The White Flag


Free Telescreens For All!
May 1, 2011, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

United States

Wikileaks: The Guantanamo Files
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Fair and Balanced (Conspiracy Theories)
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“A Media Matters review of Fox News’ opinion programs found that in recent weeks, the network devoted nearly two hours and 20 minutes to [the myth of Presidents Obama’s Kenyan childhood], and in the vast majority of the cases, the hosts either espoused birther conspiracies or did not challenge or correct false claims about Obama’s birth that aired on their shows. By contrast, when possible GOP presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee similarly questioned — but subsequently walked back — Obama’s origins, Fox devoted just over five minutes of coverage to Huckabee’s false claim that Obama was raised in Kenya.”

Once the rich have all the money my children and I will have all we ever wanted. Well, that is what republican leaders of Michigan are saying.
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“The Michigan House of Representatives passed a series of bills Thursday that will revamp the state’s tax structure, shifting $1.8 billion in taxes from businesses to individuals, including a new tax on pensions.”

General Electric, designing extremely expensive chariots of death, that we, all Americans, have to pay for, about a million dollars a day. Oh, did I mention GE paid no TAXES last year?
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“The Department of Defense appears to have to scored a rare victory for fiscal sanity by taking out the F-136. ‘It took 2 SecDefs, 2 Admins & 5+ years, but Extra Engine contract finally terminated, saving taxpayers $1M per day,’ tweeted DOD spokesman Geoff Morrell. But if the Pentagon won a battle for Joe Taxpayer, the episode suggests it’s losing the war against wasteful spending. After all, how did it even get to the point where $3 billion was spent on a contract of questionable utility that virtually everyone claimed to hate? And what’s it say about our ability to control costs on more popular defense projects?”

“Last year, [GE] tumbled from being the nation’s 24th biggest defense contractor to being the 33rd, pulling in $844 million in defense dollars. In 2001, it lost the $4 billion competition to provide engines for the JSF; that contract went to Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies (the 21st largest defense contractor, with $1.47 billion in annual military contracts).”

“On April 15, the Pentagon told Congress that it expected the JSF program to cost taxpayers $1 trillion, plus another $382 billion for development and production, assuming a 30-year lifespan for the first batch of aircraft. ‘Most of the cost of our programs is in ‘having’ them, not in ‘acquiring’ them,’ the DOD’s top arms buyer, Ashton Carter, told a crowd at the Heritage Foundation last week. In other words, while Congress debates defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood, it’s putting taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions to maintain and repair a planned fleet of 2,443 Joint Strike Fighters. (In comparison, China reportedly has 1,300 fighter aircraft; Russia has 748.)”

Business

Children are begging to work longer hours and be paid less for them, and a minimum wage job is far more important than an education, so I say let them. It is for the children…
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“But Governor Paul LePage is promoting legislation this year that would move toward deregulating non-adult employment. The Maine legislature is considering bills that would remove any limit on the number of hours children 16 or older can work on school days, raise their maximum hours each week to 24, up from 20, and allow them to work until 11 p.m., rather than 10 p.m.”

“In addition to loosening the limits on hours of work, another bill now being considered in the legislature would allow employees younger than 20 years old to be paid a ‘training wage’ of $5.25 per hour for up to 180 days. That’s far less than Maine’s $7.50 per hour minimum wage. LePage has expressed support for this overall approach as well, although he has expressed concerns about whether it would be consistent with federal law.”

“State Representative Mark Bryant, a Democrat and leading critic of the idea, says that even though decades have passed since the nation’s industrial era, the fundamentals of the debate are the same. ‘We don’t want to have our youth working more hours while they’re trying to go to school, and working for less money,’ he says. ‘That’s just unacceptable.’ ”

Finally the nation is on the right track, it takes the entire bottom 50% of families to equal the wealth of the top 400, if only we could get the percentage to be closer to 99% our nation would be fabulous.
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“Moore is almost right when he said the Forbes listers have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population. As you can see from the chart below, in 2007, the bottom 50% of American households (that is about 57 million households) had $1.61 trillion in wealth in 2007, the latest period for which such data is available. The Federal Reserve defines wealth as all financial and nonfinancial assets, including bank accounts, investments, houses, cars and debt.”

Economic growth slowing…
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“The 1.8 percent pace of increase in gross domestic product in the first quarter, according to a Commerce Department report Thursday, is down from a 3.1 percent gain in the final months of 2010. It is also lower than the level of growth that, over time, would be expected to drive down joblessness. The U.S. economy needs to grow about 2.5 percent annually to keep unemployment steady given continual growth in the labor force and in worker efficiency; even stronger GDP growth is needed to bring unemployment down.”

“The job market was a bright spot in the first quarter, despite the soft growth in economic output, with the unemployment rate falling and job growth coming in strong. But the number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits has been edging up in recent weeks. The number of new jobless claims rose to 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said in a separate report Thursday, the highest level since January.”

Civil Liberties

Sure he never broke the law, and he was forcibly rapped by his captors who were also our enemies, and he is only a young boy, but he might know something!
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“According to his file, the Afghan detainee said he was running an errand for his father when he was kidnapped by 11 men who hailed from a group called ‘Samoud’s people.’ The men, according to the detainee, ‘forcibly raped him at gunpoint’ and brought him back to their village, where they made him do manual work. Three days later, the group’s members, tipped off about an imminent U.S. raid of their camp, forced the detainee and some other people to stay behind and fight the Americans while the group members themselves fled. The file indicates that the detainee had an unfired weapon on him when U.S. forces stormed the camp. The detainee was shipped to Guantanamo in January 2003 for what seems like a rather vague and flimsy reason– ‘his possible knowledge of Taliban resistance efforts and local leaders.’ ”

Justice will only be achieved when Americans adopt the cruel tactics of their enemies.
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“For the other 578 prisoners, information has at least been revealed through the release of the government’s allegations against the prisoners, and the transcripts of the tribunals and review boards used to assess their significance, which were released in 2006 (with follow-ups in the years since), but for these 201 prisoners, many of the stories are being related for the very first time. These are mostly dispiriting revelations about how children as young as 14 and old men in their 80s were rounded up and sent to Guantánamo, joining farmers, taxi drivers and unwilling Taliban recruits — hordes of the innocent or the insignificant, whose stories help to confirm the folly of Guantánamo.”

“They include ‘high-value detainees’ like Abu Zubaydah,waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, tortured in Egypt until he falsely confessed that there were connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003), who was finally sent back to Libya to be murdered.”

“As for the rest of the 171 men still held, 47 of whom are being held indefinitely without charge or trial by President Obama on the basis that they are too dangerous to release, even though no evidence exists that can be used in court, these documents reveal how the distortions engendered by Guantánamo continue to erode all hope of a rational settlement to the vexed question of when Guantánamo will actually close.”

Of course terrorist detainees and Bradley Manning are being mistreated while they wait for trial, they are guilty! (If you did not know, trials are conducted to present evidence of a person’s wrong doing to a judge, who determines if the accumulated evidence does, in fact, prove the person is guilty.)
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“The majority of the 779 detainees at Guantanamo were nowhere near the ‘worst of the worst,’ as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld characterized them. In fact, at least 150 people were completely innocent: an 89-year-old man suffering from dementia; a photographer for al-Jazeera news service, held for six years and questioned mostly about that organization; 20 children; and dozens of farmers, rug sellers, cooks and taxi drivers.”

“One key piece of evidence against detainees, mentioned in 50 detainee reports, was – get this – they wore a cheap Casio F-91W watch. This is the type of watch used by al Qaeda as a timer to set off bombs. It also is the type of watch worn by millions of people in that part of the world (and this one as well.)”

“[…] as the Washington Post reported over the weekend, thanks to the illegal interrogation techniques, there is ‘court-worthy’ evidence to try only about 20 of them. This is likely why 47 men are being held indefinitely without charge or trial.”

“Then again, we also are utterly mystified at the willingness of Obama to allow the mistreatment of the Army private who allegedly provided the government documents to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, not to mention Obama’s astonishing statement last week that Manning ‘broke the law,’ when Manning has not yet been tried.”

Our fellow Americans are terrorists, hurry take away our rights.
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“San Francisco cops assigned to the FBI’s terrorism task force can ignore local police orders and California privacy laws to spy on people without any evidence of a crime.”

The United States is getting attention, the good kind, for human rights abuses.
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“In an address to the Brazilian Senate on Thursday, Patriota criticized ‘developed countries’ for their history of human rights abuses and urged them to re-examine their rights practices.”

“In October of last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the first time called on the United States to shut down its notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba over accusations of human rights violations in the detention facility.”

“Former and current detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp have reportedly been abused and tortured on numerous instances.”

Health

Multiple pesticides may be male hormone disruptors.
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“Released last week in Environmental Health Perspectives, the study found that 30 of the 37 pesticides tested blocked or mimicked male hormones. The 37 pesticides are those most commonly found as residues on European produce.”

Ever read the ingredients of your food to find loads of poison, no? That is probably because it is marked incorrectly, instead of reading poison the label says things like, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or aspartame. The link provided is to a movie about the dangers of consuming large amounts of refined sugar, in particular, HFCS. In recent decades health related diseases and obesity have increased, so has our consumption of HFCS. Dr. Lustig presents elaborate and compelling evidence that these problems are directly related to the increased consumption of processed foods containing HFCS. If you are an avid soda drinker this video may just change your life.
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Welcome
May 1, 2011, 3:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Welcome to the new White Flag. There are a number of new features, so feel feel free to look around. Make sure you drop us a line and tell us what you think.