"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”" ~~~~Samuel P. Huntington

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Imagine if she had been doodling something dark and disturbing." - 12 Year Old Handcuffed & Arrested For Writing On Desk

"Imagine if she had been doodling something dark and disturbing."

Perhaps she will now...

More dialog on this, and other incidents of mass institutional child abuse below the Youtube blurb

"A 12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense -doodling her name on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words on her desk Monday while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills she said."I love my friends Abby and Faith," the girl wrote, adding the phrases "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face."
H/t: TroubleTown

Arrested for Doodling on a Desk?
"Zero Tolerance" at Schools Is Going Way Too Far

Saturday 27 February 2010
by: Liliana Segura

School=Gulag, CrimthIncHow much longer can we tolerate abuses of power by teachers and school officials in the name of 'zero tolerance' policies?

This week, the FBI announced it was launching an investigation into a surveillance scandal out of Lower Merion County, Pennsylvania, where it was recently discovered that school officials had used Web cams on school-issued laptops to spy on a student, 15-year-old Blake Robbins.

Robbins was falsely accused of possessing illicit drugs after the vice principal at his high school, Lindy Matskhis, called him into a meeting where she revealed that she had seen images of him at home through his laptop. According to Robbins' attorney, Mark Haltzman, "She called him into the office and told him, basically, 'I've been watching what was on the Web cam and saw what was in your hands. I've been reading what you've been typing, and I'm afraid you are involved in drugs and trying to sell pills.'"

Matskhis, it turned out, was grievously mistaken. What looked like pills turned out to be Mike and Ike candies.

Robbins' parents sued. Now the case has prompted a debate about student privacy and the threat of technological overreach.

The Robbins case may seem to be uniquely bad in some ways. But it comes at a time when there's no shortage of disturbing stories in the news about the intrusive and repressive measures taken by public schools against students, in districts across the country. Last year the Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of Savana Redding (now an adult, who, at the age of 13, was strip-searched by school staff in search of prescription ibuprofen); yet from violations of privacy to wrongful arrests by school "peace" officers, the story seems to be expanding.

On February 1, in Forest Hills, Queens, 12-year-old Alexa Gonzalez was arrested after she was caught doodling on her desk. Profanity? Threats against her teacher? No, the middle school student had written, with an erasable marker, "I love my friends Abby and Faith," along with "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face... More @ Alternet

Lied To Again? General Odierno Requests More Combat Forces In Iraq (beyond the Obama deadline)

Odierno requests more combat forces in Iraq -- beyond the Obama deadline
by Thomas E. Ricks
February 25 2010

In a move that could force President Obama to break his vow to get all combat troops out of Iraq by August of this year, his top commander in Iraq recently officially requested keeping a combat brigade in the northern part of the country beyond that deadline, three people close to the situation said Wednesday.

Gen. Raymond Odierno asked for a brigade to try to keep the peace in the disputed city of Kirkuk, but only got a polite nod from the president when the issue was raised during his recent meetings in Washington, according to two of the people familiar with the discussions. If the brigade in northern Iraq is indeed kept in Iraq past the deadline, there will be a fan dance under which it no longer will be called a combat unit, but like the six other combat brigades being kept past the deadline, will be called an advisory unit.

I can imagine the press releases that will follow-

"Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed last night in an advisory operation . . . ."
In full at The Best Defense, Foreign Policy Magazine

"All this money magically appears from nowhere," - The Looting Of Afghanistan's Wealth By It's U.S. Installed Kleptocracy Begins In Earnest

It appears Afghanistan's financial wealth is being systematically looted by the U.S. backed/empowered kleptocracy and U.S. funds are alleged to have been diverted from aid programs.

Much of it seems to be flowing to (or should I say 'through') Dubai.
Dubai - An Afghani Expat's Dream

It was also recently discovered that the Karzai family and an extended circle of 'friends' had received large loans from Kabul Bank (Afghanistan's national bank) for the purchase of suites in some of Dubai's finest accommodations.

Karzai's Kronies WaPo Scrnshot

The US has bankrolled Kabul Bank to the tune of $40 BILLION dollar in US investments. How much of that money has been paid out as highest-of-high-risk loans to the Expat-if-things-go-haywire US backed power elite of Afghanistan for fine dining and housing in Dubai and elsewhere?

No one seems to know.

But the founder and chairman of Kabul Bank knows ONE thing!
"What I'm doing is not proper, not exactly what I should do. But this is Afghanistan," Kabul Bank's founder and chairman, Sherkhan Farnood [source]
While the US is obviously attempting to stop money from flowing into Afghanistan and Pakistan, money believed to be supporting al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Treasury Department officials visited the Afghan capital this month to talk about cash flowing OUT of the country among other... Ahem... financial issues in Afghanistan's "...infant, often chaotic financial sector.".
"All this money magically appears from nowhere," --U.S. official

Officials puzzle over millions of dollars leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai

By Andrew Higgins
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, February 25, 2010; A10

KABUL -- A blizzard of bank notes is flying out of Afghanistan -- often in full view of customs officers at the Kabul airport -- as part of a cash exodus that is confounding U.S. officials and raising concerns about the money's origin.

The cash, estimated to total well over $1 billion a year, flows mostly to the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, where many wealthy Afghans now park their families and funds, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. So long as departing cash is declared at the airport here, its transfer is legal.

But at a time when the United States and its allies are spending billions of dollars to prop up the fragile government of President Hamid Karzai, the volume of the outflow has stirred concerns that funds have been diverted from aid.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for its part, is trying to figure out whether some of the money comes from Afghanistan's thriving opium trade (ed. which, in socio-economically locked down Dubai, would undoubtedly be connected to Hamid Karzai's CIA-payrolled, Opium smuggling brother // Auntie I). And officials in neighboring Pakistan think that at least some of the cash leaving Kabul has been smuggled overland from Pakistan.

"All this money magically appears from nowhere," said a U.S. official who monitors Afghanistan's growing role as a hub for cash transfers to Dubai, which has six flights a day to and from Kabul.

In Full at the Washington Post

Friday, February 26, 2010

America's Finest 'Thinkers' - Harvard "Fellow" calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births

A fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Martin Kramer, has called for "the West" to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide.

Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births

In the speech Kramer rejected common views that Islamist "radicalization" is caused by US policies such as support for Israel, or propping up despotic dictatorships, and stated that it was inherent in the demography of Muslim societies such as Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. Too many children, he argued, leads to too many "superfluous young men" who then become violent radicals.

Kramer proposed that the number of Palestinian children born in the Gaza Strip should be deliberately curbed...

In Full

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sea Shepherd Complete Year's Operations in Southern Ocean

The decision to officially break off the engagement as of midnight marks three full weeks that the Japanese whaling fleet has been unable to kill a single whale.

Only two more weeks remain in the whaling season. By the time the whalers regroup and deal with the weather, they will not be able to recoup their losses.

Sea Shepherd Ships Complete Operations in Southern Ocean for 2010

1800 Hours: Perth and Fremantle
100 Hours: Sydney and Hobart
0200 Hours: (PST) Friday Harbor and Los Angeles

Captain Paul Watson has ordered the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker to disengage from further pursuit of the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru and to set a course for Hobart, Tasmania.

“The Bob Barker has a fuel valve problem that has a potential to cause an engine breakdown,” said Captain Paul Watson, “I can’t risk leaving the Bob Barker down on the coast of Antarctica without the Steve Irwin as back-up to assist. Therefore, I felt the safest thing to do was to end the campaign and recall the ship to port. Both ships have done an awesome job this year. We’ve hurt the Japanese whaling fleet more this year than any year before.”

The decision to officially break off the engagement as of midnight marks three full weeks that the Japanese whaling fleet has been unable to kill a single whale.

Only two more weeks remain in the whaling season. By the time the whalers regroup and deal with the weather, they will not be able to recoup their losses.

“When we add these three weeks to the two days of interventions by the Nisshin Maru and the 8-10 days that the entire fleet ran 2,500 miles to the West in January, it means a shutdown of an entire month. Add to this the days lost to bad weather, and the fact that two harpoon vessels spent weeks tailing Sea Shepherd ships, and with the Shonan Maru 2 out of the picture and on it’s way to Japan with Captain Peter Bethune as a prisoner, it spells financial disaster for Japan’s whaling fleet,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Operation Waltzing Matilda has been our most successful campaign in the six year history of our interventions in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. We have done the best job possible with the resources available to us, and I am confident that we have prevented the slaughter of hundreds of whales.”

The Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin is scheduled to arrive back in Hobart on March 6th. The Bob Barker will follow a few days later.

Sea Shepherd will now arrange a legal defense for Captain Peter Bethune in Japan.

The Steve Irwin is scheduled to depart on March 16th for the Mediterranean to oppose Bluefin tuna poachers.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obama's Spending Freeze Won't Apply To The Pentagon Or For That Matter, To Prisons...

"Last week the D.C.-based Justice Policy Institute issued a fact sheet describing its new DOJ budget in bleak terms. The report, "More Policing, Prisons, and Punitive Policies," warns that the "funding pattern" represented by Obama's budget "will likely result in increased costs to states for incarceration that will outweigh the increased revenue for law enforcement, with marginal public safety benefits."
The Last Thing We Need is More Money for Prisons, But That Is What Obama Wants
At the same time the Obama administration is talking about a dramatic "spending freeze" on any and all projects unrelated to war-making, it is quietly increasing the federal budget for even more prisons...
On February 1, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the administration would request $2.9 billion for the Department of Justice 2011 budget -- "a 5.4 percent increase in budget authority," according to the DOJ. Approximately $527.5 million would go to the federal Bureau of Prisons, a chunk of which would provide “bed space” to house prisoners currently at Guantanamo Bay (and ostensibly slated for transfer to the supermax prison in Thomson, IL).

"We have an obligation to protect our country in smart, reliable ways at every level," Holder said, invoking both the "fight against global terrorism" as well as the need to enforce "civil rights and the rule of law."

Smart and reliable, however, aren't words many Americans would use to describe our existing prison system, which has grown so rapidly and reached such epic proportions that serious efforts are underway across U.S. states to slash their prison populations out of sheer necessity...
Read On...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You're Gonna Have To Kill Someone For Your 'NIMBY' "Green"[tm] Lifestyle

War in South America anyone? OK then... War on China...

The budget for the Pentagon's SouthCom command has increased dramatically over the last few years... and we're "Muscling Latin America"

Here's ONE reason why:
Most of the lithium is mined in Chile, Argentina and China and sold by only a handful of companies. Bolivia, led by the Anti-American President Evo Morales, recently discovered that one of its decommissioned salt mines harbored giant reserves of lithium....
...The United States used to produce its own lithium and REEs, but most of the domestic mines have closed because mines in Latin America and China are able to operate much cheaper." (and Lithium is one of the most toxic elements on the face of the planet along with Cadmium, another rare material used in high tech batteries. You wouldn't want either mining operation in YOUR back yard. Even if you COULD live near these operations)
Happy Motoring - EssoThe world's next resource conflict (UPI)

BERLIN, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The next resource conflict could be about minerals and rare earth elements needed to fuel the green economy, as China, which supplies most of the minerals, is considering limiting exports.

There is great hope for a green boom to transform the CO2-heavy world economy into one that is less dependent on fossil fuels and more sustainable. Experts envision solar panels and wind turbines to produce clean power and heat and electric cars to cruise tomorrow's roads.

The problem with these technologies is that they rely on minerals and rare earth elements, or REEs, which are produced by politically unpredictable countries...

...When it comes to REEs (Rare Earth Elements, needed for hybrid cars, wind turbines, solar panels and defense industry products), China is the new kid on the block. In charge of more than half the global reservoirs, China supplies around 95 percent of the world's REEs.

This worries experts: A single mine in Mongolia accounts for 80 percent of China's production, so an earthquake or a flood in that region could severely disrupt global supplies.

And don't forget a political earthquake. Recently, Beijing indicated it plans to reduce exports of its minerals in a bid to save supplies for domestic use.

China has a quickly growing green technology industry and its solar panels and wind turbines are already competing with products from Europe and the United States, so they increasingly need the REEs themselves.

The situation is similarly dire for lithium, which forms the basis of the batteries intended to power the electric car boom. According to the Hyundai Research Institute, 80 percent of the world's lithium reserves are buried under just three countries...

In Full

Any questions? Your tax dollars support the murder of KNOWN civilians so your own government can propagandize you.

Marjah Offensive Aimed to Shape US Opinion on War

Tuesday 23 February 2010

by: Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

Washington - Senior military officials decided to launch the current U.S.-British military campaign to seize Marja in large part to influence domestic U.S. opinion on the war in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The Post report, by Greg Jaffe and Craig Whitlock, both of whom cover military affairs, said the town of Marja would not have been chosen as a target for a U.S. military operation had the criterion been military significance instead of impact on domestic public opinion.

The primary goal of the offensive, they write, is to "convince Americans that a new era has arrived in the eight-year long war…." U.S. military officials in Afghanistan "hope a large and loud victory in Marja will convince the American public that they deserve more time to demonstrate that extra troops and new tactics can yield better results on the battlefield," according to Jaffe and Whitlock.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich Calls For Accountability In US Airstrike That Killed 27 Civilians

"Kucinich writes, “Please provide information about the events leading up to the air strike, including the name of the person who granted authority to US Special Forces helicopters to conduct the aforementioned airstrike, the name of the person who ordered the airstrike, a detailed description of how it was determined that the civilians traveling by minibus were Taliban insurgents, and the protocol for ordering this airstrike and all other airstrikes."

Kucinich demanded a response within two weeks."
(He won't get one. //Auntie)

Kucinich challenges Gates on civilians killed in Afghanistan (Raw Story)

The buck doesn't appear to be stopping anywhere in Afghanistan.

"Two days after Afghanistan's deadliest attack on civilians in six months, many questions remain unanswered," The Canadian Press reports.

"Perhaps the two most pressing are: Who called in the air strike? And on what grounds?"

The article continues, "Dual investigations by NATO and the Afghan government are underway to answer those questions. But the cabinet of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has already made it clear the attack was, in a word, 'unjustifiable.'"

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) -- whose own press release notes that he remains "a vocal critic of the war in Afghanistan" -- wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday (pdf link) "demanding information on the decision-making process and the underlying intelligence that led to a NATO attack on a civilian convoy."

"Media reports indicate that 27 civilians were killed, including women and children and many more were injured," Kucinich's press release notes, adding, “The U.S. government has an obligation to protect civilians under international law. As Secretary of Defense, you have an obligation to ensure that all military operations conducted in Afghanistan are conducted in accordance to such laws."

Auntie Im wants to note that there is almost ZERO reporting of this incident in the US media, which is parroting the Pentagon's 'happy news' about the efforts they are taking to prevent civilian casualties... There have been approximately 50.

It's also notable that the Australian press seems in a panic over this incident... To wit: "ADF not responsible for fatal air strike", assuring it's citizens that NONE OF THEIR PERSONNEL was involved (whether they are lying or not is unknown), although the blurb under the picture on their site indicates they were nearby... because they 'assisted' in the aftermath of the attack.

Historical note: During Vietnam, the Australian longshoremen went on strike and refused to load ships bound for Vietnam, forcing the Australian government to pull out of that war.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Marja Afghanistan - Just Noting That We've Been Lied To About That "Cakewalk" Thing Again

Just noting that we've been lied to (again, and again, and again)

Firedoglake » Marja Battle Just a Confidence Booster – But Not for Afghan Civilians
A week or so ago, we were hearing a lot about how decisive the current surge over Marja in Afghanistan would be. Of course, we were hearing all sorts of things – including a lot of happy talk about how well things were going. This week we learn that the fight is not so easy with US forces still facing “strong resistance” even though the US/NATO/Afghan force is 15,000+ while the reported “taliban” presence before the attack was estimated at 400. US officers are now saying that the military component of the campaign will take at least a month. They have also told the Guardian that Marja is just a “confidence building” action leading to the new “decisive” battle which they are beginning to plan for Kandahar.

Monday, February 1, 2010

There Have Been

Visitors To Auntie Imperial's News & Blog Review
Thanks For Stopping By