By James Corbett | corbettreport.com | December 9, 2013
Myth #1. The earth is warming!
Myth #2. This year was the hottest year ever!
Was that before or after NASA and the NOAA altered the temperature record to make recent years warmer?
Myth #3. 97% of scientists agree on global warming!
You mean 97% of 77 scientists in an unscientific online poll?
Myth #4. Sea levels are rising!
Yes…at a rate of 7 inches per century.
Myth #5. Hurricanes are increasing!
US landfalling hurricanes are at their lowest intensity in a century. (Bonus fact: Accumulated Cyclone Energy is at a 30 year low!)
Myth #6. But…polar bears!
Myth #7. Climategate was hype and it’s been debunked.
The UK Information Commissioner found the climategate scientists guilty of breaking the law by hiding data from the public.
Myth #8. Models project a temperature increase of over 2 degrees in this century.
And these same models overestimated warming over the past 15 years by 400%.
Myth #9. Weather is not climate.
Actually, yes. And this is true when it’s hot outside, too.
Myth #10. Climate denial is a well-funded conspiracy.
Actually, the reverse. The global warming industry has generated over $140 billion in government grants, a $315 billion carbon market and is expected to generate 10s of trillions more in government-sponsored investment in the coming decades.
Via Amy Alkon, we learn of yet another bizarre moment in the world of security theater known as the TSA. It involves a young man from Orono, Minnesota, named Kahler Nygard, who for reasons no one will ever explain, happens to be on a “selectee” list for flying. It’s not quite the no fly list, but it’s the list where you get four S’s on your boarding pass (“SSSS”), and the TSA is then supposed to give you and your bags that extra level of privacy-destroying attention, including a full gropedown. Nygard claims he got the full groping in Minnesota, but the TSA (or potentially a Spirit airlines employee) apparently believed it was overlooked — though, they didn’t “realize” this until the flight was halfway to Denver. Frantic calls were made and the TSA was eagerly waiting for Nygard when he landed in Denver, leading him to be pulled off the plane first (that’s a self-recorded video where he cheerfully announces to those on board, “No, I have not committed a crime!”), at which point the TSA demands to grope him again:
Yes, after he’s already flown from Minneapolis (where he claims he was groped, though the TSA claims it was missed) to Denver, the TSA wishes to grope him (and search through his bags again). Apparently, they believe that he might magically reverse time and go back in time to blow up the plane or something.
The TSA agent, Andrew Grossman, first demands Nygard’s boarding pass. Nygard points out that he no longer has it (you don’t need it after you board), which stumps Grossman, leading him to have to make a phone call — where he helpfully tells whoever he’s talking to at the other end that Nygard is “pretty objectionable, filming me.” Nygard keeps asking why they need to search him, and the TSA has no good answer, other than saying they need to do so. Nygard asks if he’s being detained, and they don’t answer. He asks if it’s an order or a request, and the TSA’s Grossman again doesn’t really answer (other than to say that he’s following orders). Finally, Nygard just walks away, saying that if he’s not being detained, he’s leaving. The TSA claims it’s calling the Denver police, who apparently did not do anything to stop Nygard, who walked out of the airport without any further problems.
I’m curious if the TSA’s Blogger Bob will step up with an explanation for why a passenger should be groped post-flight.
Eugene V. Debs nearly 100 years ago was a political prisoner in the United States for the “crime” of opposing the United States government’s participation in World War I and conscription of people to fight in that war. In March of 1919, the US Supreme Court, pointing to the Espionage Act of 1917 for justification, upheld Debs’ conviction by a trial jury and ten-year prison sentence for making antiwar comments in a June 16, 1918 Canton, Ohio speech.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote the Supreme Court’s short Debs v. United States opinion that upheld the conviction and ten-year prison sentence of Debs for two charges that Holmes described as follows:
This is an indictment under the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917… It has been cut down to two counts, originally the third and fourth. The former of these alleges that on or about June 16, 1918, at Canton, Ohio, the defendant caused and incited and attempted to cause and incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States and with intent so to do delivered, to an assembly of people, a public speech, set forth. The fourth count alleges that he obstructed and attempted to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment service of the United States and to that end and with that intent delivered the same speech, again set forth.
In effect, Debs was incarcerated for exercising his right to free speech regarding two political matters — the US government choosing to participate in World War I and the US government using the draft to help fight that war. One may expect the justices to have reread the First Amendment to the US Constitution and promptly overturned Debs’ conviction. However, Holmes explains that a prior Supreme Court decision had already settled the inapplicability of Debs’ First Amendment defense.
The prior Supreme Court decision, announced just seven days earlier, was for the case Schenck v. United States. The Supreme Court’s Schenck opinion allowed Holmes in the Debs opinion to bypass offering ridiculous contortions of logic to justify throwing a prominent labor and political leader in prison for criticizing the heart of the US government’s war policy. Instead, Holmes could just summarily deem Debs’ conviction and sentence constitutional and legitimate based on precedent. Here is how Holmes, again writing for the Supreme Court, argued in the court’s Schenck opinion that a flier opposing the draft was not protected under the First Amendment:
We admit that, in many places and in ordinary times, the defendants, in saying all that was said in the circular, would have been within their constitutional rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U.S. 194, 205, 206. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 439. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree. When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.
So there you have it: the First Amendment protects your free speech so long as that speech cannot affect US government policy, or at least so long as your free speech cannot pose a serious threat to something the Supreme Court thinks it is very important to promote, such as the US government participating in World War I and forcing Americans to fight in that war.
Debs was an eloquent opponent of this war, and for that, coupled with his prominence in American labor and politics, he was imprisoned.
In addition to his labor union activities, Debs had run four times as the Socialist Party nominee for US president before his conviction, winning more votes each time. In his last pre-imprisonment run in 1912, Debs won over 900,000 votes — 6.0% nationwide.
In 1920, while serving his prison term, Debs again ran for president, winning a few thousand more votes than in 1912 and 3.4% nationwide.
Debs knew his June 16, 1918 Canton, Ohio speech — despite his care in presenting the speech such that it would comply with US government speech restrictions — could lead to his imprisonment. Indeed, in his speech, Debs talks of other individuals who had been imprisoned for the “crime” of exercising their right to free speech. Debs explains near the beginning of the speech why he spoke anyway:
I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon, there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and prudent as to how I say it. I may not be able to say all I think; but I am not going to say anything that I do not think. I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.
Debs’ complete speech may be read here.
Watch here actor Mark Ruffalo present a reading of some excerpts concerning war from the speech:
A military alliance in search of an identity: For over two decades NATO has had branding issues. To justify its existence, it absolutely needs an enemy. In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Russia now fits that bill.
CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda, Alexander Mercouris and Brian Becker.
I don’t wanna see no more blood shed
I don’t wanna see no more violence
We don’t want no war tonight, we don’t want a fuss and a fight
if we all unite
We don’t want no war tonight, we don’t want a fuss and a fight
if we all unite
Mala – Anti War Dub (Compa Refix)
Efforts to expose videos and photos that documented torture at Guantánamo have been blocked by a federal appeals court in New York that sided with the Obama administration in its refusal to turn over the information.
The case centered on the treatment of Mohammed al-Qahtani, dubbed the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks. Captured in 2001 and held at Guantánamo since then, al-Qahtani has been subjected to torture and other harsh treatment during his detention, according to his lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).
CCR filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force the administration to release photos and videos depicting its client’s abuse at the U.S. prison in Cuba.
There are reportedly 58 videos in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kevin Gosztola wrote at Fire Dog Lake, which show Qahtani’s “activities in his cell and his interactions” with U.S. military personnel. Two videos allegedly depict “forced cell extractions” involving Qahtani that resulted in abusive or aggressive behavior on the part of his jailers.
But those recordings will not see the light of day anytime soon. The government successfully argued “with adequate specificity” that the footage and images “could logically and plausibly harm national security because these images are uniquely susceptible to use by anti-American extremists as propaganda to incite violence against United States interests domestically and abroad,” Judge José Cabranes wrote in the court’s opinion.
To Learn More:
Court: Releasing Images of Guantanamo Prisoner Would Incite Violence, Especially Since He Was Tortured (by Kevin Gosztola, Fire Dog Lake)
No Daylight for US Govt Photos, Video That May Show Gitmo Torture (by Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams)
Circuit Keeps Lid Closed on al-Qahtani Footage (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service)
Center for Constitutional Rights v. Central Intelligence Agency (Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
Group Sues U.S. Government to Force Release of Only Known Remaining Torture Video (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
“Our faiths are inextricably linked on any number of things that we must confront and deal with in policy concepts today. Our faiths are inextricably linked on the environment. For many of us, respect for God’s creation also translates into a duty to protect and sustain his first creation, Earth, the planet,”
“Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid out in Scriptures clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth, and for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.”
[Don't miss the second half]
Ukraine’s civil war has grounded in stalemate and the economy is crashing. This has created an opening for dialogue. Will all parties seize the moment or will Moscow continue to be blamed?
CrossTalking with Karel van Wolferen, Neil Clark and Gilbert Doctorow.
The Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations Bashar Al-Jaafari says the recent developments in the Middle East, particularly the unrest in Syria and Iraq are part of a project to divide the Middle East.
There’s something profoundly depressing about the start of this little video clip filmed, by the sound of it, by two young boys, possibly from their bedroom window. As they chatter away, on the other side of an East Jerusalem valley an Israeli “skunk” truck fires high-powered jets of intensely foul-smelling liquid at older youths protesting Israel’s mass arrests policy, carried out under cover of its attack on Gaza.
The truck indiscriminately sprays a wide arc of liquid at homes and cars, a kind of petty collective punishment meant to pollute the Palestinian neighbourhood with the disgusting odour for days.
All of this is just another day in these boys’ experience of occupation. They film the truck like other children might video a cat chasing a ball of wool. Interesting to them, but nothing out of the ordinary.
And then, suddenly, something exceptional happens. The truck falls off the edge of the road, into a ravine. The screams of delight from the boys, and the whoops that seem to echo from the other side of the valley, they are so loud, register a small triumph – a momentary loss of control from the seemingly all-powerful machine that is the occupation.
It is easy, when the headlines have been filled with death and destruction in Gaza, to forget that the occupation is far more relentless and insidious than such spasms of Israeli death-wreaking. It is the monotonous drone of a mechanical, faceless monster seeking to sap all hope from young minds. In that brief interruption, before normal service was resumed, another world was revealed to these boys.
The war against us all
This war in Iraq isn’t the end; it’s the beginning of Wars to come
all around the world at the whim of the Neo-Cons in the White House
This is the Bush Doctrine come to life; War, war and more war!
War brought to you by the big corporate-masters who run the show
This isn’t just a War on Iraqis or Afghanis or Arabs, or even Muslims
It is ultimately a War on us all!
That’s because the billions and billions that are being spent on this War
the cost of tanks, rocketry, bullets and yes even salaries
for the 125,000 plus troops, is money that will never be spent on;
education, on healthcare, on the reconstruction of crumbling public housing
or to train and place the millions of workers
who have lost manufacturing jobs in the past three years alone
The War in Iraq is in reality; a war against the nations’ workers and the poor
who are getting less and less
while the big Defense industries and making a killing – literally!
What’s next Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela?
We’ve already seen the corporate media
play megaphone to the White House, to build and promote a War based on lies
War is utilized by the imperialists first and foremost, to crush internal enemies
We’re seeing the truth of its insight
when we see the sad state of American education
the rush of seniors to buy affordable medications from the Canadians
because American drugs are just too expensive
the threat of privatization of Social Security
and the wave of repression that comes with an increasing Militarized Police;
this is a War on all of us
And the struggle against War is really a struggle for a better life
for the millions of folks who are in need here in this country!
The fight against the War is really to fight for your own interest
not the false interests of the Defense Industry
or the corporate media or the White House
Down with the Wars for empire!
From Death row this is Mumia Abu Jamal…