not consider it to be all-inclusive, but based on the criteria we used we believe that we've produced the most comprehensive rundown available on this particular type of violence. (Mass shootings represent only a sliver of America's overall gun violence.) For a timeline listing all the cases on the map, including photos of the killers, jump to page 2. For the stories of the 151 shooting rampage victims of 2012, click here, and for all of MoJo's year-long investigation into gun laws and mass shootings, click here.

Looking over the profiles of the killers, a majority of them are White Americans.

I see one Muslim, a few Asians, one African American but the majority are White Americans.

Not one is referred to as Terrorism.

All of them are called 'Mass Shootings'.

Not even when 25 schoolchildren and their teacher were slaughtered in their classroom was the word 'terrorism' even whispered.

Is there some reason for this?

Three clearly deranged criminals murdered 12 people in France.

The killers are presumed to be Muslims.

That horrible act is being called 'Terrorism'.

If the killers were not Muslims, would it be called a Mass Killing?

Something is wrong about this in my opinion.

Hopefully the killers will be caught soon.

GuardianUS ‏@GuardianUS 43m43 minutes ago
Police release names,photos of brothers wanted for #CharlieHebdo attack – rolling report http://trib.al/OfYK0Oi

One of the victims of these murderers was a Muslim Cop:

Jeff Gauvin ‏@JeffersonObama 4h4 hours ago
R.I.P. Ahmed Merabet, a French #Muslim Cop, first victim of #CharlieHebdo attack

People all over the world have come out in support of the victims who were murdered in France. Thousands held Pens in the air as a tribute to the Cartoonists.

RIP to the latest victims of another Mass Killing. We seem to have to say that a lot lately.

The lives of all their loved ones have been changed forever.

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

Just as everyone suspected.

Any discussion of OWS is incomplete without a photo of the armies that were sent out to try to crush them.

FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.

“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”

“The documents are heavily redacted, and it is clear from the production that the FBI is withholding far more material. We are filing an appeal challenging this response and demanding full disclosure to the public of the records of this operation,” stated Heather Benno, staff attorney with the PCJF.

The police, working for Wall St. Who would have thought such a thing. Well, except for Bloomberg who did, to give him credit where it is due, tell us the NYPD was 'his army'. And he IS Wall St. He bought himself into Gracie Mansion, changed his party affiliation at twice, maybe three times, just so he could protect the interests of Wall St.

OWS scared them though. He did have to be a bit careful after NYC polls showed over 80% support for OWS's right to be where they were.

I don't know how anyone can support this, even if you don't like a particular group, no citizen of this country should condone these Government tactics no matter who the group may be.
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