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Yes - that crazy, liberal, Progressive, left-leaning Keith Olbermann is still at it.  He's still doing crazy, liberal, Progressive, left-leaning stuff.  Standing up for a minority group in America?  Yes that's crazy, liberal, Progressive, and left-leaning.  And yes - I still love the guy for it.

What's he up to this time?  Nothing that doesn't need to be said and nothing that doesn't need to be done.  Hint:  He's supporting the GLBTQ community.

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I don't bother reading the Times of Israel.  As newspapers go, it's rather too right-wing for my taste.  It isn't as harshly right-wing as some other Israeli publications, but a champion of the left it is not.

For a left-of-center Israeli newspaper, one has to go with Haaretz.

Nonetheless, I couldn't ignore this article when I came across it in the ToI.  It has that catchy description of Netanyahu in it that good Americans love so much:  Bullshit.

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Does any American seriously NOT know that there is a "Cop Culture" in this nation?  Do any of us have a genuine understanding of what goes in inside that culture?

Unless you've lived inside of it, you really don't.  Redditt Hudson works for the NAACP and chairs the board of the Ethics Project in St. Louis, Mo.  He was a cop with the St. Louis PD for 5 years - enough time to become fully-immersed in the Cop Culture, understand it, and form an accurate opinion on it.

He has written an OpEd for the Washington Post which I link for you here.

Excerpts and commentary in the body of this diary.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM PST

UCLA Votes to DIVEST!

by Celtic Merlin

The meeting lasted well into the night, with the campus paper Daily Bruin unable to get a report out until after 11:30 PM Tuesday night.

The final vote was 8 For, 2 Against, and 2 Abstentions.

Details and links after the Orange Cloud of Celebration.

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Fully-automatic weapons and armored vehicles used on unarmed protesters in Ferguson, MO., and the questions which remain about Michael Brown's death are both enormous and numerous.  The local PD and hundreds of others across the nation close ranks to protect the cop - not to demand that an independent investigation determine the truth about the circumstances.

A 50-year-old First Nations woodcarver is shot 4 times while crossing a street - for holding a closed pocket knife in his hand.  The officer who shot him dead served no jail time because the DA declined to prosecute.  He wasn't even fired - he resigned before the Disciplinary Committee could take any action against him.

Tens of thousands of YouTube videos documenting police misconduct - from verbal abuse and threats at traffic stops to cops parking in handicapped parking slots to shootings of unarmed Americans . . . some of them shot in the back.  Plug the term "police misconduct" into the YouTube search bar and you will get 67,000 results.  And that won't cover ALL of the videos available on YouTube about this problem.  More are added every day by average Americans who are recording their encounters with the police.

And don't even get me started on the repulsive things to be read on the police blogs.  Some of that stuff is horrifying and borders on overt terrorism.

So what's to be done?  One answer is offered by retired Detective Frank Serpico.  I'll introduce him, link to his write-up, and present his recommendations after the Great Orange Cloud.

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Yes, those lovely people over at the NRA have decided that they've had enough of Shannon Watts, the public face of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  Their new strategy to blunt the effects of this gun-control group seems to be attacking the leader on a personal basis.  Not for what she says.  Not for her position on the issues.  They've decided to go for the gutter and attack this woman's claim that she's a "stay-at-home mom".

Which is true, but not QUITE true enough for the NRA.  Seems that she's not a TRUE Scotsman in their eyes.  How does one accomplish this smear tactic?  Ah, for the answer to this (and probably no other questions) you'll have to read the part pasty the squiggly-jiggly.

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No, this isn't a War Diary.  So you can feel free to read on.

If anything, this is a Peace Diary.  Because it explains how you can help to be a force for Peace, Human Rights, and Dignity for an oppressed People who have been forced to live as stateless persons for almost 70 years.

This diary lays out the case for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement which has the goal of forcing Israel to end its Apartheid practices, negotiate in good faith with the Palestinian People, and bring an end to the status-quo situation which permits the continuing theft of Palestinian land and resources by the occupier of those people.

Since the start of the current massacre, I have seen lots of people asking "How can I help?"  Of course, helping with the current Humanitarian Crisis should be done through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and/or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.  Good, honest, and hard-working groups are these.

The most immediate and pressing need is to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians who have been bombed, rocketed, and shelled out of their homes, refugee camps, and UN-designated shelters.  The attackers have destroyed hospitals, UN facilities, the one (inadequate) power station in Gaza, water treatment facilities, sewage treatment facilities, and anything else which would give the ordinary Palestinian living in Gaza the most basic needs of human life.

And, given time and enough money from everybody else in the world, these facilities will likely be restored some day.  Until the next time Netanyahu needs to whip up fear and nationalism in the Israeli people and blows all that new infrastructure to smithereens again.

BUT!

There is a peaceful way to help prevent such a disaster from happening yet a fourth (fifth?) time.  Let's explore that idea together in the next part of this.

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Let me begin with this quote:

Conditions are increasingly dire in the shelters; there is no water for hygiene, very few showers and latrines are totally inadequate. Disease outbreak is beginning, with skin infections, scabies and others. There are thousands of pregnant women in our schools, deliveries are precarious and we are sheltering newborn infants in these appalling conditions.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Yes, that was sarcasm - DEEP sarcasm.  This quote describes human suffering on an unbelievable scale.  Nearly a quarter of a million people are living under these conditions.  And they are the lucky ones.  They have survived the artillery barrages, the rockets, the mortars, and the tank shells and were able to make their way to a UN shelter.  Not that the shelters are completely safe.  The Israeli army has attacked these shelters - defenseless and packed with civilians.

Also from the report:

Yesterday, an elementary girls school in Jabalya serving as a designated emergency shelter for displaced people received artillery strikes, which we have assessed to have been fired by the Israeli military. The precise location and coordinates of the school were conveyed on 17 occasions to the Israeli military, including a notification that the school was sheltering displaced persons. The displaced were instructed by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes and seek shelter in premises such as ours, and I reiterate my condemnation of this attack in the strongest terms, reiterate also that it was a serious violation of international law, and call for accountability, including the immediate launching of a transparent investigation by Israel and to share its findings.
Get your barf bucket handy - there is more sickening content to come.
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This has just been reported a few hours ago, no details have been released besides what is in this from a link to the report from Reuters:

Five members of a family, including three children, were found shot dead at their southern Maine home on Sunday, with a gun located near one of the bodies and no outside involvement suspected, a police spokesman said.

The five, a father and mother in their 30s and three children believed to be 4, 7 and 12, were discovered on Sunday afternoon in three rooms of their second-floor apartment in Saco, about 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Portland, state police spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

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I accept that there will be terrible things happen in any war.  Mistakes are made.  Some warriors care nothing for the civilians they target.  Some commanders flush their ethics in the name of victory.  Nations make every attempt to dehumanize the people they are fighting.  These are facts, and they are facts which are a part of any military attack.  Human nature can't be denied.

What I don't accept is wanton slaughter of innocents which become a clearly defined pattern of behavior.  Like dropping bombs on heavily-occupied housing, targeting structures which - by the rules of the Geneva Conventions - are not to be attacked, and the use of antipersonnel weapons (flechette rounds, white phosphorus, and DIME munitions) in areas which are heavily populated with non-combatants.  One mistake, sure.  Two such errors, not good.  Three and beyond - you seem to be TRYING to hurt and kill innocents.  Beyond the adults who have no part in the conduct of hostilities, there are children - humans under the age of 18 - who couldn't possibly be considered as hostiles.  There are buildings which are not to be attacked, and which should be considered safe areas for shelter from the explosions.

Sadly, scores of children have been killed and the aggressor is now targeting hospitals and schools.  Let's see what the UN has to say about some of this when we meet below that cute orange doodle.

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The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid.  Tutu's admirers see him as a man who since the demise of apartheid in South Africa has been active in the defense of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed.

He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, homophobia and transphobia.  He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Most of the above from the man's Wikipedia entry.

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There have been at least 70 in the last three decades—and most of the killers got their guns legally.

That's how MJ opens this piece - with that staggering statistic.

Thirty-three of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006. Seven of them took place in 2012, and another five occurred in 2013 . . .
You need to know about these things, folks.  You can't make an intelligent case against the massive gun industry if you don't have the facts about what their products are used for.

Join me for the rest of this after the squiggly thing.

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