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Please listen and watch this video.  Put up the volume and listen to it several times.  I'm not condoning what is said, but simply pointing out that what we are told happened in this video isn't exactly how it happened in this video.

We were told that Giuliana Rancic said that Kendaya's hair:

"looked like she smelled of patchouli oil...or maybe weed"
Ms. Rancic's remarks were completely taken out of context.

And then this divisive zinger written by the diarist, unfairly attributing it to Ms. Rancic's POV, when it was not Ms. Rancic who brought up weed:

Yes, because only black people smoke ganja.
The ... is text that the diarist chose to remove from the transcript, and this subtraction makes a big difference.  

Ms. Rancic at first said some flattering things about Kendaya's look.  She then opined she felt the dreadlocks overwhelmed Kendaya's petite frame and preferred her hair shorter.

Ms. Rancic then said she "feels like Zendaya's hair smells like patchouli oils," a popular bohemian 1960s scent, which is not related to "weed," but is made from a mint.  

Kelly Osbourne piped up "or weed" and Ms. Rancic asked "Maybe weed?" putting her hands up in a question like manner, and then Kathy Griffin made further jokes about weed.

This is a far cry from being as plainly divisive as the MSM stories hyped.  Not explaining truthfully that a comedian introduced "or weed" into the conversation after Ms. Rancic's earthy, crunchy fashion reference to a fragrance popular in the 60s, the time period when this hairdo was most popular, is misleading, and unfairly pins the blame solely on Ms. Rancic for making the reference to "weed."

Why isn't Kelly Osbourne asked to apologize, too, in all fairness, since fairness is supposedly what this is all about?  She is the one who referred to weed as a joke.  

I wonder if this diary or any of the other stories blanketing the internet and MSM on this issue that once again divides us, will ever make a correction based on the transcript of the actual conversation and how it actually evolved and drifted into weed territory.

I also wonder if any of the commenters here who trashed Rancic's thinness, who is a breast cancer survivor, will ever apologize for their cruel remarks.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

The diarist then asks these questions:

Bohemian chic look? What exactly does that have to do with weed?
Uh, if you actually read a transcript of this event you write so authoritatively about here or deigned to listen and watch the video you posted, you might actually realize that Ms. Rancic, the fashion pro, wasn't the one who brought up weed.  Ms. Rancic mentioned a fragrance, called patchouli.  It's a lovely scent.  You might like to try it sometime, because aromatherapy might just calm you down enough for you to see reality isn't as bad as you portray it.  It was Kelly Osbourne, who suggested, "or weed," as a joke, I assume.  Ms. Rancic asked, "Maybe weed?" and threw up her hands, looking a bit dismayed by the punch line.  Also, you'll notice that the audience was laughing.  

I will await your correction, but I won't hold my breath.  

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Please watch this to put this woman whose character has been unfairly assassinated into context:

And to those of you who got a little too carried away in the hype and wrote some things I hope you have the decency to regret, I hope you make a donation to breast cancer research as your apology.

With "news stories" like this gaining so much attention, which surgically remove the truth and instantly and quite successfully demonize a brave woman who is a breast cancer survivor over a fashion police show that went awry with a comedian's punch line, no wonder we are so easily diverted that we let our government bomb infants without batting an eyelash.  No wonder over a million innocent civilians are dead and maimed and mutilated.  No wonder we are never at peace.  No wonder our earth is a mess.  No wonder a homeless man died of cold on the steps of a shelter in the richest country on earth.  No wonder there are more AA young men in jail than enslaved in 1850 (which is the Oscar buzz they want you to forget!)...  

Where are our priorities?  This was a gaffe.  Okay?  How could any of you have actually watched that video and written those vitriolic things?  Did the diarist even watch it?  

Do your homework.  The news is managed to divide us and terrorize us and rile us up, so that they can rip us off, send our jobs overseas, rip off the California school system like they ripped off Greece and homeowners with wonky loans, start more wars based on more lies,...

Investigate the news.  Go to different sources from different countries and different points of view.  Don't take the corporate owned media's word for it.  They're out for themselves and their special interests.

Do your homework.  Or you will have no home and no work.  

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Updated it, because after watching it and turning up the volume louder, I discovered it wasn't Kathy Griffin who said, "Or weed," but Kelly Osbourne.

Listen, this show used to have the late Joan Rivers hosting it, so it's edgy.  I never watched it, but I know people who enjoy it and have told me that Ms. Rancic is a very nice woman.  For all we know, this show may have been scripted with the patchouli remark by comedic writers and then it evolved and got out of hand.  The point I wish to make is that this hatchet job story on Ms. Rancic stirring up the racial divide is all over the place, like a Jon Stewart compilation of the same scripted lines spat out of different news anchors' mouths from different cities across the country.  The story isn't as it was reported.  That's my point.  It's not as evil and as racist as we are led to believe.  She has apologized.  I think that we should be concentrating on joining together, all races, to have better health care and stop these wars, which are far worse than insulting hair styles of movie stars, which is really what this boils down to.

Why not write about the privatized prisons that lock up AA men for weed, even planting the evidence on them, and free them and allow them to vote?  Wouldn't that be more productive than skewering a fashionista?

I'm sorry I bought into this story first and believed it was all Ms. Rancic saying all these things, which it wasn't, but even then, I thought the remarks said against her in the comments were cruel.  I'm also sorry I was mistaken about Ms. Griffin being the one who first mentioned weed, because I think now it was Ms. Osbourne who brought it up.  The point is that Ms. Rancic did not bring it up.

It's a show about fashion, and I agree with people that it is not my cup of tea, nor do I like watching people say unpleasant things about people's appearances.  That being said, don't we have bigger fish to fry and shouldn't we join together and roll up our sleeves and work for peace and a better life for us all?

Point well taken.  Please, let's move on.

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If you google college and rape, you will find: frat boys can rape co-eds with impunity at many colleges from sea to shining sea.

If you google police and killing, you will find: police can kill black males and the homeless with impunity in many police departments from sea to shining sea.

If you google rape and military, you will find that servicemen can rape civilians in countries they occupy and women among their ranks with impunity.

We are told that rape victims should be kept quiet to keep reputations lofty, but the exact opposite is true when the carpet is brimming with women who have suffered abuse that has become increasingly horrifying as the permissiveness allows.

We are told that our police need to be able to shoot people without liability to keep us safe, but the opposite is true.  We are afraid to call the police to help our mentally ill or check out a possible gunman or intervene in a disturbance for fear they will kill our loved ones, not protect them.  

We are told that an opaque grand jury shrouded in secrecy should decide whether a policeman who killed a young black man, left bleeding in the street, should be indicted.  

When telecommunication giants break the 4th amendment, their crime is made retroactively legal.

We are told that videos that show our military apparatus in the act of unspeakable abuse should not be shown, because it will bring harm to our nation, but the exact opposite is true as ISIS and Al Qaeda blow back prove.

We are told that wars based on lies should not be investigated, nor white collar crime on Wall Street, because of national security and being too big to fail.

How is that for winning?  How is that for success?

We are a nation that lets fraternities on campuses, in police stations, and within our military apparatus rape, torture, and even murder with impunity.

We look forward, not backward on those crimes against humanity as long as the victims are women or black or poor or living in a country we are invading.

Our country is exceptional now for this disgrace, because the 1% have loaded the judicial dice to such an extent that they, their offspring, police, and military apparatus have been allowed to go beyond the pale.

It's beyond disgusting.

Shame on everyone who is covering up these crimes, for they are guilty of perpetuating, aiding and abetting them.

What can be done to save us from this inglorious lawlessness?

We must allow heroes to shine a light/blow the whistle/intervene on all of these crimes, not only campus sexual assaults, without being punished, harassed, fired, or worse.  

Discuss

Lenders Can Now Disable Your Car When You're Driving on the Freeway: People with poor credit are being sold cars with GPS-based kill switches.

How this is legal is beyond me.  What if someone was on their way to the hospital or in traffic on a super highway at high speed?  This is so unsafe and unfair.  

Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car

Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway.
A woman living in Las Vegas was only 3 days behind on her payment, and her car was shut down as she was driving her child, who had a 103.5 degree temperature and an asthma attack, to the ER.  Another woman's car's engine stopped and the steering wheel locked up while driving on a Las Vegas freeway, and her friend had to push the car off the highway in heavy traffic.  

I sat in a car that parked itself, which was nifty, but the driverless maneuver also gave me the creeps.  It's one thing to have a flat tire or a malfunction while we are still in control of the steering wheel, gears, ignition, and so forth, but what if your car accelerates or turns in a direction that causes an accident and you can't do anything to rectify it?  

Jeff Foxall, "an award-winning motoring journalist based in the UK who writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph Cars section," asks a good question: Are driverless cars an accident waiting to happen?

Perhaps more importantly, is just how much control we would cede. I would be happy to let a car do the driving in a slow-moving motorway traffic jam. I'm not sure about driverless cars in a congested urban environment. And I'm even less certain about having cars running around without a capable driver even in them. Perry is right: driverless cars could be transformational. But at the moment, there are too many questions to know if that's going to be in a good way.
If lending companies don't need the repo man anymore, because they can remotely turn off your car, then it begs the question: does the Godfather still need a hit man when it's possible to steer your car off a ravine or into a tree with one of these GPS gizmos?

"It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."  Repo Man

Discuss

ISIS is a cult brainwashed to destroy swathes of the Middle East, just as we are brainwashed to destroy them.  

At first, ISIS Al Qaeda mercenaries were the darling "moderates" who were taking on the new Hitler du jour, Assad, but that all changed when the PTB claimed unconvincingly that Assad gassed his own people and asked the military to intervene.  The military took photos of themselves, with their faces covered, holding signs saying that they would not join Al Qaeda, so the PTB said, "If you can't join 'em, beat 'em.

Instead of trying to sweep the misdeeds of ISIS under the magic carpet out of the MSM, as they did when ISIS was chopping the heads off of Syrian Christians and ethnically cleansing Christians out of Syria, they shone the MSM spotlight on their sadistic picadillos and declared ISIS the new enemy du jour.  This worked, and now they're bombing Syria, just as they wanted to do last year, under the pretext they're fighting ISIS.

Guess who brainwashed, financed, trained, and armed ISIS?

ISIS is the best frenemy money can buy.

Just look at the videos and photos of ISIS characters.  They look like they're wearing black costumes from central casting for a reason.

ISIS/ISIL/IS paid mercenaries is a useful tool to bomb Syrian targets just as Al Qaeda paid mercenaries was a useful tool to bomb Iraq .

Act I:  In June Netanyahu suggested pinning ISIS against Iran.

Act II:  Netanyahu Links Hamas With ISIS, and Equates ISIS With Iran.

Act III:  Iran Says It’s Under Attack by ISIS.

The actors change, and so does the script, settings, costumes, and plot line, but the underlying theme remains the same: bombing the Middle East into the Stone Age, plundering and war profiteering all the way.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts...
 
William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII.
There's a sucker born every minute
Thought to be P.T. Barnum, but according to wiki, more likely to be his critic, David Hannum, attributing this truism for Barnum's success.

And then there's George Bush's rendition of "Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me":

Fool me once.....shame on....shame on you
Fool me, can't get fooled again.
Oh,
Yes, we can.

Barack Obama.

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Discuss

Ebola Quarantine: Trooper Parked Outside Nurse Kaci Hickox Threatened With Arrest

During a Today Show interview Nurse Kaci Hickox told Matt Lauer that she doesn't plan on sticking to the guidelines of the quarantine and feels like a prisoner in her own home.

If the restrictions placed on me by the state of Maine are not lifted by Thursday morning, I will go to court to fight for my freedom.
When Matt Lauer asked Nurse Kaci Hickox why she was against a quarantine 6 states have adopted and pointed out that troops who serve in West Africa are quarantined as standard operating procedure for 21 days before returning stateside, she opined that the quarantine is unconstitutional and unscientific.  She said as long as she does not have symptoms, she is not contagious.  Kaci Hickox's Ebola test came back negative.

Matt reminded her that she had a temperature of 101 measured at Newark Liberty International Airport and pointed out that Dr. Craig Spencer was out and about in NYC prior to being diagnosed with Ebola, which struck fear in public officials serving a "metropolis of 9 million people."  

She thinks "we need to fight Ebola at its source in West Africa right now" and feels that the 3 week quarantine will deter health care workers from going because of the additional time constraints on their schedules.  She said "My four weeks in Sierra Leone were amazing" and she plans to go back.  She hopes that we can find a compromise that would not be punitive to health care workers when they return home to ensure public health and peace of mind with more education about the disease.

There are health care professionals willing to go to West Africa, but they have to go voluntarily and take time off from work, which is a financial hardship.  This begs the question: why doesn't the US government pay for their service and provide the care they need when they return?

Home quarantine is a reasonable step up from being quarantined in a cold tent at an airport with a port-a-potty.  Perhaps the next more reasonable step could be that health care workers could wear a bracelet that beeps when their temperature is elevated as a compromise to quarantining health care volunteers with state troopers parked outside their homes.  

Discuss

Who is writing for Saturday Night Live these days?  The RNC?  

Last night's opening skit made the following jibes mirroring Republican talking points:

1.  Obama admits that on the Ebola crisis, his administration "made a few mistakes early on," but assures us, "it was no way near as bad as how we handled the ISIS situation," "our various Secret Service mishaps or the scandals of the IRS and the NSA," and he reminds us that "the Obamacare website had some pretty serious problems, too."  He sums it up: "if you look at all the stuff that's happened in my second term, this whole Ebola thing is probably one of my greatest accomplishments."

2.  Robert Klain, Obama's Ebola Czar has "no actual medical training or background in dealing with infectious disease," but was "brought in mainly to handle this [the Ebola problem] from a political perspective."

3.  Robert Klain warns white southern red State voters to avoid polling booths, claiming Ebola flourishes in warmer climates, but urges Latinos to go out and vote, because he believes they have an immunity to Ebola.

4.  Klain introduces Reverend Al Sharpton, as the "one New York Democrat willing to be seen with President Obama, today."

5.  Reverend Sharpton calls Klain, "Ebola Caesar," and proclaims, "Yes, Ebola is in New York!" and encourages people, rats, pigeons, and sewer monsters to go about their daily lives in NYC, which he reassures us is contaminated everywhere already.  Here SNL resembles the "flamboyant" covers of the New York Post and the New York Daily News.

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This SNL spoof just about covers the main mantras Republicans repeat endlessly against Democrats these days.

I lost respect for SNL's objectivity when they virulently attacked the French for speaking out against the Iraq War.  Once SNL became Stupid Neocon Liefest, I stopped watching it.  The actors are fine, but the slant is not.  

The MSM, who became the megaphone for the lie factory during the lead up to the Iraq War, is at it again, exploiting Ebola to drive our country's Senate and Congress ever further rightward, reminding me of how the propaganda machine exploited the Iranian hostage crisis to defeat Jimmy Carter.

Democrats need to do as much as we can not to let them use Ebola as a vote changer.  I suggest an easy way to remove the controversy over the Ebola Czar's lack of medical expertise is to appoint an interim Surgeon General by executive order, if that is possible, as soon as possible.  That would be a win win, because it would be helpful to combat Ebola as well as the fears associated with it to have a visible infectious disease specialist on deck.

Discuss

On October 8, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) President Gerhard Schindler showed members of a parliamentary committee photos and satellite images to bolster his allegation that pro Russian rebels fired the BUK missile that downed a Malaysian airliner on July 19.  They believe pro-Russian rebels captured the missile from a Ukrainian base, thus, clearing Russia of the charge that they provided pro-Russian separatists with the BUK missile launchers.  

Schindler also reported that Ukrainian photos had been "manipulated" and that Russian allegations that a Ukrainian fighter jet was tailing MH-17 and Ukrainian soldiers had fired the missile were wrong.

Four German citizens as well as a contingency of infectious disease specialists en route to an HIV summit were among the 298 casualties.

US authorities have not recanted their allegation that Russia gave the BUK missile launchers to pro-Russian rebels, nor have they removed stringent sanctions made against Russia based on those assumptions.

Robert Parry's article, Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case, provides a timeline of how the narrative blaming Russia for the plane crash emerged a mere 3 days after the plane crash, "shifted," and is now "crumbling."  Blow-back "trade wars" that evolved from harsh sanctions imposed against Russia based on this emotionally charged narrative, have "edged Europe toward a new recession."

Parry puts the German intelligence report in perspective, pointing out weaknesses in the case for pinning the blame on pro-Russian rebels:

None of the BND’s evidence to support its conclusions has been made public — and I was subsequently told by a European official that the evidence was not as conclusive as the magazine article depicted.

Der Spiegel said the information given to members of a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8 included satellite images and other photography. What’s less clear, however, is how the BND could determine the precise command-and-control of the anti-aircraft missile system amid the chaotic military situation that existed in eastern Ukraine last July.

Parry also points out weaknesses in the original US State Department narrative, which was trotted out on Sunday morning news talk shows only 3 days after the incident.  He cites the LA Times article, U.S. officials believe attack against Malaysian plane was mistake, which reported:
U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.
Parry said a source confided in him that some US intelligence analysts believed it unlikely that pro-Russian rebels shot down MH-17, but claimed "it appeared Ukrainian government forces were to blame, although possibly a unit operating outside the direct command of Ukraine’s top officials."

Personally, I agree with the preliminary report made by the Dutch Safety Board, which does not assess blame for the MH-17 tragedy, because they need more information, particularly samples of the objects that impaled the cockpit.  

There are too many murky elements afoot to make an airtight case against any of the suspects: doctored Ukrainian photos, allegations of blame made too soon after the disaster, and a reluctance to show the public evidentiary satellite images and photographs.

Discuss

News 4 Washington reported that a woman on a Pentagon shuttle bus became ill this morning in the restroom and then in the parking lot, where she collapsed.  Someone on the bus reportedly told authorities that she said she recently traveled to West Africa, so all 22 people aboard the bus were quarantined, then evaluated for 4 hours and released, because no one had come in contact with her.  She was taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital in Fairfax.  A parking lot in the Pentagon remains closed, as do several surrounding roads.

Many on the bus were traveling to a change of command ceremony in the District; the woman did not appear to be a part of that group. Passengers say no one came in contact with the woman.

Officials with both Arlington emergency services and the Department of Defense haven't said why the woman was ill. They said they were acting "out of an abundance of caution" as local emergency services personnel grapple with concerns over the potential spread of the Ebola virus.

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Reuters:
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria, said at least 70 Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in the provinces of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasakah.

It said at least 50 fighters and eight civilians were killed in strikes targeting al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, in northern Aleppo and Idlib provinces, apparently referring to the strikes the Americans said targeted Khorasan. The Observatory said most of the Nusra Front fighters killed were not Syrians.

Here is the Syrian Observatory Facebook report:
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Aleppo province: medical sources reported to SOHR that no less than 50 fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra ( most of them were Syrian fighters), were killed by air strikes by the warplanes of the international coalition which targeting ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other Islamic movements in the western countryside of Aleppo.

a child with her sister, in addition to a woman with her child were included in the 8 civilians who were killed earlier today by the coalition air strikes between Idlib and Aleppo.

BBC's Ian Pannell tweeted: Missiles which we were told were sent to attack ISIS, reportedly struck the National Hospital in Madan, Syria, according to this tweet, which gives surgical strike a whole new meaning.  

Airstrikes on Islamic State Cause Mixed Emotions Among Syrian Refugees: Fears that Islamic State Could Emerge Stronger if the U.S.-led Strikes Don't Deliver a Knockout Blow

Many Syrians from Raqqa have fled to Sanliurfa, but the news of the strikes generated mixed emotions.

Shirin Muslim, who fled of Raqqa that was bombed by U.S. warplanes early Tuesday, welled up when asked to describe her reaction. Her family left Raqqa—once one of Syria's wealthiest and more progressive cities and now the Islamic State's stronghold—almost two years ago, after state security forces clashed with opposition rebels.

"Syria is my country and it's terrible to see it being bombed by other countries. I don't think this will bring a solution, we still need a third party to negotiate all parties, with Assad and the opposition," Mr. Muslim said.

emphasis mine
Discuss

Michael Bociurkiw was one of the first investigators for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at the MH 17 crash site.  At 6:06 of the video, Bociurkiw said:

There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked.  It almost looks like machine gun fire, very very strong machine gun fire, that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else.  We’ve also been asked, for example, um, "Have we seen any examples of missile?"  No, we haven’t.  That’s the answer, and even if it was there, we don’t have those trained eyes to pick that up, but now there are experts here who would be able to.
Bociurkiw reported that the cockpit seemed to have "slammed down into earth" "pretty much in tact" and that on day 2 men in uniform were "hacking into it with a power saw."  He said that as the days passed, pieces of the plane were spread out even more.  

You can see the pock marks for yourself at 6:16 in the video.  Most of the pock marks are the same size and circular in shape, which do look more like bullet holes, not random pieces of shrapnel.  

Dutch report says MH17 broke up in air after being hit by ‘high-energy objects’, Washington Post, September 9, 2014.

Unlike Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first witnesses on the ground, up close and personal, the Washington Post reports that the "Dutch investigators were not able to freely access the site because of the situation in war-torn eastern Ukraine, so they used satellite imagery, radar and information from the plane’s 'black box' recorders to compile the report."

The 34-page report set out what Dutch aviation investigators think happened, but it did not apportion blame.
The pattern of damage to the aircraft’s fuselage and cockpit is “consistent with that which may be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” the report said.
The Washington Post article states: "The Dutch report did not mention a missile, but military analysts said the damage to the plane as described in the report was consistent with the impact from a missile designed to explode near an aircraft and destroy it with shrapnel."  Who are these military analysts?  What country are they from?  That important information is left out of the story.

Unlike the impression the Washpo artcle leaves by inserting the unnamed military analyst's conclusion, the investigators clearly state that this report is a preliminary study and investigators need more information, among other things, the recovery and analysis of the foreign particles that pierced the plane.  

Discuss

A few commenters have been accusing me of spreading propaganda for Vladimir Putin, because

1.  I "consistently" wrote diaries and comments against bombing and invading Syria last year.

2.  I now question whether Russia is Invading Ukraine.  

Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert Kagan, the co-founder of PNAC, famous for lobbying Clinton/Bush admins for regime change in Iraq, upset the Ukrainian apple cart, not Putin, and we still don't know who was shooting people on both sides of the conflict at Maidan Square.  

Being against arming terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda who terrorize Chechnya and Syria doesn't make Vlad and me soul mates.  

I didn't buy the argument that the ends, toppling Assad, justifies the means.  The ends included destroying a beautiful country, displacing 2 million Syrians, ethnically cleansing the Middle East of Christians, ending secularism, and sending women back hundreds of years by establishing Sharia Law.  Maybe that outcome may make some in Saudi Arabia happy and to the victors (Coalition of the Killing/Billing/Willing) go the spoils, but it's unacceptable to people of conscience.  The means have been graphically documented on cell phones of "rebel" mercenaries, atrocities such as beheadings and even cannibalism (ripping the hearts out of a Syrian soldier for a quick bite), and a slaughter so gruesome, New York Times editors were made physically ill.  

Now the same warmongers who last year cheered, trained, and provided weapons to those wild and crazy "rebels" (some of whom openly pledge allegiance to the terrorists who attacked the country I pledge my allegiance to on 9/11!) to overthrow Assad, have found a shiny, new reason to bomb Syria into the Stone Age this year: rid Syria/Iraq of those pesky "rebels," whose name has morphed, not their tactics nor their benefactors.  With FP like this, if I link to inconvenient news stories that warm the cockles of Cutie Putie's heart, but embarrass warmongers here, so be it.  

Photos of the President of Russia "shirtless" are not upon my wall to hide a nasty stain that's lying there.  I'm not in love, no, no, just thankful that Putin found a diplomatic solution for Syria.  It's not a crush, but gratitude I feel toward the Russians for warning the FBI about Chechen-American, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who Russians say met with a militant during a 6 month visit to the Caucasus region.  

It's beyond bizarre that it's a Ruskie who is in essence defending our Constitutional rights, by having to provide a safe haven for an American hero, Edward Snowden, a modern day Paul Revere warning "the NSA is coming" to invade our privacy.  

I expect more from the US Government than shooting first and asking questions later, if at all.  I expect the US Government to be the ones who respect our privacy, protect us from harm, tell us the truth, and find peaceful solutions that generate good will, not revenge.  

Exceptional is as exceptional does.

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The State Department Says Russia Is Invading Ukraine—Should We Believe It? from the Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), signed by

William Binney, former World Geopolitical & Military Analysis Technical Director at NSA and SIGINT Automation Research Center co-founder,
David MacMichael, retired from National Intelligence Council
Ray McGovern, retired US Army infantry/intelligence officer and CIA analyst
Elizabeth Murray, retired Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, retired US Army Judge Advocate
Coleen Rowley, retired Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI
Ann Wright, Col., retired US Army and resigned as Foreign Service Officer

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence.  Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.  We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now.  Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq.  In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.
The distinguished list of authors of this missive to Merkel point out "NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's checkered record for credibility," having stood before parliament when he was PM to proclaim he knew Iraq had WMD, which we know was untrue, the day before the Iraq invasion and occupation.  Here he goes again, and we are being told that his title, NATO Secretary General, has somehow given him the gravitas to be deemed a reliable source of information, no matter how greatly wrong this great Dane was about the Iraq War.

These experienced intelligence experts also wrote that the "fuzzy" satellite images NATO released on August 28 were inconclusive as to whether or not Russia was invading Ukraine and reminiscent of the images Colin Powell presented to the UN of semis that were supposedly driving non-existent WMDs round and round in Iraq. (Diarists' Note: I called the NATO satellite photos "blurry" in a previous diary for which my tip jar was inappropriately abused with 2 HRs, as proven by former US government intelligence experts similarly describing these same photos as "fuzzy" and inadequate proof of a Russian invasion.)

The authors of this open letter to the German chancellor concluded that NATO, instead of promoting a proxy war with Russia, should ask Kiev to declare a ceasefire in East Ukraine, where over 2,000 civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands of Russian ethnics have had to flee their homes.

President Obama has exercised caution in refraining from using the I word, invasion, in reference to Russian involvement in East Ukraine:

It’s a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now
Senator Warbucks Feinstein says Obama may be 'too cautious' with regard to FP for her taste and hungry chops, and with regard to ISIS in Iraq/Syria, she laments:
“I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is he’s very cautious. Maybe, in this instance, too cautious,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D?) agrees with Lindsey Graham (R) and John McCain (R) and their New York Times Op-Ed on what Obama should do with regard to ISIS:
We should embed additional United States special forces and advisers with our partners on the ground — not to engage in combat, but to help our partners fight ISIS and direct airstrikes against it. Regional allies should play a key role in this effort. No one is advocating unilateral invasion, occupation or nation-building. This should be more like Afghanistan in 2001, where limited numbers of advisers helped local forces, with airstrikes and military aid, to rout an extremist army.
McCain/Graham are quick to say that embedding US special forces with their "partners on the ground" to "direct airstrikes" and provide "military aid" would not be an "invasion."

What is one man's "military aid," is another man's "invasion," and vice versa.

Obama's "caution" and wise speech calling the Iraq War a "dumb war" is precisely why I supported him in the Democratic Primary over Hillary "Obliterate Iran" Clinton.

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
Russia is not Iraq.  We really need to exercise extreme caution here and not let the same crazed Neocons and their yapping mouthpieces who shoved their "ideological agendas down our throats" in Iraq shove it down our gullets again this time, because as awful as the Iraq Strike and Awe has turned out to be in loss of blood and treasure, the misadventure of provoking war with Russia will be infinitely worse.  First strike, and we're ALL out, no matter what divine rapturous Project for a New AIPAC, MIC, Natural Gas, & Big Oil Century those "dumb" & "rash" think(?) tank arm chair warrior drones may prognosticate.
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