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Help Portland, ME Racial Justice Group Get to NYC for Anti-Racist March

The Portland Racial Justice Congress is trying to whip together some cash so they can get transportation down from Maine to the Millions March in New York City on Saturday December 13. If you can’t make it to this important demonstration, chipping in a few bucks to help others get there would be a very good thing to do.

It’s About Racism: Millions March in NYC December 13 2014

Do you want “an end to all forms of discrimination and the full recognition of human rights?” This is a demand of the Millions March in New York City.

Do you want “an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black, brown and all oppressed people?” This is a demand of the Millions March in New York City.

Do you want people to have “decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings?” This is a demand of the Millions March in New York City.

Do you want “an end to the school to prison pipeline and quality education for all?” This is a demand of the Millions March in New York City.

Do you want “freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex?” This is a demand of the Millions March in New York City.

The Millions March in New York City starting at 2 pm on December 13 is sparked by the death of two unarmed black men at the hands of the police. But it is not just about those particular incidents. It is arguably not even mostly about those particular incidents. People are angry about this because of the continued prejudice and discrimination against Black people in America.

Have you had enough? Do you live in the New York City area? Will you be there?

Vote For Torture – Elect Marco Rubio President 2016

Yesterday, reacting to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation that found that the CIA had engaged in widespread torture of prisoners, many of whom were not involved in terrorism in any way, obtaining no national security benefit as a result, Senator Marco Rubio, who is planning to run for President in 2016, released a statement saying that CIA torturers “deserve our thanks”. Then, apparently thinking that this support for torture wasn’t strong enough, Rubio issued a second statement, saying that CIA agents who tortured prisoners “deserve our eternal gratitude”.

If you want an America that perpetrates more of the horrors that were detailed and documented in the Senate torture report, then Marco Rubio should be just the presidential candidate you’re looking for. Rubio certainly seems intent on winning the 2016 GOP nomination by harnessing pro-torture voters. “We need to have the ability to interrogate people outside the realm of what you do in a criminal justice system,” he says.

Others of us remember that what’s supposed to make the USA isn’t military might or barbaric interrogation methods, but the Bill of Rights, which includes a prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments.

Senate Hearing Focuses On Ebola Crisis… Thousands Of Miles Away

Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on “to examine the Ebola epidemic”. It seems like a good opportunity to reflect back on the Ebola crisis… the one that never ever posed a serious threat to the United States.

You see, it’s the Subcommittee on African Affairs that is holding the hearing. That’s because Ebola has been contained with extreme effectiveness by the Obama Administration here in the United States, despite the non-stop panic that came from Republican congressional candidates and presidential candidate Ben Carson. Ebola has been almost completely a phenomenon of the African continent. There never was any outbreak in the United States.

So why did we hear so much about Ebola threats to the U.S. in September and October? We can credit an effort to get out the right wing racist vote for Election Day. I don’t expect to hear too much about that particular issue of Ebola virulence during today’s hearing, though.

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

fatalism is not an optionTa-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of Vanity Fair: “Fatalism is not an option.”

Bonus points to anyone who can explain to me how fatalism cannot be an option.

The U.S. Tortures People … Which Three Senators Didn’t Want You To Know?

“Warning: Many readers may find the following material offensive.”

So wrote USA Today without irony before describing how the United States tortured people, to no end, in our names. Today, you can read for yourself a redacted version of a 2012 Senate report, finally released after years of stalling, that confirms in detail that agents of the United States government knowingly and repeatedly tortured people in its custody, sometimes torturing them to death, even though torture by the U.S. Government is not only morally abhorrent but also a federal crime.

“Readers may find the following material offensive?” Well, isn’t that the bloody point? That’s why the Senate torture report was censored and hidden from public view for two years. If you knew what was being done in your name — if you knew that the United States government stood for torment and horror and freezing people to death and breaking their bones and driving them insane on purpose, yes, if you had a decent bone in your body you’d bloody well find it offensive. Some people in government preferred you remain unoffended.

Earlier this evening, J. Clifford identified 124 members of the House of Representatives who refused to act to end CIA torture when they had the chance back in 2009. As late as April 2014, the stalling tactics in the U.S. Senate continued. Three Republican U.S. Senators voted this year to try and keep censoring the torture report indefinitely. Why? Because the truth would make authorities in the United States government look bad. Learn the name of these Senators. Remember them:

Idaho Republican Senator Jim Risch
Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio

Jim Risch, Dan Coats and Marco Rubio stand against truth, stand against your right to know, stand against decency, stand against human rights. They are apologists for the horrible side of human nature. They protect the people who want the United States to remain a force for horror in the world.

Jim Risch, Dan Coats and Marco Rubio should be hanging their heads in shame. Watch what they actually do now that the truth about American torture has been revealed. When it is your time to vote, act accordingly.

Roll Call: Who In Congress Voted AGAINST Torture Reform?

Today saw the release of the Torture Report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. The CIA, whose “enhanced interrogation techniques” the report describes, has been trying to prevent the report’s release. The Central Intelligence Agency even engaged in criminal behavior to stop the facts in the report from being declassified. The agency sent spies into the offices of the Senate Intelligence Committee, breaking into secure U.S. Senate computer to try to destroy the work of the committee’s investigation.

Today, we officially were told that the CIA was doing brutal things to its prisoners. The Administration of George W. Bush called it “enhanced interrogation techniques”, so that Republicans like Rush Limbaugh could laugh, and say that it was nothing serious, just equivalent to college hazing rituals

The CIA holds astonishing forms of power. It is now undeniable that the CIA has used that power with rampant dishonesty and brutality. The CIA has proven to be unworthy of the public trust. The CIA poses more of a threat to our nation than the external threats it claims to protect us from. The CIA should therefore be dismantled, and replaced with a new intelligence agency that is subject to robust oversight.

But hey, I know. That’s not going to happen. What could reasonably take place, however, is some serious reform to prevent the CIA from ever, ever engaging in torture again.

The chances of even this happening aren’t good. As I reported earlier this autumn, A congressional resolution by John Lewis, simply stating support for United Nations anti-torture conventions, only got 10 co-sponsors out of the hundreds of members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The co-sponsors were: James McGovern, Barbara Lee, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jim McDermott, Charles Rangel, Raul Grijalva, Frederica Wilson, Lloyd Doggett, Steve Cohen, and Shiela Jackson Lee. These Democratic politicians have a right to be proud of their stand, but every other member of the U.S. House – including most Democrats -chose to ignore the issue of torture.

Back in 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives had the chance to vote to approve a legislative amendment that would force members of the military who are conducting interrogations of prisoners to wear video cameras to ensure that they do not violate laws against torture. Many of the politicians who voted against this anti-torture reform have retired since that time, but the following anti-reform politicians remain in Congress:

Barton (TX)
Bishop (UT)
congress duskBlackburn
Brady (TX)
Broun (GA)
Coffman (CO)
Diaz-Balart, M.
Franks (AZ)
Garrett (NJ)
Gingrey (GA)
Hall (TX)
Doc Hastings (WA)
Johnson, Sam
Jordan (OH)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Kline (MN)
McCarthy (CA)
McMorris Rodgers
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Murphy, Tim
Poe (TX)
Price (GA)
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Ryan (WI)
Smith (NE)
Thompson (PA)
Wilson (SC)
Young (AK)

In 2007, Michael Mukasey was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Attorney General of the United States, even though he refused to admit that the CIA had committed torture, and pledged to protect, rather than prosecute, any CIA agents who had committed torture. Of those who voted to confirm Mukasey anyway, the following are still U.S. senators today:

Barrasso (R-WY)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Crapo (R-ID)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Landrieu (D-LA)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-NE)
Roberts (R-KS)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (R-VA)

Look at that. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s name is on the list. As much as Senator Feinstein cast blame at others for allowing CIA torture to take place, she herself has a long history of voting against efforts to stop torture and to hold accountable those who have committed. If only the Senate Intelligence Committee had investigated support for torture policies within the U.S. Senate itself, Dianne Feinstein’s name would have figured prominently in the roll call of shame.

Challenge To Ben Carson Supporters On Climate Change

For a generation, Americans have disagreed about climate change. They have debated whether or not scientific data shows that Earth’s atmospheric temperatures are warming, and whether human activity is to blame.

Throughout it all, Americans have at least agreed on one thing: They have agreed that the issue of climate change is important to consider, whether it’s happening or not. Americans have understood that the climate of the planet that we live on matters… until now.

Now we have Ben Carson on the political scene. Ben Carson is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and he has declared that the question of whether our planet’s climate is warming or not is “irrelevant”?

Irrelevant? Does Ben Carson know what that word means?

To Ben Carson’s supporters, I issue this challenge: Explain to me how the climate of our planet is irrelevant. If the Earth’s atmospheric temperature were to increase by 10 degrees, how would that be irrelevant to you? Would a temperature increase still be irrelevant to you at 20 degrees? How about at 100 degrees?

Mitt Romney for President 2016… Awkward!

Mitt Romney is getting on a bit in years, edging into that time of life when a man can begin to engage in odd sorts of behavior that people around him find to be embarrassing – compulsions like running for President over and over again.

mitt romney 2016 awkwardReports at the beginning of this week have Mitt Romney visiting Wall Street to shore up financial support from the elite fat cats who bankrolled his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, both of which were complete failures.

Can Mitt Romney not take a hint? We’ve all heard him tell his “I’m running for President” story two times, but he seems to have forgotten that he’s told it already. He’s beginning with the same old introductory lines all over again.

Are we all supposed to just quietly nod, and pretend we haven’t heard it all before?

Mitt Romney for President… Awkward!

Has President Obama Been Poisoned?

Benjamin Fulford reports that President Barack Obama has been poisoned by secret agents from Israel. According to Fulford, the recent trip by Obama to a hospital for a “sore throat” was actually in response to the poisoning, which has been covered up because of fears of public panic.

Of course, Benjamin Fulford also reports that President Obama is part of a “satanic cabal”, and that the United States is controlled by a “Nazionist regime”. Nazionist – that’s a combination of Nazis and zionists, because the Nazis and Jews have historically been known to be chums. Fulford also cites “Marco Di Mauro of the Italian P2 Freemason lodge” as the source in a story claiming that the Chinese government has demanded control of “80% control of the world’s assets”… or else.

[Cue the theramin of doubt.]

Do I know for a fact that Barack Obama has not been poisoned? No. I also don’t know for a fact that the Pentagon is not a front organization that has been designed to cover up the existence of fairies controlling the Washington D.C. Metro.

In response to extraordinary claims, we need to ask for extraordinary levels of evidence. Benjamin Fulford can only offer yarns about secret sources and global conspiracies that have somehow totally concealed themselves from public discovery – except to him.

Crime Associated With Somali Immigrants In Kansas City

Irregular Times writer Jim has carefully documented that, despite common claims to the contrary, crime rates in Lewiston, Maine and in Minneapolis, Minnesota did not rise after the arrival of Muslim Somali immigrants there.

Now, however, we have undeniable evidence of a crime associated with Somali Muslim immigrants: A man killed teenager Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, a member of the Somali Muslim immigrant community in Kansas City, Missouri, by running into him with a car, and then waved a baseball bat at people as he tried to get away.

This was a crime against a Somali Muslim immigrant, of course…