briefly noted

short notes from my reading

Prison Profits

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws…”

-Corrections Corporation of America, in their annual report. Chris Hedges excoriates the company and its role in the National Security State.

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Afghan End-Game

Other consequences, all deleterious, flowed from the militarization of foreign policy. In Afghanistan and the United States, so intimately ensnarled over all these years, the income gap between the rich and everyone else has grown exponentially, in large part because in both countries the rich have made money off war-making, while ordinary citizens have slipped into poverty for lack of jobs and basic services.

-Ann Jones, writing from Afghanistan.

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The Foreign Policy “Community”

So given this extreme human suffering and repression imposed by the Saudi monarchy in multiple countries, what should the US – the Leader of the Free World and the self-proclaimed Deliverer of Freedom and Democracy – do? To Riedel, the answer is obvious: work even harder, do even more, to strengthen the Saudi regime as well as the neighboring tyrannies in order to crush the “Arab Awakenings” and ensure that democratic revolution cannot succeed in those nations.

-Greenwald skewers another

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A Plea

“It is our plea that the drone attacks upon us be stopped. Because the American government is oppressing us without reason.”
-Resident of Waziristan, in this film.

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The Avengers

“There’s just no other word for it. It is a campaign of terror – highly effective terror – regardless of what noble progressive sentiments one wishes to believe reside in the heart of the leader ordering it.”

Glenn Greenwald on Obama’s drone program. A new report highlights the ways it terrorizes the people of Pakistan.

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From the Dock

“I am very grateful for your support and humbled by your ongoing efforts.”

-Bradley Manning, via his lawyer, to his supporters

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From the Bottom Up

You don’t end war by encouraging a parliament to pass a resolution, or by swapping politicians and governing forms, but by creating a culture that finds blowing innocent men, women and children to bits as abhorrent as pushing an old lady into oncoming traffic. Those in power can’t start wars if they don’t find anybody willing to fight them.

-Charles Davis on social revolution

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Covert War

“That’s a legal issue. In U.S. law, it’s a covert action when the president says it’s a covert action. I think if you’re on the receiving end of the covert action, it’s an act of war.”

-Richard Clarke on US actions against Iran.

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Dare to Challenge

“As Gandhi revealed, non-violent protest is effective above all because it reveals how power really operates: it lays bare the violence it is willing to unleash on even the most peaceful citizens when they dare to challenge its moral legitimacy.”

-David Graeber discusses how police are now sexually assaulting female protesters in an attempt to intimidate them.


Nonpublic Space

“I think that one of the problems we have in New York City is that we have a vast amount of public space in which the public is not allowed to do what it wants. We have to liberate public spaces for these sorts of common political actions, and this is one of the arenas of struggle.”

-David Harvey and “the right to the city.”