WASHINGTON: Mahatma Gandhi should be turning in his grave after being invoked by the American gun lobby in its fight for the right to bear arms.
A maverick gun enthusiast who has asked 1000pro-gun supporters to march across the Potomac carrying loaded rifles on July 4 has pledged to respond “with satyagraha” if he and his supporters are met with force, as the capital police has indicated they would be.
Adam Kokesh, an ex-US marine activist has a history of rabble-rousing and self-promotion, according to various media accounts. But earlier this week, he carried his stunt to the edge of hilarity by virtually adopting Gandhi as a mascot for gun rights, saying he would use the Mahatma’s methods of peaceful resistance to fight the “tyranny” of the state if it cracked down on the right to bear arms enshrined in the US Constitution.
The Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called “a very grave leak” to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there’s a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
But, as NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reports, there’s much more to the story:
“As we understood it then and still understand it, that suicide bomber that AP refers to in its story was actually a double agent working with Western intelligence agencies,” Dina says.
Although the double agent did hand the new underwear bomb technology to U.S. officials, “they had hoped the agent could do more [and] … one consequence of the story is that this agent’s identity was blown,” she says.
Bold mine. Read on…
Noam Scheiber at The New Republic writes: Democrats can’t say it; Barack Obama can’t say it; and the IRS certainly can’t say it, so here goes: The only real sin the IRS committed in its ostensible targeting of conservatives is the sin of political incorrectness—that is, of not pretending it needed to vet all the new groups that wanted tax-exempt status, even though it mostly just needed to vet right-wing groups.
How do we know this? Because, for one thing, the people submitting the questionable applications were overwhelmingly right-wingers. As others have pointed out, the early Obama era was a boom time for conservative activists, who were forming groups faster than NBC burns through “Today Show” hosts. This coincided with a series of court rulings that made it possible for these groups to claim tax-exempt status without disclosing their donors under section 501c4 of the tax code.1 As a result, there were suddenly way more non-disclosing political groups trying to claim tax-exempt status than there ever had been, and the vast majority were right-leaning. No surprise, then, that the IRS would focus on whether these groups actually qualified for that status—something that was questionable since the law said their primary activity needed to be “social welfare,” not politicking.
But, in fact, the IRS’s great conservative crackdown is even more innocent than that. It turns out that the applications the conservative groups submitted to the IRS—the ones the agency subsequently combed over, provoking nonstop howling—were unnecessary. The IRS doesn’t require so-called 501c4 organizations to apply for tax-exempt status. If anyone wants to start a social welfare group, they can just do it, then submit the corresponding tax return (form 990) at the end of the year. To be sure, the IRS certainly allows groups to apply for tax-exempt status if they want to make their status official. But the application is completely voluntary, making it a strange basis for an alleged witch hunt.
SHARE MY DABBA - A SMALL STICKER CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Take a look at how the legendary “dabbawallahs” (people who transport lunch carriers) of Mumbai are helping children in poverty get one square meal, with just a little sticker. Brilliant idea.
I love her and it’s a secret. I love her so much it kills me, and you bet I’d sooner die than tell her
A Final Embrace: The Most Haunting Photograph from Bangladesh
“Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable — it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number — not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious too.
They are witnesses in this cruel history of workers being killed. The death toll is now more than 750. What a harsh situation we are in, where human beings are treated only as numbers.
This photo is haunting me all the time. If the people responsible don’t receive the highest level of punishment, we will see this type of tragedy again. There will be no relief from these horrific feelings. I’ve felt a tremendous pressure and pain over the past two weeks surrounded by dead bodies. As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen.”
Let’s stop this facade that we are a beacon of tolerance. I don’t need you to “tolerate” me. I don’t want you to merely put up with my presence. All I ask, all I have ever asked, is to be treated as a human being, that bigoted jingoism is not injected into every minute facet of my life, that there remains at least the illusion of decency.
—Seema Jilani reports on her racist encounter at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.