Another aerial shot of #PeoplesClimate March NYC
The Keeper of the Heavenly Key, 1887, Léon Frédéric
Sep. 21 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sprawling new plant here in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines.
It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars.
This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy. The original idea was that modest rebuilding of the nation’s crumbling nuclear complex would speed arms refurbishment, raising confidence in the arsenal’s reliability and paving the way for new treaties that would significantly cut the number of warheads.
Instead, because of political deals and geopolitical crises, the Obama administration is engaging in extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.
Supporters of arms control, as well as some of President Obama’s closest advisers, say their hopes for the president’s vision have turned to baffled disappointment as the modernization of nuclear capabilities has become an end unto itself.
“A lot of it is hard to explain,” said Sam Nunn, the former senator whose writings on nuclear disarmament deeply influenced Mr. Obama. “The president’s vision was a significant change in direction. But the process has preserved the status quo.”
Cow’s Skull: Red White and Blue, Georgia O’Keefe, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
20 pages into Naomi Klein’s THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING and I am sufficiently scared shitless.
Hundreds of protesters marched through New York City’s financial district on Monday to call attention to what organizers say is capitalism’s contribution to climate change, snarling traffic and risking arrest as they sought to block Wall Street.
The Flood Wall Street demonstration comes on the heels of Sunday’s international day of action that brought some 310,000 people to the streets of New York City in the largest single protest ever held over climate change.
Marchers gathered at a waterfront park before marching into the financial district, surprising New Yorkers and police by turning off Broadway and against traffic into smaller streets, against the flow of traffic. (Reuters)
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Just one day after more than 300,000 people took part in the world’s largest climate-related protest, thousands of more rebellious activists risked arrest to shut down part of New York City’s financial district to demand action against global warming.
United under the “Flood Wall Street” banner, some 2,000 demonstrators streamed into New York’s financial district Monday afternoon and promptly sat down in the streets. The sit-in, which organizers say is aimed at confronting “corporate polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry,” completely shut down traffic in the area.
Sep. 11 2014
The editorial board of the New York Times has an Orwellian knack for war. Sixteen months ago, when President Obama gave oratorical lip service to ending “perpetual war,” the newspaper quickly touted that end as a democratic necessity. But now — in response to Obama’s speech Wednesday night announcing escalation of war without plausible end — the Times editorial voice is with the endless war program.
Under the headline “The End of the Perpetual War,” published on May 23, 2013, the Times was vehement, calling a new Obama speech “the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America.” The editorial added: “For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future.”
The Times editorial board was sweeping in its conclusion:
Mr. Obama told the world that the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. That shift is essential to preserving the democratic system and rule of law for which the United States is fighting, and for repairing its badly damaged global image.
But the “essential” shift is now dispensable and forgettable, judging from the New York Times editorial that appeared hours after Obama’s pivotal speech Wednesday night. The newspaper’s editorial board has ditched the concept that the state of perpetual war is unsustainable for democracy.
Under the headline “The Attack on ISIS Expands to Syria,” the Times editorial offers only equivocal misgivings without opposition “as President Obama moves the nation back onto a war footing.” Without a fine point on the matter, we are to understand that war must be perpetuated without any foreseeable end.
The concluding paragraph of the New York Times editorial in the Sept. 11, 2014 edition is already historic and tragic. It sums up a liberal style of murmuring reservations while deferring to the essence of U.S. policies for perpetual war:
The American military’s actions in the Middle East has (sic) often fueled Arab anger, even when the United States was spending billions of dollars on beneficial programs, including health and education. Mr. Obama expressed confidence that the plan against ISIS will work and, at the moment, seems aware of the risks he takes.
Like the vast bulk of the rest of U.S. mass media, when push comes to militaristic shove, the New York Times refuses to make a break from the madness of perpetual war. In fact, with rare exceptions, the dominant media outlets end up fueling that madness. A strong challenge to it will have to come from elsewhere. From us.
Dempsey: Ground Troops Used on ‘Case-by-Case Basis’
Sep. 21 2014
Desperate to keep public sentiment from rising against his new war on ISIS, President Obama has repeatedly ruled out the use of ground combat troops in Iraq and Syria, albeit with some administration efforts to redefine what that actually means.
The Pentagon’s not at all keen on this “ruling out” of a ground war, particularly Army Chief Gen. Ray Odierno, who says he doesn’t think the US should ever rule anything out with the war.
Other Pentagon officials are also pushing back hard to get the “ruling out” thing limited significantly, with an apparent belief that once the mid-term elections have made public opinion less relevant, they can quickly escalate the war to include ground troops.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey seemed to suggest he already had a deal on ground troops with President Obama, claiming in comments that the president told him recommendations of ground operations would be handled on a “case-by-case basis.”
The White House has insisted they won’t consider any recommendations that involve a ground war, but again, they seem to be insisting that Special Operations forces don’t count in this regard, and seem to have some wiggle room.
Former Marine Comandant Gen. James Conway was more circumspect about the ground war being a foregone conclusion, insisting the administration’s air war plan didn’t have “a snowball’s chance in hell” of working.