Turtle of the Day
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it... You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
Oct 20, 2016, © Disinfo
Big AG tech giants Monsanto – maker of Agent Orange, genetically modified seeds, weed whacking chemicals – and Bayer – famed for manufacturing poison gas forNazi concentration camp use, heroin, baby aspirin, and systemic pesticides – are merging, much to the horror of food security advocates, consumers, and non-zombies worldwide. full article>
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
By Adam Johnson
Oct 21 2016, © FAIR
Russia, ISIS and taxes overwhelmed all other topics during the four presidential and vice-presidential debates, totaling 429 mentions from both candidates and questioners. full article>
Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build the big bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks
By Sarah Jaffe
October 20, 2016, © The Nation
Astra Taylor: You open your book with the Tea Party. Is the left taking advantage of the populist moment we find ourselves in?
Sarah Jaffe: I think part of what we realize now with the Trump upsurge is that there's a whole lot of people—many of whom are mad about some of the same things we're mad about—whom we haven't reached, and who are then reaching for solutions that we find just horrifying. Whether Trump loses or not, we have to deal with what they saw in (him) and whether we can offer them a better solution. full article>
If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for the shedding of precious German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin.
Emma Foehringer Merchant
Oct. 20, 2016, © MotherJones
Five minutes and twenty-seven seconds were spent on climate change and other environmental issues in the three presidential debates, 2 percent of the total time—and that was pretty much all Hillary Clinton talking. (Surprise, surprise.) full article>
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
By John V. Walsh
October 20, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
According to Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, "On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary's policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia. He wants to seek modes of working together, which is the route that we need to follow not to go into confrontation and nuclear war with Russia." full article>
The poetry of heroism appeals irresitably to those who don't go to a war, and even more so to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy.
—Louis Ferdinand Celine
by John Wight
October 21, 2016, © Counterpunch
On October 20, 2011, Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed 'rebels', after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself. full article>
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Italian Football Player of the Day
Luigi "Gigi" Riva:
Par Nathalie Dray
14 octobre 2016, © Libération
"Le style n'est pas quelque chose qu'on peut dégager de l'œuvre d'art. Il la pénètre et l'imprègne tout en demeurant invisible et indémontrable." Ces propos de Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968), rapportés dans le documentaire que lui consacrait la série Cinéastes de notre temps en 1965, ont de quoi intimider mais aussi apaiser. Comment prétendre cerner le style de ce cinéaste de génie auquel la Cinémathèque française ouvre ses portes pour le bonheur d'une rétrospective si lui-même le renvoie à l'ineffable ? full article>
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
Javier Pérez Andújar
15 OCT 2016, © El País
La verdad es algo muy ligero. En el antiguo Egipto se la simbolizaba con una pluma, y para nosotros la pluma sigue manteniendo un carácter sagrado, pues con ella representamos la palabra escrita. Se espera de lo escrito que sea cierto; pero eso era antes de que nos volviéramos unos descreídos. De hecho, lo escrito está perdiendo popularidad, y puede que hasta prestigio, frente a lo audiovisual. Hoy lo escrito tiene valor por puro autoritarismo, porque mantiene la coartada del poder. full article>
What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it
By DECLAN WALSH
OCT. 14, 2016, © The New York Times
NOGALES, Mexico - A few hundred feet from the American border, José Manuel Talavera contemplated his challenge with the focus, if not quite the physique, of an Olympic high jumper. A stocky coffee farmer from Honduras, he was fresh off La Bestia, or the Beast — the freight train network used by migrants to cross Mexico. Now he was preparing to vault into the United States, for the third time. full article>
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Madrid 16 OCT 2016, © El País
Desde que existe, el oficio de historiador consiste en investigar y documentar actos, hechos, vidas, acontecimientos, instituciones, procesos, costumbres, mentalidades, culturas y, con más ahínco en los últimos años, representaciones o historias que se han contado como memorias del pasado. Esa es la primera tarea del historiador: indagar, documentar; eso es lo que le mueve a salir de casa, abandonar el tiempo que le ha tocado vivir, para adentrarse en un país remoto y extraño en busca de las huellas de lo que un día fue y ya no es, del pasado. El de historiador es un oficio para gente curiosa, capaz de salir de sí misma, gente que quiere saber cosas que la experiencia de cada día no le ofrece, quiere saber lo ocurrido en un tiempo que fue y a unas gentes que ya no son. full article>
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
by Gary Leupp
October 14, 2016, © Counterpunch
1. Syria is country about the size of Washington state, with an extraordinarily long, well-documented and glorious history, and central role in the emergence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Before the current war, it had a population of around 22 millions. It has never threatened and poses no threat to the United States. full article>
Only one thing is necessary: we should all have a pure heart, with no anger, hatred, irritation, or hostility in it. If you feel hostility toward another person, think about their inner state. Do not think about yourself, or that you want to prove yourself right. In your quiet, inner thoughts, try to find the good in others. Do not say anything bad about others, even in your own thoughts. When you interact with a person, try to find as much common ground as possible, the more the better, and try to nurture this feeling. To cease being angry with a person and instead to seek peace, forgiveness and love toward him, remind yourself of any sins you may have in common and compare them.
Philosopher of the Day
Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes; this is partly because it gets unobstructed hold of the hearer's mind without his being distracted by secondary thoughts, and partly because he feels that here he is not being corrupted or deceived by the arts of rhetoric, but that the whole effect is got from the thing itself.
Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio
14/10/2016, © Ahora
La idea de que las muertes sin odio, las eliminaciones, son muertes limpias suele aplicarse para acreditar la necesidad de unas muertes; donde no hay odio ni pasión no hay subjetividad, motivos irracionales, y hay, por tanto, objetividad, racionalidad; y quien dice racionalidad, dice necesidad, y quien dice necesidad, dice justicia. (No parezca tan caricaturesco, que aún los hay más insensatos.) El guardia se mata y se tira, porque no hay nada personal contra él; su muerte es solamente el medio de afrentar al poder que representa. full article>
Always tell the Truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said.
October 10, 2016, © ACLU
For the past six months, at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, history has been made at one of the largest international gatherings of indigenous people in recent history. Representatives from well over 100 indigenous nations and thousands of people have camped, prayed, and taken action in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on and near the tribe's sovereign land in North Dakota. full article>
Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.
By Adam Johnson
Oct 13 2016, © FAIR
A review of topics mentioned and questions asked in the first three presidential/vice-presidential debates shows a significant emphasis on Russia, terrorism and taxes—pushing aside most other issues, including climate change, abortion, education, campaign finance and LGBTQ rights. full article>
If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Andrew Levine
October 7, 2016, © Counterpunch
Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize -for not being George W. Bush. This seemed unseemly at the time, but not outrageous. Seven years later, it seems grotesque.
As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. full article>
Bad Sport of the Day:
Nuestras convicciones más arraigadas, más indubitables, son las más sospechosas. Ellas constituyen nuestro límite, nuestros confines, nuestra prisión.
—José Ortega y Gasset
07/10/2016, © Ahora
El manifiesto del primer número de la revista Provoke, firmado por los fotógrafos Takuma Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi, el crítico Koji Taki y el poeta Okada Takahiro, decía: "En este preciso instante, el lenguaje pierde sus referentes concretos —en otras palabras, su realidad— para flotar en el espacio. Como fotógrafos, debemos capturar con nuestra propia mirada los fragmentos de esta realidad que ya no puede ser aprehendida por el lenguaje y debemos producir activamente materiales visuales capaces de suscitar (un nuevo) lenguaje e ideas". full article>
Buscamos cada noche con esfuerzo, entre tierras pesadas y asfixiantes, ese liviano pájaro de luz que arde y se nos escapa en un gemido.
Oct 5, 2016, © Disinfo
According to a new crime report published last week by the FBI, the Drug War is still a pervasive cause for arrest in the United States. The data, which covers recorded arrests for violent crime and property crime as disclosed by local police departments, revealed that arrests for simple possession of drugs — mostly marijuana — are still widespread across the country. full article>
De querer ser a creer que se es ya, va la distancia de lo trágico o lo cómico.
—José Ortega y Gasset
By Robert Parry
October 6, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Most intelligent Americans – Republicans as well as Democrats – now accept that they were duped into the Iraq War with disastrous consequences, but there is more uncertainty about the war on Libya in 2011 as well as the ongoing proxy war on Syria and the New Cold War showdown with Russia over Ukraine. full article>
Creo que la actitud más lúcida, más sana, es tener presente que la vida y que el amor se acaban.
par Cécile Raimbeau
Octobre 2016, © Le Monde Diplomatique
"On veut du travail et du développement !" En ce jour d'avril 2016, une vingtaine de paysans brandissent leurs machettes autour d'un meneur, le pistolet à la ceinture. Face à eux, des Amérindiens Lencas, accompagnés d'écologistes de diverses nationalités, tentent de se rendre sur le site du barrage Agua Zarca. Ils veulent poursuivre le combat de Berta Cáceres, honorée par le prix Goldman pour l'environnement en 2015 et assassinée un an plus tard, ou celui de Nelson García, tué quinze jours après elle. Bientôt, la délégation internationale doit reculer pour échapper aux lames menaçantes et aux jets de pierres. Les policiers demeurent immobiles. full article>
La vida es una serie de colisiones con el futuro; no es una suma de lo que hemos sido, sino de lo que anhelamos ser.
—José Ortega y Gasset
di Fabrizio Dragosei
6 ottobre 2016, © Corriere Della Sera
tava tornando a casa con la spesa quel sabato pomeriggio di dieci anni fa Anna Politkovskaya, la giornalista investigativa di Novaya Gazetache tanto fastidio dava al potere con le sue inchieste. Ma nell'androne del numero 8 di ulitsa Lesnaya non era sola. Davanti all'ascensore, appostato da pochi minuti c'era un giovane vestito di nero con in mano una pistola automatica che la uccise con freddezza professionale. Tre, quattro colpi al corpo e poi un ultimo proiettile alla testa, mentre Anna cadeva in terra e i pomodori rotolavano sul pavimento. full article>
La noche no era el sueño, era su boca, era su hermoso cuerpo despojado de sus gestos inútiles.
By JP Sottile
September 30, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
The Israeli lobby wins again! That's the obvious takeaway from President Barack Obama's historically large, but not quite unprecedented $38 billion "aid package" to Bibi Netanyahu's supposedly intransigent government.
In Israel, the ten-year deal is seen as a solid, but not complete victory for Bibi. In the U.S., the deal looks like it's the cost of doing business with Iran. Sadly, the deal also looks like a bad sign of things to come for the Palestinian people. full article>
Bad Loser of the Day:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016, © InternationalRivers.org
Deep in the Amazon's central basin, one tribe is holding back the seemingly inexorable march of development.
It came in low, guns bristling through the open bay. Such a strange apparition, like a giant insect, almost familiar but for its unnatural sound and fury and the faces staring down at them, striped in the black and green warpaint of the pariwat (outsider). With school in session, no one thought to ask about the unwelcome intrusion by radioing FUNAI, the Brazilian government's agency for indigenous affairs.
As the shooting started it reminded some of carnaval firecrackers in Jacareacanga. But only for an instant. The Munduruku knew pariwat gunfire when they heard it, so they ran. The one young man not out hunting, Adenilson Munduruku, was killed by a bullet to the back of the head, execution-style. Could the Brazilian Armed Forces have mistaken Adenilson for an illegal gold miner as they hovered over a Munduruku village and gazed upon an indigenous culture engaged in its daily rituals? Any such explanation must be rejected given that a dozen people were injured in the November 2012 attack, children among them. One of the Munduruku villagers later told human rights activist Maíra Irigaray/Amazon Watch: "We knew immediately that this was intimidation because of our stand against the dams planned for Tapajós." full article>
We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.
30/09/2016, © Ahora
Dos de octubre de 1836, Falmouth, Inglaterra. "Llegué a casa a última hora de anoche. Mi cabeza está confusa con tanto regocijo." Después de haber llenado exhaustivamente decenas de bitácoras científicas, cuadernos de campo y diarios personales durante un lustro de navegación, al joven Charles Robert Darwin le cuesta describir su estado de ánimo una vez en tierra firme. Acababa de despedirse de su hogar flotante de los últimos cinco años, el HMS Beagle, navío del Almirantazgo en misión de exploración hidrográfica por los mares de medio mundo. No volvería a embarcar jamás. El futuro autor de El origen de las especies (1859) ignoraba cuán lejos habría de conducirle aquella travesía en adelante. Desconocía aún que sus observaciones en latitudes remotas derribarían al ser humano del pedestal de la creación divina, aunque quizá pudo intuir ya algo de su alcance transformador respecto de sí mismo. "El viaje del Beagle ha sido de largo el acontecimiento más importante de mi vida. Ha determinado toda mi carrera", subrayó en su autobiografía. full article>
In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice and freedom - along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society.
Por Sandra Russo
Sábado, 01 de octubre de 2016, © Página/12
La realidad argentina está cruzada, en los medios, por un falso dilema entre la mentira y la verdad. Aceleradamente, los debates mediáticos sobre todos los temas se vuelven cotorreos en los que indefectiblemente dos polemistas, uno defendiendo a Cambiemos y el otro cuestionándolo, trepan a un punto insoportable en el que uno le dice al otro "estás mintiendo", y el otro le contesta "no mientas más". full article>
Congress is so beholden to the money that any solution in the general interest will be frustrated and subverted by the corporate interests who feel they will be damaged by progress, fair play and justice.
—E. L. Doctorow
Tree of the Day:
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
23/09/2016, © Ahora
Quiere ser secretaria general del PSOE y cree que puede serlo. Quiere porque es muy ambiciosa, siempre lo ha sido. Por eso está donde está. Y cree que puede porque tiene ideas suficientes y los respaldos necesarios. Por si esos dos requisitos, querer y poder, no fuesen suficientes, quienes conocen sus intenciones añaden otro más: debe hacerlo por el bien del partido. Y ahí es donde la decisión no admite vuelta atrás. Para ella no hay nada más imperioso que la llamada del partido. Así de claro lo tiene Susana Díaz a estas alturas de la batalla por la secretaría general del PSOE. full article>
Working in a garden calms me down.
by Ramzy Baroud
September 30, 2016, © Counterpunch
Former Israeli Prime Minister and President, Shimon Peres, was a very successful brand. He was presented to the world as stately, wise, a relentless advocate of peace, and a sane voice amidst a conflict deemed senseless and unending.
Now that he is dead at 93, international media are rife with touching tributes and heartwarming eulogies of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, one of Israel's most sagacious 'founding fathers', who was also seen as a 'giant among men'. full article>
It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
23/09/2016, © Ahora
En 1769 nacían, con apenas un mes de diferencia, dos personajes destinados a cambiar el mundo, uno desde las armas y la invasión; el otro, desde la ciencia y el diálogo. El primero, Napoleón, puso en jaque durante 15 años a las potencias absolutistas europeas con su desmedida ambición y construyó en Francia, país del que se proclamó emperador, un Estado tan avanzado que buena parte de sus restos se han integrado en las modernas democracias. El segundo, Alexander von Humboldt, fue un polímata prusiano educado en los ideales ilustrados que orientó todas sus capacidades al desarrollo y perfeccionamiento de distintas disciplinas. Napoleón y Von Humboldt tuvieron objetivos muy distintos y cuando sus caminos se cruzaron, se produjeron fricciones. El corso encajó mal la popularidad del naturalista berlinés y le tuvo siempre por espía; por su parte, el científico lamentó la deriva dictatorial de alguien a quien, como a Victor Hugo o Stendhal, había considerado un ídolo. Fueron distintos incluso en su muerte: cuando falleció Napoleón, en su exilio en Santa Elena, una parte del mundo respiró aliviada; cuando lo hizo Von Humboldt, en su Berlín natal, a los 89 años, el mundo se detuvo. Su funeral de Estado y las muestras de cariño desde cada rincón del planeta certificaron que se había acabado una época. Había muerto el hombre que revolucionó de forma drástica las ciencias y el pensamiento, la visión de la naturaleza y la manera de narrar textos científicos. full article>
It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
par Michael Klare
Septembre 2016, © Le Monde Diplomatique
Alors que la course à la présidence américaine bat son plein et que les responsables européens étudient les conséquences du "Brexit", les débats publics sur la sécurité se focalisent sur la lutte contre le terrorisme international. Mais, si ce sujet sature l'espace médiatique et politique, il joue un rôle relativement secondaire dans les échanges entre généraux, amiraux et ministres de la défense. Car ce ne sont pas les conflits de basse intensité qui retiennent leur attention, mais ce qu'ils nomment les "guerres ouvertes" : des conflits majeurs contre des puissances nucléaires comme la Russie et la Chine. Les stratèges occidentaux envisagent à nouveau un choc de ce type, comme au plus fort de la guerre froide. full article>
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
by Robert Fisk
September 29, 2016, © Counterpunch
When the world heard that Shimon Peres had died, it shouted "Peacemaker!" But when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood and fire and slaughter.
I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smouldering bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies - half of them children - now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to pieces by Israeli shells in 1996. I had been on a UN aid convoy just outside the south Lebanese village. Those shells swished right over our heads and into the refugees packed below us. It lasted for 17 minutes. full article>
Broken Treaty of the Day:
The Treaty of Fort Laramie
Also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868. It was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota, and ArapahoNation signed on April 29, 1868 at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, guaranteeing the Lakota ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all chites. It was repeatedly broken by the U.S. government, a crime that has not been prosecuted or remedied in any significant way to this day.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
By Brenda Norrell
Standing Roc water protectors moved in mass today, by the hundreds, and halted construction at multiple sites of Dakota Access Pipeline where work was supposed to be halted.
'The roads were blocked -- the eagle guided us," said one of the Lakota women, among hundreds who rushed to the sites to halt construction today. full article>
Hay cosas encerradas dentro de los muros que, si salieran de pronto a la calle y gritaran, llenarían el mundo.
—Federico García Lorca
Tuesday 27 September 2016, © The Guardian
Do they understand what they have signed? Plainly they do not. Governments such as ours, now ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change, haven't the faintest idea what it means – either that or they have no intention of honouring it.
For the first time we can see the numbers on which the agreement depends, and their logic is inescapable. Governments can either meet their international commitments or allow the prospecting and development of new fossil fuel reserves. They cannot do both. full article>
Quiero llorar, porque me da la gana.
—Federico García Lorca
Sep 22, 2016, © Disinfo
In the wake of the Colin Kaepernick national anthem controversy, American nationalism has shifted from overdrive to hyperdrive.
Though internet temper tantrums and jersey-burning have dominated protests against Kaepernick's protest, the backlash is being felt in a different and more institutional way: in public schools. full article>
September 27, 2016, © Democracy Now
Syrian Fig Tree of the Day:
Abyad (White) ابيض
Our moral authority is as important, if not more important, than our troop strength or our high-tech weapons. We are rapidly losing that moral authority, not only in the Arab world but all over the world.
By Rick Sterling
September 23, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Manipulation of public perception has risen to a new level with the emergence of powerful social media. Multibillion-dollar corporate giants, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, influence public perceptions, often via payments for "boosting" Facebook posts, paid promotion of Tweets, and biased results from search engines.
Marketing and advertising companies use social media to promote their clients, but so do U.S. foreign policy managers who hire or enlist these companies to influence public perceptions to support U.S. foreign policy goals. full article>
Even in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was concerned about what he called a campaign of hatred of the U.S. in the Arab world, because of the perception on the Arab street that it supported harsh and oppressive regimes to take their oil.
by Mike Whitney
September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch
The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.
The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. (See: Bill Blum here.) We're talking about the United States of course. full article>
The idea of photographing an Arab man naked and having him simulate homosexual activity, and having an American GI woman in the photographs, is the end of society in their eyes.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Feb. 25, 2016, © EcoWatch
The fossil fuel industry's business model is to externalize its costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions—causing grave environmental costs, including toxic pollution and global warming. Among the other unassessed prices of the world's addiction to oil are social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis overseas, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home.
As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores. full article>
The U.S. and its allies will do anything they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world.
September 22, 2016, © OurFuture.org
With the advent of Donald Trump, what was once covert in the Republican message has become overt. Yesterday's dog whistle is today's screaming siren. Case in point: anti-immigrant bigotry, which was most recently expressed in Donald Trump Jr.'s recent "Skittles"-themed Twitter attack on Syrian refugees.
Think about that. Don Jr. compared people who are fleeing horrific violence to ... tiny candies. This emotional inability to distinguish human beings from inanimate objects, and therefore to empathize with their suffering, seems to border on the sociopathic. Even Wrigley, the candy's manufacturer, distanced itself in a statement that said: "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it is an appropriate analogy." full article>
Brutal Dictator of the Day:
Islam Karimov (with John Kerry)
(Free trade agreements) are trade agreements that don't stick to trade...they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce.
by Andrew Levine
September 23, 2016, © Counterpunch
The news is full of it – literally and figuratively: Trump is surging in the polls, especially in so-called battleground states. Is it time to worry?
Indeed, it is, but not about Trump. The Donald has been headed for defeat from the moment he started trouncing his rivals in the Republican primaries and caucuses. No matter that the polls are now detecting a Trump surge (more like a trickle, actually) or that the know-it-alls — left, right and center — now think otherwise. Nothing has changed; he still is. full article>
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war.
—Ludwig von Mises
By Dean Baker
Sep 23 2016, © FAIR
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has little to do with free trade. The trade barriers between the United States and the other countries are already very low, with few exceptions; in fact, the US already has trade deals with six of the 11 countries in the TPP. The TPP is primarily about installing a corporate-friendly structure of regulation, as well as increasing protectionist barriers in the form of stronger and longer patent and copyright and related protections. (It doesn't matter if you and your friends like patent and copyright protection; they are still protectionism.) full article>
By Anna Lekas Miller
September 23, 2016, © The Nation
"We weren't expecting to be here very long," Ayhan, a 28-year-old from Afrin, Syria, says, as she sits with her husband, Hozan, on a porch made of wood pallets outside their modest tent in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in northern Greece.
"I only have two changes of clothes," she continues, pouring coffee into a row of baby-food tins that have been repurposed as coffee cups for impromptu guests. "What I'm wearing right now, and what I wore when I crossed the sea in February." full article>
September 19, 2016, © Democracy Now
Poem of the Day:
"In the Desert", by Stephen Crane
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter -- bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.
16/09/2016, © Ahora
"Esto podría haberse quedado en un caso de un ser humano teniendo un mal día", dice la veterana periodista Christiane Amanpour en un vídeo que ha corrido como la pólvora en las redes sociales, en el que apunta que es normal que un candidato caiga enfermo alguna vez en una campaña electoral tan larga y dura como la estadounidense. "Pero no, como pasa con tantas cosas con Hillary, los medios se están divirtiendo", añade irónicamente, recordando la cantidad de crisis de salud que han vivido a lo largo de la historia los políticos estadounidenses con el visto bueno de los medios: desde los dolores de Kennedy, que no le impidieron "salvar al mundo de un posible armagedón nuclear durante la crisis de los misiles cubanos", a la ocasión en la que George Bush padre vomitó encima del primer ministro japonés en una cena de Estado, para desmayarse justo después. Pero nadie cuestionó su capacidad política entonces. "Si los hombres pueden hacerlo, por qué no las mujeres." full article>
The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!
By Michael T. Klare
September 15, 2016, © The Nation
In a year of record-setting heat on a blistered globe, with fast-warming oceans, fast-melting ice caps, and fast-rising sea levels, ratification of the December 2015 Paris climate-summit agreement—already endorsed by most nations—should be a complete no-brainer. That it isn't tells you a great deal about our world. Global geopolitics and the possible rightward lurch of many countries (including a potential deal-breaking election in the United States that could put a climate denier in the White House) spell bad news for the fate of the Earth. It's worth exploring how this might come to be. full article>
Squirrel of the Day:
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Saturday 17 September 2016, © The Guardian
America's leading playwright Edward Albee, the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the bleakest of black domestic comedies – has died aged 88 at his home in Montauk, East Hampton.
His shocking play about a decaying academic marriage marked him out early as what the New York Times has called this weekend "the playwright of a desperate generation". full article>
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sep. 13, 2016, © MotherJones
And then there were three.
On Tuesday, marriage negotiations between seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and its suitor, German behemoth Bayer, got hotter than a corn field at high noon in late summer. Bayer sweetened its offer to $56.5 billion Tuesday afternoon, just as Monsanto's Board of Directors was scheduled to meet to consider the offer, according to Bloomberg News. Monsanto's board consented Wednesday—resulting in "the biggest deal this year and the largest ever by a German company." full article>
I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is.
by Lauren Kirchner
Sep. 12, 2016, © ProPublica
The five teenage boys were sitting in a parked car in a gated community in Melbourne, Florida, when a police officer pulled up behind them.
Officer Justin Valutsky closed one of the rear doors, which had been ajar, and told them to stay in the car. He peered into the drivers' side window of the white Hyundai SUV and asked what the teens were doing there. It was a Saturday night in March 2015 and they told Valutsky they were visiting a friend for a sleepover. full article>
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cloud of the Day:
There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.
by Mike Whitney
September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch
The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.
The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. We're talking about the United States of course.
Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close. That being the case, one might assume that the American people would notice the pattern of intervention, see through the propaganda and assign blame accordingly. But that never seems to happen and it probably won't happen here either. No matter how compelling the evidence may be, the brainwashed American people always believe their government is doing the right thing. full article>
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Sep 15, 2016, © Disinfo.com
The complete version of Abby Martin's three-part series covering Chevron's disaster in Ecuador, on teleSUR's The Empire Files.
Abby launches a deep investigation into Chevron Texaco's intentional spilling of 19 billion gallons of oil and waste in Ecuador's pristine Amazon rainforest–and the 25-year-long legal battle that followed. full article>
Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.
By Robert Parry
September 14, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West's military intervention to "protect" civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous "regime change" operation.
The report from the U.K.'s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the "humanitarian" mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos. full article>
Crow of the Day:
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
By Jon Wiener
September 12, 2016, © The Nation
President Obama will grant his last pardons by January 20, 2017, his final day in office. With that in mind, and with Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden biopic slated for release this fall, I sat down with Ben Wizner in July to ask about the NSA whistle-blower's chances of coming home soon. Wizner is Snowden's attorney; he also directs the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. full article>
Be curious, not judgmental.
September 13, 2016, © The Progressive
In 1995, Oliver Stone directed and co-wrote Nixon, a film about America's wiretapper-in-chief and all the president's über-snoopers, with Anthony Hopkins as Tricky Dick, Bob Hoskins as FBI führer J. Edgar Hoover and a supporting cast of GOP dirty tricksters and "plumbers." full article>
Héroes del ayer y del hoy. En la noche más soñada, cuando la situación era límite, cuando había que sacarse la mufa en torneos internacionales después de la Libertadores 2014. Y justamente dos partícipes de aquel torneo inolvidable fueron los dos grandes personajes de una noche electrizante en el Gasómetro. Partidazo para ver, pero demasiado para cualquier hincha. Al palo, con tres goles en diez minutos, el descuento de Banfield y el sufrimiento hasta el final, con esos cuatro minutos eternos de descuento. El viento que empujaba en contra, la gente que alentaba desde afuera... y la descarga con la clasificación a octavos de final ya asegurada. full article>
Movie Director of the Day:
I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.
September 10, 2016, © Democracy Now
An arrest warrant has been issued in North Dakota for Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman. Goodman was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense. A team from Democracy Now! was in North Dakota last week to cover the Native American-led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
On Sept. 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the Dakota Access pipeline company using dogs and pepper spray to attack protesters. Democracy Now!'s report went viral online and was rebroadcast on many outlets, including CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post. full article>
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
Sep. 11, 2016, © MotherJones
History is riddled with science denial. From Newton's law of gravitation to Hanaoka Seinshu's use of anesthesia, there's no shortage of discoveries that have been scoffed at, ridiculed, and wholly rejected by prominent thinkers before eventually settling into the human narrative. But too often, significant damage is done—and sometimes lives are lost—while these debates play out. After centuries of dismissing scientific discoveries, only to be proven wrong time and again, you'd think we'd learn to have a little more faith in the experts. full article>
All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.
By Dahr Jamail
Monday, 12 September 2016, © Truthout
It is August 30. I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, and it's hot. Very hot. In fact, it's the fourth straight day of record high temperatures, amidst a year that has seen record high temperatures becoming normalized across the entire state.
Two days ago, this city (the most populous in Alaska) saw a record high temperature of 78 degrees, which beat the previous record by a whopping seven degrees. full article>
Shark of the Day:
Jill Stein, © jill2016.com
"My Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.
It offers direct answers to the economic, social, and ecological crises brought on by both corporate political parties. And it empowers the American people to fix our broken political system and make real the promise of democracy.
This plan will end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world. The power to create this new world is not in our hopes, it's not in our dreams - it's in our hands." full article>
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sep. 9, 2016, © MotherJones
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile conduit slated to carry crude oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois when it's completed by the end of this year. Since its approval in late July, the project has sparked outrage. Last weekend, protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota reached a boiling point, with reports of violent attacks on protesters by security dogs and numerous instances of macing. full article>
The end of confession is to tell the truth to and for oneself.
—J. M. Coetzee
by Andrew Levine
September 9, 2016, © Counterpunch.org
Labor Day has come and gone; the campaign season is now in high gear. Getting to this point was hard for anyone paying attention. It will soon be worse a hundred-fold.
The collective intelligence of the American people is about to be insulted even more shamelessly than it has already been — as the sales campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rev up, seemingly without budget constraints. full article>
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
By Dean Baker
Sep 6 2016, © FAIR
In pushing trade agreements, it is fair to say anything, even if it has no relationship to the truth. Therefore it is not surprising to see Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post, 9/1/16) pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by claiming that it will boost growth, and attacking Bernie Sanders for opposing "trade policies that have lifted hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people out of poverty." full article>
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
Pear of the Day:
Behind the deceptive words designed to entice people into supporting violence -- words like democracy, freedom, self-defense, national security -- there is the reality of enormous wealth in the hands of a few, while billions of people in the world are hungry, sick, homeless.
By Lawrence Davidson
September 6, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
It was on Aug. 12, 1949, that the nations of the world, with Nazi atrocities still in mind, updated what are known as the Geneva Accords. This constituted an effort to once again set limits on the wartime behavior of states and their agents.
Among other things, the accords set the range of acceptable behavior toward prisoners of war, established protections for the wounded and the sick, and the necessary protections to be afforded civilian populations within and approximate to any war-zone. Some 193 countries, including the United States, have ratified these agreements. Now, as of August 2016, they are 67-years-old. Have they worked? The answer is, in all too many cases, no. full article>
It's not right to respond to terrorism by terrorizing other people. And furthermore, it's not going to help. Then you might say, "Yes, it's terrorizing people, but it's worth doing because it will end terrorism." But how much common sense does it take to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately dropping bombs?
by Robert Maguire on August 24, 2016, © OpenSecrets.org
In the long debate over the changing nature of election advertising, one thing is now clearer than ever: Outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited money – sometimes without disclosing the sources of their funds – make up a larger portion of election spending than at any point in the last 16 years, by far. full article>
Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.
Player of the Day:
Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
by Pratap Chatterjee
August 15th, 2016, © CorpWatch
Every four years, billions tune in to watch the Olympics on television. And every four years, major corporations pay millions for prime advertising opportunities as official sponsors. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are no different with Coca-Cola and McDonald's igniting a storm of controversy over their role. full article>
We ought to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its antecedent state and as the cause of the state that is to follow. An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The perfection that the human mind has been able to give to astronomy affords but a feeble outline of such an intelligence.
Tuesday 6 September 2016, © The Guardian
Andrés Iniesta says he heard the silence and knew that all he had to do was wait for Isaac Newton. The ball sat up; gravity would bring it down again and, when it did, he would score. It was the 116th minute in Johannesburg and he did score, running to the corner and pulling off his shirt to reveal the message underneath, written in blue marker by Hugo the kit man: "Dani Jarque, always with us". Ten thousand miles away Spain erupted and Jessica cried. Through the tears she saw it: Dani, her Dani. full article>
Fox of the Day:
No legacy is so rich as honesty.
by Gary Leupp
September 6, 2016, © Counterpunch
What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?... There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity... You can smell it. It smells like death.
—Big Daddy to son Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Big Daddy might have been talking about the current U.S. presidential election, which currently wraps the nation in a putrid bubble that can be smelled around the planet. To call it a democratic process would surely be mendacious. full article>
There's an honesty to the wolf world that is liberating. There's no diplomacy, no decorum. You tell your enemy you hate him; you show your admiration by confessing the truth. That directness doesn't work with humans, who are masters of subterfuge. Does this dress make me look fat? Do you really love me? Did you miss me? When a person asks this, she doesn't want to know the real answer. She wants you to lie to her. After two years of living with wolves, I had forgotten how many lies it takes to build a relationship.
By Eric Grundhauser
Aug. 31 2016, © Atlas Obscura
Everyone has a favorite writer, but few take their love of literature as far as Flora MacDonald Denison, an Ontario-based inn owner who had her favorite poet's words etched forever (well, sort of), into a granite cliff. full article>
Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
September 05, 2016, © Democracy Now
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Ape of the Day:
By Daniel Lazare
September 3, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most right-wing presidential candidate of all?
The answer used to be Donald Trump, famous for his naked bigotry toward Mexicans and Muslims. But that was before Hillary Clinton supporters took a page from the old Joe McCarthy handbook and began denouncing their Republican opponent as "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation" or arguing that criticism of Clinton and NATO somehow emanates out of Moscow. full article>
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
5 SEP 2016, © El País
La humanidad está exterminando a los seres más parecidos a ella: los grandes simios. Cuatro de los seis grandes simios están ya a un paso de la extinción, según la última actualización de la Lista Roja de Especies Amenazadas de la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN), publicada hoy. Son el gorila oriental, el gorila occidental, el orangután de Borneo y el orangután de Sumatra, clasificados en peligro crítico. El chimpancé y el bonobo, los otros dos grandes simios, se encuentran tan solo un peldaño mejor, en la categoría de en peligro. full article>
Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.
By Sam Husseini
September 4, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
As several writers have noted — before and after the furor surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" — the national anthem is racist. Specifically, the third stanza, which references the British offering freedom to African-American slaves who would join with them in the War of 1812, says:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Even less well know, the song originates in slaveowner Francis Scott Key's "When the Warrior Returns" — which was set to the same tune. full article>
Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.
Duck of the Day:
American Black Duck
August 25, 2016, © Doctors Without Borders
BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, AUGUST 25, 2016 — On August 17, while conducting search and rescue operations off the Libyan coast, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) rescue vessel the Bourbon Argos was approached and attacked by a group of armed men onboard an unidentified speedboat, MSF said today, strongly condemning the attack. full article>
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
—Vincent Van Gogh
Aug. 11, 2016, © Commentary
IN 1938, THE OXFORD professor J.R.R. Tolkien published a bestselling book featuring wizards, elves, dwarves, kings, queens, and a curious creature for which the story is named: The Hobbit. The novel, which has sold more than 100 million copies since its publication, dramatically expanded the possibilities (and readership) of a genre that would come to be known as fantasy. Tolkien tells of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, whose utter indifference to adventure is upended by a visit from 13 hirsute dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf. full article>
The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Wednesday 24 August 2016, © The Independent
How the West would love to believe that Turkey's army in Syria – all 10 tanks of it – are striking at last at everyone's enemy, the blood-soaked cult of the "Islamic State". But few in Syria or Turkey will be fooled. Isis have been sitting in Jerablus for many months; it is the advance of the American-armed Kurdish YPG militia along the Turkish border towards Jerablus that worries Sultan Erdogan. full article>
Every positive value has its price in negative terms... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
People were already beginning to forget, what horrible suffering the war had brought them. I did not want to cause fear and panic, but to let people know how dreadful war is and so to stimulate people's powers of resistance.
by Rob Urie
August 26, 2016, © Counterpunch
The political establishment in the U.S. is rapidly moving toward a crisis of legitimacy as capitalist democracy is exposed as a system of insider dealing where war, manufactured social misery and environmental catastrophe are ever-more-implausibly posed as solutions to their own facts. With growing evidence, as if any more were needed, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton spent her time at as Secretary of State filling the coffers of the Clinton family slush fund, the Clinton Foundation, with the tainted money of special pleaders, despots and global misery mongers as she went about launching wars-of-choice against some fair bit of the planet. full article>
I think reconciliation is Obama's goal - but the fight with the Republicans is like a fight with pit bulls, they never let go. Even worse, now the Republicans feel they can keep pushing and he will keep giving. They have not seen a stiff resistance on his part.
26 AGO 2016, © El País
"Y al fin en un océano de irremediables huesos, tu corazón y el mío naufragarán", escribió el poeta Miguel Hernández a su esposa desde una trinchera de la Guerra Civil en 1937. El antropólogo forense Fernando Serrulla recuerda perfectamente aquel día de agosto de 2010 en el que recibió una llamada, se subió al coche y condujo desde su casa en Ourense hasta un monte de Burgos, para ver un corazón naufragado en un océano de irremediables huesos. Allí, en la exhumación de una de las mayores fosas comunes de la guerra, la de La Pedraja, habían aparecido cerebros conservados dentro de los cráneos de los asesinados. Y un corazón que dejó de latir en 1936. full article>
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
23 August 2016, © FourFourTwo
Despite being part of the Newcastle United furniture for eight years, a lifetime in the turbulent world of the Magpies, Fabricio Coloccini bade farewell to English football with little fanfare this summer. But over in Buenos Aires, his arrival at the club of which he is a passionate supporter was very different. full article>
I could never resist the call of the trail.
Museum of the Day:
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Potato of the day:
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
—Thomas A. Edison
Rep. Chris Taylor
August 10, 2016, © The Progressive
I walked into my sixth American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference just in time to hear the queen of ALEC, state Senator Leah Vukmir, tell one of two familiar Wisconsin myths.
It wasn't the one Governor Walker likes to repeat, where newly elected Tea Party politicians faced down thousands of school teachers, firefighters and high school kids (aka "the union bosses") and took away workers' right to organize.
It was the other, lesser known, but equally powerful myth the ALEC crowd adores: Wisconsin Republicans "shut down" a government investigation run amok that was suppressing the First Amendment rights of "free market supporters" (i.e., ALEC allies and supporters). full article>
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
15. aug. 2016, © Politiken
Da jeg landede i Nice tirsdag for tre uger siden, havde jeg naturligvis massakren 14.juli på Promenade de Anglais intenst i tankerne. full article>
We live by encouragement and die without it - slowly, sadly and angrily.
Aug. 11 2016, © Atlas Obscura
By Sarah Laskow
There are some people who don't like tomatoes. It's confusing, and wrong, but a fact. However, this reporter believes that tomatoes are the perfect food. As this summer fruit comes into season on the East Coast, if they are red, ripe, and juicy, I could eat them for every meal—sprinkled with salt and drizzled in olive oil, set between two pieces of mayo-slathered bread (Harriet the Spy–style), as a BLT, the best sandwich ever invented, or in basically any combination with corn. Or basil. Or cheese. full article>
Nine tenths of education is encouragement.
Anita Brask Rasmussen
15. august 2016, © Informatíon
Poul Smidt ville meget gerne have været tilstede en af de dage i slutningen af 1940'erne, hvor dengang embedsmand og siden statsminister Viggo Kampmann skulle overbevise en socialdemokratisk forsamling om, at målet ikke bare var at fordele kagen retfærdigt, men at gøre kagen større, så der var mere at fordele, og at afskrivningsregler til erhvervslivet var et led i det arbejde. full article>g
Snake of the Day:
California Red-Sided Garter Snake
They succeed, because they think they can.
3. august 2016, © Berlingske
Nazisten Heinrich Himmlers dagbøger er sensationelt gravet frem fra gemmerne. En avis bringer uddrag af teksten, så læserne kommer helt tæt på bødlen Himmler, Adolf Hitlers fortrolige. full article>
True contentment comes with empathy.
Aug. 2, 2016, © MotherJones
The world is careening towards an environment never experienced before by humans, with the temperature of the air and oceans breaking records, sea levels reaching historic highs and carbon dioxide surpassing a key milestone, a major international report has found. full article>
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
July 2, 2016, © freeradicalmedia
Our world is one of seemingly disparate forces. Contrasting frequencies give birth to our experience; allowing us to indulge in BOTH pleasure & pain, ignorance & knowledge, light and shadow. We have been conditioned — both culturally and biologically, to go towards certain experiences while simultaneously pulling away from others. This is literally how life is lived for the majority. full article>
In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
—Miguel de Cervantes
Sailboat of the Day:
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
By John Chuckman
July 31, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
When did America's establishment ever discuss, in elections or at other times, issues of war and peace for the people's understanding and consent? Virtually never. There was no mandate for Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or a dozen other conflicts.
Of course, once a war gets going, there is a tendency for Americans to close ranks with flags and ribbons and slogans such as "Support our troops" and "Love it or leave it." The senior leaders know this psychological pattern, and they count on it, every time. full article>
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
4. aug. 2016, © Politiken
Amerikanerne har omkring 357 millioner skydevåben, og mange gange glemmer de, at de har et dødeligt våben – ofte ladt – i håndbagagen, når de tjekker ind i en lufthavn. full article>
A hospital alone shows what war is.
—Erich Maria Remarque
by Howard Lisnoff
August 3, 2016, © Counterpunch
"There you go again," was one of Ronald Reagan's favorite refrains in the 1980s, and especially in a 1984 presidential debate with Walter Mondale, to disarm his critics and to show the disdain that he held for any issues that had even a hint of liberalism. He was also the architect of the "noble cause" historical revisionism that began the sanitizing of the Vietnam War. "Theirs was a noble cause," were the words he used that began the long march to attempt to make the Vietnam War a good war in the minds of Americans. full article>
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Politics is the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex.
Monkey of the Day:
Anyone who wants to look at sunlight naturally wipes his eye clear first, in order to make, at any rate, some approximation to the purity of that on which he looks; and a person wishing to see a city or country goes to the place in order to do so.
By William D. Hartung
07/26/2016, © The Nation
When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you'd expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. It's good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out. full article>
Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.
24/07/16, © Mundoazulgrana.com
El presidente de San Lorenzo Matías Lammens habló del aporte social del club y se diferenció del gobierno nacional en cuanto a la política de educación. ¿Se proyectará a la política más adelante? full article>
Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.
—Norman Vincent Peale
by Andrew Levine
July 26, 2016, © Counterpunch
Hillary Clinton is not a lesser, but good enough, Bernie Sanders, even allowing for his many faults.
She is a Wall Street flunky and a liberal imperialist with pronounced neocon predilections, who is shamelessly obeisant to all the usual suspects — from the fracking lobby to AIPAC. full article>
One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
By Robert Parry
July 22, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
In a fresh embarrassment for The New York Times, a photographic forensic expert has debunked a new amateurish, anti-Russian analysis of satellite photos related to the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, labeling the work "a fraud."
Last Saturday, on the eve of the second anniversary of the tragedy that claimed 298 lives, the Times touted the amateur analysis asserting that the Russian government had manipulated two satellite photos that revealed Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles in eastern Ukraine at the time of the shoot-down. full article>
Patriarchy is a fundamental imbalance underlying society And it's one we rarely address because it's so universal. But as I get older, I see that peace is a product of balance.
by Jonathan Cook
July 21, 2016, © Counterpunch
The grubby underside of US electoral politics is on show once again as the Democratic and Republican candidates prepare to fight it out for the presidency. And it doesn't get seamier than the battle to prove how loyal each candidate is to Israel. full article>
I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.
Posted on July 21, 2016 © Climate Science Watch
On September 17th of 2014, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology voted 4-3 to grant subpoena powers to the Committee Chair, useable without consultation of the Committee as a whole. This extraordinary power became available for the first time during the current Congress, with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) serving as Committee Chair. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) expressed concerns about the potential abuse of this power in January of 2015. This summer, the concern has been justified. full article>
The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.
By Daniel Lazare
July 21, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
The video is appalling even by Syrian standards. It shows a couple of grown men holding onto a small boy who is perhaps ten or 12 years old. One of them grips the boy by the hair while the other playfully pats his cheek. The men smile, laugh and give the thumb's up. Then they lay the boy on his stomach, tie his hands behind his back, and draw a knife across his throat. In the final frame, one of the soldiers holds the severed head aloft in triumph. full article>
Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.
Dog of the Day:
African Wild Dog
A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
The Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green Parties. Committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing, Greens are renewing democracy without the support of corporate donors. Greens provide real solutions for real problems. Whether the issue is universal health care, corporate globalization, alternative energy, election reform or decent, living wages for workers, Greens have the courage and independence necessary to take on the powerful corporate interests. full article>
There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
by ANDREW COCKBURN
JULY 15, 2016, © Counterpunch
At least for a moment, Donald Trump seriously considered picking retired General Michael Flynn, fired as DIA chief for correctly predicting that Obama's covert Syrian intervention would generate a jihadist monster such as ISIS. Hillary Clinton meanwhile is reportedly pondering the selection of retired Admiral James G. Stavridis, a former Rumsfeld lickspittle who helped destroy Libya and thinks it would be a fine idea to hook up with Al Qaeda in Syria. Clinton's putative defense secretary, Michelle Flournoy, herself an ardent proponent of escalation in Syria and elsewhere, acclaims him as "one of the finest military officers of his generation." One might think that for a candidate politically burdened by her vote for the invasion of Iraq, not to mention the Libyan disaster, Stavridis, currently Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, might not be the best choice. full article>
The systematic dismantling of reproductive rights, much like the takedown of collective bargaining, has been taking place in full view.
04 July 2016, © Medecins Sans Frontieres
Growing up in suburban Montreal, I was blissfully unaware of the struggles of the world. As a 10-year-old sitting in class completely embarrassed about the topic of sexual education — learning about the normal changes our bodies will encounter, what is menstruation and how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections — I was spoiled on so many levels. full article>
Money is our madness, our vast collective madness.
—D. H. Lawrence
Saturday 16 July 2016, © The Guardian
An Indian businessman who made headlines in 2013 for purchasing a shirt made entirely of gold has been beaten to death in western India, according to a report on Friday. full article>
As the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, the techniques of the arts provide the most valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes.
Below is the transcript of President Obama's remarks at the Dallas memorial service for the five officers slain in the attack on Thursday, July 7, 2016:
Mr. President and Mrs. Bush; my friend, the Vice President, and Dr. Biden; Mayor Rawlings; Chief Spiller; clergy; members of Congress; Chief Brown -- I'm so glad I met Michelle first, because she loves Stevie Wonder -- (laughter and applause) -- but most of all, to the families and friends and colleagues and fellow officers:
Scripture tells us that in our sufferings there is glory, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Sometimes the truths of these words are hard to see. Right now, those words test us. Because the people of Dallas, people across the country, are suffering.
We're here to honor the memory, and mourn the loss, of five fellow Americans -- to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, to pray for the wounded, and to try and find some meaning amidst our sorrow.
For the men and women who protect and serve the people of Dallas, last Thursday began like any other day. Like most Americans each day, you get up, probably have too quick a breakfast, kiss your family goodbye, and you head to work. But your work, and the work of police officers across the country, is like no other. For the moment you put on that uniform, you have answered a call that at any moment, even in the briefest interaction, may put your life in harm's way.
Lorne Ahrens, he answered that call. So did his wife, Katrina -- not only because she was the spouse of a police officer, but because she's a detective on the force. They have two kids. And Lorne took them fishing, and used to proudly go to their school in uniform. And the night before he died, he bought dinner for a homeless man. And the next night, Katrina had to tell their children that their dad was gone. "They don't get it yet," their grandma said. "They don't know what to do quite yet."
Michael Krol answered that call. His mother said, "He knew the dangers of the job, but he never shied away from his duty." He came a thousand miles from his home state of Michigan to be a cop in Dallas, telling his family, "This is something I wanted to do." Last year, he brought his girlfriend back to Detroit for Thanksgiving, and it was the last time he'd see his family.
Michael Smith answered that call -- in the Army, and over almost 30 years working for the Dallas Police Association, which gave him the appropriately named "Cops Cop" award. A man of deep faith, when he was off duty, he could be found at church or playing softball with his two girls. Today, his girls have lost their dad, for God has called Michael home.
Patrick Zamarripa, he answered that call. Just 32, a former altar boy who served in the Navy and dreamed of being a cop. He liked to post videos of himself and his kids on social media. And on Thursday night, while Patrick went to work, his partner Kristy posted a photo of her and their daughter at a Texas Rangers game, and tagged her partner so that he could see it while on duty.
Brent Thompson answered that call. He served his country as a Marine. And years later, as a contractor, he spent time in some of the most dangerous parts of Iraq and Afghanistan. And then a few years ago, he settled down here in Dallas for a new life of service as a transit cop. And just about two weeks ago, he married a fellow officer, their whole life together waiting before them.
Like police officers across the country, these men and their families shared a commitment to something larger than themselves. They weren't looking for their names to be up in lights. They'd tell you the pay was decent but wouldn't make you rich. They could have told you about the stress and long shifts, and they'd probably agree with Chief Brown when he said that cops don't expect to hear the words "thank you" very often, especially from those who need them the most.
No, the reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in America depends on the rule of law; that the maintenance of that law is a hard and daily labor; that in this country, we don't have soldiers in the streets or militias setting the rules. Instead, we have public servants -- police officers -- like the men who were taken away from us.
And that's what these five were doing last Thursday when they were assigned to protect and keep orderly a peaceful protest in response to the killing of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota. They were upholding the constitutional rights of this country.
For a while, the protest went on without incident. And despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest, despite the fact that there must have been signs or slogans or chants with which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals that they were. In fact, the police had been part of the protest's planning. Dallas PD even posted photos on their Twitter feeds of their own officers standing among the protesters. Two officers, black and white, smiled next to a man with a sign that read, "No Justice, No Peace."
And then, around nine o'clock, the gunfire came. Another community torn apart. More hearts broken. More questions about what caused, and what might prevent, another such tragedy.
I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we've witnessed over the past week. First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, and the protests, then the targeting of police by the shooter here -- an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred. All of it has left us wounded, and angry, and hurt. It's as if the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. And although we know that such divisions are not new -- though they have surely been worse in even the recent past -- that offers us little comfort.
Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African-American community that feels unfairly targeted by police, and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other's experience. We turn on the TV or surf the Internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn, and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout. We see all this, and it's hard not to think sometimes that the center won't hold and that things might get worse.
I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. But, Dallas, I'm here to say we must reject such despair. I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we've come against impossible odds. (Applause.) I know we'll make it because of what I've experienced in my own life, what I've seen of this country and its people -- their goodness and decency --as President of the United States. And I know it because of what we've seen here in Dallas -- how all of you, out of great suffering, have shown us the meaning of perseverance and character, and hope.
When the bullets started flying, the men and women of the Dallas police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly. They showed incredible restraint. Helped in some cases by protesters, they evacuated the injured, isolated the shooter, and saved more lives than we will ever know. (Applause.) We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions. (Applause.) "Everyone was helping each other," one witness said. "It wasn't about black or white. Everyone was picking each other up and moving them away." See, that's the America I know.
The police helped Shetamia Taylor as she was shot trying to shield her four sons. She said she wanted her boys to join her to protest the incidents of black men being killed. She also said to the Dallas PD, "Thank you for being heroes." And today, her 12-year-old son wants to be a cop when he grows up. That's the America I know. (Applause.)
In the aftermath of the shooting, we've seen Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, a white man and a black man with different backgrounds, working not just to restore order and support a shaken city, a shaken department, but working together to unify a city with strength and grace and wisdom. (Applause.) And in the process, we've been reminded that the Dallas Police Department has been at the forefront of improving relations between police and the community. (Applause.) The murder rate here has fallen. Complaints of excessive force have been cut by 64 percent. The Dallas Police Department has been doing it the right way. (Applause.) And so, Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, on behalf of the American people, thank you for your steady leadership, thank you for your powerful example. We could not be prouder of you. (Applause.)
These men, this department -- this is the America I know. And today, in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In this audience, I see what's possible -- (applause) -- I see what's possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment, all deserving of equal respect, all children of God. That's the America that I know.
Now, I'm not naïve. I have spoken at too many memorials during the course of this presidency. I've hugged too many families who have lost a loved one to senseless violence. And I've seen how a spirit of unity, born of tragedy, can gradually dissipate, overtaken by the return to business as usual, by inertia and old habits and expediency. I see how easily we slip back into our old notions, because they're comfortable, we're used to them. I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change. I've seen how inadequate my own words have been. And so I'm reminded of a passage in *John's Gospel (First John): Let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. If we're to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficult times, if we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we've lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know. And that's not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. But we're going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves.
We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally. They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn. (Applause.) And when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety. And as for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police, even if they don't act on it themselves -- well, they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, but they do a disservice to the very cause of justice that they claim to promote. (Applause.)
We also know that centuries of racial discrimination -- of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow -- they didn't simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation. They didn't just stop when Dr. King made a speech, or the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were signed. Race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime. Those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress. (Applause.)
But we know -- but, America, we know that bias remains. We know it. Whether you are black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We've heard it at times in our own homes. If we're honest, perhaps we've heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism's burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination's sting. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.
And so when African Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment; when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you're black you're more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime; when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have "the talk" about how to respond if stopped by a police officer -- "yes, sir," "no, sir" -- but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy -- when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid. (Applause.) We can't simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members again and again and again -- it hurts. Surely we can see that, all of us."
We also know what Chief Brown has said is true: That so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. (Applause.) As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. (Applause.) We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. (Applause.) We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book -- (applause) -- and then we tell the police "you're a social worker, you're the parent, you're the teacher, you're the drug counselor." We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience. Don't make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over.
We know these things to be true. They've been true for a long time. We know it. Police, you know it. Protestors, you know it. You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are, and you pretend as if there's no context. These things we know to be true. And if we cannot even talk about these things -- if we cannot talk honestly and openly not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.
In the end, it's not about finding policies that work; it's about forging consensus, and fighting cynicism, and finding the will to make change.
Can we do this? Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other? Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us? And it doesn't make anybody perfectly good or perfectly bad, it just makes us human. I don't know. I confess that sometimes I, too, experience doubt. I've been to too many of these things. I've seen too many families go through this. But then I am reminded of what the Lord tells Ezekiel: I will give you a new heart, the Lord says, and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
That's what we must pray for, each of us: a new heart. Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens. That's what we've seen in Dallas these past few days. That's what we must sustain.
Because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other's shoes and look at the world through each other's eyes, so that maybe the police officer sees his own son in that teenager with a hoodie who's kind of goofing off but not dangerous -- (applause) -- and the teenager -- maybe the teenager will see in the police officer the same words and values and authority of his parents. (Applause.)
With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans not just to opponents, but to enemies.
With an open heart, those protesting for change will guard against reckless language going forward, look at the model set by the five officers we mourn today, acknowledge the progress brought about by the sincere efforts of police departments like this one in Dallas, and embark on the hard but necessary work of negotiation, the pursuit of reconciliation.
With an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that, just like the rest of us, they are not perfect; that insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals. (Applause.) And I understand these protests -- I see them, they can be messy. Sometimes they can be hijacked by an irresponsible few. Police can get hurt. Protestors can get hurt. They can be frustrating.
But even those who dislike the phrase "Black Lives Matter," surely we should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling's family. (Applause.) We should -- when we hear a friend describe him by saying that "Whatever he cooked, he cooked enough for everybody," that should sound familiar to us, that maybe he wasn't so different than us, so that we can, yes, insist that his life matters. Just as we should hear the students and coworkers describe their affection for Philando Castile as a gentle soul -- "Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks," they called him -- and know that his life mattered to a whole lot of people of all races, of all ages, and that we have to do what we can, without putting officers' lives at risk, but do better to prevent another life like his from being lost.
With an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right. (Applause.) Because the vicious killer of these police officers, they won't be the last person who tries to make us turn on one other. The killer in Orlando wasn't, nor was the killer in Charleston. We know there is evil in this world. That's why we need police departments. (Applause.) But as Americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail. They will not drive us apart. We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.
"We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
For all of us, life presents challenges and suffering -- accidents, illnesses, the loss of loved ones. There are times when we are overwhelmed by sudden calamity, natural or manmade. All of us, we make mistakes. And at times we are lost. And as we get older, we learn we don't always have control of things -- not even a President does. But we do have control over how we respond to the world. We do have control over how we treat one another.
America does not ask us to be perfect. Precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law; a democracy that gives us the space to work through our differences and debate them peacefully, to make things better, even if it doesn't always happen as fast as we'd like. America gives us the capacity to change.
But as the men we mourn today -- these five heroes -- knew better than most, we cannot take the blessings of this nation for granted. Only by working together can we preserve those institutions of family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government that is the hallmark of this nation. For, it turns out, we do not persevere alone. Our character is not found in isolation. Hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down; it is found by lifting others up. (Applause.)
And that's what I take away from the lives of these outstanding men. The pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain. I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Weeping may endure for a night, but I'm convinced joy comes in the morning. (Applause.) We cannot match the sacrifices made by Officers Zamarripa and Ahrens, Krol, Smith, and Thompson, but surely we can try to match their sense of service. We cannot match their courage, but we can strive to match their devotion.
May God bless their memory. May God bless this country that we love.
Like a cyclone, imperialism spins across the globe; militarism crushes peoples and sucks their blood like a vampire.
By Paul R. Pillar
July 9, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
The United States and Britain each have suffered from the blunder of invading Iraq in 2003 — and have made many others suffer as well, not least of all the Iraqis. But the release in Britain of the mammoth Chilcot report is a reminder of how differently the two allies have treated their coming to terms with the blunder.
That difference had been apparent even before this week. An earlier British inquiry, the Butler report, had explicitly pointed out, for example, the improper mingling of intelligence analysis and policy — which, although such mingling occurred on this side of the Atlantic as well, has never been directly and officially acknowledged in the same way in the United States. full article>
If the colonists hadn't rejected British militarism and the massive financial burden of maintaining the British military, America wouldn't exist.
By Jim Naureckas
Jul 8, 2016, © FAIR
The top story for USA Today on July 8, 2016: Some Western countries aren't spending enough money on weapons of war.
"NATO Nations Ducking the Check" was the headline across the top of the front page. "Despite Pledges, Some NATO Members Still Falling Behind on Defense Spending" was the online version (7/7/16). full article>
River of the Day:
The North Platte, Wyoming
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
—Henry David Thoreau
JULY 9, 2016, © The New York Times
IT says a lot about our relationship with Hillary Clinton that she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she's not getting indicted.
If she were still at the State Department, she could be getting fired for being, as the F.B.I. director told Congress, "extremely careless" with top-secret information. Instead, she's on a glide path to a big promotion. full article>
The opportunity is often lost by deliberating.
07/07/2016, © El Mundo
Son tantas penas que he dejado de contarlas", reconoce el novelista iraquí Muhsin al Ramli. El informe 'Chilcot' apenas concitó ayer atención en un Irak sumido en el duelo desde el coche bomba que el pasado domingo arrasó una de las principales calles del barrio bagdadí de Al Karrada. Las autoridades elevaron ayer la cifra de víctimas a 250 convirtiendo la carnicería, reivindicada por el autodenominado Estado Islámico, en el ataque más mortífero desde la invasión que hundió al país en un laberinto de muerte y destrucción. El baño de sangre segó la vida de decenas de jóvenes que disfrutaban de una de las últimas veladas del ramadán en una concurrida zona comercial de la capital iraquí. full article>
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
By Phyllis Bennis
JULY 8, 2016, © The Nation
On July 1, the Democratic Party released its draft platform, a document which will go before the full platform committee on July 8-9, before being debated at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia at the end of this month.
The 35-page draft reminds us of two crucial realities: the limits of party politics while corporate and military interests dominate both parties, and, crucially, the necessity of social movements to challenge those limits and—sometimes—to win. full article>
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.
Tree of the day:
Quercus Alba (North American White Oak):
Ambition is the immoderate desire for power.
by MEL GOODMAN
JULY 6, 2016, © Counterpunch
There is a new poster child for the U.S. government's double standard in dealing with violations of public policy and public trust—former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who will receive no punishment for her wanton disregard of U.S. laws and national security. Clinton merely received a blistering rebuke from FBI director James Comey, who charged her with "extremely careless" behavior in using multiple private email servers to send and received classified information as well as using her personal cellphone in dealing with sensitive materials while traveling outside the United States. Some of these communications referred to CIA operatives, which is a violation of a 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act to protect those individuals working overseas under cover. full article>
To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
Wednesday 6 July 2016, © The Guardian
A defiant Tony Blair defended his decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 following the publication of a devastating report by Sir John Chilcot, which mauled the ex-prime minister's reputation and said that at the time of the 2003 invasion Saddam Hussein "posed no imminent threat". full article>
The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.
By Colin Taylor
July 4, 2016, © Occupy Democrats
The terrorists of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) have proven once and for all that they are nothing but nihilistic sadists with today's triple bombings in Saudi Arabia. A suicide bomber exploded at the Al-Masjid an-Nabawí – or the Prophet's Mosque, in the Saudi city of Medina, killing at least four and injuring many more. Bombings also hit mosques in the cities of Qatif and Jeddah. full article>
Ah, yes, superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in face of the supernatural.
By MARK LANDLER and ERIC LICHTBLAU
JULY 5, 2016, © The New York Times
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, on Tuesday recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information while she was secretary of state, lifting an enormous legal cloud from her presidential campaign less than two hours before she boarded Air Force One for her first joint campaign appearance with President Obama. full article>
I hate those men who would send into war youth to fight and die for them; the pride and cowardice of those old men, making their wars that boys must die.
—Mary Roberts Rinehart
by Julian Assange, © Wikileaks.org
Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, about three hours' drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention. But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.
In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire.
I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me. full article>
Flower of the day:
Hortensias, Basque Country
By James Resnick
Saturday, 02 July 2016, © truthout.org
James Resnick: How has the way you understand the world changed over time and what (or who) has prompted the most significant shifts in your thinking?
Noam Chomsky: For better or worse, I've pretty much stayed the same throughout my life. When I was a child in elementary school I was writing articles for the school newspaper on the rise of fascism in Europe and the threats to the world as I saw them from a 10-year-old point of view, and on from there. By the time I was a young teenager, I was very involved in radical politics of all kinds; hanging around anarchist bookstores and offices. A lot concerned what was happening during the Second World War: the British attack on Greece and the atomic bomb I thought was shattering. full article>
Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
—Hans Christian Andersen
By Robert Parry
July 2, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
In Campaign 2016, the American people have shown little stomach for more foreign wars. The Republican candidates who advocated neoconservative warmongering crashed and burned, losing to Donald Trump who sold himself to GOP voters as the anti-neocon, daring even to trash George W. Bush's Iraq War to an aghast field of Republican rivals.
Sen. Bernie Sanders went even further, daring to mildly criticize Israel's repression of Palestinians, yet still ran a surprisingly strong race against the hawkish former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And, if Libertarian and Green anti-imperial candidates are counted in general election polls along with Trump, the trio makes up a majority of voters (54 percent in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll). full article>
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
by TED RALL
JULY 4, 2016, © Counterpunch.org
Who are you going to believe: us, or your lying eyes? That's the good word from Democratic Party powers that be and their transcribers in the corporate media, in response to the "allegations" by Bernie Sanders supporters that the nomination was stolen by Hillary Clinton. full article>
A weed is but an unloved flower.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
BRYAN SCHATZ AND DAVE GILSON
MAY/JUNE 2016 ISSUE, © MotherJones
Among the weapons used in Sunday's devastating mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando was a rifle similar to an AR-15, the civilian version of an assault rifle originally designed for the US military. The immense popularity of the AR-15 is just one chapter in the recent rise of the American gun industry. As the National Rifle Association, bankrolled by the nation's biggest gunmakers, has fanned fears of an imminent crackdown on gun owners, a buying spree has put ever more deadly weapons into Americans' hands. full article>
Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence - those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.
28 DIC 2012, © El País
Un juez chileno procesó hoy a siete exoficiales del Ejército como responsables del asesinato del cantautor Víctor Jara, ocurrido el 16 de septiembre de 1973 tras el golpe de Estado que encabezó Augusto Pinochet, informaron fuentes judiciales. full article>
Journalism, spooked by rumors of its own obsolescence, has stopped believing in itself. Groans of doom alternate with panicked happy talk.
By Michael Nevradakis
Monday, 27 June 2016, © Truthout
Bestselling author and investigative journalist Greg Palast is no stranger to electoral shenanigans. Through an extensive investigation of the elimination of tens of thousands of largely low-income and voters of color from the electoral rolls in Florida prior to the 2000 presidential elections, Palast uncovered the ways in which electoral outcomes -- and democracy itself -- are increasingly manipulated by powerful interests in the United States. full article>
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
By Elizabeth Kucinich
June 23, 2016, © The Hill
This month, U.S. congressmen, including Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), were refused entry into the Gaza Strip at the Erez crossing while on a fact-finding mission in Israel-Palestine. Israeli authorities, without elaboration, claimed that their application had not met the criteria necessary to enter. Apparently elected U.S. congressmen inspecting American taxpayer-funded projects and reviewing U.S. aid to Palestinians in Gaza is not worthy criteria. full article>
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
June 22, 2016, © ACLU.org
How would you feel if the Federal Bureau of Investigation could get information about websites you visited or emails you sent – without ever getting permission from a judge? Would you begin to self-censor the websites you visited — maybe avoiding revealing sites? Or, avoid emailing your pastor, therapist, or lawyer? These scenarios may soon no longer be hypothetical. full article>
There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
June 21, 2016,© The Progressive
Once again, in the wake of a horrific mass shooting, Congress has failed to pass even any token gun reform legislation. This time, legislative inaction took a little more than eight days.
Why can't we do anything about massacres with semi-automatic, high-capacity guns that have helped make ours the most violent advanced nation on earth? Because we have allowed a minority of extremists to control the gun debate. full article>
We become strong, I feel, when we have no friends upon whom to lean, or to look to for moral guidance.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
—George Bernard Shaw
by Pepe Escobar
June 24, 2016, © Counterpunch
So what started as a gamble by David Cameron on an outlet for domestic British discontent, to be used as a lever to bargain with Brussels for a few more favors, has metastasized into an astonishing political earthquake about the dis-integration of the European Union.
The irrepressibly mediocre Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, posing as a "historian", had warned that Brexit, "could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but Western political civilization in its entirety". full article>
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
I don't regret anything.
By Thom Hartmann
Tuesday, 21 June 2016, © truthout
In just five short months, voters across the country will head to their local polling place to vote for local, state and federal offices to pretend we have a functioning democracy. But the truth is, our democracy is broken.
We make it difficult for whole groups of people to participate, like people of color, seniors, college students and low-income Americans. We cast our ballots on privately owned machines, but we have no way of telling whether they're counted correctly.
Our elections are primarily funded by corporate elite and billionaires who funnel their donations through dark money organizations. As former President Jimmy Carter pointed out on my radio program last year, the flood of money into our politics has effectively undermined US democracy and left us with American oligarchy. But the corrupting influence of money in politics hasn't just compromised our democracy; it's costing American lives. full article>
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Our latest release
In Other Words
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
Nothing is easier than to
denounce the evildoer;
nothing is more difficult
than to understand him.
I do not study in order to know more, rather to be less ignorant.
—SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ
We must make haste then,
not only because we are daily
nearer to death, but also
because the conception of
things and the understanding
of them cease first.
Words are like days:
coloring books or pickpockets,
signposts or scratching posts,
fakirs over hot coals.
Certain words must be earned
just as emotions are suffered
before they can be uttered
- clean as a kept promise.
Words as witnesses
testifying their truths
squalid or rarefied
But, words must not carry
more than they can
it's not good for their backs
or their reputations.
For, whether they dance alone
or with an invisible partner,
every word is a cosmos
dissolving the inarticulate
Hijos de la Selva
Perceval Press is pleased to announce the release of HIJOS DE LA SELVA/SONS OF THE FOREST. The book outlines the story of German Ethnographer and explorer Max Schmidt, and includes many of the remarkable photographs that he made in the field while studying the cultures of the Mato Grosso region of Brazil and remote areas of Paraguay between 1900 and 1935.
Conquered people tend to
In our effort to publish and distribute texts that otherwise might not be presented we are offering a monthly book selection available for $4.
This month the selection is:
Nara's works highlight the manic fear, anxiety, simplicity, fantasy, and escape that defines childhood and leaves its remnants on the adult psyche.
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