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American Sniper: anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film’s release | Film | The Guardian

I am sad to see more of this myopic view of reality being promoted through media again in America. I’m also dismayed at how many of my countrymen so quickly devolve into nationalist barbarians from watching a movie.

The glaring signs of fascism from the targeting of ethnic minorities and the promotion of a rabid, violent form of nationalism to the dumbing down of the population and denigration of intellectualism are clearly evident.

Is this what we want? Are we really sheep to be so easily led by propaganda and manipulation into becoming monsters who can be directed by the 1% ?

I hope that the sane majority speaks out against this ridiculous attitude. America, despite being founded on genocide and slavery, was founded with a certain set of ideals and a hopeful even idealistic vision of it’s goals.

Certainly a nation of fascist dogs-at-heel to their 1% masters, ever ready to be baited and set upon others fits the blood drenched birth. But this “grand experiment” was meant to rise above it’s horrific origins and chart a course to the hopes of mankind’s egalitarian future.

That it has proceeded in any manner toward the ideals and away from the monstrous is due only to the determination of American people who believe that future is our birthright.

It’s up to us to make the vision embodied in the statue of Liberty and the Constitution something more than a farce to cover up pure greed and naked violent power.

Citizens like Clint Eastwood who deny others humanity are not going to help us.

We have to ask ourselves always “Who benefits? ” Who benefits from us believing the propaganda, or some negative violence promoting view?

We have to question when we are told that America as Murderer is a patriotic vision.

Look carefully at history’s ruins; Germany and Italy after WWII are not metaphorical but real examples of where fascism leads a nation. Is it patriotic to destroy your country in order to benefit a few large corporations?

If a movie or anything else can convince you that any ethnic group or nationality is evil or deserving of violence then you must immediately question your own moral fiber. And I would say-your common sense as well!


American Sniper: anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film’s release

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee writes to Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood requesting action as threat complaints triple


Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. Photograph: Warner Bros/AP

Nicky Woolf in New York

Saturday 24 January 2015

American Sniper continues to draw record-breaking audiences as it barrels into its second weekend in wide release, but a group representing Arab-Americans says the rate of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim threats resulting from the Oscar-nominated war film has already tripled.

Citing what an executive for the group told the Guardian was a “drastic increase” in hate speech on social media, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote letters this week to actor Bradley Cooper and director Clint Eastwood to ask them to speak out “in an effort to help reduce the hateful rhetoric”.

The film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture, depicts the story of Chris Kyle, the famed US navy Seal notorious for the highest known single kill count in US military history. But its all-American depiction on screen has drawn heavy criticism fromcombat veterans and viewers alike – and especially about viewers themselves, many of whom have emerged from theatres desperate to communicate a kind of murderous desire.

A quick search on Twitter leads down a rabbit hole of anger.

“Great fucking movie and now I really want to kill some fucking ragheads,” read one tweet, in a set of screenshots that quickly went viral after being collated by journalist Rania Khalek for the online publication Electronic Intifada. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some fuckin Arabs,” read another.

One tweet read: “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are – vermin scum intent on destroying us.” While the word “vermin” is not uncommon in threads about the film, that tweet was tagged not only #AmericanSniper but, mystifyingly, #DeBlasio as well.

Even the actor James Woods got in on the action, tweeting: “Every time an American Armed Forces sniper pulls a trigger, those who would kill or maim an American warrior are no longer a threat.”

Abed Ayoub, the national legal and policy director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), told the Guardian that complaints from his organisation have skyrocketed the movie’s wide release – and $90m box-office take, an all-time high for the month of January.

“The last time we saw such a sharp increase was in 2010, around the Ground Zero mosque,” he said.

The ADC sent letters on Thursday to Cooper andClint Eastwood, the director, imploring them to condemn the threats being made against Arab and Muslim Americans.

“We want Mr Eastwood or Mr Cooper to say, ‘Don’t use our film to promulgate hatred or bigotry. Don’t use our film to push hate and bigotry, and use it as a platform for these racist views,’” Ayoub said.

“If they want to go further, they can say Arabs in America are just as American as the next person,” he added.

Representatives for Cooper and Eastwood did not respond to requests for comment.

The tweets, especially the picture made by Khalek, garnered a backlash of their own. One response read: “That’s not what you should’ve gotten out of the film. Idiots.”

Actor Seth Rogen tweeted that the film reminded him of the Nazi sniper propaganda film showing in the third act of Inglourious Basterds. In Los Angeles, the word “Murder!” was spray-painted onto a billboard advertising the film.


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Truthout Daily Digest | Friday, January 23 2015

The Chilling First Amendment Implications of Journalist Barrett Brown’s Five-Year Sentence

Candice Bernd, Truthout: Concluding a case which has lasted more than two years, and which has frightening implications for journalists and researchers of all stripes, a federal judge in Dallas sentenced journalist and transparency activist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison on Thursday.

Read the Article

The New “Oppressed Peoples’ Movement”: Can the Tide of Resistance Continue?

James Kilgore, Truthout: What are some of the possibilities and tensions in the mass uprisings and new social movements that have appeared in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown?

Read the Article

Sundarbans Oil Spill: An Urgent Wake-Up Call for the Bangladeshi Government

Iara Lee, Truthout: The catastrophic oil spill in Sundarbans tidal mangrove forest has mobilized activists to work even harder to prevent construction of a planned coal plant nearby.

Read the Article

Is Reinvestment a Good Strategy for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement?

Carlos Davidson and Cynthia Kaufman, Truthout: Fossil fuel divestment is emerging as a powerful strategy in the fight against climate change. It is crucial that activists focus on the political impact of divestment, and not get distracted by the economics.

Read the Article

Sen. Bernie Sanders | Roads and Bridges Need $1 Trillion. It Is Time to Rebuild the US

Bernie Sanders, Campaign for America’s Future: “For many years we have underfunded the maintenance of our nation’s physical infrastructure. That has to change. It is time to rebuild America. I will soon be introducing legislation for a $1 trillion investment, over five years, to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure.”

Read the Article

Dissing DuVernay and the Lessons of Selma

Sikivu Hutchinson, The Feminist Wire: The lessons of Selma itself are relevant to DuVernay’s “omission” from the Academy Awards nomination for Best Director. True to Frederick Douglass’ assertion that “power concedes nothing without demand,” the snub of DuVernay is criminal, but of course, not unprecedented.

Read the Article

The 2015 State of the Union Address: A Major Omission

David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: In President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address, the only mention of nuclear weapons was in relation to the agreement the Obama administration is seeking to negotiate with Iran.

Read the Article

Do the United States’ Hungry Children Matter?

Mariana Chilton, Moyers & Company: This is supposed to be the year when the US ends its child hunger crisis. That was the promise then-president-elect Obama made during his first campaign. At that time some 12.4 million children lived in homes that self-reported as food insecure. Today there are 15.8 million such children.

Read the Article

The 1% Are Bad for Your Health – It’s Time to Tax Them More

Kate Pickett, The Conversation: The evidence that large income differences have damaging health and social consequences is very strong, and in many countries inequality is increasing. Narrowing the gap is vital to improve our health and well-being.

Read the Article

“American Propagander”: Six Ways Paul Reickhoff’s American Sniper Column Deeply Bothers This US Veteran

Emily Yates, Emily Yates Does Everything: “When I first laid eyes on the guest column Paul Rieckhoff wrote about American Sniper, I thought I’d read the byline wrong. This has to have been written by the Department of Defense, I thought.”

Read the Article

Richard D. Wolff | Economic Update: Spinning Out of Control

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode provides updates on Obama’s State of the Union speech, the European Central Bank pumping up the money supply to stimulate Europe, forgiving Greece’s debts and housing extremes in the US. We also respond to questions on global wealth inequality and Switzerland’s currency maneuvers. Finally, we interview Dr. Harriet Fraad on the US economy’s disastrous impact on children.

Listen to the Audio Segment


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

US House Passes Stringent Abortion Restrictions

Read the Article at Salon

Joni Ernst’s Family Received Nearly $500,000 in Farm Subsidies

Read the Article at Raw Story

Obama Says Treating Drug Use as a Criminal Problem Is “Counterproductive”

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Advocates Call for State Investigation Into Shooting of Black Man in Traffic Stop

Read the Article at The Guardian

US Militarization and the “War on Terror” Create a Tinderbox of Violence

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Anti-Muslim Incidents Soar in France

Read the Article at The Local France

King Dies, New Tyrannical Leader for Saudi Arabia

Read the Article at USA TODAY

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The Oracle Report | Saturday, January 24 – Sunday, January 25, 2015



The Oracle Report – Saturday, January 24 – Sunday, January 25, 2015

“Outposts” – Aquarius Lunar Cycle: January 20 – February 17, 2015


“The Mass Turn” – Capricorn 2014 Lunar Cycle: December 21, 2014 – January 19, 2015


“The Black Moon Transit of Virgo: November 27, 2014 – August 25, 2015”


Saturday, January 24 – Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crescent Moon Phase: persevere; view challenges as an opportunity to strengthen, revise, and improve

Moon in Aries

Ruling Wisdom Goddess: Matangi (Goddess Who Includes)

Skill: post up

Negative Imprint: needing external validation, being too conservative, neurotic, fear of the unknown, ageism, faking, destruction of property, backed into a corner, impediments to progress by standing still

Positive Imprint: repurposing, past life connections, tapping in, wisdom of elders, structuring, making history, rediscovering the past and bringing parts of the past forward, innovation, jumping into the void

Sabian Symbol for the Lunar Month: “an old adobe mission” (projecting plans into the future, inner spiritual retreat)

This weekend, we are asked to “post up.”

In basketball terms, posting up is turning a certain way so that you can establish a position to receive a pass of the ball. The Universe asks us to post up and claim our spot so that we can receive spiritual guidance.

This comes as part of the lunar month where we are projecting our plans, ideas, wishes, and selves into the future. We envision the construct of what that looks like.

A major component of the construction comes from a foundation, an undercurrent, of our inner wisdom. Inner wisdom is divinely directed. As we establish “adobe missions” in the future – outposts where we will arrive later in time, we are reinforcing the structure now with inspiration from Spirit. This weekend we are posting up to reinforce our outposts.

Old adobe missions are spiritual retreats. Other names for old adobe missions and spiritual retreats are temples, medicine wheels, churches, groves, schools, farms, vineyards, mountains, beaches, theatres, museums, studios. What is yours?

It is a good idea this weekend to spend some time in whatever place or space is spiritual for you. Spirit is sending key insights into matters. The energy naturally places us in alignment for inner wisdom. There is a lot happening for our inner contemplation; complex sets of dynamics are in effect. Here are the highlights:

  • Relationships, particularly romantic relationships, are undergoing revision, restructuring, and reassessment. Changes occur this weekend to bring things to better states.
  • Mercury retrograde is acting as a muse, inspiring us with ideas and actions. The energy is design-oriented and functional. Mental architecture takes place.
  • New things are being built from the past. All kinds of things are repurposed or even fully restored. On Saturday, our experiences from the Leo 2014 lunar cycle (July 26 – August 25, 2014) return for a visit and reconsideration. On Sunday, our experiences from the Pisces 2014 lunar cycle (March 1 – March 29, 2014) follow suit. Consider all of this in context and look at how those experiences have enabled you to claim more of your power and become who you are today. (Another element of this energy is a heightened ability to connect with our ancestors.)
  • Leaps of faith, discussed at the New Moon of this cycle, may be necessary because the energy shifts quite palpably this weekend. The Moon catapults into Aries after an energetic journey through shadow lands over the last two days, which is a definite shift. But both Saturn and Pluto move to new degrees this weekend. Saturn moves away from energy for strategizing and toward energy that takes us to higher levels. Pluto moves away from energy for permanent structures and toward energy to heal and raise the spirits of people, particularly children. (Heads up: The Wisdom Goddess Matangi is getting ready to roll through on those who prey on the weak, disadvantaged, and marginalized. Whereas the goddess Dhuamavati “sweeps” through the field, Matangi razes it.)

Post up with whatever works for you from this post as you engage in periodic spiritual retreat and communion this weekend. Remember to connect with nature as part of this. Find beauty. And if you can snap a photograph of it, please send it to me to post for everyone to enjoy!

Thank you for supporting the Oracle Report. Blessings to all!

Copyright Oracle Report 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to repost is granted provided credit is given towww.oraclereport.com.



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I haven’t shared a message from Ann in a while and today’s is beautiful. For everyone who hasn’t encountered Ann and her Angel messages-if this appeals to you, click the link at the end of this message to explore Ann’s site and read her most current newsletter.

It’s easy to coast through life just surviving, getting through the day without noticing that everything we do or encounter is part of much larger systems that connect us to the Universe and all living beings. I really appreciate the Angels reminder today to live in gratitude for all the amazing love we are always surrounded by.


My dear friends, we love you so very much,

Turn your sights to love this year dear ones! Allow yourself to receive the vast and beautiful expressions of love that are available in every single moment of your life. Look outside at creation. You are loved. Take a sip of water. You are loved. Feel your hands, your lungs breathing, your heart beating… you are loved. Look at the spectrum of beautiful colors. You are loved. Listen to music that uplifts you. You are loved. Look in the eyes of an animal or a child. You are loved.

Look at the shelter around you. You are loved. Look at the food upon your plate. You are loved. Look at the fact that we are writing to you via this newsletter and aware of each and every one of you as precious, beautiful, cherished souls upon the earth. You are loved.

Dear ones, never is there a moment when you are without love. We know there are times when you are without human love, and we know that as normal, healthy human beings, you deeply desire these connections. However, even without human love, you have Divine love… in all things, in all places, anywhere you look you can find it. 

This week take a bit of extra effort to look for the evidence of love all around you. The more you seek it, the more you will find it. The more you find it, the better you will feel. The better you feel, the more you will feel love, for love wants to circulate through the universe, into and out of each beautiful, beating human heart.

God Bless You! We love you so very much. 
— The Angels


Hi Everyone,

I took a sip of my coffee Sunday morning. The angels gathered around. I sensed they were there to make a point. My attention was drawn to the Styrofoam cup with its earth-friendly design.

“People took the time to invent Styrofoam, to shape it, to find a way to fuse the same and seal the bottom and color it with a pretty design so you wouldn’t burn your hands and you would find it beautiful,” they said. “Someone worked very hard to shape that lid so you could sip without spilling. There were hundreds of prototypes and many souls involved.” I looked at the simple cup, something we toss in the recycle bin, with a new perspective and appreciation.

The angels went on… “Someone grew those beans, hundreds picked them, sorted them, bagged them, shipped them, roasted them, bagged them, shipped them again, and put them on display. Someone designed the burlap bags, the pretty packaging, the machinery involved. The farmers, factory workers, delivery person, servers… all love themselves and their families enough to earn a living doing this work. Someone chose just the right combination of flavors and just the right strength because they wanted it to taste wonderful. Someone grew the grass, that fed the cows, that give the milk… and on they went, listing many more individuals who contributed to the beverage I was enjoying, previously without a great deal of thought. I started to sip… and savor more slowly.

“Ann, in that one sip of a simple cup of coffee, you are connected beyond space, and time, to thousands of souls. Thousands of souls labored to express love in some fashion or another to give you that one sip, that one simple pleasure… Can you feel the love that went into it? I took another sip, thinking of the thousands of individuals who worked to bring me this simple pleasure. I opened my heart, felt the sum total of their love, and was nearly brought me to tears. 

No wonder coffee is such a spiritual experience! 
Everything else too, for that matter…

Have a week filled with the love that is all around…
Love you all!

Love you all! Have a blessed week.

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The manuscript of survival – part 433

Thank you Aisha! It’s so beautiful and uplifting to think about our collective spirit healing and bringing us all out of the isolation so standard in this world. I know we’ve been experiencing it more than most already here in our pond but with all that is in the news it’s a feeling of pure magic to imagine the flow of love and unity among us all here on Earth simply erasing the conflicts, dissolving the violence and wars, healing the suffering. Much Love and gratitude to all of you who are consciously co-creating this return to love, sanity and unity!

aisha north

Let us begin this missive by saying that up until now, the fluctuations caused by these new frequencies may seem to have left nothing more than traces of physiologic unrest in some of you, while for others, it will seem as if they have been bypassed altogether by these insistent emissaries from the higher spheres, but that is not so. Indeed, you have all been deeply affected by these callers, whether you have noticed their appearance within your energetic sphere or not, and the impression they have made on you all, is a lasting one. For what they have done, is to enable some of the deepest recesses within your framework of high resonance channels to open, the ones that allows the form of multi-level communication we have talked about earlier. In other words, even if all you have noticed over the last few days can be classified as more…

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Common Dreams Highlights | Friday 23 January 2015

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community


On Verge of Victory, Europe’s Ascendant Left Declares ‘Subservience is Over’
by Jon Queally
In relatively short time, both Syriza and Podemos went from being non-existent political entities to standing on the doorstep of taking power.


‘Nauseating’ Praise for Dead Saudi King Exposes Hypocrisy of West, Say Critics
by Deirdre Fulton
Under the dictator’s reign, Saudi authorities sought to halt political dissent through intimidation, arrests, prosecutions, and lengthy prison sentences.
And the Lifetime Award for Shameful Corporate Behavior Goes to… Chevron
by Sarah Lazare
The race was close, with Glencore and Walmart coming in a close second, but voters ultimately determined that Chevron deserves the top distinction.
US May Soon Stand Alone Opposing Children’s Treaty
by Thalif Deen
Ironically, the United States was a leading contributor to the drafting of the treaty and in fact shaped a significant number of provisions.
Pennsylvania Court Hands Down Big Win for Teachers’ Union
by Deirdre Fulton
Today‘s decision is a victory for collective bargaining and the notion that contracts between parties should be negotiated, not imposed.”
NRC: We’re Keeping Fukushima-Style Nuclear Reactors Going
by Andrea Germanos
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected an appeal to halt operations at the nearly two dozen reactors in the nation that have the same containment system as those at the ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors.
Fossil Fuel Industry Gives California Communities a Breath of Toxic Air: Report
by Nadia Prupis
There is a “disturbing lack of data on health effects of oil and gas production in California,” author Jhon Arbelaez said on Thursday.
more news…


Message to the UK: The Fracking Bridge is Already Burning
by Naomi Klein
In rushing to exploit the UK’s shale gas reserves, the industry has spent millions on public relations and brazenly overridden the democratic will of British citizens by overturning laws that had prevented drilling under homes.
Saudi Arabia’s Tyrant King Misremembered as Man of Peace
by Murtaza Hussain
It’s not often that the unelected leader of a country which publicly flogs dissidents and beheads people for sorcery wins such glowing praise from American officials.
My Future in Prison
by Kathy Kelly
‘I will be free in three months, but our collective future is most assuredly shackled to a wrongheaded criminal justice system.’
Hearings Highlight Congressional Efforts to Undermine Net Neutrality
by Sandra Fulton
The right choice was as clear after the hearings as it was before: Congress should back off and let the FCC do its job.
Drones and the New Ethics of War
by Neve Gordon
Drone wars are wars without losses or defeats, but they are also wars without victory.
How We Banned Fracking in New York
by Sandra Steingraber
Every rally. Every march. Every jug of Dimock water. Every public comment. Every local ban. Every letter to the editor. Every letter to the Governor. Every concert. Every expert testimony at every hearing. Thank you.
more views…


more newswire…


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Truthout Daily Digest | Thursday, 22 January 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation

Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: The latest in 15 years of continuous Supreme Court decisions effectively enlarging police powers and restricting Forth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures, Heien v. North Carolina upheld a traffic stop where there was no traffic violation.

Read the Article

Economist Leonidas Vatikiotis: Syriza’s Proposals Don’t Go Far Enough for Greece

Michael Nevradakis, Truthout: Economist Leonidas Vatikiotis, previously a European Parliament candidate with Greece’s Antarsya political party, shares his take on the upcoming elections in Greece, the economic proposals put forth by main opposition party Syriza, and the need, in his view, for Greece to depart from the eurozone.

Read the Interview

Interim Settlement Reached in Lac Mégantic Oil Train Disaster, but Culprits Say “It Wasn’t Us”

Roger Annis, Truthout: Amid continuing official support for oil trains in Canada, an initial financial compensation agreement for some victims of the 2013 Lac Mégantic, Quebec oil train disaster has been reached with some of the oil and transportation companies responsible for the tragedy.

Read the Article

New Year, Same as the Old Year? 2015 Reproductive Rights Preview

Katie Klabusich, Truthout: The GOP-led 114th Congress declared its legislative priority by opening with assaults on reproductive healthcare access from all angles, choosing the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade as the day to vote on new abortion restrictions.

Read the Article

State of the Black Union: The Shadow of Crisis Has Not Passed

Staff, Black Lives Matter: We the people, committed to the declaration that Black lives matter, will fight to end the structural oppression that prevents so many from realizing their dreams. We cannot, and will not stop until the United States recognizes the value of Black life.

Read the Article

Supreme Court’s Latest Race Case: Housing Discrimination

Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica: This week, the Supreme Court will take up one of the most important civil rights cases of the last decade – Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. Many fear the case could gut the landmark Fair Housing Act.

Read the Article

Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition

Staff, Brave New Films: This documentary delves even deeper into where the Koch brothers’ money is going, who their money is hurting and how much they made during the whole process leading up to the 2014 elections.

Watch the Video

Is John Boehner a Traitor?

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: By inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner may have broken any number of laws, and the Department of Justice needs to investigate.

Read the Article

In SOTU, President Punts on Income Inequality

Michael Winship, Truthout: Much of the buildup to President Obama’s State of the Union address made it sound as if he was going to have a “Piketty moment.” Yet, with a president too often bold in words but timid in action, facing a Congress more Republican and obstructionist than ever, little will get done to fix inequality.

Read the Article

The 1% Dine in Davos as Latin America Pulls People Out of Poverty

Cyril Mychalejko, teleSUR: Billionaires and political elites have swooped into Davos this week for the annual World Economic Forum. The biggest risk the world faces may be the Forum’s continued neoliberal economic policies its members advocate that have created the crises it supposedly seeks to redress.

Read the Article

Inequality Is Costing Us Big-Time

Sam Pizzigati, OtherWords: If the United States had been as equal in 2007 as it was in 1979, that average income would have been $94,310. In other words, inequality is costing the average American family about $18,000 a year.

Read the Article

More and War: The Tao of Washington

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: The visibly Orwellian nature of US intelligence is now widely accepted, at least in Washington, as a necessity of our age, of our need for (you guessed it) safety and security. As a result, its bureaucratic expansion, secret wars, global kill lists and other activities are largely beyond challenge.

Read the Article

Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling

Norman Solomon, Expose Facts: The CIA is on a quest for more respect from anyone willing to defer to its authority, no matter how legally hypocritical or morally absent. Demolishing the life of Jeffrey Sterling is just another means to that end.

Read the Article


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

New Jersey Officers Shoot and Kill Unarmed Black Man With Hands Up

Read the Article at The Chicago Tribune

Inequality in the Air We Breathe?

Read the Article at The New York Times

Maureen Dowd’s Clueless White Gaze: The “Selma” Backlash

Read the Article at Salon

US Senate Again Fails to Admit Human Role in Global Warming

Read the Article at The Guardian

The Narcissistic Fantasy of Mitt Romney

Read the Article at The Week

Pelosi Slams Netanyahu Invite

Read the Article at The Hill

Toxic Tanneries Poisoning Workers in Bangladesh

Read the Article at Vice News

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Truthout Daily Digest | Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I’m glad Truthout chose to address the community college thing. It didn’t feel right or make sense that President Obama who is very educated and intelligent would propose a plan so poorly designed and thought out. I’m frankly tired of the moneyed monsters behind the scenes using Barack Obama as their tool. At least for me it’s fairly obvious when he is speaking from his own heart and mind and when he’s a mouthpiece. I’m in no doubt at all that HE knows-and that he uses his intelligence by purposefully making their plans and ideas as ridiculous as possible (“We tortured some folks”? You can’t seriously think a man that intelligent would say that -that way-if HE really believed in what he was supposedly defending or sweeping under the rug!)

I believe he is using their racism and superiority complex to drive the “hidden powers” agenda, actions and plans right into the public spotlight.

Of course plenty of die-hard Democrats will support whatever he proposed simply because ANYTHING has got to be better than what Boehner and friends are serving.

I realized something was odd about the community college thing when first my gut instincts rejected it without reason and second, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with a column about it by David Brooks, a conservative commentator in my local newspaper. I appreciate his writing but have never read a column I agreed with so fully.

I think issues like this highlight the fact that America has functioned as well as it has because the tug of war between left and right has often resulted in solutions that incorporated the best ideas from both sides in a compromise that all could accept.

Since the Republican party was taken over by extremists for whom compromise is a four letter word, we have lost that blessing. However, the right wing going insane didn’t suddenly make every supposedly left wing idea perfect. Like a bird, our country does need BOTH wings to fly.

One idea I, like many other liberals, can relate to from conservative views is the concern for invasive control tactics from government or corporations (more usually from corporations, enacted by government).

I see things being manipulated where there is no need. Much like the sovereignty conceding trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP etc) and the obscene levels of surveillance, excessive control of community colleges seems to be another step on the stairway down to fascist totalitarian capitalism.

Perhaps I think too much, but it seems ever more apparent to me that the time has come for all aware Americans from all political philosophies to stow our differences and work together to stop the fascist oligarchy from destroying our country.

Surely we can all agree that freedom, real democracy, an environment and food that is safe and clean are required by us all?

Twenty Pounds of BS in a Ten-Pound Bag

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said we’ve “turned the page” on the economic wasteland created by our neocon/neoliberal brain trust in Washington. In reality, however, countless Americans are economically scared to death, and most of them are living paycheck to paycheck.

Read the Article

Trading Away Our Environmental Future: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Martha Baskin, Truthout: Although making sure trade deals don’t harm communities and the planet may not be a government priority yet, activists are convinced that if we can stop fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it could mean an improvement for future trade negotiations.

Read the Article

Simon Johnson: GOP and Wall Street Say, “To Hell With Protecting the Public!”

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: In the last election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions. Their spending strategy appears to be working. Just last week, the House passed further legislation that would delay by two years some key provisions of Dodd-Frank.

Read the Interview

Dysfunctional Drones Underscore Mission Mess at Homeland Security

Tom Barry, Truthout: A new report confirms that the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection program is not clear about its mission, lacks any clear and pragmatic definition of what constitutes a secure border and cannot set realistic performance goals to measure its effectiveness.

Read the Article

The Trojan Horse of “Free” Community College

Adam Bessie, Truthout: Will the strings likely to be attached to President Obama’s plan for “free community college” fundamentally alter the nature of the institution? If open access is sacrificed, and high-stakes testing is instituted, the community college model may be changed for the worse.

Read the Article

Ralph Nader on What Was Missing in President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: Much of President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the economy and efforts to bolster the middle class with a push for education, child care and tax breaks. But did he go far enough? Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate, discusses the speech.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The Myth of Obama Moving to the Left

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: The so-called “middle-class economics” espoused by President Obama in the State of the Union was, many decades ago, the conservative position here in the United States. So to say that Obama is moving to the left, as many Republicans claim, ignores our own history.

Read the Article

Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change

Kathy Kelly, teleSUR: People in the United States must see every detainee in Guantánamo as human, someone to be called by name and not by a prison number. The cartoon versions of foreign policy handed to Americans, designating heroes and villains, create a dangerously under-educated public unable to engage in democratic decision-making.

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The Astronomical Scale of Money in Politics

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Seven Reproductive Rights Issues to Watch in 2015

Nina Martin, ProPublica: Changes for abortion, contraception and more top the agenda with Republicans in the majority in Congress and many state legislatures.

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Boehner’s Constitution Read Should Only Be a Beginning

Robert Weiner and Autumn Kelly, The Hill: An informed electorate would create a more productive, representative government. Not reading the US Constitution is like asking coach to put you into the game when you haven’t studied the playbook.

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Why I Didn’t Watch the State of the Union

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: It is a mistake to expect deliverance from the outcome of an election or the fleeting promises contained in a speech.

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High Levels of Cancer-Causing Benzene Found in Public Water Supplies After Montana Pipeline Spill

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The day the Klan messed with the wrong people

This is my favourite story EVER from Daily Kos Community. This took place where I grew up; just about twenty years before my personal experience with the local Klan group.

I can’t stop laughing because when my family told them their sheets made great targets in the dark-we had No idea that they already had experience with that!;-)

This also shows why “armed liberals” isn’t necessarily an oxymoron. I personally believe in, promote and work toward a nonviolent society in all ways. But I also know from first-hand experience that while we live in a violence based society sometimes it can be very handy to show the bullies what time it is-notice how these folks used guns in nonviolent ways to deter violence.

Ps- I must add a caveat to a detail in this story that the KKK ceased to exist PUBLICLY until 1984 because they were definitely active in the county next to Robeson in the 1970’s, though not with big public rallies etc. They operated “underground” through threats and intimidation if individuals and families.

By gjohnsit on Daily Kos Community

“You saw those cars coming, and you knew who those men were. They wanted you to see them. They wanted you to be afraid of them.”
– Lillie McKoy, former mayor of Maxton talking about the KKK

By the mid-1950’s the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum and the KKK decided they had to fight back. Their campaign of terrorism swept through many of the southern states, but largely fell flat in North Carolina.
James W. “Catfish” Cole, the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina, decided he was going to change that. Cole was an ordained minister of the Wayside Baptist Church in Summerfield, North Carolina, who regularly preached the Word of God on the radio. His rallies often drew as many as 15,000 people. As Cole told the newspapers: “There’s about 30,000 half-breeds up in Robeson County and we are going to have some cross burnings and scare them up.”

Cole made a critical mistake that couldn’t be avoided by a racist mind – he was completely ignorant of the people he was about to mess with.

Dr. Perry was a black doctor in Monroe, NC, and helped finance a local chapter of the NAACP. One night at a meeting, the word was received that the Klan threatened to blow up Dr. Perry’s house. The meeting broke up and everyone went home to get their guns.

Sipping coffee in Perry’s garage with shotguns across their laps, the men agreed that defending their families was too important to do in haphazard fashion. “We started to really getting organized and setting up, digging foxholes and started getting up ammunition and training guys,” Williams recalled. “In fact, we had started building our own rifle range, and we got our own M-1’s and got our own Mausers and German semi-automatic rifles, and steel helmets. We had everything.”

Many of these men were veterans of WWII and didn’t scare easily. Men guarded the house in rotating shifts and the women of the NAACP set up a telephone warning system.
On October 5, 1957, Catfish Cole organized a huge Klan rally near Monroe. Afterward the decision was made to move on Dr. Perry’s home.

a large, heavily armed Klan motorcade roared out to Dr. Perry’s place, firing their guns at the house and howling at the top of their lungs. The hooded terrorists met a hail of disciplined gunfire from Robert Williams and his men, who fired their weapons from behind sandbag fortifications and earthen entrenchments. Shooting low, they quickly turned the Klan raid into a complete rout. “[Police Chief] Mauney wouldn’t stop them,” B. J. Winfield said later, “and he knew they were coming, because he was in the Klan. When we started firing, they run. We run them out and they started just crying and going on.”

Amazingly no one was killed, but a number of cars were disabled. The following day the Monroe city council held an emergency meeting and passed an ordinance against Klan motorcades.

This setback was a huge embarrassment to Cole and his racist movement. He needed a weaker opponent to abuse and he needed it quick. Cole’s target was a small indian tribe that was marginalized even in the indian community – theLumbee.

The Lumbee had been fighting for official recognition since shortly after the Civil War. Through recorded history they were normally classified as “mulatto” and “free persons of color”. They had always considered themselves indian, but were classified and treated as descendants of blacks. Their eyes and skin were lighter than most indians.
The State of North Carolina recognized them in 1885, but the federal government refused to recognize them as a distinct indian tribe until 1956. The Lumbee Act, which recognized their existence, specifically prohibited the tribe from receiving federal services normally provided to tribes by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Lumbees were living alone in the margins.

On January 13, 1958, the Klan burnt a cross on the lawn of a Lumbee woman because she was living with a white man. The next day it was the lawn of a Lumbee family that had moved into a white community. As the days passed more crosses were burnt while Cole traveled around the area holding rallies and preaching against the evils of “mongrelization” and the loose morals of Lumbee women.
Pleased with the growing hatred he was feeding, he called for a massive Klan rally of 5,000 members on January 18, 1958, at Hayes Pond. The purpose was to remind indians of “their place in the racial order”.

“He said that, did he?” asked Simeon Oxendine, who had flown more than thirty missions against the Germans in World War II and now headed the Lumbee chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Well, we’ll just wait and see.”

“They didn’t differentiate between the Indian and black population. They figured to have their usual show and go home.”
– Stan Knick, director of the UNC-Pembroke Native American Resource Center

In the days leading up to the Hayes Pond rally, Cole had come through town with a loudspeaker on his flat-bed truck, preaching his vile hate for everyone to hear.
Cole wasn’t actually from the county and neither were many of his followers. So it was probably a surprise to Cole when Robeson County sheriff Malcolm McLeod visited Cole in his South Carolina home and “told him that his life would be in danger if he came to Maxton and made the same speech he’d been making.” Cole’s reply: “It sounds like you don’t know how to handle your people. We’re going to come show you.”

The Battle of Hayes Pond

The Fayetteville Observer had gotten word that the Lumbee were planning onattending this rally even if they weren’t invited.

Reese reported that Lumbee leaders, including Neill Lowery and Sanford Locklear, had decided to run the Klan out of the county. Willie Lowery’s barbershop in Pembroke become the Lumbee planning room for the upcoming battle. From there the call went out for volunteers and according to Reese, more than 1,000 Lumbees answered the call.

Another leader was Simeon Oxendine, who had been a waistgunner on a B-17 during WWII. He wasn’t someone you wanted to match up against.

Cole’s big rally was a flop before it even started. The local Klan members sensing the mood of the community stayed away. Instead, only 50 of his most hard-core supporters showed up to hear Cole preach against the evils of mixed marriage on the public address system he had set up on his truck. As the sun was setting they rigged up a floodlight and prepared a tall, wooden cross to burn later.
The sound of a reel-to-reel tape of “Kneel at the cross” poured into the meadow. They wore white hooded robes and carried rifles. The Lumbee, they assumed, were cowering in their homes that night.

“They were talking about blacks, using the ‘n’ word a lot, calling us ‘half-n’s’,” Littleturtle said. “I think their intention was to intimidate us.”

Instead of cowering, the Lumbees had assembled about a mile away. Small groups of armed Lumbee indians, about 500 in total, fanned out across the highway and began to encircle the Klansmen.
As the song finished and the rally was to begin, Sanford Locklear walked up to Cole and began arguing with him. Words became shoves and tempers rose. Neill Lowery had seen enough. He leveled his shotgun at his hip and blasted out the floodlight. The field went dark.

The Lumbees began firing into the air and yelling their warhoops as they charged the field. The nerve of the Klansmen broke and they fell into complete panic.
The Klansmen dropped their guns and scrambled for their cars. Some had brought their wives and children with them, who wailed in fear as dark-faced Lumbee milled around their cars and pointed flashlights at them.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

James Cole, the Grand Dragon himself, was in such a panic that he ran into a nearby swamp, abandoning his wife and “white womanhood” in the process. Cole’s wife, Carolyn, also in a panic, drove her car into a ditch. After a few minutes several Lumbee helped push her car back onto the road.

“The only thing they left behind was their stuff and their families.”
– Littleturtle

The state patrol, led by Sheriff McLeod, had set up camp about a mile away. McLeod intentionally waited until the shooting started because he didn’t want to be accused of defending the Klan by showing up early. He organized his men to search the bushes for Klansmen who were hiding, and then escorted them out of the county.
Afterward the police tossed a couple tear-gas grenades into the field to disperse the crowd. The battle was over.

Four people suffered minor injuries from falling shotgun pellets. One Klansman was arrested for public drunkenness.
One Klansman cursed a Lumbee who was blocking the road. The Lumbee punched him through the open car window.

To the victors go the spoils

The victorious Lumbee had collected the robes and banners that the Klansmen had left behind. They then held their own “Klan parade” through the town of Maxton. Some rode in cars, other marched. The parade ended with a bonfire of Klan material in Pembroke. Catfish Cole was hung in effigy.
The large, captured Klan banner was taken back to the VFW convention in Charlotte, where Lumbee posed in front of it for pictures.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Charlie Warriax and Simeon Oxendine

Newspapers praised the Lumbee and mocked the Klan. James Catfish Cole was prosecuted, convicted, and served a two-year sentence for inciting a riot.
The Klan ceased to exist in Robeson County until 1984.

[Update:] I’ve found two somewhat related stories worth mentioning. One involved a Klan rally in Massachusetts three decades earlier.

in 1924, the largest gathering of the Ku Klux Klan ever held in New England took place at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Worcester. Klansmen in sheets and hoods, new Knights awaiting a mass induction ceremony, and supporters swelled the crowd to 15,000. The KKK had hired more than 400 “husky guards,” but when the rally ended around midnight, a riot broke out. Klansmen’s cars were stoned, burned, and windows smashed. KKK members were pulled from their cars and beaten. Klansmen called for police protection, but the situation raged out of control for most of the night. The violence after the “Klanvocation” had the desired effect. Membership fell off, and no further public Klan meetings were held in Worcester.

I’ve done some searches but failed to find more information about this event.

Something else that might interest people, did you know that Superman fought against the Klan?


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**Disclosure News USA** Air Force puts declassified UFO reports online. Is the truth out there? – CSMonitor.com

UFO buffs and everyone waiting/watching the “Disclosure” process; note the tone change in this article compared to many previous U.S. government statements and U.S. news reports on this topic. One sentence frankly admits the sightings were of technology beyond our level of knowledge.

I have long been skeptical of any possibility of official “Disclosure”, but I see in this and other articles in recent years a slow incremental movement away from the constant denial and cover-up of anything that disagrees with the official stance.

I don’t know what the full facts are. I’m definitely not a UFO hobbyist or researcher and I don’t have any personal theory or”axe to grind”. I have just heard from so many friends who are passionate about this issue (with so much evidence to present) that I can no longer justify blind faith in those who assure us that everything in the world is both knowable and known.



Air Force puts declassified UFO reports online. Is the truth out there?

The Air Force has released a stockpile of documents pertaining to decades of military investigations on objects that were spotted over American skies throughout the years.

By Alexander LaCasse, Staff Writer JANUARY 20, 2015

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Thanks to the Air Force, more than 130,000 documents describing military investigations of UFO activity over American airspace are now online.

“Project Blue Book” and “Project Grudge” were the official names of the investigations military officials headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio conducted between 1947 and 1969. The projects were discontinued after a joint review determined that no intelligence was being produced from the studies. The report specifically stated that no UFO “reported, investigated and evaluated,” ever posed, “any indication of threat to our national security,” CNN notes. The investigations suggest that the sightings “represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge,” the network also reported.

The disclosure comes after years of federal Freedom of Information Act requests filed by UFO researcher John Greenewald. The FBI will be making the files available on their website containing case files in PDF form from some of the FBI’s most notorious cases, from Bonnie and Clyde to Jimmy Hoffa. According to the same CNN report the case file, the initial field report following an alleged UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 has garnered over two million page views so far.

Recommended: Are you a space whiz? Take our quiz!

Among some of the UFO cases the Project Blue Book Collection touches on are the “Exeter Incident,” “the Kenneth Arnold sighting,” from 1947 and “the Mantell crash,” from 1948.

Here are some of the most high-profile UFO mysteries:


During the first week of July in 1947, something is said to have crashed in the New Mexico desert, Northeast of the town of Roswell. Upon learning of the crash site Maj. Jesse Marcel, an intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group, who was stationed at Roswell Army Air Field, went to inspect the area. He allegedly found an aluminum foil-thin metal that was indestructible in the debris field, which he claimed composed the outer body of the object. Marcel also claimed that pieces of metal at the site had a strange purple writing on them.

At 11am on July 8, 1947 a public information officer for the base put out a press release stating that wreckage of crashed disk had been recovered. By the end of the day higher-ups in the Air Force made the base commanders release a second press release that asserted the material in the debris field came from a downed weather balloon.

The Exeter Incident, 1965

A man named Norman Muscarello was hitchhiking to his Exeter, N.H. home on a September night when out of no-where, a beam of light that was described as ninety feet in diameter began floating and wobbling towards him. Another panic-stricken woman who was driving from Exeter to Epping, called the police after a similar object had followed her for some 12 miles. The officer on duty did not think much of the woman’s call but after Muscarello was picked up by a couple and driven to the police station, the officer wanted to know more.

The officer had Muscarello take him to the spot where he saw the light. Muscarello had originally run to the nearest house to get help and went back to the same residence with the officer. After the owner’s horses and dogs began to stir, the beam of light rose above the trees. The police officer had been in the military and failed to recognize what kind of aircraft this was.

After the experience the police officer wrote to the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but investigators said they could not determine what caused the beam of light.

Kecksburg, Penn, 1965

In a small town 40 miles North of Pittsburgh, residents saw a fiery object crash into the town’s woods. Not too long after the object was reported, police and military personnel were on the scene and barricaded off the woods and turned away anyone who tried to get close. Hours later a military flat-bed truck with a large object covered by a tarp was seen leaving the woods, and the authorities never elaborated on what the object was.

A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against NASA to turn over its Kecksburg investigations ended in 2009, according to SPACE.com. As a result, the government did not force NASA to hand over any documents that would explain what became of the object removed from the Pennsylvania woods.

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