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Thousands more killed in gun violence than terror attacks (with video)
Oct 4th, 2015 by Warren Swil

Paralysis over mass

shootings lays bare

power of big money

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

The paralysis of America in the face of an epidemic of mass shootings is shameful and disgraceful.
It was best captured by the president in his reaction to the latest tragedy, Thursday’s fatal shooting at a community college in Oregon.
Here was the most powerful leader in the world expressing frustration and anger at his inability to do anything more than offer sympathy for the victims.
Those who do have the power – the members of Congress – are so thoroughly in hock to the gun lobby and other vested interests their response was perfectly encapsulated by Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens” comment.
The US can and must do better if it wants to continue being considered a “civilized” nation.
Watch the video below the fold.


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Torture report ‘shame and disgrace’

US MORAL AUTHORITY SINKS TO A NEW LOW
There is only one good thing to say about the U.S. Senate’s report on torture: that it was made public.
The entire world is now lumping the US together with those like China, Iran and North Korea who are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to respect for human rights.
The only difference remains the candor of America when it comes to recognizing its mistakes. The very release of the report is the one bright spot in an otherwise dark and dismal chapter of our history.


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The great unraveling of Middle East nation-states

NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IRRELEVANT
Recent events in Iraq and its neighbors have once again put the focus on the diminishing role of nation states in the turbulent region.
With diminishing influence, the center will not hold.
The world is witnessing the disintegration of the nation-states born out of the remnants of Ottoman Empire a century ago.
Nowhere is there the political will to intervene. It is a calamity of gargantuan proportions, but the west is just an observer. Until, of course, we are drawn into the conflagration because of the inevitable global fallout.


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WAR ON DRUGS: Could beginning of the end be at hand?

COLORADO POT LEGALIZATION MAY BE STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION
The beginning of legal cultivation and sales of marijuana in Colorado may be the most hopeful sign in America.
Many national initiatives begin at the state and local level (the minimum wage is another current example) and eventually work their way up to become federal law.
If the Colorado experiment proves to be a success, it may lead the way to a more sober view of drug policy first in other states and then, perhaps many years from now, at the federal level.
It is way past time to end the 40-year-old “war on drugs.”


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Spying on friends, charities doesn’t deter terrorism

LATEST DISCLOSURES WEAKEN CASE FOR MASS SURVEILLANCE
Through his disclosures, Edward Snowden has not only gotten the attention of President Obama, but other world leaders and countless millions who use electronic communications.
He has attained what he said he wanted: a major public discussion at the highest levels about a hugely important issue.
Congratulations.
He deserves to be heralded as the most influential person of 2013.


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Spying panel recommendations: a matter of trust

REPORT FURTHER ERODES FAITH IN ELECTRONIC PRIVACY
While the recommendations of a presidential panel on government spying have been mostly welcomed, they could be seen as a confession that the revelations of Edward Snowden are accurate, and that everyone for years has been monitored on a massive scale unprecedented in its scope and size.
The key issue is one of trust. It has been seriously damaged.
Reform is urgently needed. The longer it is delayed, the more trust will erode.


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Despite tragedies, gun violence remains rampant in US

PERSONAL USE OF WEAPONS DEEPLY EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
More than a year after the shocking schoolhouse shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, little has changed in the picture of gun violence in the US.
It is a national embarrassment that so little of real consequence has changed in the US since the Newtown massacre.
The culture of gun violence runs deep the American psyche.
It is little wonder so many in the US feel it is acceptable to draw a gun at the slightest provocation, and settle even minor disputes this way.


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Spying fallout: Internet giants launch offensive defense

CALL FOR CURBS ON GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE IS SELF-SERVING
Some of the biggest players on the internet launched a massive public relations campaign Monday calling for new limits on government surveillance.
But it is so transparently a move to protect corporate profits that only the most naïve would not see it as such.
The corporate appeal should be seen for what it is: an attempt to get the companies on the right side of an issue that poses an existential threat to them. It’s not a pretty picture.


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UK government attacks press freedom everywhere

PUBLIC LYNCHING OF GUARDIAN EDITOR AN OMINOUS SIGN
The British government on Tuesday struck a blow against press freedom everywhere with its public inquisition of the editor of The Guardian newspaper.
The reporting by The Guardian, The New York Times and others on the Snowden documents has revealed serious lapses in government oversight, particularly in the U.S.
It is deeply troubling that British politicians would mount such a ferocious attack on press freedom. Journalists everywhere should stand with The Guardian in resisting this blatant intimidation.


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Spying scandal: lies, truth and the need to earn a living

REPORTER GREENWALD MOUNTS PASSIONATE, CONVINCING DEFENSE
A vituperative verbal battle has broken out about the journalist at the center of the reporting on the documents leaked by Edward Snowden: Glenn Greenwald has responded with a passionate, extensive and convincing defense of his methods and actions.
It is an absolutely must-read for anyone who cares about how the most startling and significant revelations about government wrongdoing have been exposed – and, likely, will continue to be so.


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