13 votes

Drone War Spurs Militants to Deadly Reprisals

by Declan Walsh | NY Times

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — They are dead men talking, and they know it. Gulping nervously, the prisoners stare into the video camera, spilling tales of intrigue, betrayal and paid espionage on behalf of the United States. Some speak in trembling voices, a glint of fear in their eyes. Others look resigned. All plead for their lives.

“I am a spy and I took part in four attacks,” said Sidinkay, a young tribesman who said he was paid $350 to help direct C.I.A. drones to their targets in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Sweat glistened on his forehead; he rocked nervously as he spoke. “Stay away from the Americans,” he said in an imploring voice. “Stay away from their dollars.”

Al Qaeda and the Taliban have few defenses against the American drones that endlessly prowl the skies over the bustling militant hubs of North and South Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan, along the Afghan border. C.I.A. missiles killed at least 246 people in 2012, most of them Islamist militants, according to watchdog groups that monitor the strikes. The dead included Abu Yahya al-Libi, the Qaeda ideologue and deputy leader.

28 votes

Diane Feinstein: "I Carried A Concealed Weapon" (Video)

Speaking at a US Senate hearing on terrorism one week after the Oklahoma City Bombing, Feinstein spoke about how she responded to an attempt by terrorists from the New World Liberation Army to bomb her home.

“I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me,” said Feinstein.

Video:

http://youtu.be/B1EObqM9Z0s

27 votes

The New York Sun: America Defaults

In respect of the fiscal fight underway this weekend in the Congress, The New York Sun is in favor of recognizing that America has already defaulted on its obligations. The default has become evident in the collapse of the value of the dollar to below, at the moment, a 1,600th of an once of gold. It has plunged to as low as an 1,800th of an ounce of gold during the Obama presidency from the 860th of an ounce of gold at which the dollar was valued at the start of his first term and the 265th of an ounce of gold at which it was valued at the start of President Bush’s first time. This collapse is a default.

This is a context in which lifting the ceiling on the federal government’s debt, one of the measures now before the House, is a kind of fiction. What is the difference between refusing to pay a debt and paying it back with something of less than what was borrowed? What we favor is an advance to the recognition of the monetary role of gold and silver. This is the constitutional legal tender. It is American bedrock. It means that lifting the ceiling on what the federal government is permitted under the law to borrow is a meaningless gesture absent certain reforms.

38 votes

Why New Year's Resolutions Rarely Work

Here is the reason, on page 152 of this book, The Willpower Instinct. My wife got it for me for Christmas. When I read this, it made me laugh out loud, so I thought I would share it with you:

Vowing to change fills us with hope. We love to imagine how making the change will transform our lives, and we fantasize about the person we will become. Research shows that deciding to start a diet makes people feel stronger, and planning to exercise makes people feel taller. (Nobody said these fantasies were realistic.) People will treat us differently, we tell ourselves. Everything will be different. The bigger the goal, the bigger the burst of hope. And so when we decide to change, it's tempting to give ourselves some very large assignments. Why set a modest goal when setting a gigantic goal will make us feel even better? Why start small when you can dream big?

Unfortunately, the promise of change -- like the promise of reward and the promise of relief -- rarely delivers what we're expecting. Unrealistic optimism may make us feel good in the moment, but it sets us up to feel much worse later on. The decision to change is the ultimate in instant gratification -- you get all the good feelings before anything's been done. (That's the part that got me to laugh out loud.)

79 votes

Amazing! Read This: America's Founding Fathers Knew This Day Would Come...

This is the most amazing editorial from the Daily Squib. Traditionally a satirical based publication in the UK. Who is behind this site? Salute!

WASHINGTON DC - USA - As President Barack Hussein Obama vowed to put his full weight into banning and restricting gun ownership in the US in a landmark speech today, Americans across their great nation have an uneasy feeling inside of them. Their founding fathers warned them that this day would one day come.

America was built on the premise of Freedom, Liberty and Justice. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America fought so hard for their nation, for their people. They would be truly appalled at what is happening now in their cherished land, where Freedom is being choked, where Liberty is being subverted, and where Justice is being smothered.

more....
http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/world/3712-america-s-founding-fa...

47 votes

My New Year's Resolution: To Harass DC Politicians To Follow The Constitution

My New Year's Resolution: To Harass DC Politicians To Follow The Constitution

I'm fed up with business as usual in DC. I will step it up with phone calls and emails from work and home to harass them stinking, lying politicians into following the constitution.

14 votes

Fiscal Cliffhanger: Lieberman says no deal tonight

Asked as he left a meeting of the Senate Democratic caucus whether a deal would be struck today, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) replied: “No, I’d be shocked. I think the parties are much farther apart than I hoped they’d be by now, and that the country thought they’d be when negotiations started on Friday.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12...

17 votes

Big Pharma Profiteering off Pentagon

The details come from an unprecedented American-Statesman analysis of nearly every individual drug purchase made by the Department of Defense since 2002. The paper’s analysis also showed that many drug manufacturers saw their revenue from military sales soar over a decade that featured two wars and a large influx of beneficiaries covered by Tricare, the military’s health program.

They were led by giant Pfizer, with more than $8 billion in sales from the Department of Defense since 2002. Abbott’s sales jumped nearly 300 percent and Novartis more than doubled its military sales to around $400 million in 2011, according to data provided by the military.

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/th...

30 votes

Piers Morgan: Deport me? If America won't change its crazy gun laws... I may deport myself

by Piers Morgan | Daily Mail

I have fired guns only once in my life, on a stag party to the Czech capital Prague a few years ago when part of the itinerary included a trip to an indoor shooting range. For three hours, our group were let loose on everything from Magnum 45 handguns and Glock pistols, to high-powered ‘sniper’ rifles and pump-action shotguns.

It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines.

39 votes

Naomi Wolf: How the FBI, With the Big Banks, Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy

New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

by Naomi Wolf | Guardian UK
December 29, 2012

It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council.

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