Wednesday, August 21, 2013

End Gerrymandering and end a war. It is called Pre-Emptive Politics!

Districts in Iowa (click here) tend to be competitive due to strong laws against gerrymandering. By law, the nonpartisan state agency responsible for redistricting must draw districts that are square, rectangular, or hexagonal and match city and county boundaries as much as possible. The agency cannot consider voter registration records and previous election results in the process. In 2012, the state's four congressional seats were split evenly between the two parties, with no candidates winning more than 60 percent of the vote.

Don't look now, but, all the money the USA spent on national security actually works.

What the kind gentlemen leaves out of his writing is the Law of Pre-emption. The USA now has crowned itself with new thorns, "Prevention is the best medicine." That security paradigm assaults the Geneva Convention, but, who needs that; it is the century of water boarding.

Don't be fooled by terror alerts and dire warnings: the world in general is a safer place than ever and the US in particular (click here)

...If everything falls apart, a few of those al-Qaida guys could take up residence, as they did in Pakistan, but then al-Qaida had a safe haven in Pakistan for years and there hasn't been a single major terrorist attack in the United States in the 12 years since 9/11. 

Of course, there's always the outside chance that the war in Syria will destabilize Iraq or Turkey or Jordan or Israel. That would be bad for US interests, but for individual Americans, less so.

In other words, if Syria is the biggest threat to the United States, then Americans really don't have much to fear. So, what's next on Morrell's list?
Iran. The Iranians do seem kind of scary, what with all that "Death to America" chanting, and the Ayatollah was a bad dude. But the reality is that Iran is a bit of a paper tiger. It doesn't have an active nuclear weapons program – so says the US intelligence community (and Morell works there, right?)....

...Even when al-Qaida makes a vague, non-specific threat against an overseas US target, the United States completely overreacts, closing its embassies in 19 Arab and African countries. Third biggest threat? Not so much....

,,,Indeed, when the US fights a major war these days, it is generally because they've started it – with consistently disastrous results. Not that this stops those aforementioned thinktankers from warning that relatively trivial cuts to the size of the army and marine corps will leave the military "weaker", or military leaders from suggesting, as they did earlier this year, that cuts to the Pentagon's budget would "devastate the military" or imperil the "continued prosperity and security interests" of the United States....

The Iraq War did huge damage to the USA; in the way of deaths of Americans, death of innocent civilians, USA reputation and huge amounts of money.

Generations to come will be paying for Cheney's venture into Iraq for control of a great prize we all now know exits. Iraq was to be Saudi Arabia and that is no theory. We know it is true. The OIL war to end all wars.

Because of the global insult to the USA reputation, the people of nations across the Middle East began to see their own futures. If the USA would invade a country without cause or morality, who would be next? It started a slippery slope.

The Bush White House played god while the American people quivered in fear at the thought of their own demise in a tower on fire.

The Iraq War was the war of cowards. Not our soldiers; our nation and those that actually believe any land on Earth belongs to the wealthiest. The military was stuck with a Commander and Chief with plans that would end the decency of the purpose of the USA justified by some idea the USA was under chronic attacks from al Qaeda. Right. 

There weren't tentacles of al Qaeda in every corner of the globe before Iraq. And today Afghanistan is irretrievable. Corrupt and dominated by the Taliban that brings nothing but suffering to every village they dominate. We did the right thing by taking Afghanistan, returning moral leadership, but, we never should have expanded an illegal and immoral war into Iraq. It was a turning point in the world and today we are still seeing the results of it.

Why Bush and Cheney haven't been impeached is beyond my understanding. They lied to everyone, the evidence before the UN was completely bogus and today we are still trying to recapture our democracy from an illegitimate party bought and paid for by Wall Street and the Koch Brothers. The entire nation of the USA has become a hideous joke.

Time served. Are people going to keep pretending we actually had a reason to be in Iraq?

Bradley has served time in prison already. Where does everyone think he was in Emerald City looking for the Wizard?

So, if his maximum sentence is 35 years and it boils down to ten years, then the time he has left is 5.4 years.

Julian Assange has brought up an important point. We know where Bradley is and those that supported him to this point need to continue. His family still needs our support and we all have an obligation to a American soldier who decided the war was immoral, corrupt and illegal. We owe Bradley the loyalty it will take to see him through it.

Leave it to Julian to see the rainbow in the sentencing.

I don't see that Bradley Manning is the problem at all. He acted when he expected a US President to end the atrocities in Iraq. Bradley put a lid on the "Wars of Bush/Cheney." He said enough and provided the truth to back it up. When the truth is revealed that is Whistleblowing. If Bradley Manning simply put documents on the web through Wikileaks to commit treason that is an entirely different problem. But, that is not what occurred here. Bradley and other reasonable people looked at the records and decided the people had a right to know.


This decision to publish on Wikileaks went through a process to DECIDE if it was treason for the sake of destroying the USA or was it Whistleblowing. The USA military was egregious in their handling of the leaks and leaned heavily on the idea this was a private gone mad. This is the most hideous circumstance the world has ever witnessed. Americans and an Australian have to leak information to keep people safe from those that are power hungry seeking enormous financial returns for Wall Street.

The Wars of Bush/Cheney are all blood money and the stink proves it. 

(AFP) – 1 hour ago

...Assange accused (click here) the United States of trying to set an example by its treatment of Manning, who supplied anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of confidential US documents.
Assange said Manning had been given a minimum sentence of 5.2 years and that the "hard-won minimum term represents a significant tactical victory for Bradley Manning's defense, campaign team and supporters."
The Australian did not explain how he calculated the minimum sentence.
He added: "While the defence should be proud of their tactical victory, it should be remembered that Mr Manning's trial and conviction is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice."
Assange called on donors and supporters to continue backing the US army private while his defence team tried to further reduce his sentence....

The leak of Sarin occurred evidently. Why? Before accusations can be made the cause of the 'gas release' has to be known.

BEIRUT/AMMAN | Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:32am EDT
...Western and regional countries (click here) called for U.N. chemical weapons investigators - who arrived in Damascus just three days ago - to be urgently dispatched to the scene of one of the deadliest incidents of the two-year-old civil war.
Images, including some taken by freelance photographers and supplied to Reuters, showed scores of bodies including of small children, laid out on the floor of a clinic with no visible signs of injuries. Reuters was not independently able to verify the cause of their death. The Syrian government denied that it had used chemical arms. George Sabra, one of the leading opponents of Assad, said the death toll was 1,300 killed by poison gas rained down on suburbs east of Damascus. "Today's crimes are ... not the first time the regime has used chemical weapons. But they constitute a turning point in the regime's operations," he told a news conference in Istanbul. "This time it was for annihilation rather than terror." An opposition monitoring group, citing figures compiled from medical clinics in the Damascus suburbs, put the death toll at 494 - 90 percent of them killed by gas, the rest by bombing and conventional arms. The rebel Syrian National Coalition said 650 people had been killed....

As of May of this year Russia was stating the rebels were producing their own Sarin gas. There is also a report at that time from the UN stating the rebels were using Sarin. The evidence has to be clear.

The facts have to be known. It is a reach to believe the rebels have this capacity, but, if they had access to the production plant they could have and most likely would have used Sarin or accidentally released it.

Carla Del Ponte: "I was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition"

Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV (click here) that there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".
Ms Del Ponte did not rule out the possibility that government forces might also have used chemical weapons.
Later, the commission stressed that it had "not reached conclusive findings" as to their use by any parties.
"As a result, the commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time," a statement added.
The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the statement was terse and shows that the UN was taken by surprise at Ms Del Ponte's remarks.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established in August 2011 to examine alleged violations of human rights in the Syrian uprising. It is due to issue its latest report next month.

Whistleblowers beware. So much for exposing the military when they are the problem.

Even twenty-five years was too long. What heck was the defense thinking? He should have been exonerated. This is ridiculous.

Jim Michaels
USA TODAY 10:39 a.m. EDT 
August 21, 2013

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (click here) was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted of espionage and other charges in connection with a massive leak of classified material.
The judge in the case, Army Col. Denise Lind, announced the sentence in a military courtroom in Fort Meade, Md.
He also received a dishonorable discharge, will forfeit his pay and benefits and was reduced in rank.
Manning faced a maximum of 90 years in prison after his conviction last month on charges of espionage, theft and fraud.
Manning was convicted of one of the largest leaks of classified material in U.S. history and was at the center of a growing debate over government secrecy.
Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Manning to 60 years as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to leak secret documents.
"He betrayed the United States, and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement," Capt. Joe Morrow had said during the sentencing hearing.
Manning's defense had urged the military to sentence Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, to no more than 25 years in prison....

..."He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses," defense attorney David Coombs said during the sentencing hearing. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."...

Manning did make a difference to many people, not just in the USA but around the globe. There was much truth to be discerned from the documents. Truth that was rightfully that of the citizens of the USA.

...Under military law, the sentence will be automatically appealed. He would probably be eligible for parole after he served one-third or 10 years of his sentence, whichever is longer....

Modern sporting rifle is the firearm industry term for military-style rifles that fire a single shot with each pull of the trigger.

Updated: 08/20/2013 12:16 pm EDT
David Winograd 

Field & Stream, a new outdoors store opened by Dick's Sporting Goods (click here) in western Pennsylvania, is selling AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, apparently ending the company's suspension of assault-style weapons sales after December's massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

A Field & Stream sales associate confirmed to The Huffington Post that AR-15s and so-called modular sniper rifles are available for purchase at the store in Cranberry Township, Pa. The store, the first of two Dick's has said it plans to open in 2013 focusing on hunting and fishing gear, had its grand opening on Friday, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. 

Adam Lanza used his mother's Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Lanza also killed his mother and himself. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest U.S. sporting goods retailer, issued this statement after the killings:

Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.

Time us, time for profits and unleashing the next nut case attack. Dick's has to keep up with Walmart after all.

Wall Street Energy. Profit not citizen based concern. No one needs OSHA, nah. Wall Street has a better conscience than anyone can expect from government atter all.

By Kiyoshi Takenaka and James Topham
TOKYO | Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:25am EDT

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (click here) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".

"We hope the Japanese side can earnestly take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beijing.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the situation "deplorable", and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it feared the disaster - the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier - was "in some respects" beyond the plant operator's ability to cope.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, has been criticized for its failure to prepare for the disaster and has since been accused of covering up the extent of the problems at the plant. After months of denial, Tepco recently admitted the plant was leaking contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from trenches between the reactor buildings and the shoreline. 

...The NRA said it was worried about leakage from other similar tanks that were built hastily to store water washed over melted reactors at the station to keep them cool. Water in the latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing close to it for an hour would receive five times the annual recommended limit for nuclear workers....

...South Korea's Asiana Airlines Inc said it would cancel charter flights between Seoul and Fukushima city in October due to public concerns over the radioactive water leaks.

The city, around 60 kms (37 miles) from the nuclear facility and with a population of some 284,000, is a popular destination for golfers and tourists visiting nearby local hot springs and lakes.