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Fucking malicious poisonous ignoramus racist viper-in-human-form white woman tells Jewish man talking about universal healthcare in Israel "Heil Hitler!" Full incident from [livejournal.com profile] karnythia commenters




Here is the entire exchange between Pamela Pilger and Samuel Blum. Pilger shouted "Heil Hitler" while Blum was giving an interview to Eyewitness News. Blum is Jewish.




All ye minority people who are telling me that the Republicans are good for us? FU. I ain't going NOWHERE near a party that boasts these POS fuckers. The party is racistly rotten from top to bottom even if its policies weren't solely for the further enrichment of the rich. Also, you blasted narrowminded ignoramus, MY TAX DOLLARS, WHICH I WORKED MY ASS FOR, SHOULD DAMN WELL PAY FOR ABORTIONS.


Did she really think that after telling him Heil Hitler, she was gonna get ANYWHERE with the whole "obama hates Israel!!!!!" argument? Really????????
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OUT OF REACH: Is college only for the rich?


This shit is PAST serious. What the hell are you teaching at universities to be charging these humongous amounts of money evrey damned year? The hell you all can find money for tax cuts and war and military spending and the IMF and greedy thieving bankers all goddamn day long, but school , oh no, teh budget!!!
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Daily Kos Diarist Chacounne is running a series entitled: Why I fight against Torture.


Prologue:Omar Khadr's US Lawyer is Re-Assigned

Photobucket
There’s young man in Guantanamo Bay Detention facility, a young man who has been there since he was 15 years old, almost seven years. His name is Omar Khadr. He is a Canadian born in Toronto, Ontario, During that time, and that he has been tortured:
Trigger Warnings. Extreme Trigger Warnings. This was done in our names. )

Why I fight Against Torture Part Two

Murat Kurnaz Murat Kurnaz 3

Mr. Kurnaz was born in Bremen, Germany, had always lived in Germany, and was of Turkish descent. In Germany, those of Turkish descent having a much more difficult time becoming German citizens even those born in Germany. In 2001, he decided to learn more about his religion, Islam, in preparation for his Turkish wife joining him, so he traveled to Pakistan to learn from peaceful Imams. Enroute back to Germany, on December 1, 2001, he was taken off a bus in Pakistan, and taken to a prison in Peshawar, Pakistan, then to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and, finally to Guantanamo Bay, where he remained until August 4th, 2006. {He wroet a book about his experiences and teh following is an excerpt:

In Kandahar:

Did they have a lie detector? I asked myself. The man was holding something in his hands. It looked like two irons that he was rubbing together. Or one of those machines used to revive people who have heart attacks. Before I realized what was happening, I felt the first jolt.

It was electricity. An electric shock. They put the electrodes to the soles of my feet. There was no way to remain seated. It was as though my body was lifting itself off the ground of its own accord. I felt the electric current going through my whole body. There was a bang. It hurt a lot. I felt warmth, jolts, cramps. My muscles cramped up and quivered. That hurt, too.

... I heard screams.

They were my screams


MORE



Why I fight against torture Part Three Murat Kurnaz's story continued. The following is an excerpt from his book:

He was young, around my age, maybe nineteen or twenty. He lay on the ground making soft noises.
...
He didn't have any legs. His wounds were still fresh.

I sat in my cage, hardly daring to look, but every once in a while I had to look in his direction. The stumps of his legs were full of pus. The bandages wrapped around them had turned red and yellow. Everything was bloody and moist. He had frostbite marks on his hands. He seemed hardly able to move his fingers. I watched as he tried to get up. He crawled over to the bucket in his cage and tried to sit on it. He had to go to the toilet. He tried to raise himself up with his hands on the chain-link fence, but he didn't make it. He couldn't hold on with his swollen fingers. Still, he tried, until a guard came and hit his hands with his billy-club. The young man fell to the ground.
Every time he tried to hoist himself onto the bucket, the guards came and hit him on the hands. No one was allowed to touch the fence - that was an iron law. But a young man with no legs? They told him he wasn't allowed to stand up. But how could he have done that without any legs? He wasn't even allowed to lean on the fence or to crawl onto the bucket.
...
The bandages wrapped around Abdul's stumps were never changed. When he took them off himself, they were full of blood and pus. He showed the bandages to the guards and pointed to his open wounds. The guardsw ignored him. Later, I saw how he tried to wash the bandages in his bucket of drinking water. But he could hardly move his hands, so he wasn't able to. And even if he had, where would he have hung them up to dry? He wasn't allowed to touch the fence. He wrapped his stumps back up in the dirty bandages.MORE



Updated: Why I Fight Against Torture: Part Four

Today I will share the story of Omar Khadr:
Omar Khadr
Omar was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Much has been said about his family and his childhood. It is complicated, and to get the entire background I recommend the Wikipedia article, which has lots of links to the relevent original documents and news articles. I also highly recommend the book "Guantanamo's Child" by Michelle Shephard.
In the end, Omar was captured by US troops in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002, after a firefight during which a grenade was thrown. The grenade killed Sgt. Christopher Speer and allegedly blinded Sgt. Layne Morris in one eye. Omar is accused of throwing that grenade, but documents surfaced last year which cast doubt that he was the one who threw the grenade. He was severely injured in the firefight, including major wounds to his chest and at least one eye.
Omar was 15 years old when he was taken into custody.
...

Around the time of Ramadan in 2003, an Afghan man, claiming to be from the Afghan government, interrogated me at Guantanamo. A military interrogator was in the room at the time. The Afghan man said his name was "Izmarai" (Lion), and that he was from Wardeq. He spoke mostly in Farsi, and a little in Pashto and English. He had an American flag on his trousers. The Afghan man appeared displeased with the answers that I was giving him, and after some time both the Afghan and the military interrogator left the room. A military official then removed my chair and short-shackled me by my hands and feet to a bolt in the floor. Military officials then moved my hands behind my knees. They left me in the room in this condition for approximately five to six hours, causing me extreme pain. Occasionally, a military officer and the interrogators would come in and laugh at me. MORE

 
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Warren County to Obama: Keep your ‘filthy money’

LEBANON — Warren County is saying “no thank you” to federal stimulus funds.

The county is the only one in the state that has rejected stimulus money for transportation improvements, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Commissioners rejected $373,000 in stimulus money to buy three new transit buses and upgrade their fleet, citing their opposition of deficit spending for buses and vans.

“I’ll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama’s filthy money,” Commissioner Mike Kilburn said.

ODOT spokesman Scott Varner said the money was specifically for transit improvements in rural areas to improve transportation for disabled people, seniors and others needing access to health care and educational opportunities.

"I'm tired of paying for people who don't have," Kilburn said. "As Reagan said, 'Government is not the answer, it's the problem.'"MORE
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Vaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates


Think U.S. health authorities have never conducted outrageous medical experiments on children, women, minorities, homosexuals and inmates? Think again: This timeline, originally put together by Dani Veracity (a NaturalNews reporter), has been edited and updated with recent vaccination experimentation programs in Maryland and New Jersey. Here's what's really happening in the United States when it comes to exploiting the public for medical experimentation:

(1845 - 1849)

J. Marion Sims, later hailed as the "father of gynecology," performs medical experiments on enslaved African women without anesthesia. These women would usually die of infection soon after surgery. Based on his belief that the movement of newborns' skull bones during protracted births causes trismus, he also uses a shoemaker's awl, a pointed tool shoemakers use to make holes in leather, to practice moving the skull bones of babies born to enslaved mothers (Brinker).

(1895)

New York pediatrician Henry Heiman infects a 4-year-old boy whom he calls "an idiot with chronic epilepsy" with gonorrhea as part of a medical experiment ("Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After").

(1896)

Dr. Arthur Wentworth turns 29 children at Boston's Children's Hospital into human guinea pigs when he performs spinal taps on them, just to test whether the procedure is harmful (Sharav).

(1906)

Harvard professor Dr. Richard Strong infects prisoners in the Philippines with cholera to study the disease; 13 of them die. He compensates survivors with cigars and cigarettes. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors cite this study to justify their own medical experiments (Greger, Sharav).

(1911)

Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research publishes data on injecting an inactive syphilis preparation into the skin of 146 hospital patients and normal children in an attempt to develop a skin test for syphilis. Later, in 1913, several of these children's parents sue Dr. Noguchi for allegedly infecting their children with syphilis ("Reviews and Notes: History of Medicine: Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War").

(1913)

Medical experimenters "test" 15 children at the children's home St. Vincent's House in Philadelphia with tuberculin, resulting in permanent blindness in some of the children. Though the Pennsylvania House of Representatives records the incident, the researchers are not punished for the experiments ("Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After").

(1915)

Dr. Joseph Goldberger, under order of the U.S. Public Health Office, produces Pellagra, a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system, in 12 Mississippi inmates to try to find a cure for the disease. One test subject later says that he had been through "a thousand hells." In 1935, after millions die from the disease, the director of the U.S Public Health Office would finally admit that officials had known that it was caused by a niacin deficiency for some time, but did nothing about it because it mostly affected poor African-Americans. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors used this study to try to justify their medical experiments on concentration camp inmates (Greger; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

(1932)

(1932-1972) The U.S. Public Health Service in Tuskegee, Ala. diagnoses 400 poor, black sharecroppers with syphilis but never tells them of their illness nor treats them; instead researchers use the men as human guinea pigs to follow the symptoms and progression of the disease. They all eventually die from syphilis and their families are never told that they could have been treated (Goliszek, University of Virginia Health System Health Sciences Library).MORE


EDIT: The last two items re: vaccination on the list are however very very suspect.
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So much for change we can believe in....


You Can Forget Prosecutions For Torture Orders Now

As I wrote over the weekend, progressives who really hoped the Obama administration would roll back the Bush years' secrecy over illegal renditions and torture were waiting with intense interest to see what would happen in a key court case today. Five men were suing Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen Dataplan, accusing the flight-planning company of aiding the CIA in flying them to other countries and secret CIA camps where they were tortured.
One of those men is Binyam Mohamed, who was illegally kidnapped and had his penis sliced to bits because he read a spoof online about how to make an H-bomb and who is now still held at Gitmo, where he is on hunger-strike, even though he is no longer accused of any crime. He made headlines at the end of last week because two British judges accused the Bush and Obama administrations of threatening the British government to keep evidence of torture supressed. Two other plaintiffs are in jail in Egypt and Morocco, both countries known to practise torture, after being sent there by the US and the other two are free after being held for years.MORE





Sliced his Genitals with a Scalpel? Waterboarding was the Least of it

Think Progress has found a London Daily Telegraph article that will make your blood run cold. Remember last week the British High Court ruled that documents describing the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident and prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, could not be released to the public because the Bush Administration had threatened to stop sharing intelligence with England ?
Story not true.
UK government suppressed evidence on Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped his interrogators
So when the Britsh Foreign Secretary asked the court to withold information it was to hide this:
A British official, who is regularly briefed on intelligence operations, said: "The concern was that the document revealed that intelligence from the British agencies was used by the Americans and that there were British questions asked while Binyam Mohamed was being tortured.
"Miliband is being pushed hard by the intelligence agencies to protect the identity of those involved."
The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed's genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, "is very far down the list of things they did," the official said.
MORE



Breaking News: Obama Continuing Bush Policy re State Secrets In Torture Rendition Case (7 updates)

On Monday, the Obama administration may answer some lingering questions about the parameters of our torture policies now that Bush is history. Oral argument is scheduled to address whether Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan can face trial on civil liability for torture based on its role in extraordinary rendition flights (pdf file). Five men claiming that they were tortured by the US alleged that Jeppesen transported the rendered prisoners to countries known for torture or to CIA black site prisons. A federal district court dismissed the lawsuit when Bush invoked the state secrets privilege. The issue is now on appeal before the 9th Circuit. This is not an either/or issue: The courts have authority to protect our national security, promote governmental transparency and redress harms to torture victims.
The complaint alleges that the US rendered Ethiopian citizen Binyam Mohamed first to a Moroccan prison and then to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan. He was tortured at both prisons. Mohamed is now at Guantánamo. Additional plaintiffs include Italian citizen Abou Elkassim Britel, who was rendered from Pakistan to Moroccan agents who tortured him and Egyptian citizen Ahmed Agiza was rendered from Sweden to Egypt, where he was tortured.
Please listen to families telling what happened to these men:



This case raises a few questions:
(1) Do torture victims have a right to a trial to determine the civil liability of a company that knew it was aiding or abetting torture?
A former Jeppesen employee quit after learning first hand that he worked in the outsourcing torture business. During an internal corporate meeting, Bob Overby, a managing director, stated:
"We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights—you know, the torture flights. Let’s face it, some of these flights end up that way."
The Jeppsen employee was informed that two of its trip planners worked on the rendition flights, or, as another employee stated, "We do the spook flights."MORE



Obama fails his first test on civil liberties and accountability -- resoundingly and disgracefully

As I wrote after interviewing Wizner two weeks ago: "This is the first real test of the authenticity of Obama's commitment to reverse the abuses of executive power over the last eight years." Today, the Obama administration failed that test -- resoundingly and disgracefully:
Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' Lawsuit
The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.
A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn't changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.
This is not going to please civil libertarians and human rights activists who had hoped the Obama administration would allow the lawsuit to proceed.
....


Finally, Wizner noted one last fact that is rather remarkable. The entire claim of "state secrets" in this case is based on two sworn Declarations from CIA Director Michael Hayden -- one public and one filed secretly with the court. In them, Hayden argues that courts cannot adjudicate this case because to do so would be to disclose and thus degrade key CIA programs of rendition and interrogation -- the very policies which Obama, in his first week in office, ordered shall no longer exist. How, then, could continuation of this case possibly jeopardize national security when the rendition and interrogation practices which gave rise to these lawsuits are the very ones that the U.S. Government, under the new administration, claims to have banned?
What this is clearly about is shielding the U.S. Government and Bush officials from any accountability. Worse, by keeping Bush's secrecy architecture in place, it ensures that any future President -- Obama or any other -- can continue to operate behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy, with no transparency or accountability even for blatantly criminal acts.MORE
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GOP: 'Action Alert - Auto Bailout'

1. This is the democrats first opportunity to payoff organized labor after the election. This is a precursor to card check and other items. Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it.


Naturally. Cause destroying the unions takes precedence over saving the jobs of 3 million Americans.


Ladies and Gentlemen? The CANADIANS are bailing out the Big Three.

U.S. and Canadian governments say they will ride to the rescue of the beleaguered Detroit auto makers, hoping to head off a catastrophic collapse of Chrysler LLC or General Motors Corp. that would cascade throughout the North American economy.

Ottawa and Ontario will provide an estimated $3.4-billion to the Canadian units of the Detroit Three, while U.S. President George W. Bush will throw a $14-billion (U.S.) lifeline to their parent companies.

[snip]

[Canadian Industry Minister Tony] Clement would not provide a specific figure, but he said the amount of money in the Canadian bailout represents this country's one-fifth share of the Detroit Three's North American vehicle production and on Canada maintaining that percentage.

“Clearly, this amount of money is meant to be, as the U.S. is finding out, a way to keep the doors open for the domestic auto sector while they continue their long-term planning,” he said.MORE


Rachel Maddow on the Republican Senators Interests in Union breaking and supporting foreign auto makers over our own unionized workers.


Part Two


Read more... )
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American Agriculture companies profit at the expense of the people they are supposed to be helping

‘Behind Closed Doors’
U.S. farm and shipping lobbyists have stifled efforts to simplify aid deliveries, leaving Africans to starve when they might have been saved, said Andrew Natsios, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington who led USAID, the Agency for International Development, from 2001 to 2006.

“No one can take the high moral ground against it, so they hide behind closed doors and kill it,” he said. “It’s all done behind the scenes.”

The shortcomings of the half-century-old humanitarian program show how efforts to protect American shareholders can have unintended consequences. After approving $2.62 billion of food aid in June, Congress has since authorized 267 times that much in the $700 billion financial system bailout and begun debate on requests from U.S. automakers for billions more.
Lawmakers this year failed to pass President George W. Bush’s January proposal to buy food closer to starving people rather than shipping American produce. In May, Bush renewed his request to spend 25 percent of the program locally after food riots broke out in Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean.
Companies Benefit
Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. accounted for 47 percent of 2007 commodities spending for aid, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program was created in the 1950s, partly to reduce domestic surpluses. The regulations require that almost all the peas, corn and other crops come from American sources, effectively steering the bulk of the business to the biggest food-trading companies.

The rules also stipulate that 75 percent of the food must be transported on U.S.-flagged vessels, benefiting ship operators, including Liberty Maritime Corp., based in Lake Success, New York, and Sealift Inc., of Oyster Bay, New York. In 2007, the program’s shipping contracts were worth $385 million, according to the USDA.

Politics isn’t the only manmade cause of the disaster that befell Ayako and his family in Ethiopia. Dozens of interviews on six continents show that the global food crisis also has roots in the failure by governments of developing countries to invest in agriculture, in a three-fold jump in fertilizer prices over two years and in speculators who doubled bets on grain futures and drove prices to records.

...
ADM, the world’s largest grain processor, spent $1.78 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies though Dec. 3 this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non- partisan research group in Washington that tracks spending on campaigns and lobbying. Over the past two decades, the company’s campaign contributions amounted to $8.2 million, 91st among political donors, the center said. ADM declined to comment for this story.
Cargill, a closely held company that is the world’s largest agricultural business, spent $660,000 on lobbying this year, the center said. ADM, Cargill and Bunge lobby on other issues besides the aid programs. Cargill favors the added flexibility of local purchase, spokesman Bill Brady said in an e-mail.
Bunge, the biggest oilseed processor, devoted $395,000 to lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The company advocates the use of U.S. crops to ensure quality, said Deb Seidel, a company spokeswoman.
‘Support Not There’
“The support is not there in the Congress” to overhaul the system, said Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Peterson, mentioned as a possible Agriculture Secretary under President-elect Barack Obama, received the second-most donations from crop processors and farm groups among non- presidential candidates in this election cycle, $236,500, according to the center. He ranked behind Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, with $304,349.
MORE

WTF???

Dec. 10th, 2008 09:42 pm
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Attack on Ecuadorean Brothers Investigated as Hate Crime

The two brothers from Ecuador had attended a church party and had stopped at a bar afterward. They may have been a bit tipsy as they walked home in the dead of night, arm-in-arm, leaning close to each other, a common tableau of men in Latino cultures, but one easily misinterpreted by the biased mind.
Skip to next paragraph

Jose Sucuzhanay was listed in very critical condition after he was beaten on a Brooklyn street Sunday.

Suddenly a car drew up. It was 3:30 a.m. Sunday, and the intersection of Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a half-block from the brothers’ apartment, was nearly deserted — but not quite. Witnesses, the police said, heard some of what happened next.
Three men came out of the car shouting at the brothers, Jose and Romel Sucuzhanay — something ugly, anti-gay and anti-Latino. Vulgarisms against Hispanics and gay men were heard by witnesses, the police said. One man approached Jose Sucuzhanay, 31, the owner of a real estate agency who has been in New York a decade, and broke a beer bottle over the back of his head. He went down hard.MORE



Will someone PLEASE explain WHY teh hell two men walking up a street is ANYFUCKINGPERSON's business!!!!! To teh extent that you need to beat and KILL them, they bother you so badly? WHAT?????
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What Donald Rumsfield failed to mention when he famously said that America had to "go to war with the army it has" in response to criticisms from soldiers about a lack of armor is that the US went to war with the army it couldn't be bothered upgrading.
The US Marine Corps asked the Pentagon's inspector general to perform the audit after coming under fire for setting aside an urgent request from field commanders in 2005 for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles.
"DoD (Department of Defense) was aware of the threat posed by mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in low-intensity conflicts and of the availability of mine-resistant vehicles years before insurgent actions began in Iraq in 2003," the audit found.
"Yet DoD did not develop requirements for, fund, or acquire MRAP-type vehicles for low-intensity conflicts that involved mines and IEDs," a summary of the report said.
"As a result, the department entered into operations in Iraq without having taken available steps to acquire technology to mitigate the known mine and IED risk to soldiers and Marines," it said.
MORE

Do you get this? THEY KNEW THAT THEY WOULD NEED EQUIPMENT TO WITHSTAND ROADSIDE BOMBS, BUT THEY DECIDED NOT TO PROVIDE IT. WHAT. THE. FUCK???????? Hello? no Court Martials? Firings? Heads Rolling? Outrage? Isn't that fucking criminal negligence?
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Massive Attack. "Teardrop"

Musicians don’t want tunes used for torture
Nine Inch Nails, even ‘Sesame Street’ theme used for interrogations



GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - Blaring from a speaker behind a metal grate in his tiny cell in Iraq, the blistering rock from Nine Inch Nails hit Prisoner No. 200343 like a sonic bludgeon.

“Stains like the blood on your teeth,” Trent Reznor snarled over distorted guitars. “Bite. Chew.”

The auditory assault went on for days, then weeks, then months at the U.S. military detention center in Iraq. Twenty hours a day. AC/DC. Queen. Pantera. The prisoner, military contractor Donald Vance of Chicago, told The Associated Press he was soon suicidal.

The tactic has been common in the U.S. war on terror, with forces systematically using loud music on hundreds of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then the U.S. military commander in Iraq, authorized it on Sept. 14, 2003, “to create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock.”

Now the detainees aren’t the only ones complaining. Musicians are banding together to demand the U.S. military stop using their songs as weapons.

A campaign being launched Wednesday has brought together groups including Massive Attack and musicians such as Tom Morello, who played with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and is now on a solo tour. It will feature minutes of silence during concerts and festivals, said Chloe Davies of the British law group Reprieve, which represents dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees and is organizing the campaign.

At least Vance, who says he was jailed for reporting illegal arms sales, was used to rock music. For many detainees who grew up in Afghanistan — where music was prohibited under Taliban rule — interrogations by U.S. forces marked their first exposure to the pounding rhythms, played at top volume.

‘Plenty lost their minds’
The experience was overwhelming for many. Binyam Mohammed, now a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, said men held with him at the CIA’s “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan wound up screaming and smashing their heads against walls, unable to endure more.

“There was loud music, (Eminem’s) ‘Slim Shady’ and Dr. Dre for 20 days. I heard this nonstop over and over,” he told his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith. “The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds.”MORE
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Dear Weakkneed, spineless Dems,

THIS is what happens when you let Republicans walk all over you.

When the Bureau of Land Management announced that they were going to allow uranium mining along with oil and gas drilling around the Grand Canyon, Congress members who cared about the canyon, or national parks, or the environment, or common sense were more than a little miffed, and fortunately for them (and us) Congress had a means to act that didn't involve issuing a subpoena.

The 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act gives the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee the power to order the Secretary of the Interior to put a temporary hold on allowing mineral extraction on public land. So they did. The House Natural Resources Committee voted 20-2 to block block mining in the area the BLM had proposed to open. And, well. First they refused to follow the law cause they said not enough Repubs were in on the vote. No, I am not joking. And THEN...




Oh. And whole they are at it:


I. I just. And we'll let them get away with it of course. Just like we let Nixon get away with it. And all those NIxon era guys came back and did WORSE. And teh next time the Republicans get back into power? All the Bush people? And going to fuck us to hell.


Oh, and

On Election Day---when people were probably thinking about one or two other things---the Interior Department announced plans for oil and gas leases on lands adjacent to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Desolation Canyon in Utah. It gave the public until December 19 to raise objections.
Among those objecting was John Podesta, President-elect Obama's transition chief, and Rep. Raul Grijalva who sent a letter to Secretary Dirk Kempthorne objecting to the leases as a "last-minute fire sale."
Even the Interior Department's own National Park Service raised concerns about drilling rigs right next to our parks, and the BLM relented, pulling 22 of the original 90 leases.
On Tuesday, the BLM temporarily deferred leasing on some additional sites near Nine Mile Canyon, a famed archeological site with thousands of panels of Native American rock art.
So, a couple of partial and temporary wins in Utah. But there's still well over 100,000 acres there up for leasing before Bush leaves office.MORE
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You know what? Why the hell do we keep putting into power a party that believes that government doesn't work, (and then they set out to fuck it up to prove their thesis) and that their prime objective is to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and to make their religious fundamentalists happy, fuck up the rights of everyone else?

So basically the Republican party's name should be synonymous with destruction and misery, right?

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that will allow coal companies to bury streams under the rocks leftover from mining.

The 1983 rule prohibited dumping the fill from mountaintop removal mining within 100 feet of streams. In practice, the government hadn’t been enforcing the rule. Government figures show that 535 miles of streams were buried or diverted from 2001 to 2005, more than half of them in the mountains of Appalachia. Along with the loss of the streams has been an increase of erosion and flooding.

The 11th hour change before President George W. Bush leaves office would eliminate a tool that citizens groups have used in lawsuits to keep mining waste out of streams. Mining companies had been pushing for the change for years.

It also means that President-elect Barack Obama’s administration will have to decide whether to try to restore and enforce the rule, a process that could take many months of new rulemaking. Obama’s transition team declined to comment on its plans on Tuesday.


...


The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new “right of conscience” rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.


Also? There goes the middle class

The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the annual report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, adjusted for inflation, while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families.

“If we go on this way for another 25 years, we won’t have an affordable system of higher education,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the center, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher education.
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Hydraulic fracturing (fracing) is a drilling technique that was developed by Halliburton. Millions of gallons of fresh water, along with sand, and cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are injected under high pressure miles down the drilling hole to fracture the limestone shale and release the oil and gas trapped within.

In 2005, at the urging of Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, Congress exempt fracing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In 2001, Cheney’s energy task force report "touted" benefits and ignored consequences. His office was "involved in discussions about how fracturing should be portrayed in the [EPA] report." Halliburton earns about $1.5 BILLION annually from hydraulic fracturing. (Ibid)

...
 

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Engineering Our Own Extinction? GE Corn Linked To Increasing Infertility

This is truly the stuff of nightmares. As someone who lived through years of infertility and miscarriage misery, I can't imagine being in the shoes of a desperate-to-be-mother who found out that an ingredient in our food -- unmarked because of government bowing to the lobbying interests of farming giants like Monsanto who don't want you knowing that there is frankenfood in your meal -- was the cause?
Via Gourmet:
...Yet none of our regulatory agencies required long-term animal feeding studies before allowing all that test-tube corn to enter our food supply, according to the Center for Food Safety, and much of the short-term research that has been done was sponsored by the biotech companies that stood to profit from GE crops.
Which is why it was particularly chilling late last week to read the results of an experiment that was both long term and not conducted under the auspices of a big chemical company.
Dr. Jurgen Zentek, a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, reported that he fed one group of laboratory mice traditional corn and another group GE corn made by the Monsanto Company. The GE crop is bred to survive being sprayed by herbicide and to produce its own insecticide. The mice maintained their diets for 20 weeks, long enough to produce four litters of offspring.
Zentek found that the mice who dined on modified corn had fewer litters, fewer offspring, and more instances of complete infertility than those receiving a conventional diet. Not only that, but the infertility of the GM-corn-fed rodents became more pronounced with each passing litter.
Zentek said that further studies to corroborate his results were “urgently needed.
MORE


Cascading Evidence?

A book by author Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette, distributed to members of congress last year, documents 65 serious health risks of GM products, including similar fertility problems with GM soy and GM corn: Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce. Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells. The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning. Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties. Additionally, over the last two months, investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.
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[livejournal.com profile] giandujakiss has a roundup of exactly what the hell is going on in the financial markets today. If you don't read anything else in her round up, (and I REALLY would suggest you read all of it) I'm gonna NEED you to read Teh End of Wall Streets Boom, from beginning to end. Don't skip one sentence. And when you have finsihed reading that? Take a look at how Hank Paulson, is happily looting the Treasury and giving away free gov't money to all the little fucks who caused the whole meltdown in the first place

Then I'm gonna suggest that you read Naomi Klein's three articles The New Trough and The Bailout: Bush's Final Pillage and In Praise of a Rocky Transition

And yes, that sick feeling in your stomach? that is supposed to be there.
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This morning, we learned that AIG received yet another $150 billion handout.
And this afternoon, we learn that last week -- last week, people! -- AIG sent its top executives to a "secret gathering" at a posh luxury resort in Phoenix:
Even as the company was pleading the federal government for another $40 billion dollars in loans, AIG sent top executives to a secret gathering at a luxury resort in Phoenix last week.
Reporters for abc15.com (KNXV) caught the AIG executives on hidden cameras poolside and leaving the spa at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, despite apparent efforts by the company to disguise its involvement.
"AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property," KNXV reported.
The cost of the secret junket? $343,000



YO! I want my tax money back! Let that shit go UNDER, yo!
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WHat she said

It seems to me they may be a little confused about the terms "maverick" and "reformer." That's not surprising, since they're also confused about the term "domestic terrorist:"

In her interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that Bill Ayers is “no question” a terrorist because he sought to destroy the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. Palin, however, refused to apply the same label to abortion clinic bombers:

Q: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist, under this definition, governor?
PALIN: (Sigh). There’s no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that uh, it would be unacceptable. I don’t know if you’re going to use the word terrorist there.

Steve Benen helps them out:

I was curious about the dictionary definition of the word: "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons." Sounds about right.

Given this, we have an organized group of activists who feel justified killing American physicians and bombing hundreds of doctors' offices on U.S. soil because they don't like a legal, medical procedure. "I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there." Why, pray tell, not? And does John McCain, who sat silently during the exchange, agree with this?

Actually, he might. ThinkProgress noted a couple of weeks ago that McCain has "repeatedly voted against protecting Americans from domestic terrorists carrying out violence at abortion clinics."

There's a striking disconnect here. Obama has denounced Ayers' crimes, and labeled Ayers' acts "terrorism." The Republican ticket, however, is reluctant to do the same when it comes to a different kind of domestic terrorism.

Of course. Republicons believe that terrorists either must be brown or leftist. Right-wing white people cannot possibly be terrorists. Neither would William Ayers, if he'd donated to the McCain campaign.

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