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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,631

Journal Archives

"One Last Time-The Case Against The War"

Renowned journalist, activist and board member for The Real News Jonathan Schell dead at 70 -

From the LATimes obit:

A native of New York City, Schell was born on Aug. 21, 1943, just two years before the U.S. dropped two atom bombs on Japan. He grew up in a family of thinkers and dissenters: His father, the late Orville Schell Jr., was an attorney and human rights activist. His brother, Orville Schell, is a longtime journalist and activist and former head of the journalism school at UC Berkeley.

Conscious of nuclear weapons from an early age, Jonathan Schell remembered headlines in 1953 that the Soviet Union had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. At Harvard University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1965, one of his teachers was Henry Kissinger, the future secretary of state and target for the antiwar movement.



Of all the modest hopes of human beings, the hope that mankind will survive is the most modest, since it only brings us to the threshold of all the other hopes. In entertaining it, we do not yet ask for justice, or for freedom, or for happiness, or for any of the other things that we may want in life. We do not even necessarily ask for our personal survival; we ask only that we be survived. We ask for assurance that when we die as individuals, as we know we must, mankind will live on.

— Jonathan Schell, 1982




Remembering Jonathan Schell: 1943-2014


We Don't Run This Country for Corporations -By Elizabeth Warren

We don't run this country for corporations
March 26, 2014 | By Elizabeth Warren


Recently, three well-respected legal scholars examined almost 20,000 Supreme Court cases from the last 65 years. They found that the five conservative justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court are in the top 10 most pro-corporate justices in more than half a century.

And Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts? They were number one and number two.

Take a look at the win rate of the national Chamber of Commerce cases before the Supreme Court. According to the Constitutional Accountability Center, the Chamber was winning 43% of the cases in participated in during the later years of the Burger Court, but that shifted to a 56% win-rate under the Rehnquist Court, and then a 70% win-rate with the Roberts Court.

Republicans may prefer a rigged court that gives their corporate friends and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists every advantage. But that's not the job of judges. Judges don't sit on the bench to hand out favors to their political friends.

On days like today, it matters who is sitting on the Supreme Court. It matters that we have a President who appoints fair and impartial judges to our courts, and it matters that we have a Senate who approves them.



Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate: Let's Do Some Damage

Rutgers University Faculty protest honoring war criminal Condi Rice-Who Never Acknowledged Her Lies

Rutgers University Faculty protest honoring a war criminal with a Doctor of Laws degree

We, the undersigned Rutgers faculty members, are outraged and offended by
the resolution of the Board of Governors to invite former Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice to be the keynote speaker at this year's
Commencement, and to award her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

The mission of a University is to promote truth and knowledge, including
historical knowledge. A commencement speaker is supposed to represent a
model of citizenship to graduating students. To have Condoleezza Rice
perform this role at Rutgers betrays both our mission and the trust of our
students. It dishonors the Board and all of us.

As National Security Advisor (2001-2005), Dr. Rice directly participated in
the decision to launch the second Iraq war. She played a leading role in
the campaign of distortions and lies seeking to justify that war,
repeatedly alleging that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that
links had been established between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime.
As Secretary of State (2005-2009), well after these allegations had been
proven false, Dr. Rice never acknowledged that her claims had misled the

Condoleezza Rice was also fully associated with the Bush administration's
torture policy of "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as
waterboarding. Her later statement that she "didn't authorize anything,"
but only "conveyed the authorization of the administration" to the CIA,
merely adds her name to the infamous list of participants in crimes of war
claiming that "they only followed orders."

(Continue reading)

80 percent of U.S. adults face near-poverty, unemployment, survey finds

Source: CBS

80 percent of U.S. adults face near-poverty, unemployment, survey finds

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.


By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

"Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them', it's an issue of 'us'," says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. "Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need."

Read more: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/27/1287049/-Half-of-America-is-POOR-says-obvious-evidence-Must-be-the-season-of-the-rich

Port Authority told Christie about the closings at Sept. 11 meeting (while they were occurring)

Source: New York Times

Port Authority told Christie about the closings at Sept. 11 meeting.

The Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge said that he had informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial while the closings were occurring, according to results from an internal investigation released on Thursday by lawyers for the governor.

The official, David Wildstein, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the Sept. 11 conversation at a dinner in December just before his resignation from the Port Authority, according to the report.

The report said that Mr. Christie did not recall any such conversation and found no evidence that he was involved in the scheme, which snarled traffic for thousands of commuters in Fort Lee, N.J., from Sept. 9 through the morning of Sept. 12.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/nyregion/chris-christie-lawyer-bridge-scandal-report.html?module=Notification&version=BreakingNews%C2%AEion=FixedTop&action=Click&contentCollection=BreakingNews&contentID=4592490&pgtype=article

Reid sets up jobless aid vote for this week

Source: The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on a House bill that the Senate will use as a vehicle to pass an unemployment insurance extension likely by Friday.

Reid filed the motion to end debate on H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, which the House passed earlier this month.

H.R. 3979 aims to exempt volunteer firefighters and EMTs from being considered full-time employees under ObamaCare mandates. Reid will use that bill as a way to send a five-month unemployment insurance (UI) extension bill back to the House.

Since Reid filed cloture, that would set up a vote as soon as Friday but Democrats are hoping to reach an agreement to hold the vote Thursday evening.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/201884-reid-sets-up-ui-vote-for-this-week

A Few Religious Objections to Hobby Lobby, et al.

A Few Religious Objections to Hobby Lobby, et al.
By: Peterr Wednesday March 26, 2014 6:45 am


I have strong — very strong — religious objections to the unequal treatment of people before the law, yet the Department of Justice seems bent on spending my tax dollars and the tax dollars of similarly-minded folks by the millions to chase the poor and powerless into prison while giving the wealthy and powerful sternly worded letters and a good talking-to. In the financial fraud around the housing market, homeowners are hounded and unscrupulous mortgage dealers are allowed to roam free. During the recent Lesser Depression, homeowners pushed underwater by the practices of their banks have suffered greatly (“We’re sorry, but your equity has disappeared because the property values have fallen so much because we crashed the economy”), yet the SEC and DOJ use my tax dollars to go to great extremes to settle civil litigation with the the banks in such a toothless fashion that the board of JPMorgan Chase gave Jamie Dimon a 74% raise after guiding them through with only a slap on the corporate wrist. And you don’t want to know how strongly I object on religious grounds to the failure of the DOJ to pursue criminal rather than civil penalties . . .


I have passionately strong religious objections to using my tax dollars to subsidize the energy extraction industry that poisons the air we breathe, fouls the water we drink, and destabilizes the ground on which we build our communities, all while their efforts heat and heat and heat our planet.

And I have extremely, seriously, powerfully, incredibly, viscerally, wildly, passionately strong religious objections to using my tax dollars to set up and sustain a system that carves out religious exemptions for the strongly held personal beliefs of some and not the strongly held personal beliefs of others, in such a way that the beliefs of some impose themselves on the beliefs of others.

Judging from the questioning at the Supreme Court yesterday, the conservative SCOTUS justices have no such concerns. That’s understandable, I suppose. They have a highly insulated position which compensates them well enough that they can live in comfort. They do not live in fear that they might be laid off, that a subordinate might shove them aside and take their job, or that their company might be downsized, moved, or sold. They do not worry about being forced to retire when they would like to continue working. A SCOTUS justice lives in a world where the only people whose beliefs truly matter are the other eight justices with whom he or she shares the bench. They live in a world in which they make the rules — for themselves, their workplace, and for the nation. To go by their comments yesterday from the bench, some of them do not appear to remember what life is like for the rest of us.

Once upon a time, slavery was defended by some on religious grounds. Is SCOTUS ready to sanction the return to slavery, because some have religious beliefs that call for it?


many more objections in this great rant:

The NSA was created in secret … and Congress wasn’t even notified.


In 2007, reporter Charles Davis asked then-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee – Jay Rockefeller – about clandestine U.S. operations against a foreign government:

DAVIS: Is there anything you could do in your position as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee to find answers about this, if it is in fact going on?

ROCKEFELLER: [font color=red]Don’t you understand the way Intelligence works? Do you think that because I’m Chairman of the Intelligence Committee that I just say I want it, and they give it to me? They control it. All of it. ALL of it. ALL THE TIME. I only get - and my committee only gets - what they WANT to give me.[/font]

This is shocking … but not new.

The NSA was created in secret … and Congress wasn’t even notified.

More, plus links:

Obama/Pope pic needs caption...

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