tagged w/ militias
In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a gun. One paragraph in the Scalia opinion has shaped gun legislation since the Heller decision. Scalia wrote:
“nothing in his opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
Clearly, the Founders had no laws banning guns in schools and government buildings, nor laws prohibiting the mentally ill from possessing guns, or legal requirements for commercial gun dealers. These restrictions obviously reflected Scalia’s personal interpretation and beliefs. Quite an irony and contradiction for such a strict constitutional originalist.
The gun right’s advocates and the Supreme Court ignore the historical context in which the Second Amendment was derived. America was a new nation fighting for independence. There was no standing Army, so citizens (men) were implored to arm.
Read more.......In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second... more
1 month ago
One woman's enterprise helps DR Congo's rape survivors find healing and an independent income through farming.
In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, every hour in the day some 48 women are raped. That is around 1,100 rapes a day, leaving many thousands of women and children with broken lives and little hope for their futures.
Desange: 'I wanted to kill myself'
Rachel: 'I feel a lot of emptiness inside me'
Masika: 'It's not the end of the world'
But one woman, herself a rape survivor, is helping to change some of these lives for the better. Masika has set up a place where rape survivors can get support, counselling and, uniquely, start to make a living.
With bits and pieces of money she raises, Masika rents a field where the women sow, tend and harvest crops, giving them an income as well as a sense of purpose and direction after their traumas.
The women, and also their children born of rape, are often hated, abandoned and abused further, but with remarkable compassion Masika takes in yet more abused women and children.
Despite these impossible circumstances, this Field of Hope helps the women find dignity, purpose, economic independence and some power to rebuild their lives.
"We women have something precious that everybody seems to be after," says Masika.
"Here in Congo they go into villages and loot. And after looting, they never leave without raping. That's why I say we've become weapons of war in Congo."
What is happening in the Democratic Republic Of Congo is nothing short of hell on Earth. This woman is a heroine. I was numb after watching this video. Facing a world most of us cannot even comprehend these women find hope in planting seeds and faith in each other. These are the stories of truth and humanity and the evils of this world we need to see. If you don't feel outraged by this you aren't alive.
This is just one story of thousands showing the reality of survival in the DRC and as hopeful as this is we also need to reflect on the US role in foreign policy and aid that precipitates these horrors.
More at the linkOne woman's enterprise helps DR Congo's rape survivors find healing and an... more
The risk of violence coming from the radical right in the US is high, and increasing. But it is only the logical consequence of a culture that promotes polarization and overreaction over finding consensus in political and public discourse.The risk of violence coming from the radical right in the US is high, and increasing.... more
Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center & Mr.Gary Berntsen, Concerned Veterans of America & led the "Jawbreaker" team into Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 join Thom Hartmann. Four U.S. Army soldiers have been arrested on charges of murder and have also been accused of plotting to assassinate President Obama and overthrow the government. Is this just an isolated incident - or do other members of the military pose a threat of domestic terrorism?Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center & Mr.Gary Berntsen, Concerned Veterans of... more
This message is to the Libyan people, but particularly to the leaders of militias, “gangs”, the Green Resistance, and whatever other leader, amongst the COMMON people, that I have left out. I am no one special. I am a citizen of the United States, whose government, unfortunately, is filled to the brim with DEMONS–a problem that good people here hope will one day be solved. On behalf of the good citizens of the United States, I APOLOGIZE for the conduct of our government in helping to destroy Libya. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/43061-open-letter-to-the-libyan-people-of-an-american-citizen
----- A video showing the rebel attack against civilians in Misrata Taouerga (11 February 2012) --- video comment ---- thanks nato this is what Libya is now! A video showing the rebel attack against civilians in Misrata Taouerga (February 11, 2012) Rebels attack against civilians in Misrata Taouerga in a camp rises to 12 dead and 30 injured children and women. The TV version of the Al Jazeera is that the rebels of Misrata where looking for pro Gaddafi people in the camp Taouerga.This message is to the Libyan people, but particularly to the leaders of militias,... more
1 year ago
U.N. declares famine in southern Somalia
By Robyn Dixon | 2:19 p.m.
To declare a famine, child malnutrition must be at 30% or higher, daily deaths at two per 10,000 people and people are not able to access food and other basic necessities.
U.N. declares famine in southern Somalia
Famine, a highly technical term, means that the rate of child malnutrition and deaths in two areas of southern Somalia, a country riven by fighting and drought, has risen. Agencies appeal for aid.
PHOTO: Eleven-month-old Abdifatah Hassan, suffering from severe malnutrition, is cared for at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders at a camp housing Somali refugees in Dadaab, Kenya. The United Nations officially declared famine in two regions of southern Somalia, saying child malnutrition rates exceed 30% and as many as six children age 5 or younger are dying daily. The region is suffering its worst drought in 60 years and tens of thousands are feared dead.
(Roberto Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images / July 4, 2011)
By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
July 20, 2011, 2:19 p.m.
Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa—
For months, people have been trudging out of the desert, leaving their dead children behind and carrying those who have managed to survive. On Wednesday, the horror of hunger and death unfolding in the Horn of Africa officially got a name: famine.
It's actually a very technical term — unless you're one of those walking for weeks in a last-ditch hope to save your family.
For the United Nations to declare a famine, as it did at a news conference in Nairobi, child malnutrition must be at 30% or higher, daily deaths at two per 10,000 people and people are not able to access food and other basic necessities.
According to Unicef, the U.N. agency that focuses on children, the rate of child malnutrition rate in southern Somalia has doubled in a single month; in some places it has reached 55% and infant deaths have increased to six per day.
Yet the global response has been dismal. An appeal late last year for $535 million to address the need is still more than $250 million short. Officials hope the famine declaration will help focus global attention on the Horn of Africa.
Across the country, about 3.7 million people, half the population, are facing starvation, with an estimated 2.8 million of them in the south. The agency says another 6.3 million in other countries in the Horn of Africa affected by hunger.
It's the worst African hunger crisis in 20 years, according the Rozanne Chorlton, Unicef's representative on Somalia. The last time things were this dire in Africa was 1991. Then, as now, it was in Somalia.
The U.N. famine declaration Wednesday formally covered two regions of southern Somalia, Bakool and Lower Shabelle, where farmers' crops failed and their livestock died. Malnutrition rates exceed 30% and more than six children age 5 or younger are dying daily in some areas. But in coming months, neighboring regions will inevitably fall into famine too, said Mark Bowden, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia.
U.N. and non-governmental agencies are appealing for $300 million in the next two months to increase their operations in the worst-hit areas.
If it seems extraordinary that millions of Africans can be facing starvation in 2011, despite the focus of a raft of humanitarian agencies and their early-warning networks, it is, Bowden said.
Part of the problem is that many donors had written off Somalia as too hard, he said in a telephone interview. Aid agencies must grapple with a long-running civil conflict and Somalia's extremist Shabab militia, which controls much of the south, where the worst hunger is.
"We have good warning systems, but we don't always listen to them, particularly if we put some countries in the too-difficult-to-deal-with basket," Bowden said.
Two decades with no government and the failure of successive efforts to restore peace have left donors cynical. The country's global reputation for piracy and mayhem have done it no favors.
The 1991 Somalia famine occurred after civil war destroyed agriculture and clan warlords hijacked humanitarian aid, leading to the U.S.-led Operation Restore Hope. That resulted in bloody fighting with militias in Mogadishu portrayed in the book and film "Black Hawk Down."
But Bowden, who recently met Somali refugees walking to Ethiopia, said the problem today was mainly one of successive drought, compounded by global warming.
"They are victims of drought. They are also victims of climate change. They're people who have lost everything after years of successive drought."
The situation is complicated by the Shabab, which in the past has imposed informal taxes on humanitarian agencies, limited their access, and demanded they send female staff home. The World Food Program withdrew early last year from areas controlled by the Shabab because of security threats and unacceptable working conditions. It recently announced it would resume it work there if conditions allowed.
Aid agencies have been negotiating access with local leaders, but security remains uncertain.
"We need predictability," Unicef's Chorlton said in a telephone interview. "The important thing is that those who are there [in Somalia] should be able to act unhindered to deliver the services to children and families that are so desperately needed."
Unicef has doubled its food, health and water programs in Somalia, she said.
"Somalis have always helped each other to cope in times of crisis, and they have been incredibly resilient over the years. I think what has not been quantified is that people's resistance has been so undermined over the last year, it's no longer adequate to the task," she said. "The issue is now we need donors to massively increase their contribution."
.U.N. declares famine in southern Somalia
By Robyn Dixon | 2:19 p.m.
To declare... more
New Az. State Rep wants to form the Arizona Militia to guard the border. Something all of us should consider, a State militia and Civil Defense accountable to the Governor. No sense in not being ready.
More on the Global Chessboard Series - Yes, another Border Patrol agent on the Arizona border was shot and killed by Mexican drug smugglers last month. There were eight attackers this time with four in custody Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was part of a border tactical unit (BORTAC) tracking armed drug smugglers 15 miles northwest of Nogales, Ariz., when the team was attacked with automatic weapons. The area is well-known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, and the smugglers are known to be armed with AK-47s and tactical battle weapons. The captured smugglers had AK-47s and backpacks filled with ammunition, food and radios. There are rumors that three of the captured four are members of the Mexican military, but that is unconfirmed. Yet, it would not be the first time Mexican police and military have been apprehended smuggling drugs into the United States.http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/forum/topics/arizona-militiaNew Az. State Rep wants to form the Arizona Militia to guard the border. Something all... more
A Terra de Direitos - Organization for Human Rights (http://terradedireitos.org.br/) published a case study on the various human rights violations by Syngenta Seeds, multinational agribusiness corporation which produces genetically modified seeds and pesticides.
The actions that violate include murder, physical and moral violence against landless rural workers, maintenance of private armed militias, carrying out forced evictions without a court order, tampering with poisons, soil contamination with pesticides, contamination of agro-biodiversity with GM seeds, criminalization of social movements, among many other actions.
Read below the full text.
In the Matter of Syngenta: GMOs, Pesticides and Violence
This case brings several main aspects of human rights violations by Syngenta Seeds, multinational agribusiness corporation which produces genetically modified seeds and pesticides. The actions that violate include murder, physical and moral violence against the landless rural workers, maintenance of private militias armed, carrying out forced evictions without a court order, tampering with poisons, soil contamination with pesticides, contamination of agro-biodiversity with GM seeds, criminalization of social, among many other actions.
A Terra de Direitos has initiated direct action against the transnational since the complaint made by IBAMA in 2006, together with Via Campesina. The main reason was to perform experiments with illegal transgenic seeds in the buffer zone of Iguaçu National Park, the city of Santa Tereza do Oeste, west of Paraná. The company was fined a million dollars.
Aiming to denounce human rights violations by Syngenta, the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) occupied the area. After the occupation, the workers were attacked by an armed private militia, hired by Syngenta that caused injury to more than 10 people and the death of landless rural worker Valmir Motta de Oliveira, also known as Keno.
The case was reported in Brazil, in international courts and also in the country of origin of the company [Switzerland]. Beyond the procedural questions about the use of militias, the death of Keno and the illegal planting of GMOs, the case raises Syngenta Seeds controversy over the role of transnational corporations, which have many incentives, have many rights but have a few obligations, which makes it very difficult to hold them accountable for rights violations.
Since 1998 the Brazilian subsidiary of the Swiss company Syngenta Seeds maintained an experimental field, with an area of 127 hectares, in Santa Tereza do Oeste, 6 km from the Iguaçu National Park. Disregarding environmental laws and the Park Management Plan, the company made a series of environmental crimes, conducting experiments with genetically modified soya and maize, which in March 2006 led to IBAMA fining it 1 million reais.
To denounce the crimes committed by Syngenta, the activists from Via Campesina occupied the experiment station, on March 14, 2006, during the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP / MOP) in Brazil. The occupation of the experimental field had wider repercussions and international support, including organizing a visit by environmentalists from over 15 countries occupied the area during the Convention.
The 70 families remained in the area until November 2006 when the state of Parana enforced the injunction of ejectment issued by the State Court of Cascavel. Still, the families returned to the site after the area was expropriated by the State Government for creating a Center for Agroecology. After 16 months of resistance, on July 18, 2007, fulfilling a court order, the families moved to the settlement Benario Olga, also in Santa Tereza do Oeste.
In October 2007, some 200 workers from Via Campesina reoccupied the Experimental Farm after rumors that Syngenta would resume the illegal experiments, which would expose the park and nearby conventional crops to the danger of contamination by GM crops. In addition, Syngenta had not paid the fine imposed by IBAMA.
Hours after the reoccupation, more than 30 heavily armed men dressed in uniform and the company "NF Security" invaded the area and fired workers. After shooting Valmir Mota ("Keno") shot in the leg, they executed a point blank shot in the chest. The militia also tried to shoot the worker Isabel do Nascimento de Souza in the head, which resulted in the loss of one eye and the movement of the left part of the body. Three other workers were injured and a security guard was killed by members of his own militia to shoot wildly, as indicated by police. The "NF Security” was acting erratically in the area, together with the Western Rural Society (ORS) and the Movement of Rural Producers (MPR), representatives of local landowners.
Via Campesina demanded punishment of those responsible for crimes - especially the principals - the disbandment of armed militias in the region and the immediate closure of the NF Security company. The concern was also to ensure security and protection to the lives of other leaders, prime targets of attack as well as all employees of Via Campesina in the region.
A prosecution was brought as a result of crimes committed during the action against the NF Security company workers and rural workers. No person and no principal of the Syngenta Corporation was terminated. Only the owner of NF Security and nine gunmen were denounced for their crimes.
continuedA Terra de Direitos - Organization for Human Rights (http://terradedireitos.org.br/)... more
Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.
Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.
"Is it scary? It sure is," said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"
Thus far, the discussions have been exploratory. Even the proponents say they don't know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates. Critics also asserted that the force could inflame extremism, and that the National Guard already provides for the state's military needs.
"Have they heard of the Oklahoma City bombing?" said Joseph Thai, a constitutional law professor at the University of Oklahoma. The state observes the 15th anniversary of the anti-government attack on Monday. Such actions could "throw fuel in the fire of radicals," he said.
more at link...Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative... more
Gorillas could disappear from most of Africa's Greater Congo Basin within 10 to 15 years unless immediate action is taken to combat the illegal activities of militias, counter poaching and safeguard gorilla habitats, the United Nations and the international police organization INTERPOL warned in a report released today.
Illegal logging, mining, charcoal production and increased demand for bushmeat, plus deadly outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are wiping out Congo Basin gorillas faster than the UN Environment Programme estimated just eight years ago.
The Rapid Response Assessment report, entitled "The Last Stand of the Gorilla - Environmental Crime and Conflict in the Congo Basin," finds that militias in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo are behind much of the illegal trade, estimated to be worth several hundred million dollars a year.
The report was issued at an ongoing meeting of delegates from 175 governments who are Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES.
David Higgins, manager of the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme, said, "The gorillas are yet another victim of the contempt shown by organized criminal gangs for national and international laws aimed at defending wildlife. The law enforcement response must be internationally co-coordinated, strong and united, and INTERPOL is uniquely placed to facilitate this."
"We are committed to combating all forms of environmental crime on a global scale," Higgins said. "INTERPOL is mandated to do so by providing law enforcement agencies in all our 188 member countries with the intelligence exchange, operational support, and capacity building needed to combat this world-spanning crime."
The report finds that smuggled or illegally-harvested minerals such as diamonds, gold and coltan along with timber ends up crossing borders, passing through middle men and companies before being shipped on to countries in Asia, the European Union and the Gulf.
The export of timber and minerals is estimated to be two to 10 times the officially recorded level, and is claimed to be handled by front companies in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
The illegal trade is in part due to the militias being in control of border crossings which, along with demanding road tax payments, may be generating between $14 million and $50 million annually, which in turn helps fund their activities.
The insecurity in the region has driven hundreds of thousands of people into refugee camps. Logging and mining camps, perhaps with links to militias, are hiring poachers to supply refugees and markets in towns across the region with bushmeat - meat fromm wild animals, increasingly gorillas.
"This is a tragedy for the great apes and one also for countless other species being impacted by this intensifying and all too often illegal trade," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
* continued below in comments
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2010/2010-03-24-01.htmlGorillas could disappear from most of Africa's Greater Congo Basin within 10 to... more
The Strange Case of Kristopher Sickles and the Hutaree Militia
March 29, 2010
One of the men arrested in the FBI and Homeland Security raids on the Hutaree Militia in Michigan last weekend appeared on the Alex Jones Show in 2009 after it was widely suspected he was a government operative.
Click here to Watch...Hutaree Militia Suspect Kristopher Sickles Interviewed as “Pale Horse” 2009…4 VIDEOS…Sadistic Fantasies...http://ctpatriot1970.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/hutaree-militia-suspect-kristopher-sickles-interviewed-as-pale-horse-2009-4-videos-sadistic-fantasies/
Kristopher Sickles, aka “Pale Horse” (a reference to the late William Cooper’s book Behold a Pale Horse), is named in the federal indictment against members of the Hutaree Militia. He is reportedly a member of the Ohio Militia.The Strange Case of Kristopher Sickles and the Hutaree Militia
Kurt Nimmo... more
Former USMC Sgt. Charles Dyer is the organizer of a Tea Party offshoot called the Oath Keepers, a group dedicated to recruiting military personnel into the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Dyer works as a liaison between militia groups and the Tea Party and last year spoke at a Tea Party rally in Oklahoma. On Tuesday, Dyer was arrested for the rape of a 7 year-old girl. During his arrest, police found a grenade launcher in his home.Former USMC Sgt. Charles Dyer is the organizer of a Tea Party offshoot called the Oath... more
Militias are the on the rise. Is this a sign of a brewing American extremism or a new era of American patriotism?Militias are the on the rise. Is this a sign of a brewing American extremism or a new... more
Is the U.S. already at war with Iran? In "America's Secret War in Iran," Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to the Iraq-Iran border to investigate claims that the United States is supporting militant groups that are attacking Iran. In the rugged Qandil mountains, she meets with up with anti-Iranian guerillas who have been launching deadly raids against the Islamic Republic. A good percentage of the fighters are women, and Mariana accompanies a small group of them through what many believe has become the frontline of the U.S.'s secret war with Iran.Is the U.S. already at war with Iran? In "America's Secret War in... more
Alive in Baghdad brings you interviews with Iraqi families struggling to survive the sectarian violence.
Iraq, Baghdad/Saediya/Adhamiya - The sectarian conflict in Iraq was one of the main problems that has continued to limit stability and security in certain Iraqi provinces. Many people were forced to sell their house and flee to other neighborhoods or to leave Iraq entirely. In other cases they were not able to sell any of their property such as cars or furniture, and had to flee immediately.
According to the International Herald Tribune, the highest number of casualties due to violence was in September 2006 when approximately 2600 Iraqis were killed. According to icasualites.org, more than 3300 civilians were killed in this period. At the end of 2006 the Iraqi Minister of Health shocked the world by announcing that 150,000 Iraqis had been killed during the war by October 2006, more than three times previous accepted estimates.
Many of the casualties were because of the actions of Al-Qaeda and other Sunni militias or insurgents. On the other hand Shia militias such as the Badr Brigade and others were taking different techniques, for example kidnapping and assassinating Iraqis, and both sides created a great number of refugees and internally-displaced families.
Sunni neighborhoods like Adhamiya in Baghdad found themselves hosting Sunni refugees who fled death threats from Shia Areas such as Khalis, Karbala, Najaf, and others. The internally displaced families were desperate to find shelter, some forced to live in tents in camps inside Adhamiya. Some local residents of the neighborhoods donated items like heaters, blankets, and food to help those families. Some families who were lucky were able to make a deal with a Shi’a family who was displaced form Adhamiya, and thereby find a home to shelter them during the worst violence.
Shia areas like Sadr City have hosted Shia refugees from Sunni conflict zones like Abu Ghraib, Anbar province, and Falluja specifically. The Sadr movement has provided some of the help for these refugees, like food, blankets, and helping them by sheltering them in properties belonging to the Sadr Movement. Other families in Sadr City decided to host some of the families in their own homes.
The common rumors in Baghdad are that the Badr Brigade is kidnapping Iraqi Sunnis, and the Mahdi Army is kidnapping Sunni Iraqi as well. On the Shia side the common belief is that Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Army’s main purpose is the removal of all Shia from Iraq and to cut any kind of connection with Iran, and the Iraqi citizens find themselves confused whom to believe, the Iraqi government or a religious militia?
Alive in Baghdad brings you interviews with some of those Iraqi who are suffering all those problems every day.
Alive in Baghdad brings you interviews with Iraqi families struggling to survive the... more