Skip to Content

The Night of the Generals

When Brazilians Were Tortured and Disappeared

 
“The Face of Evil,” flashed the eye catching headline in Brazil’s major daily on a morning late this March, and the accompanying photo of Army lieutenant-colonel Paulo Malhaes, retired, could not have portrayed a more convincing ogre had it been photo shopped by central casting. Malhaes, a self-described torturer and murderer operated in the early 1970′s, the most repressive period in Brazil’s harsh era of prolonged military rule,

Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Paulo Malhaes testifying to torture in the early 1970sRetired Army Lieutenant Colonel Paulo Malhaes testifying to torture in the early 1970s

In depositions covering many hours, first recorded by the journalists of O Globo who got the scoop, and then before the Rio de Janeiro State -- and the Brazilian Federal Truth Commission -- Malhaes described in dispassionate but grisly detail how bodies of dissidents who died under torture were disposed of. “There was no DNA at the time; you’ll grant me that, right? So when one was tasked with dismantling a corpse, you had to ask which are the body-parts that will help identify who the person was. Teeth and the fingers alone. We pulled the teeth and cut off the fingers. The hands, no. And that’s how we made the bodies unidentifiable.” After which, the mutilated dead were dumped at sea, having first been eviscerated to prevent them from floating to the surface.

In marking the recently passed 50th anniversary of Brazil’s April 1, 1964 military coup that deposed popularly elected President Joao Goulart, Brazilians have been offered a kaleidoscope of opportunities to revisit and discuss that troubling past, and, for some, to overlay the impact of the dictatorship years on a society restored to democracy for over a generation, but in which the deepest structural problems remain unchanged. Many axes were being ground on these topics in the rich offering of articles and opinion pieces in the daily press as the coup’s anniversary day approached. Very few, of course, sought to defend the dictatorship, which, nonetheless, appears to have been the sole motivation behind Paulo Malhaes’ sudden impulse to seek repeat performances for his macabre confessions on the public stage, an agenda cruelly underscored by his brazen refusal to express remorse or reveal the names of his commanders.

In one bizarre aside, Malhaes confided a disassociated feeling of “solidarity” for the family of Rubens Paiva, a federal deputy allied with Goulart’s party whose murder and disappearance in 1971 Malhaes himself apparently had a hand in. It was “sad,” the colonel said, that Paiva’s family had to wait 38 years to learn the specifics of his fate, already made public from other sources. Malhaes quickly insisted that his comment not be interpreted as “sentimentality.” He hadn’t questioned his mission back then, and he still didn’t. “There was no other solution. They [my superiors] provided me with a solution,” written broadly enough for Malhaes to justify his butchery.

Taking the low road to war

Washington and the Corporate Media are in Full Propaganda Mode on Ukraine

 

The lies, propaganda and rank hypocrisy emanating from Washington, and echoed by the US corporate media regarding events in Ukraine are stunning and would be laughable, but for the fact that they appear to be aimed at conditioning the US public for increasing confrontation with Russia – confrontation which could easily tip over the edge into direct military conflict, with consequences that are too dreadful to contemplate.

It would be beyond ironic if, a quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of nearly half a century of Cold War and Mutual Assured Destruction, during all of which time US and Russian soldiers never fought against each other, we now ended up with soldiers from our two countries actually doing battle with each other, instead of just fighting proxy wars.

For now, perhaps out of sheer unwillingness to accept that dreadful possibility, I’m choosing to look for the humor in this conflict.

When it comes to the US, the laughs are easy to find.

Start with Vice President Joe Biden, a guy who has always been hard to take seriously. I mean, we’re talking about a politician who in 1988 had to quit running for president when he was caught lifting his life story from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.

Still, Biden outdid even himself on his current visit to Ukraine when he called on Russia to back off in its support of pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine saying that, “No nation should threaten its neighbors by amassing troops along the border.”

This from the man who is one heartbeat from the presidency of a nation that doesn’t just have an army and a navy and an airforce along its southern shore threatening its neighbor Cuba, but actually has its navy based on Cuban territory, which it refuses to leave, despite having long ago run out its lease. And the US doesn’t just threaten. It acts, most recently by attempting to fund a fake Cuban “Twitter” operation called ZunZuneo (Hummingbird Tweet) designed to enable and encourage anti-Cuban government activists to anonymously organize and create chaos.

captionThe US State Dept. and the NY Times tried to claim the photo on the left showed a bearded 'pro-Russian Ukranian' who was the same as the bearded man at right, allegedly photographed in Russia where he's supposed to be in Russian Special forces. Really -- that's the quality of the 'proof' that Russians are behind the uprising in eastern Ukraine
 

Legalize It

NJ Gov Christie Castigated for Roadblocks on Cannabis

 

The spirited protest outside the front door of the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, where nearly 150 demonstrators bashed NJ Governor Chris Christie for scandalous obstruction of the state's medical marijuana law, featured the presence and participation of the youngest offspring of two of the most legendary stars in reggae music history.

That 4/20 demonstration against Christie’s restrictive implementation of NJ’s medical marijuana law and against the governor's opposition to legalization or even decriminalization of marijuana, included remarks by Makeda Marley, the youngest daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley and by Jawara McIntosh, youngest son of reggae luminary Peter Tosh.

Marley and Tosh, members of the immortal ‘Wailers’ reggae band, were both vocal advocates for marijuana. Both men integrated their support for marijuana into their song lyrics, as in Tosh’s 1976 hit, “Legalize it!’ Marley and Tosh practiced the Rastafarian religion, which embraces the spiritual use of marijuana.

Jawara McIntosh Makers Marley Ed 'NJ Weedman' ForchionJawara McIntosh, Makeda Marley and Ed 'NJ Weedman' Forchion, at a 4/20 marijuana legalization protest in Trenton, NJ (photo by Washington)
 

“It’s time to stop the hypocrisy,” Jawara McIntosh said after singing a few verses of his father’s still popular “Legalize It.”

“It’s Ok to smoke cigarettes that can kill you but you can’t smoke marijuana that can heal your body and spirit,” McIntosh said, adding, “Keep speaking word to power. My father was a great believer in the power of the word.”

4/20 partying in Denver and Washington, Dark Ages still in PA and NJ

Marijuana Special Report: Facts & Fallacies

 

They partied in mile-high Denver Sunday, but there would be no legal observances marking the special April 20 holiday in Pennsylvania and much of the country still mired in a pot-fearing 'Dark Ages' of the expensive, ineffective War on Weed.

There were, nonetheless, 4/20 ‘happenings’ around the nation on April 20 and/or at 4:20pm. And, this year those ‘happenings’ have a heightened interest due to major changes on marijuana from full legalization in Colorado and Washington State to public opinion polls consistently showing overwhelming support for ending the expensive and ineffective War on Weed.

4/20 marijuana legalization protester photographs police on the lookout for drug users at Philadelphia's Liberty Bell protestGive us liberty...and legal weed: 4/20 marijuana legalization protester photographs police on the lookout for drug users at Philadelphia's Liberty Bell protest
 

Disgraced former U.S. President Richard Nixon, forced to resign from office for serious misdeeds, launched the War on Weed months before the 1972 release of the report from his presidential commission that studied the drug. One major conclusion of that commission was to decriminalize marijuana. The Schafer Commission was chaired Raymond Schafer, an ex-governor of Pennsylvania whose credentials included being a former federal prosecutor, a conservative and a Republican. Members of that Schafer Commission included two U.S. Senators and one Congressman – persons who were not ‘stoners’ in tie-dye tee shirts.

TCBH takes a 4/20 look at marijuana, particularly examining developments in the state Ray Schafer once governed. This special package includes articles by Abigail Ferenczy, Olivia La Bianca and Michelle Kapusta.

Common Sense on Cannabis

Legalizing Medical Marijuana Long Overdue in Pennsylvania

 

A big reason why Philadelphia State Representative Mark Cohen keeps pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is reality: many people need the substance for treatment of their illnesses and other states have already approved medical use of marijuana.

“Right now, marijuana is readily available to the vast majority of Pennsylvanians, but it’s illegal. This bill sets up a statutory framework which legalizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes,” Cohen said about his legislation (House Bill 1181) introduced on April 15, 2013 that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state.

Medical marijuana is already legal in 20 states including two states adjacent to Pennsylvania: New Jersey and Delaware. Maryland, another adjacent state – recently approved medical marijuana legislation and similar approval is pending New York state, located north of Pennsylvania.

California, in 1996, became the first state to approve the medical use of the substance that was once one of the most widely prescribed medications in the United States until the early decades of the 20th Century. Illinois and New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Medical marijuana is also legal in America’s capital, the District of Columbia, with one dispensary for medical marijuana located blocks from Capitol Hill.
Pot can be inhaled or ingested.Pot can be inhaled or ingested.
 

Revenue initiatives reform

State Senator Leach: Promise of Pot Tax Profits Will Prompt Pennsylvania Legalization

 

State Senator Daylin Leach knows he is fighting an uphill battle to win legalization of marijuana for adult use in Pennsylvania. But Leach is confident that the need for new state revenue will convince his colleagues in the state legislature that the time is ripe to change Pennsylvania’s position on marijuana prohibition.

“I think revenue from taxing legal and medical marijuana will drive this issue just like revenue drove approval for gambling,” Leach said.

“Remember, 40 years ago only one state had gambling. Now 48 states including Pennsylvania have gambling. What drove approvals of gambling was the money to be made by the states.”

California, for example, generates annual sales tax revenues of up to $105-million from medical use of marijuana, according to the California State Board of Equalization. That Board estimated that California could gain $1.4-billion in new revenue annually from the legalization of marijuana.

Colorado, which began sales of marijuana for non-medical adult use on New Year’s Day this year, collected $6.17-million in tax revenue during January and February alone. Officials in Washington State, which beings adult use marijuana sales in July, project receipt of $190-million in taxes and fees annually.

State Senator Daylin LeachState Senator Daylin Leach

To legalize or not to legalize

Popping the question on 'Pot'

 

State Sen. Daylin Leach is leading the fight to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.

But will the reward outweigh the risk if he succeeds and cannabis is legalized in the state?

Senator Leach clearly thinks the rewards from increased state revenues and decreased enforcement costs outweigh the risks. His legalization bill, introduced in April, would tax and regulate marijuana for adult use like alcohol in the state.

“It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been destructive, costly and anti-scientific,” said Leach, who has also introduced a bill that would allow people with certain serious illnesses in Pennsylvania to purchase and possess marijuana. This bill is commonly known as the medical marijuana bill.

Currently 20 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.

While some agree with Sen. Leach and believe this is the time for Pennsylvania to change its marijuana laws, opponents point to health problems and other concerns with legalization.

‘Heading towards a police state’

Conversation with a Police Chief

 

There was a time when, growing up in a suburban area around Mansfield, a university town in northeastern Connecticut, I could go days without seeing a police car. These days, though, when I go back there to visit my old hometown, I see them everywhere. Where once there was one resident State Trooper for the township of Mansfield, today there’s a fleet of Troopers in squad cars, called “Interceptors.” The university too, which in my youth had a couple of university cops whose only real job was breaking up the occasional dormitory panty raid, now has a full-fledged police department, staffed with beefy cops who would be hard to distinguish from the troopers -- or from recently furloughed military vets (which many of them probably are).

In communities and cities across the country, the number of police has soared, rising, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 603,000 in 1992 to 794,000 in 2010. This even as crime has been falling fairly steadily for over 30 years, even in cities that have had to cut back on their police staffing for budget reasons.

But it’s not just a matter of numbers. Police are also much more aggressive in their behavior towards the public. Where “no-knock” forced entries into people’s homes were a rarity 30 years ago, such so-called “breaches” are increasingly the norm in many jurisdictions -- they reached over 80,000 last year by one calculation -- as police departments adopt an approach that elevates “officer safety” over concerns about the safety of the public, including innocent bystanders. (Consider two recent incidents in New York where bystanders were shot by police who were firing at suspects -- in one case an unarmed mentally ill man standing in traffic in midtown Manhattan.)

The same can be said about the use of supposedly “non-lethal” tasers, which have morphed from being alternatives to shooting and killing suspects to tools to enforce docility, or even to punish people who verbally contest the actions of a police officer. A recent report in the New York Times showed that as part of a growing trend to place police officers in public schools, students, including even in elementary schools, are being tasered for what used to be considered an offense meriting a trip to the principal’s office--sometimes with serious and even deadly results.

Police officer tasers a student protester in Allentown, PAPolice officer tasers a 14-year-old girl outside her highschool in Allentown, PA. Click here to view the video

The bigger threat is the National Security Agency

Heart Bleed: the Internet is Alive and Well!

Some are calling it a "worst nightmare". There have been dire predictions that it represents the end of the Internet or that there is, in fact, no real Internet security or that Free and Open Source Software is dangerous to use.

One thing is sure. The week-old saga of the Heart Bleed flaw (or bug) and its potential exploits has shown more light on the Internet and its security issues than anything else in recent memory.

A threat the Free and Open Source movement handled perfectlyA threat the Free and Open Source movement handled perfectly

Like so much coverage of these security issues, however, this outcry is misdirected. In reality, the flaw gives us an excellent example of how the Internet works when it's at its best. How Free and Open Source software is developed, how prominent and important it is, how well its development system works and why security is, in fact, simple and possible.

It also shows how our government doesn't care about our security: ignoring major threats to the Internet and then apparently exploiting them to spy on us -- for as much as two years.

These are valuable lessons demanding that we understand what really happened.

ThisCantBeHappening! radio interview of Prof. Harold Wanless on PRN.fm:

Climate Change is Much Worse than Even the IPCC Predictions

Dave Lindorff, host of the Progressive Radio Network program "ThisCantBeHappening!", interviews Professor Harold Wanless, chair of the Geology Department at the University of Miami and a leading climate change expert. Wanless talks about the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, explaining that as scary as that organization's latest predictions are concerning accelerating global warming, it is far too conservative.

This is because the IPCC does not factor in the feedback loops that are making things get worse faster — whether it’s the doubling of the pace of Greenland and Western Antarctic ice melt every seven years, or the future release of massive methane deposits locked in Arctic permafrost and undersea methyl cathrate deposits--a process that is already beginning.

If we don’t act quickly to significantly reduce the use of carbon fuels, Wanless warns, we could see a “baked in” 70-foot sea rise, perhaps in our children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes, and even with a less apocalyptic sea rise, an end to human civilization--and that's just with the amount of carbon that we humans have already put in the atmosphere.

Miami University's Prof. Harold Wanless, and a view of Greenland's ice melt, showing how dirty the survacethat huge ice sheet isMiami University's Prof. Harold Wanless, and a view of Greenland's ice melt, showing how dirty the surface of that huge ice sheet has become from global pollution. Click on the photo to hear the podcast of this interview on PRN.fm

Syndicate content
Loading

Find more artists like Dave Lindorff at Myspace Music

This is the video tape of Davis in Lahore police custody


___________________________

___________________________


Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Live Stream of the Occupation of Wall Street! The Revolution will be filmed after all! (Courtesy of Globalrevolution)
________________________

Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

Listen as Chuck, John, Dave and Linn Join Prairie Radical Mike Caddell of the Fightin' Cock Flyer on Radio Free Kansas

Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

Donate $50 to ThisCantBeHappening.net and get a free signed copy, postage paid, of Dave's classic tome The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Just click on the cover image to go to the Paypal payment page, make your payment, and send a note to Dave calling his attention to the payment, and giving your mail address and the name you want the inscription addressed to.

---------------

Have a comment to make?

You can write us at ThisCantBeHappeningMail@yahoo.com
We may not answer you, but we'll probably read it.



by Dr. Radut