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Showing posts from November 28, 2015

It is Legal for Terrorists to Buy Guns in America

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[Members of ISIS go to sleep each night with a little prayer for the safety of the NRA. A report  from the Government Accountability Office highlighted by the Washington Post says at least 2,043 known and suspected terrorists in the United States legally purchased firearms between 2004 and 2014. The proposed "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015" is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA states the bill is "aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners," and that the bill was "sponsored by gun control extremists." *RON*]

Peter van Buren. Ghosts of Tom Joad, 25 November 2015


Serial idiot Lindsey Graham, among too many others, stated that if only more people in Paris had been armed, the tragedy would have been lessened.

He echoed a popular right-wing meme in America, that “all it takes is a good guy with a gun to defeat a bad guy with a gun,” and that therefo…

Research Shows Mainstream Media Don't Do Follow-Up Reporting to See if Civilians Are Killed in US Drone Strikes

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[Both the New York Times and the Washington Post "substantially underrepresented the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, failed to correct the public record when evidence emerged that their reporting was wrong and ignored the importance of international law." *RON*]

By John Hanrahan, Expose Facts / TruthOut, 28 November 2015
By now you know the drill: The CIA or US military forces unleash a drone strike or other aerial bombardment in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia or any other country that the United States claims the right to attack.

A US government spokesperson reports 5 or 7 or 17 or 25 or whatever number of "militants" killed - Taliban, or al Qaeda or ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State fighters - according to its fill-in-the-blanks press release. Wire services, mainstream newspapers, television newscasters dutifully report in brief fashion on another successful drone or missile strike…

5 Depressing Signs America Just Isn't the Country It Used to Be

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[Welcome to the front lines of the class wars. There exists a common theme amidst these signs of societal decay. The unquenchable thirst of the plutocracy must be slaked, über alles. *RON*]
By Paul Buchheit / AlterNet, 28 November 2015

While Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou are vilifiedfor revealing vital information about spying and bombing and torture, a man who conspired with Goldman Sachs to make billions of dollars on the planned failure of subprime mortgages was honored by New York University for his "Outstanding Contributions to Society."

This is one example of the distorted thinking leading to the demise of a once-vibrant American society. There are other signs of decay:

1. A House Bill Would View Corporate Crimes as 'Honest Mistakes'

Wealthy conservatives are pushing a bill that would excuse corporate leaders from financial fraud, environmental pollution, and other crimes that America's greatest cri…

HSBC whistleblower given five years’ jail over biggest leak in banking history

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[It's a bankster's world, baby. A real incentive for people who suddenly realize that they are working for criminals. "Hervé Falciani sentenced in his absence for financial espionage by federal court for exposing wrongdoing at HSBC’s private Swiss bank." Fully accompanied by a Snowden-esque character smear. *RON*]
Juliette Garside, The Guardian, 27 November 2015


The whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing at HSBC’s Swiss private bank has been sentenced to five years in prison by a Swiss court.

Hervé Falciani, a former IT worker, was convicted in his absence for the biggest leak in banking history. He is currently living in France, where he sought refuge from Swiss justice, and did not attend the trial.

The leak of secret bank account details formed the basis of revelations – by the Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde and other media outlets – which showed that HSBC’s Swiss banking arm turned a blind eye to illegal activities of arms dealers …

Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun evangelical Christians

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[White men who murder innocent citizens for political and religious reasons are "lone gunmen" not terrorists, in case you didn't know. See also: Republican Candidates Are Too Busy This Morning to Denounce Attack on Planned Parenthood Clinic. *RON*]

Josiah Hesse, The Guardian, 28 November 2015

Colorado Springs, the location of an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead, is a centre of rightwing Christian culture with a “wild west mentality” when it comes to guns.

The attack, by a lone gunman carrying a rifle or shotgun, took place at a clinic that is the site of regular anti-abortion protests by the city’s pro-life Christian groups.

Planned Parenthood, aware of hostility about their work, recently moved to the new facility, hoping it would provide more security for staff.

The building has been likened to a fortress by anti-abortion campaigners and Friday’s attacks revealed that it is equipped with “safe roo…

Big Pharma has become addicted to an illusion

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[A good article that adds another piece to the puzzle of how the financialization of capitalism gambles with the world economy. Is any of it even working? "Mergers, acquisitions, tax inversions and price rises are definitely not making pharmaceuticals companies popular with patients or politicians. If they turn out to be wasting capital too, they will look rather foolish." *RON*]

John Gapper, Financial Times, 25 November 2015

Pharmaceuticals companies used to be research enterprises that discovered and developed drugs. Then they became marketing giants, skilled at selling as many blockbuster pills as possible. Lately, they have turned into mergers and acquisitions machines, buying and selling medicines invented by others. It is hard to view their evolution as progress.
Pfizer’s $160bn planned acquisition of Dublin-based Allergan, the maker of Botox, has attracted loud criticism because it will allow the US group to reduce its taxes throu…

Commonwealth Summit 2015: Trudeau Commits $2.65 Billion To Climate Fund

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[In another HuffPo article - Back? Canada Never Left - Erin O'Toole (Conservative Public Safety Critic) says the "greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 30 per cent by 2030 over 2005 levels.... is the same target announced previously by the Conservative government." The difference, which eludes Conservatives when talking about the environment, is that Trudeau is doing something to meet his promise, not just blowing hot air in the hope of being re-elected. A magnificent illustration is provided by this article - B.C. climate report says hike carbon tax, extend reduction targets to 2050 - Christy Clark says she intends to bill BC as a climate leader in Paris, yet she's done squat to meet her own targets. "B.C.'s lone Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver said the government's plans to develop a liquefied natural gas export industry blows a hole in its climate plans, because GHG emissions from one LNG facility would exceed …

Russia Didn't Tell Turkey About Bombing Runs, Canada's NATO Envoy Says

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["Russia apparently didn't respond to Turkish hailing frequencies..." Well, that is ever so slightly different, ain't it? *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 25 November 2015
OTTAWA — Russia repeatedly failed to inform Turkey of its bombing runs over Syria in the weeks leading to Tuesday's downing of one of its jets by Turkish forces, Canada's NATO ambassador says.

Kerry Buck said in an interview Wednesday that Canadian diplomats in Brussels and Vienna are working with various countries, including Russia, to strengthen communication protocols to prevent future incidents.

The ambassador said Russia needs to join western forces in attacking Islamic militants, instead of bombing ethnic Turkmen in Syria, whom she described as a moderate opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

She attended Tuesday's emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council, which was called by Turkey after it shot down a Russian plane …