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Archive for the ‘Atrocities’ Category

So many deaths. We have the most deaths of all countries. Some of these people were great people, terrific people – on both sides. We have a 9/11 every four or five days now. Horrific numbers. In America, we like big numbers, tremendous numbers. No country has numbers like we do. Of course, people tell me that not all of these deaths are virus deaths. Some of these people were old and would have died anyway. That makes them fake deaths. It’s not our fault that they died, some of them. Nobody could have expected this. It’s not our fault.

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Spotlight is a team of investigative reporters working for the Boston Globe. When a new editor takes charge of the paper, the Spotlight team is tasked to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of minors by the Catholic Church. The year-long investigation slowly exposes cover-ups at the highest level of the Boston religious circles that date back decades.

Spotlight is an expose about the Catholic Church, not just in the United States, but worldwide. What we learn is shocking, disturbing, disgusting and, in the end, a confirmation of what we knew all along from the media revelations of decades of abuse.

The Catholic Church has taken advantage of its members for over a thousand years, it has committed millions of atrocities, and it’s been getting away with them. In the modern world, where we value the emotional health of our children, abuse, and particularly sexual abuse by the clergy has been put under a microscope. And even now, with all the modern tools, there are still plenty of people willing to cover up for the church.

I know about this type of abuse and the effort to cover it up personally from people very close to me and I can attest to that.

We need more Spotlight on this problem, and we need to continue to expose the church for what it is: a power-hungry, self-serving beast that preys on its own members and everyone it comes in contact with.

Watch Spotlight!

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We Americans have always chastised China for Tiananmen Square.

We Americans have ridden into Syria and bashed Assad for using chemical weapons on his own people.

These are pictures of Americans attacked by their own government in July 2020.

Their crimes: protesting against police brutality.

The American government is shooting its own people.

Let us never again have the audacity and accuse other countries for human rights violations. We lost the right to lecture anyone. We have no moral foundation. We’re turning against our own people!

150,000 Americans are dead from an infectious disease, and 1,000 more are dying every day.

Black Americans are getting killed by our own police in broad daylight on camera.

Young Americans are getting shot in their own streets for protesting situations that they can’t stand anymore.

Is this our Great Again America?

Is all that winning worth it?

 

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Here is an article about Jennifer Kristiansen, a 37-year-old Portland mother and attorney who was arrested. She was not read her rights. Her crime: standing in solidarity with other protestors in Portland. Apparently anonymous troops in battle fatigues, without nametags, without badges, without identifying insignia, can just pick people up off the streets on American cities now and our government seems to think this is acceptable. Not only is it unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it is offensive.

Are they seriously asking us to “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the republic for which it stands?”

This republic?

Here is a picture of another victim in Portland. This is Donavan La Bella, a 26-year-old peaceful activist in Portland, shot in the face by United States officers. He may have brain damage, and a bad right eye for the rest of his life. He will definitely need reconstructive surgery in his face. Was this necessary?

There are people in this country who think that he deserves it, that he should not have been there. He should not have stood up for this ideals and protect the republic for which the flag stands.

What kind of “officer” shoots an unarmed young man point-blank in the face. What kind of government orders its law enforcement officers to commit atrocities against its own people?

Syria’s Assad did that, and we sent dozens of missiles into his country. After this, we no longer have the moral authority to suggest to any other country to get its human rights policies corrected. We have no more moral authority, and it will hurt our leadership for decades, maybe forever.

This same government of ours was not indignant when this happened:

While the protestors in Portland are unarmed, while the wall of moms are simply concerned citizens with nothing but the clothes on their backs and facemasks, these protestors in Lansing, Michigan just two months ago stood in front of the governor’s office in the Michigan State Capitol. Their protest was not about the rights of oppressed minorities. Their protest was about having been ordered to stay home to shelter from infection and wear masks in public. They, however, were allowed to be fully armed with military assault rifles. Where were the federal DHS officers in that protest? Why didn’t they shoot rubber bullets into their faces?

Something tells me things would not have ended well for the officers if they’d started shooting at them.

I have to say that they look way more dangerous and menacing to me than the wall of moms in Portland did:

Credit: Mason Trinca for the New York Times

Our government now raises arms against its own people in its own country, against those who do not agree with the government’s policies and the morality of its actions.

How can I pledge allegiance?

 

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Read the first-hand account below from a citizen of Portland and then tell me that this is not frightening as hell:

First hand report on the ground in Portland by a responsible citizen.

From a resident of Portland, Oregon:

While I’ve been sort of following the ongoing events in Portland, I was floored by the information I recently received from my father-in-law, Alden Roberts. It is incredibly important that people know what is happening in Portland, because it is very scary and has very real implications for our entire country.
By way of context, Alden is a general surgeon, retired as the Chief Medical Officer of a hospital in Vancouver, Washington, and just finished his term as the Chairman of the Washington Medical Commission (the state agency that licenses and oversees all doctors in the state). I share this information to emphasize that he is a community leader, a very smart, educated, and informed person, and is not one to exaggerate or spread misinformation.
Here’s what he has observed in Portland over the past few days:

1. The protests are confined to a 2 block radius around the courthouse, and if you’re 4 blocks away, you can’t tell anything has been happening. There is nothing going on outside of that region, and Portland is functioning as normally as the Pandemic will allow. It is not burning, nor is it out of control.

2. The protesters are absolutely peaceful at the Protests that I have been part of, and with the exception of graffiti, are completely within their constitutional rights to protest. The protests involve singing, chanting, and have used “white walls” to block whites who are trying to disrupt or corrupt the protests. Yes, cursing is rather commonplace. More than ½ of the protesters are white. All are protesting for Black Lives Matter, although the entrance of the federal paramilitary force has brought out a lot of people, including myself, who are incensed at the use of unregulated federal force against law abiding citizen and against the will of the state and local governments.

3. ALL of the protesters are wearing masks to minimize transmission of CoV-2. However, as at times there are 1000 or more of us, it is hard (though not impossible) to maintain social distancing. When the federal paramilitary force is deployed, it becomes impossible.

4. The Police responded unprovoked and were brutal, but nothing like the paramilitary force. There is a court order that forbids the police to use teargas. I was not there when it was just the police.

5. At the protests I have attended, I did not witness any unlawfulness on the part of the protesters. Each time, the federal paramilitary personnel launched an apparently unprovoked attack. There have been no “riots.” The federal paramilitary force has had no training in crowd control, has no oversight, was not invited to Portland by local leadership, does not have any form of identification do not wear name badges, and wears military camo. They are heavily armed with flash-bang grenades, less-lethal bullets, pepper bullets, pepper spray and tear gas. They will pull goggles off of protesters and spray pepper spray into their eyes. They used a baton to beat a US Navy vet, broke his hand and sprayed pepper spray in his eyes because he asked why they weren’t honoring their vow to protect the constitution. During the assault, he stood still and did not resist until blinded by the pepper spray, he turned around and walked away. The “line of mothers” on Sunday was gassed and shot with less-lethal bullets for chanting Black Lives Matter. At least one was pregnant. A protester holding a sign up with both hands was shot in the head with a “non-lethal” bullet and will likely have permanent brain damage. While I have not personally seen this, there are videos of people being kidnapped into unmarked vans by the federal paramilitaries as they left the protests, held for a couple of days, interrogated, then released without charges or explanation. At this time, re-read my first two points. The protests are no threat to Portland and only encompass a 2 block area. They have been peaceful, with graffiti as the only illegal activity. They are well controlled and supported by a cross section of Portlanders. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved, and the excessive force being used appears to be nothing more than a political show of force against US Citizens by the Trump administration.

6. About 3000 protesters showed up last night (July 21); all with masks, very well behaved. Certainly no chaos, no violence on the part of the protesters. I left at 10:30, the paramilitary attacked at 12:30. I spent an hour talking to the medics. They say they are being targeted by the paramilitary personnel. They are often the first to be shot at and tear gassed. When they try to help an injured protester, the paramilitary personnel throw flash-bangs and tear gas at them (they carry gas masks). One of them was beaten, dragged away from the injured person they were treating and arrested. They are from OHSU as well as Portland Fire.

7. The Elk statue was taken down by the Police to “protect” it, but the Elk statue was a favorite of the protesters because it was uncontroversial; so they got a blow-up elk and put it where the real statue used to stand. It’s sort of a rallying point.

This should concern, if not terrify, all of us. This is an unidentified and unaccountable federal police presence attacking American citizens who are not violating any federal laws. This is literally how the “secret police” in other authoritarian regimes began. The comparison to the early stages of Nazi Germany is NOT AN EXAGGERATION anymore.

Silence is complacency. Please share this post. Please spread this information. Please get involved. Do not allow or condone this conduct by our federal government. I don’t care which political party you support, this is an affront to the U.S. Constitution and the founding principals of our nation.

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Five decades after the Vietnam war we still have riveting movies about that war, or that conflict, as it was called back then. Spike Lee tells the story of Da 5 Bloods, the nickname for a group of all black Vietnam veterans, Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), who go back to find and exhume their fallen leader, Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman), and bring him home, and to find the massive cache of gold bars they buried there in 1971. To help them, Paul has brought along his adult son, David (Jonathan Majors).

They find Norman, and they find the gold. The problem is, you can’t just carry out that much gold in backpacks without attracting the wrong kind of attention, and the ensuing conflicts during the retreat brings out the worst in each of them, all deeply damaged from post-traumatic stress and ruined lives. Today’s Vietnam is not the Vietnam of the 1960s, but it’s also not Kansas. There are still plenty of landmines that can kill, and demons that can drive you insane.

In today’s age, where black Americans are once again the targets of hate, injustice and suppression fueled by nascent resurgence of racism let loose in our society, a movie about the fates of black soldiers in a war that wasn’t theirs hits the mark. Beware that this movie has some very horrid imagery that once seen, will stay with you for a long time. Some pictures cannot be unseen. I have warned you.

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For decades, the American military has invaded and terrorized other countries. We have blasted drone bombs into weddings in Yemen, shot up villages of civilians in Vietnam, went house to house in cities in Iraq, and occupied many countries for decades. That’s why we need a military budget larger than that of the next eight nations combined.

When you’re that kid at a wedding in Yemen and your entire family is wiped out by some malign robot high up in the sky, you are completely powerless. You can grieve, you can hate, you can become a terrorist to get even, but you can’t change what was done to you and your loved-ones, you are a victim of state-sponsored terrorism.

We have watched these scenes on television since the Vietnam years in the 1960s. We are used to them. We have become numb to our government committing atrocities in our name all over the world. After all, it’s been good for the economy.

[click for image credit: NBC News]

Now these men in uniforms and guns have started descending on our own citizens in our own cities. They are, apparently indiscriminately, plucking protesters off the streets, with no probable cause other than having been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and hauling them away. The protesters don’t know the names of the officers or their affiliations.

Back in the Nazi days in Germany, just such officers, heavily armed, would break down doors of ordinary citizens at 3:00 in the morning, and taking them away, never to be seen again, no reasons given, no accountability. When military or paramilitary operators start terrorizing their own citizens in their own countries, things usually don’t take too long to go completely out of control. That happened in Germany in the 1930s, not so long ago. Oh how quickly we forget.

Our military terrorism has come home to roost in our own nests. Perhaps we have run out of Afghanistans, and Yemens, and Sudans. We need new fresh meat in Portland and Chicago. There are plenty of young black kids who can watch their parents be beaten and hauled away, hopeless, powerless, victims without recourse.

We have started terrorizing ourselves in America, setting up our own federal troops against our own citizens, forcibly dividing the country. Are we trying to foment a civil way? It sure looks that way to me.

Here is the definition of fascism:

Fascism: A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Welcome to fascism, America. You thought socialism was bad?

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Federal agents in camouflage in unmarked vehicles pull protesters off the streets with no explanation in Portland, Oregon.

Read this article for more detail.

 

This makes me think about another place and time in history:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

— Martin Niemöller, a Nazi dissident

They haven’t come for me yet, but if I keep writing things like this, they eventually will.

Will anyone be left to speak for me then?

We need to vote the thugs out of office while we still can.

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But I made the mistake of pulling James Cone’s ‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’ off my shelf — a book designed to shatter convenient complacency. Cone recounts the case of a white mob in Valdosta, Ga., in 1918 that lynched an innocent man named Haynes Turner. Turner’s enraged wife, Mary, promised justice for the killers. The sheriff responded by arresting her and then turning her over to the mob, which included women and children. According to one source, Mary was ‘stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground and was stomped to death.’

— Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter, quoting from a book.

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Since when is it ok for police to shoot at people on their own porch at home? This looks like we’re now living in a police state. History has shown that very bad things start happening when this is permissible and acceptable police behavior.

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This picture shows an example of heavily armed but unmarked riot “police” in the streets of Washington, DC. Mind you, we don’t know who these people are. With no names, no identification and no badges we have no idea. If we were to be assaulted by one of them, there would be no recourse whatsoever. Is this not frightening to anyone?

Whether you are a 46-year-old black man, or a white female college student, or New York State Senator Myrie, or Rep. Ocasio Cortez, any of these thugs could assault you, possibly even kill you, and there’d be no recourse. How is this possible? How do we tolerate this?

Word is that these are mercenaries from Erik Prince, the brother of our illustrious Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, but how would we know? Also, do you all realize how expensive these forces are? Do we know how much money Trump is funneling into this buddy Prince’s pocket right now under the guise of national security?

The corruption is immeasurable.

I can’t believe I am writing this, but it seems like it’s time that we exercised our beloved Second Amendment Rights.

At the time when it was ratified, the Second Amendment was intended to have at least two security purposes other than a well-regulated militia:

  1. a practical purpose, to protect people from thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings
  2. a political purpose, to remind the rest of the world that the United States is well-armed

I haven’t been assaulted by any Native Americans in a long time, and I don’t know anyone who has been. We don’t have slaves anymore, so uprisings are not a danger. It also goes without saying that the rest of the world has, since 1792, figured out that the United States is well-armed.

However, the founders had another objective with the Second Amendment: During the early massive shift of power from the states to the federal government, the Anti-Federalists argued that the states and the people needed to be armed in case of federal usurpation of power. As a result, the American people are well-armed, as we all know, and as the NRA has been making sure we would be.

The picture above makes me feel assaulted by the federal government. Perhaps I should go to my local gun store (an essential business, after all, per the NRA), buy myself a few AR-15s, a helmet, a shield, black gloves and sunglasses, and go out there and fight for my freedom.

In other words, I should exercise my Second Amendment rights – since the federal government is clearly now turning against its own citizens.

Do you all see how Great America has become Again?

 

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As of this moment, 641,919 people are confirmed infected with COVID-19 in the United States, and 28,399 have died from the disease. Our government does not act like that is a huge deal. So far, the death toll has been like eight 9/11 catastrophes in a row, or over ten Pearl Harbors. I have not yet heard Trump utter any type of sorrow, remorse or empathy with the victims. Tens of thousands of Americans dying on his watch does not seem to faze him very much, other than it’s inconvenient, since the crash of the economy may affect his re-election.

28,399 dead people, so far, is a pretty big deal to me.

Remember when Benghazi happened? For a year after that, night after night, Hannity was droning on about “4 Americans dead, and Hillary Clinton is responsible!” Hannity got a lot of mileage out of the “4 Americans dead” phrase, and the “Lock Her Up” chant came out of that propaganda.

Our Pro-Life government seems to have a lot of interest in protecting unborn life, but once the life walks the streets of American cities, it does not seem so important to them anymore. And once the life is old enough to be in nursing homes, they seem to opt to not even count them amongst the dead anymore. I hear more and more talk about “they would have died soon anyway….” Remember the outrage we had about the “Obama death sentences for grandma?”

Pro-Life? Call me confused.

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I don’t know who Bill Mitchell is, and from the looks of this tweet, I don’t think I want to know.

There are so many things wrong with the statement above:

“losin it” who retweeted this with profanity is right. Who is “we” in this context? And who is Bill Mitchell?

Comparing the systematic, organized, planned murder of 6 million, per the Nazis “undesirable” people, mostly Jews, over several years during World War II with a viral pandemic in 2020 is entirely ludicrous. Despicable even.

Again, who is “we?” And to get the record straight, the Germans did shut down their economy, whether by plan or by default. Perhaps Bill Mitchell should read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer – my review here – and see what happened to the German economy during and after the war. It’s 1143 pages though, so it’ll take a bit longer than reading his tweet.

Perhaps Bill Mitchell should read Hungerwinter by Häusser and Maugg – my review here – which describes what happened to the German people after the war, when there was no economy, after their fearless leader first blamed the German people for the loss of the war (they didn’t have the will to win) and then blew his own brains out. That book is only available in German. Not sure if Bill Mitchell could read that.

So his claim about shutting the economy down is wrong, notwithstanding being an outlandish and inappropriate comparison.

Finally, COVID-19 is a virus, not a rogue government. In first world, modern and industrialized countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the virus seems to kill about 10% of those verified to come ill with it (understanding that many are probably unreported). That’s a huge percentage of fatality. In the United States, we have now 340,000 verified cases, that would mean we should expect about 30,000 to 40,000 of those to die, if we follow the same trajectory as Italy.

And here is the kicker: These are the death rates with a still functioning and moderately coping healthcare system.

What does Bill Mitchell think will happen in any country once the sick have no more place to go, when the hospitals simply can’t accept any more patients? Obviously, the death rate will go up. People will just perish in their homes.

Uncounted.

Does Bill Mitchell want an economy, or does he want to live?

I can answer for myself:

I can live without restaurant food, without movies, and without malls for a few weeks, or even a few months, as long as I get to live afterwards.

I am not likely to go to Hobby Lobby when I am dead.

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World War I was one of the deadliest conflict in human history. Almost 40 million people died in that war. We generally think of WW I as the war of trench warfare. Soldiers lived in trenches on both sides of the front.

In April of 1917, two young British soldiers, Shofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are sent on an impossible mission: cross into German-held territory in northern France and warn the commander of a British unit of about 1,600 soldiers about a deadly trap they don’t know about. Without any means of communications, the two soldiers are hand-carrying a letter. Blake was picked because his brother is a lieutenant in the endangered unit and the commanding general assumes that will give Blake the necessary motivation.

They only have one day and one night for the mission, since the unit is scheduled to attack in the morning and run into the ambush.

The movie follows the two hapless soldiers on their journey. The entire picture is filmed in one continuous shot, not in individual scenes. This gives the action some urgency and fluency. As they progress through the war-torn wasteland, they come across an endless stream of corpses in trenches, ditches, bunkers, on fields and in streams. The brutality and horror of war comes to life in 1917, and the senselessness of it all is ever present.

Some people just want to fight.

And therefore, many others have to die.

As I watched 1917, I realized that Adolph Hitler was a common German soldier in that war, and the experience of the conflict, and the aftermath and subsequent humiliation of the German people, was one of the driving forces that shaped his world-view and fueled his eventual rise to power – just to repeat the whole atrocity again.

Everyone should watch 1917 for the political and humanitarian message it sends, not just because it’s going to win many awards.

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Stolen Dreams and Childhood


Three questions come to mind:

  • Which of these children cried: “How dare you, you have stolen my dreams and my childhood!”
  • Which of these children was never given the opportunity to cry?
  • Which of these children had the slightest reason to lament and complain?

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