The Sundance Now Doc Club is making My Country My Country, the Iraq documentary by Laura Poitras (of Edward Snowden fame, and director of the acclaimed new film, Citzenfour), available to watch for free online until November 24. Watch it here.
A week and a half ago, I blogged about an ongoing story in Oakley, Michigan, which is not that far from here and which I’ve been keeping an eye on. People are apparently picking up the story now outside of the local news, and it’s getting some new info.
For those who don’t remember, the village has 290 people and a massive police department that is funded through secret “donations.” The names of the police are a secret, including from the village government, and when they approved the release of the names, police claimed ISIS might kill the police if they knew who they were.
Vocativ has a great piece on it now, which includes an admission from the village’s part-time police chief Robert Reznick that the ISIS threat might be “far-fetched,” but that that “doesn’t matter” and that the names should remain secret.
Reznick all but admits that he’s selling badges in a money-making scheme, but insists that it’s not illegal, and that the village needs the money. The Vocativ report includes claims that not only are people buying badges for the higher-end gun permit, but because they can use it to access police records in a way that civilians could not. The number of police is still unknown, but is believed to be at least 100.
The village council has shut the police down, and the courts have finally ordered them to stay shut down, at least until next week’s election installs a new council which could restore them. The council has also requested the police to return all their equipment, which they’ve refused to do, and which has led the council to asking the Michigan State Police to try to recover the property “stolen” by former police.
Yet the village has no record of what all that property consists of, let alone who these former police are, so the request to recover the gear is an exercise in futility, and will likely remain unresolved while the state investigates the department for selling badges and decides whether or not that’s actually something anyone can just do.
Though Antiwar.com covers the vast majority of English-language news sites 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, it’s inevitable that sometimes we miss stories that received sparse coverage.
On Sunday, October 19, an Israeli settler ran over a pair of 5-year-old Palestinian girls returning home from kindergarten. One of the girls was killed. The story was mentioned on only a handful of sites, and went basically unreported in Europe, North America, and indeed Israel itself.
The hit-and-run story would’ve been particularly important, contextually, because just a day later a Palestinian driver crashed into a crowd of Israelis in East Jerusalem, killing an Israeli infant and wounding eight others.
Though we still don’t know if the Monday incident was intentional or not, coming just a day after a similar incident on Palestinian children would’ve been a much different story, and it makes it more likely the incident was the sort of revenge we see so often in the region.
Though Israel’s media always covers Israeli deaths more substantially than Palestinian ones, the fact that there was no coverage at all, and no mention of it in the context of the Monday incident, is extremely unusual.
It is impossible to confirm, naturally, but such a lack of coverage typically means the Israeli military is using its censorship powers to try to bury the story. As of Sunday the settler responsible had not been caught, and there is no indication one way or another if he has been since.
Statist politicians of both the left and the right – John McCain, Robert Reich, Charley Rangel – keep asserting a claim the lives of young people. And if conscription into the military creates resistance, they are always ready with something called "national service."
This week on the Podcast, Ron Paul calls mandatory national service not just anti-liberty, but un-American. And has anybody in Washington bothered to read the 13th Amendment which forbids "involuntary servitude"?
Charles Goyette is New York Times Bestselling Author of The Dollar Meltdown and Red and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America’s Free Economy. Check out Goyette and Paul’s national radio commentary: Ron Paul’s America. Goyette also edits The Freedom and Prosperity Letter.
He identified the neocon agitation to replace the old perpetual war with a new one as soon as it started.
In 1990, Murray Rothbard clearly identified the earliest signs of the ultimately successful decade-long push by the neocons to replace their dearly missed Cold War with a global, imperialist, and permanent War on Islamic fundamentalism and for “Democracy.” He wrote in his April 1990 column “The Post-Cold War World: Whither U.S. Foreign Policy” (which can be found in the collection The Irrepressible Rothbard):
“But if the Cold War died in the Communist collapse of 1989, what can the ruling conservative-liberal Establishment come up with to justify the policy of massive intervention by the U.S. everywhere on the globe? In short, what cloak can the Establishment now find to mask and vindicate the continuance of U.S. imperialism? With their perks and their power at stake, the Court apologists for imperialism have been quick to offer excuses and alternatives, even if they don’t always hang together. Perhaps the feeling is that one of them may stick.
The argument for imperialism has always been two-edged, what the great Old Rightist Garet Garrett called (in his classic The People’s Pottage) “a complex of fear and vaunting.” Fear means alleged threats to American interests and the American people. To replace the Soviet-international Communist threat, three candidates have been offered by various Establishment pundits. (…) [Rothbard here offers international narco-terrorism and reunified Germany as the first two potential bogeymen.]
A third threat has been raised in the Wall Street Journal by that old fox, the godfather of the neocons, Irving Kristol. Kristol, in a rambling account of the post-Cold War world, leaps on the “Islamic fundamentalist” threat, and even suggests that the U.S. and the Soviet Union should discreetly cooperate in putting down this looming world period. Here we see a hint of a new conservative-liberal concept: a benign rule of the world by the United States, joined by the Soviet Union as a sort of condominium-junior partner, along with Western Europe and Japan. In short, an expanded Trilateral concept. Of course, pinpointing Islamic fundamentalism comes as no surprise from the neocons, to whom defense of the State of Israel is always the overriding goal.
Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science – encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities – announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.”
The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.
We already know the National Security Agency has the digital versions of all telephone conversations and emails sent to, from or within the U.S. since 2005. Edward Snowden’s revelations of all this are credible and substantiated, and the government’s denials are weak and unavailing – so weak and unavailing that many NSA agents disbelieve them.