Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sean Hannity Volunteers To Be Waterboarded!!!

‫עוזי משולם חטיפת ילדי תימן‬‎ - YouTube

‫עוזי משולם חטיפת ילדי תימן‬‎ - YouTube

Rabbi Uzi Meshulam and his son are persecuted - YouTube

Rabbi Uzi Meshulam and his son are persecuted - YouTube

Uploaded on Dec 11, 2006
Corrupt elements in the Israeli government offices keep on persecuting the Rabbi Uzi Meshulam (who brought the kidnapped Yemenite children issue to public awareness).Those elements made him a well planned character assassination by the media and finally arrested him. While being in jail, they injected strange materials (which reminds me... "Haaled Mashal" affair) that harmed essential systems of his body like the leaver, pancreas.. The result was a total collapse of his body. Thanks g-o-d they couldn't harm his brain soul and spirit. Nowadays they keep on persecuting his eldest son Emanuel Yedida. They forced him to leave Israel threatening him that if he won't - they will frame his father, him and to make it real, some of the rabbi's students with murder case!).He asked for asylum in Canada and now the foreign ministry is asking Canada to decline Emanuel's humanitarian request.
Read more at ""

Israel-Yemenite babies abduction- exposer is persecuted - YouTube

Israel-Yemenite babies abduction- exposer is persecuted - YouTube

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Opening Statement (C-SPAN)

Friday, January 25, 2013

‘Triple Dip’ Recession Eyed in Britain

Britain’s economy continued to shrink in the fourth quarter, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday, meaning that the country could be headed for an unprecedented “triple dip” recession. The country’s gross domestic product shrank 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2012, with the economy still below its September 2011 levels and smaller by 3.3 percent than in 2008. Sterling fell Friday to its lowest levels against the euro in over a year, and output by Britain’s manufacturing sector dropped by 1.5 percent in the quarter and 1.8 percent for the year as a whole. Britain entered a recession in September 2011, but briefly rallied earlier this year, buoyed by the London Olympics and the queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  - Reuters

Clitorectomy is Misogyny

Cutting the clitoris of a woman is an Islamic precept that removes the ability to experience sexual pleasure (thereby making a woman less apt to cheat, or enjoy life, for that matter). There is absolutely no health benefit. It is a misogyny. And don't think it doesn't affect American society. Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs

Rape is a human rights issue

We have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern. Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender. - Rebecca Solnitt, Tomdispatch

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Son of COINTELPRO - Blacklisted News

The FBI’s documents show a government agency at its most paranoid. It considered all planned protests, and the individuals involved, as potential threats. Most disturbing of all, there is talk (p. 61) of the government being ready to “engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary” and perhaps needing to formulate a plan “to kill the leadership [of the protest groups] via suppressed sniper rifles.”
Furthermore, the documents reveal a close and intricate partnership between the federal government on one side and banks and private businesses on the other.
On August 19, 2011, the FBI met with representatives of the New York Stock Exchange in order to discuss OWS protests that wouldn’t happen for another four weeks. In September of that year, even before OWS got into full swing, the FBI was notifying local businesses that they might be affected by protests. It is not clear if, while on Wall Street, the FBI investigated the criminal and irresponsible behavior engaged in by some of the largest banks on the planet, behavior which led directly to the financial crisis of 2008.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Raising Arab Children with Hatred Dashes Peace Hopes

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Raised on Hatred

"In recent decades Israeli and American administrations negotiated with unelected Arab despots, who played a double game. They honored the formal peace treaties by not conducting military attacks against Israel. But they condoned the Islamists’ dissemination of hatred against Israel, Zionism and Jews.
As the Islamists spread their influence through civil institutions, young people were nursed on hatred.
In the wake of the Arab Spring, as the people take a chance on democracy, they and their new leadership want to see their ideals turned into policy.
For too many of those who fought for their own liberation, one of those ideals is the end of peace with Israel. The United States must make clear to Morsi that this is not an option.
This is also a crucial opportunity for the region’s secular movements, which must speak out against the clergy’s incitement of young minds to hatred. It is time for these secular movements to start a counter education in tolerance."
This is also a crucial opportunity for the region’s secular movements, which must speak out against the clergy’s incitement of young minds to hatred. It is time for these secular movements to start a counter education in tolerance."
Elder of Ziyon

MLK's Vehement Condemnations of US Militarism

By Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK
21 January 13
His vital April 4, 1967 speech is a direct repudiation of the sophistry now used to defend US violence and aggression.

he civil right achievements of Martin Luther King are quite justly the focus of the annual birthday commemoration of his legacy. But it is remarkable, as I've noted before on this holiday, how completely his vehement anti-war advocacy is ignored when commemorating his life (just as his economic views are). By King's own description, his work against US violence and militarism, not only in Vietnam but generally, was central - indispensable - to his worldview and activism, yet it has been almost completely erased from how he is remembered.
King argued for the centrality of his anti-militarism advocacy most eloquently on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City - exactly one year before the day he was murdered. That extraordinary speech was devoted to answering his critics who had been complaining that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work ("Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask?"). King, citing seven independent reasons, was adamant that ending US militarism and imperialism was not merely a moral imperative in its own right, but a prerequisite to achieving any meaningful reforms in American domestic life.
In that speech, King called the US government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today", as well as the leading exponent of "the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long" (is there any surprise this has been whitewashed from his legacy?). He emphasized that his condemnations extended far beyond the conflict in Southeast Asia: "the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit." He insisted that no significant social problem - wealth inequality, gun violence, racial strife - could be resolved while the US remains "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift" - a recipe, he said, for certain "spiritual death". For that reason, he argued, "it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war." That's because:
"If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.
#China #Social Media @SocialMediaCorp

China's Social Media Support Fiscal Transparency

The year 2011 was dubbed ‘the first year of government affairs microblogging’ in China.
Reversing a decades-long practice of secrecy over government financial information, the Chinese government has opened its books to the public. In addition to continuing to provide information through official channels to government bodies and political institutions, Chinese government departments have taken to the internet to disseminate financial information to the public. Hundreds of millions of Chinese netizens now have access to this information, and many use it to complain about official corruption. What effect this public feedback will have on government policy and official conduct remains to be seen. However, we predict that once the books of the government are opened, it will be impossible to close them again.
#China #Social Media @SocialMediaCorp

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lenin's Tips for the Teaparty [Ignored]

"Only one thing is needed to enable us to march forward more surely and more firmly to victory: namely, the full and complete thought of our appreciation by all communists in all countries of the necessity of displaying the utmost flexibility in their tactics. The strictest loyalty to the ideas of communism must be combined with the ability to make all the necessary practical compromises, to attack, to make agreements, zigzags, retreats, etc." [Lenin, Left Wing Communism, 1920].

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Billionaires Subvert Democracy

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the billionaires discover that they can steal for themselves largess of the public treasury through buying politicians. From that time on the billionaires will always buy candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship." Truthout

Coporate Control of Government is Fascism

Dictator Francisco Franco
Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, doesn’t know what a fascist is.
Speaking with NPR this week, multimillionaire Mackey tried to express how much he hates Obamacare. Back in 2009, he hated Obamacare so much that he called it “socialism.” But now, in 2013, Mackey thinks Obamacare is “fascism.”
“Technically speaking, [Obamacare] is more like fascism,” he said. “Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it, and that’s what’s happening with our healthcare programs and these reforms.”
Mackey has since walked back this description saying he “regrets using that word now” because there’s “so much baggage attached to it.”
But, whether Mackey meant to or not, it’s about time someone injected the word fascism back into our political debate. Especially now that corporations wield more power today than they have in America since the Robber Baron Era.
First, let’s take on Mackey’s definitions of socialism and fascism, which he likely procured from the Google machine after typing in, “What are the differences between socialism and fascism?”
Yes, socialism encourages more democratic control of the economy. Or, if Mackey insists, more government ownership of the economy – in particular, ownership of the commons and natural resources.  
Fascism, on the other hand, is something completely different. Reporter Sy Mukherjee, who blogged about this story over at notes, “Although fascist nations do often control their ‘means of production,’ Mackey seems to have forgotten that they usually utilize warfare, forced mass mobilization of the public, and politically-motivated violence against their own peoples to achieve their ends.”
The 1983 American Heritage Dictionary defined fascism as: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." Fascism originated in Italy, and Mussolini claims to have invented the word itself. It was actually his ghostwriter, Giovanni Gentile, who invented it and defined it in the Encyclopedia Italiana in this way: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
In other words, fascism is corporate government – a Libertarian’s wet dream. It’s a government in which the Atlas’s of industry are given free rein to control the economy, just how they’re regulated, how much they pay in taxes, how much they pay their workers. It should be noted here that, ironically, John Mackey describes himself as a Libertarian.
In 1938, Mussolini finally got his chance to bring fascism to fruition. He dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Members of the Chamber were not selected to represent particular regional constituencies, but instead to represent various aspects of Italian industry and trade. They were the corporate leaders of Italy.
Imagine if the House of Representatives was dissolved and replaced by a Council of America’s most powerful CEOs – the Kochs, the Waltons, the Blankfeins, the Dimons, the Mackeys, you get the picture.
Actually, that’s not too difficult to imagine, huh? But, that’d be similar to what Mussolini defined as fascism.
As we know, fascism was eventually defeated in World War 2. But just before the end of the war, with the fascists on the ropes, the Vice President of the United States at the time, Henry Wallace, penned an op-ed for the New York Times warning Americans about the creeping dangers of fascism – or corporate government.
He defined a fascist as, “those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.”
Under that definition we can throw those CEOs who’ve decided to evade Obamacare’s mandate to provide health insurance to their employees, like New York City Applebee’s franchise owner Zane Terkel, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, and executives at Darden Restaurants.
Or, perhaps, Wallace is referring to the banksters at Goldman Sachs who knowingly evaded laws and sold investors “shitty deals” or scammed entire cities into bankruptcy or illegally foreclosed on thousands of Americans through fraudulently robo-signing all in the name of short term profits and all in the name of preserving their monopolistic, too-big-to-fail status.
Either way, evading laws meant to protect the public in order to pad your own pockets has become the name of the game in Corporate America today.
Wallace goes on to write, “The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism.”
Can anyone say Fox News, or the rest of the Conservative media complex? Or, those on the Right who divide working people and turn them against each other: makers versus takes, public sector workers versus private sector workers, and white people versus brown people.
“They use every opportunity to impugn democracy,” wrote Wallace. Does that sound familiar after months of Republican efforts to disenfranchise large swaths of the electorate with voter suppression ID laws, as well as restrictions on early voting and voter registration in largely Democratic areas?
Or what about what Republicans in Pennsylvania are doing right now to rig the next Presidential election by changing how Electoral votes are counted in the state?
Wallace continues, “They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”
We often hear of free enterprise from the likes of Wall Street, Big Oil, and the defense industry. Yet these are the same corporations that also lobby to keep generous taxpayer subsidies, bailouts, and no-bid contracts in place that allow them to reign supreme over the markets and crush their smaller, more independent competition.
And the common man suffers as a result. Wages as a percentage of GDP are lower than they’ve ever been. Unionization rates are lower than they’ve ever been in more than a half-century. And yet, corporate profits as a percent of GDP are higher than they’ve ever been in American history.
At the time Wallace was writing this op-ed, he was confident that the fascists had been adequately held in check in America by the Roosevelt Administration. As he wrote, “Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion.”
But, he went on to warn that in the future, “[Fascism] may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac.”
Sure enough, the bastions of fascism can be found on Wall Street. Main Street, which used to be lined with local independent businesses, is now lined with predatory, transnational giants. And along the Potomac, we find politicians who are more than happy to do the bidding of their corporate overlords.
Today in America, we are dangerously close to seeing Wallace’s fascistic, dystopic America come into fruition. We see the traces of it everywhere.
Unfortunately, too many Americans just didn’t have a word to define what’s happening. But, thanks to John Mackey, and thanks to the foresight of Vice President Henry Wallace, we do have the right word now: Fascism.
Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is The Thom Hartmann Reader.
Sam Sacks is a former Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill.  He's now the senior producer on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann airing weeknights at 7pm EST on Free Speech TV and RT America.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Trillion Dollar Coin: A Debt Solution for the People

Far from being a gimmick, having the U.S. Treasury mint high-denomination coins is a solution that cuts to the root of America’s financial problems. And Benjamin Franklin would have liked it, too.

We have a chance today to end the charade of big money gridlock politics, as well as the reign of the big banks. But the current government is so thoroughly captured by the bank-created money of our time that it is unlikely to take action without pressure from the people. Our ignorance on these issues has played into the hands of the 1 percent, who are dependent on the current system for their wealth and power. However, the massive push from educational campaigns such as those organized by Occupy Wall Street, Strike Debt, and the Free University is starting to lift the veil from our eyes. - Ellen Brown, Common Dreams

We Cast Terror

France is on high alert and has stepped up army patrols of public buildings and transport networks as Islamist militant groups have threatened revenge attacks for France's military campaign against al Qaeda-linked rebels in Mali.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Amnesty: French try avoiding casualties, Israelis don't

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 08:15 AM PST
From AlertNet:
"With the current intervention of the French, we are, of course, very afraid that the humanitarian situation will worsen very quickly," said Salvatore Saguès, West Africa researcher at Amnesty International.

He said civilian casualties were virtually unavoidable - despite France's best efforts to target rebel fighters in its bombing campaign - because rebels were living among civilians.

"It is simply impossible to really separate the armed groups and the population because the armed groups (are) in towns, in civilian buildings," Saguès told AlertNet in a phone interview.
Did Amnesty show any similar understanding of Israel's attempts to only target terrorists and avoid civilian casualties? Did Amnesty notice the difference between a Western state and the Islamist terrorist group it was fighting as it does in Mali, a nation that cannot possibly directly threaten France with rockets? Did it ever refer to "Israel's best efforts" to avoid civilian casualties when the terrorists were hiding among civilians?

Of course not. To Amnesty, Israel and terror groups are interchangeable.

How I Created a Six Figure Income eBook

How I Created a Six Figure Income eBook

Dennis Kucinich Enters Fox News Territory

Right-Wing Territory: Fox News has hired former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich to serve as a paid contributor for the conservative cable news channel, making him one of the network’s highest profile liberals. Kucinich will make his debut on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor.” He said in a statement: “Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership. I look forward to a continuation of our relationship, this time as a Fox News contributor.” Kucinich is also a contributor for Truthdig.- Politics Today

Michele Bachmann - Here Comes Trouble

Here Comes Trouble: A former top adviser to Rep. Michele Bachmann has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing the former Republican presidential candidate of violating campaign finance laws during her White House run. Peter Waldron, who served as Bachmann’s national field organizer, claims the Minnesota congresswoman’s presidential campaign received money from her political action committee, MichelePAC, to pay a fundraising consultant, something that is against FEC rules. The allegation comes several days after Waldron said Bachmann still owed money to former staffers who worked on her failed presidential bid. Politics Today

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ghana: Spirit Child - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

Spirit Child - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

Every year an unknown number of children - most of them disabled in some way - are murdered in northern Ghana because of the belief that they are in some way possessed by evil spirits set on bringing ill fortune to those around them.

The practice is the consequence of ancient traditions and customs and is shaped by poverty and ignorance in remote and often marginalised communities. But it is still infanticide and no less horrifying than the killing of children anywhere. For years NGOs and the Ghanaian authorities have tried advocacy and education in an attempt to eradicate the practice but with only marginal success. Well into the 21st century, Ghana's so-called spirit children are still being killed because they carry the blame for the misfortunes of everyday life.

Award-winning Ghanaian investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas is determined to do something to stop this senseless slaughter. In this shocking and remarkable film for People & Power he sets out to track down and identify some of those responsible and to bring them to justice.
Filmmaker's view
By Anas Aremeyaw Anas

Thousands of children have been killed in Ghana because the communities they are born into believe they are evil spirits. When I first heard about this I could not believe it was happening in my country in the 21st century.

The practice originally emerged as a way for poor families to deal with deformed or disabled children that they cannot look after. These families approach village elders known as concoction men and inform them that they suspect their child to be a so-called spirit child. The concoction man then takes the father of the child to visit a soothsayer who confirms whether or not the child is truly evil, without ever actually laying eyes on them.

Once this confirmation has been received, the concoction man brews a poisonous liquid from local roots and herbs and force-feeds it to the child, almost always resulting in death.

Over time, this practice has become a perceived solution to any problems a family might be having at the time of a child's birth. By blaming the child for sickness in the family, or the father's inability to find work or provide money to support his dependents, these communities have found an otherworldly explanation for their problems.

In this highly patriarchal society it enables heads of family to pass the blame for their struggles onto someone else. And by branding the child a spirit from outside the family, they can disassociate themselves and feel justified in murdering their own offspring, while telling those around them that now all will be well - the evil presence is gone.

But infanticide has always been a crime against humanity. I believe there is plenty of evidence of infanticide in the history of all human societies and its continued and widespread practice makes a mockery of the democratic credentials of the countries, including mine, where this crime still takes place. Many forms of civic engagement and advocacy have been used in a bid to eradicate this practice in Ghana and other West African nations. Sadly though, the limited efficacy of such techniques is illustrated by the fact that today children are still being killed in this way.
Ready to spill blood in the name of tradition
And sometimes a strong focus on understanding and education when dealing with traditional practices can distance us from the reality of a situation; it can place us in an ivory tower where we fail to engage with the true manner in which those involved are behaving. Far from acting like a man fulfilling a sad but necessary duty, the concoction man I hired to kill my fictitious child for the purposes of this film was excited; his eyes pinned wide with zeal as he went about preparing for the task at hand.

He laughed and joked about his previous experience, telling me about how he had recently killed a 12-year-old girl by tricking her into drinking his concoction and boasting about how effective his methods are. Without knowing the context, any casual observer would surely consider his disposition nothing short of murderous.

While I understand that he was misguided - ready to spill innocent blood in the name of tradition - I also strongly believe that, no matter what the circumstances, where children are being murdered the state must step in to punish those responsible in the same way that the citizens of any developed democracy would expect it to.

That is not to say that some understanding cannot be afforded to the concoction men and the communities that continue to practice these rituals. Unlike those with the benefit of technology who can see a badly developed fetus and terminate it before birth, the mothers whose babies are killed in northern Ghana have no such options.

They may find themselves giving birth to a child only to discover that it is not normal: it will never be accepted and will always be a burden on those around it. In the absence of technology or a refuge for mother and child to escape to, the concoction man is the only solution. As a result, the parents perceive him as a saviour; the only one who can deliver them from enduring further hardship. And the concoction men in turn thrive on the standing and power this affords them in the community.

When we think of slavery or the burning of alleged witches, these crimes against humanity were only eradicated when key actors in government decided to take a stand. By declaring these practices as unacceptable and threatening those who continue to perpetrate them with prosecution, governments have brought about the abolition of centuries-old traditions in a relatively short space of time.
Permitting evil to triumph over good

From northern Ghana, where the spirit child story is set, through Burkina Faso, Benin and parts of Nigeria, countless babies are killed based on age-old cultural beliefs. But despite this, we were unable to find any evidence of previous arrests for these crimes.

During the three weeks that I worked on this story, I came across 10 men who were willing to kill a baby for spiritual reasons. They were easy to find. Yet when I asked a senior police officer why no arrests have been made, his response was: "It is a very difficult thing to do. It's unfortunate, we have no idea why this is happening, who is behind this and why they have not been arrested."

My intention is not to suggest that one investigation or police arrest can stop this trend. But in many ways, the practice's continued existence is a result of the impunity enjoyed by those involved. The fact that the police have never acted in any way to prevent these children being killed is surely a strong incentive for the concoction men to continue their business as usual. Invariably, this type of laisser-faire attitude is what permits evil to triumph over good.

Democracy has no value if it is only limited to occasional ceremonies for power holders. It is worthless if the voiceless are crushed and the perpetrators of atrocities are allowed to continue living their life without suffering any consequences. It certainly cannot exist where freedom and justice, selectively applied, mean that children are killed with impunity.

Al Jazeera breaking into US market

In the beginning of every week, the Listening Post team sits down for an editorial meeting with Richard Gizbert to discuss what media story to lead with for the lead segment: The News Divide. Some weeks, the choice is clear. This week, we were divided - excuse the pun. In China we had a strong media angle to an ongoing story: Journalists at Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly went on strike and staged a rare public protest against censorship after a row broke out over their New Year editorial. Fallout from the battle spread to Beijing. Journalists at the Beijing News were reportedly forced to run an editorial attacking Southern Weekly. The editor and publisher have threatened to resign.

But we decided to push the China story down our ‘bulletin’ because of another story circulating - not just because it is all about us, but because it marks a new chapter in the story of international TV news history.

Al Jazeera has bought out American cable channel Current TV at a reported $500mn. The aim: to crack the media market in the US. The hurdle: the stigma still attached to the Al Jazeera brand in the US. Cable operators are key middlemen in the American media business and the major ones have refused Al Jazeera’s attempts to get its signal out. And that is just the first hurdle. Our newsrooms are abuzz with all sorts of questions. What kind of journalism can this new channel offer? Will this be the voice of the South – in the North? What kind of added value can it offer on the US market? How can it compete with other news channels? And are Americans even interested? Those are the elements we will be exploring in this week’s News Divide with some interesting contributors, well versed in the history, politics and economics of this ever expanding news operation.

Apart from China, other Newsbytes: Klub Radio, one of few media outlets in Hungary to critically examine the policies of Viktor Orban, the conservative prime minister, has won its battle with the Hungarian authorities to stay on the air; and an update to last week’s show about whistleblowers in Obama’s America with former CIA operative John Kiriakou scheduled to be sentenced to two and a half years in jail for releasing the name of a covert CIA officer to a freelance reporter.  
Sri Lanka’s boldest journalists
For this week’s feature, we interview one journalist who has recently fled her country, Sri Lanka. Over the past few years freedom of the press has been under attack by the government there. One newspaper in particular has been in the governmental crosshairs, the Sunday Leader. Back in 2009, the editor was threatened with death over his journalism, then shot and killed. And his successor, having been threatened herself, has recently fled the country. We speak with editor Frederica Jansz.

Finally, we have never given a web video of the week a re-run before, but recent news has given this one fresh relevance. Back in 2006, when Al Jazeera English first launched as a news channel, among the people who took a look at us was the Daily Show, Jon Stewart’s programme on Comedy Central in the US. We ran some of that piece back then and with Al Jazeera making another push into the US market, we thought this would be an appropriate time to dust it off and take a second look.

Families grieve as Chicago killings increase - Features - Al Jazeera English

Families grieve as Chicago killings increase - Features - Al Jazeera English


Families grieve as Chicago killings increase

Community organiser Darius McGraw was one of more than 500 people killed in the US' deadliest city in 2012.
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2013 06:58
Matthew Cassel reports from Chicago, where killings went up 15 percent in 2012

Chicago, US - A stack of glossy images showing an active and smiling young man is all that's left for Darius McGraw's family to remember him by.
On a cold morning in November 2012, 22-year-old McGraw was gunned down while walking to the home of his fiancée on Chicago's Southwest Side to pick up the couple's two-year-old daughter, Harmony.
"You could tell he was a loving father," said 58-year-old Arthur McGraw, remembering his son. "[Harmony] was his life."
The McGraw family said they weren't sure who killed Darius, but they were not alone in being forced to mourn a loved one slain in the US' third largest city last year.
According to a website set up by The Chicago Tribune to track homicides in the city, 513 people were killed in Chicago in 2012, most by gun violence.
The number is 15 percent higher than the previous year, and higher than more populous cities such as New York and Los Angeles - where the homicide rate has been decreasing in recent years.
Chicago authorities say gangs are to blame for the increase in deadly violence, and much of which is happening just minutes away from US President Barack Obama's Chicago home.
But family members said Darius, who was well known in the community as an activist and breakdancer, did not belong to any gang and encouraged other youth to stay away from them.
"Darius worked with all the young people in the community, teaching them how to breakdance and trying to teach them some values in life," his father said.
"He just tried to help, because he knew it was rough out here on the streets of Chicago."
'Most are good'
To try and combat the violence, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced the launching of a Gang Violence Reduction Strategy in May.
The strategy will use more high-tech means to gather intelligence on dozens of gangs across the city, which can then be shared more easily between police districts, the mayor's statement read. It also sought to target "problem" businesses, such as "liquor and convenience stores that serve as conduits for criminal activity".
"Whether it is a vacant building or a liquor store, we are committed to closing down cancers on our communities that serve as magnets for crime and gang activity," Emanuel said at a July press conference.
While the strategy hasn't managed to reduce killings citywide, in the South Side Englewood neighborhood, infamous for being one of the city's deadliest, Chicago police say the situation is improving.
Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz told Al Jazeera that killings were down by almost 40 percent in his seventh district. He said this is due not only to the mayor's violence reduction strategy, but that his police force sought to engage people in the community to understand the problems "and not just see people when we’re racing into a call".
Schmitz said that "most people are good in Englewood", adding that he works closely with pastors, local officials, school principals and other community figures to put an end to the violence.
"There isn’t one answer" to keeping the violence in the district down, Schmitz said.
"The police just can't make things happen themselves. We [need] a partnership with everybody together to make things work here in Englewood."
Devastated communities
But not everyone sees more policing as part of the solution to the violence.
"The reason why the violence is getting worse is because more and more resources are being taken away from our communities," said Chris Bufford, a 26-year-old community activist who worked with Darius at the Southwest Youth Collaborative (SWYC).
In October, SWYC - one of the few organisations of its kind on the Southwest Side - was forced to close due to a lack of funds.
Bufford described SWYC as a space where many young people from the community would get services such as mentorship and tutoring. "And that's no longer there for them," he said.
In largely Black and Latino areas on Chicago's South and West Sides, where most killings occurred in 2012, it's common to see empty lots and boarded up homes and shops on nearly every street. In many neighbourhoods, liquor stores are some of the only places that can be found open.
"If we invest in our communities, in the housing, in the schools, in a justice system that helps to rehabilitate people, in the people that we say are causing all the trouble in our communities … I guarantee violence would be reduced," Bufford said.
But, for now, that investment doesn't appear to be taking place. And already in the first week of 2013, 12 people were killed in Chicago - putting the new year on track to be as deadly as the last.
"If you don't give [young people] nothing to do, they will turn to the gang members as their family," said Arthur McGraw, Darius' father.
As a police siren blared in the background, McGraw added: "It's just devastating to see your child get killed on the streets."

IDF Captain Saves Palestinians

"What made you want to risk your life in the middle of a storm?
Our role in the region is not easy. Believe me when I say that I understand we are in a complicated situation with the Palestinians. But at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. The commander of our regional brigade has repeatedly emphasized to those under his command that helping the Palestinian civilian population is a vital part of our role as IDF soldiers in the area.
I didn’t even think twice about it. People’s lives were in danger. I was ready to take the chance.
After this incident, my soldiers and I continued to rescue stranded Palestinians in the area throughout the night, but this story was undoubtedly the most memorable."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Taiwan's Nuclear Free Wish

Taiwan bears critical risk as two nuclear power plants, NPP1 and NPP2, which the seismic resistance coefficient is estimated evidently less than that of Fukushima Daiichi NPP, are located tightly alongside the active fault zone of the volcanic arc…According to nuclear energy researcher Koide Hiroaki, once the radioactive materials of NPP4 Taiwan are released, the exposure to the Northern region will result in 30,000 death immediately and 7 million residents with chronic diseases or cancer. The radioactive material will spread out through sea current and atmosphere, bringing the disaster to neighboring countries, and eventually global-wise. Every person in the world inevitably shares the potential risk and consequences of nuclear power technology.
Regardless of the debates and anxiety from the society, or the technical issues of safety and management, the officials of the government haven’t clarified the problems without the determination of self-responsibility. The discontent of the situation has reached a critical point.
It is time to end the technopoly… With no pains or bloods split, we declare that Taiwan as a democratic country, our will not to be dominated by the privileged 1%. And without the responsibility of our government to the beings of the Earth, the 99% will join together and exercise for their right.
We are the 99%, and you will see us in the end.

The Hoax of Entitlement Reform - Robt Reich

By Robert Reich
Taming future deficits requires three steps having nothing to do with entitlements: Limiting the growth of overall healthcare costs, cutting our bloated military, and ending corporate welfare (tax breaks and subsidies targeted to particular firms and industries). Obsessing about "entitlement reform" only serves to distract us from these more important endeavors.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ezekiel 25:17 - Pulp Fiction (3/12) Movie CLIP (1994) HD

Ezekiel 25:17 as adapted in movie "Pulp Fiction"

Jules' speech from Ezekiel 25:17:
'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.'
This is actually not directly from Ezekiel 25:17 and in fact, only the last sentence and part of the second last sentence will be found there.

Northern Cyprus and the West Bank

Is there any basis for comparing Northern Cyprus to the situation with the West Bank? "A number of glaring differences stand out. First, Israel entered the West Bank in a war of self-defense in 1967 when it faced an Arab war coalition that was massing forces along its borders. In contrast, the circumstances of the Turkish invasion were very different. Turkey did not face imminent attack from Cyprus, but rather was concerned with intercommunal tensions in Cyprus.  Second, there was no established sovereignty in the West Bank in 1967 that Israel violated; there was no Palestinian state while Jordan's claim to sovereignty was rejected by most of the international community except for Britain and Pakistan. Moreover, there were earlier Jewish rights under the British Mandate, which never expired. Looking at the Cypriot case, prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Republic of Cyprus was the undisputed sovereign over the entire island, including the area of Northern Cyprus."

Powerful Tea Party Documents Leak

In an interview with Media Matters for America's Joe Strupp, Dick Armey shed more light on FreedomWorks' financial arrangements with Glenn Beck's media network and Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Those deals were first reported by Mother Jones. Armey said FreedomWorks paid Beck upwards of $1 million to promote Freedomwork last year, calling the deal with Beck "basically paid advertising for FreedomWorks." But Armey questioned that deal, saying it provided "too little value" to FreedomWorks. Read the entire Media Matters story here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

"No ma’am’: Letter from U.S. Marine to Dianne Feinstein goes viral

The following letter, written by U.S. Marine Joshua Boston and headlined “No ma’am.,” was posted in the CNN iReport on Dec. 27 with the included note from the producer and photo. It has struck a nerve with many and is being circulated around social media venues like Twitter and Facebook.
Senator Dianne Feinstein,
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.
Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps

Time Warner Dumps 12 Millions Viewers fr Al Jazeera

Time Warner Cable Dumps Current TV Faster Than You Can Say 'Al-Jazeera America'

Cable giant pulls channel just hours after announcement of acquisition

- Jon Queally, staff writer
Following news on Wednesday that Qatari-based Al-Jazeera would acquire Current TV in the United States, cable giant Time Warner Cable dumped the channel.
Just hours after the announcement, subscribers to TWC found only this message when they switched to what was Current: "This channel is no longer available on Time Warner Cable."
Al-Jazeera—which has won numerous U.S. and international awards for its journalism and has more than 70 bureaus across the globe—said the launch of its new U.S.-based news channel will provide both domestic news and international news for American audiences.
The network has one of the largest bureau footprints and news-gathering operations of any news outlet in the world.
“For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States," said the network's director Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani. "By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the U.S., as well as increase our news-gathering and reporting efforts in America."
But as the Huffington Post reports:
[...] while the new channel will soon be available in 40 million households, Al Jazeera faced a setback when Time Warner Cable -- which reaches 12 million homes -- announced it was dropping the low-rated Current, which occupied a spot that could have been switched to Al Jazeera America.
Joel Hyatt, who co-founded Current TV with former Vice President Al Gore, told staff in a Wednesday night memo that Time Warner Cable "did not consent to the sale to Al Jazeera."
"Consequently, Current will no longer be carried on TWC," Hyatt wrote. "This is unfortunate, but I am confident that Al Jazeera America will earn significant additional carriage in the months and years ahead."
A Time Warner Cable spokesman said in a statement that "our agreement with Current will be terminated and we will no longer be carrying the channel."
Some media observers interpreted the move as motivated by politics.
"Time-Warner cable shows abject political and journalistic cowardice by dropping Current because of Al Jazeera deal," tweeted Dan Gilmor, a technology writer and founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University.
The New York Times adds:
With a handful of exceptions (including New York City and Washington), American cable and satellite distributors have mostly refused to carry Al Jazeera English since its inception in 2006. While the television sets of White House officials and lawmakers were tuned to the channel during the Arab Spring in 2011, ordinary Americans who wanted to watch had to find a live stream on the Internet.
To change that, Al Jazeera lobbied distributors and asked supporters to write letters to the distributors — but accomplished next to nothing.
Some activists accused distributors like Comcast and DirecTV of blacklisting a channel that is widely respected elsewhere in the world.

Idle No More

What started as a murmur in early October from First Nations People in Canada in response to Bill C45 has become a movement that echoes the sentiments of people all over the world, a battle cry of love for the planet, "Idle No More." At first glance it might appear that this movement is isolated and doesn't effect you if you are not native or if you don't live in Canada, yet it does. It may appear that this resistance is not related to The Occupy Movement, The Arab Spring, The Unify Movement, Anonymous, or any of the other popular uprisings sparked by social unrest, but it is.(Image by Andy Everson)
At its very core, all of these movements have very common threads and are born from common issues facing people everywhere. Those who represent financial interests that value money over life itself, that are devoid of basic respect for human decency, and for nature have dictated the future for too long and people everywhere are standing up to say, "No more." This non-violent social uprising is viral in the minds and hearts of everyone across the planet determined to bring healing to our troubled communities, our planet, and the corruption that is eroding the highest places of governments around the world.
Flashmobs with dancing and drumming at a malls in Olympia, Wash. Tempe, Ariz., Denver, Colo., a giant circle dance blocking a large intersection in Winnipeg, rail blockades in Quebec, this movement is using cultural expression combined with modern activism to get attention, and it is working. From their website, "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water."
Idle No More was started in October by four ladies; Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon & Sheelah McLean who felt it was "urgent to act on current and upcoming legislation that not only affects First Nations people but the rest of Canada's citizens, lands and waters." On December 11 Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence launched a hunger strike requesting a face-to-face meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss broken treaties and protection of natural resources. Spence is staying in a teepee on the frozen Ottawa River facing Parliament Hill and has gained the support from many natives and non-natives who are in solidarity with this movement.
Chief Arvol Lookinghorse from South Dakota recently expressed his support in a letter posted on Facebook that states, "As Keeper of our Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, I would like to send out support for the efforts of Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation, for giving of herself through fasting with prayers for the protection of Mother Earth." He goes on to say,
This effort to protect Mother Earth is all Humanity's responsibility, not just Aboriginal People. Every human being has had Ancestors in their lineage that understood their umbilical cord to the Earth, understanding the need to always protect and thank her. Therefore, all Humanity has to re-connect to their own Indigenous Roots of their lineage -- to heal their connection and responsibility with Mother Earth and become a united voice... All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.
Society and nature work in similar ways to our own body's immune system. We are given a symptom that causes us to be aware that there is an illness that needs to be addressed. We can try to suppress the symptom, but that does not heal the illness. Popular uprisings with very core commonalities are spreading all over the planet. Exploitation of our environment, as well as the exploitation of people and cultures for the sake of financial gain is immoral and must be stopped at the highest levels of our governments. It is possible to have a thriving economy and environmental ethics.
It is a simple choice: continue to be part of the cancer that slowly destroys our water, our air and the resources that are the fabric of life by staying unconscious, or become the conscious antidote that slowly kills the cancerous disease which threatens the existence of life on the planet.
Here in America, the response to Occupy is tucked into NDAA as Washington prepares ways to suppress the symptoms of social discord. Without addressing the illness at its root nothing will change. It is like the mythical Many-Headed Hydra, if you cut one head off, two more will grow back. Popular uprisings will continue here and all over the world until leaders understand that people want real fundamental change in policy. Governments should lead by example if they want to be respected.
With Twitter, Facebook and the internet, these separate movements are finding solidarity with each other and converging as a global super-movement for the planet and all people. The quote used at Unify is, "Everyone, Everywhere, Together" and it is beginning to resonate more than ever.
Each of these movements share a commitment to non-violent revolution in their call to end the exploitation of people and the exploitation of natural resources. Sustainability can be applied to all aspects of social rights, economics and the environment. Social, economic, cultural, and environmental movements, resistance, civil disobedience, flash mobs and more will continue until this is addressed at home and abroad. Whether it is Anonymous and Wikileaks exposing the corruption of governments, or Indians with drums dancing and chanting in a local mall, people everywhere are awakening, speaking up, and acting for the needed changes. It's time for politicians and religious leaders to get the message everywhere.
It is a simple choice: continue to be part of the cancer that slowly destroys our water, our air and the resources that are the fabric of life by staying unconscious, or become the conscious antidote that slowly kills the cancerous disease which threatens the existence of life on the planet. Is the disease capitalism, corruption, ignorance, greed, The Illuminati, or some combination of all of these things spiralling out of control? It doesn't matter because it is becoming obvious that there are people from all nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds who are determined to resist the progression of imminent destruction. A factory producing monkey wrenches for the gears of the machine which is at the center of our collective demise.
Will the leaders wake up to this in order to play the roles they have sworn to uphold or will they further discredit their position, their institutions, and help to destroy the very systems that they have been entrusted to maintain? Every time Congress represents the will of a few wealthy people over the interests and the well-being of the planet and the people, they do more to subvert and destroy the state than ten thousand people protesting in the streets. When leaders fail, they destroy the trust that holds society together.
Is Harper cold and callous enough to ignore a constituent on hunger strike a short distance from his office? Can he afford to ignore these issues? Can any of us afford to ignore this call to be idle no more?
Take a moment and listen to the eloquent words of an 11-year-old girl in the video below. If a child can understand this, how come world leaders are still silent on making real changes to address these urgent issues?
Please support Idle No More, learn more about the movement, how it effects all of us and get involved. All of our futures depend on it.

PA & Hamas Won't Take Palestinian Refugees fr Syria

Just a couple weeks ago, Mahmoud Abbas said that he was prepared to take in Palestinian refugees from Syria.
Abbas said he has asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help in bringing the refugees to the Palestinian territories. This could include the West Bank,where Abbas governs, or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Yediot Ahronot reports, according to the Times of Israel, that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are now against the idea.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority rejected the United Nations’ request that they take in Palestinian refugees who fled Syria during the ongoing brutal civil war, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday. 
…According to the report, head of Hamas in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh told UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, that the Gaza Strip couldn’t take in Syria’s Palestinian refugees due to an ideological issue: If they take in the refugees from Syria, Israel could use it against them when it comes to the Palestinians’ demand for the “right to return” to villages inside present day Israel, by pointing out that the refugees no longer need to return to Israel because they have been relocated to new homes in the Gaza Strip. 
The Palestinian Authority’s refusal stems from a different reason — a financial one. The PA, which, according to the report, initially inquired about absorbing the Palestinian refugees in Syria, has experienced severe budget cuts and has begged Arab leaders for millions of dollars in loans to solve its debt crisis. The PA’s coffers have been hurt following Israel’s decision not to hand over PA tax revenues and other related payments in the wake of President Mahmoud Abbas’s successful UN bid for nonmember observer status in November.
In related news, Hamas recently began a donation campaign for refugees displaced from Syria.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Congress approves fiscal cliff deal — MSNBC

Congress approves fiscal cliff deal — MSNBC

House Republicans approved a bill put forward by the Senate to avoid the fiscal cliff Tuesday night after a long day of discussions and debates. The bill passed with a vote of 257 to 167.
Speaker John Boehner voted yes, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted against it. The bill will now make its way to President Obama, who confirmed Tuesday night that he will sign it.
“This law is one more step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity,” Obama said in a press conference Tuesday after the House’s vote. He added that the deficit was still too high, and said that there will be no more debate over raising the debt ceiling. “We cannot pay bills we’ve already incurred.”

Krauthammer "Complete surrender on everything."

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It's possible that this is a prelude to a challenge, Thursday, to Boehner's leadership by Eric Cantor. I think it would be quite naked to do it at this late hour as a result of a split over the vote.

Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill, and for good reason. This is a complete surrender on everything. The ratio of tax hikes to spending cuts is 40:1 rather than 1:1, or 1:2 or 1:3. So, it was a complete rout by the Democrats. So it's understandable.

I think what's likely to happen is that the leadership is going to look to get the 218 that it could secure to send the bill back to the Senate with an equal number of spending cuts. If they don’t get it, I think what Boehner will do is have an open vote -- as you say, 'unwhipped.' Republicans will vote as they wish. They'll probably be enough with all the Democrats to pass this. (Special Report, January 1, 2013)

Nazi Propaganda 1932

Explanation: A tied-up Nazi watches while a Jew holding the Berliner Tageblatt, which the Nazis accused of being a Jewish paper, mistreats a Germany chained to the Treaty of Versailles. The Jew is probably supposed to be a journalist, since he is smearing Gemany with his pen. A Black French colonial soldier and a policeman assist. The policeman is likely Polish (since Germany lost territory to Poland as a result of the Treaty of Versailles).
Bourgeois patriotism is the privilege of a class. It is the real reason for its decline. When 30 million are for something and 30 million are against it, things balance out and nothing happens. That is how things are with us. We are the world’s Pariah not because we do not have the courage to resist, but rather because out entire national energy is wasted in eternal and unproductive squabbling between the right and the left. Our way only goes downward, and today one can already predict when we will fall into the abyss.