The Curiosity rover found organic matter on Mars!
I really do love Curiosity and I'm so glad that so many of you do too.
The Curiosity Mars Rover sings "Happy Birthday" to itself every year on August 5th, which is when it landed on Mars.
So we are weeks away from Curiosity's birthday. :D
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
NATO troops have fought to defend the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq Not one member of the Trump family has ever served to defend the United States Before they became the Trumps, Trump's grandfather Friedrich Drumpf managed to avoid military service in multiple countries
Afghanistan didn't attack the US. The Taliban harbored al Qaeda. The Taliban was backed by Mika's father but she's still on MSNBC and he's still wandering around in his prescription drug induced haze.
And of course, Iraq didn't attack the US.
It's hard for fat f**ks with ugly mugs in cheap t-shirts to grasp that reality. I think the crotch rot eventually gets to their brains.
That would explain their stupidity in defending NATO.
Here's Phyllis Bennis discussing NATO in 2012:
I think that we learned a number of things from the NATO summit in Chicago this past weekend. One of them was that a number of European countries have a far more functional democracy than we do, in the sense that governments are far more accountable to public opinion, particularly on the war in Afghanistan. I think that NATO played the role that it has played for a very long time, which is to provide political—and to a small degree, military and economic, but primarily political—cover to United States operations. What we see in NATO is that this is a U.S. set of decisions, and NATO is being brought on board, encouraged to keep even a few troops there. My personal favorite of the moment is Austria. They have three troops in Afghanistan at the moment. You know, this is designed to make it appear to be a multilateral operation in Afghanistan. And in fact, this is a U.S. operation and needs to be treated as such. I think that what we’re dealing with is a scenario in which a relic of the Cold War, the NATO alliance, which was always designed in a far more offensive way than defensive, I think, has reached, if it hadn’t before—and we can argue that separately—but certainly has reached the end of any shred of legitimacy in this period of history. You know, this is really about the hammer and the nail. When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you’re a military alliance, every problem looks like it requires a military solution. NATO is a giant, big hammer. The problem is, Afghanistan is not a nail, Libya is not a nail. These are political problems that need to be dealt with politically. And by empowering, more than any other regional organization, a military alliance, NATO is really serving to undermine the goal of the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the importance of regional organizations, in political terms, for nonviolent resolution of disputes, not to put such a primacy and privilege on military regional institutions that really reflect the most powerful parts of the world.
"NATO is really serving to undermine the goal of the United Nations Charter . . ."
NATO and imperialism. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, 14 colonial powers met to divide Africa among themselves. Within just 18 years all of Africa, w/ the exception of Ethiopia, was subjected to colonial slavery. Those 14 countries are the core of NATO today -- similar agenda!
Here's Howard Zinn (writing for the BOSTON GLOBE, 5/28/99, column was "The deadly semantics of NATO bombings"):
Isn't it time we stopped using the word ''accidental'' to describe the NATO bombing of Yugoslavian hospitals, residential neighborhoods, buses, trains, trucks, and refugees on roads that has killed or maimed at least 1,000 civilians, including children? The word ''accident'' is not an accurate description of the mayhem we have caused in Yugoslavia. True, the world ''deliberate'' does not fit either. It is understandable that Serb leaders would call it ''deliberate,'' just as it is understandable that our leaders would call it an ''accident.'' Both words are propaganda devices that blur a reality more complex than that two-word vocabulary can convey. An accident implies something unforeseen. True, a recent bombing - to take an example of the hospital bombed in Belgrade - may have been unforeseen as a specific consequence of bombing the city. But it was foreseeable, given the magnitude and nature of the bombing, that some hospital, school, village, or bus would at some point be hit, and civilians would die.
If I drive my car at 80 miles an hour down a street crowded with children, and 10 of them are killed, I cannot dismiss this as an accident, even if I had not intended to kill these particular children. When an action has inevitable and terrible consequences, it cannot be excused as ''accidental.''
Exactly. NATO's actions are not "accidental."
Any Black person defending the Western alliance is either a fool, agent, white supremacist or all of the above. Opposed the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination.
Reactionary democrats are defending NATO and something called the "Western alliance" further exposing them as a war party and a party committed to upholding white supremacy because that is all that the Western alliance is - an alliance of capitalist white supremacist nations.
Here's George Galloway (ICH), "I believe that NATO and its partner organizations, far from being a defensive shield, are an aggressive, ever wider broadsword. Far from keeping the peace they represent a clear and present danger of war. Far from representing ‘the democracies’, NATO poses a real threat to democratic control of foreign and defense policy in member countries."
But a lot of idiots want to defend NATO. Facts don't matter to them. Facts never have mattered to them. They're middle-of-the-roaders trying to pass themselves off as something else.
They search desperately for 'moral' issues to avoid reality.
Reality in Iraq?
4th day of large scale mass protests in Basra, Iraq’s biggest oil producing region. One protestor is killed as anger rises against unemployment, lack of public services and massive corruption.
Please note that the video above is from archive. The tribal area near West Qurna oil fields is 60 miles north of Basra city, capital of the province of Basra. The protests have spread from West Qurna to the city (3rd largest in Iraq) where the youth are leading the protests
Protests are surprising to some -- indicating that they haven't paid attention to one damn thing in Iraq.
ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:
Recounts began July 3rd. They continue. Despite the fact that there is no real change in the vote tallies.
Iraq Vote Recount Matches Initial Results as Jabouri Expected to Return as Parliament Speaker - Asharq Al-awsat English
So May 12th, Iraq held national elections. Ahead of the elections, there had been big hopes -- these hopes included a large turnout. Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) noted, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister." RUDAW added, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs." AFP explained that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women. THE SIASAT DAILY added, of the nearly 7,000 candidates, "According to the electoral commission, only 20 percent of the candidates are newcomers." Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reported, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003. According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions."
The other big hope? For the US government, the biggest hope was that Hayder al-Abadi's bloc would come in first so that he would have a second term as prime minister. It was not to be. Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies the key issues as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."
As we noted the day of the election:
Corruption is a key issue and it was not a topic explored by candidates outside of Moqtada al-Sadr's coalition. Empty lip service was offered. Hayder al-Abadi, current prime minister, had been offering empty lip service for four years. He did nothing. Iraqis were supposed to think that, for example, Hayder's focus on ISIS in Mosul mattered. All life was supposed to stop because of Mosul? All expectations were to be ignored because of Mosul?
Arabic social media today and yesterday was full of comments about the lack of improvement in services. It noted how the elections had not mattered before and, yes, how in 2010 the US government overturned the elections because they didn't like the outcome.
So it was probably only surprising to the US government and their press hacks that Hayder wouldn't come in first. But that was after the votes were counted. On the day of the election, the big news was how so few were turning out to vote. NPR reported, "With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014." AP pointed out the obvious, "No election since 2003 saw turnout below 60 percent." AFP broke it down even more clearly "More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters did not show up at the ballot box in the parliamentary election, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005 [. . .]."
Why should they vote? The US government had repeatedly selected the prime minister -- 2006, 2010 and 2014. Why should they vote? The government was corrupt. Why should they vote? Safety? Lip service was given to the claim that ISIS had been defeated but it hadn't. In fact, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) reported that 16 people were killed and nineteen wounded the day of the election.
Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) captured the mood, "But as voters trudged towards polling stations, there was none of the euphoria of previous polls – where purple ink-dipped fingers were happily displayed – and almost no energy surrounding the process. Iraqis had done it all before, and elections had delivered little."
Sunday the 13th, votes were counted and the first place winner? Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.
With over half the votes counted, powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as the leading contender in the Iraq elections aje.io/drn3n
By Monday the 14th, Ayad Allawi was calling for a full recount. While the US government was working behind the scenes to oveturn the results. Simon Tisdall (GUARDIAN) explained, "The unexpectedly poor showing of Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, in parliamentary elections has dealt a blow to US influence in the country. [. . .] Put simply, Sadr believes Iraqis should run Iraqi affairs – not Washington, not Tehran and not their proxies."
Some were surprised by the results.
Apparently, they're headless.
It was obvious what was gong to happen. The Iraqi people have been railing against the corruption and the corrupt politicians for some time.
"Frankly, the politicians are just wearing us out. Unemployment? Electricity? Housing? Since 2003 -- for seven years now -- no one has solved it yet. [. . .] Even the water is dirty."
That was Saif Ali, speaking to Anthony Shadid (NEW YORK TIMES) in 2010.
Things have not gotten better in the years since, they've only gotten worse.
That's what the protests in Basra are about.
Basra , Southern Iraq , reaidents are protesting lack of services, unemployment, environmental waste by oil companies. Basra produces so much oil yet the lcoals do not benefit as much from the incoming money due to corruption.
The following community sites updated: