Friday, June 14, 2019

Our cartoonish way of framing Iran

It would be comical, they are that inept and stupid, but for the disaster it portends. Sooner or later, Trump just might unleash the military on Iran. They have pulled out all the stops to so influence the man. I'm no genius, in any related category; but I see the personification of America as defender of the just exposed to everybody everywhere, for what it has always been: a cover for aggression and greed. Both political parties are in on it. Ironically, the younger me never believed, even when I marched to protest Vietnam, our people could be that bloodthirsty. The only answer would be for people everywhere to rise up by millions, for as long as it takes, to tell the murderous f*ckers to seek peace, instead, in all of our conflicts.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Catch 23

The Koch brothers want to make certain that Democrats remain centrists. They are expanding the scope of their bribery to include Democrats on the take. It says a lot about the Schumers and Pelosis of the world that these cretins want to perpetuate the status quo under such as they. The goal: No more AOCs. No win for Bernie Sanders. I honestly believe 2020 may be the final chance we get to begin to turn it all around. And don't be fooled by Elizabeth Warren. She is one of them, not a progressive.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Little Children of the World

Maleah Davis is all of the abused children of the world, of whom number in the millions. In the United States we don't empower agencies to protect at risk children. All around the globe, even here, children are treated as expendable. They are collaterals of war. They are raped, forcibly married, starved to death, denied medicine by, among other things, political boycotts. The only way to change the situation would be to be better people, which would be transformative for all of society. We would beat our weapons into plowshares; women would be elevated among men; ethnic hatred would subside. So if I shed a tear for this precious child, it is also for every child, living or dead, who suffered abuse, extending to an entire race apparently in the process of exterminating itself. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Wikipedia misinforms


Wikipedia sucks

The article I have linked is by a cofounder of Wikipedia. It explains how big money interests sit on certain articles and guard the misinformation they want to have influence the public. Not many years ago, I discovered for myself that this is so. Two subjects with which I am intimately familiar were blatantly wrong - maliciously so. I corrected them both three or four times apiece. Later in the same day, in each instance, the bogus writing was restored. You can use Wikipedia to find out when Kirk Douglas was born, what movies he made, etc., and it's essentially a truthful article. Many historical and science articles are factual, or sincere, at least. But when power and money are involved, be extra wary.  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Note From Eric Jackson

What does it tell me? (And I believe it to be likely true.)
1. This 'historic opportunity to elect a Democrat, if only we get some centrist who doesn't offend anybody' routine is crap. We need candidates who stand for something and who are forward-looking rather than nostalgic to drive voter turnout -- both in the primaries and in the general election.
2. Congress still gets low ratings, and active membership AS DEMOCRATS is not growing so much. There is a huge lack of trust out there, which extends to the Democratic leadership, corporate mainstream media that generally endorse Democrats and many sorts of stereotypical Democratic politicians.
3. Corporate Democrats buy all sorts of pollsters and number crunchers and few are as dumb in their choices as Hillary was. (EVEN If some of that miserable crowd have found jobs for this cycle.) Biden knows the general score. So do Schumer, Pelosi, Cuomo, Hoyer and so on. So Biden starts to tack a little, in such predictably quarter-step ways. Those who continue to say that issues don't matter will disappear. And voters coming out of the woodwork who don't adore the old Democratic leadership are why there is the DCCC blacklist against activists and consultants not under their control, the complete phobia in the Democrats Abroad global leadership against anyone and anything that might disrupt the old social circle and that same sort of thing in state party after state party.
4. In the face of this a whole lot of money has been spent on vilification and there will be an awful lot more. We can't ignore this but we need to snipe with great precision rather than throw bombs in response. Boris and Natasha jokes are fine, but the use of the word "Russiagate," the indiscriminate identification of Republicans with Putin, screams of "treason" and all of that need to give way to more sophisticated and constructive critiques. We need to deal with FOREIGN INFLUENCE and both the perception and reality that foreign powers can buy access or influence -- not just the Russians, not just the Republicans. Progressives need proper mixes of scorn and alternative proposals to respond when the energy, pharmaceutical, insurance, firearms and so on lobbies go after us. One of the stupidest things that Democrats could do is become mirror image insulting and slandering blowhards like Donald Trump.
5. 'It's in the bag -- we are the presumptive next government' is a message we should let anyone stupid enough to make in the primary make. We on the left side of the party ought to just prove that this bandwagon stuff isn't true. The screeching 'WE'RE IN A CRISIS AND YOU HAVEN'T SENT MONEY!!!' stuff that's the hallmark of DCCC / corporate Democrat email campaigns we need to actively and more creatively mock. And it HURTS the Democratic cause to give money to people like this -- donate to individual candidates and groups with agendas to which you can relate instead. In the general election campaign expressions of complacency should be treated as enemy propaganda.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Lesser Evil is also Evil

The surest way to perpetuate Trumpian America, short of re-electing that sick bastard, is to install a Biden or Harris in his stead. They play at fighting Republicans, but, like most all centrist politicians, who play the hapless victim in allowing Republican goals to be met, they will never be on your side. They are mere speed bumps where roadblocks are necessary. They fight tooth and nail for the insurance companies and banks, while tossing you soothing slogans and apologies for keeping right wing policies alive and healthy. In war, they have gone over to the dark side. Centrist Democrats have become as bloodthirsty as the worst Republicans. You don't owe them your vote. Vote no more for the lesser evil, but only for progressives - state, local, federal.  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I Got this From a post by Michael Moore


Hey everyone. You may have noticed I’ve done minimal posting the last couple of months. If you’ve thought, “he must be up to something,” you’d be right. Those of you who’ve followed me for years know that if you haven’t heard from me in a while it’s not because the Feds have taken me away (ha!), or that I’ve just said “fuckit I’m moving to Monaco.” I tend to go quiet when I’m working on a new project(s). Better (safer) that way. Best they don’t see me coming, if you get my drift. I don’t need to tell you that we are up against a mighty, mighty opponent. And more than one. Trump for sure, and of course an economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many. But also ourselves, our own mentality that doesn’t understand how Trump will win again if we leave 2020 up to the same people that brought us 2016. I promise you what I’m “up to” is being designed to, in concert with what others are doing, to prevent that from happening again. But more on that in another post.
I’m writing today about something less earth-shattering but nonetheless symptomatic of the times in which we live. Tonight is the final episode of Game of Thrones (don’t worry there are no real spoilers here). For those of you who have not watched it for these eight seasons, I understand. I watched the first episode — two beheadings, three rapes and a 10-yr old boy being tossed out a tower window — and that was enough punishment for me. I didn’t come back to it for two years when I heard that the gratuitous bait for its male-intended audience had been reduced and that the story lines had become smarter (though no less intense). It turned out to be one of the most brilliant series ever on television.
But you may have heard a lot of people at work or school or online this week upset over the turn the series’ second-to-last episode took last Sunday night. Things did not go the way most Americans had hoped. And I get it. We are living in a dark, dark time. The cold chill of Trump’s winter envelopes us all now, and we are full of despair. Too many were convinced (or hoped) that at least this fantasy we were watching on TV would relieve us. Give us the ending we desperately need. Remind us that most people are good and that heroes exist. That the boy will get the girl (or the girl will get the girl). That we will all live in peace and prosperity.
But Game of Thrones last week refused to participate in our fantasy, refused to give us a shot of feel-good and instead reminded us that this is not only a dark time, the people we are clinging to to save us from the madness are not necessarily going to do that. Which puts it back on us.
And that’s what made last week’s episode so brilliant. At some point, amidst all the carnage, it must have dawned on some viewers that these monarchs were elected by no one and were, in the end, serving their own interests. That’s what those in power do. Give them a powerful military or a weapon that rains fire from the sky and they will use it to gain more power or to seek their revenge. To hell with the peon masses who now run for their lives. The images, which were straight out of Hiroshima and Dresden, were a reminder that the only time in history that nuclear weapons were unleashed on humanity (on civilians and children!) was done by the “good guys” — us! — the Best Nation on Earth! The Breaker of Chains!
Take last week’s episode for what it was - art imitating life, a reflection of our miserable, inexcusable condition where we seem to hold no power, our lives at the mercy of wealth and white rulers with all their unearned privilege. And when the monarch turns out to not be the monarch what will The People do? Have we had it with the figurative and literal incest in the Leader’s chambers? Will we rise up? Are we still sitting around waiting for the next pretty white boy who’s going to “save” us?
Let’s see what happens tonight.
Then let’s see what we all do tomorrow.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Took this from someone to share

I hope you all have not forgotten Bernie’s strategy: Virtually nothing will get done at the national level if we don’t elect enough Berniecrats at the state and local level. Too many progressives ignore this strategy but it’s what the republicans did to take over decades ago. If you are serious about this progressive revolution you will recruit, encourage, and support Berniecrat candidates at least as much as Bernie. There are many local elections in 2019. Find your Local Berniecrats local chapter and candidates in your area here: www.localberniecrats.com

Friday, May 3, 2019

Demand paper ballots

Under the centrists we have surrendered not only Roosevelt's New Deal, but also are enabling Republicans to consolidate their power over us. Bernie Sanders is the antidote. Don't waste your energy on other candidates. On the local level, look for progressives. Don't settle for conservatives; look beyond the label. Don't forget the words that launch a very famous document: "When in the course of human events -"

Thursday, April 18, 2019

My vote belongs to me

Many online friends and adversaries are telling me 2020 is about getting Trump out of office. Period. The only priority. They make it as though the Democrats can put up any sh#t candidate of their choosing and I simply MUST vote the person in.

In the first place, getting the man out of the White House may be important, but it is not the number one necessity. Whoever replaces him has to make the decisions that will keep a second such ogre out.

Unfortunately, corporate Democrats have not that resolve. Bill, and the other, Clinton has turned the Democratic party into the poor cousin of the GOP. They get paid regardless how or who the government runs. They are putting roadblocks, as I write, to ensure the gravy train does not get derailed. They are backing the notion that Roosevelt's New Deal is radical and would be unobtainable, even if it made sense.

By now, the progressive reader will know exactly what I am on about and will need no further explanation. We know they seek to repeat the primary result of 2016. Whether or not they succeed in denying the progressive, one thing they have achieved with me: As Nixon and Reagan soured me on ever voting for another Republican, the Clintons have soured me on ever voting for another corporate Democrat. I would go Green before rewarding their criminality. It is as much their fault as the Republicans that we no longer have nice things.     

Sunday, April 14, 2019

How the Democrats forfeit power to the right wing

Just a morbid note: if the right keeps pushing & pushing & DOES get Ilhan Omar (or someone else) killed, it won't spark some big collective break or wake-up moment. The right will just gaslight & dodge accountability & the media will both-sides it.
Put another way: whether it's incipient fascism, gun violence, climate change, or any other problem facing America, EVENTS will never make the left's arguments for it. Events do not speak for themselves. It's the ability to frame, interpret, & respond that matters.
And, just to finish the thought: the ability to frame, interpret, & respond does not come from possession of more or better empirical evidence. Reality, sadly, doesn't matter much. It's all about power. There's no substitute for a left comfortable with gathering & using power.
Dem leadership is constantly trying to be the Adults In the Room, trying to suck up to the referees, but THERE ARE NO MORE REFEREES. You don't get any points for being more civil or having more evidence; there's no one to give points. There's only the fight now.
And if you don't like the notion of fighting, you want to cling to the remnants of a world with referees, where evidence & arguments mattered, fine. You can have your virtue points. But just know you're prioritizing your aesthetic preferences over the future of the country.
-David Roberts

Friday, March 22, 2019

Democrats approval of GW Bush

New poll: 54%
I came close to giving up on this country, after I saw that. But decided to await the result of the 2020 election.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

War Crime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The concept of war crimes emerged at the turn of the twentieth century when the body of customary international law applicable to warfare between sovereign states was codified. Such codification occurred at the national level, such as with the publication of the Lieber Code in the United States, and at the international level with the adoption of the treaties during the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Moreover, trials in national courts during this period further helped clarify the law.[1] Following the end of World War II, major developments in the law occurred. Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law. Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes.[1] In the late 20th century and early 21st century, following the creation of several international courts, additional categories of war crimes applicable to armed conflicts other than those between states, such as civil wars, were defined.[1]

Geneva Conventions[edit]

The Geneva Conventions are four related treaties adopted and continuously expanded from 1864 to 1949 that represent a legal basis and framework for the conduct of war under international law. Every single member state of the United Nations has currently ratified the conventions, which are universally accepted as customary international law, applicable to every situation of armed conflict in the world. However, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1977 containing the most pertinent, detailed and virulent protections of international humanitarian law for persons and objects in modern warfare are still not ratified by a number of States continuously engaged in armed conflicts, namely the United States, Israel, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and others. Accordingly, states retain different codes and values with regard to wartime conduct. Some signatories have routinely violated the Geneva Conventions in a way which either uses the ambiguities of law or political maneuvering to sidestep the laws' formalities and principles.
Three conventions were revised and expanded with the fourth one added in 1949:
Two Additional Protocols were adopted in 1977 with the third one added in 2005, completing and updating the Geneva Conventions:
  • Protocol I (1977) relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts.
  • Protocol II (1977) relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts.
  • Protocol III (2005) relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem.

Leipzig War Crimes Trial[edit]

A small number of German military personnel of the First World War were tried in 1921 by the German Supreme Court for alleged war crimes.

London Charter / Nuremberg Trials 1945[edit]

The modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter that was published on August 8, 1945. (Also see Nuremberg Principles.) Along with war crimes the charter also defined crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, which are often committed during wars and in concert with war crimes.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East 1946[edit]

Also known as the Tokyo Trial, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal or simply as the Tribunal, it was convened on May 3, 1946 to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A" (crimes against peace), "Class B" (war crimes), and "Class C" (crimes against humanity), committed during World War II.

International Criminal Court 2002[edit]

Bodies of some of the hundreds of Vietnamese villagers who were killed by U.S. soldiers during the My Lai Massacre.
On July 1, 2002, the International Criminal Court, a treaty-based court located in The Hague, came into being for the prosecution of war crimes committed on or after that date. Several nations, most notably the United States, China, Russia, and Israel, have criticized the court. The United States still participates as an observer. Article 12 of the Rome Statute provides jurisdiction over the citizens of non-contracting states in the event that they are accused of committing crimes in the territory of one of the state parties.[9]
War crimes are defined in the statute that established the International Criminal Court, which includes:
  1. Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:
    1. Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
    2. Torture or inhumane treatment
    3. Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property
    4. Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power
    5. Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial
    6. Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer
    7. Taking hostages
    8. Directing attacks against civilians
      Bodo League massacreduring the Korean War in 1950
    9. Directing attacks against humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
    10. Killing a surrendered combatant
    11. Misusing a flag of truce
    12. Settlement of occupied territory
    13. Deportation of inhabitants of occupied territory
    14. Using poison weapons
    15. Using civilians as shields
    16. Using child soldiers
    17. Firing upon a Combat Medic with clear insignia.
  2. The following acts as part of a non-international conflict:
    1. Murder, cruel or degrading treatment and torture
    2. Directing attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
  3. The following acts as part of an international conflict:
    Civilians killed in shelling in eastern Ukraine. According to the HRW report, "The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes."[10]
    1. Taking hostages
    2. Summary execution
    3. Pillage
    4. Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution or forced pregnancy
However the court only has jurisdiction over these crimes where they are "part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes".[11]

Prominent indictees[edit]

Heads of state and government[edit]

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
To date, the present and former heads of state and heads of government that have been charged with war crimes include:
  • German Großadmiral and President Karl Dönitz and Japanese Prime Ministers and Generals Hideki Tōjō and Kuniaki Koiso in the aftermath of World War II.
  • Former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević was brought to trial charges with, genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in three republics. The tribunal found the prosecution had according to its rules and procedures; enough evidence was tailored, prior to the defense presentation, that, "a reasonable trier of fact, could conclude, the accused was responsible for the crimes charged." This pertaining to superior responsibility, for the Bosnia and Croatia indictment's, and individual responsibility, for the Kosovo indictment. No conviction was established however, as he died in custody in 2006, before the trial could be concluded.[12]
  • Former Liberian President Charles G. Taylor was also brought to The Hague charged with war crimes; his trial stretched from 2007 to March 2011. He was convicted in April 2012 of Aiding and Abbetting and planning the commission of Crimes against Humanity, committed during the war under individual and command responsibility.[13]
  • Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadžić was arrested in Belgrade on July 18, 2008 and brought before Belgrade's War Crimes Court a few days after. He was extradited to the Netherlands, and is currently in The Hague, in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The trial began in 2010. On March 24, 2016, he was found guilty of genocide in Srebrenicawar crimes and crimes against humanity, 10 of the 11 charges in total, and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment.[14][15]
  • Omar al-Bashir, currently is head of state of Sudan, is charged with three counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes regarding the 2003– War in the Darfur region of Sudan. The first head of state charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court with current warrants of arrest actions in Darfur.
    2013 Shahbag protestsdemanding the death penalty for the war criminals of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War
  • Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was indicted for allegedly ordering the killings of protesters and civilians and Crimes against Humanity, during the 2011 Libyan civil war, however he was killed before he could stand trial in October 2011.

Other prominent indictees[edit]

Definition[edit]

Aftermath of the Malmedy massacre (1944).
War crimes are serious violations of the rules of customary and treaty law concerning international humanitarian law that have become accepted as criminal offenses for which there is individual responsibility.[17] Colloquial definitions of war crime include violations of established protections of the laws of war, but also include failures to adhere to norms of procedure and rules of battle, such as attacking those displaying a peaceful flag of truce, or using that same flag as a ruse to mount an attack on enemy troops. The use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare are also prohibited by numerous chemical arms control agreements and the Biological Weapons Convention. Wearing enemy uniforms or civilian clothes to infiltrate enemy lines for espionageor sabotage missions is a legitimate ruse of war, though fighting in combat or assassinatingindividuals, even if they are military targets, behind enemy lines while so disguised is not, as it constitutes unlawful perfidy.[18][19][20][21] Attacking enemy troops while they are being deployed by way of a parachute is not a war crime.[22] However, Protocol I, Article 42 of the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbids attacking parachutists who eject from disabled aircraftand surrendering parachutists once landed.[23] Article 30 of the 1907 Hague Convention IV – The Laws and Customs of War on Land explicitly prohibits belligerents to punish enemy spies without previous trial.[24]
The rule of war, also known as the Law of Armed Conflict, permit belligerents to engage in combat. A war crime occurs when superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is inflicted upon an enemy.[25]
War crimes also include such acts as mistreatment of prisoners of war or civilians. War crimes are sometimes part of instances of mass murder and genocide though these crimes are more broadly covered under international humanitarian law described as crimes against humanity. In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1820, which noted that "rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide"; see also war rape.[26] In 2016, the International Criminal Court convicted someone of sexual violence for the first time; specifically, they added rape to a war crimes conviction of Congo Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.[27]
Mass grave of Soviet POWs, killed by Germans. Some 3.3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi custody.
War crimes also included deliberate attacks on citizens and property of neutral states as they fall under the category of non-combatants, as at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the attack on Pearl Harbor happened without a declaration of war, without explicit warning, and went out of proportion, all military and civilian casualties at the harbor were officially non-combatants, the military were not ready for face up to the attack and the attack was declared by the Tokyo Trials to go beyond justification of military necessityand therefore constituted a war crime.[28][29][30]
War crimes are significant in international humanitarian law[31] because it is an area where international tribunals such as the Nuremberg Trials and Tokyo Trials have been convened. Recent examples are the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which were established by the UN Security Council acting under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.
Under the Nuremberg Principleswar crimes are different from crimes against peace which is planning, preparing, initiating, or waging a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances. Because the definition of a state of "war" may be debated, the term "war crime" itself has seen different usage under different systems of international and military law. It has some degree of application outside of what some may consider to be a state of "war", but in areas where conflicts persist enough to constitute social instability.
The legalities of war have sometimes been accused of containing favoritism toward the winners ("Victor's justice"),[32] as some controversies have not been ruled as war crimes. Some examples include the Allies' destruction of Axis cities during World War II, such as the firebombing of Dresden, the indiscriminate bombings started by Churchill,[33] the Operation Meetinghouse raid on Tokyo (the most destructive single bombing raid in history) and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki;[34] and the mass killing of Biharies by Kader Siddique and Mukti Bahini[35] before or after victory of Bangladesh Liberation War in Bangladesh between 1971 and 1972. In regard to the strategic bombing during World War II, there was no international treaty or instrument protecting a civilian population specifically from attack by aircraft,[36] therefore the aerial attacks on civilians were not officially war crimes. Because of this, the Allies at the trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo never prosecuted the Germans, including Luftwaffe commander-in-chief Hermann Göring, for the bombing raids on WarsawRotterdam, and British cities during the Blitz as well as the indiscriminate attacks on Allied cities with V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets nor the Japanese for the aerial attacks on crowded Chinese cities.[37] Although there are no treaties specific to aerial warfare,[36]Protocol 1, Article 51 of the Geneva Conventions explicitly prohibits the bombardment of cities where civilian population might be concentrated regardless of any method.[23] (see Aerial bombardment and international law).
Controversy arose when the Allies re-designated German POWs (under the protection of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War) as Disarmed Enemy Forces (allegedly unprotected by the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War), many of which then were used for forced labor such as clearing minefields.[38] By December 1945, six months after the war had ended, it was estimated by French authorities that 2,000 German prisoners were still being killed or maimed each month in mine-clearing accidents.[38] The wording of the 1949 Third Geneva Convention was intentionally altered from that of the 1929 convention so that soldiers who "fall into the power" following surrender or mass capitulation of an enemy are now protected as well as those taken prisoner in the course of fighting.[39][40]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crime