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Zuccotti Park (Photo by joanneleon. October 1, 2011)
“When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.”

~ Jean-Paul Sartre, Le diable et le bon dieu

Nerina Pallot - Everybody's gone to war
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News and Opinion

Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan Foreign Minister: Drones Are Top Cause Of Anti-Americanism

The foreign minister of Pakistan told a gathering in New York on Thursday evening that the top cause of anti-Americanism in her country is the U.S. tactic of drone attacks.

"The use of unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory is illegal," said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in an event at the Asia Society, according to the Agence France-Presse. "It is illegal and it is unlawful."

The timing seems convenient for placing the blame for Obama's Afghanistan surge and clusterf*k on the back of a general, just before election day.
Change of U.S. command expected in Afghanistan
The White House plans to nominate Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to replace Gen. John Allen, who has directed NATO forces in Afghanistan since mid-2011.

Although Allen is not being forced out, "the president wants somebody who can take a fresh look at the effort in Afghanistan and isn't an architect of the current strategy," said David Barno, a retired Army general who headed the war in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 and now is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

Panetta: US Expects More Attacks in Afghanistan
Taliban Trying to Undermine 'Sense of Security'

Speaking to reporters today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta conceded that there were likely to be many more high profile attacks in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban is “adaptive and resilient.”

“I expect that there will be more of these high-profile attacks and that the enemy will do whatever they can to try and break our will using this kind of tactic. That will not happen,” Panetta said, claiming that the Taliban is trying to “undermine the new sense of security.”

Exactly who is feeling more secure is unclear, as a minor dip in deaths compared to last year was short-lived, and violence is still a huge problem nationwide in Afghanistan. The only “signs of progress” are the ones claimed in public US Defense Department statements.

Warrantless Electronic Surveillance Surges Under Obama Justice Department

NEW YORK -- The Obama administration has overseen a sharp increase in the number of people subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance of their telephone, email and Facebook accounts by federal law enforcement agencies, new documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday revealed.

Feast of fools
How American democracy became the property of a commercial oligarchy.

The making of America's politics over the last 236 years can be said to consist of the attempt to ward off, or at least postpone, the feast of fools. Some historians note that what the framers of the Constitution hoped to establish in 1787 ("a republic", according to Benjamin Franklin, "if you can keep it") didn't survive the War of 1812. Others suggest that the republic was gutted by the spoils system introduced by Andrew Jackson in the 1830s. None of the informed sources doubt that it perished during the prolonged heyday of the late-nineteenth-century Gilded Age.

Mark Twain coined the phrase to represent his further observation that a society consisting of the sum of its vanity and greed is not a society at all but a state of war. In the event that anybody missed Twain's meaning, President Grover Cleveland in 1887 set forth the rules of engagement while explaining his veto of a bill offering financial aid to the poor: "The lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people."

Twenty years later, Arthur T Hadley, the president of Yale, provided an academic gloss: "The fundamental division of powers in the Constitution of the United States is between voters on the one hand and property owners on the other. The forces of democracy on the one side... and the forces of property on the other side."

One Billion Rising: Ending the Pandemic of Violence Against Women

Every day, girls and women the world over face a broad range of assaults which, in the aggregate, inhibit equality everywhere. In the United States we are dealing with a legislative assault on women’s rights, well documented here, that few people understand as a real and violent assault on women’s physical integrity and right to bodily autonomy. More often than not, people think of the “war on women” in the United States as a politically expeditious metaphor when it is not. There is nothing abstract or metaphorical about it. That’s too squeam-inducing for many people to consider. However, in direct and more obvious, “forcible” and “legitimately” recognized ways, women in the United States  experience directly recognizable physical violence, too. Among developed nations, the United States has a higher than average rate of violence against women. This violence sits squarely in the full spectrum of violence, much more crippling and extreme, that takes place in other parts of the world. It’s all of a cloth.

Last Fall, I wrote an article in the Huffington Post called “Violence Against Women is a Global Pandemic.” If you click on the link, you can review the still relevant deplorable statistics. It goes without saying, a scant 10 months later, that data regarding the chronic and oppressive reality of systematized gender-based violence are still valid. For an updated, dynamic and mappable resource, it's useful to explore the Womenstats database, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

I read that most people at this free clinic were uninsured but some had insurance and could not afford to pay their deductible.  Unusable health insurance.  And most people have no idea what the heck Obamacare does for them (probably because most of it is not implemented and won't be for at least another two years, five years after the bill passing).
Care Harbor 2012 Shows LA Has A Long Way To Go With Affordable Care Act

And it isn't just patients who are confused about the Affordable Care Act. Atteberry admitted that many in the dental industry don't have a "good grasp" on how the law might open up access to insurance. "It's hard to say. Children will have access, but as for adults, I don't know what the impact is going to be," she said.

[ ... ]

"What you can tell is that people are a little more desperate," said Fieldman. "People are sleeping out longer [for tickets]. They're very, very anxious. They're telling sadder stories. They're a little more aggressively telling about their need."

Later on Thursday, security guards were called to deal with a small but angry group outside the stadium doors demanding to be let in. About two dozen people from around the city had rushed to the LA Sports Arena after seeing coverage of the free clinic on the morning news, not realizing that all 4,800 tickets had already been given out days ago.

The group finally dispersed after a Care Harbor volunteer handed out fliers for low-cost or no-cost medical services in the area.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

The Evening Blues - 9-28-12 by joe shikspack

News Sources About Afghanistan

Maybe Congress Doesn’t Want Constituents to Know Surveillance Has Spiked Under Obama? by emptywheel

Panetta, DoD Use Semantic Games to Claim Joint Operations Nearly Normal Again in Afghanistan by Jim White

UPDATED:The Secret Interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act

Libya Attack Casts Unwanted Spotlight on CIA and Blackwater Role in Syria by leveymg

John Fogerty : Fortunate Son


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