Neutral Perspective: “Racism” or “Not”?

Immigration

California teacher held at border checkpoint: “It made me feel sick to get asked” Last Updated Jul 26, 2017 3:13 PM EDT cbsnews.com
“.. A California teacher posted a video of border patrol agents detaining her after she refused to say if she was a U.S. citizen at a checkpoint in New Mexico, about 35 miles from the border.

The video has many wondering if she was within her rights or had an obligation to comply.

When San Diego resident Shane Parmely was stopped at a New Mexico border patrol station she refused to answer the agent’s questions. She was heading home from vacation with her three children and asked one of them to start recording the exchange.

The videos have generated thousands of views on Facebook and sparked a heated debate on immigration rights.

The middle school teacher says she did it after hearing her Latino friends talk about their experiences at checkpoints.

“It made me feel sick to get asked, knowing what my friends have been through. It just made me feel physically ill,” Parmely said. ..”

Law Enforcement

When a police shooting victim is a white woman-
The sympathetic reaction to Justine Damond’s death shows the relentless power of race in America.

Updated by German Lopez@germanrlopezgerman.lopez@vox.com Jul 24, 2017, 1:10pm EDT vox.com
“…It’s not just Breitbart. Conservative media, based on some sleuthing on Google, has been generally quiet about Damond’s death — which is notable on its own, given that these outlets often counter what they see as liberal news narratives with their own narratives, particularly when it comes to police shootings. As one example, a Google search turns up four stories on the Blaze, the network founded by conservative pundit Glenn Beck, about Damond, but there are pages and pages of results from the Blaze for each of the killings of black men like Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Philando Castile.

When conservative outlets have written about Damond’s death, they by and large have framed her as a victim. Here is, for example, Fox News: “Australian woman shot dead by Minneapolis police after calling to report possible crime.” And here is the Blaze: “Questions swirl after Australian woman is fatally shot by Minneapolis police; bodycams were off.”

Damond’s lawyer played into this as well, calling Damond “the most innocent victim” of a police shooting that he has ever seen. He quickly added, “I’m not saying Philando wasn’t innocent, too, or that Frank Baker wasn’t innocent. But here is someone who called the police and was trying to stop someone from being hurt … and ends up being shot in her pajamas.”

Ranking victims of police shootings is odd enough, but there are plenty of totally innocent victims of police killings besides Damond. Consider that, in Detroit, police in 2010 killed a sleeping 7-year-old when they stormed her home while looking for her uncle — though this girl, unlike Damond, was poor and black…”

Justine Damond Case Sparks Debate Over #BLM’s Support of an Unarmed White Woman While Blue Lives Matter Abandon a Black Cop-
Some have called for the execution and deportation of the Somali-American officer.
bet.com
“..Tom Plunkett, Noor’s attorney, said the officer feels very bad for the family of Justine Damond. Plunkett also elaborated that Noor felt that being a police officer was a calling since he came to America.

“He joined the police force to serve the community and to protect the people he serves,” the statement read.

Noor joined the Minneapolis Police Department in March of 2015 and was later celebrated as the first Somali officer for the 5th Precinct.

After the officer was identified, people on social media noticed the difference in reaction to the case. ..”

Thoughts, feedback, etc..?

Good News Racism
https://www.facebook.com/groups/576102219067856/

Neutral Perspective: Dinosaurs Lived “Many” or “NOT that many” years ago?

“MANY”

(millions, billions, or trillions)

AMERICAS

-NORTH

->Canada

Researchers found a dinosaur that still has its skin and guts
Mike Wehner,BGR News Mon, May 15 6:01 PM PDT yahoo.com
“…The fossil is that of a nodosaur, a type of herbivorous dinosaur that lived between 110 million and 112 million years ago. Despite being a plant eater, it was an absolutely monstrous beast, measuring 18 feet long, with heavy armor plating and spiked scales stretching from head to toe…”

NOT that Many

(recently compared to the one above)

http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/great-dinosaur-mystery-solved/?sku=10-2-092

Ken Ham explains how to understand earth’s history … from a biblical perspective. He then applies this biblical foundation to the intriguing topic of dinosaurs!

more..
http://bible.goodnewseverybody.com/

The Dinosaur Mystery Solved-John Morris part 1

Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed
by NPR Staff
December 09, 2012 4:26 PM
http://www.npr.org/2012/12/09/166665795/forget-extinct-the-brontosaurus-never-even-existed

“…It was in the heat of this competition, in 1877, that Marsh discovered the partial skeleton of a long-necked, long-tailed, leaf-eating dinosaur he dubbed Apatosaurus. It was missing a skull, so in 1883 when Marsh published a reconstruction of his Apatosaurus, Lamanna says he used the head of another dinosaur — thought to be a Camarasaurus — to complete the skeleton…”

The Dinosaur Mystery Solved-John Morris part 2

http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/tis2/index.php/component/content/article/48.html

“…The fossil record is the cause of ongoing debate between evolutionists. On one side geneticists and theoreticians stand for Darwinian “gradualism.” They continue to claim that the lack of intermediate forms is due to the rarity of fossilisation and the imperfection of the fossil record. Thus, the fossil record is something which needs to be explained away – it is not good evidence for Darwinian evolution…”

The Dinosaur Mystery Solved-John Morris part 4

You Don’t “Fit” Dinosaurs with the Bible!
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2000/04/14/dont-fit-dinosaurs

“…Also, there is a lot of evidence (such as carvings and paintings of dinosaur-like creatures)—and (unfossilized) dinosaur bone with red blood cells—that makes sense in the light of the biblical account of history. Did you know that a dinosaur may be described in detail in the Bible? Check out Job 40:15–19. And if the notes in your Bible state that this animal was an elephant or hippo, read the passage again to see that this can’t be so.

Did you know the word “dinosaur” was first invented in 1841? Dinosaurs were probably called “dragons” before that time. And the Hebrew word for “dragon” is used a number of times in the Old Testament. There are also dragon legends prevalent in cultures around the world. It’s possible these are accounts of encounters with beasts we today call dinosaurs.
..”

more..http://carm.org/did-men-and-dinosaurs-live-together

Were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
http://creation.com/were-dinosaurs-on-noahs-ark

The Dinosaur Mystery Solved-John Morris part 5

http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/scriptural/

The Dinosaur Mystery Solved-John Morris part 5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907779/

more…

What really happened to the Dinosaurs-Ken Ham part 1 of 6

Is the Loch Ness monster real? Can dinosaurs live today? — Libby Grubby, age 8, Greenwood, IN
http://www.discoverymagazine.com/digger/d98dd/d9808dd.html

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/taylor-trail.htm

http://www.creationtoday.org/is-there-evidence-of-dinosaurs-and-man-living-at-the-same-time/?doing_wp_cron=1375676415.9161889553070068359375

Have blood cells ever been found in dinosaur fossils?
http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c026.html

“…. The Montana team did find, along with DNA from fungi, insects and bacteria, unidentifiable DNA sequences, but could not say that these could not have been jumbled sequences from present-day organisms. However, the same problem would not be there for hemoglobin, the protein which makes blood red and carries oxygen, so they looked for this substance in the fossil bone. …”

http://salphotobiz.smugmug.com/Other/Dinosaurs

More Educational materials online…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/707482649266495/

Current Links:

Diver’s sea creature find is ‘discovery of a lifetime’
Jasmine Santana finds 18-foot oarfish carcass at Catalina Island; bizarre-looking denizens are rarely seen and once spawned tales of sea serpents

October 15, 2013 by Pete Thomas

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/divers-sea-creature-find-is-discovery-of-a-lifetime/

“…They’re believed responsible, in the times of ancient mariners, for spawning tales of sea serpents and dragons that would rise like demons to steal crewmen and sink tall ships.

They’re rarely encountered but sometimes when they die or are near-death, they surface and wash ashore.

Only a handful of live specimens have been found. Interestingly, Catalina was the site of at least one such discovery.

In 2006, a 15-foot oarfish was spotted in the island’s Big Fisherman’s Cove. Harbormaster Doug Oudin snorkeled alongside the docile creature before it eventually perished. It was collected for study.

Last year at the Baja California resort city of Cabo San Lucas, a 15-foot barely-live oarfish washed ashore on a popular beach. It also died soon after its discovery.

The modern discovery of oarfish may date to 1808, when a 56-foot serpent-like creature washed ashore in Scotland.

In 1901, a 22-foot oarfish drifted onto the sand in Newport Beach, California, becoming, according to one reference book, “the basis for many sea-serpent stories told by local bar patrons for more than a decade after its discovery.”..”

Dragon found in Spain 08/22/2013

Rare Dragon/Shark Found In Japan

?
Japan Earthquake : Unknown Creature Caught On Aerial Footage !

AFRICA

-Congo

The Last Dinosaur of the Congo

“…Sources as reputable as Scientific American and the BBC believe that there may still be dinosaurs in the most remote jungles of the Congo. We sent some amateur cryptozoologists out there to look for the creature the local pygmies call Mokele-mbembe, or “he who stops the flow of rivers.” What they ended up experiencing in the Heart of Darkness has to be seen to be believed. …”

Dinosaur of the Congo

“…This is my long overdue video of the the Mokele-Mbembe! Soon, I will begin working on a huge project that will include ancient and modern day dragons.
…”

-Movies
https://www.facebook.com/groups/162875853862124/

The Dinosaur Project Trailer

AMERICAS

-Canada

Hadrosaur skin found by David Catchpoole
Published: 23 July 2013 (GMT+10) creation.com
“..The discovery of hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) skin near Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, is a classic example. University of Regina researcher Mauricio Barbi recounts: “As we excavated the fossil, I thought we were looking at a skin impression. Then I noticed a piece came off and I realized this is not ordinary—this is real skin. Everyone involved with the excavation was incredibly excited ….”2

Their excitement is understandable. Everybody is taught that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years ago yet here is a piece of real skin. No wonder they didn’t expect to find it, and initially thought it must have been only a skin impression. The basic question arising from the discovery ought now to have been, “Why is it that we’ve been taught these fossils are millions of years old, when here quite plainly is evidence to the contrary?”

Instead, Mauricio Barbi and colleagues are trying to answer their question: “how the fossil remained intact for around 70 million years.” ..”

-Mexico

“Dinosaur Figurines Found in Mexico, Page 1”
http://discoverynews.us/DISCOVERY%20MUSEUM/DinosaurWorld/DinoFigurines/Dinosaur_Figurines_of_Mexico.html

Feel free to share any other sources to support any of the two arguments above..

Good News Archaeology
https://www.facebook.com/groups/486235304766555/

Neutral Perspective: Oil Pipeline Construction is Economically Beneficial and NOT for the United States?

Keystone pipeline: How many jobs it would really create by Rene Marsh and Chris Isidore @CNNMoney January 28, 2017: 1:35 PM ET money.cnn.com
“.. “If we can get that pipeline built. A lot of jobs; 28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs,” he said when signing executive orders this week aimed at restarting both Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines that the Obama administration had blocked.

But according to official estimates, constructing the pipeline will generate far fewer construction jobs than that.

A State Department report on the pipeline that was issued under the Obama administration found that there would be 3,900 direct construction jobs if it was built over one year, or 1,950 if the work was spread over two years. …

Once the pipeline opens it would require only 35 full-time permanent jobs to run it, and 15 full-time temporary jobs, according to the state department report. TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, does not dispute those numbers. …

…TransCanada also pointed out that there would be benefits beyond the jobs and wages, including “significant property tax revenues, as well as sales and use and other tax revenues, to counties and states along the proposed project route.” ..
Trump claims the Keystone XL pipeline will create 7 times more construction jobs than it actually will Dana Varinsky
Jan. 24, 2017, 4:44 PM 9,957 businessinsider.com

“..The number of permanent employees the pipeline would require after construction ends is dismally low: just 35…”

Most Of The Dakota And Keystone Pipeline Construction Jobs Trump Touts Are Temporary Chris White 2:35 PM 01/25/2017 dailycaller.com

“…Meanwhile, only 3,900 of the remaining 16,000 positions would be “construction jobs,” with all but 50 being temporary, most of which would be responsible for Keystone’s general upkeep.

The Dakota pipeline’s 12,000 jobs also include non-construction jobs for those in the services area that would see an increase in business during the project’s construction phase. Just 40 full-time permanent positions will remain after the controversial DAPL is completed, according to estimates by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based liberal think tank…”

Beneficial

Here Are The Jobs The Keystone XL Pipeline Would Create Under Trump’s Executive Order Jan 24, 2017 @ 05:45 PM Ellen R. Wald , Contributor forbes.com
“..or the Keystone XL Pipeline, construction job estimates have ranged from 2,500 to 9,000. TransCanada, the S. Federal Government and the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University all produced interesting studies on this issue. Nearly all construction jobs for this project would be temporary.
Analysts also look at “spin-off” jobs, which are jobs that are created in related industries as a result of the new pipeline. These include sectors like refining, manufacturing, petroleum transportation and petroleum-dependent manufacturing. These jobs rely on too many variables to accurately predict and even measure after the fact…”

Dependence on Foreign Oil: Economic Risks, Global Demands for Petroleum – Alan Greenspan (2006) , from youtube.com
“Published on Oct 20, 2015

In the early 20th century the United States became a major oil supplier to the world. World War II prompted a Synthetic Liquid Fuels Program but it did not go beyond research. In mid-century the country shifted from being a major exporter to a net importer. An import quota imposed in 1959 limited imports to a fraction of domestic production until 1973.[10]

America’s dependence on foreign oil rose from 26 percent to 47 percent between 1985 to 1989.[11] After the 1973 oil crisis, the United States Department of Energy and Synthetic Fuels Corporation were created to address the problem of fuel import dependency. According to the Washington & Jefferson College Energy Index, by 2012, American energy independence had decreased by 22% since the tenure of President Harry Truman.[12]

America’s imports of foreign oil fell to 36 percent in 2013, down from a high of 60 percent in 2006.[13]

Many proponents of energy independence look to the United States’ untapped domestic oil reserves, either known or potential. Those who favor increasing domestic oil production often suggest removing many of the limitations on oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (see Arctic Refuge drilling controversy) and the Outer Continental Shelf. Foreign dependence is not the only factor in North American energy politics, however; environmental concerns around land and water pollution as well as greenhouse gases related to are also a matter of controversy.

Some proponents of U.S. energy independence promote wider use of alternatives such as ethanol fuel, methanol, biodiesel, plug-in hybrids and other alternative propulsion. A 2013 report published by the Fuel Freedom Foundation said that without a shift to domestic feedstocks for fuel, such as natural gas and biomass, the U.S. would not be able to achieve energy independence.[14] As of 2014, the United States imposes an import tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol fuel (there is no such import tariff on oil). Ethanol fuel in Brazil is produced from sugarcane, which yields much more fuel per acre than the corn used for ethanol production in the United States.

In Canada and Mexico there is also the concern not to have energy policy dictated by the United States, as well as tension over American ownership of energy companies.

In 1937 Mexico passed a constitutional amendment to nationalize its oil industry, which led to the creation of Pemex, the national oil company. There have been several proposals to privatize Pemex since, but they have never come to fruition as many Mexicans fear foreign control of this strategic industry.

The 1957 Canadian election was fought partially in response to the 1956 Pipeline Debate which concerned whether or not the government should allow a U.S.-owned company to build a trans-Canadian gas pipeline and whether the route should be entirely within Canada or partly through the United States. The right-leaning Progressive Conservatives and leftist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation opposition parties opposed American involvement in the pipeline while the Liberal government supported it. The Liberals were defeated in the 1957 election.

In 1973 Canada created its own state energy company Petro-Canada. It began operations in 1976, though it bought assets from private companies rather than seizing them as in many other countries. In 1980 the National Energy Program was launched to create oil self-sufficiency within Canada. It attempted to use tax incentives to discourage oil exports (mostly from Western Canada, primarily the province of Alberta) to the US, and redirect these towards to the oil importing provinces of Eastern Canada. The Foreign Investment Review Agency was also created to screen foreign (mostly U.S.) takeovers of Canadian companies. These policies were bitterly opposed by the provincial government of Alberta, and were repealed and reserved during the Conservative government of 1984-1993 which sought closer economic ties with the U.S., including the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement of 1988.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_…”

-Learn from Past Pipelines

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline: Lessons for the Keystone XL Pipeline Debate
November 18, 2014 20 min read Download Report heritage.org

“..Proponents touted the jobs associated with the pipeline, but then as now, these jobs were discarded as “temporary.” As Brew noted in the environmental impact analysis, “At the end of construction, unemployment would probably increase.”[22]..

As far as the pipeline’s harmful effects on the ecosystem, those fears were never realized. A study presented in 2002 at the American Society of Civil Engineers 11th International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering found:

[T]he ecosystems affected by the operation of TAPS and associated activity for almost 25 years are healthy. With the exception of very limited local impacts, the vegetation, fish, and wildlife along TAPS have not been impacted at the resource population level. TAPS, as it exists today, is simply another feature on the landscape, to which the flora and fauna have habituated. Even Alaska’s North Slope, with extensive oil fields, has a healthy community of flora and fauna. Populations of large and small mammals, birds, and fish are healthy despite development of the oil field.[44]…

Total oil spilled averaged less than 8,083 barrels (340,000 gallons) per year, including the Exxon Valdez spill, since the pipeline opened, while production has averaged nearly 20 billion gallons annually. Not counting the Valdez spill, which was not a result of problems with the pipeline, total oil spilled averaged 1,151 barrels per year throughout TAPS, including all other Alyeska spills, shipper vessel spills, and contractor spills. Including the Valdez spill, which was approximately 150,000 barrels, just over 291,000 barrels was spilled from 1977 to 2012 (8,083 barrels per year)[46] out of around 400 million barrels produced annually. Many of the spills were small and easily contained and cleaned up, posing no environmental threat. …

The pipeline has transported nearly 17 billion barrels of oil over the past 37 years. Today, TAPS transports more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day. Although the volume continues to decline gradually from the peak of 2.1 million barrels per day, the original estimate of 10 billion barrels of total production was exceeded in 1994. Every barrel flowing through the TAPS is another barrel of economic benefit exceeding expectations.
Alaska has become an energy production powerhouse. The 17 billion barrels of oil accounted for nearly 20 percent of U.S. domestic energy production for 1980–2000. Even now, Alaska accounts for 10 percent of U.S. domestic energy production, although volume is falling, in part because of federal prohibitions against drilling in certain areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).[55] The economic value of this oil is more than $1.7 trillion at today’s prices.
Construction employment was significant. More than 21,000 contractors were employed at the peak of the construction project in addition to more than 6,300 other workers. Throughout 1969–1977, more than 70,000 individuals were employed at some point in the construction.[56] While some decry the temporary nature of some of these construction jobs, it is important to note that this line of work is by nature temporary—at some point the project is finished. Real families prospered and built wealth because of these jobs.
Oil and gas employment in Alaska has surged. Today, 127,000 jobs in Alaska (one-third) are oil related—either in production or in state oil revenue.[57] Another 60,000 jobs have resulted from the “broad economic benefits created by oil industry activities and by state spending of its huge oil revenues.”[58] The Alaska state constitution established the Alaska Permanent Fund, which states, “At least 25 percent of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, royalty sales proceeds, federal mineral revenue-sharing payments and bonuses received by the state be placed in a permanent fund, the principal of which may only be used for income-producing investments.”[59] The current value of the fund is more than $53 billion—more than $71,000 for each of Alaska’s 731,000 residents. ..”

NOT

5 Reasons Why the Keystone Pipeline is Bad for the Economy by Brendan Smith labor4sustainability.org
“…Here are 5 reasons why building the Keystone pipeline is bad for the economy — and workers…

urns out that 40 percent of U.S oil-industry jobs consist of minimum-wage work at gas stations. Instead of bankrolling an industry that is laying off workers and threatening our economic future, isn’t it time to take the billions in subsidies going to oil companies and invest instead in a sector that both creates jobs and protects the planet?…

…For example, the solar industry continues to be an engine of job growth — creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market. Research by the Solar Foundation shows a 13 percent growth in high-skilled solar jobs spanning installations, sales, marketing, manufacturing and software development — bringing total direct jobs to 119,000 in the sector. And according to the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts”“Amherst, investment in a green infrastructure program would create nearly four times as many jobs as an equal investment in oil and gas…”

-Learn from Past Pipelines

Secondary Negative Effects schoolbytes.com
“.. economy. They discovered what money was and what you could do with it. (Strohmeyer, 1993) The pipeline exposure and money caused much trouble in the balance of native villages as drugs entered the environment for the first time and so did the greed for money. Many young people left the older members of the villiage to go and live in the city, or pushed for changes in the old ways of the village. Many villages were ruined by this split caused by money. The construction of the pipeline had many negative effects on the social and economic structure of Alaska. It brought much crime and drugs to a relatively quiet Alaska. Also it disrupted many lives of Native Alaskan villages. Many of these problems were due to Alyeska’s effort to have the pipeline finished as quickly as possible at high costs. This rush also brought upon negative impacts when the pipeline began to start running. Between 1970 and 1986 there has been over three hundred spills of more than one hundred gallons of oil from the pipeline. Since 1977 over 10,000 meteric tons of crude oil has been lost. (Coates, 1991) Most of these spills are due to the rush job that Alyeska did to build the pipeline and their lack of management of the pipeline when it was running. Pumping stations lacked management and often equipment. Employees often lacked the proper training to work the machinery and safety was at the bottom of the importance list for Alyeska. Oil spill safety drills were considered jokes by employees and were never carried out properly. Former oil spill coordinator for Alyeska Jerry Nebel was quoted as saying “We knew exactly what was coming, where we were supposed to be, and we still messed it up. Drills were a farce, comic opera.” In a 1988 inventory of cleanup equipment conducted by Alyeska, half the emergency lights were missing. They were later found set up in preparation for Valdez’s winter carnival. The reason Alyeska could get away with such flagrant mismanagement was that there was no real punishment the government could administer besides shutting down the pipeline , which was never considered because of the money at stake that the pipeline provided. The sensitivity of the detection equipment was definitely not up to par for oil spills from the pipeline. Late in the seventy’s, 3,000 barrels of oil could leak out in one day from the pipeline and no instruments would pick it up. Also Alyeska only had one helicopter flight a day along the pipeline. After many spills and many complaints from environmental groups and the government, did Alyeska finally upgrade it’s detection system to pick up a 1000 barrel leak and had three helicopter flights a day along the pipeline. The biggest leaks along the pipeline happened June 1979 at Antigun Pass, which is the highest point along the pipeline route. The pipe sagged after the ground below thawed and 5,267 barrels of oil spilled into the Antigun River and headed north to the Beaufort Sea. There was another large leak at the 734 mile mark along the pipeline that was also a result from the thawing of the ground. (Coates, 1991) Another impact that the pipeline’s mismanagement had was in the area of air pollution…”

Good News Financial
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Neutral Perspective: Housing for Mental-Physical Challenged “Wasteful” or NOT?

NPR : People with Mental Illness, Who Needs Housing, Housing First npr.org
“..But in 1998, 283,800 people with mental illnesses were incarcerated in American jails or prisons – four times the number in state mental hospitals, according to the Department of Justice. “These days, the largest single provider of housing for people with severe mental illness is the criminal justice system,” says Sperling. ..

Today’s reality falls far short of the vision of four decades ago, when the deinstitutionalization movement was born. In theory, people were to move from mental hospitals into community mental health care systems, and be reintegrated into towns and neighborhoods where they’d get services and shelter. Several studies have shown the idea can work, and thousands of Americans with mental illness have benefited — but thousands more have failed to get adequate follow-up, treatment and assistance.
..

The supportive housing model also saves taxpayers money, experts say. Researchers at Berkeley University’s Goldman School of Public Policy examined the consequences of providing supportive housing for 250 people with mental illness. Before moving in, the participants had made frequent use of emergency rooms and hospitals, costing thousands of dollars per person annually. Once the people were placed in supportive housing, the study found a 58 percent decrease in emergency room visits, a corresponding drop in hospital stays, and virtual elimination of their use of residential mental health facilities. …

Approximately one-third of the nation’s homeless have a severe mental illness. Many others with mental illness end up living nomadically, moving among the homes of parents and other family members. Outside the family, group homes are the primary housing option for people with mental illness, but they often face stiff resistance from neighbors: “There are huge NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) battles about establishing a four-person home for people with depression,” says Allen. ..”

Maine

Our View: Maine government puts group homes at risk by cutting rates Posted December 11, 2016 pressherald.com

Families are right to be worried about the loss of services for adults with disabilities.
The Editorial Board
“..Mary Mayhew, Maine’s health and human services commissioner, wrote a Dec. 8 column in the Portland Press Herald, accusing the paper of “needlessly frighten(ing) families and vulnerable individuals,” because it reported how cuts to reimbursement rates were undermining the system of community-based services for people with developmental challenges. (“Maine used to be a leader in caring for adults with intellectual handicaps. What went wrong?” Dec. 4)..”

Minnesota

1 person, 1 home, millions of dollars By: Jeff Baillon Posted:Feb 02 2017 07:11PM CST fox9.com
“…One person lives in the three bedroom home and state employees come and go around the clock. There are at least three per shift and they are hired to support the needs of the lone occupant.

“They really don’t need a house this size for one person,” neighbor Bob Krahn said.

The Fox 9 Investigators discovered it is costing taxpayers almost a million dollars a year.

An 18-year-old man, whose initials are W.O., was placed in the home last summer.

W.O. is a ward of the state, has intellectual and developmental disabilities and a history of difficult behavior.

“Handled the right way it’s a good thing for a neighborhood because we need to see people of all abilities,” Lemoyne Corgard, a neighbor, said.”

Part 2: Alone and at risk in Minnesota’s group homes Story by Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt • Photos by David Joles • Star Tribune StarTribune.com NOVEMBER 9, 2015 — 12:00AM
Set up to be safe havens, some group homes for the disabled have become remote “prisons,” where residents are vulnerable to violence and neglect.

“..Remote clusters

Minnesota’s reliance on group homes dates to the late 1970s, when it led the nation in shutting down large state hospitals that housed people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. The state encouraged small, private group homes as a more humane and cost-effective alternative, and subsidized them through Medicaid and other programs…”

And though group homes were meant for people needing 24-hour care, such as patients with severe mental illnesses, many accept just about anyone with an intellectual or developmental disability. Records show that even clients who need just basic assistance with daily activities — like cooking meals or catching the bus — can wind up in group homes that cost up to $80,000 per person per year….

New York

GROUP HOMES OVERPAID Posted on Jun 30, 2015 11:00am PDT nyrealestatelawblog.com
“.. The state’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service Office (DDSO) skirted state procurement laws for more than 1,400 purchases worth more than $1 million, gave one vendor an unfair advantage in obtaining the state’s business and overpaid for hundreds of household items, according to an audit recently released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“The state’s procurement process is intended to ensure fair competition, guard against favoritism, and protect taxpayers,” DiNapoli said. “By failing to follow the state’s procurement requirements, Finger Lakes DDSO wasted taxpayer dollars and gave an unfair advantage to one vendor. This cannot continue, and our recommendations should be implemented immediately.”

The Finger Lakes DDSO is responsible for coordinating services for approximately 1,500 persons with developmental disabilities living in 150 group homes across eight counties. Employees at each group home routinely purchase food and household items necessary to keep the homes operational.

The DDSO purchased food and household items through a centralized contract with Palmer Distributing until the contract expired in June 2012. Thereafter, the DDSO should have purchased items that met their needs first from preferred sources (which are established in state law), then from other centralized contracts, and, last, through a formal competitive process to ensure a fair procurement…”

Children-Youth

Congress to Consider Scaling Down Group Homes for Troubled Children by Joaquin Sapien ProPublica, May 20, 2015, 11:47 a.m. propublica.org
At a hearing in Washington, a renewed call for addressing the violence and neglect that plagues group homes for foster youth.
“..”There is tremendous momentum and truly bipartisan support for this right now, so hopefully we’re at a real turning point,” said Rob Geen, director of policy reform and advocacy for the Casey Foundation. “There are far too many children being separated from their families and being placed in what is available instead of what is best for them. Now we have an agreement that there is a problem and a growing consensus on how to fix it.”

According to the report, 40 percent of children living in group homes don’t have a diagnosis that warrants such a placement. The report suggests that children are often sent to the homes because there is nowhere else for them to go…

Grüber, the former foster child who testified at the hearing, said she certainly would have preferred staying with a family member as opposed to living in a group home for two years.

In an interview, she told ProPublica that when she was first removed from her biological parents’ home at age 15, she was placed with her uncle and his three sons in a three-bedroom home. She wanted to stay there. But she said that the Connecticut Department of Children and Families moved her to a homeless shelter and then into a foster home based on a technicality: that there weren’t enough bedrooms for all the children living in her uncle’s home.

“If I had stayed with my uncle, I would’ve had more stability. It would’ve been so much better to feel more involved with my family. My uncle is very involved in the church. He’s really strict, but I think that would’ve been helpful to me. I needed that structure,” Grüber said….

Kari Sisson, executive director for the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, told ProPublica that Australia closed its residential programs in the 1990s because foster care was cheaper. In time, she said, foster parents got overwhelmed and quit. Many youngsters ended up homeless or in jail. And Australia had to reopen the homes with more intensive therapeutic services in the mid-2000s.

“The conversation is fair, but it’s not informed,” she said. “I worry that they are making decisions that will seriously affect children who need therapeutic residential treatment. I’ve been a foster parent for many years and there are a lot of kids in the system that can’t live in my house, because it’s not safe for us and it’s not safe for the community. They need a lot more intensive care than a foster parent can offer. It’s very challenging.”

Sisson was not called to testify…”

Greed?

Maryland

Nonprofits reap generous perks April 11, 2005|By JOHN B. O’DONNELL AND JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF articles.baltimoresun.com
Children in private group homes may be shortchanged in care, but the owners can profit handsomely
“..Despite all the gaps in financial accountability, state officials say they don’t plan any major changes. DHR Secretary McCabe says that while department auditors should look at group homes’ financial statements, inspectors lack the expertise to ferret out improper spending. “Our licensing unit is not necessarily designed to do that,” he said.

Diane Coughlin, a health department official, also argues that inspectors lack the skills to police inappropriate spending, even if limits were put on salaries, rent and other non-care items.

“We’d never be able to enforce it,” said Coughlin, director of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, a health department unit that has licensed 35 group home companies with 115 facilities.

“But having said that, do we expect people to spend tax dollars wisely? You’re darn tootin’ we do.”

About the series

In an investigation of state oversight of group homes going back a decade, The Sun found that:

Mistreatment of children has gone unpunished.

People with criminal convictions can – and do – work at group homes.

Taxpayers’ money is often wasted on poor care, denying youths a range of services.

Maryland subsidizes high salaries and perks…”

New York

Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled By RUSS BUETTNERAUG. 2, 2011 nytimes.com
“..Medicaid money created quite a nice life for the Levy brothers from Flatbush, Brooklyn.

The brothers, Philip and Joel, earned close to $1 million a year each as the two top executives running a Medicaid-financed nonprofit organization serving the developmentally disabled.

They each had luxury cars paid for with public money. And when their children went to college, they could pass on the tuition bills to their nonprofit group.

Philip H. Levy went as far as charging the organization $50,400 for his daughter’s living expenses one year when she attended graduate school at New York University. That money paid not for a dorm room, but rather it helped her buy a co-op apartment in Greenwich Village.

The rise of the Levy brothers, from scruffy bearded social workers in the 1970s to millionaires with homes in the Hamptons, Sutton Place and Palm Beach Gardens, reveals much about New York’s system for caring for the developmentally disabled — those with conditions like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism…”

Homeless Shelters

State Seeks To Move Homeless From Hotel Rooms To Group Homes Rupa Shenoy
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting February 23, 2014 news.wgbh.org
“..Sixteen months ago Espada’s family became homeless, and she applied to the state for help. But Massachusetts has no room left for homeless families. The state’s 2,000 shelters filled up during the recession as parents who lost their jobs, got foreclosed on, got sick, or just couldn’t earn enough became homeless along with their children. So, like roughly 2,000 other families, Espada is living in a hotel paid for by the state…”

Solution-Models?

Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme youtube.com


“..Published on Sep 22, 2016

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), is working across Ireland to reduce disadvantage. SICAP is open to people and groups from different walks of life.

• Are you looking for a job or want to improve your skills?
• Could you benefit from an education or training opportunity?
• Are you in a community group which is working for changes locally?

If yes to any of these, SICAP can help you! To empower yourself or your community, find out more at http://www.pobal.ie..”

Others:

What abilities do you have?..Don’t focus on your “dis-abilities, but your “abilities”! goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com
Health: Mental-How to “fight” mental illness? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

This is such a BIG on-going social issue, so all the article above that I found are just “some” of the challenges and have yet to re”search” the “positives” going on with group homes. Feel free to share any (both negative and bad)..

Good News Physical-Mental Challenges
https://www.facebook.com/groups/133973023445443/

Neutral Perspective: Iraq War was justified or not?

I decided to write this blog topic after #standingrock


After Two Wars, Standing Rock is the First Time I Served the American People by Will Griffin Published on
Sunday, October 30, 2016 by Common Dreams commondreams.org
‘I’ve been on the wrong side of history’
“…I was in Iraq when President Bush announced the “surge” in January 2007. I was in Afghanistan when President Obama announced the “surge” in December 2009. But it wasn’t until I visited Standing Rock in October 2016 when I actually served the American people. This time, instead of fighting for corporate interests, I was fighting for the people.
..

I traveled to Standing Rock with a small group of members from Veterans For Peace (VFP). VFP has had a continued presence at Standing Rock for months now, rotating members in and out. Two VFP members, Tarak Kauff and Matthew Hoh, were arrested on Oct. 10, Indigenous People’s Day, while peacefully protecting (not protesting) the water. We were also joined by VFP members Ellen Davidson, Sam Adams, Richard Gilchrist, Martin Bates, Michael Sullivan, Ann Wright, and drone whistleblower Cian Westmoreland.
..

Fellow veteran Matt Hoh and I agreed the camp was a reminder of Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, without the mortars or rockets blowing up everywhere…

Matt and I also agreed that after our military “service” and multiple deployments to two wars, this was the first time we served the American people. After going to a few nonviolent direct action protests against the Black Snake, we realized what it actually meant to stand by the American people and fight in their interests. We suddenly had this feeling of honor, something we never had from our deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.

We agreed that the only “people” we served overseas fighting were the likes of Halliburton, KBR, AECOM, DynCorp, Raytheon, Environmental Chemical, and so many more. We know that our own government lied to us. We know that the world is not a safer place than it was before the United States illegally occupied Iraq and Afghanistan; we understand that militaries don’t bring peace. Looking into the eyes of the police at Standing Rock, we saw ourselves.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice.” That’s what we were fighting for at Standing Rock, peace and justice.

The militarized police forces on the ground weren’t keeping the peace or protecting justice, they were protecting corporate interests. The police were blocking peace and obstructing justice on behalf of corporations, greedy bankers and investors. During my 11 days there, I saw local law enforcement, out-of-jurisdiction police forces, private security forces, and the North Dakota National Guard—all on behalf of the corporations and the state, not the people. They arrested the people and protected the construction equipment.

We saw journalists being attacked and warrants issued for their arrests just for holding a microphone and interviewing people. We saw police forces using military-grade equipment that Matt and I used in combat zones overseas. We saw the infringement of constitutional rights such as the right to assemble. But most important, we saw Native Americans courageously continue to defend their land and people from a genocidal 500-year war against the state and corporations alike…

That’s why I joined the military; to provide a selfless service to my country. That myth has been shattered. After two wars, PTSD and moral injury, I’ve come to realize I’ve been on the wrong side of history.”


Below are other sides of this still on-going debate able topic..

Justified

John Howard defends Iraq war, saying it was ‘justified at the time’ Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro Thursday 7 July 2016 01.32 EDT theguardian.com
Former PM says claims Australia went to war on a lie are untrue: ‘There were errors in intelligence but there was no lie’
“..The Chilcot report was excoriating in its assessment of the British government’s decision-making process over going to war, saying that the threat posed by dictator Saddam Hussein was overplayed, intelligence was flawed, and the legal basis for the war was unsatisfactory…”

5 Reasons the Iraq War Was Not a Mistake by Joel B. Pollak19 May 2015 breitbart.com
“..2. An American force in the Middle East would increase pressure on Iran. Removing Saddam Hussain meant removing a threat to the Iranian regime. But putting hundreds of thousands of American troops on Iran’s western border–along with those already in Afghanistan to the east–meant posing a much more potent threat to the regime. That is why Iran temporarily slowed its nuclear program after 2003–and why the Iranian people found the courage to rise in 2009.

3. Freeing the people of Iraq was, and is, a worthy goal. Just a few years ago, with American and allied troops still in Iraq in significant numbers, the sectarian violence and terrorism that had plagued the country for years had begun to slow down. The Iraqi people began to enjoy some semblance of order, of democracy, and of liberty. Instead of staying in Iraq to guide and protect that process–as Obama had promised to do in 2008–Obama abandoned the Iraqi people.

4. International law means nothing unless it is backed up by the will to enforce it. Saddam Hussein defied international law repeatedly: He used WMD against his own people; he invaded his neighbors; he sponsored terrorism. And he did it because he had no fear of facing the consequences. International law, flawed though it is, is a necessary and stabilizing institution–and needs enforcement, even (especially) when global institutions are too corrupt to enforce it.

5. There is potential for freedom in the region–with American leadership. The fall of Saddam Hussein inspired the Lebanese people to rise up against Syrian occupation, and planted the seeds of what later became the Arab Spring. If American leadership had remained strong, that process might have been a positive one. (Certainly Syria would not have become a killing field.) The Middle East may never be fertile soil for democracy, but it can certainly be freer than it is today.

There are, of course, excellent arguments against the war. The best is that it was carried out in crisis management mode, without any real attempt to grapple with the strategic challenge of Iran (or extremism in other nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan).

That argument still stands. But it has nothing to do with the question of whether Iraq had WMD…”
The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion By Jason Leopold March 19, 2015 | 12:10 pm news.vice.com
“..The NIE also restores another previously unknown piece of “intelligence”: a suggestion that Iraq was possibly behind the letters laced with anthrax sent to news organizations and senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy a week after the 9/11 attacks. The attacks killed five people and sickened 17 others…

According to the latest figures compiled by Iraq Body Count, to date more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, although other sources say the casualties are twice as high. More than 4,000 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and tens of thousands more have been injured and maimed. The war has cost US taxpayers more than $800 billion.

In an interview with VICE founder Shane Smith, Obama said the rise of the Islamic State was a direct result of the disastrous invasion.

“ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”..”

Tom Cotton Thinks The Iraq War Was Justified from youtube.com
“Published on May 23, 2015

Several prominent Republicans have recently backed off from full support of the Iraq war, which is certainly a change of pace from just a few years ago. Do not get tricked into believing that all Republicans no longer support that disastrous war.

John Iadarola (Think Tank) and Ben Mankiewicz (What The Flick) discuss the details of the story. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Read more here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tom…

“Tom Cotton, the Iraq war veteran from Arkansas turned Republican senator, has a message to fellow soldiers: ‘We should not be ashamed of the war we conducted in Iraq.’

Leading Republicans are sticking by the Iraq war, declining to follow the Democrats into full retreat and regret.

Cotton, while conceding that there are lessons to be learned from the conflict and that it might have been handled differently in retrospect, maintains that President George W. Bush made the best decision he could at the time based on the available intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s presumed stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.””

Christopher Hitchens on Reasons for the Iraq War, Justifications, Military, and Media (2005) , youtube.com
“Published on Oct 14, 2013

The rationale for the Iraq War (i.e. the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent hostilities) has been a contentious issue since the Bush administration began actively pressing for military intervention in Iraq in late 2001. The primary rationalization for the Iraq War was articulated by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress known as the Iraq Resolution.

The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove “a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world”. Additional reasons have been suggested: “to change the Middle East so as to deny support for militant Islam by pressuring or transforming the nations and transnational systems that support it.” For the invasion of Iraq the rationale was “the United States relied on the authority of UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 to use all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with its international obligations”.[3]

In the lead-up to the invasion, the U.S. and UK emphasized the argument that Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction” and thus presented a threat to his neighbors, to the U.S., and to the world community. The U.S. stated “on November 8, 2002, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441. All fifteen members of the Security Council agreed to give Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its obligations and disarm or face the serious consequences of failing to disarm. The resolution strengthened the mandate of the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), giving them authority to go anywhere, at any time and talk to anyone in order to verify Iraq’s disarmament.”[4] Throughout late 2001, 2002, and early 2003, the Bush Administration worked to build a case for invading Iraq, culminating in then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 2003 address to the Security Council. Shortly after the invasion, the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies largely discredited evidence related to Iraqi weapons as well as links to Al-Qaeda, and at this point the Bush and Blair Administrations began to shift to secondary rationales for the war, such as the Hussein government’s human rights record and promoting democracy in Iraq. Opinion polls showed that the population of nearly all countries opposed a war without UN mandate, and that the view of the United States as a danger to world peace had significantly increased. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan described the war as illegal, saying in a September 2004 interview that it was “not in conformity with the Security Council.”

Accusations of faulty evidence and alleged shifting rationales became the focal point for critics of the war, who charge that the Bush Administration purposely fabricated evidence to justify an invasion it long planned to launch. Supporters of the war claim that the threat from Iraq and Saddam Hussein was real and that this has later been established. The U.S. led the effort for “the redirection of former Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) scientists, technicians and engineers to civilian employment and discourage emigration of this community from Iraq.”

Other critics have noted that the Iraq War has several similarities with the Korean War and Vietnam War.

The United States officially declared its combat role in Iraq over on August 31, 2010, although several thousand troops remained in the country until all American troops were withdrawn from Iraq by December 2011; between that time American troops also engaged in combat with Iraqi insurgents…”

Paul Schiffer interviews Jayna Davis on Terrorism and Middle East Connection to Oklahoma City-first , from youtube.com
The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing Paperback – July 27, 2008 by Jayna Davis .amazon.com
“..In this alarming book, reporter Jayna Davis tells of her amazing journey leading from the smoking rubble of the Murrah Federal Building to the sleazy haunts of John Doe #2, the mysterious Middle East suspect who the Justice Department was at first desperate to find?then insisted never existed.

With a reporter’s practiced skill, Jayna Davis unscrambles the convoluted and distorted facts of the Oklahoma City bombing to present a compelling case that proves Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols did not act alone and in fact worked in tandem with Middle East connections that lead directly to Saddam Hussein’s personal army.

Ten years after the tragic April 19 bombing, this revised edition of the controversial book that captured the attention of the 9/11 Commission offers new information and a new afterword that covers the Iraq War, the verdict in the Nichols state murder trial, and recent confirmation of Al-Qaeda General Al-Zawahiri’s visit to OKC to approve the bombing…”
1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim sympathizer Posted on November 23, 2015 by Dr. Eowyn fellowshipoftheminds.com
“..In her bestseller, The Third Terrorist, investigative journalist Jayna Davis presents the evidence showing that Timothy McVeigh was a front man for Middle Eastern terrorists, and that a third co-conspirator was an Iraqi — the mysterious “John Doe” who was never found. Davis says the evidence was ignored and dismissed because the Clinton Administration didn’t want to go to war with Iraq, the likely culprit, and wanted to blame the attack on domestic right-wingers for political reasons. ..”

Homeless Muslim Arrest Revisits OK City Bombing Islam Connection March 11, 2011, – 2:15 pm By Debbie Schlussel debbieschlussel.com
“…An FBI spokesman in Boston, Greg Comcowich, said Thursday night that a man named Hussain Al-Hussaini was “thoroughly investigated” in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing and “was found to not have any role whatsoever in the attack on the Murrah Federal Building in 1995.”..”

NEUTRAL

-Debate

BILL OREILLY •Taken Down• BY U S IRAQ WAR VET from youtube.com
Uploaded on Mar 22, 2009
->Is an armament sickening U.S. soldiers updated 8/12/2006 10:43:50 PM ET nbcnews.com

“…Depleted uranium is the garbage left from producing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and energy plants. It is 60 percent as radioactive as natural uranium. The U.S. has an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of it, sitting in hazardous waste storage sites across the country. Meaning it is plentiful and cheap as well as highly effective.

Reed says he unknowingly breathed DU dust while living with his unit in Samawah, Iraq. He was med-evaced out in July 2003, nearly unable to walk because of lightning-strike pains from herniated discs in his spine. Then began a strange series of symptoms he’d never experienced in his previously healthy life.

Then the medic from their unit showed up. He too, was suffering. That made eight sick soldiers from the 442nd Military Police, an Army National Guard unit made up of mostly cops and correctional officers from the New York area.
..

Tests come up positive, but …
Reed, Gerard Matthew, Raymond Ramos, Hector Vega, Augustin Matos, Anthony Yonnone, Jerry Ojeda and Anthony Phillip all have depleted uranium in their urine, according to tests done in December 2003, while they bounced for months between Walter Reed and New Jersey’s Fort Dix medical center, seeking relief that never came…

The veterans, using their positive results as evidence, have sued the U.S. Army, claiming officials knew the hazards of depleted uranium, but concealed the risks.

The Department of Defense says depleted uranium is powerful and safe, and not that worrisome…

Echoes of Agent Orange
It took more than 25 years for the Pentagon to acknowledge that Agent Orange — a corrosive defoliant used to melt the jungles of Vietnam and flush out the enemy — was linked to those sufferings.

It took 40 years for the military to compensate sick World War II vets exposed to massive blasts of radiation during tests of the atomic bomb.

In 2002, Congress voted to not let that happen again..”

NOT

Saddam Hussein should have been left to run Iraq, says CIA officer who interrogated him By Ishaan Tharoor December 16 at 12:44 PM washingtonpost.com
“Both President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump believe the United States never should have invaded Iraq in 2o03 (or, at least, Trump claims he now does). The war in Iraq and its chaotic aftermath in many ways prefigure the present moment in the Middle East; it triggered a sectarian unraveling that now haunts both Iraq and Syria and looms large in the minds of an Obama administration wary of further intervention in the region’s conflicts.
In a new book coming out this month, John Nixon, a former CIA officer who interrogated Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after he was captured by coalition forces in December 2003, details his encounter with the toppled despot and the varied discussions that followed. Early on, Hussein warned that the occupation of Iraq wouldn’t be as much of a “cakewalk” as Washington’s neoconservatives assumed at the time. From an excerpt published on Time magazine’s website:

Nixon now reckons Hussein had a point and that a ruthless strongman like him was necessary to “maintain Iraq’s multi-ethnic state” and keep both Sunni extremism and the power of Shiite-led Iran, a Hussein foe, at bay…”
When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.” When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: “You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”..”

Bush, Blair and the Lies That Justified the Illegal Iraq War Jul 6 2016 By Robin Andersen fair.org
‘..Of three possible justifications, two were dismissed. Self-defense was not plausible, as British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw argued: “The case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capacity was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.” Nor would humanitarian intervention make the case: Saddam was not engaged in genocide. The foreign secretary solved the puzzle when he said: “We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.”…
<p
This case illustrates that what journalists know and understand is something quite different from what they actually report. For the most part, the known and the reported are two very different narratives. With a “nothing new” defense, reporters and editors are making astonishing admissions of complicity and redefining the role of journalism. Admitting to understanding at the time that justifications for war were a ruse, yet not challenging such claims, leaves them not only complicit, but compelling actors in promoting war…

Untold Story of the Iraq War ~ Commandos, Dirty Wars and Col. James Steele


“Published on Mar 22, 2013

Shocking information for many!!

Col. James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq – Full Documentary

Iraq war: 10 years on

A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organize the Iraqi security services.

The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases
The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worl…&#8221;

Iraq War Media Propaganda – Al Jazeera Perspective 1 of 2

Iraq War Media Propaganda – Al Jazeera Perspective 2 of 2



“..Uploaded on Jan 26, 2008

Al-Jazeera perspective on the propaganda during the Iraq war. The full documentary “Control Room – Propaganda of the Iraq War” goes for 1Hr 24 Minutes and can be downloaded from google video.

The link for playing from google video is :
..”

Phil Donahue on His 2003 Firing From MSNBC, When Liberal Network Couldn’t Tolerate Antiwar Voices


Published on Mar 21, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org — In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says.

Take a moment to view our interactive Iraq War timeline at http://owl.li/jd2ur.

Visit the Democracy Now! news archive to see 10 years of reports on the Iraq War at
http://www.democracynow.org/topics/iraq.

To watch the entire weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org.

Democracy Now!, an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,100+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday.

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Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit http://www.democracynow.org/donate/YT

Breaking The Silence: Truth And Lies In The War On Terror johnpilger.com


“…Damning archive footage shows contradictory speeches by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. In a lengthy address to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, Powell solemnly declares that Iraq is in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and is involved in an elaborate campaign to conceal weapons materials and manufacturing facilities. However, two years earlier Powell and Condoleeza Rice claim the opposite. Speaking in Cairo on February 24, 2001, seven months before 9/11, Powell categorically declares: “He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.” Rice repeats this in July 2001 when she tells US television that the Iraqi military has not been rebuilt since the 1991 conflict.
..”

Pentagon paid UK PR firm $540mn to make fake terrorist videos during Iraq war


“Published on Oct 4, 2016

The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq in a secret propaganda campaign exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7quh

-Confessions of “Whistleblowers”

“I Don’t Work For You No More”
“I Am No Longer the Monster I Once Was”
informationclearinghouse.info
“…A former Marine who had served two tours in Iraq, Jon Turner did not look like a monster. He was a little above average height, good-looking, with a thick thatch of blond hair, and gentle manners. If not for the small blue-dot earring in his left ear – and the tattoos he later exposed – he could easily pass for the all-American boy.

But the stories he related, and the videos and slides he showed during four days of hearings called “Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan,” were a million miles away from Norman Rockwell America.

During last month’s hearings, held just outside Washington, D.C., a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War presented 55 veterans, including Turner, who gave personal testimony of what they had seen and done in Iraq. It was one horror story after another.

Turner, whose unit had lost 18 soldiers in Iraq, reported routinely firing rounds into mosques just out of anger; “kicking in doors and terrorizing families”; the mistaken firing of rounds into cars filled with civilians whose drivers were simply confused or didn’t understand the English commands to stop; and dozens of other brutalities carried out daily against the population of Iraq.

Other veterans testified to similar incidents, but two of Turner’s stories were among the heaviest we heard in those four days.

The first was of Turner’s “first kill” – a “fat man” on foot whom he shot for refusing a command to halt. The “fat man” did not die from the first bullet that Turner put in his neck, so while he screamed and looked pleadingly into Turner’s eyes, Turner deliberately dispatched him with a shot at close range.

The second story was even worse. Turner and his men were having a bad day – and bad days are apparently not hard to have in Iraq – so Turner and two fellow soldiers “took out some individuals” who were doing them no harm. Turner shot a man going by on a bike, then threw the body behind a wall and tossed his bike on top of it.

At the hearings, my friend Anthony Swofford, author of “Jarhead” and a former Marine himself, leaned over to me and said, “I think Turner just confessed to murder.” But putting that remark in perspective, Swofford would also tell me later, “I know that for every guy up there testifying today, there are probably a thousand others out there keeping silent.”

Some of the protesters outside, including the group Eagles Up!, claimed these testifiers weren’t real vets, but they had all been thoroughly checked out by a verification team from Iraq Veterans Against the War. Moreover, nobody – unless they’d done a few years at the Actors Studio – could have faked the emotions these vets were displaying as they testified: voices choking up and cracking, tears spontaneously welling.

Although the horror stories kept coming for four days, not all of them involved personal malice. Marine gunner James Gilligan sobbed as he recounted how in Afghanistan in 2004, he placed an unfamiliar compass too close to a machine-gun barrel, causing it to give a false enemy position. Instead of taking out the Taliban artillery, the troops caused extensive civilian casualties in a nearby Afghan village.

The name Winter Soldier was taken from a similar series of hearings held by Vietnam Veterans Against the War in Detroit in 1971. The term originally derived from Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Paine’s description of Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge, who withstood a terrible winter on starvation rations in order to come back and fight for their nation one more time – and eventually win. Clearly these Iraq vets, just like their Vietnam vet counterparts, saw themselves as still fighting for their country in trying to bring the truth they experienced into a public forum.

They spoke with no discernible hostility or partisan bias, and less anger than one would have expected. Most expressed their reason for being there along the same lines as former Marine scout Sergio Kochergin, who said he was expecting his testimony to be heard by Congress and to help bring a rapid end to the war.
..”

US Soldier Exposes USA FEMA Camps

Jon Michael Turner (American) voiceseducation.org
“..Jon Michael Turner is a returned Iraq War veteran, who has taken up the art of paper and book making since his return to the United States. Originally from Connecticut, he now makes his home in Burlington, VT and works out of the Green Door Studio. Jon has also traveled with the Combat Paper Project, telling his story while teaching other veterans the art of papermaking and telling their personal stories…”

-Aleppo, Syria?

Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong Daniel McAdams Posted on September 29, 2016 antiwar.com
“..The mainstream media portrays the fight for Aleppo as one between Syrian President Assad and the people, painting Assad as someone killing his citizens for the fun of it. In other words, as they did with Iraq and Libya, etc. the mainstream media again happily takes up the role of mouthpiece of the US government. The reality is quite different, in fact. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report speaks with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has recently returned from an investigative trip to Syria including in Aleppo. What’s really going on there? Tune in!..”
*see Now you know: Who are “mercenaries”?
James Le Mesurier – Syria Civil Defense maydayrescue.org

“..James has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes. Since 2012, James has been working on the Syria crisis where he started the Syrian White Helmets programme in March 2013. In 2014, he founded Mayday Rescue, and is dedicated to strengthening local communities in countries that are entering, enduring or emerging from conflict…”

-PTSD

Brother of airport shooting suspect says US gov’t failed him
DANICA COTO,Associated Press 3 hours ago (1.7.16)
“…Esteban Santiago, 26, had trouble controlling his anger after serving in Iraq and told his brother that he felt he was being chased and controlled by the CIA through secret online messages. When he told agents at an FBI field office his paranoid thoughts in November, he was evaluated for four days, then released without any follow-up medication or therapy.

“The FBI failed there,” Bryan Santiago told The Associated Press. “We’re not talking about someone who emerged from anonymity to do something like this.”
..

Bryan Santiago said his brother had requested psychological help but barely received any.

“I told him to go to church or to seek professional help,” he said.
…”

Action

Pray for Iraq War vets and Iraqi (many various tribes, ethnic groups, Muslim sects, etc..)..

#prayforiraq

“Come & let your Peace fill this….”

Is there any other topics on either side that I didn’t share yet? Feel free to share below…thanks and God bless!!

Good News Middle East
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Deep Thought: Ever been misunderstood?

I think of the song “Civil War” (e.g. failure-to-communicate) from GNR when I watch/read/listen to news out there where there is fighting due to “misunderstanding”..

Myth: Sikhs are terrorists too
‘Terrorist, go back to your country,’ attacker yelled in assault of Sikh man
By Sarah Kaplan September 10, 2015 washingtonpost.com
“…Inderjit Singh Mukker, a father of two on his way to the grocery store in his Chicago suburb, pulled over when the vehicle behind kept tailgating him, according to the Sikh Coalition. The 53-year-old Sikh man, who wears a beard and turban, expected that the person in the other car would just drive past.

Instead, the Coalition says, the other driver got out and stormed toward him, reaching into Mukker’s car and repeatedly punching him in the face. Mukker lost consciousness and had to be taken to the hospital, where he received treatment for a fractured cheekbone, bruising and blood loss and six stitches for the lacerations on his face…

…“For Sikh Americans, the unique markers of religious identity — the turban, the beard — these markers are associated with the markers of terrorism,” he said.

In other words, “People see a Sikh and construe them as the enemy.”

On Sept. 15, 2001, four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot and killed outside his gas station in Arizona. The gunman mistook the 49-year-old Sikh, an immigrant from India, for an Arab, and said he killed him in retaliation for the attacks. The attacker was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.

In the following month, the Sikh Coalition recorded at least 300 cases of violence and discrimination against Sikhs in the U.S. The next 14 years have seen hundreds more. In 2009, the Coalition found that 9 percent of Sikh adults in New York have been physically assaulted for their religion — usually by people, who in addition to their violent vigilantism, apparently remain unaware of the distinction between Sikhism and Islam. “Osama bin Laden” and “terrorist” are common slurs…”

Fact: Who and What is a Sikh? sikhs.org
“…The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding and criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708. ..”

Offended?

Church

5 ways to deal with extroverts at church when you are an introvert By Lydia Taggart, FamilyShare kinston.com
“..If you have ever been offended by someone at church, it was most likely from an extrovert. Not intentional, just lacking that ‘think before you speak’ talent. (Unless it was from an introvert, then you can be sure it was well thought-out and intentional.)

We’ve all heard the idea that we should think before we speak. Introverts actually do.

As Marti Olsen Laney says in her book The Introvert Advantage, there is a longer neural pathway for stimuli processing for introverts. They have a more complicated path through long term memory and planning to process interactions and events. Introverts simultaneously are carefully attending to their internal thoughts and feelings while they process information.

An introvert may appear avoidant, or shy, while they are really just thinking before they speak. They process their thoughts internally. Extroverts have a difficult time thinking before they speak as they actually process their thoughts externally.

Introverts will share their ideas, but they have been formed and reached the desired shape first.

Knowing that we are wired differently can ease the discomfort of interacting with one another. Here are a few things to keep in mind when striving for a better experience at church.

1. Build on commonalities

Rather than finding the differences between people and causing separations, let’s focus on what we have in common and build on that…”

-Racism

Ellen DeGeneres defends her Usain Bolt tweet some claimed was racist
Kevin Kaduk,Fourth-Place Medal 2 hours 24 minutes ago (August 16th 2016) yahoo.com
“…Some social media users took issue with the image of a white woman riding on a black man’s back and fired back at the accounts.

“So the first thing that pops in your head when looking at this pic is ‘oh let me jump onto his back like he’s a common mule?” one Twitter user wrote.

“No matter if there was no ill intent, it still has racial undertones,” wrote one Facebook user.

“An apology won’t do, this is utterly [expletive] ridiculous, how dare you?” wrote another person on Twitter.

The overwhelming majority of DeGeneres’ followers, however, defended the star.

“What’s wrong with it?” Bryan Young wrote on Twitter. “She’s saying he’s fast. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“People love creating stories. Ellen’s apparently now a racist,” one person responded.

It’s impossible to believe that the comedian had any ill intent or any hidden message. DeGeneres is one of the biggest openly gay stars in Hollywood and has built a legion of fans by treating everyone equally and with respect — from the everyday people she features on her show to the biggest movie stars. As she said in her tweet, sending a racist message would be the exact opposite of her true self.

DeGeneres also has had Bolt on her show before. The three-time 100-meter gold medalist appeared with Ellen and the show tweeted about the time Bolt “lost” a race to a young viral video sensation.

On the other hand, you have to figure her social media team could have seen the criticism coming in today’s climate and taken an easier route for a Bolt-related joke.

What do you think? Was Ellen’s tweet out of bounds?..”

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/b1e660ec-6310-11e6-b4d8-33e931b5a26d

Music: New Song-“Failure to Communicate”

“What we got here is a failure to communicate…”

What can we to prevent this misunderstanding to prevent future offenses, fighting, riots, chaos, wars, etc..?

Good News Peace
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