Saturday, August 25, 2012

NYPD shoots 9 at Empire State Bldg

I'm still waiting, but not holding my breath, for a US media source to put the correct headline on this.  Something like ...

"Killer murder co-worker on NYC street.  NYPD wounds nine in response"

My hackels went up the first time I heard that nine people were injured 'in the crossfire'.  The same major news sources reporting on the "Empire State Bldg Shootings" regularly use that term when an armed force, say the Israeli military, opens fire on an unarmed force.  Its usually a euphemism to try to hide the horror of unarmed people being gunned down.

And, sure enough, when I finally did watch the video of when the NYPD guns down the alleged killer, there is no 'crossfire'.  The alleged killer turns and points his gun towards the police, and quickly goes down in a hail of bullets.  There was not a single person in between the two forces who can accurately be said to have been shot 'in the crossfire'.

Why The Police Shot Civilians At The Empire State Building Today by Joe Flood,BuzzFeed Contributor
In the wake of recent mass shootings in places like Aurora, Colorado and the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a debate has raged over whether stricter gun control laws might have prevented the shootings, or if a more heavily armed populace might have been able to stop the shooters themselves. This morning's Empire State Building shooting, though, points up the difficulty that even trained law enforcement professionals have in dealing with what they call an “active shooter scenario,” in a crowded public place.

Nine bystanders were injured in the firefight between two police officers and the suspect, Jeffrey Johnson. An unnamed law enforcement official told the New York Times that most or all of the injuries came from the 16 rounds police fired at Johnson. Johnson, detectives speculated to the Times, probably got off one shot at police.


I'm not a big enough @$$#ole to be rich

I long ago came to the conclusion that the secret to real wealth as to be a giant @$$#ole.  And, that I was never going to be rich because I wasn't willing to do the dirty deeds that would get me there.

Now, as we learn more about Mitt Romney, I'm discovering that I was right.

For instance, we know by now that Romney became staggering wealthy through Bain Capital, which bought up American companies and made its big bucks by shutting them down, moving the jobs overseas, and leaving American workers with nothing.

But, I didn't know he got started by financing Bain Capital with the blood money from the rich Salvadoran families that ran the death squads in that country back in the glory days of Ronald Reagan.

Romney’s Blood Money by SANDY SMITH-NONINI

Both the Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post published investigations in the last month showing that over a third of the $37 million raised by Romney to launch Bain Capital in the mid-1980s came from rich Latin Americans, the bulk of it from Salvadoran families linked to death squads. An off-shore tax haven in Panama provided Bain with the secrecy needed to attract the approximately $6.5 million from the Salvadoran families in what many human rights experts would call “blood money.”
If that's how you get wealthy, then I can see why I'm dirt poor these days. I've got a conscience. I could never dream of approaching the backers of death squads to get the money to start a company that would then proceed to throw Americans out of their jobs to make money.

I guess if I thought that way, then I could be President of the United States.  But I prefer not to have blood dripping from my hands and the misery I've caused other people on my head.


Sunday, August 19, 2012


Remember when candidate Obama used to rant and rail against Bush for shackling science inside Federal agencies?

Confirmed: US government spies on federal staffers

So, did you expect change?  Did you expect that perhaps an FDA under Obama might actually worry about the health and safety of Americans, instead just protecting and promoting the profits of the Big Health Corporations?

According to the FDA, staffers had their computer activity monitored and logged over concern that employees were disclosing trade secrets. Those agents, however, argue that they were spied on to ensure that they were not reporting internal corruption to Congress. And while the Post’s expose examines the government’s attempts to chill any employee’s attempt at blowing the whistle on wrongdoing, it only begins to open up what great lengths the feds are willing to go to.

In January, six FDA scientists filed a lawsuit against the agency in US District Court over claims that they were unlawfully spied on after approaching Congress with their concerns that their office was allowing the approval of medical devices that posed a risk to the public. When the Post reported on those claims at the time, they unearthed emails dating back to early 2009 that showed that the FDA had intercepted emails between agency whistleblowers and congressional staffers.

“Who would have thought that they would have the nerve to be monitoring my communications to Congress?” Robert C. Smith, one of the plaintiffs, told the Post at the time.
So, is that the "Change" you voted for?  A massive (and expensive) crackdown on whistle-blowers to make sure that news that potentially unsafe medical devices are being approved for the market.

There were other options for "Change" on the 2008 ballot.  By this point, its obvious America chose the wrong one.  But, those options will be on the ballot in 2012.  To get "Change", all you have to do is to vote for someone different this time.


Will you vote in favor of murdering innocent civilians?

In the upcoming election, will you vote in favor of murdering innocent civilians?  The choice is yours.  There are names and parties on the ballot that proudly support the policy of murdering innocent civilians.  There are choices on the ballot that oppose this policy and would end it.

And to be perfectly clear, a vote for Obama and the Democrats is a vote saying you think its just absolutely wonderful that we are killing innocent civilians.  A vote for Romney and the Republicans is also a vote for murdering innocent civilians.  The votes you can cast that would oppose this policy would be for people like Jill Stein of the Greens, Gary Johnson of the Libertarians, and Rocky Anderson and his new Justice Party.

Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence by Gareth Porter via Truthdig

The detailed data from the two unrelated sources covering a total 24 drone strikes from 2008 through 2011 show that civilian casualties accounted for 74 percent of the death toll...

This isn't terribly surprising, unless you get your news from CNN, as this same story also tells us that Obama's drone warriors have been deliberately targeting mourners at funerals and rescue workers trying to save people after the missile explosions.

Just stop for a second, and think about how you would have felt if Al-Qaida had planned the 9-11 attacks such that there were follow-up attacks on Ground Zero in the days after the collapse of the buildings with the explicit goal of trying to kill the people who were digging through the rubble looking for survivors. How would you feel about that? That's exactly the planning and policy of Obama and his drone warriors.

The data on 13 drone strikes targeting funerals and rescue efforts reported by the BIJ in February similarly contradict the NAF tally of deaths. The NAF recorded a total of 90 to 176 dead in 12 strikes which the BIJ was able to confirm as targeting rescuers or mourners; 77 to 153 of the dead were listed as "militants," whereas only 13 to 24 were listed as "civilians." But eyewitnesses and other sources considered reliable in the localities reported that between 80 and 107 civilians had been killed in these attacks on rescuers or mourners. That suggests that the higher estimates for "militants" usually included the civilians killed in those strikes.

Mr. Porter is focusing a bit on the difference between what some people claim as the number of 'civilians' and 'militants' who are killed during a drone strike, and what reporters who actually talk to people on the ground find out. But to me, the big shock of this piece is that we've launched at least 13 drone strikes that have DELIBERATELY TARGETTED MOURNERS AND RESCUE WORKERS.

Is that the America that's a shining beacon on the hill? Is that the American that people like George Washington froze at Valley Forge to create? Is that the sort of America you believe in?

If it is, then go proudly vote for Romney or Obama, and you'll get more and more and more of the same. If this is not the sort of American you believe in, then vote for somebody else.

As a footnote, let the record show that in 2008 some 97% of American voters expressed approval for murdering civilians in this fashion.  Less than 3% of American voters voted for the candidates that would oppose and end this policy in 2008.