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Triana's Journal
Triana's Journal
July 8, 2016

I don't think so.

But I never believed (or cared about) her emails either. I knew there would be no indictment and IMO it makes no sense for there to be one. And Benghazi was a cooked-up Republican hit-job. I expect with the Clintons in residence once again, the White House will once again be Scandal Central. The Republicans will see to it.

I do not look forward to that. At ALL. And it's the goddamned GOP who will be at the helm of all that. It's all they'll do for 4-8 years. There really IS (I believe) a vast RW conspiracy.

But I also believe there is a vast CORPORATE conspiracy against the 99%. I KNOW there is. I'm pretty sure most Americans know that. To be here though -- I am to believe that Ms. Clinton has nothing whatsoever to do with the corporate conspiracy and I just can't believe that.

I don't think Hillary Clinton is honest or even the best candidate. But she's what we've got and beats the alternative. Now, somebody(s) here are hellbent on reporting almost every comment I make here. I'm certain someone will report/alert on this one - perhaps I'm 'bashing" the candidate because I don't choose to swallow the pablum or do the proper cheering or do it in the proper way. I will likely vote for her because I will have no choice but to not vote (and I AM voting). But my eyes are WIDE OPEN while I'm doing it, let's just say that.

Now - I have no PROOF of anything I've written here. It's all my OPINION and is based on what I know of this candidate and her record and money. And that's what I do when considering candidates: look at their record and follow the money.

If that's not acceptable, then so be it. Report, ban, review my account as if I'm some sort of trolling disruptor -- me who has been here since 2001 (15 YEARS) and who has said many times HRC will get my vote (however with deep reservations). I'm not allowed to say that here, evidently. AWARENESS of this candidate's flaws is hardly the equivalent of Republican DERANGEMENT that has begat them the likes of Trump.

Go ahead. Don't goddamned wonder why JPR has so many members over there - including ME.

July 1, 2016

General Electric: Billions in Profits. Almost ZERO in Federal Tax. Spends 82 Million on lobbyists.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt takes a similar position in a recent op-ed. Immelt defends the company’s tax record simply by noting that the company “pay[s] billion in taxes.” This is true, but also meaningless for a company with earnings as gigantic as GE’s. In fact, over the past 10 years, GE paid an effective federal income tax rate of -1.6 percent on $58 billion in profits. Over 15 years, the company’s federal income tax rate was just 5.2 percent.

The company’s tax-avoiding ways extend to the state level, too. Over the past five years, the company paid an effective state income tax rate of just 1.6 percent. Immelt likely focuses on the dollar amount and not the company’s tax rate because there is simply no way of fudging the numbers to make the company appear to be paying income taxes at anything but a ridiculously low rate.


http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2016/04/just_plain_wrong_ge_and_verizo.php#.V3aYBZMrJGx - GE Taxes paid

https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000125 - GE spending on lobbying in 2016 (59% of lobbyists employed by GE are "revolvers" ie: revolving door hires from within government or hires from private industry into gov't)

It's clear to me that GE and most likely all other corporations:

1. Pay far too little in taxes using tax shelters and tax avoidance schemes that need to be removed from US tax laws
2. Pay for too much for revolving-door lobbyists to twist arms in Washington to get "our" representatives to write and pass those tax laws and keep them in place and to enact other corporate welfare policies exclusively for the benefit of GE and other corps like them.
3. Wield FAR TOO MUCH influence in the federal and state governments while paying little to no taxes to contribute to their functions to serve the public good. GE evidently believes the function of federal and state governments is solely to kiss GE's ass (and other corporate entities' asses) at the expense of the rest of us - the public. Those losses in corporate tax revenues means US workers have to pay more or suffer cuts in public services such as upkeep of infrastructure, public transportation, regulation and mantenance of clean energy and water systems, providing the FDA with the tools and personnel needed to regulate and ensure safe food and other products, building and maintaining public schools that ALL kids can attend regardless their parents income, maintaining and expanding social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid,and Social Security, public television and radio, etc.

Corporations like GE want to USE our public infrastructure for their businesses and their employees -- but they don't want to have to PAY for them.



July 8, 2015

Meme machine says "Bernie Sanders does not represent PoC". Meme machine is WRONG. Here's Why:

The truth is quite the contrary. PoC are part of and will benefit from nearly EVERY policy idea and ideal that Sanders speaks of and is pushing, particularly the economic ones. PoC have ALWAYS been part of all demographics Sanders has fought for - ever since he was 20 years old in the 1960s he fought for civil rights and he's STILL fighting for civil rights. It's part of who he IS and ALWAYS has been.

Can Hillary say that? Well. NO. In the 1960s Ms. Clinton was working for Barry Goldwater.

This assertion that Sanders "only represents whites" does not hold water for me. AT. ALL. Here are some reasons why:

The proposed solutions to the issues Sanders talks about would benefit African Americans as well ie: income inequality, constraining Wall St excess, campaign finance reform, voting rights, fair wages, climate change, etc. Those issues are all-inclusive - not black or white issues. That Sanders marched with MLK for civil rights back in his 20s certainly should not be ignored by anyone - political pundits or African Americans and certainly not the Clinton campaign.

He was active in the civil rights movement. Sanders was an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and participated in the historic March on Washington in 1963 as a 22-year-old student at the University of Chicago. "It was a question for me of just basic justice — the fact that it was not acceptable in America at that point that you had large numbers of African-Americans who couldn't vote, who couldn't eat in a restaurant, whose kids were going to segregated schools, who couldn't get hotel accommodations living in segregated housing," he told the Burlington Free Press. "That was clearly a major American injustice and something that had to be dealt with."


It appears to me that perhaps some pundits and supporters of Clinton are hoping they can make this non-issue into one -- and to do so based on little but the assertion itself nevermind facts or Sanders' history.

Perhaps they're hoping to create Sanders' achilles heel - use his alleged non-support of African American issues or alleged lack of support from African Americans as a battering ram to fend off Sanders' obvious momentum. IOW, they perhaps seek to use this type of propaganda to CREATE the illusion of such lack of support. This would certainly curtail any progress Sanders might make with AA voters.

Very interesting.

I don't hear of Ms. Clinton talking about this stuff much today. And she certainly did not do so 50 years ago, either. I do hear it from Sanders. . .both then and now. He's been quite consistent about it. I don't know what Hillary Clinton has done for African Americans lately. But I know Bernie Sanders has been consistently working on their behalf for 50 years. Please explain how the following from Bernie Sanders translates to "afterthought" or "doesn't represent"

Sanders: "Civil rights was a very important part of it. I was very active in the Congress of Racial Equality at the University of Chicago. I got arrested in trying to desegregate Chicago’s school system. I was very active in demanding that the University of Chicago not run segregated housing, which it was doing at that time. We were active in working with our brothers and sisters in SNCC … at that point helping them with some very modest financial help. So, yes, I was active. And I do not separate the civil-rights issue from the fact that 50 percent of African-American young people are either unemployed or underemployed. Remember the March on Washington—what was it about? “Jobs and Freedom.” The issue that Dr. King raised all the time was: This is great if we want to desegregate restaurants or hotels, but what does it matter if people can’t afford to go to them? That’s still the issue today."

I do not separate the civil-rights issue from the fact that 50 percent of African-American young people are unemployed or underemployed.” -Bernie Sanders

So all this makes me think that this assessment of Sanders as "not representing African Americans" is really just incorrect - willfully so, and being done to turn AA folks away from Sanders for no damn good reason at all -- and against their own best interests, most likely (because IMO Sanders will be more likely to fight for them as President than Hillary will)




"What's he done for me lately"?, one of our DU AA members recently asked. Well...this is willful ignorance, IMO. They've bought into the factless meme.

They claim Sanders does not call out African Americans specifically when speaking of his policies and ideas. Oh but he DOES. See examples above. I've heard him do so more than ANY OTHER politician in the race!

And even if he did not, the fact is that with Sanders is his policies, ideas and proposed solutions would benefit EVERYONE, including African Americans. Maybe sometimes he sees no need therefore to separate them into a different demographic when speaking.

But he DOES do that, he HAS done that, and considering his LONG and consistent history fighting for equal and civil rights (which Hillary and NO other politician running for 2016 even HAS), there can really be no reasonable, fact-driven claim that Sanders "doesn't represent PoC" or that "PoC are an afterthought to Sanders"

PoC are NOT an "afterthought" to Sanders. His fight for them is PART OF WHO HE IS and has been for FIFTY YEARS, unlike Hillary and certainly anyone else in the running.

No. I don't think so. You can't get away with that false meme. It might fly if enough people don't bother looking at the FACTS - and particularly the FACTS about Sanders and his fight for African Americans as compared to other 2016 candidates. Sanders has done MORE for African Americans than any other 2016 candidates and he's been fighting for them all his life.

I'm not buying the bullshit. Our wise AA brothers and sisters won't either. They'll know better.

May 26, 2015

What is 'Triana'?


Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana, unofficially known as GoreSat[3]) is a NOAA Earth observation and space weather satellite launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on 11 February 2015 from Cape Canaveral.[4]

It was originally developed as a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation. It is intended to be positioned at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point, 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) from Earth, to monitor variable solar wind condition, provide early warning of approaching coronal mass ejections and observe phenomena on Earth including changes in ozone, aerosols, dust and volcanic ash, cloud height, vegetation cover and climate. At this location it will have a continuous view of the Sun and the sunlit side of the Earth. The satellite is planned to orbit the Sun-Earth L1 point in a six-month period, with a spacecraft-Earth-Sun angle varying from 4 to 15 degrees.[5] It will take full-Earth pictures about every two hours and be able to process them faster than other Earth observation satellites.[6]

DSCOVR has an expected arrival at L1 around the beginning of June 2015.[7]

Originally known as Triana, named after Rodrigo de Triana, the first of Columbus's crew to sight land in the Americas, the satellite's original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.[8] In addition to an imaging camera, a radiometer would take the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth (albedo). This data could constitute a barometer for the process of global warming. The scientific goals expanded to measure the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, cloud patterns, weather systems, monitor the health of Earth's vegetation, and track the amount of UV light reaching the surface through the ozone layer.

In 1999, NASA's Inspector General reported that "the basic concept of the Triana mission was not peer reviewed", and "Triana's added science may not represent the best expenditure of NASA's limited science funding."[9] The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration.[10] Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences whether the project was worthwhile.[when?] The resulting report stated that the mission was "strong and scientifically vital."[11]

Triana was removed from its original launch opportunity on STS-107 (the ill-fated Columbia mission in 2003). The $100 million satellite remained in storage for the duration of the Bush administration. In November 2008 the satellite was removed from storage and began recertification for a possible launch on board a Delta II or a Falcon 9.[12][13] Al Gore used part of his book Our Choice (2009) as an attempt to revive debate on the DSCOVR payload. The book mentions legislative efforts by Senators Barbara Mikulski and Bill Nelson to get the satellite launched.[14] NASA renamed the satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), in an attempt to regain support for the project. In February 2011, the Obama administration attempted to secure funding to re-purpose the DSCOVR spacecraft as a solar observatory to replace the aging Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft.[15]

In September 2013 NASA cleared DSCOVR to proceed to the implementation phase targeting an early 2015 launch,[16] which had been announced in December 2012 as launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.[17] NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is providing management and systems engineering to the mission.


(MODS - being that this is from wikipedia and is already publicly owned info, I figured there would be no intellectual property or copyright issues with posting more than 4 paragraphs. If I need to cut it down, just let me know and I'll modify the OP)

April 19, 2015

From the perspective of my 88 year old mother on the TPP, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton

Talking to her on the phone in the past few days, she related that she was alarmed by the TPP, which she has just recently heard any detail at all about since she's not on the internet. She had seen Bernie Sanders on The Ed Show where Ed showed Hillary Clinton's comments about the TPP as well as a long explanation by President Obama during a presser. Then, Ed had Bernie Sanders on, who explained the realities of the TPP more clearly and in a different way than Hillary or Obama. You know, he told the truth of what the so-called "trade" agreement would likely mean for America's workers, wages, and the environment.

I had told her about the TPP before and about Bernie Sanders - a man whom I felt was truly the only (or one of the few) real Democrats left in Washington, the rest being DLC types. I told her that I knew the Democratic Party had moved center and the Republicans have gone off-the-rails batshit crazy - back to the old John Birch Society days. She understood that since she remembers JBS well from the 1950s - 1960s or thereabouts.

But she had not heard of the TPP or Bernie Sanders - or didn't remember who he was really - she believed me when I told her about Bernie and the TPP, but was unfamiliar. Remind that she's 88, blind, and has no internet access - only television. So, her unfamiliarity is understandable.

But when she saw Bernie on The Ed Show and heard more about this TPP, she was shocked. She said Bernie was a real Democrat. She knows he's an Independent but she says Bernie is what Democrats USED to be when they were actual Dems.

Mom lived through the great depression, FDR, World War II, Nixon, Reagan, Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama and two major financial collapses since the depression, the last one being in 2008. She has always been political, always paid attention to what's going on, just as her dad did. Neither she or her father (my grandfather) ever failed to vote. They were involved politically and she still is, as much as an 88-year-old can be when blind and not on the internet. She knows "where the bear shit in the buckwheat", so-to-speak, no matter what lies are told on network TV which she also knows is controlled by the same big corporations who are controlling our government and for whom our government works (not for us).

Mom is no dummy. She never has been. Even in her old age with no internet and hardly being able to see, she's no dummy.

After watching The Ed Show on Friday, she told me that she felt that capitalism was eating us alive as it continues almost completely unregulated (Capitalism - if it works at all, must be strictly regulated so as to work for all and not just for itself) The TPP scares the living bejeezus out of her and she stated flatly that given a choice between Hillary and Sanders she'd vote for Sanders. She didn't understand how or why Obama or Hillary would support the TPP.

Another thing about my Mom is that she is a staunch feminist. She has always supported Hillary and will vote for her if Hillary is the nominee. But she prefers Bernie Sanders.

Given her knowledge and her history - all that she's lived through in the US in the past 88 years, that's her take after fully realizing who Bernie Sanders is and what the TPP is.

Her sister - my aunt - was married to a man whose parents were John Birchers. My uncle's mother - the John Bircher - was the meanest old witch you can imagine. She abused my aunt the entire time they were married. She berated her, insulted her and turned my uncle against her and with him, colluded behind my aunt's back. She sold their house out from under them with my uncle's help and unbeknownst to my aunt. These were N A S T Y people, these John Birchers. So I have that perspective to rely on as well. My aunt is 89, and she has told me in detail how awful and wicked the John Birchers were. She experienced it first hand.

I just thought DUers might be interested in this perspective, since perspective is so easily lost on several generations who have not lived through all that she (and my aunt) has. I expect these two women won't be around too much longer and when they're gone, so is the history and the perspective and knowledge of US history from those who actually lived through it. They are living snapshots of where we've been and what used to be - living history.

So here we are. Now what?

December 14, 2014

The Moral of the Story (my response to a liberal-hating conservative about 9/11 & torture)

Mr. Conservative said:


Liberals sicken me.

On 9/11, people lined up for blocks to donate blood to help the victims of the terrorists. The victims never came as they were all crushed to bits or incinerated. The smell from the fires at ground zero lingered in the air and subway tunnels for weeks after the attacks. I recall being on the E train the week after the attack and realizing no one was talking.... was odd. The silence was eery & deafening. Missing persons posters hung everywhere.... there was a real sadness in the city. Week after week of funeral processions on 5th Ave for the firefighters & police killed trying to help those trapped. Trapped by islamic animals bent on destroying the US using any & all means possible.

F*ck them all....... Torture (loud music and no sleep) is too good for them. They should have all been put to death... slowly and publicly.... just like the muslim assholes do when beheading innocents today.

Liberals scare me. You seem all too eager to play by the rules when your enemy has no rules whatsoever. Might as well walk into battle with your arms high in the air waving a white flag. Actually, no. Liberals run & hide from battle..... Weakness is your most abundant trait.

My response (which I doubt he will fully read and will likely pass off as "librul propaganda&quot :

It isn't about 'rules'. It's about a thoughtful, intelligent, measured response that won't perpetuate terrorism and hatred and make things worse, fomenting more violence and hate. It takes restraint and intellect to do that. And that -- takes STRENGTH. Intellectual, moral strength. Not the biceps and guns and tanks kind. It's about not buying into all the propaganda about 'mushroom clouds' and the various profiteer's admonishments and fear-mongering to rush to war. It's about waiting to find out more facts and basing responses on actual intelligence (which in this case was there before the attacks but were inexplicably ignored). It's a different response than going into a full on occupation with guns-a-blazing, torture prisons awaiting to slam anyone in there we can get just to show how macho we are and to make ourselves feel better (and to make lots of dough for our oil businesses and military industrial complex buddies bytheway).

This isn't about "liberals" (though we know you hate them) and intellectualism in general. It's about the immorality of deceiving a nation into war based on false pretenses in order to gain profit, power, revenge, and control. It's about certain important facts that far too many people find it convenient to ignore - maybe because it gives them an easy platform upon which to stand to justify their hatred of "liberals" - or any other whole groups of people. It's about what's wise and unwise in regards to how to respond to terrorist attacks (that is "respond" NOT "react" - there's a difference). It's about morality. OURS. Not theirs.

The Bush admin ignored multiple direct warnings about al Queda. Some people would like to ignore that fact. I won't.

His administration knew Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, yet they fired up their propaganda machinery to sell an invasion there to the American people. Yellow cake. Mushroom clouds. Claims of meetings that never occurred. The whole crock of bullshit. No WMD there. Even Bush himself joked about it later. And, later " target="_blank">he stated that he didn't know where bin Laden was and didn't care.

I should point out that it was BARACK OBAMA who hunted down and killed bin Laden. With no invasion or occupation of Pakistan. Without torturing anyone to find him. And without killing anyone else other than him. And without lies and false pretenses. If Obama was white and Republican, conservatives would have been (and would still be) singing his praises to the high heavens forevermore. But -- he's not.

So, Bush not giving a damn about bin Laden after he allegedly masterminded 9/11 is fabulous in their eyes. Obama on the other hand -- after finally getting bin Laden after Bush failed and after Bush tortured a bunch of people in Iraq needlessly under the guise of "war on terror" -- Obama is a failure (at least in the eyes of conservatives).

Very interesting.

It was learned that Bush/Cheney planned to invade Iraq before 9/11. That's interesting too. Here's the money quote about that:

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed." They lied to the American people. Halliburton, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the oil companies benefited handsomely from this invasion and subsequent decade-long occupation.

Here's something too makes this even more despicable than it already is - insiders (Colin Powell's chief of staff for instance, along with others) have said the most extreme waterboarding and torture wasn't done to pre-empt another attack on America, but rather because Bush and Cheney wanted to extract confessions or info (false or not) to so they could claim there was a link between Iraq and al Queda - to justify their invasion and occupation of Iraq - which as I mentioned they evidently had planned at the beginning of Bush's first term well before 9/11.

Gordon Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: “Senior Bush administration officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, according to newly declassified information discovered in a congressional probe.

That congressional probe was the Senate Armed Services Committee report from 2009. More about that:

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

If that's not despicable enough or incriminating enough, Senator Carl Levin recently explained that the torture techniques used in the Iraq prisons were the same ones used by the Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean war for the express purpose of eliciting FALSE CONFESSIONS to be used as propaganda. This appears to be the same reason the Bush Administration was using these techniques, doesn't it? Also very interesting.

So once they found (or let happen) their convenient excuse for invading and occupying Iraq, they tortured innocent people (including sodomizing children in front of their mothers to try to extract information from the parents) in the some of the same prisons Sadaam Hussein used and in the same as well as worse ways. I can't justify that. I don't care who attacked us or how. It's a moral issue.

Every second of suffering. Every drop of blood spilled is on their hands. On America's hands. Every. One. And its about time we owned up to it as a nation.

Anyone can huff and puff and beat their chest and drag their knuckles and drag themselves down to behave just like the terrorists themselves (or worse). They can hate Muslims and hate "liberals" and whoever else and declare that any form of torture is too good for the lot of them. It doesn't take any skill to do that. Or much intelligence. Or any more morals than the terrorists have.

Torturing people doesn't result in reliable intelligence from prisoners. Simply because a prisoner will do or say ANYTHING to make the pain stop. You know you would. And as I mentioned, there are some accounts that say the administration wasn't even looking for reliable intelligence - just something they could use as propaganda to tie bin Laden to Hussein to justify the invasion.

But if you're really looking to catch the bad guys (not just something to use for propaganda), torture still is not necessary to gain good intelligence to capture terrorists. See my previous mention of Barack Obama's capture of bin Laden. No torture was necessary. That's what you call "leading by example". That's how it's done. I know you hate that. I know you hate giving a black Democrat president credit for anything at all, much less something as important as capturing a terrorist mastermind who allegedly orchestrated attacks on America. But Barack Obama did that. Without torture. And without invading and occupying another country - under false pretenses or otherwise.

Acting like terrorists ourselves by torturing people is at best counterproductive. It is at worst a mechanism which only serves to exacerbate, propagate and perpetuate the problem (though it might make YOU feel better). One Republican who has himself been subjected to torture agrees with that sentiment - John McCain - he's got first-hand experience with having been tortured.

How does America being a terrorist state (and it was at that time in many people's estimation) perpetuate terrorism? Well, here's an example:

Here is what the leader of ISIS said about its current existence: "If there was no US prison in Iraq, there would be no ISIS. The prison was a factory. It made us”

. . . Abu Ahmed recalled. They had also been terrified of Bucca, but quickly realised that far from their worst fears, the US-run prison provided an extraordinary opportunity. “We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else,” he told me. “It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred metres away from the entire al-Qaida leadership.”

It was at Camp Bucca that Abu Ahmed first met Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of Isis who is now frequently described as the world’s most dangerous terrorist leader. From the beginning, Abu Ahmed said, others in the camp seemed to defer to him. “Even then, he was Abu Bakr. But none of us knew he would ever end up as leader.”

. . .

According to Hisham al-Hashimi, the Baghdad-based analyst, the Iraqi government estimates that 17 of the 25 most important Islamic State leaders running the war in Iraq and Syria spent time in US prisons between 2004 and 2011. Some were transferred from American custody to Iraqi prisons, where a series of jailbreaks in the last several years allowed many senior leaders to escape and rejoin the insurgent ranks.

Abu Ghraib was the scene of the biggest – and most damaging – breakout in 2013, with up to 500 inmates, many of them senior jihadists handed over by the departing US military, fleeing in July of that year after the prison was stormed by Islamic State forces, who launched a simultaneous, and equally successful, raid on nearby Taji prison.

Iraq’s government closed Abu Ghraib in April 2014 and it now stands empty, 15 miles from Baghdad’s western outskirts, near the frontline between Isis and Iraq’s security forces, who seem perennially under-prepared as they stare into the heat haze shimmering over the highway that leads towards the badlands of Falluja and Ramadi.

Parts of both cities have become a no-go zone for Iraq’s beleaguered troops, who have been battered and humiliated by Isis, a group of marauders unparalleled in Mesopotamia since the time of the Mongols. When I visited the abandoned prison late this summer, a group of disinterested Iraqi forces sat at a checkpoint on the main road to Baghdad, eating watermelon as the distant rumble of shellfire sounded in the distance. The imposing walls of Abu Ghraib were behind them, and their jihadist enemies were staked out further down the road.

The revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib had a radicalising effect on many Iraqis, who saw the purported civility of American occupation as little improvement on the tyranny of Saddam.


[url=http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/-sp-isis-the-inside-story?CMP=twt_gu]http://www.theguardi...ory?CMP=twt_gu [/url]

_ _ _ _ _

And in regards to ISIS, there is another piece of relevant information that the media and those who support the Bush regime like to ignore (they inexplicably blame Obama instead, for the fact that ISIS exists - but the fact is Obama has little to do with it):

How the Top Iraqi Terrorist Was Helped by a Bush-Signed Agreement

With the crisis in Iraq intensifying, conservative media outlets have searched for a fall guy and found one: President Barack Obama. In recent days, conservative websites have peddled the claim that it was Obama who freed the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic militant group currently overrunning cities in northern Iraq and threatening Baghdad. Referring to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who heads ISIS, the Daily Mail asserts, "Obama SET FREE the merciless terrorist warlord now leading the ISIS horde blazing a trail of destruction through Iraq." Right-wing author David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine claims Baghdadi, who was once held by US forces in Iraq, was released "on Obama's watch." And RedState.com says Baghdadi was let go under the Obama administration's "policy of releasing terrorists." But they have it wrong: It was an agreement signed by President George W. Bush in 2008 that led to Baghdadi's release in 2009.

In 2005, US military forces captured Baghdadi. (There are not many public details about his capture or his role then in the ongoing insurgency.) He was held in a US-run detention camp in southern Iraq called Camp Bucca, where he remained for several years.

In 2008, while reducing the numbers of US troops in the country, Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government that mandated that all detainees be handed over to Iraqi forces. In accordance with this agreement, Baghdadi was transferred to Iraqi custody in 2009, and by 2010, the Iraqi government (for a reason not explained publicly) had set him free. That same year, Baghdadi assumed leadership of ISIS. He has since been dubbed "the new bin Laden."

It's not as if Bush could have prevented Baghdadi's release by maintaining control over detainees—in part because his administration had so screwed up on this front. (See Abu Ghraib.) At the time, "the United States' detainee programs had become a black eye," says Patrick Johnston, an expert on Iraqi insurgent groups at the RAND Corporation. US-run detention facilities were overcrowded; some prisoners were tortured. Continuing a large US-controlled detainee program "was a political nonstarter," he adds.



_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Getting all pissed off and invading another country and torturing the shit out of people in various prisons there might make chest-beaters feel better. Because they're mad. And they're going to have their revenge on that damn terrorist scum. But is it the best and wisest thing to do in order to stop terrorist activity or in response to attacks? Participating in terrorism stops it? It looks to me like it just perpetuates it. So when does it stop? Really. When? Because what's been tried so far isn't working. The torture carried out by Bush did more harm to America than good. And it did more harm to America than the damn terrorists did. It hasn't worked. What it's done is give us new terrorists to deal with - like ISIS. And it's made us war criminals. And terrorists - in the eyes of much of the rest of the world (regardless how John Yoo contorted laws to make it "legal&quot .

Oh but it's OK when America does it. Right?

So those are a few things for you nosh on as you clench your fists and grit your teeth about about "liberals" whom we all know you hate. Here's the thing: I welcome your hatred. Because I know it will hurt you more than it will ever hurt me. Come to think of it, that's actually the moral of this entire response.
May 27, 2014

There isn't a hair's difference between the misogynist attitudes of Elliot Rodger and Republicans

There isn't a hair's difference between the misogynist attitudes of Elliot Rodger and those of Republicans. I watched his video. I read his manifesto. ALL 141 pages of it.

His belief about women was that they should be enslaved. Tortured. Killed. That the patriarchy/some man or men should have complete control and dominion over women and that women should have NO choices about whom or whether they have sex or with whom or when, or whether or when they reproduce -- that men should decide FOR them.

Look at the legislation these conservative bastards have been passing all over the country.

That's EXACTLY what it seeks to do- control women and deprive them of any choice about their sexuality or reproduction. Same as Elliot Rodger said he felt women should be treated.

I'm reminded too of that all-male panel that met in chambers to discuss whether women ought to be allowed birth control under the ACA. NO WOMEN were allowed on the panel. One did ask. She was told she was "not qualified".

These attitudes - from high school and college campuses all the way to the highest levels of state and federal government, form the societal basis of our insidious rape culture in the U.S.

What we saw in Elliot Rodger, IMO, is a disturbed young man who was additionally infected by what are essentially the roots of modern patriarchy/misogyny in our country today. And what did it result in? A murder spree based in vile, otherwise insatiable hatred of and need to control women.

Everything he wrote about reflects what the GOP/Republicans say and do in regards to women.

Some of it sounded to me just like some of our conservative politicians ie: "she should put an aspirin between her legs" and "abortion Barbie" and "legitimate rape" and that rape is "just another form of conception" - and their insidious and never-ending mantra about how women should have NO choice about who has sex with them, or when or how -- or about how or if or when they reproduce. THEY ARE ADVOCATING SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE SLAVERY.



Elliot Rodger.

The psychopathic murderer. That's right. That's RIGHT.

I think there were three factors which resulted in this gruesome massacre - not necessarily in this order:

1. mental illness
2. easy availability of guns, even for someone who has long since been formally diagnosed with mental illness and whose own family notified police that he may become violent.
3. Insidious misogynist conservative attitudes about women from MRA sites he visited combined with an American society which largely supports those attitudes - from the HIGHEST governmental levels and the inherent sense of male entitlement that goes along with it, as well as the idea that women are anything BUT human and are only here to serve male sexual and reproductive needs.

What the hell should we expect to happen? WHAT?

The War on Women has manifested itself once again in gruesome terms (once again) and I'm sure we'll all still be told it "doesn't exist" -- that there "is no war on women" and that we're "just imagining things"


BULL SHIT. What Elliot Rodger wrote, said, and did was not "imaginary". The insidious influence of male entitlement/MRA/patriarchal/misogynist culture that helped push him over that edge is not "imaginary". IT IS REAL.

What we saw from the websites and message boards Elliot visited and participated in (and what we see from any of these MRA groups) is the modern ROOTS of this war on women. Elliot Rodger himself EVEN. CALLED. IT. THAT. See page 132 of his "manifesto".

These patriarchal roots have pushed themselves deep into the history of a society whose women have repeatedly been told this war doesn't exist.

But that's not true. It DOES exist. We just saw prime evidence of it in Elliot Rodger. THERE it is in all of its hateful, controlling, murderous glory. THERE. IT. IS.

And women are still suffering and dying in that war at the hands of angry and controlling men. And yes I know he killed some males too. But it was because he wanted to control the women and felt entitled to them -- because he was jealous of the males because they possessed women and HE did not. To him, women were property - devices to provide sexual gratification and to be used for breeding. To Republicans, it's the same.

We need to deal with the issue of mental illness.
We need to deal with the issue of insidious gun culture and the fact that guns are easily available to anyone - no matter how deranged or mentally unstable they are.
We need to deal with our insidiously misogynist society and our misogynist government.

Otherwise - this is going to happen again. And again. And again. Count on it.

© Seven Bowie


The arguments I'm getting on Twitter are a lot of "absurd!", and "you're stupid!", and "you have daddy problems!" and "well his parents were liberals and he watched Young Turks!"

The first three are commentary from those conservatives who've lost the argument already and thus turned to that good old standby: personal insults and name-calling. I won't waste my time on those.

The last one I will address:

Elliot Rodger's parents may have been Democrats. And he may have watched "The Young Turks". However he likely didn't pick up his sexist attitudes from them. Or from "liberal" TV programs.

Elliot Rodger was known to have frequented PUA and MRA websites full of self-entitled angry males (of whom he was one) who demanded sex from and sexual control over women and who viewed women as property put on Earth to satisfy their sexual desires on demand, not human beings with self-determination.

Those sites - full of controlling men (the type whom the GOP caters to) is where he likely obtained his worst, most dangerous attitudes about women. What were those attitudes? Elliot Rodger wrote about controlling women, taking their reproductive choices away, forcing them to breed. These are Conservative attitudes. His "manifesto" could have been written by some of the GOP whackos who talk about "rape being another form of conception"

I see the ire of some conservatives has been raised due to my making that point. That tells me there is substance to it.

My advice to conservatives who dislike that their Representatives' anti-choice rhetoric sounds like Elliot Rodger is to stop trying to control women -- and stop supporting idiot politicians who insist on controlling women's sexuality and taking away their reproductive choices. It might help to learn that women are HUMAN. Not breeding cows for you to own and control and to rape and impregnate at will, and to force pregnancy or sex upon.

September 30, 2013

The Rape of a Nation

What inspired this 'rant' was this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023749863

Endless propaganda and rhetoric from the extremist wing of the GOP (The "Tea Party&quot ; the same phrases and emotion-hooking memes formulated by psychologists in PR firms to bypass the brain and reasoning processes and go straight to the emotions to instill fear and hatred instead, are not new. The damned "Tea Party" isn't new. And no, I'm not referring to the actual one, the first one, from 1773. I'm referring to what used to be called "The John Birch Society" and which is now called (ironically, if you know the purpose of the one in 1773), the "Tea Party". The modern "Tea Party" purpose is the exact opposite of the original one, turning the entire historical context upside down to suit the Ayn Randian greed and self-servitude of the wealthy bastards behind the more recent one.

Yes, it's all the old "communist, socialist" rhetoric from the damn John Birchers, who USED to be considered a radical fringe and in fact still ARE a radical fringe. After the first time America rejected their bullshit, they managed to go underground, rally their wealthy allies and founders (Kochs, Adelsons, Petersons, Murdochs and others, along with big corprats and Wall St.) and BUY a lot of government and media control for themselves and get laws written in way that allow them to bombard the public day & night with their "specially formulated" propaganda using the media they control and to do so without any limitations at all. (thanks to some of their friends on the US Supreme Court - right, Mr. Thomas?).

So now they've returned with this new apparatus calling themselves the "Tea Party" and they're running the show even though they're hardly a majority, ramming their dangerous extremism up the ass and down the throats of every American (and in the case of women, up their vaginas) whether they like it or not. Especially the elderly, poor, students, and women.

It's the rape of our Democracy.

JBS was soundly rejected by the American public before. And America needs to reject them and their dangerous, ignorant extremism and its attendant rhetoric again now, too. Ronnie RayGun was one of their first tools. The more recent ones are even more clownish and ignorant (Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, (p)Rick Perry, Art Pope, Todd Akin et al).

This nation needs to ram something up the "Tea Party"'s collective ass: A BIG BLUE phallis that says "NO!" once again to their dangerous, ignorant, hateful, greed-driven agenda being foisted on all of us by this frankly evil minority, which is hellbent on destroying the United States and the world if need be, in order to garner all the money and power for its dangerous, deluded self. Because you know that is NOT a Democracy. It's thievery and yes - the rape of a nation.

And after that, our nation needs to regain control of its government, its media, and its election system - put our collective boots on the necks of the teabag contingent and keep them there. It's OUR country. Not theirs. WE. ARE. THE. MAJORITY.

Sorry if the "rape" analogy is upsetting to some. If the moniker fits (and it does), then I'mma use it. As the minority, they are FORCING themselves and their twisted, ignorant ideologies onto everyone else this country. No other word for it.

I'm sure the post will be hidden or whatever is deemed necessary or requested by other members and that's fine.

September 3, 2013

I don't care what they want to call it...

...bombing Syria as a "punishment" as if the US is some goddamned worldwide moral compass everyone else has to synchronize to or as if the US is some kind of goddamned worldwide policeman or babysitter is just as offensive.

SURE what happened in Syria was bad. But GODDAMN we've done as bad or worse to our own people HERE! Instead of gassing them, we STARVE them to death. We take away their jobs, refuse to pay them livable wages when they do have jobs, take away their unemployment when they can't find any more jobs and we withhold or deny them needed healthcare. We have income inequality that is WORSE THAN IT'S EVER BEEN IN HISTORY. Our social and economic condition is a tinderbox and is UNSUSTAINABLE as it stands and cannot continue.

We stood by while Saddam "gassed his own people" and we fucking HELPED him do it! And we went behind him and gassed MORE of his people ourselves. And this government is SERIOUSLY considering bombing another country for "gassing" people? SERIOUSLY? OH. MY. GOD. the HYPOCRISY of this is just STUNNING.


WHAT. MORAL. COMPASS. does the United States have right now in light of all this to bomb Syria? What good is that going to do? How are we going to pay for it? And WHY should we?

If we fucking can't afford Social Security and Medicare, if we fucking let war criminals off scot-free and act like war criminals ourselves, if we fucking cannot manage to put gambling banksters who brought the world's economy TO. ITS. KNEES. just 5 years ago from which we STILL have not recovered, if we fucking give unfettered license to the likes of Wall St., the Koch Brothers and ALEC to BUY our government, suppress our votes, refuse to pay taxes, control our media and DESTROY our economy and our natural environment -- then we CANNOT. AFFORD. TO. BOMB. SYRIA.



Just a few months ago, an asshole with an assault weapon went into an elementary school and MURDERED 20 little kids and what did our country DO about that? NOTHING. NOT. A. THING. Did we change or strengthen gun laws? NO. Did we outlaw assault weapons or high-capacity magazines? NO. WE. DID. NOTHING. Because the goddamned NRA controls our Congress. NINETY PERCENT or more of Americans wanted tougher gun laws. What did we GET? NOTHING. Because we have a pantywaist ninny Congress which is OWNED and CONTROLLED by gangsters.

Fuck Syria.

We have ISSUES of our own at home we need to deal with FIRST before we have ANY business "punishing" any other international "criminals" -- when the hell are we going to punish our own national ones? If we can't do that, we have no business sticking our noses into what any others do anywhere else.

This is BULLSHIT. The United States is NOT any kind of Moral International Church Lady that has ANY MORAL standing to do any of this. Not one iota!

GOD DAMN this fucking arrogant, hypocritical, criminal, immoral country! THIS ONE. RIGHT HERE. Not Syria. Not Iraq. THIS ONE.

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