some are more equal than others

THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015 04:57 PM -0500 Scoring the Noam Chomsky/Sam Harris debate President Clinton ordered the bombing of the Al-Shifa facility in Sudan in 1998. As a result, half of the pharmaceutical supplies of Sudan were destroyed, in particular their … Continue reading

Scoring the Noam Chomsky/Sam Harris debate

President Clinton ordered the bombing of the Al-Shifa facility in Sudan in 1998. As a result, half of the pharmaceutical supplies of Sudan were destroyed, in particular their malaria medicine, chloroquine. Although only one person was killed by the missile itself, estimations by Chomsky and others place the resultant death toll in the tens of thousands.

Thus, Chomsky drew the analogy to 9/11, though he has since retreated from the comparison to clarify that, actually, Clinton’s bombing likely killed a lot more people. For Chomsky, it’s instructive to note that we treat 9/11 as one of the most horrendous acts ever to take place – which it is – but regard crimes with comparable or greater death tolls, routinely inflicted by powerful nations against weak ones, as a fact of life hardly worth mentioning.


First Majority-Muslim City in US

Hamtramck, a city of approximately 22,000 people located just miles outside of Detroit, became the first jurisdiction in the country to elect a majority-Muslim town council earlier this month. Previously, Hamtramck had been largely made up of blue-collar Polish Catholics, … Continue reading

Hamtramck, a city of approximately 22,000 people located just miles outside of Detroit, became the first jurisdiction in the country to elect a majority-Muslim town council earlier this month.

Previously, Hamtramck had been largely made up of blue-collar Polish Catholics, making the demographic shift a “traumatic” one for many residents.


global warming among major religious traditions in the U.S.

The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage’s policy studyMandate for Leadership.[2] Heritage … Continue reading

The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage’s policy studyMandate for Leadership.[2] Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.[3]

Religious Groups’ Views on Global Warming

Earth Day takes place on April 22 each year. One issue at the center of public discussions about the environment is global warming: whether it is occurring and what its causes might be. An analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life of a 2008 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press examines views on global warming among major religious traditions in the U.S.


a mountain cannot have two tigers

Published on Mar 26, 2015 Public Lecture by Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb and Adjunct Associate Professor John Lee. The belief that China will soon become the dominant power in Asia is based on assumptions that its continued and rapid economic … Continue reading

Published on Mar 26, 2015
Public Lecture by Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb and Adjunct Associate Professor John Lee.

The belief that China will soon become the dominant power in Asia is based on assumptions that its continued and rapid economic rise, and its emergence as a regional peer of America’s in military terms is all but assured. Such a belief underpins arguments that a fundamental strategic reorganisation of Asia is inevitable, and that it will be necessary and perhaps even desirable to concede to China significant ‘strategic space’. Dependent largely on linear extrapolations about the future, such arguments ignore the implications of China’s economic, social and national fragilities, its lack of major friends or allies in the region as well as the considerable military deficiencies and challenges faced by the People’s Liberation Army. With the Defence White Paper due for release in 2015, the government should bear in mind that planning for an era of Chinese dominance in the region—or even its emergence as an American strategic peer in Asia—would be premature if not improbable. Australia should not design its defence force for war with China, but it should be able to counter Chinese coercion and contribute to Allied military operations if necessary.

Paul Dibb is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, Coral Bell schol of Asia-Pacific Affairs, ANU. He was head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre from 1991 to 2004. Before that he held the positions of deputy secretary for Defence, director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation and head of the National Assessments Staff. He studied the former Soviet Union for over 20 years both as a senior intelligence officer and academic. He advised ASIO on certain Soviet activities. His book The Soviet Union–the Incomplete Superpower was published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies , London in 1986, reprinted 1987 and second edition 1988.

John Lee is an Australian academic working on international economic and security affairs with a focus on the Asia-Pacific. Lee is an adjunct associate professor at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, a Michael Hintze Fellow at the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney and a senior scholar at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. Lee is a board member of the Institute for Regional Security.

Published on Oct 16, 2015
Is China’s ascendancy a threat to the U.S.? China’s rise as an economic and military power, coupled with its aggression in the South China Sea, have led some to call for a major rebalance of U.S. policy and strategy. Can China be trusted to act as a responsible global stakeholder? And will they be a long-term ally, or adversary?

Published on May 27, 2015
Sure China has the largest standing army in the world, with 2.3 million people, a military budget of 120 billion dollars, and experimental spider tanks. But it turns out that China’s People’s Liberation Army might not be as powerful as you think.

Published on Jul 29, 2015
Japan is pushing forward a controversial set of bills that China is saying will allow Japan to wage war on China. That would break the Potsdam Declaration and change Japan’s constitution, the one the United States made Japan sign after World War 2 banning Japan from having a military .


Kunduz

  POST 27 OCTOBER 2015 LAST UPDATED ON 28 OCTOBER In previous media alert, ‘Sick Sophistry’, Media Lens examined media coverage of the deliberate US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 3. In particular, they exposed … Continue reading

 

In previous media alert, ‘Sick Sophistry’, Media Lens examined media coverage of the deliberate US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 3. In particular, they exposed the BBC’s Pentagon-friendly reporting of the hospital as having been ‘mistakenly’bombed.

On October 24, MSF announced that 30 people had now tragically died, up from the initial toll of 22. The humanitarian organisation, also known as Doctors Without Borders, continued to call for an independent international investigation into what it has called a ‘war crime’. Associated Press has justreported new evidence ‘that U.S. forces destroyed what they knew was a functioning hospital’.


Afghan hospital bombing: panel ready to begin US war crimes investigation

International panel set to investigate deadly bombing of Doctors Without Borders hospital but must first get assurance US and Afghanistan will comply

In the early hours of 3 October, an American gunship attackedthe Médecins Sans Frontières hospital, killing at least 22 people and injuring dozens more, in one of the worst civilian-casualty incidents of the war in Afghanistan.

msf hospital bombing christopher stokes
MSF’s general director, Christopher Stokes, said ‘a mistake is quite hard to believe and understand’ in reference to US military’s reaction to the deadly hospital bombing. Photograph: Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images

As an American gunship unleashed burst after burst of cannon fire on Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, medical staff inside the building frantically tried to alert military headquarters in Kabul and Washington DC.

When they finally received a reply, a massacre had already happened.

At 2.52am – at least 45 minutes into the attack and 30 minutes after MSF’s first call – a text message arrived from Nato’s Afghanistan mission: “I’m sorry to hear that, I still do not know what happened.”

When MSF personnel demanded an end to the attack, and warned that heavy casualties were feared, the Nato officer texted back, at 2.59am: “I’ll do my best, praying for you all.”


a luxury

Dear Friends, Next week the Senate is planning to vote on H.R. 4038, a bill that would slam the door in the face of Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been victimized by ISIS and Assad.  Please write to your … Continue reading

Dear Friends,

Next week the Senate is planning to vote on H.R. 4038, a bill that would slam the door in the face of Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been victimized by ISIS and Assad.  Please write to your Members of Congress and tell them that our country should be a place of safety for those fleeing violence.

Fear and cowardice are not the way forward.  ISIS has done terrible things but our reaction to them should not be to punish their victims.  Refugees already face an intense, often multi-year screening process to ensure that they are not a threat.  We should not make it harder for them.  Instead our country should protect victims of torture, abuse, and other forms of violence.  Please write to your Members of Congress today and tell them that you oppose H.R. 4038.

Sincerely,

Matt Hawthorne
Policy Director

P.S. You can also extend a hand of welcome to refugees in your local community.  We encourage you to think of ways you can also help local refugee families – whether by raising money, contributing time or goods, or making clear to your local elected leaders that you believe your community should be a welcoming one.

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010
Trailer from the multi-award winning documentary Climate Refugees

for documentary filmmaker and immigration expert Sheila Murray, the Syrian refugee crisis is only a prelude.

Her film on international refugee law, No Place to Go, was made for Amnesty International Canada’s refugee program.

In a 2010 report in Refuge magazine, Murray predicted that by 2050, the world could see a mass exodus of 200 million environmental refugees fleeing homelands rendered uninhabitable by extreme weather, rising sea levels, and mega-droughts.

Published on Oct 27, 2015
This drone footage filmed near the Croatian border shows thousands of migrants and refugees crossing through farmland on foot.


People are outraged to see refugees with smartphones. They shouldn’t be.

By: Lloyd Alter

September 8, 2015, 4:16 p.m.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/blogs/people-are-outraged-see-refugees-smartphones-they-shouldnt-be?utm_content=buffer7fb4f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=planetgreen#ixzz3mW69xuMR


a glimmer of hope

House Speaker, John Boehner, Will Resign From Congress By JENNIFER STEINHAUERSEPT. 25, 2015 WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, announced on Friday that he would resign one of the most powerful positions … Continue reading

House Speaker, John Boehner, Will Resign From Congress


Texa’s police

There has been a spate of events where police in Texas overplays the use of force against upper-class non-white teenagers. Most recently, Mohamed, a 14 year old freshman at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, was taken into police custody when he brought a homemade digital clock to school to impress the teachers. Regardless of … Continue reading Texa’s police

There has been a spate of events where police in Texas overplays the use of force against upper-class non-white teenagers. Most recently, Mohamed, a 14 year old freshman at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, was taken into police custody when he brought a homemade digital clock to school to impress the teachers.

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Regardless of  whether  the school’s actions of taking the clock for a bomb and calling the police were paranoiac or due-diligence, the police had no grounds to arrest and handcuff a 14 year old in school without contacting his parents first and assessing the situation properly. The kid did not treat anyone and only showed the clock to a teacher, that assumed without other cause than racial profiling, that it was a bomb.

In June 2015, In McKinney, Texas, police broke a local pool party on Friday night, like if it were a burglary of some sort, harassing black kids, but leaving white ones alone, as if they were invisible. A situation between a mom and a girl broke out and when the cops showed up everyone ran, including the people who didn’t do anything. So the cops just started putting everyone on the ground and in handcuffs for no reason. This kind of force is uncalled for especially on children and innocent bystanders. In particular, a police officer put a 13 year old girl face down in the floor for no reason at all. The officer was placed on administrative leave after being filmed aggressively handcuffing, and then pulling a weapon on, a group of black teens.

The harsh treatment of teens that are handcuffed while involved in non-aggressive normal day-to-day activities contrast with the treatment given thugs actually involved in murder and a shoot out at a mall.

Police in Waco charged 170 people with organised crime in what could potentially represent the largest mass arrest on a capital charge in American history. The gangsters were arrested and charged in connection with a deadly shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, which left nine dead and 18 injured. However, if one looks at pictures of the arrest, he gangsters were not even handcuffed.