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News: ‘General’ Archive

Jeremy Scahill’s War or War. Video of Dirty War discussion at SF Commonwealth

Friday, May 24th, 2013

May 9, 2013, San Francisco

Jeremy Scahill spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on a variety of topics covered in his book “Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield”, including drone strikes on American citizens, Awlaki’s Facebook wife, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s speech against the war, and the ideal role of journalists and the press. He also mentioned a Dirty Wars movie version in the works which was a winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Scahill was ‘interrogated’ by Barry Eisler, novelist and former CIA Operative.


Selected Excerpts

7:35 “And now here we are, twelve years later, and President Obama is using this AUMF to go after people, some of whom were toddlers on 9-11, which was passed to go after the people responsible for the 9-11 attacks…”

7:54 “But there’s something that no one ever talks about, article two of the Constitution, the commander in chief clauses. Cheney and Rumsfeld believe that that made the president a dictator when it comes to national security policy, and the Obama administration has continued to interpret it that way. So what we’ve really seen is a bipartisan power grab by the executive branch that was legitimized by a Constitutional law professor/Nobel peace prize winning president.”

Jeremy Scahill

“The whole war machine is just like one catastrophic threat to the environment writ large” ~ Jeremy Scahill

36:57 “We have an obligation to go to the other side of the barrel of the gun and talk to the people that we’re being told are our enemies…. We have an obligation to tell the stories of people in countries around the world who are impacted by our policies. in operations paid for with our money, and that telling their story is part of fighting for the future of our country too.”

Jeremy Scahill

“What we’ve really seen is a bipartisan power grab by the executive branch that was legitimized by a Constitutional law professor/Nobel peace prize winning president” ~ Jeremy Scahill

“And I think that’s what good journalism does, it’s twofold, it gives voice to the voiceless and it holds those in power accountable. And at the end of the day what I want this book to be is actionable intelligence for citizens to make – it’s an intelligence term – I want it to be actionable intelligence that people can use to inform their decisions on what the policy should be or shouldn’t be and decide whether they want to get off their butt and try to do something about it.”

Jeremy Scahill

“Empathy is a powerful powerful force, and at the end of the day I think that empathy results in people standing up for themselves and standing up for others.” ~ Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill

Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield book signing

Report by James George

China: High and dry – FT.com

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

‘Chinese officials identify water scarcity as one of the nation’s most pressing difficulties. The problems are social, political and economic. This year Beijing for the first time issued water quotas to every province, setting targets for annual consumption by 2015.’

via China: High and dry – FT.com.

BBC News – Elderly nun convicted over US nuclear site break-in

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

‘An elderly Catholic nun and two peace activists have been convicted for damage they caused while breaking into a US nuclear defence site.’

via BBC News – Elderly nun convicted over US nuclear site break-in.

This is the end: Team of experts say humanity faces extinction | The Sideshow – Yahoo! News

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

‘A team of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute say there is ever-increasing evidence that the human race’s reliance on technology could, in fact, lead to its demise.’

via This is the end: Team of experts say humanity faces extinction | The Sideshow – Yahoo! News.

Coastal panel rejects Navy’s plan to boost underwater blasts – latimes.com

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

‘SAN DIEGO — Citing the danger to whales and other sea life, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously Friday to reject the Navy’s plan for increased use of sonar and underwater explosives for training off Southern California.’

via Coastal panel rejects Navy’s plan to boost underwater blasts – latimes.com.

Seawater desalination plant might be just a drop in the bucket – latimes.com

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

‘In Carlsbad, the nation’s largest desalination facility will require lots of energy — and money. It is expected to provide no more than a tenth of San Diego County ratepayers’ overall water supply.’

via Seawater desalination plant might be just a drop in the bucket – latimes.com.

Some plastics should be classified as hazardous, scientists say – latimes.com

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

‘Less than half of the 280 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the landfill. A fair bit of the rest ends up littering the landscape, blown by the wind or washed down streams and rivers into the sea.’

via Some plastics should be classified as hazardous, scientists say – latimes.com.

What the Doha Climate Talks Could Do for Sustainable Development – NYTimes.com

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

‘While participants at last year’s climate meeting in Durban, South Africa, agreed on an extension of the troubled Kyoto Protocol, it is at this year’s meeting in Doha, Qatar, that policy makers have to agree on the pesky details, including long-term emission reduction goals.’

via What the Doha Climate Talks Could Do for Sustainable Development – NYTimes.com.

Dr. James Hansen wins Schneider Award for Climate Science Communication

Monday, November 26th, 2012

‘November 26, San Francisco – Climate One at The Commonwealth Club announced today that NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen will be awarded the second annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. The $10,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. The award was established this year in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology who died suddenly in 2010.’

The award will be presented at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Dec. 4th.

Report by James George

Governor Jerry Brown Supports Prop 30 in San Francisco

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

November 1, 2012, San Francisco

With less that a week to go before the election, California Governor Jerry Brown appeared at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to make his case for Proposition 30, which would provide funding for public education at a time when the state is facing major education cutbacks. This video features Governor Brown’s opening statement, which was followed with answers to audience questions read by the moderator Joseph Fink. The crowd appeared to enjoy the Governor’s varied and entertaining oratory, one moment speaking as a passionate political spokesman, the next as a blunt hard nosed budget negotiator, occasionally joking and providing comic relief, and at other times speaking with a sermon-like quality, referring to his time in seminary and making the moral case for a more equitable society.

Prop 30 Audience
“We face not only a political question, not only an economic question, but a moral question. Our society is held together by the contributions of all of us.” ~ Jerry Brown
Prop 30 Audience
“We don’t stay on top by disinvesting in our schools, by disinvesting in our colleges and great University of California. The case for proposition 30 is crystal clear. Invest in the California dream. Keep the creativity and the innovation alive and well, and expanding and intensifying”
Prop 30 Audience
“This is a vibrant, creative place. One of the most extraordinary pieces of real estate and collection of human beings in the whole world. Our exports are up 17% to 108 billion. Venture capital investment in California is half of what the rest of the country gets and of course we’re leading it in the clean tech investment and the clean tech production. Patents are issued in California at four times the rate of the next state which is New York.” ~ Governor Jerry Brown
Prop 30 Audience
“California’s on the move again, adding jobs and investment in our state at a higher rate. We have to build for the future to insure that growth. This means temporary revenue to invest in our schools.” ~ Governor Brown

“Looking back to my seminary education, I refer to Saint Luke who said in his gospel, chapter 12, verse 48, ‘to those to whom much is given, much is required’. We face not only a political question, not only an economic question, but a moral question. Our society is held together by the contributions of all of us, all 38 million. We all do what we can so each of us, do what we can, and for those who have been most blessed, we’re going to ask you for seven years. The biblical seven years. Lean years, fat years, you’ve had ‘em both. So now as we face this difficult period ahead, I believe proposition 30 comes at just the right time with just the right formula. That’s the case for prop 30. It’s pretty simple. ”
“I can reduce it even more summarily, and that is, money into the schools and colleges, into the California dream, or out. In or out, yes or no, on or off, there’s no middle way. Or, if I can quote my Latin, tertsium non datum. A third way is not given. It’s yes or no.”

“In sum, we cleaned up a big budget mess, and now we have a structurally balanced budget for the first time in a decade. By California putting our fiscal house in order, we’ve been upgraded by the rating agencies. They’re now saying we’re positive. We’ve lowered our borrowing cost, and California’s on the move again, adding jobs and investment in our state at a higher rate. We have to build for the future to insure that growth. This means temporary revenue to invest in our schools.”

report by James George