Under Obama, Better to Commit a War Crime Than Expose One

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-1

by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

March 7, 2011

Bradley Manning is accused of humiliating the political establishment by revealing the complicity of top U.S. officials in carrying out and covering up war crimes. In return for his act of conscience, the U.S. government is holding him in abusive solitary confinement, humiliating him and trying to keep him behind bars for life.

The lesson is clear, and soldiers take note: You’re better off committing a war crime than exposing one.

An Army intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait, the 23-year-old Manning – outraged at what he saw – allegedly leaked tens of thousands of State Department cables to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. These cables show U.S. officials covering up everything from U.S. tax dollars funding child rape in Afghanistan to illegal, unauthorized bombings in Yemen. Manning is also accused of leaking video evidence of U.S. pilots gunning down more than a dozen Iraqis in Baghdad, including two journalists for Reuters, and then killing a father of two who stopped to help them. The father’s two young children were also severely wounded.

“Well, it’s their fault for bringing kids into a battle,” a not-terribly-remorseful U.S. pilot can be heard remarking in the July 2007 “Collateral Murder” video.

None of the soldiers who carried out that war crime have been punished, nor have any of the high-ranking officials who authorized it. Indeed, committing war crimes is more likely to get a solider a medal than a prison term. And authorizing them? Well, that’ll get you a book deal and a six-digit speaking fee. Just ask George W. Bush. Or Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice. Or the inexplicably “respectable” Colin Powell.

In fact, the record indicates Manning would be far better off today – possibly on the lecture circuit rather than in solitary confinement – if he’d killed those men in Baghdad himself.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-1

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‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011

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Scott Walker Believes He’s Following Orders from the Lord

What ever happened to sandal wearing Hippie Commie Jesus who said things like “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.” Remember the redistributionist Jesus taking the loaves and fish from them that had and distributing them around.

Not the slavery loving, Jew and homo hating misogynist Jesus of the ultra right wing, the Nazis and KKK but the one who gave us the Berrigan Brothers, Martin Luther King, Sloan Coffin and the liberation theologians.

The myth of Jesus is that he was a carpenter and his apostles were fishermen and other common poor people not Wall Street con artists and militarists.

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/wx030711.html

By Matthew Rothschild

March 7, 2011

The dogmatic unwillingness of Wis. Gov. Scott Walker to negotiate or to compromise with Democrats or unions has surprised many people in the state. One explanation for his attitude may be found in his religious convictions.

In a talk to the Christian Businessmen’s Committee in Madison on November 13, 2009, Walker, who was raised by a Baptist preacher, spoke about his personal relationship with God, his “walk to Christ,” and his belief in the need to “trust and obey” the Lord.

He told the group that when he was thirteen, he committed himself to Jesus. “I said, ‘Lord, I’m ready . . . not just in front of my Church and the world but most importantly at the foot of your Throne, I’m ready to follow you each and every day. . . . I have just full out there said, ‘I’m going to trust in you Christ to tell me where to go. And to the best of my ability I’m going to obey where you lead me,’ and that has made all the difference in the world to me, for good times and bad.”

Walker said that God has told him what to do every step of the way, including about what jobs to take, whom to marry, and when to run for governor.

When he had first met his wife, he said, “That night I heard Christ tell me, ‘This is the person you’re going to be with.’ ”

He said he was trusting and obeying God when he took a job at IBM and then at the Red Cross. ““Lord, if this is what you want, I’ll try it,” he said. It was all about “trust and obey.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/wx030711.html

Read Jeff Sharlet, books on the Family and C street and learn all about the Anti-Christ Nazi Jesus who makes up the theology of people like Walker.

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Exclusive: ‘Make Wall St. Pay’ campaign debuts by occupying bank branch, House speaker’s office

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/07/exclusive-make-wall-st-pay-campaign-debuts-by-occupying-bank-branch-house-speakers-office/

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, March 7th, 2011

A new campaign by a national network of activists kicked off Monday morning with a splash as it led over hundreds of fed up homeowners in sit-in protests that brought business to a halt at a major bank and the House speaker’s office.

The National People’s Action network picked Monday to launch the “Make Wall Street Pay” campaign thanks to another show in town: the National Association of Attorneys General’s Convention in Washington, D.C.

But they didn’t stop there.

Moving from the meeting of all 50 Attorneys General, the crowd made their way to a Bank of America branch on Pennsylvania, Ave. While about 300 stood outside, another 300 moved indoors, filling up the lobby and bringing business to a stanstill.

Then, they went to see if Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was available, filing into his Capitol Hill offices to send an unambiguous message: Wall Street must pay.

“They delivered the message that we have a revenue crisis and that Wall Street must pay its fair share,” George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/07/exclusive-make-wall-st-pay-campaign-debuts-by-occupying-bank-branch-house-speakers-office/

In Montana, an Economic Boon Faces Repeal Effort

Yet more proof that Republicans hate small businesses and entrepreneurship.  Along with supporting big government acting like a nanny state when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06marijuana.html?scp=2&sq=medical%20marijuana&st=cse

Published: March 5, 2011

BOZEMAN, Mont. — With his electrician’s tool belt and company logo cap, Rick Schmidt looks every bit the small-business owner he in fact is. That he often reeks of marijuana these days … well, it is just part of the job, he said.

“I went on a service call the other day — walked in and a guy said to me, ‘What have you been smoking?’ ” said Mr. Schmidt, 39.

For Gallatin Electric, a six-employee company founded by Mr. Schmidt’s father, Richard, as for other businesses in this corner of south-central Montana, medical marijuana has been central to surviving hard times as the construction industry and the second-home market collapsed. Not the smoking of it, the growing of it or even the selling of it, but the fully legal, taxable revenues being collected from the industry’s new, emerging class of entrepreneurs. Three of the four electricians on staff at Gallatin, Mr. Schmidt said, are there only because of the work building indoor marijuana factories.

Questions about who really benefits from medical marijuana are now gripping Montana. In the Legislature, a resurgent Republican majority elected last fall is leading a drive to repeal the six-year-old voter-approved statute permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes, which opponents argue is promoting recreational use and crime.

If repeal forces succeed — the House last month voted strongly for repeal, and the Senate is now considering it — Montana would be the first to recant among the 15 states and the District of Columbia that have such laws.

In Bozeman, a college and tourism town north of Yellowstone National Park, construction jobs and tax collections dried up just as the marijuana business was blossoming; residents and politicians here say the interconnection of economics and legal drugs would be much more complicated to undo.

Economic ripples or entanglements extend in every direction, business people like the Schmidts say — gardening supply companies where marijuana growers are buying equipment, mainstream bakeries that are contracting for pot-laced pastries, and even the state’s biggest utility, NorthWestern Energy, which is seeing a surge in electricity use by the new factories. Medical marijuana, measured by numbers of patients, has roughly quadrupled in Montana in the last year.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06marijuana.html?scp=2&sq=medical%20marijuana&st=cse

Why do the Republicans hate freedom and small businesses?

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Michael Moore: The Smug Wealthy Have Gone Too Far — And We’re Finally Fighting Back

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150139/michael_moore%3A_the_smug_wealthy_have_gone_too_far_–_and_we%27re_finally_fighting_back/

By trying to destroy us corporate America has given birth to a movement — a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country.

By Michael Moore

March 6, 2011

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic — and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here’s what I learned: Money doesn’t grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the state can’t function. The schools can’t produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs.  That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/150139/michael_moore%3A_the_smug_wealthy_have_gone_too_far_–_and_we%27re_finally_fighting_back/

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