If you give a terrorist a cookie…

May 31, 2009

…he might be more cooperative. According to a recent article in Time, all it took to get one terrorist talking was a few sugar-free cookies.

The most successful interrogation of an Al-Qaeda operative by U.S. officials required no sleep deprivation, no slapping or “walling” and no waterboarding. All it took to soften up Abu Jandal, who had been closer to Osama bin Laden than any other terrorist ever captured, was a handful of sugar-free cookies

You can read the entire article here

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Boycott Shell gas stations, products, & services.

May 28, 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8067218.stm

Activists trying to prove oil giant Royal Dutch Shell was complicit in the 1995 executions of nine anti-oil campaigners, including Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, have brought their case to the US.

Over the last 12 years, the family of the Ogoni poet and playwright has pursued the company through the courts with the support of American environmental and human rights campaigners.

Shell deny accusations they had anything to do with the executions of Mr Saro-Wiwa and eight others by the government of military ruler Sani Abacha.

The civil lawsuit, which was due to start on Wednesday 27 May in New York, has been postponed until next week.

The case is being closely watched in Nigeria, where a younger generation of oil militants has caused chaos in the oil industry, blowing up installations and kidnapping staff.

“They weren’t the hangman,” Ken Wiwa, the activist’s son, says about Shell.

“But their fingerprints are all over it.”

‘Goaded’

In 1993, Ogoni activists stood up to the international oil company, forcing them to pull out of the region in Rivers State.

The protests were led by Mr Saro-Wiwa, famed for writing a popular TV soap.

He founded the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) which used largely non-violent means to bring the world’s attention to the environmental damage being done by oil production in the Niger Delta.

But the leadership of Mosop was accused of ordering the murder of four local traditional leaders, and arrested.

In 1995 the government of Sani Abacha shocked the world by carrying out the executions of the Ogoni Nine, as they became known.

The plaintiffs are trying to prove that Shell, in Mr Wiwa’s words, “goaded” the government into the executions.

Mr Wiwa, now an aide to the current President Umaru Yar’Adua, says he is not interested in “retributive justice”, but is trying to find a solution to the problems that still plague the region.

Like his father, he wants oil firms to realise that it is only by working with and engaging local communities that there can be longer-term profitability for all.

For the past 14 years, no oil has been pumped from Ogoniland ground.

“My father always said that one day Shell would realise he was their greatest friend,” Mr Wiwa told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

The court action is being brought by Mr Wiwa and the families of seven of the nine men executed, as well as a number of other Ogonis injured or killed by the military during the 1990s.

They are being assisted by the Centre for Constitutional Rights and Earth Rights International.

The case can be heard in New York because American law allows foreign nationals to sue companies registered in the US.

Their lawyers will try to prove that the company had a close relationship with the Nigerian government, ordering military raids and attacks on villages in the name of “security”.

They say Shell executives told the government they had to “deal” with the Ogonis and Mosop.

They also claim Shell knew in advance that Mr Wiwa and the rest of the Ogoni Nine would be found guilty, and, perhaps most damningly, they say they can prove the director of Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary met with Mr Saro-Wiwa’s brother and offered his freedom in return for an end to Mosop’s campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZhy_VaYisU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNaY4xBiQp8


White woman “abducted by 2 black men” lied. She was found at Disney World safe with her daughter

May 28, 2009

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/30978215#30978215

Here is the story

A 38 year old white mother, Bonnie Sweeten, lied to police that she and her daughter had been rear ended and abducted by two black men, then stuffed in the back of their Cadillac. The truth is the woman had withdrawn $12000 from various bank accounts, used false identification (her friend’s license) to purchase tickets to Florida and took her daughter to Disney World. The woman has been placed under arrest and is charged with with false reports and identity theft, both misdemeanors. Hopefully no black men were arrested or harassed because of the woman’s false story.

Police believe domestic issues between the woman and her husband might have been a motivator in this issue.

UPDATE:


Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

May 28, 2009

http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=134

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQYKXGj2JA4

Part #1

Part #2

Above are a few video clips from the video “Consuming Kids”. It is an amazing film on how marketers and advertisers (aided by deregulation and dilution of power of the FTC in the 1980s & under Reagan) are targeting children like pedophiles. They are extremely aggressive, taking on an amoral approach to converting infants into life long loyal consumers of their products (whether it is good or bad for them). Cartoons were made for the sole purpose of selling the toys. Even schools are now taking field trips to malls and stores, and having gyms sponsored by companies like Pizza Hut or Pepsi. Marketers have done brain scans on babies to see what stimulates them the most. They’ve even followed children into the bathroom or observed how they bathe all as a part of “research” on how to target them to sell products.

This video is extremely eye opening and disturbing. Marketers are only interested in their bottom line, and their actions have contributed to many problems we now face including childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder, social anxiety/depression, teen pregnancy, etc. I have only posted two parts out of seven in this post, you can see the rest on youtube or I may follow up by posting more in an update.

Every parent should watch this video.


GOP’s racist attacks against Sotomayor

May 27, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1zGYZrxlws

Sotomayor graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude in 1976. Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Sotomayor then served as an Assistant District Attorney under prominent New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, prosecuting robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography cases. In 1984, she entered private practice, making partner at the commercial litigation firm of Pavia & Harcourt, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation.


Elizabeth Hasselbeck PWNED by Jesse Ventura on the issue of torture

May 19, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSra-McRZEc

It’s really sad to see Elizabeth try to debate Ventura here. She ranked 4th on Survivor and is married to a former backup NFL quarterback. That’s it. What makes her think she has any credibility to take on Jesse Ventura, a former US Navy Seal who has actually been water boarded, on the issue of water boarding? I think Elizabeth should have been there to listen and learn, rather than debate on this issue. She comes across as arrogant, ignorant, and childish.


“Kids dying weekly in Chicago” How CNN should have covered youth deaths story

May 8, 2009

cnn_teendeath_coverage

When reporting upon the tragic and brutal death of a 15 year old kid in Chicago (the latest in a trend of great violence against youth in that city), CNN did something that America must change if we are to perfect our union. They classified the death as “minority” and from the “streets”. Who cares that the kid was a minority? Does that make his tragic death any less tragic? There should be no special classification of deaths based on race, ethnicity, gender or social economic status. A 15 year old kid is a 15 year old kid, and he/she matters!

The second thing CNN did is added the word “streets”, which implies some kind of gangster/drug trafficking connection. But upon reading about the story, we learn that this youth had no criminal background, showed no sign of being affiliated with gangs, and actually was a quiet, shy, nice kid who was just leaving his girlfriends house. What is “street” about that? Regardless of whether or not the murderers were “street”, when CNN uses that word and places it beneath the image of the victim, it implies that he too had some “street” (criminal) affiliation.

CNN’s story would read much stronger if it was titled “Kids dying weekly in Chicago“. That makes the story universally accessible. Every adult has been a kid, and many adults have kids. By saying “kids”, you make the connection that that could have been your son or your brother or your cousin or you!
CNN should have also just said “Chicago” not “Chicago’s streets”, as if implying some special ghetto gangster subcategory of Chicago that can be easily stereotyped and dismissed. No this is Chicago:
Oprah’s Chicago
President Obama’s Chicago
The White Sox’s and Cubs Chicago
Michael Jordan’s Chicago
The Chicago Frank Sinatra was singing about
The Chicago that is hoping to host the Olympic Games Chicago

Yes, in this Chicago, kids are dying weekly. How can any city who hopes to host the Olympic Games, tolerate such unimaginable youth violence? At least 1 kid a week has been killed since the beginning of this year, some as young as 10.

One good thing that CNN did report was how this story would be covered if that many children had died due to the swine flu. We have to wake up America. The lives of our kids matter greatly, and this violence they face should not be tolerated! It should be exposed for the true tragedy that it is, something that should cause grief to all Americans.