All Further Articles for 2013-06-11

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A Mind of Compassion
Fifty years ago today, in what has been described as a revolution ignited by a single match, a 66-year-old Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc sat down calmly in a busy intersection in Saigon and lit himself on fire. The first and most famous public self-immolation was to protest the US-backed South Vietnamese Ngo Dinh Diệm's Catholic government’s repression of Buddhists. His act helped lead to the toppling of Diệm, and all that followed. Video of the event is horrifying, but in the words of one observer, sometimes - think of our wars - we need to be horrified.
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There Are 108,000 Private Contractors in Afghanistan and the Pentagon Has No Idea What They're Doing
Edward Snowden's acts have highlighted the lack of oversight for intelligence contractors, but they're not the only ones out there on their own. Two new reports show the number of private contractors in Afghanistan is on the rise - with 108,000 vs. 65,700 soldiers - and the Pentagon "lacks the ability" to document just what it is they're doing. The result: A de facto private army with little or no accountability that has cost the DOD $160 billion. Welcome to the drawdown.
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In Cat We Trust
Exhibiting about the same degree of faith in their elected officials as Americans, two Mexican students have put forward a cat candidate for mayor of Xalapa who's more popular than all four (doubtless corrupt) biped candidates. Morris has a Facebook page, a proposed Cabinet, a video, a slogan - rid the city of rats - and a set of campaign promises - sleep, eat, play, do no harm - which to Americans, if you discount Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, sounds okay.
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Monday, June 10, 2013
Yes We Scan: Defend and Pardon Edward Snowden
Even as U.S. officials consider charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, progressives are rallying to his support. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has already begun a legal defense fund for him, and a White House petition has been created - over 36,500 signatures and counting - declaring Snowden "a national hero (who) should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon."
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