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Links: 1) http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/c… 2) http://www.oil-price.net/ 3) http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-cons… 4) Thumbnail imaage – Alberta Oil Sands – by Howl Arts Collective https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi… 5) Music – Youtube Audio Library “Ambient Ambulance” https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/…




Links:
1) http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/c…
2) http://www.oil-price.net/
3) http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-cons…
4) Thumbnail imaage – Alberta Oil Sands – by Howl Arts Collective
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
5) Music – Youtube Audio Library
“Ambient Ambulance”
https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/…


Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Tolerance is an intractable term.  Should we tolerate the intolerant, the racist, or the violent? Who decides who’s who, who’s what? Words used in complex social situations have always a degree of double-speak; there is a disconnection between what we think we mean and our actual thinking.
Tolerance (http://www.tolerance.org/ ) is supposed to be about letting those different from us be themselves, but in practice is about pretending that we are different from ourselves. To always have a favorite football team as an essential part of our identity? Even in this limited sense, one has to be careful; it might not be healthful to display the wrong loyalty in the wrong bar.
Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. For instance, many Serbian communities believed that the western media portrayed a negative image of the Serbian people during the NATO bombing in Kosovo and Serbia (http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/tolerance ).
it is easy to protest
when the bombs fall miles from the fridge
yet, we are still afraid
a trip to Disney World on the line
so what hundred children massacred a day
better to have less terrorists, right?

Few political terrorists in recent history took as much care to articulate their ideological influences and political views as Anders Behring Breivik did. The right-wing Norwegian Islamophobe.  One of the most remarkable aspects of the manifesto is the extent to which its European author quoted from the writings of figures from the American conservative movement (http://maxblumenthal.com/2011/08/americas-breivik-complex-how-state-terror-electrifies-the-islamophobic-right ). Many of the American writers who influenced Breivik spent years churning out calls for the mass murder of Muslims, Palestinians and their left-wing Western supporters. American Islamophobes simply sit back from the comfort of their homes and cheer as American and Israeli troops — and their remote-controlled aerial drones — leave a trail of charred bodies from Waziristan to Gaza City.
While Israel has sought to insulate itself from the legal ramifications of its attacks on civilian life by deploying elaborate propaganda and intellectual sophistry (witness the country’s frantic campaign to discredit the Goldstone Report), and the United States has casually dismissed allegations of war crimes as any swaggering superpower would (after a US airstrike killed scores of Afghan civilians, former US CENTCOM chief David Petraeus baselessly claimed that Afghan parents had deliberately burned their children alive to increase the death toll), the online Islamophobes who inspired Breivik tacitly accept the reality of Israeli and American state terror.
In American and Israeli society, Professional Terrorism is acceptable, whereas Amateur Terrorism is absolutely the world’s greatest evil (http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/08/gallup-poll-jews-and-christians-way-more-likely-than-muslims-to-justify-killing-civilians/ ).  Amateur Terrorism provides the justification for Professional Terrorism (this even though it is usually almost always the case that Professional Terrorism started the cycle of violence).  Those who have the capability to carry out Professional Terrorism have absolutely no need to resort to Amateur Terrorism since the former is so much more effective in killing civilians than the latter.
Public Policy Polling asked Republicans if they would want to bomb the fictional town of Agrabah in Disney’s Aladdin movie (http://www.loonwatch.com/2015/12/30-percent-of-republicans-want-to-bomb-aladdins-hometown-agrabah/ ).
These are the results:
Support bombing Agrabah  …………………………30%
Oppose bombing Agrabah  …………………………13%
Not sure ……………………………………………………57%
In sharp contrast with Americans who identify themselves with other faith groups (http://www.gallup.com/poll/148763/muslim-americans-no-justification-violence.aspx ), Muslim Americans are more likely to say military attacks on civilians are never justified (78%) than sometimes justified (21%). Respondents from other faith groups, particularly Mormon Americans, are more likely to say military attacks are sometimes justified than never justified. The opinions of Americans who don’t identify themselves with any religion are more in line with those of Muslim Americans, but they are also more divided.
Gallup analysts (http://www.gallup.com/poll/157067/views-violence.aspx ) tested correlations between the level at which populations say these attacks are “sometimes justified” and a number of independent indicators, and they found human development and societal stability measures are most strongly related.
Residents of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states are slightly less likely than residents of non-member states to view military attacks on civilians as sometimes justified, and about as likely as those of non-member states to say the same about individual attacks.

 “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade .
A common complaint among non-Muslims is that Muslim religious authorities do not condemn terrorist attacks. The complaints often surface in letters to the editors of newspapers, on phone-in radio shows, in Internet mailing lists, forums, etc. A leader of an evangelical Christian para-church group, broadcasting over Sirius Family Net radio, stated that he had done a thorough search on the Internet for a Muslim statement condemning terrorism, without finding a single item.
Actually, there are lots of fatwas and other statements issued which condemn attacks on innocent civilians. Unfortunately, they are largely ignored by newspapers, television news, radio news and other media outlets. Possibly because Islamic terrorists keep killing innocent civilians.
A 2007 Pew Research Center study of several nations throughout the Muslim world showed that opposition to suicide bombing in the Muslim world is increasing, with a majority of Muslims surveyed in 10 out of the 16 of the countries responding that suicide bombings and other violence against civilians is “never” justified, though an average of 38% believe it is justified at least rarely. Opposition to Hamas was the majority opinion in only 4 out of the 16 countries surveyed, as was opposition to Hezbollah.[5] The Pew Research Study did not include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria in the survey, although densely populated Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Bangladesh were included.
Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.
An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
Muslim man was attacked by Piro Kolvani who decided he had to drive from Florida to New York to beat on a Muslim (Kolvani was inspired by the NY Post front covers). Kolvani viciously attacked Sarker Haque, who stated, “I never saw a situation like that. Not even after 9/11.”
Yet, the conflict is not about religion nor race, but power (in the sociopathic sense) and resources. Human activity is not driven by justice but by power. In a way, justice is the right of the strong. One thing is rationalizations used to justify actions, and another, real social and psychological motives behind. These ulterior motives are not necessary explicit or even conscious.
All three religions   – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – in conflict share the same core barbaric Bronze Age believes sated in the Hebrew Bible, and all pick and choose what’s convenient to their respective social order. Whether one is consider a Christian or a Muslim is more an accident of geography or ethnicity, than a reflection of actual belief.   That is, religion is mainly a marker of cultural identity.
Israel, for all the talk about being a Jewish state is in practice rather secular. Although the idea of a vibrant queer community in Israel, reputed birthplace of the biblical condemnation of same-sex relations, may seem far-fetched, Israel today is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of equality for sexual minorities. Politically, legally, and culturally, the community has moved from life at the margins of Israeli society to visibility and growing acceptance (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/homosexuality-in-israel/ ).
Many Israelis are not Semitic (http://www.livescience.com/40247-ashkenazi-jews-have-european-genes.html ). While Ashkenazi Jews have a long tradition in Judaism, they cannot claim a bloodline from David, which is a mythological figure anyway (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/davidjer.html ).
The scourge of Islamic fundamentalism is a monster created by the same people crying wolf (https://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/the-islamic-state/ ).
The modern Islamic fundamentalist movements have their origins in the late 19th century. The Wahhabi movement, an Arabian fundamentalist movement that began in the 18th century, gained traction and spread during the 19th and 20th centuries. During the Cold War following World War II, some NATO governments, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom, launched covert and overt campaigns to encourage and strengthen fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and southern Asia. These groups were seen as a hedge against potential expansion by the Soviet Union, and as a means to prevent the growth of nationalistic movements that were not necessarily favorable toward the interests of the Western nations. By the 1970s the Islamists had become important allies in supporting governments, such as Egypt, which were friendly to U.S. interests. In many cases the military wings of these groups were supplied with money and arms by the U.S. (https://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/religion-and-terrorism/ ).

Regardless of the machinations behind the current crisis in the Middle East, its effects will unsettle the whole World, including the US and Europe (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-roots-of-the-migration-crisis-1441995372 ). The Syrian refugee disaster presents a dilemma to the West. A massive influx of refugees into any country compromises its social and economic stability but the crisis cannot be ignored in humanitarian and practical grounds. Furthermore, the rise of religious fundamentalism (of all flavors: Christian, Muslim, or Jewish) is a treat to the long term viability of modern society.
Humans are social animals and it’s our natural instinct to be emphatic with others. It’s natural for us to bond by kinship. Unfortunately the same tribal instinct hampers our ability to recognize the essential and vital global brotherhood of man. We cling to nationality, religion, and many artificial walls we build around us that compromise our chances for long term survival.
We must overcome our fears and reach out for peace. To live or die together is the choice.

The xenophobic policies offered up by Republicans in the wake of the Paris and Beirut attacks are simply jaw-dropping:

  • Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz suggested bombing innocent civilians in the Middle East.2
  • Twenty-six Republican governors have vowed, without any legal authority, to block Syrian refugees from their states.3
  • Presidential candidate Jeb Bush joined Cruz in proposing that we block Syrian refugees based on religion — admitting Christian but not Muslim refugees.4
  • The House passed a bill this week requiring the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence to personally sign off on every refugee from Syria or Iraq.5
These policies are especially offensive in light of the fact that there is legislation that Congress could pass right now to actually reduce gun violence. The Senate could:
  • Close the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
  • Close the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40 percent of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.6
  • Ban convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.7
  • Prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity magazines for civilian use.
If Republicans really want to protect Americans, it’s clear what they need to do: break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them. Can you add your voice today?
Tell Senate Republican leaders: Act to make us safer and pass real gun control legislation. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for standing up to the NRA today,
Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks,” Everytown for Gun Safety, July 21, 2015.
  2. Judd Legum, “In Response To Paris, Ted Cruz Calls For Airstrikes With More ‘Tolerance For Civilian Casualties’,” ThinkProgress.org, November 13, 2015.
  3. Sarah Frostenson and Dara Lind, “Here’s a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees,” Vox.com, November 18, 2015.
  4. Amy Davidson, “Ted Cruz’ Religious Test for Refugees, New Yorker, November 16, 2015.
  5. Camila Domonoske, “House Votes To Increase Security Checks On Refugees From Iraq, Syria,” NPR, November 19, 2015.
  6. Universal Background Checks & the “Private” Sale Loophole Policy Summary ,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, September 10, 2015.
  7. Gabby Gifford, National Domestic Violence Prevention Leaders Applaud New House Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Abusers,” Americans for Responsible Solutions, July 22, 2015.

The House of Representatives voted for a bill that would shut the door in the faces of refugees who are fleeing violence in Syria and other locations.  That same day, hearings in the House and Senate focused on the need to “keep America safe” – suggesting that our country was not brave enough to help those who are victims of violence.

Some in the House stood up for refugees and voted against the anti-refugee bill, but far too many supported it.  Please write to your Representative now.  

As faith communities gather this weekend, we encourage you to stand up to the fear and hate that is rampant in this moment of heightened anti-Muslim bigotry as you’ve undoubtedly seen expressed on social media and cable news, and by governors and Presidential candidates.  Many faith groups and denominations have distributed statements and resources, and NRCAT will continue to update this resource list.  These include messages of welcome to refugees of all faiths, and talking points that can be used for sermons and prayers.  If you have a resource that should be added, please email me.

Finally, please consider reaching out to a local mosque or refugee resettlement center.  You might send a note of support, make arrangements for a joint service project, plan an interfaith vigil, or volunteer to help resettle refugees in your community.

Sincerely,

T.C. Morrow
Director of Finance & Operations
Staff for NRCAT’s Addressing Anti-Muslim Bigotry Program

Tolerance is an intractable term.  Should we tolerate the intolerant, the racist, or the violent? Who decides who’s who, who’s what? Words used in complex social situations have always a degree of double-speak; there is a disconnection between what we think we mean and our actual thinking.
Tolerance (http://www.tolerance.org/ ) is supposed to be about letting those different from us be themselves, but in practice is about pretending that we are different from ourselves. To always have a favorite football team as an essential part of our identity? Even in this limited sense, one has to be careful; it might not be healthful to display the wrong loyalty in the wrong bar.
Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. For instance, many Serbian communities believed that the western media portrayed a negative image of the Serbian people during the NATO bombing in Kosovo and Serbia (http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/tolerance ).
it is easy to protest
when the bombs fall miles from the fridge
yet, we are still afraid
a trip to Disney World on the line
so what hundred children massacred a day
better to have less terrorists, right?

Few political terrorists in recent history took as much care to articulate their ideological influences and political views as Anders Behring Breivik did. The right-wing Norwegian Islamophobe.  One of the most remarkable aspects of the manifesto is the extent to which its European author quoted from the writings of figures from the American conservative movement (http://maxblumenthal.com/2011/08/americas-breivik-complex-how-state-terror-electrifies-the-islamophobic-right ). Many of the American writers who influenced Breivik spent years churning out calls for the mass murder of Muslims, Palestinians and their left-wing Western supporters. American Islamophobes simply sit back from the comfort of their homes and cheer as American and Israeli troops — and their remote-controlled aerial drones — leave a trail of charred bodies from Waziristan to Gaza City.
While Israel has sought to insulate itself from the legal ramifications of its attacks on civilian life by deploying elaborate propaganda and intellectual sophistry (witness the country’s frantic campaign to discredit the Goldstone Report), and the United States has casually dismissed allegations of war crimes as any swaggering superpower would (after a US airstrike killed scores of Afghan civilians, former US CENTCOM chief David Petraeus baselessly claimed that Afghan parents had deliberately burned their children alive to increase the death toll), the online Islamophobes who inspired Breivik tacitly accept the reality of Israeli and American state terror.
In American and Israeli society, Professional Terrorism is acceptable, whereas Amateur Terrorism is absolutely the world’s greatest evil (http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/08/gallup-poll-jews-and-christians-way-more-likely-than-muslims-to-justify-killing-civilians/ ).  Amateur Terrorism provides the justification for Professional Terrorism (this even though it is usually almost always the case that Professional Terrorism started the cycle of violence).  Those who have the capability to carry out Professional Terrorism have absolutely no need to resort to Amateur Terrorism since the former is so much more effective in killing civilians than the latter.
Public Policy Polling asked Republicans if they would want to bomb the fictional town of Agrabah in Disney’s Aladdin movie (http://www.loonwatch.com/2015/12/30-percent-of-republicans-want-to-bomb-aladdins-hometown-agrabah/ ).
These are the results:
Support bombing Agrabah  …………………………30%
Oppose bombing Agrabah  …………………………13%
Not sure ……………………………………………………57%
In sharp contrast with Americans who identify themselves with other faith groups (http://www.gallup.com/poll/148763/muslim-americans-no-justification-violence.aspx ), Muslim Americans are more likely to say military attacks on civilians are never justified (78%) than sometimes justified (21%). Respondents from other faith groups, particularly Mormon Americans, are more likely to say military attacks are sometimes justified than never justified. The opinions of Americans who don’t identify themselves with any religion are more in line with those of Muslim Americans, but they are also more divided.
Gallup analysts (http://www.gallup.com/poll/157067/views-violence.aspx ) tested correlations between the level at which populations say these attacks are “sometimes justified” and a number of independent indicators, and they found human development and societal stability measures are most strongly related.
Residents of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states are slightly less likely than residents of non-member states to view military attacks on civilians as sometimes justified, and about as likely as those of non-member states to say the same about individual attacks.

 “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade .
A common complaint among non-Muslims is that Muslim religious authorities do not condemn terrorist attacks. The complaints often surface in letters to the editors of newspapers, on phone-in radio shows, in Internet mailing lists, forums, etc. A leader of an evangelical Christian para-church group, broadcasting over Sirius Family Net radio, stated that he had done a thorough search on the Internet for a Muslim statement condemning terrorism, without finding a single item.
Actually, there are lots of fatwas and other statements issued which condemn attacks on innocent civilians. Unfortunately, they are largely ignored by newspapers, television news, radio news and other media outlets. Possibly because Islamic terrorists keep killing innocent civilians.
A 2007 Pew Research Center study of several nations throughout the Muslim world showed that opposition to suicide bombing in the Muslim world is increasing, with a majority of Muslims surveyed in 10 out of the 16 of the countries responding that suicide bombings and other violence against civilians is “never” justified, though an average of 38% believe it is justified at least rarely. Opposition to Hamas was the majority opinion in only 4 out of the 16 countries surveyed, as was opposition to Hezbollah.[5] The Pew Research Study did not include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria in the survey, although densely populated Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Bangladesh were included.
Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.
An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
Muslim man was attacked by Piro Kolvani who decided he had to drive from Florida to New York to beat on a Muslim (Kolvani was inspired by the NY Post front covers). Kolvani viciously attacked Sarker Haque, who stated, “I never saw a situation like that. Not even after 9/11.”
Yet, the conflict is not about religion nor race, but power (in the sociopathic sense) and resources. Human activity is not driven by justice but by power. In a way, justice is the right of the strong. One thing is rationalizations used to justify actions, and another, real social and psychological motives behind. These ulterior motives are not necessary explicit or even conscious.
All three religions   – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – in conflict share the same core barbaric Bronze Age believes sated in the Hebrew Bible, and all pick and choose what’s convenient to their respective social order. Whether one is consider a Christian or a Muslim is more an accident of geography or ethnicity, than a reflection of actual belief.   That is, religion is mainly a marker of cultural identity.
Israel, for all the talk about being a Jewish state is in practice rather secular. Although the idea of a vibrant queer community in Israel, reputed birthplace of the biblical condemnation of same-sex relations, may seem far-fetched, Israel today is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of equality for sexual minorities. Politically, legally, and culturally, the community has moved from life at the margins of Israeli society to visibility and growing acceptance (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/homosexuality-in-israel/ ).
Many Israelis are not Semitic (http://www.livescience.com/40247-ashkenazi-jews-have-european-genes.html ). While Ashkenazi Jews have a long tradition in Judaism, they cannot claim a bloodline from David, which is a mythological figure anyway (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/davidjer.html ).
The scourge of Islamic fundamentalism is a monster created by the same people crying wolf (https://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/the-islamic-state/ ).
The modern Islamic fundamentalist movements have their origins in the late 19th century. The Wahhabi movement, an Arabian fundamentalist movement that began in the 18th century, gained traction and spread during the 19th and 20th centuries. During the Cold War following World War II, some NATO governments, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom, launched covert and overt campaigns to encourage and strengthen fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and southern Asia. These groups were seen as a hedge against potential expansion by the Soviet Union, and as a means to prevent the growth of nationalistic movements that were not necessarily favorable toward the interests of the Western nations. By the 1970s the Islamists had become important allies in supporting governments, such as Egypt, which were friendly to U.S. interests. In many cases the military wings of these groups were supplied with money and arms by the U.S. (https://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/religion-and-terrorism/ ).

Regardless of the machinations behind the current crisis in the Middle East, its effects will unsettle the whole World, including the US and Europe (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-roots-of-the-migration-crisis-1441995372 ). The Syrian refugee disaster presents a dilemma to the West. A massive influx of refugees into any country compromises its social and economic stability but the crisis cannot be ignored in humanitarian and practical grounds. Furthermore, the rise of religious fundamentalism (of all flavors: Christian, Muslim, or Jewish) is a treat to the long term viability of modern society.
Humans are social animals and it’s our natural instinct to be emphatic with others. It’s natural for us to bond by kinship. Unfortunately the same tribal instinct hampers our ability to recognize the essential and vital global brotherhood of man. We cling to nationality, religion, and many artificial walls we build around us that compromise our chances for long term survival.
We must overcome our fears and reach out for peace. To live or die together is the choice.

The xenophobic policies offered up by Republicans in the wake of the Paris and Beirut attacks are simply jaw-dropping:

  • Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz suggested bombing innocent civilians in the Middle East.2
  • Twenty-six Republican governors have vowed, without any legal authority, to block Syrian refugees from their states.3
  • Presidential candidate Jeb Bush joined Cruz in proposing that we block Syrian refugees based on religion — admitting Christian but not Muslim refugees.4
  • The House passed a bill this week requiring the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence to personally sign off on every refugee from Syria or Iraq.5
These policies are especially offensive in light of the fact that there is legislation that Congress could pass right now to actually reduce gun violence. The Senate could:
  • Close the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
  • Close the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40 percent of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.6
  • Ban convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.7
  • Prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity magazines for civilian use.
If Republicans really want to protect Americans, it’s clear what they need to do: break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them. Can you add your voice today?
Tell Senate Republican leaders: Act to make us safer and pass real gun control legislation. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for standing up to the NRA today,
Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ?
References:
  1. Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks,” Everytown for Gun Safety, July 21, 2015.
  2. Judd Legum, “In Response To Paris, Ted Cruz Calls For Airstrikes With More ‘Tolerance For Civilian Casualties’,” ThinkProgress.org, November 13, 2015.
  3. Sarah Frostenson and Dara Lind, “Here’s a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees,” Vox.com, November 18, 2015.
  4. Amy Davidson, “Ted Cruz’ Religious Test for Refugees, New Yorker, November 16, 2015.
  5. Camila Domonoske, “House Votes To Increase Security Checks On Refugees From Iraq, Syria,” NPR, November 19, 2015.
  6. Universal Background Checks & the “Private” Sale Loophole Policy Summary ,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, September 10, 2015.
  7. Gabby Gifford, National Domestic Violence Prevention Leaders Applaud New House Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Abusers,” Americans for Responsible Solutions, July 22, 2015.

The House of Representatives voted for a bill that would shut the door in the faces of refugees who are fleeing violence in Syria and other locations.  That same day, hearings in the House and Senate focused on the need to “keep America safe” – suggesting that our country was not brave enough to help those who are victims of violence.

Some in the House stood up for refugees and voted against the anti-refugee bill, but far too many supported it.  Please write to your Representative now.  

As faith communities gather this weekend, we encourage you to stand up to the fear and hate that is rampant in this moment of heightened anti-Muslim bigotry as you’ve undoubtedly seen expressed on social media and cable news, and by governors and Presidential candidates.  Many faith groups and denominations have distributed statements and resources, and NRCAT will continue to update this resource list.  These include messages of welcome to refugees of all faiths, and talking points that can be used for sermons and prayers.  If you have a resource that should be added, please email me.

Finally, please consider reaching out to a local mosque or refugee resettlement center.  You might send a note of support, make arrangements for a joint service project, plan an interfaith vigil, or volunteer to help resettle refugees in your community.

Sincerely,

T.C. Morrow
Director of Finance & Operations
Staff for NRCAT’s Addressing Anti-Muslim Bigotry Program

water crises

Last year, news broke that Nestlé, the largest bottled water producer in the world, had been extracting water from the drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest on a permit that was supposed to expire in 1988 — and hadn’t been re-evaluated … Continue reading

Last year, news broke that Nestlé, the largest bottled water producer in the world, had been extracting water from the drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest on a permit that was supposed to expire in 1988 — and hadn’t been re-evaluated by the U.S. Forest Service in nearly 40 years!

Now, the Forest Service is proposing to renew Nestlé’s permit for another five years, even as drought conditions persists in the western U.S.1

That’s unacceptable. But our pressure can make a difference. The latest Forest Service plan comes after intense public pressure on the agency, including petitions from more than 190,000 CREDO activists. In a major step forward, the proposal triggers a re-evaluation of the impact of Nestlé’s water withdrawals under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We have to make sure the review is as comprehensive as possible, which will show that Nestlé’s water extraction must be put to a stop.

Tell the U.S. Forest Service: Conduct a comprehensive review and put a stop to Nestlé’s water extraction in the San Bernardino National Forest. Submit a comment now.

Nestlé has been taking a self-reported 25 million gallons a year from the forest’s Strawberry Creek — which is only at 10 percent of its 90—year average level.2 As the water level drops over the summer, Nestlé’s continued withdrawals pose a risk to the creek ecosystem by making water levels even lower.

Incredibly, Nestlé pays only $524 (yes, five hundred and twenty four dollars!) each year to draw out the tens of millions of gallons it sells to the public under the Arrowhead Mountain label.

But this isn’t just about Nestlé or the San Bernardino National Forest — it’s a symbol of a much deeper problem in federal lands management that continues to prioritize corporate profits over protecting and preserving public resources.

Sally Jewell, secretary of the Department of the Interior, recently laid out a vision for re-evaluating our federal lands management to prioritize protection and preservation.3 But the U.S. Forest Service, which is under the Department of Agriculture, controls a full 25 percent of federal lands.

Pushing for the Forest Service to stop rubber-stamping Nestlé’s corporate water profiteering sends an important signal in the fight to preserve our public lands and resources.

Submit a comment now urging the Forest Service to stop Nestlé’s water extraction.

Thank you speaking out.

Elijah Zarlin, Director of Climate Campaigns
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. Agency proposes 5-year Nestle bottled water permit,” Desert Sun News, 3/18/16.
  2. After years, review of Nestle water permit to begin,” Desert Sun News, 8/24/15.
  3. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is calling for ‘a major course correction’ in the way the nation conserves its public lands,” Associated Press, 4/19/16.

The questions is: What happens when a military superpower and 1,5 billion desperate people start running out of water?


Future Impact of Climate Change Visible Now in Yemen

November 24, 2014

Water conflict is a term describing a conflict between countries, states, or groups over an access to water resources.[1][2][3] The United Nations recognizes that water disputes result from opposing interests of water users, public or private.[4]

A wide range of water conflicts appear throughout history, though rarely are traditional wars waged over water alone.[5] Instead, water has historically been a source of tension and a factor in conflicts that start for other reasons. However, water conflicts arise for several reasons, including territorial disputes, a fight for resources, and strategic advantage.[6] A comprehensive online database of water-related conflicts—the Water Conflict Chronology—has been developed by the Pacific Institute.[7] This database lists violence over water going back nearly 5,000 years.

These conflicts occur over both freshwater and saltwater, and both between and within nations. However, conflicts occur mostly over freshwater; because freshwater resources are necessary, yet limited, they are the center of water disputes arising out of need for potable water and irrigation.[8] As freshwater is a vital, yet unevenly distributed natural resource, its availability often impacts the living and economic conditions of a country or region. The lack of cost-effective water supply options in areas like the Middle East,[9] among other elements of water crises can put severe pressures on all water users, whether corporate, government, or individual, leading to tension, and possibly aggression.[10] Recent humanitarian catastrophes, such as the Rwandan Genocide or the war in Sudanese Darfur, have been linked back to water conflicts.[1]

A recent report “Water Cooperation for a Secure World” published by Strategic Foresight Group concludes that active water cooperation between countries reduces the risk of war. This conclusion is reached after examining trans-boundary water relations in over 200 shared river basins in 148 countries,[11] though as noted below, a growing number of water conflicts are sub-national.


No Wars for Water

Why Climate Change Has Not Led to Conflict


From California to the Middle East, huge areas of the world are drying up and a billion people have no access to safe drinking water. US intelligence is warning of the dangers of shrinking resources and experts say the world is ‘standing on a precipice’

Perhaps this chapter from THE WORLD’S WATER Volume 8 The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources will be of interest (you should have heard of this book – The World’s Water is the most comprehensive and up-to-to date source of information and analysis on freshwater resources.)

The Syrian Conflict and the Role of Water

‘Starting in 2006, however, and lasting into 2011, Syria experienced a multi-season extreme drought and agricultural failures, described by Shahrzad Mohtadi as the “worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago” (Mohtadi 2012).

Robert Worth of the New York Times noted that this drought contributed to a series of social and economic dislocations (Worth 2010). The United Nations estimated that by 2011, the drought was affecting 2–3 million people, with 1 million driven into food insecurity. More than 1.5 million people—mostly agricultural workers and family farmers—moved from rural regions to cities and temporary settlements near urban centers, especially on the outskirts of Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus, and Dara’a.

A research paper published in 2012 suggested that climate change is already beginning to influence long-term droughts in the region including Syria by reducing winter rainfall (Hoerling et al. 2012). That study suggests that winter droughts are increasingly common and that human-caused climate change is playing a role. Martin Hoerling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory, one of the study’s authors, stated, “The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone” (NOAA 2011).

If the international community wants to reduce the risks of local and international political conflicts and violence over water, more effort will have to be put into recognizing these risks and improving the tools needed to reduce them. ‘

—-

other reports have also shown the link between climate change and the war in Syria. For example,

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150302-syria-war-climate-change-drought/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-hastened-the-syrian-war/

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/11/3241.abstract

the last of these states ‘We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.’

A leading panel of retired generals and admirals, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board, recently labeled the impacts of climate change “catalysts for conflict” in vulnerable regions. The Pentagon concluded similarly in last year’s Quadrennial Defense Review that the effects of climate change are “threat multipliers,” enabling terrorism and other violence by aggravating underlying societal problems.

The CNA report states:

‘The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe risks for our national security. During our decades of experience in the U.S. military, we have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to political extremism and transnational terrorism in recent years. The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced. ‘

—-

The Pentagon report states:

‘Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.’

and on the Turkana in northern Kenya:

Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (chapters 4-6 look at Kenya)

http://www.amazon.com/Tropic-Chaos-Climate-Geography-Violence/dp/1568587295

Climate Change and the Turkana and Merille Conflict

http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/turkana-merille.htm

Climate Change and Violent Conflict in Kenya: A Two-way Relationship.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/262984122_Climate_Change_and_Violent_Conflict_in_Kenya_A_Two….

The video here might also help http://e360.yale.edu/feature/when_the_water_ends_africas_climate_conflicts/2331/

Teasing WW III

18:56 15.12.2015(updated 19:37 15.12.2015) Get short URL Pepe Escobar Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHoNk2f “Tense” does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a … Continue reading





18:56 15.12.2015(updated 19:37 15.12.2015) Get short URL
Pepe Escobar

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHoNk2f

“Tense” does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a privileged spectator; as long as the tension lasts, prospects of Eurasia integration are hampered.
Russian intel has certainly played all possible scenarios involving a NATO Turkish army on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as the possibility of Ankara closing the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for the Russian “Syria Express”. Erdogan may not be foolish enough to offer Russia yet another casus belli. But Moscow is taking no chances.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHOMLDW


Continuar leyendo “Teasing WW III”

Women vs. ISIS

Published on Jun 21, 2015 In the face of the deadly threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, many Kurdish women decide not to leave their survival to fate. Instead, they fight for their lives and their future. Taking up … Continue reading

Published on Jun 21, 2015
In the face of the deadly threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, many Kurdish women decide not to leave their survival to fate. Instead, they fight for their lives and their future. Taking up arms, they join the YPG – Kurdish People’s Protection Units that defend their town’s borders from the militants. The enemy fears female warriors. Jihadists believe if they are killed by a woman they will go straight to hell.


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 .

Tillman

Patrick Daniel “Pat” Tillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service … Continue reading

Patrick DanielPatTillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service in Iraqand Afghanistan, and subsequent death, were the subject of much media attention.[1]

Tillman joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first, the Army reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Controversy ensued when a month later, on May 28, 2004, the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had died as a result of a friendly fire incident; the family and other critics allege that the Department of Defense delayed the disclosure for weeks after Tillman’s memorial service out of a desire to protect the image of the U.S. armed forces.

Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since Bob Kalsu, who died in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was posthumously laterally promoted from Specialist to Corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

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.”