Kucinich: Will We Stand for the People or the Insurance Companies?
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement about the health care debate in America:
“Providing health care to all Americans is the moral responsibility of our government, consistent with the Preamble in the Constitution. Yet we are being told that it is not possible to have the kind of single payer health system which every industrialized democracy in the world has.
In the past few years, a hurricane has engulfed the debate about global warming. This scientific issue has become a rhetorical firestorm with science pitted against spin and inflammatory words on both sides. This documentary shows how fossil fuel corporations have kept the global warming debate alive long after most scientists believed that global warming was real and had potentially catastrophic consequences. It shows that companies such as Exxon Mobil are working with top public relations firms and using many of the same tactics and personnel as those employed by Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds to dispute the cigarette-cancer link in the 1990s. Exxon Mobil sought out those willing to question the science behind climate change, providing funding for some of them, their organizations and their studies.
UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Philip Alston: Record AfPak Drone Attacks Under Obama May Violate International Law
Investigative reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine revealed last week that the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan has risen dramatically under President Obama. During his first nine-and-a-half months in office, Obama authorized at least forty-one CIA missile strikes in Pakistan—a rate of approximately one bombing a week. We speak to one of the most high-profile critics of the US drone program: Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Alston says the US government’s use of Predator drones may violate international law. [includes rush transcript]
Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He is also a professor of law at New York University and co-chair of the law school’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
1. Mike Whitney—In your new book, “The ABCs of the Economic Crisis: What Working People Need to Know”, you allude to right wing think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, which promote a “free market” ideology. How successful have these organizations been in shaping public attitudes about capitalism? Do you think that attitudes are beginning to change now that people understand the role that Wall Street and the big banks played in creating the crisis? (“The ABCs of the Economic Crisis: What Working People Need to Know” By Fred Magdoff and Michael Yates, Monthly Review Press)
A short film of sorts, by Brad Friedman — We went out to Griffith Park out here in L.A. on Sunday 10/25/09 to check out the kick-off day for the new “Tea Party Express II” national tour. Thought we might meet some interesting people and file a quick video report, but instead ended up making a short film of sorts. Here’s Part 1. Enjoy…
The century’s longest war continues to rage in South Asia with no sign of abating. Instead, the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 has exploded into endless armed hostilities that have spread across the length and breadth of the nation, with U.S. and NATO military forces fighting an intensified counterinsurgency conflict in the north, south, east and west of Afghanistan, now paralleled by equally brutal and even larger-scale combat operations in neighboring Pakistan.
With over 100,000 Western troops and rumors of perhaps a doubling of that number in the works, and with Washington spending billions of dollars in expanding bases to accommodate those reinforcements, the Afghanistan-Pakistan campaign under the direction of U.S. and NATO military commander General Stanley McChrystal and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke portends yet greater violence, bloodshed and imperiling of regional stability.
The report on the explosion that blew an RAF Nimrod out of the sky over Helmand Province on 2 September, 2006 in which fourteen people died, was released today and it confirms my view of British military ‘adventures’ that I expressed in ‘Lest we forget?’. The report even names names of extremely high ranking officers as being directly culpable for their deaths.
But chief amongst the ‘shortcomings’ as the BBC describes them, is:
“A safety culture that has allowed “business” to eclipse airworthiness”
The two major business culprits named are of course BAE Systems and QinetiQ, both not named in the BBC’s very perfunctory story today titled ‘Nimrod review reveals ‘failures’ (but BAE gets mentioned 1539 times in the Report QinetiQ gets away with being mentioned 624 times). Also not named in the BBC story were the two high-ranking officers in the RAF (General Sir Sam Cowan and his successor Air Chief Marshal Sir Malcolm Pledger). I’m talking about an Air Marshall in charge (allegedly) of logistics. In the report QinetiQ is described as “supine”. Come on Auntie Beeb, stop covering for your master! For a comparison, Continue reading →
At least twelve people – including six United Nations staff – have been killed in an attack on a UN guest house in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Police say the situation is under control, after militants barricaded themselves inside.
The tiny Russian republic of Ingushetia has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. Endemic corruption combined with a battle between Islamic extremists and unaccountable Moscow-backed security forces has plunged the area into bloody violence. Reporter Antony Butts and director Dom Rotheroe went to find out what lay behind the conflict and to investigate claims of extrajudicial killings, torture and suppression of political dissent.
It is hard for foreign journalists to get into the area or to operate independently. The team was under surveillance by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and local security forces – forcing them to film covertly on occasion. Local human rights activists have been illegally detained and in some cases murdered and it was difficult to find interviewees prepared to talk openly. A few weeks after they left, Maksharip Aushev, a civil opposition leader they had filmed, was murdered by unknown gunmen. During filming, local fixers were warned by the security police not to cooperate with them and eventually Antony and Dom were warned to leave the country.
The various civil conflicts raging across the Russian Federation’s southern Muslim republics are putting an intolerable burden on the civilian populations caught in the middle. The war in Ingushetia is proving dirtier than most yet and, because of the difficulty of reporting, it has largely stayed off the world’s radar. This film for Al Jazeera’s People & Power lifted the lid on a catalogue of seemingly indiscriminate murder, human rights abuse, political and religious persecution, poverty, corruption and neglect.
This talk by Larry Wilkerson was the keynote speech given at an event sponsored by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, American University History Department, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute on Oct 21,2009 at American University in Washington DC.
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence describes itself as “a movement of former CIA colleagues and other associates of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power”.