Friday, March 09, 2018

Google kills people

I wrote about  “Google's been evil ” – they’re helping DoD with the deadly drone program.  This is not a good thing, to put it mildly.  And it goes against Google’s image.  Andre Damon has a piece about it at WSWS:

Since initiating its drone assassination program in 2009, the United States claims to have killed close to 3,000 “combatants” in drone strikes. Internal military documents show that for every one person targeted by a drone strike, nine bystanders are killed, meaning that the true toll of the US military’s airborne terrorism campaign in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq potentially rises to the tens of thousands.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “A program of targeted killing far from any battlefield, without charge or trial, violates the constitutional guarantee of due process. It also violates international law, under which lethal force may be used outside armed conflict zones only as a last resort.”
Google’s complicity with the drone murder program implicates the company in the criminal activities of the US military, sparking outrage among employees after executives admitted the collaboration in an internal memo last week, according to a report by Gizmodo.
Sensitive to both the potential legal ramifications of its actions and to the hostility to America’s criminal wars both inside and outside the company, Google stressed in a statement that its collaboration “is for non-offensive uses only,” saying “the technology flags images for human review.”
But this absurd and unserious pretense, aimed to provide talking points to an uncritical, state-controlled media, is the equivalent of a Mafia getaway driver claiming he is not an accomplice to murder because he did not pull the trigger.
The US government has claimed the right to use drones to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world, including within the borders of the United States. In 2011, the Obama administration assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, with a Predator drone strike in Yemen, then murdered his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in another drone strike two weeks later.
Google’s partnership in such nefarious operations threatens it not only with legal sanction around the world, but also with serious commercial repercussions. The company’s decision to proceed despite these dangers points to the increasingly vital role of military contracts in the business operations of the major technology giants.
It is appalling that science is being used for this.  The technology that would free us turns out to be yet another prison.  I feel my life is becoming like the lead character in The Prisoner and I need to yell, “I am not number six!”
I would never have thought my life would be like this, that the world I live in would be like this.  I grew up during hope and lover and our biggest threat was a crook like Nixon who got himself in trouble.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:

Thursday, March 8, 2018.

The idiot Melinda Henneberger.

I've said this repeatedly: I do not begrudge any woman who supported Hillary in 2008 for supporting her in 2016.  I did not support her in 2016.  I did support her in 2008.  And those of us who did battled real sexism -- not the supposed sexism of 2016.  We dealt with, for example, Matthew Rotschild (then in charge of THE PROGRESSIVE) giggling over Citizens United's full name -- look it up.  We got David Shuster going after Chelsea and accusing Hillary of "pimping her."  We got Keith Olbermann declaring Katie Couric "worst person of the week" because Katie dared to point out reality -- a news reporter for MSNBC should not be bragging on air about how he couldn't be objective about Barack because he loved him so much.  We got talk shows offering that Hillary needed to be taken out behind the barn.  We got Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards both suggesting that if Hillary couldn't handle her home life (meaning Bill's affairs) then how could she handle her presidency?  (Edwards is especially hilarious to reflect on -- she gave an interview -- where else -- to THE PROGRESSIVE boasting about how, unlike Hillary, the choices she made in her life left her happy -- this as her husband had just fathered the child with his mistress).  We had Chris Matthews chuckling over -- promoting actually -- the nut crackers that were basically a Hillary Clinton doll whose legs cracked nuts.  We got talk of how she shaved her face every morning.

There was the infamous photo, remember?

Dee Dee Myers (VANITY FAIR):

What's bugging me is his intention.  He isn't putting his hand on her "chest" as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it.  Rather, his hand-cupped just so -- is clearly intended to signal that he's groping her breast.  And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive.  Au contraire.  It's an act of deliberate humiliation.  Of disempowerment.  Of denigration.  And it disgusts me.

Here's the photo, for those who have forgotten it or never saw it.

Image result for hillary clinton jon favreau

Grabbing/cupping her breast?  That's Barack Obama's speech writer.  The photo is from the 2008 campaign.  Jon Favreau never publicly apologized.  It was in the middle of the primary.  Barack never made a point to apologize or to call for Favreau to.

We could go over and over this -- the 2008 environment -- but I always felt Marie Cocco hit harder than any of us and that her "Obama's Abortion Stance When 'Feeling Blue'" (Washington Post Writers Group) will always be something for us all to be proud of (what she wrote, not Barack's nonsense -- and if that link doesn't work try Googling the title of the column):

Obama says that these women should not be able to obtain a late-term abortion, because just "feeling blue" isn't the same as suffering "serious clinical mental health diseases." True enough. And totally infuriating. During the recent Obama pander tour -- the one in which he spent about a week trying to win over conservative religious voters -- the presumptive Democratic nominee unnecessarily endorsed President Bush's faith-based initiative, a sort of patronage program that rewards religious activists for their political support with public grants. Then in a St. Louis speech, Obama declared that "I let Jesus Christ into my life." That's fine, but we already have a president who believes this was a qualification for the Oval Office, and look where that's gotten us.Obama's verbal meanderings on the issue of late-term abortion go further. He has muddied his position. Whether this is a mistake or deliberate triangulation, only Obama knows for sure. One thing is certain: Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions -- even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion -- are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are "feeling blue."

The only thing better?  Marie near the end of the 2008 cycle, ''Misogyny I won't miss:"

I will not miss seeing advertisements for T-shirts that bear the slogan "Bros before Hos." The shirts depict Barack Obama (the Bro) and Hillary Clinton (the Ho) and are widely sold on the Internet.
I will not miss walking past airport concessions selling the Hillary Nutcracker, a device in which a pantsuit-clad Clinton doll opens her legs to reveal stainless-steel thighs that, well, bust nuts. I won't miss television and newspaper stories that make light of the novelty item.
I won't miss episodes like the one in which liberal radio personality Randi Rhodes calledClinton a "big [expletive] whore" and said the same about former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Rhodes was appearing at an event sponsored by a San Francisco radio station, before an audience of appreciative Obama supporters -- one of whom had promoted the evening on the presumptive Democratic nominee's official campaign Web site.
[. . .]
Political discourse will at last be free of jokes like this one, told last week by magician Penn Jillette on MSNBC: "Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month, right?" Co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked Jillette.
I won't miss political commentators (including National Public Radio political editor Ken Rudin and Andrew Sullivan, the columnist and blogger) who compare Clinton to the Glenn Close character in the movie "Fatal Attraction." In the iconic 1987 film, Close played an independent New York woman who has an affair with a married man played by Michael Douglas. When the liaison ends, the jilted woman becomes a deranged, knife-wielding stalker who terrorizes the man's blissful suburban family. Message: Psychopathic home-wrecker, begone.
The airwaves will at last be free of comments that liken Clinton to a "she-devil" (Chris Matthews on MSNBC, who helpfully supplied an on-screen mock-up of Clinton sprouting horns). Or those who offer that she's "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court" (Mike Barnicle, also on MSNBC).
But perhaps it is not wives who are so very problematic. Maybe it's mothers. Because, after all, Clinton is more like "a scolding mother, talking down to a child" (Jack Cafferty on CNN).

Deliah Boyd and a lot of other women fought this nonsense day in and day out in 2008.  We fought it here.  And it was a war, a very real war against women.  Don't do your whining about 2016 and sexism because it really wasn't there -- not compared to 2008.  And we were threatened and bullied, many of us were run of Blogger/Blogspot (our issue is Iraq and we've long called out everyone on that which might be why the complaints about this site to blogger didn't get us suspended the way so many other female run sites were -- most of those women ended up moving over to WordPress).

So I don't begrudge any woman who supported Hillary in 2008 supporting her in 2016.  The women of 2008 -- myself included -- have the scars.

But I do begrudge the women who were silent in 2008.  Especially if they've set themselves up as the last word on sexism in 2016 and especially today.

Melinda, for those who wonder, didn't do s**t.

But here she is rushing in to defend Dianne Feinstein in a USA TODAY and KANSAS CITY STAR COLUMN -- Kansas?  Presumably, that's where she votes.  She doesn't vote in California.

But Dianne Feinstein is being disrespected, whines Melinda, and that's sexism.

Shove it up your useless ass, Melinda.

It's not sexism to point out her age -- you might want to pretend it's ageism, but it's not sexism.

And there's nothing good about the fact that, if elected in November to the US Senate, Dianne -- if she lived that long -- would be in her 90s when her term expired.

Dianne will be 85 in June.

She needs to retire.

Saying that is not sexism.

From December 2008's "A gold watch for Robert Byrd?" that we wrote for THIRD:

But Byrd and his colleagues really aren't running for office these days. They are incumbents and the re-election rate for incumbents means that there's no real running for office in most cases. OpenSecrets notes, "Few things in life are more predictable than the chances of an incumbent member of the U.S. House of Representatives winning reelection. With wide name recognition, and usually an insurmountable advantage in campaign cash, House incumbents typically have little trouble holding onto their seats . . . Senate races still overwhelmingly favor the incumbent, but not by as reliable a margin as House races. Big swings in the national mood can sometimes topple long time office-holders, as happened with the Reagan revolution in 1980. Even so, years like that are an exception." This is backed up by their graphs where you will find, for example, the 2004 re-election rate for incumbents in the US Congress: House office holders were re-elected by 98% and Senate office holders by 96%.

Let's stop pretending the bulk of incumbents ever have to worry about holding onto their seats.

And let's stop pretending about the 'kid' tapped to replace Byrd as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committees. That would be Senator Daniel Inouye, a whipper snapper of 84-years. Repeating, 84-years-old.

The Daniels

Inouye is not only the incoming chair of the Senate Appropriates Committee, he's also the senior senator from Hawaii. "Junior" would be Daniel Akaka who is also 84-years-old (four days younger than Inouye, in fact). Ted Kennedy is 76-years-old and last ran for re-election in 2006. In May of this year, he informed voters he was ill, brain cancer. A few months later he had surgery, taking constituents by surprise. The surgery is thought to have extended Kennedy's life expectancy (by a few months) but he had a seizure in August that no one's said a great deal on but the 'official word' is the seizure resulted from medications. (His being diagnosed with brain cancer was preceded by at least two seizures.) Carl Levin is 74-years-old, Herbert Kohl is 73-years-old and Jay Rockefeller is 71-years-old. Tom Harkin and Harry Reid will both turn 70 in 2009.

In his June 2007 speech, Byrd declared, "I will continue to work until this old body just gives out and drops -- but don't expect that to be any time soon." Are Senate seats to be lifetime offices? The rate of re-election indicates that is possible if someone's life is so damn pathetic that all they have to live for is their job. There is something really sick about this. From time to time, for example, one of the above listed senators is "honored" for his consecutive days of service (in 2004, Daniel Akaka issued a proclamation honoring Daniel Inouye, for example) as though this was something to be proud of. You can't say, "As though Inouye was the Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken Jr." because, note, Ripken had the good sense to step down. In terms of good sense, about all you can say for the senators is, "At least they didn't use a revolving door to become lobbyists."

Look, Liar Melinda, you can call out men for it.  In fact, in that article, all we did was call out men who were too old to serve but kept serving.  Not one, not two, but plenty.  Those with good sense stepped down.  Those with no sense died in office.

She'll be 85 this year, she needs to step down.  And Melinda needs to stop calling every insult, critique, slam on a politician "sexism!" if the politician happens to be a woman.

There's no one more of an idiot than Melinda.  She didn't stand with us in 2008 when Hillary (and later Sarah Palin) were attacked with sexism (or the silence on Cynthia McKinney which was another form of sexism).

But now because her centrist sensibilities are offended that Reagan Democrat Dianne Feinstein might be forced out of office (she should be forced out), she comes running in to whine "Sexism!"  Just sit your tired ass down, Melinda.

Kevin de Leon can lead my state into the future.  He may not be right for Kansas and Melinda, but he's not running to represent the people of Kansas.

LIVE: Joined by former U.S. Attorney General , Senator and Assemblymember on response to federal lawsuit

💻 | Live at 10:30AM (PST) a press call with Senate Leader De Leòn and former U.S. Attorney General on response to the federal lawsuit LINK:

In a press conference with , and , spoke on the phone about lawsuit: "[Federal government] cannot insist that the State of California use its money and its resources to help in [its immigration policies]."


Kevin's standing up for the people of California.

Dianne's napping . . . again.

Turning to Iraq . . .  and the war that Dianne Feinstein voted for.

Vivienne West (TIME) speaks with prime minister Hayder al-Abadi:

TIME: How do you stop ISIS from regrouping, and taking advantage of the upheaval in this region?

Abadi: One faultline that allowed [. . .] [ISIS] to make very good advances in our cities is that the reachout to our citizens was weak. Our citizens must feel they are part and parcel of this country. This is essential. The role of the government is not to solve religious or sectarian or ethnic problems. These are age-old. I don’t think any government of the day can solve all differences. But the government of the day can deliver to our citizens, and show our citizens that they are equal in front of the law.
[. . .]

That said, when will this no longer be a war that involves the U.S. military?

We need a few things yet: Restructuring our own armed forces, finishing the job of training our security forces, logistical support, intelligence cooperation. We still need them to make sure that [ISIS] is fully destroyed, not only militarily, but its own existence is destroyed. There is a lot of work to be done. There are terror cells which we are following up. In Syria there are safe havens, controlled by this terror organization. They are training would-be suicide bombers, would-be assassins, to commit terrorist attacks.
We need a few things yet?

The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark in less than two weeks but Hayder needs a few things yet?

Because he's not really a leader.  He's an installed puppet.  He needs the US military on the ground to maintain his power.  When most (but not all) were removed from Iraq at the end of 2011, ISIS began taking over parts of Iraq.  When the US government was convinced that ISIS was about to take over Baghdad, Barack Obama sent a large number of troops into Iraq and began bombing the country daily.  Mosul being seized by ISIS?  That didn't make him move.  The threat that Baghdad would fall -- and with it, the US-installed puppet?  That was enough to motivate Barack.

The 'leadership' in Iraq does not have validity.  It's being propped up.  It was created by foreigners and it's propped by them.  The goal, apparently, is to exhaust Iraqis and the US military has to stay until that happens.

Hayder wants (and needs) the US military to stay.

That's not what the people of Iraq want.

People of Iraq have spoken, time for US to move out – Ron Paul


Ron Paul was in the US Congress when the vote on the Iraq War took place and he voted no.  He has consistently opposed the Iraq War.

Earlier this month, he noted:

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the US war on Iraq. The “shock and awe” attack was launched based on “stove-piped” intelligence fed from the CIA and Pentagon through an uncritical and compliant US mainstream media. The US media was a willing accomplice to this crime of aggression committed by the George W. Bush Administration.

Despite the lies we were constantly bombarded with, Iraq never presented a threat to the United States. Iraq never had the weapons of mass destruction that the neocons used to frighten Americans into supporting the war. How many of them knew all along that there were no WMDs? We’ll never know. Attacking Iraq and overthrowing its leader was long a plan in the neocon playbook and they used the 9/11 attack on the US as an excuse to pull the plan off the shelf and put it into action.

The US “regime change” war on Iraq has directly resulted in the death of at least a quarter of a million civilians, and indirectly perhaps a million Iraqis have been killed. The Iraqi infrastructure was destroyed and the country was set back many decades in development. Far from the democratization we were promised, Iraq has been turned into a hell on earth. Due to the US use of depleted uranium and other chemical weapons like white phosphorus, Iraqis will continue to suffer from birth defects and other related illnesses for generations.

"Let's listen to the Iraqi people," is how he concludes his column.  And he's right.

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS, Cindy Sheehan, DISSIDENT VOICE and Jody Watley -- updated: