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G_j

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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,216

Journal Archives

Horizontal Meets Vertical; Occupy Meets Establishment

http://www.thenation.com/article/166817/horizontal-meets-vertical-occupy-meets-establishment

Horizontal Meets Vertical; Occupy Meets Establishment

Occupy has cracked open the door that lets us imagine that another world is possible. Thousands of arrests, months of protest and acts of incredible personal risk and sacrifice have put inequality and Wall Street’s out-of-control political and economic power on center stage. As activity ratchets up this spring, the challenge is to get more people pushing that door open ever wider.

To build this movement, Occupy needs to connect with tens of millions of people who are watching the unfolding battle but are not yet involved. To sustain it, we must link this spring’s protests to victories where people live, learn and work. Focusing on three issues—housing, student debt and the devaluing of work—allows us to thread different strands of activity through a common analysis of how Wall Street, big banks and corporations have profited by tanking and then reorganizing the economy.

Saving the neighborhoods where we live: The houses of 11 million homeowners and their families are threatened by foreclosure or are underwater by $700 billion, drowning people in negative equity. The housing crisis is central to how 60 percent of wealth has been stripped from communities of color since the 2008 economic collapse. Writing down principal to fair market value would inject tens of billions of dollars into the economy, reduce average mortgages by hundreds of dollars a month and help create a million jobs.

Freeing ourselves from student debt: Students and their families now have nearly a trillion dollars of debt, with average debt totaling over $25,000. The explosion in student debt is a direct outgrowth of the defunding of education in state after state. Unlike corporate and other debt, student debt is excluded from bankruptcy relief, strangling students for life. Reducing student debt load and the interest rates applied to it would save hundreds of billions of dollars in debt payments. It’s a first step to creating equal access to education and giving students a fair start without a lifetime burden.

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Giving Dennis Kucinich His Due

http://www.thenation.com/blog/166761/giving-dennis-kucinich-his-due

Giving Dennis Kucinich His Due

Katrina vanden Heuvel on March 13, 2012 - 1:21 PM ET

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

A certain kind of politician is becoming a dwindling breed. I’m not thinking of the over-praised and frequently eulogized centrist, the kind who spends a career watering things down and gets lionized for having done so. I mean the bold, politically courageous people who make real the cliché, “Speak truth to power.” The ones who are, perhaps, a little too righteous, who don’t compromise easily, but who prove again and again a tendency to be correct. They are the ones who are harder to dismiss, no matter how much the pundits or corporate media try. They insert themselves into the national conversation, pushing their ideas and their vision into the debate.

Dennis Kucinich is one of those politicians. At least, he was. Last week, thanks in large part to Republican gerrymandering, he lost his bid for reelection. In his loss, the country loses something too. Whatever your view of Kucinich’s politics or style, he mattered a great deal.

Kucinich was never afraid to take the positions that should have been at the core of the Democratic party. He opposed the Patriot Act when few brave Democrats would join him. He was opposed to the Iraq war from the outset, whipping his colleagues against it, with the result that three-fifths of House Democrats voted against that immoral, illegal invasion. Once it began, he called on Congress to defund it, when few in his party were willing to go along. Despite almost no political support, he introduced articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney, accusing him (rightly, I believe) of lying to the American people to get us into the war in Iraq.

Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen? by Jeremy Scahill

http://www.thenation.com/article/166757/why-president-obama-keeping-journalist-prison-yemen

Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?
Jeremy Scahill

On February 2, 2011, President Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The two discussed counterterrorism cooperation and the battle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At the end of the call, according to a White House read-out, Obama “expressed concern” over the release of a man named Abdulelah Haider Shaye, whom Obama said “had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.” It turned out that Shaye had not yet been released at the time of the call, but Saleh did have a pardon for him prepared and was ready to sign it. It would not have been unusual for the White House to express concern about Yemen’s allowing AQAP suspects to go free. Suspicious prison breaks of Islamist militants in Yemen had been a regular occurrence over the past decade, and Saleh has been known to exploit the threat of terrorism to leverage counterterrorism dollars from the United States. But this case was different. Abdulelah Haider Shaye is not an Islamist militant or an Al Qaeda operative. He is a journalist.

Unlike most journalists covering Al Qaeda, Shaye risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al Qaeda and to interview its leaders. He also conducted several interviews with the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. Shaye did the last known interview with Awlaki just before it was revealed that Awlaki, a US citizen, was on a CIA/JSOC hit list. “We were only exposed to Western media and Arab media funded by the West, which depicts only one image of Al Qaeda,” recalls his best friend Kamal Sharaf, a well-known dissident Yemeni political cartoonist. “But Abdulelah brought a different viewpoint.”

Shaye had no reverence for Al Qaeda, but viewed the group as an important story, according to Sharaf. Shaye was able to get access to Al Qaeda figures in part due to his relationship, through marriage, to the radical Islamic cleric Abdul Majid al Zindani, the founder of Iman University and a US Treasury Department–designated terrorist. While Sharaf acknowledged that Shaye used his connections to gain access to Al Qaeda, he adds that Shaye also “boldly” criticized Zindani and his supporters: “He said the truth with no fear.”

While Shaye, 35, had long been known as a brave, independent-minded journalist in Yemen, his collision course with the US government appears to have been set in December 2009. On December 17, the Yemeni government announced that it had conducted a series of strikes against an Al Qaeda training camp in the village of al Majala in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, killing a number of Al Qaeda militants. As the story spread across the world, Shaye traveled to al Majala. What he discovered were the remnants of Tomahawk cruise missiles and cluster bombs, neither of which are in the Yemeni military’s arsenal. He photographed the missile parts, some of them bearing the label “Made in the USA,” and distributed the photos to international media outlets. He revealed that among the victims of the strike were women, children and the elderly. To be exact, fourteen women and twenty-one children were killed. Whether anyone actually active in Al Qaeda was killed remains hotly contested. After conducting his own investigation, Shaye determined that it was a US strike. The Pentagon would not comment on the strike and the Yemeni government repeatedly denied US involvement. But Shaye was later vindicated when Wikileaks released a US diplomatic cable that featured Yemeni officials joking about how they lied to their own parliament about the US role, while President Saleh assured Gen. David Petraeus that his government would continue to lie and say “the bombs are ours, not yours.”

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http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/15/jeremy_scahill_why_is_president_obama

The Obama administration is facing scrutiny for its role in the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who exposed how the United States was behind a 2009 bombing in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children. In January 2011, a Yemeni state security court gave the journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a five-year jail sentence on terrorism-related charges following a disputed trial that was condemned by several human rights and press freedom groups. Within a month of Shaye’s sentencing, then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced he was going to pardon the journalist. But Saleh changed his mind after a phone call from President Obama. Thirteen months later, Shaye remains behind bars. We speak to Mohamed Abdel Dayem of the Committee to Protect Journalists and award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. "Abdulelah Haider Shaye [is] a brave journalist who just happened to be on the wrong side of history in the eyes of the U.S.," Scahill says. "His crime seems to be interviewing the wrong people and having the audacity to publish the other side of the story."

Filed under Yemen, Drone Attacks, Drones, Freedom of the Press, Obama, War on Terror, Human Rights

Guests:Jeremy Scahill, award-winning investigative journalist and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." His latest piece for The Nation is called, "Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?"
Mohamed Abdel Dayem, coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Afghan Massacre: After Losing Homes in NATO Attacks, Victims Moved Near U.S. Base Hoping for Safety

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/14/after_afghan_massacre_grievers_left_to

As President Obama vowed to "spare no effort" to fully investigate the Afghan massacre on Tuesday, hundreds of students in eastern Afghanistan protested against the United States. Many called for an end to the U.S. occupation in their country. We go to Kabul to speak with New York Times correspondent Graham Bowley, who reported on the surviving relatives of victims of the Afghan massacre, including Abdul Samad, who lost his wife, four daughters, four sons and two other relatives. "This is a very war-torn area and very poor," Bowley says. "During the surge in 2009, the coalition forces swept through this area and destroyed many of the villages. [Displaced residents] didn’t want to come back, but they were drawn back under the urging of the Afghan government. ... Abdul Samad and other people came back to this town ... It was only just over a mile from the camp where the American soldier was stationed. He thought it was going to be safe." We also speak with Nancy Youssef, McClatchy’s top Pentagon correspondent, who compares the massacre in Afghanistan with the U.S. killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005. [Rush transcript to come. Check back soon.]

Somehow, the Word ‘Peace’ Got Lost

http://passblue.com/2012/03/09/somehow-talk-about-peace-has-been-lost/

UN WOMEN'S CONFERENCE 2012

Somehow, the Word ‘Peace’ Got Lost

by Cora Weiss • March 9, 2012

This essay was adapted from a speech that Cora Weiss, president of the Hague Appeal for Peace, a network of peace and justice groups, read as a panelist on the “Women, War and Peace” debate held during the 56th Commission on the Status of Women this month at the UN. The debate that Weiss spoke at, on March 1, showed a film, “Peace Unveiled,” about women in Afghanistan.

Who comes from a place where there has been violence or war?

I have enormous admiration and respect for the women of Afghanistan. I mourn with them for the loss of life, the wounded, the babies frozen to death in refugee camps, the destruction to their homes and communities. And I celebrate their determination to be at the peace table.

The question after so many years of war and waste is: When will we stop making war? When will the currency of foreign policy stop being weapons? When will be become exhausted from exhausting all nonlethal means of resolving conflict before resorting to violence? When will we implement the Charter of the United Nations, dedicated to preventing the scourge of war? When will women be at all the decision-making tables to prevent war and to design the peace?

Humanity has abolished slavery, colonialism, apartheid and the prohibition of women voting. Why can’t we abolish war?

We gather for the annual Commission on the Status of Women conference at this time of year because March 8 is International Women’s Day, voted by the General Assembly in 1975 to be the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Somehow, peace has gotten lost.

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R-money, is this for real?

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just too fitting..

Ohio: Fracking set off a dozen earthquakes

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/ohio-fracking-set-off-a-dozen-earthquakes-1.3592002

Ohio: Fracking set off a dozen earthquakes

Published: March 9, 2012 5:32 PM
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, state regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new rules for drillers.

Among the new regulations: Well operators must submit more comprehensive geological data when requesting a drill site, and the chemical makeup of all drilling wastewater must be tracked electronically.

Both could mean extra costs for gas drillers looking for new wells and ways to get rid of wastewater — much of which is taken in by Ohio.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced the tough new brine injection regulations because of the report's findings on the well in Youngstown, which it said were based on "a number of coincidental circumstances."

For one, investigators said, the well began operations just three months ahead of the first quake

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The Afghan Women's Writing Project celebrates International Women's Day

http://awwproject.org/2012/03/today-is-different/

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Today Is Different

I am embarrassed
Looking here and there—
What to write first?
Words, smile, tell me,
Send me first!
I don’t know—should I
Write a letter to my mother
Or call Masha?

Today is different
It is the 8th of March
I am looking for a gift
To send to Afghan women
In a small package of love

I send you love and strength
My pen desires, my poem smiles
That I should write you,
Women of my country
Congratulations this 8th of March

History is witness, I swear
Every day can be a bright day
Every day can be your day

By Norwan

Revealed: The best and worst places to be a woman

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-the-best-and-worst-places-to-be-a-woman-7534794.html

Revealed: The best and worst places to be a woman
An Independent on Sunday investigation to mark International Women's Day unearths some surprising results...

When more than half of the world's population wakes up on Thursday – the 101st International Women's Day – it will be hard to know whether to celebrate or give in to despair. A British woman will face the prospect of at least 14 more general elections before women equal men in the Commons. But a woman in Qatar will be six times more likely to go to university than the man next door.

The global gender gap defies simple solutions. Eighty-five per cent of countries have improved conditions for women over the past six years, according to the World Economic Forum, but in economic and political terms there is still a long way to go.

"From London to Lahore," says Oxfam, "inequality between men and women persists." Here The Independent on Sunday explores the best places to be a woman today.

1. Best place to be a woman: Iceland..

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Seamus, the dog-on-the-roof, a political icon

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/opinion/collins-dogging-mitt-romney.html?_r=2&hp

Dogging Mitt RomneyBy GAIL COLLINS
Published: March 7, 2012

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but Mitt Romney once drove to Canada with the family Irish setter on the roof of the car.

Seamus, the dog-on-the-roof, has become a kind of political icon. You cannot go anywhere without running into him. There are Seamus T-shirts and endless Web sites. This week, the story was a New Yorker cover, with Rick Santorum playing the role of the Irish setter.

<snip>
At some point — possibly in response to the excitement about being passed by tractor-trailers while floating like a furry maraschino cherry on top of the car, Seamus developed diarrhea. And Romney, who had designated all the acceptable rest stops before beginning the trip, was forced to make an unscheduled trip to a gas station. Where he kept the family in the car while he hosed down the station wagon and the dog, then returned to the highway.

<snip>

People, does any of this sound appealing? Elect Mitt Romney and he will take the nation on the road to the future. Some of us will be stuck on the roof. The rest of us will be inside singing camp songs and waiting for the day when the master plan lets us stop to visit the bathroom. Plus, anybody who screws up on the way to the future gets the hose.

Anyhow, we are now at a post-Super-Tuesday lull in the campaign, and I am ready to answer Seamus questions.

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