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Green Enough For Ya?
photo credit: Lady Libertine
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
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U.S. construction projects in Afghanistan challenged by inspector general’s report

A U.S. initiative to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on construction projects in Afghanistan, originally pitched as a vital tool in the military campaign against the Taliban, is running so far behind schedule that it will not yield benefits until most U.S. combat forces have departed the country, according to a government inspection report to be released Monday.

[ ... ]

The study calls into question a fundamental premise of the U.S. strategy to counter the Taliban insurgency — that expensive new roads and power plants can be funded and constructed quickly enough to help turn the tide of war — and it poses a sobering, counterintuitive question for policymakers in Washington: whether the massive influx of American spending in Afghanistan is actually

Allies Rebuke Pakistan on Cross-Border Attacks

“Recent allegations that the Pakistani military has notified the International Security Assistance Force 52 times that insurgent elements were crossing the Afghan-Pakistan border are incorrect,” it said in a statement, using the coalition’s formal name.

“Whenever the Pakistani military has requested assistance, ISAF immediately dispatched the appropriate force to deal with the issue,” it added.

[ ... ]

The official said the coalition had responded to most, if not all, of Pakistan’s reports of incursions. The coalition responses, however, were fleeting and ineffective. “It’s not rocket science in how ISAF can assist us,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about security issues. “We have not seen anything go down that’s diminishing these attacks.” Until recently, all three countries had largely kept the problems in northeastern Afghanistan out of the public debate. But a week ago Afghan officials loudly protested what appeared to be an unusually heavy rocket barrage on villages in Kunar, which has suffered sporadic cross-border bombardment in recent years.

At least two Nato service members killed in Afghanistan

KABUL: The Nato military coalition on Sunday said two service members were killed in an insurgent attack in the west of the country.

The military alliance known as Isaf didn’t provide further details. Nato also did not provide the nationalities of the dead. The deaths bring the number of international service members killed in Afghanistan so far this month to at least 44.

VIEW : Where is Afghanistan headed? — S P Seth

However, those wanting to see the US and its allies quit Afghanistan will be happy that the day is not far off. The Taliban, for instance, believe that all Afghanistan’s problems stem from the US invasion of the country. They hope that, with the US withdrawal, the Karzai government will collapse and the Taliban will be back in power. However, that might not happen so easily. True, the Taliban’s hold in eastern and southern parts of the Pashtun majority areas might be further strengthened, where they already have a strong presence directly and indirectly. In some places, they are also in close contact with elements in the Afghan army, avoiding military encounters.

However, it is important to note that the Taliban are not a homogenous category. For instance, the Haqqanis are unlikely to submit easily to a centralised Taliban authority like Mullah Mohammad Omar and his group. Pakistan’s ISI might play a bridging and mediating role with its considerable patronage to fight a common enemy — the Karzai government. But as the recent International Donors Conference in Japan has shown, the post-US Karzai government or its successor will not be without friends willing to help, though avoiding troops’ involvement. Apart from pledging development aid of $ 16 billion over four years, the US and its allies are also likely to commit about $ 4 billion a year to fund and support an estimated 352,000 Afghan army and police force over the next 10 years.

Bradley Manning's lawyers seek to show torturous holding conditions

Bradley Manning, the suspected WikiLeaks source, is seeking to call several military psychiatrists to testify that he was held in custodial conditions likened to torture against their professional advice.

Manning's defence lawyers have lodged a motion with the military court in Fort Meade, Maryland requesting the appearance of seven medical and other experts at the next pretrial hearing scheduled for 1 October.

The defence team, led by civilian lawyer David Coombs, is trying to have all 22 charges against Manning thrown out of court on grounds that he was subjected to illegal pretrial treatment in violation of the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

London 2012 Olympics: day three – live blog
London 2012 Olympics: Monday 30 July - Live picture blog
#NBCFail: Journalist at The Independent has Twitter account suspended after complaining about NBC's coverage of London 2012 Olympics  Twitter account was suspended after Guy Adams published already public email address of the President of NBC Olympics

Just read the post. Here's the top comment {LL}:

NBC has issued a rebuttal statement . . . . .which it plans to share in about 7 hours.
Wisconsin Oil Spill: Enbridge Energy Reports Incident

The U.S. pipeline safety agency launched an investigation on Saturday into an oil spill in Wisconsin on Enbridge Inc's network that briefly shut much of the company's pipeline system feeding Canadian crude to the U.S. Midwest.

Enbridge's 318,000 barrel per day Line 14 pipeline, which carries light sweet Canadian crude to Chicago-area refineries, was shut on Friday after an estimated 1,200 barrels of oil were leaked, and the Canadian company said on Saturday it did not have a restart time for the pipeline yet. ...

The cause of the spill, which occurred almost two years to the day after another major spill in Michigan on a different section of the system, had yet to be determined but repairs on Line 14 -- part of the Lakehead pipeline system -- were expected to begin later in the day. ...

The incidents have caused furor just as the company seeks approval for its C$6 billion Northern Gateway pipeline to Canada's West Coast from Alberta amid staunch opposition from environmental groups and native communities that warn against oil spills on land and in coastal waters.

B.C. Enbridge pipeline critics say money not the issue Latest spill proves Northern Gateway risks too great, they say

First Nations leaders, local politicians and conservation groups say an oil spill at an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin proves the proposed Northern Gateway project is too risky to be approved.

Last week, about 190,000 litres of oil seeped out of an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin, which was delivering Canadian crude to Chicago-area refineries.


Numerous municipalities have formally opposed the project, as has the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

"British Columbians have made clear that our coast and our communities are not for sale,” said Jennifer Rice, a city councilor in Prince Rupert.

"Our issue isn't the money — it's about risking our fishing and tourism economies for oil tankers and pipelines. Of course Premier Clark should stand up for B.C., but the only responsible stand is to say no to oil tankers and tarsands pipelines, period."

Violent disputes over indigenous lands increase across Brazil

Violent disputes over indigenous land have been growing across Brazil, sparking heightened militancy by native tribes angered by broken promises of compensation and slower government registrations. ... The indigenous peoples are fighting to protect their resource-rich lands from invasions or encroachment by huge cattle ranchers, industrial-scale farmers, illegal gold miners and loggers. In this huge country, one percent of the 191-million-strong population controls 46 percent of the cultivated land. The indigenous population faces murders, death threats, lack of health care and education, and delays in registering land ownership.


Tension is particularly high in the country’s northern Amazon region, where the federal government is building the huge Belo Monte hydro-electrical dam across the Xingu River.

Angry indigenous activists frequently occupy the construction sites and occasionally take employees hostage to protest what they view as broken promises of compensation.

Horses used against demonstrators in ninth day of Anaheim protests

Anaheim police arrested nine demonstrators, at one point using horses against protesters during a march, during the ninth day of protests over police shootings Sunday. The Orange County Register reported that more than 200 protesters took part in the demonstration, which forced some street closures as they marched toward Disneyland before converging on police headquarters. Among them were members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, one of whom filmed officers using horses to move people back toward the sidewalk. ... OC Weekly also reported that officers reacted angrily when some protesters tried to document at least one of the arrests. “While two officers handcuffed the suspect, other cops rushed up, formed a perimeter, pointed rifles directly at the faces of photographers, snarled and screamed, ‘Back up!’” R. Scott Moxley wrote on the weekly paper’s blog.

Former NSA Official Disputes Claims by NSA Chief

LAS VEGAS — A former NSA official has accused the NSA’s director of deception during a speech he gave at the DefCon hacker conference on Friday when he asserted that the agency does not collect files on Americans.

William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, said during a panel discussion that NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was playing a “word game” and that the NSA was indeed collecting e-mails, Twitter writings, internet searches and other data belonging to Americans and indexing it.

“Unfortunately, once the software takes in data, it will build profiles on everyone in that data,” he said. “You can simply call it up by the attributes of anyone you want and it’s in place for people to look at.”

Real estate mogul Jeff Greene on why billionaires should take Occupy seriously

“There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American dream at all,” he told New York magazine. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy. At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a Hollande. A Chávez.”

He’s not exactly preaching to the choir of fellow billionaires — many of whom, he says, think that the Occupy Wall Street movement is a “disorganized joke.”  But Greene is taking the issue seriously, and he thinks that it would behoove other very wealthy individuals to do the same.

“If we keep doing what we’re doing,” he told New York Magazine, “we will build a class of poor people that will take over this country, and the country will not look like what it does today. It will be a different economy, rights, all that stuff will be different.”

Report: Wall Street has spent $1,331 dollars per minute, every minute since 2006, to gain political influence.

Between 2006-2012 (so far) the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (F.I.R.E.) sector has invested a total of $4.2 billion in political power and influence including:

        $829 million in congressional campaign contributions
        $181 million in presidential campaign contributions
        $2.8 billion in lobbying with over 18,400 lobbyists

Blog Posts of Interest

Final leg of Keystone Pipeline down middle of US approved by beach babe in fl on dailykos

The Evening Blues 7-30-12 by joe shikspack on dailykos

On Asimov, Orwell, Markos, And Today's NYT Must-Read On The 916,643 Voters Deciding This Election by bobswern on DailyKos

Newly-Released Documents Show Case Against Thomas Drake Was Built on Sand by Jesselyn Radack on DailyKos

The Allure of Selling Out by Cassiodorus on DailyKos

Pleasant Surprise: A POSITIVE Story About Disney and Race by Ian Reifowitz on DailyKos

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Originally posted to DFH writers group on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH and Canadian Kossacks.

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