The White Flag


Bombs for Peace
March 27, 2011, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

United States

Sometimes Americans forget because the Constitution is so confusing, but the president is our dictator, rightfully so.
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“The Justice Department has released portions of a detailed legal analysis from 2004 of President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program — an opinion which concluded that a law Congress passed restricting surveillance in the U.S. was unconstitutional if it barred Bush’s program.”

“First, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by Congress in 2001 implicitly authorized surveillance like that under the warrantless wiretapping program. Second, if the AUMF was read not to authorize such surveillance, the 1978 law Congress passed setting out the “exclusive” means for domestic electronic surveillance was unconstitutional.”

“[…] Bush modified the surveillance program, apparently doing away with certain activities the three lawyers objected to as illegal.”

Reliable capitalism; good for competition, always setting historically low prices, and ultimately beneficial to society.
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“A drug which the FDA approved more than half a century ago—which doctors have been prescribing for their patients with high-risk pregnancies through compounding pharmacies with great success—was designated by the FDA an ‘orphan drug.’ [An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a relatively rare medical condition, and the designation gives the manufacturer clinical trial tax incentives.] Now KV Pharmaceutical has been given the exclusive right of production and sale (not to mention drug trial tax breaks!). They immediately raised the price from $10 per dose to $1,500.”

“Doctors say the $30,000 price tag will almost certainly deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births. Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, was quoted as saying, ‘That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make.’ ”

“Besides the grave jeopardy placed on the mothers and their infants, this will create a huge financial burden for the health insurance companies, private citizens, and government programs that have to pay for it.”

“ ‘I am deeply concerned that your company appears to be taking advantage of FDA approval at the expense of women, children and federal and state budgets,’ Brown wrote. ‘By ratcheting up prices, fewer women will be able to afford the drug, increasing rates of preterm birth nationwide. This isn’t in the interest of children, new mothers, or taxpayers.’ ”

Fair and balanced news corporation finds it fair to avoid paying taxes.
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“A few weeks ago video pimp and propagandist, James O’Keefe, released a heavily edited and deliberately deceptive video that purported to expose an institutional bias at National Public Radio. It was quickly debunked and denounced as a fraud by analysts across the political spectrum, including those at Glenn Beck’s web site, The Blaze.”

“As far back as 1999, there have been reports documenting how News Corp, Fox’s parent company, exploited loopholes in tax laws that permitted them to avoid levies that all other citizens have to pay.”

“ ‘…News Corporation and its subsidiaries paid only A$325m ($238m) in corporate taxes worldwide. In the same period, its consolidated pre-tax profits were A$5.4 billion. So News Corporation has paid an effective tax rate of only around 6%. By comparison, Disney, one of the world’s other media empires, paid 31%. Basic corporate-tax rates in Australia, America and Britain, the three main countries in which News Corporation operates, are 36%, 35% and 30% respectively.’ ”

“When giant, prosperous, multinational corporations weasel out of their tax obligations, ordinary citizens are the ones who are forced to make up the shortfall.”

Silencing the truth is hard work, especially when you are pretending to do the opposite.
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“ ‘All previous presidents put together brought three prosecutions… We see a campaign here against whistleblowing that is highly unprecedented in legal terms.’ ”

“Earlier this month, the military unveiled 22 additional charges against Manning including ‘aiding the enemy,’ which carries a potential death sentence, though the army said it would not seek capital punishment.”

“US investigators have failed so far to establish a direct link between the Manning and the website [Wikileaks], which began publishing the documents last year.”

“ ‘It’s important that in order to strenghten [sic] our democracy, we have to keep our government honest, and the only way to keep our government honest is to give access to that information,’ ”

If you are beginning to lose the ability to make the distinction between our previous republican president’s policies and our new democratic president’s policies it is because they are the same. (It is called double speak.)
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“Suffice to say, it is no longer provocative or controversial when someone like Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin writes, as he did the other day, that Obama ‘has more or less systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the George W. Bush Administration.’ No rational person can argue that or even tries to any longer. It’s just a banal expression of indisputable fact”

The Wall Street Journal reports that ‘new rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades.’ ”

“Ironically, it was the administration — and its followers — that defended the sanctity of Miranda back in late 2009, when the Cheney/Kristol/Limbaugh/Palin Right attacked Obama for Mirandizing the ‘underwear bomber’ as soon as he was taken into custody. Back then, the White House and its loyalists stridently argued that Miranda does not interfere with effective interrogations and that, in any event, it is a pillar of our justice system that should not be eroded.”

“In other words, with the sweep of a unilateral pen, Miranda simply no longer compels the government to read you your rights if you are accused of involvement in Terrorism and FBI agents unilaterally decide that it shouldn’t.”

“With a swoop of a pen — more than 9 years removed from the 9/11 attacks — Barack Obama has done more to erode Miranda than any right-wing politician could have dreamed of achieving.”

Everyone knows peace can only be attained through bloodshed, that is what Ghandi and King are so famous for, without them we would still be trying to attain peace and equality through peaceful acts of solidarity. And with America being the largest arms dealer in the world, peace could be very profitable.
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“If the bitter lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan has taught us anything, though, it’s that wars of liberation exact a deadly toll on those they purportedly liberate – and that democracy doesn’t come on the back of a Tomahawk missile.”

“President Barack Obama announced his latest peace-through-bombs initiative last week – joining ongoing US conflicts and proxy wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – by declaring he could not ‘stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy and … where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.’ ”

“That’s the reality of the no-fly zone and the mission creep that started the moment it was enacted: bombing civilians and massacring retreating troops. And like any other war, it’s not pretty.”

“Russia, the Arab League and others have said that coalition airstrikes have caused significant civilian casualties. Though the number of deaths are unconfirmed at this time, Reuters reports that the Arab League will be commissioning an analysis into health ministry claims that 64 civilians died in the initial flurry of missile strikes on Libya.”

“[…] before [the White House] started calling for a regime change, the Obama administration was working to provide the Libyan dictator another $77 million in weapons, on top of the $17 million it provided in 2009 and the $46 million the Bush administration provided in 2008.”

“In Yemen, which has received more than $300 million in military aid from the US over the last five years, the Obama administration continues to support corrupt thug and president-for-life Ali Abdullah Saleh, who recently ordered a massacre of more than 50 of his own citizens who dared protest his rule.”

“Rather than engage in cruise-missile liberalism, Obama could save lives by immediately ending support for these brutal regimes. But for US administrations, both Democratic and Republican, arms sales appear to trump liberation. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute documented that Washington accounted for 54 percent of arms sales to Persian Gulf states between 2005 and 2009.”

“The US government need not drop a single bomb in the Middle East to help liberate oppressed people. All it need do is stop selling bombs to their oppressors.”

World

Disaster in Japan, radioactivity reaches Tokyo. (Video Included)
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“The plant, 140 miles (220 kilometers) north of Tokyo, has been leaking radiation since the quake and tsunami knocked out its crucial cooling systems.”

“The crisis is emerging as the world’s most expensive natural disaster on record, likely to cost up to $309 billion, according to a new government estimate. Police say an estimated 18,000 people were killed.”

“Concerns about food safety spread Wednesday to Tokyo after officials said tap water showed elevated radiation levels: 210 becquerels of iodine-131 per liter of water — more than twice the recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants. Another measurement taken later at a different site showed the level was 190 becquerels per liter. The recommended limit for adults is 300 becquerels.”

“Dr. Harold Swartz, a professor of radiology and medicine at Dartmouth Medical School in the U.S., said the radiation amounts being reported in the water are too low to pose any real risk, even to infants who are being fed water-based formula or to breast-fed infants whose mothers drink tap water.”

Civil Liberties

People rally to support Private Bradly Manning who is being mistreated while he awaits court martial. (Video Summary Included)
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“Manning was charged in May 2010 with violating parts of the Uniform Code of Military Justice after officials said he gave classified data to the exposé website WikiLeaks.”

“He was accused of releasing 77,000 classified military documents, as well as video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that resulted in the deaths of Reuters news personnel, according to the Associated Press.”

“Manning is awaiting a court martial while being held at Quantico. He could get up to 52 years in prison if convicted.”

“This is not the first rally for Manning near Quantico. Supporters, in much smaller numbers, have gathered before near Quantico.”

The American war on old American values; mistreatment of prisoners and a dedication to keeping illegal activity secret.
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“For generations, the United States stood as a beacon of democracy and human rights — until the Bush administration, the Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Bay. Any hope that Barack Obama would restore civilization to Washington has been dashed by the cruel and unusual punishment meted out to Bradley Manning.”

“ ‘Solitary confinement will slowly wear down the mental and physical condition of Bradley Manning,” warned clinical psychologist Jeff Kaye after his visit to Quantico. Such extreme isolation was declared unconstitutional in the US in 1890, but continues to be used widely in the country’s infamous ‘supermax’ prisons.”

“Despite praising whistleblowers during the 2008 election campaign and promising to protect them, Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers for leaking information to the press than any other president in US history.”

“Congressman Dennis Kucinich has said that ‘the Army’s treatment [of Manning] would obviously constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.’ ”

Economy

Companies avoiding taxes, nonsense. (Video)
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War

US troops pose with dead Afghan civilians they murdered. This is all part of President Obama and General Petraeus’s new strategy, be friend the people of Afghanistan, and use force when the civilians resist.
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“Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of ‘trophy’ photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.”

“Some of the activities of the self-styled ‘kill team’ are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians.”

Health

The USDA is aware of something the rest of us are not, scientists cannot explain things as well as lobbyists. A good explanation is always “green.”
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“A new lawsuit from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is aimed at both the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. Their new Dietary Guidelines are clear about what to eat more of—vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, for example—but use deliberately obscure language when discussing the foods Americans should eat less of.”

“According to the PCRM, this deliberate omission can be traced to the USDA’s close ties to food industries, including fast food companies such as McDonald’s. The PCRM is demanding that the USDA actually name the foods they suggest consumers eat in lesser quantities. The lawsuit also raises concerns over Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee members with ties to the food industries, including a member who served on an advisory council for the McDonald’s Corporation.”

Dieing for something sweet?
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“High-fructose corn syrup is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired level of sweetness. But because of its processing, some brands of HFCS may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin.”

“Rats fed HFCS developed fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes, while those on a fructose-free diet did not. […] HFCS also causes cardiovascular disease, even in children and adolescents. And the American Society of Nephrology found that HFCS causes high blood pressure as well.”

“The metabolic processes involved in the breakdown of fructose can lead to a buildup of uric acid—which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Fructose can raise blood triglyceride levels, which can trigger atherosclerosis, increases fat deposits around the viscera, and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight people.”

“Cancer cells thrive on sugars, particularly fructose. It has been demonstrated that cancer cells actually metabolize glucose and fructose differently from other cells. While cancer thrives on both, it uses fructose specifically to proliferate. It’s no wonder that cancer has moved quickly up the list of killers in our society since we started adding high-fructose corn syrup to everything from sodas to bread. With such damning and irrefutable research, I still don’t understand why it hasn’t become standard practice to immediately put cancer patients on fructose-free diets to help disrupt cancer growth.”

“George Mason University professor of economics Walter E. Williams points to powerful sugar companies whose massive political donations—millions of dollars to both parties—ensure that Congress keeps tariffs high on foreign sugar so the US sugar industry can charge higher prices. According to one study, one politically connected sugar-manufacturing family alone earns about $65 million a year from congressional protectionism.”

“Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet), which is used in more than 6,000 diet products, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, has remained a battleground. Despite FDA officials describing aspartame as ‘one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved’ and its safety as ‘clear cut,’ in March 2006, Environmental Health Perspectives (from the National Institutes of Health) published the first compelling experimental evidence for the carcinogenic effects of aspartame at a dose level within range of human daily intake. […] according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. A 44-pound (20-kg.) child would only have to consume 400 mg., about the equivalent of three Diet Cokes per day, to reach the carcinogenic 20 mg./kg. body weight dose.”

“Diet Coke contains aspartame. Yet in 1985, as a member of the National Soft Drink Association, Coca-Cola opposed the FDA approval of aspartame for beverages. The company’s own objections—running to several pages in the Congressional Record—included the assertion that aspartame is uniquely and inherently unstable and breaks down in the can. It decomposes into formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, formic acid, diketopiperazine, and other toxins. In a study on seven monkeys, five had grand mal seizures and one died, a casualty rate of 86%.”

“Sucralose (Splenda) alters the microflora in the intestine and ‘exerts numerous adverse effects,’ according to Duke University study, including an increase in body weight (not quite what a ‘diet aid’ is supposed to do!), and an elevation of liver enzymes, which negatively affects the bioavailability of nutrients. And as our colleagues at ANH-Europe note, sucralose is an organochloride compound. Most of the derivatives of this type of compound are insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides.”

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