Monday, July 31, 2017

600 BILLION SPENT ON IRAQ looking for WMDs - The new GOP Normal is wasting money on Changing Foreign Governments

Is This the 'New Normal' We Want?

America spent $600 billion on Iraq. We could have used it for the environment.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock
I lived with a military version of the “new normal” when my husband came back from Iraq with severe combat trauma, and there was nothing normal about it. Those years were defined by fear, insecurity, lies, violence, and crystal meth. I shudder at the fact that much of this country has tacitly accepted the Trump era as the new normal. When I hear climate scientists say the heat records of recent years will become the new normal within a decade or so,  I realize just how bad it will be. Anyone who’s been told to normalize highly abnormal and potentially lethal conditions has a gut-level understanding that new normal is a dog whistle for hell.
"New normal" is the phrase society slaps on the horrific conditions we have created and now lack the courage and love to change. So we get used to things that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and most of us are okay with it, as long as it doesn’t happen to us. But eventually, it will. Truthfully, it’s happening to all of us right now, even if we’re too distracted by a shiny new news story to see it. A Google search of how miserable poor Don Jr. is with dad in the White House generated nearly seven million results. By comparison, a search for articles about how GOP leaders stripped Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) from the FY 2018 Appropriations Act at zero dark hundred produced 70,000 hits.
Since Congress refuses to raise war taxes or reinstate the draft, you probably believe you’ll never have to pay for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere that you don’t fight, don’t notice and may not even support. I’ve got bad news: you’re already paying for them. Those of you with children and grandchildren, or the dream that one day you’ll be parents? Be warned: the little ones will pay a whole lot more than you. They might just pay with their lives, even if they never wear the uniform.
The carbon footprint of military operations is massive, and in the war between combat and climate, combat is clearly winning. The Iraq War alone released at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), according to figures from Oil Change International, a think tank on the cost of fossil fuels
“That’s about the equivalent of adding 25 million cars to the road in the US in one year,” said climate activist and author Bill McKibben, in his testimony at the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War in Washington, D.C. last December. 
McKibben is the founder of, and I invited him to speak at the Tribunal, where I also testified. I knew what the war had cost me: my husband, my home and land, my job, my healthcare, and my security and identity (literally). I wanted to know what it was costing everyone, and the price that might be paid by the future. In his testimony, McKibben remarked, “This one war produce[d] more carbon each year than 60 percent of the world’s countries.”
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the main drivers of climate change, and in case you missed it, a recent report revealed that one of the consequences of that is an incipient “biological annihilation.” It is almost as if we’re waging war on ourselves. Professor Gerardo Ceballas, one of the report’s co-authors, said to CNN’s John Sutter, “What is at stake is really the state of humanity.” 
Also at stake is the humanity of a nation that signs a blank check for endless war.  Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in Department of Defense spending; he plans to siphon some of the funds via brutal cuts to the EPA budget. Nearly 40 percent of Americans live in areas with frequently unhealthy levels of air pollution, and more than 600,000 children worldwide die every year because of it. 
The recent calving of the so-called Exxon Knew iceberg from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is going to accelerate rising sea levels, which will have a catastrophic casualty count. Cutting funds to agencies that support life in order to finance activities that do not is morally indefensible.
A Congress that would even contemplate spending $406.5 billion on a few F-35s for warfare while attempting to slash $800 billion from senior healthcare and revoke health insurance from 22 million poor and disabled Americans is actively redefining what it means to be morally bankrupt. Should the Affordable Care Act be repealed, an estimated 24,000 Americans will die each year. That’s triple the total number of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
We simply cannot afford any more unlimited funding of unlimited war. We’ve already paid far too much.
“The total U.S. spending on the Iraq war could have covered all the global investment in renewable power generation needed between now and 2030 in order to halt the rise in the planet’s temperature,” McKibben said. 
With the $600 billion Congress put into military operations in Iraq, America could have helped protect the planet. We helped destroy it instead. Congress is poised to once again pledge allegiance to endless war and all the collateral damage it creates. Is this the “new normal” we want?

Friday, July 28, 2017

TRUMP'S WEEK OF FAILURE explained in 3 minutes.

Failure Friday Broken Down In Under 3 Minutes, Trump Needs A New Favorite Word

failure friday
Mika pulls no punches outlining the fail-fail White House

Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe” just broke down what real failure looks like, and it is the last 48 hours of the Trump “presidency.”
Not only is his top pick for White House Communications Director, and potty-mouth Anthony Scaramucci, crying over spilt profanity (his own), Trumps promise to “repeal Obamacare” (which most of his voters didn’t know was the same as the ACA they rely on for health care) tanked overnight because of three GOP Senators who wanted to keep their jobs. But it doesn’t stop there.
Trump has managed to unite Capital Hill in opposition to his heinous treatment of his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for not protecting him adequately from an investigation into his own administration and himself — snatching failure from success. He has also failed in his hasty, hateful and unnecessary transgender military ban, throwing the Joint Chiefs a curveball they let foul out. Then there is General Mattis reported reaction (appalled) to that same ban which he only had 24 hours notice of while on vacation, again, a fail.
He also forced the Boy Scouts of America to apologize for his hyper partisan political speech to the scouts, a first ever in America.
The list of Trump’s Failure Friday antics go on and on, but Mika is able to cover most, if not all, in under 3 minutes. At least she understands the difference between “win” (Trump’s favorite word) and “fail.” Trump’s gonna need a new favorite word, it looks like.
Watch the listing here:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Michelle Obama talks about the racism she faced as First Lady of the US.

Michelle Obama has opened up in front of a crowd of about 8,500 at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event in Denver about her experience as America’s first black first lady.
Obama spoke about smashing the glass ceiling as she was interviewed Tuesday by WFCO President and CEO Lauren Casteel at the Pepsi Center ― the same venue where she addressed thousands at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Casteel asked which of the falling glass shards cut the deepest, according to the Denver Post.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”
Obama referenced racist attacks she endured, including being called an ape and disparaging references made about her body.
The former first lady faced an onslaught of racist insults while her husband, former President Barack Obama, was in office. Even after the 2016 presidential election, two West Virginia officials lost their jobs for referring to Obama as an “ape in heels” in a Facebook post celebrating President Donald Trump’s victory.
Throughout Obama’s two terms, she shared during commencement addresses and in some interviews how she coped with the racist attacks she had to face.
“When they go low, I go high,” Obama told graduates of the historically black Jackson State University in April 2016. “That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what’s kept us sane over the years.”
In Denver, the Post added, Obama said that she doesn’t pretend such vicious attacks don’t hurt her, because it lets those doing the hurting off the hook.
During the event, she also again stressed that she does not plan to run for public office. 
Head over to the Denver Post to read more about Obama’s wide-ranging conversation

TRUMP DEEP TIES TO RUSSIAN MAFIA - Watch a new Explosive Dutch Documentary

Dutch TV documentary alleges that President Donald Trump has extensive connections to Russia’s ruling oligarchs and a history of illegal racketeering.
“Donald Trump’s business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet on Friday.
He continued, “That’s only one of the eyebrow-raising takeaways from a 45-minute Dutch documentary that first aired last week, ‘The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part 1: The Russians.'”
The 45-minute documentary was produced by Zembla TV and examines Trump’s alleged relationship with Russian mobster Felix Sater — which Trump reportedly took pains to hide from regulators.
It also looks at Trump’s arrangements with wealthy Russians that apparently allow them to move their money outside Russia and details the elaborate financial networks these families use as a “pyramid scheme for money laundering,” Rosenfeld said. “The financial trail exposed raises questions about whether Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because the FBI’s investigation of his campaign’s collusion with Russia was encroaching into Trump’s world of dark money and dubious business partners.”
Zembla promoted the documentary by saying, “For months, the FBI have been investigating Russian interference in the American presidential elections. ZEMBLA is investigating another explosive dossier concerning Trump’s involvement with the Russians: Trump’s business and personal ties to oligarchs from the former Soviet Union. Powerful billionaires suspected of money laundering and fraud, and of having contacts in Moscow and with the mafia. What do these relationships say about Trump and why does he deny them? How compromising are these dubious business relationships for the 45th president of the United States? And are there connections with the Netherlands? ZEMBLA meets with one of Trump’s controversial cronies and speaks with a former CIA agent, fraud investigators, attorneys, and an American senator among others.”
Zembla has also released Part Two of the series, “The King of Diamonds,” which explores Trump’s relationship with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who is suspected of trading in blood diamonds.
Watch the English language version of “The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump,” embedded below:
Part Two, “The King of Diamonds” is also available:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Saudi Arabia is about to behead 6 school girls for dancing with boys

Saudi Arabia Is About To Behead 6 School Girls For Acting Indecently With Their Male Friends

 on Thursday, 20 July 2017 
Western countries are being urged to intervene in a case where 6 young school girls facing execution for acting indecently at a friends house.  

Fathima Al Kwaini and her friends that included three male friends have celebrated Kwaini's birthday at a friends house. A neighbor supposedly an assistant of an Imam of a mosque close by has reported this to Saudi Arabia's religious police. When the police arrived the girls were dancing with their male friends and they were arrested immediately. 

The ultra conservative Arabian nation that has one of the worst human rights records is also a member of the United Nations Human Rights commission and recently got elected to the Women's Rights Commission as well which sparked anger and protest.  
According to HRW  the girls were  detained for more than a year  before the trial and never confessed committing any crime. However the verdict of the "male only" Sharia panel was that they need o be executed in accordance with the Sharia law. The boys were only advised "not to be victimized" the report further states.   

Saudi uses methods such as beheading, stoning and crucifixion to execute women for crimes, including adultery, in the strict Islamic country. Beheadings take place in public squares where the headless corpses are later put on display.
Despite continuous international pressure mostly exerted by human rights activists and public in general neither UN nor EU was successful in bringing any notable improvements to Saudi's anti-human practices. 
The US President who visited the Saudi Arabia recently never discussed its human rights records, although he signed an arms deal worth $110bn (£85bn) with them. During her visit to Saudi Last April, Theresa May too vouched that she will increase arms deals with Saudi. These lucrative arms contracts are ensuring that no pressure is exerted on Saudi regime despite worldwide outrage over Saudi Arabia's killings of innocents.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

How to spot a credit card skimmer at ATMs or Gas Station Pumps

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02:15 / 02:15

It's happening a lot more often than people are catching it.
Identity thieves are attaching card skimmers to ATMs and gas pumps, stealing the bank account information of every person who visits afterward.
Some card users might be worried they'll break a real machine if they check for a skimmer too roughly, but police say, that would be hard to do.
"Don't use a tire iron, but you can go up and just pull on it."
Coweta County Lieutenant Jason Fetner is investigating a recent case where a woman found a skimmer at this ATM on Highway 34 between Newnan and Peachtree City.
Fetner suggests everybody do their own check before using a similar machine.
"You're not going to damage or destroy an ATM by pulling on it and checking to make sure there's nothing wrong with it."
He says affixing the skimmer too tightly would take extra time, and the thief generally wants to put this on in a matter of seconds.
"If he's spending twenty-five minutes at the ATM installing it, the police are going to get called."
Police say pulling on the card reader should be part of every person's banking or gas pumping routine. Before you put in your card, give a good yank on the area immediately around the slot. If there's a skimmer, you should be able to pull it off with just your hand alone, no tools necessary.
If you're still not sure, look around the immediate area for a camera pointing at the key pad. It's going to be small- a lot smaller than a typical surveillance camera- and it might be hidden in a not so obvious spot.
Identity thieves can use your card numbers a lot more effectively if they also have your pin or the zip code you're typing in, so always cover the pad while you're typing, even if no one else appears to be around.
There are as many different types of card skimmers as machines to blend in with, so there's no one thing to look for. Physically pulling on them is the only way to know for sure.

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