Blogs

2017
Apr
26

Hey Ireland, Your Ambassador Just Told Me You’ll Do Anything Trump Wants

Tag: Peace and War

Dear brothers and sisters of Ireland, your ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson spoke at the University of Virginia Tuesday afternoon.

After consulting one of your fine citizens named Barry Sweeney, I asked her this: “Since the U.S. government assures the Irish government that all U.S. military aircraft being refueled at Shannon are not on military operations and are not carrying weapons or munitions, and since the Irish government insists on this in order to comply with Ireland’s traditional policy of neutrality, why does the Irish department of transportation almost daily approve civilian aircraft on contract to the U.S. military to carry armed U.S. troops on military operations, weapons, and munitions through Shannon Airport in clear breach of international laws on neutrality?”

Ambassador Anderson replied that the U.S. government at the “highest levels” had informed Ireland that it was in compliance with the law, and Ireland accepted that.

2017
Apr
25

Talk Nation Radio: Deirdre Enright on Freeing Innocent People from Prison

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-deirdre-enright-on-freeing-innocent-people-from-prison

Deirdre Enright is director of investigation for the University of Virginia Law School's Innocence Project Clinic. Enright previously worked at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, where she represented clients and consulted on cases in all stages of capital litigation, with primary focus on federal and state post-conviction proceedings and Supreme Court certiorari review. After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1992, Enright worked as a staff attorney at the Mississippi Capital Defense Resource Center. We discuss the work of freeing innocent people from prison.   See: http://www.innocenceprojectuva.org  Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

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Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

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2017
Apr
24

Wanted to Hire: Someone who can convert websites from Drupal to Wordpress

Tag: About David Swanson

I have four Drupal websites, two of them quite large, that I need to convert to Wordpress, because I'm unable to deal with all the updating that Drupal requires. A month and a half ago, I hired a guy named David Gusick who did part of the job and was paid for it, but still hasn't given me the work he did. I've given up on him. I'm looking to hire someone who can do the job in a reasonable and agreed upon amount of time for a reasonable and agreed upon price to be paid upon completion. The job requires moving thousands of posts, pages, and images, and working with Wordpress to make them all accessible, including the images, in Wordpress. It does not require designing the new Wordpress sites beyond adjusting templates to make images visible. If you're interested, please send resume and references to david AT davidswanson.org.

2017
Apr
22

The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope

Tag: Environment, Peace and War

By David SwansonRemarks in Burlington, Vermont, April 22, 2017

Thank you all for inviting me. There is no place I’d rather be on earth day. And that includes marching for science at the March for Science in Washington. Although I certainly support marching for honesty, and I’d even march for the cause of getting more scientists to march — and any other group that hasn’t yet found the time to bother.

Unless resisting madness becomes mainstream, the madmen will decide our fate.

Thank you also for having started the first chapter of World Beyond War and for having given us the idea to have chapters. We now have people working on starting dozens of chapters in over a dozen countries. And we have staff to help them, and we have people in 151 countries who have signed the pledge that I’ll pass around here, pledging to work to end all war. We’re trying to get to 175 countries, because that’s how many the U.S. military admits to having troops in. So, 24 more to go. If you know anybody in Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras, Mongolia, Algeria, Lithuania, Ethiopia, or Papua New Guinea, please point them to WorldBeyondWar.org.

And thank you for having set up such a terrific program of workshops today, and — I hope — of work that will follow the workshops.

I hope my comments fit into the program, because I’m going to take a round about way of speaking in support of peace and environmentalism by praising garbage incinerators.

In the United States a garbage incinerator is mostly used to get rid of vast quantities of stuff nobody ever needed in the first place — not including, I’m sorry to say, presidential twitter accounts.

And a typical U.S. garbage incinerator produces vast quantities of pollution, horrible smells, dioxin, mercury, nitric oxide, lead, and particulate matter. If you live near such an incinerator, your chances of getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and respiratory problems shoot through the roof.

So, you want to locate such a thing as far as you can get it from any population that puts significant funding into election campaigns.

2017
Apr
21

How U.S. Race Laws Inspired Nazis

Tag: Book and Movie Reviews

James Q. Whitman's new book is called Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. It is understated and overdocumented, difficult to argue with. No doubt some will try.

In cartoonish U.S. historical understanding, the United States is, was, and ever shall be a force for good, whereas Nazism arose in a distant, isolated land that lacked any connection to other societies. In a cartoonish reversal of that understanding that would make a good strawman for critics of this book, U.S. policies have been identical to Nazism which simply copied them. Obviously this is not the case.

In reality, as we have long known, the U.S. genocide of Native Americans was a source of inspiration in Nazi discussions of expanding to their east, even referring to Ukrainian Jews as "Indians." Camps for Native Americans helped inspire camps for Jews. Anti-Semites and eugenicists and racists in the U.S. helped inspire those in Germany, and vice versa. U.S. bankers invested in the Nazis. U.S. weapons dealers armed them. Nazis borrowed from U.S. propaganda techniques developed in World War I. Admirers in the U.S. of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy attempted at least one coup against President Franklin Roosevelt. The U.S. refused to admit significant numbers of Jewish refugees or to help evacuate them from Germany. The State Department turned down Anne Frank's visa. The coast guard chased a ship of Jews away, sending them back to their fate. Et cetera. We have known all of this.

We have known how the U.S. treated African Americans, Japanese Americans, and others at the time of World War II, how it experimented on Guatemalans even during the trials of Nazis for human experimentation, and continued to allow human experimentation in the U.S. for many years. And so forth. The good versus evil cartoon was never real.

What Whitman's book adds to the complex story is an understanding of U.S. influences on the drafting of Nazi race laws. No, there were no U.S. laws in the 1930s establishing mass murder by poison gas in concentration camps. But neither were the Nazis looking for such laws. Nazis lawyers were looking for models of functioning laws on race, laws that effectively defined race in some way despite the obvious scientific difficulties, laws that restricted immigration, citizenship rights, and inter-racial marriage. In the early 20th century the recognized world leader in such things was the United States.

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