This is a fantastic, detailed piece by Matt Stoller about how elite deception about 9/11 has directly led to the current ISIL crisis.
In a nutshell: 28 classified pages in the 9/11 Commission Report concealed the direct involvement of Saudi elites in 9/11 as well as Bush family ties to a man—Ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan—who was deeply involved in the attack. Concealing the Saudi connection helped preserve Saudi-U.S. relations, which was important for (somewhat obscure and nefarious) economic and geopolitical reasons. But now there is strong evidence that these same Saudi elites are funding and supporting ISIL’s attacks on westerners.
Some particularly damning passages (my emphasis):
Prince Bandar’s dazzling hosting abilities in the DC social scene were an important part of his geopolitical arsenal….It turns out that money for the 9/11 hijackers may have flowed through Bandar’s wife’s account at Riggs bank. Riggs was a haven for money launderers and dictators, and was controlled by the Allbritton family, “dear friends” of Ronald Reagan. It was also an instrument of CIA policy, “which included top current and former Riggs executives receiving U.S. government security clearances.” This relationship “could complicate any prosecution of the bank’s officials, according to private lawyers and former prosecutors.” The Albritton family later created Politico, which was arguably the most influential political publication in DC from 2008–2010.
In other words, the Saudi ambassador, who may have funneled money to 9/11 hijackers, also advised the Bush administration on U.S. foreign policy, and had deep and profitable relationships with U.S. media, banking, and political elites. He was also a social luminary in DC. This helped lay the foundation for the American foreign policy establishment consensus position, often forged at think tanks funded by foreign governments. From there, this consensus emanated outward into Politico-like publications, and then outward onto the television networks and into the homes of the remaining Americans will to pay attention to an infantilized deceptive version of American foreign policy.And so, almost immediately after the attacks, Saddam Hussein became the designated bad guy and the Bush administration, supported by the entire Republican Party, foreign policy establishment, and a substantial chunk of Democrats (Bill and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, for starters), prepared for war in Iraq.
There are conspiracies by elites, but they do not involve UFOs, chemtrails, flouride, or other nonsense. They revolve around gaining and retaining wealth and power, as real conspiracies always have. And they are pursued through the invocation of “state secrets” and “national interests”, the enforced docility of the press, and the systemic duping of the public.
(Huffington Post) The writer of a much-maligned New York Times article about Michael Brown admitted on Monday that he had made a mistake when he described the slain teenager as “no angel.”
Those two words that John Eligon chose, along with a series of of descriptions about Brown’s “dabbling” with drugs, alcohol and rap music, set off a scorching round of criticism for the way the paper had characterized Brown. The Times dug an even deeper hole for itself by writing a concurrent article about Darren Wilson, the man who killed Brown, in which Wilson was described as a “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person.” Many said that the contrast seemed to fit a pattern in which black victims of crime are maligned in the media.
Lawrence O’Donnell’s send up of this article is freaking legendary, people.
Please read this piece to get some historical context:
Shortly before the Civil War, many white writers—especially abolitionists—began anxiously debating whether black children who died could become angels, and if so, whether they needed to become white first. As I write in my book, Racial Innocence, the 1862 abolitionist story “Poor Little Violet,” by Lynde Palmer, included a very disturbing scene in which Violet, an enslaved girl, discusses death and angelhood with a white slaveholding girl named Carrie. Violet asks,“[W]hen we goes to Canaan, that old Sambo sings about, may I be your little slave then, Miss Carrie, ’cause you’s allus so kind?”
“I don’t think there will be any slaves there,” said Carrie, slowly, pondering over the matter.
“Why, what will the black people do, then?” cried Violet, with curious round eyes.
“Maybe,” replied Carrie hesitatingly, “maybe there won’t be any black people—you know, Violet, our bodies are covered up in the ground,”—Violet shivered,—“but our souls go to heaven, and they must all be white.”
“All of ’em?” asked Violet, eagerly.
“Yes, mamma told me that no soul can go till it is washed white in Jesus’ blood.”
“And can my soul be white?” whispered Violet.
“Yes,” said Carrie, “if you ask God.” (Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, p. 59)
The Times's reference to Michael Brown as “no angel” is so deeply hurtful because it extends a historical libel that African Americans, and African American children in particular, cannot be innocent. As the slaveholder Carrie tells Violet, to be an angel is to be white. And in this white-authored text—which was intended to critique slavery—a black girl joyously receives this information with hope that she can shed her blackness, become white, and become an angel.
But there’s no need for feminism now.
I knew a professor at an Ivy who was very blatantly sexually harassed by a famous emeritus professor at a faculty party. Ask any woman in any field and she’ll have dozens of similar stories.
This is a big win for anti-rape activists, many of whom have been touting the necessity of an “affirmative consent” standard for years. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has the next month to sign the bill into law. If he does, schools across the state would be required to define consent before engaging in sexual activity as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” or risk losing state financial aid funding.
Thanks to US Uncut for this! BREAKING: Detroit’s unelected emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has just relinquished control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which is now back in the hands of the people. It’s expected the mayor and city council will approve a water affordability plan that caps a household’s water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income. Read more: http://abcn.ws/XavyWZ Thanks to groups like the Detroit Water Brigade for the weeks of ongoing pressure to stop the shutoffs! Direct action gets the goods. Read their statement on this victory here: http://bit.ly/1o9yqbT
More proof that Paul Ryan is a despicable human being.
This is actually consistent with Ryan’s philosophy that no one should be compelled via taxation to help others. He believes this should be wholly voluntary.
Of course, voluntarism is an inefficient, inadequate method to address big, entrenched, systemic problems. People suffering from debilitating conditions should not have to come up with cute ad campaigns or have photogenic advocates in order to attract adequate public interest and funding.
Apparently, no one has any idea. And when an enterprising reporter attempted to find out, it turned out it was nearly impossible:
“The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.”
Ponder this: our government is systematically collecting vast amounts of data and information on US citizens and foreigners around the world and analyzing it for threats. But it is not systematically collecting or analyzing information of US citizens killed by government authorities and actively blocks citizens who try.
Police aggression. Detention of journalists. A call for respect for minority populations. They’re the type of issues the United States is usually scolding other countries about. This time, however, the criticism is coming the other direction.
Iran’s Grand Ayatollah tweeted about the “brutal treatment” of black people in the United States using the #Ferguson hashtag, China’s official mouthpiece wrote about America’s “human rights flaw,” and the Egyptian government called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”
The condemnation is not only limited to countries who may be gloating about the chance to slam the United States about its internal affairs for a change.
On Monday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, through a spokesman, called on authorities “to ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected.”
“He calls on all to exercise restraint, for law enforcement officials to abide by U.S. and international standards in dealing with demonstrators,” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman said.
Amnesty International, the global human rights organization, said it had sent observers to Ferguson. It’s the first time the group has deployed such a team within the United States.
And here’s another chapter in the perennial debate about conservatives: stupid or evil?
Paul Ryan offered his opinion on federal intervention in Ferguson:
"There is no problem with the federal government having a role," he said. "But in all of these things, local control, local government, local authorities who have the jurisdiction, who have the expertise, who are actually there are the people who should be in the lead."
He said that today. Has he literally been hiding under a rock?
At this point, the only reasonable conclusion is that the local authorities in Missouri and Ferguson are clueless and repulsive. Yet Paul Ryan thinks they should be given the lead to resolve a situation they themselves have created and escalated.
So….is Paul Ryan a dumbass?
I don’t think Paul Ryan is a dumbass, but he often sounds like one. In this instance, he’s chosen to ignore U.S. history and everything that has happened in Ferguson lately because it is evidence that not only conflicts with his ludicrous political philosophy, but destroys it.
But I don’t think it’s just a case of cognitive dissonance. No one who remains a libertarian past the age of 19 or so can be trusted because, in this country, quite a few self-described “libertarians” would be better described as neo-Confederates. Many of these same ‘libertarians’ are even bringing back antebellum classics like nullification.
No, Paul Ryan isn’t a dumbass. Paul Ryan knows what he’s doing.
Let’s make sure we have the law straight: If you’re a poor mother, you can be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kids alone while you go to a food bank so you can feed them, go to a job interview (so you can feed them), or work (so you can feed them).
These arrests are part of the terrible trap we’ve set for impoverished parents:
In the mid-1990s, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation into law that changed welfare in America profoundly. One of the major changes welfare reform brought about was the work requirement. Now, even women with young children were required to be working, or looking for work, in order to receive benefits. In a radio address after signing the bill, Clinton promised that if poor people went to work, “we will protect the guarantees of health care, nutrition, and child care, all of which are critical to helping families move from welfare to work.”
We broke that promise. State and federal childcare spending last year fell to the lowest level since 2002. Much of the money available for childcare comes to states through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or today’s version of welfare, but TANF hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since 1996. It’s lost a third of its value since then. The money spent on childcare has declined from a high of $4 billion in 2000 to $2.6 billion in 2013. That means fewer and fewer children get subsidized care. The number of children served by subsidies is at the lowest level since 1998. In [Shanesha] Taylor’s home state of Arizona, childcare spending has been axed by 40 percent, dropping 33,000 kids. In [Debra] Harrell’s, it was cut by more than 30 percent, dropping 2,500 children.
We’ve also taken the rug out from under any mothers who might need assistance because they can’t find work or the work doesn’t pay enough. In 1996, welfare reached 72 percent of poor families with children. That had dropped to a mere 26 percent by 2012.
So when a homeless mother needs to go to a job interview or a mother making less than $8 an hour needs to go to work, what options have we given them? Few, if any.