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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,624

Journal Archives

Barbara Lee, sole vote against unlimited war post 9/11, calls for repeal of AUMF

Fourteen years ago, California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee cast the sole dissenting vote against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Three days after the Sept. 11 attacks, she took to the floor of the House and said: "Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let’s step back for a moment. Let’s just pause just for a minute and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control." Rep. Lee is now calling on Congress to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for military force, saying they have been used as blank checks for endless war.


Baltic Dry Shipping Index Drops to All-Time Low

(Bloomberg) The cost of shipping commodities fell to a record, amid signs that Chinese demand growth for iron ore and coal is slowing, hurting the industry’s biggest source of cargoes.

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping rates for everything from coal to ore to grains, fell to 504 points on Thursday, the lowest data from the London-based Baltic Exchange going back to 1985. Among the causes of shipowners’ pain is slowing economic growth in China, which is translating into weakening demand for imported iron ore that’s used to make the steel.

“The main issue is the lack of demand for iron ore from China,” Eirik Haavaldsen, a shipping analyst at Pareto Securities AS in Oslo, said by phone. “This market is looking like a disaster and the rates are a reflection of that. It is looking scary for the market and it doesn’t look like there is going to be any life in the market in the near term.”

Just as China’s surging imports of iron ore and other commodities led a surge in the Baltic Dry Index to a record in the last decade, now rates are sliding ever lower as that growth stalls. The nation’s ore purchases will expand by just 1 percent in 2016, about half this year’s expansion and the weakest pace in six years, according to data from Clarkson Plc, the world’s biggest shipbroker. Global trade in the raw material will increase the most slowly since 2001. China’s economy will grow by 6.5 percent in 2016, the least in a generation, economists’ forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show. ................(more)


The Department of Homeland Security: the largest police force nobody monitors

from the Guardian UK:

More than 55,000 armed law enforcement officers operate inside of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the foot soldiers of the mass deportation system. They work as you would expect any police force to operate but without even the semblance of oversight.

With an annual budget line item of $18bn solely for immigration enforcement the federal government spends more on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (BPE) than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. Yet the systems to monitor the vast network of field directors, detention officers and arresting officers under its purview are either non-existent or wracked with the same corruption they’re intended to prevent.

When Terrence Kullom was killed at his doorstep in Detroit, it was an ICE agent serving a warrant that pulled the trigger. In immigration detention centers, over 150 people have died since 2003. A recent report highlighted not just a lack of transparency at the agency, but ICE’s outright refusal to cooperate or answer questions related to the deaths. CBS News reported that CBP agents allegedly sexually assaulted women or children immigrant detainees at least 35 times between 2012 and 2014, taking advantage of what an ousted CBP official characterized as a “culture of impunity”.

Each agent claims blanket authority to police, arrest, search, seize property, detain and yes, shoot to kill almost anyone, and they often act as judge and jury – with few limitations from immigration courts. DHS remains one of the nation’s largest jailers, holding up to 34,000 noncitizens on any given day in private and public detention centers. ................(more)


Christian Uber driver beaten and threatened by passenger 'who thought he was Muslim'

An Uber driver from North Carolina has said that he was attacked by a passenger and threatened that he would be shot after the man said he believed he was a Muslim.

Samson Woldemichael, who came to the US eight years ago from Ethiopia and who said he is Christian, said he picked up the passenger early on Sunday morning from a bar in Charlotte and was asked to drive to the man’s home, ten miles away.

Mr Woldemichael told WBTV-TV that as he drove to the man’s house, the passenger become aggressive and hit him while he drove. When he arrived that the property, he threatened to shoot Mr Woldemichael in the face and strangle him. He also used anti-Muslim slurs and profanity at the driver.

“He asked me if I was a Muslim, and I said I was not a Muslim,” said Mr Woldemichael. “I was driving and he hit me while I was driving.” He added: “I told him in the first place I was not a Muslim, but it’s not right to generalize people and do that,” he said. ...................(more)


Minneapolis Shooting Officers Identified As Protests Rage

Minnesota officials on Wednesday identified the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man as chanting demonstrators surrounded a key police station.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said Minneapolis Police Department Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze were involved in the shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, Sunday. Both men have been police officers for seven years, including 13 months with the city. The officers, whose race was not disclosed, are on administrative leave during an investigation.

Clark is the latest in a series of unarmed black people to be killed at the hands of police in the United States over the past several years, fueling protests nationwide and rekindling a national civil rights movement.

Community activists have said Clark was unarmed and handcuffed when he was shot shortly after midnight on Sunday. Officials confirmed Clark was unarmed but were still investigating whether he was handcuffed. ...............(more)


Hypocrite, fraud, idiot

Published on Nov 16, 2015

Sarah Palin sat down with CBS correspondent Tracy Smith. She was asked about her daughter Bristol Palin, who made a living giving speeches about abstinence but is pregnant out of wedlock again. Cenk Uygur, host of the The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

"Her mother emphatically nodded her head when CBS reporter Tracy Smith asked about that description.

"That can't be how you saw this playing out -- unmarried and pregnant again?" Smith asked.

"Heck, no!" Palin replied. "Being a single mom is, oh my goodness. My heart goes out to the single parents, but my enormous admiration for what they’re able to accomplish doing double duty. And I watch Bristol do double duty all the time with her little boy, Tripp.

The 51-year-old mother of five acknowledged her critics, but said the only one she needs to worry about is the man upstairs.

"Well, the cool thing about putting your faith in God," Palin said, "is he certainly is a God of second chances and third and fourth and fifth chances.””*


Why Delta won’t let you fly pets as checked luggage

from MarketWatch:

Soon you won’t be able to check your dog with your suitcase on Delta flights.

Delta Air Lines stated on its website that it will no longer allow customers to check their pets with their baggage after March 1, 2016, unless passengers are a member of the military with active transfer orders or require service animals. Certain pets can still travel in the cabin for a fee, and a Delta spokesperson says they can travel in the cargo hold of an aircraft after the policy takes effect when shipped as freight via its Delta Cargo service. Prices for Delta Cargo shipping range from $193 to $1,481.

The move may have been prompted by Delta’s history of pet incidents. The airline has recorded the highest number of pet deaths between May 2005 and September 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. On Delta flights alone, 74 pets have died in the 10-year time period, accounting for about 25% of all recorded airline pet deaths in the U.S., and 14 pets have gone missing. However, these numbers are just a small percentage of the thousands of pets that travel on airlines each year. ...................(more)


New York Times: Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism

(NYT) It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low.

Speaking less than three days after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 and injured hundreds more, Mr. Brennan complained about “a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists.”

What he calls “hand-wringing” was the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. In June, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, which ends bulk collection of domestic phone data by the government (but not the collection of other data, like emails and the content of Americans’ international phone calls) and requires the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make its most significant rulings available to the public.

These reforms are only a modest improvement on the Patriot Act, but the intelligence community saw them as a grave impediment to antiterror efforts. In his comments Monday, Mr. Brennan called the attacks in Paris a “wake-up call,” and claimed that recent “policy and legal” actions “make our ability collectively, internationally, to find these terrorists much more challenging.” .....................(more)


Signs Point to Unencrypted Communications Between Terror Suspects

(The Intercept) In the wake of the Paris attack, intelligence officials and sympathizers upset by the Edward Snowden leaks and the spread of encrypted communications have tried to blame Snowden for the terrorists’ ability to keep their plans secret from law enforcement.

Yet news emerging from Paris — as well as evidence from a Belgian ISIS raid in January — suggests that the ISIS terror networks involved were communicating in the clear, and that the data on their smartphones was not encrypted.

European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements.

The Telegraph reported that “eyewitness accounts and surveillance of mobile telephone traffic” suggested that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected strategist of both the Paris attack and one that was foiled in Belgium, was staying at the safe house. ...........(more)


Keiser Report: Dead Industries, Zombie Banks & Broken Markets

Published on Nov 12, 2015

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the memory of our living economy and consumers in the life of the dead banks, markets and economies. They look at the collapse of the Baltic Dry Index, the slow death of the markets as spoofing and HFT front-running fraud take over where real price discovery once lived and the booming stock prices of legal heroin dealers in America where a historical spike in overdose deaths is happening. In the second half, Max interviews Sandeep Jaitly of Fekete Research about the fact that QE has been happening since the 1920s, the only thing different today is that the central banks have moved further out the yield curve. Sandeep also suggests Carl Menger, if he were to be brought back from the dead to run our economy, would immediately die at the sight of our notion of ‘public debt.’

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