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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 66,217

Journal Archives

Robert Parry: Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran


from Consortium News:


Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran
March 3, 2015

Exclusive: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu showed off his extraordinary control of the U.S. Congress as he bathed in waves of applause while denouncing President Obama’s proposed deal with Iran and urging America to sign up for the Israeli-Saudi regional war on Iran and its Shiite allies, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry


Addressing Congress in the style of a State of the Union speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won 41 rounds of applause as U.S. lawmakers eagerly enlisted in the Israeli-Saudi conflict against Iran and its allies – an enthusiasm that may well entangle the U.S. military in more wars in the Middle East.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress for the third time – tying British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for the record – Netanyahu went far beyond excoriating President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran to restrict but not eliminate its nuclear program. He portrayed Iran as a dangerous enemy whose regional influence must be stopped and reversed, a position shared by Israel’s new ally, Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu declared: “In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”

Netanyahu’s reference to “Iran’s aggression” was curious since Iran has not invaded another country for centuries. In 1980, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – at the urging of Saudi Arabia – invaded Iran. During that bloody eight-year war, Israel – far from being an enemy of Iran – became Iran’s principal arms supplier. Israel drew in the Reagan administration, which approved some of the Israeli-brokered arms deals, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986. ..............(more)

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/03/congress-cheers-netanyahus-hatred-of-iran/




Ferguson Police Department May Fold Due To DOJ Probe


FERGUSON, Mo. -- U.S. Justice Department investigations of police departments in the past have led to reforms or lengthy litigation. But the DOJ probe of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, to be announced on Wednesday, may lead to a possible outcome that would set the St. Louis suburb apart: eliminating the police department.

The investigation, begun after a Ferguson officer shot to death unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August, alleges that town authorities routinely violated the constitutional rights of residents with unreasonable searches and force, and that the city budget was largely funded by tickets and fines.

Once Ferguson tallies the costs of either fighting the DOJ allegations or adopting reforms the department will require, it may decide the best choice would be to get rid of the police department and hire another agency to police the town. ...............(more)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/doj-ferguson-police-cost_n_6793310.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013



Detroit: Joie de Vivre Eyes Brush Park For 118-Room Boutique Hotel


http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/joie-de-vivre-eyes-brush-park-for-118room-boutique-hotel.php


There's evidence that a lonely corner of Brush Park is being targeted for development by Joie de Vivre, a boutique hotel chain based in San Francisco. Sent to us by a tipster, a 14-page site plan calls for a five-story "executive" hotel with its own parking garage. Why choose an awkward lot off Winder Street next to the freeway? Probably because it's extremely close to Ford Field and Comerica Park.

The plan doesn't include a rendering, but it does lay out some basic stats. The hotel would be nearly 167,000 square feet, adding up to 118 rooms, while the two-story parking garage would include a whopping 196 spaces. Sounds like someone wants to cash in on event parking. Most of the spots would actually be underground, as the garage snakes beneath the hotel itself.

Based in San Francisco, the Joie de Vivre brand includes a variety of high-end boutique hotels across the country. We can't predict what Detroit's location would look like, but it sounds classy. The layout includes ballrooms, a restaurant, fitness facilities (lap pool included), and even a "vegetated rooftop terrace." It's not Joie de Vivre's first stab at a Detroit location. They were involved with the bungled Fitzgerald Place development proposed for the Statler site last year.



Ben Carson goes off the deep end ............ again.


Washington (CNN)Ben Carson says homosexuality is a choice because many people "go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay."

The neurosurgeon and potential Republican candidate for president in 2016 made the comment in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo that aired Wednesday on "New Day."

Asked whether being gay is a choice, Carson responded: "Absolutely."

Potential 2016 presidential candidates
Potential 2016 presidential candidates 17 photos
EXPAND GALLERY
"Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question," Carson said.

That argument, Carson said, "thwarts" the notion that homosexuality isn't a choice, which is at odds with the majority of the medical community, including the American Psychological Association, who says "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation." Slate's Mark Joseph Stern also outlined the scientific arguments against this particular belief last year. .................(more)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/politics/ben-carson-prisons-gay-choice/index.html



Netanyahu, ‘Censored Voices,’ and the False Narrative of Self-Defense


from truthdig:


Netanyahu, ‘Censored Voices,’ and the False Narrative of Self-Defense

Posted on Mar 4, 2015
By Marjorie Cohn


On March 3rd, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an impassioned plea to Congress to protect Israel by opposing diplomacy with Iran. Referring to “the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States” which includes “generous military assistance and missile defense,” Netanyahu failed to mention that Israel has an arsenal of 100 or 200 nuclear weapons.

The Six-Day War

The day before he delivered that controversial address, Netanyahu expressed similar sentiments to AIPAC, Israel’s powerful U.S. lobby. He reiterated the claim that Israel acted in the 1967 Six-Day War “to defend itself.” The narrative that Israel attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in self-defense, seizing the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula in 1967, has remained largely unquestioned in the public discourse. Israel relies on that narrative to continue occupying those Palestinian lands. And the powerful film “Censored Voices,” which premiered at Sundance in February, does not challenge that narrative.

But declassified high-level documents from Britain, France, Russia and the United States reveal that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were not going to attack Israel and Israel knew it. In fact, they did not attack Israel. Instead, Israel mounted the first attack in order to decimate the Egyptian army and take the West Bank.

Censored Voices Uncensored

For two weeks following the Six Day War, Amos Oz and Avrahim Shapira visited Israeli kibbutzim and recorded interviews with several Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who had just returned from that war. Largely censored by the Israeli government for many years, those reels have finally been made public. “Censored Voices” features the taped voices of young IDF soldiers, as the aging, former soldiers sit silently beside the tape recorder, listening to their own voices.

The testimonies documented in the tapes reveal evidence of targeting civilians and summarily executing prisoners, which constitute war crimes. A soldier asks himself, “They’re civilians – should I kill them or not?” He replies, “I didn’t even think about it. Just kill! Kill everyone you see.” Likewise, one voice notes, “Several times we captured guys, positioned them and just killed them.” Another reveals, “In the war, we all became murderers.” Still another says, “Not only did this war not solve the state’s problems, but it complicated them in a way that’ll be very hard to solve.” One soldier likens evacuating Arab villages to what the Nazis did to Jews in Europe. As a soldier watched an Arab man being taken from his home, the soldier states, “I had an abysmal feeling that I was evil.” ................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/netanyahu_censored_voices_and_the_false_narrative_of_self-defense_20150304



For Peace, We Must Defeat Netanyahu on Iran Diplomacy


For Peace, We Must Defeat Netanyahu on Iran Diplomacy

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 14:50
By Robert Naiman, Truthout | Op-Ed


Peace and justice advocates in the US are fighting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his US amen corner on two fronts. The first front is the fight over Iran diplomacy, which Netanyahu is trying to blow up. The second front is the fight for justice for the Palestinians. One front is on the front page of the newspaper right now. The other front is barely a footnote right now in mainstream public discourse.

But it seems obvious that if we can't beat these people on Iran diplomacy, we haven't got a prayer of beating them on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. If we want to have a serious conversation about how to beat Netanyahu on settlements, the fight over Iran diplomacy should be required reading, because we're facing the same adversaries, with the key difference right now being that on the second front, we have far fewer friends.

Since 2006, with one exception, every time we ever won anything on the Iran diplomacy front, President Obama was on our side. Or, if you like, we were on President Obama's side.

On our issues, it matters greatly who the President of the United States is; it's far and away the most important thing. This is why on our issues, stopping the uncontested Hillary train is a top priority. Senator Schumer bragged that Netanyahu tickets were going like hot latkes. Within the Democratic Party, that's who Senator Schumer represents. Within the Democratic Party, that's who Hillary is representing right now. That is why we must do all we can to stop that train. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/29426-for-peace-we-must-defeat-netanyahu-on-iran-diplomacy



I'm Shocked! Shocked I Tell You!


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/doj-ferguson-investigation_n_6787804.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013


WASHINGTON -- A Justice Department investigation has found that the Ferguson Police Department discriminates against black residents and routinely violates the Constitution and federal law, an official told The Huffington Post.

The results of the investigation were detailed in a meeting between Ferguson and Justice Department officials on Tuesday. A Ferguson official confirmed to The Huffington Post that city and Justice Department officials were meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The so-called “pattern or practice” investigation of the Ferguson Police Department was announced by the Justice Department in September, just weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

DOJ's investigation was based on reviews of thousands of pages of records, on-site visits and interviews with members of the community. It found that police in Ferguson routinely make arrests without probable cause and that African-Americans were more than twice as likely to be searched during vehicle stops but less likely to be found in possession of contraband. It found that 88 percent of documented use of force incidents were against African-Americans.



Farmer Cooperatives, Not Monsanto, Supply El Salvador With Seeds


Farmer Cooperatives, Not Monsanto, Supply El Salvador With Seeds

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 12:57
By Nathan Weller, EcoViva | Report


In the face of overwhelming competition skewed by the rules of free trade, farmers in El Salvador have managed to beat the agricultural giants like Monsanto and Dupont to supply local corn seed to thousands of family farmers. Local seed has consistently outperformed the transnational product, and farmers helped develop El Salvador’s own domestic seed supply–all while outsmarting the heavy hand of free trade.

This week, the Ministry of Agriculture released a new round of contracts to provide seed to subsistence farmers nationwide through its Family Agriculture Program. Last year, over 560,000 family farmers across El Salvador planted corn and bean seed as part of the government’s efforts to revitalize small scale agriculture, and ensure food security in the rural marketplace. Drought conditions across the country made access to seed all the more vital for rural livelihoods, making the seed packets supplied through the government program the primary means for thousands of families to put food on the table.

In 2015, rural cooperatives and national associations will produce nearly 50% of the government’s corn seed supply, with 8% coming from native seed—a record high. In the Lower Lempa, where seven farmer organizations have produced corn seed since 2012, this means over 4,000 jobs and income for rural households, primarily employing women and young adults. The public procurement of seed—or the government’s purchasing power through contracts—signifies over $25 million for a rural economy still struggling to diversify and gain traction.

The success of locally-bred seed varieties, compounded with their low production costs, allowed the Family Agriculture Program to contribute to historically high yields nationwide for corn and beans. Last year, more farmers produced more corn and beans at the most efficient yield per acreage than any other year over the last decade. This has also led to a significant adjustment in El Salvador’s trade balance on corn: Imports of white corn in 2014 were a full 94% less than 2011. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29419-farmer-cooperatives-not-monsanto-supply-el-salvador-with-seeds



Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged


Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged
Posted on March 1, 2015 by Yves Smith


I’m surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t be, that a recent study hasn’t gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged. This link seems entirely logical, given how many citizens found themselves whacked by a one-two punch of job loss or hours cutbacks combined with the sudden plunge in home prices. Normally, a last ditch course of action for most middle and upper middle class income members in the pre-crisis days, when things got desperate, was to sell you house and cut costs radically by moving into a much more modest rental. But that option vanished in all but the most stable markets (as in some flyover states that the subprime merchants ignored) due to home price declines trashing equity for all but those with small or no mortgages.

And you have the further psychological toll of the difficulty of re-inventing yourself if you are over 35. I can point to people who had enough in the way of resources and took steps that seemed entirely logical, taking courses to prepare them for a new career in fields with good underlying demand (see this post for one example; I can cite others) and got either poor returns on their expenditure of time and effort or had no success at all.

And the ones with enough options (bigger savings buffers or relatives who were willing and able to help) are the lucky ones. For all too many middle to upper middle income workers in America, when you fall off the corporate/big firm meal ticket, the fall is far indeed. As readers know all too well, the prejudice against older candidates as well as the unemployed is substantial, even if the reason for the job loss in no way reflected on employee performance (as in business failure or working for an acquired company when, in typical practice, the buyer went through the ranks of the purchased business with a howitzer). People who thought that having a college degree and a steady history of good performance at white collar jobs gave them a measure of security had that illusion ripped from them. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/austerity-kills-economic-distress-seen-culprit-sharp-rise-suicide-rate-among-middle-aged.html



Chicago: CTA to double speed of some downtown buses that crawl at 3 mph





(Chicago Tribune) A long-awaited project designed to more than double the 3-mph average speed of CTA buses traveling across the middle of downtown will be called Loop Link, and construction of bus-only lanes and rapid transit-style boarding stations is set to begin in two weeks, city officials were set to announce Monday.

The roughly 2-mile bus rapid transit area will serve Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets and will debut late this year, when the bulk of the $31.8 million construction project is completed, Chicago Department of Transportation officials said.



Work on the overall project, however, will stretch into next year and result in temporary lane reductions, according to CDOT. Those will start March 16, on portions of Madison and Clinton, followed by Washington and Canal and Jackson Boulevard in the spring, and on Randolph Street starting in late summer.

A parallel goal involves reorganizing downtown streets so that all users, whether on foot or bicycle or behind the wheel, have their own space, officials said. ....................(more)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/hilkevitch/ct-loop-bus-rapid-transit-getting-around-met-0302-20150302-column.html#page=1



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