Archive for March, 2017

31
Mar
17

Return of “The Last Trump”

Potentially interesting.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/30/michael-flynn-trump-russia-investigation-testify-immunity

“Mike Flynn hints he would testify in Trump-Russia inquiry in exchange for immunity”

“Immunity is typically sought to avoid penalty for breaking the law. Flynn agreed with the characterization while discussing the partial immunity granted to an aide to Hillary Clinton amid the federal government’s investigation of the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server at the state department.

Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press in September, two months before the election, Flynn stated: “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.”

29
Mar
17

Terrorism: Addressing the Westo-centric Bias.

Where is the sense of balance or proportion.? The data shows that less than 3% of deaths from terrorism occur in Western countries like the UK, the US or Australia.

The US Department of State, in its report on terrorism in 2015, reported that there were a total of 28,328 deaths from terrorism worldwide. The main countries where the deaths occurred were Iraq 6,932; Afghanistan 5,292; Pakistan 1,081; India 281; Nigeria 4,886; Egypt 656; Philippines 258; Thailand 75; Libya 462; Syria 2,748. No Western country was anywhere near in the ‘top’ ten…

…Our media relies on feeds from London or New York and is largely ignorant or unconcerned about the plight of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. After all, they are not people like us!

From: “JOHN MENADUE. Our White Man’s Media again on display in London terrorist attack.”

full article here:
http://johnmenadue.com/?p=9852

More from the same writer:

…terrorist attacks in Australia have claimed the lives of only three people in the last decade’. ‘Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why’.

Compare this terrorist risk to other risks in our lives.

  • In the two years 2014 and 2015, more than 318 people, mainly women, died from domestic violence. We spend billions to counter terrorism, but we spend a pittance on protecting women and children in the home.
  • Australia’s daily alcohol toll is 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations. But blaming Muslim extremists is much easier than taking on the powerful alcohol lobby.
  • …during 2003-12, there were 2,617 homicides, 190 deaths from accidental gun discharges, 137 rural workers and farmers died from falling off vehicles, 206 died from electrocution and 1,700 indigenous people died from diabetes…
  • The Australian Climate Institute estimates that more than 1,000 Australians die each year due to higher temperatures which are very likely caused by global warming…

…But despite all the evidence about these risks being far greater than the risk of terrorism, there is no doubt that Australians are worried about the terrorist threat.

Why is that?

http://johnmenadue.com/?p=9434

29
Mar
17

“Why God Allows Suffering: A Hypothetical Conversation”, by Jeff Weddle

Maybe freedom isn’t what we think it is.

 https://antiitchmeditation.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/why-god-allows-suffering-a-partial-explanation/#like-12113

 suffer

 

23
Mar
17

More Terror.

At the time of typing, it is being reported that five have been killed and 40 injured in a London terror attack, (one of the dead being the attacker himself).

This morning when I first heard about it reports were of four dead and 20 injured, some of them “catastrophically”.

Events like this present a contrast between the worst and best of human acts. The worst is clearly the evil, murderous intent of the one causing harm; while the best is often seen in the response of those first on the scene, giving aid to the victims, sometimes putting themselves in harm’s way. In this case one of the latter group lost his life, stabbed multiple times by the perpetrator.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/23/mps-honour-the-memory-of-pc-keith-palmer

Alongside these extremes there are the opportunists who will seize the chance to “stir the pot” and turn events like this into self-promoting propaganda, pushing agendas that intensify suspicion and hostility.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/22/donald-trump-jr-tweet-london-mayor-sadiq-khan

But what about the average citizen, no matter where we live, no matter what the threat? (Remembering that the dangers we face in the west are minimal when compared to what is suffered daily in other parts of the world *).

Can anywhere be considered safe when acts of terror no longer need bombs and guns? When commonplace vehicles, either cars or trucks can be used as weapons against average citizens?

People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world

What IS the world coming to? How should we react?

when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass …

…when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near…

…Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man

________________________________________________________________

* See here for a view of this year’s terrorism looking beyond “the west”, while also recognising the effects of military strikes on civilian populations that aren’t included :

https://storymaps.esri.com/stories/terrorist-attacks/?year=2017

23
Mar
17

“The scars of mandatory detention”. (from ABC Radio)

Jamila Jafari was 5-years-old when her family, from the minority Hazaras, fled Afghanistan.

They ended up in Woomera detention centre in South Australia. She witnessed one of the most dramatic chapters in Australia’s refugee policy – the 2002 Australia Day riots.

Now 21, Jamila Jafari has told her story in a new book called They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention.

Caution. Parts of the testimony on this audio are very disturbing.

from this link.
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/the-scars-of-mandatory-detention/8376414

21
Mar
17

Truth is not the only casualty (the white “evangelical’s” choice)

Samuel Oakford, investigative reporter for the journalistic project Airwars, reports that the number of civilian casualties in U.S. airstrikes has been escalating since Donald Trump took office two months ago.

DONALD TRUMP: The other thing is with the terrorists. You have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They—they care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.

___________________________________

The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for the CIA and the military to target terrorists with drone strikes, even if it means tolerating more civilian casualties, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The military already has declared that parts of Yemen and Somalia are war zones — “areas of active hostilities” in Pentagon parlance — which means the U.S. has greater latitude to launch strikes even if civilian deaths are possible.

That is part of a broad policy shift underway, U.S. officials say, to grant the CIA and the military more autonomy to target and kill al Qaeda and ISIS militants without presidential sign-off in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

“Some of the Obama administration rules were getting in the way of good strikes,” said one U.S. official briefed on the matter.

The Obama administration put in place a rule that no drone strike could take place outside a war zone unless there was a “near certainty” that no civilian would be harmed.

full article:
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-admin-ups-drone-strikes-tolerates-more-civilian-deaths-n733336

Another site of interest:
https://airwars.org/civilian-casualty-claims/

 

18
Mar
17

Alternative Facts? Or the Power of Positive Thinking?

“We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day,” John Oliver recently observed on Last Week Tonight, as he called Donald Trump a “pathological liar”. But what if he isn’t lying? What if his press secretary, Sean Spicer, is correct when saying that Trump really believes that what he says is true?

It should be clear by now that Trump doesn’t subscribe to a conventional notion of truth, related to verifiable facts and an independently existing reality. For Trump, truth is subordinate to attitude, an attitude that can be modified at will. This whimsical notion comes straight from Norman Vincent Peale, an American minister and motivational speaker who was close to the Trump family, even officiating at Trump’s first marriage, with Ivana. In his 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking, Peale presents a simple and “workable philosophy” to help people live more effective and successful lives. The technique is simple: “prayerise, visualise, actualise”. By using this technique you can overcome defeat and take control over the circumstances of your life

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/27/not-lies-donald-trump-truth-norman-vincent-peale




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