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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
May 19, 2023

Post-9/11 wars have contributed to some 4.5 million deaths, report suggests

By Miriam Berger
May 15, 2023 at 3:13 p.m. EDT


Brown University researchers, in a report released Monday, draw on U.N. data and expert analyses to attempt to calculate the minimum number of excess deaths attributable to the war on terrorism, across conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — impacts “so vast and complex that” ultimately, “they are unquantifiable,” the researchers acknowledge.

The accounting, so far as it can be measured, puts the toll at 4.5 million to 4.6 million — a figure that continues to mount as the effects of conflict reverberate. Of those fatalities, the report estimates, some 3.6 million to 3.7 million were “‘indirect deaths” caused by the deterioration of economic, environmental, psychological and health conditions.


Since 2010, a team of 50 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians participating in the Costs of War project have kept their own calculations. According to their latest assessment, more than 906,000 people, including 387,000 civilians, died directly from post-9/11 wars. Another 38 million people have been displaced or made refugees. The U.S. federal government, meanwhile, has spent over $8 trillion on these wars, the research suggests.

But Savell said the research indicates that exponentially more people, especially children and the most impoverished and marginalized populations, have been killed by the effects of war — mounting poverty, food insecurity, environmental contamination, the ongoing trauma of violence, and the destruction of health and public infrastructure, along with private property and means of livelihood.


( The War on Terror, brought to you by Bush/Cheney American style. )

May 19, 2023

Story of homeless veterans displaced by migrants was false

A claim that veterans were ousted from Hudson Valley lodging as a result of NYC's migrant surge was a tall tale

May 18, 2023
Updated: May 19, 2023 11:56 a.m.

NEWBURGH — Over the past week, a sensational story has torn through local and national media: A local nonprofit said homeless veterans under its care had been kicked out of upstate hotels to make room for migrants bused from New York City. But the story has fallen apart over the past 48 hours, culminating Thursday evening with state Assemblyman Brian Maher, R-Walden, who had been advocating for the veterans in national media and in the state Legislature, denouncing it as false in a call with the Times Union.

Maher said he was “devastated and disheartened” after a conversation with the CEO of the nonprofit earlier in the day revealed that the story wasn’t true. He is calling for the organization to be investigated by the state attorney general’s office and the Orange County district attorney.

Excerpt: According to Maher’s account, he was taken for a ride. Sharon Toney-Finch, the CEO of the nonprofit, is a respected person in the community with a track record of helping veterans, he said. At a Wingate hotel in Fishkill, Maher spoke with two people claiming to be veterans who were displaced from the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh, which has received 110 migrants sent by New York City; he spoke to a purported driver who transported the displaced vets; and he assembled care packages and solicited donations after the nonprofit asked for his help.

Maher shared the names and phone numbers of the purported veterans and the driver with the Times Union. On Friday, one of the purported veterans told a reporter that he had been recruited to take part in a scheme designed to perpetuate Toney-Finch’s story.


May 19, 2023

Police officer charged with lying about leaks to Proud Boys leader

50 minutes ago

A police officer was arrested Friday on charges he lied about leaking confidential information to a leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group and obstructed an investigation after group members destroyed a Black Lives Matter banner in the nation’s capital.

An indictment alleges that Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Shane Lamond, 47, of Stafford, Virginia, warned former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio that law enforcement had an arrest warrant for Tarrio related to the banner’s destruction.

Tarrio was arrested in Washington two days before Proud Boys members joined a mob in storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Earlier this month, Tarrio and three other group members were convicted of seditious conspiracy charges for what prosecutors said was a plot to keep then-President Donald Trump in the White House after he lost the 2020 election.

A federal grand jury in Washington indicted Lamond on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Friday.


( One by one..........)

May 19, 2023

Kenneth Roth@KenRoth: Why are Arab leaders welcoming Syria's Assad.


( It's been terrible for so long, hard to imagine what it would take to see positive change. )
May 18, 2023

( NBC news ) The school put the teacher on administrative leave, causing her to resign

Parents file a police report after teacher offers LGBTQ-themed book to her middle schoolers

“The notion that I was putting children in danger because of books ... I knew I couldn’t go back," said teacher Sarah Bonner.

May 16, 2023, 9:01 AM EDT
By Danielle Campoamor, TODAY

Sarah Bonner has been an Illinois middle school teacher for 20 years, and she has always tried to offer her students a diverse collection of books.

This year, a parent called the police over her book choice.

It started on Monday, March 13, 2023, when she held what she calls a “book tasting” for students.

“I wanted to give them a smattering of fiction and nonfiction to choose from on a day that we call "Reading Monday,'" Bonner, 42, told TODAY.com. “We just read and celebrate books.”


( More boogeyman tactics to distract voters from GOP failures: fail to end poverty, fail to keep kids safe from being shot, fail to keep people safe from a government collapse. The list goes on and on and why they require so many distractions.)

Sorry about the deleted tweet...no idea what happened.
May 18, 2023

F.B.I. Revokes Security Clearances of 3 Agents Over Jan. 6 Issues

At least two of the three agents are scheduled to testify on Thursday to a House panel investigating what Republicans contend is the “weaponization” of federal agencies against conservatives.

By Alan Feuer
May 17, 2023

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has revoked the security clearances of three agents who either took part in the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, or later expressed views about it that placed into question their “allegiance to the United States,” the bureau said on Wednesday in a letter to congressional investigators.

The letter, written by a top official at the F.B.I., came one day before at least two of the agents — Marcus Allen and Stephen Friend — were set to testify in front of a House Judiciary subcommittee investigating what Republicans contend is the “weaponization” of the federal government against conservatives.

Excerpt: What Mr. Friend omitted from his account was that while Mr. Bensch was charged with only misdemeanors, documents in his case say that on Jan. 6, he posted a video of himself outside the Capitol wearing body armor and a gas mask and carrying an AR-15-style rifle. The documents also say that witnesses later told the F.B.I. that they had seen photographs of Mr. Bensch carrying a similar rifle at other times.

According to the letter, Mr. Friend “espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol” during his communications with his supervisors about refusing to participate in the arrest of Mr. Bensch.


( Disturbing doesn't quite cover it. )

May 17, 2023

Law firm unveils findings from Boise police racism investigation

CAROLYN KOMATSOULIS ckomatsoulis@idahopress.com

21 hrs ago Comments

Steptoe & Johnson attorney Michael Bromwich said the investigation into racism in the Boise Police Department found that many officers were surprised to find out about former captain Matthew Bryngelson’s white supremacist views.

But though many in the department had negative views of Bryngelson, he was approached and encouraged to seek promotion. Ultimately, he became a supervisor.

“One senior member of the department at that time who was involved with considering Mr. Bryngelson for promotion was strongly opposed to him and said if this goes through and he becomes a supervisor, we will be reading about this in the newspaper someday,” Bromwich said during Tuesday’s Boise City Council meeting, where the details of the investigation were unveiled for the first time. “Unfortunately, it’s quite prophetic.”

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced the investigation by Steptoe & Johnson last November, after news came to light that Bryngelson participated in a white nationalist conference. Bryngelson was slated to speak at a conference put on by a group that promotes “pseudo-scientific studies and research that purports to show the inferiority of blacks to whites,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bryngelson spent more than 20 years with BPD before retiring in August 2022.


May 17, 2023

A Great Week for American Labor

Today on TAP: Doctors in Philly and auto (well, actually, bus) workers in rural Georgia both go union big-time.


Two signal union victories last week suggest that, against all odds, the American labor movement may have a future. The first confirmed a new trend in worker organizing; the second could mean that the government has finally found a way to help workers to join a union.

Residents and fellows at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Med hospital voted 892 to 110 to join SEIU’s Committee of Interns and Residents. The election was further validation that workers who can’t easily be replaced (in this case, doctors) are flocking to unions these days. Just on the U of P campus, museum workers unionized recently, and TAs and RAs are expected to during the spring term.

Ever since employers realized in the 1970s and ’80s that they could fire replaceable (chiefly, nonprofessional) workers who sought to go union, successful organizing campaigns, even in a relatively pro-union city like Philly, have ground to a halt. But independent professionals like physicians are responding to the corporatization of medicine by acting like the proletarians of yore (i.e., going union). The victory for 1,400 residents and interns was the largest unionization of any kind that had taken place in Philadelphia in the past 53 years.

The second of last week’s union victories is even more astonishing. Last Friday, largely African American workers at a rural school bus factory in Southwest Georgia joined the United Steelworkers by the decisive margin of 697 to 435. As a New York Times report noted, the landmark legislation and agency rulings of the Biden presidency have tilted the playing field just a bit in the workers’ favor.


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