Iraq Descends Into Bloody Factional Chaos: Bush and Cheney Should Be Tried for War Crimes

If you are a US family who lost a son or daughter, brother or sister, niece or nephew in the Iraq War, the searing pain of loss can only be compounded by the current implosion of the nation into a failed state of factional warring chaos.

If you are an Iraqi who lost a son or daughter, brother or sister, niece or nephew in the Iraq War, the devastating grief is now compounded by the realization that the loss was not only due to the vain and imperious assertion of empire, but the abominable slaughter of a civil war is returning to Iraq at this very moment.

Mission accomplished, George W. Bush swaggeringly declared on the stage set of an aircraft carrier those many years ago.  It was supposed to be the shining moment of neocon triumph, the ultimate assertion of United States hegemony and military power as an empire.

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Japan kills 30 minke whales in first hunt since ICJ ruling

Japan has caught 30 minke whales in its first hunt since the International Court of Justice ordered the halt of its annual expedition in the Antarctic.

A report by the Japanese Fisheries Agency said that 30 minke whales had been killed during the April-June whaling season as part of its “research hunts” in the north-west Pacific Ocean.

They also said that another group of whalers were still hunting in a more remote part of the ocean.

The news of Japan’s decision to continue with its whaling programme in the Pacific will come as a shock to the International Court of Justice, which in March ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling should be stopped.

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Meeting Logs: Obama White House Quietly Coddling Big Oil on “Bomb Trains” Regulations

When Richard Revesz, Dean Emeritus of New York University Law School, introduced Howard Shelanski at his only public appearance so far during his tenure as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Revesz described Shelanski as, “from our perspective, close to the most important official in the federal government.”

OIRA has recently reared its head in a big way because it is currently reviewing the newly-proposed oil-by-rail safety regulations rolled out by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

During his presentation at NYU, Shelanski spoke at length about how OIRA must use “cost-benefit analysis” with regards to regulations, stating, “Cost-benefit analysis is an essential tool for regulatory policy.”

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Vergara Part Two : How the 1% Have Learned to Use the Noblest Causes for the Most Venal Ends

By Patrick Walsh

June 13, 2014

There have been more than a few events in the past 20 years or so that, even as I accepted their possibility, sent chills down my spine upon learning they actually happened. This sensation of primal fear tended only to grow stronger with time to ponder the deeper significance of such events upon the direction of the nation, a nation in which I now raise a young child.
One was the Supreme Court’s still unfathomable decision to appoint George W. Bush president in 2000. Another was the same Bush’s decision to eviscerate a virtually defenseless Iraq under the pretense of somehow making it into a democracy. A third was the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that permits the military to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities under the pretense of fighting terrorism.
All of the above are clear and unmistakable evidence that strange, terrible and extraordinarily powerful forces have been unleashed in this country, met only with an as yet equally extraordinarily absence of an effective resistance. In very short order in all of the cases above, what shortly before seemed inconceivable almost overnight become what is cynically called “the new normal.”

Add to these now the decision in Vergara vs. California, which may seem small potatoes when compared with the above, but, unless things change in this country and radically so, I fear it is anything but.

The case, we are meant to believe, was brought forth by nine preternaturally litigious kids who just grew tired of being the victims of “grossly ineffective teachers” who, protected by California’s laws on tenure and seniority, robbed them of their civil rights to a fair and adequate free public education. Somehow, the kids’ cause came to the attention of Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and modern day civil rights leader David Welch, co-founder of Infinera and founder of the advocate group StudentsMatter, and David being David… well, he just had to act. Welch, out of the kindness of his massive heart, massively bankrolled the civil rights lawsuit, hiring none other than the “high-powered legal team chaired by famed litigators Theodore Boutrous and Theodore Olson, ” the same legal team, in fact, that brought us George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

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Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements

A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”

Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”

Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.” 

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The Vergara Verdict: Tenure and Seniority Laws Ruled Unconstitutional in California
By dianeravitch
June 10, 2014

Here are two accounts of the decision in the Vergara trial. This one appears in politico.com. This one appears in the New York Times.

The plaintiffs argued that poor and minority children suffered because they had ineffective teachers who could not be fired. Lawyers for the teachers unions maintained that the causes of low performance were poverty and inadequate school funding. The plaintiffs prevailed and promised to take their cause to other states with strong teacher job protections, like New Jersey and New York.

There will be appeals, and the battle will spread to other states. As due process is removed, it seems to be replaced by evaluations of “effectiveness” based on test scores.

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via CLG:

Russia launches Baltic drills alongside NATO Saber Strike war games
10 Jun 2014 The Baltic Sea and skies are getting crowded as Russia launches military training of its assault forces in the exclave of Kaliningrad in answer to the double war-games being conducted by joint NATO forces on the territory of the three Baltic States. NATO’s decision to conduct dual war games next to Russian borders in the Baltic has not been left unaddressed by Russia’s Defense Ministry, which prepared a surprise training of first strike forces – marines, paratroopers and long-range bombers – right in the backyard of the NATO military maneuvers. “We conduct military training simultaneously with the international war games that have started in Europe, Saber Strike-2014 and BALTOPS-2014,” said the ministry’s press service.
Tanks, troops, jets: NATO countries launch full-scale war games in Baltic 09 Jun 2014 A major military exercise kicked off in Latvia, with 10 NATO member countries participating. The war games involve 4,700 troops and 800 military vehicles. Russia sees NATO’s military build-up as a sign of aggression. The Saber Strike ground forces exercise is being conducted for the fourth time this year and coincides with Baltic Host 2014 and Baltops 2014 naval drills. Troops from the US, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and the UK are taking part.
U.S. Air Force sends two B-2 stealth bombers to Europe as show of force to Russia 09 Jun 2014 The U.S. Air Force has further beefed up its bomber presence in Europe, deploying two B-2 stealth bombers for military exercises in the region, according to Air Force Times. The aircraft are assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.On Sunday, they joined three B-52 Stratofortress aircraft already deployed to RAF Fairford, a British air base west of London.
 

U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto’s GMO Seeds
Posted on Jun 8 2014 – 4:37pm by Sustainable Pulse

The President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA), Ricardo Navarro, has demanded that the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, stops pressurizing the Government of El Salvador to buy Monsanto’s GM seeds rather than non-GMO seeds from domestic suppliers.
El-Salvador aid

“I would like to tell the U.S. Ambassador to stop pressuring the Government (of El Salvador) to buy ‘improved’ GM seeds,” said Navarro, which is only of benefit to U.S. multinationals and is to the detriment of local seed production, Verdad Digital reported last week.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has been pushing the El Salvadoran Government to sign the second Millennium Challenge Compact. One of the main conditions on the agreement is allegedly for the purchasing of GM seeds from Monsanto.

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OPEN ROAD MEDIA ANNOUNCES CREATION OF FORBIDDEN BOOKSHELF, A BOLD NEW SERIES OF IMPORTANT BOOKS THAT DISAPPEARED BECAUSE OF THEIR CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT MATTER

PROFESSOR MARK CRISPIN MILLER CURATES AND NEW YORK TIMES BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL EDITOR AND COLUMNIST GRETCHEN MORGENSON WRITES INTRODUCTION TO THE LORDS OF CREATION

(New York, NY—June 9, 2014)—Open Road Media announced today Forbidden Bookshelf, a series of books curated by Professor Mark Crispin Miller of New York University. Forbidden Bookshelf titles fill in the blanks of Americas repressed history by resurrecting books that focused on issues and events that are too often left in the dark, including abortion, organized crime, the CIA, and financial inequality.

The series launches on June 10 with five books: Blowback: Americas Recruitment of Nazis and Its Destructive Impact on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy by Christopher Simpson, The Phoenix Program: Americas Use of Terror in Vietnam by Douglas Valentine, The Search for an Abortionist: The Classic Study of How American Women Coped with Unwanted Pregnancy Before Roe v. Wade by Nancy Howell Lee, Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football by Dan E. Moldea, and The Lords of Creation: The History of America’s 1 Percent by Frederick Lewis Allen. Each of the first four titles includes a new introduction. 

Additional books by I. F. Stone, Gerard Colby, Charlotte Dennett, Kati Marton, Robert Fitch, Bertram Gross, and John Dinges will be released later this summer.

Open Road Media CEO Jane Friedman said, “This list of books is much deserving of renewed attention. The issues they address are as significant today as they were when the books were first published. We believe that we will stimulate new conversation and debate through our intensive and extensive marketing platform.”

Mark Crispin Miller said, “Despite our First Amendment—or because of it—countless crucial books have been adroitly ‘disappeared’ through methods far less crude than outright censorship, from threats of litigation to press black-outs and/or charges of ‘conspiracy theory.’ Such tactics have repeatedly erased those books that we most need to read, because of their important truths about the powers that be; and so our purpose is to bring those books to life again.”

Miller is a professor of media studies at NYU and an accomplished author of several books, from Boxed In: The Culture of TV (1988) and Seeing Through Movies (1990) to his more recent works on politics, including The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder and Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform. He has also written many articles for newspapers and journals, including four op-eds in the New York Times, as well as many pieces in the Nation, the New Republic,and the New York Review of Books, and articles for Harper’s,the Atlantic, Mother JonesEsquire, and the Wall Street Journal. Through his blog, News from Underground, he is also an influential presence on the web.

About Open Road Integrated Media

Open Road Integrated Media is a global digital publishing company that creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing its ebooks through a new proprietary online platform, which uses premium video content and social media. Open Road has published fiction and nonfiction ebooks from authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, James Jones, Pearl S. Buck, David Halberstam, Victor S. Navasky, Gloria Steinem, Martin Duberman, and Richard Ben Cramer.  


Billionaire son of the SC Johnson family and heir to fortune jailed four months for sexually assaulting underage teen girl
By Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 14:37 EST, 6 June 2014 | Updated: 18:47 EST, 6 June 2014

A Wisconsin billionaire has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of having sexual contact with a teenage girl.

Samuel ‘Curt’ Johnson III, whose family has run home-products giant SC Johnson for five generations, was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to four months in jail, short of the one-year maximum. He was also fined $6,000.

Before sentencing Friday, the 59-year-old apologized to the victim and her mother for ‘the tremendous hurt I have caused.’

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The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination




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About News From Underground

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