Thursday, June 30, 2011

Israeli flotilla probe 'a sham' As Is Bahrain's Reconciliation Commission & Deja Vu: US Backs Honduran "Death Squads"

The Israeli probe into the events of the attack on the Gaza Flotilla a year ago once again shows Israel's contempt for the rule of law and for International Laws. According to the Israeli government Israel like its main ally the United States is a special case and is therefore not bound by International Laws or standards of human rights or the accepted rules of engagement.

Israel like the United States is only answerable to God's Law and not the laws of men.

So Israel therefore is justified and further should not have to explain its actions such as using deadly force against activists on a ship in international waters. Under International law the attack on the Flotilla was a criminal act of piracy on the High Seas.

What is hypocritical of this stance is if any other nation committed a similar act of piracy against an Israeli or American ship there would be hell to pay.

Israeli flotilla probe 'a sham' | Al Jazeera Blogs

..Every step of the way it was obvious that this commission, which was tasked with determining whether Israel is in breach of international law in blockading Gaza, had made up their minds long before they stepped into the Rabin Guest House.

But put all that aside, here are five simple reasons why this Commission is a sham.

1) The average age of the five original panelists is 84. They have all spent their careers defending the state of Israel and between them have very little expertise in international law...

2) ...Except for one of the panelists – Proff Rosenne - but sadly he died a few weeks ago. He was 93-years-old and he was not replaced, so the panel has now gone down to four.

3) The panelists were all hand picked by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister. The two token international observers on the panel are also widely known as sympathetic to Israel.

4) The coverage of the Turkel Commission in the Israeli papers is virtually non existent. Apart from a local TV channel, Al Jazeera English was the only channel broadcasting from outside the proceedings the last two days.

5) Turkel said two weeks ago, during proceedings, that "the people of Gaza have brought this hardship on themselves". Another panelist stated, despite the mass of data provided to the Commission by Israeli human rights groups on the situation in Gaza, "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza".

Case closed.

Freedom of the Press per usual is not respected by the right wing Israeli government or its military.
Israel intimidates and threatens journalists in the flotilla covering the story . Journalists who are on board ships in the Flotilla might be shot or killed by Israeli forces stopping the flotilla but otherwise such journalists are also warned they will be banned from Israel for 10 years.

Israel to stop Flotilla "without physical contact"

Uploaded by TheRealNews on Jun 27, 2011
Israeli government tells its plan to stop Flotilla and warns journalists - being on board can result in 10 year ban from Israel.

And another US ally Bahrain like Israel will investigate whether or not the government committed human rights violations including summary executions , torture and so on.
The leaders or spokespersons for the Reform Movement in Bahrain along with a number Human Rights organizations consider the probe or inquiry or even the notion of reconciliation as a lot of empty rhetoric and window dressing to placate its Western allies.

For instance in the article below the government claims that much of what has been reported about the brutal crackdown by Bahrain's and Saudi Arabia's security forces is merely a matter of unfounded rumors.
The Royal Family of Bahrain are still hoping to convince the world that all the negative reports coming out of Bahrain are merely propaganda by the reformers and the secret agents of the Iranian government.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton may buy into this nonsense but hopefully the rest of the international community is more skeptical and better informed on the situation in Bahrain.

America once again is not on the side of the people but rather on the side of another brutal anti-democratic regime. Meanwhile the Mainstream Media in the US plays its role of defending the US government and US interests and buys into whatever nonsense the US government tells them.

One has to remember that there are still millions of Americans who erroneously believe Saddam was involved with the 9/11 attacks and that Saddam had WMDs which it appears are still hidden.
But then again they also believe that the world is only 10,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time and they believe that America is God's chosen nation which will fight on the side of the Messiah against the anti-Christ as the End-times come about in the next decade or so.

Bahrain king orders 'fact-finding' committee
King says independent committee of international human rights activists will probe protests that began in February. AlJazeera June 29, 2011

Bahrain's king has ordered that an independent fact-finding team be formed to investigate the weeks of protests that hit the tiny Gulf island country earlier this year, the state news agency has reported.

The announcement from King Hamid bin Isa al-Khalifa comes ahead of a national dialogue process, due to begin on Saturday, which the government says is a chance for reforms to be tabled and reconciliation between political and sectarian forces.

Opposition leaders did not immediately respond to the announcement from the king and have yet to signal whether they will attend the national dialogue on Saturday.

Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage
"We still need to look at what happened to know all the details of February and March and evaluate those events as they really were," al-Khalifa said, speaking at an extraordinary cabinet session on Wednesday.

The king said that the decision had been taken after consultations with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, and that the committee would "be formed from internationally reputable figures well-versed in international human rights law".

He said that no member of the Bahraini government or anyone who was part of the "domestic political arena" would be a part of the committee.

"The committee will carry out its tasks and responsibilities, as defined after consultation with the members themselves in absolute independence without any intervention of any form, to present its report to me to take the actions necessary," he said.

"For there were victims of violence whom we cannot forget ... A lack of confidence has prevailed and vision has been blurred by rumours."

Bahrain's Sunni rulers have accused the pro-democracy protesters in the country of having a sectarian agenda, accusing regional power Iran of supporting them materially.

Nabil Rajab, a leading activist and head of the Manama-based Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, however, rejected out of hand the king's announcement.

"I don't think the king himself is capable of forming an independent and transparent committee [as] the person who declared the state of emergency, which is responsible for most of the crimes against humanity committed in our country," he told Al Jazeera.

Rajab alleged that the government's intention was to "bypass the committee that is supposed to be formed by the United Nations".

"I don't trust ... the intention of the government in forming this committee. I think we need an independent committee, hosted or sponsored by an international organisation like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.

"We're going to deal with this committee as a fact, but we don't think it is an independent [body]."

Regarding the dialogue process, Rajab said that the fact that the government itself was not taking part, preferring instead to set the process up as a forum for groups to talk to one another, was indicative of its stance of projecting the issue as a sectarian, and not political, one.

"[The people's concerns are] about power, about politics, about participation, about constitution, about will, and the problem is with the government, represented by the king [and] prime minister, not with the people of Bahrain. This dialogue ... if the government is not represented in it, it's not a dialogue," he said.

Tribunal adjourns

Meanwhile, a special security tribunal that is handling the appeals of 21 opposition leaders who have been convicted of plotting against the state adjourned proceedings on Wednesday until September.

The next appeals hearing is now set for September 11, but it appears unclear whether this will have an effect on Al-Wefaq, the main opposition bloc, in terms of participating in the planned reconciliation talks.

The United States has encouraged a process of dialogue in the country, which is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

While the US condemns Qaddafi for his brutal authoritarian Regime the US supports brutal authoritarian Regimes such as its ally Honduras . In Honduras the US does not object to the lack of freedom permitted to its citizens or even the use of "Death Squads" to silence any and all critics of the Honduran US backed military Junta.

And as mentioned above the US backs Israel's blockade of Gaza and Israel's claim that it alone can decide the fate of the people of Gaza to put it simply Israel is permitted to decide if the people of Gaza will eat or not .

We cannot expect the US or its allies to defend the people of Gaza since the US is itself guilty of similar inhumane blockades of other countries such as Iraq in the 1990s in which some 500,000 Iraqi children died unnecessarily because of America's actions.

Proof that the Honduran coup was made in America and the human rights violations killings and torture continue despite Hillary Clinton & Obama's lies about the situation improving in Honduras. There is no freedom of speech or freedom of assembly or of the press in Honduras.
America's government not in favor of human rights or democracy or economic justice if it cuts into the profits of US corporations or US investments in Honduras.

Honduras - Journalists, Activists Targeted as Repression Grows - Democracy NOW!

Uploaded by ThisBoyTV on Apr 13, 2011

Democracy NOW! DN! - Workers, students and activists have held a month-long general strike in Honduras to protest repression by the government of President Porfirio Lobo. Lobo came to power following elections under the regime of Roberto Micheletti, who seized power in a violent military coup against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009. Honduras is one of the world's most violent countries, with a homicide rate of four times higher than in Mexico, according to national statistics. We speak to Gerardo Torres, an independent journalist and a leading member of the National Front of Popular Resistance in Honduras. Published with written permission from Provided to you under Democracy NOW creative commons license. Democracy NOW!, an independent non-profit user funded news media, recognized and broadcast world wide.

And so once again we see the Ugly American unmasked stripped of empty rhetoric about peace, freedom and democratic rights. Coup d'etats and assassinations and the use of "Death Squads" to crush popular dissent is as it were America's calling card of good old fashioned Gun Boat Diplomacy to crush the will of the people.

US backs Honduran governments Murder of Journalist
It appears that like Israel and the USA the Honduran US backed regime does not like journalists who report the truth. Their solution like Israel's is intimidation, threats, imprisonment or murder .
In the US case they embedded journalists in iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere so that the US military and government can control the news so that very little news is released in the US which is seen as critical of the US military and government-those who report the truth are characterized by the government and media as traitors who are giving aid and comfort to the Terrorists.

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on May 24, 2010
At least eight journalists have been murdered in Honduras in less than three months.

The killings have raised concerns over the safety of reporters, especially those working on stories about human rights abuses.

From the capital Tegucigalpa, Kimberly Halkett reports.

And if America's actions lead to future blow-back Americans will act surprised and wonder why the people of Honduras or Iraq, or Afghanistan or Iran and so on hate America . They hate America in large part because America no matter who is president does respect the sovereignty of other nations.

US Supports Bloody Regime in Honduras Tuesday 28 June 2011
by: Andrew Kennis, Truthout | News Analysis, June 28, 2011

It was a typically balmy and rainy Sunday on June 5 in the Finca San Isidro farming lands of the fertile Bajo Aguán area in Honduras. José Recinos, Genaro Cuestas and Joel Santamaría were off to an early start to buy some farming materials with some other campesinos. None of them ever arrived at their destination: they were ambushed by a sea of bullets resulting in the deaths of Recinos, Cuestas and Santamaría and severe injuries to three of their companions.

"All three of my compañeros were soft-spoken and modest farmers, dedicated to the social struggle here in Aguán and beyond," said Cesar Rodriguez, a close friend and, like his fallen comrades, a member of the Autonomous Farmers Movement to Reclaim Aguán (MARCA). The three farmers were young, aged between 25 and 35 years old.

Killings such as these are far from unusual in Honduras, which has been described by leading human rights organizations as a country besieged by state-sponsored violence and repression. Further, many critics have pointed fingers at flawed US policies for exacerbating the deteriorating situation in a Central American nation long plagued by poverty and foreign resource extraction.

The three campesinos have backgrounds similar to many other victims, as not only farmers, but also teachers, journalists and activists in the opposition movement have been frequent targets of abuse. Politically motivated state-sponsored assassinations, however, are only one of many types of human rights violations occurring since the Honduran military executed a coup d'état in June 2009. Plaguing Honduras since that time has been a litany of abuses: excessive use of police and military force, individuals' disappearances with governmental culpability, death threats at gunpoint against judges and sexual violence, especially against the LGBT community. These abuses have attracted condemnations from both Honduran-based and leading international organizations, including Amnesty International, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) and a number of popular organizations based in Aguán.

and so it goes,

Maddow on Chris Christie's Brand: "I'm the Guy Who Will Scream at My Constituents" | AlterNet

Maddow on Chris Christie's Brand: "I'm the Guy Who Will Scream at My Constituents" | AlterNet

Tom Petty Tells Michele Bachmann to Stop Using His Song | AlterNet

Tom Petty Tells Michele Bachmann to Stop Using His Song | AlterNet

Fresh clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Fresh clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Expose Of The Abysmal Safety Record of Nuclear Industry & It's Cozy Relationship With US Gov't

New Exposé Reveals Nuclear Regulatory Commission Colluded with Industry to Weaken Safety Standards
by: Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Op-Ed via, June 28, 2011

Three U.S. senators have called for a congressional probe on safety issues at the nation’s aging nuclear plants following a pair of new exposés. In a special series called “Aging Nukes,” the Associated Press revealed that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry have been working in tandem to weaken safety standards to keep aging reactors within the rules. Just last year, the NRC weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels. The AP report also revealed radioactive tritium has leaked from 48 of the 65 U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard—sometimes at hundreds of times the limit. We speak with AP investigative journalist Jeff Donn.

Given the abysmal safety record of the Nuclear Energy industry in the US this should be a cause of concern not just for those in power but also for the general public.
The thing which makes this even more troubling and disturbing is the cozy relationship between the Nuclear Energy Industry and the supposedly independent government regulatory body the Nuclear Energy Commission.
What these two partners have done over the years is to downplay ongoing problems at nuclear plants such as leaks and accidents releasing toxic forms of radiation into the air and or into the drinking water or into lakes streams and oceans contaminating the food chain.
After seeing how the government and industry colluded in the Japanese Nuclear Power Plant disaste Fukushami the public and media should be skeptical of reassurances by either the government or the Nuclear industry.

So there indeed needs to be a formal and possibly a criminal investigation into the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Besides the ethical and moral questions this raises for a government agency to be in bed with the industry it is supposed to be overseeing . Does such collusion break government's rules or guidelines and does such collusion count as a criminal offence.
For instance as with Big Coal and Big Oil and the Pharmaceuticals and Big Corporations such as Walmart are these government officials taking bribes or a bit of Quid pro Quo that is at some point will they get high salaried positions in the nuclear industry or are they contravening the law by having personal investments in the industry or if running for political office will or have they received large donations from the industry or just lots of paid for trips to bogus conferences in the Bahamas or elsewhere as other Big Industries and corporations are apt to do.

Another reason this is all troubling and disturbing is that Mr. Change that is President Obama has come out as being gungho about building more nuclear plants while spending very little on the Green Alternatives. energy sources.

As we have seen Obama and his administration is in bed with Big Coal, Big Oil, and the Pharmaceutical and Health insurance industry and the Military Industrial Complex so it is not all that surprising that he and his administration would be in bed with the Nuclear Energy Industry. Besides as Obama has said he needs at least a Billion dollars for his 2012 campaign.

What may in fact will happen or is happening is that Obama will be trying to find out if the information used was at all classified and therefore illegally leaked to the investigators-if so the investigators of this scandal may end up in the same cell block as Bradley Manning .
This would fit with Obama's style as it has evolved from protecting whistleblowers to torturing them and possibly executing them for treason.

Expose of the cozy relationship between the Nuclear Industry in the US and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which could lead to a nuclear disaster or if there are ongoing leaks taking place in a number of facilities this may at the present time have a negative impact on the public's health and on the environment.
Over the years the Commission has been giving the nuclear industry in America a free ride by ignoring the numerous accidents at these plants
The Regulatory Commission has also been colluding with the Nuclear Industry over the serious problem of aging and out of date equipment.
Equipment that is out of date and ought to be replaced but is not.
Equipment such as pipes buried underground for the last forty years have corroded and are leaking but the Commission ignores the issue .
And when leaks occur which are ongoing and exceed the acceptable standard the Regulatory Commission merely changes the basic standard to allow for such leaks and malfunctions.

Besides a poor safety record overall the Nuclear Enegy Industry treats even its most serious issues as being purely a matter of Public Relations and that it is their job to convince the government and public at large that Nuclear enegy is safe and cost efficient and necessary to meet the needs of America.
All of these points are questionable.
Firstly as we see from this report the Nuclear Energy facilities are not as safe as the industry claims.
In fact they have had an abyssmal safety record.
In order to keep these Nuclear facilities up to reasonable safety standards if followed through would increase the cost of Nuclear Industry thereby throwing into doubt their cost efficiency.
Thirdly there are other forms of technology such as solar and wind which are safer and will do less harm to the environment or to people.
For instance if the US government were to make equivalent investments and possible improvements of these technologies in the long run these Green Technologies would not cost anymore than would using Nuclear Energy. And there are those who would argue that the costs of these technologies Wind & Solar would over the long run would be cheaper , safer and do less damage to people or to the environment.
For instance in one of the articles below the environmental group the Sierra Club points out that the building of a new Nuclear Power Station made up of four nuclear reactors to replace an older station in ontario, Canada would cost about 35 $billion .
and as noted below Wind Turbines cost about 3.5 million dollars each.
How many Windturbines or solar panelling would 35 billion dollars buy.
But first the government of Ontario should stat thinking outside of the box and invest in developing better energy alternatives and improving on those such as Wind and solar which are already being used.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a cozy relationship with the industry
The information about the Nuclear Industry which has an impact on the general public's health and safety should be accessible to the press the public and consumer watchdogs-
It should be but it is not -the excuse has been that since 9/11 this information must be kept secret for reasona of --wait for it "National Security".
That little phrase can be used to shut down almost any inquiry into government actions but also private industries which are seen as vital to America's security and well being etc. etc....

The question raised in this piece is why is Obama spending so much money and resources on Nuclear power when alternative safer energy sources are available.
How mahy wind mills can one build for the price of a single nuclear power plant.
Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska

Public Relations Spokesperson defends Nuclear Power Industry treats the expose as old news .
The PR spokesperson insists all US nuclear plants are not at all like the one at Fukushami in Japan
This statement is far from being accurate since about 30 nuclear plants in the US are like those in Fukushami.
And as is further pointed out the US Nuclear Energy Industry and the US government are not in the habit of being forthcoming with accurate information on the various aspects of the industry including its poor safety record.
There is also this notion of a false equivalency with other Energy sources and their safety records.
For instance when a coal fired plant explodes it doesn't release toxic material which could kill tens of thousands of people as a major leak or a full melt down in a nuclear power plant would as it did in Chernobyl.
The crashing down of hundreds of Wind Turbines may cause injuries and death but it would be nothing compared to a disaster at a nuclear plant.

Radioactive Hydrogen Tritium Leaks Found in Majority Of U.S. Nuclear Power Sites
June 22, 2011

Press TV on the other hand presents a more serious piece on the expose of the US Nuclear Power Industry and its possibly criminal collusion with the regulatory agency.
23 plants that are operating in the US are exacly like those in Fukushima
75% US Nuclear Plants Leaking Toxic Tritium Radiation Into Drinking Water Supply

The government of Ontario is planning to build a new Nuclear Power Plant made up of four reactors total cost appro. 35 Billion in Canadian dollars.

Arguments against the Darlington proposal for new nuclear reactors at Sierra Club Canada

A public hearing has been announced for March 2011 on a proposal to build up to four new nuclear reactors at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. The scheme is part of a plan to replace the ageing reactors at the Pickering station, which are scheduled to close by 2020.

Too often local governments and community members are fed false promises about nuclear energy by people who stand to gain from perpetuating a nuclear power industry in Ontario. For these reasons and more, Sierra Club Canada (SCC) is committed to ensuring that Ontarians get to hear both sides of the nuclear energy debate.

There is no justification to accept either the expense or the risks of nuclear technology. All it takes is the courage to stand up to the nuclear lobby.

and for further cost benefits analysis of Wind Energy vs Nuclear plants see:

How much do wind turbines cost?
Wind turbines come in many shapes and sizes, but here is a general guideline on how much they cost:

Total costs for installing a commercial-scale wind turbine will vary significantly depending on the cost of financing, when the turbine purchase agreement was executed, construction contracts, the type of machine, the location of the project, and other factors. Cost components for wind projects include wind resource assessment and site analysis expenses; the price and freight of the turbine and tower; construction expenses; permitting and interconnection studies; utility system upgrades, transformers, protection, and metering equipment; insurance; operations, warranty, maintenance, and repair; legal and consultation fees. Others factors that will impact your project economics include your financing costs, the size of your project, and taxes.

The costs for a commercial scale wind turbine in 2007 ranged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million, per MW of nameplate capacity installed.

Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3.5 Million installed. Wind turbines have significant economies of scale. Smaller farm or residential scale turbines cost less overall, but are more expensive per kilowatt of energy producing capacity. Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost roughly $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt of capacity. That means a 10 kilowatt machine (the size needed to power an average home) might cost $35,000-$50,000.

If you would like to find companies that produce wind turbines and view the cost of the machine only, you can use these links. They are connected to our Company Directory that provides reputable companies in the field of wind.

Small Scale Wind Turbine Manufacturers
Commercial Scale Wind Turbine Manufacturers
For More Information:
Windustry has developed a WindProject Calculator to provide cash flow modeling for your wind project.
Small Wind Turbine Product Information is a web site that uses the pending AWEA standards for small wind turbines for product listing and comparison.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

US Ally Bahrain: Dissidents Given Life Imprisonment & Bahrain's PR v The Brutal Reality

Bahrain ; Reality vs Public Relations
Bahraini government wants the world to believe that it is being criticized unfairly-to put it simply the government and Royal family erroneously claim they are the real victims
Bahraini government still peddling its bizarre conspiracy theories to explain the unrest and calls for reform.
Bahraini government insists on calling the protests as a Shia attempt to overthrow the Sunni government
The reformers and dissidents argue that the uprising is not sectarian but includes both Shia and Sunni who want reforms
Meanwhile even after criticizing the Bahraini governments crackdown on the reform movement the Obama administration refuses to take any substantive moves against Bahrain.
Obama administration's statements about human rights and democracy just more Public Relations and empty rhetoric.
The USA disingenuously is still trying to convince its allies that the Bahraini government maybe over reacting but the reality they claim is that the dissidents and the reform movement in Bahrain was and is being directed by Iran's Hidden Hand.

Bahraini police cracksdown on mourners
June 28, 2011 via Al Jazeera

Life sentences for Bahrain dissidents-AlJazeera

AlJazeeraEnglish on Jun 22, 2011
Police and protesters have clashed in Bahrain after eight Shia Muslim activists accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the Gulf Arab state's Sunni monarchy were sentenced to life in prison.

The court also sentenced on Wednesday other defendants - from among the 21 suspects on trial - to between two and 15 years in jail.

Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports.

Bahrain Targets Shia Religious Sites
Al Jazeera
Uploaded by bahrainfreedom00 on Jun 28, 2011

Talk by the Bahrain government about dialogue and reconciliation is rather disingenuous after the unnecessary violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and the ongoing unjust incarceration of dissidents and the coerced confessions and the government run "Show trials".

The Bahraini government if it is serious about reform and reconciliation should first release dissidents from jail including medical personnel arrested for giving medical aid to protesters.

At the same time the government is offering dialogue dissidents are still being arrested, abused and tortured in Bahrain's prisons.

And while the Americans continue to bomb the Hell out of Libya the Obama administration refuses to take any substantive actions against Bahrain. For instance the Americans could unleash the Fifth Fleet or at least recall its embassy and cut off all trade to Bahrain while at the same time putting pressure on Saudi Arabia . Unfortunately all of the talk about human rights and democracy is just window dressing since all the American government is concerned about is its business interests and military and strategic interests in the Gulf region.

"Bahrain's opposition to boycott dialogue, elections ", June 28, 2011

MANAMA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Bahrain's largest Shiite opposition group says it will boycott the national dialogue next month and the September parliament elections in protest against the authorities for "not doing enough."

Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said it was in no mood to give in to the authorities' call for a national dialogue starting July 1st that would attract 300 participants from political societies, human rights groups and civil society organizations.

"There has to be real dialogue that results in political reforms. We believe the dialogue was a step forward for the country but setting conditions before the process is not acceptable," said Al Wefaq leader Shaikh Ali Salman.

He told Xinhua that it was important for the government to first address all issues such as sacking of workers, arrest of medics, lawmakers and other citizens before entering any dialogue.

"This dialogue will be successful if there is a principal person from Royal Family like the Crown Prince present in the process. He understands the demand and the opposition sees him as a leader, who could solve this crisis."

National Dialogue spokesperson, Isa Abdulrahman said in a statement on Monday that refusal of any group to participate in the National Dialogue will "not mean failure of the initiative." "We hope that all those invited would participate to come out with resolutions that represent the needs and aspirations of all people in Bahrain," he said.

While the government downplays its actions and claiming there was an attempted coup citizens are still be incarcerated for merely speaking out and criticizing the royal family.
In Saudi Arabia , Kuwait and Bahrain etc. it is a crime to criticize the Royal Families.

Kuwait arrests duo over Twitter comments ABC News,June 28,2011

Kuwait will put two citizens on trial for criticising Gulf Arab ruling families on social media site Twitter, a security official said.

Nasser Abul, a Kuwaiti Shiite Muslim, was arrested for posting criticisms of the Sunni Muslim ruling families in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and Lawrence al-Rashidi posted defamatory comments of Kuwait's emir, the official said.

He said both would remain in detention for two more weeks before a hearing is scheduled, where they will likely face charges of harming the Gulf Arab state's interests and defaming the country's ruler after being arrested earlier in June.

Democracy activists have used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to debate, organise and share information in Bahrain, where the kingdom's Sunni rulers crushed a protest movement in March led mostly by the country's Shiite majority.

Bahrain called in troops from Sunni-led neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to enforce its crackdown.

OPEC member Kuwait, which has a Shiite minority, sent naval forces.

Bahrain questioned a rights activist in April for publishing an image which appeared to show signs of torture on a man who died in detention during the unrest.

It is not clear if the case will be brought to court.

Gulf Arab states, run by closely-allied ruling families, are trying to prevent protest movements that brought down Egyptian and Tunisian leaders earlier this year from taking off in their patch.

Given what is actually going on in Bahrain the government's talk about dialogue and reconciliation is just a Public Relations strategy to placate its Western Allies ie Britain and the USA.

And here again we see the Bahrain government prosecuting people for taking part in protests-freedom of assembly
or speaking at the protests
or medical personnel for treating the wounded
or members of the press

Bahrain transfers cases to civilian courts
Published: June 27, 2011

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 27 (UPI) -- A decision by Bahrain to refer cases tied to a Shiite uprising to the civilian courts is a sign of a recognition of international rights, an official said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the prison sentences handed down last week to 21 opposition figures in Bahrain. He called on Manama to "allow all defendants" to receive a fair trial and "do everything possible" to create a climate for concrete national dialogue.

Bahrain's Minister of Social Development and Acting Health Minister Fatima al-Beloushi told Gulf Daily News that life was returning to normal and therefore the civilian courts could handle any cases yet to be tried before tribunals.

"Such a step is a strong indication of Bahrain's keenness on applying the highest rights and legal standards," she added.

Meanwhile, the official Bahrain News Agency reported Monday that one unnamed defendant pleaded not guilty though military prosecutors found there was enough evidence from his confessions to indict him. A second trial involving 28 figures accused of spreading "malicious information" was adjourned while the defense reviewed case documents, BNA added.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay complained in early June that her comments in BNA about the conflict were "blatantly" misrepresented.

Treatment of medics in Bahrain Irish Times .com June 28, 2011

Sir, – I was glad to read the letters (June 25th) from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) and Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), in connection with the doctors who have been arrested in Bahrain. In no other country in the world have we witnessed doctors and nurses persecuted on such a scale as a result of their legitimate humanitarian actions.

I have a few questions with regard to the six visits Prof Kelly of RCSI made to Bahrain, and last week’s fact finding mission to Bahrain undertaken by Dr Donohoe RCPI, which were cited in their letters.

1. Did they request access to visit the doctors and nurses in jail to hear directly from them and if not, why not? 2. Did they make any attempt to meet the wives and families of the doctors who trained in Ireland? 3. Who did they meet to establish the facts? 4. On what basis do they imagine that trials before a military court which contravene international standards can possibly turn out to be “unequivocally fair and just”? Front Line believes that the arrest, detention and subsequent charging of members of the medical profession in Bahrain is related to their humanitarian work during a time of crisis, including providing medical services to patients injured during recent protests.

We have taken up the cases of all the health professionals arrested by the Government of Bahrain, including the Irish trained doctors, Dr Ali Al Ekr, Dr Basim Dhaif and Dr Ghassan Dhaif. These doctors are currently being subjected to an unfair trial before a military court on totally unsubstantiated charges. For more than two months after their arrest, they were denied access to their families or lawyers. There is credible evidence of torture. We regard them as human rights defenders persecuted for their work defending the right to health.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in her briefing on June 24th called for “an immediate cessation of trials of civilians in the military court and an immediate release of all peaceful demonstrators who were arrested in the context of the protest movement in February.”

I was in Bahrain two weeks ago where I met government officials, the American, British and French embassies and a number of human rights defenders. We finally got permission to attend a hearing in the military court for our former colleague Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. I was not allowed to give evidence on his behalf. Last Wednesday, June 22nd he was sentenced to life imprisonment simply for his peaceful work for democracy and human rights (World News, June 24th).

I also met with some of the wives of the arrested medical professionals.

They too are doctors. They have been interrogated, and in some cases ill treated. They have been suspended from their jobs. They feel totally abandoned by the RCSI. They have called on health professionals in Ireland and elsewhere to support them in their efforts to have their husbands released with all charges dropped. Front Line is sending an open letter to the King of Bahrain seeking the release of health professionals, and would be glad to hear from anyone interested in signing this letter. – Yours, etc,



Front Line – the International

Foundation for the Protection

of Human Rights Defenders,

Temple Road,


Co Dublin.

Bahraini blogger Maryam Alkhawaja risking incarceration and torture continues to post her observations of the situation in Bahrain.

A Brave Bahraini Woman Stands up for Justice by William Fisher via June 27,2011

The below is a comment of an American active blogger, William Fisher, who writes about the severe situation of freedom in Bahrain.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Her name is Maryam Alkhawaja. She is a young Bahraini woman who risks her life every day to send me and other journalists emails about the brutal repression of a long-aggrieved people and the kangaroo courts that are throwing their lives away.

Why does she do it?

She gives a simple answer: Injustice and brutality drives her nuts. She can’t be an observer. She needs to act.

And act she does, one, two, three times a day, all at huge and immediate risk.

Yesterday, her communiqué must have been especially tough to write. With journalistic lack of emotion, she reported the trials of her friends and colleagues. They were among the peaceful demonstrators from Bahrain’s Shia majority who have spent the last three months pushing against the Sunni royal family for basic human rights and a voice in the governance of their tiny country.

Eight of those tried by the military court were sentenced to life in prison. One of those eight was her father, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, the founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. “After the sentence was read, my father raised his fist & shouted “WE SHALL CONTINUE ON THE PATH OF PEACEFUL RESISTANCE!”, Ms. Alkhawaja told the New York Times.

Thirteen other activists were sentenced by the same court to terms of between two and 15 years in jail. Just one of the 21 men sentenced on Wednesday was a Sunni. The state news agency described them as “plotting to topple the government.”

and so it goes,

Half of the World's Refugees Are Running From US Wars


Half of World's Refugees are Running From US Wars

by: Sarah Bufkin, ThinkProgress | Report 
America’s wars are forcing Afghans and Iraqis to flee their homes in greater numbers. According to a recent U.N. High Commission for Refugees study, nearly one half of the world’s refugees are from Afghanistan and Iraq, 3.05 million and 1.68 million, respectively. But neither the United States nor much of the developed world bears the burden of the 10.55 million refugees under the UNHCR’s purview globally. Instead, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria serve as the top host countries. The Economist has charted the numbers:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vancouver Kissing Couple Beaten By Riot Police!!! In USA Extremist Arrest Women For Losing Babies Racist Sen. John McCain & Sheriff Arpaio Blame "IL-Legal Immigrants" For Brush Fires

Couple kiss after being beaten by riot police in Vancouver

Women being arrested for murder after losing babies-

Sen. John McCain blames "Ill-legal Immigrants" for brush fires
and good old Boy Sheriff Arpaio uses this for another excuse to abuse undocumented immigrants he has incarcerated

Let's begin with a Reality Check care of:
" Video of "Kissing Couple" at Vancouver Protest Shows Woman Being Violently Beaten" by Riot CopsBy Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at June 25, 2011

"You know that romantically making out couple at the Vancouver protests the other week? Wasn't so sweet after all. Wasn't staged, either, unfortunately. New video shows the couple just before the photo was shot, and that lovely kiss was in fact a visibly upset Alexandra Thomas being comforted by Scott Jones, after riot cops beat and kicked her while she lay supine on the ground. Despicable."

" Extreme Radical States Charging Pregnant Women Who Lose Babies with Murder! Seriously I'm not joking" by Feminista (DailyKos) via, June 25, 2011

"Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws," said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW).
Being reduced to mobile incubators as their humanity is stripped away in some moralistic fundamentalist backlash. The Taliban have arrived in the US, sharia law my ass; this is pure unadulterated theocratic authoritarianism.

Just one story of the many:

Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down's syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.
The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with "chemical endangerment" of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

The rage I feel is almost beyond words, their moralistic posturing when reducing women to biological slavery to satisfy their fucking religious zealotry is beyond the pale. All they care about is bringing another baby into the world, the world that child has to deal with is not their concern. I suppose the next step is if your child is handicapped it is your fault, you did something during pregnancy to cause this; so its off to prison with you.

They will sacrifice women, children and refuse to give either access to affordable health care with their talibangelical ideology.

So if I get their ideological claptrap that every miscarriage is potentially a crime then the better start building fucking prisons because half the population is at risk from going to jail?

It is nothing short of terrorism.

I'm wondering when they are going to propose internment as prenatal care with twenty four hour surveillance. I suppose the initial candidates would be those that were victims of rape or incest as they are the greatest risk to the resulting blastocyst.

There is freedom of religion in the US, there is also freedom from religion and I for one dread theocracy, and this is how it begins by targeting one group. I see the right screaming about Sharia law but as far as I know they have nothing equivalent to criminalizing miscarriage.

At least 38 of the 50 states across America have introduced foetal homicide laws that were intended to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violent attacks by third parties – usually abusive male partners – but are increasingly being turned by renegade prosecutors against the women themselves.
So you redefine rape based on the violence inflicted during the crime.

Then you redefine miscarriage as potentially a criminal act.

Then you force women to be subservient.

You have reduced women to objects.

It's an outrage; and I'm not going to be silent.

I repeat:

Damn them; they can all go to fucking hell.

"McCain Blames Undocumented Immigrants For Arizona Fire, Forest Service Says He’s Wrong"
By Marie Diamond via, Jun 20, 2011

The three-week old Wallow Fire in northern Arizona, which has burned over 500,000 acres, is the largest wildfire in the state’s history. Over the weekend, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) went back to their home state to tour the damage and give a press conference. At the conference, McCain blamed undocumented immigrants for setting the wildfires:
“There is substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,” McCain, said at a press conference Saturday after touring the Wallow fire [...]
“They have set fires because they signal others, they have set fires to keep warm, and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them,” McCain said. “The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.”
When he was asked which fires were started by immigrants, McCain couldn’t given an answer. A McCain spokesperson later told Salon’s Justin Elliott that “a Forest Service official” told McCain that “illegal immigrants” were involved in setting the fires. However, that directly contradicts what U.S. Forest Service spokesman Tom Berglund told ABC News yesterday:
When asked if there is substantial evidence that some fires were caused by undocumented immigrants, as McCain said at a news conference Saturday, Berglund said: “Absolutely not, at this level.”

Berglund said the fire was likely started by an “escaped campfire.”
This sort of unfounded accusation provides a sharp contrast with McCain’s previously moderate stance on immigration. He used to tell his aides he was disgusted by GOP demagoguing on the issue. “They’re going to destroy the party,” he once said of Republicans who bashed immigrants. However, McCain became more hawkish after his support of a comprehensive immigration reform package in 2007 with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) backfired and nearly cost him the Republican nomination in 2008. Right-wing groups threatened to “primary” McCain with a more conservative candidate if he did not change his tune.
He certainly has. His latest remarks have sparked an uproar. Immigrants’ rights groups are furious at McCain for scapegoating immigrants without any evidence at a time when people are looking for someone to blame. Angelo Falcon, the president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, told CNN, “The degree of irresponsible political pandering by Sen. McCain has no limits. With the lack of evidence, he might as well also blame aliens from outer space for the fires.”

Anyway Sheriff Arpaio who represents the worst side of America uses McCain lies to further intimidated and abuse incarcerated undocumented immigrants.
What is disturbing about Sheriff Arpaio is that he is still the Sheriff and continues with his abusive and humiliating treatment of prisoners under his care.
That is even with President Obama in power and yet Klansman & Racist Sheriff Arpaio  still operates with impunity.
Sheriff Arpaio is merely representative of those millions of Americans who are racist and or who reject such liberal notions as Human Rights or Civil Rights or International Law.
But as we have seen even the Obama administration treats Human Rights, civil Rights and International Laws and agreements as merely voluntary guide-lines.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Humiliates Prisoners By Making them Wear Pink Underwear and the parades them through the streets- Arpaio is a throwback to the Pre-Civil Rights Movement and so loved by The Rightwing Media such as Fox News, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Limbaugh & other KKK Wannabees.

"By parading human beings shackled in chain gang stripes, in a misguided effort to collectively humiliate and to terrorize an entire population... reopened the wounds from which we all still suffer, by invoking the painful memories of slavery and segregation . . . By doing so, he has not only brought shame upon the state of Arizona, but is bringing shame upon the entire nation."

Quote by Zack De la Rocha of Rage Against The machine March 2009 Protest march against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. see links to previous posts for Gord's Poetry Factory re: Sheriff Arpaio, anti-immigrant racism & the Extreme Right .

Arpaio Orders Deputies to Start Asking Undocumented Immigrants About Wildfires by Marie Diamond (ThinkProgress) via, ,June 25, 2011

The fallout from Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ)patently false statement that undocumented immigrants were responsible for the destructive wildfires in Arizona continued this week, as his fellow Arizona senator Jon Kyl (R) and Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio entered the fray. “Sheriff Joe,” as he’s called, may be the most notoriously ruthless law enforcement official in the country. He’s known for cramming detained immigrants into inhumane outdoor “tent cities” he proudly likens to concentration camps, and for parading prisoners around in pink underwear, in addition to his numerous legal violations.
Arpaio, who never misses an opportunity to scapegoat or harass immigrants, eagerlyreleased a statement this week in response to McCain’s baseless charge. Arpaio announced he had instructed his deputies to question all detained undocumented immigrants about their connection to the wildfires, even though he admitted it’s “a long shot” that these interrogations will yield any information:
Deputies arrested 20 immigrants as they made their way through Maricopa County Wednesday morning.
All were reportedly from Mexico and said they were headed to locations in Texas, Tennessee, and New York state.
They all entered the border near where the fires are burning in southeast Arizona, according to the news release.
“It’s a long shot I know,” Arpaio said. “But since we already gather information from them about their U.S. entry points and travelling routes and methods, this is simply one more area of intelligence to explore that may help us to determine the origins of these fires.“
After McCain said at a press conference that there was “substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,” U.S. Forest Service Officials rushed to dispute his charge. Spokesman Tom Berglund told ABC News “there’s no evidence” indicating immigrants had any role in the fire.
Arpaio, who promotes himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is being investigatedby the FBI, Justice Department, and a Federal Grand Jury for civil rights violations and abuse of power. His persecution of immigrants who apparently entered the country after the fires started is further evidence of his willingness to seize any excuse to subject migrants to degrading treatment for his own PR purposes.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kyl has repeatedly come to McCain’s defense this week, and continues to stand by their debunked claim that undocumented immigrants are to blame for the Arizona wildfires. He reiterated that position today on Hugh Hewitt’s conservative radio show. When asked what he thought of McCain’s comments, Kylsaid, “Well, he was correct. I was right there.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio honored by being accused of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan along with his buddy Lou Dobbs??? But as we see with the new racist anti-immigrant Law in Arizona we can not just laugh at the what seems over the top rhetoric because these racists are deadly serious and dangerous. They fear that White Americans are losing their grip on power and that America is not the traditional America they are so nostalgic for ala Glenn Beck & Fox News etc. The Good Old Days when America was a paradise???(GORD.)

Lou Dobbs interview of Sheriff Joe Arpaio on CNN
Sheriff Arpaio calls it an honor that he and Lou Dobbs have been compared to the KKK

 also check out:
Gov. Jan Brewer 's "Headless Bodies" , A Painful "Pause" & Nazis Killed Daddy & Alligators in NY Sewers & Pam Geller Spreading Hate, Gord's Poetry  Factory, Sept. 10, 2010

Lady Gaga Condemns Racist Arizona Immigration Law & Others Chime In at SNL & TYT & In Living Color & the Liberalviewer, Gord's Poetry Factory, Aug. 6, 2010

Fox News, Lou Dobbs ,Glenn Beck et al Fear Mongering About Immigrants Paying OFF: Turmoil Over Arizona Racist Anti-Ethnic Studies Law, Gord's Poetry Factory, May 15, 2010

Sheriff Joe Arpaio The Big Winner With The Passage of Arizona's Apartheid Style Anti-immigrant Law, Gord's Poetry Factory, May 2, 2010

Welcome To Apartheid Arizona USA Where all Non-whites Are Suspect And the Mindset & Tactics of Racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio Going Nation Wide ???, Gord's Poetry Factory, May 1, 2010

Fox News : The Rightwing Propaganda Network Upset Obama Dares To Fight Back & Arpaio Targets ACORN, Gord's Poetry Factory, Oct. 24, 2009

Sheriff Arpaio Abuses & Kills Prisoners With Impunity Supported Napolitano ( Part 3), Gord's Poetry factory, Oct. 23, 2009

Sheriff Joe Arpaio & Bull Connor & KKK Neo-Nazis Minutemen & Patriots (and Zach De La Rocha Speaks Out) Part 2.Oct. 22, 2009

Obama Should Shut Down Rogue Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Little Hitler) And His Private Army Part 1.,Gord's Poetry Factory ,Oct. 21, 2009

and so it goes,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Van Jones: Rebuild The Dream Movement & Stop Kow Towing to Obama and the Democrats

Van Jones uses the example of The Tae party Movement which he calls an open source movement made up of over 3,500 separare organization which is not dependent upon one or more charismatic leader.

Van Jones explains that this new movement he and others are now promoting want to create a movement which is Grass roots made up organizations joined for one main purpose to tetake and rebuild The American Dream

Rebuild The Dream Netroots 2011

Uploaded by TheAgendaProject on Jun 21, 2011
Van Jones keynote speech at Netroots Nation 2011

A Year in the Life of the Agenda Project
June 23, 2011.

CEO of Walmart Makes in One Hour What the Average Employee Makes In a Year: How Skyrocketing Inequality Is Hurting America A new report shows exactly who the top 0.1 percent of Americans with all the wealth are. The question is, what can we do about it?via, June 20, 2011 |

S. Robson “Rob” Walton, Walmart chairman, has a net worth of about $19.7 billion. And he's only number 9 on the list of 2010's top 20 richest Americans.
Walmart workers, meanwhile, make around $8.75 an hour—about $18,000 a year. They'd have to work over a million years to approach what the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion.

Last year Jonathan Turley noted that the CEO of Walmart, Michael Duke, makes his average employee's yearly salary every hour.

A new report by the Washington Post on “Breakaway Wealth” contains new research by economists Jon Bakija, Adam Cole and Bradley T. Heim, who analyzed tax returns from the top 0.1 percent of earners in the U.S. That top percentile takes home more than 20 percent of the personal income in the country, and their average income is $5.4 million. The average income of the bottom 90 percent, according to the Post, is just $31,244.

The news that the income gap is growing in the United States is probably not news at all to most working people. But this data throws the trend into sharp relief. Surprise, surprise, they're mostly not media personalities or athletes (just 3 percent). They're chief executives and managers (41 percent), and of course they work in finance (18 percent)--the same executives who are benefiting nicely from policies that have favored the rich and tilted the playing field in their favor, maintaining low personal and corporate tax rates and in some cases actually bailed their companies out with government funds.

Executive pay has been heading sharply upward since the 1970s, but at the moment the gap looks especially ugly as unemployment stagnates and real wages decline, as conservatives attack union pay and benefits and Congress has Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare in its sights.

Moreover, it's not an inevitable result of the invisible hand of the free market. The Post writes:

“What the research showed is that while executive pay at the largest U.S. companies was relatively flat in the ’50s and ’60s, it began a rapid ascent sometime in the ’70s.

As it happens, this was about the same time that income inequality began to widen in the United States, according to the Saez figures.

and more reasons for liberals, progressives and average Americans to be angry at the Obama Administration and its capitulation to the conservatives in both parties and to the rich and powerful and the vested interests of the old Military Industrial Complex.

And so once again the "Support The Troops Crowd" of sloganeering phony patriots are out to the gut the old GI bill why to save money and to the Vets they say FU.
These are the same people who get their panties in a twist whenever someone questions Prepetual War and then they insist on cuts in taxes for the wealthy while cutting back on programs for their Heroes the Vets and they also get upset if the Troops argue that they deserve salary increases and better benefits for them and their families.
These are the same toops Bush sent into Iraq ill-prepared and ill-equpped and in too few numbers all in the name of saving money.

Yet the government and Pentagon saw nothing wrong with outsourcing and privatizing jobs traditionally done by military personnel. So a lot of companies made out like bandits while mercenaries made 10 times as much as the average grunt.

Bush & the boys no more cared about the Troops they were more interested in proving that the US military should be outsourced and privatized except when all you neede was "CannonFodder".
Those in authority wether presidents or kings have never had much regar for the average soldier so never be folled when they say they care. They care for profits or they care to avenge some wrong they as being personal or maybe they want more land more oil and so on to increase their empire. Average Americans are under the delusion that the American Empire is their empire when in fact it belongs to that 5% or so ofthe rich and powerful who decide to increase or devrease the Empire and when it will be time for them toabandon it and move to a better pro-business pro-corruption environment as Erik Prince has done by moving his compay Black Water to UAE and Dubai - so much for his patriotism -

So the thinking of the Neo-cons and neo-liberals and other fiscal conservatives they asked why should veterans get any sort of "Free Ride" or as Americans say "Free Money". This harkens back to Van Jones comment about how the Neocons and the Tea Party financial backers are merely using the anger, frustration and resentment of average Americans to push their economic and social agenda that will only help the very rich while average workers, the unemployed, the poor are left to fend for themselves as the Rich send out their thugs to throw another family out of their home.
Just like the Great Depression when the average American was just tossed aside while the rich kept their wealth and some even made more money off of the backs of the poor since the out of work crowd were willing to work for subsistence wages rather than starve.

G.I. Bill Cuts: Veterans Enrolled In College Face Uncertain Futures by Amanda M. Fairbanks at Huffington Post ,June 24, 2011
In America prior to the Second World War, only relatively affluent elites owned homes or went to college. The G.I. Bill helped lower the barrier of entry for the average citizen. It suddenly made the American Dream of homeownership and a college education accessible to a new generation of young people.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly half of the 16 million WWII vets used the original G.I. Bill for college between 1945 and 1956. Over the past two years, the ranks of veterans attending American institutions of higher education has again swelled -- with more than 500,000 now using the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

Under the first version of the bill, a veteran who served for a minimum of three years after Sept. 11, 2001 received a full tuition subsidy from the government if they enrolled at a public college. He or she also received a monthly housing allowance, which varies according to residency, and a $1,000 annual stipend for books. Yet another provision, the Yellow Ribbon Program, enabled veterans to attend private schools as well as graduate and doctoral programs.

All of that changed in December of last year when Congress voted to amend the enhanced G.I. Bill by capping tuition assistance for out-of-state residents according to in-state public rates. Meanwhile, veterans attending expensive private schools will face a $17,500 cap on tuition. Prior to the change, caps varied widely. For instance, student veterans in Mississippi were capped at $805 per semester, while veterans attending schools in Florida were capped at $43,660 per semester. The new rules increased benefits for some while decreasing coverage for many others.

In recent months, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have introduced separate pieces of legislation aimed at grandfathering in veterans currently enrolled in private schools whose tuition would skyrocket in August -- or about 30,000 veterans, according to Miller’s office. Currently, no provision exists to cover out-of-state veterans attending public schools.

The V.A. doesn’t track where student veterans reside, so the precise number of out-of-state students these changes affect is unknown. Student Veterans of America, a national coalition of student veteran's groups on college campuses, estimates that it may involve upwards of 80,000 out-of-state residents -- veterans that aren't protected under either Schumer or Miller's grandfather clause.
and another blow to liberals and progressives in America and all those who believed President Obama would bring about a fundamental change to America so that the US government would no longer write a blank cheque for the military and the Pentagon and the arms industry instead president Obama stepped up the bombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan ignoring either government or the peoples of the region . The people fighting back against American and NATO troops are not all terrorists many are insurgents or in fact members of a resistance movement to resist the American/NATO occupation and indescriminate bombings and killing-killing far more innocent citizens of these areas than actual "Terrorists" , Al Qaeda or Taliban .

Now adding insult to injury President Obama on the pretext of humanitarian needs and protecting supposedly peaceful reformers in Libya has now entered into a third war in Libya . The so-called reformers in Libya are in fact made up of armed militias who have been using violence fro the get go.
Meanwhile the peaceful protesters in other countries such as Bahrain, Yemen , Egypt, Saudi Arabia are abandoned by the Obama administration. The Obama administration is not at all happy that for instance they lost their good friend and ally Hosni Mubarak.

And Obama has escalated the force being used in Libya far beyond what was the agreement entered into by Nato and their allies.

After having assassinated or executed Osama bin Laden Obama now wants to take out Gaddafi/Qaddafi by any and all means necessary why for the oil for the strategic value of Libya and to prove that Obama has just as much guts and determination as former president Bush that is to prove he is a"real Man' and therefore worthy of being re-elected.

NATO Forces 'Trying To Kill' Gaddafi: U.S. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear at Huffington Post, June 24, 2011
A top U.S. admiral has confirmed to a U.S. congressman that NATO forces are trying to kill Muammar Gaddafi, and that the need for ground troops in Libya after the embattled leader falls is anticipated.

House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH) reveals to The Cable that U.S. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told him last month that NATO forces are actively targeting and trying to kill Gaddafi:

"The U.N. authorization had three components: blockade, no fly zone, and civil protection. And Admiral Locklear explained that the scope of civil protection was being interpreted to permit the removal of the chain of command of Qaddafi's military, which includes Qaddafi," Turner said. "He said that currently is the mission as NATO has defined."
"I believed that we were [targeting Qaddafi] but that confirmed it," Turner said. "I believe the scope that NATO is pursuing is beyond what is contemplated in civil protection, so they're exceeding the mission."
Turner's revelation contradicts the Obama administration's previous insistence that regime change is not the ultimate goal of NATO's involvement in Libya, a claim which Locklear apparently still maintained. "Well, certainly if you remove Gaddafi it will affect regime change," Turner quoted Locklear as saying. "[Locklear] did not have an answer to that."

and so it goes,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Young Turks Cenk Uygur :Van Jones Glenn Beck Debate Challenge

Updated: June 28, 2011.

Cenk Uygur defends Van Jones and his movement with Rebuild America against Glenn Beck's attacks on him

*Van Jones is in fact a repentant Marxist Communist Revolutionary (Beck said otherwise)
* Van Jones is not promoting a violent overthrow of the US Government
*Van Jones in fact wants to return America to its core values of the "American Dream"
* Van Jones believes that the American Dream is that there is economic and political equality for all Americans
* Van Jones now believes in the market place & private business & private ownership
* Van Jones defines the enemy of the American Dream as a small group of selfish , Greedy Super-wealthy who promote a form of 19th century unfettered non-regulated Monopolistic Capitalism In order to achieve their aims they need and want to destroy the US government and America's basic infrastructure such as Public Education, schools, universities, emergency services, the social safety net and so on.

And now let's look at glenn beck's rant against Van Jones

According to Glenn Beck anyone in favor of higher taxes for the richest members of society or the regulation of industries or in favor of the minimum wage or protections for workers or in favor of a comprehensive medical program for all citizens or in favor of putting more money into education or the country's infrastructure or defending the rights of all citizens and against discrimination practices based upon color, race, creed, religion , gender or sexual orientation must be some sort of unAmerican or anti-American Communist revolutionary.

Glenn Beck and his ilk of right wing rich white fat cats may claim to believe that all men are created but in fact believe that those who are part of the white wealthy elite are superiour to all other citizens.

European governments or the british government or the Canadian Government is an evil force ala Stalin or Satan it has socialist policies are extremely violent massacring their own people.
Socialist policies such as Medicare or unemployment insurance or defending unions against big corporations , free Public Schools and heavily subsidised Universities or a year long paid maternity leave

What Beck is describing is his own projection in which he and his followers may have to imprison and kill people but it would be for freedom in a Fascist state whengovernmet and corporations

Beck is the one becoming unhinged or is just power hungry
Beck for instance accuses Van Jones of being a racist who wants to destroy White Americans
In this piece Glenn beck plays on certain racist stereotypes of African Americans
Blacks are too emotional , unreasonable, and they want to steal through political means what does not belong to "them". He also suggests that African Americans are not very bright and are lazy & dirty-their neighborhoods are messy and dirty -
Well over the years Beck has made some rather racist remarks suggesting that all Blacks in America live in run down gang war & drug plagued Ghettoes and its their own fault .
So forget slavery , lynchings, the KKK , Jim Crow , the impossible to pass literacy testing for voter registration and the ongoing problem of racial profiling and putting tens of thousands of African Americans unjustly incarcerated and felons the law says lose their right to vote how convenient and the numbers of African Americans unnecessarily killed rather than arrested as we saw in the Miami Massacre and the victim was African American-
Glenn Beck like Nancy grace and others have no pity for these "dirt bags' just like the terrorists as far as he's concerned Black Americans are the danger within and therefore Van Jones is a justifiable target.

This reminds me of speeches by leading American fascists and Nazis such as Father Couglin or Billy Sunday or Joseph McCarthy Strum Thurmond or Jessie Helms -Beck just keeps repeating various phrases the repetitiveness suggests it must be true and this will stay with the audience - "He is a Communist Revolutionary"
When he admits that then we can debate but that means ...let's see ...ah admitting to what the very debate is supposed to be about-so no matter what Van Jones says proves that he is a Communist Revolutionary- the old McCarthy trick -when you admit to beating your wife then we can talk... about whether you do or not - this is simply ass-backwards
Van Jones admits publicly that once was a Communist Revolutionary but Beck never mentions the Neoconservatives in Washington who also admit to have been Marxist but changed their minds.
Glenn Beck admits to having been an alcoholic drug addict etc. and then became a Mormon. Should we judge Beck by his actions in the present or his actions and mistakes in his past- otherwise we would have to accept that people can not change , can not be redeemed or saved as it were.
Former President Bush also had a rather checkered past which he says he escaped when he found God and was Born Again- so does Mr. Beck want us to condemn Bush for his past or should we judge him for what he has done since then-Beck is on very thin ice indeed.

see for instance Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control by Dominic Streatfeild Pub. 2007.
* Moonwebs : journey into the mind of a cult by Freed, Josh, pub. 1989.
& * Hofstadter, Richard : Anti-intellectualism in American Life, pub. 1962
* Lee, Alfred McClung: How To Understand Propaganda , Pub. 1952
* Lipset, Seymour Martin and Raab, Earl: The Politics Of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970, Pub. 1970

Glenn Beck To Van Jones: We'll Debate When 'You're Honest'
First Posted: 06/20/11

Glenn Beck responded to Van Jones' debate challenge by calling Jones an "unrepentant Communist revolutionary" and refusing to debate him.

Jones, who was driven out of the White House by Beck's campaign against him, challenged Beck to a debate on Saturday at the Netroots Nation conference.

On his Monday radio show, Beck repeated his charges against Jones, and said he had never made any untruthful claims about him.

"He is an unrepentant Communist revolutionary," Beck said. "He is a guy who stands with cop-killers. Period."

He also declined to debate Jones--for now.

"There's really not anything to talk about until you're honest and you say you want the overthrow of the government as you have in the past. The violent overthrow for a Marxist government. When you're honest, then people can have a debate."

Friday, June 24, 2011

A warning to conservative Dems...

A warning to conservative Dems...

Bold Progressives & DailyKos.

Obama's Follies Explained By Cenk at TYTPerfect Example of How Our Gov't is Run by Lobbyists

Obama begins by talking tough about reforming some policy and then being so weak the Obama administration gives into lobbyist on the particular issue from Medicare to Public Schools to Gay rights to Colleges for profit.

US police smash camera for recording killing Coverup Massacre- Al Jazeera English

Is it now illegal for anyone to post these videos online-how far are the police and Obama administration prepared to go -paranoia anyone???

US police are almost as bad as police in Bahrain or Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya , Saudia Arabia , Pakistan, Uzbekistan ???

Video at Youtube no longer embedded by order of Miami Police or CNN ???
Police Cover Up The Massacre Of A Florida Black Man By Confiscating and Smashing Videos Of The Shooting Posted by Alexander Higgins Blog - June 8, 2011

Witnesses Held At Gunpoint For Filming Fatal Police Shooting While Cell Phones, Videos Are Confiscated And Smashed

Eyewitnesses tell CNN that police covered up the massacre of a black Florida man who was fatally shot by at least 12 police officers while sitting inside of his car. The witness say that immediately after the shooting police on the scene swept the neighborhood holding witnesses at gun point and confiscating their cameras and cell phones and smashing them to cover up the shooting.

One man who was held at gun point was able to remove the SD card from his camera and hide it in his mouth and later sold the video footage to CNN.

Eyewitness to Miami Beach shooting alleges police misconduct !

Are the police now at war with the American public???
Filming Police will get you 16 years in prison or death.
So much for freedom, human rights and Justice in America!!!

In the land of the free no filming of police allowed while they fire a hail of bullets into suspects car. How many bullets are needed to stop or kill a man.

In this case at least seven officers were shooting into the vehicle at the same time -did they think they caught Bonny and Clyde or America's most wanted or Al Qaeda's newest leader.
We haveseen this before the NYPD say it takes 41 Shots -41 bullets from six feet away to murder a suspect -see Bruce Springsteen's "41 shots".

Is this another case of American police carrying out an "Execution" and so they don't want it all on tape.
Well Fox News and Nancy Grace will be proud of these officers who see themselves as Judge, Jury and Executioners. But this unfortunately is the mind set of many Americans.

Since according to the Obama administration whatever American authorities from the President on down do is by definition "Legal".
If torture and assassinations, and dropping bombs on Wedding Parties is OK then why not just Execute the bad guys and save money for a silly wimpy liberal trail and other nonsense-just killem all.

And yet Americans are proud of their wild west Gun culture and want to export to the rest of the world so we can all be heavily armed at all times -Why? oh yes in case the police make a mistake and decide you are the bad guy.

 A police officer jumped into the car and put a gun to the side of the head of the person filming the incident. The officer threatened to kill videographer .

US police smash camera for recording killing - Features - Al Jazeera English

"A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit's decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera.
It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.
Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The video shows officers crowding around Herisse's vehicle before opening fire, followed by indistinguishable yelling at onlookers, including Benoit, to stop filming.
The cop yelled: "Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?" Benoit recounted in a TV interview.
"My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me," the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN.
Despite his phone being destroyed, Benoit was able to save the footage by taking the memory card out of the device and putting it in his mouth before handing it over to police, he said, adding that officers smashed several other cameras in the chaos which followed the shooting.
Legal issues"There are two questions at play here that need to be separated," said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California. "One is: to what extent is it illegal to record officers doing their duties? And secondly, did the police destroy someone's property and evidence?"
"Whether or not the recording was illegal, the police conduct as alleged would be illegal in any case," Volokh told Al Jazeera. In Florida, it is legal to record conversations, unless the conversation is "confidential", which this public altercation likely was not, Volokh said.
After having his phone smashed, and being taken to a police station to be photographed, Benoit was summoned to appear before the state attorney on June 3 with "any and all video and all corresponding audio recorded on May 30 that captured incidents occurring [sic] prior to, during and after a police-involved shooting", according to court documents.
Benoit and Davis have hired a lawyer. The couple stopped giving interviews soon after the incident, Reese Harvey, their attorney, told Al Jazeera. Harvey also declined to comment about the couple's possible plans for legal action against the Miami police.
The incident is the latest in a series of debacles involving citizens using mobile phones to record police actions.
"The impact of citizen recording of police brutality, or activity in general goes back at least 20 years to the LA riots," said James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a research organisation. "It [video recording] increasingly raises questions about surveillance; whether surveillance from citizens can put a check on power," he told Al Jazeera.
Sparked by video of police beating Rodney King, in what many saw as an example of institutionalised racism, the 1992 Los Angeles riots left more than 50 people dead and caused about $1bn in property damage.
"As almost everyone in the US has a cameraphone at this point, it's very common to have any kind of police activity in a crowded setting recorded by citizens, usually from multiple angles," said Jamais Cascio, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future. "These kinds of events are unusual and people will want to show friends and family, and, increasingly, because people are learning that it can be important to have evidence of police misconduct."
And, with the spread of easily accessible recording technology, US security forces are being joined by counter-parts around the globe in being concerned about mobile technologies.
"Echoes of Rodney King in Karachi and Miami", was the headline of a New York Times blog, analysing a recent case from Pakistan, where a television journalist recorded security forces killing Sarfraz Shah, an apparently unarmed teenager. The video sparked protests across the country.
Speaking about the recent case in Florida, Police Chief Carlos Noriega told the Miami Herald that the couple's allegations were the first he'd heard of officers allegedly threatening people or destroying cameras or mobile phones.
"It was quite a chaotic scene," the chief said of the late night shooting. "We were trying to figure out who was who and it was a difficult process. Not once did I see cameras being taken or smashed," he said, adding that Benoit's video is evidence which could help investigators.
Technology 'outpacing' lawsWhile visual evidence, through government surveillance cameras and individuals' phones, can help make prosecutions, police unions and likeminded groups argue that police officers might second-guess themselves if they know they are being recorded and delay making necessary decisions. There are also arguments about privacy; mainly that conversations between private individuals and security forces should not be recorded by third parties.
And even though Eugene Volokh and other legal experts believe recording public police activities isn't a crime in Florida, that doesn’t mean police are happy about it.
"In the United States, the laws about the recording of police activity vary considerably from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example, existing laws that forbid recording someone without their permission have been extended to prohibit the recording of police. In Illinois, the law now explicitly bans the recording of police," Cascio told Al Jazeera. "I believe that citizens should have the right to record the actions of officials on duty; Citizens can't really fight back when they see police misconduct, their only tool is the ability to document the misbehaviour."
Some experts argue that laws, often designed to deal with audio wiretapping of telephone conversations and now applied to video recordings, are not keeping pace with new technologies. Volokh, however, is not one of those people.
"It isn't a technical question; it might be a question about basic values," Volokh, the legal scholar, said. "How much do you value people’s ability to gather the news and how much you value privacy?"
There may be a debate on whether the increasing frequency of security forces, and society in general, being caught on tape is primarily a technological question or an issue of values. But advances in the former may make debates about the latter redundant.
"Efforts to forbid these recordings are ultimately futile. Cameras are becoming smaller, and are able to record and upload video quickly. I've seen otherwise normal-looking glasses with built-in cameras," Cascio said. "The technology is rapidly outpacing any attempt to control it using dated and misapplied laws."
You can follow Chris Arsenault on twitter @AJEchris