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Where’s Saudi Arabia?

Go, Bernie, go!

Washington (CNN) — Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate’s leading doves, said Tuesday he doesn’t want the United States leading the fight against ISIS. Instead, said the Vermont senator, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential bid, the nation should be focused on helping the middle class.

Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he doesn’t want to see the United States fall into another “quagmire in the Middle East,” and he put the onus on Muslim countries to take on ISIS.

“I’m sitting here wondering where Saudi Arabia is, where Kuwait is, where Qatar is,” Sanders said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’ll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont — or taxpayers in the state of Vermont — have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.”
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Lunchtime jam

You have the right to free
Speech as long as you’re not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

“Know Your Rights,” by The Clash:

Kill the messenger

Jeremy Renner Tracks the Crack Epidemic in 5 'Kill the Messanger' Photos

I am happy that, after all this time, Gary Webb’s amazing investigative work will finally be vindicated — but sorry the journalism establishment helped push him to suicide:

Kill the Messenger, an actual film coming soon to a theater near you, is the true story of Sacramento-based investigative reporter Gary Webb, who earned both acclaim and notoriety for his 1996 San Jose Mercury News series that revealed the CIA had turned a blind eye to the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras trafficking crack cocaine in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere in urban America in the 1980s. One of the first-ever newspaper investigations to be published on the Internet, Webb’s story gained a massive readership and stirred up a firestorm of controversy and repudiation.

After being deemed a pariah by media giants like The New York Times, Los Angeles Timesand The Washington Post, and being disowned by his own paper, Webb eventually came to work in August 2004 at the alt-weekly Sacramento News & Review. Four months later, he committed suicide at age 49. He left behind a grieving family—and some trenchant questions:

Why did the media giants attack him so aggressively, thereby protecting the government secrets he revealed? Why did he decide to end his own life? What, ultimately, is the legacy of Gary Webb?

Like others working at our newsweekly in the brief time he was here, I knew Webb as a colleague and was terribly saddened by his death. Those of us who attended his unhappy memorial service at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento a week after he died thought that day surely marked a conclusion to the tragic tale of Gary Webb.

But no.

Because here comes Kill the Messenger, a Hollywood film starring Jeremy Renner as Webb; Rosemarie DeWitt as Webb’s then wife, Sue Bell (now Stokes); Oliver Platt as Webb’s top editor, Jerry Ceppos; and a litany of other distinguished actors, including Michael K. Williams, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and Robert Patrick. Directed by Michael Cuesta (executive producer of the TV series Homeland), the film opens in a “soft launch” across the country on Oct. 10.

Members of Webb’s immediate family—including his son Eric, who lives near Sacramento State and plans a career in journalism—expect to feel a measure of solace upon the release of Kill the Messenger. “The movie is going to vindicate my dad,” he said.

Beheading vs. drones

General Atomics MQ-1 Predator of the 6th RS from Holloman AFB

Coleen Rowley:

Why do Americans hate beheadings but love drone killings? What accounts for our irrational response to these two very different forms of illegal execution, one very profitable and high-tech, usually resulting in many collateral deaths and injuries, and the other very low-tech, but provoking fear and righteous condemnation from the citizens whose country prefers the high-tech?

The answer lies in human psychology. And probably like the old observation about history, people who refuse to understand human psychology are doomed to be victims of psychological manipulation. How is it that even members of peace groups have now come to support U.S. bombing?

One woman framed the issue like this: “I request that we discuss and examine why the videotaped beheading of a human being is understood to be more egregious than the explosion (almost totally invisible to the public) of a human being by a missile or bomb fired from a drone.”

I see this in my own part of the city. Where are all those people going when they’re making less money than ever?Fishtown

As America has transitioned from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge- and service-based economy, entire neighborhoods and cities have been restructured, according to a recent study by the Martin Prosperity Institute.

American cities today experience distinct class divisions. The “creative class” (tech, law, arts, healthcare, professional jobs) occupies the most economically functional and desirable locations, many of which used to be working-class neighborhoods. The “service class” (lower wage, lower skill jobs like food preparation and retail) live in areas surrounding the creative class. The “blue-collar working class” (factory, manufacturing jobs) has been decimated, and what remains has been relegated to the least desirable places in cities.

The Martin Prosperity Institute study theorizes that creative classes have clustered around four major attractions: urban centers, transit hubs, universities, and natural amenities like coastlines and waterfronts.

Here’s Philly:

philly-8

Bug or feature?

P073014AL-0001

I know from having read about the Secret Service agents who worked with Clinton that a lot of these guys are wingnuts. So I’m really beginning to wonder if some of them haven’t decided to be incompetent on purpose:

A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said. The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.

The private contractor first aroused the agents’ concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.

When the elevator opened, Obama left with most of his Secret Service detail. Some agents stayed behind to question the man and then used a national database check that turned up his criminal history.

There were some heated moments Tuesday when Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about two security breaches at the White House, one in 2011 and one less than two weeks ago. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
When a supervisor from the firm providing security at the CDC approached and discovered the agents’ concerns, the contractor was fired on the spot. Then the contractor agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized that he was armed during his encounter with Obama.

Extensive screening is supposed to keep people with weapons or criminal histories out of arm’s reach of the president. But it appears that this man, possessing a gun, came within inches of the president after undergoing no such screening.

Songs to aging children

Joni Mitchell:

You’re aging well

Dar Williams:

Wait for me

Susan Tedeschi:

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