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The Anti-Empire Report #135: American Exceptionalism and Torture

From the Keyboard of William Blum
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Published originally in The Anti-Empire Report December 19, 2014

American Exceptionalism and American Torture

In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds.

That’s how they handle such matters in what used to be called The Third World. In the First World, however, they have no need for such legal niceties. In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.

So now, with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, we have further depressing revelations about US foreign policy. But do Americans and the world need yet another reminder that the United States is a leading practitioner of torture? Yes. The message can not be broadcast too often because the indoctrination of the American people and Americophiles all around the world is so deeply embedded that it takes repeated shocks to the system to dislodge it. No one does brainwashing like the good ol’ Yankee inventors of advertising and public relations. And there is always a new generation just coming of age with stars (and stripes) in their eyes.

The public also has to be reminded yet again that – contrary to what most of the media and Mr. Obama would have us all believe – the president has never actually banned torture per se, despite saying recently that he had “unequivocally banned torture” after taking office.

Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”

The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, amongst other torture centers employed by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business, as is the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.

Moreover, the key Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?

The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions, amongst other charming examples of American Exceptionalism.

After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ … But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”

The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely and solely because they were willing and able to torture them.

Four months after Obama and Panetta took office, the New York Times could report that renditions had reached new heights.

Torture of Brinvilliers, 17th CenturyThe present news reports indicate that Washington’s obsession with torture stems from 9/11, to prevent a repetition. The president speaks of “the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era”. There’s something to that idea, but not a great deal. Torture in America is actually as old as the country. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of international torture centers, kidnaping people to these places, solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!

In 2011, Brazil instituted a National Truth Commission to officially investigate the crimes of the military government, which came to an end in 1985. But Mr. Obama has in fact rejected calls for a truth commission concerning CIA torture. On June 17 of this year, however, when Vice President Joseph Biden was in Brazil, he gave the Truth Commission 43 State Department cables and reports concerning the Brazilian military regime, including one entitled “Widespread Arrests and Psychophysical Interrogation of Suspected Subversives.”

Thus it is that once again the United States of America will not be subjected to any accountability for having broken US laws, international laws, and the fundamental laws of human decency. Obama can expect the same kindness from his successor as he has extended to George W.

“One of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.” – Barack Obama, written statement issued moments after the Senate report was made public.

And if that pile of hypocrisy is not big enough or smelly enough, try adding to it Bidens’ remark re his visit to Brazil: “I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future.”

If the torturers of the Bush and Obama administrations are not held accountable in the United States they must be pursued internationally under the principles of universal jurisdiction.

In 1984, an historic step was taken by the United Nations with the drafting of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (came into force in 1987, ratified by the United States in 1994). Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back. If today it’s deemed acceptable to torture the person who supposedly has the vital “ticking-bomb” information needed to save lives, tomorrow it will be acceptable to torture him to learn the identities of his alleged co-conspirators. Would we allow slavery to resume for just a short while to serve some “national emergency” or some other “higher purpose”?

If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.

 

Cuba … at long, long last … maybe …

Hopefully, it’s what it appears to be. Cuba will now be treated by the United States as a country worthy of at least as much respect as Washington offers to its highly oppressive, murdering, torturing allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis, and even more abroad, but Cuba needs to do it. Maybe the Cubans can civilize the Americans a bit.

Let’s hope that America’s terrible economic embargo against the island will go the way of the dinosaurs, and Cuba will be able to demonstrate more than ever what a rational, democratic, socialist society can create. But they must not open the economy for the Yankee blood-suckers to play with as they have all over the world.

And I’ll be able to go to Cuba not as a thief in the night covering my tracks and risking a huge fine.

But with the Republicans taking over Congress next month, all of this may be just a pipe dream.

Barack Obama could have done this six years ago when he took office; or five years ago when American Alan Gross was first arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. It would have been even easier back then, with Obama’s popularity at its height and Congress not as captured by the Know-Nothings as now.

So, Cuba outlasted all the punishment, all the lies, all the insults, all the deprivations, all the murderous sabotage, all the assassination attempts against Fidel, all the policies to isolate the country. But for many years now, it’s the United States that has been isolated in the Western Hemisphere.

 

Reason Number 13,336 why capitalism will be the death of us.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – the “superbugs” – if left unchecked, could result in 10 million deaths a year by 2050. New drugs to fight the superbugs are desperately needed. But a panel advising President Obama warned in September that “there isn’t a sufficiently robust pipeline of new drugs to replace the ones rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance.”

The problem, it appears, is that “Antibiotics generally provide low returns on investment, so they are not a highly attractive area for research and development.”

Aha! “Low returns on investment”! What could be simpler to understand? Is it not a concept worth killing and dying for? Just as millions of Americans died in the 20th century so corporations could optimize profits by not protecting the public from tobacco, lead, and asbestos.

Corporations are programmed to optimize profits without regard for the society in which they operate, in much the same way that cancer cells are programmed to proliferate without regard for the health of their host.

 

Happy New Year. Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2015.

  • January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
  • February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
  • February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
  • February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
  • February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
  • March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
  • April 30: The Department of Homeland Security announces plan to record the DNA at birth of every child born in the United States.
  • May 19: The Supreme Court rules that police may search anyone if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person has pockets.
  • May 27: The Transportation Security Administration declares that all airline passengers must strip completely nude at check-in and remain thus until arriving at their destination.
  • June 6: White police officer in Oklahoma City tasers a 7-month-old black child, claiming the child was holding a gun; the gun turns out to be a rattle.
  • July 19: Two subway trains collide in Manhattan. The United States demands that Moscow explain why there was a Russian citizen in each of the trains.
  • September 5: The Democratic Party changes its name to the Republican Lite Party, and announces the opening of a joint bank account with the Republican Party so that corporate lobbyists need make out only one check.
  • September 12: White police officer in Alabama shoots black newborn, confusing the umbilical cord for a noose.
  • November 16: President Obama announces that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba all possess weapons of mass destruction; have close ties to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Taliban; are aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine; were involved in 9-11; played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor; are an imminent threat to the United States and all that is decent and holy; and are all “really bad guys”, who even (choke, gasp) use torture!
  • November 21: The United States invades Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
  • December 10: Barack Obama is awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize
  • December 11: To celebrate his new peace prize, Obama sends out drones to assassinate wrong-thinking individuals in Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
  • December 13: Members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties, which hold several high positions in the US-supported government, goose-step through the center of Kiev in full German Storm Trooper uniforms, carrying giant swastika flags, shouting “Heil Hitler”, and singing the Horst Wessel song. Not a word of this appears in any American mainstream media.
  • December 15: US Secretary of State warns Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of wanting to re-create the Soviet Union.
  • December 16: White police officer shoots a black 98-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair, claiming the man pointed a rifle at him. The rifle turns out to be a cane.
  • December 28: The Washington Redskins football team finish their season in last place. The White House blames Vladimir Putin.

Notes

  1. Associated Press, December 11, 2014
  2. New York Times, December 11, 2014
  3. Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
  4. New York Times, February 6, 2009
  5. New York Times, May 24, 2009
  6. Washington Post, December 11, 2014
  7. National Security Archive’s Brazil Documentation Project
  8. Washington Post, December 10, 2014
  9. See note 7
  10. Washington Post, December 13, 2014

 

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others.

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

 

The Week in Doom June 8, 2014

That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964Off the keyboard of Surly1

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on June 8, 2014
Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.

 

Freda-Right-to-Live-copy-600x637

“The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty but to have a slave of his own.”

― Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1821-90

‘Twas a week in which a US President made a deal to bring a hostage home and got nothing but criticism for his trouble. The world celebrated the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Obama and Putin spoke privately. Poroshenko, the Willy Wonka of Ukraine, was sworn in as president. Open Carry Tarrant County continued to “educate the public” by dropping in fully armed at restaurants; a Ukrainian jet killed eight in Luhansk; Verizon had a big sad because Netflix told the truth about its bandwidth-throttling; GM recalled another 106,000 vehicles; a Vermont gun store laid off 41 and blamed Obama, who may also be responsible for the resurgence of polio, decreased sunspot activity, an outbreak of genital herpes and a US plague lab in Kazakhstan. Kenyan police seized hundreds of elephant tusks, the Thai military swept the country for weapons, and Brazil’s “love hotels” were refurbished for the World Cup. But we won’t be talking about any of that. Because this is That Was The Week in Doom, where we look for themes, context, and any good excuse for a rant. We’ll look at capitalism’s assault on our food supply, on the very notion of national self-determination, and at the elite’s favored tool for control, “privatization.”

 

GMOs

Last month, Vermont became the first state to mandate that genetic modified organisms be labeled on food sold to consumers. which will go into effect in 2016 The state is already preparing to defend the new law from the legal challenges sure to follow. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has already announced plans to sue, and we’re sure that Monsanto and Syngenta will be close behind. The GMO lobby wants this kicked up to the federal level, where friendly legislators, already on their kness in front of their corporate donors, will quid their pro quo by enacting industry-friendly legislation while slurping up “campaign contributions.”  And with former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor named head of the FDA, who knows what lucky numbers we’ll pull in the upcoming genetic lottery?

After a stint as a Monsanto attorney, and later working as an FDA regulator, Taylor was in charge of a radical reinterpretation of something called the “Delaney clause,” a 1958 regulation which heretofore had prevented any chemical from being added to any processed food if the agent had been found to be carcinogenic:

As analytical instrumentation increased in power and more and more agents were found to be carcinogenic at very low levels, the agencies had developed a quantitative risk assessment approach to interpreting the Delaney Clause, which stated that if a carcinogen was present at levels less than 1 in 1,000,000 parts, the risk of that carcinogen was “de minimis” and it could be allowed on the market. In the article, Taylor presented arguments in favor of this approach. Advocates in favor of organic food have criticized Taylor for taking this stance and have attributed the stance not to a good faith effort to reasonably regulate, but to an alleged desire to benefit Monsanto financially.

 

Astonishing, yes? Taylor also has his fingerprints on a notice stating that milk from cows treated with BGH did not have to be so labeled.

(If you are unfamiliar with the issues pertaining to GMOs, find an effective summary at the GMO Free USA website. Suffice to say that GMOs, created and patented by chemical and biotech companies, are banned or restricted in over 60 countries.)

GMOs are created through splicing a gene from one species into the DNA of another that would not ordinarily occur in nature. Thus a cold water fish gene can be spliced into a tomato and make the tomato resistant to cold. What could possibly go wrong?

Yet one of the most troubling things that crossed my desk this week was this item:

 

Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov fed GMO soy to hamsters. He had four groups. One was fed real food. The second was fed real food that had been sprayed with the same pesticide associated with the GMO soy. The will third group was fed GMO soy. And the fourth was fed a diet high in GMO soy. The GMO soy diet after three generations produced offspring nearly incapable of reproducing themselves. In the fourth group’s third generation only one female was capable of giving birth and 25% of her offspring died prematurely, Hair started growing in the mouths of her pups, They were stunted and sterile. Their internal organs including the testes, spleen and uterus were smaller than those of the other hamsters. . . Scientists who appeared on TV were flooded with calls from ranchers who had sterile animals which they attributed to GMO feed. An English scientist who reproduced the GMO rat experiments using potatoes was fired within days of announcing his results.

But it gets worse for Americans just entering childbearing years.

In 2001 Mitch Hein was President of Epicyte, a San Diego bio-tech firm that made a protein that sterilized men and women who ate the corn his company had genetically engineered. Epicyte had gone to Mexico and found a rare protein in women that was known as causing immune infertility. The protein attacked sperm and prevented impregnation. When this Epicyte protein was spliced by them into corn and fed to men, it attacked their sperm and made them infertile. In women this protein attacks sperm making normal conception impossible. This protein has spread by normal plant pollination. It would now be a herculean task to remove from our food supply. 

For its part, Monsanto denies ever having worked with Epicyte or its successor, and denies splicing any sperm-killers. This from Ray Dobert, Ph.D., Monsanto’s Biotech Regulatory Policy Lead:

…No, none of our products have ever contained genes encoding for anti-sperm antibodies.  To answer your specific question about Epicyte: we did not have any agreements with Epicyte or Biolex Therapeutics (the company that acquired Epicyte in 2004) to conduct joint research or develop products.  Claims that Monsanto was involved in the research or development of food crops containing antibodies that kill or block sperm are incorrect. 

You be the judge. But if you’re bringing corn to the cookout, make it organic.

 

Implications of Em-pah

Recently in Information Clearinghouse,  Prof. James Petras published, “The Ascent of a New Power Bloc Capitalists, Technocrats and Fanatics.” In it Petras describes how a new power alliance of these three is emerging on a global scale, already flexing its muscles.

Emerging across the globe, far right populism is no longer at the margins of acceptable political discourse, but center stage, much like the American Tea Party. Their energy provides an opening for capitalists to extend their own agenda through the employment of techno-elites to manage, while the enthusiasms of the useful idiots of the right provide electoral access to power.

Here’s how it works:

Today capitalism depends on two seemingly disparate forces.  The irrational appeal of ethno-religious supremacists and narrowly trained elite technocrats to advance the rule of capital. 

Ethno-religious fanatics seek to promote bonds between the corporate-warlord elite and the masses, by appealing to their ‘common’ religious ethnic identities. The technocrats serve the elite by developing the information systems, formulating the images and messages deceiving and manipulating the masses and designing their economic programs.

The political leaders meet with the corporate elite and warlords to set the political-economic agenda, deciding when to rely on the technocrats and when to moderate or unleash the ethno-religious fanatics.

Imperialism operates via the marriage of science and  ethno-religious fanaticism- and both are harnessed to capitalist domination and exploitation. 

 

Petras cites the examples of the recent election of Modi in India, the rule of Erdogan in Turkey, and the Israeli apartheid state. Common elements include links to big capital, police state repression, and endless privatization of public spaces and resources. Sound familiar? Petras further explains how the Euro American Empire will eagerly employ any armed gaggle of fundamentalists  in order to achieve its short-term aims: neo-nazis in Ukraine, Al Qaeda in Libya, fundamentalist terrorists in Syria – bedfellows all. And then, once achieved, these “strategic allies” are expendable:

 

Their tactical alliances with the riff-raff endure until they secure control over the state and eliminate their adversaries.  Then the imperialist seek to demote, co-opt, marginalize or eliminate their ‘inconvenient’ allies.  The falling out comes about when the fundamentalists seek to restrict foreign capital and impose restrictions on imperial control over resources and territory. At first the empire builders seek ‘opportunists’ among the riff-raff, those willing to sacrifice their ‘ideals’ for money and office.  Those who refuse are relegated to secondary positions distant from strategic decision-making or to remote outposts.  Those who resist are assassinated or jailed. 

The disposal of the riff-raff serves the empire on two counts.  It provides the client regime with a fig leaf of respectability and disarms western critics targeting the extremist component of the junta.

Sometimes the rabble have their own ideas and decline to be used by the empire builders, preferring to run things themselves. As in Libya with the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, or the Right Sector riots against the Kiev junta, they refuse to give way and take matters into their own hands. The “Benghazi” story is actually much deeper than right wingers trying to damage Hillary Clinton, and deeply pernicious in what it says about Empire. Petras’ article is worth a read.

 

 The Privatization Scam

Privatization is a necessary tool of the corporate state. An article from Nation of Change exposes the damages done by five different privatization scams being imposed on taxpayers. And scams they are. And guess who’s behind them?

For years we’ve been told that privatization is The Answer.  That government is too inefficient, too expensive, too hidebound and resistant to change. If we would only “privatize,” “outsource,” or otherwise find ways to funnel our tax money into private hands, then magic efficiencies will occur, hungry children will miraculously be fed, and choirs of angels will chirp on every corner.

Utter bullshit. Privatization is late stage capitalism’s scheme to return a profit in an era when legitimate profits can no longer be made due to limited growth. So there’s money to be made in selling off the common inheritance of the people, if only you can manage to get your grubby hands on the peoples’ boodle.

The authors have identified five privatization stories gone horribly wrong. Would you be terribly surprised to learn that the names of several Too Big To Fail (TBTF) banks, plus the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are prominently mentioned? Thought not. The long–story–short of it is that nonprofits and government are organized to serve a mission, whereas private enterprise is organized to deliver a profit to the owners/shareholders. Guess who guarantees that profit?

In Virginia, urban transportation needs have languished unfunded for a number of years, held hostage by a Republican controlled legislature who prefer “holding the line on taxes” to spending tax dollars on Democrat-controlled cities. The solution? Privatization. In 2011, the regime of disgraced former Republican Governor Bob “Transvaginal Ultrasound” McDonnell succeeded in leasing the bridge tunnels linking Norfolk and Portsmouth to a foreign third-party for 58 years in return for $2.1 bn in construction. The agreement also conveys the ability to set tolls and rates to the private entity.  The contract even stipulates that if the private company suffers losses because Virginia builds another crossing, they will be made whole. Guaranteed profits, and built in risk mitigation. Beautiful if you’re a crony, but it sure sucks to live in Portsmouth.

Be assured that any local pol who proposes “privatization” of some government function is intent on selling off the public trust in return for compensation. This is what capitalism looks like when legitimate growth will not deliver expected returns; you’ve got to steal from somebody. “Starve the Beast,” indeed.

 

Short takes from the week:

And yes, the US is apparently running a bubonic plague lab in Kazakhstan.

This week, the CIA made its first tweet and attempted to reveal a sense of humor. Reviews were mixed: 


Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 3.22.21 PM

Church Billboard Quotes Hitler On the Importance of Educating the Kids

Department of you can’t make this stuff up.

Photo credit: Julie Burns/Ledger-Enquire

Pity the youth ministry. It’s a real struggle recruiting kids to your cause. You know who else struggled to recruit the young people? Life Savers Ministries of Opelika, Alabama, sure does.

Via the Columbus, Ga., Ledger-Enquirer:    A billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Ala., features five smiling kids beneath a quote from Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”   

According to Lamar Advertising’s Montgomery office, the billboard was rented out by Life Savers Ministries, based in Opelika, Ala.Worse still, the quote—with an attribution, in red, to der führer—sits just above the well-known Bible verse from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The billboard went up Friday and will be taken down Tuesday, per LSM’s request.   

“We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion. … Herbert Hoover would have been a far better one to quote when he said, ‘Children are our most valuable resource,'” founder James Anderegg told the Ledger-Enquirer.

Ya think?  Know who else had honorable intentions?

***

Ohio police seek man after kindergarten fight

CINCINNATI (AP) — One man hit another while newly graduated kindergarten students were celebrating with punch and cookies, triggering a melee that involved up to 20 people and resulted in the lockdown of an elementary school near Cincinnati, authorities said Tuesday.

Mount Healthy Schools Superintendent Lori Handler ordered the lockdown because parents were panicking and school officials wanted to make sure no one else wandered into the fight scene. She said some 150 children were with their families in the school cafeteria when the fight broke out over an apparent domestic dispute.

“People never cease to amaze me,” Handler said. “It was a beautiful ceremony, with grandparents, parents, the 5-year-olds … then out of the blue, the man hit another man in the face. I was absolutely shocked.”  Police were seeking Raymond Walker, 33, on charges of assault and inducing panic. No other arrests were made.

“We’re going to prosecute to the fullest extent possible,” Handler said. “We are sending a strong message that you cannot act that way around 5-year-old children.”

Right. Unless you want to act like a five-year-old and show up with your AR-15.

***

Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and has been active in the Occupy movement. He shares a home in Southeastern Virginia with Contrary and a shifting menagerie of women both young and young at heart.

 

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Event Update For 2019-11-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-16http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

"Restoring normal whale activity to the oceans would capture the CO2 equivalent of 2 billion tr [...]

Ukrainian Rhapsody"Our future will be more about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and non-state actors tha [...]

LeBron’s Chinese Troll Mobs"In the 36 hours after James’ delete, a troll mob with bot support sent a flame tsunami at the [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

a ''burden on the state'' means all your bodily functions becoming the responsib [...]

Or maybe we do live in fire prone forests, but we live as hunter-gatherers. We pick up and move to a [...]

The "state" in the UK has found a solution to this problem. It is called the "Liverpo [...]

FWIW, the overarching narrative in the mainstream news this week is that the global economy may have [...]

I think of 1999 as the year that inflation-adjusted oil prices hit a bottom. It is also the year tha [...]

Living around 5300' elevation, the only flood we'll likely see is refugees. Although, that [...]

For those safe from the rising seas, the ocean acidification will fcuk you up instead [...]

Here's an article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imo-shipping-factbox/factbox-imo-2020-a-m [...]

What is the shift away from bunker fuels? [...]

Yeah, when the water heater goes out the day after you just put new tires on one of the cars, etc... [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. [...]

Forecasting extreme precipitations is one of the main priorities of hydrology in Latin America and t [...]

The objective of this work is the development of an automated and objective identification scheme of [...]