Archive for ‘Military’

December 4, 2011

Police Shoot Man “Wielding” Hammer

by Ben Hoffman

A Denver police officer shot a hammer-wielding man who allegedly tried to attack the officer this afternoon behind a south Denver Kmart, authorities report.

The patrolman, whose name has not been released, was parked behind the store doing paperwork around 1:30 p.m.

The suspect was taken to Denver Health in critical condition.

“The suspect was wielding a hammer. The officer fired his duty weapon striking the suspect,” Ferrari said.

Read more…

The police in Denver are out of control. They work for the government (us) and are members of unions, but there seems to be no accountability for their actions. We are becoming a police state where attacks on citizens are becoming more and more frequent. There are very few deadly attacks on police yet murders committed by police have become a regular occurrence and few are ever punished. It’s rare that an officer will even be docked pay for their attacks, many of which are unprovoked.

November 26, 2011

George Carlin Talks About Reagan and the Republicans

by Ben Hoffman

It’s no wonder right-wingers are so angry. They don’t have any comedians on their side (any funny ones, anyway). Their music sucks. They don’t like science because it doesn’t fit their ideology. They have to rewrite history to make it fit their world view. They lie to criticize Democrats and lie to defend Republicans.

Right-wingers are pathetic excuses for human beings, which is why they need religion to provide some comfort that if they believe in some mythological supernatural being, they’ll go to some imaginary place when they die.

November 19, 2011

Police Assault Yet Another War Veteran

by Ben Hoffman

Video footage has emerged of a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran so hard that he suffered a ruptured spleen in an apparently unprovoked incident at a recent Occupy protest in California.

The footage, which has been shared with the Guardian, shows Kayvan Sabehgi standing in front of a police line on the night of Occupy Oakland’s general strike on 2 November, when he is set upon by an officer.

He does not appear to be posing any threat, nor does he attempt to resist, yet he is hit numerous times by an officer clad in riot gear who appears determined to beat him to the ground.

Sabehgi, 32, an Oakland resident and former marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has since undergone surgery on his spleen. He says it took hours for him to be taken to hospital, despite complaining of severe pain. Police have told the Guardian they are investigating the incident.

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October 31, 2011

Iraq Mission: End of an Error

by Ben Hoffman

October 31, 2011

Police and Protesters Clash. Denver Makes National News.

by Ben Hoffman

DENVER — The simmering tension near the Colorado Capitol escalated dramatically Saturday with more than a dozen arrests, reports of skirmishes between police and protesters and authorities firing rounds of pellets filled with pepper spray at supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
View slideshow

Officers in riot gear moved into a park late in the day where protesters were attempting to establish an encampment, hauling off demonstrators just hours after a standoff at the Capitol steps degenerated into a fight that ended in a cloud of Mace and pepper spray.


Earlier in the day about 2,000 protesters rallying against what they see as economic inequality and corporate greed marched downtown toward the Capitol, setting up the most intense moments of the Denver movement, which has lasted weeks.

A group of the marchers advanced toward the building and some tried to make their way up the steps. About eight officers scuffled with a group of protesters and police confirmed that they used Mace and fired pepper balls – hollow projectiles filled with the chemical irritant – to break up the crowd. Protesters told the paper at the time that they believed police used rubber bullets.

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It’s good to see Denver getting some national attention, although it’s mainly due to a few rogue protesters and a few bad cops.

October 26, 2011

Veteran shot in the face by police projectile at Occupy Oakland protests

by Ben Hoffman
October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters are Pitting Americans Against Americans!!!

by Ben Hoffman

October 21, 2011

American Exceptionalism Creeping Back

by Ben Hoffman

When was the last time you heard another country thank us for anything?

September 27, 2011

Cowardly N.Y. Police Officer Who Maced Peaceful Protesters is Anthony Bologna

by Ben Hoffman

The Guardian is reporting that Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna also stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush. Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing a protester at the event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer in 2007.

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September 12, 2011

Paul Krugman – The Shame of 9/11

by Ben Hoffman

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.


Krugman is absolutely right. But what’s really shameful is the lack of interest by the media in how we were allowed to be attacked when there were plenty of warnings. Hell, Bush knew that an attack was coming. Why else would there have been surface-to-air missiles installed on the roof of his hotel in Florida? Why wasn’t the second World Trade Center tower immediately evacuated after the first plane hit? Why did the Air Force not do anything to intercept the hijacked planes? Why would Bush and Cheney only answer questions about the attack behind closed doors — refusing to answer under oath and under the conditions that there would be no transcripts?

There are too many unanswered questions about the attack. Congress spent some $60 million dollars investigating Clinton’s personal life. Compare that to the $3 million to investigate the most deadly attack on American civilians in our history.

September 12, 2011

America’s Favorite Trading Partner Tried To Sell Weapons To Qaddafi

by Ben Hoffman

Three of China’s biggest state-owned arms companies secretly offered to sell Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s army $200 million in weapons to put down the rebellion. The offer, discovered by a Canadian journalist in documents tossed into a Tripoli trash heap, flouted a United Nations embargo on weapons sales to the Qaddafi government — an embargo that China itself had voted for in February.

Read more…

So where is the outrage over this? Simple… Big business likes doing business with China. It’s good for profits when they can use slave-wage labor and right-wingers are only outraged over what they’re told to be against, so these stories go nowhere.

September 11, 2011

Support America – Not Your Political Party. Watch “9/11: Press for Truth.”

by Ben Hoffman

or watch full video on Google Videos:
9/11: Press for Truth

September 6, 2011

10 Years Since Bush Allowed Us To Be Attacked – While Bush Vacationed, 9/11 Warnings Went Unheard

by Ben Hoffman

How did the Bush administration allow us to be attacked on September 11, 2001? Bush wasn’t interested in dealing with terrorism.

In an otherwise dry day of hearings before the 9/11 commission, one brief bit of dialogue set off a sudden flash of clarity on the basic question of how our government let disaster happen.

The revelation came this morning, when CIA Director George Tenet was on the stand. Timothy Roemer, a former Democratic congressman, asked him when he first found out about the report from the FBI’s Minnesota field office that Zacarias Moussaoui, an Islamic jihadist, had been taking lessons on how to fly a 747. Tenet replied that he was briefed about the case on Aug. 23 or 24, 2001.

Roemer then asked Tenet if he mentioned Moussaoui to President Bush at one of their frequent morning briefings. Tenet replied, “I was not in briefings at this time.” Bush, he noted, “was on vacation.” He added that he didn’t see the president at all in August 2001. During the entire month, Bush was at his ranch in Texas. “You never talked with him?” Roemer asked. “No,” Tenet replied. By the way, for much of August, Tenet too was, as he put it, “on leave.”

Throughout that summer, we now well know, Tenet, Richard Clarke, and several other officials were running around with their “hair on fire,” warning that al-Qaida was about to unleash a monumental attack. On Aug. 6, Bush was given the now-famous President’s Daily Brief (by one of Tenet’s underlings), warning that this attack might take place “inside the United States.” For the previous few years—as Philip Zelikow, the commission’s staff director, revealed this morning—the CIA had issued several warnings that terrorists might fly commercial airplanes into buildings or cities.

And now, we learn today, at this peak moment, Tenet hears about Moussaoui. Someone might have added 2 + 2 + 2 and possibly busted up the conspiracy. But the president was down on the ranch, taking it easy. Tenet wasn’t with him. Tenet never talked with him. Rice—as she has testified—wasn’t with Bush, either. He was on his own and, willfully, out of touch.

Read more…

August 30, 2011

Up to $60B In Military Contract Waste and Fraud – Another Failure of Privatization

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON (AP) — As much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and corruption, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending estimates.
In its final report to Congress, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the figure could grow as U.S. support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes, leaving both countries to bear the long-term costs of sustaining the schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants already built with American tax dollars.
Much of the waste and fraud could have been avoided with better planning and more aggressive oversight, the commission said. To avoid repeating the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, government agencies should overhaul the way they award and manage contracts in war zones, the commission recommended.

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We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — the day Bush and Cheney allowed Osama Bin Laden to defeat our country. Our federal debt was right around $6 trillion on September 11, 2001. Thanks in part to the two wars, our debt is now at about $14.5 trillion.

Both Bush Sr. and Jr. have strong business ties to the Bin Laden family and in fact, George H.W. Bush had breakfast with Osama’s brother on the morning of the attack. Could you imagine if Obama had a connection to Bin Laden? There’d be a lynch mob after him! But Bush is given a free pass. Bush and Cheney refused to answer questions under oath about the attack. Gee… I wonder why.

August 2, 2011

The Boston Tea Party Has Become a Symbol of a National Disgrace

by Ben Hoffman

The Tea Party version of the American Revolution is not just fundamentalist. It is also Disneyfied, sentimentalised, and whitewashed.

Here’s a monumental historical irony: a moment in the origins of the United States that every American schoolchild learns to view with pride, the Boston Tea Party, has now become a symbol of our (inter)national shame. In one sense, it is difficult to know what to say in response to the utter irrationality of the Tea Party’s self-destructive decision to sabotage the American political process – and thus its own country’s economy, and the global economy.

Last week, while the US government was locked in stalemate and risked defaulting on its national debt for the first time in its history (and thus also defying the Constitution that Tea Partiers supposedly hold sacred, which declares in the 14th Amendment that it is illegal for Congress to default), Michele Bachmann instructed her followers not to listen to those who attempted to “scare” them with untruths that the US would default if it didn’t raise the debt ceiling. When, of course, that is precisely what it would have done. But the Tea Party has never let facts get in the way of its belief system, and now that belief system is genuinely threatening the wellbeing of the nation they claim to love.

Mottos are supposed to express a philosophy: in so far as the Tea Party can be said to have anything so exalted as a philosophy, their motto is quite telling. They are one of the most inaccurately named movements in American political history, but that inaccuracy is itself emblematic of the party’s adamantine ignorance. Any American schoolchild can tell you the motto of the historical Boston Tea Party from which they take their name and – they mistakenly believe – their inspiration: “No taxation without representation.”

Impatient with those extra two words, evidently, the Tea Party has truncated this proposition to something simpler: “No taxation.” Never mind that the US has among the lowest levels of taxation in the developed world, matched only by Mexico and Chile (are these the nations the Tea Party would like to emulate?). Never mind that the nation’s actual Founding Fathers were perfectly prepared to pay taxes – they just thought those taxes should purchase them a democratic voice in their own government.

Tea Partiers love mentioning Thomas Paine because they think they share his “Common Sense” (otherwise known as a sense held in common) but they haven’t bothered to read it, and are clearly unfamiliar with essays such as “Public Good”, in which Paine wrote that, especially while at war (as America currently is, of course): “To have a clear idea of taxation is necessary to every country, and the more funds we can discover and organise, the less will be the hope of the enemy.”

The Tea Party version of the American Revolution is not just fundamentalist: it is also Disneyfied, sentimentalised, and whitewashed. It rests on a naïve, solipsistic and exceptionalist faith that for America it will all work out in the end, because America is “the greatest nation in the world”. They take solace in tautology: America is great – this they know – because Fox News tells them so.

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