It’s Friday November 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1895, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays. X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act like light rays, but at wavelengths almost 1,000 times shorter. Upon their discovery, X-rays allowed doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. We here at Upside Downtrodden feel a special kinship with X-rays. We, too, possess the ability to see through humans. Read more
1. Syria remained subject to a bloody turmoil for over two years in 21st Century which promised highest civilization in the history of our planet. Over a hundred thousand innocent fellow humans killed and over a million Syrian citizens displaced. United Nations remained a silent spectator throughout the Syrian’s massacre and so are all the Global Heads of the States “The Hon’able Members of UNO”. What a tremendous conspiracy against an elected government and UN recognized sovereign state. Who financed, armed and patronized the Opposition Party of Syria! Who is a threat to Syrian’s integrity and their solidarity! Who promoted Civil War in Syria! Who will own & justify the innocuous blood of one hundred thousand Syrians! Read more
The U. S. government’s warm relationship with the self-described “neo-Ottoman” and D. C. friendly regime of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no secret. But emerging details on the classified Operation Nomad Shadow seem to involve the U.S. taking sides in yet another foreign entanglement - this time in a raging Kurdish sectarian conflict near the Turkish-Iraqi border.
As the Washington Post describes,
“the U.S. Air Force (since 2011) has been flying unarmed drones from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in an attempt to suppress a long-simmering regional conflict. The camera-equipped Predators hover above the rugged border with Iraq and beam high-resolution imagery to the Turkish armed forces, helping them pursue PKK rebels as they slip back and forth across the mountains.”
If the Defense Department’s own service medal eligibility requirements are accurate, Nomad Shadow’s covert existence may stretch back at least as far as November 2007. Read more
Now that we're finally untangling ourselves from quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, "serious people" on both sides of the aisle call for a new open-ended Middle East military incursion.
At home, we hear about austerity and cuts, yet we're considering a blank check to send missiles half a world away.
We can't address climate change or immigration, can't vote on gun legislation or jobs bills, but we can find the time to start a bombing campaign that most Americans don't really understand.
Fifty year after the inspiration of "I have a dream," is our greatest dream really another attack? Is war all we can be serious about as a country?
There are issues we need to tackle seriously. Do we need to prioritize tackling Syria? Syriasly?
Share your thoughts, memories and your dreams as we share a drink and democratic discourse at you local progressive social club.
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I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Then I watched him force Navy Seals into Sensitivity Training and send them from Iraq to Bosnia on a bunch of pocket wars that made no damned sense at all. I watched a brave man’s body dragged through the street in Somalia.
In 2000, Dick Cheney stood before the Republican National Convention and told the U.S. Military that “Help is on the way…” “Thank God”, I thought. “These poor military guys could use a break.” I voted for Bush.
Then 9-11 happened and I watched, in horror, as the bravest and best young people in our nation were ordered to stand around Iraq and Afghanistan and wait to get shot or blown up. I watched them come home with crippling injuries and missing limbs and tried to figure out what the hell we had accomplished for all of this sacrifice.
When Obama was elected (I didn’t vote for him but was willing to give him a shot.)
I had the same thought as when Cheney spoke, in 2000. “Maybe now they’ll get that break.”
I mean come on; Obama said he would end these stupid wars, right? Nope; more deployments, more car bombings, more death. Read more
Its Sunday April 28th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1967, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. military. The self-proclaimed "Greatest Fighter of All Time" cited religious reasons for staging his most important fight; a fight against institutionalized, senseless killing. Take a moment to process these statements - yes, a fighter by profession and religious person (Ali converted to Islam in 1964) refused to go to war! Ali was fined $10,000, sentenced to 5 years in prison, and was stripped of the world title he had won by beating Sonny Liston. He avoided prison while appealing all the way to the highest court, and lost his heavyweight title the first time the same year he won his case in 1971. Muhammad Ali is the only three-time boxing world champion, and is still one of the most intriguing figures in American history. His reason for refusing conscription was because "I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong." Amazing that the government of a "Christian nation" would seek to take everything from a person who was acting exactly in the manner that Jesus would have prescribed. Read more
It’s Monday April 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1935, Congress established the Works Progress Administration program, and FDR signed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. Not too shabby considering they were in the depths of The Great Depression, eh? It makes you wonder. We were able to find money to help people during the time in America’s history when we were as broke as broke can be. We were able to create jobs, invest in the country, and work together towards what would become America’s golden age. We were able to pass The Social Security Act and form unemployment insurance delivering a New Deal for Americans. This only happened because enough people decided that helping people was the right thing to do. They realized we were stronger together. They were right. Read more
It’s March 28th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history in 1774 the government of the British Empire embodied the term “tyranny”, passing The Boston Port Act, The Massachusetts Government Act, The Quartering Act, and The Administration of Justice Act. You know what they say about those who don’t study history right? The Sons of Liberty, or insurgent rebels to the British, had dumped three cargo ships worth of precious tea into Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act. In response the British government passed the draconian acts to remind the insurgents of their place. The British enjoyed global hegemony and needed to remind the colonists, and the rest of the world, that they were not to be trifled with (in British parlance those are actually strong words). With zero sense of the justice that many British philosophers helped to define, the empire closed the port of Boston, made the Massachusetts government impotent, placed British troops in the homes and businesses of the insurgents, and placed British officials above the law. Read more
Marcus Licinius Crassus was the richest man in Roman history. Indeed, he is considered one of the richest men who ever lived. He made his fortune as a supporter of the dictator Sulla by confiscating the properties of Sulla’s political enemies.
He was also a shrewd acquirer of real estate, especially when it was on fire. Rome had no fire department; fires were left to burn themselves out. Crassus organized some 500 men and, when there was a fire, he would show up and offer to buy the property for a song. After the beleaguered owner sold out the burning buildings, Crassus would call on his fire department to put out the flames and then restore the buildings.
In any case, Crassus was described by Plutarch as the ultimate man of avarice. Crassus never had enough and always wanted more.
It was Crassus who, wishing to add glory to his wealth lead the legions which defeated Spartacus in the slave revolt. Several Roman armies were off fighting elsewhere and Crassus offered to personally equip several legions and lead the fight against the slaves. Initially he had trouble. Read more
In 2004, John Kerry proposed a new direction but America voted to stay the course in our wars. Now, America is happy to have drawn down in Iraq & Kerry will soon help us leave Afghanistan. In '04, Kerry said that police action, not war, was the right course for fighting terrorism. The then-Prez disagreed, so it wasn't until 2011 that intelligence & analysis caught Bin Laden.
Nine years ago, Swift Boaters slandered Kerry -- now he's going to be America's envoy to the world. Nine years ago, George W Bush won the election -- by term's end, he was a national embarrassment. The country tries to forget one of these men, and his own party tries to ignore him.
The other may yet have lasting positive impact on the nation and on world. Despite what happened in 2004, maybe Kerry will defeat Bush after all. Raise a toast to our future Secretary of State & discuss the Hagel haggle about to happen as your share your thoughts & share a night at your local progressive social club.
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We all know that U.S House Speaker John Boehner is well-known to break out in tears, as he did recently after being reelected as House Speaker. John Boehner is a weeper, the only thing is, what he weeps about usually is something not worth weeping about. He wept uncontrollably once over an Iraq war spending bill.
This is my Bead-Read for Mr. Boehner:
Find something worth weeping about John. Many of us Americans weep, just as we did recently when a madman with a gun, mowed down 26 people including 20 children at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. Right now, I myself could find a fresh batch of tears, just thinking about it. Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
We supporters of Barack Obama just won a major election and we are all feeling confident. We should, Obama definitely won a mandate when it comes to raising taxes on the rich, along with passing a comprehensive immigration policy. Then we managed to hold our majority in the Senate and we added two seats, with two Independents caucusing with the Democrats.
However, let us not get too comfortable because 2014 is just around the corner, as far as elections go. Some Republicans from the far right are not going to give up. Some even believe that this last election had to be fixed in some way, and that we Democrats were the ones who suppressed voters, not they.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who lost the election to Barack Obama by a clear margin, discounts his loss in the election, to the president giving gifts to certain minorities. Read more
I haven’t written anything more than an email for a couple days, spent as my writer’s mind is from Campaign 2012. In addition to posting here, I was a regional digital lead for Organizing for America. For many months, I gave my best energy to the cause of reelecting President Obama- and it was worth it. I know all volunteers and staff feel it was worth it following our big electoral win. We are the champions, the victors, the big winners. But what does it all mean, anyway?
What this means is the winning work of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party continues for four more years.
The first major effort of President Obama’s Administration was the Affordable Care Act, which will be fully realized in 2014. Health care reforms will continue to come online, helping save millions of people’s lives and financial futures. It is an inalienable human right to receive health care, and our nation is closer than ever to achieving full coverage. Read more
Though we are religious or not, most of us understand that using religion as a tool to commit violent acts against innocent people, such as young Malala Yousufzai, a brave young intelligent girl from Pakistan, is not godly at all, in any since of the word. It does not matter if you are Christian, Muslim or Jewish; committing violent acts is only evil, nothing more and especially nothing close to godliness.
Malala was recently shot on a bus with two other girls, her being the target. Because she championed Pakistani girls’ rights to an education, she now lies in a hospital bed, trying to recover after being shot in the head and neck. My last update I heard was that she was recovering well and for that, we can give thanks to God.
There are hundreds of millions of religious people and there are many who are fervent about their beliefs. There is nothing wrong with someone being fervent about his or her beliefs; I certainly am. However, there is a very small minority of religious zealots or fanatics, you might say, that use their religion as a tool for evil. Read more