Our Guns and Bombs Saturday

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The forgotten girl, why?

Many Americans were shaken last week after a picture of a stunned Syrian child, whose home had just been bombed into rubble, went viral. Time magazine noted that “[d]evastating pictures and footage from Syria are common now.” But what about children in other war-torn countries?

This is one of the questions posed by journalist Andrew Cockburn, who argues that Saudi Arabia’s bombing and destruction of Yemen is largely ignored. In a recent article for Harper’s Magazine, he summed up what’s going on in Yemen:

Thousands of civilians— no one knows how many— have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation.

This rain of destruction was made possible by the material and moral support of the United States, which supplied most of the bombers, bombs, and missiles required for the aerial onslaught. … But no one that I talked to in Washington suggested that the war was in any way necessary to our national security.

In a “Democracy Now!” interview with Amy Goodman on Monday, Cockburn elaborates on the Saudis’ “slaughter” of Yemeni people and why the mass media need to provide more coverage of the situation. “I defy you to find a single picture in The New York Times or any other mainstream New York media of any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Yemeni children, because no one really knows how many have been wounded or killed by the Saudi bombing,” he says.

@ TRUTHDIG

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What the fuck America?? Your highly profitable arms sales are coming back to bite you in the ass, which by the way has been long overdue. Supplying weaponry to these people is INSANE! The person or persons responsible for arms sales to anyone outside on the US needs to have their citizenship examined!

The United States of America should not be gun merchants for the World, knowing full well events like the above will occur but selling anyway is pure shameful and in-human, all for the almighty dollar, assholes! I hope you all burn in your own private Hell for what you have done, shame!

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FFUnnEE FreyeDAE

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Home Grown Terror Thursday

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President Obama has been emphatically warning Americans about the dangers of a Trump presidency. But these warnings divert attention from a much darker reality. His Justice Department is in fact pushing the law in a direction that will enable the next president to declare war against any “terrorist” group or nation without the consent of Congress.

This reality is clear from the Department’s response to a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obama’s war against the Islamic State.

In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution over President Richard Nixon’s veto. It represented the culmination of a national effort to prevent future presidents from repeating Nixon’s unilateral escalations in Vietnam. The Resolution provides that, when a president commits American forces to a new military engagement, he has 60 days to gain the explicit authorization of Congress for the war. If Congress refuses its consent, the Resolution requires the commander in chief to withdraw his forces from the battlefield within the next 30 days.

The Resolution represented a fundamental breakthrough. According to Senator Jacob Javits, its leading sponsor:

“We live in an age of undeclared war, which has meant Presidential war. Prolonged engagement in an undeclared Presidential war has created a most dangerous imbalance in our Constitutional system of checks and balances. . . . [The bill] is rooted in the words and the spirit of the Constitution. It [aims] to restore the balance which has been upset by the historical enthronement of that power over which the framers of the Constitution regarded as the keystone of the whole Article of Congressional power–the exclusive authority of Congress to declare war; the power to change the nation from a state of peace to a state of war.”

Bruce Ackerman @ THE ATLANTIC

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Wednesday’s Woes

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In a little under five months, President Barack Obama will no longer be the president of the United States, and so that is why, for this last month and for the next five months, he is going to do nothing, other than push the TPP onto the American public. A lot of reports have come out in the last day or two that show that Obama is out there, and he has planned 30 events during this congressional recess through the month of August, where he is going to pitch the TPP to the American people. He’s telling us that his arguments are correct on this. This is his legacy. This is the best thing for the American public.

Unfortunately, it seems that President Obama is the only one who actually believes that, other than corporations because that’s all the TPP is. It is a massive giveaway to corporations that want to rip off consumers, or destroy the environment, or pillage our natural resources. That’s all this deal will do. It’s going to drive down American wages and leave us with no economic mobility whatsoever.

@ TROFIRE

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Looney Rudy Tuesday

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OOO! a spider!

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Rudy Giuliani made the curious assertion that Hillary Clinton wasn’t campaigning (I can’t embed the video on dKos, but you can see it here). So host Shannon Bream asked him a darn good question: “Then why is she doing so well in the polls?” He delivered a nearly incoherent response mainly blaming the so-called “liberal” media that “constantly demonizes Donald Trump.” Never mind the recent Harvard study that proved “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” But Giuliani went off the rails when he ventured into conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health:

“[The media] Fails to point out several signs of illness by her. All you got to do is go online … Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness’ and take a look at the videos for yourself.”

Is he friggin’ serious? Giuliani’s authoritative approach to clinical diagnoses is to consult – Google? First of all, none of the “doctors” practicing on the Internet have examined, or even met, Clinton. Secondly, the medical opinions you’re likely to encounter online come from such experts as Alex Jones of Infowars, the Drudge Report, Glenn Beck, and of course, Fox News. What brain disease would cause Giuliani to think that Googling “Clinton’s illness” would validate his ludicrous claims?

@ KOS

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Shiny Molar Monday

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The latest report by The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, uncovers serious problems in cosmetics industry regulations. Regulatory weaknesses and loopholes allow for the use of questionable, even harmful ingredients in personal care products, such as toothpastes, that could negatively impact the health of the users.

Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste, describes how the quality of “natural” toothpastes varies significantly between brands and how these personal oral care products commonly include nonessential ingredients that may be harmful.

“The cosmetics industry is no different, and may be worse, than leading food companies when it comes to gimmicky ingredients and misleading health claims,” asserts the report’s lead author Jerome Rigot, PhD, a policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute. “However, we have created a useful web-based tool to help discriminating consumers see through marketing hype and make the best decision for their family when buying toothpaste.”

The report spotlights dangerous endocrine disruptors, inflammatory agents, and carcinogens found in popular toothpastes, even many marketed as “natural.”

@ CORNUCOPIA.org

 

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Steam Train Sunday

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In this image taken by a remotely-operated vehicle, the wheels of Locomotive 694 — with drive arm still attached — are seen about 235 feet beneath the surface of Lake Superior near Marathon, Ontario, last month. (Photo courtesy of Tom Crossmon)

Guided not just by the hands of operator Tom Crossmon, but also by the past efforts of an extended network of divers and the collective memory of a community, the remotely-operated vehicle descended into the depths of Lake Superior.

Dropping down a sheer rock cliff that plunges into the lake along a remote stretch of the northern Ontario shore, the underwater remote operating vehicle’s camera and lights searched for its quarry: A wreck not seen since it happened 106 years ago. A wreck that claimed three lives. A wreck unlike any other in the Great Lakes.

Within about an hour on July 22, about 235 feet beneath the surface amid a jumble of massive boulders, Crossmon and his companions found what they were looking for. There, visible on a video screen aboard their 24-foot boat, was the wreckage not of some long-lost schooner or ill-fated freighter, but rather a railroad locomotive. Locomotive 694, to be exact, which crashed into the lake from the cliffs above in a violent collision of metal and rock before sunrise on the morning of June 10, 1910.

@ DNT

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