Over the last several days, numerous commentators have lamented the vastly different reactions in the US to the heinous shooting of children in Newtown, Connecticut as compared to the continuous killing of (far more) children and innocent adults by the US government in Pakistan and Yemen, among other places. The blogger Atrios this week succinctly observed:
"I do wish more people who manage to fully comprehend the broad trauma a mass shooting can have on our country would consider the consequences of a decade of war."
My Guardian colleague George Monbiot has a powerful and eloquent column this week provocatively entitled: "In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats". He points out all the ways that Obama has made lethal US attacks in these predominantly Muslim countries not only more frequent but also more indiscriminate - "signature strikes" and "double-tap" attacks on rescuers and funerals - and then argues:
"Most of the world's media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama's murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are 'militants'. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.
"'Are we,' Obama asked on Sunday, 'prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?' It's a valid question. He should apply it to the violence he is visiting on the children of Pakistan."
Political philosophy professor Falguni Sheth similarly writes that "the shooting in Newtown, CT is but part and parcel of a culture of shooting children, shooting civilians, shooting innocent adults, that has been waged by the US government since September 12, 2001." She adds:
"And let there be no mistake: many of 'us' have directly felt the impact of that culture: Which 'us'? Yemeni parents, Pakistani uncles and aunts, Afghan grandparents and cousins, Somali brothers and sisters, Filipino cousins have experienced the impact of the culture of killing children. Families of children who live in countries that are routinely droned by the US [government]. Families of children whose villages are raided nightly in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed.
Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa - widely considered one of the world's most dangerous countries.
The figures comes on the day new Home Secretary Alan Johnson makes his first major speech on crime, promising to be tough on loutish behaviour.
The Tories said Labour had presided over a decade of spiralling violence.
In the decade following the party's election in 1997, the number of recorded violent attacks soared by 77 per cent to 1.158million - or more than two every minute.
The figures, compiled from reports released by the European Commission and United Nations, also show:
- The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.
- It has a higher homicide rate than most of our western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
- The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU.
- It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double the number of offences than recorded in Germany and France.
But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.
by Ron Paul
Gun control advocates tell us that removing guns from society makes us safer. If that were the case why do the worst shootings happen in gun free zones, like schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, or military bases. It bears repeating that an armed society truly is a polite society.
Brian Terry, Jaime Zapata, and now Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez.
Gamez was killed on November 25. A Fast and Furious-connected AK-47 was found next to her body. She was the light of Sinaloa. Beautiful. A smile that would light up a room. Loved and cherished by the Mexican people.
Continue to article:
Sorry to belabor the obvious but this ridiculous rant by Piers Morgan demonstrates where the real issue is.
Perhaps America is being directed to focus upon the wrong amendment to cure all of the nation's ills. The consolidation of the power of the press, and as I use the word press it relates to all media, has created a juggernaut of power which is being used to threaten all other rights given by the Constitution.
Their thinly veiled attacks on internet freedom are clear evidence that they view sites such as this as a threat, and will continue their subversion until they prevail.
This is a perfect storm they have created, if we attempt to reign in these mega conglomerates and their abuses, they will turn any efforts we attempt back upon us and focus anything we attempt back against internet freedom.
I'm aware of the laws which have been discarded that protected the nation from that which has occurred, i.e. the consolidation of the power of the press. Any suggestions where this should lead?
A friend forwarded an email exchange between herself and another friend. My friend has a concealed carry permit because she lives alone in a pretty dicey part of town where there are frequent home invasions and the occasional gang murder.
My friend's friend (let's call her Anne) didn't know that my friend (let's call her Maria) has a gun or concealed carry permit. Anne forwarded Maria an email to sign a petition demanding that Obama get rid of the archaic 2nd amendment because normal citizens shouldn't have guns.
By Tim Dickinson | Rolling Stone
The Berlin Wall of pot prohibition seems to be crumbling before our eyes.
By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. "I'm in favor of it," Carter said. "I think it's OK." In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) suggested it might be possible "to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law." Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition, telling 20/20's Barbara Walters that the federal government was unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal, adding, "We've got bigger fish to fry."
Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012
States that it is U.S. policy to use a comprehensive strategy to counter Iran's growing hostile presence in the Western Hemisphere by working together with U.S. allies and partners in the region to deter threats to U.S. interests by Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the IRGC's Qods Force, and Hezbollah.
Expresses the sense of Congress that the Secretary should keep Congress informed about Iran's hostile actions in the Western Hemisphere.
Amash, Justin (R-MI)
Duncan, John (R-TN)
Jones, Walter (R-NC)
Kucinich, Dennis (D-OH)
Massie, Thomas (R-KY)
Paul, Ron (R-TX)
Stewart Rhodes: My Personal Pledge of Resistance Against Any Attemp to Disarm Us by Means of an “Assault Weapons Ban”Submitted by Maeve on Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:01
Stewart Rhodes draws the line in the sand on the issue of an assault weapons ban and sends a strong message to the Govt: Don't Tread on Me.
20+ pages of comments from other Oath Keepers willing to stand with him.
Personally, I think we are a lot closer than you think to the second Civil War.
By Patrick Hruby, The Washington Times
Less than a month ago, rumors that celebrity news and gossip website TMZ was interested in obtaining a paparazzi drone prompted privacy concerns and public debate about the appropriate personal and commercial uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Now, a new online video poses a more troubling question: What if civilian drones are equipped to shoot more than just pictures?
"What's scary about all this is that the recent slowdown has happened despite very aggressive action by the major central banks"
POLITICO: Supposed Anti-tax Activist Grover Norquist, Signs Off on Boehner's 'Plan B' Tax Increase
By KATE NOCERA | Politico
Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform is giving House Republican’s a pass on Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” to let tax rates go up on incomes above $1 million.
In a blog post on ATR’s website, the group states that a vote for Plan B, which could come up as early as Thursday, will not be a violation of the pledge.
“This legislation — popularly known as “Plan B”— permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year. Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill — the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases — is consistent with the pledge they made to them. In ATR’s analysis, it is extremely difficult — if not impossible—to fault these Republicans’ assertion.”
If the GUNS murdered people at Sandy Hook, then the GUN saved the people in Texas. Think about it - you think this hero would have done what she did had she been unarmed? This is not to take away one bit of much deserved praise for the woman with balls that clank that was in control of that gun.
Why do I need an assault rifle you ask? I don't need it for hunting. I don't need it for home protection from a single invader, or even two. So I echo the sentiment of many gun control advocates; Why do I need an assault rifle, with a high capacity clip no less?
Here is why. I need an assault rifle because I live under the rule of a government who thinks it has the right to take away my assault rifle; a government who dictates who I can marry, what I can eat, drink, and smoke; a government who uses force to take my money away from me, who charges me rent (property tax) to live in my own home: a government who commits acts of war without the consent of the people, who murders it's own citizens witout probable cause or due process; a government who has monopolized the currency with which I can trade my goods and services, then devalued that currency through inflation and taxation; a government which uses the tyranny of democracy rather than the freedom of a republic.
To put it bluntly, I need an assault rifle in the event that I might have to declare my independence from a tyrannical government. I'm statistically unlikely to ever shoot an intruder in my home. I'm statistically unlikely to ever be in the position to stop one of these rare mass killings at a school, as these things happen far less often than the media would have you believe. However, whether you are Democrat or Republican, you can easily find countless instances of the government stepping all over your rights, whether it be on social issues (marriage, gay rights, religious rights, etc.) or fiscal issues (taxation, property rights, business regulations, etc.)