March 28, 2015
This Democracy Now! report from this past Friday is so shock full of bombshells, one barely knows where to begin, so I’ll
just start from the top:
– The UN has rejected the annexation of Crimea to Russia.
– The UN Human Rights Committee has issued a wide-ranging report criticizing the human rights record of the United States. The report assessed U.S. compliance with a key human rights treaty and found it lacking in more than two dozen areas.
Issues of concern included the Obama administration’s drone program, National Security Agency spying, the death penalty, detention of homeless people and immigrants, life sentences imposed on juveniles, racial profiling and police brutality.
The committee called for closing GuantÃ¡namo, releasing the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the George W. Bush administration’s torture and rendition program, and prosecuting those involved in torturing prisoners.
– 400,000 Iraqis have been displaced in the past year of non-stop violence in that country, with thirty killed in Baghdad by IEDs during the past week.
– President Obama met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, amid the jeers of protestors of his policies, including the dread TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership: a proposed trade agreement under negotiation by (as of August 2013) between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
Global health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labor, advocacy groups, and elected officials have criticized and protested the negotiations, in large part because of the proceedings’ secrecy, the agreement’s expansive scope, and controversial clauses in drafts leaked publicly.
Internet activist are concerned about clauses reminiscent of SOPA and PIPA, both of which have been shit down by US Congress, what may possibly be the best two decisions they have made in recent memory.
– BP has doubled its estimate about the leak of crude petroleum from an Indiana refinery of Alberta Tar Sands crude into Lake Michigan, which provides water for several million people in that region. Their current estimate is that 39 barrels have leaked.
– And the kicker: the US Air Force has fired another 9 commanders, entrusted with the oversight of nuclear weapons, due to a cheating scandal at Malstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana. A 10th has also resigned, amid wide-spread reports that hey were cheating on exams.
– Governor Chris Christie’s lawyer maintains that his client, a Republican Presidential candidate-hopeful in the 2016 elections had no knowledge of the bridge closings, after a $1M investigation paid for by taxpayers was not allowed to interview key figures in the case, including the Port Authority Officer who enforced the bridge closings and Christie’s assistant who had OK’ed the closings…
– The US has been rated as #5 at executing the most people who are sentenced to execution, following China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. (Glad we’re in such distinguished company!)
…and so it goes…