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The ACLU, an organization I proudly joined when I was very young, has a petition to go to the President that I just signed along with 29,758 others that have signed so far.

I hope if you feel that "Edward Snowden is an American patriot" that you will sign it also.

President Obama: Grant Snowden Immunity Now - ACLU Petition

Edward Snowden is a great American who deserves full immunity for his patriotic acts. And we’re proud to serve as his legal advisors. When Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA, he single-handedly reignited a global debate about government surveillance and our most fundamental rights as individuals.
For more than 12 years, the ACLU has been fighting to end government surveillance that invades the rights and lives of millions of Americans with virtually no oversight. But when our years-long case against mass surveillance finally reached the Supreme Court, it was dismissed for lack of evidence of the secret programs. Snowden provided that evidence, at great personal risk.
Now if tens of thousands of us stand together and tell President Obama to grant Snowden immunity, we have a real chance of bringing him home.
Sign here.........29,758 people support this campaign. Help us get to 35,000!
Discuss

Joe Scarbourough did a rant on Morning Joe this week, "just get out of Afghanistan" - first time I recall agreeing with him.

It is time to just get out. Whatever will happen in that country is not up to the USA. Soon almost 60 Billion dollars will have been spent by the USA alone in training Afghan forces. How many more billions will be spent and for how many more years? How many more years of the CIA paying all those millions in cash to the the Afghan? We have troops there now helping to protect the Afghan's opium crops, is that what you want our combat troops to do in Afghanistan?

This week university students there were burning an effigy of Obama and yelling anti-US rants. If the future of Afghanistan rest on those students, it does not bode well for US interests, as it is obvious that they want us out of their country, as much as most of America wants us out.

Obama's timetable.....We will have them all out of there by 2014.

"This November, you get to decide the future of the Afghanistan war," Obama told some 13,000 people at a rally on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder.  “We are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. And I've set a timetable. We will have them all out of there by 2014,” Obama said in Boulder, Colo., in September 2012.
Did you believe President Obama and rely on his words that all of our troops would be out of Afghanistan? Did you think that Obama was a man of his word?

Well, seems that is not what is happening.......

Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that the United States and Afghanistan had finalized the wording of a bilateral security agreement that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024 and set the stage for billions of dollars of international assistance to keep flowing to the government in Kabul.
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Update 2:30 PM EST
A U.S. military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria appeared more likely on Sunday after Washington dismissed the Syrian government's offer to allow U.N. inspection of the sites as "too late to be credible."
I'm watching This Week on ABC on the crisis in Syria and listening to the latest news and interviews, and hearing from one that military intervention could make the situation there much worse, a point well taken and one that I agree with.

We are a nation so war weary that we all but ignore the current war that limps along in Afghanistan, now in its 12th year. Taking military action in Syria does not poll well, to this war weary nation.

As the White House considers options on Syria and as the Syria war escalates, Americans are cool to U.S. intervention, according to recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.

If Obama decides to undertake military action against Assad's regime, he will do so in the face of steady opposition from an American public wary after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Taken together, the polls suggest that so far, the growing crisis in Syria, and the emotionally wrenching pictures from an alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb this week, may actually be hardening many Americans' resolve not to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East.
Aug 22nd, 2013, Should not intervene = 48.5%
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Which looks like it might be much later in the afternoon or evening....

If the Amash-Conyers amendment passes the house, it is a start. If it should fail, this is not going away, we will keep fighting. And we will know who has voted for the people, and who has voted for the surveillance state.

If passed, then we wait for the senate. And the President, the man who had said that welcomed the debate, but to my knowledge, has done nothing yet to move this debate along.

While we wait, some incremental Edward Snowden-related news:

The US state department says it would be "deeply disappointed" if Russia allows Snowden to leave Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.  

Reuters reports:


Any move that would allow Mr. Snowden to depart the airport would be deeply disappointing," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. She said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had telephoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the situation.

 "The secretary spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning. He reiterated our belief ... that Mr. Snowden needs to be returned to the United States where he will have a fair trial," Psaki said.

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Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:18 PM PDT

Get on the Bus, Gus!

by allenjo

Congress - Make a New Plan, Sam!

If you have not told your elected "public servants" yet, now is the time to make your voices heard.

Tell Congress No to Social Security Cuts! Action link......

https://action.aarp.org/...

They're on the table! says Carney, It's not that I just say they're on the table, they are on the table.
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What is chained cpi and how much will you lose in benefits from your hard earned money?

AARP Primer on how reducing the COLA which will be cutting benefits to Seniors, Widows, Children, Disabled and our Veterans.......

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Discuss

I posted this video along with this comment in a earlier diary. "This morning I was watching this on Russia TV about the erosion of our constution, and would have done a diary about it if I had the energy, but after way too much outrage, I find I don't."

After exchanging comments with someone in that diary, who never bothered to even watch the video because he/she would never believe anything on rt.tv, as it had to be propaganda, I was energized enough to go ahead with posting this diary and video.

The words in this video are chilling at times......Over the years we have seen the redistribution of wealth to the corporate side/wall street. And to the MIC where hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars go through the Pentagon. Thomas Drake, who is also a member of the dkos community, goes on to talk about where we are in this country today, and to talk of the assaults on our constitution, and against our constitutional rights, among other topics.

"There is only so much you can extract out of the country, out of the people. What is left to take after all that?

You take away the people's rights, because you have to insure the continuance of the power structure in place".

Well worth listening to........

Discuss

Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:44 PM PDT

Have You Been to Greece?

by allenjo

This is a diary just for fun.

Greece in on my mind often, as I have only 2 family members left and  they live on a Greek island. This is not a diary about the austerity and pain going in Greece now, but a celebration of a country that I love, that I first went to as a teenager back in the 60's, and its music, its dances that touch my heart or make me want to get up and dance. I have so many happy memories of Greece.

If you want to share your best memories of Greece or Greek dances and music, please do.

Or if you just want to listen to the music and watch the Greek dances........

OPA!  - Can you do the SYRTAKI?

Demis Roussos  -  My Friend The Wind

My friend the wind will come from the hills
When dawn will rise....

Not a greek song, but rousing and by my favorite Greek singer, Sakis Rouvas plus beautiful Greek scenery.....

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We have been at war for so long - now in our 12th year in Afghanistan. Soon children who were not even born back in 2001 will be teenagers, knowing nothing of this country as one of peace and prosperity.

Our longest war with no quick end in sight, with 68,000 US troops and over 110,000 private contractors still in Afghanistan.

A foreign policy based on the US being "The Cops of the World", that social safety nets in this country must be cut to advance this policy.

This diary is for those who want to talk about this policy with a congress that never lacks the votes for more war funding - and to post protest music.

I am starting with Phil Ochs's, We're the cops of the world.
Please post your favorite anti-war songs.

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Greek chaos provides opening for neo-Nazi party......

My Greek-American son and his wife live on a quiet Greek island in the Aegean, which much to their surprise, had voted around 10% for the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn in the last election. Golden Dawn came to their island last week to rally supporters, to be met with a protest group of around 400 "antifascists", yelling no to fascism. Golden Dawn has the support of many in the police force, unfortunately. Around 40 riot special forces police went sent from Athens to protect Golden Dawn members, in what was a peaceful protest. However, police used tear gas against the protesters and one policeman used a club on a young Greek girl.

Society in Greece is stretched to the limit by all the austerity measures put in place, with new taxes and many price increases, medicines in short supply, some unable to pay for electric power or for oil to heat their homes, many in private and public employment not being paid for months.

For Greece thus far, there is little if any hope in sight for better living, and the political structure there is changing in ways that are very frightening. For a country that lived under the military junta for years, with a military coup having taken over one morning when Athenians awakened to the tanks filling the streets it is even more troubling that the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party is gaining more support and power.

Warning: The video below is "Racist and violent ---- the true face of Golden Dawn”

Greek far-right Golden Dawn member: 'We will turn immigrants into soap'

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Over four long years ago, the Wall Streeters, those savvy Bankster CEO's, destroyed our economy; none of whom have seen a jail cell, none have even been charged with criminal activity or stood trial for same.

So when I read the at huffpo that the DOJ warns that spending cuts will hamper its ability to investigate Wall Street fraud, it raises many questions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations told lawmakers in a recent letter that across-the-board cuts resulting from sequestration "will cause current financial crimes investigations to slow as workload is spread among a reduced workforce. In some instances, such delays could affect the timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence."
timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence?

What could be timely, four years later? What new major FBI investigations? We haven't had any old major FBI financial crime investigations, have we?

Did some Wall St CEO get secretly indicted in the past 4 years, and the American people do not know about it?

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As we have politicians in DC talking of cutting Social Security and raising the age for Medicare, as the quality of life falls for the average American, how do we attempt to justify the level of monies expended on the MIC?

How can any nation sustain such high levels of military spending and have any quality of life for its citizens?

I watched CrossTalk on tv yesterday on "Sequestrating profits" which was very informative on what is going on......and speaks to the question of "exactly who or what is America’s greatest enemy that would justify the billions being spent?" among other issues.

Voters Prefer Military Spending Cuts To Reduce The Deficit
This new poll shows that "more voters favor slashing military spending versus cutting spending on domestic programs like Medicare and Social Security in order to reduce the debt and deficit."
With all the bloat, waste and abuse going on with the Pentagon, with the Department of Defense unable to pass an audit of the funds it spends, nor is it even required to, the only federal agency that doesn't, as we are now down to one "real" war, isn't it time to re-examine the billions taxpayers are on the hook for, to demand an audit?

Why does America need its troops all over the globe?

Why do we need 5000 military bases?

Why over 6 decades after WW2 do we still have around 80,000 troops in Europe?

Why does the Pentagon need a public relations department with an annual budget near 5 billions dollars?

Why do we now have more 4 star generals than we did during WW2?

Why do we have more private contractors in a war zone than we have troops, as in Afghanistan where we are down to 68000 troops but are paying for 110000 private contractors?

Why are top brass allowed to go to work as lobbyists for war profiteers?

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An entire Afghan army unit attacking American troops...........1 out of 5 combat deaths are insider attacks.

Two days after the U.S. military resumed joint operations with Afghan security forces last week following a spate of “insider attacks,” a platoon of American soldiers stopped at an Afghan army checkpoint in a volatile eastern province.

The Americans had a cordial conversation and cracked a few jokes with their Afghan comrades during the Saturday afternoon patrol in Wardak province. The Afghans offered the Americans tea. Then, according to a U.S. military official, an Afghan soldier, without warning or provocation, raised his weapon and opened fire — mortally wounding the senior American on the patrol.

In a war in which insider attacks have become commonplace, what happened next made the incident extraordinary, the American official said. Another Afghan soldier at the checkpoint opened fire on the Americans, killing a U.S. civilian contractor and wounding two other American soldiers. Soon, Afghan soldiers and possibly insurgents began firing at the Americans from several directions.
The War in Afghanistan, America's longest war has now entered its 12th year.
Did you hear this on the morning talk shows? Did you even hear the Afghan war mentioned?
Poll

What I am willing to do to stop this war and any new wars of aggression

18%3 votes
12%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
43%7 votes
6%1 votes
6%1 votes
12%2 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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