Skip to main content

In its desire to fuel the RW need to "re-engage" a more complete war in Iraq, Fox News trolls for military insubordination and more collateral damage.

Darn that over-regulated military chain of command. "Military intelligence is to intelligence what military music is to music" (h/t Clemenceau)

OTOH another ISIS governor of Mosul has just been killed in an airstrike. These dudes should stay off their comms since they shut down cell service in Mosul. They seem to stick out like very sore thumbs for combat air controllers. ISIL seems to be now on their 4th Mosul governor.

Fox News ------ U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets.

They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: "There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn't get clearance to engage.”

He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating."

Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.

A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command pushed back: “We refute the idea that close air support strikes take 'an hour on average'. Depending on the how complex the target environment is, a strike could take place in less than 10 minutes or it could take much longer.

"As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately."

Since the city of Mosul fell to ISIS, many of the group’s governors have been killed by coalition warplanes.

In early March, coalition fighter jets targeted the vehicle of Shakir al-Hamdani, the second ISIS governor of Mosul, killing him and a number of his bodyguards, Ismat Rajab, a Kurdistan Democratic Party official, told Rudaw.

Warplanes also killed Radhwan Hamoudi, aka Abu Laith, the first ISIS governor of Mosul, on November 19.

Continue Reading

In the Wikileaks age of PATRIOT Act and USAFREEDOM Act, it is important to remember how important patriotism has always been and what means are necessary.


Long before Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance, these activist-burglars exposed COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal surveillance program that involved the intimidation of law-abiding Americans. For forty years the burglars kept their identities secret, but in Johanna Hamilton’s new film 1971, these previously anonymous Americans publicly tell their story for the first time.

Take the 1971 Quiz (
The self-described democratic socialist kicked off his long-shot run for the White House in his adopted hometown of Burlington, a lakeside city full of characters who might not have passed the pre-selection process for Hillary Clinton’s tour of round tables.

And while Sanders, the state’s independent U.S. senator, may be way behind in national presidential polls, in Burlington, he’s a local hero.

In the afternoon, a “people’s assembly” of hundreds of Sanders supporters gathered in City Hall Park, where dreadlocked guitarists played in the morning and patrons browsed at the nearby Hempest, which advertises itself as the largest organic hemp product store in the world...

The liberal bastion is an enthusiastic base of support for the senator, who is looking to harness disaffected liberal voters in a primary fight with Clinton, the heavy front-runner. But it’s also a risky backdrop that can play into what Sanders advisers readily admit are counterproductive stereotypes that Sanders is an extremist who isn’t a legitimately electable alternative to Clinton.

Continue Reading
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Fox News

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders kicked off his longshot presidential campaign Tuesday with a pitch to liberals in the Democratic Party and others who want change from a "rigged economy" that favors the rich.

Sanders vowed to make income inequality, a campaign finance overhaul and climate change his leading issues as he takes on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

"This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about," the self-described democratic socialist said in remarks prepared for his rally. The event came several weeks after Sanders announced his candidacy — this time, the plan was to hand out free ice cream before his crowd of supporters.

He says there is "something profoundly wrong" when so much of the nation's income goes to the top 1 percent of all earners.

"I know what I believe," Sanders said in a fundraising email hours before his event, pushing back against "the billionaire class" trying to buy the election. "That's why today marks the beginning of our political revolution."

Sanders is trying to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Clinton — a group that pined for months for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race. Some still do.

But while Warren remains committed to the Senate, repeatedly saying she won't run for the White House, Sanders is laying out an agenda in step with the party's progressive wing and Warren's platform — reining in Wall Street banks, tackling college debt and creating a government-financed infrastructure jobs program.

Clinton is in a commanding position by any measure, far in front of both Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is widely expected to get into the race Saturday.

Yet Sanders' supporters in New Hampshire say his local ties and longstanding practice of holding town hall meetings and people-to-people campaigning — a staple in the nation's first primary state — will serve him well.

"Toward the Vermont border it's like a love-fest for Bernie," said Jerry Curran, an Amherst, New Hampshire, Democratic activist who has been involved in the draft Warren effort. "He's not your milquetoast left-winger. He's kind of a badass left-winger."

Vermont Public Radio covered Sanders's announcement live. His education plan has been diaried in DK before but it's important to see that Europe is noticing how much farther his plan goes than the PBO plan for universal community college education.
The candidate with a plan for 'free' university education

If Germany, Denmark and Sweden can offer their young people a free university education, Bernie Sanders says, the US can, too.

The Vermont senator, the "democratic socialist" independent who formally announces his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Monday, is making the soaring cost of higher education in the US a key issue in his candidacy.

He's considered the longest of long-shots to beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the primaries, but by targeting the soaring cost of college tuition he may have found an issue that resonates with the same young voters who helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency.

From 2004 to 2014 the inflation adjusted cost of in-state tuition at public universities has increased more than 40%.

A four-year university education there now averages $9,139 (£6,000), not including room and board. The price tag for out-of-state enrolees and those attending private colleges is much higher - often exceeding $100,000 for four years.

Continue Reading

Tue May 26, 2015 at 11:57 AM PDT

"tanks don't need visas"

by annieli

Sabers get rattled everywhere with no sense of irony over the Prague Spring.
Russia's military forces have begun a large exercise involving around 250 aircraft and 12,000 service personnel, according to its defence ministry.

The ministry described the four-day drill as a "massive surprise inspection", to check combat readiness.

The tests began on the same day as Nato and some of its partners started an Arctic training exercise.

Nato's two-week training exercise in the region - which began on the same day as Russia's tests - will be based in the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland. It will involve 115 fighter planes and 3,600 troops from nine countries.

The Arctic Challenge Exercise will also involve troops and planes from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands - all Nato members - as well as neutral Switzerland.

Russia's actions in Ukraine and incursions into Western airspace have led to rising tensions with the West.

According to reports on the Russian agencies Interfax and Tass, the inspection of the aviation group and air defence forces in the central military district involves almost 700 weapons and pieces of military hardware.

During the exercise, Russia's long-range aircraft are due to carry out cruise missile strikes on practice targets in the Komi republic.

The BBC's Caroline Wyatt, in Moscow, says the current drills are in preparation for a larger exercise known as Center-2015 in the next few months.

Asked about Russia's assertiveness in a TV interview, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin joked that "tanks don't need visas".

Details of the settlement are expected today, but somehow a cop standing on the hood of a car emptying a magazine through the windshield stands in stark contrast to any sense of justice. Is 600 events over three years an acceptable threshold before the Feds step in.
The city of Cleveland, Ohio, has reached a settlement with the Justice Department over charges of police brutality, according to The New York Times.

The news comes as hundreds took to the streets to protest a judge's decision not to convict a white police officer in the 2012 fatal shootings of an unarmed black couple. On Saturday, Officer Michael Brelo was cleared in the killing of Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, as they sat in their car.

"It's a tragedy because no one is being held accountable," Michelle Russell, Timothy Russell's sister, said Saturday.

The settlement, the details of which were unknown, could be announced Tuesday, according to The Times. In December, Attorney General Eric Holder said there was reasonable cause to believe that the Cleveland Division of Police engaged in a pattern of excessive force.

After an investigation of nearly 600 "troubling, high-profile use of force incidents" between 2010 and 2013, "we determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Cleveland division of public police engages in a pattern and practice of using excessive force," Holder said in December.

ABC News' calls to city officials, including the mayor's office and the police department, were not returned.

Prosecutors said Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who fired 137 times into the couple's car in the November 2012 shooting. The 22-mile, high-speed chase through Cleveland began when an officer tried pulling over Timony Russell for a turn signal violation. His car backfired while speeding away, causing officers to think someone in the car had fired a gun.

At the end of the chase, Brelo stood on the car's hood when it was stopped and shot 15 times into the windshield, said prosecutors. Brelo told the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation that he thought he and his partner were being shot at. Russell and Williams were each shot more than 20 times.

Continue Reading

ABC News Videos

Fighter Jets Scramble Following at Least 6 Reports of Threats to Passenger Planes, Officials Say

A Saudi Airlines flight from Saudi Arabia was also escorted to a remote area at JFK. It was cleared and passengers were brought back to the terminal, officials said.

An Air France plane was escorted to JFK Airport in New York City this morning after an anonymous threat was made against the flight, law enforcement officials told ABC News. The FBI said the plane has since been checked and cleared with "no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew."

Authorities said that the decision to have the plane escorted by two fighter jets was done "out of an abundance of caution" after the Maryland State Police McHenry Barracks, in Garrett County, received an anonymous call of a “chemical weapons threat” aboard Air France Flight 22, which was en route from Paris to the New York City airport.

The tip was called in at 6:45 a.m. on an untraceable line and the caller did not identify himself, a senior federal official told ABC News. Two F-15 planes were scrambled and followed the plane into U.S. airspace, but they flew in a way so that the passengers and crew would not be able to see the military planes, sources said.

The Airbus A-330 has since landed and was taken between two runways and locked down while the threat is investigated. A police dispatch that was sent out after the jets were scrambled noted that the area where the plane was taken is generally known as the "hijack site" because it is the area used in such scenarios. During an initial investigation, nothing dangerous has been found on board, the federal official told ABC News.

More of the same hoaxers who should be caught and forced to have their luggage checked everyday


A neoconservative hypothetical: What if Mecca and Karbala are nuked by their respective fundamentalists, noting that Israel could be a variable in this tip-for-tap exchange.

Sidney Lumet and Stanley Kramer have thought about the possibility of nuclear exchanges between relatively evenly matched adversaries: Fail-Safe and its parodic Doppelgänger Dr. Strangelove are modeling exercises useful to this circumstance

In the former narrative, a compensatory attack on the US is launched to provide a proportional reciprocation as compensatory for the initial, accidental attack on Russia.

Would such an actual or threatened attack be similarly compensatory for Isam, given the possibility of limited nuclear war in the 21st Centiry. And would a possible outcome be a permanent peace between the warring sectarian factions not unlike the ecumenical  UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO between Protestants and Catholics.

So guess what the terminally paranoid House of Saud is up to: Lay their hands on a nuclear bomb to counteract the non-existent "Iranian bomb", which Tehran, via Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has consistently abhorred as un-Islamic, and wouldn't have it anyway because of stringent inspections bound to be part of the final nuclear deal.

The proverbial "former Pentagon official" has leaked to a Rupert Murdoch paper that the House of Saud is bound to buy a ready-made nuclear bomb from Pakistan. The choice of media already offers a clue; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of News Corporation's leading shareholders.

Islam split into its Sunni and Shi'ite branches during a war over the succession to the leadership of the faith in the generation that followed the Prophet Mohammad's death in 632.

The hadith, or sayings of the prophet and his companions, have been handed down orally over the centuries and are the most important sources of authority in Islam after the Quran itself. Many date back to those medieval battlefields in what are now Syria and Iraq, where the two main Islamic sects took shape.

The historical texts have become a powerful recruitment tool, quoted across the region from religious festivals in Iraq's Shi'ite shrine city of Kerbala to videos released by Sunni preachers in the Gulf, and beyond.

"We have here mujahideen from Russia, America, the Philippines, China, Germany, Belgium, Sudan, India and Yemen and other places," said Sami, a Sunni rebel fighter in northern Syria. "They are here because this what the Prophet said and promised, the Grand Battle is happening."

Both sides emphasize the ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state which will rule the world before total chaos.

Although some Sunni and Shi'ite clerics are privately skeptical of the religious justifications for the war, few in the region express such reservations in public for fear of being misinterpreted as doubters of the prophecies.

"Yes some of the signs are similar but these signs could apply at any time after the fall of the Islamic state (1,000 years ago)," one Sunni Muslim scholar in Lebanon said, asking that he not be identified. "There is no way to confirm we are living those times. We have to wait and see."

In Fail-Safe:

Before completion of the accidental attack on Moscow, the President realizes the severity of the situation and seeks a resolution to the matter that will avoid reprisal from the Russians and, ultimately, an all-out nuclear holocaust. With this threat in mind, the President orders an American bomber toward New York City, which otherwise would be destroyed by the Soviets, along with many other American cities, in any counter-attack. Upon failure to stop the destruction of Moscow, the President orders General Black, whose wife and child are visiting New York (Dan O'Herlihy), is flying the bomber that is to drop the same nuclear payload which struck Moscow in the hope that it will appease the Soviets. After releasing the bombs, Black commits suicide.

Continue Reading
At an iconoclastic level of understanding, burning an politically invalid piece of cloth seems slightly pyromaniac, and even reactionary or provocative, and as art perhaps slightly more creative, but only LoFos will get pissed off and misunderstand that the artist is in some ways following flag etiquette for disposal, assuming that the Confederate "battle flag" could even be the legitimate flag of the now-defunct CSA. OTOH it will be useful to observe the blasphemy discourse and wonder in the spirit of Charlie Hebdo, whether published satirical cartoons of Jefferson Davis will draw violent extremist responses.
A conceptual-art project that includes plans to burn and bury Confederate flags in 13 mostly Southern states on Memorial Day has drawn the ire of groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans that consider the events disrespectful and divisive.

The planned flag burnings and burials also raised concern that such a public and symbolic act would fall short of the artist’s stated goal to simply retire the flag as a “symbol of terror” and would instead serve to aggravate tensions.

The controversy is the latest in a long string of flare-ups over the flag and highlights how fraught a symbol it remains 150 years after the Civil War ended. While some denounce the flag as an emblem of racism and oppression, others revere it as a representation of the South’s cultural heritage.

John Sims, a 47-year-old conceptual artist in Sarasota, Fla., who is organizing the Memorial Day events, said he hoped to prod people “to reflect upon and critique the complex nature of the Confederate flag as a lasting symbol of terror.” He said he planned to stage funerals for the flag in the 11 states that formed the Confederacy, along with Kentucky and Missouri.

Life does occasionally have existential moments of decision-making,

Odds are in the above case, some of the bullets were meant for either of two targets. Was the stopped car at that moment, a weapon.

In the hypothetical moment that this event happens to you and you are also a legally armed citizen, is it worth deciding that you should "stand your ground" even if it seems like the police are trying to execute you.

With each police pistol magazine limit of 16 rounds, it seems like there's a threshold where if the police seem like they don't want to stop shooting even if you want to surrender peacefully and tell them so, that it's time to get them to suspend their shooting by reminding them that it's not quite one-sided, especially as has happened in other shooting events, when the police reload and continue firing.

Of course it would probably give them greater reason for their actions, but since you're probably going to die anyway - why die so passively.

A judge today acquitted a white Cleveland police officer in the 2012 shooting deaths of an unarmed black couple, saying he couldn't determine whether the officer alone fired the fatal shots at the end of a 137-bullet barrage.

Michael Brelo was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser charge of felonious assault in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. He was visibly emotional as Cuyahoga County Judge John O'Donnell read a portion of his verdict in open court.

Continue Reading
Can you tell the difference between the FISA court and Kafka’s court in his story The Trial?
When Edward Snowden first went public, he did it by leaking a 4-page order from a secret court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court. Founded in 1978 after the Watergate scandal and investigations by the Church Committee, the FISA court was supposed to be a bulwark against secret government surveillance. In 2006, it authorized the NSA call records program – the single largest domestic surveillance program in American history.

“The court” in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial is a shadowy tribunal that tries (and executes) Josef K., the story’s protagonist, without informing him of the crime he’s charged with, the witnesses against him, or how he can defend himself.

SYNOPSIS: The film, based on Franz Kafka’s posthumously published novel The Trial (1924) is about a man, Josef K, who is arrested and put on trial, but never explained why. Kafka was an attorney, and the story reflects his experience with the criminal justice system in his home city of Prague (now in the Czech Republic).

The film opens with an allegory from the novel, which encapsulates the novel’s central point: a man goes to a city containing the “law”, but a guard at the gate warns him not to enter. The man obeys, but spends his entire life persuading the guard to let him in. Just before the man dies, the guard says that this door was made just for him, but now he must close it.

The story itself begins with Josef awakened at 6:15 AM by two inspectors who inform him that he’s arrested and suspiciously scrutinizes all of his words. Although under arrest, he is not taken into custody and the inspectors interrogate him intermittently during his daily routine. As he goes through his normal activities, everyone he talks to speaks to him as though he is guilty of something, just as the inspectors do, and he continually attempts to defend himself. At the end of the film, two inspectors throw Josef into a pit, toss in dynamite, and Josef dies in the explosion.

Filmed first in Yugoslavia, and later in Paris when finances dried up, many of the sets were constructed in a large and empty Paris railway station. The film and Anthony Perkins’s performance were ridiculed when the movie was first released in 1963. Orson Welles is reported to have said, “Say what you will, but 'The Trial' is the finest film I have ever made.” In 2000, the original negative of the film was discovered and it was again theatrically released. Subsequent responses to both the film and Perkins have been more favorable.


Sat May 23, 2015 at 01:00 AM PDT

food riots and food price volatility

by annieli

Ultimately is it about prices indices or actual food, making it a more interesting signalling and modeling event - more about the riots and not actually about the food or that famine has already achieved disastrous levels and that it is a measure not about food but about violence, public order, or state instability. Is it exceeding carrying capability and signalling sustainability failure or is it more about failures in governance and governmentality.

OTOH are zombies eating enough brains these days.

There is an obvious relationship between strife and food – if you starve a nation they will fight to get food.  This relationship has been pinned down by an organisation called the Complex Systems Institute, CSI.  They show that the food riots break out when the food price index rises above a certain critical level.  An example was the Arab Spring.
Governments wanting to avoid riots like those that helped spark the Arab Spring should work to keep global food prices from doubling, a new study has found.

The U.K.'s Anglia Ruskin University claims to have identified the point in food price inflation that makes riots and domestic conflict more likely.

Using the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index (FAO FPI), which measures monthly price changes for an international basket of foodstuffs, the study found that breaching index levels of 148 increases the risk of violent food riots by varying degrees -- depending on how politically stable the country 's politics were. Normal FAO FPI levels register near 100.

Shocks could include export bans or crop losses due to bad weather or droughts.

The research identified 17 countries most in danger of price-linked food riots -- including Nigeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Syria -- posing a 36.7 percent risk if thresholds are breached.

The study examined food riots that took place between 2004 and 2012, which included those in North Africa and the Middle East during the Arab Spring, and those in India following massive floods in 2007.

Four groups of countries were identified within the World Bank's political instability rankings, with corresponding risk levels if thresholds were breached. Currently, Russia, India and China face a 17.8 percent risk if food prices double.

And then there's the RW apocalyptic fear of the Other:


Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site