August 20, 2014
Netanyahu tried to hide Egyptian cease-fire proposal from cabinet - Diplomacy and Defense

From the article:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried last week to hide from cabinet ministers the draft of a cease-fire agreement drawn up by Egypt. A senior Israeli official said that during last Thursday evening’s cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman confronted Netanyahu, showing him the copy of the Egyptian proposal that he, Lieberman, had received, and demanded an explanation.

The Israeli official said Lieberman surprised Netanyahu with this revelation. This was the first that the other cabinet ministers had heard that Israel had received a draft cease-fire agreement from the Egyptians, and they demanded copies of their own so they could review it.

A stormy atmosphere ensued and Netanyahu found himself on the defensive. The official said Netanyahu told the cabinet members that it was only a proposal, one of many that had been updated again and again in previous days.

"I didn’t say ‘yes’ to this draft and for now we do not accept it," he told the ministers.
At one point Netanyahu exited the cabinet meeting to speak with some visiting mayors from the south. That get-together was to last only a few minutes, yet Netanyahu stretched it out to more than an hour. Eventually Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon lost their patience and left the cabinet meeting. It was decided to adjourn and continue the following morning.

When the ministers entered the cabinet room Friday morning, Netanyahu had no choice but to present the Egyptian proposal to them. He told the cabinet members that he was rejecting it because it did not answer Israel’s security demands.

And of course by security demands, Netanyahu means permanent military control and jurisdiction over Palestinian territory, which he wants even under a 2-state solution.  So now, he hides ceasefire proposals from his cabinet, and has a negotiating position which is acceptable to precisely no one on the Palestinian side.  It’s hard to see how anyone could seriously suggest this man is devoted to peace.

August 19, 2014
Why Darren Wilson Likely Won’t Be Prosecuted For Shooting Michael Brown

The investigation of Michael Brown’s shooting is still ongoing.  But there are a couple recent developments which suggest that Darren Wilson will probably not be prosecuted, or if he is, he will very likely be acquitted. 

The Blaze is reporting that, according to a local St. Louis reporter, there are more than a dozen witnesses who are corroborating Darren Wilson’s version of events.  The Gateway Pundit is also now claiming that, according to two local St. Louis sources, Darren Wilson suffered a fractured orbital bone during his confrontation with Michael Brown.

I don’t know if either of these things are true.  The Ferguson police department has been discredited more than once recently, and there’s no way to verify The Gateway Pundit’s sources.  It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that they wouldn’t have disclosed Wilson’s injuries at the press conference where they identified Darren Wilson as the shooter.  So both of these reports seem a little suspect.

But if it turns out that both of these things are true, then in my opinion, the prospects of prosecuting Darren Wilson are very slim.  

The question here, for legal purposes, is not whether Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown and killed him.  There is no dispute that this occurred.  The question is whether Officer Darren Wilson found himself in circumstances which provided a legal privilege to use lethal force on Michael Brown.  For police officers, this generally extends to any situation in which they reasonably believe that a suspect is creating an imminent threat of serious injury or death to themselves or a third party.  Such a privilege would be an affirmative defense to any criminal homicide charge.

 Even if the case went to court, a dozen corroborating witnesses and a fractured orbital bone is reasonable doubt in a case like this.  Even if we could magically remove the institutional racism of the criminal justice system, and the tendency for juries to forgive even blatant police misconduct, no fair-minded jury would convict someone of criminal homicide in a case where justification of lethal force is an issue, and they have documented injuries showing signs of struggle along with a dozen eyewitnesses confirming the defendant’s version of the story.  Pile the institutional racism and jury-based police sympathy back on, and you have a fairly effective cocktail for inoculating Darren Wilson against prosecution.

Again, the investigation is still ongoing, and we may discover that the Ferguson police department is (once again) not being completely honest.  We may also discover that Darren Wilson does not actually have a fractured orbital bone (again, why wouldn’t the Ferguson PD have released this information sooner if that’s true?).  But if both of these things turn out to be true, it is highly unlikely that Darren Wilson will be prosecuted for shooting Michael Brown, absent a figurative smoking gun that hasn’t been released yet.

August 18, 2014
The West Bank may be on the verge of exploding | +972 Magazine

Not too long ago, I suggested that Israel may have triggered the Third Intifada with Operation Protective Edge.  Here is more evidence of that being the case:

I have just returned from a work visit to Ramallah. I am very concerned and disturbed by what I heard from friends and colleagues there. The calm appearance of the city hides the sizzling bubbling under the surface. The West Bankis on the verge of explosion.

As an illustration of what I’ve heard from people I spoke with, on the way home I listened to some Palestinian popular radio stations. All of the songs were full of praise for Hamas and al-Qassam Brigades – “let’s hit Tel Aviv with our rockets” and much worse . It was horrible to hear the drums of war and battle calls on the radio.

I was told that scenes that haven’t appeared for years since the intifada are now all over Ramallah, Bethlehem and throughout the West Bank – street gangs of masked men with weapons calling for young people to join the Al Aqsa Brigades and other battalions – “revenge for the death of our brothers and sisters in Gaza, we are all Gaza, we are all-Qassam Brigades.”

There is no more talk of peace and two states. The discussions on the street and in the cafes are all about the end of the ceasefire and the renewal of war in Gaza. They say the Jews’ war is not against Hamas, it is against all Palestinians, and the Qassam Brigades are the only ones fighting the Zionists, who want to kill all the Palestinians.

Abbas is described almost as a public enemy. Every day, Mohammed Dahlan transmits calls against Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, from the Gulf. Dahlan and other important Fatah leaders in the West Bank are calling on Palestinian security forces to stop the security coordination with Israel and use their weapons against Israel instead. There are calls to attack settlements and to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Back in May, after another round of peace negotiations collapsed, a frustrated U.S. diplomat blamed Israeli officials for the impasse and told the Israeli press that “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.”  It is a sad reflection of the current state of affairs that this observation appears primed to be an accurate prediction of the future, rather than just a frustrated peace negotiator venting his frustration.

August 17, 2014
"In 129 years since police and fire commissions were created in the state of Wisconsin, we could not find a single ruling by a police department, an inquest or a police commission that a shooting was unjustified…The problem over many decades, in other words, was a near-total lack of accountability for wrongdoing; and if police on duty believe they can get away with almost anything, they will act accordingly. As a military pilot, I knew that if law professionals investigated police-related deaths like, say, the way that the National Transportation Safety Board investigated aviation mishaps, police-related deaths would be at an all time low."

Michael Bell

August 17, 2014



just in case there’s anyone in Ferguson who’s following info on tumblr as well

sadly, with the way the police are out, marching, and ready for the curfew (with dogs), there are some people that may need this

"We are prepping for a night if jail support. Call 314 862 2249 if you or friend arrested."

LTMC: Lawyers who did more with their law degree than figure out how to increase their billable hours.

(via priceofliberty)

August 16, 2014



i just wanted to put this out there since im sure it’ll get written about differently tomorrow. 


Dont let the media twist it into protesters looting

The looter were not protesters, they were there to agitate the protests. Stir it up

LTMC: I posted about Ferguson on my Facebook wall, and I immediately had comments from people about the looting and vandalism, as if it discredited the entire protest.  Of course, mainstream news outlets aren’t going to post these follow-up stories, and a lot of people have already dismissed whatever was happening in Ferguson as just lawlessness that needs to be contained.

August 15, 2014
How America's Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out of Poverty

From the article:

Before Zaida Ramos joined Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was raising her daughter on public assistance, shuttling between dead-end office jobs, and not making ends meet. “I earned in a week what my family spent in a day,” she recalled.

 After 17 years as a home health aide at Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest worker-owned co-op in the United States, Ramos recently celebrated her daughter’s college graduation. She’s paying half of her son’s tuition at a Catholic school, and she’s a worker-owner in a business where she enjoys flexible hours, steady earnings, health and dental insurance, plus an annual share in the profits. She’s not rich, she says, “but I’m financially independent. I belong to a union, and I have a chance to make a difference.”

Read More

3:55pm  |   URL:
Filed under: politics labor socialism 
August 15, 2014
"[W]hen compared with other groups, African American protesters are more likely to draw police presence and that once police are present they are more likely to make arrests, use force and violence, and use force and violence in combination with arrests at African American protest events."

Davenport et al., “Protesting While Black: The Differential Policing of American Activism, 1960 to 1990.”

h/t Ari Kohen

August 15, 2014
Dutch nonagenarian returns Righteous Among the Nations medal after six relatives killed in Gaza - World

From the article:

A 91-year-old Dutch man who was declared a Righteous Among the Nations for saving a Jew during the German occupation on Thursday returned his medal and certificate because six of his relatives were killed by an Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip last month.

In 2011, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum declared Henk Zanoli and his late mother, Johana Zanoli-Smit, Righteous Among the Nations for having saved a Jewish child, Elhanan Pinto, during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Pinto, born in 1932, was hidden by the Zanoli family from the spring of 1943 until the Allies liberated Holland in 1945. His parents perished in Nazi death camps.


“Against this background it is particularly shocking and tragic that today, four generations on, our family is faced with the murder of our kin in Gaza. Murder carried out by the State of Israel,” he wrote.

“The great- great grandchildren of my mother have lost their [Palestinian] grandmother, three uncles, an aunt and a cousin at the hands of the Israeli army … For me to hold on to the honour granted by the State of Israel, under these circumstances, will be both an insult to the memory of my courageous mother who risked her life and that of her children fighting against suppression and for the preservation of human life as well as an insult to those in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives in Gaza at the hands of the State of Israel.”

August 15, 2014

I think one of the saddest things about Robin Williams dying is the fact that he was as likable off-screen as he was on the stage.  Many celebrities cultivate a positive public image for the sake of appearances, but when the cameras are off, they turn into douchebags.  You can’t find a single bad word about this guy anywhere.  Everybody who knew him says that Robin Williams was a very kind-hearted, down-to-earth guy and extremely nice to everyone around him.  We didn’t just lose a great talent, but a great human being.

2:30am  |   URL:
Filed under: robin williams 
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