American History 101
A father’s attempt to teach his son a lesson for taking his truck without permission ended in tragedy Monday after a local police officer shot the teenager dead.
Driver, turn off the engine. Driver, turn off the engine. Driver, comply. Driver//Target, you will be neutralized if you do not comply…. Target acquired. Prosecute. Neutralize, neutralize, neutralize!
Wow, fucking America. I love this country…! I seriously would not shed a tear if this thing burns to the ground eventually. If it happens, it will be well deserved.
Each of the countries ahead of the U.S. has a fundamental commitment in common, one that the [United States] doesn’t: a constitutional, or statutory, guarantee of the right to education. By centralizing education as a key focus of the state, these countries establish baseline requirements that set the frame for policy and judicial challenges, as well as contribute to what the Pearson report calls a “culture” of education: where “the cultural assumptions and values surrounding an education system do more to support or undermine it than the system can do on its own”…
…Thanks to the new Constitute Project, searching the global expanse of constitutions for a particular theme is now possible. “Education” is found in 174 country constitutions—i.e. nearly every single one [(but not the US’s)]. For some context, that’s just less than “free” (appearing 176 times), and just more than another term missing from the U.S. Constitution, “health” (170 times).
This an image of our collective Internet brain. As such, control of it should belong to the world — not primarily to the United States.
At the end of the day, why is melting a mentally ill woman—reportedly suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia—with a volley of gunfire worthy of a standing ovation from the US House of Representatives?
I think that truly shows how deferential and preferential to power and force the same, tired players of US politics are—how molded by groupthink and fear they are.
I guess it’s too bad that they can’t get on the same page often enough when it comes to actually governing and keeping the government open..!
Remind me to never go to Washington, D.C. I feel like if I acted weird or anxious for whatever reason, I’d get instantly vaporized by gunfire.
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.
The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.
Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Had the device detonated, lethal fallout could have been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York City – putting millions of lives at risk.
Though there has been persistent speculation about how narrow the Goldsboro escape was, the US government has repeatedly publicly denied that its nuclear arsenal has ever put Americans’ lives in jeopardy through safety flaws. But in the newly-published document, a senior engineer in the Sandia national laboratories responsible for the mechanical safety of nuclear weapons concludes that “one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe”.
Writing eight years after the accident, Parker F Jones found that the bombs that dropped over North Carolina, just three days after John F Kennedy made his inaugural address as president, were inadequate in their safety controls and that the final switch that prevented disaster could easily have been shorted by an electrical jolt, leading to a nuclear burst. “It would have been bad news – in spades,” he wrote.
Jones dryly entitled his secret report “Goldsboro Revisited or: How I learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb” – a quip on Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satirical film about nuclear holocaust, Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
The accident happened when a B-52 bomber got into trouble, having embarked from Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro for a routine flight along the East Coast. As it went into a tailspin, the hydrogen bombs it was carrying became separated. One fell into a field near Faro, North Carolina, its parachute draped in the branches of a tree; the other plummeted into a meadow off Big Daddy’s Road.
Jones found that of the four safety mechanisms in the Faro bomb, designed to prevent unintended detonation, three failed to operate properly. When the bomb hit the ground, a firing signal was sent to the nuclear core of the device, and it was only that final, highly vulnerable switch that averted calamity. “The MK 39 Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52,” Jones concludes.
The document was uncovered by Schlosser as part of his research into his new book on the nuclear arms race, Command and Control. Using freedom of information, he discovered that at least 700 “significant” accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone.
"The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy," he said. "We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did."
(by Ed Pilkington)
Putin on American exceptionalism and Syria | NYT (via kateoplis)
Although, if you’re Russian and not heterosexual…
Maybe he made some good points in the abstract, but it sounds too sculpted, accommodating (e.g. appeal to ‘God’). Basically, this is disingenuous, coming from Putin. Be hard to convince me that he doesn’t believe his ideal Russia is exceptional above all else.
|—||Edward Snowden, reacting to a whistleblower award from Transparency Germany|
In contrast to today’s wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein’s widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.
It has been previously reported that the United States provided tactical intelligence to Iraq at the same time that officials suspected Hussein would use chemical weapons. But the CIA documents, which sat almost entirely unnoticed in a trove of declassified material at the National Archives in College Park, Md., combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States’ knowledge of how and when Iraq employed the deadly agents. They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks. They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.
What was John Kerry saying about how evil and universally unacceptable chemical weapons were the other day? Hmmm… anyway, the moral of the story is: any values a country professes to have or uphold are effectively bogus, because they will always go against them if they’re in the way of their perceived self-interests at the time.
The article referenced in last tweet: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-07/opinions/40427629_1_daniel-ellsberg-pentagon-papers-snowden-s
68 years ago today, at 8.15 am, the United States government committed an atrocity of almost unimaginable proportions, dropping an atomic weapon on the people of Hiroshima, Japan, without warning.
80,000 men women and children, young and old, were killed where they walked, sat and lay. Of those who weren’t killed instantly, another 60,000 would die of radiation poisoning by the end of that year.
95% of those killed were women, children and other non-combatants.
Today above referring to this past Tuesday, 6 August.
We didn’t react to the moment. We didn’t seize it. We succumbed to it.
Instead, we allowed our fear to drive the creation of a massive government security apparatus, huge expenditures, and reckless global programs. Compared to the number of people, groups, or weapons systems threatening us, our investment in our response to said threats redefines “disproportionate” in the annals of a government where excess has been a hallmark of our military-industrial complex.
The arguments for unlimited record keeping were remarkably thin. A White House spokesman said the amendment [to de-fund the NSA’s phone record collection program] was not “the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process” — a laughable assertion considering how uninformed the administration wants the public to be about the loss of privacy. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, said supporters seemed to have forgotten Sept. 11.
But the closeness of the vote [—205 to 217, narrowly defeating the amendment—] suggested that a growing number of lawmakers no longer respond reflexively to the waving of the 9/11 flag, or the patronizing insistence of government officials that they should be trusted implicitly. That reflects an increasing skepticism in the public, as reflected in several opinion polls, as people become aware that the N.S.A. isn’t following the common-sense practice of spying only on those suspected of terrorism.
|—||NYT Editorial Board, A Bipartisan Warning on Surveillance, 25 July 2013. Someone on my Twitter feed said this of that White House statement on the amendment: “That 2nd paragraph…wins the award for all-time greatest hypocrisy. It cannot be topped.”|