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Archive for September 21st, 2013

One nun puts entire US intel community to shame over ‘stage-managed’ Syria footage

The US intelligence community has been put to shame by the dedication and determination of a lone Christian nun.

Her modest study of the videos of the Syrian chemical attack shows they were productions involving staged bodies.

Mahdi D. Nazemroaya, a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst, posted this Sept. 19. 2013:

Those who take the time to  read the report by Mother Agnes and the International  Support Team for Mussalaha in Syria (ISTEAMS) will realize that  it disgraces the entire US intelligence community for endorsing  video footage that is clearly dubious and not credible upon  careful study by even a layperson.

No one denies that chemical weapons were used.

The US federal  government and the  mainstream media in the US and countries  allied to it have been playing a dirty game of equating the:

a) rejection of accusations that the Syrian  government used chemical weapons with

b) an outright  denial that chemical weapons were used.

The two are deliberately  being mixed together to confuse the general public.

The  question is who used the chemical weapons?

Little boy in red shirt in video from Zamalka (left) is seen with other children in video from Jobar (right). Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN.Little boy in red shirt in video from Zamalka (left) is seen with other children in video from Jobar (right). Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN.

 What is the US intelligence community?

Before I go any further, it has to be emphasized that the US  intelligence community is a monstrous apparatus or network that  has immense technological resources, mammoth amounts of funding,  and massive manpower.

It is a collective of all the intelligence  bodies of the US government, which is formed by 16 different  intelligence agencies.

Out of the agencies that form the US Intelligence community, one  belongs to the US Treasury, one belongs to the US Department of  State, two belong to Homeland Security, two belong to the US  Department of Justice, one belongs to the US Department of  Energy, eight belong to the Pentagon, and finally one of them is  the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is independent from  any US government department.

Same footage is used in different videos with different scenarios, according to the report. Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN.Same footage is used in different videos with different scenarios, according to the report. Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN.

The Pentagon’s intelligence agencies are:

the Air Force, ISR Agency (AFISRA), Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Marine Corps IA (MCIA), National Security Agency (NSA), National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

Aside from the non-departmental CIA, the rest of the departmental agencies are the Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Intelligence Division of  the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI), the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI), the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), the US State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), and the US Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).

Nonetheless, this gargantuan body could not see what Mother Agnes Mariam has found and submitted to the United Nations. It is job  of the agencies of the US intelligence community to examine these  videos and to authenticate them.

But they failed either to serve  US foreign policy, or to show professionalism, or both.

Instead they nominated and endorsed a sample of footage from  Syria as a means of proving that (1) the chemical weapons  were used in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta and (2)  that the Syrian government was responsible for the diabolical  attacks.

 Dubious nature of videos selected by US intel community

The US intelligence community selected or nominated 13 videos  that the Obama Administration used in their case against the  Syrian government. These videos need to be carefully looked  at.

The emphasis that US Secretary of State John Kerry put on the  videos in his scripted speech that he read out to reporters on  August 30, 2013, came across as ingenious. Kerry notably refers  to the footage from Syria and constantly uses the words “our  own eyes” and “seeing.”  He even asks that the  videos be watched by the general public. He should have been  taken to task on this, and he was through the study that Mother  Agnes has produced.

Undoubtedly there will be those who will dismiss the fact that  there is an almost total absence of adult corpses next to the  bodies of the children, nor any parents, especially mothers,  coming to claim their children. Where were the parents?

From a  cultural context, this is strikingly odd. It is highly unlikely  that the parents, especially the mothers of all these children,  would have left them alone or not rushed to where their bodies  were.

At least 9 children in the video of the Press Office of Al Marj Region (right) have been transported from Kafarbatna (left) "out of any medical or humanitarian explanation", the report claims. Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN. At least 9 children in the video of the Press Office of Al Marj Region (right) have been transported from Kafarbatna (left) “out of any medical or humanitarian explanation”, the report claims. Photo from Mother Agnes report to UN.

If the parents were not  killed, then where are they? If the parents, especially the  mothers (following the gender script of Syrian society), were  with their children, then where are their corpses?

In one video where it is stated that all the bodies are dead, we  can see that the some of the corpses are being injected with an  unknown liquid. Why?

The report also highlights the fact that there have been no  public funerals or announcements about all the dead children.  This is outside of both cultural and religious norms.

In the footage of one burial, only eight people are buried and  three of them are not even covered in white shrouds, which is a  compulsory ritual. Were these people murdered by the insurgents  and disrespectfully buried without the proper rituals as a sign  of disdain?

The identities of the dead have consistently been withheld. There is more to say on this and it should be kept in  mind.

Mother Agnes also makes a point of indicating that there is  virtually an absence of the sound of ambulances and that in the  testimonies that are used the individuals talking claim to have  smelled the chemical that was used.

Sarin gas, however, is  odorless, which raises important questions about the testimonies.

Stage-managed scenes

Even if one ignores some of the arguments in the Mother Agnes  report, there are some observations in the study that are  undeniable. These observations will lead anyone to conclude that  the scenes in the footage that the US intelligence community  nominated are stage-managed.

Some of the same bodies were planted or recycled in different  scenes and makeshift morgues that were supposed to be in  different locations. The same bodies of the same children are  spotted in different locations.

There is additional footage that either gives a contradictory  impression to that of the videos nominated by the US intelligence  community for the Obama Administration or shows that children  were being arranged and moved around.

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows bodies of children wrapped in shrouds as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013. (AFP/Shaam News Network)A handout image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network shows bodies of children wrapped in shrouds as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013. (AFP/Shaam News Network)

A horrible conclusion

Many bad things have happened in Syria, including the chemical  attack in East Ghouta. Yet there many questions that have to be  answered.

There was a massacre in Latakia on August 4, 2013 that went  unreported. The mainstream media in the US and the countries  allied to it failed to cover this or casually pass it over,  obviously because it was inconvenient to change the agenda in  Syria.

The study mentions that the relatives of children that were  abducted by the US-supported insurgents have begun to come  forward to identify their relatives in the videos. It paints an ominous picture that the bodies of these children were  prostituted to open the field in Syria for a foreign military  intervention.

Regardless of whatever position one takes on Syria, it is their  responsibility to analyze the videos from the alleged chemical  attack and pay attention to observations of Mother Agnes Mariam’s  report.

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows people inspecting bodies of children and adults laying on the ground as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013. (AFP/Shaam News Network)A handout image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network shows people inspecting bodies of children and adults laying on the ground as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013. (AFP/Shaam News Network)

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Note: From where the kids were kidnapped? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/syrian-kids-kidnapped-by-rebels-and-identified-as-gas-victims/

The Me Generation? Gen. Y to change workplace? Adam Weinstein beg to differ “I Don’t Feel Special or Entitled, And I’m Just Poor…”

Generation Y is characterized as lazy, self-centered and demanding…. What’s new in this same description of every generation?

Millennials, or Generation Y, have significantly different values, beliefs and lifestyle from the Baby Boomer generation, differences that organizations are having to adapt to for the simple reason that Millennials will dominate the workplace in the coming decade. (And who else but new generations to dominate workplace, somehow, any which way?)

Ray Williams said that the Generation Y is changing the workplace16/09/13

“By 2020, nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce will consist of Millennial, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another study predicts nearly 75% by 2025. In Canada, the forecasts are 75% by the year 2028.

I’ve had the privilege of working with scores of Gen Ys in the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow mentoring program and found them to be passionate and driven to make a difference in the world, as well as confident they can assume the role of leaders early in their careers.

Clearly these young people see their careers and the workplace very differently than do the Baby Boomers.”

Adam Weinstein posted this Sept. 17, 2013 “Fuck You. I’m Gen Y, and I Don’t Feel Special or Entitled, Just Poor

A bunch of you people on Facebook and Twitter keep sharing a Huff Po stick-figure thing about how Gen Y is unhappy because they’re unrealistic delusional ingrates.

Fuck You. I'm Gen Y, and I Don't Feel Special or Entitled, Just Poor.

You know, this thing.

If you wrote that, or you liked that, carefully consider these thoughts:

1) These are weirdly contrived generational categories, too weird for such black-and-white reasoning.

I’ve always thought myself more tail-end-of-Gen-X in temperament, age, and outlook. But ‘1977-’79 is a sociologically ambiguous no-man’s land, and we typically get lumped in with the millennial, especially when it comes to money matters.

2) Go f**k yourselves. You have no idea about student debt, underemployment, life-long renting.

“Stop feeling special” is some shitty advice. I don’t feel special or entitled, just poor.

The only thing that makes me special is I have more ballooning debt than you. I’ve tempered the hell out of my expectations of work, and I’ve exceeded those expectations crazily to have one interesting, exciting damned career that’s culminated in some leadership roles for national publications.

And I’m still poor and in debt and worked beyond the point where it can be managed with my health and my desire to actually see the son I’m helping to raise.

Younger journos see me as a success story and ask my advice, and I feel like a fraud, because I’m doing what I love, and it makes me completely miserable and exhausts me.

Last weekend my baby had a fever, and we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was – had to be – “Oh God, that could wipe out our bank account! Maybe he can just ride it out?”

Our status in this Big Financial Game had sucked my basic humanity towards my child away for a minute. If I wish for something better, is that me simply being entitled and delusional?

There are delusions at play here, but they are not our generation’s.

They play out as two contradictory lectures that we are told, simultaneously, by our moneyed elders:

1) This is AMERICA. Everybody does better than their parents!

2) This is AMERICA. Suck it up and quit bitching that you’re not as well-off as your parents!

The latter maxim lurks in the heart of every critique of millennials. It assumes that if we’re worse off than previous generations, the fault is ours, and our complaints are so much white whine. We should shut up and be content, because we do work less than our forebears, and spend more time enraptured by our own navels, trying to divine some life-affirming creative direction in them.

But there’s nothing for us to suck up, really.

As a rule, our parents did end up much more dedicated to their careers than we have.

But as a rule, they were laid off less. They didn’t intern or work as independent contractors. They got full medical. They were occasionally permitted to adopt magical unicorn-like money-granting creatures called “pensions.”

Or, barring that, they accumulated a huger 401K to cash out before the Great Recession, because they saved more.

And they saved more because the costs of college, of kid care, of health care, of doing business and staying alive and buying groceries and staying connected, were far less than they are today. They could raise a family on one salary if necessary.

They had room to advance and buy things. Yes, even the creatives. I once listened to a professor, who is in his sixties, read us the first published piece he’d been paid for, in the late 1970s. A thousand words or so. The rate, he says, was something like two bucks a word. That’s four times what the Village Voice pays today, even for an award-winning investigative cover story.

It’s geometrically greater than what most writers can earn today writing daily brilliance for nationally renowned publications online. And writing daily brilliance, which many of them do, is hard goddamned work.

If I had a dollar for every older writer or editor who confided to me that “I don’t know how young writers do it today; I certainly couldn’t,” I could buy every property that publishes them.

So no, we shan’t be doing as well as our parents, and no, we shan’t be shutting up about it.

If anything, those of us who have been cowed into silence because college-educated poor problems aren’t real poor problems should shed our fears and start talking about just how hard it really is out there, man.

This state of affairs does not exist because we’re entitled and have simply declined to work as hard as the people that birthed us.

American workers have changed from generation to generation: Since 1979, the alleged Dawn of the Millennial, the average U.S. worker has endured a 75% increase in productivity…while real wages stayed flat.

Those changes are blips on a timeline compared to the massive, psyche-altering vicissitudes of American Industry, its self-Taylorization to the point where profit-making and shareholder value have been maximized in ways that Morgans and Carnegies and Vanderbilts couldn’t even have conceived — in ways that have stiffed workers and the families they can no longer afford.

Since 1979, the top 1% of earners in America has seen their income quadruple.

So take your “revise your expectations! check your ego!” Horatio Alger bullshit, and stuff it.

While you’re at it, stuff this economy.

Not this GDP, not this unemployment level: this economy, this financial system that establishes complete social and political control over us, that conditions us to believe that we don’t deserve basic shelter and clothing and food and education and existence-sustaining medical care unless we throw our lives into vassalage and hope, pray, that the lords don’t fuck with our retirements or our coverage. (Maybe if we’re extra productive, someday they’ll do a 4o1K match again, like our ancestors used to talk about!)

Take the system that siphons off our capacities for human flourishing in hopes that we get thrown a little coin of the realm in return.

Take that system and blow it up, you cowards.

Oh, and also, stop thinking that you’re special.

Note: What are the other kinds of millennial? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/millennial-boomer-and-gen-x-generations-whats-the-differences/

From the Mouths of Rapists: The Lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines

Sezin Koehler posted this Sept. 18, 2013:

Robin Thicke’s summer hit Blurred Lines addresses what he considers to be sounds like a grey area between consensual sex and assault.

The images in this post place the song into a real-life context.  They are from Project Unbreakable, an online photo essay exhibit, and feature images of women and men holding signs with sentences that their rapist said before, during, or after their assault.   Let’s begin.

I know you want it.

Thicke sings “I know you want it,” a phrase that many sexual assault survivors report their rapists saying to justify their actions, as demonstrated over and over in the Project Unbreakable testimonials.

1 2

You’re a good girl.

Thicke further sings “You’re a good girl,” suggesting that a good girl won’t show her reciprocal desire (if it exists). This becomes further proof in his mind that she wants sex: for good girls, silence is consent and “no” really means “yes.”

3 4

Calling an adult a “good girl” in this context resonates with the virgin/whore dichotomy.

The implication in Blurred Lines is that because the woman is not responding to a man’s sexual advances, which of course are irresistible, she’s hiding her true sexual desire under a façade of disinterest.

Thicke is singing about forcing a woman to perform both the good girl and bad girl roles in order to satisfy the man’s desires.

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Thicke and company, as all-knowing patriarchs, will give her what he knows she wants (sex), even though she’s not actively consenting, and she may well be rejecting the man outright.

5 6

Do you like it hurt, do it like it hurt, what you don’t like work?

This lyric suggests that women are supposed to enjoy pain during sex or that pain is part of sex:

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The woman’s desires play no part in this scenario – except insofar as he projects whatever he pleases onto her — another parallel to the act of rape: sexual assault is generally not about sex, but rather about a physical and emotional demonstration of power.

The way you grab me. Must wanna get nasty.

This is victim-blaming.

Everybody knows that if a woman dances with a man it means she wants to sleep with him, right? And if she wears a short skirt or tight dress she’s asking for it, right? And if she even smiles at him it means she wants it, right?  Wrong.  A dance, an outfit, a smile — sexy or not — does not indicate consent.

This idea, though, is pervasive and believed by rapists.

1015

And women, according to Blurred Lines, want to be treated badly.

Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you. He don’t smack your ass and pull your hair like that.

In this misogynistic fantasy, a woman doesn’t want a “square” who’ll treat her like a human being and with respect. She would rather be degraded and abused for a man’s gratification and amusement, like the women who dance around half naked humping dead animals in the music video.

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The pièce de résistance of the non-censored version of Blurred Lines is this lyric:

I’ll give you something to tear your ass in two.

What better way to show a woman who’s in charge than violent, non-consensual sodomy?

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Ultimately, Robin Thicke’s rape anthem is about male desire and male dominance over a woman’s personal sexual agency. The rigid definition of masculinity makes the man unable to accept the idea that sometimes his advances are not welcome.

Thus, instead of treating a woman like a human being and respecting her subjectivity, she’s relegated to the role of living sex doll whose existence is naught but for the pleasure of a man.

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In Melinda Hugh’s Lame Lines parody of Thicke’s song she sings, “You think I want it/ I really don’t want it/ Please get off it.”

The Law Revue Girls “Defined Lines” response to Blurred Lines notes, “Yeah we don’t want it/ It’s chauvinistic/ You’re such a bigot.”

Rosalind Peters says in her one-woman retort, “Let’s clear up something mate/ I’m here to have fun/ I’m not here to get raped.”

There are no “blurred lines.” There is only one line: consent.

And the absence of consent is a crime.

Sezin Koehler is an informal ethnographer and novelist living in Florida. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Note: Can you discriminate among sexual harassment cases? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/can-you-identify-sexual-harassment-by-facts-circumstantial-evidences-or-plainly-the-perception-of-harassment/ 


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