Monday, December 31, 2012

Most Minimum Wage Earners Can't Afford Necessities of Life

Does Minimum Wage Hurt Workers?

What We Can Do To Balance The Budget: Video

Friday, December 21, 2012

Danish View: 9/11 The Sensible Doubt

The concerns about the reality of 9/11 is world wide.  Here are the logics of the Danes.

Disclose.tv - 9/11: THE SENSIBLE DOUBT - Danish Documentary about 9/11

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Arab Spring and Western Style Democracy


This is an excellent article regarding the Arab Spring, cultural diversity and Western style democracy.  It gathers insight into the Western false perceptions of the Middle East culture and the Arab Spring.  a must read

Middle East:  To Challenge the Patriarch


Authored by Joseph Lerner, Edited by Col. Gordon Forbes (ret.)
© Copyright 2012 Ideas That Shape (ITS)
It is essential to be prepared for a possibility that the plans for implementing the Western-style democracy in Middle Eastern countries may be unsuccessful.  The Tunisian uprising ignited the Arab Spring, which had a domino effect that resulted in an uprising in Egypt and removal of Mubarak, the toppling of Gaddafi in Libya, an ongoing rebellion in Syria against the minority Alawite ruling class, led by Bashar al-Assad, and protests in Bahrain.  These events have been interpreted in the West as a desire for establishing Western-style democracy by the people of the Middle East.  However, those in favour of adopting Western-style democracy in the Middle East are in the minority and they were not instrumental in igniting the Arab Spring.
“This is not how the West, nor many Egyptians, thought the Arab Spring would turn out in Egypt. Their mistake was overestimating the significance of the democratic secularists, how representative the anti-Mubarak demonstrators were of Egypt as a whole, and the degree to which those demonstrators were committed to Western-style democracy rather than a democracy that represented Islamist values.” George Friedman, The Egyptian Election and the Arab Spring, Stratfor, May 29, 2012
In International Relations circles and amongst analysts the Arab Spring is perceived as a series of revolutions in the Middle East.  The term, Egyptian Revolution, was already used at the first gathering of the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square, who were demanding changes.  Comparing the Arab Spring to a revolution might be jumping to conclusions too soon.  Why?  The Arab Spring hardly consists of a series of revolutions in the Middle East.  The Arab Spring has been a series of decentralized and spontaneous uprisings and rebellions against oppression without having any clear, centralized leadership or well-structured political ideology.  Furthermore, one should realize that the circumstances that sparked the uprisings in most Arab countries were of an economic and social nature.   However, the uprising in Syria and Bahrain are of a political and sectarian nature.
During the Arab Spring, the reaction of many in the West, especially the mainstream media, was based on the misperception that the Arab Spring is a clear sign that the Middle Eastern people are eager to establish Western-style democracy.  For example, in October 2012 Doug Bandow in an article that was published by Forbes wrote: That blocking power is now at issue. While visiting Kuwait last week I increasingly heard people insist on creation of a government dependent on parliament, as in most Western nations. Some Kuwaitis even questioned the monarchy, whose ruling family goes back centuries in this region.
The cause of these uprisings was the oppression and frustration of the Arab population, especially the youths, who have no hope in planning for their future.  A majority of the youths in the Arab countries have no gainful employment and no means of supporting themselves, getting a higher education or developing skills that would lead to gainful employment.  Furthermore, the youths in these countries hardly have any proper social life.  All these frustrations and negative energies have been redirected towards uprisings, rebellions and in many cases the religious extremism in the Middle East.
“I don’t think the Arab Spring is necessarily a democratic manifestation, I think it is a populist manifestation,” Henry Kissinger, WSJ, May 21, 2011
The Middle East has a longstanding tradition of male leadership (patriarchy) that extends from the family to the structure of tribal elders and leadership of today’s nations.  For thousands of years the Middle Eastern nations have been ruled by kings and sheikhs.  Such form of leadership symbolically represents a king or sheikh as a father figure according to the traditions and cultures of the Middle East.  The king is the nation’s patriarch.  In the Middle Eastern traditions and cultures a nation is similar to that of a family.  The national unity of each Middle Eastern country, for thousands of years, has always been ensured under such a patriarchal model of governance.
Furthermore, similar cultural and traditional political structures could even be identified in Middle Eastern countries whose form of government is a Republic.  Today, in the Republic of Turkey, the Prime Minister plays a similar symbolic role to that of the great patriarch of the Turkish nation.  The same principle applies to the governing structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Supreme Leader of Iran is a Shiite religious leader who is a king archetype.  The word, supreme, alludes to such a concept.  People of the Middle East have a longstanding traditional, cultural and spiritual affinity with such concepts, symbolism and leadership archetypes that represent kingship and patriarchy.
Whether Western values and standards are compatible with the Middle Eastern traditions or cultures or not, the people of the Middle East highly respect and treasure their way of life.  Therefore, the West must realize and acknowledge that the Middle Eastern uprisings and rebellions are hardly an indication that the people of the Middle East are interested in adopting the Western values, culture or Western-style democracy.  Essentially the people of the Middle East want economic opportunity and a better life rather than Western-style democracy that is socially alien to them.
However, this does not mean that those who started the Arab Spring are not interested in certain elements of  Western-style democracy, like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly.  The traditions and cultures of the people of the Middle East hardly pose a threat to the Western values and way of life.  To develop a deeper understanding of such realities and to be able to better assist the region in economic advancement, Human Rights, stability and rule of law, it is necessary to learn about the traditions, cultures and history of the Middle East.  Western countries need to be flexible and adapt to these realities in their foreign policies and trade interactions with the Middle East.
Furthermore, it is important to realize and acknowledge that the Middle East is a region with many nations that are rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, precious metals and minerals.  The West needs the natural resources of the Middle East to be industrious and sustain its economic growth.  The Middle Eastern countries need to export their natural resources to the West and rest of the world to grow their economy and develop their infrastructure.  There is an undeniable symbiotic economic relationship between the West and Middle Eastern countries.  Therefore, trade, investment and infrastructure building need to become the central focus of the development of relationships between the West and Middle Eastern countries, within the context of International Relations, International Development and International Trade.
People of the Middle East enjoy and appreciate having Western high-tech and other products such as cars, smart phones, gaming devices and many more.  Furthermore, they are the consumers of Western entertainment, including movies and TV programs.  East and West share common economic and cultural grounds.
One wonders that whether Western-style democracy was really a proper lens to view the Arab Spring?  If it was yes, then to what extent?
The next question then is:  Are there forms of government that are compatible with both the Western interest in openness and the patriarchal traditions and cultures of the Middle East?  One might find some answers to this question.  However, regardless of how rational and pragmatic the solutions would be, the political and sociocultural obstacles in working towards such a model of governance will be:
b) how to gradually assist the Middle Eastern nations to install the concept of probity in the hearts and minds of each one of their citizens from an early age and throughout their public education.a) how to ensure that Human Rights violations, especially Women’s Rights, are properly addressed within the cultural and traditional context of each Middle Eastern nation; and 

Joseph Lerner is an Analyst who regularly writes about the subjects of International Relations, International Trade and Geopolitics.  Joseph has over two decades of experiences in strategic planning, communication strategy, project management, corporate training, geopolitical analysis, qualitative and quantitative research.  He has served in executive capacity and as expert advisor on various Board of Directors.  His formal education has been in Cultural Studies and Liberal Arts focusing on the areas of literature, political science, philosophy, classical composition and linguistics.  Joseph has extensive experiences in culture of trade and negotiations amongst various indigenous cultures and traditions of the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.  In the past, he has served as Campaign Strategist during Canada’s 2011 Federal Election running a successful War Room. In 2007 during the Ontario’s Provincial Election,  Joseph held the position of Communication Analyst and Strategist.  He is multilingual and has extensive experiences working in environments that benefit from diversity.  Furthermore, Joseph has produced numerous radio programs and has interviewing many celebrities, academics, dignitaries and politicians.


America- The Police State and our Guns



Susan Brannon
19 December 2012

The Associated Press reports that the medical examiner Dr. Karber said that all of the victims were killed up close by multiple rifle shots, yet the shooter killed himself and was found with two handguns.  How did he kill the kids with rifle shots from handguns?  There are conflicting reports from the media.  The news is agenda driven and it is difficult to filter through the information to find out what is true.  At first, the reporting was all wrong, they named the wrong shooter  that the father and brother were killed and reported them as facts instead of waiting for the official statements.

While filtering the news, we must remain aware that the news is agenda driven and figure out what that agenda is.  When we can do that, then we can understand what the next political moves might be.  After the 9/11s so called attacks, the American public was bombarded with phrases such as war on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction while casually inserting sentences on Saddam Hussain and Iraq.  In time our army went into Iraq and continued to remain there in spite of the blatant lies on both the American public and the world.

While filtering the news, think about reality and do not take the "news" as the final truth. I can tell you with a sure mind that today the U.S. army has killed at least 20 children in Afghanistan,  Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia etc...and we do not hear anything about it.  We only hear about the killing of children in our own country.

The national rifle association said that they will help assist in reducing the gun violence.  Yet, if we cannot control drugs, alcohol (during the probation) we will not be able to control guns.  If the U.S. government decides to take the guns away then we will have the same result as we had during the probation where Al Capone made millions of dollars from boot legging and others making millions from drugs.  Most likely, someone will take over the black market on guns and make millions from the sale of the guns.

The problem here is that America is a police state and there is no doubt about it.  We have the most extensive spying on citizens in human history that goes beyond the imagination of George Orwell in his 1984 doomsday book.  America now has the power to arrest American citizens without due process, they can declare someone a terrorist anywhere in the world,  our government can detain an American for life without ever presenting evidence...Obama can take away the guns.

You can't have an armed population and a police state.

Walmart the Biggest Seller of Firearms in U.S.



Adam Lanza the terrorist who shook Sandy Hook Elementary School and one of the weapons was an AR-15 assault weapon.  Although it is not known where the weapons were purchased the AR-15 is a highly recognized weapon sold at 1,700 Walmart stores across the U.S.  This weapon was also the choice of assault used at the Beaverton Mall shooting.

"Five months earlier, it was used by James Holmes in an attack that wounded fifty-eight people and killed twelve in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.  And several years before that, a man and his teenage accomplice used a Bushmaster AR-15 to terrorize the Washington, DC, area with a series of random shootings."  The Nation

Because of the debate over selling guns and how easy it is to get assault weapons Walmart decided to remove the item from their website, yet they have not pulled them from their stores.  Nothing has changed.  Walmart stocks their shelves in the open with a variety of bullets that are easy to steal and the guns are out in the open on the shelves.  The hourly sales clerks have not been trained with guns and firearms and the shelves remained unlocked during store hours.

"Overall Walmart sales figures are back on track after the 2011 slump, and executive vice president Ducan Mac Naughton told shareholders at a meeting in October 2012 that gun sales in particular are a staple of the chain's strategy to continue boosting its numbers.  He said that over the past twenty-six months, gun sales at Walmart stores open for a year or more were up an astonishing 76 percent, while ammunition sales were up 30 percent.  Walmart is now the biggest seller of firearms and ammunition in America."  The Nation

The FBI reported that they received 16.4 million background requests by the end of 2011 it rose to 16.8 this year.

Although many stores have changed how they stock and sell guns after Sandy Hook, Walmart has not changed a thing.  For Five Assault Rifles you can pick up with your groceries view images here on The Nation.

This is something to think about.







Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Killing of America uncut documentary video 1982

Interesting facts look familiar today?

Disclose.tv - The Killing Of America (1982) Uncut

Monday, December 17, 2012

Detailed explanation of 9-11: Who is Behind the Scene

This is a very well made and informative video on who was behind the scenes for the 9/11 destruction of the twin towers.  The video points to corporations that were directly connected with the Bush family who were under security contracts for the World Trade Center and many airports.  In fact it was George Bushes brother who owned the company called Stratesec Inc.  The video mentions names such as Wirt Walker III and Barry McDaniel who no one can find any images of, BDM International, the Carlyle Group a Bush/Bin Laden business partnership.  This video is a must watch, take some notes and do some research yourself.

Please view to get the truth out and force responsibility for this disaster.

Disclose.tv - 9/11 Black Ops Agents Exposed! Secret Conspirators Revealed!



Margie Burns Article on Stratesec:
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0204-06.htm
Even the Debunkers can't find any good excuses for these facts:
http://www.911myths.com/html/stratesec.html
Archived Version of Stratesec.com's website:
http://web.archive.org/web/19990209123247/http://www.stratesec.com/
Barry McDaniel's LinkedIn Profile (It was recently changed to remove some of the information mentioned in this video)
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/barry-mcdaniel/b/a03/51
Evidence that can convict Wirt Dexter Walker III of insider trading with regards to 9/11:
http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/11/18/evidence-for-informed-tra...
Barry W. McDaniel is a manager at WSI Group International LLC - Corporation, a Homosassa, Florida company
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Homosassa/wsi-group-international...
See also Henry E. Wilkins, also of "World Security Initiatives, Inc", of Homosassa, FL (detective, armored car services)
3930 S Gemini Point, Homosassa, FL 34448...looks like just an old house in a swamp area:
http://tinyurl.com/WSIgroupllc
Most of the material for this video was sourced from these Articles by Kevin Ryan:
KuwAm and Stratesec: Directors and investors that link 9/11 to a private intelligence network:
http://digwithin.net/2012/02/24/kuwam-and-stratesec-directors/
BDM International's Website:
http://www.bdmintl.com/


Sunday, December 09, 2012

Wedding Fashion Show Florence, Italy

This is off the direction of this blog, but as a past war photojournalist I have started to move on to Happier Moments! For example, photographing a wedding fashion show!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

911 We will not Forget


I am not into conspiracy theories.  From day one when I saw the fall of the towers on the television from Jerusalem, my first thought was a controlled demolition.  Of course, I had/have no idea who did this, but the reality is reality.  And why should reality be denied?  Who would NOT want to know who/what/and why?  

In life when there are problems, are we not taught to find the truth to solve the problems so it will not happen again?  There are many videos that have been coming out over the time and this one is very clear, professional using experts on demolitions and the destruction of buildings.  They explain realities very well.

What alerted me to the fact that something was very wrong was the lack of transparency from our own government.  It was the faulty way that they investigated the collapse and the lack of experts that they decided to conduct the research.  Key insiders had a high level of conflict of interest.  President decided to limit the funding, and access to the research.  It was the fact that all airspace in the United States was closed except for the few who were allowed to leave the country.

Behind closed doors, no oath, no recorders were allowed, and everything was submitted to security personnel.  The issue was not discussed.  The air defense was disabled due to exercises of war games while drone planes were flying around the country.  

After this tragedy, the world has not been the same and has gotten worse.  Trillions of dollars has been spent on unjust wars based on lies...even the lies that were admitted, that there was not any mass weapons of destructions.

Remember the propaganda that was repeated on the news and around the world, war on terror, weapons of mass destructions, and repeated runs of the buildings falling down.  The news who were on the ground, reported from the field mentioning we do not see any evidence of planes, but some sort of explosion at the Pentagon building.  "Another explosion, a secondary explosion from the building"

All these reports were removed from the news and from our viewing.
I ask, when will the American people stand up and demand war crime investigations on President Bush and Dick Cheney?  Is the global leadership already in power, it is not a nation that is going..but a nation that is already there.

The Bad Outlook for the Working Class American Man

MODERN TIMES/ROY EXPORT S.A.S. SCAN COURTESY CINETECA DI BOLOGNA

From:  The National Journal
by: Jonathan Rauch

This is an excellent read, it covers the reality of the American economy today and the truth.  I just had to include it here.  

"The higher you stood on the income ladder, the better you did; the highest-paid 1 percent of earners soared above and away from everyone else, practically occupying an economy of their own. By contrast, the bottom 90 percent of earners—which is to say, almost everyone—saw barely any increase, and much of what they did see came in the boom years of the late 1990s."


If the American economy were an automobile, you would say the transmission is failing. The engine works, but not all wheels are getting power. To put the matter less metaphorically: The economy no longer reliably and consistently transmits productivity gains to workers. The result is that many millions of Americans, in particular less-skilled men, are leaving the workforce, a phenomenon the country has never seen before on the present scale.
Well. That was a mouthful. It certainly bites off more than Washington’s polarized politicians can handle at the moment. In the next few months, they need to worry about the so-called fiscal cliff, the round of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that, if not averted, might start a recession. Plus a politically vexing debt-limit bill, which will need to be passed early in 2013. Plus a recovery that, for many Americans, feels more like a recession. (The median family income fell as much during the first two years of the recovery as it did during the two years of the recession itself, according to the Pew Research Center.) Plus a debt crisis and downturn in Europe. Isn’t that enough?
Sadly, no. The U.S. economy has weakened, and much needs fixing—beyond the fiscal cliff—if it’s to regain its strength. A reelected President Obama and a still-divided Congress face a lengthy To Do list for the economy. We’ve chosen eight entries: innovation, jobs, rising health care costs, entitlement programs,  college-completion rates, infrastructure, housing, and retirement security. None of them will be easy to fix.
But first, let’s consider a nexus of troubling economic trends that seem to be driving and deepening many of the specific problems—and may prove to be the most intractable problem of all. If economic strength means anything, it is that the economy can make almost everyone better off, thereby strengthening the country’s social fabric as well as its balance sheet. Such an economy unites rather than divides us.
Today’s economy, by that standard, is struggling. Its ability to deliver rising living standards across the income spectrum is in decline, and perhaps also in question. “This is a fundamental problem,” says Robert J. Shapiro, the chairman of Sonecom, an economic consultancy in Washington. “This is America’s largest economic challenge. People can no longer depend on rising wages and salaries when the economy expands.”

As other articles in this issue suggest, a number of policy responses are on the agenda already, such as creating jobs, helping more students finish college, and reducing wage-denuding health care inflation. Others, such as reforming the federal disability program, have yet to attract much notice. In truth, however, the extent of Washington’s ability to repair the economy’s gearbox is an open question, because the problem is complex. It implicates not just one slipped gear but many: disruptions in long-established connections between productivity and earnings, between labor and capital, between top earners and everyone else, between men and work, between men and marriage. Together, they are bringing the economy to a place where a large and growing group of people—indeed, whole communities—are isolated from work, marriage, and higher education. That place might look like today’s America, only with a larger welfare state. But it might just as easily bring social unrest and class resentment of a magnitude the country hasn’t known before.

SLIPPING GEARS

Begin with Chart 1. It shows one of the most basic of all economic relationships, that between productivity and hourly compensation. Productivity measures the value of the output (brake pads, stock transactions) a worker produces in, say, a day; compensation is a measure of earnings that includes the value of benefits such as health insurance. The chart also shows compensation for all U.S. workers and specifically for workers in production and nonsupervisory jobs—blue-collar and clerical jobs, for example.
For decades, productivity and compensation rose in tandem. Their bond was the basis of the social compact between the economy and the public: If you work harder and better, you and your family will be better off. But in the past few decades, and especially during the past 10 years or so, the lines have diverged. This is slippage No. 1: Productivity is rising handsomely, but compensation of workers isn’t keeping up.





Friday, December 07, 2012

BP Disaster and Link of Sick Children in the Gulf of Mexico, USA




Reprint:  Riki Oatt

All six of Julie Creppel’s young children are sick. Vomiting. Blisters all over their bodies, even in their throats. Boils. Severe headaches that wake them up screaming at night. Nausea. Fevers. Diarrhea. Stomach spasms that contort their bodies in pain. Skin lesions. Psoriasis. Nose bleeds that gush unexpectedly. Respiratory infections. Dizziness. Sinus infections. Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Hair loss. And more.

The Creppels live in Boothville, La., in south Plaquemines Parrish. Area health clinics and hospitals are experiencing an influx of sick children for treatment for a range of symptoms that began after the BP oil disaster. The increase in numbers of sick children coincides with the massive spraying of toxic chemical dispersants into the water and air that began in 2010. More troubling is the fact that the children are still having these symptoms to this day.

The Corexit dispersants used in the Gulf are known human health hazards, causing eye and skin irritation, respiratory problems, harm to liver, kidney, and blood cells, injury and even death to unborn babies, immune suppression, skin disorders, and more.

Not surprisingly, the symptoms Julie’s children suffer are epidemic across the Gulf states that were impacted by the BP disaster — and the secondary disaster, the widespread use of Nalco’s Corexit dispersants. Most medical doctors in the Gulf have continuously treated the sick with standard drugs used for infections and viruses. Nasonex. Citirizine. DryMax. Azithromycin. Zofran. Cefdinir. Xopenex. Amoxicilin. Flovent. Suprax. Viravan-P. Albuterol. Cefixime. Ichitha ointment. Budesonide. And more.

Some of these are potent drugs that children should not be taking for long periods of time because of side effects, including, ironically, many of the very symptoms being treated. They are taking the drugs for months and now even years because the children (and adults) are not getting better. So the medical doctors prescribe more drugs, but the persistence of the symptoms belies the diagnoses.

It should be clear to the medical community by now that they are misdiagnosing the illness and mistreating the patient. I believe the children are suffering from chemical illness, not from biological agents. This should have been clear back in 2010 after the first six to eight rounds of antibiotics and medication prescribed for babies, elders, coastal residents, visitors, and spill responders didn’t clear the symptoms. It should have been clear two years after the disaster in March 2012 when BP completely reversed its position of denial of any harm to human health from oil-dispersant exposure and listed pages of same symptoms and illnesses that people had been reporting for two years as now covered by the BP medical benefits settlement (Exhibit 8) — so-called, I can only suppose, because it mostly benefits BP, but that’s another story.

The problem is the illnesses ­­– like BP’s oil­­ — just don’t “go away” because it’s an inconvenience for oil companies and the federal government in charge of an impossible situation: There is no way to clean up oil spills, including tar sands spills. But there are many ways to lessen the impacts to workers and the public, none of which have been done to date in the Gulf.

Plenty has been done to lessen the liability and financial impacts to BP and the other companies involved in this tragedy. The most recent injustice was when U.S. District Judge Barbier dismissed Nalco from lawsuits over health problems stemming from use of its products. Barbier shielded Nalco from liability because, he reasoned, the dispersants had been approved by the federal government, and in most cases pre-approved by the Gulf states for use during spill response. The judge also was noted that a lawsuit might have a “chilling” effect on future use of these same dispersants in oil spill response — exactly the opposite effect desired by the federal government and the oil industry.

The two main dispersants stockpiled in the United States for use on future spills are Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527A — the same dispersants that were known to be harmful to ecosystems and humans before the BP disaster, and that proved to be so after the disaster. These two dispersants are stockpiled in coastal communities around the contiguous United States and in Alaska and Hawaii. Most are owned either by the U.S. Coast Guard regional strike teams or the major national Oil Spill Response Organizations.

The federal government shields itself from any liability for use of these and other dangerous oil spill response products. Even worse, the federal government now considers human health an acceptable “risk tradeoff” for dispersant use. The March 2012 Dispersant Use Initiative, a document intended to guide and plan research needs and decision-making in future spills, states that key needs include, among others, “understanding risk to workers and public safety, and communicating the risk successfully, andunderstanding the trade offs of using dispersants with respect to human health” (emphasis added).

In other words, what happened in the Gulf of Mexico could happen to anyone who lives or works near, or recreates, or visits America’s coasts. Many of the same chemicals in dispersants are also ingredients in diluents for tar sands and drilling fluids for hydraulic fracturing and manufactured by — guess who — Nalco. We need to stick together on this one, or all get sick together. Making it right in the Gulf is up to all of us before the next marine oil disaster.

Here are some suggestions for how YOU can help make it right in the Gulf.
1. Write a short letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the People’s Petition to amend the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan …. The letter should refer the People’s Petition, document number AX120019088, and state who you are, why you care, and what you want the EPA to do. Personal letters carry more weight than form letters. Mail to: Lisa Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
2. Find out what dispersants or products are stockpiled in your backyard for oil spill response. Start by contacting your State Emergency Response Commission (google State name + SERC). The SERC page will list all the Local Emergency Planning Committees. Contact an LEPC near you and ask for a complete list of oil spill response products, which they will have as required under the Community Right-to-Know Act. For coastal communities, I would be surprised if that list did not include the ubiquitous Corexit dispersants. Raise local support to have your municipality pass a rights-based resolution to ban toxic dispersants and chemicals during oil spill response within the city’s jurisdiction. A resolution template is available at www.ultimatecivics.org.
3. Ask your congressional delegates to hold hearings to investigate the link between Corexit dispersants and public health, especially children’s health, in the Gulf of Mexico. Ask your delegates to support banning Corexit dispersants used during the BP Gulf disaster, as human health “tradeoffs” cannot be justified.


I would like to personally appeal to Warren Buffet to fund community health clinics in the Gulf of Mexico. His stock trading company Berkshire Hathaway bought shares of Nalco in 2009 before the BP disaster as an investment on water filtration, which at the time was most of Nalco’s business. Berkshire divested its Nalco holdings in late 2010 — after Nalco made millions in dispersant sales. The idea for community health clinics originated within the impacted communities as a way of getting treatment for immediate needs, but it was cherry-picked by BP as the centerpiece of BP’s medical benefits settlement. One clinic in particular in Jean Lafitte, La., was ready to open its door to clients in fall 2011 but the doors remain closed because the settlement is stalled in court. Opening that clinic, now and independent of BP controls embedded in the settlement, could be done with private donations to the Jean Lafitte Health Clinic.

Early into the BP disaster, I warned people about the short- and long-term consequences of exposure to oil and dispersants. Now those consequences are hitting home — especially vulnerable are the children. Don’t believe those BP ads. We need to all help make this right for real.
Riki Ott will be touring the Gulf of Mexico in February, helping communities organize at the grassroots level to ban toxic chemical dispersants. Persons interested in hosting a training should contact via her web site,www.RikiOtt.com.
© 2012 Riki Ott
Riki Ott, PhD is a Marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor. Her latest book, Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez is on social trauma of this disaster. She is a co-founder of Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

U.S. Justifies the Targeting of Children

Susan Brannon 
5 December 2012

It has been brought to my attention recently that there has,  been "reported" and non reported incidents of the NATO bombing of children in Afghanistan. Robert Dreyfuss The Nation writer and blogger reported on 16th of October 2012, that three children ages 12, 10 and 8 were blown into pieces by NATO while picking up dung for fuel.

A similar incident was reported by the NY Times, as "The…case of three children allegedly killed" (note allegedly) picking up dung.  Later, the incident was investigated and Maj. Adam Wojack a spokesperson for the international forces reported, "“I.S.A.F. did conduct a precision airstrike on three insurgents in Nawa district, and the strike killed all three insurgents." and added, "None of our reporting stated that any children were killed during the strike."

NATO watched explosive devices being planted in the area and then targeted the insurgents planting them stated the Marja governor “As a result two I.E.D. planters were killed and the shrapnel killed the three children who were wandering nearby,” he said. In the end, we have different reports: One says that no children were killed while witnesses saw the mangled children who were all from the same family.

It is normal to pick up dung as fuel for fire in these regions, how else can they light fires to cook their food? NATO needs to provide some regional cultural training. Our war heros are so hot to find "insurgents and terrorists" that they are able to misinterpret picking up dung for planting explosive devices. Imagine three young boys performing their family duties, playing in the fields and laughing as brothers normally do and only to find that their lives are quickly destroyed. Who was looking through the viewers that they look through to find "enemies" and how could they not see that they were three young boys? I believe that they do so because the men need some action and need to report some progress that they actually see what it is that they want to see and not the reality.

The boys names were Borjan, 12; Sardar Wali, 10; and Khan Bibi, 8. These deaths need to be brought to life, they need to be recognized not as terrorists but as children and civilian deaths by those who are too quick to pull the trigger.

There may have been men who dug holes in the area as reported by a local witness, he saw some holes but he did not see any bodies of me. He said that he only saw sacks of dung with the children's blood splattered all over them.

A different article was written in the Military Times on 8th of December 2012 as a direct response to the the reported and "alleged" deaths.  The response was a justification of the soldiers actions and to supply counter explanations to the readers that children too can be terrorists and insurgents and therefore, it is okay to shoot them.  These military ideologies turn the plate over to the reporter and project him/her as ignorant and use the new term, "media propaganda" terrorist.  The unsaid projection of media propaganda reporter/terrorist therefore denies any credibility to the reporting and eye witnesses.  It minimizes the deaths of three young children and the broken heart of the mother.  It dehumanizes the realities of war and their consequences all in the name of patriotism and its just cause.

The Military Times article explains, "Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission...The use of children by the Taliban — through recruitment and as human shields — complicates coalition forces’ efforts to eliminate enemy fighters from the battlefield without angering civilians."

The report continues to state: "“It kind of opens our aperture,” said Army Lt. Col. Marion “Ced” Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”

This last sentence clearly states that the US military looks for children and gives the approval to shoot if the soldiers feel that they have "hostile intent".  Intent is defined as, "the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions towards a specific object." The U.S. military can understand a person's intention from the viewer while watching another's actions.  I wonder if an 8 year old can really have the intent to damage NATO.

The reality is that we continue to fight in a war that is not ours to fight and we continue to justify the unjustifiable killings of innocent civilians in the region.