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unhappycamper

unhappycamper's Journal
unhappycamper's Journal
December 2, 2013

Snowy Standoff in New Brunswick as Anti-Fracking Protesters Fight for 'Next Seven Generations'

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/12/01-0



'I think the community is standing up for the environment, and the police are protecting the company, and that's not right.'

Snowy Standoff in New Brunswick as Anti-Fracking Protesters Fight for 'Next Seven Generations'
- Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Published on Sunday, December 1, 2013 by Common Dreams

A snowy standoff took place in New Brunswick between Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and anti-fracking protesters on Sunday as Elsipogtog community members and their allies continue the fight to protect their land from shale gas exploration.

Twitter users captured a lineup of "protectors" facing police along Highway 11 where energy company SWN Resources has trucks conducting seismic testing for shale gas.

~snip~

The fight represents "a global issue," protesters say, and are calling for solidarity and for Monday to be a day of "emergency action."

“We are not giving up despite these harsh weather conditions, sacrificing time with our families, our jobs, our homes, not only to protect land, water and people but to ensure a brighter future for the next 7 generations. We are asking for more support, through road blocks to be in solidarity. This is not just an Elsipogtog issue, this is a global issue and we need to raise awareness. Show us support any way possible, sending thank you’s, road blocks, banners, even dropping by, all and every type of support is appreciated.”
December 2, 2013

‘Changing the Face of Anti-Terror’ Isolates Washington

http://watchingamerica.com/News/227066/changing-the-face-of-anti-terror-isolates-washington/

‘Changing the Face of Anti-Terror’ Isolates Washington
Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong
By Huang Haizhen
Translated By Renee Loeffler
16 November 2013
Edited by Jane Lee

~snip~

The number of “terrorists” the U.S. has currently pursued or locked up has already reached more than a million. The CIA utilizes modern technology as a method to “monitor and investigate” persons of interest, this “easy” way of doing things already becoming their standard. It doesn't matter if it is government officials or normal citizens — all must deal with these incidents of secret “shadowing.” In Utah, U.S. Homeland Security has established an enormous data center to collect and analyze the 2 billion communications of American citizens every day. The CIA not only gathers data from electronic communications, but it also uses Internet companies to obtain citizens’ telephone, postal and GPS information, seriously infringing upon the legal rights of the public. Already more than 90 percent of the American public cannot have private communications, and this has raised anger in American citizens.

Interrelated departments have already become accustomed to detaining U.S. citizens without any accusation and trial. The only thing that is needed is the word from the CIA, and then it becomes O.K. to suspend any American citizen's constitutional rights. If the media seeks reasoning, the response is “[person in question] has become a threat to 'national security.'” No matter how weird or difficult the excuses police give to those they apprehend, citizens must obey without question. Legal scholars theorize that imprisonment without limits and proper investigation and the monitoring of citizens infringe upon citizens' rights. If this becomes the standard, it would be a sad state of affairs for the U.S. and is one reason America is on a downward spiral. The government is no longer satisfied with arrest and a proper trial for normal citizens. If these type of incidents escalate because the government is unsatisfied, then the government will come under fire again, creating an unsteady society.

America will often say anything about the human rights situation of close to 200 other countries, including China, but refuses to look at its own shortcomings. U.S. surveillance aircraft can go into any country they please to illegally scout, as unmanned drones have freely entered Pakistan, among other countries, to carry out attacks on normal citizens. Aircraft carriers sail in all the big oceans, posing a threat to many countries. The number of nuclear warheads they possess amounts to more than any other country in the world, and on top of that they are increasing their research of nuclear weapons. Two hundred thousand U.S. military troops monitor other countries' actions 24 hours a day. At the same time, they can freeze, attack and destroy an enemy's satellites, and by releasing a virus they can also infiltrate and shut down an enemy's Internet, using these types of methods to impede other countries. Washington has already become the greatest threat to world peace, so of course they have received intense criticism from the entire world.

America's “changing the face of anti-terror” is also shown through their treatment of Russian armed fighters from Chechnya. Many times, Chechen fighters have attacked, shot and killed normal citizens — it is a type of terrorist organization. But after White House officials’ “transformation” of the issue, it became a “minority problem,” and they even injected funds through the CIA to support Chechen armed forces. Democracy is the slogan Washington uses the most, but their standards are abnormal. At a glance the White House is democratic, just as countries like Saudi Arabia are absolute monarchies but are also classified as “democracies.” Looking closely, it is a dictatorship, an axis of evil. Saddam in Iraq was crowned a “democratic activist” by America. Later, he was called a dictator by the American military and fatally attacked. This illustrates that the U.S. standard of “democratic human rights” is a kaleidoscope of rapid change.
December 2, 2013

New US Trend: If Japan Is a Democracy, Reverse the Henoko Plan

http://watchingamerica.com/News/226952/new-us-trend-if-japan-is-a-democracy-reverse-the-henoko-plan/



Futenma Air Base on Okinawa

New US Trend: If Japan Is a Democracy, Reverse the Henoko Plan
Ryukyu Shimpo, Japan
By Editorial
Translated By Stephanie Sanders
24 November 2013
Edited by Gillian Palmer

“We could move the military base. But it is a domestic problem in Japan. The security alliance is also at Japan’s request.”* Immediately following the unfortunate incident of Sept. 1995, the U.S and Japanese governments officially worked through the excess burden of military bases in Okinawa for the first time. The following month, U.S. Secretary of Defense Perry came to Japan; I recall he clearly spoke of the possibility of transferring the base outside the prefecture on the premise of improving the U.S. military’s attack deterrence in Japan.

It’s been 18 years since then. In an interview with the Ryukyu Shimpo, former Assistant Secretary of State Campbell, as a U.S. official and think-tank researcher who’s come to be deeply involved in the Okinawa base problem, stated in reference to the issue of moving Futenma air base to Henoko, Nago city, “We have arrived at the stage where we consider whether to proceed further or to explore a different procedure.”

It’s a remark that bears in mind Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s Henoko landfill decision and the Nago mayoral election. Campbell is the leading expert who remains a key person in U.S. policy toward Japan, but Japan and the U.S. should take seriously the truth in his suggestion of exploring another option at Okinawa’s discretion.

~snip~

Reduction of defense spending accompanied by Marine Corps reduction, decrease of the United States’ role in emergency situations, advances in military technology and distribution strategy of the Asia-Pacific region have led the U.S. to keep an eye on the rise of China. There is shifting terrain behind the increasing flexibility from U.S. Congress and experts toward re-evaluating relocation, but what they share is likely a level-headed decision in light of the “it can’t be forced it in the midst of local opposition” kind of democratic principle.



More info on Futenma can be found here --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futenma
December 2, 2013

Drone victims become political fodder

http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-01-021213.html



Drone victims become political fodder
By Kiran Nazish
Dec 2, '13

I am writing this because a woman who spat on me for wanting to interview her later begged me to answer her questions.

Let's call her "G". Her eldest son was killed in a drone strike in August 2010. She buried him in pieces - hands, fingers, bones. She spoke unclearly of the details between tears. She had moved to Karachi with her husband and other son afterwards, leaving behind their family home in Waziristan due to the growing hold of militants and blatant silence of the Pakistan military.

"It wasn't safe anymore. It wasn't home anymore. We watched terrorists walk freely in our neighborhood, and the military did not protect us." She told me.

Two and a half years later, when they had barely settled in Sohrab Goth, northern Karachi, her husband was killed in a bomb blast in front of her younger son.
December 2, 2013

New Pakistan army chief faces hard task

http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-03-021213.html



New Pakistan army chief faces hard task
Syed Fazl-e-Haider
Dec 2, '13

KARACHI - General Raheel Sharif assumed the command of Pakistan Army on November 29, two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed him as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). General Sharif takes on Pakistan army at a crucial time when the country faces hard challenges on security front.

General Sharif replaced General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, who left a legacy of keeping the military out of domestic politics and strengthening democratic process in the country. He followed a policy of non-interference in politics, helping the country witness the first democratic transition from one elected government to another following the May 11 general election this year.

General Sharif is supposed to play a key role as army chief at a time when Islamabad is pursuing peace process with the outlawed Pakistani Taliban to give peace a chance and the violence that has spread to settled areas from the tribal region of the country. The incumbent Taliban leadership has rejected the peace talks following the killing of Taliban's chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike on November 1.

His appointment has come at a time when there is widespread criticism of US drone strikes across the country and as the US prepares to draw down its forces in neighboring Afghanistan by the end of next year. He has to safeguard the country's strategic interests in the run up to the Afghan war endgame.
December 2, 2013

Feinstein & Rogers justify NSA Spying with Syrian Rebels (Voted to Arm Syrian Rebels)

http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/feinstein-reason-spying.html

Feinstein & Rogers justify NSA Spying with Syrian Rebels (Voted to Arm Syrian Rebels)
By Juan Cole | Dec. 2, 2013

Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers took to the airwaves on Sunday to warn that Americans are less safe than two years ago and that al-Qaeda is growing and spreading and that the US is menaced by bombs that can’t be detected by metal detectors.

Call me cynical, but those two have been among the biggest detractors of the American citizen’s fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure of personal effects and papers. I think their attempt to resurrect Usama Bin Laden is out of the National Security Agency internal playbook, which specifically instructs spokesmen to play up the terrorist threat when explaining why they need to know who all 310 million Americans are calling on our phones every day.

~snip~



~snip~

The Syrian civil war has nothing to do with the US, and is a local struggle rather unlikely to involve hitting America (more especially since, as Rogers carefully avoids mentioning, the US is committed to arming these rebels to fight against al-Assad.)

That’s right. Mike Rogers voted to give arms to the Syrian rebels. And while he may hope they don’t go to the al-Qaeda affiliates (as happened when Ronald Reagan gave $5 billion to the Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s), he has no guarantee that won’t happen and is willing to take the risk. If Rogers were really, really concerned about the Jabhat al-Nusra, he wouldn’t be risking upping its firepower with Americans’ tax dollars as a justification for monitoring who your 15 year old daughter calls on her cell phone.
December 2, 2013

Japan’s yakuza mobsters becoming ‘Goldman Sachs with guns’

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/01/japans-yakuza-mobsters-becoming-goldman-sachs-with-guns/



Japan’s yakuza mobsters becoming ‘Goldman Sachs with guns’
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, December 1, 2013 10:17 EST

Japanese mobsters driving flash cars purchased with bank loans. Executives bowing in apology for loaning millions to those underworld figures. And high-level officials vowing to squash the crime syndicates, known as yakuza.

Japan Inc. is engulfed in its worst mob scandal in years and it’s shining a rare light on the links between big business and shadowy organised crime groups usually known for low-brow ventures like extortion and loan sharking.

But with membership falling as police ratchet up a crackdown, experts say the yakuza are branching far outside their traditional business into everything from insider trading to funding business startups.

“Insider trading has become huge — you can make much more money manipulating stocks” than extorting businesses, says Jake Adelstein, a crime writer whose bestselling memoir “Tokyo Vice” is set to become a Hollywood movie.
December 2, 2013

Watchdog OPCW says U.S. to destroy Syria chemical weapons stockpile at sea

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/30/watchdog-opcw-says-u-s-to-destroy-syria-chemical-weapons-stockpile-at-sea/



Watchdog OPCW says U.S. to destroy Syria chemical weapons stockpile at sea
By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, November 30, 2013 11:05 EST

The United States will destroy the most dangerous of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile on a ship at sea, the world’s chemical watchdog said on Saturday.

“The neutralisation operations will be conducted on a US vessel at sea using hydrolysis,” the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement.

“Currently a suitable naval vessel is undergoing modifications to support the operations and to accommodate verification activities by the OPCW,” The Hague-based watchdog added.

The ship operation will destroy what is known as “priority chemical weapons”, the most dangerous of Syria’s total arsenal and ones that have to be out of the country by December 31 under an international deal agreed to avert military strikes on Damascus.
December 1, 2013

BAE, GD: We Can Cut Weight From Army’s GCV

http://breakingdefense.com/2013/11/bae-general-dynamics-we-can-get-weight-down-on-army-gcv/



BAE, GD: We Can Cut Weight From Army’s GCV
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
on November 27, 2013 at 4:29 AM

As storm clouds loom over the Army’s controversial Ground Combat Vehicle, both contractors competing for GCV say they’re focused on completing the program of record still on the books. But if the Army slows the program down – a near-certainty at this point – both BAE Systems and General Dynamics told me they are ready to adapt. In fact, they’ll make the best of any extra time to refine their designs and develop new technologies.

The biggest single criticism of the GCV has been how heavy it is. The Congressional Budget Office estimated up to 84 tons, although the fine print noted that figure was for a hypothetical future version that had grown to the maximum the vehicle could bear. News stories often describe it as weighing over 70 tons. But both contractors insist their designs are already below that figure and that they can keep whittling the weight down over time.

Depending on how much modular armor you bolt on to BAE’s current design, “it’d be in the 60- to 70-ton range depending on the configuration,” said BAE program director Deepak Bazaz.

Not coincidentally, 70 tons plus 20 percent more weight for future upgrades — a margin for growth the Army requires the GCV designs to have — is how CBO came up with its 84-ton figure.



unhappycamper comment: I read an article the other day that the new GCV will cost around $1.8 million dollars a pop.
December 1, 2013

The Supreme Court confronts the line between free speech and security with protester’s case

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-supreme-court-confronts-the-line-between-free-speech-and-security-with-protesters-case/2013/11/30/d074246c-5757-11e3-8304-caf30787c0a9_story.html?hpid=z4



Dennis Apel appears at a Nov. 6 protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. He has been attending the regular gathering the first Wednesday of the month for the past 17 years to protest weapons in space.

The Supreme Court confronts the line between free speech and security with protester’s case
By Robert Barnes, Published: November 30

~snip~

One marked his transition from trucking-company salesman to caretaker of the poor. He stepped past another when he went from persistent, perhaps quixotic, protester to antiwar vandal. Tossing his blood on this military base’s entrance sign a decade ago earned him two months in prison.

But the line at issue in his free-speech case before the Supreme Court on Wednesday is real and tangible — painted in thick green on a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway.

The federal government owns the land on both sides of the road, which runs through this sprawling air base north of Santa Barbara. On one side of the line are guarded gates and the main entrance to the military installation; on the other is a spot that base officials have set aside for people to protest the preparation for war that goes on there.

The federal government says John Dennis Apel does not belong on either side of that line, or standing near the highway, or for that matter anywhere else in the 22 square miles that constitute the base’s property.

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