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Member since: Wed Nov 17, 2004, 02:00 PM
Number of posts: 2,498

Journal Archives

Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks Source Freed From Prison

Source: BBC

US soldier Chelsea Manning has been released from prison after serving seven years for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military files to Wikileaks.

A US Army spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that she had left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.


Her lawyer earlier said she was excited but likely to be "anxious".


Manning will remain on active army duty while her military court conviction remains under appeal. She will have healthcare benefits but will be unpaid, the army says.

If the appeal is denied, she could be dishonourably discharged from the army, US media say.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39947602

There are actions in various places commemorating her release. There is one in SF at 6pm today PST:


If there are others, in places like NYC etc please post the linx here
This is an important day

Another article on Chelsea's release:

other significant coverage (especially with anything new about her release today, also perhaps covering demonstrations, are also welcome on this thread
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Wed May 17, 2017, 06:49 AM (6 replies)

Obama Commutes Sentence for Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

Source: The Guardian

Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist, who is considered to be one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners.

López Rivera, whose commutation was announced on Tuesday along with those of 208 others, has been incarcerated for 35 years for his role in fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence.

The 74-year-old, who has spent more than half of his life behind bars, was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” for plotting against the US through his activism. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he said he still believes in what he described as the “noble cause” of full sovereignty for his Caribbean birthplace, which is classified as a US “territory”.

López Rivera was issued two sentences in the 1980s, one of 15 years and one of 55 years, but under Obama’s order, he will be released on 17 May.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/17/barack-obama-commutes-sentence-oscar-lopez-rivera-puerto-rico-activist

This commutation should be getting full attention and not drowned out by the also pivotal commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence

These are two of the most positive gestures of the Obama Administration ever. They highlight how much worse we can expect things to be in the next four years at least
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:12 PM (20 replies)

Why not more discussion of Greg Palast's compelling case that GOP stole 2016 election?


the seven million disqualified votes includes hundreds of thousands of voters in the 3 key swing states where there is a recount push

these states are particularly intense venues of these cheating schemes as they are Republican-controlled and key swing states

the exit polls (used by US in gauging honesty of OTHER countries' elections) showed Hillary leading -- the difference is those many many voters who were disqualified -- if the past is any guide, only a tiny fraction of those disqualified, as in Florida 2000 (where there was a HIGHER percentage legit than usual), were legitimately disqualified

so now the 2000 election, 2004 and 2016 have been stolen

the idea that if the GOP gets close enough to stealing an election that it is normally possible (with heavier and heavier thumbs on the scale) to steal it, then they get to do so, with a minimum of fuss being made

and obviously things will only get MUCH worse now in terms of honest voting

Posted by cloudythescribbler | Sun Dec 4, 2016, 11:49 PM (87 replies)

Wife's video of Lamont Scott murder played in slo mo apparently shows cops planting gun


The above link is still on the internet, but outside FaceBook. Duane Vandross, the guy who posted it, had commented that FaceBook kept deleting/blocking it (who knows, possibly his account too) and he was trying to get the word out anyway.

The mainstream media so far don't seem to have reacted to this yet, and it still doesn't get the play that it merits, after more than 24 hours
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon Sep 26, 2016, 04:22 AM (4 replies)

MUST watch slo-mo video of aftermath of shooting of Lamont Scott

The video made by Keith Lamont Scott, reportedly known to those who knew him as Lamont Scott, which was played on national media, including CNN, was slowed down massively apparently showing the cops planting a gun on the scene

This slo mo version of the video was made and publicized by Duane Vandross, an active supporter in FL of the movement for justice including in Charlotteville


The above link is still on the internet, but outside FaceBook. Duane Vandross, the guy who posted it, had commented that FaceBook kept deleting/blocking it (who knows, possibly his account too) and he was trying to get the word out anyway.

Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon Sep 26, 2016, 04:20 AM (0 replies)

Now that Bernie's expected endorsement has come, focus is now on getting BASE to support Hillary

At least with an especial focus on all the swing states (if voters in MA or CA, or on the other hand, in OK and ID, choose to vote for Jill Stein, that's much less of a concern), hopefully all the damaging things that have been said and done can be overcome, and those voters (I question whether the single poll finding that EVEN BEFORE THIS ENDORSEMENT, 81% of Bernie voters were already lined up behind Hillary) who are alienated from voting for her against Trump can be successfully brought into the fold for November

I am a Bernie supporter from day 1 who always agreed with Bernie's fairly consistent position that he would support the Democratic ticket whether he got the nomination or not, and I fully support Bernie's position now without reservations. However, especially from what I see on the web (which I know is not representative, but surely among the slice(s) of the public that supported Bernie, all the opposition to Hillary that continues must be more than marginal within it/them. The point of misunderstanding is the recognition that Trump really IS much worse for progressives and for America and the world than Hillary; many try to finesse that issue. I hear claims even about how it wouldn't have made much difference if Gore had been president rather than W (WHA?) or that working for a Democratic Party victory from July to November this year somehow precludes the same people playing a central role in developing a serious progressive left opposition BOTH WITHIN AND OUTSIDE the Democratic Party. Many insist along with Kshama Sawant and many others that the Democratic Party, at least other than Bernie & figures like him, is in totality a waste of time and a dying institution. Such an assessment is premature. Had Bernie not run WITHIN the Democratic Party primaries, his candidacy would have been a footnote in history, even a footnote of the politics of this year's election, and his opportunity to help lead a progressive left opposition after November would have been minimal.

Although some (and not just a handful) will never forgive Bernie for endorsing Hillary consistently with his position from day 1, that will NOT I believe make it difficult or impossible for him to use his development of a base, donors, networks, contacts, etc to really put together something serious -- the most important such development since the Rainbow Coalition faded about 25 years ago -- for progressives to mobilize for progressives to mobilize, INCLUDING WITHIN the Democratic Party, in the years to come.

I also support the efforts of groups like Socialist Alternative in areas like Seattle that are overwhelmingly dominated by the Democratic Party, which includes within over 90% of the large and medium sized cities in the US, and more.

A Hillary victory would be the perfect opportunity for the relatively progressive wing of the Democratic Party to mobilize autonomously, like the Teabaggers of the right do, against neoliberalism. With Trump in, as under W, the felt urgency will be primarily for Democrats as a whole to moblize against the atrocious leadership dished up by the GOP
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jul 12, 2016, 02:17 PM (37 replies)

Latest Sign of Change in Harlem: Its Congressional Candidate

Source: NY Times

As Washington Heights rejoiced on Wednesday over the apparent victory of Adriano D. Espaillat in the Democratic primary to choose a successor to Representative Charles B. Rangel, the scene and tone could not have been more different a few dozen blocks to the south.

There, in Harlem, black political leaders and residents began to grapple with the end of a run of more than seven decades during which the neighborhood was represented in Congress by one of its own. The primary results also draw the curtain on an era — already a long time in passing — in which Harlem was the center of black political power in New York City and beyond.

“It’s the end of a culture,” said Rudy Williams, 63, a substance abuse counselor, who was sitting with friends in folding chairs on a sidewalk on Malcolm X Boulevard. Wearing a bright yellow newsboy hat and matching pants, he worried about what Mr. Espaillat’s win would mean for the neighborhood. “Harlem is a far cry from Washington Heights,” he said.

Reginald Jones, 51, chimed in: “We have no more face. It’s a perpetual loss of ground, a loss of the black community having identity.”

Mr. Espaillat, a state senator, was seeking to become the first Dominican immigrant to win election to Congress. He held a lead of 1,236 votes over the closest competitor, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, an African-American like Mr. Rangel, who endorsed him.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/nyregion/latest-sign-of-change-in-harlem-its-congressional-candidate.html?ref=todayspaper

The first Dominican in the US Congress -- this is a milestone for NY City and for America

It's curious that this important election hasn't drawn more attention in general here on DU
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 04:32 AM (4 replies)

Jeep That Crushed Anton Yelchin Had Been Recalled

Source: NY Times

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled backward down a driveway and killed the actor Anton Yelchin early Sunday was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled for a gearshift issue that has confused drivers, leading them to accidentally leave the car in neutral when they think it is safely in park.

Los Angeles Police investigators and the carmaker said on Monday that it was too soon to determine the cause of the accident. But Mr. Yelchin was killed after he got out of his Jeep and it rolled down his steep driveway, crushing him against a concrete-reinforced mailbox, a police spokeswoman, Liliana Preciado, said.

Ms. Preciado said she did not know if the vehicle’s transmission was in neutral. But Mr. Yelchin’s Jeep was part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler in April of almost 812,000 vehicles including the 2014 and 2015 Grand Cherokee models. That recall was prompted by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after complaints by car owners and reports of dozens of related injuries.

Fiat Chrysler has been a prime target of the government’s efforts to penalize automakers for lax safety practices. Last year, federal regulators accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to conduct recalls and complete repairs in a timely fashion, and hit the company with $105 million in penalties.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/business/jeep-that-crushed-anton-yelchin-had-been-recalled.html

If this is the cause of Yelchin's death it is truly shameful, and hopefully there would be more than the usual posturing in DC as a result
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:48 PM (21 replies)

Specifically -- what are the views of fellow Bernie supporters out there in SWING STATES ...

of what to do if Hillary is the nominee.

I believe that hanging in there, first struggling over the platform (with many ideas that a lot of grassroots supporters of Hillary among the delegates should be likely to join in on, unless there is an incredible obedience-machinery afoot), and then, after doing the best if Hillary is the nominee to fulfil Bernie's promise to support the Democratic nominee in any case, and THEN, starting day 1 AFTER the November election to use all the resources (contax, etc) gained in the campaign to seize the opportunity to mass mobilize progressives into an opposition (NO MATTER WHICH CANDIDATE WINS) makes the most sense

Note that the appeal to Democrats who may not have supported Bernie in the primaries but who have progressive leanings on many key issues will be MAGNIFIED if Bernie supports the nominee and platform in this election. Those who insist on, say a 3d Party approach here are not going to slog it out over time within the Democratic Party anyway. And Bernie & his base can and should mobilize BOTH within AND outside the Democratic Party, eg having progressive candidates in solid Democratic districts primary nonprogressive Democrats, and in some cases seek the endorsement of a Green or other platform to challenge the Democrat in that setting in the general. (We are NOT talking about situations where any "Trump-like" candidate has the plausible chance of being handed victory thereby -- and there are a LOT of such situations politically, especially increased as a result of systematic gerrymandering.

Note also that if HILLARY is in the White House, there will be much MORE reason, given the means and the effort by Bernie and his supporters to beging with, for the (relatively) progressive wing of the Democratic Party at the grassroots to mobilize to PUSH the party & the country in a progressive direction. Just as we had sometimes more than one RW response televised to the SOTU addresses by Obama, so there should routinely be an opposition televised in the mainstream in response to the SOTU from the LEFT of a neoliberal Democrat. Under Obama, many factors worked against such a major opposition ELECTORALLY being put together in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. For one, there was no significant portion of the African American community ready to join a progressive opposition to Obama on any issue or series of issues, and of course, other progressives would have difficulty mounting a mass movement of white lefties challenging Obama, which would (not without reason) be pilloried. But with Hillary in the White House, even with overwhelming black support (which Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry all also had) failures on issues to be strongly progressive -- and one could more or less count on there being plenty of such failures -- would NOT yield anything like the same resistance to progressive autonomous mobilization.

Although there is great benefit to the Non-electoral oriented efforts of Occupy Wall Street & those many aspects of the Black Lives Matter Movement that are NOT oriented to working within the electoral system (whether candidates or ballot measures), it also makes sense going forward that a well-mobilized broad progressive movement COULD AND SHOULD use all means available, say, in fighting climate catastrophe INCLUDING electoral. In all these efforts, progressives will be in a much better position to develop an independent voice of importance in US politics if there is someone like Hillary in the White House than someone like Trump (putting us back into a neoliberal/progressive alliance of necessity against the right)
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon May 30, 2016, 11:30 AM (14 replies)
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