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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:14)

JulieRButler

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  • Brazilian President Snubs Obama: How US Cyber Espionage will Destroy the Internet
    • The US may be the bully, but Brazil is no angel, either, and I caution against gloating about this snub.

      I am angry about the way that the US interacts with its neighbors in the Americas, angry at Obama for not following through with his campaign promise to take a different approach in the region, and angry at Hilary Clinton for being so arrogant at the head of the State Department.

      However, I am also angry at the way that the Snowden leaks have set back international diplomacy in general, and I think it is dangerous that nations are refusing to engage in diplomacy because of their moral outrage when the reality is that few are really any better than the US and would likely act in the same way if they had the means.

      For their part, the Brazilian dictatorship provided vital assistance to the US during Operation Condor, helping to overthrow democratically elected leaders and escalating the violence in the battle to stamp out communism throughout South America. The Brazilian Intelligence Agency is still dominated by military authoritarians who have spied on political opponents as recently as the previous administration. And in response to the recent wave of protests, they have begun spying on social networks.
      see link to stratrisks.com

      This issue of Internet balkanization is more disturbing fallout of the NSA spying revelations that might have been dealt with more delicately, had the reporting been done more responsibly (remember, Glenn Greenwald unleashed the report about spying on Brazil and Mexico just after his partner had been detained in London and he had threatened revenge).

      Techdirt has this to say:
      link to techdirt.com

      "This is just what many people feared: that the leaks about the NSA's massive surveillance activities around the world -- including economic espionage -- will provide the pretext repressive regimes need in order to take complete technical control of the Internet in their countries, rather than continuing to acquiesce in its global governance, as at present. And so all the efforts by Western countries at the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to stop precisely that kind of balkanization will have been in vain."

      This goes way beyond the issue of constitutionality of collecting metadata of US citizens inside the United States - an issue where the leaks have had a positive effect. That nations spy on other nations is actually not something previously unknown, and the outing of the spying only serves the purpose of playing into the domestic politics, as Roussef works to regain popularity after the recent protests. Populist bluster against the big, bad bogyman is always good for poll numbers in this part of the world. I like Roussef and don't blame her for playing the populist card, but if the result of all this ends up allowing more authoritarian factions in her government to ride on the tailcoats of the outrage and gain power, it would be very bad for Brazil.

  • Chuck Hagel Mauled in Bizarro World of US Senate
    • The level of gasbaggery (to borrow from the great Matt Taibbi) of these neocons only shows how desparately they are clinging to the status quo.

      The truth is that the tide is turning on the Israelis and the Israel lobby. The United Nations just called them out on their illegal settlements, the world outside of the United States is rejecting their claims, and the Palestinians have begun using the nonviolent tactic of setting up camps on seized lands, so that the Israelis are pointing their guns at women and children and showing their brutality on a regular basis - all documented for the whole world to see. It is a British-v-Ghandi moment, and all the phone calls to Congresspersons by Roger Ailes in the world is not going to change the course of history!

  • FBI Violated Constitution by Branding Peaceful Occupy Wall Street as Terrorist threat
    • What I find very troubling is the vilification of the progressive left that I keep seeing in comments to stories like this. Who says the left has just "shrugged their shoulders" or has been silent about the troubling issues that this president and Justice Department are overseeing? People who are not involved, that's who.

      We have been kinda sorta busy making sure that the rightwing, islamophobic warhawks who are 100 percent behind the 1 percent didn't end up in office - and we succeeded. We are constantly chosing our battles - its just that with progressivism, the tactics have to be sound and very often subtle because the whole point is that we don't want to take over the world, we just want those in power in the world to treat everyone more fairly - and that takes time and patience.

      Of course the Obama administration is doing things that infuriate us. But just because we aren't acting like the bunch of babies and throwing tizzy fits like the Tea Party doesn't meant we are not POed and working on what to do about it. I agree with John Hayes - we need to make the change happen ourselves, because the Justice Department is filled with career officials, and indeed, was stacked with rightwing idealogues by direction of Karl Rove, which was why Alberto Gonzales had to go. The whole system is stacked against progressives who want to get all the money out of politics...

      So what do you want us to do? What can we do? We can stay informed and get involved in making our government pay attention to our concerns - and for all the naysayers, I predict that there will be massive action against this atrocity, and against the drone program. Momentum is building.

  • Top Ten Steps that are Necessary for Lasting Gaza-Israel Peace (or, Good Luck!)
    • There is another thing that must happen that is not on this list - the people in the United States must be better informed about the Israel/Palestine situation. We can all help to amplify the voice of Juan Cole and others who are not invested in the hardline Israeli narrative through social media. The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) is a great source of info. Their fact sheet "A Pattern of Abuse Against American Citizens" is eye-opening: link to imeu.net

      Another hope that I hold out is that once Hillary Clinton is replaced as secretary of state by someone without all of the Israeli connections from New York and other political baggage she carries - just maybe, a shift away from the "We support Israel, no matter what" stance might be possible. (They say I'm a dreamer!)

  • Mourdock, Rape as a Gift of God, and Islamic Sharia
    • The wedding of the Christian right and the neo-liberals is completely contradictory. The small-government people, one would think, would not want government getting involved in private matters such as women's uteruses or personal religion. After all, Ayn Rand was not only an atheist but a critic of religion. So why do they agree with religious and social conservatives? I believe that it all goes back to the Red Scare. Communism and socialism are not only feared and loathed because of their big-government economics. They are also godless and a threat to Judeo-Christian values. Those who are neo-liberals AND Christian conservatives are schizophrenic, and therefore, dangerously on the edge of a catastrophic and possibly violent psychotic breakdown (in my humble opinion).

  • 71% of Americans think Iran already has the Bomb (Also we used to have pet triceratops)
    • "But who knows, maybe their preference for diplomacy is because they don’t want to go to war with an already-nuclear armed Iran, so that the propaganda has backfired on Big Oil and the Israel lobbies."

      Tragically, the rejection of war with Iran is not based on this kind of logic, and nothing has backfired on Big Oil (although maybe the propoganda is backfiring on the Israel lobbies). Big Oil is reaping enormous benefits from fear and uncertainty over war with Iran, and the speculators are right there, fueling the fire:

      link to mcclatchydc.com

      The "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... uuuuh... well, you can't get fooled again" crowd may be easily convinced that Iran has the worst of intentions, but their wariness of war and the price that the nation is paying for its wars, even if they were all gung-ho about starting those most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, mixed with a delayed reaction of mistrust that should have been aimed at the previous administration but has now manifested itself regardless of if it is actually deserved or not, is overriding any fear of Iran and what it could potentially do to the United States from so far away.

      It is the fear of the United States launching into another war that matters most, and it is driving up the price of oil, and that is not an accident. The politicians are of course all in the pocket of the Israel lobbies, but that relationship is entirely divorced from the will of the people that they are supposed to be representing in the United States.

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