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The Solution to ISIS is the First Amendment →

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.

peterfeld:

Someone at the Associated Press must have come in to work still drunk from last night because they accidentally tweeted out the truth, but the mistake was quickly discovered and they apologized.

It’s still up

peterfeld:

Someone at the Associated Press must have come in to work still drunk from last night because they accidentally tweeted out the truth, but the mistake was quickly discovered and they apologized.

It’s still up

(via cognitivedissonance)

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.

This is not from the latest Paul Krugman column. It’s from William Jennings Bryan’s famous “Cross of Gold” speech (1896), which you might have come across in high school history class. “Trickle down economics” is a much older idea than you might suppose.

It’s funny how goldbuggery is still lingering at the edges of U.S. politics and how it’s still strongly associated with a belief that prosperity is mainly generated by the wealthy.

A former LAPD officer turned sociologist (Cooper 1991) observed that the overwhelming majority of those beaten by police turn out not to be guilty of any crime. “Cops don’t beat up burglars”, he observed. The reason, he explained, is simple: the one thing most guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to “define the situation.” If what I’ve been saying is true this is just what we’d expect. The police truncheon is precisely the point where the state’s bureaucratic imperative for imposing simple administrative schema, and its monopoly of coercive force, come together. It only makes sense then that bureaucratic violence should consist first and foremost of attacks on those who insist on alternative schemas or interpretations. At the same time, if one accepts Piaget’s famous definition of mature intelligence as the ability to coordinate between multiple perspectives (or possible perspectives) one can see, here, precisely how bureaucratic power, at the moment it turns to violence, becomes literally a form of infantile stupidity.

— David Graeber, Dead Zones of the Imagination (via antoine-roquentin)

(via sociolab)

ourtimeorg:

It’s time to raise the minimum wage too http://wefb.it/RDFkx4

ourtimeorg:

It’s time to raise the minimum wage too http://wefb.it/RDFkx4

When you are 9, or 12, or 17, it is easy to overlook racist comments. That your friends’ dad does not like black people has little to do with what your friend thinks, right? When you cannot yet vote, the fact that your friends’ parents are Republicans means little. With age, these things start to matter. At 25 or 32, it is harder to overlook the inevitable racially ignorant comment that will come, especially when you have had access to friendships where this is never an issue. At 30 or 35, the fact that your white friends now vote Republican alongside their parents strikes you as a choice that detrimentally impacts your material existence.
Don’t lose too much weight now… I like my girls chubby.

Actual quote from a male Senator to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (via micdotcom)

But there’s no need for feminism now.

(via cactustreemotel)

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.

(via aka14kgold)

California Takes a Stand Against Gay and Trans Panic Defenses in Criminal Cases →

mickyalexander:

Yay :)

(Source: projectqueer)

Here’s some fantastic news for your Friday: On Thursday, the California Senate unanimously approved a new bill that defines sexual consent as a firm “yes” rather than a lack of “no.”

micdotcom:

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.

(via wretchedoftheearth)

liberalsarecool:

Republicans only want to help those who do not need help, and hurt those who are looking for equality.

liberalsarecool:

Republicans only want to help those who do not need help, and hurt those who are looking for equality.

(via aka14kgold)

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government…

Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

(via sociolab)

spillboy:

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.

spillboy:

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.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

How many of these police killings are there? →

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.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(Source: questionall)